"Upfront payment, please…"
Flowing Cloud brought up the trade window and traded me 10 million gold right away. To Godkiller, this was an enormous amount of money because the mobs here were split into two extremes: those that were way too powerful to kill, or those that were so weak that their drops might as well be worthless. Moreover, Iron Skull Wilderness barely had any NPCs at all, much less ones that offered you quests to grind money with. Naturally, everyone living in this wasteland was poor. Flowing Cloud’s generosity was most welcome to say the least.
I spent a moment admiring the bag of gold in my hands before smiling at her. "The guild I founded in Iron Skull Wilderness is really starting to look like a mercenary guild. As long as our employer pays us enough money, we’ll happily throw our lives away for them. Thank you very much for your ten million gold, Flowing Cloud."
The woman leaned against a tree and replied in an indifferent tone, "I expect the results to be worth the amount of gold I paid you. In 15 hours, you and your men will depart from Iron Skull Wilderness, pass through Frost Stained Canyon and travel along Thunder Mountain Range. You should arrive at a map within Elephant City’s borders called Dirge Canyon. It is where the territory I’m planning to occupy will spawn. After the territory is spawned, all players may only enter Dirge Canyon once in the next 24 hours. Anyone who dies in Dirge Canyon will be respawned at a random location in the previous map."
"My request is simple." The corners of Flowing Cloud’s lips curved upward. "All I want you to do is to intercept Cyan Beast’s 100k Beast King Cavalrymen and preferably replicate your glorious success at Grass Vine Canyon. If you succeed, I will occupy the territory and grant your guild the right to pass through my territory anytime you please."
I shook my head. "My burning of the Beast King Cavalry at Grass Vine Canyon was pure coincidence. Not only that, I doubt I’ll ever be able to replicate the feat again. God of War isn’t the type of person to fall for the same trick twice, and frankly, your demand for me to defeat all 100k Beast King Cavalrymen is almost unreasonable. If my Dragonlight Cavalry and Dragonlight Archers were with me, defeating the Beast King Cavalry wouldn’t be an issue. Right now though? You’ve already experienced the caliber of troops I’m currently in command. The Zephyr Ironbone Warhorse is literally the only advantage Godkiller has over the Beast King Cavalry. Everything else—level, equipment, skill, coordination and even sheer numbers— is inferior to say the least. For now, I can’t think of any way for us to beat the Beast King Cavalry head-on."
Flowing Cloud exhaled deeply. "I won’t pressure you too much, Lu Chen. Just do your best. Oh right, Cyan Beast has formed an alliance with Nation Guardian, and I’m pretty sure the latter will be joining this territory contest as well. In short, we’ll be facing more than just Cyan Beast. This is a war of the weak against the strong, but I’m confident that your genius will be enough to turn the tides of this civil war…"
I nodded. "I’ll do my best, but I give no guarantees."
"That is all I ask, hehe…"
It was at this moment a cacophony of hooves suddenly rang from the forest behind me. The next moment, a warrioress with her head covered in red maple leaves burst into the clearing. The moment she saw us, she accused in an indignant tone, "I knew you would be meeting this woman, boss! Hmph! What’s so good about her? She even ambushed us at Dragonsnake Devil’s Den!"
Flowing Cloud walked up to her smilingly. "That was then, this is now. Good day, Hickey. Do you know that we’re allies now? You may ask your boss if you don’t believe me."
"Really?" Hickey suppressed the urge to attack Flowing Cloud and shot me an inquiring glance.
I nodded. "Mn, yes, we have come to an agreement with each other. We will be allies for a long time to come, so give up on trying to PK Flowing Cloud, Hickey."
"But…" Hickey still looked dissatisfied, so I brought up the trade window and transferred 10 million gold to her straight away.
"This is what Flowing Cloud paid us to sell our lives for her one time. She is a very generous employer, isn’t she?"
The sight of so much gold instantly overwrote Hickey’s expression into a bright one. "Wow, this truly is a great sum of money! How do you want to distribute this, boss?"
My lips curled a little. "I leave it to you to decide, but make sure you pay the Zephyr Cavalry more than the others so that they’ll happily toil their lives for us. I guess it’s a blessing in disguise that our guild size is still relatively small. I’m sure everyone will be satisfied with the ‘benefits’ they are getting!"
However, Hickey was still looking at Flowing Cloud challengingly. She even activated her Great Earth Transformation and said, "I still want to have a proper duel with the number one war goddess of Elephant City, however. Give me face, Flowing Cloud. Let us fight a no-death spar with boss as the witness, shall we?"
I shook my head. Sometimes, Hickey was too competitive for her own good. She must have been itching for a good fight ever since she obtained her Divine General Skill.
Flowing Cloud was an incredibly clever woman, so she nodded without hesitation and replied smilingly, "If that is your request, then so it shall be, sister…"
And so the two women dueled each other on the forest clearing. It would be a round-of-5 battle with me as the witness.
Swords and shadows danced with each other for a moment. It didn’t take long for a victor to be decided.
Hickey was the victor with a 3:2 score. Hickey’s S2 set gave her incredible Defense, and I could sense clearly that Flowing Cloud was having a hard time dealing with it. It was so pivotal that Flowing Cloud went all out during the first and third rounds, but she still lost to Hickey. However, Flowing Cloud was slightly more skilled than Hickey, and she was even able to gain the upper hand for a time during the fifth and final round. At the last moment though, Hickey sold an opening that Flowing Cloud bought hook, line, and sinker, causing the Iron Skull Wilderness warrioress to turn the tables and emerge victorious.
"And that’s settled! Just in case, I will remind you two that this is a friendly spar!" I waved my sword to emphasize the point.
Hickey gave Flowing Cloud a nod of respect. "The strongest warrioress of Elephant City is truly formidable. I’ve never met such a powerful opponent in Iron Skull Wilderness before…"
Flowing Cloud pointed with her lips at the WEL MVP emblem on my shoulder and said, "What are you talking about? The strongest player in the world is right there. I bet there’s a high chance you’ll become the strongest female warrior in the world if you spar your boss just a couple of times everyday. Trust me…"
I shook my head. Hickey was an intelligent woman, but her wisdom was far, far behind Flowing Cloud’s. I would almost say that she was naive judging from the fact that she still hadn’t realized Flowing Cloud’s intentions yet.
Well, it wasn’t a bad trait for me per se. A woman who was too shrewd was hard to control...
After we bade Flowing Cloud goodbye, I returned to Bonecrush Forest with Hickey and checked the time. It was almost time for dinner, and I bet that Lin Yixin and Chaos Moon were just waiting for me to log out. So I said to her, "Alright, I’m logging out and taking my well deserved break now. The rest of you, keep doing whatever you’re doing at full power, yeah? Also, I want everyone to be online and ready to go 15 hours from now. We have a big operation ahead of us, and we’re not the type of people who would accept ten million gold and not do our jobs properly, are we?"
Hickey nodded smilingly. "You said it, boss!"
However, Warscar walked over to me with a stern expression and said, "Wait, guild leader. Something urgent just came up!"
"Bloodlust just showed up outside Bonecrush Forest with 30k heavy cavalrymen. It seems to me that Bloodthirsty Demon was unhappy that you bested him last time and is plotting to take revenge. He asked for you specifically to meet him…"
Hickey looked furious. "Aiyo, that sonuvabitch thinks he can come to our headquarters and taunt us just because we cut him some slack the first time? Boss would’ve slaughtered him if he really went all out! Hmph hmph, you just sit tight and relax, boss. This time, I’ll be the one to take him out, that arrogant…"
I chuckled. "Calm down. We don’t know what’s going on yet. Let’s meet him and deal with this as soon as possible!"
We rallied about 10000 Zephyr Cavalrymen before exiting Bonecrush Forest together. On the wide clearing, Bloodthirsty Demon and his 30000-strong heavy cavalry were already in formation and staring at us with stern eyes.
"You’ve finally come, Broken Halberd Sinks Into Sand!" Bloodthirsty Demon started.
I dismounted from my Ancient Divine Dragon and walked up to the guy with a lazy smile on my face. "Hello, Bloodthirsty Demon. What is your business with me?"
He replied, "Are you aware that we fought against Cyan Beast at the forest of Frost Stained Canyon?"
I nodded. "I know. I’ve watched it with my own eyes."
Bloodthirsty Demon let out a soft snort before continuing, "Our levels, equipment and skill were far inferior compared to our opponents’. Iron Skull Wilderness’ amount and quality of supplies are too lousy as well. As a result, Bloodlust suffered the greatest defeat it has ever had since its conception despite outnumbering their opponent. Our casualty rate was 95%, and we lost over 200k players for less than 50k enemies in that battle. It was humiliating…"
I raised my eyebrows. "So?"
Bloodthirsty Demon abruptly clenched his fists. "Have you heard of the saying ‘united we stand’? When Bloodlust was battling Cyan Beast’s weaklings at Dragonsnake Devil’s Den and losing horribly, Godkiller had torched all 100k Beast King Cavalrymen at Grass Vine Canyon to death with less than 50k troops! I am an arrogant man who only respects the strong, and you, Broken Halberd Sinks Into Sand, have my respect with your courage to fight a much bigger enemy, and your wisdom to come up with that amazing strategy. Therefore, I would like Bloodlust and Godkiller to merge together. What do you think?"
Hickey’s mouth fell open slightly. "What? You want to merge with us?"
Warscar immediately blurted, "Wonderful! Have your Top 5000 players join our main guild, and the rest of them become our subguild then!"
Unfortunately, a magic knight next to Bloodthirsty Demon lost his cool and swore, "Pooh! Who the fuck do you think you are? You ain’t subsuming our guild that easily!"
Warscar retorted, "You’re the ones who outnumbered the enemy and still got their asses kicked! You think you have the right to talk conditions with us?"
War Dead joined in. "Yeah. Speaking of sayings, isn’t there one about the weak should obey the strong? You lost, so you should obey us, the victors!"
Bloodthirsty Demon looked like he wanted to say something, but didn’t know how to start. I could see that he truly wanted to fight alongside Godkiller, but he was the leader of a large group that wasn’t always of the same mind. His intentions were benevolent, but good intentions didn’t necessarily always bring good results.Previous Chapter Next Chapter