Last time, on Apocalypse Lord: PKing is an economic issue, not a security one.
This chapter has been brought to you by me and Smash10101.
Chapter 56 – New Year
Returning to the town, Yun Ling sent the fresh fish back to the restaurant, and the shrimp and crabs back to her stone house.
Fragrant and spicy shrimp, boiled shrimp, steamed crabs, fried crabs…all kinds of dishes covered the table.
Yun Ling left a small crack in the window so the smell would reach her neighbor.
Come! Let us hurt each other!
A bite of Fragrant Spicy Shrimp, numb and spicy, the meat firm.
A bite of Boiled Shrimp, fresh, tender, and sweet.
Then a bite of Steamed Crab, the meat full, delicious and leaving a fragrance after it was swallowed.
Yun Ling was eating in large bites when she suddenly smelled Spicy Octopus, Grilled Lamb, Grilled Gluten, and Grilled Pork Belly.
Yun Ling thought, it seemed that someone had smelled the shrimp.
The power of the people was great. After a few days stuck inside the territory, more delicious food was developed.
“Liquor! Just brewed liquor. A mouthful and you will feel comfortable all over, all your worries gone!”
“Special soy sauce, 30 copper coins per bottle. Limited supply, will stop selling when gone, if you want, come quickly and buy!”
“Lotus leaf rice, fragrant lotus leaf rice! A bag for 20 copper coins!”
The lotus leaf rice was made from lotus leaves wrapped around sticky rice, ground meat and beans. The lotus leaves were green, the rice soft and loose with a faint fragrance, and caused the passersby to look back constantly.
Some people set up small pots and placed in meat pieces to create pork lard.
The lard was placed into jars, and slowly formed a white solid. The lard was very fragrant, and even put plain into rice, people could eat three big bowls.
After the lard was created, there were cracklings left in the pot. They made fragrant and crisp snacks.
The person who was making lard seemed to be living well, and put the cracklings into a bowl, sprinkling on white sugar. Then, mixing with a chopstick, they started to eat.
The smell of the cracklings grew stronger, and other people drooled in envy.
Qiao Qiao and Grandmother Qian were life skills players and not skilled in fighting. After deciding to kill the pig, the two of them hired someone to help.
The helper’s blade rose and fell, the pig falling to the ground, and dropping pork materials to the ground.
Qiao Qiao went in and out, moving the materials into the home. Qiao Qiao picked three pieces of pork belly with skin and started to make braised pork.
Grandmother Qian was an experienced cook, having cooked for more than four decades.
Qiao Qiao was an all-purpose third year high school student. After making the salt, she also created white sugar and soy sauce.
With all the materials present, Grandmother Qian could do her best and show off her skills.
“So fragrant.” Zhang Fan and the others had originally come to help Qiao Qiao, and when they smelled the meat, they were unable to walk.
They stretched their necks and looked, seeing the pork belly had a perfect ratio of fat and meat, looking very tempting.
The members all swallowed, and pretended to look away, but their gazes were unable to be controlled, and looked towards the pot.
“Can you be better?” Zhang Fan’s words were filled with disdain.
The members: Then you should not look!
Zhang Fan’s brain: I also want to not do so.
Zhang Fan’s eyes: I do not allow this.
“You must be very tired. Come, eat,” Grandmother Qian beckoned to them.
When she spoke, the others fought to charge forward and served themselves full bowls of rice. When the sauce of the braised pork was poured on, and they served themselves several pieces of the pork, the taste was wondrous!
Someone was so happy they were on the verge of tears. “There is drink and food, it is like New Years.”
Nearby, the sounds of people selling their wares mixed together. “Malt sugar! Delicious malt sugar!”
“Delicious and good looking sugar people, only 5 copper coins each!”
“Iced Hawthorne Skewers, delicious Hawthorne Skewers!”
In the corner, the bamboo craftsman and the woodworker had made some little things to give to the children for free as toys.
Qiao Qiao walked out of the room, and saw the scene, agreeing, “I feel it is like celebrating the New Year.”
[Player “Yang Xu” requests to add “Yang Ze Tao” as a friend.]
The system notification, [The distance is too far, please wait and try again.]
“It is still too far?” Yang Xu slowly exhaled.
Ever since the start of the game, he had been lucky to find Rising Cloud Town, and encountered reliable teammates. From the start of the game to now, he had had a smooth time, and never worried for food and clothing. Now, he had even bought a house. The only regret was, he did not know where his family was…
Each day, when he woke up in the morning, the first thing he did was enter in the names of his family, and try to contact them.
But the trash system’s response was forever, [The distance is too far. Please try again later.]
Right, there had been one time the answer was different. The request to add a friend had succeeded, but he had actually found a stranger with the same name. After chatting a few words, he deleted them.
“I hope they are fine.” Yang Xu was worried and tried to enter the name of his other relatives.
Usually, the system would notify, [The distance is too great. Please try again later.]
But after he entered, the system answered [The friend request has been sent. Waiting for the other’s response.]
[The other has confirmed the request. Conversation is now possible.]
Before Yang Xu could think of what to say, the other asked urgently, “It is Yang Yang?”
Yang Xu was stunned.
Yang Yang was his nickname, and only his family knew. Had…he found the right people this time?!
Yang Xu: “Yes.”
Yang Xu: “Where are you? I will go find you.”
Yang Xu: “Let’s meet up and speak.”
The other was very excited, and the words jumbled. “Yang Yang, it is Mama! The territory we were staying in was not very good, and we switched about eight or so. We recently came to Rising Cloud Town.”
“We can probably only be added as friends if we are in the same territory.”
“I am waiting for you by Priest A. Come quickly.”
He really got into contact!
Yang Xu was so excited he was trembling, not even able to button up his clothing.
His heart beat rapidly, and he could not calm down. He just messily put on a scarf, buttoned up his clothing, and then sprinted out of the wood house.
First finding people to drill wells and build fountains. Then finding people to make fishing boats. Would this appear very suspicious? Yun Ling was uncertain.
When she walked into the mission hall and looked —
[Hiring girlfriend, 20 copper coins/day, provides dinner. Please contact Deng Cai Jun if interested.]
[Hiring tailor to make custom clothing. Please contact Shen Yue if interested.]
[Hiring manual labor for foraging in a team. 50/50 split of gains. Contact Cai Yun Tian if interested.]
[Hiring workers to build a house, price negotiable. Contact Jia Jin if interested.]
[Hiring special people to help dig basements, price negotiable. Contact Jia Jin if interested.]
What was there to suspect? There were many other people more strange than her.
She had worried for nothing.
Yun Ling was very comforted, and her expression relaxed as she sent an employment notice in the name of her as a player, [Hiring people who know how to make boats, 50 copper coins/day, will provide three meals a day. Contact Yun Ling if interested.]
In a flash, five days passed.
No one had contacted her.
Yun Ling started to consider the possibility of unlocking the wharf again.
But this matter could not be hurried. The buildings temporarily could not be upgraded to level 3, and the territory could not be upgraded to a city. There were also no extra building slots to be used.
As she was thinking, a new NPC was spawned.
Attributes: Strength 4, Agility 4, Stamina 8, Intelligence 10, Spirit 12.
Combat Skills: A-rank Disperse, B-rank Healing
Life Skills: None
Seeing a high level and suitable skills, Yun Ling clicked to hire.
“Willing to work for you, Lord.” Priest E had a respectful tone.
“What is the use of the disperse?” Yun Ling asked.
“I can disperse negative statuses,” Priest E answered. “A-rank disperse can end most negative statuses.”
“Burning, poison, dizziness, heat stroke, cold…”
Cold as well? Yun Ling was very shocked.
After the residents had gotten a cold, their first response had been to find the priest to heal. But after healing the negative status was still there, and the resident still did not feel good.
The residents finally gave up the struggle, ate cold expelling food, and rested based on the conditions to get healthy.
Now, what did this person say? The priest could heal this, but a “healing” skill was not needed, but a “disperse” skill?
Yun Ling thought and said, “Come with me.”
She ordered a NPC to take off winter clothing and go out, returning only when they were ill. She turned to Priest E and said, “Let me see the treatment.”
“Disperse.” Priest E used the skill.
In the next second, the ill NPC’s face turned for the better, and the negative status completely disappeared.
“So treatment is so simple…” Yun Ling was speechless. At the same time, she felt taking out all of the game materials she had hoarded for so long to make winter clothing was a bit of a waste.
Happy times were always short. After being inside for 20 days, they were going to face the start of working days again.
The residents were talking. “Tomorrow is peace day, it is time to go out now.”
“Hey, I have enough food and firewood. The hot water bottle makes me warm. I did not bear to go out.”
“After being inside an entire winter, I have become lazy. It is going to be a peace day now. I have to work a bit more to support my family.”
In everyone’s anticipation Day 121 silently came.
But the top right corner still showed, “Day 121, winter, calamity day.”
“How come it is still calamity day?” The residents paled. “Has the game made a mistake? After 20 calamity days, it should be a peace day!”
One person quietly asked, “…who told you that after 20 calamity days, it will be a peace day?”
The person who had spoken first stilled and stammered out, “In spring and summer, it was 20 calamity days!”
That person snorted coldly. “Then that does not stop the winter season from being 30 calamity days.”
The residents were all silent, unable to argue.
The game had never said that the winter was 20 calamity days and 10 peace days. They had guessed according to their experience.
Now, they had guessed wrong…they had to take on the responsibility.
“I hoarded food and wood based on 20 calamity days,” one player said, their face sickly. “How am I going to pass 10 days?”
Someone complained in a low voice, “If I had known that the calamity days in winter were more than 20 days, I would not have stayed in the territory to rest.”
“Now, this is good. I have eaten and used up everything, and do not have many copper coins left…”
“A friend of mine went out in the cold wind, and warned me that the resources outside are no longer refreshing, and the monsters have gone to hibernate.”
The more they spoke, the more they panicked, feeling cold inside.
Their gazes met up, and they all ran back home to put on winter gear. After preparing, they all went to explore and forage.
Pang Yu, on the other hand, had gritted his teeth and persisted in going out despite the difficulties. Right now, he had paid back all his debts, saved up a lot of food and wood at home, and had a significant sum in hand.
“When a person has no foresight, there will be worries soon.” He was very anxious and could not rest. After telling his wife, he went out with the team.
“Why do I feel that you cannot slack off playing this game?” his wife murmured as she worked. “If you slack a bit, all the advantages you gained before are all gone…”
On one hand, the residents of Rising Cloud Town were very unlucky. They had lived too comfortably during the autumn, and because they had sufficient food, they had stayed in the territory for the first twenty days of winter. When they ate all their food, and came out in the cold wind, they were not used to it.
On the other hand, the residents of Rising Cloud Town were very lucky. They did not lack winter clothing or cold expelling food. They could go out any time they wanted.
Even more importantly, because most residents had stayed in the territory, the surrounding resources were rich, and they could forage without having to go far from the territory.
Once they got cold and ill, they could return home to rest, and drink ginger soup to heal. If they were in a hurry, they could find Priest E to go and disperse the negative status.
The winter had taken away too many people, and dozens of system territories had been breached.
Being able to survive was a lucky thing.
“I just knew that the trash game would not let the players pass so easily.” Yun Ling looked at the large pile of materials in the warehouse, and felt a feeling of safety.
She believed even more firmly that hoarding was right.
After Day 121, there were members of the original foraging team coming to ask, “Are you re-hiring?”
“Can you hire me again to work with the team?”
“What kind of clothing will you provide?”
Yun Ling answered them, “You can come back any time. Like before, we will meet up together, forage with the team, hand in what you forage. You will be provided with meals each day, and also copper coins. The job will provide only a cotton shirt, and you take care of the rest.”
“One cotton shirt is too little! I will get a cold!” A person could not help but frown.
Yun Ling said, “Then wear more yourself.”
She was very kind in providing basic working clothing.
That person did not speak, a fierce fight occurring in their mind.
At this time, a player walked over. “Boss, I came to tell you I will not be foraging with the team anymore.”
Yun Ling was slightly shocked and asked, “What is it?”
This was a girl of fifteen. She had a bright smile, showing her pointy snaggletooth. “A few days ago, when I went foraging and picking firewood, I got a small bit of wealth. I am going to buy equipment and work on my own.”
“This is very good.” Seeing the other wearing four pieces of winter clothing, Yun Ling smiled, comforted. “I wish you are better and better.”
“Thanks, Boss.” The girl thanked her and joyfully left.
Seeing someone live so well after leaving the team, the person who had been struggling gritted their teeth and stomped their foot. “I will also quit!”
During the winter season, she had gotten many good NPCs and her team had grown bigger and stronger. Yun Ling did not care about the few players she was losing.
She casually said, “Good luck.”
After those who left, those who stayed, and those who did not appear and had lost contact, there were only 14 people left in the original thirty member foraging team.
Yun Ling looked around and waved her hand. “Depart.”
“It is almost spring, going to rain again,” Zhou Qi said solemnly during the team meeting.
“The combat team should take the time to fight monsters and get materials while the weather is good.”
“Aunt Lin, Uncle Wu, Grandfather Zheng are responsible for making rain gear. Make as many bamboo hats and straw rain coats as possible.”
Zhou Qi ordered calmly, and made arrangements.
His deputy had a different idea. “I feel that we should act after the situation is clear. There was a rain season last year, but it does not mean a rain season this year.”
Also, the rain gear from last year could still be used. There may not be many people who need to buy new equipment.
“If other people get there first, we will be too late!” Zhou Qi was decisive. “Listen to me, do this.”
The leader was so determined that the deputy could not say anything. He was as still as a statue, and did not speak more.
The matter was decided like this.
For some people, this winter was very long.
Luckily, for the residents of Rising Cloud Town, while the days were hard, they could survive.
Day 131, the winter season finally ended. The temperature quickly warmed up. The characters on the top right corner said, “Spring, calamity day.”
In reality, while the rain in the spring season was irritating, it was nothing compared to the winter.
In the morning, when Yun Ling just woke up, she received news from the system.
[XX Village has been breached.]
[XX Village has been breached.]
[XX Town has been breached.]
[Congratulations, Player, for successfully passing the first year.]
[You have received a hint to passing.]
[Live, right until you cannot live.]
“……the first year? A hint to passing?” Ripples spread across Yun Ling’s heart.
Did this mean, if she dragged out her survival long enough, the Apocalypse Calamity game had a day when it would end?
“Waited to Day 130 and finally heard some good news.”
Yun Ling pushed away the blankets and prepared to get up to welcome a new challenge.
After sending a post to recruit, Yun Ling had waited for over ten days and did not find the right person.
There had only been one person who had asked, “Do you mind if the boat made is slightly unbalanced, and there is a low probability that it will overturn?”
Yun Ling said, “I mind.”
If the boat overturned, what about the people on top! The NPCs were all elite, people she had carefully selected, and managed to raise!
Also, what if she was on the boat when it overturned!!
The other was slightly disappointed. “Then never mind.”
Yun Ling thought, thankfully that person was not in front of her. Otherwise, if her temper was up, she might have beat up the other person.
This morning, Yun Ling took off the winter clothing, and led the team out as usual.
After walking about seven minutes, the ground started to shake, and the sound of running came from the distance.
Yun Ling was shocked and shouted loudly, “Quick, return to the territory!!”
The NPCs followed the order, and did not hesitate in returning.
The players of the foraging team were confused, and retreated as well.
After a while, a large herd of iron back rhinos appeared in sight. Looking at the pack, there were at least fifty or so.
The players changed expressions, and without needing anyone’s urging, they desperately ran back to the territory.
Just as Yun Ling’s group returned to Rising Cloud Town, she saw from the other direction, the guards of the territory were fighting a group of Minotaurs.
“Restless in spring, the monsters attacking the city?” Yun Ling’s thoughts moved quickly. “If we cannot hold, the territory will be breached?”
When she thought of this, her heart tensed, and she warned the others, “Prepare to fight!”
After not seeing monsters for a winter, the combat players were very eager.
Seeing the monsters come to their door, what was there to hesitate? Arrows, flames, ice, stone pieces, and wind blades surged out against the monsters.
When Yun Ling was not paying attention, she saw the residents shout “everyone is responsible for protecting the territory” and do their best to steal monsters.
Because the firepower was so strong, the close combat players did not dare to step out of the territory, fearing that they would be accidentally harmed.
Okay, as long as the territory was fine.
The monsters fell to the ground, and the items dropped everywhere. White and blue light flashed, and looked very enchanting.
Seeing the monsters killed, the long range players were very happy, quickly walking out of the territory, and picking up their spoils.
Someone was saying as they picked up, “The system finally is being humane for once. In the winter, the players needed clothing and food, and did not have money. The system knew this, and so when spring starts, it sends monsters to deliver meat and money.”
After picking up the items, the residents just returned to the territory when they saw a group of antelopes in the east, dozens of stone people in the north all coming towards Rising Cloud Town.
“More monsters are attacking the territory?” One person was stunned.
Someone else was worried. “The rate of attack is so fast, we cannot leave and forage.”
Yun Ling ordered her subordinates, “Control the rhythm, long range and close range take turns, do not let the mages use up their MP.”
“Yes.” The NPCs responded solemnly.
There was contact between the players. Soon Yun Ling took the east, the south was led by Leng Bai and Mo Qi’s team, the west by Zhou Qi working with other teams, and the north by the system guards and lone players.
Thinking of the rain gear that had been made but would not be used, Zhou Qi felt his heart jerk in pain. Coincidentally, there were tree demons coming to attack. He said with a cold expression, “Kill them!”
Because they were teams familiar with each other, and had worked together many times before, they split the west into three areas to fight.
Because each area was the responsibility of one team, and members were immune to damage from their team members, the close combat members finally dared to step out of the territory and fight the monsters.
The players and the monsters crashed together and the scene was chaotic.
The leaders of the teams did not have friendly expressions. “You better remember what you have said.”
“There are so many monsters, and one team cannot take them all.” Leng Bai was calm and his expression cold. “We can work together and take care of the south. Everyone take turns, each team an hour, use the rest of the time to rest. This is good for everyone.”
The other team leaders also knew that this way was beneficial for them. Otherwise, they would not have agreed.
Giving a warning just now was just to remind Leng Bai not to play tricks.
Seeing that he was pretty honest, they did not say more. Everyone took advantage of the time to rest, and waited for their shift.
In the east.
There were fifty eight in the NPC army, and they worked together, advancing and retreating together.
Worth a mention was that Yun Ling had purposefully raised up several super high level experts. A-rank skills, and S-rank skills were mixed together. Blue and purple equipment were mixed together.
These people created high damage, and each time they attacked, large patches of monsters would be killed or wounded.
Seeing the monsters being cleaned up so quickly, a lone player wanted to come and benefit.
But these people had no thoughts of working together. Seeing non-team members being attacked, they did not help.
The monsters seemed to realize that this player was easy to bully and came to surround him.
The lone player was angry but had to retreat back to the territory.
One assassin player, with high damage, good equipment and quick speed, wanted to steal monsters. But just as he started, he was surrounded by the NPCs. Those gazes were colder than when they looked at monsters.
The assassin shuddered, and his smile was uglier than crying. “I, I’m just helping you create damage, I will not steal kills.”
The NPCs glanced coldly at this person, and did not make a sound.
The assassin did not dare to attack and snuck away into another area.
After all this, the east was taken over completely by the NPC army, and the other people could not interfere.
Pang Yu saw the waves of the monsters, and had a blank gaze. “If I cannot leave the territory and go to forage, how will I make a living?”
Yun Ling sincerely suggested, “Change to become an archer. Stand in the territory, and just shoot. If you are lucky, you may kill a few monsters.”
Pan Yu, “……”
Life was too difficult.