Chapter 1657: True Thoughts
Translator: Nomyummi Editor: Nomyummi
Boom boom boom!
Zhou Zekai’s Cloud Piercer rolled through a chain of explosions.
He could tell that these attacks weren’t aimed towards him. However, long-ranged classes such as Launchers and Elementalists often dealt AoE damage. The attacks might miss, but the AoE would still reach him. Zhou Zekai couldn’t completely avoid taking damage.
He was dodging. Fang Rui’s Boundless Sea was also dodging. Seeing how he was calmly luring the NPCs towards Cloud Piercer, the spectating pro players immediately grasped his plans. It wasn’t an accident. Fang Rui had done it on purpose.
“Death to Intruders.”
What exactly did the sign mean by “death”? Instant death?
No one had tested this setting before in the previous rounds, but Fang Rui had Boundless Sea cross the line anyways. This move was truly daring and risky. If crossing the line really did mean instant death, then Samsara would have instantly won this fight. Zhou Zekai would have won even more perfectly than his fight against Mo Fan. Cloud Piercer had at least lost some mana that round.
But it wasn’t instant death. The NPCs were summoned and began chasing after Boundless Sea. And seeing how Fang Rui was intentionally guiding their attacks, it could be seen that he had been ready long beforehand. In other words, he had been waiting for this moment.
At Happy’s seats, Wei Chen laughed smugly.
This was the plan that he and Fang Rui had come up together. When Mo Fan’s Deception triggered the ambush from above, Fang Rui had begun preparing for his fight. He had pulled Wei Chen over to the side to discuss how the “Death to Intruders” setting might work.
The system didn’t automatically come up with rules. The map designers, in other words, the Glory game designers had engineered the settings of the map.
Guessing the design was equivalent to guessing how the designers thought about the game and the principles that the game had followed for ten years.
Within these ten years, many of the employees had come and gone, but there would always be people who had kept with the game since the beginning. Wei Chen was one of these people. His professional career had only lasted two years, but he had never left the game. He had constantly immersed himself with the design principles of Glory. He was likely more familiar with the game than most of the Glory employees.
Wei Chen deduced that “Death to Intruders” didn’t mean instant death.
His reasoning was very simple. He hadn’t seen any tools or equipment that could kill someone instantly. Glory had always strived to be as logical as possible. If crossing the line meant instant death, then the designers would set up some way for the death to happen. It could be a sudden lightning strike from the sky, but there would definitely be something that would trigger and guide the lightning strike. The lightning strike wouldn’t just appear out of nowhere.
It wasn’t a difficult conclusion to reach, but there were very few people who would be as confident as Wei Chen.
This was the Glory finals. A mistake in judgement would mean that Fang Rui’s Boundless Sea would be instantly killed. All of Happy’s efforts this season would be destroyed in an instant.
The outcome of this mistake was too terrifying. How many people could take responsibility for such a disastrous mistake?
Wei Chen dared to!
He had just made a call. That was it. But the current him was like the captain who once lead Team Blue Rain. He had always been someone brave, someone who had the confidence to carry a huge burden.
“I’m certain,” Wei Chen told Fang Rui confidently.
Thus, when Fang Rui went on stage, he crossed the line for just an instant, entrusting Boundless Sea’s life to Wei Chen’s judgement.
Wei Chen had judged correctly!
It wasn’t an instant death. The NPCs spawned and then went after Boundless Sea.
It was a logical conclusion, and Fang Rui had gone with it.
The NPCs spawned, and while their attacks were aimed at Boundless Sea, Zhou Zekai’s Cloud Piercer was implicated along with him.
Zhou Zekai’s situation was similar to the situation in the first round Ye Xiu and Sun Xiang battle. The difference was that the NPCs had been chasing after Samsara in that round, while this time, it was Happy being chased. Sun Xiang’s One Autumn Leaf had been put at a disadvantage because of the NPCs, but Fang Rui had brought this onto himself on purpose.
What was his goal? Wouldn’t this just be similar to Mo Fan’s fight in the previous round? He would be facing the combined assault from the NPCs and Zhou Zekai, no?
Those who thought this would happen quickly realized the difference.
The difference was that Mo Fan had triggered the ambush from above. Zhou Zekai’s Cloud Piercer could attack, and he wouldn’t hit the NPCs.
But this time, the NPCs were rushing out on flat ground. If Zhou Zekai’s Cloud Piercer attacked Fang Rui’s Boundless Sea, if he missed, the bullets would land on the NPCs, and he would become the new target.
As a result, Zhou Zekai couldn’t coordinate his attacks with the NPCs.
So what could he do?
Thinking of this question, everyone couldn’t help but think of the first round of the group arena. It had just happened not too long ago, so it was still fresh in everyone’s minds.
That round, Ye Xiu didn’t want his attacks to aggro the NPCs, so Lord Grim climbed up the wall and watched free of worries. But Sun Xiang’s One Autumn Leaf was able to reach a max-stage Battle Spirit along with a full five Chasers. His battle strength had reached its peak, and then… the rest didn’t need to be talked about. Everyone at least knew that the NPCs weren’t enough to eliminate a pro player. For example, if Zhou Zekai’s Cloud Piercer just ran away and watched from the side, Fang Rui’s Boundless Sea would clean up these NPCs. Even though it wouldn’t be enough to kill him, he would certainly lose a lot of health. Zhou Zekai could wait at ease for his exhausted foe.
The other option was to attack. His attacks would definitely aggro the NPCs. The two would fight it out amidst the besiegement from the NPCs.
No matter how you looked at it, the first choice seemed much easier. Qi Masters weren’t like Battle Mages, who got stronger the longer they fought.
It seemed like quite an easy choice, but Zhou Zekai, who had been decisive this whole time, seemed to hesitate. It didn’t seem like Cloud Piercer had made a decision yet. It seemed as if he were still wavering over which choice to make.
“It looks like Zhou Zekai is having a hard time making a decision. What is he hesitating over?” Pan Lin said what everyone wanted to say.
“Haha,” Li Yibo laughed, “Right now, avoiding battle and watching Fang Rui get taken apart by the NPCs is the better choice, but don’t forget how Zhou Zekai has been playing this entire time! Forward, forward, and forward. Attack, attack, and attack. If he suddenly stopped and ran away, his momentum would fall.”
“That’s why Fang Rui is sure that Zhou Zekai won’t retreat, and why it will force the two of them into a messy fight?” Pan Lin said.
“That seems to be the case,” Li Yibo smiled.
“If that’s the case, why does Fang Rui think he’ll have the advantage in a chaotic fight?” Pan Lin said.
“Ah?” Li Yibo was visibly stunned by the question.
A chaotic battle is more advantageous for Fang Rui? He really hadn’t considered this question, but when he thought about it for a bit, he discovered something: “Yes, a chaotic battle is advantageous for Fang Rui because Zhou Zekai is a Sharpshooter!”
Sharpshooters were long-ranged attackers. Not only did they need a good line of sight on their target, they needed space for their bullets to fly. In this sort of chaotic battle, it was too difficult for a Sharpshooter to focus only on one target. Looking for a good angle, a good shot, there were too many factors to consider. Even Zhou Zekai would be held back in this sort of environment.
No wonder he wanted to end each fight as fast as possible.
No wonder he charged out so decisively every fight.
It wasn’t just to boost the team’s morale. It was because a drawn-out battle in this map was unfavorable for Sharpshooters. It was because of the chaos that the map would spawn.
At this moment, Li Yibo fully grasped Zhou Zekai’s thoughts.
Chaotic battles were disadvantageous for Sharpshooters. This was a very junior view of the situation. But when watching Zhou Zekai, it was hard not to ignore this point because of how skilled he was, skilled to the point that this sort of junior view didn’t seem like it could affect a God like him. But Zhou Zekai didn’t think so. He was truly skilled, but he wasn’t arrogant. He was decisive, fierce, and unrelenting to protect himself against his weakness in this map.
This was why he was wavering right now. Not solely because of momentum, but becauses Fang Rui’s method had exposed his weakness.
Too many people had overlooked this weakness, but not Zhou Zekai. And Fang Rui had also thought of it. He had chosen this risky method to summon the NPCs and create this situation. In Fang Rui’s mind, these NPCs focusing him weren’t enemies, but allies.
“Don’t run! I’ve given you so many helpers, what are you so afraid of?” Fang Rui wasn’t exactly in a great spot with so many NPCs attacking him, but he still had the time to trash talk. Fang Rui wouldn’t miss this sort of opportunity and let out a word. He understood Zhou Zekai and their current situation. His words wouldn’t be able to affect Zhou Zekai’s decision, but he knew that there were lots of people outside who didn’t quite understand the current situation. In their eyes, the situation was just like he described. If Zhou Zekai ran away, it would be very unmanly. Fang Rui’s words were meant to destroy his image. His trash talk was still quite incisive.
“Can’t run.” Zhou Zekai actually responded to Fang Rui, perhaps it was because Cloud Piercer was at a completely safe distance right now. He didn’t have anything to do.
He watched as the NPCs chased after Fang Rui. Everyone realized that he had come to a decision. The trash talk that Fang Rui had squeezed in hadn’t affected him. He understood Fang Rui well though. When Fang Rui’s Boundless Sea took a step across the forbidden area, he quickly grasped Fang Rui’s goals.
Fang Rui wasn’t going to just let him stand on the side and watch. He planned on “leading” these NPCs to surround him. True, he could run and run, but run to where? Ye Xiu’s Lord Grim could climb up the walls and hide because he had Ninja skills. He had much more freedom in his movements on the walls compared to other classes. Sun Xiang’s One Autumn Leaf was a close-ranged class too. But Zhou Zekai? His Cloud Piercer could only rely on jumping to move around on along the canyon wall. His movements were very limited. His Aerial Gun would be restricted. If his bullets landed on the NPCs, he would pull their aggro. Fang Rui’s Qi Master also had more long-ranged attacks than a Battle Mage. While Ye Xiu’s Lord Grim could keep running away safely, it wouldn’t be possible for Zhou Zekai’s Cloud Piercer.
In the end, if he kept running, he would eventually reach the forbidden area on the other end of the canyon. Either way, he would need to win over Fang Rui amidst this chaos. And when that time came, how much damage would the NPCs have dealt to Fang Rui?
Zhou Zekai watched for a bit. Fang Rui’s Boundless Sea moved around craftily and didn’t attack much. He prioritized his survival and his movements. He wanted to bring those NPCs towards Zhou Zekai. Even by the time they reached the other side, he wouldn’t have lost much health.
“If you’re not going to run, then I’m coming!” Fang Rui shouted.
This time, Zhou Zekai didn’t reply, but his Cloud Piercer charged back.
This was the usual him, speaking with his actions.