“Let’s get going as well!” Southern Lone Blade said. In truth, he did not care if the Eternal War mercenary group or the Coalition of mercenaries ended up as the victor for this Limitless Competitive Mission. His target this time round was the Video Mage, so it was a win for him as long as the Video Mage’s equipment dropped. He was more than happy to partner up with Eternal War, the mercenary group that was rumored to be capable of fighting one against ten.
Naturally, the mercenary leader Foeless thought otherwise. But no matter the case, it was inevitable for him to end up heading over to the final area he had yet to search. However, he made sure to instruct several of his men to head in the other direction for a look even as he made a point to hurry the other members of the coalition along.
“Eternal War is here!” The way he said that made it sound as if he had seen a wolf.
As the message from all the other players who were searching the other routes came in, each reporting back that they had not seen a trace of anyone, the possibility of Young Master Han and his lot being in that dead-end increased, causing Southern Lone Blade’s suspicions to weigh heavier on his mind.
It was evident that they should be hurrying to escort their Prisoner to the city, so why would they be hiding out in that dead end all this while?
Finally, they reached the end of the valley. The members of Eternal War had all gathered together, even going so far as to leave a spot for Southern Lone Blade and Foeless with their men.
But the scene before them had actually left them beyond speechless.
The team they had been searching all this while was actually seated deep in this valley cut-off, leisurely having a barbeque. Bottles of liquor and fish bones littered the ground, and Southern Lone Blade could instantly tell that these fish were the same found in Linshui City.
“No way man! Wounds, your skill just ain’t comparable to those guys by Linshui harbor,” Young Master Han criticized War Without Wounds.
War Without Wounds was holding on a stick of fish as he carefully barbequed it over the fire, retorting, “Those guys make a living off the craft, how could you be comparing me to them?”
“But the issue right now is that you wish to use this craft to court the ladies! With the level of skill you demonstrated, I can’t tell if you’re trying to court the ladies or court death!” Young Master Han said.
“B*llsh*t!” War Without Wounds was agitated hearing this, “Then you guys should stop eating!”
This lot was truly too inhumane, to actually grab and eat the fish he was cooking without any restraint, even as they criticized his skill.
This merry scene really annoyed Foeless greatly, who had expended so many resources in their search for these clowns. But it was actually Southern Lone Blade who felt even more vexed by what he saw.
Each and every one of the members of this team could be seen at a glance, yet the face of that man he had travelled great distances to hunt was nowhere to be found.
“Big South, that Mage…” Flame Singed Clothes pointed at Drifting. He did not know how Gu Fei looked, but he felt that the robe this Mage had on was far too different from the legendary Video Mage.
“That’s not him,” Southern Lone Blade shook his head even as he considered retreating back into the crowd, but he had regretfully realized that Brother Assist’s eyes had long since caught sight of him. Even Sword Demon was staring right at him.
As for the mercenary leader Foeless, he was now pointing towards one of those seven men, even as he stuttered, “You- you- you-” for the longest time, never finishing the words he had stuck in his mouth.
“Me? What about me?” The man Foeless had been staring at was the disheveled-looking Todd. But at the moment, Todd was actually holding a fish in his hand as he raised a bottle of liquor to his lips with his other hand, having a merry time eating and drinking with everyone that looked nothing like the lifeless NPC he was before.
“Just who the heck are you!” Foeless fumed.
“Left Hand of Love,” that man jovially replied.
That was not a name many were unfamiliar with. Anyone who knew about Drifting knew about his two other partners, Left Hand of Love and Right Hand of Cool. Their names were truly too outstanding and memorable, but aside from the three men themselves, no one out there could really tell who was the Fighter or the Archer.
“You’re Left Hand of Love?” Foeless was astonished, “Doesn’t that mean you’re Drifting?” He turned to look at the Mage in that group. The damage this Mage had demonstrated during their clash before had truly been frightening to behold.
Drifting chuckled without saying a word.
“Where’s Right Hand of Cool?” Foeless’ gaze turned towards the Archer among them, Royal God Call.
“F*ck, what are you looking at me for!!” Royal God Call instantly became enraged. Drifting was nothing more than a speck of dust in his eyes. How could he not be furious when this leader here had actually mistaken him as an underling of that trashbag?
“You’re not?” Foeless said in surprise.
“He is not,” it was Young Master Han’s turn to speak, “We were at max capacity, so we couldn’t have him with us.”
“Max capacity?” Foeless was confused. But Southern Lone Blade instantly understood when he heard this. He was absolutely certain at this moment that these men had already discovered his plan to stalk them. He had thought himself to be the oriole staking the cicada, when in fact he had been playing in the palm of Young Master Han’s hand all this while. Max capacity? That term was far too telling. The average party did not have a seven-man limit; the enemy had clearly arranged it so that they would form up seven men, completely in line with the seven-man squad he had brought for this operation.
In that sense, the mistake Foeless and his men made earlier was not an accident, but a situation that was intentionally created.
“Where in the world is Todd!?” Foeless was exasperated by this point. Obviously the enemy would not reveal this fact to him, yet he could not help but utter this question.
As expected, Young Master Han ignored his question entirely, raising several sticks of fish to the crowd and asked, “Would you like some barbecued fish? This isn’t a recommendation I could endorse however; it’s really terrible.” Young Master Han said that before addressing another in the crowd, “Ah? Brother Southern Blade, members of Eternal War and that guy… uhmm… Nameless mercenary leader.”
“Hahahahaha!” Eternal Dominion suddenly burst into laughter. “Interesting, but his name isn’t Nameless. He’s called Foeless.”
All the experts stirred. They did not expect someone would actually dare to take such a arrogant-sounding name like that, as they each regarded this man who had died by their hands once with admiration.
“And you must be the legendary Eternal Dominion,” Young Master Han’s eyes darted towards the laughing Fighter. “Would you like some barbecued fish?”
Eternal Dominion shook his head to reject this offer, “We’re not here to eat fish, we’re here to fight! We’re looking for that man!” ED pointed towards Drifting.
“You’re looking for me?” Drifting was nonplussed. He had indeed travelled to several cities during his time in Parallel World, and had met many people along the way, but this was actually the first time he had come to Luori City, much less even met ED. It made no sense he would get himself mixed up with this man.
“No wonder you’re one of the Five Unyielding Experts, to think you’re actually someone who humbly hides his true talents. Today, we shall-”
Before ED could continue his speech, one of the comrades beside him whispered a few words into his ear, even as Young Master Han said, “This person isn’t the Mage you’re looking to fight.”
Unsurprisingly, Eternal Dominion had mistaken Drifting for the Mage his comrades were telling him about. He was visibly disappointed the moment he heard that this Mage was not who he was searching for, before inquiring, “So, where is that guy?”
“He…” before Young Master Han could even finish, a huge mob of heads sprouted from above the valley. The reinforcements from both sides had arrived, looking to assassinate and assist respectively, looking as boisterous as ever.
“WHERE’S TODD?!” the mercenaries from Luori City were frantically shouting.
“On your head!” The players from Yunduan City immediately began their attack as the riverbank became a battlefield. There were many players who found themselves squeezed off the ledge like dumplings; but instead of landing in water, these players were instead covered in dirt when they fell down into the dried-up riverbed.
The players who were in the valley watching naturally could only treat this like a comedic scene, since they already knew that Todd was nowhere present; everybody here had essentially busied themselves over nothing.
Foeless quickly hurried to send this message out, while the players from Yunduan City already knew what Todd looked like and had always thought he was attached to this small team. However, now they glanced down from that riverbank and caught no sight of Todd. Both sides were confused, and the fight slowly became more and more listless.
“Where’s Todd at? Where is he?” The shouts remained, but it was no longer just the mercenaries from Luori City demanding this, as those from Yunduan City shouted as well. Neither side could complete the mission without Todd!
“Todd, should probably have reached the North Gate by now I think? Can you guys still make it?” Young Master Han revealed a victorious smile as he said this.
“OHHH!” Yunduan City players cheered when they heard this. Even though they had been kept in the dark all this while, they were all willing to temporarily put aside being led on like this if they could achieve victory!
Although everybody from Luori City present had wasted their effort for naught all this while, each of them grit their teeth and bore with it. Quite a few of them still bore the tiniest sliver of hope when they heard their target had already reached the North Gate. After all, the Prison was still quite a distant away from the North Gate, there was a chance they just might be able to make it.
“Quick, to the North Gate!” someone cried out. Those players with high movement speed swiftly set off, in hopes of making one final push for the prize. Of course, the players from Yunduan City would not idly stand by and let that happened, quickly attempting to intercept and stop them from doing so as both armies began to chaotically engage once more.
And in the valley? Young Master Han continued to urge War Without Wounds to continue cooking those fish of his conscientiously.
“Why did you tell them where Todd was?” War Without Wounds asked in the mercenary channel, even as he continued to barbecue the fishes.
“It’s better to give them something to do…” Young Master Han said, “Otherwise, wouldn’t they just trouble us instead?”
Everyone understood precisely what he he meant. There was no telling if those men would not just slay Young Master Han and the squad on the spot to alleviate the anger they were feeling, had they found out there was no hope for them to continue their mission.
Take the mercenary leader Foeless, for example; having been led on for the longest time, the rage he must be feeling was burning. Now that he possessed numerical superiority, why would he not take this chance to carve them all up? But now that he had heard that Todd was at the North Gate, it came as no surprise that he immediately led his men to give chase. As for Eternal War, it only made sense for them to hurry after the mission target just so they are in position to KS the moment they could not locate Gu Fei to fight.
Southern Lone Blade had already determined that Todd must be in some insignificantly small party that consisted of no more than two or three players. While the four parties were busy wargaming with the enemy, they must have broken off and pretended to be normal players and left for Luori City.
The Video Mage was a top tier expert. He was bound to be assigned the all-important task of escorting their target to the final destination.
With that thought, Southern Lone Blade was about to leave as well when the members of Young Master’s Elite unexpectedly got up and called out, “South Blade bro, are you trying to leave? That’s a little too ungentlemanly of you, don’t you think? Who do you think this group of experts I’ve gathered before you are here for?”