"Hmm, I don’t know. Can Sky City really afford to split their forces to retake Wind City and threaten the Northern Alliance through Fortress of the Iron Halberd at the same time?"
Who Will Fight Me voiced his doubts, however. "I had witnessed Broken Halberd Sinks Into Sand’s strength at the Ruins of the Gods before, so I know he is as powerful as the rumors say. On the other hand, the Martial God Candlelight Shadow has been losing again and again since the start of Heavenblessed. Can he really withstand the might of the Northern Alliance? Let’s not forget that Vienna’s Sorrow has ascended to the Heavenly River Realm and obtained an SSS Rank Ancient Divine Skill, Smile of the God of War Ares. Can Candlelight Shadow really withstand Vienna’s Sorrow if they encounter each other in battle?"
I grimaced. "Don’t worry, I am aware of Candlelight Shadow’s strength. I promise you he won’t disappoint any longer."
Zhang Chun also clenched his fists. "Mm, Fang Zhuo knows what to do and what not to do. Do not worry…"
This time, both Who Will Fight Me and Snowy Night voiced their doubts in unison. They were doubting the Martial God’s individual prowess and ability to command, and not without good reason. During the previous Nation Wars, Candle Dragon had performed below expectations, and Candlelight Shadow himself hadn’t been able to show off his peak form.
The timing of what happened next couldn’t be anymore perfect. A system announcement suddenly dinged across the sky, and it was—
System Announcement: Player "Candlelight Shadow" (China) used an Ancient Divine Skill Scroll and obtained the SSS Rank Ancient Divine Skill, "Pangu’s Axe”. They’ve successfully entered the Heavenly River Realm and gained Heavenly River Transformation and Domain!
Pangu’s Axe (SSS Rank): Increases user's Attack by 165%. Deal Shocking Strike to all targets within 30 yards in front of you. 75% chance to stun a target for 15 seconds. Cooldown: 120 seconds. Cost: 50% MP
I felt a bit dumbfounded as I stared at the sky. It looked like Candlelight Shadow’s patient suffering had finally borne fruit in the form of the SSS Rank Ancient Divine Skill, Pangu’s Axe. It was another top-tier skill on the same level as my Xuanyuan Slash. While its attack power and attack range were inferior to mine, the 75% chance to stun the targets who were hit by the skill was still very OP. Candlelight Shadow’s Attack was high enough that practically no one could survive a 15-second stun. You were dead if he managed to land the Pangu’s Axe.
"So? Do you still doubt Candlelight Shadow’s strength now?"
Zhang Chun was Candlelight Shadow’s old friend, and his happiness was evident on his face. "Fang Zhuo, my boy! He’s been fighting for 72 hours straight, and it cost him almost a thousand Candle Dragon experts, but all that sacrifice wasn’t in vain after all! With this, the China server gains yet another super skill!"
I nodded in agreement. "Candlelight Shadow’s ascension is deserving of a celebration. Still, isn’t the price a bit too huge, uncle? You said it cost him almost a thousand Candle Dragon experts?"
Zhang Chun shrugged. "Well, Fang Zhuo’s philosophy on things is different from yours. If you are the Benevolent, then Candlelight Shadow’s the Tyrant. He will not care about such minor losses. Plus, let’s not forget that there are only 99 Ancient Divine Skills in total. There are probably more servers than there are Ancient Divine Skills, and around 20 of them are confirmed to be in our possession. That’s plenty amazing already. Finally, only the China server has 2 SSS Rank Ancient Divine Skills, and now they’re in your and Candlelight Shadow’s possession. That’s about as fair as it gets."
I wet my dry lips and said, "Yeah, I guess you’re right. Anyway, we should set the assault on tomorrow at 9 am. For today at least, Candlelight Shadow deserves all the rest he can get. Seriously, is his bladder made of steel or what? 72 hours online is just…"
Zhang Chun couldn’t help but chuckle a bit and slap me on the shoulder. "What’s a bladder compared to revenge? And what kind of gaming professional can’t discipline their bladder like a soldier?"
"That’s so vulgar, uncle…"
Snowy Night: "You’re all vulgar…"
Who Will Fight Me laughed. "No need to pay attention to the ugly details this time. Anyway, now that China has two SSS Rank Ancient Divine Skills, we are assured that this assault won’t end in failure. Let’s all do our best tomorrow, people!"
After bidding everyone goodbye, Zhang Chun and I walked back to Sky City instead of using a teleport scroll. Our cloaks flapped loudly to the strong wind around us.
Zhang Chun said, "I like planning ahead, so I’m going to station Pop Culture, Righteousness and more guilds at Fortress of the Iron Halberd and Dragonbone Mountain Range tonight. As usual, I’ll take charge of the defense, and you the offense."
I nodded smilingly. "Got it. My plan to retake Wind City is simple, really. I’m going to take out the four teleportation formations with assassins or flying mounts the instant the Nation War begins. Sieges are much easier when the enemy cannot just replenish their numbers with an infinite amount of troops. Also, considering the current state of things, I doubt the USA will dare to station too many troops in Wind City. In fact, I have good reason to believe that the city will either be isolated… or even empty when we get there."
Zhang Chun grinned. "Good, good. Who doesn’t like retaking a main city in a bloodless manner? Once this is over, we’ll take the fight to the Northern Alliance and make them have a taste of the panic we felt back then."
I nodded in agreement. "The USA server has always been smart enough to keep the flames of war away from their territory though. Not this time though. They either defend their homeland to the death, or they surrender. There will be no third option."
Zhang Chun grew even more pleased. "Good, good! This is the kind of war I love to fight!"
I shot him a glance. "By the way, uncle, I heard that Tang Feng has promoted you to the No.1 spot of the CGL committee, right? And if we win this Nation War, the VR department will give your organization a cash reward, right? I don’t want to put this too bluntly, but as a CGL Hall of Famer myself, I wouldn’t mind if we were paid some sort of salary for a job well done, if you get what I mean. Not all of us join the Hall of Fame purely for fame, you know?"
Zhang Chun looked surprised. "You really don’t mince your words, do you? This is the first time I heard anyone suggest something like this… fine. They say that the new boss cracks the whips three times, and it’d be a waste to let this opportunity slip by. I’ll hold a video conference with the committee later and check how much operating budget we have. Then, we’ll figure out your salary from there…"
I laughed. "You must be joking, uncle! Of all the e-sports organizations in our country, the CGL has got to be one of the wealthiest! Dozens of big and small offline tournaments are held every month, and the CGL is a sponsor in all of them. There’s no way you can’t afford to pay us a salary!"
Zhang Chun looked like he wasn’t sure if he wanted to laugh or cry. "You just can’t give me an easy task, can you? I bet you have no idea how hard it is to make those grandpas fish even a yuan out of their pockets, not to mention paying everyone in the CGL Hall of Fame a salary. Plus, it’s not like you guys are lacking in money. You’re all famous, flagship-level players of the game…"
I nodded. "Exactly. That’s why you had better pay us 100k per month at least. Otherwise, we may as well quit the CGL Hall of Fame and work as gong farmers. At least the latter pays faster…"
Zhang Chun: "..."
At around 8 pm or so, Zhang Chun sent me a surprising message: "Lu Chen, go check the CGL official website now. The committee has accepted my suggestion. Starting now, every CGL Hall of Famer will be paid a monthly salary, and the money will be transferred directly to your bank accounts. Are you satisfied now?"
I hurriedly browsed the CGL website. As he said, an emblazoned headline hung at the top of the home page: "New CGL Hall of Fame rules! Starting now, all CGL Hall of Famers will get paid a monthly salary! The money will be transferred directly to the players’ bank accounts!"
There was a Top 10 salary ranking below the title. Of course, my salary was the highest out of everyone—
No. 1 Broken Halberd Sinks Into Sand. Monthly Salary: 228730.2
No. 2 Wind Fantasy. Monthly Salary: 186553
No. 3 Candlelight Shadow. Monthly Salary: 150027.6
No. 4 Luo River God of the Capital. Monthly Salary: 147725.6
No. 5 Farewell Song. Monthly Salary: 139282.3
No. 6 Ling Xueshang. Monthly Salary: 122372.1
No. 7 Legendary Brave. Monthly Salary: 122037.2
No. 8 Moonkiss. Monthly Salary: 112273.5
No. 9 God’s Dance. Monthly Salary: 109274.2
No. 10 From Water. Monthly Salary: 107347.2
I was a bit stunned, to be honest. As the highest-ranked CGL Hall of Famer, I was paid a monthly salary of 220k RMB. Uncle Zhang Chun was the lowest-ranked, so his salary was only 31k. It also indirectly proved that he was a true man of integrity. If this was Tang Long, he would’ve demanded that he was paid at least half of my salary before he was satisfied. I was a bit confused with the mao (T/N: Chinese cent) at the back though. Why bother? Why not just make it a round number? So weird… (Author’s Note: You thought I would admit that I typed in the numbers at random??)
After I returned to Dark Moon City, I saw that Gui Guzi, Chaos Moon, Xu Yang and more were standing in front of the territory hall. I asked, "Xu Yang, you ascended yet?"
"Nope! I got one-shot by the boss, so…"
"It’s fine, Thirteen was even worse than I was. The boss wasn’t even aiming at him, hahaha…"
"What about Heavenly Rain and Diamond Dust?"
"They’re still trucking on with Beiming Xue…"
"Hmm, they’ve been online for too long already…"
"I know. They should be logging off anytime now. For now, it looks like Beiming Xue will have to be satisfied with just an S Rank skill. After all, there are only 20 SS Rank skills in total, the SSS Rank ones are beyond their ability to reach…"
I placed the Chill of the Nine Provinces on top of a brick and sat down on the doorsteps. Then, I beckoned everyone closer before asking, "Is everyone ready for tomorrow’s Nation War?"
Li Chengfeng nodded strongly. "All the Dragonlight Cavalry, Zephyr Cavalry and Dragonlight Archers have been notified of the operation. They will arrive at the Fortress of the Iron Halberd before 8 am before making a sharp turn for Wind City. With luck, it’ll all be over in an hour…"
"Yes, yes an hour sounds about right!" I said with a smile.
However, Xu Yang stared at us for a moment before asking, "Are you guys listening to yourselves? You guys think anyone can retake a main city IN AN HOUR?"
Li Chengfeng: "..."
Du Thirteen asked, "We should at least implement some tactics, right? How about we send an assassin or even Lu Chen himself to take out the teleportation formation NPCs first?"
I shook my head. "Nah, we can do this with a frontal assault. I was planning to test out Chill of the Nine Provinces and Xuanyuan Slash in a direct battle anyway…"
Gui Guzi smiled. "Fine, I suppose I can deign to test out Shennong Tastes Grass in a war as well. Just put me at the front of the siege!"
Xu Yang tried to maintain a serious expression, but in the end he grinned and said, "Fine, fine. Overwhelming force is my style too…"
Chaos Moon rolled her eyes. "Shameless bastards!"Previous Chapter Next Chapter