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Fatal Shot Chapter 39
"Must be a Sniper! What aim!"
"That damage—it's absurd!"
The players were immersed in their elation at completing the mission. Though they hadn't landed the final hit, at least it was much better than letting the rebel commander escape. However, there were also players with lightning-fast reflexes who were holstering the weapons in their hands and rushing toward the spot where the rebel commander had fallen.
"What are they doing?"
"Sh*t! They're looting the equipment!"
The rest of the players came to their senses, immediately holstering their weapons and following after the others. This rebel commander was a Commander-grade Level-55 mob. If it dropped any equipment, it would at least be at the Excellent grade worth no less than tens of thousands of credits. Plus, it had a fixed drop chance of a Rare-grade piece of equipment.
A Rare-grade piece of equipment can be worth tens of thousands of credits! thought the players.
There were still a few rebel soldiers left—relying on the energy military vehicles' defenses and making their last stand—but most of the players were no longer paying attention to them, with the exception of a handful of Manipulators with subpar agility who knew they couldn't compete with the players in looting the commander. With the mindset of farming a few more medal points, they used their attack skills and focused on nothing else. The other Gunmen and Warriors were all heading toward where the rebel commander had fallen.
Of course, those who ran the fastest were naturally the Light Armor Warriors who used Charge. Because this mission had featured no instances of melee combat, they'd waited a whole night without any rewards. However, this very fact also made them the players who had the most Stamina and MP left, enabling them to use Charge with maximum speed. If they picked up the loot, they would definitely be the ones who profited the most from this battle.
Feng Luo had raced down the hill right away, but because of how high his position was, by the time he reached the foot of the hill, it was already too late. Plus, as soon he came down, the first thing he did was check up on Dan Hen's situation. Since Dan Hen wasn't there, he thought he might have suffered a "heavy injury" in the process of jumping down from the hill. If that were the case, and if Feng Luo didn't heal him, he might die.
In Feng Luo's subconscious, he still considered the life of a comrade to be much more important than a piece of equipment—even inside a game where dying only took away a level's worth of experience.
However, Feng Luo did not find Dan Hen in the valley where he'd jumped. By the time he decided to leave, a few of the Light Armor Warriors had already rushed into the forest where the rebel commander had fallen.
What happened next, however, exceeded everyone's expectations. Just as the Light Armor Warriors entered the forest, someone wearing a camouflage combat uniform with many spots and tears on his uniform—a slim figure with an expression as cold as ice—appeared from the other side of the forest. In his hands was the staff of the rebel commander embedded with a dark green energy stone.
"Here! It's for you, Feng Luo!" Dan Hen didn't hesitate for a second. He handed the staff to him immediately when he saw him.
"Brother Dan Hen, this…!"
Feng Luo would never have guessed that Dan Hen would simply hand him the piece of equipment so willingly. Although he hadn't seen its attributes, he knew this staff was at least an Excellent-grade weapon or even a Rare-grade weapon. Hence, he actually hesitated before accepting the staff.
"Take it," said Dan Hen. "Killing this commander was mainly due to your efforts. I didn't do much. If it helps to make you feel less guilty, I only picked this up because I saw many people trying to steal it who didn't have the right to take it."
The ability to snatch this loot away from a handful of Warriors using Charge spoke volumes about Dan Hen's skills.
"If you say so, I'll take it," said Feng Luo. "Since neither of us can use it anyway, as soon as I sell it, I'll split the credits with you."
Feng Luo thought for a while before accepting Dan Hen's trade request, but at last, he chose the "Agree to Trade" option.
(In War, players could trade directly, one to one, and the system would conduct relative judgment.)
He wasn't planning on pocketing the equipment for himself. Instead, he was planning to split a reasonable profit with Dan Hen when he sold it at the Exchange.
"Humph! What are you two talking about?"
At that moment, a voice of dissent rose from behind Dan Hen. Feng Luo turned to look and saw the Light Armor Warrior who had been in cahoots with Yellow-tooth. Apparently, after entering the forest, he had discovered that the rebel commander's body had already been looted by someone else and had run back out hastily after that. In addition, behind him were three other Light Armor Warriors who had entered with him. They were all staring at Feng Luo and Dan Hen with malicious intent.
"Do you plan on pocketing the equipment for yourselves?" said the Light Armor Warrior, pointing his finger at the staff in Feng Luo's hands.
"What do you mean by that?" Dan Hen asked, staring at him coldly, squinting his eyes ever so slightly.
"A Boss's loot belongs to all those who had participated in the battle!" the Light Armor Warrior said very loudly—so loud that it attracted the attention of all the players who were heading over. "Aren't you belittling our efforts by slipping that piece of equipment into your inventory?"
"Oh! Do you by any chance want to share the loot?" said Feng Luo sarcastically. "What even gives you the right to ask?"
"What gives me the right? Even if I did not land any attacks against the Boss, two of my friends dropped their levels just to kill this commander. I am obligated to compensate their losses."
The Light Armor Warrior had indeed found a sound reason. His partners, the Scout and the Sniper, were nowhere to be seen. Based on what he said, he probably meant that they had died.
Dan Hen's face grew even colder. The broken skin caused by slashes during his fall showed his muscles contracting, and he emitted the menacing aura of a hunting leopard. "And if we don't want to?"
At the same time, Feng Luo put one of his hands into his anti-gravity backpack, reaching for a cylindrical-shaped object.
Glare-MK II Flashbang, thought Feng Luo. They cost 500 credits apiece, and a single blueprint can only be used 15 times for crafting. Using one on these people is a bit of a waste…
At that moment, a dozen players and counting had already gathered. The Light Armor Warrior revealed a smile, acknowledging his plan's success.
"All of us put in a lot of effort to defeat the rebel commander," he said. "Its loot may be worth tens of thousands of credits. What is your basis for claiming the right to loot the equipment? I suggest we take this staff, auction it off, and split the credits among all of us…" Looking at the intentions clearly showing on the players' faces, the Light Armor Warrior's eyes glinted with a hint of cruelty as he continued trying to persuade them. "But you have to give us the item first. Because of your actions just now, none of us feel we can trust you…"
Oddly enough, Feng Luo stayed silent and focused his attention on a spot behind the Light Armor Warrior. The Light Armor Warrior didn't notice Feng Luo's odd behavior and continued his instigation of other players.
"Besides that," he continued, "don't think that just because the mission forbids infighting, you can pocket the loot for yourselves. Since all the NPCs have died, even if we kill you, we won't be punished by the system anyway."
Because War pursued realism, the system didn't punish players by using conventional, straightforward in-game punishment systems such as insta-death. Instead, it used a more elaborate system. In lieu of a traditional method, it mainly relied on NPCs to punish players according to the system's rules.
Just like at the Town of Exiles, players who disobeyed the rules and robbed others of equipment would only be punished when the Guards arrived. The Light Armor Warrior was plainly relying on this feature by purposely mentioning that the equipment was worth tens of thousands of credits, attempting to instigate the players' greed, then gank Feng Luo and Dan Hen.
This was his true intention. He had already anticipated that Feng Luo and Dan Hen would never hand over the equipment. The only thing he could do was convince the other players to kill Feng Luo. And, judging by the players' reactions, he seemed to have succeeded.
"Dead? Who said all the NPCs are dead?"
At that moment, a smiled unfolded on Feng Luo's face, and he pocketed the staff into his anti-gravity backpack, ignoring the greedy players surrounding them.
"All of you, lay down your arms!" a voice roared, and, a staff sergeant with a bulky figure came limping out from behind the tree where he had been hiding. Even though his combat uniform was tattered, his face and neck were black as coal, his right hand weakly clutched the side of his body, and his foot was bleeding nonstop, he was still roaring furiously. "Infighting is strictly forbidden! Are all of you deaf?"
F*ck! This guy actually survived! cursed the Light Armor Warrior in his heart.
Apparently, this was a part of the mission's scripted event; if the players succeeded in killing the rebel commander, the Staff Sergeant would survive, leading the players back to the Town of Exiles. On the other hand, if they failed the mission, the Staff Sergeant most likely would have died. This setting undoubtedly thwarted the Light Armor Warrior's scheme.
"Sir, the mission you appointed has been completed. The Rebel Commander Harry Luden has been eliminated. Awaiting further instruction, sir!" Dan Hen took a step forward and bowed to the Staff Sergeant with honor, and his old habit as a retired army soldier made him looked especially serious.
Feng Luo's instincts told him that Dan Hen may have once lived through a real-life experience similar to this one.
"Well done, recruit!" Using his only hand free to move, the Staff Sergeant returned a salute to Dan Hen and turned his body around and to all of the players, shouting, "Retreat!"
The Light Armor Warrior's face went pale, but he had no other plans against them.
This troublesome mission, which had been so torturous and had spanned a whole night, had finally ended.
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