Even the soldiers present were clapping. It was clear to them what Cheng Yang meant. With the Imperial Guard patrolling the walls, they wouldn’t have to waste time clearing the occasional monsters at the wall while everyone else earned Experience Fragments in the wilderness.
At first, no one had complained since it was necessary to keep the civilians safe and earn Experience Fragments for the village. Now that someone else had come to handle that burden, no one was willing to share it.
“I hope that everyone will treat these brave soldiers with the respect. they deserve,” Cheng Yang said with a smile. As the crowd began to disperse, Cheng Yang led the Imperial Guard to the entrance of the Blood Soaked Cathedral.
“Xue Yu, are members of the Imperial Guard allowed to enter instance dungeons?” Cheng Yang asked.
“My Lord this…! How can…Why is this here?” When Xue Yu saw the entrance to the Blood Soaked Cathedral, she was shocked, “My Lord, how can an instance dungeon be this deep inside the territory?”
Cheng Yang cocked his head to the side. “Is it that strange?”
“In my dimension instance dungeons would only be on the very outskirts of large territories. There was no way to bring them in purposefully, instead you needed to wait until the border of the territory naturally enveloped it. Even the-” Xue Yu flinched, “My point is I’ve never seen one just a few feet from the Territory Altar.”
“Your dimension?” Cheng Yang asked, What happened to it?”
“I’m sorry my Lord but that information isn’t something I’m allowed to share with you. Entering your dimension binds us to the will of god so we can’t give too much information to new-” Xue Yu flinched again.
“Don’t force yourself, I understand.” He’d heard rumors in his past life but now he had confirmed it. The store managers and the Imperial Guard members weren’t from this world. However, since prying further didn’t seem like it would work, Cheng Yang filed that information away for later. “So, can you use the instance dungeon or not?”
Xue Yu nodded. “As long as the instance dungeon is within the territory, we can enter.”
“Wonderful! Hayashi, Sumin. Both of you will enter a separate Hard Difficulty instance. Although the Boss in this difficulty level is an Elite Pinnacle Grade monster there’s an easy way to defeat it…”
Then Cheng Yang told them how to utilize the environment hack to beat the boss.
Even if they had just arrived in this world, Cheng Yang was certain the Imperial Guard members had even more combat experience than he did. As long as they used his special clearing method there wouldn’t be anything to worry about.
“My Lord, let me go in too!” Xue Yu exclaimed.
“Absolutely not, a Warrior isn’t capable of beating the Boss. A one on one fight is too dangerous so I won’t allow it.”
“My Lord, you don’t need to worry about me. If I couldn’t even beat a pathetically weak Pinnacle Grade Immature monster how could I dare to claim I can protect Phoenix Village? IF you can get me some equipment and potions I’ll be able to defeat it easily. Even if I wasn’t bestowed the power of an Elite by you I’d still be capable of completing this task.” Xue Yu insisted.
“Fine.” Cheng Yang couldn’t refuse the young woman who was staring at him so intensely, “I’ll allow you to try but don’t force it. If you can’t handle the Boss just climb up the tree and wait for the instance to time out.”
“Thank you for your trust my Lord.” Xue Yu said with a bow. Even though she hid her excited smile, Cheng Yang could tell she wasn’t taking his reminder seriously.
Cheng Yang sighed internally. Hopefully Xue Yu wouldn’t get herself killed.
Cheng Yang gave her a stipend to buy potions with before going to track down Liu Hau. He had made sure his best friends had the best warrior equipment on the village. Although Liu Hau’s set wasn’t as good as his, it was far better than anyone else in the village.
It just so happened that Liu Hau’s brigade was training at the moment so Cheng Yang was able to borrow his equipment to give to Xue Yu.
Once she had changed, Xue Yu immediately followed the other two members of the Imperial Guard into the Blood Soaked Cathedral. Having been given high quality equipment, she wasn’t able to hide her blood lust any longer.
With that taken care of, Cheng Yang checked the state of the territories resources. Although earned Experience Fragments for himself was important, the growth of the territory was what he really cared about.
When he check the system pane, Cheng Yang found that the territory only had a pitiful one thousand four hundred Experience Fragments. Now that all of the class change statues were level three, the daily expenses for the territory were enormous. If it wasn’t for the newly founded Imperial Guard being able to clear the Hard Difficulty of the Blood Soaked Cathedral, it would be impossible to keep up with the research costs. Once he hired another two members, the Imperial Guard would be the source of more almost two thirds of the Experience Fragments earned each day.
Even if he had a few hundred more soldiers, there wasn’t another way for Phoenix Village to earn even half of the Experience Fragments the Imperial Guard could.
Next, Cheng Yang personally appraised civilians in order to find people that made suitable Priests. Now that the Priest class change statue was high grade, Phoenix Village could employ more than fifty Priests. This would allow each brigade to have ten.
Finally, Cheng Yang had to decide what to build today. The first thing he did was build a private Standard Grade Meditation Hall for himself. Although he felt a little bad doing so while more than two thirds of his soldiers had to sleep outside, he knew that following Old Lee’s advice and distancing himself from his citizens was a good thing.
Using the remaining wood, Cheng Yang built another six Low Grade Meditation Halls. This brought the total number of houses up to a measly sixty four.
Right now there wasn’t anything Cheng Yang could do to build houses any faster. Now that all of the nearby tree’s had been felled, wood production was falling. Alas, this was one of the barriers to progress every territory would have to deal with.
Unable to do anything else, Cheng Yang left Phoenix Village to go hunting.
As he fought, Cheng Yang couldn’t help but worry about his current state. Recruiting his Elite Imperial Guard members had totally cleared out his savings. If he wasn’t about to find enough monsters today, he might have to go back to eight times training speed. Although it wouldn’t be an enormous loss, it was critical that he maintain his advantage over others. If he wasn’t strong enough, how could he protect his friends and the civilians that depended on him?
Also, although the Imperial Guard didn’t need Experience Fragments to train, leveling up their skills was going to be difficult. Even with the added bonus of being able to use an instance dungeon, it would take days or even weeks for their skill levels to catch up with their experience.
Since Cheng Yang was a diligent and hardworking man, it was natural that he would be worried about Phoenix Village. He had taken up the heavy responsibility of being a Lord and now he needed to prove that he deserved it. Protecting Phoenix Village wasn’t just Cheng Yang’s duty, but something he wholly desired.
No matter what challenges he had to face, the important thing was to never back down.
Over the past few days, Cloud City had gradually stabilized.
The army, under the command of Yuan Jianzhe, had taken control of the city in just three days. During that time they were able to save almost fifty thousand civilians. Unlike the haphazard rescue operations of the Phoenix Village soldiers, the army used historical data to evacuate the most heavily populated areas first.
But as civilians fled to the safe zone, trouble followed.
First of all, with so many people there was no way to avoid food shortages. Several people almost died, but with the help of some brave soldiers, the army was able to discern which monsters were safe to eat. However, with so few soldiers able to focus on hunting, there was only so much meat they could gather in a day.
Secondly, some crafty refugees had begun to create cults using the events of the past few days as proof of their gods. The doctrines they had created spread like wildfire. It was all Yuan Jianzhe could do to stop his soldiers from being indoctrinated.
Finally, groups of refugees advocating fairness and freedom began to speak. They criticized Yuan Jianzhe and his control over the class change statues. They demanded that he let the public choose a class instead of hoarding it for his soldiers. Although it was obviously started by powerful groups looking to take advantage of the situation, the sentiment was quickly picked up by normal civilians as well.
These problems gave Yuan Jianzhe a headache but he couldn’t bring himself to use the army to silence dissent. He wasn’t willing to throw away old world values. Yet.
The food shortage was temporarily solved by looting supermarket warehouses and buying food from the Grocery. Even so, food was strictly rationed to the public. Most civilians would get just two bowls of soup a day.
In order to deal with the cults, Yuan Jianzhe enacted several measures to suppress their growth. Any person found trying to gather followers was banned from receiving food and those that created them were imprisoned. Although it helped somewhat, there was no way to stop an idea.
As for the final issue, Yuan Jianzhe caved and allowed civilians to use the class change statues.
Although it may have seemed like a rash decision, he needed to preserve the army’s strength. Over the last few days, casualties had been piling up. His soldiers didn’t have the combat experience or the numbers to win every fight.
It would allow other groups to gain power in the city but, they would be pressed into military service under the same restrictions as the soldiers. Those rallying against tyranny would be pleased, the army wouldn’t face as many casualties and there would be more people available to gather food.