Once her fears were put to rest, Wang Lu had an opportunity to observe the lobby in detail. In addition to the numerous attendants, dozens of system terminals that functioned like modern ATMs filled the room. A balcony ran across the entirety of the room, looking down on the lobby from the second floor. Wide windows lined the walls of the upper level, allowing you to view the luxurious offices within.
“Ms. Wang, that’s the office dedicated for use by the Financial Manager.” Cheng Yang pointed at a pair of double doors in the center of the second level.
Wang Lu hastily ran up the stairs and into her office. The interior was similar to a modern office with a large wooden desk and several cabinets. The only difference was the lack of electrical equipment and the addition of a system terminal.
Wang Lu sat down in her new plump office chair and reviewed the Bank’s setting and permissions using the system terminal. Aside from a few special settings, she had complete control of the Bank’s inner working.
“You’ve got sixty-thousand Experience Fragments in funding which you can loan to people. Base loans off of soldier paygrades and make sure any loan you give out can be paid back in a matter of days.” Cheng Yang said after Wang Lu familiarized herself with the environment. “I’ll leave it to you to detail the specifics regarding risk and collateral.”
Wang Lu nodded. “Do you have any specific instructions for interest?”
“One percent compounded daily with a minimum payment of one Experience Fragment.”
“Isn’t that a little too high?”
“If this were the old world it would be, but how would we collect a debt from a dead person?” Cheng Yang asked. “The risk involved with loans is much higher than it used to be, and the interest may rise to as much as five percent daily in the future to compensate for that.”
“Ah! What should I do if someone defaults?” Wang Lu asked.
“They can’t.” Cheng Yang said with a sinister grin. “Once the time to pay arrives, the gods’ rules will automatically deduct the cost from them. If they can’t pay their possessions, get taken as collateral, or they are given debt and cannot earn Experience Fragments until its paid. The only exception is if the individual dies.”
Wang Lu was relieved. She hadn’t been sure what kind of authority a bank could wield in this new world, so she wasn’t confident in collecting loans on time.
“Make sure to set up the deposit function as well.” Cheng Yang continued. “Set the interest rate at point one percent compounded daily for now. We don’t want people to invest in a future they might now have.”
Wang Lu nodded. She was familiar with the financial health of the territory and knew most people barely had enough to train and buy potions. Cheng Yang, of course, was an outlier.
“Ah, by the way, I’m going to deposit two hundred thousand Experience Fragments soon. It’ll increase the amount you can lend, but you’ll need to give me two hundred Experience Fragments a day as interest.” Cheng Yang said.
Wang Lu nodded professionally but was shocked by the display of wealth.
Cheng Yang left the office, went downstairs, and deposited his money. Then, he left the Bank.
After depositing the money he had extorted from Yuan Jianzhe, Cheng Yang still had a hundred and ten thousand Experience Fragments in addition to personal loans in excess of twenty thousand Experience Fragments. He kept those to use them while training.
Over the next four days, Phoenix Village developed step by step. Although the number of soldiers hadn’t increased, the quality had.
Around a hundred individuals had leveled up and become Standard-Grade Apprentices. This included all of the founding members of the village. These people were also the various military officials in the army.
The rest of the soldiers had yet to level up. Not because they weren’t working hard but simply because they didn’t have the resources to sustain rapid growth or the time to level up normally.
The situation was starting to improve, however. Using a combination of resource pooling and army provisions, groups of six were managing to scrape together the saving necessary to unlock faster training speeds. Hundreds of people would also take advantage of same-day loans from the bank to train faster as well.
There wasn’t a single soldier in the village that viewed the single Experience Fragment fee for same-day loans excessive. As such, business was booming for the Bank.
The total capital available to the bank had also quadrupled since it was founded. The primary source was the other three hundred thousand Experience Fragments from Yuan Jianzhe, and the rest came out of the daily earning of the territory.
Although it seemed like formally creating a military force was an economic miracle for the village, that was only because most of the costs were long term — the two most expensive of which being bereavement money and equipment.
Low-Grade soldiers weren’t entitled to military-issue equipment, so there weren’t many costs to cover there. However, once they all leveled up, the cost of supplying thousands of people with a full set of Green-Bronze equipment would be staggering.
Cheng Yang also set a high bereavement money rate since he greatly valued the people who gave their lives for Phoenix Village. Luckily, only ten soldiers have died since the beginning of the apocalypse, so the rate didn’t matter.
Various other expenses were sure to crop up and become a bottomless pit. As such, it was essential to amass a certain level of slush funds.
Improvements to the military weren’t the only change over the last four days. The territory accumulated seven thousand units of wood and five thousand units of stone. The class change statues in Phoenix Village’s satellite villages had nearly reached the High-Grade and would soon make progress on achieving the Pinnacle-Grade like in Phoenix Village.