Chapter 577: Chapter 577 – The Current Circumstance
Translator: Exodus Tales Editor: Exodus Tales
“Big South, there’re suddenly more people!” The two men had sent Southern Lone Blade a message the moment something unexpected occurred.
“That Priest from Thousand Miles Drunk’s mercenary group, Vast Lushness, and even Brother Assist, we can see them right now,” Glue informed.
“Have they spotted you guys?” Southern Lone Blade asked.
“It’s probably just a matter of time…” Reckoning that it was inevitable for them to enter the three’s sights, Glue and Flame Singed Clothes were already mentally preparing themselves for the coming confrontation. This time, they would not let them get the upper hand in the eventual verbal exchange just like what War Without Wounds had done. That was the thought the two men had as they secretly drafted lines in their mind. Coming up with a selection of degrading words that would appropriately convey their contempt, they waited for that bunch of players to come crowding around them.
In the end, they only saw that group go to a corner to whisper something among themselves. Sharing a somber expression, they never once spared the two men a glance.
“Forget it; let it remain sold since it’s already sold. It’s not really a loss since it got such a high price.” Vast Lushness was persuading this other Priest to dispel his thought of buying back the Utopian Magic Staff.
This was when it became apparent that the man was not truly committed to this idea as he easily gave up upon hearing her dissuade him. Young Master Han and Brother Assist did not comment on this and simply observed his every move and word from the sidelines. The man did not notice their intense gazes on him at first, but as soon as he did, he was sufficiently nonplussed.
“Why are neither of you saying a word after coming all the way here?” Vast Lushness was wondering just why the two men looked so enigmatic right now.
“What else can we say now that the situation has come to this? Forget it. Let’s just take our money and leave!” Young Master Han replied.
Once the Priest heard this, he pulled out a large sack of gold coins from his dimensional pocket and handed it over to Vast Lushness.
The two men exchanged glances. This was one of the methods the two had come up with to test this person. Such a large sum of gold coins was not something anyone could come into possession easily. While this game let players make purchases of in-game items with real-world currency via the Trade Exchange, there was no way for them to exchange real-world money for actual in-game currency directly. There were players who had thought to sell gold coins like it was a tradable good over at the Trade Exchange, but the system rejected such transactions. While there were rumors of officials thinking of allowing the inclusion of gold coins as part of the allowed products on the Trade Exchange, the fact remained that such measures had yet to be implemented.
That was why the current player base, no matter how well-off they were in real life, was unable to convert the money they had into gold coins easily and relied on the very troublesome method of buying equipment at the Trade Exchange through resale, instead.
However, with everyone chipping in to ensure the successful procurement of the magic staff at the Auction House, a sum of over 30,000 gold coins was reached. It would be impossible, even for someone like Svelte Dancer, to pull out so many gold coins right away, so if this person had truly used this chance to pocket the staff for himself, a portion of the gold coins should already be in Vast Lushness’s hands. The fact he was able to produce this sack of gold coins out more or less proved his innocence.
“Perhaps, he has made prior arrangements for it.” Brother Assist privately messaged Young Master Han.
“Prior arrangements? We only gathered the gold at about 6 PM today. No one had a clue then on how much gold we would be able to raise, and the final bid for the auctioned item is even more impossible to know in advance,” Young Master Han refuted.
“So, if we count the gold coins and confirm that the amount is still the same, then this man’s innocence is more or less proven,” Brother Assist said.
“Take a look at her; she has no intentions of counting it at all,” Young Master Han remarked dryly.
It was exactly as what he had said; Vast Lushness took the sack and stuffed it into her dimensional pocket in a single smooth motion. She even patted this Priest consolingly.
“Let’s call everyone over and return their coins to them now!” Vast Lushness suggested. This should have been done the moment the transaction had cleared, but Young Master Han’s revelation before had caused everyone to disperse and go about their separate ways; thus, they had not managed to do this at all earlier.
“Ha ha! This works, too.” Brother Assist privately messaged Young Master Han once more. They had a concise account of all the gold coins they had gathered earlier, and since the final bid bounced back, this meant the amount they had now should be the same as it was before, so doing it like this would then achieve the same result as manually counting it.
Young Master Han was presently scrutinizing the man’s reactions. He saw him showed the slightest bit of fear at the mention of returning the gold coins to their owners, but that momentary fear was quickly overwritten by embarrassment at once. It was apparent that he was so preoccupied with buying the Utopian Magic Staff back that he had forgotten about everyone else, and upon realizing that his failure would be exposed in front of everyone in such a fashion, it had left him feeling utterly ashamed.
Young Master Han shook his head and replied to Brother Assist. “Seeing how this guy is acting like a turtle hiding in its shell, I doubt that he’s playing such a dirty trick on us.”
“He could be faking it.” Being far more skeptical, Brother Assist was still injudiciously monitoring the Priest!
“Hmph. He’s just a lily-livered fool. There’s no need to waste more time on him.” Young Master Han had already concluded it.
“What do you mean?”
“Having failed to snatch the final bid, he attempted to put everything back on track by buying the magic staff back before anyone found out; isn’t that because he’s not brave enough to face his failures? If he were truly resolved to salvage this situation with this method, would Vast Lushness be able to persuade him otherwise with just a few words? His actions from the very start already telegraphed just how much he wants to run away from all this. I believe that we’ll see him hiding under the table when everything is revealed once we return everyone’s gold coins.”
After Young Master Han sent this message to Brother Assist, he swiftly addressed Vast Lushness. “We won’t be going with you as we still have something else to take care of over there.”
Vast Lushness knew that these men were not about to let Southern Lone Blade get away scot-free. Technically speaking, it was her equipment Southern Lone Blade was planning to loot, so she simply could not fathom why they had such a deep grudge for the man’s gang; it was evident that this was not all just for her sake. In any case, she did not pry any further and just took out 400 gold coins from the sack and divided the amount between the two before leaving with the other Priest. The Priest was visibly reluctant, and it was exactly as how Young Master Han had said: He truly did not wish to face the music.
Sending the pair off, Young Master Han turned to wave in a different direction. “You two, get over here!”
Glue and Flame Singed Clothes, who had not received the attention that they had been expecting right from the get-go, were just starting to feel dejected when Young Master Han finally turned to address them.
“Are you calling us?” Flame Singed Clothes could not help but respond, asking both the Priest and Glue at the same time.
“Enough of your nonsense, quick get over here. With haste!” Young Master Han ordered.
Flame Singed Clothes involuntarily wanted to dash over, but Glue held him back with an eye-roll. Flame Singed Clothes immediately simmered in his guilt. He had inadvertently lost his composure again. How embarrassing!
“If you’ve got something to say, come over yourself,” Glue calmly called out.
Young Master Han and Brother Assist made their way to them. Feeling that he was holding the upper hand in this conversation, Glue was somewhat delighted with himself. Naturally, he did not dare to be too careless, either, and carefully considered what the opposing party might be planning to do and how he should respond to it. All the while, he was actively relaying what was happening to Southern Lone Blade in real time.
“Where’s War Without Wounds?” Young Master Han asked the moment he was face-to-face with the two larcenists.
The two unanimously turned to look where War Without Wounds was. Currently, the Warrior was projecting a cool front by leaning against a column beside an auction panel with his arms folded before him as he chatted up a lady browsing through the auction interface.
“Thanks,” Young Master Han expressed. He then made his way over to Warrior with Brother Assist without a backward glance.
Glue and Flame Singed Clothes were rooted to the spot. Was that it? What was that all about?
Southern Lone Blade was still inquiring in detail just what those men had come to do, but even he was left stupefied after Glue reported to him what they had come to ask.
“Just concentrate on the task at hand and ignore them!” He felt that they could not keep watching over the opposing party’s actions like they were minding an egg being cooked. From the rollercoaster-ride of emotions Glue and Flame Singed Clothes had experienced, it was possible that this was an attack on their psyche. Since there was no way for any player to engage in combat in the safe zone, forcing the two larcenists to the brink of mental collapse was the only offensive method they could use. Southern Lone Blade even wondered if he should get someone else to take over the task. Flame Singed Clothes was the recipient of plenty of abuses in their many confrontations, so his mental state was admittedly on the fragile side; therefore, he could easily end up getting distracted.
War Without Wounds was currently throwing his name out proudly, telling the lady just how observant, vigilant, and capable he was that he could take on a group all by himself. That was when he heard a cold voice from behind him. “Can you stop f*ck*ng bragging?”
War Without Wounds quickly turned his head over, only to see Young Master Han and Brother Assist standing behind him. He immediately shook his head resolutely. “Who are you two? I don’t know you guys!” He did not wish for the two to spoil his flirting stratagem. Having spent a whole night, this was the only lady that looked to be responding positively to his bragging. In the end, when he turned around, the lady was already pouting her lips. Hissing, “Braggart!” the lady then turned to leave. He did not notice people creeping up on him; how was that even observant or vigilant?!
“Babe, let me explain; it’s because we’re in a safe zone, and the system prevents people from exuding any sort of killing intent. That’s the only reason I didn’t sense them coming up to me. As long as we walk out of here, you’ll realize that everything I said is true. Yes, it’s the truth. Why don’t we find somewhere and test this out… Hey, don’t leave! Hey!”
War Without Wounds was a baby-leg that had no movement speed to speak off, and that lady happened to be a Thief. As such, her figure disappeared into the distance in no time, only leaving him with the look of derision from those in the Auction House; everyone, who had heard him yell all that, was now thinking how shameless he was for even uttering all that.
“What are you two doing here?!” War Without Wounds was agitated. Just as he was about to potentially find success after a whole night of effort, these two just happened to have such a timely arrival. They were even floating right behind him like ghosts. It was really too much.
“Comrades, we’re currently in a serious situation!” Young Master Han did not even give a hoot about War Without Wounds’ indignation.
“What?” Ultimately, War Without Wounds quickly shifted his focus onto the task at hand. His ability to shrug off the haze of failure within a few seconds was evidence just how he was used to failing in his hunt for the ladies.
“The magic staff really got sold, and the buyer had yet to appear,” Young Master Han informed.
“That’s nothing. We’re keeping watch here; how are they gonna run off with it?” War Without Wounds said.
“Is that so? Well, I feel a lot safer now that you’ve said that. Keep watch, then. Brother Assist, we’re leaving,” Young Master Han said.
“Wait, wait, wait, wait a minute!” War Without Wounds immediately realized that something had gone wrong the moment he saw how satisfied Young Master Han looked. He swiftly went to stop the two men from leaving, asking after he had carefully pondered on the situation, “Is he not going to turn up for seven days?”
“It’s good that you’re mentally prepared for such an eventuality,” Young Master Han sarcastically replied.
“That won’t do!” War Without Wounds was instantly stressed out. “Must I stand guard here for the next seven days without any activity?”
“Which is why I told you that the situation is severe. You’re the one who said that it’s nothing,” Young Master Han remarked dryly.
“Ahem… Actually, if you give me a lady companion, it won’t really be that difficult to keep watch here for seven days,” War Without Wounds proposed.
“Trust me, there’s not a single woman in this world that will be willing to accompany you for seven days. You gotta be realistic; you can’t always keep living in that fantasy world of yours.” Young Master Han solemnly said.
“SCRAM!” War Without Wounds bellowed.
“Are you saying that we’re truly going to keep watch here for seven days straight just like Southern Lone Blade’s team?” Brother Assist asked.