Chapter 49 - Sharing the same fate?
No Smile glanced over at the Fighter called Gale Force, who was one of the four core members of Traversing Four Seas.
Gale Force was supportive of No Smile’s ‘equipment first’ mentality and nodded at him. No Smile raised his hand and said, “Everyone, retreat.”
All the players of Traversing Four Seas followed the instruction and retreated. Gu Fei spoke once more, “First, let them go.”
No Smile nodded his head vigorously. In his mind, it was far easier to find July and the ladies again than for him to loot a top-grade dagger like Zephyr’s Whisper.
“Let’s go together,” Xiaoyu went over to pull Gu Fei along.
Gu Fei laughed. But before he could reply to her, a shout rang out, “He’s not going anywhere!”
Gu Fei nodded and said to the four ladies, “You should all leave first.”
The Traversing Four Seas’ guild members made way for them. Gu Fei gently pushed Xiaoyu, “Go on!”
The ladies headed into the crowd and made their leave as Xiaoyu glanced back at him from time to time.
“Head straight to the safe zone,” Gu Fei fired off a message to her and stood there silently, waiting for a reply.
“They’ve gotten far enough, right? Now return my dagger to me!” No Smile had seen through Gu Fei’s intentions, so he did not hurry him.
Gu Fei chuckled once more, “Can I leave if I return you the dagger?”
“Of course,” No Smile replied without thinking.
Gu Fei snickered, “Yeah, that’s gonna be a no for me dawg.”
“You!” No Smile was livid.
“Things won’t end well for you now that you’ve lied to me,” Gu Fei beamed.
No Smile was momentarily stunned before angrily saying, “G*dd*mn it! We’ve got a spy!”
Royal God Call had informed Gu Fei about No Smile’s order on the guild channel to kill off Gu Fei once he got his dagger back. He even bid their members in the Mage Academy to kill Gu Fei to level 0.
Because of this, Gu Fei instantly changed his plan to return Zephyr’s Whisper to No Smile. Gu Fei had always upheld giving someone a dose of his own medicine.
No Smile sang a different tune now that his lie had been exposed. While he was thinking of ways to get back his dagger from Gu Fei, Gale Force already made a decision for him.
“Kill him until he drops Zephyr’s Whisper!” Gale Force yelled, immediately throwing a punch straight out using the skill Spurring Meteor.
Gu Fei unhurriedly lifted his arm and stuck his magic staff straight out, not bothering to dodge. Gale Force was quick, but Gu Fei was quicker. Gu Fei seemingly held the stick in place rigidly as Gale Force ended up crashing straight into it chest-first.
Gu Fei raised his staff for a purpose; he was aiming at the acupuncture point on Gale Force’s torso. Gu Fei’s meager Strength would not make much impact if he were to attack his opponent’s acupuncture point himself. But it was different in this case since Gale Force had propelled himself toward Gu Fei with his Strength. Although Gu Fei’s arm recoiled from the impact, Gale Force still had the wind knocked out of him, with his upper body going numb.
Isaac Newton’s third law of motion: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Unfortunately, the average players could not hit with precision like Gu Fei, much less knew where the acupuncture point for the torso lay. Hence, utilizing this physics concept was something impossible for them.
The players of Traversing Four Seas stared in shock as the Mage Gu Fei used his magic staff to disorient Parallel World’s sixth-ranked Fighter, leaving Gale Force at a loss of what to do next. No Smile felt anxious about his dagger and did not bother to check on Gale Force’s situation as he shouted, “What’re you standing there for?! ATTACK!”
At that moment, a melodious voice was heard from above Gu Fei’s head, “Stretch your hand out!”
The abodes in Parallel World had no flat roofs but tiled roofs instead. Gu Fei saw a face peeked out from a nearby rooftop, looking as pretty as a flower in bloom against the red tiling. An arm waved up and down from the rooftop as it neared Gu Fei.
Everyone gaped in shock except for Gu Fei. He raised his hand and jumped, clasping on to this person’s arm. With a jerk from that arm, Gu Fei instantly stepped on the wall to propel himself further upward, using the momentum to clear the necessary height. The two coordinated well and Gu Fei easily flew up the roof.
“You’re pretty strong!” Gu Fei laughed. If this were in reality, this lady would not have been able to pull him up the wall.
“And you’re pretty agile yourself,” Xi Xiaotian helped Gu Fei up as he had landed half sprawled on the rooftop. Although his clearing of the wall’s height had seemed effortless to the many players below, Gu Fei actually put his all into that wall kick to prevent himself from falling down. Hence, his Strength was drained halfway up, resulting into him landing inelegantly on the rooftop.
“Let’s get out of here!” Xi Xiaotian took the lead and ran off. Gu Fei sneaked a peek below and saw No Smile commanding the Traversing Four Seas’ players to form a human ladder or find items to stack right by the wall, so that they could chase Gu Fei and Xi Xiaotian across the rooftops. Young Master Han and the rest, who were still hiding among the crowd, locked eyes with Gu Fei. They had a nonverbal exchange right before Gu Fei ran after the lady.
Gu Fei did not expect Xi Xiaotian to be so familiar with the rooftops’ ‘pathway’. She knew which places could be climbed, were best to descend, and would get one across to the next row of houses. She knew how to travel on these rooftops like the back of her hand, as if she had been doing it for years. She probably used these rooftops to evade capture or to move around the city. The shouts of the Traversing Four Seas’ members quickly faded into the background as Gu Fei and Xi Xiaotian got further away from that location. She brought Gu Fei around the rooftops, turning left and right before ending up at Yunduan City’s clock tower. They made it all the way up the tower, which was the highest point in the city.
Up here, Gu Fei could see the Traversing Four Seas’ guild members making their way everywhere on the streets like ants. Gu Fei guffawed at the sight of them.
“How can you still laugh in a situation like this?” Xi Xiaotian asked from behind him.
“Traversing Four Seas will surely give you a hard time in the future,” Xi Xiaotian warned.
“Since you’ve helped me, you’ll get into more trouble, right?” Gu Fei asked.
“Me?” Xi Xiaotian shook her head, “I’m not afraid of trouble. Level and such stuff don’t really matter to me. It’s no biggie if I’m to get hunted and killed from time to time. Besides, I’m an expert in dealing with trouble.”
“Of course! Practice makes perfect after all!” Gu Fei agreed sarcastically.
“I’m a professional swindler—”
“Is there such a thing as an amateur swindler?” Gu Fei could not stop laughing.
Xi Xiaotian did not bother to answer that question, as she began to watch the men run crazily all around the city, “As professional swindlers, we have our own set of rules. Within our repertoire of skills, it excludes playing with others’ feelings. We exploit their greedy desires, set the bait, and reel the fish in – that’s our modus operandi.”
“When you speak of playing with feelings, do you mean No Smile?”
Xi Xiaotian nodded.
“Not long after July’s Heat was cheated until she quit the game, No Smile got his just desserts from another person. Was it you?” Gu Fei asked.
Xi Xiaotian nodded her head once more.
Gu Fei heaved a long sigh, “Did July ask you to help her?”
Xi Xiaotian shook her head, “No. I didn’t even know her at that time. I did it on my own. Even today, she probably suspects that it was me who did it. I just never see the point of mentioning it.”
“So why did it in the first place?” Gu Fei was perplexed.
Xi Xiaotian was quiet for some time before she finally admitted, “It’s a hobby.”
“Hobby?” Gu Fei felt stunned.
“I enjoy swindling others,” Xi Xiaotian explained, “I see it like an art that interests me.”
“That’s quite a unique hobby,” Gu Fei laughed dryly.
“It's a pity that my hobby couldn’t be displayed in reality, so I can only enjoy it in online games like this,” Xi Xiaotian lamented.
“What did you say?” Gu Fei, who had always been easygoing, suddenly stared at Xi Xiaotian upon hearing her statement.
“What? You think I should go around cheating people in reality instead?” Xi Xiaotian countered.
“You shouldn’t do it in-game either!”
Xi Xiaotian laughed bitterly, “Do you know the feeling of not being able to display something that you love?”
Gu Fei felt dispirited. How could he not know? But Xi Xiaotian’s swindling hobby harms people, while my kung fu is a cultural inheritance that needs to be improved and showcased. How could they be put on the same pedestal? It’s like comparing apples to oranges, Gu Fei thought of this and unwittingly shook his head.
“What are you shaking your head for?” Xi Xiaotian asked.
“Nothing. I think I slightly understand that feeling you’re talking about – but only slightly! Or at least superficially,” Gu Fei believed that the feeling of being unable to swindle was still different from the feeling of being unable to use kung fu, so he put more emphasis on the word ‘slightly’.
Xi Xiaotian obviously did not believe him, only shaking her head in response.
No matter the case, Gu Fei’s bad impression of Xi Xiaotian changed ever so ‘slightly’ because they now shared this ‘slight’ commonality.
Gu Fei was incessantly thinking of the fact that they were social pariahs, so he started knocking himself in the head repeatedly, This sort of thinking is dangerous. How can I lower myself to the level of a swindler?
“Alright, I’m off! Anyway, thank you for what you did for me today,” Gu Fei felt it was better to get as far away from this swindler at the earliest. Gu Fei was afraid that he would become influenced by her rotten worldview the longer he stayed. The always self-assured and confident Gu Fei left like he was fleeing from a fight he could not win.
When he descended from the clock tower, he looked back up. Xi Xiaotian was still standing at the same spot and staring down at the city. Gu Fei waved his hand toward her and chose a street to head in. After leaving the range of her rotten thoughts, Gu Fei remembered that he had some things he still needed to do. After finding a corner without anyone around, Gu Fei covered his face with the piece of black cloth, wore his straw hat, took out Flames of Baptism, and put away the magic staff. Gu Fei had decided not to let that flippant and dishonorable person off easily after receiving Royal God Call’s insider information.
Young Master Han and the rest were asking where Gu Fei had went on the mercenary channel. Gu Fei calmly replied with a single message, “Don’t worry about me. Where’s No Smile?”
“Why’re you looking for him?” Young Master Han asked.
“To kill him, of course!” Gu Fei answered simply.