Ashen-faced, Hickey clenched her fists while saying, "Breeze and Rain figured out our plan and took out our archer party. We ourselves may not be able to escape this place."
Warscar raised his axe and declared, "Let’s cut through them!"
I nodded. "All units, full speed toward the east! Don’t hesitate! If we don’t breach the encirclement now, it will truly be too late!"
"But…" Hickey stared at the forest in front of us. "There’s got to be at least 10000 Mist Riders in there. How are we supposed to…"
I rushed forward and shouted, "Summon the Storm!"
A lightning-and-ice storm immediately chased away the fog. Several hundred Mist Riders died to the skill as well. The Cyan Beast special unit might be able to turn invisible, but its Defense was also obviously weaker than heavy cavalry’s. It might be our only hope to breach this encirclement.
"Kill! Break out!"
Warscar roared as all 15000 Zephyr Cavalrymen raised their weapons and rushed through the forest. Behind us, the 100000 Beast King Cavalry led by Breeze and Rain and God of War were already dangerously close, and those who fell even slightly behind were instantly torn to shreds. The Beast King Cavalry’s combined charge was simply too powerful, so much so that even an ace heavy cavalry like the Dragonlight Cavalry couldn’t treat them as a negligible threat, much less this newly-formed Zephyr Cavalry.
My Burning Blade Slash shredded a massive tree and the group of Mist Riders surrounding it. The Zephyr Cavalry beside me also maintained charging speed and ran over the invisible Mist Riders who were in their way. Neither side could claim that it was the most organized battle they had ever fought in, although the Mist Riders definitely hurt us more than we hurt them. All too often, a group of Mist Riders would emerge from the fog and kill an entire row of Zephyr Cavalry, wounding my heart in the process.
Hickey stared intently at the mist in front of her before shouting suddenly, "Open your eyes, people! The Mist Rider’s invisibility isn’t absolute! When they move in the fog, their bodies will push aside the fog and form something that looks like a vacuum! That is where the fuckers are at, so hit those spots with Barrier Break and Triple Slash! Trust me!"
It was an excellent idea that lifted the fog covering our minds, and Warscar was the first to implement the tactic. He used Quadruple Slash at a fog-less area in front of him and knocked a Mist Rider out of invisibility immediately. One last hit later, the guy was dead where he stood!
At the front, the berserking Zephyr Cavalry were doing their best to punch through the Mist Riders as fast as they could. At the back, the Beast King Cavalry inevitably caught up with us and tore chunks from our tail.
Warscar’s eyes turned red as bloodcurdling screams rang behind us. "Motherfucker! About a thousand of our brothers were caught by the fuckers! What do we do? We can’t leave them behind…"
I asked sternly, "Do you wish to kill these 100000 Beast King Cavalrymen, Warscar?"
"Of course I do! I only wish I could swallow them alive!"
"Good. Send a corpse commander and 2000 Zephyr Cavalrymen to cover our rear. They’ll need to buy as much time as possible for our main force to escape this forest."
Very soon, over 2000 Zephyr Cavalrymen turned back and countercharged the Beast King Cavalry despite knowing that it was a suicide mission.
While the Ancient Divine Dragon was slithering between the trees, I said to Hickey, "Order the players at Grass Vine Canyon to withdraw to Wilderness Trail and light bonfires to confuse the enemy. Also, I want 3000 mages to stay within Grass Vine Canyon, hide themselves in the surrounding forests and stand by for further orders."
Hickey blinked but didn’t ask me unnecessary questions. She did as I ordered.
Some time later, over 10000 Zephyr Cavalrymen burst out of the forest and emerged into a huge clearing. There were two paths we could choose from here. The first one was Grass Vine Canyon, a wide, open space where cavalry could almost gallop at full speed unhindered. The second one was Wilderness Trail, a most narrow and craggy path.
In the distance, I saw many Godkiller archers, mages and priests climbing up the hills of Wilderness Trail and brandishing their flags, making it seem like there was almost no one at Grass Vine Canyon. I ordered, "Hickey, take 2000 men with you and leave hoofprints on the path to Grass Vine Canyon. The rest of you, run along the grassland to Wilderness Trail and hide there!"
I led the rest of the troops to Wilderness Trail and hid within its dense forest.
A while later, Hickey also returned with her two thousand men and joined us, and not a moment too soon. Everyone felt a suffocating feeling as a sea of Beast King Cavalry rode toward our direction. The 100000-strong Beast King Cavalry was Cyan Earth City’s ace unit, and they absolutely possessed the power and numbers to annihilate all 13k Zephyr Cavalrymen in a direct battle. At best, we would kill about 20k Beast King Cavalrymen before being routed completely.
Hickey stood next to me with a puzzled expression, "Lu Chen, why are you making us hide here? It’s obvious that this place was frequented by players, not to mention the bonfires we just lit. Once the Beast King Cavalry comes here, it’ll all be over…"
I answered, "Do you know what the ancient saying ‘if it's fake then make it real, if it's real then make it fake’ means, Hickey?"
"I think I get what you mean, but I could use an explanation anyway," Hickey replied.
Warscar shook his head as well.
I smiled. "I had heard that Breeze and Rain is enamored with Chinese culture, and that he spent much of his time researching ancient Chinese military scriptures. If that is true, then he must know of this saying. In fact, I’m counting on it. This is what I’m hoping he would do: first, he notices all the traces we left at Wilderness Trail and suspects that something is amiss. Then, he recalls the saying and believes that we left behind all these traces to mislead him into chasing into Wilderness Trail, when really we were escaping through Grass Vine Canyon. Finally, he leads his army into Grass Vine Canyon believing that we escaped there!"
Warscar looked completely confused. He obviously didn’t get what I was trying to say.
Hickey clenched her fists and giggled. "OMG, you Chinese are so devious. You won’t ever deceive me like this, will you boss?"
I smiled. "Of course not."
Warscar played the good student and asked, "Guild leader, assuming that the Beast King Cavalry goes into Grass Vine Canyon, so what? We still can’t do anything against them. In fact, the Beast King Cavalry can just run over everything in their path, travel straight to Bonecrush Forest from Grass Vine Canyon, kill all the supporting NPCs there and make us temporarily homeless. We won’t be able to buy potions, repair equipment and so on..."
I replied, "Have you already forgotten what you killed at Grass Vine Canyon, Warscar? The map is overflowing with dead Beautiful Man-eating Flowering Vines, and more importantly, flammable fluids! Why do you think I left 3000 mages in Grass Vine Canyon? If they do fall into our trap, I’ll have the mages cast Firewall and light up the flammable fluid and all 100000 Beast King Cavalrymen at once! The fire cannot be extinguished unless they use water or ice-based magic, but we’ve already slaughtered most of their mages during the forest battle earlier. There’s no way the remnants can make it there in time to rescue them! I’m going to bury all 100000 Beast King Cavalrymen there in one go!"
For a long time, Hickey could only stare at me with her mouth open. "What… what a devious interlocking strategy! Now I get it! You were planning to make use of Grass Vine Canyon from the start, weren’t you? You’re so ruthless!"
I declared, "How else do you deal with murderous tigers and wolves?!"
Warscar stared at the distant enemies while rubbing his hands together in excitement. "C’mon, c’mon, get inside Grass Vine Canyon already, you fuckers!"
Meanwhile, Breeze and Rain halted his troops temporarily and rode alone to the intersection between the two paths. He examined the hooves on the ground carefully before ordering a dozen or so Beast King Cavalry into Grass Vine Canyon to scout things out.
My heart had jumped to my throat at this point. There were few things more exhilarating than dueling wits with an intelligent and powerful warrior like Breeze and Rain!
A few minutes later, he nodded as if he received some sort of information from his scouts, and he directed God of War and the 100000 Beast King Cavalrymen toward Grass Vine Canyon with the wave of a sword. I bet it was because the scouts had seen the cavalry hooves I had told Hickey to leave behind and the bodies of dead mobs on the ground and reported accordingly. All the signs seemed to point toward us trying to mislead them into chasing us down through Wilderness Trail while making a run for it through Grass Vine Canyon.
Unfortunately for Breeze and Rain, he ultimately made a grave miscalculation that would cost him his army. One might argue that the scouts should’ve done their job better, but there was only so much they could glean from an unfamiliar terrain. The Indians could never know the lay of the land of Iron Skull Wilderness as well as the natives who lived here!
I clenched my fists triumphantly as all 100000 Beast King Cavalrymen raced into the canyon. Grass Vine Canyon was more than big enough to fit all of them.
I immediately looked at Hickey and Warscar and ordered, "Hickey, take 5000 Zephyr Cavalrymen to the entrance and cut off their retreat path. Warscar, take 5000 Zephyr Cavalrymen to the exit and stop them from escaping through the hills. The rest of you, follow me to kill all the enemies who manage to escape through the fire. Don’t leave a single one of them alive! The closest graveyard from here is at least an hour away, so this is our best chance to take them out!"
Everyone nodded and went about their business.
I gripped my weapon tightly as I stood above the canyon and looked down at the Beast King Cavalry below.
Breeze and Rain frowned as his army galloped over the green, oily fluid. "The stench of these mobs is terrible. Hmph, Godkiller must’ve escaped through the canyon bottom where the mountain forests are. C’mon, they’re just up ahead of us. Once we enter the forest, prepare to dismount and take them out!"
The Beast King Cavalry all unsheathed their weapons in anticipation.
I felt like my heart was about to explode as the last of the Beast King Cavalry entered the canyon. They actually didn’t notice anything amiss with the Beautiful Man-eating Flowering Vines on the ground! I pumped my fist once before ordering, "All mages in Grass Vine Canyon, light up the dead mobs now! Use Firewall to inflict continuous damage! Don’t let a single one of them escape!"
Countless mages emerged from their hiding spots and threw their flame spells into the mobs immediately. The 7-second-long Firewall spell immediately ignited the flammable fluid on the bodies and transformed into a raging inferno in no time. The flames spread from body to body in little to no time, and since there were so many of them that there were no gaps where the Beast King Cavalry could escape through at all.
"What the hell?!"
Breeze and Rain looked around him. Blood drained away from his face as realization struck him.
God of War roared angrily, "Lu Chen, you ruthless motherfucker! You plan to burn all one hundred thousand of my elites to death here?!"
1. (T/N: As much as I want to roll my eyes, it was hinted during the WEL that Breeze and Rain knew the language enough to speak it, so saying that he was interested in Chinese culture wasn’t complete baseless. Still a retarded strategy though. All Breeze and Rain needed to do is to send some scouts to Wilderness Trail and they’ll be exposed. Even if he doesn’t, just split the goddamn army dammit, God of War down one lane and Breeze and Rain the other just in case. Sigh.)