Chapter 60: Getting Ready to Leave the Salt Mine

Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio  Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio

The spread of this news was not allowed.

It had to remain Kant’s secret and Kant’s alone. If he did not become powerful enough, he was determined to take the secret to the grave.

Then again, he knew very well that if the news were discovered, it would cause a huge commotion in the Dukedom of Leo or and other human kingdoms. That would have easily cleared Scholar Hank of all the ridicule he had suffered in the past.

Yet, Kant still decided to make such a decision.

He was not going to tell anyone about it.

He wanted to keep the proof of the lost city’s existence a secret even from those around him.

He was not about to let that golden disk, which contained the Sacred Sun Pattern, appear in the eyes of others in the world.

To carry even such an item would have been seen as a crime by others.

When one had an item coveted by all others, that was simply how things worked.

Due to having discovered that golden disk, Kant would have risen to immense fame. With the proof that the lost city existed in that desert once upon a time, it would have enabled him to take up a job in the academy and become someone worthy of respect. He would have become a professor and a learned scholar with a status every bit as high as a greater noble.

Despite what he would have gained, he chose not to reveal his findings.

All of that was built on the assumption that Kant would have lived to tell the tale.

He knew very well about the state of things.

Some nobles in the dukedom extremely disliked him. Those people probably even found him repulsive.

It was especially so in the case of his older brother—the eldest son of Duke Cameron—who was a mere several years older than him. His brother was the heir apparent of the dukedom’s throne. He would not have wanted Kant to be alive and well in the dukedom.

As such, he had to leave where the struggle for power was at its thickest.

Getting exiled to the barren, dangerous Nahrin Desert was the limit of their tolerance.

Kant knew it all too well.

Now, he had just discovered proof of the lost city’s existence. He had the evidence that verified the existence of that fabled golden city. He might have actually found the true lost city if he continued on this path, eventually locating the city that was made of gold and only those with the blood of gods in their veins were allowed to reside in.

Such a discovery would have affected everyone’s interests.

Those greedy, cunning nobles would have gone to any lengths to get what they wanted. They would have likely amassed a force to take him out as soon as possible.

They would have taken the Oasis Lookout for themselves using the most direct means available.

Kant, a baron of the Nahrin Desert who currently only had 41 Swadian Men-at-Arms and 46 Swadian Footmen serving as his fighting force, would have been reduced to the former ruler of the Oasis Lookout. He would have been rendered dead by unknown means.

After a pretentious, secretly gleeful mourning, the place would have fallen into the hands of those nobles.

The lost city was fabled to have more gold than one was able to imagine. Such wealth was a temptation that very few could resist.

It would have turned the most composed of figures into the most insane of lunatics.

Greed was the most terrifying thing.

[Will you allow the system to absorb the item?]

A dialog box appeared and blinked on his retina again.

Kant came to his senses and nodded without any hesitation. “Yes.”

Data streams appeared in his eyes.

The golden disk was immediately shrouded in the flow of data. It shook lightly for mere minutes before it ended up absorbed by the system. It disappeared entirely from the world, just like how it had been with the gemstone and the two pages of papyrus.

Allowing this to happen was the only way Kant would be able to rest easy.

The system had taken care of the one great potential threat for him. It allowed Kant to breathe a sigh of relief.

“Lord Kant, you do not seem to look well.”

Firentis walked up to him from afar. He eyed Kant’s rather pale and severe expression and asked out of concern, “Would you like some water? I’ve heard that we’ve found a well around here.”

“I’m fine.” Kant’s expression returned to its usual calm.

Seeing how Kant did not say anything more, Firentis did not ask any further questions. He simply eyed the well that had been charred pitch black by the fire. He exclaimed in surprise, “Is that the well everyone is talking about? The well that supplied drinking water for more than 2,000 Jackalans every day? It looks like the amount below is quite vast.”

“Sir Firentis, the well is about 20 feet deep, yet the water within is less than 5 feet deep.”

That footman who had been inside the well hung his dripping wet clothes around to be dried as he reported, “I found a bubbling eye when I was down there. I think there’s definitely a subterranean river beneath the well.”

Firentis was surprised. “A subterranean river?”

“Indeed.” That footman nodded affirmatively.

Kant eyed the south. With thoughts weighing on his mind, he speculated, “I think there is actually a subterranean river somewhere below the Nahrin Desert containing vast amounts of water. The Oasis Lookout probably emerged thanks to such a river as well.”

“There probably is.” Firentis nodded in agreement.

Wells and oases never emerged in a desert for no reason. The only reason they existed was that there was a river underneath the sandy surface.

There was likely a rocky layer of soil underneath the sand, which contained vast amounts of water.

“Oh right.”

Firentis seemed to have been reminded of something and said to Kant, “My Lord, I recalled that you said the Jackalans had discovered a natural salt mine that was formed after a lake dried out not far from here.”

“There is one.” Kant nodded.

He recalled the situation he saw when he last scouted the place. Narrowing his eyes, he added, “There were quite a number of Jackalans over there as well.”

Firentis looked serious. “I think we’ve got our work cut out for us.”

“There is definitely more work to do.” Kant chuckled. His expression remained calm, yet there seemed to be a fire in his eyes. “That beautiful white salt is waiting eagerly for us to take it.”

Since the situation was brought up, he deemed it necessary to get to it as soon as possible.

Kant was a decisive person and dreaded having to wait on making decisions.

With the Jackalan Tribe now reduced to ruins of ashes, there was not much of value left to be found if they continued to search the place.

Even all the crude salt the Jackalans gathered had been reduced to charcoal, making it utterly inedible.

In Kant’s perspective, there was a salt mine not far away ripe for taking. Losing a bit of the tribe’s crude salt was nothing in comparison. The source of the salt he aimed to get his hands on was like a source of wealth that would never run out.

Charcoal was harvested in Senwaya Range.

A natural salt mine was in the Nahrin Desert.

Kant had taken two sources of water for himself.

All of that meant that high-grade white salt, which only appeared at the feasts and banquets of nobles, was in his grasp.

Every bag of salt was almost worth its weight in silver.

Even rough salt of lower quality fetched great silver from the pockets of nobles and gentlemen. Going around plundering places would have yielded less than selling those salt.

“We’ll be heading out now.”

Kant got on his horse and waved in front of him.

The 46 well-armed Swadian Footmen formed a neat, winding line behind him as they moved.

As for the 41 Swadian Men-at-Arms, there were traveling slowly at the rear. They were having some trouble moving around given how both the men and horses were clad in armor. While the warhorses did not actually sink into the sand as they moved, their speed while traveling on sand still was not comparable to traveling on flatlands.

Both Kant and Firentis knew that very well.

The five Sarrandian Horsemen clad in mail armor and iron helmets served as scouts.

They were riding Sarrandian desert horses, which were more suited to desert environments. Furthermore, none of the horses were clad in horse armor, which made them quite nimble while moving around in the desert. Besides, Sarrandians were people of the desert.

They encountered the occasional bunch of Jackalans as they traveled.

They were thoroughly frightened and ran for their lives when they saw Kant’s forces, which they seemed to have taken for demons.

It was apparent that those Jackalans had been the ones that managed to flee when their tribe was crushed.

Neither Kant nor Firentis paid any heed to them.

Despite his forces being less than 100 strong at the moment, their actual combat prowess was more than twice, perhaps even several times stronger, than that of the 300-strong force from before.

One look at the equipment packed by those forces, as well as the iron armor worn beneath their linen robes, was more than enough to tell that they were battlefield veterans.

This type of a fighting force would have served as small elite forces led personally by the nobles back in the dukedom.

The march slowly continued.

The workhorses were pulling the carriages as they moved. The pace was not too fast and not too slow.

Due to having found a well, Kant and the others did not bother conserving what they had in their water sacks. The road between the Jackalan Tribe and natural salt mine was paved, so the trip back and forth was only going to take them about a day.

It was less than half a day faster than when Kant went out to scout the place a while ago.

With the Jackalans had long paved the way, the hardened layer of sand made it easy for wheels and hoofs to travel.

They took a short break at noon.

They continued on their journey after eating lunch and drinking enough water. After they were done resting, Kant and his forces headed at around 2 p.m.

Time passed.

The sun gradually set in the west.

Dusk descended upon them.

They arrived at the natural salt mine.

The landmark was an obvious one. Dried Jackalan corpses at the top of the dune created long shadows in the light of the evening sun. It was a harrowing scene.

However, Kant brought more than just the Desert Bandits with him on the trip this time. He had brought a well-organized cavalry force and infantry force. They were regular combatants with a formidable fighting prowess.

They charged straight for the dune.

Some Swadian Footmen found the landmarks to be eyesores. They kicked the Jackalan bodies, which were tied to wooden stakes, down as they passed.

The salt mine was right below the dune before them.

The Jackalans, who all knew that the Jackalan Tribe was no more, were busy packing their things and getting ready to leave.

Kant slightly narrowed his gaze on them.

He found quite a number of amusing fellows.

He saw more than 30 Jackalans down there. They were all wearing mail armor and held double-handed battle axes. They served as overseers to keep the other Jackalans, who looked smaller and frailer, in line, as they packed the bags of salt and prepared to leave the place.

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