Chapter 16: Harvester
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
The Other World was filled with spirit energy and all sorts of radioactive sources, which increased a living being’s metabolism. The cells became more active and the genes more unstable, which is why it was very common for new organ shapes and supernatural abilities to evolve.
After a creature died, they quickly started rotting and their meat became spoilt. Various types of ancient and mysterious bacteria could also reproduce in the corpse and take control of the nerve cords and muscle bundles which had yet to rot, which turned the corpses into undead beings similar to zombies or even incredibly dangerous biochemical bombs.
Monster carcasses were valuable resources for the development of Dragon City. In fact, with the fog shrouding the entire area, the monster carcasses became their only strategic resource, and they had to race against the clock to harvest it.
If the organs mutated and the materials rotted away, the harvested resources would not be able to compensate for the resources they used to kill the monsters.
Even if they managed to kill all the monsters, they would still lose out.
There were plenty of times when the powerful people would throw themselves completely into the fight. Once the intense fighting was over, the monsters’ carcasses would either turn into the undead and have to be killed again or rot to the point that they lost their original form. All the resources would then be ruined.
The worst possible situation was when a carcass swelled up to ten times its size and exploded with a bang. It flung sticky liquid containing fatal diseases more than one thousand meters away, polluted the air and water, which sometimes resulted in a plague.
As time passed, a support-type occupation known as harvesters was born.
Their task was to follow behind the powerful people and clear the battlefields as fast as they could. They did not leave behind even a single drop of monster blood or a piece of monster poop.
‘To me, being a harvester is the best support-type occupation right now. I can gather valuable materials and expand my social circle by getting to know all sorts of strong fighters. Besides, since I’ll be close to the battlefield, it’ll be easier for me to get benefits from it. I’ll be able to get cultivation resources much easier than others.
‘Since I’ve done it for ten years and it’s not very expensive activating it and leveling it, I might as well do something I’m familiar with.’
Meng Chao threw in contribution points without hesitation and activated Basic Harvesting Skill.
As a sharp pain pierced his temple and all his facial muscles spasmed, a large amount of details rose from the depths of his mind.
The harvesting method for shell-type monsters…
The harvesting method for mammal-type monsters…
The harvesting method for reptilian-type monsters…
The harvesting method for flying-type monsters…
There were also a lot of complicated monster structure charts, the ways to remove hearts, livers, spleens, lungs, and kidneys, identification methods, ways to locate sticky liquid, acids, and poisons, the various signs when a monster was about to turn into an undead creature, and the symptoms of when a monster was about to turn into a biochemical bomb.
Along with all that came a large amount of memory shards. All of them were of Meng Chao harvesting together with his father.
Countless scenes overlapped with each other, burning the rich experience of a veteran harvester into his mind.
Pain and pleasure followed like a shadow. Meng Chao could not help but reach out with his hands to grab a non-existent butcher knife and scalpel. His fingers danced lightly as if they were harvesting things.
Meng Chao was sure that he had made the right choice.
It required 998 contribution points to activate Basic Harvesting Skill. Then, he spent 1,355 contribution points to reach a breakthrough in Normal Level and upgraded it to Specialist Level.
Then, Specialist Level Basic Harvesting Skill and Perfect Level Basic Gun Technique formed something akin to a link. A large amount of strange monsters’ weaknesses and structures appeared in his head.
All of them were new monsters which had never been heard of or seen in this era.
‘That’s right. To harvesters, the most important thing is to understand the organs and structures of monsters, and to a good sharpshooter, the most important thing is also to know a monster’s structure and weaknesses. These two skills are highly connected.
‘In my previous life, since I was a harvester with my dad for ten years, I had dissected more than ten thousand monsters. Later on, I managed to perfect my basic technique with guns, and that’s how I was able to barely reach the standards of a third-class fighter.
‘Ha, most of the monsters in my memories haven’t yet evolved. Doesn’t that mean that when they appear, I’ll be the one who understands them the most in Dragon City?’
Meng Chao grinned.
And his nose started bleeding again. This time, it was in streams.
Meng Yishan came back and hurriedly packed up before he made to leave again. “Suxin, we’ve wrapped up work downstairs. Later, remember to go out and get our share. They insisted that I was the one who injured the superbeast, so they gave us an extra portion of Flaming Black Beetle meat.
“It cannot be kept for long, so cook some for the kids in the morning and have them bring it to school. A’chao, Young Cao, go to bed earlier. I’m going to the battlefield in the north. They’re waiting for harvesters there.”
Meng Chao covered his nose and stood up. “Dad, I’m coming with you.”
“Huh?” Meng Yishan was stunned.
“With my current state, I might not be able to get the results I want during my national college examination. Instead of getting a job at random, I might as well become a harvester and test my luck.” Meng Chao shrugged.
Meng Yishan looked at his son’s “weak” state and knew that his son was most likely not going to get into college.
If he could not get into college, then becoming a harvester was indeed the best job that a normal person could find.
But of course, the danger coefficient was also very high.
The battlefield could change in the twinkling of an eye. No one could guarantee that there wouldn’t be any new monsters charging out at them while they reaped the spoils of war.
Some of the monsters had great vitality, and even when it seemed like they had died, they could still launch a fatal attack.
Undead monsters, poisonous blood, acid, and fatal spores were all things that could be the reason why a harvester kicked the bucket.
But on the other side of high risks were high rewards.
Even if forgetting about everything else, just the fact that they were exposed to monster carcasses for long periods of time meant that they would be nourished by monster blood and bathed in the radiation from crystals. Their chances of awakening to supernatural powers were much higher than of anyone with a less risky job.
Ever since Meng Chao was injured, he was constantly forcing himself to smile, but there was no way Meng Yishan could not tell that his son was dejected.
As his father, he was constantly wrecking his brains over his son’s future, and he had long since spoken to the leader in his company.
“Alright, I’ll bring you to experience it!” During the day’s battle, he had seen his son’s growth, and he made his decision.
“Big Brother, are you really going to become a harvester?” Bai Jiacao grabbed her big brother’s hand at the entrance and refused to let go.
When Meng Chao saw the girl’s concern, a wave of warmth filled his heart.
In the end, the love between siblings ran deep. Even the Dark Witch was a little worried when she heard that her big brother wanted to do such a dangerous job, right?
“If you run into tasty monsters like the Flaming Black Beetles again, remember to bring some home!” the girl instructed him seriously.
Meng Chao sucked in a deep breath. ‘It’s my fault. I shouldn’t have held such high hopes for the Dark Witch.’
The fog gradually scattered, and the communication channels became clear once more.
The results of the battle in the north of the city were already set in stone. Monster carcasses piled up in stacks that were as high as mountains, and harvesters were required to show their skills.
Military trucks were already parked at the entrances of the districts, and the words “RESOURCE RECOVERY” were painted on both sides of them.
The father-son pair used safety belts to tie themselves to the compartment. With the truck bouncing up and down while it drove over the monster carcasses, they traveled to the north of the city.
The further north they went, the thicker the fog became, and the corrosion between Dragon City and the dimension of the Other World became greater.
Everywhere they went, they could see the hideous carcasses of monsters, which were like strange-looking statues that released a pungent smell.
There were also trees and vines which had mutated madly and climbed up the buildings. If given a few short hours, they could devour practically an entire building, which would turn a city of steel and concrete into a primeval forest filled with lush, green trees.
Meng Chao even saw a huge creature that resembled a T-rex. It had a hole in its chest left by an anti-tank missile. Blue blood flowed all over the ground.
But the creature was not dead just yet. It opened and closed its fang-filled mouth repeatedly.
“A’chao, the more I think about it, the more I find that the situation is off. I don’t think that I was the one who shot the superbeast just now,” Meng Yishan suddenly said.
“Dad, you have great eyesight. It’s true that you’re not the one who hit it. I was the one who shot it.” Meng Chao was very honest.
“You—” Meng Yishan could not help but chuckle.
“You don’t believe me?” Meng Chao asked. “Haven’t you heard before that humans will gain endless potential during dangerous situations. For example, a frail mother will become capable of shifting stones worth hundreds of kilograms barehanded just to save her child buried under debris. I awakened to supernatural abilities to protect my family. What’s so strange about it?”
He wanted to foreshadow his own strength.
“Makes sense.” Meng Yishan slapped his thigh after having come to a realization. “You just reminded me of that. Could it be that I subconsciously awakened to supernatural powers to protect you, which is why I suddenly became stronger?”
“…Dad, I didn’t expect that you’d still want to have supernatural powers despite your age.” Meng Chao gasped in astonishment.
“What are you saying? Everyone wants to have supernatural powers in Dragon City. How can I be too old for that?” Meng Yishan was displeased. “Are you youngsters the only ones who are allowed to dream? Who’s to say that middle-aged people can’t become superhumans?!”
“Don’t get angry, Dad. That’s not what I meant.” Meng Chao gave an awkward smile. “If you really want to become a superhuman, I can make arrangements. Next time, we can spare some time and make our entire family turn into superhumans… Oh, except for Jiacao. It’ll be too troublesome for her to become a superhuman. We’ll have you and Mom turn into superhumans, then please make sure that you keep an eye on her.”
“Brat, you’re getting more and more out of line.” Meng Yishan could not resist reaching out to whack his son’s forehead. “Let’s talk about something serious. It’s not easy to be a harvester. You have to be brave, attentive, and fierce. Don’t be nervous later and learn what you can.”
“Dad, I’m not nervous.”
“How could you not be nervous? A real battlefield is completely different from the fight we had in the district. There are a thousand to ten thousand monsters there. Corpses pile up like mountains, and there are seas of blood. How could you not be nervous, huh?”
“Dad, I’m REALLY not nervous.”
“If you’re nervous, just admit it. You’re my son, so you don’t have to be shy with me. In the past, when I first became a harvester, I saw a lot of monster carcasses and smelled the pungent scent from them, I was so nervous that I peed my pants. Have you peed your pants?”
“I’m seriously not… Ah, fine. I’m nervous. I peed my pants.”
“That’s the way to go. Let me teach you a secret. The first time you become a harvester, you need to put on a diaper. I’m being serious here. Many of the smells from high-grade monsters will stimulate the human central nervous system, and you won’t be able to control your bladder no matter what. All newbies put on diapers, and some even use them for years.”
“Dad, it’s midnight. How the heck are we supposed to get diapers?!”
“My good son, look at what I have. When we get to the place later, just go to a corner and put it on. I’ll keep a lookout for you so that you won’t embarrass yourself.”
“…Dad, I’m suddenly filled with confidence toward my national college exam. I don’t want to be a harvester anymore. Please let me go home.”
As the father-son duo spoke, the truck jolted fiercely.
The run-flat tires drove over the monster carcasses with crunching sounds.
The foul smell was like a tentacled monster that pushed its way into the compartment of the truck. Even if the two men held their breaths, they could not stop the smell from entering their noses. It stung their eyes as well.
They reached the north of the city.
The tires ran over a huge shell creature, and most of the people in the truck jolted.
The smell of gunpowder and blood became stronger with each wave that wafted into their noses, and shock filled the hearts of the passengers.
There were a few buildings in the distance with sharp roofs. Half of them had collapsed, while the other half was burning.
With the help of the flames, Meng Chao saw a few broken six-legged crystal war truck crawlers.
Their thick armor had been easily ripped apart by the bladed limbs of the monsters. Some of the soldiers were also cut into pieces and lay scattered in the compartment.
Some of the other soldiers were missing arms or legs. Their faces were pale, but they received treatment without making a sound.
The monsters had suffered a much more miserable end compared to the humans.
Regardless of whether they were snakes, insects, rats, ants, jackals, wolves, tigers, or leopards, they were all burnt to a crisp and torn to pieces.
The monsters who had been trampled by the steel army did not have any value in harvesting.
“The soldiers are too crude.”
The harvesters shook their heads disapprovingly.
It was part of the reason why the army was only used as support when fighting against monsters. Humanity relied on superhumans during critical moments.
If everyone worked like the army and wantonly bombed the monsters, reducing them to smithereens, they might feel really good about it, but they would waste a lot of ammunition and precious lives while they would not be able to get anything good from it.
Within a few short years, Dragon City would be drained of resources, and the citizens would starve to death while trapped inside.
“Today, our company is going to be in charge of recovering resources from the east side of the steel factory and Five Blessings Street. The superhumans used cold weapons to kill thousands of monsters, and their carcasses are in a good condition. It’ll depend on us as to how much resources we can recover,” Meng Yishan explained to Meng Chao.
The truck was parked at the entrance of Dragon City Steel Organization.
Quite a number of superhumans flew in the dark sky. Like colorful shooting stars, they continued heading north to chase after the scattered monsters.
There were harvesters all around the place. They worked under different banners and were distributed to different regions. They were all racing against the clock.
“Big Brother Meng.”
More than ten honest-looking middle-aged men with dark skin and sturdy muscles came forward.