Chapter 69: Chilemier (Part One)
Wind swept across the endless desert scorched under the blazing sun and turned into a hot wave that seemed to have the ability to evaporate everything; the onerous scene in the desert was both exhausting and frustrating.
Since spirit horses couldn’t stand the high temperatures in the desert, Wangyue had to buy a sand camel which had an ostrich head and a body similar to a camel but smaller and nimbler; with webbed foot, it was good at running without bumping its rider too much.
Despite all this, Wangyue felt as if his internal organs were about to be thrown out as he traveled on the sand camel. Following Ouyang Hongye’s instruction, he had gone to an information base outside Dongyao City and met Sanmu after leaving the capital city.
The large number of rodent spirits working for Sanmu had been looking for clues for Green Cloud’s hiding places; Sanmu compiled the clues and had Thorn deliver them to Dong Muya for analysis. According to her analysis, the clues led to the Fire City Chilemier. Wangyue got the information from Sanmu and headed to the west for Chilemier.
Having been used to the company of Ouyang Hongye and others, he felt a bit lonely on the journey. He was also sulky that he, the head of the rabbit spirit clan, was branded as a traitor, which was a disgrace for the countship that he had inherited from his elder brother Tingyue. But he must bore it with gritted teeth. Green Cloud was the cause of his brother’s death and his tarnished reputation and he must find Green Cloud’s hiding place to get his revenge.
As he got close to Chilemier, he saw more people travelling alone or in carriages to the city for the gold. Some of them had been here more than once. Wangyue disguised his looks and mingled with them to get information.
He maneuvered his sand camel to a traveler. Taking out the flask from his pocket, he unscrewed the cap. Having riding in the desert for several days and nights, the traveler swallowed when he smelled the fragrance of the wine. Wangyue handed the flask to the traveler, a goat spirit with a goatee which moved up and down as he spoke. Judging from the traveler’s clothes, Wangyue guessed the goat spirit came from an insignificant clan.
“Bro, is this your first time to Chilemier?” Wangyue asked.
“Huh? This is my third time!”
Wangyue was amused by the bleating sound at the end of the sentence, but he suppressed the laugh and asked, “Then you must be very familiar with this place. I’m a new-comer and hope you can give me some tips.”
The goat spirit took several swigs of the wine and was in a good mood. He said with a smile, “We’re all brothers for the same goal—digging for gold. So let’s not stand on ceremonies. Ask whatever you want, and I’ll tell you everything I know!”
“My name is Wutong! What’s your name, bro?” Wangyue made up a name for himself.
“My real name is not important. People call me Old Goat!” The goat spirit took another swig and returned the flask to Wangyue reluctantly.
“Are you familiar with the underground city of Chilemier? Tell me about it.” Wangyue went to the point after sacrificing so much of his good wine.
“It’s an excellent place! Here you’ll see any woman you can or can’t imagine, especially young mermaids. I’d die happily if I could have one night with one of them!” Old Goat’s eyes glinted with lust.
“Wonderful! Take me with you when you have time!” Wangyue pretended interested to make Old Goat happy.
“Haha! You’re so impatient. I’ll take you tonight!”
Talking with Old Goat, Wangyue entered the territory of Chilemier and saw all kinds of flags on the land.
“The flags show that the gold sand around them have been taken. First come, first served. This is how it goes in this place,” Old Goat explained.
“Is it free for all?” Wangyue was puzzled at the generosity of the city master of Chilemier who allowed people to take the sand gold for themselves.
“Hehe. The sand gold in here is endless. The fire lizard spirit is happy to have so many free laborers digging out the gold and then paying it to the hookers in the underground; eventually, most of the gold enters his pocket!”
“Right!” Hearing Old Goat’s explanation, Wangyue realized that the fire lizard was a very smart guy.
Before entering the underground city, they walked up a slope and came to a big white platform which looked like an oasis in the desert. Desks and chairs were placed around a pool and palm trees were planted around the platform.
“Gold diggers can take a break on the platform during the day. Here we can buy clean water, wine and food,” Old Goat said as he led Wangyue onto the path in the center of the platform.
Sure enough, some gold diggers sat around the pool, drinking, eating or talking. Their glowing faces looked happy as they enjoyed their leisure time.
“The platform has a clever design!” Wangyue said in appreciation.
“You’ll see things cleverer!”
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