Chapter 44 - Don’t Know What’s Good for Them
The gang repeated some of Gu Fei’s words as they exchanged amused glances with one another.
Gu Fei was used to seeing such reactions. Whenever he tried to talk about his kung fu with others, their faces would display a similar look of disregard. But now that he was inside a VRMMO, he had the perfect environment and condition to demonstrate his kung fu. He brandished the Flames of Baptism and struck a pose, describing his kung fu to others, “Take a look at this kung fu move. Within it lies four different ways of striking, four different ways of countering attacks, and—”
“Alright, that’s enough! A real counterattack from the enemies is coming! You need to disguise yourself right now instead of flaunting your moves!”
“Disguise?” Gu Fei could not comprehend that.
“Change your equipment; and the same goes for everyone else,” Young Master Han turned around and said this to the other four.
The four men nodded and quickly changed into simpler attire. Brother Assist explained to Gu Fei, “Even though we have covered our faces, the opponent can still identify our equipment using Appraisal. Plus, No Smile has higher proficiency in appraising than others. Take Sword Demon for example; his Frost Memories is undoubtedly a superb weapon that’ll leave a lasting impression on others. That’s why we have to change our equipment to ensure that they won’t be able to identify us.”
Gu Fei nodded, “But this is all I got.”
“Oh, you don’t really have to change that much,” Young Master Han said, “Just take off that hideous straw hat, remove your horrendous shoes, put away that garbage sword, and suit up properly like a proper Mage.”
Gu Fei followed his instructions as Young Master Han continued, “The mission is not over yet. In fact, it’s only getting started. No Smile has been an active player in the online gaming community for years, so it won’t be that easy to scare him away. I feel that he still has the guts to retaliate against us.”
Brother Assist agreed, “He’s got the backing of the entire Traversing Four Seas Guild as well. I’m guessing that the party we just assaulted has already called for backup.”
Royal God Call nodded, “You’re right. They just asked for reinforcement on the private guild channel.”
“But we’re moving pretty fast ourselves; they shouldn’t be that far ahead yet.” After looking at the time, Young Master Han announced, “Let’s split up, everyone. Move toward Yunliao Farm, which is in the western side of the city, and blend yourselves into the grinding players. Remember to gather information whenever you come across people from Traversing Four Seas. Don’t close the conversation window to keep yourselves updated with everything.”
All nodded and went their own ways after exiting the valley.
“Hey! You guys! Anyone interested in learning some kung fu from me?” Gu Fei asked earnestly.
“There’s always next time, Miles,” Young Master Han patted his shoulder before turning around, “Let’s move.”
Each of them picked a different route, taking care to avoid the main path from Yunxia Valley that led to Yunduan City.
Yunliao Farm was within walking distance of Yunxia Valley. The farm was populated with monsters ranging from level 25 to 30, and was currently among the most crowded grinding maps. With how cramped it was with players, it was a common occurrence to see players’ grinding interrupted due to the demand for monsters by the throng of players far outstripping the rate of respawns. Despite all this, nobody attempted to kill-steal from others, as there was an unspoken rule actively being enforced in the area: Kill-stealers would suffer a combined beating from every other player.
Of course, the unofficial rule was in place not because the surrounding players were virtuous or noble but because everyone was well aware of the monster respawn issue. Hence, all were more than willing to comply with such a fancy excuse to get rid of their fellow competitors. Eventually, this led to players becoming disinclined to kill-steal in Yunliao Farm, and the rise in the number of players being wrongly accused of kill-stealing. Those who were being wrongly accused often shared something in common: They were very strong.
Strong players could grind on monsters at a much faster rate, and this would usually incite the other regular players’ resentment. So whenever a spiteful person accused, “This guy is kill-stealing!” many players nearby would play along and ‘accidentally’ swung their weapons at the accused. Despite how strong the accused player was, he or she could never stand a chance against the combined ‘accidental’ attacks of more than twenty players. The strong player would not even get a chance to explain and would simply fade away from the promised land.
Yunliao Farm was a very shady place indeed.
Brother Assist was currently sharing these details about the farm to everyone on their private mercenary channel. He reminded everyone to keep a low profile by casually finding a monster and grinding it. Everyone agreed.
Gu Fei examined his surroundings as he arrived at Yunliao Farm, and saw that his fellow teammates had blended themselves well into the crowd. The others were deliberately making their way to a path, in the middle of the farming field, leading straight to Yunxia Valley. If the members of Traversing Four Seas were here, they would surely go through that road.
Gu Fei saw his fellow teammates following the instructions of Brother Assist. They equipped themselves with the worst weapons, and slowly engaged some monsters. Gu Fei promptly took out his magic staff as well. However, instead of casting a spell, he was using it like a beating stick to fight against a Scarecrow that had just respawned.
A few moments later, sand and dust could be seen getting disturbed from a distance. A group of players were running uniformly in a neat formation toward the direction of Gu Fei and the others. Since the players’ stat distribution and equipment from various job classes affected their movement’s speed, they were running at an even pace to maintain their battle formation. Otherwise, they would probably get themselves ‘accidentally’ killed if they charged full speed ahead in a disorderly manner by the time they reached the grinding area.
This group of players from Traversing Four Seas had evidently thought their actions through, choosing to have everyone’s running speed matched one another. All sorts of job classes could be seen in the group running across the field. The players in the area stopped grinding, and watched this spectacle instead. “This is my first time seeing such a large-scale movement ever since I’ve started grinding here. Is something big about to happen?” the players discussed among themselves.
As the group of players sprinted through the central pathway, an experienced player pointed out their emblems while explaining to the nearby players, “They’re from Traversing Four Seas.”
After hearing this, the nearby players automatically assumed that the Traversing Four Seas’ members were currently practicing a large-scale maneuver to hone their potency.
“They’ve caused quite the stir!” Young Master Han spoke through the mercenary channel, “Royal, exactly how many people does your guild have?”
“It just got promoted to a level-3 guild. Right now, it’s at its full capacity with 300 members.”
“How many level 30 members are there?”
“Dude, there’s no numbering next to the ranking. Surely, you don’t expect me to filter through the guild member list?” Royal God Call asked exasperatedly.
“If No Smile knows what’s good for him, he won’t be calling these people here. Too bad! He’s under the delusion that others can back him up. Tsk! Tsk! Let’s play with him again then,” Young Master Han said.
A majority of those from Traversing Four Seas had already run past the farm and were now nearing Yunxia Valley. Only one or two could be seen falling behind the rest as they struggled to keep up. Royal God Call wanted to kill off the players falling behind by ambushing them with his arrows, but Young Master Han stopped him, “They’re searching for us. Won’t your attack let them know that we’re at Yunliao Farm?”
“So what will we do now?” Royal God Call asked.
“We don’t have the strength to kill all of them right now, so we’ll focus on dealing with the leader instead of the minions. Did anyone spot No Smile among the group that just ran past here? ” Young Master Han asked.
“No,” Brother Assist replied confidently.
“That’s his problem; there’s no reason for him to be absent. Maybe, he’s still on his way here considering that we just sent him back to the city’s spawn point. Miles, return to the city and inform us if you see him,” Young Master Han said.
“Okay!” Gu Fei got up and prepared to leave.
“Try to arrive there as fast as you can. Once you’re in the city, head to the Thieves’ Union. No Smile will surely respawn there. Find another chance to get rid of him again! You can solo him, right?” Young Master Han said.
“Of course!” Gu Fei carried his magic staff on his shoulder, whistling as he went on his way.
A Mage who distributed all the points toward Agility was not slow at all as he rushed back to the city. Just as Gu Fei saw the city’s outline after a short run, he caught sight of a figure running toward his direction as well. He looked closely and recognized the figure to be No Smile.
“I’ve spotted No Smile,” Gu Fei whispered onto the mercenary channel.
“Copy that. Let him be for now. Focus on returning to the city. Be sure to send a message after you reach the Thieves’ Union. Brother Assist, you go and have a walk too. Let’s estimate the time it takes for No Smile to reach here, so that we can choose the right place to carry out our assault.”
“No problem!” Gu Fei and Brother Assist delivered the same message at the same time. Gu Fei and No Smile crossed paths just as he finished delivering the message. No Smile did not pay the slightest attention to Gu Fei and just rushed forward with an anxious look on his face.
It did not take Gu Fei long to reach the Thieves’ Union after entering Yunduan City. He looked around the terrain and sent the message, “I’ve arrived.”
And right before that, Brother Assist had managed to encounter No Smile as well. Their plans were quickly laid out once they had been notified of Gu Fei’s arrival to the designated location.
“Here comes No Smile!” Royal God Call yelled into the chatting channel.
“Hey, hey! Give me a live play-by-play!” Gu Fei who was unable to witness everything in real time did not wish to miss out on the excitement.
“Allow me, then!” Royal God Call volunteered himself.
“No Smile is coming over! He’s coming over! Coming over alone… He’s holding a dagger, which represents the glorious tradition of Thieves. He’s now walking on the pathway on the field. He’s not looking around him at all and is simply just making his way forward... He takes a step forward, two steps forward, three steps—oh, I am sorry! I should have counted the steps backward; it’s more exciting that way!”
“Uhhh... Sorry, I don’t know which steps I should start counting from if I’m doing a countdown. I’ll just count the steps like normal. One step forward, two steps forward, three steps forward, getting close now—he’s getting closer with every step he takes! Seven, and eight! He’s here!”
“The fight is on! Sword Demon, who’s been hiding himself using Stealth in the middle of the road, begins his assault. Just as No Smile has walked past him, he turns his body deftly and unleashes Backstab deep into—I am sorry, I can’t really see if that’s the waist or the butt. No Smile turns around with ‘no smile’ on his face! Unfortunately, all he can see is a face covered with a black cloth. No Smile attempts to yank the cloth away but loses his chance as Sword Demon has viciously stabbed him once more! Hey, Sword Demon! I think you should just let him yank that piece of cloth away from your face. Who knows? He might drop his equipment if you scare him to death with that face of yours.”
“Scram!” Sword Demon, who had taken care of No Smile, sent over a message with just a single word.
“Miles, how are things on your end?” Young Master Han asked.
“Oh, he’s in my line of sight,” Gu Fei replied.
Gu Fei saw No Smile fuming with rage as he dashed out of the Thieves’ Union. He was so flustered and angry that he spun on the spot twice; his sense of direction probably clouded by his anger. Afterward, he just bent his head forty-five degree downward and stared at the ground dazedly.
“Well, it’s my turn to act now. Unfortunately, I’ll be too busy to give everyone a live play-by-play,” Gu Fei covered his face with the piece of black cloth that he had taken out and put on the straw hat on his head. Hiding the Flames of Baptism on his back, he hurried toward No Smile.