Cheng Yang had already used half of his Health Recovery Potions, but he managed to keep his Health above 70%.
Even if it wanted to, the bear-like commander wasn’t able to attack Cheng Yang from where it was.
Fortunately, Cheng Yang helped it off the Territory Altar with an Icicle Blast. Once he did, the commander roared angrily and swiped its claws over Cheng Yang’s chest.
The commander was the most intimidating monster Cheng Yang had fought since returning to the past. Its height was overwhelming. Of course, in terms of length, it lost to the Imperator Sarcosucus.
Cheng Yang’s attack speed had doubled recently, so by the time the monster reached him, Cheng Yang launched another icicle into its face. This attack caused its Health to enter a dangerous low.
Even so, the commander continued charging. Its colossal paw slammed into Cheng Yang, throwing him into the air and very nearly ripping his arm clean off.
Facing a situation like this made Cheng Yang struggle. He almost regretted becoming a Mage. He could barely contest with a Warriors a level below him in strength, so how could he deal with this monster’s strength?
Mage’s needed a certain degree of mobility to attack which Warriors and monsters could easily disrupt. If they weren’t careful, they would end up like a Warrior without a shield: a punching bag.
Fortunately, Cheng Yang had a lot of combat experience. After a moment of disorienting flight, he twirled in the air and landed his feet.
Now there was a small problem. He didn’t have any gaps in which to land. So his feet squarely hit the back of a Steel-Haired Bolap. So, once the Bolap realized, it shook Cheng Yang off balance.
If Cheng Yang tried to clear out the surrounding monsters with Petal Blizzard at this time, the commander would be able to catch up. His only option was to jump further into the horde and quickly kill the commander.
Cheng Yang was faster than the commander and escaped before it caught up. At the moment he landed on another monster, Cheng Yang cast Icicle Blast and pierced the commander’s chest.
The bear-like monster howled, and its large body collapsed like a pillar of gold and jade. The falling corpse trapped two hapless monsters, and although they survived, their injuries weren’t shallow.
When their commander died, the entire horde came to a temporary standstill.
How could Cheng Yang miss such a great opportunity? He straightened up and made a record jump onto the top of the Territory Altar.
As he looked down at the frothing monsters, Cheng Yang calmed down. Now that he was up here, only a handful of monsters would even be able to reach him.
Basically, that meant the territory was as good as his. Filled with a renewed vigor, Cheng Yang began to slaughter the rest of the horde.
One by one, icy flowers bloomed, watered by the blood of monsters. Although a few High-Grade monsters tried to climb the Altar, Cheng Yang only needed to take a small break to cast Icicle Blast to solve the problem.
Ten minutes later, the last of Cheng Yang’s potions were drank, covering the clearing in an eerie silence.
Watching the last monster draw its final breath, Cheng Yang took a deep one of his own. This territory was now his.
Jumping down from the Territory Altar, Cheng Yang placed his hand on the base and whispered: “In the name of Cheng Yang! I claim this Territory Altar!”
When he said this, a faint white orb shot out of the Territory Altar and immersed itself into Cheng Yang’s body. It created a connection between Cheng Yang and the territory that ran deeper than even his blood.
At the same time, four beams of light burst out from the ground, forming a set of statues. In less than a minute, they were fully developed. They looked identical to the ones in Phoenix Village except that they were a little smaller.
“Congratulations on successfully capturing Joyous River Village. Since you are already the Lord of Phoenix Village, please select one of them to become the Central Village.” The god’s messenger whispered into Cheng Yang’s soul. “Warning: The Central Village is the core of your empire, and all other villages are subsidiaries. Once you select a Central Village, you cannot change your decision. If the Central Village is captured or seventy percent of your subsidiary villages declare independence, your empire will be dissolved, and your lordship over subsidiary stations will be removed.”
Cheng Yang had heard of Central Villages before. Basically, they were the executive head of a group of territories. Equivalent to the capital of an old-world country. For now, however, it was hard to think of Phoenix Village as a city worthy of that title.
“Set Phoenix Village as the Central Village.” Cheng Yang made his decision without hesitation. He didn’t have a reason not to. After all, Phoenix Village was a higher level than Joyous River Village and granted its soldiers an Innate Ability. Something that not every territory did.
“The Central Village has been set. Joyous River Village will become a subsidiary of Phoenix Village. Please appoint a Governor and Vice Governor within the hour and set up their permissions. If no one is selected within the allotted time, the closest citizens of Phoenix Village will automatically be appointed and given full administrative rights.”
Cheng Yang swore. Fortunately, he was prepared for something like this. Otherwise, this automatic appointment feature would have caused him quite a headache.
In Cheng Yang’s past life, several Lord had been screwed over by this feature since the two Governor positions couldn’t be changed. The Lord wouldn’t even be able to change the permissions they had. The only way to change anything would be to murder the Governor and Vice-Governor.
What were the benefits of being a Governor? Cheng Yang wasn’t sure, but he knew that they were able to use an ability usually exclusive to Lords: Divine Grace. Although it was a slightly different and weaker ability, it still did the same thing.
Every time the territory levels up three times, the Governor and Vice-Governor will be leveled up.
Compared to Divine Grace, the Divine Blessing was far inferior. If Cheng Yang had let one of his generals become an independent Lord, he’d be able to nurture a powerful ally. However, Cheng Yang had no intention of doing so. Call him selfish or reckless, but it was something he couldn’t allow.
In his past life, he hadn’t been able to control a single aspect of how he lived. In this life, he wouldn’t allow any blindspots to exist. Even if that meant controlling the people around him.
Some people might think it would be smarter to make one of his generals an independent Lord until the Village reached the High-Grade level. Then, once the general was High-Grade as well, transfer the territory to himself. However, how could the gods have left such a massive loophole? If they did, the title of god wouldn’t be very fitting.
The advantages that came with being a Lord had severe restrictions. Although in terms of personal strength, the Divine Grace ability would ensure that a Lord was the strongest person in their territory, that power was conditional.
This was because, when a Lord loses their territory, they also lose every benefit they ever received from the territory. The most obvious one was any levels gained using Divine Grace.
It was a cruel rule that could directly send a dethroned Lord into the pits of hell. For example, let’s say there is a Lord that used Divine Grace twice, then leveled up to High-Grade and finally Pinnacle-Grade on their own. If that Lord lost their territory, the god’s rules would directly demote them to the Standard-Grade Apprentice level with an empty experience bar.
It was better to be a Lord, but it wasn’t all benefits. Being a Lord tied you to your land and every risk associated with it.
Thus, it was useless for Cheng Yang to try and take the territory later since the Lord would lose everything.
The Governor and Vice-Governor positions, on the other hand, were unrelated to the actual owner of the territory. Even if another Lord took control of Joyous River village in the future, the Governor and Vice-Governor positions would remain the same. The only way to lose your power in one of those positions was to have your Territory Altar destroyed by monsters.
These rules had been proven to be correct in his past life, so Cheng Yang’s decision was a prudent one.
Cheng Yang had also decided who would be the Governor of his first subsidiary village a long time ago.
For months Cheng Yang had to live with the guilt of ruining his friend’s life. Although his past life was ephemeral, Cheng Yang couldn’t just forget what Liu Hau had done for him. Although Yu Kai and Lau Hui were also his friends, Liu Hau was a true brother.
Of course, Cheng Yang wouldn’t say that to them. Joyous Village was just the first subsidiary village of many he planned to conquer, so his other friends would become Governors as well soon enough.
Since Liu Hau was going to become the Governor, it was only natural that the Vice-Governor would be Liu Hau’s second in command Chen Chao.