Last time, on Apocalypse Lord: Yun Ling starts an employment program for her starving people.
This chapter has been brought to you by me and Smash10101.
Chapter 39 – Foraging Team
After the sudden change, the players were like frightened birds, and madly hoarded food. All the edible plants near Rising Cloud Village had been harvested long ago.
They walked for ten minutes and found nothing at all.
Pang Yu was slightly anxious. If they could not find resources, won’t the players like him with “Elementary Foraging” be useless?
Before he could think more, the guard said in a low voice, “Enemy attack, prepare to fight.”
The players panicked, and instinctively wanted to hide.
Seeing this, Yun Ling shouted, “Stand where you are and do not move!”
There were 6 NPCs at the front, and 6 NPCs at the back who protected the players. If they moved freely, and in different directions, the NPCs could not take care of all of them.
The players hesitated, managed to suppress the terror they felt, and stood where they were.
At this time, five tree demons were slowly walking towards the team.
Yun Ling did not have to speak for Mage to cast an offensive spell, the archers to shoot, and the close combat players to do crowd control. They worked together well!
After one contact, all the tree demons were dead, and only the drop items were left floating in the air.
Guard A picked all of them up and put them into the cotton backpacks.
Yun Ling said calmly, “Continue.”
The players were slightly reassured, and advanced with the main group.
After walking a full half hour, and along the way, they fought monsters five times, before they discovered a patch of pepper field. The peppers were red and were growing well, looking adorable.
Looking around, Yun Ling announced, “Stop, pick peppers.”
“What about after we pick?” A female player gathered her courage and asked.
Yun Ling pointed at Guard B. “Give them to him.”
The players nodded and then quickly moved.
They were used to gathering. At the start, they were nervous, and their motions unfamiliar, but after getting into the flow, they became skilled.
The NPCs were on guard nearby, and paying attention to the surroundings.
Yun Ling silently observed. After a while, she could clearly see who worked quickly, who was slacking off, who was ill and slow to move.
With many people picking, the efficiency was high. After a few minutes, the peppers were all picked.
Yun Ling looked into the distance, and chose the next target after a while. “Go to the corn fields to pick corn.”
In a flash, it was 12 noon.
Yun Ling announced, “Rest for an hour, and eat lunch.”
They could finally rest. Pang Yu sighed in relief, and found an empty spot to sit down. Inside, he thought, copper coins are not easy to earn.
Other than when the guards were fighting monsters and they could stand and rest for a while, either they were picking, digging, or walking with the team, unable to rest.
As he thought, a person handed over a fist-sized mixed grain steamed bun and a heavy bamboo tube, saying, “Eat, this is lunch.”
Pang Yu had not eaten for a day, and gave his only food to his wife. Seeing the steamed bun, he ignored everything else, and took a large bite.
The steamed bun was solid, and did not skimp on materials. While it tasted average, it was filling. After eating, his stomach was no longer hungry.
Pang Yu wolfed down the steamed bun in a few bites, and then opened the bamboo tube.
He had assumed that it was water in the tube, but opening it, he saw that it was rice soup inside.
Rice soup was also called rice oil. It was the thick substance that floated on the top when making porridge. It had the fragrance of rice, and it quenched the thirst.
Pang Yu swallowed almost the entire tube in one gulp. He immediately felt full, and very satisfied.
At this time, thinking back to the work in the morning, he did not feel it was anything. What was scary about being tired? He feared starving even more!
After the noon break, thunder roared, and the rain came down.
Yun Ling did not have the players work in the rain. They found a nearby cave to avoid the rain, and only came back out when the rain stopped.
Looking at the sky, Yun Ling ordered, “Pick the bamboo shoots, bamboo leaves, mushrooms, rushes, black rice, buckwheat, sorghum, and oats. Then we will return the same way we came.”
The rain had lasted for two hours. During this time, everybody had been resting in the cave, and done nothing.
Pang Yu felt slightly guilty. They had not harvested much, and this failed the wages and food the employer paid.
Hearing that they were to harvest materials such as bamboo shoots and mushrooms. He planned to work hard to make up for his employer’s loss.
Just after 5, the group returned to the territory.
Yun Ling thought, when the lunch had finished, she had gotten the bamboo tubes back. After the foraging, the materials had been given back to Guard A.
Now, if they handed back the bamboo hat, and she gave them their wages, the day’s employment would be finished.
“Hand over the bamboo hats,” she said.
Hearing this, Pang Yu did not hesitate to hand over the bamboo hat, and then took the 10 copper coins and the 2 black breads for dinner.
After him, the players started to move.
At this time, a cold snort came. “Are you stupid! You worked for them for an entire day and only got 10 copper coins. If you keep the bamboo hat and sell it, you can get at least 50 copper coins. This is five days of wages!”
Yun Ling sighed inside.
Back before handing out the bamboo hats, she had thought, what if the players had the rain gear and were greedy, not wanting to give them back?
It was possible, but she had to hand the hats out. No one could guarantee the players would not catch a cold and fever after being in the rain too long.
These people were working for her, and she must provide a safe working environment for them.
If someone was black-hearted —
“A person should be kind.” Yun Ling’s gaze turned icy, and her voice deep. “Before I get angry, hand over the bamboo hat. Otherwise…you will regret it.”
That person laughed. “Naive!”
Yun Ling knew this person. This was a female player called Huang Ai Xin Back when signing up, she said she had seniors and young children in her family. Her family was about to starve, and please to keep a position for her.
When it came time to work, she kept on swearing as though she thought the work was too hard.
During lunch, she ate quickly, shoving the steamed buns into her mouth, as though she was afraid that someone would steal from her. She did not think of leaving a bite for her family.
Also, based on Yun Ling’s observations, Huang Ai Xin was likely the most ineffective of the ten players.
She had all her limbs, but she was not quick at her work. She did not gather as much as a young thin girl of fifteen who was malnourished.
“Let me repeat. My patience is limited,” Yun Ling said word by word, “it is best you do not challenge my bottom line.”
“We are back in the territory, who are you trying to frighten!” Huang Ai Xin had a scornful look. “I said that I had dependents, and you believed it? So stupid! Let me tell you, I am alone. I only have to care about myself, I have no relatives to drag me down.”
Then, she smugly left in triumph.
Yun Ling did not speak, the air surrounding her heavy.
“You, don’t be angry,”” the girl of fifteen tried to comfort her. “Most of us are very grateful to you. You gave us money, and lunch and dinner. The treatment is very good.”
“I am not angry,” Yun Ling smiled. “This person will not appear in Rising Cloud Village from now, no need to worry.”
She seemed to say that there was no need to hold a grudge against a dead person.
The players unconsciously shuddered.
Other than Huang Ai Xin, other people handed back the bamboo hats, whether out of principle or fear. Then, they took their day wages, and dinner, preparing to leave.
Yun Ling pointed. “You, you, and you…if you want to come tomorrow, you can come.”
“Why?” Before the chosen people could cheer, one of the two people who was not picked could not help but ask.
“You don’t know why you were not chosen?” Yun Ling was cold. “Are you not tired walking all this time with the bamboo shoots and the mushrooms?”
They thought that handing in everything they foraged, and not keeping it for themselves was nothing?
That person turned black and then white, speechless.
He thought that he had kept it secret, but the other saw it all, and just did not want to argue with you.
“What about me?” The other person asked.
Yun Ling said, “During foraging, you were almost as slow as Huang Ai Xin. You were very happy to slack along. Hiring a little girl is better than hiring you.”
At her words, the person who asked turned ashen.
“Okay, let’s go.” Yun Ling waved her hand. “Those willing to come, be here at the same place and time tomorrow, same treatment.”
Then, not waiting for the players to respond, she left with the NPCs.
Huang Ai Xin had slipped away so quickly. There was a debt that had to be cleared up.
“Look at this, this is a new bamboo hat! Just 80 copper coins!” After leaving the team, Huang Ai Xin turned and found a customer, preparing to sell the rain gear.
The other was moved but slightly distressed. “80 copper coins is too expensive, cheaper.”
“Do not think it expensive. Recently, rain gear has been hard to come by, if this is someone else, they will pay instantly,” Huang Ai Xin said earnestly.
Seeing the other show a hesitant expression, she showed the item attributes and said temptingly, “Look for yourself, isn’t it all new.”
[Name: Hat (Rain Gear)]
Equip Effect: +1 Stamina.
The quality was very good.
“Okay.” He was just going to pay when a white light flashed, and Huang Ai Xin disappeared.
“Where did she go?” The customer gaped.
At the same time, Huang Ai Xin received a system notification, [You have been put into the Rising Cloud Village “blacklist.”]
[You have lost the temporary resident status of Rising Cloud Village.]
[You are forever forbidden from entering this territory.]
What was this? Huang Ai Xin was stunned.
“Did I not remind you,” Yun Ling walked out of the territory, and said slowly, “my patience is limited?”
“What did you do?!” Huang Ai Xin had appeared fierce but was afraid inside.
She had never thought that while staying in the safe area, she would get thrown out.
She had offended the other previously, and outside the territory, it was not forbidden for players to fight. She was finished!
As to the threat, in her view, the other’s words had been as weak as “careful that you don’t get struck by lightning if you do bad things.” How was she to know that the other was not joking and serious…
Thinking back to it now, Huang Ai Xin was full of regret. Why was she so blind to offend someone she should not have!
“The means of high level players are many more than you can imagine,” Yun Ling said coldly. “Hand over the bamboo hat, and I will spare your life. Otherwise, if I kill you, the items will drop and it is the same.”
“You dare! Killing people is against the law!” Huang Ai Xin tried to awaken the other’s conscience.
But Yun Ling ignored her words. With a wave of her hand, an NPC charged out, and swung a stick hard on her calf.
Huang Ai Xin screamed, and immediately fell to the ground.
“If you hand it over, you can suffer less,” Yun Ling warned.
Before she finished speaking, another blow hit Huang Ai Xin’s back.
Huang Ai Xin howled. “I will! I will give the bamboo hat back to you, okay!”
If she did not return the equipment, she feared that she would not live through the night.
Then, Huang Ai Xin eagerly threw the bamboo hat to the ground.
Assassin A picked up the bamboo hat, eyes still flashing with cold light.
Huang Ai Xin felt a hint of cold. She hurriedly shouted, “I returned the equipment already! I know I did wrong!”
Heroes were able to adapt to the circumstances, and they would bow if needed.
Huang Ai Xin sobbed as she explained, wanting to get through this. “I was just too hungry, so I lied to you….”
“I am not interested in the reason.” Yun Ling said coldly when she saw the bamboo hat return, “Those who do bad things will get retribution. Carelessly using up other people’s kindness. Careful that you do not get struck by lightning.”
As she spoke, thunder roared and lightning flashed like lightning was going to come down.
Huang Ai Xin feared that the other really knew how to summon lightning and expressed, trembling, “I do not dare, I will not ever dare.”
Yun Ling looked deeply at Huang Ai Xin and then turned to leave, her movements brisk.
“Wait a moment!” Huang Ai Xin was anxious. “I am banned forever from Rising Cloud Village, you did that?”
“You vented your anger, and took the equipment back. Now you should cancel the effect?”
She thought that Yun Ling had relied on equipment to add a player to the territory blacklist.
“I said that you would regret it.” Yun Ling stepped into Rising Cloud Village, and ignored Huang Ai Xin’s cries.
Outside the village.
Huang Ai Xin gritted her teeth and stood up, trying to get into the village.
[You are part of the blacklist, and are forever forbidden from entering this territory.]
No matter how many times she tried, the system would ruthlessly give her the same notification.
Huang Ai Xin stood outside the territory, looking dazedly at the players cooking. They were just a few feet away, but there seemed to be a galaxy between them.
If she could not enter Rising Cloud Village, where could she go?
The nearest territory to here was more than an hour away by foot.
It was late in the day now. How could she walk over there?
Thinking of this, Huang Ai Xin almost fainted.
On the way back, Pang Yu’s steps were light and fast.
With 10 copper coins in hand, husband and wife had the overnight fees for tonight.
He had eaten a large meal at noon, and he was not hungry right now. The flat bread he had saved could be given to his wife.
He always felt that his wife was not recovering because she did not have regular meals.
“I am back.” Unlike usual, Pang Yu’s voice was lively like he had seen hope.
His wife stilled. “Were you lucky, and found food?”
“No, I joined a team,” Pang Yu narrated what had happened today.
“This is wonderful.” His wife teared up.
She was very worried everyday when her husband went out, and could not sleep well. Now that he entered a reliable team, her worries were eased.
“This is the black flatbread the team gave. Quick, eat it.” Pang Yu soaked the bread in warm water, and then helped his wife sit up and eat.
His wife thought the black bread would not taste very good. But at a bite, her eyes lit up. “Delicious.”
When the black rice, the wheat, and the sweet potatoes were mixed together, it was sweet.
Pang Yu said solemnly, “When you recover, we will join the foraging team together. At that time, with the team taking care of meals, it will be much easier to save money.”
Yes. His wife thought. She had to get better quickly and not be a burden.
After traveling and foraging for a morning and finally having a time to rest, Wu He ate the mixed grain steamed buns, and thought hatefully, these people treated players like animals!
So what if they were stronger?
So what if they were better at fighting?
Could they not be treated humanely, and not work from day to night?
Wu He got more angry as he thought. He could not help hide a few of the mushrooms as he dug for them.
It was unreasonable to have to give up all you foraged to start with. This was not very good to keep the workers motivated.
Now, if they gave up 80%, and kept 20%, then it was about right.
So when harvesting the bamboo shoots, he handed over the materials based on this ratio.
When doing this, Wu He completely forgot, if the shares were like this, the team could not provide two meals and extra copper coins.
But he did not care. He wanted to benefit, and also take advantage, not willing to let even one go.
“You, you, and you…if you want to come tomorrow, you can come.”
After returning to Rising Cloud Village, the only unmasked woman in the team said.
Wu He was struck by lightning and could not help but ask, “Why?”
“Are you not tired from walking all this time with the bamboo shoots and the mushrooms?”
The other’s light words hit him at the fatal spot. So the other had seen his movements but did not expose him at the time.
The team would not hire him tomorrow.
He had to find another living.
Without strong skills, without high level equipment, and even without rain gear, what could he do alone?
Today, when he went out, he saw with his own eyes all the nearby edible plants had been picked. Nothing was left. Only by going far were there new resources.
But just by himself, how could he get there safely, and return safely?
After losing the team, being on his own meant starving to death or being killed by the monsters when out!
He had luckily got a good job, but he lost it due to his own fault.
Only now did Wu He seem to wake up, and realized what a stupid thing he had done.
After the rain season started, Yun Ling tried to spend money, purchase materials, and help the poor. Due to this, her copper coins would be quickly spent after they reached her hands. She could not save any.
Later, after selling the bamboo hats and the straw rain coats, the business was booming, and she managed to save copper coins.
Seeing the twenty thousand copper coins in her account, Yun Ling opened the territory window and prepared to upgrade buildings.
Warehouse (level 1), Woodworking Workshop (level 1), Tailor Shop (level 1), residences (level 1), Defensive Shield (level 1), Restaurant (level 1).
Choose two from six.
Yun Ling thought for a moment. “Functional buildings like the Woodworking Workshop, the Tailor Shop, and the Restaurant can hold 2 NPCs at level 1. At level 2, they can hold 5, at level 3, 10. The products sold depend on the abilities of the NPCs. If these buildings are upgraded, I may not be able to hire suitable people.”
“If I upgrade the residences, I can build 1000 wood houses, and also stone houses. While the stone houses are large and have a good environment, the price is many times the wood houses. Most players cannot afford the 500 copper coins to buy wood houses. No need to build anything better.”
“Then, there is only the Warehouse (level 1) and the Defensive Shield (level 1.)”
After thinking for a long time, Yun Ling chose the “warehouse” And the “defensive shield.”
[The Warehouse is upgraded to level 2.]
500 square meters in area, can store various resources, and extend the shelf life of food by 15 days.]
[The Defensive Shield is upgraded to level 2.]
[The maximum HP is now 20000/20000.]
[Base recovery speed: +2 HP/min.]
After the building upgrades, there was more storage, the shelf life was extended, and the defense even better. Yun Ling was unspeakably content inside, and she smiled.
Deep in the night.
The surroundings were silent, and the players were asleep.
Archers A, B, C, and D were loyally guarding Rising Cloud Village and did not dare to slack off.
At this time, the door to the wood house suddenly opened, and a person strolled towards them.
The archers looked at each other and exchanged glances.
Archer A: That person who steals our jobs each day is here again!
Archer B: Stealing monster everyday, can we put him in the blacklist?
Archer C: Each night, there are monsters attacking. But we have gotten a low number of drops. Will the lord think that we are slacking off and not working properly?
Archer D: I never thought there was a risk of unemployment…
Under the complex gazes of the NPCs, Lu Chuan stood by the edge of the territory.
After waiting about half an hour, a group of fire elementals slowly walked towards Rising Cloud Village.
They were made completely of fire, and looked terrifying.
On the way, sparks fell down, burning the plants on the way, and leaving black scorch marks on the ground.
Archer A had a serious expression. “More than twenty enemies are approaching the territory from one direction. Attention, prepare to fight!”
The guards held their breath and stood at ready.
Step. Step. Step. The enemy came closer.
When the fire elements stepped into attack range, the archers drew their bows and shot.
Yet Lu Chuan was faster than them.
He took out special effect arrows from his quiver and shot without thought. Freeze arrow, Penetrating arrow, and Sharp arrow took turns. There were so many it was astounding.
In the blink of an eye, the fire elements were killed.
At this time, the defensive shield had 18944/20000 HP, far above the level to warn all residents of the territory (when HP was below 25%, there would be the first warning.).
Lu Chuan was not content. “The fire elements are immune to all fire attacks. If the Exploding arrows and the Burning arrows could be used, they would have been cleared out quicker.”
Archers A, B, C, D, “……”
Tell us, do you want to take our jobs?
Lu Chuan ignored the angry gazes of the NPC and went to the side to rest.
[Name: Dragon Quiver]
Equip Effect: Each minute, it automatically refills an arrow. At most, holds 50 arrows.
Special Effect: After the arrow forms, 30% chance of special effects such as penetrating, exploding, freezing, and burning.
Right now, the orange quiver still had 15 exploding arrows, and 10 burning arrows.
With every minute, the quiver will automatically replenish an arrow. There was a 30% chance of a special effect arrow, and 70% chance of a normal arrow.
If the orange quiver was full of special arrows, it took a lot of time. When unlucky, the chances did not count, and all those were normal arrows.
But luckily, he had the patience to wait.
Just as the sky was becoming light, Fu Yi Ge was out of bed and preparing to go out.
He only had one travel bag, a portion of food, one bottle full of water, a wood shovel, and a dagger.
Then he put the straw sandals, and prepared to leave.
One person saw him, and was surprised. “Brother Fu, why are you leaving without rain gear?”
“You do not know?” Before Fu Yi Ge responded, someone else answered first. “Brother Fu is famous for wanting money over life. Usually, he just goes out with straw sandals.”
“He always says, rather than buy rain gear, it is better to save the money, so he can purchase official resident status, houses, or equipment.”
“I am young, so what if I get rained on a bit?” Fu Yi Ge said with a smile. “When the rain season passes, the rain gear will not be of use, and there is no need to waste money.”
The person who had asked the question was in awe. “Brother Fu is so brave!”
“Just used to save money.” Then Fu Yi Ge walked to the bonfire, and prepared to eat breakfast.
The rain kept on coming down.
Fu Yi Ge had a calm expression, and waited for 8 o’clock to come.
It was not his first time going out in the rain. At the start, he had been worried about aftereffects, and then after a few times, he found that while he would get negative status sometimes after the rain. But after returning to the territory, sitting by the fire and eating a hot meal, the negative status would disappear.
After a while, he did not think much of it, and just ran around with straw sandals.
Being daring had benefits.
On rainy days, other people were trapped in the territory, and unable to move. But he had some gains at least.
After several times, Fu Yi Ge got more daring, and stayed longer and longer out in the rain.
Fu Yi Ge thought that this day would pass like before but who knew —
[Because of excessive time in the rain, you are ill. -3 Strength, -3 Agility, -3 Stamina, -3 Intelligence, -3 Spirit. ]
[Your Base Recovery Speed has changed to: 1 HP/5 minutes, 1 MP/5 minutes. ]
[Rest for three days (do not be in the rain for three consecutive days, and work less than 1 hour) to recover your health. ]
Fu Yi Ge, “……”
Seeing the system notification, there was only a thought in his mind — he had to pay his debts.