17 Settlement

The landscape paraded before Keith's eyes as the sun slowly descended. He had been driving for several hours now, but he felt his journey just began. This time, he would not be half-doing things and actually go the extra mile to find a suitable place.

It has been over four months since the launch of the first Project Overworld's server. The demographics had also expanded along the way and a total of one hundred thousand players could now be playing this game at any given time. In fact, the number of active players far exceeded this limit, but a queue system was established so the number of requests on the server would not be that bad.

This sometimes led to troubles connecting to the game, but Keith always managed to sneak in after a couple dozen minutes of queue. In any case, this large influx of new players also gave Keith the incentive to get as far as possible from the World Spawnpoint and avoid any encounter. He has already been 'involved' in a guild battle and did not want to go through such frivolous matters anymore.

'Ugh... This is taking quite a lot longer than I expected. Well, nothing I can do about this after all...' Keith started to despair. According to his calculations, he has already traveled about sixty miles in total and the young man certainly did not want to stop before reaching at least three times that distance. That was why, Keith had to prepare for a really long trip so he could find a fitting place to establish onto.

After a while, he noticed he was running out of fuel. As he did not want to use all of his coal stocks for that purpose only, he decided to stop near some trees and started cutting them down into usable pieces. It took him about two hours in total, but he should have enough for another couple dozen of miles.

Keith was quite enjoying the trip, left with his thoughts alone. It was quite the change in pace compared to the constant interactions he had with the New Dawn guild. Even on the days Amber would not be visiting him, he still felt like he was being tied up by invisible chains and ended up agreeing to their every command.

Negotiation played a large role in the time he was being able to free for himself, and this commercial treaty ended up being a moral toll. He could not really complain about the guild and their members, as they treated him like on of them. However, just like he initially expected, being in a group removed some of his freedom.

Thus, Keith's journey went on for a week and a half until he finally came across a place he wanted to settle onto.


- "I heard that new players are forming new groups all around the continent. The Pioneers' reign doesn't seem to be that overwhelming anymore." Amber remarked.

- "I also was informed about it, but I think it neither good or bad. Sure, the Pioneers are weakened because of this, especially after this humiliating defeat we've been able to inflict them with, but this also means more potential enemies for us." Alan replied.

For the time being, their scouts reported no movements inside the Pioneers' base of operation, and the man could only rejoice of this piece of news. According to him, they should have at least one month and a half of rest before their enemies came up with large siege weapons. By this time, the New Dawn guild would have also improved their defenses so they could resist such an assault.

However, they also lost a few good weapons during the explosion of Keith's cave, leaving them with a bitter feeling. Alan really wanted the young engineer dead, but could not do anything about it since they did not manage to see where he disappeared to.

'If I could get my hands on him, I'd...' Alan started before inhaling to calm himself down.

Things were not only dire for their current situation. After the roaring victory on the largest guild of Project Overworld, new players got interested in their guild and the workforce of the New Dawn almost doubled in two weeks.

As for the technological advantage they lost with Keith's departure, it was nowhere irreplaceable. In fact, their own engineers already started reproducing the young man's weapons and they now had about twenty cannons at their disposal. However, they did seem quite rudimentary and it would be taking quite a bit of time before they developed better ones.

- "This betrayal did hurt us pretty badly, but we have to move on. The eastern wall is being expanded for the time being, and it shouldn't be long before our entire base gained twice as much space as it did up until now." Alan explained.

After a moment of silence, he continued : "However, we cannot passively wait for other guilds to make the first move. The Pioneers went on the offensive since the start of this game, but it should be time for us to fight back. They still have the numbers for themselves, but we should have the technological advantage for the time being. We need more territories, we need more members, and pretty quickly at that. Afterwards, even the largest guild in this world would start fearing us and our project could finally be led to completion." He proclaimed.

Alan started grinning and finished his speech to his officers with a harsh voice : "That is why, we will go to war!"


In the end, Keith decided on establishing near a lake. Access to drinkable water that could also be used to cool down his future machineries was one of the strongest factors in determining a place suitable for him.

On top of that he had access to a breath-taking view, with large mountains surrounding it and a couple of wooded areas. It would be motivating him quite a lot in the future and he could not wait establishing in the area.

For a couple of days, Keith started gathering all of his resources and began the construction of his base. Unlike the cave he in which he resided for so long, he would be building this one from scratch. The only problem for the time being was his access to metal ores and such important resources. He could not bring as much as he wanted along with him on his journey, and since their were no cave in the surrounding he could not help but worry.

Fortunately, he did disassemble his coal generator before leaving his old base and had enough resources to re-assemble everything up. Afterwards, he would certainly be able to build interesting electrical devices, such as a drilling machine, to solve most of his current problems. The fact that there were some mountains in the surrounding also calmed him down a notch as it would be a lot easier digging in a straight line than going down.

Keith spent a few hours every day making plans for his future base and his future defenses. He wanted his base to blend in the environement but also wanted automated weapons to take care of curious players wandering around here.

For the first few weeks, Keith was able to dig up the foundations of his base and also installed a basement in there. It was kind of rudimentary for the time being but since it was his first time having to deal with the environement to build a house, he was struggling a bit. The foundations kept on crashing every time he expanded his basement until he finally managed to calibrate everything together.

At the point, he made stone foundations and the basement was being help by large pillars of the same resource. From the exterior, there was nothing to be seen for the time being be he planned on making a manor with a tower as his office.

He did review his expectations for his base and realized it would be kind of complicated to make it blend into the landscape without building everything underground. However, he did not have the knowledge to do so for the time being and did not want to waste months trying to do so.

In any case, he had a magnificent view to behold on the outside that he could not be ignoring by establishing underground.

'Well, looks like the next few months will be reserved to settling myself in this area. I should be preparing for the future since I will be inhabiting here for quite a while. Let's just hope I am able to develop technologically in the meantime so I am able to defend my base once people start coming across it.' Keith meditated. 'Anyways, let's resume work!' He motivated himself.

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