“Warrior.” Chéng Yáng announced.
Old Lǐ grinned.
“Good, I’d hoped to become a Warrior.”
Old Lǐ approached the Warrior Class Statue and initiated his Class Change Ceremony. A few seconds later he was holding a sword and shield identical to Liú Hào’s.
Phoenix Village Citizen
Level: Low Grade Apprentice (0%)
|Attack Damage||3||Magic Damage||1|
|Attack Resistance||2||Magic Resistance||2|
|Attack Speed||1||Movement Speed||1.1|
- Health is increased by 30%
- Settlements you manage may register 30% more Citizens
- Movement speed is increased by 10%
Essence Gathering (Core Skill)
Enter a horse stance and draw in worldly energy to recover and advance.
Energy Slash (Low-Grade)
Fill your blade with Mana, then release it in a devastating arc that cuts through enemies.
|Damage: 8||Cost: 3 Mana|
|Range: 3 m||Cooldown: 3 sec|
Iron Sword (One-Handed)
A crude blade fit for slashing and stabbing.
|Damage: 3||Cooldown: 1.5 sec|
|Range: 1 m|
Wooden Heater (One-Handed)
A sturdy and reliable shield. | Attacks that hit the shield have their damage nullified.
|Damage: 1.5||Cooldown: 3 sec|
|Range: 1 m|
Another S-Rank Innate Ability! And it was one that improved Settlement management. It was similar to a Chéng Yáng’s Innate Ability except that Old Lǐ wouldn’t need to become a Lord for its effects to apply. He only needed to be assigned an official management position.
Being able to register more Citizens meant more Players would receive any bonuses that Phoenix Village provided. Although there weren’t enough people to fill each Class Statue’s capacity right now, in the future there would be hundreds or even thousands of unregistered Players living here.
Old Lǐ didn’t have nearly the same reaction upon reading his Innate Ability. He was disappointed since it didn’t increase two combat related Attributes. His only frame of reference was other S-Rank Innate Abilities, he had no clue just how lucky he was.
Although he wasn’t needed anymore, Chéng Yáng joined the others farming monsters on the wall. The faster they gathered Experience Fragments, the faster he could perform additional Class Change Ceremonies.
In order to make the process more efficient, after transferring his friends and Old Lǐ, Chéng Yáng prioritized people with the potential to be a Ranger or Mage.
Once the final Class Change Ceremony ended, Phoenix Village had eight Warriors, six Mages, six Rangers, and four Druids.
Chéng Yáng was also able to fully verify his theory. Aside from the unlucky cab driver who had B-Rank talent every other person was able to gain an A-Rank Innate Ability. Although it was disappointing that there weren’t any other S-Rank talents, Chéng Yáng was satisfied with having five under his banner.
A-Rank talents were still quite rare, so as long as none of these people left Chéng Yáng for some other faction, the core fighting strength of his Settlement would be astronomical.
Chéng Yáng was confident that everyone would stay by his side. The cruelty and destitution brought upon by the apocalypse was unbearable, so after they went out and saw how others lived they could come to appreciate the advantages a Settlement provided.
The only truly disappointing thing was that no one else had an Innate Ability that increased a Hidden Attribute or increased the operation of a Settlement.
In total the process had taken an hour. Perhaps if he hadn’t gone to rescue Niú Bīng, Chéng Yáng would have been able to get a few more S-Rank talents. Even so, Chéng Yáng didn’t regret saving his friend in the slightest.
Now it was time to train his forces, Chéng Yáng called everyone down off the walls to have a meeting by the Territory Altar.
“Now that everyone has become a Player its time to learn how to fight as a team. I’m going to open the gates and allow monsters to get into the village. When they do you’ll need to defeat them. Afterwards, we’ll meet again and I’ll give you another task. Phoenix Village has four gates, so we’ll create four groups to defend them.”
Chéng Yáng then turned to Old Lǐ.
“Old Lǐ pick a Warrior and a Mage to defend the south gate with us. The leaders for the teams defending the other gates will be my friends Liú Hào, Niú Bīng, and Yú Kǎi. Split the remaining Players evenly between those groups, but make sure to have at least one member of every Class in a group. If you absolutely can’t hold on, call out to me and I’ll close the gate you’re protecting. I don’t want any of you to die.”
Finally he turned to Páng Shān.
“You’ll follow me to the south gate but keep a healthy distance.”
Old Lǐ had an uncomfortable look on his face. His experience as a businessman told him that Chéng Yáng was trying to weaken his influence. Obviously Chéng Yáng didn’t trust him and had separated him from most of his employees in order to control them better. Although those men hadn’t pledged their loyalty to Old Lǐ, their close relationship meant his words held a lot of weight to for them.
Even though he had realized this Old Lǐ didn’t let it bother him. He wasn’t interested in authority. All he wanted was to survive and then return to Xiāngyáng to save his family. Only, Chéng Yáng could provide him with an opportunity to do just that, so how could he dissent?
Old Lǐ wasn’t wrong. Chang Yang had indeed arranged the teams with the goal of weakening the influence of Old Lǐ’s faction. It also allowed him to intimidate Old Lǐ with a show of force.
If the workers continued to look to Old Lǐ, it would be a problem if the man tried to stir up trouble for Chéng Yáng later. Of course, Chéng Yáng could force them to obey using the authority granted to him as a Lord. However, that kind of tyranny would instill hatred and obedience in equal parts.
After the groups were arranged, Chéng Yáng drilled everyone on the tactics necessary to get the most out of their skills and optimize their synergy. He also detailed the various strengths and weaknesses of the monsters commonly found in the area.
Most of his advice was simple, but it wasn’t intuitive. Like how an Energy Slash could pass through multiple targets, that a Reinforced Arrow could be partially controlled after firing, or the importance of avoiding friendly fire. Countless people had died in his previous life because they hadn’t realized simple things like these. The information about the monsters’ abilities was even more valuable. In his memories, when people encountered a new monster, casualties were inevitable. Every piece of information had been paid for in blood.
Once he was done, Chéng Yáng sent the groups to their respective gates and opened them.
Ten minutes after they started there was a curtain out light appeared outside the south gate. When it disappeared, an odd creature stood in its place. The monster was bipedal and looked similar to an ape except that it was covered in green feathers and its entire head was taken up by a segmented mouth that looked like a blooming lotus. It was only a meter tall but no one dared to underestimate it after seeing the jagged pitchfork held in its hand.
“I’ll handle the first one, so watch me.” Chéng Yáng said, striding to the front of the group. “This is a Low-Grade Immature Graveseeker. It has thirty Health and can deal up to seven damage when using its pitchfork.”
Old Lǐ had just seen Chéng Yáng and the others kill dozens of monsters while they were on the walls, but it was an entirely different feeling when the monster was right in front of him.
Once the monster got close to entering his range, Chéng Yáng raised his stave and fired off a Magic Missile. Right as the Graveseeker passed the thirty meter mark, the Skill slammed into its chest scattering blue blood and green feathers everywhere. A perfectly timed shot!
The monster let out a shrill cry which was similar to the wailing of a baby as it continued its charge towards Chéng Yáng who’d taken the opportunity to put some distance between them using his superior Movement Speed.
This process repeated once more as the monster helplessly tried to chase Chéng Yáng around.
When the third Magic Missile connected, the monster collapsed to the ground.
At the same time weak and indistinct light escaped its body and integrated with Chéng Yáng’s.
“Wow…” Old Lǐ breathed.
Although he’d been scared before, watching the monster fall to the ground without so much as scratching Chéng Yáng completely erased the tense atmosphere.
Old Lǐ did some quick math in his head. Since the monster had thirty health, that meant Chéng Yáng’s attacks dealt at least ten damage. This was considerably more than the three he dealt as a Low-Grade Apprentice Warrior.
Old Lǐ knew that Low-Grade Apprentice Mages only dealt five damage, which meant that Chéng Yáng was at least one level higher than him!
Faced with this fact, Old Lǐ only felt relief. There wasn’t a hint of jealousy in his heart. Chéng Yáng was his ally, so the more powerful Chéng Yáng was, the safer he would be, and the higher the chance he would be able to rescue his family!