Gu Fei was well aware of Gu Xian’s capabilities. While the man did not train his kung fu, that definitely did not mean that he did not know anything about it. It was merely his physical limitations, technique execution, and power that made him unable to compete against Gu Fei. However, now that they were in a game setting, their physical attributes were transmuted into stats. As such, if they were to fight, Gu Fei would instead be the one at a disadvantage due to his Mage physique.
Gu Fei knew this, and Gu Xian looked to be well aware of this fact as well. Otherwise, given the body Gu Xian had in real life, a slap from Gu Fei would leave him flying for three days, so saying something so face-slapping might well have resulted in him being slapped to death. Why else would the man trouble Gu Fei less and less in recent years? Still, this was not a certainty here in Parallel World.
“Say; did you get a stroke or something? Why did you end up choosing a Mage?” Gu Xian asked.
“It’s an accident, and I’m unable to change it,” Gu Fei replied vaguely.
“Stupid!” Gu Xian mocked.
It was around this time that Sword Demon happily finished rummaging through the Sleeping Assassin’s pockets, and he lifted an item for Gu Fei to see. “I found a key.”
“There really was something!” Gu Fei was surprised. “Would it be able to open that door to the firewood shed?”
“Let’s go give it a try,” Sword Demon suggested, but Gu Fei turned to Gu Xian.
“What are you two doing?” Gu Xian asked, his hands cupping his ears as he eavesdropped.
“A quest. We’re heading over to that shed there.” Gu Fei twisted his mouth in said direction.
“That’s so far!” Gu Xian was shocked.
Sword Demon was far more shocked, so much so that his eyes nearly popped out. The firewood shed was no more than a hundred meters away from where they were, yet the tone the man had used made it sound as if he would have to walk all the way to the moon.
Gu Fei had already known that the man would reply thusly, so he did not say a word.
Gu Xian painfully moved several steps as he said, “Let’s see if you can even get past me!”
Gu Fei immediately steeled himself for combat.
Sword Demon was a little confused by this. After Gu Fei came over, and the two exchanged words with each other, Sword Demon realized that the Fighter looked quite familiar because some of the man’s facial features bore some resemblance to Gu Fei’s. Afterward, when Sword Demon confirmed that they were blood-related, he naturally assumed that they shared a bond deeper than that of mere friendship, so he had already lumped the two together. Who knew that the man would actually move against Gu Fei and him and that Gu Fei would not even be surprised by this development, even going as far as to ready himself for the fight to come?
“Let’s see how much you’ve grown over these few years.” Gu Xian still had the air of an elder brother teaching his younger brother a lesson. Lifting his fist, he delivered a punch right at Gu Fei.
Familiar. It was truly too familiar.
Gu Fei had spent two decades carefully studying Gu family’s Inherited Arts. He knew each and every move that came from his family like the back of his hand. He could tell that this punch that Gu Xian had just dished out was a move from their family’s kung fu. Considering how to parry, counter, and the opponent’s ensuing response to that, four different paths appeared in Gu Fei’s mind; this was just like the various set of moves that a chess player could visualize after making a move.
Alright. Let me see how great your kung fu is in this game where there’s no need to physically train your body! Gu Fei thought to himself, choosing the path that would descend into chaos the quickest and afforded the most complicated improvisations possible by sending his palm forward.
In the end, Gu Xian adapted his fist in response to the move that Gu Fei had chosen. Gu Fei could tell that this modification Gu Xian had done sought to carry the fight toward a simpler route after having made sense of the intention behind Gu Fei’s move. However, since this was a modification, it would of course not remain simple as Gu Xian’s modifications allowed for deeper complexity. Gu Fei was naturally conscious of this, and he instantly made his adaptation in response to dictate the course of the trade.
Even if you wish to, you won’t have enough time to improvise this time around! Gu Fei said to himself, but he did not expect Gu Xian to actually modify his move at the same time as well, and the man even used the same move as his!
“F*CK!” Gu Fei instantly realized he was in trouble, but just as he had previously presumed, there was no more time to make any further improvisation. The two men came to blow with the same move, so the player with the more Strength won this exchange, causing Gu Fei to take several steps back from the punch before he found his footing.
“He he he!” Gu Xian shook his head as he scoffed.
D*mn! Too familiar… Gu Fei was incensed. He was only focusing on his opponent’s familiarity to martial arts moves, while Gu Xian had gotten a good grasp of his personality. From that first punch he had thrown, Gu Xian already planned to draw out such a conclusion where they would both end up executing the same move. Meanwhile, Gu Fei had entirely neglected Gu Xian’s personality; with how lazy this man was, why would he be willing to play along with Gu Fei’s bid toward a more complicated exchange? Had he thought of this, he would have naturally realized Gu Xian had other plans in mind and taken precautions. Unfortunately, it was too late for regrets, as Gu Fei had already lost this round.
“Again! Again!” Gu Xian beckoned with his hand, passing the initiative to Gu Fei.
“Watch my sword!” Gu Fei sorted out his emotions as he suddenly thrusted his sword forward. Gu Xian saw this clearly as he yelled, “Oh, an ultimate move!”
Gu Fei began to flurry his sword as it gleamed and blurred. This was the same sword technique that Gu Fei had previously used on Eternal Dominion that left the man dejected: The Birth of Spring and Summer’s Lull, The Harvest of Autumn and Winter’s Hoard. Simply put, this technique was a set of combination techniques that consisted of four parts. A combination of two, three, or all four parts could be executed together or just a singular move alone. As such, there was a myriad of improvisations possible so that even someone familiar with the technique in Gu family would not fully grasp the true intention of the sword user.
“That’s a pretty good control…” Gu Xian was already left a little dazzled just from Gu Fei’s flurrying blades. The degree of visual acuity a martial arts practitioner possessed was something that would take plenty of practice to hone. Gu Xian might be a genius, but that only meant his starting point was higher than that of a normal person. Without proper and consistent training after, there was no way he would be able to improve. As there were no stats in Parallel World that would help boost this aspect, even Gu Xian felt equally strained like any common man when facing such a flashy move from Gu Fei.
However, Gu Xian’s advantage was his understanding toward this technique. While his eyes were entirely unable to see through each and every move, he was still able to process most of what was happening in his mind. He retreated even as he wielded his fists, blocking Gu Fei’s Birth of Spring in doing so.
Just as Gu Xian blocked this move in a timely manner, the sword flurry suddenly reversed and immediately corrected its direction again.
“Arghh!” Gu Xian howled as he backed away quickly. Leaning away as the sword flashed a trail that grazed his nose, Gu Xian’s right hand, which was lying in wait in that moment, reached out and grabbed on to the body of the blade.
“He he! Looks like your stats right now aren’t enough to completely display the prowess of Summer’s Lull!” Gu Xian chortled.
The corners of Gu Fei’s mouth twitched into a slight smile as he uttered, “Twin Incineration! Incinerate!”
“F*CK!” This time, it was Gu Xian’s turn to shout. He instantly let go of the sword he was holding, lost his balance, and freefell until he was flat on the ground, barely escaping the flaming path that Moonlit Nightfalls had carved out. Meanwhile, Gu Fei did not bother pursuing him with his sword opportunely. Gu Xian stared at the fiery glow created by Moonlit Nightfalls, which slowly dissipated in midair, and chuckled as he quickly understood what Gu Fei was thinking. “The Birth of Spring and Summer’s Lull, The Harvest of Autumn, and Winter’s Hoard would truly be even more powerful with that improvisation.”
Gu Fei pulled his sword back and gazed at Gu Xian; the interest of the latter, who was lying on the ground, seemed to have worn out. Gu Fei had a level of perseverance and respect toward kung fu that the latter never once had, so he did not continue to deal a follow-up attack after that execution of Twin Incineration with his sword technique. In Gu Fei’s mind, this was nothing more than a prank he had pulled to scare his cousin. When sparring between martial arts practitioners, Gu Fei always intended to rely purely on his kung fu moves.
“How boring…” Gu Xian muttered, as he stared at the bright sun overhead, a rare sight in Xiawu City.
“You guys go ahead; I’m gonna take a nap…” Gu Xian simply decided to continue lying there rather than get up.
“What’s your IGN? I’ll add you,” Gu Fei said.
“Windchord,” Gu Xian answered.
“Mm? Thousand Miles Drunk…” Gu Xian evidently received the system prompt. “What kind of garbage name is this? Did you come up with it yourself? Ha ha ha ha ha…” Gu Xian laughed heartily, seemingly about to start rolling on the ground.
Gu Fei ignored the man as he dragged Sword toward the firewood shed.
“Who… Who’s that guy?” Sword Demon was regarding Gu Xian as if the man were something entirely anomalous.
“That… is my… elder cousin…” Gu Fei rather unwillingly admitted. D*mn. It’s only a mere four days, yet there’s no way for me to ever beat this.
“He’s really strong, too!” Sword Demon sighed in awe. Truthfully, he could not tell who won that bout, as he felt that the two were evenly matched.
“You can beat that guy,” Gu Fei said.
“How so?” Sword Demon knew his limits and was puzzled.
“Stealth, Backstab,” Gu Fei educated.
“Stealth is possible?” Sword Demon was surprised.
“Of course, how would he even be able to sense killing intent,” Gu Fei said. Gu Xian had never learned and honed his physical reactive response, awareness, intuition, or other complex and wondrous things like reading auras. At most, he might have an idea of what they meant, but Gu Fei was positive he would not actually possess anything like that.
“Is that so...” Sword Demon had turned to glance at Gu Xian when he suddenly called out, “Someone’s coming!”
Gu Fei quickly looked past his shoulder. Reinforcement was streaming in from beside the building, and they were all members of Flowergazing in the Fog. It was just as Young Master Han had predicted; the guild moved quickly once they realized that no other guilds in Xiawu City were mounting an assault on them, or perhaps, they had already realized that before everybody even gathered. As it stood, Young Master Han was not wrong in his assessment of the limited time he could buy them with the distraction.
“Let’s hurry!” Gu Fei pushed Sword Demon toward the firewood shed as they ran. The Government City Hall bisected the compound. While there were men rushing over, Gu Fei judged that, given the distance they had to cover, he and Sword Demon possessed the movement speed to make it into the shed before those men caught up.
“What about your cousin?” Sword Demon’s outstanding loyalty shone in this crucial moment. They had only met this one time, but since Windchord was considered as a friend of his friend, the man had already regarded the Fighter as one of his comrades.
“Forget about him; I’m sure he has a solution of his own.” Gu Fei hurried Sword Demon.
Over by Gu Xian’s side, the reinforcement from Flowergazing in the Fog was soon upon him. A core member of the guild that was taking the lead watched Gu Fei and Sword Demon run off. Seeing Windchord just comfortably lying on the lawn, he could not help but erupt.
“WINDCHORD! Didn’t you say to leave this matter to you?! How could you let them run off like that?!”
Gu Xian lay there unmoving, merely lifting his eyes to look at the man. “Can’t be helped. I only found out once I got here that he is actually a blood relative of mine.”
This man was stunned, momentarily stumped, not knowing what to say.
“F*CK!” A comrade of this man got irritated by Windchord’s response and proceeded to come cleaving at Gu Xian with his scimitar.