Chapter 327 - Old Friends
A male Priest with womanly good looks, reeking of alcohol stepped out. Who else could this person be but Young Master Han?
The players from Yunduan City had just moved to leave the location, yet Young Master Han had actually come to the very front to stop their forward advance. This man then lackadaisically approached Oathless Sword and his men with a smile on his face. “Naïve. Quite naïve.”
“Brother Han, just what do you mean by that?!” Oathless Sword was in a good mood, so Young Master Han’s unexpected censure made him feel rather disgruntled.
“I’m not referring to you; I’m talking about him.” Young Master Han pointed at Deep Waters.
Deep Waters, who was being pulled forward by Oathless Sword, still had the rope firmly restricting his legs. Oathless Sword turned to look at the Hunter, only to see the aloof expression on Deep Waters’ face missing. At the moment, the man was staring rigidly at Young Master Han.
“You’re quite the actor, huh,” Young Master Han drawled as he pointed his finger to Deep Waters, adding, “But while you can fool others, you’re acting can’t deceive me.”
“What’s going on?” Oathless Sword was at a loss.
“It’s all an act.” Although Young Master Han turned to look at Oathless Sword, his eyes were glazed over. This made all the people present suspect that it was the alcohol talking. Meanwhile, Oathless Sword felt compelled to probe deeper, “What do you mean?”
“There’s only one thing you should believe,” Young Master Han said.
“And that is?”
“Their guild will definitely not sacrifice the benefit of its entirety over the life of one person, even if it’s the guild leader himself,” Young Master Han replied.
“This…” Oathless Sword violently looked around him and saw that the enemy Hunters had concealed themselves behind the trees once more.
“If we continue onward, there’ll surely be a grand ambush waiting for us. Perhaps, it’s even big enough to wipe us all out.” Young Master Han smiled.
“So what you’re saying is that they are just pretending to let us go in exchange for Deep Waters’ life so as to make us lower our guard against the big ambush that they’ve set for us ahead?” Oathless Sword was surprised.
“Precisely. They stopped caring for Deep Waters’ fate the moment he got himself captured. Everything they just did is just a ruse,” Young Master Han explained as he stared at Deep Waters.
“How could that be…” Oathless Sword could hardly believe it.
“Still, the greatest actor among them is of course Brother Deep Waters here. He came here acting quite the scoundrel and successfully provoking you to do exactly what he wanted. You’re currently thinking of making full use of this vile person that is in the palm of your hands to not let yourself down, right?” Young Master Han continued to smile.
Oathless Sword did not say a word in response to this.
“As for him, time and time again, he’s emphasized his worthlessness as a hostage. Hearing him say that repeatedly, you must have started wondering whether his claim of being useless as a hostage is true or not. Later, you were presented with what seemed like quite the honorable comrades of Deep Waters. You probably thought that although the fallen flower may not have cared for its end, perhaps the flowing water might show mercy1. You’re not gonna lose out either way, so it probably won’t hurt to try… And when you did try it and succeeded, you felt pleased with yourself deep down. Unfortunately, that was when you completely fell for his scheme,” Young Master Han deduced.
Oathless Sword remained mum about his deduction, yet his face steadily grew ghastly white. Gu Fei, who had been standing on the side all along, heard Young Master Han’s dissection of the enemies’ intentions while ridiculing the parties involved at length. He figured that it was not good to antagonize Oathless Sword like this, since he might shred Deep Waters into pieces in response to this humiliation, so he quickly interjected, “Since you have so much to say, why didn’t you warn us about it after seeing through all this?!”
“I’m doing that right now, aren’t I?” Young Master Han noncommittally shrugged his shoulders. Gu Fei strongly suspected him of intentionally waiting for when Oathless Sword was at the peak of his happiness before exposing this whole charade to brutally let Oathless Sword experience the sensation of falling straight to hell after being on cloud nine. Gu Fei was convinced that this was precisely the sort of sadistic enjoyment that was Young Master Han’s cup of tea.
“To think even you would be here as well!” It was Deep Waters who had actually spoken up. “Where’s Sword Demon?”
All the players felt shocked when they heard him ask this. None of them had expected Deep Waters, Young Master Han, and Sword Demon to know one another. And from the way he interacted with Young Master Han, it was clear that Deep Waters was better acquainted with him and Sword Demon than with Drifting. Oathless Sword felt aggrieved upon learning that there were other comrades possibly connected to the enemy: Just how hard was it for him to get some payback today?
Sword Demon nimbly slipped out from the crowd in a timely manner and stood beside Young Master Han, nodding his head toward Deep Waters. “Over here!”
“You two… How did you two become some other guild’s underlings?” Deep Waters was nonplussed.
“We’re now a for-hire mercenary group,” Sword Demon explained.
“Oh…” Deep Waters hummed, “I was actually wondering about how large this guild is for there to be so many players present… And why does it feel like most of the guys are mercenaries… F*ck! Wear your emblem proudly if you’re from the guild, just where is your d*mn guild spirit?!”
Oathless Sword could no longer stand this convoluted scenario. Rushing over cursing, he irately asked to Young Master Han and Sword Demon, “Brother Han, Brother Sword Demon, neither of you will mind if I kill this man since he’s openly clashing with our quest, right?”
Both men nodded their heads in unison. “Go ahead!”
Everyone around was perplexed. Were these people actually friends or foes?
Deep Waters did not seem to mind this himself. Standing straight and assuming his look of disregard once more, he said to Young Master Han and Sword Demon, “Neither of you can escape, either. I’ll come by the Priest Academy and Thieves’ Union to pick you guys up. We’ll share some drinks tonight.” With that, he nodded toward Young Master Han. “I’ll treat Sword Demon, but you’re paying for yourself.”
“Hmph. I’d dissuade you from getting in our way; otherwise, you’ll be the one losing two whole levels tonight,” Young Master Han said evenly.
“Heh. Guess we’ll just wait and see!” Deep Waters ended his conversation with the two men and turned to face Oathless Sword with a withering gaze. “Why haven’t you struck me yet? Dragging this out, second guessing yourself… You’re so clueless on how to reciprocate people’s feelings! Can’t you change that style of yours?”
“Clueless to reciprocate people’s feelings?” Everyone was baffled.
“He he… I’m just saying whatever comes to my mind.” Deep Waters was still all smiles even when he was literally right at death’s door.
“Go to hell!” Oathless Sword was certain that he would be annoyed to death if he did not kill the man right now. The claymore in his hand was raised and came cleaving down the man’s head. To his surprise, a flash of fiery glow appeared right beside Deep Waters, causing the Hunter to curiously turn around and witness Gu Fei kill him in one blow.
Deep Waters disappeared in a flash of white light, causing Oathless Sword to cleave nothing but empty air. He glared at Gu Fei with fury. “What are you doing?!”
“I’m cleaner with my attack,” Gu Fei calmly replied.
Oathless Sword grinded his teeth hard, but he did not say a word of protest to this.
The mercenaries of Young Master’s Elite ignored Oathless Sword. Following his exchange with Oathless Sword, Gu Fei turned to ask the two, “Are you guys old friends?”
“Of course. We’ve spent countless years making a living in MMOs, so why would we not have friends of our own? Do you think we’re a noob like you?!” Young Master Han scoffed.
Everyone sweated profusely when they heard that. The most illustrious, powerful, and fearsome Mage, who had footage as proof, was actually being treated as a noob. Only horror could describe their feeling right now.
Fortunately, Gu Fei was an honest soul. If anyone had called him a noob in relation to kung fu, that offender’s mother would most likely not recognize the person after Gu Fei was done with his punishment. Being called a gaming noob, meanwhile, was something he was willing to accept. Still, Gu Fei felt it was necessary to retaliate in any way possible, as it was Young Master Han who had said this, causing him to reply, “Watch what you say. You should know how impulsive I am when it comes to killing, even if it is you.”
“F*ck!” The color on Young Master Han’s face blanched a little when he heard this. He then fished out another bottle of liquor from his dimensional pocket and drunkenly sauntered away.
The surrounding players stood stock-still for quite some time as they repeatedly replayed the exchange in their heads. When they came back to their senses, their first question was: Just what are they planning to do?!
“Now what?” Everyone turned to look at Oathless Sword.
Dark clouds hung over Oathless Sword’s head. Killing Deep Waters was supposed to be his way of alleviating some of the pent-up frustration and anxiety he had inside him, yet Gu Fei literally snatched that chance right under his very nose. With nowhere to vent this anger anymore, he had half the mind to just thrash anyone he saw. When the oblivious players turned to ask him for further instructions, he actually roared in a fit of rage, “D*mm*t! Let’s just charge and go all out with them!”
“Calm down!” Youthful Reflection hurriedly interrupted. Gale Force also came over to coax him.
“This group of b*st*rds, I’ll show them what’s what sooner or later!” Oathless Sword gritted his teeth. As for who those people included in ‘this group of b*st*rds’ comment were, be they existing outside the novel itself or otherwise, all should think of it for themselves; probing any deeper would be a fruitless endeavor in this case.
“Let’s just try to come up with a solution!” Youthful Reflection urged.
“Do you have any ideas?” Oathless Sword asked.
“Uhm… I’m still thinking… I originally had a good grasp of their situation, but since the enemies have probably reorganized and positioned themselves again, I now have no clue as to what their current condition is,” Youthful Reflection reasoned.
“Moony can locate the traps and Miles can counter Stealth, right? Let’s get them to work together and uncover all the traps!” Oathless Sword suggested.
“They have removed the traps just then; surely, there wouldn’t be any Hunting Trap anymore?” Youthful Reflection replied with uncertainty.
“Then, what do we have to fear if there ain’t any traps? Let’s just charge straight at them!” Oathless Sword insisted.
“Calm down, calm down…” Youthful Reflection could tell that Oathless Sword was currently not in the right state to discuss the matter at hand, so he decisively dragged him to the side and forced him to take a rest. “Take a break first; I’ll look for others to discuss this.” He practically ran away after saying this. Oathless Sword was too dangerous to be with when in this state, so it was best to give him a wide berth.
When Youthful Reflection said that he would look for people to discuss the matter, he actually meant calling on a meeting with the other guild members who could come up with ideas and the various mercenary leaders. All were already aware of their current predicament. After experiencing and surviving the traps and ambushes laid earlier, these leaders felt rather intimidated by the lengths at which their enemies had gone to in order to eradicate them. Therefore, hardly anyone was in high spirits at the moment.
“Moony, have the enemies set up the traps again?” Youthful Reflection asked. Under the cover-fire of Traversing Four Seas’ archer formation just then, The Great Hunting had conducted another search around them.
Sakurazaka Moony’s expression was still grim. “They’ve set them up again, so the situation remains unchanged from when we started. I really can’t figure out how they are able to lay those traps without us knowing….”