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Chapter 409 - Induction

 "How is that possible!" Gu Fei had killed plenty of times in Parallel World, and the obvious manner in which each player disappeared upon death was impossible to miss.

"The Priest in that seven-man squad of his has a spell that resurrects. They proceeded to do just that the moment you two left," Young Master Han told Gu Fei.

"There's actually such a thing..." Gu Fei muttered.

"You've yet to complete your mission. Keep at it!" Young Master Han said.

This message was really diabolical. Gu Fei had originally thought that he had successfully slain Southern Lone Blade, so any additional deaths they laid upon him would merely be icing on the cake, a pursuit of entertainment. It was not something that he would strive to achieve. But now that everything had turned out to be for naught, he instantly had that same anxiety Southern Lone Blade shared in finding the other party.

"What's the matter? Why are you changing your robes?" Eternal Dominion was still wondering about this very superficial question.

"Southern Lone Blade's not dead yet," Gu Fei told him the bad news.

"What? How's that possible?" Eternal Dominion was just like everybody else, believing what he witnessed to be true.

"They have a resurrection spell on them. They revived him the moment we left," Gu Fei explained.

"Who said that?" Eternal Dominion asked.

Gu Fei's heart palpitated the moment he heard this. He was right! This was Young Master Han they were talking about, what would this guy not do just to short them on the payment? Everybody should have their guard up when dealing with that man, and what was more...

Before Gu Fei could even finish that thought, Young Master Han had already followed up with another message, "We've already arrived at Linshui City, so you guys better hurry up. We're not gonna pay you anything if we end up killing him ourselves, hahahaha!"

"Ugh, that's way too diabolical! You already said you're leaving him to us!" Gu Fei was incensed.

"What's the matter?" Eternal Dominion was still lost!

"Those guys have already reached Linshui City, and they are now on the trail looking for Southern Lone Blade themselves," Gu Fei said.

"WHAT?!!? How could they do that, didn't they already say they were leaving that man to us!?" Eternal Dominion was also pissed off. They were indeed two peas of the same pod, equally valuing good faith and promises. They were the antithesis of what Young Master Han was, who was even capable of selling himself out if the need arose.

"Then we better hurry and find him!" Eternal Dominion was flustered.

"Wait a minute!" Gu Fei said.

Eternal Dominion turned to look at Gu Fei.

"We cannot continue searching for him like this," Gu Fei thought aloud. "The city is huge, who knows where that guy might have sneaked off to."

"Then what can we do?"

"Why don't we head over to the Warriors' Encampment," Gu Fei said. "We'll let them get that first kill on him. We'll wait to get him the second, third, and so on. What do you think?"

"This way might work! Too bad about giving up on that first kill," Eternal Dominion sighed. Everyone knew that the first time Southern Lone Blade would be at his highest level, and would be at his strongest. Logically speaking, that also meant the reward for that death would be the highest as well.

"Don't worry, we'll just kill him a few more times to make up for it," The way Gu Fei treated these MMO experts as nothing but flecks of dust would forever hurt the pride of his victims.

After the two men came to their decision, they turned and headed back towards the Warriors' Encampment they had originally came from.

---

While Young Master Han was secretly firing off messages over to Gu Fei about all this, he was also asking Tanzanite Shade about the situation. His current set up was more or less in place, sending his men to guard the various city gates and the harbor. Even his guild members who were off grinding were called back for this emergency. The only thing that Young Master Han found regrettable was how he had placed the emphasis on Gu Fei and Eternal Dominion.

They had also found out that it was indeed Gu Fei and Eternal Dominion that had made the first move, so it was only fair for Blue Umbra to place the blame on their heads.

However, Young Master Han had already reminded Gu Fei to change his clothes, so there was no need to worry about being recognized since there would be no way any of his members would be able to identify the two men now that the unique characteristics Tanzanite Shade had focused on no longer mattered. But it would be a waste to not tap into this huge resource before them and use it against Southern Lone Blade.

"Guild leader Shade, are you acquainted with that man Southern Lone Blade?" Young Master Han began to induce his schemes.

"I've never really met the man. All I've heard is he has always kept to himself," Tanzanite Shade said.

"Is Guild leader Shade aware that he is actually a professional larcenist?" Young Master Han said.

"Is that so? I've never heard it," Tanzanite Shade was calm when he heard this news, as if he was not surprised in the least. Indeed, the popularity of such endeavors in Parallel World was at an all-time high currently, so it was not exactly too shocking a news to hear someone being in the business. In fact, there were plenty of players who thought that larceny was actually a job that had good future prospects. In this world where there was no law enforcement, a person's view on morality was wilfully twisted to fit their own needs.

Only those righteous and upright individuals, as well as the victims themselves, held any resentment towards the act of larceny. In the case of the victims, their bitterness would truly only be directed towards the players who stole from them. If they were given a chance to obtain a top grade equipment themselves, it was entirely likely that would not even hesitate to swap their roles, turning from prey into predator.

Seeing Tanzanite Shade's reaction, Young Master Han more or less inferred that this person was accustomed to such acts, which was more or less an attitude that was commonly found in MMOs. The more someone spent time in MMOs, they were more likely to become accustomed to such happenings. In Parallel World, the biggest difference came from those who had only just picked up gaming.

Gallantly attempting to convince Tanzanite Shade about morality and justice? That might fit for a shonen manga, but this was an adult's world. The most effective method would be to talk about benefits.

And that was precisely the approach Young Master Han went with, his words of sweet temptation targeting Tanzanite Shade, "Guild leader Shade, are you saying you have no interest in that magic staff they possess that can resurrect players?"

Of course I do! But Tanzanite Shade forcefully suppressed himself from shouting that out. Actually, Tanzanite Shade had already had designs on acquiring that staff when he gleaned the information the moment he reached the beach. He was not a Priest, but it was players who were not that were more in love with the spell. In truth, Priests were unable to cast this spell on themselves and were only able to experience the feeling of being sought after and regarded as the core because they possessed a skill that helped to fulfill their own vanity. The ones who truly benefited from the spell were actually the companions of the Priest!

But thinking further on it, Tanzanite Shade realized that it might not be easy to act upon his desire so easily. After all, Blue Umbra was considered to be one of the dignified large guilds of Linshui City, doing a large amount of honest businesses up on the beach. Even though the general masses might not have much of a stance when it came to the act of larceny, there would be dire repercussions for his guild to actually performing such an act. Clearly, they would be seen as the bad guy in that scenario.

The image of a guild was very important. Even though Tanzanite Shade really wanted to acquire that magic staff, he would definitely have to take a long term approach towards it, rather than to seek after it in the open.

Hence, this was exactly when Young Master Han came in to plant the seed of an idea in his ear: Why not capitalize on the suspicion that arose as a result of this bar incident and hunt them down! No one would cry foul if that piece of equipment was dropped as a result of their actions.

Tanzanite Shade's eyes glimmered. But he believed that in this world, all it would take was for a kid to lament about his loss, and the rumor would fly free.

When Young Master Han saw that look of caution upon Tanzanite Shade's face, he smiled, "If guild leader Shade still isn't comfortable with the idea, why don't you let us help you take care of it. We gotta kill these guys in the end, after all. All I ask is for your men to secretly aid us when we need it."

Tanzanite Shade could feel his heart tighten, while Young Master Han was laughing to himself.

Saying he would help would be entirely superficial. They were strange bedfellows, there was no reason for Tanzanite Shade to believe that this mercenary group would readily hand over a piece of top grade equipment with purely good intentions.

Young Master Han did not think Tanzanite Shade would be so naive, either. The purpose of his proposition was actually to convey the idea to Tanzanite Shade that they were "sure to kill them", informing him that if he had any design on getting that Staff of Resurrection, there would be no other chance in the future, since Young Master Han and his compatriots would most likely abscond with it.

If Tanzanite Shade were the suspicious sort, he might even believe that Young Master Han and men were here specifically for the magic staff. Young Master Han had been the one speaking all this while, and was coincidentally a Priest himself. Furthermore, Tanzanite Shade was sure to consider that they were not the only ones who had witnessed the resurrection spell go off, so there were sure to be more than just the two parties here competing to obtain that piece of equipment. There was no reason to drag this thing out any further... the sooner he could make his move, the better! The more time he spent hesitating over the matter of image or face, the more likely it would be that someone else would take it for themselves instead!

Young Master Han had not said much, but the effect of his words were apparent, and many of the thoughts that had come to Tanzanite Shade were very much subtly induced by him. If people were suspicious of ideas that came from explicit persuasion, then there was no reason for the thoughts that they came up with themselves. Tanzanite Shade had already made his decision by this point as he barked out a rapacious laugh, "Brother, your words make so much sense! I truly can't afford to let these guys go so easily. Well, I think that's about it for us. I have business to take care of, so I'll take my leave first!"

Tanzanite Shade sped through his words as he left in a hurry with his men.

Young Master Han smiled warmly, as everything played out in the palm of his hands.

The other four experts quietly watched the entire process in which Young Master Han had implanted the ideas in Tanzanite Shade, playing the man like a fiddle. They had spent plenty of time around Young Master Han, so they could more or less understand what he was thinking, but the four had a varying level of understanding.

Sword Demon and Young Master Han knew each other the best, so naturally the former could easily grasp his thought processes in their entirety. Meanwhile, Brother Assist was observant, and had a great understanding of how humans thought and acted, so he was able to tell what Young Master Han was doing as well. As for War Without Wounds and Royal God Call, they originally had no idea what was going on. They had simply thought Young Master Han was merely trying to convince this guild to target Southern Lone Blade, but were unable to read too deeply into the underlying implications of his last words to Tanzanite Shade.

The two were still disappointed when they saw that those men had left in such a hurry, "So are they giving us a hand or not?" Their thoughts were still stuck on helping Blue Umbra obtain that piece of dropped equipment.

The ensuing rebuff they they got from Young Master Han was unavoidable; the two were already used to this. Attempting to compete against Young Master Han in this sort of thing was as ill-conceived and illogical as competing in swordsmanship with Gu Fei.

"No wonder that guy was in such a hurry to leave," Royal God Call breathed after he understood the matter.

Tanzanite Shade had obviously disappeared quickly. Their group of five men were no longer friends, but competitors. He must find Southern Lone Blade and his squad before them, and at the same time, he would no longer reveal anything to the five men.

Even Young Master Han was unable to guess just what Tanzanite Shade might do. All he could do was plan out the next step that his own mercenary group would take.