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Chapter 342 - The Undercurrent beneath the Peace

 Chapter 342 - The Undercurrent beneath the Peace

Deep Waters was indeed a player who had been to many places as he was able to tell with a glance that the white light that that had engulfed Svelte Dancer was from her use of a teleportation skill; a country bumpkin would have thought it was her dying or getting forcefully disconnected. Moreover, mainly players from Yueye City would know of the existence of Windchaser's Emblem - an item akin to a product only available to select people or circle.

Not knowing where Svelte Dancer had gone to, Deep Waters hurriedly sent his guildmate, who had just been killed off, a message expressing his condolence, only to receive a [The user is no longer in a serviceable area.] system notification. The man was evidently still online, so there could only be one reason why he could not be contacted: He was serving time in prison.

Deep Waters quickly deduced that Svelte Dancer was probably doing 'Bounty Mission' as well. Initially, he had thought that she was randomly killing his guildmates in the city; now, he felt that it was more logical to assume that she was doing 'Bounty Mission'. If someone was really going around and rampantly killing his men, the guild channel would long explode into a flurry of activities. Seeing that everything was as quiet as ever and no one was reporting anything, it could only be said that those who had been killed off were sent straight to prison. With that being the case, it would truly be impossible for them to inform the rest about their plight.

Seems that many are spending their time in prison today... Deep Waters thought to himself. The players who had collaterally been apprehended by the guards pursuing Gu Fei were also sent to prison, so who knew how many tables of mahjong were formed by those stuck in prison right now? Deep Waters found it comical when he thought about this that way. However, his expression quickly turned sour when he realized something: These players who were currently squatting in jail, especially those who had PK value of over 20 points, would be stuck there for the next two days or so, and that was on the premise that they would not log off while doing time.

Unfortunately, the reality of the situation dictated that it was implausible. Just the boredom of being stuck in prison for twenty-four hours would make many of them divide their prison time into several hours in a week... As for those who were required to spend forty-eight hours in prison....

Being imprisoned for long hours would normally not be detrimental to anyone besides the person themselves, but since their guild was currently at war with another force, losing a good chunk of manpower was truly disastrous for them. A swathe of players in his guild had earned themselves PK points from today's battle. Those who only had a few PK points could be ignored, but those who had rather high PK value could not. After all, they would have to be in jail for several hours. Deep Waters reckoned at least several dozens of players had PK value of 5 points and above, and most of them were probably Mages.

The guild was very well-versed with group PvP. Using traps to restrict their enemies in the jungle, they would then utilize sneak attacks to harass and deploy their Mages to obliterate. In the city, Archers' arrows would suppress the enemies and Mages would obliterate!

No matter which way one looked at this, Mages were the deciding factor to close out their assaults. As for their Hunters, they were only good at firing sneaky shots from their hiding spots. And regarding the imposing arrow formation of Yunduan City's Traversing Four Seas, Linyin City was just not the right environment to practice something that focused on positioning and arrangement.

With how this city's streets varied in width, there was a limit to the number of players that they could field in a street fight. The full extent of their firepower would at most include the first three or four rows of Archers in front that had direct vision of the enemies, and everyone else would have to fire arrows in arcs. This particular move was something new that they had learned from Traversing Four Seas' Sharpshooters today. In fact, their execution of it was a mess, and some of them even almost shot down their Mages on the rooftops by accident.

Doing a rough calculation of the eventual clash, the combat might of Deep Waters' guild would depend on a street's width. Most likely, their guild with over three hundred Archers could only field about thirty to fifty players to deal damage to the enemies. The only upside that Deep Waters could think of regarding this was how they could quickly replace their vanguard with the second row of players. They would merely last longer in a battle of attrition and have a more significant Snipe efficacy.

With many of their Mages sent to prison, it was likely that in their fight later with the enemies, Deep Waters' guild would lose plenty of its artillery battery. Therefore, it was really hard to imagine how they would fare in that upcoming clash with just their Hunters' messy shots and without their Mages' highly efficient firepower.

The more Deep Waters thought of this, the more worried he became.

Yunduan City's players act of erasing their PK points no longer seemed to just be affecting the individuals involved, as it was possible for many of his men to find themselves in prison if they did not quickly clear off their PK value. This was a very heavy loss.

With that in mind, Deep Waters hurriedly sent out a message on the guild channel requesting those who were still online to quickly help their Mages erase the PK value to their names.

"Why is it suddenly so urgent?" the guild members asked.

"It's very important to be quick about this," Deep Waters replied.

"But I was just about to-" Many of them started to give all sorts of excuses, such as being busy grinding, questing, or even bringing a lady around to sightsee. Some even claimed to be heading to Baishi City to collect more Whitestone Dust after depleting their stock in that last engagement.

Deep Waters was on the verge of breaking down as he shouted, "Don't you all understand?! Many players from Yunduan City are doing 'Bounty Mission' at this moment, and the players on top of the Wanted Players list are mostly our men, so each of them is being sent directly to prison!"

Everyone quickly understood the severity of the situation, and the ensuing discussion was something even Deep Waters had not thought of.

"These guys can pick up our bounties, but we can't do the same to them!"

"Why's that?"

"Don't you know the rules governing the Wanted Players list? If none of them registered their account in Linyin City, we would have to head to the Overall Wanted Players list and pick them up. How are we gonna know which of them are the ones we're supposed to target?" someone asked.

"Haven't they registered their accounts in Linyin City yet?"

This question floated in Deep Waters' mind. Did the enemies register their accounts in Linyin City yet?

Conventional logic dictated that they must have done that. Otherwise, they would be really inconvenienced if anything untoward happened. However, at the moment, there were plenty of underlying connotations to this question. If the enemies were doing 'Bounty Mission' without registered first, it was likely they had done so intentionally.

This also meant that the current situation was not purely coincidental when one considered the sequence of events that that had occurred. Rather, this might be an entirely sinister ploy that the enemies had set into motion. If this was the case, it would be truly frightening, as they would be doing their utmost to send as many of Deep Waters' guildmates into prison before withdrawing Prisoner Todd from it and subsequently leaving from Linyin City. Such a plan would truly be cunning and devious!

Deep Waters actually had a pretty good grasp of Oathless Sword and his army's movement. He knew that their side had already put Todd into prison for safekeeping for the night. In fact, this was the main reason for both parties temporary truce.

With the target not around, leading his men to completely wipe out Yunduan City's players would be useless. The enemies could easily leave the city now that it was over and leave the quest target Todd still locked up in prison. Since Deep Waters had no permission or means to retrieve the NPC, this would essentially end in quest failure for both parties. Hence, Deep Waters had called for the immediate cessation of attacks on Yunduan City's players after Prisoner Todd had been brought behind the safety of Linyin City's prison.

However, by the looks of things, the battle had yet to stop, as the enemies were perhaps utilizing this system rule to secretly enact their plan against Deep Waters' guild. This particular plan that Yunduan City's players were enacting had actually relegated Deep Waters and his guildmates into a passive role. As long as the enemies did not register their accounts to this city, they would have no way of retaliating to them. It was truly a pity that most of his guildmates bearing high PK value were Mages that also happened to be disadvantageous at one-versus-one PvP.

A whole host of reasons and factors made Deep Waters believe that they were in deep sh*t, yet all he could do was to hurry his men on the guild channel. Lending the guild's Mages a hand to clear their PK value was the key to solving this situation, and more importantly, it would protect their Mages from being hunted. Deep Waters carefully picked out five Mages and messaged them, but his face turned ashen when he discovered that two out of the five were already in a 'non-serviceable region'. As for the remaining three, one had a PK value of 1 point, another had none, and the other had a PK value of 7 points. This last person was currently frantically calling for people to come to his aid!

"Mages with PK value above 3 points, report your coordinates and find the nearest comrade - the more the merrier. Head over to the Bounty Assignment Hall together once you're done!" Deep Waters arranged this as he walked toward the Bounty Assignment Hall. He saw Sword Demon's group happily entering the hall and Svelte Dancer quickly bounding out of it. He even saw quite a few familiar faces from today's battle. He also saw Drifting, who was waving toward him in greeting.

Deep Waters headed over to him. Drifting and one of his companions had just walked out of the Bounty Assignment Hall.

"You look busy. Where's Left Hand?" Deep Waters asked. Drifting's two companions were Left Hand of Love and Right Hand of Cool. Whoever heard their names would never ever forget them.

"I'm Left Hand of Love..." The Fighter beside Drifting answered with obvious discontent.

"Oh... Where's Right Hand, then?" Deep Waters asked. He might have a deep impression of the two men, but he could not really differentiate between them.

"You guys killed him," Drifting answered.

"Ahem... Quest. It's the quest," Deep Waters explained sheepishly.

"I know." Drifting chuckled as he said, "We're about to do quests, as well."

"Hold up!" Deep Waters had let them past in the end, as the question he had wanted to ask remained stuck in his throat. This was when Sword Demon and the others came out of the Bounty Assignment Hall after obtaining their bounties. The four were still chatting and laughing, not caring for the world or anyone beside them, when they found Deep Waters right outside the entrance to their surprise.

"Why are you here?!" The four men began looking all around them warily.

"Uhm... I've got something on, so I won't be able to accompany you guys!" Deep Waters said, instead.

"Oh, you're busy!" Three men stated, as the last man, Royal God Call, looked visibly distraught. "Then, who's gonna lead me around?"

Sword Demon kindly passed his Windchaser's Emblem to Royal God Call. "This should at least ease half of your burden."

"Thank you!" The pale-faced Royal God Call took it and began his journey.

"Do what you have to do, then." The other three men bid Deep Waters farewell before each leaving separately.

Deep Waters really wanted an answer to the question boggling his mind, yet it was truly not an easy question to ask. As such, he could only do his best to read everyone's expression and reaction to find out whether there was really an underlying plan to this. However, if this was indeed a plan that that person had hatched up, it was highly probable for these men to be clueless about their role in it. This would be absolutely in line with how that despicable man did things.

Should I catch the ball before the bound?

These four men were surely apex experts of Yunduan City, and there was still Drifting. He could still make out his figure in the distance. These five experts were heading in different directions, and all their backs were facing him right now. His comrades were already on their way as well. Should he take this chance to launch a sneak attack on them?

Deep Waters clenched his fists so much so that the white of his knuckles could be seen. Right now, his guildmates already spotted him and were all now gazing at him.