Chapter 315 - Cutting off the Stalkers
Gu Fei’s parting words almost gave Silver Moon the sudden impulse to immediately dive off the road for cover. He had the gut feeling that not only would Gu Fei discover that the assassins were after his life, he might just lead them straight to him as well. He had really been far too careless in his decision to reveal himself to Gu Fei! Silver Moon deeply regretted his thoughtless action now.
Silver Moon did not intend to die without putting up a fight, though, and so he came up with another idea on the spot. “Why don’t we send some helpers with Thousand Miles Drunk?”
“He has his fellow mercenaries!” Oathless Sword’s answer made Silver Moon feel that he might not get a chance to escape if he dragged the matter on, yet the latter unexpectedly retracted this statement quickly enough with a slap to his forehead. “Oh, wait. If we’re not using his fellow mercenaries, we can send our helpers, instead.” While Oathless Sword’s goal was to lower the service fee he would have to pay, Silver Moon was still elated. If Traversing Four Seas sent their men with Gu Fei, how would he intentionally go easy on Dusky Cloud’s team?
“It’s best to not let him know about this; just send men to follow him secretly.” Silver Moon’s plans were more devious than the last. If Traversing Four Seas sent men after him openly, Gu Fei would most likely pretend to not have discovered the interlopers. However, if Traversing Four Seas’ men followed him secretly, they might catch Gu Fei going easy on the enemies. This meant that they would not just take care of Dusky Cloud and his men, but Gu Fei would also be seen as a degenerate and a traitor, essentially killing two birds with one stone!
Unexpectedly, Traversing Four Seas’ three core members turned to look curiously at Silver Moon.
Oh, no… Silver Moon thought to himself, I was too obvious when I said that… Just as Silver Moon was about to say something to salvage the situation, he heard Youthful Reflection say, “Stealth doesn’t work on Thousand Miles Drunk!”
Silver Moon felt stunned. His moment of desperation had caused him to forget this fact, letting slip such a silly idea. The sleep deprivation and spike of anxiety he was suffering from delivered a substantial mental shock to him, causing Silver Moon to have such a momentary lapse of judgment.
“Still, it’s a good idea to send a few Thieves along with him! The enemies might be lulled into a false sense of security if they remain in Stealth beside Thousand Miles Drunk,” Oathless Sword said, not having any idea of Silver Moon’s real goal at all.
“Okay. I’ll go make the necessary arrangements!” Youthful Reflection agreed. In situations like this that had the possibility to escalate into combat, their first choice of personnel to deploy was naturally still the mercenaries. Special requests with mercenary groups like Young Master's Elite would require extra fees, but that was only a condition that Young Master Han had especially fought for. Most mercenary groups were contented to be hired by Traversing Four Seas for one contract and would listen to any commands from the guild now that they were paid.
“Find someone reliable,” Oathless Sword ordered.
“Hmm… Shall we get Xiaoshang, then?” Youthful Reflection asked for Oathless Sword’s opinion.
“Yes!” Oathless Sword nodded his head. Among the many hired mercenary groups, Rainbow betwixt the Clouds headed by Gu Xiaoshang was possibly the only one that they could trust. Moreover, this mercenary group managed to snag the fourth place in the mercenary PvP tournament after losing to Brave Surge’s mercenary group.
Over by Young Master's Elite, Gu Fei was naturally asked by the others about what Traversing Four Seas needed from him when he returned. After telling them of the matter, all shared the same question in mind. “Are they Dusky Cloud’s men?”
“There’s no need for him to send men to trail us!”
“Why are we guessing? Let’s just ask the man himself.”
Sending a message over to the man, Dusky Cloud nervously replied: “No. We’re all lying in wait over by the Knights’ Barracks. Why? Is there a problem?”
“No problems!” Sword Demon, who had been in charge of contacting Dusky Cloud, relayed this message over to the rest of the gang, “It wasn’t him.”
“There’s another guy there,” Young Master Han offered, “That really wants to kill Silver Moon. He seems to be originally from Past Deeds, so it might be his group.”
“That guy could also be considered to be on our side!” War Without Wounds said.
Young Master Han furrowed his brows as he asked Gu Fei, “If there’s someone following us, yet people at the back like us don’t know of it, how did those people from the front learn of it before us?”
Gu Fei shrugged his shoulders to express his confusion as well.
“Perhaps Silver Moon is already aware of our intention,” Brother Assist opined.
“There’s no need for him to be aware of our intention; he would probably think of it even if he used his knee to think. But if this is something he planned, why did he let Miles be the one doing the work?" That would be of no help to him at all!” No matter how intelligent Young Master Han was, he would have no way of knowing that Silver Moon had actually shot himself in the foot here and was currently stewing in his own juice!
“Since that scum is hanging around Oathless Sword and company, we might have difficulties getting this job done,” Sword Demon said. Assassinating their temporary mercenary comrade in front of Oathless Sword would truly be far too unprofessional.
“At least, we now know where he is!” Brother Assist expressed. To them, the most valuable take back from Gu Fei’s trip was discovering Silver Moon’s hiding place. This was something Silver Moon had missed in his hurry to resolve the threat to his life.
“Forget it. Just go and do what they asked! Any men following this expedition probably have a bone to pick with Silver Moon, so go easy on them depending on how the situation plays out,” Young Master Han said.
“You guys aren’t coming along?” Gu Fei was surprised.
“Youthful Reflection has informed me that they only asked for your specific help this time; we won’t get paid more if the rest of us choose to help, so what’s the point of going?” Young Master Han stretched his back and yawned.
“I’m going, then.” Gu Fei did not really mind this. He was just about to leave the battalion when a large pack of players approached him. The woman leading this pack was the very lady who had berated Oathless Sword harshly during the mercenary gathering back in the tavern days ago: Gu Xiaoshang.
“Thousand Miles Drunk! We’re tagging along with you,” the lady shouted as she strode toward him.
“Oh…” Young Master Han realized what was going on. “They had men waiting here for you. No wonder they’re reassured with just sending Miles alone. They’ve got a supervisor!” Young Master Han always spoke his mind, completely ignoring the fact that the person he was talking about was just standing right in front of him. Gu Xiaoshang glanced briefly at Young Master Han before ignoring him outright as she addressed Gu Fei, “Let’s go!”
Gu Fei nodded his head and followed the pack of mercenaries to detach from the main body. They did not go anywhere in particular and only stayed where they were to wait for the potential stalkers behind.
“Stealth,” Gu Xiaoshang ordered with a wave of her arm. Since the men she had brought with her were all Thieves, when they entered Stealth, only she and Gu Fei were left standing in the middle of the road.
“The name’s Gu Xiaoshang,” Gu Xiaoshang introduced herself.
“Mhm. Thousand Miles Drunk.” Although this lady called him by his IGN just then, he felt that a formal introduction was currently in order.
“Heard you’re really powerful,” Gu Xiaoshang remarked.
“I’m pretty good!” Gu Fei agreed.
“That’s not very humble.” Gu Xiaoshang laughed.
“That is me being humble.” Gu Fei chuckled, saying, “Won’t I be insulting everyone if I insist that I am nothing much, given the position I am in?”
“Heh!” Gu Xiaoshang chuckled as well as she pulled out a greatsword from her dimensional pocket and held it before herself. Her tangerine-colored Warrior’s armor was not curated like the average female players’, but she still managed to appear particularly breathtaking due to the orange cape, which was fluttering in the breeze, draped on her shoulder.
Seeing that Gu Fei’s eyes were drawn to the cape, Gu Xiaoshang laughed. “What do you think? Cool, huh?”
Gu Fei laughed as well. “The cape is indeed cool, but it’s cumbersome in a fight!” Although a cape was stylish, it was nothing but a large piece of cloth that flapped about with every action during a fight – there was just no telling when it would wrap itself on to an arm or a leg. It was wholly impractical. Actually, Gu Fei’s Midnight Spirit Robe was also not ideal to wear when performing moves. After all, it was not designed for kung fu. This was especially true for the hem of this robe that reached to the ground; it was constantly getting in the way of doing things. Fireball’s method of unbuttoning the robe was a solution to this, so Gu Fei had half the mind to wear his clothes like that. But it was just as what Fireball had said: his innershirt was simply too ugly. It was best if he got something newer before he changed the way he wore the robe.
“I can take it off when the fighting begins!” Gu Xiaoshang’s hand went to her neck and gave it a good tug, causing the cape to fall off her shoulders as she gestured to Gu Fei, “Look how convenient it is.”
“It’s tied by your neck? Wouldn’t you be choked by it?” Gu Fei was startled.
“Nope! You see, this cape has two buckles, so I can fasten it on my shoulders. I only tied the cape around my neck to secure it more firmly. This is specially designed for my armor. What do you think? Are you interested?” Gu Xiaoshang asked.
“I’m good!” Gu Fei smiled.
“Come look for me any time you wanna do something like this. I know a player who picked up the Tailor crafting profession in Yunduan City, but what’s amazing is that he actually knows how to tailor and sew in reality; his skills are exceptionally good—”
“We’ve got company!” Gu Fei exclaimed.
“Where?” Gu Xiaoshang immediately braced her greatsword before her.
“Oh, my bad. I was mistaken,” Gu Fei corrected himself.
“Oh!” Gu Xiaoshang stuck the greatsword back to the ground as she carefully did her cape up once more. Gu Fei was speechless. While this person had a gruff temperament, she was absolutely a woman.
“Speaking of which, how do you counter Stealth?” Gu Xiaoshang asked.
“Killing intent,” Gu Fei honestly replied.
“Killing intent?” Gu Xiaoshang was nonplussed.
“Yup. I am a kung fu practitioner, so I’m rather sensitive to this sort of things,” Gu Fei explained.
“Are you for real?” Gu Xiaoshang asked.
“Then, teach me!” Gu Xiaoshang requested.
“It’s not possible for you to learn it without spending decades of training,” Gu Fei rejected.
“You can’t fool me; I think you’re kidding!” Gu Xiaoshang said with certainty.
Gu Fei gave her a wry smile. “I’m being honest.”
Gu Xiaoshang naturally did not believe him, but just as she was about to voice her doubt, she saw Gu Fei suddenly lose his smiling countenance and pull out a sword from his dimensional pocket. “They’re here.”
“They are in Stealth right in front of us!” Gu Fei had already lifted his hand. “Blazing Tree of a Thousand Inferno! Arise!”
“Ah! Don’t kill them all? Leave some for questioning!” Gu Xiaoshang quipped.
“Got it. Call your men to stop staring at me and get to work,” Gu Fei retorted.