Last time, on Apocalypse Lord: Yun Ling takes the Foraging Federation out to work.
This chapter has been brought to you by me and Smash10101.
Chapter 40 – Talent
As time passed, more and more life skills players learned to make bamboo hats and straw rain coats, and the price of the rain gear continued to slide down.
The players who sold rain gear at the beginning earned a lot, and bought housing, moving in. Even though the business was not as hot as at the start, they had enough capital to buy blueprints, and learn to make other items.
As the amount of rain gear increased, going out on a rainy day was no longer a problem. The residents used umbrellas, straw rain coats, or bamboo hats as they resumed their usual life.
At the same time, Yun Ling’s foraging team had twenty people, each of them hard-working and well-behaved.
It was due to these people that the amount of game materials was increasing by the day.
The text in the top right corner finally changed, “Day 31, spring, peace day, 7:30:30.”
Yun Ling pondered the new term, and guessed the days of drizzling rain was about to end.
Soon after, the foraging team of twenty people all arrived.
Yun Ling said solemnly, “The game settings have changed. If someone wants to leave the team and work on your own, I will not stop you.”
The air grew very quiet.
After a long time, no member said they were going to leave. Everyone stood where they were, waiting for Yun Ling to lead them to depart.
Yun Ling was slightly surprised. She had thought that there would be ambitious people who would leave.
But in reality, the players were thinking, it would be easy to leave now, and very difficult to return if they wanted to come back.
On peace days, they could move freely, but if in a few days, it changed to “summer, calamity day,” what should they do?
In the end, one person was not able to defend against the calamities.
If they were with teams, it was not the same. If they encountered monsters, there were guards to protect them. The materials that they foraged were not considerable, but the team leader still paid them in full and provided food.
The shade under a large tree was enjoyable. They finally found a steady job, which player was willing to easily abandon this?
Also, if something happened to the team, and had no more money to hire them, they could move on their own then.
“Since no one wants to leave,” Yun Ling smiled, “then let us depart.”
What did a peace day mean?
From the words, one could not understand.
But not long after leaving the territory, Yun Ling sensed something was different.
Previously, the edible plants near Rising Cloud Village had all been dug out, with nothing left. Now, there were potatoes, sweet potatoes, wild vegetables scattered in the surrounding. This was like new supplies had been refreshed.
In the past, when they encountered monsters, the monsters would always chase persistently, and could not get shaken off. Today, after a light jog, and distancing yourself, the monsters were too lazy to give chase.
On calamity days, the rain would come down randomly, stopping and starting with no pattern. On peace days, the weather was fine, and there were no signs of rain.
No matter which way you looked at it, peace days were much easier to survive than calamity days.
Yun Ling led people to gather honey, berries, and potatoes. They were very busy.
But when she calculated the stored supplies, she was very happy and felt that there was no trouble in being a bit more busy.
After finishing a day’s work, and paying the wages, Yun Ling waved her hand. “You can leave.”
The players all scattered, and only one person quickly walked after her. “Wait!”
“What is it?” Yun Ling asked.
This was a young person of twenty-seven or so. He looked scholarly, and at this time, he was timid as though he had a hard time speaking.
Yun Ling waited patiently.
After a while, the young person made a decision and said, “Could you lend me some money?”
“What do you want to do?” Yun Ling was curious.
The young person explained, “I study chemistry, and am skilled in this area, I am not good at physical labor. If possible, I want to buy some experimental equipment, and do my old job.”
“For example?” Yun Ling asked.
“Make sugar, make salt, and make ice,” the young person said softly.
Make ice? Yun Ling’s thoughts moved.
In reality, she suspected that the game would create trouble for the players according to the four seasons. But this was just a guess, and there was no proof.
“What materials are needed? How much money do you need?” Yun Ling asked the details.
The young person thought and said uncertainly, “200 copper coins should be enough?”
Yun Ling did not make a sound.
The young person immediately changed. “100 copper coins will do. You cannot gain weight with one bite. Everything needs to occur gradually!”
Yun Ling looked up, her gaze sharp. “I will prepare a wood house for you as a workshop. Also, I will give you 500 copper coins, so you can buy materials and equipment.”
“The only condition is that we split the products eight to two, eight to me, two to you.”
“If you do not want the products, I can pay you 40-100 copper coins each day, depending on the quality and number of the products.”
The great surprise stunned the young person. He was so happy he did not know what to do with his hands. “I am Zhang Heng…as long as you are willing to give the capital! I originally just wanted to do research, sell products, and find a new job, this is too much…”
“Then it is settled,” Yun Ling said decisively, “we will meet tomorrow at 7, and I will take you to the workshop.”
“Okay!” After reaching an agreement, Zhang Henng happily left.
Yun Ling opened the territory attribute window, and chose a wood house for Zhang Heng to be his workshop.
[Name: Wood House]
Use Effect: After purchasing, the player will possess 20 square meters of private space. No one is allowed to enter without permission.
Price: 500 copper coins.
Note: Special equipment. Each official residence may only purchase one.
These rules were targeted at normal players.
For Yun Ling, the entire territory was hers, much less a few wood houses? If she did not sell them to a player, then she owned the wood house.
“There will be a few days left between the change of the seasons as peace days. It seems to suggest to players to use the rest times fully, and prepare early to welcome the next round of challenges.” Yun Ling sighed, and had a bad feeling.
In the early morning of the next day, Zhang Heng cleaned himself up, and waited anxiously to meet with Yun Ling.
Before it was 7 o’clock, he received news, “Come to the residential area.”
Seeing this, Zhang Heng’s spirits lifted, and he jogged towards the residential area.
The so-called residential area was just the area with the wood houses. There was a large patch of wood houses lined up neatly, just like old housing areas. So the players were used to calling this the “residential area.”
As to the area filled with tents…the players jokingly called it the “slums.” Because the tents did not take up a large space, any player could enter as they wish, and there was no privacy to speak of.
After three minutes, Zhang Heng appeared on the outskirts of the residential area.
Seeing this person, Yun Ling said, “Come with me.”
Then she walked ahead and led the way.
Zhang Heng was both excited and overjoyed. His heart beat rapidly and he could not calm down.
Yun Ling stopped in front of a wood house. “This is a residence of the team members. Usually, no one lives here, and it is just used to store food. I heard you say you can make ice so I had them clean out the house for you.”
Yun Ling had an aloof expression, and came out full of lies.
But in Zhang Heng’s ears, the words were flawless. He rubbed his hands excitedly. “I am so embarrassed to have…”
“If you can make ice, then it is fine if I give this house to you,” Yun Ling said unconcernedly.
After a player bought a wood house, they could give it to others without having to pay, and also put it out for sale.
But usually, people wanted their own houses so they did not sign over their houses or give them to others.
Hearing this, Zhang Heng flushed red and his breathing sped up. “Give the house to me? Really?”
“The premise is that you are outstanding and satisfy people.” Yun Ling pushed open the door.
Zhang Heng went in to look. There was a wood table, wood chair, and a cabinet. The furniture was neatly placed, the environment clean, and it was like a small workshop.
Such a house like this was very common before the start of the game, but after the apocalypse game started, it was rare.
“This this this…” Zhang Heng was dumbstruck and managed to say, “This took a lot of money?”
“Just a bit, nothing much.” Yun Ling took out 500 copper coins. “Use these to add equipment. You look and see what you should do.”
Zhang Heng looked dazedly at Yun Ling and instinctively pinched his arm.
He cried in pain. Seeing Yun Ling look over, he smiled guiltily. “So this is not a dream…”
From the start of the game to now, he had not been doing well. All the copper coins he had gotten added together did not reach 500 copper coins.
This was a huge sum!
Enough to make someone lose their minds!
“Work well, the future is boundless.” Yun Ling paused, and then said in an icy voice, “But if you want to cheat me, and you do not actually know to make sugar and ice, I promise you will regret it.”
Zhang Heng’s heart tightened. He said seriously, “I am not lying. I really worked with this to make a living. Asking to borrow money from you was to plan to work in my best field, and avoid the things I am not good at.”
While he could do everything to live, he was really not suited to hard and tiring labor. If there was a chance, he wanted to change jobs.
Yun Ling said, “Then I will wait and see.”
Two days later.
Zhang Heng called Yun to the workshop.
He first took out the fine and white salt he made and said proudly, “I refined this from the lake water. The texture is not bad, and it is edible.”
Then he took out a plastic bag filled with white sugar. “I got this from the sugar cane and beets. First squeeze out juice, then concentrate through boiling, separate and form crystals. At the start, it was brown sugar, and after more refinement, it is white sugar for normal use.”
When Zhang Heng spoke of his professional field, he was very excited and could not stop talking.
We are both humans, but why can’t I understand what you are saying?
“In conclusion,” Yun Ling interrupted Zhang Heng’s professional explanation, “as long as you made it.”
She glanced at the table and asked, “Where is the ice?”
Zhang Heng presented cold sugar cane juice. “Here.”
Yun Ling took a sip, and found it clean and sweet with hints of coldness. When the drink entered her stomach, the heat faded, and she felt refreshed all over.
Zhang Heng explained, “While I can make the ice cubes, they are not easy to store, so I did not make much. When needed, I will make them to avoid the ice melting.”
“Okay.” Yun Ling nodded in agreement. “Focus on making the sugar and salt. Players need these basic seasoning.”
“During the production, I encountered some trouble,” Zhang Heng hesitated to speak.
Zhang Heng was very distressed. “The salt is okay, I will not use up the lake water temporarily, and I do not have to worry for raw materials.”
“Sugar canes and beets are both resources, and have to be gathered from the outside. There are not a lot of them on the market.”
“The ice is even more troublesome to make. I used the saltpeter method, and I need a large amount of saltpeter in the production process.”1
Yun Ling frowned. “Weren’t you making ice? Where did you get the saltpeter?”
“From a player,” Zhang Heng said honestly. “He said he unlocked ‘Elementary Mining’ and dug out some saltpeter from the caves.”
When the caves were mentioned, Yun Ling thought of the blacksmith shop that was still not unlocked. She thought for a moment and then said, “Since there is not enough materials, focus on making the salt.”
“I will deliver some beets and sugar cane at regular intervals. When you get the materials, then make white sugar.”
“As to saltpeter —” her eyes dimmed, “I will find people to explore, and deliver to you when it’s dug out.”
“That is good.” Zhang Heng sighed in relief when the problem of the raw materials was solved.
Yun Ling had a praising expression. “You did well. From now, your daily wage is 50 copper coins, lunch and dinner.”
“Ah!” Zhang Heng was both surprised and happy.
What did 50 copper coins per day mean right now?
After two days, he could become an official resident of Rising Cloud Village.
In ten days, he would have the money to buy a house.
With money, he could buy low level self-made equipment as he pleased. Once he had six pieces of equipment, he could arm himself to the teeth!
Zhang Heng was more and more excited, his fingers trembling. He could not control his feelings.
“If you are reliable and work hard, I will not treat talents badly,” Yun Ling said solemnly.
The sky was sunny, and there was not a cloud in sight. The ones that foraged went foraging. The ones that hunted went hunting. The players’s days got better again, and they had more spare money.
[Population Capacity: 1000]
[Existing Residents: 814 (Official Residents 278,Temporary Residents 536)]
There was an explosion of the population. Yun Ling made a lot of money just from the overnight fees each night.
Yun Ling inspected the information on the living and professional NPCs in the territory, and found she had these people —
[Name: Chef A]
Attributes: Strength 10, Agility 5, Stamina 7, Intelligence 5, Spirit 5.
Combat Skills: None
Life Skills: Elementary Cooking
Craftable Items: Mixed Grain Steamed Bun, Rice Porridge, Rice Cake.
[Name: Chef B]
Attributes: Strength 7, Agility 7, Stamina 7, Intelligence 5, Spirit 5.
Combat Skills: None
Life Skills: Elementary Cooking
Craftable Items: Mixed Grain Steamed Bun, Rice Porridge, Black Bread, Cane Juice.
[Name: Woodworker A]
Attributes: Strength 9, Agility 7, Stamina 6, Intelligence 6, Spirit 6.
Combat Skills: None
Life Skills: Elementary Woodworking
Craftable Items: Wood Stick, Wood Shield, Wood Staff, Wood Bow, Torch, Willow Wood Stick, Willow Wood Shield, Willow Wood Staff, Willow Wood Bow.
[Name: Woodworker B]
Attributes: Strength 10, Agility 6, Stamina 6, Intelligence 5, Spirit 5.
Combat Skills: None
Life Skills: Advanced Woodworking
Craftable Items: Wood Stick, Wood Shield, Wood Staff, Wood Bow, Torch, Willow Wood Stick, Willow Wood Shield, Willow Wood Staff, Willow Wood Bow, Wood Bed, Wood Cabinets, Wood Table, Wood Chair, Wood Bowl, Wood Spoon, Wood Chopsticks, Wood Box.
The Tailor Shop.
[Name: Tailor A]
Attributes: Strength 8, Agility 9, Stamina 6, Intelligence 5, Spirit 5.
Combat Skills: None
Life Skills: Intermediate Sewing
Craftable Items: Bandages, Quivers, Shoes, Cloth Armor, Belts.
[Name: Tailor B]
Attributes: Strength 9, Agility 7, Stamina 9, Intelligence 5, Spirit 5.
Combat Skills: None
Life Skills: Intermediate Sewing, Elementary Grass Art.
Craftable Items: Bandage, Quiver, Belt, Bracers, Assassin Face Mask, Linen Backpack, Straw Sandals, Straw Hat, Cushion, Straw Raincoat.
Level 1 could hold 2 NPC workers, level 2 could hold 5 workers, and level 3 10 workers.
Clearly, the restaurant, the woodworking workshop, and the tailor shop had reached their limits.
She had to upgrade the buildings to level 2 before the newly hired NPCs could go in and work.
She looked at the visiting list.
A level 4 priest, a level 3 archer, and an intermediate chef.
Yun Ling pressed to hire and named him “Chef C.”
[Name: Chef C]
Attributes: Strength 8, Agility 8, Stamina 9, Intelligence 5, Spirit 5.
Combat Skills: None
Life Skills: Intermediate Cooking
Craftable Items: Mixed Grain Steamed Bun, Mushrooms and Eggs, Vegetable Salad, Sandwich, Clear Soup, Spring Rolls, Zongzi.
Then she upgraded the “Restaurant.”
[The Restaurant is upgraded to level 2]
[The lobby is expanded and can hold more customers at a time.]
[There is more tableware for chefs to cook with.]
Unlike before, there was a new notification, [You have satisfied the leveling conditions. Do you wish to see the details?]
Yun Ling pressed “yes.”
New information popped out.
[To upgrade the village to a town, the following conditions must be satisfied.]
[1. Unlock 6 different buildings. (Completed)]
[2. Upgrade 4 buildings to level 2. (Completed)]
[3. For 7 consecutive days, have over 700 residents. (3/7, not completed)]
[4. For 7 consecutive days, the daily territory income surpasses 7000 copper coins. (2/7, not completed)
(Note: Daily income = shop income + taxes + others)]
[When the following conditions are met, pay 50000 copper coins, and the territory will be upgraded.]
Yun Ling thought. There were already 7 unlocked buildings in the territory so condition 1 was satisfied.
Warehouse (level 2), Mission Hall (level 2), Defensive Shield (level 2), Restaurant (level 2). So condition 2 was satisfied.
Based on the rate people were coming into the territory, after four days, condition 3 would be satisfied.
But condition 4 was slightly difficult.
It was not easy to have over 7000 daily income. Because it was for 7 consecutive days, if one day did not reach the condition, then it started counting from zero.
Also, she had used most of her savings to upgrade the restaurant to level 2. Getting together 50000 copper coins was troublesome.
“I have to think of a way,” Yun Ling thought.
She was a classic life skills player. As long as the days were tolerable, she had no great ambitions.
If she did not fear that she would be at a disadvantage if her level was low, she would even not level up.
The reason that she wanted to level up quickly was not because she had changed in personality, and was planning to conquer, but because she wanted the buildings…
Based on her past experience, the first to reach town would have extra rewards.
For example, +1 unlockable building.
Or, resident buff +1.
These extra rewards could not be bought with money, and urged her to work hard.
“From the ranking list, Rising Cloud Village is still top on all the rankings. In the next 4 days, the territory must have over 7000 copper coins and I will upgrade to the town first!”
What should she do?
Yun Ling propped her chin on her hand and sank into thought.
Yun Ling was inventorying the materials, and found there were all kinds of materials in the warehouse. She even found some saltpeter stones in there. She did not remember where she had gotten them.
A hoarding fanatic was like this.
Buy buy buy, and after buying, sometimes, she could not say what she had hoarded.
But she believed firmly that these were all strategic resources, and would be of use sooner or later.
Putting away her stray thoughts, Yun Ling started to search through the material piles. After a while, her eyes lit up. “Found it!”
Wei Zhe finished hunting and returned early to Rising Cloud Village with all five of his quivers, 3 blue and 2 white, empty.
Along the way, he heard the residents whisper. “The days are too hard. When will it end?”
“The rainy season has just passed. We just about finished all the food at home, and now we have to store up again.”
“I just managed to save some money, and after buying official resident status, I do not have a cent left! Okay, I have to start saving from the beginning.”
“Hey, say, if we move to other territories, will our days be better?”
The other people were silent, like they were stuck.
Wei Zhe shooked his head at hearing this. “Lucky and not knowing it!”
He was not an original resident of Rising Cloud Village.
At the start of the game, the territory he encountered first was “Cotton Camp.” He saw that it was pretty good, and settled there.
Wei Zhe thought that if he woke early in the day to hunt, and worked late into the night, saving food, he would keep living like this. But one day, the monsters seemed to go mad and attacked the camp.
That was night. The residents were all asleep. As a result, when he woke up in the middle of the night, he heard women screaming, children crying, and old people swearing.
Wei Zhe had been sleepy when he walked out of the tent. He wanted to ask why these people were not sleeping at night, and making noise.
But when he came out, the players were over the ground, many of them no longer breathing.
Not far away, the monsters were rampaging. Some were fighting the players, and some were walking towards the tents, searching for new prey.
It was like someone dumped a basin of cold water over Wei Zhe’s head. He immediately woke up.
He quickly returned, planning to pack up his luggage, and run away.
Because of the urgency and the limited time, he could not take most of his things, and only took some things. Then Wei Zhe grabbed his backpack and sprinted in the direction away from the camp.
When he was fleeing, he was found by the monsters. Three monsters chased relentlessly after him.
Wei Zhe used the geography, killed one, escaped the other two, and managed to survive.
But he did not manage to escape the sea of suffering. He started a life of roaming.
Some territories were controlled by large teams that oppressed the lone players. Some territories did not allow outsiders. Some territories had few buildings, and poor defenses. Some territories, when you entered for the night, you would be attacked by monsters during the night. Before the next day, the territory was overrun…
After a lot of trouble, Wei Zhe grew numb. When he was dispirited, and felt that life was not as good as death, he came to Rising Cloud Village.
After becoming an official resident, you could enjoy two buffs that greatly increased the ability to survive outside.
There were guards in the territory, and a defensive building like the defensive shield.
During the night, you could sleep without worry. You did not have to be constantly on your guard, worried that the monsters would attack during the night.
There were many functional buildings, and a wide variety of products that could satisfy the needs of all players.
There was no oppression from the teams. There were lone players and life skills players everywhere who were playing the game.
Bamboo hats, straw raincoats, bamboo umbrellas. There was plenty of rain gear, and at reasonable prices. Without the market being cornered by the large teams, the prices were not sky-high.
Even in the hardest of times, he had not heard of any players hunting other players to get equipment to sell in order to live.
Wei Zhe sincerely felt that there was no territory better than Rising Cloud Village in S City. This place was suitable for living, and when you worked, you could see hope.
He came into the Tailor Shop with copper coins. Wei Zhe planned to buy another “Hunting Quiver”. But when he looked, there were new products on the shelves.
[Name: Crimson Flame Quiver]
Equip Effect: Each minute, it automatically refills an arrow. At most, holds 35 arrows.
Special Effect: After the arrow forms, 20% chance of special effect “Burning.” Once successful, +12 fire damage. Creates extra fire spell attack.
Price: 1200 copper coins.
[Name: Fire Feather Cloak]
Equip Effect: Stamina +10
Special Effect: Each second, will create 3 fire spell damage to surrounding enemies.
Price: 3000 copper coins.
After reading the attributes, Wei Zhe inhaled sharply — what kind of magical territory was this? Why were there even purple equipment for sale!
He had once heard people mention, in the early stages of the game, high level equipment was very rare. Other than being lucky to pick a purple or orange card during the card rain on the first day, hunting bosses was the only chance to get purple and orange equipment.
While the authenticity was not proven, there was more than one person who said this.
Adding on that Wei Zhe had gone to other territories, and the system shops never sold purple and orange equipment, over time, he started to believe it.
But! Rising Cloud Village’s system shop was selling purple equipment! Not just one, but two!
Wei Zhe was shocked at his spot and unable to recover for a long time.
After a while, he touched his pocket, and sighed with regret. “Not enough money, cannot afford it. Such a pity.”
Translator Ramblings: I don’t know why there are so many wood items. And don’t ask why some items are just wood wood and others willow wood.
- Apocalypse Lord Chapter 44 “Summer 3”
- Apocalypse Lord Chapter 43 “Summer 2”
- Apocalypse Lord Chapter 42 “Summer 1”
- Apocalypse Lord Chapter 41 “Rising Cloud Town”
- Apocalypse Lord Chapter 40 “Talent”
- Editor’s note: As far as I know, you can’t actually make ice with saltpeter, though you can drop 5 gallons (~19 liters) of 75˚F (~24˚C) water down to about 50˚F (10˚C) by adding 5 or so pounds (~2.25 kg) of finely powdered saltpeter. This water will make you very sick if you drink it, but it was commonly used to chill (sealed) bottles of wine prior to the invention of the modern refrigerator. The saltpeter could also be recovered by evaporating the water, so this could be done repeatedly. ↩