Upon hearing those words, Hades made a hmph and toned it down a little. ‘At least you blocked my attack’, he said while putting away his dagger.
Zephyrwolf also stopped summoning the demon wolf king. Having just returned from the hellish training camp in the demon Wolf Cave, Zephyrwolf was in peak form right now and his reflexes were quicker than ever. He could react to even the slightest of movements. Compared to the demon wolf boss’ lunge attack that was impossible to dodge, Shadowstrike was an attack that could be defended against despite its speed.
‘Hmph!’ Zephyrwolf also said nothing more.
At that moment, the system’s announcement could be heard.
‘Monsters will start sieging the cities in 2 minutes. The combat strength of each city will be calculated in 2 minutes, which will determine the strength and quantity of monsters that will take part in the siege. Hold out against all waves to successfully defend the city.’
Drako Yau rubbed his chin and said to himself, ‘As expected…’
Zephyrwolf had a poor complexion upon hearing those words. ‘“As expected” again? Tell us what you know already.’
Drako Yau said with a calm voice, ‘It’s part of the game’s story, but they’re also adding in some variables, that is to say, the strength of each city. We have fewer players here in Yoda compared to Empyreon and Terrafirm, but we’ll also have fewer monsters to deal with. We haven’t lost just yet.
‘We don’t have time to waste. Zephyrwolf, order your subordinates to clear the paths to the north, east, south, and west gates. Once the quest starts, we’ll head out!’
The three then discussed how to mobilise the players when the quest began. Zephyrwolf would take charge of the Yoda players, while Hades would lead the Evergrand players. Drako Yau, on the other hand, created a chat channel just for the three of them; he was in charge of the overall mobilisation of players through communicating with the two.
After deciding on their commanding roles, the countdown was soon over.
‘The Siege will now commence. The strength of Yoda is rated as: Grade C. In 30 seconds, the first wave will strike at the east gate. Starting from the 4th wave, both east and west gates will be assaulted. Hold out against the 5th wave to successfully defend the city. There are no restrictions and penalties for death. Kill monsters to receive Merit, which can be exchanged for rewards with the Quartermaster if the city is successfully defended.’
The announcement resounded in everyone’s heads. Drako Yau immediately gave the order. ‘To the east gate!’
Every player in Yoda rumbled towards the east gate.
Drako Yau had scouted out the east gate long ago. While there were walls where hunters could fire down upon the enemies, there was all but one anti-siege weapon: a Mana Shockwave Generator. It was obvious that the weapon was a trump card that should only be used as a last resort.
To allow melee players to take part in the defence, there were a dozen narrow tunnels that allowed players to exit the walls, one at a time in each tunnel given its width.
‘Ranged players, get on the walls and make preparations. Melee players who are confident in their skills, standby outside the walls. Those who aren’t confident or have lower levels, defend the tunnels so everyone can pass through freely. The rest should clear and defend the path from the resurrection altar to the east gate.’
Drako Yau’s orders were passed down the chain of command through Hades and Zephyrwolf. In truth, he wasn’t keen on making a name for himself by taking charge of the city’s defences, but instead, it would be really troublesome for him if the city fell. He also wanted to recruit Zephyrwolf as one of his aides in the future, so it would hurt his conscience if he left Zephyrwolf alone and ran off to another city.
Naturally, if things were getting out of hand, he would still abandon the city without any doubts. There was nothing more important than his own life.
In 30 seconds’ time, which was the time it took for the order to reach the players of the lower levels in the chain of command, the hunters who had reached the walls earlier saw a sight which they would never forget in their lives.
Boom, boom, boom, boom…
Even within the city walls, the players could feel the ground reverberating from the set of disciplined footsteps.
Zephyrwolf, Hades, and Drako Yau were important figures in this battle. They all stood atop the city walls and gazed into the distance. A field of black, composed of around four to five thousand monsters, entered their sights. Drako Yau glanced at the army of monsters; it was now several kilometres away from the east gate.
Zephyrwolf murmured as he looked at the monsters, ‘Fricking hell…’
Even Hades, who had always thought of himself as stronghearted, was rendered silent by the scene as he looked on with shocked eyes. He had experienced countless wars between guilds and nations in War of the Daemons, but this was the first time he had experienced it through the brainwave technology. Everything felt vivid and alive, and it felt like he was truly standing there in person, right in front of the army of monsters that gave off a terrifying atmosphere. Even his heart flinched from fear.
‘You two, stop spacing out! We’re dead if they get close to the city!’ Drako Yau’s exasperated voice reached their ears. Shaking off their fears, the two together spoke through the speakers.
‘People of Yoda! Move out! Keep them away from the walls even if it costs your lives!’
‘People of Evergrand! Move out! Keep them away from the walls even if it costs your lives!’
As the melee players headed out to engage the monsters, Drako Yau could finally get a look at the invading army.
They all had human-like bodies with two arms and legs, but they were absurdly strong. Their heads, however, looked like a hybrid between beast and human. Each of them gave of intense killing intent and held a long single-edged sword in hand.
The players who led the way started hesitating and shrunk back. In face of such a horrifying beastmen army, how could the nerds who only stayed at home to play games stand up against them? Zephyrwolf got mad at the sight and yelled, ‘Bloody hell! What are you people afraid of! Unlimited resurrection with no penalties! Just go!’
Hearing his roar, the players heeded his call and started using all sorts of skills.
‘Roah!’ The beastmen army which bore the brunt of the first wave of attacks roared and started charging.
The ground rumbled and shook as they galloped towards the humans. It sounded like a war drum, so loud and clear that it was irritating.
There were several thousands of players in Yoda, and over a thousand of them had exited the walls to engage the monsters. Under the gaze of the players’ frightful looks, the beastmen swung their weapons with ferocious grins hanging on their faces.
The first bout resulted in countless flashes of white light.
‘Shit!’ Zephyrwolf was appalled upon sighting the pillars of light. Just the beastmen’s first charge took out around a hundred of them. Unable to hold himself back any further, he rushed down the walls and left the city through a tunnel.
Hades furrowed his brows slightly and asked Drako Yau, ‘Why did you bring such a hotheaded guy? How inept he is.’
Drako Yau didn’t refute and instead chuckled. ‘Sometimes, you need the fearlessness of a hotheaded guy.’
Seeing Zephyrwolf barged into the battlefield using Dash, members of his guild and other players from Yoda were surprised. They knew he was an important personnel in this war who was in charge of mobilising the players, regardless of how much they disliked being under his command.
Truth be told, no one bothered to challenge him for the role of being the commander. It was a strenuous position with little reward.
Succeed, and no one would feel thankful.
Fail, and bear the blames of everyone.