Wuxiaworld > Virtual World: Close Combat Mage > 576 Chapter 576 - A Bold Suspicion

576 Chapter 576 - A Bold Suspicion

"Wha-What did you say?" Vast Lushness felt so dizzy when she read the last message, and her reply gave off the feeling how tongue-tied she felt.

"I didn't win the bid for the magic staff." The man initially struggled to admit to the truth, but after spilling the beans, the ensuing messages the person sent were quick and no longer beating around the bush.

"What happened exactly?" Vast Lushness asked.

"I had a good read of the time to make my bid, but when I placed my bid, the system prompted me that the auctioned item is no longer up for bidding. I believe that I might've been a tad too late to send my bid through," the bidding master explained.

"Why didn't you tell us sooner?"

"I thought that there's still a week…" the person answered meekly.

Vast Lushness was well-acquainted with this man, which was why she felt reassured to entrust this task to him. The moment she heard his answer, she knew what he had intended to do. This was similar to a boss assigning work to his trusted aide, but something unexpected cropping up prevented the task from being completed in time. Still, since the superior would only inspect the work in a week's time, this essentially meant that the subordinate had an entire week to come up with a solution to the problem. While this sort of incident would often occur in real life, she had truly never expected herself to come across something similar while playing online games.

"What's the point of that…" Vast Lushness suddenly found it too difficult to speak further as it was apparent that he only had such thoughts due to the importance placed on that staff.

"Where are you right now?"

"The Auction House…"

She instantly got it. This person was also thinking of waiting for the real buyer to show up, probably in hopes of resolving the matter by buying back the staff with a high price. This transaction would naturally be an extremely unique situation, where the price of the magic staff itself could be ignored as the sum spent in this instance would be for the sake of shouldering the responsibility. Vast Lushness reckoned that he would bring the buyer to the Trade Exchange immediately, taking that step to become a pay-to-win warrior…

"Forget it; let it remain sold!" She could not really find it in her to reprimand him for his actions. With this conversation over, she proceeded to message Young Master Han. "It's as you wished."

"Are you done arranging everything?" Young Master Han asked.

"No. I mean that the magic staff has really gotten sold," Vast Lushness said.

"What?!" Young Master Han was surprised.

"The magic staff has been sold as per your wishes." She sighed as she sent this message. This entire incident had so many twists and turns that even she was at a loss for words.

"F*ck!" Young Master Han spat this single expletive out in person when he received the message, causing Brother Assist to have quite the fright.

"What happened?" Brother Assist quickly asked.

"What did I tell you… A variable occurred." Young Master Han was visibly annoyed. "The Utopian Magic Staff has actually been sold; the buyer lied to us."

"Why would he—" Brother Assist started to ask.

"He most likely thought himself as clever, wanting to use his money to buy it back from the new owner, which is why he told the white lie." Young Master Han interrupted.

Brother Assist scratched his head and contemplated this before saying. "But this doesn't seem to affect us too greatly. Essentially, we're now back to the original plan of yours where the charade becomes reality; wouldn't everything be fine if we go according to plan?"

"Why would it be that simple?!" Young Master Han said. "Let me give you an example; there're two plans here: A and B. A is a smokescreen and meant to be seen by the enemies for them to think that we are executing A when, in fact, we're executing B – this is the crux of our entire plan. But since we've successfully let A become the smokescreen like we wanted, we can't enact plan B; do you think we can once more use the smokescreen A as the real plan?"

"Uhhh… Why not?"

"Please man. We've already very clearly conveyed the entirety of this plan to Southern Lone Blade's team. He's sure to come up with a strategy that will perfectly counter what we are doing. If we continue with plan A, we'll pretty much be walking right into a trap knowingly," Young Master Han said.

"After hearing your explanation, it does appear to be the case…" Brother Assist nodded. While Young Master Han's example with plan A and B was not what was happening right now, the logic it expressed was evident. Furthermore, he had similarly expected the first iteration of Young Master Han's plan to indeed possess the duality of plan A and B, working in concert like what he had explained: A stood for the charade of selling the magic staff, while B would be successfully selling it. However, since the actual auction failed, Young Master Han instantly adjusted the plan, such that the smokescreen of plan A became the successful sale, and the charade of selling the magic staff turned into reality.

"So, what do we do now?" Brother Assist asked.

"If Utopian Magic Staff truly got auctioned off, then the buyer is really strange. Why isn't the buyer anxious to get such top-grade equipment in their hands?" Young Master Han wondered.

"Do you suspect that it's a sham?" With how skeptical Brother Assist was toward others, he was already suspecting the person tasked with buying the magic staff to be stashing it away for himself while claiming that he had failed to win the bid for it.

"Since that man has told a lie once, I am of course inclined to suspect him a little," Young Master Han said.

"Still, the fact that Vast Lushness entrusted this task to him should mean that he's someone she can trust!" Brother Assist reasoned.

"Hmph. This isn't the first time she has misjudged a person's character." Young Master Han scoffed.

Brother Assist naturally knew that Young Master Han was talking about Silver Moon. Vast Lushness had truly made a huge blunder by trusting that detestable scumbag before.

"Silver Moon…" Young Master Han suddenly furrowed his brows when he uttered that name.

"Did you think of something?" Brother Assist hurriedly asked.


"Let me hear them."

"Version 1: That guy's working together with Southern Lone Blade's team. Everything is progressing just as they've planned, and they're using this method to loot Vast Lushness's magic staff. If that's really what has happened, then I'll have to see them in a new light, for they'll truly be a promising gang of larcenists. Unfortunately, seeing how those two rascals from Southern Lone Blade's team are still staking the Auction House like a pair of hawks, I reckon that they're stagnating at the level of criminals that go about their business plainly fighting and killing for loot. There's no way that they could think up of such a clever method to take off with the magic staff."

I think you're the one not showing promise by not committing larceny! Brother Assist cried out to himself.

"Version 2: Silver Moon was once part of the abolished Past Deeds, so our buyer could of course be considered as an acquaintance of Silver Moon. Meaning, there's a possibility that this entire situation was Silver Moon's orchestration. First, he hired Southern Lone Blade's bunch to hunt down Vast Lushness for her magic staff, creating a situation which resulted in her letting go of the magic staff like this. Even if he didn't end up with the staff, he'd still manage to swindle out a tidy sum. What's even more amazing is how Southern Lone Blade's gang might fail this assignment as a corollary. Those larcenists must be obligated to pay a recompense if they fail to deliver on their assignment, mustn't they? Heh… Obtaining the magic staff and getting compensated – that's two birds with one stone. How brilliant. Still, wouldn't it be too huge a heavenly injustice if a scumbag like Silver Moon managed to come up with such a wonderful ploy?"

You're truly wasting your heavenly given talent by not running this act of duplicity! Brother Assist cried out to himself again.

"As for version 3: It's a spur-of-the-moment greed. That man suddenly desired that magic staff, so he crafted that lie to take off with it. That's probably what the average player would do," Young Master Han said.

"So, which one is it? What's Vast Lushness take on this?" Brother Assist asked.

"Her? I think she has already made up her mind to trust that man fully."

"That's probably true. There's no way she'd entrust this job to that man if she doesn't have that level of trust in him to begin with."

"Is her life story so much of a tragedy that she'll be betrayed by those she trusts at every turn? Let's go to the Auction House," Young Master Han recommended.

"Auction House?" Brother Assist was baffled.

"That guy's at the Auction House," Young Master Han explained.

"If he's there… Is he looking for a chance to retrieve the magic staff in secret?" Brother Assist asked.

"Vast Lushness claimed that he's there to make up for his blunder by locating the buyer and convincing the person to sell the item to him in exchange for an exorbitant sum," Young Master Han said.

"Has Wounds made any discovery on his end?" Brother Assist suddenly asked.

"Do they know each other?" Young Master Han deflected the question with his very own.

"We don't recognize him, either," Brother Assist said.

"Vast Lushness' making her way over as well."


The Auction House was rather crowded right now. This was the time when players like Gu Fei, who adhered to a very reasonable gaming schedule, would call it a day. These were players that did not have the time to head over to the Peddler's Street or other player-created marketplaces to set up a shop or hawk goods, so they would simply collect their harvest for the day and put it up on sale at the Auction House, all along taking a gander at what else was up for sale.

For a time, there was plenty of human traffic at the Auction House, with many busying themselves before the various auction panels inside. The distribution NPC was also welcoming the arrival of one of the busiest times of the day as players queued before it at this period. However, the system would only pass over the items to the purchasers themselves; the line naturally progressed smoothly since it would not make any mistakes in the process. The only ones having a hard time were Glue and Flame Singed Clothes; currently, they were struggling as they kept watch of the distribution NPC. Their eyes stared fixedly at the items being passed by the NPC to the players' hands with lightning speed. They would get visibly excited whenever they saw some staff-like equipment, but would quickly deflate once they realized that it was not the item they were waiting for upon closer inspection.

Because this was a VRMMO, the outward appearance was very important. Hence, every item in the Auction House would be displayed for all to see. These two had already committed to memory the Utopian Magic Staff's appearance, but it was just unfortunate that neither of them had yet to see this item appear before their eyes.

The two were having a hard time with the task at hand, yet it was War Without Wounds who was truly making them feel exasperated. With the increase in the flow of people coming and going in the Auction House, his hunting ground had increased as well, and this served to reinvigorate him. Currently, he was no longer showing even a shred of concern on what the distribution NPC was doing, only casually glancing at it from time to time, showing a fierce expression whenever he saw the two men look at him.

"Why isn't he taking note of the distribution NPC?" Flame Singed Clothes found this to be strange. Even if he were intentionally acting this way, he should be focusing on the actual task at hand at such a crucial moment, but they only saw him continuing to act so lackadaisically by wholly ignoring the equipment being retrieved.

"Hmph. Big South is right; that guy's here just to throw us off with his antics," Glue sneered.

"But during such a time—" Flame Singed Clothes was saying even as he kept a close eye on the many goods exchanging hands.

"Look at that one." Glue nudged Flame Singed Clothes.

Flame Singed Clothes followed the direction Glue was gesturing and spotted a dazed Priest, whose eyes were listlessly watching the exchange between the distribution NPC and the players.

"Did you see that? That person's the real one assigned to watch the NPC for them. Hmph. Did they think we won't notice just because they found an unfamiliar face to do the job? That's too naïve." Glue laughed mirthlessly.

The instant he finished that line, they saw several players walk out from the brush and stand right before that person.

The two men were startled to find that these players were Vast Lushness, Young Master Han, and Brother Assist.

Why would all these players step out right now? Could the situation have changed? The two men were puzzled.