Virtual World: Close Combat Mage

Chapter 158 - Arctic Whirlwind

Chapter 158 - Arctic Whirlwind

The mighty Svelte Dancer could finally flaunt her magnificence again. Actually, Svelte Dancer was mightier than Gu Fei when it came to melee as he could deal monstrous damage to the enemies with his Twin Incineration for four times at most due to his low amount of mana. Although Moonlit Nightfalls’ physical damage was also also frighteningly high, Gu Fei could only tap a limited amount of it due to his character’s insufficient Sword Aptitude. In short, Gu Fei was someone who could start off strongly but would become irrelevant after a few moves.

Svelte Dancer was different. Her normal attacks could insta-kill low HP job classes, so Gu Fei seriously suspected that her dagger was a higher level weapon as well. She must be geared with top-grade equipment that boosted Dagger Aptitude, as the dagger’s sheen that made her hand nearly indistinguishable was far denser than his Moonlit Nightfalls’ purplish luster.

Right now, Gu Fei was watching Svelte Dancer’s performance while eating a banana. She had already used Fleetfoot during her failed attempt to assault Young Master Han moments ago, so she was currently unable to display her trademark fighting style due to the skill’s cool-down time. Nevertheless, her normal running speed was already enough to make others break out in cold sweats.

No one could keep up with Svelte Dancer’s speed. In fact, many of them could only catch sight of her when she was already before their eyes or positioned behind them.

This was no longer a matter of equipment or stats but rather the players’ inherent reaction time. Those who had inherently slow reaction time would not be able to follow or match the fast players’ movement even if they had the best equipment.

Svelte Dancer’s forward maneuver instantly took down three players. Gu Fei’s banana was almost eaten up and he was now only waiting for his mana to fully get replenished.

The members of Carouse currently facing Svelte Dancer felt helpless against her indomitable strength and fast speed, so they decided to pounce on the pile of top-grade equipment littering the ground instead.

The choices that they had been presented before were either ‘to kill the target after picking up the items’ or ‘to pick up the items before killing the target’. Currently, the options became ‘picking up the items before they got killed’ or ‘getting killed without being able to pick up any items’.

Since the options had become clear cut for them, they all naturally chose the first option: ‘To pick up the items before they got killed.’ Considering that the item rewards for this guild versus guild tournament were entirely up to chance, they decided to abandon their lives to Svelte Dancer’s vicious attacks in exchange for the top-class ‘rewards’ littering the ground. A Chinese Odyssey1 had already taught them the lesson that ‘‘what followed after a missed opportunity would only be disappointment and regret’.

Svelte Dancer became rattled when she saw the enemy players’ outrageous action of picking up her items. She had previously tossed out these items due to her circumstance and not because she considered them as trash. It would naturally be best for Svelte Dancer if nobody picked them up, yet this bunch of men actually ignored the fight just to shamelessly obtain her top-grade items. “YOU PEOPLE DARE TO PICK MY ITEMS UP?!” Svelte Dancer yelled angrily.

“Quickly pick ‘em up!” Her shout only made everyone become more frantic at picking up the items, though. The remaining few who were still clueless about the value of her items were jolted by her shout as well and chose to prioritize picking up her items over their own life-and-death matters.

Svelte Dancer felt like crying, yet no tears would come out. After all, she had no way of saving all her equipment no matter how fast she was! Just as Svelte Dancer was about to save what few items she could, a bellow came from behind her, “STEP ASIDE, LADY!”

“What?” Svelte Dancer asked as she turned her head around. Heat suddenly began to build up from beneath her feet. “F*ck!” Svelte Dancer, who had plenty of combat experience just like Gu Fei, quickly dove to the side as a raging inferno sprouted from the ground.

“Couldn’t you chant a little louder?!” Svelte Dancer exclaimed indignantly at Gu Fei. Had it not been for her swift speed, that Blazing Tree of a Thousand Inferno spell would have engulfed her alongside the others. Knowing very well how terrifying Gu Fei’s Spell Damage was, Svelte Dancer was even uncertain if she could survive his attack.

“If I chanted any bit louder, the opponents would hear it!” Gu Fei muttered under his breath.

Her dropped items now lay undisturbed on the ground as the players who had tried to grab them were reduced by Gu Fei into ashes, making her feel a lot better.

“Go get rid of that guy!” Gu Fei pointed to Young Master Han who was standing in a distance.

The Priest Young Master Han was supposed to provide steady support in this PvP, yet his knowledge of the two players’ insane insta-killing capabilities had him observing the fight at a safe distance. What use was a Priest when facing such monsters, anyway?

“What’s the rush? Let me pick up my items first.” With that, Svelte Dancer prioritized picking up her dropped items over slaying Young Master Han.

“You’re like the richest player in this game, so why are you getting so flustered over these trinkets? Just buy them all again!” Gu Fei reasoned.

Svelte Dancer threw him a sidelong glance, “I’m rich, not stupid. Why would I toss money away?!”

“If you’re not stupid, why did you toss them in the first place?”

“Because you told me to toss them!”

You tossed these items just because I told you to do so, and you dare say that you are not stupid? was what Gu Fei said to himself. Seeing that Svelte Dancer had truly prioritized picking up her items, he could only dash toward Young Master Han himself.

Young Master Han had long fled the scene. Gu Fei wanted Svelte Dancer to chase after him not because he was lenient toward a person he knew but because he currently had no means of killing Young Master Han.

Gu Fei’s mana recovery after eating his banana was not completed yet. When he casted Blazing Tree of a Thousand Inferno to help Svelte Dancer recover her items, his action depleted as well as disrupted the recovery of his mana. Even if he caught up to Young Master Han, Gu Fei could currently only deal physical attacks that had no way of insta-killing anyone at him. Considering Young Master Han’s prowess as a Priest, Gu Fei could not take him down without insta-killing him.

Just as he had thought, Gu Fei caught up to Young Master Han yet his every stab was met by the latter’s Heal. Young Master Han smiled brightly at Gu Fei, “You can’t kill me like this.”

“I’ll grind your HP to zero; let’s see how much mana you’ve got,” Gu Fei smiled back as he continued to stab Young Master Han with his sword.

“I have plenty of mana,” Young Master Han said as he bestowed Heal on himself once more.

“There will be a time when that runs out!” Gu Fei remarked as he stabbed forward once more.

“My reinforcement will have arrived by then,” Young Master Han said matter-of-factly as he bestowed Heal on himself yet again.

“I better hurry, then,” Gu Fei said nonchalantly as he thrusted his sword forward yet again.

The two chatted and fought like this. Svelte Dancer ran over after she had picked up all her items and was stunned by the scene before her.

“Ah! Seems like MY reinforcement has arrived first!” Gu Fei said in elation.

“Better watch your steps this time, beautiful!” Young Master Han did not seem to fear her arrival at all.

“Ah?!” Svelte Dancer asked as she continued to stand there dumbly.

“What are you freezing up for? Quickly kill him off!” Gu Fei thundered.

“But you guys know each other!” Svelte Dancer reasoned. With Young Master Han’s unforgettable visage, she easily remembered meeting him at Ray’s Bar. Thus, she knew very well that he and Gu Fei were in the same mercenary group.

Gu Fei did not know whether to laugh or cry at her remark, “Missy, we’re in a PvP match right now. JUST HURRY UP!”

“You sure are a vicious one!” Svelte Dancer sharply exhaled as she rushed forward.

Just as she was about to reach Young Master Han, a sudden whirlwind rose from the ground and spun toward her. The usually fearless Svelte Dancer had a rapid change of expression as she dodged backward. The whirlwind seemed to have eyes of its own as it chased after her. Although the whirlwind’s speed did not match Svelte Dancer’s, she still could not easily make her way around it to reach Young Master Han.

Gu Fei gawked as Young Master Han smilingly explained to him, “You haven’t seen this before, right? That’s the Water Mage’s level 40 skill, Arctic Whirlwind. It is the ultimate headache for players like her that depend on speed. Besides dealing damage to whomever caught inside the whirlwind, it has the additional effect of reducing a character’s speed, weakening the source of strength for someone like her.”

Young Master Han looked at a certain distance as he talked. Gu Fei followed his gaze and saw a blue-robed Mage wielding a liquid blue magic stave to and fro like a cheerleader.

“That’s Brave Surge,” Young Master Han introduced to Gu Fei, adding, “He’s our guild leader. Currently ranked ninth on the Mage leaderboard. He chose to be a Water Mage for his level 40 Job Class Advancement.”

“Your guild leader!” Gu Fei muttered, immediately abandoning Young Master Han for Brave Surge. Capturing the ringleader to defeat the bandits! Even if eliminating the guild leader did not have the effect of beheading the hydra’s head, it would at least raise his and Amethyst Rebirth’s morale. Although boosting the morale would not increase his fighting prowess, it would still make him feel good about himself. He could even boast to others that: “Taking the head of the guild leader of seven hundred men is as easy as taking an item out of my dimensional pocket.” Fighting with Brave Surge also meant that he would no longer have to badger Svelte Dancer and could let her finally deal with Young Master Han, killing two birds with one stone.

Gu Fei thought of all these as he dashed toward his target. Seeing Gu Fei’s speed, Brave Surge dared not underestimate him and promptly pointed his magic staff to Gu Fei as he finished an incantation.

Gu Fei could feel heat building up from beneath his feet... He was well aware that Carouse’s guild leader had just casted a Blazing Tree of a Thousand Inferno spell. Time was needed from the end of the incantation until the activation of the spell – the area that Gu Fei’s spells were lacking.

Just as he hurried to escape Blazing Tree of a Thousand Inferno’s AOE, he noticed Brave Surge chanting words with a wave of his magic stave again. Gu Fei’s mind quickly raced. Halting his forward sprint, he retreated from where he had intended to go. With a deafening boom, the area Gu Fei had planned to head just then was set aglow by Blazing Tree of a Thousand Inferno sprouting from beneath the earth and Descending Wheel of Flames rolling down the sky.

That was close! Gu Fei thought to himself. Casting the Descending Wheel of Flames spell fortunately required the spell-caster to verbally chant the incantation, allowing him to realize what was about to happen. Had he continued his forward sprint, he might have been able to dodge the raging inferno but he would have surely run straight into the flame wheel.

Brave Surge had taken into account Gu Fei’s movement speed and placed these two spells accordingly. Fortunately, Gu Fei had reacted in time.

“Bravo. Not even falling for this move,” Young Master Han applauded from behind him.

With Svelte Dancer no longer being held back by Arctic Whirlwind, she got right up to Young Master Han’s side and stabbed him with her dagger.

“You two! It’s dangerous to be near me,” Young Master Han smilingly warned.

The two were momentarily stunned by his warning. They then felt the ground beneath them heating up as flashes appeared above their heads. Who knew how many Mages had chanted Descending Wheel of Flames and Blazing Tree of a Thousand Inferno to fill the space where Gu Fei, Svelte Dancer, and Young Master Han stood on as well as blot out the very sky above the trio’s heads.

“There’s no way that you two can escape this no matter how fast you are!” Young Master Han showed them a slight smile, saying, “My tactics will even sacrifice myself when the need calls for it.”

Gu Fei did not even bother to flee and just helplessly addressed Svelte Dancer, “Hey. All things considered, you’re still the richest player in the game. Do you have any magical artifact that’s similar to a Pandora’s Chest2?”

Chapter Notes:

[1] A Chinese Odyssey - A movie based on ‘Journey to the West’ with a modern twist. It was directed by Jeffrey Lau and starred Stephen Chow. Worth the watch if you're cool with slapstick comedy with adage and parables.

[2] Pandora’s Chest - here refers to an important item in the movie mentioned above. Gu Fei wrongly called it 'Pandora's Chest' instead of 'Pandora's Box'.

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