Chapter 169: I Come Alone
Sila, wearing a mysterious black hood, stood on a tree branch at night, awaiting the arrival of Zeref . If he was asked to explain why he was here, he would have to go back a few hours . He closed his eyes and flashed back to the events of that evening .
After everyone went their separate ways, Sila and Julia returned to the mansion . Upon arriving, Julia summoned a broom and excused herself to clean the entire mansion as well as outside . Meanwhile, Sila entered the treasure room and selected a few swords to take with him, before heading to the dojo .
“Release Lookhin . ” A light flashed from the ring, and Lookhin flew around the dojo .
“It has been a while since you were free, Lookhin . How about flying around to your heart’s content?”
Lookhin didn’t even wait for him to finish speaking, as it flew outside and left him alone in the dojo .
Sila took his father’s book on Heaven’s Decree out and flipped to the section which consisted of Pumin’s life experiences .
“Which page is it? I remember reading it in this part somewhere . ” Sila continued to flip pages, searching for a particular entry .
“Found it . ” Finally, he stumbled on it . Sila carefully read everything written before him .
Sila was aware that if he personally went and requested that Zeref produce the Sila Sword right after he had asked Orpheus, it would inevitably give away that he was related to Pumin . However, he had no other choice but to try, since Zeref might be the sole person who could produce it .
Nevertheless, it wasn’t necessary for him to request it using his real identity .
Sila only needed to manipulate the contents of the rumor . Since this matter was one of his secrets, Sila decided to consult no one, not even Burapha or Bluebird, and instead acted alone .
The part Sila was reading was about when his father got his hands on the Sila Sword for the first time . The first time Sila read it, he didn’t think much of it, so some of the details slipped past him . Well, that’s to be expected since Pumin only wrote about things that interested him .
Neither Orpheus nor Zeref’s names ever appeared in the book . The book only mentioned the master weaponsmith and two of his disciples .
Now that Sila was aware that those two disciples must have been Orpheus and Zeref, he read it again, this time attentively .
Sila tried to envision the situation described in the book as if he himself was there, substituting for the missing parts with his own imagination . He had to be so immersed in his role as Pumin in order to not let Zeref see through his disguise .
Spinning the sword in a circular motion, Sila recalled the sword art which Pumin relied on before he invented Heaven’s Decree Sword Art . Actually, Pumin’s previous sword art had no fixed style . At least, it was never mentioned . Pumin only described what moves he used for specific types of opponents . Very little aside from that could be found about the art .
The movement that Sila was trying to mimic right now was the motion after Pumin picked up the Sila Sword for the first time . Afterward, his opponents would appear before him intending to steal the Sila Sword . However, his father ended up defeating them with his new sword .
If Sila had to learn the entire sword art in a short period of time, he wouldn’t be able to do it . However, if he only had to remember just one motion and one move without adapting anything, it wouldn’t be too much to ask of him .
Sila repeated the motion ten times until he believed he had the hang of it . He only intended to show the movement, so only visible actions mattered . The power clad within wouldn’t be important .
“Better safe than sorry . ”
Sila called out for Julia and Lookhin, summoning them, and they arrived quickly .
“How can I serve you, Master?” asked Julia .
Sila began to explain his plan . One of them was his AI and the other was his pet that couldn’t talk, so he didn’t have to worry about the secret being leaked .
“Julia and Lookhin, can you hide your presences?”
Lookhin replied to him with action . Its body became semi-transparent, almost invisible . Meanwhile, Julia shook her head . “My identity is an item, so my presence is non-existent from the beginning . However, I can’t hide my body like Lookhin . May I ask why?”
“The thing is . . . I want you two to help me fight some bad guys . But, I have to disguise myself and am supposed to go there alone . ”
“In that case, how about I help from a distance?”
“How can you help me from a distance?”
“Please allow me to try . ” Julia summoned Trickstar in her hand . She then injected her life force into the gun .
Trickstar trembled and gave a silent roar like it was a living being . Its appearance soon transformed into a white rifle .
“Is this fine, Master?”
“That should be helpful . Thanks, Julia . I will bring you to a place where you’ll have a clear shot . ”
“How about we invite Mister Head Butler to join our team? It should increase the success rate of our operation . ”
“You raise a good point . More is better than less . I can’t afford to make a mistake, so it’s better that we go together . ” Thinking this way, Sila decided to summon Sebastian . Ten seconds later, the butler appeared before him .
“How can I serve you, sir?” Sebastian greeted him politely . Then, Sila explained his plan for the second time .
When he finished speaking, Sebastian asked to leave for a moment . He said he was going to make preparations and would return soon .
Five minutes later, Sebastian came back with Asura and Franz . Both were smiling from ear to ear .
“Both of them will join our mission, sir,” said Sebastian .
“Eh? Won’t that bother you two? It’s my personal matter, so I don’t want to . . . ”
Asura quickly said, “No, it’s not a bother at all . It’s way better than having to detach my bones in that smelly room . In addition, this seems fun . ”
Franz also said, “Sebastian promised us that our workload will decrease if we help you succeed . ”
Sila naively thought that these two monsters were Sebastian’s close friends and that they came to help the butler, who was the most prudent monster among the three, start a business together, splitting the profits evenly as business partners . Little did he know that this duo worked their asses off as slaves without receiving anything in return .
“Well, that’s good . More people will help guarantee success . ”
Meanwhile, Julia unfolded the map of Zhongsuyuan City, on which Sebastian marked Zeref’s weapon shop .
“This is Mister Sila’s target . Lookhin should hide in the tree, and Miss Head Maid should stand on the rooftop of the building ten blocks away . May I ask if you can shoot from that distance?”
Julia nodded .
“In that case, I will drop Miss Head Maid off at this place,” Sebastian marked another location on the map . “Then, the three of us will hide our presences around this area, surrounding the shop from three directions . ”
Sila interrupted . “Please watch out for Bluebird’s tailorbirds as well . They’re his eyes and ears everywhere . ”
Sebastian nodded . “I see . In that case, we will have to avoid being detected by all the tailorbirds, which shouldn’t be too much to ask, given our abilities . Next is the bait . I recommend those people we encountered in the restaurant . All we need to do is spread a rumor saying that the masked man they met today is hiding in Zeref’s shop, and I assure you that they will form a large party to invade the place . ”
“How can we spread the rumor though?”
“You don’t have to worry, sir . I have many loose-lipped customers . All I need to do is pretend to make a slip of the tongue and ask them to keep it a secret . In no time, this rumor will scatter throughout the city, entering those guys’ ears . When they arrive at the shop, Mister Sila can proceed with your plan . By the way, do you plan to go with this outfit, sir?”
Sila shook his head and closed his eyes, concentrating his mind on the word ‘change’ . Change was part of evolution . With the power of the Eternal Onyx, changing the appearance of the armor shouldn’t be too much to ask .
The gears on his back spun and his armor began to change into a long black coat with a hood attached . Sila pulled the hood to cover his hair and wore a mask, then adjusted his vocal cords with qi .
“How’s this?” Sila said, his voice sounding hoarse and like that of an old man’s
“This should be fine, sir . Now, about your actions . If you want this operation to be realistic, your actions have to be overbearing, scaring everyone, leaving no room of skepticism in their hearts . ”
Asura asked, “Do you mean we don’t have to hold back?”
Sebastian shook his head . “That’s not exactly the case . Our roles are to help Mister Sila fight without giving away that we are helping him . We don’t need to hold back, but we must be sneaky, only taking actions that match Mister Sila’s motions . ”
“I see . ”
“That should conclude it . I will go back to my shop first . Mister Sila can go ahead and wait near the target location . The plan will start when a group of people invading into Zeref’s shop . ”
The flashback ended, and that was how Sila ended up waiting on the branch near Zeref’s shop disguised as a mysterious masked man wearing a black coat .
Time flew, and at long last, what he had been waiting for happened .
A group of more than a hundred players ran toward Zeref’s weapon shop . All of them wore faces brimming with ambition, running with weapons in their hand . Their march caused the people passing by to back away and start gossiping with each other .
“What a useless brat you are! To think that you lost against a small group . ” A tall man with a mustache turned back and scolded the young man behind him .
“They were really strong, sir,” The young man weakly said . He was the leader of the group of players who fought against Sila in the restaurant . Fortunately for him, Monster Soul was just a game . This meant he could log out and receive a grave penalty instead of suffering for days as Franz intended .
The fact that the usually arrogant young man like him acted so humble before the mustache man indicated that the latter was his superior .
“Stop with your excuses! I wouldn’t even be here if it weren’t for your pathetic mistake . ”
The young man argued in his mind that one wouldn’t know what he felt unless experiencing it firsthand, though he couldn’t say it out loud . Honestly speaking, he didn’t even want to encounter those cruel people again .
“But, sir . . . if we do this with this many players, won’t it affect the main plan?”
“No worries . All we are about to do is stopping by some trivial place to crush some ants . ”
The group of people surrounded Zeref’s shop . All the events were unfolding in front of Sila while he was still patiently waiting . He planned to wait until Zeref made an appearance before taking any actions .
There was no hesitation shown in the mustache man’s expression . He slammed his foot into the door and snapped its hinges, sending it flying inside the shop .
“You filthy rats! Obediently come on out and accept your deaths!!”
Soon, two men ran out of the shop . Sila noticed that one of them was Tee Noi, so he figured the middle-aged man next to him must be Zeref .
“Who are you people? For what reason are you invading my shop?” asked Zeref .
“We know you hide people inside . Bring them out! Otherwise, we will barge in and kill everyone . ”
“Hide people? Who? We are not hiding anybody . Who exactly are you people?” Zeref wondered .
For the record, Zeref dedicated his life to weaponsmithing, so his combat ability was subpar and far below Orpheus’ . Still, he was the legendary weaponsmith, so everyone respected him and didn’t dare to cause trouble . Someone trying to invade his shop was unprecedented .
“We are we . Stop your useless barking! We will only give you ten seconds!”
These people were members of the Wulin Masters Association . Naturally, they were aware of Zeref’s reputation and influence . After all, he was a living legend even in real life . However, they had entered this game and changed their appearances . As long as they didn’t spell out the name of their dojo, no one would be able to track down their real identities . For them, Monster Soul was just a game . No more, no less . They could do whatever they wanted without thinking of the consequences .
Tee Noi stood and trembled behind his teacher . In the meantime, Zeref also felt anxious . He didn’t know what action he should take since this was the first time his shop had been threatened . He could only hope that someone had already informed the Victorious Wolves Sect . However, even if someone actually informed them, the next morning was the big gathering party, so Zeref doubted whether the help could come in time .
“Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four . . . ”
The mustache man was counting down together with his subordinates . They were all stomping their feet on the street, and their killing intent reached the peak .
“Kill! Kill! Kill!”
With this many people standing around looking like they’re ready to start a fight, the atmosphere got worse and it was questionable if even their leader could calm their thirst for battle . Their eyes were filled with bloodlust . They wouldn’t care if the ones at the other end of their blades were enemies or innocent civilians . What they wanted right now was to break someone or something .
“ . . . three, two, one, zero . Time’s up! Everyone, advance! Kill every living creature you find! Let’s start with this fat ass and this senile bastard!”
Tee Noi trembled in fear, while Zeref showed a stiffened, worried expression .
At such a critical moment, suddenly, there was the sound of an explosion from behind the invasion team . Everybody stopped their movements and looked back .
A man in a long black coat, wearing a mask and a hood, with a seemingly ordinary sword at his waist, made an appearance and approached them . As for the explosion sound, it came from the unlucky player who died without knowing how, leaving behind only a charred corpse .
“Who are you to dare mess with us?” The mustache man yelled .
“I only want a single sword, and you guys are getting in my way . ” The mysterious man’s voice was hoarse like the devil’s .
This particular man gave off a dangerous vibe, but the group of people couldn’t tell exactly why . Their bodies shivered and they hurriedly drew their weapons .
Everyone looked left and right to estimate the number of their opponents . However, no matter how many times they tried, they could only spot the man alone .
“Haha . Fool! Coming alone? You are seeking death!”
“True, I come alone . But, if you all still insist on getting in my way, not even one of you will remain after this . ”
The man in the black coat didn’t shout, but his sound reverberated . His voice expressed his nonchalant attitude, though overbearing at the same time . It was as if he was a grim reaper who casually decided who lived and died .