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Chapter 190 - End of the Fifth Round
The advanced skill, Blink, that Gu Fei had recently purchased at a cheap price left him quite disappointed during his first use of it.
Experimenting with it afterward, Gu Fei learned that the distance he could blink at most was over five meters. He also learned that he could freely choose how much mana to put into it. This was easy to do, as it was just a matter of adjusting the amount of data being transferred.
The mana consumption for the skill would increase by a fold every half a meter traveled from the caster's original position. Moreover, the skill's cool-down time was long, needing at least a full minute.
Mage spells with long cool-down time like this were actually rare. The Blink skill's long cool-down time meant that it could not be frequently casted and that it would take much longer to increase its proficiency. After all, he could only use it once every minute!
While the description for Blink did not mention just how far the spell could transport a caster with maximum proficiency, it was evident that Gu Fei would need to train for a long time just to be able to cover the kind of distance that he had intended to teleport to earlier in the PvP match with Traversing Four Seas.
"Hone your proficiency patiently! And try to use Blink every minute from here onward. Fully incorporate this skill into your very bones. The time needed might be quite long, but—"
"Alright, I get it!" Gu Fei interrupted Royal G.o.d Call. He was someone who had diligently spent twenty years training kung fu. Did he really need a brat like Royal G.o.d Call to teach him about 'patience'?
After separating from Royal G.o.d Call, Gu Fei began to familiarize himself with how to use Blink properly. Later on, he logged off.
Meanwhile, Ye Xiaowu, who had accidentally steered Gu Fei toward a brighter path this morning by convincing the latter to become a Lightning Mage, was feeling exceptionally anxious. Came night, he decisively forwent sleep and ran off toward the monitoring team by the Game Administration Department. As Parallel World was operational twenty-four seven, the members of the monitoring team also worked in a twenty-four-hour shift. Since Ye Xiaowu was not part of this department, his sudden appearance in the dead of night momentarily frightened the monitoring team.
Ye Xiaowu had been busy recently, so a few days had pa.s.sed since he last took note of Gu Fei's character data. But after a little 'prep-talk' about Job Cla.s.s Advancement for Mages when they met each other by chance this morning, he had somehow managed to convince the latter to advance into the path of a Lightning Mage. So here he was right now, appearing at where the monitoring team was in the dead of night. Quickly pulling out Gu Fei's data sheet, he almost spat out blood when he saw its content.
The Blink skill had already appeared in Gu Fei's spell a.r.s.enal.
"Where... Where did this come from?" Ye Xiaowu asked the monitoring team as he pointed at Gu Fei's newest spell.
"This…" A member of the team came forward and carefully examined it, "For him to learn Blink now, it must be from a permanent skill scroll!"
Ye Xiaowu rolled his eyes as he was naturally aware of that. He then mumbled to himself, "How did he get the scroll for it? I have only mentioned it this morning, and he has gotten one in less than a day!? This seems too much of a coincidence!"
None of the members of the monitoring team answered him. The questions were too detailed, and to find out exactly how Gu Fei acquired a permanent skill scroll would require thorough checking of the matter. For the monitoring team, what mattered was that nothing seemed strange based on the data presented. Ever since Parallel World became operational until now, their anti-hacking and anti-loophole programs had relatively been successful.
Ye Xiaowu finally snapped back to reality from his mumbling. He was about to address the team when he saw that the members had already returned to their cubicles to do their work.
"Ah! Chief Ye, you're no stranger to everything around here, so just help yourself with whatever you need! We really don't mind." A member of the team interrupted him. All of the staff proceeded to bury their heads into their work, carefully not making eye contact with Ye Xiaowu.
Ye Xiaowu could only grit his teeth at this and tackle the matter himself.
Fortunately, Gu Fei had just learned the skill for less than a day, so it did not take long for Ye Xiaowu to find out how the latter had exactly come across the skill scroll: He had obtained it from a player called Svelte Dancer. Ye Xiaowu felt helpless upon learning this. As a senior game employee, he was at least aware of some of the more experienced players in the online gaming community. Svelte Dancer had the reputation of being the wealthiest pay-to-win gamer out there, so it was hardly surprising for her to possess such an item.
On another matter, the mercenary PvP tournament and the guild versus guild tournament had respectively reached the end of the fifth round. With the single-elimination format, each in-game city was now left with just 3% to 5% of the partic.i.p.ating guilds and mercenary groups. Many famous and a few inconspicuous guilds and mercenary groups made it this far.
Over in Yunduan City, Amethyst Rebirth was originally the darkest of all the dark horses. After beating the two big guilds Carouse and Cloud Herder, all were hoping for it to create another miracle by beating Traversing Four Seas as well. In the end, Yunduan City's number one guild still seized victory. From this, many people already considered Traversing Four Seas as worthy of its reputation. There should not be any unexpected outcome for Yunduan City's guild versus guild tournament as long as Traversing Four Seas kept performing well.
Not many players and organizations took note of the mercenary PvP tournament compared to the guild versus guild tournament. After the fifth round of it, only two groups caught everyone's attention for clinching victory despite being the underdogs.
The first was naturally Young Master's Elite. Very few people would know about it if one mentioned Young Master's Elite in Yunduan City, but everyone would promptly know of the group if someone mentioned the Grand Kiting mercenary group. After all, the six-man mercenary group was the first to use the Grand Kiting strategy to eliminate the level 4 Cloud Herder mercenary group. Besides that one match, Young Master's Elite had yet to meet another formidable opponent.
The other mercenary group that had received quite a lot of attention was Silver Moon's, whom Gu Fei found contemptuous. Silver Moon mercenary group was newly established in Yunduan City. This mercenary group was only at level 2 with forty members, yet it had eliminated two level 4 mercenary groups with up to eighty members each. According to the defeated mercenary groups' description, Silver Moon mercenary group had many Warriors and a few Knights and Priests. The Charge attack that this group had used was unusually domineering and easily demolished their opponents with one fatal rush.
Besides these two surprising entrants, the other well-known groups, The Black Hand, Traversing Four Seas, and Water Flower (which belonged to the Carouse Guild), had also safely made it to the sixth round of the mercenary PvP tournament.
The next day, Royal G.o.d Call and War Without Wounds had a rarely seen somber expression on their faces during their meeting at Ray's Bar before today's match. Furthermore, Brother a.s.sist immediately began his briefing once Gu Fei sat down on his seat.
"Today, we are matched up against Silver Moon mercenary group," This statement was actually meant for Gu Fei, as the other five would at least take note of which group Young Master's Elite was matched up against for the next day when they got offline.
"Oh. To actually be paired up against them..." Gu Fei said and a sudden swishing sound was heard. He then disappeared from thin air before reappearing next to Brother a.s.sist.
In his shock, Brother a.s.sist accidentally b.u.mped a gla.s.s of liquor off the table. The usually languorous Young Master Han suddenly became very nimble as he quickly reached out to grab the tipped over gla.s.s. Since he was just a Priest with Agility stat limitation, he only caught the gla.s.s when almost half of its content had spilled. Young Master Han incessantly sighed as he stared at the spilled alcohol on the couch, seemingly out of touch with the world. As for everyone else, they were busy gawking at Gu Fei.
The moment soon past and everyone came back to their senses. Royal G.o.d Call proudly declared, "See how awesome Blink is!" as if he was the one that had the skill.
His misplaced pride made everyone feel disgruntled. War Without Wounds picked Royal G.o.d Call up and tossed him out. His scream reverberated inside the room as he flew outside of it. Ray's head carefully poked through the curtain and said, "You knocked into two tables."
"Whoever knocked it shall foot the bill," War Without Wounds replied calmly.
"Shameless! I wanna have a deathmatch with you!" Royal G.o.d Call angrily exclaimed as he rushed into the room.
War Without Wounds casually swept his gaze over and agreed, "Alright. Let's do it right here!"
Royal G.o.d Call was momentarily taken aback by this. This room's tight s.p.a.ce made it impossible for Archers like himself to properly demonstrate their forte. He simply had no way of taking a Warrior head on right here. Thinking that War Without Wounds would not be foolish enough to head outside and allow Royal G.o.d Call to kite him, the latter could only glumly sit down once more.
"Where did you get that skill scroll?" the rest began to ask Gu Fei.
Gu Fei explained the whole incident once more and everyone reacted differently.
War Without Wounds reacted exactly like how Royal G.o.d Call had: He showed a lovestruck look on his face since there was a lady involved in the matter.
Sword Demon and Young Master Han sighed in awe, "How nice is it to be rich."
Brother a.s.sist inquired further about the whole matter, "She's a Thief, so why would she have a skill scroll for Blink?"
When Gu Fei told him the reason, Brother a.s.sist stood up and solemnly addressed the crowd, "From this matter, everyone can clearly see how important information gathering is. I propose we increase the point reward for this particular task to 15 points, instead."
"Brother a.s.sist, your drink's empty. Would you like another gla.s.s?" Young Master Han asked.
Brother a.s.sist did not respond and just quietly sat back down.
"Continue with the briefing for our opponent of the day, please," Sword Demon said.
"Nothing much to say about today," Brother a.s.sist sighed as he opened his mouth once more, "Everyone has already come into contact with Silver Moon back in Yueye City. The skill he possesses, which affects an entire party, will be exceptionally strong in a mercenary group that is mainly composed of Warriors."
"Oh. That guy is pretty smart. He knows that his skill is much more suited in the mercenary PvP tournament than in the guild versus guild tournament. Unlike the guild matches where there may be hundreds of partic.i.p.ants, the current highest level of a mercenary group is only level 5, with a maximum of just one hundred men in a group." Young Master Han said.
"Brother a.s.sist, this means that you won't be earning any points for your information collection today," Sword Demon said.
"Ah? Oi, Sword Demon! Don't be so serious!" Brother a.s.sist hurriedly coaxed.
"Then, can you provide us with any other information we are not aware of?" Sword Demon asked.
"Erm… Silver Moon mercenary group has forty members."
All rolled their eyes.
"It mostly has Warriors."
Another eye roll.
A swishing sound was heard as Gu Fei disappeared from beside Brother a.s.sist and appeared right next to Sword Demon. Brother a.s.sist jumped, forgetting what he had been wanting to say as he and the others stared fixedly at Gu Fei.
"Stop showing off!" Young Master Han said as he quaffed his liquor.
"I'm training my proficiency of the skill," Gu Fei responded seriously.
Chapter 191 - Silver Moon Mercenary Group
Not much could be said about the Silver Moon mercenary group besides the fact that its leader, Silver Moon, possessed the skill to buff the stats of everyone in his team within a short timeframe.
Brother a.s.sist confidently proclaimed to his fellow mercenaries that he would be able to appraise Silver Moon and find out his equipment's characteristics in today's match. "How many points will I earn if I can find that out?" Brother a.s.sist asked Sword Demon.
"You want points for that?" Sword Demon expressed his surprise, before realizing that it was indeed quite difficult for Brother a.s.sist to earn contribution points. He technically had the weakest job cla.s.s as a Knight out of everyone in the group, and given their capabilities, Sword Demon, Royal G.o.d Call, and the rest had no need for his blessing to fight the average players. In fact, a Priest was also unnecessary to them. Thankfully, Brother a.s.sist was not shameless enough to give himself points for his good looks and talent like Young Master Han. His request was not out of shamelessness as well, so Sword Demon easily agreed to it, "I'll award you 1 point for it!" This made Brother a.s.sist feel satisfied.
Gu Fei popped beside Sword Demon with a swish, "So how many points will I get for slaying Silver Moon?"
"That... would depend on the timing, the setting, and the judgment that can impact the entire course of the PvP. You see…" Sword Demon began breaking everything down to the smallest detail. Young Master Han sympathetically gazed at Gu Fei, as if saying, "You've asked a question you shouldn't have asked."
Gu Fei was truly in a lot of pain because Sword Demon was using plenty of gaming jargons in his explanation, so he hurriedly teleported himself over to the other side of the room once one minute was up.
Young Master Han stood up, "I'm taking my leave first. I'll meet you guys inside the 'changing room'."
Everyone was baffled. Ever since this room at Ray's Bar became Young Master's Elite's unofficial meeting place, Young Master Han would spend the most time in this room and would exit it last out of everyone. Even when he had something on, he would still drag their meeting out. It was as if he could not survive each day without drinking as much as he could. And yet, this drinking addict was actually the first one to excuse himself today.
Why was it so different today? Everyone stared at him in astonishment.
Young Master Han glanced at Gu Fei sideways, "I'll throw up if I see Miles teleport about one more time." He then lifted a gla.s.s of liquor and left the room.
"Do we need to cover our faces for this match against Silver Moon?" Brother a.s.sist suddenly asked.
"We indeed have to take the necessary precautions against that shameless man. I of course am not afraid of him and am just worried for you guys," Gu Fei replied matter-of-factly.
All the individuals present in the room felt that Gu Fei was trampling on their dignity as gaming experts, so they each expressed their willingness to engage in a deathmatch in broad daylight.
When this episode ended, Brother a.s.sist asked him, "From your tone, you seem to be harboring some sort of resentment toward Silver Moon. If my memory serves me right, it's you who slew him to clear off your PK points before clashing with his guild and subsequently attracting the attention of everyone in Yueye City. It was highly likely that he would still be having a great time in Yueye City without your meddling. Based on this, he should be the one holding a deep grudge toward you, so why does it seem to go both ways now?"
"Do I seem to resent or hate him? I just can't stand that guy's personality, that's all," Gu Fei waved his hand dismissively.
"What about his personality?" the men asked.
Realizing his fellow mercenaries' obliviousness to Silver Moon's bad deed inside Yunduan City's underground prison, he hurriedly told them about it. As expected, War Without Wounds and Royal G.o.d Call leaped to their feet once Gu Fei was done speaking.
War Without Wounds slapped the table, "That guy's too much! Poor Vast Lushness… Where is she now? After going through all that, I bet she must be yearning for a broad chested man to comfort her wounded soul at the moment...."
"Are you perhaps talking about yourself?" Gu Fei gave him a sideway glance.
"I wouldn't mind offering my chest to her if that's what she needs," War Without Wounds shamelessly replied.
As for Royal G.o.d Call, he was currently waging an intense battle inside him. The issue here was that he already had Grape in his heart. While Vast Lushness was prettier, Grape had actually shown interest toward him before, so he felt that it would be a waste to let go just like that. It's so hard to choose! Royal G.o.d Call sighed to himself as he gulped down the drink before him. His unrestrained drinking style left everyone in a daze, and at first glance, it was as if Young Master Han had somehow ended up possessing the body of Royal G.o.d Call.
"The online gaming community is becoming more and more polluted. In fact, shameless people now outnumber the humble players," Sword Demon commented emphatically.
"I strongly agree," Gu Fei concurred as he moved to another part of the room with a swish.
"Ugh… I feel like puking... Turns out that seeing you use Blink when drunk really causes dizziness and nausea… No, no, no! I'll take my leave now, too," Royal G.o.d Call dizzily stood up.
"It's about time, so let's just leave together," Brother a.s.sist said after looking at the time.
Thus, everyone in the room stood up and headed outside. Lifting the curtain and stepping outside for not more than a few steps, the five met someone familiar who was also leaving the bar. When Gu Fei and that person's eyes met, he froze up while the latter warmly rushed over to greet him, "Oh, Miles bro! How coincidental for us to meet each other here!"
"How coincidental, indeed." Seeing how warmly the man greeted him, Gu Fei was forced to toss this amiable reply back.
Brother a.s.sist and the others froze up. This was because the man before them was none other than Silver Moon. Gu Fei was just expressing his disdain for the man moments ago, so why was Silver Moon greeting him so warmly right now? He even knew his name… Just what sort of encounter did these two have?
The thing was that Gu Fei had omitted some parts of the whole story in order to keep things short, so the other five was only made aware of the part where Silver Moon had despicably put all the blame on Vast Lushness and abandoned her to the enemies. The part about how they had briefly bonded through a gambling session inside the prison was skipped entirely by Gu Fei.
After exchanging formal greetings, Silver Moon's gaze swept over the other members of Young Master's Elite and asked, "Are these your companions? Are you guys partic.i.p.ating in the mercenary PvP tournament as well?"
Gu Fei cheerfully nodded his head, "Yes. In fact, we 'coincidentally' have you as our opponent for this round."
His words caused Silver Moon to be momentarily stunned, "Everyone here is from Young Master's Elite? The group that won against a higher number of enemies through 'Grand Kiting'?"
"That's us," Gu Fei confirmed.
"But… There should be six of you, right?" Silver Moon did a headcount of them.
"Mhm-mhm! Our idiotic leader has left first," Gu Fei replied.
This 'idiotic leader' nickname seemed to have won the approval of Royal G.o.d Call and the rest, as they vigorously nodded their heads at Gu Fei's words.
"Oh. I suppose our next meeting will be inside the PvP arena!" Silver Moon extended his hand toward Gu Fei.
"See you there," Gu Fei said but did not proffer his hand.
Silver Moon's expression became somewhat stiff, yet he managed to maintain the smile on his lips, "I'll be taking my leave first, then." He then retracted his hand and left the bar with his companions.
"How do you guys know each other?" Brother a.s.sist questioned Gu Fei on their way to the Hall of Mercenaries. Gu Fei had been wearing a disguise in Yueye City, so any locals of that city would not have known his ident.i.ty as 27149.
Gu Fei could only share the whole incident inside the prison to them.
"That means that he doesn't know that you're 27149, right?" Brother a.s.sist asked.
"Originally, he didn't. But if he has any brains at all, he should be able to connect the dots by now," Gu Fei answered.
Sword Demon nodded his head, "I've met him before. We've even exchanged blows with each other. He should be able to recognize me at the very least."
"I've shot an arrow at him, too," Royal G.o.d Call raised his hand.
"That's a good boy," Gu Fei patted his head.
"Scram!" Royal G.o.d Call raised his hand to strike Gu Fei, yet the latter had already moved to a new spot with a swish.
Arriving by the Hall of Mercenaries, the five quickly entered the teleportation array to head toward the 'changing room', but Young Master Han was nowhere to be seen inside.
"That guy is not gonna bail out from the match, right?" some of them wondered aloud. Just as they were about to send Young Master Han a message with only five minutes left of the waiting time, a flash of white light produced the person in question. Two bottles of liquor were in his hands.
Young Master Han promptly checked the opposing side's PvP partic.i.p.ants upon entering the 'changing room', "Aye! There are only ten of them!" He exclaimed.
"Seems like they are wary of our Grand Kiting strategy, which may be the reason why there are so few of them," Brother a.s.sist offered his opinion.
"Avoiding the enemies; dragging out the time; causing the huge number of enemies to hesitate on attacking in case they end up hitting their own comrades. These are what defines Grand Kiting. Silver Moon's fighting style, meanwhile, emphasizes on boosting his teammates to clash with the others head on, so of course they would be wary of our Grand Kiting strategy. Even if Silver Moon could correctly deduce that 'Grand Kiting' is actually a ruse to fool the others into fighting us with only a small number of people, he would still have no choice but to do just that," Young Master Han said.
"Why is that?"
"Well, if I am to be honest, his method of buffing all his teammates to take out the enemies is actually more suited as a surprise attack that he should only execute once or twice. But since he has been relying on that one tactic for all his matches, every player in Parallel World must be aware of his army of men clad in golden light by now. Only an idiot would face them head on, so of course he would be changing his tactic this time by fighting us with only ten of them," Young Master Han said.
"According to my sources, all the mercenary groups he has fought thus far were defeated by him because they've faced him head on," Brother a.s.sist said.
"That just means that those groups are all idiots," Young Master Han did not dress his remark.
His statement was so arrogant, that the others were left speechless.
"The Grand Kiting strategy is also a kind of surprise attack that we should only use if there is a need for it, since repeated usage will only cause the others to develop a counter for it in advance. Silver Moon must be aware of this, yet he chose to play along, pretending that he is afraid of us by sending only a total of ten people for our upcoming match. It may seem like he is wary of our Grand Kiting strategy, but it's all mind games on his part, and he is actually trying to goad us into fighting him head on. I think this must be how his group managed to defeated their past foes with the same tactic every time... By purposefully flaunting some kind of weakness to those foes, he managed to dupe them into thinking that it was okay to face his group head on, ignoring the fact that he possesses an insane skill that could boost the capabilities of his entire group." Young Master Han said.
"So what you're saying is that Silver Moon already knows your intention, but he still pretends to fall for the trick in order for us to fight them head on?" Some were left reeling with all the deceptions going on in this one match.
"That's correct," Young Master Han nodded his head.
"Erm… I have something to say," Sword Demon usually did not speak much, so everyone promptly shifted their gazes on him. Sword Demon, for his part, only looked at Young Master Han, "Aren't you just thinking too much? You've also given the matter so much thought last time in Yueye City, but it turned out that Silver Moon's thinking wasn't as convoluted as that. Can you perhaps think this through with simplicity?"
"What's there to think about? Let's just directly kill them all! It's only ten men," Gu Fei grumbled.
"See? That's how people typically fall for their tricks," Young Master Han pointed at Gu Fei.
"That's different," Sword Demon shook his head, "Because Miles truly has the ability to slay them all."