Chapter 385 - Pre-Battle Analysis Pt. 2
Xiang Yun smiled mysteriously, and with the blade in his right hand raised in the air, he taunted, "Oi, bunch of cowards over there! I suggest you stop sending your weak men here to their deaths. Aren't you guys part of the ten great troops? You captains should come out and exchange some blows with me! Where's the heroism in sending your underlings to hell? Not afraid of being called heartless?"
Suo Jia couldn't help but chuckle at Xiang Yun's words. While in terms of strength, Roger wasn't at all inferior to Xiang Yun, there was still a large gap in cunningness between the two of them. Suo Jia had no interest in Roger's reckless actions that led to tactic-less battles; in fact, Suo Jia looked down on such fights the most.
Suo Jia's philosophy was that victory in any battle was defined by the highest achievements at minimal expense. Going around fighting with just brute strength had no meaning, even if it resulted in a victory. How was such fighting any different from a magical beast's actions?
In response to Xiang Yun's provocation, a low voice rang out from amidst the enemy circle, "Blade Master! You're being naive, did you really think we'd give you a chance to battle 1v1? Let me just tell you now, give up on trying to pull your little tricks. We have you surrounded right now, and none of us are foolish enough to pick a solo fight with you!"
"Tch..." Xiang Yun lazily leaned on his blade and said in disdain, "Stop trying to skirt around and just say the truth, you can't beat me, right? As if I'd believe you'd refuse to 1v1 me if you could easily destroy me. This is such a good chance to show your power, even idiots wouldn't let such an opportunity go to waste!"
"You're right!" The low voice from before firmly answered. "I admit that if we fought 1v1, I wouldn't be your match. However...although I can't defeat you alone, you will definitely die here today!"
"Heavens!" Nicole sucked in sharply and murmured, "This guy's pretty smart. Not only did he resist Xiang Yun's provocation, he also managed to fire up his subordinates. He gained the advantage by declining, a really brilliant move. Now his subordinates won't be able to blame him for sending their brethren to their deaths!"
"Hmph!" Suo Jia snorted, "If you really think that, then you're wrong. Although both you and that guy are smart, you two are undoubtedly still far behind Xiang Yun in terms of cunningness. Neither of you truly understand the might of Xiang Yun's ability!"
"Hm?" Roger looked at Suo Jia in confusion and cut in, "Boss, I must ask, aren't you viewing Xiang Yun too highly? Didn't his attempt at leaving the enemy encirclement just fail?"
Suo Jia glanced at Roger. Thinking that this was a great chance teach Roger and Nicole about wiliness, he explained carefully, "On the surface, the opponent seems to have foiled Xiang Yun's plan to escape. But in reality, he's just fallen further into Xiang Yun's trap!"
Suo Jia paused to look over at Xiang Yun in admiration. "Although the opponent managed to complicate Xiang Yun's escape plan, Xiang Yun also successfully implanted the image of being an undefeatable figure into the minds of every single member of those ten major troops. Once this fight ends, regardless of whether Xiang Yun wins or loses, his name would be carried by the wind and across the waters everywhere!"
Nicole and Roger suddenly understood, and immediately nodded in agreement. Seeing this, Suo Jia continued, "Moreover, now that he's ingrained the image of being undefeatable into the enemies' minds, they won't be able to attack him at full strength in battle later. Nobody would be able to utilize their full potential when they're sure they can't win!"
At this point, Suo Jia knit his brows together in thought, "Does this mean that Xiang Yun doesn't want to escape, and wants to destroy everyone here instead? There's no other possible explanation for his actions!"
Suo Jia looked at Xiang Yun's figure and contemplated for a long while. There were still many ambiguous points that Suo Jia hadn't figured out yet. Xiang Yun must have had a reason for acting in such a way but...while killing all of these people wasn't impossible, there was absolutely no need to do so!
After pondering it for a long while, Suo Jia's eyes lit up in realization and he triumphantly declared, "I understand now why Xiang Yun is doing all this. Along with setting up the image of being an undefeatable overlord, he's also establishing the image of an eternal-reigning tyrant rivaling the homicidal maniac. That way, when we go and challenge the crazy killer, he can use his fame to rally supporters to gather with us and alleviate our group's burden!
"Heavens!" Roger held his head in his hands and shook his head as he chuckled dryly, "There's no way it's that complicated, right? Isn't this just a single battle? Is there any need to think that far? Don't you guys find that tiring?"
Suo Jia glanced at Roger and placidly replied, "You just don't understand. Yes, thinking that hard is tiring, but what isn't? Utilizing intelligence gives people a feeling of satisfaction and pride. Maybe you should try using it sometime in the future, then you'll be able to understand the amazing feeling it gives!"
Suo Jia took a deep breath and resolutely declared, "I've already gotten a general idea of what Xiang Yun means to do. The two of you should prepare yourselves; if Xiang Yun is really planning what I think he is, he will absolutely not run away, even if he doesn't manage to kill all the enemies. The only ones that could possibly flee are the enemy!"
"What?!" Nicole stared at Suo Jia in shock. She pointed a shaking figure at the hundreds of soldiers around the city gate and asked in disbelief, "Are you saying that our group alone will withstand those ten great troops? That's impossible!"
Roger urgently nodded in agreement, "Yeah, that's right! Just being to escape from such a situation is worth bragging about, killing them all or chasing them away is an unaccomplishable task!"
Suo Jia coldly replied, "If we can't even do something as minor as this, how could we possibly challenge the homicidal maniac? That guy alone was able to easily eliminate ten times more people than this!"
Nicole and Roger inhaled sharply at this. Suo Jia continued, "This is a test. Like I said, if we can't defeat the maniac killer this time around, we'll just die together there! Therefore, victory isn't an issue to be discussed for this battle, because that must be the conclusion!"
With this, Nicole and Roger finally understood everything. Suo Jia and Xiang Yun had already steeled their resolve to win this fight. If they couldn't even deal with this situation, there was no way they could even think about challenging the crazy killer. Unswerving determination could be seen on the faces of Nicole and Roger; there was no way they would retreat anymore. The only thing to consider now was how they would achieve victory!
Seeing that his companions had regained their optimal mentality, Suo Jia chuckled, "Don't worry too much, you guys have to be confident in yourselves. Trust me, this actually isn't that hard to win. Besides, as long as we show our true strength, we won't have any regrets even if we do lose!"
"Mhm," Nicole and Roger simultaneously replied. "We understand, Boss. Now, what are your orders? What should we do?"
Suo Jia smirked and shook his head. "The best team doesn't need instructions on how to act, but rather work together in tandem naturally. That's why, I won't plan anything for this fight. You two can set out now and go to positions you think are most ideal. We will use the methods we are each most expert in to help lead the entire group to victory!"
"What?!" Nicole exclaimed in shock. "But if we leave, who will protect you? A mage can't possibly display their entire strength without a warrior's protection!"
Suo Jia puffed out his chest and proudly answered, "Although there is logic in your words, I'm not any normal mage. I've trained for so long that I'm no longer afraid of close combat. Actually, that's the kind of battle I prefer!"
Suo Jia lowered his head to look at his outstretched hands, "I'll let you all witness today the combined power of the control fruit and ice elemental magic, and how astonishingly amazing it is. Believe me, you guys won't be disappointed!"
Nicole and Roger exchanged glances before nodding in unison. Roger then replied, "In that case, we'll head down. Hehe...it looks I can fight as much as I want this time!" With that, Roger leapt down from the tall city gate wall and instantly merged into the crowd.
Now that he'd left, only Nicole and Suo Jia remained on top of the gate wall. Nicole looked at Suo Jia in concern and said in a trembling voice, "You...you make sure to watch out for yourself now!" With that, Nicole blushed and swiftly jumped off. As Suo Jia watched her disappear, he couldn't help but wonder what exactly was wrong with her. Why was she blushing at such a minor thing?