“Who are you?”
Cheng Yang had just finished killing a few monsters when he heard someone call out to him. He had sent Liu Wei to search on their own with Enlai, a decision which apparently made him more approachable.
About a hundred meters away, a small group of people slunk out from behind some rubble. Their clothes were nearly rags, and their hygiene was horrible. Their eyes were filled with a deep weariness, but their posture showed Cheng Yang their determination to live.
Cheng Yang was overjoyed. He hadn’t expected to find any survivors so quickly. Most importantly, Cheng Yang recognized the man in the middle. In his past life, that man was famous throughout the greater Cloud City area.
“I’m just someone passing through. Are you the survivors living in the ruins?” Cheng Yang tried to maintain a friendly tone and atmosphere despite the surroundings. He was confident that the people in front of him were on edge since the earthquake, so he didn’t want to spook them.
“We live in the ruins, and we survived, so I suppose you could say we are.” A burly man in his forties said suspiciously, “You’re not from a settlement, so where did you come from?”
“Settlement?” Cheng Yang had forgotten, but there were rumors of some settlements in Yicheng in his past life. By the time he visited Yicheng, the settlement had already been destroyed, and its handful of surviving residents had migrated to one of the nearby villages.
Another reason the settlement was destroyed was the implementation of the gods’ second trial. After the first month, the gods evaluated everyone living outside the safe zones. So long as they were deemed worthy, the gods teleported to the nearest safe zone. Around ninety percent of the survivors were, leaving only the weak and cowardly left to fend for themselves. After that, only the very resilient survived until rescue could find them.
“You don’t know about the settlement? So you are from outside the city.” The burly man said. “So you know, the settlement is an area that the monsters rarely visit.”
“I take it you live in a settlement.”
The man angrily shook his head. “Our settlement was recently taken over by a bunch of scumbags who raided a police armory. We didn’t want to be exploited by them, so we’re traveling to another settlement.”
Cheng Yang smiled warmly at the man, hoping his sincerity would allow him to get some more useful answers.
“How many people live in that settlement?” Cheng Yang asked.
“Why are you asking, who the hell are you?” The man immediately became hostile.
“Didn’t you say scumbags run the settlement? Why does it matter if you tell us what you know.” Lau Hui asked.
Cheng Yang smiled sadly in his heart. Didn’t this guy get it?
“It matters because although the leaders are scum, the people there are just desperate citizens trying to survive. No one asking questions like that can have small goals, so what would I do if you started a massacre?”
No sooner had he said that than Liu Wei returned riding Enlai.
“Their monster…” The group of survivors grew pale and started to back away.
However, before they could escape, Enlai jumped and landed behind them. As if it enjoyed seeing the humans tremble, Enlai got as close as possible before roaring. With such a big tiger roaring at them, none of them had the strength to run. Some of them didn’t even have the strength to stand.
“Don’t be afraid.” Cheng Yang said. “This tiger is my Pet.”
After the initial roar, Enlai appeared satisfied, so the survivors were able to get over their shock. Since a young woman was sitting on the tigers back, perhaps it was a trained pet like Cheng Yang said.
“It doesn’t eat people?” The burly man asked, desperately trying to sound confident.
“Not unless I tell it to. What do you think Enlai, do you want to eat them?”
Enlai quickly shook his head lest that horrible nickname come back.
“Who are you?” The man asked again, but much more politely.
“Do you remember the three messages that came from the so-called gods?” Cheng Yang asked.
Members of the group nodded.
“Those gods allowed us to obtain powers like in a video game. When we did, we leveled up a few times and then made a journey here from Cloud City.”
“Does that mean you’re a wizard or a sorcerer?” One of the younger survivors asked.
“I’m a Mage, this man is a Summoner, and the woman on the tiger is a Priest.” Cheng Yang then explained how he founded Phoenix Village and their desire to make a satellite village near Yicheng.
“I don’t understand what you mean when you say the world is a game, but will we really become like the superheroes in the movies?” The burly man excitedly asked after watching Lau Hui lift a car off the ground.
“As long as you’re able to level up, you will.” Cheng Yang said with a devious smile.
“Good! Once I become a Warrior, I’m going to level up as soon as possible!” The burly man said fiercely.
Cheng Yang ignored the daydreamer and asked: “Now, will you tell me about the settlement?”
“If you do, will you promise to make us stronger?”
“As long as you swear loyalty to me. Its nothing major, just view me as a government official. In addition, I’ll make sure none of the scum from the settlement can become Professionals. You’ll be able to watch them struggle while you get stronger.”
“Let me talk it over with my friends.” The group of survivors moved a few meters away before having a hushed conversation.
Cheng Yang almost burst into laughter when he saw that. With his hearing ability, even if they were another ten meters away, he would be able to hear them clearly.
From their conversation, Cheng Yang knew that the survivors really were worried about bringing a disaster to the settlement. That wasn’t the only reason, however. There were about a hundred more of them in their group in a nearby apartment’s basement. Since they didn’t know Cheng Yang’s intentions, they didn’t mention them.
They finished discussing after deciding to wait until Cheng Yang proved the existence of the Territory Altar. Only after that would they reveal anything about the settlement. It was only natural to be wary of Cheng Yang, so he didn’t mind their decision.
However, he wasn’t going to agree to it. He didn’t have the patience to wait until the survivors trusted him. So, when the burly man came forwards to explain their decision, Cheng Yang stopped him.
“I already know your plan, and I don’t care about it. Since you’ve got over a hundred people in your group, that’s all I need. The nearby village can only accommodate eighty Professionals, so I don’t care about the settlement anymore. You’re only option is to gather your group and follow me to the Territory Altar or leave now and lose this opportunity forever.”
The survivors were worried since Cheng Yang had heard everything, but the burly man took the initiative. Since this was close enough to their original plan, he decided to agree.
“We’ll go get them now, sir. Just wait a few minutes, and then we can go.”
When he finished, the burly man ran off without waiting for either Cheng Yang or his companions to reply. Once their leader was gone, the other survivors followed.
“Cheng Yang, who were those people?” Liu Wei asked once it was quiet.
“A suitable group of survivors.” Cheng Yang then explained the situation.
“I see, why did you let them go then? What if they don’t come back?”
“If they don’t come back, then we find someone else.” Cheng Yang said. “Besides, I don’t think their leader will pass up this opportunity.”