As Cheng Yang moved through the maze, anything that got close turned into a corpse. Unfortunately, the only things he earned were a few Green-Bronze equipment pieces and a handful of Experience Fragments.
When he reached the center, a Shadow Wolf charged at him. Before it reached Cheng Yang, it was frozen using Hibernation Chill, then instantly killed by Icicle Blast.
It was only natural that the Normal Difficulty wouldn’t pose a threat to Cheng Yang. Only the Nightmare Difficulty would be hard to clear.
Cheng Yang collected the Black Iron equipment drop then opened the chest to find his first clear bonus: a Mage Statue Lifting Stone.
Cheng Yang smiled when he picked it up. With this, the number of slots for Mages would increase, allowing Qin Yiling to perform her class change ceremony.
When Lau Hui saw the prize, he was ecstatic since it represented a quantitative increase in strength. If he knew that Cheng Yang also found a Ranger Statue Lifting Stone, he would be even more excited.
Now, aside from the Summoner statue, Cheng Yang had boosted the number of soldiers in his territory substantially.
“Yoko, will we be expanding the armies when we get back?” Lau Hui asked.
“That’s the plan for now. We haven’t filled every army slot yet. Just remember not to ignore people’s talents when recruiting.”
“Don’t worry. I know what to do.”
Although Lau Hui was a simple person, he definitely wasn’t stupid. Otherwise, how could he get into university?
After that, the duo set off again. This time, they headed West.
They jogged for a full hour before getting to the other side of Yicheng. They could have gotten there faster if the route around the city wasn’t filled with powerful monsters. Although, with Cheng Yang and Enlai there, even a Pinnacle-Grade monster could only slow them down a little.
The hard part of the journey was finding the Territory Altar after getting to the other side of the city. The forest was dense, and without the ability of the Territory Altar to attract every monster within two kilometers, it likely would have been impossible to find.
Even so, it took them nearly three hours before they finally located the Territory Altar eight kilometers from Yicheng.
Once the horde guarding it was destroyed and Cheng Yang had claimed the Territory Altar, he got a pleasant surprise. This village had an Innate Ability.
Individuals that stay inside the territory for ten hours will regain 10% of their expended Energy.
Until now, his only goal with regards to the new territory was increasing Liu Hau’s strength and wasn’t even planning on turning it into a village. Since the territory was so far away, it would be too hard to defend and supply.
However, Innate Abilities for villages were too rare to abandon. In Cheng Yang’s previous life, only one in ten territories had Innate Abilities, and every one of them was a powerhouse.
Although the Innate Ability of Copper Tomb Village was somewhat worse than Phoenix Village’s, it was still useful. But, no matter how weak it was, it was still a territory’s Innate Ability.
Since the Innate Ability only helped people with a Profession, it wouldn’t be beneficial right now since most people didn’t have the Experience Fragments or free time to do nothing but craft items. In the future, however, crafters will be the wealthiest people in any village. At that point, the Innate Ability would be godly. It might even be possible for Cheng Yang to snipe other people’s talents using it as bait.
Thus, even if Cheng Yang abandoned the territory, for now, he would eventually have to come to reclaim it.
On the other hand, if he captured it now, he could level it up more quickly. That way, once it was useful, its Innate Ability would be more potent as well.
“Yoko, what are you thinking about?” Lau Hui asked after his friend fell silent for five minutes.
“I’m trying to decide what path to take.” Cheng Yang said after explaining the dilemma.
“You’re overthinking this. Wait here until Copper Tomb Village has Standard-Grade Walls, then pay everyone there to help develop the village further.” Lau Hui said, “If that doesn’t work, just spend a few more days doing it yourself.”
It was a good idea, and one Cheng Yang had considered already. The only reason he was hesitant to do so, was that he was worried Yuan Jianzhe would use his absence as an opportunity to strike.
Since they were watching him now, it was only a matter of time before they discovered that he was leaving for days at a time. Then, without his strength as a deterrent force, there was nothing stopping Yuan Jianzhe from attacking Phoenix Village.
However, if Lau Hui also thought that was the best solution, maybe it was worth the risk. He would have to be careful when leaving the village and make sure he didn’t spend too many days in the Yicheng area.
With Yuan Jianzhe’s personality, Cheng Yang believed he would only attack once he was confident of victory. So, as long as he didn’t leave the village unprotected for long, it would be fine.
Besides, how could anyone beat his Imperial Guard? Even if they had explosives like grenades, there was nothing they could do.
If he was still worried, there were two things Cheng Yang could try doing.
The first would be to charge up to Yuan Jainzhe using the grenade from before as a pretense and show off his strength. Thus, even if they knew he was gone, they wouldn’t act recklessly.
The second was to feign weakness by pretending to leave and bait them into attacking. Once they were repelled once, they wouldn’t try again so quickly.
Cheng Yang was disinclined to choose the first option since that would destroy the tentative peace between the two groups, but the second option would take up to much of his precious time.
So, after thinking about it for a while, Cheng Yang decided to visit Yuan Jianzhe later that day.
“Let’s go with your plan.” Cheng Yang finally said, “I’ll stay here for the next two days to help Copper Tomb Village develop.”
Then, Cheng Yang passed the Governor position to Lau Hui. Cheng Yang still had an hour before he needed to assign a Vice Governor, so he wasn’t worried about someone random getting it.
After that, Lau Hui used Divine Blessing to become the first High-Grade Summoner in the world. Moreover, he was over halfway to becoming the first Pinnacle-Grade Summoner as well.