At a small restaurant of Bagua City, I said with flatbread between my teeth, "I miss the buffet restaurant of Suzhou so much. It’s the only place I can walk in and out of the restaurant while hugging the walls for support. This city is fine, but I just cannot relive that experience…"
Lin Yixin said smilingly, "You shouldn’t eat like that anyway. It’s bad for your health to binge eat after starving for a long period of time. Here, drink some porridge. If you want to eat Suzhou’s food so bad, we can fly back in a couple of days. Also, we should go to bed after we turn in our quest."
It was past 9 pm when we returned to the hotel. I immediately logged into the game and got ready to turn in my quest.
I waited at Black Cavalry Battalion Scout Camp for a couple of minutes as He Yi, Beiming Xue and Murong Mingyue all came online one after another as well. After all five of us had assembled, He Yi asked, "How do you plan to return to Sky City, Lu Chen?"
I replied smilingly, "I’ll descend on the royal palace directly. It should take me around 20 minutes at most. You girls should use your return scrolls of course!"
"Okay. We’ll wait for you at the palace entrance then!"
I couldn’t help but feel a bit bitter as I watched the girls crush their scrolls in their hands, however. Thanks to my status as an unaffiliated player, it had been a long while since I enjoyed the sensation of being pulled into a magical wormhole and spat out in a completely different location...
After the girls were gone, I summoned the Ancient Divine Dragon and buffed myself with Wild Roar. I was in the middle of a hostile territory right now. My enemy wouldn’t hesitate to kill me if I let my guard down now.
Before I could take off though, Hickey suddenly rushed over and grabbed the Ancient Divine Dragon’s lamp vine with a pout. "Hey boss!"
"Where are you going?"
I’m heading to Sky City to turn in the quest item I got from the S3 instance and earn some experience. What’s wrong? Did something happen?"
Hickey relaxed before replying smilingly, "It’s nothing. I just… thought that you were going to abandon us and leave us to our own devices. Please don’t do that, I promise you we won’t be able to survive this place without you. If that foolish boy withdrew his Dragonlight Cavalry, we would literally be isolated and without help…"
I thought for a moment before breaking into an involuntary grin. She was most likely talking about Gui Guzi. It was true that Gu Guzi and the tens of thousands elite cavalrymen he commanded were Godkiller’s greatest patrons in Purple Grape City domain. As the representative of the king of guilds of Sky City, he was an obstacle both Purple Grape City’s players and Burning City’s players had to consider before attacking this place.
"I’m not leaving, Hickey, so your worry is unnecessary. I’m the one who took you away from Iron Skull Wilderness, so I will take care of you until you’re capable of taking care of yourselves. I promise to give Godkiller the legendary war they need to transform into a true army that no longer has to fear anyone!"
"You’re the best, boss, heehee…"
I curled my lips. "Are you flirting with me right now?"
But Hickey didn’t understand the concept of embarrassment, so she replied with a giggle, "If you think so, then sure. Come back soon!"
I let out a soft cry and spurred the Ancient Divine Dragon toward the sky. After I entered the clouds, I flew toward the direction of Sky City like a silver meteor.
As it turned out, it took less than twenty minutes for me to enter the airspace of Sky City. I descended directly in front of the palace entrance instead of the squares because I was still a red name to all the players of the China server. Many players just naturally hated red names and couldn’t wait to wipe the floor with them, so I would rather not create unnecessary trouble for myself.
"Here he comes!"
In the shadow of the nearby trees I could see Lin Yixin, He Yi, Beiming Xue and Murong Mingyue waiting for me without their mounts. The sight of beauties sitting under the tree was quite picturesque.
I jumped down from the dragon’s back and landed firmly on my feet. A wave of my hand later, it transformed into a ray of silver light and returned to my pet space. After all, it would be extremely obnoxious of me to enter the palace while riding the Ancient Divine Dragon. I took the opportunity to check out its level as well. After that mad grind in the S3 instance, the Ancient Divine Dragon had leveled up to an impressive Level 148, and was very close to Level 149. It was only a bit over a level away from reaching its next big power spike, Level 150 adulthood. I couldn’t wait to see its next pleasant surprise for me.
I took out the Guardian Blade and walked up the stairs with the girls. We traveled straight to the palace hall.
Something was happening as we entered the palace hall, however. I saw Princess Karinshan pulling out her sword and stabbing the stone beneath her feet angrily before pointing at a huge iron cage in front of her. She uttered hatefully, "Those goddamned undead! I cannot believe the gall of that wretched Coldblade! I… I will never forgive the Night Legion!"
Commander Ziyan consoled her, "Calm down, Your Majesty. Coldblade was hoping that this would unsettle you. If you fall for his ploy and lose control, we may very well lose the war of Bloody Shield Domain."
Princess Karinshan sighed before looking at the huge cage again. Inside the cage was a gigantic Death Devil with steel, wing-like spikes growing out of its back. It also had an unusually long—almost twenty centimeters outside of its mouth—tongue. Crouching on all fours, screaming angrily at Karinshan and slamming against its cage again and again, the Death Devil roared, "I didn’t think a soft and supple woman like you would be able to become army commander, little girl. Why don’t you return to my undead castle with me so I can show you the taste of womanhood on my bone bed?"
Karinshan gripped her sword, pulled it out from the bricks and declared sorrowfully, "Uncle Carrian, I’m sorry I couldn’t save you from becoming a puppet of the undead. I’m sorry that the living don’t have a cure for the undead plague even to this day. The only thing I can do… is to end your pain even a moment sooner!"
The devil stuck out its long tongue and screeched angrily at Karinshan, "You… you damned bitch! You cannot kill me! Even if you do, I swear I will return, tear your clothes on your throne and teach you the meaning of a fate worse than death! Seriously though, can you not reconsider your decision? I have a long tongue! I can—"
Unable to hear this any longer, Karinshan turned her back on the Death Devil and waved tiredly. "Take him away, Ziyan. Have our holy warlocks purify his body. Make it instantaneous if at all possible. I don’t want him to suffer too much pain before he goes…"
Ziyan nodded before glancing at a group of royal guards. As they lifted the cave to their shoulders, one of them swung his axe handle at the devil and knocked him backward. He swore at it, "How dare you blaspheme our queen, you monster! Take him away…"
Karinshan frowned but didn’t say anything against it.
After the interlude was over, I walked toward Princess Karinshan with the Purple Ying Sword in one hand and the Guardian Blade on the other. I greeted her in a solemn tone, "Karinshan!"
The depressed Princess Karinshan broke into a smile when she saw that it was me who had called out to her. "You have returned, young warrior. What is it that troubles you this time? Rinser hasn’t given you trouble again, has he?"
I smiled. "Of course not. My teacher is a kind and generous elder…"
He Yi: "Hmph hmph…"
It was at this moment I raised the Guardian Blade and said to Karinshan, "Do you recognize this artifact, Your Majesty?"
Karinshan tilted her head left and right and examined the Guardian Blade for a long time, but couldn’t come up with an answer. "I don’t recognize this object. What is it?"
When she touched the weapon’s blade though, she abruptly withdrew her hand and exclaimed in surprise, "Heavens, what an impressive amount of power! Now that I think about it, I think I recognize this totem symbol from somewhere. It’s an ancient symbol from… heavens! The Guardian Blade! This has to be the Guardian Blade, right?"
I nodded affirmatively. "That is correct. We have retrieved the Guardian Blade from the War God Academy, and we’ve decided to bring it to you. Do you need it?"
Overjoyed, Karinshan grabbed the Guardian Blade immediately and said, "This weapon was forged by an ancient divine smith, and it contains the legendary sacred energy, a power that is absolutely effective against all devils of the dead. It is believed that the Guardian Blade had fallen into hell for eternity with Dylan the Sword Saint, but you have gone and done the impossible! This is wonderful! I was just worrying that I lacked a usable weapon!"
I smiled. "As long as it is useful to you, Your Majesty. It means that our efforts haven’t gone to waste after all!"
Karinshan immediately understood and smiled wider. "I get your meaning. Come forth, young adventurers. You have accomplished the near impossible and retrieved a legendary divine weapon for the empire. As the master of Sky City, I, Karinshan, shall reward you handsomely for your achievements!"
System Announcement: Attention all players, please be informed that players "Wind Fantasy", "Broken Halberd Sinks Into Sand", "From Water", “Beiming Xue" and "Murong Mingyue" have successfully cleared the S3 instance, "War God Academy”. They have also killed Dylan the Sword Saint and retrieved the Guardian Blade. Their rewards are: Luck +3, Level +1, and gold +2000000!
I broke into a wide smile after I saw the reward. Although the quest hadn’t rewarded me with an Ancient Immortal-grade item or a Divine Armament, 3 Luck and 1 level were still an incredible reward. After all, Luck was the true representation of power and the most important stat in this game. Top-tier equipment naturally came to players with high Luck!
Also, the level reward seemed poor for a main quest, but if you looked at our current levels—above Level 210 across the board—then you would understand that the system was just taking preventive measures to combat the issue of rampant level inflation. Some players would literally delete their accounts if the system had handed out the usual 2-3 level rewards to players on top of the leaderboard like free candy.
After that, Karinshan returned to her throne to play with her new toy. It was time for us to leave.
He Yi asked me, "What do you plan to do next, Lu Chen? Do you want us to stay with you and clear the A6 and A7 instances as well?"
I thought for a moment but turned down the kind offer. "It’s fine. Let’s just wait for next week to grind the S3 instance again. After that, we’ll challenge the S4 instance and gather the Heavenly Melody set for Yiyi!"
"Okay. Does that mean you’re returning to Ice River Canton Ruins now?"
"Of course. Now is still not the time for me to return to Sky City, not to mention that there are still a couple hundred Godkiller players at Ice River Canton Ruins that I need to feed. You guys should remain in Sky City and work on whatever it is that you need to do. If you need anything from me, feel free to use Yiyi and Chaos Moon as your messengers…"
"Okay. See you!”
And so, I stepped out of the royal palace and summoned the Ancient Divine Dragon. I took to the sky after bidding the girls goodbye.Previous Chapter Next Chapter