Just as Ouyang Shuo came out of the tailor shop, there was a burst of sound from the system in his ears.
_“World Announcement: In the first month of the year, new people have come into the wilderness, overcoming all obstacles with weapons and toil, plowing up the soil and establishing their foundations._
_“The beasts of the wilderness have suffered a great slaughter, and been driven into a frenzy. In three days, on the 1st day of the 2nd month, under the leadership of the greatest of their kind, the animals will be attacking the territories of the player lords! They will repay their slaughter in blood, and wash away their hatred in war! The lords need to prepare for war, sharpen your swords and prepare for battle to defend your honor and dignity!”_
_“World Announcement: The Siege of Beasts, a mandatory global defense quest, has begun. If the beasts successfully raid the village of the territory, the village will be removed immediately! If you successfully defend your territory from the beast attack, you will receive additional incentives._
_“The top three of the regional rankings, national rankings, and world rankings will receive massive rewards, and you can qualify in more than one list! During the period of this quest, non-lord players cannot stay in a lord’s territory.”_
_“World Announcement: The top 10 rewards regionally are as follows: First place, 100 merit points. Each lower rank subsequently will receive 10 less merit points.”_
_“World Announcement: The top 10 national ranking awards are as follows: First place, 1000 merit points, 100 gold coins. Each successive rank, 100 less merit points, 10 less gold coins. _”__
_“World Announcement: The top ten ranking awards in the world are as follows: First place 3000 points, 600 gold coins. Each successive rank, 200 less merit points, 50 less gold coins. _”__
_“In addition, first place will receive a random secret building, second place a random special item, third place a Basic Soldier Token .”_
There was a huge global uproar at the announcement from the system. The weak were worried that their territories would be completely destroyed. The powerful and the self-confident professional gamers were all completely tempted by the system incentives, their blood boiling with excitement. They were all gearing up to compete for the title of global leader!
Even knowing the news in advance, Ouyang Shuo still found himself excited by the prospect of such a rich reward. His goal was to ensure that he made it into the global top ten rankings, and strive to enter the top three. To achieve this goal, he had to have a secret weapon.
That afternoon, Ouyang Shuo headed to the barracks. In the barracks, the soldiers that were not out patrolling or carrying out missions were practicing archery. Seeing him enter, they stopped their practice and lined up to meet him.
Seeing the soldiers continue with their training, Ouyang Shuo said to General Shi, “General, I see you are still working hard!”
General Shi smiled proudly. “As a general, this kind of military life is just what I love!”
“What are the levels of these soldiers now?” Ouyang Shuo asked directly.
General Shi proudly said, “After this period of training, all of the soldiers have been promoted to the rank 2. In addition, the four sergeants have been promoted to rank 3.”
“Very good! The training is living up to our expectations. How are the trap layouts for the territory?”
“The territory is large, and the plan is to have four layers of traps laid out in defense. After two days, we have completed two layers of traps. At this rate, we will have the rest of the layout finished in the next two days.” General Shi was not vague, but direct and ambitious. Each layer of pit traps would consist of a thousand or more of them!
Ouyang Shuo nodded, and asked him, “Have you heard of alchemical fire oil, General Shi?”
“The magical black liquid oil that can ignite directly? Yes, I am well aware of it,” General Shi smiled in embarrassment. “My lord asks about this fiery weapon, but why?”
“If we could buy a lot of alchemical fire oil, would that help the general defense plan?”
“The wild beasts are no different then we are, and are afraid of fire. If there is alchemical fire oil, we could arrange a fire array before the gates of the village, and I would be confident we could destroy a wave of beasts in one fell swoop.”
“Excellent, these are the general’s words, I am free of worries. Bring some soldiers, I am off to the Basic Market to procure some alchemical fire!” Ouyang Shuo said happily.
General Shi immediately grabbed two squads of men, twenty soldiers, and along with Ouyang Shuo they went straight to the Basic Market.
Ouyang Shuo strode into the wooden hut, and opened the trading platform, searching for alchemical fire oil. Fire oil was sold as a unit of barrels, each barrel had 50 liters of oil, and was priced at 1 silver coin.
During the walk there, General Shi estimated that to complete a fire array, they would need around 40,000 liters of oil, or 800 barrels. In order to be foolproof, Ouyang Shuo grit his teeth and spent 10 gold coins, directly buying 1000 barrels of fire oil.
In addition, in order to enhance the early warning capability of the territory, Ouyang Shuo spent another 10 gold coins and bought the outpost tower building blueprints. These towers were made all of stone, and were difficult to destroy. At the same time, the top of the tower held a fire beacon, so early warnings could be sent out. Each station could accommodate two sentries.
Stone Outpost: Basic military facility, with strong defense and early warning capabilities.
Requirements: 20 timber, 200 stone.
Build time: 1 day.
The barrels appeared in the wooden cottages in the front of the square. Grinning fiercely, General Shi ordered the soldiers to bring the barrels to the barracks. These were dangerous goods, and he didn’t want to worry about them if they were stored elsewhere.
Ouyang Shuo also gave his just-purchased outpost tower blueprints to General Shi, who turned around and transferred them to Zhao Dewang and the Construction Division. As for where the towers would be put up and who would be posted there, that was naturally left up to General Shi. According to his plans, it was best to build three or more outposts to ensure enough warning time.
After emerging from the market, Ouyang Shuo was finally at ease. In the face of the incoming beastwave, everything he could do was already done. The whole of the territory was wrapped up and ready for the fight.
The key to victory or defeat in a war was nothing more than the battlefield. It was not an exaggeration to say that he had been preparing for this fight from the very first day he had grown to a Grade 2 Village. The other Lords would have only three days of preparation time.
He also had a geographical advantage. Four rings of traps, supplemented by early warning outpost towers, coupled with the fire oil array getting ready...he truly had an extreme advantage in terrain.
His last major advantage was people, and if anything, his advantage here was even greater. He had true soldiers, and was moving into the foundation of a territorial army and out of the militia era, jumping ahead of the normal sequence of things. Coupled with General Shi’s history of being one of the top ten officers, there were simply no weaknesses.
Finally, he had strong logistical support. Adequate arrows, massive inventory of javelins, enough supplies to last for the battle.
Back in his Manor, Ouyang Shuo sat down and read for an hour before logging off.
In the brick and mortar world, it was still winter time. The leaves in the gardens were slowly turning yellow, falling to the roads one by one. Ouyang Shuo ran on the gravel road, enjoying the fresh morning air, physically and mentally refreshed.
Arriving back home, Xiaoyue and Bing’er got up for breakfast. The big and small beauties, watching the breakfast in his hands, smiled and sat there quietly.
Some people say that habit is a fearsome thing. Before Ouyang Shuo and Bing’er moved to live with her, Xiaoyue only had breakfast irregularly.
In just a month’s time, she had grown very accustomed to having hot soy milk and fried dough sticks. She was also getting used to coming back in the afternoon and finding a good dinner waiting for her. And she was even used to sending Bing’er off to bed with a fairy tale. Unconsciously, whether it was eating or life or work, a lot of changes had taken place in her life.
Xiaoyue was largely unaware of it all, perhaps it was just the fate between people. It was a wonderful happening, letting Ouyang Shuo and Bing’er come into her life like a new brother and sister. Now, living with them was natural and harmonious, like a family all under one roof.
As usual, Ouyang Shuo saw Bing’er off to school, and opened up his handbrain back at home. Today’s forum was particularly lively. Needless to say, the root of everything was the big system announcement last night.
The top headline was a survey questionnaire. The survey’s theme was to guess who the top ten finishers in China would be. In addition, guessing who among the Lords in China would make the top ten in the world rankings.
There was no doubt that the Six Tyrants of Handan were still the biggest popular candidates. Everyone was interested in who, in addition to the Six Tyrants, could occupy a place in the top ten in China.
Among the candidates, Ouyang Shuo showed up because of his sixth place promotion to a grade 2 village. In addition to him, there was Xiongba’s King Village, Wandering Magic’s Fallen Leaf Village; Wufu’s Stone Village; and Bai Hua’s Consonance Village.
He and the other three, except Bai Hua, were the top ten players to make grade 2 villages in China. Bai Hua could be included in the list of candidates simply by virtue of her ID. She was a long-time occupant of the Chinese e sports game's Hall of Fame, first among the mystery players. How could attention not be paid to her?
There were intense discussions and predictions about who in China could reach the top ten list in the world. There was no doubt that Di Chen of the Six Tyrants of Handan was the most popular candidate. As for other people, no one was sure. After all, the world was too large, full of crouching tigers and hidden dragons.
A great many people boldly predicted that because of China’s population, at least two people would make the world list.
Ouyang Shuo looked at the players participating in the speculation, posting nothing. From what he remembered, in his past life, the only Chinese player to make the list was Di Chen, ranking third in the world.
The other world rankers were naturally not on the list. The other nine places had been occupied by the United States, Canada, Russia, Korea, Japan, Britain, Germany, France, and India. No country had occupied two places, so the ferocity of the competition could be seen.
This time, with Ouyang Shuo as the biggest variable, he didn’t know what the eventual outcome would be.
*[Long Taos]: side characters in Chinese operas who perform acrobatics and fight scenes
*[12.47 to 13.07]: don't ask me about the tree sap
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