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192 Second Step

 Pulling Melting Snow along with him, Xinya walked along the large stone wall that enclosed the town until he reached a giant wooden gate. Pausing in his steps, Xinya studied the blockade that was impeding him from continuing on his way.

A frown appeared on his lips, because from what he could see the gate doors in front of him were locked tight and there was no way they would be able to open it themselves. He could feel Melting Snow tugging on his arm, yet Xinya ignored him. To focus on how he and his friends would be able to get inside the town.

He only began forming a speck of an idea when he heard the deep voice of a man shouting from up above. "Who goes there?"

Tilting his head upwards towards the voice, Xinya was surprised to see two guards deck out in ancient Lamellar armor on top of the wall. He wondered if they had been watching them the whole time because they were looking down at him and friends very suspiciously.

"What should we say?" Whispered Wei through the party's voice chat. She had finally caught up with them after being left behind with Wandering Sound.

"I know how to handle this," Giving Wei a playing wink, Xinya let go of Melting Snow's hand and cleared his throat. Offering the guard his most sincere look and making himself appear harmless, Xinya begins to speak, "Kind sirs, we are but weary travelers who have come from a great distance and would like to take refuge in your humble town if we may."

Snickering quietly into his hand, Wandering Sound was amused by the performance Drifting Cloud was putting on for the guards. He was even better than some newbie actors he knew. "Nicely done, Cloud."

"Let them in, Changying, they are just a bunch of kids," Said an older looking guard who had a long black bread. He didn't see the point about being suspicious about some innocuous-looking kids.

Glaring at his fellow guard, Changying said, "This is why you won't ever be promoted Guowei, you're too damn trusting. They could be murderers in disguise and you would never know it!"

"Hey! I'm not a murderer!" Melting Snow yelled, greatly offended by what the man accused them of.

"Let them in!" Ignoring the young boy who was glaring angrily at him, Changying sternly told them, "You kids better be on your best behavior while in this town, we don't take kindly to any ruffians."

"Don't worry sir, we won't cause any trouble", Wei said with a sweet smile, making the paranoid guard ease up a bit.

With the flip of a switch, the gates begin to open revealing their first view of the town that they traveled so long to get to, and what a sight it was. As Xinya walked through the gate with his friends, his first emotion was astonishment followed by awe.

Because In front of him there was a breathtaking view of acres of fertile and verdant land that stretched out as far as his eyes could see. And only by squinting was he able to see the tall buildings of the town's centre where the main shops and businesses were.

Previously from his position on top of the mountain, he didn't think that the farmland would be this sizable. Although now viewing it from this position and seeing the lush open land that seemed to go on for miles, he knew differently.

As they begin to walk down the path that would take them to the central part of town, Xinya wondered if this was how Dorothy felt like when she transversed through the great plains of oz to reach the emerald city. He started snickering to himself at that thought because he did already have his own Toto, Scarecrow, and Tinman.

All he needed now was a cowardly lion, however, on second thought, he would rather have a strong brave lion. He would like to have someone who wasn't scared to help him deal with any wicked witches of the west that he came across in this huge world of Haven.

~

It had been a long day for Zixuan who had been working hard on a rare armor set, that a boss monster from the town siege in Errinisworth had dropped. Sadly for him, even though he had been working on it for the entire day he had only completed 1 percent of it.

Letting out a long sigh he opened the door to his office and made his way over to his favorite blue lounge chair that was located by the window. Flopping down onto it, Zixuan got into a comfortable position ready to relax.

Not even a second went by before the peaceful atmosphere he created for himself was interrupted by someone bursting through his door. He could only silently berate himself, he should have known better and locked his office door as soon as he was inside.

However after seeing that it was only his friend Xafnir looking angrily flustered, his upset about being bothered disappeared. Watching his friend slowly go crazy was always a more enjoyable pastime. Sometimes he wondered if he was a sadist.

"I told you time and time again to keep those miscreants in line, but you never listen do you!" Xafnir shouted as soon as he walked in, his face completely red.

Smirking slightly, Zixuan continued to laze against his chair, casually saying, "What did they do now?"

"What did they do?! What did they do?! I will tell you what they did!" Clenching his jaw, all Xafnir wanted to do right now was throttle his friend who was acting so nonchalant. "They stalked each and every high tiered member of the Fallen Blades guild and killed them, that's what they did!"

Leaning his head against his arm, Zixuan looked at his friend and said, "So? What's the problem with that?"

"What's the problem, he says. Soul, if they figured out that it is people from our guild who is killing them, we might have a guild war on our hands!" Shouted Xafnir, not understanding what his friend isn't getting.

"Isn't that what they want?" Zixuan asked thoughtfully. Sitting up in his chair, Zixuan stared at Xafnir questionly. "The Fallen Blades hired professional player killers to hunt down our weak non-combatant guildmates and killed them. They then proceeded to camp their bodies until they lost five levels or left our guild. Since they did all of that, doesn't that mean they want a guild war?"

Shocked, Xafnir took a step back at the revelation that his friend gave him. "It was the Fallen Blades who ordered that?! But they were so friendly to us."

"They were just pretending. They have been trying for ages to get me to merge my guild with theirs, but now that our guild won the town siege they are getting desperate." Xinya told the man while laughing humorlessly.

Xafnir was feeling a little panicked since Fallen Blades was a huge guild with tons of sponsors. However, he wouldn't allow another guild to walk all over them, not now or ever. "What should we do?"

"We are going to show them the true power of our crafting guild," Zixuan replied, malice glinting in his eyes. " They will soon learn that nobody messes with the Forged Connections guild."