The corners of Hickey’s turned up a little as she stared at the brand new city in the middle of the desert. "Look, there are at least 200k Throne of the Wild cavalrymen at the foot of the city. There are also regiments of archers, mages and priests behind them. Our tiny army probably isn’t even enough to tickle their defenses, much less defeat them."
Bloodthirsty Demon raised his spear. "Tiny? But we also have 200k men, you know?"
Hickey shot him a glance. "Look, Demon. These players hail from Throne of the Wild’s main guild and subguilds. Almost all of them are above Level 180 and seventh-promotion, not to mention that each player has between 1 to 3 pieces of Earth-grade equipment at least. Do you really think that Bloodlust’s equipment can measure up to theirs?"
Bloodthirsty Demon looked back at his brothers and sisters and scratched his head in embarrassment. At least 50% of his players were still sixth-promotion players, and even more were wearing Silver or Gold-grade garbage. Individually speaking, they were no match for Throne of the Wild at all.
Warscar looked at me with his long axe nestled on his shoulder. "What do you think, guild leader? Should we engage them now, or…?"
I shook my head. "I’m not worried about Throne of the Wild. I’m worried that enemy reinforcements could be showing up from Cyan Earth City’s direction soon…"
Everyone was shocked. Less than three minutes later, a huge army of Cyan Earth City players appeared from the horizon just as I said it would. It was an old pal of ours, the Divine Elephant City of Nation Guardian. The 150k+ Divine Elephant Cavalrymen galloping at top speed were so loud that the noise spread throughout Soaring Flame Desert.
When it rains, it pours. Cyan Earth City had obviously decided to join in on this battle, and whoever their informants were must be working double time for them to arrive so soon. Moreover, if Nation Guardian was here, Cyan Beast and Flames of War couldn’t be too far behind as well. They were all loyal servants of Cyan Beast’s God of War and Breeze and Rain after all.
"Is Nation Guardian a friend or a foe in this fight?" Hickey hummed thoughtfully.
I unsheathed my weapon and declared, "We kicked their asses all the way to the moon back at Dirge Canyon. Of course they are our foes! I want battle formations to be set up at the flatland 1.5 kilometers away from the city, and our shielders to move to the frontline right now!"
Hickey was aware that we absolutely lacked the numbers to launch an assault against the enemy at all. Right now, the only thing we could do was to defend passively until our Chinese allies showed up. Of course, Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls and Snowy Cathaya were showing up for sure, so our chance of winning this territory war was still very huge.
I spurred the Ancient Divine Dragon forward and stayed at the point of the formation together with my Phantom Wolf King. Behind me, the shielders quickly moved into position before dropping their shields on the ground, and the archers, mages and other classes got ready for battle as well. Although Iron Skull Wilderness’ players weren’t powerful, our numbers were surprisingly scary. Even with 50% of our players offline, we still managed to assemble a troop of over 200k players.
Our decision to stay where we were actually confused Tear Stain a little. She restlessly walked back and forth on the walls for a bit until she finally put her hands on her hips and yelled at us, "What the hell are you planning, Lu Chen? If you want to fight, then fight! I, Tear Stain, am not afraid of you!"
I smiled placidly at her before replying, "Sorry, but we’re just the lookout, not the main attacker. Don’t worry, I’m sure the fight you want will happen very soon…"
Tear Stain: "..."
While waiting, I brought up the Chinese forums and noted that it was bubbling with activity. It was clear that everyone knew just how critical this Soaring Flame Desert territory was. A player named "Hillside Bai Xiaosheng" posted:
"A week ago, about 7 km away to the north of Sky Ridge, I found a small mountain passage that cuts through the entire Dragonbone Mountain Range. If Burning City learns of this passage, they’ll be able to march from this new territory to Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls’ Dark Moon City in under an hour, and their cavalry will be able to make it to Sky City in just an hour and a half…"
As a result, every major guild in China declared publicly that they would muster their forces and contest this new territory right away. Even destroying the Rank 8 territory outright was preferable to letting it fall into Tear Stain’s hands. Tear Stain was well-known for her strength and leadership, and she was the champion of the Korean players. She would never be satisfied with just Burning City, especially since the Center possessed a wealth of resources that no country in the world wouldn’t thirst for.
Ten minutes later, Cyan Earth City’s Nation Guardian came to a stop at the east side of territory. Despite their eagerness, they had chosen to stay their hand for now. A while later, their guild leader, Wild King, made a bold move. He rode up to our formation alone and stopped around 50 yards away before greeting me, "We meet again, West King…"
I shrugged. "I’m sorry, but I haven’t been your West King for a long time now. I’ve also returned all the money God of War paid to invite me to Elephant City. The reason I even accepted the offer in the first place was to take out the traitor, Now and Forever. I don’t regret my decision one bit, and if you think you can provoke me with that title, I’m sorry to say that you’ve misjudged."
Wild King grinned. "Fine, you cannot be the West King. However, neither you nor Tear Stain can have this territory either, for it belongs to Nation Guardian. If you’re smart, you will stay where you are and do nothing as you’ve done until now. Otherwise, don’t fault the Divine Elephant Cavalry for making the ruthless decision!"
I raised my eyebrows. "Are you threatening me?"
"Heh! Of course not. Who would dare threaten the unrivaled Broken Halberd Sinks Into Sand? I’m just giving you a friendly warning. You should be well aware that the small fries you command are of no threat to my forces whatsoever."
Wild King’s disdain was obvious for all to see. I couldn’t even say that it was misplaced. With the 100k+ Divine Elephant Cavalrymen he currently commanded, he absolutely possessed the power to annihilate my forces, not to mention that over half of my Viking Zephyr Cavalry was still offline.
I watched Wild King for a moment before asking, "In my memory, Cyan Earth City, Burning City and the Northern Alliance have always stayed a good distance away from each other’s business. You aren’t enemies, but you certainly aren’t allies who could put down their self-interests and work together toward a common goal. So why does it look like you’ve changed your mind today? Is Nation Guardian actually here to block Godkiller’s advance on Tear Stain’s behalf?"
Wild King guffawed and planted his spear on the ground. "Speaking with you has been a refreshingly direct experience. Very well, I shall speak directly as well. You are correct. Cyan Earth City, Burning City, Hero City, Hot Sand City and more have never stopped skirmishing against one another in the name of profit, but today we all share a common enemy. Do you really not understand why this is happening, Broken Halberd Sinks Into Sand? The China server has performed too well in the War of Dawn City and the War of Purple Grape City. Your team even won the WEL championship and made Sky City the King of Cities. Knowing this, how can we not set down our differences and slay the massive dragon that is breathing down our necks? Besides…"
Wild King’s expression suddenly turned amused. "Despite everything you’ve done for the China server, they still did the unthinkable and exiled you. They can’t not know how much they’ve weakened themselves with this act, but they did it anyway for their own self-interests. Hahaha! It truly was the funniest joke in the entire world. China server without Broken Halberd Sinks Into Sand’s leadership is like a tiger without its teeth, and even you can do nothing more but hit the occasional objective with a bunch of strays. It would be a sin not to capitalize on this opportunity, don’t you agree?"
I nearly broke my own teeth due to the sheer amount of pressure I was putting on them. I said quietly, "No need to test me with schadenfreude. Just watch. Even without an emblem on my arm, I will still bleed to the last drop of my blood for my server!"
"Very well! Be sure to show me how you’re going to kick our asses later!"
Wild King went away laughing after that.
I sighed as I unclenched my hurting fingers. Hickey walked up to me from behind and said softly, "I understand the pain and humiliation of betrayal completely, boss. I will always support you no matter what you do."
I smiled at her. "Thank you, Hickey. I’m fine. Let’s put up a good fight so that the territory doesn’t fall to either the Northern Alliance or Cyan Earth City, okay?"
It was at this moment a new rumble appeared from behind us. They were the Cyanscale Cavalry, Level 175 Spirit Rank Boss mount riders that Warsky Alliance had been developing for the past half a month or so. It looked like their numbers had swelled to 100000 already.
Warsky led at the forefront of the group, and next to him were Laughing At The Heavens, Song of Ice and Fire, God Bone and more. Speaking of which, Soul Battle Robes had officially become the number one subguild of Warsky Alliance. Their guild leader, Song of Cloud and Water was carrying a spear and riding toward us on a dark green–colored warhorse as well.
"Why haven’t you started yet, Lu Chen?" Warsky asked in surprise while looking at my troops.
I pointed to the territory. "Tear Stain isn’t the only one guarding the territory, you know. Nation Guardian is just waiting for us to make a move. Also, you should’ve noticed that I’m lacking the numbers to mount a proper assault. Heck, I don’t even have a single Dragonlight Cavalryman in my party. How do you expect me to siege the city?"
"Haha! In that case, it’s time for my Cyanscale Cavalry to shine first!" Warsky laughed.
However, I hurriedly blocked his way. "Wait!"
"A new group of enemies just came in from Cyan Earth City’s direction…"
A thick line of elite cavalry appeared from the horizon. It was none other than the Beast King Cavalry commanded by God of War and Breeze and Rain themselves. The sea of players was innumerable.
Warsky clenched his fists unconsciously. "Fuck. Things just got really complicated…"
I glanced at everyone before suggesting, "Let’s attack after our total troop count exceeds a million. Otherwise, we won’t be able to hold the territory even if we manage to take it from Throne of the Wild."
"Yeah!" Warsky nodded heavily.
I leaped off my mount’s back before walking up to Warsky Alliance’s party. I shot Song of Cloud and Water a look before asking, "Have you finally joined Warsky Alliance, Seven-Star Lamp’s sister?"
She shot me an aggrieved look. "You wouldn’t join my Soul Battle Robes, so this was the only choice left for me. Plus, big brother Warsky is a pretty good guy…"
I paused for a second before extending a hand to her, "You don’t have to become Warsky Alliance’s subguild, you know? I have an idea. Why don’t you join me in foreign lands? We can operate Ice River Canton Fortress together. I’ll even change my guild name to Soul Battle Robes if you want!"
Song of Cloud and Water: "..."Previous Chapter Next Chapter