Once the wait was over, Chéng Yáng became a Lord and was able to access the Settlement system pane.
Level: Low-Grade Village
Soul Fragments: 0
Knight Class Statue (Low-Grade)
Knights are durable front-line fighters with decent burst damage.
Mage Class Statue (Low-Grade)
Mages are all-rounders that excel in protracted battles.
Ranger Class Statue (Low-Grade)
Rangers are highly lethal ranged combatants with strong support capabilities.
Druid Class Statue (Low-Grade)
Druids are fast and versatile summoners with a wide array of tricks.
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: 1000||Armor: 5|
|Cost: 1 Wood|
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: 500||Armor: 3|
|Cost: 10 Wood||Occupancy: 5|
Lord’s Innate Ability
Cultivation Chamber effects increased by 30%
Grants an Innate Ability to registered Players that increases Movement Speed by 10%
- 100 Registered Players
- 4 Standard-Grade Class Statues
- 1000 Soul 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 Soul 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 Soul Fragments just to perform a Transcendence Ceremony! Luckily, that expense would be shouldered by the individuals becoming Players.
Only Lords could become a Player without spending Soul Fragments. Everyone else had to borrow from either an existing Player or a Safe Zone. A Transcendence Ceremony would cost ten Soul Fragments, and if you borrowed them from a Safe Zone you might end up paying double that amount in interest. Since Soul 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 Soul Fragment balance. The first would be to ask people to donate the Soul 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’s collection area 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 charge 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.
Phoenix Village Lord
Level: Low-Grade Apprentice (0%)
|Attack Damage||2||Ability Power||13|
|Attack Resistance||2||Magic Resistance||2|
|Attack Speed||2||Movement Speed||2.2|
- Ability Power is increased by 30%
- Increase the effects of Cultivation Chambers in your Settlement by 30%
- Movement speed is increased by 10%
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: 13||Cost: 5 Mana|
|Range: 30 m||Cooldown: 2.95 sec|
Wooden Stave (One-Handed)
A casting focus which allows Mages to cast spells instantly.
|Damage: 0.75||Cooldown: 1.48 sec|
|Range: 1 m|
Chéng Yáng’s Attributes had doubled, a growth spurt which had taken him nearly over a month of grinding in his previous life. This drastic difference between levels meant it was impossible for someone to defeat a higher level opponent in a solo fight under normal circumstances. Even with a group, it was difficult.
That was exactly why the military suffered such heavy losses while fighting the extraordinarily powerful 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 the day before the apocalypse 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, but 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 Soul Fragments right now.
If he gathered enough, he would be able to pay for the Transcendence Ceremonies of Liú Hào and his other friends before the apocalypse. The problem was, he only had a vague idea of where to look. He’d known where to look for the Territory Altar thanks to rumors he’d heard in his previous life, 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.
Chéng Yáng decided to try his luck, but after walking for three kilometers without seeing anything, Chéng Yáng was forced 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 for a taxi, 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 Player abilities to prove it he’d probably 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, especially Liú Hào.
“Dude, whats going on?” Liú Hào asked, “Something was clearly bothering you during class this morning, talk to us.”
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, “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?”