Chapter 256 - A Road in the Blind Spot
While Eagle Eye gave Royal God Call superb eyesight, counting all the moving enemies by the base of the mountain was still somewhat difficult for him. A good sense of direction was necessary to account for all the moving players. Unfortunately, Royal God Call was geographically challenged.
Royal God Call counted the opponents a dozen of times, but even when they had made a full circuit around the mountain, he still had yet to finish the task. War Without Wounds, who had grown impatient by this point, asked, “Are you done counting?!”
Having found a perfect excuse, Royal God Call hurriedly shouted at War Without Wounds, “What was that for?! I was just about to finish my counting, but your question threw me off!”
Royal God Call’s words made Young Master Han realize his mistake for issuing that command and patted the former’s back, “It’s fine. No need to force yourself.”
The Black Hand’s moving forms all stopped by the base of the mountain. After searching for a way up, they started ascending it.
“Is there really a need for everyone to climb up that mountain?” Royal God Call asked.
“That mountain is closer to our spawn point, and we are much more flexible since we have less people in the team. If we also tried taking up that vantage point, we would already be on the mountain peak, creating the perfect situation for us to be surrounded,” Young Master Han explained.
“Oh!” Upon hearing his explanation, everyone began to closely observe the direction The Black Hand mercenary group was heading. Their opponents were climbing the mountain in an orderly manner and were showing preparedness to respond to any sudden attack from above.
“Not splitting their force! This must be the first habit our opponents have adopted during the mercenary PvP tournament,” Young Master Han laughed disdainfully.
When the men of The Black Hand mercenary group reached the halfway point of the mountain, they hurriedly reorganized their PvP formation and placed the Archers at the vanguard. These Archers then began peppering the area around them with arrows.
“What’s that for?!” Royal God Call exclaimed in shock.
Young Master Han smiled placidly, “This is the second habit that they’ve adopted; they are wary of our Insta-kill Mage. Normally, Warriors would be in the frontline when advancing forward to protect the low-Strength Mages and Archers from getting killed by a surprise attack. As you have just seen, because of our Insta-kill Mage, placing Warriors at the forefront to tank the enemies’ attacks is deemed as pointless. Instead, they have placed their Archers at the forefront to beat us in terms of range. They are probably positioned just outside a Mage’s attack range and are initiating the attacks to prevent Miles from peeking out!” As Young Master Han said that, he turned his gaze on Gu Fei.
Gu Fei remained mum for a while before finally saying, “My AOE spells may no longer be capable of insta-killing Warriors; it's still rather effective to place them in the frontline to waste my firepower.”
“You’re a weirdo for having Twin Incineration as your strongest spell, while your other spells are weak in comparison!” Royal God Call eyed him with contempt. Other Mages would find it difficult to think that the rest of Gu Fei’s spells would not be OP as well after seeing what his basic Twin Incineration could do.
Gu Fei shrugged his shoulders, “Twin Incineration also has Physical Damage, so it’s actually more useful!”
Royal God Call almost coughed up blood. Most Mages considered Twin Incineration as the weakest in their spell arsenal; only Gu Fei actually thought of it otherwise. As for Physical Damage… It was only due to his Moonlit Nightfalls that the spell could have Physical and Spell Damage. If not for that, how in the world would his spell have Physical Damage?
Young Master Han smiled, “That faulty thinking is actually what we are hoping for them to have.”
The nonstop hail of arrows of The Black Hand’s Archers in the vicinity allowed the mercenary group to successfully seize the mountain’s vantage point. The players who had just done their best to occupy the mountain peak could not help but feel disappointed when no enemies were found in the location. They would really be vomiting out blood if they knew that the entire process of their climb up the mountain had been witnessed and ridiculed by the six men within the nearby forest at the foot of the mountain.
Once the The Black Hand’s men secured the vantage point, they began looking all around them for the opponents.
“It’s going to be hard for them from here on,” Young Master Han said, adding, “While they can’t afford to give up the mountain’s vantage point, they also have no choice but to mobilize some men to find us. And whichever team ends up having the less manpower will become victim of our attacks. In this case, the safest and most effective method to this would be to evenly split their force.”
As Young Master Han was saying this, the men on the mountain peak began to move. Although they could not accurately tell how many men there were, the amount of moving men was clearly different from what Young Master Han had predicted. In fact, all the men seemed to be making their way down the mountain peak.
“HA HA HA HA! You’ve guessed wrongly! Everyone’s descending the mountain!” Everyone ridiculed Young Master Han for his faux-pas, yet they only heard him sigh in response. He then unhurriedly told them, “This is the third habit that they’ve formed. Despite there being few of us, none of them actually knows of our combat capability. They’re not sure if ten, twenty, thirty, or more men are enough to face us. Thus, when they split up just now, although it made perfect sense to divide their force evenly, they deemed it as a rather risky method and instead chose to give up the rook to save the king, randomly assigning two or three men to serve as lookout on the mountain peak while the rest of them concentrate on searching for us. This way, even if those men they’ve left behind are killed off, they will only lose a few points, giving them the chance to recover from a potential loss.”
“If they have predicted the possibility of us assassinating the two or three men left behind, wouldn’t they set up an ambush for us over there as well?” Royal God Call opined.
“That’s a sound question, and the reason for why we are currently in this forest. So… Do the enemies seem to have set up an ambush for us up there?”
Royal God Call was instantly speechless. The enemies quickly left the mountain peak after rushing up there in an equally orderly fashion as before. None of them appeared to be doing any covert motion that could be interpreted as them having set up an ambush atop the mountain.
“Their search will most likely prioritize places like the forests and blind spots of that mountain’s vantage point. Since this forest is the closest to that mountain, won’t they make their way over here first?” Brother Assist asked, alarmed.
As Young Master Han nodded his head, War Without Wounds asked this with a tinge of doubt in his voice, “Are we climbing up the trees again?” While it appeared to be relatively safe when they had employed that PvP maneuver against Water Flower mercenary group in the last match, they realized afterward that that had only been due to the enemies being at their wits’ end with Gu Fei constantly changing position using Blink and conducting sneak attacks using AOE spells from within the treetops.
“No; the method we used that day won’t work today. There are certain conditions for that to work, and the forest we are currently in simply do not meet those. We just can’t hide people within the tree lines here,” Young Master Han rejected.
Indeed, the forest they were presently in was rather small in size, and the trees were not dense enough to allow players to hide within them. While they could hide themselves from prying eyes at a distance, any nearby players looking up from beneath the trees would easily spot them.
“Let’s quickly vacate this place. We will promptly be spotted if they get any closer to us.” The opponents were already halfway down the mountain when Young Master Han began to lead them away from their position within the forest, “This way.”
“Won’t the people on the mountain peak spot us if we exit the forest like this?” Brother Assist was fretting as usual.
Young Master Han simply smiled at him. Everyone was already used to his stinginess at divulging his tactic, and since they knew that this particular arrangement of his would more or less be dangerous, none of them asked any further questions. Following him out of the forest, the view from the mountain top temporarily became obstructed. Young Master Han led the five along the tree lines for some time before the remnant of a half wall appeared in front of them. Young Master Han made his way behind the wall and beckoned the rest to join him.
Everyone bewilderedly followed suit. The wall perfectly blocked the view from the mountain peak, and War Without Wounds could not help but ask with incredulity, “Did you happen to draw this map or something?”
“We’ll talk about that later,” Young Master Han said instead as he led the group once more. While the wall stretched for some distance, its varying degree of disuse had the six men crouching as they advanced forward. In fact, they even had to occasionally crawl. All in all, everyone trailed after Young Master Han while employing the appropriate stance to get them across. When the path ahead suddenly dipped, Young Master Han faced backward to say in an undertone, “Move faster!” With that, he rolled down a depression.
The others’ advance toward the land depression did not look any better. When it was Sword Demon and Gu Fei’s turn, the former activated his Stealth and sauntered his way down while the latter used his Blink and appeared in the land depression. The two smirked at the others.
The four did not bother to react to their antics. War Without Wounds once more asked Young Master Han, “Did you actually draw this map?” They knew that this was improbable, but Young Master Han’s knowledge of the wall that conveniently blocked the view of the people atop the mountain made them think otherwise.
Young Master Han languidly replied, “Keen observation.” He considered this to be a sufficient answer to War Without Wounds’ question.
“So where do we go from here?” Brother Assist’s eyes were drawn toward the road that lay before them.
“We are almost at the mountain base. We’ll just wait for most of the enemies to leave before we proceed further,” Young Master Han replied.
“Have you already observed all this?”
“It’s not observation per se, but something I’ve found,” Young Master Han had that educating expression on his face, “Upon checking the mountain’s altitude and surrounding terrain, I noticed that this road is essentially a blind spot for the mountain.”
“I see!” Brother Assist expressed his admiration for Young Master Han’s observational skills.
Young Master Han was elated with his compliment, but when he saw that the other four were not even listening to his explanation, he could not help but feel irritated. War Without Wounds and Sword Demon were deep in their thoughts, while Gu Fei was more occupied with asking about Royal God Call’s hand-woven straw hat, “You’re pretty good with your hands. Where did you learn how to do this?”
“He he. This is not much!” Royal God Call felt very pleased with himself.
Young Master Han disdainfully stared at the four men and said, “We’ll sneak up the mountain once the men have advanced further.”
“Since this is a blind spot of that mountain, won’t they come over and search this place as well?” Brother Assist asked.
“This blind spot is hardly noticeable. They are bound to miss this spot from up there.” Just as Young Master Han said this, his eyes shone with anger upon seeing something, “Miles, keep yourself hidden! Stay to that side!” His plan was almost ruined by the dolt’s careless action.
“Translocation! Blink!” Gu Fei chanted to change his position even as he continued to talk with Royal God Call, “How did you weave this part here?”
“Oh. It’s like this… Then, you do this…” Royal God Call took the straw hat from Gu Fei and started explaining the weaving process to the latter.