Chapter 637: Chapter 637 – Best if I Go
Translator: Exodus Tales Editor: Exodus Tales
In two different locations, two different groups were each coming up with their respective battle strategies.
One side had men gathered in a circle, the atmosphere tense and somber, their hands holding the map as they pointed and drew on it, and everyone present was discussing and coordinating with one another. The other side was done laying out their plan in a few short statements, leaving one man contemptuously eyeing the crowd around him even as they stared back at him with loathing and indignation.
Young Master Han’s plan was sometimes not exactly a plan but merely a simple analysis, and this analysis was sometimes not exactly overly clever, but because he was always the quickest to come up with it and the first to suggest it, so it did give him the right to condescend everyone.
Did he actually have a real plan? No one knew, but they were all aware that he enjoyed leaving a few tricks up his sleeve before he would amaze everybody the specific moment it came.
However, after countless of times, everyone was starting to think that the reason Young Master Han would always keep part of his plan unexplained might perhaps be due to the fact that he really did not have a completed plan in mind to begin with. This person made the correct judgment in accordance to the situation, and his plans were effective might be because he could quickly grasp the situation to come up with an impromptu plan. This was why he had the vile habit of keeping things under wraps at first, as even he would not have any clear understanding of what would occur in the very beginning.
Everyone was not going to pretend that they could force the answer out of his mouth, so all they could do was secretly guess at it themselves, but there was one thing certain, and that was Young Master Han enjoyed playing with people in the palm of his hands no matter what. Thus, no matter how much they hated him for it, they would not want to fall victim to that.
At the moment, while everyone was looking forward to him revealing a miraculous tactic on how they could deal with Broken Water Arrow’s long-ranged harassment and sneak-attacks, all he offered was a single statement, “Make full use of the terrain!”
Everyone did not understand what he meant. Thus, after another glare of contempt from him, Young Master Han finally said, “Go into the spawn point.”
That was making full use of the terrain! Anyone would have thought of this simple solution had they been given enough time to mull this over.
This plan did not let any of them feel in the least bit stunned but disappointed, instead. They were even irritated by it when the bout of sadness passed. Such a simple solution; why didn’t I think of it? We ended up being despised by this b*st*rd again!
Entering the designated safe zone that the spawn point offered the moment the ranged assault from Sniper God’s bunch began was a very simple solution, yet it was also very effective.
Even though this was far more passive, they had three hostages with them this time, so the initiative would always be in their hands for the upcoming battle. Entering the spawn point was just a temporary shelter. By the time Young Master Han got a sense of the enemies’ offensive, perhaps he would have come up with an appropriate countermeasure, right?
That was what everyone was thinking, so they did not ask any further questions. They even discussed if they should head to the spawn point now and troll Broken Water Arrow from the get-go, causing them to rush over in high spirits, only to be dumbfounded upon their arrival.
No one did it in the end after thinking it through. Ye Xiaowu and the two other Priests, who were still taking refuge in the spawn point, could easily warn their comrades Young Master Han and the others’ every word and action. Everybody figured that it was better to spring that surprise on the enemies at the right moment, instead.
Thus, they all sat down and patiently waited outside the spawn point for the ensuing battle. Witnessing this bunch act flagrantly, the trio stuck in the Priest Academy thought that they would boldly declare their strategy; never did they think that they would not make a peep and would instead proceeded to huddle by the entrance for a discussion before dispersing after. Ye Xiaowu reckoned that they had not left, so he poked his head out to take a look around.
Sure enough, Young Master Han and the others were still about at the entrance. When Ye Xiaowu poked his head out, plenty of people looked in his direction. Gu Xian even cocked his brow, and this made Ye Xiaowu’s heart skip a beat as he quickly jerked his head back to safety. He settled his anxious heart by telling himself. “Don’t worry; you’re in a safe zone!”
Simply having their feet planted in a safe zone did not mean that they were in it. For the system to deem players inside, they must have over half of their body within. As for what constituted this ‘half’, that was something the system calculated. Thus, when Ye Xiaowu poked his head out, part of his body got exposed, and being uncertain if it meant that he was out of the safe zone, he felt a little frightened.
“They’re still here!” He told the two who were in the same boat as him.
The two men were comparatively calmer than him. This was still considered as quite a fresh experience for them. They had seen plenty of hostages before, but they had never been the hostages themselves. In truth, the term used to refer about military operations and war captives was not ‘hostage’ but ‘prisoner’ instead. And for the outcome of a war to hinge upon the exchanging of several prisoners was a little whimsical.
The bunch waiting outside felt rather bored, so they each sought for things to pass the time. Flame Singed Clothes pulled out his deck of cards and began playing with his friends. There were more people this time, so they could not play Fight the Landlord; instead, they played the more popular game, Texas Hold’em. Flame Singed Clothes’ experience with the game was no more than losing a few handful of beans on QQ, yet here he was, teaching everyone the game like a pro! Someone began expressing his doubts after they played a few rounds. “Three plus two is bigger than a straight?”
“What three plus two? That’s called a full house! Of course, it’s bigger than a straight! It’s even bigger than a suit!” The expert Flame Singed Clothes said.
“What? Then, how did your suit just now beat my full house,” Glue questioned after hearing his explanation.
“Is that so?” Flame Singed Clothes retorted.
Everyone glared at him.
“Explain the rules clearly to me!” Blackwater grabbed him by the collar.
“Wait, wait, wait; let me think about this properly.” Flame Singed Clothes was having a tough time. He hated the fact that he could not access Baidu 1 while playing the game. Just which one was bigger? He was really confused at this moment. Honestly speaking, he felt that whichever hand he was holding was bigger…
On Eternal Dominion’s end, after he learned that the Fighter who had joined them was Gu Fei’s cousin and a member of the Gu family, he expressed his great reverence for him, earnestly hoping that the man would impart some advice to him. However, it might be because Gu Xian had walked a lot the day, for he had moved a rock over the spawn point’s entrance and sat on it comfortably, not budging a muscle. Gu Fei held him in contempt. “What are you asking him for? He doesn’t know kung fu.”
This statement caused quite a shock to Sword Demon, Blackwater, and the three Priests inside the safe zone. Having witnessed Gu Xian’s prowess with their own eyes, how could he be someone who did not know kung fu? Just how terrifying would kung fu actually be? None of them actually had any idea that Gu Fei’s words about Gu Xian was actually a fact, but Gu Xian’s reckless use of kung fu in-game was a reality no one could deny.
Meanwhile, with just a wall dividing them, the three Priest could hear that bunch at the entrance happily busying themselves with their newly found entertainment, and this tormented them somewhat.
“Do you have cards?” Old Wu and Xiaochen asked Ye Xiaowu.
“No…” Ye Xiaowu knew that there was no such thing in the system, so it must be something the players themselves made.
The two other Priests felt a little antsy; playing card games was often their source of entertainment in the army.
Just like that, while one side nervously prepared for work, another side leisurely entertained themselves. An hour passed quickly, and Young Master Han, who had not joined the others, noticed traces of their enemies through his spyglass first.
“They’re here!” Young Master Han rumbled deeply.
Aside from Gu Xian, if the rest were not lying or squatting as they waited, they were sitting on the ground; all got up and peered at where Young Master Han was looking. Flame Singed Clothes hurriedly collected the cards from everyone even as Blackwater painfully moaned. “My full house…” A full house was a rather dominant hand frequently seen in card games, and this was Blackwater’s first time having it. Just as he moved to make a big shove with his bet, having his grand moment, the enemies just happened to appear at this very moment.
“Oh, I made a mistake,” After tugging on everyone’s moods, Young Master Han suddenly turned his to say this nonchalantly.
Everyone was stunned, and before any of them could sulk, they saw Blackwater pounce on Flame Singed Clothes like a hungry tiger hunting its prey. “Return my full house to me!”
“Okay, it’s almost time. Let’s stop playing.” This was when Southern Lone Blade spoke.
Everyone gathered themselves; Eternal Dominion was apparently the most anxious. “Why aren’t they here yet? I gotta log off soon!”
“When do you need to go?” Gu Fei asked.
“That’s not really early!”
“We’ve been playing pretty late recently, so this is considered early,” Eternal Dominion said.
“You’re next to the spawn point, anyway; all you gotta do is hop in and go offline when 11 comes while fighting!” Gu Fei said.
“Oh, that’s a good idea.”
Everyone threw them a side-glance, for that was truly an irresponsible idea. Someone suddenly disappearing during an evenly matched fight with the opponent was no better than dying outright! For Gu Fei to be the one to suggest this to be Eternal Dominion, these two men truly had no care for teamwork! Of course, everyone had said all this in their minds. The two martial artists were currently their bosses, so who would dare voice out their opinion regarding the two so openly?
It was not until 10 PM that those figures they were waiting for appeared on this street’s other end.
“They’re here!” Everyone jolted to attention.
“Ah! We didn’t conceal ourselves this time; are we perhaps being too conceited this time?” Someone suddenly realized. Everybody had disguised themselves and hidden in the crowd when the enemies were upon them before, but this time, they were all standing out in the open outside the spawn point. Any experienced player could tell that that they were camping.
Camping was a rather cruel term to call this sort of blocking the spawn point. The current record holder for being camped out was Silver Moon… Admittedly, anyone who had interacted with Gu Fei in any shape or form, be they good or bad, would become famed characters!
“Only arriving now, I’ll be disappointed with them if they end up with some bull-headed strategy,” Young Master Han calmly said.
Everyone felt that what he had said made sense. They watched these ex-soldiers walk toward them from the left side of the street. A plaza lay in front of the Priest Academy, with streets to the left, right, and center leading away from it. Young Master Han fished out his spyglass and casually took a glance or two at the man before lifting it to Brother Assist. “Check their numbers.”
Brother Assist despondently took the spyglass. He truly was an odd-jobber, always doing the hard and tiring work for the group.
“There are seven of them – five Archers and two Mages,” Brother Assist announced.
“So they’re really engaging us in a ranged battle?” Everyone began to imagine these men stomping their feet in anger when they countered this assault by stepping into the spawn point.
“Take note of the other two streets.” Young Master Han, however, did not show the look of delight of someone whose prediction had come to pass and, instead, gave this instruction to Brother Assist.
“I don’t see anyone coming from the right or middle streets.”
“Don’t be in such a hurry. Let’s see what they’re up to before we act.” Young Master Han told everyone when he saw that quite a few were already eager to leap into the safe zone.
“They’re about to open fire in just a few more steps!” someone mentioned.
Just as they had expected, when the seven men of the opposing party got within the attack range of Archers, a volley of projectiles came flying over. They had Priests within their ranks, anyway, so everyone could tell the caliber of attacks the enemies could dish out. Thus, none of them conscientiously dodged these shots, with some of them getting struck by these projectiles in utter disregard. Young Master Han waved his hand to bestow Heal even as he asked, “How’s the damage?”
“Is it the damage an Archer can do?”
Comprehension dawned on Brother Assist. “You’re wary of them disguising themselves as Archers to divert our attention and then using real Archers to sneak-attack us from a different direction.”
“It’s only a suspicion.”
“The damage they did is that of an Archer,” everyone reported.
“I know.” Young Master Han nodded. Posing this question was him merely looking to get information fast. By the time his Heal landed on the target, and the amount of HP he recovered was displayed by the system, he could estimate how much damage the enemies had dealt them.
“Those two Mages turned!” While the enemy Archers’ volley of arrows continued, the two enemy Mages suddenly ducked into a side alley of the left street.
“Where’s that?” Young Master Han quickly asked.
Everyone was clueless… This was a battle in foreign territory; none of them was familiar with the area!
“You don’t know it, either?” The men from Young Master’s Elite asked back. They were used to Young Master Han knowing everything.
“I certainly know that there’s no tavern there,” Young Master Han answered.
“Map!” Brother Assist came prepared and quickly pulled out a map of Baishi City.
Braving the hail of projectiles from the enemies’ assault, everyone calmly buried their heads and took a look at the map. Meanwhile, Broken Water Arrow’s team of five did not dare to get close as they continued their barrage of arrows. These five Archers were all bitter when they saw how their enemies pointed their butts in their direction as they disregarded their projectiles. They were truly at a loss now for their bolts and arrows could not get a kill at this rate. It might be possible if they concentrated all their firepower onto one target, but the issue with that was how there was no guarantee of them hitting the said target.
Presently, these five men were providing cover fire with their shots, sealing their enemies’ movements to ensure that one or two of their projectiles could hit a target. Once they concentrated the firepower to a single point, the enemy would simply be able to make a slight move, and all their shots would miss. In addition, it was not exactly difficult to evade a single point. The five men’s marksmanship were amazing due to their ability to calculate and hit a moving target. Ordinary players definitely could not compete with them in this avenue, though the average players could shoot with pinpoint accuracy after the system’s aim-correction.
That was why their shooting expertise did not count for much in this situation. If players were able to dodge the shots fired by other players, that would naturally mean that they could dodge their shots as well. To drive these ex-soldiers’ opponents into a situation where they would be unable to evade their pinpoint shooting, it required the speed of their arrows and bolts to increase, and such factors would be decided by a player’s level, skill proficiency, and equipment. Since none of these five Archers was comparable to the average player on this front, the fact that they had all lost a level, as well as their Sharpshooter job class, meant the speed of their bolts was exceedingly slow. Sniper God was no longer complaining about the game’s design, but that did not mean that he was not cursing at the system to high heavens for this.
Furthermore, the opposing party seemed to have really gotten a firm grasp of their weakness this time. These ex-soldiers could fish in troubled waters if their enemies reacted like how the average player would when facing against a troop of Archers: running for cover, dodging, and evading ranged attack to the best of their ability. However, the enemies this time around merely stood there immobile, waiting to dodge these shots as they came. Although this would be riskier, these ex-soldiers would be unable to demonstrate their superiority with their shots being no better than what the average players fired.
In the end, all they could do was blanket the whole area with their arrows; they were doing to ensure that things would not get too awkward and result in their enemies to ignore their measly projectiles. They tried concentrating their firepower on one of the targets, but they ultimately discovered just how cunning their enemies were. Their butts might be facing the five Archers, but they were peeping between their legs. They were cognizant of the little trick Broken Water Arrow’s men were trying to pull and calmly stepped away when the Archers concentrated their shots to a single point, leaving Broken Water Arrow infuriated and at a loss on what to do.
Young Master Han’s party pored over the map in detail, searching for the alley the two Mages had slipped into. This alley looped around and would lead into an adjacent alley, which was much closer to the Priest Academy entrance.
“Hmm… They must be intending to appear here and promptly bombard us from there, right?” Brother Assist pointed to the opening.
“There’re just two Mages; it’ll be meaningless to do that…” Southern Lone Blade commented.
“Shall I go and take a look?” Royal God Call volunteered. Even though there were two enemies, because they were Mages, Royal God Call was not the slightest afraid. He had superior movement speed, after all. Essentially, he would not be at risk as long as he stayed away from a melee confrontation.
Young Master Han glanced at him for a moment before shaking his head. “No way. There’s a fork in that road.”
Everyone laughed, while Royal God Call’s face and ears turned scarlet. “It’s just a simple road; there’s no way I’m gonna get mixed up!”
“It’s better if I go, instead!” Glue said. He was also able to activate ranged skills and had superior movement speed over the Mages.
“Approved.” Young Master Han nodded.
“Wait a minute. Are they perhaps luring us out like this while actually having an ambush in place?” Brother Assist wondered aloud.
Young Master Han nodded. “Which is why we’re sending just one over.”
Glue was in tears; he felt like a sacrificial pawn with him going over to investigate!
Gu Fei hated Young Master Han’s way of doing things, so he leaped out. “I’ll go, then. I can kill them if the chance arises.”
Everybody felt this to be a good idea, yet Young Master Han actually shook his head. “If you leave, we might as well fall for their ploy of luring the tiger out of its mountain den.”
Everyone felt rather embarrassed hearing this. After all, they were a party, yet sending Gu Fei out was described as luring the tiger out of its mountain den. That was as good as viewing all the other combatants in their party as nothing, but they could not help it. Gu Fei alone was indeed better than several of them.
“Glue, it’s better if you go! Be clever about it. Your task this time is to make sense of those two Mages’ goal with their act of sneaking off into that alley,” Southern Lone Blade ordered. He wanted his comrades to demonstrate their worth. None of them could face anyone without feeling embarrassed if they showed their lack of courage to take on this task for fear of dying.
“Roger that; I’ll do it!” Glue agreed.
“A true warrior!” Young Master Han emoted.
Glue was tearing up again. It really seemed that there was no hope of him making it out of this alive!
“Forget it; it’s best if I go!” Gu Fei insisted.
“Luring the tiger out of its mountain den,” everyone reminded.
“Just hop into the safe zone if you guys are in danger!” Gu Fei turned around and pointed. “I’m only leaving for a bit; there’s no reason for you guys to be so afraid.”
Everyone was now in tears.
What else could they say to this? Sometimes, when Gu Fei got mad, he acted as high-handed as Young Master Han.
“Don’t come back if you die there!” everyone barked, their faces black with anger.
“I’m going.” Gu Fei touched his sword and went dashing out.