Chapter 34: The Inner Circle
Translator: _Min_ Editor: Lis_, Rundi
“Please display your ID, sir” It was the same routine check.
Below the towering concrete wall was a reinforced metal gate. The inner circle was substantially more reinforced than the outer zone. Jiang Chen was fortunate enough to witness the greatness of the city from within.
After he had paid a crystal for his trouble, he left all his weapons in the storage by the gate. The guard at the examination station allowed him to pass.
In front of the gate was a spider tank with a triangular shaped cannon. The limbs of the vehicle attached to tracks cast a fictional vibe. The occasional patrol team passed by was also equipped with the most advanced work of the century; black carbon nano armor suits and fluid looking rifles. Sun Jiao mentioned that the inner circle’s soldiers were the Sixth Street core power. Most were private soldiers who belonged to the rulers of the Sixth Street “Group of Ten Council.” Despite their advanced equipment, the soldiers that were a part of the outer circle were part of the Sixth Street’s public assets. Hence the nature between the two was entirely different.
The shocked Jiang Chen considered acquiring some of their equipment as he approached his destination.
Along the way, Jiang Chen also saw some pedestrians. Only a unique group of people lived in the inner circle of the Sixth Street; those included specialized technologists, wealthy mercenary leaders, and investors who purchased assets within the area. It was known as the land of the wealthy.
It is also worth mentioning that the mercenaries stationed in the Sixth Street acted differently compared to the wandering half-mercenary half-bandits on the wasteland. The majority of them defended the Sixth Street along with the soldiers in exchange for commissions. They would also occasionally be sent to complete missions outside, or protect trade routes. The mercenaries registered at the Sixth Street were trustworthy as they all paid a fee as a guarantee for their services. When they no longer acted in the intention for their employer, not only does the guarantor inside the inner circle receive imprisonment, the Sixth Street would send out military power to eliminate the rebellious forces.
[Heaven Island Hotel, your comfortable home.]
Jiang Chen walked into a hotel that resembled a pre-war luxurious mansion. Since he was there for business, he must also show the correct gestures. Jiang Chen paid for a five-day stay without a blink of an eye. The total bill came out to be 50 crystals. The hotel owner immediately demonstrated the attitude similar to worshipping God as he respectfully escorted him to his room. Only the wealthy and the influential could afford a hotel like this; the hotel owner would do anything to please them.
The high price of the hotel meant that people rarely stayed there.
Only renowned merchants or millionaires from other survivor camps, or even from outside of Wanghai City would stay there. According to Sun Jiao, anyone who lived here would attract the attention of the public.
Jiang Chen wanted that attention. How would he do business without it?
He was not afraid of the troubles that would ensue. The neutrality of the Sixth Street continued for more than ten years. Their development was not the product of short-sighted growth strategies.
Just this point alone was worth the recognition of the Sixth Street’s policy. Ten capitalists formed the “Group of Ten Council” who implemented the freedom of trade policy within the walls. The balance of power allowed the strict enforcement of the policy to be enacted. No one wanted to be the first to break the rule of the game. It would not be okay to kill your business partner and ruin the deal for your neighbor.
However, privacy was less of an issue. As to what Jiang Chen expected, the moment he stepped into the room, the hotel manager reported this wealthy customer to his boss.
Identification: Fishbone Food Corporation Representative, Jiang Chen
Time of Stay: July 9th to 14th.>
Jiang Chen’s information was presented in front of someone.
“Fishbone Food Corporation? Jiang Chen? Very compelling.” A middle-aged man with a bowl cut leaned against the office chair. Under his thick eyebrows was a pair of hawk-sharp eyes.
“Do you want to get in contact with him, boss?” The assistant in uniform pushed up her glasses. As Zhao Chenwu’s assistant, she was not only critical to his work, she also acted at his bodyguard and occasionally helped to alleviate his needs at times of desire.
Zhao Chenwu, Group of Ten Council Member. He controlled 13% of the military strength within the inner circle. He was the owner of two firearm factories, one pharmaceutical company, along with an array of fixed assets in the inner circle. He was also known as the president of the Sixth Street’s renowned Zhao Corporation.
“There is no rush, let’s look at the situation more closely.” A grin appeared on Zhao Chenwu’s face. He was uncertain about the intention of this young man.
Food Corporation? Where can you even find a piece of arable land on the wasteland? Even if it were through soilless culture, the vegetable produced would be in odd shapes due to the radiation, and it could even be poisonous. The soil culture also existed at the Sixth Street, but most of the produce were not edible. The taste of the remainder produce was not fresh either. With exaggeration, if you planted a watermelon, it could grow into a bean for you.
There was no doubt that the technology existed outside of Wanghai City where it was possible to grow to produce on the wasteland. The rarity along with the high cost resulted in the limitedness of the technology. Could it be a simulated ecosystem? He also heard about the technology before. Although the advancement of technology was far superior before the war, everyone’s current focus on innovation was extremely skewed.
As the controlling shareholder of the Heaven Island hotel, he encountered many representatives at the Sixth Street before. It was his first time hearing about the existence of a food corporation.
There was never a shortage of mutant beef. Just ordinary people couldn’t afford it.
Zhao Chenwu shook his head and placed this report away. He looked at the clock and felt a sense of hunger. He asked his assistant, “Is lunch ready?”
“Yes, my boss. Do I need to confirm that today’s lunch is curry chicken?” The assistant said in a professional tone.
After she had received Zhao Chenwu’s acknowledgment, she left the room. She then came back momentarily with a plate of steamy curry chicken.
The unique aroma of curry chicken made Zhao Chenwu’s saliva form at a rapid rate. Without any consideration for his composure, he devoured the meal. The assistant also swallowed as she saw how much her boss was enjoying the meal. She knew better that there was none for her.
The total cost of the curry chicken was 20 crystals, which was equivalent to two night of stay at the hotel.
The price was not even the problem; it was the fact that you couldn’t buy it with money.
The outer circle’s exchange office purchased 20 cans weeks ago. They sold each can with a price of 60 crystals to the influential individuals in the inner circle. Zhao Chenwu used his position as the Group of Ten Council member to get his hands on one of them. The good thing was that the office didn’t auction the canned food or the price would be significantly higher.
He divided this one can into three separate servings to enjoy.
Zhao Chenwu investigated the whereabouts of the person who sold the cans. He heard that as soon as they left the gate, the Hui Zhong mercenaries went after them. No one knew if they were still dead or alive. When Zhao Chenwu heard this information, he was so angry that he almost broke the table and cursed the generations of Hui Zhong Mercenaries. He almost sent out his private forces to teach those fools a lesson. However, he resisted the temptation due to his position of power as the mercenaries didn’t break any rules within the Sixth Street. If he did anything, he would have broken the rule of the game.
The last piece of the precious curry chicken went into his stomach as he savored the taste. He shook head as he threw the fantasy about curry chicken into the back of his mind. Although he was curious about the taste of sauteed beef his friend Sir Ding bought, he must have finished already as well.
He had a business to run after all. The food was only a small part of his life. He took over a stack of documents and began reading the operation status of his company.
At the same time, he glanced at the information relating to the hotel guest; he felt a sudden familiarity with the name.
[Hmm, why is the name Jiang Chen so familiar? Where did I see it before?]
If Jiang Chen knew that the canned food he sold to the exchange office was split into three servings by the big bosses within the inner circle, he would be hysterical.
Right now, Jiang Chen was pleasantly enjoying his stay.
He was the only one in the entire mansion. Despite the suppressed feeling cast by the radiation cloud and ray of mutated sunshine, which made it difficult for him to enjoy the holiday, he was quite satisfied by the facilities within the mansion.
Such as the relaxation chamber. When Jiang Chen lied inside, it felt as if his entire body was covered in jelly.
The view was not as beautiful as the Sheraton in Sanya, but the technology sure made up for it. [Why do we need nature when we have technology.]
Jiang Chen who stepped out of the relaxation chamber felt every pore on his body was exfoliated. The cleanliness was substantially higher compared to taking a shower. It even removed dust at the micro level.
[Should I bring one back?] Jiang Chen touched his chin as he thought about this question. He absolutely loved this.
He casually grabbed a bathrobe to cover himself and ran to other amenities to enjoy them.
The ping pong robot was designed for wealthy people who had no opportunity to exercise. He abandoned his racquet the second he realized he couldn’t beat the robot.
He was interested in the full-sensory movie theater.
The 7 Dimensional movie, that theaters praised in the modern world, was nothing compared to this.
He put on the helmet and strapped himself into the soft chair. The surreal feeling made it feel as if it was the reality. He was shocked to find out that he was standing in the middle of New York. Jiang Chen felt the breeze lightly caress across his face as he watched a battle between cops and thugs. He could even experience everything through the protagonist’s view. It was as if he was fighting himself. He could feel the screeching bullet and experience the pain himself. He just couldn’t control the protagonist’s movement.
The thrilled Jiang Chen left the theater and returned to his room.