Chapter 17: Umbel
The two towns were totally worlds apart. Just the outer appearance had an obvious difference, showing a large disparity in their strengths.
The tall white stone walls gave you peace of mind at a glance, which was not something that Calagados’ low wooden walls could compare to. The fields outside the town were arranged orderly, with a large number of stone canals and lofty windmills, and the growth of the crops looked much better than the small town they came from.
The coachman told Wu Qingsong that this was the handiwork of an archmage invited by the three major guilds when the town was first expanded. The construction of these irrigation canals and wells were just something he had done in passing, but it became an irrigation network that all the people from Umbel was proud of.
“Under these windmills are all wells. Thanks to these things, Umbel can rely on such a little plot of fields to feed so many people.”
This was the first time Wu Qingsong ever felt the power of magic belonging to this world with his senses. When they approached the canals, he carefully observed them and found that they were completely different from the canals of his own world. It was neither concrete nor was it a stone wall. It looked like the soil next to the ditch was directly turned into stone.
“This is the magic of turning mud into stone,” a passenger said with some pride. “That year, it was not only because of money that the archmage was successfully invited to come, it was also due to the relationship the president of the commercial guild had with him. If not, how would such a high up person come to such a place in the middle of nowhere!”
“Rumors had it that he is the illegitimate child of that archmage…,” he lowered his voice and said with the superior air of a mysterious well-informed person.
The crowds and traffic around them suddenly increased out of nowhere. It was like they were intentionally picking the time when they were not paying attention and drilled out from under the ground. However, there were not many carriages that take passengers on board, most of them were large carriages that were carrying goods. There were also many people who just carried baskets on their backs and walked in the direction of the gate.
The road was beginning to get congested.
Perhaps because the journey was about to reach the end, the passengers in the carriage began to become lively. There was a guy who looked like a fox that started telling all kinds of legends about Umbel, while another beastman who looked like some sort of rodent began to inquire about Wu Qingsong’s purpose in Umbel.
“It’s simply to broaden my horizon,” Wu Qingsong said cautiously.
In a town with almost thirty thousand people, the chances of meeting with a few strangers again were not high but getting vigilant around strangers was common sense.
“If you need a house, you can consider the south of the town, the environment is not bad, the security is guaranteed, and the distance is also close to the dock. Besides that, the main point is that it is affordable,” he handed Wu Qingsong a card with many beautiful swash words. It should be his business card, but Wu Qingsong did not understand it at all. He could only give an awkward smile and take the card.
“The agency of your humble servant is in the south of the city and will be glad to be of service!” he said with a smile.
Just then, the carriage had arrived near the town gate but it came to a halt. All the passengers began to pick up their luggage and got down from the carriage.
“The carriage won’t enter the town?” Wu Qingsong was slightly startled.
“There’s a tax for entering the town. I can’t afford it!” the coachman said while shrugging his shoulders.
“Do you guys need a guide?” that foxman asked zealously. His luggage was not that much, only a small bag and nothing about his job could be gleaned from his appearance
“No need,” Wu Qingsong said while being on alert.
“Then I’ll see you again!” the fox man took off his hat and gave a salute. Soon, he disappeared into the crowd entering the city.
Wu Qingsong took Ling and Liu Li and dawdled around for a bit longer until everyone else had left before getting down from the carriage.
The horse carriage soon turned around and galloped towards an inn by the roadside, probably to take a break at that place.
Wu Qingsong considered for a moment before deciding to enter the town first to look for a place to stay and then slowly understand and familiarize himself with this place.
Although he got to know more or less about this trading town along the way, it was only some one-sided statements from the coachman. He didn’t know how much was true, how much was what he heard from rumors. In any case, he should take a look with his own eyes.
As usual, they still had to pay 20 coppers for each person as tax to enter the town, but the guards here were obviously better than those of Caragados. They clearly had more experience, even though they also treat Wu Qingsong as a half-elf, there was something neither servile nor overbearing about them.
After that, they crossed the long passageway and headed for the city.
The noises from the hustle and bustle came over. The time now was evening and the bustling streets were crowded with all kinds of beastmen. The shops on the street had all put their best things out, and the street that could barely be counted as wide was crowded. It looked quite packed.
A variety of scents also assaulted their nostrils, and the three who had barely eaten anything along the way began to feel hungry.
Such a scene reminded Wu Qingsong of the situation of visiting the streets during New Year’s Day in the previous world while Ling and Liu Li were somewhat taken aback in the face of such a scene.
There might be as many people in this street as there were in the whole Leimu Town, which made them feel extremely uneasy and unconsciously grabbed on to Wu Qingsong’s clothes.
“Follow me, stay close and be careful of pickpockets!” Wu Qingsong warned them and led them through to crowds with great effort.
“Mister, would you stay in this inn?”
Perhaps it was because they were too eye-catching, people knew they were newcomers at first glance and someone on the street immediately came to advertise.
“A decade-old store, spacious and wide, you just have to take a look and you’re sure to like it!”
“You should consider this inn! There’s hot water today and you can even take your meals here. One Renal per person for each day!”
“Mister, this humble inn is of good quality and cheap. Clean and comfortable, you will surely not be disappointed!”
“Mister, need a carriage? You can pick a one-way or even rent it for the whole day! There’s a discount if you rent it for a long period!”
“Mister, this must be your first time in Umbel? Then you surely need a tour guide!”
“Do you want first-rate spices? What about all kinds of wood?”
“Need a boat? Tonight’s boat to Phoenix! There are only a few cabins left!”
All kinds of voices caused an uproar in Ling and Liu Li’s brains and halted their thinking. They could only hold their purses tightly with one hand while the other hand grabbed onto Wu Qingsong’s clothes and followed him step by step.
Fortunately, Wu Qingsong was a person who had experienced the baptism of the Spring Festival train station and the popular attractions of the National Day, so he was more or less immune to such bombardment. He ignored all of the solicitations and only dragged the two beastwomen forward. After walking for around thirty to forty meters, those people finally gave up tangling with them and began to surround the new travelers.
There was finally some fresh air circulating around them.
“Meow~ that scared me.”
The hair on Liu Li’s head was stuck together by her sweat, and her ears were drooping, looking sloppy and funny.
Wu Qingsong finally could not endure and stretched out his evil hand to rub her head while saying, “It doesn’t matter, you just have to ignore them.”
“What should we do now?” Ling asked with a bit of worry.
She was still out of her wits now and the only dependent one was Wu Qingsong.
Wu Qingsong looked at the densely packed buildings and maze-like streets and alleys in the surroundings. In fact, he also had no idea what to do. This situation in front of him reminded him of the situation in which he left his hometown and went to report to university thousands of li away.
Just like stepping into a door leading to a whole new world alone.
Nervous, restless and anxious but at the same time, there was a longing and hope for the future.
Not to mention there were now two beastwomen that were completely relying on him. He must not display any hesitation and weakness. He must become strong.
“First find something to eat, then find a place to stay.”
And thus, he smiled and said to them.
“The shops near the city gate are mostly rip-offs. Well, the dock should be similar. Don’t worry, just follow me.”