It was night. Chaos Moon and I were roaming the streets in search of food when suddenly, I recalled something important.
"What’s wrong?" Chaos Moon tilted her head.
"I just recalled something really important."
I chose my words carefully before saying, "We know that Cyan Beast probably crossed over from Dragonbone Mountain Range using that vine route Gui Guzi spoke of, but we haven’t actually confirmed if that is the case or do anything about it. I can’t believe I only remembered about it now. No, I need to contact Hot and Sour Noodles now, confirm the route and block it so that Cyan Earth City can’t send any more men into our domain. Otherwise, man, I don’t even want to think what will happen if God of War appears in Sky City with several million men and cuts off our retreat completely!"
"Yeah, you’re right. Do it now!"
So I took out my phone and called Zhang Chun’s phone directly. A while later, the call connected.
"Yes, Lu Chen?"
"Uncle, I forgot to tell you about this, but you need to send a sufficient amount of archers and assassins to scour Dragonbone Mountain Range and find exactly how they made their way into Sky City. Then, you need to station a good number of troops and block it off completely. This takes priority above everything else. It will be all for nothing if we lose our King of Cities!"
"Ah…" Hot and Sour Noodles clearly hadn’t thought about this either. He immediately gave me a serious nod and said, "Understood. Thank goodness you remembered this. I was so distracted by the pain of losing White Rose Fortress to Breeze and Rain and his 30000-strong cavalry that I completely forgot all about it. Rest easy, Lu Chen, I’ll get it done right away. I’ll inform my ninth subguild to dispatch several ten thousand assassins and archers to seek out this hidden route and seal it. "
"That’s great. Do your best, uncle! I’m leaving for supper now!"
After I hung up the call, Chaos Moon grabbed my arm and pointed at a nearby restaurant, smiling. "Look! It’s a local lamb pot restaurant. This’ll keep our stomachs warm and full. We can go to sleep right after that."
We entered the shop. Chaos Moon was a local, so she was by far the best person between the two of us to order the dishes. She said a bit in an accent I somewhat didn’t understand before we took a seat by the walls. A short while later, a hot and spicy pot of lamb meat was served. To be honest, I had no idea what the dish was called. It wasn’t hot pot, but it wasn’t simmering soup either. It had bok choy, cellophane noodles, lamb meat and many more other ingredients. Long story short, it tasted fresh and savory, and it was a great meal to have on a cold night like this.
It was already past midnight when we finished our meal.
After we returned to the chilly streets once more, Chaos Moon tightened her collar a bit before grabbing my arm again, saying, "So full, so satisfying…"
Suddenly, she tilted her head at me and asked teasingly, "Aren’t you sad that I’m the one who’s by your side instead of Eve or Beauty Lin?"
I nodded in agreement. "I know right? It’s such a shame. If you were them, I might not need to pass the night on my lonesome…"
Chaos Moon half-laughed and half-chided me, "Bullshit! You wouldn’t dare lift a finger against them if they were actually with you right now!"
"Why wouldn’t I?"
"Hmph!" She shot me a glance before adding. "Are you really that lonely? Should I sacrifice myself for the night and sleep with you for tonight?"
"Heavens, no…" I hurriedly turned down her offer. "Didn’t you learn from Mencius that men and women should not touch hands when they give or receive things? By the way, did you ever have a boyfriend?"
"Yeah, I used to have one when I was still in school. I ditched him when I realized that he was screwing around with the prettiest girl from another class…"
As if sensing something in my tone, Chaos Moon hurriedly took two steps forward and blocked in front of me. "We only went as far as holding hands though! I’ve never done that with anyone, okay?"
I laughed. "Er, okay? This is the modern age, I wouldn’t laugh at you even if you did."
"Bullshit! You’re literally laughing right now!"
"Nah, it’s just your imagination. Anyway, we really should get back to our hotel and sleep. Any time and place that isn’t the streets in the middle of the night is a better time to talk nonsense like this…"
I took a bath and lay down on the bed after we had returned to the hotel. Surprisingly, I was having difficulty falling asleep for some reason. It was at this moment my phone lit up, and the name "Wind Fantasy" appeared on the screen. It was the contact name I set when I first added Lin Yixin’s number to my phone—
"Hi~" Lin Yixin’s sweet voice entered my ears when I accepted the call.
I smiled. "Miss me?"
"I just finished supper, so I had no time to miss you…"
Lin Yixin humphed. "Someone’s feeling itchy, I see. By the way, where are you in Xinjiang exactly? For some reason it feels wrong not knowing where you really are…"
"I’m currently staying in the only hotel that connects to Eternal Moon’s games in Tekes County. I’ll be back immediately after the Nation War is over…"
Lin Yixin paused for a moment before moving onto another topic. "I dreamed about you last night, Little Cheat..."
"Oh? What was I doing in your dreams?"
"Getting the shit beaten out of you by yours truly…"
"What the fuck!"
"Heehee. Really though, I feel like years have passed even though it’s only been a few days since you left. What should I do…"
I hurriedly consoled her by saying, "I promise I’ll go back immediately after the Nation War is over. In fact, if it looks like we’ll win one way or another, I’ll go back even before it’s over."
"Mn. Then… good night?"
"Mn, good night. But before you do that, give me a kiss first…"
Lin Yixin hung up the call there. I supposed she was embarrassed...
After I set down the phone, I pulled the blanket over my head and felt a wave of exhaustion creeping up my body. Less than ten minutes later, I was deep in dreamland.
An indefinite amount of time later, I woke up and checked the time. As it turned out, I had only slept about 7 hours, which was nowhere enough to soothe all the stress I had accumulated during yesterday’s battle. I couldn’t help but be concerned about the Nation War though, so I woke up, turned on the phone the hotel supplied to its guests, downloaded my game data and checked out the detailed map of Purple Grape City Stranger of Three Lifetimes had sent me.
A close examination revealed that the main city of Japan was much harder to destroy than we had initially imagined. For starters, Purple Grape City was located to the northeast of White Rose Fortress, and there were a ton smaller maps between the two. Moreover, Purple Grape City had two tier 2 cities that acted as its guardians to its west and south, namely Ice River Canton and Swallow Ear Canton. There was no way to circumvent them, so we would have to defeat them first before we even got to Purple Grape City.
There was also a giant basin between Purple Grape City and White Rose Fortress called Sunset Basin. It was a huge area that took up at least 30% of the entire Purple Grape City domain. The basin seemed a little too steep for cavalry to traverse, but it was only when I checked the forums that I realized just how impossible it was to trek through. The damn thing was literally a natural moat that was at least several thousand meters deep. It was the paradise of high-level monsters, and no one was able to explore its deepest depths up until this point.
This one basin cut down our options to reach Purple Grape City to just two. One, we could pass through a map called Lost Forest to the north, take out Ice River Canton, turn to the east, and climb over Fallen Moon Ridge before reaching Purple Grape City. Two, we could march east directly after leaving White Rose Fortress, punch through an NPC garrison called Impassable Great Wall, take out Swallow Ear Canton, and march across Wildfire Plains before arriving at our destination.
No matter which path we chose though, a harsh war was waiting for us for sure!
A long investigation later, I checked the forums again and noted that the ongoing war was filling up the entire news section. The excitement was perfectly understandable, of course. Some of the stickied and gilded threads in red font were—
Gilded: Hegemon Palace’s 500k-strong army has successfully taken out 110k enemy troops at White Rose Fortress. Their vice leader, Little Piglet has accumulated enough Kill Points to become a Divine General! His Divine General Skill is "Great Conqueror"!
Gilded: Another 50k+ Indian cavalry has been spotted near Dragonbone Mountain Range. They successfully ambushed Mad Dragon and killed a total of 170k+ troops! Mad Dragon suffered huge damage in this battle, and Breeze and Rain was praised by his people as "The Phantom"!
Gilded: Despite losing a whopping 210k+ troops, the Gods of Destruction guild was ultimately able to slay 25k of Breeze and Rain’s cavalry and force him and his remaining troops to escape to Black Coast. There, he encountered Candle Dragon and was forced to teleport back to his city. Thus ends Cyan Beast’s sneak attack in failure...
I spent a long time reading the threads, but there was really only one useful piece of information, and that was the news that Little Piglet had become a Divine General.
Great Conqueror: Summon the power of the divine and apply a 50% splash effect to the user’s weapon. The effect can be stacked, but cannot exceed 75%. Moreover, increases user’s melee attack range by 5 yards. Costs 1 Divine Energy Point per minute. Skill exclusive to Little Piglet.
Great Conqueror seemed to be a fantastic Divine General Skill. For starters, it gave his weapon a 50% splash effect, an incredible attribute in any group battle. Next, it increased his attack range by 5 yards, meaning that he could deal AoE damage to players as far as 5 yards away even with just a basic attack.
Originally, Little Piglet was a defensive-type player, but now that he had this Divine General Skill, I predict that he would change his style and transform into an offensive-type player. Hegemon Palace’s inability to keep up with the other guilds should be much less obvious with this ascension as well.
I sucked in a deep breath and returned my attention to the map of Purple Grape City. It was at this moment I noticed something that made my eyes widen. I kept zooming in on a certain spot on Dragonbone Mountain Range where the mountains weren’t infinitely tall. Not only was this particular section of the mountain range only 4000 meters above sea level, it was a map called Sky Ridge! This meant that it could be traversed!
The icy walls of Sky Ridge were about 250 meters tall, and it was overgrown with vines. Finally, I found out exactly how Cyan Beast’s high-level players kept slipping into our domain! They were using this map called Sky Ridge!
An idea flashed across my mind, and an entire strategy sprouted from it.
I immediately called Chaos Moon’s hotel phone.
"Hello? What’s wrong?" Chaos Moon asked in a daze.
"Time to get up, eat some food, and get ready for battle!"
"Oh…"Previous Chapter Next Chapter