Chapter 704 – Whose Guild Quest?
Translator: Exodus Tales Editor: Exodus Tales
Beyond Thirty Miles and Guzzler had discovered the misdirection ruse that the guild, Disembodied Spirits Under the Tree, had played, but because of their current state as deserters, it made things awkward for them to report this to the guild. Since they could not inform their guild about what they had discovered, then there would be no cost or benefit for them to keep following them, and they would just be being nosey. Now the real question if they wanted to be busybodies or not.
“They are going!” Beyond Thirty Miles said to Guzzler.
“Why don’t you be louder!?” Guzzler sardonically spat.
“They are leaving,” Beyond Thirty Miles said, softer this time.
“Well, we’re not going to report back to the guild anyway, so whatever they are doing isn’t our business any longer. They can go wherever they want to!” Guzzler was a lot more casual about this, lying down comfortably in the tall grass, gazing up at the sky. His hand sifting through his pocket for some time before he finally retrieved a half bottle of liquor.
“You can drink even while lying down?” Beyond Thirty Miles seemed to have found this to be more interesting.
Guzzler did not reply, simply demonstrating it straight to Beyond Thirty Miles by taking a mouthful in front of him.
“Color me impressed,” Beyond Thirty Miles nodded, as he sneakily poked half his head out from within the grass. “Hey, they are really leaving. Let’s go and take a look!”
“What’s so good about looking?” Guzzler was annoyed.
“We might not be able to snatch the quest at this point in time, but perhaps we can do so at the next stage of the quest?” It looked like Beyond Thirty Miles was more concerned with the guild than Guzzler and was still thinking from the benefit of the guild, especially in a situation where his life was not in too great a risk.
Guzzler felt it was a reasonable deduction when he heard what Beyond Thirty Miles said. He capped his bottle of liquor, stuffed it into his dimensional pocket once more, got up from the ground and said, “let’s go take a look.”
As the two men slowly crept their way through the tall grass, they poked their heads out from time to time to keep their eye on what was happening. But in the process of moving like this, they did not keep an eye on what was in front of them this way. There were several instances where the two men accidentally parted the grass to reveal a couple staring at them in fright.
“Excuse us,” Beyond Thirty Miles said.
“Carry on,” Guzzler added after they shift the grass back.
Two men!! The couple exclaimed their hearts.
Wind Seal and his men followed Guillermo along the banks of the lake, and they were not any faster than the two men, Beyond Thirty Miles and Guzzler, creeping through the tall grass, which meant it was hardly difficult for them to keep up with the pack. The two could also tell that the pack of men appeared to be engaged in some sort of escort quest. They felt a lot more reassured when they saw it was an NPC deciding the pace of their advancement.
Slowly, it became clearer where Guillermo was leading them toward, and it was a small log cabin right by the lake. Beyond Thirty Miles and Guzzler could also make the same inference, but the cabin did not have any tall grass around it to provide the pair with any cover at all, and that only made it that much harder to hide their presence. The two men looked all around, hoping to be able to find somewhere closer to position themselves in.
“Should I Stealth my way over?” Beyond Thirty Miles asked.
“You don’t know that guy Tomorrow, but he is capable of detecting Stealth,” Guzzler said.
“Which one is he?”
“The one behind Wind Seal. He’s busy looking all around all shifty looking,” Guzzler mentioned. Several of the men with Wind Seal were once members of Carouse. Beyond Thirty Miles knew Wind Seal, so he was able to identify the man called Tomorrow.
“Oh. Then let’s search for a spot!”
The two continued to move around the grass, when they suddenly parted the grass to discover a player lying prone on the ground in full battle gear. This person did not look a bit like he belonged. Players who were busy doing things around Yunduan Lakeside were not in the least bit concerned with equipment stats but were more preoccupied with their visual aesthetics instead.
It was evident that this person had heard movement behind him as well, turning back around in a hurry with a steel sword held right in front of him. Beyond Thirty Miles quickly ducked for cover behind Guzzler, and the surrounding grass shook violently around them as an innumerable amount of arrowheads, swords, and daggers were pointed at them.
“Who’s there!?” With so much movement, Wind Seal and the others had realized there was noise coming from the area where the three of them were. He and his men all turned around to face where they heard the noise came from. Almost instantly, the commotion ceased. Weapons were raised all around Beyond Thirty Miles and Guzzler, and taking another step closer will easily send the two men back to the encampment. However, the white light that would shine as a result of their deaths would undoubtedly be a telltale sign for Wind Seal and the others that something had occurred here, thus everyone stopped what they were doing.
“Head over there and take a look,” Wind Seal pointed to a player and gestured at him to investigate as everyone looked absolutely flustered. But it was at this time when a man amid the tall grass nearby quietly put his weapon away and stood up, holding the hand of a lady as they stepped out without showing any care for their surroundings. When Wind Seal and the others saw this, they very quickly understood what had happened, and the player who was heading over to investigate what was happening had also returned back to the pack.
That was close! Everyone let loose a heavy sigh in their minds. But for Beyond Thirty Miles and Guzzler, the danger had yet to pass. After Beyond Thirty Miles had ducked behind Guzzler, everyone immediately stopped what they were doing, so his hand was currently clutching Guzzler’s neck tightly. Guzzler had very naturally reached his right hand out and very lightly placing it upon the back of Beyond Thirty Miles’s hand. Beyond Thirty Miles had no idea what to make of this, seeing Guzzler nod lightly at him and proceed to pull his hand down, the two men were now holding hands with one another as they made to leave.
The players around them were all in shock as their expressions slowly changed. Finally, the weapons pointed toward the two were finally lowered, as a path was made out for the two to leave. In such a fashion, Guzzler and Beyond Thirty Miles had both managed to walk out of the encirclement and escape scrutiny and certain death in the end.
After the two walked a distance away and saw that no one was following them any longer, Beyond Thirty Miles very quickly pulled his hand away and gagged, “so disgusting.”
“Yeah,” Guzzler nodded his head in agreement. Taking out his half-filled bottle, he poured it all over his entire right hand before taking out a small fire lighter and igniting his left hand on fire.
Beyond Thirty Miles was taken aback, but the fire very quickly extinguished and Guzzler very calmly stated, “Disinfection.”
“Why don’t we just get ourselves killed,” Beyond Thirty Miles blanched visibly.
“I did consider that, but now I’m a little curious about what those guys intend to do, so let’s just be a little disgusting together!” Guzzler said.
“What sort of liquor do you have there? How is it able to be lit on fire?” The taverns in the game usually served red and dessert wines. Such spirits with low alcohol content would not be strong enough to be lit on fire just like that.
“I brewed it myself,” Guzzler said as he stowed the bottle back into his dimensional pocket. “Do you have those guys in your sight?”
“Yup. They’re men from Colored Clouds.” Beyond Thirty Miles said. He recognized the guild emblem that they were wearing and was happy that the two of them were not wearing their own guild emblem. They were deserters, so they needed to hide their identity after all.
“Yes, it looks like they’ve come here to track down Wind Seal and the others.” Guzzler added.
“That’s strange. Wind Seal and his men should have been very careful while hiding their tracks. How did these guys know about this? It appeared as if they were all prepared for this?”
“That is exactly what it looks like,” Guzzler nodded. He did not dare to get too close, so they squatted in the area where they currently were, either of them showing just half their heads as they trained their eyes on the log cabin in the distance.
“Looks like they are about to enter!” Beyond Thirty Miles announced.
Guillermo had stepped into the cabin as Wind Seal and the others all let loose a heavy sigh of relief. This was very clearly the destination of their quest. They believed that this NPC was not about to pointlessly take a detour to visit this place before hurrying on their journey.
“You guys head out and keep a lookout,” Wind Seal randomly sent a few men out as he took a step into the cabin. He was the quest holder, so obviously, he would be the one entering the cabin to finish the quest.
Everything was old and musty inside the cabin, covered in a thick layer of dust, though the desk was completely clean. A lone man was seated on the table, holding a bottle of liquor in hand as he regarded Wind Seal.
“Why are you here!?” Wind Seal gasped in astonishment. He had never exchanged words with this person, but he did recognize him. Even if anyone who stayed in Carouse did not know what Brave Surge looked like, there was no way they would not know this person. Young Master Han was truly far too prominent and outstanding as a person.
“I’m also curious as to why you are here too,” Young Master Han drawled. Young Master Han recognized Wind Seal as well. He was the one who had picked up the quest back in the cavity, whom Young Master Han had been in charge of protecting.
“What are you doing here?” Wind Seal had no idea what the other party wanted, so he did not make any rash motions. Meanwhile, several people outside had also heard his gasp, and so they burst into the cabin. All of them were equally surprised when they saw Young Master Han seated inside.
The only person who was completely unflappable in spite of the circumstances was, of course, the noble NPC Guillermo. Completely ignoring what was happening between the players present, it walked around the cabin once before finally squatting down by the fireplace and clutched a handful of soot. It stood there for a quiet moment before morosely expressing its regret, “I’m sorry, but the map has already been burnt.”
“What?” Wind Seal was shocked as the color from his face drained visibly. He could no longer care to examine Young Master Han in any sense as he immediately carried on with the quest, “What do I do now?”
Young Master Han did not make a sound, continuing to watch this scene unfold like he was entirely uninvolved.
“Perhaps it was to avoid it being used by others, which was why the map was burnt to ashes,” Guillermo continued.
“So what are we going to do now?” Wind Seal asked.
Guillermo’s eyes shone, glancing around the room once as its expression changed, “Someone was here.”
Everyone stared at Young Master Han, and the man was helpless, “What are you staring at me for? It’s part of the plot of the quest. Do you really think it’s referring to me?”
“Who was it?” Wind Seal asked.
Guillermo shook his head, leaving just its final words, “Perhaps they took something with them.”
Everyone was now looking over at Young Master Han.
Young Master Han leaped off the table and gazed back at the crowd, “What are you guys looking back at me for? You imbeciles. Your latest lead is that someone has taken something of importance away from this place. If you want to continue this quest, you’ll have to find some way to obtain it! As for who it could have been that had done this, obviously, it would be our enemy? Or do you think it’s an ally? That is why if it isn’t some new NPC, then it will have to be an enemy player from the city’s side. Do you really think I’m just casually passing through here?”
Thus, Wind Seal asked Guillermo questions like who the person was, what they had taken away from this cabin and where they went. However, Guillermo barely answered any of them, beyond saying that someone had taken something away from the cabin. Young Master Han shook his head repeatedly, making a point to mention, “What are you asking the NPC for? It must have surely been Thousand Miles Drunk or Sword Demon who has this item in their possession. The only thing that NPCs are unable to answer is regarding the actions of the players. If this was really part of the plot by some NPC, surely it would have told you where you should go to look for it, right?”
These men felt what they heard made a lot of sense, but they were ultimately still very skeptical as to Young Master Han’s sudden appearance here, “What are you doing here then?”
“I’m here waiting for the two men you guys are tasked to look for,” Young Master Han answered.
“They will be coming here?” The eyes of Wind Seal and the others sparkled.
Young Master Han swept his glance over them, “Just the handful of you here think you can take on the two of them?”
Wind Seal chuckled. They evidently knew that they were weak alone. But they were able to call others; Men from Skygazing Under the Tree’s end were on standby for their messages.
“You guys look to be very confident… Do you still have some people backing you up? Heh, you haven’t gotten the news yet huh? The entire guild of Carouse got beaten back by Thousand Miles Drunk alone,” Young Master Han said
“WHAT?!?!” Wind Seal and the others stared with wide eyes of disbelief.
“Yup, you heard it correctly. The entire guild. They were out over by Yunling, and they lost over half of all their Thieves and Archers. In the end, they chose to withdraw against a single opponent, Thousand Miles Drunk.” Young Master Han gave a quick summary.
These people exchanged looks with each other.
“What are you rascals up to here anyway?” Young Master Han began asking his questions. “You aren’t a part of Carouse any longer, am I right? Did you find another guild with that quest of yours? Who bought you out?”
“It is by our own free will. Didn’t you quit the guild as well?” Wind Seal retorted.
“That’s true… But I didn’t commit treachery, betraying the guild’s interest just so I could gain personal benefits instead,” Young Master Han expressed his disdain plainly.
“How could you put it so poorly!? I sold out to another guild?!” Wind Seal’s shame had turned into indignant fury.
“You might be acting on your own accord, but the quest ought to belong to the guild. Don’t forget you need to be in a guild in order to obtain this quest in the first place,” Young Master Han pointed out.
“That’s true. But unfortunately, I have done so in the capacity of my current guild,” Wind Seal said.
“You are not possibly going to be so childish as to use the system’s design as proof, right… Do you dare tell me that you’ve only discovered this quest after you joined your new guild? Take heed, I’m saying discover, not obtain!” Young Master Han probed.
Wind Seal was instantly unable to come up with an answer…
“Trash!” Young Master Han continued to show open contempt to him even as he walked out toward the exit.
Wind Seal was grinding his teeth, but he did not dare make a move against Young Master Han. As an ex-member of Carouse, he had heard plenty about what that man was capable of. Now that he so daringly appeared here all alone, Wind Seal was certain he must have made some sort of prior arrangement. He would be making a huge mistake if he really thought that this man was all alone and easy to bully.
I’ll just have to endure this! Wind Seal told himself. The quest was of utmost importance right now; if he were to try and attempt some sort of heroics here and now, there was a chance he might end up completely losing his quest.
It was with such a thought that Wind Seal steeled himself from reacting. He watched fixedly as Young Master Han walked out of the cabin, before hearing the man shout back, “Guild leader Gu. There’s a quest delivered right to your doorstep, do you want to take it?”
“F*CK!!” Wind Seal was enraged. It seemed that the other party already had such a thought in mind. If Young Master Han did have the manpower, there might be no way that he could hold onto the quest any longer. Since that was the case, Wind Seal figured it would be better if he took the opportunity to vent his frustration by vanquishing Young Master Han right here first.
Wind Seal made eye contact and hailed his men to mount an attack, only to see someone stand up from the tall grass near the cabin, hefting a greatsword as she answered with scorn, “Forget it. We’re not interested in getting ourselves involved with this sort of muddied waters.”
When Wind Seal heard that there was still a chance to avoid what he had assumed to be the inevitable, he quickly gestured for everyone to stop.
“Okay!” Young Master Han nodded. “Then do you mind lending me some men, so I can help avenge my old guild?”
“Sure thing,” Gu Xiaoshang answered.
Wind Seal nearly fainted when he heard this. He quickly ordered everyone to kill off Young Master Han, but after Gu Xiaoshang gave her word, a lot of players stood up from the tall grass at the wave of Young Master Han’s hand. In the next moment, spells and arrows all came sailing right over at Wind Seal and his men. Even though Wind Seal had gotten everyone to concentrate their firepower right on Young Master Han, the man simply waved his own magic staff and cast a Heal onto himself, continuing to stroll off with hardly a bit of concern to everything that transpired behind him. He even took a moment to take a swig of a bottle of liquor that he had in his hand.
Wind Seal and everyone disappeared in a flash of white light just like this, as countless heads that belonged to pairs of lovebirds poked out from the tall grass to see what happened. Beyond Thirty Miles and Guzzler were also staring with rapt attention as they took in the scene.
“Hey, that’s Young Master Han!” Beyond Thirty Miles exclaimed.
“Yeah, I saw,” Guzzler said.
“Did he join Colored Clouds?”
“I don’t know.”
“Why did Colored Clouds’ men run all the way out here to snatch a quest?” Beyond Thirty Miles wondered aloud.
“I don’t know.”
“Should we inform the guild?”
“I don’t know.”
“Do you even know anything at all…” Beyond Thirty Miles derided.
Outside the log cabin, Young Master Han watched as that group of men got eliminated. He casually went over to the tall grass and nudged a player from Colored Clouds, “Head inside the cabin and take a look. I find the quest inside highly suspect.”
Gu Xiaoshang was right beside this player, and she glared at him the moment she heard what Young Master Han had said, “Don’t go. I’ve already said that we are not getting involved.”
“But the problem is that no one would believe you even if you claim you didn’t get involved.”
“Who cares about that? This a matter of our principle,” Gu Xiaoshang answered.
“Alright, it’s actually like this. When I was inside the cabin, I overheard what the NPC had told those guys, and I think the quest would very likely pit the quest holder directly against Thousand Miles Drunk and Sword Demon’s own quest. If we were to get a hold of it, that would guarantee we will have to run into those two, so they will have to face us no matter how much they hide,” Young Master Han explained.
“I don’t care about that. We just don’t want this sort of quest,” Gu Xiaoshang was obstinate.
Meanwhile, her guild members were all very obedient. Hearing what their guild leader had just said, none of them cared to pay any attention to Young Master Han, and they each returned to their posts.
Young Master Han was helpless. “If you’re not picking this quest up, someone else will soon do it in your stead.”
“Then let them do that,” Gu Xiaoshang said.
“How troublesome,” Young Master Han shook his hand as he took out his spyglass for a look. Turning in a certain direction, he yelled, “Guzzler, get your *ss out here. I can see your hairstyle from way out here.”
“F*ck!” Guzzler was dejected, and just as he was about to stand up, Beyond Thirty Miles quickly pulled him back down. “Don’t fall for this trick!”
“Bro, he already called out my name,” Guzzler rolled his eyes.
Beyond Thirty Miles thought about it and realized he was the one being foolish. Helplessly, he stood up along with Guzzler and made their way out to Young Master Han.
Colored Clouds’ men quickly surrounded the pair, all of them looking on incredulously. Each of the men began whispering into the ears of the person next to them, and this continued on until everyone was made aware. These men began to shift their gaze down onto their hands, and someone quietly commented, “They aren’t holding hands!”
“They must be embarrassed!”
“True, in front of so many people…”
“The two of them had gone into the tall grass just now.”
“What mess have you gotten into? Did you run from a fight again?” Young Master Han immediately deduced what happened.
“If we can’t beat him, what else could I do if not run?” Guzzler stated his perspective very matter-of-factly.
“You’ve run really far. I heard that all of you were up by Yunling,” Young Master Han suspected that he had been misinformed.
“Exercise is the cornerstone of healthy living,” Guzzler spat some nonsensical platitudes in response.
“So does that mean neither of you has seen the majority of the fight?” Young Master Han asked.
Both men nodded.
“Are you from Carouse as well?” Young Master Han asked Beyond Thirty Miles.
“Yes…,” Beyond Thirty Miles sounded submissive like an underling. This was a very strange feeling he had. Forget about the fact that Young Master Han was no longer someone from Carouse, even if he was still part of the guild, the man barely had any standing in the place. He was just another common player, and Beyond Thirty Miles was at least a notable team leader for a grinding party! Yet now, he subconsciously felt that he was someone of a lower stature in front of this Priest.
Aura… This is what it means to have an imposing aura, that was the only explanation Beyond Thirty Miles could come up with.