I brought up the territory database in the Heavenblessed server and stared at the recently spawned territory for a moment. The No. 179 territory, the one close to the north side of Dragonbone Mountain Range where Kalusi Forest was, was occupied by the first subguild of Hero Alliance.
Next, I brought out the corresponding map and entered the local database of Kalusi Forest. After enlarging the map on my display, I searched for the keyword "trail" and examined the results until I saw this line—
At coordinates (34892, 11092) to the south of Kalusi Forest, there is a Bear Cave that was mined out by the miners that leads directly to the other side of Dragonbone Mountain Range. It is a secret passage that circumvents the formidable Fortress of the Iron Halberd. This data comes from a herbalist of Seven Star City with screenshot proof.
I circled it on my paper before moving on to the next territory coordinate. This time, I entered the names of the super guilds into the search bar and reviewed their recent activity. I quickly found out that two days ago, Nation Guardian of Cyan Earth City had covertly occupied a Rank 6 territory that was close to Dragonbone Mountain Range as well. It was located at the edge of Dark Waters Lake, and assuming that Nation Guardian had a way to cross the lake, it would take them only one hour to reach Dawn City from there.
My heart sank. I felt like someone was slowly choking me out. What was this terrible anxiety? I just couldn’t shake it off no matter how hard I tried.
I didn’t sleep the whole night. At the end of my investigation, I discovered a total of 37 new territories that had spawned very close to the cities of China server. Worse, each territory possessed a hidden passage that led directly into the China server, and as far as I was aware, no one in the country had any idea that this was a thing. If I hadn’t typed in these specific keywords, I wouldn’t have noticed them myself.
My investigation made me realize that Dragonbone Mountain Range was anything but a natural barrier for China, at least not anymore. As the game progressed, more and more "holes" started appearing on the once impenetrable barrier that was Dragonbone Mountain Range. Each and every one of these trails, caves or lakes gave our enemies direct access to our homeland.
I went to the door and opened it after I heard someone knocking. It was Lin Yixin and Chaos Moon looking astounding as usual and wanting to invite me for breakfast. Confused, Lin Yixin examined my eyes and asked me, "Why are you eyes bloodshot, Little Cheat? If I remember correctly, you went to bed quite early last night. Did you burn the midnight oil again?"
I nodded and pointed at the world map I drew on the table. "I want you both to check out this map, Yiyi, Chaos Moon. I worked all night on it."
Lin Yixin picked up the paper and studied it for a moment. However, she didn’t understand what it was about and asked me again, "What is this for?"
I sighed. I understood now why no one in the server was panicking or investigating these locations. Even my wise and intelligent Fruit Knife Goddess had failed to see the problem.
I tapped on the circled dots on the map and explained, "These 37 coordinates are the new territories our enemies’ super guilds have occupied in the past week. Each one has a hidden passage that allows them to circumvent the natural barrier of Dragonbone Mountain Range and attack our main cities directly."
Her mouth fell open as she exclaimed in realization, "Little Cheat, are you saying…"
I nodded again before replying, "I suspect that the Northern Alliance, Cyan Earth City, Elephant City, Purple Grape City, Greedy Wolf City and more have been communicating with each other and plotting something huge, and at the center of their plot are our three main cities. They have occupied all these territories without us knowing, and the only one that had caught our attention was the territory at Soaring Flame Desert. It’s like Xiangqi. All the pieces are already in place, and they are just waiting for the right time to launch the killing blow!"
Mouth still open, Lin Yixin slowly sat on the edge of my computer table to recover herself.
Chaos Moon’s mouth was agape too. "The killing blow, you say? Then it has to be…"
"Yeah. It’s game over if they manage to checkmate us!" I gritted my teeth. "What really annoys me though is how no one noticed this until I, an unaffiliated player, decided to check things. What the fuck are our players doing?"
Lin Yixin took my hand into hers and said gently, "Maybe it’s because they’ve all been watching your fight against the VR department so much that they forgot to look to the borders. Anyway, what should we do now?"
I sucked in a deep breath before replying, "Well, we obviously need to notify everyone about this. The consequences will be unimaginable otherwise. I’ll contact Hot and Sour Noodles after we have breakfast."
At a small restaurant in Bagua City, I called Zhang Chun’s number—
"Lu Chen! It’s been a while since you called me on the phone!" Zhang Chun greeted me with a laugh after accepting the call.
I let out a chuckle myself and said, "Yeah. Good morning, uncle."
"So, what is your business with me? You haven’t called me just to say good morning, right?"
"Mn. Can you send a summon notice to all the guild leaders of the China server and have them gather at Sky Ridge later this morning? I have something very important to tell everyone."
"Very important, you say?" Zhang Chun sounded hesitant. Clearly, he knew that my request wasn’t very appropriate considering my current status. Still, I heard him clapping his chest once and promising, "Okay! Is 10 am fine with you? Don’t worry, I promise that everyone who matters will show up."
I nodded. "Okay. I’ll hang up now, so please send the notice right away."
I ate a small breakfast because I really wasn’t feeling it today. Then, I took the girls back to the hotel and logged into the game once more. So many things had happened as of late that it almost felt like we had no time to ourselves at all.
It was already past 9 am, so I immediately departed from Black Cavalry Scout Camp and traveled straight to Sky Ridge.
The Ancient Divine Dragon growled softly as I flew against the wind and snow and made its way to the top of Sky Ridge. Once I arrived, I put away my mount and sat down on top of an icy rock. The strong wind flapped my cloak repeatedly while I held my silence like a silent thinker.
A couple of players climbed up the edges of Sky Ridge, and they were none other than Warsky Alliance and Soul Battle Robes. Warsky walked up to me and said with a dissatisfied look, "We were about to find a good grinding method, Lu Chen. Why have you summoned us so early?"
I replied, "I’ll explain once everybody’s here."
He Yi, Li Chengfeng and Beiming Xue showed up next, and a couple of minutes later the leaders and vice leaders of Candle Dragon, Snowy Cathaya, Blazing Hot Lips, Pop Culture, Purple Lily, Peach Garden, Hall of Immortality and more had shown up as well. Even the alliance leader of Dragons Run Wild, Amber Pupil, had shown up. Well, he was the commander of 5 million troops. It was impossible to cut him out of such a meeting even if I wanted to.
Hot and Sour Noodles checked the time before starting, "It’s 10 am, Lu Chen. Please tell us why you’ve summoned us here!"
I sheathed my sword, rose to my feet, and slowly walked to the center of the crowd. I held my palm in front of me, waved a hand across it and brought up a hologram. It was none other than the map I had drawn, marked and labeled earlier. I had scanned it into the game so I could show it to everyone.
Everyone looked up in astonishment for a moment.
Stranger of Three Lifetimes said, "Isn’t this the world map of Heavenblessed? What’s with the labels?"
He Yi pursed her lips. "These circled dots are…"
Warsky complained, "OMG, you haven’t summoned us all the way here to explain to us the geography of the Heavenblessed Continent, have you?"
I ignored their reactions and started, "These 37 dots at the edges of this section of the map are foreign territories that just recently spawned in the past week. You may have noticed how close they are to the China server, and how they wrap around the China server like a cage."
Lone Moonshade of Pop Culture said carelessly, "So what? We have the impenetrable Fortress of the Iron Halberd and White Rose Fortress at key areas of Dragonbone Mountain Range, and our three cities combined have a total player population of over one hundred million. Why should we worry about these player territories?"
I turned around and yelled at him, "Because all 37 territories have hidden passages that lead straight into the China server, you doofus! The Bear Cave of Kalusi Forest and the Dark Waters Lake of Nation Guardian are just two of the thirty-seven such examples! I’ve already shared the map with all of you, so you can confirm the authenticity of my words yourself. Also, check the detailed attack routes I’ve marked on the map. Assuming that they’re all in cahoots with each other, and they launch a massive assault all at the same time, can you guess what will happen to us? We would be facing an invasion of almost one BILLION players, and none of you would even be prepared if I hadn't brought this up now! With awareness like you people, how do you suppose we hold the three main cities?!"
Lone Moonshade took two steps backward in shock.
He wasn’t the only one who felt like his head was just blown clean off his shoulders. Zhang Chun clenched his fists tightly while uttering, "Ceh, I… I can’t believe I didn’t notice this at all…"
Warsky also gritted his teeth. "It does look like they’ve dropped a huge net on all of us…"
However, the alliance leader of Dragons Run Wild, Amber Pupil sneered, "So what? We’ll just deal with it when it happens! By the way, have you forgotten that you’re just an unaffiliated player? Why should we believe your words? In fact, you and a couple hundred thousand unaffiliated players from Iron Skull Wilderness are sitting right next to the eastern borders of China right now, who’s to say that you aren’t trying to distract us with these talks so you can attack a main city and become its king?!"
I was so pissed that my fingernails almost pierced my palm. I punched the icy rock next to me, shattered it into pieces and glared at bloodshot eyes, "Did you think I stayed up all night gathering this data just so you can talk smack, Amber Pupil? If I truly wanted the China server for myself, do you really think I couldn’t just take over Sky City right now with Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls? Are you such a stone cold bastard that you can’t see the sweat, blood and effort we’ve poured to protect the borders of China!?"
Amber Pupil gritted his teeth. "In fact, I can’t possibly know what you’re thinking, or the saying ‘you can see a man's face, but you can't see his heart’ wouldn’t exist. Why on earth should we trust your words?"
One of the subguild leaders of Dragons Run Wild also stepped out and said, "Yeah, why should we trust a person who left the China server for such a long time? You were chased out by the VR department, so who’s to say that you aren’t trying to take revenge against us? Assuming that you are blinded by hatred, you would be more than happy to see the three main cities fall, wouldn’t you? You say that this is a trap by the enemy, but who’s to say that you aren’t the true mastermind behind this?"
Amber Pupil’s cackled in delight. "Learn to choose a side already, Lu Chen! I doubt you even know which side you’re on though!"
I clenched my fists and let out a sigh. I mounted the Ancient Divine Dragon, shot everyone a cold look before saying, "I’ve done all I could. The rest is up to you people. The way the China server is now, trust me, I wouldn’t want to return even if you rolled me a red carpet!"
The Ancient Divine Dragon vanished into the snow.
Zhang Chun could only stare at the sky in helplessness and anger.Previous Chapter Next Chapter