After digging for a while, a golden spark appeared as if the Purgatory Sword just hit something. I hurriedly pushed aside the rest of the soil until I saw the golden hilt of a sword. The symbol of the sun, moon, rain, and snow floated above the hilt. It was also surrounded by incomprehensible ancient runes.
“Is this the Blade of Kings?” He Yi dropped to one knee and observed the sword closely.
I nodded. “Most likely. Time to pull it out and teach Cardin The Third a lesson.”
I grabbed the hilt and pulled strongly. To my surprise, the sword didn’t budge in the slightest!
But how was this possible? I had allocated all my stat points into Strength, and combined with my current equipment, I had over 500 Strength in total. This sword couldn’t possibly be so heavy that not even 500 Strength was enough to lift it, right?
He Yi clicked her tongue once before smiling. “Why don’t you dig deeper? Maybe something’s keeping the Blade of Kings in place.”
I continued digging until the sword was completely unearthed. As it turned out, the reason I couldn’t pull out the Blade of Kings was because it was a sealed weapon. It was suspended vertically in midair and surrounded by a hexagram formation. It had wrapped around the Blade of Kings like a spider web and affixed it to the ground!
Murong Mingxue asked, “What should we do now?”
I gritted my teeth and said, “What else? I’m going to pull it out of the seal by force!”
I rose to my feet and put away the Purgatory Sword. Then, I grabbed the hilt of the Blade of Kings with both hands, planted my feet firmly on the ground and pulled with almost all the strength inside my body!
Some of the shackles between the magic formation and the sword were shredded thanks to my efforts. Still, I was positively sweating from the exertion, and I felt like I was trying to lift a thousand-kilogram rock. Veins popping on the sides of my head, I growled, “Goddammit, would you come out already!”
The blade abruptly came free in one smooth motion. It was supposed to be a joyous occasion, but we were all distracted by a sudden earthquake that rocked the entire Floating Ice City. Besides that, dark clouds came out of nowhere and blotted out the sky completely, and rays of bloody light shone down from above, enveloping us.
The Blade of Kings was shining with a golden light. It was also letting out a hum that suggested that it was very excited for some reason. A closer look revealed that it was a stat-less quest item just like the Devil Suppressing Sword.
The girls were surprised by the unnatural scene to say the least. Staring at the bloody light in the sky, He Yi narrowed her eyes and said worriedly, “Things just got real, Lu Chen…”
Beiming Xue grabbed my arm while nodding in agreement. “Big bro, did we just trigger something huge?”
Instead of replying, I raised the Blade of Kings to the air. It fired a beam of golden light into the sky, penetrating the clouds blocking its path and bringing a bit of light back to the darkened city. A ding that reverberated throughout Floating Ice City immediately followed the phenomenon.
System Announcement: Players “Broken Halberd Sinks Into Sand”, “From Water”, “Murong Mingyue”, and “Beiming Xue” have successfully reactivated the Blade of Kings, causing a massive change to overcome Floating Ice City. If they succeed, the game will undergo a 10-hour maintenance, and begin a new story chapter “Return of the King”. Upon failure, the players will lose 3 levels and all of their Reputation!
“Fuck!” I was dumbfounded by the lines of text I was reading. “These game devs are so shameless! There’s no way we could’ve known that a quest would trigger a Floating Ice City update patch! It’s GG if we fail to complete this quest now…”
A small smile appeared on He Yi’s face. “Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s attack the royal palace and kill Cardin The Third before it’s too late! If we fail, we’ll lose levels and Princess Karinshan won’t be able to come back to life. We need to take responsibility for our actions!”
Nodding affirmatively, I ran toward the palace with the girls right behind me.
The Blade of Kings was a stat-less quest item that was only useful against Cardin The Third, so I put it away and took out my Purgatory Sword once more.
The name of the patch was “Return of the King”. Naturally, it had to be referring to Princess Karinshan. She was a royal princess and an outstanding commander of the human race. Once the Undead Magus Cardilla was killed, it wasn’t hard to imagine that Princess Karinshan would take over as the new ruler of Floating Ice City.
As it turned out, the sky wasn’t the only thing that changed after the Blade of Kings was pulled out. The names of all the guards standing guard outside the palace hall had turned blood-red in color, meaning that they were all the puppets of the Night Creatures. It was impossible to kill Cardin The Third without going through them first.
Beiming Xue asked, “Should we kill them one by one or all at once?”
I gritted my teeth before replying, “It’ll take too long if we kill them one by one. Summon your pets and find a choke point!”
To my surprise, He Yi pointed toward the east and said, “There’s a triangular space at the edge of that fountain. If we stand at the edges, we can force them to approach us from one direction only!”
I nodded while feeling glad on the inside. It looked like all that grinding did improve He Yi’s gaming skills after all.
I instructed the girls to get into position while the Dark Wasp and I aggroed the mobs. The Death Shade War Boots boosted my movement speed by 4%, so my job was a lot easier, especially since the guards weren't particularly fast to begin with.
I weaved in and out of the hordes of mobs like a shade as my bloody cape fluttered behind me. Drawing aggro was a skill that demanded great foresight and decisiveness, especially when luring a huge number of mobs. An unskilled and hesitant player could very easily walk to their death and drag their entire party down with them.
A few minutes later, I had successfully aggroed most of the guards who were protecting the palace. There were at least thousands of them, and every single one had red eyes and an evil aura that marked them as a puppet. Frankly, they could be mistaken as skeletons if they didn’t still have a human body.
I skidded to a stop next to He Yi and positioned the Dark Wasp where I wanted it to. It was time to activate the meat grinder!
When the horde of guards were about to hit us, Beiming Xue kickstarted the counterattack by firing an Evil Spirit Volley. The explosions of evil energy dealt an insane amount of splash damage caused the guards to let out painful screams.
The Floating Ice City Traitor Guard was a Level 80 elite mob with 900 Attack, 600 Defense and 24000 HP. As expected of elite NPCs, they were much stronger than your usual Level 80 monsters. Their 900 Attack especially could pose a threat even to me.
Clang clang clang!
I took three consecutive hits to the shoulder, each strike dealing around 300 damage. I had lost almost a thousand health in a single bout. Thankfully, Murong Mingyue was right behind me, so close that I could literally feel her softness pressing up against my back. A couple of quick heals later, I was back to full health once more!
It would be impolite not to reciprocate their “kindness”, so I immediately raised my sword and activated Thousand Mirage Slash!
The sword beam split into seven and fell on top of the horde. A series of damage numbers appeared above their heads—
The skill dealt both direct damage and splash damage, so every mob caught within the blast took way more damage than one might’ve expected, losing over 10k HP in one go. It was such a ridiculous amount of damage that the girls’ mouth fell open in shock.
Murong Mingyue: “Oof, Lu Chen is seriously OP. He’s a warrior, but he has an AoE skill that also deals splash damage because of his weapon. Right now, Wind Fantasy is probably the only player in the entire Floating Ice City who can match up to him. If we were to upload a video to the forums, I’m sure that a lot of warriors would want to kill themselves in shame.”
Beiming Xue laughed. “Well, it’s a good thing that big bro is strong. I wouldn’t have come all the way here to join him otherwise~~”
He Yi didn’t say anything, but the beautiful smile on her face was enough to bewitch a man for a very, very long time.
While fending off the seemingly endless horde of enemies, a chill suddenly entered my arm without warning. I immediately swung my weapon in front of me!
The guards were all going to die anyway, but the poor guy in front of me now was especially unlucky. Purgatory Slash dealt even more damage than the Thousand Mirage Slash, so one mighty attack later almost all the guards in front of me collapsed to a sea of both direct and splash attacks. An innumerable amount of EXP entered my body and visibly filled up my EXP bar!
Everyone was happy with how fast our experience was soaring up. Murong Mingyue let out a laugh and said, “From here on, the Frost Cloud workshop should grind together more often and work to place all our members among the Top 100 in China!”
I checked my ranking. Right now, I was Level 78, and my experience bar was 72% full. Although I was number one in Floating Ice City, I was only 7th in all of China. The first spot currently belonged to Luo River God of the Capital, who sat at Level 79 and 23% experience. Her level was higher than even Candlelight Shadow’s!
As I thought, China’s server was crawling with hidden talents. They might be nameless at this stage of the game, but once the global wars began they could absolutely destroy any small cities unfortunate enough to place next to theirs, and even stand equal to the strongest nations out there. I had full confidence that these hidden players would be able to carve a foothold for themselves, at the very least.
Still, this ranking was useful for comparing player levels, but not much else. For example, I’m sure that the best players of Candle Dragon were doing their best to grind their levels right now, and some of them might even outstrip Lin Yixin in this regard. But in an actual fight, their leader, Candlelight Shadow himself, might be the only player in their entire guild who could fight our Fruit Knife Goddess head-on. It had already been proven that their so-called Tempest War God or Blue Sky War God were no match for our Lin Yixin at all.
Besides that, I had every reason to believe that there were many more godly players besides Lin Yixin who were training in the mountains—metaphorically speaking—and building up their strength silently. Although they hadn’t entered the CGL Hall of Fame, they were at least as good as any active CGL Hall of Famer. Finally, the game was just beginning, and anything could happen during this time. I suspected that the list of CGL Hall of Famers was going to change drastically once we entered the late stage of the game. For example, I had no doubt that Lin Yixin was going to become a CGL Hall of Famer.
Coincidentally, Lin Yixin sent me a message while I was thinking about her: “OMG, did you actually trigger an update patch, Lu Chen?”
“Man, you’re so lucky. Don’t forget to bring me with you next time!”
“Well, we’ll see…”
She sent me a pout emoji to express her dissatisfaction. Then, she fell silent and went back to grinding.
We were still killing the guards blocking our way when a melodious ring resounded across the gray sky of Floating Ice City again.
System Announcement: All Floating Ice City players, please be informed that Princess Karinshan of Floating Ice City has broken her seal and awakened from her slumber. The war to quell the insurgency begins now!Previous Chapter Next Chapter