When I entered the party, I saw exactly Gui Guzi, Beiming Xue, Du Thirteen and Yamete in the party list. It was the return of the original five Bloody Mercenaries.
“Haha, hey boss!” Gui Guzi asked after a laugh, “So, how was your trip home yesterday? I heard that the leader went home with you as well. Did you make any progress?”
Slight embarrassed, I answered, “Nope. Where are you guys anyway?”
“We’re at Cyan Wolf Boneland, a small map at the northmost part of Frost Forest. A Level 75 Dark Gold Rank boss just spawned there recently, and lucky for us we found it before anyone else. We’re watching it right now, but it’d be better if you made haste and got here as quickly as possible. We’ll engage the moment you arrive!”
I gripped the Purgatory Sword and ran at full speed. It would take about half an hour for me to reach Cyan Wolf Boneland from where I was, and I was fairly confident that no one would dare snatch a boss from right under Beiming Xue and Gui Guzi’s noses during these 30 minutes.
Half an hour later, I passed through Frost Forest and saw four tiny orange dots on my mini map immediately. The dots represented Beiming Xue and the others. The map they were in was a cyan-colored region full of death and gloominess. There were a ton of wolf carcasses on the ground, each the size of a goddamned elephant. It looked like the wolves here were ridiculously huge.
There were both old and new carcasses. I saw maggots crawling inside the older ones and swarms of flies flying around the newer carcasses. The buzzing noise caused an uncomfortable churn inside my stomach.
My Death Shade War Boots crushed a bone beneath my feet as I strode into the map in a straight line. But suddenly, I sensed someone ahead of me!
I slowed down and trod carefully. Soon, I saw a group of ten people appear at the edge of a hill. They were clearly in a party, and the unique symbol that identified a player as a party leader was floating around the shoulder of a red-haired barbarian warrior. He wielded a battle axe, and his equipment looked pretty good. Level 64 was pretty good at this stage, and the ID floating above its head was:
One True Love LV-64 Warrior
Guild: Flower Room
Guild Position: Corps Commander
It was someone from Flower Room? What a small world we live in! Technically speaking, there was no river of blood between Bloody Mercenaries and Flower Room that could only be quenched with death. The problem was that there was a complicated relationship triangle between Lin Yixin, Li Le and I, and our guilds were caught up in the mess as a result. These days, we were practically sworn enemies.
One True Love stared toward the front and sneered, “The key members of Bloody Mercenaries are right ahead of us. Let’s get there as soon as possible and snatch their boss!”
Beside him, a Level 61 archer asked, “One True Love, are you sure we can beat them?”
“Of course. There are ten of us, and we have three third-promotion archers and two third-promotion mages. We’ll one-shot their archer with Ice Dragon Howl while two of our warriors keep Gui Guzi busy. Broken Halberd Sinks Into Sand isn’t here anyway, so there’s nothing to worry about! Let’s kill the boss first and deal with the aftermath later!”
The archer licked his lips vulgarly and said, “I heard that the dark archer of Bloody Mercenaries, Beiming Xue, is incredibly beautiful and sexy. Leave her to me, I want to exchange shots with her, if you get what I mean!”
One True Love smiled disdainfully at him. “That woman is mine. Don’t you even think about touching her.”
“What? Do you know her?” the archer asked in astonishment.
One True Love replied with a sneer, “Know her? I’ve been searching for her for god knows how long! Anyway, get her in the red but don’t kill her. I want to confirm if she’s the one I’m looking for first!”
I was caught off-guard by the conversation. What are they saying? How did this One True Love know Beiming Xue?
I asked inside the party channel, “Beiming, do you know a guy with an ID called One True Love?”
“No. Why are you asking, boss?” Beiming Xue answered in a surprised tone.
“You don’t? Oh well, never mind then!”
“Why aren’t you here yet, by the way?”
I sucked in a deep breath before answering, “A ten-man party from Flower Room has had their eyes on you. They have 3 archers, 2 mages, 2 warriors and 1 priest. Beiming, be careful. They have you down as their number one target.”
Beiming Xue replied, “Okay, got it. We’ll hide ourselves and ambush them here.”
“You do that. I’ll follow them from behind and catch them in a pincer when you’re ready!”
I followed the Flower Room players closely, but made sure not to get too close. If I used Earth Escape there was no way I could catch up to them, but if I followed them too closely the chances of being exposed were much higher. Thus, I chose to maintain around 100 yards of distance between myself and the enemy party. This way, I could reach them in 15 seconds at most if a battle were to break out!
I also used the opportunity to inspect their gear closely. All of the archers had above-average equipment, and the two mages were even stronger than they were. One of them was Level 68, and the other Level 69. On average, they were all high-level players. Maybe I would be able to tank a couple of Ice Dragon Howls to the face and still fight, but there was no way Beiming Xue and Mamate could do the same!
The battle broke out ahead of me while I was still in deep thought. Gui Guzi had charged out of his hiding spot and thrust his spear into the chest of the foremost warrior!
It was a critical hit, but unfortunately it still wasn’t enough to one-shot the enemy warrior. The guy probably had around 2000 HP, and after chugging a health potion he regained 1200 HP.
One True Love looked pissed. He rushed toward Gui Guzi and hit his shoulder with his battle axe!
Undying Shield was truly impressive. 35% of the enemy’s damage was negated just like that!
At the same time, a green number +884 appeared above Gui Guzi’s head. Man, Mamate’s healing power had been improving a lot lately!
One True Love sneered disdainfully and clashed blades with Gui Guzi. His party’s gear was pretty good, and he still had the number advantage. Despite the successful ambush, it was still unclear who was going to be the final victor.
It was at this moment Beiming Xue fired her Evil Spirit Volley!
Boom boom boom boom boom!
Three of the shots hit One True Love squarely on the chest and dealt around 1200 damage in total. His HP hit rock bottom in just an instant!
Here’s our chance!
Gui Guzi charged him and executed Blaze!
However, One True Love surprised us by assuming a defensive stance!
The warrior managed to defend himself perfectly from the skill. What a tragedy!
Gui Guzi’s mouth fell open. “Fuck, it looks like I need to get a defensive skill book as soon as possible…”
One True Love drank a health potion and readied himself for the next bout, but a series of bloodcurdling screams suddenly rang from behind him. “Aaaaah…”
It was me swinging the Purgatory Sword like lightning and unleashing Slayer Slash, Ice Ray and a basic attack at three different archers in succession!
All three archers collapsed after taking fatal damage. Their pets also vanished automatically and returned to their pet space.
Right now, my attack was so high that there was no leather armor class in the world who could take a hit from me, not unless they could gather a full set of Dark Gold–grade leather armor. Even then, they were still going to die in two hits at most!
I ran after a mage while my Dark Wasp zoomed toward another. I swept my sword horizontally and launched another basic attack!
The attack failed to deal any damage, but it did tear down the mage’s Magic Shield. Not letting the opportunity slip by, I followed up with a bloody Desperate Gambit!
The attack almost cut the poor player in half. A huge damage number floated above his head—1987!
The enemy was completely caught off-guard by my appearance. One True Love turned around in a hurry while shouting, “Fuck! Broken Halberd Sinks Into Sand is here!? Who’s the fucker who collected the intel? How can you make such a fundamental mistake!?”
Before he could say anything else, Gui Guzi pounced toward him and swung his spear horizontally!
The attack hit One True Love’s head and knocked his helmet to the ground. His red hair spilled into the air as he glared at Gui Guzi hatefully. “Come at me if you have balls, bastard! I’m not afraid of you!”
I had just finished cleaning up the rest of his party, and I was about to end his life myself. Suddenly, Beiming Xue let out a cry of astonishment and stared at One True Love with a complicated expression on her face. Gritting her teeth and breaking into tears all of a sudden, she grabbed her bow and aimed at One True Love, shouting, “Die, you bastard!”
One True Love smiled the moment the Devil Piercing Arrow left its bow. “Beiming Xue, you really are at Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls…”
The arrow took away his last bit of health and killed him on the spot!
It was a perfect victory even though it was 5 versus 10. However, I wasn’t able to take joy from the success at all. It was because Beiming Xue’s spirit had suddenly taken a nosedive, and her eyes were lacking her usual spirit.
“What’s wrong, Beiming? Do you know him after all?” I asked gently.
Beiming Xue bit her lips and gave me a nod. But she shook her head right after that and said, “It’s nothing, boss. Let’s finish the quest, shall we?”
Gui Guzi and Du Thirteen exchanged looks with each other, but none of them said a word. There was no point in prodding if Beiming Xue wasn’t willing to tell us about it.
We hit the boss with Gui Guzi and I as the tank. Everyone was stunned by my Defense. Killing the Level 75 boss was almost too easy since there were five of us, and its HP dropped incredibly quickly.
However, I noticed that Beiming Xue wasn’t doing too well. Normally, she would find ways to improve her DPS, but now she was just pulling her bow mechanically.
The boss died. A Dark Gold Rank boss was practically a god at this stage of the game, so everyone was delighted by the kill. Besides that, the boss dropped a Gold-grade shield that we gave to Gui Guzi, Level 70 Gold-grade leather wristguards that we gave to Beiming Xue, and a Dark Gold–grade ring that increased its wearer’s max HP by 18%. It was absolutely one of the absolute best rings out there. They were going to give it to me, but I turned it down and gave it to Gui Guzi instead.
After we killed the boss, Beiming Xue pulled out a return scroll and smiled at us. “I’m going to head back first, okay? I’m feeling a bit uncomfortable today…”
I returned back to the city as well because I noticed that Beiming Xue was acting a bit unusual. I was the one who made her come here all the way from Wuxi to join us, so it was my responsibility to protect her wellbeing. If something happened to Beiming Xue while she was staying in Suzhou, I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself for the rest of my life.
After I logged off, I walked to Beiming Xue’s door and gave it a light knock. I called out to her softly, “Beiming?”
The door opened. Beiming Xue’s eyes looked a bit reddened and wet. She greeted me weakly, “Boss…”
I glanced down and saw that her knees were covered in dust. There were water stains on the floor at the corner of her room.Previous Chapter Next Chapter