Chapter 681: Chapter 681 – Falling Apart
Translator: Exodus Tales Editor: Exodus Tales
Oathless Sword looked all around, and all guild leaders around him were also staring right at him. The look in their eyes was extremely complex at present. Actually, did Oathless Sword really care about all these being looks thrown at him? Not exactly! In this very tense moment, there was only one set of eyes that he cared to look for.
He did not find it because this person was already standing right beside him. Before Oathless Sword could even say a word, this person had darted out and that scarlet cloak had already slipped off her shoulders, drifting away. Oathless Sword hurriedly tried to reach out and grab a hold of it, even as White and Black ate a solid blow from that Charge.
The moment when White and Black clashed with Oathless Sword, he already had his eyes trained on Oathless Sword’s movement. But he did not expect someone would suddenly bolt out and attack him, and this one Charge actually applied the Dizzy effect on him. This caused White and Black to abruptly lose his ability to move as he glared at the interloper, “F*ck, what has this got to do with you?”
This person did not even care to answer the question, extending two fingers on her right hand to tap the ring on her left hand, and that caused her whole body to instantly emanate a red glow. Players who were familiar with Warriors knew that this was the specialty of Berserkers: Once their Rage accumulated past a certain point, players would be able to trigger a berserk state, which increased the damage dealt by 20% while also causing the Berserkers themselves to take an additional 20% damage. Most of the time, it was rare to see any player trigger this state during PK because the skills that Warriors used consumed Rage. So in a solo duel, players would often find themselves with a lack of Rage and would be able to accumulate sufficient rage to trigger Berserk. So for a Berserker to achieve this during a PK, the only possibility was to do as Gu Xiaoshang did and bring along equipment or use skills that would swiftly provide the player Rage upon use.
Gu Xiaoshang was not in the least bit courteous with White and Black while she was Berserk, immediately twisting out a Cyclone to attack that man. White and Black had previously lost some HP when exchanging blows with Oathless Sword; now that Gu Xiaoshang was upon him with her Berserk state active, White and Black’s comrades also wanted to step up and help their guild leader in response. However, the fact that they were nothing compared to White and Black due to their lack of equipment and skill only meant they all ended up turning into beams of white light when they got caught in her whirling blades. Considering the amount of Rage Gu Xiaoshang had to have accumulated to reach this berserk state, and the Rage that she gained from the damage dealt in her attack, many of the players present witnessed what could be the longest continuous bout of Cyclone they had ever seen, and that was how the guild leader White and Black died amidst the flurry of claymores.
But that was not the end of it. They were currently in the encampment, and it was near one of the spawn points. White and Black almost instantly respawn in a different location with a shine of white light, but it just so happened to have coincidentally chosen this very location where the guild leaders had been gathered. Everyone was looking at White and Black and saw him sweep his rage-filled glare as he came charging right over. The man was yelling and cursing even as he dashed through the crowd, catching sight of Gu Xiaoshang standing there imposingly as she basked in the spotlight. White and Black let loose a litany of expletives that went on seemingly endlessly, yet Gu Xiaoshang appeared to be unperturbed by it as she merely threw out that one word, “Shameless!”
“Xiaoshang!!!” Oathless Sword was so moved that he was in a mess. He had been disheartened when he had been unable to provide any sort of rebuttal to the accusation that White and Black had thrown toward him, and the only bit of hope he held was that the lady who was the apple of his eye would not be repulsed by what had been levied against him. In the end, Gu Xiaoshang had actually helped him kill White and Black with her own hands, and this only made Oathless Sword experience a joy that went beyond his wildest expectations.
However, Gu Xiaoshang had swept her gaze over to him with a turn of her head, throwing out another word, “Worthless!”
“Ah?” Oathless Sword was stunned.
“How would I not know who you are as a person? You must have been envious seeing another guild obtain a quest, yet you’re too embarrassed to commit the act yourself, so you incited others to do the deed for you! So worthless! If you wanted it that badly, you should have gone and snatched it for yourself!” Gu Xiaoshang chastised Oathless Sword severely, even while the other guild leaders listening to her words broke into bouts of sweat. Players from Yunduan City knew that when it came to the strongest guild, Traversing Four Seas was definitely on top, while the most powerful guild leader was without a doubt Brave Surge. But when the conversation was about unrestrained indomitability, anyone with even a bit of sensibility would think of Gu Xiaoshang. Just look at the situation right in front of them; her logic of openly acting like a thug was simply far too unrestrained.
Oathless Sword was at a loss for words, for how was he supposed to reply to her? Should he just listen to her and become a villain from here onward? That would be far too outrageous!
Youthful Reflection was clever, as he quickly came over to mediate, “What Xiaoshang meant is that we should be willing to own up to our actions!” Ignoring if that was the correct interpretation or otherwise, saying it in such a manner made it sound much more palatable. But Gu Xiaoshang was merciless, rolling her eyes as she scoffed, “You must surely be the one who came up with such a repulsive idea. When guilds collide, everyone should just do so openly and above board. Why must you always be up to some sly schemes and what not?”
Youthful Reflection did not wish to argue with Gu Xiaoshang either, so while he might feel that Gu Xiaoshang was being a little too simple-minded in the way she thought, he did not say any of that to her face. Naturally, White and Black was not in the mood to see the three of them argue back and forth in this manner, so he bellowed a throaty shout as he came Charging over. He immediately unleashed his Cyclone once he got into melee range, greedily hoping to slash all three of them in his spin.
This time around, Oathless Sword acted manly. He stepped forward and stood his ground firmly as he used his Cyclone as well in an attempt to compete with the strength of White and Black’s Cyclone, opting to leave this up to the game’s Verdict system to determine the outcome of their clash. But the disparity between their damage was not like the difference between heaven and earth. The moment their Cyclones connected with each other, neither ended up suffering a complete defeat. Blood splattered as the two men’s HP gradually dipped at the same rate. The two men continued to come to blows until White and Black, who was just that bit off, lost the Verdict when Oathless Sword’s Cyclone managed to interrupt his own. Oathless Sword did not ease up now that he got the upper hand, abruptly canceling his Cyclone as he buried his head into a Charge. He used his unique ability to Charge twice, which allowed him to ram right into White and Black, sending him off flying to who knew where all of a sudden.
“F*CCKK!!” Nobody knew where White and Black had gone to, but they could still hear his curse echoing as he flew. Nobody would be able to stand being bullied consecutively in this fashion. Since there was no loss of level when dying, he decided to just risk it!
White and Black roared as he came back once more. This time, he was not alone. He had sent messages out and rallied some of his men along the way. In fact, he had actually mobilized his guild, bringing reinforcement along as they came storming in.
“ARE YOU DONE YET!?!?” Oathless Sword saw how this matter had spiraled into such a mess. Nobody really paid too much attention to this altercation when their little scuffle broke out just now, and he had thought that made this the perfect chance for him to change the subject. He sent out messages in response, and the members of Traversing Four Seas came swarming in from every direction.
“Brothers, our guild may be small, but we won’t suffer being bullied!” White and Black rallied his guildmates as they fought with Traversing Four Seas over on one side.
“Fight them, give them all a good and proper beating. Let them know to realize the gravity of their actions!” Oathless Sword was also yelling, and the encampment instantly transformed into a battlefield. None of the guild leaders had any wish to be dragged into this as well, and they each retreated to the sidelines. Given Traversing Four Seas’ strength, there was no need for Oathless Sword to even be involved in the fight. This display was quite a bit of posturing on Oathless Sword’s part when everyone saw how White and Black danced around on the battlefield as Oathless Sword casually stood by the side and coolly commanded his men.
However, someone simply refused to leave him alone. Brave Surge slowly walked up to stand on the left side of Oathless Sword, calling out at a volume where the people around them could hear him, “Guild leader Oathless, you have yet to give me an explanation regarding that matter before!”
Youthful Reflection sighed. Explanation? Everyone already knew what Oathless Sword’s intentions were deep down that drove him to do what he did, was there still a need to explain it plainly? It was evident that this was Brave Surge’s attempt to turn the subject back on topic now that everyone’s attention had been drawn away due to the PK fight that was unfolding presently. He was clearly feigning interest just so they could use this matter to utterly ruin Oathless Sword and Traversing Four Seas’ image.
It would be a little too naive to reduce the game world down to a place where the weak were seen as the meat that the strong would feast on. Ultimately, this was still a society where people coexisted. Just someone who was a total scumbag would be more than enough to ruin an entire guild, and that essentially had nothing to do with a guild’s combat strength. Gu Xiaoshang saying everyone should have an above board attitude and have such an open and above board competition for the quests was a nice and straightforward mentality. Unfortunately, humans were never such simple thinkers. Take the current situation as an example; this incident was a huge public relations crisis, and if it was not properly resolved, Traversing Four Seas could very well be destroyed without even losing a drop of blood in the process.
What to do? What to do?
Both Oathless Sword and Youthful Reflection were in extreme agony, and seeing the look of flickering uncertainty in the eyes of the crowd around them only served to make this matter all the more distressed. The third core member of Traversing Four Seas, Gale Force, was currently leading men to engage in combat with the Black and White, Life or Death Federation, but this was nothing to the guild. What was a top priority issue for everyone was this crisis happening right before them.
“We are all people who knew just what was going on, what’s there to explain?” Gu Xiaoshang had actually cut in on the conversation again at this moment.
Brave Surge showed a pained expression, “Guild leader Oathless! Everyone had agreed to be collaborating together for this City Wars event. My guild Carouse happened to have gotten a little lucky and got ourselves a quest that would ultimately bring about great benefits to achieving victory in our assault of the city. You simply did not wish to see us earn the contribution score from the completion of our quest, so you orchestrated everything to cause our quest to fail. You— You— You—” Brave Surge choice of words and his delivery had most likely been a draft that he had been tinkering with this whole time. The exposition that he had given was spoken with such cadence and clarity that the final three ‘you’s he ended with made it sounded like he had been piqued to the point he was left with no other words.
“That’s right. If you’re going about things with such an attitude, just what sort of collaboration are you actually going for?” Finally, someone else had spoken up.
“Traversing Four Seas is being far too tyrannical, can you not stand seeing someone else completing a quest?” There were some who were like foxes aggrieved over the death of the hare. What if I was the one who had stumbled upon some amazing quest, only to have Traversing Four Seas exert their dominance and end up causing their quest to fail?
“We don’t want to work together with someone like you. Let’s go, we shall head to another gate!”
“Wait. Why should we be the ones moving? We’ve also put in plenty of effort all this time in this location. They should be the ones leaving!”
“That’s right! Traversing Four Seas should leave by their volition. Don’t force our hand on this.”
The racket became louder, and that only served to embolden the crowd more and more. All of them were united in demanding Traversing Four Seas to leave immediately, except they were still being fairly courteous with their words and were not being as vulgar and uncouth like White and Black and the others.
Oathless Sword and Youthful Reflection exchanged glances with each other, and both men knew that there was really nothing more that they could do here. Traversing Four Seas was the number one guild in Yunduan City, and that already meant they distinctly lacked any sort of good opinion from the people. This City War had gathered almost all the guilds together and now that something like this had happened, this meant that all these guilds were now ostracizing Traversing Four Seas due to their underhanded actions. Actually, amidst all the guilds, how many of them had truly no wish to cooperate with Traversing Four Seas any longer? And how many of them had a clear comprehension of what happened and wanted to take advantage of the situation to further kick Traversing Four Seas while they were down, all in an effort to destroy the guild? It was hard to discern people’s intentions. Oathless Sword and Youthful Reflection were both at their wits’ end, so the two could only quietly back out from being a part of this coalition of top guilds in Yunduan City. Before he left, Oathless Sword had even spotted the smile of contentment on Brave Surge’s face.
“I’m dropping out of this as well,” Gu Xiaoshang suddenly declared.
“Xiaoshang!!” Oathless Sword was moved once again, blurting her name out emotionally. If this incident would really cause Gu Xiaoshang and him to become a pair, Oathless Sword would truly consider this matter to have been a blessing in disguise.
“This isn’t for your sake!” Gu Xiaoshang glared at Oathless Sword for a moment, before she turned her gaze over to the bunch of guild leaders and vociferated, “Without a doubt, Oathless Sword and his guild did act dishonorably in this incident. But guild leader Surge, I can very clearly see what your true intentions are for harping on about this matter right now. I might not be as scheming as you guys, but I’m no fool either. Oathless Sword and his men might be dishonorable, but you’re no better either. I don’t feel like working together with Carouse either, so I guess you can forget about this coalition. Let’s all fight our own battles and leave it all to destiny!”
After Gu Xiaoshang had thrown out her diatribe, she turned and walked away, not even sparing a glance over at Oathless Sword before she left. Everyone was rooted to the ground, mulling over Gu Xiaoshang’s parting words. Several guild leaders began whispering to one another and in no time, someone else spoke up, “We’re dropping out as well.”
“So are we.”
These guilds all left one after another, while the handful of small guilds that completely had no qualifications to join in this guild leaders’ meeting here could only watch quietly from the fringes, waiting for further instruction. The moment they had heard what had happened, each of them made their own decisions as well, and some left the coalition without saying another word while others remained to watch from the sidelines. Then there were even those who moved even closer to directly watch everything transpire.
The people who had left at the start had bothered to mention their intention before leaving, but the rest that left afterward had simply kept their heads down and did not say a word, quietly vacating the premises. The Yunduan City Guild Coalition completely disbanded just like that, leaving not even 50 guilds out of all the guilds that originally numbered over 800.
This was an outcome that Oathless Sword had not imagined would happen, much less Brave Surge. The two men exchanged glances at this moment, before turning to take in the look of utmost contempt that those people leaving had thrown toward the two. Everyone finally realized that this whole idea where the large guilds claim to be about working together had all just been built off lies. Gathering everyone together as they did was just part of the show that these large guilds openly put on for their clandestine schemes underneath it all. The large guilds would still be the first to benefit from all their efforts, and the rest would only have the chance to fight over their leftovers if they were to follow them. Even if any of them would actually luck out and stumble upon meat, these large guilds would be more than willing to jeopardize friendships just to snatch it away without a second thought.
The crowd thinned, though the battle between Traversing Four Seas and Black and White, Life or Death Federation continued to rage on. However, not a single player watching showed any concern for the outcome of this fight, as each and every one of them looked on coldly with a mocking sneer like they were watching a group of rabid dogs fighting over scraps.
“Fight them, give them a good beating!!” Oathless Sword was no longer saying this with relish. He had originally thought that Gu Xiaoshang would side with him, so he would at least get a touch of sweetness in his heart even if his guild were to collapse. But he now realized that Gu Xiaoshang had merely been doing whatever she wished, as always. Compared to the intrigue that these old veterans were engaged in, the lady had just been simply going by the beat of her own drum, doing everything in a straightforward matter one-sidedly. Yet, just like what she had mentioned before: she might be simple, but that did not mean she was a fool.
It was not just these players involved in the coalition that had witnessed everything happening. Brother Assist had also been among the crowd and he had been watching this from start till finish, and he was all the more amazed since he was pretty much privy to every aspect of the incident.
What did Gu Fei do?
Did he not just cast a Blink, Twin Incineration and sneaked away after that? Yet it actually caused deep unrest among these guilds that ultimately led to the dissolution of the coalition that they had formed for this City War event.
Powerful, truly too powerful! It was unknown if Miles had intentionally calculated all this, or if it was merely all just coincidence. This could be considered as a major development that was worth recording down, and it was with that thought that Brother Assist began scribbling on that booklet of his.
Naturally, Gu Fei and Sword Demon did not dare to openly mingle in the crowd like what Brother Assist had done, so the two men had been watching everything transpire from afar, even as they listened to Brother Assist narrate as it happened, all the way until the coalition was disbanded. Both men had inexplicably exchanged glances when that happened.
“Talk about impact!” Gu Fei said. “If the system is also tabulating contribution points for the two of us, how much do you think that would have been worth?”
“Given the level of intelligence demonstrated by the system, I really doubt it would have the means to formulate any viable metric to tabulate scores regarding what just happened,” Sword Demon said.
“Brother Assist, what are the coordinates where Oathless Sword is now?” Gu Fei asked.
“Are we still doing this? Let’s just forget it…” Brother Assist was on the scene and had personally witnessed how Oathless Sword had been forced into his current dilemma through a series of encounters. Even he felt sympathy for what happened, but he never would have thought that Gu Fei and Sword Demon would still be intent on causing further damage to the poor man.
“It’s just a quest!” Gu Fei replied very casually.
“I can see him from where I stand, and he’s currently commanding his men and venting his anger all on Black and White, Life or Death Federation!” Brother Assist said.
“I really wish I can join in!” Gu Fei rubbed his hands together.
“Wait for a little more time to pass. Let them brawl for a bit more first,” Brother Assist said.
“Okay!” Gu Fei was helpless as well. The whole lot of men from Traversing Four Seas were piled up there, so killing off Oathless Sword would be more than a little difficult since Gu Fei did not think he could take on 1000 players all at once. Of course, the reason for this was not because he did not have the strength to take down a thousand men, but he knew that he lacked the mana to do so.
After Brother Assist sent that message, he continued to jot down his words under a tree. That was when someone soundlessly drifted to his side, crooked his head to take a look at what he was writing, before saying, “You must be pretty bored. What’s the point of making a record of all that?”
Brother Assist instantly recognized the familiar whiff of alcohol, and he inclined his head to see Young Master Han leaning against the tree, looking over his shoulders condescendingly with a bottle of liquor swaying in his hand, looking like it could drop down onto his head at any time.
Brother Assist consciously ducked away even as he said, “It’s a major incident, I’ve gotta record it down.”
“Where are those two?” Young Master Han asked.
“No idea,” Brother Assist said.
“Help me pass along my message: I’ll most definitely ferret them out and exterminate them,” Young Master Han said nonchalantly.
“No way, right? We’re all comrades, Why so serious?” Brother Assist said.
“Serious? I’m just bored. Do you think they would be scared to the point they lose control of their bowels if you tell them what I said?” Young Master Han asked, slightly bemused.
Brother Assist laughed, “I don’t think so.”
Young Master Han nodded, “I’m 80% certain you would if you were in their shoes.”
Brother Assist was in tears, how did I provoke you?
After Brother Assist relayed Young Master Han’s message to the two men, Gu Fei was nonplussed, “What? Has he got nothing better to do?”
“Yeah, I think you guys must have completely messed up the situation for him, yet there was nothing he could do about it, so you guys wounded his pride.” Brother Assist had no qualms saying what he really thought behind Young Master Han’s back.
“Is that possible?” Gu Fei asked Sword Demon, hoping that he would be able to judge the veracity of this thinking given his understanding of Young Master Han.
“Very possible,” Sword Demon affirmed. “Looks like he’s going to be prepared to deal with us seriously now.”
“He may have the wish to, but he lacks the strength to do it! He’s obviously incapable of confronting us directly. But if he were taking command, I’m afraid there are not many people out there who would listen to him, right?” Gu Fei said.
“That’s true…” Sword Demon nodded. “I wonder what he’s going to do.”
At around the same time, A single system message suddenly appeared in Carouse’s guild channel: Young Master Han has left the guild. And over by the site where the guild Colored Clouds had claimed as their own, Young Master Han smiled as he appeared with his bottle of liquor in hand, “Is your guild recruiting?”