Everybody was more or less prepared for Gu Fei to raise his hands in anger, but the outcome of this one attack was truly frightening beyond any of their imagination.
“Was that a… Twin Incineration?” This person could not even believe what he had just seen with his eyes.
Nobody answered him, as their eyes were all fixed on Gu Fei. From time to time, screams could be heard from the fog beyond, which only seemed to further rattle their heartstrings.
Gu Fei did not say another word as he abruptly turned to continue his way. Everybody was standing petrified where they were, each of them looking at one another, at a loss on what to do.
“This anecdote here tells us that, in a world where sinister thoughts pervade people’s hearts, it is rare to find someone who will believe your story without a valid reason.” Young Master Han ignored Gu Fei’s stormy look as he said this to the others, as though he were talking to himself.
The others were quiet; adding oil to a burning flame was not something everybody would do.
Gu Fei did not really react to this, though, merely calmly saying to the others, “Let’s carry on!”
They hurried on, following the screams that broke through the fog from time to time. Gu Fei continued to give the players they met along the way his friendly prompt about the Shadowmist Assassin, except he was no longer as sincere and passionate as before and was coldly saying a few words to these people.
Who would have thought that more people believed him when he delivered the news in such a curt and blunt manner? More and more players took Gu Fei’s warnings as advice and left in a hurry. Naturally, there were still some that doubted his words, but at least they did not bump into any groups that acted as vile as that first group, which Gu Fei found as comforting.
Meanwhile, War Without Wounds suddenly realized the significance of Gu Fei’s action. “We will be the only ones left with everybody is slowly leaving. Wouldn’t that mean that the BOSS will find its way back to us?”
These men all stared at him, causing War Without Wounds to appear stunned. “What, did I say something wrong?”
“No. We are just shocked that you’ve only realized this now,” Young Master Han said.
“I didn’t think about this too much at the beginning.” War Without Wounds tried to defend himself.
Gu Fei suddenly interjected, “You guys should leave as well!”
“What are you talking about?” They were all stunned. They had been traveling together all this while, so they found it baffling that Gu Fei would suddenly ask them all to leave like this.
“I didn’t really think too much about this matter at first, but what War Without Wounds just said instantly reminded me,” Gu Fei explained, “This BOSS might be really strong once it’s enraged, but the main issue we have with it lies in our inability to discern who its target is. However, if there’s no one else around, wouldn’t that mean that we will know who it chooses to target? In that case, I think if Eternal Dominion and I work together, we should be able to overcome it!”
Gu Fei finished and glanced over to Eternal Dominion, who agreed with his assessment, “There shouldn’t be any problems.”
“That is why you guys should leave first,” Gu Fei said.
These experts felt like crying. Even though Gu Fei had not explicitly mentioned it, they could already read between the lines what he was saying: “You guys are of no help hanging around here.” Conversely, they were messing up the BOSS from targeting the two martial practitioners, so it was better if they left.
Despite the case, these men had no choice but to admit that what Gu Fei had said made sense. While they still had reservations as to whether these two men were capable of taking on an enraged BOSS, they could not afford to dither at this point, and all that was left was to try. The four did not dawdle or hesitate as they all nodded. “Then, it's up to you two.”
With that, the four men actually ran off in four different directions, as if they had all originally planned this.
“What are you guys doing?” Gu Fei was puzzled.
Young Master Han turned his head back to answer, “If you guys are gonna be the hero here, you could at least give us the role of the bit part, yeah?”
Gu Fei was confused.
It was still Sword Demon who was honest. “We’re going our separate ways so as to persuade all the surrounding players to leave as soon as possible. All the two of you have to do is to continue following the screams.”
Gu Fei was taken aback by this unexpected development. These guys were usually conceited and beheld contempt for most things; one was always gloomy and stoic, others enjoyed exploiting people and were deplorable as well as licentious, and another was always talking about stats that nobody understood a word of… But when it came to crucial moments like this, all their minds worked together as one!
“You guys…” Gu Fei was at a loss for words.
In the end, he saw Young Master Han facepalm and then say, “Hey, hey. You can’t possibly be thinking that we are planning to sacrifice ourselves for the sake of others like you, right? Buddy. We only split up into four ways because there’s a larger chance for the other three to stay alive. Informing the others along the way is just something we are doing incidentally; don’t read too much into this.”
Gu Fei was truly left speechless.
He caught a glimpse of Sword Demon chuckling before turning around and being the first to leave. Brother Assist and War Without Wounds also ran into the fog soon after. Young Master Han picked out a bottle of liquor, chugged it down in one gulp, and commiserated indignantly, “Yours truly is extremely smart, but why is it I can never predict when I will run out of liquor? Could it be that even someone as smart as me is unable to truly fathom myself?” With that, the man disappeared into the fog, leaving just the sound of a shattered bottle.
Gu Fei and Eternal Dominion were the two people left, their resolute gazes remaining unchanged.
“Pay attention to the sounds,” Gu Fei said.
Eternal Dominion nodded his head.
The direction where the sounds came from kept changing. The two men corrected their advancement using these sounds, as if they had no idea how to give up. They were no match for the BOSS in speed, so all they could do was work hard at closing in the gap in order to increase their chances of the BOSS finding them.
Meanwhile, the effect of the four men’s departure could already be seen, as they began to see fewer and fewer players in this originally crowded grinding zone. Even without the four of them persuading these players, the truth itself was far more convincing. More and more players witnessed their teammates or those players nearby getting insta-killed by the sudden appearance of the BOSS from the fog, so there was no need for anyone to tell them twice. Many of them had already realized how dangerous things were and were already making their escape.
That was the feeling the two men shared. The BOSS had not stopped its killing spree, but the two of them soon discovered that they seemed to be circling around a small area. It was evident that due to the departure of the other players around, the BOSS’s aggro was now concentrated into this area where there were still players hanging around. Since Gu Fei and Eternal Dominion were also in this area, it would be a matter of time before they encountered BOSS.
“M*th*rf*ck*r…” At some corner, Young Master Han was finally ambushed from behind by the BOSS within the fog. He had tried his best to save himself, but it was unfortunate that the damage he had sustained from the blow was simply too severe. Young Master Han very quickly saw his life diminish to zero. He landed on the ground heavily after being sent flying, groping through his dimensional pocket before swearing.
I can finally go buy some more liquor, Young Master Han thought to himself, as he waited to respawn back at the spawn point. Who would have thought that, by the time he landed and the number depicted on his HP showed 0, the familiar white light was nowhere in sight?
“What’s going on?”
G*d d*mn it. Has yours truly really turned into a corpse? Young Master Han had not thought that such a situation was possible. When he thought of it, he had never really died in this MMO before, so could this be perhaps what happened when one died? He sneaked a peek over at by his side and saw another player staring at back him.
“Brother Assist!?” Young Master Han opened his mouth and discovered that his voice could still come out.
“You got killed as well?” Brother Assist asked.
“What’s going on?” Young Master Han asked, “do we need to act as a corpse for a while after dying? That doesn’t seem to be how it works!”
“I don’t know, but look over there?” Brother Assist moved his eyelid as best as he could.
Young Master Han could not move his head, so all he could do was roll his eyes as much as he could in the indicated direction. It seemed that there was another player lying on the ground, immobile.
“Just what in the world is going on?” That was the question on everyone’s mind.
“ARGH! F*CKKKK!” A spiteful howl sounded through the fog, which was somewhat close to where Gu Fei and Eternal Dominion were at.
“Over there!” Both of them shouted as they bounded over. Seeing a figure pouncing right toward them, both men swiftly evaded to the side and prepared to attack but realized in time that this person was not a BOSS. Aside from being larger, its equipment was wrong too, and more importantly, this person was very familiar.
Thud! This person, whom Gu Fei recognized, collapsed to the ground in a cloud of dust. He waved his hand before his nose and mouth to clear the dust and called out, “Wounds?!”
“I’m here,” the person in the dust cloud replied.
“Where’s the BOSS?”
“Over there,” War Without Wounds replied.
“What happened to you?”
“How can you still be talking if you’re dead?”
“Yeah, I find that strange as well,” War Without Wounds expressed.
Gu Fei paid no further heed to him, as the latter took a back seat in his heart.
“Go recover your HP a bit,” Gu Fei said this as he and Eternal Dominion rushed out. The last they heard from the man was him complaining in a slowly fading voice, “Recover, my *ss. My HP is already 0, but this d*mn game isn’t allowing me to respawn. Did my game freeze?”
“Freeze?” Gamers borne from the era of online MMOs of this age-old term. This was a term that should not apply to a fully immersive MMO like Parallel World, but they could not think any other explanation aside from this.
Meanwhile, Gu Fei and Eternal Dominion had finally encountered the BOSS.
“Looks like there’re no longer any other players around.” Gu Fei sighed in relief.
“Yup, let’s take care of it now!” Eternal Dominion nodded his head.
The feet of the Shadowmist Assassin stepped quickly, not slowing down in the least as it rushed forward. Having slain so many players, it simply had no concept of what mercy was. This one charge looked to be as fast and potent like a gust of wind, and its target was Gu Fei.
Eternal Dominion flipped his two hands, pushing out his hands, which were conjoined at the base, vertically. There was no need for such complex hand gestures to unleash Chiwave Shield, but the hand posture that Eternal Dominion had gone with was one the techniques in the Dragon Fist style that he was very adept with, ‘Dragon Swallowing the Clouds’. It was a defensive maneuver that would mitigate the opponent’s attack extensively. It was unknown if this would have any effect when used against a BOSS, but he figured they could find out now by putting it to the test. Naturally, the real defensive skill, Chiwave Shield, emerged right before his palms as well.
On Gu Fei’s end, he condensed a Palm of Thunder in his left hand and lashed out a Twin Incineration on his right. This was also the ultimate technique within the Gu Family’s Sword style, ‘Floating Clouds during Sunset’. The sword strike was just the first sequence of the technique; the palm strike that followed would actually be the killing move.
With Eternal Dominion’s kung fu guard working in tandem with his Chiwave Shield, it would surely afford a defense far stronger than any Guardian’s Shield.
Gu Fei possessed a powerful spell power, and he was without a doubt the strongest damage dealer currently in the game.
It could be said that this combination of the strongest shield and the sharpest spear in-game was born with these two men currently working together.