Chapter 59 - Black Bamboo Hat

Blue Maple’s figure disappeared into the formation and he proceeded to an unknown city...

Just as Blue Maple disappeared, a group of mysterious people wearing black bamboo hats and veils gathered in a private room inside a high-class restaurant located within the unknown city. They were standing around a circular table. All of them looked the same...

These people were completely covered by their veils, and the gigantic bamboo hats completely concealed their faces. There was a suppressive aura about them that came from behind their veils...

“Why are we still so secretive, even though we are in the game? How long must we wear these stupid bamboo hats?!” an angry voice sounded from one of the veils.

“Hmm, it’s fine if you don’t wear it. But I can promise that you’ll die very quickly. It’s okay if you die. Just don’t drag us down with you!” another voice jibed sarcastically.

“Alright, stop arguing. Information about our appearances has been captured by the brains behind this game. They’ll realize it if we expose ourselves. Right now, we can only use these computer-generated bamboo hats and veils to hide. If we are exposed, you know there’s only one result – death!” a confident and charismatic voice interrupted the quarreling duo. From his tone of voice, it seemed like he was a leading figure among the bunch.

These hats were actually not items. They were actually produced using computer-generated hacks inside the game!

“Hmm, of course I know that. Don’t worry, I’m just complaining. I don’t want to die.” That originally angry person was evidently afraid of the leader. His tone of voice was much milder when he responded.

“Just bear with it. Once we alter our appearances in the system, we can avoid being detected even if we switch our appearances. When that happens, the hats are off. Furthermore, we can speak using our normal voices then. It shouldn’t be too far away.” The leader also toned it down.

“Alright, let’s not talk about this anymore. I’m not here to discuss our hats. All of you should be aware of what’s going on.” The confident-sounding man was indeed the leader of the bunch.

No one had any doubts.

“Hmm, take a look at this since all of you are aware.” After he finished, the leader presented a blue projection in front of all his followers. Then, he played a video for them.

It was a pre-recorded video. The main character of the video was Blue Maple!

It showed the altercation between Blue Maple and Crippled Feather in the Mercenary Union, as well as the final fight between both of them after they handed in their quest. After that, it showed Blue Maple in Japan and Gong Liang City, where he went on a massacre. The reflection of his terrifying blue fire from the screen illuminated the black bamboo hats and veils. The video ended when Blue Maple killed the Thief who tried a sneak attack on him.

“This fellow is indeed pretty strong. He appears very relaxed, as if all the fights pose no trouble to him!” someone complimented without holding back.

“However, this doesn’t prove that fellow is this person,” someone else spoke up. It was already unclear where the voices came from, since everyone was wearing the same bamboo hat and veil.

“Indeed, I have to admit that he’s very strong. It’s very impressive for someone to possess such fighting skills at such a tender age. However, that is also the problem... he’s too young.” The owner of this voice could tell that Blue Maple was just technically proficient, but his game IQ wasn’t evident yet. He was surviving purely on his terrifying fighting skills!

“He’s too young. Even if his appearance hasn’t changed for two years, he shouldn’t be above eighteen no matter how tender he appears. Basically, it can’t be him!”

“I agree. Furthermore, a part of his fighting skills comes from his quick reflexes. From his fight with the Thief, I can tell that the Thief had a good command of the game. I didn’t even notice the attack. He was really very sneaky. If I was there, I might be able to dodge, but I might suffer some damage before I did so. It wouldn’t be so simple for me!” The owner of this voice was very observant and detail-oriented.

“Indeed. His reaction time is abnormal. He’s a beast! He reacts just as an attack is unleashed. This cannot be a passive ability. I’ve hacked into the internal information base of the game. I roughly know what’s happening. He hadn’t even completed his second class advancement when he fought that fellow named Crippled Feather. The possibility of him obtaining such a passive skill is practically zero!” This person was possibly the one who created the bamboo hats and veils. He knew how to hack the game.

“We indeed have to take close notice of this guy, because we cannot obtain information about him. However, the possibility is low. Don’t we know how terrifying that fellow is?” Everyone entered a brief moment of silence after that person finished speaking. It was like they were reminded of something terrifying...

“Indeed, if it was that guy, he wouldn’t show mercy on the twenty-odd players remaining. His speed is extremely high, almost thirty to forty percent higher than most ordinary players. If he wanted to pursue them, there wouldn’t be many of them left unless they absconded in different directions. Whereas that guy... wouldn’t let any single person escape!” The voice of the person who mentioned this was trembling. It was like he had recalled something truly frightening.

“Even though I’m unwilling to think about what happened in the past, I have to admit that this Blue Maple is too peaceful. It’s like he’s detached from this world. He doesn’t have that terrifying killer aura!”

“Yes, that fellow wasn’t just a maniac. He was the devil! I don’t want to recall what happened two years ago.” This person was already a little agitated and afraid.

After that, everyone seemed to be immersed in their memory from two years ago. They were completely silent for a time...

The leader spoke up after seeing no one say anything else.

“All of you should be almost done with your analyses. Let me say something, then.” The leader adjusted his tone of voice before continuing.

“I did some checks on this person, but there aren’t any records. However, I tested his reaction time from the video. My conclusion is… he has to be the top hundred in the world when it comes to reaction time!”

“Hurh~” Shocked voices were heard everywhere.

“His reaction is indeed extraordinary...” There were a billion people in the world. Everyone knew what it meant to be in the top hundred. It meant that he was innately talented, terrifying, and a natural-born assassin!

“This is still not the most shocking. What I’m going to tell all of you next is even more astonishing. After all, we have people in the top 100, and they aren’t just one of the best in terms of reaction time,” the leader continued.

Everyone was astonished. There was actually something more? It was very impressive that they had no information on someone whose physical attributes were among the top hundred in the world.

“Do you guys know who Crippled Feather is?” the leader asked calmly.

“Who could that guy be if he can’t even beat an anonymous character?” a doubtful voice responded.

“He’s Tian Sha!” the leader said.

The entire room went so silent that even a pin dropping could be heard.

A trembling voice eventually spoke up, “That guy called Crippled Feather is really Tian Sha?!”

Who was Tian Sha? He was the new assassin king being nurtured. Although he was still young and inexperienced, he did prove his worth through his achievements. He assassinated a country’s president on his own and managed to escape successfully!

They were all aware of how difficult it was to escape successfully. The president had been was protected by 10,000 elite troopers! In terms of weapons, armors, machines or battleships, the military only used the best. It was extremely difficult to escape!

No assassin would dare to claim that he could sneak into a crowd and assassinate the president without being caught by the elite troopers. However, Tian Sha did all that! He was the new assassin king!

“If that Crippled Feather is Tian Sha, then Blue Maple… could possibly be that guy!”

“In that case, tell me what you guys think, according to your analyses.” The leader demonstrated his leadership qualities right now.

“First, his age isn’t a critical problem. You should know how young Tian Sha was when he completed that assassination attempt. He was 18! Even if that guy is a little young, it’s still plausible.

“Second, all of you mentioned that he only relied on his reflexes to fight. However, can we really ignore his pure fighting skills? Did he actually put in his full effort? It’s clear that he was rather nonchalant. If he’s nonchalant, would he actually be putting effort into fighting? The key point is... even if you know where Tian Sha is going to be, can you beat him?!”

The last sentence was like a hammer blow!

Yes, Crippled Feather was Tian Sha. Even when Blue Maple beat Crippled Feather, Tian Sha still didn’t reveal himself. He was still concealing his identity!

“Even if it’s the era of firearms, close-combat and cold weapons are still very important to assassins. Do you really think Tian Sha, as the assassin king, could be so easily defeated?! Take a look at the video.”

When the leader finished speaking, everyone took a closer look at the part where Blue Maple struck Crippled Feather’s dagger out of his hand. They played it in slow motion. They even used a holographic projection to project that exact moment when Crippled Feather’s dagger and Blue Maple’s sword met.

The blade of the sword, or rather, the tip of the sword, completely sealed all escape paths of the dagger. It struck at the perfect moment. There was no way the dagger could have dodged its attack. The dagger was knocked out of Crippled Feather’s hand with force. There was no way Crippled Feather could have continued to hold onto the dagger!

“Is this fellow a freak?” Someone finally wavered. He suspected that it was that guy!

The rest went silent, as if they did agree with his conclusion.

“There’s also one other thing. Don’t forget that guy hasn’t done anything for two years. He could have settled down after remaining anonymous for two years. He might also have detached himself from this world. As for those miscellaneous players in Japan, do you really think they are worth his time if he’s that guy?”

The leader’s words left everyone speechless once again.

After a brief moment, someone finally spoke. “In that case, can we confirm that Blue Maple is that guy?” There was a tinge of fear in his trembling, agitated voice.

If he was, they could avenge what happened two years ago!

“No, I cannot confirm. Although your analyses are logical, everything is still just our conjecture.”

Blue Maple’s age was arguable, but beating Tian Sha? Was Tian Sha serious? Did he use his full strength? Could he possibly settle down after disappearing for two years? Could that fellow settle down so easily after all the fear he brought to the world?

“Let’s shortlist him first. We’ll find someone to keep tabs on him if we have the opportunity.” The leader was a little dejected. They still couldn’t confirm the appearance of the guy who had left them in such a broken state.

“If we are sure, we need to find out where he is, and kill him! No matter the price!” The leader was filled with killing intent at the very end!

Yes!” Determined responses came from all the black hats and veils!

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