Chapter 511: Chapter 511 – Exposed
Translator: Exodus Tales Editor: Exodus Tales
“If we adopt that cynical mentality of yours to analyze this interaction, it appears as if he is showing off his knowledge, as well as inspiring people to induce a good impression on them. However, if we take a normal approach to this, even I will explain that all in a similar fashion,” Sword Demon said candidly.
“True; let’s continue our observation,” Gu Fei replied.
The two men continued to secretly follow Broken Water Arrow; they saw their target going around the jungle in a pre-established route. Every place he passed had groups of players training, and Broken Water Arrow would watch them before passing a few constructive criticisms afterward. His words and actions were exactly as what Sword Demon had said, and could be considered as nothing unusual. Of course, it was also possible that he could have ulterior motives if anyone adopted Gu Fei’s cynical view, but proper evidence would be required to prove this. Gu Fei and Sword Demon were stalking this man entirely in hopes of making such a discovery, but what they witnessed and overheard lent nothing more to it.
“Did you discover anything?” The two were a little tired from all this stalking. Hearing Broken Water Arrow address another band of players, they did not immediately follow the man. The two leaned against a tree and lifted their heads up to look in the sky that they could not see. Sword Demon’s left hand lifted to his lips, his dagger wedged between his two fingers, as if he were smoking.
“Absolutely nothing at all…” Sword Demon sighed.
“We simply don’t have the expertise for such things!” Gu Fei had to admit that, while Sword Demon was a gifted gamer and he was a kung-fu expert in their respective fields, they had no idea on how to go about conducting such things like evidence investigation! They just did not have any experience in this. Perhaps if they had someone with this particular set of skills with them, he or she might have already discovered what was suspicious from the words and actions that Broken Water Arrow had shown thus far. He or she would not be like Gu Fei, who let his prejudice toward the man result in Gu Fei mistaking Broken Water Arrow’s goodness as ill will.
“What do we do now?” Sword Demon asked Gu Fei. He had come up with the idea of stalking their target, but it appeared as if they had failed in achieving anything from it.
“I doubt we will discover anything if he continues to go around teaching everyone in this jungle,” Gu Fei said. “Maybe he might head off to somewhere else and meet others?”
“I don’t think there’s a need for this… All he needs to do is send a message,” Sword Demon said.
“How troublesome,” Gu Fei sighed. Messages can be sent between players without anyone knowing, so if any secrets were divulged within those conversation, none would be the wiser about them.
“Hey. Are we still following or not? He’s about to get out of range.” The two men hiding behind the tree were only taking a break, but they were still keeping an eye on Broken Water Arrow.
“Honestly…” Gu Fei did not seem to be in any bit of a hurry. “This guy is only just a simple mission to you, and he does provide plenty of help to Deep Waters’ guild; what the man is doing now is irrelevant to your quest. If you slay him, he will still be able to keep helping the guild. There’s no way he will know it’s you if you cover your face, nor will it affect your relationship with Deep Waters and the rest. There’s no need for you to bear so much psychological burden for the kill if it’s just about completing your mission.”
“I know that… but I’m no longer concerned about the mission now. If your inference is correct, that this person may have ulterior motive toward Deep Waters and Coco’s guild, then I must stop him,” Sword Demon said.
“Then, I suggest you look for Young Master. I feel that he’s the one who can be of the most help in this situation right now,” Gu Fei concluded.
“All right!” Sword Demon nodded.
“Tsk! It’s for the best if that lousy guild of his collapses; why should I lend him a hand?” Needless to say, the location where Gu Fei and Sword Demon found Young Master Han was a tavern in Linyin City. The entire city was designed to look like a quaint village with its rural architecture, and the tavern was no exception. The atmosphere pervading the city made it seem more backward than any other cities they had been to, and Young Master Han’s mood was evidently adversely affected by this. The man did not even think of flinging a scathing remark the moment the two approached him about their problem.
Gu Fei originally wanted to drop a line or two to persuade the man, but Sword Demon beside him acted as if he had not heard Young Master Han’s rejection and continued to give their account of what they had observed. “According to Miles, this Broken Water Arrow has a build of someone who has undergone rigorous combat training. By sharing his expertise in jungle warfare and comprehension toward the setting of traps, plenty of members in Deep Freeze admire the man.”
“What’s so strange about that? This is nothing more than exhibiting the talent you have in the real world in this game. There’re plenty of players out there who are way stronger than the average gamers. Isn’t there one sitting right next to you?” Young Master Han was of course referring to Gu Fei, a man raised in kung fu; he took to the bloodshed in this world like a fish to water.
“That may be the case, but—”
“I know what you’re worried about,” Young Master Han interrupted. “Using such a method to take down a guild from the inside, while very devious, would indeed be the most effective way to do so.”
Sword Demon did not say a word. Gu Fei looked over to his eyes and realized that his gaze was very distant, as if he were recalling something. Furthermore, what Young Master Han had just said seemed to have a sort of meaning to it; did this have something to do with that something that had happened in their past?
“I know you disagree with my view about what happened then even now, but I still insist; that’s definitely a premeditated affair, and it’s not like what you claim ‘everyone arguing to the point where fellow brothers became estranged,'” Young Master Han said.
“What is this about?” Gu Fei hurriedly butted in to ask.
“Something that happened in-game before.” Sword Demon merely said this line and did not bother to elaborate any further. Actually, Gu Fei could more or less deduce what it was from the two men’s simple exchange. Mostly likely, it was about Sword Demon’s guild, when a popular person like Broken Water Arrow must have affected it, causing the members to turn against their leader Sword Demon and finally causing the guild to disband. Young Master Han believed that it was a premeditated attack with the guild’s disbandment as the end goal, while Sword Demon believed that it was a result of internal conflicts that devolved into irreconcilable differences. Of course, there were plenty of details to this issue, but Sword Demon clearly did not wish to talk about the matter, so Gu Fei did not bother to pry any further either. While he might occasionally take shots at others, Gu Fei only made sure those were harmless jokes, for he would never intentionally take joy from mocking someone’s pain.
“Do you think there’s anything suspicious about this Broken Water Arrow?” Gu Fei brought the conversation back on topic.
“He doesn’t need any point of suspicion. In a guild, nothing is a bigger taboo than someone who can grab the limelight and be more popular than the guild leader. As the saying goes: ‘A mountain isn’t big enough for two tigers to roam.’ If Deep Waters doesn’t understand this, his guild will ultimately either split or disband. However, given that man’s personality, he will most likely be foolish enough to simply cede the position of being the guild leader to that man, and he may even consider himself as being chivalrous and magnanimous!” Young Master Han said.
“That’s fine; it isn’t a big deal, either…” There was nothing great about the guild leader position, so Gu Fei did not consider it to be anything of a loss.
“The guild leader is the soul of a guild; A guild’s temperament is entirely influenced by the guild leader. Randomly changing the guild leader in such a manner means changing the guild’s atmosphere, style, and standards. Only an irresponsible person will casually hand over the position of the guild leader to someone random. Even though this is just a game, it isn’t a simple position to be in. Plenty of your comrades and friends would be watching your every move! To toss the position away by saying someone else is more fitting be the guild leader may seem like a very chivalrous thing, but it actually snubs plenty of other people, do you know that?” Young Master Han said.
“Wow…” Gu Fei had no idea if he should sit or stand after hearing this. Feeling entirely uneasy, he tentatively inquired, “Is that you there? Is that the Young Master Han I know? To think someone as diabolical as you can say something like this; is there even such a thing as heavenly justice?”
“Go back and tell Deep Waters; if he is still clear-headed, kick that man out of the guild as soon as possible. Even if the man does not harbor such thoughts, the situation may sometimes develop in a way where things may not go according to a person’s wish,” Young Master Han continued.
“If it does not go according to a person’s wish, will it go according to yours, instead?” A voice suddenly came from elsewhere, causing the three men to turn in one direction. They were shocked by what they saw. Gu Fei and Sword Demon exchanged glances, for they had never expected to see Deep Waters here at this time. Plus, it seemed as if he had overheard what they were all discussing.
“Oh, it’s you? You came just in time; these two guys here are worried sick for you!” Young Master Han did not seem to be in the least bit embarrassed or awkward. It was truly admirable how this man could show a look of disdain no matter the circumstance he found himself in.
Deep Waters did not say a word and quietly walked over to the table where the three men were seated, staring at Gu Fei and Sword Demon. Before Gu Fei could even react, Deep Waters’ hand shot forth and took off the cloth covering Sword Demon’s face.
“Holy f*ck!” Young Master Han was the man who yelled, for Sword Demon looked all the more surreal now that he had that face paint on his face.
“What’s the meaning of this?” Deep Waters asked as he clutched that cloth covering Sword Demon’s face moments ago.
“Broken Water Arrow is my mission target; I wanted to find out what sort of person the man is,” Sword Demon replied.
“Mission target? I seem to have heard you guys suspecting him of something else, right?” Deep Waters’ tone was calm, but Sword Demon knew that they had never had such a calm conversation. Everyone would usually be cursing or laughing, wearing their emotions on their shoulders.
“That’s right. I suspect he has other motives for joining your guild,” Sword Demon was a man that dared to own up to his actions.
“Is that so? What sort of motives?” Deep Waters asked.
“I have no proof; just a suspicion,” Sword Demon replied.
“Is that so? Did you have to do all this?” Deep Waters shook that hand still holding that piece of cloth.
Sword Demon was silent.
“We’re old friends,” Deep Waters said. “If you truly have such suspicions, you can just tell me directly about them.”
“It’s because it’s merely just a hunch, which is why I don’t wish to affect the relationship you two have. I want to find it out for myself in secret.” Sword Demon’s words were sincere, and he had a sincere look as well. Unfortunately, the face paint on his face covered everything.
“Should I be thanking you, then?” Deep Waters asked.
Sword Demon had no words.
“Old Broken!” Deep Waters suddenly yelled.
To Gu Fei and Sword Demon’s surprise, they saw the door to the tavern get pushed open by Broken Water Arrow, who walked to their table, unperturbed; condescension was in his eyes.
“I have a few friends here that have a few misconceptions about you; come and explain things to them!” Deep Waters said.
“There’s no need for explanation; time will prove everything,” Broken Water Arrow said with indifference.
“Well said!” Deep Waters clapped Broken Water Arrow’s shoulders hard. “Time will reveal how people conduct themselves; time will indeed be all the proof needed.” Deep Waters threw that cloth on the table and turned to leave.