Chapter 241: Crisis and Opportunity
People silently assembled outside of the restaurant . There were no shouts or curses, yet their hateful gazes showed how dire Sila’s situation was .
Sila couldn’t see Revin and Kawin anymore, though he still sensed their presences . The situation was extremely bad for him as his options were severely limited .
Burapha was restless too . Now he knew Revin’s character was deeper than the man seemed on the outside . His slyness and quick wit were as sharp as the blade he used, meaning it struck his opponent at their weakest moment . Sila’s group came to this city with the intention of recruiting people . There was no way they could fight the citizens without there being consequences .
Zero still stood in the same place, his gaze roaming as if he was looking for someone . He opened his mouth and said to no one in particular, “With crisis always comes opportunity . ”
Sila understood Zero’s meaning . No matter how dire the situation was, his only choice was to go out and clash against the people . If he didn’t show his strength, he would be looked down upon, and his chances of recruiting players would be reduced further .
“Burapha, Sebastian, and Mister Asura . From now on, the situation will become more chaotic . Let’s separate now before it’s too late . Instead of splitting into two groups like usual, we will split into three for mobility . Burapha, please go with Mister Asura . Sebastian sticks with Miss Franz . Lastly, Lookhin will stay with me . ”
“What about Mister Mamon, sir? I think he doesn’t want to stay with Lookhin,” Sebastian asked .
“Mamon tends to make things worse . It’s best that he stay by my side . In conclusion, my group will consist of Lookhin, Mamon, and myself . ”
“Roger, sir . ”
“Oh, tomorrow, don’t forget to go and defeat the Vampire Earl north of the city, Sebastian . Maybe the current you can’t take him on though . Anyway, please go by yourself and don’t hesitate to use the Manifesting Soul Lantern . ”
Mamon was currently sealed within Mechanical Evil God’s Protection, so Sila could access Mamon’s Hidden Gift to understand items . He came to know the reason why Sebastian avoided using the lantern . The butler was afraid of stray bullets hitting his comrades .
“Lookhin, please come into the armor for the time being . I want to borrow your strength,” Sila requested, to which Lookhin nodded . He then sealed her into the armor .
Burapha cast his gaze outside . “There are a lot of people, Big Brother . Do you need my help?”
Sila shook his head . “No, I’m okay . Burapha, you should focus on training yourself . Just forget that we came here together . Use this place as a training ground . Remember that you can always flee if it’s a fight that you can’t win . ”
Burapha nodded, his expression showing that he understood . Sila had intentionally grouped Asura with Burapha . He knew Asura was often apathetic, so he wouldn’t disturb Burapha’s training . In any case, Sila would be more at ease knowing that there was a reliable helper staying with Burapha .
“Once I go down, you can all go wherever you want . Don’t worry about me . Take care of yourself . ”
None of them doubted that Sila could take care of himself . They weren’t worried about him .
Once Sila had made sure that he didn’t forget anything, he stepped on the balcony before descending from the second floor . He relied on Lookhin’s Great Sparrowhawk Qi to leisurely step down on air as if he was walking down invisible stairs .
Zero didn’t follow after Sila, though he did expand his profound sense using God’s Cathedral as he silently waited for his target to make an appearance . Still, his gaze fell onto Sila’s movements, which had developed greatly since the last time they had talked . He speculated that the current Sila was worthy of being his opponent .
The players below stepped aside to form an open spot for Sila to land, making a horseshoe-shaped encirclement . The distance between them and Sila was exactly five meters . Some of them had witnessed Sila’s strength when he previously welcomed Ryou’s attack, so they were extremely vigilant, readying themselves for a battle that could break out at any time .
‘What great pressure! Well, it’s a good sign that they didn’t attack me right away . Maybe I can still talk things out with them . ’
Sila stood motionlessly with his hands behind his back . He seemed defenseless on the outside . Despite this, his qi was steadily circulating throughout his body .
The players didn’t beat around the bush . One of them threw a question at Sila . “Are you the Blue-Colored Catastrophe’s comrade?”
Sila couldn’t tell whether Revin had calculated this beforehand, but he wasn’t the type to lie . His reply was honest . “Yes, I am . ”
The atmosphere was so quiet that it was uncomfortable . A sense of hatred was clearly visible in everyone’s gazes .
Soon, a black-haired man with an eyepatch stepped forward .
“We aren’t irrational people . Just tell us Bluebird’s whereabouts, and you may leave . We won’t harm you . ”
Sila glared at the man, his eyes gleaming red . They looked downright scary . “So you are saying I just need to sell out my friend in order to leave this place?”
“Why do you have to put it that way? That sounds harsh . I mean we only want Bluebird’s whereabouts . We have no wish to harm you . ”
“And? What if I don’t comply with your request? You will gang up on me . Is that right?” Sila’s voice became louder . He couldn’t afford to seem unconfident, or he would immediately be seen as a weakling .
Some began to spew out curses while others were consulting among themselves . Sila started to notice that the people here could be divided into three groups . One group wanted to find Bluebird’s location regardless of the method . The second group wanted to negotiate with him and avoid conflict if possible . As for the third one, the group with the largest number of people, they were on the fence and waiting to see what happened .
The first group consisted of hot-tempered people, so they quickly took action . Even though the attack was thrown at Sila with an intention to warn him, it was still so fierce that it stimulated Dark Self’s survival instinct .
“Take this blade first! Else you don’t even have the qualifications to talk with us!”
A shout echoed as a certain man jumped forward and aimed the tip of his thick Chinese sword at Sila . His attack was neatly and beautifully done, possessing both terrific strength and speed . It was unexpected that the attacker was only a nobody . If he lived somewhere else, given his strength, he would be selected as a vice-leader in a middle-sized guild .
Nevertheless, what Sila was concerned about wasn’t this blade . Even though everyone else acted like mere spectators, some among them used this chance to probe his strength . As far as he could tell, at this exact moment, four more people also took action in accordance with the Chinese sword user . Each of them sneakily acted by their own without planning ahead . Their attacks were concealed, making it as if Sila was simply fighting one-on-one despite it actually being one against five .
A transparent ice blade was formed on the snowfield below Sila’s feet . It was Snow’s attack . She secretly invoked a mid-tier spell which she had delayed beforehand .
From far away was Skyless, who was standing on a building . He strengthened a snowflake and used it as a hidden weapon . It flew toward Sila with his object-controlling art at an astonishing speed, aiming at his flank from a blind spot .
The man wearing a pirate eyepatch, who Sila would learn later was called Menar, also took action . He flicked his fingers and tossed a plant seed toward Sila . The seed flew together with the Chinese sword in the first attacker’s hand, concealing itself using the shadow of the blade .
The last one was Zero, still standing on the balcony . He materialized a chakram using his magical qi . His chakram was so thin that it couldn’t be seen, though its sharpness was second to none . He mercilessly sent it toward the back of Sila’s neck .
Sila quickly sorted the attacks in sequence . Zero took action last but his attack would reached him first . Next would be Skyless’ hidden weapon, Menar’s plant seed, Snow’s ice shard, and then finally the stranger’s Chinese sword .
Formless Martial God — Drifting Cloud .
Sila moved left and right, yet his feet stayed in the same place, creating a blurred afterimage as if he had become a cloud .
The magical chakram slit Sila’s neck and left a faint red mark behind . It was fortunate that Sila had been especially careful and strengthened his body with Formless Soldier and Divine Raiment . Still, it was unexpected that his Drifting Cloud couldn’t completely evade Zero’s attack .
The chakram flew past him but didn’t stop . It swiftly curved back and rushed at Sila for a second attack . It even came back at the same time as when Skyless’ hidden weapon arrived .
Attribute of Metal — Unhindered Fist .
Both of Sila’s hands were strengthened by the forceful nature of the metal element . In an instant, his left hand struck the hidden weapon while his right hand was thrown at the chakram flying toward his head, shattering it .
Unhindered Fist was the metal-attributed barehanded move . It was a simple, unyielding martial move that was the most direct and couldn’t be easily migrated or fended off . It represented the user’s determination which wouldn’t let oneself go along with the flow but instead forcefully break through .
The plant seed finally arrived before him and broke itself into a small wisp of smoke . Sila didn’t stop his movements as he waved his hand before the smoke and invoked his wood-attributed power .
Attribute of Wood — Beckoning Hand of the Reaper .
The smoke was forcefully grouped together and returned into the form of a seed . Sila flicked his hand and sent it into the sky before releasing his control . It once again broke and dispersed along with the wind .
Time continued to flow as Sila neatly handled each attack . The snow blade below him started to pose a threat . Thus, he lifted his foot up and stomped .
Attribute of Earth — Instant Stomp .
The earth-attributed martial move’s trait laid in its explosive strength . The ice below Sila’s foot was stomped and broken . A strong footprint was pressed into the snowfield . Furthermore, Sila borrowed the rebounding impact to ready himself against the stranger’s Chinese sword . Compared to all those previous moves, this blade aimed at him openly, so Sila would have an easier time perfectly subduing it . As long as he handled the situation well, the opportunity for him to negotiate with these people would open up .
With crisis always comes opportunity . However, the reverse also applied . With opportunity comes crisis .
As Sila was about to show off his strength by beautifully receiving the blade using his martial move Moon-Catcher, something bizarre happened suddenly . His body froze up and his instincts kicked in, telling him that he was in grave danger . The energy he had built up vanished as his strength left him .
The blade finally arrived . It cut through Sila’s flesh as it stabbed into his abdomen . Everyone, including Sila, was speechless .
Even the four people who secretly attacked Sila were dumbfounded . Sila could calmly cope with their sneak attacks, yet he was unable to handle an inferior attack openly thrown at him . How was that possible?
Sila’s eyes turned dark ruby . He gritted his teeth as he unleashed qi and psychic power, which prompted the Chinese sword user to step back, the Chinese sword still stuck in Sila’s body .
Dark Psychic Corrosion spread out . Belacia City was so dangerous that it had stimulated Dark Self several times in one day . Under the surface of a peaceful city was the atmosphere of death and looming dangers that could come in any form .
“Who . . . Who the hell is it?!” Dark Self roared .
The Chinese sword user flinched . “M-My name is . . . ” In fact, he was quite surprised . He didn’t expect his simple move to be able to harm Sila to this extent .
“I didn’t mean you . . . !” Dark Self said as he wondered . ‘There was one more person who sneakily attacked me! How could I not sense them?!’
Apparently, during the last second, someone had stealthily directed a concentrated line of mental oppression at Sila without anyone realizing . It was done in a place where strong players gathered, yet no one, including Zero, had detected the presence of the sixth, mysterious attacker .
Dark Self expanded his profound sense using Galaxy Eclipse, yet he couldn’t pinpoint the sixth attacker . Either the said person had left after they had made their move or was concealing themselves so masterfully that he couldn’t detect them . Either way, it was undeniable that the attacker was a fearsome opponent .
The attacker’s unique, almighty mental oppression wasn’t as scary as their ability to select the most precise and deadly timing to make their move . It instantly crushed Sila’s opportunity and turned it into a great crisis .
Dark Self removed the Chinese sword from his abdomen and his blood sprayed on the ground . He borrowed the power of the Great Flow into his hand and pressed it on his wound . Meanwhile, he quickly circulated qi to regain his vitality . His face was deadly pale .
Unfortunately, Dark Self had no time to recover his strength . Most players, who saw Sila as incompetent since he had been easily injured, started leaning toward using violence . Many tightened the encirclement around him as they pressed for the answer .
“Now, tell us . Where is the Blue-Colored Catastrophe?”
Dark Self didn’t even mind their intimidating shouts . He focused on healing himself in order to prepare for the next action that the mysterious attacker might launch at him . He wanted to be in his best condition if that person were to reveal themselves and openly attack .
Suddenly, it was Zero who moved first . He deactivated his God’s Cathedral and focused his qi into his feet . He exclaimed, “Found you!” before leaping to the west .
Dark Self thought Zero meant he had found the sixth attacker, so his gaze followed Zero . However, it turned out that Zero’s target was a certain tailorbird who was crazily flapping its wings in order to escape from the Shadow Emperor . Its flying speed was significantly below Zero’s though .
Apparently, Bluebird had been secretly looking at Sila around there out of worry . Seeing Sila being injured, Bluebird slightly panicked, which prompted Zero to catch that faint reaction and discover him .
Dark Self gnashed his teeth . Personally, he wanted to stay put in order to prepare himself for the mysterious attacker’s emergence . However, Sila—who was inside his body—was worried about Bluebird’s safety, and that broke Dark Self’s concentration . It seemed Sila’s state of mind also affected Dark Self’s .
“Goddammit!!” Dark Self cursed as he shot into the sky, swayed in mid-air, and went after Zero using Lookhin’s Great Sparrowhawk Qi .
Attribute of Metal — Wind God’s Body .
As Dark Self was cutting through the sky, the players below shouted “Follow him!” and ran to the west as well . The situation turned into a game of tag involving Bluebird, Zero, Sila, and the group of players .
Meanwhile, the restaurant was left abandoned . The two fairy girls started to clear the tables . Seeing that several dishes were unfinished, they showed distasteful expressions . It seemed that everyone in this city was more concerned about the Blue-Colored Catastrophe, and left without finishing their meals .
“Pardon? I haven’t finished yet . ”
The two fairies stopped their hands—which were wiping tables and collecting dishes—as they felt greatly surprised . Indeed, there was a single player still seated, slowly chewing his food . Strangely enough, they couldn’t feel the man’s presence at all prior to the moment he spoke . Both of them apologetically bowed their heads before leaving to clean other tables .
The man placed his chopsticks down next to his dish . It seemed he had been here for a while, yet no one had been aware of his presence .
The two fairies came back with Indigo . They pointed at the table where the man previously sat . However, the man was no longer there . There were only three gold coins left on the table .
Indigo and the two fairies approached that table . For the record, this table was next to the one that Sila, Burapha, and Revin sat at .
“Do you remember his face?”
Surprisingly, both fairies shook their heads . No matter how hard they tried to recall the man’s face, they couldn’t picture the man’s appearance at all . This was despite the fact that they had clearly seen his face just a moment ago .
Indigo collected the gold coins on the table . “Hm? What is this? A symbol?” He glared at one of the coins, which was engraved with a certain illustration .
A skull in the center of a door .
At that time, Indigo felt the unsafe atmosphere coming from Belacia City, which had been his home for a long time . It was as if something dangerous was bound to happen, and it was clear that he, along with the townspeople, wouldn’t like it .
Could it be that the Belacia City’s greatest calamity, next to the one Bluebird had caused, was about to unfold?