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Chapter 321 - Progressing via Retreating

 Chapter 321 - Progressing via Retreating

The person who just spoke up was the quietest mercenary leader out of everyone present, and also someone whom everyone wanted to converse with more: the leader of Amethyst mercenary group, Luo Luo.

Amethyst Rebirth's guild leader was July, and based on how most mercenary groups born out of established guilds would be, she should be the one leading the guild's mercenary group. However, there were always exceptions. For instance, Youthful Reflection was Four Seas mercenary group's leader despite Traversing Four Seas' guild leader being Oathless Sword. Amethyst Rebirth was similar in how Luo Luo, instead of Guild Leader July, was the leader of its mercenary group.

There were only two ladies that were mercenary leaders present in this meeting: one was Luo Luo and the other was Gu Xiaoshang. However, to these men, Luo Luo held more value than Gu Xiaoshang, as she was the leader of a mercenary group made up entirely of women. If any male player had the intentions of creating an enduring legacy, such as building a harem, forming a good relationship with her would be extremely beneficial. Unfortunately, Luo Luo had been entirely silent in the many meetings that the mercenary leaders had had thus far. She would simply be quietly listening when the other leaders spoke, making it difficult for anyone to establish any sort of relationship with her.

However, Luo Luo's volitional silence was because she was aware of the sole reason behind Amethyst mercenary group's participation in this escort mission: Svelte Dancer. Were it not for the existence of this expert in their midst, Amethyst would definitely be seen as one of the weaker mercenary groups in Yunduan City. Their group was only made unique by the fact that it had an all-female population. If that was the reason behind their invitation to this guild quest, it would just be as despicable as bringing comfort women for the marching troops.

If Luoluo had a choice in the matter, she would have Svelte Dancer attend these leader meetings instead. It was just a pity that whenever such meetings occurred, Svelte Dancer would coincidentally disappear somewhere to play. She was truly a free spirit.

At this moment, when the question pertaining to Silver Moon's whereabouts was asked, Luo Luo actually spoke her very first words in the leader meeting.

"Oh?" Oathless Sword did not dare to be negligent and hurriedly asked, "Where did he go?"

"I don't know," Luo Luo shook her head. "We saw him run toward the tree to gather some herbs and, when he thought no one was watching, hid behind the tree. I didn't see him come back and rejoin us after."

"What's up with him?" Oathless Sword was puzzled.

"I'm not sure; didn't you guys send him on an errand?" Luo Luo asked him back.

"No!" Oathless Sword denied vehemently before muttering inside in dissatisfaction, Not even saying a word when leaving... He felt very dissatisfied, so he sent Silver Moon a message to ask him about this.

As everyone wondered about this matter, Young Master Han had a warm smile on his face. Luo Luo sent him a message at this moment: "Will this do?"

"Yes," was Young Master Han's reply.

"What next?" Luo Luo asked.

"Next, if no one tries to guess what has happened, then I'll mention it myself." Just as Young Master Han sent her this message, a mercenary leader already leaped out, "Could all of this have been Silver Moon's plan all along?"

"Silver Moon said he died and was sent back to Baishi City!" Oathless Sword furrowed his brows.

It had been quite some time since Silver Moon died. Currently, he was wasting Dusky Cloud and his men's time by having a quiet sit down in the Knights' Barracks. He had already constructed the perfect script to follow when he faced the comrades he had abandoned as well as Traversing Four Seas whom he had intended to exploit. He was prepared to compose a beautifully crafted speech about how he did not wish to drag down his friends and comrades in his problems and how he chose to sacrifice himself for the greater good. Only by doing this could his lonesome self change his fortune and have a chance to break out from this ordeal.

In order to achieve this, he could not move from where he was. Sacrificing himself for his comrades, he would have to inform them of this matter somehow, but it would seem as though he was fishing for their attention if he informed them himself, so he had to wait for them to discover his disappearance themselves and anxiously ask him about it before he could tell them. He would say a sentence or two in a lighthearted manner to further improve their image of him. This entire time, Silver Moon had been thinking ways to extricate himself from this without damaging his image too much, even as he thought deep down, M*th*rf*ck*rs, how has no one noticed that I'm missing yet?

Someone finally noticed his disappearance, but it was just too bad that the timing was not right.

The more chaotic it was, the more an opportunity could arise. It was truly a pity that Silver Moon had absolutely no clue what was happening on the other end. Meanwhile, Young Master Han, who had full knowledge of everything happening on both sides, started his devious and dirty plan to smear Silver Moon's good name.

Silver Moon had thought of a perfect explanation for his act of disappearing.

However, Young Master Han had also come up with a perfectly logical explanation for his disappearance, making sure to take everything that had happened thus far into consideration. What made it worse was that Young Master Han had not spoken even a word yet and had only been utilizing what had happened to sow the necessary seeds of doubt. Therefore, it was only naturally for someone to fall, hook line and sinker, for his ploy and to blurt out the very thing he wanted to say: Silver Moon's disappearance had something to do with the current situation that they had found themselves in.

Silver Moon's plan was to make progress by retreating, but his retreat unfortunately lacked people following in tandem. After apologizing to Oathless Sword for dying, the latter did not bother to reply to him any further. Silver Moon almost died from the suspense, as he wondered why Oathless Sword did not follow up his question and ask how he had died....

He was unaware that his death hardly concerned Oathless Sword. In fact, Oathless Sword was merely wondering how Silver Moon's departure connected to his current predicament.

The leaders present had also begun to argue with one another on this. One side believed Silver Moon had a hand in the matter, while the other side believed that the two were unrelated, with the simple reason being the fact that Silver Moon's comrades in his mercenary group were still present!

"Hmph. This wouldn't be the first time he abandoned his comrades to flee," someone said icily.

Sakurazaka Moony!

Young Master Han was really very pleased that he did not have to say a word at all.

"How do you know?" someone asked Sakurazaka Moony. Those present did not have any deep friendship with Silver Moon, but whenever anyone asked him about his past, he would simply excuse himself and dismiss the issue as quickly as possible just like what he had done back in Yunduan City's prison with Gu Fei, causing everyone to feel sympathetic to his plight.

"How do I know?" Sakurazaka Moony gave a mirthless smile. "Did you guys not inquire about this matter while in Yueye City? Why would anyone there not know what happened?"

Everyone was stunned. None of them had any particularly strong relationship with Silver Moon, so no one really took note to specifically inquire about his past!

Thus, Sakurazaka Moony began narrating the whole sordid affair, with some embellishments of his own. And given how sleazy he was, he laid it on so thick that Silver Moon sounded as though he were the greatest evil known to man, especially that disgusting bit about him deserting his 'wife' and leaving her to pick up the pieces when Past Deeds Guild fell into shambles. Gu Xiaoshang was the first one to pounce on this, and since Silver Moon was nowhere to be found for her to vent her frustration on, she directed her attack to Oathless Sword, instead, "F*ck! To think you'd even hire such kind of trash! Did everyone else in Yunduan City die such that you had no choice but to bring him along?!"

"I didn't know anything about this before I hired him!" Oathless Sword smiled bitterly.

Poor Silver Moon was still sitting all alone in the Knights' Barracks of Baishi City, waiting for Oathless Sword to show his concern over his death.

Young Master Han felt that it was time for him to speak up. "There's no way of telling whether this matter is related to Silver Moon or not. Perhaps, he found a trap but was blocked off by the enemies and killed off just as he was about to flee."

This was the true progress-through-retreating method!

Young Master Han simply had no means to properly pin this ambush on to Silver Moon as it was something outside of his control, so he decided to take a step back and point out the unlikelihood of Silver Moon being the orchestrator of the ambush while pointing out that the latter might have fled for fear of his death. Although this transgression might not be as extreme as Silver Moon betraying them, it was still enough to damage his character irreparably.

The goal Young Master Han that had set was thus achieved.

Although he did not successfully make Silver Moon take the blame of landing them into this web of traps, he still managed to help Silver Moon gain a few more enemies. This was entirely unnecessary, though, as Dusky Cloud and company were more than enough to take care of him. Using this pretext to direct the flow of conversation, what Young Master Han had truly done here was timely expose Silver Moon's true colors to everyone. When everyone calmed down and thought back to this matter, they would all realize that, at the end of the day, there was only one takeaway on this subject about Silver Moon: the man was scum and nothing else.

This was everything Young Master Han required, since it would essentially snuff out Silver Moon's hope of making a comeback.

Oathless Sword sent his reply to Silver Moon: "Dead?"

After waiting for such a long time, Silver Moon was elated at getting a response, but he continued his charade: "It's nothing."

"Oh. You're pretty far off, right?"

"Yes. The Knights' Barracks!" Silver Moon replied nonchalantly, even as the voice in his heart screamed, Quickly ask me the question! Ask me why I'm still in the Knights' Barracks after having died for so long!

In the end, Oathless Sword's reply was even more unemotional: "Well, it's getting late. You can wash up and sleep!"

Silver Moon was stupefied. It was so unfortunate that he did not take the initiative to reach out when he had the chance; the inherent passivity of the progress-through-retreating method was a clear drawback in this situation. Furthermore, Silver Moon was unaware that Oathless Sword had instantly deleted him from his friends' list once he had ended this exchange. No matter what other plans he came up to try to salvage this situation, there was no way a stranger could get in contact with the top guild leader of Yunduan City....

"Ahem." After Oathless Sword finished dealing with that matter, he realized that everyone was still deriding Silver Moon's lack of character. He felt his exchange with Silver Moon moments ago was really beautiful, so he could not help but let his feelings overcome him as he joined the others in ridiculing the man of the hour.

"Hey!" Youthful Reflection could no longer stand it in the end. "Can we stop talking about that trash of a human? Just how are we going to resolve our current conundrum?"

"Uhhh..." Everyone came back to their senses and considered the matter at hand.

"We will only be wasting our time and energy if we drag this on any further. We should try our best to get out of the jungle A.S.A.P.!" Youthful Reflection said.

We don't really need you to tell us that... everyone wryly thought to themselves. Who else here was not aware of this fact?

"So-" Just as Youthful Reflection was about to tell everyone of his plan, a sudden scream was heard coming from the main body of the expedition over by the other side.

"Who the f*ck stepped on a trap again?" Oathless Sword got up and turned to gaze in that direction.

"Thieves! Thieves are within our ranks!" the players over there yelped.

"Have they begun their attack?" All the leaders were jolted into action as they stood up.

They were not afraid of a direct confrontation. What they were worried of was the enemies slowly grinding them out after setting up the traps. As such, this development where the enemies had taken the initiative to attack was actually great for the players from Yunduan City!