Chapter 624 – Ambush! A Clash of Daggers!
Translator: Exodus Tales Editor: Exodus Tales
Broken Water Arrow and Sniper God rushed to protect Ye Xiaowu even as they pelted Eternal Dominion with arrows. The two really appeared to be veteran soldiers who had experienced countless battles, for they were not in the least bit daunted by the scene before them. Sniper God looked at Ye Xiaowu’s broken forearm, which had been bent like a chicken wing, and exclaimed, “Ah! Even your bone is showing; how is it so realistic?”
Ye Xiaowu was no longer howling by now. There was a limit to the pain he was feeling, and it was completely tolerable at this point. He only screamed at first due to the suddenness of the pain. People would often shriek when they were involuntarily pricked with a needle, would they not? When he howled for the second time, it was a result of the terror he was feeling. Anyone who saw their arm suddenly be in such a state would naturally have quite the scare. When he heard Sniper God’s exclamation, he could not help but lower his head to take a closer look.
Peering down and seeing the white of his bone protruding from his flesh, coupled with the grisly sight of his flesh hanging with bits of skin and bone fragments dotting around a mess of mosaic, Ye Xiaowu felt a wave of nausea overcome him. A system prompt soon rang in his head: [An increase in the user’s abdominal pressure as a result of stomach discomfort was detected. If you are unable to recover to a stable state, you will be forcefully disconnected from the game.]
The VR gaming equipment players of Parallel World used could detect some of the real-world conditions the players’ physical body might be under, and this was the same system warning Traversing Four Seas’ guild leader had received back then when his heart rate severely spiked up. Ye Xiaowu was experiencing something similar right now, except his issue was not with his heart but stomach, instead.
Ye Xiaowu was of course no stranger to this set-up, so he quickly turned away from the gruesome sight and pulled out a bottle of water from his pocket. He then took two full gulps of water to suppress the nausea he was feeling. Sniper God gazed astonishingly at his action. “What, did the game you designed give you a fright?”
Ye Xiaowu was at a total loss for words.
“What do we do about… this?” Broken Water Arrow asked.
“Even Cure is unable to completely heal up this sort of heavy injury. I’ll need to return to the city and locate the dedicated Healer NPC to get it treated,” Ye Xiaowu answered. Cure was a level 40 skill Light Priests learned, and it was a potent remedy for effects that caused continuous loss of HP or attacks that lowered the maximum HP of players, but with his arm broken to such a vicious manner, even Cure could not heal him up.
“Seeing how my HP is steeply dropping, there’s no point in making my way back; I’ll be perfectly fine once I respawn, so there’s no rush,” Ye Xiaowu said.
“Will bandaging the wound stop the blood loss?” Broken Water Arrow asked again.
“If the triage is done properly, it will indeed be effective.” Ye Xiaowu nodded.
“Quickly get Xiaochen over,” Sniper God ordered.
“Hang in there.” Broken Water Arrow said to Ye Xiaowu as he fired off a message. This ‘hang in there’ Broken Water Arrow had uttered was not merely a show of solidarity for Ye Xiaowu, but a prompt for him to keep himself alive. The Priest designated his left hand as his dominant hand and waved his magic staff to keep himself topped up with HP even as he asked Sniper God. “Who’s Xiaochen?”
“He’s a medic from our squad back in the day; All our first aid skills are rudimentary at best, so it’s better to get him over here!” Sniper God laughed even as he kept peppering arrows at Eternal Dominion.
Eternal Dominion, who was being suppressed by the enfilade of arrows from Broken Water Arrow and Sniper God combined, was temporarily unable to close in. Gu Fei had reached him at this point and very excitedly asked, “Was that Fire Dragon Fist?”
“Yup.” Eternal Dominion nodded.
“I’ve heard so much about it!” Gu Fei commented.
“It seems a little brutal…” Ye Xiaowu’s Priest robe was already dyed in his own blood, even as a puddle of blood pooled beneath him; Eternal Dominion found the sight to be somewhat unbearable.
“Have you never seen blood before?” Even though martial artists would not deal a brutal hand to their opponents during such technical sparrings, the very nature of the activity would place the two exponents in danger of death. Any accident that happened in the process would lead to rather disastrous results. Even Gu Fei had experienced his fair share of stitches and fractured bones as well.
“I’ve seen nosebleeds,” Eternal Dominion answered.
Gu Fei was left a little speechless after hearing that. Even children fighting would often result in nosebleeds.
“See; it’s clearly the game over exaggerating. Anyone would have already died if they lost so much blood.” Gu Fei consoled Eternal Dominion.
Ye Xiaowu spat out another mouthful of blood when he heard this.
Unexpectedly, even Sniper God agreed with Gu Fei’s assessment. “It is a little outrageous; haven’t you guys ever considered such a problem when making this game? There’s a limit to the amount of blood any human has, so even if the blood isn’t staunched, there’s no way you should be bleeding endlessly like this!” Sniper God glanced at Ye Xiaowu’s broken arm, and the blood was still gushing out!
Gu Fei nodded. “That’s right. Blood takes up about 7 to 8% of our body mass. Look at how skinny he is; I reckon he weighs a little over 100 pounds, yet the amount of blood he’s lost so far looks to be about 10 pounds.”
Sniper God shook his head. “That’s too much. I think it’s only 8 pounds or so.”
“Eight pounds is already too much! Let’s say he’s about 120 pounds in weight, so if we take 8% of his body mass as the total blood a human has in their body, that will come at about 9.6 pounds, so even if we round it up to 10 pounds, won’t losing 8 pounds of blood be a bit too much still?” Gu Fei wondered aloud.
“It is indeed too much. Losing just 3 pounds out of the 10 pounds of blood is enough to kill him already,” Sniper God concurred.
“Look; he’s lost eight pounds of blood so far. It’s fake. Everything is fake here.” Gu Fei reasoned to Eternal Dominion.
“To think you’d even know such things!” Eternal Dominion was utterly impressed.
“It’s just the basics.” Gu Fei tried to play it off casually.
Ye Xiaowu was still steadily losing his blood while the three men were discussing this topic. Broken Water Arrow, who was standing at the side, rolled his eyes while he listened to this conversation. Still, even as they talked, Sniper God never stopped firing his arrows at Gu Fei and Eternal Dominion with great acuity. The two dodged and evaded these shots as they chatted with one another, mainly focusing on the wavering thoughts Eternal Dominion had after that lethal strike he had just executed. Gu Fei was attempting to open his eyes, and the two were not rushing ahead at all. By the time Gu Fei was done giving his enlightening speech, Eternal Dominion was invigorated once more now that Gu Fei successfully convinced him that the heavy injury Ye Xiaowu had sustained was fake to the point of blatant exaggeration.
“Go on! Show me your Fire Dragon Fist,” Gu Fei encouraged.
With Gu Fei and Eternal Dominion advancing together, Broken Water Arrow and Sniper God found it more difficult to seal either of their movements. However, being Archers and having plenty of experience in actual combat, both of them knew that they could still retreat even if they could not fend them off. Hence, in such a fashion, the two men withdrew as they attacked – their attack slowly formed into the kiting fighting style often seen in MMOs. In the end, Broken Water Arrow was crying out after they retreated no more than several steps. “F*ck! Bring the injured along as you move!”
“D*mn!” Sniper God saw that Ye Xiaowu was still foolishly planted in one spot, so he quickly dashed over and dragged him. “Bro, you gotta follow the group!”
“Stop, stop, stop! You’re breaking it!” Ye Xiaowu hurriedly yelped. Who was it that said that there was no use for blood to continue spurting out like this? His HP had been consistently declining this whole time! He was only surviving up to now because he had been tossing Heal after Heal on himself. Sniper God dragging him interrupted his cast of Heal twice, and his HP was steadily decreasing.
“It’s already broken.” Sniper God thought that he was referring to his arm.
“My spells; I mean you’re breaking my casting!” Ye Xiaowu yelled in panic.
Sniper God was not a day-one newbie, so he more or less understood how this game worked. Realizing what Ye Xiaowu was saying with a brief pause, he quickly shouted to Broken Water Arrow. “We need to provide cover! Wait for the injured to make the first move!”
Broken Water Arrow darted over to receive Gu Fei. “I’ll deal with him.”
Ultimately, Broken Water Arrow had experience exchanging blows with Gu Fei, so he had a better understanding of the latter’s fighting style, which was why he had picked this tough to deal opponent. Even though Gu Fei was seen as an expert in Sniper God’s eyes, at least the man did not end up breaking someone else’s arm, so Broken Water Arrow’s choice of opponent meant that he could deal with the savage brute Eternal Dominion himself.
Sniper God’s heart was beating with trepidation when he came up to take on Eternal Dominion. Even though these soldiers were not a job class in the game, and were all proficient in a single style of combat, they each had their strong suit as well. Sniper God was previously the squad’s sniper, he was definitely the best out of the rest in terms of his marksmanship. While his skills in close quarter combat was not particularly awful, Mountain Breaker Axe was still considered to be one of the most skilled close combatants among them, and he had lost quite badly when facing Gu Fei. It appeared that some of these kung fu ‘scientists’ were not just blowing hot air. Sniper God knew that he was not as good as Mountain Breaker Axe, so if he were to go up against such an opponent, he could not help but feel quite troubled.
However, being troubled was one thing; acting on it was another thing entirely.
Being troubled would only mean that Sniper God had to be extra careful when he struck. If the theoretical gap between people could simply decide the outcome of a fight, then there would be no need for there to be confrontation in this world.
Sniper God’s hand dove into his pocket and pulled out a pristine poniard. It was not a particularly top-tier piece of equipment, but its shape and specifications suited him very well. The way these people allocated their stat points and chose their equipment was extremely similar with how Gu Fei initially started out as well: these ex-soldiers had all picked the weapons that they were most handy with.
Sniper God was not Ye Xiaowu, after all, so Eternal Dominion would not have such an easy time breaking his arm in one shot. Besides, the Fire Dragon Fist was not something that would break someone’s arm without fail, as that would depend on the choices made during combat. At the moment, the two were engaged in a battle – fists and kicks flying all over – and the unarmed Eternal Dominion did not seem to be in the least bit disadvantaged. This PK fight here was a contest of actual combat skills, and it was pointless to compare the stats or traits of their equipment or weapons. Sniper God had a short blade in his hand; everyone would think that meant his damage was stronger, but the damage it could actually do was nothing compared to Eternal Dominion’s punches with his gloved fists. That was a point that these two men had already forgotten about by this time.
Gu Fei was only casually dealing with the attack Broken Water Arrow was mounting him as half of his concentration fell on Eternal Dominion. He would exclaim from time to time, reflecting at what he saw during other times while occasionally pondering over things. Broken Water Arrow was rather dispirited by this; he did not think that there was such a huge gap between him and Gu Fei when they had last fought, yet it seemed that this man was more than capable to absentmindedly settle his attacks right now.
Broken Water Arrow felt that this was a good thing, though. He was not hoping to defeat Gu Fei in a one-on-one PvP in the first place anyway. All he and Sniper God wanted to do was hold these two men awhile, so Ye Xiaowu could patch his injury up. If Gu Fei’s only concern was the two men fighting and was not planning to quickly take down Broken Water Arrow, that would actually work well with their goal to buy time.
Indeed, Gu Fei was purely concerned with watching Eternal Dominion’s Fire Dragon Fist in action. Be it the dying Ye Xiaowu, the opponent before him, or the precarious situation his comrades were in, none mattered in this regard.
When those assailants, who had successfully surrounded Young Master’s Elite and Southern Lone Blade’s team, received a message from Broken Water Arrow, three Archers swiftly withdrew from the skirmish, and later, a Priest immediately turned around to make his way over to Ye Xiaowu.
The firepower from the Archers were entirely different from the other job classes, and those three men pulling away had alleviated the pressure on the gang of experts quite a bit. In addition, they were even feeling a little despondent over this change. The harder opponents had all been sent to deal with Gu Fei and Eternal Dominion, and those not-so-significant ones were left to deal with them, a group of so-called experts.
The Archers possessed long ranged capabilities, so the three men that headed over to where Gu Fei and Eternal Dominion were soon near enough to attack the two. Almost at once, the three Archers opened fire, and their inclusion had left the two men quite frenetic. Broken Water Arrow and Sniper God similarly intended to extract themselves from this melee to deal with Gu Fei and Eternal Dominion at range.
However, it was not that simple to retreat whenever they wished when going up against opponents like Gu Fei and Eternal Dominion. Attempting to withdraw meant that they would have to pay the price of taking a move or two from these two martial practitioners. Broken Water Arrow was wary of the spell damage Gu Fei could dish out, while Sniper God had seen how Ye Xiaowu lost at least 8 pounds of blood to Eternal Dominion, so the man naturally did not dare to make any rash moves and pay the price, either.
Meanwhile, a Priest had circled over to Ye Xiaowu, and this was the medic Xiaochen Broken Water Arrow had called over to help bandage Ye Xiaowu.
Ye Xiaowu could tell what this Priest was coming to do, and he was looking forward to his arrival. Currently, he was in an epic struggle with his dropping HP, and he was having trouble lasting much longer. In this game, while there seemed to be no limit to the amount of blood one could lose, there was a limit to how much mana every player had.
Ye Xiaowu was blankly watching this Priest when he saw a black figure appear right behind the man. Panicking, Ye Xiaowu cried aloud, “BE CAREFUL!”
Fights were breaking out all over this battlefield, so who knew who Ye Xiaowu was referring to when he shouted this warning? Everybody consciously looked around, and quite a few spotted the black figure that had come hurtling to the back of the Priest Xiaochen.
This incident revealed that, despite Ye Xiaowu being a game designer, he barely had any actual combat experience in-game. Why would anyone just shout ‘be careful’ when they discovered something dangerous in such a chaotic battle? Just call out the person’s name directly, instead!
“Xiaochen!” The others, who had realized what was going on, were more experienced and directly called out his name.
Xiaochen quickly turned his head, but this was the moment when Sword Demon entered the invisible state of his Shadowmist Assault, so all he saw was blank space behind him. Xiaochen was a medic in the squad, so while he needed to grasp some of the skills that everyone had picked up, there was still a limit to how much energy he could devote to things. At the end of the day, Xiaochen mainly focused his energy on the medical side of things, so how would he have the extravagance to attain too high of a skill when it came to marksmanship or close quarter combat? While he still possessed passable skills in these various avenues by most standards, he was certainly not on the same level as his fellow comrades, let alone possess the intuition that would allow him to sense killing intent.
Now that Sword Demon was invisible to the naked eye, Xiaochen had no idea what was happening, but soon, he saw, not just one, but two figures appearing before his eyes!
Even Sword Demon was very surprised by this, he never thought a Stealthed Thief would be protecting this Priest.
However, because Sword Demon had been in Stealth all this while and was almost instantly upon the enemies when he materialized again, even the Thief could not take the necessary precautions against Sword Demon’s attack, so he had to make do with a hasty defense. Actually, before these men had engaged in the skirmish with Young Master’s Elite and Southern Lone Blade’s gang, Ye Xiaowu had emphasized on them the importance of preventing Sword Demon’s Shadowmist Assault. Broken Water Arrow had once came up with some very targeted counters for it, so everyone was already informed just how they could thwart that skill.
However, the counter he had come up with was useless in this situation, for that was only useful for dodging. At the moment, Sword Demon’s target was not the Thief himself, so what was the use for this Thief to dodge the attack? What he needed to do was block Sword Demon’s Shadowmist Assault and defend the clueless Xiaochen from the stab directed at him.
This one defense would depend entirely on his reaction and experience.
It was not perfect, but at least, the damage from Shadowmist Assault did not get through unmitigated. Nevertheless, the force of impact remained, so the revealed Thief and the Priest Xiaochen behind him were both sent flying by it.
Sword Demon did not hesitate for even a moment, and his target remained unchanged. Activating his Fleetfoot, the man began bounding straight for Xiaochen.
Xiaochen got up and squared up against the enemy. Even though he was just a medic, he was still familiar with the skills that a soldier would learn, be it shooting or close combat, and his standards were much better than Sword Demon in these aspects.
Unfortunately for him, his job class was a huge handicap.
He was a Priest in this game through and through, so while he could shoot an arrow, punch, or even wield a dagger, Sword Demon simply ignored whatever he did.
How much damage could a Priest, who depended on these methods of attack, deal, anyway?
This was the particular aspect Sword Demon homed in on, so he decided to utilize the most barbaric way of fighting: a cut for a cut.
There was no technique or dodging to this fight. They simply stood there and took turns trading blows.
Xiaochen wished to evade Sword Demon’s attacks, but against an opponent who ignored every cut, slash, or punch he threw and only concentrated on stabbing him, it was truly difficult for him to completely dodge everything; at the very least, Xiaochen was incapable of doing this.
Sword Demon’s Lasting Sentence, Dying Breath flensed the Priest expediently, so despite taking quite a lot of the latter’s kicks and punches, the difference between their damage output was entirely incomparable. There was hardly any time for anyone to think of saving him before Sword Demon killed him off. The Thief, who had been sent flying off with Xiaochen after being blown away by Shadowmist Assault, only just got up, and he charged right to Sword Demon at once, thrusting his dagger out viciously as he did.
Sword Demon did not bother dodging this, either. This man might not be a Priest, but he knew that the Thief had lost quite a bit of HP from his Shadowmist Assault before, so his HP had surely been reduced.
Sword Demon executed a backhand slash in response and began clashing blades with the man again.
That initial clash damaged the other player, but this clash now was for his life.
Even though this Thief had more experience when it came to actual combat, Sword Demon had much more gaming experience.
This was a battle, but it was also in a game.
Sword Demon’s experience in this was entirely applicable, but the enemy had a disadvantage in terms of his experience.
The man’s dagger came stabbing at Sword Demon’s chest, looking to wound him. Thinking that Sword Demon would dodge to avoid the attack, he intended to then throw Sword Demon down to the ground with a turn of his hand in hopes of quickly finishing him off while Sword Demon was laid out on the ground.
This stab from the Thief went to the heart, so unless Sword Demon was caught off guard, there was no way that the latter would not avoid it. This was the thought he had ingrained from his real-combat experience. Once he dodges it, I can complete my follow-up attack; he’ll be dead if he doesn’t dodge it.
In the end, when that dagger of his went plunging to Sword Demon’s chest, Sword Demon also took this chance to stab him back in his waist. That was when he realized the problem. F*ck! there’s no guarantee I can kill someone in this game by stabbing them in the chest! I still gotta do math!
This arithmetic question told him that his HP was already zero; he was as good as dead. The expression on his face showed just how disgruntled he was with this result. It was not that he did not know about it, or that he did not understand the concept; he merely had not gotten used to all this yet…
A single sneak-attack instantly resulted in the deaths of two players; Sword Demon’s results were far greater than Gu Fei’s. Royal God Call hollered, unruffled by his emotions, “Sword Demon, you’re too handsome!”
Flame Singed Clothes asked, “Would the word ‘handsome’ be too much of an insult? He wouldn’t mind, would he?”
Everyone stared at him, and Flame Singed Clothes hurriedly shrank his neck.
Sword Demon did not seem to be in the least bit delighted. He knew that luck had played a huge part in his ability to kill off those opponents just then, and he might be unable to replicate that result if he were to do it again with another pair of these ex-soldiers. After taking care of the two, Sword Demon sprinted off. Time was of the essence; plenty of arrows were already being fired at him, after all. Sword Demon was already aware that the acuity demonstrated by the enemies would not be affected by his movement speed, so he had already prepared a path of retreat for himself after he finished his assault. At the moment, he successfully made a mad dash behind a huge white rock, not even revealing a bit of his foot thereafter.