Chapter 574: Chapter 574 – Looking at One Another
Translator: Exodus Tales Editor: Exodus Tales
Brother Assist lowered his head in deep thought for a moment – still a little lost. He looked at Young Master Han and said, “Can you give me a more detailed and clear-cut explanation, without hiding any part of the plan?”
“You still don’t get it?” Young Master Han was the sort that would probably die if he could not contemptuously regard anyone at every waking moment of his life, much less when Brother Assist had served himself up for it.
Conversely, Brother Assist was the sort that would probably die if he could not find out the truth of anything, so he had no choice but to bear with being disdained all for the sake of knowing the truth.
“Okay, listen good. The trap I’ve originally set was exactly what you guys knew about. It’s not complex, and its sole purpose was to raise Southern Lone Blade and his team’s suspicion. They would of course suspect that it’s a trap. They would wonder what the trap was attempting to achieve, and perhaps wonder if they can avoid it. The way I see it, they’d surely try to find a way to turn the trap back on us. That would be the smart move here, and I do believe that that’s precisely what Southern Lone Blade and the others would do. However, in the process of uncovering the trap, they discovered, much to their surprise, that it isn’t a trap at all. Perhaps, it was a trap once, but because of a change in how the sale of Vast Lushness’ magic staff went, they finally saw a window of opportunity. The moment such a thought crossed their mind, that would be when they fell for my trap. Which is why it’s fine that Miles’ foolish action had raised their suspicion. There’s nothing worth suspecting in the first stage of the trap. It’s just unfortunate that he actually managed to get Vast Lushness’s magic staff back in possession, and this made it impossible for my plan to proceed on to the next stage. Southern Lone Blade’s gang can attempt to trap us with our trap, but we have nothing on our end. Hey, *ssh*l*, whose side are you on?” Young Master Han explained as he scornfully glared over at Gu Fei again.
( NovelFull ) Alas, Gu Fei was not even listening to him. Instead, he was gesturing at something with Eternal Dominion. Young Master Han glanced at the two men with an ominous expression. It seemed that Gu Fei was regaling Eternal Dominion with his experience of giving that one punch, while Eternal Dominion was showing a look of someone eager to try it out himself.
“We’re letting them suspect that something is up first before letting them eliminate that possibility themselves. I see.” Brother Assist was far more attentive listening to Young Master Han’s account. “But it’s not like you’re out of plans right now, either! That dispute that you’ve created to make everyone split up, are you trying to cheat them into believing that we’ve really sold the magic staff away?”
“That’s right. But compared to really selling the magic staff off, this sort of lie is nothing more than a back-up plan. There’re simply too many variables to this scenario,” Young Master Han replied.
“Uhm, so where’re Sword Demon and the others?” Brother Assist only realized now that he had not seen any of the three men after they had departed from the Auction House.
“I had them stay behind at the Auction House to take note of Southern Lone Blade’s team’s movement,” Young Master Han replied.
“Just the three of them? Wouldn’t they get into trouble!” Brother Assist had also fought against Southern Lone Blade’s team with the others before, and despite his average combat expertise, Brother Assist still had quite the eye for it. If they did not have the indomitable Gu Fei on their side, they would probably be evenly matched against that bunch of larcenists. As such, they would surely be at a disadvantage if it were just Sword Demon, Royal God Call, and War Without Wounds.
“Royal can rely on his Eagle Eye from afar and Sword Demon knows Stealth. What’s there to worry about?” Young Master Han asked.
“What about Wounds?”
The Auction House is a safe zone…”
“Oh, yeah… So why isn’t there any news from them yet?” Brother Assist asked.
“Why don’t you use the mercenary channel and ask them yourselves?” Young Master Han, who had explained at length, was clearly annoyed by now.
Brother Assist’s thirst for knowledge and information was frighteningly inexhaustible; Young Master Han immediately saw him send the message over to the channel.
Over at the Auction House, Flame Singed Clothes and Glue stayed behind even after the crowd had left. Soon, they saw War Without Wounds appear, causing their heart rates to increase rapidly. Of course, neither of them was actually afraid of War Without Wounds, yet his presence here represented the frightening figures of the mercenary group he belonged.
Calm yourself; this is a safe zone. The two repeated this to themselves.
War Without Wounds evidently understood this point as he swaggered over without protection. The two men looked at each other before glancing at the side. They were right beside the distribution NPC. Since War Without Wounds was heading over here, could he be here to retrieve the goods?
“You’re both looking busy!” In the end, it was War Without Wounds who had unexpectedly addressed the two very casually when he came near them.
The two were momentarily at a loss for words, immediately becoming passive in this exchange.
“There’s no need to wait any longer; the buyer of that magic staff isn’t gonna appear,” War Without Wounds informed.
“Why is that?” Flame Singed Clothes uttered this question in a moment of impulse. It was apparent that he was not the sort to have any subtlety.
“Ha ha ha! I’m actually just bluffing. Perhaps, that person is gonna appear, so you guys had better diligently wait here for his or her appearance!” War Without Wounds laughed.
The two grinded their teeth, hating the fact that they were in a safe zone right now.
“Where’s your boss?” War Without Wounds looked around.
“Where’s your boss?” the two countered.
“Our leader’s me! Don’t you guys know that?” War Without Wounds was brazen with his words.
“Since we’re both Warriors, and bosses as well, help me set a meeting with him, so we can all have a duel.” War Without Wounds continued shamelessly.
“He doesn’t have the time or the mind to humor you,” Flame Singed Clothes rebutted.
“Oh, that’s right.” War Without Wounds nodded. “You guys need to wait patiently for the buyer’s appearance. Ha ha ha ha ha!”
When War Without Wounds was done speaking, he lifted his claymore right above his shoulders. Leaving for an auction panel as he strutted off, he ignored the two men altogether. Flame Singed Clothes and Glue looked as if they had just suffered an internal injury.
Glue was still considerably calm and quickly related the appearance and ensuing exchange with War Without Wounds over to Southern Lone Blade. Meanwhile, Southern Lone Blade had just received a message from Blackwater, who had been busy tailing their enemies: A fight broke within Vast Lushness’s group in the middle of the road, and everyone went their separate ways afterward.
“Are you certain?” Southern Lone Blade kept an eye on the whole lot of them, all in the hopes of confirming his assessment from their actions. This splitting of ways was something outside his calculations.
“Of course, I was too far to hear what they were talking about, but they definitely quarreled. They even fought,” Blackwater vowed.
“In detail, please.”
“That Priest with Thousand Miles Drunk seemed to be having a disagreement with Vast Lushness and company, yet Thousand Miles Drunk actually took her side and pummeled that man to the ground with a punch. More words were shouted after, and Vast Lushness angrily stalked off with Svelte Dancer. The others squabbled further and went their separate ways as well. The ones still around are just Thousand Miles Drunk’s lot, and they appeared to be fighting over something as well,” Blackwater reported.
“Just what’s going on?” Southern Lone Blade was momentarily puzzled.
“And there’s a piece of bad news,” Blackwater added.
“What is it?”
“There’s a Fighter with Thousand Miles Drunk and the others, and from his features, I believe that he’s Eternal Dominion,” Blackwater replied.
“M*th*rf*ck*r…” Southern Lone Blade could not help but swear. A single Thousand Miles Drunk was already troublesome to deal with; now, there was actually an additional Eternal Dominion that they had to worry about.
“What now?” Blackwater asked.
“Who do you have eyes on now?” Southern Lone Blade asked.
“Thousand Miles Drunk.”
“Okay. Carry on but be careful.”
Receiving these pieces of information from both ends, Southern Lone Blade began to furrow his eyebrows in contemplation of their current situation. From what Ye Xiaowu had told him, he could more or less confirm that this was a trap Gu Fei’s lot had staged for them; it was a trap to bait his group into revealing themselves. However, he had been patrolling the vicinity of the Auction House by himself and saw no traces of any ambush of sorts. Paddy Scented Pastures and the others, who had been sent to the various spawn points in the city, did not discover any sort of setup either. All these facts were simply too inconsistent to common sense.
Still, this explained why they had not seen the buyer all this while. Perhaps, the opposing party was readying their set up before retrieving the magic staff to lure them into their trap.
It was just that Gu Fei’s sudden auction stunt, as well as War Without Wounds’ appearance to mock Flame Singed Clothes and Glue, had left Southern Lone Blade feeling a little lost and unable to make sense of things.
Furthermore, for their enemies to enter a dispute, was it because of Gu Fei inadvertently revealing their ploy? Why would he expose himself in the first place, though?
Southern Lone Blade’s team had not backed away just because they suspected that it was all a trap. It was just like what Young Master Han had said; while they were glad to have uncovered it in the first place, there was indeed far too many options for them to turn the trick onto their opponents. Southern Lone Blade had made plenty of arrangements; keeping watch of the Auction House, keeping an eye on their enemies’ movements, and taking note of the various ambush points – he had done all that just so he could have a better understanding of their opponents’ entrapment in an attempt to make headway in this matter.
Just when he thought that he had gotten a general read of the opposing party’s plans, Gu Fei’s one move created another huge mystery. Adding to this were War Without Wounds’ appearance and the enemy group’s internal strife. Right now, Southern Lone Blade just could not come up with a logical explanation for all that.
“War Without Wounds appears to be squandering our time!” Glue suddenly sent this message.
“That guy is loitering before our sights sans any signs of the intention to leave. We have no idea just what he’s up to.” Glue began to voice out his suspicions.
“He’s staring at you two?” Southern Lone Blade asked.
“Most probably… But that arrogance of his is making me uncomfortable,” Glue replied.
“Wait a minute!” An idea suddenly popped into Southern Lone Blade’s mind. “Is he keeping an eye on you guys, or is he looking at that distribution NPC?!”
“What do you mean?”
“What I mean is that he may be staring at you two, but in fact, he’s actually staring at the distribution NPC!”
“Why would he need to keep an eye on it?” Glue was a little lost.
“To find out who bought the magic staff, of course,” replied Southern Lone Blade.
“But… Weren’t they the ones who had put up the whole charade of selling and buying it?” Glue was still a little confused.
“That’s the original plan, but their act hit a snag, I think?” Southern Lone Blade supposed.
“What did you discover?” Glue hurriedly asked.
“First, it’s Thousand Miles Drunk’s appearance. With how sensitive his arrival was, there must be a reason that had forced his hand. His action wasn’t without meaning. That whole auction stunt he pulled, what sort of impact did that create?”
“Many players began to surround him,” Glue replied.
“That’s right. Now, think; you were still joking with me before, saying that that’s a scene yet to be seen in Auction Houses,” Southern Lone Blade said.
Glue abruptly put two and two together. “They’re unable to snatch a spot by an audition panel due to the huge crowd! D’you mean to say that they ended facing such a problem, so Thousand Miles Drunk had to jump out and divert everyone’s attention for their men to get a spot?”
“Yes. Considering how his stunt ended before the actual auction did, their men probably managed to take a position next to an auction panel. Grabbing a spot didn’t mean that they’d win the auction itself, though,” Southern Lone Blade said.
“Their men had an internal strife right after leaving the Auction House! Wasn’t that because their charade had turned into reality, and the magic staff got successfully sold off for real?” Southern Lone Blade continued.
“Then, the appearance of War Without Wounds in the Auction House is all the more NOT pointless! Selling the magic staff for that amount of gold might not be acceptable to Vast Lushness, and while that has got nothing to do with us, it’s one reason she and her entourage won’t be wasting anymore of their time and effort entangling with us. She’s upset that the magic staff got sold off for nothing. After all, she expects us to hunt her still to loot the magic staff. She might even be feeling dejected right now because of it. It’s only Thousand Miles Drunk’s group that loves opposing us, and that’s also why War Without Wounds appeared before you two to say all that drivel,” Southern Lone Blade posited.
“So what’s the point of him spouting all that nonsense?” Glue was nonplussed.
“Miles’ exposure would surely raise serious doubts in us; they are clearly well-aware of this fact and adding the fact that the magic staff actually got sold off, their plan has more or less failed spectacularly. However, they have no clue on how much of the situation we know, which is why War Without Wounds vacillates between the buyer appearing to retrieve the goods and not. Actually, they are trying to test to see our reaction, attempting to find out just how much we get of what has transpired,” Southern Lone Blade explained.
“If that’s the case…” To use his words with the intention of probing what they were thinking, Glue did not expect that halfwit to be such a profound schemer. Was that exchange of words from before nothing more than just shameless teasing?
“Would the no. 1 Warrior in the MMO community be such a simple character?” Southern Lone Blade commented somberly. He was never someone who would underestimate his opponents.
Glue wiped off his sweat. He was starting to wonder if his and Flame Singed Clothes’ reaction earlier had tipped off the opposing party of anything.
“So why is he still standing there and not leaving?” Glue asked.
“I’ve already told you; with the magic staff getting auctioned for real, they need to find out who ended up owning it, too,” Southern Lone Blade replied.
“Do they intend to target the buyer and get that magic staff back as well?” Glue was shocked.
“That’s a bit hard to say, but one thing is for sure; we are bound to appear wherever the magic staff ends up. This is the same scenario as what they originally intended when they first enacted their plan. It’s all just to lure us out, anyway,” Southern Lone Blade said.
“This is so troublesome. Their group has us in their vices. They’re unwilling to let go even though we haven’t looted their equipment even once,” Glue lamented.
“We’ve made the attempt to loot their equipment… but ultimately failed,” Southern Lone Blade reminded.
That’s Big South all right; he’s so full of confidence. As Glue thought of this, he felt that Gu Fei might not even privy being their target once for looting. Truly, they were so insignificant they did not even manage to get their intentions across; they were already being hunted down before they could even reveal their reason for targeting the Mage.
“So, what should we be doing now?” Glue asked.
“It’s imperative for us to learn who ended up buying the Utopian Magic Staff. Even though they have a man on the scene as well, we must still do our due diligence and keep an eye on this as well. However, we’ll have to approach it from a long-con perspective after. Otherwise, we’ll just end up in their clutches the moment we make our move,” Southern Lone Blade said.
“Those guys couldn’t possibly be thinking of taking us out while looting that magic staff, right?” Glue asked.
“We can’t eliminate such a possibility… Vast Lushness appears to be very pissed off that the magic staff ended up being sold by accident, and by the looks of things, the chances of Thousand Miles Drunk and his bunch being the ones who had proposed the plan are high. Using this method to return the magic staff to Vast Lushness isn’t an impossible option.”
“That’s really annoying. With them having their eye on the same target, how are we ever going to make our move?” Glue complained.
“Don’t be so hasty. There’s always an opportunity.”