Chapter 105: Arcane-cloud Temple Part 2
“Guild Master Zhao is still playing a hegemon control once again, eh? I don’t know how many people you plan to send from your Heavenly Seal Guild to guard the entrance of this Secret Area!”
The opening of Secret Area sent out a very bright light pillar, to begin with. Therefore, the Heavenly Seal Guild was not the only one who heard and rushed over to the spot, but so did the other major and medium guilds. When they were driving out the civilians and the vanguard teams to the side, Zhou Tong, the Guild Master of Iron Spire Guild, another major guild in the Northern District, also rushed to the scene with more than 20 men.
The Iron Spire Guild may have fewer members than that of the Heavenly Seal Guild, but this guild was formed much earlier. Ever since the first Secret Areas began to activate in the early days, they had swept and cleared more than a dozen of them. Coupled with some good luck, their guild now boasted nearly 20 Awakened with professions. In terms of the number of professionals, they no doubt stood on an equal footing.
Seeing that the people who came were those from the Iron Spire Guild, Zhao Yinwen chose not to have a conflict, so he smiled and said, “Brother Zhou, those who come first usually get the first service. Isn’t it reasonable enough?”
“Your Heavenly Seal Guild may have a good argument that you came here first. But using your logic, those refugees should have come earlier than your guild!” Zhou Tong immediately struck back.
“They were indeed, yet ordinary people won’t be able to enter the Secret Area, regardless. This is a hard fact everyone knows already. What you said just makes no sense at all!” Zhao Yinwen still kept his smiling face.
“If so, I refuse to believe there are no Awakeneds among these refugees at all. Shall I shout for a try?”
Clearly, Zhou Tong was no fool either as he did not let himself be suppressed by such logic that the other party was a step ahead of him, hence made him lose the right to first explore the Secret Area.
“I have nothing to say since you say so. It’s not that my Heavenly Seal Guild is relying on our force to pressure others either, but the entrance fee of 2 second-order Blood Crystals plus 10 first-order ones is the reason that barred those Awakened vanguards from entering the Secret Area, nothing to do with what I said or did.”
Obviously, the refutation from Zhou Tong was obviously more powerful logically, but Zhao Yinwen’s argument still held true on its own.
Just as the two of them were battling with words, several teams of more than a dozen people also arrived at the scene!
“There’s no need for two bigwigs like you to fight. If by your logic that whoever comes first should get the first service, then the Raging Bull brothers came here earlier than both of you!”
It was Niu Sanqiang, the leader of Raging Bull Gang who just said that. He waved toward the refugees nearby as a refugee with ragged clothes and snaggletooth immediately came over and nodded to him.
At a glance, the argument from Niu Sanqiang, the leader of Raging Bull Gang was also sound and true, since that refugee was also a member of his guild.
During the time when the Heavenly Seal Guild and the Iron Spire Guild were arguing that whoever came first should get the right to first enter the Secret Area, for a medium guild such as Raging Bull Gang to barge into the scene all of a sudden made Zhao Yinwen baffled since he was the one who said the line.
However, Zhao Yinwen thought quickly and found another reason to attack the other party as he let out a disdainful smile and said, “Informal periphery personnel doesn’t count based on this argument. My Heavenly Seal Guild also has at least 300 external staff and there should be some of them around here too. Hence, based on Chief Niu’s argument, there’s no way to prove whether you are eligible to earn the right to enter first!”
It wasn’t yet verified whether The Heavenly Seal Guild really had the largest periphery staff, but even if they really did not have any, some refugees would step forward to confirm what he said just to fawn over him should he shout at them. Therefore, Zhao Yinwen was not worried to make a blunder with his statement.
However, that raggedly dressed external member of Raging Bull Gang quickly ruined Zhao Yinwen’s statement in the next moment. He picked up a red brick from the ground and gently stroked it, turning it into powder.
This proved that this man was an Awakened. Even if he had yet to advance to the Second Level, it could be seen that he had swallowed more than one second-order Blood Crystals.
“His real name is Niu Gao, nicknamed Fang. He’s a full member of our Raging Bull Gang and also one of the core members who established the Raging Bull, not some peripheral staff!” After Fang demonstrated his ability, Niu Sanqiang explained.
Even though the power held by Niu Sanqiang of the Raging Bull Gang was inferior to these two men in front, his sudden barging into the scene was in accordance to the argument held by the Heavenly Seal Guild that whoever came first earned the priority to enter, meaning that the Raging Bull held the obvious right based on this principle, the very argument always stressed by Guild Master Zhao himself.
And thus, Zhao Yinwen was choked on this point, causing him unable to respond all of sudden.
“Fang, Niu Ba…”
Niu Sanqiang began to shout and assign his team with their tasks. Even though their guild only had two Second Level experts including him, some of them had taken one or two second-order Blood Crystals. The two Blood Crystals they had saved were actually planned for another important member of the guild to level up. However, he temporarily changed his decision to finally gamble for this Secret Area.
He still took the bet even though he was well aware that the strength of his guild members wouldn’t be able to control the situation outside after they entered, so it was estimated that the Heavenly Seal and Iron Spire guilds would definitely follow inside. He was not Yun Tu who knew the fact that this Secret Area was a recurring one and could be entered repeatedly. Thus, he still chose to throw the last dice to bet despite the danger.
Zhao Yinwen had a nasty expression on his face. His men had cleared out the site with difficulty in order to take the entrance to the Secret Area under their control and seized its resources for their own. Yet, the argument he put out to prevent anyone from entering the Secret Area turned out to be a gift for the Raging Bull Gang. It also put him in a dilemma. If he were to use force to prevent the Raging Bull from entering, he would only slap his own face while pulling all the guilds at present as his enemies.
However, just as Niu Sanqiang finished assigning roles, Fang came over and whispered something to him.
“Third Brother, this Secret Area is, by no means, a simple one. I think we should not enter for the time being!”
“Why? Are you afraid of those from the Heavenly Seal and Iron Spire guilds?”
“That’s not what I meant, Third Brother. Another team has already entered before I came and those refugees in the surrounding also witnessed it. It’s just civilians won’t dare to speak out about it. From what I saw, however, the strength of that team is undoubtedly no weaker than the Heavenly Seal and Iron Spire, or even stronger!”
“More powerful than the Heavenly Seal and Iron Spire? Which guild could it be? You couldn’t be saying that they are from the Jiangnan Family Guild from the Southern District, no?”
“They have a base here but they are not from the Jiangnan Family but even worse, they are the greatest enemy of that guild!”
While answering the inquiry, Fang pointed at the small building occupied by the Dark Night Guild.
“You mean they are the group of people who have swept out Duan Hongyu of the Jiangnan Family in the Southern District a couple of days ago?”
Even though there were only a handful of bystanders who were aware of the name of the Dark Night Guild, the big disturbance created by the Dark Night Guild had somewhat alarmed some sensitive guilds to notice their existence, one of which was the small mid-sized Raging Bull Gang.
After hearing Fang’s revelation, Niu Sanqian thought there were really too many powerful individuals in play now. Even if he was able to enter, the benefit he would get would be trivial, whereas the entrance fee of two second-order Blood Crystals was not a cheap price for them. However, the present opportunity was too good to just give it up like this. He paced back and forth for a while as he then suddenly had an idea.
“Excuse me, two bigwig friends. Something happened in our base all of a sudden so I decided to auction the first priority right to enter the site. The floor price for the bid is two second-order Blood Crystals. What’s your opinion about my proposal, Guild Master Zhao, Guild Master Zhou?”
“Hahaha! Transferring the right to enter? What a joke! Just straightly say that you don’t have Blood Crystals to pay the entrance fee!” Zhao Yinwen laughed.
“Am I really joking? We, the Raging Bull, might be poor, but we are not lacking two Blood Crystals!” Niu Sanqiang put out two shining Blood Crystals while speaking.
“Truth be told, the present situation here is obvious to all of us. I understand the idea proposed by the Brother of Raging Bull. If everyone enters the site at the same time, still only one party will benefit from the Secret Area, whereas the cost for entering is a bit steep as well. Not to mention that private fights will bound to happen inside the Secret Area, so we might as well reach an agreement outside!” Zhou Tong believed that he could see through the bottom of the Raging Bull Gang.
“Exactly. That’s what I have in mind. The number of human Awakened is far less than zombies as well as weaker than them as many of us are killed by the tide of zombies every minute as we speak. It makes no sense for everyone to fight one another, so it’s best to reach an agreement outside than to fight inside the Secret Area and leave badly battered!”
Niu Sanqiang quickly followed Zhou Tong’s line and stated his position. It was a smart move from him, and he said it uprightly so all the small and medium-sized guilds around him applauded and expressed their support.
“I’m fine with it! However, Brother Niu’s price of two second-order Blood Crystals for priority right is a bit expensive. Discount it. I and Brother Zhou will pay you five first-order Blood Crystals each, and both our guilds will discuss an agreement to form a joint force team to enter the site. After we clear up the Secret Area, only then will we divide the share of the rewards together!”
Zhao Yinwen may have a powerful force, but he was not a rigid and stubborn man. Hence, he proposed a new construct for temporary cooperation schema, which was much cheaper and would save many Blood Crystals than having to compete in biddings against the Iron Spire as proposed by the Raging Bull.
Nobody wanted to spend second-order Blood Crystals that cheaply, whereas first-order Blood Crystal was a type of resource big guilds were not lacking in. Therefore, instead of going to hell together with the Heavenly Seal Guild, an option for temporary cooperation could be said as a good way out. Zhou Tong was well aware that the power he had was not as powerful as the Heavenly Seal Guild’s, so he finally agreed after giving it some thoughts.
The moment these two largest guilds reached an agreement, Niu Sanqiang knew that he had no say to bargain further given the strength of his guild. However, obtaining 10 first-step Blood Crystals could be said as a good gain in and of itself. He was not a greedy man and knew when to stop. After receiving the Blood Crystals, he and his men withdrew to the side to watch the scene where tigers would fight while waiting for the opportunity to reap the rewards when both sides were exhausted.
Ultimately, a joint agreement between the Heavenly Seal and Iron Spire guilds had practically repressed the other small and mid-sized guilds around and the rest that were still unceasingly catching up and were ready to create some disturbance.
Although these two major guilds shared the same external interests, the rivalry between them could still be seen very clearly. Forming up a five-man party might be simple, but to whom the three spots, two spots, and the team leader belonged to must still be resolved. Another questionable issue was whether the side with more men would murder the other side in the Secret Area for there was no chance to investigate the murder that happened inside later on. By then, even if there was suspicion that the enemy did manipulate the incident, it would not be easy to pursue it.
The suspicion during the talk between the two parties was very heavy. Ultimately, the Heavenly Seal and Iron Spire guilds failed to reach an agreement and the final result was both guilds would send their own teams inside. It was decided that both teams would fairly compete inside the Secret Area. Whoever found the mission Boss first and obtained the rewards would be left to fate.
Even so, these two guilds were still arguing on some other issues of whoever would enter first and how many minutes the time needed for the last team to enter. Finally, the slightly more powerful Heavenly Seal Guild won the first entry right.
After an agreement was reached with each had their axes to grind at each other, the two guilds quickly picked up the final candidates as the two big shots then put on the pretense to announce the rules of the game after both teams entered the Secret Area later, pointing out that they must not attack each other and mutual assistance whenever one side faced difficulties. Afterwards, the two teams of the Heavenly Seal and Iron Spire guilds entered the Secret Area under the watch of everyone’s eyes.
Everyone was perfectly aware that it was impossible for the two teams to cooperate in the Secret Area. However, before the quest to clear up the Secret Area had yet to finish, the foundation for the cooperation between these two guilds was still relatively strong, so to say, the other party was still guarding the area around the entrance to the Secret Area so as to prevent other forces from creating chaos.
For this reason, Zhao Yinwen, as his capacity as the Guild Master of the Heavenly Seal Guild, intentionally took out some fine wine and raised a toast to the cooperation between both parties with Zhou Tong as the Guild Master of the Iron Spire Guild.
All the scenes were clearly witnessed by Feng Ling who stayed hidden among the refugees. The two five-man teams were composed of the elites of the two guilds. Even though these two teams were not fully composed of Second Level experts, there were three of them in each team. But if these two teams were to encounter Yun Tu’s team inside the Secret Realm, it would be highly likely they would join hands again in the face of common competitors. When she thought about this possibility, she couldn’t help but worry about Yun Tu and everyone else.
At this time, Yun Tu and everyone else in the Secret Area were naturally not aware of the situation outside. However, it was not an important issue to them for the time being. The map of Recurring Secret Area was much bigger than the one-time ones. Under normal circumstances, there was no exact position where the final Boss could be located, even the possibility of encountering other teams in the same Secret Area was relatively small.
A five-man team entered the Secret Area at the same time, so they naturally arrived in the same location and at the same time. After the light flashed through, Yun Tu and the rest arrived at the dark part of this Secret Area, located between a mountain valley and a forest. The sky was moonless with only dimmed starlight flashing from the firmament, whereas dense expanse of trees and vines could hardly be seen in the darkness.
“Everyone, be careful. Xiao Bao will blast out his Flame Ring!”
They just entered the Secret Area from the outside and had yet to stabilize their footings, yet Yun Tu could immediately sense that danger had discovered them!