Chapter 1165: Protective Umbrella

A system announcement rang across the sky of Soaring Flame Desert. In the end, the territory had fallen into Tear Stain and Throne of the Wild’s hands. The map would be refreshed in ten minutes, and anyone who was still here after the time would be teleported away by force.

Candlelight Shadow stood absent-mindedly with his hands resting on his pommel. A gust of autumn wind tickled the hair in front of his forehead and painted a rather forlorn picture of the man.

……

I walked up to the man and said quietly, "You made this choice, so the consequences are yours to bear. Understand, Fang Zhuo?"

Candlelight Shadow growled out, "I… I know. I don’t need you to remind me!"

"Good!"

I turned around and said to the players of Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls, "This is the end of today’s fight. Feel free to return to your cities, log out and catch some rest, everyone! Of course, it’s back to the grind after that!"

However, not long after I left Candlelight Shadow’s side, Amber Pupil walked up to the man and shouted angrily, "What the fuck were you doing, Fang Zhuo? That was as free as it gets, and you let Tear Stain get away with everything? Even if she was your woman, how could you let her seize a critical location like this?!"

Candlelight Shadow looked up and asked in an indifferent tone, "What’s wrong? Does the alliance leader of Dragons Run Wild wish to kill me?"

"What if I am? I’m going to kill you on behalf of all the players in the China server!"

The guy actually raised his sword, swung it four or five times before blasting Candlelight Shadow with a magic ball. One last basic attack later, the dismounted Martial God slowly leaned against the wall behind him and dropped to his butt, dead. He actually let Amber Pupil kill him.

……

"Candlelight…" God’s Dance’s mouth fell open in disbelief.

Tempest Shadow exploded, "What the fuck? Who the fuck do you think you are, Dragons Run Wild? Who gave you the right to kill Candlelight Shadow!?"

He smashed his shield into Amber Pupil’s side at the same time Blue Sky Car carved his body into pieces. Volley from Transient Smoke and Clouds later, the alliance leader was dead in almost an instant.

Enraged at their alliance leader’s murder, Lunatic and Purple Maple Forest players immediately assaulted Candle Dragon’s forces for revenge. It was chaotic to say the least.

……

"Heavens, what on earth is this nonsense?" Chaos Moon pursed her lips.

I turned away and said, "C’mon, there’s nothing to see, is there? This fight isn’t going anywhere anyway. There’s only ten minutes left on the clock."

"Mn…"

And so the players began pulling out their return scrolls and teleporting back to their respective cities, while us unaffiliated players galloped full speed back to Black Cavalry Scout Camp. For now, that was our base of operations.

……

However, when we arrived at the area outside Black Cavalry Scout Camp, we suddenly ran into a ton of red names. They were Era of Strife, and their leader, Copper Spear, was standing off against Hickey. He declared loudly with his weapon raised, "Whether Ice River Canton is ruined or not, it still belongs to the Japan server. Today, on behalf of the Japan server, I, Copper Spear, would like to ask you to leave our home and return to us a peaceful leveling environment. Hickey, you’re quite the famous person in the Netherlands server. Surely you’re not going to overstay your welcome?"

Hickey replied in an indifferent tone, "Quite the mouth you have there, Copper Spear. The China server’s grinding here too, but I don’t see you telling them to fuck off your territory, sorry, your ruins? Hell, you don’t even have the power to shoo off the monsters here, so what’s the harm of us grinding at a map you can’t control? Finally, we have no plans to overgrind the resources of this map or stay here permanently. We are simply resting until we are ready to seek out a new home. Until then though, know that we will fight anyone who seeks to threaten our supply spot to the death!"

The moment Hickey pulled out her Fire God's Blade, the Zephyr Cavalry behind her did the same and entered a Berserk state as well. The moment Era of Strife said yes, they would fight them to the death as promised.

Ashen-faced, Copper Spear smashed his long blade against the ground before growling, "If a fight is what you want, then a fight is what you’ll get! Hmph! Don’t think that Era of Strife is afraid of you mobs!"

……

It was at this moment I dropped the Ancient Divine Dragon right in the middle of the two forces and brandished my weapon. Smiling, I said, "You really want to do this, Copper Spear? Very well. I’ve just contacted my 30000 Dragonlight Cavalrymen and 10000 Dragonlight Archers to come play with you. They’ll be arriving in ten minutes. Let’s play!"

Copper Spear shivered and turned even paler. He knew full well just how deadly the Dragonlight Cavalry was under Gui Guzi’s command. In fact, it was perfectly apt to call Gui Guzi the god of cavalry warfare since his Famous General Skill buffed Attack and Defense by 225%, and his Divine General Skill buffed all attributes by another 25%. His reputation had only become greater since.

Suddenly, a vice leader whispered something to Copper Spear and caused his expression to relax somewhat. Then, he sneered at me and said, "You think you can threaten me with your words, Broken Halberd Sinks Into Sand? It is true that the Dragonlight Cavalry are powerful, but they are hardly unbeatable. Even you were nearly killed by Vienna’s Sorrow earlier, weren’t you?"

I answered lazily while toying with the Purple Ying Sword, "So what? Even if Vienna’s Sorrow had managed to kill me, what does his strength have anything to do with you? If I were you, I wouldn’t boast another person’s strength or achievement like it was my own. It just makes you look bad. What’s yours is yours, and what isn’t, isn’t!"

Copper Spear humphed. "Whatever. I have something else to do anyway, so I’ll let you go this time. You won’t be this lucky the next time we meet!"

"Goodbye. No need to see us out!"

Copper Spear and his tens of thousands of players left after that. They were probably looking to vent their frustrations on us, but we were more prepared than they thought, and the threat of the Dragonlight Cavalry was ever looming. If they fought us and lost, Era of Strife’s reputation was sure to suffer a huge blow.

……

And so, we returned to the camp, resupplied ourselves, and let everyone do whatever they wanted like grinding at the nearby maps, clearing instances, or both. Unlike Iron Skull Wilderness, Ice River Canton Ruins had access to all the instances between A1 to S7. It was why we were willing to camp here temporarily.

"Boss, wait…" Hickey called out to me.

"What’s wrong?"

"We need to hold a meeting. It’s about reforming our players as soon as possible."

"Oh?"

I put away my mount and walked up to her. "Explain."

Hickey responded smilingly, "At first, Godkiller only had 20000 players. Then, they were joined by Sacred Oath’s 100000+ players. After that, Bloodlust’s 200k players joined as well. Finally, the 20+ guilds that escaped from Iron Skull Wilderness are with us as well. Currently, we are a disorganized mess to say the least. That is why I want us to contact the core members of each guild and hold a meeting at the clearing at the front of the camp in about half an hour. We really need to decide how we’re going to proceed forward as a unified entity."

I nodded. "Thank you for reminding me about that. Indeed, it’s never good to leave a problem to fester. See you in half an hour then."

"Mn!"

……

Thirty minutes passed by in the blink of an eye. Hickey and I were the first ones to arrive at the clearing, but we were soon joined by Bloodthirsty Demon, Warscar, and a couple hundred more guild leaders. These guild leaders belonged to the unaffiliated guilds we had encountered at Soaring Flame Desert earlier. They had displayed a pitiful amount of combat strength, a near complete inability to withstand the enemy’s cavalry charge, and a horrific level of command and coordination in that battle.

"Is everyone here?"

Hickey rose to her feet, sheathed her sword and gave everyone a polite bow. Then, she said, "I am Hickey, the vice leader of Godkiller and the former guild leader of Sacred Oath. I’m sure most of you are already aware of who I am. After all, we’ve either grinded or murdered the hell out of each other before."

Everyone guffawed good-naturedly at her joke.

She continued, "If one man didn’t come to Iron Skull Wilderness, Sacred Oath and I would probably still be fighting to protect our pitifully small territory or escape Elephant City’s murderous pursuit today. That is no longer the case, however. Today, for one reason or another, we have come together to protect this Black Cavalry fortress and to fight against our enemies together. Before that could happen though, we must actually come together as a united force. Therefore, I suggest that we combine all our guilds together into one giant guild."

A mage with messy hair immediately stepped out and said, "That’s a good thing, but who will be the leader of all of us?"

Warscar put his axe on his shoulder and replied lazily, "Who else? It can only be Broken Halberd Sinks Into Sand of course! Surely no one here thinks that they can beat him in any way, can they?"

The mage deflated immediately. "Well, yeah, you’re right. I have no objections to Broken Halberd Sinks Into Sand becoming our guild leader. We can’t accept Godkiller as our guild name though. It’ll sound like Godkiller has subsumed all of us!"

I nodded. "Sure. What would you like to call us then?"

The country bumpkins of Iron Skull Wilderness immediately started—

"Let’s call ourselves the Cavalry Empire! That’s cool as hell, right?"

"Yeah, yeah! Or maybe, we can call ourselves Sword and Woman! After all, wielding a sword and riding a woman are a man’s greatest pleasures, right?"

"Are you even listening to yourself? I think we should call ourselves Gods of Destruction!"

"That’s already taken, bro. How about Gods of Annihilation?"

……

Hickey shook her head and facepalmed hard. "They’re not even trying to defend the names they come up with, not to mention that it’ll take forever for these monkeys to come up with a good guild name. What do we do?"

I smiled and jumped down from the maple tree I was perching on. "I have an idea. How does ‘Protective Umbrella’ sound? It means that we will protect our new home and our friends from any enemy! It also means that we fight not for glory, but for our loved ones!"

Everyone agreed to it, and that was that.

And so, Godkiller became Protective Umbrella with Sacred Oath as its first subguild, and Bloodlust, its second. After that, we ordered the rest of the subguilds by their overall strength and ended up with one main guild and 15 subguilds. That was almost 500k players in total. It took a while, but we were ultimately able to reform our band of mobs into something better.

……

When nighttime arrived, I logged out of the game and ate dinner with Lin Yixin and Chaos Moon. Then, I brought up the official forums, collected and analyzed the information on them as usual. Recently, a lot of Rank 7, 8 and 9 territories had appeared around the borders, and countless guilds contested over them like their lives depended on it. Even Cyan Beast, Hero Alliance, God’s Domain and more had fought to seize a territory of their own.

I sat in front of the computer table, opened the hotel’s suggestion book and drew a simple map of Heavenblessed.

Lightly tapping my pencil against the paper, I marked the coordinates of each new territory and the guilds that occupied them. I kept working and thinking until midnight because I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was about to happen.

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