Matt looked at his system screen, it had changed slightly after the fiasco that was that secret ground. He walked slowly through the large compound, there was far too much space here. He didn't know why people liked to live in such grand luxury, he still preferred smaller apartment-like spaces.
'They sure like to live it large... well not like my own clan is any different. Maybe I should make some budget cuts...'
He laughed to himself as he was now part of the dreaded ruling class, he was still new to this but the system was coming handy. The system showed him the all-around happiness of the people living in the city he was considered the lord of. He could see the crime rates, the death toll even how clean the area the people lived in was.
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'But, this place is just terrible...'
There was color shading to signal the places in question, red indicated that it was dangerously low and not somewhere people should be living in. Then it went to orange after that was yellow and finally green. The colors also varied by how bright or dark they were.
'Spirit Spring City wasn't as bad as this...'
He gave out a sigh while walking, there were many people shuffling around this place searching for resources and hidden areas that the Cheng Clan was hiding. Matt didn't really bother with things like that, he left it to the juniors. He also sent Zhang Zhi in hot pursuit of the fleeing Cheng clansmen, he was still somewhat amused that he got them to wear those police uniforms. He hoped that his plan to change the way the people operated in those cities would go through.
He was still someone that grew up in the twenty-first century, he was used to things like plumbing and not having to see horse shit all over the road while walking. The sanitary situation in this world wasn't all that great, no one really minded doing their business in the bushes. People also did their deed in a bucket and then threw it outside the window or even on the street.
'Operation plumbing will have high priority in this city.'
He flew upwards on his sword, it looked a bit different than before as he reforged it himself. He was still thinking back how much of a drag it was to learn all those techniques again. He wasn't sure why the system changed but it looked like it removed the training wheels from itself after he was trashed by that demon dude. He started recalling what happened back then, he still felt that he should have died after that final battle.
He woke up back in Spirit Spring City, naked and submerged in some kind of water tank with healing liquid. This was some kind of special healing chamber used in times of need. He didn't look as malnourished as he was after the fight, having recovered most of his muscle thanks to the nourishing liquids in that healing tank. After his discharge from the watery healing facility, he received a report about what happened back then after he passed out.
The robotic voice congratulated them for passing the trials, the elders could even keep one secret book from the library when they left. This happened after he had that punching duel with the pride demon. All of them were awarded one book of their choosing, they could take it with them. This wasn't much of a prize for Zhang Dong, as he already had everything written down in his system library.
He decided to just offer the other cultivators his manual instead as he didn't need it. He even taught them rock-paper-scissors so they could decide who received the bonus manuscript. In the end, the old granny from the Feng clan beat all of them and took another wind cultivation technique for her and Feng Liena's clan. He still chuckled as he remembered how much Huo Qiang was pouting after his loss.
There was no reward for the junior members, soon after the stage ended the whole place started shaking and everyone began teleporting outside. Everyone expected to receive a good patdown by the Dark Palm sect when they got out, the heaven graded manuals that the elders received were in danger of being discovered and snatched.
They were teleported onto the same platforms that they used to get inside the training ground, but something was off. It looked deserted, they couldn't see any Dark Palm sect cultivators around at all. Everyone was startled, wondering if some powerful beast whacked those powerful cultivators, worrying if they were in danger or not.
Everyone gathered up together and headed out of the teleportation chamber, backtracking as they still remembered the way that they used to walk here. They arrived at the place that the large door was and finally found some people in that room. Those people were wearing the Dark Palm sect robes, but their cultivation was rather low. When they saw the Clans returning their eyes almost popped out of their sockets, or at least that was what the Zhang Clan members recalled.
Apparently the door started to suddenly open itself, probably because the trial was finished. The Dark Palm cultivators quickly reacted as they brought everyone above the foundation establishment early stage into this main room. Then something strange happened, the door slammed open and a giant suction force was directed towards the cultivators in that chamber. No one could resist it, not even the nascent soul elder that was with them.
Every sect member was sucked inside of it, the door quickly closing itself afterward and only the weaker members of the sect were left to guard it. The clans still had six core formation experts with them besides the injured Zhang Dong and even many foundation establishment members in the great circle.
The remaining sect members knew that they had the sect backing them, but it would be unwise to threaten these cultivators that could easily slaughter them while telling some lie about what really happened. The clans decided to leave the sect members alone, it would be better if they didn't have some kind of nascent soul uncle coming to their clan demanding to know what happened, the sect members could explain it themselves later, without bringing unnecessary risks.
But with this, they were able to keep all of their rewards and return safely. The weakened sect expedition party couldn't force them to stay there at most they could report it to their higherups and have the clans searched later, but they knew that they wouldn't find anything afterward. The important thing now was, to monitor the sacred ground and wait for their elder to return with good news. They would send some words to the main sect, but it would take a while to produce another large team like the one that was sucked inside the strange door.
Zhang Dong was the most injured of the group, the other clans could have used this opportunity to rob the Zhang Clan of their riches but they decided to aid them instead. They guarded the injured man, that was carried by his own clansmen Feng Liena and Huo Qiang sticking to him closely as they considered him a fellow comrade by now.
Afterward, everyone pulled out their transmission treasures and contacted their clans so they would escort them back. The friendly clans even helped the Zhang Clan to bring their Patriarch back to the city, afraid that some core formation cultivator might try their luck on the weakened Zhang Clan.
He ended up in his clan's version of the intense care unit, which was the strange tank filled with green liquid. He was in it for about three months before he woke up, even then he was feeling drained and it took him another month to make a full recovery. He had trouble walking and eating, but at least he had lots of time to check out his new system setting.
He didn't find it out till later, but he couldn't earn any more spirit points for slaying people or monsters. For some reason, this main feature was removed, but he could still absorb spirit stones and convert it to points, though the gains were worse than before. The cash shop was gone too, the icon vanished from the main window screen and was nowhere to be found.
He wondered why this happened, was it because he suffered a near-death experience or did his level up to a peak core formation expert had something to do with it. How would he even craft more weapons or items if he couldn't buy any more schematics he thought, this prompted him to check things out in his crafting abode.
His eyes went wide as the once small crafting space was several times bigger and looked more like a blacksmiths lair now. There were large cauldrons, various hammers and tongs lying about. Also, he spotted things that shouldn't be there, like a classical looking pill furnace. But this place was supposed to be for crafting weapons and armor, not pill making or so he thought.
The place had many more things, but also others were missing. The window to the crafting abode changed, the familiar graphical interface was gone replaced by something else. There was no way to bring up the previously implemented shop to buy resources or crafting schematics. But there was a research window on the side, when he brought it up he could see all the things that he made and all the crafting schematics that he previously bought.
There was also some kind of separate number there, it was at zero for now and had the letters 'CP' next to it. Soon he found out what that meant. The dancing game that he 'loved' so much was gone, this meant that he was supposed to craft the items the old fashioned way. Using the items that were scattered in this room along with the crafting techniques that were infused into his brain.
He still was the holder of the Dao of Smithing and Crafting, it turned out that it wasn't just for show. He tested things out, making the simplest of daggers. His hands just moved on their own as if he knew what he was doing, still, his movements were awkward and unpracticed so he ended up with a middle graded common weapon. He thought that the Dao's were only good for lowering prices, but they actually made him very proficient in anything related to them.
Thanks to this test, he noticed his 'CP' increasing. He later decided to call them crafting points, he would earn them each time he created something, was it a weapon, an armor piece or a magical treasure. He even received them for creating pills and elixirs, but he wasn't so good at that, the Dao of pill concocting was something separate to the crafting and forging one. But this was something that he could learn later, he had all the required manuals stashed away.
The crafting points could be spent on many things, like regular upgrades to the new crafting abode. Better hammers or better smelters, but the most useful things he could spend it on were upgrades for the schematics and for any crafting related skills that he possessed. For instance, if he had basic metallurgic skills, he could craft the required amount of daggers and then use the points to make that skill better, the knowledge would flow into his mind just like when he bought it through the store.
Previously he could have just bought himself the skills and techniques he required in that cash shop, but now he had to put in the work. He realized that there was a big difference in learning skills in this new way. He had to work his way through, learn the lesser skills before he could receive the better one at the end. This made him a lot more proficient in them, having built up a good foundation through the process.
Also, he received bonus points if he created something without requiring the system's schematics. He also could spend the points so that he would receive a bonus to the crafted item, it could be random or something precise depending on the number of points he spent. He also had the whole library of high-quality manuals in his system, it was still there and he could absorb the knowledge whenever he required. He held back on it though as he thought too much knowledge might fry his brain if he just tried absorbing everything at once.
Besides that, he could still upgrade his cultivation level like he could before the skill tree was showing him that golden nascent soul option that was next in line for taking. Though that would take a while as he had a whole hundred points and couldn't get easy ones by slaying monsters. There were a couple of ways that he could do it though.
First was just plain old capitalism, snatch as many spirit stones as he could get his hands on. He cold craft items, sell them or even obtain a lot of cash for the more harmless techniques that he could write down from his library.
The second one was playing with his clan window, he could earn passive points through improving the living conditions of his people. He would also win bonuses for things like their all-around strength, loyalty, happiness. This looked like a lucrative endeavor as gaining points without having to do nothing was always appreciated. The hundred points he had now were all gained through this method as he was out and recovering.
The third was his disciples, but he wasn't betting much on that one. It looked more like a side gig, the points that he received from them breaking through levels were rather low.
The fourth one was kind of similar to the first one, he could still absorb beast cores for points or any other spiritual artifacts of that sort. So he could still hunt, or go on treasure hunts.
Due to this, improving the living environment of his people started. He started creating things like schools, clinics, police stations to keep the order going. He was already at the hundred percent mark with this cultivation and he just needed to gather points for the next jump. For now, he could spend his time improving his skills, while the points slowly ticked up. If he managed to build up a good base of operations he should be able to rake in those points in the future.
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