Chapter 171 - Guild! Brothers!
There were nine players all together, all of whom were part of Victorious Return. The Fighter among them engaged the Wild Boar, accompanied by a Priest healing from the rear. Out of the remaining seven, the Thief was still cloaked in stealth. The rest positioned themselves to prevent Paladin of the Elegy and his party from interfering. They consisted of three Mages, one Berserker, and two Paladins.
Both sides stared each other down. The tension was palpable, it seemed like a battle was about to erupt at any moment.
The leader of the party was a Berserker known as Broad Blade. He was approaching thirty years old with a rotund stature, narrow eyes, and a nose bent crookedly in the shape of a hook.
“My friends, I think there’s been a misunderstanding. You see, this Wild Boar was discovered by our Thief, and he’s been tracking it for a long time. We were already on our way over when you fellows engaged it. Let’s not make any rash decisions now, alright? We’re from Victorious Return. If we’ve done anything to offend you, I sincerely apologize...” said Broad Blade with a light chuckle and a squint.
“Bullshit! He’s trying to make it sound like we stole the monster from them!” Sugar Cane blurted out.
“Peh! What a lousy excuse! Pretending to act all nice after forcing us off our mob. Do they think we’re pushovers? That we’ll just let it go after an apology? What’s so great about Victorious Return! Are we supposed to be afraid!?”
The other members of Paladin of the Elegy’s party voiced their dissatisfaction.
When Broad Blade overheard them, his eyes filled with murderous intent. His lips curved into a sinister smile, “So what you gonna do about it?”
“Give the Wild Boar back to us!” Sugar Cane furiously shouted.
By this time, Paladin of the Elegy calmed down and analyzed the situation. Their party had fewer people, and the quality of their equipment was severely lacking in comparison to their opponents’. If a fight really did break out, they’d undoubtedly get the worst of it. Not to mention Watchful Snail had repeatedly reminded them to just focus on leveling up. It wasn't worth getting into a scuffle over what was likely going to be a single piece of Brozne equipment. Once they leveled up, there’d be no shortage of good equipment in the guild treasury.
“Sugar Cane, forget it, let’s just go. We’ll get back at them some other time…” Paladin of the Elegy ordered.
“We’re gonna leave…? Just like that?” Sugar Cane said in disbelief. He really couldn’t tolerate such bullying. Besides, just how many of his fellow guildmates had Victorious Return killed so far? It was only normal for him to feel angry.
“Oh? So you’re not brainless after all. Good, make sure to remember our guild emblems the next time you set out. If you see members of our guild, be quick about scurrying out of sight,” Broad Blade sneered. He grew even more unbridled when he saw Paladin of the Elegy’s group turning to leave. He took that as a sign of them being afraid.
Paladin of the Elegy trembled at Broad Blade’s taunting. Even a buddha’s tolerance had its limits. He really wanted to fight, but he couldn’t ignore the fact that they were outnumbered and outgunned. He struggled to find a solution, when an idea popped into his mind. He didn’t have much faith in it, but he sent a message in the guild chat anyway.
「Are there any guildmates levelling near Peaceful Dream Valley?」
「I’m there. Why, what’s up?」someone in the guild chat answered back.
Paladin of the Elegy explained the situation, informing everyone in the guild chat of how a group of Victorious Return players had snatched a Leader-class monster from his party.
「... So I want to teach those goons a lesson, but we don’t have enough people.」
More guild members replied in the chat.
「Paladin, where are you guys?」
「Tell us your coordinates. Let’s show those bastards we’re no pushovers! 」
「I’m at Peaceful Dream Valley!」
「I’m heading over there right now! Screw those Victorious Return dogs!」
「I’m rushing over from Blaze Town!」
Soon, the chat was flooded with angry messages cursing Victorious Return.
Paladin of the Elegy’s plea for help sent the members of Asskickers United into a flying rage. They had let Victorious Return walk all over them for far too long! They were fed up with the constant harassment.
「No-no-no, guys, calm down... Don’t all come. I only need a few more people to take them on.」Paladin of the Elegy nearly had a heart attack. He didn’t know how to react, especially after getting responses from several hundred people. All of whom were fellow group leaders with at least half-a-dozen subordinates behind them. If so many people arrived, things might not just end with a small skirmish!
Paladin of the Elegy felt genuinely moved by the fiery responses and show of support from his guildmates as well as a sense of belonging in the guild.
An intense desire rose up in his heart. He wanted to make Asskickers United even more formidable. Only then could they beat back those dog bastards from Victorious Return!
「Everyone, all of you don’t need to come. Just a dozen of us will be enough to butcher those sons of bitches into dog meat!」
「Paladin, quickly tell us your coordinates!」
「I’m at Peaceful Dream Valley: 285.283.3809.」
「Alright, I got it. You’re in the northern part of the map. We’ll be there in three minutes tops!」
「To all those brothers who can’t get there within five minutes, don’t bother coming!」
Paladin of the Elegy, Sugar Cane, and the others smiled. It seemed they would be getting their revenge much sooner than they expected. With such a passionate band of brothers willing to spring to their aid, they felt like shouting, Up yours, Victorious Return! Who the hell is afraid of you?!
“What’s so great about Victorious Return? We’re from Asskickers United!”
“Hey, Victorious Turds! You want me to remember your guild emblem? When this is all over, you’d better remember my assprint on your face!” Sugar Cane vulgarly cursed.
Broad Blade’s expression instantly darkened. Heaven Breaker had issued out an order throughout the guild. If they ever met players from Asskickers United, slaughter them!
“Asskickers United, huh. You’re the runts that are too scared to wear your guild emblems out in the open. I was starting to worry we’d never find any of you… I didn’t think any of you would be be stupid enough to show up right in front of us! Guess I was wrong!”
“Well, what are you waiting for? We’re right here! Come bite me!”
The atmosphere grew incredibly tense. The Fighter from Victorious Return was still preoccupied with the Leader-class Wild Boar, along with a Priest. Broad Blade’s group had their focus split between killing the Wild Boar and holding back Paladin of the Elegy and his men. They were left in a stalemate until the monster fell because it would be difficult to face both enemies at the same time.
The Wild Boar’s health fell very slowly. Even after two minutes, a third of its health still remained.
Both sides remained at an impasse. Paladin of the Elegy’s side intended to stall for time. However, if Broad Blade’s side decided to focus on the Wild Boar, they would have no choice but to attack and force Broad Blade’s group onto the defense.
The Wild Boar’s health dropped to 25%, 20%, 15%, then to critical levels!
「Finish off the Wild Boar! We’ll deal with those punks after!」Broad Blade ordered in chat. The Mages beside him sent out a volley of magic at the Wild Boar.「Bang! Bang! Bang!」A string of damage values rose above its ahead.
The Wild Boar was about to die very soon. Paladin of the Elegy’s group grew anxious. At this rate, the drop would undoubtedly fall into enemy hands!
They might potentially be losing out on a single piece of Bronze-grade equipment, but it was still very valuable to them. It was a Level 15 piece of equipment after all, and they were mostly wearing Level 10 Bronze-grade equipment right now. Paladin of the Elegy was the only one that currently had a few pieces of Level 15 equipment.
“Priest, pay attention to my health!” Paladin of the Elegy shouted before rushing toward the Wild Boar.
“That punk wants to snatch the drop! Kill him!”
A torrent of magic rained down on Paladin of the Elegy.「Bang! Bang! Bang!」Half his health disappeared in a single instant. When the Priest at the rear saw this, he hastily cast Heal. As the gentle radiance from the spell enveloped him, Paladin of the Elegy chugged down a Junior Health Potion before pressing on.
“They attacked us first! We get to retaliate in self-defense!” Sugar Cane shouted.
He and the other Mages in the party fired off a barrage of spells at the Victorious Return players from the rear.
Broad Blade and two Paladins sprinted toward Sugar Cane’s group. The three Mages from their group focused their firepower on Paladin of the Elegy.
“Wipe out this group of trash!” Broad Blade activated Charge as he rushed towards Sugar Cane.
The Wild Boar only had a sliver of health left by the time Paladin of the Elegy closed in. The opposing Fighter was about to finish it off with his next attack when a brilliant idea popped into Paladin of the Elegy’s mind, like a divine revelation. He cast Protect on the Wild Boar.
A hazy, translucent screen of white light enveloped the Wild Boar as the Fighter’s sword hacked down.
The Fighter was taken aback at the pitiful damage value that appeared above the Wild Boar’s head.
The Wild Boar bellowed angrily. It pushed its forepaws deep into the ground and propelled itself forward, ramming into the Fighter’s shield. The attack forced the Fighter to take a few staggering steps back, dizzy.
“Good job, piggy!” Paladin of the Elegy rejoiced. He was only a few meters from the Wild Boar. With a Lesser Dispel, he stripped the Wild Boar of its shield before hacking down on it with his sword. The Wild Boar let out a final, pitiful squeal before collapsing on the ground.
“Hot damn! Who knew he had that in him!” Sugar Cane exclaimed. He never thought that Paladin of the Elegy would react so quickly or come up with a strategy like that. Was he possessed by a god? He actually managed to snatch away the experience for killing the Leader-class Wild Boar!
Paladin of the Elegy was quite elated with his success, having never felt so pleased with himself before. Just as he was about to bend down and pick up the drop, the Fighter from Victorious Return charged up to him.
“Get that kill-stealing bastard!” shouted an Arcane Mage as he shot an Arcane Fireball at Paladin of the Elegy.
The Fighter slashed down with his sword.
Perhaps by instinct or a stroke of amazing luck, Paladin of the Elegy activated Endure just as the Fighter’s sword came down.
「Klang!」Two swords clashed together.
The Fighter let loose a furious roar!
Paladin of the Elegy self-cast the blessing, countering the Demoralizing Shout, before kicking the Figher aside and picking up the drop from the ground.
“It’s mine!” Paladin of the Elegy celebrated. He took advantage of the speed boost from Indomitable Will to run away.
「Bang! Bang! Bang!」Three spells successively hit Paladin of the Elegy’s back and exploded.
「Bean, heal! Quickly heal me!」Paladin of the Elegy angrily hollered in chat. When he glanced back, wondering why he wasn’t getting any heals, the only party members left alive were Sugar Cane and an Elementalist and they didn’t have much health left either.
With a single Berserk Slash from his greatsword, Broad Blade beheaded the Elementalist beside Sugar Cane. His name grew more red from that second kill.
Sugar Cane only had around forty health left at this point, so he started to flee.
Paladin of the Elegy sensed a Thief on his tail, getting closer and closer.
“You want to run? It’s not going to be that easy!”
Broad Blade’s group relentlessly pursued the fleeing Paladin of the Elegy and Sugar Cane.
“You Asskicker United brats! If you have any courage at all, stop running away!” Broad Blade cursed. This was turning into a complete disaster. Not only was his name red now, both the equipment and experience had also been snatched away. He chased after them like an enraged lion, brimming with the desire for blood.
Broad Blade finally managed to catch up to Paladin of the Elegy. Just as he was about to cut him down, he noticed a dense crowd of players emerging from the hills around him. There were almost a hundred players already, and more people continued to arrive. Players of every class, all equipped with different gear, gathered together in one place. The crowd bubbled with excitement and the promise of deadly retribution.
“What are all these people doing here!?” Broad Blade cried out in shock.
“Broad Blade, we have to go! They’re players from Asskickers United!” A few of his party members called out to him.
Broad Blade felt his heart sink. With his name so red, he’d drop a minimum of two levels along with all of his equipment if he was killed.
“Paladin, we’re here to save you!” one of the players in the crowd shouted.
“Kill those Victorious Return dogs! Don’t let them escape!”
Several dozen Fighters and Berserkers from the crowd charged down the hill, like arrows from a bow.
“Wipe those bastards out!”
The sixty or seventy Mages still standing on the hill brandished their staffs, shining with a deadly radiance. Their spells covered the sky and cast a shadow over the entire area, whistling towards Broad Blade’s group.