Chapter 34 – Learning
Maylin almost couldn’t believe her eyes. She couldn’t be more clear about what Adam was like than she had been before. Adam had never liked reading books since he had been little, and he would always cry out loudly whenever he saw a book. His father forced him to learn, which managed to make him learn some of the words. But even so, making him read had proven to be futile.
Even though Zhao Hai had behaved very well in recent days, he had never mentioned anything about reading, so Maylin only assumed that ‘Adam’ had not changed his bad habit of reading aversion.
However, she could never have imagined that Zhao Hai had been a biblio-homebody back on Earth. Taking him away from books was about as ‘deadly’ as taking him away from the internet. The reason why had hadn’t read anything in recent days was because he had had to face one crisis after another. Of course he had not been in a mood to read.
Adam had just been a playboy in the past, so he knew nothing about the customs on the continent. Right now, the continent was relatively peaceful, and it was headed by 5 large empires. There were a total of 32 countries, large and small, in addition to some settlements of demi-races, which could be described as ‘very spacious’.
Zhao Hai was in Axu Empire, one of the 5 large empires of the continent. The other 4 empires were Rosen Empire, Leon Empire, Footoo Empire and Greenwave Empire.
His current fief, the Black Wastelands, was a dead land everyone on the continent had chosen to forget, but behind the iron mountain was Rotten Corpse Swamp, one of the 5 Forbidden Areas on the world that struck fear in the hearts of many.
The other 4 Forbidden Areas on the continent were:
Mt. Akraya, which was a territory of magic beasts. Of the people from the other races who went there, only a very few managed to come back alive.
The Far North Tundra, which was an icy world with extremely low temperatures. Only a handful of ice-type magic beasts could survive within.
Flame Island, which was an island on the surface of the sea, 5600 miles south of Greenwave Empire. Its surface area wasn’t large, but its volcano erupted constantly and the island was a mix of rock and fire. It was absolutely not a place where there could be life.
The last area was the Demonic Trench. It was said that the place was connected to the Demon World, but it had never been confirmed. However, it was true that demonic beasts that the continent had never seen before would come out from there from time to time.
Rotten Corpse Swamp was famous for its toxicity. Whether it was the magic beasts or undead creatures, they were all known for being toxic, as everything from there carried poison. That was why the swamp was listed as a forbidden area.
These things were blurry in Adam’s memories. There were some records on the random note, but they weren’t very detailed. To Zhao Hai, they were good enough.
Zhao Hai had been a homebody on Earth. If he didn’t know about traversal novels, then he wouldn’t be a complete one. Zhao Hai understood from the random note that he had arrived in a world similar to traversal novels. There were magics, battle auras, magic beasts, elves, dragons, dwarves… Quintessential of traversal novels.
It was due to this that Zhao Hai had become more determined that he had to keep a low profile. He didn’t know how powerful this world’s pinnacle-level experts were, but he could make a probable guess from how Maylin used water magic to water the soil today. 10 acres of soil, done in an instant using magic. It would be too easy for someone like Maylin to deal with him.
Zhao Hai slowly put down the book in his hand. His reading speed was faster than ordinary people, given the many years of habitual reading he had under his belt. The contents of the book didn’t prove to be too much of a help, but it let him have a greater understanding of the world he was now in.
Experts in this world were nowhere worse than the ones he had seen in the novels back on Earth. While in the novels, mages were bad at close-ranged combat and fighters didn’t have long-range offensive capabilities, in this world, there was nothing of the sort.
Mages’ bodies were not like fighters’, but they didn’t need to chant long incantations in order to use some simple magics. Mages like Maylin could cast magics below level 3 almost instantly. No one dared to underestimate such magics, and even fewer fighters would dare to engage in close combat with one such mage.
Even though fighters trained in battle auras, such auras could not be released on a whim, as time was needed in order to raise the battle aura’s concentration to the maximum. Common fighters would know how to use bows and arrows, while those who didn’t would at least use javelins or throwing axes. Their strength was not to be underestimated either.
Zhao Hai stood up slowly and took in a deep breath. After reading the notes, he felt more than before that his decision to keep a low profile was a correct one. There were too many experts in this world. Ones he could never afford to mess with.
Zhao Hai walked to the window of the study, and noticed that the window was made of paper. Currently, only civilians would use paper windows. Noble residences had glass windows, but they weren’t common, as the manufacturing costs were high, so Greene hadn’t bought any.
Zhao Hai opened the window gently and looked outside. The study was on the third floor, so the sunlight came in nicely. He could see the courtyards both inside and outside the castle, and he could also see that Meg and the others were busy with their work.
Many of the women were making grass mats, but Zhao Hai couldn’t see Meg from where he was. It seemed like she was getting ready to make a grass boat.
Zhao Hai watched the people with bitter laughter in his mind. These people were too easily satisfied, and they didn’t know that their lives were facing incredible peril.
Just then, Zhao Hai seriously hated himself. He had no power to protect these people. At most, he could only bring these people into the space in order to avoid disaster. But simply hiding would lead them nowhere. Rotten Corpse Swamp… Ever the source of his worries.
Right when he was in his thoughts, Maylin knocked on the door and spoke, “It’s time to eat, young master. Lunch time.” Zhao Hai was startled. He hadn’t realized that time had flown by so quickly. He looked outside again and saw that the people working on grass mats had returned to their houses for their meals.
When Zhao Hai opened the door, Maylin was giggling at him. Zhao Hai asked, “What are you happy about, granny Maylin?”
Maylin simply replied, “Oh, nothing. I’m just happy. Go for your lunch, young master.”
Zhao Hai nodded and followed Maylin downstairs. Meg and the others had also returned, and had been waiting for him downstairs. Zhao Hai then noticed that Maylin had readied the meals on the dining table.
After sitting down, Zhao Hai looked at Blockhead and said, “I have let Meg make grass boats in these few days, Blockhead. Lead more people to reap the grasses, and go find some more men to help Meg’s group. They don’t have as much physical strength on their own.”
Blockhead heeded with a sound, and Zhao Hai looked at Rockhead, “Rockhead, help An and the others bring back the rocks we need, as fast as possible. Set the rocks aside, and I will help you bring them back after they reach a certain quantity. That will save us a lot of work.”
Rockhead heeded with a sound, and then Zhao Hai spoke to An, “An, you must exercise caution when excavating the rocks. Better to get fewer rocks than to endanger your own safety.”
An obeyed with a sound, and then Zhao Hai spoke to Ju, “Right now, you should keep on instructing others how to make grass mats, Ju. Once they have learned how, you will follow Meg to make grass boats. They don’t have to be too large. Just enough for more than a dozen people will do. Don’t be afraid of using up the grasses. There are plenty on the mountain.”
Ju obeyed with a sound, and then Zhao Hai spoke to Maylin, “Granny Maylin, do you think we should set up a guard post on top of the mountain in order to monitor the Rotten Corpse Swamp and the castle’s surroundings? We can prepare ourselves if there are beasts and necromantic creatures coming from the swamp.”
Maylin thought about it for a bit and nodded, “You are right, young master. We should set up a guard post. I will arrange it after lunch, so don’t worry. Go and read more books if you have the time.”
Zhao Hai was surprised that Maylin would suggest that he read more books, but since he was going to visit the study often, he nodded, “Relax, granny Maylin, I will. But there have been too many matters to settle lately, so I will read books once we’re all good.”
Maylin nodded, while Meg and the twins were looking at Zhao Hai, dumbstruck. They grew up with Adam, so of course they knew what sort of a person he was. They were in disbelief when they heard Zhao Hai saying that he wanted to read books.
Everyone started eating their lunch after the conversation. It didn’t take long for Zhao Hai to finish his meal. After that, he went to the study immediately, as he wanted to understand this world very much.
Maylin looked at Zhao Hai with her eyes sparkling in happiness. This world may revolve around combat, but literate people were still very respected. Even in Axu Empire, many important positions were taken up by famous families of scholars, since the kings of the past had discovered that a country could not be without literate people.
It was also why Maylin was happy. Adam had drunk the Water Of Void, and Zhao Hai now had the space, which could be used as a place of refuge. But simply hiding would not work. He needed respect from other people. The only way to be respected without being able to learn magics or battle auras, was learning.