Chapter 1866 - Stepping Stone

"They sure moved fast," Shi Feng said, chuckling when he saw the anguished expression on Aqua Rose's face.

He had long since anticipated that the various superpowers would make such a move.

Previously, Zero Wing had already incurred the envy of the various superpowers over Silverwing Town. However, as Silverwing Town couldn't affect the overall situation at the Ore Empire and Zero Wing's territory there was still relatively small, the various superpowers weren't that concerned about Zero Wing. The Secret Stone Fortress, though, was different.

Every location within the teleportation range of the Secret Stone Fortress could be considered the fortress's territory. Not to mention, the Secret Stone Fortress was the safest fortress for human players in the entire Ore Empire. The fortress was also relatively close to the Copper Mountain Fortress, presenting a stepping stone for the capture of the Copper Mountain Fortress.

One fortress already provided an extensive territory. One could easily imagine what kind of temptations two fortresses held. In particular, seeing Blackwater occupy the Crimson Flame Fortress made the various superpowers even more anxious to obtain a fortress of their own.

Now that Zero Wing had acquired the garrison rights to the Secret Stone Fortress, it would be strange for the various superpowers not to take action.

"Guild Leader, you still have the leisure to laugh?" Aqua Rose exclaimed, thunderstruck.

"If we meet them now and refuse to cooperate with them, it would be tantamount to declaring ourselves their enemy. So, it's best not to meet them for now," Shi Feng said.

"But if we don't meet with them, I'm afraid the end result would still be the same." Aqua Rose felt that Shi Feng's proposal wasn't a good idea, either. In fact, maintaining their silence would most likely annoy the various superpowers even more.

"That's why I said that we won't be meeting them for now," Shi Feng pointed out, chuckling. "How are things coming along on your side?"

"I'm almost ready. I'll be able to have our members transfer over in half an hour or so," Aqua Rose said.

"Another half-hour?" After giving the matter some thought, Shi Feng said, "That's too long. For now, you should return to Silverwing Town and leave the transfer for Snow to handle. Once you're back, immediately gather an army and head for Ancient Rock City."

"So soon?" Aqua Rose asked in surprise.

"With the superpowers already getting antsy, we naturally need to hasten our movements," Shi Feng explained. "Moreover, if we drag things on for too long, Blackwater and Beast Emperor might alter their plans to deal with us. If that happens, our assault might not go so smoothly."

"I understand. I'll gather the army right away," Aqua Rose said, nodding. She promptly dropped her current task and proceeded according to Shi Feng's demands.


As for Shi Feng himself, he returned to White River City's Candlelight Trading Firm.

The Hell Tanks were too large, and transporting them would not be an easy task. Moreover, Shi Feng didn't want too many people to know what he was up to. Hence, he decided to transfer the tanks one by one, all by himself. Fortunately, it would take Aqua Rose quite some time to gather an army of 100,000 players at such short notice.

After Aqua Rose returned to Silverwing Town, the first thing she did was release a Guild announcement stating that she was seeking to gather 100,000 members over at Silverwing Town to execute a siege against Ancient Rock City. Meanwhile, participating members had to be an elite member or above and at least Level 50.

Shortly after the announcement went public, it sent a commotion throughout Zero Wing.

"What's going on? Are we going to make a final stand against Beast Emperor?"

"That's Ancient Rock City we're talking about. I recall there being over a million Evil Beasts inside the city. There are even Tier 4 NPCs and a large number of Mythic Evil Demons and Evil Beasts. We won't even be enough to serve as appetizers if we try to attack all those monsters."

"Didn't you read the announcement properly? We won't be just 100,000 players. We're also bringing 200 Miniature Ballistas. Those are war weapons. Even those Evil Beasts and Evil Demons won't survive against them for very long. Moreover, since the Guild has decided to attack Ancient Rock City, it definitely has other trump cards in store."

"Hahaha! This is wonderful! During the last major war, I was only a normal member of the Guild. Now, I'm finally qualified to participate in a war!"

Zero Wing's members had an intense debate over this sudden decision to attack Ancient Rock City. This was especially true for the Guild members that frequently operated within the Ore Empire. Thus far, they have been constantly suppressed by Beast Emperor's Evil Beasts and Evil Demons. Now that a good opportunity to vent their pent-up frustration was before them, they were naturally eager to jump at the chance.

Meanwhile, word of Zero Wing's large-scale operation naturally entered the ears of the various major powers almost as soon as it was announced.

...

"Interesting. Zero Wing has just acquired the garrison rights to the Secret Stone Fortress, and it is already planning to assault Beast Emperor's Ancient Rock City?"

"How rich! Zero Wing is actually mobilizing 200 Miniature Ballistas in addition to an army of 100,000 elites. Is Zero Wing trying to use this as an opportunity to demonstrate its strength and solidify its position in the Ore Empire?"

"Does Zero Wing want to prove itself to be qualified for the Secret Stone Fortress's garrison rights?"

The various major powers easily discerned Zero Wing's motives for besieging Ancient Rock City this time, especially the superpowers who were trying to recruit Zero Wing.

"Guild Leader, Zero Wing is showing our King's Return no respect. Should we take action immediately?" Hell Fiend asked, a sneer on his face as he looked at the white-clad, middle-aged man on the screen before him.

He never held any goodwill for Zero Wing. If not for his Guild Leader ordering him to come to negotiate personally with Zero Wing, he would have liked nothing better than to annihilate the upstart Guild.

"Let's wait for a bit. I'm interested to see just how much strength Zero Wing has to actually think that it can defend the Secret Stone Fortress," the middle-aged man replied, smiling as he took a look at the report he just received.

"Understood!" At his Guild Leader's words, Hell Fiend had no choice but to suppress the rage in his heart and wait quietly in White River City. Hmph, I'll let you remain arrogant for now, Zero Wing. Once you lose to Beast Emperor-

Many superpowers desired the Ancient Rock City that Beast Emperor occupied. However, even until now, not a single superpower had managed to do anything to the city. Needless to say, the likelihood of Zero Wing successfully capturing Ancient Rock City was even lower.

Like King's Return, the other superpowers also chose to wait and see in regard to Zero Wing's sudden movement this time. They intended to look at the outcome of this impending battle before deciding. A defeat in this battle would force Zero Wing to acknowledge its inadequacy. If that happened, negotiations would go much more smoothly afterward.

"Zero Wing really is overestimating itself!" Nine Dragons Emperor, who was currently in the Black Dragon Empire, could not help but laugh when he received news about Zero Wing's intentions. "Originally, I was planning on advising the Great Pavilion Master to hinder Phoenix Rain from providing aid to Zero Wing. Now, it would seem that I won't need to waste the effort. However, I also have to admit that Black Flame is very smart Had he asked Phoenix Rain to help him and the Great Pavilion Master actually agreed to it, I would have had an excuse to send people over to manage both the Secret Stone Fortress and Silverwing Town."

"Pavilion Master, what should we do now?" Martial Dragon asked.

"The struggle for the position of Great Pavilion Master has already entered a crucial period. Absolutely nothing must go wrong. Bring a legion of experts over to Ancient Rock City right away. Once Zero Wing's members start escaping, cooperate with Beast Emperor to slaughter Zero Wing's members. It's fine even if you can't wipe them out completely. Just make sure to deal enough damage so that Zero Wing's development stagnates, to prevent Zero Wing from helping Phoenix Rain," Nine Dragons Emperor said. "Once I'm done dealing with Phoenix Rain, it'll be Zero Wing's turn to die!"

In response, Martial Dragon nodded and took his leave.

Meanwhile, inside the Evil God's Branch Temple in Ancient Rock City...

"Good! Very good! You want to use me as a stepping stone to raise your position in the Ore Empire?!" Beast Emperor flared up in rage after finding out about Zero Wing's actions. "Since you are so eager to die, I'll fulfill your wish! Immediately notify all Apostles and have them transfer their Evil Beasts and Evil Demons over. If Zero Wing's members dare come to Ancient Rock City, I'll make sure none of them leave this place alive!"

At this moment, even a fool could tell what Zero Wing's goal was.

Just as Beast Emperor and his allies were making their move, Aqua Rose finally finished organizing an army of 100,000 players.

"Guild Leader, just like you guessed, Beast Emperor has already recalled the Evil Beasts and Evil Demons to Ancient Rock City. By the looks of it, he plans on smiting us," Aqua Rose said, smiling.

"Good! Let's begin our operation!" Shi Feng commanded, nodding.

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