Cheng Yang chuckled.
“Old Lee, you worry too much! Our actions are as infuriating as an ants’ to the gods, and even they can’t watch every inch of the world at the same time. There are millions of people that curse them every day, but has anyone experienced divine retribution yet?”
“Well, I’ll say what I was going to anyways.” Old Lee said with a relieved expression. “I’ve been wondering why the gods did this? Their messenger said it was to help us evolve, but what about after that? It would be odd if they needed us, but I can’t help but think this power comes with a catch.”
Old Lee’s concerns were shared by many in Cheng Yang’s previous life. Maybe he’d know the answer if he’d survived a few more years, but for now, the gods’ intentions were a mystery.
However, Cheng Yang held a similar view to Old Lee. There was no such thing as a free lunch, which meant the gods would eventually collect their debt. The only question was, what would they ask for? They were gods. What could they need from mere humans?
With his current strength and status, wanting to explore the ultimate purpose of the gods’ actions was too ambitious. For now, he could only walk forwards without knowing where the path led.
“That’s a difficult question to answer. There’s no way to know if the gods’ are hiding something from us.” Cheng Yang sighed. “Maybe one day we’ll find out.”
Old Lee wanted to offer a guess, but since he wasn’t sure if he was right, refrained.
Once they parted ways, Cheng Yang visited the Tavern. He needed to collect the money from selling his potions. It wasn’t a lot, but the profit margins were twice that of the Stones of Return.
Until the global market stabilized, Cheng Yang planned to extract as much from possible from the world’s wealthy. To do that, he needed as many Eight Treasures Flowers as possible, so he tripled the rewards for finding one.
Right now, about a hundred were turned in to the Quest Hall every day. However, that wasn’t enough to use up Cheng Yang’s Energy every day, so he hoped to entice some people to spend their day exclusively searching for the flowers.
For most people, the rewards would be equal to or greater than a day spent hunting, so Cheng Yang had high hopes.
If he reached maximum capacity, he would be able to earn roughly a hundred thousand Experience Fragments a day. Even for Cheng Yang, that was a lot of money.
The next morning, Cheng Yang cleared The Blood-Soaked Cathedral, then ran to Joyous River Village. He cleared The Abandoned Citadel then cleared The Forgotten Grave.
Cheng Yang’s luck was worse than it ever had been. After clearing three instance dungeons, all he got was a single piece of Green-Bronze equipment. Perhaps the gods actually were capable of watching the whole world at once and were punishing Cheng Yang for his comments the day before?
The chances of getting only a single item from three instance dungeons at the Difficulties he used were tiny. For that piece of equipment to also be the lowest quality was absurd.
With a melancholy heart, Cheng Yang visited Silkworm Mountain.
It was almost noon.
By now, the last monster would have died while assaulting the walls of Silkworm Mountain. Now it would be almost impossible to find a group of monsters with more than a few individuals near Silkworm Mountain.
As such, Cheng Yang had nothing to do on his way there. Enlai killed every monster they encountered before Cheng Yang could finish casting any of his spells.
When he arrives, Cheng Yang visited Yu Kai. Despite the tragedy the day before, everyone was in high spirits. Thanks to the constant stream of monsters attacking the village, every soldier earned several dozen Experience Fragments.
Since the monsters were killed within the Silkworm Mountain’s boundaries, for every Experience Fragment the soldiers earned, the village received one as well. It was more than enough to supplement the development of every territory under Cheng Yang’s control.
Although Yu Kai was only the Governor in name, he was thrilled to see how quickly Silkworm Mountain was recovering. More importantly, once the village leveled up, he would be able to use Divine Blessing again.
“What has Dong Sizhou been up to?” Cheng Yang asked after some pleasantries.
“Nothing. Yet. That guy has outstanding psychological strength. Several times I caught him staring out through the windows, and there wasn’t a hint of fear in his eyes. He clearly doesn’t fear death, and I think that his family might be made up too.” Yu Kai said, “He’s too calm. It weirds me out.”
“Keep watching him. The fact that he hasn’t made a move yet makes him even more suspicious. We’re not lacking personnel, so make sure several people are guarding him at all times.”
“Don’t worry. I know what to do.”
While they were talking, Liu Chengen arrived with a salute.
“Hello, my Lord.” He said respectfully before addressing Yu Kai, “Now that the monsters have stopped attacking, should we start sending out hunting parties again?”
Yu Kai had no clue what to say, so he looked to Cheng Yang for help.
“You should if you want to keep earning Experience Fragments.” Cheng Yang said. “I’m taking the cube with me today, so you’ll need to make other arrangements.”
“The cube cleared the surrounding area so, take the opportunity to explore our out to twelve or fifteen kilometers.” Yu Kai said, “We need to make sure there aren’t any surprises waiting for us.”
“Yoko, when we find out who was behind the sabotage, what do you plan to do? Are we going to start a life or death battle with them immediately? Or are you going to be a little lenient with them?” Yu Kai asked after Liu Chengen left to handle the details.
“Why should we tolerate nearby enemies? Even if Yuan Jianzhe were the mastermind, I wouldn’t hesitate to go to war. A thousand people died, so even if the safe zone descends into total anarchy, I’ll never forgive the perpetrator. There’s no point in compromising with someone who wants you dead.”
“Thank you, my Lord.” Yu Kai said, happy that Cheng Yang shared his viewpoint on the matter. “But if we’re going to destroy the military anyways, why not take control of the safe zone while we’re at it?”
“Because the gods won’t allow it to happen.” Cheng Yang replied. “They want the safe zone to be relatively free from human influence, so if we tried to control it completely, the gods would sabotage us. If we can’t have total control, there’s no reason to try.”
“That’s fair.” Yu Kai said, “So, do you think Yuan Jianzhe had anything to do with this?”
“It’s unlikely.” Cheng Yang said, “This Ding Ming fellow probably was involved, but someone else should be the mastermind. Either way, Dong Shizhou will lead us right to them.”