Chapter 65 - The Legend of the Lycanthrope
The NPC actually ran very fast. Even with Gu Fei’s full-Agility physique, he had to exert quite the effort to chase after the person. All he could do was ensure that his target would not leave his line of sight. Meanwhile, the heavily encumbered and slow Xiaoyu had long been abandoned far behind in this high-speed foot chase.
The places the NPC could flee were actually limited. In fact, he only circled the village a few times before finally barging in to a house.
Gu Fei firmly fixed his eyes on the NPC as he unhesitatingly strode forward and banged his fist on the house’s door. Gu Fei had long steeled his resolve to confront the Werewolves despite knowing that there was a possibility of him dying. Actually, he was anticipating how the Werewolves would react toward his provocative actions. Would they transform and combine their strength to beat him up? Gu Fei could only accept the outcome if that really happened, as an entire guild was probably needed to accomplish this chain quest.
The door finally opened after a bout of knocking, yet the person that appeared before Gu Fei was not the one whom he had been chasing. The stout man standing in front of Gu Fei was at least a foot taller than him. He almost bit his tongue. A Werewolf would become bigger whenever it transformed. Given how well built this man looked, he would probably be as big as an elephant when he transformed!
Gu Fei had encountered him before. Seeing as the person Gu Fei was chasing had actually sought refuge in this man’s house, could he perhaps be the Werewolves’ leader?
“I want to know everything about the gold mine,” Gu Fei immediately broached the subject.
The man remained mum but did not chase Gu Fei away.
“I already know you’re all Werewolves,” Gu Fei threw caution to the wind and laid his cards on the table.
Surprisingly, the man did not attempt to silence Gu Fei by killing him; instead, he just showed unease at Gu Fei’s revelation.
“Don’t worry. I won’t tell anyone about it,” Gu Fei clarified his stand on the matter to the Werewolf. He recalled that quests like this would need additional items beyond just a silver tongue. Merely appealing to the AI’s feelings was futile even though this was a full-immersion game. With that in mind, Gu Fei took out the urn containing Murphy’s ashes and presented it to the man.
“I found this inside the mine shaft. Since Murphy’s grave is empty, I suppose you all dug him out and cremated his remains?” Gu Fei asked for confirmation of his guess.
Gu Fei could see sorrow reflected in the man’s eyes.
The NPC’s change in emotion was etched clearly on his face for Gu Fei to see. He took the Werewolf’s emotional state into account as he thought of his follow-up question.
The NPC had initially shown anxiety and uncertainty upon hearing that their identity as Werewolves was exposed.
He then became morose when Gu Fei mentioned Murphy’s death.
Murphy would rather die than reveal his identity as a lycanthrope, and the rest of the villagers were still in the dark about this.
Gu Fei finally understood this whole business. This group of Werewolves was afraid that the villagers would uncover their identity. Murphy had chosen to return into his human form before dying to prevent the villagers from panicking among themselves, which would create trouble for his fellow Werewolves. After all, Murphy was a villager as well. Murphy being a Werewolf would surely make the villagers suspicious of the people around them. If the Werewolves were to live under such scrutiny, they would sooner or later be exposed to the villagers.
Gu Fei felt ashamed of himself for jumping into conclusion that these Werewolves had murdered Murphy over a gold-ore-distribution dispute.
But then, who was the Werewolf that killed Murphy?
More importantly, why was this stout man before him not talking at all? Could he be a pureblood lycanthrope that had yet to master the human language?
“You all don’t want the villagers to know your real identity, right?” Gu Fei asked once more.
The stout man continued to stare at Gu Fei.
“Why?” Gu Fei displayed Xiaoyu’s stubbornness and continued to question the man until he finally got an answer.
“We don’t want to kill or be killed,” the stout man finally spoke.
Gu Fei sighed in relief and asked, “What do you mean?”
“If the villagers were to find out we are Werewolves, they would definitely try to eliminate us,” the burly man explained, “We have been living among them for so many years and never thought of harming them. We only hunt beasts deep into the woods during a full moon to honor our bestial bloodline.”
“So why do you all wish to live with humans?” Gu Fei asked.
“We are the ones who lived here first. In the past, we learned human mannerisms while living in the forest. Eventually, we decided to leave the forest and build this village. It was only later that the humans trickled in and decided to live with us. And after so many years, the village turned into what it is today,” the man explained further.
“What about the Werewolf that killed Murphy, then?” Gu Fei asked.
“He’s not one of us!” the man gritted his teeth. “I don’t know where he came from, but he possesses tremendous strength. I think he’s someone from the village because he knows us very well. But we can’t seem to catch his scent.”
“Why did he kill Murphy?” Gu Fei asked.
That stout man remained silent again.
“Ahhhhh! You guys ran so fast!” Xiaoyu’s voice could be heard from behind Gu Fei, finally managing to catch up after so long.
Gu Fei suddenly thought of something and signaled Xiaoyu to take out the sack of gold ore that he had dug out from the forest near Murphy’s backyard.
“I found a map in Murphy’s house and dug this out,” Gu Fei once again presented an item.
“What’s with the gold mine?” Gu Fei pressed on.
That stout man said, “One full moon, we went deep into the forest to hunt animals. An unknown Werewolf suddenly appeared and demanded us to follow his orders. Murphy challenged him into a fight but was defeated. From then on, he demands us to take turns helping him extract gold ore every night.”
“You have the strength in numbers; why are you afraid of one Werewolf? Gang up on him!” Gu Fei blurted out.
“We only attack in a pack when we are hunting animals. Duels are reserved for battles between two fellow Werewolves. Our law dictates that we follow the strongest,” the man stated.
“Was that how Murphy died?” Gu Fei asked.
“No… We all deemed that the foreign Werewolf with dubious background was too strong for us, so Murphy worked hard to uncover his human identity in order to use that as a leverage. Unfortunately, he was discovered and killed during his search,” the man sighed with regret.
“Don’t you all wish to avenge Murphy?” Gu Fei questioned.
“We don’t know his human identity, and we couldn’t best him in combat either,” the man replied.
Gu Fei thought for a while and asked, “If Werewolves are injured by a silver weapon, what will happen?”
“In that case, the wound will require quite a few days to heal,” the man answered.
“Is one night sufficient to heal completely?”
“Is there any medicine or spell that can overcome this?” Gu Fei pressed on.
“There’s none. Werewolves like us possess high regenerative abilities. We can recover very quickly provided that it is not a silver weapon that injures us,” the man revealed.
Gu Fei had already expected this answer, so he nodded his head, “Let us help you defeat this foreign Werewolf!”
“It is too shameful to depend on humans for this!” the man refused his offer.
Gu Fei had not expected the Werewolves to have this level of pride. Gu Fei helplessly commented, “Maybe he’s a human, too?”
“Human? We saw with our eyes that he is a Werewolf. He even has our species scent. It is only because his scent is masked very well when he takes his human form that we are unable to locate him,” the man said.
“Is he wearing something on his neck?” Gu Fei asked.
“It appears to be so….”
“That’s him. Yesterday, I cut him with a silver weapon, yet I could not find a single villager with a wound today. If he is not a human being, how did he recover so soon?” Gu Fei insisted, “Don’t worry. Just leave this matter to us! We promise not to tell others about your identity.”
Saying their farewell to the stout man, Gu Fei and Xiaoyu were once again on the road.
“What have you found out?” Xiaoyu asked. When she had arrived, Gu Fei and that man were already halfway into their conversation.
Gu Fei tried to give her a quick summary, yet Xiaoyu immediately forgot the first half while listening to the other half of the story. She only raised one question when he ended his spiel, “Humans can heal their wounds overnight?”
“We humans don’t possess fast healing ability, but we definitely do so in-game through the help of healing spells. Think of the NPC Priests by the entrance of the Priest Academy,” Gu Fei reminded Xiaoyu. Over by the entrance of the Priest Academy in Yunduan City, injured players could receive the NPC Priests’ healing and administering to recover. If these Priests could heal players, they would naturally be capable of healing fellow NPCs as well. Since Werewolves were creatures with an affinity to darkness, they would obviously not be able to receive healing from the holy spells the Priests used.
“So how can a human being transform into a Werewolf?” Xiaoyu asked, puzzled.
“I’m still not sure, although I already know who he is,” Gu Fei said in a dragging tone.
“Who?” Xiaoyu asked excitedly.
“Who owns a gold mine?” Gu Fei smiled.
“Mr. Adrian!” Xiaoyu answered.
“That’s right!” Gu Fei nodded.
“Ah! If you kill Mr Adrian, won’t my quest become incomplete?” Xiaoyu was worried.
“Of course, not!” Gu Fei said, “Even if Adrian is dead when I finish my quest, he’ll just respawn accordingly. He’ll still be the same Adrian, the wealthiest person in Yeguang Village. You can even return to retrieve more gold ore from him in the future.”
“That’s fine, then!” Xiaoyu was appeased.
“It’s all thanks to you,” Gu Fei complimented.
“If I didn’t know about your quest, I wouldn’t find out that Adrian and the gold mine are linked. How else would I learn that he’s THAT Werewolf?” Gu Fei laughed.
“I told you I’m a quest expert!” Xiaoyu felt ten feet tall.
“The very best!” Gu Fei praised generously.
“Does that mean you’re about to complete your chain quest?” Xiaoyu asked.
“Pretty soon, it seems,” He could see the outline of Adrian’s mansion far ahead on this path. Gu Fei took out Sacred Flames of Baptism, “The only question I have at this point is how to defeat him.”