If he’d had that Innate Ability when he entered the mystery gate, he’d be swimming in Experience Gems! The final chamber only had High-Grade Experience Gems, and each one was worth a hundred thousand Experience Fragments! So long as you could sneak past those vile rodents, wouldn’t you be able to take as many as you could carry?
Naturally, this was just Cheng Yang’s wishful thinking. Innate Abilities aren’t something you can get just cause you want them. Each one was preordained, and although Cheng Yang was able to upgrade one of his for being the first to receive a unique subclass, opportunities like that were rare. No one had found a stable method of changing one’s Innate Ability in his previous life, so Cheng Yang didn’t have any expectations.
Cheng Yang quickly tossed those distracting thoughts to the side.
After taking another look at Dong Sizhou’s system pane, Cheng Yang’s mouth twitched into a slight smile.
“Dong Sizhou, don’t you have something you want to tell me? Like, say, your real name?”
In place of his name, Dong Sizhou’s system pane showed a string of question marks. Cheng Yang had an acute understanding of the Identify skill’s effects, and this was a phenomenon that occurred when you didn’t know the other person’s name. This was definitely the same person as before, so the only explanation was that “Dong Sizhou” had lied about his name!
“Dong Sizhou’s” eyes darted around the room. Ever since he noticed the appearance of the Identify skill, he’d been panicking since he had no way of knowing if he was the only person to receive the skill or if everyone had. Since it had appeared at the same time as the change in the gods’ rules, he could only assume everyone had it.
So, when he saw Cheng Yang open the door to enter, his heart nearly jumped out of this ribcage. After hearing Cheng Yang’s words, his complexion became sickly. He wasn’t a fool. It was apparent Cheng Yang had used Identify on him.
He’d tried using the skill on Cheng Yang so he’d know what his opponent could see, but it had failed! The only thing he learned was that Cheng Yang was vastly stronger than him.
“I apologize. My real name is Tan Chao.” Since he didn’t know what information Identify could reveal, Tan Chao had no choice but to come clean. “I only lied earlier because I was worried you would inform the safe zone of my captivity and betrayal. If Lu Chenguang knew I had betrayed her, she wouldn’t let me off easily.”
Cheng Yang glanced at the system pane. Where there had previously been a string of question marks was the name Tan Chao. It would seem he hadn’t lied this time.
“Good, if it was only to that extent, I could still consider you to be an honest person.” Cheng Yang said with an unfathomable smile. “However, you also said that you were able to sneak in because the guards were slacking. I think that statement ought to give you a moment of concern, don’t you?”
“This…” For a moment, Tan Chao was unsure how he ought to answer.
“Since you don’t want to admit it, I’ll say it. You’re trying to hide your stealth skill so you can find an opportunity to escape, right?”
At that moment, Tan Chao’s eyes flashed with despair. Previously, he hoped that Cheng Yang wouldn’t see his Innate Ability while using Identify. Was the difference in strength between them so high? Had every one of his secrets been exposed in an instant?
“Since everything else you said was a lie, it would seem that your so-called fears are probably a lie too.” Cheng Yang said without giving Tan Chao time to explain himself. “Yu Kai, I don’t think our friend enjoyed your special service enough last time. Skin him again.”
Tan Chao’s face turned deathly pale. That was something he never wanted to experience ever again. Now that his lies were exposed, what could he do? Was there anything he could say that would prevent Cheng Yang from torturing him?
Seeing Yu Kai pull out his tools, Tan Chao broke.
“Wait! Please wait! I’ll talk!”
Cheng Yang stretched out his arm to block Yu Kai.
Seeing their faces, Tan Chao grit his teeth.
“Only if you accept my condition. If you do, I’ll tell you everything I know from beginning to end. Otherwise, I- I’ll never speak even if it kills me!”
“Let’s hear it.”
“My son. They took my son. If you can save my son, I’ll tell you everything.” Tan Chao said, holding back tears. “Moreover, if you think highly of me, I’m willing to become your dog!”
“Oh?” Tan Chao’s words triggered a memory of Cheng Yang’s past life. Memories of a rumor about a man with abilities very similar to Tan Chao’s.
In that timeline, Joyous River Village was under the control of Lu Chenguang, the second militia head. Supposedly, she had an extremely formidable assassin under her control that could arrive without a shadow and leave without footprints. However, she could only control that assassin because she had their weakness grasped within her hands.
That assassin was only ever rumored. No one could confirm them, and Lu Chenguang always denied them.
However, Tan Chao’s existence confirmed those rumors! With the Erase Presence skill, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say he could arrive without a shadow and leave without footprints.
Although he wasn’t originally going to agree to Tan Chao’s request, he couldn’t resist the temptation of obtaining a powerful subordinate.
“Do you know where your son is being held?” Cheng Yang asked tentatively.
“I do, but that place has dozens of guards. Even though I can get in using my skills, it’s impossible to bring my son out with me without being noticed. If I tried and failed, who knows what they’d do.” Tan Chao said with a forced smile. “Also, I can’t guarantee that the location hasn’t been changed. After all, I’ve been imprisoned for quite a while.”
Cheng Yang wrinkled his brows. That would be a problem.
“Just let me know where he was before you left. If he’s still there, I have complete certainty that I’ll be able to rescue him. Otherwise, I can only promise that I’ll try my best. Also, tell me how old he is and any distinguishing characteristics he has.”
“He’s being kept in room 401 of the apartment building behind the Grocery.” Tan Chao said with a profound sigh. “He’s eight, and other than a mole the size of a currant on the back of his head, he doesn’t have any distinguishing features.”
“Good. Stay here. I’ll take a look at the situation. Then we can talk more.”
After saying that, Cheng Yang left the room, and Yu Kai followed him out.
“My Lord, do you actually believe anything that guy said?” Yu Kai asked after they’d walked an appropriate distance away.
“Yu Kai, when you used Identify on Tan Chao, what did you see?” Instead of answering his friend, Cheng Yang posed a question.
“Everything except his Innate Abilities and Skills.”
“I could see his entire system pane. His name was hidden in the beginning, but after he gave us the name ‘Tan Chao,’ I was able to see it. So, at the very least, he has that much sincerity towards us. Even if the stuff about his son is a lie, my visions can verify that it’s close enough to the truth.” Cheng Yang said. “Alright, you need to stay here and deal with the refugees. I’m going to go to a safe zone and investigate. Since Tan Chao can be considered someone talented, I’ll take the opportunity to do a good deed and force him into service under me. Don’t you think I’m too nice?”
Yu Kai chuckled. Tan Chao must have a really powerful skill if his friend was acting like this.
It didn’t take long for Cheng Yang to reach the safe zone after leaving Silkworm Mountain.
Seeing the chaos, he couldn’t help but laugh. Previously he’d vowed not to bother with the safe zone during this period, but now he had no choice but to join the fray.
He hoped that Lu Chenguang hadn’t moved Tan Chao’s son to a different location. Either way, he would have to hurry.
At the moment, the safe zone was still in lockdown with a Professional standing guard every meter or so. Even Cheng Yang had no choice but to admire that show of force. At least a hundred thousand people were guarding the barrier!
As one could expect, there was a dense crowd of refugees in front of the guards. Although a few hundred thousand people had rushed in earlier, over a million were still waiting outside, and they would keep waiting until Yuan Jianzhe pacified the one’s that had already gotten inside.
Even though there were over a million refugees, the Professionals’ presence was a strong enough deterrent force to prevent a riot. After all, the corpses of particularly rowdy refugees already littered the ground.
Fortunately, Yuan Jianzhe was a considerate man. Even though he prevented the refugees from entering, he recalled the soldiers hunting monsters in the city to come to protect them from any monsters that spawned nearby.
Naturally, this wasn’t an easy task.
Although newly spawned monsters were usually at the Low-Grade level and were killed instantly, too many people gathered here, which attracted monsters from deeper in the city. Among those, there was no shortage of Standard-Grade monsters, and the occasional High-Grade or Elite monster would appear. At those times, loss of life was inevitable.
Even though there were thousands, Yuan Jianzhe could turn a blind eye to the scattered groups of civilians still struggling in ruins. However, it was impossible to ignore the lives of over a million people.