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Chapter 374 - Splitting up

 The mercenary group leaders all chattered and discussed the matter at hand, expressing their disagreement towards Young Master Han's idea to split everyone up. This was especially true for The Black Hand mercenary group's leader, Black Forefinger. He was already feeling disgruntled about losing a level back in Linyin City, and with how discontented he was towards Young Master's Elites to begin with, his voice was one of the loudest when he saw the smug look that Young Master Han had on.

Young Master Han listened to everything silently, not reacting in the least. It was only when everyone had finished coming up with all their criticism that they finally calmed down and began eying Young Master Han steadily, waiting for his explanation. That was when Young Master Han nodded his head and calmly said, "Let us now discuss how to split everyone, and how many there should be in each team now!"

Everyone exploded into an uproar. It was like everyone had wasted their breath, with Young Master Han treating their words as no more than a fart in the wind. Everybody became agitated in that instant, and Black Forefinger had already dashed towards him with the impulse to give him a good thrashing.

"Everyone please calm down, don't be rash!" Oathless Sword hurriedly came out to mediate the affair. He was now extremely afraid of any disunity from within, since he would instantly be the victim.

Once everyone had calmed themselves down, Oathless Sword quickly asked Young Master Han, "Brother Han, why don't you explain it in greater detail to us!"

Young Master Han swept his gaze across everyone and said simply, "Don't they have to split up their troops as well, if we do that? Their target is bound to be Todd, but will they know which team he will end up in?"

"We've all thought of that point," Black Forefinger laughed coldly. "But if the opponent is just going to match the number of teams we split up, what's the point of going through the whole process of doing it?"

"May I ask why you would tell our opponent just how many teams we have split up into?" Young Master Han questioned him back.

Black Forefinger was stunned for a moment before saying, "Couldn't they tell from a glance?"

"Find a spot where people can't see us and split everyone up into teams before we head off in all directions. We'll hide a team in that place, wait until the enemy's attention has been lured away before we sneak Todd into the city!" Luo Luo said suddenly. Young Master Han had a similar plan as well, so he politely nodded his head.

"And just where are we gonna find such a place!" Black Forefinger continued to sniff with contempt. But the expression everybody had had already changed, with everyone looking towards the same location, more or less agreeing on that dried-out river valley beside them.

"Looks like there aren't too many idiots after all," Young Master Han sighed in relief.

Black Forefinger already had enough by this point. Actually, he should already have realized this point himself, but he had been blinded by hatred. All he thought about at the moment was challenging Young Master Han's suggestion, accidentally trapping himself in the process and now appearing to be one of the dumber mercenary leaders present.

"There's a certain amount of risk that comes with this method, and a certain level of sacrifice might possibly be needed from us all. However, it is still better than the current quagmire we've found ourselves in, where we are unable to progress or retreat in any sense." Young Master Han looked towards Oathless Sword after he had said this last line. In the end, Oathless Sword was still the boss in charge, since he was the employer that had hired everyone as temporary muscle.

"Let's do it like that, then!" Oathless Sword came to a decision very swiftly.

"Change of direction, we're heading towards that river valley over there!" Oathless Sword gave the order through his guild channel, as the various mercenary group leaders did the same to their members. Even though the players had no idea what this was all about, all of them acted with accordance to the order, making their way over to that river valley a short distance away.

Black Forefinger had not given up at this point, quietly muttering to himself, "Could no one see a thing if we hide out there in that river valley? I doubt that. There's plenty of high ground around us, could there really be no one watching over our every move?"

But Black Forefinger finally had nothing else to say when he made his way over to the river valley. It was not so much a river valley as it was a canyon. The two steep cliff sides that formed this valley seemed to have been eroded perfectly, an impressive view the system had created.

"Uhm, how are we gonna get down?" Several men felt a little faint just from looking down the the ledge.

"Just jump. You're not gonna die from the fall," Young Master Han said.

There was bound to be some among all these men that had some experience jumping from such a height, and this height was truly something they considered to be safe, who immediately took the lead and jumped down. Some of the other players who were still wavering kept trying to find out just how much damage those players that jumped down had incurred.

They asked many times, yet the number they gave back were all different. It was unknown if the damage they took from the fall was a result of their stat distribution or any thing related, but at least they were somewhat soothed by the fact that the threat was not that great, so more and more took the plunge. Now that more than half had already leaped off, it was the still dissatisfied Black Forefinger who suddenly realized the problem.

"Hold up!" he stepped forward to block those who were about to jump. Oathless Sword had also been nearby getting things in order and had not yet jumped down, so Black Forefinger directed his question to him, "Making our way down here might be easy, but what about getting back up?"

"There's a place not too far ahead that we can use to get back up," Young Master Han casually pointed before saying, "Bro, can you ask question with a bit more depth?"

"Where? Why don't I see anything," Black Forefinger took a step towards the direction Young Master Han was pointing, yet he did not see any sort of exit out of the valley, continuing to be suspicious of the plan.

"You can go over to take a look. It isn't too far," Young Master Han no longer bothered to humor him after this, and he turned to leap down into the river valley, as well.

Many other players overheard this conversation between the two and evidently did not consider Black Forefinger's question to be an issue as each passed him and jumped, treating him as nothing but air.

All the players from Yunduan City gathered within the valley in no time, making it seem somewhat crowded. The issue on how they would go about sorting the teams had already been settled by Oathless Sword as they made their way over after considering Young Master Han's input. At the moment, all the relevant members were already notified, and the players headed over to gather according to their coordinates after making the jump.

"Everyone take care. We'll see each other in Luori City soon!" There was indeed an exit to the valley after following along the walls ahead for a short distance, just as Young Master Han had said. The slopes on either side here were not as steep, so climbing up was not a particularly difficult task. All of them made the hike up before heading in different directions; it was almost a guarantee they would meet the enemy, fight, and possibly die.

"However, as long as Prisoner Todd reaches the destination, the system will naturally announce their quest failure, and the enemy is bound to stop the pointless fighting. Thus, everyone should give it their all to drag the fight out, deal with things as best as you can!" Oathless Sword said in accordance to Young Master Han's words, passing his final instructions to everybody.

"Take care, see you soon!"

As each team still had to maintain a certain level of combat strength as well as a balanced job class composition, plenty of friends were not sorted into the same team, so they were now giving their well wishes to one another once Oathless Sword finished his final speech.

"Hey, return it to me!" At this time, even Young Master Han had someone that came forth to have a word for him, though the item they were talking about was entirely unrelated to what everyone was talking about.

"How much for it?" Young Master Han said to this person.

"I'm not selling it, I still want to play with it!" The person that was speaking to Young Master Han was Vast Lushness.

"Then let me use it for a little while more. I'll return it to you once this quest is over," At this time, Oathless Sword had given the command and everyone had begun to make their way out of the valley. Young Master Han did not bother to find out if Vast Lushness agreed to his proposition either, waving to call his own comrades, "Time for us to leave!"

Vast Lushness did not chase after him looking for the item either, as the team she was assigned to had also set off.

After Young Master Han made his way over to rejoin the others, he took out a spyglass from his dimensional pocket and looked all around him as he said, "What a useful item!"

"That thing! I honestly have no idea how that lady acquired it," The information king Brother Assist had once more came upon something he had no idea about, making him feel as pained as if there were a hundred pairs of claws scratching his heart.

"Why don't you just ask her," Royal God Call grumbled.

"She probably won't say a word about it!" Brother Assist had spent plenty of hours digging for information, so he was well aware how people acted when it came to such matters. Asking the person themselves about secret items like this would only be inviting trouble. In his eyes, this spyglass could be considered a Secret Item, for it was even stronger than the Eagle Eye passive skills Archers had! Brother Assist knew how valuable that precious item was just from that envious look Royal God Call had. Given Brother Assist's vast experience with information gathering, he was certain that there was no way anyone would easily reveal the origin of such an item.

"Maybe she won't tell you a thing, but you could always ask Miles!" War Without Wounds smiled lewdly. "Isn't he very close to that lady?"

"Why isn't Miles making his way over?" Sword Demon asked simply.

"Who knows where that guy ran off to," Young Master Han replied back with a simple sentence.

"It would be great if Miles was here. I'm depressed now that we got this trash tagging along!" Royal God Call said this, channeling as much of his contempt as he could in that one glance to the side.

Drifting was standing at hisside with an honest smile, seemingly ignoring Royal God Call's blatant verbal attack as he sincerely said, "It is truly quite regretfully Miles isn't here. This team could really use that matured and balanced temperance of his!"

"D*mn twerp, what did you say, are you trying to pick a fight?" Royal God Call had a really troubled time now that his real self had been exposed by this VRMMO. He especially hated any sort of words that implied he was a child, which was clearly what Drifting meant with his words.

"Heh, what did I say?" Yet this person refused to keep bickering with Royal God Call, even going so far as to feign cluelessness over what he said.

"Stop your quarreling. We've got a very important responsibility!" Young Master Han had stopped playing with the spyglass now and began to act all serious once he stowed it.

"With this burden with us, I feel our future's uncertain," Royal God Call said darkly.

"Hehe!" Drifting merely chuckled, no longer saying another word.

"They're all down in the valley. They are now splitting up!" Thet small squad led by Southern Lone Blade had been keeping an eye on the players from Yunduan City all this while. This squad was had a huge headache now that they saw what the questers were doing. They only had seven men in this squad altogether, so there was no way they could keep an eye on all the teams those players had split into. As such, they had no way of knowing just which team or direction did Gu Fei would end up going.

"Heh, that's not a bad solution," Southern Lone Blade suddenly chuckled.

"What?" his comrades asked him.

"These teams running all over the map now are sure to be diversions. I dare say that the target they are protecting is still in that river valley. They left a small team in there, hoping to send their target into the city by going along that canyon as soon as they can. Wouldn't the battle end once they accomplish the quest?" Southern Lone Blade said.

"Oh, that would really be a smart move," his comrades realized.

"And since that would be the crucial team, they are bound to be made up of the top experts they have. Thus, that Video Mage is sure to be among them!" the seven men continued to infer.

"That's right. That is exactly why we are heading down the valley, as well!" Southern Lone Blade waved his arm as the seven men popped out from behind that rocky outcrop and dashed towards the valley.