The next day in the early morning, Chaos Moon knocked on my door and called out to me, "Wake up, Lu Chen. We’re packing our stuff and returning to Suzhou after we have breakfast!"
On second thought, it wasn’t quick at all. It had been ages since I was "stranded" in Bagua City, and everyone in the Frost Cloud workshop was looking forward to my return. Yeah, I shouldn’t delay it even a second longer.
After everything was ready, I dragged two luggages behind me and boarded the high-speed train to Beijing with Lin Yixin and Chaos Moon. It would take 5 hours to arrive at our destination. After that, we would take the flight to Wuxi.
On the train, Lin Yixin and my seat were right next to one another. Chaos Moon sat with an uncle on the opposite side.
"What’s the rush, by the way? None of you told me that we’re going home this soon…" I asked while hugging the gaming helmet.
Chaos Moon chuckled. "It’s not my choice. That idiot, Li Chengfeng, booked an afternoon flight for us, so we have to leave for Beijing as soon as possible, or we won’t make it in time. It’s not all bad though. Barring any accident, we should meet Eve, Beiming and Sister Mingyue at around 3 pm. Don’t you miss them?"
I smiled. "Of course I do. It’s been ages since I left the workshop."
Lin Yixin stared at me. "Hmph hmph, now that you mentioned it, you haven’t visited me at the university for a very long time. You didn’t look like you missed me at all."
"What are you talking about? Of course I do…"
This level of questioning was nothing to me. "Didn’t I go to lunch or dinner with you all the time? Count yourself how many times I went to pick you up at the university. Heck, I’m practically your call boy, flying to your service every time you make a call. In fact, I’m the one who should say that you don’t miss me at all. Since the time we knew each other, you’ve only visited me at the workshop once…"
"That’s a lie!"
Lin Yixin sat up straight and argued with a tinge of red on her cheeks, "I er, I visited you that time during New Years, didn’t I?! And... er…"
"And? Is that it? Please, I want to know all about these visits that I can’t recall for some reason..."
"Er… I don’t remember right now. But I did!"
"Hmph. Sure you did…"
I took out my notebook, placed it on my seat table and surfed the net for a bit. A while later, I brought up the Heavenblessed website and read the news because I had nothing to do anyway.
The game had come back online after a 10-hour maintenance. On the homepage, it came as no surprise that the current number of main cities under the China server was zero. Vanished God City had fallen into Coldblade’s hands, Wind City had fallen to the USA server, and Sky City was currently unusable because Karinshan was away from Sky City.
Lin Yixin shot a glance at the headline while peeling an apple. "Hmph hmph, the officials truly have no shame whatsoever. They zeroed in on your return and avoided talking about the fall of the three main cities at all. Truly, this is the worst case of the ostrich syndrome I’ve seen in a while…"
She was correct. The red, bolded headline loudly announced my return to the China server—
[Headline] Despite many twists and turns, the Little Heavenly King Lu Chen led Protective Umbrella against Cyan Beast at White Horse Highland and successfully defended the royal scepter of Sky City. Even better, right before the nation was ended, he was returned to his motherland’s embrace! What a joyful day it was!
Details: The China server suffered huge losses during this Nation War. Vanished God City was occupied by an NPC, Wind City was brought down in 24 hours by the combined firepower of the northern nations, and the elites of China were forced to spend the remaining 48 hours defending Sky City. Despite killing over 200 million players in total and winning the Nation War in the end, it wasn’t a total victory. Sky City’s regent is currently away from Sky City, and the King of Cities won’t return to service until 7 days later. This means that all China players are unaffiliated in the meantime.
Beneath the news passage were the players’ comments—
1st comment (Player "Small Fly"): The CGL officials are sooooo shameless! They were the ones who chased out Lu Chen in the first place, and they invited him back only after the three main cities were wrecked! There will be no appeasing the people until Tang Long is dead, pooh!
2nd comment (Player "Warsky"): Bump! Well said, 1st commenter!
3rd comment (Player "The Heavens Have Eyes"): There were rumors about Tang Long taking a risky, obscenely big bribe from the person-in-charge of a foreign server, and Lu Chen’s decision to abandon Purple Grape City had fucked it all up. That’s why Tang Long had kicked Lu Chen out of the server. As for exactly how big that bribe was, just trust me when I say that it’s a huge amount. Hmph, the guy should be executed by firing squad in my opinion!
4th comment (Player "1.5 Km Away"): Tang Long must go, and Amber Pupil too! That shameless bastard who calls himself Tang Long’s nephew ain’t a good egg either! They both must go!
5th comment (Player "Cube"): Man, you guys are so excited today. Personally, I’m more worried about the lack of supply spots in the China server right now. Almost all the NPCs are killed, and Sky City is currently unavailable because the regent is away. Where else can we buy potions and repair our equipment?
5th comment (player "Xu Yang"): Speaking of which, please take note of the only player territory standing in Sky City, the Rank 10 Dark Moon City. It is located between Black Coast, Dawn City and Sky City, and it is close to Dragonbone Mountain Range. Here in Dark Moon City, there are mountains to hunt on, sea to fish in, and a teleportation formation connected to all the teleportation points within the China server. We also have Rank 10 potion shops that sell every potion there is to be sold by the NPCs, and Rank 10 smithies that can repair any equipment without reducing max durability. Welcome to Dark Moon City...
7th comment (Player "From Water"): We at Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls are not hustlers who would exploit our own countrymen during these trying times, so here are the benefits we offer to everyone. For 7 days, all teleportation is free, potion and magic consumable prices are discounted by 60%, and repair fees by 80%. Basically, we’re charging you the cost price. Right now, we don’t care about earning money, only that everyone gets a shelter to stay in. Also, Dark Moon City has absolutely no qualms becoming the launching board to retake Wind City. Let’s all fight together when the time comes!
Lin Yixin fed me a slice of apple and giggled. "Oh, Sister Eve is so bad. There cannot be a better time to make an advertisement than now. To be fair, Dark Moon City is probably the only supply spot left in Sky City domain, but still, giving everyone massive discounts and even charging nothing for teleportation fees? At this point, everyone’s going to look to Dark Moon City as THE city. So baaaaaad!"
I smiled. "He Yi has always been a smart girl, but don’t sell yourself short, Yiyi. If Silver Fir City was still standing, I’m sure you would’ve done the same thing."
Lin Yixin clapped her hands and placed the well sliced fruits on the tray. "Eh, I guess. Unfortunately, that reality exists in a different timeline, not to mention that we don’t have your crazy OP Bone Dragons to defend our city. Well, we only need to wait 24 hours after a Nation War to launch a territory war to reclaim our territories—which is tonight—so I guess it’s not too bad."
I counted inside my head. "We should all be tucked inside our homes by then. Silver Fir City is very close to Dark Moon City, so even if there are Northern Alliance players still guarding that territory, we should be able to sweep them aside without any trouble."
"Yes. Silver Fir City is taken by a guild from Titan City. More specifically, it’s the 14th strongest guild on the USA Guild Ranking. It will be easy. I’ve already spoken with Purple Marquis, Lexi and Qingqing beforehand. We’ll attack Silver Fir City at 12 am sharp and retake it within an hour. The other super guilds are probably plotting the same thing as well."
Chaos Moon replied after blinking once. "Taking back our territories should be very easy in general. We’re on homeground, and both the Northern Alliance and Cyan Earth City have completely lost their spirit after the defeat. There’s no way their players will be able to stop us. Retaking Wind City is still going to be a headache though."
I smiled. "It’ll be fine. We can discuss the details when we get back later, but it’s just a matter of sealing Dragonbone Mountain Range completely and assassinating all of the teleportation NPCs inside the main city. After that, Candlelight Shadow and Warsky alone can retake the isolated city. This is just the way main cities are in a game; easily occupied and difficult to defend, especially when it’s set on foreign land. Considering the strength of players these days, having too many cities is actually a bad thing."
"Yeah. That’s why your decision to abandon Purple Grape City back then was the best decision you could’ve made..."
I leaned into my seat and continued, "In the near future, I expect the maps within our server to be very busy. Depressed or not, the Northern Alliance, Cyan Earth City, Elephant City and Purple Grape City will not surrender control back to us without a struggle. First, we should take back the nine tier 2 cities we lost. Then, we should retake Vanished God City from the NPCs. Finally, it’s just a matter of pincering the enemy with the might of two main cities to retake Wind City."
Chaos Moon also leaned leisurely into her seat and shot me a smile. "I finally understand why Tang Feng is so desperate to drag you back into the China server. The war hasn’t even begun yet, and you already have a general outline of our future strategy planned out in your head. A dung spoon job like this is perfect for an underhanded man like you…"
"Would it kill you to praise me normally? By the way, how did you die yesterday? One moment you were there, and then the next, poof…"
Chaos Moon waved her fist angrily. "Those fuckers gave me the porcupine treatment after running over me with their mounts, hmph! If I wasn’t all out of potions, or I might’ve survived the Nation War yet. Speaking of which, that’s how your good brother Du Thirteen and Yamete died too…"
I laughed. No one knew better than me how hard it was to kill a Dragonlight Cavalryman. The Beast King Cavalry would’ve been hard-pressed to kill even one of them if they didn’t run out of potions… Except Du Thirteen, I guess...
It was past 1 pm when we arrived at the Beijing airport. There were still almost two hours before our flight, so we loitered around the stores to waste time.
Suddenly, a group of policemen appeared at the distance. There was at least one of them standing guard every ten meters of the waiting hall. It was like we had suddenly stumbled upon an army procession.
"What’s going on? It’s been a while since I’ve seen this many policemen in one place," I asked.
Chaos Moon replied mysteriously, "You may know the answer very soon…"
Me: "The fuck? Tell me now, or I’ll pour soda down your throat until you’re full!"
Chaos Moon: "..."
Suddenly, my phone rang. The caller was Li Chengfeng.
"Come to the 7th boarding gate, brother. I have a pleasant surprise for you!"
The two girls and I hurriedly ran over to meet Chengfeng. Then, an unbelievable sight entered my eyes long before we reached the 7th gate. A bald old man was pressed on the ground by a policeman, and the man on duty was none other than Li Chengfeng himself!
I looked at the old man pressed to the ground and felt the yoke in my brain turning white from anger. It was Tang Long!
I took off like an arrow until it looked like I was gliding across the floor for a bit. Then, I raised my fist and punched a pair of incisors right out of his mouth!Previous Chapter Next Chapter