The flat grounds shook as we passed through Fortress of the Iron Halberd. I looked up and stared at the group of elite NPC archers on the walls for a moment. They were all succubi, and they were all clad in purple cloaks. Their sharp ears shivered, and their purple eyes watched the distance as they paid close attention to any sign of danger.
"This war is probably going to be a long one again…"
On the walls, an archer with a sword strapped to her waist said, "We Purple Bell Scout Battalion are the most elite archer legion in the empire, and we have been commanded by Her Majesty to guard this place. We mustn’t disappoint her, understand? No invader will be allowed to enter Dawn Valley as long as even one of us draws breath!"
The beautiful archer next to her giggled a bit. "You worry too much, big sis. This time, it’s our adventurers’ army who will be attacking another city. I highly doubt that Fortress of the Iron Halberd will come under any threat at all."
"I know. Still, don’t let down your guard. We’ll be keeping watch for 24 hours a day!"
I passed through the fortress gate and arrived at a windy plain. As my cloak flapped loudly to the wind, I licked my lips and declared with a grin, "Finally, our swords have reached the northern lands. We’ve waited for this day for too long already!"
Li Chengfeng kept pace with me as he asked, "The India server and Japan server are surprisingly quiet this time. What did Zhang Chun and you do?"
I smiled. "You make it sound like we did something shady or something. All we did was convince our allies at Chaotic 27, Frostsword City, Iron Horse City, and the three border cities at the southeast to invade Swallow Ear Canton, Elephant City and Cyan Earth City at the same time. That is why we are free to attack the Northern Alliance with our full strength."
Li Chengfeng clicked his tongue disdainfully. "I can’t believe you’re putting your trust in the Chaotic 27 after what they did to us. They are all a bunch of faithless and untrustworthy scum!"
"That’s a bit too absolute, man. There are no eternal friends, only eternal profit. We gifted them Seven Star City and sent them the reinforcements they needed to hold it. I’m sure they can figure out what will benefit them more as a long-term ally. Once we’ve driven the USA server further into the north, they will learn to respect our strength as well. If this still isn’t enough to teach them, we can always take back what we gifted away by force."
Li Chengfeng smiled. "Hmm, you’re definitely more well-versed in this kind of stuff than I am. Most of my skill points are dumped into my real job, you see. That being said, it’s never too late to learn new stuff, right?"
Suddenly, a system announcement dinged in the sky. As it turned out, another player had obtained an SSS Rank Ancient Divine Skill—
System Announcement: Player "Breeze and Rain" (India) used an Ancient Divine Skill Scroll and obtained the SSS Rank Ancient Divine Skill, "Asura Possession”. They’ve successfully entered the Heavenly River Realm and gained Heavenly River Transformation and Domain!
Asura Possession (SSS Rank): Summon an ancient god to possess the user. User’s Attack is increased by 100%. Attack, Defense and HP are massively increased for 15 seconds. Cooldown: 120 seconds. MP Cost: 50% MP.
"Fuck, Breeze and Rain did it? That guy is amazing as always…" I grimaced.
Li Chengfeng commented while staring at the sky, "Yeah. Anyone who can get an SSS Rank Ancient Divine Skill deserves that praise at least."
"That’s not what I’m talking about. Do you remember that he entered the Sky Vortex at the same time as me? That means he’s been online for 4 days straight. I can’t believe he’s still alive…"
Li Chengfeng curled his lips. "He’s probably using that newly developed life sustaining helmet that costs 500k RMB per unit then. It minimizes the energy usage of the body so that the user won’t starve to death or die from exhaustion even if they stay online for four, or even five days straight."
"Still, this is totally against the natural order. We shouldn’t try to emulate them. 72 hours max, and no more than that."
"That’s true. Man takes his law from the Earth; the Earth takes its law from Heaven; Heaven takes its law from the Tao. The law of the Tao is its being what it is . In the end, we all must follow the laws of nature. Those who try to defy the heavens are just begging to kill themselves…"
"Well said, well said…" I praised.
Beside us, Chaos Moon finally lost her cool and spat, "‘Tao is its being what it is’ my ass, like you two shameless bastards understand anything about Tao! We should be discussing the details of Breeze and Rain’s skill!"
He Yi chuckled. "Well, Asura Possession is similar to Beauty Lin’s Gan Jiang and Mo Ye and my Chengying and Hanguang, except a lot better. For 15 seconds, all of Breeze and Rain’s attacks and skills ignore Guard and invincibility skills, since it is an Ancient Divine Skill. While it lacks the destructive power of the Xuanyuan Slash and Pangu’s Axe, its sustained DPS is much higher."
"Yeah. You’d all better watch out if you encounter Breeze and Rain next time. As of now, not even I can survive Soul Capture + Asura Possession combo…"
Li Chengfeng raised his Dark Blade and said carelessly, "Whatever, I’m not a Heavenly River player yet anyway, so it’s not my problem~"
"You’re getting inside the Sky Vortex right after this Nation War is over."
Chaos Moon blinked once before saying, "Found it. On the first day the Sky Vortex opened, around two thousand players had completed their eighth-promotion quests. That number grew to 7k+000 plus on the second day, 20k+ on the third day, and 50k+ on the fourth day. Long story short, more and more players are becoming eighth-promotion everyday. I expect you to meet considerable resistance when you enter the Sky Vortex, so make sure you bring as many Dragonlight Cavalrymen with you as possible, Li Chengfeng."
The dragon warrior nodded. "No problem. Just watch me summon the storm in the Ruins of the Gods…"
Another new system announcement rang at this moment and informed us that another world class player had entered the Heavenly River Realm too—
System Announcement: Player "Tear Stain" (Korea) used an Ancient Divine Skill Scroll and obtained the SS Rank Ancient Divine Skill, "Yemaek Slash". They’ve successfully entered the Heavenly River Realm and gained Heavenly River Transformation and Domain!
Yemaek Slash (SS Rank): Increases user's Attack by 100%. Summon the god of the ancient Yemaek and deal a powerful strike to all targets within 20 yards, immobilizing them for 3 seconds. Cooldown: 120 seconds. MP Cost: 50%.
I looked at the sky and said, "Tear Stain ascended as well…"
"An SS Rank Ancient Divine Skill…" Li Chengfeng licked his lips before commenting, "What’s with the name though? Yemaek Slash? Ugh, that sounds so disgusting …"
He Yi checked the database before smiling. "Korea doesn’t have many myths and legends that are totally unique to their country, which is why they didn’t have an SSS Rank Ancient Divine Skill of their own. This Yemaek Slash is probably a reference to their ancestors during the BC period called the Yemaek Tribe."
I looked to the front before bringing up the map screen. "I want the troops to march faster and reach Hot Sand City within half an hour. Ideally, we want to conquer it in 24 hours tops. Greedy Wolf City, Earth Tiger City and Proud Dragon City are strong, but they can’t pin down both Cyan Earth City and Swallow Ear Canton for long."
Li Chengfeng voiced his doubts. "Turkey and Pakistan both have massive populations and playerbases, right? Surely they can keep Cyan Earth City busy for 24 hours at least?"
"You never know. What I do know is that the faster we end this, the smaller the chance things can go wrong. Right now the entire continent is stuck in Nation War mode, and those who die during this time won’t be able to log back into the game until the war is over. I’m worried they’ll intercept our main forces on the plains and pull off their kill-all strategy again. If they succeed, our war of vengeance will have to end prematurely."
"Very well. We’ll do our best!"
After communicating with Stranger of Three Lifetimes, Lin Yixin, Ling Xueshang, Warsky, Candlelight Shadow and the other guild leaders, everyone agreed to speed things up. The cavalry, mages and archers would travel at full speed, meaning that the siege units would be left behind temporarily. The sooner we reached Hot Sand City, the higher our chance of taking it. We were in the hinterlands of the Northern Alliance already. It would be folly to grow careless now of all times.
As our hooves thundered across the plains, the weather grew hot and stuffy. Heat waves could be seen everywhere, and it looked like the dry grass could burst into flames at any moment.
Warsky Alliance acted as the vanguard this time; their 70k Frostscale Cavalry riding at the forefront with Warsky and Laughing At the Heavens. Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls and Snowy Cathaya’s parties were right behind them.
We soon entered a canyon area where we must pass through a narrow valley in order to reach the forest on the opposite entrance. Right behind the forest was the magnificent-looking golden city of Hot Sand City. It looked like a golden fortress surrounded by a sea of greens from where we were.
I manifested the Ancient Divine Dragon and soared above Warsky Alliance’s formation. Then, I called out to Warsky, "There’s probably going to be an ambush here! Slow down your pace and send out more scouts!"
Warsky replied, "Don’t worry! The Frostscale Cavalry can handle anything!"
However, a commotion erupted right after the words left his mouth. It was a series of explosions that caused the earth to quake dangerously. As it turned out, a ton of bombs had been set up across the valley floor, and the 20000 Frostscale Cavalrymen who were unfortunate enough to stumble right into them hadn’t had a good time to say the least. It was the Assassin class’s eighth-promotion skill, Trap. That skill + bombs equals tons of damage!
At the same time, enemy archers rose up from the bushes on both sides of the canyon and Far Shot their Skypiercers, Spiraling Arrow Blades and more. The wounded Frostscale Cavalrymen had already lost a couple hundred thousand HP to the Trap skill, so they were unable to endure the archers’ arrow rain at all.
The players lying in ambush on the two sides of the mountain range belonged to none other than the number one guild of Vietnam, The Storm. The Level 214 Eye of the Storm raised his battle axe and declared loudly on his mount, "Cavalry, charge! Time to teach the Chinese how it feels to be ambushed!"
I soared higher and saw what the enemy was doing. About a million players were taking part in this ambush, and the elite riders of The Storm, Daybreaker and more big guilds were flooding toward us from everywhere inside the canyon. It looked like they intended to wipe us out and keep the bulk of our forces outside of it.
Warsky licked his lips and inquired October Rain’s opinion, "What do we do, Little Rain?"
October Rain smiled and said, "Send the assassins and archers to stealth over to the enemy and kill them all. You and the Qiu Beast Cavalry should launch a frontal assault against the enemy from the front as well. We can’t let the Dragonlight Cavalry fight this kind of battle. They’re our trump cards, not the cannon fodder…"
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