Chapter 54 - The Trouble that PvP Brings
Gu Fei was immediately assailed by fatigue after going offline. A regular player would never consider Gu Fei’s daily gaming schedule as tiresome, so it could be said that his time online today had been very fruitful.
The nonstop hunting of No Smile and the Flames of Baptism’s demand for utmost concentration had mentally drained Gu Fei by several folds. He felt spent once he had slightly eased his nerves after leaving the game. It’s truly tough to be an online gaming pro! Gu Fei thought of Sword Demon and the rest who spent most of their time playing the game, regardless of whether it was day or night. Their bodies could not compare to Gu Fei’s since they were all nerds, yet their ability to focus on the game for a whole day was admirably beyond him.
Gu Fei did not rush to get online today after a full night’s rest. Instead, he casually browsed the game’s official forums.
He might be an undeniable combat expert in-game, yet his online gaming knowledge was amateurish at best.
Flames of Baptism effectively boosted his Attack Power, as well as provided him with an interesting training material, yet its additional fire attack’s erraticity had posed quite a danger to Gu Fei. Hence, he was now searching for a method to raise the trait’s proc rate by 100%. If Gu Fei could do that, he would surely become a consistent, high-attack fighter.
Unfortunately, Parallel World’s players were currently more focused on researching about the traits concerning the status effects, such as the Slow effect of Ice Damage, Paralysis effect of Electric Damage, and so on. Not much attention was given on researching a trait that could only cause fire attack. As for equipment traits that dealt additional magic attack, the consensus was for players to choose Poison Damage instead of Fire Damage. This was due to the lack of stats that would affect magic for close combat job classes. Poison Damage was dependent on the equipment itself instead of a character’s magic affinity, and it had the additional advantage of reducing the target’s HP even after completing the attack. Moreover, a decent weapon with Poison Damage could easily exceed the potential of a weapon with fire attack.
There was also another important reason: A weapon’s additional magic attack trait could only be activated through normal attacks. Conversely speaking, the additional magic attack on weapons would not proc when a player incorporated skills into his or her attack. While this might not matter during a normal monster grind, it was a different case when it came to PvP or boss battles. This was because skill usage was essential in achieving victory in those fights. Thus, items with only additional magic attack trait had lower market prices, as they were pretty much considered as trash by players.
No one would naturally bother researching about those garbage items. Gu Fei searched pages after pages of the game forums but still came up with no useful information. All he found was that besides weapons with magic attack trait, accessories like rings, necklaces, and emblems had the probability of containing the same trait as well.
The in-game equipment was separated into nine categories: weapon, helmet, body armor, belt, shoes, couple rings, necklace, and emblem.
The fact that Gu Fei’s two fingers and neck had remained empty despite grinding on monsters for this long was proof that the drop rate of these accessories was very low. Gu Fei’s straw hat and shoes were not actually terrible; they were just not suitable for Mages, which was why Young Master Han and company had constantly criticized and pointed their uselessness.
After a quick check, Gu Fei learned that he could buy accessories that increased the proc rate of fire attack. He decided to purchase some at the first opportunity, as well as conventional equipment to remain unnoticeable to others.
Gu Fei left the forums after checking the items he planned to purchase. It was then that he spotted the forums’ sticky thread – Yunduan City’s Close Combat Mage: 'Killing a man in just ten steps, and never stopping once while pursuing his target. Gone with his name and identity once everything ended'.
Gu Fei’s heart tightened as he clicked to view the thread. Just as he thought, it was a report about his hunt of No Smile throughout Yunduan City yesterday.
The players, who had kept their ears to the ground, managed to dig out almost all the relevant information about the incident. However, that was not the crux of the matter; the emphasis was on the process in which No Smile had been hunted. All the information was collated from various eyewitnesses’ accounts. As the perpetrator, Gu Fei judged the data to be largely accurate.
There were two main discussions that developed regarding the matter.
The first discussion was about the moral implication of the Masked Slayer’s action. This was a hot topic that had started during the live broadcast of yesterday’s forums. Gu Fei briefly glanced at the various opinions posted on the forums and then dismissed them altogether. He did not feel a shred of guilt toward killing No Smile.
No Smile swindled July first. When he was later defrauded by the professional con-artist Xi Xiaotian, she had done so of her volition and not because of July’s siccing. Later on in Parallel World, the wretched No Smile coincidentally became Gu Fei and the mercenary group’s latest target after he had harassed July. Gu Fei had destroyed No Smile with a clear conscience, so the vitriol about his actions that littered the forums did not affect him at all.
The second discussion was about his fighting prowess. The news that a Mage had hunted and killed a Thief through close-combat techniques was definitely astounding to hear. Naturally, the online players did not idle around once they had witnessed the fight. A link was immediately posted on the forums that directed players to a different thread that focused on analyzing Gu Fei’s expert moves.
Quite a number of players must have used Appraisal on Gu Fei back then, since the post even displayed a complete list of his equipment.
But the thread digressed for a bit, as everyone speculated on where Eddie’s Emblem came from. Its ability to increase each of the five different stats by 6 points for a total of 30 points made it an accessory with the highest stat-point boost out of all the available in-game items.
Gu Fei gulped when he saw this. Thankfully, he had seen this thread; otherwise, the Masked Slayer’s true identity would be discovered with Eddie’s Emblem alone. July and the ladies had probably used Appraisal on him before, so he would immediately be exposed if they stumbled upon this thread.
However, it was unlikely that the girls would divulge this. Gu Fei clung to that thought at this moment. If it is revealed… Gu Fei could not deny how troublesome it would get, as he thought back to the string of players that had chased after him all over Yunduan City.
Gu Fei calmed himself down as he continued to read on. The discussion finally returned back to the thread’s main topic several posts afterward, and the players began to discuss Gu Fei’s battle skills. Through the details provided by the many onlookers, Gu Fei’s online persona was easily deduced: an Agility-based Mage who possessed a weapon with additional magic attack trait. A combination of his swift movements and the said trait had allowed Gu Fei to almost instantly finish off the low HP Thief No Smile.
Many experts analyzed the character in greater detail afterward, resulting in nonstop arguments over their varying opinions. Gu Fei noticed a certain post by a user called Cunning Eye.
This user claimed that Gu Fei had managed to slay No Smile purely by chance. No Smile was a Strength-based Thief, resulting into him losing to the Agility-based Mage Gu Fei. The Thief job class had low HP to begin with, so No Smile could not withstand the physical attack and weapon’s fire attack from the Mage. Had he been someone else with higher HP, stronger defense, or faster speed, the outcome would probably be different. Only a few players wore magic resistant armor right now. If No Smile had had magic resistant equipment at the time, the additional fire attack dealt by Gu Fei would be greatly weakened.
Cunning Eye mentioned a detail that nobody had noticed as well. Although No Smile was killed ten times, No Smile’s first death, when he was still at level 30, had not been witnessed by anyone; his second death, when he dropped to level 29, had actually been caused by a Thief. Meaning, the Mage only started to hunt No Smile after the latter had dropped two levels. Did that mean that the Mage might not have the confidence to kill No Smile off when the latter was at his peak?
This analysis was logical and made complete sense, provided that it was applied to an average player. Unfortunately, Cunning Eye neglected to account for the fact that Gu Fei knew kung fu.
Backed by his kung fu, Gu Fei had made short work of No Smile in every engagement with just two or three slashes. This truth was hardly noticeable to anyone but supreme experts.
After reading all the replies to this post, Gu Fei felt somewhat disappointed. He had originally expected this post to completely research Gu Fei’s character, yet it was just like all the other posts. A discussion that descended into an argument, becoming a match of insults and curses that was ultimately left unsettled. It seemed Gu Fei had to research himself the best way to make the Mage character fit his expectations.
After leaving the forums, Gu Fei went online.
The first thing he did once he had gotten online was to take off Eddie’s Emblem. He had gained too much unwanted attention while assuming his Masked Slayer persona. My identity will get exposed if a bored individual on the street decides to use Appraisal on me, Gu Fei thought. He quickly made his way to the Auction House, intending to quickly buy a new set of equipment to change his image completely.
However, the Auction House was a little strange today. Gu Fei could not use any of the services, and the NPCs working there ignored him completely. Despite repeatedly trying to communicate humbly with the NPCs, they remained oddly indifferent. He felt beleaguered by what was happening. Suddenly, someone tapped his shoulder from behind, “What’s the matter, Miles?”
Gu Fei swiftly turned around and saw Brother Assist. He fortunately came across this expert here. He quickly relayed what had just happened and asked Brother Assist about it.
Brother Assist stared at him in shock, “We’re thinking about how crazy you were yesterday. Don’t tell me you didn’t know about the game’s PvP rules?”
“What is that?” Gu Fei curiously asked.
Brother Assist hurriedly explained, “In Parallel World, anytime you kill a player, you will accumulate one PK1 point. At 1 PK point, only certain NPCs will refuse to service you, and death will result into you dropping two levels. Once your PK value reaches 10 points, NPCs throughout the city won’t do business with you, and death will cause you to drop three levels. If your PK value reaches 20 points, NPC guards and patrolling soldiers will arrest you on sight; death will reduce your level by four, while getting captured reduces your level by two plus jail time. At 30 PK points, NPCs will just execute you on the spot, and death will drop you by five levels.”
“So what should I do?” Gu Fei was stupefied.
“Right now, you should be below 20 PK points. You can just turn yourself in and sit in the jail; every hour you’re jailed will lower your PK point by one! Alternatively, you can drift about outside the city. The PK point will get reduced by one for every two hours you spend outside,” Brother Assist explained.
“Who’s going to choose to stay in prison?! So what if I can’t buy things. That’s no big deal,” Gu Fei said.
Brother Assist nodded, “I’m afraid there’s another important matter you’re not aware of.”
“There’s a sort of quest in Parallel World called ‘Bounty Mission’. This mission refreshes daily, and its target is players who have accumulated PK points. It can be done alone or with a mercenary group, and the players will be rewarded according to the PK points of their target. After your strong display yesterday, there’s no doubt that you will be at the top of the Wanted Players list today.”
Gu Fei was dumbfounded. He did not expect that fighting online would be this troublesome.
 PK - is short for Player Killing.