Chapter 502: Chapter 502 – A Bold Plan
Translator: Exodus Tales Editor: Exodus Tales
“You’re very confident!” Although Sword Demon was trying to be modest before Gu Fei, the tone and attitude he had adopted went beyond mere confidence. It was a firm belief. This led Gu Fei into thinking that the friendship between Sword Demon and this Coco lady was not just superficial; his relationship with her was more than just a girlfriend of a good friend.
Sure enough, Sword Demon nodded his head. “Of course. We’ve been friends for years!”
“What are we waiting for, then? Let’s go!” Gu Fei urged.
“Aren’t you about to log out?” Sword Demon wondered.
“Don’t mention such discouraging things at such a critical time. I won’t die logging off a little later.” A day before, this was the very same thing Svelte Dancer had said to scold Gu Fei. Apparently, things like principles were not something rigid and could bend at the person’s whims.
Sword Demon quickly contacted Coco and led Gu Fei to the place. The direction they were heading to was opposite of where Deep Waters was. The two soon found themselves on the road going to Linyin City.
“The two of them aren’t together!” Gu Fei commented.
“Of course, not. We would have encountered her earlier if they were in the same place.” Sword Demon had a simple reply to this. Once more, Gu Fei sniffed out that confidence that came from a good understanding of the lady.
Over in Linyin City, down an inconspicuous street, the two men stared at a certain door number. Sword Demon checked it against his chat log and nodded. “This is the place.”
They went forward and knocked. The player that came to greet them wore a genial smile commonly seen among people working in the service industry. “How may I help the two of you?”
“I’m looking for Coco,” Sword Demon answered.
“Oh…” That person acknowledged and then let the two men in.
The room they entered was well lighted, but it was presently in a mess. All types of fabric were strewn across the floor, and plenty of players even got buried by these textiles with sets of needles on the tabletops before them. Sword Demon walked straight to a lady arguing with another player while holding an upper garment before her. “This piece here is too shoddy! Won’t it fall apart since you just haphazardly stitched this part here twice?!”
“Why would that be the case?!” The player arguing with the lady chuckled in protest.
The lady tugged at the sleeve, and with a snap, the flimsy thread got torn, and the whole thing came apart.
“Look…” The lady extended her hand with the sleeve and top and shoved it right before the player’s face.
This person had no words. It was nothing strange to see a piece of clothes get torn apart, but it was far too much for the thread to come off with a light tug like that. The man quickly admitted his mistake. “Sorry. Someone probably skipped a step or two in the process. I’ll go have this redone.” With that, the player took the clothes and hurried over to another table, yelling and berating the person even as he snuck glances at the lady. He was evidently attempting to assuage the customer’s dissatisfaction with this open display.
“Big Sis Coco, another ten sets are ready!” someone announced.
“All right. I’ll get my men to pick them up once they are packed.” The lady acknowledged this. She turned around and her gaze fell on the newcomers Gu Fei and Sword Demon. Waving at Sword Demon, she greeted, “You’re here!”
“Yeah!” Sword Demon answered.
It was a simple exchange, but Gu Fei could hear an unusual undertone in the words. It confirmed his assumption that Sword Demon’s friendship with Deep Waters’ other half was deep. The two greeted each other in a very casual manner, neither passionate nor courteous. It was just how good friends would greet each other.
Once she had exchanged greetings with Sword Demon, Coco turned to address Gu Fei through pursed lips. “The Slayer Drunk is here, too.”
“He he…” Gu Fei laughed dryly. He was naturally aware of the different monikers people called him in Parallel World, and while he did not mind them in the least, very few people would dare address him so directly in this fashion.
“And this is…” Sword Demon looked around the room that they were in.
“Making clothes.” Coco casually grabbed a set from a nearby table and tossed it to Sword Demon to have a look.
Sword Demon unfurled it. He and Gu Fei immediately understood what it was at a glance. Camouflage outfit… It was similar to what Deep Waters and his men were wearing. If they intended to have the whole guild wear this kind of outfit, he would probably need a few hundred sets. That would require quite a substantial amount of work. In this fully immersive VRMMO, tailoring was not done simply by shouting in the sky, “Sew!” and then a set of clothes would suddenly appear in their dimension pockets. Players must do actual work and sew the clothes for real. Of course, just like with Archers and their aim, the system would greatly aid them in the process. After all, needlework was not a skill everyone knew.
“Have you seen Deep Waters?” Coco took the outfit from Sword Demon.
“Yup,” replied Sword Demon.
“Then, you should have a clue on what I’m doing here,” Coco said.
“Yeah.” Sword Demon swept his eyes across the place again. “Is this your guild or…”
“Of course, not. It’s a workshop reserved specifically for Tailoring called Remarkable Flair. Didn’t you see the logo on the signboard at the entrance?” Coco asked.
“That’s the logo for Remarkable Flair?” Sword Demon was astonished. This was one of the more well-known workshops among the MMO communities that veteran gamers like Sword Demon were aware of.
Coco shrugged. She then raised her voice to tell that player she was arguing moments before, “See?! Told you that the logo doesn’t connect to the name at all!”
That man was put on the spot. “We’ll find time to make adjustment.”
“Come over and have a seat!” Coco led Sword Demon and Gu Fei over to a few tables that only had one person working at. The man quickly took the cue and left with the work he was busy with, immediately squeezing in with the others on another table.
“What’s up?” Coco asked Sword Demon.
He did not mince words and promptly told her all that he knew; this included their suspicion about the players the system picked out as an assassination target.
Gu Fei was astonished once more. He finally realized that Sword Demon was closer to Coco than to Deep Waters. At least, with Deep Waters, Sword Demon had a modicum of reluctance to beseech for aid. As for this lady, he did not have that kind of reservation or qualms, which evidently showed the level of trust between them.
Seeing that there was no need for him to interject, Gu Fei decided to listen to the two’s conversation quietly.
“To sum it up, what you’re saying is that you suspect something wrong about Broken Water Arrow?” Coco tapped the table with her finger.
“At the very least, the player whom the system had previously targeted through the ‘Daily Mission’ had over 1600 PKs,” Sword Demon said.
“It’s just a game. That’s not really a problem, is it?” Coco reasoned.
“A person’s behavior stems from their character,” Sword Demon countered.
“You’re being too serious,” Coco said. “I already told you; some people playing this fully immersive game indulge themselves in their vices, so their actions do not particularly say much about them as people.”
“Still, in this world, that man isn’t a good guy,” Sword Demon remarked.
“I second this.” Gu Fei said in support of Sword Demon and ended up receiving a pat from the Thief.
“All right, all right! I get it. Unfortunately, I’m not too familiar with that man, much less understand him,” Coco said.
“Well, in that case…” Sword Demon felt utterly rueful.
“I have an idea,” Gu Fei suddenly said, causing the two to turn their gazes on to him.
“Why don’t you bring us along as someone from your guild? This way, we will have more opportunities to observe that guy.” Gu Fei put forth his suggestion.
“Will that work?” Sword Demon had his doubts. Meanwhile, Coco did not say a word.
Gu Fei smiled as he turned to regard the lady. “You’ve done something like this before, haven’t you?”
“What?” Sword Demon was nonplussed.
“Back in Luori City, even players from Traversing Four Seas had no idea that the real plan was for Oathless Sword to lead Todd to the Luori City’s prison, directly bypassing the mercenaries that were closing in on us. However, Deep Waters was able to bring a handful of men to intercept them. Haven’t you found that to be odd?” Gu Fei asked Sword Demon.
“Deep Waters knew that our destination was to bring Todd to prison and preemptively laid an ambush. Why would that be odd?” Sword Demon mused.
“No. There would surely be more men if they preemptively ambushed Oathless Sword. Could Deep Waters not know how many troops we had? Nevertheless, while everyone was entangled in their respective skirmishes, Deep Waters and his men’s attention was never once diverted. There’s only one way to explain why they were bold enough to wait for their prey to turn up of their accord with just that handful of men: Deep Waters and his men were aware of our plan,” Gu Fei said.
“Your analysis… makes a lot of sense.” Sword Demon could not help but admit this fact.
“How was our plan leaked, then? Naturally, that’s because someone nearby discovered it, unless, of course, Young Master Han deviously leaked his plan on purpose for Deep Waters to run over happily, only to be sent back all crestfallen after being slain,” Gu Fei added.
“I don’t think that’s the case…” Sword Demon refuted. At the same time he said this, Sword Demon stole a meaningful glance at Gu Fei. For him to be capable of thinking up such a vile act, it appeared that he was not too far off from Young Master Han’s domain.
“As such, the only possibility left is that someone has eavesdropped on our plan.” Gu Fei looked pointedly at Coco.
“How do you know it’s me?” Coco asked.
“Lady, all your men are Hunters. You are the only Thief among them. I believe that the only way to eavesdrop on us back then was to enter Stealth and sneak your way alongside Oathless Sword. I doubt that the other members are capable of doing that besides you,” Gu Fei said.
Sword Demon was extremely shocked by this revelation. “Coco, are you able to match the normal walking speed after you go into Stealth mode, too?”
“Not really.” Gu Fei answered for the lady. “I believe only Svelte Dancer can do that sort of thing. Coco here most likely freely mixed with our troops after we left Linyin City. Given that our troops comprised various mercenary groups and Traversing Four Seas’ players, no one would really suspect a thing if an unfamiliar face popped up, and that’s a big flaw we had. Coco was probably in our midst the whole time, and each time Oathless Sword held a meeting, she would enter Stealth and eavesdrop on us before relaying everything to Deep Waters. I believe I’ve hit the nail on the head for this, right?”
“Absolutely.” Coco nodded. “You’re pretty darn smart. I believe even Young Master Han hasn’t guessed this, has he?”
This was when Sword Demon’s heart trembled as a chill ran down his spine. “He might not be entirely in the dark about this, and he probably just pretended not to know. Miles’ previous deduction might very well be true. That guy most likely tricked Deep Waters into rushing over in all his ebullience, only for Miles to viciously slay him on the spot…”
“That guy!” Coco suddenly recalled the words Young Master Han had said to taunt Deep Waters. That man had a smug look about him, which seemed to say:’No matter how powerful Sun Wukong is, there’s no way he’ll be able to escape Buddha’s palm.’ 1