Any MMO was bound to have job classes that came with their own unique characteristics, and from there a curious phenomenon would appear: Players from different job classes would habitually voice out the weaknesses of their own job classes and which aspect of their kit was trash. However, this would only be something only players that had picked the same job class could bemoan. For example, Archers would often complain about how helpless they were in close combat, but if a Fighter were to mention how he could easily trounce an Archer, this person would succumb under the harried refutations from the Archers, raising hundreds of different scenarios where the Fighter would be taken down instead.
This situation was quite like how a child would not allow any outsider to insult their own household. From Gu Fei and other martial practitioners’ perspective, this was akin to being prejudiced against people from another sect.
As such, it was a very strange thing to see anyone worshipping somebody from another job class. Eternal Dominion could clearly tell that the twerp before him was an Archer, and he found it extremely surprising for this kid to idolize a Fighter.
Shocked as he was, Eternal Dominion still made sure to express his gratitude. That person searched for his words as he continued to gush and shower Eternal Dominion with praise, even while he continue to deliver this new information over to his teammates about the Fighter’s identity.
Unexpectedly, it was Gu Fei who was beside Eternal Dominion that cut in, “Since you’re such a big fan of his, why don’t you get him to sign something for you?”
“Ah?” That twerp froze, but immediately nodded, “Oh yes! That’s great!”
Eternal Dominion was not a superstar or anything, so when would he have had the experience giving his signature to others? He scratched the back of his ear in embarrassment, annoyed at Gu Fei for putting him on the spot for this. He had no choice but to take the quill and booklet from the man, and signed his name off on it properly. When he was done, he felt that the signature did not seem to be eye-catching enough, and that it looked particularly muted, thinking to himself that he better make some time in the future to practice it.
Gu Fei had also came over to take a look, chuckling as he passed it over to that player and said, “Look, I got you a signature from your idol. To show your gratitude, why don’t you tell us where Southern Lone Blade is?”
“What?” That player looked to have been struck by a Twin Winds Penetrating Through the Ears, his ears still ringing when he heard what Gu Fei said.
Southern Lone Blade was a professional larcenist.
Not many people knew this fact, but it just so happened that this Archer was among that exclusive group. At the same time, Southern Lone Blade happened to be the same person that had directed them to head over to the Warriors’ Encampment. So, the moment he heard Gu Fei mention that IGN, the first thought that crossed his mind was that their scheme had fallen through.
“It’s over!” That player thought to himself. As an Archer, he currently had two players right in front of him; just how was he going to get away? The man was pondering over this fact even as he replied to Gu Fei, “Haha, Southern Lone Blade? Eh, isn’t he over there!” That twerp pointed somewhere behind the two men. Gu Fei and Eternal Dominion both turned round to look, as the man used this chance to make a break for it.
Archers were extremely confident when it came to fleeing! The moment the man realized that old trick of his worked on the two of them, he commended himself for his convincing acting skill and quick thinking. However, before he could take more than two steps, the sight before him suddenly turned black, and a man stood firmly right in front of him. Before the fleeing Archer could stop himself, the person in front of him had already delivered a kick to him. The Archer took several steps back from the blow, and felt someone grab onto his shoulder. Without even turning around to look, his world flipped and he next found himself flat on his back on the ground.
Eternal Dominion pressed the kid down to the ground, while Gu Fei walked over with a smile. “Don’t you want your signature?” With that, he stuffed the booklet and pen which Eternal Dominion had used into the man’s pocket. In Parallel World, while other players were unable to pick out items from other players’ dimensional pockets, they were allowed to put items in.
Now that he was held hostage by the Mage and the Fighter, this Archer no longer held any hopes for escape. Without saying a word, all he could do was subconsciously glance at his other four compatriots, over by the Warriors’ Encampment.
Unfortunately, this glance of his was caught by Gu Fei, who quickly traced it to its destination and noticed there were four nervous players watching this entire sequence of events unfold.
They must be his colleagues! Gu Fei concluded. Logically speaking, if they were merely onlookers, the only expression they would be showing would be curiosity and confusion, not concern and nervousness!
Going with this thought, Gu Fei strode towards that corner of the Encampment. The four men saw this, and quickly retreated into the designated safe zone. They had already received the message from that Archer and were aware that the Fighter accompanying Gu Fei was the legendary Fighter Eternal Dominion from Luori City, the very man who could take on twenty men all by himself. This only made them more cautious of messing around here, coming to the swift conclusion they should retreat and avoid this confrontation even as they told their other comrades to hurry.
When Eternal Dominion saw Gu Fei leave, he followed right behind him. That Archer raised himself slightly off the ground and scratched his head, absolutely confounded by all this. Departing so strangely and without a word, was he out of the woods or not? Had this all just been a dream? That man pinched himself and felt that sharp pain, pulled himself upright on the ground and stared blankly at Gu Fei and Eternal Dominion as they made their way towards the Warriors’ Encampment.
The moment the four men huddling by the Warrior’s Encampment realized that Gu Fei had spotted them, they figured they might as well retreat. There was nothing anybody could do to them in the designated safe zones, anyway. The four held their weapons tightly to their chests as they silently watched Gu Fei walk over to them.
G*d d*mn… We’re clearly in a safe zone, so why are we still so nervous? The four of them could not make sense of their own reactions themselves.
“I believe the lot of you are friends of Southern Lone Blade, as well?” Gu Fei asked.
Gu Fei had concluded that Southern Lone Blade would have something set up for them over here, and the moment they accosted that Archer who was sneaking around behind them, he was certain that this man must be working together with Southern Lone Blade, as well. While these guesses Gu Fei had made were correct, he did make a mistake.
Southern Lone Blade did not have that many accomplices. His band of bandits were just the seven-man squad he led. Gu Fei had thought that the pirates on the water near Linshui City and the ruffians on the streets were all under one roof, when really they each hailed from different parties. Those that were currently here before him just so happened to be a party that Southern Lone Blade was in contact with, who knew they were also interested in acquiring Gu Fei’s equipment. Gu Fei had made a wrong move trying to find out where Southern Lone Blade was located through them.
Furthermore, while that Archer from before seemed to know Southern Lone Blade, these four men were actually only aware that Southern Lone Blade was the Warrior that had just fallen off from the ranks of the Five Unyielding Experts. They had no idea that the man was actually someone in the same line of business as they were.
Since they did not really know the man, there was naturally no reason for them to hide anything. Hearing Gu Fei ask such an abnormal question, every single one of them had only confusion and doubt etched on their faces.
When Gu Fei saw this, he immediately sensed that the four were not associated with Southern Lone Blade. He was slightly disheartened, while at the same time finding it strange. He turned back once more and saw that Eternal Dominion was right behind him, while that Archer had already came to his senses and crawled away without a trace.
“Why did you let him go?” Gu Fei asked.
“Would you rather I pin him down on the ground all this while? That’s just so unsightly!” Eternal Dominion answered. Indeed, it was not in the least bit difficult for Gu Fei to stand there asking this question. Meanwhile, pinning the man on the ground the whole time without saying a word or doing anything would seem really embarrassing, and it was not something that he cared to do.
Gu Fei had no choice either, turning over to say to the four man, “Quick, get the rest of your men over here. We’ll be waiting over here.”
Staring at the two men brimming with confidence, the four relayed what Gu Fei said over the mercenary channel. However, when the rest heard that Eternal Dominion was the Fighter in this duo, all of them hesitated. Legend had it that this man alone could fight against more than twenty foes at one go, while the Mage they were after seemed capable of achieving a similar feat. Now that they were working together, it seemed like they simply did not have enough manpower to take the two down at all!
Adding to the fact that the two were apparently inviting them to fight, every one of them felt all the more stupid if they served themselves up and died for nothing.
“Let’s give up for now!” the leader spoke. “To think that guy actually gotten Eternal Dominion to be his bodyguard. We just don’t have the numbers right now, so we'll let them go for now.”
Everybody nodded in agreement, each showing their support to their leader’s decision. As such, it was the four men who had arrived at the Warrior’s Encampment first who got the short end of the stick. Eternal Dominion and Gu Fei were like two mighty deities, standing there outside the spawn point. Would they not be dead the moment they stepped out? But staying in the safe zone was no solution, either. Mulling over this quagmire, they decided to simply just log out instead.
When Gu Fei saw that there was no one new coming, he quickly realized that the four men he cornered had actually opted to log out. He concluded that their opponent must have decided to give up this time, and since Southern Lone Blade was not there either, he was at a momentary loss as to what his next step should be. Obviously, he had no idea that Southern Lone Blade had already been Risen from the Dead and was elsewhere, so he simply supposed that the man must have departed from the Warrior’s Encampment the moment he spawned.
“We’ve only killed him once! How much money would that be?” Eternal Dominion could not find Southern Lone Blade, and had no idea where he could be, so all he could do was ask how much he had earned thus far, wondering if he had earned enough that he could just call it quits here and then.
“How would I know. You can discuss this matter properly with them after you return!” This was a question that concerned their treatment to Eternal Dominion, Gu Fei felt that it was best if Eternal Dominion settled this by himself. Of course, the more complex and deeper reasoning behind this was really because Gu Fei had no idea about the in-game economy itself. He did not know what the market rate for killing off a high-level player like Southern Lone Blade.
“So what now?”
“Now? We’ll walk around randomly then! Perhaps we might get lucky and encounter him again like last time,” Gu Fei said helplessly.
Over on the other side, the six men with Southern Lone Blade were making their way to the Warrior’s Encampment, intentionally taking their time. When he reckoned it was about time, Southern Lone Blade sent a message to that friend of his, “So, how was it? Was that guy there?”
“He was,” that man sighed. “But we didn’t go ahead with it.”
“That guy had actually invited Eternal Dominion along with him,” his friend explained.
“Eternal Dominion? No way!” Southern Lone Blade had not expected they would actually recognize Eternal Dominion, so he could only act surprised. “You guys know what he looks like?”
“Not really. But a comrade went to find out more and confirmed that it was indeed the man himself,” the man answered.
“Did you lose anyone?” Southern Lone Blade was really hopeful when he asked this question.
“Thankfully, we didn’t,” that man affirmed.
“That’s good, then.” Southern Lone Blade cursed the man’s ancestors endlessly in his heart.
“So what do you guys intend to do next?” Southern Lone Blade probed.
“Uh, we don’t really have enough manpower with us now. We’ll have to wait until our brothers return from grinding before we make a decision!” the man answered, apparently not intending to ask Southern Lone Blade to help them. Since they were all in the same profession, they were ultimately rivals. Conversing with one another facetiously like this was merely giving face to one another, but when it came to their vested interests, it was better if they prioritized themselves.
Both parties were aware of this logic, which was why both men ended their exchange there and then.
“So how did it go?” His six comrades were standing next to him, waiting for the news.
“G*d d*mm*t. They didn’t go ahead and attack. Those guys are so useless, running away with their tails between their legs when they saw Eternal Dominion,” Southern Lone Blade cursed.