Cheng Yang left Lau Hui to guard the Territory Altar while he rode Enlai into Yicheng. With the White Tiger’s speed, it only took a little more than ten minutes to arrive at the outskirts.
After entering the city proper, Cheng Yang continued to have Enlai run at full speed while he observed the surroundings. His goal was to find someone, anyone to be his Vice-Governor.
A few hundred meters in, Cheng Yang spotted a group of survivors. With a kick, Enlai changed direction and charged straight towards them.
When he rode past, Cheng Yang snatched up one of the younger survivors. The others cried out to him with tearful expressions, but Cheng Yang didn’t stop. Time was of the essence, and he didn’t care even when his friends had questions, so naturally, he explained nothing.
To the other survivors, it didn’t seem like a kidnapping, just a hungry monster grabbing a snack. They didn’t even feel angry at Cheng Yang since they thought he was another victim. Although it was a bit weird that he was riding it, everything happened too quickly for them to get a good look.
It took the group less than a minute to calm down. Losing people was a common occurrence, so instead of being angry, they were thankful that the monster left after killing just one of them.
Once they were a few feet away, Cheng Yang turned around and addressed the woman he kidnapped.
“Don’t panic. This is an opportunity for you. As long as you’re willing, I’m going to make you the Vice Governor of my village. You probably don’t understand how lucky you are, but someday you will, and you’ll be glad I did this. Of course, if you don’t agree, I’ll drop you off and find someone else. The position is special, not you.”
“I… I…” The young woman hadn’t recovered from the shock of being kidnapped by a man riding a monster, and she wouldn’t until they reached the village and dismounted.
“I feel a little bad, but this is going to be better for her in the end.” Cheng Yang thought to himself.
Enlai was much slower with a second person on his back. The journey to Copper Tomb Village took almost half an hour.
Since his hostage never said no, once Cheng Yang arrived at the village, he dragged her to the Territory Altar, checked her aptitude, and turned her into a Ranger. He would have been gentler, but the timer had almost run down.
At that time, Cheng Yang learned her name: Jie Zhengqing.
Once the class change ceremony was complete, Cheng Yang immediately assigned the Vice Governorship to Jie Zhengqing.
Once he did, information flooded into Jie Zhengqing’s mind, explaining the situation better than Cheng Yang ever could. As a younger person, her ability to accept new things was quite strong, so she calmed down significantly. She couldn’t decide if she was lucky, or unlucky.
“I’m sorry for being so sudden. It must have been scary. “Now that he wasn’t pressed for time, Cheng Yang understood that their relationship needed to be mended before Jie Zhengqing would be loyal to him.
“Who are you, and why me?” She asked once she had her bearings. Although she was angry, she knew better than to bite the hand that fed her. Especially since the monster it controlled might bite back.
“A survivor, like you. Just luckier. My subordinate Lau Hui can explain our story in more detail if you want to hear it. That’s your boss, the Governor, by the way.” Cheng Yang said warmly. “As for why you were chosen, it was totally random.”
While talking with Jie Zhengqing, Cheng Yang opened up her system pane using the Territory Altar. Her Innate Ability was only B-Rank, but that was still better than average. However, it included a management component. Although he’d chosen her at random, Cheng Yang was quite pleased with the result.
- Receive 20% more stats in the Physical Attack attribute when you level up
- The territory under your control has a 20% larger Experience Fragment quota
The first Innate Ability was rather ordinary, but the second one was so good, Cheng Yang would have brought her back to Phoenix Village if he didn’t need her here so badly. With an increased quota, the village would develop much faster since its passive income would increase. Unfortunately, the bonus didn’t apply to taxes or donations. Otherwise, it would have been a truly god-like Innate Ability.
After that, Cheng Yang left with Enlai to clear the surrounding area while Lau Hui helped Jie Zhengqing understand the situation she found herself in.
Half an hour later, Cheng Yang returned to the village alone. He’d left Enlai behind to continue hunting monsters.
Cheng Yang wasn’t worried about leaving Enali on his own. Almost nothing could fight him on even footing at this point, and nothing that could would be this close to Yicheng. And, although he couldn’t use potions, as long as he didn’t die, he would fully recover in ten or so minutes.
Cheng Yang then brought Lau Hui and Jie Zhengqing with him to visit Yicheng.
Along the way, the three got to know each other better. Jie Zhengdong was a resident of Yicheng that lived with nearly ten thousand other refugees in an area monsters avoided. She was a member of the “explorers” that searched the ruins for useful supplies like weapons and food.
According to Jie Zhengqing, the settlement she lived in wasn’t too harsh. Although the rulers were corrupt, it wasn’t to the point that people wanted to rebel.
Once he heard about the settlement, Cheng Yang ordered Jie Zhengqing to take them there. Not only would he be able to fill out the remaining soldier’s slots, but, as long as they weren’t totally corrupt, he could recruit the leaders of the settlement to be managers for Copper Tomb Village.
Jie Zhengqing was delighted. Most of her family was still alive and lived with her. Now that an opportunity had arisen, she could use her newfound authority to make sure they were able to perform class change ceremonies.
The settlement was on the outskirts of Yicheng in an arena-like formation of fallen skyscrapers. To make any future migration smoother, instead of avoiding any monster hordes on the way, Cheng Yang tracked them down and destroyed them.
Of course, Cheng Yang had a second reason for doing this: intimidating Jie Zhengqing. He could see the barely contained anger in her eyes and knew it was better to leave a strong impression now than deal with a rebellious Vice Governor later.
The ploy was effective. Although Jie Zhengqing wasn’t planning to betray Cheng Yang directly, she didn’t respect him. Now, however, she did. In her eyes, monsters were creatures that needed dozens of people to subdue.
Although Jie Zhengqing called her home a “settlement,” it was closer to a wasteland. The entire area was covered in makeshift tents and buildings, the worst of which were nothing more than a few pieces of cloth propped up by sticks. The refugees were lucky it hadn’t rained since the first day of the apocalypse. Otherwise, this shantytown would’ve been destroyed.
Jie Zhengqing’s return went unnoticed, but Cheng Yang and Lau Hui received some curious gazes. However, that’s all it amounted too. No one here had the energy to worry about strangers, even if they were dressed like LARPers.
Originally, Jie Zhengqing wanted to find her family as soon as they arrived. However, when she brought it up, Cheng Yang shot down the idea immediately and ordered her to take him to the settlement leaders.
Although she was upset by her treatment, Jie Zhengqing could only grit her teeth and comply.
She led the group towards a grouping of makeshift buildings near the center of the settlement. They were much better to live in than the tents even if they weren’t very nice.
Five people were sitting around a fire in between the half dozen buildings. They seemed to be discussing something.