With all of that city nonsense out of the way, Daz now knew that he had far more leeway to upgrade Fort Skip.
"First thing's first, system, please upgrade Fort Skip's size," Daz requested.
|Base Size Upgrade|
|Below-Average Base Size Upgrade|
|Hey, look at you. Not long ago you were little, but now you can happily tell your wife that you are just below average! Congratulations are in order! That is, of course, if you choose to buy this upgrade, which I heavily suggest if you want to maintain a stable and barely happy relationship.|
|Changes a [Little] base into a [Below-Average] base, allowing for far more structures to be built and far more Citizens to be housed.|
|Daily base points increases from [100,000] to [500,000].|
|1,500,000(375,000) Merit Points.|
|100,000 Base Points.|
|Confirm purchase of upgrade?|
"One and a half million... Really, Godly Base Management is such a lifesaver. Confirm purchase," Daz muttered in response to the system.
|Confirmed. The total merit balance of [Fort Skip] is now 498,780 [-375,000].|
|Confirmed. The total base balance of [Fort Skip] is now 152,500 [-100,000].|
Daz could immediately sense that he was able to build to the west of Fort Skip. Apparently, the size upgrade hadn't intruded onto the city of Waterford at all.
From what he could tell, Daz guessed that Fort Skip's land had extended by at least a mile in the western direction and the new limit for its personal population was five-thousand.
"System, if I wanted to, can I divvy up Waterford's land to either of my bases?" Daz asked.
|Confirmed. However, there is a transferal fee. When a base is upgraded in size but does not possess any unowned land next to it, its limits shall increase, but no new land will be afforded to it. It is the base owner's responsibility to procure the necessary land for expansion.|
"So eventually, won't all of Earth be owned by other people? I guess the collapse of countries isn't far off, assuming any semblance of a government still exists in the world." Daz continued to think on this for a few moments.
"Who knows, there might be some capable people in the existing powers that have managed to get by via exploiting people like myself. After all, the bloodline families had deep political ties, didn't they?" Daz talking to himself didn't interest Reika anymore, so she closed her eyes and pretended to sleep.
Shaking his head, Daz decided to move on and finished spending his points.
|Physical Base Upgrade|
|[Below Average] Base Automated Magic-Clad Adamantium Ballista Tower|
Oof. Now, this is a big gun.
Well, it's not really a gun, but it is big, shoots projectiles, and impresses all the ladies.
... No, not that kind of gun.
|Increases the attack of Citizens by 5%.|
|Has infinite ammo, but requires 15 seconds per reload [Down by 75 seconds].|
|[New!] All ballista bolts are incredibly fast, and are thus, very difficult to dodge.|
|[New!] If an enemy is successfully struck by a ballista bolt, their energy sources will be temporarily sealed.|
|100,000(25,000) merit points.|
|10,000 Base Points.|
|The total merit balance of [Fort Skip] is now 448,780 [-25,000 x 2].|
|The total base balance of [Fort Skip] is now 132,500 [-10,000 x 2].|
Daz had noticed how painfully useless the two ballistae had been over the past few days. In fact, they hadn't really been more than annoyances since the third attack of the first cycle where they were pivotal in defeating the Barbarian Chieftain.
Now with this massive upgrade, Daz was confident that they would stay relevant for a long time to come.
|Magical Base Upgrade|
|[Below Average] Lightning Defensive Tower and Base Shield Generator|
|This is a real beauty. Usually, people buy two separate structures for the things this tower specialises in, but hey, beggars can't be choosers, now can they?|
|Charges power up to a limit of 500 lightning bolts worth [Up by 400 bolts worth].|
|A single lightning bolt with the power to destroy a small building may be summoned with a single thought of the base's lord. All power may be used to summon all possible lightning bolts at once. The destructive power is enough to level a [Small] base.|
|The tower will passively target any survivors or monsters with hostile intentions towards the base, its lord or its citizens with a maximum range of 1,000 meters [Up by 500 meters].|
|[New!] Passively generates a magic shield around the base which can resist magic attacks very well and physical attacks at a moderate rate.|
|600,000(150,000) Merit Points.|
|15,000 Base Points.|
|The total merit balance of [Fort Skip] is now 298,780 [-150,000].|
|The total base balance of [Fort Skip] is now 117,500 [-15,000].|
Daz had yet to use this tower's feature that let him use all of the lightning bolts at once. He blamed that on his lack of faith in the power of them. However, now, with the total amount having quintupled, he told himself that he would use it at least once a day now in the attacks.
What was the point of owning it if he wouldn't use it?
The addition of the shield was a nice bonus that added very little to the tower's total upgrade price, so Daz decided to get it in the case that more enemies like Ellie's Automaton ever showed up.
At least that way, if Fort Skip itself was attacked, it could defend itself to a reasonable extent.
|Attack Base Upgrade|
|[Below Average] Barracks|
Yay, a single upgrade.
Shame you're limited to the base's rank, but what can ya do, eh?
I bet Will is jumping for joy right now. Beware, he may try to sexually assault you as thanks.
|Increases the C-rank soldiers to B-rank soldiers.|
|Restores 50 of the General's men, raising the limit to 100 Soldiers.|
|300 [+100] merit points must be consumed to rehire a soldier if they are killed.|
|Increases the B-rank general to A-rank.|
|Limit of 1 General.|
|65,000 [+15,000] merit points must be consumed to rehire the general if they are killed.|
|May be used as a workplace for citizens to learn how to be soldiers.|
|[New!] Three new skills may now be learnt at the barracks from the soldiers. [Basic Swordsmanship], [Basic Archery] and [Basic Dicipline].|
|150,000(37,500) Merit Points.|
|15,000 Base Points.|
|The total merit balance of [Fort Skip] is now 261,280 [- 37,500].|
|The total base balance of [Fort Skip] is now 102,500 [- 15,000].|
The soldiers had been very useful thus far. Both in helping train the regular survivors in some basic combat techniques, and in acting as distractions and damage dealers to the enemies. Not to mention the fact that they instilled confidence and a sense of safety amongst Fort Skip's citizens.
Daz also purchased this upgrade to increase General Retford's loyalty in him. Even if the man couldn't betray him thanks to the system, having genuine loyalty never hurt anyone before.
|Physical Base Upgrade|
|[Below Average] Keep|
It's no castle, but hey, better than nothing, eh? It certainly beats a tiny cabin when it comes to command centres and the living quarters of a city's Lord.
... What? I'm not judging you, I swear.
|Increases the base's security by 20%.|
|Increases the base's host city's political power by 10,000.|
|Increases all of the city's residents' loyalty by one rank and the base's residents' loyalty by two ranks.|
|Grants the base's owner the right to found a kingdom sanctioned by the system so long as they own a city, rule over 10,000 people, and own enough land.|
|Passively hires a court of advisors for the base's owner. They will provide the base's owner with tips and hints of the tests being provided by the system. They will give more hints and tips based on the base owner's adaptability potential which they can judge. They are also able to judge other hosts' potential for a sum of merit points.|
|If slept in, grants any host the buff [King's Rest], boosting all stats by 5%.|
|If employed in, grants any host 10,000 merit points each day, including the base owner. This benefit is applicable during rest cycles as well as test cycles. A maximum of thirty hosts may be employed, including the base owner.|
|2,500,000(625,000) Merit Points.|
|100,000 Base Points.|
|The total merit balance of [Fort Skip] is now 0 [- 261,280].|
|The total merit balance of the host is now: 240,929 [- 363,720].|
|The total base balance of [Fort Skip] is now 2,500 [- 100,000].|
This was the final and single-handedly most expensive upgrade Daz had purchased today. He made it appear in the place of his cabin. Of course, he informed Sten and Leston beforehand so they didn't get too startled.
It ended up dipping into Daz's own funds, but he didn't mind. The benefits were absurd.
Daz made sure that none of the keep overlapped with the entrance to the dungeon. As much as he trusted his citizens, Daz was still a paranoid man at heart, so he was worried about traitors using the connection between the two structures to sneak into his bedroom and kill him in the middle of the night.
He knew this was a ludicrous scenario, but nonetheless, similar things had happened before in the past to the great rulers of Earth, so Daz could justify this fear by telling himself that it wasn't a particularly unique idea.
The keep itself was huge. It looked almost like a small castle and it had its own set of sturdy walls.
The list of materials needed to create it left Daz stunned. He was happy that all of the base upgrades could be bought with raw merit points, otherwise, it would have been a very long time until Daz would be able to own a keep as amazing as this.
It had taken him twenty minutes in total to purchase all of these upgrades, so Daz still had forty minutes until the attack started.
He immediately entered the keep and found his way to the audience chamber. Waiting for him there were the promised advisors as well as a system notification.
|The Throne Room: While in this room, the Lord will experience a significant boost in projected regality.|
'Oh, cool. Do all of the rooms have buffs like this? The hallways didn't.' Daz left that question to be answered at another time and focused his attention on the many advisors.
They varied in gender, age, looks, even species, but they all looked at Daz with curiosity.
They had been serving as keep advisors for the system for various amounts of time. For some, this was their first time advising a test participant, for others, they had done so thousands of times.
Everyone knew how long Earth had been subjected to its adaptability test, and there were mixed reactions to Daz's appearance and aura.
An old man with a beard that crept down to his knees walked forward and offered a short bow. "My name is Crosius, Your Grace. I will be acting as the Head Advisor for you."
"Nice to meet you. I don't have much time. How long will it take to judge my potential?" Daz abruptly asked.
Crosius' eyebrow twitched. 'How rude.' He collected himself before answering, "Thirty minutes if we were to use Earth's time measurement, Your Grace."
"Great. Do it while I sleep," Daz ordered.
"I beg your pardon?" Not only Crosius, but all of the advisors were shocked by Daz's words.
"What?" Daz looked at them all like they were fools. "I want that five-percent stat buff. Wake me up when the ceremony or whatever you need to do is over."
With that said, Daz walked up to the throne that occupied the centre of the room and slumped down onto it. He was fast asleep.
"Such an interesting Lord."
"Indeed. This attitude must be the reason that he could afford a keep in only the second cycle."
"Perhaps this will be fun. The last Lord I served was such a bore."
Crosius was equally surprised and fascinated. He soon clapped his hands loudly. "Enough chit chat! Begin the judging of his potential!"
Everyone nodded and closed their eyes before they surrounded the throne and began chanting in the ancient language of magic, or Italian, as Daz would recognise it.
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