Chapter 223 - The Overly Focused Speech Reading Expert
Gu Fei’s heart was filled with elation when he actually received a letter of challenge that he had been dreaming of.
After admiring the words printed in large font on the envelope’s surface for quite some time, Gu Fei quickly checked the sender’s name: Gale Force. With that, he hurriedly tore the envelope open and fished out the letter within. The content of the letter was brief: “Do you dare to have a duel with me?”
Gu Fei’s blood surged. He immediately toggled the permission setting for his friends list and added Gale Force as a friend, yet he received the notification that the person was not accepting any friend at the moment. Who knew how much blood those leaders would cough up if they found out that there was such a simple method to add Gu Fei as a friend?
Since he could not accept the challenge via private messaging, Gu Fei hurriedly took out a blank sheet of paper and penned a short response: “Bring it!”
As soon as he dropped that letter into the mailbox, Gu Fei began to circle around it while repeating this mantra, “Reply quickly! Reply quickly!”
After circling the mailbox for several minutes, a ding rang out and Gu Fei shoved his hand into the mailbox without reading the message that came with the system notification. It was indeed Gale Force’s reply: “Time and place!”
“Now! You can choose the location!” Gu Fei hurriedly sent out this reply. It was only fair for both players to choose the time and place respectively, and Gu Fei had always acted according to this basic rule.
“Martial Field!” Gale Force was also standing beside the mailbox on his end, so his reply was just as quick. After replying to Gu Fei’s message, Gale Force impatiently waited for the latter’s response.
He was not disappointed as Gu Fei’s reply arrived extremely fast: “How do I get there?”
“Go fifty meters east from the Fighters’ Dojo!” Gale Force replied rather quickly, as if the two were anxious to get this over with.
“I won’t leave till you arrive!” the two mutually said to each other.
Gu Fei was originally planning to log off; instead, he turned around and made his way toward the Fighters’ Dojo. “I’ll log off after the duel.” He was rather optimistic about how things would pan out in this upcoming fight.
Meanwhile, Gale Force was on his guard against any type of trap. The rumors about this Mage had already abounded, and quite a lot of his guildmates had experienced fighting him too. The descriptions about Gu Fei were plentiful, but Gale Force was still able to catch three main points: Close Combat. Insta-kill. Blink.
Gale Force believed that these three were the most frightening aspects of this Mage.
Close combat meant his opponent was versatile in a fight; Insta-kill meant he could not afford to make a mistake; finally, Blink meant that his opponent had fast speed at his disposal. Only one conclusion could be taken by putting all these three together: The Mage could blink right beside his target and insta-kill him….
Most people would probably think of giving up once they heard the Mage’s fighting style, but Gale Force was not most people. In his eyes, the Mage was just like any other that required chanting an incantation to cast a spell.
Such a weakness meant that by focusing on the Mage’s lips while they were fighting, he would somewhat be able to predict what the Mage was planning to cast. Everything that happened after learning this would depend on their reaction speed.
Many players of course knew of this logic and how to counter it, so a lot of Mages came up with a way to prevent this: They would merely murmur their spell incantations during PvP. In fact, it was almost to the point that their voices could only be heard by the system and themselves.
This method was ineffective to Gale Force, though, as he had a unique skill: He could skillfully read lips.
While the words he lip-read might not be absolutely accurate, he found it easy to tell what a Mage was chanting with the few spells Mages currently possessed. Since Gu Fei also had that Blink skill, Gale Force had to familiarize himself with how the words were pronounced to activate it. Upon confirming the incantation’s content, he felt confident that he could identify it when Gu Fei would chant the spell with his lip-reading skill.
Seeing would allow him to be more assertive, while hearing would cause him to remain passive in a fight. Gale Force’s method of grasping how the opposing Mage would act through his eyes gave him better chance at winning the fight than someone who was dependent on their ears. Although it would just give him a slight edge, that alone could mean the difference between life and death when experts clashed. This fact increased Gale Force’s confidence to proceed with this duel. This method had been useful against Mages thus far, so he did not feel any bit of fear going into this duel.
Gale Force was not really against Oathless Sword and Youthful Reflection’s decision of waiting for a chance to take down Gu Fei and the rest of the experts of Young Master’s Elite; it was just that he had long wanted to beat the Mage up ever since that ‘No Smile’ incident. Unfortunately, the identity of the Close Combat Mage had been unknown before. While his original intention had waned over time, today’s incident had caused it to flare up once more. Gale Force’s desire to teach Gu Fei a lesson surged again upon learning of the occurrence in the mercenary PvP tournament. Armed with the knowledge of Gu Fei’s identity this time, Gale Force did not hesitate to send him a letter of challenge.
Martial Field was not a place with a specific use. The field was designed more for the purpose of providing a complementary backdrop for the Fighter’s Dojo on its right. Naturally, such a purposeless location would not have many players around. When Gu Fei arrived, he immediately spotted a Fighter standing in the middle of the Martial Field with arms folded across his chest. Gu Fei knew without a doubt that this man was Gale Force and was thoroughly delighted.
Gu Fei did not recognize the person as one of the three core members of Traversing Four Seas, so he was not elated because of that; instead, he was happy because the opponent was a Fighter. Gu Fei tried to guess the job class of his challenger as he made his way over, and he felt that the chances of his opponent being a Mage were quite high. Because there was still job class disequilibrium in Parallel World when it came to single PvP, the fairest way to have a duel was for both parties to have the same job class. If an Archer invited a Mage to a duel, it was highly likely for no one in the game besides Gu Fei to accept the challenge.
“Ahem. Are you Gale Force?” Gu Fei climbed up the stage and greeted the other.
Gale Force nodded his head as he coldly regarded the Mage, “Thousand Miles Drunk?” While Gu Fei did not recognize him from their past exchanges, Gale Force also failed to recognize Gu Fei as the person who had whacked him with a stick before.
Gu Fei also nodded his head to confirm his identity, “Shall we begin?”
“I won’t be merciful with my strikes, so you should do the same!” Gale Force’s goal today was to beat Gu Fei up on the brink of death.
“That’s the best!” Gu Fei also did not like fighting up until a certain point only. This was because it was difficult to hold back, and at the same time, it prevented his opponent from displaying his full might.
The two men assumed their PvP stances once they were done talking. Gale Force stared closely at Gu Fei’s lips, while Gu Fei kept his focus on the opponent’s joints.
Come! the two shouted to themselves.
Translocation! Blink! Gale Force waited with bated breath for Gu Fei’s lips to form these two words. The other might just say one word instead of two, but Gale Force was capable of judging the spell with just the word ‘translocation’. He fully intended to not let Gu Fei have a chance to strike first. Gale Force would counterattack the first chance he got. Translocation… Blink? Oi! What are you waiting for? Just blink over to my side and attack me already, so that I can instantly move myself! Gale Force’s heart was filled with glee at this prospect.
All he thought of was how to counter Gu Fei’s move, so he completely forgot one simple fact: Such a move was usually only done at a critical moment!
Gu Fei mainly learned Blink to chase after faster opponents than him. Gale Force did not show any indication that he was faster than Gu Fei, nor did he reveal any intention of running away. Just from these two facts, Gale Force already failed to meet the criteria for Gu Fei to use his Blink skill. He was essentially waiting for something that would not happen.
It just so happened that Gu Fei wanted to observe Gale Force’s skill first. As such, he was avidly waiting for the latter to make the first move.
One man stared unblinkingly at the other’s mouth, and another looked intently at the other man’s joints… The two unintentionally created a stalemate just like that as both tried to see if they could counter each other’s attack.
Since neither of them made a move to attack, the two unknowingly continued the staring contest for the next five minutes.
“Why have you not attacked yet?” Gu Fei suddenly asked.
When Gu Fei uttered these words, Gale Force immediately dodged to the side while he threw a cross punch, only to stiffly stop his punch halfway and to not finish the move.
“Ah… Why have you struck already?” Gu Fei asked with an incredulous expression on his face.
Gale Force turned to face the side as his cheeks became redder than a persimmon, ready to erupt at the slightest ridiculing from the other. He had been anxiously focusing his entire being on Gu Fei’s lips to form the words for Blink that he had subconsciously conditioned himself to do this: strike once Gu Fei’s lips move.
Therefore, once Gu Fei opened his mouth, Gale Force thoughtlessly threw that punch without registering the exact words the other had uttered. He only came back to his senses when his punch had been executed halfway. This guy has only opened his mouth. He didn’t chant the incantation for Blink. I’ve been so focused.
The embarrassed Gale Force did not turn his head to face Gu Fei for the longest time. Gu Fei, for his part, had a lot of experience when it came to clashes like this, yet he simply could not fathom the purpose behind Gale Force’s punch. Seeing the person turn his face away and no longer care about his existence, Gu Fei could not help but ask, “Are we fighting or not?”
“Of course, we’re fighting! Why would we not?!” Gale Force abruptly turned to throw a fist toward Gu Fei.
Spurring Meteor… It’s still this move, huh? Gu Fei twisted his body to the side to let the punch fly by. Gale Force abruptly canceled Spurring Meteor halfway, leaped in the air, and threw both arms toward Gu Fei to grapple him. This was a move that he was confident in, yet he failed to grasp on to anything.
Was that his Blink?! Gale Force thought to himself as he raised his head to look. He saw Gu Fei standing beside him, beaming. With a quick shove, Gu Fei caused Gale Force to lose his balance mid-air and collapse to the ground.
Gu Fei quickly sidestepped backward and sighed slightly upon seeing Gale Force remain dazedly sprawled on the ground.
Despite being a Mage, Gu Fei was still the most familiar with the Fighter job class of Parallel World. His understanding came from his research of the job class – how the skills of a Fighter could be sequenced; what sort of change-ups could be used… Gu Fei had memorized everything related to the job class. The moves that the players were discovering now were entirely within Gu Fei’s knowledge of the job class. Indeed, a Fighter beating Gu Fei was difficult as he or she would actually be facing off against a real fighter!