Low-Grade Apprentices could kill a High-Grade monster without casualties, but they’d need twenty or thirty soldiers. So, if even a small percentage of monsters evolved to reach the High-Grade level, it would be a disaster for humanity.
Deaths would be inevitable as soldiers fought to protect their lives. Although no one was surprised anymore when someone died, it was never pleasant. It was the end of the world. Naturally, death would become a part of everyday life. With the gods’ rules in place, who would be able to live comfortably?
The people of Phoenix Village, that’s who. Cheng Yang didn’t want the despair of the apocalypse to reach his citizens. He was determined to take a better route. To achieve that, he needed to keep as many soldiers alive as possible. So, unlike humanity’s other leaders, Cheng Yang was unwilling to sacrifice even a single person. It was a childish dream, but if it succeeded, his soldiers would grow into a pillar that supported the populace safely.
As preparation for today’s mass evolution, Cheng Yang warned the Governors of his villages to get everyone inside the village walls before noon. Only after the event would they be allowed to venture outside and begin hunting again.
More than seventy percent of the soldiers in the five battalions were at the Standard-Grade level. With them leading local forces, the villages would adapt to the change in the monster’s strength.
Despite that, Cheng Yang felt a sense of dread. It wasn’t because of the mass evolution, but the bugfixes the gods would implement.
The growth speed of his soldiers was dependent on their ability to transfer Experience Fragments to each other without limits, which allowed six people to use higher training speeds by pooling their resources. The gods were unhappy with this strategy and would block it today. Cheng Yang was a little surprised it hadn’t happened sooner.
From now on, only Experience Fragments couldn’t be used for training until you’ve owned them for twenty-four hours. With this rule in place, the training speed of everyone in the village would sharply decrease.
Thankfully, not all of the rules implemented by the gods in this patch were harmful. It was the most significant update since the apocalypse’s start, and several important features were added, like the Farmer Profession.
Cheng Yang had mixed feelings regarding some of the other changes, but there was nothing he could do about them. So, when he woke up, he treated today like any other day.
As for the seeds he earned yesterday, it would be useless to plant them until he found a Farmer.
Cheng Yang returned to the village just before noon, where he waited with Old Lee and Zhao Chuan for the gods’ messenger to appear.
It was a pristine day with the sun shining high above the. The scene made it hard to believe the world had become a living hell.
“Humble insects, congratulations on pitifully surviving a month. Your progress has interested the gods, so they’ve made some changes to this world. Go out and discover them, only the lucky survive, so struggle you worms!”
The message was short and vague, but the whole world seemed to freeze in time after the messenger’s announcement as a powerful will descended upon it to tinker with its fundamental laws. Old Lee and Zhao Chuan were terrified, but they couldn’t open their mouths to scream. Even Cheng Yang felt fear grip his heart. He’d felt the presence of the gods’ messenger several times in his previous life, but it wasn’t something you got used to.
Ten seconds later, the pressure disappeared.
“My Lord, should we go hunting now?” Zhao Chuan asked in a shaky voice. “We should be fine, right?”
Cheng Yang nodded. As long as they were careful, there wouldn’t be any real danger. He only reminded the two generals not to spread their teams too thin.
Zhao Chuan walked away shortly after that, leaving Cheng Yang alone with Old Lee.
“My Lord, what’s your plan for adapting to these new rules?” Old Lee asked. Although none of the new rules had been mentioned, Old Lee knew Cheng Yang well enough to understand the limits of his knowledge. This allowed him to guess Cheng Yang’s thoughts accurately. Although Yu Kai was also decent at doing that, Old Lee’s years as a business owner gave him a way with people.
Cheng Yang sighed.
“Out of all the tens of thousands of people in the village, were there a few fit for management positions, Old Lee?”
“There are quite a few, my Lord, but I fear they will not be up to your standards.” Old Lee said, “The people with experience either worked in the government or for large companies. There might be a few closer to my level, but you’ve never bothered to search for them.”
It was a fair criticism. Cheng yang had never focused on the administrative duties that came with his position. His place was on the battlefield, so the most he’d ever done was advise Old Lee using his knowledge of the future.
“Sorry.” Cheng Yang said sincerely. “I should have been more focused on that. Can you try to find some people that would work? The changes to the rules will make a strong administrative body vital to our progress.”
“If you don’t need the managers to have talent, I can make something work.”
“As long as they have experinece, they’ll work.” Cheng Yang said, “Even if they were the manager of a restaurant or club.”
“That’s easy.” Old Lee replied, “I would advise that you allow me to choose managers from either the civilians or the Adventurers.”
Cheng Yang thought about it for a moment. The number of manager positions wasn’t large, but if he prioritized giving the jobs to his soldiers, it would needlessly remove them from an active combat position.
Cheng yang agreed and gave Old Lee full authority regarding the hiring process.
Before leaving, Old Lee had one last thing to say: “My Lord, I have a request to make that I hope you’ll agree to.”
Cheng Yang motioned for Old Lee to continue.
“My Lord, the past month, has allowed me to see that I’m not suitable as a general. My talents lie elsewhere. Since you’re setting up a formal administrative body, I would like to request that my general position be transferred to someone else and that I be given a position as the director of territory affairs.”
“Old Lee, you’re a smart man, so you’ve surely realized the general position is only a way to funnel Experience Fragments towards you for your training. Why would you give that up?”
“My Lord, I understand that this is an act of kindness from you, but I care about the village, and I trust that you’ll keep it safe. That’s why I want to support you to the best of my ability and give my general position to someone that can best utilize it.” Old Lee said, “As long as the village is secure, I have nothing to worry about.”
Cheng Yang groaned. It was a convincing argument. He’d known that assigning positions based on his preferences rather than individual skill would lead to problems in the long run, but he also wanted to cherish the people around he cared for. However, hearing how much Old Lee cared only showed him how stupid that decision was.