Chapter 1667 The Disaster of Salamander Demons
Translated by XephiZ
Edited by Aelryinth
Mo Fan was hoping to use his connections with the Dongfang Clan to solve his problem, but it turned out that the Dongfang Clan was holding a grudge against Jiang Xia too!
"I have a close friend in the government, I will ask him about the tax first. We should be able to get rid of it if it's not reasonable," Mo Fan said.
"Please do! I'll think of a way to solve your problem. Our clan still has some old people that Jiang Xia has to give some face to," Dongfang Lie said.
Mo Fan's close friend in Hangzhou was obviously Councilman Zhu Meng. Even though Zhu Meng was from the Ancient Capital, he had established some connections in Hangzhou since the plague incident. He would know something about the tax implemented on the Steel Rock.
Zhu Meng happened to be in Hangzhou, too. Mo Fan went straight to see him. There was no need to be courteous with him!
Zhu Meng opened the door. He was still in his sleepwear. He was surprised there were women visiting him. He awkwardly led them to the living room before leaving to change his clothes.
"Why did you shave your beard? I feel like you look more imposing with your beard. You've shaved both your head and your beard. You look like an inmate that was just released from prison..." Mo Fan teased Zhu Meng when he noticed the changes in the councilman's appearance.
"Piss off, everyone keeps saying how much younger I look now! You're the only one with a foul tongue. Spill it out, what kind of trouble did you cause this time?" Zhu Meng harrumphed.
"Are you close with an old man called Jiang Xia?" Mo Fan cut straight to the topic.
"Jiang Xia? Sort of, we are both Councilmen. I often see him at the meetings. He might have retired, but many people are still asking him for help. Did you step on Jiang Xia's tail this time? Why did you keep finding trouble with troublesome people like him? I'm telling you, Jiang Xia has been around for a long time. If he wants to deal with you, I won't be able to protect you," Zhu Meng said.
"I just want to ask him something," Mo Fan said, and explained the reason he was searching for the origin of the Tree of Vows.
"I see… it won't be difficult to meet him. I heard long ago that it was Senior Lu Yi and Jiang Xia that brought the Tree of Vows back when I was in the Enforcement Union. However, I'm familiar with Jiang Xia's character. He's like a businessman. He won't bother with things that don't bring him benefits. He will use everything he has to make a profit," Zhu Meng advised him.
"Huh? Doesn't that mean I won't have a chance to talk to him? If there's no other choice, I can ask the Black Totem Snake to kidnap Jiang Xia and force him to tell me the truth. I really need to find a Totem Beast. If I'm stuck in the Advanced Level for too long, my enemies will soon come to kill me!" Mo Fan exclaimed.
The Essence Orb was not filled yet, so the Demon Element was not available. Mo Fan was feeling uneasy. He had been courting death too much lately. He was seriously worried that he would die suddenly in the middle of the street!
"Hang on, hang on; if you do that, he will clearly turn your Fanxue Mountain upside down to get his revenge. There's nothing bad about his character. He's a businessman, and with the right benefits, he might even be willing to put aside his personal conflicts. He doesn't really have a conflict with you, he's just been influenced by the Lu Clan to hold a grudge against you. If you can offer him something valuable, he will tell you everything about the Tree of Vows and the tax on the Steel Rock," Zhu Meng said.
"To suit his fancy, right?" Dongfang Lie asked.
"More or less. He's willing to take any benefits," Zhu Meng confirmed.
"Is he fond of beautiful ladies? I have a little European beauty here..." Mo Fan ventured.
"Ugh… how old is she now? Stop messing around," Zhu Meng glanced at Apas. Even he felt awkward after hearing Mo Fan's suggestion. This nut really could come up with all kinds of nonsense!
"Money, but I don't have any," Mo Fan said.
Mo Fan was lacking money, as usual. He could easily spend all his money on his cultivation, no matter how rich he was!
"You've come at the right time. I happen to know what's troubling Jiang Xia lately. Dongfang Lie, didn't you say you were asked to pay a high tax to buy the Steel Rock?" Zhu Meng said.
"Exactly!" Dongfang Lie snapped.
"I do know a thing or two about the Steel Rock. The Steel Rock is a special kind of rock surrounding the lake islands of the Thousand Island Lake. They are from the residue of the lake that accumulates between the boundary of the lake and the islands. You can find them attached to the edges of the hundred-some largest islands on the Thousand Island Lake. They can be collected and refined into raw materials to craft defensive Equipment..." Zhu Meng took a sip of his tea while explaining the source of the Steel Rock.
"Let's skip the science behind it. It's not really my concern," Mo Fan interrupted him.
"Fine. The Thousand Islands Lake is currently a half-safe zone under Councilman Jiang Xia's jurisdiction. Every year, it will provide the government with Steel Rock and another rare material we call Ward Rock. It is useful for building dams for rivers, lakes, and even the sea," Zhu Meng said.
"Ward Rock?" Mu Ningxue had obviously heard about the material before.
"HAHA, I bet Fanxue Mountain is in need of the Ward Rock too! It's something that can't be bought for a thousand gold. The Steel Rock is more or less the impure version of the Ward Rock. It doesn't matter if Jiang Xia sells them or not," Zhu Meng said.
"So why is Ward Rock so important?" Mo Fan asked.
"Ward Rock is just like an Earth Pistil, and contains an abundant supply of energy. You saw how Pudong is now drowned in seawater? The government has built a long dam on the Huangpu River to stop the seawater from rising and spreading any further. It doesn't just take builders to construct a long dam, since normal stone is as fragile as bubbles to Warrior-level and Commander-level creatures. Ward Rock is used to inject the dams with Earth Magic to strengthen their walls. It also makes the dams flexible. We can fix the dams quickly if they are destroyed, they are not just lifeless walls," Lingling explained.
Most demon creatures had outstanding physical abilities. A Warrior-level creature could jump a dozen meters into the air. Walls over ten or twenty meters tall were barely like little fences to the demon creatures.
Ward Rock was magical; not only were they able to alter the shape of walls to stop demon creatures from crossing them; it was a lot sturdier than normal stone!
"Do you remember the tall dam in Tokyo's East Maritime Fortress? There was a short dam and a tall dam. The demon creatures struggle to cross the tall dam despite their overwhelming numbers. The main reason is because the tall dam is made of Ward Rock. It's like a powerful magic formation, and the main reason why Tokyo is unharmed while the battles along the coast never end. A complete piece of Ward Rock is as sturdy as a city!" Mu Ningxue said.
In simpler words, Ward Rock was a kind of Earth Pistil. An Earth Pistil was used to protect a piece of land with a barrier, also marking the demon creatures within its range. If a city inland had an Earth Pistil, its safety was more or less guaranteed.
Ward Rock was slightly weaker. It could only be used to build walls and stop enemies from crossing it, but that was extremely useful for many cities along the coastline!
"For some reason, a species we have never seen before appeared at the Thousand Islands Lake, called the Salamander Demons. Steel Rock and Ward Rock are the products of a complicated natural reaction. The soft ripples of the lake slowly accumulate substances around the edges of the islands. It takes time for the substances to accumulate, meaning their supply is limited.
"We need Earth Mages to collect the substances before dawn every day, but the Salamander Demons are proving fond of these substances, too. They take away the accumulated substances from the islands. These Salamander Demons were not hard to kill in the past, but for some reason, their skin has suddenly turned sturdy as steel lately, making it difficult to kill them!" Zhu Meng said.
"These Salamander Demons are using the substances and the energy they contained to strengthen their shells?" Mo Fan asked.
"Mm, that's most likely the reason! Jiang Xia didn't think the Salamander Demons were a serious threat before, but it's extremely difficult to deal with them now! You know that if a species doesn't have any natural foe in an ecosystem, it will destroy the resources and environment once they mass reproduce, like a plague of locusts. Jiang Xia has already smashed a lot of things because of this. If you can help him deal with the problem, he will bring you to the Tree of Vows and even find the Deer God for you!" Zhu Meng said.
"No wonder he added that insane ecology disaster tax to the Steel Rocks!" Dongfang Lie said.
"Mm, he can't produce the Ward Rock if he doesn't secure the islands. He probably has enough Steel Rock in storage to build a whole town. He's clearly going to increase the price. Otherwise, where would he get the money to deal with the demon creatures from?" Zhu Meng pointed out.
"Fine! I thought Jiang Xia was purposely messing with our clan," Dongfang Lie admitted.
"I already said that he's the kind that puts his benefits first. The Salamander Demons aren't high-level creatures, yet even a Super Mage would struggle to take them out. Jiang Xia once used his Super Spell on them out of anger, but he went crazy when he realized that even if the Salamander Demons stacked up into a mountain in front of him, he would kill less than a tenth of them, even if he used up all his energy!" Zhu Meng said.