Ye Xiaowu did not reply.

“Will you die elaborating another line or two!?” Oathless Sword was despondent.

“Sorry,” Ye Xiaowu was being very secretive this time, and he was not acting like how he had been back in Xiawu City where he helped the other party accomplish their quest because he was convinced that the two situations were completely different. Back in Xiawu City, Thousand Miles Drunk’s disruption had directly ruined just a single guild’s interest, which was why he felt that he could reveal a bit more information so as to help them even the playing field. However, Ye Xiaowu felt Thousand Miles Drunk’s imbalanced actions were done against all the guilds on the city assaulters’ side from Yunduan City this time. He would only end up being unfair to the other guilds if he were to leak too much information and any one guild end up becoming only one to benefit from this City War. He had already done what he could to reveal as little information as he could this time round, and the current situation they were in was not too bad; everything would be fine as long as these guilds listened to his instructions, showing awareness toward Thousand Miles Drunk’s prowess and prioritize him as the target.

“If we’re talking about the direction where the southwest encampment lies, that should probably be the west gate, right? I’ll rally some men to ambush them there,” Oathless Sword said.

“That would be no help. The quest he’s currently on is already in its end state; killing him would only end up saving him making the trip back to pick up the next questline instead; he would still head toward Yunjiao Quarry in the end. I believe you should save yourself this time and hurry on over to Yunjiao Quarry and set everything up instead!” Ye Xiaowu suggested.

Oathless Sword took his suggestion to heart and urged his men to hurry. They would of course cross paths with Courtney along the way, so everyone had been very terrified and took the necessary precautions and plans to flee in the beginning. However, they soon discovered that Courtney was not at all hostile this time, and it was merely slowly making its way back while carrying a disgusting corpse.

Oathless Sword quickly asked Ye Xiaowu about this, but the man was impassive, “It’s part of the storyline for that quest, just ignore them. It won’t bother attacking any of you.”

——————————————————

“Royal, how is it? Are there still people keeping an eye on us?” Gu Fei asked Royal God Call for an update of their situation as they continued their way along the main road.

“They are still following… Constantly,” Royal God Call said.

“Still those same few people?”


“Yeah.”

“Being tailed like this is really annoying,” Gu Fei complained.


“Why don’t we put on another show for them?” Xi Xiaotian smirked.

“Oh?” Gu Fei turned to regard the lady.

Xi Xiaotian walked over to the grinding area beside the road, casually exchanged a few words with the players there before returning back to the three, “Let’s teleport!”

“Oh? What did you talk to them about?” Gu Fei was suspicious.

“I was just chatting a little. It’s only for show for those guys to see us talk,” Xi Xiaotian said.

“And what’s that for?” Gu Fei said as he retrieved a teleportation scroll.

“It’s very strange to see us walking along when we suddenly choose to teleport. Now that they saw me go speak to those players all by myself, I would immediately be thinking if I was in their shoes, ‘Oh, they must have spoken to that person to buy a teleportation scroll!'” Xi Xiaotian explained.

“You’re too scheming!” The other three exclaimed in unison.

“Let’s teleport!” Xi Xiaotian brushed their comments off like it was nothing.

The four of them disappeared with the use of the scroll, and the scouts very swiftly reported what they had witnessed to their respective guild leaders. Sure enough, after the guild leaders heard their detailed description of what had transpired, and adding to what Ye Xiaowu had first deduced, they soon reached the same conclusion: Those people probably wanted to hasten the process and so they contacted a seller to buy off a teleportation scroll and teleported themselves back to the city!

“We need to hurry! Since they seem to be thinking along such lines, there’s no telling what they would use a teleportation scroll afterward to save even more time!” Ye Xiaowu urged.

Oathless Sword was dispirited, “Why can’t you just tell us what we’re exactly doing, going over to Yunjiao Quarry?”

“This… Honestly, I can’t tell you guys. As long as you guard Yunjiao Quarry and kill Thousand Miles Drunk and his friends the moment they appear, that quest route they are pursuing would essentially be cut short,” Ye Xiaowu explained.

Oathless Sword had no choice but to act according to the plan. However, he privately informed the players in the guild whom he trusted: Once you reach Yunjiao Quarry, examine and scrutinize the place thoroughly, even if you need to excavate the entire grounds three feet deep.

The squad of four that used a teleportation scroll instantly appeared back at the desolate land from before. From here, no one was making any complaints whatsoever as they made their way to Yunjiao Lakeside.

“Are you certain that their men have already departed?” Gu Fei asked Xi Xiaotian.

“Absolutely! Moving a horde of players like they did is simply far too conspicuous. Plenty of players have seen it happen,” Xi Xiaotian said.

“How did you know this?”

“You’d learn it as well if you happen to have friends who are active in that place,” Xi Xiaotian nonchalantly answered.

“So where did they go?” Gu Fei asked.

“How would I know that? According to the direction they set off toward, it seems like they are headed for the place we left,” Xi Xiaotian said.

“Could they be targeting Courtney?”

“I certainly hope not…” At this time, Xi Xiaotian was not 100% confident that her plan had worked. She could only hope that it had been successful enough to buy them the time for them to do what they needed to do.

Naturally, her plan had been effective. By the time the four had circled their way back to Yunjiao Lakeside, the Eagle Eyed Royal God Call had already spotted where Courtney was standing. It was quietly sitting down by a hill, and Angus’ corpse was lying in its embrace. The four of them quickly hurried over.

“Look, Angus. Your favorite view is about to appear!!”

The four of them happened to hear Courtney softly speaking to Angus this line when they reached its side.

They turned to look in the direction she was referring to, and saw the brightly glowing sky that shone brilliantly over the sea of reeds by the lake, creating a dazzling golden hue while also dying the waters orange. The lake rippled when the wind blew, and the sound of the reeds swaying and rustling could be heard. A faint smile was present on Courtney’s face, its hand brushing past Angus’ face as it ever so gently shut its eyes.

Svelte Dancer’s eyes were red, while Xi Xiaotian was looking in another direction. Royal God Call’s expression… It made Gu Fei want to cut him where he stood, for that man was evidently fantasizing what it would be like to watch this scenery with a babe.

Amidst the reeds below the hill, there were several players who were sprawled on the ground, not daring to move an inch. They were urgently firing off messages, “Guild leader, Thousand Miles Drunk and his friends are back here!! They are together with the NPC!!!”

“WHAT?!” The four guild leaders were in shock! Brave Surge had already run all the way to Yunjiao Quarry by this time and had rendezvoused with his men, but the guild leaders of these four large guilds were of course the scheming sort. All of them had left some of their underlings behind by Yunjiao Lakeside because this place had already become a battlefield for the vital quest many times over. All of them felt that they should pay attention to the importance of the place, so they had randomly picked out some men to keep watch over the place in the event anything were to change. Naturally, it was important to keep an eye on Courtney and wait for the right moment to interact with it. It was a very important part of their job to see if there were still any other quests they could get off it…

But who would have guessed that they ended up stumbling upon Thousand Miles Drunk’s appearance, and all they could do was blankly watch as Thousand Miles Drunk interacted with the NPC.

“Just what is going on here?” The four guild leaders were all now staring at Ye Xiaowu with great intensity.

“Are you working together with Thousand Miles Drunk?” Oathless Sword demanded.

“No wonder you have such a distinct understanding of the quest. You’ve been communicating with Thousand Miles Drunk this whole time, so of course you would know everything that you need to know,” Brave Surge surmised.

“You’re a player with knowledge of this game? You sure know how to tug at our heartstrings!” Foe-herder was barely holding back his anger.

“What are we still wasting our breath for?” Black Index Finger thundered.


The guild leaders of the four large guilds all acted, not even giving Ye Xiaowu the chance to explain himself… “Full speed ahead. We’re heading to Yunjiao Lakeside. We need to stop Thousand Miles Drunk’s quest at all costs!!!!” This message from their respective guild leaders boomed across the guild channels of all four large guilds. Regarding Ye Xiaowu having played them for fools, only the upper echelon core members were aware of it. The four guild leaders found this to be utterly embarrassing, so they simply did not bother explaining themselves. The players from all the four guilds had been digging about in Yunjiao Quarry when they suddenly received the change in order to head back to Yunjiao Lakeside and stop Thousand Miles Drunk. They were all very confused, vaguely recalling how their guild leaders had said how they would rush over to Yunjiao Quarry and stop at nothing to prevent Thousand Miles Drunk’s quest from advancing not too long ago.

“Just what is going on?” It was inevitable for some players to have such queries.

“There will be a debrief after we’re done. Hurry up!” That was essentially the response that these people got.

The players from all the four large guilds surged out from Yunjiao Quarry, all of them on the march toward Yunjiao Lakeside. Back in Yunjiao Lakeside, at the same moment when Angus’ eyes were closed, the sun slowly set, and the beautiful scenery was gone. Courtney once more gave Angus a long and deep embrace. But in the next moment, like it had made a firm resolve, Courtney placed Angus to one side and turned around and begin to dig out a ditch.

“Come help,” Gu Fei called on the other three players with him.

The four players and the NPC worked together and very quickly finished digging the ditch. Courtney picked up Angus’ corpse and jumped into the ditch, gently setting it down within.

“It’s not gonna bury itself along with it, right?” Royal God Call whispered.

“No,” Gu Fei said. “It would be a little cramped for two.”

The two ladies glared at the two men. This time, Courtney was no longer reluctant to leave Angus’ side while inside that ditch, jumping out after placing the corpse to rest down below. Still keeping its eyes trained, it finally started to scatter some dirt into the ditch.

“Uh, are we helping it or not?” Royal God Call asked.

“What are you asking me for!?” Gu Fei exclaimed, before turning over to Courtney. “Do you need help?”

Courtney shook its head, so Gu Fei shrugged helplessly, and the four of them stood by and watched Angus’ corpse get covered by the dirt bit by bit.

“None of those four guild leaders are anywhere nearby. Could they all have been tricked to leave?” Gu Fei quietly asked Xi Xiaotian.

“We may have tricked them away for now, but I believe they would be back here very soon. Do you really think that they won’t leave anyone behind out here, and that we’ve managed to fool all of them to just abandon this place altogether, right?” Xi Xiaotian said.

“Our location is just too prominent,” Gu Fei looked to his left and right. This spot that allowed them to take in the beautiful landscape in front of them was similarly a place where anyone near Yunjiao Lake could see it. It was particularly eye-catching.

“It can’t be helped. It’s the NPC who chose this spot,” Xi Xiaotian sighed.

“Then they might be making their way back very soon. Can’t that woman hurry up,” Gu Fei was anxious.

“There’s movement in the reeds,” Royal God Call suddenly blurted.

“You saw something?” Gu Fei was delighted.

“Yup!” Royal God Call nodded.

“What’s the coordinates!?” Gu Fei asked.

Royal God Call glowered back at him with a piercing stare.

“Just give me a rough estimation,” Gu Fei said.

That was when Royal God Call had a brainwave, and he fired an arrow out to pinpoint the location. Gu Fei lifted his sword and was about to dash off after it when Xi Xiaotian called out, “There’s of course going to be people in the reeds, so how do you know they’re going to be someone from the four large guilds?”

Gu Fei froze mid-step when he heard her words. Hiding inside these reeds was not unique to the players from the four large guilds; lovers would also enjoy secreting themselves among the tall reeds here around Yunjiao Lakeside, so perhaps Royal God Call had only seen the movement made by a pair of lovebirds?

“I saw someone move,” Royal God Call truthfully related what he saw. “If that had been a normal player, there’s no need for them to be so sneaky?” There would be players who would get up from within the reeds, but people would be openly holding hands when they leave. There was no need for them to creep about and keep themselves hidden.”

“What you see isn’t the problem, the problem is that we’ve no way of determining their identity when we get there ourselves,” Xi Xiaotian said.

“Scaring them a bit would be fine too,” Gu Fei’s weapon was still raised.

“Are you getting restless because you can’t get to slay anyone?” Xi Xiaotian asked.

“It’s going to take a while before it’s done burying!” Gu Fei said.

“I feel like we can help now,” Xi Xiaotian turned around and glanced over at Courtney, but discovered that after the dirt had completely covered Angus, its hands were starting to move faster, no longer as hesitant and deliberate like before.

“Let me try,” Gu Fei stepped forward and began scattering a handful of dirt.

Courtney did not respond to it, so the four of them quickly came forward and got busy. Soon, dirt filled the ditch and a shallow grave was made. Royal God Call was wondering if they would still have to make a tombstone when Courtney softly placed its necklace on top of the grave and took several steps back, her gaze lingering over it.

The four did not dare to disturb this scene, so they could only wait.

They waited until Courtney spoke up, “Thank you, all of you.”

Gu Fei gave a long sigh. He reckoned the storyline of Courtney and Angus’ love story had pretty much drawn to a close, so what’s happening next should be the plot regarding the other relevant matters, and that would be what he needed to carry on his current quest!

“You’re welcome,” Gu Fei had already given a lot of thought to how they would be continuing the quest, and he had already prepared a segway to stir the conversation, “How did Angus mutate like that? Just what exactly went wrong with the Yunjiao Lake Water Storage and Drainage project? Why did you think he was already dead?”

“I don’t know,” Courtney shook its head. This answer essentially left the four players thunderstruck when they heard it.

“However…” Courtney suddenly continued.

“I love ‘howevers’!” Royal God Call was so moved at this moment that tears were streaming down his cheeks.

“Shut up, you” Gu Fei forbade him to make a noise as he listened to Courtney continue.

“Teacher’s the one who had told me about Angus’ death. He said that there had been a bit of accident during the Water Storage and Drainage project, and Angus had died underwater. That was why I became a ranger, in hopes that I could forever accompany him. That worked out very well now, knowing that Angus will forever lay here,” Courtney pointed to the grave. It had already been disheartened after all these years, and only a flicker of hope ignited when it heard Gu Fei mention how “Angus isn’t dead”. Even though Courtney was unable to see Angus alive in the end, it was nothing compared to thinking Angus’ corpse had sunk to the bottom of the lake. Courtney was actually somewhat content, now that it had been able to hug Angus’ corpse and accompany him in such close proximity like this.

“But why did Angus turn into that? If it was not for this, he would not have needed to die at all! Don’t you want to find out what really caused Angus’ death?” Gu Fei asked. Upon further consideration, it was very obvious that Angus’ corpse had been attacked to death, but ever since Courtney discovered its corpse, it had never once asked how it died, who did the deed, and by its expression, it was evident it had no intention of asking at all.

“What’s the point of knowing? What I want is to be able to be together with Angus. Even though he’s already dead now, I will still stay by his side and protect him to the very end,” Courtney said.

“I failed…” Gu Fei was helpless and could only admit to the facts. “Fine, actually, we need to investigate what had caused Angus’ death. Do you have any clues you could provide to us?”

Courtney shook its head.

Xi Xiaotian interrupted at this time, “You can’t ask the NPC this way. Seeing how introspective it sounds, perhaps the clue here is something that happened to her, but it would not remember it to be a clue like that.”

Gu Fei pondered over this for a while. “That log cabin by the lakeside. Is that place yours?”

“No. That is Teacher Guillermo’s,” Courtney answered.

“Oh? When did he begin living there? Tell me more about him,” Gu Fei quickly asked.

“This is after Guillermo broke the news about Angus’ death to me. After I left Teacher and went over to Yunjiao Lakeside to be a ranger, he would often stroll around Yunjiao Lakeside as well, and we happened to bump into each other like that. Afterward, he told me that he liked the quiet ambiance and scenery of the place, so he built that log cabin, often using it to do some research when he’s over here. He would also come to ask me for help from time to time as well,” Courtney explained.


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