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Chapter 418 - Just Who is the Target?

 "I think they're really waiting to kill a boss!" Vast Lushness suddenly said.

"Eh?" They looked at her quizzically.

"It's obvious that someone by that beachside bar has spread the news about the resurrection matter, and these people are those that came to ask for advice," Vast Lushness said.

"Oh..." Vast Lushness may have said it euphemistically, but everybody were quickly able to read between the lines.

Gu Fei flashed a thumbs up to her, "Spoken like someone who was a seasoned veteran." Eternal Dominion and Gu Fei did not say another word. Sakurazaka Moony and Fireball were also veteran gamers, but they were not as quick to react to this line as Vast Lushness.

"Just what do you mean by that?" Vast Lushness glared at Gu Fei.

"Nothing. Just stating the facts!" Gu Fei said.

Vast Lushness had no rebuttal to that, since it was indeed the truth. Back in her glory days with Past Deeds in Yueye City, if they were to chance upon a Priest that had this ability to resurrect players, she believed she would have led her men over in an effort to "learn more" from that player. Except Past Deeds was the dominant guild when she was at her most glorious; nobody would dare to step forward and challenge them, so there would not be a scene like this, where so many guilds would gather outside the Priest Academy to vie for the chance... Vast Lushness tried to count them, but was unable to get a good number. All she knew was that there was already six or seven guilds waiting out here.

This setting also looked somewhat familiar to her. Vast Lushness was slightly startled for a moment, not knowing if she should cry or laugh when she finally recalled the reason. There were not so many competing forces back when she would barricade people and loot them of their dropped equipment, but when she was being hunted after falling from grace, this was exactly the same scene that she saw when she was the one stuck in the Priest Academy: Countless guilds would squat outside the Academy, waiting to slay her!

Back then, she did not feel maligned, as she stubbornly refused to yield and fought to the bitter end, but now that she was aware of just how indecorous and immoral Silver Moon really was, all she could feel was a pained sourness in her heart when she reminisced about her past.

"There's so many people around here, just where is that Priest?" Gu Fei muttered.

Vast Lushness snapped back to reality and responded, "He's probably still out there. I reckon there are people searching the whole city for him. They are sure to send him over the moment he's spotted."

Gu Fei pondered for a while before he said, "Their intentions are pretty obvious now. There's no way Southern Lone Blade and his men would be unaware of this, so would that Priest still be carrying that staff?"

"There's also men stationed over by the warehouse!" Vast Lushness answered. She had already noticed these things, because these were the steps that she had once ordered her own men to take, so she was very familiar with the process.

"The warehouse? Oh. I don't mean there. What I mean is that since everyone is now camping out by the Priest Academy, wouldn't they just pass that equipment over to someone else?" Gu Fei said.

"Give it to someone else?" Everybody was stunned. It was apparent to a veteran gamer that they would never accept this as a viable solution. The trust between players in MMOs was almost non-existent. Handing over such a valuable piece of equipment to someone else for safekeeping was as good as a rite to sever the friendship and go incognito.

"What? Is there a problem doing that?" It was clear that Gu Fei, who had lent Fireball two of his top tier items so that he could revel in a moment of superiority, did not see this as a crisis of confidence like the average player.

"Drunk bro!" Fireball had a look of pain, looking as if he pitied the people of the world. "Not everyone out there would have as high moral values like I do and would return you your top tier equipment without even hesitating for a moment after use. Had you given it to anyone else, like Moony for example, that man would have taken it and ran off with it!"

"F*ck, why would I do that!" Sakurazaka Moony was outraged at this slanderous claim. "It's not like they are Hunter's equipment!" he added.

Everyone threw a contemptuous stare at him.

"I still think that this is a possible option they might be willing to do,"Gu Fei concluded earnestly. His experience fighting with the seven men had led him to believe that even though they were a squad that dealt in such a shameful business, the bond that they shared was not false.

Besides, they were a bunch that carried out larceny together. They could be considered a business organization, and that Staff of Resurrection could be seen as the squad's collective asset. It just so happened that the Priest had to be the one using it, which was why moving it around at this point would be deemed appropriate.

Quite a few agreed with this after hearing Gu Fei's analysis, with Vast Lushness taking it a step further, "Now that there are even more people searching for them, yet were still unable to catch a glimpse of them, I do believe they must have split up and are now acting individually."

"Then who would have that staff?" Fireball asked.

"The Thief, perhaps?" Gu Fei suggested.

They nodded in agreement once more. Thieves had access to the Stealth skill, so they would surely be the one to have the easiest time evading a hunt. He would be the safest choice if they were to leave something valuable with someone out of the seven.

"Man, a Stealthed Thief is far more difficult to locate!" Sakurazaka Moony revealed a troubled expression. They already barely recognized the seven as they were, must less someone who could be perpetually invisible.

"There's no need to find the man. As long as we can guess what his next action will be..." Gu Fei said.

Vast Lushness stared at the crowd of players loitering outside the Priest Academy, "Given how the chips have fallen, there's no way they would continue to stay in Linshui City and wait this out. I'm positive they must be devising a way to leave the city."

"But you can't just leave the city as and when you like, everybody has to take a ship at the end of the day. However, they aren't able to sail out on the ferry available by the harbor. Considering that it just so happens to be a place where the various large guilds have claimed, the only option they have left is to make their own," Gu Fei said, and turned to look at Vast Lushness. They had had experience taking such a watercraft before.

"In that case..." Vast Lushness was now speaking to Sakurazaka Moony. "Send men out of the city and walk along the shoreline. Search through everything and don't leave anything like bushes or mounds of hay or stack of straw or anything that could be used to conceal stuff beneath unturned; a boat could be hidden beneath it. Send over the coordinates the moment a boat is found."

"Yes, got it!" Sakurazaka Moony nodded rapidly.

"Tell everyone to be careful, as well. Be on guard for a Stealthed Thief!" Gu Fei added.

"Understood!" Sakurazaka Moony had been listening all this while and had already comprehended the crux of the matter. He immediately sent out a message to all the men in his mercenary group and had them to head to the shore to look for boats.

"Places that could be used to conceal?" The men from Forever in Flowers once more showed off their lewd mindset. "What if we discover a pair of lovebirds underneath it?"

"Woah, that's totally possible. How stimulating!"

"That is VERY stimulating. Let's go!" The troops were instantly all motivated.

Sakurazaka Moony nodded reassuringly and said, "The guys have left."

That was when Eternal Dominion, who had not said a word this whole time, poked Gu Fei, "Oi. Our target seems to be Southern Lone Blade and not that Staff of Resurrection, right?"

The other three shifted their gaze over to Gu Fei, thinking that he must have been motivated by greed as well!

But Gu Fei was calm when he replied, "Who said I'm targeting that staff? This is a possible escape route that Southern Lone Blade might use! If we locate the boat, that's as good as locating Southern Lone Blade!"

"Oh, so that's how it is," Eternal Dominion nodded. "But that equipment does sound like it's worth a lot of money. It might be convenient for us to try and loot it off them!"

"Are you thinking of robbing them for it? That's not a good idea!" Gu Fei was tense when he heard this.

"Stealing from the larcenists, wasn't that the idea that you suggested to me from the very beginning?" Eternal Dominion said.

"Is that so?" Gu Fei recalled, and found it to be true. At the start, he did propose to Eternal Dominion that he should steal from the larcenists. It was only later when Brother Assist and the others had judged that the larcenists themselves might not have anything valuable on them, that the two men abandoned that proposal. Looking at it now, it seemed like there was something worthwhile on Southern Lone Blade and his squad, after all!

"Hmm, if that's the case, we'll take that item for ourselves, if it's convenient!" Gu Fei decided.

"We'll need to leave some men by the Thieves' Union, then!" Vast Lushness said.

"Why don't you go?" Gu Fei said to Eternal Dominion. Only the two of them were able to guard that spawn point, since they were the only two that could sense the presence of a Stealthed Thief.

"That works for me!" Eternal Dominion nodded happily.

"Then, shall we head out of the city and search for the boat?" Gu Fei said to the other three.

They nodded agreement. Eternal Dominion headed over to the Thieves Union by himself to lay in wait, while Gu Fei and the three headed out of the city. Along the way, Gu Fei sent a message to the others in Young Master's Elites, "What are you guys up to?"

------

"Inspecting people's work," Young Master Han replied. The five were currently wandering about the city, spotting the search teams that were running everywhere from time to time. They were all very happy seeing that their efforts were not wasted. Their group's activity had actually attracted quite a lot of suspicion upon themselves, yet nobody tried to attack them, since they were all positive it could not be the five of them.

"Look, there's five players right there, and their job classes match! Is that them?" The first one to spot them would always say some variation of this line.

The second would conclude after closer examination, "No, they should all be men. There shouldn't be a lady among them."

"Oh..." Everybody was put at ease when they caught sight of Young Master Han.

But of course, this entire exchange would happen secretly, without the five members of Young Master's Elites even realizing it. They walked and walked, making their way over to the Priest Academy. The numbers present now were far greater than Gu Fei and the others had seen when they were there. Blue Umbra's guild leader, Tanzanite Shade, was now on site, and was having a terse discussion with the leaders of the other guilds that had hurried over.

In their eyes, Southern Lone Blade and his gang were already a dish of fatty meat that had been served to their table. They were bound to be eaten, but the only question was how many chopsticks were there, and who would be able to grab a piece?

Fight it out in an unruly fashion and leave it on a first come, first served basis? That method was actually somewhat unfair, since the problem was that the Priest himself might not be dead, but those that were near him would already be killed off. That was not an outcome anyone would be glad to see. Fortunately, the leaders were now all present, and they had all agreed to discuss and settle this in a peaceful manner.

Young Master Han laughed coldly when he saw this bunch of players hoping for the death of the others around them, yet having to gather together and discuss the issue civilly.

"What's the matter?" everybody asked. Those who were familiar with Young Master Han knew that even though he was a man with profound schemes, he was not the sort with ice in his veins.

But the moment he smiled warmly, that meant somebody out there was truly out of luck. That cold laugh meant that someone had made a mistake, and he was now laughing at their idiocy.

"Let's go!" Young Master Han did not have a whit of interest towards anything happening in the Priest Academy as he gathered the mercenaries to leave.

"Where to?" they asked.

"We're gonna take a walk out of the city." Young Master Han said.

"What's there to see there?" They were all nonplussed.

"Now that Linshui City has been stirred into such a state, would Southern Lone Blade and his gang be able to stay here any longer? They must be thinking of ways to leave the city!" Young Master Han told them.

"But are they even able to leave?" They had walked past the city gate while they were making their rounds in the city, and now that the players that had been out grinding were making their way back, the amount of people guarding these various gates had increased tremendously.

"One of them would have made it out," Young Master Han said.

"Who?"

"The Thief."