"Yes, it is…"
He Yi nodded and said seriously, "Eternal Moon and Spirit of Grief lasted a total of 9 years or so, and China has been making waves since the beginning. From Lin Fan attacking Nino City, to Frivolous Scholar conquering Sainthelm City, and finally Candlelight Shadow taking down three Indian cities during the latter half of Spirit of Grief, we just shone too bright for our enemies to ignore. That is why they decided to join hands and take us out of the equation first…"
Beiming Xue pouted and complained a little, "Why should we be the ones to pay for the sins of Lin Fan and Frivolous Scholar…"
I sucked in a deep breath and said, "Damn, I can already imagine the world burning down in flames already. What a lousy time to be playing this game!"
He Yi brought up the world map page and pointed at the screen. "As you can see here, the Northern Alliance is directly to our north. Wind City is the closest city to our enemies; separated only by the Dragonbone Mountain Range. Our Dark Moon City is up next, and there’s a high chance we’ll have to turn into a forward base of sorts. There are 27 cities—each representing a country in real life—to the west of the Northern Alliance, but they’re weak and their main cities are only tier 2. They are commonly known as the Chaotic 27. The moment the Nation Wars begin, these cities are going to fight themselves silly as none of them are willing to submit to the other."
I picked up a white steamed bun and took a bite. "Let’s ignore the Chaotic 27 for now. They won’t be able to spare the energy to attack us anyway. The eight main cities of the Northern Alliance is the real threat here as all their servers are hostile toward us. They’ll be the first countries to try and take revenge on China the moment the Nation Wars begin."
Beiming Xue also pointed at the map and said, "Dawn City will be the first city to be attacked because it is the closest territory to the Northern Alliance. Although it is protected by natural barriers like Dragonbone Mountain Range and Black Coast, there is a small pass at the center of Dragonbone Mountain Range called the Windy Trail. Barring any unusual circumstances, the Northern Alliance must pass through the Windy Trail to attack us, so as long as we hold the pass, the enemy won’t be able to catch us by surprise."
I nodded but felt incredibly anxious anyway. It was bad enough that the map was designed that we were surrounded by enemies, but they also dumped some of our major opponents to the north and gave them the opportunity to form this so-called Northern Alliance. It was also impossible for us to go on the offensive because anyone who appeared on the other side of Dragonbone Mountain Range would instantly be pummeled from all sides. It would be plain suicide.
"What is the solution then?" He Yi asked me while propping up her chin with her right hand.
I thought for a moment before breaking into a smile. "It’s simple. There are six countries that make up the Northern Alliance, and I’m sure they aren’t completely buddy-buddy with each other. All we need to do is to stop the first wave of attack, and send out a small elite force to travel across Dragonbone Mountain Range and engage them in guerilla warfare. Once the cracks in their alliance start to show, we’ll have the opportunity to break them down one by one. Speaking of which, October Rain is the perfect person for this task. She has always been an expert in sowing dissension and driving wedges between allies. Just watch, the Nation War is the time where legends are made, hahaha!"
It was at this moment Murong Mingyue served up the dishes she had just reheated. "Let’s talk after we fill our stomachs, shall we?"
I grabbed a bun and ripped into it. I hadn’t eaten for so long that I felt like I was turning into a hungry ghost.
While He Yi, Beiming Xue and I were sweeping the food, we suddenly discovered that Murong Mingyue was hugging her chest and not eating at all. She was obviously staring at the roasted chicken with great interest, and yet she was also holding herself back for some reason. This behavior was uncanny of the number one glutton of the Frost Cloud workshop.
"Why aren’t you eating, sis?" Beiming Xue and I asked at nearly the same time.
Murong Mingyue pouted before answering in a helpless tone, "Uu, I weighed myself this morning and found that I weigh 101 pounds now. As the saying goes, ‘a good woman doesn’t go above 100’, so I’m trying to lose some weight…"
Dumbfounded, I persuaded her, "It’s not good to skip a meal, you know. An empty sack can’t stand upright!"
He Yi also supported me. "He’s right. You can eat less, but you cannot function on an empty stomach."
Still staring at the roasted chicken, Murong Mingyue was suddenly seized by a burst of poetic inspiration. She chanted, “I want to be thin, and I want to eat. But it can only be one or the other, what the fuck is this shit?”
Beiming Xue instantly spat out the cola in her mouth.
I didn’t hurry online after finishing my meal and returning to my room. I was currently Level 159, and chances were I wasn’t going to run into another super map full of minibosses like the Dragonlight Canyon in the immediate future. Knowing that I could grind for an entire day and still not go up a level, I decided to take it easy and browse the forums for now. Considering that the Nation Wars were rumored to begin at any moment, the forums must be up in flames right now.
I lay by the window sill and allowed the sunlight of late autumn and coming winter to splash against my face. Setting the notebook on my legs, I brought up the official forums and saw the threads refreshing at a mind-boggling speed just as I thought it might.
First, I checked out the stickied threads. My recruitment post was still up there, followed by a pre-war mobilization post from the guild leader of Righteousness himself, Hot and Sour Noodles. Zhang Chun was a CGL official and a man of virtue and prestige, so his words carried more weight than most others’. After he moved on from Spirit of Grief and entered Heavenblessed, he had played the role of the commander of the Nation Wars, which meant that he was the perfect person to make a post like this. The red highlighted text caught the eye immediately—
"The enemy approaches our gates, and we must fight!"
Beneath the title were several walls of text. The first paragraph stated: "The Nation Wars are about to begin, and to our north lies Titan City, Seven Star City, Hero City, Chariot City, Eternal Love City, Hot Sand City and Burning City. These eight cities have come together under one banner for one, and only one, purpose, and that is to take the three main cities of China—Sky City, Wind City and Vanished God City—away from us. They are our homes, and it is our duty to defend them, no matter how powerful our enemies may turn out to be! That is why I believe it is time for our guilds to turn their weapons away from each other and toward the enemies who desire to devour all of us. To put it concisely, the enemy approaches our gates, and we will fight!"
The second paragraph read very impressive and fitting for the situation. It was clear that Zhang Chun had put a lot of thought into it. "We, the China server, prefer to be philanthropists, not dominators. We fight only when provoked. Today the Northern Alliance declared their intention to conquer our homes, and if we do not rise up to protect ourselves, who will? In the past, we had kings of kings such as Lost Paradise, Sword & Rose, Snow Moon and Soul Battle Robes to protect us. Today, we have legendary guilds such as Candle Dragon, Warsky Alliance, Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls, Purple Lily and Snowy Cathaya to fight by our side, so let us defend our homes together! Dawn City will be the first city to make contact with the enemy, so I suggest that the guilds dispatch their elites to grind at the center of Dragonbone Mountain Range. This way, we’ll be able to defend Windy Trail at a moment’s notice and suppress the attack of the Northern Alliance! The time to unsheath your weapons and protect your homes is now, everyone. We will all be legends when our blood and sweat seep through the soil of our home, and when countless graves are made at the frontier!"
I smiled. Hot and Sour Noodles definitely had the knack for leadership. For example, not everyone had the ability to compose such a passionate yet reasonable statement. It was more or less the best mobilization speech one could give before the war.
The thread had tens of thousands of replies, and a lot of famous people were mixed among them too—
1723th comment (Player Warsky): Hot and Sour Noodles is absolutely right. Warsky Alliance will do its best!
4282th comment (Player Dominating Heaven Blade): They want a fight, we’ll give them a war! We are not afraid!
4298th comment (Player Candlelight Shadow): As the representative of Candle Dragon, I swear that our guild will fight to the last person to protect Dawn City! We will not allow anyone to blaspheme our city!
7939th comment (Player Clear Perfume): Snowy Cathaya will do their best too.
I was scrolling down the replies when suddenly, I saw a familiar name and shivered from head to toe—
10293th comment (Player Lin Xiao): To be honest, it’s very unwise to defend Dawn City. You are basically one blip on the radar trying to defend against an entire line of enemies, and it is far too easy to get surrounded from all sides. In my opinion, we should consider taking one step backward today for two steps forward tomorrow: First, we give up Dawn City to the Northern Alliance. Second, we use this tasty bait and make them fight against one another until they’re drained. Finally, we unite all the forces of Sky City and Wind City, surround Dawn City ourselves and wait for the inevitable slip-up.
I was pretty shocked by what I read. This has to be Lin Yixin’s dad, right? I checked the account’s details, and sure enough it was registered at Shanghai, and its gaming account was only Level 45. Knowing Lin Xiao, he wouldn’t spend too much time on playing the game or grinding levels, so this level was just about right.
I immediately logged into my own account and replied to his comment directly, "Give Dawn City up to the Northern Alliance? That’s not taking one step backward for two steps forward tomorrow, that’s submitting to the enemy, fanning the enemy’s morale and killing our own before we even start fighting! There is no wisdom behind this strategy whatsoever. What we really need is a war that will strike the fear of god into our enemies even if it ultimately ends with our loss!"
I appeared as the 17893th poster after sending the reply. My ID was gorgeously displayed, and there was a golden badge at the end of it. It was a badge of honor all CGL Hall of Famers got, and there were only 28 other players who got the privilege to display it behind their IDs in the entire forums.
It took less than a minute for Lin Xiao to reply to me. "Hmph, you’re Lu Chen, aren’t you? I’m sorry to say this, but you can’t win a war with passion alone. In fact, I dare say that the Northern Alliance will crush Dawn City in three days flat after breaking through Windy Trail. Do you believe me?"
I replied immediately, "I will tell you with my own blade that the impossible can be possible!"
Lin Xiao responded, "Leaving Dawn City to the Northern Alliance is the most logical strategy here whether you like it or not."
I sneered. "Is that so? Your winning strategy is to give up your main city to your enemies and abandon your kin, supports and newbies to slaughter? I’m sorry, but my principles are different from yours. I would rather die than retreat in shame!"
Countless people who were watching the show responded to our online spar immediately. Even Warsky dropped in to leave a comment, "Hahaha, well said Lu Chen! That’s right, we’d rather die than retreat in shame! If I must pay a price to retaliate against our aggressors, then it shall be paid! I will rather give up my flesh and blood than the dying breaths of the weak for this win!"
Seemingly unable to come up with a proper response, Lin Xiao left one last comment, "Very well, don’t say I didn’t warn you when you fail to defend your so-called principles. When Dawn City is lost, when you are apologizing to all the players of China, I want you to remember that you are the one who single-handedly pushed Dawn City toward destruction, and delete your account!"
I replied, "I’ll show you alright! And if I manage to defend Dawn City, all I ask of you is to get off your high horse. You are nothing in the world of gaming, understand?"
Lin Xiao didn’t say anything else. He was probably hitting his table and chair right now.Previous Chapter Next Chapter