Chapter 562 Enemies Often Meet On Narrow Paths
"Acogu'An, Twin Barriers." Meng Jiang commanded as the rain of arrows descended upon them.
Acogu'An released a mighty howl as a transparent blue sphere of energy emerged from its mouth. Then, just as the arrows were about to strike the party, the sphere rapidly expanded and created a dome-like structure approximately twenty meters in diameter.
Clink! Clink! Clink!
The arrows sunk into the barrier as if the dome was made of out elastic. At the same time, the barrier turned red before slingshotting the attacks back towards the direction from which they originated. Once the arrows were deflected, the barrier returned to its blue color.
The dozens of arrows accelerated at the forested area, forcing those in hiding to reveal themselves to avoid the counterattack.
'This must be the skill she was going to use at that time. To execute such a large array of high ranked skills—what kind of growth potential and rating does her summon possess?'
During the end of their battle against the Failed Chimera, just before Izroth moved in to use Ruthless Slaughterer, he noticed that Meng Jiang, or to be more precise, Acogu'An, was getting ready to take action. The wolf beast's current stance was similar to the one at that time, and so, there was a good chance that it was going to execute this barrier to protect the raid party.
"Who dares attack our Sacred Beasts?!" One Shot Brick roared as he sprang to his feet, ready for battle.
"Hmph! A bunch of cowards, that's who! Waiting until we're weak to strike just shows that they are afraid of us!" Banshee scoffed.
The members of Sacred Beasts were infuriated! Everyone knew that the Rosentarus kingdom was where their main headquarters was stationed. What fools were brave enough to dare attack them in their own territory?!
"My, it's impolite to attack without warning. Manners are important. Unfortunately, there seems to be a severe lack of them in this day and age." Meng Jiang spoke calmly with a lovely smile.
"Manners? Alright, how's this for manners? Quietly hand over the loot, and we will let you all walk away from here in one piece. This is me asking politely—I won't be so kind next time. After all, I would hate to pluck such a beautiful flower as yourself from its garden, guild leader Meng Jiang." A smooth voice echoed from every direction of the forested area. They were using a sound-based talisman to spread their voice and prevent their position from being discovered.
Soon, the sound of a zither filled the forest. It gave one a feeling of tranquility and harmony as the gentle notes reverberated from the instrument.
"You know me, yet I do not know you. But, if you do know me, you should also be well aware of my guild's influence and reach in Rosentarus. Your current actions—are you sure you do not wish to rethink them? I will say this now; no one in this world or the next can pry profit from my hands." Meng Jiang stated as she walked over to the loot pile.
Meng Jiang waved her hand over the loot and placed every last item into her inventory for safekeeping.
"If I want to leave this place, do you think you can stop me?" Meng Jiang said as Acogu'An strode to her side with a vicious gaze.
"No, I cannot. If you wish to leave this place, I doubt many players in RML can prevent the Beast Rider from doing so. However... Will you leave? No, I don't think you will. After all, you have your comrades to worry about." The voice echoed as the tempo of the zither slightly increased.
Meng Jiang maintained her smile, but there was a hidden coldness lurking within it. It was just as the voice said. Once she got on Acogu'An, virtually no one could catch up to her. Though how could she just leave her guild members behind and flee in her own territory? That would be a massive loss of face for her Sacred Beasts! Nevertheless, Meng Jiang understood that fighting against so many players in their present condition was not ideal for her guild members.
"Guild leader, don't worry about us and escape. We don't mind losing a life! We can always get our revenge later!" One Shot Brick commented.
"He's right! I don't mind dying here. We're not going down without a fight!" Banshee growled.
"Yeah! We won't let the guild suffer because of us! Leave us and go!" One of the Sacred Beasts members roared.
"Don't wanna." Meng Jiang replied bluntly, immediately silencing the players from Sacred Beasts. It was true that the loss of a single event life would not be too bad, but there was more at stake than that. How could she allow others to trample over the face of her Sacred Beasts without regard?
'This tune... It's difficult to notice at first, but it slowly dulls one's senses.'
Izroth activated his Energy Vision Sense to locate the source of the tune; however, the "flames" revealed that it was coming from every direction.
'You may be able to hide your sound, but...'
Among the thirty to forty flames in the forest, Izroth found one isolated from the rest of the group. It kept a safe distance and was the only flame that did not show itself after the initial ambush failed.
Izroth deactivated his Energy Vision Sense as he approached the edge of Meng Jiang's barrier.
"Since our business is concluded, I shall take my leave," Izroth stated. In the end, this was not his battle to fight. They were after Sacred Beasts, and Izroth had no interest in the quarrel of others. He may have helped them defeat the Failed Chimera, but it was not as though they were his allies he needed to fight for. As a top ten guild, their protection was far from his responsibility or obligation.
"?!" The members of Sacred Beasts were shocked by Izroth's words. But, none of them blamed him. They were too outnumbered. Even if their guild leader escaped, the rest of them would eventually perish. He did not owe their Sacred Beasts anything. Why would he risk one of his event lives to help them?
"What's this? You don't want to stay for the fun, Mr. First Place?" Meng Jiang asked.
"I'm afraid our definitions of fun do not match. Bullying the weak is not something I tend to make a habit of." Izroth responded nonchalantly.
"I can't let that comment slide. Besides, you ruined our plans. Do you think that we will let you off so easily? As for your words—I want to see how long you can sing such a tune of arrogance." The voice echoed as they strummed their zither, causing the once gentle notes to morph into something with violent resonance.
Initially, they planned to strike when the Failed Chimera was at 0.2% of its HP. However, that was all ruined due to Izroth's attack that immediately dropped its HP to 0% at the 1% mark.
Whatever that skill was, it was probably a trump card hidden away by Sacred Beasts. The chances of it being used again so soon were nonexistent. Not to mention, the majority of their skills had to still be on cooldown after facing a world boss; therefore, what was there to fear?
At the next moment, the group of players rushed out of the forest with great momentum. The music from the zither appeared to enhance their strength while simultaneously lowering that of its enemies.
Izroth inwardly sighed. He felt that he already wasted enough time here and wanted to get to the Demilitarization Belt as soon as possible. Sadly, these attackers wished to force his hand.
Suddenly, Izroth narrowed his eyes as he sensed a familiar presence. It was vague, but definitely one he had come across before—and not under good circumstances.
'I see... It's from that time.'
Izroth remembered where he sensed this presence.
The player Izroth recognized was called Morning Sky. He was one of the four individuals hidden in the shadows back at Izroth's meeting with the Headhunter Syndicate!
If he was here, then that meant this group of players belonged to the Headhunter Syndicate!
'It's just as they say... Enemies often meet on narrow paths.'
"I've had a sudden change of heart, guild leader Meng Jiang. Perhaps our definition of fun is not so far off from one another's after all." Izroth stated as he unsheathed his Sword of The Storm.
He then continued, "I have just one request."
"Name it." Meng Jiang stated. She doubted Izroth really had a change of heart. There was something he did not mention, but she would not force the topic.
"No one is to interfere. All their lives... Belongs to me alone." Izroth said as he stepped outside Meng Jiang's protective barrier!