“Mistaken us for someone else…” Southern Lone Blade repeated those five words in his heart when he suddenly stopped running.
“What’s the matter, quick run!” Flame Singed Clothes was flustered.
“There’s no need to run anymore. How are we getting away at any rate?” All that was left was Southern Lone Blade, Flame Singed Clothes and the other Priest. None of them were job classes with high movement speed, so as long as the enemy sent their Archers and Thieves to give chase, they would easily catch up to them. The time Flame Singed Clothes’s Palatial Balefire had earned for them were nothing more than self-consolation.
“Then let’s have it out with them!” Flame Singed Clothes rolled up his sleeves and stared at the turn-off the enemy would have to take, ready to bombard anyone that appeared with his arsenal of spells.
“Don’t be so hasty,” Southern Lone Blade reached out to lower the magic staff he was raising.
“Just what’s up with you?” Flame Singed Clothes was confused.
“They must have mistaken us for someone else!” Southern Lone Blade said.
“The Dynamic Addict Duo also chose a Priest and Thief job class respectively. Brother Assist’s a Knight, while RGC’s an Archer. WWW is naturally a Warrior and if you include the Video Mage… Their group composition is exactly like ours! And since they are escorting the target, the headcount for their team happened to be seven as well! When those guys saw the seven us together, they must have began their attack without checking our identity…” Southern Lone Blade evaluated.
Flame Singed Clothes felt that was a logical conclusion as well when he heard this. The Archers had all opened fire the first chance they got when both parties were meters apart. While they would have been able to make out others if they were familiar faces, but their targets this time were strangers, and they most likely had mistaken them for their targets the moment they saw the headcount matched.
Since this river valley did not spawn a single monster for players to grind, nor would any Quest NPCs appear here, players from Luori City who took this route were usually couples who were looking to find some alone time. It would not make sense for seven players to come frolicking together, so when the enemy saw this group of seven coming towards them, why would they not think they were the same players they had clashed with from Yunduan City at first glance?
After Flame Singed Clothes made sense of all this, he slowly lowered the magic staff in his hand and asked, “So what do we do now? Do we go ahead and explain ourselves?”
“What’s there to explain? Let’s just meet them face to face to sort this out…” Southern Lone Blade sighed as he began to make his way back. The Archers had already made their way to the mouth of this fork and fired an arrow the moment they saw the three of them. Southern Lone Blade was already prepared for this, so he raised his shield to block the shot before shouting loudly, “Wait a minute! Have you guys mistaken us for someone else?”
The enemy Archers paused for a good moment as their mercenary leader rushed over. The moment he saw the faces of the three men they had been chasing, he instantly realized he did not recognize any of them.
In fact, he had already suspected something was off the moment the battle began. The formation those seven men had taken, standing out in a straight line would make perfect sense if they were all players, but the issue was that there should have been an NPC with them, and that NPC he had caught a glimpse of earlier had only stood stationary like a blockhead when battle began; it would never move as obediently as any of those men did, especially going as far as to cooperate with the other players to such a degree.
Yet, despite the doubts he had, that mercenary leader still cared more for completing the mission; even if they had made a mistake and erroneously killed someone, they could always talk things over after the deed was done! With such thoughts in mind, he did not bother to say anything more about the matter, either. As for those Archers that had taken the initiative to start the battle, none of them recognized any of the targets. They had simply began their attack on first glance without even waiting for their leader to say the word!
And the situation at the moment really was a case of mistaken identity. However, that mercenary leader did not even feel a shred of guilt, merely asking with bewilderment, “Who are you guys?” He even suspected that these men who had suddenly appeared out of nowhere might be in cahoots with the people they were hunting.
“Southern Lone Blade, from Linshui City,” Southern Lone Blade calmly reported his name, positive that his IGN alone bore quite a bit of weight in Parallel World these days, enough to elicit a different reaction from others.
It was just as he had expected, his name caused those men to give each other the side eye. That mercenary leader felt he must be having quite the lucky day, to actually meet someone from the renowned Five Unyielding Experts during this random kill today. Of course, while the fame attached to the names of the Five Unyielding Experts was widespread, it was not to the point where people would grovel at their feet and fawn over them. This was especially true since this mercenary leader had some urgent business he needed to tend to, not really giving a hoot who he was.
Nevertheless, hearing that this person was someone of a certain acclaim, he made note to extend his apologies appropriately. “Sorry about that. We’re currently on the hunt for another group of seven, and we failed to verify your identities before attacking. I apologize for any offence caused. We have some urgent business to attend to right now; I’ll personally make sure to make proper reparations in Linshui City when we are free.”
With that, he was about to command his men to continue on their way when Southern Lone Blade suddenly shouted, “Are you guys looking for the seven men from Yunduan City?”
“What? Have you seen them?” There was nothing else that this mercenary leader was more concerned over. Hearing what Southern Lone Blade had said caused him to spin back to face him so quickly, it was like his movement speed had increased to 1000 in that instant.
“We are actually looking for them, as well. We seem to have seen them enter this river valley, but we’ve not seen them since we made our way over,” Southern Lone Blade said.
Those men looked at one another for a quick moment, their reaction to this piece of news was definitely quicker given how familiar they were with the lay of the land.
“Did they walk the wrong way?” someone voiced suspiciously.
However, their mercenary leader was staring solemnly at Southern Lone Blade, wondering if this was a trap. After all, it was really suspicious that another seven men would appear in this river valley.
“What business do you have with them?” That was the only angle the mercenary leader could probe without being too invasive.
“Actually, our business is not with the lot, just the Mage that they are travelling with. It’s a private matter,” Southern Lone Blade said matter-of-factly.
“Private matters…” That mercenary leader considered those words in his heart. It was evident they were here to take revenge from the tone he heard. If it was anything else, a simple message would be all it took. They obviously bore ill intent, seeing how they were chasing after him with a squad of men.
“We could work together, if it’s not too troublesome for you guys. I’m not sure what you guys are up to, but I do hope you’ll leave that Mage for us to take care of,” Southern Lone Blade continued.
Collaborating with one of the Five Unyielding Experts! Anyone would have been elated at the prospect of having such a powerful assistance if this was any other day, but this mercenary leader was unexpectedly cautious, worried that there could be some sort of sinister scheme involved.
Southern Lone Blade had also thought that any average player out there would also be glad to have an expert such as himself lending a hand, yet he did not expect this mercenary leader to have such strong misgivings towards the situation. Seeing the man hesitate, Southern Lone Blade decidedly said, “I have no idea what quest you guys are on, but if you do not wish for us to get in the way of things, then could you please just leave that Mage to us, if it suits you guys, that is.”
“That… should not be a problem,” the mercenary said, feeling that Southern Lone Blade was most likely in the clear of being a part of any scheme, finally nodding his head to say, “There’s no need for that. Let us continue on the trail together!”
“Sorry to be be a bother, then,” Southern Lone Blade smiled as he said this, but Flame Singed Clothes and the priest were not as calm and collected as him. The two of them were still feeling resentful at the fact that these men had blatantly attacked them without any rhyme or reason, incidentally causing the deaths of three of their brothers.
“Let’s discuss that later after the deed is done!” Southern Lone Blade said to the two over the private channel. Glue and the two other men had revived back at Linshui City and were unable to provide any sort of aid, so that meant Southern Lone Blade had even less of a chance to face off with Young Master Han and his team directly.
He needed external aid if he hoped to accomplish his task. Hence, even though he was also rather frustrated towards these men for foolishly and indiscriminately attacking him and his squad, he had no choice but to bear with it for the moment.
With this matter resolved, the Thief that Southern Lone Blade had brought along also hurried back to rejoin what was left of the squad. After that mercenary leader confirmed that no one had attempted to climb out of the valley during this period of time, he had also come to the conclusion that the players from Yunduan City must have chosen to take the left branch of the fork that led to a dead-end.
“Why would they walk towards that place? Could it be that they did not know the way?” The mercenary leader had also began to suspect something was afoot.
Southern Lone Blade had no choice but to tell him his deduction, which the man found to be logical. He continuously cursed their targets from Yunduan City for their craftiness, realizing that had it not been for Southern Lone Blade and his men, he might have just been hoodwinked by those guys and sent on a wild goose chase. With that thought in mind, that leader finally felt guilty over killing the three men Southern Lone Blade had brought and apologized profusely for his actions.
“Boss, we better get going. The fight on top is about to be over,” someone reminded them.
“You’re right!” Everyone, let’s pick up the pace. Let’s split into two teams. The first team will cut to the left branch of the fork and make their way backwards, while the other team will continue ahead. We are sure to catch them now that we are coming in from both sides,” the mercenary leader ordered, not forgetting to add, “Any thoughts, Brother Southern Blade?”
“None at all,” Southern Lone Blade nodded, as he chose a team at random and followed along with the remaining two players he had left.
At this time, the group PvP battle that was happening all across the map outside the river valley was now in full swing as it headed to its climax.
The teams from Yunduan City prioritized defense while emphasizing keeping their own men healed, not challenging their opponents with any sort of vicious attacks. They made sure to never go beyond their means, so the deaths on either side were very small, and the whole battlefield seemed exceptional tame considering its scale.
Nevertheless, it was impossible to sustain such a state for long.
As the troops Gu Xiaosiang was leading struggled with the enemy before them, their opponent were suddenly hit by a wave of new reinforcements. Yunduan players who had been purposely prioritizing their defense to drag the fight out as long as they could were suddenly earnestly defending for their lives.
The reinforcement that came mainly consisted of Fighters, handily hurling, tossing and grappling with plenty of players the moment they clashed. The players from Yunduan City were all experts with plenty of experience in PvP, yet they were able to exchange no more than three rounds with these newcomers; those who were lucky made it to five before finding themselves beaten on the ground. Only those who depended on their movement speed to create distance between themselves and these Fighters managed to escape with their lives.
After these Yunduan City players had fallen to the ground in a blink of an eye, none of the newcomers followed up with a killing blow; all they did was take them down and continue their way towards the next, using both their skills and the in-game skills of the Fighter Class to bring everyone to the ground.
The tide of this battle easily turned as a result, as if it had instantly became a performance for these Fighters. Of the two parties that were originally fighting, those from Yunduan City could not resist this wave of attacks, while the original players from Luori City had no chance to intervene any longer.
The commander heading this assault was a mercenary leader of his own mercenary group. He was very unhappy at the situation before him as he turned his head and said, his voice heavy with resentment, “Eternal, aren’t you a little too much, coming in like this?”
“What?” A man was seated over on a huge boulder cross-legged. He was leaning on the hand propped up on his left leg, crooking his head to the side as he cheerfully replied, “Seeing you guys struggle with this for such a long time, we’ve decided to come lend you a hand!”
“You guys are clearly stealing, alright!” that man continued to grumble. “When all is said and then, we were the ones who were here first! Even if we are competing, it’s gotta be on a first come, first served basis, right?”
“Heh, I truly thank you for all your hard work, everyone. However now that I’m online, just leave it to us to handle this!” Eternal Dominion replied shamelessly.