Chapter 66 - Fang of the Wolf King
Despite Gu Fei questioning himself on how to go about defeating Adrian, the reason he dared to confront the latter in the first place was because he was confident that he would succeed.
Only two things could allow a human being to turn into a lycanthrope: a spell or equipment. Since Adrian continued to wear a weird necklace even when he transformed into a Werewolf, Gu Fei was sure that the item was the one that allowed the latter to do so.
Gu Fei did not recall seeing any item around Adrian’s neck when he had met him earlier today, however. This meant that the necklace was not wearable all the time; instead, it could only be equipped during crucial moments. This must be because putting the necklace on would immediately transform the wearer into a Werewolf. Hence, as long as Gu Fei could prevent Adrian from equipping the necklace, the latter would stay as a regular human being that he could easily defeat.
Gu Fei went over the plan in his mind one more time and felt that it was foolproof. Currently, Adrian’s mansion loomed before him.
Gu Fei raised his arm, inhaled deeply, and knocked on the door.
When Adrian opened the door, Gu Fei quickly spied his neck. It was unadorned.
“Ah, Chosen Hero, welcome,” Adrian’s tone of voice had not changed.
Gu Fei took out the sack of gold ore he had found in Murphy’s property, “I know everything. These are the gold ore Murphy hid. I believe he was trying to use these as bait to lure you out. You must have been searching for these for a long time.”
This was not a meaningless gesture. NPCs belonged to a unique category that the players could interact with whenever they wanted. But if the system deemed this interaction as a form of attack that would reduce the NPCs’ health, it would immediately make the NPCs immune to the assault. Meaning, the NPCs would no longer be assailable. This was similar to how the safe zones functioned for players. Therefore, Gu Fei must trigger the conditions that would allow him to engage the NPC Adrian in a combat.
Adrian’s expression changed after the sack of gold ore was tossed in front of him.
“The Werewolves already told me everything about this matter. I know you’re the one pulling the strings behind the scenes. You know their identity, including their unwillingness to harm humans. You use their weaknesses to threaten them into doing your bidding. How utterly despicable!” I feel so foolish… Gu Fei thought as he mimed gagging inside his head, I’m actually talking about morals with an AI.
“Surrender yourself!” Gu Fei’s Sacred Flames of Baptism flashed out.
Adrian abruptly turned around to flee, but Gu Fei had been prepared for it. Gu Fei did not plan to give Adrian any breathing space, as mere seconds were all the latter needed to equip that necklace.
Adrian proved himself to be an agile individual, managing to dodge Gu Fei’s slash. However, this adroitness was nothing compared to a Werewolf’s. At most, it was comparable to Mountain Bandit Leader Sooto’s speed.
“Xiaoyu, block the back door!” Gu Fei shouted.
“Got it!” While Adrian was still receiving Gu Fei in the foyer of the mansion, Xiaoyu had already positioned herself in the back door under Gu Fei’s instruction.
Only in this cramped space could Gu Fei pressure Adrian with his every strike, preventing the latter from having any chance to put the necklace on. Actually, Gu Fei had practiced these same attack patterns in the Inn a few hours ago. Coincidentally, the size of the Inn was about the same size as Adrian’s mansion.
Waves of heat from Sacred Flames of Baptism rippled everywhere in the foyer as Gu Fei executed his bladework. The silver blade harmoniously interlaced with luminous flashes of red. All Adrian could do was to keep dodging this exquisite barrage of slashes, becoming more and more suppressed as time went by.
“F*ck this!” Ye Xiaowu, who had been raptly monitoring Gu Fei’s progress from far away, could not help but exclaim when he saw Gu Fei making it to the final obstacle. He had indeed designed a necklace that would allow Mr. Adrian to transform himself into a Werewolf. He just never expected Gu Fei to discover this loophole and exploit it. If Ye Xiaowu was not seeing the scene right now, he would not believe it possible for someone to suppress Mr. Adrian to the point of him not being able to equip the necklace.
Although each chain quest utilized the storyline’s degree of completion as a gauge, it would usually cumulate to a poignant challenging battle at a critical juncture. After all, combat was the main focus in MMOs.
In Gu Fei’s chain quest, this fight with the Werewolf Mr. Adrian should be akin to a face-off with a game’s last Boss. Defeating it through a player’s superior strength was naturally the most straightforward method. Other methods existed as well to allow the completion of this quest’s stage, such as destroying Mr. Adrian’s necklace or dragging the fight until the effect of the transformation ended. Preventing Mr. Adrian from equipping the necklace from the start was not included in these methods, however. And yet, Gu Fei had managed to do just that.
By doing so, the strength of the last Boss, also known as a chain quest’s completion gatekeeper, had drastically decreased. The current Mr. Adrian’s combat ability was akin to a downgraded version of the Mountain Bandit Leader Sooto; the two’s speed was the same, yet Mr. Adrian possessed lower attack power and defense.
“Wait! Hold it!” Adrian loudly pleaded. Although his body was littered with wounds, he was still a Boss and could not easily be felled like the average monster by Gu Fei. Owing to this fact, he remained quite lively even after taking some of Gu Fei’s attacks.
Gu Fei did not stop his assault, however. What if this was a ploy Adrian had cooked up to stop Gu Fei’s attacks and give himself room to wear the necklace?
“Do you know what you’re doing? You’re helping a foreign race while killing your own!” Adrian incessantly hollered as he tried to escape from Gu Fei, “They’re Werewolves! Cruelty and murder run in their blood!”
Gu Fei felt annoyed at how this AI had come around to lecture him on the issues of morality.
“Let me go and I’ll give you half of my fortune inside the cellar!” Adrian begged.
Adrian only received a flash of red as his answer.
“ALL OF IT!” Mr. Adrian desperately added.
Another flash of red came his way.
Gu Fei mercilessly attacked Adrian until the latter finally collapsed into a heap on the ground, yelling until he breathed his last, “You IDIOT!”
Gu Fei raised his hand and slashed for one final time; everything abruptly became quiet.
Ye Xiaowu stared dumbly at the screen before him. Even the NPC villain’s final plea failed to work on Gu Fei. Mr. Adrian had received coding to verbally persuade his assailant to stop his or her attacks once the NPC’s health fell to one fifth of the original.
If the player considered this offer as a possible reward for the chain quest and let his or her guard down, Mr. Adrian would use the time it took the player to retrieve the fortune from the cellar to escape.
This escape would be systematically carried out and the player could do nothing to prevent this. Mr. Adrian would definitely disappear somewhere within the game.
Letting the perpetrator escape during this fight sequence meant that the completion rate would be curbed at 80%, despite the chain quest being tagged as completed at that point.
“This guy…” Ye Xiaowu mumbled. The monitoring system’s lack of sound prevented Ye Xiaowu from hearing Gu Fei’s final words after he had cut down Mr. Adrian, “You’re the real idiot! Killing you means that all your fortune belongs to me now, right?”
“QUEST COMPLETE!” Xiaoyu cheerfully exclaimed after Adrian was defeated.
Gu Fei pulled out his quest log to check. The quest was still listed as ongoing, so there must still be some work left. In fact, Gu Fei had yet to receive an experience point even now.
As he looted Adrian’s corpse, he indeed found a necklace among his valuables.
[Fang of the Wolf King. Turns wearer into a Werewolf Lord for 15 minutes. Cool-down period: 60 minutes.]
Gu Fei happily put it on, wanting to give it a try. Instead, he received a system prompt. [Quest item. Unusable for players.]
This was a rare sight in Parallel World. Even if Mages could not move when wearing the Warrior job class’ heavy armor, they could still put it on. Gu Fei had never experienced being restricted from wearing an accessory around his neck.
Xiaoyu wanted to have a look as well, yet an unknown force prevented Gu Fei from handing it over to her.
“It says it’s a quest item,” Gu Fei explained helplessly.
“Let’s keep looting,” Gu Fei bent over and continued searching Adrian’s corpse, “Let’s search for the key to the cellar. There’re a lot of gold ore in there.”
A key indeed hung by Adrian’s waist. The two quickly rushed to the backyard with it, unlocking the cellar double doors and climbing down.
Although heaps of treasures could be found within, they were identical to the gold ore in Murphy’s sack. The duo did not know if they could exchange gold ore for in-game currency. Gu Fei and Xiaoyu looked at each other.
“What now?” Xiaoyu asked.
“Can we exchange these for gold coins?” Gu Fei asked.
“I don’t think so,” The gold ore Xiaoyu received were meant to be exchanged for a quest reward, and she was unsure if that would be in gold coins or something else.
They had a cellar full of gold ore, yet they had no way of turning them into usable in-game currency. It was truly a painful realization.
They could not carry all the gold ore back as well even if they wanted to. Gold ore were extremely heavy. Xiaoyu’s burlap sack was carried by her, and Gu Fei’s weak in-game physique could only sustain carrying the gold ore for three steps.
“Forget it!” Gu Fei sighed bitterly.
Xiaoyu began to repeat this mantra, “There’s no gold here, only trash… There’s no gold here, only trash….”
The two had no choice but to leave the cellar empty-handed. Gu Fei brought the Fang of the Wolf King to the village chief as he explained the situation.
“It was all Adrian’s doing. He used this trinket to transform himself into a Werewolf, threatening the villagers into drudgery. He even killed Murphy,” Gu Fei kept his word and did not mention the fact that half of the villagers in Yeguang Village were Werewolves.
“He’s truly a scoundrel,” the village chief agreed, “It’s all thanks to you, Chosen Hero. You have resolved our village’s greatest crisis, and to show our gratitude…” Chief Edwin swiftly went inside the house and searched through a cabinet’s drawer.
Gu Fei felt excited. His efforts were not in vain now that he was about to receive his reward.
“Take these clothes!” The village chief emerged after a while and handed Gu Fei a robe – a mage robe to be precise.
Gu Fei was extremely disappointed. He was only wearing his mage robe to disguise his identity. Gu Fei honestly felt that he had wasted his time on completing such a difficult quest upon being solemnly issued a mage robe. Gu Fei truly hated the Mage job class now, as his reward was probably influenced by it. If Gu Fei were a Thief, he would probably get a thief cloak.
“Take it!” Chief Edwin said once more. Xiaoyu became anxious, “Hurry up and take it! Just what are you dawdling for?”
Gu Fei glumly took the item, casually examining it.
Midnight Spirit Robe. Its defense was average, which was a common aspect of mage robes. Besides that, it increased Intelligence by 20, Spell Mastery by 1, and spell damage by 10%.
“What’s Spell Mastery?” Gu Fei asked, as he handed it to Xiaoyu who wanted to have a look.
Xiaoyu shook her head, clueless.
It was clearly a great mage robe as it boosted Intelligence and something called Spell Mastery. But in Gu Fei’s case… He could only sigh at the sight of it. Nevertheless, it was much better than the beginner mage robe that he was currently wearing. Just the defense alone is an upgrade! It’s gold-tier equipment after all, Gu Fei thought of this as he took off his beginner mage robe and put Midnight Spirit Robe on. It was a pitch-black robe, which truly embodied the darkness.
“You look really evil,” Xiaoyu critiqued.
As Gu Fei was feeling annoyed, he suddenly realized that Chief Edwin had not taken the Fang of the Wolf King necklace despite awarding him this mage robe. In addition, Gu Fei saw that it was still classified as a quest item. Oh? Will I receive another reward if I take it to the Werewolves and let them have a look? Gu Fei could feel hope reigniting within him once more.