Chapter 575: Chapter 575 – A Repeat of the Plan Except…
Translator: Exodus Tales Editor: Exodus Tales
Across the mercenary channel of Young Master’s Elite, Young Master Han was collating the information from the other three members.
“I had visual on Southern Lone Blade, but I lost him soon after. The man is cautious – very professional…” Royal God Call said.
“I understand,” Young Master Han said in response.
“What are you trying to say, huh!” Royal God Call was miffed. “I really lost sight of him after he rounded a corner in the street.”
“Have you identified which street it is that you lost him?” Young Master Han asked.
In the end, it was Sword Demon who answered. “Royal’s poor sense of direction isn’t to blame. Southern Lone Blade is indeed hard to keep track of. Even I came across him, but I lost him soon after as well. The man is very careful. He often takes the winding roads and has plenty of gear ready to change in and out of.”
This was the difference between Parallel World and real life. How many people would notice once someone changed their outfit in the middle of the street? It was common in games for this to happen, and quite a number of players would have two or three sets of clothes in their possession. Not everyone owned top-grade equipment that was exquisite looking, and while most players hardly cared for their appearance when engaging in PvP, they would put effort into looking aesthetically pleasing when going from place to place in major hubs to run errands, quests, or lounge in taverns. This was especially true for flirts like War Without Wounds and Royal God Call. Once, Royal God Call had gotten himself a piece of clothing with good stats and traits, but because of how terrible he looked wearing it, making him appear to be like an onion when wearing it, the boy had to fight back his tears as he sold it off.
If that was how the male players acted with clothes, not much was needed to be mentioned about the female players out there. The Warehouse essentially worked like a wardrobe for them; ignoring whether a piece of equipment was useful or not, they would just store anything that looked good. In such a VR setting, wearing the same outfit for two weeks while walking about on the streets was already too much of an embarrassment for the ladies.
Southern Lone Blade was pretty much acting like a vain lady, but it was not because he treated his Warehouse like a wardrobe. He always carried a variety of equipment and outfits on his person that was enough to give him a full makeover any time. This was a habit he had adopted due to the risky profession he had. Their team of seven had split up to do their tasks respectively, and Southern Lone Blade’s role this time was to take note of the movement around the Auction House’s vicinity. There was no doubt that this was the most dangerous place to be, so Southern Lone Blade prepared up to seven sets of equipment to change into whenever he needed, encapsulating the seven job classes available in the game. Even though he was unable to confirm if he was truly being followed, he would still change gear when he walked from place to place. Southern Lone Blade had already internalized the saying ‘A careful boatman can steer a boat for a millennium’ to the extreme level.
Furthermore, Royal God Call’s conclusion was true. Southern Lone Blade had indeed been cautious and professional enough. The difference between amateur stalkers like Sword Demon and Royal God Call and professional larcenists were made all the more obvious once Southern Lone Blade began to implement countermeasures against being followed.
“How are things on your end, Wounds?” Young Master Han asked.
“Those two m*th*rf*ck*rs are still here.” War Without Wounds, who had been spending quite some time in the company of Blue Ease’s men, became quite taken with their colorful language.
“How did they react to you?” Young Master Han asked.
“The son of a b*tch spat at me. If they have the balls to walk out that door, I’m gonna make sure I kill them both with my bare hands.” War Without Wounds acted superior.
“Have you confirmed that there’s no one else from their gang outside?” Young Master Han asked again.
“Yep. I don’t see anyone else,” Sword Demon responded.
“Southern Lone Blade is still skulking about in its vicinity,” Royal God Call added.
“I’ve spotted him, too,” said Sword Demon. They were still experts in their own rights, so they needed not sneak around like Southern Lone Blade’s gang. Checking out the situation openly if the need arose was easy for them.
Young Master Han grew pensive; Brother Assist would naturally not let this slip past him and asked right away, “What’s the matter?”
“Those guys are truly a tier above the rest when it comes to stalking and evading. If I’m not mistaken, someone is already spying on us right now,” Young Master Han replied.
Brother Assist immediately looked over his shoulder. Gu Fei and Eternal Dominion were discussing about kung fu with a one-track mind, not even caring about the situation at hand. The moment Young Master Han said that someone was possibly spying on them, the two swept behind them with their eyes.
“Even if someone’s snooping on us, that person won’t be too near, so there’s no way for them to hear what we are discussing,” Gu Fei stated.
“What’s the range you can sense people?” Eternal Dominion asked.
“About ten meters!”
“That’s really powerful. I can only sense about five to seven meters away,” Eternal Dominion remarked enviously.
“That’s just the variation between individuals. Look…”
The two began anew their kung fu discussion, leaving Young Master Han and Brother Assist helpless, unable to make sense of a single thing exchanged.
Both teams dealt with their matters. The only safe zone the Auction House provided acted as a point of intersection for them. War Without Wounds no longer walked around aimlessly and just hung by the entrance with his claymore on his shoulder; half of his figure was outside the doorway while another half was inside it. His face had the smuggest look as he stared Southern Lone Blade’s two comrades down – his intention to intimidate them blatant.
Alas, the two men merely glanced at him from time to time, and most of their attention was centered on the players approaching the distribution NPC. War Without Wounds was a little peeved by this. Compared to how he had managed to ruffle the two earlier, Flame Singed Clothes and Glue were far more composed now. Their eyes even showed the slightest look of provocation whenever they strayed on to War Without Wounds.
“How much longer must I stay here? What’s the point of me doing this, anyway?” War Without Wounds was getting impatient. Young Master Han had instructed him to head over to the Auction House, but when he asked what he would be doing here, the latter merely told him that it was all up to him. This was why he had openly expressed his shamelessness. He had his fun at the start, but the novelty of it soon wore off, and now he was left feeling bored. Unable to do anything but merely stand there despite being despised, War Without Wounds was no longer willing to continue with this task since he knew that verbally sparring with the two would just leave a bad aftertaste in his mouth for its lack of technical substance! Thus, he voiced out his dissent to Young Master Han.
“Can’t you be a little more patient? Just look at how professional our opponents are!” Young Master Han said.
“They’ve got two stationed here! Send a babe to accompany me, and I’ll show you what’s professional,” War Without Wounds replied.
“Aren’t there ladies walking around the Auction House or something? Just randomly get one for yourself!” Young Master Han suggested.
“Ohhh…” This one line reminded him that his gaze had been fixed on the two men ever since his arrival here. Changing out to his better-looking armor, War Without Wounds began to scan the crowd present in the Auction House, hitting on any potential prey that caught his eye no matter what the circumstance was. He soon racked up three separate instances of eye-rolls under his belt, but he was enjoying himself thoroughly, as if he had suddenly found his life purpose.
Flame Singed Clothes and Glue might seem unconcerned with War Without Wounds’ presence on the surface, but they were actually paying very close attention to him. The moment they saw the man, who was originally idling at the door, suddenly transform into a pollinating bee and appear not to care about them anymore, both men perceived this as a very serious situation, so they hurriedly reported it to Southern Lone Blade.
“Hmph. Maintain your composure,” Southern Lone Blade said. “He’s intentionally acting at ease, so that we won’t get an idea on what cards he’s holding. Relax, you two. I already have a good grasp of how they think. This was originally a ploy to make us reveal ourselves by auctioning the item we are targeting, but in that final round of bidding for the Utopian Magic Staff, everything got ruined because they neglected to consider the resulting crowd that would gather. Even though Thousand Miles Drunk deliberately pulled that stunt to create chaos, they still failed to win back the item at the final moment. Therefore, they ended up quarrelling, perhaps because the idea was from Thousand Miles Drunk’s bunch. They may be looking for penitence or something, and that’s why they plan to snatch the staff back. Still, they don’t want to let us off easy and want to turn this mistake of theirs into another trick – it’s a trap within a trap. That War Without Wounds is clearly there to see who ends up gaining ownership of the magic staff, and he purposely said all that nonsense to throw us off. Honestly, there’s absolutely no need to be overly concerned with that man. As long as he is still in the Auction House, my assessment will be correct. If that’s not the case, what other reasons could there be to explain his presence here at this time?”
“So what are we doing?” the two asked.
“Just do what I’ve instructed you to do. Find out who owns the magic staff now – the clearer the better. We’re not gonna make our move today.”
“Then, wouldn’t they have the jump on us?”
“The jump on us? Let them go on ahead. Do you really think that it’s gonna drop for them just because they want it to? Have we ever done any assignment where we didn’t have to put plenty of effort and thought before we accomplished it? These guys are underestimating this matter if they think that this is just finding out the identity of the new owner and hunting them after. Let them make the first move; we’ll show them what it means to be professional after,” Southern Lone Blade replied.
The two men felt reassured after hearing that, and they continued to focus on what they needed to pay attention to, no longer bothering about War Without Wounds. For his part, War Without Wounds also no longer cared about the two men as his heart and soul were invested in harassing the ladies in the Auction House. Young Master Han said that he only needed to pay casual attention to what was happening in this location, after all; he was not tasked with accomplishing any important mission.
Two hours passed in the blink of an eye. Glue and Flame Singed Clothes lived up to their reputation as professionals, being able to keep their loneliness at bay and treat this like their real-life job. At the moment, the two men gave War Without Wounds another side-eye, as that person had actually been madly harassing the ladies these whole two hours. It was quite the display of his shameless mentality!
In actuality, the two men were thinking too highly of War Without Wounds. The man might have spent these two hours talking to the ladies, but so far, he had not gotten any of them. In fact, he was feeling very discouraged right now, and he even sent a message asking if this matter was over to Young Master Han.
“Are those two still there?”
“That’s great! Looks like they’ve taken the bait.” Young Master Han sighed.
“Taken the bait?”
“Our original plan should’ve been exposed, and there’s absolutely no need for them to waste any time over at the Auction House in that case. It doesn’t matter who ends up retrieving the magic staff and what time it is done as it will still be returned to Vast Lushness, so they won’t be wrong to seek her out after seven days. But since they are actually spending a lot of time loitering there, it seems that we’ve finally pulled a fast one on them. Believing the magic staff is no longer in our possession, they remain committed to wait for the buyer to come retrieve it,” Young Master Han explained.
“I-Is that so…” War Without Wounds could not really make sense of his words.
“Wounds, you’ve contributed quite a lot this time. Sword Demon, give him 50 points,” Young Master Han ordered.
“Roger that!” Sword Demon answered.
“Ha ha ha! That is only natural. You guys didn’t see how yours truly have stood there at the Auction House, scaring those to m*th*rf*ck*rs like… like… like a m*th*rf*ck*r!” War Without Wounds immediately bragged.
“So, what’s our next step?” Brother Assist asked.
“Next step? Get the person to collect the magic staff, of course! Since they’ve taken the bait, the situation is much easier for us to grasp now,” Young Master Han replied.
“Considering how effective this is, we should’ve used this plan right from the get-go.” Brother Assist sighed.
“Compared to selling the magic staff for real, there are simply too many variables involved in doing it like this. We’re simply lucky not to have run into any of them this time,” Young Master Han remained obdurate.
Meanwhile, Vast Lushness, who had been taking in the scenery of Baishi City with Svelte Dancer, was stunned when she received a message. “What? You want to retrieve the staff right now?”
“That’s right. Southern Lone Blade and the others have already fallen into my trap. Retrieving the magic staff now will immediately draw them to make their move,” Young Master Han explained.
“What trap?” Vast Lushness was confused.
Young Master Han gave a general explanation, and Vast Lushness was secretly shocked after she had heard it. Sure enough, this was the team that had once overthrown her old guild, Past Deeds. Well capable of creating a trap out of an existing vulnerability while they were out of options, Vast Lushness truly thought that their guild’s destruction was not any sort of injustice.
“But we have yet to send anyone to a spawn point.” Vast Lushness, with her ruthless temper intact, would not be satisfied with just one kill.
“Don’t even bother setting up. I suspect that that guy already knows that we’ll do such a thing and has his people pay attention to movements around the various spawn points in order to infer just what we are planning,” Young Master Han rejected.
“Then, what do we do? Kill him that one time?” Vast Lushness was hardly contented. Even though Southern Lone Blade failed to loot her magic staff or caused any substantial damage on her, she already labeled him as an enemy.
“What I mean is that there’s no need to make preparations as they may be observing us. Wait till we make our move to make your arrangements; by then, it won’t matter if they are aware or otherwise. There’re only seven of them, with two Priests and no Fighter. Just send your men at the respective spawn points according to the manpower you have!” Young Master Han reasoned.
“Okay, I get it.” Vast Lushness felt that Young Master Han’s plan was sound, yet Blue Ease became ruffled when she relayed the information to him. “You’re still trusting that rascal‽”
“It’s a pretty good plan.” Vast Lushness explained the gist of it, and Blue Ease was also very surprised, even boldly wondering, “Could it be that that guy has purposely said all that earlier to show that we are having an internal strife to Southern Lone Blade and his men?”
Vast Lushness was quiet for a time. That was indeed the plan Young Master Han had in mind when he said all that before, yet he had never once denied that his original plan was to sell off Vast Lushness’s magic staff for real. While Vast Lushness did not take things to heart as severely as Blue Ease did, she would never consider Young Master Han to be such a noble character, either. Nonetheless, she thought that it would not be a bad thing to have Blue Ease and his men believing it as such. At the very least, the continued cooperation between them would proceed more smoothly in this manner, so she replied immediately, “That’s probably it!”
“D*mn. Then, what are we wasting time talking for?! Quick; it’s time for us to move!” Blue Ease began rallying his men. Vast Lushness also relayed this message to Sakurazaka Moony; they needed to cover six spawn points, so the more the merrier.
Sakurazaka Moony’s group had an idol like Gu Fei on their side, so their concern over the matter was so minute that it was negligible. None of them dawdled for even another minute the moment they heard that they were needed.
Lastly, Vast Lushness informed the Priest, who had helped them bid for that magic staff, to go ahead and retrieve the magic staff.
“Right now? Isn’t it supposed to be a week later?” The person heard Blue Ease rallying everyone and was wondering to himself what it was for.
“Change of plans. There’s greater advantage to grabbing the magic staff now. Quickly retrieve it!” Vast Lushness replied.
“I’m not in the city right now, and it’s pretty far…”
“It’s fine. We’ll wait for you.”
“It’s getting kind of late; I’m about to log off…”
“Stay on for a bit more; this plan isn’t gonna work without you!”
“Big sister Lushness… actually… actually, I failed to win the bid for the magic staff…”