The Record Of Unusual Creatures Chapter 1697

1694 Useful Intelligence

The conversation with Captain Birken was a pleasant one—at least it seemed so.

After the talkative captain left, Hao Ren and Vivian began to sort out the information they had just gathered.

"This isn't your ordinary captain," Vivian said. She had been living in poverty for the past 10,000 years, but she could read people. Captain Birken had unconsciously revealed what he was trying to hide by working too hard at it. "He acted well. He was talkative, passionate, sincere, but he went overboard and was unnatural—anyway, that was not how he would usually act."

"He's an ordinary civilian ship captain who's running a passenger transportation business over the World Scar all year round." Hao Ren recalled the old captain's self-introduction. "Unless alien spacecraft visit this world very often, a normal captain like him would not be so calm after boarding our spaceship. He kept his sense of curiosity to a minimum, appearing enthusiastic and sincere, but his words were vague. So, his enthusiasm and sincerity were questionable; he did not have to cozy up to strangers like us whom he's just met for the first time. Even though we've just saved his life, gratitude and ingratiation are not the same."

Rheia shook her head and said, "But that is not important."

Hao Ren smiled and said, "You are right; that is not important."

Hao Ren and his team were only passersby who were stopping by L'Haronne to conduct some investigation. They wanted nothing to do with the local conflict and conspiracy. Captain Birken's attempt at hiding something from them was only for his own safety, and it was not going to affect their operation.

"Nevertheless, we've learned some fundamental situations in relation to this world," Lily said, "which he didn't consciously hide."

Hao Ren said of the information he had gathered, "The L'Haronne people call the place that divides the ocean, the land, and the entire planet in half the World Scar. The stable elemental eddies over the World Scar provides energy for magical guidance equipment. So, the locals have built airships to ride on this elemental vortex to sail across the World Scar to the other hemisphere. There are powerful kingdoms in both the planet's eastern and western hemispheres. In the eastern hemisphere, there are ten kingdoms of different sizes led by the Ancient Kingdom of Izzo. They've set up an international organization called the White City Federation. We have no idea how the name White City came about. Meanwhile, in the western hemisphere, there is a unified and powerful empire called the Dragon Empire, surrounded by other vassal city-states and even barbarians."

The MDT displayed a holographic image of the planet L'Haronne, showing them what the probes had captured from space. Names such as the Ancient Kingdom of Izzo, the White City Federation, the Dragon Empire, and the World Scar popped up in the image. It was not a comprehensive map, though. After all, the information they had gathered from Birken was limited.

"The White City Federation and the Dragon Empire maintain a balance. But there is no love lost between the two. The balance exists only because it's difficult to travel between the two hemispheres. The limited elemental eddy cannot support the movements of troops to the other side of the planet. Hence, conflicts could never escalate into outright war," Hao Ren said as he pointed to several names on the holographic map. "I don't know the relative strength of the two sides, but this big empire is apparently stronger than any single kingdom on the other side of the planet. If what Birken told us is anything to go by, the White City Federation's Ancient Kingdom of Izzo is pretty formidable as the head of the federation because it's been sitting on the throne for hundreds of years."

"The White Pearl was a flight from the Ancient Kingdom of Izzo to the Dragon Empire, and it was attacked by pirates when it crossed the glittering sea of ​​clouds," Lily added. "The old captain mentioned that piracy is a common occurrence. Due to the high concentration of high-altitude elements over L'Haronne, visibility is impeded. The pirates hide in the turbulent clouds and often come out to attack lone civilian ships."

Hao Ren digested the information in his mind and looked at Rheia who was sitting by the side. "Apparently, the planet has a brand-new world border after the tearing and reshaping process. The history of the old world has disappeared, and new history develops with the natural phenomenon of the planet's division into half as the starting point. The captain is completely clueless with regard to the end-of-the-world event, and similar legends have not been handed down either."

"Meaning, the history of this planet has been completely rewritten." Rheia sighed softly. "At least the human society is totally different now. L'Haronne has had a geologically destructive rebirth process. I am afraid that we may not be able to find clues about the planet before the Umbral Realm period."

Vivian pinched her forehead. "Where there's a will, there's a way. There must be something we can find. I'm really interested in the Dragon Empire. Birken said that the rulers of that kingdom have dragon blood, and their souls are immortal. If this is true, they may know something—at the minimum, they'll know what happened during the formation of the new world border."

"The kingdom is named after the dragons, and the rulers claim to have the soul of dragons. This is interesting," Hao Ren said. "We should find a way to meet the emperor. I'd prefer not to use tricks. I'd like to allow them to initiate contact."

While they discussed a way to make contact with the legendary Dragon Soul Ruler, Nolan's holographic image suddenly materialize in the room. "Boss, there are two passengers who would like to see you."

"Passengers?" Hao Ren's eyebrows arched. "The refugees? Why would ordinary passengers want to see me?"

"They may not be ordinary passengers," Nolan said with a smile. "They are two individuals whom we should particularly be mindful of: the young man is called Charlemagne, and his younger sister is Awenna, whom you met on the deck of the White Pearl. I heard something interesting while I was monitoring their conversation in the cabin."

Hao Ren began to put two and two together when the two persons came to mind. He remembered the handsome gray-haired man who had nine-tenth of Nangong Sanba's looks, and the girl who had emerged from under the deck in a dirty dress. He now knew that she was the one who helped the technicians to repair the propulsion energy unit on board the White Pearl.

The repair was not successful, and the White Pearl eventually lost all power and fell into the planetary fissure dozens of minutes ago before it vanished in the heat.

"Looks like there's more to the ship and the passengers we've saved than meets the eye. Were those pirates just a smokescreen? Hmm…" Hao Ren scratched his chin as he found that things had gotten interesting. "Okay, bring them in."

Charlemagne and Awenna entered the room belonging to the owner of the ship.

While they were on their way, the two carefully observed the structure, walls, and corridors of the ship. They tried to figure out the ship's purpose and the uses of each facility. But the more they observed, the more shocked they were. The structure of the ship did not resemble any known airship design. They even found things that were utterly out of place: there was an area that was not supposed to exist behind a wall, some corridors were longer than logically possible, and some areas that should have been outside the hull inside, considering their theoretical location. If their senses of distance and direction were working normally, the ship should not have had such a large interior.

Nonetheless, they kept those questions to themselves because they had reached their destination under the guidance of a robotic squid, which looked like an alchemic creature.

The owner of the ship was sitting in front of them.

Hao Ren cast his eyes on the siblings, who behaved right on point. They appeared to have the right level of unease, fear, and curiosity. The younger sister stood slightly behind her brother, who acted somewhat nervous, grabbing the buckle on his belt.

"I heard that you wanted to see me?" Hao Ren asked with a smile.

"Yes, Mr. Captain." Charlemagne hemmed and stood upright. "My sister and I are grateful for your help, but we want to know when we can get back to the ground; our family is worried about us."

"I cannot say when." Hao Ren spread out his hand. "We have a mission to complete, and it will depend on the progress. The ship may find a place to land tomorrow, or it may not land at all."

The reply caught Charlemagne unawares. "We are not landing? Are you going to fly in the sky forever?"

Hao Ren waved his hand. "That is not important. Is that why you two have come to see me?"

Charlemagne knitted his brows together. "We are just worried about the trip. Of course, our family will appreciate your help. They will definitely offer—"

Hao Ren interrupted Charlemagne. "Ahem, I think you've misunderstood me. The eavesdropping technique we use is quite special in that no magical runes and the like can detect it. We have no intentions of encroaching on the privacy of our passengers, but this is a battleship, and your identity is questionable. I do not mean to be so harsh."

The handsome man, who was nine-tenths identical to Nangong Sanba, and the quiet long-haired girl appeared cautious and panicky. However, they quickly reigned in their emotions.

Vivian said softly, "So, can we stop beating around the bush and get straight to the point?"
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