Chapter 51 - Power of the Fans
Gu Fei left Ray’s Bar and immediately headed toward the Thieves’ Union. He did not bother searching specifically for No Smile. Since No Smile's situation had become well-known all over Yunduan City, many people would now gather wherever he was at.
Almost every player within the city had heard about the relentless hunter who was after No Smile's life. According to the rumors, this hunter had dropped No Smile's level from 30 to 23 in just an hour, and that he was still after No Smile even now. Because of this, the hunter, now dubbed by the public as the Masked Slayer, had attained a legendary status among the players. Many of these players wanted to witness the hunter's epic pursuit, and the most effective way to do so for them was to follow his victim, No Smile. Thankfully, Parallel World did not have a general or trade channel that players could access like in other MMORPGs; otherwise, a number of players would surely or even gladly ‘betray’ No Smile’s location to the Masked Slayer just to see him in action.
As Gu Fei neared the Thieves' Union, he saw that a dense crowd had gathered in its vicinity. He squeezed through this mass of people to take a look at what they were flocking together for, and spotted No Smile and his ride-or-die buddies walking to and fro the street. A large number of players were trailing behind them dozens of meters away. Gu Fei was in a crowd that must have taken a detour to spectate from the other end of the street, as even the rooftops lining this very lane had quite a few people on them.
No Smile was of course unhappy to be followed by the onlookers, yet he could only bear with it grudgingly. There were simply too many onlookers following him, and cursing at them would only result in him dropping a level at their hands instead of the Masked Slayer.
Gu Fei smiled faintly.
“Sorry! Excuse me…” Gu Fei apologized repeatedly as he stepped away from the crowd. He found himself a building and got onto its rooftop. Gu Fei stealthily changed into his ‘Masked Slayer’ getup behind the other players who were on the rooftop as well. He then stood on tiptoe to see over the onlookers’ shoulders the exact position of No Smile.
“Bro, let me through,” Gu Fei patted the man in front of him.
The person impatiently turned around, but his eyes shone brightly upon seeing Gu Fei. Gu Fei quickly signaled the man to be quiet. The man nodded his head vigorously and pressed his two hands firmly over his mouth, while tapping the guy next to him with his elbow.
“What?!” The guy turned around after being tapped, and his eyes shone equally brightly when he saw Gu Fei, prompting Gu Fei to signal the person to be quiet as well. The two onlookers were now nodding their heads vigorously and covering their mouths with their hands, as they tapped the next guy….
In no time at all, a whole bunch of players wore a star-struck look on their faces and held their hands against their mouths, as they cleared a path for Gu Fei. As Gu Fei slowly made his way through, the players across the street spotted him as well. Their eyes also shone brightly, and Gu Fei had to signal them to be quiet as well….
Why was it suddenly so quiet? No Smile found it odd that the large crowd’s hubbub of excited conversations, which had pervaded the air a minute ago, abruptly turned into hushed talks. In fact, it was now so quiet that he could hear the disturbance in the air right above his head. No Smile quickly raised his head, just in time to see a flash of reddish light descending upon him. The glow made No Smile turn pale and he quickly found himself fleeing away from the group that had surrounded him.
No Smile’s buddies were nearly driven mad at this point. They had followed No Smile all this while and were taking precautions upon precautions. Seeing that a huge crowd had gathered around them, they were confident that if that person attempted to kill No Smile, they would be aware of it. And yet, they had not expected the mob of players to side with the killer, allowing him to apathetically murder No Smile in broad daylight! His buddies felt extremely aggrieved, yet they still failed to channel their anger into strength. Gu Fei once again escaped their pursuit easily with the help of the crowd that had conveniently prepared a path of escape for him.
After a short while, Gu Fei found out that the crowd's pursuit was much harder to escape, as quite a few of them were capable of running abreast of him. All of them were curious about the Masked Slayer’s identity; they thought that it would be easier to find this out, as well as to witness his killing, if they trailed after him instead of No Smile.
Gu Fei fully understood how terrifying the power of fans was for the first time in his life.
At this rate, No Smile’s ride-or-die buddies only had to follow the mob and they would find Gu Fei as well. Feeling exasperated, he could only keep running like his life depended on it. After countless detours around Yunduan City, Gu Fei was still unable to ditch his entourage completely, as more people meant more fan power. There were instances when Gu Fei had managed to shake the pursuing players off, only to bump into them again at the next street.
This cycle of losing and stumbling upon the same players signified that the fans were aware of his whereabouts. But all the effort he had placed into running away bore fruit when he accidentally ran into No Smile while weaving through the streets of Yunduan City. He unhesitatingly killed off No Smile with his Chinese broadsword once more.
When No Smile faded into a beam of white light in front of him, Gu Fei vaguely registered something dropping onto the ground. The players behind him exclaimed in unison, “His equipment dropped!” But Gu Fei did not even bother to look at it. All were momentarily stunned, before they crazily dove toward the item that No Smile had dropped. Finding out the killer’s identity was nothing compared to acquiring high-grade equipment!
This was how Gu Fei fortuitously escaped from this bunch of fanatics. He immediately got into a secluded street, quickly took off his disguise, and finally heaved a sigh of relief.
Meanwhile, July and Oathless Sword were still busy negotiating at Ray’s Bar. Oathless Sword had received two separate notifications about No Smile getting killed during the negotiation. Oathless Sword felt quite disturbed when he did a quick mental calculation and realized that No Smile was now at level 21. Although he was worried about his guild’s reputation being tarnished by No Smile’s repeated deaths, he was more terrified of the killer’s might.
No Smile might have turned pathetic now, but he was still an uncompromisingly capable man. That was why Oathless Sword had originally gotten No Smile to join Traversing Four Seas, even designating him as a core member.
For No Smile to not even stand a fighting chance again his killer, how would Oathless Sword fare if they traded places? Oathless Sword suddenly felt a chill come over him. Although he was the leader of a guild with three hundred members in Yunduan City, it did not mean he could bring all of them whenever he grinded for levels outside. This killer, who came and left like the wind, was someone capable of dropping No Smile’s level nine times; simply thinking about this fact brought chill up and down Oathless Sword’s spine.
The fact that just one person was causing all this havoc made the matter worse. No Smile’s report earlier mentioned that his party had been wiped out by six people. If all six of them were to act together, there would be no telling how frightening it could get.
The negotiation tilted out of his favor as he became faint-hearted. Was there a need to expend so much energy for a level 21 player? Their lost reputation was irrecoverable after No Smile got reduced by nine levels. Besides, those people’s main target had always been No Smile alone. If the guild rallied and officially supported No Smile in this, would they shift their targets to the other players in the guild?
Oathless Sword now deeply experienced the pain of being on the receiving end of animosity. After weighing the pros and cons of the matter, he finally came to a decision and heaved a long sigh, “Guild Leader July, we have decided to expel No Smile from the guild. The matter between you two, Traversing Four Seas will not have any part. What do you think of this?”
“Oathless!” The first one to be shocked by Oathless Sword’s decision was Gale Force.
Oathless Sword looked at him but could not find the right words to explain his decision.
July and the other ladies were astonished by his decision as well. They had not expected Oathless Sword to make such a large concession to them. No Smile’s expulsion from the guild meant that they were officially and figuratively washing their hands off the whole July and No Smile’s business. It was equivalent to saying that Traversing Four Seas would stay out of this problem for good.
“Guild Leader Oathless sure has a great insight about the matter at hand. How admirable,” Luo Luo gave a very refined compliment.
July was still somewhat dumbfounded. She had barely presented a solid argument in this negotiation, yet Oathless Sword decisively compromised in her favor! While this was all going through July’s head, Oathless Sword and Gale Force stood up, “We’re leaving then. This dagger… We’ll be taking it to at least give No Smile some form of explanation.”
July nodded her head.
Oathless Sword took Zephyr’s Whisper and left Ray’s Bar with Gale Force.
“Why?” Gale Force asked once they had left the establishment.
“Our opponent is far too strong! While we were negotiating, No Smile was killed twice,” Oathless Sword said.
“And you are afraid?”
“Not just for me but for all of us in the guild. If they actually targeted any of us, do you think we would stand a chance?” Oathless Sword said.
“I’m not scared of them! I’ll take them all on!”
“You may not be afraid, but what about the other guild members? How can our guild survive if all are on their toes and have no way of resolving the issue?”
Gale Force was speechless.
“Let’s go! We’ll return Zephyr’s Whisper to No Smile to at least account for our decision,” Oathless Sword said.
“Just who are these people?!” Gale Force clenched his fists in anger. It was a truly bitter pill to swallow.
“Remember this day! After all, revenge is a dish best served cold!”
Gale Force nodded his head even though he was still enraged.
In Ray’s Bar, July and the ladies were very excited with the new development to their problem.
“Without the support of the largest guild in Yunduan City and his low level, I don’t think we need to be afraid of him any longer,” July said reassuringly.
“That killer sure is fantastic!” Lie Lie was star-struck, “Sis Luo Luo, just who is he?!”
“I don’t know either,” Luo Luo shook her head, “Besides the mercenary group leader himself, he did not reveal any information about his comrades to me. Right now, rumors are saying that the person is a Mage. From what I know, he’s a Mage that soloed the Mountain Bandit Leader Sooto!”
“That’s too overpowered….”
“Luo Luo, get in contact with him. Try and see if you can set up a meeting so that we can thank him personally,” July said.
“What are we thanking him with? Our bodies, perhaps?” Luo Luo snickered.
“What nonsense,” July chided her softly.
Xiaoyu cheered all of a sudden, leaping up in celebration.
“What’s the matter, Xiaoyu?” The three ladies were taken aback by her sudden movement.
“Can I go and do quests now?” Xiaoyu asked.
“Go ahead! But you still need to be careful,” July said.
“Nothing to worry about! No Smile won’t be able to do anything to her; he’s too busy being hunted right now!” Luo Luo proclaimed.
“Sis Luo Luo, you are here with us all this while! How come you know so much about what’s happening outside?” Lie Lie was puzzled.
“I’m privately messaging their mercenary leader right now. He’s keeping me updated,” Luo Luo explained.
Three rooms away from the four ladies was another room. Inside, everyone was criticizing Young Master Han, “Come on, drink up! Why are you just sitting there in a daze?!”
“Shut up!” Young Master Han snapped, “I’m discussing business with the employer! This has been a tough mission, so of course I’m milking them for what it’s worth!”
“Okay, go for it!” the four men readily agreed.
“Does this mean that Miles is going take the majority of the portion again?” Brother Assist asked carefully.
Sword Demon nodded, “It’s only fair!”
Everyone was in the dumps. “We’re just a bunch of laborers!” Royal God Call groaned, “Miles, I hate you!”
“Achoo!” Gu Fei sneezed, just as he finished off No Smile for the tenth time.
“Man, today’s been exhausting,” Gu Fei mumbled to himself, but he was not done yet….
“The Masked Slayer is getting away!” a scream echoed as a throng of players ran toward him, nearing him with every step.