Chapter 310 – Camp
After three days, the group finally arrived.
Shang was in a Zone with many high mountains, which seemingly pierced the sky. Surprisingly, the mountains didn’t form a mountain range but stood solitary in many different places.
Based on Shang’s estimate, the Zone Beast of this area also had an Earth Affinity.
Between three of these mountains was a camp filled with powerful barbarians. Nearly all of them were 190cm or taller, which was probably the result of many years of careful breeding.
Shang could see a couple of big houses, but they obviously weren’t houses for people to live in. They were probably huge warehouses or military buildings.
Surprisingly, there were no walls but only a couple of huge, sharpened bones around the camp, pointing outward.
From his current position, Shang could see a couple of Mages in the surrounding mountains, and he could also see about 200 barbarians training in the camp.
They were all gathered outside, and they were wrestling with each other. Punches and kicks seemed to be a rarity among them.
When Shang saw that, he furrowed his brows. ‘Yes, grappling is incredibly useful, but you also need to punch and kick. After all, you don’t always have the opportunity to transition a fistfight into a ground fight. I’ve seen plenty of MMA fighters lose to a good kick or punch from a standing position.’
Currently, the group was running down a mountain towards the camp.
After a couple of minutes, the exhausted group finally arrived.
The Commander didn’t seem any different, but most barbarians were injured in several places. Even if some of them stumbled, the others would continue running and push them along.
As soon as they reached the camp, the Commander stopped and handed the chain to one of the saluting Mages.
The Commander nodded and left again.
Apparently, he was only responsible for delivering the soldiers.
One of the Mages looked at the barbarians and furrowed his brows. “You get to have a break until the Major arrives,” he said as the other Mage left.
The barbarians took deep breaths, and some of them even collapsed.
By now, Shang had noted several things. ‘Not every barbarian has a weapon, but funnily enough, the ones with weapons tend to have fewer injuries than the ones that don’t. One would think that carrying a lot of extra weight would result in more injuries, but that isn’t the case.’
‘I guess a good weapon is a kind of status symbol only given to the more outstanding barbarians.’
Meanwhile, Shang carried his absolutely massive sword on his shoulders. Luckily for him, Sword could decide if it wanted to injure Shang or not. Otherwise, carrying the sword like this would have cut into his collarbone.
Surprisingly, Shang actually had the biggest weapon out of everyone, including all barbarians in the camp.
‘I think I understand,’ Shang thought as he looked around. ‘A weapon must be wieldable, but it also must be hard enough. Getting harder material makes the weapon heavier, which means reducing its size.’
From what Shang had seen, no barbarian had a body as strong as Shang at the General Stage.
Their bodies were definitely more powerful than the bodies of warriors, but not as powerful as his.
Additionally, Shang had noticed something peculiar.
The physical power between barbarians of the same level varied quite a bit.
Warriors of the same level always had the same physical power. That was due to the thresholds of Mana. The amount of Mana in their bodies decided the warriors’ physical power, and the different amounts were fixed.
But here, there were differences.
‘Different techniques? Different talents? Different level of progression?’
Shang waited as the barbarians rested, and five minutes later, a new person appeared.
It was a middle-aged woman with icy-blue hair and a strict look on her face. Surprisingly, she wore blue armor instead of robes, but Shang was still certain that she was a Mage. The amount of Ice Mana going in and out of her body was far too large for a barbarian.
“Major!” the Mage holding the chain shouted with a salute.
The Major extended her hand and the Mage handed the chain over.
A second later, all the chains left the barbarians, freeing them for the first time in weeks.
The chains were incredibly painful for most barbarians since they were burned into their bodies.
Shang didn’t really mind either way. Tearing the chains out of his flesh would have only been mildly annoying for him.
He had gone through worse pain.
However, the elation of the barbarians was only short-lived as about 20 heavy metal collars appeared in front of the Major.
“As criminals, you are not trustworthy,” the Major said coldly. “You will not be chained, but you will wear this collar.”
“There is a power field around this area filled with mountains. If you leave it, we will know, and we will kill you.”
“You are allowed to walk amongst the mountains, but you are not allowed to enter forests or icy seas,” she said.
Shang didn’t show it, but he found her way of speaking amusing.
‘She avoids using complex words in fear that the barbarians won’t understand them. She even called the Magic Circle a power field.’
“You are also not allowed to take off the collars or destroy them. We will know if you try to damage it, and we will come to kill you.”
The barbarians only bowed their heads in submission.
After that, one collar after the other floated onto the barbarian’s necks.
Shang also received his collar, but he didn’t mind.
‘The presence of this collar changes nothing.’
‘Trying to escape without the necessary power is suicide, and when I have the necessary power, the collar won’t be an issue,’ Shang thought.
At most, it was annoying.
After every barbarian had received their collars, the Major looked at the group. “You are allowed to ask for a weapon, but your stay will be one year longer.”
The barbarians didn’t answer.
“You are allowed to roam around and get familiar with your new comrades. When we need you, we will call for you.”
And after saying that, the Major turned around and entered one of the buildings, leaving the barbarians looking at each other in confusion.
They looked at the camp with uncertainty.
And eventually, they entered.