When Lin Yixin was looting, Gui Guzi, Hickey and the remaining one thousand cavalrymen of Protective Umbrella rode up to us from somewhere at the foot of the highland. Gui Guzi guffawed as he brandished his Spear of the Knight God, "Boss Broken Halberd, I saw your Ancient Divine Dragon carrying Princess Karinshan to the east! You’ve truly gone and surpassed all expectations! As long as the princess stays alive, Cyan Earth City will never be able to take Sky City!"
I nodded. "Yeah. This Nation War was an unusual one though. There’s never been a regent who could leave their own palace to fight the enemy until now, so I’m not sure how the system is going to decide this one."
While saying this, I pointed to the equipment and item on the floor, "Little Gui, Hickey, Warscar, gather your men and pick up the loot, will you? Make sure to pay special attention to the loot around the rocks. Many of them are Heaven-grade or Earth-grade pieces of equipment because they were dropped by high-level players."
While the trio happily left to do some plundering, Heaven’s Rain walked up to me with a half-pout-half-smile. "It’s a shame we don’t have many people left. Even Li Chengfeng, Chaos Moon, Lian Xin and Sister Mingyue were killed in the fight. It would’ve been a near perfect ending otherwise!"
Diamond Dust added with a smile, "I don’t know, Li Chengfeng was a bit off right before he died. He had charged forward like a madman and was completely out of sync with the rest of us. The rest of us were trying not to die, but he seemed to be the complete opposite. That was why he and High Fighting Spirits had died together."
He Yi smiled. "Maybe he wanted to take a break because he was too tired?"
"Yeah, maybe. That guy…"
Very soon, 50k+ Bloody Mercenaries cavalrymen showed up and started sweeping the valuable loot lying on the ground at high speed. Of all the Chinese guilds, Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls was without a doubt the one that benefited the most from the final part of the war. Not only did we manage to keep Dark Moon City alive, tens of thousands of our players were still alive. Assuming that each player could carry 100 pieces of equipment on average, that was several million high-level items we could loot. It would greatly improve our guild’s strength for sure.
Over half an hour passed by quickly. More and more Chinese players started gathering around White Horse Highland. The Chinese players who just logged into the game and those who managed to escape death by hiding inside the forest were all converging on this map because I, Lin Yixin, He Yi, Gui Guzi and more were here. For now, it seemed like White Horse Highland was our new command center. Also, the Northern Alliance and Cyan Earth City were still surrounding Sky City. Not all of their players had gone away after all.
He Yi twinkled as she stared at the Nation War interface. "The Nation War is almost over, and Lu Chen is far, far above everyone on the contribution leaderboard. Unfortunately, you are probably not getting the MVP reward…"
I shrugged. "It’s fine. If I get it, it’s good luck. If I miss it, it’s just fate!"
A few seconds later, the moment we were all waiting for finally arrived. A series of system announcements resounded across the entire Sky City—
System Announcement: Attention all players, the Nation War has officially ended. The USA server has successfully occupied Wind City. The Argentina server has successfully occupied Seven Star City. Sky City’s regent is currently away from their city, so the city cannot be occupied or used by any player. Regent Karinshan shall return to the city in 7 days, and Sky City will once again belong to the China server. All other cities such as Dawn City, Daybreak City and more have been occupied by an enemy. Players may launch a counterattack to retake the cities after 72 hours!
System Announcement: Due to the number of servers participating in the Nation War, a Nation Contribution Leaderboard has been created. In descending order, the Top 10 nations with the most contribution points in this Nation War are—China, USA, India, Japan, Korea, England, Argentina, Brazil, Russia, and Vietnam. As the number one server on the leaderboard, the China server is appointed the MVP of this Nation War. All players of the server are awarded with Level +1. Their remaining city, Sky City, gains: Rank +1, Defense +25%, City Defense +75%, and 87% city NPCs are revived!
System Announcement: In descending order, the Top 10 players with the most contribution points in this Nation War are—Broken Halberd Sinks Into Sand (China), Vienna’s Sorrow (USA), Wind Fantasy (China), Lian Xing (China), Tear Stain (Korea), Legendary Brave (China), Breeze and Rain (India), Beiming Xue (China), God of War (India), From Water (China), and Candlelight Shadow (China). Moreover, player "Broken Halberd Sinks Into Sand" from China is the MVP of this Nation War and awarded Level +5, Luck +5, and the equipment reward "Ghost Spirit War Boots" (Sacred Armament, Outstanding★★★★★★★★)!
I froze like a statue. All around me, columns of golden light were enveloping the players of China and increasing their level. Lin Yixin and He Yi especially got more than just levels because they were one of the Top 10 players of the Nation War. The system announcement only showed me my individual reward though. It was a pair of boots and an 8-star Outstanding Sacred Armament on the same level as the Fire God Helmet. The Fire God Helmet had given me the amazing Rise of the Guardian Dragon, so I couldn’t help but wonder what the Ghost Spirit War Boots would give me.
Wait a second… the fuck!?
Suddenly, realization struck my head like a lightning bolt. I stared wide-eyed at He Yi, Lin Yixin and Beiming Xue while shuddering like a leaf. "I… I’m still an unaffiliated player, right? Why did the system announce me as a player of the China server?"
Lin Yixin pointed at my shoulder with her mouth open. I was stunned to say the least. I had no idea when it had happened, but a 5-star red flag was hanging on my shoulder like it had never left. Somehow, someway, I had been accepted back into the China server. What on earth is going on?!
It was at this moment a platoon of players rode up to us from the foot of the mountain. They were all casual players. Leading at the forefront was a low-level mounted player with the ID—
ID: Tang Feng
He was none other than the true person-in-charge of the China VR department, Tang Feng!
"We made it!"
Tang Feng dismounted and checked the nation emblem on my shoulder immediately. A smile bloomed across his face. "We actually made it in time!"
Beside me, a Level 204 magic knight replied in a respectful tone, "That we did, chief. It was a close call though. A couple minutes later, and the Sacred Armament, Ghost Spirit War Boots, would’ve gone to that American, Vienna’s Sorrow."
Now I understood. Tang Feng was the one who restored my status. He and Tang Long were the only two China VR department chiefs who could sway the decision-making of the China branch of Eternal Moon Corporation with a single command, and now that Tang Long had fallen, there was no one left to contest his decision.
I dismounted and walked up to Tang Feng with my players in tow. I shot him a polite smile and said, "Thank you, Chief Tang Feng. These Ghost Spirit War Boots are pretty amazing."
Tang Feng waved his hand kindly. "You’re welcome. By the way, chief is a bit too impersonal a title, don’t you think? How about you call me Uncle Tang? I’m about that age anyway. I’ve been following you, Fang Zhuo, Lin Yixin, and Li Chengfeng’s careers for a long time…"
Tang Feng was a casual and amiable person, so I didn’t have a good reason to undermine him. I replied neutrally, "I must say that this sudden restoration of my nationality was… abrupt. What is your plan to deal with this?"
Tang Feng observed the destruction around us before letting out a sorrowful sigh. "As you can see, the China server is in shambles right now. We may have top-tier experts like Fang Zhuo, Lin Yixin, Li Chengfeng, Wang Luo and more, but that still isn’t enough to fend off the powerful enemies who have us surrounded from all sides. Candlelight Shadow dominated the VR world for many years, but he was never truly able to claim the title of Heavenly King. You are a different story, however. Everyone thinks of you as the Heavenly King of this era, and we need your power now more than ever before. Therefore, on behalf of every Chinese player, I sincerely hope that you will return to us and protect our homeland from further destruction. You are the face of our country, Lu Chen. We cannot do this without you!"
I clenched my fists before replying, "I can return to the China server, but not until certain matters are settled, understand? There is no point in me returning if the evil in our server remains rooted!"
Tang Feng asked, "I understand. Tell me your wish, and it shall be done!"
"First, your cousin, Tang Long, must be brought to justice!" I went straight to the point.
Tang Feng clenched his teeth but nodded. "Of course. I know full well that he must pay for his own crimes. The matter has already been submitted to the procuratorate, and you won’t find me disagreeing with whatever judgment they pass down on him!"
"Next, the traitors must be kicked out of our server immediately. I will send my men to hunt them down!"
"Alright. Who are they?"
"Now and Forever, the guild leader of Sword Lord of Jianghu; Amber Pupil, the alliance leader of Dragons Run Wild; and the guild leaders of the dozens of big guilds that make up that alliance. I’m one hundred percent certain that they all had a hand in this matter, so they must be dealt with as well!"
"Very well!" Tang Feng looked at the magic knight standing behind him. "Little Wang, please jot down these names and send them to Eternal Moon’s China branch right away. Wipe their data from our server and exile them all."
Tang Feng left after his business with me was done. The server would be closing in 20 minutes to refresh the map, so I quickly checked out the stats of my MVP reward—
Ghost Spirit War Boots (Sacred Armament, Outstanding★★★★★★★★)
Magic Resist: 12500
Passive: Increases user’s movement speed by 275%
Passive: Increases user’s physical attack power by 75%, and all resistances by 50%
Outstanding Property: Ghost Spirit Step Art. An ancient movement art that allows its practitioner to move like a ghost. Upon activation, it greatly increases user’s movement speed and nullifies 75% of the attacks they would receive for 15 seconds. Cooldown: 120 seconds.
Level Requirement: 220
Reputation Requirement: 800000
Class Requirement: Fighter Class
I was overjoyed when I saw the stats. A 75% chance to dodge all attacks for 15 seconds was almost as good as outright invincibility. It was a godlike Outstanding Property, be it for mob grinding or boss fights!
I checked my level. I was exactly at Level 220 after receiving my MVP reward, so I equipped it immediately and saw a pair of boots with ghastly red aura and starry light surrounding them appear around my feet. They were definitely better than the Divine Martial War Boots, and its grade much higher because it was a Sacred Armament.
"Should we log out now?"
Lin Yixin smiled at me after I was done admiring myself.
I looked at He Yi, Beiming Xue, Gui Guzi and everyone else and said, "You guys should log out as well. We’ve all been online for too long."
"Yeah, got it."
There wasn’t a single soul who wasn’t exhausted after the insanely long battle we had fought. I let out a yawn as I took out my tent and crawled inside. Although my nationality had been restored, my return scroll was still useless because Sky City was currently unusable by any player.
1. (Author’s Note: For those who think that Eternal Moon Corporation, an international company cannot be persuaded by the local government, please cease your naive thoughts. To those who don’t believe me, please recall that time where WoW had been sent back for censorship for god knows how long by a certain government department after NetEase took over.)