Chapter 610: Chapter 610 – The Interview
Translator: Exodus Tales Editor: Exodus Tales
“They are students from one of my classes,” Gu Fei answered truthfully.
“Your students??” Dommu and Mudou were astonished. Of course, it was not rare to find students playing games, but for someone to call these his students, that was a curious thing, indeed. “Then, may I know your—”
“I’m their teacher, of course! Phys ed.,” Gu Fei said matter-of-factly.
“Oh… a P.E. teacher…” The two felt that this was a little reasonable. Sure enough, plenty of people did not consider a P.E. teacher as a real teacher.
“Actually, physical education is just the work I do for a living. My real identity is a martial artist who specializes in the practice of kung fu!” Gu Fei earnestly offered.
“Is that so? Then, we’ve truly been disrespectful,” Dommu and Mudou quickly replied, but that was merely the superficial words they had said out of courtesy. At the moment, both reporters were actually privately messaging each other.
“Martial artist? Is this man insane?”
“Perhaps he’s an imposter?”
“His equipment matches the rumors. I think we’ll need to find a way to verify his identity!”
With this discussion over, Dommu spoke. “Uhm… I learned before that you’d sold your Moonlit Nightfalls for an exorbitant amount. I wonder if that’s because you’ve gotten an even more terrific weapon?”
Gu Fei chuckled. “That’s just me and my friend joking around with each other. I’m still wielding Moonlit Nightfalls.”
There had indeed been rumors that the sword’s sale was a sham. Dommu was waiting for Gu Fei to give such an answer as he continued to ask. “We’ve long since admired that sword of yours. I wonder if it’s okay with you to let us see the sword for ourselves?”
“Of course, you can.” Gu Fei withdrew Moonlit Nightfalls and designated it to display its stats. The sword itself was far too high-leveled, so there was no way for other players to appraise it without making such a designation. The display design in Parallel World was often used, and it was necessary when players set up their stalls.
The pair admired Moonlit Nightfalls together, and the stats they saw indeed matched the information they had collected on it, so they were naturally sighing in awe for quite a bit. The interview had also officially begun at this point, with Mudou taking out her quill and notepad, looking exactly like Brother Assist, while Dommu cleared his throat. It was apparent that he would be the main interviewer with the questions.
“This sword has a skill called ‘Impending Nightfall’; just what sort of skill is that?” Dommu was evidently someone who enjoyed discussing the objective issue at hand.
“Oh. I’m unsure of that myself, as I am unable to activate it even now,” Gu Fei answered.
Skill activation was not a secret, and plenty of players knew about the existence of such a requirement. Dommu and Mudou, these two reporters, were deeply knowledgeable of all things in Parallel World, so they did not waste time exploring this mystery and proceeded to ask the next question. “Earlier, you said that you’re a martial artist. Just what does that generally mean?”
Having confirmed Gu Fei’s identity, they of course had to clarify what he had meant before, which they had initially dismissed as the ravings of a madman. Even if they were going to write about him being a lunatic, they would still need plausible proof!
“Oh, I was born into a family of kung fu practitioners and have been learning it since young,” Gu Fei explained.
“That’s probably why you’re so powerful in this game when it comes to PK-ing, right?”
“Naturally!” Gu Fei nodded.
“Could you perhaps demonstrate a move or two to us?” the two asked.
“Our teacher’s sword is used to slay people and not for demonstrations!” Ah Fa was standing beside Gu Fei when he arrogantly interjected, giving pause to Dommu and Mudou. Could this man really be some legendary martial arts expert?
In the end, it was a red-faced Gu Fei that turned and glared at Ah Fa. “Go and stand in a corner!” Embarrassed, he apologized to the two. “Sorry about that. Kids are just immature like that. What do you guys wish to see?”
The two were surprised. They were originally thinking that Gu Fei must truly be an expert if he reacted in the way Ah Fa had, but when they saw how courteous and polite Gu Fei actually acted, the two thought there must be nothing to it. Thinking for a moment, they decisively said, “Then, use Moonlit Nightfalls to show us something!”
“No problem!” It was rare for Gu Fei to meet civilians who were not part of the community that showed interest in his kung fu, so he cherished such an opportunity tremendously, pulling the sword out and beginning his display. He felt it would be a waste to show them a sword style that was too profound, since that would just be lost on the two. Thus, Gu Fei decided to demonstrate to them a more foundational sword style that he used to familiarize sword techniques.
Gu Fei’s twenty years of honing was definitely the real deal as even an outsider could easily tell how smooth his execution of the sword style was, but that was the extent that they could understand from what they saw; in terms of how visually exciting it was, it was far from what people would usually see in the movies. Movies and television would have changing camera angles, with electric fans blowing their hair, background music to heighten the atmosphere, and of course, that would look far more awesome than what Gu Fei was showing right now.
Regarding Gu Fei’s performance at the moment, these outsiders felt it was just a little better than watching broadcast gymnastics. But at least the actions he was doing did not seem to have too many obvious repetitions.
When Gu Fei was done with the entire routine and returned to a neutral stance, even his students could tell that the two interviewers were clearly unimpressed. They all already understood that Gu Fei was the real deal, so they felt that their teacher’s display really could not be compared to Ah Fa’s boastful rejection!
“Ahem. It was splendid!” Dommu and Mudou were very diplomatic about it. Even though neither of them knew what they should make of it, they still felt that they needed to applaud after Gu Fei finished demonstrating.
“You jest.” Gu Fei continued to be humble.
“How long have you been practicing that?” Dommu continued his interview.
“Over twenty years.”
“Does that mean that you’ve only reached this state of dominance in the game through the utilization of your kung fu – something that you’ve been practicing for over two decades in the real world?” Dommu asked.
“Of course.” He felt that this question had already been asked before.
“Don’t you feel that this is somewhat unfair to the other players?” Dommu finally asked the question that he felt was more incisive.
“Oh? What do you mean?” Gu Fei was a little lost.
“Since you’re an expert in this kung fu, do you feel that it’s fair to defeat so many normal players?” Dommu asked.
Gu Fei looked quizzically at him. “Will being defeated by them make it fair?”
“Eh?” Dommu was stunned.
“It’s precisely because I’m an expert in this that I easily beat up all the common players; isn’t that fair?” Gu Fei asked.
“Uhhh…” Dommu was astounded, wondering to himself, That’s right! It’s totally fair! Weird; why would I ask such a question? He felt that his head was in a bit of a mess, and even though this question was an impromptu utterance, he felt that that should not have been the case, as if what he meant to ask was lost with Gu Fei’s reply.
“What he meant to say is that, with you bringing your real-world skills into the game, it places you on a different starting line than the other players; do you think that it’s fair?” Mudou spoke up, as she could tell that Dommu had been stumped by his question.
“Ah! I understand what you mean now. From your perspective, you would indeed consider this to be unfair, but the problem you’ve posed is actually meaningless, for this is akin to how everyone has a different personality, nationality, looks, family background, environment, and so on. Each of these factors are all distinct, and nobody has ever really been able to start on the same starting line so to speak. As every MMO can be seen as a virtual life in itself, this alone makes it extremely similar to real life, and the initial foundation each player brings into the game will become factors that lead everyone to different starts and paths. An example is those players who can only play Parallel World for two hours and those who can spend ten plus hours gaming; how can that be any sort of fairness there?”
Mudou swiftly recorded down what Gu Fei had said even as Dommu nodded while he listened, digging out another question from what he had just said.
“In other words, you don’t spend plenty of time gaming every day?” Dommu asked.
“Yeah. Recently, it’s the winter holiday, so I have a bit more time,” Gu Fei answered.
“You don’t spend a lot of time gaming, yet you can maintain a level that puts you among the players at the forefront; can you perhaps tell us how you do it?” Dommu asked.
Gu Fei scratched his head. “I don’t really know how to answer this question because this is the first time I’m playing MMOs, so there’s still plenty of things I have no clue about. All I do every day is log on, do the things I want to do, and just slowly accumulate things like experience points and level, you know?”
“Things you want to do; what’s that exactly?”
“‘Bounty Mission’,” Gu Fei answered.
“Dommu was astonished. “Are you saying that you’ve been using ‘Bounty Mission’ to get the EXP needed to level up?”
“Actually, it’s more like after level 30!” Gu Fei recalled. “Also, you can’t say the missions accounts for all of my EXP. Occasionally, I’ll go to a grinding map and farm monsters.”
“Why is it that you rely on something as risky as ‘Bounty Mission’ to level up? Is that how confident you are?” Dommu asked.
“It’s a hobby…” Gu Fei admitted.
“Ho-Hobby?” Dommu gulped.
“Yeah. I feel that it’s a lot more entertaining doing PK with others than slaying monsters in the grinding maps,” Gu Fei explained.
Dommu and Mudou were once more privately chatting with each other.
“It is as the rumors said! He’s a PK Maniac!”
“This is too terrifying. You’d better be careful with what you say.”
“Hot d*mn. I’d better keep this equipment into my dimensional pocket just in case.”
“We should get some risk pay for this interview!”
“That’s right. Be sure to apply for it when we get back!”
The two kept exchanging their thoughts with each other, but both were looking all the more composed than ever, with Dommu glancing back at the crowd, which was still marching forward not too far away. Finally, that led them to the main topic of the interview. “So, we’re going to be discussing the matter with you setting up a workshop here on out.”
“Ah, I don’t really know too much about the details with setting up the workshop.” Gu Fei actually preferred them asking him about kung fu, but it seemed that the two interviewers were just like any normal human beings and were not particularly interested in kung fu. Gu Fei suddenly missed Coward’s Savior. It had been quite a long while since he had contact with that kid.
“You’re being too courteous,” Dommu said.
“Ask away. I’ll of course give you an answer if I know anything,” Gu Fei said.
“The establishment of this workshop is a huge deal in the MMO community; Sword Demon, Royal God Call, Brother Assist, War Without Wounds, Southern Lone Blade, and of course, you yourself, are all renowned individuals within the community. May I ask how all of you came up with the idea of setting up this workshop together?” Dommu asked.
Why they wanted to establish the workshop was of course something Young Master Han had analyzed, and it was because, given the current situation, this was the most effective method for them to make a fortune off the people. Gu Fei naturally knew that he could not reveal all these, and it would be really troublesome to announce this openly, especially to media representative like Dommu and Mudou. After pondering for quite some time, Gu Fei simply answered, “Hmm… We were originally just a mercenary group, just having fun casually… Sometime later, out of boredom, we decided to set up this workshop.”
Gu Fei’s response to the question was as good as not responding to it, so Dommu ruminated on this for a while before pressing on. “That efficient monster grinding routine that is being propagated recently… is that something you created with your kung fu?”
“That’s right. And it’s not just me but Eternal Dominion as well,” Gu Fei said.
“Eternal Dominion is a martial artist as well?” Dommu hurriedly asked.
“Yeah! Just like me.” Gu Fei beamed.
“Oh, so are you two thinking of selling this sort of monster grinding routine to make money? According to what I know, there’s been no such business venture in the MMO community,” Dommu said.
“That… We are mainly doing this because martial practitioners like us have very limited avenues to make a living in the real world these days, and then we accidentally discovered that we can showcase our skills in VRMMOs. This efficient monster grinding routine is something we inadvertently stumbled on, too, which drew plenty of players’ attention and, ultimately, became the seed that started this business,” Gu Fei said. “After that, because we didn’t have enough manpower, we decided to find our friends to collaborate. Yup. It’s ultimately what resulted in us establishing a workshop.” Gu Fei was very satisfied that he managed to elaborate on the question from before, as well as the one he was answering.
“So that’s how it is. In that case, do you mind letting us witness just how much faster is this efficient monster grinding routine?” Dommu asked.
“No problem.” Gu Fei waved his hand. “Ah Fa, go lure a monster over.”
“Here?” The two were surprised.
“Why not here?”
“This place is really far from the White Mill!” the two exclaimed.
“He he! The efficient monster grinding routine isn’t just used for the White Mill grinding map; we intend to develop and spread out to every grinding map. The routine itself will be different from monster to monster, but the efficiency between them will be hardly noticeable. I’ll get a monster from here to show you two what I mean,” Gu Fei said.
“Ohhh!” The two hummed. Meanwhile, Ah Fa had already gone to pull a monster over. This kid really enjoyed showing off, so the moment he realized that everyone’s eyes were on him, he simply went ahead and demonstrated the efficient monster grinding routine in front of everyone. This was the level 35 grinding map that they would abuse daily, so every student was already very familiar with the routine. Ah Fa’s magic staff swung and danced, circling around the monster as he attacked it in melee. It did not take long for the monster to fall, and it was indeed far more efficient than the Mage’s usual method of flinging spells at range.
“Yeah, that’s about it.” Gu Fei told the two interviewers. He found Ah Fa’s demonstration to be adequate, so he saw no need to do the routine himself.
The two were already absolutely astonished by the sight. They hesitated for several seconds before finally asking, “Is that the ‘Close Combat Mage’ style that you’re rumored of being most adept at?”
“Close Combat Mage style?” Gu Fei had no idea when this particular phrase had been associated to him, or when it had even appeared. Shaking his head, he answered, “That’s not it. That is just the most efficient method for Mages to engage monsters.”
“Is it actually more efficient than AoE grinding? Have you guys tested it before?” Mudou interjected.
Gu Fei could tell that this lady was a Mage from how her eyes lit up when Ah Fa was fighting that monster before, so he merely chuckled. “That will depend on your equipment. If your gear is strong enough, AoE grinding as a Mage is obviously incomparably more efficient.”
“Strong enough? What do you consider as strong enough, then?” Mudou asked.
“It’s strong enough if you can kill monsters ten level above yours at the moment.” Gu Fei chuckled again.
This female reporter was knowledgeable as well, so she got that what Gu Fei meant was that, even a set of top-grade equipment at the current level of the majority of players would not be enough. She would have to possess over-leveled equipment to have an overwhelming advantage against monster at the same level as her. It was apparent that it was not a grade the average player could even seek to attain. Logically speaking, over-leveled equipment was not something that would appear often, but precisely because of how huge Parallel World was, with no end to strange and wonderful things, and given the vastness of the game, Gu Fei was not the only one who could chance upon something like Moonlit Nightfalls. Thus, over-leveled equipment would still occasionally appear thanks to coincidences and luck; if the players could use these items themselves, there would be no reason for them to give it up. Even if they were given up, it was not something a normal player could afford.
“So when will you all begin your tutoring for the White Mill grinding map?” Mudou asked.
“We’ll start once there’s enough people signed up,” Gu Fei answered.
“How many is ‘enough’?” Mudou asked again.
“I have no idea about that; others are in charge of that part.” These were details that could not be revealed to anybody outside the workshop, so Gu Fei was not dumb enough to reveal anything about it.
“Oh, so can I sign up for it now?”
“Of course, you can!”
“Sign me up, please!” Mudou hurriedly cried out.
“99 gold coins,” Gu Fei said.
Mudou handed over a coin pouch without a moment’s hesitation. Reporters doing interviews like them would of course have done their preparation beforehand, so she was very clear about the fee for the lesson.
“Ahem!” Dommu coughed.
Mudou recalled that they were here to do an interview, so she quickly recovered herself, indicating for Mudou to continue.
“Any other questions?” Gu Fei also turned to look at Dommu.
Dommu took out a coin pouch and handed it over to Gu Fei. “I’m registering myself as well.”
“Ahem!” Now, it was Mudou’s turn to cough.
Gu Fei smiled as he kept the pouches and told the two. “Take note of your mailboxes these few days. I’ll be sure to send a letter to you two when it’s time.”
“Got it.” The pair nodded their heads vigorously.
“Uhhh… There’re still many more questions. If you’re not too busy, why don’t we head back to the city and find a tavern to sit down for a proper conversation?” Dommu and Mudou said after a short discussion.
“Oh, that works, too!” With that, Gu Fei turned around to instruct his students. “You guys carry on and have fun. Teacher will be going with them now.”
The students were initially curious about the interview, but after listening for a while and realizing that there was nothing much to it, they had all long since lost interest. The moment they heard that they could play on their own, the whole lot of them bolted off like wild horses, running fast and free into the distance.
Gu Fei followed the pair back to the city. Having interacted with Gu Fei for quite a while, Mudou and Dommu found the man to be very amicable, not even in the least bit scary; thus, they were emboldened, and the two privately discussed just what questions should they prepare to ask.
Over at the Wilderness Camp, a group of players from Linyin City had rushed over and were currently squeezing among this human traffic even as they took in the scene before them. Each of them was dumbfounded, and one of them even showed a grim expression at this sight.
“Sure enough, this sort of thing still happened. This is what I’ve always been most worried about,” Ye Xiaowu said.
The men beside him did not say a word. Sliver Moon and No Smile were transfixed by the players killing the monsters, secretly memorizing the player’s techniques and moves, while Cool Apple had disappeared to god knew where after they had dived into the crowd. Broken Water Arrow, who was observing these players fight the Campfire Patrollers, commented, “He had summarized the monster’s attack patterns before developing a simplified, quick, and effective routine to kill this monster.”