As Cheng Yang’s group explored the East and battle monster hordes, their equipment’s durability rapidly decreased.
“My Lord, how much farther are we going?” Liu Hau asked, “Some of the Warrior’s shields are about to break.”
“We’re going to turn around soon, so don’t worry.” Cheng Yang replied, “We also won’t run into any monsters on the way back, so it’ll be fine.”
Liu Hau didn’t argue since he assumed Cheng Yang would be taking them back the same way they came. This wasn’t his first hunt, so he understood that an area that was cleared generally didn’t have hordes.
They walked another kilometer or so before Cheng Yang finally stopped the group.
Ever since they left the city, Cheng Yang’s group had been approaching a cluster of five mountains reaching at least a kilometer into the sky. They were extremely steep. So much so that the group had only reached the beginning of the incline five hundred meters ago. In the center of the five mountains was a flat plains area a few hundred meters high and covering ten square kilometers. A river created from water flowing off the peaks into a lake wound down from the plains into the distance.
It was a new river formed after the apocalypse, the Joyous River. In fact, the river running through Phoenix Village was a tributary of the Joyous River.
“We’re here.” Cheng Yang declared.
Old Lee looked around. “My Lord, are you sure this is our destination? There’s nothing around here but trees.”
Cheng Yang smiled faintly. “That’s precisely why you can’t see anything. There are too many trees around here. However, it is somewhere around here.”
Old Lee nodded, it would seem that Cheng Yang was searching for something in this area of the woods.
Sure enough, Cheng Yang led the group through the forest, following the path of the river.
After walking nearly two hundred meters without seeing a single monster, Cheng Yang stopped the group. “Wait here, everyone. I think we’re close.”
Without waiting for an answer, Cheng Yang ran North.
Cheng Yang took careful and deliberate steps, moving at a slow pace. However, it didn’t matter since there wasn’t a single monster to be found even after five hundred meters. To Cheng Yang, this wasn’t a surprise, since this meant what he was looking for was nearby.
According to the god’s rules, monsters would find themselves irresistibly drawn to Territory Altars. Thus, every monster within a kilometer or so of a Territory Altar would gather around it.
Although Cheng Yang had never visited the territory hidden in these mountains, he knew more or less where it was, so he had resolved himself to find a second Territory Altar today.
For the better part of an hour, Cheng Yang carefully searched the forest around him. Then, at last, he heard something.
A little over two hundred meters in front of him, Cheng Yang could hear the occasional hiss. This meant one of two things. Either he had left the range at which monsters were drawn towards the Territory Altar, or he had found it.
Cheng Yang snuck through the gaps between the trees until he was greeted by a frightening scene.
What a spectacular sight! Dozens of different monster species were coexisting in a flat, grassy square kilometer of land. Almost five thousand of them.
A black and grey stone statue imposingly sat in the middle. It looked just like the Phoenix Village Territory Altar.
Next to the Territory Altar, there was a massive bear-like monster. Just from a glance, Cheng Yang knew it would be tricky to deal with.
While its countless minions danced and raved, the bear-like commander stood upon the Territory Altar. Like a general overseeing their troops.
Cheng Yang wasn’t able to identify the commander’s species, but, generally speaking, monsters based on alpha predators pushed the limits of what a monster of their level could achieve.
Monsters like that didn’t naturally spawn this close to the city. So it was either created to guard the Territory Altar or was drawn in from far away.
In his past life, the commander of the horde guarding the Phoenix Village was also an apex predator monster species. Having seen both in person, Cheng Yang would have to say the bear-like one was more imposing.
However, the commander should still be a High-Grade monster. There wasn’t enough time for it to reach the Pinnacle-Grade level.
Thus, the commander wasn’t a problem for Cheng Yang. The size of its horde, however, gave him quite a headache. Killing that many monsters without incurring significant losses would be difficult.
Suddenly, Cheng Yang had an idea, and his eyes fixed themselves onto the commander.
The Territory Altar was around three meters tall, which wasn’t an obstacle for a High-Grade monster, but most Standard-Grade monsters wouldn’t be able to reach something that high above them. As for Low-Grade monsters, they had no chance at all.
If he were able to reach the Territory Altar, kill the commander, and climb up to where it was sitting. Wouldn’t it become trivial to slaughter the horde?
As soon as that thought appeared in Cheng Yang’s head, he became incapable of forgetting it. He quickly counted the number of potions he had and made a decision.
He had to do it! In a direct battle against five thousand monsters, even if he brought the entire Phoenix Village Army, there would be severe casualties. It would make it easier for Cheng Yang, but there would be far too many deaths.
At this time, the Phoenix Village army was still in its infancy. For the soldiers to play a more prominent role, they needed to have time to grow. As much as Cheng Yang hated being a nanny, what kind of support could he get from a bunch of Low-Grade soldiers?
Having made up his mind, Cheng Yang calculated the distance to the Territory Altar. If there weren’t any monsters, he could run that distance in less than twenty seconds. However, since there wasn’t a straight path, it was hard to say how long it would take him.
Cheng Yang was done hesitating. Even if there was a small problem, he had four Health Recovery Potions and twenty Mana Recovery Potions. He would be able to do this.
Cheng Yang began casting Petal Blizzard and charged forwards.
Only after he had nearly reached the horde did they realize he was there. When they did, they rioted.
In the blink of an eye, Cheng Yang plunged into the horde, but before the monsters could react, he jumped. He had leveled up again, doubling his strength and speed, allowing him to shoot eight meters forwards.
The moment Cheng Yang hit the ground, monsters tried to tear him apart. All kinds of Low-Grade monsters hit him with everything they had.
Cheng Yang sneered. He’d been hit, but these attacks didn’t even amount to scratches on him. He didn’t lose a single point of Health.
“Petal Blizzard…” Cheng Yang refused to go easy on them and cast the spell he had prepared. An icy flower bloomed around him, killing every monster in the area.
In the space he opened up, Cheng Yang took a few steps then jumped. Once he landed, the process repeated itself.
When Cheng Yang was hunting Imperial Sarcosucus and got outflanked by a group of Graveseekers, he had been forced to use the same technique he was using now.
At that time, Cheng Yang was far weaker than he was now, and mere Low-Grade monsters caused him to fear for his life. Now, however, he didn’t even need to think about such low-level monsters. Even Standard-Grade monsters couldn’t deal enough damage to worry him.
Cheng Yang continuously rushed forwards as the monsters fearlessly intercepted him…
Two minutes later, Cheng Yang had advanced two hundred meters. During that time, he had used two Mana Recovery Potions, but the results were brilliant. Cheng Yang’s powerful attacks killed at least four or five hundred Low-Grade monsters. There were dead Graveseekers, dead Venom-Fanged Grey Wolves, dead Hell Pigs, dead Raykac, and many more. There were also a few dead Standard-Grade monsters.
Cheng Yang hadn’t paid attention to the actual number he killed. He only had one goal in mind: reach the Territory Altar.
The commander had been lazily watching Cheng Yang advance since the beginning, and when its prey reached the two hundred meter mark, it wasn’t able to ignore that transgression. It howled in shock, ordering every single one of the five thousand monsters in the area to converge on Cheng Yang’s location.
The density of the crowd surrounding Cheng Yang increased significantly. Before this, he was able to clear enough space to jump, but now he needed to step on the heads on incoming monsters to gain enough momentum.
Fortunately, no matter how many monsters were packing into an area, Petal Blizzard would prevent Cheng Yang from getting buried.
On the other hand, this could be considered a good thing for Cheng Yang since the ratio of monsters killed to Mana used would increase.
As Cheng Yang got closer and closer to the Territory Altar, the monsters around him attacked all the more fervently.
By the time Cheng Yang has used his tenth Mana Recovery Potions, he was only a hundred meters from the Territory Altar. So close that he could see every vein on the commander’s angry face.
The fight was getting harder. The number of Standard-Grade monsters was increasing, and there were a few High-Grade monsters as well. Although every attack was weak, injuries piled up, and the total amount of Health lost was worrying.
TL Note: World record long jumps are nearly 9 meters so this feels really short lol.