Chapter 1240: Baddie

The moonlight from above made the shiny lines of text floated above the Frostsword City berserker’s head just a bit clearer—

 

Demon Hunter LV-212

Main City: Frostsword City

Guild: Ice Age

Position: Vice Leader

……

I did a quick search on his power ranking and found that he was the 798th best player in Frostsword City, or about the same level as Gods of Destruction’s Dominating Knight God. It wasn’t a bad ranking if you were to compare him to the average player. Assuming that his party members were on the same level as him, they were still no match for our 7-man party.

Lin Yixin, He Yi and I turned around at nearly the same time. I smiled politely at Demon Hunter before asking, "You’ve gathered 13 players?"

"Exactly 13, yes!"

Demon Hunter spread his arms invitingly. "You’re planning to travel to Dragon Domain, right? In that case, why don’t we work together? The mob level of this map is pretty high, so it’s safer to operate in big numbers. Everyone in my party is fairly strong, and healing isn’t a problem since we have 3 priests."

He smiled even wider as he continued, "China and Russia have been allies since the beginning of the game, right? We were there when Sky City was under attack, and you are familiar with Snowy Night, right? It so happens that I’m an acquaintance of hers too! I hope we can cooperate with each other. It’ll be beneficial for both our parties."

I let out a hum but didn’t reply immediately.

Inside the party channel, the girls were busy discussing among themselves—

Lin Yixin: "I don’t know, girls. This Demon Hunter gives me a bad vibe, and I really don’t like how he kept looking Sister Eve up and down!"

Beiming Xue: "Yeah, I noticed it too. He’s been ogling boss from the start!"

Murong Mingyue chuckled. "Now, now, girls. Our Eve is beautiful, classy, and she carries a pair of 34Ds on her person. It’s perfectly natural for her to draw some attention."

I suggested, "How about we join their party for now and leave after we get on the boat? The key here is getting on the boat anyway. Otherwise, we’ll be stuck here for a long time trying to recruit another 13 players."

He Yi agreed. "Sounds like a good plan. Okay. Let’s do this!"

"Yeah."

……

After the discussion, I gave Demon Hunter a nod and said, "Sounds like a plan. Where are your party members?"

"They’re stocking up on food at the bread shop. They’ll be coming out in a moment!"

"Very well. We’re canceling our party now, so please send us the party invite!"

"Got it!"

Soon after, we joined Demon Hunter’s party. His chosen stratagem was Encourage VII, which boosted the Attack of all party members by 100%. This alone marked him as an above-average player. These days, any player worth their salt—even if they weren’t a Famous General—would get Encourage VII or Iron Wall VII so that they could boost their party’s Attack or Defense stats by 100%. Either stat was very useful for a wide variety of situations. It was also why Encourage VII remained a pricey stratagem book that cost at least 10k gold to this day. All you needed was one, and you would become a ten-thousandaire as well. The possibility had driven countless youngsters to grind hard to this day.

A couple of minutes later, a stream of Ice Age players walked up to us just like Demon Hunter said they would. The guy hadn’t lied to us about his party’s strength either. I counted 4 mages, 3 priests, 3 cavalrymen, 1 tamer, 1 archer and 1 assassin. All of them were eighth-promotion, and both their party composition and equipment looked good enough to challenge an Immortal Rank boss without any casualties. Underestimating these people no matter how strong we were would be a bad move.

After everyone was ready, Demon Hunter registered our 20-man party at the harbor registration area and earned us the right to sail across the sea. The travel fee per player was 100 gold.

I stepped onto the deck first before extending a hand to Lin Yixin like a gentleman. The Ice Age archer, a guy who looked to be around 27 years old was watching us both with admiration and jealousy. His admiration was directed toward Lin Yixin’s out-of-the-world beauty, and his jealousy was toward me, the seemingly average guy with all his equipment luster turned off.

I had also hidden my ID in the party channel; a benefit that came with being at a higher level. That being said, they could still see our guild emblem, and you would have to be living under a rock to not know that Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls and Snowy Cathaya were two of the best guilds in China. Unless they were exceptionally clueless, they should have an inkling as to our true identities.

Pa!

I stayed on edge of the deck to help all the girls over one by one. A while later, He Yi walked to the bow of the ship and shot Demon Hunter a polite smile, saying, "Me and my companions will be staying on the bow for a discussion. That aside, feel free to do as you please, Demon Hunter!"

Demon Hunter nodded back smilingly. "You too. Me and my friends will be sitting together at the aft. If you are tired, you may rest inside the hold for a moment. The wind is a lot weaker inside, and you may even be able to catch some sleep in there. At the very least, you won’t catch a cold from the sea wind."

"Got it. Thank you!"

……

Demon Slayer and his friends passed through the hold at the center before appearing on the aft. Then, they sat there and talked about whatever among themselves.

I pointed to the area right before the bowsprit and said, "Sis, Lian Xin, Guanyue, Beiming, please sit over there and catch some rest if you want to. It’s possible to fall into a light sleep inside the game if your brain activity falls below a certain level. Although it’s not a true rest, you’ll still expend far less energy than you would have otherwise. Eve, Yiyi and I will be staying right here."

Carrying the Xuanming Bow behind her back and sitting cross-legged at the front of the bow, she asked me with a smile, "Big brother, you want us low-health players over here because you’re still wary of them, aren’t you?"

I smiled a bit and left Demon Hunter’s party. After I had created my own party and added everyone back in it, I said, "Yeah. Demon Hunter and his friends hid their eyes well, but I can still sense the burning desire and jealousy. We may have hidden our equipment luster, but they’re not so blind that they can’t recognize their power. Also, the Xuanming Bow was displayed in full on the Twelve Divine Armaments Ranking. A player with a keen eye would notice that Beiming Xue’s bow looks exactly like the Xuanming Bow. They’re not making a move yet, but that is no reason to let our guard down. That is why we’re going to stay right here and wait for them to make a move. If nothing happens, then all is well. If not, we’ll see."

Lian Xin sat down beside Beiming Xue too and said, "Big brother is right. We should be careful."

Beiming Xue curled her lips a bit before suggesting, "How about you all catch some rest while I keep watch? I’ll activate Clear As Flame so that nothing can sneak up on us."

I nodded. In fact, I had activated Dark Pupils and kept a close eye on every Ice Age player since the moment I boarded the ship.

……

As He Yi and Lin Yixin sat on the ground, He Yi summoned the Snake King Little Qing and had her stand right next to her like a loyal bodyguard. I also summoned the Phantom Wolf King, had it enter stealth mode, and position it close to the ship hold.

We had traveled and grinded for the whole day, so the girls were all looking a bit tired. They leaned on each other and closed their eyes to catch some rest.

They might as well. It would take 10 hours for the ship to reach the other shore.

Over an hour later, we suddenly heard a rustling noise from inside the ship hold. A short while later, Demon Hunter emerged from behind the curtains while carrying a pair of barbecued fish skewers on one hand. As he walked over with a smile, he said, "Are you hungry? Here are some fish we got fishing and barbecued on the aft earlier. It’s not cooked very well, but it still increases satiety, and more importantly it doesn’t cost the food in your bag, am I right?"

He Yi opened her eyes and smiled at him. "Thank you!"

I accepted the barbecued fish skewer and said as well, "Thank you for your trouble!"

Demon Slayer swept his glance across everyone before smiling back. "You’re welcome. Haha!"

He left after saying that.

……

Beiming Xue sniffed the fragrant-smelling fishes before asking, "Are we too paranoid after all?"

I shook my head. "I don’t know, but we can’t let down our guard. The food offering could be an excuse to scout out our position and check if they have a good chance at ambushing us."

Lin Yixin leaned against the railing and replied, "Yeah, he’s right. Just stay on your guard like you’re watching wolves until ten hours is up!"

I nodded in agreement.

A while later, I suddenly noticed a change with Dark Pupils. A red dot—a Level 211 eighth-promotion assassin—was crouching at a hidden corner of the aft and observing us with cold, greedy eyes.

"Beiming!" I called out quietly without changing my posture.

Beiming Xue opened her eyes and asked me, "What’s wrong, big brother?"

I answered, "Look to your 11 o’clock with Clear As Flame. Can you see the hidden assassin?"

Beiming Xue blinked once before replying, "No, big brother. What’s wrong? Is their assassin watching us?"

"Yeah."

A tiny sneer crept onto my lips. "They’re a cunning bunch alright. The assassin is watching us from 45 yards away, which is just beyond the range of your 40-yard Clear As Flame. Well, he’s not doing anything yet, so just stay cool and wait for their next move."

Still leaning against the railing, Lin Yixin placed her hand on her sword without being noticed by our voyeur and closed her eyes. Then, she said inside the party channel, "Can we just run them down? This waiting game is really getting to me…"

I rolled my eyes a bit. "Of course not. These guys may be scumbags, but we are still allies with Frostsword City. If we act first, the blame will fall on us no matter what we say. Plus, don’t you trust our strength? We absolutely have the power to give them the first, second and even the third move!"

He Yi was lying on the floor and using my lap as a pillow. Eyes closed with contentment, she said, "Lu Chen is right. We can’t give our enemies any way to slander us!"

"Fine, I’ll wait."

"Don’t worry, it won’t take too long. I guarantee you they’ll come after us the second some variable changes, whatever it may be!" I declared confidently before continuing, "By the way, that assassin’s been staring at Beiming non-stop. I bet it’s because he wants your Xuanming Bow. Sigh, we’ll never escape the fate of being envied upon by everyone!"

Beiming Xue giggled. "Big brother!"

……

It was at this moment a distant lightning bolt illuminated the ship for a moment. Then, a skyful of dark clouds started approaching us.

He Yi turned serious. "Watch out. Looks like the change we were waiting for is upon us!"

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