Virtual World: Close Combat Mage

Chapter 291 - The Prison Entrance

Chapter 291 - The Prison Entrance

It was currently the peak period for the game, so over four thousand members of the Ten Guild Alliance were online. At Dusky Cloud’s command, all these ten guilds were stirred into a frenzy as they began searching for Silver Moon’s hiding place.

Locate, hunt, and kill the target… The Ten Guild Alliance was skilled at doing this sort of activities. In fact, it was not even an issue for them that Yueye City’s players were covering their faces. As the organization that reigned supreme in Yueye City, no player out there would refuse to remove the cloth covering his or her face upon The Ten Guild Alliance’s request.

However, these four thousand players’ hot-blooded search simmered down when they realized that Silver Moon was not even online.

Given how shrewd Silver Moon was, he knew that the best course of action for him was to not reveal himself in Yueye City; he had already decided to remain offline while the expedition was staying in the city. He did not even set his character to respawn in Yueye City upon death. It was better to err on the side of caution, after all. Silver Moon knew that being spawn camped was the only fate awaiting him if his enemies caught sight of him, so he would rather return to Yunduan City upon his death than to fall into the vicious cycle of dying and respawning. His in-game life would be as good as over if that really happened.

Those that were inside the tavern came to this disappointing realization as they were about to move out following Dusky Cloud’s command.

“M*th*rf*ck*r! That b*st*rd is still as cunning as ever!” Those who had clashed with him before were loudly cursing Silver Moon; they even went as far as to bring up his past wretched actions, leaving Gu Fei, Brother Assist, War Without Wounds, and Royal God Call horrified.

“Seems like Silver Moon has led quite the legendary life,” Brother Assist sighed.

“Yeah. Still, his legend looks to be about to come to an end,” Royal God Call remarked.

Dusky Cloud continued relaying instructions from the tavern, assigning the Ten Guild Alliance’s members to stake out the seven job classes’ safe zones for any Knight that was coming online. He especially emphasized on the need for all those Knights to remove the pieces of cloth covering their faces. At the sight of the Ten Guild Alliance’s emblem, the players of Yueye City could only swallow their dissent and cooperate with these men. Anyone who chose to resist—honestly, anyone who resisted would be killed off, whether that person was Silver Moon or just a regular civilian. There was just no way for Silver Moon to escape now.

“Hmph. At most, you’ll be able to kill him once,” Young Master Han interjected when he saw Gu Fei and the rest’s discussion about it on the mercenary channel.

“Why do you say that?” Royal God Call asked.

“Just the fact that Silver Moon isn’t online at this peak hour clearly shows his intention to stay hidden. Since he knows the danger waiting for him, he will certainly not set his character to respawn in Yueye City, so if he gets killed this time, his character will probably be sent back to Yunduan City; get it?” Young Master Han explained.

“That makes sense!” They agreed to this reasoning and quickly passed it over to Dusky Cloud. Dusky Cloud also thought that it was logical; killing Silver Moon just once was simply not enough to satisfy his appetite for revenge, especially after he had mobilized his force in such a grand scale.

“Old Cloud, why don’t we assign a few brothers to block the Knights’ Barracks in Yunduan City as well?” someone suggested.

“This…” Dusky Cloud was rather hesitant to do that. This was because Yunduan City was not their home ground. Moreover, he did know how Silver Moon had progressed or how many friends he had acquired in that city. Gu Fei and company were unable to provide him much information either, since all they knew was that Silver Moon had a forty-man mercenary group. Besides, it would be foolish to underestimate Silver Moon’s capability, given his shrewdness and diplomatic skills.

Gu Fei had come to know of Silver Moon’s excellent social skills after spending a few hours squatting in prison with him. What separated Silver Moon from Dusky Cloud was how the latter only befriended players whom he acknowledged or had a similar temperament. Dusky Cloud would never befriend someone like Young Master Han. As for Silver Moon, he was hypocritical enough to do just that. Spreading his net wide, he could easily call anyone a comrade. Even if he was tricking someone, he could easily put on a happy countenance and not reveal his hand until the last moment, making him more difficult to deal with than Dusky Cloud. The positions these two had once held in Yueye City before were proof enough of this; were it not for Young Master's Elite’s help, Dusky Cloud and his comrades would likely still be under Silver Moon’s foot right now!

Dusky Cloud had even fallen into Silver Moon’s trap in Yunduan City before. Thinking about it now, Dusky Cloud felt unsure that he would be able to kill the man even if he sent all four thousand members of the alliance over.

After much pondering, Dusky Cloud was struck with inspiration and he hurriedly asked Gu Fei and the others, “What exactly are you guys doing for your mission, anyway?”

“We’re helping a guild escort something to its destination,” Gu Fei replied.

“So you’ll head to other cities to carry out the mission?” Dusky Cloud’s eyes glinted as he asked this.

“Yeah… If I remember correctly, we will be passing through five in-game cities,” Brother Assist replied.

“You can’t possibly be thinking…” The five men trailed off, somewhat guessing Dusky Cloud’s intention.

“Since Silver Moon doesn’t dare set his character to revive here in Yueye City, he’ll definitely have to do so in the next city. We’ll attack and take him down there, instead. He may have many tricks up his sleeves, but he’ll be unable to do anything in a city he has never been to before!” Dusky Cloud declared.

“True!” All nodded their heads in agreement.

“Great! Select a few of our brothers. We’ll join Yunduan City’s expedition team on the road and give Silver Moon a run for his money once we reach the next city,” Dusky Cloud spiritedly ordered.

All those inside the tavern voiced their agreement and earnestly volunteered for this operation.

Dusky Cloud swept his gaze through the crowd, “Those brothers who came later shan’t compete for a spot in this operation. Let’s leave this chance to bully Silver Moon to those who have previously been bullied by him!”

“That’s right!” Celestial Pig was the first to stand up. Slapping the table heavily, he resolutely said, “I’ll bully him to death!”

The entire tavern burst into laughter. Celestial Pig’s strong response to this suggestion revealed the fact that he had been bullied terribly by Silver Moon in the past. Celestial Pig felt embarrassed at his faux-pas and awkwardly returned to his seat.

Gu Fei and the rest did not know how Dusky Cloud would choose his men, but they did watch the people before them plot and arrange their revenge against Silver Moon.

“Isn’t this a little cruel?” War Without Wounds asked Sword Demon.

“What do you think?” Sword Demon asked Royal God Call.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Royal God Call was looking at Gu Fei when he said this.

“With so many men on their side, I don’t think they’ll need my help,” Gu Fei expressed his dejection.

Brother Assist consolingly patted Gu Fei on his back, “There are other more meaningful things for you to do.”

“Like what?” Gu Fei asked.

“It’s almost 7 P.M. We’ve got a mission to do!” Brother Assist replied.

“Aren’t we staying here in Yueye City today?” Gu Fei asked, nonplussed.

“While we won’t be resuming our journey today, the mission still has to go on. Have you forgotten? We still haven’t seen what item Traversing Four Seas has to escort! It’s because today is the day when we’ll retrieve this item in Yueye City,” Brother Assist supplied.

“Why don’t I know anything about this?” Gu Fei was very confused.

Royal God Call patted Gu Fei on his back as well. “If you’re online more often, you’d know of this as well.”

Apparently, while 7 P.M. was the official time for all the players involved to gather and perform the guild quest’s main mission, any information, planning, and such stuff were relayed and discussed as early as the morning. Gu Fei was never online that early in the day, so it was not surprising for him to be in the dark about all this.

The five men of Young Master’s Elite got up and bid Dusky Cloud farewell. The man made an effort to send them out the door, requesting, “Don’t forget to tell your bros if you see Silver Moon around!” After making the arrangements for the plan, Dusky Cloud dispersed his men stationed at the various spawn points to prevent Silver Moon from suspecting that anything was a foot.

“Sure thing!” the five men replied.

“Oh, yeah. What’s the next city you guys are heading to? I’ll see if I can make prior preparations for it,” Dusky Cloud said.

“I think it’s Baishi City,” Brother Assist replied, adding, “But we’re not sure how we will get there.”

“Okay. Thanks a lot!” Dusky Cloud said.

“Oh, that’s right, Old Cloud!” Royal God Call suddenly spoke up, “Do you guys happen to have any conflict with Drifting?”

“Drifting? The number one Mage? Well… We’ve never even met him before!” Dusky Cloud was quite puzzled by Royal God Call’s inquiry and he questioningly stared at him.

“Aww… That’s such a pity…” Royal God Call sighed regretfully.

“Oh?” Dusky Cloud somewhat figured what Royal God Call was getting at. “Bro, are you the one who has some issues with that twerp? Don’t worry; just say the word and I’ll make sure he won’t be leaving Yueye City.”

“Now that’s what I’m talking about!” Royal God Call was elated. “Just get him—”

Before he could finish his words, Gu Fei extended an arm and squeezed Royal God Call’s neck under his armpits, gagging the latter. He then smiled at Dusky Cloud, “This kid here is spouting nonsense; ignore him.”

“That right. This guy enjoys playing pranks a little too much, so don’t take him seriously,” War Without Wounds added. It was easy for Royal God Call to extricate himself from Gu Fei’s sleeper hold, but War Without Wounds came to take over that hold with his arm.

“Bye! We’re leaving!” Brother Assist abruptly said their goodbyes to those in the tavern and the four men dragged Royal God Call along. “War Without Wounds! LET ME GO, YOU B*ST*RD!” Royal God Call struggled with his all, slowly disappearing from Dusky Cloud’s line of sight.

“Uhm… Take care…” Dusky Cloud returned to his senses and stiffly waved his hand, wiping the sweat off his forehead after.

At that moment, most of the players from Yunduan City were gathered outside Yueye City’s prison entrance. Oathless Sword was standing at the entrance steps, dwarfing the players around him. His face had a solemn expression. He swept his gaze around, and when he judged that almost all of them were present, he began his speech, “Everyone, we originally thought that today’s job would be a piece of cake. But given how every step of the way since our departure from Yunduan City has been fraught with hidden danger, I’ve taken precaution by gathering all of you here. Please get ready to enter combat at any moment; I’m not ruling out such a possibility.”

When he finished speaking, Youthful Reflection immediately went up the steps and gestured about as if he were an orchestra conductor. He was probably relaying instructions through the guild channel and the party channel that he shared with all the mercenary leaders. Shortly after this, the players separately began to take up positions and prepare to receive an attack from any direction.

Oathless Sword sternly surveyed everyone before pulling out two claymores and heading to the guards standing by the prison entrance. He assumed a battle-ready stance as he started speaking to the NPC.

“F*CK!” Oathless Sword cursed after speaking with the NPC. All the players anxiously looked around them for any enemies.

“G*dd*mm*t!” Oathless Sword cursed again, his expression turning grim as he turned to inform all the players, “They want me to pay them money.”

“Screw you!” All the players raised their middle fingers at Oathless Sword.

“So is there a need for us to fight or not?” someone asked aloud.

“Just be on standby. Don’t leave just yet,” Oathless Sword replied.

The players stayed alert as they vigilantly observed their surroundings. Gu Fei and the rest of Young Master's Elite were also observing the vicinity in a similar fashion. Pedestrians would pass by them from time to time, each of them pausing and examining Gu Fei from head to toe. Looking around, these pedestrians would hesitate for quite some time before turning to leave.

“Just what’s going on here?” Gu Fei was perplexed. His sharp senses had obviously alerted him to the odd behavior every passerby had when they regarded him. Gu Fei currently did not have anything covering his face, nor was he holding a sword. His right hand was deep in his pocket, while his left hand was absentmindedly stroking his jaw. Besides his black, mage robe, he looked similar in every way to the players around him. Thus, he could not think of why he was attracting the attention of those passersby.

The experienced gamers Sword Demon and the rest were the ones who figured out the reason behind this, asking Gu Fei, “How many PK points do you have right now?”

"Eh? 14 PK points!” Gu Fei finally figured out what was going on. Slapping his thigh, he said, “See? That’s why I say Yueye City is a truly wonderful place!”

In the peaceful city of Yunduan, almost no one would bother about doing ‘Bounty Mission’. Over in Yueye City where PvPing was the norm, players would prioritize clearing off their PK points as soon as they could, which in turn ensured that the Bounty Assignment Hall was often filled with bounty hunters. How great would it be if they could earn a few extra rewards while clearing off their PK value? As such, a target with high PK value like Gu Fei was essentially ripe for the picking for these bounty hunters.

A person who could earn so much PK value, based on the experience of these players from Yueye City, was usually the main damage dealer or the Mage of a party. In such a situation, the party members would either help their teammate clear off his or her PK value or carry on their grinding or PvPing… Despite all these, many players with a gambler’s mentality were unwilling to let go of such a fat lamb and obtained the ‘Bounty Mission’ just to see if there were any opportunities to exploit before acting.

When they arrived at the system-supplied coordinates, these bounty hunters disappointingly saw that there was no opportunity for them to exploit to harvest this particularly ripe fruit.

They had already considered the possibility of the Mage not being alone with such a high PK value, yet they had never expected him to have so many comrades. The entrance of the prison was crowded with players! With such a large bunch of players present, if not someone from the Ten Guild Alliance, who else would the target be?

All the bounty hunters came to this conclusion. Walking near their target and greedily eyeing him, these men still did not dare to eat such a tasty morsel before this thousand-man army.

“Say… I don’t think anything is gonna happen here, so I’ll go take a look elsewhere!” Gu Fei said.

The other five men of Young Master’s Elite exchanged furtive glances. How could they not tell what Gu Fei was thinking? Evidently, he had realized that those people were after his ‘Bounty Mission’ but did not dare to make a move on him once they saw the many players with him. Thus, Gu Fei was taking the initiative to provide these bounty hunters a chance to attack him by separating himself from the others.

Gu Fei was not about to discuss this matter with them and simply sprinted away from the location after informing them.

“Tsk!” The five men could only shake their heads.

“How depraved!” War Without Wounds sighed.

“He’s a walking disaster,” Royal God Call agreed.

“We should stick a sign on him, saying, ‘DANGER! STAY AWAY!’” Brother Assist commented.

“I really pity those people who are just hoping to clear off their PK points.”

“Won’t they lose two levels if they’ve got PK points on them?”

“It’s two levels only if their PK value is below 10 points.”

“He’s just too depraved…” These men were now praying for those players who were about to fall victim to Gu Fei’s sword.

Gu Fei excitedly left his mercenary group, arriving at a place where no one would mistake him for someone who had backup and assumed his lackadaisical stance earlier.

Gu Fei could already feel someone standing behind him in less than a minute. He happily pulled out his sword and turned around, only to freeze on the spot, “Why is it you?!”

“I got bored, so I followed you when I saw you skulking away. Why are you posing like that in this secluded area, anyway?” The person who had followed Gu Fei was Svelte Dancer. This former PvP partner in the guild versus guild tournament was similar to Gu Fei in that she could also not sit still for long, especially when they had to listen to the rigorous battle plans being discussed.

Waiting by the prison entrance had already left Svelte Dancer feeling impatient. She had been looking around in her boredom when she spotted Gu Fei dashing away. Svelte Dancer decided to follow him, yet she saw Gu Fei just foolishly standing there, causing her to feel disappointed.

“Me? I am—” Gu Fei’s answer was interrupted by an arrow flying toward him. When the Archer saw that his target was just a lone Mage, he strongly felt that he had lucked out and promptly fired off that one arrow toward Gu Fei.

Gu Fei dodged the arrow by turning his body to the side. He followed the arrow’s flight path back to its origin but saw that Svelte Dancer was already sprinting over in Fleetfoot mode.

“D*mn!” Gu Fei was aggrieved. Since the Archer was quite a distance away, there was no way Gu Fei could reach him before the speedster Svelte Dancer even if he used Blink. It seemed that this kill would be snatched by Svelte Dancer from him.

The Archer noticed that Gu Fei and the woman darting toward him were acquainted. While he was taken aback that a Thief was taking the initiative to attack him, he did not really care much for it at first; female players were usually rather limited skill-wise, after all. The Archer was about to begin kiting her when he realized that only a few meters of distance were separating them. “How can she be this fast?!” he exclaimed. With Svelte Dancer appearing right before him, the man turned around to flee. This move of his was a fatal mistake against a Thief, though, as he had basically presented his unprotected back to the Thief, allowing Svelte Dancer to unleash a skill without changing her position. Svelte Dancer executed Backstab in one swift motion, bringing silence back to the world.

“Hey, why did this guy want to—” Svelte Dancer turned to ask Gu Fei as to why an Archer was targeting him, but she instead saw Gu Fei engaging a Thief in combat.

Saying that the two were fighting was an exaggeration. By the time Svelte Dancer fully turned around, the trailing flames from Gu Fei’s sword had already burned the Thief to crisp.

“AH!” Svelte Dancer was just about to ask the question again when someone’s voice came from down the street, “The target’s over here! Quick!”

Four men now appeared from the end of this street corner and rushed straight toward Gu Fei once they caught sight of him. Someone among them shouted, “You should begin the fight!” This person was evidently the one who had picked up the ‘Bounty Mission’, and the others were just there to help their friend suppress the target.

Svelte Dancer was a step quicker than them, though. Rushing forward to block their advancement, her dagger plunged into the person who had just yelled. The man did not even manage to react before white light enveloped him, only realizing that the beautiful woman before him had stabbed him when he disappeared.

The other three men felt shocked. But with their friend’s death, they no longer had a reason to do this ‘Bounty Mission’, so they attempted to flee, yet Svelte Dancer did not allow them to do so. Since the female Thief was boldly chasing after them, the three men gave up on fleeing and prepared themselves for a fight, instead.

Svelte Dancer took two steps backward and disappeared right before the men’s eyes.

“It’s Stealth! Watch out!” These experienced PvPers promptly faced their backs against one another, forming a triangle to prevent Svelte Dancer from using Backstab on them.

Unfortunately for them, that was not Svelte Dancer’s fighting style. She was normally too lazy to use Stealth, but since she had recently acquired the Shadow Walk skill, she decided to test it out in this PvP setting.

No matter how experienced these players were at PvPing, none of them had encountered this skill before. Someone received a stab to his front, but when no one appeared with that strike, he became extremely baffled. Svelte Dancer’s second stab finished off the man before he could even catch a glimpse of his assailant.

The other two men suffered a similar fate. Svelte Dancer executed Bludgeon to the left and Backstab to the right before revealing herself and ending their lives once and for all. The experiment was now complete and the results were in. She muttered to herself, “It’s pretty OP, but it drains my mana quickly.”

Shadow Walk consumed 7% of her total mana every second. This meant that she could only use the skill for a maximum of fourteen seconds. In that fourteen seconds, any additional skill she unleashed would further deplete her mana. Hence, while this skill could theoretically last for fourteen seconds, this fight had shown that it would be much less than that. Svelte Dancer had activated Fleetfoot prior to the fight, so her mana was already slightly diminished before she even performed that first Backstab. As such, that experiment of hers did not even last for ten seconds. Svelte Dancer’s final Bludgeon and Backstab on the two enemies had caused her to use up all her mana.

She took out a piece of fruit to replenish her mana and casually glanced over to Gu Fei to ask her question from before. Instead....

“WHY ARE THERE STILL SOME MORE?!” Svelte Dancer exclaimed. Gu Fei was taking on a Warrior at the moment.

Over by the prison entrance, the finely attuned ears of the old and young degenerates, War Without Wounds and Royal God Call, pricked up, and the two exchanged glances, “Did you hear that?”

Brother Assist furrowed his brows, “I think I heard that, too.”

“That’s a woman’s squeal.”

“Yeah. And it’s in the direction Miles has run off to….”

“What is he doing there?”

War Without Wounds’ expression changed ever so slightly, “He is not so cruel as to strike a woman, right?”

All turned their gazes at him and answered in unison, “He is.”

“Let’s go take a look, then!” These men were actually pretty bored hanging around the prison entrance as well, so they quickly turned around to head over to Gu Fei’s location.

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