Chapter 735: Chapter 735 – Inevitable
Translator: Exodus Tales Editor: Exodus Tales
They were unable to locate Ray whatsoever, especially since the man in question must surely be aware of the gravity of this situation as well. It would most definitely make things even more complicated if he had intentionally hid himself somewhere. The only thing everyone could confirm was the fact that Ray was definitely still online.
Extremely Heaven Defying and Amethyst Rebirth both had a total of around 60 players, and that was far from enough manpower for them to do a comprehensive search of Yunduan City. Even though the players from Colored Clouds would just flee when they see them at the moment, Gu Fei and the others would still be able to take down a few of them every time they crossed paths, it was only possible under the circumstances when their enemy completely avoided putting up a fight at all. Perhaps a handful of the players they managed to kill off were indeed members belonging to Ray’s Bar, but what little results they had achieved were nothing worth being happy over. As time passed, the situation would only become more and more dire and the moment the guild becomes a level 2 guild, the balance would drastically tilt in the enemy’s favor. Young Master Han and the players from Colored Clouds would no longer be fleeing for their lives or avoiding fights at all costs. Instead, they would set up ambushes in the various spawn points and proceed to put their lives on the line and go all out against the players on Gu Fei’s side whenever they meet. Nobody from Ray’s Bar would consider it a waste to sacrifice two or three lives for someone from Extremely Heaven Defying or Amethyst Rebirth would hardly be an issue for the 300 strong interlopers.
“What are we going to do?” Everyone had high hopes of finding Ray. Royal God Call and the other experts of his caliber were already taking a risk by searching the city on their own, while everyone was running around madly like their lives depended on it, all so they could catch Ray. Although he was usually a topic of discussion, he was also someone whom most people actually did not pay much mind toward, and yet Ray was now seen as the crucial key that could decide the outcome of this City Wars event…
Currently, the Colored Clouds players who had joined Ray’s Bar were all trying their best to use the most inconspicuous method to integrate themselves back into the battlefield as they were heading out via the four city gates of Yunduan City. There were already plenty of eyes watching the four gates at the moment, so it was no longer easy for people to enter in and out of the city like before. However, it seemed as if the players from Colored Clouds did not have any idea about what was going on. They had quietly infiltrated and blended right into the crowd, and several players had already had their eyes set on these newcomers. Because they felt that these people were all very important contribution scores, no one made a sound, each of them hoping to quietly take them down for their own guilds. But who would have guessed that with all the players’ movement in the chaotic scrap, combatants that came charging and killing left and right, these players who were identified to have mixed into the battlefield had already disappeared in a blink of an eye.
D*mn those idiots!!! The players who were keeping an eye on their prey were all greatly angered, silently cursing at the packs of combatants that had very inconveniently shown up.
But once, twice, thrice… These players had not just lost their prey that one time, but they would find a similar pack of combatants rushing out each and every time. The repeated interruptions left them empty-handed, wondering where their prey had gone to after every clash…
D*mn, are they snatching points as well? Someone had come to this realization and they began to take note of the players that ended up interfering. That was when they very quickly discerned the interlopers to be men from Colored Clouds, and everyone was discouraged with this revelation. Could we even still compete against the guild that had managed to take down Thousand Miles Drunk? All the players could only quietly back away to one side, in hopes of picking up the leftover prey while Colored Clouds was not paying too much attention. However, nobody would have expected for Colored Clouds to act as if they could predict when the prey would appear. Whenever these players discovered that there were people who were trying to sneakily make their way out of the city, the men of Colored Clouds would already be ready for each and every one of them and would proceed to swiftly encircle them.
Finally, when the players that were tracking the prey discovered that the players from Colored Clouds were no longer actively hunting the players, they got very excited, thinking to themselves that their chance had arrived. However, no prey showed up after Colored Clouds’ departure, and because they had been overly distracted with watching the city gate, a whole lot of them had ended up falling victim to the city guards and were sent back to the nearby Encampments as a result.
Of course, Colored Clouds was not here to hunt prey like the other guilds, but were actually providing cover and protection for their own men.
Guild quests, especially the standard ones which required players to be engaged in combat, would not just be limited within the city walls. They would often require the quest holder to leave the confines of the city in order to complete a certain component of the questline. Most of the quest holders found themselves needing to leave the city, but because the guilds assaulting the city had begun to prioritize stopping the players working on the side of the city defender’s force now, Colored Clouds figured they needed to take advantage of the confusion and slip out of the city, but there was simply no way for the city assaulters to not come charging over to kill them since anyone who would be making their way out from the city would be viewed by everyone as moving contribution scores.
Thus, when Colored Cloud received word that the quest holders were about to leave the city, an assembled pack of combatants would already be rushing over to run interference. By mixing the players exiting the city with their own men, it would of course be extremely safe since the other players could hardly tell the difference in all the commotion while the system would not be bothered to attack these players who were on the city defender’s side. All the players that were protected had to do were to randomly change out their equipment, so it was only natural that no one would be none the wiser when they came swaggering out. Players who were unaware of the underlying details here would have immediately assumed that Colored Clouds had finished off all the players that left the city.
43 times did they approach, and 43 quest holders were successfully escorted away using this method. The remaining 6 quest holders all had their quests occurring within the city.
The 43 men were unable to party up with their comrades from Colored Clouds, so there was no way for them to communicate with each other. But because everyone was still able to walk in concert, side by side with each other, they were still able to speak to each other in person. This was forever something that the system could not prevent them from doing.
“Everybody, do not waste any more time. Split up into your groups and proceed with your quests!” Gu Xiaoshang ordered. The whole group of players who had been inside the city acted like they saw their kin when they met with everyone from their guild outside. Everybody was busy relating matters that happened outside and inside the city respectively, all of them having plenty to talk about with each other.
“Guild leader, Oathless Sword is coming,” someone messaged Gu Xiaoshang.
“Eh? Is it just him alone?” Gu Xiaoshang had already expected that they would approach her. Colored Clouds might be able to keep the small and medium sized guilds from learning what they were doing, but the same could not be said for the large guilds. Just from the fact that 300 of their players had quit the guild was already a strange occurrence by itself, so these large guilds surely could not afford to turn a blind eye to what Colored Clouds was doing. There were quite of players belonging to the four large guilds that were tasked to keep an eye on the four gets, so adding what they had just observed with the matter of 300 players quitting Colored Clouds, the guild’s action this time most definitely aroused great suspicion among them all.
“It’s just him alone, guild leader,” that player reported to Gu Xiaoshang.
“Is that so? Then continue with what you were tasked to do. I’ll head over and see him myself,” after Gu Xiaoshang had gotten his coordinates, she made her way over to meet him.
“Xiaoshang,” the ardor in his voice remained unchanged.
“Is it just you?” Gu Xiaoshang asked.
“Who else would there be?” Oathless Sword beamed.
“Brave Surge of course, Foe-herder and Black Index Finger. I thought you guys were all together,” Gu Xiaoshang said.
Oathless Sword coughed an awkward laugh, showing an expression that showed he had difficulties affirming what Xiaoshang had just said.
“Speak your mind!” Gu Xiaoshang offered.
“Oh… We wish to know if the new guild that the city defender’s force had established, Ray’s Bar, has anything to do with you guys?” Oathless Sword had finally asked what he came to ask. Actually, this confrontation was what Gu Xiaoshang had originally expected to happen; Brave Surge and the others had all wanted to come over as well, but Oathless Sword was worried that Gu Xiaoshang would not be able to handle seeing so many men coming forth to forcefully demand an answer for her actions, so against the wishes of the others, the man had insisted that he should first approach her alone to probe her on the matter.
There was nobody in Yunduan City who was unaware of Oathless Sword’s concern toward Gu Xiaoshang, which was why Brave Surge and the others had not refuted Oathless Sword’s insistence and finally agreed to acquiesce to his request. However, these men were all the scheming sort, so even though they had verbally agreed to this, they had privately sent Assassins over to shadow the man, looking for a chance to use Stealth to eavesdrop on the conversation.
It was a heaven sent opportunity! Gu Xiaoshang and Oathless Sword had not met with a crowd of players flanking their sides. Most of the members of Colored Clouds had departed from the place and tended to their own businesses, leaving just Gu Xiaoshang and Oathless Sword by themselves to have their conversation. This was a perfect opportunity for the Assassins to eavesdrop, so even though none of the other three large guilds were present, they were able to get a first hand live broadcast from the frontline correspondent they had sent out. They had initially been worried that Oathless Sword would not be bothered to get to the point, but the moment they heard him ask the one question that they were all concerned with, they were all at least somewhat reassured to learn that the man had not completely been left addled by his lovesickness.
“Yeah, they are our men, alright.” Gu Xiaoshang confirmed.
“Does Ray belong to a Faction too? How did you guys learn of this?” OS asked.
“We saw it ourselves! That person that kept coming out of the city to pick up the rocks and stone. That player is Ray,” Gu Xiaoshang said.
“How are you able to identify him from afar like that?” Oathless Sword was perplexed. Plenty of people had seen that garbage picker, but they were all too far away to make out who that person was. Had they been close enough to do so, everyone would most definitely just kill him outright, much less let him continue to pick up the rocks and stones from the battlefield unhindered.
“Heh, with a spyglass in hand, it was only natural that we would be able to identify him,” Gu Xiaoshang scoffed.
“Then what are you guys thinking of accomplishing doing everything you’ve done thus far?” Oathless Sword asked. The four guild leaders had privately speculated over this. In the beginning, they had thought that Gu Xiaoshang was thinking about becoming a turncoat, intending to shift her entire guild over to the city defender’s side, but after the news of how they had managed to Honor kill Thousand Miles Drunk was very quickly propagated among the masses, everyone was once more left scratching their heads over what to make of her actions.
“It’s nothing really. We simply wish to take the initiative, that’s all. There’s a lot of NPC guards inside the city, so any intention of making a move against the players who are on the city defender’s side would end up incurring the guard’s aggro. Unless you are also a city defender, otherwise those guards would most definitely lend a hand to help them,” Gu Xiaoshang said.
It was very easy to understand this line of thinking, but Oathless Sword and the other three guild leaders of the large guilds in Yunduan City were still struggling to understand their motive. It was at this time when Oathless Sword pointed out, “But what sort of benefits will that bring to your guild? You can’t earn contribution scores this way.”
“It’s just a method we’ve found to kill them, so we went ahead with it. Or perhaps do you and the others have other bright ideas to offer?” Gu Xiaoshang asked.
Oathless Sword was left speechless. The guilds that were all a part of the city assaulter’s forces had all been made a fool of by just a handful of city defenders, and all the guild leaders of the entire city had all ended up being corralled over to the Chinese cabbage field, and the entire affair was completely taxing, so what other bright ideas could they offer at this point? Their solution was to defend, defend and defend again, merely looking forward to their enemy to come challenging them in a setting of their own choosing and endure their attack once more. However, now that they had all their defenses up, where was the enemy? Thousand Miles Drunk and some of his friends had shown their presence before, but they had immediately departed from the place after seeing the defensive set up that they would have to go up against. Ever since that incident, all the guild leaders were still huddling out on the field with everyone, accompanying one another…
“If there’s nothing else, I’ll be going to take care of my other businesses,” Gu Xiaoshang nodded her head toward Oathless Sword before turning to leave. Oathless Sword was left there, stunned for a good while before he made his way back to the corral with all the guild leaders penned inside. He did not personally own anything on him that could detect Stealth, but he could always borrow it from someone else. Traversing Four Seas had over a thousand players, so there was bound to be someone who would be able to do so. Oathless Sword had intentionally borrowed one such item from someone, firstly to give him ample warning of a potential sneak attack, but it was secondly also to confirm his own thoughts about the three men, and sure enough, he was proven correct.
However, Oathless Sword had to pretend to be unaware of these tailing Assassins as well, so he repeated everything he had talked to Gu Xiaoshang about to the others. Brave Surge was immediately laughing mirthlessly once he finished, “Hmph, she had previously talked about the issue of trust with us, so why would she trust us all on this?”
Oathless Sword glanced over to Brave Surge, “Of course she would tell me the truth since I’m the one asking. Besides, the situation is essentially the same as what we’ve presumed; Isn’t that a demonstration of trust by itself? Are you trying to say that she could only be trusted if she ran everything that her guild would be doing to us before she went ahead with her own plans?”
Brave Surge was startled for a good moment when he heard this, but he was still feeling somewhat discontented deep down. Oathless Sword sighed, asking the other three men, “Take your own guild for example. Pick out 300 players, tell them they have to give up what guild points they had accumulated thus far in the guild, quit the guild, and go do this kind of thing. Can you find 300 members willing to do it?”
“This…” The three did not answer, because they actually already knew the answer to the question. For a large guild to be able to attract so many players, most of it depended on the possibility of quickly accumulating a huge amount of guild points, which was an opportunity large guilds could provide. Now that they were to ask these players to abandon the points they earned, what would even be the reason for these people to join the guild? They would most definitely rebel if approached to do so.
Oathless Sword sighed, “Do you guys know about DKP?”
“B*llsh*t, how could we not know about it?” The three guild leaders rolled their eyes. Any MMO gamer worth their salt would definitely know about the DKP system. The DKP system was actually a system of scoring for large groups, with everyone’s DKP reflecting their contribution to the group, and thus deciding the allocation of rewards earned from said operations. DKP could be seen as a currency that was uniquely in circulation within their own groups, which were earned through participating in group operations, and subsequently spent on allocating the rewards. They needed to depend on the DKP system when forming groups in MMO games of old, but because everything was simulated in Parallel World, the DKP software could not be integrated into gameplay. But it was a good thing that Parallel World’s guilds had their own full suite system of guild points, so players slowly adapted to using this system to calculate their contribution. If anybody wanted to create a DKP system in Parallel World, they could only do so by hand, but it was also something only certain groups can utilize, like how Young Master’s Elite had Sword Demon being in charge of recording down the points the members of their mercenary group earned as a form of DKP.
When they heard Oathless Sword suddenly ask this question, the three of them were first surprised before exchanging glances with each other. All of them cried out in unison, “No way? Could Colored Clouds still be manually writing down their DKP?!”
They knew about this because each and every one of them had their own spies in Colored Clouds. From the very beginning, Colored Clouds had been manually writing down their DKP, and all of them had been very impressed with this. Everyone knew that DKP’s scoring system was a lot more reasonable and fair, and using a manually recorded DKP would be a lot more humanizing than relying on the game software to tabulate the points, which was much more reassuring for everyone. This was especially commendable when Colored Clouds was just a level 4 guild back in the day, and their size was already nothing too small. Manually recording the DKP had been a very tiring task by itself, and the various guild leaders were simply waiting for the time when Colored Clouds would abandon the practice, and none of them took this matter to heart after so many days had passed. Now that Oathless Sword had suddenly mentioned it, the three men abruptly recalled this fact. Could Colored Clouds still be using the DKP system that they had manually recorded even now that they were a level 6 guild, with over 1000 players under their name?
The three men quickly contacted their own spies to verify this bit of information. Colored Clouds was indeed still using their manually recorded DKP. As a result, when it comes to the members of Colored Clouds, this meant the guild points that everyone had on them could be viewed as the guild’s public asset, while what truly mattered to them was the actual DKP that each player possessed with the guild that they owned. When assigning rewards, these people who had no guild points but held onto DKP would still let the players with guild points purchase the items in their stead, while the players themselves would spend their DKP to acquire what they wanted. After learning all this, the three guild leaders gained a deeper understanding of just how Colored Clouds operated as a guild, and because they could concentrate as much guild points needed toward one person, they had instead gained an additional advantage to such an arrangement. Some equipment rewards that required a huge amount of guild points would take the average player from the usual guild a long time before they could accumulate what they needed, but in Colored Clouds’ case, everyone could intentionally direct tasks that would grant a large amount of guild points to a single player, and that would help said player quickly hoard all the guild points, allowing them to easily obtain the high-end equipment rewards offered. Meanwhile, all the relevant players needed to do was convert cost equivalence between DKP and the guild points. From the personal experience of these spies, all of them did not really have any issues with this system that Colored Clouds had adopted…
“Well, DKP is DKP. But from the City War angle, they would still be unable to earn any of the system rewards at all!” Brave Surge said.
“Which is why there’s no need for us to be jealous, right?” Oathless Sword said.
BS could not answer that. Sure enough, what Colored Clouds was doing was merely an operation that would not have any system rewards, and even if they were able to kill Thousand Miles Drunk a hundred, or even a thousand times inside the city, because they borrowed the status of being a city defender to do so, they would not be able to even earn a single point at all. However, why is it that he still felt this inexplicable sense of jealousy to what she was doing? Am I jealous of their ability to execute such a plan? Could my drive to kill Thousand Miles Drunk and his men have gotten to the point where I did not care to earn guild points or contribution scores from the system?
“Ahem, but does this not mean that Thousand Miles Drunk and the others are temporarily contained inside the city?” Black Index Finger asked.
“I have no idea about that, I didn’t ask,” Oathless Sword said.
“Go and ask her then,” the three encouraged Oathless Sword.
“Did none of you add her as a friend; go ask her yourself,” Oathless Sword retorted. The three men stared at him.
“Relax, as long as you guys ask, Xiaoshang would not hide it from you,” Oathless Sword said. “However, let me just get the distasteful words out of the way first; If any of you still harbor any selfish ideas and seek to cause trouble for their operation, I will definitely not let you off.”
“Why would we? What they are doing won’t earn them any contribution score, and we’re not envious of what their job entails in the least. It’s great that they are going to eliminate Thousand Miles Drunk in such a manner, so what would we be jealous of them for?” Foe-herder said.
“That’s good then,” Oathless Sword nodded his head in a pronounced manner.
Over by Colored Clouds, the 43 players who had exited the city were already being accompanied by other players as they went about to complete their quests. Even though they were not in the same party as one another, that actually made things convenient for them. Because they were not in the same party, the calculation of the monsters could end up being split into three portions: The first attack, the final attack, and the damage output during the process of attacking. Out of these three portions, there was no doubt the quest holder would take the first attack, and because everyone was not in the same party, the damage output in between was not too disparate during that process; as for the final attack, as long as the players do not mistakenly take the credit for the kill, given the skills players gave honed by this point, there was no doubt that the quest holder would end up with that as well.
After Gu Xiaoshang and Oathless Sword parted ways, she immediately made her way to a certain quest area as well.
“Everything has gone rather smoothly,” Gu Xiaoshang said when she met Young Master Han.
“Indeed,” Young Master Han nodded, “There’s no way for them to stop us from getting our guild up to level 2, and the next step that involves eliminating the whole lot of them would not be too difficult either. There’s still another step at the end, which I do believe you can begin to consider by now.”
“Speak,” Gu Xiaoshang said.
“Heh. After we’ve eliminated Thousand Miles Drunk, Sword Demon, and all the others, before the 300 men return back to Colored Clouds, all of them can take turns joining the city defender’s guild and be sent out the gates for Colored Clouds to kill. I wonder if the NPCs or players more valuable during this event? I’m afraid the city guards would surely win when we consider the difficulty involved in killing them. However, what we would be doing here would be considered as a free gift. With about 300 players to kill, I’m certain the contribution scores that your guild would earn if you were to kill each of them 10 times would be very lucrative. Of course, there’s no need for you to kill them so thoroughly. Everyone simply has to calculate the number of deaths, and leave around three to five more lives for the rest of the event, and let these people concentrate on just questing thereafter,” Young Master Han said.