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Chapter 417 - Search Teams Throughout the City

 "So what are we gonna do now?" Royal God Call asked once Young Master Han finished sending all the letters out.

"Time to watch the show," Young Master Han said.

Just as he said this, they watched a player exit a system-operated store and hurriedly make his way over to the mailbox. The five let him pass as the man opened the mailbox and retrieved his letter from within. He even made an attempt to rifle through the box, but nothing else turned up. Tearing the letter in his hand, a single gold coin immediately fell out. That man was stunned for quite a while before he cursed, "F*CK!" He bent down, picked up the gold coin, and took out the letter to read.

The five exchanged glances with one another, thinking how coincidental it was that they would get to watch someone receive their letter live.

This person casually glanced at the letter for a moment or two before his expression changed. He dashed back to the store he had been in just now and came out with another two people in tow. The letter was already in their hands, and they were looking at the few sentences written on it with a deathly pallor.

"Who sent this?" the two asked the other man who had retrieved the letter.

"I don't know, it was anonymously sent." The game's mailing system allowed for players to send mail anonymously, but such a method meant the sender would not be able to receive any reply, since a reply would require a player's IGN to send it to the right person.

"Inform the guild leader!"

"Got it!" the man who received the letter stood still and sent out a message, exclaiming before long, "The guild leader said he just received a letter with the single gold coin as well. Could it be the same as this?"

"Just who is this guy?"

"I don't know, but let's get some players to watch Blue Umbra's movement!" the three men said as they departed.

The last thing the five experts heard from this conversation was the question, "How many of our players are in the city?"

Young Master Han actually froze for a bit when he heard this, before saying, "I forgot something."

"What?" They turned to stare at the man.

"Players can't really gather whenever they want in this d*mn*d city. Those that headed out to sea to grind have to wait for the ferry to get back. There's no way these guilds will be able to raise any substantial amount of manpower now that we had informed all these guilds about this matter," Young Master Han said.

"There's gotta be some, at least!" Royal God Call said.

"There's bound to be a lot less," Young Master Han said. The main activity for players was to grind and acquire loot. Grinding maps were the main areas of activity, so there was not really that many players that would be active in the city.

"Southern Lone Blade... that rascal could not have intentionally chosen this city to engage in his activities, could he?" Young Master Han said.

"Nope. He first spawned here," Brother Assist said. Southern Lone Blade were old acquaintances, so they had already added each other to their friends lists in the early days of the game.

"Oh... Then he sure lucked out," Young Master Han said.

"Then what do we do now?" Royal God Call asked the same question he had asked before.

"Wander around the city and check up on the progress of the various guilds in Linshui City!" Young Master Han said.

------

The seven-man squad led by Southern Lone Blade skillfully navigated through the streets after splitting up. The way each conducted this operation was very similar; each of them had changed their attire and lowered their heads as they walked about, not making eye contact with anyone else.

The option to split up was indeed highly effective, as it was not easy to coincidentally bump into someone in such a huge city. Consider just how burnt out both Brave Surge and Foe-herder had ended up trying to locate Gu Fei, it really showed just how difficult such a task would be. The reason why they were so easily spotted before was entirely because the seven-man squad they had formed was too large a target. Southern Lone Blade was really regretful that he had not thought of this marvelous method in the first place, but thankfully their losses had not been too great, with Fire Singed Clothes being the only person who had lost his life.

However... he wondered how the Video Mage was faring right now. Southern Lone Blade was actually worried for Gu Fei! Considering the situation back then, any player would have judged that there was surely no way Gu Fei could have escaped. Southern Lone Blade was definitely feeling a little sorrow over being unable to take this fat lamb for his own, even going so far as to deliver it into someone else's pockets! He prayed and hoped that Gu Fei dropped nothing when he died, uncertain just what sort of emotions the man must be feeling right now.

Southern Lone Blade had a peaceful trip and successfully made it to Linshui City's east gate. It was not the gate nearest the location they had agreed to meet up in, but he did not have the time or effort to pay attention to the distance. Safety was his top priority as he made his way through the city, and the route he ended up taking led him right towards this gate.

The cautious Southern Lone Blade did not rush out immediately. He studied the gate from somewhere nearby and involuntarily moaned to himself. There were already members from Blue Umbra guarding the city gates, carefully checking out the players coming and going. If he wanted to pass off as just another player... Southern Lone Blade had no idea if the enemy was able to recognize him. It would be fine if they had no idea, but there was no way they would let him past easily if they were able to identify him.

As a man who had plenty of tricks up his sleeve, Southern Lone Blade was unable to come up with any solution to this for the longest time. Contacting his fellow comrades, he learned that they had all managed to make their way over to the city gates as well, but they were all stuck there. Blackwater was the only one among them who could swagger his way out of the city by activating his Stealth, but the rest were out of ideas.

"Where are you guys?" Southern Lone Blade asked everyone.

"I'm by the south gate."

"North gate."

"I'm at the west gate."

"Me, too."

"You too?" Where are you, I can't seem to find you..."

"Me neither..."

From this it could be said that the disguises they had chosen was really effective. If even their own comrades were unable to recognize them, what about other strangers?

"Let's find a gate to gather at!" Southern Lone Blade helplessly called out. "It's too risky making our way through like this."

"Which gate?"

"We'll head to the one Paddy Scent Pastures is at."

------

Paddy Scent Pastures was by the west gate, so the others carefully made their way over. They would break out in cold sweat whenever players from Blue Umbra came running by them in twos and threes, but they were never discovered.

Southern Lone Blade and the rest were still celebrating over this fact, but he had no idea that his dawdling had only given Young Master Han's gold coin letter ploy more time to play out.

Out of the twenty guilds from Linshui City, seventeen of them reacted the first chance they had upon receiving the letter. The ones retrieving the letter were either the guild leaders themselves or a core member of the guild. No matter who it was, the information would be spread in every case.

From the seventeen guilds, six of them were more casual and were not particularly motivated by greed or desire for the staff. These guilds laughed the matter off and ignored the letter, but the remaining eleven guilds attached great importance to it. Just like the scene Young Master Han and the others had witnessed by the mailbox, all of them immediately gathered what manpower they had to begin investigating this matter.

There were hundreds of players in Blue Umbra. Some were running all around the city, others were standing guard by the city gates, while yet others positioned themselves by the designated log-off points. There was an express emphasis on the Priest Academy, which was easily noted by anyone looking into this matter. Hence, the various guilds were able to verify the information in the letter. Even though they still had their doubts as to the origin of the letter, they immediately sent a call to arms to the players that were grinding out in the various islands.

It would take time for them to hitch the ferry back, which was the time Southern Lone Blade and his squad gave them as they travelled about in the city. While the players outside tried their best to hurry back to the city, these guilds were also gathering as much information as they could about Southern Lone Blade and his men. Having more people naturally meant there would be more available manpower, so if the members of Blue Umbra were originally unable to identify the seven men in the squad, the wide net cast by the various guilds was finally able to get a full picture of the seven from the bits and pieces of information gathered, even though none of them collaborated on the matter.

Each of the guilds leveraged their advantages. Those who knew Fire Singed Clothes led teams searching for that mug of his, while those that recognized Paddy Scent Pastures searched for him, etc. The task was split up and the search teams in the city quickly increased in number.

---

The squad of seven could sense this subtle change. Southern Lone Blade promptly reminded the rest, "The information must have been propagated by now. Be extra careful, everyone!"

"F*ck*ng h*ll, how did things escalate so quickly?"

"I don't know..." Southern Lone Blade could not make sense of the matter. According to the thought process he had as a professional larcenist, there was no reason Blue Umbra would leak such information willingly, so it had to be the result of those normal players that happened to witness the scene back by the beachside bar, but there was no way they could spread the news so quickly! Obviously, Southern Lone Blade could not have guessed that Young Master's Elites would be taking the lead on this matter.

------

If the seven of them were able to notice this change, it was only natural that the guild leader of Blue Umbra, Tanzanite Shade, would realize it as well!

Why would this news spread so quickly? That was the same thought that came to his mind. Seeing three search teams from three different guilds in rapid succession, as well as the tacit expression the leader had tossed at him when they crossed paths, Tanzanite Shade was certain that these opposing guilds were sure to have the same goal as he did.

"Hey, what's going on over there?" Tanzanite Shade contacted the player in charge of guarding the Priest Academy. That was the main battlefield he had previously predicted.

"A lot of players suddenly emerged out of nowhere, hailing from different guilds..." That player wiped the sweat off his brow as he replied. In truth, the situation over there was a little tense. They were running out of places to stand even as the number of guilds that positioned players increased. Nobody said a word on the surface, but the animosity coming off from one another had scared plenty of the players that had just logged on They were at a loss as to what was happening, causing them to hastily log off in response.

"F*ck, those guys are real treacherous!" Tanzanite Shade was naturally aware that gathering manpower in Linshui City was by no means a whimsical matter. These guilds were currently worried they might not have enough people and so were all gathered by the Priest Academy, probably intending to take advantage of the situation.

"What now?" The player by the Priest Academy was equally helpless.

"Hold on, I'm coming over," Tanzanite Shade sighed. Now that there were so many guilds having their eye on the staff, fighting over the matter was no solution, either. It seemed like they need to touch bases and discuss this matter.

------

Back over by Gu Fei's side, the players from Forever in Flowers totally did not recognize a single player from Southern Lone Blade's seven-man squad. Now that the seven of them were split up and moving by themselves, there was no way the Hunters would be able to identify any of the seven even if they were standing right before them, so naturally nothing turned up in their search. Instead, it was all the movement in Linshui City that had grabbed their attention.

Gu Fei, Eternal Dominion, and a few other members of Forever in Flowers just happened to be near the Priest Academy. Even Gu Fei's blood began to boil when he saw this scene, wondering, "Hmm, it looks as if they are trying to kill someone?"

"Could a Priest really attract hate from so many people?" Eternal Dominion was surprised at what he saw. It was truly quite difficult for the Priest job class to get into such trouble.

"Heh, of course they can," Gu Fei laughed knowingly.

"Hey, what are you laughing at?" Vast Lushness was dissatisfied.

"Uh... I didn't mean you..." Gu Fei was nervous. It turned out that there was a Priest standing near him that could have drawn such great ire from the people. But the particular Priest Gu Fei was thinking about was really not Vast Lushness.

"These guys don't seem to be from the same guild! With so many of them standing guard here, it's like they they are waiting to kill a boss!" Sakurazaka Moony said.