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Chapter 185 - A Surprising Resolution
Gu Fei did not attempt to cover up his kung fu - his fighting tempo was flawless and his every move was cleverly executed. Although none of the Cloud Herder players knew kung fu, they could tell that their current foe was someone who had dabbled in kung fu before.
A kung fu expert would always have a huge advantage when facing people who knew nothing of martial arts. Nonetheless, if a physical brawl were to occur in reality, one could only beat up two or three people at most in a timeframe no matter how great of a fighting expert he or she was, and going up against dozens or hundreds of people was definitely out of the question. In the real world, facing off against four or five enemies at the same time was already highly improbable, as no ordinary people could withstand and endure a prolonged brawling session when everyone had issues with their endurance and stamina.
Real life was unlike the Saint Seiya series, where the exhausted main characters could suddenly revitalize themselves and continue fighting by just visualizing the G.o.ddess Athena in their hearts. No G.o.d or G.o.ddess would descend to relieve someone from a fight when one's energy was totally expended, and one finger-poke was all that was needed to deal with someone who was totally spent. No matter how skilled one was, he or she could never triumph over physical and mental fatigue.
However, Gu Fei was not in the real world right now but in a game. Although the game sought to completely mimic reality, one aspect that it extremely differed was how fatigue was calculated.
At the end of the day, a MMO existed to provide people continuous enjoyment. And since all game companies' purpose was to earn more profit from their games, they would naturally eliminate anything that hindered them from achieving this goal, and this concept of 'tiredness' was one such thing.
As such, Gu Fei was not even a bit tired right now, and the only thing he could feel was utter enjoyment.
This fight was actually boring to watch, as no skills or spells were being used by the combatants. In fact, Gu Fei's Sacred Flames of Baptism was the only thing that disrupted the monotony of this PvP with its occasional bouts of flame.
Everyone of Cloud Herder was currently feeling rather awkward. Gu Fei made perfect use of the surroundings to limit his attackers to four men at a time. Moreover, these four men's attack angles were restricted to vertical slashes or oblique cuts. Executing a horizontal swing was troublesome for the four men as it required the three to squeeze together to give the fourth man enough s.p.a.ce to do so.
Gu Fei kept reminding the enemies to 'retreat when their HP turned red' so much so that many of them had already committed the phrase to their hearts. However, none was willing to be the first one to do so, so they could only stiffly face him.
Since the opponents were not backing down, Gu Fei had no choice but to kill them. Besides, he was not the type to stay his hands out of courtesy or kindness. Had this been when Gu Fei first played the game, he would not have even reminded them about their HP. Having played the game for quite some time, he now knew how difficult it was for players to grind levels. This knowledge of the gamers' greatest fear caused him to feel obligated to remind them of their HP whenever he PvPed with them.
In no time at all, another one died under Gu Fei's excellent swordsmanship. Besides the new player that filled up the freshly vacated spot, the HP of the other three players facing Gu Fei was already in the red. Looking to their left and right, each of them secretly hoped for their comrades to give up the fight, so that they could do so as well. Sadly, none of them was willing to be viewed as the first 'coward' that retreated from the fight.
The three were crestfallen but they persisted still. Suddenly, someone from behind them shouted, "Retreat once your HP turns red."
Everyone recognized the voice as belonging to their guild leader, Foe-herder, and felt relieved. His words were deemed by all as an excuse for them to retreat. Retreating as per his instruction meant that none of them had to fight Gu Fei to death. The three men who were engaging Gu Fei in the fight immediately retreated to their guild's PvP formation.
Their vacated positions were very quickly filled up as the skirmish raged on. With Foe-herder's declaration, none died fighting any longer. In a short while, two men retreated from the fight as their replacements stepped in.
This scenario played out for quite a while, as the Cloud Herder's PvP formation adapted itself into a very unique configuration. When almost everyone present was already in the red, Foe-herder became very conflicted on what to do next.
Without any usage of skills, Foe-herder was unsure if he could best the Mage in this fight. He saw that it would be his turn soon as his guildmates had almost all retreated. What face would Foe-herder have left if he also failed at subjugating the Mage?
As he was feeling troubled by this, a member drew closer to Foe-herder, "Guild Leader, we can't keep this up."
"That Mage is really skilled. If his plan of not using any skills or spells carries on, no one will be able to deal with him at all as long as he keeps this up without making any mistakes."
"I know that…" Foe-herder of course knew of this fact as well, so he was hoping for Gu Fei to slip up!
"Guild Leader, we don't really need to pit ourselves against him like this. His attacks can't instkill any of us. If all our brothers throw themselves at him, he won't be able to dodge our a.s.sault with his back against the wall. I believe just four of us are enough to immobilize him by squeezing him to the wall."
"This…" Foe-herder had also thought of this idea, but he had been reluctant to do it, deeming it as somewhat despicable. Expectedly, this person's suggestion was immediately vetoed by another, "Isn't that too despicable?"
"What else can we do, then?"
"It's just not a good idea."
"We'll let Guild Leader decide, then!" The ball was ultimately pushed toward Foe-herder.
Foe-herder hesitated once more, as the other person urged, "Just do it, Guild Leader. That man is just too strong."
"Too strong…" When Foe-herder heard these words, he promptly raised his hand, "Stop!"
The four men who were surrounding Gu Fei currently were feeling extremely miserable that none of their blows would connect to the target, as he was either dodging their weapons or interrupting their attacks with his sword, so Foe-herder's command to stop the fight was like a prize winning declaration to the four, and they happily stopped their a.s.sault.
"There's no need for us to fight anymore." Foe-herder said, "You're very strong, indeed!" His underling's comment about Gu Fei being 'too strong' reminded Foe-herder of why they had started this fight in the first place.
It was to test Gu Fei's strength and see if he was truly the indomitable black-clothed Mage.
Although the skill Gu Fei had displayed was different from the black-clothed Mage's high Magic Attack Power, the fact that he was an expert was no longer a point of contention.
Naturally, they no longer needed to carry on with fighting with that being the case. It did not matter whether he was the black-clothed Mage or not, as Foe-herder's intention remained the same: to poach.
"Ahem…" Foe-herder cleared his throat as he commended Gu Fei, "Brother, your skill is the real deal. Have you trained before?"
"Just a little," was every martial artist's humble response to a compliment regarding their fighting prowess.
Foe-herder did not care for it and merely asked, "What guild are you currently in, bro?"
"Amethyst Rebirth!" Gu Fei replied.
"Are you really that same person?" Foe-herder asked.
"That's right!" Gu Fei answered. Cloud Herder's posters were scattered all over the city. Gu Fei casually picked up one and pointed a finger to it, "I'm this guy."
Foe-herder inhaled deeply. Just as he was about to begin convincing Gu Fei to leave his current guild, a voice suddenly hollered, "What's going on here?! Why is everyone crowding this place?"
Someone forcefully squeezed through the Cloud Herder Guild's encirclement and gazed at the center. Seeing Gu Fei standing alone in the core of this crowd, the person gleefully called out, "Ah, it's you! I was just looking for you!"
Gu Fei glanced over and recognized this man as the despicable and utterly reprehensible Sakurazaka Moony.
Foe-herder also recognized Sakurazaka Moony. While they did not exactly have a close relationship, they would at least exchange a few words whenever they met each other on the streets. It could be said that they had a budding friendship going on.
Foe-herder knew that Sakurazaka Moony was a high-ranking expert on the experience leaderboard and was currently managing a small guild, so his heart constricted when he heard him say that he had been looking for Gu Fei. Is Moony trying to poach him, as well? Foe-herder thought to himself. Stepping forward, he arrived beside Sakurazaka Moony, "Hey, it's been a while!"
"Oi, Old Herder! Why are you here?" He then looked around him and asked, "All your guildmates are here, too! What's going on?"
Before Foe-herder could answer, Sakurazaka Moony saw the people trapping Gu Fei against the wall and swiftly grasped the situation. He patted Foe-herder's shoulder and said, "Old Herder, I know this man. Give me some face and don't make things difficult for him."
Gu Fei could not help but feel uncomfortable at how serious Sakurazaka Moony was carrying himself at the moment. His current expression was the complete opposite of his usual easy-going demeanor! Right now, any onlookers would mistake him for someone who was trying to sort things out for a friend who had gotten into a tricky situation.
"You're mistaken!" Foe-herder's eyes turned anxious, "It's just a little misunderstanding. Actually, we're warmly inviting brother here to join our guild."
"Join your guild?" Sakurazaka Moony reacted as if he had just heard the world's greatest joke. Showing an exaggerated look of surprise, he stepped toward Gu Fei and grabbed his shoulder, "Miles bro here is just like me. He's not gonna be interested in your lousy guild."
Foe-herder abruptly froze upon hearing Sakurazaka Moony's words. He completely understood what Sakurazaka Moony meant when he said, "Just like me."
When they had first met, Foe-herder had also done his best to invite Sakurazaka Moony into Cloud Herder Guild. But the latter had decisively rejected his offer, even explaining his hobby to Foe-herder and expressing his desire to work hard toward his goal. Not too long after, Foe-herder learned that this man had established an extremely detestable guild by gathering a bunch of players who had the same loose morals as him. It was after this that Foe-herder gave up any plans to rope him into Cloud Herder Guild. Right now, Sakurazaka Moony's was implying that Gu Fei was a fellow 'Daoist' that shared the same interest of chasing skirts.
At the same time, Sakurazaka Moony continued his introduction, "Furthermore, Miles here could be said to be the most outstanding individual among us, 'Daoists'. Just his achievement of getting into Amethyst Rebirth left the rest of us reveling in envy and admiration."
It all makes sense to me now... Foe-herder had a sudden epiphany, Only someone who shares the mindset of Moony would willingly stay in that weak all-female guild after all... Why haven't I thought of this sooner?
Foe-herder abruptly felt disappointed when he thought of this. The look he now gave Gu Fei had turned into disappointment from admiration for the latter's lowly aspirations. Gazing at the two men contemptuously, he waved at his men, "Let's leave!"
"Wait a minute! You guys are mistaken!"
"What's mistaken?! Enough with that nonsense! I have something urgent I need you for!" Sakurazaka Moony stopped Gu Fei from chasing after Cloud Herder to explain himself.