Chapter 180: In A Crisis, A Hero is Born
A shining blue shadow was flashing all over the party . Lightning flashes, along with the lights of people dying, continuously went off . People were dizzy from Bluebird’s speed, which continued to rise with no signs of stopping .
“What is happening? What happened to Blue?” White Swan exclaimed, thinking that she was hallucinating .
Meanwhile, as Bluebird was taking action, Burapha found time to take a break . His chest heaved as he tried to breathe .
Compared to Sila, Burapha had a lot less fighting experience . He could fight well in short battles, but in prolonged ones he had trouble . The longer the battle, the longer a fighter had to concentrate and the more stamina they had to expend . It was difficult for Burapha, who had abandoned exercising for a long time and had only recently started once more, to keep up .
Burapha’s chest still heaved as he gasped for air . The potion to alleviate fatigue was rare, so he tried to control his breathing instead .
‘Could it be that the Eastern Sea Sailing Lance Art is not suited for extended battles? I will need to find an item that can help me in this regard,’ thought Burapha .
Burapha had this line of thought because he heard his father could mostly finish any fight in a single move . However, before his father reached that level of skill and was hailed as the One-Eyed Evil God, he had been through a mountain of training and practicing, overcoming numerous trials . For Burapha to think that he could catch up to his father in a short amount of time, it showed how naive he was .
Burapha lacked one thing that Sila had in abundance: passion .
For Sila, other matters could wait . His first priority was always practicing . He was fond of the moments when he grew stronger, even if it was only slightly . Thus, he was willing to push himself beyond the limit and train harder than others in order to become stronger .
Montra was somehow different . For Montra, his first priority was the goal he set . For him to reach his current goal, both power and influence were required . He was willing to train hard without complaining for the sake of him stepping closer to the goal, even if it was just for a single step .
Although their targets were different, the process they had been following was similar . They kept on practicing and practicing, endlessly .
In this sense, Burapha was far different from the two of them . The thing he loved the most was trading . For him, practicing was only a necessity . Therefore, he always sought a shortcut to become stronger in the shortest amount of time . As a result, his proficiency over his techniques improved, but he lacked raw strength .
If Sila’s way of thinking was gullible and harmful to him regarding socializing, Burapha’s way of thinking that always seeked a shortcut would be harmful to him regarding his martial growth . He would meet a dead end one day if he didn’t fix this bad habit .
There were no shortcuts to becoming strong, only a difficult path and a more difficult one .
“How is Big Brother Blue doing this? I should ask him later . ”
Now, Sebastian only had to maintain two gates, so he regained his ability to move . He accelerated the speed of the spell he was using on Lomyok . At the same time his eyes followed Bluebird’s movement, and he felt glad that Bluebird still wasn’t fully under Asmodeus’ control .
“My, my, it was unexpected that Mister Blue was this strong . I always thought he was only good at playing around . ”
The infiltrators were trying to defend against the blue flash, but all of their attempts were in vain . The rumbling thunder continued to echo, along with people repeatedly dying one after another .
Burapha, Varee, Sangdao, and Nednapha took the chance to catch their breath . They intended to reserve their strength in order to fight against the army of five thousand players that would arrive soon .
“Guys, let’s retreat! Let wait until our reinforcements arrive!” One of the enemies shouted . Only a few dozen players from the original group of infiltrators remained . As such, they began to retreat .
“Oi! Wait a minute! Help me get out of here first!”
Venom shouted from within the cage made of bones . His specialty wasn’t powerful magic and the cage seemed to weaken his power output, so he couldn’t get out by himself .
Sebastian looked at Venom . “You are not allowed to leave, my dear guest . Please obediently wait there until the end . I have a reward to give you when everything is over . ”
The reward Sebastian mentioned was for helping him cause a ruckus in the gathering party, which allowed Sebastian to complete the first step of his scheme .
However, the word ‘reward’ didn’t sound pleasing to Venom’s ears at all, especially when the one who said it was someone smiling while soaked in blood .
The opponents retreated . Bluebird’s movements came to a stop and he collapsed on the ground . Everyone rushed over to him in case he needed help .
“Mister Bluebird, are you feeling okay?”
Varee supported him . Together they dragged the unconscious Bluebird and laid him down on a table . The people who had been poisoned began to regain their strength at this moment . Some of them came to Bluebird and cast healing spells on him .
“His magic power is depleted . The Lust Card forcefully exerted all the power he possessed . I don’t think he will recover in time before the enemy’s reinforcement arrives,” explained Sebastian .
“So, in conclusion, he was that strong thanks to the card’s ability?” asked White Swan .
“Partly, yes . However, Asmodeus can’t exert more power than the owner of the body has . Therefore, all of the power being displayed previously belonged to Mister Blue . All Asmodeus did was take control and use his skills for him . ”
The prominent point of the Lust Card was how the demon inside, Asmodeus, could exert her influence even without the card being explicitly activated . However, she couldn’t exert 100% of her influence to control the target .
Asmodeus was one of the highest level psychic-type monsters . The nature of her psychic power was the power to control a living being . Even when she was sealed within the card, she could take full control of the card user like she was a puppeteer . Every time her ability was used, she would gradually strengthen her control over the user . How to most efficiently make use of the Lust Card was to make the most of Asmodeus’ knowledge of using skills while, at the same time, preventing oneself to be fully controlled by her .
“Blue is that strong? I can’t believe it,” White Swan disagreed .
“Well, he is the vice-leader, isn’t he?” Hermit approached the team after he finished administering Cleanse Antidotes to all of the attendees .
“He is, but . . . our guild is an information guild . The vice-leaders of our guild are mostly good at other aspects . ”
Everyone nodded . Among all the guilds in Monster Soul, the Heavenly Dragon Guild must be the only one with vice-leaders who didn’t do work for the guild, focusing purely on honing their skills .
For the Mountain Thieves League, they didn’t have many members, so every single one of them had to work their asses off .
In the case of the Victorious Wolves Sect, there were six vice-leaders, clearly splitting the duties . Hermit, Ratri, and Rin were responsible for managing the guild, while the other three were combat-oriented, though they were busy with other missions at the moment . The last three didn’t take part in the gathering party as they figured it was safe due to Lone Wolf’s presence .
Lastly, the Blue Pigeon Guild had Yardpirun as both brains and brawn . Under her, there were four vice-leaders; Noppakorn, Bluebird, White Swan, and Rattana . All four of them weren’t good at combat, which wasn’t unusual considering their main duties were gathering information as a neutral party .
Result-wise, Bluebird had the lowest number of achievements among the four . Although he often discovered world-shocking information, it always came with great danger and Yardpirun often decided it was too dangerous to announce . As a result, the other members thought most of the funds invested in him were wasted .
For the record, Bluebird was the sole vice-leader who didn’t have even a single subordinate under him .
‘Did Boss see his true strength all along? Is this the reason she hasn’t fired him yet?’ thought White Swan .
She kept the doubt within and decided she would ask Boss the next time they met .
Sebastian turned his head to look in the direction of the forest and gave a warning with a serious expression .
“If possible, please be prepared, everyone . It seems our opponents will be here sooner than we expected . ”
Burapha hurriedly shouted to everyone in the gathering party . “For those who have regained your strength, please get ready . The enemy’s reinforcements consisting of five thousand players are coming at us . ”
However, the response wasn’t as great as he had expected . There was a commotion . Everyone came from various guilds and associations, so they wouldn’t easily unite under someone with few achievements like Burapha . If he was Lone Wolf or Beluga, the result would be better .
Regardless, Sebastian had long expected this result . Uniting people of different roots and opinions was naturally difficult . That was why he was preparing Lomyok to fight against the large group of enemies .
Some were filled with fear, trying to use the Return Scroll to escape, though it ended in failure as the system still considered them to be in the middle of battle . Some were discussing things with their friends . Some were indifferent . Only a handful of them were preparing for the battle .
One particular man stood up on a table amidst the confusion . He took a deep, long breathe before shouting .
“Everybody! Please remain calm!!”
Everyone turned to look at him, the tall man with a good physique wearing middle-tier armor with a large shield behind his back . They were confused as to who the man was . Even Ratri and Hermit didn’t know of him . Ratri called Rin over to ask . Rin possessed good memory so she could remember most people she had met, especially the ones she had personally talked to or had some reputation .
Rin looked at the man and replied to Ratri, “Er . . . I think he is Sila’s friend . His name is . . . ?”
One of those who was in the gathering party shouted back at the man on the table . “Who are you? Are you a member of the Victorious Wolves Sect?”
Everyone wanted to know that too . They waited for a reply .
“I’m just a guildless player . My name is Tiger, an ordinary player with no reputation . The reason I exposed myself is that I want to ask for everyone’s cooperation in order to oppose the army that is approaching . ”
Meanwhile, Aek tried to pull Tiger’s leg and whispered, “Bro, Bro, please come down . ” However, Tiger didn’t care .
“Our opponent is an army of five thousand players . On the contrary, all the people here are, at most, four or five hundred . What is the basis behind your confidence that we can stand a chance against them? I vote for us to surrender . If no one resists, they might spare our lives . ”
Most people agreed with this choice and began to further discuss among themselves . Nevertheless, Tiger shook his leg once to release himself from Aek, before shouting back .
“Our enemies used poison and more than a hundred of them had infiltrated into the party to slaughter us . It’s clear that the time for surrendering is long passed . This army of five thousand is their back up plan to annihilate us . The choice we made, be it surrendering or fighting back, doesn’t matter to them anymore . ”
“And? Are you saying if we follow you, you can make us survive this crisis?”
“No, I can’t!” Tiger shouted clearly . Aek and Tod’s expressions suddenly went pale .
“So, what the hell are you showing yourself for?! Are you trying to get on our nerves?!”
Some players stared at Tiger while using mental oppression or exuding killing intent . Tiger’s level was significantly lower than most of the people present, so he needed to pour all of his power into resisting . Although it was hard, his face still wore a solemn expression .
Tiger continued, “I alone can’t make it, so I am asking for everyone’s help . Everybody here is a great player who has never yielded to the Heavenly Dragon Guild . If we join forces, even if the one leading the army coming at us now is Montra, I am confident that we can oppose him!”
Tiger said with a resolute voice, though, to be fair, if Montra were to come for real, he wouldn’t have even a fraction of confidence that he could stand a chance .
Regardless, to lead people, the leader had to show his confidence . He couldn’t afford to show weakness in front of his followers .
One of the players who regained their strength from the poison got up on the table in the same manner as Tiger and shouted .
“My name is Frenzy Sword, a guildless player . I have met the man named Tiger before . He was the one who gathered the remaining survivors to fend off the pack of Marquis Rank Werewolves in the Town of Beginnings . With his leadership, all of us could manage to survive the Werewolves’ last wave of attack . In times of crisis like this, I believe there is no one more suitable than him to lead us . I, for one, will follow his aid to fight back the Heavenly Dragon Guild!!”
Seven or eight of Frenzy Sword’s friends who shared the same experience also raised their hands and shouted to support Tiger . “Me too! / I’m in as well!”
Humans are, by nature, social animals . Previously, everyone was contemplating between resisting or surrendering . However, seeing such determination, they began to agree with the choice of fighting . Even the minority of them, who still couldn’t decide what they would do, were pressured by gazes from the rest and finally gave in to the majority .
In the end, almost everyone decided to work together .
Tiger looked at the army of close to five hundred players before his eyes . Their number was a tenth of the Heavenly Dragon Guild’s army, so Tiger had to come up with a way to compensate for the numerical disadvantage . He contemplated over which formation would work the best .
“We are running out of time . From now on, I will regroup you all into divisions . I know that most of you would like to fight alongside your comrades, but I need you to follow what I’m going to say . If you really want to fight alongside your comrades, just get to know the people next to you . They will be your comrades in this battle .
“For tankers, please go that way . For damage dealers, this way, please . For long-ranged attackers, come here . Lastly, the supporters, kindly stay there . ”
People gradually moved, dividing into four major groups .
“All tankers, please reorganize and stand side by side in a single row at the front . Try to focus on defense rather than being offensive . As for close-ranged damage dealers, please line up after the front row, though some of you will have to be included in the front line . Your only role is to attack enemies . When your energy is close to depleting, you must step back and swap position with the ones in the second line .
“Long-ranged attackers, when I shout to give you a signal, please attack the enemies to weaken their march . All of you will have to split into those who are good at techniques and those who focus on raw power . The power-oriented types will aim your big moves at the enemies in the rear, and the technique-oriented types will look for the enemy’s spellcasters to disturb them from casting big spells . Lastly, the supporters . You will be in the third row, half of you will enhance the defense of people in the front row while the other half of you will be responsible for healing and regenerating . ”
Seeing Tiger commanding the army in a confident manner, everyone somehow felt more relieved than before . At the very least, Tiger seemed to be the type of player who focuses on teamplay rather than his individual strength . The Werewolves event in the Town of Beginnings was huge news, so they were relieved to know that Tiger had some leadership quality, though they still wondered about something .
“I don’t want to demoralize us or anything, but . . . let me be honest, your strategy so far looks simple and predictable . ”
Tiger nodded and admitted, “Yes, I know . But we will only stick to this fighting formation for only the first five minutes . After that, once I shout ‘Advance!’ I ask you all to completely abandon your defense and focus all your power to assault the enemies . Spend your entire power without reserve . ”
“What? We will just die, then . ”
“Don’t worry . I have a plan . When that time comes, if someone were to die, I will take full responsibility for every death . ”
Everyone wondered to themselves did they heard wrongly? In a fight between armies, it was inevitable that there was going to be some casualties . How could Tiger be confident that not a single person would die?
“If you really mean it, it will remove a burden from my mind . But, don’t forget to take responsibility for what you said . ”
“I, Tiger, have never gone back on my words . ”
Ratri approached Burapha and asked, “Does he really mean it? With this many players, even we can’t compensate for all of the damages that may occur . ”
Burapha shook his head . “I don’t know too . ”
“Eh? Isn’t he Sila’s friend? Isn’t he your friend too?”
“I don’t know all of Big Brother Sila’s friends, you know? This is my first time seeing him as well .
White Swan also approached them . “Maybe we don’t have to worry . Boss said he and his group weren’t half bad . When the pack of Werewolves raided the Town of Beginnings, Boss was there as well . ”
“If the leader of the information guild said so, maybe we can rely on him,” Hermit suggested . He was more skilled at a long-term plans than short ones, so he let someone else take command .
“In that case, we should follow his instructions too . ”
Everyone followed Tiger’s instructions without discrimination . Sebastian also felt relieved that his burden was lessened .
Even Montra had once assigned Kawin to focus on Tiger first before minding Jundtrathep who possessed a fraudulent skill . In a large-scale battle or war, Montra deemed Tiger, who had exceptional leadership quality, to be a larger threat than skilled individuals like Jundtrathep or Sila .
As Sebastian was relieved, he closed his eyes and sped up the process of the spell he cast on Lomyok . The inauspicious characters began to seep into Lomyok’s skin at a quicker rate .
It was the prelude of the new legend .