Chapter 43 - Additional Attack
Everyone felt dumbfounded and thought that Gu Fei must have lost his mind. Why else would he be talking to empty space? They watched as Gu Fei took two more steps to his right and pointed Flames of Baptism levelly by the side of his chest, “Yeah, I’m talking to you! Stop running!”
Young Master Han was about to curse at Gu Fei when he saw a person’s figure slowly appear right by the edge of Gu Fei’s blade. The person, who was presently staring bewilderedly at Gu Fei, was the Thief that got away and the sole reason for today’s mission: No Smile.
Silence engulfed the valley as everyone stared at Gu Fei perplexedly. Only Sword Demon looked somewhat unaffected by all this as he had personally experienced this particular occurrence twice in the past.
“Step back,” Gu Fei said faintly.
No Smile had a sudden smile across his face. He had already used Appraisal on Gu Fei, and even though he could not fathom how Gu Fei saw through his invisible state, No Smile knew that he was just a Mage with garbage equipment. Gu Fei was at level 30, yet he was holding a Chinese broadsword called Flames of Baptism.
What? Is he threatening me? No Smile suspected that Gu Fei had just gotten lucky with that initial threat with the blade, and No Smile unwittingly got fooled by his acting. The other five masked men were still relatively far, so he did not hesitate to initiate an assault on Gu Fei.
Only two or three stabs were needed to deal with a Mage at such proximity. It would be difficult to save Gu Fei now, even if there was a Priest close behind them. Everyone, including No Smile, would be remiss to not think so. Young Master Han and the rest had been thinking of this as well, and promptly rushed forward to aid Gu Fei.
But to their surprise, Gu Fei just casually took a step back and No Smile’s thrust failed to connect at all. In return, Gu Fei bent his arm and the Flames of Baptism in his hand slashed at No Smile.
No Smile had not anticipated Gu Fei’s fast counterattack and frantically waved his dagger to block it. This was the result of the players spending some time in this highly simulated environment; they no longer relied solely on their HP to withstand attacks.
Astute players had long since found out the importance of grasping a strike’s timing, knowing the proper location to land a hit, and so on to exerting the highest damage in their attacks. Conversely, forcing the opponents to miss their attacks required the players to either dodge or block actively. Taking the blow in its entirety only ensured that the attack would connect 100%. There was never a scenario where players missed their attacks simply because they possessed high evasion stats or that their opponents had low attack accuracy.
This sort of realization was not experienced by Gu Fei, however. It was because he had started playing Parallel World with that kind of thought already.
In many ways, his situation was vastly different from the other players. The players right now might have the capability to dodge, yet they lacked the awareness to do so. Another way of looking at it was that the players lacked the insight toward their opponents’ attacks. This resulted into them not being able to maximize their fullest potential. In Gu Fei’s case, what prevented him from displaying his full potential was not the lack of awareness or insight toward his opponent’s attacks, but rather his job class’s inherent lack of Strength and Agility.
The players each had intrinsic hurdles to overcome; the ones that prevented them from playing the game at the maximum limit of their characters’ abilities.
As for Gu Fei, he had been restricted by the Parallel World’s data algorithm itself, preventing him from displaying his full potential in-game.
Once in a while Gu Fei would experience such restrictions. Although Gu Fei could see some attacks clearly, his in-game body was not able to keep up with his eyes. This resulted into his failure to dodge the incoming attacks properly. Hence, Gu Fei could not help but feel irritated when such instances occurred.
Despite all this, Gu Fei’s superiority was still far too obvious in front of other players.
No Smile thought that he had successfully blocked the attack with his dagger. However, Gu Fei’s slash was a kung fu move that had the propensity to change. The simple horizontal block No Smile had performed just happened to be within the slash’s scope of change. With a twirl of Gu Fei’s wrist, the slash instantly changed its intended direction, transforming from a vertical slash to a diagonal cut and creating an oblique gash across No Smile’s waist.
The sanguine red blade flashed at the same time, and a fiery light enveloped No Smile’s body, before finally concentrating into the gash on his waist. The Chinese broadsword’s 30% proc rate of additional fire attack had been triggered.
Although Gu Fei had never added stat points to Intelligence, a Mage’s initial and subsequent growth rate of it was already high. This was because the Mage job class sacrificed Strength and Endurance growth rate for Intelligence. As Mages leveled up, the Magic Power they possess also began to far outstrip those of the other job classes. Hence, the Fire Damage that Gu Fei had just caused using the Chinese broadsword was naturally higher than what a Warrior could have caused with a similar weapon.
No Smile had no problem taking on the physical strike from Gu Fei’s Chinese broadsword, but the fire attack that followed next was difficult to deal with. Given the low health of the Thief job class, that one attack from Gu Fei had already halved his HP. While he was feeling astonished by all of this, Gu Fei had already scored his second hit.
No Smile tried raising his dagger to block the attack once more, yet he was unable to prevent Gu Fei’s skillful strike. Once again, Flames of Baptism slipped through his dagger and carved into his shoulder.
No Smile felt his heart chilled as he shut his eyes to wait for death. However, the fire attack did not get procced this time. Before No Smile could praise his luck for surviving that second blow, Gu Fei’s third stroke had already descended.
This ability to attack consecutively was more in line with the Thief job class’s combat style. No Smile was utterly flabbergasted. He did not know if it was his Appraisal that failed or if the opponent had a skill that countered Appraisal. An advanced illusion skill?! He had never heard of such a skill!
No Smile did not even try to block the third strike, but instead lunged forward and tried to remove the black cloth covering Gu Fei’s face. Gu Fei naturally did not let him succeed; he dodged to the side as his Chinese broadsword unerringly continued its path toward No Smile’s body.
The fire attack had been triggered once more, and flames engulfed No Smile entirely. A sudden beam of white light fell onto him at the last moment.
No Smile was brought back from the edge of death with that Heal. He turned his head in shock as he stared at the only Priest on the battlefield, Young Master Han.
Gu Fei stopped attacking immediately. Surely, Young Master Han had his reasons for healing an opponent Gu Fei was just about to finish off. Brother Assist and the rest had originally wanted to help Gu Fei out, but they ended up just standing there and watching Gu Fei unleash his sword strikes at No Smile. They could hardly believe what was happening, especially since it was the first time that they had seen a Mage fight like a Thief. Gu Fei’s actions went against their past online gaming knowledge, dazzling them all.
Everyone finally recovered from their dazed expression after Gu Fei finished his three strikes and Young Master Han used his Heal on No Smile. They hastily rushed forward and surrounded No Smile.
Although No Smile was the main target of this mission, everyone’s gaze was actually on Gu Fei.
Only Young Master Han still had his mind resolutely on the mission. He stared at No Smile and asked him evenly, “No Smile?”
No Smile nodded as he observed everyone that had surrounded him. All had a cloth strip covering their faces. The one speaking to him had more than a piece of cloth covering his face, actually. He could tell that the person was this group’s leader, given how everything had panned out. Could it be that having more cloth masking one’s face indicated seniority with this bunch? No Smile’s head was clouded by questions, ranging from the initial ambush and the sword-wielding Mage that broke his invisible state to the Priest wearing three pieces of cloth to mask his identity.
“Do you know who we are?” Young Master Han asked.
No Smile shook his head.
“That’s good,” Young Master Han sighed deeply in relief.
“Cut to the chase,” Sword Demon rolled his eyes.
Young Master Han nodded and pointed at No Smile, “You know of Amethyst Rebirth Guild?”
“That’s your guild?” No Smile was taken aback. Everyone would often associate July and him to their past altercation, so he assumed that this person was the same. Hence, he never expected Young Master Han’s next words, “I don’t know what bone you have to pick with Amethyst Rebirth, but I have two sisters in that guild. As long as you’re looking to give that guild trouble, we will trouble you as well, savvy?”
No Smile did not say a word.
Young Master Han did not force him to answer as he continued in a light tone, “Today is just a warning. Alright, we’ve already killed all your comrades. No reason to spare you since we’re here for you…” Young Master Han signaled Sword Demon with a gaze; the Thief stepped forward and made a flurry of strikes. No Smile could only watch on in horror as he got cut down.
“Mission complete!” Young Master Han said.
Everyone nodded and suddenly swarmed to restrain Gu Fei. Brother Assist reached out and pulled Gu Fei’s black cloth off his face.
“What are you guys doing?!” Gu Fei felt helpless to what was happening. He could not defend himself from something as unexpected as his friends turning on him. The old adage really held some truth: “Having friends are far scarier than having enemies.”
“It really is Miles!” Royal God Call exclaimed.
“The heck are you all talking about?!” Gu Fei was utterly annoyed.
Young Master Han also removed the three pieces of cloth from his face. He walked up to Gu Fei and pulled his head closer for inspection. Gu Fei wanted to resist, but War Without Wounds was the one tugging him from behind; all he needed was his finger to suppress Gu Fei’s effort at struggling free.
Young Master Han inspected Gu Fei’s face a little and asked Brother Assist, “Is there any skill in-game that alters or disguises a player’s appearance or something similar to that?”
“I don’t think so!” Brother Assist who was always certain of his information network seemed to hesitate a little bit when he spoke. He came forward as well to examine Gu Fei’s face.
“Hey, that’s enough you guys!” Gu Fei said.
“It really is Miles,” Brother Assist stated.
“I think so too,” Young Master Han concurred.
War Without Wounds let go of Gu Fei, allowing him to put his Chinese broadsword back into his pocket. Everyone began to look at Gu Fei as if he was a monster.
“Miles, did you add stat points to Agility?” Brother Assist asked. This was the first time everyone from the mercenary group, aside from Sword Demon, had had the chance to appreciate Gu Fei’s fighting capabilities up close.
Gu Fei nodded his head, “All the points.”
Everyone looked at each other.
“Your fighting style… How did you come up with it?” Brother Assist asked carefully. He started to suspect that Gu Fei was actually Parallel World’s game employee; this would mean that he had a grasp of the game’s algorithm that had not been officially disclosed. Brother Assist could only think of this reason as to why Gu Fei had added all his stat points to Agility at the game’s early stages.
“I didn’t come up with anything new!” Gu Fei then told them of the injustice of him being forced to become a Mage. He naturally expressed his own annoyance with the Mage job class, as well as how much he had looked forward to becoming a Fighter or even a Warrior. Although Royal God Call was not a Mage, he still had a strong adoration toward the class. Gu Fei’s outpour of lamentations caused Royal God Call to comment discontentedly, “F*ck, what’s wrong with being a Mage?! It’s your sh*t leveling schema that ruined your Mage!”
“Haaaaah…” Gu Fei sighed, “This is an adult problem that a child like you can’t understand.”
Royal God Call flared his nostrils in contempt.
The others, however, were piqued, “Miles, why’re you so in love with the Fighter job class?”
“That’s because I am a kung fu practitioner in real life,” Gu Fei said.