Virtual World: Close Combat Mage

Chapter 103 - Appraisal Assistant

Chapter 103 - Appraisal Assistant

Gu Fei sprinted toward Ray’s Bar after leaving Peddlers’ Street.

This sort of emergency meeting reflected on every member’s speed. Gu Fei arrived at Ray’s Bar and found that Young Master Han and Royal God Call were already there. One was drinking at the bar counter, and another was at a nearby table, writing his mage secret manual.

Not too long after, Brother Assist arrived. War Without Wounds entered the bar next.

“Why is Sword Demon not here yet?” Young Master Han wrinkled his brows as he looked at the time.

“Oh… I told him not to leave the spawn point,” Gu Fei said.

“Why?” everyone looked at Gu Fei.

“There’s a gang that has premeditated this attack on him,” Gu Fei explained, saying, “This gang specifically targets players with top-grade equipment and finds a chance to kill them repeatedly until that particular equipment drops. It’s likely that Sword Demon is in this gang’s crosshairs.”

Brother Assist was shocked. He paused for a bit before saying with a sorrow-filled voice, “Miles, why you gotta do this? If you keep stealing my job and revealing all the information, what’s the value of me being in this mercenary group?”

Gu Fei apologetically said, “Sorry. Go on. Say what you gotta say.”

Brother Assist nodded his head, cleared his throat, and addressed everyone around him, “The general situation is as Miles said. Let’s see if anyone has any information to add.”

All rolled their eyes at him. Brother Assist felt slightly embarrassed, “If this gang was so easy to uncover, they would be hunted long ago. They’ve gotten away with it many times already.”

“Even the victims killed by them have no idea about their identity?” everyone asked disbelievingly.

Brother Assist nodded his head, “They mainly target Mages, Archers, and Thieves. Victims barely even locate them before they are killed.”

Everyone was in deep thought. Young Master Han asked Gu Fei, “So you suspect they’ve a formation or trap set up in front of the spawn point and will continuously ambush Sword Demon?”

“That’s right,” Gu Fei confidently replied.

Young Master Han patted him on the arm, “Thieves have Stealth, thank you very much!” As Gu Fei was feeling embarrassed beyond redemption, Young Master Han sent Sword Demon a message. In a short while, Sword Demon arrived.

“You have our deepest condolences!” everyone sympathetically said.

Sword Demon was not that glum, “It’s just one level; it’s no big deal.”

Everyone tactfully refrained from commenting. Sword Demon’s death was not just losing a level. Since the experience points he had earned were about to let him ascend to level 31, his death had more like dropped him by two levels.

“It's fine. At least, you didn’t drop Frost Memories,” Gu Fei consoled him.

“It got dropped…” Sword Demon said emotionlessly.

Everyone felt stunned. The equipment drop rate in Parallel World was not high; Sword Demon was truly unlucky for losing his prized weapon in just one death.

“That’s not good! They’ll mail Frost Memories to another city; you won’t ever find it if that happens!” Gu Fei stood up and exclaimed.

“How do you know?” everyone asked, shocked.

“I don’t have the time to explain; quickly head to the mailboxes!” Gu Fei said.

“They killed me for my Frost Memories?” Sword Demon still could not grasp the reason why he had been killed.

“There’s a gang that specifically targets players with top-grade equipment. Then…” Brother Assist explained in length.

“Degenerates!” Sword Demon gritted his teeth. Being killed did not elicit such anger in Sword Demon. He could even keep his emotions in check after dropping his top-grade weapon, Frost Memories. However, once he learned why he had been killed, Sword Demon finally snapped and expressed his anger unrestrainedly.

“Less talk; more action!” Gu Fei urged everyone. While Sword Demon instantly revived in the city from the grinding map, they all spent a significant amount of time gathering and talking at Ray’s Bar. If the equipment-robbing gang had left immediately to mail out Frost Memories right after acquiring it, they would have arrived at a mailbox by now. It was unclear if Gu Fei and company could still make it in time, but they must still try their best to recover the weapon.

“The east gate is the closest entrance if someone returns from Sword Demon’s grinding map. But in order to avoid the revenge of their victim, it’s highly likely that they’ll use the other gates. Our manpower is lacking, though. We might not be a match for them if we split our forces to the four gates... We can only gamble our chances by going to two out of the four gates. Assist, Royal, and Wounds, head to the east gate! Sword Demon, Miles, and I’ll go to the south gate. We’ll discuss the rest later on the mercenary channel,” Young Master Han got up after designating their positions.

“Wait. I think Miles alone will do…” Royal God Call said.

Everyone was dumbfounded, yet it was an accurate observation. Young Master Han nodded his head in acknowledgement, “Miles will head to the north gate, then.”

“Will Sword Demon and you do?” Brother Assist asked apprehensively. Young Master Han was a Priest that had no combat power; Sword Demon was good, but he had just lost a level and no longer possessed Frost Memories. The strength of this pair got lowered significantly.

Young Master Han, however, thought differently, “I’m more worried about you three. Can you guys manage without a Priest?”

“F*ck! Worry about yourself! Sword Demon, if you can’t get Frost Memories back, it's definitely his fault!” Royal God Call said indignantly.

Sword Demon acquiesced, “Fine.”

“Roll out!” They split into their three teams once they left Ray’s Bar.

The difference in each member’s speed was distinctly displayed once more. Royal God Call was the fastest in the three-man group, so he quickly arrived at the designated gate, leaving Brother Assist and War Without Wounds behind. Between Sword Demon and Young Master Han’s pair, the latter was the one slowly being left behind.

The south and east gates were relatively close to Ray’s Bar, so the distance between the fast and slow people in each team was not too significant. Given that time was of the essence, they did not bother to be too precise in their arrangement of which particular gate to head over.

Online gaming experts like them had long gotten used to conversing while running in Parallel World. As such, they were presently conversing on the mercenary channel. Young Master Han opined, “It’s also possible that those equipment looters ain’t the culprits, but those seeking revenge on you. Even if we exclude your enemies from other MMOs and focus only on those in Parallel World... You’re the most conspicuous in that No Smile assassination matter! Frost Memories was just too eye-catching back then.”

“I know,” Sword Demon acknowledged.

“Also, that time when we were in Yueye City, you’re the one leading that army in the frontline. I’m afraid that those of Past Deeds got a clear look of your face,” Young Master Han added.

“The Past Deeds’ men won’t be able to quickly take their revenge on Sword Demon, since they’re still busy with matters on their end,” Brother Assist interjected.

“I know. I’m just saying…” Young Master Han acknowledged.

“What do those guys look like? Sword Demon, you’ve yet to tell us,” Brother Assist said.

“A Mage, a Thief, and an Archer suddenly attacked me. I got insta-killed, so I didn’t manage to take a good look at them. But I did manage to activate my Appraisal skill right before I died. It landed on the Thief ambushing me. He’s wearing Storm Cloak that adds 12 points to Agility and boosts attack speed by 5%; Shadow Boots that boost movement speed by 14%; Windbreaker Hat; Double Loop Belt; Wolf’s Ring that adds 4 points to Strength and Agility; Candle Emblem that buffs HP by 2%; Ring of Strength that adds 2 points to its eponym stat; and lastly, Necklace of Speed that adds 2 points to Agility. His weapon is called Dual Serrated Daggers that applies the Bleed effect,” Sword Demon reported everything in one-go.

In Parallel World, as long as the pieces of equipment shared a name, their basic attributes, such as Defense and Attack Power would be the same. The difference in them only lay in the additional traits or the kind of stats they would be boosting. Knowing the additional traits attached to the equipment was, therefore, a key factor in identifying a target.

After Sword Demon reported everything, Young Master Han summarized the key points, “Take note of a three-man team consisting a Mage, a Thief, and an Archer. Take note of a Thief with that equipment description, too!”

Everyone gave their confirmation besides Gu Fei. He stopped running and helplessly said, “I don’t have Appraisal; what do I do?!”

There was no time, so everyone only broached this matter now. Fighting the opponents alone was not a problem for Gu Fei, but identifying them through the Appraisal skill was a tough nut for him to crack.

Having Appraisal skill was not enough to do this task; the skill’s rank must be high as well. Using the Appraisal skill to identify players was very troublesome in Parallel World for a number of reasons. First, it would only succeed against players with lower level than the skill user. Second, the skill user would have to ensure that his or her Appraisal skill was higher than the targeted players. Third, successfully appraising the targeted players was not 100% guaranteed. Its success hinged on the probability rate, which was similar to the chances of players hitting their targets in other MMOs. Fourth and last, even if Appraisal was successful, it did not mean that everything about the target would be revealed. Out of the nine equipment slots, the skill user could usually only view four or five of them. It was common for the rest of the items to remain obscure with question marks displayed on their description windows.

Whatever the case might be, this trip was a waste for Gu Fei who had not learned the Appraisal skill.

Brother Assist had the highest level of Appraisal skill among the members of Young Master’s Elite mercenary group; second was Sword Demon; meanwhile, Young Master Han, Royal God Call, and War Without Wounds shared the third spot. With the mindset that a professional should not have such a glaring weakness, they had all made sure to train their Appraisal skill.

Assisting Gu Fei in identifying the targets was beyond these five’s capabilities, however. Sword Demon and Young Master Han were already the minimum limit; the other three-man team was tight on manpower as well. After all, they had no Priest to bestow Heal on them. Fighting against the opposing team with such a balanced job class composition was already a tall task.

“Let’s ignore him. Miles will just find some babes along the road to help him appraise the target,” Royal God Call left Gu Fei to his own devices.

The others thought Royal God Call was joking as they pondered on the matter. Unexpectedly, Gu Fei jolted with that one sentence and said to them, “Yeah, I’ll do that.” Everyone was shocked. Could he really casually grab a lady off the street to help him?

Gu Fei obviously did not have such intention. However, when Royal God Call mentioned “babes”, it reminded Gu Fei that he was not asking for help with the fight but just with appraising the opponents. The ladies of Amethyst Rebirth were surely capable of doing the job.

Making up his mind, he quickly pulled out the guild channel. He then saw rows upon rows of words being exchanged in rapid succession on the conversation window. Ladies were creatures that enjoyed chatting and gossiping. In fact, they were much more diligent with this matter than leveling. With him being the only man in the guild, the conversation window would obviously be dominated by the Amethyst Rebirth’s ladies. Hence, Gu Fei had never partaken in any talks on the guild channel before. By the time the messages stopped flashing on the conversation window, Gu Fei had already arrived at the north gate. Those were just the messages that Gu Fei missed today since he had gotten online. If it’s everything since the beginning of this game… Gu Fei shivered at the thought. He did not know how to start a conversation with these women; after thinking for a while, he asked, “Is there anyone here?!”

“F*ck you, d*mb*ss! Can’t you see the many sisters about? Why’re you asking if there’s anyone around?!” someone shouted. Gu Fei looked at the IGN: Lie Lie.

“Anyone among you has high Appraisal skill? I need help…” Gu Fei asked, not bothering to answer Lie Lie’s sarcastic question.

Everyone did not report their Appraisal skill. Brimming with curiosity, they each asked what the matter was instead.

“It’s urgent! I’ll explain later!” Gu Fei answered.

“My Appraisal skill is at rank 8,” a lady softly said.

Gu Fe did not know what rank 8 Appraisal skill meant; he glanced at the lady’s IGN: Ice Glaze.

“How fast can you get to the city’s north gate?” Gu Fei asked.

“Oh, I’m near there. I’ll head over right away,” Ice Glaze replied.

Gu Fei added her as a friend, “Thanks a lot!”

“You’re welcome,” Ice Glaze replied.

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