Chapter 17 - Meeting at Ray’s Bar (Part 2)
Gu Fei was indeed guilty of judging a book by its cover every now and then. Among the four strangers within the room, he had the most interest in this particular man, especially since his extremely arresting appearance formed a sharp contrast with Sword Demon’s inconspicuous looks.
Gu Fei suddenly recalled an old saying: A beautiful girl would always choose to befriend an ugly girl so as to accentuate her beauty. Could Young Master Han and Sword Demon’s partnership be a result of this mentality? But as he thought of this, he knew he was mistaken. They were only online buddies before Parallel World, so meeting each other face to face was not necessary. If this was a planned juxtaposition, then it wouldn’t make any sense.
It seemed that the clash between their looks was truly just a coincidence.
Nevertheless, it was truly a cruel pairing of an impossibly beautiful man with an incomparably ugly man.
But the fact that Young Master Han had not abandoned Sword Demon, like so many others, upon seeing his true appearance spoke volumes of his character.
Since the two’s distance was far from the others by Gu Fei’s side, they only nodded and said their hellos to each other for convenience’s sake.
Once it was over, Sword Demon turned to introduce Gu Fei to the rest.
“This person’s Thousand Miles Drunk. His job class is…” Sword Demon hesitated for a moment, “A Mage.”
“What?! You’re a Mage?” everyone aside from Young Master Han and Sword Demon blurted out in surprise. The three had learned the Appraisal skill but they didn’t use it during the friendly introductions to avoid appearing disrespectful. They were all experienced online gaming pros that abided by this unspoken code of conduct. They could only speculate about Gu Fei’s job class before being formally introduced to them by Sword Demon.
Sword Demon had an I-knew-this-would-happen expression as he innocently looked at Gu Fei.
Gu Fei was rather surprised as well. He indicated his robe before saying, “Didn’t you guys notice that I’m wearing a mage robe?”
The three looked at each other. It was precisely because of the robe that they assumed he was not a Mage. What kind of level 30 Mage would still be wearing a beginner’s robe? They had thought Gu Fei wore the mage robe to look more presentable on the outside, as the gear he was wearing within must have been the worse for wear. To think he was indeed a Mage. Sometimes, the calculative minds of pros would backfire when faced with individuals like him who did not put much thought in their appearance.
However, the beginner’s robe was not the only item that threw the three off. This was the first time any of them met a Mage who wore a straw hat. Their eyes all fell on the straw hat that Gu Fei had thrown haphazardly on the table.
As the one who recommended Gu Fei, Sword Demon felt compelled to say a few words, “Yes, he’s indeed a Mage.”
A Mage wearing low-grade equipment?! Noob! the three thought in unison.
“Do you know how to fight using the Frost-fire duo-play method? Or the differences between and uses of anti-fire and anti-frost magic? How about Chain Lightning’s use when it leaves your body?” Royal God Call, a professional Mage job class player, fired off these three questions based on the three classic spells from three famous online games at once.
In the end, Gu Fei simply replied, “Are they all used in Parallel World?”
Royal God Call was stunned for a beat, but he reacted quickly and retorted, “If you don’t even know these things, how can you be an expert Mage?”
Gu Fel laughed at this. What was the point of arguing with a kid? Besides, he never wanted to be an expert Mage.
Suddenly, Brother Assist asked, “Thousand Miles Drunk, is this how you write your name’s characters?” As he was speaking, his finger dipped into the liquor on the table and wrote out each character.
“That’s right,” Gu Fei nodded.
“You’re number two in terms of leveling efficiency based on the official statistics!” Brother Assist
“Hmm? What’s that?” Gu Fei asked.
“The official in-game statistics’ player rankings. The rankings are based on the total experience points earned by each player. For example, War Without Wounds is currently the first for all Warriors based on his total experience points earned; Sword Demon is the third among Thieves; Young Master here is fourth among Priests; while it is Royal’s first time playing as an Archer, so he’s probably unfamiliar with the class, and thus only ranked eleventh. Your second-place ranking is based on the experience points you earned versus the time you are online. By the amount of players Parallel World has, even Royal’s eleventh placement is a very incredible result,” Brother Assist explained.
“And you?” Gu Fei asked inquisitively.
Brother Assist once again scratched his head in embarrassment, “I’m the number one commenter on the game’s official forums.”
Everyone laughed as Royal God Call said, “Brother Assist spent most of his time on those forums, so he’s not even on the leaderboard for efficiency within the Mage job class. What about you? What’s your rank?”
Gu Fei could only look toward Brother Assist as he had never checked it himself.
Brother Assist laughed guiltily, “Sorry, I only noted those I know well and the high rankers. I don’t think I’ve seen your name up there.”
“I knew it!” Royal God Call declared, “What’s the point of being ranked based on efficiency? Going online to grind and logging off immediately once you finish grinding; if that’s the only time you’re online, anyone can get on that leaderboard.”
“Royal, if you’ve seen how Miles grind monsters, you would definitely not say that,” Sword Demon finally spoke.
Royal God Call suddenly remembered Gu Fei was someone Sword Demon brought in. Considering Sword Demon’s standard, he would not possibly make a mistake. With such a thought, he finally quieted down.
Gu Fei’s interest was piqued, however, so he asked, “Brother Assist, who’s the player that’s ranked first on that leaderboard for efficiency?”
“Fleeting Smile,” Brother Assist answered.
“So it’s him!” Gu Fei shuddered.
“Do you know him? What’s his job class?” This got Sword Demon’s attention. Originally, he was just like Royal God Call with regard to the efficiency rankings. But after interacting with Gu Fei, he realized that it was highly likely that an expert could be lurking within the efficiency leaderboard. Upon hearing that Gu Fei knew the person ranked first, he quickly wanted to inquire some information.
Fleeting Smile had specifically told Gu Fei not to reveal his real identity to other people, so Gu Fei could only shake his head, “I’ve seen him but I’m not familiar with him. I don’t know his job class either.”
They must be strangers since he did not even know his job class. Sword Demon did not pursue the matter any longer. Gu Fei truly did not know what sort of job class Fleeting Smile had.
After the initial introductions were over, Young Master Han immediately began to speak, “This is it. We are tentatively the six members of this mercenary group. For us five old acquaintances to have spawned in Yunduan City together is nothing less than a stroke of luck. Let bygones be bygones. In Parallel World, we are all brother-at-arms.”
The three nodded in agreement. Gu Fei inferred that these people were not friends before and most likely had their issues with one another. He wondered who it might be as he checked them all out. He felt Royal God Call was the likely person to have a grudge against a top expert like Sword Demon, given his impression of the d*mn kid that reeked of rampant arrogance.
Young Master Han continued, “I will be blunt. I don’t intend to join a guild this time. I’ll mainly focus my efforts on this mercenary group. I demand quality not quantity from my fellow members. So if I discover anyone performing below par, I’ll kick that person out immediately.”
Gu Fei was very certain that these words were spoken for his sake. He was not an online gaming expert like them after all. Sword Demon’s introduction of him alone had left much to be desired. But getting kicked out due to being underrated was actually what Gu Fei wanted to happen. He was only here as filler for the team since he felt he owed Sword Demon. It would be best if he could just leave after a little sightseeing!
As Gu Fei thought about this, Young Master Han continued speaking, “I received a mercenary mission submitted by a player. It’s considered as not doable, but that’s only if everyone here’s a normal player. Since we are all well-known, outstanding experts, if we work together and with luck, we can do it. Once we accomplish this task, Brother Assist will flood the forums about us for a couple of days. Then, we’ll simply wait for others to seek our mercenary group for aid! Ha ha ha ha!”
Young Master Han’s speech at first was rather fitting, but Gu Fei felt that it had become rather distasteful by the end. He sounded rather vain. But it was truly unavoidable. With his beautiful looks, looking in the mirror daily would make him develop a narcissistic personality.
Young Master Han raised his glass to quench his parched throat after his spiel, only to suddenly stop as he stared into the glass with interest.
“Is something the matter?” Sword Demon asked.
“It’s just too beautiful!” praised Young Master Han.
“What is?” Sword Demon was puzzled.
“The beautiful face reflected in this glass… Why must God bless me with such a perfect face! Oh, the hardship I must bear!” he said as his face revealed an enthralled expression.
Everyone fell to the ground face-first.
Sword Demon and Brother Assist reacted a little better in comparison. One was a friend while the other was an information specialist; they must have developed a certain degree of tolerance toward Young Master Han’s narcissism.
As for Gu Fei and the rest, they were on the verge of collapsing at the current moment. The look of admiration on Young Master Han’s face only served to induce greater nausea among the three.
His expression seemed real. Was it possible to reach such a level of narcissism in this world? This trip had truly been an eye-opener for Gu Fei.
Sword Demon hastily snatched away the glass from Young Master Han’s hands, returning him back to his senses as he cleared his throat, “Ahem. Let’s discuss in detail this mission now. Brother Assist, you—”
“Wait!” Gu Fei suddenly called out.
“What’s the matter?” asked Young Master Han as everyone looked at Gu Fei.
“It’s almost 2:30 p.m.,” Gu Fei said.
“That’s right!” everyone affirmed.
“I’ve got something on,” Gu Fei said apologetically.
“Ah?” everyone said in shock.
“I thought we’re meeting at 2 p.m. to form the team. I didn’t expect we would be discussing many things. I’ve got a class at 2:30 p.m.,” Gu Fei explained.
“Class? You’re a student as well?” Royal God Call stared at Gu Fei with widened eyes. At this very moment, he felt a sense of closeness toward Gu Fei.
“Nope!” Gu Fei laughed as he gazed at him, “I’m a teacher.”
Royal God Call abruptly felt Gu Fei looked ten times more evil than before.
“Sorry, but I really have to go. Can we discuss this later tonight?” Gu Fei said.
“Alright!” Young Master Han waved his hand, “We’ll speak again later tonight!”
“It’s not easy to join the team I lead; you must seize this chance! I’ve a good feeling about you!” Young Master Han articulated.
“I’ll do my best. See you!” Gu Fei wiped his sweat. This person was really far too narcissistic.