The news of the "Who Will Rise" tournament caused huge waves in every main city. Countless excited players couldn’t wait to put their skills to the test.
Murong Mingyue sent me a message: "Did you hear the news yet? Who Will Rise, 5v5 PvP tournament, registration starts now and closes in three days. Preliminaries will begin in three days"
"Yeah, I saw it. It so happens that Eve is coming back tomorrow, so she can participate in the tournament as well."
"By the way, I want to ask you about our 5-man party." Murong Mingyue smiled. "You and Eve are the melee fighters, Lil Beiming is the ranged attacker, and I’m the healer. That’s everyone in Frost Cloud workshop, but we’re still missing one person. Do you have someone in mind?"
I thought for a moment before replying, "Is Li Chengfeng okay with you?"
"Sure, but you should speak to him instead of me!"
I brought up the friend list immediately and sent Li Chengfeng a message: "Chengfeng, you there?"
A few seconds later, Li Chengfeng replied, "Hihi, vice leader. What is it?"
"I want to know if you’re free to join my party for Who Will Rise. Beiming Xue, Murong Mingyue, From Water, and I will be participating, and we’re hoping that you’ll be the last member of our party!"
"Not a problem! I’ll do my best to meet your expectations, vice leader!"
"Good! Come to Sky City’s plaza now so we can party up and register for the tournament!"
I waited at the plaza as Beiming Xue and Murong Mingyue showed up, and He Yi came online soon after. A while later, Li Chengfeng finally arrived as well. After everyone had showed up, I added everyone into the party and went to the guard outside the palace to register our party. In order to avoid a jam, the devs had made it so that players could talk to any guard inside the entire city to register their party. It was one of the more considerate things Eternal Moon Corporation had done for its players.
Outside the palace, the palace guard looked at us with half-dead eyes and asked, "You wish to participate in the ‘Who Will Rise’ martial tournament, correct?"
He Yi gave him a smile. "Yes."
"Alright, the registration fee is 100 gold per person."
I finally understood where Eternal Moon Corporation’s money came from. 100 gold per person wasn’t much, but heaven knows how many parties were participating in this tournament. They probably made a frightening amount of money just from collecting the registration fees alone. The monetary reward they offered seemed generous, but if you really thought about it, it was no different from daylight robbery. The company was robbing the average players, and the best players were robbing the company. Both cases played by the law of the jungle.
I was the party leader, so I was the one who made the registration. After 100 gold was removed from everyone’s pockets, the system dinged next to our ears—
System Notice: Your party is officially registered. Please name your party!
I typed in the name "Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls" without hesitation. As expected, no one had taken the name because we were the main party of our guild.
I looked at the registration list. We were the 278421th team to register for the tournament in the China servers, meaning that at least a million players had registered for the tournament ten minutes after the announcement was made. It was a frightening number to say the least!
No more action was required from us, the players, after the registration was complete. It was the system’s turn to sort everyone into groups. Of course, Who Will Rise was a limited event, so some restrictions were put in place. For example, only players who were above Level 80 were allowed to register in the tournament. The name of the tournament was already a clue, but Who Will Rise was meant to be a battle between the best of the best. It would be a complete waste of everyone’s time to allow a player below Level 80 to participate...
"Alright, I’m leaving for my meeting!" He Yi smiled before looking at me. "Work hard, everyone. Lu Chen, I expect you to be at Level 110 on the day of the tournament!"
I started sweating heavily in panic. Li Chengfeng gave me a look of sympathy.
He Yi logged off after that. Li Chengfeng also went away to grind solo as he usually did.
I didn’t take He Yi’s joke seriously and leave to grind. At my level, I could grind at most one or two levels before the three days were up. That wouldn’t impact the tournament in any way at all. My real first priority was to grind equipment and strengthen everyone in the party as much as I could, especially He Yi. Skill-wise He Yi was already inferior to all of us, but her biggest weakness right now was her lack of a powerful shield. Logically speaking, the party would be perfect if I replaced He Yi with Gui Guzi, but I had never been the logical type, not to mention that Gui Guzi had already made a party with Xu Yang and High Fighting Spirits. It had always been my dream to make a war goddess out of He Yi, and not once had I thought to give up on it.
However, I had to admit that I wasn’t sure what to do at this moment. Just where was I going to find a top-tier shield on such a short notice? Even if I tried to grind high-rank bosses, it was, to put it figuratively, completely up to the bosses whether they felt like dropping me a top-tier shield or not...
It was at this moment I heard a shout from behind me. "All kinds of top-tier equipment selling at prices to die for!"
I turned around and saw a suspicious-looking Level 97 assassin crying for customers. I walked up and gave his products a look, but it was a lie! Top-tier equipment? All I saw were Level 70 to 80 Silver and Gold-grade items! Sure, they weren’t actually half bad, but they absolutely didn’t deserve to be called top-tier!
However, my attention was quickly caught by a faint purple blueprint, an equipment blueprint to be exact!
I bent down a little and waved my hand across it. The blueprint’s stats immediately leaped into my sight—
Ice Soul Barrier (Spirit-grade, Outstanding★★★)
Required Materials: Ice Soul Steel x100, Soulstone x10, Cyanfire Gem II x5
Required Skill Level: Master Forging
I was speechless for a time. What is this? A 3-star Outstanding Spirit-grade shield blueprint?? This couldn’t be too far behind Gui Guzi’s Titan Barrier, right? However, there was another issue—I had literally never heard of these materials before. What was that Ice Soul Steel? Or Soulstone? At least I knew what a Cyanfire Gem was, but Rank 2 versions of these cost at least 100k RMB per piece. They were incredibly expensive to say the least!
That being said, if I could forge this shield successfully, then it was absolutely worth the effort. Gui Guzi’s Titan Barrier was a 4-star Outstanding Spirit-grade shield, and it was worth at least 5 million RMB if we put it up for auction. After all, god-tier equipment like that was priceless before it became outdated!
I shot a glance at the assassin before asking, "Where did you get this high-rank blueprint, brother? Not bad at all!"
The assassin chuckled. "You have a good eye for value, brother. I stole this blueprint from a Spirit Rank boss—yep, that’s right, the same Desert Giant King that was killed by Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls! I had used Steal on the boss since the beginning, and I would’ve gotten even more stuff if the boss wasn’t killed so brutally."
Ah, I had read about this before, although I never paid it too much attention. All assassins had a skill called "Steal", but it only worked on mobs. It only yielded gold, blueprints, and miscellaneous items. There was a miniscule chance they could steal equipment as well. Even so, his good karma must be off the charts that day to steal a blueprint like this from the boss!
I nodded. "How much do you want for this?"
The assassin’s eyes gleamed cunningly as he smiled. "1 million or no deal!"
I rose back to full height and laughed. "Are you kidding me? Did you mistake this blueprint for the actual equipment? I’m not even sure if it’s possible to forge this equipment, and you want 1 mil for a piece of paper? Thanks, but no thanks!"
I turned around and walked away without any hesitation.
As expected, the assassin called out to me before I could take the fourth step. "Wait, brother. There’s no need to sour a relationship just for a failed deal, and what’s that saying again, a good deal is a deal well done, so let’s do this properly, shall we? How much are you willing to give for this blueprint?”
I gave him a smile before lifting five fingers. "This is the most I can give you!"
"500k?" The assassin’s mouth fell open. He looked like he couldn’t wait to say yes.
I sneered. "Cut the act. 50k, and not a yuan more!"
The assassin licked his lips and struggled with himself for several seconds. In the end, he nodded while looking like he was about to cut his arm off. "Fine, the blueprint is yours for 50k!"
I held the blueprint in my hands after the trade was complete. I acted tough in front of the seller earlier, but the reality was I had no idea if I could convert this blueprint into an actual shield, and in just three days’ time.
I took a while to calm myself down and focus my mind. Time to get to work.
The Rank 2 Cyanfire Gems weren’t a huge problem. They were rare, but not impossible to buy. The other two materials were a different story, however.
First, I brought up the official database and searched for the term "Soulstone”. It was a type of Rank 9 ore, meaning that I could probably get it from a high-rank Miner.
I immediately contacted Xu Yang and asked him, "Hey man, I need some of the Rank 9 ore called Soulstone. Can you get it for me?"
"Sure!" Xu Yang agreed without hesitation. "I hit Rank 9 Mining just four days ago. You need it for something?"
"Yeah. Can you get me 10 Soulstones?"
This time Xu Yang took a while to reply. "Rank 9 ores can be found at the peak of Dragonbone Mountain Range, but as you are aware all the mobs there are between Level 130 and Level 140. If I go there alone I will probably die."
"Understood. Contact Li Chengfeng and bring a priest with you. Just like I mentioned earlier, I want you to gather 10 Soulstones for me. Tell Li Chengfeng that this is a guild quest and he’ll go with you!"
Xu Yang messaged Li Chengfeng on the guild channel, and as expected the dragon warrior agreed immediately after hearing that it was a request from me. A short while later, I got word that the priest who would be accompanying Xu Yang and Li Chengfeng was Moon Dew, the other high-level priest in our guild besides Murong Mingyue. That was good. They shouldn’t have any issues surviving and gathering 10 Soulstones even if they ran into a Level 140 shadow-rank mob.
Now all that was left was the Ice Soul Steel.
Unfortunately, the term didn’t exist no matter where I looked under the Ore category. Given no choice, I decided to try something different and searched for the term "Ice Soul" instead. A list of similar terms entered my view—
Ghost Ice Soul: Sword-type weapon
Ice Soul Grass: Rank 10 herb, can be used to craft Rank 10 Health Potions
Ice Soul Cloud: High-rank dagger-type weapon
Ice Soul Giant: A stoneskin-type creature that mostly lives in Cold Ice Canyon to the south of Dragonbone Mountain Range
The last search result caught my eye. Ice Soul Giant? It looked like a high-level mob. Could it drop Ice Soul Steel? After all, Ice Soul Steel wasn’t an ore that could be extracted by a miner. That had to mean that it was the item drop of a mob, right?
I made up my mind there and then. Cold Ice Canyon, here I come!
I had heard of Cold Ice Canyon. It was a frigid place with super high-level mobs that were far beyond the ability of the average players to combat. There was even a rumor that Mad Dragon had sent a hundred-man party into Cold Ice Canyon, but every last one of them was murdered by the mobs.
I was a Level 107 fourth-promotion swordsman with a 4-star Outstanding Spirit-grade weapon—Heaven-stealing Sword—and a full set of top-tier equipment. I also had a super pet, the Sky Obsidian Greedy Wolf. If even I wasn’t a match for Cold Ice Canyon, then no one was. If this adventure turned out to be a dud, I should still gain a couple of levels for my troubles. And if it didn’t, I might just be able to forge that super shield for He Yi before Who Will Rise began!Previous Chapter Next Chapter