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197 Prologue of Battle

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On the side where S.Tigris' group and Eternal Hope members where located, S.Tigris, Black Hand, Gino, and Audrey were currently discussing the upcoming up battle.

"Are we really going to do this? The members of both of our team are pretty much against it," asked Gino to S.Tigris as he looked at the fallen Thirteenth Outpost.

S.Tigris couldn't help but smile bitterly when heard that and said. "What are you talking about? Are you telling me that you are chickening out now? You know better than anyone else that we can't back down now."

Gino clicked his tongue and said. "Tsk, you misunderstood what I said there mate. What I want to tell you is we should not bring some of our members that are unwilling to join this battle. These guys are going to be a dead-weight for us when we are in battle as I am sure that they will not use their full power later. They might even give us some troubles on the upcoming battle if they suddenly break our formation and run off somewhere to escape for their lives. Even if most of my members are loyal people, there as still some black sheep on our ranks that are giving us some headache from time to time."

But Black Hand immediately rejected that idea. "No, we can do that as it will weaken our forces even more, especially that we are desperate at taking as much manpower that we can. And I already have a plan how to tame them, so you don't have to worry too much about it."

"And even if I have a bad feeling on what is about to happen, my instincts are still telling me that we have a good chance at this battle," added S.Tigris as he looked at the gates of the Corrupted Nest in front of them.

"But I heard that there are some moles in your ranks as I heard the news of what had happened on your guild's war against the Skyline Guild. Are you sure that there will be nothing to worry about?" asked Audrey as she suddenly chimed in the conversation.

This time, Black Hand was the one that answered her question. "As I said earlier, I already had a plan on how to control them. And this is also a good opportunity for us to dig out some unhealthy roots on our ranks. What's more, it is quite reassuring that there are some reliable guys that are going to back us up if something goes wrong."

Gino suddenly started chuckling after hearing that and said a little later. "Yeah, it is really reassuring. And I hope that those arrangements that so-called Nameless Swordsman had planned will become somewhat effective."

"You don't have to worry, that guy is really not that simple. Those arrangements are somewhat simple to be exact but I keep having a feeling that it is not. Quite a contrary, right?" said Black Hand.

"That is also what I feel," said by Audrey as she nodded her head.

"Let's go, we should take their positions now," said S.Tigris before walking back to his position.

Then Black Hand followed after him while Gino and Audrey walked back towards their team. And a moment later, the team members of the both groups suddenly turned tense as the were aware that the incoming battle was not going to be an easy one.

Then Black Hand took a deep breath before giving his first order. "Move out!"

After that, the members of his group and Eternal Hope people started to move towards while maintaining their basic battle formation.

The heavy-armored players such as Knights, Paladins and other related classes were in the forefront of the group to lead the way. Behind them were the other melee players which were the Swordsman-related classes, Berserkers and others.

And following with quite a few distances behind them were the magical classes that were seemed to be ready to give some firepower at the any given moment. The Shamans, Oracles, Priests and other support and auxiliary groups, on the other hand, were a little behind them.

All the way on the back were the long-range players such as the Archers and Musketeers. And these guys were also be a lookout for the incoming sneaky opponents.

Meanwhile, the Thieves, Assassins, Hunters and other related classes were scattered on the place to look for their opponent's necromancers.

This was just a basic of the basic formations. This was what Black Hand and Audrey had decided to use since the most basic ones were the most effective ones on their current position. They didn't need to do some complicated stuffs since they just need to lure and hold the monsters here, on the outside of the Outpost's wall.

And when the group was starting to march towards the Corrupted Nest, the monsters on the vicinity would naturally notice the incoming group.

Then...

Roar! Roar! Roar!

Different roars that came from the corrupted monsters resounded on the whole place before most of them started rushing towards the incoming group with a great speed at hand. And that sight made the other members even more tensed.

'Their aggro-range was that large? We are still in the 50-meter mark, yet there are already some monsters that are rushing towards us? Hmm... No... that's not it. There might be someone controlling them a little since it will break the current game balance if these monsters suddenly become this aggressive,' though Black Hand to himself as he knitted his brows at the that sight.

And after a brief moment, he immediately said some encouraging words before starting to give out some orders. "Keep calm boys! These monsters are just a group of mindless beasts! We can still hold them up! Alright! Team One, assume your defensive formations!"

Clang! Clang! Clang!

Some metallic sounds were created when the heavy-armored classes started to form a defensive line on the forefront of the team. Then they waited for the next order to come.

And when the monsters reached the 40-meter mark, Black Hand gave his second command. "Long-range players, start firing your skills!"

And with Gino as their lead, the long-range players were giving out their best shot to weaken the incoming corrupted monsters that were rushing towards them.

Bang! Bang! Bang!

Swoosh! Swoosh! Swoosh!

Gunshots were sounded when the guns on the Musketeers' hands were fired while the arrow that were released for the bows of the Archers, were staring to whistle in the wind.

Then the monsters were immediately greeted by bunch of range skills on their charge. Given that, the aggro of the monsters were immediately directed towards the range players on the backlines and started accelerate their charge.

But the moment the monster reached the 30-meter mark, Black Hand gave out the next order. "Magical Classes, bombard them with your spells!"

Boom! Boom! Boom!

Then different kinds of spells started to rain down at the incoming corrupted monsters, weakening them further while also killing some of them in the process. And the charge of the incoming monsters was also been slowed down for a moment when the corpses of the dead monsters on the front fell lifelessly on the ground, and that gave the group more time to bombard them with more of their skills and spells.

Then the next orders from Black Hand's mouth were given one by one. "Shamans, summon the aggro-clearing totem for the backlines! Then summon the strengthening totems for the frontline members! And same goes for the armor-amplifying totems!"

"Priest, strengthen our frontlines with Holy buffs. Oracles, give them your Great Blessings!"

Then totems after totems where release on the ranks of the groups while the frontline members on the forefront received different kind of buffs.

And because the aggro-clearing totems on the backlines, the aggro that the members on that side have were immediately clear back to normal, and making the incoming corrupted monsters to lose their priority targets and about to rush at the group in an aimless manner.

But that was also when Black Hand gave out another command. "Frontlines, active Provoke!"

Then the frontline members starting to us their provoking skills at the corrupted monsters to direct their aggro on them while also having some bonus defensive buff.

"Brace for the incoming impact," then Black Hand shouted once again. "On my mark!"

He waited for the incoming corrupted monsters to reach the 5-meter mark, before he gave the next command. "Now! Activate the Shield Wall."

Then all of the frontline members started activating their 'Shield Wall' skills at the same time and simultaneous manner. Given that, the golden walls casted by the frontline members started to merge with each other, creating a giant golden wall and blocking the path of the incoming corrupted monsters.

And after that...

Boooom!!!

The corrupted monsters collided with that golden wall, halting their charge almost instantly. At the same time, the frontline members at the very front took a couple of steps backward to relieve some force for the impact.

And without further ado, Black Hand immediately gave out the next command. "Secure the aggro! Don't let anyone of them to get pass through you!"

Then the frontline members responded as they hold the corrupted monsters in place. And when the aggro of the monsters were finally secured, the melee players waiting on a few distances right behind the heavy-armored members, immediately rushed in and joined the battle while having S.Tigris being on the lead.

At the same time, Audrey started becoming busy too. Even if they agreed that Black Hand will handle the entire commanding orders, that didn't mean that she would become idle either; the whole supporting group would be under her command on this battle.

And given all of those, the prologue of an intense battle was finally set in place.

*******

Meanwhile, inside the previous Outpost Leader's residence, the group of three players were currently watching the battle through the virtual screen that was being projected by a spying stone on the table. Naturally, these three where the apostles that Immortal had brought in the Saint Heaven Kingdom; the trio of Elliot, Larc, and Demien.

"Looks like these guys choose to face our forces head-on. But do they honestly believe that they can handle these bunch of monsters that way? I am quite disappointed about these guys. Is this all that the 'War Maestro' and the 'Wise Queen' can do?" said Demien in a disappointed tone.

But Elliot immediately rejected that. "I highly doubt that. It is impossible for that guy to make this kind of careless mistake. I am pretty sure that that guy has a pretty clever reason for doing this."

Then Larc who was leisurely sitting on his chair, suddenly smirked and said in a sarcastic tone. "Heh! And what it could be? Elliot, you are being too cautious of this guy called Black Hand. Aren't you overestimating him too much?"

Elliot suddenly released some chuckles after hearing that and sneered at him. "Is that so? But let me tell you something since you are quite young compared to us in this gaming industry and didn't manage to experience the time of «True Era» online. During that time, there was a very big incident that even involved almost all of the Powerhouse Guilds and Monster-Class players at that time."

"There was a very big war that could already be already considered as a world war if it took place on the real world. And that very war become the most historical war in the entire gaming history. And there were few key figures that affected the outcome of that war."

"And one of them was this Black Hand guy. Even if his battle prowess was average at most, his battle strategies and decision making was quite high-tier. And because of him, his side on that war managed to get an overwhelming victory. And that was when he got the title of 'War Maestro'."

Then Larc suddenly cut in and said with a sarcastic tone. "Are you telling me that this guy is better than boss on this aspect?"

Elliot smiled bitterly and said. "Of course, that is impossible. According to boss, there are only two people that are better than him in strategic thinking. One of them have long gone from playing any kind of VR game while the other one never played any kind of VR game before. He said he met them on an old-school game called 'War Tactics' and he never beat any one of them ever since."

Larc was about to sneer at Elliot for his praises for Black Hand when the latter suddenly added. "However, the boss also acknowledged this Black Hand guy. He even said that this guy might even ranked on the Godlike Strategist List if only he was not being restrain by his own battle strength."

Then he directed his eyes at the projected virtual screen once again and added a little more. "So, we can't let our guards down any moment for there might be some unexpected things that might get us off-guard."

......