Chapter 14 – More Than Meets The Eye
After storing the black soil, Zhao Hai led Blockhead and Rockhead to where Maylin and Meg were at. He wanted to see how they cleaned things up.
The iron mountain had a lot of dwarven mineshafts, but it actually was a very large one. The entire mountain was almost completely dug out by the dwarves, yet the structure was very unique. Plus the dwarves had many years of mining experience, so the entire shaft was very sturdy and there was no need to worry about the danger of collapsing.
Maylin and Meg were females, but they were ever in service of the Buda family. They were always Greene’s great assistants, so this was not a problem for them. The slaves were motivated by the offer that Zhao Hai would restore their freedom, so every single one of them was energetic. There was no need for Maylin and Meg to keep watch of them.
But when they were cleaning up the mineshaft, they discovered that there weren’t many usable spots. At the beginning, there were several tens of metres of empty ground and caves acting as living areas. The dwarves would eat and live here, so the blue-eyed rabbits could then be raised here after a proper cleanup. But it was a no-go further inside. It was slanting downward further in, and it was already pooled with water.
But just cleaning up the outer spots was enough to raise a lot of blue-eyed rabbits. It wouldn’t be a problem for raising at least up to several tens of thousands of them.
Because the dwarves had to live in the mineshafts for many years, the design of the caves was close to ordinary urban cities. Close to water sources, and had a certain amount of drainage facilities. The place had to be broad enough while close to the entrance. The mineshaft had water storage, but it was still very dry. It could be regarded as the best place to raise blue-eyed rabbits.
It was also the first time Zhao Hai saw the look of the dwarven mountain. It wasn’t too high, considering that it wouldn’t be higher than 1000 metres from sea level. The lateral length wasn’t longer than several thousands of miles, which was shaped like half a circle, keeping the Black Wastelands inside. The only path leading into and out of Black Wastelands was the opening of the half circle. Their castle was built with its rear facing the mountain, and a part of it was on the slope. The back of the castle was the iron mountain, and the dwarven mine caves were at the waist of the mountain at quite a high elevation. Behind the mountain was the continent’s infamous hazard zone. Known as one of the ‘5 Forbidden Areas’: Rotten Corpse Swamp.
The soil on the mountain was kind of brown with layers of weeds grown on top of it, but the weeds didn’t look like they were growing well. They appeared sick to the point of dying. Although there were some crooked trees, they appeared to be malnourished and stunted in growth as well.
Zhao Hai couldn’t help from sighing as he saw this. He kinda knew why the nobles put him here and why Greene sold all of the family’s resources before coming here. This was a dead land. Even if they worked hard later on, it would be impressive just being able to eat a mouthful of food. Buda family using here to start rising up again? That’s basically a fool’s dream.
Zhao Hai quickly walked forward as he watched the bustling mineshaft caves. He soon got inside, but Maylin and Meg were too busy ordering the slaves around to notice that he had come.
This mine cave was built by dwarves, but the opening was very large, about more than 3 metres tall and 5 metres wide. Inside was a large empty land with holes big and small all over the walls like a city within a mountain. Even if humans lived here, accommodating up to 10000 wouldn’t be a problem.
Zhao Hai was shocked by the scenery before his eyes. He never thought that the dwarves could actually create such a city cave. It was too shocking for him.
He looked inside. The cave ceilings were all reinforced with stones into arches. What mineshaft? It’s basically an underground base.
Zhao Hai nodded subconsciously. This was too good. If this place was cleaned, it could not only be used to raise blue-eyed rabbits but also serve as a secret base. But time was still needed to tidy this place up, so now they didn’t have the time to do that just yet.
Meanwhile, Maylin saw Zhao Hai and she walked up to him in a hurry, “What are you doing here, young master? It’s dirty here. You should go back to the castle.”
Zhao Hai smiled slightly, “Nothing. I’m just here to see how this place has become. Granny Maylin, how many more of such caves are on the mountain?”
Maylin replied hurriedly, “There are only 2 caves that are this large on the mountain. One is this cave facing the castle. The other is on the other side of the mountain. The remaining ones are small tunnels. There are about dozens of such tunnels.”
Zhao Hai nodded, “Are the caves interconnected? How deep is this one? We need to build fences, or the blue-eyed rabbits will never get caught if they’re raised right here.”
Maylin replied as she looked at Zhao Hai, “Don’t worry, young master. These caves are connected since it’s a dwarf habit. But tunnels are usually built under mineshafts. To ensure that there are no cave-ins, they wouldn’t dig overlapping tunnels. However, right now the caves are filled with water, and we don’t know how deep it is, so that way had become a dead end. Please don’t worry and just use this place.”
Zhao Hai smiled and nodded, “Very well then. We can’t deal with the cave on the other side of the mountain for time being, so this cave is just fine. Repair the road leading here and block up the tunnel. There’s water inside and we don’t need to worry about blue-eyed rabbits running away, but we also have to prevent them from drowning.”
Maylin nodded, “Leave it to me, young master. I know what to do. This isn’t the kind of place for you. Please head back.”
Zhao Hai smiled slightly, “Don’t worry, I’m not in a hurry. You go and make yourself busy, granny Maylin. I’m going to see if the water can be used.”
Maylin nodded, “Then I’ll go with you. I’m a water mage, and I know about water. I believe I can be of help, young master.”
Zhao Hai laughed, “Good. There’s nothing around here anyway, so there’s no need for you to work that hard, granny Maylin. It’s good that you’re coming along with as well.” He strode towards the mineshaft after speaking.
Maylin followed behind Zhao Hai as well as Blockhead and Rockhead, while Meg didn’t move because she still had to look out for the slaves.
The four of them soon entered the mineshaft. It was sloping downward, but the angle wasn’t too steep. There were signs that there were minecart tracks, but they had been lifted. Only brown flooring stones were left.
As they walked down for several hundred metres, Zhao Hai saw an underground lake. Yes, it could only be described as an underground lake, because the surface was too broad. He couldn’t tell how large its size was at all using the light from the entrance. He could only hear some water sounds.
Just then, a sudden flash of white light came next to Zhao hai. He looked at it curiously and saw that Maylin’s hands were glowing like a lantern was in her hands.
But he soon understood that this was magic, and from Adam’s memories, this was a type of light-based illumination magic. It didn’t have any offensive, defensive or healing abilities, so its only use was to serve as a light. It’s a magic that any mage, even a magic student, could use because only illumination magic had no element restrictions whatsoever.
Zhao Hai just took a quick glance and turned his head back. He borrowed the light to measure this underground lake. He found out that calling it an underground lake would be totally correct. The surface area of it was much larger than common underground lakes. It could be described as ‘no end in sight’. What made Zhao Hai feel incredible about it was that there were actually several small islands in the lake, but the surface areas of them weren’t large. Only dozens of square metres, and they were like pillars, reaching up high and down below.
Zhao Hai spoke to Maylin in confusion, “Do you know what those pillar-like things are for, granny Maylin?”
Maylin smiled, “Your eyes aren’t deceiving you, young master. Those are pillars. They were left behind by the dwarves to support the entire mountain. Those platforms are like command posts. When dwarves worked, there would be some of them there who would command the ones below. The water that you see here was actually dug out already. You can say that this is a lake.”
Zhao Hai’s eyes sparkled and then laughed loudly, “Excellent! This is too good! We can raise fishes here, and lots of them. This is truly a natural treasure, hahahaha!”
Maylin looked around and said, “Not a bad idea, young master, but we still have to take a good look. If this is stagnant water, then there’s no way to raise fishes, but this doesn’t seem to be it. I feel that the water element here is still active, but there lies the problem of water paths. If there’s a river flowing in, there must be an exit as well. Otherwise, the water couldn’t possibly stay at this level. If there’s an exit for this water, then no matter how many fish buds we’re throwing at it, they might all go out through the exit.”
Zhao Hai nodded, “Yeah, this is a big problem, and I discovered that the moat has this problem as well. Looks like we have to solve it first.” He turned to Maylin and continued, “Granny Maylin, gather some water. I want to bring it back for research.”
Maylin didn’t know what Zhao Hai meant, but she still complied. Her hands moved, and a 1 metre diameter ball of water rose up from the surface slowly, before stopping in front of Zhao Hai. Zhao Hai’s mind sighed at the marvel of magic once again, but he didn’t just watch. With a thought, he put the large ball of water into his storage of the space.
After the water was stored, Zhao Hai sensed that the space didn’t give him notifications. It seemed that the water really went into the storage. Zhao Hai couldn’t help but feel in awe that the storage was really amazing. It could even store water.