Original and most up to date translations are posted at volaretranslations.
Translator’s Notes: Wind City is real. The author borrows heavily from the actual scenic site, Urho Ghost Castle located at the northwest of Xinjiang China, and 100 kilometers northeast of Karamay City. It is also known as Wind City, because of its landscape shaped by wind erosion.
Chapter 153: The Triphibian Flying Car Racing Competition of Acallela [Part 2]
The native population of Planet Acallela were few in numbers, and compared to other planets of the same bulk, their population size was pitifully small. Many of the people who came to race here were people of other planets, just like the ruler of this planet who was also transferred over from another planet. Therefore, the status of native Acallelans was basically on the low side.
The biggest reason behind the decline of Acallelans’ population was the planet’s geography. Of course, its geography was also why it was famous in the first place. Its unique geographical terrain caused this planet to become famous for its triphibian racing competitions. There were more and more flying car enthusiasts who came here to participate in the race.
Since there was a huge influx of foreigners every year – and not just limited to Sector F; the people from the Sectors around Sector F would also visit for its fame – therefore everyone spoke the GAL’s common language on Acallela. Many of them carried accents from their own Sectors, however. As for the natives of Acallela, they too spoke the common language of GAL. Their speech might not be up to standard, but it could be understood at least.
The passenger flying car’s windows were all closed due to the strong wind.
Other than the triphibian flying car racing competition, the people also said that first time visitors must not miss out on the wind of Wind City.
Wind City was not a city, but a huge zone formed by a dozen or so cities that covered over several millions of square kilometers. It was called the Wind City District, or abbreviated as Wind City. Meanwhile, the cities situated inside the Wind City District would often use the prefix ‘Wind City’ before their city names, which was why one could often hear from other people speaking of ‘Wind City XX’. They were talking about a certain city in Wind City District.
Wind was a feature of this place. It did not have a fixed direction. A minute ago it might blow from the front, and the next it would blow from the back.
The cars driven all across Acalella had undergone special modification to enable them to find their balance amidst the irregular airflow.
The uninhabited regions of Wind City had the distinct landform of an arid region. The wind had an erosive effect. Due to the constant wind erosion, wind formed canyons and deflation hollows gradually separated the land into flat-headed small hills in the shape of isolated islands, which then evolved further into rock pillars or rock blocks. Looking from afar, the scene gave off the impression of an ancient city. The crisscrossing wind formed canyons, rock pillars and rock blocks looked just like building complexes built alongside a street. Every time a strong wind arrived, yellow sand would cover the sky. The wind would cycle within these ‘building complexes’ wildly, creating mournful, whistling noises that sounded like ghost wails or wolf howls, striking extreme fear into people’s hearts. Therefore, some people also described this zone as the ‘Devil’s City’.
Due to thousands and tens of thousands of years of wind and sun exposure, the flat sandstone stratum on the earth’s surface of this area formed all kinds of landscape such as rock arches, mushroom rocks, sandstone pillars, rock pedestals, yardang and deflation hollows, mogotes, castles and so on. The sceneries were magnificent, scoring sighs of wonder from everyone.
There were also some unusually shaped and sized dunes and mounds at this place. The mounds were both hard, dry and neatly compressed. Every time a cloud’s shadow passed by, or a soft wind lifted light sands, the dunes or the mounds would drift gradually like a ship setting sail or a school of big fishes travelling. The scenes were impossible to unravel and invoked infinite imagination.
If the stratum was near water level and alternated between hard and soft stratum, the soft stratum would be eroded easily while the hard stratum would protrude in contrast just like eaves. Here, such a scene could be seen everywhere.
“Wah, brother Cillin look quickly, it looks like a crawling snake!” Tang Qiuqiu cried out excitedly while sticking at the car window and staring outside.
Cillin followed the direction Tang Qiuqiu was pointing at, and where she pointed one end of the sand was ‘scraped’ by the wind to form a long and winding mark, even as the other end was being gradually covered up and smoothened by the sand once more. Since the beginning end of the mark continued to cut against the wind into the sand at the front, at first glance it looked just like a huge snake crawling on the sand.
The gray cat crouched on top of Cillin’s shoulders and stared round-eyed at the scene happening at the sand beneath the car and outside the window. Its paws moved unconsciously, and judging from its looks it really wanted to go down there and let itself loose.
“Eh, there’s a rock ball over there! It’s so big!” Tang Qiuqiu said. The video camera in her hands had never rested since the beginning, “Was it carved by someone?”
“No, it is formed naturally.” Cillin explained, “When a rock is exposed on the surface, it will be eroded by the wind. Since it has well defined corners, it is easier for it to suffer from wind erosion. The tip of the rock would be eroded from three directions, whereas its edges would be eroded from two directions. Its facet would only be eroded from one direction, however. Therefore, as time passes, the corners of the big rock will gradually decline under wind erosion, ultimately trending towards a ball shape just like that big rock ball.”
“Oh, I see.” Tang Qiuqiu memorised Cillin’s explanation in her heart. This was also knowledge.
“There’s a racing circuit right at the front.” someone blurted out.
The crowd looked at the direction he pointed. There were two tall and towering rock mountains, and in between the mountains there was a corridor that looked like a narrow tube. The passage was one part of the racing circuit during the contest period. When air entered, the narrow tube caused an effect that sped up the airflow’s movements. Therefore, strong winds would often be formed at this place, and adding this to Wind City’s already irregular winds and winding turns of the narrow passage, the slightest lapse in attention would cause the driver to run into the rock mountains. It could be said to be an incredibly thrilling experience.
Although this narrow passage was very thrilling, it was just a small section of the full circuit of the triphibian flying car racing competition.
According to the description on the materials, the circuit of the triphibian flying car racing competition went around almost the entire globe. Moreover, this one round of circuit did not miss a single arduous region on this planet.
One of the most commonly used circuit was the ‘Wind City – Seven Joined Lakes – Stone Forest’ circuit.
Although the wind at Wind City was huge, it was possible to drive temporarily on the sandy grounds if a driver was forced to land. However, they would need to avoid instantaneous gales as these gales would flip a car over. Experienced racers would use the miniscule changes in the sand to judge where instantaneous gales existed and when the strongest gale would be formed, hence commencing evasive actions.
The second major section of the circuit was Seven Joined Lakes.
Seven Joined Lakes was a passage established under seven great lakes that was then joined together to form one underwater circuit. The lake waters were very deep, and there were basically no light that could penetrate down to the underwater passage. It was very dark, and there were some underwater flora and fauna that poses as disruptive elements as well. If by chance something were to happen to the energy system, the flying car would sink to the bottom and into the silts at the bottom of the lake. Adding this to the entanglement of water plants, you could only exhaust your oxygen reserves while you wait for the rescue team’s arrival. If your oxygen reserves weren’t sufficient, or something went wrong with your oxygen supply system, then death was not too far away.
There were also other obstacles beneath the lake, although it wasn’t stated clearly in the public version of materials that Cillin was holding. It didn’t take much to figure out that those obstacles could only be harder, and this was accounting for environmental factors only. The level of danger need not be said when you considered the factor of drivers playing dirty and stabbing each other in the back.
The third major section of the circuit was the stone forest.
The stone forest was full of tall and straight mountains. The peaks of the mountain were conical, tower-like, cylindrical and so on. The surface of its landscape were clints, grikes and so on. The stone forest had incredible toughness, and if a flying car was to fall into the stone forest, there was basically no chance that it was climbing back up again. There was also the possibility of car crashes, or the slightly better getting jammed between the rocks of the stone forest. Even if they could take flight again, the damage to the flying car would greatly impact their performance during the latter half of the race.
A circuit like this greatly tested a driver not just in terms of skill, but also their mentality and adaptability. Of course, experience was indispensable as well.
It was exactly because of the danger, the high fatality rate and the high crash rate that flying cars enthusiasts were excited for the race. However, Cillin was thinking: How would a flying car driver who could race well in a competition like this fare if they were to pilot a fighter instead?
There was no time to think further; he had already reached his destination. Cillin was going to get off at the stop ‘Wind City Vento’.
Acallela’s natives may be few in numbers, but the foreigners were plenty. Therefore, inns and other such buildings were always filled to full capacity for the whole year. In Acallela, if a towering, gorgeous building were to show up suddenly within the city, then it absolutely had to be a hotel. The costs of these hotels were shockingly expensive, and yet they were always saturated to the point where one might not necessarily get a spot even if they booked reservations three months ahead of time.
Therefore, to Cillin who had made the snap decision to come to Wind City Vento (E/N: sounds like ghetto), the city with the most backward living conditions without a doubt presented a greater chance at locating an accommodation. One must understand that camping outdoors in a place like Wind City was pure masochism. Even if they ignored the low night temperature, there were still strong ravaging winds and sands in the area. If they were to camp inside a tent, the tent might get blown away with them in it.
In the Wind City of Acallela, most of the native civilians lived inside stone houses built from sandy soil or rocks. As compared to the tall and gorgeous buildings at the central area, these civilians gave off an ancient feeling of having gone through great changes in life. This feeling was without a doubt inferred even stronger in Wind City Vento.
The high class hotels at the city center of Wind City Vento and all of the housings of the surrounding area had been filled with people. Since there was a limited number of hotel rooms, some private housings would clear out some rooms to rent and earn some rent revenue as well. In reality, there were many native citizens who relied on rent money to make a living. If one day the triphibian flying car racing competitions were no longer held, and foreigners no longer came to pay for lodging, they would probably find it difficult to preserve their livelihood as well.
However, after walking a long way, they did not find even one available private house!
The gray cat laid on top of Cillin’s shoulders with a weak appearance.
What the meow! Not only is this shithole expensive as hell, the most infuriating thing is even at that price they’re all full! Are they catshitting me or what?!
The day gradually turned darker, and when Cillin and Tang Qiuqiu continued to look for accommodations along the street, a series of ‘toot toot toot’ sound suddenly came from behind them. It gradually approached and stopped beside them.
It was a flying car, and a very old one. It was the kind of old, shabby car that’s loud all over except its horn.
The gray cat cast a glance at the junk-like thing before dangling its eyelids once more. There really was nothing to look at all, in fact a second glance would only give it the impulse to end its life at the age it deserved.
“Are you guys looking for an accommodation?” the top lid of the car opened up to reveal a young face covered in dust.