Chapter 172: The Heavenly Dragon Resistance Gathering Party
The background noise gradually died down, and Sila’s burdensome task of maintaining two conversations came to an end . When he looked for the source, he realised that the one who organized this party had arrived .
Lone Wolf stepped up onto the stage, wearing brown wuxia clothing with embroidered gold lines . At long last, the gathering party that everyone had been waiting for was about to start .
Lone Wolf swept his gaze across the attendants, before looking at the script Hermit and Ratri prepared for him . However, he shook his head and crumpled it .
“Welcome, everyone, to the Heavenly Dragon Resistance gathering party . It’s not in my nature to drag matters on, so I will just get to the point . The reason why we are here today is clear . The Heavenly Dragon Guild is expanding its influence and bullying people . Alone, we are weak, but together, there will be nothing that we can’t do . So, let’s join forces and oppose the Heavenly Dragon Guild, oppose Montra!”
Naturally, everybody already knew the purpose of this gathering party . However, they didn’t expect Lone Wolf to suddenly cut to the chase without trying to set the mood .
Below the stage, a man dressed like a scholar raised his hand and stood up . “My name is Pachee . I’m just an ordinary player . Regarding what you said, may I ask you a question?”
“Brother Pachee, your question is welcomed . Please feel free to ask . ”
“In my opinion, the Heavenly Dragon Guild is an almighty guild . Even if we join forces, there is no guarantee that we can win against them . May I ask what makes you, Sir Lone Wolf, confident that you will win? The Heavenly Dragon Guild’s chance of winning is higher and submitting to them will yield us more monetary benefits . On what basis do you think we should join your Victorious Wolves Sect rather than their guild?”
“First things first, Brother . You need to understand that we are not asking you to join the Victorious Wolves Sect . What we are going to do is form an alliance . All of us will still have the freedom to do anything we see fit . Only, we will direct our weapons at our common enemy–the Heavenly Dragon Guild . ”
“Oh, so it’s my misunderstanding . However, Sir Lone Wolf, you still didn’t tell us what is it that can ensure our victory if we were to form an alliance . ”
“I can just tell you in one word . The thing we have that makes us superior to the Heavenly Dragon Guild is Virtue!”
Lone Wolf declared it without hesitation, and Beluga slammed his palm on the table in a good mood . As for everyone else, they had started gossiping among themselves .
Another man stood up and raised his point . “We want a more concrete basis! Virtue is intangible! And it isn’t helpful in battles . ”
There were many voices agreeing with the man’s statement . If Lone Wolf replied with the wrong words, the party might just end here and now .
Lone Wolf swept his eyes across the yard and waited until silence fell once more . Then, he replied with his resounding voice .
“Who told you that virtue is not useful? Even Sun Tzu’s ‘The Art of War’ states that the most important factor in war is virtue! One should treat people with benevolence, justice, and righteousness! The Heavenly Dragon Guild lacks this very core element . No matter how almighty they are, they will, one day, perish!”
Listening to such words, Asura couldn’t help but become interested . He turned to ask for Sebastian’s opinion, who was the smartest among them .
“Virtue is necessary for battles? Really? This is the first time I have heard this . Did you already know this, Sebastian?”
Sebastian nodded .
“Although people say virtue is important, in reality, there is no such thing in wartime . Wars are a matter of brutality and cruelty . Kill or be killed . A clash of opinions . Virtue is, in fact, only something that pushes soldiers forward . You can say that it’s a sort of goal . If soldiers fight while thinking that what they are doing is for a noble cause, they think they are heroes . On the other hand, without it, they would only be mere bandits . There is a difference in morale and pride between having and not having a noble goal, and that greatly affects the amount of work you put into achieving the goal . Ultimately, in battles, the so-called virtue is a deciding factor that drives people to strive for victory . ”
“Oh, I see,” replied Asura .
Yet, below the stage, another man yelled, “We still need something more tangible!”
Lone Wolf replied, “That’s the reason we are all here today . True, virtue without strength may be useless . But, with all of our forces combined under the same virtue, even the Heavenly Dragon Guild can’t stand a chance against us all . ”
Pachee argued again, “The Heavenly Dragon Guild has the Magic Emperor Montra, the Two Monarchs that are on par with the Four Emperors, and the sublime Five Dragon Warlords . I even heard a rumor that the Shadow Emperor Zero has joined them . How can we possibly stand up to them?”
“First of all, about Zero, I can confirm that rumor . He indeed has become a member of the Heavenly Dragon Guild . The Blue Pigeon Guild researched it and assures us of its validity . ”
The rumor of Zero joining the Heavenly Dragon Guild wasn’t a secret . However, given their past conflicts, people couldn’t bring themselves to believe such a rumor . However, that changed with Lone Wolf’s words . With both the Blue Pigeon Guild and Lone Wolf’s confirmation, it was revealed that the unbelievable rumor was, in fact, the truth .
Pachee continued, “That’s worse for us! How can we fight the Heavenly Dragon Guild at this rate? They also have a large-scale army under them, ready to mobilize . ”
“The answer is simple . There is no need for strategies . The countermeasure is our unity! We will join forces, share information, collaborate, train with each other, and compensate for what others lack . Just one month is enough for us to become stronger!”
Beluga stood up . “Excellent! After hearing Lone Wolf, we, the Mountain Thieves League decide to fight with you!”
Beluga’s declaration echoed throughout the party .
Nednapha pushed her guild leader down and whispered, “You spoke too soon, Boss . At the very least, we should wait and see what benefits our guild will get from forming an alliance . ”
Beluga shook his head . “If we only focus on the benefits, how are we any different from the Heavenly Dragon Guild? Even if this deal nets us a loss, we are still in . Having a chance to do something virtuous is already a fortune . ”
Beluga shared his thoughts without lowering his voice . As a result, everybody could hear him clearly . Sila felt that this person was direct and blunt, yet sincere .
Hearing that kind of reasoning, Nednapha stopped arguing . With Beluga’s words, if she still insisted, wouldn’t that imply that she was an unjust, selfish person who disregarded virtue?
Nevertheless, what everyone was seeking wasn’t some vague concept like a virtue . Indeed, everyone here disliked the Heavenly Dragon Guild in some way . However, they also wanted a chance for victory . There would be no point in joining the losing side of the battle .
“We still need more concrete proof that we can win, or at least a plan . ”
“In that case, I can honestly tell you that, aside for virtue, we also possess what the Heavenly Dragon Guild has . Regarding funds, we got a lot from our trading . About strategies, we have many skilled people in our team . And if we all form an alliance, we will not have to worry about their army . Our combined forces can easily surpass the Heavenly Dragon Guild’s . Even better, our alliance’s members will be everywhere, thus, we will have an advantage regarding flexibility when maneuvering . ”
The people down below him turned to discuss this with each other, and Lone Wolf remained silent so they didn’t feel pressured .
“You can decide for yourselves . Join us if you want, but we won’t ever force you . Today, we, the Victorious Wolves Sect, will just treat you all to a meal . Please consider my words while enjoying it . Even if you decide not to join us, your belly will at least be full,” Lone Wolf said jokingly before going to the main table .
Ratri and Hermit immediately approached him .
“Leader, why didn’t you stick to the script? That script was a persuasive speech that Ratri and I tried hard to come up with . It mentions the benefits that we can share with them within our tolerance level,” asked Hermit .
“True, by giving them benefits, a lot of groups might join us . But that doesn’t prevent them from abandoning us when the opposite side agrees to give them more . This is way better . I want people to join us because of their virtue . ”
Beluga interrupted . “Don’t worry, guys . Even if our alliance only consists of the Victorious Wolves Sect and the Mountain Thieves League, we can still win against the Heavenly Dragon Guild . ”
Despite Beluga stating this with confidence, everyone knew that he, too, should feel restless inside .
Sila stood up . “Hello, Mister Lone Wolf . It’s been a while . ”
“Hey, Sila . You have gotten a lot stronger since the last time we spoke, it seems . ”
“You can tell?” Sila wondered . As an internal utilizer, most of his power was kept within him . Others shouldn’t be able to gauge his strength easily .
“Nope . I just see that you’re brimming with confidence . Moreover, as I trained under Mister Poluk, I can tell that Sila must have been through a lot of training as well . Since Mister Poluk alone is already that strong, you, who have been training under the other two Slime Guardians as well as Mister Poluk, are undoubtedly getting stronger . ”
Sila nodded at Lone Wolf’s words, though he didn’t think he should explain to Lone Wolf that, among the three Guardians and the King of the Slime Kingdom, Poluk was the kindest . Among those four, some taught him directly, some taught him by having him overcome trials, and some didn’t teach him anything and instead gave pointers . Regardless, all of their words and actions were extremely useful for Sila’s growth . When he thought that these four people weren’t members of the Wulin Masters Association, Sila was reminded that they lived in a vast world .
Everybody turned their heads to Sila . No one could tell how strong Sila was, and they were naturally curious, including Sila himself . He wanted to test how strong he had become .
“Mn . I can tell that you are quite strong, but since Lone Wolf said so, you must be extraordinarily strong . Let’s have a spar some other time,” Beluga smiled at Sila .
“Sure, Mister Beluga . ”
Nednapha looked at Sila and tried to evaluate him . She had seen him display his strength once, so she was comparing the current Sila to the one she saw before . In her opinion, she didn’t think he had gotten much stronger, especially when considering how little time had passed .
In fact, it was normal for people to be unable to recognize Sila’s current strength . Sila was an internal utilizer and he had mastered his version of Divine Raiment, thus achieving perfect energy concealment . Only supreme figures at the level of the Slime Guardians or the Slime King would be able to see through his strength . While not to the same extent, Lone Wolf and Beluga could tell that Sila had gotten stronger with their intuition and experience .
“Sila, from now on, when you go anywhere, you will need to be more careful . It’s likely that players will attack you even more . ”
Lone Wolf gave Sila a warning .
“They have been trying to do that for a long time, haven’t they? What has changed?”
“It is different now, because of this thing . ”
Lone Wolf placed an octagonal ring on the table . Everyone recognized it with a single glance; everyone except Sila . Even though he was the one most affected by it .
“What is this ring?”
“Cloudy Dragon Ring, an S-grade item . It is now the most popular item from the Heavenly Dragon Guild . The wearer can break through to Marquis Rank easily, and when they kill a slime-race player, they will have the qualification to promote to Lord Rank once their level reaches 1,000 . ”
“A slime-race player?”
Sila frowned . The condition was oddly specific .
“You understand now, right? Montra intends to use other players to hunt you down, so you have to be careful . Our problem at hand is figuring out how Montra managed to craft this kind of item . It’s an S-grade item, but he can somehow mass-produce it . Our people are investigating right now but there is still no progress . ”
Nednapha also said, “Our people, too, are investigating this matter, but, likewise, we have yet to make any discoveries . It’s an S-grade item that doesn’t show a downside, so we still don’t dare to equip it . However, based on our speculation, more than fifteen percent of all players are already wearing this ring, and the number is steadily increasing . ”
“Cloudy Dragon Ring . . . Cloudy Dragon…? The Cloudy Pearl that dropped from the dragon . . . ?”
As Sila muttered to himself, Varee called out to him .
“What are you saying?”
Sila hit the table . Everyone turned to him .
“I see! It’s the work of the Cloudy Pearl . Since it’s one of the Gems of Catastrophe, this kind of thing should be possible . ”
Hermit came closer to him and asked, “Mister Sila, do you know something about it?”
Sila was considered to be Montra’s number one enemy . Even the rings directly targeted Sila . Everyone didn’t know what kind of enmity existed between the two, but they all knew one thing for sure: Sila possessed something that made Montra wary .
“I don’t think I can describe it well enough . Please let me just go and call the specialists . ”
Sila was about to leave, but Hermit gestured him to stop .
“The party is large and you may lose your way . Mister Sila, if you want to call someone, please tell us the names, and I will order our people to go get them . ”
“Is that so? In that case, please go to my previous table and invite Julia and Bluebird to join us . ”
Both exclamations rang out simultaneously . The first belonged to Varee, who was wondering how Julia got out from the mansion, while the second one belonged to White Swan, who didn’t understand how Bluebird was related to this matter .
Hermit called one of the Victorious Wolves Sect’s members to get those two . Meanwhile, Varee poked Sila .
“Sila, how can Julia go outside? And how is she related to the ring?”
“Julia is Sila’s AI maid at the mansion, right? Isn’t it impossible for her to leave the attached residence?”
Ratri remembered Julia, so she was curious as well .
“I speculate the reasons that Julia can leave the mansion and Montra can mass-produce S-grade items are the same . Has anyone here heard of the Gems of Catastrophe?”
Sila asked, but, to his surprise, everyone shook their heads, including White Swan; even though her guild leader, Yardpirun, possessed one of them .
“How is Blue related though?” White Swan asked .
“Bluebird possesses Information Analysis, a high-tier inspection skill, so I think he should be able to help us inspect this ring . Moreover, he also knows about the Gems of Catastrophe . ”
White Swan felt as if her dignity was damaged . Bluebird, who was always only eating and sleeping, turned out to possess information she didn’t . Even worse, he even had a high-tier inspection skill .
Soon, Julia and Bluebird arrived at the table . Bluebird even came holding a bowl of noodles in one hand and a pair of chopsticks in the other . Watching one of the vice-leaders of the Blue Pigeon Guild acting gluttonous in front of other important figures, White Swan felt ashamed and hopeless .
Julia greeted everyone, including Varee .
“Greetings, Madam . It’s been a while . ”
“It is . Julia, it’s good that you have a body . You look very cute . ”
“Thank you for your compliment, Madam . By the way, may I ask for what reason Master summoned Mister Bluebird and I to this place? How can we help you?”
Bluebird slurped some noodles before replying . “Oi, Sila . I’m not your henchman, you know? If I do not hurry and go back, Burapha might take all the food for himself . ”
White Swan was annoyed and stood up . “Burapha won’t do anything shameless like that! Don’t compare yourself to him! Even though you are not his henchman, how much of his money do you think you have spent? Don’t complain over every little thing!”
Bluebird showed a bewildered expression . “Why did you have to shout? You have no manners, you know? All I ever did with Sila’s money was eating . It’s something trivial and no one would ever keep track of that . ”
Hearing such words, White Swan snapped . However, Julia, who had been listening to their conversation, suddenly spoke .
“Regarding the bookkeeping, the total amount of money spent on Mister Bluebird’s food is 12,196 gold and 692,450 silver, sir . For the record, this amount only covers food costs, not including overhead ones . As for the labor cost, my cooking, I’m happy to inform you that it’s completely free, sir . ”
Bluebird almost choked on the noodles in his mouth . Julia was a system AI so there was no way her calculation was wrong . Meanwhile, the others wondered how in the world a single person could manage to be prodigal to that extent .
Bluebird sent a melancholic gaze at Julia, but she seemed to be confused about why Bluebird looked at her, since all she did was answer his question .
Next, Bluebird took a side glance at White Swan, to which she immediately replied:
“That’s your personal problem! The guild is not responsible for your debts . ”
Bluebird gulped down the noodles and turned to Sila .
“What can I do for you, Master . . . ?”