That commander leading the troops this time around was depressed. Really depressed. But he had no words; there was nothing he could do if Eternal Dominion and his bunch wanted to be unreasonable and snatch this mission from them.
The concept of first come, first served was nothing but a beautiful dream in MMOs, where it was the trend to kill-steal monsters, experience, and even equipment. No one who gamed to the point where they were a boss of something would be naive enough to fantasize about this eventuality. Even his own comrades would show their contempt at him for thinking like this, so that mercenary leader had said all he did simply to vent his despondence, before cursing Eternal Dominion a hundred and eighty times in his heart.
As for acting on it? There was no way he would do that; he was no match for the Eternal War mercenary group even with all the players that had gathered in his coalition, much less the mere quarter of it he had with him right now. Failing to take down the enemy after such a long time, he would be better off poking his own eyes out if he could not see just how much stronger Eternal Dominion and his men were, now that they were easily pummeling the same enemy down to the ground in such a short time.
This mercenary leader brought his comrades to the side and watched the show, wishing he could cheer on Gu Xiaoshang instead. Unfortunately, reality was a cruel mistress; the silent prayers of this mercenary leader did not help the players from Yunduan City in any shape or form, as they were soon overwhelmed, falling to the ground one by one by hands of the men from Eternal War. Some were dissatisfied and got up, only to find themselves sent down to the ground shortly. Picking themselves up once more, only to be pummeled down again, the next time they were pounded to the ground, they never got up again...
The Seismic Tosses these Fighters did were not for show. The average player was able to survive no more than four of these.
The players from Yunduan City were helpless, and they eventually gave up resisting after they discovered that despite how powerful these men were, the members of this mercenary group never once delivered the killing blow. They could easily tell with a single glance if Todd was among them, now that everybody was down on the ground. It was not too bad a decision to preserve their own levels in the end, now that they saw the inevitability of the situation.
At this time, it was actually that mercenary leader from before that reacted the quickest. Seeing all the downed players with a single sweeping glance, he immediately realized there was no NPC among all these men, so he quickly informed all the other parties. The fight over here was resolved, yet Todd was nowhere to be found. At the same time, he recalled that there was a more urgent bad news he needed to relay to the rest: Eternal Dominion was finally here!
The other three parties were obviously well aware of the style and strength the Eternal War mercenaries possessed. Having not seen any of them appear from the start, they had been rejoicing over the possibility that these men had not made their rounds in the Hall of Mercenaries today, and thus had not picked up this mission. Upon receiving the message about this group of walking calamities finally appearing, every one of the mercenaries participating in this Limitless Competitive Quest abruptly cursed Eternal Dominion a hundred and eighty times even as they called for their comrades to hurry, for the wolves were about to come.
As such, the coalition of mercenary groups from Luori City experienced a surge of fighting spirit inside. The players from Yunduan City had also received the message as well, informing them of the appearance of Eternal War mercenary group as well as how Gu Xiaoshang’s side had already been summarily beaten. But even if they knew about this, what else could they do? Carry on stalling for time, of course!
Back over by Gu Xiaoshang’s side, that mercenary leader had hurriedly called for his men to leave for the other battles to aid in the fight after sending out the bad news. The Yunduan City players were a little crestfallen, wondering why this Eternal War mercenary group was not hurrying to the other locations and get on with their task. Why are they still milling about here, are they really waiting to make a bridal dress for the other groups?
Just as they were mulling over this, they saw Eternal Dominion, famed for being acknowledged as one of the Five Unyielding Experts, finally stand up from that boulder. He lightly took a step off from it, walking off the huge rock as if he was merely taking a step down the stairs.
The players from Yunduan City were all dumbfounded, yet this man actually asked a question to a nearby comrade that left everyone watching all the more flabbergasted, “What’s the mission?”
That player instantly answered respectfully, “They are escorting an NPC named Todd, our mission is to assassinate that man.”
Such an attitude was a strange sight for these players from Yunduan City. This was just a game, even if someone was the mercenary group leader and the rest were just underlings, everyone could all get along as brothers and friends. Yet, this player’s tone and attitude towards Eternal Dominion made it apparent he had an entirely different status, which was an exceptionally rare sight to behold.
However, veteran gamers had seen such scenes before. It was very similar to when a company boss brought his employees into the game to do guild or mercenary group activities. Most people would look down upon these sort of players. It was already more than enough to suffer this in real life, anyone would just be cheapening themselves too much if they continued to make themselves uncomfortable even in game.
Seeing how each and every member of Eternal War was an expert, yet appeared to be so subservient when facing their mercenary leader, everybody could not help but feel disgruntled for these men even as they asked themselves, Could this Eternal Dominion be some big boss that brought a bunch of bodyguards in game to play with him?
However, Eternal Dominion do not look to be too old age-wise; How would such a young man be a boss of any caliber? Instantly, everybody thought Eternal Dominion was most likely a rich playboy, the son of a nouveau riche.
“Where’s Todd?” The players from Yunduan City heard Eternal Dominion asking his bodyguards this question.
“They split up into four parties, so Todd should be in one of the others that are left,” a player replied.
“And that expert you guys mentioned?” Eternal Dominion asked once more.
“Oh, that expert. I believe he must be tasked with protecting Todd,” a player guessed.
Since Todd was not in this party, it was meaningless for both parties to continue fighting from the perspective of this competitive mission, so all the members of Eternal War ignored the players from Yunduan City. Some had even picked themselves up from the ground, yet nobody came to beat them down again.
That was when Eternal Dominion turned his head and stared at the Yunduan City player that just got up to his feet, “Where’s Todd?”
This player was beating the dirt and dust off his clothes and swept his gaze over to Eternal Dominion with extreme contempt, fearlessly saying, “I won’t say a word even if you beat me to death.”
“Is that so? Then I’ll have to beat you to death,” Eternal Dominion said this just as his kick flew out. Any player who was worth their salt could tell that this was the Fighter job class skill, Swallow Dropkick, but when used by one of the Five Unyielding Expert Eternal Dominion, that one kick looked to be executed far more quickly and fluidly than anyone else.
Nevertheless, this Thief’s reaction time was not slow either, dodging that blow by turning his body to the side as he gripped the dagger in his hand, he moved in preparation to pounce over. His movement was equally as fearless as his words, ready to put his life on the line so as to at least let this hateful expert put in the necessary effort to earn the kill.
But nobody had expected Eternal Dominion’s attack delivery would be incomprehensibly swift, throwing out a punch even before that kick of his came crashing down. Because the Thief had not expected his opponent would still have a move up his sleeve, he was instantly seeing stars the moment that punch connected. But what made the surrounding players even more annoyed was when thunderous applause abruptly sounded from Eternal Dominion’s men, with someone yelling out, “Beautiful! What a wonderful display of Blue Dragon Spitting Foam!”
Eternal Dominion turned around to smile and express his gratitude for the compliment. The Thief saw that the damage he took from the punch he failed to avoid was not anything particularly shocking. To actually shout out praise so loudly… “Bootlickers!” The Thief lambasted, before he stooped to thrust with his dagger again.
Eternal Dominion unhurriedly turned back to face his opponent once more, his left hand extending out like a claw that shot out to firmly grasp onto that man’s wrist.
“Hot d*mn, what’s with the grabbing!” the Thief barked even as he felt Eternal Dominion’s nails dig deep into his flesh, causing him to quickly retract his hand in response. Before he could say another word, Eternal Dominion’s right hand flew out with two fingers outstretched, as if he was about to poke this man in the eyes.
The man was entirely taken by surprise, forgetting to even dodge or evade this attack. Just as he thought his eyes were about to be poked out, the five fingers on Eternal Dominion’s right hand all extended into a claw and grasped his face, shoving that Thief to the side forcefully.
“I think that will do. Do you really want me to beat you to death?” Eternal Dominion asked.
That Thief’s mouth hung agape, unsure of what to say. He had originally thought Eternal Dominion had been depending on his group of highly skilled men to grind to his level, but this short exchange made him realize how far away from the truth he was. Eternal Dominion was just like those men he led, easily dealing with his attacks and similarly avoided the killing blows.
However, Eternal Dominion no longer bothered with him as he turned to ask the others, “Anyone willing to tell me where Todd is?”
Stunned silence greeted this naive question. Eternal Dominion shook his head helplessly as he said, “It don’t hurt to beat someone, and killing people only causes them to lose experience. Nothing about this is lethal! Let’s go!” With that, he brought his crowd of comrades along to another battle to Kill-steal.
Gu Xiaoshang and the other players from Yunduan City who were still alive were all rooted to the ground as they looked at one another. This was an ending that was far from ordinary. According to the arrangements they had before, once the enemy realized they did not have Todd within their party, the players of Yunduan City were supposed to change to an aggressive approach and attempt to hinder their enemies from leaving to aid the other battles out there. Everyone would only be released from their responsibilities until either Todd died, or they had accomplished their escort mission.
But now? The battle was still raging fiercely elsewhere, yet they were standing around without anything to do at the moment. It was truly contrary to what they had intended.
The Eternal War mercenary group was truly fearsomely powerful, but the stronger they were, all the more reason they should have tried to stall them, so as to reduce the amount of trouble Eternal War could bring to the others! It was as if Gu Xiaoshang suddenly woke up when she thought of this, leaping to her feet as she called out to everyone, “Why are we letting them get away, chase after and engage with them!”
“How are we going to engage…” Each of them had a glum expression on their faces. All of them would be eating dirt after exchanging a few moves; the distance they had in terms of skill was simply too much!
“Harass them with ranged attacks, get the melee job classes to prevent potential retaliation!” Gu Xiaoshang ignored the prevailing sentiment shared by everybody as she ordered them to continue the fight.
Everybody had no choice but to adopt this self-sacrificing mentality for the sake of the payoff for the entire group as they stubbornly gave chase, unleashing a wave of attacks once they caught up to their rear. The members of Eternal War easily dodged it; they were annoyed to find Gu Xiaoshang’s party harassing them incessantly like this, so someone took the initiative to suggest to Eternal Dominion, “Leave some of us behind to take care of this lot!”
Eternal Dominion turned his head back to look at the group harassing them and shook his head, “Forget it. Let’s run a little faster and they won’t be able to keep up any longer.”
The members of Eternal War was different from the usual players. It was an imperative for them to allocate points towards Agility, so once they started earnestly running, most players would be unable to give chase.
Take Gu Xiaoshang, for example. She was a Warrior, so how could she compete in terms of her movement speed with players who had allocated points to Agility? All she could do was stare as Eternal Dominion and his men got further and further away. Since the leader herself was unable to catch up, the Archers and Thieves in her party were more than happy to pretend to muck about. Soon, they found themselves back in a state where they were left with nothing to do.