“Farmer? A Profession like that exists?” Old Lee asked in surprise.
“Yep, as you can see from the crazy tree growth, the soil content has changed since the apocalypse. From now on, food will not grow naturally. That is why there is a Profession specialized in forcing the land to grow food. We haven’t unlocked the Profession yet, so I can’t give you many details.” Cheng Yang explained.
After finishing up his conversation with Old Lee, Cheng Yang left the village and sprinted to Huimin.
Huimin was close enough to Phoenix Village that a small piece of it overlapped with the village’s territory boundary. Although that overlap was small, it created a safe space to keep survivors and almost guaranteed that the path back to Phoenix Village would be safe. Larger groups of civilians could be taken back with a smaller amount of guards.
When Cheng Yang arrived at Huimin, he saw an exciting spectacle.
The few hundred meters surrounding the safe zone were being torn apart by the soldiers of Phoenix Village. They instantly killed any monsters that wandered over and worked together to dismantle ruins so that they could find survivors.
Whenever he walked past a group of soldiers, they would stop and respectfully greet Cheng Yang. Although he couldn’t guarantee that they truly respected him, he could feel their sincere gratitude. After all, Cheng Yang had saved them and gave them the power to control their fate.
After walking three hundred meters, he found that the atmosphere was entirely different. Since this was far away from the safe zone, large groups of monsters could be seen in several places. The soldiers from Phoenix Village only dared to travel in tight groups, constantly on edge lest they provoke a horde they couldn’t handle.
Fortunately, there were a lot of ruins they could hide behind, as long as they were careful they could avoid detection.
First Cheng Yang found Yu Kai’s team which was searching for supplies. Although killing monsters was the only way to quickly gain strength, most people found it too dangerous or couldn’t bring themselves to fight them. If it wasn’t in self defense, most people wouldn’t fight a single monster, much less a horde of them.
“Yoko, back so soon? How’s it going?” Yu Kai whispered when he spotted Cheng Yang.
Cheng Yang had the same conversation with Yu Kai as he had with Old Lee.
“It’s definitely the right choice to clean up Huimin first. I talked to some of the locals and there were two wood processing plants here before the apocalypse! After the earthquake, they were buried and changed location a little bit. Some of the wood we’ve found was pre-processed so we should find the plants themselves soon. As long as we can clear out the monster hordes here, we’ll be able to loot both plants.” Yu Kai reported.
“That’s great. Spread the message that in an hour we’re going to make a united extermination team. The first horde we’ll target is the one with a hundred monsters, then we’ll wear down the biggest one.”
After Cheng Yang explained his plan for the battle, Yu Kai’s eyes lit up in excitement before going to alert the other groups.
In less than forty minutes, a hundred and thirty-four people had gathered around Cheng Yang. They had quickly adapted to the environment and kept their mouths shut, waiting for Cheng Yang to speak.
Three of the teams had come together for this operation, with each class evenly represented and three Priests present.
“Alright, everyone. I’ll now explain to you our battle plans.” Cheng Yang began to address the crowd, “We’ll set up our soldiers on various tall ruins. As usual, the Summoners will call out their wolves to defend the front line with the warriors behind them at the foot of the ruins. The ranged soldiers will position themselves on the ruins allowing them to easily target the monsters below. This will be a team battle, so I don’t want any heroics from you. If you cause the death of another soldier because you tried to act alone, I will personally execute you. It may sound cold, but I will not allow anyone to bring harm to Phoenix Village.”
The soldiers below him were silent but they nodded in unison.
“There are several small monster groups scattered around. Once we’ve eliminated them, we’ll have some breathing room to deal with the larger ones. Let’s begin.” Cheng Yang walked towards the soldiers.
As they began to march, Cheng Yang positioned himself in the center of the army. Although this greatly limited his effectiveness as a fighter, it was a better place to lead from.
The first horde they faced was a group of forty Lesser Mephits. When they saw the Phoenix Village army begin to set up their formation, they didn’t hesitate to charge over. They started to chant in their bestial language, hungry for human flesh.
“Attack.” Cheng Yang commanded firing off the first shot. His shot was followed by a dozens of arrows and Magic Missiles. When they made contact with the monster horde, they let out miserable screams.
Cheng Yang wasn’t worried that the screams of the Lesser Mephits would attract another monster horde since different types of monsters hated each other. Unless there was a treasure or powerful leader to control them, each group would ignore the other even if they called for help. Of course, if they heard the humans the other horde was fighting, they would rush over immediately.
Only two or three Lesser Mephits died in that wave of attacks. Even though most were injured to some extent, it didn’t affect their ability to fight.
Lesser Mephits were rather slow monsters so it would take them three or four seconds to cover the forty meters between them and the army. Cheng Yang and the other ranged classes launched volley after volley at them as they approached. By the time they clashed with the Summoner’s wolves at least twelve had died.
The defensive capabilities of the Warriors weren’t bad since they could block a monsters charge with their shields, but Summoners provided the ultimate meatshields. Their wolves would fight unscrupulous battles where both sides tore each other apart. Luckily, neither side was very smart, so neither had a distinct advantage.
With the Lesser Mephits tied up by the wolves and the Warriors, they quickly died.
The first of the monster hordes had been eliminated cleanly. After two minutes of Meditation, they chose another target.
They fought for nearly an hour, eradicating most of the monster hordes and reducing the total number of monsters by seventy percent. The last two hordes each had two hundred or more members, a number that the Warriors and wolves wouldn’t be able to fully defend against. Cheng Yang had no intention of letting his army try to defend against either of those hordes. Although it was normal to see the summoned wolves die, if any of his soldiers died, Cheng Yang would feel terrible. Although they weren’t strong by his standard, they were still the soldiers he had diligently raised and were much better than people who had just performed a class change ceremony.
Fortunately, since Huimin was almost devoid of monsters, Cheng Yang would be able to safely kite those large hordes. He wouldn’t have to worry about running into another horde and the ruins provided more than enough cover.
Cheng Yang copied the tactics he had used this morning, making the monsters run in circles and insta-killing a few every time they got near.
When the number of monsters in each horde dropped below eighty, he would lead it back to the army’s defensive line. Yu Kai would then direct the army in annihilating the remainder of the horde.
At around seven that evening, Huimin had been entirely cleared of monsters. Although a few would respawn occasionally, the guard teams would kill them within minutes.
Cheng Yang had undoubtedly gained the most from today’s activities. The number of Experience Fragments Cheng Yang obtained was about 20% of the total earned by the entire army. He had earned 300 Experience Fragments, whereas the average soldier had around fifteen. The reason Cheng Yang was able to earn that much because not only could he insta-kill Low-Grade monsters but he rarely missed. The soldiers in his army would need four or five hits to kill a monster and missed regularly.
Cheng Yang was no longer needed in Huimin since he could rely on the guard and cleanup teams to handle the situation. They would be able to collect the materials Phoenix Village needed, including the all-important wood.
After congratulating the army on their victory, Cheng Yang returned to Phoenix Village. After he left, Yu Kai and Lau Hui led the effort to distribute water to the survivors hiding in the ruins.
By the time Cheng Yang returned to the village, it had gotten dark. Cheng Yang went directly to the Territory Altar to begin new research since the one he had started in the morning, had finished some time ago. After paying all of the research costs, Phoenix Village still had 1300 Experience Fragments.
The reason why Experience Fragments were abundant in the territory was that the new collection range of Phoenix Village included Huimin. All of the monsters that had been hunted contributed to the number of Experience Fragments owned by the territory.
Cheng Yang estimated that this trend would continue for a few days while they got rid of all the large monsters hordes surrounding Phoenix Village.
Turning off the system pane, Cheng Yang discovered that Experience Values weren’t the only thing the village had gotten a lot of today. Cheng Yang didn’t know if god had done this on purpose, but several large logs from the Huimin lumber processing plants had been scattered around the city. Thus even though they hadn’t found the processing plants themselves, nearly 170 cubic meters of wood had been collected.
Together with the forty cubic meters, they had collected yesterday they had enough wood to build two of the new buildings.