Cheng Yang was curious why that one Bone-Eating Ant was so concerned with getting away. As soon as the Freeze debuff wore off, it tried to run again. As far as Cheng Yang knew, the only creatures capable of resisting the urge to kill humans were those like the Orcs: monsters that were more like humans.
However, Bone-Eating Ants were far from reaching the point of resisting that urge. Perhaps this one was special? It would explain why they were able to trap Cheng Yang so easily.
Cheng Yang followed the ant, and seeing it glance behind itself in fear was a thoroughly creepy experience. After chasing it a few steps, Cheng Yang reached down and grabbed the ant.
As soon as he did, the ant bit him. It only dealt four damage, but that meant it was already a Pinnacle-Grade monster. Still, that shouldn’t be enough to grant it intelligence.
“Odd.” Cheng Yang remarked as the ant tried to gnaw through his gloves. Although it was painful, Cheng Yang had gone through worse in the last hour alone. The ability to fight through pain and injury was an essential quality in this world, and Cheng Yang had honed it to the max.
The ant desperately struggled to break Cheng Yang’s grip, but there was no way it could. Seeing this, a smile appeared on Cheng Yang’s face for the first time since he discovered the Bone-Eating Ant Nest.
He had initially planned to destroy the Nest entirely. However, he hadn’t expected to capture the leader alive. Since he did, there would be a change of plans.
What use was the leader alive? Since they were the core of a Nest, as long as they were alive, the Nest couldn’t be destroyed. Conversely, as soon as the leader was killed, the Nest would collapse, and any remaining monsters would disperse.
Cheng Yang could only assume the ant wanted to escape so that the Nest would survive, and it could rebuild its army. Little did it know, Cheng Yang planned to let it do just that.
Since its army was dead and its foundation destroyed. If Cheng Yang let the leader live, it would make the Nest into a key farming location for Phoenix Village. As long as they were diligent in killing the ant and were wary about the leader’s scheming, there wouldn’t be any danger.
It might seem like a rash decision, but in around two months, the spawn rate for wild monsters would become nearly zero. As more monsters established Nests, the monster density would become too high to support monsters spawning in the wild until a Nest was destroyed.
As such, keeping the leader alive killed two birds with one stone. It provided a consistent stream of monsters from the Nest, and it guaranteed the monster density would be low enough that wild monsters could spawn.
In the future, this area would become a vital source of income for the territory and its soldiers since the only other option would be to either attack a Nest or wait for a Nest to attack you. The former was a horrible idea since the monsters had a home-field advantage, and while the other was slightly better, the cost of defeat was annihilation. Thus, while he was worried about how smart the leader was, to Cheng Yang, a known threat was better than a hidden one.
Cheng Yang quickly brought the Bone-Eating Ant leader to its Nest and threw it onto the anthill. It was a massive structure covering around forty-square meters and two meters tall at its peak.
From what he knew, this was a Low-Grade Nest, which would produce around a thousand Bone-Eating Ants each day. The most massive Nest recorded for Bone-Eating Ants was a Standard-Grade one, which created an army with an estimated size of ten million.
This army then destroyed every village surrounding Kabul and was only defeated after fifty-thousand soldiers sacrificed their lives.
When Cheng Yang saw the leader hurriedly burrow into the anthill, he breathed out a sigh of relief. A calamity had been avoided, and a juicy piece of meat had been placed onto his doorstep.
Cheng Yang lingered for a moment longer, calculating the labor needed to create a clearing around the Nest. The Bone-Eating Ants were nothing but cattle now, but they still deserved a wide berth.
As he surveyed the area, Cheng Yang noticed a fluctuation of magical energy.
“Of course, how could these monsters be this powerful and not have a reward.” Cheng Yang chuckled as he dusted off a chest half-buried in the anthill. He then opened it and pulled out the item within.
Bone-Gnawing Bead (Low-Grade)
Bone-Eating Ants aren’t natural creatures. They are the descendants of a powerful bio-weapon developed by a deranged alchemist. Although they escaped into the wild and devolved after the great war ended, several of the original summoning beads still exists.
Effect: Summon 100 Low-Grade Bone-Gnawing Ants
Duration: 10 seconds
Cooldown: 24 hours
Upgrade Condition: 10,000 Experience Fragments
It was a very powerful item, and once Cheng Yang checked the stats of the Bone-Gnawing Ant, he was even more shocked. They were twice as powerful as Bone-Eating Ants!
With this bead, he would be able to deal two hundred damage per second to any enemy he encountered. Since it ignored armor, it was a guaranteed two thousand damage so long as the enemy didn’t have an AOE attack. Now, even if he fought a Mature monster, he wouldn’t be afraid.
If the Low-Grade bead was this useful, Cheng Yang was eager to see what the upgraded version would be like. However, the upgrade condition was terrifying. Although ten thousand Experience Fragments wasn’t a lot, it wasn’t a small amount either. Moreover, that was just to upgrade it once. How much would it cost to upgrade the item fully?
Despite those problems, Cheng Yang smiled. It was always comforting to have an additional hidden ace. He slipped the bead into his ring and left. Since he had completed the God Quest, there wasn’t any point in running around like a headless chicken.
He also needed to assign a team to patrol the Bone-Eating Ant Nest quickly. If their numbers were allowed to grow, it would become a problem ordinary soldiers wouldn’t be able to solve.
Although he had a lot on his mind, Cheng Yang made sure not to show it on his face after returning to Phoenix Village. As the Lord, he had a responsibility to inspire confidence in his citizens.
As soon as he got back, Cheng Yang summoned Old Lee to his Meditation Hall. Luckily, Old Lee was still in the village, so he arrived promptly.
“My Lord, this is amazing! We only need to post four guards, but we’ll be able to harvest over a thousand Experience Fragments a day just from that! The efficiency is outstanding.” Old Lee praised Cheng Yang after hearing about the Nest. “I’m worried about what may happen in the future, but I’ll trust that you’ve considered those problems, my Lord.”
“I have.” Cheng Yang replied, “We also should station more than just a handful of guards since its possible a horde may wander into the area.”
“I will do what you believe is best, my Lord.” Old Lee said, content to follow Cheng Yang’s orders.
“Set up a guard rotation for me, but before that, I need you to clear the area around the Nest.” Cheng Yang said, “Clear out any vegetation and make sure there isn’t anywhere an ant could hide. By the way, feel free to assign members of Zhao Chuan and Lau Hui’s battalions to guard duty as well.”