Book 4, Chapter 26
The Ace (Part 1)
I dragged Merciless to the restaurant. I know the location in the unfamiliar city because it's
just next to the teleport station, and that giant flag with a beer cup on it
really attract your eyes.
what's the deal? I know you earned a lot but don't drag me like this!"
his complaint I still pulled him into the door.
They say great joy is always followed by misfortune. Now I believe it. I
bumped into someone behind the door. I was walking too fast so
both of us got knocked onto the ground. And I assure you that dumping your hip onto
the solid rock floor is not something to enjoy!
As for Merciless, he crashed into my back and stumbled back out of the door.
opposite man knocked over a table before he can re-balance himself.
where ur going damn it!" He brushed his clothes. "Are you blind? Or
are you looking for trouble?"
sorry. I...didn't see you across the door. Are you hurt?"
That was my fault so this is
not a good time to play tough.
He froze up and stared at me for a few seconds before regaining his language.
"Beautiful...!" That was his first comment after the stare.
really sorry, my bad there. Do you need help? If everything's fine I'll be
I don't have time to explain my gender issue with a random
you know, things always go towards where you don't want them to go.
"Hey! You look brilliant! And I love your voice. Like an angel...!"
I know my throat can be a bit strange but it sounds like child voice at best, which
is totally different from actual woman voice.
"You're mistaken. Excuse me
but I need to go upstairs." I dragged Merciless again and headed up.
man blocked my way. "Come on what's the hurry? I wasn't being polite back
there. Would you have meal with me?"
inspected this sudden intruder. 176 in height, ordinary look. He wears
traditional oriental style kung-fu costume, must be a hidden class.
I have other business. Can you let me through? I'm taking my friend up there."
looked over my shoulder to Merciless with a disapproving look.
"Hey kid, there's no way you can
protect this chick. Go away, I'm taking her."
Crap. The retarded
thought Merciless is my boyfriend! And what the fuck does he mean "chick"??
looked between us. "Ziri? You told me before but are you sure?..."
knew it. He didn't believe me!
I turned around. "Let's go somewhere else."
man blocked the exit again. "Miss, my name is [Smokin' Ring]. I ask you to
be my girl now!"
Merciless gasped behind me. I don't know for which reason but I
don't have time for him now.
get this straight," I grabbed his collar. "listen, I'm a man. And I
don't enjoy business between guys. I prefer women just like any sentient males out there.
Now get away. And keep distance. You're making me sick. Smoking Ring
right? If you don't leave me now I can beat you into a bloody donut instead."
know, you don't have to make up something like that if you just want to reject me. Oh please, don't hurt this sincere lover boy!"
He won't give up!
doing brother?" A group came down from the stair. Must be his comrades.
Where'you find this girl? Hot!"
when did that happen? You didn't even tell us!"
of them noticed what's going on. Oh kids these days...
Wait, I'm not really a
I go now? Or do you want a fight?" I'm losing patience.
so not your wife." An uneducated looking guy snickered. "Hey chill
gal. Do you know who muh brother is? He's da second place on the level rank, [Smokin'
Ring]. He hit level 497 this morning, same with that Big Blade dude! He may be
the second now but he can beat the hell outta Big Blade I tell you! Go with him
and you can have your life however you want in Zero!"
rank second?" I'm interested. I've been improving myself in hermit mode
for too long and I never knew how much I can do. He is the second in rank and
claims to be the strongest...that means he's the best target to measure myself.
If we can have a fight...
"Are you sure you're the strongest player?"
Ring chuckled. "Do you ever check the ranking lists at all?"
I certainly haven't looked at them for some time.
explained from behind :"There are different lists in [Zero]. The man in
front of you is the 2nd place on the level ranking, and the tied 1st place on
the overall combat rating list! You didn't know??"
I didn't find it in my Help menu." I asked in surprise. Is something wrong with
not in your Help. Ask any of the guards in cities and they'll tell you the
newest lists. You don't even know this? How many quests did you skip?"
do you say?" Smokin' Ring looked at me in defiance. "Accepting my offer yet?
I can give you a bright future!"
have a question first."
ahead. I never refuse to talk with beauties!"
tied first with someone. Who is it?"
system determines this rating with really vague calculations. There are many people on
the first place. Three other people tied with me, so four champions in total.
a Jerk], level 493 Grand Beast Wielder.
[Hydralisk], level 487 hidden class. I
don't know what but he's good.
And [Wind Drifter], level 479 Fallen Angel. He's
Divine Demon so his own attributes are pretty high. He may have the lowest level among
us but he's probably the strongest one if we actually compete."
see..." I opened the note system and recorded his words.
have you decided?"
I have a fight with you?" I dodged his question.
he took my word in the wrong way. "So you'll come with me if I win?"
talk about that if you can win at all."
He'll see my identity anyway. I
don't think he'll actually ask me out when that happens. Besides...I won't lose.
You'd better keep your word for it. Let's get to the arena, so we don't get red
names or lose level or items."
problem. Lead the way."
paid a small entrance fee and entered the arena. It looks like those ancient
Roman Colosseums, just a bit smaller. The city is pretty small for that matter.
Before we can start, the observations seats suddenly became occupied. His
buddies called all kinds of people to watch! Oh crap. They're adding a lot of
unnecessary trouble for me.
can do it boss!"
"Finish this quick!"
I saw Smokin' Ring's
personal cheering team. There are a lot of girls rooting for him too.
we love you!!"
Dang. Is he a superstar or something?
looked at me :"I don't hold back when I fight. Don't blame me for hurting
it. I'm not made of paper. And don't get cocky, I have some serious attacks. Don't
take it too hard if you got insta killed."
I'm confident enough in my
own skills. I'm wearing full Artifact set for cake's sake.
The system announced the start of the battle.
Smokin' simply charged towards me. I'm wearing my wizard robe so he probably thinks
he can win this easily if he gets close.
I just watched as he approaches and
waited for a chance.
But he didn't even attack me!
"Do you surrender?"
"Why would I do that? We haven't started yet."
a Wizard, and a Warrior just got to your face! Of course you lost."
I grinned. As I hoped, he lost his guard for a brief moment.
"Surprise!" I revealed my attack. "[Heart Piercer]!"
This is currently my most
powerful skill as a D&P Rider. I want to see if the so-called No.1 can
survive this. It'll be a joke if he died for it. If he didn't, I'll
have a good reason to carefully research on him and the other three elite
an explosion, Smokin' was shocked far away without any defense prepared. His
face went pale. He moved even farther away with several hasty backflips.
"That robe is a disguise? You're a Warrior?"
He no longer carries
that girl hunter attitude. He sees me as a rival now.
just smile. "Oh no you got me. So how did it feel? I prepared that big move
just for you!"
stuffed potions into his mouth while looking at me warily, fearing that I may
ambush him again. And I know why he's scared. I can read his numbers from that
hit: total HP 4,737, and my skill did 4,592 damage. Almost killed him in one
shot. That's my best damage without a critical hit too, since the number is in
red. He can't see that information, so he believes that I still have enough
power to kill him if I'm lucky.
come closer! We're both melee classes, how do we fight like this?" I
taunted as I saw his HP bar getting filled. Since I can't kill him with that, I'll
have to be careful about his moves now.
"Still not coming? I'll shoot you
then. Don't blame me for being mean." I aimed my right arm at him. I never
tried to adjust the crosshair on my Revenger crossbow, now there's a perfect
clicked my finger, a feathered bolt went out. He wasn't expecting a long-range
shot like this so he didn't react.
The attack still missed. Uhmm. So the crosshair strays too left...
I began to tune my Revenger. This thing shoots every
four seconds, after some exercise, the wall behind Smokin' Ring is filled with
bolts. None of the audiences are cheering now. They are wondering why a Wizard
took out a lance, then a crossbow, and with so much ammunition! The wall is
loaded with over a hundred bolts now. None of my concern. I collected
enough bolts to support my whole game career in that underground dungeon, plus
there's no space limit for my bracelet, so I brought them all.
I'm enjoying the shooting practice I heard a system message:
leveled up. Attack is now 680-980, Attack Speed is 3 seconds per shot. Number
of Soul Chasers increased to 3."
there was no level up feature for Revenger?
Dark Dragon Lord armor set can be
leveled up, and Reverger is merged with the set. That must be the reason.
is a prize!
took the chance and charged at me again. "[Leaf Sweep]!"
me off my feet with a spinning leg sweep. Cheering voices rose again. Oh fuck
you all, you kept silent when I beat him up, now you all came back alive?
didn't give me chance to regain posture. He kicked me higher with another leg
sweep, then he jumped above me and punched downwards. I was wondering where his
weapon is, now I see those metal knuckles on his fingers! That will be painful
if it hits me.
I'm half Wizard. Of course I know this universal defense spell. Wizards usually
fight like this: Barrier up -- attack -- re-barrier if it gets damaged -- attack.
I don't use this skill because I have my companions to protect me, besides I'm
half Warrior type too. But now I need to stay cautious.
His punch instantly shattered the barrier and hit my waist. That's was strong! The
spell still dampened his attack. I only received a scratch damage.
immediately retaliated when I landed. "[Heavy Bash]!"
This is the most basic but
the fastest melee skill. And he can't dodge it with that kind of position.
Skin]!" He used his skill and took that attack head-on. 1 damage!
that's some serious Defense.
Humph. Let me see how much defense you
"Night Shade!" I hopped onto his back. "You're not
expecting a Rider to fight without a horse eh? Call your companions if you have
I took off my wizard robe which caused gasps among the audiences.
Rider huh? As I thought. I never saw Wizard carrying a lance."
summon anything. So he doesn't have any?
No that's impossible. The number two
figure on the ranking list should find companions easily, and he got a lot of fans too.
Someone like this is bond to have a lot of resources.
not calling companion? Are you underestimating me again?"
"No. It's just my companion isn't good at fighting. It won't help." He took out
another knuckle set and equipped it. "Careful now, I'm going to hit hard!"
charged. I legged Night Shade's belly, he dodged aside with a quick hop. Smokin'
may be fast but he'll never reach the same speed as Night Shade.
Night Shade to run towards Smokin' who just dashed past us.
Smokin' dodged my lance attack combo with several ground rolls. Man he's pretty
quick on his feet.
we're the ones facing the other direction. Smokin' rushed at our back.
You should never slap a horse's ass but he did. His palm
precisely hit Night Shade on the rear. The sudden pain caused Night Shade to
perform the signature horse attack -- He supported himself using his front legs and bucked
Smokin' went flying as if he was hit by a truck. Boomsh! A human-shaped hole
appeared on the arena wall.
palm strike was obviously strong because Night Shade fell sideways after the
kick. I checked his wound and noticed that deep hand-shaped hollow part on his
rear-end armor. He's not going to run like that. I could only de-summon him.
freed himself from the hole and dusted himself. "Nice horse. It still has
the strength to kick after my best attack?
And what's that on the hooves? The kick did piercing damage!"
see several small bleeding holes on his body, drenching his clothes. So those
horseshoes are pretty useful, I guess I need to tell Night Shade to use his
kicking attacks more often.
asked for it. If you touch horse ass or girl ass or whatever's ass again you might
get kicked by who-knows-what."
I'm joking but I'm still serious
about this fight. After all, I don't meet many people who can take down Night
Shade in one hit.
"You're good. My mount is not just an ordinary pony you
can do better!" He rushed. "Fuuuugaaa Heaven Punch!"
as if a wall made of air just fell on me, then I took countless punches. The
speed of these fists is like raindrops!
I was sent flying and rolled on the ground. At least the impact is strong
enough. I crawled back up and...700 damage? That's lame.
That skill must be used
to cause damage using the great number of attacks. But the outcome is greatly reduced
by my high Defense.
"Nice one. But your fists feel so weak. It didn't do
course he knows how much damage he did. And it must have shocked him.
This is a new D&P Rider skill I just learned. A wave of
lances enclosed upon his body from all directions. He tried to dodge but there's
no way he can avoid hundreds of attacks at once.
Without a way out, he used his
Iron Skin again.
The lances dropped to the ground and disappeared, leaving
only one, which pierced his abdomen.
"Those were shadows, there's only one real lance. The name
already told you those were feint and you still fell for it."
looked up from his would, painfully. "You...how did you break through my
can't. But my lance ignores Defense. Now give up."
I tried to pull the
lance out of his wound, but Smokin' pulled at the tip and dragged it out from
behind him instead. I was taken aback for a while.
seized the chance and rushed close. "[Mountain Breaker]!"
I was taken by surprise. The palm pushed me into the sky with a strange but
I crashed on the ground hard, coughing up some blood.
Book 4, Chapter 27
The Ace (Part 2)
I was taken by surprise. The
palm pushed me into the sky with a strange but deadly force.
on the ground, coughing some blood. My whole body is filled with pain. I
managed to stand up with some hard effort, but just as I balanced myself, something
exploded on my back with a POOM, tearing up a big wound while causing my blood
to flush out.
More blood came out of my mouth. I stumbled forward and dropped
to the ground, supporting myself with my hands.
Smokin' lost balance and knelt down as well.
"Heh ha ha--a-ark!"
tried to laugh but that wound on his stomach grew bigger.
"What a powerful
Your kung-fu is good!" I forced a smile. "Pity, you still lost."
don't know that yet." He seems pretty confident. "You took my [Mountain
Breaker], so you won't be moving for a while. Just surrender."
I raised my right hand. A bolt stuck into his arm causing him to
"I can kill you like this, slowly."
"My skill can do more than that." He gave me a wicked grin.
My arm exploded too. The bolt I was preparing was shot towards the sky instead.
Damn it another one? His skill isn't over?
job, I'll give you that." I still kept calm. "But you think I'll let
you win? No! I will not lose! Never!"
smiled bigger, probably because he thinks I'm getting desperate. But my next
move removed that smile.
I stood up while shaking.
Pong! My left arm exploded. I'm
knocked to the right but I kept standing.
Pam! That's my left leg. Blood
covered the ground yet I didn't lose my smile.
"So how many times can you
do this? Five? Six? Or--"
Bom! My right leg was torn up. I staggered, almost
falling down again.
audiences are silent. No one is applauding anymore. Everyone is trying to
confirm if I'm a monster.
Boom! Pah! The ruptures are becoming faster. I feel like being pushed around by
a lot of people. My HP has dropped to the bottom, but the Collar of Protection
will still keep me alive, by pouring the life force of my companions into my
the skill stopped before I need to rely on the collar. Looks like
the skill only tries to empty the target's own HP bar.
now covered in red but still standing. I gave my neck bone a crack and spoke:
"Not bad. Pretty scary skill. Almost killed me. " I raised two
fingers and smiled again. "Pity, just a teeeeny tiny bit left. Shame."
Then I regained my posture. "Night
Night Shade is already recovered. Thanks to Phiona's buff bonus, everyone
heals faster than average.
I aimed my left hand at the knight lance dropped by
Smokin. The lance flew towards me. I grasped the weapon and gave it a wave-around.
"You're the best opponent yet, for getting me into this shape. I'm give you an
I ordered Night Shade to Charge.
"[Pole Pick], aerial
I pierced his body and leveraged Night Shade's speed to hurl
the lance away.
lance carried the helpless Smokin all the way onto the reviewing stand on the
audience area. It stuck into the platform and quivered for a while due to the
momentum, but Smoking is no longer moving.
Even the best technique in the world
won't win against absolute power. A good martial artist may defeat someone much
stronger than himself, but he's never going to beat a war tank just using his
skills or reflexes.
my victory was not guaranteed. If I don't have this collar, if I don't have my
lance, or if he used his best attack at the start of the battle...I'm not sure
I would have won. Time to learn some tricks I guess. I may have a lot of
superior weapons and companions but I'll need more than these to beat someone
has already turned into a white flash and gone reviving. I remote-retracted my
dragon lance and put it behind my back.
But I forgot players get revived where they
die in the arena. Smokin appeared again in front of me. Hm. This place is sure
suitable for sparring with other people.
looked at me with a scary expression.
"What? I won. You will leave me
didn't say anything. He stared at me for several more seconds before he
suddenly jumped over and clamped onto my waist!
"Hero! I mean, miss
heroine! Take me with you!! I'm following you from now on!"
tried to run away but was dragged onto the ground instead.
crawled towards the exit. He won't let go of my legs. "Halp!! Get away you
freaking gay! Damn it why isn't any beautiful girls doing this to me??"
He was poked by the spike on my leg guard and released his grip. I immediately
stood up and kept distance with him.
He tried to get close again. I summoned my
wasps and asked them to form a barricade between us.
the hell out of my face or I'll make it violent!"
master!! Take me!"
you a stray dog or something? You have guild and lot of followers, why me?
You're famous here! And don't call me lady I'm a man HOW MANY TIME DO I HAVE TO
alright! So you're male, bring me along!"
This is getting too complicated. "Here, how about we call each other
brothers from now on?"
He paused. "Okay! Let's do this."
dismissed my wasps, he ran to me again.
"Stop!! No closer! I don't feel
good with dudes near my face!"
me a call if you ever need help and I'll always be there first!"
...I think I
can believe that.
got it. Farewell!"
I dashed outside the arena as fast as I can, leaving a
smoke trail behind me. I almost bumped into Merciless, who's waiting at the
"Why are you...?"
well, don't blame me for not watching your fight. Those fans are crazy. I
tried to cheer for you and they tosses me over the wall!"
I can totally understand that." I wiped a drop of sweat on my forehead.
"Let's get out of here. I've had enough. And I need to find a cute girl to
heal up my heart!"
stopped to take a break when we're far enough from the arena. Then someone almost
knocked me over again.
"What kind of bastard--" I'm full of anger now.
Can I even walk peacefully for once??
I...I didn't...mean that..."
The man is swaying left and right. I'm
surprised he's not falling down yet. He got really thick tongued and a red face.
He's drunk, for sure.
no point in arguing with someone like this so I dragged Merciless to leave. But
the man somehow shifted in front of us.
"Oh hello beautiful sisters. Why...why
are you...all look the same? Tri-triplet?"
I looked around. Nope, it's late and no one else is walking in these parts. Oh
come on. He drunk too much and he's seeing double images.
"Hey friend. Can
you stop being all wobbly? You're making me dizzy."
tongue is still not straight. "How...how did you know-know my name?"
name? I don't know your name."
you just called me."
I? What's your name?"
"That's, well, a proper name for you." Merciless commented. "We'd better not
disturb this brewmaster. Let's go."
turned away. "So, enjoy your drink! We'll go now."
Man we'd better
hurry. That alcohol smell is making it hard to breathe.
followed us with that unstable step. And he actually followed us for some
distance before we can lose him! We're already outside the city gate. The night
has arrived but the visual is still good thanks the the moon. This is
specifically configured for those night shifters. Some people prefer to play at
pulled on my arm again. "Can you tell me how to hatch eggs?"
shoot. Another one!"
do you mean?"
"So many people are totally clueless about how to use companion eggs.
And you're yet another one."
Is that a surprise? I don't see many people with companions around, I guess it's
just normal. The slots are mostly useless, cause people can't catch any
monsters at all. It doesn't matter if you have one or two or five companion
see... I can understand that. You got an egg from the quest reward right? I can
tell you now. Let's see it."
followed my instructions and hatched the egg. An adorable black kitten jumped
out of it.
"...What's this? The quest is freaking impossible and
they only give you a pet kitten?"
I can only admit that the look of this
little creature can probably seize the heart of most human being. But...
"Seriously! A cat??" Merciless is getting depressed. We were both expecting
something way better out of the difficult quest.
easy for now. Check the status. Maybe it got some surprises." The cat
doesn't look any special but who knows. "Companions all look small when
they're hatched. Maybe it'll turn bigger."
As he read through the texts I see his expression getting brighter.
He jumped in place in the end.
"It's not cat! It's called [Winged Leopard (Alpha)]. Ha! A leopard. And a pack leader!"
looks like a kid who just found his new toy. Well, I can share that excitement
alright, stop it. Find somewhere private and dance however you like, don't do
it in front of the city gate. You'll get a bad name."
looked at all the people staring at him and went silent.
"Oops, sorry. I
happy then. I'll log for now. I got schedule to level up with my friend
tomorrow morning. I don't want to sleep in."
up?" He gave me some uncertain glances.
"Tell me if you want something. There's no sissy here."
I join you?"
"I kinda earned myself some enemies around here so someone's always trying to
kill me. And that's why I went on the quest alone. I don't have to worry about
that if I can find a group to grind together."
I told him the time and exited the game.
Book 4, Chapter 28
I woke up early enough. According to plan, I
need to pick up Merciless before we head to Hawk and the others.
you're already here? Am I late?"
I came too early."
grabbed Merciless's arm and teleported to the station in Goddess City. This is
where we'll meet up.
No one's here. Yup, this is too early. We found a corner
around the street where we can see the station and sat down. I watched the
passers-by in boredom, while Merciless plays with that black kitten.
Merciless. We look like some beggars. Someone's not going to throw coins at us right?"
looked at me, then turned to his cat again. "Definitely not you. Not sure
about myself though."
do you mean?"
that robe on you is obviously something expensive. No one is wearing anything
better as far as I can see. They must be blind if anyone thinks you're poor."
The Wizard over there!" A female voice called out.
I looked around, the
only one that qualifies as a "wizard" is me.
"Are you calling me?"
I looked at the woman who just approached me. Something caught my mind. She's
familiar, as if we see each other everyday. But...I can't remember who she is.
can see the same doubt on her expression too.
"We met before?"
accompanied by a male Warrior, who looked between us for several rounds. Merciless
is attracted too and began to check our faces.
woman finally spoke.
But she stopped, not sure what to
male Warrior stared at us for a full minute, rubbed his eyes, then stared
again. He spoke to Merciless instead. "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"
nodded. "I think I agree."
woman fished out a mirror somewhere behind her back and looked at it, then at
me, the mirror, repeat. She then turned the mirror towards me.
I observed myself in
the mirror and--
huh? Wait, I'm--nonono, you're--" I stuttered without making out any full
I turned to Merciless: "5 minutes!"
I didn't reply. I just quickly logged off.
I saw the woman did the same.
didn't leave my Iron Unit, I used the built-in telephone and gave my father a
call. I also dragged my mother into the conversation.
"What's up son? It's
have a question, and I want a clear answer for it."
went wrong?" Mother seems worried.
considered for a while. How do I put this, to express my doubt without sounding
"Are you sure I'm the only child in the family?"
paused. "What's going on dear? That's out of the blue."
"Just tell me. Am I the only child? Do I have any twin brothers or sisters or
chuckled. "You lost your mind son? Why, you want a little brother now?"
mother seems annoyed. "You don't believe your own mother huh boy? Do you
think I can't even remember how many kids I have?"
no no no that's not what I meant! "
Apologize first. Getting mother angry
means she'll take me back to the company and give me punishment, which means, asking
me to manage business.
"I met some problem and I'm just making sure. Well,
not going to disturb your work. Bye!"
I quickly cut the comm. Any more and I'm
going to get myself a serious mouthful.
went back into the game to see the female Warrior just logging back too. We
stared in silence again. When we noticed we're already walking in circles, inspecting
I finally decided to starting talking first.
"I'm Ziri, and
she's surprised by my name.
"I'm Zirai! Divine Demon race."
looks like a pair!(*)
"Same here. I have double classes."
too. That's quite a coincidence. And I believe we did the same thing when
"So we got the same answer?"
don't have a twin!" We spoke and laughed at the same time.
my appearance issue hit me, so I quickly asked: "Are you female?"
just gave me a weird look. "I may not be a star but I'm confident in my
looks. Can a man have such a bright face like me?"
you're a woman?"
chuckled. "You're wrong then. I'm a man with that bright face you mentioned."
That shocked her for good. "You're not messing with me right?"
I look like that type?"
wait wait, you're serious?" She got closer. "You didn't use your true
appearance for your character?"
I made it 10% more masculine. I tried to make those body curves and lines straight."
snickered. "Ah I did the same! I wanted to look cooler so I attract less stalkers. I wonder if we
look the same in real life."
She took out her mirror again and began to
compare us. "Almost the same person! Funny. Never thought I'd run into
something like this in my life."
do you live?"
I study in the Neo-Dragon Academy."
don't say? I read in the Zenith Faculty."
Zenith Faculty is just behind Neo-Dragon. There's only a
wall separating the two places.
We both smile again. This is fascinating, the girl in
front of me is just like myself. We look alike, we think alike...You know the
feeling when there's someone who can totally understand your own thoughts.
without having to speak...wonderful!
me trying something out." I got a wicked idea.
want me to trick people?"
Bingo. We're in tune!
friends. They're arriving soon."
I told Zirai about the characteristics of
Hawk and others.
Shortly, Hawk, Elfy and the rest of the group appeared, and I can see
Rose too. She's been away for quite a while. I dragged Merciless and the male
Warrior somewhere to hide, while Zirai simply went to greet them like I would.
dear! Miss me?" Rose leaned into Zirai's chest. Even Rose didn't notice!
This is just why we both went to confirm with our families if we have a long-lost
patted on Zirai's shoulder. "Good morning mate."
surprising. This muscular big bro carries the least awareness among us all. Well maybe not, cause there's Big Pot.
Pot joined them. "Yo Ziri! That monster hunting was awesome! I'm looking
forward to today's work!"
looked at Zirai and tilted her head. But she didn't catch anything.
your armor Ziri? And your robe?"
is quick enough. "I changed so no one would recognize me here."
happened to your voice?" Elfy noticed something amiss. "It's...sharper?
You sound more like a woman now."
ha hahaha!" Zirai looked towards my location. "Come out already, I
can't hold it! Ah hahaha! Oh wow this is so much fun!"
froze. Except Rose, who immediately jumped away from Zirai's hug.
what is--" Rose looked between us for a while and finally came over me.
I nod to her.
held my arm. "Who is that?"
didn't answer. "How do you make sure this is the real me?"
raised her head. "I don't. But I can feel it. So who is that? I won't
notice at all if you didn't show up."
Zirai. My twin sister." I dragged Zirai to stand beside me.
knew it. You two look no different." Hawk is as careless as ever.
Pot scratched his head. "I thought you learned how to use those shadow
clone skills. Totally the same one if you ask me."
nodded and commented about how we look so alike, except Rose. She knows our
family and she's definitely aware that I don't have any sister. But she only
observed the scene without pointing it out.
Zirai failed to hold it back again. "Hey you all believed that?"
stepped out: "Ziri is the only child. There's no sister or brother. Otherwise
Dragon Fa woooo--"
I held her mouth.
I don't think it's a good idea to let the others know about my identity.
They'll just think someone in the company gifted all my resources for free.
alright, can you introduce her to us? And that two new faces over there?" Hawk
opened the topic.
is Merciless, I met him in a quest yesterday, a high level Assassin. We don't
have any Assassin in our team so I invited him. This pretty lady here is Zirai,
we just met. Trust me, I know nothing else. The gentlemen is together with
Zirai, I don't know him yet."
me introduce myself!" Zirai sure feels like a boy and I like that. "Good
day. I'm [Zirai], Divine Demon, duo class, Dragoon and Sealmaster. Pleasure
to meet you. Ziri told me all about you so you don't have to introduce back. This
is a friend I just met today, name is [Passerby], I think his class is called
Chaos Rider or something. And ugh! I forgot why I came today because of all the
are you doing?" We looked at her curiously.
want to steal the city defense cannon of Goddess City!"
mean, that energy crystal cannon on the city wall?" Hawk pointed towards
one of the giant weapons located on the battlement.
also looked at the cannon in shock. "We don't
know if we can move it at all. Even if we can...how? That thing looks like at
least a dozen tons, and it's set high up on the platform."
not safe here, let's talk about it outside."
led us into a forest far from the city.
"I'll call my companion now. Don't
get scared!" She waved her hand. "Come, Skyfire!"
With a strong
air current, a red dragon similar to Lucky descended from the sky. Apart from
the bright red color, it's also a bit bigger than Lucky.
"How does he
look?" Zirai touched the large dragon's nose and waved her other hand.
"Come, Big Bill, Little Bill!"
Boom! Two giants taller than the city
wall appeared near us.
We stepped back. She got a lot of interesting members!
seems satisfied with our expressions. "Now how's this? Big Bill and Little
Bill can help us carry the cannon. I just need some helpers to take care of the NPC
guards. These two are big but they're not good at fighting. We can't defeat too
many enemies. And Skyfire is not enough to fend off hundreds of guards. This is
why I came for help. What do you say? I'll pay for the extra hand!"
and I exchanged a glance.
I spoke: "Our team has set up a goal to go to
Japan and cause some troubles there. We'll help you get that cannon if you agree to join our
seems embarrassed. "Not 'that cannon'. I need THOSE cannons!"
All of them?" Gold Coin looked towards the city wall and shook her head.
"Oh dear. Now here's someone even greedier than me."
not like that." Zirai explained. "I'm helping our country. I'm going
to carry these weapons to the Nation War border and use them as the last
defense line. Or what other reason do you think I have? For fun?"
in the same team then! Hahaha! Let's do this!" Everyone laughed.
stopped them. "Not yet, we have problems. We
can walk into the city alright, but how do we get out?" I looked among
them. "You can summon your titans inside the city, how can we get them out
after that? Are they able to climb over the wall with the cannon? The main gate is
no-go. It's like a doghole for these big guys, and there's no way for the
cannon to get through. Putting your hands on the cannon means to start a city siege
war. We will be facing more than city guards. Goddess City is a major system
city, it can spawn 100 thousand regular army units during a war, you sure our
small team can handle that?"
continued: "Now suppose we can get out of the city. There are five energy
crystal cannons on the walls of Goddess City. So, we carry one, the one in the
opposite direction can't see us, but the rest three will have no trouble
blowing us up. If my guess is right, those cannons are not designed for
individual player targets at all. One hit and we're done. Death may
not be a problem but it will destroy the cannon we're carrying. What do we do
then? Go back and get another?"
Zirai slumped down. "I thought this would be easy...now you broke all hope."
They stared at me again.
"How much weight can your Skyfire
sure but must be a lot." Zirai is uncertain what I'm planning. "How does
I summoned my No.1 assistant. "Say, if they work together, can they carry
the cannon into the air?"
didn't answer. But Hawk shoot his head.
"Not likely. Even if they can it will
be too slow."
Loong'er!" I summoned everyone who can fly. "What about now?"
recovered her smile. "Yes, yes! We can do it! Two dragons? Oh my. I wonder
which one is stronger, Lucky or my Skyfire."
it. Skyfire will definitely lose unless it reaches level 1000." That I'm
that?" She's not convinced.
opened Lucky's status and showed her. "As dragon king, he does double
damage to any dragon-type monsters. Phiona can give him a free revival once per
day. Can Skyfire kill him twice?"
that dragon king's crown in the inventory?" Zirai swallowed. "I want
one for my Skyfire..."
a crown, not a cheap hairpin. It will make no sense if everyone has one."
when do we start?" Hawk asked."It will really help us if we can put
those cannons into the war zone."
about this evening?" Zirai suggested.
do it in the day." Gold Coin proposed with a professional attitude. "This
is a game, those NPCs can stay fully awake even in the night. But we can't. And
the view is better during the day so we can give it our best. There'll be
complications in the evening. You're carrying a big object, we'll need someone
to give orders within sight. And NPC's visual field stays the same during night hours, if I remember
point. I agree with Coin." I gave my stand. "Let's
prepare, we do it in the afternoon."
"Let's see what we'll need." I drew a picture in my mind. "Potions
and consumables. A lot of them. Be sure to stock up. Some ropes. Long ones."
that for?" Big Pot asked.
knocked his head. "To bind up those cannons! Do you think we can carry
them just with dragon or bird claws??"
now, go get the items now." I dismissed them.
stayed and looked at me. "You are not going?"
I'll stay in the back and give orders. Oww don't hit me! Hey!"
(*) It's too hard to turn their names into English while keeping the meaning behind them, so I didn't.
Ziri: the purple sun. Ziyue: the purple moon. I altered the latter. Directly calling them purple sun or moon doesn't feel right.
Book 4, Chapter 29
We soon gathered in front of the city gate.
Hawk is pretty smart when it comes to these operations. He bought many ropes from
the system shop and prepared them into thick towlines enough to drag the
about this?" Zirai used the towlines to make a giant noose with four ends.
So Phiona, Loong'er, Lucky and Skyfire can each take one end and lift the
cannons. The cannons look more like some kind of observatories. Who knows how
heavy they are.
be good!" Everyone nodded.
move then!" Zirai is getting super excited.
Big Pot raised his hand. "Someone needs to stay on the rope right? The
companions aren't going to command themselves."
go then!" Violet pushed Big Pot onto Lucky's back. "Be careful not to
I'm afraid of heights!!" He tried to climb down.
I signaled Lucky to take
off with the three other companions, bringing the rope noose and the screaming
Big Pot with them. They didn't go far. Skyfire stayed lower, without leaving
our sight, which caused the other companions to stay behind too.
Zirai? Is your dragon afraid of heights too?"
"Very funny. That's
MY companion, what do you expect when I'm standing on the ground? You at least
know there's a limit for how far you can command your pets right?"
think Hawk and Elfy mentioned this before. Ordinary companions can only operate
within their master's sight. This is not the case for my team though.
should go with them then." I told them to get down.
Zirai summoned her
titans to lift her up, then un-summoned them again. Well that's handy.
guys wait in the city! I'll get to right above the cannon. Give me a signal
when ready, and I'll come down!"
it. Let's move!"
team marched towards one corner of the Goddess City where one of the energy
crystal cannons is located. Four cannons are separately placed at each corner
of the city, and a bigger one is stationed on top of a tower in the city center.
This layout is used to make sure that at least three cannons can hit something
no matter which direction they come from.
targets are the four smaller corner cannons. Of course we want the middle one
as well but we're not sure we can lift it, with that kind of size. If we
manage to pirate the other four this time, we can try to get the big one later.
sneaked under the cannon in the southeast corner of the city. The stone
platform support made of flagstones is as tall as the city wall, whereas the
half-sphere shaped cannon stays aloft in the center of the platform. Thirteen guardians are standing under the cannon in a circle, with their backs against
the cannon. There's an unconspicuous room nearby which must be the spawn point.
When the city goes into war, the five rooms at mentioned locations will produce
100,000 level 800-850 regular NPC soldiers. That will definitely be quite a
it possible to seal that door?" I pointed to the spawn room and asked Hawk.
can't seal it but...It's still possible to stall them."
"How do we do that?"
will happen if we knock it over and make it crash into the door?"
like your way of thinking." I gave him a thumb-up.
quiet you two! We're going!" Elfy lost patience.
sent Zirai a /tell, asking her to start.
black spot in the sky quickly grew bigger. The temporary transport team arrived
almost in an instant.
Zirai jumped onto the cannon and began to tie the ropes. The
NPC guards looked back towards her the moment she touched the cannon.
we already moved before they can react. The ten Phantom Knights charged ahead, followed
by everyone else. We knocked down the guards within a matter of seconds.
Zirai an "ok" gesture. She then ordered Skyfire and the others to
gain altitude. They (those with wings at least) flapped their wings as hard as they can.
dull bumping noise, followed by a smoke cloud. The cannon left it's base and
Groups of NPC soldiers are already appearing inside the house nearby!
Zirai summoned her titans. They pushed at the remaining cannon base, which fell and broke the stone platform to pieces and caused all the rocks to bury the
spawn point under a giant rubble.
Something's not right. That base lying on the rubble...It looks like
a tripod stand, with a long, thick iron pipe attached to it.
Wait, it's the
cannon! I looked up to the transport team. What they're carrying is the half-sphere
casing of the cannon. So the actual cannon isn't so big, the heavy casing is used to
hide the cannon's long barrel!
quickly contacted Zirai. "Come back! You took the wrong stuff!"
Zirai watched from Skyfire's back as we stood on the rubble, waving at her and
pointing to the object behind us. She soon realized the real target is still on
can't hesitate now. I simply asked Phantom to send a telepathy and call Lucky and
the others back. Phiona used her fire to burn the rope away.
The giant half-sphere cannon casing fell and created a big gap on the city wall,
while causing block pieces to fly about. We all covered our heads and dived for cover.
is already flying down. The cannon in the city center turned to our direction
and fired with a strange "poof" noise. A cannon bullet carrying a
violet colored trail, like a comet, approached us. It aimed high, apparently
going for Lucky.
did a beautiful tactic roll in mid air, dodging the bullet. It flew towards
outside the city and landed on a small mountain tip. The landing point is
pretty far away but we still heard the explosion. We observed the scene from
the opening gaps on the wall. The mountain tip is flattened into plain ground!
was scary. I hope no one's over there.
continued to dive down when the northeast cannon fired at us too. Lucky didn't
have time to avoid this one, and was killed fast and clean!
The explosion brought a shockwave towards us. The ground full of
rubble is now covered in smoke and dust. There's no way we can reach the gate
now so we just decided to get away through those openings on the wall.
dust was blown away by a strong gust. Loong'er came down like a swimming snake. She is no smaller than Lucky but her long, slim body is much much
harder to hit.
only had to dodge one shot before touching down, then she coiled around the
cannon and began to float. Lucky was revived using Phiona's skill. He quickly
escaped from those cannons' lines of sight because he doesn't want to
experience that again. This is the first time something one-shot him. Not even
the dragon deity Ao Guang can manage that.
quickly jumped off the city wall. There's a deep city moat below, obviously we'll have to rely
on ourselves to get past it.
I summoned Night Shade who did a wonderful job
again. He leaped over the moat with me, Rose and Yuri on his back, although a
Hawk, however, caused some embarrassment. With Hawk and
Elfy on the back, Sunshine fell into the river half way.
Coin simply ran across on top of the water surface, leaving a trail of
separated water current behind. She runs too fast!
used his ninjutsu "Suiton" and teleported across the river.
summoned Ashura. The kid has a mount with him, a silver pegasus!
friend, Passerby, summoned his companion too.
Oh my god what a giant roach!!
actually caught a cockroach as a companion! Of course it can fly. It had no
trouble bringing Passerby over the water. Man he got guts. I got gooseflesh
just looking at the size of the bug. Most women are terrified of these
things, while I tend to avoid them because they carry too much filth. I hate
Passerby is holding onto one of the hairy legs like it's nothing. Ewwww.
there's only Big Pot and Wayne left. They looked at each other, nodded hard, held
hands, jumped into the water and began to swim.
"...What are they doing?" Rose asked while looking at the duo who are
moving slowly to us, dog paddle style.
not using their companions?" Yuri muttered.
came over on the pegasus (Ashura is lying in her arms). "I know Big Pot's
pet. It can't swim. As for Wayne... no idea."
chuckled. "Wayne got no companion. He only has two servants, and they're
can't swim either."
"Ow." I think Yuri is actually feeling sorry for Wayne.
okay, let's be quick. Get those guys up here, we need to run!" Elfy and
Hawk dragged their soaked bodies ashore and urged us.
summoned Rosa and gave orders, though I can't hide my amusement looking at the
"Drag the two guys out of the water."
extended two tentacles and fished them out.
"Enough swimming, now run!"
I turned to Hawk and the others, telling them to retreat.
gave me a sad face. "I don't have companion!"
followed him. "You know, same here."
have enough companions for them right?" Yuri suggested.
shook my head. "Loong'er is carrying the cannon, Lucky and Phiona will be
against the enemies. They can't bring people. Same for the Phantom Knights. Night
Shade is already carrying three of us, that's enough burden for him."
came up and put his hands onto their shoulders. "You can come with Roachy.
He's fast I tell you! It will be like racing a car."
I guess..." Wayne climbed onto the giant cockroach's body, unwillingly. Oh ho ho
man he looks so funny!
Razor didn't say anything. He jumped onto the bug's head
and stood straight, arms crossed.
Pot summoned his companion too, a...gray, wild boar, as big as an ox. I gave
out a hearty laugh and almost fell off Night Shade. Big Pot has a giant pig
with a horse saddle on its back! I know about those Wolf Raiders, but
what is this, Pig Raider?
NPC army didn't give us time to think about that. A battalion appeared at
the front gate and marched towards us fast. And they look strong!
I wish I could
take the time and observe the army parade but obviously that's not going to
from the flyers, the fastest one among us is still Night Shade.
place is--surprisingly--Big Pot's boar. Ahh har har hahaha those four tiny legs
are almost as fast as Night Shade!!
Coin is sprinting on her feet. She has no problem keeping up with us.
The one in the back
is Hawk's unicorn, Sunshine. I wonder what he's thinking about now. The
handsome steed has the same body build as Night Shade but he fell behind a boar.
Again, never judge a book by the covers I guess. And no, don't judge pigs
army cavalry is getting close. We have to pick up speed. Lucky and Phiona no
longer need to help with the transportation so I called them back to stop the pursuers.
swept past the rider formation from start to end while unleashing his breath. It
didn't do much to the level 850 city defenders but was enough to cause trouble
to their horses. Phiona washed them over again using her purple flame. After
some white flash, thousands of riders became footmen.
Phantom Knights took the chance and launched their attack during the brief chaos. When the defenders managed to organize
their retaliation, the knights are already running away.
soon reached a great distance where the Goddess City is only a small dot on the
horizon. It should be safe but I'm feeling really uneasy for some reason.
noticed my expression. "What's the matter?"
"I think someone's watching us."
mean, someone went this far from the city behind us?"
I heard sharp noises coming from the sky. We all looked up. There are...spots, coming
out of the clouds.
Take cover!" Razor is the first one to recognize the beasts and alerted us
my point of view, there are at least 5,000 griffins up there. The sunlight
above us is becoming blocked out. And the sounds of these things flying is no different
than an airplane formation!
One of the griffins left the group and dived at us at full speed. My
warning came too late. Big Pot is caught into the air.
Phiona charged from the
side and collided into the griffin, which lost its balance and fell from the
sky. Passerby's cockroach caught the falling Big Pot with an impressive move
and ran away.
tried to call Lucky for help before I saw him already entangled in a fierce
fight against a group of griffins. I summoned everyone available. Any extra hand would be helpful now.
Dart waited for a chance when Phiona
flew low and jumped onto her back, then switched to a griffin's back when
Phiona got close to the enemies. There are too many of them so the griffins can't
really stay far from each other.
is simply hopping between different griffins. The thing is, when he left a
griffin, it will come down spinning in the air, while losing some feathers at
the same time.
Hey Ziri, your pet's awesome!" Gold Coin talked to me while checking one
of the fallen beasts.
look!" She pulled the griffin's wing, and I instantly saw what she meant. Dart
went to pick their feathers! The back edge of this griffin's wing is almost
bare. Since they don't have a wide tail like birds, they'll need to use their
long feathers at the back of their wings to steer around. If Dart plucked them clean...
suddenly exclaimed. "Hey I gained a level! But I didn't do anything. We get EXP by killing NPCs?"
I looked at my own EXP bar, and yes, it's growing. There's still a long
way to go before I can level up though.
Tank is leveling up rapidly. These griffins
are level 800, each kill can gain him several levels at his current state. I
watched as the palm-sized Tank grew bigger. He will turn into that original
size in no time at this rate.
pulled me out of my thought and alerted me to help Dart. I saw him falling down,
so I ordered Night Shade to ran up to him and then caught Dart in my hands. He
was hurt by someone. He has no trouble annoying the common griffins, but some
of them got riders on their backs, one of them managed to strike Dart down.
our efforts, most griffins got past us and caught up with Loong'er and Skyfire.
Zirai ordered Skyfire to fight off the griffins. Some more feathers rained down.
Loong'er failed to hold against the assault. She
dropped the burden in order to fight better, and the cannon was caught by a
dozen griffins before reaching the ground. They began to carry the cannon back.
We can only watch as they flew past our heads but we can't do anything!
I'm trying to come up with something, I heard a buzzing sound behind. Tank is
now big as an elephant and he's trying to fly with his hidden insect wings.
got into the air after some attempts. It sounds like being the middle of a bee
swarm, amplified by some loud speakers.
The griffin transport panicked when
they saw the sudden attacker. Maybe he's confident in his hard shell, or maybe
he's just not good at controlling his flight yet, Tank simply threw himself
into the griffins like a bomb.
griffins lost their balance, and the cannon fell down again which landed on Passerby's
Yuri is already
finishing up the second chapter of her Fallen Variation. The skill will come
into effect any time now.
something always goes wrong. A griffin dived before we can react and caught
Yuri. I'm struggling against a griffin myself so I can't help her. I should
have left her and Rose on Night Shade! We scattered up to keep more enemies
from going after Loong'er. Now it seems a bad choice!
was killed soon due to her weak build. She disappeared in a white flash, with
her song interrupted. Before I can make new decisions, Rose is lifted into the
air as well. Damn it I can't protect anyone like this!
Novel migration imminent. If things go well.
Book 4, Chapter 30
On the other end of the battlefield, Passerby
is intercepted by several griffins, causing the cannon to fall and finally
crash on the ground. It shattered into several parts. A bullet went off and
flew in the direction towards the Goddess City!
didn't give it much thought since we're pretty far off from the city and the
random shot probably won't do anything. However the shell precisely landed on
the city gate, pulverizing it, while causing dozens if not hundreds of people
to get buried alive.
Right. Innocent bystanders always get into trouble.
shit! Why me again??"
My Evilness rose! It was Tank who caused the
griffins to drop the cannon but...do they have to count ALL the deaths on my
cakes. All those people must have received messages that I attacked them. I
just made a second mass-kill accident! I didn't mean it!!
I'm already the top criminal, the system didn't announce my honorable deed
again. This won't cause TOO much of an issue since I have my Masking Wheel
bracelet, compared to last time.
griffins all retreated when the cannon is destroyed. They hurt Phiona badly before
they leave, Rosa saved her from a fatal crash.
began to wrap up the whole fight since the enemies are gone. Rose is the busies
one. She's the only healer in the team. Yuri can heal people but she died just
now, which means Rose's first task is
to revive Yuri before she gets teleported back to the city by the system due to
Rose used her skill three times at Yuri's body before she can bring
her back. Fortunately she only lost one level. Rose could really make a fortune
by selling her skill on the battlefield.
soon returned everyone to their full state. I looked at Zirai, who's sulking at
the remains of the crystal cannon. I walked to her and patted her on the
"Don't worry. We can always try again."
I feel as if I'm
comforting myself. This is strange.
the plan now?" Razor asked me. "Do we do it again when the city is in a
mess, or wait and save up strength?"
I can respond, Elfy yelled and startled everyone.
"Ziri, your pet!! What's
I turned around and saw Tank munching on something. Oh good lord, he's
covered in griffin blood while tearing on a griffin corpse!
I don't want to look at that." Gold Coin pointed at the griffin shreds.
"Where did you find this freak?"
not a freak." I retorted. "You have no idea what he can do when he
grows up enough. He's invincible!"
recovered her spirit. "You don't say?"
When he's still an enemy he can knock Lucky away like he was nothing."
bug can knock a dragon away?"
"You should check his status. Maybe eating corpse is
something he learned." Elfy suggested. "I know some monsters that can
heal or strengthen themselves by doing this."
I read through Tank's description and my mouth instantly dropped
"What?" Rose finished her work and ran to me. "He can heal up
shook head. "He's not healing."
is it then?"
a special skill. He can learn the skill of whatever he eats!"
serious??" Gold Coin squeezed to my side. I opened the window for everyone to
Bullet](Griffin). Yeah that's one of their skills. Good god, what happens if he
eats a dragon? He can breath fire?"
answered this one. "Oh he doesn't need to. The bug can already breath fire.
And it's powerful."
do you know that?" Gold Coin turned to Merciless.
was killed by it. I'd say that fire is just like dragon fire."
little less than that but close." I added. "Lucky was in a breathing
contest with it, and he lost. Though that was probably because Lucky's level
was too low."
has finished his meal during our discussion. He slowly crawled away when no one's noticing.
did it go Ziri?" Elfy is the first to notice the missing bug.
around and saw Tank just behind her, still biting on something.
went over to check. "Geez how many griffins do you--"
Then I stopped, which
caused all the others to look towards Tank as well.
scraps! I mean, the cannon--"
Tank is munching on the remains of the
crystal cannon. There are only a few screws and springs left on the ground!
he eats CANNONs??
check his skill!"
I didn't close the window, Violet saw something new.
Cannon Shot]? Wait wait wait you're not saying--"
I told everyone to step aside and
started to give orders to Tank. "Hey Tank, that hill over there, do you
see it? Use [Crystal Cannon Shot] on it!"
"What happened?" I
me a moment." Phantom went silent for a while. "He says he can only
use that skill with full HP."
heal him up. Looks he needs a full HP bar to use the cannon skill."
filled up his HP soon, when Tank turned towards the hill I mentioned. He fixed his six legs deep into the dirt and lay low.
The wing-case on his back opened
up. I thought he's going to display his wings again. Instead, a pipe-like
cavity organism stuck out from the middle of his back and pointed at the hill. The
alien object is obviously part of Tank's body now.
The long, light green barrel
began to glow. Poom! It kicked back in the same manner when a cannon releases a
shell. A bullet like the ones we saw before went towards the hill. The only
noticeable difference is that this one is green colored.
landed on the tip of the hill, causing a shock wave that can be seen by bare
eyes. The tip part disappeared from our sight, silently. It was when the shock
wave reached our position when we were finally met with the thunderous
explosion and terrible ground shake. We all had to crouch on the ground to
avoid all the debris.
the whole scene calmed down, Tank fell sideways and almost crashed on top of me,
if not for my quick reflexes. I looked at his attribute again -- HP 1,
MP 0. All skills are grayed out. A half transparent message is displayed on top
of the window:
[Exhausted. Cannot act. 72,000 seconds left (online time)]
the time meter is slowly going down.
gathered up with their bodies covered in dirt. Violet commented: "We
should-cough! Should have picked something farther away! Cough! I wasn't
expecting that kind of power."
showed them the countdown. "Pity. It got a really long cooldown."
"Totally legit. That was like a nuclear missile. If you can use it without
any limit you might as well go fuc up Japan on your own. You know, just stand
there, and give five or six shots, that's enough to blast a medium-sized city
into plain ground."
"Nice. A portable cannon. Now we can really call it a 'Tank'."
prefer 'Self-propelled Howitzer', if that counts as a name." Passerby
looked at the now strange-shaped Tank. "Apart from the speed...there's another
is it?" We all looked at him.
cannon is actually a skill right? And using it means Ziri's companion will have
to drop out of any actions for a while." Merciless paused a little. "It
may be powerful but there are not many chances we can use it for real. Close combat is
absolutely a no. As you see, the attack doesn't distinguish friendlies. If we
shoot in the middle of a fight we'll bring everyone down with it."
spoke: "We can use it during city siege. A shot like that on the city gate
or among the city defenders will solve us a lot of problems."
right. But did you notice how long it took him to expand the cannon?" Merciless
gave us the cold water again. "He needs to be at top status, and a full
minute to prepare the shot. If anyone manages to touch him, the skill gets
interrupted. The skill is really impressive on the looks, but not very
practical, if you ask me."
lowered our heads. That made a lot of sense. As he said, the kill power is
really good. But I can only use it at somewhere really far away from the team.
"Oh oops...sorry for that. It's better than nothing at least."
the plan? We go fetch another?"
now." Hawk shook his head.
agree with Hawk. We should wait for the night or wait till tomorrow. If we go
now we'll run into their main force again."
Coin held her chin. "I have an idea but...It's just a matter whether you
guys got the guts to do it."
shoot. We tried to take a city defense cannon for real. Is there anything else we
you know how the three major system cities got their title?"
She got us
hanging. And I don't think she's going straight if we don't play along.
Cause they're big?"
She looks satisfied. "The major cities are not the biggest ones. I've seen
cities bigger than the Goddess City but they're still not major cities. The
reason is the three cities have imperial palaces in them."
mean, the inner city?" Hawk nodded. "I see what you meant. Only major
cities have those palaces in the center. But what's important with that? They
never allow players in there. Anything worth taking?"
waved her index finger. "There are five crystal cannons in each city."
we all saw that."
you didn't see is the biggest cannon is located inside the palace area."
you make it simple?"
the simple question. Are you willing to lose a level to get that cannon?"
do we do that?" I still don't catch up with her.
well, maybe a minor system bug. The bug doesn't mean anything to common players
but we can use it."
bug huh?" I perked up. Never thought I'd encounter any bugs in [Zero]. This
is big news, I'll go tell my father later.
"Tell us already!"
a strange system setup. I noticed it by accident. There's one point when I stole
something and was cornered. My only choice then was jumping into the inner city
area. Guess what next?"
NPC guards all retreated. They can't get into the palace."
doesn't look 'minor' to me!" I yelled.
me finish! City guards can't get in, sure. But there are imperial guards inside
the palace, level 900, led by level 950 captains! These imperial troops will
come after you instead."
shrugged. "No bug for us then. Those level 900 guards will be way harder to deal with."
"Wrong again! I survived for a while thanks to my speed. The imperial
guards only try to kill you, instead of taking you to prison. And I found a
problem: there are very few of them, and they don't respawn. In other words, they're
short on hands. So what happens if we attack from several different locations?"
they don't have enough men, they can still kill us before we can bring the
cannon outside the palace."
don't have to! Actually, we don't do that in the first place."
we're not going to steal the cannon at all?"
ordinary city guards left me alone after I was killed. I sneaked back into the
palace again, guess what I found? The items I lost were still there on the
ground. I tried several times more and this is my conclusion:
First, the city
guards don't care if someone enters the palace. They only go after thieves and
Second, items left in the palace will not get cleared up. The
imperials don't check what you dropped.
(In [Zero], items don't disappear on themselves but passing monsters and NPCs will try to take them away. Remember how Hawk and Elfy witnessed a dragon snatching a gem away from a group of fighting players?)
And third, when I went back for my items, the imperials came after
me but they stopped at the palace boundary. The outside city guards never
showed up again either. So, the imperials either try to kill me because I
trespassed on forbidden ground, or because I have stolen items on me. Either
way, they can't go outside bounds. The city guards won't care if I go back
again and retrieve the stolen items I lost. You see the bug now?"
so, for whatever reason, imperial guards only attack intruders inside the
palace, and city guards will stop pursuing anyone after they're killed once. Neither
of them actually care about the stolen items." Elfy gave her own sum-up.
"Close. The city guards do care about the items, but they don't try to
take them if they can't. Normally they will take the items from the thief and
give them back to the owner, but since they can't reach the items dropped inside
the palace, they'll leave them there. Even if I take them out again they won't
does that help with our plan?" Passerby asked.
still didn't get it so I explained: "Coin wants to say that if we move the
palace cannon, the city guards will gather outside the palace and try to kill
us to retrieve the cannon. Here, we move the cannon near the gate and let the
imperials kill us. Then all the NPCs will return to their original positions, we
revive, go into the palace again and take the cannon. In this
case, neither the imperials nor the city guards will come after us. We can just
carry the cannon through the city gate under broad daylight!"
Book 4, Chapter 31
"Nice idea!" Passerby applauded.
This means everyone must die once right?" Razor looked among all the
people. "We should carefully go over the plan, and maybe bring the
necessary members only. I don't think we ALL need to lose level. Besides, you
should change your setup. Put on something cheap. Level 900 enemies will easily
kill anyone whatever we wear, and you don't want to lose your valuable
equipment by accident."
made a good point." Elfy nodded. "Yuri and Rose can stay behind, we
don't really need healers this time."
looked at Elfy. "You should quit too. We need tanks or anyone with enough
HP to move the cannon as close to the palace gate as possible. Let's try making
the casualty minimum."
nodded to Elfy. "As he said. Stay outside and help me carry extra
want to go with you!" Elfy gave Hawk a stern look. "We all know you'll
die, then let me at least be there with you. That's what a wife does!"
Hawk held Elfy's shoulders and called her name in a really dramatic way.
also threw herself into Hawk's arms. "You big fool!"
Big Pot turned his head away. "Knock it! There are damn singles here! A
lot of them! Be kind and don't hurt our feelings further, okay??"
"Leave us alone. This is family problem! "
patted on Big Pot's shoulder. "Easy. Don't you already know they're couple
of the year?"
Pot brushed my hand away and grabbed Passerby. "You don't understand how
played along. "Yeah! You have enough pretties around you. Give us some
walked behind them and gave each of them a good knock on the head using her mage staff.
cleaned my throat. "Okay now, still, the less people the better. I'll now
decide the team. No objections.
First, me and Zirai. We can't go without our
Hawk is in. He's the best
tank we have.
Wayne stays behind. A caster won't help much in this case.
and Rose will stay outside. This will probably only take several minutes, there's
no time for you to heal us. Rose should be on reviving duty. It
will be of great help if we lose less level."
opened her mouth but didn't anything. She knows my decision will be
continued: "Elfy's shooting skills aren't really effective here, so don't
go. You can observe the situation and give us orders accordingly.
come with us. We need your speed and your knowledge of the palace layout.
is out. Your assassination skills won't work against those level 900 guards.
Pot and Violet will join. You both have good defenses, and Ashura is pretty
Passerby...you can decide for yourself. I don't know about your class."
quickly stepped up. "Of course I'll join. You haven't seen my special
skill! That's a perfect skill to draw monster attention!"
can do that?" Zirai turned to him. "You never told me about it."
scratched his head. "It's a skill of my Roachy. It kinda...stinks, I don't
usually use it in front of girls. But I assure you it works wonders!"
come with us then."
I need enough people and also need to make sure less people
die at the same time. Guess I can't satisfy both.
"Razor is fast but you
won't work well against high level enemies, stay with Elfy and help us with
nodded without a word. He talks the least among us. Besides Merciless, maybe.
we start right now?" Zirai seems anxious about getting the cannon. She
came up with the plan first!
checked the system clock. "Not now. The NPC army should be still up. The
cannons will fire at us at this moment."
raised her hand: "Um, there are THREE major cities, right?"
dragged her over hugged her tight. "I love you!!"
is blushing hard. I think that's the same expression when a girl goes on the
date for the first time.
Oh dear. I hope she's not looking at Zirai in place of me.
idea!" Hawk interrupted my random thought. "We can go to the
Celestial City or Cloudtop! Which one's the target?"
then." Passerby suggested. "It's my home city so I know it well. It's also
the smallest city among the three, which means the palace must be smaller. This
will make the quest a lot easier."
take Passerby's advice. Now, gather up in front of the palace gate in Cloudtop.
Share your teleport scrolls if anyone doesn't have any, go to any city and use
the teleport station to our destination."
Then I held Rose's hand and
directly teleported to the station in Cloudtop city.
walked out of the station soon. Passerby has several scrolls to this city on
him. As he said, you should prepare enough major city teleport scrolls because
you will need to get to them often.
soon reached the palace gate in the city center. The gate arch structure is as
tall as the main city gate itself!
do we get in?" Hawk looked up at the impressively fortified rampart.
gave him a mysterious grin. "Time for my Roachy to show his wonders again!"
He summoned the giant bug.
are you gonna do?"
anyone doesn't know how to climb the wall, come here and hold onto one of his
legs. I'll take you in."
real? You want me to hug a cockroach leg? I'd rather die!" Violet moved back a bit.
understand why Violet would say that.
nodded, supporting Violet. "No, no, not cockroach, never. Zirai has a
dragon right? She can bring a dozen people without problem. And Ziri has
Big Pot nodded quickly. I can also understand why he doesn't want to hug a
cockroach. As a man. "Two dragons, a phoenix, that's enough to transport
several teams of people!"
shook my head. "We're going stealth. This is not a sightseeing tour. What do you think will happen if a giant dragon went into the city palace by
see." Big Pot tilted his head.
the dragon transport plan busted, Passerby began to sell his bug bus again. "Come
on come on! Try Roachy, fast, and safe! No noise! No hazard! Almost."
I ignored Passerby's advertisement. I already have an idea. And personally I
don't want to choose the cockroach either if I have a second choice.
ladder for us."
crossed his vines onto the wall and created a plant ladder within seconds. I
took off my armors and handed them to Rose. The ladder is narrow but shouldn't
be a problem to climb as long as we're careful enough. As for coming back out...We
can just jump. That little fall damage won't cause any issue for us Warrior types.
palace must have that virtual space technology as well. It's too large compared
to what we saw from outside!
as we landed on the ground, a group of imperial patrols appeared around the
I rolled on the ground and hid myself behind a garden rockwork, followed
closely by Hawk. Violet jumped into a flower bed, followed by Big Pot (clumsily). Coin ran around behind another big rock. Zirai panicked a
little before she squeezed herself inside an open gap in the rock.
Passerby is the
only one exposed now. He insisted on riding on Roachy so he landed a bit slower
than us. When the NPCs appeared he hasn't balanced himself yet!
prepared for a fierce fight, which never happened. The patrol team walked in
front of Passerby without doing anything.
We all left our hiding places when they
the fuc?? You almost ruined everything from the start!" Coin said angrily
while trying to keep her voice low.
you use skill or something?" Hawk asked. "The guards can't miss you
out without a reason."
one of Roachy's skills. It's called [Mimic]. We can blend into the background
as long as we stand still. That's why I didn't move an inch back there."
Nice trick buddy." Big Pot commented.
team showed up. Everyone dashed away into their original covers. Expect for
Passerby, who still stood there like last time.
When the guards passed we
quickly looked around the area and tried to change location.
way!" Coin rushed into a door across the path. But a patrol came up before
anyone can go after her, so we hid again. Thank god no one went too fast or they'll
be caught in the middle of the road.
it's clear, Coin poked her head out of the door and contacted us via team chat.
"One at a time. Run!"
went first. The patrols appeared mid-way, I immediately expanded my cape and
stood still. It was a good choice to keep my cape and other accessories instead
of leaving them all behind.
cape perfectly covered my body. The guards marched past me about only a meter
away from my face. I had to hold my breath!
I reached Coin's room when they
disappeared. I told the others to wait and observe the patrols.
We noticed there were
more than one team patrolling this area. Two teams are walking on two different
patterns, that's why there will be a certain point when they both show up
their patterns means finding a solution. I've played the Commandos before, that
game was way harder than this. The rest of the group went into the room
successfully, following my command.
guided us outside the other door of the room, into a courtyard. We proceeded past
some distance while hiding, running, hiding, running again. We finally reached
right below the crystal cannon.
Ha! There's no guard here!
everyone's ready, I gave the signal and we all moved. With the experience from
last time, Zirai first summoned her titans to lift the giant half-sphere cover
off the cannon. Loong'er hooked the cannon up using her tail, while Skyfire
helped her carry the cannon towards the gate. We should be safe as long as we
can get the cannon to the exit!
NPC guards in the city moved the moment we touched the cannon. Countless city
defenders spawned. They surrounded the palace but couldn't do anything else.
imperial patrol teams also noticed us. Rosa
trapped the approaching soldiers but his tentacles were all cut down within 5 seconds. These enemies are way more terrible than the city defense out there!
can only fly a little above the palace wall height with the cannon, which
means the intercepting guards ahead can attack him. A team of archers and
crossbowmen appeared in our path. They aimed their weapons high, obviously
planning to shoot Skyfire down!
of arrows and bolts went into the air before we can react. Lucky is the only
who managed to do something -- he simply placed himself in front of Skyfire as
a meat shield. The projectiles decorated
Lucky into a porcupine. Thankfully, his thick scales absorbed most of the
damage. He looks badly hurt but those arrows didn't go deep. However from the
status bar I can see he's not going to survive another attack like that.
move gave Skyfire enough time to fly past the archers. When they turned around
and loaded their next attack, Phiona and Loong'er launched their skills at the same time, covering the shooters in both flame and ice.
first long-range team is thrown off their feet but a second team appeared soon.
Lucky blocked their attack again, which of course, resulted in his death.
tried to replace his position and she was killed soon by the fierce attack. Even
if she can instantly resurrect where she died, she got instantly killed for a
means I'll need to wait for a while to summon Lucky or Phiona again. The 4th
round of arrows didn't give us any time to arrange our defense. Dart jumped in
front of Skyfire in time and intercepted a good number of arrows. But the rest
of the attack can be still deadly.
A shadow appeared and protected Skyfire. It's one of Zirai's titans. As we watch the giant body fell, we all came up with the same
proceeded with the rest of our escape plan while keeping Skyfire in the air by
sacrificing members. We each ordered our companions to take the attacks, and when there's
no companion left, we go in ourselves.
Now only me, Passerby and Zirai are still alive.
the main force of our pursuers got close, Passerby's Roachy suddenly moved. We were expecting the cockroach to hold off the last round of attacks, but it decided to stay behind for some reason.
I saw its
belly swelling up.
A terrible stench spread in the air. I almost
vomitted on the spot. Then we fell the ground shaking. Endless cockroaches
crawled out from under our feet!
companion must be a cockroach king or something. It can summon allies!
tiny cockroaches swarmed up against the NPC army. They don't have much damage
but the sight of them is terrifying enough! In the next second, every single
NPC soldier is covered in cockroaches. They tried to clean them off but more
bugs will get onto their bodies even faster!
soon realized it's impossible to get rid of these nuisance so they decided to
keep coming for us, while carrying all the bugs on their faces. However, the
brief chaos provided us enough time to reach the palace wall. The outside is
just within reach, our mission is finished.
following NPC army readied their bows and unleashed the last arrow rain, pinning
us onto the wall. Our corpses all carried smiles instead of fear, before we vanished.
souls were teleported to the resurrection hall after the time limit. The NPC
resurrection wizard rushed to us to provide business, which of course, was
declined. Rose is already running to us with Elfy and Yuri following behind. Though
Rose is the only one who can see us now.
reviving skill is quite impressive. Violet is the only one who got unlucky
enough to lose two levels. If we let the old NPC do the work we probably would
have lost way more than that.
took my armors back from Rose, put them on, and headed to the palace with
everyone. According to Coin, the dropped cannon should be absolutely safe there.
But I'm not sure until I get it into my own hands. That's why I asked everyone
to run as fast as we can.
been half an hour since we died. The palace perimeter is completely clear of
any city guards. I summoned Rosa again to take us over the wall. Zirai quickly
ordered Skyfire and her remaining titan to get the cannon out. It only took
less than a minute. When the imperials found us we had already escaped.
Coin said, the imperials didn't come after us outside the wall, and the city
guards totally ignored our actions. We were quite nervous when we saw a team of
city patrols walking in front of us. Thankfully they didn't even spare a glance
at the giant cannon we're holding.
That doesn't mean the players will ignore us
though. A lot of people decided to come to us and satisfy their curiosity. This
is expected. We already know a titan carrying a big cannon walking in the city
would cause a scene.
is that, miss?" A blind dude asked me.
for yourself! You can't even tell man from woman??" I hate these kind of
Warrior player spoke: "It looks like a, I don't know, cannon? The game got
cannons? Wait a minute..."
Following his words, everyone turned their heads towards the tall ornamental
column in the city center.
carried the city defense cannon away!!" Someone yelled.
And it invoked a
serious panic among the people. More players came and stuffed the road without
giving us any space to move!
It were the city guards who helped
us out of the situation. An
NPC team came and started to break up the player crowd because they are "holding
up the traffic". There are still too many players around for us to walk
easily though. It took some effort to reach the city gate.
Then the titan made
a huge mistake!
bumped into the gate while holding the cannon! I don't know if we're just
unfortunate, or the cannon got some problem with it. It miss-fired again! A
cannon shell went out and landed among a player crowd in the city!
we can take in the situation, the titan turned around too fast which caused the
cannon base to bump into the gate again. A second bullet exploded right under
our feet and sent us flying out of the city wall!
titan let go of the cannon. Dammit we worked so hard to get this one, we can't
afford to break it again!
Knights!" I summoned my ace card. "Catch that thing!"
knights followed my finger and saw the falling weaponry. They all charged and
placed their bodies under the cannon with professional baseball player style. Now
the cannon is safe, I can finally breathe again. Pheeew!
THEM DON'T LET THEM GET AWAY!!"
A voice behind us startled me for good. But
NPC guards never shout like that!
Could it be...?!
Book 4, Chapter 32
I turned around. As I feared, a
player crowd is rushing towards us.
"Stop where you are!" A player running in front cried out.
please. Of course I'll not listen to you.
"Coin, Razor, Merciless! Hold
them off for a while!"
They went to the path, facing the incoming players. I asked them
because they're all fast classes. Even if they can't defeat the players they
won't be caught at least.
least that was my plan, until I realized I've made a really bad decision by
sending Razor out.
Someone in the front line yelled when they saw Razor:
the Japanese! They're trying to break up our city defense system! We must stop
tripped on my own feet when I heard that. Break the city
defense?? Then why are we taking all the effort to take the cannon all the way
here, instead of sabotaging it inside the city? Besides that cannon will get
refreshed after 24 hours. If I'm the enemy I'd do it right before a city siege
begins. Why now??
Well I don't think they'll give us any chance to explain. And
they'll probably break the cannon by accident if they get their hands on it!
and the other two have already contacted with the players, the crowd is quickly
shrinking towards them three. Coin is running in front while Razor and
Merciless followed behind. Coin is going towards the leading player, because he's
either intentionally trying to throw hate at us, or is just plain dumb. Either
way, we should take him down.
player grinned when he saw Coin getting close. Coin is seemingly a fragile
class with all the cloth she's wearing, and this high leveled Warrior has all
the confidence in a head-on conflict.
is wearing the same grin as the foolish Warrior. Doubt replaced the smile on
the Warrior's face, but he no longer needs to worry about it in the next moment.
jumped into the air about 5 meters away from the target, and landed right on
top of the Warrior's body, submerging her dagger deep into it. She used her
self-created skill [Last Resort]. The Warrior died in a white flash before
he can even see what just happened.
the running players stopped. Their leader just died for no reason!
moment is enough for us to gain enough distance from the city.
take the cannon away!"
I picked up Yuri and tossed her onto Skyfire's back.
"Wait for us in the Lost City. Yuri knows the way!"
don't want to make Zirai feel that she's the only one escaping. But I
believe she can understand that getting the cannon to safety is our top goal
She ordered Skyfire to retreat from the scene without hesitation.
can finally put my heart back into my chest when Zirai is gone. A flying dragon
can't be easily intercepted unless something really powerful shows up.
faced the battleground again. Razor's group is now surrounded by all the
players. I don't really want to fight them, since most players are just trying to protect
the city from "invaders". But I can't leave my team behind.
Get them out of there, and try to avoid killing if you can."
do it!" Hawk nodded hard.
some real exercise." I cracked my neck. "Most
companions are still down. I'll go in myself."
I rarely do any fighting on
my own because Lucky is always tanking, with all kinds of support around. I
won most of my fights while giving orders from safety. Now Lucky, Phiona, Loong'er,
Tank and Rosa are all gone for now. Guess no other choice.
Shade, Dart. Come out!" That's my only available companions. As for
Phantom, he never left my body.
I hopped onto Night Shade and prepared my
Hawk and Elfy were separated from each other. Of course Elfy can't be sitting on
Hawk's shoulder during a fight. She got a pegasus now!
is causing most of the damage among us all at the moment. Groups of witches
and caster ladies sat on the ground and never stood up when they saw the gigantic
cockroach. Now I know why he seldom uses his companion. He'll scare every girl
(and maybe some guys) away!
is locked inside an intense fight on another side with several people.
We don't have time to
set up a formation or any plans now. I summoned the Phantom Knights behind me, pointed
my weapon skywards and gave the order aloud:
no one standing! "
The ten Phantom Knights plus the temporary makeshift
rider (me) produced quite an impressive galloping horse formation. Our mounts are pretty
big, all with heavy spike horseshoes, after all.
greatly affected the players' moral. In a game, players either level up on
their own or in small groups of four or five at most. You don't find a dozen
riders practicing combat horse charge together. A
game means the guilds manage their players in a casual way. They won't set up any pre-established units like cavalry regiment or swordsman squad or
something, nor ask them to constantly train as a group. I always despite those guilds
calling themselves like some kind of military units. This is a game! We play
games for fun, not listening to orders. There will be no armies in online games.
The biggest fight you can get in here is a street brawl involving thugs and random
hooligans. You only see trained troops in real life.
can say that a cavalry team of 11 people charging together is the biggest
combat establishment you can find now in [Zero]. The players are all intimated
because they never seen something like this.
Too late though. Our mounts covered the distance between us quickly.
Most of the players are still packed on the city bridge outside the gate. There's
no way they can run easily.
swept a good number of the people off the bridge like cleaning autumn leaves. Once
we're in, we'll have to rely on our weapons without the initial charging speed.
Cleaning out a path proved to be an easy task. The
Phantom Knight's didn't even use their weapons. I told them not to kill anyone
so now they are simply grabbing and tossing them into the river like throwing
trash bags. More players rushed to the knights trying to defeat them, which
only means more players get sent down. The river below us is getting filled up quickly.
These barbarous guys never learned how to treat ladies, they are hurling girls
into the water as well!
didn't have enough time to stop them before they rushed into a group of mages
comprised full of pretty girls. After some screaming and flying human figures, over
30 girls were sent swimming with everyone else.
not everything is going smooth for us. Elfy and Rose were
isolated, the other people were pushed several meters away from them, and they
can't move around in the time like this.
dozen people noticed the easy targets and moved towards the pair. They're trying to take the advantage!
saw Elfy taking out her homing arrow she used to catch Coin the last time, which
means she realized the situation. Elfy is an Archer, and Rose is a healer. Close
combat is never their expertise. Getting surrounded by enemy group is really
I yelled to Hawk who seems to be the closest one to me. When I caught his
attention I pointed a finger to Elfy.
He immediately noticed what's going on
and moved. But
the attackers already reached the girls before Hawk can make it.
Archer doesn't mean Elfy has zero damage up close. She released
her frost homing arrow she's been preparing. Poom! The foremost attacker is
turned into an ice block, those stayed too close to him are also affected.
One frost arrow can only stop so many people. Someone on the other side still
lunged at the girls. Before one of the attackers can hit Rose, a white figure
appeared and slammed him away. I'm relived when I saw the figure stationed itself in front of Rose -- It's the white alpha wolf I gave Rose a long time ago, I
almost forgot it. It grew so big.
wolf stopped the following assailants for enough time, allowing Hawk to get
into place and protect the two girls. With Hawk and the wolf tanking in front, the
beauty pair began to show their talent. Rose's healing skills can pretty much
help Hawk fight all the enemies without having to worry about losing HP. Hawk
already has high Defense and quick reflexes.
is even deadlier -- she's displaying what I would call "one shot one kill".
Though she's not actually killing people. She only uses low-damage skills, aimed
at her targets' eyes. Those attacks don't kill anyone but of course no one can
keep fighting if they have a freaking arrow locked inside their eye socket.
those guys are safe, I began to move towards Coin. Hawk blocked most of the
players on the bridge. There are many of them but only a small portion
can actually attack Hawk. And those still inside the city can't see what's going
on out there, they only try to push out of the gate. Now the area around the
city gate is completely locked up by the human wave. No one gets through!
and the Phantom Knights are trying to move to Coin (by keep throwing people
away) when we saw Coin's group coming out on their own. Coin is hopping on top
of people by using their heads as jumping platforms. And no one can catch her! Hack,
with that kind of crowd they can't even take their hands out.
on the other hand, is using his ninjutsu to move underground. Only some of the
sharper players can notice him but they can't do anything either.
is totally the opposite. I thought he's an Assassin. Assassin would be someone
who hides a lot and only jumps out to kill important targets. But...he's
obviously not the case. He attacks like a killer bee -- stabs someone, and
disappear. Anyone hurt by him either dies immediately or becomes seriously
wounded. That leopard of him hasn't grown up but is also attacking people just
like its master, by shifting here and there among the crowd while scratching
display distracted me too much. A Half-orc Berserker sneaked near me, slammed
his weapon on Night Shade, knocking me off horse.
heard news before when people get hurt during a stampede when all the shoppers
went crazy inside a mall, now I'm experiencing it -- I can't get up under all
the feet! Thankfully Night Shade wasn't hurt much by the attack. He simply
bucked at that overconfident Berserker, sending him flying into river below.
he managed to push the people around away from me, that's when I can finally
stand up. It would be really stupid if I just died like that. Talking about too
many people in China.
But at least this can prove a big advantage when we go on
a war against Japan.
aside, I still need to get out of here. I climbed on Night Shade to get a
better view of the whole battlefield. The Phantom Knights have completely
blocked the city gate according to my order. Ten level 850 monsters are more
than enough to do that at the current stage.
group has reached a safe distance. So I came to help them and now I'm the only
one trapped inside!
also noticed some riders, unable to move an inch just like me. Most of them are NPC
city defenders. They already came to solve the mess but they can't get around
the crowd either. Their job doesn't allow them to do anything to innocent
went all the way into the crowd by using the momentum of our charging skills. Now
I'm stuck! The good thing is no one is attacking me for now. To be precise, no
one CAN attack me.
Shade tried as hard as he can to squeeze through while I used my lance to pick
people and throw them behind us. But the tiny space I clear out each time is
instantly filled up by someone else. We can only advance like a snail!
the end I'm even considering if I should fly away using my wing blade. I'm not
sure about that idea, cause that's will make myself an obvious target. Besides I
don't really want to show my true abilities in front of so many people.
lowered my head and spoke to Night Shade: "Any good idea?"
looked around a bit.
He suddenly jumped high into the air before I can understand what he meant. It's
no joke to jump among such a dense crowd, he crushed a good number of people
when he lands, and jumped again before they have the time to scream in pain. Now
we're also hopping inside the crowd to move around, kinda like what Coin did
just now. A little bit more violently, though.
We reached the edge of the crowd
after some dozens of jumps. Usually Night Shade would have achieved that by three or
four good jumps, but he can't do that when he's using human bodies as stepping
I finally got away, Hawk also called everyone else to retreat. The city gate is
no longer blocked, allowing a huge wave of players to rush outside. That looks
even more impressive than last time when we attracted those NPC riders into
this time they don't have horses so we shook them off easily.
We slowed down
when we no longer have any pursuers in sight.
Hawk approached me.
see Big Pot?"
Pot?" I looked around. "He's not here? Didn't he run with us?"
don't know, that's why I'm asking!"
I called her over to us. She was the one fighting along Big Pot.
you see Big Pot?"
"He's...not with you guys?" She gave us a blank stare.
I went inside to help Coin. Isn't Big Pot outside with the others?"
wasn't. I saw him charging in behind you on his boar."
Big Pot went after Ziri?" Hawk waved his arms around dramatically. "What
was he thinking??"
we go back for him?" Violet asked.
spoke before Hawk: "No. If he can get away he already did, and if he can't,
he should be dead by now. Either killed by someone or stomped to death by the people."
speaking the truth. I would have ended up like that if Night Shade wasn't there
to help. Big Pot's boar isn't as agile as Night Shade so I'm not sure he can
agree." Hawk nodded. We shouldn't risk everyone's level to save Big Pot.
"Well, we can always help him get a level back later."
waited for a while longer to leave combat status and teleported to the Lost
(Once involved in any kind of conflict, a player can no longer use
teleport or city recall skills/items for a while. But this rule only applies to
attackers. Passive victims can still try to teleport as long as they have
enough time to prepare it.)
and Yuri are already waiting for us there. Zirai spoke to Yuri :"See, told
you they'll come out of the station. Why did you think they would come in
through the city gate?"
walked to us. "How was everything?"
checked our team. Everyone is carrying some injuries.
"Basically all good. It
didn't look cool but we made it."
my god my god my god! I did it!"
Before I can tell them about the missing
Big Pot, he stumbled out of the teleport station and fell in front of our feet.
happened to you?" I looked down.
"Did you know I went after you?"
managed to stand up, that's when I saw a lot of footprints covering
his entire face. "That was too close!"
spoke: "Violet told us. So where exactly did you go? No one saw you."
a guess. Man that was really unlucky. Those people trapped me on the bridge. I
saw Ziri went past me on his horse and tried to call him, then he knocked
people into the water, me included!"
Book 4, Chapter 33
Alert: Minor offensive content towards Japan.
"Hahaha that's so lame!" Everyone laughed.
Big Pot himself began to laugh hard, which made us worry that he's too stressed because
we laugh at him.
nudged him. "Hey. You ok? We didn't mean to make fun of you, sorry for that."
gave us a look. We all nodded quickly until we felt dizzy.
"See, we meant
no harm. We were trying to lift the mood."
Pot posed a "V" at me. "Thank you for throwing me off like that!!"
you bump your head somewhere?" Hawk looked at Big Pot with a raised eyebrow.
checked all those footprints on his body. "Maybe someone broke him by
stepping on his head?"
pointed out the question. "You fell into the water right? It didn't wash
off the footprints? And, why are you not wet?"
"Oh yeah! That doesn't look right." We just noticed the missing point here. What
made him so happy if he dropped into the moat and without any water on him?
Pot looked at himself and spoke: "Wet? Of course I'm not wet! Ziri buddy, you're
awesome! I'm so following you from now on, you're my belief!"
did I do?" Something feels creepy.
don't know? You and your knights pushed like a thousand people down into the
river. It's just a small water ditch. It was filled up with all the players! I
fell on top of a group of cute girls! They felt so soft!"
Ok. Is that making him happy? I don't want to question it.
interrupted his daydream. "Alright, let's get back to business. Where's
the crystal cannon, Zirai?"
put it at the central plaza. Skyfire is watching. Nothing to worry about, this
place is like a ghost city or something, I don't see a single living thing."
know what, I enjoy places like this." I led them towards the plaza while
chatting about random stuff. "It's like being the king of the entire city.
I can use anything here as I like! Oh, Hawk, do you still
have the money I gave you for selling the companion eggs?"
We don't lose money on death anyway so I didn't take the time to bring it to
bank. You want it back?"
all of it. I need to pay my debt."
Zirai gave me a puzzled look. "You borrow money from someone?"
NPC. He repaired my armor last time and I didn't have enough to pay him. Now I
have some money so I'd better pay him fast!"
allow IOUs?" Everyone opened their mouth wide, except for Wayne and Rose. They already know about my business.
not?" I turned to Hawk. "I'll go take care of it. You all wait for me
at the plaza. Won't take long."
I rushed into his shop. Of course, no one's here. He's probably over at the
clothing store again.
Sigh. This sugar guy...
I ran to the clothing store. Yup, as
"Why do you run wild all day instead of looking over your own
shop? Here, 150 thousand crystals."
took the money. "You actually got enough money all of a sudden?"
sold something and made a small profit. Oh, right. Do you know how to use a
You mean, the magic crystal cannon?"
it. We stole one of them and haven't figured out how to get it working. Actually
we don't even know how should we make good use of it."
Clark was a chief
in the demon legion, he must know about such stuff.
held his chin for a while. "Where is it? I need to take a look. Our troops
had mobile ones and stationed ones, they all work differently. Can't give you
answer before I look at it myself."
I poked my head around Clark and shouted to the store mistress.
"Hey sister, I'll borrow your dear husband for a bit."
Is she blushing??
walked to the central plaza. Everyone else is waiting. Hawk drew his sword
hastily when he saw us.
"Ziri, behind you!! A Shadow Warrior!"
Clark walked straight to the cannon while only sparing a small
glance at Yuri, of all people. Looks like everyone else didn't add much
Charisma like us.
touched around the two-meter tall mechanism and spoke: "Good stuff. This is
the biggest sized magic crystal cannon used for military fortresses. We also
have some here in the Lost City."
do?" Well I never saw them.
hidden in the river. When the Eye of Underworld opens, they'll emerge from the
water and attack anyone who approaches. You can't see them now. You stole this
thing from Cloudtop I assume?"
I jumped. "How did you figure that out?"
pulled out a giant violet crystal as big as a human head from under the cannon.
"The crystal still has Cloudtop's mark on it. Look here."
looked at it closely. There is a strange symbol on the crystal, though it seems
no one knows what it means.
thing is the energy source of the cannon, be very careful with it. The crystal
becomes pale after every shot, and depletes when it turns pure white." Clark
jumped off the cannon and turned to me. "Don't throw it away when that
happens. You can sell it to me, I recycle these things."
a perfect material for crafting high level armor pieces, what do you expect? Oh
one other thing. You can't shoot the cannon too fast, make sure you wait at
least 30 sec before the next shot. Otherwise the cannon may explode!"
expecting the cannon to be so complicated.
"Where can I find extra
crystals like that one?"
beyond me. Go ask Domergor, that kid should know something."
see. How do I operate it?"
Clark pointed to a handle-like part on the cannon base. "Pull that thing
and the cannon will shoot. It goes back on itself when the shot is over. Don't break it."
need to. Just help me collect materials. You still have that list I gave you
right? Don't forget."
course brother. I'll keep it in mind."
went to me when Clark left.
"Is that an NPC? That's really different from
NPCs in this city are all different, just try to be nice to them. So what do we
the cannon here? There are still months before nation wars start."
have an idea." Merciless stepped up. "We use it to fight Japan right?
We can deploy it in naval wars first."
wars?" Hawk looked between us. "What do you mean naval wars?"
seems lost so Merciless began to explain. "Ziri, you remember the
Far Land city?"
That's where we met."
left in a hurry and didn't get a good look at it. It's actually a port city."
city? As in, a city with a lot of boats?" Passerby became excited. "It's
my dream to sail the sea! They have boats in this game? Then I'm definitely
seems interested too. "Are there any seaside entertainment? Some enjoyment
would be nice!"
chuckled. "Yes. There's also one other thing you won't be expecting."
We asked that together.
nation war hasn't started yet?"
true. But the game world is still a complete map. All countries or regions
exist on the same planet, so we're pretty close to Japan. There's only a small distance on the sea. Same for other adjacent countries you can find on the
globe. We're separated by mountain ranges. So, you can travel to whichever
country you like as long as you get past a special zone. When nation war starts, travel routes will appear and we can fight
with them for real. We can't do that now but small teams with several dozens of
people can still cross the border if they can manage it. So if you want to go
to Japan, just use a boat."
mean those scums can send people to us right now??"
Zirai seems the
typical anti-Japan extremist. She gets drastic whenever someone mentions Japan.
theory yes. But they haven't done anything big, only some random players will
show up now and then and raid the citizens who live close to the sea."
did you say??"
Man, I see blood veins in her eyes. I'm really worried she
might just jump into the sea, swim there and get revenge.
"Have we done
anything to stop them? We just let them do whatever they want?"
of the guilds sent patrol teams along the coastline. They usually level up
there while watching out for enemies. I even heard some richer guilds have
their own battleships. But...you never know when those pirates will come, and
we can't be staying on guard twenty-four-seven, so they won over us most of the
I can't believe this!!"
Now Zirai looks like an infuriated bull with those steam coming out of
her nostrils. Scary.
calm down. Calm it!" We tried to soothe her. Or she might do something
stupid for real! She was brave enough to steal property from the system city
tried to change the topic. "So how are we going to use the crystal cannon?"
"The pirates come here on boats right? So what if we sink their boats with the cannon?"
nice idea!" Zirai jumped up again. Hawk and I tried to press the girl down, and we failed. "Let's go get the cannon over to the sea!"
it!" Elfy stopped us. "The coastline of China is...over 26 thousand
kilometers. One cannon won't help much." (*)
We all became quiet.
Having a big land isn't all about advantages it seems.
mentioned battleships. How about building one of those ourselves?" Big Pot
raised a very practical point. "The cannon can't protect much area on its
own but what if we place it on a ship and move around with it?"
yes, YES! Let's do it! Quickly!!" Zirai went berserk for a third time.
reached the Torrent Point city (with a little bit of chaos, with Zirai urging
our asses), which is the biggest port city within the Chinese game region. We're
more familiar with the Far Land city but it's too small to hold any big vessels.
Of course we can't put that cannon on a pathetic wooden plank.
evening. After some dedicated persuasion, Zirai finally allowed us to log off
and rest, leaving the plan to tomorrow.
went straight to the port area the next morning. And wow it looks big! The
docking area expands more than 10 kilos along the sealine, full of all kinds of
ships and boats. But I can only see a small number of combat cruisers, most of
the rest are fishing boats.
The biggest sailboat attracted our attention. It's made of wood, with tons of
people working on it. I can't tell which are players and which are NPCs from
here. A giant triangular sail hangs on the main mast, with a small flag on the
tip of it. The actual size of the flag should be pretty big though. It appears to be small compared to the other parts.
There's a sun on the flag, similar to the red
object on the Japanese nation flag. A shark is drawn beside the sun, with its
maw wide open, ready to swallow the sun in whole.
unfamiliar voice dragged us out of admiration mode.
"The Ocean Might is
the biggest battleship in Torrent Point city. She already took down seven
Japanese ships in the past two months."
turned to look at the new face. He stands taller than average, with full black
battle armor on his body. But it looks seriously rusted. Very common appearance. That pair of thick eyebrows gives him a heroic look.
stretched out a hand. "Hello, name is [King Conqueror], leader of the Anti-Japanese
day. I'm Ziri!" I shook his hand. "So that boat belongs to your guild?"
Our members raised all the money for this customized galley. It cost us 500 thousand
crystals! But those trophies are worth the ticket! Want to join the board, miss?
Our guild-- Uh, hello?"
face-palmed and crouched on the ground. Not again! They're hurting my feelings!
King Conqueror's hand is still left in the air. Zirai quickly took it over.
"Anti-Jap Association? I like that name. We need people like you!"
he never noticed Zirai until now. He looks more than surprised. He shifted
his gaze between us for several times before finally asking Zirai: "That's...your
didn't answer him, "Where did you order your ship?"
you want one too? It costs a fortune you know!"
tell me." Getting a ship to fight pirates is the only thing on her mind
that's the case...follow me ma'am."
He kept chatting with us on the way.
"May I know your name too?"
Ziri and Zirai? I knew you're sisters! You look almost the same."
me a glance and smiled but didn't help me explain. Geez.
walked a long way to reach the edge of the docking area. There's a giant
harbour structure, separated from all the other ones. It has a roof too.
This is the boatyard. Go talk to the NPCs to order a ship."
he leads us in, someone rushed to King.
"So you're here! Move it! The
Japs showed up again. Ocean Might is departing!"
Then let's show them who's boss!"
King ran away while shouting
back to us: "I'll be back once we rid those thieves. Will talk to you then!"
There he goes.
an interesting dude." Hawk commented. "Alright, let's go get our own
ship so we can beat up some pirates too!"
do it!!" Zirai is pumped up again and dragged me towards inside. "Hurry
She's doing that on purpose!
are many people running up and down in the boatyard. The keel structure of a
medium-sized boat is placed in the middle, with people fixing planks onto it. Must
be another new order they received. (**)
I dragged a random NPC over and asked him
where to order for a ship, and was told to go find their designer in a small
room deeper inside.
reached the said room in the far corner. It looks broken, and feels like about
to come down at any moment. Still, we pushed the door open. There's an old man
inside writing something on a piece of paper. He stopped his work when he saw
Pale blue gown, a big apron, typical carpenter setup. He's also wearing
"You want to order ships?"
A special one!" I spoke before everyone else. I have the highest Charisma
here so I should do the talking to make thing easier.
here then." He opened a room and signaled us to get in. I never noticed
there's a door on the wall...is it a hidden backdoor?
We walked into a place
and saw a series of giant sailboat keels lined up.
"These are keel
templates. You choose which size to use based on what you want to do with the
ship. The smallest one is for ordinary fishing boats. You might need to choose
the bigger ones if you want to catch whales or sea monsters."
"Pardon me please," I stopped him from explaining further. "We need a
You should've said that earlier."
He led us around the keels and towards
another area with even more templates. These ones are big, and they all have more
frames and beams to make them sturdier.
"These are warship keels. You need
to choose a keel first because it decides the ship's overall size. Equipment and everything else can be determined later. So, anyone catches your eye?"
there any bigger ones than these? Truth is, we have something really bulky to
load onto the ship and I think we need something extra large. The larger the
The biggest one I see here is about only 50 meters in length, which
means just a bit bigger than the Ocean Might we saw outside. The cannon is
apparently too large for a ship like that, and we already saw how much kickback
it produces. I don't want the cannon to sink our own ship first.
old man inspected us for a while. "I do have a secret collection but..."
Persuasion check, successful.
I quickly tried to flatter the old man with every commendatory word I can dig
up in my brain.
"Alright, I'll share the knowledge since you're such a
bright and mannered young man. I have another keel which may qualify as 'extra
large' you mentioned."
He glanced around and then whispered into my ears:
"It's actually the corpse of an ancient beast. Those breast bones are
perfect for forging the keel of a ship. However, the beast was once a foul
existence. Its plagued aura still lingers even after it has been dead for a
thousand years. With those bones you can make your ship exceptionally huge, and
way stronger than those ships you can see out there. But...!"
where it's important!
(*) This may not be a correct number.
(**) A "keel" is the base frame used to support a ship's hull. I hope I used the right word.
Book 4, Chapter 34
The Beast Bone
Alert: Minor offensive content against Japan.
can't transport the corpse because it's too big!"
it's not here?" Zirai asked.
The old designer slowly turned around. "It's
sitting over the mountain yonder. You need to move it here on your own. The
cave is guarded by some monster recently and I never tried to
enter the place ever since. If you can chase the monsters away and move the
corpse here, I'll help you build a large warship. You won't even need to pay
for the keel."
on it!" I led everyone and rushed towards the mountain's direction.
the old man stopped us from behind.
I'm not finished. The beast's evil power still remain on the corpse so it is
too dangerous to approach. Use this to purify it before touching anything!"
He took out a crystal bottle from behind his back. "Take this holy
water to banish the devil. Just spray some of it on the corpse."
it!!" Zirai snatched the bottle away and dashed out of the boatyard.
called it a mountain but the place is actually a big dirt clump, not any
larger than a small park. It took less than 30 minutes for us to climb over the
There's the cave. We don't see anything at the entrance besides
some twisted grass and weed.
are the monsters?" Coin watched around the area.
they're inside." I told everyone to stay on guard. I also drew my weapon
to prepare for any encounters.
reached the entrance. There's a lone passage leading towards deeper inside. After a dozen meters we
entered a large stone hall. A series of blue magic lamps hang on the wall
around us, making the hall bright as day. The bone carcass of an unknown
monster is located in the far end.
the remains I can tell the thing was at least 300 meters in length when alive. Even
Lucky would feel like a kid compared to it. The corpse lies in a coiled
position inside the cave. The breast part should be somewhere around 200 meters
long, which means our ship will come out around a similar size when finished. We
should be able to put several crystal cannons on a ship like that.
DARES TO DISTURB MY SLUMBER?!"
A loud, aged voice boomed around us, making
looked around without finding anything, so she just spoke towards the ceiling.
"Who are you?"
am the divine beast, Bi-Lin." (*)
where are you?"
"Right in front of you!"
claim that you do not see this magnificent body of mine? Your joke is
appreciated, young one."
mean, you're this, skeleton?" I figured it out first.
"An apparent answer."
aren't you dead?"
divine beast never dies!"
but you're only bones left!" Yuri exclaimed. It silenced the "divine beast"
for a brief moment.
was badly damaged so I gave it up."
why are you still here?"
"The hatred!!" The voice suddenly became excited. "I demand revenge!! It
shouldn't have come to this!"
It's becoming more violent. Even the cave began to shake, a number
of falling rocks forced us to dodge for cover.
So the "monster" the
old man mentioned must be this soul or spirit or whatever it is.
easy. Calm down, please!"
I need to do something or we'd get buried alive! "Just, you know, tell us who did this to you, maybe we can help?"
I immediately regretted that. Whoever killed this thing must be way powerful
beyond our imagination, which means there's no way we can help!
was a snake with nine heads. It claimed to be a god spirit from the land of
pirates east of here."
of pirates? You mean Japan?" Zirai yelled. "You
fell against the snake monster from Japan? Is it strong?"
A petty creature. Do you know about the four symbolic beasts on this land?"
I know. Vermilion Bird, Black Turtle, White Tiger and Azure Dragon?"
Azure Dragon of the Eastern Rain, and the Vermilion Bird of the Southern Flame
are my disciples. The nine-headed snake couldn't even beat these two kids back then.
However, that cursed abomination and those eastern pirates lured me into a deadly trap. I
managed to get away alive, but those wounds they inflicted on me could never be
healed, so my only choice was to stay here and wait for perish. Ahhhh... the hatred!!"
getting agitated again. I quickly interrupted. "I read about the snake
monster in Japan stories. But it only has eight heads if I remembered right?"
because I bit off and ate one!"
So that's how things went." Zirai snickered. "I thought those Japs
don't know how to count." (**)
pushed the topic:"Your excellency, we are actually planning to fight with
Japan and stop their intrusion upon our land, now we need a keel bone to
construct a ship. That's why we came here for the body you left behind."
that's what you're going to do, just take it. These bones are of no use to me anymore."
what about your soul?"
make sure you don't break up the bones and keep it whole when making that ship
or yours so I can remain. I may even help you protect the ship."
appreciated! We will be moving it now."
summoned Lucky, Rosa, Loong'er and Phiona to help with the bones. Tank would
help too but he's still on cooldown for using that cannon skill. Zirai also
summoned her titans and Skyfire to help. With some extra effort from Passerby's
Roachy, we barely managed to move the giant skeleton remains.
already afternoon when we finally got the bone to the boatyard. The old man
walked around and inspected it in delight.
stuff! So the legendary beast is real."
get to it will you?"
course, of course. Shall we settle on the extra requirements and payments?"
Yup, this is very expected.
He took out some paper roll. "Tell me how you would like the ship, and I'll
give you a final price for it."
gave him a troubled look. "Truth is, this is the first time we're trying
to make a ship so we really don't know what to look for. Can you give us some pointers?"
that's no problem." He gave me a small handbook. "It's a purchase
guide, just read the instructions."
even prepared something like this!
I read it aloud so everyone can hear it.
"First, determine your desired ship keel according to the size and
functions of the ship you're expecting."
"We can skip that one."
turned the pages. "Once the keel is set, choose the materials. There are
usually the following available choices:"
I passed all the cheap ones
and began to read through the more sturdy ones.
"These are pretty good
materials so let's pick among them.
Teak Wood, average protection, light weight,
so you can put a lot of stuff on the ship. Problem, easy to burn.
Iron Lumber, high
resistance against both impact and fire, very heavy.
Sun Wood, average
protection and weight, resistant to spells, won't catch fire.
The last one is
Crystal Wood. Very strong, average weight and good spell and fire resistance. But
several times more expensive than the other choices.
Okay, which one?"
would be best if we can choose the crystal one but...?" Zirai seems unsure
about the cost.
much money do we have?" Rose asked the simple question.
have a million crystal pieces on me." I checked my inventory.
opened his too. "I have 550 thousand here, collected by everyone."
million that is." Rose turned to the old man. "How much if we use
Crystal Wood on this keel?"
glanced over the structure. "So I won't be asking money for the keel... From
the size of the breast part I'd say 500 thousand crystal pieces."
Bi-Lin asked us not to break it apart." I quickly added.
a whole?" He considered for a moment. "It's possible but the final
product would reach beyond 300 meters. And you'll need to pay 600 thousand for
continued: "How much for labor work?"
depends on how you plan the cabins. It costs more if you build something
complex. But 500 thousand crystals should be enough for even the most difficult
did some mind-calculation. "I guess we have enough fund to use full
crystal wood. We should make it best as possible since Bi-Lin gifted his
valuable bones to us. We won't find a second chance like this."
Zirai jumped: "Rose is right! Here, I have 50 thousand, take it."
spoke to the old man. "Okay, Crystal Wood please. Next is...let me see. The
cabins. First, do we need lounges and storage rooms? We need them if we're to
go for any long-distance sails or crews will die. Opinions?"
jumped again. "Of course! We're going to travel all the way to Japan right?"
One storage room and one lounge cabin please."
many crew do you need? You should decide on those rooms after telling me the
number of sailors that are going to live on the ship. One lounge cabin is only
enough for 20 people, and one storage can hold supplies enough for a hundred
people to survive 10 days."
Let's think about that later. Go for the next items." Hawk suggested.
paddle chambers. They must be symmetrically placed on both sides. Each paddle
chamber holds a long oar which needs four sailors to operate. How many levels
of chambers we can build depends on the draft length between water level and
ship's rail, and how many chambers we can put in each level depends on ship length."
is the draft length for our ship?" Rose asked him.
than 8 meters, or 9 meters at most. That means five levels of cabins. Be sure to
leave enough space for the cannon rooms though."
many cabins on each level?"
something with this size...125 rooms should be no problem."
considered for several seconds. "Three levels of paddle chambers, 125 on
each side of the level. That's 750 chambers in all, 3000 sailors."
read further. "Cannon emplacement. They share the same positions as paddle
chambers, while you can also place cannons on the deck, or build a front cannon
room on top of the bow of the ship." I looked at the old designer. "Can
you make the front cannon base rotatable? We're going to put the crystal cannon there."
all the rest of the space with cannon rooms."
all use small sized firelock cannons, mind that they're way weaker than
that crystal cannon you have. You still have two levels of windowed chambers, plus
a row of cannons on the deck. 100 rooms each side of the level, one cannon in
each room, each cannon will need 3 sailors. That should be 600 cannons and 1800
is...mast. We need one or three or five vessel masts."
spoke:"Well of course we put five of them for a ship so large."
it is. Next is sailcloth. Three choices, Lug-Sail, high downwind speed but
cannot leverage any side wind. Lateen (triangular sail), average downwind speed
but can have a boost when there's side wind. Or combination of them, so we can
use any types of wind but of course it will be expensive."
choice." Zirai said that without hesitation.
can see the others nod too. "Composite then. So, rudders. We need to
decide their number and positions. That's beyond me, any advice sir?"
usually go behind the tails of ships but since your ship is bigger than average,
I'd suggest you use separated rudders. Two in the front and three at the
buttock, so you can control the whole thing better."
do it." I kept reading. "Do we place a ramming horn or figurehead in front?"
don't think we're going to ram people using this giant with all the cannons. Let's use a figure." Hawk said.
choose figurehead. Outer plating? We have iron plating, mithril plating or
crystal wood pads."
"Mithril. It doesn't catch rust and can withstand spells." Elfy said after reading over the descriptions.
should be all. Can you help us settle up the lounge rooms and storage? And give
us the final price."
The designer read through the long paper roll. "You have 3000 paddlers, 1800 cannoneers, 300 sail
settlers, 200 support crew. That's 5300 sailors, so you need 265 lounge rooms
and 159 storage rooms to last for a month. Let's see...you still have a lot of
spare space on the ship."
thought this over. "Make it 400 lounge rooms, and build 40 additional
double rooms. Fill the remaining areas with storage."
me a moment to finish this up. Oh and, you also need a captain room and a chart
give us the best plan."
even needs some more people to help measure the ship. It doesn't look like he's
going to finish anytime soon. We have nothing better to do so we all moved to
the harbor to enjoy the view.
That's when we saw King Conqueror's ship coming
saw the Ocean Might drifting towards the port in a strange angle while giving
out thick smoke. I said drift because none of the broken paddles or tattered
sailcloth seem to be working anymore.
We ran to the docking area and asked
about the situation.
the ship went close enough, we can see countless holes on the ship's hull.
A number of sailors are running wild, I also saw King giving out orders to
put out all the fires. Their mail mast is almost burnt out!
watched in shock as the massive battleship bumped into the buffer ropes around
the dock and finally came to a halt. More workers on the dock joined the fire
fighting as well, and a group of boatyard NPCs ran towards it with all sorts of ladders, hammers or wooden planks. Guess Ocean Might needs one
hell of an overhaul this time.
decided to help too. The ship is damaged like this in a fight against the
Japanese after all. I can't repair ships but putting out some fire is
"Loong'er, come out. Can you control the sea water?"
my job!" (***)
Can you do something about the fire on that ship?"
She dived into the sea. The area quickly turned dark. A small-scale rainstorm completely
extinguished the last ember, before sunshine returned as fast as the rain came.
didn't return when everything's done. She instead began to swim and dance on
the water surface. I think I should let her into the water more often in the
there's no more work to do, King Conqueror came down from the ship and walked
"Did you get your ship?"
yet. That's a battleship we're talking about, it takes time." Coin
So you're going to beat Japanese pirates too?"
His face is blackened by
all the smoke. He wiped it using one of his hands, only to make it look even funnier.
looked at the broken warship. "Do you end up like this every time you
That's too much damage to my liking.
forced a chuckle. "Not every time. We encountered a big fleet today. Seven
of them, and we only had one. We sank a ship, damaged another, before we
spoke with excitement: "Are there no other guilds fighting with you?"
are, but only few of them. Besides their ships aren't gonna hold themselves
against those Japan ocean warships. Not everyone can afford these babes you
We became silent. Must admit, the Japanese have way more money to
spend right now. We have a bigger land but everything becomes scarce when "averaged"
must cost a ton to repair your ship." Zirai spoke.
nothing to worry about. We seized a lot of stuff from previous fights, and we
get EXP too. Worth it."
what? Exp? The Japanese count as monsters too?"
of course they're players. But you still get EXP by killing foreign enemies. A
lot I'd say. Players are considered as high level monsters so these battles
level you up even faster than grinding by normal means. You know, if you
kill a ship, everyone on board dies."
see it now." Elfy sighed. "I was wondering why you're so passionate
about it. So you get both fame and wealth out of these fights huh?"
King let out a hearty laughter, as if he already forgot about
his precious, now badly damaged Ocean Might.
(*) I found little English reference about this creature. Something about "the mentor/master of the four symbolic beasts."
(**) They're talking about Yamata no Orochi, the "8-branched giant snake" in Japanese mythology. However it is often considered to have 9 heads in Chinese illustrations because of two reasons:
1: It is confused with Xiangliu, a Chinese mythology creature with 9 heads;
2: Language issue. The correct Chinese translation for Orochi is "the giant snake with 8 forks". And someone believe that "8 forks" means "9 heads" .
The confusion still exist even today.
(***) In some Chinese mythologies and stories (such as Journey to the West), eastern dragons are not majestic or very powerful creatures. Rather, they're more like “local officials” who are responsible to control local weather and obey orders from other higher-ups.