Jack was actually already aware that they were followed. There was a blue dot that had been constantly following them since they left the City Hall building. But since that blue dot didn't do anything, he just ignored it. However, he knew that it was only a matter of time before the other party took action. And now it seemed the time had arrived. Another ten blue dots appeared and joined the lone blue dot, and then they moved together and started to approach.
Jack increased the pace and immediately using his Power Strike to kill the last remaining monster they were currently fighting. Once it died, he promptly asked them to move, "this way!"
Bowler was confused, why the sudden haste? Fierce Flame didn't consider it too much, she obediently followed. Jack moved while observing his radar. There was a group of red that were moving East in their Southwestern position. The people pursuing them were coming from the North.
If he could time it right, that group will meet with these monsters. He took a slight zig-zag route through the alleys between buildings to adjust the timing. This confused both his teammates and the pursuers. Several times, he was worried that their pursuers might lose them, but they stayed on their tail.
'Is there any tracking equipment during this Tutorial Period?' Jack directed his question towards Peniel in his mind.
"It is unlikely, but not impossible. They probably get their hands on some rare tracking consumables. One of them might have applied it to you or your friends this morning. This thing got a time limit, so they would expire after some time."
'How long does it usually take before it expired?'
"How do I know which one of the tracking consumables they got?" Peniel replied helplessly, then continue, "if I have to guess, then let's just say it's the one with the highest possibility to get in this period, which is also the one that lasted the shortest period, which is around five hours."
Jack thought back, there was one time when the blue dot was getting near to them. At that time, he thought the guy was about to ambush them, but the dot soon put some distance again. That must have been when the tracking device was applied. He thought back and estimated it to be roughly two hours ago when it happened. So that meant the device would still last for at least another three hours.
He asked Peniel another question, 'the device only tracks the target, right? It won't be able to detect monsters in the surrounding, correct?'
"Of course. That's why it's called tracking, not scanning." Peniel replied with a ridiculing tone.
'Can they get scanning equipment at this stage?'
"I would say impossible, but after seeing your monocle, I'm not so sure anymore."
Jack thought while continued moving. As long as they cannot detect the monsters, then this plan should still work. He might as well try it. He kept going with his original plan and brought his team to an intersection. Based on the speed of both the monsters and their pursuers were moving in his radar, they should roughly cross this intersection at the same time. He led Bowler and Flame crossing the intersection and went further.
He then looked for a more deserted place without any nearby monster, and found it at a deserted shopping mall that had an open terrace on its second floor that was facing out to the main street. Jack pointed to the second-floor terrace and told Bowler, "go up to that terrace."
"What for?" Bowler had been puzzled all this time with their non-sensical traveling patterns.
"We got company," Jack finally explained. "Probably the same company as yesterday."
"What?" Bowler was dazed. "Shouldn't we be running away then?"
"Don't worry, there are only eleven people. Get to that high ground. You use your long-range attack to attack them at will from there. If someone goes into the mall and reaches your position, you jump down or run away to save yourself. If that happened, remember to use the map so we can regroup again."
Only eleven people, Bowler grumbled in his mind. But then again, after considering Jack's prowess, he might really be able to take them on. As long as he himself didn't get in the way. So he followed the instruction and went into the mall to look for the stairs up to the second floor.
At this time, Jack saw on his radar the blue dots and red dots met with each other, they quickly intermingled. Their pursuers might have gotten a surprise attack when they turned the intersection. They didn't seem to be in formation when the red dots crashed into them, which was a good thing. It would buy him more time to set up their preparation.
"Flame, you hide in the corner there," he then turned to Fierce Flame. "You ambushed them when you saw a chance. I will be the one to take their brunt assault. You prioritize on your own survival. Use your speed to confuse them and only sneaked in an attack if you are absolutely sure. If you still have any remaining free Attribute points, add them to your Dexterity."
"All right," Flame nodded. "By the way, how do you know there are people pursuing us and there are exactly eleven people?"
"Er…" Jack realized that he might have blurted out too much information without thinking. "I saw some of them when we were moving just now. For the number, it's just a guess."
Flame's expression said that she didn't buy the explanation, but she didn't pursue it further either. She turned around and went to hide at the corner as told.
"I will go meet with them first," Jack told his two comrades. "I will lead them here. You guys just stay in this position and be ready."
He then ran off in the direction where the blue dots and red dots were still mingling. The original five red dots had been reduced by two. It made sense as the blue dots outnumber them by more than twice, but he could see two more groups were heading towards there. They must have been fighting Goblins. With the additional arrivals, he should be able to arrive there before all the monsters were defeated.
During his advance, he opened his attributes window interface. His Dexterity was now 51, with an additional 2 from his Storm Breaker, which put him at 53. He still had 7 free attribute points. He decided to spend them all into Dexterity, which immediately skyrocketed to 60. He felt even lighter now and could move more freely.
When he arrived back at the intersection, there were only three monsters left. It was impressive that the group managed to fend off three packs of Goblins without losing a member. He hid behind a fence and used his God-eye monocle to scan the groups during their fight.
The Goblins would be finished soon. The people fighting them were not without harm as well. Out of the eleven people, only four were still in full health, three were slightly wounded, another three had only half their health remaining, and one was in critical condition. The critical one stood at the back, away from the fight to stay alive.
Among the ones that were still in full health were Scarface and Bigarm. Surprising thing was, the woman called Fox was also there among them. He looked at the others, Boulder was not there. For the other eight, he slightly recalled them to be among the people of Death Associates yesterday.
Jack contemplated for a bit. In the past VR games, he didn't have any conflict for killing people. But in this world, although it felt like a game, killing people might actually be really killing them, causing them to disappear forever. He closed his eyes. That's not necessarily true, he thought. For all he knew, the people who died here might be returning to the real world, so killing them could end up doing them a favor.
Nevertheless, he knew that hesitating in a fight would be identical to putting his own life in danger. When he attacked, he needed to assault with the intention to kill. Otherwise, facing enemies which gravely outnumbered him half-heartedly would be fatal.
He made his resolution and then sneaked towards the guy with the lowest health in the back. He needed to reduce their considerable advantage in numbers first.