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Chapter 480 - Slyris and Her Friends

 Right outside the Government City Hall's courtyard in Xiawu City, two teams appeared. One was made up of six Mages, while another was a team of six Thieves. The leaders for the two teams were also famed players of Xiawu City, the Mage Slyris and Thief Yan Xiaozhu.

After conversing with Young Master Han and informed that this arrangement was for Gu Fei's quest, the two ladies, who had previously expressed their interest in his quest, readily agreed to lend a hand. Young Master Han was elated by this development and simply passed the duty of gathering the respective teams to the more personable Slyris. Gu Fei was naturally the one footing the bill for this task, and the favor would of course also be Gu Fei's to bear. After all, Young Master Han was just paying lip service as the intermediary here.

As for the imitation aspect... That was truly just Gu Fei and Sword Demon's wishful thinking. Truthfully, Young Master Han's plan had no need for such nearly flawless impersonation. He merely wanted to create confusion and do some harassment, enough to divert the attention of the men from Flowergazing in the Fog.

Those Mages and Thieves that Slyris introduced were no slouches either, each of them skilled in their own rights. The Mages stayed within the fog and tossed out their spells, changing their position after every completed casting; meanwhile, the Thieves specifically targeted the weaker and slower individuals among the enemies. Stealthing in to stab them once before activating their Fleetfoot to flee from the scene, their actions were completely in line with the fighting style of the Shadowmist Assassin.

In several minutes, however, the two teams realized that there was practically nobody left beyond the walls of the courtyard.

"Sis, where's everyone?" Yan Xiaozhu was perplexed.

"It seems that they have all scattered and retreated back to the courtyard," Slyris answered.

There was no fog within the courtyard, so this harassment tactic of theirs could not continue. The two sisters had not thought that they would so quickly run out of things to do, nor did they have any idea if they had completed their task successfully. Whatever the case might be, they first hailed Gu Fei to inform him of the current situation.

"Ah? How did it turn out like this..." Gu Fei was stunned. They had thought that if the harassment continued endlessly, it would force the hands of their enemies to fortify the defenses outside the courtyard by reassigning the manpower from within the courtyard to outside. Who knew that the enemies would instead opt to retreat in the face of their actions? They had decisively removed all their men from outside the courtyard and got them back into the safety of the compound, rendering further harassment impossible.

As such, not only did Gu Fei and Sword Demon not see a reduction to the amount of guards within the premises, they even saw an upsurge to it. Either man could only laugh bitterly at this.

"Hey, your method isn't working!" Gu Fei sent a message over to Young Master Han. Having taken an hour to carefully make these preparations, it was really unlike Young Master Han for his plan to fail so soon.

"What?" Young Master Han asked.

Gu Fei relayed the situation over to him once over.

"Any changes in the courtyard?" Young Master Han asked.

"Yeah, there're a lot more people present now..." Gu Fei replied.

"Be a little more patient and watch," Young Master Han said.

"What else is there to see-ehhh?!" Gu Fei was just about to write his reply out when he realized that there was a disturbance among these players from Flowergazing in the Fog.

Originally, a whole horde of players was evenly scattered all over the entire compound. Now, it was like they had been called to arms, as these men from the backyard suddenly began to head toward the courtyard. Since Gu Fei and Sword Demon were in the direction of the backyard, a good portion of the building obstructed their view, so they had no idea what was happening in the courtyard of the Government City Hall. Was the harassment successful? But their action had clearly forced the enemies to retreat into the safety of the compound, so why would they suddenly reshuffle their positioning like this?

"Of course, the operation was successful!" Young Master Han said. "Do you really think that this operation hinges upon imitating you two experts? I really commend you two geniuses for thinking of that. Have you two made sense of what these men from Flowergazing in the Fog are doing yet?"

Neither man responded.

"Their quest requires them to maintain that d*mn courtyard's peace and tranquility and not hunt either of you down. They couldn't even be any happier if the two of you were merely harassing their men on the outside; nobody would give a hoot about either of your presence."

"But now?"

"Now? This is a form of harassment right now, except those people are not trying to impersonate the two of you but guilds from Xiawu City!" Young Master Han clarified.

"Guilds? Why is it guilds again?"

"After your upheaval the other day, Flowergazing in the Fog is currently on high alert. This is definitely an inopportune time to mess with their guild quest, so there's no way any guild would be willing to strike right at this moment; that is why a vertical integration strategy wouldn't work. However, in order to truly draw the attention of our enemy this time, we need them to have the misconception that there are guilds mounting a massive assault on them," Young Master Han said.

"So? Is that misconception embedded in them now?" Gu Fei asked as he gazed at the players rushing about in the backyard.

"How would I know... Aren't the two of you the ones on site right now?"

"But aren't there only twelve players harassing them?" Gu Fei found this hard to believe.

"These are not just any twelve players," The two men were unable to see the smile plastered across Young Master Han's face right now. "These are players hand selected by one of the Five Unyielding Expert, Slyris, so they are all, at the very least, strong players of some renown in Xiawu City. Even with this fog, it is difficult to conduct sneak attacks without revealing themselves, and while we may be unaware of the identities of these twelve players, the members of Flowergazing in the Fog would at least be able to recognize them. In MMOs, a well-known expert would in a sense represent a guild, or in another words, give them the illusion of a guild behind them."

Gu Fei voiced out his realization. "So what you're saying is that the twelve players here are experts that have their own certain backgrounds, causing the players from Flowergazing in the Fog to be fooled into thinking that their respective guilds are attempting sort grand scale attack?"

"Yup. That's the true significance behind me looking for Slyris..." Young Master Han drawled.

That's exactly how it should be! Gu Fei stirred. This is more in line with the typical strategy that Young Master Han would come up with - a ploy that even the pawns themselves have no idea about the significance of their moves, merely moving as they are ordered, entirely unaware that they have been used and exploited for the benefit of the chessmaster himself. Poor Slyris and her friends... Gu Fei only hoped that they would not bear any losses as a result of this stunt.

Young Master Han continued. "Because they have this misconception, they are now moving their men and making arrangements to concentrate their manpower by the front entrance, but this isn't going to last too long, so you two had better hurry up and do what you came to do!"

"Yes!" Gu Fei and Sword Demon answered.

"There's someone near the Sleeping Assassin. I'll have to kill the man," Sword Demon said.

"Can't you Stealth past him?"

"The Stealth would break the moment I search through the pockets of the Sleeping Assassin," Sword Demon explained.

"Oh, then you'd better move fast. Retreat back up to the wall once you are done," Gu Fei said.

"Hold up. We have no idea if that Assassin have anything that would be related to that firewood shed you speak of. Why don't I head down first and you wait for my message? If there's nothing relevant, I'll retreat and you can continue as we planned, but if I do find something, you can first get a hold of what new information I've gleaned before moving!"

"That makes sense." Gu Fei sounded his agreement.

"Wait for me!" Sword Demon did not say anything more. Rushed for time, he tossed the rope of the grappling hook down and slid down the wall. He turned around upon landing and saw that man turn to look at him. The man's attention was already in the direction of the wall, so he immediately discovered Sword Demon the moment he tossed the rope down.

Without another word, Sword Demon immediately used his Shadowmist Assault the moment he landed and turned to face the opponent. He had already chosen the spot he was landing in when he was up on the wall, and he ensured that it was well within the range of his Shadowmist Assault.

"So fast!" the man exclaimed.

Sword Demon had his eyes on the opponent. Fighter... Sword Demon thought to himself, feeling quite sorry for this man. A Fighter's HP was average and was definitely unable to withstand Sword Demon's overleveled surekill skill that would regrettably instakill the Fighter.

However, the ever-serious Sword Demon would never underestimate his opponent under any circumstances. While just the high movement speed of Shadowmist Assault would leave plenty of people at a loss at what had just happened, Sword Demon nevertheless conscientiously used the two seconds of invisibility every time. It was no exception this time, either; after accurately judging the distance between the two, Sword Demon activated this special effect and instantly disappeared.

Even Gu Fei had said that this special effect would be rather difficult to deal with, which only helped boosted Sword Demon's confidence as Gu Fei was already the most indomitable existence in his eyes...

However...

Just as Sword Demon's dagger was about to find its mark, that man suddenly made his move. Sword Demon saw the Fighter's body dip as his left hand opened and came in from bottom up. Sword Demon was startled and unable to dodge in time. All he could do was stare as that open palm was placed atop his dagger.

His invisibility was instantly interrupted as Sword Demon revealed a look of shock. However, he could also see an equal amount of surprise in the Fighter's face; he even heard the man mutter, "That's too fast..."

His opponent had caught his dagger, and his invisibility was interrupted, but the skill itself remained uninterrupted. Sword Demon saw an opportunity quickly and did not even hesitate as he fought on to stab his dagger down. However, the opponent's reaction was not slow in the least as well. Upon realizing that the inertia of this attack had not halted, his right hand instantly shot out to grab a hold of his left, stretching both arms out as he kept Sword Demon away from him.

Sword Demon was depressed. Had this man been any other job class, this situation would have surely left him heavily injured. The hand was considered as part of the body, and his HP would slowly deplete with how he tightly clenched on that dagger blade in that man's attempt to resist the impact of the skill. But because it just so happened that this man before him was a Fighter, and the gloves he wore was considered as the weapon for that particular job class, the man gripping onto the dagger right now was judged to be like a weapon that clashed with Sword Demon's dagger, so a huge portion of the damage was canceled out.

The damage might have been mitigated, but the force of impact remained. Sword Demon's Shadowmist Assault was so powerful that the man got pushed back quite a distance from his attempt at absorbing the blow.

But the moment the skill ended, it was instead Sword Demon who was in a quandary. His dagger had essentially been restrained by his opponent, so how was he going to continue his attack? Let go of his dagger and try again? Sword Demon was even more reluctant to do that.

Left without a choice, Sword Demon could only throw out a kick. While the damage was nothing significant, Sword Demon hoped the opponent would retreat and let go of his dagger.

But how would he have known that the opponent would turn his body 180 degrees to avoid that kick and to take a step back at the same time? With his back propped up against Sword Demon's chest, the Fighter's right hand let go of the dagger and shifted to his underarm. Arching his back, he lifted his arm and whirled. Sword Demon felt as if the ground and the sky had switched places as the opponent did a shoulder throw and slammed him onto the ground.

"F*ck..." Sword could tell he was in trouble when he saw the skilled and fluid movement this man had just executed. Is this person also a martial arts practitioner just like Miles? I'm afraid I'm no match for someone like that...

Sword Demon lifted his head to look right at the face of the opponent from his lying position on the ground.

This person... why does he look familiar? Sword Demon suddenly wondered.