Chapter 14 – Skeleton Swordsman
Translator: Mr Voltaire
After a few hours, they had dug down around 10 meters and found a 100-meter wide cavern. There were many small tunnels connected to this cavern, and they looked like rooms. Because of the massive crack from above, a third of the cavern had collapsed.
Zhao Fu found some Gnomes cowering with looks of terror on their faces. When the Gnomes saw Zhao Fu and the people he had brought with him, they obediently put down their weapons and knelt on the ground, signaling their intention to surrender.
“Respected lord, thank you for accepting our surrender and coming to save us,” one of the elderly Gnomes said with an expression of gratitude.
Zhao Fu had been quite annoyed at the Gnomes, but when he heard what the elder said, he decided to let it go. Since they had become his subordinates, he wouldn’t hold it against them anymore, so he said, “You can all rise!”
Seeing that Zhao Fu was not angry at them and seemed to have forgiven them for their earlier resistance, the Gnomes let out a sigh of relief and stood up.
Zhao Fu was quite interested in the Gnome’s barracks, so he went there first. There, he found two Profession Change Stone Steles. They were:
[Gnome Crossbowmen]: F grade Military. Description: Gnomes that use crossbows as their main weapon. Effect: Receives skill [Crossbow Mastery]
The other one gave Zhao Fu a very pleasant surprise:
[Gnome Mechanics Scholar]: E grade Military. Description: Gnomes proficient at mechanics. Effect: Receives skill [Mechanics Research]
This profession was for creating large mechanical weapons. A weapon that Zhao Fu had always wanted to make was the ballista, an extremely powerful, cold weapon.
The destructive power of a ballista was more than 10 times that of a normal bow. When facing such a weapon, most people could only step back in deference. Even though Zhao Fu wanted to create one, all complicated things in the Heaven Awaken World required blueprints. Even if he knew how to create one in the real world, without a blueprint, he would not be able to create one in the Heaven Awaken World.
However, this problem was resolved because of the Gnome Mechanics Scholar profession. Of course, apart from ballistae, there were many other large-scale cold weapons. It was just a pity that the limit of the Gnome Mechanics Scholar profession was five people.
After having a look at the Barracks, Zhao Fu went to their Storehouse. Apart from food, the Gnomes had a little less than 1,000 copper coins and had no silver coins. With a village of this size, it would be quite difficult for them to kill anything that could drop silver coins.
After walking out of the Storehouse, Zhao Fu looked around the 100-meter wide cavern and said, “This place won’t be able to last, so you should move above ground. We’ll give you some basic protection.”
The Gnome elders immediately agreed joyfully. How could they refuse the opportunity to be protected by people many times more powerful than them?
Zhao Fu went to the Gnome Village’s Village Hall and looked at the white cube hovering in the air. He stretched out his hand and two options appeared: [Destroy] and [Relocate].
Destroying a village allowed one to gain 10% of the village’s current EXP, but one would only gain a broken City Heart – the white cube in the air – and it could only be used to upgrade the grade of other villages.
Five broken White grade City Hearts could upgrade a Normal grade Village to Blue grade; 10 Blue broken Blue grade City Hearts could upgrade a Blue grade Village to Silver grade; 30 broken Silver grade City Hearts could upgrade a Silver grade Village to Gold grade.
There was no limit to this method of upgrading, and no one knew just how high one could upgrade their village. However, what was certain was that the higher the grade of a village, the more difficult it would be to upgrade it. If a Gold grade Village wanted to upgrade to a Legendary grade Village, it needed 120 broken Gold grade City Hearts as well as a Legendary grade item.
This was incredibly difficult – after all, Gold grade Villages were not as common as cabbages, so most people would only be able to upgrade their village to Gold grade at most. It would be virtually impossible for them to upgrade to Legendary grade or above.
On the other hand, if one chose to [Relocate] the village, one would still gain 10% of the village’s current EXP and would be able to use the City Heart once, but the village’s EXP would fall to 0. Advanced Villages would become Primary Villages, and Advanced Towns would become Primary Towns.
The Gnome Village was still just a Primary Village, so there wasn’t much to worry about. Zhao Fu decided to [Relocate] it.
The City Heart shined with a faint white light that covered the entire village, and the basic structures started to slowly disappear.
“System Announcement! The Great Qin Village has obtained 120 EXP!”
By now, the Great Qin Village had accumulated more than 1,000 EXP, and it was about 3,000 EXP away from leveling up to an Intermediate Village. Zhao Fu looked over at the City Heart, which no longer gave off a white light and instead silently floated there.
Zhao Fu picked it up and looked at it:
[City Heart]: Grade: White, Race Restricted To: Gnomes
Humans could not use another race’s City Heart to create a village, nor could other races use a human City Heart to create a village. Moreover, if a village was occupied by a different race, it would not gain new villagers. As such, Zhao Fu always left the corresponding race in charge of its village after the village surrendered.
Zhao Fu handed the City Heart to the Gnome elders and told them to move closer to the Great Qin Village when they rebuilt their village.
After leaving the cavern, Zhao Fu and Bai Qi looked around the large crack.
The crack was about 17 meters long and was 50 or so meters deep. Because it was so deep, sunlight did not reach the bottom, so it was quite dark below. However, they could barely make out what seemed to be orderly roads made out of brick.
“What do you think?” Zhao Fu frowned as he asked Bai Qi.
Bai Qi replied with a serious expression, “Your Majesty, I feel that this large crack isn’t simple.”
Zhao Fu fell deep into thought. Since this crack was so close to the Great Qin Village, if they did not investigate it and there happened to be something dangerous within it, they would not be able to react in time if anything happened. Zhao Fu didn’t want to leave a ticking time bomb by his side, so he said, “I want to go down and see what’s down there.”
Bai Qi immediately replied worriedly, “Your Majesty! Let me come with you.”
Zhao Fu nodded and told his people to prepare some ropes and torches before he slowly started climbing down.
An hour or so later, Zhao Fu and Bai Qi arrived at the bottom and found that there was a passage made of brick that was 10 meters wide and 4 meters tall.
It was quite dark, so Zhao Fu and Bai Qi lit their torches and walked towards the passage. As they walked, their surroundings became darker and darker. If it wasn’t for their torches, they would not have been able to see their fingers even if they were right in front of their faces. It was deathly quiet around them, and the atmosphere became quite strange.
Suddenly, creaking and cracking sounds could be heard. Zhao Fu waved his torch around and saw a slowly swaying Skeleton Swordsman that had blue tongues of flames in its head and a rusty sword.
The Skeleton Swordsman turned to look at Zhao Fu and Bai Qi with its hollow eye sockets and saw that they were two living beings. It howled and raised the sword in its hands as it rushed towards them.