"Good morning! Delivery! Please sign for the parcels!"
Somebody shouted at the door early in the morning.
Lin Huang opened the door to a yellow bird that was about the size of his palm, standing at his feet.
The yellow bird was called the Silvertongue Bird as they could learn up to a thousand languages. Although, their understanding of the languages were similar to the thought capacity of a six-year-old. After they learned a language, they could carry out logical conversation with humans for simple purposes.
People trained the birds not only for deliveries but for their memory abilities too. In each of their feathers was a hidden storage space where it could contain an item that was as big as an ice cube.
The bird saw the house door swing open and turned to face its tenant. It looked up at Lin Huang and said, "Good morning, Mr. Lin Huang. Your parcels are here, please sign your name here!"
The bird then flapped its wings, and a few parcels fell from its body.
A few of them were a few times bigger than the bird itself.
It then shook its head, and a receipt popped out of its mouth. It flew to Lin Huang’s shoulder and passed the receipt to him.
The receipt listed all the details of the items in the parcel.
After a quick glance, Lin Huang signed his name and passed the receipt back to the bird. As he returned the receipt, he grabbed a few candies from a bowl inside the house, next to the door.
"For you," he said as he passed it to the bird.
In the world he lived in, desserts were loved by many monsters and candy was the Silvertongue Bird's favorite. Many families would prepare a few types of candy for them to thank them for safely delivering their parcels. Since he knew that he would have deliveries within the next few days, Lin Huang had prepared the candies much earlier.
"Thank you!" The bird swept its wing over Lin Huang’s palm, and the receipt and candies disappeared.
It nodded to him and left.
Lin Huang then moved the items into the house, closed the door and started examining them.
"Iron-level sword x1"
"Basic military survival sword x1"
"Basic military water bottle x1"
"Armored bullet (for GrayEagle17) x10"
"500 bullets in 10 boxes"
"Waterproof rain gear x1"
"Night-vision glasses x1"
"Hemostatic agent x2"
He spent 80% of his savings to purchase all the items.
The sword alone cost him 10,000 credit points. The water bottle was made from a monster called a space gerbil. To be exact, it was made from its stomach as it had a space compression feature like no other. It could contain up to one ton of liquid and cost 8,000 credit points. The armor-piercing bullets cost 1,000 credit points every two bullets, a box of them cost him 5,000 credit points. The rest was a total of 2,000 credit points.
It was the first time Lin Huang had ever spent so many credit points in one go. He thought they were worth it as the items might prove useful during the Reserve Hunter assessment.
The syllabus of the assessment varied each time but the last one would always be a survival test in the wilderness. The items were meant for that task.
"I'm impressed! The service was so quick. I just ordered them yesterday and they’ve arrived today. I was just thinking if I should change the delivery address as we might be staying somewhere else during the renovations to repair the damage, but that’s not necessary anymore," he said. After that, Lin Huang kept everything in his space storage unit.
The application for the assessment could be done on the Hunter Association website via the Heart Network. While preparing for the assessment, he would have to participate at a medium foothold. There would be one assessment at each medium foothold every month. The nearest medium foothold would be foothold No.7C87, where the actual assessment would take place a week later. It would only take him two hours to arrive at the foothold if he flew with an eagle. That way, he would have ample time to prepare himself for the challenges ahead.
Just when Lin Huang was thinking about what else he should prepare, someone knocked at the door.
He was surprised! Who could it be this early, he thought. He opened the door and there stood a middle-aged man in a suit and a troop of men in their uniforms were in formation behind him.
The man in the suit shook Lin Huang’s hand with a smile, and said, "Mr. Lin Huang, we have received a renovation notice from the Union Government yesterday so we’re here to renovate your house. Let me know if there are any comments you would like to add to the renovation order, and we'll start immediately."
"I have no comments to add to the order. Just as long as the cracks and marks on the floor and walls are all sealed and covered properly, I'll be content," Lin Huang replied, still a little taken back at the events that were transpiring. He did not expect them to operate at such a high rate of efficiency. He had just received a notification from the Union that the review was passed that morning and the very same day, their people were here.
"If that’s the case, we'll do our best!" The man smiled and nodded while he gave Lin Huang a card. It was a hotel room keycard. He then continued, "The renovations will take around five days. It would not be more than five days, I assure you, so we have booked you into a hotel for the next five nights."
"Thank you." Lin Huang took the keycard and was stunned when he saw the name of the hotel.
The word ‘Stable’ was written on the keycard, it was a keycard to the Stable Residence, the most prestigious hotel in the foothold! A standard room cost more than 1,000 credit points per night, which was almost the price of a room at bigger hotels in the larger footholds. He thought it was an unusual arrangement by the Union Government, but he did not think too much about it.
"We will be operating out of your house for the next few days. If there are deliveries, we will forward them to the hotel. If there’s anything valuable, you can take your time and bring them with you now. Let me know when you are ready." The man in suit informed him.
"Valuable? There’s nothing really," Lin Huang said and shook his head. "I’ll just grab some toiletries for myself and my sister, and you can come in," he continued, as he stepped aside to allow the men in.
"No it’s alright, we will come in when you’re done." The man in the suit insisted and stood by the door.
Since the man insisted, Lin Huang shrugged and went upstairs to get their toiletries. After making sure there was nothing left behind, he went down to the ground floor and proceeded to the door.
"Alright, it’s all yours now, I’ll be leaving to the hotel then," Lin Huang said. He then passed a note to the man in the suit, and whispered, "This is the password for the main door. The room doors are all opened. The room keys are in the medicine box in the second floor’s bathroom, help yourself if you need them." He trusted the man in the suit but did not want his troop going about the place unattended.
The man in the suit took the note, nodded, and assured him, "Don’t worry, we will get things done to the best of our abilities."
Wulin Town was a small town, with only four main streets. Lin Huang and his sister lived on Street 101. When the foothold was first built, people were hoping that the foothold would be expanded to more than 100 streets and became a B-grade large foothold, hence the reason they optimistically started their numbering at 101.
After walking for 10 minutes, Lin Huang arrived at the Stable Residence. He was glad to see the open yard at the entrance that was embellished with oriental charm.
He stood at the entrance and took a picture of the hotel. He then sent it to Lin Xin with a text, "The renovations on our house has started. We will be staying here for the next five days. I’m in Room 302. Come here after school."
"Brother, is this a prank?" Lin Xin replied immediately.
Lin Xin was familiar with the hotel’s location as her route to school was not far away from the hotel.
Sometimes she even came to the hotel gardens just to take photos of the flowers.
She had always wanted to see how the rooms in the Stable Residence looked like, so she thought it was a prank by Lin Huang when he texted her.
Lin Huang did not explain anything. Instead, he sent her an image of the keycard’s front and back to prove his statement.
What Lin Huang did not notice was, as he was stepped into the hotel, there was someone watching him with a twinkle in his eye.
"Hehe, here comes an interesting fella…"