Chapter 160 - A Twisted Stratagem
Gu Fei finished an apple to recover his mana fully before joining Svelte Dancer on the mission to make their comeback from a score of 29 against 46.
There were currently six hundred seventy-six players of Carouse in this PvP arena. None of them was weak by any standard and was handpicked from the many great players that had offered their services to the guild.
Gu Fei and Svelte Dancer’s expressions were somber, and their footsteps were heavy. To face against six hundred seventy-six players with just the two of them… They were both experts, so it was a given that they possessed at least a basic level of judgement to choose the right course of action. If they were able to clash head on with these six hundred seventy-six players of equal expertise and still be evenly matched, the game designers would really have to gather in the city to perform a mass seppuku ritual.
They could only hope to find a few stragglers of Carouse and take their heads. Naturally, Gu Fei and Svelte Dancer’s concept of a few stragglers was more than just a few and would consider a group of players as such provided that it was made up of less than ten individuals.
Wandering blindly in hopes of an opportune meeting with a few enemies was obviously a bad idea given the map’s huge size, so the two decided to head toward a vantage point and look around first. If the two did not find any viable targets, they would move to another vantage point and repeat the process.
This was how they proceeded toward the center of the map without encountering even the shadows of Carouse’s players. July and the other two ladies were also left untouched as none of Carouse’s members could be seen around at all.
“Just what is going on?” Svelte Dancer asked Gu Fei as they climbed up the fourth mountain since they had started their search. “Could they be hiding from us despite having numerical superiority?”
The side that holds numerical superiority is hiding from the side that lacks the numbers? Gu Fei mulled over this idea as he vaguely thought of something. That was when Svelte Dancer who had reached the summit first yelled out, “Hurry up and take a look at this!”
Reaching the peak of the mountain, Gu Fei looked toward the direction that Svelte Dancer’s hand was pointing at and inhaled sharply.
A small plateau not too far from the mountain that they were on was filled with men. The wriggling crowd of men looked like a huge swarm of locust piled up from the slope to the peak of that highland....
“Ugh… It’s so disgusting!” Svelte Dancer wrinkled her brows and covered her mouth, as if she wanted to vomit from the mere sight of them.
So this is the stratagem that Young Master Han came up with? Trying to make us die from sheer revulsion, maybe? Gu Fei could feel beads of cold sweat trickling down his back and quickly sent Coward’s Savior another message: “Use more strength when you punch him.”
“Just what are they doing?” Svelte Dancer calmed herself by placing a hand on her chest.
Gu Fei observed the wriggling mass of players for a while and noticed that they seemed to be moving up the plateau. It was obvious that every Carouse’s member was here based on the wriggling mob’s volume. They had essentially collected their manpower on that hill, occupying the high ground while disdainfully looking at the terrain below. Just how would the Amethyst Rebirth’s five members be able to earn any kill points from such a formation?
Gu Fei now fully understood the reasoning behind Young Master Han’s stratagem. This strategy he had in placed was a cautious overestimation of Svelte Dancer and Gu Fei’s destructive force by making six hundred seventy-six players adopt a defensive position against the two of them.
Although others would disdain Carouse’s move, Gu Fei had to admit that countering such a strategy was impossible from where they currently stood.
“So shameless!” Gu Fei irately remarked. He opened his friends list once more and contacted Coward’s Savior. He typed out one line of instruction this time: “Just kill him.” At the very last second, however, he refrained from sending out this message. It was best not to be too hasty as grinding levels was not easy.
“This… What now!” Svelte Dancer could also tell the severity of the situation with a few quick glances. The only possible method for the two of them to fight these six hundred seventy-six enemies was to employ sneak attacks, yet Carouse’s players had positioned themselves atop the mesa which afforded them a three-hundred-sixty-degree view of the surroundings. The enemies would surely notice their movement no matter which direction Gu Fei and Svelte Dancer chose to mount their attacks.
Carouse’s Archers and Mages numbered into the hundreds respectively. With so many long-range players, Gu Fei and Svelte Dancer would still be unable to get close to the enemies even if they combined their speed. The difference of kill points would be really difficult to recover at this rate.
Gu Fei and Svelte Dancer sat cross-legged on the ground and began to discuss possible tactics, not minding if they exposed their position to the hundreds of enemies in the mesa opposite them. Nonetheless, Carouse continued to hold a defensive position without taking notice of their presence.
Their Plan A of focusing on a few stragglers had already failed. Carouse apparently planned to camp out by that mesa until the match timer ended and did not plan to initiate any form of attacks against Amethyst Rebirth.
They proceeded with their Plan B next. Svelte Dancer rushed down the mountain, stood just a step outside of the enemies’ attack range, and bellowed: “If you’re a man, come down and fight a deathmatch with me!” Following this, she goaded the enemies for three times by repeatedly saying, “I dare you all to kill me right here, right now!” The players of Carouse eventually shouted back in unison: “Lassie, why don’t you just sing and dance for us?!” Thus, it was Svelte Dancer who had ended up falling for the enemies’ provocation. She would have tried to rush up that hill had Gu Fei not timely intervened by forcefully dragging her back to safety.
As the two headed back to the mountaintop, Svelte Dancer furiously asked, “Do they want me to strip and dance for them before they make a move?”
Gu Fei looked her in the eye and simply replied, “No use. You’ll only give them a visual treat. Moving their eyes is the most that they will do.”
Plan C. Gu Fei and Svelte Dancer silently stayed on the mountain as did the six hundred seventy-six men by the plateau. Quite some time later, two pretty female Fighters and one skinny female Thief arrived from the east mound and unhesitatingly walked around the foot of the plateau. Atop the mesa, Carouse’s six hundred seventy-six players silently looked on at the three ladies. Completing their trip around the mesa, the three ladies then waved at them, “Friends atop this plateau, how are you doing?”
The mesa suddenly came alive as countless players hollered back, “Hello, beautiful ladies!” Despite their enthusiastic response, the players’ formation did not change a bit.
Having gingerly walked their way around the mesa, the three ladies sighed as they headed toward the mountain where their two guildmates were situated.
Gu Fei and Svelte Dancer shook their heads. Carouse truly intended to stick to their shameless plan until the very end, even letting July, Will-low, and Lie Lie, whom they could easily crush, walk by. The opponents were indeed very composed.
The five sat on that mountain with varying degrees of glumness.
“Forget it! Let’s just consider ourselves lucky for even reaching this stage of the guild versus guild tournament,” July consoled her fellow guildmates with this. As the guild leader, she had a very clear idea about their strength and their win over the Forever in Flowers Guild was already puzzling enough. The whole scene inside that forest before had left many of the ladies in dangerous predicaments, yet their opponents merely let them off. They could chalk it up to the opponents’ carelessness as well as their luck once or twice, but for it to repeatedly happen until all the opponents had been wiped out, the ladies could tell that those of Forever in Flowers were going easy on them.
Facing against Carouse today, they attempted to emulate how Young Master’s Elite had managed to achieve a victory with a lesser team. But Amethyst Rebirth was already falling behind in terms of kill points, and it was their superior opponents that that had actually chosen to take a defensive stance and to wait until the time ran out. It was very likely done to prevent the indomitable Gu Fei and mighty Svelte Dancer from doing any further damage. “This match would end long ago if they were not staying in that plateau,” July sighed.
“Those trashy people,” Svelte Dancer cursed as she pointed to the throng of men by the opposite mesa, saying, “To actually use such a method despite having so many men on their side. Truly despicable and shameless!”
Gu Fei did not follow suit and curse at their opponents. Instead, he chose to ask Will-low what she had observed when they made the trip around the foot of the mesa.
“Besides the outer layer being made up of Archers, the majority of the combatants there are Mages,” Will-low reported, elaborating, “They seem capable of engaging in long range fight in that three-hundred-sixty-degree area. From the number of Mages, they should be able to unleash a spell bombardment of up to a radius of thirty meters. As for the Archers, I reckon they have an additional range of thirty meters from that spell bombardment area, but only if they are using basic attacks. Depending on the skills used, Snipe will let them reach further while Homing Projectile will only let them fire off arrows at a closer range!”
Gu Fei nodded his head. Carouse’s guild leader was a Mage. This must have directly influenced the guild composition such that the prevailing job class in it was Mage. This could also be seen from the spell cordon that they had previously used to zone Gu Fei as well as the ten-meter radius spell bombardment that they had performed to eliminate Gu Fei and Svelte Dancer.
“Hmm… If I can complete my spell incantation but I die before I am able to use the spell, will the spell continue to initiate the attack?” Gu Fei suddenly asked a very amateurish question.
“It won’t,” Will-low answered, explaining, “The officials designed this game so that magic attacks are not physical manifestations. After a spell is chanted, it will still be affected by a Mage’s Magic Attack Power. If the spell-caster dies, the ensuing Spell Damage will disappear as well. Still, additional effects, like the burning effect of Twin Incineration, will persist.”
“So have you already come up with something?” Svelte Dancer asked as she patted Gu Fei’s shoulder.
“I’ve got an idea!” Gu Fei said as he looked at the four ladies.
“What is it?” they asked.
When Gu Fei explained his plan to the ladies, they looked stunned, “Will that work?”
“Let’s calculate it!” Gu Fei grabbed a small branch lying on the ground and asked the ladies a few relevant data and numbers. Doing the math, he sighed, “It looks about right. Let’s risk it!”
The ladies nodded their heads in agreement and began to prepare themselves. Waving his hand, Gu Fei said, “Let’s go!”
Plan D was now underfoot.
The five made their way down the mountain and circled the foot of the mesa, gingerly avoiding what they calculated as the attack range of Carouse’s players while beginning to shout and make a ruckus. Carouse seemed to have gotten used to their taunting and did not even bother to fire back words. All this while, their Archers and Mages calmly waited.
Making their way around, the five slowly but surely neared the range of the Archers’ Snipe. Carouse had only lined their outermost layer with Archers – a formation style that many large-scale PvPs would commonly employ.
Archers faced plenty of limitations in an all-out PvP consisted of the various job classes. Their attacks required an uninhibited path and sight of the targets, and these conditions might not be met when Archers were caught in the midst of a PvP among players. People even tried a battle formation that would provide Archers a direct attack path and clear view of the enemies, but it was quickly proven to be ineffectual. Such a formation just restricted the Archers’ attack range to what was in front of them, and the opponents only had to run diagonally to avoid getting hit by them. If the Archers followed after the targets running diagonally toward them from their peripheral views and adjust their bows’ direction accordingly, they would only end up aiming at their comrades’ butts.
Before finding a better solution to this, all resolved to just directly throw their Archers to the forefront and call it a day.
Anyway, Carouse’s known trump card was not its Archers but the disciplined and well-coordinated spell bombardment of its Mages instead. This was why they could afford to position their Archers at the very front. And for Gu Fei and the rest’s Plan D to succeed, this was actually one of the safeguards that they needed.