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187 Aiming Below The Belt is Behavior Most Despicable

 "I wonder how is Doug Ag..." Jessica said worriedly.

"You should worry about us instead of him." Edward replied helplessly, and sighed when Jessica trained a confused glance at him. "The wood elves found us."

It was only then that Jessica slowly realized that the yellow names which had been hovering everywhere randomly had somehow quietly formed a circle around them.

"Do we fight?" Joe asked, ready to go.

Being the top champions amongst the Players, Edward's party averaged in Player level over forty and almost neared fifty, and almost count as superhumans in human terms.

Moreover, unlike some casual Players who often leveled up through farming old dungeons or daily quests, Edward and the others were a part of the frontline in every new dungeon. In fact, they were the ones who made more than half of the exploration progress for the outskirts of the Valley of the Tragic Dead and the Grey Fjord Port.

They were basically a party with extraordinary experience in combat.

And with Eleena the Saintess-in-training with them, they were indisputably the strongest party amongst the Players right now.

After all, Princess Leah, the only other person with a secret class would haven't be whisked away by Old Vanke for lessons about formalities and what not and her level was far from catching up to Eleena. Moreover, the Warrior Princess class was more suitable for fighting in large numbers, and naturally wouldn't match the Saintess-in-training in terms of individual battle.

Therefore, Edward and the others were not too worried even if they realized that his group was surrounded by the elves.

"Let's try talking and not make enemies unnecessarily," Edward said.

"But that's not what you said when we ran into those neutral dogface people on our journey here..." Joe retorted.

"You know nothing. The quest note specifies that we should not make enemies unnecessarily. Otherwise it's all EXP-how is all that the same?" Edward shot back with conviction.

Joe responded with a 'your words are so reasonable I'm speechless' look.

One should note here that the quest Xi Wei assigned Edward's party was roughly the same as Gou Dan's: investigate what was happening to the wood elves of Trinia. While it was not outright stated that they mustn't consider the elves hostile, it was still hinted that they shouldn't do so-the vague conditions which, according to Edward's understanding about the quest, made clear that the God of Games was on standby since he wasn't sure if the elves were friend or foe either.

Still, that didn't mean that they should just give in unconditionally. If the elves attacked first, it wasn't a problem for Edward's party to retaliate since Xi Wei never liked having his believers become bootlickers where there's no favor to be gained.

Jessica hence quietly buffed her friends with a tiny magic barrier in case the elves fired a rain of arrows immediately like they did against the slave hunters.

At the same time, Eleena, the strongest among them pretended her ordinary, meek little girl act, hiding between the other three as she ate cotton candy impassively.

Meanwhile, Edward spread his arms, held them beside his head, slowly stood up and loudly said, "I'm an adventurer from Anurad! We are not friends of the slave hunters you've found! We're just passing by!"

His answer was an arrow shooting at his head, but it was reduced to splinters when it reached the barrier Jessica had put in place beforehand.

Edward's eyes narrowed dangerously.

"We have no intention of fighting you, so please cease your hostility. We can talk before starting anything, so don't try any impolite provoking attacks or we'll be forced to attack you in self-preservation. For your own safety, please-"

Even before he finished, the sound of nocking echoed immediately around him. A tight rain of arrows shot out from the bushes, bearing down upon everyone!

There were whooshes of hits, but the arrows still couldn't make their way past Jessica's arcane barrier. Nonetheless, the Players could see that its durability value had fallen dangerously low.

Edward sighed helplessly again and turned to his party members.

"Looks like we can't settle this peacefully. Everyone, get ready to attack but try not to kill-we'll talk after we make them eat dirt."

"Got it!" Joe beamed. "I'm already fired up!"

In that arrow of rain just now, he had several arrows aimed specifically for his critical area under the belt. That left him fuming even if he knew Jessica's arcane barrier would stop every arrow-every elf who had slaughtered those slave hunters were adults, and every adult elf is a sharpshooter: they would never miss once they hold arrow over bowstring, and in other words, those elves were aiming deliberately!

That was because most elves knew that any elf captured by slave hunters were mostly sold to nobles as carnal slaves, which made sense that they were hostile towards those anatomies.

Nevertheless, that did not calm Joe's indignant as he cracked his knuckles loudly.

"I'll give them a good beating!"

***

Salent Frostleaf almost laughed at those young humans' words.

Beat them up? What a joke! Even the lofty bishop those humans looked up to would never dare say such a thing!

The other young ones who were feigning maturity and saying wanting to negotiate and what not were funny too.

They were just a dozen years old. Who would believe such absurd claims that they were passing by, and weren't brought here to Trinia by the slave hunters? Moreover, it would have been acceptable if they begged for mercy... and yet there they were, with their aggressive words and threats.

'These brats aren't understanding the situation, are they?

'And where did they get such confidence to say such words to elves? Youthful ignorance?

'Well, I shall teach you kids an unforgettable lesson... if you survive.'

Salent stretched slightly, pulling his bowstring and ready to fire his arrow when he realized that an increasingly large fist was closing in on his face...