Virtual World: Close Combat Mage

Chapter 620 - Ambush

Chapter 620: Chapter 620 – Ambush

Translator: Exodus Tales Editor: Exodus Tales

Even though there were differences between the speed of players’ comprehension and their study efficiency, these students would all have a grasp of the routine at the end of their 45 minutes lesson under the tutelage of Gu Fei and the others. Once the lesson ended, quite a good number of them eagerly left to find monsters to begin their practice. Meanwhile, others who clearly still had to wake up early or had other tasks that needed to be done the next day immediately made a beeline back to the city to log out, since they had only forced themselves to get online at this time because they had no choice in the matter.

When the lesson by White Mill was over, Young Master Han and the others had already begun to organize the second set of students showing up by the east gate, four hundred meters to the south. This time, the people were handled with fewer hiccups after having learnt from the experience of managing the previous set of students. Once the people were gathered, they set off at 4 am sharp toward the White Mill, with none of them caring if that was truly everyone. After all, they had time and time again emphasized on the importance of being prompt and punctual.

The second set of students were still split into 1,000-man groups with 2 of such groups with accordance to the various job classes. Adding Young Master’s Elite and Southern Lone Blade’s team of seven together, aside from the Fighter job class, there were two instructors for every other job class, which meant they had enough manpower to take care of this lot. Besides, Gu Fei and Eternal Dominion could be considered as all-rounder experts that were capable of instructing the routines for any of the job classes.

However, even though the two of them were able to demonstrate all of these routines, there were a few things they were unable to properly inculcate when taking on these routines that were not of their own job class. This was because the routines Gu Fei had established this time round were specifically tailored to each job class, and the biggest difference between the current iteration and the original routines he taught in the Wilderness Camp was how it actually complemented with the skills available to these various job classes. Take, for example, the addition of positioning for a Thief when in melee, to give the players the chance to execute their Backstab. If Gu Fei and Eternal Dominion were to give a demonstration of this, all they could do was verbally elaborate on this: Use Backstab here for the greatest effect. This spoken instruction would obviously be incomparable to Sword Demon or Blackwater directly plunging in their dagger for a Backstab, directly showing the students how it was supposed to be done. Thus, even if they had a severe lack of manpower and were unable to manage the numbers, Gu Fei and Eternal Dominion would still take on their own job classes: The Mage and Fighter, respectively.

Such a situation made Southern Lone Blade and the others a little worried about the batches they would take in the future. Sword Demon and the others were obviously not going to be around then, so if the seven of them were the only ones picking up this task, they would most likely die of exhaustion from having to organize and sort through the letters, as well as the tutelage of the efficient monster grinding routines to the students after. Southern Lone Blade had been a professional gamer for many years, and this was finally the chance for him to rake in a fortune, yet they had to put in an inhumane amount of work to earn it.

There was no point in overthinking about whatever happened afterwards. Everybody poured their hearts into tutoring, and by the time the first lesson was over, the second set of students were already settled. Half of the first set of students had departed, leaving the other half still around. The same thing happened with the second set of students as well, and adding in those players in the wild that hung around, the White Mill was currently extremely crowded, numbering far beyond the 10,000 players. That was not the end of it either; in a blink of an eye, Young Master Han had sent the third set of students over, and the number of players climbed up to 20,000; a sea of players that thronged and bustled to no end!

Gu Fei and the others had already expected such a situation. At the moment, the players who had “graduated” were in a hurry to find monsters for them to practice on, and they were already complaining about having difficulty getting these monsters. There were even more experienced players who realized there would be even more people coming over as time went by, and if they were all coming to grind here, it would be inevitable for them to end up battling one another for the monsters. Some had already begun to take note of the numbers, and came forward to inquire just how many players were learning the routines. Furthermore, there were some who had already begun to set up their own businesses catered to those wild players, and were now providing a second-hand lessons.

Gu Fei and the others saw everything unfold before their eyes, and they were all the more impressed with just how wise it was to collect the fees in advance before tutoring the routines. Thanks to that, they no longer had to be bothered with these players who were setting up their own fronts and continued to impart the routines to the third and fourth sets of students arriving.

When the third set ended, the cacophony of human voices in the White Mill grinding map was already at a record high. It was a lot more complex for the fourth set of students, as there were plenty of players with unique builds included such as the Strength focused Thieves, Agility-based Warriors, or even Knights with Endurance builds. There were even people who idolized and imitated Gu Fei’s Full-Agility Mage build, who not only learnt the routine from Gu Fei himself, but even pestered him for autographs.

Some of the tutors had no choice but to swap the job classes they were instructing, like how Southern Lone Blade took charge to teach the Strength focused Thieves, and Sword Demon had to wield two claymores in his hands to teach the Agility-based Warriors… In order to deal with such a situation, each and every one of them had learnt several different routines beforehand, so even though they were not particularly adept with them, they would still be much better than those independent bootleggers who just learnt these routines themselves. And if they truly could not deal with it, did they not have the two trailblazing founders Gu Fei and Eternal Dominion to depend on?

They spent a lot more time teaching this fourth set of students. When everything was done, it was already 9:30 am. The White Mill grinding map was extremely lively by this time. Plenty of players in the early shift had rushed over to report, and they were all wearing miserable expressions when they found out the efficient monster grinding routine lessons had already finished over the course of the wee hours before. However, when they saw that there were still the bootleggers teaching, these players eagerly ran over to secretly learn from them instead.

The White Mill slowly trended toward the chaos seen in the Wilderness Camp, where students were being enrolled everywhere, kill-stealing, fighting over land, and those that occupied a spot and held down the fort… Meanwhile, when players from the Wilderness Camp heard this news, a lot of players also came over to observe, and so the two grinding maps became a mess one after another.

In the meantime, Gu Fei and the others were already making their way back to the city, talking and laughing merrily as they went. It was apparent that Gu Fei, Sword Demon, and the others who were determined to simply be temporary workers would not be participating in the next batch, so they were all in high spirits, so much so that they had forgotten their own exhaustion. Southern Lone Blade and the other professional gamers were also extremely satisfied with the income they had gotten from doing this work, but when they thought of how Sword Demon and the others would not be around for the next batch, they could not help but feel a little gloomy when they realized they would have to deal with all the labor themselves. Although not having them around denotes that there would be fewer people to split the profits with, which naturally meant each of them would be able to earn far more… However, a deeper reflection would be required when the choice was between money or life.

“Oh right!” Gu Fei suddenly thought of something. “Brother Assist, about Dusky Cloud, Oathless Sword, Brave Surge… Did all these guild leaders reach out to you that day?” That day, all these leaders had each sought Gu Fei to register their interest to be taught by Gu Fei, causing him to be overwhelmed by everyone. Later on, after he learnt from Young Master Han to designate an auto-reply message to “Ask Brother Assist”, he had yet to ask what was the result of everything.

“Yeah, they contacted me. That Dusky Cloud was really rash, claiming he would send his 4,000 strong guild over to register for our lessons,” Brother Assist said.

“But I don’t think I saw any of them turn up, right?” Gu Fei said.

“Hehe, it was all just talk; did you really think he would lead all 4,000 players over here,” Brother Assist chuckled.

“So what happened in the end?” Gu Fei asked.

“In the end, I told him if he was interested in registering, he’ll have to send us the money by mailing it to you! But I don’t think we received anything from Dusky Cloud, Oathless Sword, or the other guild leaders, right?” Brother Assist said.

“Nope,” Everyone shook their heads. Sorting out the letters had not been done by a single person, so even though none of them could remember all the names they came across, they were sure to have an impression of coming across any of those names given how famous the IGNs of people like Dusky Cloud, Oathless Sword, and the other guild leaders were.

“However, I reckon there’s sure to be players from their guilds here among our students today,” Brother Assist said.

Gu Fei thought about it and saw the sense in his words. If Dusky Cloud truly wanted to send his 4,000 men to learn the efficient monster grinding routine, he would need a total of 396,000 gold coins if every player went by the usual rate of 99 gold coins per person. While he might not have to bear the burden of the cost alone, it would be preferable to simply send ten or so players over to learn and return back to their guild to teach the routines to their own guildmates. This would only cost them 990 gold coins, and the difference between the two sums were simply too huge.

“It’s not just them. Who knows how many of those students we got today are actually from all those major guilds? We’ll soon know if we keep watching. Let’s see how many guilds will and station themselves in the White Mill grinding map,” Brother Assist said.

“You’ve given this issue quite a thorough read huh, Brother Assist!” Gu Fei commended.

Brother Assist’s face instantly turned a bright red, “Originally, I had thought I could try and contact these guilds a little and save us the trouble of needing to advertise and sort through letters like what we had done for the last few days. These guilds would have an easier time mobilizing like this, but in the end…”

Gu Fei and the others had a clear idea just what happened in the end. However, Southern Lone Blade and the others had no idea, and while Flame Singed Clothes was listening to Brother Assist’s explanation, the Mage quickly followed up to ask when Brother Assist’s speech came to a sudden abrupt end, “What happened in the end?”

“I got scorned…” Brother Assist replied dispiritedly.

Indeed, Gu Fei and the others thought to themselves. Young Master Han was acting as if he had heard nothing as he calmly drank his liquor. Flame Singed Clothes was still as confused as before, foolishly inquire, “Scorned? Why would you be scorned?”

“You’ll know why as time goes by,” Gu Fei said, as he patted Flame Singed Clothes’s shoulders.

Flame Singed Clothes had a severe reaction to this, as the color from his face draining when Gu Fei patted him. It was evident his fear toward Gu Fei still lurked about in his heart; suddenly being patted by Gu Fei in such a fashion caused him to think he was about to be insta-killed.

Everyone broke into uproarious laughter when they saw that wildly inept reaction of his. Gu Fei had not thought he would create such a deep psychological scar in someone and was feeling rather embarrassed. No longer daring to pat that man anymore, he could only sheepishly say, “What are you panicking for.”

Everyone was in a jovial mood as they chatted and laughed their way back to the city. Unfortunately, Brother Assist was unable to read the mood and wanted to talk to people about their next batch of routines. Brother Assist pointed into the distant hill as they happened to be strolling through a level 30 grinding map, “Actually, we don’t have to stick to just level 40 maps. Level 30 players have the same needs as well, and they might perhaps be all the more pressed to level. Level 30 players should easily accept the 99 gold coins price tag, so why don’t we try to develop a lower level market for the next batch?”

“Level 30… Yes, we should develop that,” Young Master Han nodded.

Gu Fei and the others did not have anything to say, but Flame Singed Clothes was still a greenhorn, who proceeded to ask, “By your logic, there’s still level 20 and level 10 as well. We should begin from level 10.”

Young Master Han gave the man a glance, not saying a word, as he turned to Southern Lone Blade, “Rein in your men. Don’t let them spout nonsense on things they have no knowledge of.”

“F*ck!” Flame Singed Clothes was infuriated, as Gu Fei very bitterly told him, “Now you know how people would be scorned, right?”

Flame Singed Clothes was taken aback even as Southern Lone Blade spoke up, “The speed players could level below 30 is still considerably fast. There’s a limit to the value of introducing an efficient monster grinding routine, which meant 99 gold coins would be seen as expensive. There’s really no need to deal with the possible routines for those under level 30.”

“So we’re all okay with doing level 30s for the next batch?” Brother Assist sought everyone’s opinion on this.

“Fine with me!” Southern Lone Blade said, looking toward Gu Fei and Eternal Dominion. They needed Gu Fei and Eternal Dominion’s expertise and techniques no matter where they ended up going, so the ultimate decision laid with them.

“Fine by me,” Gu Fei replied nonchalantly.

“Same here!” Eternal Dominion nodded.

Southern Lone Blade felt the matter was settled once these two men gave the approval, but he saw that Brother Assist was actually looking at Young Master Han. Brother Assist was truly like a bird surprised by a bow 1, afraid that his suggestion would be met with contempt if he failed to notice some major loophole.

“Level 30 it is!” Young Master Han said, nodding to show his approval as well.

“Then let us investigate the possible locations. Here in Baishi City, the level 30 grinding maps are—” Brother Assist had begun to flip through his notebook.

“Brother Assist…” Everyone had an expression of having swallowed a bitter pill. Did Brother Assist intend to never stop, not even caring to let everyone have a bit of time to deal with the emotional transition?

“Eh? What?” Brother Assist was confused.

“You need to balance work and leisure,” Everyone said.

“We’re not working now! This is merely a discussion of information!” Brother Assist exclaimed.

But that only resulted in everyone crying out, “Brother Assist! This might be an interest of yours, but this is considered work for us!!”

Brother Assist had embarrassed himself with his own enthusiasm, so he dolefully kept his booklet, “Fine. We’ll talk about this in two day’s time!!”

“Work hard, you can do it!” Royal God Call and War Without Wounds were not going to be helping out for this next batch, so they gleefully cheered on everyone, laughing at their expense. Southern Lone Blade and his team were left feeling rather despondent.* Just what are these people? Why did we suffer such huge losses by their hands back then? These guys were all acting like a bunch of undisciplined hoodlums. Just how could a disciplined and professional team like ours even withstand taking such a blow to our ego?*

Everybody were just about to leave this level 30 grinding map when suddenly, they all heard a sharp whistle. Anyone familiar with the sound cues found in the game would recognize this to be the sound made by an Archer’s Snipe, and it was nothing new hearing it here in a level 30 grinding map. Archers would often be found using this particular skill while they were grinding, but the sound of this Snipe had actually originated from somewhere nearby. While everyone was still dumbfounded, Gu Fei had already twisted his body to the side even as that arrow brushed right past his face. The others instantly realized they were being ambushed; everyone here was a PK veteran, aside from Brother Assist, so they were all immediately able to determine the direction of the enemy just from that arrow trajectory. Turning toward in that direction in unison, Southern Lone Blade had already pulled out his shield and propped it before him as the rest of his team all took cover behind him in a show of perfect cooperation.

Young Master Han and the other members of Young Master’s Elite glanced at War Without Wounds, as that man kicked his leg helplessly, “Don’t look at me, I’m not a Guardian.”

“He’s not one either,” Royal God Call pointed out.

“He’s so shameless. How can a Berserker even use a shield?” War Without Wounds was very miserable as well. He had been wondering about this question himself as well, but the two of them were not that familiar with each other yet, so he never found the chance to ask Southern Lone Blade about this.

Southern Lone Blade and the others had thrown a quick side glance, wondering to themselves, Just what sort of expert team are they? They are currently being ambushed, yet they still have the time to be flapping their lips instead of getting ready to defend and mount a counterattack!

Ultimately, they saw Gu Fei had already drawn his sword and darted toward the direction where the arrow came flying from. Seeing that man’s verve, Southern Lone Blade and his team involuntary glanced at their own Mage Flame Singed Clothes.

Totally incomparable… they thought to themselves.

Having determined the location of the enemy via the direction the attack came from, which was a large boulder dozens of meters beyond, Royal God Call used his Eagle Eye to take a look and reported, “Three players.”

Just the human eye alone could tell there were only three assailants. There was no need to use Eagle Eye to confirm that…

Meanwhile, Young Master Han had already calmly pulled out his spyglass; after a glance, he stowed it away, “Fleeting Smile.”

It’s him… Was what everyone was thinking. Sword Demon and the others were apparently aware that the man was out to cause trouble for them, and Southern Lone Blade was also aware of this. Even if he had already backed out from cooperating with Fleeting Smile, he did believe that the man still had not given up the thought of confronting Gu Fei. He simply never thought he would act now. Could he have already come up with some method to take care of Thousand Miles Drunk?

There were indeed three players up on that huge boulder. When that first shot of his missed, Broken Water Arrow chuckled, “I told you, didn’t I? Don’t underestimate them just because they are just some gamers, especially that Thousand Miles Drunk. So how about it, a single arrow and your position had already been revealed. Ambush.” Broken Water Arrow had turned to the other side to remind Ye Xiaowu at the end of his comment.

The man who had made the initial shot was half-kneeling, gripping the bow in one hand as his other hand pulled the bowstring back once more. However, this man seemed entirely unconvinced by what Broken Water Arrow had said, “The sound of projectiles in this game is even louder than that of a gunshot, especially this Snipe skill. How could I not be exposed?”

With that said, the man let loose his hand on the bowstring, except that in the instant when he let it loose, his other hand holding onto the bow handle trembled ever so slightly. A Double Shot came flying out, yet the two arrows veered off thanks to that slight tremble. What would have originally been two consecutive shots that followed the same path had evidently created two different trajectories as a result of this slight change at release.

Gu Fei had been bounding toward the large boulder when he heard the twang of the bowstring. He watched as the two arrows came hurtling over, and that exceptional eyesight of his could tell that the two arrows had a different flight path in a glance. The first shot was the attack as anticipated, yet it’s target was somewhere on the left side of his body; it was easy enough for him to dodge this attack with a side-step to the right, but doing so would put him perfectly in the path of that second arrow of that Double Shot, which just so happened to be aimed at the spot a single step to the right of his leading arrow.

To think this person could actually set such a precise trap with something as simple as Double Shot. This man’s calibre is sure to be better than Royal God Call’s. He’s sure to be someone who had actual mastery of the bow! Gu Fei thought to himself even as he took a large stride to his left, letting that first shot past him as that second went more outrageously awry in its trajectory.

“Oh!” The Archer on the large boulder could not help but cry out in exclamation when he saw this. It was not difficult to deftly dodge that shot of his, the real difficulty lay in being able to discern the trap within those two shots he made, for that would surely require a visual acuity well beyond the average person.

So is this man really a worthy foe? The man wondered to himself even as he had another arrow nocked on his bow, speaking to Broken Water Arrow at the same time, “Synchronize.”

Without saying another word, Broken Water Arrow pulled out his short crossbow and began firing repeatedly, expending all his crossbow bolts in one go. That Archer shook his head and sighed, “The calibre of our attacks at this distance is about the same. 500 meters and up is my paradise. Does this game have any skill that could attack beyond 500 meters?” That person tilted his head to ask Ye Xiaowu.

The ex-game employee shook his head and showed a wry smile.

The Archer heaved a long sigh when he suddenly ducked his head. The shrill sound of cutting air sounded right over his head as that man appeared unperturbed, “The counterattack has begun.”

“Yup!” Broken Water Arrow answered even as he fitted his cartridge into his crossbow and fired. But Gu Fei was already slightly familiar with their technique, as he easily made his way dodging the shots with his nifty footwork.

Broken Water Arrow was rendered helpless, even as the other man shook his head as well, “Slow, too slow. The speed of the bolts are too slow. No amount of accuracy will matter when the speed of projectiles remains unchanged. This man is entirely capable of reacting in time against all our shots.”

Saying this, the man released yet another shot from his bow, but his target was not Gu Fei, but the pack of players that was rushing over to the boulder.

“F*CK!” Royal God Call yelled in anger. That shot from the large boulder had struck him in his shoulder.

“An expert!” Royal God Call reminded the others. Young Master Han and the other Priests had already cast their Heals to replenish Royal God Call’s HP.

They could already tell they were up against an expert. They were not Gu Fei, and none of them had that inhuman reaction of his. By the time they saw or heard the sound of the arrow flying and reacted accordingly, the projectile would have already dug deep into them in the time they could register it to be an attack; how would any of them have the time to react?

Thus, when normal players were facing ranged attacks, all they could do was keep moving to avoid giving the assailant the chance to accurately target them.

With Royal God Call’s fast movement speed, everyone could see just how erratically he had been moving. For the enemy to have been able to accurately target him under such circumstances, it was clear that the man’s marksmanship well surpassed the average player’s capabilities. The heart of someone like War Without Wounds with his baby legs was beating all the more furiously when he witnessed this. If this enemy was able to target someone like Royal God Call with his movement speed, why would his own serpentine maneuver even matter?

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