Liu Hau and the others felt reassured after hearing Cheng Yang’s plan. Even after hearing about the kind of power Cheng Yang had over them, not one of them believe he would use that to blackmail them.
“Yu Kai saw through my intent perfectly.” Cheng Yang said, “After forming teams I want each of you to cultivate a group of close friends that will stick with you through life and death the same way us four would. The only way to survive in this new world is to have a group you can rely on. The biggest obstacle you’ll face is the vain hope that the military will be able to clear out the monsters and bring back a peaceful world. When you try and recruit people, be sure to suppress that idea in their mind. Don’t worry about getting this done quickly, after all, quality is better than quantity.”
“Rest assured, we understand that the world cannot return to the way it was.” Yu Kai said, “Perhaps we could still believe it could if not for the fact that you can see the future. Naturally, we also know that we can only accept someone if they have sworn the same things we have. Anyone else we can only treat as a normal teammate and not trust.”
“That’s a relief. ” Cheng Yang let out a sigh, “In addition to that mindset you need one more thing in order to properly lead a team, strength. Now that you have a class the only thing left is to train. Since everyone has the same four hours the only way to get ahead is to consume more Experience Fragments. Although doubling the training speed is good, it will only make you above average. In order to be truly strong, you need to at least unlock four times training speed. To do this you need to accumulate one hundred Experience Fragments and then use eighty each day.”
Yu Kai gave Cheng Yang a complicated look, “That’s easier said than done Yoko. Experience Fragments are just too hard to get. Each monster only gives one and if too many people participate you may not get one at all. I spent the entire day patrolling the wall and killing monsters but didn’t even get fifty Experience Fragments and that was using ranged attacks to kill a monster on my own! I don’t think it will be a problem getting enough to use two times training speed but getting that many Experience Fragments every day is just too hard!”
Cheng Yang smiled, “Don’t worry so much, you don’t have to get that many by tomorrow. Right now most people don’t even have a class and those that do may not even know how to train yet. As long as you practice diligently you’ll still be ahead.”
Liu Hau and the others nodded, who else but them would have the advantage of training at two times speed from day one?
After establishing a basic plan, Cheng Yang and his friends happily talked for a few hours before leaving the Meditation Hall.
For modern people, the evening is a good time for entertainment but aside from Cheng Yang and his friends, no one was in the mood to enjoy things. The pressure to survive was like a mountain pressing down on them.
Almost everyone was sitting together next to a bonfire built in the south side of Phoenix Village. Their faces full of anxiety and fear were colored red by the slowly dancing flames.
Cheng Yang could understand the mood they were in. After all in his first life, he had spent three days cowering in the ruins of Cloud City. Their situation was at least better than his, they didn’t need to worry about being attacked by monsters.
Cheng Yang walked straight over to the fire and raised his hands, signaling for the whispering to stop. “Ladies and gentlemen, are there any things you are curious about?”
“Yes…” The crowd murmured before unleashing a barrage of questions.
“What happened to the world?”
“How did you get your powers?”
Cheng Yang simply listened before responding to them as a group. “I cannot answer many of those questions as I’m not sure about the answers myself. I can answer your questions with one of my own. Do you want to live?”
“Yes!” Several people shouted. Not one person hesitated to at least whisper their answer. Even insects wanted to live, much less a person.
Cheng Yang motioned for the crowd to settle down “Since you all want to live, please listen to my proposition. Have you all eaten the roast pig we gave you? That meat didn’t appear from thin air, instead, my companions risked their lives killing vicious and massive monsters to obtain it. Do they have any obligation to keep you fed? No, so if you want to live you too are going to have to risk your life and fight. I will not be feeding useless people, do you understand.”
“Can we become powerful like you?” A voice asked, “If we’re willing to fight, won’t we just be slaughtered by monsters if we don’t?”
Cheng Yang looked towards the voice and found that it was Hu Yang who had stood against him earlier that day. Seeing that Cheng Yang clicked his tongue but answered, “Naturally there is a way to give you the same powers my companions have but since I am the owner of this place, I will only give that power to those that will listen to my commands. As long as you are willing to follow my orders you can gain the strength you need.”
“By what right is this place yours? Everything is owned by the state, therefore, your village should be too!” Hu Jun shouted out suddenly. Although it was meant to be provocative many of the people present murmured their agreement.
“Well, I admit you have a point, but who here can represent the state?” Cheng Yang asked. “We are all part of this country and I will gladly hand over the village to the state once a person who can represent it appears. Until then, I’m in charge of this village, I own it, and you must listen to me!”
Cheng Yang sneered in his heart. On behalf of the state? Now who in the world can represent the state? The state no longer exists, this truth is something they should have vividly seen over the last couple days.
After that Cheng Yang raised his stave into the air and charged a Magic Missile. He let the ball of light sit on the end of his stave before shooting it into the night sky.
All the dissident people shut their mouths. They remembered that the person in front of them wasn’t an ordinary youth but someone who had transcended the limits of humanity. Moreover, their lives were saved by him, so what room did they have to bargain?
Cheng Yang watched this with a satisfied smile. He didn’t expect that these people would willingly follow his orders. In the early days of the apocalypse, he would have to force them to obey him. Someday however they would submit on their own after realizing just how cruel this new world was. Cheng Yang believed this day would come quite soon.
“Now is the time for you to make a choice, all those willing to follow my orders head to the center of the village and stand between the statues there. I will choose fifty people and grant them the power needed to fight monsters. As for the rest, you will have the first priority to gain that power later.”
After Cheng Yang finished, the vast majority of people rushed over to the Territory Altar. The remaining few hesitated for a while but also made their way over. The originally crowded bonfire was now empty.
Old Lee, who stood near the edge of the crowd, watched the scene. He was grateful that he and his employees had met Cheng Yang and already had gained the power they needed to survive. Otherwise they would either be here competing for the chance to get that power or stuck hiding in dark ruins.
The others felt the same way as Old Lee. Without knowing it, they had developed a sense of superiority over the others in the village, that they were better since they were the original soldiers of Phoenix Village. Although they didn’t know it, as this feeling developed, they would become the backbone of Phoenix Village.
After a few minutes Cheng Yang parted the crowd moving in front of the Territory Altar with his three friends.
Cheng Yang spent a few seconds searching the crowd before spotting Old Lee. He immediately shouted, “Old Lee, come over here.”
Old Lee looked confused but didn’t ask any questions. He moved through the crowd to take his place next to Cheng Yang and his friends.
“Old Lee,” Cheng Yang said, “Me, you and my friends will each be the Captain of a combat team. Each of you, go pick twenty people you would want to join your team. Only eleven of them will join your team but you may need extras if too many have similar aptitudes. Additionally, the people already with us will be split between your teams while I will personally fill the remaining slots.”
Old Lee felt his heart skip a beat. He could understand what Cheng Yang had said but he was shocked. If he became a team Captain now wouldn’t his position become very important in the future when the village grew?
Old Lee didn’t refuse Cheng Yang’s offer in the slightest. The only thing he wanted now was to save his family and if he was one of Cheng Yang’s team Captains, he would gain the power to do so as soon as possible. Besides, Cheng Yang would at least need to hear him out when he wanted to say something.
When picking members, the others knew that Cheng Yang would get priority. Even so, having the first pick didn’t give him much of an advantage. The first day of the apocalypse had cruelly eliminated most of the old, young and sick. Even though some had survived most of those that remained were healthy and in the eighteen to forty-five range.
After Cheng Yang finished picking the people he thought looked the fiercest his three friends picked next and finally Old Lee. When Old Lee picked his last member the crowd let out a sigh. Although they didn’t know what Cheng Yang meant by granting them power, they knew that they had missed out on an important opportunity.