"It’s finally our turn to act!" Warscar exclaimed in excitement.
However, Bloodthirsty Demon questioned my decision after he recovered from his surprise, "The Divine Elephant Cavalry is Nation Guardian’s ace cavalry, guild leader. I’m not sure if we’re the best choice for this ambush. Why not use the Zephyr Cavalry? They certainly have a bigger chance of succeeding, not to mention that their Berserk talent is made for ambushes…"
As I thought, Bloodlust wasn’t completely satisfied with their position. Bloodthirsty Demon wanted to avoid his forces being used like cannon fodders as well.
I considered my words for a couple of seconds before answering, "We only have 20k Zephyr Cavalrymen, so I’m saving them all for the Beast King Cavalry. Moreover, the Zephyr Cavalry has poor Defense, so your mixed cavalry is actually more suited for forest battles. You have both foot soldiers and ranged damage dealers at your disposal to mow down the Divine Elephant Cavalry. Finally, I should remind you that our killing of the 100k Beast King Cavalry at Grass Vine Canyon yielded almost enough loot for all our Zephyr Cavalrymen to upgrade their equipment. Don’t you want to strengthen your brothers and sisters with the equipment of the legendary Divine Elephant Cavalry? If you kill them, you hold all the right to their loot. But if the Zephyr Cavalry kills them, then the Zephyr Cavalry will be the one granted this boon."
The explanation was satisfactory, so Bloodthirsty Demon broke into an immediate smile and said, "Understood, guild leader! We’ll do our best!"
"Good. The rest of us will join you on your attack. Zephyr Cavalry, stay at the periphery and avoid fighting unless the enemy attacks you first!"
Ten minutes later.
A cool breeze blew across the wild forest and caused the grass to sway back and forth. Surface waves could be seen rippling across the green plains while butterflies danced to the scent of flowers. The scenery of Frost Maple Woodland was most of the time gorgeous except the night where fog would shroud everything. It was also what worried me the most. The 10k+ Mist Riders commanded by Breeze and Rain could very well become one of the unpredictable variables of this war.
I had withdrawn the Ancient Divine Dragon and lay low under the brambles to avoid being seen. There was enough cover that even our player IDs were barely visible from the outside. It would take someone with very keen eyes to spot us behind our cover. While waiting, we observed the horizon for any movement from between the trees.
A short while later, the ground started shaking slightly, and the massive cavalry army that was the Divine Elephant Cavalry appeared at the distance. However, a dozen or so lone riders were riding in front of the army and slipping into every patch of forest they passed through at high speed. The riders were scouts with far greater mobility than the Divine Elephant Cavalry. Like the frigates of an aircraft carrier, they were responsible for scouting the surroundings and preventing their main force from being ambushed.
Lin Yixin was leaning against me and holding the Seven Star Veluriyam Sword against the ground. She blinked her long eyelashes before saying to me softly, "Little Cheat, it looks like this ambush is going to be a tough one. Wild King is cautious enough to send out scouts, and they’ll know there’s an ambush the moment we kill them."
I nodded in agreement.
The corners of Hickey’s lips turned upward as she declared confidently, "If an ambush is impossible, then we’ll just fight them head-on. The Divine Elephant Cavalry is only 50k strong, while we are 250k strong. All we need to do is to pin them down in the forest and let our archers do the rest!"
Warscar chuckled in agreement. "Yeah!"
Bloodthirsty Demon licked his lips and consulted my opinion."What do you think, guild leader? Does Hickey’s strategy sound reasonable to you?"
I smiled reassuringly. “It does. We need to finish this quickly though—preferably within an hour—or Wild King will be able to send troops after us. Also, remember that this regiment of 50k Divine Elephant Cavalrymen isn’t Nation Guardian’s main force. They’ve saved up at least another 200k to deal with Flowing Cloud!"
Hickey said, "Flowing Cloud sure is a courageous woman. She openly challenged Cyan Beast and Nation Guardian even though she was well aware that they had far greater numbers and far superior quality of their ace players."
I replied, "A person can be bullied, but not humiliated. God of War wanted to devour Natural Flow with zero regards for Flowing Cloud’s dignity, so of course she was going to fight him to the death. It’s not like she’s alone either. All she needs to do is send out the call, and countless people would rise to fight alongside her. She is that outstanding of a leader."
Hickey giggled a bit and shot me a playful look. "Now that I think about it, this isn’t unlike the time you wanted to devour my Sacred Oath. I should’ve acted like Flowing Cloud and fought you to the death in defense of Sacred Oath’s independence, huh?"
I replied disdainfully, "Excuse me? There’s nothing similar between your situation and Flowing Cloud’s. We made a bet with each other, and you lost fair and square. You’re not having second thoughts, are you? Not that it matters now. Once a Godkiller, always a Godkiller."
Hickey snorted hard enough to jiggle her plot and attract Warscar and Bloodthirsty Demon’s eyeballs like magnets. Meanwhile, Lin Yixin turned to me with a questioning look, "What were the rules of this bet exactly?"
Alarm bells suddenly rang inside my head, and I hurriedly put my arm around her thin waist and said, "It’s nothing. Life is like a gamble, and I was alone in Iron Skull Wilderness at the time. My ass would’ve been wiped if I didn’t make a desperate gamble here and there. You can confirm this with Warscar and the others if you want to. At the beginning of my stay in Iron Skull Wilderness, I was hunted by Breeze and Rain, the Black Crow Tribe, Beast Soul, bosses, and even a green foxtail by the roadside. The entire Iron Skull Wilderness was my enemy…"
The grass beside me suddenly shuddered in an unnatural manner. It was Beiming Xue bursting into an uncontrollable giggle. She didn’t say anything in response though.
Lin Yixin glared at me for a moment before sighing. "You always have an excuse at the ready. Fine, I’ll let you off this time. The heavens have already punished you on my behalf anyway…"
Suddenly, Hickey dropped her joking demeanor and turned serious. "Heads up, two scouts are heading our way. Do we kill them, or do we let them into the forest? The enemy cavalry is still about a kilometer away from us. Killing the scouts will definitely draw their attention. What do we do?"
I steeled my heart. "All riders, mount up and get ready to charge the Divine Elephant Cavalry! Archers, mages, priests, stay close to your frontliners and don’t fall behind! Bards, you may apply your buffs to our cavalry now! All Level 190+ riders must be fully buffed before they enter the battlefield! It’ll be a waste otherwise!"
As our forces carried out my orders, Beiming Xue nimbly darted up a tree to increase her vision range. She then drew her bow and asked me, "Big brother, do you want me to kill both scouts, or?"
I nodded. "You take the left one, I’ll take the right. Try to avoid using flashy skills and minimize the noise."
Beiming Xue immediately let loose Evil Spirit Volley + Shock Arrow. The arrows thudded against the magic knight’s throat repeatedly until he dropped dead.
At the same time, I fired Dragon Slaying Slash that the second knight tried to dodge out of the way to no avail, taking 140k damage. Before he could make an escape, the invisible Phantom Wolf King broke out of its stealth, hit him three times and flattened him like a pancake.
Lin Yixin mounted her Moonchaser Tiger and asked me, "Do we charge now, or?"
"Not yet. I want to see what they’re going to do first…"
At the distance, the Divine Elephant Cavalry party came to a slight pause. Soon, a player rode to the frontline and shouted with his weapon raised, "There are axes ahead of us! Drag them out and kill them all! There can only be Nation Guardian and Cyan Beast players in Dirge Canyon! Leave no one hiding in the forest in front of us alive!"
I was hoping for a lucky break, but not this time, I suppose.
I unsheathed my weapon and mounted the Ancient Divine Dragon. Then, I shouted, "All units, charge! It is time to battle the legendary Divine Elephant Cavalry!"
Bloodlust’s players roared as they broke out of their cover and rushed toward the enemy. Obviously, Lin Yixin, Hickey, Warscar and Bloodthirsty Demon took point and made their way toward the core of the enemy’s formation. Fifty thousand riders was a huge army, but it wasn’t enough to frighten any of us!
As the first player to reach the enemy, I immediately cast Summon the Storm and fired 15 Ancient Seals in a horizontal line in front of me. Although the Divine Elephant Cavalry were tanky, they weren’t tanky enough to ignore this level of destruction. Most of them took over 200k damage, and some even took critical hits, dying immediately.
Lin Yixin appeared next and cut right into the enemy crowd, parrying many hits in the process. After she executed a devastating Ice Flame Slash, she unleashed five God’s Tears in a row and damaged countless enemy riders.
Beiming Xue shot one Skypiercer after another into the sky. Occasionally, she would cast Well of the Abyss and drag an entire group of Divine Elephant Cavalrymen into the center.
Hickey fought bravely at the frontline and cast her Divine General Skill, Great Earth Dragon’s Blade, whenever she found an opening. The Fire God’s Blade easily tore apart the enemy’s armors and rent the flesh hidden behind to shreds.
In terms of sheer frontline power, Godkiller was obviously superior to Nation Guardian. It was because they were supported by four Divine Generals.
Bang bang bang...
However, the individual players of Bloodlust were clearly inferior to Nation Guardian’s. As two armies met, many of our frontliners were sent stumbling to the back and one-shot by a Barrier Break or two.
Hickey ordered loudly, "Don’t break formation! Form groups of seven and focus your Barrier Breaks on one Divine Elephant Cavalryman at a time! Archers, activate Far Shot and execute Shock Arrow + Mountain Stagger Arrow + Skypiercer combo! Mages, get your head in the game and envelop the whole battlefield with Galaxy Storms! Priests, heal at will! Heal whoever you find has low HP!"
If our individual players were inferior to the enemy’s, then we would find a way to delay the enemy long enough until they died from chip damage. Hickey’s strategy was a perfect example of that.
It was a David vs Goliath battle, and our forces were undoubtedly inferior to Nation Guardian’s elite riders. However, thanks to us Divine Generals and Famous Generals doing everything in our power to reduce the pressure on our mixed troops, and Hickey’s well thought out commands, Bloodlust was able to mount a well-coordinated assault and keep themselves alive. Over time, we were able to slowly turn the tables on the Divine Elephant Cavalry. As the enemies’ dying rate kept increasing, and the number of their dead bodies started soaring higher and higher, our army’s morale was also greatly boosted.
Ten minutes later, I let out a heavy sigh of relief. Despite my reservations, our first battle in Dirge Canyon was looking to end with our victory.Previous Chapter Next Chapter