As they were talking, Old Lee and his team exited the instance dungeon. Cheng Yang saw that Old Lee was now wearing leather armor and carrying a jagged sword.
Cheng Yang immediately explained his plan to Old Lee, who was naturally grateful. He understood that he was different from Yu Kai and the others since Cheng Yang hadn’t known him long. Cheng Yang’s act of trust moved Old Lee greatly.
Cheng Yang glanced at his Experience Fragments and found that he had over one thousand six hundred. After finishing his training last night, he only had 1,100 points but clearing the Hard Difficulty Blood Soaked Church alone actually had such great results!
After that Cheng Yang traded one thousand Experience Fragments to Lau Hui since he was the only one of the five team Captains that hadn’t finished training for the day.
After the trade, Cheng Yang went over to the five class change statues to start some new research. When they had performed several class change ceremonies this morning, they had nearly bottomed out the territory’s Experience Fragment reserves. After hunting outside and clearing the instance dungeon three times 1300 Experience Fragments were collected, of which, 60 were funneled into the salaries of his officials.
Cheng Yang selected the research option for each statue that increased Mana. When the research finished, all of the main classes would gain a Mana boost of 24%. Mana would always be the limiting factor for people of how big of a monster horde a group could fight. This was especially true for Phoenix Village which didn’t have an Alchemy Tower yet.
Standard Grade research would take ten hours to complete, which meant it would be dark before the new research would be finished. Now Phoenix Village was close to broke again, now that 900 Experience Fragments had been used for research.
When he finished, Cheng Yang looked at the sky and estimated that it was around 10:00. With Lau Hui’s team training in the Meditation Halls, that only left four teams of soldiers under his command.
Cheng Yang felt a tap on his shoulder and turned around to see Old Lee. He hesitated for a moment before asking, “Lord, do you think we have enough power to reach Cloud City yet?”
Cheng Yang could understand how Old Lee felt and thought about the issue for a while. “I think it’s possible, yes, if we were willing to make sacrifices. Of course, there would be no guarantee that we would find your family before having to turn back. I think that today we should continue our operations in Huimin. They are people we can save, and once we collect enough wood, we can build the Alchemy Tower and unlock the ability to buy potions. Once we have potions supplementing our Priests, we should be able to reach Cloud City safely. Of course, that only my guess. I’ll go alone to scout of the path to Cloud City to see if we can go any earlier.”
Old Lee nodded. He couldn’t find any way he could argue with Cheng Yang’s plan. He was well aware that he couldn’t risk his team’s lives for his selfish desires.
Later, Cheng Yang pulled Liu Hau to the side and handed him the boots he had found. Liu Hau was very satisfied with the gift since it would further increase his speed advantage.
The Normal Difficulty for the Blood Soaked Cathedral could still be used one more time today, but Cheng Yang had no intention to let anyone in. If he sent in an inexperienced team, they would just die, and he needed Yu Kai to go to Huimin. The only other team Captain that could enter the instance dungeon was Lau Hui, but he was in the middle of training. They had already cleared the instance dungeon three times today, so there wasn’t a huge loss anyway.
According to Cheng Yang’s arrangement, both his and Yu Kai’s team would go to Huimin with the primary goal of rescuing people and gathering wood as a secondary goal. Since Cheng Yang was going to be doing something else today, Zhao Chuan would be leading his team, which is why he needed Yu Kai to be present.
The remaining two teams would be sent to the peripheries of the territory to find and exterminate large monster hordes. This was an unquestionably vital job since the monster hordes would combine over time growing larger and large like a snowball rolling down a hill until they were big enough to decimate Phoenix Village.
Cheng Yang clearly remembered that in his past life, there was a territory destroyed right before he died. They hadn’t been able to prevent the formation of large hordes when the village was created and after half a year a horde, which numbered in the millions, completely devoured the territory. Although millions of monsters are scary, the truly dangerous aspect of large hordes was their ability to nurture elite monsters. The leader of the horde that destroyed the territory was an Elite Pinnacle-Grade Mature monster. If not for that monster, they may have been able to survive.
In Cheng Yang’s past life, even after half a year, humanity hadn’t been able to fully understand the mechanics of monster evolution, however, they were able to figure out a few key points. Monsters, like humans, would be very weak when they first spawned. As time passed, monsters would grow stronger at a pace somewhere in between a human at two times and four times training speed. Also, once twenty or so monster gathered together, one of them would be designated as the leader of the group. The leader of a group would have a boost in their growth speed and gain the Elite title. When beast hordes combined, both leaders would keep their current growth rates, but one would be designated as the true leader and have an even higher growth rate. As hordes grew bigger, more and more Elites would appear in their ranks and the leader would be of an even higher level. Humanity didn’t know whether strong monsters encouraged hordes merging or if they only appeared after a merge but regardless when a large horde was encountered, it would always be dangerous.
Cheng Yang didn’t care why this phenomenon happened but was determined not to let a large horde form near the station. The incident in his previous served as a strong reminder of what would happen if one did.
After all of the other’s left, Cheng Yang exited the village from the north gate.
Even after travelling a kilometer, Cheng Yang didn’t encounter any monsters. This was normal since this area was designated as inside the village. Although the second ring of walls hadn’t been built yet, it would encompass this area when it did.
More eerily, the forest that had occupied the area before was gone. All of the trees had completely disappeared as if they had never existed in the first place. The only thing left was a field of meter high grass.
Once he left the territory area of influence, things got more difficult.
It was the fourth day of the apocalypse and the trees that had sprouted on the first day were now four to five meters tall and growing directly out of the old road. People wouldn’t be able to easily traverse it, nor would they be able to see into the distance.
Fortunately, Cheng Yang’s hearing had reached a level where nothing normal within forty of fifty meters would be able to go unnoticed.
On the way, Cheng Yang rarely encountered monsters on their own. Cheng Yang wasn’t surprised because he knew that the rate at which monsters spawned randomly would decrease to zero by the end of the week. No one knew why god had arranged for this to happen. Some theorized that it was to give ordinary people a better chance to survive. Others thought that it was so that people with classes wouldn’t be able to get stronger on their own. After all, it was easy to kill a single monster on your own, but to kill a horde alone was quite difficult.
This didn’t mean that the actual spawn rate had decreased. It was just that monster would now spawn directly inside of hordes. This meant that hordes would grow much faster than in the first few days.
For example, Cheng Yang had just discovered a horde of monsters with no less than fifty individuals.
Cheng Yang had only come out to explore, so stopping to kill such a large horde would be troublesome. He would rather face five hundred monsters in twenty hordes than a single horde of fifty.
However, after catching a glimpse of the item laying on the ground in the center of the horde Cheng Yang was unwilling to leave.