Chapter 146 - Raiding the Hilltop
Young Master Han, who was currently standing atop the tall tree, felt quite pleased with himself as he watched everyone run like busy little ants all over this PvP arena. The eight teams of Cloud Herder mercenary group each went to the four corners and edges of this square-shaped map. One of the enemy teams reached Young Master’s Elite mercenary group’s location at the 0, 0 coordinates and stayed there without venturing further.
“Guys, update your coordinates to me,” Young Master Han reminded everyone on the mercenary channel. Although he could see far from his vantage point, some parts, such as places behind hills, certain spots within the forests, and areas with uneven landscapes, still remained obscured from Young Master Han’s field of view. All of his fellow mercenaries were currently hiding in such places as per his instructions, which resulted into him being unable to determine their exact locations.
After the four reported their current coordinates, Young Master Han’s mouth twitched, “Royal, I gotta give credit where credit is due. May I ask, are you still running in a straight line?”
“Of course,” Royal God Call replied.
“If you continue running, I guarantee that you won’t be able to get out of this forest,” Young Master Han sighed.
“Royal, can you actually be this bad? Exactly how did you do your ‘Bounty Mission’ all this while? Didn’t those missions involve finding coordinates as well?” Gu Fei asked.
“Royal’s booklet of coordinates can’t be used here…” Brother Assist reminded him.
“Oh…” Gu Fei finally made sense of everything. Royal God Call had a booklet containing a large amount of Yunduan City’s coordinates. Whenever he needed to head toward certain coordinates, he would check his booklet first; even if he failed to find the exact coordinates in it, he could at least flip to the page with the nearest set of coordinates that had landmarks jotted down beside it. An example landmark was Ray’s Bar. Only by relying on these familiar locations could Royal God Call go to the corresponding coordinates.
“Maintain a clear channel! Don’t chat here!” Young Master Han chastised the two as he issued the next batch of orders. “Sword Demon, wait for my signal to exit the forest and run to 0, 400! Miles, once Sword Demon departs, leave that back of the hill you’re on and head toward the woodland at 366, 365 at your fastest speed. Brother Assist, from the lowland area you’re in, there is a series of small knolls up ahead at 426, 375, right? Go there now.”
Over by the Cloud Herder mercenary group’s side, group leader Foe-herder was also issuing commands while searching the nearby areas for their enemies with a small team. “The people over by a vantage point, have you discovered anything or anyone yet?”
“How about the other teams?”
“We have arrived at the 7 ‘clock position; nothing found.”
“We are now at the 6 ‘clock position; nothing found.”
The eight teams of Cloud Herder mercenary group, besides the furthest team that that had run in the 1 o’clock direction, managed to reach their designated positions and reported their status back to Foe-herder.
“Everyone, get ready. Once the last team is at the 1 o'clock position, we will begin sweeping the map in a clockwise direction,” Foe-herder sent this message.
Unexpectedly, after sending out this command, a message arrived from one of the four scouts situated by a vantage point, “A target located! A target located!”
“Target came from the forest at 11 o’clock. He’s currently heading toward the 10 o’clock direction,” the scout reported. Any average player could divide the map into various segments of a clock and estimate the direction of movement, but to tell the exact coordinates of each place just from sight alone required talent, just as Young Master Han had previously said.
“Keep your eyes on him and update me of his movements! Team 2 and Team 3, which are nearest to the target, get over there for the kill!” Foe-herder commanded.
The four scouts kept track of Sword Demon once he revealed himself.
Certain blind spots still existed even when they were on a high ground like this, so it was still possible to lose sight of a player if he or she dove into a land depression or hid behind a mound. Due to this fact, the four did not notice it when a lone figure sprinted from behind a hill on the other side of the map and instantly disappeared into a nearby patch of shrubberies.
“Sword Demon, that’s enough. Stop where you are.” Despite all these players looking no more than ants from Young Master Han’s vantage point, he could still distinguish friends from foes: solitary figures were friends, whereas groups were enemies.
“He stopped!” the scout reported.
“Position?” asked someone in one of the two teams that were preparing to intercept Sword Demon.
“Uhm…” The scouts were briefly at a loss on how they should relay Sword Demon’s position. If Sword Demon was in motion, they could say the clock direction he was heading to. Since Sword Demon was standing still, the scouts found it hard to describe his location.
“Position?” the team member repeated his question.
“Uhm… Take a turning to the left from where you guys are at. Further ahead, you’ll catch sight of him. The other team needs to head slightly to the right.”
“Ah, no! Veer a little more to the left! You guys have gone too far to the right!”
“The team on the left, you gotta go to the left some more.”
“That team on the left still needs to move a little bit to the left. No! You’ve gone too far to the left now; move to the right once more!”
“A bit more to the right….”
“Just a bit more to the right….”
“That’s too much. A little to the left. Sigh… Your team is on the left too much. Head right—”
The two teams that were receiving these instructions real-time finally had a breakdown at this point and yelled in unison, “Private message!”
“Oh…” The scouts finally realized what was causing the confusion: The four of them were all giving directions to the teams at the same time. Realizing this problem, the four scouts assigned one person to direct each team accordingly. Since Sword Demon had not moved all this while, their attention remained focused on him. When one of the scouts slightly blinked and looked at another direction, he spotted a figure speeding toward them. “ARGH! I’ve spotted another enemy!” the scout yelled.
“Where?!” Foe-herder quickly asked.
“He’s heading straight to us!” the other scouts yelled as well.
“Why are you all flustered, then? There are four of you! Aren’t you guys prepared for an ambush?!” Foe-herder rebuked his underlings’ lack of composure.
“But he’s so fast!” The four scouts exclaimed as they hurriedly prepared themselves to engage the approaching person in combat.
“Fast? How fast can he be?! Can he be faster than your arrows? Let’s see how fast he can still be once his Fleetfoot is no longer in effect!” Foe-herder said arrogantly. He had arranged for four Archers to be their group’s scouts precisely because they had the ability to attack targets from afar once they spotted one.
The four Archers nocked arrows on Snipe and waited for Gu Fei to enter their attack range to release them. As the target drew closer, his equipment became more discernable to the four and they all gasped in shock, “He – He’s not a Thief on Fleetfoot!”
“Then, what is he?”
“He looks like… a Mage…” Gu Fei’s Midnight Spirit Robe fluttered as he moved speedily toward these men, betraying his job class almost instantly. Only two job classes would wear robes: Mage and Priest. Since Priest was a non-combat job class, it was impossible for one to rush toward them with tremendous killing intent.
“So why the hell are you four scared of him?! You’re all Archers!” Foe-herder cursed these particular underlings’ incompetence once more. Not seeing it with his own eyes, he of course could never understand that there was a Mage capable of having such monstrously fast movement speed.
The four scouts’ heads were currently filled with questions, so they did not even bother looking at the messages on their mercenary channel. Seeing Gu Fei enter their attack range, one of the four Archers shouted a command and they all simultaneously released their bowstrings. Four arrows streaked through the air like shooting stars.
Gu Fei was brimming with confidence at this point. If his speed was still at level 30, he would obviously not be capable of dodging the four arrows on Snipe that were currently flying toward him. After all, his in-game body did not possess the required movement speed and nimbleness to actively dodge the arrows back then despite him having the ability to see the arrows’ trajectory. Right now, he was already at level 39. Although the Archers’ execution speed of skills had increased as well, it was still inferior to the increase Gu Fei had had with his nine levels bonus stats all pumped into Agility, as well as his Windchaser’s Boots’ movement speed buffs. Thus, Gu Fei did not even consider these average players’ arrows on Snipe as a threat.
The four scouts on the hilltop thought that the Mage Gu Fei would be easily taken down by their concerted attacks; instead, they saw him effortlessly dodge their four arrows and instantly close in on them.
“WHAT?! HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?!” the four men exclaimed as their jaws dropped.
“Homing Projectile! Let’s quickly use Homing Projectile!” Someone among the four Archers cried out and they scrambled to nock their arrows. Their current strongest skill, Snipe, was still on cool-down time, so they could not fire off arrows on it at the moment.
The need for Archers to be deft at using their bows was a distinct drawback that reared its ugly head right now. If even Gu Fei, the supposed expert in hidden weapons, had to maintain his calmness, these Archers would of course also need to do so. One of the four Archers, who lacked mental fortitude, could not maintain his calmness in the face of Gu Fei’s assault and subsequently failed to nock his arrow no matter how hard he tried. Fortunately, the other three Archers possessed sufficient mental fortitude so they were able to initiate their attacks like normal. The twang of the bowstrings resounded as three glowing arrows flew toward Gu Fei.
Since Gu Fei did not even see Snipe’s speed as a threat, why would he be bothered by Homing Projectile? The skill’s homing ability meant that a target could not dodge it, yet Gu Fei did not even intend to dodge the arrows on Homing Projectile heading his way in the first place. Parrying with his Moonlit Nightfalls, he successfully knocked each of the three arrows off before they could deal any damage on him.
The four scouts were so flabbergasted that their jaws were about to fall off. While they were still in a daze, Gu Fei already arrived before them.
“Twin Incineration! Incinerate!” Gu Fei slashed with his blade. The Archer job class also had inherently low HP. Barely managing to take on Gu Fei’s one massive blow, two Archers were insta-killed while the remaining two were at a loss on how to deal with Gu Fei.
Gu Fei cared not for the two’s confusion and merely sent a few slashes their way. Since they did not have the abilities to evade Gu Fei’s strikes and to take him head on, the two Archers decided to flee from their fight with him instead. Gu Fei was way faster than them, however. In just a few steps, he managed to close in on the two once more and dispose of them.
None of the four scouts could make sense of anything even in their deaths: “Is he really a Mage?! I seem to have heard him cast Twin Incineration, but could that mage spell really insta-kill people? Was I dreaming?”
After getting teleported out of the PvP arena upon their deaths, the four men bewilderedly stood in the plaza. The two teams designated to hunt for Sword Demon were still sending them messages: “Position! Position!”
“Position, your *ss! We are already dead!” the four replied irately.
Foe-herder was extremely nonplussed upon receiving this message from the four scouts. Just how much time had passed since they first reported seeing the target till they got killed? He finally realized that his four scouts were not exaggerating when they said that the target was “so fast”.
“Team 4 and Team 5, head toward the vantage point.”
“Team 2 and team 3, have you lot located that target yet?”
Young Master Han, who was still atop the tree, saw clearly how Gu Fei had stormed that hilltop and caused a series of white lights to flash afterward. Receiving Gu Fei’s “done” message immediately after, he happily said, “Very good, Miles. Head back to your previous hiding place. Sword Demon, dart toward 223, 398. Brother Assist, update me of your new coordinates. Royal, are you out of the woods yet?” Troublingly, Young Master Han did not receive a response for that last message.