Of course, players could rely on Land or Flying Mounts, but this was a lot more difficult than using a Return Scroll. Players would have to conserve some of their Stamina for the return trip, which limited how long they could grind.
Meanwhile, the Defensive Magic Towers could nullify some of the World Tower’s suppression, and players could connect Return Scrolls to the towers’ teleportation point. This way, players could teleport to the Defensive Magic Towers freely.
Although the Defensive Magic Towers were only effective on their own floor, meaning that players couldn’t teleport to the fortress after descending to the next underground floor, these towers had been immensely popular during Shi Feng’s previous life. Every floor in the World Tower was massive, and traveling across them was inconvenient.
Because of the Defensive Magic Towers, the World Towers’ Medium Fortresses could make more profit than their smaller counterparts.
Aside from profiting from visiting players, Medium Towers could also earn money from NPCs through the Defensive Magic Towers. These towers significantly increased a fortress’s Defensive Value, and NPC merchants, who disliked risk, would only visit fortresses with a high enough Defensive Value.
Naturally, there was a massive difference between player-generated profit and profit earned from NPC merchants.
Although Ancient Coins were Dragonheart City’s only currency, players generally spent Ancient Copper and Ancient Silver. They rarely spent Ancient Gold. This was why Thirteen Thrones had earned much Ancient Gold since capturing a Small Fortress.
However, NPC merchants were a different story. If an NPC merchant rented one of a fortress’s Shops, they’d pay with Ancient Gold. The more NPCs that visited a Fortress, the more Ancient Gold a fortress’s ruling power would earn.
Shi Feng desperately needed Ancient Gold. His desire for it had become even greater after defeating the Ancient Fiend ranked Undead King.
Normally, a fortress’s Bosses only dropped average loot. That was clear based on the loot the Mythic ranked Undead General had dropped. Compared to the Bosses’ loot, the fortress itself was the true prize.
Aside from the Fortress Management Toke, the Undead King had dropped an extremely rare item.
The Freedom Hotel Design!
Shi Feng had thought he was hallucinated when he had seen the design.
The Freedom Hotel was a Peak Construction in God’s Domain. Meanwhile, and it was even more valuable than a Fragmented Legendary item. For a Guild City to become a Main City, it needed a Peak Construction; thus, owning the design for one was akin to obtaining a Main City. Furthermore, a Peak Construction’s abilities were out of this world.
If he could construct a Freedom Hotel, he could elevate Stone Forest City into an Intermediate City.
The difference between an Intermediate City and a Basic City in a Level 100-plus map was like the difference between heaven and earth when it came to helping players complete their Tier 3 Promotion Quests.
Of course, building a Peak Construction was extremely difficult. Every required material was exceedingly rare in God’s Domain, and many of them couldn’t be stored in a player’s bag space.
The precious Boundary Stone was one such example!
One could only find a Boundary Stone by luck. The only place that sold them was the Black Market, and each stone cost 8,000 Ancient Gold. Meanwhile, constructing the Freedom Hotel required three Boundary Stones, and including the cost of the other materials, the Freedom Hotel’s construction would cost at least 40,000 Ancient Gold…
Moreover, organizing a large-scale mining operation for the Gravity Mountain Ranges’ rare ore veins would be a massive Ancient Gold expense.
The ore veins in the World Tower were crawling with monsters, especially at night. Every ore vein in the World Tower was practically a monster nest. Even expert teams
would be annihilated if they weren’t careful.
A small-scale operation wouldn’t be a problem, but to set up a large-scale operation, one would need to construct a mine and defensive structures, both of which cost Ancient Gold.
If Shi Feng wanted to develop Zero Wing in the World Tower quickly, he needed Ancient Gold.
Time passed quickly. While Shi Feng and the others slew the remaining monsters and repaired the fortress’s various buildings, a system announcement reached every player in the map.
Gravity Mountain Range Region System Announcement: Congratulations to the War Blood adventurer team for capturing the Rock Nest Fortress and becoming its lord. Guild Popularity in Dragonheart City increased by 5,000.
The system announcement caused another uproar throughout the Gravity Mountain Range.
“What?! Zero Wing has just captured the Northern Fortress, yet War Blood has already captured the Rock Nest Fortress?”
“War Blood really is vicious. With two fortresses in a single region, Zero Wing won’t be able to generate as much income from the Northern Fortress. To make matters worse, the Rock Nest Fortress occupied the path to the northern region.”
“That’s nothing. War Blood has also allied itself with quite a few of Dragonheart Island’s top 10 adventurer teams. They’re going to work together to seal off the northern region. They’ve declared that anybody who visits the Northern Fortress will be considered one of the adventurer team’s enemies.”
“How vicious! Even with a fortress, Zero Wing has no hope of surviving in Dragonheart City.”
“Zero Wing can only blame itself for provoking so many of the island’s powers.”
The players grinding in the Gravity Mountain Range were astonished by how fast and decisively War Blood had captured the Rock Nest Fortress. They hadn’t expected the adventurer team to strike down Zero Wing as soon as it had some success on Dragonheart Island.
“What should we do, Big Sis Rain?” Blue Phoenix paled when she read the latest report. “Because of War Blood’s declaration, players that had been preparing to visit our fortress are backing out due to fear.”
Maintaining a fortress wasn’t easy. They’d have to station players here long-term to deal with the occasional monster raids. Meanwhile, players were a fortress’s main source of income. If players weren’t willing to visit the Northern Fortress, they’d be lucky not to hemorrhage money on the fortress’s upkeep.
“How did they secure the Rock Nest Fortress so quickly?” Phoenix Rain’s expression darkened when she heard the news. Although she had known that War Blood planned to capture the fortress, she hadn’t thought that it would succeed so soon.
“Why don’t we go teach them a lesson, Guild Leader” Aqua Rose suggested in a chilly tone after reading about War Blood’s threat.
“Forget it. Their fortress is under a 3-day protection period. Attacking them would be meaningless right now,” Shi Feng said, shaking his head. Chuckling, he continued, “However, since they want to play, we’ll play. Spread the word that whoever visits the Rock Nest Fortress will be declaring Zero Wing an enemy. None of them will be allowed through the Northern Fortress’s gates!” Chapter 2296 – Fortress Opens
Gravity Mountain Range, Rock Nest Fortress:
The Rock Nest Fortress stood atop the northern canyon. From afar, it looked like a nest, which was how it had earned its name. The fortress was easy to defend and difficult to attack. However, the fortress was filled with tens of thousands of Level 85-plus players that were busy slaying the fortress’s prior residents, the Blackstone Ores.
Several tens of thousands of Blackstone Ores had garrisoned the fortress, but less than 10,000 remained. Lying quietly in the fortress’s heart was the four-meter-tall Ore King, and all sorts of weapons, equipment, and materials were scattered around its corpse.
“I hadn’t thought that capturing a fortress would be this profitable. It’s no wonder why Thirteen Thrones is so eager to capture a second one,” Nine Dragons Emperor said, sighing ruefully as he gazed at the items on the ground.
Even in the Gravity Mountain Range, Great Lord rank and higher monsters were relatively rare, yet the Rock Nest Fortress had been home to tons of them. Since this was the first time these monsters had been slain, their drop-rate was much higher than the monsters that wandered the map.
Clearing out the Blackstone Ores had yielded over 10,000 weapons and equipment pieces. Moreover, every item as Level 90 or above. There were even some Level 100 weapons and equipment among the loot.
Although most of the weapons and equipment were only Secret-Silver rank, with a few Fine-Gold rank items, it was more than enough to serve as interim equipment. At the very least, his subordinates could use these items to start raiding Level 90 super-large-scale Team Dungeons as soon as they were the appropriate level.
“It’s only natural. Every fortress in the Gravity Mountain Range is a treasure trove. We had planned to work with Starlink to capture a Medium Fortress, but I hadn’t expected Zero Wing to claim the Northern Fortress successfully.
We had no choice but to move forward with our plans,” Blood Oath said. His voice cold, he continued, “Even with the Northern Fortress, I’ll ensure that Zero Wing has no place on Dragonheart Island.”
“That’s right! That Zero Wing is too arrogant! They look down on you, Commander Blood,” Nine Dragons Emperor said, nodding. “I suspect the Guild’s members have already begun to panic. Without any visiting players, even the best fortress in the world is useless.”
War Blood, Crimson Shadow, and Knight’s Sword, three of Dragonheart Island’s top 10 adventurer teams, had agreed to work together against Zero Wing. Not a single adventurer team on the island would dare cross these three. Furthermore, War Blood and Starlink were collaborating to seal off the northern region. Anyone that dared to explore the area would be making a one-way trip.
Aside from Zero Wing’s members and Phoenix Rain’s subordinates, no one would visit the Northern Fortress.
They had ensured that the Northern Fortress would be nothing more than a bottomless pit, steadily devouring Zero Wing’s funds.
The Gravity Mountain Range’s fortresses weren’t like the fortresses in the outside world. Monster attacks were more frequent here. Maintaining a Small Fortress cost enough of a fortune to give superpowers a headache, not to mention a Medium Fortress’s maintenance, and that was excluding the subsidies a power would need to pay the players that guarded the fortresses.
While Nine Dragons Emperor and Blood Oath conversed, a woman with an ancient bow approached.
“Commander, Zero Wing has made a move. They’ve mimicked out declaration, announcing that any player that entered the Rock Nest Forest will have no place in the Northern Fortress,” Ink Feather announced, smiling as she read the report she had just received.
“They’re trying to compete with our influence on Dragonheart Island? Black Flame is a fool. Does he really think Dragonheart Island is the same as Star-Moon Kingdom?” Blood Oath laughed.
“Commander Blood, I doubt that Black Flame knows that we’ve found a Mana Well in the Rock Nest Fortress.
Otherwise, he’d have never made this decision,” Nine Dragons Emperor said, smirking.
The Mana Well was the Rock Nest Fortress’s exclusive construction. Although repairing it would deplete their liquid funds, the Mana Well’s effects were well worth the cost. With this Mana Well, players could fully recover their Stamina and Concentration within half an hour. The Mana Well’s effects would tempt every player grinding in the Gravity Mountain Range.
The main reason that players visited fortresses was to rest and recover their Stamina and Concentration, and for the cost of one Ancient Gold Coin, players could make a full recovery within 30 minutes. Countless players on Dragonheart Island would seek this benefit.
As news of the Mana Well spread, even the players that visited the Thirteen Thrones’ Small Fortress would likely shift their attention to the Rock Nest Fortress, not to mention the powers that were considering setting up a base in the Northern Fortress.
“Since Black Flame is so eager to die, I don’t mind sending him to his grave.” Turning to Ink Feather, Blood Oath commanded, “Ink, quietly inform the various major powers on Dragonheart Island of the Mana Well. I’m sure they’ll know what to do once they receive the news.”
Ink Feather grew even more eager to see Shi Feng despair. Unless they were stupid, the various powers would recognize the most beneficial fortress once word of the Mana Well spread.
Meanwhile, in Thirteen Thrones’ Residence in Dragonheart City…
“Zero Wing thinks that it can suppress War Blood just because it has captured a Medium Fortress? The Guild still isn’t aware of how foolish its being,” Elder Wu, who rested in his office, said as he read the report his subordinate had sent. “Thousand, have Lu Xingluo pay me a visit. Tell him that it’s about capturing a Medium Fortress.”
“Understood.” The masked woman named Thousand Lives smiled and nodded.
In her opinion, Zero Wing was extremely foolish. The Guild simply didn’t realize how powerful superpowers’ foundations were.
Elsewhere, in the Gravity Mountain Range’s Northern Fortress…
While Phoenix Rain organized the fortress’s repairs, Shi Feng concentrated on restoring the Defensive Magic Towers’ magic arrays.
The Magic Crystals and Seven Luminaries Crystals he had spent to repair the towers only repaired the core crystals. It was barely enough to activate the towers. To restore the Defensive Magic Towers to full power, players needed to repair the magic arrays and magic circuits within the towers.
However, this wasn’t an easy task. It required an Advanced Magician at the very least, and the work was intensively time-consuming. Fortunately, Shi Feng was almost a Master Magician, so he could repair the arrays and circuits smoothly and swiftly.
Once the four Defensive Magic Towers’ final magic circuit had been repaired, the towers’ system interface reported that the towers were complete.
System: The Northern Fortress’s Defensive Magic Towers have been fully repaired. It will cost 8,000 Magic Crystals to activate them and 6,000 Magic Crystals per day to maintain them. Do you wish to activate the Defensive Magic Towers?
Running at 100% efficiency is certainly expensive. Shi Feng was a little astonished when he read the system notification. The towers’ operation cost was much higher than an ordinary Magic Tower. Not even ordinary first-rate Guilds could afford to keep the Northern Fortress’s Defensive Magic Towers running constantly.
However, Shi Feng did not hesitate, activating the towers immediately.
After Shi Feng had sacrificed the required Magic Crystals, a twofold magic array appeared above the Northern Fortress, enveloping it. The twofold magic array then created a double-layered magic barrier around the fortress, which was much stronger than the barrier Shi Feng and Phoenix Rain’s army had broken through.
At the same time, all of the Mana within a 10,000-yard radius of the Northern Fortress began to gather within the fortress’s walls. The fortress’s Mana density skyrocketed, especially in the fortress’s core. The Mana there was so dense that it transformed into a white mist. The players within the mist felt an indescribably pleasant sensation course through them, and a second experience bar appeared below their main bar, show that they had accumulated the Double EXP buff…
The Dragon-Phoenix Pavilion members were dumbfounded.
“Aqua, how are the fortress’s repairs coming along?” Shi Feng asked after contacting Aqua Rose.
“We’re 60% done. According to your instructions, we’ve prioritized hotels and accommodations, so they’re ready now,” Aqua Rose reported.
“Good. In that case, we can open the fortress to the public,” Shi Feng said, smiling. He then called up the Northern Fortress’s system interface and did just that. Chapter 2297 – Heading to the Northern Fortress
After Shi Feng opened the Northern Fortress to the public, the Dragon-Phoenix Pavilion’s and Zero Wing’s members quickly disseminated news of this throughout the Gravity Mountain Range and Dragonheart City.
“Zero Wing opened the Northern Fortress so quickly!”
“Zero Wing is probably trying to snag some advantages. However, now that War Blood has made that kind of threat, who would dare visit the Northern Fortress?”
The various adventurer teams in the Gravity Mountain Range shook their heads and sighed at this piece of news. The Small Fortress Thirteen Thrones captured was hardly enough to accommodate the players operating in the Gravity Mountain Range. Hence, the capture of the Northern Fortress was naturally good news. However, War Blood had already stated that whoever dared visit the Northern Fortress would become its enemy.
The various adventurer teams with weak foundations did not dare provoke the War Blood adventurer team at all.
Meanwhile, over at the Rock Nest Fortress, War Blood and Nine Dragons Emperor had also received news of the Northern Fortress’s opening.
“Commander Blood, it seems Zero Wing is really anxious. Instead of properly making use of the fortress’s three-day protection period, it actually opened the fortress so quickly. With this, before we can even take action, the Northern Fortress will most likely fall to the monster tides first.” This situation elated Nine Dragons Emperor.
The various superpowers operating on Dragonheart Island all knew that defending a fortress in the Gravity Mountain Range-especially against the first monster tide a fortress would face-was much more difficult than capturing one.
Hence, the wisest decision was to utilize every second of the three-day protection period after a fortress’s conquest to enhance the fortress’s defenses as much as possible.
Now, however, just one day after seizing the Northern Fortress, Zero Wing had taken the initiative to lift the protection mechanism and open the Northern Fortress to the public. Since the Rock Nest Fortress had yet to open, such an action would indeed attract some players to the Northern Fortress. However, the monster tide at the Northern Fortress would not weaken just because the Guild didn’t take full advantage of the protection mechanism.
“Zero Wing is indeed quick. Unfortunately for it, I won’t leave it with even the slightest shred of hope,” Blood Oath said coldly. “Ink, spread the news that we’ll be opening Rock Nest Fortress tomorrow. We’ll thoroughly eliminate the various adventurer teams, and Guilds’ thoughts of moving to le Northern Fortress!”
Upon hearing Blood Oath’s words, Nine Dragons Emperor was surprised. He never thought that Blood Oath would be so vicious as to give Zero Wing no opportunities whatsoever.
In reality, although opening the Northern Fortress so soon was very risky, Zero Wing’s decision was still a considerably effective move. After all, the number of players grinding in the Gravity Mountain Range increased with each passing day. Thirteen Thrones’ Small Fortress couldn’t satisfy the needs of all of these players by itself. Hence, despite War Blood’s influence and deterrence, some adventurer teams and Guilds would still rest in the Northern Fortress. After all, traveling between the Gravity Mountain Range and Dragonheart City required a lot of time, time which they could spend earning more income.
However, if the various adventurer teams and Guilds only had to wait one more day for Rock Nest Fortress’s opening, then they would generally show War Blood some respect and avoid visiting the Northern Fortress, thereby rendering Zero Wing’s actions meaningless.
Meanwhile, shortly after War Blood issued its new announcement, Ku Rong, who was in the Dragon-Phoenix Pavilion’s Residence in Dragonheart City, received news about it.
“Moon, what do you think of this situation?” Ku Rong asked as he looked at the majestic woman seated at a comer of his office.
“Originally, I had a considerably high opinion of Zero Wing,” Cloudy Moon said unhurriedly. “Unfortunately, War Blood and Starlink’s influence is far too great. Their foundations are also extraordinary. Even if Black Flame possesses frightening combat power, he alone can’t change the overall situation. Moreover, I heard that Thirteen Thrones is already planning on working with Starlink again to capture a Medium Fortress. Once that happens, Zero Wing would lose all its advantages.”