Chapter 97: False Claim
Sangdao and Sila exited Colossia City in no hurry. There were still many players crowding around the gate. It would take at least another kilometer for people to be fewer in number. After that, it would take another thirty kilometers for them to reach the entrance of the Misty Valley.
However, the atmosphere outside of the north gate seemed to be quite tense as people began to slow down. Sangdao still kept her pace while Sila raised his guard. It didn't take more than ten minutes for them to witness an organized army coming their way. The number of people in the army was estimated to be more than five hundred. There was a big flag in the middle of the army. It was a flag with a white Chinese dragon twisting its body.
"Heavenly Dragon Guild?" Sila muttered.
"What should we do?" Sangdao asked Sila as she was aware that Sila had a grudge with this guild.
Sila thought for a moment before answering, "We better avoid them. Now is not the right time to pick a fight."
Although Sila had once declared that he would pick a fight against the Heavenly Dragon Guild to the point that he would crush it, as time passed, Sila realized that the only enemy that he wanted to fight was Montra. Having one less problem was better than having one more problem. Not to mention that the members within Montra's guild hadn't done anything wrong to him.
Well, it would be a different story if the other side picked a fight with him first, since Sila wouldn't allow other people to bully him easily.
Sangdao looked at Sila with meaningful eyes before taking his hand. She pulled him to the side to make a path for the Heavenly Dragon Guild army to march through.
'Good decision. He is able to distinguish between small matters and big matters.' Sangdao secretly evaluated Sila.
To be able to put down a personal matter to aim for a goal was a trait of a great person.
The army marched slowly. This army, which consisted of seven hundred players, was sent to conquer Colossia City, which used to belong to the Royal Armament Guild. Once Cross was defeated and the main branch of the guild had been destroyed, the guild started to crumble. Combined with the disappearance of the four vice leaders and the thousands of players demanding compensation for the loss of their items, the Royal Armament Guild led by one of the Four Emperors collapsed within one night.
For people who made a living in Colossia City, even though they saw the army coming, there was no opposition. As long as their benefits were still intact, they wouldn't resist the mere change of city leadership. In fact, the Heavenly Dragon Guild was even better than the Royal Armament Guild. At least the Heavenly Dragon Guild had a lower living tax than the latter.
The army came to a halt when the person leading the army stopped.
The man who led the army was a man in steel armor. There was a high-grade steel shield on his left arm. It was engraved with a picture of a dragon. Behind the shield, there was a two-meter long steel lance. This man gestured the army to stop its march and pointed his finger at one man who was standing not too far away from Sila.
"You right there! Who are you?!" He spoke with a loud voice, causing the person that was pointed at to become the center of attention.
"M-Me? ... Me? I... I'm..." The young man in the Beginner Clothing with a sparrow resting on his shoulder stuttered. There was a woman next to him. She was also making a terrified expression and grabbed onto this man's arm tightly.
However, the man in steel armor waved his hand. "Enough! I no longer care who might you be. However, do you know who I am?"
"I... I... I don't... know..." The young man answered. His body was convulsing.
Then, another man in steel armor stepped forward. He seemed to be a close subordinate of the man in the leading position. This man also spoke with a loud voice.
"You imbecile! Don't you know that this great man in front of you is Sir Savage Killer?! His title is Lance Above All and his ability is second to only Sir Black Star Warlord of the Heavenly Dragon Guild!"
Savage Killer grinned. "You don't have to do that, Sinthop. I'm not someone who likes to boast about myself. Hahahaha."
"No can do, sir. Even if you don't boast about yourself, your fame has already spread all over the world by itself."
"Hahahaha, of course, you're always right."
The bystanders began to frown. What they were listening to was clearly a boasting.
The young man who had originally been called said, "O-Oh, so you are Sir Savage Killer. I... no... this lowly one had no eyes. Please forgive this lowly one's rudeness. If you don't have anything more with this lowly one, this one begs your pardon..." He tried to walk away with the woman who was his girlfriend.
Savage Killer stopped his laughter. "Wait!! You still can't go yet!!"
The young man shuddered. Today was really an unlucky day for him. "M-May this lowly one ask if your greatness still has any business with me?"
"Why do you dress like that? You even have a sparrow as your pet."
"O-Oh, this lowly one is trying to dress like someone I really admire. Maybe your greatness might have already heard about him. His title is Weapon Subduing Fist."
"Hahaha, ridiculous! Why would I have heard about that guy? That bastard Sila is just Sila. Weapon Subduing Fist is just his false claim, his made-up story."
Savage Killer didn't realize yet that he was contradicting himself. If he really didn't know about Weapon Subduing Fist, how could he know that it was Sila's title?
Sila, who was listening to the conversation, was finding Savage Killer's words interesting. He himself didn't know how he got this 'Weapon Subduing Fist' title but Savage Killer said that he made a false claim. He intended to keep listening.
"You... Could you please explain why you said that he has made a false claim?" The young man asked. His eyes showed some of his suppressed anger since the person that he admired was being insulted.
The woman next to him tried her best to pull his sleeve, to prevent him from making a stupid decision.
Sinthop stepped forward again. "About this, I can explain. It is well known that it was, in fact, Magic Emperor Montra who destroyed the evil Royal Armament Guild. He and the Two Monarchs showed their supremacy at Grea City while sending their other armies to attack the rest of the Royal Armament Guild's branches. In the end, our Heavenly Dragon Guild is the one who took down the Royal Armament Guild. Weapon Subduing Fist? That bastard Sila is just falsely taking the credit. How shameless."
"But... Weapon Subduing Fist... Mister Sila was the one who defeated all four of the vice-leaders of the Royal Armament Guild by himself, causing the Royal Armament Guild to be in a weakened state. Moreover, Mister Sila was also the one who killed a dragon with his hand."
"Fufu, and did you see all of that yourself? Rumors are like this, they are always exaggerated. He claimed that he was the one who weakened the Royal Armament Guild to gain fame. And about him winning in the tournament, it was possible that he secretly made a deal with the Royal Armament Guild for the members of the guild to abandon the fight. It was their plan to get the money from gambling house."
"B-But... the Royal Armament Guild had a grudge against Mister Sila... There was no way they would do that."
The weaknesses of the rumors related to Sila were the lack of witnesses and the unusually short amount of time it took for Sila to get to where he is, which Montra noticed and took full advantage of.
Firstly, Sila hadn't been famous for very long so the public had yet to trust his story. He became famous too soon and didn't have heroic tales like Lone Wolf. Most of them were rumors, so Sila's story had low credibility. People normally tended to not believe that there was someone who was superior to them, so they were inclined to believe that there was no way for Sila to accomplish such a grand feat in a short amount of time.
In addition, although Sila had shown his ability in Colossia's battle tournament, the number of spectators in the Colosseum only amounted to very few compared to the number of players in the entirety of Monster Soul. Most of them also died in the last match, strengthening the doubt in Sila's victory.
Moreover, Sila's victory and Montra's raid of the Royal Armament Guild happened less than a day apart. Montra only had to use his overwhelming number of guild members to spread his version of the truth among the masses, distorting the timeline so that it was instead his guild who was the first to crush the Royal Armament Guild, and Sila only won because the three vice-leaders had lost their morale.
Savage Killer emitted psychic power. "Sinthop, what are you waiting for? This guy is dumb, it's useless for us to explain anything."
Sinthop nodded and readied his weapon. The tip of his sword aimed at the young man. "You fool! You are guilty of spreading false rumors and damaging the Heavenly Dragon Guild's reputation. We judge that you are toxic to the community. If you still have a conscience, just admit your mistake and hand us all of your items! This way, you will have a merciful death."
The young man and woman were startled and looked at each other. This was daylight robbery. More importantly, what was this? Did they need to be killed just for having a different opinion?
"Is... Is... Is this supposed to be the actions of the ones who call themselves the righteous side? You intend to rob us of both our items and our free speech... You are much worse than a bandit..." Despite the young man's fear, he was trying his hardest to stand up to the opposing party.
Sinthop was quick to argue, "Who said we intend to rob you? Did you just slander us? It seems you really are the worst. The reason why we demanded you to give us your items was because you have wasted our time. We have wasted our precious time explaining many things to you. It's natural for you to compensate us with your items."
The bystanders secretly looked at each other. The army decided to stop their march without anyone ordered it to. The guild members also picked fights with random bystanders without being told to, explaining the "truth" behind the rumors without being told to, and demanding compensation due to other people wasting their time without being told to. Just what kind of joke is this?
However, no one dared to oppose an army of seven hundred players. They just began to gossip.
Sinthop declared in a loud voice, "This matter belongs to our Heavenly Dragon Guild. If anyone dares to interfere, you will be judged as an enemy of Magic Emperor Montra. Also, from now on, if anyone dares to spread a false rumor about that bastard Sila, you will be considered an enemy of the Heavenly Dragon Guild and have to face a severe punishment!"
With this kind of declaration, the gossiping sounds died down. Sila, too, became silent, but it was the calm before the storm.
"We have wasted too much time. Just surrender your items. We still have a lot of things to do." Sinthop pressed for action.
The young man gently broke free of his girlfriend. He stepped forward with eyes full of determination. He unleashed the sword on his waist.
Savage Killer frowned. "Do you intend to oppose us, kid?"
The young man straightened his back as he said with a resolute voice, "A man must be firm in his beliefs. Even Mister Sila alone has the courage to oppose two of the most influential guilds like the Royal Armament Guild and the Heavenly Dragon Guild. I witnessed the matches of Mister Sila with my own eyes and I believed in them. If I were to back off today and disregard my beliefs, how can I look at myself in the mirror from now on? Today, even if I am not your match, I will fight until I die to protect what I believe in!"
It was a sentence full of commitment and determination. Everyone around was left breathless. The example of an ordinary player daring to oppose the almighty Heavenly Dragon Guild was unfolding before their eyes.
Sangdao, who stood beside Sila, was immersed in her thoughts. 'This might be the reason why Sila was selected by the Wulin Masters Association. It's Sila's charm that Montra can only dream of. The special ability that causes Montra to hate Sila even though he is superior to Sila in all aspects.'
The ability to inspire people. No need for planning ahead. No need for power. No need for strength. Everyone who meets, talks to, or even sees Sila and Sila's actions were always ready to stand by his side.
Many people began to hesitate. Although they too wanted to oppose the haughty actions of the Heavenly Dragon Guild's army, they were too afraid to become an enemy of the large guild. The atmosphere was gloomy. Many players in the front row of the Heavenly Dragon Guild's army began to ready their weapons.
"How conceited! You're only a no-name player! Sinthop! Quickly kill him and order our men to wait for him at the resurrection point in Colossia City!" Savage Killer declared.
Sinthop pointed his sword at the determined young man.
"You stupid fool! You could've died a peaceful death if you had just behaved properly. Well, don't worry, if you can win against me, we will let you off the hook."
"Are you for real?" The young man asked.
"Of course, but you need to ask my Emerald Sword whether it will leave you alive or not. It has been so long since it drank human blood." Sinthop unleashed his psychic power. Although the power output wasn't that high in Sila's perspective, it was apparently higher than the young man's. The qi that Sila could feel from the young man was still undeveloped and low.
Sila was about to step forward and block the attack. Looking back at the conservation, he could say that he was a part of the reason behind this fight. However, Sangdao pulled Sila's arm back. She opened her palm and revealed tens of silver needles in it.
Sila frowned as he didn't understand Sangdao's intentions.
The sounds of fighting could be heard. The Emerald Sword was lifted up and slashed down at the head of the young man, aiming to sever his body into two in one hit. Meanwhile, the young man awkwardly lifted his sword up to guard it.
Many people closed their eyes to prevent themselves from seeing the gruesome sight. At that moment, Sila noticed that one of the silver needles in Sangdao's palm was missing despite her not moving her hand an inch.
Sinthop felt a sharp pain in his upper right arm. His psychic power suddenly dropped. The Emerald Sword collided against the young man's steel sword, making a metallic sound. However, it couldn't sever the young man's body into two as he had planned. It was blocked by a cheap steel sword.
Everyone around couldn't understand what happened. Even the young man himself thought that he would die from the attack.
Sinthop was startled, but he continued to swing his sword at the young man again and again. However, he felt sharp pain every time he attacked. This pain caused his psychic power to drop and his physical condition to stiffen. Thus, the young man could receive every one of his strikes.
Savage Killer noticed that there was something fishy going on, but he didn't know what exactly was wrong. He shouted at Sinthop, "Sinthop, stop playing around and be serious!"
Sinthop's face reddened with embarrassment. He had been serious from the start but he had no idea why he couldn't take this young man's life. He gathered psychic power and struck again.
Sila looked at what was happening without any worries. His nameless teacher was a prodigy of hidden weapons so it was natural for Sangdao to practice them since she was a kid. Sangdao's ability to fire hidden weapons was several times better than Sila's. At the very least, Sila had no confidence that he could fire needles accurately like Sangdao.
For the record, the needle was one of the hardest hidden weapons to use. Its effectiveness wouldn't show unless it hit at delicate spots. Not only could Sangdao fire weapons very accurately, but she was also at the realm of firing them without any trace.
Not to mentioned Savage Killer and Sinthop, even a hidden weapons user like Sila still wasn't able to follow her attack.
The young man felt more confident as he had successfully blocked several attacks. At one point the attack was coming at him, he clad his qi reinforcement into his sword and used it to counterattack at his opponent's neck. For a lower-level player like him to win against the superior opponent, his only choice was to aim at the opponent's vital spot.
Savage Killer smirked. He clearly saw that Sinthop's sword was faster.
Sangdao tracelessly fired multiple needles from her palm. More needles disappeared and even Sila couldn't follow their movements.
The Emerald Sword was halted in mid-air before its blade could touch the young man's neck. Sharp pain ran through Sinthop's body. Even his legs stiffened. Before he could notice, The cheap, steel sword had reached his neck. He was about to hurriedly put up his psychic power to block it but his psychic power didn't respond to his command. It dispersed in vain.
The sound of a steel blade passing through Sinthop's neck echoed. The headless body of Sinthop collapsed onto the ground before turning into a pillar of light.
Everyone was silent, rubbing their eyes in disbelief.
Savage Killer powerfully unleashed his psychic power. "You need to pay for that!!"
He pulled a long lance out of the shield, completely ignoring Sinthop's previous word to let the young man off the hook if he won the fight.
Sangdao released her grab on Sila's arm. Sila started into Sangdao's eyes for a brief moment.
It was now his time to take action.
The two-meter long lance clad with psychic power was brandished at the young man. The young man was well aware that he didn't have the ability to block it but he still did his best to clad himself with his remaining qi energy.
In the blink of an eye, Sila strengthened his body with qi and dashed to the scene, appearing between the lance and the young man. He activated Formless Soldier in his right hand and used it to grab the incoming lance with the hidden weapon collecting technique.
The lance was stopped by Sila's hand. His body didn't move back even an inch.
The young man looked at the back of the man blocking the attack that was about to take his life. Even though this man's clothing was different, the young man could immediately tell who this man in front of him was. He shouted joyfully:
"Weapon Subduing Fist...!"
At the end of the young man's sentence, resounding cheers were echoed throughout Colossia City's gateway.