Chapter 579: Chapter 579 – Bury Them with Money
Translator: Exodus Tales Editor: Exodus Tales
Flame Singed Clothes stood staring at the open sky in the Mage Academy of Baishi City. This was not Linyin City where leaves dancing with the cool breeze could match the melancholia in his heart. Instead, it was white dust, unique to this region, that was in the breeze in this city. He stared into the distance with dazed eyes, and the dust quickly blurred his vision, causing the man to tear up freely.
His eyes were hurting, and so was his heart.
It was not too long ago that the Mage Flame Singed Clothes was among the Ten Great Adepts. Because of the sensitive nature of his profession, which required him to maintain a low profile, he had never once revealed the depths of his skills. Still, he was proud of his achievement, but this sudden blow had truly been too quick and far too ferocious.
In Luori City, Flame Singed Clothes’ heart was aglow with pride as he held off a host of experts in a corner of a valley when he linked two Palatial Balefires into a single boundary. Alas, Parallel World’s number one Mage, Drifting, used his Icy Mirage to get past his wall of flames, and the man’s magnificent Blossoming Crimson Lotus explosion had sent him turtling behind Southern Lone Blade’s shield, not daring to poke his head out. It was in that moment that tragedy began.
When that was over, he had ended up killing himself by sliding into his sea of flames in Linshui City. In Xiawu City, he burned his own comrade, Blackwater, to death, earning him that 1 PK point that led Gu Fei’s men to him. Later, when they were lost in the thick mist of Xiawu City, Flame Singed Clothes, who had lost his spirit to escape the fate of being hunted, became the first to fall as Eternal Dominion came out of nowhere and clutched his throat, dying with a bellyful of spite in the end.
After that enraged BOSS incident over at Xiawu City, they heard that there were plenty of players who died that received recompense, yet none of the seven brothers saw their names come up.
Originally considered among the ranks of the Ten Great Adepts at level 41, most players would feel disheartened after losing three levels in such a short span of time, but this was not the case for Flame Singed Clothes. He might not have his levels, but he still had his career. Leaving for another city far away from Gu Fei, he diligently and tirelessly grinded up his level again for a time until he managed to level up twice, only a bare step away from level 40.
However, everything had burst like a bubble in the sun in the blink of an eye.
Level 38. Flame Singed Clothes was back to the same state he was after he had gotten slain thrice that time. This time, with the wind in his eyes, Flame Singed Clothes stood at the entrance to the Mage Academy, no longer having any idea where he should go.
“I got slain.” Southern Lone Blade received this message from Glue.
“How did that happen?!” Southern Lone Blade quickly asked.
“Thousand Miles Drunk and Eternal Dominion were waiting for us outside the Bounty Assignment Hall. They’ve seen through our attempt at using the Windchaser’s Emblem to escape,” Glue reported.
Southern Lone Blade thought himself as clever and crafty – someone who acted carefully – but when it came to brilliant schemes, Gu Fei’s bunch was always one step ahead of him. He was no match for the strength and intelligence of their opponents, so how would they be able to eke out a win?
“We’ve been busy this whole day; let’s all take a rest first!” Southern Lone Blade really had no idea what to say. None of them had slept a wink since last night because they were all busy grinding out the Windchaser’s Emblem. They each took turns to take a short two-hour nap sprawled on the tables of a tavern, each making their preparations at the last minute, all for this battle to find their confidence back. Unfortunately, the result was still the same; they had disastrously lost on every front.
Southern Lone Blade wanted to message his team, saying, “The battle has just begun; let’s not give up, everyone,” but he could not find it in him to type it out because even himself had difficulties believing what he wanted to say. Southern Lone Blade was also slowly losing his self-confidence at this point.
The members of Southern Lone Blade’s team, hidden in the various corners of the city, each began to walk to a spawn point to log out. Paddy Scented Pastures happened to be at the Mage Academy, so he spotted Flame Singed Clothes standing right outside the entrance, facing the incoming breeze to the point of being unable to open his eyes. Paddy Scented Pastures had no idea what to say, so he just patted the man on his back before he proceeded to log out with a soft sigh.
“Southern Lone Blade’s logged off!” Even though they were enemies, Brother Assist was still a friend of Southern Lone Blade, and he immediately spread the news when his name dimmed on the list.
“No way!” Gu Fei was very disappointed. He had been camping out by the Bounty Assignment Hall and was waiting to catch the big fish! Southern Lone Blade was well-deserving of the villain title for being able to exchange a few rounds with Gu Fei, yet the latter had sent the former to Prison by borrowing the combat strength of an NPC guard the first time. He was uninvolved the second time they crossed paths, while the third time was Eternal Dominion’s doing. Gu Fei, who had never once had the chance to deal a satisfying cut to the man, had been waiting for his chance to do just that this time.
Eternal Dominion was no exception as well. Honestly, he doubted that he would earn any remuneration for the two players he had just stomped to death since the target he needed was Southern Lone Blade! As the man was no longer online, he simply had no means to conduct his business anymore.
“Let’s go!” When the two martial arts practitioners realized that there was no fight to be had, and that it was about time for them to log off as well, they made their way to the safe zone, too, leaving just Young master Han and the others to conclude what happened today elsewhere. Sword Demon and Royal God Call were a little dispirited as losing sight of Southern Lone Blade respectively was their only contribution for today. They had no idea what had happened to the rest, making them feel as if they were bit characters in this story.
From the message Vast Lushness’s side had sent them, the situation was more or less resolved to the satisfaction of all parties involved. It was just as Young Master Han had expected; after Vast Lushness clearly stated that she did not mind what had happened to the magic staff, no one else really had anything else to say regarding the matter. It was unavoidable for the Priest that had lied about successfully making the purchase to suffer a harsh bout of admonishment from Blue Ease, but given how everything had passed, a few rounds of liquor down their gullets were all it took for the whole lot of them to begin enjoying themselves. In truth, Vast Lushness was the only person who was truly affected by the loss of the Utopian Magic Staff, so how could the others stay unhappy for long?
Blue Ease’s men organized for them to go grinding, but Vast Lushness excused herself by saying that she was a little tired and did not wish to join them. Sakurazaka Moony was obviously the most elated when he saw how Blue Ease got rejected. By the time they all walked away, the Hunter had bounded over to Vast Lushness excitedly. “Lushness, let’s go questing!” He thought that the haze was over, and that his blissful life was about to begin anew.
“I’m tired; I wanna sit here for a bit. You guys go ahead!” Vast Lushness rejected.
“Then, I’ll accompany you!” Sakurazaka Moony said, leaning in eagerly.
“There’s no need for that. I’ll be fine here having Svelty with me,” Vast Lushness rejected again.
He had more to say, but then he saw Svelte Dancer slice off a corner of the table with her dagger and pull out a coin pouch to pay for the damage before saying through bared teeth, “Don’t be annoying. Quickly go play by yourself.”
Sakurazaka Moony pulled his neck back. In his eyes, Svelte Dancer was far more frightening than Gu Fei. This was because people like him who were casually acquainted with Gu Fei knew he would not really strike his friends viciously no matter what happened, but this lady was different. He reckoned that she did not even consider his lot to be any sort of friends at all. What if he were to disobey her? Did she not just demonstrate what would be his likely outcome with what she had done to the table?
“Then, you two, take care!” Sakurazaka Moony expressed his concern before hurriedly bringing all his comrades to get out of Dodge. Svelte Dancer was a beauty with filled pockets; she was originally a top-grade lady the members of Forever in Flowers could only dream about, but considering her viciousness, everybody felt that their lives were more important. It was important for them to have fun and not feel tortured when flirting.
“Aside from Drunk bro, there’s no one else out there who can handle this sort of chick!” Fireball boasted. He made it sound as if Gu Fei’s ability to handle her meant he could do it himself, leading the pack of men away from the tavern while acting like an alpha.
Seeing everyone leave, Vast Lushness finally shed her façade and revealed her sadness. Playing with the sack of coins in her hands, she felt a little troubled in her heart.
She had gotten this sack of gold coins in exchange for her Utopian Magic Staff. It all amounted to 5623 gold, 67 silver, and 14 copper coins after taking away the system-imposed handling fee. It was hard to determine this as a loss since it had been soldat such a price. Even veteran gamers like Brother Assist and the others had priced the staff at 2000 to 3000 gold coins following the conventional assessment based on the stats it had. For it to reach such a high price, it was naturally due to the staff’s uniqueness, as well as the bidding frenzy that ensued. Selling the equipment like this had actually cost more than the price of hiring someone to loot the staff off her corpse.
However, all Vast Lushness could feel was just sadness right now. Losing something would often cause a person to feel nostalgic about it, especially since she had lost it while having no intention to part with it at all. The emptiness she was feeling now was definitely not something money could fill, and in order not to let the others hold a grudge, she had no choice but to put up a brave front and be merry for quite some time. Pretending all this while had left her drained.
“What’s the matter? You can’t possibly be on the verge of tears, can you?!” Only a woman would know best what another woman was thinking. Svelte Dancer naturally understood Vast Lushness’s unwillingness to part with the staff. Given Svelte Dancer’s personality, she would have long since killed off all those people who had bungled up this affair, but Vast Lushness was indeed someone who had been in a position of leadership before, so she behaved and acted differently from Svelte Dancer. She had moved to sit across her at this point and was now regarding her intensely.
“Just kidding.” Vast Lushness managed to eke out a smile. “What’s there to cry about? I’ve gotten a hefty sum. Come; let’s go shopping.” The love for shopping was a woman’s born nature. There were plenty of women who would use this as a way to release their emotions, so Vast Lushness wanted to have a go at it herself.
“No!” Svelte Dancer lifted her hand to stop the lady. “We can’t leave the matter like this. We need to get that magic staff back, and I still need my revenge!”
“We don’t have any idea where that magic staff is; how are we gonna get it back?” Vast Lushness showed a bitter smile.
“Aren’t Southern Lone Blade’s gang looking to get a hold of it? Wait till they loot it off someone, then we’ll snatch it right off their hands,” Svelte Dancer said.
Vast Lushness stared deep into Svelte Dancer’s eyes. She was not exactly close with her, but now after mixing around with the whole lot of men and with the two of them being the only female players around, it was only natural for them to get a little more familiar with each other. Svelte Dancer made this all sound so easy, and the idea behind it was overly simplified, too.
“I don’t think it’s that simple. Miles and the others are also working on this matter, and they have nothing to show after spending the whole night on it. I heard all that they’ve accomplished was to kill two of their little pawns,” Vast Lushness said. Glue and Flame Singed Clothes would surely be in tears if they were present to hear what she had said. They, who had once been in the ranks of the Ten Great Adepts, were reduced to nameless pawns behind their backs. It was fine they were referred to as pawns, but adding the ‘little’ in front was just overkill.
“They have no problems when it comes to fighting and killing, but honestly, when it comes to looting equipment off players, you’re better off relying on Southern Lone Blade,” Svelte Dancer remarked.
Vast Lushness thought that what she said made sense. Every practice had their professionals. Murder and larceny were two different matters altogether, especially when talking about larceny in a game setting. Murder was no more than just violence, but larceny required patience. Thinking of how Gu Fei would only spend three hours a day playing the game, there was no way that he would be able to do this sort of specialized work no matter how competent he was!
“So, what do you suggest?” Vast Lushness was of course more than happy to get back her magic staff. Still, she could not simply make sense of what Svelte Dancer was getting at after listening to her this whole time.
“Southern Lone Blade’s team is only looting that magic staff because someone else hired them, right? They’re still gonna go for it no matter who the magic staff ends up with. How much is the other party paying? Let’s double it and the magic staff will end up with us. Once we complete the transaction and get the magic staff, we’ll kill them off as well. How satisfying will that be?!” Svelte Dancer was delighted.
Vast Lushness was stunned. The closer someone got to another, the harder it was to make out the person in question. Just who was this woman? She was the top pay-to-win player in the MMO community; why would she even get such a reputation if she did not use her money during crucial moments to make a breakthrough? This plan demonstrated the very style of a pay-to-win player like Svelte Dancer: ‘If I can’t beat you, I’ll buy you!’
“Will… Will this work?” Vast Lushness was skeptical. Every practice had their professionals, after all. Thus, when it came to using money to pave the road, Vast Lushness felt that there was no way she would have more experience than Svelte Dancer.
“Of course! Are they not taking such a risky line of work all for the pursuit of fortune? The same job that ends up earning more money; do they have any reason to reject it?” Svelte Dancer was bristling with confidence when she said this.
“Let’s give it a shot?” Vast Lushness was a little tempted. She was willing to sacrifice a bit of gold if she could get her magic staff back. With how ridiculous the price of her staff had gotten from this auction, there was a good chance that she already had twice the amount, believing that it would not be too far off if what she had earned was not enough.
In the end, the two ladies contacted Young Master Han and asked about Southern Lone Blade, only to learn that he had already logged off. With the plan running into roadblocks right from the start, Svelte Dancer bared her teeth and sliced another corner of the table in her annoyance.
“Forget it; we can’t find him even if he’s online, anyway. Let’s send him a letter!” Vast Lushness said.
“Yes!” Svelte Dancer nodded repeatedly. For them to go through all that trouble before just to draw out Southern Lone Blade’s team, it clearly showed that the seven men were not easy to locate, so writing a letter would be the most reliable way to get in contact with them.
After writing the letter and sending it out, Vast Lushness thought of the fact that there was no one watching the Auction House right now. What if the buyer came by to retrieve the magic staff at this time; would that not mean that she would have the chance to buy back her magic staff directly? With such a thought in mind, she dragged Svelte Dancer over to the Auction House even as she considered the absurdity of the situation. She had just sold the magic staff for such an exorbitant sum, yet she was looking to buy it back with an expensive price tag again. There was no doubt that this other person would take her for a fool if this transaction were to succeed.
“Why do we need to stake things out here for? We’ve already handed the task of getting the Utopian Magic Staff to Southern Lone Blade!” Svelte Dancer knew what Vast Lushness was getting at and yawned to express her objection.
“Isn’t it great if we can just buy it back?” Vast Lushness asked.
“If you buy it back like this, how am I gonna get my revenge on Southern Lone Blade?” Svelte Dancer asked back. While helping Vast Lushness get back her staff was obviously important, she too wished she could take revenge for her personal grudge as well.
“Well…” Vast Lushness felt guilty for only thinking about herself. She had truly forgotten that Svelte Dancer had a personal grudge to avenge, and the magic staff was also a bait she wanted to use to achieve this.
“Forget it; your magic staff’s more important. Let’s just wait here, then! Watch me bury anyone with money if they even dare to come retrieve it,” Svelte Dancer declared pompously.
“But what if that person doesn’t wanna sell it even in the face of death?” That was Vast Lushness’s biggest worry.
“Uhm…” Svelte Dancer obviously was not corrupted to the point where she believed that money was all-powerful, so she knew that such a possibility existed. Ultimately, she could only sigh. “Then, we’ll have to commit daylight robbery.”
“Whoahhh!” The players in the Auction House immediately distanced themselves by tens of meters from the two ladies. When the two of them went straight to the distribution NPC upon entering the premises, the players present in the rumor-filled Auction House were already suspicious of the pair, but no one wanted to believe that these two beautiful ladies would be related to something as shameless as larceny. This was until Svelte Dancer mentioned the word ‘robbery’. Why else would everyone not give the ladies a wide berth?
D*mn! How dangerous! The honeypot scheme is simply too vicious. Now that the criminals out there are conducting such intelligent crimes, it’s really hard for people to be on guard against them effectively! the crowd thought to themselves.