My boots shattered a couple of rocks as I jumped up to where Princess Karinshan was. I actually slipped a bit because there were so many bodies that the rocks were slick with blood. Not only that, both the rocks and Princess Karinshan’s body were riddled with arrows.
At the peak of the tall rocks, Karinshan let out a groan and dropped to one knee. It was because a hail of arrows had plunged into her snow white thigh. Frowning, she cut off the shafts of the arrows but left the heads embedded inside her flesh. Then, she went back to shooting her cyclones and ice blades, showing off her prowess as a dual cultivator and tormenting Cyan Beast again. She had been fighting for several hours straight, and I had a feeling that she had killed at least a million players by herself. The literal mountains of bodies and equipment surrounding the hill she was fighting on was the proof of it, and that was without considering the despawned bodies.
Suddenly, I appeared behind Karinshan and blocked another hail of arrows that was targeted at her with the Dragon God Shield. It might seem like I was fighting on foot, but my stats were the same as when I was mounting the Ancient Divine Dragon. With over 100k effective Defense, arrows were one of least effective attacks against me.
Karinshan shuddered as she looked behind herself. She knew who I was the moment she glimpsed my shoulder. She let out a soft sigh and smiled a bit. "It’s you again… you were always with me during my final moments, weren’t you?"
I grinned. "It’s a brave’s honor to be able to protect a princess…"
Karinshan chuckled. "A brave’s honor, huh? Yes, it is my honor to be able to protect this land too…"
I said, "By the way, Your Majesty. In the future, you should avoid using ‘hehe’ when you laugh…"
"Well, in my world ‘hehe’ is usually a form of sarcastic laughter. Usually, people laugh like this when they want to say, ‘go fuck yourself’ but want to be subtle about it…"
There was a loud bang, and a dozen or so Lightning Arrows erupted around us and rudely interrupted our conversation. After that, God of War slowly walked out from between the piles of bodies with a sneer. "What are you even doing here, you pitiful bastard who was abandoned by his own country?"
My eyes turned steely. "I’m here to kill you, of course!"
I dashed toward God of War like a loosed arrow and executed Burning Blade Slash + Universe Break combo immediately. If it hit, God of War would be near dead or just dead. Unfortunately, God of War was far stronger than the likes of Cyan Frost or Yeye the Witch.
He bent backward and just barely avoided my Universe Break. Ignoring the searing pain of my Burning Blade Slash, he tossed Fire Net at me and forced me to dash horizontally. After successfully scoring a basic hit on me, he immediately unleashed Inferno Sixtuple Slash!
I managed to parry three of the six hits, but that was it. My shoulders were burning with pain, but it was nothing compared to the Spiraling Arrow Blades and Galaxy Storms erupting around my person all the time. I was fighting alone, but God of War wasn’t. If I didn’t end this as soon as possible, this would be the hill I died on. So, I crouched a little and exploded toward God of War like a lightning bolt!
My abnormal speed caught God of War off-guard, and I was able to kick him off the rock and score a long-range Coiling Dragon Revolution on him at the same time. Frightened by the amount of damage he took, he scrambled back to his army to seek out his priests.
I returned to Karinshan’s side and checked the timer again. There was still 1 hour and 17 minutes left on the clock. It seemed almost impossible to protect Karinshan until it hit zero, but I had to try anyway.
I let out a cry and activated Battle Astral Wind. It was the best protection I had right now as it was especially good against arrows, and it made me several times tougher than before. The one guy who might be able to shatter it prematurely, God of War, had also decided to lie low for the moment. It was probably because he thought that victory was already in his grasp, and he didn’t need to risk his neck to kill me. After all, all they needed to do was to kill Karinshan, and victory would be theirs.
The several thousand Berserk Zephyr Cavalry fighting somewhere beneath the hills were only good enough to delay the inevitable, but considering that they delayed Karinshan’s death by three whole hours, I only had the highest of praises for them. One by one they died until Gui Guzi, Diamond Dust and only a hundred or so players were left standing. Gui Guzi in particular was an absolute unit made up of monstrous stats that even I would be hard-pressed to delete, much less the enemies.
"Boss Broken Halberd, we’re out of men! What do we do now?" Gui Guzi called out to me from below.
I shot him a glance before answering, "Ride toward Sky Forest and meet up with Eve and Lil Beiming! There’s no need to wipe here, and I have no time to pick up your Spear of the Knight God if you drop it!"
Gui Guzi grew visibly anxious. "Fuck! You’re not going to stay here alone, are you?"
"I won’t die, so don’t worry!"
"But what about Karinshan?"
"I have a plan. Just get your ass away from this hill already!!" I almost glared at the guy as I ordered.
Gui Guzi still looked like he wanted to say something until Hickey slapped him on the arm and said, "When the boss says something, you listen! Now come on!"
In the end, he relented and started charging downhill. I relaxed. At least some of us would be surviving this fucking war.
Seriously though, what do I do about Karinshan? I was one man, and there was no chance in hell I could protect Karinshan until the timer hit zero, not to mention that her HP had dropped to just 3%. God of War was also getting restless again. I had no doubts in my mind that he was on the verge of making a sudden charge to land the fatal blow on Karinshan and steal the royal scepter. It would be all over if that happened...
Another blade pierced Karinshan’s white arm, and a muffled groan later she looked at me and said, "I… I don’t have much strength left in my body. You should go. Take the creed of Sky City with you and fly to safety. Sky City will resurrect for as long as the warriors of Sky City live…"
I lent her a shoulder while replying, "You must be joking, Your Majesty. I’m a Great Earth Swordsman, not a Great Earth Emperor. I cannot possibly revive an entire empire by myself…"
Suddenly, God of War unsheathed his weapon and cried, "It is time, my brothers and sisters! Dismount  and cut down the princess now! Don’t leave a single one of those Dragon Knights alive either!"
Chiang chiang chiang...
Rows and rows of cold, gleaming swords were pulled out of their sheaths. Finally, God of War’s patience had reached his limits. His desire for the King of Cities was so overwhelming that he couldn’t even wait for his archers to whittle down Karinshan some more.
My mind felt like a jumbled mess as I continued blocking the incoming arrows while supporting Karinshan. Then, an idea suddenly entered my mind. Maybe… maybe I could do that…?
There was no time for thought. I immediately canceled my Fusion Armor!
My beloved dragon flew away from my arm and transformed into a gigantic dragon in an instant. It wagged its tail a bit and pushed its head against my chest almost as if it knew what I was planning. It certainly knew how dangerous of a situation I was in right now. I supposed that this was what they called the bond between a phantasmal beast and its master?
"What… what are you planning?" Karinshan looked at me in surprise.
I hugged her blood-coated, arrow-riddled waist and placed her on top of the Ancient Divine Dragon. Then, I whispered to her, "Your Majesty, if you live, Sky City lives. If you die, Sky City is gone as well. That is why I can die, but you cannot. The Ancient Divine Dragon will deliver you to Sky Ridge of Dragonbone Mountain Range. Stay alive no matter what happens, okay?"
"I refuse! I cannot possibly allow a young warrior like you to die in my place!" Karinshan refused immediately.
I shot her a smile and said, "Don’t worry, I’ll revive even if I die. Now go!"
After that, I tossed Stark, Ziyan, Tia and the rest of the Dragon Knights onto the back of my dragon as well. Obviously, this was far beyond the mount’s usual carry load. I was simply gambling on the hope that an Ancient Divine Rank mount was powerful enough to operate independently and fly despite carrying a load far beyond its capacity.
I slapped the Ancient Divine Dragon’s head lightly before ordering, "I’ve already set the destination for you, so go, little fellow! Carry the hope of Sky City to Sky Ridge!"
My mount bumped my chest with its head-one last time before letting out a roar. Then, it took off to the sky and vanished with all the NPCs.
My stats were much, much weaker without the Ancient Divine Dragon, so I summoned the Armored Ice Qilin Horse instead and pointed my sword at the enemy. "Come now. This final hour of the Nation War is your only chance left to kill me. Next time, it’ll be my turn to kill all of you!"
Clenching his teeth in anger, God of War rushed forward and shouted, "Everyone, go!"
I dropped Myriad Swords Obliteration on top of a group of players. Even with my reduced stats, some of them were outright one-shot because their HP was much lower when dismounted. Of course, I also ate a good amount of Barrier Breaks and Spiraling Arrow Blades in return. Oh well, the only thing I could do now was to fight harder and keep myself alive with the 20% lifesteal.
Suddenly, about 5 cm of the tip of the Purple Ying Sword broke off. It was because my weapon durability had dropped below 5%. Not only that, the Heaven-burning Armor, the Dragon God Shield and the rest of my equipment were crumbling as well. All of my stats dropped like you wouldn’t believe.
God of War saw this and growled out, "He’s at his limit already! Kill him! He must pay for rescuing all the NPCs!"
I stood on top of the rock and beckoned him to come. "I’m waiting!"
I died three times in a row in less than five minutes. Immortality triggered twice, and Resurrection Art once. However, I also received a system notice stating that the Ancient Divine Dragon had reached Sky Ridge. This meant Karinshan was safe for now. I relaxed.
I plopped on top of a pile of bodies and set my sword beside me. Not only that, I canceled Resurrection Art because there was no need to persist any longer. Once I died, I would be logged out of the game by force until the Nation War was over.
God of War grew even angrier when he saw this.
It was at this moment a system announcement rang across the sky—
System Announcement: Attention all players, player "Candlelight Shadow" (China) has successfully killed the regent of Seven Star City, Fario the Seventh, and claimed the royal scepter. They may choose to occupy or abandon the city!
It didn’t matter how many cities were involved at a time. When a Nation War began, it would continue for 72 hours, and no more than that. This also meant that the players of Seven Star City only had one hour left to retake their main city!
I laughed like a madman as I lay on top of the pile of bodies and facing toward the sky. "Seven Star City, Seven Star City… I bet neither you nor Breeze and Rain expected this outcome, eh?"
God of War clenched his fists and swore with bloodshot eyes. "FUCK!"