Chapter 613: Chapter 613 – Prophetic Emperor
Translator: Exodus Tales Editor: Exodus Tales
No Smile was not particularly familiar with Gu Fei’s figure, as the deepest impression of Gu Fei was when the man was still attired in his Beginner’s Mage Robes, with a cloth over his face as he wielded a one-handed sabre. Now, Gu Fei’s known far and wide across Parallel World for his look with that black robe, and although this was a set of equipment that was far more powerful than what Gu Fei had on back then, it was that old get up that had left a deep psychological scar in the recesses of No Smile’s subconscious, so he was actually feeling less of a pressure now that he was facing the black robed Gu Fei.
However, No Smile’s mind was still in turmoil at this time.
This was because the direction that Gu Fei was coming in from was the path he had intended to retreat toward. But if he were to continue on this path, the two would surely pass each other in such a close proximity that there could be nothing else more harrowing for No Smile. He firmly believed Gu Fei had the ability to detect Stealth, but was the method truly as what Broken Water Arrow had said, that it was really some sort of intuition? After having been so nakedly betrayed, No Smile had a hard time believing Broken Water Arrow’s fantastical explanation. In such a situation, why would he dare test it out by walking right by Gu Fei himself?
I can’t take this safe path. No Smile made his decision and was already prepared to carefully thread his way through the troop of female players that July had led. In the end, it was right at this moment when the ladies suddenly each took out a cloth pouch and disperse its content with an extension of their arm, scattering white dust all around that junction.
No Smile pretty much had to lay prone on the ground in order to avoid contact with that cloud of white dust. At a loss for what to do, No Smile quickly retreated away, as he was sure to be surrounded if that white dust were to disrupt his Stealth. There was no point even if he activated his Vanish then, since that skill would not turn him immaterial, allowing him to slip through a physical body undetected.
The despondent No Smile could only detest the fact that the wide street had nothing like a table for him to hide under. The open space that could be seen in a single glance meant it was only a matter of time before the white dust they toss out would expose his presence. Meanwhile, the even more frightening existence that was Thousand Miles Drunk continued his advance from the path behind No Smile, which made it even less of an option worth considering.
Since discovery meant his death, No Smile gritted his teeth and decided it was better to bet everything on a risky gambit.
With his eyes set upon a lady, No Smile slowly crept toward her, revealing himself right before she tossed out the white cloud of dust again. That lady exclaimed in her astonishment, but that white dust in her hand was still released nonetheless. No Smile made no effort to dodge it since there was no need to do so, darting forward head first into that white cloud and made it right behind that lady’s back, plunging his dagger out for a Backstab before he made to grab her arm and tugged it to her back, yelling loudly, “DON’T ANYONE MOVE. Don’t you dare use Heal, Luoluo.”
This sudden change startled the group of ladies. Luoluo was originally about to bestow her Heal, but she promptly stopped herself when No Smile preemptively called her out on it. She very quickly understood No Smile’s intention, and immediately did not dare to make any sudden moves.
Instead, it was the lady whom No Smile had a hold of who was putting up a vigorous struggle. No Smile had to put in quite a bit of effort just wrenching that arm of hers, so he simply extended his other arm and snared her neck in a chokehold.
“That’s why we’re old friends; you know very well what my intentions are!” No Smile smirked.
“Do you even consider yourself human!!” July was looking livid, especially considering the relationship she once had with this man, she felt a sense of nausea overcame her.
“Of course I’m human, plus it’s because I’m a human who understands you so well, which is why I know this method is absolutely effective against you, right?” Indeed, No Smile had a good grasp of July’s personality. Grabbing someone to become a human hostage is nothing in a game, and it was only ladies like July that would mind, particularly because her personal grudge with No Smile. The man had already guessed July would surely be unwilling to sacrifice her own friend for this, so in order to protect this woman he was now holding hostage, July would most definitely acquiesce to his demands as long as his request was nothing too outrageous.
Nevertheless, holding a hostage in submission was not that easy. After all, this was still a game, and the penalty for death was just losing a level; hostages would not be afraid and would be fairly uncooperative. This was why No Smile had picked a weak little Mage, having used Appraisal the moment he revealed himself and hurriedly glanced at her equipment and level. After he confirmed that she would not die to his Backstab did he actually deliver the blow.
No Smile was a Thief who had invested quite a bit of his stat points into Strength, so he barely had any difficulting holding her captive. Furthermore, as this Mage had already taken a Backstab from him, all it would take was a simple stab to finish her off. No Smile was being very cautious at this moment, deathly afraid that this woman would intentionally commit suicide using his dagger.
“Call Thousand Miles Drunk to stay away, quick!” No Smile knew there was actually hardly any value in holding a hostage right now, as he was relying solely on the friendship and care these ladies showed toward each other. But what if their friendship was not that deep? This was precisely why No Smile did not dare to drag this out and instantly issued his demand.
“Miles, please don’t go over there…” July had already spotted Gu Fei and hurriedly sent him a message; especially since he had already began sprinting toward No Smile the moment he appeared.
However, Gu Fei never was in the spirit to chat, much less check his messages during such crucial moments, which was why he had ignored her plea and continued to make a beeline to No Smile. July was alarmed. Even though she had misjudged No Smile once, she still had quite a good understanding of him. She was certain that he would be okay with taking another’s life with him when he was backed into a corner and had no way out.
“MILES, DON’T COME OVER!!” July could only shout this out in this time of crisis, to at least let No Smile know that she had indeed done as he had demanded.
“Ah? Say what?” Gu Fei appeared not to have heard her clearly, as he ran even faster. Actually, he had already heard what July had shouted, and had of course seen No Smile grabbing hold of Ice Glaze. He more or less guessed the situation, and he had only faked not hearing her in an attempt to get closer to the scene.
“DON’T COME OVER!!” July was already bouncing in her anxiety. Even Luoluo had quickly run over to bar Gu Fei advance. “You’re pretending you can’t hear her, huh?” Luoluo had easily seen through what Gu Fei was thinking.
“Ahem. How could I! What are you all up to?” Gu Fei asked casually, as if he was just passing by.
“Enough with your act already,” When No Smile finally saw Gu Fei come to a stop, he let loose a sigh of relief. However, he did not dare to be careless, conscientiously using Ice Glaze like a shield which he kept between him and Gu Fei.
“Quick, let me pass,” No Smile did not dare to stay for long as he swiftly shouted to get people on both sides to back off.
“Can you insta-kill him?” Luoluo quietly asked Gu Fei.
“How much HP does he have?” Gu Fei was actually at a distance where he would be able to use his spells to attack No Smile, but he simply cannot tell if he could insta-kill the man. He would have sent a Lightning Bolt ripping through the skies if he could ascertain the kill.
“I just appraised his equipment, a conservative estimate should be about so much,” Luoluo reported a rough estimation of No Smile’s HP.
“No, I can’t insta-kill him, unless I get near him,” Gu Fei knew how much damage his Lightning Bolt could do, and it was not enough to send No Smile back to the spawn point.
“Don’t you know how to Blink?” Luoluo said.
“Woman, I’m still 8 meters out from him!” Gu Fei said.
“So if I didn’t stop you…”
“Then he just might have jumped the gun in his panic,” Gu Fei sighed. No Smile was an enemy whom he had offended a long time ago, and Gu Fei reckoned he was most likely the imaginary opponent No Smile would dream about, so why would he not be on guard against his Blink?
“Then why did you rush in knowing that!” Luoluo chided.
“I just wanted to find out who this person was, okay?” Gu Fei said.
“It’s No Smile, have you forgotten?” Luoluo asked.
“I wouldn’t have recognized the man if I didn’t get close!” Gu Fei said. “Look, he’s still hiding his face!!!”
“What are you two whispering over there about!!” No Smile bellowed. Gu Fei was already someone whom he paid close attention to. No Smile could feel his resentment burst forth when he realized the man was nowhere as flustered as the other ladies, and was there having an engaging conversation with Luoluo.
“None of your business,” Gu Fei waved his hand dismissively, indicating to the others to ignore him and Luoluo.
All the ladies were unamused, as No Smile urged again, “Quick, let me through!”
July was also hoping Gu Fei would have a chance to turn the tables on this situation now that he was here, which was why everyone had very intentionally backed off so slowly, that there was not even a clear path during the whole time Gu Fei was chatting with Luoluo. No Smile felt his patience was being thoroughly challenged and was about to say something when he did not expect Gu Fei to actually side with him on this, “Everyone, give way to him quickly. Don’t dawdle.”
Everyone was surprised, and even No Smile was a little puzzled. In the end, he heard Gu Fei’s following words, “Let him get away faster, so I can hunt him down.”
No Smile vomited blood. Just as he was about to say something, he suddenly heard someone shout, “Ah, what sort of situation is this? A kidnapping? Ahhhh! That’s a huge deal!!!”
Everybody turned to see who was the one yelling this, only to see someone racing down that street Gu Fei was coming from, shouting loudly even as this person pulled something out from his dimensional pocket in his panicky scramble.
“Who’s this!” No Smile was of course very wary to this newcomer.
“Hello Mr. Kidnapper, I am the reporter Dommu from Good Games Network. I wonder if you mind sparing a few minutes of your time to answer some of my questions?” This player was Dommu. He was originally interviewing Gu Fei with his partner Mudou, when Gu Fei suddenly mentioned he received news and was going off to slay someone. Thousand Miles Drunk killing someone! The two reporters would of course love to do a live report of this, but it was regrettable that the two of them did not have the movement speed that Gu Fei possess to keep up with the man. Naturally, Gu Fei was not about to let something like this hamper with something as huge as slaying someone, so even though the three had departed with the destination in mind, they each came in at different times, with Gu Fei being the fastest, Dommu coming in slightly behind, while who knows where the very average Mage Mudou still was!
“Dommumudou?” some of the players present immediately echoed this name, for Dommu and Mudou had always published their articles together using that name. Players who liked Good Gaming Network would be no stranger to them.
It just so happened that No Smile was a registered user with the site, and was familiar with this name, and he had even seen Dommu and Mudou in person a couple of times. Some time ago, the two had visited Yueye City in order to interview Dusky Cloud and the others from the Ten Guild Alliance, and No Smile had watched this unfold as an onlooker. After that, when he was staking out Silver Moon over at Baishi CIty, the two made an appearance once more and were interviewing the players, even going so far as to camp out a day and night with the rest, in hopes to waiting for Silver Moon to come online and ask a few questions to the notorious man himself; it was unfortunate that they had not managed to get an interview in the end. Now that he was looking at this person, No Smile was able to recognize Dommu, but why would No Smile be in any mood to accept an interview at a time like this? Besides, he did not think this matter of him attempting to kidnap Ice Glaze was anything honorable.
In the end, before he could even say a word, Dommu’s professionalism was already in full display, firing off a series of questions at No Smile like a continuous torrent.
“Mr. Kidnapper, is it convenient for you to tell us your name?”
“Mr. Kidnapper, why are you targeting this lady to kidnap?”
“This is only a game, why do you have the confidence of succeeding in your abduction, Mr. Kidnapper? Furthermore, it seems like you’ve been rather successful with it!”
“If you won’t be too inconvenienced, please answer us!” Dommu asked with utmost earnesty.
No Smile was stunned for a good half a minute before finally recovering. He immediately knitted his eyebrows and angrily yelled, “I’M NOT FREE! QUICK, GO STAND BY THE SIDE. If you don’t do as I say, we’ll just end it here and now.”
All the ladies quickly headed in the direction No Smile pointed. When Dommu saw No Smile was in no mood to accept an interview, he turned toward Gu Fei, “Miles, is this the person you hurried over to slay? In other words, you must surely have history with this person.”
“But of course. The man’s IGN is No Smile. But I wasn’t looking for him when I came here. I had heard Silver Moon would be here. Why can’t I find him?” Gu Fei and Dommu had spent a whole morning together by now, so he was answering his questions like a consummate professional.
“Silver Moon ran toward the Trade Exchange,” No Smile very quickly betrayed Silver Moon’s location. It would be the best case scenario if Gu Fei would immediately abandon hunting him and target Silver Moon instead.
“Oh, are you going there too?” Gu Fei asked.
“I — Enough with your nonsense. Everyone, turn around and face your backs to me,” No Smile was ill-tempered.
Everyone did as according to his demands, but Dommu was still fielding questions toward Gu Fei there!
“No Smile? Isn’t he the same No Smile whom you consecutively killed back then?”
“Yup, that’s the one.”
“Oh, isn’t that something that happened long ago? What are your thoughts on seeing No Smile right here, right now?”
“He’s still a man deserving of a good chop.”
“So what is your opinion with regards to him doing something like this kidnapping?”
“Barbaric. He’s acting no better than a beast.”
“Then do you know what’s his goal for this kidnapping?”
“I suggest you ask Guild leader July this question.”
“July? THE July? The leader of the All-female guild from Yunduan City! Ahhhh, I’ve long since looked up to you. I’ve always wanted to find an opportunity to interview you!” It was of course impossible for July to be anywhere as renowned as Gu Fei, but Dommu nevertheless was a well-informed netizen of gossip circles, and was not just any average player. Moreover, his sight was set on the entire game, not just any particular city. As a guild that had enjoyed the limelight during the guild competition, and with how he kept his eyes out for the guild Amethyst Rebirth that had all-female members, it was uncertain whether his kind words of saying “I’ve always wanted to find an opportunity to interview you” was a compliment or otherwise. But it was apparent that Dommu did not have a good grasp of the situation with Amethyst Rebirth and July, as Gu Fei was already smouldering with anger saying, “Who said this lady’s July; She’s the Fighter over there.”
Gu Fei’s gaze had been casually maintaining his eye contact in a direction when he spoke of July, so Dommu had simply assumed that Luoluo, standing beside Gu Fei, was July and came forward to mistakenly address her as such.
“Ah! I’m truly sorry to have made such a mistake. So you’re actually July,” Dommu was not in the least bit embarrassed, smoothly making his way over to the lady. This man was truly a reporter, through and through; expertly navigating through potentially awkward situations when an opportunity presented itself was his forte.
“Since you’re the Guild leader of Amethyst Rebirth, July, then I more or less understand your No Smile problem here, heh.” Dommu chuckled. As a bona fide netizen of gossip circles, why would he not be aware of the July and No Smile’s historical saga?
July, of course, could hardly be bothered to argue with the man over trifling details, but she had no idea what else to say either as she wrinkled her brow.
No Smile could only pretend as if that man was not present, and when he saw that everyone had their backs to him as he had demanded, he suddenly shoved Ice Glaze to one side and activated his Stealth.
Someone who had been listening for any sounds of movement promptly turned her head back and saw Ice Glaze fallen on the ground. Meanwhile, she noted that No Smile had already disappeared, and she quickly shouted, “No Smile’s missing!”
Everybody turned their heads back, while Gu Fei rushed out two meters before Blinking right beside Ice Glaze. Twin Incineration, Descending Wheel of Flames, Blazing Tree of a Thousand Inferno, all these spells consecutively blanketed the surrounding area, yet No Smile remained nowhere to be found. At the moment, Gu Fei was unable to sense where No Smile was either, because it was evident that the man was not pay attention to him right now.
No Smile had always been paying attention to what Gu Fei had been doing all this while, yet it just so happened that he was not doing so right now. Could it be that he knows about how I can sense people in Stealth?
Only someone with the foundations of a martial practitioner would know about this, and the only people whom Gu Fei had met in the game that would qualify were just Eternal Dominion and Broken Water Arrow. Even though Gu Xian had tremendous expertise in kung fu in the game, it was not possible for him to have grasped this sort of intuition.
Could Broken Water Arrow have told him?
Gu Fei thought about this even as he helped Ice Glaze up to her feet. July was also instructing all the ladies to spread white dust all over, in hopes of bathing No Smile in it, except the chances of success was very slim. Nobody knew which direction No Smile had ran off to, and it looked like he was no longer around anymore.
“You guys go ahead about your business. I’ll head over to the Trade Exchange and take a look,” Gu Fei said.
“Searching for Silver Moon?” July asked.
“Yup,” Gu Fei continued along his way as he turned his head back. “Inform me as well if you’ve any information on No Smile!”
“Won’t that be troubling you?” July said.
“Oh no. Slaying people is my hobby. Please,” Gu Fei hurriedly replied.
“Alright…” July said.
“Thanks…” Gu Fei happily left, leaving July in a state of confusion. Just who should be thanking whom in this situation?
Over by the Trade Exchange, Silver Moon had successfully managed to escape with his life, but he had already been surrounded by a thronging mob of players, and there was no way he could escape any longer. These people were all Blue Ease’s men, mostly comrades of Silver Moon from before, and they were yelling about the various despicable acts that Silver Moon had committed. Silver Moon was ghastly pale trapped inside this mob. Even though this was a safe zone, it was not a designated log off point, so logging off would not be the safest thing, which meant all Silver Moon could do for the time being was bear with this abuse.
The crowd immediately spotted Gu Fei upon his arrival, and they were all gratified, “Brother Miles have arrived as well.”
“Yes, here I am. Where’s Vast Lushness? Sakurazaka Moony?” Gu Fei asked.
“Over here!” The answer came from somewhere behind. Gu Fei turned around and saw Sakurazaka Moony had eagerly stepped out without any need for further prompts right behind Vast Lushness.
“Drunk bro, you arrived even faster than I did!” Sakurazaka Moony said.
“How did you locate Silver Moon?” Gu Fei came rushing over after he received a message from Sakurazaka Moony.
“I saw it on the forums,” Sakurazaka Moony answered.
“Forums?” Gu Fei was shocked.
“Yeah… I don’t know who it was, but there was a post up on the forums that stated Silver Moon would be here, so those people with grudges against the man could head over and get their revenge, while those without any enmity to head over and avenge others,” Sakurazaka Moony said.
“Oh yeah, we saw that post as well, which was why we gathered everyone together for this operation,” someone from Blue Ease’s group chimed in as well.
Gu Fei felt there was something a little strange about this matter, suddenly wondering why July and her ladies would turn up in Baishi City for no reason. Thus, he quickly sent a message over to ask.
“Cat saw someone post in the forums claiming No Smile had appeared in Baishi City and came back to the guild to inform everyone, and everybody ended up making a din about coming over,” July conveyed her helplessness. It seemed like she was not particularly concerned about the matter herself, but she could not contain the passion the others showed toward this matter. Actually, the ladies were usually very united, especially when it came to helping one another. It had gotten to the point where it was like they were covering up their shortcomings, choosing to help someone they hold dear to them, despite reason.
“Another post on the forums? What’s going on, how could everybody believe whatever they end up reading up there,” Gu Fei mused.
“Drunk bro, you might not be aware, but this wasn’t just any sort of post,” Sakurazaka Moony mysteriously said. “This poster has a nickname, called the Prophetic Emperor. The many things that he had posted about the game had all come true, which was why everybody had no reason to doubt the credibility of the information when the coordinates of these two players were posted.”