Chapter 132: Tempest Shadow

Xue Wei sucked in a deep breath and pointed at the forest. “You’ve probably seen it with your own eyes, but the reason we spent half a year building a poor fortress like this was to recover our homeland and rebuild the Violet Empire on the soil of Eternal Song Forest!”

“You want to recover your homeland?” I asked in surprise.

“That’s right!” Xue Wei watched Queen Sophia’s departing back seriously before continuing, “Did you know that Sophia used to be the princess of the Violet Empire? Unfortunately, even she was turned into a Night Creature during the invasion that destroyed the empire. But we didn’t surrender our souls to the darkness.”

Xue Wei clenched her fists and declared, “That is why we wish to return to our homeland and drive out all the evil creatures that occupy Eternal Song Forest. We will build a new undead country where there is no killing or oppression. There will only be eternal power and law.”

I opened the map before saying, “Eternal Song Forest is huge, but it is located between Floating Ice City and Sky City. You must be aware that both of these cities are under control of the Silver Moon Alliance, right? Founding a country here would be like digging a hole on another person’s land. Moreover, Sky City is a huge city that belongs to humans. Did Her Majesty not realize that her dream, grand as it is, won’t be easy to make true?”

Xue Wei smiled. “Of course she did. That’s why Her Majesty sent me to speak with the current monarch of Sky City. The good news is, my diplomatic quest was a relatively successful one. The Silver Moon Alliance and Blood Dance Alliance agreed that we share the same short-term objective, and that is to repel the Night Creature Legion’s invasion. Not only would our efforts to rebuild the Violet Empire go undisturbed, they might even send us aid once in a while.”

I nodded with a smile. “How peaceful. It’s just like me visiting Mad Dragon and showing Coldmoon Rose the care she deserves every once in a while…”

“...”

Unsure how to respond, Xue Wei changed the topic and said, “Anyway, what I wanted to tell you is that we’ve sent our army to take out the evil undeads who inhabit this land. However, we are seriously lacking in manpower right now, so I would like you to assist in the effort as well!”

“Tell me!”

Xue Wei pointed at the forest. “A huge number of undead swordsmen have appeared inside Eternal Song Forest, and these well-trained undeads are very powerful. I need you to head there, kill 200 undead swordsmen and collect 40 Skeletal Fingers for me!”

Ding~!

System Notice: Do you accept the quest [The Threat in Eternal Song Forest]? (Quest Rank: A+)

Description: Head to Eternal Song Forest and kill at least 200 undead swordsmen. Bring 40 Skeletal Fingers to Shadow Dancer Xue Wei for a generous reward!

...

Xue Wei stopped talking to me after that. A couple of officers walked up to her and reported in a respectful tone, “My lord, we have intercepted a batch of supplies that comes from the southeast province!”

Xue Wei nodded. “Add them to our warehouses!”

“Yes, my lord!”

I guess I no longer have any business here. Time to go do my quest!

I checked out my character screen and saw that a new faction-based military rank window had appeared. Right now, I was just an insignificant Skeleton Soldier at the bottom of the hierarchy.

Skeleton Soldier 

Kill Points: 0 Positive Effect: Reduces experience required to level up by 1%

Skeleton Horseman 

Kill Points: 150 Positive Effect: Reduces experience required to level up by 2%

Steel Guardian 

Kill Points: 400 Positive Effect: Reduces experience required to level up by 3%

Ash Knight 

Kill Points: 1000 Positive Effect: Reduces experience required to level up by 5%

Phantom Knight 

Kill Points: 2500 Positive Effect: Reduces experience required to level up by 7%

Huntsman 

Kill Points: 7000 Positive Effect: Reduces experience required to level up by 9%

Bloody General 

Kill Points: 20000 Positive Effect: Reduces experience required to level up by 11%

Netherworld Knight 

Kill Points: 50000 Positive Effect: Reduces experience required to level up by 13%

Shadow God General 

Kill Points: 120000 Positive Effect: Reduces experience required to level up by 15%

……

I was stunned. Nine military ranks? Although the effect wasn’t particularly impressive, especially at the beginning—even at the highest level, it only granted the player a 15% EXP reduction—it was still pretty useful at the late game. For example, assuming that I and another player were grinding at the same speed, it would take me 85 days to level up, and it would take the other 100 days.

Moreover, I gotta say, these titles sound pretty cool, especially Huntsman, Netherworld Knight and Shadow God General. It was the perfect prefix to have when dating girls.

…Or not, actually. It seemed like all the beautiful women around me were immune to this kind of stuff. For example, He Yi was the Asia Region Vice President of the GGS company. She was immune to fancy-sounding titles since a long time ago. Lin Yixin was famously known as the Fruit Knife Goddess. Considering her naming sense, it didn’t take a genius to know that she cared little about titles as well. Murong Mingyue might actually like this, but unfortunately for me, my love for her was completely platonic.

Anyway, it was time to stop fantasizing and get back to my quest. I needed to accumulate “Kill Points” to increase my military rank, and I had a feeling that it was given when a quest related to the Blood Dance Alliance was complete. Once I completed this quest, I would know if my suspicion was correct or not.

……

The only thing present in Eternal Song Forest was a terrifying silence.

The Level 70 elite mobs were like mines that only triggered when you entered their territory, so I had no choice but to roam the forest aimlessly like a ghost. That being said, I had killed enough undead swordsmen to know their behavior, and could secure a kill without any danger. At the beginning, I wasn’t able to kill a Level 70 elite mob without it chewing out a huge chunk of HP from the Dark Wasp. But now, neither of us dropped below 75% HP anymore.

I felt a bit bored as time passed by, so I brought up my friend list to see if there was anyone I could chat with. But Murong Mingyue and Beiming Xue were busy, and after looking around for a bit the ID “Wind Fantasy” kept drawing my eyes like a magnet. In the end, I gave up trying to resist and contacted her.

I sent Lin Yixin a message: “Hi, beauty!”

Lin Yixin replied in no time: “Hi, gangster!”

“...”

When I was done being stupefied by her reply, I sent her a voice call request which she accepted immediately. Her sweet voice immediately entered my ears.

“Hey, you doing okay?”

“Huh? What do you mean?”

Lin Yixin smiled. “Normally, I’m the one who contacts you, not the other way around. So? What is it that you want to talk about?”

My heart skipped a beat. “I-it’s nothing. I just wanted to hear your voice, that’s all…”

“Why does it sound like you have an ulterior motive?” Lin Yixin’s voice grew wary.

“Haha, what are you saying…”

Suddenly, I heard a rustling sound from the other side of the call. Occasionally, I could hear some ugly ugly squeals and the sound of metal cutting into flesh as well.

So I asked, “What are you doing, Yiyi?”

“Grinding levels, of course~” She smiled again. “Level 69 Giant Goblins are such a pain in the ass to kill. That being said, they give a lot of EXP…”

“Goblins, huh…”

“Yep. Do you want to join me?”

“I-it’s fine…”

Smiling, I was about to give her a reply when I suddenly felt a wind rushing toward me. Alarm bells immediately rang all over my head. I think a pro has sneaked up on me!

Thud!

My shoulder burned hot and painful as a bright spear cut sliced through the flesh. The fiery glow on the metal made it clear that it was the signature skill of a Magic Knight, Flame Thrust!

398!

I instantly lost a chunk of my HP. What a powerful attack!

I slid two steps to the right and dodged the next attack with practiced ease. Then, I abruptly turned around and ordered the Dark Wasp to enter battle mode. However, a burst of fire caught me off-guard and hit me squarely in the chest!

Pap pap pap pap!

157!

173!

161!

168!

I instantly took another 600 damage or so and fell to half HP. I couldn’t believe how much HP I lost even though I had Ghost Deity Armor on at all times. The enemy must have a lot of Attack!

Finally, I got a clear look at my attackers. The one who landed multiple attacks on me was a pet, more specifically a fearsome-looking Wildfire Greedy Wolf. Its owner was a magic knight wrapped inside a black cloak and holding a spear. The man looked like he was about 30 years old, and he was grinning at me with a cold look on his face. The text hovering above his head stated:

Tempest Shadow LV-61 Silver Knight

……

As it turned out, I was ambushed by a third-promotion player. Worse, the dragon on the magic knight’s shoulder was an emblem I was all too familiar with. Could he be Tempest Shadow, a key general of Candle Dragon—the number one guild of the China server—and the legendary Tempest War God?

A closer look later, my suspicion was more and less confirmed!

Tempest Shadow was a powerful player who moved from Korea to China to serve under Candlelight Shadow. He spent half a year in competitive e-sports before moving on to VRMMO games. Today, he was one of the most popular players in the China server!

But why was he here? I thought both Tempest Shadow and Candlelight Shadow were in another tier 2 city.

Glug!

I drank a health potion and recovered most of my HP. Perhaps he thought that it was beneath him to interrupt me, but Tempest Shadow simply watched and sneered at me. “I heard that there were two top-tier pros in Floating Ice City called Wind Fantasy and Broken Halberd Sinks Into Sand, but I’m disappointed. Your reaction speed is much slower than the Martial God’s!”

I gave him a smile and asked, “Tempest Shadow, did you spend seven to eight hours traveling all the way from Dawn City just to duel against me and Wind Fantasy?”

“That’s right!” An arrogant smile crept onto Tempest Shadow’s face. “All the number ones in the China server belong to our guild, and you are nowhere near good enough to challenge a pro like Candlelight Shadow. You and Wind Fantasy will learn the gap that separates you and Heavenly King experts once I defeat the both of you!”

I couldn’t help but laugh with scornful eyes when I heard his declaration.

Tempest Shadow asked coldly, “What are you laughing at?”

I said calmly, “Did you just try calling Candlelight Shadow a Heavenly King?”

“What? He is a Heavenly King, isn’t he?”

Tempest Shadow was a diehard worshipper of Candlelight Shadow, or he wouldn’t have left Korea for China in the first place. Still, I had to admit that he wasn’t all bark and no bite.

I looked him in the eye and said slowly, “I've been playing Eternal Moon Corporation’s games for ten years, and I can tell you that there are only two Heavenly Kings I truly respect from the bottom of my heart: The first one is Lin Fan, and the second one is Frivolous Scholar. Candlelight Shadow doesn’t deserve to be called a Heavenly King, let alone someone like you!”

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