The plains to the north of Iron Skull Wilderness were a stretch of fertile land filled with wild mobs. There were weak Level 150 Wild Dogs, and there were powerful Level 260 Elite Tigers. This time though, we killed absolutely everything in our way. After all, the goal was to sweep Dirge Canyon and deal a heavy blow to Cyan Beast.
I was currently soaring in the sky with Dark Pupils activated, revealing all existing targets within several thousand meters on my map. I was the fastest person in the party thanks to the Ancient Divine Dragon, so I took it upon myself to scout everything within a kilometer of the main army. I changed the color of the indicator for mobs to blue, and hostile players to red so that they were easier to differentiate.
I steered my dragon lower immediately after a red dot appeared inside a forest. It was Cyan Earth City archer. Cyan Beast had withdrawn to Cyan Earth City, so this guy was either a solo grinder or a long-term scout who was responsible for watching over this location. Long story short, he had to die.
As the Ancient Divine Dragon glided across the air, I swung my weapon and used Dragon Slaying Slash!
The archer finally noticed that he was in danger and looked up, but it was already too late. Dragon Slaying Slash hit him on the shoulder and sent him crashing to the ground, dealing an incredible amount of damage—
At the current stage of the game, the average archers only had 50 to 100 thousand HP. Only a top archer like Beiming Xue would have almost 200k HP. Therefore, the archer died in one hit and exploded into a floor of potions. Speaking of which, the map we were currently at was called "Cursed Wilderness”. Another long story short, it was a cursed map that teleported any player who died here straight back to their city.
On the ground, Beiming Xue rode up to me and asked, "Can I have the next one, big brother? It’s been a while since I killed someone…"
I looked around before breaking into a smile. "Found one. There’s a stealthed Level 192 assassin about 300 meters directly ahead of us and slightly to the east. I leave him to you, Beiming!"
Beiming Xue lifted her sharp ears and stared at the front with her blood-red pupils. As she rode in the direction of the assassin, her high perception enabled her to quickly identify the assassin’s footsteps and the unnatural rustling of the grass. She immediately raised her bow and fired a super long range Skypiercer at her target!
Thud thud thud…
The skill struck the forest where the assassin was at and elicited a blood-curdling scream. The low-health assassin hurriedly escaped into the denser area of the forest to drink a health potion before emerging back into the open a couple of seconds later. Running toward Beiming Xue and activating Dance of Death at the same time, he shouted angrily, "Die, damn Chinese archer!"
Beiming Xue lowered her bow and pulled out a blood-red dagger. Then, she rode up to the assassin while channeling a crystalline glow to the blade of her dagger. It was Archer class’s melee skill, Beast Hunt!
After parrying the assassin’s attack with her bow, she swung the dagger’s blade across his neck and caused a massive spray of blood. It deleted the assassin’s last chunk of HP and killed him where he stood.
The poor guy even dropped a leather-armor helmet. Beiming Xue happily accepted his tribute.
On the other side, Lin Yixin shot me and Beiming Xue a smile from atop her Moonchaser Tiger, "Let’s go! This is the assault of three great scouts!"
Beiming Xue and I chuckled at the same time. The reason the three of us were the only ones killing the enemy scouts on Cursed Wilderness was because we didn’t want Elephant City or Cyan Earth City to know that Godkiller had come to cause them trouble. After the War of Purple Grape City was over, relations between China, Japan and India had deteriorated completely. As a result, players would often slip into other servers’ maps and assassinate the players there for one reason or another.
For example, there was a time Little Piglet vanished from Sky City for three days straight. It was because he had traveled to Elephant Canyon to assassinate the Elephant City players grinding in that location. He only targeted the damage dealer in a party, and never lingered long enough for the enemy to catch him. Since he was a Divine General, there was practically no one who could stop him from coming and going as he pleased. During these three days, he terrorized the shit out of the middle to high–level players of Elephant City to the point where he became known to the Indians as "The Hunter”. Naturally, Hegemon Palace gained a lot of face from Little Piglet’s exploits, and Pillar of the Nation was about as happy as he could be.
I looked to the back. Hickey, Warscar and the corps commanders were following behind us with a huge army. Godkiller only had 80k+ players at the beginning, but after Bloodlust joined us with 270k players, we now had an army of 350k. Every single one of these players had suffered in some ways in the hands of Cyan Earth City before. Most of them had also won at least one battle under my command. It was why they couldn’t wait to fight the next battle. That our target this time was Elephant City’s Dirge Canyon only added fuel to the fire. Who doesn’t want to take revenge against their tormentors?
Over three hours later, we were only a bit over an hour away from where the territory was supposed to spawn. Our army had also gotten close to the perimeter of Dirge Canyon.
The Ancient Divine Dragon let out a low growl as I hovered in front of my troops. I declared, "Alright, we will stand by at this location for a moment. Hickey, dispatch the scouts to sweep the surrounding area. Try to avoid revealing our intentions as best you can. I’m going to scout out Dirge Canyon and familiarize myself with the map."
She nodded. "Okay. Be careful, Lu Chen!"
Beiming Xue asked from beside me, "I can turn invisible, big brother. Can I follow and support you from the ground?"
"Sure. Yiyi, stay with Hickey until we return, okay?"
Lin Yixin nodded. "Mn. Be careful, both of you... By the way, that Rank 9 territory is attractive enough that Cyan Earth City and Elephant City’s greatest guilds are coming to fight for it, right? Do you think I should mobilize Snowy Cathaya? I can have Purple Marquis and Nangong Lexi cross Thunder Mountain Range with the Kui Dragon Cavalry and hit the enemy’s flank if you want to."
I considered the idea for a moment but shook my head. "Thanks, but no thanks. In fact, I would rather not drag our country’s forces into this fight and earn them even more hate than they already got. The Northern Alliance and the Japan server had been suspiciously silent as of late, and I can’t help but feel like they are plotting something. We can do this without draining our country’s strength."
Lin Yixin replied with a smile, "You’re too paranoid, but fine. See you!"
And so I entered the airspace of Dirge Canyon together with Beiming Xue. Dirge Canyon was an extraordinarily huge and dark map. It was also a new map that had just been generated in the past 24 hours, not unlike Frost Stained Canyon. The good news was that the terrain here was unfamiliar to both Indians and foreigners alike, so everyone would be starting on an equal footing. )
Dirge Canyon was a layered map that was mostly shrouded in fog. There were all kinds of terrains in this place, and among the most eye-catching of them all was a moon-shaped lake called Moon Lake. It was shaped like a ring, and it only had one entrance. The center of the lake was a huge open clearing. It was probably very defensible. Also, a map called "Frost Maple Woodland" occupied over 70% of the entire map. It didn’t have many clearings, so it wasn’t the best place for cavalry battles.
Directly south of Moon Lake was a mountain so tall that its peak was blocked by the clouds. It was called the Dragon Whisker Mountain. The tall, majestic mountain towered over the ground like a lofty ruler.
The Rank 9 territory hadn’t spawned yet, so I couldn’t really strategize a way to storm it. Moon Lake was terrible for cavalry battle, and its terrain severely limited the number of surprising traps I could spring upon the territory. Frost Maple Woodland was also a bad terrain for cavalry battle. Sigh. I already knew that this was going to be a difficult job, but my scouting only seemed to confirm it even more.
It was around this time a couple of dots appeared at Frost Maple Woodland. It was a couple of Indian players scouting out the map and preparing for the upcoming battles. After I circled around the entire map once, I even spotted a 10000-strong party at Moon Lake. They were Cyan Beast players led by Yeye the Witch. Of all the Indian players, Cyan Beast clearly looked like the most dominant and prepared of them all.
I checked the time. There were only 58 minutes left before the new territory would be spawned, so I remained around one thousand meters above the ground level and circled the map continuously. Shortly after, I noticed a couple hundred Owl Riders patrolling the sky as well. They were Flowing Cloud’s men, but they didn’t attack me even though my appearance clearly caused them to turn apprehensive. Well, that was the agreement. For now, we were allies.
A new group of players marched into Dirge Canyon from the north. It was Cyan Beast’s main army. God of War and Breeze and Rain were both present, and I counted almost 200k Beast King Cavalrymen. The confident-looking God of War seemed to have gotten himself a new Immortal-grade weapon. Breeze and Rain looked as calm and calculative as ever.
"Has Flowing Cloud shown up yet?" God of War’s eyes sharpened at the mention of the name.
Breeze and Rain replied indifferently, "Not yet, but she already declared that she was going to fight for this territory, so there is no avoiding this civil war. For today at least, Natural Flow is our greatest enemy!"
God of War nodded affirmatively. "Mn. Control all areas in Dirge Canyon and don’t let a single fly escape our notice. This territory sits between Elephant City, Cursed Wilderness and Purple Grape City. It is a very important strategic location. If Natural Flow manages to take it, we will lose all control over the southern region."
Breeze and Rain replied smilingly, "I know, you don’t have to remind me. Anyway, I’ll be taking 100k Beast King Cavalrymen with me and leaving to do some business, so I leave this place to you."
God of War smiled back. "Yeah. Stay safe!"
I couldn’t hear anything else because of the blowing wind, but that was fine. Scouting was hardly my true calling. I remained in the air and continued to wait for the winds of change to blow across the battlefield. Be it Cyan Beast, Natural Flow, Dark Clouds, Nation Guardian or more, every single one of these guilds had invested at least a million troops into this territory conquest. On the other hand, at least 50% of my 350k troops were mobs that could be run over with a stick. Oh well. If we couldn’t become a main force, then we would play the role of the ambusher!