Chapter 37 - The Information Expert
Young Master Han’s loud shout could be heard from within the room, “Sword Demon, if you’ve got something to say, say it out loud!”
Sword Demon was not in the room anymore, however. Instead, he was leaning over the bar counter and pestering Ray, “Where’re my drinks? You called me over to give them, right? Hand them over!”
Ray smiled wryly as he looked toward Gu Fei and Brother Assist, knowing they were all friends.
Brother Assist was about to stand up when Gu Fei stopped him. He looked around and spotted two Warriors sitting at a table nearby, both wearing beginner’s equipment.
“Hey, fellas!” Gu Fei called the two.
They turned their heads.
“Do me a favor! Throw that guy by the counter in the back alley. I’m a Mage and I don’t have the strength to do it,” Gu Fei pointed at Sword Demon as he spoke to them.
The two barely registered his words and remained seated.
Gu Fei thought for a moment before taking out two gold coins, “Please help!”
The two Warriors’ eyes twinkled. They did not care whether he was a Mage or not. What they cared for was the gold coins he was offering. Gold coins were hard to come by in Parallel World for a majority of newbie players. In fact, Gu Fei could already be considered as a wealthy player in-game after yesterday’s mission payout.
They two Warriors took the coins and grabbed Sword Demon. Sword Demon was so drunk he could barely remain upright, let alone resist being dragged out of the bar by the two. It was not long before the two came back and excitedly asked, “Do you still have someone you want to throw out, bro?”
“Nope, that’s it. Thanks a lot!” Gu Fei said to the two Warriors.
“Is this fine?” Brother Assist asked in a hesitant voice.
“Don’t worry about it. It’s all good,” Gu Fei waved his hand nonchalantly. At this moment, Young Master Han’s singing voice could be heard from the room. Gu Fei had the urge to call the two Warriors back again.
“He looks like a cultured man of refined taste, and often waxing poetically. Why is he…” Gu Fei muttered.
“It seems like you don’t know,” Brother Assist laughed, “Young Master Han is a new name he came up with for Parallel World. His previous alias was Drinking Addict.”
“Wouldn’t that make Sword Demon Smoking Addict?” Gu Fei said.
“That’s actually his name in other games before switching to Magic Domain,” Brother Assist confided seriously.
“No way!” Gu Fei was utterly taken aback, “So why the change of name?”
“Well… Heard it’s because Smoking Addict and Drinking Addict were being used as BL material by fujoshis. Sword Demon would rather die than to call himself Smoking Addict again by the time he switched to playing Magic Domain. Master Han followed suit now that they are playing Parallel World together,” Brother Assist explained.
“Oh…” Gu Fei drawled and then asked, “What’s a fujoshi?”
“Uhmm… It’s a very strange creature,” Brother Assist said.
Gu Fei decided not to dig further since it sounded rather complex. He waved at Ray, “Ray, get me two glasses of your most expensive liquor.”
“Isn’t that a little too much?” Brother Assist felt stunned. As a self-proclaimed information expert, he knew very well how much the drink would cost.
“Don’t worry about it,” Gu Fei said flippantly as his order was brought to them. Gu Fei inhaled sharply when he asked the price, “That’s really expensive! Put it on Young Master Han’s tab!”
“Ah?” Ray was taken aback.
“Isn’t he still here? Just let him pay for our order,” Gu Fei said.
“Oh!” Ray did not say anything further. He was not afraid of not being paid. Not paying for something was considered as fraud and was something penalized by the system. The immersion of the business was well-protected by the system and the safeguards in place were foolproof. No matter how strong the players were, they were nothing more than paper tigers before the system.
“You’re actually shameless!” Brother Assist said to Gu Fei, “I didn’t peg you as such a person!”
“Just drink! This is a rare opportunity,” Gu Fei lifted his glass.
Brother Assist drank a gulp and was pleasantly surprised, “This is something else. It’s well worth the coin.”
“Mmmhmm. Especially when it’s not your money,” Gu Fei lifted his glass and finished it in one go, “Ray, get me another one.”
Brother Assist was speechless.
“Oh, yeah. You said you want to ask me something,” Brother Assist quickly inquired when he saw Gu Fei accepting the second glass from Ray. He was worried that Gu Fei would become drunk like those two.
“Yup. I do,” Gu Fei placed his glass down, “Is there a type of quest in this game that two separate parties can acquire and be pitted against each other? For example…” Gu Fei was worried that he did not phrase the question well, so he was about to give an example when he saw Brother Assist bob his head, “Yup. That happens. Actually, it’s one of the selling points of Parallel World. Guild quests usually have plenty of participants, so the chances of acquiring a competitive quest at guild level are pretty high, whereas getting a competitive solo quest is much lower.”
“The content of such usually focuses on snatching or protecting something,” Brother Assist’s information network was truly amazing as it was exactly the situation Amethyst Rebirth found itself in.
“But…” Gu Fei still had some doubts and began to describe the situation Amethyst Rebirth was in to Brother Assist.
When Brother Assist heard everything, he laughed, “That’s their mistake. What they discussed and planned for is a search mission called ‘Find the Treasure Chest’. But the quest they received is most probably the ‘Retrieval of the Stolen Treasure Chest’. While both quests seem similar, the goals are different. No plan is needed for ‘Retrieval of the Stolen Treasure Chest’ since every opponent the quest will set guild up against is not fixed. There’s essentially no definite strategy guide for that.”
“That makes sense!” Gu Fei nodded his head repeatedly. He lifted his neck and finished the glass once more, “Ray, liquor!”
“How’s your alcohol tolerance?” Brother Assist felt apprehensive.
“Don’t worry,” Gu Fei laughed. “I’m still sober with this drink. I’m not like those two.”
Brother Assist nodded and casually asked, “Why are you asking me these questions for? Did you join a guild?”
“Nahhh! Why would I?” Gu Fei hurriedly retorted. He would be a laughingstock if he admitted he was stuck with a bunch of ladies, so he slightly tweaked the details of what happened at Yunjiao Lakeside. He recounted the entire ordeal to Brother Assist from the perspective of a bored player crawling after the people snatching the treasure chest.
“Yunjiao Lakeside… Hey!” Brother Assist, the information king, was obviously familiar with the location and immediately revealed a knowing smile once he heard that Gu Fei had gone there.
“I was just passing by!” Gu Fei quickly added, “Oh, yeah. I even met Royal God Call and he was doing the mission to protect a treasure chest.” Gu Fei originally did not intend to mention Royal God Call and only added that bit to divert the conversation.
“Oh? He’s in a guild? I’ve never heard of that before,” Brother Assist said.
“His guild must be pretty strong to be able to fend off all the others who were trying to snatch the treasure chest. I heard all the players were expert at using skills like Cyclone, Snipe, and even stealthy Backstab,” Gu Fei said.
“That’s truly pretty strong! Only one guild in Yunduan City would be that strong,” Brother Assist said.
“Traversing Four Seas.”
“That name’s so old-fashioned!”
Brother Assist laughed, “Guilds with old-fashioned names in online games won’t be weak.”
“Just think! Anyone could come up with such an old-fashioned name. But actually acquiring the name for their guild means that it must have been set up just as the game was released. The sooner they establish their guild, the more time they get to polish their skills. So of course they won’t be too weak,” Brother Assist explained.
“That makes a lot of sense!” Gu Fei really learned a lot today. It was as the saying went: “It is better to hear a wise person speak than to study for ten years.” It seemed he should spend more time with Brother Assist so as to improve his own gaming knowledge. After all, online game was not real life. Just like when he wanted to stop the players by the lakeside back then, but was completely ignored and even knocked over by their rush instead. The less such lapses of judgment occurred, the better.
“Got it!” Gu Fei finished his third glass and stood up, “Alright. Time for me to leave.”
“Later!” Brother Assist watched Gu Fei leave the bar, and then he called out, “Ray!”
“Yes?” Ray came over.
Brother Assist pointed at the glass sitting on the table, “Give me a bottle of that expensive liquor. I’m leaving with it.”
Ray was momentarily stunned before he finally asked, “Shall I put it on Young Master Han’s tab as well?”
“Naturally,” Brother Assist’s smile appeared innocuous, “But don’t tell him it’s me who ordered it.”
Gu Fei headed back to Amethyst Rebirth once he left the bar. Since he now understood the whole situation, he decided to report everything to the ladies so as to let them see the whole picture as well and stop their endless grumbling.
Any guild member had permission to open the headquarters’ door. The ladies inside looked at him once he pushed open the door to enter, albeit their gazes somewhat varied.
After hearing what had happened over at Yunjiao Lakeside, they understood that Gu Fei’s involvement let them acquire a treasure chest. However, there was one major issue: Gu Fei personally knew the sniping Archer.
Everyone’s impression of Gu Fei boiled down to three points: high level, lousy equipment, and randomly added stats.
The last two points alone were indicative of his idiocy, which was more than enough for them to ostracize him. Hearing that such a Mage had defeated a level 30 well-geared Archer was unbelievable, so finding out that Gu Fei knew the Archer made the ladies suspect that he was a mole. This might mean that those two had acted the part together to help Gu Fei establish an image that would help him gain a foothold within the all-female guild.
Lie Lie came up with this speculation and she even posited an example: How could a lousy Mage get to such a high level? Except for leeching off the experience points of a skilled partner, what other way was there?
Xiaoyu was the one who told the story as well. Given how unreliable Xiaoyu was… It needed no further elaboration. Even if there was a very obvious problem that cropped up back then, she would not have noticed it.
Miles appeared even more suspicious because he had picked to partner up with Xiaoyu. Could it be intentional?
No matter what the case was, they decided to put him under detailed scrutiny. As all these ladies picked apart every detail with every word they uttered, they managed to twist the fact that Gu Fei got the treasure chest and saved Xiaoyu into a situation where Gu Fei was a lecherous wolf who orchestrated a deep, vast, and intricately planned conspiracy.
In the end, all the women split into three factions. Lie Lie, who insisted that Gu Fei was a wolf in sheep’s clothing, had the most supporters. July, Luo Luo, and a few others belonged to the second faction that felt the ridiculous story woven by the ladies was impossible. Xiaoyu was the only one who belonged to the group that understood nothing at all.
When Gu Fei entered the house, all three faction members stared straight at him. They all smelled the scent of alcohol once he got about two steps near them. The ladies in the first faction who already had a poor impression of Gu Fei immediately dropped him down hundreds of points.
Even the ladies in the second faction could not help but wrinkle their brows. Having suffered such a disastrous setback in their first guild mission, Gu Fei actually left to drink while they wallowed in their disappointment. It was far too insensitive to say the least.
Only Xiaoyu remained oblivious to everything, “What’s that smell? Ah, what sort of smell is that?”