Elite Mages’ Academy - Chapter 481: Small Town
Leaving the wastelands, they could see the fringes of civilization. It was the Rosa Kingdom’s most distant town. They called it a town, but in terms of size, it was basically a village. The Rosa Kingdom was considered a poor country without many natural resources. On top of that, the harsh requirements set by the n.o.bles on the commoners resulted in the poor conditions in the remote area.
The town might have the black rose flags of the rebels, but thankfully did not seem to have many troops guarding it. That was because the military might of the rebels had all been focused on the Rosa Kingdom’s royal city, so there were not any troops in charge of such a small town.
Entering the town, the scene in front of Xiao Lin and the others shocked them. Compared to the Silver Province and the prosperity of the colonial territories controlled by Dawn Academy, the town was in really desperate straits.
The entire town could be seen with just a look. There were weeds growing everywhere, and the streets were filthy and poorly maintained. The streets were lined with simple stone houses, but most of them had been destroyed, seemingly in the recent war. As for whether it was by the government’s troops or the rebels, that was not important.
The town was very quiet, even though there were a few general stores and ironworkers, but there were very few merchants on the whole. Most of the people there only had simple shirts on, and were either sitting by the streets or drinking and gambling. There were those dressed in ragged clothes begging for food everywhere, but no one cared.
Xiao Lin’s group attracted everyone’s attention. They were fully clad in armor, and thanks to the confrontation with the griffins, the thick smell of blood was still on them. It was impossible to keep a low profile, even if they wanted to.
Drinkers and gamblers alike, everyone had stopped what they were doing and shot fearless looks at Xiao Lin’s group. There was an air of challenge, as well as warning.
“The Rosa Kingdom’s civil war has enveloped the whole country. It’s natural that the citizens here have been swept up by it as well. Let’s try our best to not cause any trouble,” Xiao Lin said in a low voice.
He actually did not need to remind them. The only thing the monitors wanted to do at that moment was find a place to sleep. How could they even think about causing more trouble? Furthermore, even the commoners, who did not even have armor on would at the most be at Black Iron-rank, and would have never gone through any training. The monitors were all at that rank or above and, on top of their talents, their strengths far exceeded anyone in the town. They at least had that point of pride.
Cheng Ming walked to an old lady in front of him. Using broken Normese, he said, “Do you know where I could find an inn?”
The old woman was frail and unbelievably gaunt. She could be somewhat younger, but the wrinkles on her face could rival a century-old tree. She raised her head and stared at Cheng Ming for a long time, not saying anything.
Cheng Ming thought she did not understand, and patiently repeated himself. The other monitors stood behind, all their weapons stowed away to show they bore no ill-will.
The old woman pointed at Cheng Ming’s waist. Cheng Ming was starting to sweat. Ibeiya whispered into Xiao Lin’s ear, and Xiao Lin walked in front, patting Cheng Ming as he took out his pouch. He produced a piece of bread and gave it to the lady. The old lady immediately wolfed down the bread, even sucking at the remnants on her fingers a few times.
Those people were way too hungry!
Cheng Ming’s eyes widened in realization, regretting not understanding it himself. He sighed. The war between the rebels and the government ended up harming the commoners the most in the end. He generously retrieved even more food from his bag, because in the broken home behind the old lady were several skinny children looking out. Seeing Cheng Ming’s slight smile, they were still a bit afraid, but once a bold kid reached his hand out to take the bread, the other children rushed over as well.
The bread that Xiao Lin and the others had brought were made of the highest quality ingredients. Dawn Academy did not mistreat its students on that part. Be it the taste or the amount, to the commoners, who could only eat the most crude of foods normally, the bread was unbelievably delicious.
Cheng Ming’s actions caused more and more people to come closer. Other than children, there were also women and elderly, all of whom unable to hold back the looks of hunger from their faces.
“I think that the rebels might have confiscated all the food nearby for war supplies,” one of the monitors said softly, very possibly hitting the nail on the head.
Even though there were not many people in the town, there were at least a hundred people gathering there. Cheng Ming could not help but feel guilty. He did not have that much bread, and he needed to leave some for himself as well. Xiao Lin furrowed his eyebrows, pulling Cheng Ming aside. “Let’s go!”
Cheng Ming hesitated, but even more of the monitors started to feel sorry. For those of them who were used to peaceful life on Earth, the scene was hard to watch. They all started to feel pity, and started to take out a bit of food to give to the commoners.
However, Xiao Lin started to feel like something was off at that moment, because the men close by started to walk over as well. The old folks and the children were one matter, but those men, who still looked relatively fit did not need it. They did not come here to do charity after all.
Xiao Lin gave out a few warnings before the rest of them stopped, taking advantage of the large crowd to slip away. Luckily, probably because of their actions, someone decided to guide them to an inn.
It was called an inn, but it was just a few dilapidated rooms. They could even see cobwebs in the corners. It was unknown how long it had been since the inn last opened. The owner was a middle-aged man, and seemed to know a bit of Mandarin. He was willing to accept New Dollars as well.
Even though a few monitors felt like the environment was bad, it was not the time to be picky. After paying a few hundred New Dollars, they got themselves three rooms. Because only three of the rooms were still in reasonable condition. After entering the rooms, they did not care about the foul stench within, falling asleep immediately.
They were way too tired.
The few female monitors shared a room. Xiao Lin had wanted Ibeiya to stay with them, but was once again rejected by Ibeiya. The girl said she was not tired, and would be fine just leaning against Xiao Lin for a bit. Xiao Lin did not argue. He told her not to run anywhere before falling fast asleep, not being able to hold back his exhaustion.
Xiao Lin was deep in sleep, all the way until he started to feel a cold sensation. He startled awake, and his vision started to clear, but he remained in the darkness. The bed he was lying on had disappeared, and his hands could feel ice-cold water. His back seemed to be against some rocks, and when he raised his head to look around, the only source of light around him was a window in a corner, fastened with metal bars…