The group proceeds walking forward. And after a few moments, they finally arrived at the ambush site.
There some traces of battles. Claw and sword marks, stains of blood, explosion of some spells, and something similar. There are even some equipments of the paladins scattered on the ground. But no corpse was left behind.
The group starts scanning the place to study what have happened. Of course, they left Lawless with Stephanie to protect the later while keeping an eye at their suspected traitor.
"Maybe we should have brought an Archer Class. With their tracing skills, studying this place is just a piece of cake." said Charlotte.
Faker chuckles a little after hearing that. He pointed at Shin and Morgan who are busy checking out the surroundings before saying. "We don't need it. Those two are more than enough for the job."
Charlotte knitted her brows while having some doubts at his words. Faker explain a little more for her to understand. "Morgan is a student of Top Military School of the Soaring Continent so there is no question regarding his skills."
"Meanwhile, brother Swordsman is from a Military Family so he should had received some training regarding this kind of situation. So, as long as this game is base on real life, those two are more than enough to study what have happened here."
Shin is currently observing traces left on the ground and trees. He is even using his 'True Sight' observation skill to see any traces that can't be seen by the naked eye.
And after some observation, he tried to picture out what have happened. Then he knitted his brows after some time. No matter what kind of scenario he pictured out, what happened here is way too far from what the suspected traitor have reported. Then he walked towards Morgan to compare their findings.
"What you have discovered?" asked Shin.
Morgan knitted his brows before answering. "It is odd. The traces here are obviously left by some monster attacks. And I don't find any kind of foreign footprints of other people. All of the footprints here are from paladins and priests."
Shin nodded his head and said. "My findings are pretty much the same. So it makes that our suspected traitor is lying to us. But that is odd part here. Why is lying to us when he knows that he is going to get discovered?"
"What's more, he is not doing anything strange. Not even a sign that he is planning to run away now that we know what happened here. It is as if he believes that what he had said were true."
After some more time of discussion, Shin and Morgan regrouped with Faker and Charlotte, before sharing their findings.
"Is it possible that his memories altered, brainwashed or something?" said Charlotte.
"That might be possible, but it might also be one of his acts to make us believe. What's more, we didn't get any system notification for the quest update. Maybe we should question him or something." said Shin.
Charlotte knitted her brows. "Then what if he is innocent?"
Shin looked at her and said. "He is still innocent. That is why he is just a suspected traitor and not a complete traitor. And that is also why the nature of this quest is an Investigative one."
Charlotte wants to say something more, but Faker interrupted them and said. "Alright, we should discuss it with our party leader now."
Then Shin and the other two nodded their heads before planning to go back to regroup with Lawless and Stephanie. But that is also when they heard an explosion.
The bodies of the four suddenly trembled because of the powerful explosion. And immediately after that, they rush towards where they left Lawless and Stephanie.
When they arrived at the scene, they saw Lawless and Stephanie staring cautiously at the rising smoke a few distances away from them.
"What happened?" asked Shin when they arrived beside the two.
"I don't know exactly. It's just the paladin suddenly started convulsing earlier. Then his body suddenly exploded few moments later. Good thing that we are fast enough to react." answered Lawless without removing his eyes at the rising smoke.
Charlotte took a quick glance at the smoke before waving her left hand to send a powerful gust of wind at the direction of the rising smoke, making it to scatter.
Shin looked at it with awe. Why? Because he happened to see her movements, and he is quite sure that she didn't use any kind of skills in doing that.
He saw that she just controlled some wind elemental Mana and send it in the direction of the smoke.
'It is as if she controlled some mental energy and send it forward. It is not an offensive skill, but this kind of trick might become efficient on some occasions.' Shin put a mental note at this, and remind himself to do some experiments later.
When the smoke scattered and the specks of dust settled down, the group walk towards the crater created by the explosion. And what they below it is a piece of tiny paper.
The group knitted their brows after seeing that. Shin jumped down on the crater before picking up the piece of paper and reading what's written on it.
–"Enjoy being hunted"–
And after reading that, the entire group suddenly received a system notification simultaneously.
System: An attempted assassination happened on the Church of the Sun and the Moon, and Archbishop Ronald was the victim and is currently in a coma.
System: As you are the last people that visited him, you become the major suspects.
System: You can only prove your innocence when the Archbishop regains his consciousness. So survive until then.
Then that notification was followed by another one, but this one is a quest update.
Quest Name: Traitor of the Church
Quest Type: Hidden Main Quest
Quest Difficulty: Hell(SSS+)
Quest Details: You have been sent by Archbishop Ronald to investigate what really happened on the site where the paladins were ambushed.
But when you are away, the Archbishop was almost been assassinated. And since you are the last person sighted to visit him, you become the major suspect.
-Survive until Archbishop Ronald regains his consciousness.
Note 1: Dying for at least once will result in failure of the quest. (Applicable only to the quest main initiator.)
Note 2: Everyone involved in the quest is forbidden to logout of the game until the quest ended or until they died.
Note 3: The fallen players can't login in the game until the quest ended.
Quest Progress: (0%)
-Time until the Archbishop woke up:
+20 000 Reputation Points
+15 LP(Legacy Points)???
• -10 Levels
• -40 000 Reputation Points
• Lost of the 'Envoy of the Church' Title
• Being exposed to the 'King' that you are investigating him.
And immediately after that, before the group managed to completely check the changes of the quest, a regional announcement caught everyone off-guard.
Regional System Announcement: Attention all of the players of Holy City!!!! A Special Event had been initiated!!! An Archbishop is almost been assassinated and it makes the Church of the Sun and the Moon become furious about it.Capture/Kill the assailants get some bountiful rewards!!!
The location of the targets will be updated every 1 hour.
Current location. [108462.52728.72]
The special event will only last for two days(In-Game Time).
That announcement was repeated 5 times making it hard for everyone not to notice it. And immediately after that, a lot of players started to march towards the coordinates sent by the system.
Meanwhile, the targeted group is currently looking at Shin weirdly. And Shin can read the expression of their faces as. –"What kind of mess did you dragged us into?"–
Shin suddenly become embarrassed and said while scratching the back of his head. "Hehe... Sorry about that, I didn't expect that this going to become like this."
Charlotte clicked her tongue after hearing that and said. "Tsk! I knew that there is nothing good that comes with this guy."
Lawless can't help himself but agree with that. "This guy is always been with trouble anywhere he goes."
"So we just become some kind of monster bosses of a special event?" said Hayden to lightened up the mood a little.
"So that was the reason why we didn't encounter and problems earlier. The real quest is surviving while being hunted." said Stephanie.
Faker nodded his head and said. "Good thing. That our names are not in the bounty. At least they didn't know who are we."
"So what's the plan? We can't stay here for much longer. Those guys might be rushing here already." said Morgan.
While they are talking to each other, Shin muttered to Hanzo. "Hey, Old Man. How long did you need to recharge before you can reuse your 'Mass Teleportation' and 'Space Travel'?"
Shin learned his lesson before, that is why he asked Hanzo what are the teleportation skills that the Old Spirit can use when he is mining some Earthen Charcoals in the previously Black Rock Mountain.
"Hmm... I can use each of them every two hours after being used." replied Hanzo.
"And how about the 'Space Cage' that Grimrace has said? Can you take us out of here?" asked Shin.
"Piece of cake. As long as space and void are involved, now one is better than us, the Void Spirits." said Hanzo proudly.
Shin thought for a moment before jumping out of the crater and said to the group. "Let's get out of this place first before thinking about what is going to do next."
Charlotte looked at Shin skeptically before saying sarcastically. "Oh~! Really? Then how are we going to get out of this place? Didn't you just said that we were trapped by some 'Space Cage' or something?"
Shin raises one of his brows before summoning is Void Reaper. "Hanzo!"
Then Lawless and the other three on his group suddenly come in realization.
"Excellent!!!" shouted by Lawless while clicking his right-hand thumb and middle finger.
"The question is where are we going next?" asked Faker.
Morgan nodded his head before saying. "Yeah, we can't just keep running from them. And how many times can this Spirit use his mass teleportation, especially how long is the cooldown time? What's more, how far can he teleport us?"
Shin immediately answered him. "He can use two types of mass teleportation with 2 hours cooldown time each. The maximum range should 1000 miles."
The others then nodded their heads after hearing that. Then Lawless said after. "If we utilized it properly, then we can shake off our enemies every time the System announced our coordinates."
They discussed for a little bit more to finalized their strategy. Even if they are Peak Experts, that doesn't mean they can fight a massive number of players. If it just a bunch of average players, then sure! They are more willing to slaughter them all just like killing some ants.
But it is a different story if the Powerful Guilds have gotten involved. It is not going to become killing some ordinary ants anymore, because some bullet ants are going to get involved in the mix.
And while they are busy discussing about the plan, Hanzo suddenly chimed in. "I guess we have some serious problem."
The group suddenly stopped what they are doing before looking Hanzo and waiting for him to continue.
Hanzo scratches his right cheek with his right-hand index finger before continuing while looking at the sky to avoid their gazes. "Ahmm... I think this Space Cage is quite special. I can't teleport you out of it. And I can only teleport you inside it."
Then the group stared at him blankly before Shin opened his mouth. "Didn't you just said earlier that you can teleport us out? What's with the sudden change of mind? So much for being the best of Spacial Magic."
The corner of Hanzo's mouth suddenly twitched after hearing that. Then he replied at Shin. "Yeah, no one can beat us, the Void Spirits, regarding Space Magic. That is why I'm saying I can't teleport you out of the cage."
The group suddenly become confused at what he said. Then Lawless said. "Ahmm... Senior Spirit. We can't understand what you just have said. It is too ironic."
Hanzo releases a helpless sigh before replying. "What I'm saying is there is another Void Spirit like me supporting this Space Cage. So I can't teleport you out of it unless we found that Spirit."
"A Spirit siding on Corrupted Cults? I thought they are natural enemies?" asked Shin confusedly.
"Unless that Spirit is an Abomination Spirit." said Charlotte.
"So we can't get out of this place unless our quest ended? But our hunters can enter freely? Isn't a little too much?" said Stephanie.
"That should be fair. The System might do that on purpose so that we can't escape using the mass teleportation repeatedly." said Morgan.
"Maybe, or maybe not." said Faker.
"So what's the new plan?" asked Shin.
Lawless thought for a moment before replying. "Then we can't go with the original plan. And if we can't avoid it, then we shall face it head-on."
"But before that, we need an item to completely hide Hayden, Morgan, and Stephanie's details, or else some troublesome guys might join the hunting game."
After he finished saying that, Charlotte took out three joker mask from her inventory before giving it the three while saying. "I've gotten those from 'Blood Carnival' people that are stalking me earlier."
"It can hide your identities completely even if you killed a player. Well, it is only a consumable item though, and its effects will only last for as long as you didn't logout of the game."
Lawless nodded his head before saying. "That should be more than enough. Now, let's formulate a good event plan for our guests so that we can become a good host for this incoming hunting party."
Then Lawless licked his lips while having an evil grin. The others on his team are quite familiar with that look. It is an indication that the furious tiger is coming out of its den to hunt some prey.
Meanwhile, Shin is having some personal thoughts. 'Maybe this a good time to learn some things from peak class experts.'