Starting from Zero

By Thunderstorm,雷云风暴

Starting from Zero Volume 4 Chapter 32

Starting from Zero Volume 4 Chapter 32

Book 4, Chapter 32

The Havoc

------------------

            I turned around. As I feared, a player crowd is rushing towards us.
  
      "Stop where you are!" A player running in front cried out.
  
      Oh please. Of course I'll not listen to you.

            "Coin, Razor, Merciless! Hold them off for a while!"
  
      "Got it!"

            They went to the path, facing the incoming players. I asked them because they're all fast classes. Even if they can't defeat the players they won't be caught at least.
  
      At least that was my plan, until I realized I've made a really bad decision by sending Razor out.

           Someone in the front line yelled when they saw Razor:

           "It's the Japanese! They're trying to break up our city defense system! We must stop them!!"
  
      I tripped on my own feet when I heard that. Break the city defense?? Then why are we taking all the effort to take the cannon all the way here, instead of sabotaging it inside the city? Besides that cannon will get refreshed after 24 hours. If I'm the enemy I'd do it right before a city siege begins. Why now??

           Well I don't think they'll give us any chance to explain. And they'll probably break the cannon by accident if they get their hands on it!
  
      Merciless and the other two have already contacted with the players, the crowd is quickly shrinking towards them three. Coin is running in front while Razor and Merciless followed behind. Coin is going towards the leading player, because he's either intentionally trying to throw hate at us, or is just plain dumb. Either way, we should take him down.
  
      The player grinned when he saw Coin getting close. Coin is seemingly a fragile class with all the cloth she's wearing, and this high leveled Warrior has all the confidence in a head-on conflict.
  
      Coin is wearing the same grin as the foolish Warrior. Doubt replaced the smile on the Warrior's face, but he no longer needs to worry about it in the next moment.
  
      Coin jumped into the air about 5 meters away from the target, and landed right on top of the Warrior's body, submerging her dagger deep into it. She used her self-created skill [Last Resort]. The Warrior died in a white flash before he can even see what just happened.
  
      All the running players stopped. Their leader just died for no reason!

           And that moment is enough for us to gain enough distance from the city.
  
      "Zirai, take the cannon away!"

           I picked up Yuri and tossed her onto Skyfire's back. "Wait for us in the Lost City. Yuri knows the way!"
  
      I don't want to make Zirai feel that she's the only one escaping. But I believe she can understand that getting the cannon to safety is our top goal now.

           She ordered Skyfire to retreat from the scene without hesitation.   
     

            I can finally put my heart back into my chest when Zirai is gone. A flying dragon can't be easily intercepted unless something really powerful shows up.   
     

            I faced the battleground again. Razor's group is now surrounded by all the players. I don't really want to fight them, since most players are just trying to protect the city from "invaders". But I can't leave my team behind.
  
      "Hawk! Get them out of there, and try to avoid killing if you can."
  
      "I'll do it!" Hawk nodded hard.
  
      "Finally, some real exercise." I cracked my neck. "Most companions are still down. I'll go in myself."

            I rarely do any fighting on my own because Lucky is always tanking, with all kinds of support around. I won most of my fights while giving orders from safety. Now Lucky, Phiona, Loong'er, Tank and Rosa are all gone for now. Guess no other choice.
  
      "Night Shade, Dart. Come out!" That's my only available companions. As for Phantom, he never left my body.

            I hopped onto Night Shade and prepared my dragon lance.
  
      Hawk and Elfy were separated from each other. Of course Elfy can't be sitting on Hawk's shoulder during a fight. She got a pegasus now!   
    

           Passerby is causing most of the damage among us all at the moment. Groups of witches and caster ladies sat on the ground and never stood up when they saw the gigantic cockroach. Now I know why he seldom uses his companion. He'll scare every girl (and maybe some guys) away!
  
      Merciless is locked inside an intense fight on another side with several people.

           We don't have time to set up a formation or any plans now. I summoned the Phantom Knights behind me, pointed my weapon skywards and gave the order aloud:

            "Charge!"
  
      "Leave no one standing! "

            The ten Phantom Knights plus the temporary makeshift rider (me) produced quite an impressive galloping horse formation. Our mounts are pretty big, all with heavy spike horseshoes, after all.
  
      This greatly affected the players' moral. In a game, players either level up on their own or in small groups of four or five at most. You don't find a dozen riders practicing combat horse charge together. A game means the guilds manage their players in a casual way. They won't set up any pre-established units like cavalry regiment or swordsman squad or something, nor ask them to constantly train as a group. I always despite those guilds calling themselves like some kind of military units. This is a game! We play games for fun, not listening to orders. There will be no armies in online games. The biggest fight you can get in here is a street brawl involving thugs and random hooligans. You only see trained troops in real life.
  
      I can say that a cavalry team of 11 people charging together is the biggest combat establishment you can find now in [Zero]. The players are all intimated because they never seen something like this.

           "Run!!" Someone cried.

           Too late though. Our mounts covered the distance between us quickly. Most of the players are still packed on the city bridge outside the gate. There's no way they can run easily.
  
      We swept a good number of the people off the bridge like cleaning autumn leaves. Once we're in, we'll have to rely on our weapons without the initial charging speed.

           Cleaning out a path proved to be an easy task. The Phantom Knight's didn't even use their weapons. I told them not to kill anyone so now they are simply grabbing and tossing them into the river like throwing trash bags. More players rushed to the knights trying to defeat them, which only means more players get sent down. The river below us is getting filled up quickly. These barbarous guys never learned how to treat ladies, they are hurling girls into the water as well!
  
      I didn't have enough time to stop them before they rushed into a group of mages comprised full of pretty girls. After some screaming and flying human figures, over 30 girls were sent swimming with everyone else.
  
      However, not everything is going smooth for us. Elfy and Rose were isolated, the other people were pushed several meters away from them, and they can't move around in the time like this.
  
      A dozen people noticed the easy targets and moved towards the pair. They're trying to take the advantage! 
   

            I saw Elfy taking out her homing arrow she used to catch Coin the last time, which means she realized the situation. Elfy is an Archer, and Rose is a healer. Close combat is never their expertise. Getting surrounded by enemy group is really bad news.
  
      "Hawk!!" I yelled to Hawk who seems to be the closest one to me. When I caught his attention I pointed a finger to Elfy.

            He immediately noticed what's going on and moved. But the attackers already reached the girls before Hawk can make it.

            Being an Archer doesn't mean Elfy has zero damage up close. She released her frost homing arrow she's been preparing. Poom! The foremost attacker is turned into an ice block, those stayed too close to him are also affected.
  
      One frost arrow can only stop so many people. Someone on the other side still lunged at the girls. Before one of the attackers can hit Rose, a white figure appeared and slammed him away. I'm relived when I saw the figure stationed itself in front of Rose -- It's the white alpha wolf I gave Rose a long time ago, I almost forgot it. It grew so big.
  
      The wolf stopped the following assailants for enough time, allowing Hawk to get into place and protect the two girls. With Hawk and the wolf tanking in front, the beauty pair began to show their talent. Rose's healing skills can pretty much help Hawk fight all the enemies without having to worry about losing HP. Hawk already has high Defense and quick reflexes.
  
      Elfy is even deadlier -- she's displaying what I would call "one shot one kill". Though she's not actually killing people. She only uses low-damage skills, aimed at her targets' eyes. Those attacks don't kill anyone but of course no one can keep fighting if they have a freaking arrow locked inside their eye socket.
  
      Since those guys are safe, I began to move towards Coin. Hawk blocked most of the players on the bridge. There are many of them but only a small portion can actually attack Hawk. And those still inside the city can't see what's going on out there, they only try to push out of the gate. Now the area around the city gate is completely locked up by the human wave. No one gets through!
  
      Me and the Phantom Knights are trying to move to Coin (by keep throwing people away) when we saw Coin's group coming out on their own. Coin is hopping on top of people by using their heads as jumping platforms. And no one can catch her! Hack, with that kind of crowd they can't even take their hands out.
  
      Razor on the other hand, is using his ninjutsu to move underground. Only some of the sharper players can notice him but they can't do anything either.   
     

            Merciless is totally the opposite. I thought he's an Assassin. Assassin would be someone who hides a lot and only jumps out to kill important targets. But...he's obviously not the case. He attacks like a killer bee -- stabs someone, and disappear. Anyone hurt by him either dies immediately or becomes seriously wounded. That leopard of him hasn't grown up but is also attacking people just like its master, by shifting here and there among the crowd while scratching random people.
  
      Their display distracted me too much. A Half-orc Berserker sneaked near me, slammed his weapon on Night Shade, knocking me off horse.
  
      I heard news before when people get hurt during a stampede when all the shoppers went crazy inside a mall, now I'm experiencing it -- I can't get up under all the feet! Thankfully Night Shade wasn't hurt much by the attack. He simply bucked at that overconfident Berserker, sending him flying into river below.
  
      Then he managed to push the people around away from me, that's when I can finally stand up. It would be really stupid if I just died like that. Talking about too many people in China.

            But at least this can prove a big advantage when we go on a war against Japan.
  
      That aside, I still need to get out of here. I climbed on Night Shade to get a better view of the whole battlefield. The Phantom Knights have completely blocked the city gate according to my order. Ten level 850 monsters are more than enough to do that at the current stage.
  
      Coin's group has reached a safe distance. So I came to help them and now I'm the only one trapped inside!

           Dang it.
  
      I also noticed some riders, unable to move an inch just like me. Most of them are NPC city defenders. They already came to solve the mess but they can't get around the crowd either. Their job doesn't allow them to do anything to innocent players.
  
      I went all the way into the crowd by using the momentum of our charging skills. Now I'm stuck! The good thing is no one is attacking me for now. To be precise, no one CAN attack me.
  
      Night Shade tried as hard as he can to squeeze through while I used my lance to pick people and throw them behind us. But the tiny space I clear out each time is instantly filled up by someone else. We can only advance like a snail!   
    

           In the end I'm even considering if I should fly away using my wing blade. I'm not sure about that idea, cause that's will make myself an obvious target. Besides I don't really want to show my true abilities in front of so many people.
  
      I lowered my head and spoke to Night Shade: "Any good idea?"
  
      He looked around a bit.

           "Hold tight."   
    

           "Huh?"

           He suddenly jumped high into the air before I can understand what he meant. It's no joke to jump among such a dense crowd, he crushed a good number of people when he lands, and jumped again before they have the time to scream in pain. Now we're also hopping inside the crowd to move around, kinda like what Coin did just now. A little bit more violently, though.

            We reached the edge of the crowd after some dozens of jumps. Usually Night Shade would have achieved that by three or four good jumps, but he can't do that when he's using human bodies as stepping stones.
  
      When I finally got away, Hawk also called everyone else to retreat. The city gate is no longer blocked, allowing a huge wave of players to rush outside. That looks even more impressive than last time when we attracted those NPC riders into chasing us.
  
      But this time they don't have horses so we shook them off easily.

           We slowed down when we no longer have any pursuers in sight.
  
      "Ziri!" Hawk approached me.
  
      "Um?"   
     

            "You see Big Pot?"   
     

            "Big Pot?" I looked around. "He's not here? Didn't he run with us?"
  
      "I don't know, that's why I'm asking!"   
    

            "Violet?" I called her over to us. She was the one fighting along Big Pot.
  
       "What's wrong?"
  
      "Did you see Big Pot?"   
     

           "He's...not with you guys?" She gave us a blank stare.
  
      "Me? I went inside to help Coin. Isn't Big Pot outside with the others?"
  
      "He wasn't. I saw him charging in behind you on his boar."
  
      "What?? Big Pot went after Ziri?" Hawk waved his arms around dramatically. "What was he thinking??"
  
      "Do we go back for him?" Violet asked.
  
      I spoke before Hawk: "No. If he can get away he already did, and if he can't, he should be dead by now. Either killed by someone or stomped to death by the people."

            I'm speaking the truth. I would have ended up like that if Night Shade wasn't there to help. Big Pot's boar isn't as agile as Night Shade so I'm not sure he can make it.
  
      "I agree." Hawk nodded. We shouldn't risk everyone's level to save Big Pot. "Well, we can always help him get a level back later."
  
      We waited for a while longer to leave combat status and teleported to the Lost City.

            (Once involved in any kind of conflict, a player can no longer use teleport or city recall skills/items for a while. But this rule only applies to attackers. Passive victims can still try to teleport as long as they have enough time to prepare it.)   
     

           Zirai and Yuri are already waiting for us there. Zirai spoke to Yuri :"See, told you they'll come out of the station. Why did you think they would come in through the city gate?"
  
      Then she walked to us. "How was everything?"
  
      I checked our team. Everyone is carrying some injuries.

            "Basically all good. It didn't look cool but we made it."
  
      "Oh my god my god my god! I did it!"

            Before I can tell them about the missing Big Pot, he stumbled out of the teleport station and fell in front of our feet.
  
      "What happened to you?" I looked down.

           "Did you know I went after you?" He managed to stand up, that's when I saw a lot of footprints covering his entire face. "That was too close!"
  
      Hawk spoke: "Violet told us. So where exactly did you go? No one saw you."   
     

           "Take a guess. Man that was really unlucky. Those people trapped me on the bridge. I saw Ziri went past me on his horse and tried to call him, then he knocked people into the water, me included!"