"Do you think Flowing Cloud will intercept Cyan Beast’s forces before they enter Dirge Canyon, big brother? It’s not impossible, right?" Beiming Xue asked me through the party channel.
I replied immediately, "That’s impossible. When the territory conquest begins, any player who dies in Dirge Canyon won’t be able to enter the map again. This means that the only effective way to diminish the enemy’s forces is to kill the ones who are inside the map. With that in mind, why would she waste her energy on killing the players outside? Flowing Cloud is an intelligent woman. She must know this as well as us."
"So, we just wait here and do nothing?" Lin Yixin confirmed.
"Yeah. There’s no benefit in entering the canyon ahead of time, and exposing ourselves too soon can only be detrimental to us."
Time passed bit by bit. Finally, the territory spawned—
System Notice: All players, please be informed that the Rank 9 territory "Frost Wind City" (subject to change) has spawned at coordinates (21727, 90283). The guild that kills the boss protecting the territory and obtains the Territory Token will gain temporary control over the territory. Defend the territory for 24 hours straight to gain permanent ownership!
"Finally!" I said with a grin while bringing up the map screen. "Aw, fuck, the territory spawned at the center of Moon Lake. It’s almost completely surrounded by water, and there’s only one way into the territory. Even worse, the entrance is facing toward the northern Frost Maple Woodland, way too far away from us. Looks like our guerilla tactic dream is dead before it can even begin."
Warscar asked, "What do we do then, guild leader?"
"We’ll wait for Flowing Cloud and Dark Clouds to make a move. We’ll assist them in battle, but avoid the brunt of the enemy’s assault!"
The map turned chaotic the second the territory spawned. The northern entrance to Dirge Canyon was jam-packed with Cyan Beast’s Beast King Cavalry and Nation Guardian’s Divine Elephant Cavalry, and tens of thousands of players were flooding into the map by the minute. However, Natural Flow’s players were still nowhere to be seen for some reason. I couldn’t help but feel a bit worried. What on earth was Flowing Cloud doing?
Suddenly, the sounds of battle appeared from the east side of Dirge Canyon. Speak of the devil! Natural Flow’s White Horse Cavalry had crossed over a mountain range and was galloping down the slopes! Not only that, Dark Clouds’ Cheetah Cavalry had shown up at the same time. The entire valley started trembling slightly. Just like that, a civil war between two great Indian forces had officially begun!
At the middle of the mountain, I saw Flowing Cloud commanding a group of engineers to build some sort of well with dark blue spring water in it. It was a war-exclusive building, the Fountain of Life, and it increased HP regeneration of all allies within 1000 yards drastically! Tsk tsk, Flowing Cloud was clearly planning to fight a war of attrition!
God of War unsheathed his weapon and pointed at the mountain where Natural Flow was at. "Beast King Cavalry, Divine Elephant Cavalry, attack! Cut off that fake war goddess’s banner and teach her a lesson for challenging us!"
The two cavalry troops immediately screamed out their battle cries and charged up the mountain range. The White Horse Cavalry and Cheetah Cavalry obliged and rode down to meet them as well. Both sides clashed against one another in just the blink of an eye!
Bang bang bang!
The bone-crunching noises of cavalrymen slamming into cavalrymen filled the air, and Barrier Breaks flashed across the entire battle line. Everyone was doing their utmost to deal heavy damage to the enemy in the shortest amount of time possible. It took barely a moment for bodies to cover the ground, and blood to dye the grass red.
A highly-spirited God of War was fighting at the forefront and murdering countless with Earth Shattering Slash, Inferno Sixtuple Slash and more. Players died like flies wherever he went, and not even the defensive White Horse Cavalry was able to stop him. Sometimes, quantity just wasn’t enough to make up for a gap in quality.
Moreover, the guild leader of Nation Guardian, Wild King, was fighting side-by-side with him, and behind them, their ranged players had finally caught up to the cavalry. The bards kept buffing Beast King and Divine Elephant Cavalries, and the priests focused on healing those who had withdrawn from the battle line because of low HP.
Cyan Beast’s corps commander, the assassin Shallow Sunlight, was standing at the back of the group and ordering loudly, "Everyone whose HP is below 30% and has used War God Recovery, withdraw to the backline so that the priests can heal you! Don’t charge senselessly! Keep yourself alive!"
Unfortunately, not many players could control themselves once they became fully absorbed in battle trance, bloodlust, or both. The Cheetah Cavalry was absolutely unable to deal with the combined stampede that was the Beast King Cavalry and Divine Elephant Cavalry’s charge. Natural Flow’s White Horse Cavalry did better thanks to their high Defense, but they were still dying way faster than Flowing Cloud would like.
The war goddess narrowed her eyes before raising her hand. "Archers, Far Shot!"
Countless archers immediately emerged from behind her and the executed Skypiercer + Mountain Stagger Arrow combo. Flowing Cloud’s strategy was to hold back the enemy’s frontline while putting them through the meat grinder that was her ranged players.
Bang bang bang...
The skills erupted among the cavalry and dealt massive damage. The Mountain Stagger Arrows especially one-shot some Beast King Cavalrymen’s mount tenacity and forced them to engage the White Horse Cavalry on foot. The war had just begun, and the melee was already bloody and desperate.
Next to Flowing Cloud, the guild leader of Dark Clouds, Dark Clouds Sorrow, said, "We need to switch things up, Flowing Cloud. It hasn’t even been ten minutes, and we’ve lost over 10000 Cheetah Cavalrymen…"
Flowing Cloud nodded in agreement. "Yeah. Tell the Cheetah Cavalry to withdraw and move back the battle line by 100 meters."
As soon as the Cheetah Cavalry began withdrawing, the Divine Elephant Cavalry immediately shouted in excitement, "The cowards are crumbling under pressure! Kill them and drop all their equipment!"
Flowing Cloud proved their judgment incorrect, however. As a small smile flashed across her lips, countless ballistae were pushed out from behind her, pointed at the Divine Elephant Cavalry and fired immediately. The thick steel bolts instantly pierced the cavalrymen and wounded thousands, causing Wild King’s eyeballs to nearly fall out of their sockets.
God of War abruptly sheathed his sword again and said, "Damn, Flowing Cloud is too well-prepared. She had already moved her siege weapons to the peak long before we showed up. Oh well, let’s retreat. There’s no winning positional warfare against siege weapons, and even if we did win, it would be a victory too pyrrhic. We will have to hold the territory for a day, we can’t afford such losses. It would be a fatal mistake."
Wild King replied in a furious tone, "But I lost so many brothers and sisters! You’re not telling me to let this go, are you?"
God of War sneered. "Of course not. Just because we’re abandoning this fight doesn’t mean that we’re abandoning this war. Don’t forget that our real goal is to seize Frost Wind City, not kill Flowing Cloud. Anyway, let’s mount a retreat, enter Moon Lake and seize Frost Wind City first. Once we succeed, we’ll be the ones who hold all the cards. Plus, you don’t think we’re the only ones who want to kill Flowing Cloud, do you?"
Wild King nodded in agreement. "Got it!"
Natural Flow let out a sigh of relief Cyan Beast and Nation Guardian’s players faded away like tidewater. However, before they were even done exhaling, a battle cry suddenly erupted from the other side of the mountain range. A huge army of dismounted Beast King Cavalry had somehow made it up the mountains without them noticing, and their leader was none other than Breeze and Rain himself!
After he cut off a ballista’s rope, Breeze and Rain growled out, "Dismount and destroy all the siege weapons! We are on bramble terrain, so there’s no pointing staying on your mounts! Anyone who manages to kill Flowing Cloud will get 1 million gold from me!"
The one hundred thousand strong Beast King Cavalry screamed harder and unleashed all kinds of skills against Natural Flow and Dark Clouds. Just like that, Breeze and Rain had stolen the initiative from Flowing Cloud.
Dark Clouds Sorrow said with a purple face, "How on earth did Breeze and Rain get here?"
Flowing Cloud replied through gritted teeth, "Hmph. I knew it wouldn’t be so easy. Breeze and Rain must’ve predicted our movements beforehand. Tell the archers to switch to Shock Arrows and stun them! White Horse Cavalry, remain on your mounts and use your iron defense to outlast the enemy! They ride past our front door, they ain’t getting away from here alive!"
Flowing Cloud herself unsheathed her weapon and charged toward the enemy. She had made up her mind to wound the enemy as much as she could.
Right now, countless battles were occurring both on and below the mountain ranges. The four great Indian guilds were hardly the only ones who were battling, although they were of course still the main contenders of this war.
Breeze and Rain and Flowing Cloud duked it out for almost half an hour, and just as Flowing Cloud predicted, the dismounted Beast King Cavalrymen were incapable of fighting a protracted battle. Unfortunately, Breeze and Rain had also accomplished his objective, destroying the hundreds of siege weapons she had spent great effort to push up the mountain range.
After Breeze and Rain ordered a retreat, the Beast King Cavalry immediately summoned their mounts and rode down the mountain range. He had lost almost 30k Beast King Cavalrymen in total because Flowing Cloud had kept her cool and fought back in a controlled manner.
"I will be back!"
Breeze and Rain shot Flowing Cloud a suggestive smile and a taunt before he left, leaving the war goddess to grit her teeth in fury. Less than ten minutes later, a large group of metal-armor foot soldiers bolstered by a plethora of bards, mages, priests and archers appeared amid the trees of the forest in a huge square formation. It was a massive party of five Cyan Beast subguilds, or nearly two hundred thousand troops, and they were obviously Breeze and Rain’s next plan to eliminate Natural Flow from the conquest.
Even I could see that Natural Flow didn’t have a good chance of winning a direct battle. As expected, Flowing Cloud climbed up her mount and ordered, "We will ride along the edges of Frost Maple Woodland and travel south to seek out new opportunities!"
A new chorus of battle cries broke out from the direction of Moon Lake. It was Cyan Beast and Nation Guardian’s main force engaging Frost Wind City’s NPCs in battle while fending off the plethora of casual Elephant City guilds surrounding them from outside. This was a war between Elephant City and Cyan Earth City. Of course they wouldn’t let Cyan Earth City snatch a neutral Rank 9 territory from under their noses.
It was at this moment Beiming Xue sent me a private message: "Look to the west side of Dragon Whisker Mountain! A troop of Divine Elephant Cavalry is making its way over! There are at least 50k of them…"
I hurriedly brought up the world map. She was right. I didn’t see it happen, but the Divine Elephant Cavalry had split out 50k troops to the west. Wild King was clearly plotting to work together with Breeze and Rain, catch Natural Flow in pincer attack and eliminate their main force in one go.
That was my cue. Finally, us unaffiliated players had a role to play in this stage!
I ordered inside the party channel, "Hickey, Bloodthirsty Demon, command Bloodlust’s main force to enter Dirge Canyon right now. 50k Divine Elephant Cavalrymen are expected to reach the southern Frost Maple Woodland in 30 minutes, so I want you to hide there and be ready to ambush. Move fast, but try to keep yourselves concealed as much as you can. We’re going to wipe them all out!"Previous Chapter Next Chapter