It was an overwhelming victory for the players at the east gate.
Zephyrwolf proved with results that his method was a successful one. Instead of sending players to their deaths, he conserved their numbers.
After firing the Mana Shockwave, almost every player headed out of the city through the passages, including over half of the ranged players. It was an all-or-nothing moment! Affected by the Mana Shockwave, the monsters had all turned into practice targets for the players. Under Zephyrwolf’s command, they focused their attacks on the red-eyed monoeyes while ranged attacks poured down from the city walls.
Just when Zephyrwolf was slaughtering monsters left and right, the system announced that the west gate had been breached and they had now entered the final countdown.
Everyone paused their actions for a brief moment, and some even wanted to turn around and help out the west gate.
Zephyrwolf was the quickest to recover from the news. He immediately yelled via the city-wide channel, ‘All east gate players! Do not look back! Forwards, kill the monsters! If we don’t take full advantage of the Mana Shockwave’s effects, we’ll be done for too!’
At the same time, he sent a message to the private chat channel between the commanders. ‘Sasaki, support the west gate. Hades, we’re at a critical moment too. I can’t send any more reinforcements over.’
Back at the west gate, Hades didn’t have the leisure to care about Zephyrwolf right now. As soon as the gate broke, monsters flooded into the city and wreaked havoc everywhere. They also swarmed the players who were still affected by the slowness debuff.
Hades closed his eyes in despair. Dispatched by the unknown strategist, the blue monoeyes which he used to look down on turned out to be the most devastating ones among the monsters.
Their greatest mistake was to station almost all ranged players at the east gate. With the red monoeyes and ravons nullifying their attacks, they barely made any impact on the battlefield. If they had been stationed at the east gate, the wolves wouldn’t even have the chance to close in on the city walls under the bombardment of arrows and spells.
‘Interesting, truly interesting!’
Several thousand kilometres away, Phantasma Violet was observing the west gate with almost feverish eyes. Under his command, the monsters had finally breached the west gate! His pupils radiated a purple glow as he peered into the city from afar, his gaze piercing through the city walls as though they weren’t there at all.
What Hades didn’t know was that no matter how they distributed their troops, Phantasma Violet would still come up with a strategy to counter theirs. Precisely because he could see through walls, he had noticed that the west gate was short on ranged players from the start, which was why he came up with a strategy centred around blue monoeyes.
The light barrier which shrouded him and Heller shuddered like ripples tearing through a calm lake. Phantasma Violet immediately raised his arms to surrender and said, ‘Calm down, this much isn’t violating the rules, right? I merely took a peek and came up with a strategy. I don’t have much troops anyways, can’t really blame me if they can’t handle that much, no?’
The barrier wavered, seemingly deep in thought. The next moment, it disappeared.
Heller who stood behind its master let out a long sigh, though it was still visibly terrified. Phantasma Violet, on the other hand, only snickered without saying anything before giving new orders to the monsters which had breached the west gate.
Hades pulled out his dagger from the corpse of a blue monoeye.
He really wanted to kill the blue monoeye commander, but just like its red-eyed counterpart, several dozens of monoeyes gathered together to create a barrier, just that it had a different effect—slowness.
No matter how strong Hades was, he was still fundamentally a melee-oriented player. And with the barrier in place, he simply couldn’t get close enough.
‘It’s over…’ Hades muttered dispiritedly. He had never expected them to fail on the fourth wave.
‘Don’t give up just yet!’ A familiar voice could be heard in the chat room. ‘Hades, back in War of the Daemons, do you simply surrender when in a tough spot?’
At the same time, loud footsteps were coming from within the city. Players from the west instinctively turned to look, and countless silhouettes came into sight.
A spear-wielding masked man led the way in hurried footsteps. Behind him, several hundreds of emotionless soldiers donned in shiny, silver armour and equipped with standard issue longswords marched forwards in a neat rectangular formation. It was a sight to behold—especially when the soldiers all emanated an air of deadliness.
Drako Yau gave a simple order. ‘Kill every monster.’
The Yoda guardsmen immediately rushed ahead to mingle with the monsters in a deadly battle. Players at the west gate cheered upon receiving the unknown reinforcements; they could finally let out a sigh after so long, though it was just for a brief moment as they were still fighting against the clock. While the blue barrier still stood, it was starting to fall short against such great numbers, and some soldiers were already engaging monsters within the barrier.
It seemed like the worst was now over, but only Drako Yau knew that their situation was still dire.
A while back in the Castellan’s residence, Drako Yau who was sitting opposite to the Castellan heard the system’s voice. ‘Castellan’s Deal.’
The chubby Castellan said slowly in a soft tone, ‘I can lend you some troops. As for their numbers, don’t try to bargain. I can only send a force which is proportional to the enemy, and you will be the ones who are responsible for achieving victory. Think of my troops as reinforcements to pin the enemy down. Also, they’ll vanish right away after the wave’s over.’
The alluring proposition didn’t get into Drako Yau’s head. His ability to stay calm and composed was one of his best traits. ‘The price I have to pay, what is it?’
A deal was no deal at all if there was no price to pay after all. The Castellan chuckled and gave Drako Yau a smile, a sly one no less. ‘The price you have to pay… You will have to undertake a task for me in the future, but I can’t tell you the details right now. Rest assured, I won’t ask for the impossible.’
Before Drako Yau could feel relieved, the Castellan followed with another chuckle and said, ‘It’ll be nearly impossible at most.’
Drako Yau staggered for a moment—his first reaction was to refuse the deal. He still very much valued his own life. It was to the extent that if things were beyond saving, he would immediately brute force his way out of the city and live to fight another day, just not in Yoda but somewhere else.
Yet, the faces of Zephyrwolf. Hades, Sasaki, Soulsmith, and other familiar players flashed through his mind. Since when was he no longer alone?
Drako Yau was a calm and rational person. At the same time, his sense of responsibility was almost overly high. If not, he wouldn’t have taken the risk of personally leading his own game development team. If not, he wouldn’t have sold the fruit of his father’s lifetime in fear that his employees would suffer because of his blunder.
Responsibility. It was such an intangible thing which drove him on.