Chapter 665: Chapter 665 – Guild Coalition
Translator: Exodus Tales Editor: Exodus Tales
Now that Gu Fei had a spell like Blink, he had no fear when leaping off from structures no matter their height, since all he needed to do was get a grasp of the distance and cast Blink at the right time to land safely. Sword Demon did not have such an ability, so he could only stick to the tried and true method of climbing downstairs. Quite a bit of time was spent doing this, and the players outside the city walls had managed to get themselves much closer to the city in that time. It had been Gu Fei and Sword Demon who had thrown the huge rock out just now, so it did not represent the system’s inclinations in the least. It was only when the players were almost seconds away from reaching the base of the city walls did the system begin to react, the Archers, Mages, and trebuchet operators up on the battlement suddenly began to make their move altogether.
Whatever skills that the players possessed, the system knew them as well. In fact, it even possessed skills and spells that players were unable to use as well. Nothing was out of the ordinary when those players saw the sky fill with arrows, but the visual effects of the spells thrown were different, as a mixture of ice, fire and lightning spells all came crashing down from the heavens. Aside from Descending Wheel of Flames or Blazing Tree of a Thousand Inferno, what other AoE spells did players have in their arsenal? Despite this, everybody could see icy daggers form in the sky above the western corner of the city as they sliced through the air on their way down, turning all the players struck by these falling blades blue, and applying the Freeze effect on them. Lightning carpeted the skies to the east of the city, as beams of electricity scattered in every direction when the lightning bolts struck the ground. The players struck by this spell all became living conductors, as lightning arced from player to player, forming a chain of lightning that kept bouncing between players without any signs of stopping.
The remaining players stuck in between both east and west of the city were having a much more miserable time, as they were well within the range and area where the trebuchet’s physical damage would be concentrated. The players in the aforementioned directions had it better because while they were being electrocuted or frozen, it was not enough to instantly kill them off, and any swift intervention from a Priest would be able to save them from dying. But there was nothing that could be done for those that got squished by the large rocks. They were not even visible when pinned under the rock so completely, so how could they be saved? However, now that the rocks had firmly landed, they did provide good cover, so all the other ashen-faced players that were still alive headed over to hide behind the rocks.
Just this wave of ranged attack had already battered the players to the point they were ready to give up. The players had even temporarily forgotten about the rows of Warriors, Knights and other melee job classes of NPC guards that the system had placed right outside the city walls! This initial wave of attacks from the battlements had seemingly left the players disoriented, even as these NPCs stormed forward to begin harvesting the players who were all at their wits’ end.
The players had charged forth out of a moment of sheer impulse, with none of them making any sort of prior preparation. They had no idea what to prepare for in any case since none of them had any idea just what sort of methods would the system be using! After all this, they had finally gotten an idea just what to expect, and in this first round, the players from all cardinal directions were routed, scrambling wherever they could as they fled from the attacks. Even the guild leaders were unable to recall their troops since they themselves had also been frightened to the point that they were quaking in their boots! Even the guild leaders who had experienced plenty of large scale PK in the game had never been involved in such a huge battle that comprised of forces that numbered well over hundreds of thousands of players who clashing in earnest. With a single glance of the battlefield, their mental state had been so shaken that they nearly had forgotten what their guild’s emblem looked like.
Gu Fei had not moved ever since he leaped down from the top of the city walls. On the one hand, he had to wait for Sword Demon. On the other, he wanted to wait till the NPCs and players engage in a chaotic battle so that the two of them could fish in muddled waters. But who would have thought that the chaotic battle he was looking forward to never happened. The players’ morale was broken by this point, and the experts that usually bragged about their indomitability were being completely ineffectual right now against the spells and the huge rocks thrown at them. Even a player with quick reflexes looking to evade these attacks would be unable to escape; there were too many players around them that would only serve as obstructions.
What a terrible battle to fight in! Gu Fei could not even bear to look. He felt that there was a good chance he might not be any better off if he had been in the midst of his fellow players, as both the enemy and ally would just be a hindrance since there was hardly any space for anyone to demonstrate any sort of dexterity or skill in such a situation.
It was around this time that Sword Demon came hurrying down the stairs from the city walls and had made his way out of the city gates. Gu Fei had been waiting for him right outside, as Sword Demon asked as he came running, “Where are White and Black and his men?”
“What White and Black? He’s already gone.” Gu Fei said.
Sword Demon had been inside the city, trying to make his way out the whole time, so he had not seen the tragic scene of the players getting bullied. By the time he arrived, all he saw was the battlefield filled with the routed players, and there was no way for him to locate his assassination target. Eight to nine flags out of the ten that players brought out had already been ditched, as everyone was focused on fleeing with their lives. Even if players had not abandoned them out on the field, the flags would have been stored back in their dimensional pocket. No one was keen to keep it raised as it would just be in the way.
“Just… Just what in the world happened!?” Sword Demon was flabbergasted. While he sprinted down the stairs, the scene etched in his mind was of the players charging out with what could be described as a voracious hunger to devour the city defenses, an indefatigable offensive. How did everything change so drastically in the time that it took for me to get down from the walls and make my way out of the city gates? It was completely inscrutable!
“Well, the system initiated their response to the players’ attack, and that resulted in what you see before you,” Gu Fei shook his head, sighing.
The system had been mainly focused on defense, so after the NPCs had stormed out a good distance, they came to a halt at a certain point and began to retreat to their initial position, which gave the players a moment of respite. Now that they had the time to spare, the players quickly did an account of their forces, with the various guild leaders anxiously inquiring for an answer, “Where did everyone respawn at? Is it near? It’s not another random spawn, was it?”
This time, the system showed compassion once more, and all the players who died were found in the nearest spawn point, allowing them to rejoin their comrades quickly. They were more severely affected by this setback than when they witnessed Black Rose getting crushed before. All the players were hanging their heads in sorrow, and not a sound could be heard from those who were acting arrogant and confident at the start of the battle.
Every guild began to conduct emergency meetings, with quite a few guild leaders realizing that against such an unprecedented foe, there might perhaps be no way for them to earn any sort of rewards at the end of the day if they continue to see this event as a competition with one another and fight their battles separately.
The first one to step up as an example was the guild leader from Carouse, Brave Surge. As someone who was one of the Five Unyielding Experts, the charm he possessed alone was better than the strongest guild in Yunduan City, Traversing Four Seas. In this instance, he had made the first move to court Oathless Sword, making the suggestion for their guilds to take the lead and cooperate, leading the rest of the guilds in Yunduan City to combat the system altogether.
Oathless Sword had actually been discussing with his comrades about collaborating with the rest of the guilds as well, hoping to be the one who suggested the idea, but he never would have guessed that Brave Surge would come to the same conclusion so quickly, already making his move before Oathless Sword and his men had thought everything through. Oathless Sword was quite unwilling to let this man steal the spotlight in such a manner, but he also knew this was not the time to sulk. Weighing the pros and cons, he could only accept Brave Surge’s suggestion.
“Guild Leader Oathless sure is decisive! Then let’s do it this way. We should all meet up and go over a proper strategy together. Which gate are you near!?” Brave Surge asked.
“The north gate. And you guys?” Oathless Sword answered.
“We’re at the west gate. It’s no problem, let’s all set a location to meet up. Since Oathless Sword had agreed to work together, I’ll take the responsibility to contact some of the other guilds,” Brave Surge said.
“How could I trouble you? I’ll go call some of the other guilds as well,” Oathless Sword hurriedly added. There was no public channel for players to interact over in Parallel World, and aside from verbally yelling at one another in the game world, the only other choice they had left was to privately message individuals accordingly. It was apparent that Brave Surge was now about to appeal to the masses, so these people would naturally put Carouse as the leader for this operation. There was no way that Oathless Sword would let Brave Surge monopolize this operation so thoroughly, so it was only natural that he wanted to be the one in charge of this particular task. This would allow Traversing Four Seas to hold the leadership position if they went by this rhetoric.
Both men tacitly understood this, so neither bothered to say anything further as they went about their own business accordingly. However, because Brave Surge had taken the step to first field the idea with Oathless Sword, it also meant he was already a move ahead. It was only sending out a message after all, and there was no need for them to do any sort of personal visitations, so while he had approached Oathless Sword about this operation, Brave Surge had already messaged quite a few of the guild leaders at the same time.
There were only five guilds in Yunduan City that reached level 6. Brave Surge’s Carouse was one of them, and he had already made to contact the other four guilds. Oathless Sword had always considered himself to be the most indomitable, so he thought he ought to be the one in charge, but why would any of the other guild leaders not think the same about themselves? When Brave Surge contacted the others, each guild leader had also shared the same sentiment, so in the end, aside from Brave Surge reaching out to contact the others, the four other guilds had also called on one another. By the time Oathless Sword sent a message to two of them, he ended up receiving three separate invitations from these other guilds, going over the same content he had just sent out. That was only when he realized that Brave Surge had already contacted the others, and they had reacted just as Oathless Sword did. There was no reason why the others would just foolishly wait for Brave Surge to snatch this opportunity from them!
While the four guilds wasted time being fools, Brave Surge had already continued to contact all the other lower-level guilds. Oathless Sword and the others were not far behind with this line of thinking as well. At that moment, plenty of the lower level guild leaders were caught in a state of confusion. All of a sudden, the guild leaders from the top five guilds in Yunduan City had all reached out separately to collaborate for this event, just what was going on? With regard to the situation that they were all currently in, cooperation was already a given, but how would their guilds have the greatest benefit from working together? They would still have to wait and see how that would pan out.
The guild leaders representing their small and medium-sized guilds had no idea that the five large guilds had already allied together, and were now arguing over who would take the helm for this operation, but this only made the small and medium guilds feel as if the five guilds were there competing on equal footing with each other! All of these smaller guilds then pondered about which guild they should be devoting their support toward, and this went on for quite some time before everyone found out what was the real situation with the large guilds. Laughing at the matter, and seeing that there was no breakthrough on the decision, everybody simply decided to go ahead and organize the inaugural Yunduan City guild leader coalition summit.
The guild leaders of the five large guilds were: Traversing Four Seas’ Oathless Sword, Carouse’s Brave Surge, Cloud Herder Guild’s Foe-herder, Colored Clouds’ Gu Xiaoshang, and The Black Hand Syndicate’s Black Index finger.
Traversing Four Seas and Carouse were the two large guilds in Yunduan City that were first considered as major organizations originally matched in strength. It was only later when Traversing Four Seas had managed to acquire the guild quest reward from the Guild v.s. Guild tournament and completed it, that they became the first level 6 guild in the city. Meanwhile, Brave Surge had spent that same time hunkering down doing an explosive grind and had managed to break into the ranks of the Five Unyielding Experts. Similarly, he led his guild to work their way up to level 6 by their own efforts, so they were not too far off from Traversing Four Seas. Then, there was the Cloud Herder Guild, which was just level 4 when those two guilds were still level 5, always a grade behind the two. Even though they had managed to make it to level 6 as well, their differences was similar to how there would still be a gap between two level 41 players. In terms of fame and reputation, Cloud Herder was nowhere at the level of either Traversing Four Seas or Carouse.
Colored Clouds was much worse off. They were originally a level 3 guild that had managed to make it to level 6 in part thanks to Traversing Four Seas’ assistance. The whole of Yunduan City knew just how hard Oathless Sword was wooing Gu Xiaoshang, though he had yet to be successful in his attempt. Finally, there was The Black Hand Syndicate, which was the guild formed by the largest mercenary group in Yunduan City, The Black Hand. After losing at the hands of the six-man mercenary group, Young Master’s Elite, The Black Hand could be considered to have utterly disgraced themselves. They felt as if they couldn’t rid themselves of the shadow in their minds if they continued to develop their mercenary group, so they simply decided to double-down and establish a guild as well. They might have been a step late to the party, but their development was expedient, having reached level 6 before even Colored Clouds made it to level 6. People who took note of their rise were aware that the moment The Black Hand Syndicate came to be, it started as a level 3 guild that managed to attain level 4 several days later. Everybody surmised that they must have directly bought a guild from someone else. After all, the name of guilds was not like player IGNs and could be changed.
The other small and medium-sized guilds from the city could not amount to much in comparison, and all fell in line under these five large guilds. Meanwhile, the five guilds each have their distinctions. When considering the strength of their members, there was no dispute that Traversing Four Seas would be the strongest. In terms of the guild leader’s prestige, Brave Surge was the best, considering he was one of the Five Unyielding Experts. When it came to relationships and networking, nobody would dare to underestimate Black Index Finger; as someone who started as a mercenary group member, and with how renowned The Black Hand mercenary group was, he had made quite a good number of friends and acquaintances after operating in Yunduan City for such a long time. Then there was the fact that Colored Clouds’ guild leader was the lady, Gu Xiaoshang. That was considered to be quite a distinction in itself, like how there would be people like Oathless Sword and his guild that would surely be drawn toward them. Lastly, it was an old school organization like the Cloud Herder guild that would seem to be a little mediocre in comparison.
Oathless Sword could already tell and was afraid that Brave Surge might be thinking of leveraging on this opportunity to get Carouse in a position to snatch away that top guild spot from Traversing Four Seas. There was no way he was about to let him succeed. Aside from that possibility, he was not particularly worried about it. The way he saw things, out of the five large guilds, aside from Brave Surge’s Carouse, the three other guilds should be a little biased toward him.
There was no need to speak about Gu Xiaoshang. Even though Oathless Sword had not succeeded in courting her this whole time, they at least maintained a fairly amicable relationship with one another that would surely trump that with the distant and aloof Brave Surge. As for Black Index Finger, the two had been through thick and thin when they were contracted to help with Traversing Four Seas’ guild quest. Many mercenary groups had pulled out after Linyin City’s battle, and Black Index Finger had even died in the course of their expedition. However, his mercenary group kept to their contract, which Oathless Sword was very appreciative of. Showing his gratefulness to the mercenary leader when everyone returned to Yunduan City, the two parties had always maintained a rather friendly relationship after. As for Foe-herder, neither men had many dealings with each other, but there was even less of a cordial relationship between Brave Surge and him. The fact that the two were at odds with one another was no secret in Yunduan City.
With such a thought in mind, Oathless Sword felt that Brave Surge was a move short from a checkmate. What’s the use of contacting the other three guilds beforehand? These people were all better acquainted with me than you, so why would they not stand with me on this?
Both Gale Force and Youthful Reflection agreed with Oathless Sword’s thinking. By now, the location for the guild leader coalition summit was already set, and Oathless Sword was bringing them along with him to participate. He was a Warrior, and his movement speed was slow, so there were plenty of people already at the location by the time he arrived. Oathless Sword swept a glance toward the crowd and first located the other four large guild leaders. Because the four of them were positioned more to the center, all the guild leaders from the small and medium-sized guilds had converged with them as the core.
Oathless Sword lightly coughed twice, and the person nearby immediately stepped to the side to let him walk by. Seeing people subconsciously let him pass right to the center like this made Oathless Sword feel really good.
“Guild leader Oathless, you’re finally here!! We’ve been waiting quite some time for you,” Brave Surge said this warmly.
“Sorry about that. Babylegs,” Oathless Sword chuckled.
“While you were making your way here, we’ve discussed a little and everyone agreed. Since we are working together for this, we should have an overall commander. We’ve all come to the decision together and chosen you, guild leader Oathless. No, there’s no need to be courteous, we’ve all already made this decision, and we’re just informing you of it. You’ll have to defer to the majority here, hahaha!” Brave Surge was speaking jovially, which left Oathless Sword feeling a little baffled. Just what was going on? Did this man actually take the initiative to hand me the position of leadership for this operation?
Could this person have already made sense of what was going on, and knowing there was no point to struggle against the inevitable, decide to just hand the position over to me and demonstrate his magnanimity to further raise his appeal? This thought flashed through Oathless Sword’s mind at that moment, as Youthful Reflection nudged him and sent a private message, “Young Master Han!”
The moment Oathless Sword heard that name, he casually glanced over in the direction where Youthful Reflection had nudged him at. Right behind Brave Surge, stood a Priest that was casually seated on a random wooden log. Only his torso was visible amidst the crowd, and the item in his hand was never the magic staff that people would expect a Priest to be wielding, but a bottle of liquor, instead.
Even though they no longer harbored any enmity with the people from Young Master’s Elite mercenary group and even looked upon them favorably, they still viewed Young Master Han as the devil deep down in their hearts. Be it fleecing, entrapping or sarcasm, Oathless Sword could feel his heartbeat with trepidation no matter whichever of the three came to mind. He immediately replied to Youthful Reflection’s message, “Ah, I almost forget that guy is someone from Carouse. G*dd*mm*t, do you think I’m a victim to his scheming already?”
“Best to be polite first,” Youthful Reflection answered.
Almost immediately, Oathless Sword chortled, “These are your words, Guild leader Surge. But you’re presently one of the Five Unyielding Experts and can be considered as one of the most outstanding players here in our Yunduan City. I think you’re more deserving to be the overall commander for this operation here.”
“Hehehe…” Brave Surge chuckled. “I would love that, but everyone does not seem to agree!”
Oathless Sword was about to say something, when Gu Xiaoshang glared, “We’re asking you to be in charge, so do it already! What are you acting all humble for? How annoying!!”
Since the apple of his eye had already spoken, Oathless Sword ditched the idea of just being a backseat general and decided to demonstrate his manliness, laughing loudly, “Since this is what everyone had agreed upon, then I have no choice but to graciously accept.”
Youthful Reflection and Gale Force were both helpless; Their brother was always such a fool when in front of Gu Xiaoshang.
“Alright, then let us plan everything out now with everyone. How should we go about this battle?” Brave Surge asked.
Oathless Sword chuckled, “I just arrived, so tell me about the brothers we’ve gathered here today!” Oathless Sword might have said brothers, but he was actually looking for sisters. He had spotted Young Master Han previously, so he suddenly realized that just keeping his eyes on these guilds were not enough. How could he not attempt to recruit the indomitable player known as Thousand Miles Drunk into the fold? That man was in Amethyst Rebirth, so where are those ladies from the guild at? Were they here yet?
Amethyst Rebirth was a very small guild, and Oathless Sword did not actually have anyone from their group in his Friends’ list, which was why he had not attempted to bring them into this coalition. At the moment, he had no idea if the ladies from that guild had arrived yet, and realized it was not a good idea to ask about this openly. He had hoped that he was the only one who had noticed that someone like Thousand Miles Drunk, capable of single-handedly holding up his guild, should be recruited for this operation, and so he was attempting to get this done in secret.
In the end, he swept his eyes around but saw nobody from Amethyst Rebirth, so he instantly messaged Youthful Reflection and Gale Force, “Has either of you seen Thousand Miles Drunk?”
Both men said no.
After Oathless Sword finished looking around once, he quickly laughed again, “It’s just us old acquaintances here! Alright, let’s get to planning.”
Brave Surge nodded, “We were still doing our headcount, but we currently have about 820 guilds of varying sizes, and the total number of guild members in attendance is about 170,000. Guild leader Oathless, how do you think we should fight this battle?”
F*ck, they were waiting for me!! Oathless Sword yelped to himself. He was just a player, and commanding his thousand-man strong guild was already his limit. Now that he suddenly has gotten himself 170,000 players looking to follow his orders, how would he know how to execute this? Oathless Sword suddenly realized that being the one in charge of this operation today was not as good as he had originally thought it would be…