Chapter 718 – Cosmetics and Scheme
Translator: Exodus Tales Editor: Exodus Tales
After the ladies of Amethyst Rebirth affirmed how they were doing things, they began to move much quicker than before. It was unknown how Luo Luo spread the word, but the guild channel erupted into a cacophony of voices. Aside from asking May’s Bloom to head over, they actually organized themselves into a group of onlookers, each of them stepping up as technical consultants. Gu Fei could not be bothered with all that was happening, as he was still fending off the merciless beating from the ladies present after they had misheard him mentioning about how the ladies had months in their name. Later, it was June’s Rain who came to his rescue. Upon seeing all the ladies beating up Gu Fei, June’s Rain demonstrated her superhuman cluelessness by blurting out in her puzzlement, “What are you all doing? I’m a lady with a month in her name!”
“Xiaoyu!!” Luo Luo and the other ladies had no idea if they should laugh or cry at that comment.
“Xiaoyu, you’re a real bro!” Gu Fei escaped from the encirclement.
“But it’s true!” June’s Rain stated.
“I’ll bring you to go do a huge quest later!” Gu Fei promised.
“Oh? What sort of huge quest?” The eyes of June’s Rain sparkled.
“It’s very complex. You might even have to dive to the bottom of a lake. Do you think that’s fun?” Gu Fei asked.
“Very fun!” June’s Rain had never done such a quest before, so she was very excited. Slyris could not watch this continue, so she was rolling her eyes very obviously at Gu Fei. The man ignored her as he was telling the truth, after all!
May’s Bloom and her crowd of technical consultants arrived. Gu Fei was surrounded by these ladies as they began to enthusiastically discuss about Gu Fei’s looks. He found it extremely embarrassing, yet when his eyes went searching for help from anyone around, all he got was the look of people gloating at his misery. Those who could see Gu Fei were folding their arms, showing no intention of intervening. It was rare for Royal God Call and other such acquaintances of his to witness Gu Fei in a state of helplessness. The expression of Southern Lone Blade’s gang of seven appeared somber, though the private messages that flew between them had already reached a fevered pitch.
“This is heavenly retribution!!!” The seven shared this feeling of injustice, recalling just how they had been completely suppressed by Gu Fei back when. At the moment, seeing this unusual circumstance that Gu Fei had found himself in, they were more than happy to go along with it!
It was under this amusing atmosphere when the lead cosmetics artist May’s Bloom lifted Gu Fei’s head, carefully examining his face before saying, “Actually, there’s no need to be so complex. I think all we need to do is make his hair shorter, trim his eyebrows a bit, use some eyeliner, and re-shape his lips… Do you have any requests regarding the shape of your lips?” May’s Bloom was getting into her role and asked her client.
“I have no request…” The anger seething beneath Gu Fei’s expressionless face was palpable.
May’s Bloom actually took a huge piece of paper out of her dimensional pocket, opened it in full to reveal the different lips were hand drawn on it. Showing it to Gu Fei, she asked, “Take a look. Limit your choice mainly to the ones at the bottom. The difference of your lips to the others shown here are too huge, so there’s no need to consider them.”
“Anything will do!” Gu Fei was powerless.
“Anything? But what are you going to do if you do not like the end product?” May’s Bloom asked.
“Honestly, I doubt I will end up liking anything you do to me,” Gu Fei glumly replied.
May’s Bloom pouted, “Do you think that men have no use for cosmetics? Actually, if men were to put some effort to change a bit of how they look, they would be able to appear a lot more distinct. You’ve got a pretty good foundation here. Have you ever done a photoshoot before?”
“No!” Gu Fei
“Oh, so you’ve never had cosmetics done before? No wonder you’re so against it. Why don’t you let me try and help you do up a bit so you can see the effect at work?” May’s Bloom said.
“Forget it. Just do it once over. There are so many people waiting to do the mission!” Gu Fei insisted.
Gu Fei was very unwilling and absolutely hated going along with this idea. Were it not for the fact that he knew that there was a 100% chance he would reveal the ruse for this operation if he did not go along with the cosmetics he would have already gotten up and ran far away from here. May’s Bloom could sense Gu Fei’s feelings about it and was rather unhappy as well. Thus, she did not say another word as she pulled out the alternate tools that she used here in-game from her dimensional pocket and got to work.
Luo Luo saw how resistant Gu Fei was toward the idea and she finally consoled him a bit, “Don’t worry, this is only done in the game. You can go back to your normal look when you log out and log back in again.”
The players in Parallel World could stylize themselves in the game, and the system would retain all of the changes when the players log out. However, if they wish to return back to their default look, they could choose the option to do another real-life scan before they log back on. However, the options available for players to style themselves were plentiful, especially when it came to hairstyles. The styles that people would be too embarrassed to walk down the streets in the real world were actively tried in Parallel World. Ladies would always maintain their prettiest cosmetics every day all thanks to the system’s ability to save the players’ looks when they log off. Once it was done when they log off, the same cosmetics would be kept when they next come online. As long as the players themselves do not choose the option to revert their looks back to default, their makeup could essentially be recorded forever. Not having to redo their cosmetics every day was such a blessed feature! Of course, there were some ladies who did not really know how to do their own cosmetics, which was where professional cosmetics artists like May’s Bloom would shine in-game. Unfortunately, the game itself did not have cosmetics products in-game, so it would players would have to take it upon themselves to create it. Fortunately, the game did not care about the damage to the skin for players, so players dared to use anything that they could get their hands on as long as it could give them the look they were striving for.
Gu Fei’s surroundings went quiet as everyone silently watched May’s Bloom work her magic on Gu Fei’s face. Gu Fei was the only person who had his eyes shut because he simply could not bear to witness it.
Halfway through this process, Luo Luo suddenly opened her mouth, “Wait a minute. May’s Bloom, I think you misunderstood what I was saying before. We want you to make him look nondescript and plain. He cannot catch anyone’s eye, so you can’t make him look handsome!”
“Ah? Is that the case…” May’s Bloom was very despondent. She saw how Gu Fei was very averse toward cosmetics, so she had decided to put all her skills and expertise to change his mind about it. However, she had not expected that the situation demanded the exact opposite. They did not need him to be good looking, but completely unremarkable. They needed him to appear as mediocre and ordinary as possible.
“You’ll have to restart. Sorry about that,” Luo Luo said.
That was when Fireball shamelessly came over to ask, “Are you Miss May? Mind if you take some time later to help put some cosmetics on me?”
“What do you want to look like?” May’s Bloom did not even turn to face him when she asked.
“As cool as possible. So handsome that women would swoon,” Fireball said.
May’s Bloom turned her head over to take a look at Fireball, then asked, “So you’re saying you want cosmetic surgery?”
Fireball was crying freely now.
Gu Fei endured the whole ordeal, not saying a word as he let the lady do her work. May’s Bloom wiped off what she had already drawn and started over. Everyone watching could tell that Gu Fei now looked very different. While his features still resembled Gu Fei, it was definitely not as outstanding as before, and she had only been halfway done during that last attempt.
May’s Bloom took a few steps back and gazed upon the finished product when she was done. She turned to Luo Luo, “This will work, right? If we change his hairstyle a bit, I believe he would not be so easily recognizable without anyone intentionally staring at him.”
“Yes, do that!” Luo Luo said.
“But I don’t know how to cut a person’s hair!” May’s Bloom said.
“It’s not like he’s going to keep it anyway. Just randomly give it a whirl and he’ll be back to how he originally looks the next time he logs back on. No harm, no foul,” Luo Luo brushed her concern off.
“Well…” May’s Bloom was troubled. She truly had no idea how she should go about cutting his hair.
“If you’re not gonna do it, I’ll have a go!” Someone called out and volunteered her service.
When Gu Fei heard the voice, he opened his eyes in alarm, “I don’t trust you will!”
“That’s right, she doesn’t know how to do it, but neither do I. However, I’m brave, so I’ll do it,” Svelte Dancer had pulled out her dagger and came forward.
“What are you meaning to do, pulling out your dagger like that?” Gu Fei asked.
“Nonsense, do you really think I would have a pair of scissors on me?” Svelte Dancer scoffed.
“You guys are just having fun with me…” Gu Fei felt like crying, though no tears came out.
“Alright, just bear with the pain!” Svelte Dancer grabbed a tuft of Gu Fei’s hair and began hacking away at it like she was getting rid of weeds. The men and women around all could not bear to watch this scene, and because Gu Fei could not imagine just how Svelte Dancer was cutting his hair. All he felt was the lady going to his left a bit, then to his right a bit. She was cutting hair from everywhere as if she had a specific style in mind…
“Done!” Svelte Dancer patted Gu Fei’s head. Gu Fei stood up, petrified. He looked to his left and right, and saw that everyone was staring at him blankly.
“This is my first time, and I’ve already got it to look like this. Not bad huh? And the tool I have in hand isn’t really fit for it either!” Svelte Dancer bragged.
“It must have been hard,” Luo Luo assured.
Gu Fei walked through the crowd of players distractedly. He saw Sword Demon, and the man wanted to hide, but Gu Fei Blinked forward to block him from leaving. Without a doubt, he was the most honest and considerate man present. Gu Fei wanted to learn the truth from him.
“How does it look?” Gu Fei asked.
“We’ve at least achieved our goal,” Sword Demon said, his voice wavering.
“You won’t be easily recognized,” Sword Demon turned his head away.
“Who has a mirror?” Gu Fei really wanted to know how he looked.
“Actually, it’s nothing really. It’s just that the hairstyle that Xiaowu had given you is a little… silly,” Luo Luo said.
“Why don’t you give use a noun to describe it to me?” Gu Fei said.
“Uhmmm… A teapot lid?” Luo Luo looked around her for confirmation.
The crowd applauded because the comparison was just too appropriate. Svelte Dancer was very delighted that the hairstyle that she had given Gu Fei would actually resemble a real item.
“Wouldn’t being too silly attack everyone’s attention!” Gu Fei was exasperated.
I don’t think so…” Luo Luo said.
“Have you not seen how I’m trying to avoid your gaze this entire time? I really don’t want to look at you,” Luo Luo said.
Gu Fei was in tears.
“Ahem, let’s move on, what else do we need to discuss?” Sword Demon said.
Everyone prepared to join in on this operation began to gather, while the ladies from Amethyst Rebirth who had come over to spectate the makeover, continued their discussion about Gu Fei’s cosmetics.
“Miles, come on over!” Sword Demon called out to the still stupefied Gu Fei.
“Out of the four guild leaders, three are Warriors. From the looks of the information that we’ve got, Brave Surge looked to be a Mage with very high survivability as well, so we need to divide our manpower a bit, assign the four targets to different people.” Sword Demon began. “The data we’ve collected on Foe-herder and Black Index Finger might be a little outdated, so we gotta mark their actual strength with a question mark. Previously, even though Miles had claimed that we can each take them on by ourselves, the problem is that the mission that he has is for Brave Surge, and there’s no way for him to get two of this kind of mission at any given time, so if he were to the person making the final attack, that strike needs to be on Brave Surge. If he’s slaying anyone else, that essentially means we’re wasting a chance for the mission to be accomplished.”
“Oh, I’ve almost forgotten about that….” Gu Fei lived up to his name as a martial practitioner after all. He had quickly gotten back to his senses and concentrated on the proper business at hand, temporarily forgetting about the vexing teapot lid haircut that he got.
“Can he drop the mission and pick up another one? I’ll go ask one of the ladies in the city to test it out,” Luo Luo said.
“Give it a shot!” Sword Demon approved.
“As for assassinating Brave Surge, do you guys have any problems achieving it after discussing it before?” Sword Demon asked Svelte Dancer and the others.
“No problem!”. With Svelte Dancer’s dagger, supplemented by Slyris, Yan Xiaozhu, Lie Lie and Cirrus, they were all confident that they would succeed in insta-killing their target.
“I’ve thought of a problem,” Gu Fei suddenly mentioned.
“What is it?” everyone asked.
“Actually, I’m not the only one who would be easily recognized by these guild leaders. Take Southern Lone Blade for example. Wouldn’t Oathless Sword be able to remember how you looked?” Gu Fei asked.
“Ah…” Southern Lone Blade froze. Indeed, he had crossed swords with Oathless Sword back in Linshui City, but he was uncertain if the man would still be able to recognize how he looked.
“Also, you ladies. Are you certain that nobody in those four large guilds would recognize you?” Gu Fei said.
“That’s easy, we can all just put on make-up as well,” the ladies answered.
Everyone proceeded to turn and looked at Southern Lone Blade. The man was nearly tearing up, “You clearly just want to drag others down to die along with you!”
“There’s also Royal God Call!” Gu Fei said. “How could those guild leaders not recognize him?”
Royal God Call wanted to flee, but Brother Assist had seen through his intention and blocked him.
“That’s right, Brother Assist as well…” Gu Fei pointed out.
“Ah?” Brother Assist did a double take. As it turned out, he had nowhere to run either.
“Aside from people with the Thief job class, wouldn’t everyone be suspicious if everyone else covered their faces?” Gu Fei said.
Sword Demon sighed, quietly celebrating about his choice of being a Thief in Parallel World.
“You guys. If any of you were to be identified, wouldn’t that raise their suspicions?” Gu Fei said.
“That is why you guys shouldn’t think too much about it. All of you line up and put some make-up on!” Gu Fei said. “Svelty, give them all a haircut.”
“No problem!” Svelte Dancer was ecstatic.
Sword Demon wanted to say something, but what Gu Fei had analyzed made perfect sense. But why was it that he felt like doing something like this would be very preposterous?
“And you too! Haven’t you had dealings with Foe-herder and Brave Surge?” Gu Fei was now speaking to Xi Xiaotian.
Xi Xiaotian smiled, “That’s right, I was intending to use this connection to get close to them. I’m actually worried they won’t recognize me!”
Gu Fei did not bother holding on to the matter. After all, it was nothing too frightening for ladies to wear cosmetics, though it was Luo Luo who revealed a very worried look, “Say, cosmetics isn’t like some disguise skill either! Changing how one person looks to hide in a crowd of faces isn’t too conspicuous, but if everyone isn’t wearing their own faces, someone could easily tell that something was off with the vague familiarity, and we won’t be able to fool them in the end.”
The cosmetics artist May’s Bloom nodded as well, “It’s only cosmetics. Please don’t treat it like it’s cosmetic surgery!”
“Hehe, if that’s the case, everyone will simply just keep their faces covered then,” Xi Xiaotian declared.
“But… Won’t keeping our faces covered make us very suspicious?” Luo Luo asked.
“We’re a small guild trying to auction off our quest. We’re not looking to auction it off to just a single guild, but four different guilds. We are definitely going to end up offending the three other guilds, so we do not dare to reveal how we look, so as to prevent any potential repercussions from our actions. We should be able to use this as an excuse to explain why we are keeping our faces covered. I believe their greed would overwhelm their own caution. Especially in a situation where four large guilds are vying for the same thing. Being overly cautious would only end up eliminating themselves from the race,” Xi Xiaotian said.
“Oh… In that case, doesn’t that mean that Miles didn’t have to go through all that cosmetics?” Luo Luo asked.
“Yeah, there’s no need for that anymore,” Xi Xiaotian said. “Just a change of equipment will do. With everyone covering their own faces, that alone is enough as a cover. They would not immediately think of Thousand Miles Drunk even when they do see a few Mages with their faces obscured.”
“Hell, you should have said this sooner.” Gu Fei moaned.
“I just thought of it now,” Xi Xiaotian simply answered.
When everyone heard that they were saved, they jumped for joy and celebrated, while Gu Fei was so depressed that he could not sink any lower.
“Okay, let’s continue with our discussion… The issue about how we should assign our manpower to the four targets.” Xi Xiaotian said.
“How goes the matter with dropping this mission?” Sword Demon asked Luo Luo.
“We’ve already got someone heading to the Hall of Guild Creations now,” Luo Luo updated.
“Where’s the location that we will be doing this?” Sword Demon asked.
“It should at least be a location with an NPC, so as to make it look more like it’s relevant to a quest,” Xi Xiaotian said.
“Xiaoyu, do you have any such records?” Luo Luo asked June’s Rain to lend them her notebook of quests that she had recorded time throughout her time playing the game. It was chocked full with information regarding Yunduan City, but most of what she had written down were just simple and mundane repeatable quests. Plenty of players had repeatedly done these, and people in each of the large guild would most definitely know about them, so it was evident that none were suitable. Luo Luo kept flipping through until she finally saw a page with only a set of coordinates written in it. She had no idea if it was where the NPC for a quest could be found, so she asked June’s Rain, “This NPC here has no quests?”
“None at all!” June’s Rain confirmed.
“Where is it?” Sword Demon and the others came forward to have a look.
“It’s over by Yunjiao Sawmill,” Luo Luo said.
“How is it like there?” Sword Demon had always been on the city defender’s side, so he did not have a clear idea as to how things were on the city assaulter’s end.
“That is considered to be within the area of the City Wars as well. It seems like there were players there grinding out the quests that required them to bring goods to and fro there. Why don’t we head out there and check things out?” Luo Luo suggested.
And so, the group of them went over to the site and took in the lay of the land. Over by the Yunjiao Sawmill, they discovered the youngster NPC by the name of Walter, sitting all alone on top of a lumber pile, staring up into the sky. There were players all around the sawmill itself, but nobody was anywhere near Walter.
“There’s plenty of people around here. I suppose that there’s a lot of people who have come over and interacted with Walter, so it might not be a secret that this NPC doesn’t have any quest on him,” Luo Luo observed.
“That’s perfect. Why would an NPC without any quest have no quest? Because we’ve already picked it up,” Xi Xiaotian chuckled.
“This place is very convenient for an ambush as well,” Southern Lone Blade looked all around the piles of lumber, all of which made good cover for players.
“So shall this be the site of our operation?” Xi Xiaotian raised the question.
Everyone approved of this idea. Meanwhile, the lady back in the city who had been sent to test out how the missions worked, had sent a message over. The assassination missions for the heads of these guild leaders could not be abandoned after picking them up.
“A mission that cannot be abandoned… That means Thousand Miles Drunk can only attack Brave Surge, or Oathless Sword,” Sword Demon sounded rather disappointed over this development.
“Make it Oathless Sword. We’ve already completed our preparations for Brave Surge, right?”
“Then the rest of us will take on the remaining two guild leaders,” Sword Demon said.
“You can make the choice, Sword Demon. We’ll just take who’s left,” Southern Lone Blade was full of confidence when he said this.
“Are you guys certain?” Sword Demon asked Southern Lone Blade and his gang.
“Hehe…” Southern Lone Blade simply smirked and did not say a word. His face oozed with professionalism.
“I don’t dare to say that I’ll be perfectly foolproof, so Brother Assist, Fireball and Royal, help me with the kill!” Sword Demon was a lot more cautious.
“No problem!” Royal God Call pulled his bowstring.
“But no matter how I see it, we need to coordinate the timing for the four attacks as well. Otherwise, if one of the four is too fast, the others might be alerted by what’s happening,” Brother Assist fretted.
Sword Demon patted him on his back, “Brother Assist, as long as we can insta-kill each of these guild leaders, who cares if they are alert or not. It won’t matter.”
Brother Assist was momentarily stunned but he realized what Sword Demon meant. If their one attack would empty out each target’s HP, it does not matter how quickly they reacted, there was simply no way to save themselves in the face of absolute damage.
“Well, that essentially settles everything. We’ve got our assignments, now let’s each grab the relevant missions! Big South, we’ll go get Foe-herder, and you can get Black Index Finger!” Sword Demon designated their respective targets.
“You got it.”
“Then what about me?” I’ll still need a few people with me to lure the fishes to take the bait. These people would have to temporarily leave the guild and would have to be players whom they are less familiar with, looks and IGN wise. People like Luo Luo, whom everyone knows belongs to Amethyst Rebirth, won’t do,” Xi Xiaotian said.
Choosing the people to do this job was not particularly difficult, though it was quite the prickly affair now that they had to really pick someone. Gu Fei and the rest of their bunch would instantly be disqualified for this role, while Southern Lone Blade and his gang of seven were all experts that had appeared on their respective leaderboards back in the day. Their IGNs were considerably well known, so they were ill-fitted for the task as well. Then what remained were simply the ladies from Amethyst Rebirth…
“Can I do this? I believe I shouldn’t have any problems,” Will-low nominated herself for the job.