Less than three seconds after the voice stopped talking, the entire world was shrouded in an incomparably bright light.
All of humanity felt a tingling sensation in their eyes as their vision went black. Their bodies seemed to be floating and they were unable to perceive what was around them.
After what seemed like hours, the light dissipated and everyone’s sight gradually returned to normal.
For the people outside the safe zones there wasn’t an obvious difference, but for those that were something major had happened.
Previously, the safe zone had a few buildings in the center but was otherwise filled with rubble. Now, all of the ruins had been replaced with rows upon rows of residential buildings. Not only that, but the area covered by the barrier had expanded by four or five times, covering an area of ten square kilometers.
The houses were arranged in rings. those closest to the class change statues were luxurious villas. Behind those were antique style family homes followed by three story lofts and finally wooden high rises that stretched all the way to the edge of the barrier.
Most people weren’t able to immediately understand what had happened but it only took a few minutes for them to realize what these were. Those building were the gods reward for humanity.
That’s when, similar to when they first entered the safe zone, information flooded into their minds. They were able to understand what those buildings were and how to use them.
These buildings were similar to the Meditation Halls in Phoenix Village as they allowed Professionals to train more efficiently. However, the difference between the two is that you needed to pay to use the ones in the safe zone. This could be done either by paying a monthly rental fee or by purchasing the property.
Obviously, the villas near the center of the city provided the highest bonuses but they had price tags to match. Just to rent one of those villas you needed to pay an outrageous 100,000 Experience Fragments every month. As for the purchasing price, no one even dared to think about it.
Originally, Yuan Jianzhe had considered himself the richest person in Cloud City but when he learned the rental fee for just the high rise apartment, he realized he was a poor man. A very poor man.
However, no one could ignore the benefits renting a place to live would bring.
Although it might seem cheaper to just spend ten Experience Fragments and double your training speed for an hour, the prices were deceptively high. The villas near the center fit ten people and only required a single monthly payment that could be shared. This meant that ten people could enjoy the benefits of Meditating in a villa for just over three hundred Experience Fragments a day. Once everyone got used to their skills, it would be possible for people like Yuan Jianzhe to spend that much every day.
Not to mention, renting a place to live gave them more than just a place to train. It was a place to live and a symbol of their social standing.
Compared to the villas, the one family homes were much cheaper, with rent fees ranging from five thousand to ten thousand a month. Those buildings actually provided the same bonus as the villas, a 50% increase, but could accommodate less people. The most expensive could fit five while the cheaper could only fit two.
The lofts fit one person for a monthly fee of one thousand Experience Fragments a month.
Finally, the high rise buildings could be rented either monthly or daily at the rate of ten Experience Fragments per person per day no matter how many people were squeezed into the apartments and suites.
The cheapest housing in the entire safe zone was the dormitory housing. Although it was just a room with eight beds, it was a measly two Experience Fragments per person to stay the night and experience a 10% training buff.
It could be seen that when they designed this new city, the gods valued those at the lowest end of society. As long as someone were to perform a class change ceremony and kill monsters, they would be able to give their family a home, or live in an apartment with their friends.
Other than the residential buildings, several new shops had appeared in prominent location to make the safe zones feel more like a city.
There were copies of the already existing shops like the Alchemy tower as well as new building such as the Adventurers Guild, the Trial Hall and a few Taverns.
Of those buildings, the Tavern was the most magical. Of all the buildings that would be unlocked when Phoenix Village leveled up, Cheng Yang was most excited about the Tavern. It wasn’t just a place for drinking and recreation, it also allowed humanity to communicate with each other again.
As long as you ordered a drink, the bartender would allow you to sit down somewhere. Once you did, a virtual screen would pop up. It acted as a conduit to a forum that included every human on Earth.
This forum was why Cheng Yang knew so much about the situation in other countries and how humanity discovered that the apocalypse had been a global crisis.
“My Lord, what just happened?” Ma Tao had fallen down when the light had appeared and the other’s hadn’t done much better.
“Didn’t you heard why the messenger of the gods said?” Cheng Yang shrugged, “I don’t know specifically what happened but it was probably something good.”
“He mentioned a reward…” Zhou Jie murmured, “Wait! Why do I have a system pane? Isn’t that only for Professionals?”
For a glorious moment, Zhou Jie thought that the gods made everyone a Professional but they weren’t so generous. His new system pane was incredibly simple.
Experience Fragments: 0
The biggest reward that the gods bestowed upon humanity today wasn’t actually the cities that were built in the safe zones. The truly important change was that even ordinary people could now collect Experience Fragments.
From now on, as long as they were brave, ordinary people could gather the funds needed for a class change ceremony on their own. Monsters were horrifyingly strong compared with a single ordinary person but what about ten ordinary people? Twenty of them? In the end, monsters were unintelligent beasts so with some planning and courage ordinary people could kill them.
As long as they were able to collect ten Experience Fragments, no one could stop them from becoming a Professional.
“Don’t worry about the god’s reward.” Cheng Yang reassured the six refugees he had brought with him, “I was already going to allow you to perform a class change ceremony.”
All it took was that one sentence to calm them down. To them, Cheng Yang represented a golden opportunity. How many people in the safe zone were selling they had in order to become a Professional? How much more would they sacrifice to gain political power too? Obedience was a much more reasonable price to pay.
Then, Cheng Yang urged them to speed up so that they would be able to reach Phoenix Village before nightfall.
The final part of the reward humanity was given was an increasingly hostile environment. All around the world, monsters underwent a mass evolution. Although it only affected a small portion of all monsters, that mass evolution had made Standard-Grade Immature monsters commonplace.
Fortunately, before he left that morning, Cheng Yang had ordered his generals not to venture too far from the village walls. Hopefully this allowed them to avoid any unforeseen disaster.
When Liu Wei and the others saw the tall walls of Phoenix Village, they were shocked. It seemed to magnificent for humans to have built in just a few short days.
Cheng Yang ignored their questions. After all, if they weren’t able to understand the ins and outs of the village in a day or two someone else would tell them.
Using his authority, Cheng Yang slowly opened the village gates and brought his guests into the Inner Village.
When Zhou Jie and the other saw the numerous refugees living outside in Phoenix Village, it seemed like this place was the same as the Cloud City safe zone. However, once you looked more carefully, there was one crucial difference.
The refugees were smiling.
Not all of them were but those that didn’t were the exception.
In Cloud City it was common to see people sell their bodies in public for a piece of bread but not here. Consistent meals had given these people the confidence to live as members of a civilized society.
Once Cheng Yang’s group passed through the Outer Village, they were greeted by an even more amazing sight. Every person in the Inner Village was a Professional. To them, it was clear from a single glance which side was stronger between the Cloud City safe zone and Phoenix Village.
They didn’t even know if all the people here represented the total fighting strength of Phoenix Village!