Gu Fei had finally finished visiting all the eleven taverns in Xiawu City. Since these taverns were spread out across the different districts in the city, if he were to add up the total distance he had traveled, he had more or less covered the entire city. Unfortunately, whether it was system-operated or player-owned, the taverns’ main hall or side room, he never did spot any traces of Southern Lone Blade and his crew. He learned nothing new from the inquiries he made to those players he met, either, as not one of them seemed to have come across a squad with that particular job-class composition.
Sword Demon reported in as well: He had walked to all the major spawn points of the seven job classes, even asking players from time to time, but he did not find out anything useful.
All we can depend on now is Brother Assist, was the thought that crossed his mind when Gu Fei stepped out of the last tavern. There was a building opposite of this establishment that was particularly familiar and inviting, and it was of course the Bounty Assignment Hall for Xiawu City. He happened to still have the PK points he had earned from helping Southern Lone Blade’s squad escape at Linshui City, so he decided to cleanse his PK value while it was convenient.
He optimistically thought, I might even bump into that guy in the process of clearing my PK points.
At this time, in the very first tavern Gu Fei had first visited, Royal God Call, War Without Wounds, Slyris, and her sister were all seated around a table, and they really did start to get along after having exchanged a few blows with one another.
After being introduced to each other, Yan Xiaozhu turned out to be that Thief from the Seven Bottlenecks and the actual sister of Slyris, who was the newest member of the Five Unyielding Experts. Having played Parallel World since its open-beta days, both could be considered as veterans. However, with how the players were all assigned to random cities when their characters were first created, even if the two were sisters in reality, they were still tossed in separate parts of this VR world by the heartless system, and it was only recently that they had been reunited.
On the street before, War Without Wounds had chanced upon the two ladies and immediately attempted to chat them up. For this pair of sisters, be it in reality or in MMOs, they were no stranger to such attempts, so they did not think much about it and were more than prepared to just blow him off casually. In the end, it was his relentlessness to the point of saying something along the line of, “Hey, girls, do you want uncle here to help you grind levels?” to Yan Xiaozhu, which infuriated Slyris and led her to attack in a bid to discipline the man.
War Without Wounds was not actually that despicable and lewd. He had purposely said those words in hopes of provoking the ladies into attacking him, which would then give him a chance to show off his glorious prowess by beating them in a one-versus-two fight, subsequently leaving the two beauties a deep impression of him. Who knew what crappy novel did he learn such a YY method of skirt-chasing from? He was not even certain if it would be useful; War Without Wounds was truly just unfortunate that the two ladies he attempted this on, one happened to be among the Five Unyielding Experts and another was among the Seven Bottlenecks. In the end, it was him who had summarily been beaten by the ladies, becoming the absolute shame of any pick-up artist out there.
Actually, given War Without Wounds’ strength as an apex expert, if he had taken the fight seriously, he would have had a 50% chance of emerging victorious. However, in his desire to show off his skills, he haughtily took on the two sisters with just one hand. Slyris had earned herself a place in the Five Unyielding Experts with the help of her unique spell ‘Ice Chamber of the Nine Dragons’, so it was of course easy for her to freeze War Without Wounds in place like the fool he was with the spell. Fortunately, Gu Fei and Royal God Call had managed to intervene in time, or he would have lost a level by the two sisters’ hands today.
Sitting together like this, the sisters were still somewhat prejudiced toward War Without Wounds, but after Royal God Call asked what had started the fight, and War Without Wounds explained his side of the matter in earnest, the two ladies found the entire affair to be humorous and annoying. If that was all it took for ladies to fall in love, would there still be single men out there?
Yan Xiaozhu’s personality was more easygoing and vivacious than her sister, Slyris, and she was already making fun of War Without Wounds’ terrible skirt-chasing skills. However, for War Without Wounds to have been able to employ such a method on women showed just how his shamelessness was his greatest asset. No amount of ridicule could knock him down, as the man coughed and severely addressed everyone, “Since everybody is seated together so happily, let’s just forget about that fight we had!”
Royal God Call had more of a quick wit. The moment he heard Yan Xiaozhu make fun of War Without Wounds’ technique at courting girls, he quickly pounced on the topic to ask a very impure question with an innocent look, “Oh, so, how should girls be courted?”
With how young Yan Xiaozhu was, it was impossible for her to have much experience regarding such things. In fact, her ideas were equally as messed up as War Without Wounds, influenced by those romance YY novels that focused on the relationship between men and women, adding to that specious logic and reasoning. At the moment, it was as if she were a love guru as she imparted this knowledge to the two men.
And so, the three delightfully discussed this topic, while Slyris silently sat at the side, never once butting in and just listening. Even though she no longer looked as frosty and distant as before, she still had her poker face and had yet to show even the slightest smile. War Without Wounds and Royal God Call did not dare provoke her either; they were just glad that her little sister was lively enough for the two ladies.
They were chatting animatedly when the curtain from the fourth room parted. Drifting and his two companions stepped out, clearly having had enough to drink, and were about to leave. War Without Wounds, who happened to be looking in that direction, immediately called out to Drifting when he spotted him.
Drifting also returned his greeting, causing Royal God Call to adopt a supercilious look. Yan Xiaozhu turned her head over at this point, and when she spotted the man, she exclaimed in delight, “Big bro Drifting!”
Drifting was obviously shocked to see her. “Eh, why are you here?”
“You two know each other?” War Without Wounds was surprised.
Yan Xiaozhu tugged at Slyris and said, “Big sis, this man is Drifting. He’s the one I’m telling you about that helped me back at Baofeng City.”
Hearing this, Slyris got up and thanked Drifting for helping her sister while she shook his hand. To which, he replied, “Heh, don’t mention it. It turns out Slyris is Yan Xiaozhu’s big sister.”
Slyris nodded her head. “My little sister often mentions you. She’s extremely proud to have met the number one Mage in Parallel World.”
“Oh, you flatter me,” Drifting modestly replied in a rush, but before his eyes could even move to the others, Royal God Call’s skeptical voice sounded. “The number one Mage refers to you?”
“Of course, not. Where’s Miles?” Drifting asked. The connotation behind his words was clear: “It is not me, but it is not you, either.”
It was as if they were speaking of the devil, as the door to the tavern was pushed open at this moment and in came a black-robed Mage. Vulgarly kicking a stool over, he tapped the table with his sword as he pointed to someone. “‘Bounty Mission’! Please leave if you’re not involved!”
“Whoa! I haven’t seen this in so long,” Royal God Call sighed. Quite a while back, he had been a witness to many scenes like this when he followed Gu Fei around to earn his Windchaser’s Boots by completing 100-consecutive ‘Bounty Mission’.
“Oh, yeah!” Drifting could feel plenty of emotions well up inside him, for this was also the same scene he had seen when he first met Gu Fei.
Obviously, since Gu Fei barely made a name for himself in Xiawu City, such utterance drew quite a strong response from the crowd. The four seated at the table picked up their weapons in outrage and moved to take on the enemy, as the other players around them got up and gave them a wide berth. The establishment they were in did not have much space; how unreasonable would it be if the onlookers became collateral casualties all due to the spells and skills flying around willy-nilly?
The onlookers hastily scrambled to the safety of the corners, curiously checking out this arrogant Mage. The four players Gu Fei had accosted yelled belligerently, “Just what are you up to, punk?!”
Everybody had seen people do ‘Bounty Mission’, but none of them had ever witnessed someone do it so blatantly.
“‘Bounty Mission’!” Gu Fei said once more as he dove toward his target.
Amid yelps, fire glowed, Cyclone spun, and arrows flew… Every sort of skills was on display in that narrow space. Slyris subconsciously gripped her magic staff, ready to lend a hand if the need ever arose, yet she saw Gu Fei’s two friends, Royal God Call and War Without Wounds, just calmly drinking their liquor and munching on their peanuts, as if nothing were happening.
The Mage Drifting seemed to have no intention of lending a hand, either. Folding his arms by his chest, he watched the battle unfold before him with enjoyment.
Slyris could not make heads or tails of their inaction, but when she turned to look at the fight, she got it.
In the time she took to look away and back again, Gu Fei had already subdued his bounty target. He took two steps in retreat and knocked on the table. “Mission accomplished! I welcome any attempts to avenge a comrade, but I strongly advise against it.”
Three out of the four were still alive, and they were clearly shocked by his sudden blitz. Gu Fei was already upon them in the blink of an eye and easily evaded their attacks moments ago. His next strike easily reduced their number from four to three.
“Wait here if you have the guts, punk!” The three did not dare to act rashly, stomping their way to the door before running right out of the tavern.
Gu Fei did not block them, either. Stowing the sword back into his dimensional pocket, he walked over to Royal God Call and the others. “You’re all having a drink!” he said as he casually grabbed a stool and sat down. He took a handful of peanuts and began eating them, turning his head over to Drifting. “What are you standing there for?”
“Aren’t you going to continue your ‘Bounty Mission’?” Royal God Call asked.
“Didn’t you hear that guy tell me to wait here?” Gu Fei replied nonchalantly with a question, kicking Royal God Call’s leg. “Shift to the side a bit more; make some space for these guys to sit as well.”
Royal God Call would make space if it were anyone else, but it was entirely another story since the person was Drifting. Drifting was not particularly bothered by this, smiling to the others as he said, “You guys can keep sitting; I have something on, so I’ll be taking my leave now.”
“Something on? What is it? Do you need help?” Yan Xiaozhu stood up, looking keen to repay her debt.
Drifting chuckled helplessly. “I am merely being polite. I actually don’t have anything on right now, but I do want to leave.”
“Leave already, then. We won’t be seeing you out,” Royal God Call impatiently blurted out.
“Feel free to look for me if there’s anything,” Drifting told Gu Fei.
“Forget about it; it’s better if you have something you need me for, instead!” Gu Fei said.
Drifting chuckled helplessly at this and then took his leave. Royal God Call heaved a sigh of relief when he saw him leave, immediately turning cheerful. “Life’s good.”
The conversation continued, albeit Yan Xiaozhu’s attitude toward Royal God Call had become a lot more distant. Apparently, Royal God Call’s rude treatment of Drifting did not sit well with her. Decisively taking Drifting’s side, she no longer liked the Archer. Royal God Call was depressed, and his resentment toward Drifting surged once more.
Gu Fei and Slyris sat there without a word; anyone who saw the two would think that they were being childish. In contrast, people would think War Without Wounds was an elder who did not know how to behave himself, if he were just a bit older.
This continued for a while; Gu Fei had almost polished off all the peanuts War Without Wounds got. Looking at the time, he glumly said, “What’s going on? That man told me to wait here, yet I don’t see anyone at all. Do the players in Xiawu City enjoy being so flippant?” With that, he poured the remaining peanuts to the palm of his hands and tapped his Windchaser’s Emblem. “I’m taking my leave, too!”
In a flash of white light, he teleported himself back to the Bounty Assignment Hall. Slyris and Yan Xiaozhu were dumbfounded, and War Without Wounds and Royal God Call helplessly explained, “He’s off to continue bounty hunting.”
Gu Fei handed in his completed Bounty Mission upon his return, followed by a white light surrounding him. He had finally reached level 41. At the same time, the system prompt sounded, as he once more obtained a special reward from doing ‘Bounty Mission’