Through dazed eyes, Cheng Yang watched as one of the flying monsters that filled the sky dived towards him.
He saw countless other humans struggling under the talons of those demonic birds as a talon the size of a tire crushed his head.
“Where am I?” When he opened his eyes, Cheng Yang was shocked by the scene in front of him.
More than twenty students sparsely filled a large classroom, almost half of them asleep on their desks. The teacher at the podium didn’t seem to notice as he continued to lecture on a concept from the textbook vividly.
That’s right! This was one of his freshman college classes. The reason there were so few people was that the teacher didn’t take attendance.
Sincere shock and surprise flashed through Cheng Yang’s eyes as the nostalgic scene caused him to realize that he had reincarnated. He had escaped that bloody massacre and was in a peaceful classroom instead.
Cheng Yang comforted himself. Maybe the end of the world was just a dream?
Suddenly, a feeling of unease filled his body. If he remembered correctly, when the world ended, it happened without warning on a tranquil day like this.
If you wanted to call something a sign, on that day a ten-minute earthquake that utterly destroyed everything, acted as the precursor to the end of the world.
Cheng Yang instantly pulled out his smartphone to glance at the time: 9:32 AM, April 12th 20XX.
When he saw the date, Cheng Yang’s body started to tremble, and a layer of cold sweat covered him. He remembered quite clearly that the world would end tomorrow afternoon at five. There was only a little over twenty-seven hours left until the end of the world.
Will the apocalypse still happen tomorrow? Cheng Yang didn’t know because he couldn’t tell if the horrible scenes in his memories were dreams or reality.
“Yoko, what’s wrong with you? Did something happen?” Liu Hao, who was in the seat next to Cheng Yang, stopped playing mobile games when he saw that Cheng Yang was in a state of panic. His chubby face looked so naïve, untainted by the horrors of the apocalypse.
Cheng Yang’s body jolted upon seeing Liu Hau. His buddy that had sacrificed both arms to save him in the apocalypse was now sitting right beside him. At that moment, Cheng Yang’s nose crinkled from sorrow and guilt.
“It’s nothing, I was just daydreaming.” Cheng Yang whispered. Before he figured out if those scenes in his memory were real, he didn’t intend to tell anyone about them.
Liu Hau looked at him suspiciously but did not press the issue, only saying: “We still have a basketball game tomorrow and if you’re sick or something we’re going to be one short.” When he was finished, Liu Hau picked up his phone and went back to playing games.
Cheng Yang’s stomach dropped, and the panic in his eyes became more visible. In his memories, he had played basketball with Liu Hau at noon the day before the apocalypse.
“Yoko, are you really okay?” Liu Hau looked at Cheng Yang’s slightly pale face, “Is this about that girl? Did you get rejected?”
Chang Yang shook his head.
“Koko, what do you think it would be like if the world became like an RPG?” Cheng Yang suddenly asked.
Liu Hau put down his phone again, gave Cheng Yang a strange look and said: “You don’t have a very good imagination, do you? How could this world become an RPG?”
Cheng Yang sighed deeply. “I was just asking.”
Liu Hau smiled and said: “Well, even though you’re not as obsessed as me, you’re better at RPGs so for us wouldn’t the world becoming a video game be a good thing? Fighting monsters, killing the BOSS, leveling up… Wouldn’t that be great?”
Liu Hau was caught up in his fantasy of good times. Truly ignorance is bliss.
After giving his answer, Liu Hau went back to his mobile game, leaving Cheng Yang deep in thought.
As it was now, Cheng Yang thought there was an eighty percent chance that the apocalypse would arrive. In that case, Cheng Yang figured he should start preparing himself or wouldn’t he be wasting his second chance?
Cheng Yang had spent a whole year in the apocalypse. It wasn’t long, but those memories of what happened were as precious as gold now.
Although the world had become a video game, for the people living through it, it was hell. That’s because this game wasn’t like a video game. When you took damage, it actually hurt, and when you died, there was no chance of resurrection.
An RPG where death was permanent. Who would want to play such a game? Nobody. Humanity had no choice, however, as this was forced upon them.
People would have to become Professionals, fight monsters, and level up…
Thinking about those dark days, Cheng Yang looked at Liu Hau. In his previous life when Liu Hau became a Professional, he had a godly Innate Ability: when he leveled up, his movement speed and attack speed would increase by an additional 30%!
In the game world, when humans went through a class change ceremony and became Professionals, their hidden potential would unlock an Innate Ability. These Innate Abilities were ranked by how many extra stats they gained when leveling up.
The worst E-Rank Innate Abilities would increase the amount a single Attribute grew by 10% each level. Every tier above E-Rank would increase that bonus by an additional 10%. The most significant buff a single Attribute could have was only 30% thus the best Innate Abilities were the 60% dual Attribute increase, which was considered S-Rank.
Not all S-Rank Innate Abilities were equal, however. For instance, if there was an S-Rank Innate Ability that increased both Physical Attack and Magic Attack Attributes, although the total increase was 60%, only one of those Attributes can be used by a class, and therefore the actual Innate Ability would be considered C-Rank.
Innate Abilities like Liu Hau’s, where both bonuses were useful, were called God abilities. With the help of his Innate Ability, although he was fat, Liu Hau had godly speed.
Sadly when Liu Hau saved Cheng Yang from the claws of a monster, the bastard ripped Liu Hau’s arm off! Although Liu Hau survived, he had become useless. Cheng Yang had always felt guilty about that.
In his past life, Cheng Yang was just a student and couldn’t fight his fate. He lived for a year in the apocalypse before dying to the talons of a magical bird.
Although he didn’t know why he had been reincarnated, the reason didn’t matter. It was enough that he was back, God had given him a second chance! In this life, he would be able to repay Liu Hau and increase his power as well!
In this death game, everyone would be turned into fighters, but some people would be exceptional, the Lords. They weren’t just powerful fighters but also the owners of cities that controlled the lives of millions.
In his last life, it wasn’t that Cheng Yang’s Innate Ability was trash, he just didn’t get the chance to properly utilize it because his Innate Ability affected an Attribute only Lords had. B-Rank Innate Ability: increase the stats gained for the magic attack Attribute by 10% and increase the effectiveness of all territory buildings by 30%.
It wasn’t a top-notch gift, but during the apocalypse, only ten percent of people had B-Rank Innate Abilities or above.
Moreover, Innate Abilities that affected Lord Attributes were exceedingly rare, and the most significant bonus he knew of was only 20%. Therefore Cheng Yang’s B-Rank Innate Ability that increased a Lord Attribute by 30% could also be considered a God ability. Cheng Yang didn’t dare tell anyone about his Innate Ability, however, as it was a massive threat to any of the current Lords. The owner’s of Lord Innate Abilities that weren’t already Lords were killed.
In his previous life, Cheng Yang was considered E-Rank trash, but in this life, he vowed to be someone of value.
Suddenly Cheng Yang had an idea. He hurriedly took out his phone to check the news.
“……found in the outskirts of Nanchang, scientists have been unable to determine the composition of the stone even after a week of study……”
The following was a story about a strange stone that included a few pictures. The stone was three meters tall, cylindrical, and had a rough black grey surface.
When he saw the article, Cheng Yang was thrilled since he was all too familiar with that stone. It was the prerequisite to becoming a Lord, a Territory Altar.
After the apocalypse, people speculated that the world’s gamification didn’t happen in a single day but over time instead. The Territory Altar on the news was the best proof of that theory as it indeed existed before the world ended.
Right now no one knew what the stone would be used for and the leading theory was that it appeared after a natural phenomenon similar to a sinkhole. The only problem was that sinkholes cause the ground to fall, not protrude.
Only two months after the world ended, would humanity first discovers the use of Territory Altars.
A Territory Altar wouldn’t just appear outside Nanchang but across the country and all over the world. Most of the altars were currently buried underground, but after that violent earthquake, they would rise to the surface.
Cheng Yang wasn’t excited about the Territory Altar found in Nanchang but because he remembered that there was a territory altar in Phoenix Slope just five kilometers south of Cloud City where he lived. In his previous life, the Territory Altar was claimed by the military three months after the apocalypse.
Right now, that altar was completely buried except for a single corner that people would assume was an ordinary rock. When the people who lived near Phoenix Slope found out that the seemingly ordinary rock was a Territory Altar, they were all green with envy.
During the apocalypse, there was a theory that a Territory Altar could be claimed before the end of the world, but no one was able to verify it.
Now that Cheng Yang was granted a new lease on life, he was determined to claim that Territory Altar as his own.
After class, Cheng Yang made up a reason to separate from Liu Hau and traveled to Phoenix Slope alone.
If he hadn’t known the apocalypse was coming, the $10 fare would have dissuaded Cheng Yang from traveling to Phoenix Slope, but now he didn’t care. After the apocalypse, money would be worth less than toilet paper.
When the taxi arrived at the destination, it stopped at the side of the road.
Cloud City was surrounded by hills, and Phoenix Slope was no exception, however, the area from Cheng Yang’s memories was one with very little elevation change. Cheng Yang shuddered as he thought of the earthquake that would level the hills and change the terrain the next day.
TL Note: Yes, I am aware that there are several translations of this already. Most of them were poorly edited and left out a lot of information. I’m starting over so that I can have a consistent translation quality instead of everyone reading 140 chapters of drivel before reading mine (which I would like to think are better)