Chapter 245 - Gu Fei’s Update and Sword Demon’s Patience
Nightmare of Death had rich PvP experience, so he promptly activated Stealth upon his companion’s warning. He then moved to the side and looked all around him, checking if someone was coming to hunt him.
Sword Demon was aggrieved!
He had activated Stealth when he had spotted Nightmare of Death to begin his assault. Who knew that Nightmare of Death would activate his Stealth as well when Sword Demon was just two meters away from him? Sword Demon felt frustrated and regretful; he would have activated Fleetfoot instead to kill off the target had he known of Nightmare of Death’s intention. Since he had gotten used to starting his fights by activating Stealth, he had also reflexively done it right now. As a veteran gamer, my fighting style should not be this monotonous and should have variety! Sword Demon deeply reflected on this.
Sword Demon did not give up still. He tentatively poked the space before him with his dagger once he got to where Nightmare of Death had been moments ago. As expected, he did not manage to find his target.
Nightmare of Death had left his original position the instant he had activated Stealth. As a precaution for the possibility of a Mage bombarding the area with AOE spells, Nightmare of Death positioned himself several meters away from his original spot and quietly observed his surroundings.
Plenty of people were coming and going under the city gate; everyone looked suspicious, yet not one of them slowed down as they went about their businesses. Only Sword Demon on Stealth was suspicious in the area, but Nightmare of Death naturally could not see him.
“How’s everything on your end?” Gu Fei inquired when he figured that it was about time for Sword Demon to finish his target.
“He ran off! He activated Stealth just as I was about to stab him!” Sword Demon shared with dismay. This was the first time the Thief Sword Demon felt resentful toward the Stealth skill that he was very adept with. This sentiment was shared by a majority of players, but the game officials’ response was that numerous equipment and skills that could help them counter Stealth existed in-game, yet no one had discovered anything that could do that even now at level 40.
A Hunter’s Hunting Trap was rather effective against Stealth, so that could be considered as a counter for it. The problem was that the contraption itself was far more eye-catching than a Thief on Stealth, so it was uncertain which one was really the counter for which!
When Gu Fei heard this, he quickly checked Nightmare of Death’s latest coordinates through his ‘Bounty Mission’ and told Sword Demon, “He hasn’t run off yet; he’s still in that area!”
Sword Demon felt stunned. Knowing that Gu Fei could see his target’s coordinates, he hurriedly asked, “What’s his current coordinates?”
Gu Fei reported the coordinates to him.
The coordinates were not for a precise spot but for a small area. Nightmare of Death was still in the coordinates he had been a minute ago. Sword Demon looked at the reported direction and saw that it was by the root of the city gate’s wall. He had more or less determined Nightmare of Death’s intention.
“This guy must have realized the possibility of someone launching an attack on him, so he entered Stealth to hide in a corner. He’s pretty lucky to escape my dagger when it was almost on him.”
Sword Demon believed that Nightmare of Death had not discovered him. He had been stalking Nightmare of Death from the start under Stealth and he had never seen the latter turn around. Nightmare of Death would have no way of spotting Sword Demon unless he had a counter for Stealth.
If that was truly the case, Nightmare of Death would definitely use this chance to attack him, instead. He would not take the extra effort of positioning himself over to that wall, which was the best position for him to observe the people coming and going.
After confirming that Nightmare of Death had not discovered him yet, Sword Demon gripped his Frost Memories tightly. He carefully avoided the flow of players as he made his way over to that side of the wall. For the Stealth skill, any form of contact between players or NPCs would cancel it; this included the attacks ditched by a person or NPC to a Thief on Stealth and vice versa.
Skill interruption in Parallel World varied. Certain skills, like the Mage’s AOE spells or an Archer’s shot cycle, could be interrupted upon activation. Once an attack was unleashed, however, the skill itself would no longer be disrupted or affected no matter what sort of attack was done to a user.
Of course, discrepancies existed due to the different nature of skills of the various job classes in Parallel World. For example, spells directly depended upon the caster’s mana and spell mastery, which would be rendered useless once the caster was killed. This was different from an Archer; an arrow fired off by an Archer would still kill or injure its target despite the Archer dying off. Even an arrow on Homing Projectile would continue to pursue its target as if the skill was avenging its master’s death – at least until the duration of the skill ended.
Besides ranged attacks, certain melee skills that required the users to personally employ them could be interrupted by anything that restricted or entirely stopped their movement. One example was the Warrior’s Cyclone; if a claymore happened to cut into a big tree and got stuck in it while under Cyclone, the skill would not continue, as the tree essentially interrupted its progress.
Since melee skills were often employed by the users, the users had the privilege to interrupt or stop the skills themselves. This was what players called ‘skill cancel’; it was a technique that players must master if they wished to successively attack with melee skills. Archers and Mages did not have such ‘skill cancel’, as taking back their attacks once they had cast spells or had shot arrows was impossible.
In short, the rules for interrupting attacks varied due to the unique characteristics of each skill and not due to the job classes being different from one another. Just take Stealth as an example; the skill was non-combat, so it could easily be interrupted. In fact, a mere touch was all it took to cancel Stealth.
Sword Demon stepped in the area covered by the coordinates Nightmare of Death was squatting over and began to tentatively poke the surrounding air with his Frost Memories, preparing to tackle the latter down once he found him.
Nightmare of Death indeed did not know that Sword Demon was currently piercing the surrounding air to counter his Stealth. After closely watching different people come and go under the city gate, he deduced that none of them intended to attack him and could not help but wonder if he had been overly paranoid. Despite this, he never considered canceling his Stealth. After all, he judged it better to err on the side of caution. He was even able to chat with his friends, so he was not worried that they would be unable to find him.
What was more; Nightmare of Death did not stand in one place foolishly. He knew that if Gu Fei wanted to deal with him, he would surely send people over to his coordinates. Once Gu Fei realized that he was on Stealth, a Mage’s well-placed AOE spell would be all it took to find him. Thus, Nightmare of Death constantly changed his position by going in a big circle or shifting about.
His luck was truly pretty good; just as he changed his position, the tip of Sword Demon’s dagger narrowly brushed past him, almost causing him to get discovered. Sword Demon still did not know that Nightmare of Death was constantly changing his position, so he continued to search around him like a blind man. When Gu Fei informed him of Nightmare of Death’s latest coordinates, Sword Demon could not help but curse, “This f*ck*r!” He then poked around in a different direction. Fortunately, his Stealth mode prevented anyone from seeing him search the place like a blind man touching an elephant1; otherwise, it would have been too comical a sight.
Nightmare of Death was being very cautious. He kept on moving about as best as he could, confusing Gu Fei of his changing coordinates. Thinking that Gu Fei would only see minute change in the set of coordinates every time it got updated, Nightmare of Death simply moved around in a small area while on Stealth; Nightmare of Death even wondered what sort of expression Gu Fei had now and he could barely hold back his laughter.
It was then that he thought of something, The ‘Bounty Mission’ refresh rate for my coordinates is every five minutes, so what was the point of me constantly moving about? There must be plenty of times where my effort was inconsequential since he did not even see it; I’m just busying myself over nothing! At the same time, he also thought, I doubt an enemy nearby would still continue to target me after being annoyed by my constant movement. It was not as if Nightmare of Death had not considered the possibility of a Thief on Stealth targeting him despite not spotting any suspicious character all this while.
His judgment was spot on, yet there were two factors he was not privy of. First, Gu Fei had Windchaser’s Emblem, so the ‘Bounty Mission’ refresh rate for his coordinates was only one minute. Second, while a Thief on Stealth was indeed near him, this Thief was tenacious beyond imagination.
It was only logical for the heavens to reward those who worked hard. Nightmare of Death’s originally diligent changing of position had made it so that Gu Fei and Sword Demon were unable to locate him at all. Once laziness set in, he began to stand on one spot for over a minute. It was at this point that he felt something lightly brush his back.
Nightmare of Death had already lost his vigilance at this point. Casually cocking his head backward, just as he saw the bluish glow of Sword Demon’s Frost Memories plunge straight toward his neck. Such a ferocious move looked as if Sword Demon had wanted to decapitate Nightmare of Death directly.
While Sword Demon was indeed very patiently searching for the target all this time, it did not mean that he was unaffected by the matter. Sword Demon’s frustration had already accumulated to the tipping point. His mind had already simulated a hundred and eighty ways to horrendously assassinate Nightmare of Death, so his one stab at this moment erupted at a speed even greater than Gu Fei’s.
When Nightmare of Death adorably cocked his head, his neck was perfectly exposed to Sword Demon’s vicious slice. Naturally, the blood and gore in-game were not vividly depicted, and it was even further tweaked after Parallel World’s official release. Logically speaking, Sword Demon’s cut would have sliced the main artery of Nightmare of Death’s neck open. The gushing blood should have spouted like a fountain. And yet, only a little spurt of blood could currently be seen to indicate that the dagger had indeed struck its target.
The ferocious move was so oppressive that it drained Nightmare of Death of his will to retaliate. He simply activated Fleetfoot to flee from his assailant fast.
Unfortunately for Nightmare of Death, Sword Demon was the one currently after him and not Gu Fei. Sword Demon was more proficient in Fleetfoot than Nightmare of Death, so his base movement speed was naturally faster than the latter, too. Once Sword Demon activated his Fleetfoot, he promptly stuck to Nightmare of Death like his shadow and ruthlessly plunged his dagger on the small of the latter’s back.
The two bloodied the street from one end to another. Nightmare of Death left a bloody trail on the road until he finally collapsed. Before he disappeared, he even reached out his hand down the street, his eyes brimming with expectancy to what lay beyond. Understanding dawned on Sword Demon when he glanced at the direction of his outstretched hand. The warehouse lay right ahead of them. This person had wanted to toss his items into the warehouse before he died, yet his speed was unfortunately slower than Sword Demon’s.
“He he!” Sword Demon laughed to himself darkly as he looted the two items Nightmare of Death had dropped on his death.