Virtual World: Close Combat Mage

Chapter 161 - Aerial Attacking

Chapter 161 - Aerial Attacking

If these Archers’ placement was arranged just like in the movie ‘Hero’1, they would undoubtedly be able to shoot down even Superman. However, Carouse only had one hundred Archers and their placement was done in a haphazard manner. Evidently, their formation could not hold a candle to the one depicted in that movie.

This was good news to Amethyst Rebirth’s five remaining players. If these Archers were properly set up in the outer layer of Carouse’s defensive formation, July, Lie Lie, and Will-low would never be able to break through their ranks with their speed. At present, as long as Gu Fei and Svelte Dancer were able to draw most of the Archers’ firepower on themselves, the three ladies would have a good chance of succeeding of breaking through the Archers’ defensive line.

That was actually the first step of the ‘Plan D’ that they had in mind, so they would have zero chance of proceeding to the next step of it if they suffered any losses at this stage. Thus, they needed to find a more reliable method to penetrate the Archers’ ranks.

“Look. It’s at that side,” Will-low inclined her head as she said this to her four guildmates.

Carouse’s players stratagem was for them to maintain their formation on a high ground in order to have a three-hundred-sixty-degree view of their surroundings, but the emphasis for this stratagem was not actually on how high the formation could be placed, but it was instead on how ‘clear’ their line of sight was without being obstructed or blocked by the uneven terrains. Even if they managed to find themselves the highest ground possible, it would not be useful if the location was filled with uneven terrains or trees that could block their line of sight, as the enemies could easily use those as cover to sneak up on their high-ground formation.

It was precisely because this plateau had fulfilled Carouse’s strategic requirements that they had chosen to maintain their three-hundred-sixty degree formation over here. Unfortunately, nothing perfect existed in the world, as Will-low had just pointed out an uneven terrain wracked with depressions and protrusions near where the Carouse’s men had positioned themselves.

It was nothing compared to the cover that players could get within a forest of trees as the view range was still broad and unobstructed, but such a place could provide plenty of cover that would limit the Archers’ prowess ever so slightly.

The five showed a calm and somewhat lackadaisical expression on their faces as they headed over there nonchalantly.

“The remaining enemies are now gathered over by that slope”, “Shall we rush in and wipe them out completely?”, and “We can win if we take them out immediately right now” were the gist of the conversations on Carouse’s guild channel right now. In fact, most of Carouse’s players felt mystified by the stratagem that they had employed against just five players.

“No…” Brave Surge resolutely refused, explaining, “That Mage’s Magic Attack Power is very high. Just his one AOE spell can potentially turn the tide of this match. Going in the offensive here will just give him the chance to capitalize on it. There’s Svelte Dancer to worry about, too. With her fast movement speed and this huge PvP arena, it will nearly be impossible for us to surround her, especially if she still has a Teleportation Scroll that will enable her to instantly change her position at any given time. Don’t be tempted to make a move on the five as it may very likely provide them something to exploit against us. Take special note of that Mage; as long as he is unable to use any spells, he won’t be able to turn this around on us.”

With the guild leader’s firm words, the members no longer dared to make any suggestions and merely continued to closely watch the five players’ movement. Whichever part of the defensive formation the five headed, the Carouse’s players assigned to that portion would be on guard against their every action.

“Ah! They are nearing zone S!” someone reported on the guild channel. Zone S was the one area in the plateau that Will-low had indicated as having depressions and protrusions.

“I know,” Brave Surge answered, hinting that the other’s report was unnecessary as he himself was keeping an eye on the five.

Zone S was the suitable location if the enemies were planning to make a desperate final assault. Brave Surge believed that Amethyst Rebirth would also arrive at this same conclusion, so he had chosen to personally supervise this part of the formation. Just as he had suspected, the five really indeed chose this location to mount their assault.

“They’re all moving together …” The five of Amethyst Rebirth were now easy targets for long-range attacks, yet Brave Surge insisted that everyone should remain on the current high ground. Besides Young Master Han’s warning about the strength of the Mage, Brave Surge was largely cautious of how his opponents were capable of teleporting away to escape their near death situation as they had shown earlier.

Teleportation was a foreign concept to most players in Parallel World. Would the player become invulnerable when under the teleportation’s effect? Was it possible to still attack while teleporting? If a Mage finished chanting his or her spell and teleported away, would the spell still be in effect? With the many questions surrounding its usage, Brave Surge could not help but be on guard toward it. They would rather be mocked for how they had won than become a laughingstock like Cloud Herder mercenary group.

After entering zone S, the five immediately dashed into the Archer’s attack range as they strove to hide behind the available covers simultaneously. The firing Archers all missed their targets and helplessly shook their heads toward their guild leader, hoping for any instructions on how they should proceed.

“Just fire off arrows randomly to hamper their advance!” Brave Surge commanded. It was indeed difficult for the Archers to fully utilize their advantage in this part of the plateau, so expecting too much from them would only make things hard for everyone.

Thus, the Archers indiscriminately fired off their arrows despite those basically being useless due to the cover that the terrain provided. The five opposing players managed to find cover as they advanced onward, almost instantly turning into moles as they used the terrain as best as they could. A figure could sometimes be seen flashing out of a mound or half a head could be seen peeking out from inside a depression. This part of the plateau gave the Carouse’s players this grating impression that the current PvP match had turned into a game of whack-a-mole, and that they were each currently trying to whack the lurking moles while holding a mallet.

And so, the Archers as well as everyone powerlessly watched these five figures dart forward fifty or sixty meters before gathering behind a mound together.

The Carouse’s members were utterly distressed! If only these ‘moles’ would move just two more steps from that mound, they would enter the range of the spell bombardment of the Mages. Since the Mages would be casting AOE spells, they did not even have to worry about locking on the targets properly like Archers in order for their attacks to connect.

Seeing that only about thirty meters were separating them from their five enemies, those from Carouse could not stop their hearts from thumping wildly. Ever since they had a clear view of their five opponents just now, they had been raring to rush forward and blast those five to their deaths, yet no one dared to make a move in the end since their guild leader did not give them the go-signal.

“How long has it been since they hid behind that mound?” Brave Surge suddenly asked someone beside him.

The person felt very surprised by the sudden question, but he looked at the time and tried his best to give an accurate response, “It has been eleven seconds…”

His question had revealed how nervous Brave Surge was inside. Seeing that the five had not made any movement, his heart thumped very fast as he felt that each second was passing by very slowly.

“Guild leader, should we—” Many of Carouse’s men were getting impatient. Discovering that their guild leader was also feeling jittery, someone promptly tried to suggest assaulting the enemies.

“No! Remain as we are to adapt to the potential changes2,” Brave Surge interrupted. Although he was feeling equally as anxious as his men, he firmly stood his ground on the matter. Some men’s judgment would be moved by their emotions, while others would attempt to control their emotions and not allow them to interfere with occurrences. Brave Surge was the latter, making him a suitable commander.

Just as he ordered his men to continue holding their horses, a change happened. A figure started popping out from behind the mound and running in the open!

“Quickly fire off an arrow!” Brave Surge hurriedly commanded after seeing that this enemy did not enter a cover once it appeared.

All the Archers were waiting for such a chance for the longest time and eagerly released a rain of arrows on this target. However, this target’s speed was truly too fast and it caused most of the Archers to miss their mark. A few arrows managed to track the target since some of the Archers had fired them off under Homing Projectile, yet whether the arrows could actually hit their mark or not with the person’s speed was another question.

In that moment when the Archers unleashed their attacks, three other figures also stood up from behind the mound. Before the Archers could fire off their second volley of arrows, one of the three players had grabbed a hold of the person’s waist on the left and tossed the player out with a jerk of both arms before doing the same thing to the person on the right. By the time the second wave of arrows flew out, those two players had already sailed through the air. Hence, the arrows only found a target on that one upright figure on the mound.

“Excellent throwing skill!” one of the two complimented as they sailed through the air, yet July had already turned into a white light under the barrage of arrows when they looked back to the mound.

“Hit those two with spells!” The Carouse’s Mages watched in a daze as the two players sailed through the air, momentarily forgetting that the two had already entered their area of spell bombardment. Brave Surge’s loud command managed to drag them back to their senses and they began to chant their spells... But who would have guessed that a figure would suddenly appear from within the casting Mages’ ranks next? Coming in with bare fists, this person did not kill anyone but simply shoved and jostled the Mages chanting Descending Wheel of Flames all about.

A Mage could not move or suffer an attack while chanting a spell as either happening could interrupt his or her spell-casting. So not only did those Mages fail to chant their spells, they accidentally jostled the others beside them as well, causing the others to stagger a few steps and also break off their incantations.

Although the melee job classes quickly came to deal with the Thief that had suddenly appeared, the originally perfect weave of spells began to show obvious gaps in the coordinated spell bombardment. Gu Fei and Lie Lie, whom July had previously tossed, met mid-air. As Lie Lie stretched her arms out to grab Gu Fei, she took a quick glance at their surroundings and used Seismic Toss like what July had done a while ago to toss him further toward the spell bombardment area that had the least overcast of flame wheels. Lie Lie crashed onto the ground by herself and was instantly swallowed by the the raging infernos scorching the land, turning into a beam of white light.

“Miles, good luck!” Will-low shouted. She was currently stuck behind enemy lines and subsequently surrounded by the opposing guild’s melee job classes. Evidently, she would not be able to hold on for long.

Gu Fei had no complaints as the ladies had done their parts to ensure the success of their strategy. He got through the spell bombardment and sailed toward the Carouse’s formation. Against an enemy coming in from the air, the opposing players were at a loss on how to deal with him.

Mid-air, Gu Fei threw off the outer coat covering Midnight Spirit Robe using his two arms and fished out his sword, causing the coat to flutter back in place. Roaring deeply, he intended to flourish his sword as soon as he alighted on the ground, yet he ended up crashing into the ground instead.

Dust and dirt scattered about... and Gu Fei was of course feeling ashamed with himself. He had actually forgotten that since he was hurtled via Seismic Toss over here, the system would require him to fall flat on the ground. All his labor while mid-air to land upright was for naught.

However, a loss was not necessarily a bad thing. Gu Fei’s very embarrassing fall had actually managed to lure many Carouse’s members into encircling him.

Gu Fei rolled on the ground without getting up and used his sword to demonstrate his prone saber style on the enemies. He had not forgotten to cast Twin Incineration while flourishing his sword, trying his best to inflict damage on the highest possible number of enemies around him.

“Six!” Gu Fei felt immensely gratified. This was the highest record of insta-kill he had gotten from combining his kung fu with Twin Incineration thus far; he could hardly believe that he would attain such a feat in dire straits.

After getting the system prompt that six fellow guildmates had been killed off by that one slash, the eyelids of Carouse’s players twitched and someone yelled out: “Don’t be rash! Quickly disperse and get the Archers here!”

However, Gu Fei was already chanting: “Blazing Tree of a Thousand Inferno! Arise!”

“INTERRUPT IT! QUICKLY INTERRUPT IT!” Brave Surge frantically bellowed to the guild members nearest Gu Fei.

Gu Fei only had to chant one spell, so no matter how fast Brave Surge could issue his command, it was not possible for the Carouse’s players to carry out his command in time. A raging inferno had already sprouted from below.

Chapter Notes:

[1] The iconic arrow scene mentioned in the first paragraph.

[2] This is actually a Taoist philosophy. The crux of the phrase is that when things are unchanged, one must consider possible changes and make preparations for these changes that may occur in future or as a result of things being unchanged.

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