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Doomsday Lord

Doomsday Lord Ch. 11 | The Trial

Chéng Yáng tried to close the gates after ending the exercise, but they didn’t respond to his command. Even more concerning to Chéng Yáng was that it seemed like monsters had stopped spawning.

What’s going on? He thought.

He didn’t know what the rules were concerning a Lord’s power to open and close the gates, but he was very familiar with those regarding the spawning of monsters. Unless there was simply no space in an area for a new monster to spawn, their numbers would continuously increase. The absence of the normally ubiquitous curtains of light was as horrifying as a silent forest.

“Everyone quickly replenish your Health and Mana!” Chéng Yáng hollered, “Hurry!”

Less than twenty seconds later brilliant light erupted from right outside the east and west gates. It was the telltale sign of a monster spawning, but on a level several times greater than usual.

Chéng Yáng’s heart jumped into his throat. There was nothing like this situation in his memories so he didn’t know how powerful those two monsters would be, but they would at least be above the Low-Grade Immature level. Even if they didn’t reach the High-Grade Immature level, they would probably be Elites which had all of their base Attributes increased by thirty percent.

What was going on?! How could such a powerful monster spawn now? And not one, but two of them! Even normal Standard-Grade Immature monsters shouldn’t be able to spawn for another couple weeks!

Realization flashed through his eyes. Was this related to why he’d needed to wait before becoming the Lord of Phoenix Village? Some kind of trial set up by the Gods?

It didn’t matter either way. What he needed to focus on now was overcoming this crisis.

“Go to the west gate!” Chéng Yáng shouted at his group while sprinting towards the east gate. His incredible speed allowed him to arrive in mere seconds.

By the time he arrived, a massive Graveseeker had engaged the defending group. It was at least as tall as the average human and the pitchfork it carried was in significantly better condition than the others.

“Go support the west gate!” Chéng Yáng shouted while landing a Magic Missile on the Graveseeker, slightly deforming its abdomen.

“I’ll take care of this one then come help. All you need to do is stall for time!”

Yú Kǎi’s group didn’t hesitate. The single round of battle they’d had was enough to show just how outmatched they were. If Chéng Yáng could handle this alone, they would let him.

The monster chased the fleeing Players, allowing Chéng Yáng to land another easy shot on its head. With a tragic, angry bellow, the Graveseeker turned to face Chéng Yáng.

The previous attack had imploded its face, causing it to look even uglier than normal. The Gods rules forcefully kept it alive since its Health hadn’t hit zero, but it was truly a hideous sight.

To prevent the monster from switching aggro again, Chéng Yáng ran outside the village. With great bounding steps, the Graveseeker followed. Twice now it had been hit by Chéng Yáng’s Skills so it would follow him to the ends of the Earth if no one intervened.

Chéng Yáng didn’t have the Observation skill but he was certain this was an Elite Standard-Grade Immature Graveseeker. The monster was steadily closing the distance between them which meant its Movement Speed was well over 2.2!

Chéng Yáng didn’t know how many times he experienced battles like this in his previous life. Sprinting forwards with all your might as a faster monster closed in on you. Desperately firing off attacks and hoping that it died before catching up.

Chéng Yáng whipped his stave around behind him. With nothing but a quick glance at the monster’s position, Chéng Yáng guided a Magic Missile into its arm.

— Twenty-three meters —

Blue blood burst from the monster’s right leg. Unfortunately that didn’t slow it down.

— Sixteen meters —

Teeth and viscera fell to the ground. Surely it’ was close to dead’s Health was low by now. Yú Kǎi’s group must have done some damage at least.

— Ten meters —

Chéng Yáng lifted his stave to fire the next Magic Missile, a ball of light gathering on the end…

— Four meters —

As he turned his head to fire, Chéng Yáng noticed a brilliant silver object rapidly approaching him. The Graveseeker’s pitchfork and Chéng Yáng’s Magic Missile passed each other like ships in the night. It was too late for Chéng Yáng to dodge, a red flower blossomed from his chest to match the blue one forming on the Graveseeker’s.

The impact carried him forward into the ground as the pitchfork, thrown with the strength of a dozen men, shattered his ribs and crushed his organs. Out of the corner of his eye, he read the message flashing in front of his eyes: 14.2 damage! Over half his Health in a single hit!

The pain was immeasurable. Chéng Yáng threw up blood as he fought to stand up. Even a injury like this wouldn’t incapacitate him so long as he could overcome the pain, the Gods’ protection went both ways. He needed to get up! He wouldn’t survive another hit!

The heavy breath and pounding footsteps of the Graveseeker rumbled in Chéng Yáng’s ears from behind him. Desperately, he pushed off the ground with a spin, swinging his stave. It struck the monster’s outstretched hand right before the beast barrelled into him.

With a wince, Chéng Yáng pushed the Graveseeker’s corpse off of him. It had been down to the wire, but he’d managed to beat it.

An immense amount of light burst from the monster’s body. Elite monster’s were guaranteed to drop the maximum amount of Experience Fragments meaning Chéng Yáng had earned four from the fight. Another of the Elite monster’s quirks was that every participant would receive the full amount instead of splitting it!

Chéng Yáng watched the motes of light fly towards the west gate with a grim expression. If not for the damage the other’s had done, he would have surely died.


Liú Hào watched the green-feathered monster that stepped out of the curtain of light with trepidation. His Mage, Hú Yīnghuì, had landed a shot on the creature’s shoulder but it hadn’t even flinched. Their eyes met. Then it looked past him to Hú Yīnghuì.

“Get ready!” Liú Hào shouted when the monster charged towards them, its pitchfork glowing.

Liú Hào was already quite used to the tempo of combat for Warriors. He planned to block the monster and have the others in his group whittle it to death. With a raised shield, Liú Hào met the Graveseeker’s attack.

A soft, marbled red like raspberry sorbet filled his vision. It wasn’t until his back hit the ground that Liú Hào realized he’d been thrown into the air.

Although a shield would negate the damage of an attack, the force behind it would remain unchanged. It was a fatal weakness when fighting opponents whose Attack Damage, and therefore strength, was significantly higher than yours.

Winded, Liú Hào jumped to his feet. The other Warrior in his group, Hè Téngyì, had engaged the monster. Two fresh wounds decorated its body, a meter long bloody streak stretching from its left shoulder to its right hip, and one of the signature impact crater of a Magic Missile over its heart.

Having learned from Liú Hào’s mistake, Hè Téngyì was crouched low to the ground in an attempt to offset the force of the Graveseeker’s attacks. Even so, when its pitchfork connected, the man was thrown head over heels.

Ignoring the man at its feet, the monster shot like a loosed arrow towards Hú Yīnghuì, Mana shimmering across its weapon.

Moving on instinct, Liú Hào sprung forwards, pushing Hú Yīnghuì out of the way. Two messages flitted across his vision as he felt the tines of the pitchfork pierce his flabby flank. The first was a warning against friendly-fire, and the second announced that his Health had been reduced to twenty-five point eight.

As he fell to the ground it pain, Liú Hào saw two flashes of light as an Energy Slash passed through it and a Magic Missile landed on the monster’s back.

Pulling its weapon out of Liú Hào, the Graveseeker switched targets to attack Hè Téngyì. It closed the distance between them in an instant and thrust its pitchfork towards the Warrior’s chest.

He raised his shield to block but the pitchfork stopped an inch short. Then, with grace unbefitting something so monstrous, the Graveseeker used its leg to sweep Hè Téngyì’s out from under him.

With an audible crunch, the Graveseeker pressed its foot down on his shield arm, pinning it to the ground.

Realizing what was happening, Liú Hào rushed forward and used Energy Slash to leave a bloody streak on the monster’s waist.

“Get off!” Hè Téngyì roared as he released an Energy Slash of his own. At the same time, a Magic Missile slammed into the monster’s shoulder.

In response, the Graveseeker stabbed the mans throat. Mana rampaged through Hè Téngyì’s body, ripping his vocal cords apart and turning his shouts into tepid, wet gurgles.

“Stop attacking!” Liú Hào shouted anxiously as he stabbed the monster through where its kidney should be. “Let me draw its aggro!”

Despite Liú Hào’s warning, Hè Téngyì flailed against the monster’s legs with panic filled eyes, bloody bubbles filling his mouth. No matter how many times he hit the monster, unless his weapon was off cooldown it wouldn’t deal even a single point of damage.

As the monster ruthlessly plunged its pitchfork into the Warrior’s chest, an arrow from one of the Rangers penetrated deep into its upper back and an Energy Slash from Liú Hào swept across its chest and upper arms.

Seeing the Graveseeker raise its pitchfork for another attack, Liú Hào opted to wrap his arms around the Graveseeker’s in an attempt to stop it. Despite his efforts, the glowing pitchfork plunged into the Warriors abdomen.The difference in strength between them was so great that Liú Hào may as well not have been there. When the tines exited Hè Téngyì’s body, they pulled his entrails out with them.

With a pained, babbling roar, Hè Téngyì fired another blast of light up at the monster from where he was pinned on the ground, splitting it from crotch to crown while a Magic Missile shattered part of its jaw.

Liú Hào gripped his sword with both hands and took a firm stance. Using the last of his Mana, with every muscle in his body screaming, he fired an Energy Blade point blank at the monster’s neck. He could feel muscles tear and bones crunch as he pulled the blade all the way though, decapitating the monster.

Indifferent to it all, the Graveseeker’s pitchfork to shattered Hè Téngyì’s skull.

The Graveseeker turned around with bloodthirsty eyes. The sight of it standing over the mangled corpse of a man that had just minutes ago been laughing beside him filled Liú Hào with fear.

When the monster batted him aside with its glowing pitchfork, Liú Hào only barely managed to raise his shield in time. As he flew through the air he watched the Graveseeker dart towards the back line fighters, barreling towards the retreating Hú Yīnghuì.

He hit the ground and immediately rolled to his feet in pursuit, but even with his Innate Ability, how could he compete in speed with a monster even Chéng Yáng couldn’t outrun?

Liú Hào could only watch helplessly as death rapidly approached Hú Yīnghuì despite the Magic Missile he’d fired into the monster’s chest.

A large furry mass slammed into the Graveseeker, forcefully stopping its charge. Their Druid had managed to cast Summon Wolf just in time!

Right after, far too soon to have been cast by Hú Yīnghuì, a Magic Missile tore through the monster’s stomach causing blue blood to spray everywhere.

Glancing over, Liú Hào saw Féng Jié. Tens of meters behind him Dù Chéng and Old Lǐ were desperately sprinting towards the fight.

With renewed vigor, he burst forward and slashed his sword across the Graveseeker’s back.

He felt his humerus shatter before he’d even registered that the Graveseeker had switched targets and swept its pitchfork behind itself. His arm spasmed from the pain, cause him to lose his grip on his sword. It slipped through his fingers, impaling the ground.

The Graveseeker turned on a dime, ignoring the wolf gnawing on its leg. It stared down Liú Hào with endless loathing. Mana coated the pitchfork as it thrust towards Liú Hào’s chest.

Pain roared through his body in waves, setting every nerve on fire. With bloodshot eyes, Liú Hào watched the pitchfork approach him in slow motion. The shaft wiggled like a snake as the tines changed direction, piercing towards his eyes.

It took everything he had to pull his shield up in time to block the attack, but that was all he could do. His stance was too unstable after the sudden shift. His back hit the ground. The next instant he felt the bones in his good arm creak as the monster stepped down on it.

Looking up, Liú Hào saw a vision of death. With his shield pinned he had no way to stop what was coming. His head would burst just like Hè Téngyì before him, painting the grass red and white.

Before that dream became reality, a Magic Missile slammed into the Graveseeker’s head, turning its attention back to Hú Yīnghuì. The Graveseeker shot Liú Hào a hateful glance before leaving to kill the Mage.

“Slow it down!” The Druid shouted as his wolf bit into the monster’s calf and dug its paws into the ground.

The Graveseeker dragged itself forwards tanking a Magic Missile from Féng Jié and a Reinforced Arrow from the other Ranger in the group. It struggled forwards a few more meters before turning its attention to the wolf anchored to its leg.

With a howl, it swung its pitchfork like a club, sending the wolf flying into the sky along with a bloody chunk of its leg.

Turning back to the Mage, the Graveseeker found itself face to face with Liú Hào. Despite the wet streak in his pants running down his leg from his crotch, Liú Hào stood firmly between the monster and his teammates. With gritted teeth he placed his shield in front of himself, holding it with both hands.

With narrowed eyes, the Graveseeker stepped forwards and thrust a shimmering pitchfork towards Liú Hào’s abdomen.

Eyes wide open, Liú Hào tracked the monster’s every move. It was another bluff, he was certain. The pitchfork stopped, and in sync with the Graveseeker’s back leg which whipped forwards, Liú Hào lowered his shield to protect his leg.

The monster smirked. It barely had something recognizable as face, but Liú Hào knew it was smirking. A realization that turned his blood to ice.

The monster planted the foot that was swinging forwards into the ground and completed its original attack, tilting the pitchfork upwards to drive it into Liú Hào fleshy jowls. Liú Hào’s fat body was lifted from the ground as if he were a marshmallow and not a man. When the pitchfork reach an aphelion above the Graveseeker’s head, Liú Hào felt the tines pull out of his body as he flew through the air.

He hit the ground with a thud.

Liú Hào was barely even able to read the system alerts through the pain. Zero point six. He had less than a single point of Health. Liú Hào’s body relaxed, he was finished. He’d done his best, but it wasn’t enough, and now he was done.

The sound of Mana impacting flesh echoed in his ears. A wolf growled. Another dull squelch.

“I’m out of Mana!”

That would be Hú Yīnghuì.

Liú Hào let his eyes droop closed. It was over. That terrifying monster would kill Hú Yīnghuì, then it would kill the Rangers, and then the Druid, and then Féng Jié, and finally it would come back to finish him off.

“Block it Old Lǐ!” The next sound to enter Liú Hào ears was Niú Bīng’s gravelly voice.

Forcing himself to sit up, Liú Hào cracked his eyes open.

A magnificent scene like a painting entered his eyes. A flash of energy sliced through the Graveseeker’s outstretched arm. A wolf that was significantly bigger than the other one had slammed into the monster’s chest. The middle-aged Old Lǐ was standing over a fallen Hú Yīnghuì with his shield raised, blocking the monster’s pichfork.

Perhaps it was because Niú Bīng’s wolf had offset some of the force, but by some miracle, Old Lǐ was able to stand his ground.

He raised his sword to the heavens, then swung it down to earth.

Light filled Liú Hào’s barely opened eyes.

When he could see again, the Graveseeker was standing still, the arm holding its weapon lying on the ground in severed at the bicep and elbow. A timeless moment passed, then it fell apart at the seams. Its head slid of its neck, then split into three slices as it fell. The rest of its body followed soon after, crumbling into bloody chunks.


Chéng Yáng watched the second Elite Graveseeker fall as he ran through the east gate. At the same moment, a sudden clarity struck him like lightning as he felt a deep connection from between him and the Settlement.

He could sense everything that happened within its range without having to focus on it. He could feel the monsters which had started to spawn again outside the wall. The fish swimming through the river. Liú Hào somberly kneeling by the body of the dead Warrior. Even the ants creeping through the grass.

It was a strange feeling. Chéng Yáng had heard that Lord’s could sense anything that happened in their territory, but he never expected it to be so comprehensive.

With a thought, the Settlement gates slammed closed and Chéng Yáng ran over to meet the crowd forming around the east gate.

“You did well.” Chéng Yáng placed a comforting hand on Liú Hào’s shoulder before turning to the others.

“Unfortunately, work still needs to be done. Mages and Rangers are to patrol the walls and kill any monsters trying to break in. The Warriors and Druids will gather the lumber and transport it to the Territory Altar. Also, someone needs to bury the dead. From now on the area between the river and wall in the northeast will be a cemetery.”

With a quiet determination, everyone present followed his orders. They had been willing to listen to him earlier, but it was only now that they respected him. He’d been able to kill a monster on his own that had needed ten people to beat, and not all of them had survived.

The death of one of their own in such a gruesome manner despite the power they’d been granted as Players stifled the faint excitement they’d originally felt. They couldn’t help but wonder which of them would be laid to rest next in the new cemetery.

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Note: You can view a numerical breakdown of the fights here

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Doomsday Lord

Doomsday Lord Ch. 10 | Commanding the Battle

After killing the Graveseeker, Chéng Yáng turned to the group.

“You three will be responsible for killing the next monster that appears. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, Skills and attacks don’t lock on automatically. If you’re not confident in landing an attack, wait until its close enough that its impossible to miss! Otherwise you’re just wasting resourced. This will allow the Warriors to practice holding back monsters.”

“Rest assured Mr. Chéng.” Old Lǐ replied, “We know what we need to do. Me and Dù Chéng will stand at the front but since our damage is low we will need to rely on Féng Jié for lethality.”

As he was speaking, a Venom-Fanged Gray Wolf peaked its head around the edge of the gate. Just like the Gravedigger, it charged at the group the moment it noticed them.

“Prepare for battle!” Old Lǐ shouted.

— Fifty meters —

— Forty meters —

— Thirty meters —

— Twenty meters —

A Magic Missile flew wide, completely missing the beast.

The twenty-something Féng Jié glanced nervously at Chéng Yáng.

“I-”

“No need for an explanation.” Chéng Yáng cut him off. “Just hit the next one.”

Féng Jié grit his teeth. His Skill was on cooldown but the wolf was already upon them.

Old Lǐ’s expression was ruthless as he slammed his shield into the wolf in an attempt to block its charge. The man and the wolf to engaged in a battle of strength, one the wolf won as Old Lǐ lost his footing and fell to one knee.

Seeing that Old Lǐ was in danger, Dù Chéng rushed. Noticing him, the wolf changed targets and leaped at Dù Chéng. Panicking, Dù Chéng raised his sword to meet the wolf instead of his shield, striking down on its head.

With a crisp sound Dù Chéng’s sword bounced off the wolf’s skull without leaving so much as a mark. Venom-Toothed Gray Wolves had an Innate Ability that increased the Attack Resistance of their heads by three points. Unfortunately, Dù Chéng forgot that Chéng Yáng’s warning about that from earlier.

With a disgusting squelch, the wolf bit into Dù Chéng’s shoulder, tearing through his clothes and ripping out a pound of flesh. It spat out the bloody hunk of meat, then moved to rip out his throat next.

Before it could, the wolf’s own throat exploded in a fountain of gore. Féng Jié had managed to hit the beast with a Magic Missile!

After scrambling to his feet, Dù Chéng no longer dared to act on his own. He stuck next to Old Lǐ, attacking when he attacked and retreating when he retreated. Although the wound on his shoulder was agonizing, the adrenaline from his near death experience stopped him from acknowledging it.

“Die!” In unison the two Warriors slashed out at the monster. Old Lǐ’s blade caught the wolf between its ribs, leaving a bloody streak on its flank, but Dù Chéng’s was once again blocked by the monster’s hardened skull.

Faced with the combined inertia of two attacks, the wolf was forced to the ground. Before it could get up, Féng Jié fired another Magic Missile into its head, partially crushing its jaw.

Féng Jié didn’t feel any satisfaction from hitting the wolf. If he couldn’t hit a stationary target from three meters away he may as well kill himself to save the wolf the trouble.

With the three of them working together the wolf’s Health was slowly whittled down to zero. When it finally died, light particles flew from the wolf into each of their bodies. Since they had fought it together, the Experience Fragments dropped were evenly split between them, resulting in each gaining a third of an Experience Fragment.

During the battle, more than half of the damage was dealt by Féng Jié but if Old Lǐ and Dù Chéng hadn’t blocked the wolf’s advance, he might have been killed before he had been able to land a single shot.

Compared to the six seconds Chéng Yáng needed to beat a similar enemy, the battle with the wolf had lasted a sluggish thirty seven. It allowed the group to truly grasp the difference between themselves and Chéng Yáng.

“I’ll handle the next one.” Chéng Yáng said, “Sit down over there and use your Core Skills to recover.”

While they did that, Chéng Yáng defeated another Venom-Fanged Gray Wolf. Once he was done, he passed the baton back to the others and spent a few seconds Meditating to recover his spent Mana. Like this, Chéng Yáng’s group settled into a steady rhythm.

The other groups were much the same, having a fighting team and a resting team. Although they didn’t have a powerful fighter like Chéng Yáng to keep the balance, Summoners could use Spirit Communion even if they had a wolf summoned so they never lacked a fearless meat shield.

Over time, the skill of the Players gradually increased. At first they needed four people to handle a single monster, then three, then just two. Although Chéng Yáng believed that most of them were ready to try soloing a monster, he decided against having them do so. Without his supervision an accident resulting in someone’s death might happen.

Their coordination wasn’t outstanding but there were at a level where each defending group would be able to hold their own against a dozen monsters. Not bad for the first day of the apocalypse.


Xiāngyáng was in the midst of a second disaster. Tens of thousands of monsters prowled the streets leaving corpses in their wake.

For normal people monsters were a nigh unbeatable existence. Unlike Players, humans could bleed to death, so even a glancing blow might end their life. Fighting with a monster was equivalent to suicide.

Fortunately monsters were stupid and most weren’t particularly fast. This allowed most people to escape into the rubble of collapsed buildings to lose pursuing monsters.

Since monsters could spawn anywhere at any time, people would escape one monster only to have another spawn in their new hiding spot. A vicious cycle that ate away at their stamina.

Gradually people became accustomed to hearing the sound of others collapse to the ground in agony followed by the soft, wet slurp of flesh flowing down a monster’s gullet.

Unless they saw a human, monsters that spawned within a few kilometers of a Safe Zone would be compelled to leave the area and didn’t form herds. Otherwise humanity would have be extinct by tomorrow.


The situation in Phoenix Village gradually tilted into the favor of the monsters. Although the teamwork and individual skill of each group was constantly increasing, the spawn rate had been as well. It wasn’t uncommon for a group to have to fight two or three monsters at once now.

As a result, they were starting to feel the pinch when it came to Mana usage. Even though they would only need a few dozen seconds to recover, it was getting harder to secure that much downtime

Warriors were able to fight continuously since they could negate enemy attacks if they were skilled and didn’t need Mana to fight. Even so, their damage was abysmal without the use of Energy Slash and it would take them almost a minute to kill a monster on their own.

The Rangers were the worst off. Although they had the strongest offensive power, they weren’t suited to a protracted battle. After running out of arrows they’d only be able to deal a single attack every minute! By now their presence on the battlefield was negligible.

Chéng Yáng felt envious of the situation in Xiāngyáng. If he had access to the stores in the Safe Zone they would be able to exchange their Experience Fragments for Mana and Health potions, allowing them to quickly recover. Despite that, Chéng Yáng didn’t regret coming out to Phoenix Village. Although they would be able to advance faster in the short term, waiting to claim the Territory Altar would have delayed their long term growth.

Chéng Yáng signaled for the exercise to end at dusk just as the sun dipped under the horizon. Everyone was exhausted and if they continued fighting, they would eventually be overrun. It was better to close the gates for the night and have the ranged Classes farm from the safety of the wall tomorrow morning.

Even so, the exercise had been a complete success! No one had died and everyone had gained experience, Skill proficiency, and Experience Fragments.

Chéng Yáng was able to raise his Magic Missile proficiency to fourteen percent and had eighty nine Experience Fragments. The others averaged seven percent proficiency gain and about twenty Experience Fragments.

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Doomsday Lord

Doomsday Lord Ch. 9 | Management Innate Ability

“Warrior.” Chéng Yáng announced.

Old Lǐ grinned.

“Good, I’d hoped to become a Warrior.”

Old Lǐ approached the Warrior Class Statue and initiated his Class Change Ceremony. A few seconds later he was holding a sword and shield identical to Liú Hào’s.


Lǐ Wànshān

Phoenix Village Citizen
Class: Warrior
Level: Low Grade Apprentice (0%)

Age39Life Span110
HP52MP10
Attack Damage3Magic Damage1
Attack Resistance2Magic Resistance2
Attack Speed1Movement Speed1.1

Innate Abilities

  • Health is increased by 30%
  • Settlements you manage may register 30% more Citizens
  • Movement speed is increased by 10%

Skill

Essence Gathering (Core Skill)
Enter a horse stance and draw in worldly energy to recover and advance.

Energy Slash (Low-Grade)
Fill your blade with Mana, then release it in a devastating arc that cuts through enemies.

Damage: 8Cost: 3 Mana
Range: 3 mCooldown: 3 sec
Proficiency: 0%

Equipment

Iron Sword (One-Handed)
A crude blade fit for slashing and stabbing.

Damage: 3Cooldown: 1.5 sec
Range: 1 m
Starter Gear

Wooden Heater (One-Handed)
A sturdy and reliable shield. | Attacks that hit the shield have their damage nullified.

Damage: 1.5Cooldown: 3 sec
Range: 1 m
Starter Gear

Another S-Rank Innate Ability! And it was one that improved Settlement management. It was similar to a Chéng Yáng’s Innate Ability except that Old Lǐ wouldn’t need to become a Lord for its effects to apply. He only needed to be assigned an official management position.

Being able to register more Citizens meant more Players would receive any bonuses that Phoenix Village provided. Although there weren’t enough people to fill each Class Statue’s capacity right now, in the future there would be hundreds or even thousands of unregistered Players living here.

Old Lǐ didn’t have nearly the same reaction upon reading his Innate Ability. He was disappointed since it didn’t increase two combat related Attributes. His only frame of reference was other S-Rank Innate Abilities, he had no clue just how lucky he was.

Although he wasn’t needed anymore, Chéng Yáng joined the others farming monsters on the wall. The faster they gathered Experience Fragments, the faster he could perform additional Class Change Ceremonies.

In order to make the process more efficient, after transferring his friends and Old Lǐ, Chéng Yáng prioritized people with the potential to be a Ranger or Mage.

Once the final Class Change Ceremony ended, Phoenix Village had eight Warriors, six Mages, six Rangers, and four Druids.

Chéng Yáng was also able to fully verify his theory. Aside from the unlucky cab driver who had B-Rank talent every other person was able to gain an A-Rank Innate Ability. Although it was disappointing that there weren’t any other S-Rank talents, Chéng Yáng was satisfied with having five under his banner.

A-Rank talents were still quite rare, so as long as none of these people left Chéng Yáng for some other faction, the core fighting strength of his Settlement would be astronomical.

Chéng Yáng was confident that everyone would stay by his side. The cruelty and destitution brought upon by the apocalypse was unbearable, so after they went out and saw how others lived they could come to appreciate the advantages a Settlement provided.

The only truly disappointing thing was that no one else had an Innate Ability that increased a Hidden Attribute or increased the operation of a Settlement.

In total the process had taken an hour. Perhaps if he hadn’t gone to rescue Niú Bīng, Chéng Yáng would have been able to get a few more S-Rank talents. Even so, Chéng Yáng didn’t regret saving his friend in the slightest.

Now it was time to train his forces, Chéng Yáng called everyone down off the walls to have a meeting by the Territory Altar.

“Now that everyone has become a Player its time to learn how to fight as a team. I’m going to open the gates and allow monsters to get into the village. When they do you’ll need to defeat them. Afterwards, we’ll meet again and I’ll give you another task. Phoenix Village has four gates, so we’ll create four groups to defend them.”

Chéng Yáng then turned to Old Lǐ.

“Old Lǐ pick a Warrior and a Mage to defend the south gate with us. The leaders for the teams defending the other gates will be my friends Liú Hào, Niú Bīng, and Yú Kǎi. Split the remaining Players evenly between those groups, but make sure to have at least one member of every Class in a group. If you absolutely can’t hold on, call out to me and I’ll close the gate you’re protecting. I don’t want any of you to die.”

Finally he turned to Páng Shān.

“You’ll follow me to the south gate but keep a healthy distance.”

Old Lǐ had an uncomfortable look on his face. His experience as a businessman told him that Chéng Yáng was trying to weaken his influence. Obviously Chéng Yáng didn’t trust him and had separated him from most of his employees in order to control them better. Although those men hadn’t pledged their loyalty to Old Lǐ, their close relationship meant his words held a lot of weight to for them.

Even though he had realized this Old Lǐ didn’t let it bother him. He wasn’t interested in authority. All he wanted was to survive and then return to Xiāngyáng to save his family. Only, Chéng Yáng could provide him with an opportunity to do just that, so how could he dissent?

Old Lǐ wasn’t wrong. Chang Yang had indeed arranged the teams with the goal of weakening the influence of Old Lǐ’s faction. It also allowed him to intimidate Old Lǐ with a show of force.

If the workers continued to look to Old Lǐ, it would be a problem if the man tried to stir up trouble for Chéng Yáng later. Of course, Chéng Yáng could force them to obey using the authority granted to him as a Lord. However, that kind of tyranny would instill hatred and obedience in equal parts.

After the groups were arranged, Chéng Yáng drilled everyone on the tactics necessary to get the most out of their skills and optimize their synergy. He also detailed the various strengths and weaknesses of the monsters commonly found in the area.

Most of his advice was simple, but it wasn’t intuitive. Like how an Energy Slash could pass through multiple targets, that a Reinforced Arrow could be partially controlled after firing, or the importance of avoiding friendly fire. Countless people had died in his previous life because they hadn’t realized simple things like these. The information about the monsters’ abilities was even more valuable. In his memories, when people encountered a new monster, casualties were inevitable. Every piece of information had been paid for in blood.

Once he was done, Chéng Yáng sent the groups to their respective gates and opened them.

Ten minutes after they started there was a curtain out light appeared outside the south gate. When it disappeared, an odd creature stood in its place. The monster was bipedal and looked similar to an ape except that it was covered in green feathers and its entire head was taken up by a segmented mouth that looked like a blooming lotus. It was only a meter tall but no one dared to underestimate it after seeing the jagged pitchfork held in its hand.

“I’ll handle the first one, so watch me.” Chéng Yáng said, striding to the front of the group. “This is a Low-Grade Immature Graveseeker. It has thirty Health and can deal up to seven damage when using its pitchfork.”

Old Lǐ had just seen Chéng Yáng and the others kill dozens of monsters while they were on the walls, but it was an entirely different feeling when the monster was right in front of him.

Once the monster got close to entering his range, Chéng Yáng raised his stave and fired off a Magic Missile. Right as the Graveseeker passed the thirty meter mark, the Skill slammed into its chest scattering blue blood and green feathers everywhere. A perfectly timed shot!

The monster let out a shrill cry which was similar to the wailing of a baby as it continued its charge towards Chéng Yáng who’d taken the opportunity to put some distance between them using his superior Movement Speed.

This process repeated once more as the monster helplessly tried to chase Chéng Yáng around.

When the third Magic Missile connected, the monster collapsed to the ground.

At the same time weak and indistinct light escaped its body and integrated with Chéng Yáng’s.

“Wow…” Old Lǐ breathed.

Although he’d been scared before, watching the monster fall to the ground without so much as scratching Chéng Yáng completely erased the tense atmosphere.

Old Lǐ did some quick math in his head. Since the monster had thirty health, that meant Chéng Yáng’s attacks dealt at least ten damage. This was considerably more than the three he dealt as a Low-Grade Apprentice Warrior.

Old Lǐ knew that Low-Grade Apprentice Mages only dealt five damage, which meant that Chéng Yáng was at least one level higher than him!

Faced with this fact, Old Lǐ only felt relief. There wasn’t a hint of jealousy in his heart. Chéng Yáng was his ally, so the more powerful Chéng Yáng was, the safer he would be, and the higher the chance he would be able to rescue his family!

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Doomsday Lord

Doomsday Lord Ch. 8 | Gaining Classes

After becoming a Ranger, Yú Kǎi learned how to use a bow. The system would handle Skill activation, but the technique for using weapons needed hours of practice to hone.

Yú Kǎi then followed Chéng Yáng up to the village walls to hunt more monsters.

He barely hit anything in the beginning but after only a dozen or so tries Yú Kǎi started to consistently hit his nearly stationary targets. The power behind the arrows wasn’t amazing, but so long as a weapon made contact with someone, the system would deal the full amount of damage so that didn’t matter. Chéng Yáng had seen how fast he’d adapted to archery in his previous life, but it was still shocking to watch. He was even faster in this life since Yú Kǎi had a safe environment to practice in.

Once the Settlement Experience Fragment balance hit ten again, Chéng Yáng brought Niú Bīng over to the Druid Class Statue. According to Chéng Yáng’s memories this Class would fit him best since his Innate Ability increased a Hidden Attribute for Druids and although Druids weren’t necessarily a ranged Class their summoned beasts could be sent over the wall to fight in their stead and be re-summoned when they died.

Of course the real reason Chéng Yáng chose to perform Niú Bīng’s Class Change Ceremony next instead of finding another Ranger or a Mage was that they were friends. If becoming a Player shortly after the apocalypse increased a person’s talent, he absolutely needed to give that opportunity to Niú Bīng whose Innate Ability was only D-Rank in his memories.

A few moments later Niú Bīng was up on the wall next to Yú Kǎi holding a staff. It was similar to the stave used by Chéng Yáng but instead of a jewel it was topped by a ring with beast claws on it.


Niú Bīng

Phoenix Village Citizen
Class: Druid
Level: Low Grade Apprentice (0%)

Age20Life Span110
Health30Mana20
Attack Damage3.9Magic Damage1
Attack Resistance1Magic Resistance1
Attack Speed2Movement Speed2.2

Innate Abilities

  • Summoned creatures have 30% more Health
  • Attack Damage is increased by 30%
  • Movement speed is increased by 10%

Skill

Spirit Communion (Core Skill)
Lie on your back and commune with spirits to recover and advance

Summon Wolf (Low-Grade)
Summons an obedient wolf with base attributes equal to the summoner.

Duration: 10 minCost: 4 Mana
Cast Time: 14.75 secondsCooldown: 44.26 sec
Proficiency: 0%

Equipment

Wooden Staff (One Handed)
A solid wood staff, well suited to hitting things.

Damage: 6.5Cooldown: 1.48 sec
Range: 1 m
Starter Gear

Chéng Yáng was elated after checking Niú Bīng’s stats! It looked like his guess had been correct! The sooner you performed a Class Change Ceremony, the better your Innate Ability would be. Perhaps what was happening is that each person starts with S-Rank talent but it decays over time? That would explain how some people still got S-Rank talents days or weeks after the start of the apocalypse, they simply had a slower rate of decay!

Most powerful factions in his memories would have a handful of people with S-Rank Innate Abilities, five at most. If he could get everyone here to perform Class Change Ceremonies fast enough, Chéng Yáng’s group would have over a dozen! More twice that of the most powerful faction in his previous life!

Luckily Chéng Yáng knew a way to assess a person’s compatibility with a Class. Otherwise he might end up wasting an S-Rank Innate Ability by guessing incorrectly.

While Chéng Yáng fantasized about a glorious future, Niú Bīng had already gotten accustomed to his new Skills.

When it was just Chéng Yáng and Yú Kǎi farming monsters, they could only helplessly scrabble at the walls. Now that Niú Bīng was there the fighting below the wall became bloody and fierce. After summoning a wolf, every monster in the area would charge straight for it like a shark to blood. The wolf would be surrounded and torn apart after just a few seconds. After it died, Niú Bīng would simply summon another and start the process over again.

Without a doubt Druid was the Class with the lowest skill floor. Compared to the Ranger Class which had the highest, the difference was night and day.

Soon Chéng Yáng had enough Experience Fragments to let Liú Hào perform his Class Change Ceremony. Even though Liú Hào would probably still have an S-Rank Innate Ability even if he went last, Chéng Yáng felt it was better to do it now just in case. If he was wrong and screwed over his friend he wouldn’t be able to forgive himself. The others would simply have to wait and hope for the best.

After Liú Hào performed his Class Change Ceremony Chéng Yáng let out a sigh of relief. Liú Hào still had that outstanding S-Rank Innate Ability.


Liú Hào

Phoenix Village Citizen
Class: Warrior
Level: Low Grade Apprentice (0%)

Age19Life Span110
Health40Mana10
Attack Damage3Magic Damage1
Attack Resistance2Magic Resistance2
Attack Speed1.3Movement Speed1.43

Innate Abilities

  • Attack Speed is increased by 30%
  • Movement Speed is increased by 30%
  • Movement Speed is increased by 10%

Skill

Essence Gathering (Core Skill)
Enter a horse stance and draw in worldly energy to recover and advance.

Energy Slash (Low-Grade)
Fill your blade with Mana, then release it in a devastating arc that cuts through enemies.

Damage: 8Cost: 3 Mana
Range: 3 mCooldown: 2.99 sec
Proficiency: 0%

Equipment

Iron Sword (One-Handed)
A crude blade fit for slashing and stabbing.

Damage: 3Cooldown: 1.49 sec
Range: 1 m
Starter Gear

Wooden Heater (One-Handed)
A sturdy and reliable shield. | Attacks that hit the shield have their damage nullified.

Damage: 1.5Cooldown: 2.99 sec
Range: 1 m
Starter Gear

Liú Hào’s Innate Ability would make him a natural fit for the Assassin Sub-Class once it became available. With his ability to catch up to the opponent and deal rapid blows, no one would be a more capable Assassin than Liú Hào.

In Chéng Yáng’s memories there were only around five hundred people known to have an S-Rank Innate Ability, and right now his faction had four! It was enough to make him feel giddy.

Chéng Yáng tried to suppress the excitement in his heart, but he couldn’t help but expand the scope of his goals. Previously he would have been content to just become a Lord and provide a better life for his friends, but with this kind of combat power, he felt it might be possible to conquer multiple Settlements and build an Empire!

While the others fought monsters from atop the walls Liú Hào could only stand awkwardly to the side. Despite his strength, if he were to leave the safety of the walls, he’d fair no better than Niú Bīng’s wolves.

The next person Chéng Yáng allowed to become a Professional was Páng Shān. Compared to the others, Páng Shān had a closer connection to him, so she was his first choice.

Chéng Yáng had never met Páng Shān in his previous life, so he didn’t know what kind of Innate Ability she had, so he would have to pay an extra ten Experience Fragments to have one of the Class Statues assess her potential.

Once the Settlement had the funds, Chéng Yáng brought Páng Shān over to the Mage Class Statue and payed the necessary price to have her potential measured, causing a stream of energy to enter her body. She glowed for a short moment before the energy flowed to her forehead and condensed a mark there.

The mark that developed on her forehead would indicate which Class her Innate Ability was most suited for. For the Mage Class it would be a pointed hat, a shield for Warrior, an arrow for Ranger, or a claw for Druid. However, Páng Shān had none of those, the mark on her head took the form of a pair of clasped hands.

Although it was not one of the four standard Classes, Chéng Yáng was familiar with the Hidden Class that mark represented: Cleric, the most highly valued Class of them all.

The only reason a Hidden Class would be chosen as a person’s highest potential was if their Innate Ability increased a Hidden Attribute for that Hidden Class. Innate Abilities like this were even rarer than those that affected the Hidden Attributes of the standard Classes, so Chéng Yáng was ecstatic to find someone who had one. Naturally a Cleric Class Statue was needed to become a Cleric, so there was no way for Páng Shān to become one at the moment.

I suppose I’ll have to find a priest statue as soon as possible. Chéng Yáng thought. Hidden Class Statues were rare drops in Instance Dungeons but Chéng Yáng wasn’t worried about getting one. The Instance Dungeon he had been looking for earlier had the Cleric Class Statue in its loot table, and now that the apocalypse had happened, it should have spawned.

Chéng Yáng didn’t want to waste Páng Shān’s talent even if it meant the overall power of her Innate Ability might fall, so he decided not to have her become a Player for now. After he explained why he’d changed his mind she obediently left to go accompany Niú Bīng on the wall.

Chéng Yáng decided to do Lǐ Wànshān’s Class Change Ceremony next.

Although Lǐ Wànshān had seen Chéng Yáng display clear favoritism he hadn’t complained. If he’d been in Chéng Yáng’s position he would have done the same. What use would complaining be? If Chéng Yáng wanted to prevent him from ever becoming a Player, what could he do about it? Even worse, what if he expelled him from the Settlement entirely for complaining? Without the walls he’d be killed by monsters within minutes.

“Mr. Chéng, what Class do you think I’m suitable for?” Lǐ Wànshān asked rubbing his hands together in anticipation.

“Let’s perform the test and see Mr. Lǐ.” Chéng Yáng said, “Remember. After you become a Player.”

“Mr. Chéng you can rest easy. So long as your orders don’t violate basic human ethics I can follow any rules you set. I’m not an ungrateful man. Also, from now on you don’t need to be so formal, just call me Old Lǐ, not Mr. Lǐ.”

“Don’t worry Old Lǐ, I don’t plan to do anything heinous, now, on to the test.”

Chéng Yáng paid the fee and a glowing shield appeared on Lǐ Wànshān’s forehead.

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Doomsday Lord

Doomsday Lord Ch. 7 | S-Rank Innate Abilities

Expanding outwards from the city center a dome of multi-colored light began to enclose an area of two and a half square kilometers in Xiāngyáng.

People that saw the barrier fled from the approaching curtain of light lest they be trapped inside. Although they didn’t know what the dome was for no one wanted to take the risk of finding out. Those that weren’t fast enough were quickly enveloped making those ahead of them sprint even faster.

Unbeknownst to them, four Class Statues like the one in Phoenix Village but ten times as tall were rising from the ground. In addition, six ancient-looking buildings had materialized in a ring around the statues were constructed. What purpose did these buildings serve? Chéng Yáng knew but the people of Xiāngyáng certainly didn’t.


At the same time Chéng Yáng and the others were running towards Phoenix Village.

Niú Bīng was an athlete so the pace was manageable. Páng Shān and the taxi driver, however, were struggling. Even so they had managed to make it seven hundred meters in the last four minutes which was already commendable.

At that time, Chéng Yáng’s face crumpled. Just now he had detected multiple energy fluctuations around them which could only mean one thing: monsters had spawned.

Fifty meters ahead of the group a curtain of light shimmered and a large gray wolf with black fangs streaked in green liquid stepped out. It let out a wild howl before charging at Chéng Yáng.

Niú Bīng and the others jumped in shock. Where had such a ferocious beast jumped out from. Not to mention what its weird appearance.

With a thought, Chéng Yáng activated his Magic Missile Skill. Mana flowed through his body from his heart into the stave he was carrying, forming a swirling ball of white energy on the tip. Then, as quickly as it had gathered, the ball of energy shot towards the wolf like a meteor.

Using the mental connection between himself and the Skill, Chéng Yáng steered it towards the wolf. The attack struck it on the head, shattering an eye socket and leaving a bloody hole. The wolf was only a Low-Grade Immature monster. In front of the Standard-Grade Apprentice Chéng Yáng it was like meat on the chopping board.

Despite the severity of its injuries, the wolf continued to charge towards them without even the slightest decline in its vicious aura. No matter how close to death a monster was, its only focus would be to kill the enemy in front of it

“How is that thing still alive?!” Niú Bīng gasped.

Even as a normal person he could tell that that the power of Chéng Yáng attack far surpassed that of a normal weapon.

“A Venom-Fanged Gray Wolf of this level has thirty Health and one Magic Resistance. I only deal twelve damage so I need at least three shots to kill it.” Chéng Yáng explained while his Skill was on cooldown.

As soon as the cooldown ended, Chéng Yáng cast Magic Missile again. This time it hit the wolf’s legs, shattering one and causing it to stumble, its charge halted.

After their initial shock the three bystanders were able to calm down. Even so how could they accept that such a monster existed in this world? And what did Chéng Yáng mean by Health? Level? Magic Resistance? Damage? Weren’t those terms only used in video games?

The wolf howled in pain as it got back up. Even with a broken leg it was able to run at the same speed as before, rapidly closing the distance between it and the group. Without flinching Chéng Yáng sent out a final Magic Missile which caught the monster in the chest.

The wolf fell to the ground and was still. The fight had ended.

Faint blurry shard of light flew out of the monster’s body and into the sky. Some of which floated over to Chéng Yáng. These were Experience Fragments, the condensed form of a monster’s power, experience, and memories.

In addition to being used as currency, Experience Fragments were able to accelerate a Player’s growth. When using the Meditation Skill if you had a large amount of Experience Fragments you could absorb a little bit of the energy stored inside to vastly decrease the time needed to level up. You would also need to absorb a large number of Experience Fragments when leveling up normally or upgrading a Skill.

Even for non-Lords there was value in gathering Experience Fragments to use as currency. Each safe zone had a six NPC shops: a blacksmith, a woodworker, a leather worker, an enchanter, an alchemist, and a general store. They offered vital services but only in exchange for Experience Fragments.

Chéng Yáng was pleased to see the number of Experience Fragments he had increase but it was a pity he was too far from his Settlement for it to obtain some Experience Fragments as well.

Although monsters had started to spawn Chéng Yáng wasn’t too concerned. At most he would have to fight two or three at once and while he might be injured, as a Player, so long as his Health was above zero he would be fine.

As the group continued Chéng Yáng killed another Venom-Fanged Gray Wolf and a Razor-Tailed Fox. As a result, his Mana was reduced to half its maximum capacity so he decided to rest for a moment and Meditate.

Mana and Health both passively recovered one point every minute but using your Core Skill greatly increased that rate. The recovery efficacy of your Core Skill increased when you leveled up, so as a Standard-Grade Apprentice Chéng Yáng was able to recover his lost Mana in just twenty seconds.

Once he was finished the group started moving again. The rest of their journey went smoothly since the spawn rate was still low. But right as the Settlement walls came into sight, a trio of Hunter Stalkers, monsters with claws like swords, ambushed the group. Despite their numbers, Chéng Yáng was able to easily dispatch them while protecting Niú Bīng and the others. Low-Grade Immature monsters were helpless before Chéng Yáng who was a level higher.

Monsters were starting to gather around the walls but luckily the area surrounding the north gate was clear. With a final burst of energy, the group rushed through the massive doors. Only once they shut were they able to let out a sigh of relief.

Chéng Yáng was never in any danger since he could just run if a group of monsters too big for him to handle appeared. But if that were to happen, he’d have no choice but to carry Niú Bīng and leave the other two, including his girlfriend, to die. As a result, the journey was quite nerve-wracking for him.

Seeing that his benefactor had returned, Lǐ Wànshān ran over to Chéng Yáng. After Chéng Yáng left he had become the de facto leader. Despite that, all he did was try to keep everyone calm. Lǐ Wànshān was a sensible man and didn’t want to disrupt any plans Chéng Yáng or threaten his position as leader.

“Mr. Chéng, soon after you left more than twenty wild beasts started to prowl outside the walls, attacking it occasionally. The walls seem sturdy but I’m worried they won’t be able to last if we leave the creatures out there. What do we do? If I became a Player would I be able to kill them all?”

“Those are the monsters I told you would spawn. Don’t worry about the walls for now, but you’re right. In the future, after you become a Player, clearing monsters away from the wall will become one of your daily duties.”

“Does that mean we can become Players now?”

“That’s right, our next step is to have everyone here perform a Class Change Ceremony. For now, I’ll farm the monsters surrounding the settlement so we can afford the fees.”

While explaining his plan, Chéng Yáng Meditated to restore his Mana. When he was finished, he climbed up to the wall’s alure to kill the monsters below with Magic Missiles.

Every two or three attacks, Chéng Yáng would kill a monster gaining Experience Fragments for himself and for the Settlement.

A Low-Grade Immature monster would drop a single Experience Fragment and had a twenty-percent change to drop a second. As a result, after killing four monsters and getting a lucky second drop on one of them, Chéng Yáng had a total of twelve Experience Fragments.

For a Settlement, Experience Fragment drops were doubled! So Phoenix Village had a total of ten Experience Fragments in its coffers.

With his goal amount reached, Chéng Yáng jumped down from the wall and walked over to Yú Kǎi.

“Kǎizǐ, you’re up first. Once you become a Player go up on the wall and hunt monsters.”

“Huh? Why me? Why not someone like Liú Hào who has played this kind of game before?”

“Liú Hào is more suitable to become a Warrior and wouldn’t be able to safely attack the monsters. You’re better as a Ranger which can attack from afar with arrows, so you’re the better choice.”

The Yú Kǎi in Chéng Yáng’s memories had a C-Rank innate ability that increased Attack Range by twenty percent and Attack Damage by ten percent. Its rank wasn’t high but it had great synergy with the Ranger Class and Attack Range was a rare Hidden Attribute. It was on par with most A-Rank Innate Ability.

With Chéng Yáng’s guidance, Yú Kǎi pressed his palm to the Ranger Class Statue and used the Settlement’s Experience Fragments to perform his Class Change Ceremony. Once the light show was over, he emerged with a bow in his hands and a quiver of arrows on his waist.

Using the Territory Altar system pane Citizens tab Chéng Yáng took a look at Yú Kǎi’s stats.


Yú Kǎi

Phoenix Village Citizen
Class: Ranger
Level: Low Grade Apprentice (0%)

Age20Life Span110
Health30Mana20
Attack Damage6.5Magic Damage1
Attack Resistance1Magic Resistance1
Attack Speed1Movement Speed1.1

Innate Abilities

  • Attack Damage is increased by 30%
  • Attack Range is increased by 30%
  • Movement Speed is increased by 10%

Skill

Origin Return (Core Skill)
Adopt a seiza and circulate your energy to recover and advance

Reinforced Arrow (Low-Grade)
Fill an arrow with your Mana, reinforcing its structure.

Damage: 8Cost: 4 Mana
Range: 39 mCooldown: 3 sec
Proficiency: 0%

Equipment

Wooden Bow (Two-Handed)
A simple wooden bow strung with the sinew of an unknown animal

Damage: 6.5Cooldown: 1.5 sec
Range: 39 m
Starter Gear

Magic Quiver (Trinket)
A soft quiver with silk embroidery. It hides the secrets of creation magic within it. Produces one arrow every minute.

Capacity: 60
Starter Gear

Chéng Yáng was baffled when he saw Yú Kǎi’s Innate Ability. How did it increase to S-Rank? He had attributed the increase in quality of his Innate Ability as a quirk of his regression, but obviously that didn’t apply to Yú Kǎi.

His best guess was that maybe the quality of an Innate Ability was somehow tied to how soon someone became a Player. It was a good hypothesis but he would need to test it.

Regardless of the reason, Yú Kǎi’s S-Rank Innate Ability took a burden off of Chéng Yáng’s heart. With the combination of his Innate Ability and the bonus provided by the Settlement, Yú Kǎi would be invincible within his level. Ranger’s were the strongest Class for PVP, so if not for the difference in fighting experience, even the Standard-Grade Chéng Yáng would lose to him in a duel!

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Doomsday Lord

Doomsday Lord Ch. 6 | Timely Rescue

Chéng Yáng also heard that familiar voice, but he paid it no mind.

Instead he curiously surveyed the now flattened Phoenix Mountain. Nearly a square kilometer of trees had disappeared centered around what used to be the summit. Not even the holes where the roots would have been remained.

Just a little over a hundred meters away the Territory Altar and surrounding statues had been completely unearthed. Seeing that both the altar and statues were exactly the same as his memories, Chéng Yáng smiled.

“Come with me!” Chéng Yáng gleefully shouted as he rushed towards the statues.

It wasn’t until Chéng Yáng was only a few meters from the Territory Altar that Yú Kǎi and Liú Hào followed him, long enough that Lǐ Wànshān had a head start.

Seeing Chéng Yáng’s confidence inspired Lǐ Wànshān, and in turn his workers, to chase after Chéng Yáng.

As soon as Chéng Yáng arrived at the Territory Altar he pulled up the system pane and bought as many Wall Segments as a Low-Grade Village was allowed.

At that moment, several of the transport trucks by the road dissolved along with their cargo. As they did a wall appeared around the Territory Altar section by section, quickly completing a loop. When the wall passed over the river it added a wooden grate underneath allowing the it to flow through the territory.

Seeing this the others were even more shocked than when Phoenix Mountain disappeared. They had never seen something so fantastical before.

“Mr. Chéng, what the hell is going on?”

Lǐ Wànshān was older and more stable than the others so he was the first to recover from his shock.

“Right now I’m short on time and can’t give you a thorough explanation.” Chéng Yáng replied, “For now lets just say the earthquake from before affected the entire world and destroyed human civilization. In addition, it caused our world to become a video game. You can think of it as advanced VR if that helps. Soon monsters will start spawning and unless you use one of these statues to perform a Class Change Ceremony and become a Player, you’ll be helpless to fight back when they attack you and unlike in a game, when you die you won’t respawn.”

Chéng Yáng then fired a Magic Missile into the ground to demonstrate, throwing dirt into the air.

This shocked Lǐ Wànshān who was a veteran gamer. He simply couldn’t believe Chéng Yáng’s words, they were absurd! Even so, there was no scientific explanation for the things he’d seen, so Lǐ Wànshān was forced to accept it as the truth.

“Yángzǐ, does that mean I can become a Player?” Liú Hào excitedly interjected.

“Naturally, but you’ll need to wait a bit. I need to hunt monsters to pay for the Class Change Ceremony but before I can do that, I need to go pick up Niú Bīng.”

Lǐ Wànshān hesitated for a moment before stepping in front of Chéng Yáng’s path. He wasn’t going to let this opportunity pass him by.

“Mr. Chéng,” He said respectfully, “Would it be possible to allow me and my employee’s to become Players as well?”

Chéng Yáng smirked in his heart. As expected, he’d found his first group of followers.

“I’ll allow it,” Chéng Yáng announced to the anxious men, “But understand one thing. This is my Settlement. Those are my Class Statues. If you want to use them you need to pledge your loyalty to me. I won’t ask anything terrible of you but my rules must be obeyed.”

Perhaps it was his calm attitude, but there was something about Chéng Yáng that made those present submit to him. Thus, when they heard this fantastical domain belonged to him, they naturally accepted it.

They didn’t know it yet but even if they tried to sneakily use the Class Statues they wouldn’t be able to since they didn’t have Chéng Yáng’s permission. This was one of the tools given to Lord’s to control others.

“Yángzǐ, what should we do now? Should we follow you to rescue Niú Bīng?” Liú Hào asked, his dark and gloomy face revealing how aimless he felt.

It wasn’t just Liú Hào, the others seemed distressed as well. The day’s events had greatly unsettled them especially after hearing that the event was global.

The world they knew was gone, so what would they do now?

“Stay here for now, the walls will keep you safe.” Chéng Yáng shot down his friend, “I’ve already become a Player so I have the power to escort Niú Bīng here but until you get become one you’ll only be a burden. In another seven or eight minutes monsters will start to spawn and I need to get to Niú Bīng before they do. He should have been close when the earthquake hit, so I’ll be able to get to him in time.”

Chéng Yáng moved to leave the Settlement, going to the northern gate and using his authority as the Lord to open it as he sprinted past. Once he left the gate automatically shut again. As the Lord of Phoenix Village Chéng Yáng was in complete control of every building within the Settlement.

Chéng Yáng followed the road north praying that Niú Bīng would be alright.

He ran more than twice as fast as a normal person in a dead sprint, but unlike humans, Players could maintain their top speed indefinitely. In just three minutes he had traveled over two kilometers, completely blowing away every previous speed record from before the apocalypse.

At this point he saw a group of three people next to an overturned taxi, and one of them was Niú Bīng!

“Yángzǐ! What are you doing here? Are you okay?What about the others? Where were you during the earthquake?”

Niú Bīng rattled off concerns when he saw that Chéng Yáng was running towards him.

“Come with me if you want to live. I don’t have time to explain but its dangerous to be out in the open like this.” Chéng Yáng said, grabbed Niú Bīng ‘s hand, dragging him away.

“Wait! I can’t leave Páng Shān!” Niú Bīng shouted, struggling to break Chéng Yáng’s grip.

Chéng Yáng looked over at the other two people and saw a pretty girl about his age. Maybe this was the girlfriend that Yú Kǎi had mentioned?

“She can come but she needs to keep up.” Chéng Yáng didn’t particularly care if she lived or died, but he wouldn’t intentionally abandon someone his friend cared about.

“Let’s go with him Páng Shān,” Niú Bīng said, seeing that his girlfriend was about to argue with Chéng Yáng, “My friend wouldn’t lie about a life or death matter.”

For a while now Niú Bīng had had an ominous feeling that the earthquake hadn’t been so simple, so when Chéng Yáng said there was danger, he wholeheartedly believed him.

At this point Chéng Yáng rushed towards Phoenix Village followed by Niú Bīng and Páng Shān. Of course, Chéng Yáng had significantly reduced his speed so they could keep up.

The taxi driver didn’t know any of them but hearing the urgency in Chéng Yáng’s voice he couldn’t help but fear for his life. People are social creatures and in the absence of certainty they would follow the crowd. Seeing that everyone else was running the taxi driver followed after them without thinking. Even if it wasn’t a conscious choice, it was a wise decision.


A chilly breeze whistled through the ruins of Xiāngyáng.

With the immediate danger of the earthquake gone, those that had survived began to search for their loved ones.

At this point even those with only half a brain had realized that it hadn’t been a normal earthquake since only a cosmic event like a solar flare would be able to disable so many electronics at once. Even so no one knew what to do next.

Moreover, there was a lot of tension after the announcement made by the Gods’ messenger. No one knew what it meant but since everyone had heard it, there must have been something to it.

The messenger had said humanity was being given a chance to evolve, but what did that mean? Would they have to fight each other? If so wouldn’t martial artists rule the world?

Since no one knew what the message had meant they focused more on the immediate future. Until the government had stabilized enough to help them, they would be on their own.

As most people suspected, the Xiāngyáng municipal government was currently struggling to muster a response. Without electronics their ability to gather and control others was extremely limited. Luckily the paramilitary police had assembled for a training drill earlier that day and were ready to deploy. Starting with the area surrounding the city hall, the paramilitary police did their best to stabilize the city.

The local People’s Liberation Army branch was also hard at work scouting the city. Military personnel were quite paranoid and would never consider an event like this to be so simple and benign. To them only one part of the Gods’ message mattered: Evolution!

Evolution meant fighting and killing, but what did they need to fight? What would this evolution look like? Why even evolve at all? The government desperately wanted the answers to these questions, and it wasn’t just them! Ambitious groups around the world were searching for the key to evolution.

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Doomsday Lord

Doomsday Lord Ch. 5 | The Apocalypse

Chéng Yáng headed to the front of the convoy to meet the man stepping out of the truck: Lǐ Wànshān, the owner of the lumber mill. For him to personally oversee the delivery process showed just how greatly he valued the transaction.

When Lǐ Wànshān saw Chéng Yáng approaching he jumped down from the truck and surveyed his surroundings with a worried expression.

“Mr. Chéng why did you get the wood shipped way out here? It’s impossible to build anything right now, the foundation isn’t even flat yet!”

Chéng Yáng laughed, “Don’t worry Mr. Lǐ, in a few minutes this area will be as flat as the Sìchuān Basin.”

Lǐ Wànshān laughed with him. What a joke! Even though Phoenix Mountain wasn’t steep, it would still take a tens of workers using heavy construction equipment at least a few weeks to flatten enough space for a house.

“Just unload the wood here by the side of the road, I’ll handle what happens next. Once you’re done I’ll trouble you for a ride back to the lumber mill to complete the payment.”

“Alright.” Lǐ Wànshān said with a sigh, “That’s your problem in the future, not mine.”

Lǐ Wànshān turned around and hollered at the muscular worker’s he’d brought with him to start unloading the cargo. The lumber was delivered in pallets of several dozens of boards, each of which required two people to move. The pallets were a lucky addition. Although the extra wood they provided wasn’t much, Chéng Yáng might be able to squeeze an extra unit of Wood or two out of them.

When Chéng Yáng returned to his friends, Yú Kǎi was trying to suppress a bitter grimace.

“Yángzǐ, please tell me that’s not what you spent our money on.”

“Sorry, but every cent went towards a down payment on that lumber.”

“Yángzǐ, if the apocalypse is really going to end, wouldn’t it be better to spend that money on food? Can you eat wood? Also, why’re we in the middle of nowhere? Surely there’s a better spot to try and survive.”

“You wouldn’t understand unless you saw it for yourself, so just wait and everything will become clear.”

Although he said that, Chéng Yáng was growing apprehensive.

If he was wrong… and the world didn’t end today… what then? Would he have to scramble to gather the money he owed Lǐ Wànshān? Or would Lǐ Wànshān just keep the deposit and take the lumber back? Either way he would have wasted his friends’ savings. Those worries were a heavy weight on Chéng Yáng’s shoulders.

Chéng Yáng threw those worries to the back of his mind. The world was definitely going to end. The existence of the Territory Altar proved that. If it didn’t happen today, he would just have to find a way to stall Lǐ Wànshān until it did.

— 4:50 PM —

Just ten minutes to go and Niú Bīng still hadn’t arrived.

Chéng Yáng pulled out his phone and gave Niú Bīng a call, but the response he got was disappointing. Niú Bīng had only just left Xiāngyáng a few minutes ago! Chéng Yáng had wanted to yell at his friend for not valuing his own life, but there was no way his friend understood the significance. All he could do was urge Niú Bīng to convince the taxi driver to drive as fast as possible.

Chéng Yáng’s heart felt heavy. It was nearly impossible for Niú Bīng to get to Phoenix Mountain in the eight minutes he had left!

“Kǎizǐ, Hàozǐ.” Chéng Yáng called out to his friends. “Whatever happens in the next few minutes, don’t panic and stay in this area for as long as possible. I’m going to go talk to Mr. Lǐ.”

Chéng Yáng darted towards the convoy of trucks before his friends could even respond.

“Mr. Lǐ, why don’t you let your workers sit down on the grass and rest awhile? When doing physical labor, taking a break is necessary to ensure accidents don’t happen. They have just taken a long drive so let them smoke a cigarette or two. Here, it’s on me.”

Chéng Yáng pulled out his personal pack and handed it to the man.

“Oh?!”

Lǐ Wànshān looked up at the sky and smiled.

“Well, since its early I won’t turn down your hospitality. Everyone, come on down and rest for a few minutes.”

Watching the burly men jump off of the trucks one by one, a smile spread on Chéng Yáng’s face. As long as they weren’t by the trucks those men should be able to survive the earthquake easily. If they did, Chéng Yáng would be able to effortlessly recruit them. He didn’t want to see one of his future subordinates get hurt.

— 4:57 PM —

— 4:58 PM —

— 4:59 PM —

Time slipped by, second by second, but there was still no sign of Niú Bīng. He wasn’t going to make it.

Chéng Yáng nervously began to chew at his nails, which put Yú Kǎi and Liú Hào on edge as well. In stark comparison, Lǐ Wànshān’s group was happily relaxing in the afternoon sun. Occasionally they would look over in confusion at the stiff expressions on Chéng Yáng and his friends’ faces.

Suddenly a massive gale blew directly downwards, flattening the tall grass and causing trees to creak. Wind didn’t blow towards the ground naturally, so everyone looked up to find the source of the breeze. The originally blue sky had turned grey, almost as if the entire world was being covered with a layer of wool.

“What’s goi-” Lǐ Wànshān started to ask a question but was silenced by a sudden, violent rumbling of the ground beneath him

“It’s an earthquake!” One of the workers shouted, causing the others to panic.

“It’s finally here.” Chéng Yáng murmured with a serene expression.

Even though the world was ending for a second time there wasn’t even a hint of bitterness in his eyes.

“Yángzǐ! This can’t be… Is this what you told us about!?” Liú Hào shouted over the wind.

“This is just the beginning!” Chéng Yáng shouted back.

The intensity of the earthquake continuously increased, but thankfully the trees on Phoenix Mountain had deep roots preventing a rock slide. Even so several large branches were torn off by the wind and cut through the air like knives.

“Everyone stay put!” Chéng Yáng yelled seeing that Lǐ Wànshān’s workers were running for the trucks, “This clearing is safe but there’s no guarantee that you will live if you run off!”

Although it was hard to hear him over the howling of the wind Chéng Yáng’s message still faintly reached the worker’s ears.

Even after five minutes the ground continued to shake like a sieve forcing Chéng Yáng and the others to their knees. It was utterly terrifying for Lǐ Wànshān and others who hadn’t known anything beforehand. Even for Liú Hào and Yú Kǎi it was a horrific disaster.

As they watched a commercial jet fall out of the sky to the west of them several questions raced through their minds: How many buildings will be destroyed in Xiāngyáng? How many people will die? How long will it take to recover?

Chéng Yáng already knew the answers to those questions.

Right now Xiāngyáng would be in utter chaos right now. As powerful as humanity was, they were helpless when faced with a natural disaster of this scale.

Despite its severity, not a single building would have collapsed yet. It was a small act of mercy from the Gods, but it gave the vast majority of people a chance to survive. After ten minutes, every building in the world would simultaneously collapse, making the towering cities of humanity a relic of the past. The only thing left to mark their glory would be rubble and dust.

The real danger of being in a building would be the stampedes as everyone struggled to escape. Millions of people would flood out of skyscrapers around the world. Too scared to take the elevators, those huge crowds would flood the tiny halls of emergency stairwells like a tsunami.

Once they got out, people would stand in the streets desperately trying to call for help or their loved ones, only to find their phones were dead.

What’s going on? They would wonder. How could an earthquake cause my battery to die?

If it was just their phone they might assume it was just out of battery, but since everyone’s they would find it very strange.

As the wind would continue to blow and the earth would continue to shake for what seemed like an eternity, every person, no matter how rich or powerful they were, would be filled with a feeling of helplessness. Even then, they wouldn’t realize the true horror of what was happening. They would believe it to be a simple earthquake, and the only thing on their minds would be a desire to survive.


Everyone on Phoenix Mountain was lying face down in the ground. Even if they wanted to get up, they would just be thrown back down again. Or worse, the wind might pick them up and throw them into the river.

“Look! At the summit!” Lǐ Wànshān cried out, “What in the world is happening?!”

In front of everyone’s disbelieving eyes, Phoenix Mountain was sinking into the ground like a melting candle.

Aside from Chéng Yáng everyone present panicked.

“Shit! We’re going to get trapped in a sinkhole!” Yú Kǎi shouted, “Yángzǐ, I think we should run…”

Chéng Yáng shook his head firmly.

“We can’t leave! If we do there will be more problems. At the very least I can guarantee we won’t be sucked underground!”

Chéng Yáng’s friends trusted his words but how could the workers who didn’t know him place their lives in his hands? Several of them got up and ran as best they could towards the road.

“Come back here!” Lǐ Wànshān roared at the fleeing men. Sadly his voice wasn’t strong enough to be heard above the wind, and even if it had been, the workers were too panicked to listen to him.

While the workers were cowering on the road the ground underneath one of the trucks gave out causing it to flip over. Although they tried to run, two nearby workers weren’t able to escape and were crushed underneath it. Soon after they stopped moving altogether. Fear spread like a plague amongst the remaining workers after the sudden deaths, and no one dared to stay on the road any longer.

Ten minutes later the previously towering mountain was gone. Even Chéng Yáng who’d known it was going to happen was in awe. He hadn’t realized how imposing the scene would be in person.

After half an hour the earth stopped shaking and the gale turned into a gentle breeze. Just when people began to think that the tragedy was over a voice burst out from within their skulls, a voice even the deaf could hear.

“Lowly vermin of earth! Your lethargy has angered the Gods! The universe is supposed to evolve through constant fighting! Although they are angry, through their infinite mercy they have seen fit to grant you the perfect environment to evolve.”

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Doomsday Lord

Doomsday Lord Ch. 4 | Final Preparations

Yú Kǎi met Chéng Yáng’s eyes and held his gaze for a long time before helplessly nodding his head.

“Yángzǐ, there should be a bit over ten thousand dollars on this card. It’s the money I’ve saved up since I was a boy so try to leave me a little.”

Compared to Yú Kǎi who had rich parents, the other two had less than a thousand dollars between them. Even so, they gave it to Cheng Yang without hesitation.

Chéng Yáng thanked them then left the dorm.

Niú Bīng smiled bitterly at the remaining two roommates.

“Do you think we should poke around and figure out what’s up?”

“Forget it.” Yú Kǎi said, “Chéng Yáng’s a reliable guy, we should trust him.”

They’d only been friends for a little over a year, but Chéng Yáng’s friends knew him well. He wouldn’t cheat them and if he did lose the money, he was stubborn enough to pay it back at any cost.


Chéng Yáng left the school and took a taxi to a lumber mill he’d found online. After a lengthy negotiation with the owner, he was able to place an order for 130,000 board feet of wood, which came out to about 300 Wood using the system’s measure of one cubic meter per unit.

The funds he had were used as a down payment with the promise that the remaining balance of $33,000 would be paid upon delivery, which Chéng Yáng had scheduled for 4:30 PM the next day at the foot of Phoenix Mountain. Although it was a tight deadline, the owner didn’t mind since the order volume was so large.

Chéng Yáng didn’t have the rest of the money, but that wouldn’t matter after the world ended. It was 1:00 PM, just twenty-eight hours before the apocalypse. Even though he knew it would happen, the calm atmosphere made it seem almost impossible that disaster was looming on the horizon.


That night, at 8:00 PM Chéng Yáng began cultivating. The method was simple, just use the Core Skill that every Class received and eventually you would level up. Despite its simplicity, process was agonizingly slow without Experience Fragments.

Meditation could only be used for four hours each day, but it reset at midnight, allowing Chéng Yáng to cultivate for eight hours straight.

Chéng Yáng’s experience bar was less than one percent full when he finally finished and went to bed. The sleep he got that night was the best he’d ever had.


Chéng Yáng arrived at the foot of Phoenix Mountain early the next morning. Although he’d hidden the statues yesterday, he was still a little worried that someone had discovered them. It wouldn’t be a huge problem, but he would prefer to have the area to himself today. Luckily, the summit was just as deserted as the day before.

With the time he had left, Chéng Yáng decided to continue his search for the Instance Dungeon.

During his search, Chéng Yáng found something odd: a stone disk a quarter meter in diameter and smooth to the touch. That alone would have been interesting since it clearly wasn’t naturally formed, but what got Chéng Yáng’s attention were the faint magical undulations it was emitting.

His Magic Damage Attribute was high enough to let him notice magical energy but far from being able to tell anything about the energy itself, so he had no idea what he’d found. There was nothing in his memories that was similar and it didn’t have a system pane. Even so, Chéng Yáng decided to take it with him since anything that emitted magical energy was bound to be useful.

Despite it weighing almost twenty pounds Chéng Yáng had no problem carrying it around for several hours while hiking. His strength was double that of the average human thanks to his Attack Damage attribute and as a Player his stamina was infinite.

By 3:00 PM he had given up. Although he hadn’t found the Instance Dungeon, Chéng Yáng hoped that the stone disk he’d found would be worth the time he’d spent searching.


While taking a trip to a nearby convenience store to buy some crackers, chocolate, and other calorie dense snacks, Chéng Yáng called Yú Kǎi and told him to bring the others out to Phoenix Mountain.

None of his roommates were from Xiāngyáng and hadn’t even heard of Phoenix Mountain. Even though Yú Kǎi demanded Chéng Yáng tell him what he was doing out in the country, all Chéng Yáng said was that it was important they come as soon as possible.

Now all Chéng Yáng had to do was wait. He savored every moment of that peaceful mountain atmosphere while he still had the chance. In just over an hour it would be gone forever.


A little before 4:00 PM, Yú Kǎi’s car pulled over on the side of the road. Before the car came to a complete stop, Liú Hào jumped out and ran over to Chéng Yáng.

“Yángzǐ, what the hell are you doing? Why do you look so grim?” Liú Hào sat down next to Chéng Yáng on a cliff overlooking the river. “Don’t tell me you called us out here to watch you jump into a river.”

Chéng Yáng rolled his eyes.

“Seriously? Why would I drive four to five kilometers to find a river to drown in? There’s a massive river downtown.”

“Fine. Just tell me what you’re doing out here then?”

“Don’t worry about that for now. Where’s Niú Bīng, wasn’t he with you?”

Yú Kǎi heard the question as he got to the cliff and let out a perverted chuckle.

“Turns out that scoundrel’s been hooking up with a pretty girl these last couple days. They’re on a shopping date right now but Niú Bīng promised to get a ride over when they finished. He’ll probably get here in like, half an hour?”

Chéng Yáng bit his lip. Half an hour would cut it close. In order to avoid a tragedy he sent a text to Niú Bīng telling him to get to Phoenix Mountain by 4:50 PM at the very latest.

Niú Bīng responded with confusion but Chéng Yáng didn’t reply. If he didn’t explain things in person there was no way he would be able to convince him.

Chéng Yáng took a deep breath, then turned to face his friends.

“Hàozǐ, do you remember the question I asked you yesterday in class?”

“Sorry I don’t, you said a lot of stuff yesterday. What question?”

“I asked you what you thought would happen if the world became a video game.”

“Yeah, yeah. I remember now. Is that what this is all about?”

“Yep, and it’s not just a hypothetical. In a little under an hour, the world is going to end and an earthquake will destroy civilization. When it does the world’ will become like a video game and all of humanity will have to play it or die.”

A few seconds later Yú Kǎi silently squatted down and put his hand on Chéng Yáng’s forehead.

“Huh, no fever. This is a really lame prank to pull Yángzǐ.”

Chéng Yáng swatted Yú Kǎi’s hand away.

“I knew you wouldn’t believe me which is why I didn’t tell you until now. But, once the world ends, you’ll have no choice but to believe me. The reason I told you now was so you could give your families a chance to get somewhere safe before it happens.”

The icy calm on Chéng Yáng’s face scared his friends. Chéng Yáng clearly believed the world would end and what if he was right?

“Yángzǐ you can’t be serious? There’s no way that could happen.” Liú Hào asked, his question seeming more like a plea.

“I’ve said what I needed to. I won’t blame you if you don’t believe me, I wouldn’t. I just wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I said nothing and let your families die. You don’t have to say anything to them, but I hope you won’t have to live with regrets.”

Yú Kǎi watched as Chéng Yáng went back to enjoying the scenery around them. Since when had Chéng Yáng enjoyed being outside?

“Okay… I believe you.” Yú Kǎi said, “If you’re wrong we’ve wasted our families time, but if its true…”

Yú Kǎi hadn’t said anything but the other two understood the implications perfectly.

Liú Hào was still skeptical, but Yú Kǎi’s reasoning was solid. If Chéng Yáng was right, he would regret not warning his family for the rest of his life.

“Tell them to get as close to the center of their cities as possible. In a park or plaza if there’s one nearby.” Chéng Yáng said. “We’ll go there to save them, someday. I promise.”

Yú Kǎi and Liú Hào pulled out their phones to call their families. Relieved that they had taken his advice Chéng Yáng took out his own phone to warn a few distant relatives. One after another, they hung up, then sat in silence.

“Yángzǐ, I staked my character on this. If you’re joke, my dad’s never gonna let me live down the time I got tricked into believing the world was going to end.”

Yú Kǎi sat next to the other two on the cliff and stared up at the sky.

“I really hope you’re just messing with us Yángzǐ.”

They still didn’t truly believe Chéng Yáng, but it was impossible not to feel anxious when he was taking things so seriously.

“Why are you worrying so much?” Chéng Yáng asked, “There’s only twenty minutes left. Just wait and see.”

Five minutes later a caravan of twenty trucks filled with wood stopped by the side of Phoenix Mountain.

Chéng Yáng checked the time: 4:45 PM. That was a little after the agreed time, but better late than never.

“You guys stay here, I ordered some lumber and need to go pick it up.” Chéng Yáng whispered to his friends

At that moment Yú Kǎi suddenly understood why Chéng Yáng had borrowed so much money. There was enough wood on those trucks to build several houses and while he didn’t know the price of wood, that much of anything would cost tens of thousands of dollars. There was no way this was a prank. The Chéng Yáng he knew would never spend that much on a joke. Either he’d gone completely insane, or the world was really going to end.

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Doomsday Lord

Doomsday Lord Ch. 3 | Rapid Level Up

Once the wait was over, Chéng Yáng became a Lord and was able to access the Settlement system pane.


Phoenix Village

Level: Low-Grade Village
Experience Fragments: 0

Owned Buildings

Warrior Class Statue (Low-Grade)
Warriors are durable front-line fighters with decent burst damage.

0/20 Registered

Mage Class Statue (Low-Grade)
Mages are all-rounders that excel in protracted battles.

1/20 Registered

Ranger Class Statue (Low-Grade)
Rangers are highly lethal ranged combatants with strong support skills.

0/20 Registered

Druid Class Statue (Low-Grade)
Druids are fast and versatile summoners with a wide array of tricks.

0/20 Registered

Available Buildings

Wall Segment (Low-Grade)
Ten meter long segment of a kilometer long circular wall centered on the Territory Altar with four gates and a watchtower every fifty meters.

Durability: 1000Armor: 5
Cost: 5 Wood
0/100 Built

Cultivation Chamber (Low-Grade)
A single story building with furnished bedrooms and a central courtyard. The efficacy of Core Skills is increased by 13% when performed inside.

Durability: 500Armor: 3
Cost: 10 WoodOccupancy: 5
0 Built

Attributes

Lord’s Innate Ability
Cultivation Chamber effects increased by 30%

Fast Soldiers
Grants an Innate Ability to registered Players that increases Movement Speed by 10%

Upgrade Conditions

  • 100 Registered Players
  • 4 Standard-Grade Class Statues
  • 1000 Experience Fragments

The system pane was pretty spartan since there weren’t many management options for a new Settlement.

Aside from the Class Statues that came with the Settlement, Chéng Yáng had the ability to construct two other buildings: Wall Segments and Cultivation Chambers . The importance of each was obvious. Building them was his first priority as a Lord.

The Settlement’s Experience Fragment balance was also critical since that was the currency needed to perform Research and level up the Settlement. In fact, you needed to use Experience Fragments just to perform a Class Change Ceremony! Luckily, that expense was shouldered by the individual becoming a Player.

Only Lords could become a Player without spending Experience Fragments. Everyone else had to borrow from either an existing Player or a Safe Zone. A Class Change Ceremony would cost ten Experience Fragments, and if you borrowed them from a Safe Zone you would easily pay double that amount in interest. Since Experience Fragments were a universal currency, until you payed back that debt you would be unable to use any facility managed by the system.

Settlements were also able to loan money to people. Lords had a lot of autonomy in this regard, they were able to set the interest rates, punishments for failure to repay, and whether a loan needed to be repaid at all.

Settlements had two main ways to increase their Experience Fragment balance. The first would be to ask people to donate the Experience Fragments they received from killing monsters but that function was only available for Standard-Grade Villages and higher. The other was to kill a monster within the Settlement’s borders. For Low-Grade Villages, the settlement covered slightly more than a square kilometer centered on the Territory Altar

Aside from the overview tab, the system pane had two other tabs. The first was a Citizens tab used to manage the permissions of registered players. The final tab managed the most important benefit of a Settlement: Divine Grace.

It sounded pretentious, but this was the ability that allowed a Lord to instantly level up. Since the village had just been constructed, Chéng Yáng had been granted a single usage of Divine Grace.

He didn’t need to be used right away. So long as he was below the level of Pinnacle-Grade Apprentice, he would be able to use the usage of Divine Grace granted by claiming a Settlement.

Despite that, Chéng Yáng choose to prioritize the short term boost in strength rather than try to maximize the effectiveness of Divine Grace.

After using Divine Grace, a pillar of holy light shot down from the heavens onto him. Multiple messages flashed in front of his eyes, as Chéng Yáng’s body filled with power.


Chéng Yáng

Phoenix Village Owner
Class: Mage
Level: Low-Grade Apprentice (0%)

Age19Life Span150
Health20Mana80
Attack Damage2Magic Damage13
Attack Resistance2Magic Resistance2
Attack Speed2Movement Speed2.2

Innate Abilities

  • Magic Damage is increased by 30%
  • Increase the effects of Cultivation Chambers in your Settlement by 30%
  • Movement speed is increased by 10%

Skills

Meditation (Core Skill)
Sit cross legged and focus your mind to recover and advance.

Magic Missile (Low-Grade)
Gather Mana into a condensed sphere, then fire it.

Damage: 13Cost: 5 Mana
Range: 30 mCooldown: 2.95 sec
Proficiency: 0%

Equipment

Wooden Stave (One-Handed)
A casting focus which allows Mages to cast spells instantly.

Damage: 0.75Cooldown: 3 sec
Range: 1 m
Starter Gear

Chéng Yáng’s attributes had doubled, an immense amount of growth which had taken him nearly two months of grinding in his previous life. This drastic difference between levels meant it was impossible under normal circumstances for a person to beat an intelligent higher level opponent in a one on one fight. Even with a group, it was difficult.

That was exactly why the military suffered such heavy losses while fighting the Elite Pinnacle-Grade Immature monster guarding the Phoenix Village Territory Altar. Although the military had the numbers advantage, their opponent was at the peak of the first stage of evolution whereas, except for a few elites at the Standard-Grade, all of their soldiers were still Low-Grade Apprentices.

Chéng Yáng had reached the same level as those nurtured elites in a single day before the apocalypse had even happened. As long as he kept progressing while he was a step ahead, the gap between them would never close.

Chéng Yáng checked his phone; it was a little before noon. How should he spend his remaining time before the apocalypse?

One option would be to return to Xiāngyáng and purchase wood. He could wait until after the apocalypse to gather it himself, so it wasn’t urgent, however it would be far easier to do it now.

His other option would be to search for the nearby Instance Dungeon. There was no guarantee it had spawned yet, but if it had, it would be the only place where Chéng Yáng could farm monsters for Experience Fragments.

If he gathered enough, he would be able to pay for the Class Change Ceremonies of Liú Hào and his other friends. The problem was, Chéng Yáng only had a vague idea of where to look. He knew where the Territory Altar was thanks to rumors he had heard, but he only knew the general direction to take in order to find the Instance Dungeon and in this terrain he could look for hours and still not find it.

In the end, Chéng Yáng decided to try his luck, but walking for three kilometers without seeing anything forced Chéng Yáng to give up. It seemed his luck had been exhausted for today. He resolved to try again after buying some wood, then did his best to hide the Class Statues and walked back down Phoenix Mountain.

While walking, Chéng Yáng tried to think of a way to warn the world of the impending apocalypse. Without proof he would just be a raving madman at best, and at worst he would be charged with inciting unrest. If he used his powers as a Mage as proof he’d be detained by the government, disrupting his plans for the future and endangering himself. It was a shame but he couldn’t save everyone, it was enough to protect the people he cared about. Everyone else would have to rely on their luck.

Chéng Yáng was an orphan so he didn’t have any family to speak of, but he cared deeply for his college friends. Although he had only spent a year with them, two if he counted his previous life, Chéng Yáng cherished the bond they had.

He wouldn’t be able to succeed on his own. He needed Citizens for his Settlement and trusted subordinates to manage them. No matter how strong he was personally, some things needed a community to accomplish. So, he would save his precious friends and have them control the masses. Chéng Yáng vowed this to himself.


Once he got back to campus, Chéng Yáng ran into Liú Hào on his way back from the pickup game. The two chatted on the way back to their dorm.

Chéng Yáng walked in to see his friends Niú Bīng and Yú Kǎi playing video games. They were a year above him but they had decided to be roommates anyways.

“Hey, how much money do the three of you have?” Chéng Yáng asked before they could greet him.

His words stunned all of them, including Liú Hào.

“Dude, what is going on?” Liú Hào asked, “Something was clearly bothering you during class this morning but I didn’t press it. You can talk to us man?”

Niú Bīng and Yú Kǎi paused their game and swung around to look at Chéng Yáng with concerned expressions.

“I’m sorry but it’s really hard to explain.” Chéng Yáng said in a voice barely above a whisper, “But I need money. As much as possible and I was hoping you’d lend it to me.”

“Of course you can have the money, you’re like a brother to us,” Yú Kǎi said sincerely, “Please tell us what happened though. Your worries are our worries.”

“I really can’t tell you right now, but I promise I’ll explain things tomorrow afternoon. You can wait that long right?”

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Doomsday Lord

Doomsday Lord Ch. 2 | Claiming the Territory Altar

Phoenix Mountain had relatively gentle slopes. The road went right down the mountain parallel to a stream. About a kilometer downstream was a city called Huìmín, with a population of ten thousand it was considered a big city Húběi Province.

When the driver left, Chéng Yáng tried to guess where the Territory Altar would be, then climbed up Phoenix Mountain.

No one lived on Phoenix Mountain, and aside from a trail leading to the top, there were no other paths.

Relying on the memories from his past life, Chéng Yáng went to the summit and found a clearing with a radius of one or two hundred meters. He then began to search every square inch.

Ten minutes later, Chéng Yáng’s eyes flashed with excitement. He had spotted a rocky outcropping the same color as the Territory Altars. The exposed part stuck out of the ground by about a quarter meter and was curved.

Chéng Yáng jogged over and ran his hand across the surface. The feeling it gave him was more than enough to convince him that he’d found what he was looking for: the Territory Altar!

The excitement Chéng Yáng felt couldn’t be described with words. If he could successfully use this Territory Altar to become a Lord, he would be able to change his fate!

After a while, Chéng Yáng was able to calm himself down. He quickly went over the procedure to claim a Territory Altar in his head and gently placed his right hand on the rock.

“In the name of Chéng Yáng, I claim this Territory Altar!” He declared.
A weak white light floated out of the stone and flew into Chéng Yáng’s body. At that instant, he felt a deep connection made between him and the Territory Altar.

At the same time faint curtains of lights could be seen on the ground about thirty meters away in the four cardinal directions around the Territory Altar. Each curtain of light solidified into a statue, surrounding Chéng Yáng.

Like the Territory Altar, the statues were mostly buried; only the heads could be seen. Just based on the size of the parts that were above ground, the statues were easily three meters tall.

“I did it…” Chéng Yáng murmured.

Looking at the familiar Class Statues, Chéng Yáng was filled with a dreamlike euphoria. After the earthquake, these same four statues would appear in the city center of Xiāngyáng and in other cities through the world.

Although they were mostly buried, Chéng Yáng remembered their appearances vividly: a bulky man staring at the ground covered in heavy armor while holding a sword and shield, a robed woman in a pointed hat holding a wooden stave topped with a gem, a lithe sharp-eyed man holding a bow and arrow, and an savage-looking woman with a tiger next to her that gave off a sense of ferocious power.

Chéng Yáng quickly collected himself and grabbed the hat of the robed statue that was poking out of the ground.

〈Would you like to become a Mage?〉

“Yes.” Chéng Yáng did not hesitate to start the Class Change Ceremony once prompted, since Mage was the Class that suited his Innate Ability best. Instantly a dazzling, multi-color pillar of light erupted out of Chéng Yáng, enveloping him.

Several messages scrolled through Chéng Yáng’s mind before the light dissipated. When it did, he found himself holding a wooden stave in his right hand.

With a thought, a transparent screen appeared in front of Chéng Yáng. He had become a Player once before and knew it was his system pane, a display of stats only he could see.


Chéng Yáng

Phoenix Village Owner
Class: Mage
Level: Low-Grade Apprentice (0%)

Age19Life Span110
Health10Mana40
Attack Damage1Magic Damage6.5
Attack Resistance1Magic Resistance1
Attack Speed1Movement Speed1.1

Innate Abilities

  • Magic Damage is increased by 30%
  • Increase the effects of Cultivation Chambers in your Settlement by 30%
  • Movement Speed is increased by 10%

Skills

Meditation (Core Skill)
Sit cross legged and focus your mind to recover and advance.

Magic Missile (Low-Grade)
Gather Mana into a condensed sphere, then fire it.

Damage: 6.5Cost: 5 Mana
Range: 30 mCooldown: 3 sec
Proficiency: 0%

Equipment

Wooden Stave (One-Handed)
A casting focus which allows Mages to cast spells instantly.

Damage: 0.75Cooldown: 3 sec
Range: 1 m
Starter Gear

Aside from his Innate Abilities, the rest of his system window was identical to every other Low-Grade Apprentice Mage from Attributes to Skills to Equipment. Everyone started at the same point. The only way to become more powerful was hard work.

The only surprising thing on his system pane was his Innate Ability. An S-Rank Innate Ability! What a massive difference in talent!

He had expected to only get a ten percent Magic Damage bonus, so why was it suddenly triple what he remembered? Chéng Yáng thought about it for a long time but couldn’t find a solution. Perhaps it was a side effect of his regression?

Moreover, Chéng Yáng was confused by his Title. Phoenix Village Owner? Why doesn’t it say Phoenix Village Lord? He scrolled through the system messages and at the top was a notification informing him that he needed to survive one hour before he could receive the title of Lord.

In his previous life, the Phoenix Village Territory Altar hadn’t been discovered until two months after the apocalypse. At that time an Elite High-Grade Immature monster had been guarding it so people avoided the area. By the time the military realized the value of the Territory Altar, the monster had leveled up to become an Elite Pinnacle-Grade Immature monster, forcing them to sacrifice dozens of soldiers in an extended campaign before they were able to secure the Settlement.

Chéng Yáng had used the Class Statues in the Xiāngyáng Safe Zone to become a Player in his previous life, so he hadn’t moved to Phoenix Village until after it had been captured by the military. Unlike the Settlements, humans couldn’t rule over the Safe Zone as a Lord, so Chéng Yáng wasn’t totally familiar with the process of becoming a Lord and hadn’t heard about the waiting period.

Most people would become a Player in the Safe Zone of the city closest to them since monsters wouldn’t be able to enter. You might think this would mean the populations of Settlements would be lower than in the Safe Zones since Settlements could be invaded, but you would be wrong. Although Safe Zones were free of monsters, they only provided people with the most basic facilities. Settlements on the other hand would provide significant benefits to their inhabitants.

The third Innate Ability Chéng Yáng had which increased his Movement Speed was one such benefit. Some Settlements would give their Players an extra Innate Ability that scaled with the level of the Settlement. If Liú Hào registered himself at the Phoenix Village Settlement, and over lapped the Movement Speed buff with his own, the number of people able to match his speed would be few and far between.

Another benefit was that the Lord of a Settlement could complete Research using the Class Statues that provided permanent buffs to the Attributes of registered Players. The downside was that only a limited number of people could register with a Settlement.

For Lords there were even greater benefits. Every time the Settlement’s level was raised, the Lord would be given the ability to level up in turn. This allowed them to skip weeks or even months of grinding at higher levels. This benefit was how Chéng Yáng planned to solidify the advantage of his regression.

Other than Phoenix Village, there were three other Settlements in the area surrounding Xiāngyáng. Aside from being unsure if he would be able to find the Territory Altars at the other locations, Chéng Yáng chose to become the Lord of Phoenix Village because it was the only one that provided an extra Innate Ability and there was an Instance Dungeon nearby that would be vital to his development in the future.

After becoming a Player, Chéng Yáng walked back to the Territory Altar and tried to access its system pane to no avail. It seemed he would have to wait until after he became a Lord to start managing his Settlement.

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