Chapter 632: Chapter 632 – Hiding Here and There
Broken Water Arrow and the others were still stuck in the tavern and had no idea what they should do. It appeared as if somebody had placed their sights on Ye Xiaowu, since he would be killed the moment he stepped out of the Priest Academy. They were not going to worry about the identity of this person first; the important thing now was that he would surely be unable to send the money they needed over.
“Let’s go!” Broken Water Arrow gritted his teeth and led everyone out of the tavern.
“Eh? Can all of you leave even if you don’t pay for damages? Are you sure?” Gu Fei was chattering endlessly behind them, almost annoying these ex-soldiers to death.
Sure enough, the proprietor of the tavern did not make any attempts to stop them from leaving and only watched all these ex-soldiers leave while loudly telling them that not paying for their drinks and the damage done to this establishment would be penalized accordingly. Gu Fei listened to this quite closely, for he felt that this was a rule he might need to know.
It was unknown if the NPC guards were teleported over or otherwise, but Broken Water Arrow’s squad was blocked by the troops that had appeared. Gu Fei also turned into an onlooker at this point, squeezing with the others in the crowd as they came together to watch the commotion. Unlike Gu Fei who had seen this before when Traversing Four Seas’ guild members were being displaced off their feet by a similar group of guards in Yeguang Village, the average players had never seen such a large group of guards gathered like this. Although these ex-soldiers might be powerful, he reckoned that there was no way they could hold off such a large troop of city guards.
Everyone was pointing and watching, but who would have thought that these city guards would have no intention of striking? Broken Water Arrow’s lot was calm as well, with none of them taking their weapons out. They had already been briefed about the rule by Ye Xiaowu. They would only need to pay for their lives if they took a life! All they had was bad debt at this point, and that did not require them to pay for with their lives. The city guards being mobilized was also a symbolic gesture because their boss thought that it would be too unrealistic to just have the players suddenly find their pockets bereft of coins.
The guards declared the tavern rules again, letting all the players have an even deeper understanding of it. Afterward, they began to exact the levy on to these offenders, with the guards coming over to directly insert their hands into the players’ dimensional pockets in a show of realism. None of the ex-soldiers resisted, for Ye Xiaowu had already told them that they would only stand to lose something if they resisted. This was all for the sake of realism, and everyone should just cooperate accordingly. In any case, the system was not going to casually make off with any other items they had in their dimensional pockets.
These men all had their pockets rifled through once before these guards announced how many coins they managed to collect, as well as how much more these ex-soldiers still owed. They also elaborated on how they would be collecting the rest, giving everyone an eye-opening experience.
This entire ordeal lasted almost half an hour, and it was only when these guards left once the deed was done that these ex-soldiers were finally considered free; all of them hurried over to the Priest Academy. Gu Fei quickly stepped out to block them, shaking his head. “Since you guys know that this was how things would go down, why didn’t you guys all just do all this sooner instead of wasting so much time? And here I was thinking that you would all be forced to stay in that tavern if you couldn’t pay!”
“We’ll continue sparring the next time we have the time. We’re now in a hurry to save someone.” Broken Water Arrow was seething with contained rage as he said this.
Gu Fei did not know whether to laugh or cry. “Are you guys confuddled in all your anxiety? Saying we’d be sparring is just talk; aren’t we enemies?”
These ex-soldiers exchanged looks when they heard this. They originally thought that their numerical advantage would provide great strength – that they were the ones holding the initiative to this fight or ability to retreat as they willed. Just how did the tables turn? The opposing party merely had just the two men; Not only did they dare to challenge these ex-soldiers so openly, the two men were even refusing to let them off?
“Forget about me, even the crowd won’t willingly let you guys go just like this,” Gu Fei said.
“Well said!” Applause sounded. These spectators’ hands were nearly red from this clapping, and their favorability toward Gu Fei surged when they saw how he cared for how they felt.
“Thank you; thank you!” Gu Fei balled his fists into a salute as he accepted their gratitude.
Broken Water Arrow and the others were the straightforward sort, so they did not say anything more in the face of this situation.
“Cover fire and disperse.” This one order was all it took for these ex-soldiers to temper that feeling of exasperation they had for Gu Fei and Gu Xian and quickly adjust themselves to engage in combat. They split themselves into two teams, with the highly mobile Thieves and Archers pulling away and the rest staying to deal with the two.
Alas, Gu Fei had already seen through their intention and created an Electric Wall with a quick wave of his sword. This was to prevent these men from withdrawing as he darted toward them.
These ex-soldiers were depressed! It was yet another surreal contrivance – something that they were getting more and more annoyed with.
“Can we break through it?” These ex-soldiers had not seen an Electric Wall before and wanted to give it a shot.
“Impossible; you’ll be paralyzed,” Broken Water Arrow quickly warned. He had been hanging with Ye Xiaowu for quite some time, after all, so he had quite a good understanding of all the tricks Gu Fei could pull. “This is his Electric Wall spell.”
All the ex-soldiers had been briefed about what Gu Fei could do and knew that he had something called Electric Wall in his arsenal, but because they had never seen it used, no one had any idea what it looked like. These uncles had zero gaming knowledge and could not even imagine something as simple as a Fireball spell if they had not encountered it first hand, which made them far more of a noob than Gu Fei had been when he first started out.
“Go around it.” Sniper God gave this command as he made his way to the wall, with both his hands placed before him. The others quickly understood what he was trying to do, and they came running over to step on his palms. Sniper God raised his hands and that other man used the momentum from that to leap, scaling the wall after he managed to slump his arms over the edge. It took no more than two seconds to complete this entire sequence, and this was followed by the second person, the third…
“Wow! Professionals, indeed!” Gu Fei commended with a sigh. The enemies comprised of five Archers and Two Thieves; four men had already made it up the wall by the time Gu Fei dashed over. The fifth man was having a little trouble; the beer gut that came with a blissful middle-age got in the way as this person tried to climb up like the others. The elasticity of this belly almost caused the man to bounce off, but Broken Water Arrow and the others were luckily ready to receive him from above, and they scrambled to tug him up to safety.
This man was feeling utterly embarrassed, even as the others lamented, “It’s not good to gorge on the government’s dime!”
“Ah. It’s all the entertaining I have to do every day.” This person sighed. Sniper God and the other below no longer had the time to get themselves up, so he waved his hand off dismissively. “You guys go ahead!”
Giving that last instruction, Sniper God ran. He had his crossbow pointed at Gu Fei to fire, though honestly, he was in no mood to use it at all due to how slow its projectiles traveled in the air. Still, he did not have any other choice; what else would be more like a firearm aside from this crossbow in Parallel World?
The four men with Broken Water Arrow did not hesitate and immediately ran off along the rooftops. Gu Fei was not too bothered about losing those five men; he was only hung up over the fact that he had only managed to retain two players with his Electric Wall in the end, as that one spell used up almost 50% of his total mana.
Gu Xian was a little at a loss on what to do as well. He was still waiting for people to come rush toward him to fight, but all of them split off in every direction and began engaging in a ranged ‘gunfight’, instead.
“What’s the meaning of this? We were the ones hiding all over the tavern before, so now it’s their turn to do the same? These guys sure know how to harbor bitter resentment – so petty!” Gu Xian complained to Gu Fei.
The two cousins were not too near each other, so Gu Xian was shouting all of that out. When the ex-soldiers heard this, all of them of course felt as if they were hit critically! This was a very professionally executed street fight tactic, how did it become a petty move? Who was even harboring bitter resentment?!
This moment of annoyance caused everyone to concentrate their fire onto Gu Xian, and a whole mess of arrows and bolts went flying his way.
There was of course a good reason for how these ex-soldiers were moving; it was to let them cover a wider area with their crossfire coordination. Were it real firearms in their hands, even eight Gu Xians would be unable to escape from this encirclement. Ultimately, they were all sabotaged by this game. In real life, the pull of the trigger and the release of the bullet were done in the same moment, and even a shot from a handgun would be faster than the speed of sound; the heroes depicted in war films would often be able to dodge these shots just through their sense of hearing alone, but how was that even logically possible? That twenty- to thirty-meter distance meant bullets would hit targets far quicker than sound. Their heads would explode before even the sound hit them, so there was no way anyone could dodge it.
However, in this game, the speed of a crossbow bolt could not even be comparable to the slowest bullet from a firearm. Because everyone had a different job class, and their stats and equipment were all different, the speed of their firing was different from one another. In order to cover this discrepancy, these ex-soldiers would have to readjust their coordination routines, but they had yet to train to such a degree in-game, and everything was executed according to their drills back when they were still serving in the army. Having not done this for many years, it was inevitable that they would become rusty, and adding the differences that came about due to the game’s design, their current synchronicity was terrible. Even they themselves thought that their crossfire coordination was a total mess with plenty of flaws, each of them sighing as they saw Gu Xian duck and weave within that kill-zone, before successfully finding cover and remaining there.
When it was all over, they watched as that rascal suddenly raised his hand and shouted, “I’m just gonna hide here and not come out! Come over here by yourself if you want to fight me!”
“F*ck! Aren’t you simply too d*mn lazy!” Gu Fei was crestfallen as he was still busy taking on Sniper God and the other Archer who had not managed to get away in time. These two were entirely different while they were holding onto their crossbows. Both men’s equipment, job classes, and stats were very similar to each other, so even though their projectiles did not fire at the speed of a firearm, they were at least able to synchronize the timing of their shots to a degree where they would not be laughed at for being unable to time their shots enough to land them on their target at once. Both men made sure to maintain their distance from Gu Fei, engaging him in a pincer attack as they gave him a good run for his money. They were both Archers whose movement speed were about the same as Gu Fei’s! There was no way he could catch up just by running after them alone.
Gu Fei could only continue to evade the two’s attacks as he headed over to where the other ex-soldiers were positioned, hoping to find someone whom he could engage in close combat with. Gu Fei went for Mountain Breaker Axe the moment he saw the Fighter huddled behind a stack of barrels, knowing full well that the man had a passion for fighting like he did.
However, the Mountain Breaker Axe that Gu Fei had in his mind was quite different from the actual Mountain Breaker Axe; that man had a passion for fighting entirely because that was the method he was best at when killing a target. It was the strongest weapon he had in his arsenal to complete his missions, but when he clearly know that this weapon was entirely incapable of completing the task at hand, he would of course not be bothered using it. Seeing that Gu Fei was pushing forward to entangle with him melee again, his squadmates hesitated over shooting Gu Fei in fear of friendly fire. Thus, when Mountain Breaker Axe saw him move toward him, he did not even spare a thought and turned tail to flee.
“Aww… Why are you running away as well?” Gu Fei was disappointed! How frustrating! He thought that he had found a bunch of good opponents he could practice his kung fu on, yet it seemed that none of them was really that keen on this! All of them enjoyed hiding about in the distance and firing their crossbows like firearms… It appeared that what his dad had said was true: ‘The best way to defeat an opponent is with a gun’! They were all men who killed people in actual combat, so they evidently understood this logic.
If this were simply a race, Gu Fei would have no problem catching up to Mountain Breaker Axe, but the other people around them were not just for show, and even though these ex-soldiers had some problems coordinating their firepower due to the game’s design, the projectiles that could not insta-kill Gu Fei would still be quite the hindrance, and this situation meant Gu Fei could not catch up to Mountain Breaker Axe, so what he did was turn around and chase after the others. He wanted to close in with Blink, but these ex-soldiers had already dealt with this skill quite enough back in the tavern before, so Gu Fei’s thought of using this method would be a little too much of an insult to their intelligence. Blink could only cover five to six meters! This was the number everyone remembered, and there was absolutely no way they would give Gu Fei the chance to get anywhere near the distance he required.
Gu Fei was just running all over the place now, unable to use his kung fu for the longest time. He had accidentally gotten himself shot twice during this time too, but it was fortunate that the two shots did not come from the two Archers, so the damage done was nothing substantial. However, the melancholy he was feeling was very similar to what the ex-soldiers were feeling back in the tavern.
“Control the situation and proceed to evacuate in an orderly fashion!” Sniper God, who was the most adept shooter among the bunch, already realized that they needed further polishing if they wished for their firepower coordination to be of quality and substance in this game. Had he known this, he would not have listened to Ye Xiaowu’s b*llsh*t about how the game would require a complement of the various job classes, so it was best if everybody picked the different job classes the game had to offer… Were this not the case, who knew how much of a better situation they would be in right now if they were all Archers. Presently, even though they had control of the current circumstances, they would have a hard time if their goal was to defeat Gu Fei. All that man wanted to do now was to find someone to slay; if he gave up on this thought, there was no way Sniper God and the others could seal his movements even with everyone’s firepower at hand. There’s a gap between our maneuverability! Thousand Miles Drunk has great flexibility. We should’ve all picked to be Archers if we knew this; it’s just such a waste of our skills at this rate… Sniper God thought to himself.
The ex-soldiers followed the order they were given, and the players who were the farthest from Gu Fei began withdrawing. The first to leave were the two Priests, and one of them was Xiaochen, the same one Sword Demon had slain earlier. Just as he turned around, he saw a ghostly figure sneak up behind the other Priest.
“Behind you, Old Wu!” Xiaochen yelled out in a hurry.
By the time the Priest called Old Wu turned, the person behind him had already gripped his head and slammed it directly into a wall beside him. Old Wu was less skilled than Xiaochen, for he was just a cook. While the latter would often head out with the squad on missions, there was obviously no need for the cook to be brought along when they were off on assignments, so Old Wu’s caliber in battle was best left unmentioned. Thus, with him seized in such a manner, Old Wu did not even have the chance to see his assailant before he was sent back to the spawn point.
By the time the others turned around, Old Wu was already gone, and Gu Xian was seen standing there in his place, all smiles. Everyone was irate. “Didn’t you say that you’re gonna hide over there and not come out?”
“You guys aren’t young anymore; has no one ever lied to you all before?” Gu Xian scoffed.
Gu Fei was sweating when he heard this. This was Gu Xian’s attention-shift gambit; he had fallen victim to it plenty of times when he was a child and had lost plenty of his meals as a result.
“Aren’t you guys hurrying over to the Priest Academy? Isn’t this method the quickest?” Gu Xian chuckled as he came striding straight to Xiaochen. The ex-soldiers were only guarding against letting Gu Fei get within five meters of them, so they were not particularly concerned with the space between each other. Xiaochen and Old Wu were already on the retreat, so they were really near each other, letting Gu Xian streak right over him with a Spurring Meteor. Arrows and bolts from the others came racing over to ward him off, but Gu Xian did not even evade them. He took some of those shots and used Xiaochen as a living meatshield for the rest of the projectiles when he reached him. He then tossed him off the wall with a casual Seismic Toss, resulting in a burst of white light as both Priests were swiftly sent back to the Priest Academy.
“F*CK!” Sniper God snapped as he began sending a mad barrage of bolts toward Gu Xian. The Fighter ducked low and hid once more, not forgetting to add, “This time I really am not coming out.”
Who was going to believe him anymore? Not only did these ex-soldiers refuse to take his word for it, they even gathered some of their men to lay siege at where Gu Xian was taking cover. Old Lightning and Thunder threw their grenades and bombarded his position, but ended up seeing the sacks next to the wall move. That rascal Gu Xian had clearly dived into the pile of sacks, not exposing himself to either the sky or the ground, essentially making all the spells sent his way ineffective.
“You’ve trapped yourself now!” Sniper God was instead delighted when he saw what Gu Xian had done. He continued to suppress Gu Fei with the other Archers even as they steadily moved toward where Gu Xian was hiding.
Sure enough, Gu Xian was nowhere to be found behind that sack pile. Everyone knew that he had hidden himself within, but they were left in an awkward position in the next moment. This is a game! Spells could not damage these sacks and arrows could not pierce through them, so the only way for them to attack the man would be to move away all the sacks manually.
A quick exchange of words between these ex-soldiers over the mercenary channel, and four men temporarily put down their crossbows and came forward. Just as they were about to close in, the sack pile suddenly exploded, and Gu Xian burst forth punching and kicking, treating the sacks like hidden weapons as he threw them out. These four men were all left lost and dazed, while Gu Xian jumped to use his Swallow Dropkick and kicked off the wall, using the same method Eternal Dominion had used before to get himself up the roof. Gu Xian sighed as he did all this, asking with a yawn, “Can’t I just rest there for a while?”
Sniper God angrily directed everyone to open fire, but Gu Xian was already atop the wall, and when he took a few steps back, he disappeared from everyone’s view.
The four men that were sandbagged by those sacks felt disgruntled, so they immediately came forward and formed a human ladder, send two out of the four right up and over. The moment their heads popped up, Gu Xian appeared again. His left leg kicked out to send one back down as the other yelped, no longer wanting to get up there, but Gu Xian reached out to grab this person instead of pushing him down as well. He then used a Seismic Toss to drag the guy up, performing an overarm throw right on the roof.
No one had any idea what had happened up there afterward. All they saw was another beam of white light appearing.
The moment these ex-soldiers overly concentrated their firepower onto Gu Xian, Gu Fei was freed from suppression and quickly closed in on them. By the time the squad could react to this, it was already too late. Gu Fei instantly Blinked and materialized right before someone, feeding a slash out. These ex-soldiers were all trained, so they were not completely caught off guard by this assault; the ex-soldier he had targeted managed to quickly evade this cut.
However, Gu Fei had already expected this to happen. That slash was in fact intentionally done for the opponent to avoid. His left hand, which had already congealed a Palm of Thunder, went straight into the space his opponent was dodging toward.
Electricity coursed with this thrust of his palm, and although this man did not meet a violent end with this strike instantly, the repulsion effect of the Palm of Thunder was triggered at this moment, so the person came flying out involuntarily, crashing right into a comrade who was standing not too far from him. Gu Fei was quick with his execution. Using the remaining mana he had, he unleashed a Thunderbolt onto that man. There was no reason the target could avoid this when he could barely get back on his feet after being thrown off with Gu Fei’s strike. The streak of lightning descended from the heavens, and this was followed by another white light.
Gu Fei had used up all his mana at this point, so seeing the side of a wall turning off into a corner nearby, he promptly darted over and began munching on his fruit he brought once he was safe. Thereafter, he strained his neck to see what the rest of the ex-soldiers were doing.
Gu Fei and Gu Xian were no longer within their line of sight, and based on how the two had initiated the assault and the passive position the ex-soldiers had adopted, this should be a good chance for them to make their way to the Priest Academy. However, after suffering such an attack like that, Gu Fei believed that there was a high chance of them remaining to continue the fight in a moment of impulse, but when he took a peek, he saw the squad methodically withdrawing from the scene without a fuss.
“They really are professionals; how very calm and collected!” Gu Fei sighed in awe. Quietly looking on to see the direction they were retreating, he did not leap out to stop them from leaving and just conscientiously munched on his apple to completion. The good thing about having little mana was how little time it took for him to recuperate, and Gu Fei did not need it to be topped up full either. As such, he departed once he saw that he had recovered sufficient mana. By his calculations, even though he started off late, he should still have enough time to circle around these ex-soldiers and intercept them; after all, was he not a full-Agility Mage?