Chapter 677 – The Second Assault
Translator: Exodus Tales Editor: Exodus Tales
This wave of assault was very well prepared. Oathless Sword’s initial suicidal charge had not been for naught. By studying Traversing Four Seas’ experience engaging with the enemy, the formation for this assault was more spaced out, they would rather have a portion of these players not participate in the battle than clogging up the area and allow the trebuchets to take advantage of them.
The assault began with Brave Surge’s Repeating Fireball exploding in the sky. It was just like what everyone had expected. The system was still up to the same old tricks, and the moment the players got into range, the trebuchets began to shoot the huge rocks. However, the players were all mentally prepared for this, each of them staring up at the sky, looking for the tell-tale signs. They were able to pick out the position of each and every rock that came their way and avoided them easily.
Of course, accidents were still bound to happen, but it was at least much better than their first foray with their share of meat pancakes and white lights all around. This time, the players were all ready for the rocks and there were even some who did not consider them to be of any threat.
Because the players were scattered apart from one another, the crowd hardly looked chaotic, but they were still charging forward with great ferocity. The various guild leaders that were commanding the troops could all feel their hearts beat excitedly. Before they mobilized their men, everyone had all sworn their intention to successfully breach the city in one go.
As the players got ever closer to the city walls, the trebuchets began to change the ammunition being used, and it was now the smaller stones that were pelting down. While this attack was nothing compared to the damage that a single huge rock could deal, it nevertheless took quite a toll on the players that were struck. It was something that they could not completely avoid, and the smaller stones were all the size of human heads. They were bound to leave a mark when stones of such size hit people in their faces from such high altitudes.
“Take cover behind the rocks, take note to keep yourself hidden!” As someone who had personally experienced this attack, Oathless Sword gave out this instruction across the party channel that all the guild leaders had formed previously. There were over 800 guild leaders, and there was no way that anyone could form such a large party, but there was no need to worry since they simply formed even more parties. Meanwhile, all the members of Oathless Sword’s party were essentially the elite guilds found in Yunduan City. The list that Gu Fei and Sword Demon were viewing had once been the top one hundred guilds leaderboard that was now filled with the names of the top one hundred villain ringleaders. Half of those names were found inside Oathless Sword’s party, and they had been designated as the main combatants for this assault.
Everyone had already seen this scene before, so there was no need for Oathless Sword to remind them. They had all diligently studied Traversing Four Seas’ experience as cannon fodder before, so they all rushed out to the nearest rock for cover with their badly beaten faces. If there were too many people on this assault, there would simply be not enough large rocks to provide cover for everyone. However, the number of combatants for this second attempt was just right, allowing everyone to safely take cover from the stones that rained upon them. If somebody were to look at the battlefield from the perspective of Yunduan City, it was as if the players strewn all over mere moments ago had all disappeared instantaneously. It was truly quite an amazing sight.
“Everyone, be careful, the Stealthed Assassins will be coming in now!!!” Oathless Sword prompted.
A good number of players mentally cursed out no sh*t! , as these people had already seen it long ago, so there was no need for Oathless Sword to act like a big shot and remind them about it. Masses of players were huddled behind every one of the huge rocks, and they consisted of every job class in Parallel World. Forget if a single Assassin were to creep up on them and strike; they were not afraid even if several of them popped up with the sneak attack. A group that had a perfect spread of job class composition would surely have an easier time when up against a force with such a homogenous job class representation.
The stones were still cracking and pattering down from the sky, and the system was not in the least bit pained at its ammunition expenditure. Everyone was on full alert, waiting for the Stealthed Assassins to appear. Some of those who had equipment or skills that detected Stealth were all demonstrating their countermeasures, each hoping to be the first to make the preemptive strike.
However… There was nothing! Traversing Four Seas had previously been defeated all due to this wave of Assassins, yet now that they were prepared for the ambush, these Assassins just did not reveal their presence.
“Why aren’t they making their move?” The players were all whispering to one another. The guild leaders in the main party channel were also voicing out similar concerns, “Guild leader Oathless, why aren’t the Assassins appearing yet?”
Oathless Sword was feeling rather despondent as well. When he had words of advice for everyone, they loathed him for telling everyone what they already know. But now that he had nothing to say, everybody was asking him what was going on. How would Oathless Sword know? He had only been the initial sacrificial lamb when they were probing for the system’s responses to an assault, it was not as if he had taken a peek into the system’s brains. Thus, he could only helplessly answer, “Let’s wait a little longer. Stay on your toes.”
Several minutes passed, and nothing changed. The Stealthed Assassins were still nowhere to be found.
“Ahem…. There’s probably too many of us this time, so it’s unsuitable to send Assassins out!” Oathless Sword gave his opinion.
“F*ck… How can it do this…?” All the guild leaders did not believe that this was possible.
“Now that do we do? Are we still going to continue with our offensive?”
The reason why the players were all hiding behind the huge rock at the moment, was so that they could retaliate against the Assassin’s sneak attack. Otherwise, they could all survive the rain of stones with a sufficient number of Priests supporting them. The players simply had to press onward just a short distance ahead, and the trebuchets’ attack would all cease.
What little information that Traversing Four Seas had exchanged with their lives before had quickly been used up, and it allowed the players to successfully make it past the trebuchet phase of the assault. As for the Stealthed Assassins the system had in wait, nobody knew if they would suddenly appear in the next second. Seeing that the situation had not unfolded as they had imagined, many of their hearts began to beat in trepidation, and the courageous charge that they first demonstrated began to dissipate. A courageous charge still needed a direction, and nobody was giving that.
“What are we afraid of? CHARGE!!!” Some of the more hot-blooded players that had yet to subside urged everyone.
“Should we wait around and observe for a bit?” Then, there were those players who were not in the least bit hot-blooded cautioning the others.
“What are we waiting for? If we keep waiting, this huge rock might end up turning into gravel after being battered by those stones,” someone urged. The stones that continued to pound the rocks made quite the din, and everyone hiding behind them felt as if the huge rocks were trembling against the pounding. Dripping water could wear out rocks, much less a repeated battering like that. Who knew if the trebuchets would just toss out another huge rock once all the players huddled behind the huge rock were exposed and turn them all into meat paste.
Both Oathless Sword and Brave Surge had both been fighting over the position as the overall commander for these guilds from Yunduan City, but they were both being awfully quiet at this time. This was tough! This was the time when a real leader would demonstrate the qualities of a true commander by making a judgment in such a situation. Now that everybody had no ideas of their own, they would all listen when a command was given. However, that also meant that if the correct judgment was made, these people would proclaim the initiator to be wise and proper. But if the wrong judgment were to be made, the players could just as easily consider the leader to be an arrogant fool.
Nobody wanted to be seen as a fool, and in the current situation that they were all in, it was impossible to make the correct decision. Who would wish to suffer the injustice of being called a fool just for guessing wrong?
Both Oathless Sword and Brave Surge understood this very well, otherwise, they would not have been in charge of such large guilds like Traversing Four Seas and Carouse respectively. Thus, during such crucial moments, the two of them coincidentally hesitated, each consulting those they trusted to discuss their options, “What now?”
In the end, both sides came up with different ideas. Someone suggested that they retreat first, “Let’s take the lead once more and try and probe further with our assault so that we can get a better idea just what sort of configurations could the system come up with.” This was the conservative recommendation.
“I suggest you charge. Even if we disperse at this point, no one can really tell if that would be the right move, so it cannot be considered to be a bright idea. Why don’t we roll the dice and just charge in? If this move becomes advantageous to us, our plan would be viewed as the correct one. If we fail to gain anything from continuing the assault, we would at least have been able to find out what else the system can pull, so it won’t really be a total waste,” This was the riskier recommendation.
“Let the trash players take the lead in the charge, and we shall stay back and watch,” This was the recommendation from those who did not regard the noobs as people.
All sorts of suggestions were offered, and neither Oathless Sword or Brave Surge could decide by themselves. In the end, it was someone else who exploded in the guild leader party channel, “Are we m*th*rf*ck*ng retreating or advancing? Why hasn’t anyone said a word? F*ck, yours truly ain’t afraid of sh*t even if you guys are. I’ll charge ahead, anyone with the heart to do so can follow me.”
And that was how the overall impasse was alleviated by some random person. That player was also a guild leader who was among the top 100 guilds in Yunduan City, so a single gesture to his guild had sent plenty of men leaping out from behind the cover of several rocks. This guild leader’s personality was sufficiently awe-inspiring, but he turned out to be a very fighting-adverse and lacking in righteous indignation Light Priest. He had wanted to let some fireworks loose in the air like what Brave Surge had done before, but he did not have the appropriate skill, so all he could do was fire off a single Holy Ball instead. That glowing orb of white light that came sailing out dissipated after floating up for just a few meters in the sky and almost no one saw it. Nevertheless, many of these people hiding behind some of the rocks did leap out in earnest.
This guild leader bellowed as he waved his magic staff, eating an entire face of stone the moment he was out in the open. This guild leader was tough, spitting out the rock fragments that went into his mouth as he immediately cast a Heal onto himself. He then puffed out his chest and bravely bore the stones raining from the trebuchets above by relying on his own Heals as he strode forward, undeterred.
No Priest would be able to last if they were forcefully enduring such attacks in such a fashion. It was not just an issue of players having limited mana pools, but that any spells being cast by the player would be interrupted when the stones struck them, which meant the healing spells could only be cast when the player was not being targeted in the moment. And it would have quite the demanding requirement for the caster to be consciously aware of their own spells’ casting time. For this guild leader to be so hardcore, his main goal was still to be an exemplary role model, boosting everybody’s morale.
Sure enough, this act of his instilled great pride among his guildmates. Some who had not completely leaped out from behind the rocks had even bragged to the players from the other guilds, “You see that? That’s our guild leader; what a man!”
“CHARGE!!” The players from the Light Priest’s guild were encouraged by their guild leader, and each came darting out into the open. The Priests took cover behind the Warriors and other players with plenty of HP, as they started to provide healing to those players who were struck by the trebuchet’s stones, everyone bracing the storm of stones as they advanced onward.
A second, third and fourth guild were soon inspired by what transpired, as more and more players came running out from the huge rocks, making ground as they pushed forward in such a manner.
While the state of stalemate could be considered to have been solved, Oathless Sword, Brave Surge and their men were hardly feeling satisfied. This was the benefit of failing to weigh the pros and cons of an action! It was quickly apparent that this guild leader was not coveting the leadership role like the two of them, who were both more worried about the loss of prestige that came with making a wrong call. He was simply so hot-blooded that he did things based upon his capabilities. He did not depend on orders, but on the fact that his actions would influence others.
“Ah, that’s what I should have done!” Oathless Sword slapped his thigh in his vexation, sighing over the fact that he had not thought of this move.
Brave Surge did not have such a sentiment, because such a move was incompatible with him. He was a Mage. Leaping out just like what that guild leader had done would most likely end with his death without even giving Oathless Sword the chance to finish his sentence. Even if I brought a Priest along with me… Letting Brave Surge speak while the Priest beside him was working himself like a dog even as the stones continue to rain. It was not in the least bit awe-inspiring.
No matter the case, the number of guilds that came out from cover charging forward had increased, and there was no longer anyone who would ask these two guild leaders what they were meaning to do. It was until the point where a good number of people from either guild that just wanted to create havoc, all pleaded to join in, “Guild leader, let’s just go!”
“GO!!” Oathless Sword immediately gave the command. He had been waiting for someone in his guild to precisely give this suggestion! Otherwise, if he were to give the order, it would seem as if he had been influenced by some guild leader of a small guild as well, and that was far too much a letdown!
Seeing the two large guilds participate in this assault, the other guilds watching this unfold no longer hesitated, and each jumped out from behind their cover and continued their charge toward the city. These men faced the hail of stones bravely as they rushed ahead, with some people dying in the process, but it did not matter, as there were plenty of other players behind them that swiftly filled in their spots. This was the strategy that the guilds present had already agreed upon before. They were depending on their unlimited respawns to bring the system down through solidarity.
“Brothers, the system is usually the one who would spawn monsters and bully us, but today, we can spawn endlessly and bully them to death!!!” Someone bellowed amid this charge, and the people who heard it felt what the person said rang true, so they roared in unison.
Players finally made it past the forceful attack from the hail of stones, and the Warriors that were standing in their shiny and pristine armor were right before their eyes. They began to march forward to face the player horde with undaunting resolve.
“This is our time! Everyone, charge! Tear open a path and let’s talk about things after we make it through the gate!” a person yelled, echoed readily by others as the players pounced on the city guards. A close combat melee involving tens of thousands of players presently outside the north gate had begun in full force.
“What’s the difference between this time and the last?” Behind the north gate, Gu Fei and Sword Demon were huddled by the door opening watching the huge battle unfold. In Gu Fei’s eyes, there was hardly any difference between the current formation that the players had shown and the one before. The players had been quiet for such a long time here, so why was the scene still the same as before?
“No, there are differences. Look!” Sword Demon reached his hand out and pointed. “Right there, there, and there. They have players gathered in wait. They did not push off in full force this time, but had unleashed the horde bit by bit to deal with the enemy. Those three points are surely connected to their spawn point, and the people who spawn would not immediately rush back into battle, but would reorganize their teams and wait, observing the skirmish from afar before being deployed in an orderly fashion into this battlefield. They look to be trying to draw this battle into a cycle of sorts, using the players’ unlimited respawn for this event to help fill this rotation of combatants and whittle down the system’s defenses.”
“Would the system not just spawn new guards?” Gu Fei asked.
“We don’t know about that yet, but this battle strategy that they have employed would at least allow them to enter into a deadlock with the system. This would allow the players to adapt and improvise in accordance with the general overview of the situation afterward. It’s quite the reasonable method of fighting,” Sword Demon analyzed.
“Actually, there aren’t just three different points. There’s another one over there as well!” Gu Fei gestured toward a fourth area.
Sword Demon had already spotted it before, adding after a brief pause, “That’s just cannon fodder. I can tell that it was mainly the players who were weaker in terms of their combat strength that have all been funneled there. While the forces there might not be able to whittle down the system in any sense, they are still able to leverage on their numerical advantage to spread the city’s forces over. The players who would decide the outcome of this city assault would come from those three points that I’ve previously mentioned.”
“That’s not quite accurate. If they aren’t able to waylay the forces there, and those city guards were to be freed up, I doubt the three points of rotational reinforcement would have an easy time, right?” Gu Fei said.
“But the problem with those players on that side was the fact that they lacked any sort of technical combat tactics, so all they are doing is endlessly sending themselves to their own deaths. All it takes is for them to keep running from the spawn point to the battlefield, so there’s no reason for there to be any accidents,” Sword Demon said.
“Then the Thieves and Archers are really out of luck. In the time it took for Warriors and Priests to die and run back into battle, the other two job classes would have died two or three times,” Gu Fei lamented on their behalf.
Both men continued to discuss this when they heard the sound of crunching gravel behind them. Ray was pushing his wooden cart with stock and was making his way out, so when he saw the two men, he naturally came to a stop and casually chatted with them for a bit. And right in front of them, tens of thousands of players were throwing their head back as blood rained upon them and they put their lives on the line with reckless abandon in the ensuing massacre. Though the three men were just caught up in their own conversation, the image made them appear very heartless.
“Carry on with what you’re doing, then. I’m off,” After chatting for a good moment, Ray resumed his quest and pushed his cart to deliver his designated cargo. It was at this time when Gu Fei began to fret, “I have no idea where that Oathless Sword has gone.”
“Yeah, their guild flags are not even raised anymore, ” Sword Demon nodded. The players had been too reckless, wanting to make their guild famous waving their flags for all to see. They only realized how grim the situation was after getting on the battlefield. They were not in the mood to play around as they focused on killing the enemy.
“In this sea of people, even if we managed to slip in unseen and search, there’s no telling when we would be able to locate him,” Gu Fei said.
“How troublesome, even the Windchaser’s Emblem is useless,” Sword Demon had even tried using his Windchaser’s Emblem, but in such unique circumstances, it was not considered to be a bounty mission.
“It would be great if we could message Royal,” Gu Fei sighed. He missed the days when he had a spy.
This sentence reminded Sword Demon, and he slapped his forehead in realization, “This City War is mainly pitting the city against the players in a guild. So what role do you think those people who are not affiliated with any guild would have in this?”
“Shouldn’t those who had no guild have no role to play in this event?”
“No role, means they are neither friend nor foe. So why can’t we message them?” Sword Demon said.
“Who are you talking about?” Gu Fei asked.
“Brother Assist, of course! Brother Assist has no guild, so why is it that he was considered as a hostile enemy when we try to send a message to him, despite not being an enemy? Would he be considered an enemy to those people with guilds outside as well?” Sword Demon intimated.
“This…” Gu Fei felt a little confused by all this.
“Anyway, I’ve tried message Brother Assist and the message can’t be sent,” Gu Fei said.
“I’ve tried that as well. Could it be that people who have no guild affiliations were considered to be a neutral third-party force, so they could not be contacted by players from either side?” Sword Demon wondered aloud.
“Then the system should not have them as hostile!” Gu Fei said.
“Why don’t we go and find Brother Assist?!” Sword Demon suggested.
“And just how are we going to find him?” Gu Fei was lost.
“He’s sure to be online at this time, so what else can he do aside from leveling out in the wilds. I know where he grinds as well,” Sword Demon said.
“But what can he do even if we find him?” Gu Fei asked.
“That’s why I was suddenly wondering that perhaps this third party might have something to their existence,” Sword Demon said.
“Alright, then let’s go look for Brother Assist and find out!” Gu Fei nodded.
The two hardly had any difficulties blending in with the assaulting players, covering their faces and easily slipping through. Both parties won’t be attacking the two of them after all, and keeping their face covered was mainly because they were afraid of being recognized. Since their identity had already been blown after that fight with Carouse before, the two firmly believed that Young Master Han would surely not be so nice as to help to cover up for the two of them.
The two quickly negotiated through the chaotic battlefield without too much of a fuss. Gu Fei had even attempted to see if he could coincidentally bump into Oathless Sword as he was passing through. Even if he did not come across Oathless Sword, even Youthful Reflection would not be too bad as well? In the end, all he got was disappointment.
Sword Demon knew the grinding maps in Yunduan City like the back of his hand, so he soon brought Gu Fei out to the area where Brother Assist would often be found grinding. While the City Wars was happening, the grinding maps seemed to be pretty deserted as well. Even though the players who were not participating in the City Wars had nothing else to do aside from grinding during this time, they could also opt to not play the game where there was nothing to do as well! It was not as if the game was their life.
Sword Demon began searching for traces of Brother Assist among the people spread out across the grinding map, while Gu Fei was a lot less restrained, shouting out loud as they went around, “BROTHER ASSIST! BROTHER ASSIST! WHERE ARE YOU?!”
“WHO’S THAT SHOUTING FOR ME?” behind a certain tree, someone was holding a little booklet in one hand and a pen in another and had turned around to answer the call.