111 Arriving In Xiaoxia City
The weather was good in Xiagong City the next morning. Lin Huang had just got up, he received a notification from the Union Government.
"The murder cases that happened in foothold No.7B61 has recently have been identified. The culprits were offenders with mental illnesses who escaped from Xiagong Prison. There were 15 of them who escaped. We have managed to capture 12 of them and we are still hunting down the remaining three. Please stay calm, thank you."
"To prevent the offenders from escaping from the city, we're tightening the security at the four gates in the city. Please do comply. We will be increasing the patrol rounds in the city and you are prohibited to stay out after eight at night. If you must head out at night, please apply for a permit with the local government before five in the afternoon…"
"They've really covered up the truth!" Lin Huang thought with his eyebrows raised in surprise. The notification from the Union Government showed how severe the issue was.
After breakfast with Lin Xin, Lin Huang rode on his Viridian Wolf to the west gate. Lin Xin sent him off and went back to the hotel room with Bai. When he arrived at the west gate, there was a long queue for both entry and exit due to the screening processes done by the city soldiers. Lin Huang felt obliged but there was nothing he could do. He recalled the Viridian Wolf and queued along with everyone else. He had left the hotel right after breakfast and it was almost 10 when he got out of the gate. He did not have any time to waste for this gross cover-up of an inspection by the government. He then summoned the Alexandrian Eagle and arrived at Xiaoxia City in less than 10 minutes.
Xiaoxia City was a D-grade small foothold. Theoretically, there should not be any footholds between a B-grade foothold like Xiagong City which was merely 80 kilometers away as building a foothold required massive resources. Having a foothold at such a short distance was a waste of resources. However, due to the existence of the Xiagong Ruins, the Union Government decided to build an exclusive foothold just for the ruins. The main reason for the foothold was not merely for developing tourism but also for archaeological purposes.
Before Xiaoxia City was built, the Xiagong Ruins were surrounded by a wild zone. The archeologists who stayed there long-term would be regularly attacked by monsters. It was inconvenient for them to get supplies as they had to travel 80 kilometers away whenever they needed them. That was the reason why the Union Government decided to spend money on building a small foothold surrounding the Xiagong ruins, which was now known as Xiaoxia City. Later on, more and more archeologists left as most of the items in the ruins were already excavated. The Union Government thought it would be a waste to let the foothold be left abandoned so it was developed into a tourist spot.
The Xiagong ruins had a mysterious aura on its own. Together with the tourism publicity, it was now a hot tourist attraction. As more people were visiting the ruins and due to its geological advances being so close to Xiagong City, many moved to the city permanently. With the supportive strategies the Union Government had come up with, the small foothold continued to strive.
Entering Xiaoxia City, Lin Huang thought he was in the wrong place as the people in this D-grade foothold was similar to those in the C-grade Baqi City. He was not sure if it were the attractions that brought the tourists or was it its vicinity with Xiagong City. Once he was in Xiaoxia City, Lin Huang summoned the Viridian Wolf and entered the coordinates into his ring. They arrived at the Xiagong Ruins in a blink of an eye.
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The hotel that he booked for the first night was less than one kilometer from the south gate of Xiagong Ruins. Following the map, Lin Huang found the location of the hotel. He realized that Xiaoxia City was not small at all. It was almost five times the size of Wulin Town and one-third the size of Baqi City. It was not even 10:30 a.m. when he arrived at the hotel. He thought he was too early to check it out but he then found that he was allowed to check in early at the reception itself.
The hotel was a small antique building with five floors and it had no elevator. After checking in, Lin Huang walked up the wooden stairs to his room. The stairs were old and they creaked loudly but it was clean. Lin Huang’s room was on the fifth floor in Room 505. He noticed that there were only five rooms on each floor. Excluding the first floor, there were only 20 rooms in this hotel.
"Is this an off-season period?" Lin Huang thought. It seemed strange to him as it was summer break, he assumed there would be many tourists. It was odd that this hotel which was in such great location and such limited rooms was not fully booked.
He entered the room and looked around. It was quiet and pleasant considering its age. He was satisfied with his room. It had a city view and the Xiagong Ruins could be seen from the balcony. The ruins were underground and there were no tall buildings around it. Lin Huang could see a portion of the ruins that were not covered when he stood on the balcony. After taking the moment in, Lin Huang headed out and bumped into a young couple who was staying next to his room. He headed to the first floor and saw a plump middle-aged man who was the hotel owner at the reception.
He greeted the man, "Boss, is it the offpeak season now?"
"It’s summer break now and people who visit here would usually visit Xiagong City for a few days before coming here, so business is slow. You are here early so there are still rooms available. It would be hard to get any rooms if you come three to five days from now," the hotel owner smiled as he explained.
"Is that so…" Lin Huang thought there was some other reason that this hotel had slow business, but after the owner explained, he thought it made sense.
"Boss, I see that this hotel has been here for long. You must have been in Xiaoxia City for a long time now?" Lin Huang asked.
"I have been here for more than 20 years and this hotel has been up and running for 18 of those years," the hotel owner said proudly and nodded.
"Do you have any tales about the Xiagong Ruins that we outsiders haven’t heard of?" Lin Huang asked, "I would like to hear about them if you know any," he continued, politely.
"The Xiagong Ruins have always been a mysterious place and there are not many tales about it. However, since I’ve been here for so long, I have heard of one that you might like. If you’re interested, you can treat it as a story, but don’t take it too seriously, young man," the owner said.
Lin Huang nodded as the hotel owner began to tell him the story.
"During ancient times, there was a powerful man named Xia Huang. He built an empire and the ruins were his palace. He ruled over billions of people and he was loved. One day, a disaster struck. Nobody knew what had happened and the entire empire disappeared overnight like it never existed… However, no one knew if the Xiagong Ruins were really the legendary palace that disappeared," the owner said in a low voice.
Lin Huang was quiet as he heard the story from the owner. He nodded in satisfaction and said, "I’ve never heard of this story before, do you have more?"
"That’s all I know. The rest were just rumors on the Heart Network," the hotel owner waved his hands while shaking his head.
"Alright then, I’m heading to the ruins now. Thank you, boss!" Lin Huang said and left the hotel. He then headed to the south gate of the ruins which was not far away.