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Chapter 274 - Bodyguard Mission
Ray's Bar was currently filled with Yunduan City's top mercenary groups. While many mercenary groups had hidden their strengths before, the mercenary PvP tournament had essentially unearthed them. Whatever the outcome of the matches was, the hidden experts and unique specializations of the various mercenary groups were revealed throughout the tournament.
Using the various mercenary groups here as examples… Nothing was naturally needed to be said about Young Master's Elite. As for Silver Moon, he was here due to his King's Command. Any skill that could provide a party-wide buff was considered valuable, especially since only higher level Holy Knights had access to such skills. Silver Moon's possession of one such skill qualified him as a man ahead of the curve, highly demanded by large guilds alike.
The Amethyst mercenary group might not have much strength, yet the existence of the pay-to-win player Svelte Dancer in their midst immediately qualified them for an invite. Gu Fei only found out now that Sakurazaka Moony and his mercenary group was named 'The Great Hunters' for specializing in setting up traps. All sorts of mercenary groups that had specializations were invited by Traversing Four Seas to Ray's Bar without providing any reason. Given that none of Traversing Four Seas had appeared yet, the people present were virtually in the dark for what this was all about.
Fortunately, they did not have to wait too long. After more mercenary groups entered the bar, Oathless Sword, Youthful Reflection, and Gale Force finally arrived.
As the winner of the guild versus guild tournament, Traversing Four Seas was now undoubtedly the top guild of Yunduan City. Guild Leader Oathless Sword was positively radiant as he swaggered into Ray's Bar with an air befitting that of a champion. Foe-herder, Brave Surge, and several other mercenary group leaders were also guild leaders of their respective guilds, having been vying for the top spot ever since their guilds' establishment. Now that Traversing Four Seas officially occupied the top spot, Oathless Sword could not help but express this to those present.
"Ha ha! It's been a while, Old Cloud!" "Surge, hope you've been well lately!"
Oathless Sword's showy greeting caused the people inside the bar to furrow their brows. They regarded pompous fellows like him in relative disdain and felt sorry for the whole of Yunduan City that it had such a man leading the number one guild.
Oathless Sword continued greeting the other mercenaries present. His att.i.tude became visibly subdued when talking with the Amethyst ladies, which made everyone present feel like throwing up. The best was usually saved for the last; Oathless Sword greeted everyone first before heading to the table Young Master's Elite was occupying. He courteously and solemnly greeted each of them, including his guild member Royal G.o.d Call - something he had not done for any other groups.
Gu Fei was actually the one he greeted last. Oathless Sword pulled Gu Fei's hand close to his as he addressed the latter with kind words. Youthful Reflection and Gale Force who were beside Oathless Sword all this while showed discomfort for his action; one appeared to be infuriated, while another seemed to be in shock. Finally, Oathless Sword emphatically said to Gu Fei: "I'm so pleased that you managed to call attention to our Yunduan City!"
The people inside the bar could no longer stand it, and someone actually stood up and slapped the table to call him out for it, "Oathless, you m*th*rf*ck*r! Quickly tell us what's all this about and stop groveling there like a sycophant! Just look at yourself!"
Releasing Gu Fei's hand, Oathless Sword turned to address the person shouting at him, "A ha ha ha! Alright! Let's get down to business!"
"That woman is so straightforward! Who is she?" Gu Fei asked, shocked. Even if the bar had fewer patrons, her blunt words were still disrespectful, yet she just went ahead and said them without holding back!
Brother a.s.sist promptly offered information about her to Gu Fei, "She's the leader of Rainbow betwixt the Clouds mercenary group that placed fourth in the tournament, Gu Xiaoshang. She's also the level 3 Colored Clouds Guild's leader. Before Svelte Dancer arrived in Yunduan City, she's regarded as the strongest woman around. I heard Oathless Sword has been pursuing her for the longest time!"
"Whoa! Oathless Sword's taste sure is unique!" War Without Wounds and Royal G.o.d Call exclaimed in unison.
Gu Xiaoshang's looks were definitely above average, yet she was too much of a firebrand that anyone could mistake her for a man. She was different from June's Rain, though. June's Rain had not cared about her appearance back then, so her shabby equipment and gender-neutral voice had made Gu Fei mistake her for a man. After equipping the body-fitting armor she had acquired from Yueye City, no one mistook her again for a male player.
As for Gu Xiaoshang, the issue about her was her temperament. Although people knew that she was a woman, they still felt some resistance inside, "Whoa! That lady is quite vulgar…."
However, her vulgar shout was what put a stop to Oathless Sword's ridiculousness. He walked over to the center of the bar and cleared his throat, "The ladies and gentlemen present here are all skilled mercenaries of this city. I've summoned all of you here tonight to offer you to join hands with me for accomplis.h.i.+ng a quest I have."
The entire bar burst into activity once he said this. Since all those present were part of mercenary groups, they were naturally knowledgeable regarding the different quests Parallel World offered. Although most mercenary groups had dozens of players, not one of the current quests required more than ten players to complete them.
Since Traversing Four Seas had to hire mercenaries for this particular quest, it proved that the quest was not a regular type that players could complete on their own. As a guild with over seven hundred fifty members at its disposal, was there even any issue that their numbers could not deal with? Hence, everyone was wondering about the difficulty of this system-given quest for Traversing Four Seas to be forced to gather all the expert mercenaries in the city for a.s.sistance.
Oathless Sword gave the people present enough time to digest this startling news and was sincerely enjoying their reactions. Once everyone calmed down, he continued, "This quest is the reward Traversing Four Seas got for winning the guild versus guild tournament. Actually, we think that this is a chain quest."
Everyone broke into activity once more. They had thought up until now that the greatest form of a solo quest was a chain quest, whereas the harder form of a party quest was a compet.i.tive quest. Not one of them had heard of a guild quest possibly being a chain quest.
The men of Young Master's Elite looked at Gu Fei. While talks about chain quests had been circulating for so long, Gu Fei could possibly be the only player who had managed to complete one thus far.
This was not due to no one stumbling on to a chain quest but due to most players meeting with failure halfway through or reaching a point where they could not advance any further and could only put the chain quests on hold. So far, Gu Fei was the only player the five knew who had completed a chain quest.
Oathless Sword reveled in everyone's reaction once more before continuing, "The quest itself is very simple. It is a Yabiao1 Mission!"
"Yabiao?" everyone asked, shocked. It was jarring to hear a wuxia term being said in this western-style VRMMO.
"It is exactly what it says," Oathless Sword said, explaining, "Players are tasked to protect the quest item until it reaches its destination. Based on the depicted route for the quest, people will pa.s.s through five different cities and the journey will take about tens of hours upward just from the walk alone. Since the quest requires escorting the item, we believe that plenty of ambushes and robbers are set along the way."
Everyone more or less got the gist of the matter after hearing this, and someone promptly asked, "If the difficulty is still unknown, why are you so sure that your guild's seven hundred fifty players won't be enough to complete the quest? Also, what made you look for mercenaries?"
Oathless Sword solemnly replied to the person asking the question, "Because there's a special condition to this quest. Guild members only have one life throughout the quest. This means that once a player dies, the quest will be deemed as 'failed' for him or her. Therefore, the player won't earn the quest reward."
"Hmm…" Just as everyone considered the finer details of this condition, Oathless Sword informed them of another quest condition, "Plus, guild members are unable to change their character registration from their city of origin throughout the quest. I'm sure everyone understands what that means, right?" Without waiting for them to answer, Oathless Sword explained, "While my guild members can help out at the start of the journey even if they have to sacrifice themselves, once we are dozens or hours away from Yunduan City, there is just no way for the sacrificed members to a.s.sist us further when they revive back in the city."
"So that's why you decided to hire external help. Since we are not restricted by these quest conditions, we can register our characters in the nearest city even if we spend countless hours traveling, allowing us to revive and continue a.s.sisting you on the quest," someone coldly remarked.
Oathless Sword replied, "All of you present are experts; it is expected that none of you would easily die like our less skilled members. Still, you are absolutely correct. We need that particular advantage you guys possess that will allow all of you to continue a.s.sisting us throughout the journey even after dying. Thus, feel free to request the sort of remuneration you expect from this. We can discuss the payment for your losses during the expedition as well. Besides that…" Oathless Sword intentionally paused for dramatic effect before saying, "The loots we get along the way will be free for all. How's that?"
This particular caveat was indeed extremely generous. According to the custom when hiring mercenaries, any and all items acquired from monster drops or similar things would entirely belong to the employer. Even if prior arrangements were made, the eventual payout would at most be but a mere morsel. Oathless Sword's 'free for all' offer would mean that any item dropped by the monster a person killed would belong to him or her. The present players were deep in thought, causing Ray's Bar to descend into silence.
Oathless Sword already had a victorious smile on his lips when he said, "That's the gist of the matter. Please feel free to think this through and send me a letter once you've made a decision. Don't hesitate to privately message me if there is anything you're unclear of or if you have any request. We'll take our leave now." Oathless Sword, Gale Force, and Youthful Reflection left Ray's Bar, while the invited mercenaries remained inside the premise to ponder on the matter: "To do or not to do…."