Wuxiaworld > Virtual World: Close Combat Mage > 322 Chapter 322 - Dancing Flames from the Unknown

322 Chapter 322 - Dancing Flames from the Unknown

Each of the mercenary leaders that were sitting on the ground during the meeting quickly got up and spiritedly headed back to join the main body of the expedition. These leaders drew their respective weapons out as they made their way back, shouting out their battlecry and calling for their members to gather around and band together to resist the enemies' attack.

When they returned and took a look, all they saw was their men in upheaval, yet the enemies were nowhere to be found.

"Where are the enemies?" all the mercenary leaders competed to ask their underlings this.

"They suddenly appeared and fled after killing two of our men!" someone briefed.

"Why didn't you give chase?" all the leaders inquired.

"We did!" All of them pointed toward a certain direction where three players could be seen standing rigidly among the trees and bushes. Obviously, none of them was posing there intentionally; they were temporarily immobile after falling victim to the enemies' traps. The three players were ensnared by the Hunters' traps that dealt them no damage, yet they were nearly in hysterics, as flames were currently burning beneath their feet.

"Blazing Tree of a Thousand Inferno!" All these skilled mercenary leaders could tell from a glance what it was.

"Just what exactly happened?" one of the leaders asked.

"Four Thieves suddenly appeared, killed two of our players lingering on the periphery, and immediately ran away. The players from our side who gave chase got themselves caught in the traps. It was then that we saw the flames from enemy Mages igniting; out of all the players that chased after the enemies, only those three over there are left."

The mercenary leaders finally made sense of the situation. The three remaining players had survived thus far due to them being Warriors – a job class known for its abundant HP. The other five that had died most likely had job classes with low HP.

Currently, from a distance, Priests were incessantly bestowing Heal on the three Warriors, who were anxiously looking around them. What these three men feared was the flames picking up anew. In the end, their enemies neither struck again nor revealed themselves. The three Warriors hurriedly returned to the safety of their respective groups once the traps ensnaring them expired.

The jungle recovered its serenity once more.

The enemies had mounted an attack on them so fast and managed to remove a total of seven players from Yunduan City. Out of the seven, four were members of Traversing Four Seas. These four respawned in the faraway Yunduan City and subsequently failed the guild quest; As for the other three mercenaries, they were sent back to Baishi City and would have to travel for three hours once more to rejoin the expedition.

"Everyone, take care of your immediate surroundings!" Oathless Sword ordered aloud. All waved their weapons around them to see if there were any hidden Thieves near them; some Mages even went as far as to carpet-bomb the area around them. Everyone only heaved a sigh of relief when no enemy Thieves were found hanging around. However, being gone now did not mean that the enemies would be gone forever. No matter how helpless they were to the Thieves in Stealth, they could not possibly get the Mages to continuously bombard the surrounding area.

Oathless Sword's teeth were nearly grinded flat as he addressed Youthful Reflection, "Get Thousand Miles Drunk over here!"

He was the only person they knew that could counter Stealth.

Gu Fei once more came to their call. Oathless Sword immediately approached him with an expression that told how highly regarded Gu Fei was to them. "Brother Miles, we are in your care once more."

Gu Fei naturally knew just what they were hoping for him to do. It was just that the method he used was very limited in this circumstance. Sighing, he told Oathless Sword, "Guild Leader Oathless, I can at most keep a lookout toward one direction; I can't defend you from all sides."

"Why is that?" Oathless Sword asked.

"Drunk bro here knows kung fu; he depends entirely on killing intent to detect hidden enemies!" Fireball, who happened to be among the players gathered in the area, happily interjected.

"Where did this guy come from? Drag him away!" Oathless Sword bellowed. Two Warriors promptly came by to toss Fireball away.

Gu Fei knew no one would believe him when he saw how Fireball was treated, so he wracked his brains for a way to explain it that these gamers would understand. "Uhm… What I have is a passive skill that requires the enemies to notice me before I can react accordingly. Take now for example; if those Thieves in Stealth coming from the outside can't see me while I'm standing in the middle of the crowd like this, I won't know where they are. Do you guys get what I'm saying?"

"Oh…" everyone hummed.

Hmph. To think you'd publicly reveal your secret so easily! the scheming Youthful Reflection thought to himself. He was already trying to determine how he could take down Gu Fei without him knowing about it. It's quite the challenging proposition! Youthful Reflection continued to ruminate.

"In that case, Brother Miles just has to take a high ground, such that even people outside of the circle can see you, right?" Oathless Sword suddenly suggested. Living up to his name as the leader of the number one guild in Yunduan City, he demonstrated his rather high level of intelligence despite the ordeal that they were in.

Gu Fei laughed bitterly as he shook his head, "Guild Leader Oathless, do you want me to become the core of these thousand men and have everyone gather around me? I'm sorry but the range of my passive skill isn't that large. At most, it can reach maybe ten meters. Squeezing everyone within that area is just entirely impossible!"

"In that case, you can't even take care of one side at all!" Oathless Sword face darkened.

"Technically speaking, you're not wrong," Gu Fei admitted regretfully. He was naturally clear of their situation right now, so he sincerely wished to do his part, but there was truly nothing much he could do.

Everyone could not do anything to help, either. This was when they heard someone from the side curse, "F*ck me! They're back again!"

All of them turned their gazes over, just in time to see two white lights flashed in the direction of that voice. Four enemy Thieves in Stealth were back again. Quickly one-shotting two players, they immediately turned to flee. Having experienced this before, no one dared to physically chase after them and the Mages and Archers merely flung spells and shot arrows from afar at these four interlopers.

However, the four Thieves seemed to be very adept with what this sort of attacking style; after executing their attacks, each of them activated Fleetfoot the instant they dispersed in four different directions. They then dove into the trees after several steps and were quickly nowhere to be found. The Mages and Archers, who were planning to counterattack, only managed to position themselves to cast spells and nock arrows!

"F*CK!" Just as everyone was feeling disgruntled by this, numerous flame wheels appeared in the sky, all glowing brightly as their heat intensified....

"AHHHHH!" everyone screamed in fear as they dispersed as far as they could to escape this spell's AOE.

The over a thousand-strong army descended into chaos as the players ran helter-skelter. Anyone that fell was bound to be trampled by another, and the entire jungle was soon filled with cries of terror. Oathless Sword kept yelling for everyone to keep calm. This was when a panicking Warrior, who had been trying to evade the spells, accidentally dipped into the small circle Oathless Sword was occupying that was not covered by the mass of AOE spells and crashed into his back, nearly causing Oathless Sword to bite off his tongue. He turned around to glare daggers at the culprit, yet no one cared for his murderous stare as they were all watching this horrifying situation unfold.

The flame wheels came crashing down and a sea of flames surged all around them. Some immediately died from this magic assault, while many were heavily injured by their comrades' stampede.

It was inevitable, though. Plenty of Warriors had used Charge to get themselves out of the radius of the flame wheels that had been conjured out of nowhere. Nowadays, the Charge skill was no longer just being used by Warriors to attack opponents, and a majority of them had taken to using it to augment their movement speed for dodging or evading incoming attacks. There was simply no way to ensure that their Charge would not connect with an innocent person in this chaos.

Some were directly knocked right into the flaming sea, while others flew deep into the jungle – never to be seen in this place again. There were even some who were inflicted with the Dizzy status effect, collapsing to the ground without any response.

Quite a few even discovered a sudden pain traveling up their legs as they ran aimlessly, preventing them from moving any further, and felt utterly flabbergasted once they learned the source of this: they had been ensnared by the enemy Hunters' traps. "Why are there even traps here?" None of them forgot that they were currently inside the enemies' web of traps, yet some of them still fell victim to these traps.

Young Master's Elite had always been hanging at the tail end of the expedition and were positioned in the outer circle when the army converged. It just so happened that the bulk of the magic assault was concentrated in their position, so they were duly bombarded with many spells. While it was not difficult for these veterans to avoid the spell bombardment, their flustered comrades nearby was a different matter altogether. In fact, their comrades' stampeding was far more frightening than the enemies' wave of magic attacks. Young Master Han was unfortunately knocked down to the ground by a comrade Warrior as he was making his escape.

Thankfully, the Dizzy status effect did not proc, so he sat on the ground and managed to keep himself alive in this initial fiery bombardment by relying on his superb Priest skills. Sword Demon and Royal God Call swiftly stepped in and dragged him out of the persistent flames of the Blazing Tree of a Thousand Inferno. Had they not done so, Young Master Han would have been trampled to death by their allies instead of being burned to death by their enemies.

The flames of the Blazing Tree of a Thousand Inferno lasted for another five seconds before extinguishing. The Mages' fire spells would usually be unable to cause actual fire inside this type of terrain because they burned quickly and dampened even more swiftly. Were it not for the spell's duration lasting for five seconds, the burning traces of Descending Wheel of Flames alone would be largely insignificant.

Nonetheless, the five seconds of burning managed to set the dry leaves and branches ablaze. These ignited detritus were easily put out, so no harm was done by them. All the players from Yunduan City were covered in soot and visibly drained from the ordeal, with some continuing to run aimlessly in their panic. Oathless Sword took care not to bump into anyone again as he shouted, "Everyone, stay calm! Mercenary leaders, take charge of your men!"

There were no more than a hundred men in each mercenary group, so how difficult could it get to take charge of them when compared to the seven hundred fifty men of Traversing Four Seas? In actuality, those that were in utter state of disarray right now were the members of Traversing Four Seas. As the mercenary groups organized themselves, all the leaders did not forget to throw disdainful glares at Oathless Sword.

Gu Fei had long since located his fellow mercenaries. "Are you guys alright?"

Everyone looked toward Young Master Han, as he was the only one among them who had been in any danger.

Young Master Han forlornly looked at the spot he had fallen moments ago. "Such a pity. I've just taken out that bottle from my pocket, too."

"How did this happen?" Gu Fei was looking all around him.

"Mages snuck up near us! To think we did not spot even one of them… These guys we are up against are very accustomed with PvPing in this type of terrain, and they're extremely familiar with this jungle here," Young Master Han explained, declaring, "We are in big trouble!"