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Chapter 320 - Web of Traps

 Chapter 320 - Web of Traps

Sakurazaka Moony continued to poke through the leaves littering the jungle floor as he said to Oathless Sword, "If this person is an expert, he won't just place the traps haphazardly. Those we've found on the jungle floor beneath the detritus could've been placed to draw our attention. Perhaps, there is an even more powerful trap waiting for us deeper in the jungle."

"What would be an even more powerful trap?" Oathless Sword nervously asked.

"Hunting Trap that lasts for even longer," Sakurazaka Moony answered. Oathless Sword had the strongest urge to slap this man to death.

"Everyone, take care of where you're stepping to," Oathless Sword turned back to remind the others. There was really no need for him to say that, as everyone had started watching where they placed their feet the moment they heard that first man's scream when that trap was triggered.

"Can we continue onward like this?" Oathless Sword asked Sakurazaka Moony.

"The trap itself doesn't deal damage," Sakurazaka Moony answered, "It's only use is to render a target immobile. You've seen that their Hunting Trap's duration can last for over a minute. The current use it has in combat is to complement it with a ranged attack after. If we continue to rush onward without fully grasping our current situation, we may be slowly eaten alive."

"Can't we just find all the traps first?" Oathless Sword was staring at the stick Sakurazaka Moony was holding.

"Normally, you would be right, but don't forget that traps don't have a mind of their own unlike us, humans. A real trap expert won't simply set a trap down and wait for the prey to stumble on it. Not only can a trap limit a person's movement when triggered, it can also be a means to contain a person when not triggered. By choosing to manually search for the traps, our actions are already being controlled by the trappers, so they most likely have something planned against us."

"I know that..." Oathless Sword sighed deeply. Sakurazaka Moony was really such a nag. Even if he did not know much about traps, he at least understood the logic behind the use of traps.

"What I'm trying to say is that the solution to our current situation is not uncovering the many traps they've set up but finding out how many people are out there to get us!" Sakurazaka Moony's voice diminished in volume as he spoke. He then swept his solemn gaze around him once more. The rustling sound of leaves in the jungle complemented Sakurazaka Moony's tone, and everyone involuntarily felt a shiver down their spines as they too began to look around in hopes of knowing just how many people were out there lying in wait for them.

"Let's stop our progress for now. Call the other leaders to gather and discuss our next step," Oathless Sword declared.

The battalion had already come to a halt by now. All the players were patiently waiting for news from the front as they discussed the matter in their respective groups. Suddenly, Gu Fei turned back and shouted, "Someone's here!"

"Who?" Gu Fei's shout was not just heard by Young Master's Elite but also by Oathless Sword and his men despite them being in front of the entire battalion.

Gu Fei fixed his gaze on the direction that they had just passed through. "There's definitely someone there just now."

"Is it a player or a NPC?" Brother Assist asked.

"It's definitely a player. NPCs don't have killing intent," Gu Fei replied.

Killing intent... Everyone was curiously staring at Gu Fei now.

"I'll go take a look!" Gu Fei pulled out his sword and carefully headed in the general direction where he felt the killing intent. It was only a fleeting sensation, as the other party might have only looked at him transiently, yet the experienced fighter Gu Fei was still able to feel it. While he could not pinpoint where exactly this person was, he could guarantee that someone was really standing there!

"I'll accompany you." Sword Demon pulled out his dagger, entered Stealth, and carefully followed behind Gu Fei. All had their eyes fixed on them as they departed. Oathless Sword and his men finally made their way over moments later, asking upon arrival, "What happened?"

A player pointed to Gu Fei's figure among the trees. "He said there's someone behind us."

"Someone? A player or a NPC?" Youthful Reflection suddenly asked.

All had a strange expression on their faces. Young Master Han sighed. "The heck. Why is everyone asking the same question?"

Youthful Reflection was not amused by this.

Young Master Han laughed. "Sorry, I'm not disparaging you specifically." As Youthful Reflection was slightly softening to Young Master Han's comment, the latter continued, "It's everyone else including you."

Everyone, including Youthful Reflection, was absolutely furious by this.

"Careful!" Gu Fei's shout was heard by all the players and they saw him nimbly leap backward as his Moonlit Nightfalls speedily stabbed downward. The crisp sound of metal clashing together rang about, followed by something shining near his foot. They then saw Gu Fei land on his feet and said aloud in all seriousness, "There's a trap here."

Sakurazaka Moony hurried over and began to examine the activated trap by Gu Fei's foot. The trap's craftsmanship was far more complex than what they had found before, and it even had a faint metallic shine to it. The sharp jaws that would have dug into the flesh of the trapped target glistened. Everyone could not help but shiver at the sight of this.

Sword Demon canceled his Stealth state beside him; Gu Fei's warning just then had been for his sake. Even Gu Fei's heart was palpitating at the moment. "This trap is really abnormal. It could actually spring out and chase after its target."

Everyone stared at Gu Fei with an expression as though they were looking at a monster. Gu Fei had clearly stepped on that trap mere moments ago, yet he was able to almost instantly jerk his foot out of harm's way. Since this particular trap could actually spring from the ground and chase after its target for a short distance, Gu Fei had no choice but to stab his sword down in that same instant to stop it. It was evident who the truly anomaly here was!

"That's too much, Drunk bro. To actually dodge that..." Even Sakurazaka Moony was momentarily distracted from studying the beloved trap before him.

Gu Fei did not react to his praise and merely peered through the depths of the jungle. "I'm afraid that there are more."

Oathless Sword's men had come over by now, and Sakurazaka Moony's question was still the same. "Have you counted the time?"

"Counted the time for what?"

"How long the trap lasts, of course!" Sakurazaka Moony replied matter-of-factly.

"Didn't it miss Thousand Miles Drunk?"

"Yeah, but it still got triggered! Once the trap is sprung, it will only disappear when the effect ends, so its duration can still be timed. You guys really have to work on your knowledge about traps!" Sakurazaka Moony was visibly distressed by this.

Who would have thought that there would come a day when the great Traversing Four Seas Guild Leader Oathless Sword would be blamed to the point of speechless? However, this was also when he realized something. We've clearly seen this trap get triggered together, so why is this twerp still putting the blame on others? Isn't he just taking this chance to twist the subject and stir trouble? How detestable.

"This trap's even more incredible than the last," Sakurazaka Moony said, "And if that springing motion Drunk bro described is true, then that means that this skill has a higher proficiency, clearly showing us how fearsome the force behind its triggering motion."

"What about your trap? What is the speed your trap can go?" Oathless Sword suddenly asked.

Sakurazaka Moony flashed him a wry smile. "Mine is nowhere near this speed. I lost a level when I was at level 40." Before level 40, a new skill could be acquired with every six levels, namely level 12, level 18, and so on. These levels were what players now called 'skill level'. Whenever players lost their level upon death, the greatest fear they had was to fall below the skill level. That was because the skill itself would disappear once the player dropped below the corresponding threshold. When a player grinded back to that lost level, he or she would need to learn the skill and grind its proficiency from scratch. 'Losing a skill level' was therefore far more frightening than just losing a level.

"From the way it looks, we've already been surrounded." After examining the trap, Sakurazaka Moony stood up and said this.

Anyone with half the brain could come to that conclusion.

The direction Gu Fei had gone to was where their expedition had just passed through. It was clear that this trap had been placed only after they left. Perhaps, what Gu Fei had sensed was the parting glance of the enemy after placing the trap. Undoubtedly, this trap was definitely targeting them.

"Is it a player or NPC?" Youthful Reflection was still struggling with this question.

"It's a player," Gu Fei answered him confidently.

"How do you know?" Although someone already told him the answer, he still insisted on having proof, especially since the person claiming this was Gu Fei.

Gu Fei shrugged his shoulders and said, "I saw him." He figured it was not good to mention killing intent. If he kept going on about it, these players might start treating him in the same way the students in his school treated him whenever he claimed that he knew kung fu.

"You saw him? How are you able to differentiate a player from a NPC with just one glance? There are many NPCs in a city, how do they look any different from any player-hey, wait! Where do you think you're going? I'm not done-" Gu Fei teleported himself away from Youthful Reflection using Blink once the latter started talking his head off.

"What's the update?" The three Traversing Four Seas' core members and the mercenary group leaders were gathered now.

"The men I sent to scout our flanks have also discovered traps. We are now ensnared and surrounded within a web of traps," Sakurazaka Moony shared the situation to everyone present. The Great Hunting's men were in charge of searching for traps. Oathless Sword was glad that this group of extremely skeevy outliers he had hired came to be of use in such a scenario.

"Can't we just remove these traps?" someone asked.

"No!" Oathless Sword moved to stop Sakurazaka Moony before he began his long-winded speech about the 'trap containment theory'.

"Why?" The asker was adamant to find out the reason behind this, though, so Sakurazaka Moony once more haughtily explained his theory in great detail.

Oathless Sword tried his best to control himself as he swept his glowering gaze over all those present, wishing to say a few words to emphasize just how serious a predicament they were now in. However, after making a full round, he began to feel that something was off. Carefully looking around the mercenary leaders gathered around him, he confirmed his suspicions as he turned his gaze to Youthful Reflection. "Where's Silver Moon?"

This meeting was supposed to include every mercenary leader and each core member of Traversing Four Seas. Everyone was present except for Silver Moon.

Youthful Reflection called out Silver Moon on the party channel. He too had only just realized that someone was not present. It could be said that Silver Moon's plan to conceal his existence was fairly effective; only when such a unique situation cropped up that people realized about his disappearance.

"Where is that guy?!" Oathless Sword wondered aloud as he prepared to send Silver Moon a private message.

"He left," someone suddenly answered.