Chapter 348 - A Scenic Backdrop
Numerous exclamations resounded the moment Gu Fei appeared in a flash of white light in one of Linyin City’s log-off point.
While many players were wondering who the godly existence that earned 54 PK points was, rumors about him had already made their rounds in Linyin City. “That PK God is the present trending Video Mage.” Some players who were bored even went offline just to watch the said video repeatedly; these players committed Gu Fei’s attire to their memory and went as far as to memorize the number of creases in his Midnight Spirit Robe from shoulder to waist by magnifying the screenshots that they had taken to have a better look of him.
As such, the moment he appeared, Gu Fei was immediately recognized. Excited screams that increase in volume and quantity broke out as there were no shortage of players around the spawn point. It was not long before the crowd became a mob that gathered around Gu Fei. He was then unfortunately subjected to this mob’s blatant and inhumane scrutiny.
Gu Fei had calculated and prepared for every possible scenario, yet he had failed to account for the nosiness of the general masses. Toward these players that had countless of hours to spare playing MMOs, Gu Fei could not imagine how powerful their busybody ways were.
“Tsk, tsk, tsk!”
Gu Fei was currently not fighting with anyone, nor was he using any skills, so the crowd could only watch him stand there and give such an inane reaction.
“Everyone, please make way…” Gu Fei helplessly said.
“Yes, yes. Of course!” At least, these players surrounding him knew where to draw the line. Just because they idolized him did not mean that it was okay for them to block his way. These players who were unintentionally blocking the entrance to the spawn point shuffled to their left and right to make a path out for Gu Fei.
“Thanks a lot, everyone! You guys should also leave if there’s nothing else.” Gu Fei bid the surrounding players farewell before pushing his way through the barely cleared out path. From time to time, some players would reach out to touch Gu Fei as he passed by, causing him to wave and bat off those hands that poked out in his discomfort. I sure have the making of a superstar! he mused.
Unfortunately, this happy scene had to be cut short as cries of “Who’s that?”, “Stop pushing me!” and so on were soon heard coming from the players in the back. Gu Fei instantly knew that the ones whom he had been expecting finally arrived!
The guards the system had sent were still as dull and rigid as ever. With many players gathered in the area, these NPCs did not shout to get them to move or find another route, nor did they attack them. Instead, they single-mindedly advanced forward toward their target. Knowing that Gu Fei was right in front, they opted for the shortest, straight path toward him. The level of intelligence these guards were currently demonstrating raised plenty of doubts among the passionate gamers in the crowd over the AI of this game.
These NPC guards had abundant strength and power, which was why the Hunters’ archer formation of Deep Waters’ guild was almost instantly scattered when they walked through. However, that was a formation players established for PvP to give them a certain space between one another to unleash their skills accordingly, which allowed these guards to brusquely force their way in and caused everyone to fall to the wayside.
Right now, however, the players were all tightly packed around Gu Fei to watch the show, and it was a very inconsiderate and heartless gathering¹ at that.
No matter how strong these guards were, they had no way of defying physics to squash the players blocking their way into meat paste. Moreover, their strength might be huge but it was not immeasurably so. With many players piled together, how easy would it be for them to try and push their way through?
Gu Fei quickly realized that the narrow path the players had formed for him was being swallowed by the guards forcing their way in. He hesitated no more and instantly cast Blink, reappearing five meters ahead. At the same time, the players from either side on the spot he had vacated reintegrated with one another again, their arms flailing as expletives flew freely.
That was close! Gu Fei said to himself. Fortunately, the guards did not form up horizontally like a bulldozer and plow through the crowd, which explained why they were only attempting to push through in such a small area. He was more or less in a safe distance from the NPCs now. It was unfortunate that those players back there were taken by surprise and were now squeezed like conjoined twins.
“This is an opportunity!” His eyes shone with light. Since the NPC guards were foolish enough to rush into the crowd, and the players themselves would take some time to disperse, this blockade was rather effective and afforded him a chance that he did not plan to miss.
Thinking of this, Gu Fei hastened his footsteps some more and adopted the mannerism of a person in a hurry. He ignored these passionate fans of his that were reaching their hands out to him, barely brushing their fingertips on him. This also showed how these gamers were a step above the fans of superstars in how they acted. At the very least, no one was throwing themselves right on to Gu Fei and not letting go despite the lack of any security personnel.
Of course, this could also be attributed to the nature of the person that they were idolizing. A superstar depended on fans’ support for a living, so he or she would not slay them. As for Gu Fei, a raise of his hand meant a player dropping a level at the cost of a mere PK point.
Gu Fei finally made it through while the players were being knocked all over the place by the guards; these players’ anger was probably reaching its boiling point. Meanwhile, Gu Fei had already disappeared from everyone’s sights, no longer caring for the plight of those players he had left behind.
These players incessantly hurled curses as they slowly began to disperse as the guards waded through the crowd, undeterred from their target. When they realized that they had been blocking the path of guards that the system had sent to apprehend the Video Mage, these players felt even more annoyed and all the more regretful. After all, they were really looking forward to this part of the show. This was another difference between the fans of superstars and of gamers - fans of a superstar would never look forward to their idol being hunted.
Gu Fei sprinted recklessly down the street, attracting everyone’s attention everywhere he passed. Oftentimes, those players would raise their hands and called after him; cries like “Wife, quickly come out and see the PK God!” could also be heard time and again.
Since Gu Fei was moving about at his top speed, encircling him would not be as easy as before.
A short distance away, under their captain’s command, the guards were emotionlessly chasing after him in an organized and unhurried, yet efficient manner. This squad of guards strongly resembled a pack of Terminators on the hunt. Of course, their termination target was Gu Fei.
Those players who were incidentally in their way were all sent flying. What made this experience worse was that they were trampled on right after they were knocked off their feet, suffering quite a bit even if they did not get killed.
Right behind these uniformly chasing guards was a completely disorganized horde of Linyin City’s players. These players, who cared not for their posturing, chased after the guards in hopes of bearing witness to any exciting scene that might crop up.
This lone man being chased by a squad that had a mob following right behind was like a three act structure that framed the scenic backdrop of Linyin City. ‘Survival of the fittest’ was the name of the game for this chase sequence, so those that had slow movement speed were quickly left in the dust.
Gu Fei looked over his shoulder as he ran. Seeing that the guards were quite a distance away from him, he was loath to use Blink. Spending a full day doing painstaking research paid off as he successfully made it to the Bounty Assignment Hall in no time. Entering the hall to pick up a ‘Bounty Mission’ was something Gu Fei was used to doing. However, when he got a glimpse of Linyin City’s Wanted Players list, he really felt like puking blood.
Linyin City was truly too peaceful. Besides a handful of players with 2 PK points on top of the list, all the targets only had 1 PK point to their name. Gu Fei had no time to gripe about this and just chose any random target before dashing out of the hall. Death was all that awaited him if the guards managed to chase him all the way into the building.
The moment he exited the place, he spotted the guards charging towards him from down the street. Gu Fei did not look at the coordinates and merely ran in the direction that would bring him the furthest away from the guards. Once he got on to the right path, he quickly checked his target’s coordinates and felt a headache coming on.
The target was in the exact opposite direction of where he was currently running to. The quickest way to confront this man would be to turn round and pass through the squad of guards after him, but such an act was simply suicidal. This was when Gu Fei’s day of homework showed its worth as he was able to plot out the most effective route that circuited round toward his target’s location.
Gu Fei swiftly took to the intersection ahead of him. However, in the next minute, he cried out in dismay at the sight of his target’s freshly updated coordinates.
The God of Fortune had clearly abandoned him today, as change between the two sets of coordinates made him believe that his d*mnable target was actually part of the third group forming the backdrop of Linyin City.
Not one method was left besides directly breaking through the guards pursuing him. He needed to find a location that went in a circle and ring around his target’s back....
The houses in the city were constructed in rows, so plenty of places where he could circle around existed. However, to create such a large ring around like that… Ignoring whether Gu Fei had enough time to complete this ring or otherwise, he would still have difficulties finding Fugitive 56841 among the mob of fans trailing after him.
Once again, Gu Fei’s research proved to be his salvation for this quandary. With a clear grasp of Linyin City’s terrain and landform like the back of his hand, he managed to match everything he saw along the way and merging them with the material he had spent half a day poring over. Soon enough, Gu Fei thought of an great idea to rid himself of his current dilemma.
Yuanmu Tavern was the largest tavern in Linyin City, and it was located at the heart of it. Just as the name suggested, the establishment was in the shape of a round timber; its roof was even made out like a tree ring that kept circling round and round.
Gu Fei did not enter the establishment when he got to its entrance. Instead, he went halfway around to the back of the tavern. The guards, who had been chasing Gu Fei all this while, were just three or two meters away from him. Reaching half of Yuanmu Tavern’s circumference, Gu Fei leaped into the air and pointed his finger upward, teleporting himself right on the tavern’s roof.
He continued to run when he landed. Somewhere below, he heard the sound of something heavily striking the ground. Gu Fei knew that those NPC guards must be displaying their ‘flying up the roof with Earthsplitter skill’, but he did not thinking about it at the moment and merely continued to run along the eaves of the roof.
Beyond Gu Fei’s expectation, the third ‘act’ just happened to chase up to them and was running along Yuanmu Tavern. He held the higher ground, so he was able to easily sweep his gaze on the sea of players before him. Gu Fei’s target was among these bobbing heads and should have serial number 56841 floating above his head.
“Yahhh!” Gu Fei, who had never once stopped running, used his momentum to leap off the roof and hurtle himself straight to his target.
“Twin Incineration! Incinerate!” Gu Fei chanted loudly as his Moonlit Nightfalls pierced through with uncanny accuracy. At this critical moment, he did not think of how risky his maneuver was (that children should not be emulating at home) and merely thrusted his sword toward his target’s forehead.
Gu Fei’s sword penetrated through the air as the wind itself seemed to feed the flames on his sword so much so that he could even feel the heat emanating from Twin Incineration.
In that moment, Gu Fei felt as though he had found what the legends often described as the sensation of the wielder and the sword becoming one.