Cold wind blew across Black Cavalry Scout Camp.
After I arrived at the smithy, I dropped piles and piles of Obsidian Metal on the table before declaring loudly, "This is enough, right? Hehe! Please help me forge as many Brave Generals Horseshoes as you can, Mona!"
Mona’s mouth fell open. "Heavens, where on earth did you find so much Obsidian Metal? You haven’t raided the empire’s armory, have you?"
My facial muscles twitched a bit. "Do I look that bold? No, these are the result of my brothers and sisters’ hard work! Can you forge them for me now, Mona?"
Mona nodded and said with a smile, "Keep me company while I forge your equipment, will you?"
I lifted my cloak and sat down on the stump on the opposite side of Mona’s work table, smiling. At first, I thought it would take her a long time to use up all the Obsidian Metal and Crystal I gave her, but my worries turned out to be unfounded. She had summoned three blacksmiths to help her out, and just a couple of seconds later, a Brave General Horseshoe was created just like that. I should’ve known that the creation process would be as fast as a player forging equipment.
Less than ten minutes later, over 1500 Brave General Horseshoes were laid out in front of me. Even I didn’t have the inventory slots to fit all of them. I looked at Gui Guzi and said, "Let’s outfit the 10k Dragonlight Cavalrymen in Bloody Mercenaries first, shall we? Our brothers and sisters have suffered long enough."
Gui Guzi chuckled. "By all means! That being said, they’re not actually the original members of Bloody Mercenaries. They’re troops Eve had temporarily lent to Bloody Mercenaries, and you wouldn’t believe the number of times these ungrateful bastards asked me when we’re finally going to return to the main guild. It is true that it feels more glamorous to be in the main guild than it is in Bloody Mercenaries though. You know the feeling better than I do…"
I nodded strongly. "As the guy who can’t even have a 5-star red flag in front of his ID, much less the ASDS guild symbol, I completely understand their feelings…"
Gui Guzi slapped my shoulder consolingly. "You will be able to return home eventually, Boss Broken Halberd. Anyway, I’m summoning the corps commanders over to grab the horseshoes right now. Remember, the first 10000 horseshoes are ours…"
I nodded affirmatively. "No problem. We’re going to equip the 10000 Dragonlight Cavalrymen of Bloody Mercenaries first, and the 20000 Berserk Viking Cavalrymen of Godkiller second. After that, we’ll split the rest between the main guild’s Dragonlight Cavalry, Dragonlight Archers and Zephyr Cavalrymen. It only makes sense that we equip our best mounts with this item, right?"
Gui Guzi happily went away to summon his people. Soon, dozens of Bloody Mercenaries Dragonlight Cavalrymen showed up to carry the Brave General Horseshoes and distribute them to the others. Less than two hours of intense crafting later, over 5000 Dragonlight Cavalrymen of Bloody Mercenaries had equipped the item and experienced a massive boost in power.
Hickey’s players acted as the transport crew and rode tirelessly between Obsidian Cave and Black Cavalry Scout Camp, transporting the newly dug Obsidian Metal to Mona non-stop. I acted as the middle-person between my players and Mona. Every time I received a new pile of Obsidian Metal from Hickey, I would drop them on Mona’s table so she could forge them—and she did at the beginning, until she got tired of the job, sat down cross-legged beside me, and summoned another two blacksmiths over to do her job instead. Now that she had the blueprint, even a common blacksmith could create as many Brave General Horseshoes as they liked. It was because the horseshoe wasn’t a divine item that could only be forged by a divine smith.
The afternoon passed by in the blink of an eye, but the mining activity still showed no signs of ending. When the time ticked past 7 pm, all 10000 Dragonlight Cavalry under Gui Guzi, Heaven’s Rain and Diamond Dust’s command also got their horseshoes and a massive upgrade as well.
Hickey was standing guard beside me when she asked, "Alright, that’s 10000 Dragonlight Cavalrymen equipped with the Brave General Horseshoe. We’re next, right?"
I nodded. "Yeah, the 20000 Zephyr Cavalrymen are up next. This will greatly make up for their paper-thin Defense."
"Good. Just so you know, you were this close to having a riot because of your negligence…"
"Haha, I know right?"
After instructing Hickey to continue gathering the materials, I took a short break and logged out of the game. It was because I was starving, and because Chaos Moon and Beauty Lin had literally entered my room to shout me up for dinner. The gaming helmet had incredible soundproofing, but it ultimately wasn’t vacuum soundproofing. Just shout next to someone’s ear, and they would be able to hear you even through the helmet.
So, I set up a tent, informed everyone that I was going to take a one-and-a-half-hour break, and logged out of the game!
As expected, both girls were waiting for me inside my room already. Lin Yixin was sitting on my bed with a pout, "Took you long enough. Since we haven’t eaten lunch today, I want to eat the most genuine dapanji in the area!"
Chaos Moon giggled. "I know. There’s a famous local dapanji restaurant on the eastern street, and I’ve already booked a table for us. If we leave now, we may even be able to avoid a queue."
"Very well, let’s go!"
I put on a jacket, held Lin Yixin’s small hand in my own, and set out.
It was already dark outside, and there were plenty of people walking here and there on the streets. We crossed to the opposite side, and the dapanji restaurant was right there just as Chaos Moon promised. A lot of people were waiting outside the entrance, but since Chaos Moon had booked a table earlier, we only needed to wait less than ten minutes before we got to go inside. We ordered our meals and waited for them to be served.
"What have you been doing all day, Lu Chen?" Chaos Moon asked me.
I took a moment to arrange my thoughts before answering, "The big stuff, of course. Do you still remember the Brave General Horseshoe we got after we killed Ochil in the S3 instance, Yiyi?"
Lin Yixin nodded. "Mn, I know. You mean that quest item with ridiculously good stat boosts, right? Don’t tell me you’ve found a way to use it already?"
I smiled. "Not only that, I’ve begun mass-producing it thanks to my good relationship with one of the NPCs in the camp! We’ve created over 10k Brave General Horseshoes in one afternoon and equipped all the Dragonlight Cavalrymen of Bloody Mercenaries already. We’re going to devote the rest of our time outfitting every elite cavalryman in Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls with a Brave General Horseshoe!"
Lin Yixin’s eyes sparkled with wonder. "Tsk tsk, Ancient Sword’s Dragonlight Cavalry and Dragonlight Archers are about to fly to the moon! I have a small request, Little Cheat. Can you save 101 Brave General Horseshoe for my mounted archer party and myself? Please?"
I nodded. "No problem. You’re my you-know-who, of course I’ll take care of you…"
Chaos Moon shot us both a dumbfounded look. "Why do I feel like a super third wheel all of a sudden? Should I evacuate my room and sleep in Beauty Lin’s room tonight? Even with the walls being as thin as they are, I’m sure you’ll be able to enjoy yourselves without having to worry about li’l ol’ me…"
Lin Yixin turned bright red instantly. "Are you listening to yourself!?"
"Yeah, yeah! What do you mean ‘enjoy ourselves’, huh?!"
I was just about to teach Chaos Moon a lesson when our dapanji and the smaller dishes we had ordered were served. As the wonderful scent of food smoothed my nerves, I ordered a couple of beers and toasted the girls. At Suzhou at least, both Lin Yixin and Chaos Moon were the type who ordered red wine whenever we went out for a drink, so of course they were unable to keep up with me now. Louis XIII? Snow? I’m gonna drink you all!
We drank 7 bottles of wine in total before making our way back to the hotel feeling slightly drunk. As we walked, I wrapped my right hand around Lin Yixin’s fine waist, and she gladly leaned against me while speaking with Sun Qingqing on the phone. On my left side, Chaos Moon cheekily claimed ownership of my arm and made sneaky finger gestures at Lin Yixin. Luckily for her, the latter was too busy speaking to Sun Qingqing on the phone to notice anything amiss.
Their conversation went something like this—
"By the way, did the granny of the language class take attendance today, Qingqing? Did she call my name again? Dammit..."
"Oh, totally. This is the third time she called your name, not to mention that you’ve been missing her class since the start of the semester. You’re definitely going to fail this course. Congratulations!"
"Mu! Why didn’t you ‘present, ma’am’ for me?"
"Pooh! You want me to shoulder your burdens when you left me to fool around with your Lu Chen? No way!"
"Heehee. I’m just kidding with you, Yiyi. The granny is sick, so she hasn’t shown up for either one of these classes."
"Oh, thank goodness…"
As Lin Yixin patted her own chest in relief, I turned around and kissed her lightly on the cheek. She turned bright red and whined cutely, "Mu, bastard…"
On the other side of the phone, Sun Qingqing asked, "What’s wrong, Yiyi? Is it just me, or did I hear something?"
"Ah, nothing. It’s just Lu Chen…"
"What the fuck, girl. He was bullying you, wasn’t he? Don’t tell me you’ve let him eat you! Yiyi, you know I don’t like to nag, but you have to be careful about such things. Men are bastards who’ll grow tired of you and cast you aside once they’ve enjoyed the first taste. You need to play him like a fish on a bait…"
"I know, you don’t need to teach me that…" Lin Yixin replied while sticking out her tongue.
I could only shoot her a dumbfounded look. These girls!
"Are you going to keep forging more horseshoes after we return to the hotel?" Lin Yixin asked me, smiling.
"Yep." I nodded before pulling her toward me and hugging her tightly. "So… I know I promised you, but can we set aside the S4 instance for now? You’re wearing Divine Armaments and Ancient Immortal-grade equipment anyway, so you’re in no hurry to change them out, right?"
"Sure. I don’t really care about the set to begin with. In fact, I feel more like a proper expert wearing a random assortment of god-tier equipment. All true experts wear their own DIY equipment, am I right?"
I smiled. "Yeah, I don’t care about the S Rank instance sets myself. My Fire God Helmet alone is probably something even the S7 helmet can’t match…"
"Of course! The S7 set is just Ancient Immortal-grade. It’ll never be better than a high-level Divine Armament… You’re seriously lucky though. I can’t believe you managed to get a Sacred Armament from a wasteland like Iron Skull Wilderness…"
Suddenly, a phone call interrupted our conversation. It was my phone. I checked the number, and just as I thought, it was Hickey giving me a long-range call again—
"Boss…" the moment the call connected, Hickey immediately spoke in very broken Chinese, "Come back quickly… we at Obsidian Cave… ambushed… quick…"
It wasn’t Chinglish this time, so I more or less got what she was saying. I hurriedly replied in common Chinese, "Who ambushed us, and how many?"
Hickey replied, "Burning City… is Tear Stain! That woman brought great deal of people and came…"
I didn’t understand the two English words, but again I got her meaning. She must be saying that Tear Stain showed up with a lot of troops, or she wouldn’t have panicked otherwise.
"Got it. I’m coming right away!"
The second I hung up, I received another incoming call from Gui Guzi. He said concisely, "Boss Broken Halberd, Tear Stain came to crash the party. Come back as soon as possible so we can fuck them up!"
I replied, "Right away!"
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