A short while later, Chaos Moon sent me a message: "Sorry Lu Chen, I was too slow and that Nongfu Spring with Bow General was recruited by Warsky Alliance. Warsky had sent him a message within 10 seconds of him learning the skill, and he happens to live in Puyang of Henan Province, which is very close to Warsky’s own house. In fact, Warsky and October Rain are driving to Puyang to eat dinner with Nongfu Spring right now…"
I curled my lips in dissatisfaction. "Goddammit, Warsky’s recruitment speed is seriously broken. It must be October Rain again. Sigh, we’ve lost so much great talent to her…"
Chaos Moon giggled. "There’s no need to feel too dejected. You can’t possibly recruit every expert in the world. Some people play games because they have a dream to achieve, and some because they want to earn money, plain and simple. This Nongfu Spring is the latter. Did you know that the money grubber told me that Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls must offer him a yearly salary of 3 million if we wish to recruit his service? I told him to fuck off on the spot. He must be incredibly delusional to think that he’s worth that much. Also, he’ll be worthless if Famous General Skills get nerfed in some future patch."
An involuntary laugh escaped me. "Mn, you’re right. We shouldn’t make careless recruitments. Oh right, where is Diamond Dust right now? I’d like to develop her into a pro if at all possible. It’s only then that we can rely on her in the future battles."
"I got it, I’ll persuade her to listen to reason."
"Mn. See you later."
"Oh right, what are you doing right now, Lu Chen?"
"Grinding and completing a quest!"
"Oh, then I’ll leave you be. I’m going to a high-level map with Lu Buyi myself."
I turned off the communicator and continued fighting the Undead Roland Soldiers. Finally, a column of golden light surrounded us and increased my level to 144. I am now another step closer to Level 150!
I checked my bag and noted that I had collected a total of 3 complete Roland equipment sets. Its drop rate was incredibly low since this was all I got even with my crazy Luck. Right now, the only person in China whose item drop rate rivaled mine was probably Chaos Moon. She became the most sought-after party member in the guild ever since she learned her Famous General Skill. While her Plunder was active, the item drop rate of all mobs was increased by a whopping 160%. These days, there was nothing more joyous than being able to grind levels and farming top-tier equipment for sale.
I checked the time, and it was past 5 pm. I had killed plenty of Undead Roland Soldiers by now, so I felt that it was time to continue my quest.
I packed up the loot and circled around the Roland encampment. Then, I stepped on the limestone path that led to the capital city of the Roland Empire.
Rustle rustle rustle...
The sound of the autumn wind blowing against wilted leaves was saddening and thoughtful. Graves filled both sides of the path. At the distance, I could see the fallen gates and crumbled walls of the capital city.
The Sky Obsidian Greedy Wolf stayed close to me as I walked into the city. There were undead adventurers, bards, shop owners, guards, and so on. They were dead, but they still carried out their daily routine faithfully.
I silently walked past them. I was a bit surprised that no one tried to stop me.
There was a working bakery at a corner of the streets. The shop owner was a skeletal old lady in tattered clothing. She was kneading a dough made of leaves, ragged cloth and worm-filled soil as if these ingredients could somehow be baked into a delicious loaf of bread.
A familiar whine entered my ears at that moment. It was Dada. The big dog was tilting its head at the old lady and staring at her with great passion and dependence. Clearly, its former master, Mengchuan, must’ve frequented this bakery often and fed it the bread he bought here. That was why Dada spent some time waiting at this location every day. It was hoping that its master would reappear, hug its neck, and feed it a loaf of fragrant bread again.
When the working lady discovered Dada, she immediately hit it with her rolling pin and cursed, "Get out of my sight, you greedy devil…"
Dada barked and ran away with its tail between its legs again.
This time though, I was determined not to let Dada escape from me. It was because I had no idea where Mengchuan’s body or soul was, and I was sure that it could lead me to his remains at least.
The Sky Obsidian Greedy Wolf and I ran like crazy as Dada vanished around corner after corner.
The mad chase lasted over ten minutes before we finally stopped in front of the royal palace. It started wagging its tail and howling mournfully at the palace.
There was a group of Undead Roland Soldiers guarding the entrance to the palace. A guard captain wearing a golden helmet walked up to the dog with a sneer. "This stray dog is camping this place again. What on earth are you waiting for, you filthy little thing?"
Beside him, a soldier replied in a subdued voice, "Captain, I think this dog is Captain Mengchuan’s beloved pet… it probably doesn’t know that the captain is dead yet…"
A sinister smile spread uncontrollably across the guard captain’s face. "What a sorrowful thing it is. That Mengchuan was executed because he was too foolish to capitulate when necessary. Hmph! That is why we are Lord Thunder’s most loyal servants, and not him. Now get this dog out of my—actually, no, tell our archers to get here. I’m sure they will enjoy a live target, hahaha…"
Dada’s eyes were immediately filled with terror. However, it was still wagging its tail and barking at the palace as if the act could summon its master to its side and bring it home.
Meanwhile, a group of archers appeared and drew their longbows without hesitation. Then, a hail of arrows fell from the sky!
Fuck! I can’t stand it any longer!
I rushed forward and stood in front of Dada, blocking the arrows before they could hurt the dog. Then, I raised my sword and sent Thousand Ice Slash crashing into the archer group. They lost almost one-third of their HP to the splash effect because they were standing too close to each other, and more than half of them were frozen in ice.
I seized the opportunity to fire Burning Blade Slash, deleting even more of their HP.
Then, I swung my sword around like mad and cut them down one by one. All of the archers were killed in less than two minutes.
Furious, the guard captain pointed his sword at me and shouted, "Dammit, a human has slipped into our kingdom! Men, kill him now!"
A group of Undead Roland Soldiers rushed me, but unlike last time, I was prepared to deal with them. I blocked in front of the palace entrance before they could flood out and used it as my choke point. Then, I went full offense and cut them down as quickly as possible. Not far behind me, Dada was wagging its tail happily because it finally saw a chance to find its master.
The violent combat lasted ten whole minutes, and my HP dropped all the way down to 10% before I finally took down the guard captain. I was forced to chug health potions, buff myself and even consume supplements that added 400 Strength and Stamina—and good thing I did—because the Level 165 ancient mobs were almost too powerful for me to handle.
The floor was littered with bodies as I picked up Roland War Boots from the ground. Before I knew it, Dada was wagging its tail and rushing into the back garden while barking.
Hmm? Is that where Captain Mengchuan is?
I hurriedly chased after Dada with the Sky Obsidian Greedy Wolf. I wouldn’t be able to sleep easy if Dada got hurt again.
The back garden was barren and overgrown with wild grass. It was also an execution ground. There was a giant stone wall in the garden engraved with drawings of mountains, rivers, flowers, birds, gods, spirits, and mortals. It looked like the engravings of some sort of belief or curse. A man was nailed to the wall with two swords plunged into his chest. There was a deep wound on his skull, almost as if it was someone had cracked it open a little with an axe. A battle axe was also stuck in his neck.
Is he an undead?
Surprised, I activated my Dark Pupils and looked. As expected, there was a line of text floating above his head—
Roland Palace Knight Captain
"Awoo woo woo…"
Dada looked incredibly happy at first—wagging its tail and running to its master’s side immediately—but when it saw the two swords in its chest, the joy slowly turned into sorrow. At that moment, it finally realized that its master had been killed.
Dada barked mournfully as it licked its master’s bony palm. Then, it pressed its head against Mengchuan’s arm as if pretending that he was still alive.
When I walked closer, I noticed that the battle axe was glowing a red light. It seemed to be sealing something.
I grabbed the hilt of the battle axe and pulled with all my might!
When the battle axe departed Mengchuan’s neck, a jolt immediately coursed through his body. Then, he slowly opened his dead eyelids and revealed a pair of murky eyes.
The first thing Mengchuan noticed was Dada pressing its head against his arm. He shuddered visibly before saying hoarsely, "Dada, my friend… I finally found you again…"
Dada wagged its tail and jumped around Mengchuan happily for a moment. Then, it ran toward me and pushed its head against my hand. Clearly, it was asking me to save its master.
I walked up to Mengchuan and grabbed the two swords this time. Then, I pulled them out of the man’s chest in one swift motion.
Mengchuan let out a painful scream before collapsing limply on the ground. Dada hurriedly ran up to him and fervently pushed itself into its lap.
Mengchuan looked at me and said hoarsely, "Young adventurer, you should leave as soon as possible. The axe you just pulled out is a sealing weapon, so that damned Thunder must know of your interference already. He will be returning to the human world very soon, and you will die if you don’t escape by then!"
His plea only elicited a slight shake of my head. "No. I will save both you and Dada. Your dog has been waiting for you ten thousand years every day, and I will not let its wish be in vain!"
"Ah… hah, I see that you’re also a fool…" Mengchuan looked at the sky while hugging Dada’s head. He murmured, "Thunder the Blade of Death is coming. I’m sorry for dragging you down, young adventurer. If my soul enters the purgatory, I promise I will pray for your safety from the blood ponds."
Suddenly, the ground started shaking violently. It was to the point where it felt like the Roland Empire was on the verge of collapsing.
Rumble rumble rumble...
Suddenly, a dazzling column of purple light burst out of the ground and turned the enormous palace before my eyes into rubble. The scale of destruction resembled the apocalypse, and I believed that notion for a moment.
Slowly, a giant hole filled with lightning and blood appeared. Is this… the entrance to the purgatory?Previous Chapter Next Chapter