Chapter 1430: The Deal with a Hundred Tribes
Ling Mei’er shook her head and proclaimed to Han Sen, “I cannot leave here!”
“Why not?” Han Sen asked.
“We made a deal with another tribe, and it is because of this deal that we cannot go to the surface,” Ling Mei’er vaguely explained.
“What deal? And with who?” Han Sen asked.
Ling Mei’er cleared her throat and said, “I don’t know. But our elder said that we must adhere to a hundred-tribe-deal or something of the sort. If I go to the realm of the landwalkers, and I end up dying, n.o.body will avenge my death!”
Han Sen had no clue what she was talking about, and from the look on her face, neither did she. It sounded like an agreement between many tribes that occupied the underground s.p.a.ce, but Han Sen thought it to be silly.
Regardless, Han Sen followed her to the cave. It was barely more than an alcove, and it was nothing close to an actual shelter. It was rugged and filthy, and you could even see the sc.r.a.pe marks of the Snake King’s scales. Clearly, the shelter had been haphazardly constructed by the Snake King.
There were a few mutant and primitive creatures inside the place. All in all, there were around twenty. They were creatures that had been found—maybe stolen—when they were babies. They looked rather weak and almost malnourished. For Han Sen, it was as if he had stumbled into a cellar sweatshop.
“With an ally like Snake King, I’m sure you could procure a better shelter for yourself. This is… This is grim.” Han Sen couldn’t understand why they were so willing to live in squalor.
Ling Mei’er vehemently shook her head again, and she told Han Sen, “Snake King is accompanying me on the orders of the elder. He won’t help me try to claim another shelter, though.”
Han Sen thought to himself, “She must be important to the family, if the elder was willing to take care of her to that extent. But still… these living conditions?”
Han Sen, while he wanted to go, still thought it best to forge a better relations.h.i.+p with her. He’d get nothing if he was to duck out now. And furthermore, Han Sen wished to learn more about the Hundred Tribe Deal before doing something rash that could cause issues for her as well as for him.
So, for now, Han Sen was willing to put up with the less-than-favorable conditions and live there in her shelter. For dinner that night, Ling Mei’er came forward to present him with mushrooms.
After tasting the cave ‘shrooms, Han Sen thought they were awful. They didn’t agree with his tongue or his tummy, and to make things worse, they were only mutant cla.s.s.
Seeing his repulsed reaction, Ling Mei’er looked rather worried and she said, “It wasn’t a good idea to serve you these mushrooms, was it? Don’t worry; I’ll find better food for you next time.”
Han Sen nodded. Reviewing his situation, he was bewildered to see a leader like this.
To quench his thirst and sate his hunger for the evening, Han Sen instead brought out jerky and a few drinks from his Cruel Bottle. Han Sen had been unable to get super creature flesh, so he brought food with him from the Alliance.
As Han Sen munched on the chow he brought with him, Ling Mei’er did not take her eyes off it. Her gaze was intense.
“Do you want some?” Han Sen asked with a queer smile.
Ling Mei’er shook her head and shyly told him, “I am the master of this shelter. I cannot indulge myself on my subordinate’s food. Hmm, I should really go look for better stuff to serve you!”
It seemed to him that she was super willing to treat Han Sen like a dear pet.
“I don’t mind. Are you sure you don’t want to try some?” Han Sen tempted her to try his food.
Ling Mei’er gulped and wiped the drool that had escaped the corner of her lips. She shook her head again.
“How are you supposed to know what I like if you don’t try some of this stuff? Go on, have a bite.” Han Sen pa.s.sed her a bag of jerky and a can of soda.
“Fine; just a nibble.” Ling Mei’er ended up taking a hearty bite of the jerky and almost drowned herself in rabid consumption of the soda.
Her eyes shot open with wild delight, and she asked Han Sen, “What is this stuff? Did you squeeze this juice out of a plant?”
“That stuff is gathered from a Jerkyvine while the drink was collected from a Sodatree Orchard,” Han Sen told her.
“Would it be rude of me to ask for some more?” Ling Mei’er asked Han Sen. She was clearly having trouble mustering the courage to request more.
“Yes, of course. You’re going to have to remember this taste and flavor, after all,” Han Sen said, unsure if he himself was making a j.a.pe.
Ling Mei’er accepted more of the jerky he had to give, and she spared no time eating the quant.i.ty provided.
Han Sen noticed she still wanted more, and so he obliged. This time, however, he brought out spicy jerky. He told her, “This is spicy, so mind your tongue. But I like it a lot, as well.”
“It’s best I learn this flavor, then. You’re right. Let me try it.” Ling Mei’er had gotten proficient at peeling open the jerky packaging, and as soon as she did, she began to ravenously gobble it all up. It was as if she hadn’t eaten in months.
“That’s right. Eat! Eat and fall right into my trap. Get hooked on the merchandise only Papa Han Sen can provide you,” Han Sen sneakily thought to himself. He figured himself for a sugar daddy.
After eating a bunch more packets of jerky, and downing a few more cans of soda, Ling Mei’er was finally starting to fill up.
Han Sen, thinking he had softened her resolve and scored a bunch of affinity points with her, asked her questions about the underground realm as she chewed her last mouthful.
There were certain things she was not able to tell Han Sen about Dark Spirit, but that aside, she told Han Sen all she could.
Han Sen came to learn that most of the underground realm, referred to as the Underworld by its inhabitants, was owned and controlled by the Dark Spirit tribe. There were a few other tribes too, and some even owned gold shelters. Ling Mei’er was too weak to claim a proper one for herself, but she still tried to her best for those who were willing to join her.
She only had a bronze geno core, too. So even if she and Han Sen did seek to bring down a gold shelter, it would be a tall order.
“Do you count as an adult for Dark Spirit, if you only have a bronze geno core?” Han Sen asked her.
Even super creatures started off with a weak geno core and low fitness, and they’d have to go through the same routine as others. Ling Mei’er would have to upgrade her geno core if she really wanted to expand.