Chapter 18: Miners
The Silverstream Mine was the largest mine in Thorn City. About 40% of the Elementium Silver ores were produced here every year. It was precisely because of this that Thorn Citys largest Elementium Silver refinery was built nearby.
Of course, this mine and refinery were a part of Duke Simons massive industrial business.
William checked the Cass Durant bounty issued by Duke Simon. Half of the people who died at his hands were Silverstream Mine miners, and the rest were more or less related to the Elementium Silver industry pertaining to this mine.
According to his experience in the game, this place would probably be filled with holes when a Soul-Ingesting Spider Demon was sighted.
However, he didnt quite understand why everything was tied to a mine.
Every Void Sovereign corresponded to a concept or phenomenon. For example, the Lady of Starvation symbolized a pathological cycle of life and death, the wrongly distorted food chain, and an irreversible consumption of ones self. Therefore, the Lady of Starvations spawns were often associated with concepts like corruption, festering, infestation, and the undead. Similarly, they only enjoyed appearing in areas with such elements.
As for the Whispering Empress, she symbolized conspiracy, betrayal, trickery, and murder. As a spawn of the Whispering Empress, the places where the Soul-Ingesting Spider Demons loved to appear should be filled with schemes and plots, such as the complicated courtrooms or the nobles who engaged in intense power struggles.
No matter what, they shouldnt be related to the miners.
William felt the need to figure out what they were parasitizing so many miners for.
The supervisor with an iron whip at his waist held the roster and named them one by one. A row of dusty miners in sloppy overalls stood in a neat line on the flat ground in front of the mine. At everyones feet were ropes, crane mouth shovels, and mineral lamps.
When their names were called out by the supervisor, they did their best to answer loudly and then stand as straight as possible without making eye contact with the person.
The silence made everyone turn their gaze to the end of the line. A child who looked to be 15 or 16 years old stood there drowsily in overalls that were too wide for him. His head was lowered, and he looked like he was about to fall asleep standing.
The supervisor slowly walked in front of the child as if he was intrigued. He picked up the iron whip hanging at his waist and gently lifted the childs chin with the iron whips grip.
The cold touch jolted the child awake. He looked at the smiling supervisor in front of him in a daze and then seemed to realize something.
He immediately straightened his body and replied loudly. He didnt take a breath after saying that.
The supervisor retracted the iron whip in his hand and asked softly, “Dont be nervous, chill! I remember that you were the miner who reported for duty the day before yesterday, right”
“Yes, sir! Im here to take over my fathers position as Hilton Brand!” the child replied loudly.
The supervisor nodded and spoke with a smile.
“Oh, Hilton... Your father is an outstanding team leader here. The team he leads is on average more than 20% more efficient than the other teams every time they mine. With him around, it saves me a lot of effort.”
The child wanted to smile when he heard the supervisors words, but the latter half of the supervisors words froze his smile.
“But has your father never told you about the punishment for dozing off at the morning assembly”
The next second, an iron whip struck his left thigh, slicing open his work uniform, and leaving a two-foot-long, half-finger-deep gash on his leg.
“You have to be whipped three times for dozing off at work. If you cry out when being whipped, you get two more lashes.”
The supervisors genial smile completely disappeared as he spoke with a cold expression.
The child gritted his teeth and didnt say a word as he stared at the supervisor.
“No, sir!” he gritted his teeth and said.
“If you arent happy, you can scram back now and wheedle to your crippled and blind father. Wait till the day you cant pay the city maintenance tax before being chased out of Thorn City to become a serf. If you still want to remain here, turn around immediately and get another two strokes.”
The youth named Colt silently turned around. A middle-aged man with a thick beard standing beside him suddenly spoke.
“Sir, this child, Colt, has only been here for two days. Hes still not used to the working pace of the Silverstream Mine. Hell get used to it in two days. If he suffers two more lashes from you today, it will probably be difficult for him to go down the mine.”
The supervisor glanced at him before saying, “So, you want to be Mr. Nice Guy, eh How about you take these two strokes for him”
The person immediately lowered his head and stopped talking.
The supervisor sneered and weighed the iron whip in his hand. Just as he was about to swing it at the other partys back, a tall man in the middle of the team spoke.
“This child cant take the two hits. Ill take it for him.”
The supervisor stopped.
The source of this content is n/0v//elbin[.//]net'
“Mr. Nice Guy, Sigmonds. Why Do you want to stand up for others again”
“Its just that I owe his father a favor. Its not just me; everyone here owes his father a favor. If it werent for his father holding on to the brace with all his might, we wouldve died inside when Mine Path #7 collapsed,” the tall man named Sigmonds said calmly.
“Yeah, if it werent for his father, we wouldve been buried.”
“Thats how his father broke his leg.”
“Sir, let me take this whip on behalf of this child.”
Upon hearing his words, the other miners began to speak up. A few bold ones even stood up and expressed their desire to receive punishment on behalf of the child.
As the discussion in the team became louder and louder, the supervisor-who was about to lose control of the situation-roared loudly, drowning out everyones voices.
There was a hint of thunder in his roar, and the surrounding air blinked with a few thin bolts of lightning.
The miner team instantly fell silent.
This supervisor was actually a magic chanter.
He looked at Sigmonds with a livid expression. After a while, he turned to the child and said, “Colt, in order not to affect todays progress, you will follow the mining team to the mine today, but you will continue receiving punishment when you return tonight. Come with me, Sigmonds. If any instance of you inciting the miners to question the Dukes authority happens again, get lost.”
With that said, he hung the iron whip back at his waist, shook out the name roster, and continued calling out the remaining names.
When the supervisor finished counting everyone on the list, he discovered that another person had appeared at the back of the team.
He walked in front of the person.
Although that person wore the same uniform as the surrounding miners, his bearing was worlds apart from the people beside him. Perhaps it was because his figure wasnt that muscular, or perhaps it was because he didnt look dusty.
Perhaps it was because his gray hair and silver eyes didnt match the people around him.
“Why arent you on the list”
“I was transferred over yesterday.”
The supervisor reminded him unhappily, “I was transferred over yesterday, sir.”
“You dont have to call me sir.”
With that said, everyone held their breaths.