Chapter 6 - What a fast Mage!
"Where are we going?" Fireball could not help but ask as he saw that they were traveling further and further away from the beginner’s maps outside Yunduan City.
"There’s no way to grind levels there with so many people. I'll take you to another place," Gu Fei said.
"Where?" Fireball looked around. The rolling hills around them were obviously not the same terrain as outside the city. In the game, this meant that they had already arrived in a new map.
Gu Fei did not answer Fireball and instead brought him up a hill where he pointed toward a small pond at the bottom, "Look, there…” However, he could no longer find Fireball as he glanced back. Then he heard Fireball’s voice coming from beside his foot, "D*mn! Get down quick! Don’t you want to live anymore? They’re going to see us." Fireball had already crouched down low on the ground. He stuck his head on the grass as he wormed his way backward while talking to Gu Fei in a hushed tone. It seemed extremely tiring.
"What’re you doing?" Gu Fei found it both vexing and amusing.
"Those are Vagabonds! Do you know what level those mobs are? I would’ve stayed in the city and kill-steal from others if I’ve known that you’re planning to bring me here!" He was only brave enough to raise his head and talk after creeping back half a meter.
"This is nothing. Just watch!" Gu Fei smiled, lifting his mage robe with one hand.
"What are you doing?!" Fireball was shocked, but he soon saw Gu Fei pull out a dagger from under his robe.
"Are you... a Thief?" Fireball was stunned.
"Fireball!" Gu Fei called out.
"Huh?" at the same instance Fireball answered reflexively, he saw a ball of fire appear in front of Gu Fei.
Equipment could not determine the identity of players, but skills and spells could not be faked at all. Gu Fei was indubitably a Mage.
"You’re a Mage!" Fireball confirmed, "Then why do you have that dagger?"
"To fight monsters!" Gu Fei replied as he ran down the hillside.
"Hey, are you crazy?!" Fireball shouted before diving forward by half a meter once more. He raised his head and saw that Gu Fei was already halfway down the hill.
“Wow! What a fast Mage!” Fireball exclaimed. At this moment, Gu Fei had already entered the range of the six monsters. The six stood up and encircled Gu Fei.
“He’s a goner! He’s definitely dead meat. He’s such a big noob!” Fireball muttered anxiously. The six monsters were definitely above Gu Fei’s level. But even if they weren’t, they were not the type of monsters that could be hunted arbitrarily by a single person since they possessed the ability to assist each other. Fireball dared not blink, as he felt that that was all the time it would take for Gu Fei to be reduced into a white streak of light.
But what happened next before Fireball’s eyes was nothing short of a miracle. Gu Fei weaved gracefully among the six Vagabonds as the knife he was holding turned into a fast blur. The NPCs screamed as their blood splashed from time to time.
Fireball gasped as he froze in place. Just who was this person? He suppressed six monsters at around level 20 to the point where all their attacks missed. No, they did not seem to be all misses. Gu Fei had dodged them. What level was this person at? 40? 50? But the game had only been up for less than a day, so how was he able to be at such a high level? Even if he was at such a high level… could a Mage like himself charge up and engage these high-level monsters face to face alone? Could he have a hidden account? A hidden job class? Or was he a legendary player that broke the game? As Fireball closely observed Gu Fei’s kung fu, Gu Fei really did become doused in white light – the glow from leveling up. He had already defeated all six Vagabonds. Gu Fei’s combat efficiency had significantly improved with his increase in agility as well as with the help of the small carving knife he had obtained.
Fireball stood up and ran toward Gu Fei with his arms flailing widely.
Gu Fei looted the monsters before making his way toward Fireball. He smiled calmly. In his eyes, killing these six rigidly programmed monsters was far too easy.
“Bro, what’s your level now?” Fireball asked in admiration.
Gu Fei checked his stat window and answered, “Level 10.”
“What? 10?” Fireball sat back down on the ground again even though he had just gotten up. He pointed at the six monster corpses, “Do you know what their levels were?”
“I’ve checked the website. About level 20,” Gu Fei said.
“A level 10 Mage killing not just one but six level 20 Vagabonds!” Fireball exclaimed in disbelief despite having just witnessed it with his eyes.
“So what? I killed them because I could,” Gu Fei said nonchalantly.
Fireball gaped speechlessly at Gu Fei. How did he kill them then? Through his superb level of control of the game? But nothing could be done about the level of control in virtual reality.
“I know kung fu!” Gu Fei smiled.
“F*ck me, you can use kung fu in virtual reality?” Fireball whispered.
Before Gu Fei could even be bothered to reply, a shout rang out from the other side of the hill, “Found them! They’re just ahead!”
The voice came from a person standing on the right hillside. He continued to point and gesture at the pair as he hollered.
Gu Fei and Fireball stood up and looked at the side of the hill. Players surged in from every direction in twos and threes toward them. There were at least a few dozens of people who had come.
“What’s going on?” Fireball looked around as he asked, “Is there a boss mob?” He looked around once more, but he found no other monsters other than the six corpses from before.
“They’re coming for us,” Gu Fei said.
“How do you know?” Fireball questioned.
“They radiate killing intent!” Gu Fei answered.
“Bro, you’ve got to be kidding me!” Fireball rolled his eyes.
Unfortunately, Gu Fei was right. The group of people slowly gathering at the bottom of the hill and closing in on the two of them radiated with aggression.
“Told you they were coming for us,” Gu Fei said as he pointed toward the person at the very front.
Fireball squinted his eyes. He recognized the person as the player whom he had a dispute a while ago. “Sh*t! Isn’t he that obnoxious person from before? What a waste of manpower,” Fireball complained, then shamelessly added, “I’m just level 1.”
“You see that pond over there?” Gu Fei pointed toward the foot of the hill.
Remembering that that person had wanted to throw him into a river previously, his face paled instantly. He prepared himself for the worst, “Is that pond deep?”
“No idea,” Gu Fei shook his head as the group finally arrived in front of them. Gu Fei had never considered fleeing from the start; Fireball self-assuredly stayed put either, thinking that he was just level 1 and that the group could not harm him in any way. But now that he was reminded by Gu Fei about the previous river incident, Fireball began to have regrets for not having fled immediately.
Both parties were at loggerheads with each other. There were at least fifty or sixty people who spread out to surround the two. Gu Fei exhaled deeply. He was a kung fu practitioner not a superhuman being. Even if he possessed the means to beat all these people, he would still be restricted by the game’s PvP system. However, whether their purpose was truly to start a fight was another story. He saw apprehension reflected in the eyes of some of them.
“What’s the matter?” Gu Fei asked.
“Guild Leader, that’s him,” said someone from the group as he pointed straight at Gu Fei.
Gu Fei immediately turned toward the one referred to as the guild leader. He was a person with average stature, lanky body, and straight-as-a-wire hair. His hair made his face appear longer and body lankier. His skin was coarse and pitted like the skin of an orange fruit. His small pair of eyes moved up and down on Gu Fei. Gu Fei believed him to be a Thief from the way he carried himself.
The person smiled after carefully examining Gu Fei, “Hello, I am Heaven-Defying Guild’s leader.”
“Hello,” Gu Fei greeted back neutrally.
“We came to Parallel World from a game called Magic Domain,” the guild leader said.
Gu Fei nodded his head in acknowledgement. Being a young man himself, he of course knew some stuff about MMORPGs, especially about Magic Domain. He used to frequently hear people raving about the game. Before Parallel World appeared, Magic Domain was probably the most popular MMORPG around. In Gu Fei’s school, the teachers highly regarded that game as a scourge, always fearing that their students would become addicted to it.
But with the successful creation of the first virtual reality game, almost all the MMORPGs had met their end. Magic Domain in particular suffered an unprecedented drop in its number of online players ever since Parallel World’s beta became public. The forums were filled with people selling their accounts to switch to Parallel World. Apparently, the game’s creators were working themselves to death just to change Magic Domain into virtual reality. Regardless of their efforts, they could no longer have that honor of taking the first bite of the proverbial cake.
Fireball was more well-informed of this matter than Gu Fei. Having been a former player of Magic Domain, he had of course heard about the Heaven-Defying Guild. The guild was reputed for being fairly tyrannical in Magic Domain, even possessing quite a presence in the gaming world. This was especially true of the guild’s leader, Sword Demon. Be it equipment, level, skills, or proficiency, he was always ahead of many. His mastery of the Magic Swordsman job class could also be considered as at the height of perfection. Nearly every Magic Domain player looked up to Sword Demon as their top idol. Even Fireball used to worship him back in those days. He had never imagined that they would meet like this. Staring at this unpleasant-looking youngster, Fireball could not help but ask, “Are you truly that Sword Demon?”
Sword Demon felt somewhat dissatisfied with Gu Fei’s calm reaction; Fireball’s response, on the other hand, felt much more gratifying. He nodded with fake modesty, “Yup, that’s me!” His amiable reply, however, revealed his haughtiness.
“F*ck, why do you look like that? You’re that Sword Demon? I think I’ve seen a real demon instead!” Fireball rattled off crassly, directly striking Sword Demon’s sensitive spot.