Chapter 299 - The Weakness of Werewolves
The wolf’s ear a Werewolf possessed really gave it a keen sense of hearing as it heard Gu Fei’s call from over a hundred meters away. Given how loud it could be as well, the ferocious-looking Werewolf’s guttural growl caused several figures to appear in the horizon. Standing on hind legs, these Werewolves bounded toward Brother Assist and Gu Fei.
Pale-faced, Brother Assist trembled as he asked, “Are… Are you sure it’s safe?”
Gu Fei also felt slightly intimidated by the Werewolves’ behavior despite Fleeting Smile’s indubitable information and his certainty of the Yeguang Village’s Werewolves recognizing him. This was because the Werewolves recognizing him did not guarantee that they would not attack him. Correlation did not mean causation, after all. For instance, Gu Fei knew Silver Moon, yet he would not hesitate to slay the latter from where he stood.
Although these Werewolves owed him a favor, it was hard to say if they would honor it!
This thought caused Gu Fei to involuntarily retreat, which made Brother Assist’s already pale face turn ghastly, “You’re not thinking of fleeing are you?!”
While Gu Fei could still escape given his current distance from the Werewolves, Brother Assist would certainly be unable to do so. Gu Fei did not wish to be labeled as a disloyal person, so he could only say, “No way. We’ll die together if we have to.”
Brother Assist did not expect for Gu Fei to easily speak about dying, and he felt disappointed because of this.
The Werewolves’ movement speed was definitely far beyond what the players could currently achieve, and this allowed them to surround the two men in the blink of an eye. Gu Fei kept his gaze trained on the hulking Werewolf, but he felt unsure inside if this was truly the Werewolf headsman Wally. Gu Fei only knew of Wally’s human form, and now that the latter was in his Werewolf form, any of these similar-looking Werewolves gathered around them could be him.
Gu Fei tightened his grip on the sword as the hulking Werewolf stepped closer to him. He noticed how the Werewolf shrank and changed with its every step, so by the time it reached Gu Fei’s front, the Werewolf had already transformed into his human form. The human NPC before Gu Fei was stout and had the exact same look of the Werewolf headsman Wally.
Gu Fei sighed in relief. Wally would not revert in his human form if these Werewolves were hostile toward him and Brother Assist; this was something he could tell despite these entities being NPCs.
Indeed, Wally looked at Gu Fei with no hostility in his eyes and even greeted him quite fondly, “Hero.”
“What are you guys doing here?” Gu Fei asked.
While the question was something friends would usually ask one another when they met, it was actually an important command that could generate quests when asked toward NPCs. According to unofficial statistics, two questions were considered important when interacting with NPCs. The first one was “What are you doing?” and the second one, which was a follow-up question, was “How can I help you?”
NPCs would usually begin to narrate the quest plot when they heard the first question. In Gu Fei’s case, once the surrounding Werewolves heard his question, they started transforming to their human forms and told their current predicament with sadness-filled eyes.
Indeed, these Werewolves were in this location to ambush Traversing Four Seas that was escorting a prisoner, but they had all been coerced into doing this. Their only wish was to peacefully coexist with the humans, but that had somehow become their Achilles’ heel. Someone had once more learned of their secret and used it to blackmail them into stopping the escort team; if they did not do so, the blackmailer threatened to expose their secret to the public.
Although they were not the violent sort, they were still Werewolves through and through and naturally possessed the exceptional combat skills of their kind. Unfortunately, their secret had made it easy for others to exploit them.
Gu Fei sighed and then asked the second question that would trigger a quest, “How can I help you?”
Wally was dumbfounded. “Everything can be easily resolved if we know our blackmailer’s identity.”
Gu Fei was curious and asked, “Have you guys not seen the person?”
“All we received is this letter.” Wally handed over a note to Gu Fei.
Taking it in his hand, Gu Fei scanned through the document. It said: ‘Eliminate Todd. If you don’t, you and your fellow tribesmen will be in trouble.’ The blackmailer had even enclosed a small picture of a group of humans surrounding a Werewolf in the event that the underlying message in his letter was not clear enough. The surrounding Werewolves showed utter fear at the sight of the picture from the note.
Gu Fei was honestly uninterested with the image, but he still asked, “Who is Todd?”
Brother Assist beside him hurriedly replied, “That’s the prisoner Traversing Four Seas got out of Yueye City’s prison.”
“They are trying to silence him!” Gu Fei gasped. Others might not know about Todd’s background story of being a corrupt official, but the men of Young Master's Elite were well aware of this since they had Royal God Call, who was a member of Traversing Four Seas. When Oathless Sword retrieved Todd from the city prison, every Traversing Four Seas member received the guild quest prompt, and once Royal God Call got this, he immediately divulged it to the other five men on their mercenary channel.
Gu Fei waved the note in the air as he said to Wally, “Don’t worry about this matter; I’ll help you solve this!”
Wally felt extremely happy upon hearing this. “That’s wonderful!”
Wally and the other Werewolves had had misgivings regarding Gu Fei before, but his success with the chain quest had earned him their confidence.
A thought flashed through Gu Fei’s mind: If he got Moonlit Nightfalls for completing that quest before, would resolving this matter grant him a similarly amazing reward?
“Probably not,” Brother Assist analyzed, explaining, “It’s not the same quest, after all. Even if the NPCs involved are the same, the reward itself won’t be.”
“Oh. Come to think of it, my quest log doesn’t even show anything,” Gu Fei shared.
“Is this a hidden quest?!” Brother Assist exclaimed.
“If a hidden quest doesn’t even show that it has been undertaken, then how will any player realize that he or she has triggered it?!” Gu Fei retorted.
“That’s precisely why it’s called a HIDDEN quest!” Brother Assist put emphasis on the word ‘hidden’.
“Are you for real?!”
The Werewolves had already been placated by Gu Fei’s acceptance of the quest and had dissolved their earlier encirclement of the two. However, before they left, the Werewolves told Gu Fei that they would keep a close eye on Todd’s movement; if they saw the latter leave their territory, they would not hesitate to strike.
This meant that Gu Fei and Brother Assist’s plan to trick the Werewolves into not attacking their expedition as it left via a different route would not work.
“The system isn’t that dumb, after all!” Brother Assist chuckled bitterly. As Gu Fei nodded his head in agreement, Brother Assist continued speaking, “But then again that should be how quests are supposed to work! It will be boring if all we have to do is kill everything that stands in our way. The game officials often brag about their so-called ‘multiple style of playing the game’ aspect.”
“I suspect that crossing those crevasses in the Oolong Mountain Range may have alternate solutions. For example, we may have needed to search for a NPC that could help us build bridges over there. It’s just that this guild quest does not have a step-by-step prompt like the normal solo quests people are used to, which resulted in everyone disregarding such a possibility,” Brother Assist hypothesized.
“So how should we solve this?” Gu Fei asked, waving the note in front of Brother Assist.
“Let’s first head back and talk this over with the others!” Brother Assist suggested.
The two men returned to where most of the expedition had temporarily stopped. Close to a thousand players roamed about leisurely, yet Oathless Sword and the other core members of Traversing Four Seas remained on edge about their guild quest! They waited by the road for Gu Fei and Brother Assist’s return, and when they spotted the two, they immediately went to them.
Gu Fei passed the note over to Oathless Sword as he relayed the Werewolves’ story to the latter.
This was what every mercenary was duty-bound to do. When mercenaries were tasked to act on behalf of their employers, it was their responsibility to report everything that they had found out, down to the smallest detail, to their employers. This was not something unique to games, either. This was a matter of the player’s personal conduct and a person like Gu Fei took this responsibility very seriously.
“So that’s how it is!” Oathless Sword took the note and read it over and over again before telling Gu Fei, “Thanks for your hard work, Miles bro. Rest up for now; we’ll discuss this matter first to see how we can solve this.”
“Sure.” Gu Fei quietly backed off.
Oathless Sword, Youthful Reflection, and Gale Force found a secluded area and began a round of intense discussion. But instead of trying to come up with ways to resolve the matter, the three’s discussion revolved around the reliability of Gu Fei’s information.
Gu Fei might be a responsible mercenary, but others only suspected this to be a false act. Specifically, Youthful Reflection had an extremely prejudiced opinion about Gu Fei and this only clouded his judgment over anything relating to him. As such, right now, he strongly suspected Gu Fei of deceit. “All he got is this note? I could write a hundred of this if you need,” Youthful Reflection said contemptuously.
“This doesn’t seem to be his handwriting, though…” Gale Force opined.
“How do you know?” The two men eyed him questioningly.
“Uhm… this… well… uhh…” Gale Force was at a loss for words.
Youthful Reflection did not bother pursuing the matter with him and merely continued voicing out his suspicion, “Let’s forget about that. Anyway, Thousand Miles Drunk claims to know those Werewolves and says that that’s why they did not make things difficult for him and even let him in on their issue, which happens to be the only solution to our current predicament. Everyone, think; this is a region under Yueye City’s jurisdiction. Logically speaking, we players from Yunduan City won’t have any opportunities to get to know the Werewolves living in here, so why would the system grant us a quest and have this kind of solution as part of it on the off-chance that someone among us actually knows those Werewolves. If no one here happened to be in that unique position, or in other words, we were not traveling in Thousand Miles Drunk’s company, how in the world would we complete this guild quest, then? What sort of reasoning would justify that?”
“That makes sense.” Oathless Sword nodded his head in agreement.
“So what’s his reason for cooking up all this?” Gale Force took the note and studied it repeatedly.
“I have no idea. Who knows how Thousand Miles Drunk’s mind works? I have this gut feeling that this is a trap that that guy has set for us,” Youthful Reflection said.
“Trap?! Against us?! No way, right?! Do we have enmity with one another?!” Oathless Sword was shocked. Although they had once intended to settle the score with Thousand Mile Drunk and his mercenary group, those had been nothing but empty words. They had not even taken one step toward such an end, so Young Master's Elite should not have anyone harboring strong resentment toward Traversing Four Seas.
“Anyway, I just don’t think we can trust him so easily,” Youthful Reflection adamantly said.
“So what do we do?”
“Didn’t he say that the Werewolves are just ahead? Let’s go over there with a few of our men and try to talk with those Werewolves,” Youthful Reflection answered.