Chapter 21 - Sooto, the Mountain Bandit Leader
Sure enough, Sooto shoved two fingers into his mouth and blew air through them as he charged outside.
Gu Fei nervously checked his surroundings as a high-pitch sound pervaded the air, yet not even a monster’s shadow appeared. Sootu did not seem to mind this as he headed toward Gu Fei with a large knife in hand after he was done whistling.
Sooto was a humanoid NPC with average height, muscular bare chest, and a cruel face. He fit exactly the developers’ image of 'a mob boss that would be difficult to defeat.'
With his grotesque appearance, Sooto arrived in front of Gu Fei and unleashed a slash with a wave of his hand.
Gu Fei nimbly dodged the attack but did not retaliate; he did not dare clash forcefully with Sooto. Based on his observation, Sooto was the type of monster with superb speed and power. Gu Fei would have to rely on his fighting techniques to win against him.
What exactly were these 'techniques'?
Of course, it was kung fu! Kung fu allowed one to overcome powerful enemies in combat through domineering techniques.
The legendary Eighteen Arms Martial Technique, consisting of sword, spear, staff, club, axe, trident, and so on, actually referred to the fighting techniques of eighteen different types of martial arts.
Nine Blades of Tang!
This was a very offensive fighting technique that solely relied on the Tang sword. Gu Fei wielded his current longsword precisely because it resembled a real Tang sword, allowing him to apply that particular fighting technique.
Gu Fei firmly gripped the sword handle with his two hands and alertly looked at Sooto who was two meters away.
Here it comes! Gu Fei’s eyes twitched as he saw Sooto lean in and shrug his shoulder blades backward.
Gu Fei sidestepped just as a bright red light narrowly swept past him. That must be the move called Red Blaze or something, Gu Fei recalled Young Master Han mentioning it; one of the advantages for trapping Sooto inside the hut was he would not be able to use this particular move.
“The move's damage is too high. Nobody could withstand it right now with the measly defensive equipment we have, even if we put all our stats to Endurance,” Young Master Han said this before as well.
“Why not dodge it if we can’t block?” Gu Fei asked this question back then.
“You try dodging it, then!” Young Master Han replied snappily.
Gu Fei successfully dodged the move right now; it was just a shame that Young Master Han was not around to witness it. Gu Fei’s father said that fighting techniques could be summarized into eight words: “Eyes on the hands, hands on the eyes.”
For a regular person, keeping up with the hand movements of the opponent with their eyes was hard enough already; keeping track of the opponent’s eyes to counter the next attack was even harder.
Gu Fei was capable enough to keep up with his opponent’s movements. As for countering the attacks, stat points were necessary in this game to make that possible. Gu Fei fortunately added all his points to Agility, allowing him to deal with Sooto.
Of course, all of these were possible due to Parallel World’s incredible simulation. The NPCs’ actions were similar to how real human beings would move. Even Red Blaze, an imaginary move made possible by the game, could only be unleashed by the NPC Sooto if he moved his limbs in a certain way. There were signs when he would attack.
Thus, Gu Fei currently had the ability to dodge the attacks of the Mountain Bandit Leader. Since Sooto was bounded by the usual NPCs’ habits where he focused on single-mindedly attacking and not on dodging, it was obvious who would win this fight.
Gu Fei’s only concern was how much damage he could inflict on Sooto with his attacks.
His entire focus was on the sword in his hand. He was convinced that he could rely fully on it for this fight and did not need to use spells just yet.
The sword was just a common weapon, however. Although it was good enough to handle the regular monsters with its high damage output, Gu Fei was still worried that it might not be enough to deal with the Mountain Bandit Leader that possessed high health and defense.
But when Gu Fei managed to perform a horizontal slash – one of the moves from the three forms of Fenliu – on to Sooto’s lower abdomen at the first window of opportunity, he gained a huge boost in confidence. This was because he felt quite an impact from the tip of the sword.
Previously, Sword Demon deduced how much damage Gu Fei could cause by comparing the health of a monster and the amount of attacks Gu Fei needed before he could slay it. After days of immersing himself into this game, Gu Fei could actually determine how high the damage he caused just from the sensation he felt with his hand when an attack connected.
His slash on Sooto just now undoubtedly possessed high damage. He never felt such a high damage output before even when he was fighting the usual monsters. Gu Fei felt perplexed. How was it possible that a mob boss had even lower defense than a regular monster?
After skirmishing for a few more rounds and managing to slash Sooto’s left leg, Gu Fei finally understood the situation.
He was able to deal so much damage to Sooto because he was topless.
It seemed that Sooto had zero defenses for his upper body for some unknown reason. The slash Gu Fei had attempted on Sooto’s left leg did not even cause any damage as he had some sort of armor on it.
Now that he understood the whole situation, Gu Fei felt at ease and struck Sooto’s torso with every chance he got. As for the lower body, Gu Fei simply ignored it even when there was an opening to strike since he knew it would be useless.
Even so, the fight with Sooto lasted for a full fifteen minutes!
Although Sooto had zero upper body defense, the amount of HP he had was no joke. Gu Fei was unsure how viable Young Master Han’s strategy of chipping Sooto’s health away inside the hut anymore. He had learned the Repeating Fireball spell that Young Master Han mentioned, and it was not an AoE spell in the strictest sense. What it could actually do was to cause slight damage to the nearby areas indirectly targeted. So if they were to subdue Sooto according that plan… F*ck it! Forget going to work tomorrow.
With his torso riddled with wounds, Sooto’s head automatically detached the moment he collapsed. The head turned into a burlap sack from the get go. Gu Fei smirked, It’s a humanoid NPC after all. If we had to cut its head off after the fight… That would be very disturbing.
The words [The head of Mountain Bandit Leader] appeared when Gu Fei picked up the sack and fixed his gaze on it.
Gu Fei was actually trapped in the bottom of the cave right now. He got here by squeezing through the stone door in the secret pathway, and that door could not be opened from the inside with just his meager strength. Sword Demon and the others were about to barge in through the main entrance any minute now. Seeing as he could not find any switch that might open the main door, he decided to just wait for the others to open it for him.
There was nothing around the area, so Gu Fei wandered into Sooto’s little hut. As soon as he entered, he could hear a weak voice saying, “Who are you?”
Gu Fei was taken aback by this. The voice started to mumble on its own before he could even react properly. Gu Fei breathed a sigh of relief, NPCs usually act this way. Asking ‘Who are you?’ is just to draw attention to them. They’ll start some mumbo jumbo to tell what’s their deal; so what comes next?
“Can you help me?” the weak voice asked.
Ah, so it’s a quest, Gu Fei mumbled to himself. He did not actually pay attention to the NPC’s blathering. The NPC was someone who came from somewhere else to search for something. He got abducted by the Mountain Bandits, and they tortured him because he refused to submit to them. Now that he was dying, he wished for a hero’s appearance, which was Gu Fei apparently, to help him accomplish some unfinished business.
Gu Fei accepted the quest without even thinking twice, It’s just a quest. Nothing to lose from accepting it. I can cancel it anytime I want as well. It’s fine even though I didn’t hear the quest details just now. Surely, there’s information about it on the official website. I can look it up whenever.
Once Gu Fei agreed to the quest, the person on the verge of dying immediately said, “Thank you! Take my emblem… Good luck!”
The dying person raised his hand toward Gu Fei, and was dead in the next instant as Gu Fei received what was in his hand.
Gu Fei lowered his head and looked at the emblem he had just received. There was no information besides the name, Eddie’s Emblem, on it.
The pop-up window, which displayed the emblem’s name, glittered with golden light; only high-grade equipment would be displayed this way in Parallel World.
[Eddie’s Emblem: add 6 points for all stats.]
I only accepted the quest and have not done anything, yet I already received such a powerful item? What kind of quest is this? Gu Fei was astonished. To be frank, equipment which added 6 points for every stat was inferior compared to something like Frost Memories, which boosted 25 points for a stat. It was true that the total point boosted by Eddie’s Emblem was 5 points more than Frost Memories, but nobody would actually distribute points evenly among all the stats. From the perspective of players who wanted to strengthen the stats which were more advantageous to their job class, Eddie’s Emblem was not particularly helpful.
However, it was still equipment with golden lettering after all. Its very existence hinted at how special the quest probably was. Even Gu Fei, who had no real interest in questing, was now a little more keen on the quest. He immediately opened his quest log, and saw a new quest on the list: [Eddie’s Mission].
[Eddie, who embarked on a journey to accomplish his quest, had unfortunately fallen into the hands of the Mountain Bandits. Can you accomplish this quest on his behalf?]
This was the only information mentioned on the quest description page. The quests in Parallel World were all like this; the quest details were actually heard directly from NPCs. The quest log would only list the name of a quest without any accompanying hints or details. That was why players carried little notebooks with them when they were handling quests; they would crazily jot down details as soon as the NPCs started talking!
Gu Fei pinned the emblem on his chest. But he tucked it back inside his mage robe once he looked down his chest and saw just how unsightly it was. The emblem was considered to be an accessory item, and it would be in effect as long as it was not stuffed inside the players’ dimensional pocket. Gu Fei could feel himself getting stronger already. Every stat received a boost of 6 points… It was as if he leveled up six times since he received a total of 30 points!
Oh, yeah. Who knows what kind of treasure Sooto might still be hiding. I should go look around some more, Gu Fei began searching around as he thought of this.
At the same time elsewhere, Sword Demon and the rest had reached the last line of defense of the enemies.
A Mini Boss was guarding the door, and a lot of Mountain Bandits were in the surroundings as well. It was pretty troublesome as it took every ounce of them to wipe out all these monsters. War Without Wounds, who was in charge of attracting the aggro from the monsters, was nearly annihilated. Luckily, Sword Demon was there to block the attack for him in the nick of time. Young Master Han’s MP was close to empty, so he was unable to help at that time. Only a veteran like Sword Demon noticed that War Without Wounds was in a dire state.
All were busily patching themselves up as the battles ended. Young Master Han and Royal God Call fought with long-ranged attacks so they still seemed to be composed, but the other three were already in a sorry state.
“Alright,” Young Master Han consoled everyone, “The hard part is over. The next battle is just a matter of repeating the same strategy over and over again. The monsters here will respawn in five minutes, so let’s all take a good rest and replenish our HP. Miles, we are all counting on you later—”
“Miles?” Young Master Hand turned around, only to see the employer standing behind them with a puzzled look.
“Where’s Thousand Miles Drunk?” Young Master Han looked around.