Chapter 245: Flexible

Three rounds of drinks later.

Gui Guzi put an arm around my shoulders and asked me, "Boss, the new patch should be out very soon. Have you checked the expansion yet?"

I nodded. "Mn, they’ve leaked some of the information ahead of time."

"Oh?" He Yi moved closer. Even Du Thirteen, Chaos Moon, and Beiming Xue was asking, "What is it about, exactly?"

"Fuck, why are you asking me? Can’t you just check it yourself?"

"Of course we can’t! We don’t have access to the private data!"

Chaos Moon complained, "Eternal Moon Corporation has always been tight-lipped about their data, and even when they loosened up they never revealed more than the tip of the iceberg. Officially, information regarding the ‘World Famous Generals’ patch is only going to be revealed after the servers go back up, but I heard that CGL Hall of Famers can access them earlier in their private databases."

He Yi nodded in agreement. "That’s right, we normal players don’t get to have such a privilege. Since your new ID has been updated in the CGL Hall of Fame, you are the only one in Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls who can read them."

I couldn’t help but grin proudly. "Fuck me, I didn’t realize I’m that awesome…"

Rolling her eyes at my antics, He Yi prodded me with her shoulder before urging, "Less flaunting, more talking. Everyone’s waiting!"

"Mn!"

I nodded and drained the contents of my glass in one go. Then, I began explaining, "They call this 1.20 update the ‘World Famous Generals’ patch, but in reality it’s just the introductory chapter to the actual expansion, ‘Contest of the Generals’. As for what new things this patch introduces, well, you all know that only tacticians can use Stratagems, right? But in this new patch, 5 stratagem slots will be unlocked to all players who are above Level 80. This means that even non-Tactician players can learn up to 5 Stratagems in total."

Gui Guzi exclaimed in surprise. "Fuck! Does that mean even non-Tactician players can become leaders and Encourage the whole party?"

I nodded with a smile. "That’s right, that’s the gist of it. Therefore, this patch is a boon to all non-Tactician players! However, don’t forget that Stratagems can only be learned after you meet certain requirements. If I remember correctly, your Tactics stat needs to be at 20 for the Level 20 Stratagem, Encourage, and 40 for the Level 50 Intimidate. Other classes have barely any Tactics to speak of, so it won’t be easy to fulfill these requirements.”"

Du Thirteen spat. "Fuck, this is bullshit! I’m almost Level 70 and my Tactics is still a big fat zero, fuck~~"

I laughed. "I know right? My own Tactics is a big fat zero because I wasn’t trying to collect equipment that gives Tactics. From here on, we’re going to have to watch out for top-tier items with Tactics bonuses."

Beiming Xue giggled. "Tactics, huh? Speaking of which, I have a Level 65 Dark Gold–grade ring that adds 12 Tactics. Does that mean I can become the party leader and use Encourage on everyone? Yay~~"

I couldn’t stop myself from chuckling. "Of course you can. But if I’m not mistaken, the drop rate of equipment that gives Tactics is going to skyrocket after the patch officially launches, so as long as you grind hard, you’ll get the necessary stat eventually and become a top-tier expert."

Holding a glass of liquor, Murong Mingyue shuffled up to He Yi and asked with a smile, "Is this patch really that important?"

I nodded. "Of course! In the past, players had to slot in a Tactician in their 5-man party just so that they could use Encourage when they could’ve had another damage dealer instead. That’s a 20% loss of damage potential. But now that non-Tactician players can learn Encourage as well, the combat dynamic will be completely different than before. Tacticians will now be much weaker in small-scale PvP, and players will be able to grind levels a lot more efficiently than before. Right?"

Murong Mingyue licked her lips and smiled seductively. "Well, it does sound logical, so I’m just going to assume that you’re right. Anyway, you wanna go for another round?"

"Sure!"

I poured a glass of cola for myself and clinked glasses with her. Then, Murong Mingyue drank all of her alcohol in one gulp. Hmm, I just realized that the "big boobs no brains" formula wasn’t a complete fallacy. It was applicable in certain scenarios.

This dinner was also a get-together to improve the unity of our guild’s core players. In fact, we would be holding an event like this once or twice every month. After dinner was done, everyone started chatting to each other in smaller groups or playing games such as Legends of the Three Kingdoms. The atmosphere was absolutely great.

Chaos Moon dragged me away to a table where Murong Mingyue, Xu Yang and He Yi were waiting to play Three Kingdoms. He Yi smiled when she drew the ‘Emperor’ card. "Hoho, I’m the Emperor! Which unit should I choose, I wonder…"

I suggested. "‘Sun Quan’ is a good choice. He has a lot of health, and he has ‘Balance of Power’. It’s a great unit!"

"Nah, he’s too ugly for my taste. I choose ‘Diao Chan’…"

"Fuck~"

I was dumbfounded by her pick, but I didn’t say anything because I had drawn a ‘Rebel’ card, meaning that only one of us would be coming out alive this match. Personally, I would’ve rather drawn the ‘Loyalist’ card, but luck didn’t care for one’s preference.

Suddenly, I noticed that Xu Yang was shooting me a wretched smile. Fuck, could he be a Rebel like me?

The game officially began after the cards were distributed!

Xu Yang was an impatient man, and he hadn’t changed his ways for this game. He chose Lu Bu as his general and attacked his Emperor immediately!

"Attack! No one can stop me!"

It would take two "Dodge" cards to cancel the attack. Unable to do anything, He Yi could only shoot me a grudgeful look as she lost 1 HP to Xu Yang.

I pretended I didn’t see it and drew another card.

Sensing that everyone was plotting something sinister inside their belly, Murong Mingyue glanced at me and raised an "Attack" card. "Come and face your sis in battle, Lu Chen!"

I tossed out a "Dodge" casually. "Easy."

Murong Mingyue selected Zhang Fei and attacked me again. "Hehe, can you dodge a second time?"

But my general was Zhao Yun, and I had nothing to be afraid of. I slapped an "Attack" card on top of Murong Mingyue’s hand before rubbing my palms together. "Flexibility is my greatest strength!"

It was Chaos Moon’s turn. After giggling and activating Lady Zhen’s ability, the "Goddess of Luo", she was able to draw 11 cards in a row before her luck finally came to an end. It was so ridiculous that Xu Yang and I had to stare at her with eyes as wide as saucers.

After that, Chaos Moon equipped her weapon and began her assault. She threw out 5 "Attack" cards in a row and annihilated poor Xu Yang in an instant. He let out a tearful scream before flipping over his identity card. He was a Rebel just as I had predicted earlier!

I was the only guy left in the game, so the girls immediately joined forces and took me out next, successfully killing yet another Rebel.

Finally, Chaos Moon defeated Murong Mingyue and unveiled her identity card. Oh my, she was a Traitor!

He Yi couldn’t stop herself from sighing. "Ai, what a terrible Emperor I am. To think that three out of four elders are either Rebels or Traitors!"

Murong Mingyue giggled. "Alright, alright, next game!"

……

It was past 10 pm by the time we realized that it was getting really late. Everyone needed a rest after the exciting night, not to mention that we had to wake up early and check exactly what had changed after the new patch was up. Although Floating Ice City Palace had almost been utterly destroyed by Cardilla during yesterday’s epic battle, I expected it to be rebuilt once the system maintenance was complete. Surely this was enough time for Princess Karinshan to build a new palace, right?

Everyone had been drinking, so none of us could drive, be it for safety or legal reasons. In the end, Murong Mingyue had to make a call to the GGS company at Suzhou and ask a driver to send us back home.

It was really late when the members of the Frost Cloud workshop finally made it back home. He Yi and Murong Mingyue had drunk a lot of liquor, so their cheeks were completely red. Not only that, the drunkards absolutely refused to climb out of their seats. In the end, I had to put their arms around my shoulders, carry them all the way upstairs before finally dumping them on the sofas.

I locked the door and went downstairs again because Beiming Xue was still sitting unconsciously inside the car. In a sense, she was unlucky that she had us as her friends. He Yi and Murong Mingyue were at least experienced drinkers due to the necessities of the business industry, but Beiming Xue was just a young woman who had graduated not too long ago. There was no chance she could’ve kept up with Du Thirteen and Gui Guzi.

I opened the car and carried Beiming Xue in my arms. She naturally wrapped her arms around my neck before smiling at me. "Big bro?"

"I’m here."

I locked the car and carried her upstairs while dealing with her drunken antics patiently.

Once all three women were properly set down on their bed, I closed the door, took a bath and sank into oblivion immediately after my head hit the pillow. After an entire day of work and pleasure, I was so tired I could die.

……

Countless images passed through my head as I dreamt.

I was in a town,  standing on a broken bridge, its tiles like chessboard, black and white. My Purgatory Sword in hand, I looked down and saw a girl standing in the middle of the river. It was Xinran. The bare-footed girl was washing her skirt and giggling like a bell.

Suddenly, the ground split apart without warning, and both the river and Xinran fell into hell. I tried to grab her before she fell, but my entire body felt as heavy as lead. I could barely move, much less rush to her side and save her.

Before I could do anything else, the ground split apart again in a shower of blood and spat out Xinran. She was now wielding the Dragonbone Spear and clad in black armor. Worse, she was staring at me full of killing intent for some reason. Then, she rushed toward me and stabbed me with her spear!

"Xinran?" I called out. The only response I got was a scorching pain in my chest.

Suddenly, I felt a warm body behind me. When I turned around, I saw a female warrior charging toward Xinran and swinging her sword horizontally. "Get lost!"

"Bang!"

Xinran was knocked far, far away from me. I stared at my rescuer in shock. "Yiyi, is that you?"

Lin Yixin stared at me. "What are you doing, stupid!"

"I…"

……

The dream suddenly faded away, and I returned to reality once more. I scratched my scalp without opening my eyes, feeling the throbbing pain inside my head. Ah shit, I should’ve known that alcohol would make a mess of everything.

Suddenly, I heard a tiny whimper right beside my ears. I shivered from head to toe. Is… is that a woman’s voice I just heard? But why is there a woman in my room?

I tried to move my arm to no avail. I quickly discovered that it was because something hot and soft was pressing down against it. Oh my god, did I fall asleep with a girl in my arms? But how was that possible? I remembered clearly that I went to bed alone!

I looked down and saw two awesome puppies barely held together by a T-shirt. They were squeezed together in such a way that blood rushed into my head in an instant. Looking up, I was greeted by the sight of a beautiful face and a breathtaking, dimpled smile!

My body turned into stone in an instant. He Yi?!

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