Chapter 506: Chapter 506 – A Duel No One Can See
Translator: Exodus Tales Editor: Exodus Tales
The faces of these players from Deep Freeze were painted to the point it was impossible to tell their age apart; still, it was apparent that the group which had just appeared from within the jungle looked to be a little bigger and taller than the group of players Gu Fei and Sword Demon had joined. Given the fact that the other group had just called their group as ‘a bunch of little rascals’, Gu Fei was almost certain that they had ended up joining the younger crowd.
Meanwhile, the group of adults evidently had quite the background; one of the youngsters actually mentioned about one of the other group’s members being one of the Seven Bottlenecks. Although Onesie mocked the group, it was directed at their temperament and not their actual capabilities. Just from the experience points they had earned alone, there was no doubt that they were only second to the Ten Great Adepts. It was simply impossible to break into their ranks without possessing some top-grade equipment or powerful skill. After all, the difference in experience was not something that affected their prowess as everybody was at the same level.
“Brother Assist, of the current Seven Bottlenecks, what’s the name of the Archer?” Sword Demon promptly asked this on the mercenary channel.
“Ginkgo Tea, a Hunter from Linyin City. What, did you guys bump into him?” Brother Assist replied.
“Kill him!” Royal God Call yelled. This man wished every Archer above level 40 would all just die, leaving him the only one left.
“He’s right in front of us!” Sword Demon directly ignored Royal God Call and replied to Brother Assist’s words as he and Gu Fei continued to watch the scene unfold before them.
Gu Fei did a quick headcount and realized that Ginkgo Tea’s group of adults numbered up to 12, looking to be a complete party. Meanwhile, Onesie’s group of youngsters only had eight players, and this was including Sword Demon and him. Since it was unlikely for them to consider the two newcomers, who had barely spoken a word, as comrades, the group was really just composed of six players. The young had always been fearless.
“You little rascal, let me teach you a lesson for you to understand what it means to be a real trap master.” Ginkgo Tea took a step forward from his party.
Onesie scoffed as his nostrils flared. “Hmph! Just you alone?” Even though he was ranked 21st on the Archer leaderboard, the logic still applied. Everyone was at the same level, so their ranking did not represent their actual strength. He did not seem to be afraid of Ginkgo Tea despite the latter being ten positions ahead of him.
These two men each took several steps opposite of each other.
“There’s no need to state the rules, right?” Ginkgo Tea said.
“Of course, not.” Onesie replied.
Gu Fei and Sword Demon were confused.
“What are you looking at me for? Go ask your old buddy.” Gu Fei sent this message to Sword Demon.
Sword Demon sent a message over to Coco. “There seems to be two Hunters challenging each other and mentions something about a rule that everyone knows. What rules do you guys have?”
“Within a set amount of time, in a predetermined space to spar, whoever gets trapped first will be the loser. If no one triggers a trap, then the loser shall be the player who has been struck by the greater number of arrows,” Coco replied confidently.
“That’s… really dangerous…” Parallel World did not provide players with any place to spar and train, so any such attempts would be considered as PKing, with the winner of the fight incurring PK points as a result. That was why two friends might have quite a difficult time practicing their PKing skills; after all, every attack had a range of damage applicable, and while someone like Gu Fei had the expertise to finely control this, the average player would have to depend on their luck. With them being unable to control the Critical Hits, Fatal Blows, or other such chance attacks, the potentiality for accidents to occur was fairly obvious.
“No. They’ll use equipment that deals the lowest damage possible,” Coco replied.
“But with all sorts of traits and stats that equipment has, weapons will simply not just affect the damage output alone! Different sets of equipment have different traits and bonuses, which provide different styles of attack. What’s the point of training like this if they are unable to use the equipment that they commonly have equipped?” Sword Demon asked.
“Training? What sort of practical joke are you pulling? Do those brats look like they are training? They spend all their time bickering about who’s stronger or weaker that it’s so annoying. Which two are the culprits this time?” Coco asked.
“Onesie and Ginkgo Tea,” Sword Demon answered.
“Oh.” Coco did not make any further comment after she heard this. Sword Demon proceeded to tell Gu Fei what he had learned from Coco. At the same time, someone stepped forward to shout and start the match between the two Hunters. Either man tumbled away and was soon hidden in the thick underbrush. Meanwhile, the other players watching the match subconsciously stepped back and deftly gave the two a clearing to spar.
The jungle was all quiet, besides the occasional sound coming from somewhere in the distance, which was out of their sight, and the intermittent, rustling of leaves and cracking of branches. The sound was so soft, no one could tell if it was from someone moving or merely from a passing breeze. Although Gu Fei could sense their killing intent, he was unable to get a good grasp of either man’s movements. Why would the two men sparring spare a glance at an onlooker like him?
Gu Fei sighed. “What’s the point of going through all this? Just directly slay each other and settle this already!” Gu Fei clearly had no love for such form of duel.
On the other hand, Sword Demon was the exact opposite. His spirit to research was sufficiently piqued by this sort combat style in MMOs, so he was currently extremely focused on this battle. While no one was evidently before him, he was still watching the match closely. He was monitoring the changes he could perceive around him with every rustling of leaves. The man was probably thinking of how he would deal with this situation if he were in either player’s shoes.
A battle like this could also be considered as an eye-opener by itself. Thanks to the extended time being spent fighting and grinding with such rules, the Hunters of Linyin City were the only ones who had managed to cultivate such a unique style of combat. Were this in any other city, two Hunters might not even challenge each other this way even if they ended up in a duel. First, they did not have any sort of geographical location like this. Second, most had no such habit. Third, they most likely did not have the skills or expertise for this.
Three minutes passed, yet the two men were nowhere to be found. Nobody had any idea what those two were doing in these few minutes. They had no clue whether the two had exchanged blows or either of them had gotten injured. All they saw was the jungle before them, the underbrush and foliage, and the circle of players that stood there like idiots.
The whistle of an arrow finally sounded from within the circle. This was not an unexpected sound to the gathered crowd as everyone was already expecting it and was, in fact, waiting for something like that to happen for a while now.Finally! That was the thought they all shared when they heard the whistling of this arrow.
As the arrow broke the silence, with how well-trained his hearing was, Gu Fei’s eyes easily darted over to the position where the sound originated. Similarly, with how familiar Sword Demon was to Gu Fei, he followed Gu Fei’s gaze, only for his vision to be obstructed by a tree. Sword Demon muttered a curse under his breath as he quickly changed his position over to where Gu Fei was standing. This was just how the jungle terrain worked, the two men were no more than a few steps away from each other, but the view they each had was different. Gu Fei was able to see the change in the fight, but all Sword Demon could see was a tree trunk standing in his way.
“Over there?” Sword Demon whispered as he tried to confirm this with Gu Fei.
“Originally, yes… but, perhaps, they’re no longer there,” Gu Fei said. Even though he had been unable to catch any movement or sight in the last three minutes, it was impossible for the two combatants not to have moved all this time…
“That arrow was entirely useless!” Sword Demon exclaimed, as silence resumed back in that circle.
“He probably tried to feel out the opponent, but the latter did not fall for it,” Gu Fei analyzed.
“Didn’t he ended up revealing himself, instead?” Sword Demon asked. It was a simple logic; the man who shone a torchlight in his search would be the first to reveal his location.
“I don’t think that’s the case here,” Gu Fei disagreed.
“Why not?” Sword Demon asked.
“Because even I failed to find any trace of the man who have fired that shot.”
While Gu Fei’s statement sounded arrogant, it was actually an extremely reasonable explanation. Be it the duelists themselves or someone watching the fight like Gu Fei, everyone heard the same sound. Thus, if someone far less restrained like the onlooker did not manage to locate the attacker, it was all the more unlikely for the opponent, who was in the midst of a showdown, to do so. This was because he was limited by his need to remain hidden.
What would I do if it were me? Everyone could not help but wonder. Sword Demon pondered on this for a bit and posed the question to Gu Fei involuntarily.
“Jump out to make the opponent reveal himself and then kill him right there,” was Gu Fei’s reply.
This was from someone who was far too indomitable to the point of being inhuman, able to easily disregard the enemy; thus, Sword Demon could only turn a deaf ear to it. In a situation where both sides were evenly matched, carefully probing for the enemy and looking for any possible blind spot or flaw would perhaps be the best solution. This must be what those two combatants are doing right now. Sword Demon believed.
Thus, another two minutes passed after that first arrow shot. During this time, two other arrows were fired off, yet the situation remained unchanged. No one watching could ascertain if person who had shot the two arrows was the same one either time.
“What’s the time limit? Did they mention it?” Gu Fei asked Sword Demon. He recalled this duel beginning the moment someone said, “There’s no need to state the rules.” Is there no time limit for this? Why haven’t they set a time limit?
“They didn’t say anything about it. Maybe, those two clash so often this has become a convention now.” Sword Demon made a guess. If there was a specific duration for this duel observed by all, Coco would already tell him about it.
Gu Fei swept his glance over to Broken Water Arrow even as he muttered to himself, “How long is this fight going to take?” Gu Fei would take note of the man’s actions from time to time, but Broken Water Arrow acted as plain, and unpretentious, as any other player in the crowd, showing nothing really worth noting about. As for Sword Demon, the man had already forgotten about this matter and was wholly absorbed in the fight before him. It was apparent that he was not a player who was passionate toward questing. Rather, Sword Demon was just using the quest to improve his mastery. Conversely, this sort of rare duel style served to push his battle experience further, which was why his interest in this far outstripped his concern over the ‘Daily Mission’.
This was when the referee, who had previously announced the start of the duel, shouted, “Last ten seconds!”
“Ten… nine… eight…” The onlookers all started counting down, causing the atmosphere to liven up. Gu Fei and Sword Demon were a little nonplussed by this. Was this how the duel was going to end? Would it turn out to be a draw? Were the two really too laymen that they could not even make sense of what was happening?
“…Six… five… four… three…”
In the instant that the crowd shouted ‘three’, a series of what sounded like gunfire was fired off in rapid succession. Originating from the center of the clearing, something unknown fired at will in every direction.
“What?!” Sword Demon exclaimed his surprise as something flew straight at them. Gu Fei whipped his sword out to swat it off, but his hand drew empty, for his camo, which was draped over his robe’s dimensional pocket, prevented him from accessing his weapons.
“QUICK! DODGE!” Gu Fei could only exert actual effort in this emergency and shove Sword Demon down as they went diving to the ground.
“What was that?” This was the exclamation they heard from around them.