About three in the morning, the system notified with a ding: Congratulations, your guild has successfully reached Rank 2!
Okay, we finally managed to reach Rank 2 after grinding for an entire night. The player limit was increased to 1000 members, and we could finally recruit on a large scale!
He Yi had a pleased expression and said with a smile, "Alright, the guild has enough experience. Prepare to go offline and rest. We will recruit in Floating Ice City tomorrow and first fill all 1000 spots!"
"Yes!" I nodded and took out a city return scroll.
After returning to Floating Ice City, I went to the inn to go offline. He Yi sent over a message: "Should I go to your room or will you come to mine?"
I thought and responded, "I will go to yours.”
I took off my helmet after going offline and walked out of the room.
The hallways were quiet at night. I was slightly afraid. If someone saw me sneaking into our beautiful boss’s room at night, what would they think?
I lightly knocked on the door. He Yi quickly opened and a beautiful face appeared in front of me with a smile. "Come in."
After just half a day, He Yi's room had become unusually clean. It looked like a room from a high-end hotel, but the bed was slightly messy with piles of clothes atop. It appeared she hadn't had the time to put them away.
He Yi opened the fridge and took out frozen dumplings. Fuck, she really called me over to eat dumplings!
I sat anxiously on the sofa by the window and looked at He Yi's back. I felt extremely emotional. Was this beautiful woman the person I missed this past month or so?
I had to say that He Yi was an exceptional woman. Just a simple shirt and a tight skirt made her so alluring. Her hair poured down from her shoulders, her neck was long and white, and the skin above her collar was white. Her twin peaks seemed like they would burst from her shirt and her short skirt wrapped around a beautiful body with voluptuous curves.
I couldn't help but turn my gaze away. If I didn’t, I’m afraid my breathing would turn erratic.
Suddenly, there was noise next to me as He Yi sat down and said with a smile, "What’s up, not feeling good?"
"I’m okay.” I turned to look at He Yi. My heart beat rapidly. This feeling was strange, and oddly similar to when I was together with Lin Yixin.
He Yi looked at me, her beautiful eyes hiding complex emotions.
Her eyes became misty. He Yi looked at me, tears slipping down her face, her eyes full of grief and resentment.
I panicked. "Boss, you...”
He Yi bent her head to wipe her tears and then looked at me. Her tears still continued to roll down. She looked at me and sobbed. "Do you know how worried I was these days? I... I thought you were gone...”
Quietly, I said, "Sorry...”
He Yi suddenly stood up, still full of resentment. "Du Thirteen knew you were alive, Mingyue knew you were alive. They all knew you were alive, only I was kept in the dark. You colluded together to lie to me! Was it... fun?"
I stood up and kept apologizing. "Boss, we didn't do it on purpose. Sorry...”
He Yi bit her lips and sat down in the corner. She hugged her legs and buried her face in her arms as she sobbed.
My feelings could only be called complex. While I had hoped to protect her and Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls, the things I’d done hard harmed both her and myself.
Walking next to He Yi, I slowly bent down, and opened my arms to hug her shoulders. I whispered, "It's all in the past. No one will work together to deceive you from now on. Boss, don't cry, alright?"
He Yi continued to cry, as awfully as she had in the bar that night, as though she wanted to vent all her emotions.
After a long while, I sniffed. "Boss, your dumplings seem to be cooked...”
He Yi turned away and slowly stood up. She wiped her tears and said softly, "Right, you wait here.”
After a while, the dumplings were brought over and I was stunned.
"These are... rice balls?" I carefully asked.
He Yi put her hands on her hips. "Dumplings!"
"But they look round...”
"They are just round!"
"I've never seen frozen dumplings like these...”
"That is because you are ignorant~"
He Yi glared at me with her beautiful eyes. "Taste it, I worked so hard for an entire night to make them...”
"You made them?" I glared at her and said with a smile, "I thought you only knew how to make a public class...”
He Yi glared at me, her eyes murderous. "If you don't eat, I will immediately make you finalize!”
I shuddered. "I’ll eat, I’ll listen to boss!"
I took a bite and confirmed these were indeed dumplings with celery and beef stuffing. They were delicious and I ate a few more.
He Yi stood next to me with a smile. At some time, she silently bent down, her hands on my knees and extremely intimate to me.
At this time, the door suddenly opened—
Murong Mingyue appeared at the door, and stilled upon seeing the scene. But she walked in and said, "Heavens, you two still have the leisure to eat a night snack here?"
He Yi's smile faded and she asked, "Mingyue, what is it?"
Murong Mingyue had a panicked expression and said, "Stop talking, get online immediately, they’re fighting!"
"Fighting?" He Yi was bewildered. "Who is fighting who?"
"Spring Mud, Moon Shadow, and Night Sorrow have gathered about twenty people in the guild and are fighting with Xu Yang and the others at the clearing outside Floating Ice City's eastern gates. For some reason, everyone involved is from Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls, it is a mess!"
He Yi suddenly stood up, her face distorted with anger. "How dare they! Go online, immediately. Lu Chen, you too, we need you!"
I quickly put down the bowl and chopsticks and sprinted back to my room to go online!
After appearing in the inn, I charged toward the eastern gate without a word. At the same time, I accepted He Yi's party invite and found Murong Mingyue, Beiming Xue, and Gui Guzi already in the party. With me, the five of us were most likely the strongest five-person team our guild could muster.
I knew that the powerful return of Bloody Mercenaries would cause internal conflict, but I hadn't expected Spring Mud and the others to lose their composure so quickly and burn their ties now.
As quick as it may be, their motivations could be imagined. Spring Mud, Moon Shadow and Night Sorrow had originally planned to be the main support for Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls. At least, they would be the core force for the guild. But due to the return of Bloody Mercenaries, their status in the guild was challenged, and they finally exploded.
Their melee fighters, Spring Mud and Moon Shadow, were much weaker than me and Gui Guzi. Their archer, Night Sorrow, could not compare to Beiming Xue at all. The sudden return of Bloody Mercenaries violently crushed their dreams. If the situation was allowed to continue, they would join the ranks of cannon fodder, instead of generals!
On the bridge by the eastern gate, we met up. "Boss, you and Sister Mingyue in the rear, Gui Guzi and I will be at the front. Beiming Xue, pay attention to suppressing attacks. Do not attack first!"
Our group charged out of the gates. In the distance, there was a group of people at the border of Frost Forest, all of them with the Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls emblem!
He Yi followed me closely with her sword, her beautiful eyes filled with fury. She said coolly, "Lu Chen, I am promoting you to Vice Leader, you make all the decisions!"
The next moment, there was a ding—
System Notice: You have been promoted to Vice Leader!
The emblem on my shoulder changed along with my rank. It was much more majestic than an ordinary member’s!
At the clearing, Spring Mud, Moon Shadow, and Night Sorrow were leading a group of people and attacking another group of Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls members. The other group was led by Xu Yang, who had about 20 members behind him, all of them with low HP. Clearly, in terms of strength, Xu Yang could not compare to the three heads of the Ego workshop.
"Haha, Xu Yang, just admit defeat, why struggle?"
Spring Mud looked at Xu Yang with great disdain. "You cannot even be considered an average player. You want to grow Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls? Forget about it. I think that you should follow us and build a new guild. Then, maybe I will be in a good mood and reward you to be a leader of some small team, hahaha!"
Xu Yang's eyes were furious as he shouted, "You dog! You forgot how disheveled you were the day you came to Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls. Now you pull members of Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls to backstab us. I spit on you! I’ve seen shameless people, but I’ve never seen someone as low as you!"
Spring Mud's turned cold. "You idiot, die!"
As he spoke, Spring Mud's sword slowly produced threads of flame. This was his most accomplished skill—Blazing Sword. It swiped toward, seemingly unstoppable!
At this time, I arrived and immediately activated Charge!
Just as Blazing Sword was going to cut into Xu Yang's body, it suddenly turned to smoke as the skill power dissipated. Spring Mud entered a stunned state, his expression the picture of shock.
"Broken Halberd Sinks Into Sand?!"
Moon Shadow was shocked and took multiple steps back along with Night Sorrow!
I didn’t kill Spring Mud. I threw an Ice Ray at his chest, using a string of cold icicles to force him back!
I gave chase and swung Ghost Ice Soul. Pardon!
The large words flew up. Spring Mud's face was grave as he furiously moved back.
I didn’t give chase this time. If I wanted to kill Spring Mud right now, he wouldn’t escape my grasp.
I opened my hand, and the Dark Wasp was summoned. The Level 67 Dark Wasp was very strong, and could defeat a high-level well-equipped Level 70 warrior.
Xu Yang had a grateful expression. "Lu Chen, you're here!"
I nodded. "Yes, boss and Sister Mingyue are also here.”
The crowd made way, letting He Yi get close to the encirclement. She looked around coldly, I and Xu Yang moving to her left and right side respectively, like two bodyguards.
1. A programming joke. The raws had “BREAK CLOSE” which confused me, so I decided to change it up a little. Finalize() method is called as garbage disposal when a class is no longer referenced and thus destroyed. Deprecated since Java 9. The novel was actually written in 2010, so I’m taking full responsibility for making a slightly obsolete programming joke!