Chapter 726: Chapter 726 – More Deaths
Once the four large guilds gave the order, everyone in their respective guilds, whether they were busy or otherwise, all returned to the encampment and accepted the mission. In the beginning, all of them wanted to accept both missions, but they soon discovered that they were only allowed a single target, so they split them evenly among themselves, with half of them choosing Thousand Miles Drunk while the other half picked Sword Demon. Afterward, these guild members were evenly spread across the entrances of Yunduan City with the intention to keep an eye on the four gates. However, the area under the city walls was vast, and the combat fire from the battlefield was unceasing. It was completely reasonable why Gu Fei and the others were able to slip in and out of the city unnoticed this whole time and the chaos made it really hard for anyone to notice players coming and going. Still, it was decided that keeping an eye on things was better than doing nothing at all, so they figured doing a bit of surveillance was better than just waiting around for their targets to show themselves.
“Everyone,” Traversing Four Seas’ infamous dog-headed commander, Youthful Reflection, was speaking, “From the movements and actions that Thousand Miles Drunk and the others have been making this entire time, they should most likely continue to pursue such missions, and that means several guild leaders will become their assassination targets. I believe we should get everyone to gather together and not split up, and this will save us from spreading our manpower too thin.”
The guild leaders all nodded in agreement. They did not dare to be negligent with their personal protection any longer. Spreading themselves out will end up with everyone bringing several hundred men, but if the four guild leaders were to combine their forces, they would essentially have somewhere around 1000 – 2000 men with them. The manpower they could spare to guard a single guild leader could be shared to guard the others as well, and the amount of manpower that they could save meant that they could delegate their men toward other endeavors.
“If they are targeting us, should we not take this chance to set up a trap for them?” All the guild leaders were discussing the next step of their plan.
“Is Foe-herder in a secure enough location? He has already been assassinated once. If he were to be targeted again, he would be removed from the City Wars event. I feel it is very likely that he would be the next critical target for Thousand Miles Drunk and the rest,” Youthful Reflection asked Cloud Herder’s representative, Sorrowful Everwood.
“It’s… sufficient!” Sorrowful Everwood responded thusly. He was in a secure location, but no one dared to say with certainty about matters of safety since their opponent was Thousand Miles Drunk; a man whose existence defied conventional MMO gaming wisdom. Common sense dictates that their guild leader was very safe, but Thousand Miles Drunk could very well turn everything on its head just like that.
“If it’s convenient, why don’t you call Cloud Herder over to join us!? This way, you can save your manpower and it would be a lot safer,” Youthful Reflection offered.
“If he’s still not reassured, we could do it another way; Cloud Herder can be in charge of the protection of your guild leader, while the rest of the guild leaders will head on over to join him. We would also be able to save manpower this way, and the defense of all the guild leaders would have plenty of players from Cloud Herder doing the protecting, what else is there to be worried about?” Brave Surge stated.
Sorrowful Everwood thought this was a pretty good solution, so he immediately relayed the idea to Foe-herder. Actually, how could the guild leaders of these large guilds not have added each other to their respective friend’s list? Nevertheless, Brave Surge used Sorrowful Everwood to deliver the message, similar to how diplomatic exchanges between nations would be done. Even if the leader was proficient in the language of the other party, they would still opt to speak in their native language and let an interpreter deliver what was being said.
In the end, Foe-herder instantly barked a cold laugh when he heard the suggestion, “Use our men to be in charge of the defense? So that they can send their own men to complete quests and missions and so that they could earn all the contribution scores for themselves?”
Sorrowful Everwood immediately felt that he was still too much of a greenhorn when he realized that there was actually such an underlying ruse. He was very rueful that he had even thought that this idea to have been a decent option. “So what are we going to do?” Sorrowful Everwood asked. He felt that their guild was now in a rather difficult position.
“Just do as they said, but there’s no need for us to be solely in charge of the defense; get the other guilds to send a hundred or so men and gather together, that will do.” Foe-herder still agreed to the arrangement in the end because he realized that if he were to choose to go about this alone, he would merely be wasting too much of his own manpower, and he would still be at a disadvantage when it came to their guild’s ability to earn contribution score.
After Sorrowful Everwood passed on Foe-herder’s suggestion, the three guild leaders simply smiled and nodded their heads to agree with the changes. Sorrowful Everwood keenly observed Brave Surge’s countenance, wanting to see if he would show any change in his expression now that the ruse was seen through. Ultimately, the man did not look any different, showing no look of shock as he made the necessary arrangements for his men.
The four guild leaders arranged to meet out on a wide open plain, somewhere that afforded them a wide range of unobstructed vision. They had more than sufficient manpower to hold the position, so there was no need to dig themselves in or lay any sort of ambush; they were able to immediately organize an effective response if they spotted their enemy in such terrain. Each of the guild leaders had brought about a hundred of their men with them, and had further coordinated with each other on that front. Brave Surge had brought a majority of Mages, which was the job class that his guild was famed for, and Oathless Sword obviously brought more Archers, since both guilds had an excess of either job classes to offer, while the rest of the job classes were filled with the players from the remaining two guilds. Overall, they managed to keep a balanced job class composition with the 400 men provided by the guilds.
“Gentlemen,” Foe-herder greeted the three guild leaders when they met, with the best Priests in his guild tagging along right behind them.
“Alright, everyone will lead their own guildmates; we’ll temporarily set up camp here. We’ll make our move in unison if there are any situations that arise,” Brave Surge said.
“Well said!” The other guild leaders nodded
With the strategic plan of this confrontation in place, the next step was to analyze the details pertaining to the tactics employed. Oathless Sword, Brave Surge and Foe-herder had all gotten themselves caught up with a direct skirmish with Thousand Miles Drunk, and all of them provided the information regarding how Gu Fei carved out a path from their encirclement. Oathless Sword was still mentioning about Thousand Miles Drunk’s issue with mana, only for both Brave Surge and Foe-herder to each give a snort of contempt in the end. This was especially the case for Brave Surge, as they had been completely taken advantage of in this respect when they believed that Gu Fei had run out of mana, only to end up sending who knew how many players to their deaths as a result.
“Are you serious? His only flaw has already been patched up? So what other shortcoming does he have now?” Oathless Sword said.
Everyone was silent for a good while. Foe-herder felt that it would really damage their morale if this silence persisted, so he voiced out, “His hairstyle.”
“What?” The other three guild leaders simply could not make sense of what this comment could mean.
“I’m just saying that Thousand Miles Drunk’s hairstyle is really disgusting,” Foe-herder said.
“And what has that got to do with his prowess?” Oathless Sword asked.
“Nothing, really… But it’s definitely a huge flaw of his,” Foe-herder said.
“Was his hairstyle really hard to look at? I don’t think there was anything wrong with it,” Foe-herder tried his best to recall how he looked.
“It was very ugly,” Foe-herder affirmed.
“I don’t think it’s anything either, you—” Oathless Sword felt that Foe-herder’s sense of aesthetics was warped.
“Ahem!” Black Index Finger coughed a few times. The four dignified guild leaders of the Yunduan City’s major guilds were actually discussing a man’s hairstyle. Was there really nothing else to talk about?
The other three realized their indiscretion, they quickly restrained themselves and became serious.
“Aside from his hairstyle, does he have no other flaws to speak of?” Oathless Sword asked. He no longer wanted to ask Foe-herder about just how Thousand Miles Drunk’s hairstyle looked.
Foe-herder shook his head as he could not think of any. Brave Surge shook his head since he had no idea either. Oathless Sword looked at Black Index Finger, and Black Index Finger shook his head too. He originally wanted to mention Gu Fei had problems with his mana, but he had not expected that Thousand Miles Drunk had solved that problem already, so all he could do was curse the heavens in his heart.
“So we’re all out of ideas. Looks like we can only drown him out with a sea of players,” Oathless Sword sighed.
“But the problem is, can we even find a sea of players that would have his movement speed?” Foe-herder asked.
“We’ll need to secretly lure him into a large encirclement and shrink it with him in it,” Brave Surge said.
“In other words, we’ll need to first get a grasp of his movement before he discovers our presence?” Black Index Finger said.
“Have the people we sent out discovered anything yet?” Oathless Sword was impatient.
“Nope, nothing for now,” Foe-herder was pretty eager to get his revenge too.
The four guilds each took a gate, keeping an eye over possible enemy movement in order to ensure they had eyes on the various entrances. They had even devoted some of their manpower to join the disorganized and ineffectual players that were busy attacking the city. By now, there were already guilds who were going for broke; since there had been hardly any result in the city assault, they figured it was better to finish up their 25 deaths and earn what contribution score they could get from this event, a trip completely unrestrained.
Another bout of silence broke, when Black Index Finger suddenly leaped to his feet, “SOMETHING HAS OCCURRED!”
“What is it?” The other three men quickly turned toward him.
“Thousand Miles Drunk has been sighted over by the east gate,” Black Index Finger said.
“He appeared and killed the guild leader Yuntian from the guild Stroll in the Sky before escaping…” Black Index Finger was already in a daze when he read to this point of the message, not even finishing the rest of his report.
“Stroll in the Clouds is a level 5 guild, and they aren’t small in size either,” Foe-herder said.
“I know the guild leader Yuntian personally. I’ll go ask her,” Brave Surge offered.
Yuntian was feeling very aggrieved as she stood there in the encampment. Yuntian was a lady, and it was not easy for her to lead her guild to level 5. The guild’s atmosphere was harmonious, and everyone was tight like a real family. They usually spend their time gaming earnestly, and they had been attacking the city just as it was expected of being players from the city assaulting forces. Thousand Miles Drunk was the fiend that was on everyone’s lips right now, yet Yuntian had no idea how or why the man got his sights set on her and made a direct beeline for her as a result. In the chaotic battlefield, a black figure had suddenly appeared right next to her, and before Yuntian could even make sense of what was happening, she felt a sword stab her, as someone beside him shouted ‘enough’, before unloading a variety of spells on her head, killing Yuntian just like that. Before she was fully taken away by the white light, she managed to make out a set of black robes and a purple sword that appeared beside her. _This person’s hairstyle is… Very disgusti_ng.
Is this really Thousand Miles Drunk? Yuntian had such a thought in her mind as she revived in the encampment. However, because women were very careful by nature, the moment she respawned, she discovered the system had messaged her [You are dead. Succumbing to an Honor kill].
Yuntian was greatly surprised. This sentence seemed to have happened to Cloud Herder’s Foe-herder not too long ago, and he ended up with a 20 minute lock-out penalty as a result.
Yuntian tried to leave the encampment, and sure enough, she heard the ring of the system prompt: [20 minutes lock-out]
Yuntian had previously just died five times, and a 20 minute lock-out here very evidently meant an Honor kill counted for 15 lives. This was a sum that Foe-herder had been unable to determine, but Yuntian had managed to calculate the exact number.
Yuntian was crying. Even though she also more or less understood that this must be a configuration that the system had in place for some quest, and that the opposing party must have also been doing their duty as the city’s defenders, she nevertheless still felt aggrieved by what happened.
Meanwhile, Stroll in the Sky was also in turmoil at the moment. Their guild leader had just been killed by someone right before their eyes, and everything had happened so fast that they barely had time to react. By the time people were crying out for the Priests’ aid, their guild leader had already been slain. There were guild members who happened to have died and respawned at the same time who saw Yuntian crying in the encampment, so they relayed this information to everyone. The members of Stroll in the Sky were enraged as a result, and all of them were cursing at Thousand Miles Drunk for his scoundrel actions, how he barely blinked an eye when he killed, stating that his merciless and cold demeanor, as well as the disgusting hairstyle he had, were proof that he was a man of poor character.
Gu Fei was sneezing the whole way as he escaped with Fireball while the latter endlessly lauded praise upon his idol, “Drunk bro, that was beautifully executed!”
Gu Fei was a little dissatisfied, turning his head back to gaze at Fireball, “Did you do this on purpose?”
“Ah? What?” Fireball was feigning innocence.
“Picking a female guild leader,” Gu Fei asked, his eyes narrowing.
“How could I do that, it’s purely coincidental?” Fireball protested.
“Then how are you able to pick out the target in a single glance?” Gu Fei asked.
“It’s probably intuition!” Fireball sounded confident.
“You b*st*rd,” Gu Fei pulled his sword, looking to slay Fireball. That rascal had actually used him to tease a lady. It was a good thing that he was sufficiently upstanding, and he had very somberly slain that lady to death. Otherwise, who knows how that kid would drag things out?
“Drunk bro, I won’t dare to do it ever again!!!” Fireball began sprinting away like a hunted hare with Thousand Miles Drunk on his tail.
“Yuntian has been killed,” Brave Surge faced the other large guild leaders very solemnly after he had learned of what just transpired and addressed them all, “The killer is Thousand Miles Drunk, and he had another helper with him. Herder, it seems to be very similar to the situation when you were ambushed before.”
Two figures floated up in Foe-herder’s mind; one with a very disgusting haircut while the other was rolling about on the ground, looking particularly despicable doing it.
“Yuntian has also been penalized for 20 minutes. But her previous death count was only five, which means that the Honor kill costs 15 lives. No one here has died more than 10 times so far, right?” Brave Surge asked for confirmation.
“I’ve died 10 times so far…” Black Index Finger’s expression changed. Dying 10 times meant that an Honor kill would bring him completely up to 25 deaths, and that would remove him from the event.
“Dying so many times, don’t you guys know how to cherish your own life…” Oathless Sword sighed heavily. He was a Warrior as well, but the number of times he had been killed was nothing as brilliant as Black Index Finger or Foe-herder. In truth, it had been a blessing in disguise for him; having been targeted by Thousand Miles Drunk early on during this City War, the man had never once let his guard down when it came to his personal protection. Conversely, because Foe-herder and Black Index Finger had no idea about the maximum amount of lives that each player had for the event, they had conscientiously led by example, even going so far as to sacrifice their own lives to save their comrades in turn early on during the event, dying rather gloriously as a result.
Currently, Oathless Sword had successfully drawn the ire of both guild leaders when he blustered so arrogantly, both men rolling their eyes when he unceremoniously dropped his sarcastic comment about the two. Neither man cared enough to waste time and effort to bicker with him though. Foe-herder had previously died 8 times, and adding the 15 from his Honor kill before, he basically had two more lives left before he would be removed from the event as well. Black Index Finger had a ‘better foundation’, so he would meet the same fate with a single Honor kill. Even though both men had brought 100 men with them before, and everyone had agreed that this was sufficiently well defended, both men suddenly found themselves feeling somewhat anxious.
“Don’t be nervous. Perhaps the Honor kill does not calculate your death counts outright, but is simply a flat 20 minutes penalty?” Oathless Sword at least had a shred of sympathy for his fellow man, attempting to console these men by offering them a very logical assessment of their circumstances.
Brave Surge heaved a deep sigh because the news he was about to inform the others was quite cruelly timed.
“I just received news that the guild Bamboo Reincarnation’s guild leader, Black Night, has been Honor killed… And as it turns out, he was immediately dropped from the City Wars event…” Brave Surge announced.
“WHAT?” Foe-herder and Black Index Finger were now standing up after having just been consoled.
“Could he have coincidentally died 24 times by then?” It was a little endearing that Oathless Sword said something like this at this point in time.
“I’m afraid not…” Brave Surge knew Black Night personally as well, and had already made contact with the man. Comrade Black Night was currently cursing everything and everyone around him. He had previously died 13 times, so this Honor kill sent him packing right out of the City Wars event. The system had given him a very clear prompt about this, and a guild leader’s elimination was different from that of a normal player. The system even added an additional message: [The guild Bamboo Reincarnation is now rendered Rudderless.]
This Rudderless status did not sound like it was anything good, and the morale in the guild was at an all time low, nobody even having the energy to condemn the system or anyone at all. According to what Black Night had described, his death was even more straightforward than what happened with Yuntian. He had no idea where the Backstab had come from, and he had been insta-killed without a second word. The person who had executed this assassination had very deftly activated his or her Fleetfoot after, the whole process taking no more than five seconds. Aside from the fact it was a Thief that had done the deed, nobody had any further information regarding his assailant.
“Who could this be?”
“Sword Demon!” Brave Surge cried out. “We’ve crossed paths with that man during our quest previously, and someone reported that he has a unique skill that is very similar to what Black Night had just described, and the attack power of this move is indomitably strong…”
“D*mm*t, it’s not just Thousand Miles Drunk who is insanely powerful!” Everyone was horrified.
“Wait a minute! What’s the situation now? Why have they all changed all their targets to these smaller guilds?” Foe-herder wondered aloud.
“I don’t really think that these guilds are considered small, yeah? The size of Stroll in the Sky and Bamboo Reincarnation is incomparable to our own, but they are also level 5 guilds that are somewhat prestigious here in Yunduan City. If we were to count them, I feel like they should at least be able to squeeze into the top 100 guilds here in our city, right?” Brave Surge proposed.
“So does that mean Thousand Miles Drunk and the others are no longer targeting us? That their sights have moved over to all these guilds?” Oathless Sword asked.
“Then we would be in deep trouble. These guilds are now all participating in the war effort by themselves all over the place, and none of them had taken any precautions. Both Yuntian and Black Night were killed off while mixed up in the chaotic battle with the City Guards, where their guild members were not even able to react at all…” Brave Surge continued.
“Stroll in the Sky, followed by Bamboo Reincarnation… Whose guild would be next?” They were all appalled.
“D*mm*t, where are the men of Inebriation? Has their guild leader really gone Delirious? I can’t find him anywhere!!!” Svelte Dancer was currently complaining in the guild channel. The mission she had picked up that required her to slay Brave Surge could not be abandoned, so she had gotten herself an assistant as well, and it happened to be a lady who had come along with her from Amethyst Rebirth, Will-low. The mission that Will-low got was for the guild leader of Inebriation, called Delirious. As it turned out, this guild was the sort that focused on questing, and was nowhere near the battlefield. Their members were scattered all throughout the region, gathering quests and missions. As such, they would not be bothered with flying any guild banners, leaving Svelte Dancer and Will-low searching for a needle in a haystack. They had already gone circles around the outskirts of the city, yet they had not found anyone yet.
Furthermore, there was still Royal God Call, Xi Xiaotian, Brother Assist, and Cirrus; each of them had an active mission and its respective targets as well, but their individual combat prowess was evidently incomparable to the three insanely powerful experts, and each of them needed several assistants tagging along. Royal God Call was the most arrogant out of the lot, adamantly believing he was also a powerful expert of equal caliber to the three. He insisted that he did not need any assistant and was capable of acting alone like Sword Demon. However, even if he did possess the expertise and skill, he truly did not possess the explosive attack power that Gu Fei, Sword Demon and Svelte dancer could dish out. These were no longer the days when Royal God Call could simply insta-kill the players out there with a single arrow to the head anymore.
Everyone did not let him be wilful, and he was finally given people to accompany him. Xi Xiaotian and he formed a group, bearing the weight of the two assassination missions, bringing along Luo Luo, Lie Lie, and June’s Rain. It was a whole party of ladies working with Royal God Call, so there was no way he would say no.
In the meantime, Brother Assist and Cirrus joined up with Southern Lone Blade and his gang, forming a group together to find their targets. They clearly understood their advantage: Most of their enemies would be focused on the City War and would not be prepared in any sense. As long as they could locate their targets, they could very easily finish them off.
Gu Fei and Sword Demon’s teams were fairly lucky, their targets were spotted under their very prominent huge banners, allowing them to find their targets in a quick glance and they happily finishing them off just like that. The other groups were still in the middle of their grueling search for their targets, while Svelte Dancer had it the worst. Having picked out a guild that was questing oriented that would not be gathering on the battlefield, nor did they have a banner to rally under, she really had no idea where to start looking for them.