Virtual World: Close Combat Mage

Chapter 135 - Event

Chapter 135 - Event

The system would release a set amount of quests, which was more than the amount of requests from players who needed help, at a specific time every day. Any mercenary group that wished to attain fame would depend on completing these system-issued quests repeatedly every single day. If the completion count and percentage of success were high, the mercenary group’s rank would become higher. Naturally, players would look for these better ranked mercenary groups to aid them in their requests.

However, system-issued quests, especially those repeatable ones, were very boring. No matter how interesting a quest was, no one would find joy in doing it for ten times, hundred times, or thousand times. The perseverance required to do so would be staggering.

Young Master Han was extremely impatient when it came to doing such dull tasks, so the mercenary group under his leadership did not even consider this route. Young Master Han’s plan was to become famous through the word of mouth of players who had hired their mercenary group before.

The first step toward this development was considerably successful; the quest to takedown Mountain Bandit Leader Sooto in Oolong Cave was extremely difficult back then, so completing it allowed Young Master’s Elite mercenary group to become a key figure of discussion in the Hall of Mercenaries and taverns for a period of time. It was this success that that had led to Amethyst Rebirth looking them up for a request.

However, No Smile was a mercenary mission that was done with utmost secrecy. Although the success for the mission was beyond outstanding, it did not technically contribute to the mercenary group’s statistics.

Afterward, no other missions out there were worth picking up. Obtaining quests with extreme level of difficulty needed good luck and not all players were willing to expend the effort and funds to hire others to complete their quests for them.

These factors caused the development of Young Master’s Elite mercenary group to stagnate. It was unclear if Young Master Han had lost his enthusiasm for the group as he did not do anything to help develop their prospects now that they had no business readily at hand. While other mercenary group leaders would spend days in the Hall of Mercenaries to research and choose all sorts of quests, Young Master Han would instead be at Ray’s Bar drinking all day. At this rate, Young Master’s Elite would eventually become just another small mercenary group that was hardly worth noticing.

Today, with the six men gathered, Young Master Han suddenly announced: “The time for our mercenary group to establish itself is now.”

Just as everyone thought that he had become a raving lunatic, Brother Assist explained what Young Master Han meant with a solemn tone, “The system is about to host their first event. It’s a mercenary PvP tournament as well as a guild versus guild tournament.”

Most companies would use holidays or anniversaries to host special events in order to increase their games’ impact to people. Record highs of the number of players online would usually be created on such days. What attracted players even more as well as the main reason why players valued such events was the hard-to-obtain-elsewhere awards that the officials would give during those events.

Parallel World’s spokespersons stated that the upcoming special event was to celebrate the official release of the game. Everyone was already aware of this upcoming event since the game company had announced about it when the open beta was about to end. Nonetheless, information regarding the contents of the event was kept under wraps. As for dragging it for more than a month, it was very likely that the game company extended the period for marketing promotion purposes. Besides, it gave players who had just joined Parallel World after its open beta days more time to increase their levels.

Given how many experience points was required to level up, the distance between the levels of the players was close. Two players who were at level 40 could have a difference of three days worth of grinding time in terms of experience points. And yet, this difference, when translated into Strength, was barely perceptible that it would not arouse a player’s sense of satisfaction.

Brother Assist’s information sources informed him about the event’s particulars before they were announced to the public. Upon finding out that the event would have mercenary group and guild related portions, he immediately told Young Master Han to gather everyone. Since even regular players would do their best to participate in such event no matter how it ended up, experts like them would naturally try their hardest to showcase their prowess in it as well.

“We must dominate this event, so that our names will become renowned throughout Parallel World!” After dramatically saying this, Young Master Han realized his faux-pas. In this room, besides Young Master Han who had changed his IGN, Sword Demon, Brother Assist, Royal God Call, and War Without Wounds were already names well-known throughout the gaming community. As for Gu Fei, quite the commotion would even occur if he revealed his identity as Fugitive 27149, seeing as he was currently acknowledged as the best player – or the secret boss – of Parallel World.

Unsurprisingly, Young Master Han’s speech about them becoming “renowned throughout Parallel World” did not have any impact on these five men.

Young Master Han cleared his throat as he expressed his opinion once more, “I think we must participate in this event. Since we’ve already gotten wind of this matter, everyone should do the necessary preparations. Those who have yet to advance their classes should do so at the earliest—you guys are about done with your individual research, right? Miles, can you make it to level 40 in these few remaining days before the event?”

“I don’t think so,” Gu Fei said. He still needed a large chunk of experience points to reach level 40!

“Has anyone here proceeded with Job Class Advancement already?” Young Master Han asked.

Four of them shook their heads. Each of them was well aware that hurrying to advance the job class would not affect their daily grinding, so no one was careless enough to make a choice before the research of the two available paths was done. All were waiting for the officials to reveal more information before they took that crucial step.

“I’ll leave you guys to it, then!” Young Master Han waved his hand dismissively. From the others’ perspective, he was someone who was afraid of nuisances as even his speech avoided going into details about certain matters. Leaving things as that, he said, “Our main competitors this time are other mercenary groups. Brother Assist will spend the next two days gathering information on the major mercenary groups here in Yunduan City and researching about them.”

All nodded their heads in acknowledgement.

“That’s it,” Young Master Han waved his hands to adjourn the meeting.

“I’m off to continue my ‘Bounty Mission’!” Royal God Call was the first to get up. He said this in a tone that sought for Gu Fei’s instruction and guidance on the matter.

“Go on, Royal,” Gu Fei gave him the go-signal.

With that, the five got up to leave one after another. Young Master Han only peeked out of the room to shout, “Liquor” over to Ray and then he sat down once more.

Outside the bar, War Without Wounds and Sword Demon went about their businesses. It was at this point that Gu Fei received a summon from Amethyst Rebirth to attend a meeting as well. This in itself was a hundred-year rare occurrence. Having not visited the Amethyst Rebirth’s guild house for quite some time, Gu Fei felt somewhat muddled about which of the door signs on the streets belonged to it.

As he made his way over, he realized that Brother Assist was going down the same route as him. Striking up a conversation with Brother Assist as they walked, Gu Fei suddenly recalled to ask him about a matter, “Do you know of a person called ‘Drifting’?”

“Of course,” Brother Assist said, adding, “He is a veteran gamer – a Mage expert.”

“Is that so? Between him and Royal, who is the stronger one?” Gu Fei asked.

“You’re asking something that people have argued endlessly since those two became famous,” Brother Assist stated.

“But didn’t you guys say that Royal is the number one Mage?” Gu Fei felt that his statement was strange.

“B*llsh*t. That’s only because we have Royal sitting with us. If Drifting was the one sitting there at the time, we would say that he is the number one Mage,” Brother Assist confided.

Gu Fei lost his smile instantly, thinking that they really were a bunch of hypocrites. With that in mind, he asked, “So who do you really think is stronger?” Although Brother Assist’s capability was just so-so, he was definitely the best when it came to gaming knowledge. Evaluation was his strong suit.

“That…” Brother Assist hesitated slightly before saying, “Don’t tell Royal this!”

Gu Fei smiled, “Got it. I already know the answer.”

Brother Assist smiled back, “I’m not saying that Royal isn’t as good. But you’ve seen how flamboyant Royal is. Everyone knows clearly what he is like as a person. Whereas that kid will immediately boast to everyone any new trick or technique he has learned, Drifting does not easily share what he knows to others. If he discovers any trick or technique, I reckon he will hide it well. He is calm and calculative and is usually very low key. You’ll only know how powerful he is when he acts. So while Royal’s strength is obvious for all to see, Drifting will still have something up his sleeves. Just from how they think, I feel that Royal cannot compare to him.”

“Mhm. I share your sentiment,” Gu Fei nodded his head in agreement. Drifting was extremely protective when it came to his ‘Blossoming Crimson Lotus’ skill.

“You know Drifting?” Brother Assist asked, surprised. The five mercenary group members knew how amazing Gu Fei was, yet he was still a newbie in MMO through and through.

Gu Fei nodded his head in affirmation, “I met him two days ago. He’s currently in Yunduan City.”

“What’s he here for?” Brother Assist asked, astonished.

“I don’t know,” Gu Fei shrugged his shoulders.

Brother Assist muttered by his side.

Gu Fei asked another question, “Do you know who those Five Unyielding Experts that everyone is currently talking about are?”

Brother Assist laughed, “The five players who are at level 41 on the overall leaderboard, you mean? I don’t know who that Fighter, Eternal Dominion, is. I’m not sure if he’s someone who has changed his IGN for Parallel World. The Archer called Deep Waters and the Warrior called Southern Lone Blade are two famous professional gamers. As for that Thief, Svelte Dancer, that person is a woman. She is known historically as the mightiest pay-to-win gamer. I’ve never had contact with this woman before, but I heard that her skill control is quite prodigious. It’s not unexpected that she is strong; while others put their money into starting a business, she chose to spend hers on training her skills. However, I feel that if Sword Demon hasn’t been ganged up on and lost his level, then one of the five’s positions would be his.”

“What a pity,” Gu Fei felt sorry for Sword Demon. The amount of work he had put into this game was definitely not something anybody could imagine. His passion toward gaming was comparable to Gu Fei’s passion toward kung fu. On the flipside, Young Master Han was much more casual about gaming, making him wonder how the two even got together.

Ray’s Bar was not far from Amethyst Rebirth, but it was rare for Brother Assist to actually walk with Gu Fei all the way there. By the time their conversation ended, the signboard for Amethyst Rebirth was already before the two’s eyes. Gu Fei pointed to it and said, “I’ve arrived at my destination.”

“Oh,” Brother Assist patted him and smiled warmly before continuing his way.

Gu Fei pushed open the door and inhaled the cool air inside.

It had been a long time since he last visited this place. Amethyst Rebirth’s headquarters did not get larger but the people it housed increased quite substantially. Gu Fei swept his gaze to his usual spot by the corner and found someone already occupying it.

Not knowing where to position himself, he just stood dumbly by the entrance. Quite a number of new faces spotted Gu Fei and each of them had a bewildered expression on their faces. They had never seen a man enter this room ever since joining Amethyst Rebirth.

As discomfiture set in, a lady suddenly popped out of the crowd and headed toward Gu Fei while shouting, “Miles!”

Gu Fei glanced over. Isn’t that Xiaoyu? After a month of not seeing her, the lady’s appearance had changed so much. Gone was her full-body, heavy armor and in its place was a form-fitting, flexible armor that was popular among female Warriors. This sort of armor might look fragile, but it was considered as the heavy armor variant. The game company refitted the armor’s design since they knew the female players’ fussiness about their appearances. Red and black dominated Xiaoyu’s armor design. It did not have any bright glow or shimmer, yet it still had a very bold and heroic feel to it. She was not wearing her helmet at this moment, so her long hair cascaded on her shoulders as she walked toward Gu Fei. It was truly a wonderful sight that harmoniously mixed strength with gentleness.

“Long time no see!” June’s Rain casually patted Gu Fei on his back.

Gu Fei was still smiling when that clap slammed onto his back. That clap on his back weighed a ton, and he instantly cried out inside him, Not good! Xiaoyu was still such a klutz who did not know how to hold her strength back.

As he staggered to the side for several steps, Gu Fei’s ego received a heavy bruising. Gu Fei getting outbalanced by a lady’s single slap was just too ridiculous, yet he was helpless against this situation. As the characters in-game continued to allocate points, the players’ Strength, Agility, and similar stats began to go beyond human beings’ capabilities. Xiaoyu’s full-Strength build was like the power of Popeye. Gu Fei was easily overpowered and crushed like aluminum can.

Just as Gu Fei was about to find his balance, someone slotted her arm into his and propped him up. He turned and saw that the person was Will-low.

“You alright?” Will-low smiled.

“I’m fine!” Feeling miserable, he returned the question to her, “Are you alright?”

Will-low knew what he was talking about, so she nodded her head.

When Gu Fei was thrown out of balance, someone cried out in a reproaching tone, “Xiaoyu!”

June’s Rain covered her mouth as she exclaimed, “Ahhh! I forgot!”

With that, she quickly came over to have a look at Gu Fei. “Don’t mind her. She already staggered quite a few people today.” The one speaking was Guild Leader July whom Gu Fei had not met for more than a month.

“Why would I mind? Xiaoyu and I are brothers, after all!” Gu Fei said.

“He he! That’s right!” Xiaoyu agreed as she tried to pat him on the shoulder once more. Gu Fei was no longer careless this time and he shifted his shoulder to the side, causing that slap of hers to loudly whisk by.

“I don’t think I can afford to let my guard down!” Gu Fei wiped the sweat off his forehead in relief.

It was at this moment that Heal descended on to Gu Fei’s body. He knew who the culprit was without even looking at her. Just as he had presumed, Luo Luo’s voice resounded from the side, “You won’t treat my Heal as useless this time, right?” An all-Strength Warrior’s Attack Power without a weapon was nothing to scoff at, so Xiaoyu’s first slap indeed lowered Gu Fei’s HP by some.

Gu Fei did not reply to her, thinking that all these guild ladies were such a handful.

“Everyone, let me introduce this person here,” July clapped her hands to call all the ladies’ attention, saying, “This person is our guild’s Thousand Miles Drunk.”

The ladies who had previously not known about Gu Fei already learned from the old members of his identity. Since July was the one formally introducing him, everyone reacted accordingly with applauses and screams. There were even some who whistled. Gu Fei was someone who had never appeared before them, so the ladies jokingly dubbed him as a ‘Man of Mystery’. The atmosphere became really lively now that he was here in person and was being teased by everyone enthusiastically.

It was at this moment in time when Gu Fei’s profession came into play.

The boys and girls in the school that Gu Fei was teaching took P.E. classes separately, so P.E. teachers like him could be said to be the only ones that could take on a group of girls by themselves. Gu Fei already experienced such scenarios countless times before, so he very casually nodded his head toward the ladies and greeted, “Hello, students.”

“Ha ha ha ha!” Everyone played along with Gu Fei’s joke and laughingly said, “Hello, sir!”

This scene unknowingly lifted the mood. Gu Fei once more smiled toward the ladies and the awkwardness in the air dissipated on its own. Luo Luo was simply amazed as she watched all this unfold from the side. This guy is always uncomfortable whenever I bestowed Heal on to him, yet he’s actually calmly interacting with all these ladies, Luo Luo thought to herself.

July swept her gaze over the crowd and happily announced, “Alright. Everyone more or less is here. Let me begin by saying that the officials are about to host an event. The activities this time are a mercenary PvP tournament as well as a guild versus guild tournament. I heard that the prizes will be rather generous. Our guild isn’t huge, but there’s no harm in us participating in it. Both matches are not mutually exclusive either. Since our guild does not have a mercenary group, we can form one if there are members here who wish to participate in the mercenary PvP tournament.”

The ladies solemnly listened to July speak. Only Xiaoyu leaped up and clenched her fists as she moved to hit Gu Fei in her excitement, “It’s a quest! A QUEST!”

No wonder she suddenly came back; it was because she wanted to participate in this event. Although Parallel World had been up for some time, this girl’s fervor toward quests did not diminish in the least. Gu Fei smilingly took a few steps backward to dodge the unintentional attack. That first slap of hers is already painful enough. If I receive this current punch of hers, won’t I get punctured?

July’s speech had not yet ended, “Ladies, try your best to level up as much as you can in these few remaining days before the event commences.”

It seemed like July also had someone in the know, as she got a hold of information that Brother Assist had gotten wind of.

“So, who wishes to enter the mercenary PvP tournament? Come and sign up and we’ll form a mercenary group,” July encouraged.

That competition would clearly be a PvP match, so few Amethyst Rebirth’s ladies were interested in it. Joining the guild and experiencing the event together with everyone was already enough. To participate in the mercenary PvP tournament … The ladies’ enthusiasm waned a bit. Besides Lie Lie who promptly jumped out and put her name forward as team leader, everyone else was hesitating.

“Miles, are you participating?” July singled him out and asked.

“I already have a mercenary group,” Gu Fei refused.

“Oh!” July did not say anything else. This sort of occurrence was commonplace. Not every guild would have a mercenary group under its name. Amethyst Rebirth was one such example; therefore, it was excusable for its members to join external mercenary groups.

Lie Lie cajoled for a long time before she managed to convince a few ladies to join the group. Gu Fei laughed disapprovingly by the side, thinking of the ladies’ subpar skills being pitted against Sword Demon and the bunch of experts’. Besides relying on their seduction skills, there was nary a chance for these ladies to claim victory.

Thinking of that, Gu Fei immediately realized that if these ladies really clashed with Young Master’s Elite mercenary group, they would instantly lose Royal God Call and War Without Wounds in the ensuing battle.

As for the other three men, they might not act as crazily as Royal God Call and War Without Wounds toward women on the surface, yet who knew what they were feeling inside? Gu Fei recalled how Sword Demon’s emotions were all over the place when he first met Xi Xiaotian back then.

As he was indulging in all these nonsensical thoughts, Gu Fei received a message. He opened the message and saw that it was Coward’s Savior calling loudly, “Master, I finally managed to contact you. Let’s meet.”

“Where?” Gu Fei asked.

As the two set a meeting place, Gu Fei saw that the ladies were beginning to disperse. He bade the few he was friendlier with goodbye before leaving the guild house.

Gu Fei and Coward’s Savior arranged to meet at the fountain by the plaza at the heart of Yunduan City. Coward’s Savior had already been waiting there for quite some time when Gu Fei arrived. As soon as he spotted Gu Fei, he immediately struck a Mantis Fist style stance; his body rocked back and forth as his mouth mimicked the insect’s cry.

Gu Fei immediately went forward and extended his leg to hook Coward’s Savior’s. The latter swiftly took half a step backward to dodge that while maintaining his stance. He actually evaded Gu Fei’s leg hook.

“You’ve trained well!” Gu Fei complimented. Coward’s Savior’s half a step completely complimented Seven Stars Steps’ footwork. Naturally, Gu Fei’s cursory leg hook was done to probe him. Otherwise, how could Coward’s Savior’s one month of training match Gu Fei’s twenty years of kung fu training? Would that not mean that Coward’s Savior was far more deserving to be the lead star here?

Having received Gu Fei’s praise, Coward’s Savior happily continued to display his fighting stance.

“Alright, alright! That’s enough!” Gu Fei said. Mantis Fist Style’s stance was very flashy, so it easily drew the people’s attention in this crowded location of the city.

“What’s happening over in Yueye City?” Gu Fei engaged Coward’s Savior in some polite small talk.

Coward’s Savior shook his head, “Same old, same old. Originally, everyone thought that eradicating Past Deeds would turn things for the better. In the end, the Ten Guild Alliance has more members than Past Deeds, which resulted into them being worse player bullies.”

“The Ten Guild Alliance? What is that?” Gu Fei asked.

“Oh. It’s the alliance of ten guilds. Since none of the guilds’ level is high enough to contain all Yueye City’s people, they have yet to merge all right now,” Coward’s Savior explained.

Gu Fei inhaled a sharp breath. Before, the tyrannical and overbearing guild was only Past Deeds; now, with the alliance of those ten guilds... Yueye City was indeed a place that never grew peaceful.

“Yueye City’s players decreased by a huge lot,” Coward’s Savior continued, saying, “Everyone already ran off to other in-game cities.”

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