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Chapter 369 - The Tiger Blocking the Road

 Chapter 369 - The Tiger Blocking the Road

Oathless Sword immediately ordered the whole company of players from Yunduan City to slow down before gathering all the various leaders to inform them of the discovery they had made.

"Limitless competitive mission..." All the various mercenary leaders muttered this phrase. Most of them did not have any particular experience with this sort of mission, so they seemed a little envious now that it was mentioned.

"But this isn't a guarantee!" Gu Xiaosiang said. "Perhaps they are just a guild that simply did not wear their emblems."

"Xiaosiang, you share the same sentiment as me again," Oathless Sword said emotionally.

"What nonsense do you mean, 'again'!" Gu Xiaosiang exploded.

"This is the situation at hand right now," Young Master Han ignored their exchange and continued, "We've already confirmed that our opponent this time is surely on a competitive quest, with us as the target. There is no need for any elaborate plans if it is just a single mercenary group. If they are just a single guild, the four players we appraised were only around level 32. May I ask everyone present if any of you are aware of a large guild that would accept players that had just made it to level 30?"

Everybody nodded in agreement when they heard this point. Using Traversing Four Seas as an example, they were a large guild that had already gotten to level 5, and the median level of their members was around level 40. Guilds that were a little off their standard would usually have mostly level 37 and level 38 players as members. They had long considered players around level 30 to be nothing more than newbies, so no large guild would even accept such low-leveled applicants.

"What brother Han here means is that no matter if our opponent is a single mercenary group or guild, we would have no problems, contending with either. Thus, what we should be anxious about is the possibility of a scenario where we're actually the target of a limitless competitive quest," Oathless Sword said.

Young Master Han nodded his head.

"In that case, those guys we killed moments ago are likely the stragglers and general fodder; the true strength our opponent possesses has yet to appear," Oathless Sword said.

"If we are truly up against a limitless competitive quest, then we must truly get a better understanding of those noteworthy mercenary groups that call Luori City as their home. Guild Leader Oathless, I'm sure you've done your homework on this, right?" Young Master Han asked.

"Of course!" Oathless Sword's expression turned somber when he said this. "Speaking of mercenary groups, there is indeed an extremely renowned mercenary group, called Eternal War, in Luori City. The leader is none other than Eternal Dominion, who also happens to be one of the Five Unyielding Experts. This Eternal War mercenary group essentially holds a position far greater than the strongest guild in the city, Fallen Leaves Returning to Roots, something entirely improbable in any other capital city."

"Such power..." Everybody was somewhat alarmed by this. After all, the difference in the number of players between a mercenary group and a guild was entirely lopsided, so how strong would each member of the mercenary group have to be for them to possess the strength necessary to to suppress the strongest guild in a city? More importantly, everyone believed that the strongest mercenary group in every capital city had to be around the same level, so for Eternal War to actually dominate the strongest guild like that, Traversing Four Seas would most likely be similarly overrun.

Oathless Sword continued to elaborate on everything he understood about this mercenary group. "The most unique characteristic Eternal War possesses is the fact that Fighters comprise the majority of their members."

"Fighters as the majority..." Everyone was absolutely astonished when they heard this information.

The Fighter job class was largely regarded as the weakest out of all the available job classes during the open beta. Even though the situation changed after the official launch, the newer players that joined did not have enough time to make their way to the lead positions in terms of levels, which explained why there were so few Fighters among the high-level experts. This also meant most players did not have too much experience when taking on fighters, with some even never having engaged in PvP with that class at all.

"It should not be a coincidence that they have so many Fighters on their side. Is there anything strange about this mercenary group?" Luoluo asked.

"Mhm, rumor has it that all the people in this mercenary group are well versed in combat in real life, while others say they are just a bunch of hoodlums. Some even claim they originate from a martial arts hall, and then there were people who said they were ex-military..." Oathless Sword's information was basically the same as what Southern Lone Blade knew.

Everybody looked at one another. None of them had any idea how to deal with this sort of opponent at the moment.

Just as they were stumped, the players in front sent a message over: someone was blocking the road ahead.

"Protect Todd!" Oathless Sword yelled out immediately, before taking the lead to head towards the front of the company even as he began to relay his orders: How and in which direction the Arrow Formation engage, how the Thieves should disengage, the positioning of the Priests, how the Mages and Warriors should coordinate themselves, as well as delegating the various tasks and bearings the mercenary groups should take, and so on. Oathless Sword sent out a series of orders in one go, but the further he walked to the front, he realized every single person he had given orders to were looking at him strangely.

Finally, Oathless Sword made it to the front of the company and saw the people obstructing their advancement and instantly understood why his men were all looking at him incredulously.

There were only five players! There were actually only five players blocking the players of Yunduan City from continuing forward. Oathless Sword's grand orders and organization of the entire company in the face of only five men shocked all of his men.

The Arrow Formation of Traversing Four Seas was already in position and ready. When they saw their Guild Leader had made his way to the front, they immediately sent a message asking, "Guild Leader, do we attack straight away?"

Oathless Sword swept his gaze over the five men before him. Four were Fighters, while one was a Warrior; he had already guessed where these people hailed from, which meant their decision to consider this a limitless competitive mission was an accurate assessment.

"Await my orders," Oathless Sword replied to the Sharpshooters, as he stepped forth from the crowd and stared at the five men.

The five of them were calm and composed. Oathless Sword had no idea if it was his mind playing tricks on him, but he felt like the casual air of the five men standing before him was particularly imposing at the moment.

Oathless Sword finally spoke up, "Could the five gentlemen before me be members of Luori City's Eternal War mercenary group?"

"To think our foreign visitors here could also tell who we are," someone from within the five calmly replied.

"To what do I owe this pleasure?" This question of his was clearly redundant.

"Mission," that man replied concisely.

"With just the five of you?" Oathless Sword looked all around vigilantly, feeling there must surely be some sort of ambush in place somewhere. No matter how strong someone was, it was too much of a joke to expect the five of them to be able to take down the hundreds of people here.

"We wouldn't dare," that man answered. "The five of us are just here to greet our opponent, at the same time hoping to let our distinguished gentlemen here experience the skill we possess in person, so that you could all mentally prepare yourselves."

"Oh?" Oathless Sword raised his eyebrow when he heard this. "And how would we experience it?"

"It's very simple, really. Randomly pick out a few men from your people and spar a few rounds with our buddy here," that man said.

"And what if we win? What if we lose?" Oathless Sword said.

"The purpose of this is for you guys to have a better understanding of our prowess. The outcome of the match is unimportant; can you guys even win?" That man's words were wildly arrogant, but his tone and demeanor was not in the least bit boastful.

"I'll volunteer!" Gale Force could no longer hold back, and leapt forward from the company. It was too late for Oathless Sword to stop him, since Gale Force strode out to charge at the opponent. Oathless Sword decided to let this go, and to use this opportunity to see what was the deal behind this rumored "well-versed in combat".

While Gale Force looked particularly aggressive with his one charge, he did not use all of his power, intending to accelerate even further when he got closer to the enemy so as to unsettle the enemy with a sudden burst of speed. The person he was hoping to target was the second person from the left, the same man that had been talking all this while.

When the others saw Gale Force dash out like that, they figured Gale Force would surely be at a disadvantage, seeing as there were five men who could be his opponent. Before Oathless Sword even gave the order, the players who were close to Gale Force had also jumped out, prepared to lend a hand.

But even though the opponent had five men, only a single one stepped out to trade blows, and it just so happened to be the person Gale Force had hoped to attack.

This man began his assault even before Gale Force made it to him, similarly striding out just like Gale Force did.

"HAI!" Once Gale Force saw that the distance between them was about right, he took two rapid steps forward suddenly and activated his Spurring Meteor, making him even faster. The expression of the man changed ever-so-slightly before he stood firm and twisted his body to the side almost instantly.

Even though the direction of Spurring Meteor's trajectory could not be changed once activated, it was still possible to change where the fist was going, so Gale Force hurriedly extended his arm, looking to score a hit the moment the man twisted to the side.

But his punch looked to have been seen through by the opponent. Before his fist could even connect, the man had already squatted down and swept his leg out.

Gale Force's blow did not connect, but the opponent's leg sweep caught him, embarrassing him as it forced one of his legs to collapse into a kneel. His Spurring Meteor had yet to end, yet his opponent had already interrupted him with that leg sweep, clearly showing that the sweep superseded his Spurring Meteor. That sweep should be considered a basic attack; had this Fighter actually added Stat points towards Strength?

Not many people picked the Fighter job class, so the discussion about stat distribution for the job class was very limited, as well. Most agreed that Agility and Spirit should be the focus. The strength and weakness of any job class was in its skills, so no one dared to challenge the world with basic attacks. The damage Fighters dealt from their skills were not anything to write home about, so while adding Strength would indeed improve their damage, the strength of the job class was in its short cooldowns. The rule of most MMOs focused on the idea of enhancing strengths to make them all the more outstanding, and countless people further researched the job classes with such a line of thinking. With the system's hints and introductions, the consensus and resultant research for the job class focused upon the combo attacks unique to Fighters.

Such a path could improve the lack of damage Fighters dealt, and more importantly, it was extremely cool, and so instantly became the favorite. Since then, most Fighters focused on the Spirit stat, and plenty of Agility was also required for their combos to chain, so there were hardly any arguments against players concentrating their builds across the two stats.

But Gale Force, a named Fighter on the job class experience leaderboard, was actually facing this non-mainstream build today. Before he could even criticize the man for his error in allocating his stats, the man had already seized that moment when Gale Force was half-kneeling to bounce upright and deliver a reverse kick right to his back, instantly sending Gale Force, who had lost his equilibrium, hurtling away towards the other four men.

"Gale Force!" Those players that had burst out from the crowd looking to lend a hand had not expected Gale Force to be sent flying in just a few moves, and hurriedly brandished their weapons to mount a rescue.