"God damn it!" Warlord moved through the Devastator Headquarters with utter rage. His plan to explore the Underworld had completely failed. Not only did they barely get the chance to grind up some good EXP but Skelly had interrupted them when they were so close to potentially gain a way to enter the Underworld without his help.
Yet the most outrageous thing was that Warlord had been the one who assaulted the Draugr first meaning he would actually receive remuneration for getting in their way once more.
The only silver lining in this whole endeavor was that he received confirmation from Valentine that Skelly would be stuck there under the effects of the Forbidden Chapter [Lockdown]. They had 72 in-game hours to accomplish their overall goal.
Unfortunately, he was unable to enjoy this information for too long. Valentine and Satan Slayer had died a few minutes after he was banished from the Underworld for breaching their contract. Thus, his two most trusted and powerful guild members were currently unavailable for the raid they had been preparing for.
With the two other guilds at each other's throats and the strongest threat to his campaign in literal imprisonment, it undoubtedly gave him the greatest advantage he could hope for. He would obtain the East and benefit from the trade with Demetri's European guild. By forging an alliance with this upcoming super guild he and his corporate members would greatly benefit from in the short and long term. They had worked hard to make it this far and Warlord was not going to let this opportunity slip through his fingers. He would milk it dry.
Warlord tapped on the side of his helmet, initiating a voice-call with Valentine.
"Val, what's the situation?"
"Stuck in Limbo, but the good news is that I got an easy Quest. I should be done in less than a day."
"Good, then you'll be in time for the Mass Teleport. What about Slayer?"
"I just contacted him, he's having it even easier than me. He should be out faster."
"Great looks like things might be better than I had feared. I'll get the squad ready, you just make sure to come back as fast as you can. Pass the same to Slayer. Val, I need your help. This is our chance to get back to the top and maybe even higher!"
"Roger, over and out," Valentine hung up.
"Now, for the main event," Warlord mumbled to himself as he strode to the meeting room.
The moment he opened the door, Demetri stood up. The Guildmaster of European Might was already waiting for him in the conference room.
"What's the situation?"
"Everything is perfectly under control. Skelly is in lockdown. We suffered some minor setbacks, but nothing too serious. We'll mobilize our troops in three hours."
"Isn't that too hasty? We agreed for the raid to commence late at night," Demetri seemed a bit worried. As much as he would like to claim his Right of Conquest, their last outing to the East had proven that too much haste would end badly.
"We did, and it shall. This will act as a distraction for the other guild parties. Mobilizing such a huge force will not go unnoticed, so we'll be pulling a bluff," Warlord replied.
"Currently, Heaven's Dawn and Blood Ragers are waging war over some Dwarven Ruins they had found. What do you think will happen if they see the full force of the Devastators mobilizing?"
"I don't know, I'm not much of a strategist." Demetri shrugged.
"It's simple. I won't tell any of my members where we're headed so that no spies can report anything back. Therefore both parties will be lacking any real information about what is going on. They will panic since both will automatically assume that we'll be assisting the other."
"Not bad, you want to make them both sweat," Demetri nodded.
"Yes, and before they understand that we're actually just a distraction, they will call back their troops to protect their cities. Meanwhile, we will use our backup channel to teleport our forces to the Qin Kingdom. At that rate, none of them will be able to intervene."
"Won't that make your own kingdom vulnerable?"
"Normally it would, but this where Skeletal comes in. Every player should be aware that Skeletal has come to borrow Jeffery from us. As far as they are aware he owes us for this. The rumors should be going wild by now, that he will be helping us raid one of the guilds. Naturally, we have omitted the name of the actual guild to be raided, but the players will take care of it. Everyone loves to gossip. Now, because neither guild will know where Skelly actually is, and because they know he can pop up everywhere with an army at his behest, they will not dare invade us, as that would leave their own home base easy prey for Skelly."
"That's pretty marvelous, I must say!.
"Yeah, Skelly's not the only war mastermind around. Now, what about the mercs?"
"I've already posted a note to the Mercenary Guild, they've contracted a massive number of players for our raid. Once you give the order, I'll send them my own new set of orders to gather up and aid us in the raid."
"Can we trust them?"
"They're under contract. Mercenaries cannot go around the contract until their mission is done. Going against the terms will ban their accounts. And I doubt anyone will risk that."
"Good, then we're all set."
"Yes. Now we only need to--"
But before Demetri could finish his words, a Server Announcement notification appeared in front of him.
Congratulations to player Kis'Shtiengbrah for successfully conquering the Fourth Raid Zone of the Underworld.
The Drow Kingdom is now under the Undead Legion's control.
Thanks to the special power the altar of the Drow Kingdom offers, all undead creatures will benefit from an increase of 20% in their vitality, power, and durability.
As of now, the Undead Legion is in control of 80% of the Underworld regions. The claim of the Legionnaires of the Underworld grows tighter. Once the Legion is in full control of the Underworld, the Undead Legion Expansion shall be opened to the public.
The Ash King has begun a recruiting session for those willing to forsake their faith in exchange for power.
Serving the Ash King will award the players with a powerful upgrade to their battle prowess. The choice of forsaking one's nature is irreversible so players are advised to consider this carefully.
Four new Demonic temples have appeared on the surface world. One in each world corner. Explore them and obtain the power of Demons to help them wage war against the Undead.
"What in the name of the Almighty?!" Demetri muttered.
Warlord released a defeated sigh, "It's Skelly, when has he ever done something NOT over the top. Regardless, this changes nothing. We still need to raid the East."
"What about the power-ups? This could help us greatly."
"Do you have any idea where they are? Even if we find them there surely will be some sort of lengthy or difficult quest attached to that. Once we're done with the East we can focus on this. I just hope that by aiding this Ash King guy, we'll get the ability to enter the Underworld as well. This could be great for us. Not only will we take control over the Overworld, but we'll also have a footing in the Underworld too."
"You sound confident," Demetri replied.
"Why wouldn't I? Once we obtain the East, the money from the taxes and the resources that the kingdom offers will help us grow the overall power of our army. Gaining a great advantage against everyone. Then we'll tackle the Underworld and finish Skelly once and for all. I never liked the Undead, they're disgusting to look at anyway."
"I'll be more than happy to go along with your plan, but now let's focus on this task first," Demetri said as he waved away the notification.
"Ah, shit I don't know if I should be happy or not about this" Dave mumbled.
"What do you mean?" came the voice of a familiar yet unexpected Undead.
Dave's nerves were fried, but he thankfully didn't show his panic.
"Dortha, what are you doing here?"
Turning around, the old peaceful-looking man was standing smiling right behind Dave.
"I've come to this land by the order of His Majesty. I'll be defending it from now on."
"Oh right, then guess I'll be leaving this to your care," Dave said.
"Hold on, His Majesty wishes to reward you for taking over one more region. However, it seems you are bound to this place for many more hours to come."
"Yeah," Dave sighed, "Some prick used a Forbidden Chapter on me. I bet they don't want me around to mess up their plan… again."
"Is that so? Fortunately, I have come with someone who might be able to help in your current situation. Allow me to introduce him to you."
Dave looked and turned around but didn't notice anyone.
"Who? Is your friend currently in stealth?"
Dortha smiled and pointed to the sky: "Look above you."
Dave looked up and noticed a towering behemoth of a creature. Large was by far a mediocre way to describe him. He looked like an oversized sack of potatoes that could weigh the same as a building. The creature's skin was dark sickly green, and he had no eyes but a wide gaping mouth.
"Kis'Shtiengbrah, would you be willing to take a spiritual trip with this one?" asked the creature, his calm gentle voice completely disproportionate with his hulking size.
Dave inspected the creature.
Abyssal Knight Class
Level : 650
Name; Marik The Soul-Gorger
Base damage: ???
Danger Level: Friendly
[Lore] The soulless soul eater. Marik has delved into magic far greater than what is known to mankind. Growing an insatiable hunger for souls, this one is the only undead that still hungers. Yet, his hunger is for the souls of the living, and for what moves. His ability to bend ghosts and spirit and all that is intangible and also his mastery of soul magic has granted him the title of an Abyssal Knight. He is by far the most mysterious one among his companions.
"You're an Abyssal Knight?" Dave couldn't believe his eyes.
"Indeed I am, Childe. I have heard about your exploits. Despite your young age you have accomplished much for the Legion. Do you wish to accompany me to His Majesty's palace?" asked the giant soul gorger.
"I think I mentioned I was stuck here."
"It's but a small problem, for I shall not take your body. I shall guide your soul to his lordship."
"Huh? Come again, I thought Undead didn't have souls," Dave sounded surprised.
"I don't blame you, young one. Undead still have souls. They are however hard to perceive, yet it is what moves and guides you. From what I see the Forbidden Chapter has only bound your outer shell to this place. Even if it is but momentarily, I can send your soul to His Majesty. So, will you come?"
Dave looked at Dortha questioningly, but the Beast only smiled and nodded.
"Okay," Dave agreed.
"Then, brace yourself," Marik spoke and just now, Dave did notice that Marik's mouth had actually moved for the first time to open up wide. The Abyssal Knight so far hadn't so much talked as projected the words into Dave's own mind.
Marik took a deep breath, and with it, the wind howled and a deep blue light came out of Dave's avatar. The moment the light split out from his body, his Undead avatar fell over more lifelessly and stayed limply at the ground.
"Ah shit," Dave cursed as he realized that the Abyssal Knight was going to eat his soul.
Suddenly darkness engulfed him and he could hear no more.
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