Chapter 509: Chapter 509 – Guild? Workshop?
Translator: Exodus Tales Editor: Exodus Tales
Sword Demon spent the entire night moving about with Onesie and his men in the jungle, familiarizing himself with the trap set-up, and taking notes of his positioning and his teammates’ habits. Even though Onesie thoroughly briefed him about their tactics, after experiencing one full night of training with them, Sword Demon soon realized that they had stagnated at a very basic level. A flawless coordination was not something they could achieve overnight, but the trap formation they had set up was by no means just a white elephant. The constant need to switch his position throughout the drills allowed Sword Demon to experience this verily.
“Ah… It’s already morning…” An entire night had passed. Onesie stepped out from behind a tree and stretched his back. The morning he was talking about was the morning in reality. To these people that were used to burning the midnight oil, the time when others woke up was the time they knocked off ‘work’.
Sword Demon was also the same sort as them; he, too, felt that it was time to log off after a quick check of the time. The others appeared from their respective hiding places and took account of their harvest that night. They might have been doing drills, but they could not simply be setting up traps in the jungle and shifting about their position the whole time. In truth, everyone had been mixing in all these complexities as they went about killing monsters and grinding levels. This meant that their accumulated harvest for the night was substantial.
However, to an apex expert like Sword Demon, the efficiency of this overnight grind was fairly average. Besides, Sword Demon was not here to grind, so it was really a pity that Broken Water Arrow did not appear again throughout the course of this night. Meanwhile, from what Onesie and the others had said so far, Sword Demon could tell just how much they idolized that man. As such, Gu Fei’s deduction was starting to sound more plausible. However, to Sword Demon who had been immersed in MMOs for so long, he still found such progressive thinking to be such a foreign concept.
“Sandy, aren’t you logging off?” Onesie and the others, who had finished tallying their takings, started to talk to Sword Demon.
“Yup. Logging off!”
“Store your camouflage outfit properly. No need to wipe the face paint off; just cover your face and it will remain when you get online later,” Onesie advised.
“I understand.” He nodded. There was no reason for him not to know such a rudimentary design of this game.
The whole lot of them left the jungle together. Having spent over ten hours beneath the gloomy canopy, Sword Demon found the sunlight to be glaring. He eyed Onesie and the rest and noticed that they were rather used to it; these men naturally lifted their hands to shield their eyes from the sun and continued to chat as though it was normal.
Sword Demon followed suit and looked around him once more. The side of the jungle seemed to have come alive with how everyone adopted the same posture of their hands placed upon their brows as they hurried back to the city as per normal. Players from Linyin City were no stranger to this sight, but a foreigner like Sword Demon found this entire thing rather comical.
Sword Demon left with Onesie and the others. Making their way to the nearest spawn point, they arranged for a time to meet up later today and then logged out one after another.
It was always evening by the time Gu Fei came online that very same day. Sword Demon had already spent quite a few hours doing drills with Onesie’s group. With this very inefficient grinding, Sword Demon found this affair of cultivating a tacit understanding with these people to be rather meaningless. More importantly, he was supposed to be gathering intel about Broken Water Arrow, which of course made him feel utterly discomfited. However, the considerate Sword Demon continued to faithfully act the part of White Sand. What of course made him all the more depressed was Gu Fei, acting the part of Rice Soup, not sparing a thought for his character and directly implementing his personality and style over that man. Simply put, he was being far too careless with his role.
While Onesie and the others were not particularly suspicious of Gu Fei not appearing again after he had logged off last night. They, nevertheless, had plenty of opinions about him. From their perspective, their fellow guild member, Rice Soup, had a day job that made him incompatible with them, night owls. Without spending enough time to integrate and train, would he not simply become a burden at crunch time?
“What time does Rice Soup get online?” This was a question that Onesie and his men had asked countless of times.
“Curious; why isn’t he online yet?”
That was pretty much how Sword Demon ended up buying time for Gu Fei by covering for him until he finally got online. Before he could send a message for Gu Fei to hurry over, he received the latter’s query. “What have you learned so far?”
“I did not get to see Broken Water Arrow again after you logged off,” Sword Demon helplessly answered.
“Oh, then what about the rest? Like those youngsters,” Gu Fei asked.
“They practically worship the very ground Broken Water Arrow walks on. Furthermore, I’ve experienced the trap formation that Broken Water Arrow designed, and it truly is quite something,” Sword Demon reported.
“I take it we haven’t gotten a clear-cut answer on whether we should slay Broken Water Arrow or not, then?” Gu Fei asked.
“This issue truly requires further research before we commit to the act,” Sword Demon answered.
“Aren’t you always online for long period? Why haven’t you discovered anything after all this time? What are you doing? Don’t tell me you’ve just been playing with those kids?” Gu Fei asked.
“Honestly… yeah. And to make matters worse, I am still accompanying them right now!” Sword Demon was aggrieved.
“Why don’t you just really join Deep Waters’ guild and forget about this whole matter…” Gu Fei said.
“All right. Enough with the jokes. Regarding Broken Water Arrow, I don’t think we can learn anything useful from these people. If we want to understand the man better, we will have to get in close proximity to him ourselves,” Sword Demon said.
“Fine. We’ll locate Broken Water Arrow, stalk him, and find out what he’s really up to!” Gu Fei said.
“Stalk?” Sword Demon felt that was rather distasteful.
“What else can we do, otherwise? D’you want us to confront him and ask. ‘Hey, buddy. Are you a good guy or a bad guy?'” Gu Fei asked.
“It should be rather difficult to stalk such a person, right? Wouldn’t he be like you, capable of sensing that killing intent thingy?” Sword Demon wondered.
“It shouldn’t be a problem if we keep our distance,” Gu Fei said.
“How far?” Sword Demon asked.
“About ten meters will do,” Gu Fei stated.
“Hmm. Then, there’s the other problem; how are we going to find Broken Water Arrow, right now?” Sword Demon asked.
“We’ll look for your old friend, of course! Get her to find out his location for us. All she gotta do is ask on their guild channel, and she’ll get her answer on where that man is. Provided he is with the players from Deep Waters’ guild,” Gu Fei said.
Hence, Sword Demon quickly fired off a message to Coco, asking for her help to find out where Broken Water Arrow was located.
“That’s easy,” was Coco’s reply. “Speaking of which, you two have been busy for a whole day, yeah? What did you two find out?”
Sword Demon found this ‘you two’ to be very grating to the ears, for he had been the only one busy the whole day! All Gu Fei did was get assigned to the group, watched a five-minute duel that nobody saw a thing, acted like a fool for a while, and then left to log out. He, meanwhile, was left alone with that group of youngsters.
To make matters worse, upon answering Coco’s question, Sword Demon realized that the time he had spent hanging out with these rascals barely produced any results. Thus, when he gave his report to Coco, it was actually just the deduction Gu Fei had relayed to him last night.
“That man is rather bold in his thinking!” Sword Demon was an honest man, so when he told Coco about that conjecture, he did not forget to tell her that it was Gu Fei’s inference upon witnessing Broken Water Arrow’s behavior last night.
“Uhm… and then I spent the night interacting with those youngsters. I realize that they truly hold Broken Water Arrow in the greatest esteem.”
Sword Demon did not wish to admit that he had wasted last night discovering nothing more, so he decided to conclude his account with something that sounded somewhat meaningful. Alas, his night was meant to be a tragedy as Coco’s reply was: “That’s all you found out after interacting with them for an entire night?”
Sword Demon had no idea how to reply to that.
“Honestly, I’ve already got a good feeling that you’re not too suitable to do this kind of thing from the start…” Coco sighed.
Sword Demon sent out a series of ellipses.
“But what that guy inferred makes sense,” Coco added.
“You’re not in charge of a guild right now, so there are some things regarding guilds you can’t possibly realize,” Coco said. “Take that upcoming City War as an example; just what sort of position will the guild that emerges victorious get from the city? Is there any tangible benefit to that? The officials haven’t made any announcement about it, yet those workshops have already started making their move en masse. Surely, you have an understanding of the situation with workshops, right? Which one of those larger organizations doesn’t have someone who has a pulse on the game company’s inner workings? Back when we were playing that game, Eternal Legends, weren’t you the one who had discovered that Ascension Workshop was sweeping out Yulian Spring Water in large quantities and later, suggested for us to collect as much as we could because the price for that water would skyrocket? Sure enough, when the game client got an update, it was discovered that equipment, as well as food and medicine, had Yulian Spring Water as a key component; this caused the price for that spring water to surge like crazy, allowing all of us to make a killing. The guilds are all the same now. Those guilds that were managed by workshops from behind the scenes in the past were treated like products that could be sold when the opportunity arose. Now, it seems as if they really have the intention of settling down guilds and earnestly developing them; the way I see it, they are most likely doing this with the thought of conquering the respective cities they are in for the upcoming City War. Even if the victor of this war does not gain immediate benefits, they’ll still surely make a profit from it with continued development.”
“You’ve… You’ve learned a lot…” Sword Demon was already sweating hearing all this.
“Our guild is currently the strongest organization in Linyin City, which translates to us being the biggest obstacle to anyone looking to win that City War. If the workshops have a hand in all this, I won’t be too surprised as to the depths of trickery they are capable of employing,” Coco said.
“Your theory is a little intense; I need time to digest it. I think we should all meet up, so you and Miles can discuss this matter together, seeing that you guys have the same take on this,” Sword Demon suggested.
“Oi, oi, oi. Have you gone daft? This game isn’t like those we’ve played before,” Coco said.
“I know that; I’m just beginning to realize it myself. Let’s not waste any more time. Set a location and we will meet you there,” Sword Demon said before telling Onesie and the others that he had something on and needed to leave. He then informed Gu Fei to get ready to meet up with Coco again.
“What, does Boss Coco have any new directive?” Gu Fei laughed. They were originally here for Sword Demon’s ‘Daily Mission’, yet they seemed to have ended up helping out Coco excising a malignant tumor in her guild, instead.
“She agrees with your assessment of the situation,” Sword Demon said.
“Is that so? What are her thoughts about it?” Gu Fei asked.
“We’ll know soon enough.”
Within the city limits, a woman and two men sneakily entered a thatched cottage together. They were precisely Coco, Gu Fei, and Sword Demon. This cottage was also a private property of Coco; thus, any discussions made within it was just as safe, and confidential, as those messages sent privately.