After receiving the 100,000 dollars from Drako Yau, it felt like all his burdens had vanished. To him, the unexpected freedom was a massive treat. Everything felt like a reward in itself. Even if Drako Yau ordered him to die, he would gladly lose a level without hesitation. He wasn’t just given monetary and materialistic benefits. It was a second chance at life, as well as an opportunity to be on level terms with Drako Yau.
It also granted him an identity—a friend.
Sasaki looked at Zephyrwolf in bewilderment. His eyes that reflected the vicissitudes he had been through showed nothing but sincerity. Perhaps, putting down one’s past required all but a moment. Once things clicked in his head, he could be reborn anew.
‘Fine, now that you’ve ditched your evil ways.’
Sasaki was a pure-minded person. If not, he wouldn’t have requested for a duel like an idiot when he had been surrounded by Zephyrwolf’s gang. Though pure-minded, he had a sharp sense when it came to observing a person’s nature. He could feel that Zephyrwolf had truly repented. In that case, there was no reason to hold a grudge against him anymore.
Under the players’ adoring gazes, Soulsmith, Zephyrwolf, and Sasaki walked up the city walls. Drako Yau immediately sent a friend request, to which Sasaki startled for a moment, but quickly accepted upon seeing the name ‘Dragonspear’.
Drako Yau immediately cut to the chase. ‘How much experience till Level 10?’
Sasaki stopped for a moment, then checked his experience bar. ‘Around 50 per cent.’
‘Go level up, quickly. Do it before the next wave.’
Nodding, Sasaki replied, ‘Alright, I’ll go right away.’
Sasaki’s praise and admiration for Drako Yau was heartfelt. Putting aside that Drako Yau gave him the opportunity to reach a higher ground, just his actions in the battle they had fought together in the forest back then was worthy of his respect. Not only did he risk his life in an attempt to save Sasaki, he even returned the epic weapon which was literally a treasure.
Everyone could see Sasaki abruptly halting his step, after which he turned around and ran down the wall. Turning their sights to the masked Drako Yau, the players could roughly guess why.
Drako Yau hated standing out, which was why he wore the Mask of the Hidden Dragon in the first place. Still, he knew it was just a temporary measure. He surely had to head out personally in the third or fourth wave. He decided to stay silent at all times, the reason being others might potentially track him down due to his brilliant performance in battle.
Voice was an easily traceable trait. It might be a good idea to stick to speech bubbles for now.
In the chat room that only included the three commanders, Drako Yau said, ‘Based on the first two waves, apart from the beastmen and the wolf tribe, there should be an additional race and commander in the third wave.’
Hades frowned. ‘A new race every wave… The difficulty is going up exponentially.’
‘Why?’ Zephyrwolf asked casually. The question made Hades roll his eyes, but Zephyrwolf couldn’t care less. He wasn’t a good thinker in the first place. That was why he had decided to leave the brainy tasks for others. All he had to do was to listen to orders and charge at the enemy.
A tad bit annoyed, Hades explained, ‘First, their numbers. Let’s say each additional race adds several thousand troops to their army. It doesn’t sound a lot, but we’ll be at a great disadvantage if their numbers stack up. That’s beside the point. The most terrifying thing… is troop combination.’
Drako Yau sent a look of approval at Hades. His analysis was worthy of his reputation. ‘Indeed. See, the wolves are weaker than the beastmen, but why did we suffer a major defeat after they joined in? That’s because of their troop combination.
‘It’s like fighting in a party. For example, a party has five warriors, while another party consists of tanks, melee fighters, ranged attackers, and healers. Who would win? The answer’s pretty obvious.
‘There’s also the unknown strategist commanding the monsters. Having a new type of troop is like having another rook or knight. It allows him to utilise a wider range of strategies, and that makes things… more tricky and unpredictable.’
Even Drako Yau showed a worried look. ‘I’ll be frank. I’m not confident in winning against that person. Also, I might be unable to give orders in time when I’m fighting. Hades, do as you see fit when that happens.’
Hades nodded sternly. He wasn’t as optimistic as Zephyrwolf was. As he had been through countless battles and wars, he knew the fear of facing the unknown.
On the other hand, Zephyrwolf was consoling the two as he laughed while looking beyond the walls, awaiting the next wave’s arrival. Hades and Drako Yau shot each other a glance and let out dry laughs. Ignorance was truly bliss.
Thankfully, Drako Yau and the two weren’t the only ones who had improved. After experiencing bloodshed during the two waves, chemistry was building up among the players, and they started forming parties on their own. They were also getting more used to facing the army of monsters. No longer would they turn on their heels and tremble in fear.
As time passed, the system made another announcement.
‘The third wave will commence in two minutes.’
Hearing the voice, the players mentally braced themselves and each went to their posts. The hunters and mages who were in charge of ranged attacks stood on the city walls, while the melee players lined up down on the battlefield.
The clerics, though, felt rather embarrassed because they had barely done anything in the previous wave. Thanks to the enemy’s tactics, over a thousand players had been surrounded and slaughtered within the enemy formation, not giving them a chance to heal the vanguards. After that, the ranged players marked their presence along with Zephyrwolf and Sasaki who killed the enemy commanders. There simply wasn’t a chance for them to shine. Many of the clerics were fair ladies, but that didn’t stop them from vowing to make great contributions this time in their hearts.
Hiller trembled as he knelt on both knees. In front of him sat the purplish young man, who snickered and asked, ‘This is your so-called arrangement?’
The beastman shuddered and said with fear, ‘Sir… I was overconfident…. I…’
Splat! A peculiar sound could be heard.
With a clouded mind, Hiller looked at its right shoulder. Its entire arm was missing. There was nothing but a gory wound. Its expression crumbled from the pain, but it didn’t dare to utter a sound.
The young man sat there without moving a single inch. With a lazy voice, he said, ‘Boredom’s the worst. Say, didn’t you bring this upon yourself? Why did you have to pique my interest, only to disappoint me? This will be your final chance. If you fail to take over the city this wave, kill yourself.’ He then turned his eyes to the battlefield far, far away.
The army of monsters appeared once again on the battlefield, yet the scene was so mind-boggling every time.
The dark beastmen stood in the centre of the army, while countless eerie green eyes that belonged to the wolves lurked on their flanks. Behind the main army stood a bunch of skinny monsters. They looked like poorly developed humans, but mouths and noses were missing on their faces, replaced by a massive, vertical eye.