Chapter 316 - A Heuristic Approach
It was not easy for Thieves in Stealth to get into formation. Since they were unable to see one another and even the slightest brush would reveal them, Thieves had to be careful when working in a team. The design of Parallel World was not complex and was actually simpler in certain ways than the other MMOs, but because it was a fully immersive game, plenty of things that they were doing required a certain level of knowledge before they could be properly executed.
There was no need to go into details about how these Thieves achieved this, but what mattered was that none of them had revealed themselves in the process. Instead, it was Gu Xiaoshang who curiously asked Gu Fei, “Where’s your spell?”
“My casting time is a bit on the slow side.” Just as Gu Fei said this, flames sprouted in a large area before them, revealing five Thieves instantly.
Gu Fei had covertly released this spell, and since the enemy Thieves were not expecting their Stealth to be seen through, none of them was on guard against this, so that one spell got them all. Gu Fei raised his hand and pointed his sword toward another direction. “Descending Wheel of Flames! Descend!”
Before that flame wheel even appeared, three Thieves were already seen fleeing from its AOE.
They had no choice but to cancel their Stealth! Their movement speed while under Stealth was just too slow, so they would have no way of escaping the spell’s AOE with it. They were already exposed, anyway, so they might as well avoid taking any unnecessary damage.
Gu Fei made sure to cast his spells with his non-dominant hand, so those two AOE spells he had just unleashed did not have much damage in them. The eight Thieves that got revealed were all in a daze, uncertain of how they had exposed themselves.
Gu Xiaoshang strode forward with unparalleled confidence, her left hand lightly undoing her cape’s buckles as the wind easily blew it off her shoulders – the word stylish was not enough to describe this entire sequence.
“Who are you guys?” Gu Xiaoshang’s right hand gripped the greatsword that was stabbed in the ground as she gruffly asked.
Gu Fei lightly came by and whispered, “Your cape got blown far away.”
Gu Xiaoshang hurriedly turned to look and saw that her cape had indeed gone fluttering with the strong breeze. However, she did not get flustered as she cried out toward the direction where the wind was blowing. In that instant, a Thief beside her revealed himself and chased after that cape with Fleetfoot. Everyone was dumbfounded… It was rare to find a lady that played it cool with such commitment.
“Ahem…” Gu Fei cleared his throat, drawing everyone’s attention back to the matter at hand.
Gu Xiaoshang raised her arm. “Surround them.”
The eight men were naturally very surprised by this. All they saw before them were three players, and one of them had even gone chasing after the cape. Of course, from the way that Thief had revealed himself to chase after the cape, these eight realized that there must be more than one Thief with them right now.
The eight men instantly went back to back in a circle, flurrying their daggers in the air to prevent the Thieves in Stealth from using Backstab on them.
“Just who the hell are you guys?” Gu Xiaoshang asked once more.
They did not reply.
“Who are you all looking for?” Gu Fei took a heuristic approach to his questioning as he wondered on how he would go easy on them if these eight men were truly looking for Silver Moon, yet not one of them spoke up. This made the two of them unsure of how to proceed. Gu Fei definitely needed to find out the opposing party’s identity, while Gu Xiaoshang came along with the intention of learning the reason behind these men’s action.
“If you’re not gonna say a word, we’re gonna have to kill you all,” Gu Xiaoshang threatened.
The enemy Thief facing them revealed a scornful expression as he asked Gu Xiaoshang, “Kill us? How many guys do you have?”
“Mmm? How many do you think?” Gu Xiaoshang smiled.
“Heh!” The man laughed derisively before abruptly shouting, “Omni-directional Whitestone!”
Gu Fei and Gu Xiaoshang were stupefied, as they had never heard of this skill before.
The eight Thieves, who had their backs against one another, each took out a small pouch from their dimensional pockets and tossed them in various directions. White dust and pebbles spilled out from the pouches, creating a cloud of white fog around them. In that instant, the Thieves surrounding the eight men were all revealed as their bodies got covered in a layer of that stuff.
Gu Xiaoshang had a level 4 mercenary group with eighty members. Ten Thieves were in the group, but two of them were ladies who did not have the guts to cross the crevasses in the Oolong Mountain Range and went back to Yunduan City. One of them had yet to return from chasing after the cape that had gone flying. In short, there were only seven Thieves present and they were currently covered in layers of dust and totally exposed.
“He he he! This is the Whitestone Dust that our Baishi City produces! I bet you’ve never seen this before!” The Thief was very pleased with himself. Sweeping his gaze on the people around them, he saw that there were only seven Thieves, Gu Fei, and Gu Xiaoshang. With only a difference of one player, the man believed that the other side did not hold any huge advantage in this confrontation, which made him chuckle. “You call this a gank?”
Gu Xiaoshang had already called for reinforcement from Oathless Sword, as none of them had expected that many enemy players were stalking them – they had only assumed that two or three players at most would be chasing after them. Gu Xiaoshang’s current objective was to stall for time and she had no wish to fight with these enemies.
“What do you guys really intend to do?” Gu Xiaoshang strove to prolong their conversation.
“Let’s not waste time and break out of this encirclement quickly.” The Thief did not bother replying to Gu Xiaoshang and merely turned around to instruct his comrades. He then activated his Fleetfoot and darted to engage a random Thief. The others immediately followed behind him and ran in the same direction.
When Gu Xiaoshang saw the enemies blitzing the weakest member of the seven Thieves present, she realized, to her great astonishment, that the enemies had appraised everyone in the time that she was stalling for time and picked out the weakest link in their encirclement....
“This—” Gu Xiaoshang turned around to address Gu Fei, yet she could not find him. When she turned to face their opponents once more, she saw Gu Fei already in front of the enemy Thief, who seemed to be in charge of the opposing side. Gu Fei’s sword in hand lashed out in a blazing red arc, killing the Thief right there and then. Stunned by his display of power, the seven remaining enemies stopped in their tracks and subconsciously backed away to distance themselves from Gu Fei.
Gu Fei did not have a choice at this point. Had he managed to confirm their identities, he would have covertly helped them break out of their encirclement and would not even have struck so heavy-handedly the way he just did. However, these men were stubbornly refusing to say a word about anything, and as a responsible mercenary, Gu Fei could obviously not let them escape just like that.
A dark, purple sword, a black mage robe, and the ability to insta-kill with Twin Incineration… These were characteristics that allowed others to identify the now famous Gu Fei. The seven men gawked for a brief moment before coming back to their senses and exclaiming, “Thousand Miles Drunk!”
“Hmm… Do you guys know me?” Gu Fei asked.
“You’re that OP guy from the video…” they mumbled.
“So you guys know who you’re dealing with now, huh! Quickly tell us who sent you, what you’re doing here, where you’re from, where you’re going, and what your intentions are for following us! Spit them all out!” Gu Xiaoshang had come over by now.
The seven men looked at one another, not speaking a word. Gu Fei was also in a bit of a pickle. This was when an idea came to him and he casually asked one of them, “What’s your name?”
“That’s a pretty dumb name…” Gu Xiaoshang could not help but laugh. Gu Fei, however, did not have this thought and he hurriedly added him as a friend. If they had problems speaking about the matter aloud, a private conversation would surely do the trick! In the end, all he got was the system prompt: [Player Wild Boar is not accepting any friend requests at the moment.]
Gu Fei’s hands were tied now, so he could only probe, “Wild Boar, are you guys looking for someone since you’re tailing us this closely? Is something the matter? If you’re looking for someone for some private matter, give us his name and we’ll get him out here. There’s no need to complicate things and kill one another like this! Am I right, Xiaoshang?”
“That’s right!” Gu Xiaoshang nodded her head. “If this is truly the case, why can’t we just talk this through?”
“Even if you have a feud with someone in our contingent here, I’m sure we can all sit down together and negotiate a proper solution for everyone!” Gu Fei felt that this was the extent of his heuristic approach.
“That’s right! Let’s sit down and negotiate!” Gu Xiaoshang concurred.
The seven men were still not speaking a word. Gu Fei facepalmed as he flicked his free hand. “I’m out of ideas. Do whatever you want, but don’t say I didn’t try to help you guys.” With that, Gu Fei stepped away to eat an apple.
This is actually a hint! I’m out of mana now, so you guys better use this opportunity to run away! Gu Fei felt that since he had already discovered these players, it should more or less be considered as him managing to intervene in their tracking and technically fulfilling the given task. He did not have the responsibility to apprehend them after!
Apparently, these men did not receive Gu Fei’s hint at all as they remained standing in that circle like idiots. Gu Fei finished his apple and his mana was back to full. Gu Xiaoshang spent that time standing on the side and persuading them to divulge information. Eventually, her cape was brought back to her and no longer said another word.
“Forget it!” Gu Xiaoshang ran out of patience and waved to Gu Fei, “Miles, kill them!”
“Why must I be the one to kill them?” Gu Fei asked absentmindedly.
“With your fearsome ability, who else but you can do it?” Gu Xiaoshang asked back.
“Actually, with the mana I currently have, I don’t think I can insta-kill so many of them,” Gu Fei secretly admitted to Gu Xiaoshang.
“Don’t b*llsh*t me; that video showed you killing off more than twenty people!” Gu Xiaoshang retorted.
“Something like killing people is a matter of providence!” Gu Fei said.
“What nonsense are you spouting?” Gu Xiaoshang asked.
“The video only depicted my fleeting moments of excellence, where my enemies happened to engage me when I was in tip-top shape. They essentially edited out all those times when I was out of mana,” Gu Fei explained.
“That’s too much! How could they do that?!” Gu Xiaoshang exclaimed.
“That’s right! They are really too irresponsible,” Gu Fei agreed.
“You should’ve posted a thread explaining the matter,” Gu Xiaoshang admonished.
“Explain? What’s there to explain?”
“To tell people not to believe the falseness depicted in the video, of course!”
“But it wasn’t falsified! It’s just a compilation of my best moments.”
“That won’t do either; that’s not real!”
“Hey, hey! You two!” Someone finally interrupted their hushed conversation.
“What?” Both of them turned to face the man who had spoken.
“Are we doing it or not?” the Thief from Gu Xiaoshang’s mercenary group asked.
“Of course, we’re attacking!” Gu Xiaoshang quickly said as she pointed to Gu Fei, “And that includes you!”
Gu Fei sighed deeply as he waved his sword to point at those men, “This is your final chance; we’re gonna kill you all if you guys don’t tell us anything!”
With how these men were all tightly huddled together, Gu Fei could kill them all with one move. This was what providence meant!
“Can we really leave if we tell you the truth?” one of them suddenly asked.
“HEY!” someone beside the man immediately glared at him for saying that.
“I don’t wanna lose my levels!” The man leaped away from the other seven men.