After that, Cheng Yang checked his personal status pane.
Of the loot he had obtained from the day’s activities, the best was undoubtedly the Sacrificial Blood Cloud unique skill. Although he used it at every opportunity he could, the experience bar was only at a measly 2%. This was due to the fact that the Health and Mana didn’t automatically refill after the skill finished, limiting his ability to use it in quick succession.
For Phoenix Village, the biggest gain was increasing its population by 3000. The total population now exceeded six thousand and once the citizens from Huimin, who were too weak to move the day before, were rescued the population would jump to ten thousand.
Cheng Yang didn’t know what the population requirement for upgrading the territory to Pinnacle Grade but ten thousand should be more than enough. That was a problem for the future, right now he needed to focus on the level up requirements for High Grade.
Thanks to the efforts of the Loggers, with the help of a team dedicated to transporting the tree’s they felled, two hundred and fifty cubic meters of wood had been collected.
With that much wood, Cheng Yang would be able to build two more of the shops. Instead, he built only the Grocery and used the rest to make Low Grade Meditation Halls.
Although the shops were incredibly valuable for the territory, very few people could utilize them. None of the regular soldiers had the spare Experience Fragments to invest in a Profession. In comparison, there was an ongoing food and housing crisis among the civilians that needed to be addressed immediately.
What Cheng Yang really wanted to build was the Standard Grade Wall. The area within the first ring was too small to comfortably hold the expanding population and the durability was too low to withstand the attacks of higher level monsters. However, the wall required five hundred cubic meters of wood so Cheng Yang opted to solve the problem he could, with the wood he had.
After selling the wood to the village, each Logger earned twenty Experience Fragments. This was a fair trade enforced by god’s rules.
Of course, those Experience Fragments would be returned to Cheng Yang.
Originally, Cheng Yang intended to take the Experience Fragments back immediately but he had enough of his own to make it a long term loan instead. After all, he had nearly three thousand Experience Fragments so he didn’t need the four hundred the Logger’s could give him for tonight.
That evening, Cheng Yang ordered all five teams outside the wall to hunt edible monsters. The new refugees tore through their remaining food supplies so they needed to quickly gather enough for tomorrow. The only alternative would be to dip into the preserved food they had, but Cheng Yang wanted to save it for a rainy day.
As for himself, he took five people with him to train his new skill. Right now, every Experience Fragment gained would be a huge advantage over the rest of the world, so this opportunity was very valuable.
As such, the five people with Cheng Yang were all either Captains or Vice-Captains of teams. These were people he or his friends trusted so speeding up their growth was a high priority for Cheng Yang.
Cheng Yang didn’t return until two in the morning. Earlier he had given away the two thousand Experience Fragments he had so that others could train with them so he didn’t come back until he had gathered enough to train.
The next morning, Cheng Yang cleared the Blood Soaked Cathedral, started new researches, and led a team into Cloud City.
Their morning went smoothly. They visited five locations and saved two soldier’s families, including Old Lee’s. In the afternoon, they met with some trouble.
The family of one of the soldier’s was being held hostage.
The reason was quite simple. During the apocalypse, many types of violent and unsavory people would see it as an opportunity to create a small empire for themselves. In this case, a gang from the old world had captured people and would force them to go out and search for food while they relaxed in safety.
When Cheng Yang rushed in with his soldiers, the gangsters laughed at their weapons. Hearing that they were searching for a man’s parents they immediately held a knife to the mothers neck, expecting the group to drop their weapons. Their intention was to pressure Cheng Yang’s group into becoming their newest slaves.
Was it possible to threatened Cheng Yang? Not if you wanted to live. The gangster holding the knife turned into streamers before the rest of them were even able to process that Cheng Yang attacked them.
Executing a dozen or so people was very simple for Cheng Yang. He had adapted well to the apocalypse in his previous life and didn’t hesitate to kill others.
Cheng Yang’s ruthless actions frightened people, even some of the soldiers watched on in horror. The Cheng Yang they knew was strict but kind, but this let them see another side of Cheng Yang’s character. They realized now that Cheng Yang was no saint. If someone were to piss him off, perhaps they would die on the spot.
Although his actions shocked the soldiers, none of them questioned him or complained. They just settled down the refugees and kept moving.
Old Lee had helped Cheng Yang choose a route between the locations that minimized the chances that they would encounter the military but as they moved closer to the city center, Cheng Yang believed they would meet each other soon.
Cheng Yang didn’t want to start a feud with the army right now so the group gradually slowed their advance so they could more cautiously survey their surroundings.
Even after turning around to return to Phoenix Village, the group didn’t run into the military. Perhaps Cheng Yang had overestimated how quickly the military would spread into the city.
Now all of the locations in southwestern Cloud City had been visited. Cheng Yang decided that tomorrow, they would skip the east half and go directly to northern Cloud City. This was so they would encounter less refugees and could focus on rescuing the soldier’s families.
When Cheng Yang got back to Phoenix Village, all of the primary class change statues had leveled up up to High Grade.
- Body Strengthening Mana Flow (High Grade): Increase HP by 20% | Cost: 500 | Time: 10 hours
- Extra Mana Node (High Grade): Increase Mana by 20% | Cost: 100 | Time: 10 hours
- Ambient Mana Gathering (High Grade): Increase Magic Attack by 20% | Cost: 500 | Time: 10 hours
- Passive Ironskin (High Grade): Increase Physical Defense by 20% | Cost: 500 | Time: 10 hours
- Mental State Training (High Grade): Increase Magic Defense by 20% | Cost: 500 | Time: 10 hours
- Wind Bondage (Low-Grade): Binds a target for a set amount of time | Duration: 2 sec | Cost: 25 MP | Cast Time: 3 sec | Level Needed: Standard Grade Apprentice | Price: 100 Experience Fragments
Cheng Yang inwardly groaned when he saw the research cost. It would take ten thousand Experience Fragments to finish all of the High Grade research and that was just for the primary statues.
Of course, this cost wasn’t unwarranted. When the statues leveled up, they finally gained the ability to bestow skills to the soldiers! These skills weren’t like the ones they currently had as they wouldn’t be given automatically. These skills were like the Angelic Inspiration skill that the Priests had. In order to obtain them, you needed to pay for them. The new skills were the lowest level skills possible, unlike inherited skills.
In addition, the number of soldiers each statue could produce was quadrupled. Once the funds needed to transfer the soldiers was collected, the strength of Phoenix Village would undergo a quantitative change.
Cheng Yang sighed thinking of all the bills that were piling up: ten thousand for research, thirteen thousand two hundred for new soldiers and ten thousand to upgrade the territory.
After briefly considering shelving research, Cheng Yang decided against it.
One research per statue per day wouldn’t use all of their Experience Fragments which would leave enough to perform a few class change ceremonies. When the process finished, Phoenix Village would have over 800 soldiers so the amount of Experience Fragments gathered every day would increase. There was also the stores’ taxes to think about. Each soldier would earn more when they attacked bigger hordes so they would be able to purchase food and other necessities in the stores.
The benefits a territory with a large number of soldiers received were very clear to see.
Cheng Yang no longer hesitated and started the research for each statue that increased Mana. He didn’t neglect the Standard Grade Priest statue either and started a new research for it as well.
At present, the Priest statue still had three Standard Grade research topics left before it could be leveled up.
Next, Cheng Yang arranged for a batch of new soldiers to undergo class change ceremonies. The population now exceeded ten thousand thanks to rescue efforts in two cities. As such, finding people who wanted to was too easy.