The young man stood in the middle of a sandy wasteland, a few kilometers away from the mines and city.
In this sandy waste, there stood two soldiers in front of the man and a few vehicles around, with hunters and people relaxing.
"Identification?" The soldier at the gate asked as he pointed the muzzle of his rifle at him.
'Don't you see me everyday?'
The young man pulled out his miner ID card before handing it over to him. The soldier confirmed what was on it and lowered his rifle while signaling to the other soldier to lower his.
"Asper Antes, correct?" The soldier asked
"Yes, yes." The young man replied
"The fee?" The soldier asked
"Here…" Asper Muttered as he handed over 5, 1 nova coins to the guard.
The moment he did, the large door metal door on the ground opened. A staircase could be seen leading down into darkness.
The soldier handed Asper a receipt and remained quiet but Asper could feel him glancing at the two pouches and baggy pockets. But before he could say anything, Asper quickly went underground and the door above him closed shut.
As he descended down the cold and dark stair case, he could feel the fear within him slowly dissipate.
'What a long day…' He thought to himself
The cloud and mist was both beneficial and none beneficial for him. Since he couldn't see where he was going, he could accidentally bump into a building but he ended up being Lucky and didn't encounter anything at all.
The only thing that worried him during the time was the constant feeling of monsters around him, but again, he was lucky not to encounter any.
The moment he had left the cloud, he was close to the entrance of the run down city. This was good as encountering a monster in this area was uncommon.
<Adaptation to mist-paralysis has ended>
<Adaptation to mist-poison has ended>
<Adaptation to muscle-numbness has ended>
"Huh?" Asper let out in confusion.
His body then dropped to the floor, and his muscles ached for a whole five minutes before he was able to freely move again.
'Those five minutes were torture…' Asper thought to himself as he recalled what had happened
He kept thinking something was going to come out of the mist and pull him in like a horror movie. Fortunately it didn't.
As he got further and further down the stairs the staircase began to light up with a neon green. He could finally see the bottom. A dimly lit platform, with a reinforced metal door ahead of it, and two soldiers guarding the door.
Once Asper reached the bottom, he handed them the identification and showed them the fee receipt that he had received from the soldier. After confirming it was real, the door automatically retracted, opening a path for Asper to pass through.
"Thank you." Said Asper as he took the receipt.
He then quickly passed through the door without so much as looking back. Once he did, the door behind him extended out of the walls, closing itself again.
Asper took in a deep breath as he stared at the sight ahead of him.
"I'm back." He muttered as he stared at the city ahead of him
The more he'd look at it, the more he'd realize how beautiful it was. A large city under the ground. Above the city was earth reinforced by magic and powered by the magic crystals implanted on it.
Blue magic crystals, placed all around the top, lighting up the whole city. Crystals from the mines, they were what kept the whole city in place.
Since there was no sunlight, there were specialized sun crystals which absorbed the sun-rays and sunlight which were also placed around the roof and activated during the morning. It helped crops grow and was good for the kids.
The city was rather open, buildings placed in an organized fashion, one next to the other. There were many facilities, hospitals, shops, cinemas, smiths, gunships, anything you could think of.
Right now the city was around ten to twenty kilometers squared, based on Asper's calculation. It wasn't drastically big, but it was big enough, especially for a city underground. Either way, each day, it's size would increase thanks to the earth elementalist and miners, so it was ever-growing.
A great place to stay in Asper's opinion. The air was fresh, the water was clean and the facilities were all top-notch.
'The only problem was…' Asper's eyes landed on the hunters around ten meters away from him.
They were having a laugh and were probably preparing to head outside.
Seeing this, Asper got moving, and crossed over the large reinforced metal bridge ahead of the platform he was on.
'Not every hunter is bad… In fact, it's probably only the ones in this city since there aren't any higher ups who can put them in their place.' Asper thought to himself as he finished crossing the bridge.
The streets were lit up, the shops were all open. Civilians were all walking around minding their business. Others were having fun talking to each other in groups. It was a great place.
'A great place. Even if you're alone…' Asper thought to himself
Asper's hunger suddenly returned once he saw some people walk out of a bakery with freshly cooked warm bread.
His belly was rampaging as it cried out for food, sending surges of pain through his body.
'Argh… Can't you wait until I put our things back home?!' He shouted at his belly
A growl could be heard coming from the pits of his stomach, even he could understand that it was a no.
Asper stopped walking and then looked to his right.
"Fine… I'll buy some bread on the bakery."
Asper walked out of the bakery with a bag of five bread pieces.
"Best spent 5 nova in my life…" He muttered as he took a bite of the bread.
His mouth was filled with a single flavor, but the feeling of the soft and crunchy bread on his mouth made him feel as if he was in heaven.
'N-Now that I have more money… I should probably buy some b-butter…' Asper thought to himself with joy.
"N-No wait, I need to get ho-"
Asper was interrupted as something suddenly bumped into him.