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Chapter 478 - Inside and Outside the Courtyard

 "So, shall we do this?" The two shared a quiet moment before they looked at each other and said this.

They nodded resolutely. Gu Fei and Sword Demon were the sort of people that would no longer hold a shred of doubt or hesitation after making their decision.

"I'll go this way, and you go that way. We don't necessarily have to kill; just harass them all around, so that they'll have no idea where we'll be coming in from. We'll then randomly choose a spot to climb. What do you think?" Gu Fei asked Sword Demon.

"Yeah, that sounds good," Sword Demon agreed.

The two began to make their move. This was essentially a huge disaster for these guards stationed beyond the wall. In the eyes of these normal players, forget Gu Fei, even Sword Demon was an expert that they worshipped. On top of all these, Sword Demon had just gotten himself a new skill, Shadowmist Assault. While it was the Shadowmist Assassin's drop, even the BOSS itself had never once used the skill.

The skill could be activated with the raise of a wrist, similar to a Warrior's Charge, instantaneously providing a movement speed and a thrusting force well beyond that which the user possessed, so for a job class like the Thief, which already had a very fast movement speed, the end product was something almost too ridiculous. Furthermore, an additional special effect of the skill was that the user could forcefully turn invisible in the process of activating this skill, and the movement speed would not be reduced in the least. Even though this effect would only last for two seconds, it was an extremely worthwhile two seconds. Imagine what a headache it was for players to deal with an enemy closing in at such a high speed, and then include the fact that the enemy would disappear suddenly as they approached; no one would have any means of defending against that.

Even Gu Fei felt it would be really troublesome to deal with when he heard the skill's special effect. Humans were not machines, so they would not be so rigid with their moves. Even Gu Fei was not completely confident he would be able to predict it every time if the attack could be so adaptable.

As such, Sword Demon only added to these poor players' nightmares. All they saw was a figure streaking toward them at an extraordinary speed; it was so quick many of them were left without an idea what to do with their limbs. As Sword Demon wanted to learn how to use the skill and work on its skill proficiency, he forcefully activated his two-second invisibility every time, consecutively attacking seven players at one go. Out of the seven, six did not react at all, while the seventh was only able to protect his face thanks to his conditioned reflex.

Furthermore, what Sword Demon understood of being merciful with his attacks was entirely different from Gu Fei. The MMO expert that he was understood mercy differently; he made sure to use all his strength every time he struck, only stopping short of giving chase for the kill when he realized that they were clearly not up to par. Sword Demon did not have the same practice as Gu Fei, whose ability to control his own damage ensured people would not be dying to his sword.

Thus, five out of the seven Sword Demon had assaulted were insta-killed, and out of which, two were even Warriors. While they were not Guardians, it was still an impressive result that sufficiently pointed out how Shadowmist Assault went well beyond the current level of skills. This sort of devastating power he had demonstrated was evidently well beyond that of Gu Fei's spell damage.

Considering how ruinous power the skill held, it was like a rock that created a thousand waves when cast into water. The guild channel for Flowergazing in the Fog was already in a state of uproar as messages came pouring in at a speedy rate, the fastest of which belonging to those two Warriors that got insta-killed. The term 'insta-killed' had always been something Warriors would not be associated with, so neither of these men could believe that they had actually been done in by a stab of the dagger from a Thief.

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"Who's this guy?" Three Sighs of Flowing Maple was beside himself with shock. The damage to insta-kill a Warrior with a stab was well beyond that which Thousand Miles Drunk could deal. "Where did such a formidable enemy come from?"

"Thief?

"Extremely high damage?

"With a speed to match?"

Drifting asked these three questions one after another. After receiving a confirmation, he asked the final question: "A woman? Dressed in red? Really beautiful?"

The reply was, instead: "A man. Dressed in black. Really ugly!"

"That's Sword Demon!" Drifting swiftly answered.

"Sword Demon? THAT Sword Demon? I don't recall you mentioning his damage would be so outrageous when you talked about him yesterday..." Three Sighs of Flowing Maple said. Drifting had given them an overview of Sword Demon in a tone that expressed regret and disappointment. It made them feel that this Sword Demon was not as good as he used to be, lacking the air of dominance that he once possessed in the days of past.

"This... I'm not too sure myself. He really shouldn't possess such a level of strength... Unless another miracle was visited upon him during this time," Drifting said.

"Well, in that case... We should-"

"Is he here?" Someone beside Three Sighs of Flowing Maple suddenly interrupted him before he could finish his words.

Decked out in Fighter gear was a man taking shade from the sun under a tree canopy somewhere near them. This voice indeed belonged the expert Fighter Windchord that Three Sighs of Flowing Maple had specially invited.

Originally, Three Sighs of Flowing Maple did not hold much faith toward inviting this expert, but who would have thought that, after contacting this man through his friends and mentioning how they needed his help to go up against the Video Mage, Windchord would readily agree? Three Sighs of Flowing Maple could not believe how incredibly successful this had been. Thinking about this further, he reckoned martial practitioners like them must enjoy competing, so Windchord probably accepted this offer to challenge himself and not for the sake of helping his guild quest.

Sure enough, the moment Windchord arrived at the courtyard by the Government City Hall, he showed not a whit of interest toward the guild meetings, discussions, or the defensive placement that Three Sighs of Flowing Maple and the others were engaged in.

"Yup, this sure is the place where the sun's position is the best..." was the only line that Windchord uttered upon stepping into the Government City Hall. After which, he lay under the tree and quietly waited for the Mage expert to arrive.

Three Sighs of Flowing Maple was originally worried that this quirky expert would get impatient after having spent a whole day of yesterday waiting for nothing, but who would have guessed that not only would the man not mind it in the least, the man would still log on in time and resume his position under the tree without another word?

Looking at him lie there all lackadaisical, Three Sighs of Flowing Maple was perplexed by this expert that he held high hopes for, wondering if he should overly rely on this person. This person was not in the know of what they had discussed over the guild channel, but he did overhear Three Sighs of Flowing Maple's conversation with Drifting after.

"He's here," Three Sighs of Flowing Maple affirmed, "but he's still outside the courtyard." As they were discussing about Sword Demon, Gu Fei and Sword Demon also began their harassment, but what the former had done was nowhere as shocking as the latter.

"I've already messed with seven players. How about you?" Sword Demon sent over a message to Gu Fei at this moment.

"Eleven," answered Gu Fei.

"That's quick..." Sword Demon exclaimed. He had already done his best to be as efficient as possible, but who would have thought that he was still not be as quick as Gu Fei?

"It's much more convenient for me. All I had to do was stand there and show my face and they started howling without even needing me to attack," Gu Fei explained.

"Oh..." Sword Demon understood. "Is it enough?"

"Yeah, that's good. Where shall we meet?"

Sword Demon randomly chose a set of coordinates as the two began to head over to meet up. At the same time, the members of Flowergazing in the Fog began to gather at all the spots that had been attacked, not really to mount a defense but merely to give a sense of security to those there.

"I don't think that this circle of players outside is positioned there for defense; rather, it's formed to alert those people inside of our arrival," Gu Fei said once they met up.

"Yeah, that's most likely it." Sword Demon agreed with Gu Fei's assessment.

"What next?"

"Let's go! We should be more or less successful if they don't know where we're attempting to break in from," Sword Demon said.

Gu Fei nodded. The two very quickly located a suitable spot for the climb. The defense outside the wall was already in a mess thanks to their harassment, and there were plenty of gaps where no one was in position. Gu Fei sighed. "They are still pretty bad with the positioning of their defense! But with how scattered they are right now, I don't think it'll be easy for us to find an inconspicuous spot to breach through."

Sword Demon shook his head. "There are times we can't do anything about that. In the end, they are still players in a game. Do you expect them to possess the level of discipline found in soldiers?"

"Yeah, that makes sense." Gu Fei nodded.

"Besides, some sacrifices are necessary if their job is to get a clear idea of which direction we're coming from. Such an order is that much harder to achieve in a game setting..." Sword Demon continued.

"Mmm, you've got a good grasp of this!" Gu Fei remarked.

"Of course; I'm someone who had experience in these matters, after all." Sword Demon laughed.

"Oh, yeah! I almost forgot!" Gu Fei slapped his forehead. He had almost forgotten that Sword Demon was once a high and mighty leader of a big guild in days past. How could he not have a good grasp of things when talking about the rules and regulation within a guild?

"However, if a guild had someone like Young Master, he'd surely position these men far more perfectly than this," Gu Fei added.

"Hehe..." Sword Demon laughed dryly. If it were that man, he would naturally sacrifice all these cannon fodders without qualms. Furthermore, that man would have surely found an excuse that these players without them even realizing they were going to be sacrificed!

"Alright, let's head on up!" Gu Fei had already tossed out two grappling hooks and passed a rope over to Sword Demon.

After having been baptized to this that other day, he was no longer a stranger to climbing via this method and skillfully began his ascent.

That's quite the improvement... Gu Fei silently commended. Sword Demon was nowhere as skillful as he was now that day. Seems like he's been practicing on his own in these past two days. This man sure isn't the usual sort of competitive individual if he takes to heart even such things!

With that, Gu Fei grabbed on to his rope and followed Sword Demon right up the wall as well.

"To think everything would go so smoothly..." Gu Fei was rather surprised as he reached the top of the wall, dropping this comment as he began to wind the rope up.

"What do you mean by that?"

"I thought they would find a way to get up these walls and position guards up here in these two days," Gu Fei explained.

"Well..." Sword Demon helped Gu Fei keep that grappling hook he had used as he spoke, "I think you're the only one who'd find this to be simple... Just how many people out there would know about this sort of thing and actually act on it? Just this sort of grappling hook you made is not something that exists on the market. I doubt even Brother Assist could guess which quest you got this from. Furthermore, forget about climbing, just tossing this hook in a way that secures it firmly for a human to climb surely has a technique behind it, right?"

"Yeah, a little," Gu Fei admitted.

"That's why I say it would be rather difficult for anyone to do the same despite having personally witnessed you do it successfully," Sword Demon said.

"That's a logical conclusion you've drawn," Gu Fei said. Indeed, in this MMO setting, there were certain aspects which Sword Demon and these experts would have a more thorough insight on.

"So, what next?"

"Well, of course, we're gonna take stock of the situation a little." Gu Fei took out the spyglass and began his observation.