Chapter 238 - A Cicada Casting Off Its Golden Shell
Monologue under the Moon headed to Yunduan City’s north gate to meet with the other members of The Black Hand mercenary group as he sent over a member with fast movement speed to the Hall of Mercenaries to accept the small guild’s request.
There were many perks, besides having a larger player capacity, to a mercenary group being at a high level. For instance, a level 1 mercenary group could only pick up one mission at a time from the system, while a level 5 mercenary group could do five missions simultaneously. Naturally, the system had no way of limiting the amount of missions mercenaries could take from others in private. Furthermore, a high level mercenary group could assign certain members to have the right to accept missions, just like how that player Monologue under the Moon had sent to the Hall of Mercenaries could accept missions on behalf of The Black Hand.
Over by the north gate, Monologue under the Moon immediately spotted his fellow mercenaries chatting with one another when he got there. His comrades quickly greeted Monologue under the Moon upon seeing him as well and started to inquire about the strength of Thousand Miles Drunk.
Monologue under the Moon forlornly spoke about the matter at hand to them. Rumors had it that Thousand Miles Drunk was a Mage that could insta-kill opponents through his monstrously high Spell Damage. And yet, he had only used the defensive skill Blink against the four of them and had electrified a Thief by casting Thunderbolt once. As for him and his companion, Monologue under the Moon and the Mage were actually brutishly slashed to death by Gu Fei’s sword.
In any case, Thousand Miles Drunk’s two major weaknesses of possessing low mana and having slow casting speed had more or less been confirmed.
These two weaknesses were not just disadvantageous to a Mage; they also could be seen as extremely dangerous – if not fatal. Ironically, Thousand Miles Drunk continued to achieve amazing feats in-game even now. He was even publicly acknowledged as the number one expert in Yunduan City. All of them could just not wrap their heads around this.
“Come on, everyone. Let’s try to come up with a solution for this!” Monologue under the Moon urged everyone to think of a way to deal with Gu Fei.
“Is it really that difficult? A Mage with a slow casting speed means that it’s easier to avoid his spells. His low mana means we can quickly deplete his mana pool by luring him into using his spells. What use is there for someone to have high Spell Damage if he has no mana left to use it?” someone among them could not help but pose this question.
It was indeed the most logical approach to this matter. Monologue under the Moon and his three companions had in fact set up a plan in line with this way of thinking in that fight before, yet none of them had expected for Gu Fei to be impossible to deal with in melee despite his lack of mana. Monologue under the Moon felt that things had gone awry due to him not taking into consideration such a possibility. Had he made preparations for such a probability, things would not have been that disastrous. Now that he had more skilled players with him and a deeper understanding of their opponent’s capability, they should have no problems dealing with Gu Fei this time around.
At this point, they received the message that The Black Hand had successfully accepted the small guild’s request by the Hall of Mercenaries. The mission logs of The Black Hand’s members got updated with the new mission that the system had created on behalf of their client. After a while, the small guild’s leader along with his men came rushing toward them. Seeing the presence of so many members of The Black Hand, the guild leader timidly asked if they had to pay extra money for this.
“Of course, not. We have caused you guys to suffer a loss due to our lack of understanding of the opponent’s strength; it should be us who are apologizing to you,” Monologue under the Moon replied diplomatically.
Honestly speaking, the small guild’s size could not compete with The Black Hand mercenary group’s, so the guild leader felt obligated to treat these mercenaries like gods after spending quite a tidy sum to hire them and accepted their words to the point of servility. He felt overwhelmed by this unexpected favor for his small guild upon receiving the experts’ calm explanation of the initial disastrous outcome of the fight for the competitive quest.
“Does your quest display their coordinates?” Monologue under the Moon asked the small guild’s men. In The Black Hand’s mission log, it only briefly stated about assisting the guild with whatever request it had and did not mention any information regarding the involved people for this particular competitive quest.
With the completion condition for this mission, The Black Hand could only complete it once the small guild succeeded on its quest by dealing the killing blow on the Brigand leader. As for the final reward, it was the employer and The Black Hand’s previously agreed on price. What the employer would earn from completing this quest would have nothing to do with The Black Hand.
Someone from the small guild looked at his quest log and shook his head, “It’s the same as when we first got this quest. It’s only showing the coordinates by the entrance to Yunxia Valley. It only states to capture and dispose of the Brigand leader on its way to Yunduan City.”
“Although the north gate is the closest route to the city, there’s no guarantee that they’ll take it.” Monologue under the Moon furrowed his brows.
“Do you know where they’ll be sending the convict to in Yunduan City? We can simply head over and wait for their arrival there,” someone suggested.
The person from the small guild once more shook his head, “The quest log only mentions ‘Yunduan City’.”
“Have you done this sort of quest before?” Monologue under the Moon asked his fellow brothers. The people in their mercenary group were all experts when it came to questing, but all of them shook their heads in response.
“Logically speaking, wouldn’t a convict be sent to the prison?” someone opined.
“This is a game; perhaps, it would end after sending it to the Quest Hub.”
“Perhaps, it would simply end by entering Yunduan City’s entrance….”
All began to voice their opinions regarding the matter, causing Monologue under the Moon’s head to hurt even more. A mercenary group was not like a large guild, so its manpower was limited. They only had over twenty men here at the north gate, so it was not enough to split them all up.
“How about this,” Monologue under the Moon pointed to a few present people with faster movement speed than the rest, “You guys will head out from the north, west, and east gates respectively; choose different route toward the coordinates of Yunxia Valley and see if you can find the players of the opposing guild and determine which way they are heading. Once we located those players, we can ambush them on their way back.”
“What does their group look like?” someone asked.
Monologue under the Moon thought for a while before giving a description of Gu Fei’s group, “An adult and a bunch of kids.”
“Got it!” the assigned people answered back, immediately setting off toward the routes that they were instructed to.
After instructing his fellow mercenaries, Monologue under the Moon addressed the small guild’s players once more, “You guys should hide for now. There’s a chance of them recognizing some of you, which will then expose our intention.”
The talk was over after that. Readying their equipment for this operation, they patiently waited for their scouts’ report. Meanwhile, other members of The Black Hand that were interested in Thousand Miles Drunk made their way over to the north gate once they caught wind of the matter. The purpose of these players of The Black Hand for heading there was not to help with the mission that some of their members had accepted; instead, they were there to see for themselves and get a sense of their strongest opponent in the finals of the mercenary PvP tournament.
After waiting for several minutes, one of the deployed scouts finally sent a report, “I’ve spotted a group of players heading straight to the north gate from the direction you have mentioned.”
“Is it a group composed of an adult and a bunch of kids?” Monologue under the Moon asked.
“There’s someone hanging back a little further from the main group, so I can’t tell for sure. I’ll get closer to check…” the scout reported, saying, “Man, this group is rather orderly! What do they do?”
“That’s them, alright!” Monologue under the Moon excitedly said before instructing, “Don’t get any closer to them. Just keep an eye on them from afar; don’t let them discover you.” He then told his surrounding brothers, “They’re coming. Let’s go!”
“What about us?” The small guild’s players asked, unsure if The Black Hand was actually helping their guild with the quest. He felt that he was out of the loop on certain things.
“You guys don’t have to go. Just wait for my message. Once we are done, the mission is as good as yours!” Monologue under the Moon smilingly replied.
The scout kept him updated of Ultimate Class 3 Guild’s coordinates. Seeing that the group was almost upon them, Monologue under the Moon hurriedly divided the players with him into three teams and positioned them in the left, right, and center, fanning out to attack the enemies from three separate directions.
Monologue under the Moon, who was situated in the middle, could see their enemies making their way over.
The members of Ultimate Class 3 were still walking uniformly, shouting out a cadence from time to time and causing quite a cloud of dust to scatter about. These all became the signal for their arrival.
“Get ready!” Monologue under the Moon, who was hidden inside the teams, let the members whom the opponents would not recognize take the lead on this approach, each of them acting nonchalant as they closed in on Ultimate Class 3.
“Locate Thousand Miles Drunk first. Archers, get ready to directly insta-kill him,” Monologue under the Moon ordered. He was actually quite stunned by this turn of events. Countless of methods, such as getting several Archers to bombard him with arrows on Homing Projectile, could be used against a Mage like him, so why had he not fled yet? How in the world did such a careless man survive until now? This question was what he was most curious about.
The Archers hidden in their formation arched their bows with nocked arrows as they searched the neat rows of students for their target with Eagle Eyes.
Black robe and dark purple sword… Those were Thousand Miles Drunk’s signature getup. However, no matter how much they looked, there was simply no one dressed like that in the approaching group. All of them were wearing crappy equipment and looking quite young. A bunch of kids and an adult… This approaching group was just made up of a bunch of kids! Where was the adult?
“Target can’t be seen!” each of the Archers reported accordingly.
Priests did not have Eagle Eye, so Monologue under the Moon could not see this for himself. Hearing the Archers’ reports, he wondered if they had gotten the wrong people. He brought his team along and approached the group. When he was almost in front of Ultimate Class 3, Monologue under the Moon ascertained that they had gotten the right people. This group’s formation was similar to its previous one, and some of the players in it looked familiar as well. He himself looked familiar to these children, as quite a few of them began chortling when they spotted him!
“F*ck! We got tricked!” Monologue under the Moon suddenly realized what had happened and looked even more closely at the enemies before them. Indeed, the bounded Brigand leader was nowhere to be found.
Their opponent had already expected The Black Hand to attempt another assault, so these kids had been made to divert their attention from the small two- to three-man squad sneakily delivering the Brigand leader elsewhere.
“The target is not here!” Monologue under the Moon announced on the mercenary channel. Once they learned that their task was done, the players who were in charge of scouting the opponents were keenly making their way over to Monologue under the Moon’s location to have a look at the glorious Insta-kill Mage.
“Quickly head toward the other city gates; send men to all of them! There should only be two or three of them right now, carrying a bounded Brigand!” Monologue under the Moon yelled on the mercenary channel. At the same time, he sent a private message over to the player of the small guild to act as well; they could discuss the matter after they thought of a method to locate Thousand Miles Drunk and the others.
The students were rocking back and forth with laughter when they arrived by Monologue under the Moon, “Our teacher has a word for you.”
“Teacher? Thousand Miles Drunk?” Monologue under the Moon asked, confused.
“Yup. Our teacher said, ‘I’ve already said before that we’ll meet in the PvP match, so I’ll only see you during it!’”
“F*CK!” Monologue under the Moon blew a gasket. He stared at this bunch of children before him and fervently wished that he could just kill them all.
 This proverb means ‘a quick change’.