Chapter 664 – Guilds, Charge!
Translator: Exodus Tales Editor: Exodus Tales
Gu Fei and Sword Demon had disappeared, and all those who sent messages to them received the system notification: [ Messages could not be exchanged with hostile forces. ] Deep Waters had to suffer having to message Young Master’s Elite, and the ladies from Amethyst Rebirth had also come asking them what was going on. But how would any of the members in Young Master’s Elite know anything? They had only realized that something was amiss only after these two guilds that depended on them came asking what was going on, and all of them proceeded to message both Gu Fei and Sword Demon, only to get the same result.
They were clearly online, yet nobody seemed able to contact them. Logic dictated that they would naturally share the same reason for being nowhere to be found. Outsiders might not be able to tell, but those remaining members in Young Master’s Elite had already realized why even sooner than Gu Fei and Sword Demon themselves: The biggest point of similarity the two men shared was the fact they were both in a Faction, respectively!
But even if they belonged to Factions, where did they go? Nobody knew, so all they could do was continue busying themselves with their own business, waiting for the City Wars to end so they would naturally learn of what happened. In the end, it was around the time Young Master Han sought to observe the enemy via his spyglass when he coincidentally spotted those two in the process of scanning the battlements.
Young Master Han habitually turned around in hopes of finding someone to discuss this with, only to recall that he was currently engaged in a unit activity with the guild after he turned around. Those men that he would drown in contempt as he refuted every last point they made were nowhere near him at the moment. Helpless, Young Master Han could only type it out in the mercenary channel.
“They are up on the battlements? How did those two get themselves up there?” The channel immediately exploded into activity when they heard the news.
“If they are inside the city, that would make them the enemy! Could it be that the players who belong to a Faction are all considered as part of the system’s forces?” Brother Assist instantly made a deduction.
“The system has not made any sort of announcement to this effect!”
“Why would they make an announcement? If the system were to mention Factions, only a handful of players would have any clue what that means, why would they need to make a public announcement about it?”
As they continued to discuss the matter about how they could not contact either Gu Fei or Sword Demon, their conversation began to shift toward the situation with the many guilds.
“Wounds, what are you guys doing over there?” Royal God Call inquired.
“What else can we do? Recklessly charge in, of course!” War Without Wounds replied.
“How barbaric, that’s the limit of skill that a bunch of old meat hands have, I guess,” Royal God Call scorned. War Without Wounds’ guild was called ‘Home of the Warriors’ and they were all Warriors. This sort of guild would not be making any huge impact, which made the nature of his guild very similar to that of Amethyst Rebirth, Forever in Flower and similar small guilds. They were no more than a bunch of like-minded individuals who spent time together, but there were still quite several experts in this particular guild.
This sort of guild would have a different mentality when participating in this City Wars event, as War Without Wounds sneered at Royal God Call’s comment, “You guys have promise, so you must have gathered another crowd of players, prepared to just fire arrows, huh?”
Traversing Four Seas’ Arrow Formation was already well known in Yunduan City.
“Tsk, I don’t have a common language with you,” Royal God Call expressed his disdain toward speaking with a nameless guild, turning to ask another. “Young Master, how about you guys?”
“I don’t speak with low IQ people,” Young Master Han stated.
“Hahahahaha, that’s right, me too!” War Without Wounds laughed uproariously, leaving Royal God Call feeling extremely despondent.
At the moment, small and medium-sized guilds had finished gathering, while guilds of Traversing Four Seas and Carouse’s size were also about done with organizing their men. Ever since Young Master Han discovered the two men up on the battlements, he had never once put his spyglass down, his eyes trained on the two men as he wondered what they were up to in the city.
Up on the battlements, after Gu Fei and Sword Demon had discovered the black and white-colored flag down below, they began to focus their attention right on it. The Black and White, Life or Death Federation was considered a rising star in Yunduan City, and the guild had already reached level 5 by this time. Even though they were incomparable against established guilds like Traversing Four Seas and Carouse which were filled with experts and elite players, they still had quite several talented individuals on their side, nevertheless. It was mainly this type of medium-sized guilds that were the happiest with the rules of this City Wars.
Small guilds had a lack of manpower, and the current rules made it so they were unable to compete with large guilds. But to medium-sized guilds, under this sort of rules, with meticulous planning and a bit of good luck, they might not be entirely incapable of contending with the large guilds. This ultimately would allow them to make a gambit for a good ranking, which would then be hugely beneficial to their continued existence in the future. Parallel World has a huge player base, so if anyone intended to develop a guild, the issue was not a lack of players, but talent. Take the indomitable figures like the Five Unyielding Experts, or the Ten Great Adepts; any guild that had one as their member would demonstrate their value as a guild with an established reputation. However, now that the difference between players’ levels had been reduced, even being one of the Five Unyielding Experts was no longer something vogue. So what if they were one of the Five Unyielding Experts? With so many people sharing the same level, there was hardly any difference in strength as they vied for the top spots. As such, the talent that everyone was going for would be those with great renown in the game, players who distinguished themselves as a cut above the rest.
Like Thousand Miles Drunk, for example! That man was not an Unyielding Expert or a Great Adept, but who would dare to claim to be more indomitable than him? Then there was Svelte Dancer. While she was no longer part of the Five Unyielding Experts, why did that matter? She’s the world’s number one pay-to-win player, and she could use her money to PK anyone to death. Who would dare to deny such an expert? However, this sort of expert was hard to meet despite being so highly sought after, so there were plenty of guild leaders who decided to explore new ideas. And since they were unable to find legendary figures to join their guild, they would be better off just making their own legend out of their guilds!
It was with such a thought in mind that a variety of methods were derived. Everyone out there was putting plenty of thought and effort into the various avenues of living in Parallel World, such as how everyone in a guild would wear a scarlet red cloak when they head out as a means to reflect their group’s personality. Nevertheless, such a method of demonstration was no more than just for show, and it would never reveal the intrinsic value of a guild.
Thus, after the announcement was made for the City Wars event, plenty of guilds out there gave the order to all their members, that they must distinguish themselves in this battle, to show what they were made of so as to allow them to become the most eye-catching existence out of all the guilds during the attack, and become an unforgettable sight to anyone who saw them.
The guiding of people’s psyche had always been a very vacuous endeavor. While what was being said made sense, there were never any instructions on how to achieve it, and it would just be empty words in the end. Now that the battlefield was upon them, many guilds were thinking about the importance of distinguishing themselves stylistically, yet nobody knew just how they could do so.
The Black and White, Life or Death Federation was one such guild, but they were a little more explicit as to the directive that they gave to their members. Their guild leader, White and Black had made the suggestion, “During this City Wars event, we should be like a sharp knife, accurately plunging into wherever we point, always ensuring that we are the cause of a breach in the enemy’s frontlines.”
The guild members all carefully analyzed this directive. A Warrior who was previously from Home of the Warriors discovered, much to his chagrin, that this order was very similar to the instruction of his previous guild, except they only used two words to convey the same message, “Just charge.”
The sun was high up in the sky at this time, and the guild leader White and Black stood right under the shade of the black and white flag, immensely proud of his success. White and Black was a Warrior, and he had color-coordinated his equipment to reflect his IGN. This was the plan he had in mind when he first came up with the name. It was originally just a shining silver suit of plate armor, and a long black cloak that draped down his back, but he had recently gotten himself a pair of boots and belt with rather impressive stats to them, and it just so happened that these two items were black in color, which would then be visually jarring if he were to equip it against that shiny suit of silver armor he was currently geared in. White and Black was very depressed. He wanted to find someone to change the color of the two pieces of equipment to white, but the professionals he consulted pointed out to him that It was easy to make something white to be black, but there was currently no skill in this game that could force something to go from black to white.
White and Black was extremely flustered and troubled! He wanted to stick to the color scheme he thought up, and be purely white and black! Just what should he do now that two pieces of equipment were black? This was when the rascal had a brainwave; he was reluctant to give up on using the two new equipment he had obtained, so he replaced everything else he had equipped on him. As a result, he spent a huge sum of gold coins just to purchase and trade items until he finally got his entire suit of armor to be black before he procured a pristine white cloak, allowing him to still be decked out in pure white and black.
In the end, his happiness was short-lived, as in the span of two days, the new system update was announced, and the currency changes were implemented. Gone was the pure glee on White and Black when he first got back online after the update. For the entire day, the man’s pallid complexion contrasted against that pitch-black armor, wanting to kick anyone he saw cross his path. Unsurprisingly, White and Black was still unhappy about the losses of his personal finances when the City War began. After he gave his guild his directive for the battle, the man simply stood under the flag with a sinister expression, not saying a word as he waited for his men to gather.
After some time, most of the members of his guild were more or less assembled, and the vice guild leader stood in front of White and Black. This man was a close friend of White and Black, so he knew that his guild leader was in a bad mood these past few days. Thus, the man did not bother to waste his breath as he directly requested for instruction, “Everyone is here. Where are we striking?”
White and Black swept his gaze far out into the distance. There was not a single soul between them and the city that was several kilometers away, yet he saw no sign of anyone appear at all. Throwing themselves right at the walls of the city would not do either. So, the man shook his head, “There’s no rush. We’ll discuss this again after we observe the situation a little. What’s Traversing Four Seas up to?”
The vice guild leader was gleeful, “The large guilds are still in a state of chaos by the random spawning, they have yet to gather their men yet!”
“Hmph. Don’t they know how to make a flag?” White and Black belittled.
“They did make them, but theirs were not as vivid, and easily recognizable like our black and white combination. Our flag is just that much better, visually impactful!” the vice guild leader was quite the eloquent man.
“Guild Leader, there’s been a situation!” While the two men were busy inflating their own egos, a guildmate who happened to be a Sniper came running over, pointing in the direction of Yunduan City’s gate.
Players never knew that the city gates of the cities actually worked. They had always thought it was opened for all to pass, but because of this City Wars event, the gates had been closed. At this very moment, everyone could hear the rumbling of the mechanism that controlled the opening and closing of the gates, loud enough that even the players some kilometers away could hear it ring painfully in their eardrums. All four gates in each of the four cardinal directions opened simultaneously.
The NPC guards came striding out of the gates in their shiny armor and lined themselves up in a single straight line right outside the city. The crowd of players watched as the din they were making slowly ceased. This was a scene that none of them had ever seen since they joined Parallel World. Even if they were grinding monsters out in the grinding maps, the monsters would all be spread out, and they would never group up beyond clusters of three to five monsters at once. Never had they ever witnessed formations that went up in the thousands, or even tens of thousands, much less in such a neat and orderly formation. By contrast, these players looked at themselves, with their groups were all in a mess, with most of these players dressed in an unsightly mix of equipment. When juxtaposed against the disciplined NPC troops before them, dressed in identical suits of armor, the players looked no more than refugees who had run off into the wilds in comparison.
Just as everyone was feeling pressured by this show of force from the system, it was unknown which guild leader was the first to recover, brashly yelling out, “We’ve made it halfway across, all that’s left is to attack! Brothers, CHARGE!!!”
This guild leader was a Warrior, and he was holding a long-handled pike, a weapon that most Warriors were not fond of. It was the kind of weapon that would be more powerful on horseback, but now that he was running on foot, the man’s height only reached halfway up the handle, making it awkward to hold it vertically or horizontally. Adding to the fact that all the players were just gamers that spent long hours their lives stuck indoors, how could any man or woman among them have the physique to pull off using the pike? They were completely incompatible with such a weapon that was ultimately reserved for military generals. That was the reason why not many players were able to pull off wielding such a weapon. This Warrior was no exception; short in stature and chubby. It was fine if he wanted to brandish a sword or saber blatantly, but when using such a long and unwieldy pike, the huge contrast between user and weapon only made everyone feel as if the game must have had hidden races. Otherwise, how could a dwarf like him come running out of nowhere?
After that dwarf yelled out everything as he did, he waved his long-handled pike and was the first to come rushing out. Amidst the sea of players assaulting the city, this one charge made him extremely eye-catching, a single soldier following right behind him with a flag held up high. Everyone looked up and saw a pike was drawn on the flag, as well as a single flower. Everyone who recognized this emblem had already revealed that this was somebody from the guild ‘Pikes N’ Roses’. Everyone was speechless, they had all seen the pike, so would this b*st*rd be hinting that he was the rose?
In the end, it was people who were acquainted with the guild that disclosed the IGN of the guild leader of Pikes N’ Roses: Black Rose.
F*ck me, how shameless. The players were all incensed that such a person would be the first out of all the good men from Yunduan City to make the assault, utterly throwing the face of the entire city as a result. Everyone’s morale suddenly got stoked, as many guild leaders began pulling out their weapons, ready to call out to their guildmates to begin the attack when they suddenly heard a dull *thunk* sound in the distance. Everybody soon saw something hurtle from the battlements, sailing in closer and closer. Just as the players were all in a daze watching this happen, the object managed to arc perfectly in the air and plummet down into the ground, the impact of the crash sent dirt flying up several stories, as Black Rose and his huge flag was nowhere to be seen. After everything settled, the players could all see the flagbearer underling beating his chest in despair, “Guild Leader, how could you disappear just like that!?”
Everyone sucked in a cold breath. None of them thought that the system would have such heavy weaponry in its arsenal. There was no need to discuss defense or attack power when that boulder landed, as even the players themselves would be unconvinced if a player did not die from such a response.
The boulder had caused the morale of the players to take a nosedive. Nobody mentioned a word about continuing their charge ahead any longer as they quietly looked over to Yunduan City’s walls. But the trebuchet had been fitted flushed to the back of the battlement, clearly a defensive precaution to prevent the players looking to directly destroy the contraption from beneath the walls. None of them could get a full view of the weaponry, so all they could depend on was a rough estimation of its placement.
Out of everyone present, Young Master Han was the only one who had a clear view of it, and not only did he recognize it to be a trebuchet, he had even spotted Gu Fei and Sword Demon busying themselves with something up on the battlements while everything was ongoing, right before the trebuchet had even launched it payload.
Up on the city walls, Gu Fei and Sword Demon were both in the middle of being dumbfounded! When both men saw that the NPCs were completely disregarding them, they decided to test if the trebuchet was working now that it was loaded up. The NPCs remain motionless as the two groped the machinery, completely treating the two as allies. Thus, when Sword Demon tugged at the trebuchet’s triggering mechanism, the boulder that rested in the sling was flung right out.
“Amazing. That was painfully accurate, you’ve sure got a bit of skill there!” Gu Fei exclaimed.
“What? What happened?” Sword Demon came running over. He had just run to the back to launch the trebuchet’s payload, so he was not able to see where the boulder that he launched had landed, or even what happened to it after it flew off.
“That guy who came charging out just now got flattened by your boulder. What? Was it unintentional?” Gu Fei asked.
“You can’t see anything down below from that position!” Sword Demon said.
“Is that so? Then that man is truly unfortunate! Who is he anyway, to have been so casually killed off like that? It could not have been Wounds, could it?” Gu Fei wondered.
Despite Sword Demon usually being the loner Assassin that largely acted on his own, the man was rather familiar with the guilds in Yunduan City. The moment he saw the huge flag that laid beside the fallen boulder, he said, “Nope. That’s the flag of the Pikes N’ Roses guild. Wounds isn’t a member of that guild.” Because of how huge the flags of the various guilds had been made, the average people might have difficulties recognizing players from such a distance, identifying a flag was not that much of a problem.
“How do you know which guild that is?” Gu Fei was curious.
Sword Demon chuckled, “They’ve tried approaching me.”
Gu Fei suddenly remembered that Sword Demon was also an apex expert that was not officially affiliated with any guild, so how could these guilds not attempt to recruit him to their side? They were most likely players who had existing relationships with Sword Demon since there was no way he would forget about them given his upright and considerate personality.
“No one’s going to dare make a move after you launched that shot,” Gu Fei said. Previously, everyone below had looked as if they were about to make a reckless charge for the city, but that single boulder that Sword Demon had sent stopped everyone dead in their tracks. Both armies below were now facing each other from across the battlefield, with neither sides moving forward to engage. The players were all just gawking at the huge boulder in the center of the plains, and the large flag that had fallen right beside it.
“What do we do now? How are we going to mingle our way out of the city?” Gu Fei and Sword Demon had been discussing, intending to wait till the NPCs and players clash in a chaotic battle before the two would blend into the battlefield, in hopes of finding a way to complete Sword Demon’s quest. The plan that they had decided on hinged upon the fact that the NPCs that the system had generated would see them as allies, so there was no doubt Gu Fei and Sword Demon would be safe from it. Meanwhile, the players would not be aware that they were traitors, so they would not see the pair as enemies either. As a result, as long as they were able to uncover where White and Black was located, it would be easy for them to close in and do the deed, right? Even if the other players were not of the same guild, considering just how chaotic the ensuing battle would become, it was completely normal to find players from other guilds to get close to like what Gu Fei and Sword Demon intended to do.
In the end, in their moment of excitement while casually messing around with that trebuchet they had a crush a player with that one shot, scaring everyone else to the point that no one dared to make a move. Sure enough, the huge boulder they fired was simply too shocking; if that had landed right in a crowd of players, there would at least have been five or six casualties from that one shot.
Seeing that, none of the players dared to make a move, Deep Waters the guards continued to defend the city, looking as if they had no intention of making the move to attack either. Having formed up that line of troops after stepping out of the city gates, the NPCs had been waiting for the players to rush up and fight for points. After all, what sort of city assault would this be if all the NPC guards merely stood behind the safety of the city walls, while the players throw themselves up against the city without even a single siege weapon to speak of?
“Ah, we’re wasting time!” Sword Demon was extremely regretful of his actions, he had even thought that if he was able to quickly kill of White and Black, he might be able to do a few more quests after. Even though neither man had a clear understanding of what would happen now that they were on the other side of the player forces, they had reckoned there would still be a reward as long as they completed the quests or tasks assigned to them. This was why Sword Demon was still quite enthused to go up against the mass of players before them, and since there was no penalty to speak of, there was nothing forbidden about it!
Just as the two men were feeling despondent, they suddenly heard a deafening roar of bloodlust from another direction. Gu Fei turned around and was soon elated, “Hey! Those people over by the west gate are making their charge!!”
There were four directions and four gates in the city. With that boulder bombarding on one side, a good half of the player population was clueless as to what happened, and those who had no idea what transpired would of course not be petrified into inaction. Meanwhile, the guards that stepped out into the battlefield were about even across all four fronts, and even though nobody was clashing on this side of things, the players facing the west gate could not withstand it any longer and had already launched their offensive.
The players had also become flustered when they heard that others had already surged forward on the other end. The huge boulder was just a rock, and if they do not mount their own assault soon, b*s*rds from every gate but the west would have ended up hoarding all the points. The moment these players thought of such an eventuality, the boiling blood within the many guild leaders boiled, menacingly hollering, “CHARGE! HURRY UP AND CHARGE!!!”
“CHARGE!!!” everyone echoed in unison. This time, nobody was arguing. The moment they heard the cry that resounded from their forces, it was as if they had received the confidence of having abruptly gained 10 levels at once, each of them strove to rush ahead of one another as they sallied forth.
Gu Fei and Sword Demon only had their eyes on the black and white flag! White and Black had originally wanted to use this City War event to distinguish the name of his guild, and with how the new currency update had made a fool out of him, the man felt a deep-seated hatred for the system. So right at the start of the assault, he had immediately given the order to engage, stirring his entire guild into a frenzy.
Gu Fei took a few glances before commenting, “That black and white flag is advancing really slowly.”
Sword Demon laughed, “Hey, White and Black is a Warrior. The reason that the black and white flag is moving so slowly, clearly proves it is following his pace.”
“Great. Then we shall follow that flag. Let’s go!” Gu Fei instantly somersaulted off the battlements when he finished this sentence.
“F*ck, I can’t do that…” Sword Demon was despondent, and could only climb down the stairs like a normal human being. The city walls were much higher than the average height of the buildings found within the city, and even using the grappling hook he first learned from Gu Fei was not enough to cover the distance.