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Chapter 368 - Spotting the Clue

 Chapter 368 - Spotting the Clue

The players who shared Oathless Sword's sentiment were in the minority, as most of them were instantly on guard when they were informed other players were skulking about near them to their right. This was especially true for the mercenaries who had already lost their lives once. They were no longer expecting any sort of reward from this mission beyond the pay that Oathless Sword had promised, and they were already dissatisfied with losing their level just for that small bit of gold coins. Losing a second level on top of it would truly make it unbearable.

It was with that thought that caused an explosive fighting spirit to flare within them.

"Boss Oathless, shall we attack? We had been far too passive all this while. Now that we are at this stage, we should change that passivity into proactivity; it's better to mistakenly kill them than hesitate! Who cares what these people intend to do, let's kill them first!" some of the more ruthless among them suggested.

Oathless Sword was not someone who was the kindly and pleasant sort. He had always made decisions that prioritized his own benefit and success, even willing to sacrifice his own mercenary group if the need arose, much less these nameless passerby. Hearing this suggestion suited his own wishes, and he immediately gave the order through the guild channel.

Those players that had been trailing them had maintained a certain distance as they followed. There were four groups, each numbering about five or six players, all of them classes that excelled in movement speed. WIth such a distance between the two parties, Traversing Four Seas' Arrow Formation was of course the best way to attack them. Even though they had lost half their numbers in the battle back in Linyin City, the firepower they possessed was still substantial enough to contribute when it came to damage, and they were definitely not insignificant by any count.

These Sharpshooters had always been traveling together as a pack, ready to get into formation and attack at the drop of a hat. Now that Oathless Sword had gave the order, they instantly stood their ground and got into position, turning towards their targets and drawing their bows and arrows unquestioningly.

A wave of arrows came hurtling across the sky.

The players that had been trekking alongside did not expect their target to suddenly attack in such a fashion. The expertise of these Sharpshooters from Traversing Four Seas really came through. In the time it took for them to get into position and fire, that group of players was barely able to react before they perished under a hail of arrows.

As the white lights flashed, Oathless Sword did not care to check for survivors as he asked those Sharpshooters, "Any of you gain PK points?"

All the Sharpshooters checked their own status window and reported back, "Negative!"

This made matters crystal clear: The lack of PK points earned meant those players must have picked up a competitive quest against them, which further meant the other players who had been following them also had ill intentions.

Now that the morality of their actions was no longer in question, Oathless Sword was all the more unrestrained as he pulled out his claymore and pointed towards another group of players nearby.

"Fire!: Oathless Sword yelled out in delight, looking especially depraved to anyone who saw him.

This group had been alerted when they saw the other group die moments ago, and was just about to flee, but the rigorous training and expertise the Arrow Formation had shone through once more. They repositioned and fired off the next volley of arrows in a blink of an eye, killing off five out of the six players. That sole remaining player tried to limp away with what HP he had, but was tidied up by a casual wave of arrows from several Sharpshooters.

The other two groups no longer hesitated, dispersing and fleeing the scene. Traversing Four Seas' Arrow Formation was unable to cover such a wide area, so their only option was to pick their own targets and initiate their attacks separately. Most of these players were shot down, but a handful of them managed to escape from the attack range and stared back at the players from Yunduan City in fear.

"Hahaha, I think these guys are perhaps too careless, eh?" Oathless Sword laughed to the people around him, gesturing them onward. "Our enemy is too much of a noob. Could this be another small guild that took on too huge a task, just like what happened in Linshui City?"

The players around Oathless Sword laughed along with him even though they considered Oathless Sword to be far too optimistic in his thinking deep down. There were bound to be plenty of low-leveled guilds no matter what city they were in, and if the system did not have any level restriction when assigning this guild quest, it made sense that there was a higher chance of smaller guilds picking it up.

---

At this time, the members of Young Master's Elite were also airing their own views on the matter.

"Brother Assist, did you manage to Appraise any of them?" Young Master Han asked Brother Assist. Brother Assist had run out there after that initial volley moments ago, looking a lot like paparazzi if anyone were to shove a camera into his hands.

Most people would be ashamed over their low level and poor equipment, but not Brother Assist. As someone that treated information-gathering as king, he was pained over his run of the mill Appraisal skill instead. He was no match for Sword Demon just among Young Master's Elite, so he worked hard on it, such that he was able to get it to the highest level currently available, which was not a simple task to begin with.

It was rare to find experts that would properly level this sort of support skill concurrently with their own level grinding at the same time; most would prefer to focus on their actual level first, before powerleveling such support skills in one go. Very few chose the same thing Brother Assist had.

He had risked his life then to rush forward in an attempt to utilize his skill. It was not for naught either, since a high Appraisal skill not only increased the success rate and accuracy, it even increased the range it could be activated at. Brother Assist had successfully run up and got these people within his Appraisal range, consecutively using the skill twice to swiftly appraise two of them. With how quick and nimble he was in executing this, Brother Assist happily decided that this could be considered his Ultimate Double Shot skill.

But when he returned back to the formation, he discovered that there was another person that had done the same thing he had done, whom he recognized as the lady Will-low from Amethyst Rebirth. It was not every day that Brother Assist had a fan, so naturally he would not forget that the lady was also the same type as he was. He felt rather gratified knowing he was not the only one.

Young Master Han asked what he found the moment he returned back to the group. Brother Assist checked his logs and found himself stunned by what he found.

"Levels 33 and 32... Aren't these a little too much of a newbie?" Brother Assist was puzzled.

"That's really low level!" Everyone was even more shocked. Calling players of such level newbies would be being polite; they were more like saplings that had yet to sprout. Right now, most players were in agreement that the game only truly began upon reaching level 30.

"I wonder what Will-low saw over on her side," Brother Assist mused.

"I'll ask!" Gu Fei had also caught sight of Will-low's actions when Brother Assist had rushed out just now, and figured that she must have gone to gather intel as well.

"Same, her results were also around the same level," Gu Fei did not bother to mention the actual number, since it was all within that range anyhow.

The mercenaries all looked at one another.

"Did they really luck out for this last segment of the expedition as well?" Brother Assist asked.

"Doesn't that mean we can't earn anything?" War Without Wounds pretended to be disappointed.

"Royal, do you see anything?" Young Master Han asked Royal God Call. He was not a part of Traversing Four Seas' Arrow Formation, nor did he take potshots at the enemy when the other Archers from the mercenary team realized they were attacking. He had simply stood there immobile as he stared into the distance.

"I didn't see a thing," Royal God Call replied.

"Are you sure?" Young Master Han asked again.

"Just what are you insinuating?" Royal God Call coldly spat back.

"Did you not even catch a glimpse of their guild emblem?" Young Master Han badgered.

"I don't think so," Royal God Call said.

"Neither did I," Brother Assist was much more confident in saying that. As an information specialist, even if he failed to notice it at first glance, he at least considered it momentarily and did his due diligence. While he did not have Eagle Eye, he had managed to get quite near the enemy just now, and he could not recall seeing any guild emblem on those men.

"Shall I ask Will-low to confirm this?" Gu Fei was also aware how important this question was.

The guild emblems found in Parallel World were gifted by the system, but whether the players ended up wearing the items or not was not enforced. For example, some of the guild emblems out there were pretty ugly, like Traversing Four Seas', so the players might not be willing to wear it. However, when some form of guild-wide mobilization occured, everyone would make it a point of wearing them.

That was because guild-level mobilizations would usually be in the hundreds; it would be difficult to be acquainted with everyone, even if they were all in the same guild, and since players would not have friendly fire protection from fellow guildmates in PvP situations, the only thing they could rely upon to identify each other would be through their shared guild emblem.

"Don your emblems and charge!" This was a cry that all guild leader from large guilds were familiar with. They might not wear them if they were doing ranged bombardment, but once they got into a proper melee scrape, anyone who refused to wear their guild emblem would really be making things difficult for themselves!

"Given that so few of them were here, I'm positive they must be here to scope out the situation and had absolutely no intention of engaging in a firefight, right? So wearing an emblem or not really doesn't prove anything." Royal God Call was rather concise with his analysis.

"Look, none of the players from Traversing Four Seas are wearing it!" This runt had even learned how to give an example.

"What you said isn't wrong. However we can't leave ourselves open to such a possibility." As Young Master Han was saying this, he had already gone to look for Oathless Sword.

---

"Not wearing emblems?" Oathless Sword was experienced, immediately understanding what this statement meant as he quickly went down the same line of thinking as Royal God Call. "We've yet to begin the melee engagement, so it isn't weird they have yet to don theirs. Look, even our guild has no one wearing it."

"That's because yours is just too damn ugly. That's why all of your men have made it a habit of only wearing it when they had no other choice left," Young Master Han ruthlessly pointed out.

"Hehehe, we've made a mockery of ourselves," Oathless Sword laughed dryly.

"I admit it is possible that the opponent has yet to wear theirs as well, but since we've already discovered this fact, we ought to be prepared for a different scenario," Young Master Han said plainly.

"Are you saying they are a mercenary group? Just a measly mercenary group that intends to conduct a competitive quest against all of us?" Oathless Sword laughed.

"We can ignore that scenario. There's no need to prepare for that," Young Master Han immediately refuted.

"Then what other scenarios are there?" Oathless Sword was perplexed.

Young Master Han did not a say another word, but instead looked over towards the mercenary leader Black Forefinger of the Black Hand mercenary group.

Black Forefinger was looking rather pensive after hearing what they were discussing. When he saw Young Master Han throwing a glance over to him, he nodded in agreement and said, "Is Brother Han here suggesting this could be a limitless competitive mission?"

Young Master Han nodded his head.

"This..." Even though Oathless Sword was mainly in charge of his guild, it was Youthful Reflection who was the one in charge when it came to matters regarding their mercenary group. Despite this, he was not completely unaware of something as huge as this matter; from his expression alone, he seemed to finally realize just how scary this sort of mission could be.

"In that case, we could be in real trouble," Oathless Sword's tone had already changed.

"Not too much trouble, actually," Young Master Han smiled. "At least it isn't a Limitless Guild competitive quest."