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Chapter 38 - Finding a Mercenary Group
Gu Fei could see disgust written all over the women’s faces when he suddenly reappeared at the guild house. However, he did not put much thought into it since they had always looked at him that way. Gu Fei stepped forward and opened his mouth to tell them of what he had learned but he burped instead.
The alcohol’s smell became more evident as it permeated the air further. The ladies recoiled as if they had come into contact with the plague.
“Sorry!” Gu Fei covered his mouth as he smiled sheepishly.
“Alright, dismiss!” July clapped her hands to draw everyone’s attention.
“Ah…” Gu Fei originally wanted to stop them to talk, but seeing how everyone rushed to leave, he could only sigh deeply, “Haaaaa….”
“Something the matter?” Luo Luo stopped when she noticed Gu Fei’s expression. There were only three people left inside the guild house now; July was always the last to leave, while Xiaoyu… was still trying to pry open the treasure chest!
“The guild quest that we got this time seems to be a compet.i.tive quest…” Gu Fei explained the situation based on what he had learned from Brother a.s.sist.
The two listened intently before July nodded her head, “I know. I wasn’t mistaken. Our guild quest states that the mission only involves retrieving a stolen treasure chest.”
Gu Fei felt stunned.
“Someone set us up to make our quest fail,” July said.
“Oh, do you know who is behind it?” Gu Fei asked. If you don’t, let me tell you who it is, Gu Fei had prepared this follow-up line.
Sadly, July once again nodded, “Traversing Four Seas.”
“Oh… So you already know!” Gu Fei was a little disappointed. He had spent half the day searching for clues like a blind man, yet these women over here had already known who it was.
“I’m afraid this is just the beginning. Do be careful when you’re outside next time, Miles,” July said as she inspected Gu Fei’s appearance. “Oh, you’re not wearing our guild emblem? I suppose you’ll be fine, then. They won’t ever suspect that we have a male in our guild,” July showed a forced smile when she said this.
“Just what’s going on?” Gu Fei was puzzled.
“Traversing Four Seas… A member of that guild has some bad blood with us. This sabotage carried out on our guild quest is probably his revenge, so everyone should be extra careful out there,” July said.
“Okay, got it,” Gu Fei looked at Xiaoyu. The girl was still fiddling with the treasure chest! It seemed like she would not give up until she finally destroyed the thing.
“I’ll be going, then,” Gu Fei said his farewell to the three and left the guild house.
Watching Gu Fei leave, Luo Luo looked July in the eyes, “You’re not going to tell him about ‘that’?”
“No. There’s no need for him to know. He’s a new member we intend to replace anyway, so there’s no need to involve him,” July said.
Luo Luo spoke in trepidation, “How coincidental it is for ‘him’ to sp.a.w.n in Yunduan City like us.”
July had grown pensive for quite some time when she suddenly asked, “Luo Luo, do you know of any noteworthy mercenary group?”
“Are we looking for external aid?” Luo Luo felt somewhat shocked.
July sighed, “We are in no condition to take him on right now.”
“Don’t forget your original reason for creating this guild, which is just to enjoy the game together with some girls,” Luo Luo reminded.
“And look what happened,” July laughed bitterly, “This is an unforeseen development. There’re many cities to sp.a.w.n in this game, yet ‘he’ just had to sp.a.w.n in the same one as us. Looks like this game won’t be simple any longer. With all these ladies following me, I need to come up with a way to get us through this hurdle.”
Luo Luo had nothing to add, “Mercenary group you say… I don’t think there’s one at present that could go up against such a large guild.”
“If one isn’t enough, then we’ll just have to hire more,” July said.
“I know you can afford to hire many,” Luo Luo wore a forced smile, “But the problem is—”
“I know of a superb mercenary group!” Xiaoyu suddenly blurted out. July and Luo Luo almost had a heart attack from Xiaoyu’s interjection. The two were absorbed in their conversation that they had forgotten about this other girl in the room.
“Xiaoyu, do you really know of a group?” July smiled. What could this airhead possibly know?
“I learned about the group when I was doing a solo quest. Someone completed the ‘Seizing the Mountain Bandit Leader Sooto’ quest by hiring a mercenary group,” Xiaoyu told the two eagerly.
July and Luo Luo looked at each other. “Seizing the Mountain Bandit Leader Sooto” was considered as the hardest among the available quests, and completing it was deemed impossible. Just entering Oolong Cave alone would require players to confront monsters above their own levels. Hence, any players that could survive for five minutes inside it would be considered as pretty good. There were even rumors that someone had gathered a large group of players to attempt the quest and managed to make their way up to the boss, but they were all wiped out and sent back to the sp.a.w.n point in the end. Ever since then, no one else dared to take a crack at it.
“Someone managed to complete that quest? When was this?” Luo Luo asked. The completion of such a difficult quest should have been big news, yet she heard not even a peep about it.
“I think it was last night,” Xiaoyu answered.
“Oh…” Luo Luo finally understood. This news had yet to spread since it had only been completed hours ago.
“What’s the mercenary group’s name?” July began to feel that they had a fighting chance. Given the strength of this mercenary group, they only had to make sure that it was not affiliated to Traversing Four Seas.
“I forgot,” Xiaoyu said.
“How many members does this group have? Who’s its leader?” July continued to ask Xiaoyu.
She began to think hard, yet to no avail.
“Forget it!” Luo Luo smiled, “Let’s not ask Xiaoyu. I’ll just go check it out myself!”
“Go ahead!” July had a solemn expression. This mercenary group was possibly their best bet right now.
Gu Fei was currently strolling around Yunduan City as he pondered on a question. July mentioned that somebody from Traversing Four Seas had an enmity with her. It was so bad that it had caused that person to expend so much effort into messing up this one simple guild quest. July did not look like she wanted to speak more on this, so Gu Fei chose not to pursue the matter either.
Parallel World had not been up for a long a time. At least, it was not long enough for someone to develop such a deep grudge toward Amethyst Rebirth. It was apparent that this dispute had occurred in an online game in the past; could it be something that had happened in real life instead? Gu Fei thought of finding Brother a.s.sist and getting him to investigate this matter more, but he felt it somewhat awkward to ask for another favor so soon. He resisted that initial urge and instead thought of how the ladies had done their own sleuthing. Gu Fei decided to find out about the matter on his own, so he logged off immediately.
Gu Fei felt like a novice as he tried to search for information on the internet. He keyed in “July” and was overloaded with all sorts of information one could imagine. Afterward, he unwittingly keyed in Luo Luo’s IGN1 “Ruthless Falling Flower1” and found an entry about a certain online history that was written like a short novel.
In this short story, Ruthless Falling Flower was just a side character who got mixed up in the mess of the two main characters: July’s Heat and No Smile.
“No Smile actually enjoyed smiling.”
Gu Fei felt somewhat startled by such an opening sentence to the story. He could not help but praise the talent of today’s writers.
Since he was not here to appreciate the story, Gu Fei quickly skimmed through it to get to his real purpose.
It had the elements of love and hate, lies and truth, cheating and being cheated like any cla.s.sical stories. The July’s Heat in the story was a very pa.s.sionate and generous woman who ended up getting cheated by No Smile until she had nothing left. Gu Fei wondered if this person was really the steadfast guild leader that he knew.
The story did not end there, though. After July had left the game, another character came. This new person used an even more wicked method to cheat No Smile out of everything. The rumors said that this person was July’s Heat, adopting a professional att.i.tude to exact revenge.
No Smile, who was filled with hate, chose to leave the game as well. Since it was an online game, the story had come to an end at that point.
And yet, the characters had all gathered here in Parallel World, as if looking for a chance to continue their intricate story. Gu Fei a.s.sumed that the person whom July said she had an antagonistic relationship was this player No Smile.
At this moment in the game, Luo Luo left the guild house and went to the tavern where people acquired solo quests. Many kinds of quests existed in Parallel World. Aside from the quests that could be acquired from taverns, there were also those that could be obtained serendipitously from the streets and plot-based quests that involved NPCs. These NPC-related quests would not appear again after their completion, and the quest rewards players could earn from completing them were far more enticing than the normal quests.
The solo quests that players referred to were those listed by the system taverns. The list would refresh every hour for the players to choose anew. Although these quests were limited to a first-come, first-served basis, they were all repeatable. The solo quests were the staple method in which people could earn experience points through questing. The so-called most difficult solo quest to date, “Seizing the Mountain Bandit Leader Sooto”, came from this tavern as well.
Because of this, Luo Luo had an easier time looking for information about her subject compared to Gu Fei. All she had to do was casually asked a few players. However, everyone reacted with shock, just like Luo Luo once did, when they heard that a mercenary group had managed to complete the “Seizing the Mountain Bandit Leader Sooto” quest.
It seemed like this matter had not gotten to the grapevine yet. Luo Luo thought up to this and left the tavern to make her way to the Hall of Mercenaries.
The Hall of Mercenaries had two large chambers: East Hall and West Hall. The East Hall was the place for system-released missions and where a majority of mercenary groups would go to complete missions. The West Hall was for players support. It was the place that embodied a mercenary group’s essence – clearing monsters and solving problems for players for an agreed-upon price – and where professional mercenaries would go to obtain their missions from.
There was a logbook in each of the two halls, which allowed players to check the strength of a mercenary group. Luo Luo arrived in front of the West Hall’s logbook and patiently flipped through it.
Finally, under the Completed Mission section, Luo Luo found the record about the “Seizing the Mountain Bandit Leader Sooto” quest.
The Mage that took the quest did not have the ability to complete it on his own, so he hired people from the Hall of Mercenaries for a high price. That was yesterday.
The mercenary group that took the mission was… Luo Luo tapped her index finger as she traced the log to get the relevant information she needed.
Young Master’s Elite...
Mercenary Group Leader: Young Master Han...
 IGN = Short for ‘In Game Name’