Chapter 647: Contest of Heroes

A loud neigh shattered the silence of the forest as the Armored Ice Qilin Horse thundered across the foliages like an arrow. It took me less than half an hour to pass through three forests and two mountains. Eventually, I reached a blistering hot land where the bushes on the ground were visibly shrinking and growing disconnected, and broad-leaved plants turned into Zulu Giants, Desert Roses, ball cacti and other succulents.

"Phew…"

My face felt a bit painful as a burning hot wind blew against it. Thankfully, the Armored Ice Qillin Horse was cold by nature, so I felt less heated than I could’ve been.

I saw a lot of Level 150+ shadow-rank mobs such as Desert Sand Wolves and Hell Hyenas as I gazed to the distance. They were not suitable prey for me, however. As a Level 150 sixth-promotion player, I had to fight Level 170+ ancient mobs at least to gain enough experience for the next level.

Soon, a towering barbarian castle appeared at the edge of the desert where the yellow sands blew. It was surrounded by greenery—meaning that it was built atop an oasis—so it served as a place of respite and refuge to passersby. It was also the city we were going to raid later, the territory of Hall of Immortality—the Immortality City!

Although Immortality City was just a Rank 3 Barbarian Castle, its remote location made it extremely valuable for several reasons. To begin, it was situated in between the vast northern forests and the southern Yellowstone Desert. A clear, uninterrupted stream of water flowed through the city and supplied it with a rich amount of resources. It was also surrounded by high-level mobs, making it a fantastic leveling map. Its potential was even greater than the human castle Stranger of Three Lifetimes currently owned, the Red Lips Nation.

Currently the city was surrounded by players. Some of them came from Vanished God City, some came from Sky City, and there were even Wind City players in the mix. A consecutive series of guild battles had been fought until now, and after just three days of respite, the undercurrents at Vanished God City had caused everyone to stir restlessly again.

……

Thud thud thud...

The Armored Ice Qilin Horse carried me into the oasis at top speed. Already, I could see a group of cyan-colored fighters directly ahead of me. They were none other than the Cyan Tiger Cavalry led by Gui Guzi, Heaven’s Rain, Diamond Dust, and Eighteen Steeds of You and Yun. The number of Cyan Tiger Cavalry had increased again after a moment of respite, and now there were almost 5000 of us. It was an incredibly powerful army for sure.

Gui Guzi’s Knight God, Heaven’s Rain and Diamond Dust’s Knight General, Eighteen Steeds of You and Yun’s Flying General, and now my Martial God. A new troop of unstoppable riders was born at this moment, and soon every force in China would learn to fear us!

"You’ve arrived, boss." Gui Guzi welcomed me with a smile, and I nodded back at him.

"I heard that something happened to you and Beauty Lin? Showy Cathaya actually refused our invitation to attack Immortality City today," Eighteen Steeds of You and Yun inquired.

I pressed my lips into a smile. "Don’t worry, Yiyi and I ran into some trouble, true, but there’s no bad blood between us, and I’m sure we’ll overcome these difficulties very soon. No matter what happens in the future, our relationship with Snowy Cathaya will never change. They are, and will always be, our friends."

Everyone relaxed after hearing my assurance. While we were talking, Heaven’s Rain urged her Cyan Battle Tiger forward and circled me once. Then, she asked in astonishment, "Guild leader, is it just me, or is your mount incredibly powerful? Can you show us what its rank is?"

I nodded. "Sure, why not?"

I waved my hand and brought up a holographic stats screen of the Armored Ice Qilin Horse for about 15 seconds. Everyone who read it went slack-jawed with shock—

Heaven’s Rain’s mouth fell open. "OMG, this… this is incredible. It gives over 800 points to both Strength and Stamina stats! Our Cyan Battle Tigers look like trash compared to it…"

Gui Guzi nodded in agreement. "Yeah, this Armored Ice Qilin Horse is so stupidly powerful. Lil Beiming traded away her own equipment to get it, right? Boss Broken Halberd, Lil Beiming calls me big bro too, but why is our treatment so different…"

Eighteen Steeds of You and Yun laughed. "How can you possibly compare to boss?"

Diamond Dust was also smiling gently as she urged her mount toward us. "Lu Chen is Beiming’s real big brother, and you’re just a fake. It’s that simple."

The merciless comments left Gui Guzi dumbfounded. "Damn, I guess I have to work harder…"

……

I gazed to the distance again. So many players were running around Immortality City and kicking up sand clouds that it became impossible to tell which direction was where.

"What’s the battle situation right now? Is it just me, or is someone attacking the city already?" I asked with concern.

Gui Guzi nodded and pointed at the walls. "Immortality City is just a Rank 3 territory, but you won’t believe how much attention it’s gotten. Over 40 guilds had come to play just from Vanished God City alone. Although Come See The Snow Tonight’s the one who turned in the Vassal Token, it is theoretically possible to wipe out all of Baidicheng’s players and seize the territory hall while both sides are weakened. Everyone’s looking out for number one, you see."

I nodded and gazed to the distance again. To my surprise, I saw a familiar face.

There was a group of players behind a small hill. The leader was none other than the guild leader of Hegemon Palace, the Level 137 Pillar of the Nation himself. It had been a while since I last saw him, and the guy was currently decked in a full set of golden armor. Beside Pillar of the Nation was grim-faced Little Piglet wearing a dark cyan battle armor and wielding Hurricane. I looked behind them and saw a seemingly endless swarm of players. There had to be at least tens of thousands of them. It looked like Hegemon Palace was going all out this time.

"God damn, Hegemon Palace is here too?" I couldn’t help but chuckle. "Interesting, I wasn’t expecting Immortality City to attract this many forces. Did Bloodthirsty Battle Monarch grow a punching bag for a face? It’s amazing how many people showed up the second he got a hold of a territory."

Eighteen Steeds of You and Yun was holding a flaming blade. The representative of Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls’ wanderers carelessly stepped forward and answered my question, "Originally, Hall of Immortality’s motto was to keep a low profile and hone themselves in silence until the time was right. However, Bloodthirsty Blood Monarch did a one-eighty and offended a lot of people after the territory system came out. Today, there are barely a handful of guilds who haven’t suffered in the hands of Hall of Immortality. Take Zero Pitch Sonata for example. The poor bastards were party-wiped multiple times by Hall of Immortality’s hands, and their guild leader was so pissed that he actually contacted Candlelight Shadow offline and tried to persuade the Martial God to take revenge for them. I don’t know if he agreed to the request though. So far, Candle Dragon hasn’t made a move."

The corner of Gui Guzi’s lips curled up as he confirmed his suspicions. "I have the answer to your question. Just a couple of hours ago, Candle Dragon issued a mobilization notice and assembled their men. In fact, they are already on the way here. Of course, Candlelight Shadow is no fool, so he isn’t going to attack Immortality City right away. He’s going to let the chaos run its course for about 5 hours or so before cleaning up the mess."

Heaven’s Rain blinked before asking, "But why would Candlelight Shadow want to contest Immortality City? His own territory is Rank 6, right?"

Eighteen Steeds of You and Yun sneered. "That’s because he’s not here for the territory itself. For Candle Dragon, this was just an opportunity to show off their power, and more importantly, interfere with their sworn enemies, Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls. If my guess is correct, the second we launch our assault on Immortality City, Candle Dragon will join forces with Hall of Immortality and turn their weapons on us, even if it means offending everyone else participating in the offense!"

Heaven’s Rain looked even confused. "But why?"

Heaven’s Rain was too young and innocent to understand the intricacies, so I smiled and explained things to her, "That’s because Candlelight Shadow is well aware who his biggest enemies are. They are Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls and Snowy Cathaya of Sky City and Purple Lily of Wind City. Since we are participating in this fight, it’s only natural that Candle Dragon would want to use Hall of Immortality as an excuse to fight us. This is a battle between two great powers, and whoever loses will lose their morale and honor."

"Oh, I see…" Heaven’s Rain didn’t look like she got it, but it didn’t matter. It wasn’t like I was trying really hard to make her understand myself. As long as she could activate Knight General and charge at our enemies, it was fine.

Gui Guzi looked at my title for a moment before chuckling suddenly. "Boss Broken Halberd, you’ve completed your sixth promotion and reached the Earthfire Realm. The amount of players you can party with should’ve increased, right?"

I nodded. "Right, a Level 150 sixth-promotion Earthfire Realm player can party up to 200 players. Being a Famous General also doubles my party size limit, so I can party a total of 400 players right now."

"Holy shit!" Eighteen Steeds of You and Yun’s eyes widened. "That’s amazing. 400 people with Martial God buffing their attack power by 200%? There’s practically no party in the world that can beat you, is there? We fourth-promotion Famous Generals can only party with 100 players tops. Your party size is four times ours!"

I smiled. "Martial God is powerful, but it doesn’t boost Defense in any way. That makes my party sharp but brittle. Ultimately, it is best to leave the frontal charge to parties who are empowered by Knight God and Knight General, and the flanking to my party. This way, we won’t lose so many men that we become unusable."

Gui Guzi rubbed his palm eagerly. "It’s settled then! Boss Broken Halberd, please choose 399 Cyan Tiger Cavalrymen to join you!"

"Okay!"

I rode forward and circled around our cavalry troops for a moment. I made sure to select players with high level, high Defense, and excellent shields to join me. My party had more than enough attack power, so I needed to cover its weakness as best I could. Anyone who was tanky was fine by me.

A 400-man party was formed in no time, and after I activated Martial God, a ring appeared beneath everyone’s feet. Out of the 399 players I chose, only a dozen of them were female players. Everyone was excited to fight under the leadership of a sixth-promotion, Earthfire Realm player, especially one who could buff their attack power by a whopping 200%. It was something most of them couldn’t even dream of having.

Gui Guzi asked me after I was done, "Should we begin our attack, Boss Broken Halberd? It looks like Come See The Snow Tonight hasn’t activated the Vassal Token…"

I pointed my sword to the east and said, "Look! The fourth subguild of Hall of Immortality is assembling at the edge of that forest! I’m sure we can catch them off-guard and kill them with zero losses! This is also a good chance for everyone to warm up so they won’t fuck up during the real battle later!"

"Got it!"

Gui Guzi, Diamond Dust, Heaven’s Rain, and everyone else pulled out their blades and cheered, "Cyan Tiger Cavalry, for our kingly dreams, charge!"

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