Last time on Apocalypse Lord: Winter is over and spring is here, that means all our problems are solved, right? Right?????
This chapter has been brought to you by me and Smash10101.
Chapter 70 – Prey
Yun Ling gave the order, and the flames danced, hitting the branches and burning them off.
He Rong fell from the air, and was on the verge of dying from the fall.
A figure flashed out like lightning, and caught him before falling to the ground safely.
The tree boss was angered, and wanted to catch the prey again.
Yun Ling led the warriors to stop the attack while the assassin took He Rong away from the front line.
“Are you okay?” Pang Yu got close and asked in concern.
He Rong found that there was more than one person who was unmasked. At the rear of the team, there were more than twenty people sitting or standing, silently waiting for the battle to finish. However, their figures had been covered by the trees before, so he had not seen them.
“I am okay.” He looked around and asked in confusion. “Who are you guys?”
“I am Pang Yu, a member of the foraging team.” Pang Yu puffed out his chest and proudly said, “They are the combat team. We have different jobs! If we encounter bosses, they go up, and if there are materials, we go.”
He Rong heard this and was full of envy. “It is so good to be protected by a large team.”
But then Pang Yu immediately said, “If you are willing, you can be so as well.”
He Rong was shocked. “Me?”
“Right!” Pang Yu spoke quickly. “You have to prepare your own travel items for going out, you have to hand over three tenths of all that you forage, and the rest is for yourself. If there is danger, the members of the combat team will unconditionally rescue you.”
He Rong asked, “What if the combat members are too slow, and unable to rescue me?”
Pang Yu said, “Then it is done.”
He Rong, “……”
Pang Yu was trying to persuade, “The game is so difficult, you still expect 100% safety? If you come out with the team, it is better than being alone.”
This was true.
He Rong thought for a moment and asked, “What if the foraging team members hide materials?”
“The leader said if anyone is not honest, they will get kicked out of the foraging team on the next day, and the partnership is done.” Pang Yu said bluntly.
He Rong, “……”
So brisk? There was not even evidence gathering?
“Think about it. Is it more profitable to go with the team, or be alone, foraging and prepared to flee at any moment?” Pang Yu said solemnly. “If you are not willing, it is fine if you do not join. When the team returns to the city, we will bring you back.”
This was something so good he was stupid if he did not agree!
Thinking of this, He Rong resolutely said, “I am willing to join.”
As they were speaking, the tree boss was killed. Other than the orange skill card, two orange equipment, there was also purple equipment, blue equipment, blue skill cards, white equipment, copper coins, and materials.
Yun Ling picked up the drops, and divided them.
After dealing with this, she walked near the resource point and indicated for the players to start foraging.
At the same time, some of the NPCs sat down, while others stood on guard, taking shifts to rest.
After a while, He Rong realized that he had joined a very good team.
If anyone in the surroundings called for help, the leader Yun Ling would take the guards to mount a rescue.
Among these people, there were some as lucky as him, being rescued and then immediately joining the foraging team.
There were some that were less lucky.
The help was just about to arrive, and the boss was going to be under control, but they did not manage to last the few seconds.
When the help arrived, the players had no HP left, and closed their eyes.
Pang Yu was good, and just sighed that these people were too unlucky.
He Rong felt cold inside — when rescuing him, if the team had been a step late, maybe he would have ended up like this.
Thinking about this, he was more afraid, and did not want to leave the team.
“Foraging members, wait here. Combat members, come with me, and kill the boss!” Yun Ling charged out.
When she was moving, she thought, how many players would be lucky to have survived by the end of the spring?
For most players in Rising Cloud City, the night was resting time, and the time for celebration.
The people who had worked all day sat together chatting, buying things, and playing cards. This way, the next day, they would have the courage to keep on struggling in the apocalypse where they could not see a future.
But today, the territory had a heavy air, and there was no laughter and celebration like usual.
One half-grown youth was crying, “I went out, my wood spear was destroyed, my belt broken, and my straw sandals lost. How will I live in the future!”
“That is nothing!” A youth next to him sneered. “A team of fifteen went out, but only three people came back, the death rate is as high as 80%!”
“Can they be as bad off as us?” Another person’s hands were trembling. “We went to mine, but the only entrance was blocked by the boss. More than twenty people, and none except me survived!”
“I was fishing in the mountain stream, and accidentally saw two bosses drinking water. Five teammates were gone in the blink of an eye!” one person cried.
“They are all bosses, and there were no normal monsters. This is hell!”
The residents complained, and the celebration became a meeting to compare their misery.
To their despair, this was the first day of the new year.
“Only the fittest survive.” Leng Bai thought of the news that he had gotten from the night market. Listening to the residents complain, he felt a thread of understanding. “If you have evolved in the wrong direction, or slowly, you will be eliminated.”
“If you do not have a skill, if you did not train your combat skill in the first two years of the game and try to level up, during the third year, the players will become prey and be chased by the bosses.”
“You can only have a chance of survival if you evolve faster than the bosses.”
Hearing this, the residents were shocked and unable to speak.
One player wanted to argue, but thinking of their situation, they swallowed the words — this person was right. If you were not strong enough, you likely could not go out of the safety area in the third year. If you did not save up enough in the first two years, you will either die of hunger or thirst in the territory, or you would go out of the territory and get killed by a boss.
It was too difficult to survive past the spring season.
“For experts, the bosses are not a great hindrance. It is the opposite. Killing bosses will bring purple equipment, orange equipment, large sums of copper coins, and countless materials. It will fill the warehouses of the team.” After Leng Bai, someone else spoke the truth.
In other words, only the weak were being bothered.
Even the high level players did not have to worry too much. Rising Cloud City had so many powerful combat players. There would always be people who needed the high level equipment/items being made.
At these words, it was deathly silent.
Most residents had ugly expressions. Some were calm, and not in a panic.
Yun Ling stood in the crowd, and did not make a sound.
Of all the people present, no one knew better than her how grim the current situation was.
In just a day, Rising Cloud City’s population had decreased by 400! This was the first big reduction in people since the territory was built.
If this rate kept on going, soon, the residents would be halved, and then halved again.
Thinking of this, Yun Ling said in a moderate voice, “The weak can unite, why can’t dozens of us go out together? Just like last year against the monsters attacking. Use numbers to defeat the monsters.”
“This is easy to speak of!” Immediately, someone mocked this. “Last summer, players were willing to work together because there were the system guards looking from the side. If you were not good, you would be blacklisted and kicked out of the territory!”
“The teams will go out. Without the supervision of the system guards, who knows if the teammates will stab you in the back or not? If only two people from a team survive, and they say the other caused the team’s death, then who is to be believed?”
“You say that this is not good, then you give a good idea?” Yun Ling was cold. “Low level players going out alone is almost certain death, so what with trying to get together? Can’t you find some trustworthy players as teammates before you go?”
The opponent wanted to say more, but the people around had thoughtful expressions. “We can try, it is something.”
Seeing them moved, Yun Ling retreated and silently left, successful.
Starting on Day 252, players tried to team up.
The small teams expanded to large teams, the lone players abandoned their gaming method, and tried to join in order to stay alive.
Among them, some teams did not return after going out. But some went out during the day, and came back at night unharmed. Not just this. When they left, they had anxious expressions. When they came back, they were grinning, clearly having gained greatly.
On the other side, Yun Ling looked at the system window and sighed in relief. “The decrease has slowed.”
On Day 251, there had been a decrease of 400 in residents.
On Day 252, there had been a decrease of 267.
On Day 253, there had been a decrease of 180.
After that, each day, there was a decrease of 50-70. The situation was finally under control.
Standing on the border of the territory and having looked for five days, eating all the food at home, Gao Shuo finally made a decision.
Choice 1, the team was not small, and there were forty five people. But from what he observed, the death rate rate was too high. The team members changed quickly, and there were dozens of new faces each day.
Choice 2, there were thirty three people. Each day, there were almost no casualties, but over half were relatives and friends. He heard that while there would be safety, the distribution may be unfair.
Choice 3 had thirty-nine people in the team, and 3-5 people dying each day. The advantage was they were fair, and would divide the drops based on contribution.
Honestly speaking, Gao Shuo hesitated for a long time between choice 2 and 3.
Choice 2 was safe, but not good for saving.
Choice 3 was more dangerous, but if one had skills, the income would increase greatly.
Gao Shuo thought and thought, feeling that he was above average in strength, and should join choice 3 to fight.
“Lucky that I have a good memory to learn faces. Otherwise, I would not have recognized them.” After making the decision, Gao Shuo was full of emotion.
“Lucky that I had enough food in store, and was not in a hurry to join a team. Otherwise, if I entered the death team, there would have been no place to cry.”
“Five days, the unreliable teams are mostly dead, the wait was worth it.”
The meeting of misery was that if someone else was worse off than me, I will be able to make it through.
Before the network was connected, people would only compare miseries in the same territory. After connecting, comparing miseries became a movement for all people.
“I just managed to save six bandages. I went out and used all of them, all! Of! Them! I am kneeling to beg for more recovery items.”
“Through my constant efforts, I finally managed to eat myself into poverty……Boss, do you need game materials! If you speak, I will forage for you even if I die!”
“Does anyone need wood sticks? Not expensive, just 20 copper coins each.”
“Where are steel knives being sold? I will buy at a high price! ! The wood ones would be bitten through by the bosses, and only the metal ones are durable!”
People were seeking equipment and items. Others were seeking jobs to do, and earn something by going out into danger. Others were selling at low prices, disrupting the market.
The market was in chaos. Personal messages kept on jumping out, as though people were contacting her every second.
Yun Ling responded to all of them “the materials are limited. The production of items and equipment each day is limited, and temporarily, not being sold out.”
Editor’s ramblings: 50-70 people dying every day isn’t exactly what I would call stable.