Chapter 276 - Embark on an Expedition
Traversing Four Seas’ gathering of mercenaries finally ended. Except for those mercenary groups under the major guilds in Yunduan City that did not wish to assist Traversing Four Seas in its quest, everyone else agreed to give Traversing Four Seas a hand. While some took this opportunity to fleece Traversing Four Seas thoroughly, the average mercenary groups knew better than to go too hard on this; no one else reached the fleecing level of Young Master’s Elite and The Black Hand.
Those players that managed to make a quick buck from this were impressed, “Traversing Four Seas sure is rich.”
“It’s everyone’s quest in the guild, so I’m sure they’ve collected funds for this! If each of their seven hundred fifty players forked out 100 gold coins, they could collect a total of 75000 gold coins!” Brother Assist exclaimed. This was undoubtedly a hefty sum. Given the capital each member of Traversing Four Seas had, it should not be difficult for everyone to provide 100 gold coins.
The arrangement afterward was exactly as Brother Assist had said; there was no way anyone could play through the tens of hours needed for the quest in one go, so Traversing Four Seas agreed to meet up with all the mercenaries over by the north gate tomorrow. The goal that day was to trek through the Oolong Mountain Range and reach Yueye City before logging off and continuing the next leg the day after. By reaching a new city each day, the mission should be accomplished on the fifth day if everything went as planned.
When Gu Fei got online that day, he headed straight toward the north gate. Quite a crowd of people were gathered by the north gate at 7 P.M., with Traversing Four Seas and the hired mercenary groups making sure their members were all accounted for. Because Traversing Four Seas almost recruited every mercenary group in Yunduan City for this quest, a majority of the players in Yunduan City caught wind of it and plenty of them came over just to watch the fanfare.
The onlookers watched on enviously, pointing at several prominent players and chattering on.
“Look! That’s Sword Demon! Do you know who he is? What do you mean you don’t? Do you even play games, bro?”
“Over there. That guy is Royal God Call! He’s that Archer.”
“Stop lying! Isn’t Royal God Call a Mage?”
“He had a change of job class!”
“That lady over there is Svelte Dancer! She’s the top pay-to-win player in many MMOs and is currently ranked number one in Parallel World.”
“Whoa! What a total hottie!”
“Ah! That one there! That’s the Video Mage! LOOK!” Gu Fei’s moniker had transitioned from Fugitive 27149, Close Combat Mage, Bounty Hunting Maniac to the latest one: Video Mage.
“Which one is he?! Which one?!”
“That one with an apple stuck to his mouth!”
“Ahhhh! He’s so dashing and outstanding!” Overnight, having an apple stuck to a person’s mouth became in vogue.
Although the agreed upon time was 7 P.M., it was already 7:30 P.M. when all arrived and confirmed their attendance. Oathless Sword surveyed the gathered people before him and felt a great sense of accomplishment. No one knew where Youthful Reflection had gotten a wooden barrel, but he stood on it and yelled at the mob, “Everyone, please settle down!” His words were drowned out in the sea of voices. Many people were actually trying to listen to him, but all they saw was his lips moving.
“Settle down!” Youthful Reflection typed on the guild channel what he had just shouted. At least seven hundred fifty players before him became quiet, yet the remaining mercenaries and onlookers were more than enough to suppress his voice.
Youthful Reflection got the help of the other Traversing Four Seas’ members to control the crowd and finally managed to have everyone settled down. Someone approached Youthful Reflection and passed him a rolled-up piece of paper forming a makeshift megaphone. Youthful Reflection gazed appreciatively at the man as he brought the makeshift megaphone to his mouth, “Hey! Hey!” He tested the volume first before beginning his speech, “Ladies and gentlemen, your mission this time is quite large in scale, so I’m hoping that everyone present will listen to my commands….”
“Tsk!” Many people were already clicking their tongues before Youthful Reflection could even finish his speech. These people were from the various hired mercenary groups. Although the employers were the bosses of these hired mercenaries group during missions, the bosses would usually be the ones listening to their words. Rarely would they find employers that had abilities but lacked manpower, so mercenaries like them were used to taking command of the situations.
The idea Youthful Reflection was currently proposing was exactly this, and although these mercenaries knew the importance of having a commander to rely on for such a large-scale operation, they nevertheless felt the need to express their displeasure regarding the proposal!
Youthful Reflection waited for everyone to settle down before continuing, “Everyone, I’m not going to give out commands for your every move. I will only provide everyone my general plan before leaving it to the leaders of the various mercenary groups to command their men. I simply seek your cooperation!”
Someone asked aloud, “How are you going to do that when we are not from the same guild or organization? Are you planning to form a party? Who actually has such a high Command value here?”
It was insufficient to depend on a player’s raw voice to command and coordinate many people for such activity. Therefore, it was necessary to utilize the system’s conversation channels. Currently, there were just too many mercenary groups working together; since they were from different mercenary groups, the two channels exclusively reserved for such large-scale commanding were off limits to them. While using the party channel was possible after forming a party, there were over five hundred of them right now. Organizing such a party would require a party leader with a Command value of over 50 points, which was simply impossible.
A Command value of 1 point in Parallel World would let a player form a ten-man party. Once it reached 9 points, the party size increased to a hundred, but the experience points required for leveling the Command value would stop being given. According to the game officials, leveling Command value would depend on a character’s Reputation. As for what Reputation was… This particular stat on everyone’s character window was still a question mark, as if it was locked. It was thus impossible for anyone to reach a Command value of 10 points, much less 50 points.
And yet, Youthful Reflection merely laughed at the person’s question, “We don’t need everyone to be in a party. I only require each mercenary group leader to form a party with me.”
Everyone immediately got what he meant. This man seemed to have planned everything out; he wished to act as the commander-in-chief of the crowd before him, issuing his commands to the mercenary group leaders who would then relay the orders to their men. It was simply overbearing!
Although everyone thought so, none of them refuted the viability of this method. Therefore, all the mercenary leaders came over to join Youthful Reflection’s party. Youthful Reflection was still standing atop the wooden barrel as he called out, “XX mercenary group! Is the leader for XX mercenary group here?!”
Five men of Young Master’s Elite were wondering if Young Master Han would throw a fit in such a situation. It turned out that Young Master Han did not even care about this; quietly heading over to party up with Youthful Reflection, he silently made his way back without a fuss. The only difference between him and the other leaders was that he was holding a bottle of liquor through all this while the others were holding their weapons, instead….
Because of this episode, it was almost 8 P.M. when the preparation for the journey finished, and the players numbering over a thousand set out under the onlookers’ watchful gazes.
A huge portion of the players in the expedition had never left Yunduan City before, and this included the three core members of Traversing Four Seas. But since the quest clearly outlined the route for them to follow, the three men took the lead with an air of noble arrogance.
All sorts of emotions surged among the men setting out; some were excited, others were expectant, and the rest were uneasy. These men knew that they were going to act as escorts in a long road fraught with danger, so it was natural for them to feel nervous right now. After all, they did not know what sort of problems or opponents the system would send their way.
The experts of Young Master’s Elite were somewhere within the pack. They were originally intending to keep to a low profile, but the Amethyst Rebirth ladies decided to walk with them due to being ‘old friends’ with Gu Fei and being rather familiar with Royal God Call and War Without Wounds. Unfortunately for the six men, the Amethyst Rebirth ladies proved to be a crowd magnet; besides the Sakurazaka Moony’s skeevy group, a large number of male players kept on closing in on the ladies and engaging them in small talks to pass the time. At first glance, it would even seem as if the entire mob of players revolved around Amethyst Rebirth.
This continued until they reached the Oolong Mountain Range; from here on it was a straight path toward Yueye City. This was not a path Gu Fei and June’s Rain was unfamiliar with.
Soon, they spotted a certain mountain that enlivened Royal God Call and War Without Wounds. They had something to talk about here, as it was the location where Young Master’s Elite had done their first mission, which was to eliminate the Mountain Bandit Leader Sooto in Oolong Cave.
This was also where they had aided Gu Fei’s escape when he had become Fugitive 27149. War Without Wounds and Royal God Call described Gu Fei as if he was a disowned dog that came to hide in the cave; Royal God Call emphasized that it was thanks to his realistic acting that they had managed to trap the team that Traversing Four Seas had sent after Gu Fei in Oolong Cave’s secret passageway. War Without Wounds, meanwhile, claimed credits for the conception of such an ingenious plan without batting an eyelid.
“Wow! Are you guys seriously saying all that?!” Even Brother Assist who was usually uncaring to their antics could not stand their bragging.
“Assist, I don’t recall you being there that time.”
“Yup. He wasn’t there at all.”
These two men worked in tandem and quickly eliminated Brother Assist’s qualification as a witness.
The ladies only giggled as they listened, each of them taking the two’s words with a pinch of salt. Evidently, they were used to Royal God Call and War Without Wounds’ bragging and way of exaggerating their exploits. Only Svelte Dancer who was a late addition to the guild and did not know of the two’s personality felt disdain for Gu Fei’s embarrassing past.
“Are you two looking to die?!” Gu Fei threatened in his infuriation. It was fine if the two men only bragged and exaggerated about their prowess, but they had the habit of disparaging others as well. This was especially the case with Gu Fei since he was someone who had managed to enter Amethyst Rebirth, which Royal God Call and War Without Wounds were still feeling bitter about. If they could describe Gu Fei like this when he was present, then what more when he was not around?
“Everyone, be careful. We may get ambushed here,” Young Master Han suddenly warned.
“Who could it be? Don’t tell me it’s Sooto?” Royal God Call laughed. Just as he said this, a deafening roar came from the direction of Oolong Cave. Following this, a throng of Mountain Bandits came rushing toward them.
“Whoa! It might really be Brother Sooto!” Royal God Call and War Without Wounds yelped in unison.