Pardon + Desperate Gambit + basic attack!
The combo deleted most of Red Dust’s health in an instant and drained all the blood from his face. "Fuck, this is stupid! What the fuck is this Attack?!"
I was preparing to one-shot him with my next combo, but to my surprise the high-level magic knight took out a Rank 8 Health Potion, drank it, and healed himself for 2500 HP instantly. It wouldn’t be easy to kill him now.
Suddenly, two shadows appeared next to me. They were the two enemy assassins of course. I was Level 109, 3 to 4 levels higher than them, so I had no trouble spotting them when they were just three yards away from me!
Trying to use Ambush and stun me again?
Red Dust’s rapid retreat to save his own life actually gave me more than enough space to cook up a counter against the assassins. Smiling a little and sliding a foot backward, I tensed up like a coil of spring and waited. The moment the two assassins attacked me, I burst into action and swung my sword to the left and right!
Both parries were perfect, so their skills missed me completely. Gao Jianli exclaimed in shock, "Fuck! What the fuck is this reaction speed!?"
Refusing to give up, Zero Degree Rain tried to attack me with a Gorge + Evil Will combo next. I saw exactly how he was going to move, so I took a step toward him, placed my sword in front of me and parried the first skill. Then, I abruptly lowered the blade and parried the second skill as well. Finally, I lowered my waist and threw a mighty kick to his chest!
Zero Degree Rain let out a muffled groan and he backed away from me, but he failed to react in time to deal with the beautiful figure who had snuck up behind him. He Yi hit him directly with a Green Wave Slash!
Zero Degree Rain was one-shot just like that. Since He Yi had unleashed her skill from a good angle, the other assassin, Gao Jianli, also took a hit and lost a huge chunk of his HP. Before he could do anything else, Beiming Xue’s assist arrived at the perfect moment and killed him where he stood!
On the other side of the battlefield, Li Chengfeng was overwhelming Red Dust with a perfectly executed Dragonbone Flurry. Despite the latter’s best attempt to parry the skill, he couldn’t stop the deadly attack that penetrated his body and claimed his life!
It was around this time Murong Mingyue cast two spells in a row and healed me for 3687 and 2788 health, pulling me back to the green. Purple Dawn groaned in his head. "They have a priest. How the fuck are even we going to fight this?"
Fighting On All Fronts fared no better than his teammates. After we took out three out of five of the opponents, Li Chengfeng, He Yi and I ganged up on him and deleted most of his HP in no time. He groaned, "Shit, it’s over…"
One last hit, and he was dead as well!
Purple Dawn looked angry, but he knew there was nothing he could do to turn things around. So he humphed coldly and said, "Just you wait, Candlelight Shadow will take revenge for us if you’re lucky enough to survive until the finals!"
Purple Dawn forfeited the match in shame. The second seed of Candle Dragon was annihilated just like that!
With that 2-0 victory, we officially progressed to the last match of the preliminaries!
When we were teleported back to the orchard, everyone let out a visible sigh of relief. Fighting a powerful party like that was always going to be stressful.
But Murong Mingyue smiled and said, "I thought that it would be a close victory at best, but after those perfect parries you did they lost steam completely and crumbled like sand castles, Lu Chen. Hehe, it was awesome~~"
Li Chengfeng agreed. "Yeah, you really made me feel like there’s no end to learning, vice leader. The way you parried so many attacks in such a small time window, only a monster can pull off such a feat."
I rolled my eyes at him. "Who are you calling a monster? I’m a perfectly normal human being, alright?’
Li Chengfeng laughed. "Haha, it’s just a metaphor. Anyway, I wonder who our last opponent will be?"
"Well, we’ll know very soon."
Everyone was very excited. We were literally one match away from entering the LAN tournament.
A short while later, our enemies’ information appeared on the screen, and a wide smile broke across all of our faces. This literally couldn’t get any better for us!
Flower Room Second Seed
Heartless LV-100 Warrior
The Fish Who Doesn’t Know Water LV-102 Warrior
Galaxy LV-101 Mage
Eighthday LV-102 Assassin
Linglong Jade LV-99 Bard
Not only did we run into Flower Room in our last match, it was their second seed no less. We would annihilate them even if they were the first seed, so this was just the icing on the cake. I felt like we needed to do something special to properly celebrate this boon, so I looked behind me and consulted everyone’s opinion,
"I think we should let Chengfeng solo the first round. What do you all think?"
Li Chengfeng immediately raised his sword happily. "No problem! This will be fun!
Back in the ring, the Flower Room players were glaring at us. Heartless said, "Let’s kill them and open the eyes of our guild leader!"
The Fish Who Doesn’t Know Water: "Yeah. Let’s take out Broken Halberd Sinks Into Sand first and the dragon warrior second. The rest will fall once we take care of them! Also, make sure that no harm comes to our bard, get it? Girl, please buff me now!"
Galaxy: "Haha, I can’t believe we encountered the first seed of Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls. I can’t wait to eliminate them from the competition!"
Eighthday: "You guys are joking, right…"
Yes, they were. 90 seconds later, Li Chengfeng came back with five still warm corpses behind him.
1-0. It was too easy.
"Big bro, can I try soloing the second round, please?" Beiming Xue asked eagerly.
I nodded. "Sure!"
Maybe it was because Beiming Xue was the only one who stepped out to fight them, but no one in the second seed of Flower Room showed any fear whatsoever. In fact, they tried to Charge her brainlessly and were rewarded with an Evil Spirit Volley and some Freezing Arrows to the face. One by one, Beiming Xue kited them and killed them all. At this point, I could officially declare that Beiming Xue’s skill had reached a point of perfection. She was as good as Transient Smoke and Clouds of Candle Dragon or October Rain of Warsky Alliance.
Without Beiming Xue, Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls’ archer group couldn’t be considered top-tier. I was very glad that I had decided to recruit her back then.
2-0. We had finished the preliminaries without a single loss!
System Notice: Congratulations, your party has qualified for the offline matches. The LAN tournament will take place at Eternal Moon VR Esports Center, Shanghai, and your flight tickets will automatically be booked within an hour. Please claim your boarding pass with your resident identity card and arrive at Shanghai a day before the offline matches for your registration!
Wow, Eternal Moon Corporation truly was rich as fuck. Considering how small the timing window between the preliminaries and the offline matches was, they must’ve pre-booked the flight tickets from all over the country long before the preliminaries even began. How on earth did they convince the airlines to do this?
"I’m so, so tired. I want my food now…" Murong Mingyue complained. The rest of the girls looked like they were starving as well. It was 7 pm in the evening, and normally they would be enjoying their dinner tea at this time.
"See you at Shanghai the day after tomorrow!" I bade Li Chengfeng goodbye and logged out with the girls. Again, we went to Chuyunge, the buffet restaurant to sate our hunger. It would be a shame not to considering how empty our stomachs were.
We hunted all over the place and filled our tables completely with food. Then, we sat down and ate to our heart’s content.
Not far away from us, a mounted TV was broadcasting a sports channel, CCTV-5. Suddenly, it changed to a footage of the game, and it was none other than our battle against the second seed of Candle Dragon. Since our faces were perfectly displayed on the HDTV, two uncles sitting at a table on the opposite side immediately looked at us in shock. One of them stuttered, "H-hey… aren’t they the players on the TV?"
The other uncle said, "Are they really… the core players of Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls? Fuck, if I hadn’t become a herbalist back then, I would be a fierce general of Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls right now…"
"Get lost, how old do you think you are? The only thing that’s fierce about you is your age!"
We enjoyed the show while eating our food. When the broadcast was finished, the Top 32 teams of the China region was displayed. All the powerful guilds—Snowy Cathaya, Candle Dragon, Warsky Alliance, Purple Lily, and so on—had qualified for the offline matches as expected, and even our second seed—Gui Guzi, Xu Yang, High Fighting Spirits, Eighteen Steeds Of You and Yun, and Chaos Moon—had made it as well. It was to be expected. They were all good players in their own right.
There were a lot of parties that I hadn’t seen before. Some of them could be small fries, but it couldn’t be all of them no matter what. After all, every party in the Top 32 had endured a grueling 20-match preliminaries to make it to the offline matches.
"You know what, let’s skip the morning flight to Shanghai and drive there in the afternoon instead," He Yi said with a smile. "Suzhou is right next to Shanghai, so we don’t have to travel early like some competitors do."
I nodded in agreement. "I’m going to go online to sell some things later, but we all should sleep early tonight. Tomorrow, we can grind a bit in the morning before driving to Shanghai for the registration. I bet we’ll meet a lot of familiar faces, including Candlelight Shadow’s, hmph!"
Beiming Xue asked worriedly, "Big bro, do we need to worry about literal, offline fights considering our grudge with Candle Dragon?"
"Heh, don’t worry, we have Xu Yang, Li Chengfeng, Gui Guzi and High Fighting Spirits with us. We would win ten out of ten times even if I did nothing at all. And if I do have to fight then it’ll only be worse for Candle Dragon…"
He Yi rolled her eyes and me and chided, "The best fight is no fight at all. What if you get hurt?"
"I know, I know."
Murong Mingyue said, "Oh right, Beauty Lin’s party qualified for the offline matches as well, right? Should we meet up with them and travel to Shanghai together? We’re all from Suzhou, and we’re allies. We should put some effort into maintaining our relationship."
"Sure, I’ll contact her later."
That night after returning to the workshop, I gave Lin Yixin a call and asked her if she wanted to drive to Shanghai together after lunch. She agreed as a matter of course.
I logged into the game and managed the shop a little. The good news was that the elite NPC I hired, White Fox, had proven to be a worthwhile investment. She barely needed any instructions to perform the work in the shop, and today’s sales had broken the shop’s personal records again. Even if I stopped selling equipment now, my shop would be earning the equivalent of a gold collar’s salary.
The night passed by quietly and peacefully. The next day, we grinded some levels as we said we would, but because there was no time to explore a new map, we simply grinded the mobs at the foot of Dragonbone Mountain Range.
We took off after finishing our lunch. I drove my X12 to the university’s entrance and met up with Lin Yixin. Together with Sun Qingqing, she drove the Mercedes-Benz she claimed was "too expensive to drive" because of its overpriced fuel and followed us to Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls’ base to meet up with Gui Guzi and the others. After that, all three cars took off toward Shanghai together.Previous Chapter Next Chapter