Chapter 524: Chapter 524 – This Again
Translator: Exodus Tales Editor: Exodus Tales
Linyin City, Coco’s empty cottage.
Besides leaning against the wall or sitting on the ground, there were no other positions for people to take up. Sword Demon, Coco, Royal God Call, and War Without Wounds each stood in a corner together and gnawed at their fingers with downcast faces. They had just received Xi Xiaotian’s message about how the operation had failed. The four were now gathered here to watch the four-minute footage Xi Xiaotian would be bringing back.
Someone knocked on the door; Coco darted over to open it. Xi Xiaotian was standing there with the scroll in hand.
“Sorry,” she apologized with a slight hint of disappointment.
“Come in first.” Coco pulled her into the cottage. “It’s fine. There’s no guaranteed success when it comes to such stuff!”
Xi Xiaotian’s mood did not improve despite being consoled. She extended her hand out. “Here’s the scroll. Shall we watch it once together?”
“Yes, let’s!” Royal God Call and War Without Wounds immediately came over. Toward these two heartless cads, everyone in the room had reasons to believe that the sadness they had been showing was all just for show. Honestly, the emotions these two had regarding this matter could not match what Sword Demon and Coco was feeling at all. They could essentially be seen as strangers on this matter.
“Do we wait for Miles?” Sword Demon raised the question.
“Uhh… This place is quite a distance from the Bounty Assignment Hall, so it’s going to take some time,” Coco answered.
Gu Fei had of course faked his death in that fight just then. Even if Gu Fei was willing to sacrifice a level to make their ploy succeed, given Sword Demon’s bro code, there was no way he would let Gu Fei do such a thing. Thus, while they were studying the lay of the land on that street, they devised a method to fake his death by hiding behind that pile of sacks. It was rather simple: create a flash of white light after pretending to be struck by an attack and then disappear. These conditions could all be achieved through skills. Hence, as long as Gu Fei was able to grasp the instance when he would be attacked to use some sort of teleportation skill and ‘disappear’ from that place, with Broken Water Arrow’s line of sight being blocked, there was no way for the truth to be exposed.
Originally, they thought of getting Gu Fei a Teleportation Scroll, but he simplified this by making use of Windchaser’s Emblem to achieve such an effect.It would be far more economical of him to simply refrain from teleporting back immediately after completing a ‘Bounty Mission’ and saved it for that critical moment.
Furthermore, the arrow that ended Gu Fei’s life had to be sudden and surprising. He felt that dying to a basic attack from an Archer would have been too unrealistic, while Homing Projectile looked like a joke in his eyes despite having the supposed 100% guarantee to hit its target. Why would such a slow-moving arrow be able to hit and subsequently finish him off? Perhaps if a hundred of these arrows were shot all at once…
In the end, it was Xi Xiaotian who offered to use a unique skill she had: Targeted Double Shot. The skill name had an additional ‘Targeted’ as compared to the usual Double Shot, and it was precisely because of this “Targeted” that set it apart. The two arrows from this skill were split into two stages. The first shot would be released just like a basic attack in terms of damage and speed. If this shot failed to connect to the target, the second shot would not exist. But if it did hit, then this second shot would automatically seek the target that the first shot had struck, and this arrow would even possess the power and speed above that of Snipe. It could be considered as the evolved version of Homing Projectile.
Before the operation began, Xi Xiaotian already shot Gu Fei with the first arrow. Thus, as long as she did not carry out any other attack after, the state of the Targeted Double Shot would be preserved, and it would naturally seek out for Gu Fei at high speed once the battle started and she unleashed the second stage of the skill. Gu Fei ultimately found this level of surprise attack to be acceptable for him to ‘die’ under.
At the moment, Gu Fei hurried to meet up with the others after leaving the Bounty Assignment Hall when he received the message from Xi Xiaotian informing him of the failed operation. The message did not elaborate on the specifics, so all he could do was continue to pick up his pace.
“Where’s that guy? Does he want to come over and watch this or not?” Coco asked Sword Demon as they waited for Gu Fei to arrive.
“I’ll ask him.” Sword Demon knew Coco was referring to Young Master Han. Young Master Han and Deep Waters’ relationship fluctuated between good and bad from time to time, more often stagnating at being terrible most of the time. Deep Waters would be gnashing his teeth eight times out of ten whenever his name was mentioned, so it was only natural for Coco to have been influenced by this given her relationship with Deep Waters. Besides, it was normal not to like someone with Young Master Han’s unlikeable personality. Still, Coco was well aware of the man’s capabilities, which was why she hated him like so many others but would still trust his judgement. Those like Brother Assist, Royal God Call, and War Without Wounds dealt with him in such a manner as well, but this man seemed to relish how they locked horns like this, which really served to rile the rest up even more.
Soon, they heard a series of knocks on the door, and the newcomers were of course Young Master Han and Brother Assist. The two, who had been watching the fight through the spyglass, were already much closer to this place than Gu Fei to begin with. Thus, when Coco opened the door and saw the face that irked plenty of women, holding a gaze that regarded the world with much disdain, and the smell of alcohol that followed the man wherever he went, she hurriedly fanned herself. “This smell!”
“Smell? You mean this wondrous scent.” Young Master Han stepped into the cottage, his eyes quickly landing on Royal God Call.
“What?” Royal God Call’s voice was quite bright, but his lack of confidence was apparent. Reality proved that Young Master Han had never plainly shown disdain or ridiculed someone for no rhyme or reason. There were usually good reasons why someone would be mocked openly by the man, or at least he would always have justifiable reasons to show such open contempt toward someone.
“Fool!” His naked contempt began showing.
“He means you!” Royal God Call solemnly looked over to War Without Wounds. The latter reached out to grab his head, but the former nimbly avoided it. He was an expert, after all, so he could not possibly let War Without Wounds pick him up and toss around so easily. How else would he last at that rate?
“You’re both fools,” Young Master Han remarked.
“You’re the fool!” Both men immediately allied up against a common foe.
Young Master Han did not say another word, but merely gave a mirthless laugh. Seeing the look of desperation on the two men, anyone who witnessed this scene could quickly tell who were the real fools…
Brother Assist naturally came out to smooth things over with everyone involved. The others were also a little displeased with how Young Master Han had entered and yelled out ‘fool’, but upon hearing Brother Assist’s recount of Young Master Han’s analysis about the situation, all of them quickly turned their scornful gazes on to Royal God Call.
“Don’t blame him.” War Without Wounds suddenly became a kind uncle and rose to his defense. “His brain isn’t fully developed yet.”
“SCRAM!” Royal God Call pushed War Without Wounds away as he feebly attempted to explain himself “What else could I have done? I needed to interrupt Miles’ incantation! We couldn’t have Broken Water Arrow die on us, and Big Sister Xiaotian’s skill couldn’t be unleashed at such a time, or Miles would really die. That’s the plan from the start!”
Young Master Han facepalmed. “His brain is really underdeveloped, huh?”
Before Royal God Call could even rage, Young Master Han immediately said, “Didn’t you understand Brother Assist’s words? The issue isn’t in the first shot you took to interrupt the casting but that Snipe you fired after. You shouldn’t have fired that skill just for the thrill of it, for that shot contradicted that first shot you fired.”
“That… Well, I thought Miles would surely be able to dodge it, so I figured I could put up a more vigorous assault for a bit and make it appear more realistic.” Royal God Call felt a little wronged, for that had truly been the thought running through his head at that moment. He merely wanted to make a better show of things. He had not expected that doing so would create a flaw in their operation.
“It’s fine. While we did mess up there, there’s no guarantee that Broken Water Arrow realized it, right?” Sword Demon cocked a brow at Royal God Call.
Royal God Call did not answer but merely looked at Xi Xiaotian. She, as the only one who had made contact with Broken Water Arrow after, was probably the only one who knew the answer on whether the man had discovered this or otherwise.
Seeing that they were all waiting for her to announce the answer, Xi Xiaotian took a deep breath and was about to speak up when a series of knocks on the door could be heard once more.
“It must be Miles.” This time, it was Sword Demon who walked over. However, when the door opened, this person was not Miles but Deep Waters, instead.
Deep Waters was alone, and was stunned when he saw Sword Demon. He was all the more astonished when he glanced around the cottage and realized there were many others within as well. Sword Demon looked sheepish as he turned to look at Coco.
“He’s looking for me…” Coco affirmed.
Who else could it be? Everyone was sweating and involuntarily muttering “go ahead” to Coco, not knowing what to do with themselves after. Each of them was feeling awkward as they went back to their corner of their accord. Meanwhile, Sword Demon was even more at a loss on what to do after letting Coco pass by him; he was uncertain if he should follow Coco out to speak with Deep Waters or lock the door behind them…
Finally, it was Xi Xiaotian who had stepped over and said sweetly, “We’ll wait for you, Coco” before closing the door.
“Why is Deep Waters here?” Everyone inside immediately began to wipe off their sweat.
“The rest of you didn’t really have to act as if you’ve been caught with your pants down, right?” Young Master Han’s ridicule resumed once more. He did not reveal a facsimile of emotion in front of Deep Waters, nor did he think to act like Xi Xiaotian in order to alleviate the awkwardness in the air, because he was not in the least bit embarrassed.
However, no one had any response to this rather awful ridicule from Young Master Han, for everyone actually agreed that the discomfort they had shown was indeed similar to that of being caught with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar!
“Could Deep Waters’ sudden appearance be related to Broken Water Arrow?” Brother Assist was forever the vanguard of mediation, always in that unyielding struggle with untimely atmosphere.
“Had the man really seen through our plan already?” Royal God Call had the fleeting thought of smashing his head against the wall when he thought that it was all a result of his blunder. How shameful! It was an operation that babes had participated in as well!
“Why else would it be so coincidental? Why would Deep Waters choose this very moment to look for Coco?” Brother Assist asked.
“I wonder what they are talking about?” Brother Assist muttered as he headed over to the door. He soon discovered that everyone’s eyes were staring at him closely in that few steps he took. Thinking that he was about to stick his ear onto the door to eavesdrop on the conversation between a couple, he instantly realized just how repulsive such an act would be! Brother Assist’s brain churned as he quick-wittedly added, “Everybody, let’s guess.”
“There’s no need to guess; we’ll ask Coco when she’s back,” Sword Demon said. “However, if Deep Waters really came because of Broken Water Arrow, that means that we’ve played right into his hands once more…” Sword Demon could not help but think of the last time when Gu Fei and him thought themselves as clever and stalked the man, only to end up taking a loss in addition to failure. They were utterly exposed in front of Deep Waters and directly caused the fallout between him and Deep Waters, and this time…
Sword Demon contemplated this as he dashed toward the door; Coco had previously been avoiding Deep Waters all because she was hoping to tide herself through until the storm was over, but who would have guessed that she would be caught in the act instead? As a friend, he needed to help bear some responsibilities for this!