Rose sent us a congratulatory message: "First, congratulations to everyone for winning the WEL China nationals, hehe! The club will be holding a celebratory feast, and all of you are required to attend on time! Also, the WEL internationals will begin in a week, and I’m in the middle of processing your visas right now. The venue will be set at the virtual e-sports center of the USA, Los Angeles, California. Get that? We’ll all be traveling to Los Angeles in a week!"
Excited, I replied, "Hot damn, I can’t believe us country bumpkins would get to travel overseas one day…"
Rose: "... Screw you!"
The champion rewards were extremely generous, so generous that I could skip leveling before the next Nation War began at the very least. Of course, it was a different story after the Nation Wars. Losing levels was as common as eating rice for professional players like us, and there was no guarantee that I could avoid using Resurrection Art this time.
By the time the girls and I logged off, it was already past 10 pm. However, the girls were too excited to fall asleep, and the thieves—Li Chengfeng, Gui Guzi and Du Thirteen specifically—insisted that we meet up and celebrate this victory with booze.
It had been a long time since we gathered, so I agreed and took the girls to the meet-up spot. It was a supper restaurant in a hotel somewhere in the city.
By the time we arrived, all twenty or so core members of Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls were waiting for us already. They booked a room and two tables, which was just enough to fit everyone. Elite players such as Li Chengfeng, Gui Guzi and the Frost Cloud workshop sat at one table, while the less-elite-but-no-less-important players such Pure Love, Wolf Fang and more sat on the other.
The beautiful waitress walked up to us with the menu and smiled. "Who’s ordering tonight?"
Gui Guzi immediately raised his hand. "Since Boss Broken Halberd’s the one spending today, I’ll order!"
I couldn’t help but feel my heart clench at the inevitable hole in my wallet tonight. Gui Guzi was good at many things, but saving his boss's money was definitely not one of his positive traits. Even back when we didn’t have much money and had to visit open-air restaurants during summer afternoons, he would order at least five bottles of beer and several plates of boiled peanuts in addition to the main meal. What a waste it was...
As expected, Gui Guzi ordered wild rabbit meat, steamed turtle, shark fin soup, abalone and many more expensive dishes with a wide grin on his face. I bet he gets a kick every time he slaughters my wallet, the fucker. Li Chengfeng said, "Wow, isn’t this going a bit too far? Lu Chen has a family to feed, you know," but when Gui Guzi replied, "It’s fine, he won 2 million RMB today. It won’t even put a dent in his prize money!" Li Chengfeng immediately betrayed me and joined in the slaughter, "Which one’s the most expensive dish? I’m having that!"
Shaking my head, I raised my arm and beckoned the waitress to me. "Hey, girl!"
"Can you get us a bowl of egg fried rice per table? And be quick. If you take more than ten minutes, these gluttons might just eat your table whole!"
The waitress burst into a giggle before answering, "Understood. I’ll inform the kitchen right away!"
Everyone here had either fought in the WEL competition or watched it for the entire day, so we hadn’t had a single bead of water or food. The reason I ordered the rice was because drinking without having eaten anything for the whole day was very unhealthy.
The egg fried rice was served very quickly, and all things considered, it was surprisingly professional. The rice was overnight rice, and it wasn’t oily despite the fantastic taste. It was gone in just the blink of an eye. Thankfully, the rest of the dishes were served not long after that.
We also ordered some red wine and white spirit for everyone. He Yi, Murong Mingyue, and most of the girls preferred red wine because it was low on the percentage. On the other hand, I, Li Chengfeng, Gui Guzi, Du Thirteen, Mamate and more chugged down the 52% alcohol white spirit and enjoyed the sensation of being burned alive from the inside. It was entirely possible that we wouldn’t recognize our own mothers if we overdid it.
A few rounds later, Gui Guzi commented with a smile, "Today’s WEL was quite entertaining, especially the 2v2 match between Boss Broken Halberd plus Beiming Xue versus Candlelight Shadow plus Ye Yuse. Most PvP matches weren’t as technical as that match. Of course, the best part of them all was Candle Dragon losing, hahaha!"
Li Chengfeng said, "It’s a shame our team ran into Snowy Cathaya earlier than expected, or there was a chance we could’ve entered the quarter-finals. Also, Little Gui and I were silly that match. Now that I think back, I can’t believe we invited Beauty Lin to a mano-a-mano match. Had we just played out the match like normal, we could’ve gotten a favorable match-up and have a real shot at beating Snowy Cathaya."
Chaos Moon joined in. "I don’t know, man. Snowy Cathaya just recruited that Nangong Lexi the Holy Archer to replace Clear Perfume, and while she isn’t as good as Beiming Xue, she’s at the same level as Transient Smoke and Clouds. Beauty Lin will definitely practice with Nangong Lexi to hone her into a true top-tier archer, so I don’t think the result is going to change when we fight Snowy Cathaya again in the future…"
Gui Guzi bared his teeth at Chaos Moon. "You don’t need to tell us the truth, man!"
Chaos Moon stuck out her tongue in response before laughing. "Cold showers are good for your health, okay?"
"Five toasts to taking our Candlelight Shadow, Lu Chen?" Li Chengfeng raised his glass in my direction.
I smiled. "Just five?"
Li Chengfeng also smiled. "Not enough? What about ten?"
"Now you’re talking!"
The crowd immediately hooted all kinds of shit while Li Chengfeng and I became locked in a battle of manliness and alcohol.
We clinked glasses and drank 10 small cups of white spirit in a row. It was about as invigorating as one might imagine it to be, and in my case, I felt like I was about to transform into a fire god. Of course, there were side effects. In my vision, He Yi had split into two before I knew it.
"Wait, stop drinking for a moment and answer my question…"
Chaos Moon shot me a question, "Dark Moon City is our base, and now it’s finally Rank 10. However, you haven’t told us how its two unique skills work, so spill the beans already!"
Li Chengfeng agreed. "Yeah, she’s right! Only the city lord can use the unique skill of a city. How do they work exactly, Lu Chen?"
I smiled. "Well, for starters, I can tell you that Warsky Alliance, Soul Battle Robes, and Candle Dragon are no longer a threat to us—at least within the domain of Sky City—and it is all thanks to, you guessed it, our new Rank 10 Dark Moon City!"
"Get to the point already, you bastard…" Chaos Moon was starting to swear out of impatience.
I grinned before revealing the answer, "The Rank 10 Undead Castle exclusive skill, Duplicate Mount, is exactly what it sounds like. Theoretically speaking, we can duplicate an infinite amount of any mount as long as it is Earth Rank or below. Practically speaking, each duplicate costs a ton of resources, so we’re going to hit a limit eventually."
Li Chengfeng’s eyes lit up. "So you’re saying that we can duplicate an infinite amount of Dragonlight Armored Horses?"
"Sure, but I forgot to mention a detail earlier. Strictly speaking, the skill applies to mount pet eggs only, and we no longer have any Dragonlight Armored Horses mount eggs with us…" I said with a smile.
Li Chengfeng slapped his thigh loudly. "Oh come on! You’re telling me that we can’t use it after all?"
I shot He Yi a glance before correcting him, "Did you forget what our guild leader drew for her reward already? She got the pet mount egg of an Earth Rank Boss mount, Dragonscale Beast! That is what we’re going to duplicate ad infinitum!"
Gui Guzi shot to his feet so quickly that he spilled the wine in his glass. "Holy shit! Does that mean we can all ride Dragonscale Beasts?"
I nodded. "Correct. That being said, it costs 100k resources of each type to duplicate just one pet egg, and with our current production it’s only possible to duplicate one egg per hour. Therefore, our next focus is on increasing our production rate and city resources as much as possible! Ideally, we want to produce over a million resources of each type per hour!"
Chaos Moon said, "OMG, can we even use up that many resources?"
I smiled. "You guys are really forgetful today. There’s one more skill I haven’t mentioned, you know?"
"Are you talking about that ‘Mounted Archery Training’ skill?" This time, Chaos Moon wasn’t the only one looking at me. Everyone shot different variations of the same question at me, "What is this ‘Mounted Archery Training’, Lu Chen?"
I let out a laugh and grabbed a slice of fish meat with my chopsticks. "What’s the hurry? I can explain later. Dinner’s getting cold, you know?"
However, the gang was anything but accepting of my suggestion. "Eat your sister! Tell us already!"
At the side, Beiming Xue pouted. "Why do you want to eat me, big bro…"
After Li Chengfeng "parried" my chopsticks and sent my fish meat tumbling back into the soup, I shook my head a little before starting, "‘Mounted Archery Training’ allows Level 180 seventh-promotion archers to learn the mount riding skill. In other words, our archers can now ride mounts and transform into the legendary mounted archers!"
It was Beiming Xue’s turn to shoot to her feet in excitement. "Are you sure, big bro? Can archers really ride mounts now?"
I smiled. "Why would I lie about this? That being said, it costs 200k resources of each type per session, so… starting tomorrow, I want everyone to do their best to obtain as many resources as possible. Resource Bags can drop from bosses, and a small amount is sold in Sky City. We’ll dump them all in our territory warehouse. Let’s build the server’s first elite mounted archer cavalry and the first army-sized elite cavalry, everyone! Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls will conquer the world!"
Excited, everyone rose to their feet and toasted together, "Yeah! To our dreams of conquering the world!"
The revelation was an invigorating news to everyone who heard it. With enough resources, we could duplicate an infinite number of mounts and train our high-level archers into mounted archers. The latter especially was invaluable in the upcoming Nation Wars. At the current stage of the game, a super mobile unit that could rain hell on their enemies from afar would absolutely dominate any engagement with ranged guerilla warfare. And thanks to Dark Moon City, we would be the only guild in the entire server who possessed this military unit for a very, very long time!
The mere imagination of a mounted archer troop in action was exciting. Imagine a troop or archers firing a volley of Skypiercers into the enemy before withdrawing, and the enemy cavalry not being able to catch up to them! How pleasing would that be, I wonder? One way or another, I fully expected Beiming Xue to become the progenitor of Heavenblessed’s hit-and-run tactic! (Author’s Note: As mentioned in previous chapters, hit-and-run involves attacking the enemy once, pulling away, and repeating the actions. It’s similar to kiting, except that the attackers have superior mobility)
Mounted Archery Training was without a doubt one of the greatest gifts the WEL competition had gifted Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls.
After that, we continued eating, drinking and merrymaking until it was past midnight. Most of us, like Li Chengfeng, were snoring beneath the tables already, so I had no choice but to book a couple more rooms and carry them inside. By the time I took care of everything and drove the girls back to the workshop, it was already early in the morning. My heart ached at the thought of spending 190k RMB in a single night, but if it was for my brothers and sisters, then it was money well spent!Previous Chapter Next Chapter