"What are you doing? Who are you?" a policeman yelled at me.
Li Chengfeng immediately looked up and shot him a placating smile. "Calm down, Little Wang. He’s the victim, you see."
The policeman immediately stared at me with wide eyes. "Ha, ahaha! You’re Lu Chen? I never thought I'd be able to meet you in person! Your in-game avatar is plastered all over the official home page, but you’re a surprisingly handsome lad in real life too, huh?"
Li Chengfeng shook his head. "Enough talk. Bring the handcuffs and cuff this bastard already, will you?"
Li Chengfeng cuffed one of Tang Long’s hands to a nearby pole. Then, he sat down on the chair, produced a bottle of xylitol from his pockets and poured me one. While chewing, he said, "The old fox thought he could escape, but I had nearly the entire airline network under surveillance after I received word that he was going to make his escape soon. The reason I kamikazed my way to the afterlife in the Nation War was to fly back to Beijing and lie in wait for him myself!"
I curled my lips. "I knew it. I was confused when they told me you overextended, run into the enemies by yourself and died. That’s High Fighting Spirits’ style, not yours!"
Li Chengfeng chuckled. "Pooh! If he hadn’t been blocking my escape paths all the time, I wouldn’t have died that quickly…"
Lin Yixin and Chaos Moon sat down nearby and looked at Tang Long. The guy cut a sorry figure especially after the punch I gave him, and his eyes burned with despair and anger. He most likely wasn’t expecting to be caught here.
Lin Yixin asked, "Why is he alone? Shouldn’t a power-hungry person like him have a ton of bodyguards?"
Li Chengfeng sneered. "When the tree topples, the monkeys scatter. Who would work for him after he lost his power? That being said, he did show up with seven or eight bodyguards. Long story short, my men kept them busy outside the airport."
Tang Long spat out a bloody spittle before raging at the girls, "What the fuck do you know, you prepubescent brats? You would never have caught me if someone hadn't leaked my activities to you!"
Li Chengfeng flexed his muscles. "Aiyo, it looks like someone hasn’t figured out the situation yet. Allow me to teach you a lesson in humility!"
Before he could act though, the policeman nicknamed Little Wang hurriedly caught his arm in a death grip. "How many times have the higher-ups warned you not to enforce via violence? Seriously, calm the fuck down. You’re literally one or two punches away from entering the blacklist, dude…"
It was only then Li Chengfeng relaxed and looked at me. "Say, Lu Chen. Care to guess how much bribe this fucker accepted to protect Purple Grape City?"
"Just tell me."
Li Chengfeng raised five fingers, and I exclaimed in surprise,
"5 million? My god, Little Japan is even stingier than I am! These days, even a Sacred Armament is worth 5 million!"
Li Chengfeng rolled his eyes. "I swear that you’re like a kid sometimes whenever money is involved. Of course not!"
"50 million then?"
"No way. 500 million?" I was in complete disbelief at this point.
Li Chengfeng smiled. "You’re kinda there, but no, it was 5 billion RMB, man. To be specific, the other guy paid him 500 million in deposit, but since he failed to follow through with his promise, he didn’t get the rest of it. Still, do you know that he has almost 1.1 billion worth of stolen funds in his Swiss bank amount? He embezzled all of them during his time as the vice chief of the VR department. Also, this fucker had apparently forced the China branch of Eternal Moon to cough out 500 million RMB to bring Heavenblessed to China. All in all, he was able to embezzle a total 1.6 billion RMB during his ‘service’. We weren’t able to freeze the funds, so this fucker would’ve been swimming in cash had we allowed him to escape overseas!"
I fell silent for a moment before clenching my fists. "Let me guess. This old fucker’s family members have already gotten their green cards or something and taken up residence overseas, haven’t they?"
Li Chengfeng patted my shoulder with a bitter smile on his face. "Welcome to the future, brother."
For a time, I worried about the future of my nation and my people until Lin Yixin dragged me back to the present.
"What are you even worrying about? Let’s focus on retaking our main cities first!"
Li Chengfeng laughed. "Well, Beauty Lin, Lu Chen, I trust you all to deal with the in-game stuff. I’ve been so busy lately that I can’t even spare the time to grind, not to mention that I have to settle Tang Long’s case within a week. Anyway, this guy must be super anxious to tour his execution ground, so I have to go now! See you all later!"
You could probably imagine how white Tang Long looked when he heard this. An outsider might think that Li Chengfeng was exaggerating, but the anti-corruption movements within the country had been growing stronger and stronger in the past few years. We in China didn’t believe we have the ability to guide an evil, heartless, and false servant of the public like Tang Long back on the right path, so our only option left was to leave it to God to save his immortal soul.
Tang Long was a big fish. At least a hundred policemen had entered the waiting hall over time, not to mention that Li Chengfeng, a high-level officer himself, had shown up to catch him. Eventually, the old man was escorted toward the exit like a superstar who was surrounded by the paparazzi. Right before he vanished from my sight though, he looked back and shot me a hateful and disdainful sneer. "You think you’re a hero, boy? You’re just an idiot who has no idea you’re protecting an apple that has rotted all the way to the core!"
I simply shrugged before saying to myself, "You’re the idiot. You think I care about the rotten stuff? I’m protecting the seeds inside the core."
Lin Yixin gave my arm a tug and said, "Come on. There’s no need to split hairs over a guy who’s about to warm his jail cell, is there? By the way, it’s almost time to board the plane. Do you want to call Sister He Yi and Beiming Xue before that?"
I called He Yi and decided the meeting time. Obviously, He Yi and Murong Mingyue would be driving a car each to receive us.
An hour or so later, our plane was cutting a line across the sky and taking us home. As I was watching the blue sky and rays of sunlight outside the window, I raised my head and let out a sigh. It was finally over. It came at a great cost to my person, but the utterly corrupt Tang Long was finally removed from the VR department. For now at least, peace had returned to the China server.
Chaos Moon was listening to something on her phone when she suddenly looked at me and said, "I just saw on the phone that the CGL Hall of Fame has been reordered. Gui Guzi and Lil Beiming have also been invited to enter, or so I heard. I wonder if Eve received an invitation too? At any rate, I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of new faces in the CGL Hall of Fame this time."
Lin Yixin blinked once before saying, "Sister Eve has proven herself to be a great fighter and leader of Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls. I’m sure the CGL Hall of Fame would want to have her. Just the same, Gui Guzi is the face of all cavalrymen and the owner of the absolutely broken Knight God, so it would actually make no sense if he wasn’t added to the CGL Hall of Fame. Lil Beiming is the Dark Archer and a fierce contender for the title of best archer in China, so her entry should be a no-brainer as well. Even my vice leader, Purple Marquis, should just barely make it into the CGL Hall of Fame…"
Chaos Moon chuckled. "Yeah. If I remember correctly, the new ranking will be announced at 2 pm. We should see it before we get off the plane…"
"Yeah, I very much look forward to it!"
"Heehee, me too!"
Anticipation filled our veins as we waited for 2 pm, and soon it was proven that Chaos Moon hadn’t misremembered the time. I connected to the internet using the plane wifi, and just as promised, the CGL ranking on the official website had been refreshed. A whopping number of 10 players had been added to the CGL Hall of Fame, and the four pillars of Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls—He Yi, Beiming Xue, Gui Guzi and Lian Xin—were among the new entrants. This was definitely a huge win for Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls—
1-5：Frivolous Scholar, Vegetable Tofu Soup, Broken Halberd Sinks Into Sand, Murong Shanshan, Wind Fantasy
6-10：Candlelight Shadow, Seven-Star Lamp, Windy Snow, Zhi Yun’er, Luo River God of the Capital
11-15：Farewell Song, Wind That Touches The Moon, Power Cooker, Ling Xueshang, A Dust
16-20：Legendary Brave, Moonkiss, God’s Dance, From Water, Stranger of Three Lifetimes
21-25：October Rain, Beiming Xue, Warsky, Come See The Snow Tonight, Lonely Grave
26-30：Gui Guzi, Purple Marquis, Lian Xing, Little Piglet, Laughing At The Heavens
31-35：Transient, Transient Smoke and Clouds, Blood Red, Wei-Jin North-South Dynasties, Blue Sky Scar
36-40：Song of Ice and Fire, Predestined, Dominating Heaven Blade, Tempest Shadow, Hot and Sour Noodles
Chaos Moon smiled in joy as she looked at the new ranking. "Tsk tsk, 6 of the 40 players on the CGL Hall of Fame belong to Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls. It’s all thanks to these Nation Wars! Number-wise, we are not inferior to Warsky Alliance and Candle Dragon anymore!"
I smiled. "Yeah. He Yi must be so happy right now!"
Lin Yixin glanced at the ranking before replying good-naturedly, "It’s a shame Snowy Cathaya only has two players in the Hall of Fame..."
I shot her a comforting smile before reading the ranking again. He Yi had appeared on the 19th place immediately, but that was natural since she was the guild leader of Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls, and Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls was now the indisputable number one guild in the China server right now. Yes, our guild power had exceeded Candle Dragon’s before we knew it.
Again, Gui Guzi, Beiming Xue and Lian Xin’s placement between the 20th to 30th places was within expectations. Their contribution points in this Nation War could only be described as crazy, and their reputation was more than enough to qualify for the CGL Hall of Fame. As for the others, Purple Marquis was the vice leader of Snowy Cathaya, and Little Piglet performed outstandingly during the Nation War. Song of Ice and Fire was a powerful player to begin with, and I heard his contributions were huge during the raid of Seven Star City. Of course, I had no idea of the details, but whatever he did must be very impactful. Finally, I was surprised that Dominating Heaven Blade had entered the CGL Hall of Fame as well. The guy was a first-rate player at best, but his performance in this Nation War was outstanding, and his fearlessness and willingness to play the unpopular role of cannon fodder must have won the appreciation of the committee. Even a consolation prize is a prize...
Soon after, the plane descended on the Wuxi airport, and we arrived at the meeting place with our luggages. Beiming Xue spotted us long before we even reached them and bounced on her feet, crying, "Big brother! Big brother! We’re over here!"
I jogged forward. As I thought, He Yi, Murong Mingyue and Lian Xin were all present. Not only that, Xu Yang, Gui Guzi, High Fighting Spirits, Du Thirteen and Yamete were here as well. Okay, this entourage was getting a bit too big for a small man like me!
"You all came…" I greeted everyone with a grin.
Du Thirteen slapped me once on the shoulder before guffawing. "Of course! We’re here to receive you and help wash away all the dust you’ve accumulated from your journey! Tonight, we ain’t stopping the chugging until we’re completely drunk, yeah!?"
However, Yamete played the voice of reason. "Cool your horses, did you forget we’re supposed to help Snowy Cathaya retake Silver Fir City tonight? The guild defending that territory isn’t so weak that we can play truant, you know…"
Xu Yang slapped his chest and laughed. "Heaven’s Rain alone can run down those fuckers with the Dragonlight Cavalry, minor issue!"
My eyes widened at the foreign addition at the end. "Fuck, when did brother Xu Yang learn English?"
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