Chapter 680: Chapter 680 – Falling on a Rake
Translator: Exodus Tales Editor: Exodus Tales
The players that were considered to be the third party forces would use during the City Wars event would also be using the encampments outside the city as their spawn points. Even though life and death was uncertain up on the battlefield, these third party players would not receive the same treatment like what Gu Fei and Sword Demon were currently experiencing. Brother Assist had been rather safe staying in the encampment the whole time, looking to his left and to his right, listening and inquiring for information from the players themselves, at the same time finding out if Oathless Sword had died yet.
This was around the time when Gu Fei finally arrived. Brother Assist looked up and was puzzled. Before he could even ask, he saw Gu Fei suddenly Blink and disappear from his vision and a fiery glow suddenly flickered in some distant, unseen corner. All the players in the encampment had abruptly jumped out of their skins like they had been given the shock of their lives, yelling as they ran in every direction. Meanwhile, someone went by that corner where the flame had appeared and shouted without sparing a moment of pause, “OVER HERE!!!”
Brother Assist was still clueless as to what was going on, so he ran over to the corner as well. The players around him all had their weapons out, squeezing their way into that remote corner. Brother Assist did his best to tiptoe and jostle with the crowd as he looked in, and it appeared that a lone player was fighting with a guard. Next, he heard the other players yell even as they surged forward. Brother Assist continued to tiptoe and watch, but the player who had been fighting with the guard before was nowhere to be seen. At the moment, guards and players were charging in from all directions, transforming the fight into an all-out brawl. Brother Assist was still unable to make sense of what happened, but having had the experience of being accidentally injured five times, he quickly chose to depart from the area and avoid the battle altogether. That was also when he finally recognized a figure a short distance away, and it was without a doubt Gu Fei.
Gu Fei lived up to his name as a genius who was capable of quickly picking up on anything. Blink, Twin Incineration and secretly departing. It was a plan with three simple steps as he dragged another spawn point into a bloody massacre.
“What are you doing?” Brother Assist quickly sent a message over to Gu Fei and asked.
“Hehe!” Gu Fei chuckled as he relayed everything that had happened before to Brother Assist. The Knight had no idea if he should be laughing or crying. The guilds in Yunduan City were truly utterly unlucky for the system to have coincidentally made these two players their opponents, and it was a wonder if the guilds from the other cities had stumbled onto such a tragedy themselves.
The various large guilds that were still engaged in a gory battle right in front of the city walls had each received news from the players who respawned back in the encampments: Disguised spies had infiltrated the camps, and according to their investigation, there were quite a good number of them, and they were capable and strong. It was not so much as an infiltration as much as they were elite soldiers that were raiding the camps!
“F*ck, the system is truly vicious, alright! Could they be attempting to capture the camps? Then where would we respawn when we die? The south gate?” A guild leader exclaimed in his shock.
“Can you guys hold on?” Many of the guild leaders had posed this question to their men.
“More or less…We’ve got reinforcements, but so do they. We should still be able to survive… Since our members are rotating through here very quickly, so we should have no problems killing them in the end!” The players inside the encampment all replied with much confidence, and it was only natural for them to feel this way. Since the fight had broken out inside the spawn point, it meant that they were essentially experiencing the wonders of reviving on-site! Even though it was not a complete recovery, it was already indomitable as it was. Dying meant nothing to these players, as all they had to do was sit back and recover for a bit, and then they could immediately go again!
The guild leaders all heaved a sigh of relief as they proceeded to console each other, “It’s fine, we’ve got our guildmates there, and they’ve said everything was under control!” All the guildmates that they referred to were, of course, the experts of the respective guilds whom the guild leader had quite a bit of trust in. The leaders finally felt that this was no more than a momentary distraction when they heard how each of them affirmed one another in the same fashion.
But how were they supposed to know that this distraction was anything but momentary!?
Because the players were able to instantly respawn in the spawn point since they were all in the encampment itself, there were no five minutes recuperation period that these players had to adhere to as they fought. This was also why they were brimming with confidence that they would ultimately succeed. None of them were concerned enough to carefully assess their losses in the skirmish since they were all going to be ready to fight immediately after falling in combat, making this just a matter of time before they whittle the NPCs to their deaths. Meanwhile, the players taking up the frontline against the city guards quickly found themselves revived upon death and swiftly joined in on the skirmish, slowly grinding these ‘spies’ down. These players were delighted to fight in the encampment, though the players up on the frontline soon found the fight becoming more and more strenuous. That was when these people suddenly discovered that their numbers seem to be shrinking. Once another wave of players was depleted, and fresh troops were about to step in their place, these people were left staring incredulously: How did our numbers reduce? This portion of players had devoted themselves to the fight against the city guards and continued to whittle down the enemy forces, but when they looked back, they could not find anyone in place to replace them.
“What’s going on!? Where is the rest?” Various guild leaders began complaining. Just as these concerns were voiced, victorious cheers erupted from the north encampment, as they had finally deposed of the ‘spies’ in their camp.
These guild leaders were all dumbfounded, as this was when they realized why their soldiers on the frontlines were having such a tough time holding the fort. The players who had died and respawned back in the camps had actually been held up fighting the spies there!
“D*mm*t, what are those fools up to? Quick, come over and assist the frontlines!!” Oathless Sword was already bellowing this out over his party channel.
All the guild leaders hurried to rally the available manpower in their own guilds, but none of them really put their hearts into it. That was because many of them were clear: When they first learned that the camps were under attack, they had all felt that this sounded like a more special scenario, so they signaled their guildmates to delay lending a hand to the main combat forces on the frontline and stay in the encampment to earn more contribution score first.
If this was just one or two guilds that came up with such a sneaky idea, there would not be that much of an impact on the overall warfront. This was why many of the guild leaders had dared to pass down such an order, but when they now realized how that had created their current state of affairs, these people were all aware that there were actually many other ‘heroes’ that shared the same view as them. But none of them dared to stay quiet much longer as several of the guild leaders began to make a show to call their own players over to participate in the war effort. Nobody dared to refute the scoldings from the other guild leaders who had conscientiously stuck to their rotations to the frontlines.
“Not good, I can’t hold on any much longer. Where’re our reinforcements!” Foe-herder howled at this moment. The guild coalition had split this city assault into three segments, each close to a separate spawn point to allow the players to stay close and rotate with ease. Among them, the east and the center segments were the main force, while the west was the cannon fodder army. The cannon fodder army originally had no commander, and Oathless Sword and Brave Surge had each led the center and east segments respectively. Later, Brave Surge volunteered to become the commander for the west segment, which left the east segment to Foe-herder.
The ‘spy’ infiltrating the encampment business had affected their three pronged-assault greatly. Though the cannon fodder army was large, Brave Surge had arrived and began a meticulous examination of all the combatants, organizing them into many rotational teams that came in wave after wave, effectively creating a very long assembly line of players taking turns to engage with the city guards. Given how subpar their combat strength was, Brave Surge did not really spend much thought into organizing this frontline, and he ran around back and forth mainly focused on ensuring if there were enough players in position to keep the rotations going on. With him personally supervising, the players were hardly able to do as they pleased in the encampment, so the only players fighting in the encampment were those who were still serving their recuperation period and unable to leave. Players who were supposed to be out still continued their way to the frontlines.
In the end, it was the slightly weaker east segment that Foe-herder took charge of that suffered thanks to a large chunk of the players assigned there failed to turn up to keep the rotation going, leading to its collapse. Meanwhile, those idiots who were still playing with those ‘spies’ at the time had not even realized the impact that they had inflicted on the frontlines that they were supposed to be focusing their efforts on. These people were still shouting, “Okay, we’re about done here. Hold on!” This only angered Foe-herder to the point that he got himself killed just so he could head back to the spawn point himself and began tearing these men a new one, “F*ck you m*th*rf*ck*rs. You guys better get your m*th*rf*ck*ng *ss*s out to the frontlines right now! Those who need to recuperate may stay!!!”
Foe-herder was really flustered. He no longer cared if these were men from his guild or otherwise and just confronted them all, rebuking and bellowing at them. A good number of them put an end to what they were doing and obediently left the encampment to help out in the frontlines. Foe-herder casually took a look at those ‘spies’ and realized they looked really alike the camp guards that patrolled the area. Foe-herder wondered about this even as he tried to locate a camp guard to do a side-by-side comparison, only to realize that there were none around! Not a single camp guard was in sight!
Foe-herder froze up as a vague sense of uneasiness washed over him. He quickly stopped a player walking by, “Where are the camp guards stationed here in the encampment?”
This player had just died in a huge fight with the ‘spies’ and was immediately approached by Foe-herder. The man stared blankly for a good while before answering, “Ah? Camp guard? Aren’t they—Eh, where are the guards?”
“F*ck me, you half-wits! STOP! EVERYONE OF YOU BETTER M*TH*RF*CK*NG STOP!!!” Foe-herder was about to lose his mind, as he started grabbing people and throwing them to the back regardless. One of these players was sent tumbling to the ground and was extremely dissatisfied. As the man got up to his feet and began berating Foe-herder, the guild leader turned round with a lash of his sword, which caused the crowd observing them to suddenly think the man had gone mad. They then hear the crazy mad man yell at them as he glared with a face that was redder than hot coals, “What’s gotten into all of you? These are all the encampment’s guards, how did you all end up fighting them?”
“Guards?” The players that were still fighting the NPCs suddenly went into an uproar, though their hands were still moving, hacking away at their targets as they carefully observed them, “Are they the camp guards? It’s all a disguise, right? They are spies, after all.”
“Spy? I’ll ‘spy’ your sister!!!” Foe-herder was visibly infuriated, but he remained cool-headed on the inside as he fired off messages to the players in the north encampment that was nearest to the middle segment to confirm this matter. Sure enough, it was just as he had expected. The encampment that had previously proclaimed that they emerged victorious in repelling the spies did not have a single NPC guard patrolling the grounds.
“Stop, ALL OF YOU STOP!!!!” Foe-herder continued to shout. Some of the players reacted accordingly to the command and tried to convince the other players to stop. Meanwhile, the NPC guards who were on the same side as these players would not take the initiative to attack these players, but they would surely lend a hand the moment they saw players attacking one of them, which was why the current situation had continued to deteriorate and spread in such a manner. Now that all the players had stopped attacking them and these guards no longer needed to retaliate, all of the NPCs suddenly acted like nothing had happened, sheathing their swords as they returned to their original posts, leaving all the players standing around, stunned
“What’s going on? Who was the one who first attacked the NPC?” Foe-herder saw that the situation was more or less under control and had calmed himself down. Even as he hurried to organize the players to quickly head over to the frontline and assist them in the rotations, he tried to investigate the cause of this incident.
A veteran who had participated in the affair had affirmed with great certainty, “There was a spy that infiltrated the camp, the system had prompted everyone about it.”
“That’s right!” Many others voiced their agreement.
The system would not lie, so Foe-herder furrowed his eyebrows, “And what happened afterward?”
“Afterward? We proceeded to go around the camp, searching for the spy of course. In the end, we saw this spy who had disguised itself as a guard, and we immediately went up and attacked it!” someone said.
“How did you guys know that it was a spy? Did the system prompt you?” Foe-herder asked.
“By the time I arrived, someone was already fighting it, so I didn’t ask any further questions,” Someone said.
“Same for me.”
“Yeah, me too.”
“Then who was the first person who discovered the spy?” Foe-herder asked everyone around him, but no one responded.
This investigation was also happening over in the middle segment encampment, and the result they got was the same. The person who first encountered the spy simply could not be found, though there were plenty of players who firmly stuck their ground that they already saw someone who had first discovered the spy and was even engaging it in combat when they arrived.
Misfortune never comes singly, and the second bad news arrived: Because the players assigned to the north segment of their assault had not arrived in time to take over, the middle segment had no choice but to do their best and try to give them the appropriate assistance. However, these players were still no match for the enemy and it was at this time when the Assassins, that had yet to appear, showed themselves over at the east segment. The players holding the eastern frontlines instantly collapse, and the city guards that they had been holding back all this time massacred their way through right to the middle segment. Naturally, the players in the middle segment were unable to fend off this attack coming in from their flanks and proceeded to evacuate, while the west segment’s cannon fodder army no longer had any reason to hold on anymore, so they withdrew as well. This second assault on the city had actually been beaten back by the very same sneak attack, and what made it worse was that they had yet to uncover what triggered this particular reaction from the system.
“WHO THE F*CK WAS THAT GUY!?” Oathless Sword was purple with rage after he had learned what happened, and all the other guild leaders began yelling at their own men as well. This even including those guild leaders who had previously hinted to their men on the sly to focus on earning contribution score back in the encampments. Now that all of them knew all the trouble they had went through was for nothing, and that they had spent all that time killing the NPC guards that were assigned to their force, how could they have earned any score to speak of? These guild leaders even heavily suspect that the score of their own guilds might perhaps be in the negatives instead…
All the group leaders had decided that they would go over this entire incident properly, but after questioning a huge number of these participants about it, the conclusion that they had gotten was essentially the same. They had all been prompted about the infiltration attempt by the system, and when everyone began their search, they then discovered a player who was engaged in a fight with the so-called spy, and so they all went and lend a hand. This caused everything to gravitate toward further chaos, and that player who had first discovered the spy was nowhere to be found.
“Hehehehehe…..” it was at this time when someone actually laughed audibly, which sounded particularly grating to the crowd’s ears. The handful of large guild leaders angrily bellowed out, “Who dares?” and turned their heads to the laughter’s point of origin, only to find it belonged to Young Master Han.
“Ahem…” Oathless Sword coughed dryly once and did not say a word.
Foe-herder and Black Index Finger were not particularly fond of Young Master Han to begin with, so the moment they saw that the laughter came from this person, their anger only boiled further as they proceeded to attack Brave Surge, “Guild leader Surge, control your underlings!”
Brave Surge was of course extremely embarrassed, so he helplessly asked, “What are you laughing about?”
“What did the two men look like?” Young Master Han suddenly asked one of the participants, and before that person could even answer, he rephrased his question, “Oh right, you only participated in one of the two camps’ defenses, so just tell me what yours looked like.”
“I couldn’t get a clear look at that person’s face… But he seemed to be wearing a black Mage’s robe…”
“Ah!” Several players gasped. A black Mage’s robe was a very common piece of equipment, but in Yunduan City, a Black Mage’s robe was a symbol of sorts that most Mages would not dare put on. Anyone who wore it randomly could very well find themselves subjected to sneak attacks, dying without even realizing what had happened. Trying to dress like their idol was something that players from other cities could do, but here in Yunduan City, that idol of theirs had offended far too many people.
“Was that man Thousand Miles Drunk?” Brave Surge wrinkled his brow.
“I think I saw a black Mage’s robe as well,” another man said. Because of how quick Gu Fei had come and gone while everyone was focused on the fact that the spy was dressed as a guard, many of these players that caught a glimpse of him had a very fuzzy recollection of his presence.
“The one I saw… It seems to be also…” Even those who had seen Sword Demon had also felt that it was a black Mage’s robe when it was actually an Assassin’s black cloak.
“That’s impossible, the time you spotted the spy over there was around the same time as over here as well. So there must surely be two players active here. Thus, the encampment here and that in the middle segment was Thousand Miles Drunk, while the one you saw on your side should be Sword Demon. When the system had prompted about a spy infiltrating the camp, it must have been referring to these two men, but because everyone had presumably believed that all players would be on their side, that was how it resulted in the huge mess that it became,” Young Master Han explained.
“This… It seems to be the case…” Many of them felt that this analysis was fairly reasonable.
“These two men are truly too malevolent!” So many players were resentful toward what the two of them did.
“Guild leader Oathless, can you give us an explanation as to this matter?” At this moment, someone had stood up and suddenly spat an accusation out.
Oathless Sword looked at this person and angrily shouted, “White and Black, just what the f*ck do you mean by that?”
“What do I mean by that? While everyone’s here, I wish to ask you just what are you up to!? Gentlemen, listen up. It was this b*st*rd Oathless Sword who had made contact with Thousand Miles Drunk and Sword Demon and had been causing us grief throughout this entire City Wars event. He had even previously sent his lackey Youthful Reflection to lure those two men to kill me once, g*dd*mm*t,” White and Black snarled.
“What f*ck*ng nonsense!!” Oathless Sword was really incensed now, as he strode forward intending to cleave White and Black into two. But even though his guild was powerful, his individual strength was not to the point he was capable of doing something as indomitable as insta-killing a player with a raise of his hand like Gu Fei. White and Black was a guild leader by his own right as well, so he was not a weakling by any measure. There was no reason that he would just let himself get cleaved so easily, and he hardly backed down from the attack as he went as far as to retaliate with an attack of his own when that claymore swung right at him. The two traded blows for a few rounds, as the whole crowd of guild leaders watched wordlessly, with some even drinking in the schadenfreude. Youthful Reflection was extremely rattled, leaping out to shout, “It’s a misunderstanding, it was all a misunderstanding,” trying to pull the two men off each other even as he said this. White and Black had his own men around as well, and they too leaped out and shouted, “What? are you trying to hold our guild leader back while yours get a few licks in!?”
“What are you saying. This is all a mistake. Let’s all stop and listen to me properly explain the matter,” YR coaxed.
“Explain? What’s there to explain?” White and Black was seething.
“Guild leader White and Black, why don’t you tell us when you got killed?” Youthful Reflection asked.
“I was—” White and Black suddenly stopped himself from continuing after he uttered those two words; it was no good for him to reveal what he was up to! What should I say? Should I say I was aiming to snatch Carouse’s quest and died on my way over? Brave Surge was currently happily standing right by the side watching this unfold! T his rascal Youthful Reflection is truly cunning! With all these thoughts racing through White and Black’s mind, he decided to just reveal everything regardless of the possible consequences, chuckling mirthlessly, “What was I doing? Hmph. I was heeding to guild leader Oathless’ secret order to mess with the quest Carouse had gotten!”
“F*ck*ng hell, you scum. How dare you implicate me in this matter!!” Oathless Sword bellowed once more, only this time he had quite the guilty conscience, and had to pretend to be righteously indignant about the accusation. He would not lose face trying to compete with Carouse, but to do so using this sort of underhanded means, how would the others look upon him and his guild if they believed it to be true?
“Do you deny it? Even though you did not explicitly state this to my face, you kept going on and on about it right by my ears, do you think I wouldn’t get what you’re trying to hint to me? Hmph, do you treat yours truly to be that sort of person? You wanna use me to pull such a dirty trick? Well, yours truly simply won’t fall for your words and I wanted to bring my men over to lend a hand to Guild leader Surge and his men, contrary to your expectations. But who would have thought you would be such a vicious b*st*rd, and upon seeing that I was not going to play ball, you actually colluded with the enemy to assassinate me! F*CK YOU!!” White and Black’s name lived up to his name, and he was very capable when it came to calling white black and black white. What he had said was a mixture of truth and falsehoods that contained huge obfuscation of actual reality, yet anyone who heard it would feel it made perfect sense.
A person would be invincible as long as he or she was willing to plunge into any depths! Youthful Reflection was someone who had plenty of ideas, but he was really at a loss when faced against someone without any limits, and this one blow that White and Black had dealt was so unrestrained, that Oathless Sword and Traversing Four Seas were beaten black and blue. Everyone was well aware of the rivalry that existed between Traversing Four Seas and Carouse, and it was highly probable that the former would work to instigate others to mess up the latter if they had gotten wind of a quest that would give them an advantage. As for White and Black rejecting Traversing Four Seas’ enticement and instead siding with Carouse, only the wise would see the wisdom in this fabrication. Ultimately, Oathless Sword and his guild Traversing Four Seas were suddenly due for some very difficult days ahead from here onward.