|Author: Mad Flower||Original Source: SFACG||Word Count: 2111 characters|
|Translator: Keissen||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1324 words|
The sunlight was nearly blinding as it beat down relentlessly. Shielding his eyes with a hand, the young man hurriedly sought refuge in a shaded area, leaning against the wall, his body tensed and vigilant. “I don’t feel the aura of any martial artists. This place seems very safe,” he muttered to himself, a semblance of relief washing over him as he began to relax.
This seemingly ordinary young man was in fact Jordan Ye, a member of the distinguished Ye Family. Having successfully procured information on someone known as [Princess] from the forums, he had rigorously studied the data before making his way here.
A smile graced his face as he mused, “I hadn’t expected the moderator herself to sell me the information. It appears our Ye Family’s reputation extends globally.” Initially, Jordan had been skeptical, feeling as though he might have stumbled into a scam given the extensive details that far exceeded the worth of the bounty he had posted. However, his doubts vanished once Vera, the moderator, revealed her identity, leading him to readily accept the generous trove of information.
Central to the data was a map highlighting [Princess]’s location in vibrant red. Numerous potential hiding spots dotted the vicinity, including the Jade Flower Garden—a location Jordan singled out as his first stop for two decisive reasons: Vera’s recommendation and his own sharp intuition.
Drawing on the moniker “[Princess],” he deduced she was likely a pronounced narcissist who would gravitate towards the highest standards of living. Accordingly, the upscale residential area of the Jade Flower Garden seemed the most plausible refuge for her. “I suspect that b*tch is hiding in there,” he speculated silently, a feeling of certainty building within him as he scoped out the tranquil surroundings.
In a blink, Jordan was scaling a ten-story apartment building with remarkable agility, a feat quite trivial for a quasi-grandmaster such as himself. Reaching the roof with speed and stealth, he subdued his aura and proceeded to crawl cautiously across the rooftop, every muscle in his body resonating with nervous energy.
His caution stemmed from a disturbing high-definition recording included in the data, showcasing a battle that escalated into merciless torture. Jordan had watched it in a loop, dozens of times, the rapid sword flicks of [Princess] causing his heart to race uncontrollably with each viewing. The speed of her attack was almost inhuman, the weapon resembling more of a knife than a sword in the fleeting frames captured on camera.
The attack bore a wealth of information, a testament to the possibly intricate mastery behind it. The common assumption would be that [Princess] had thrown her weapon to execute the kill, but Jordan discerned something else entirely, a deeper layer to her strategy.
Drawing upon his rudimentary understanding of telekinesis, he speculated that the attack was the result of the revered, yet nearly forgotten, Sword Manipulation technique. It was a theory spun from the slender threads of his intuition, lacking concrete evidence to substantiate it. Yet the legend that surrounded this ancient technique whispered of its terrifying capacity to snuff out lives from a thousand miles away in a breath’s span — a power that sent shivers down one’s spine just to contemplate.
Even a basic grasp of such a skill posed an insurmountable challenge to any adversary. While Jordan found it far-fetched that [Princess] could strike from thousands of miles away, the danger felt palpably real within a radius of several dozen meters. This realization dictated an approach steeped in utmost caution, a necessity to gather every fragment of information about [Princess] before making a move.
Eventually, his careful progression brought him to a barrier crafted from a rigid assembly of concrete and bricks. With a deft touch, he tapped his fingers against it twice, inducing the formation of two minute openings in the surface. Leaning in closely, he utilized these peepholes to scrutinize the Jade Flower Garden from a safe vantage point.
As thoughts swirled in his mind, a strategic blueprint began to form. “We stand as quasi-Grandmasters, evenly matched in strength. A vigilant eye on her flying sword coupled with an aggressive onslaught might just enable me to overpower her with my formidable aura and seasoned combat acumen,” he hypothesized silently, balancing the scales of underestimation and overestimation meticulously as he considered [Princess]’s capabilities.
Yet a nagging question persisted, spawning tendrils of doubt in his mind. “Could there be additional foes concealed in her hideout?” The ideal scenario playing in his mind envisioned a singular duel, devoid of interruptions, yet the perceptive young man could not dismiss the potential for unforeseen complications.
“I must tread carefully,” Jordan reaffirmed to himself, harboring an acute awareness of the grave importance his mission bore — eliminating [Princess] and seizing a chance for his own breakthrough. The arena was fraught with danger, and recklessness had no place in his plan.
“Break through on the verge of death? Patriarch, do you take me for a fool? The majority of Grandmasters attain their level through steady training, seizing the right moment to break through. You don’t think I know that?” Jordan scoffed, his face a picture of contempt.
He would never risk his life while fighting [Princess]. Instead, he aimed to hunt her down while holding an absolute advantage. Hence, he needed to be careful.
10 minutes later, the Jade Flower Garden remained unchanged.
30 minutes later, the situation was still the same.
“Weird, why can’t I sense a powerful aura yet?”
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In his mind, [Princess] was unstable and would habitually reveal her superior aura. Yet, until this moment, he hadn’t sensed anything of the sort.
“Could I be wrong?” Jordan began to doubt himself. “No, I can’t be mistaken. She has to be here… But what if she isn’t? Would this all be a futile effort?”
Compelled by curiosity, he considered sneaking into the Jade Flower Garden to investigate. But the memory of the previous attack held him back.
Clearly, his failure to reach the Grandmaster Realm stemmed from his lack of absolute determination. His cowardice limited his potential achievements. Despite appearing cautious, he was essentially fearful of death, avoiding risks at all costs. Time was slipping away as Jordan continued to waver.
In the game, within the [City of Chaos], Yunuen and Little Fairy ended their rest and engaged in casual conversation. Little Blue hovered in the air, evidently bored. Simultaneously, Yaeger scoured forums for crucial insights.
“In the dead of night, some players observed a considerable number of soldiers departing the fortress. Why would they vacate the city now?”
As she contemplated, Yaeger caressed her chin with a slender finger.
Alicia was the target of a citywide search; reducing forces didn’t make sense, nor did the mass exodus of soldiers from the city.
“Is a war imminent… or are neighboring kingdoms stirring trouble at the border?” Yaeger whispered, a frown etched on her face. “There’s also talk of sightings of someone resembling Richard among the troops. If the information holds true, the Jade Empire is facing a significant threat, necessitating even the ruler to join the nocturnal march.”
Unexpectedly, Yunuen interrupted, “Princess, the gate is open.”
She had been conversing with Little Fairy while also keeping an eye on forum updates.
“Understood. Is everyone ready?” Yaeger queried, disabling her game interface to focus on her companions.
“Completely ready,” Yunuen affirmed, her tiny fists clenched tightly.
“Same here,” Little Fairy concurred with a nod.
“Little Blue, oversee our surroundings,” instructed Yaeger, signaling to the floating entity, which promptly moved closer.
“Yes, master,” it responded, albeit without enthusiasm.
“Transport us down,” Yaeger ordered, smoothing her hair gracefully.
A white radiance soon enveloped Yaeger and her companions, vanishing as quickly as it appeared, leaving an empty space behind.
In the subsequent moment, they materialized in a desolate wilderness.
Before Yaeger could articulate her thoughts, a notification chimed, indicating a new message in her mailbox. She opened it to find a communication from Mylene.