Chapter 28: Conquering Demon City (5)
After more than ten minutes, the three of them finally caught up with the large group.
The first thing that reached their ears was still the little demon’s voice: “Wow, wow, look at our No. 4, it’s really awesome! Look at this vigorous posture, look at this fierce strike, it’s rare for us to have such an amazing pet in Demon City! Its blood must be very pure! No. 8 is also not bad, don’t be discouraged. If you get knocked down, get up and bite back. You can!”
Meng Yufei was still resisting hard.
One of his arms was wounded and so were his legs. He was gasping for air despairingly, struggling to keep himself in position. Jin Cheng struck him with an arrow, so he hurriedly ran into the goblins to use them as his shields.
He closed his eyes and thought about the times he was sent to jail by Jin Cheng before. But this time, it was truly life and death. He mustn’t die. Even if he really must die, he wouldn’t die at Jin Cheng’s hands.
The goblins yelled and charged at Jin Cheng. Their individual damage power wasn’t high, but they could win with their large number. Looking at the far distance, waves of them were crowding at the end of the road. You killed one and another group would rush in right after.
The goblins would immediately surround the players the moment they failed to pay attention; no one could stand still on this road. At this point, No. 6 Ghillie Suit’s rocket launcher became a helpful tool to take down these monsters.
“Boom ―” Any rocket could just be shot without the need to take aim, and the goblins would be swept away in heaps.
Next to him, teammate No. 3 was picking up the remnants: He would slash any goblins that survived the rocket. No. 10 girl was much stronger; with her fire-type ability, commonly seen also in other players, she was shooting one fireball after another, her killing speed worthy of praise.
Compared to them, No. 2, 9 and 11 were not as great. Their moves were a little messy and they had some injuries here and there, but at least their lives weren’t endangered. Tang Cuo, Qian Wei and Peng Mingfan reached their side by this point.
“The goblins behind have started to rise again!” Qian Weiwei shouted.
The other players felt their hearts drop. They hadn’t even managed to take down the goblins in front and no one knew where the finishing line was, now the goblins that they killed previously were coming back to life?
They were sieged both front and back. How could they even win this game?
“Faster!” No. 10 had the same reaction as Tang Cuo’s. If the goblins behind were coming at them, they could only move to the front at full speed.
Death would await them if they didn’t advance. The goblins might not be strong enough to defeat them, but using up this much energy would also kill them eventually. At least running to the front might help them find a way out.
Tang Cuo fell behind. He only had a gun and there was only one bullet left in it, so naturally he wouldn’t depend on it. For now, he picked up a saber that a goblin dropped and used it as his weapon. Although this one saber wasn’t particularly fatal, it was better than nothing.
His thoughts suddenly wandered off amid the predicament waiting for them at both the front and the back. He thought of Meng Yufei’s blade intent and Qian Wei’s sword aura. Zhang Xing once said that each adept player would eventually grow their own abilities, and tiny shrimps like him could only rely on items such as cards to fight.
But Tang Cuo hadn’t figured his own yet.
He had no abilities and no magic, let alone blade intent or sword aura. So what was the trigger condition? Would he need to obtain any secret scrolls or learn the arts from an NPC master?
With the thought still lingering in his head, Tang Cuo tackled another goblin with a single blow and took a step back.
In front, Jin Cheng was dancing on top of the globins’ heads, jumping from one head to another and bestowing multiple arrows at once like flowers from a goddess, and “Bam, bam, bam,” the goblins fell down like dominoes.
Jin Cheng’s arrows were very powerful in both breaking through defence and dealing damage; there was no way the goblins could stop him. One arrow would penetrate them, and the next arrow would arrive the following second. As the goblins all crammed together, a single arrow could easily kill two or three.
As one group of goblins fell down, they would smack down those behind them. The domino effect was tremendously helping the situation.
Meng Yufei meanwhile seized every opportunity to escape.
“Ting —” Jin Cheng struck and the powerful sound waves spellbound one globlin after another. Meng Yufeil also started to stagger under its impact and spat out a mouthful of blood.
He immediately drew his scimitar and turned around: “Clang!”
The scimitar smacked Jin Cheng’s arrow, but this time, he couldn’t cut through it.
Meng Yufei was on the verge of depleting all his strength, and the sweat and blood mixed on his face made his eyes hurt. Throwing out the last lightning orb with all his will, Meng Yufei took the opportunity to flee to the back.
Although driven to a corner, his mind was still clear.
It was impossible to move to the front. He had no idea where the finishing line might be, and this many goblins would definitely slow him down and consume all his remaining energy. It would only be a matter of minutes before Jin Cheng caught up.
So now he’d better retreat to the back.
Meng Yufei didn’t believe all of these players would give Jin Cheng a hand in catching him. Didn’t Jin Cheng love to fight against the unjust and help the weak? Wasn’t he always so great? With so many players stuck here, let’s see how he would strike.
The other players saw Meng Yufei suddenly retreating but didn’t stop him. They didn’t know anything about Meng Yufei or Jin Cheng, so it was natural that they wouldn’t want to act rashly.
Qian Wei hesitated a bit, and it was this second of hesitation that Meng Yufei’s scimitar popped right in front of his face.
All of a sudden, a saber flew out from one side and stopped Meng Yufei. Meng Yufei tilted his head to look ― it was Tang Cuo again, that damn No. 12.
Tang Cuo threw a saber and picked up another, stabbed a goblin, then raised his head and asked: “Are you thinking of taking someone hostage?”
As his words fell, the other players became alert.
Tang Cuo destroyed Meng Yufei’s scheme with just a single sentence, effectively cornering him against all the players. His fuse totally blown, Meng Yufei rushed towards Tang Cuo without another word. If he couldn’t escape today, he would at least drag someone with him.
“Be careful!” Qian Wei hurriedly stopped him.
Tang Cuo wasn’t reacting slowly either. He had always been particularly conscious of his ‘bottom of the list’ position, so he grabbed a goblin to shield himself against Meng Yufei’s scimitar.
Meng Yufei’s eyes turned bloodshot and he swung his weapon, not a word let out. The next instant, another goblin flew towards him. Without a second to think, he slashed again.
“&$(@#$*^$#$@!” Rushing into his eardrums wasn’t a goblin’s piercing scream, rather, it was curses.
Meng Yufei paused and took a closer look to realise it was no goblin but an audience from Demon City! The damn no. 12 just pulled him out from the window!
Not even a moment later, the entire Demon City was infuriated. Their earth-shattering grumbles had the players quaking in their boots, the thunderous noise almost popping their heads open.
The monster audience who was pulled out by Tang Cuo wasn’t slashed to death. He became even angrier and frantically jumped towards Meng Yufei, his gigantic mount trying to bite Meng Yufei’s arm off and prying a huge chunk of flesh.
“Contestant No. 8 has gone crazy. It actually attacked a resident of our Demon City, violating its principle of being a pet! Oh my god, what a shocking and heartbreaking scene!” The little demon flapped his wing and flew over, unable to hide his relish at a contestant’s misfortune.
Then he jumped to the next topic: “Big baby No. 12’s behaviour is also very intriguing. Let’s see what it is planning!”
Tang Cuo actually didn’t plan anything. He just had an idea.
Jin Cheng could testify that Tang Cuo’s idea was very risky. Life or death never mattered much to him. He was always a smart little bastard.
In the end, Meng Yufei killed the monster audience. If he started it, he might as well finish it. Despite the blaring screams from both sides of the road, no one really came down to beat him.
By this point, the hatred Meng Yufei had for Tang Cuo had exceeded that for Jin Cheng.
At this moment, a goblin that was earlier taken down by No. 6 Ghillie Suit’s rocket suddenly stood up and threw a small green cube towards them, which stopped about 5 or six 6 meters above ground.
Tang Cuo, Qian Wei, and Peng Mingfan had no idea what it was, but the others seemed to know. No. 3 sprinted over and bounced on the wall, hitting his whole body against the cube.
The cube shattered into thousands of glitters, and a number ‘20’ appeared above No. 3’s head.
“Super Mario!” Qian Wei exclaimed, his eyes widened.
Peng Mingfan now understood the gameplay. The finishing line that was nowhere in sight, the mountains of goblins, and the time limit of about 15 to 20 minutes for the goblins to rise again pinned down how difficult this road would prove to be. The mission required that they stayed alive for at least three hours. They had spent almost an hour in the first two rounds, so the remaining two hours would be for this third round.
There were special goblins hidden in the whole group that would release the cubes when they got killed. These cubes could replenish a player’s HP or have a similar effect to help the player lengthen his life.
No. 3’s team must have triggered a few cubes while killing these monsters.
As the scimitar came his way, Tang Cuo dodged, and at the same time picked up two sabers from the ground before turning around to block. The two sabers were manoeuvred in perfect tandem to hold back Meng Yufei’s scimitar, who fiercely pressed it down but couldn’t move an inch.
Tang Cuo was good at close combat. His fighting skills were handed over by Jin Cheng, and back then few people of his age could stand as his opponents. Lifting his sabers with a bit more force, Tang Cuo released a sharp kick at Meng Yufei’s stomach.
The goblins were swarming in again.
Tang Cuo learnt from Meng Yufei and blended into the waves of goblins, using the goblins to cover himself. Meng Yufei stared at him with intense eyes. He had intended to hold Tang Cuo hostage, but Tang Cuo turned out to be much stronger than expected.
He was simply another Jin Cheng.
As Tang Cuo and Jin Cheng were both difficult opponents, a shade of fear rose in Meng Yufei’s heart. He quickly decided to switch target and aimed for for Peng Mingfan.
Peng Mingfan’s abilities were not usual either.
His marksmanship was poor and his combat skill could barely make it, but when Meng Yufei’s scimitar was about to hit him, his pupils shrank and the scimitar was abruptly halted mid-way.
Peng Mingfan rolled away immediately.
Meng Yufei was flabbergasted one moment after another, his face twisted into an ugly expression. He turned to look at Jin Cheng to see that the man hadn’t come to chase him at all, rather, Jin Cheng rushed to the front to kill more goblins.
The entire group of players began to advance at full speed.
Was Jin Cheng not paying attention to him at all, or was he convinced that these players could actually hold him back?
Meng Yufei couldn’t help it anymore and decided to use his ultimate move. He conjured a vortex at the tip of his scimitar and spin one round. The blade intent suddenly spread to several meters around him, indiscriminately attacking everything within its range.
It was what he called a ‘Vortex Slash’.
“Dodge!” Tang Cuo cried.
Qian Wei, Peng Mingfan and the others were shocked and they rushed to the side. The hapless No. 9 was unluckily hit by the strike, himself and the surrounding goblins fell down like weeds being plowed off. But being a player after all, he suffered a deep cut at the back but could still move.
“F**k!” He couldn’t help cursing, but didn’t have the nerves to fight back.
Meng Yufei had become too terrifying.
A small red cube rose again from amid the mass of goblins. Meng Yufei quickly stepped forward to take it, and in a blink, his blade intent turned blood red.
Tang Cuo frowned. Could it be that a red cube raised a player’s Rage Meter1? He commanded decisively: “Run to the front!”
Qian Wei and Peng Mingfan had been trained to obey whatever the boss said, and they rushed forward without saying anything, not caring one bit about how many goblins stood in their track.
As they rushed to the front, Jin Cheng ran to the back, and in a flash, the two sides had switched positions.
“Whoosh!” Jin Cheng launched another arrow as his eyes swept through Tang Cuo: “Retreat.”
Tang Cuo retreated.
As fast as lightning, Jin Cheng dismantled the long bow and transformed it into two blades, chasing after Meng Yufei and knocking him back by dozens of steps. The battle between the two quickly moved away from the main group, the sound of their weapons clanging echoing endlessly in the air.
By this time, a new wave of goblins finally came from behind.
Jin Cheng stared at Meng Yufei for a split second before swinging his blades at Meng Yufei’s scimitar, the two figures brutally jumping at each other. The next second, Jin Cheng suddenly bolted forward without batting an eye to Meng Yufei’s defence, and like a cannonball, he pushed Meng Yufei into the heart of the goblin crowd.
“Khoff.” Meng Yufei spurted out a chunk of blood onto his blade. How could he forget that Jin Cheng’s instantaneous critical hit was almost unblockable? Just like that, he would deal a strike, punching through even a steel plate.
Meng Yufei could almost hear the sound of his ribs breaking, his entire back landing heavily on the ground, the goblins and Jin Cheng’s shadow being the only things embedded in his vision.
In the blink of an eye, an item resembling a bomb appeared in Meng Yufei’s palm.
Jin Cheng retreated quickly, but it was too late.
“Boom —” The explosion scorched the corners of his clothes, the flying shards cutting through his thighs as a stinging feeling rising from inside his throat.
Smoke and dust flew everywhere.
Jin Cheng wiped off the trace of blood on his face and narrowed his eyes slightly, and before he could react, a wisp of wind blew in his ears.
Meng Yufei’s scimitar broke through the wind.
Jin Cheng dodged sideways, taking two steps back, not daring to touch the crazy blade intent so casually. Meng Yufei had really gone mad, all kinds of items conjured in his hand one after another.
The remaining players didn’t dare to approach at all. Qian Wei was lost for words as he wondered where Meng Yufei could have gotten so many items. Even if a player from Zone F entered a dungeon everyday, it was unlikely that he could accumulate so many, right?
Tang Cuo previously had no idea how many people Meng Yufei killed and how many items he snatched from them, but this scene had made it quite evident.
“Where are all your tricks? Do you want to fight with me just like this?” Meng Yufei covered his heart and stared at Jin Cheng angrily.
Corpses were piling up around the two of them. They had no intention of killing the goblins, but under such a fierce battle, no goblins could survive.
Jin Cheng didn’t say a word. He had said it earlier, don’t ramble nonsense when fighting with me.
But Meng Yufei was in no mood to shut up. He gritted his teeth and said: “I don’t understand.”
Why do you have to kill me?
Those losers could all die and I could live till the end.
“Clang!” Jin Cheng shot an arrow at his wrist and Meng Yufei’s scimitar fell to the ground, his one arm completely scrapped. However, Jin Cheng didn’t give him time to breathe and fired another arrow, then another.
The goblins took the opportunity to swarm up, forcing Meng Yufei to fight left and right and finally run out of items to use.
But he still couldn’t stop Jin Cheng.
In his last blow, Jin Cheng strode forward and stabbed him.
As his blood gushed out, Meng Yufei fell to the ground, his eyes only taking in the pale sky of Demon City. Jin Cheng firmly grasped the handle of his blades, a few drops of blood splashed on his expressionless face.
Only then did he leisurely tell Meng Yufei: “You are stronger than them so you kill them, it makes sense to you. I am stronger than you so I kill you, it makes sense to the universe.”
Throughout the entire Demon City, the audience broke into deafening cheers, shaking the mountains, the sea and the sky.
“This is truly the most thrilling show we’ve ever seen! All games in our Demon City should be like this!” The little demon burst out with blue veins visibly surging at his throat: “No. 4, please remember No. 4! Please give it the warmest cheers. Our absolute champion: contestant No. 4!”
Translator and reviewer at Strictly Bromance blog. In essence, she lives to indulge in plot-driven stories sprinkled with camaraderie and slow-burn drama-free romance, especially more so if they belong to adventure, mystery or supernatural genre. A trope that she always thirsts after: “Comrades who go through life and death together”.