While Yuan Jianzhe was suffering from humiliation, Cheng Yang was massaging a persistent headache. He was watching the southern entrance to Cloud City while hiding in a tree and just seeing the number of monsters occupying the passage made his scalp go numb.
The horde seemed to have seven hundred monsters, maybe eight hundred? There was also no shortage of high-level monsters, both normal and Elite. There was almost definitely a High-Grade monster or two in there. Maybe even a Pinnacle Grade.
Although he had killed that High-Level wolf leader, that didn’t mean he was a match for all or even most High-Level monsters. When a high-level monster was hidden within a horde, they became a deadly threat even to humans a level higher than them.
If he were to provoke those monsters, what would happen?
Cheng Yang looked around and saw that aside from the area where the road used to be, there were dense forests with low lying bramble bushes. Escaping into those woods wouldn’t be hard if there was a group that cleared the bushes while the other’s fought, but since he was alone, the only safe way was to leave the way he came.
He had to consider the possibility that a monster horde would suddenly appear behind him, blocking the road. It was fairly likely too as most monster hordes would roam looking for food. It was just that they didn’t travel very fast until they detected a human.
This was also different from when he fought fifty monsters at once. Although it was possible to escape an encirclement when it was just fifty or even up to a hundred monsters, trying to break free from nearly a thousand was impossible. If you got caught in the middle of a horde with over a hundred monsters, you could only pray for a merciful death.
Cheng Yang didn’t even consider trying to fight them in a battle of attrition and slowly retreated. His goal for today was only to scout out the monster horde, so his job was already done. As for how Phoenix Village would get past the horde? It would be a discussion left for later, after the construction of an Alchemy Tower and stocked up a sufficient number of potions.
On the way back, he took a different route so he could visit areas he hadn’t cleared. By the time he returned to Phoenix Village, it was already three in the afternoon.
Although he had been out for quite a while, it was worth it. He had over 1500 Experience Fragments, so even if the thousand he lent out were lost, he would still be able to use eight times training speed.
When Cheng Yang opened the gates to Phoenix Village, he found that Old Lee’s team was currently in the territory. They weren’t training but rather were guarding the walls.
Old Lee and his soldiers weren’t training right now since they had trained last night. They would need to wait another few hours before they would be allowed to train again.
Phoenix Village didn’t really need any guards right now. The territory limits were a kilometer away, so monsters didn’t wander all the way to the walls very often. The real reason they were standing guard on the walls was to keep an eye on the thousand or so normal people. Although Phoenix Village wasn’t in crisis right now, they weren’t safe either. With so many bored and anxious people in one area, it was inevitable that there would be some incidents.
Seeing Cheng Yang walk through the north gate, Old Lee immediately rushed over, “How was the situation my Lord? Will we be able to reach Cloud City?”
“I’m not going to lie, it looked pretty bad when I checked it out. The only way into the city is a hundred-meter wide bridge since there’s a nearly bottomless pit surrounding the rest of the city. Right now, almost a thousand monsters are gathered on that bridge. In order to get to Cloud City, we’ll need to kill those monsters, and their numbers will only grow.”
“Is that really the only way?” Old Lee asked miserably, “It’s already been four days, I just want to know if my family is dead or not…… God! Why are you so fucking cruel?! Why didn’t you just kill me!” He roared at the sky.
Cheng Yang sighed in his heart. He had seen several people have worse breakdowns than Old Lee’s, so he didn’t consider it weird, “Hey now, that’s not going to help your family. As long as we’re diligent, I think we’ll be able to enter the city in a few days.” Cheng Yang said comfortingly, “The military should have started to stabilize the city yesterday and the commander Yuan Jianzhe is a competent man, so he’ll definitely save everyone he can. Instead of being angry just work harder. Even if your family is in a bad situation, think of how happy they’ll be to see you again.”
“Phew…” Old Lee gradually calmed down, “You’re right Cheng Yang. If I were to die, my family definitely would have a hard time. As long as I’m alive, there’s hope.”
Cheng Yang patted him on the back before saying, “It seems like quite a few people were saved today. Ah, did the refugees in Huimin start to leave their hiding spots?”
“My Lord, since most people haven’t had anything to drink for several days, all the people hiding in the shadows were withered from dehydration. If they hadn’t emerged from hiding, they wouldn’t have needed to worry about the monsters anymore, since they’d be dead. Plus there aren’t many small monster groups left in Huimin since the large ones are spaced out by a hundred meters or so, many people felt like it wouldn’t be too dangerous. That’s why we were able to save over six hundred people today. More importantly, there are still hundreds left in the city too weak to keep up with the groups we were taking earlier. Right now, the other four teams are working hard to clear the remaining monster hordes so that we can bring everyone in the city back to the village.” Old Lee reported.
“How many people are still alive in Huimin?” Cheng Yang asked in surprise.
“Right now, we’ve got two thousand people who were too weak to move and we estimate that another two thousand should be in the other half of the city, based on how many we found in the first half. As for the rest of the population, they were either killed by monsters or died of dehydration.”
Cheng Yang did a rough head count of the one thousand three hundred people in Phoenix Village right now. If they could save the four thousand people left in Huimin, they could be considered a town instead of a village.
Although that was a good thing, feeding a town of five thousand would be a massive undertaking. It wasn’t like they could all eat monster meat every day. It would work in the short term, but if they had nothing else, most of the population would develop health problems.
It seemed like he would have to build a Grocery before any of the other buildings, otherwise, the lack of fruits and grains would create a huge problem.
In the early days of the apocalypse, everyone would have to eat the food sold by the Groceries in the safe zones. Although no one knew why they had an inexhaustible supply of nutritious food, everyone was grateful that they did.
“You mentioned that there were a few large monster hordes in Huimin. How many are in the biggest one?” Cheng Yang asked.
“Huimin town isn’t very big, so after killing most of the monsters, there are only fourteen hordes left, the smallest having sixty and the largest three hundred.”
“Fortunately, that’s not a big problem for us. I’ll go to Huimin this afternoon to lead the teams in cleaning up every one of those hordes. Although the monsters will just respawn, it will be easy for us to keep their numbers down and save the rest of the citizens.”
“My Lord, I suggest you build the Lumber Mill before you leave. If we have a large group of people cutting down trees, we’ll be able to build all the other buildings in a single day.”
Cheng Yang gave Old Lee a wan smile, “I’m sorry to say it, but our Lumber Mill will have nowhere near the output your’s did before the apocalypse. On a good day, a logger will only be able to harvest ten cubic meters of wood.”
“Ten cubic meters?! Why so few? Even if I just went right now with my sword, I should be able to gather more than that, how come they can only collect ten cubic meters?”
“Only trees cut down with the Logging skill can be used to build things for the village.”
“Why is that?”
“It’s just one of the new rules god made. I don’t know why they were put in place.”
“What about the wood you ordered before the apocalypse? Why were you able to use that?”
“When god transformed the world, that rule was only added to living trees so anything cut down before the apocalypse still counts.”
“What a pity, I have thousands of cubic meters of wood back at my lumber mill. Why didn’t you buy more?”
“Truth be told, I wouldn’t have been able to pay for the wood I asked you for. I could only barely afford the down payment. If the apocalypse hadn’t happened, I would have been seriously in debt.”
“It’s too bad I wouldn’t have believed you back then otherwise we wouldn’t need to be so worried over a small about of wood right now.”
“Who said I was worried? Once we build the Lumber Mill, a few dozen people will become Loggers and we’ll have a steady influx of wood.”
“Why not let most of each team become a Logger? Then we’d be able to gather hundreds of cubic meters a day and quickly fulfill the level up requirements for the village.”
“Simple, you can’t eat wood. People need to stay fed, so it’s inevitable that most people will become Farmers.”