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▪️FOOTSTEPS OF WAR

Golden leaves danced along the cool autumn breeze, painting the lush scenery of the Chosen City with a warm shade of amber.

Fully armed players bustled about all throughout the city with each of them carrying an array of goods such as building materials, as they move at a rapid pace while heading towards the wilderness or the dungeon underground.

Only four days had passed since the latest update of Elven Kingdom was implemented, but within the World of Saigües, more than half a month had already gone by.

The special Summer Event and news of the Orc invasion had stirred a sense of urgency within the entire Elven Forest and its inhabitants…

As a result, almost everyone are either deeply focused on fortifying the Elven Forest’s various defense choke points or strengthening themselves through hunting monsters and improving their equipments.

The only thing that remained the same amidst the rapid changes happening all around was the towering World Tree, standing tall at a kilometer high, as it radiates its timeless, sacred natural aura that breathes life into the surrounding lands like an eternal spring.

“Achoo!”

Nightingale sneezed as she strolled through the streets of the Chosen City. A sudden, chilly gust of wind prompted an unexpected sneeze from her, causing the ashen-haired native to hastily adjust her rather thin attire and clutch the lunchbox within her arms more tightly.

Suddenly, a thick coat of fur flew over head and landed upon her shoulders.

Nightingale instinctively bundled herself in its warmth, only to find Boxlunch and his companions standing before her.

“It’s getting colder, so wear more clothes. This is a gift in return for all the meals you’ve made,” Boxlunch said as he gestured a look towards the coat draped on her shoulders.

Nightingale quirked an eyebrow, with her fingers brushing the soft, fine coat he’d put over her before a fleeting smile inadvertently tugged at the corners of her lips…

However, she quickly caught herself and cleared her throat a couple of times before asking,

“Where did this come from?”

“Mercenary supplies,” Calabash chimed in with a laugh before Boxlunch could even respond.

Nightingale shot him a stern look, before casting a scrutinizing gaze upon Boxlunch as she carefully examined him from head to toe.

This battle fanatic, who was only passionate about fighting, was currently with his teammates as they all carried large packages and were fully decked out in their combat gear.

Upon closer inspection, Nightingale also noticed the subtle improvements in his usual gear, which now includes a brand new armor and footwear, along with an aura that suggested his strength had noticeably increased yet again once more.

“Are you going to the underground to fight shadow monsters again?” Nightingale asked curiously.

Boxlunch only nodded, before gesturing to his companions as they all head towards the outskirt of the city.

“….What a combat fanatic,” Nightingale silently muttered as she shook her head while watching Boxlunch’s departing figure.

She then instinctively tightened the coat around herself, as Nightingale basked in its warmth.

The Temple of Nature, Florence.

Several players from Moe Moe Committee carefully carried a huge, slightly crude looking hexagonal contraption, as they slowly moved it with utmost care as if it could break at the slightest touch.

“Be careful! Slow down! This is the closest we’ve ever come to successfully creating this defensive core, so don’t you dare break it now!”

Carlos Flame with his bushy beard stated in a commanding tone while holding a design blueprint in his hands.

“Grandpa Carlos, the tools for inscribing runes are here!” a clear feminine voice rang out while the players were setting up the device.

Hearing this familiar voice, Carlos’s stern expression softened just a little bit.

He then turned around to see a female player carrying a large bundle of items.

It was none other than his most talented disciple, Meng Zhihan, a Chosen One from the second batch of beta-testers.

Carlos smiled gently.

“Good, help the others with the final inscription carving work and connect the defense core to the Goddess’s statue, just as I taught you before. Remember, rune inscription is the most crucial part of crafting magical tools.”

Meng Zhihan’s face brightened up but hesitated not long after, “But… I’m not very skilled yet.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll properly guide you.”

Carlos warmly said as he patted her shoulder amidst the envious gazes of other players and added,

“Your basic knowledge is already solid enough. Once you become more proficient in rune inscription, then you’ll finally be able to forge basic magical equipment. It’s not the grandest, but you can still create small trinkets at the apprentice-level, or even simple lower-ranked iron magical equipment. In your words, that’s at least a rare blue-class item.”

Meng Zhihan’s eyes sparkled at his reassurance.

She smiled sweetly and set down her tools, before bowing to the elderly elf.

“Thank you for your guidance, Master Carlos!”

Carlos’s expression softened even more.

He shook his head and said, “Good child, it’s the result of your own hard work. You are the most dedicated and diligent among all the Chosen Ones I’ve mentored. I believe you can inherit my legacy and grow into a true master of Elven craftsmith.”

On a hillside beneath Black Dragon Castle

“Meryer! You rascal! Be more gentler! These walls can’t endure your rough handling until they’re properly reinforced!”

Little Salty Cat puffed up her cheeks, as she watched the black dragon carry a bundle of construction materials in his mouth.

Meryer’s face contorted, and he set down the stone he had in his mouth, before muttering in a muffled voice, “Seriously… why do I even need these added walls in my castle? This lord could easily solved it all with a single dragon’s breath!” 

“We need this reinforced walls to protect the defense core! Do you know about the defense cores? It’s like the one in Blackrock City! It can withstand tens of thousands of shadow monsters, you know!”

Little Salty Cat shook her head, before crossing her arms over her chest.

“Once we install the defense core and activate the Goddess’s power, even you probably won’t be able to break through it easily. Plus, these walls aren’t designed to defend against big guys like you but rather, it’s meant to deal with the Orcs instead.”

“Hmph! Those stupid and weak orcs can be easily taken down by this lord!”

The little black dragon lifted his head proudly.

“Oh is that so?”

Little Salty Cat glanced at him and continued, “I heard from Sister Alice that this time, our enemies might even have few legendaries within their ranks.”

Meryer’s expression immediately froze.

With that said, Little Salty Cat used the effect of her “Light Body Technique,” to jumped on top of the dragon’s head, and then lightly tapped his forehead with her staff.

“Hey you better work hard if you don’t want your castle to turn into ruins under the siege of the Orcs! Anyways, after we defeat the Orcs, I’ll treat you to ten cartloads of honey-roasted meat!”

Meryer’s eyes lit up.

However, he swallowed hard and quickly shook his head, “No! Make it twenty cartloads instead!”

“Okay fine, twenty cartloads it is!”

Little Salty Cat puffed her chest out confidently just like a very generous rich girl.

Meryer hesitated for a moment, drooling a bit, and then mischievously added, “Or… how about thirty cartloads? Hehehe, twenty might not be enough…”

“Oi, don’t push your luck!”

Farmlands, outside the Chosen City.

“This should do the trick!”

Oak Guardian Berserker rubbed his bald head, after looking at the translucent arch-shaped structures right in front of him.

“Okay, thank you for your hard work, Lord Berserker.”

Hootybird nodded as she observed the makeshift otherworldly version of a greenhouse right in front of her.

“Can this thing really make plants grow even in winter without using magic?”

Berserker marveled at the strange structure before him.

“Of course, it can.”

Hootybird nodded slightly and explained,

“To make plants grow in winter, I only need to solve the problem of light and heat. As long as there’s a transparent and insulating materials, I can build something similar to a greenhouse. You see, it’s common practice back in our world.”

After speaking, Hootybird touched the unused translucent building materials lying on the ground beside her.

“And these crystals from the underground, once their polished, become excellent materials for greenhouses.”

Berserker looked at Hootybird in surprise and couldn’t help but remark, “Miss Hootybird, you sure have a vast array of knowledge. You are the most knowledgeable amongst all the Chosen Ones I’ve met, and the knowledge from your world truly is fascinating.”

Hootybird shook her head.

“Well, I’m just someone who read a lot of books, and this is all just basic scientific knowledge.”

The Dark Mountains.

The howling autumn winds swept away the final vestiges of greenery in the surroundings, leaving the pitch-black mountains to appear even more desolate against the backdrop of withered vegetation, with their decadence echoing the stillness of the land.

Up above the skies held an unending procession of somber clouds, with layers upon layers unfolding like a foreboding veil. Their deliberate, unhurried drift from the south to the north created an eerie spectacle that stretched all across the barren mountainous region…

Beneath the foreboding dark clouds, within the cold, dark mountains, countless orcs, accompanied by resounding horn calls, moved forward like a slow-moving swarm of locusts.

They stood tall and sturdy, clad in somewhat crude equipment, surrounded by enormous beasts, with each measuring ten meters in height. These colossal creatures resembled an unholy breed of hippopotamuses, with numerous dagger-like fangs, human ears, and lion tails.

These hideous looking abominations were beasts personally raised by the orcs for war—a Behemoth, said to have a trace of Titan bloodline within them, with each possessing at least the strength of a Silver-ranked creature!

Each Behemoth had flags fluttering upon its back, with each flags having different symbols that signifies various Orc tribes, including the Orc Royalty.

Nevertheless, amidst all the numerous fluttering flags, the largest and leading one of them all displayed a bow-shaped symbol, which signifies their allegiance to the God of Winter and Hunting, Uller.

King Imsh and his Chief Shaman sat atop the tallest Behemoth, gazing at the distant mountains with cold expressions.

“We’ll finally be out of the Dark Mountains after we cross those mountains up ahead.”

The Chief Shaman spoke.

King Imsh grinned wickedly, “Although I like autumn, winter is still my favorite season. Now… I can’t wait to hear the screams and pleas of those elves.”

“Don’t be careless.”

The Chief Shaman’s said with a solemn expression.

“Those elves now have a patron deity, moreover, they also have the support of the Goddess of Death. Although they are still weakened, we must still be cautious nonetheless. Remember, we must wipe out all the elves in the Elven Forest completely this time!”

“Wipe them all out? No prisoners? The price of elven slaves is still high, you know.”

King Imsh was quite surprised.

“No prisoners.”

The Chief Shaman shook her head.

“That newly ascended god, who stole the Divinity of Nature and Life, has also became the religious patron of the elves. If we don’t completely eliminate those elves, then it’s highly possible that with the power of their faith, that new Elven God might gain control over the laws of nature and life. By exterminating the elves, that newborn god will also lose their source of faith, and they will inevitably succumb into a deep slumber!”

“Do those stubborn elves even have the capacity to change their faith?”

King Imsh was especially astonished.

“Any race… when pushed to the brink of extinction, can undergo a transformation.”

The Chief Shaman sighed.

Afterwards, her expression became extremely devout and fanatical.

“Our Divine Father has issued an order. This time… we must completely exterminate the elven race and fully sever the Elven God’s roots so they cannot be revived once and for all!”

“And once we have won this war, and the new Elven God fall from their throne, our Divine Father can finally personally intervene… He’ll descend in his incarnation to slay the fallen elven god and shall regain the power that originally rightfully should belong to him!”

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