Chapter 25 - Star City
Morning of the next day, I was in the back of a black sedan watching cars rush by as we went down a long road. When we left the roads of Outer Bank X city, we had to pass the only checkpoint for those leaving the city. The checkpoint was near the entrance to an old bridge that was the only road leading towards inner cities. To the left and right of the checkpoint was an expanding wall that circled around the entire city
It was mostly hunters or highly influential people that were able to move around in the empire. The two titles were actually interchangeable as no influential person chose to not awaken
The driver pulled out sparkling military credentials to the Hunter Guards standing by and we were soon driving away from the city. We went across the bridge when I looked back for the last time to see the city surrounded by a wall, not knowing if I would ever return
The scenery around us quickly changed to destroyed buildings and architectures as we saw guard posts every 10s of miles down the road. I couldn’t imagine the job of these people that stood in The Barrens for days, only switching their shifts when someone else came to relieve them
The Barrens were the empty and destroyed lands that nobody was living in. You would only find roaches or rats, or mutated animals that were hungry enough to attack anything there. The only people who took the post as guards along these long roads leading from cities were people that had nothing in life and were offered an olive branch from the government
They were contracted to work for them after they were given the resources to awaken and had to follow the contract for a specified time. I felt sad thinking of the people that had no option but to resort to these kinds of work
We drove through The Barrens with no complication, passing other cities surrounded by walls throughout the day. The road got cleaner and cleaner as we went further inland and we saw guard posts more frequently, eventually leaving behind the dystopian Barrens and becoming exposed to a few green trees
The greenery kept on increasing as the hours passed and we were soon nearing a huge walled-off city in the distance. This city had a slightly taller wall surrounding it with huge convoys of military trucks moving in and out
It was definitely much more bustling than the cities I’ve seen on the way here. We were able to get inside after the driver flashed his papers on the guard’s face in an annoyed tone as the process was much more thorough this time around
The inside of the city...was filled with lights. It had taken the entire day to get here, and after the time it took for us to bypass the gates night had already arrived. I was able to see the city come to life with countless lights shining into the night.
We had arrived at Star City.
The streets were so clean with huge buildings pointing to the sky all around us. It was a stark contrast to the destroyed lands we had passed by this morning as if we were in a completely different world. Masses of people that definitely had happier faces than those I have been used to move around busily
I watched the beauty of the city as if I was back to a time when no dungeons had appeared as if I had traveled in time to the bustling metropolis I used to know.
The scenery constantly changed as we moved further in. I had counted multiple blue monoliths so far, seeing a few rank F, E, and d dungeons based on their size. I was able to see blue monoliths similar in size to [Solael’s Caslte] after we passed another checkpoint to go further into the city, counting more than 5 as time passed
The large city continued on as we passed through roads with hunters dressed in military outfits patrolling, arriving at a huge compound that had a sizable monolith with a light orange hue shimmering around it
This monolith was almost twice as big as a rank C monolith, its pressure coming down on me and taking my breath away. I got out of the car and breathed in the air of the city, feeling it to be much fresher than what I’ve been used to
The driver led the way as we entered the huge compound that was teeming with movement with a scan of his ID. The military compound had a variety of eye-catching buildings all around, with a ton of armored vehicles going in or out. We arrived at the tallest building and went inside
I found myself waiting for a few minutes while seated onto a very comfortable sofa before an imposing man came out. He had a long scar on his jawline with his tanned face glistening in the bright room. A powerful voice broke out from his smiling face
"Mr. Osmont, I was very glad you could make it." The rough voice rang out clearly as I observed the man in front of me, noticing him to be very different from the people I’ve come in contact with.
I smiled back and said "It’s only right I come for something as important as this"
The discussion went well after this as the man introduced himself. He was Vice Admiral Magnar, earning my goodwill as the first thing he mentioned after his name was how he wanted to personally come to meet me as soon as I arrived
"Now, I know you must be tired from the trip, so formalities can wait until tomorrow. Commander Kyle will lead you to your resting area, where food and...entertainment will be provided"
The Vice Admiral finished his introduction and left as I began thinking about the words he had said. Entertainment?
Commander Kyle led me away and we walked to the living quarters while I thought about how I planned to live in this city. The first thing on my mind was finding out exactly what major threat was quickly approaching, and the second was my capabilities to solo that huge dungeon monolith near this compound
I’m already assuming that the first time I’ll dive in it I’ll be accompanied by a team, which is a safe way to play it as I currently have no idea about the increase in difficulty from rank C to B. After we finish the first dive, I’ll make my decision then
We passed a few serious faces and I was given a smooth blue ID card that only had a golden letter B on it. Kyle mentioned that this card allowed access for a majority of the facilities in here, and also had access to the room in front of us. I thanked him for taking me around and he saluted and left
I scanned the key card and opened the door, expectant to see the living quarters of rank B hunters that the government provided. The room was slightly bigger than the large rooms in the Pristine Residency, boasting even more luxurious looks all around it. On the table were a wide array of foods and next to it was a huge bed...where a woman with a statuesque figure was flashing the brightest smile. Oh?