Chapter 42 - All but one died?
Royal God Call assumed a shooting position, nocked an arrow, and drew the bow.
After aiming it at the target, he released the arrow with Snipe. The arrow flew across the air and struck the Mage right on his forehead.
“D*mn, son! What’s with the headshot?!”
“Guess I played too much Counter Strike!”
As the Mage Royal God Call had shot was reduced into a stream of white light, the rest of the mercenary group began to comment on what unfolded next.
The unexpected attack left the now party of nine men stunned. Not one of them could tell where the arrow came from as it had vanished along with the Mage’s corpse. Surprisingly, the remaining nine men did not break up to take cover like Gu Fei and the rest of the mercenary group had assumed previously. Instead, they formed a circle with their backs against one another as their eyes darted all over the valley, searching for their attacker.
“They’re pretty well trained!” Gu Fei, who was hiding in the forest, felt a little distressed as he saw his plan fall apart just after the first step.
“No Smile is a veteran with rich gaming experience after all. It looks like these people he’s partied with spent a considerable time training together and aren’t just a random bunch he pulled together,” Young Master Han said lightly.
“So what do we do now?” Gu Fei asked.
“Let him have some fun turtling up first! Hide well, Royal,” Young Master Han reminded.
“Of course. Today, I’ll show them what it means to be an Archer,” Royal God Call had obviously held a grudge after being chastised by Traversing Four Seas yesterday. Gu Fei had a change of impression about the kid.
It was true that Royal God Call had not attempted to snatch the treasure chest back yesterday mainly because Gu Fei and the female Warrior seemed to be acquainted. Gu Fei had originally thought that the snotty kid would bear a grudge against him. After all, Gu Fei was the reason for Royal God Call’s failure to protect the treasure chest, resulting into him being regarded with contempt by his guild. Yet, Royal God Call did not even show a sliver of attitude toward Gu Fei at the moment, making the kid seem like someone with a steady disposition.
As the six silently watched the nine men slowly rotate while watching their surroundings, Young Master Han decided to quiz them out of boredom, “My fellow teammates... If such a situation were to happen to us some day, how should we react?”
“Hide in the forest,” this was everyone’s consensus.
“That’s right. So, Miles my pal, watch and learn.” As Young Master Han finished saying this, the nine men started to make their way toward the trees once they had seen no trace of movement after that first shot.
“Royal, has the cool-down time for Snipe ended?” Young Master Han asked.
“It ended long ago,” Royal replied.
“Alright, get into position everyone... Attack!” Young Master Han voiced that last command. The whistling of an arrow in flight sounded through the air, and then the Archer, who had the lowest level among the nine, was insta-killed.
However, this arrow revealed Royal God Call’s position to the enemy. “Over there!” the Warrior beside the fallen Archer hollered as he pointed to a direction. The eight decided to cut through the forest and make their way up the slope toward Royal God Call’s last known location.
Sword Demon used this chance to crawl out from behind the huge rock. It was hard for him to keep up with the players since his speed was reduced by the Stealth effect. So he watched as each of their targets passed by him, and did not initiate an attack. When the last of the eight finally had his back to Sword Demon, he released Stealth and activated a level 30 Thief skill called Fleetfoot. Sword Demon, who had been moving at a slow pace, suddenly increased in speed by 15% and sprinted after the Priest trailing behind the party of eight.
The Priest heard the sound of footsteps from behind, but before he could turn around to have a look, Sword Demon had already struck with a Backstab and drove his dagger deep into his waist.
“Ah!” A sharp scream escaped the Priest’s lips. Just as what Brother Assist had said, Sword Demon’s Backstab truly did not deal sufficient damage to insta-kill the level 30 Priest. Furthermore, the Priest was quite experienced; he immediately stopped screaming and casted Heal on himself. Sword Demon pulled out his dagger from the Priest’s wound and stabbed him once more. His attack was negated, however, as it coincided with Heal’s effect, allowing the Priest to survive. Sword Demon’s heart went cold. He had no more chances left after the two stabs. Everyone had already discovered his presence. And with the two Priests left being able to cast Heal alternately, he could not see any other exploitable opportunities.
As Sword Demon was thinking of this, he heard two consecutive sounds of objects cutting through air swiftly and passing near him. In the next instant, a gasp came out of the Priest’s mouth as he fell dead to the ground. The Priest had two arrows lodged in his back as he morphed into a white light. Royal God Call was standing on a distant hill slope looking rather impressive. He raised his right arm high above his head as he gestured a victory sign toward Sword Demon.
Level 24 Archer skill, Double-shot.
Sword Demon smiled and lifted a thumbs-up high in the air toward Royal God Call as well, quickly retreating from the skirmish.
“You two, go deal with that Archer!” someone from the party of seven called out the order. The two Thieves nodded their heads and activated their level 30 Thief skill Fleetfoot and dashed toward Royal God Call.
“Oh, f*ck! That’s fast!” Royal God Call stopped firing as he made his getaway; allowing the two Thieves to close in on him would only result in his own death.
“Wounds, Brother Assist, aid Royal,” Young Master Han quickly commanded.
“Roger. Royal, nine o’clock by the wooden house,” Brother Assist said.
The opposing party is now left with three Warriors, two Priests, and a Thief; all of them rushed toward Sword Demon with great ferocity.
The Thief had activated his Fleetfoot skill as well, swiftly chasing after Sword Demon as he shouted toward the two Priests behind him, “Don’t let him use Stealth!”
The two Priests quickly shot out their only offensive skill, a mediocre Holy Ball.
Balls of pure holy energy began to form as they chanted their magic incantations. However, Sword Demon had long since retreated and activated his Stealth skill right after flashing his thumbs-up to Royal God Call. Thus, the two energy balls hit nothing but air.
“F*ck!” the Thief, who had intended to confront Sword Demon, seethed.
“Everyone, be careful,” the Thief reminded the other four behind him as he retreated into the party’s formation. He shouted into the air, “WHO’S MESSING WITH US?!”
“Ahhh!” The reply came in the form of two more cries, which made the Thief swiftly turn his head and look. The two Thieves he had sent after the Archer were just about to catch up to their target when suddenly a Warrior, with Strength boosted by a supporting Knight, came from behind the wooden house. The Warrior roared loudly as he used Cyclone, the most visually impressive skill in the game thus far.
War Without Wounds had successfully staged the ambush and the two Thieves were unable to dodge his Cyclone in time. Just as Cyclone collided with the Thieves, Royal God Call sent a few arrows from behind as well. The two Thieves’ cries of anguish echoed as they turned into streams of white light. A Knight holding on to a commonly used scepter also appeared from behind the wooden house. He patted War Without Wounds, and together with Royal God Call, the three ran abreast back into the battlefield.
Since the start of the battle, half of the ten-man party had already been wiped out. Anyone who had seen the systematic destruction of the party would have felt extremely exhilarated. “JUST WHO THE HELL ARE YOU PEOPLE?!” the Thief howled crazily.
Another cry resounded as his answer!
As the five leftovers were maneuvering themselves to form into a defensive circle once more, a Priest became the unfortunate recipient of Sword Demon’s Backstab. The Priest, who was mindful of dying, proceeded to quickly cast Heal on himself. Unfortunately, he did not even get the chance to do so as he had been insta-killed by that one thrust.
“Fatal Blow!” The Thief had the same job class so he knew of Backstab’s maximum damage. He was even more aware of his fellow Priest’s defense rating and HP. Insta-killing his Priest companion with Backstab alone meant that Fatal Blow had been procced, and that the percentage of damage dealt must have been substantially high. Sword Demon had naturally performed Backstab on the Intelligence-based Priest with this outcome in mind.
Unfortunately, Sword Demon was not able to run away in time as the opposing party had already formed a defensive circle, easily surrounding him.
“Finish him!” the Thief gave the order as he whirled his own dagger and hurtled it toward Sword Demon. At the same time, his eyes fell upon the dagger in Sword Demon’s hand. It would be great if this dagger that dealt Fatal Blow would drop after killing Sword Demon. The weapon was undoubtedly of the highest quality.
The trapped Sword Demon surprisingly did not dodge or avoid their attacks, but instead chose to pounce on the last Warrior head on. Royal God Call was already assisting him at a distance; an arrow with Snipe sped through the valley and struck Sword Demon’s target. War Without Wounds and Brother Assist were right behind that arrow as they followed its trajectory right into the fray.
No matter the case, this guy is dead meat! the opposing party collectively thought as they started their assaults on to Sword Demon. Just when they were confidently expecting Sword Demon to drop dead from their attacks, a beam of white light descended onto Sword Demon at the same time their attacks landed on him. Sword Demon only had fighting in his mind. He clenched his teeth and stabbed furiously at the Warrior opposite him. The party’s last Priest initially believed that Sword Demon would fall under the combined attacks of the four of them. He did not even think of bestowing Heal on the Warrior beside him as he casted Holy Ball instead, feeling exhilarated at the thought of killing the enemy. The Warrior hit the ground with a thud after receiving Sword Demon’s two stabs and Royal God Call’s Snipe.
With the Warrior dead, Sword Demon managed to extricate himself from the encirclement as a beam of white light descended onto him once again. Sword Demon turned around, looking absolutely formidable with the dagger held close to his chest.
The opposing party was taken aback. Heal was casted only twice, yet the timing was so punctual and precise that Sword Demon’s life could literally be said to be on a knife edge.
Thief was not a job class with high HP. A blow from each of the two Warriors and one Thief would have been enough to deplete Sword Demon’s HP, yet the Priest’s miraculous Heal had managed to pull him back from the brink of death. The opposing party had let loose three simultaneous attacks to kill off Sword Demon. Since only a tiny pause in-between their attacks existed, they were initially confident that Sword Demon would succumb to death before any Heal arrived. The only way to prevent Sword Demon from dying was to take advantage of that tiny momentary pause and bestow Heal on him before the last blow landed. This was equivalent to increasing the total HP of Sword Demon in the nick of time, allowing him to survive through their three consecutive blows.
The Heal spell would have no effect if it was not casted just then. It must be done in the gap between their attacks to snatch Sword Demon back from the maws of death, and it was not something anyone could easily do. The three turned and saw a Priest standing at a moderate distance, casting his third Heal to restore Sword Demon’s HP back to full.
“JUST WHO THE HELL ARE YOU PEOPLE?!” this was the third time the opponent had thrown out this question.
“D*mb*ss! Can’t you see our covered faces? Why in the world would we tell you our identities?” Young Master Han icily mocked him as he dashed to block their path of escape.
War Without Wounds and Brother Assist took advantage of this moment when they were talking to dash forward; Royal God Call drew his bow in preparation as well.
The three all tacitly synchronized their attacks, killing the last Priest and Warrior in one fell swoop. At the same instance, the Thief that Sword Demon was assaulting with his dagger suddenly disappeared.
“He’s gone?” Sword Demon was shocked. The way the Thief faded away was just like Stealth; the only difference was that it could be activated under any circumstances. This was not a skill that the current level of Thieves could use.
“It must have been a skill scroll,” Brother Assist furrowed his brows. Given how skill scrolls were not affected by stat requirements, level restrictions, or skill proficiency, even those skills that players had not learned could be used instantly.
“F*ck!” Young Master Han felt extremely exasperated. The guy was very clearly their target, No Smile. Yet, it was beyond everyone’s realm of expectation that he would actually be hiding such a high-tier skill scroll.
They had actually let the final boss slip from under their noses at the last minute. This was definitely a very frustrating occurrence in this game.
Everyone stared toward the valley’s exit. No Smile was most likely smugly making his way over there right now. It was at this moment that Gu Fei’s figure appeared from within the forest. Young Master Han was naturally furious at this person for appearing after everything was over.
Young Master Han was about to curse him when he saw Gu Fei lift his arm holding a sanguine Chinese broadsword to his side.
“Where do you think you’re going?” Gu Fei smiled. 5 Best Chinese Romance Books of 2018 So Far