Virtual World: Close Combat Mage

Chapter 101

Chapter 101 - Woman! Oh, woman!

Gu Fei might be clueless regarding the online gaming scene, but only Xiaoyu would still not understand the surrounding crowd’s intention after watching them try to outbid one another. These people clearly wished to use Gu Fei’s ignorance of the game to get a sweet deal off of him. It truly was not an exaggeration for Xi Xiaotian to say that this was swindling. With her hitting the nail on the head, this bunch of players could not help but display an ugly expression on their faces.

Everyone came to the conclusion that Gu Fei had squatted there without saying a word not because he was an idiot but most likely because he was pretending to be clueless. Not one felt good after realizing that they had just made a fool of themselves.

While many left to save some face, a good portion of the duplicitous players still remained. All of them were presently staring hatefully at Gu Fei.

Many players’ emotional quotient had become low after being immersed in this VR game for quite some time. Feelings of shame and embarrassment were as intense in Parallel World as they were in reality. However, unlike in reality, they were not bounded by common sense or social obligation in-game.

If I did not like you, I could just beat you up; if I felt irked by your presence, I could just bash you up... Sometimes, the world in online games was just this unreasonable. Through this full-immersion VRMMO, all this became a bit more realistic. Still, the rules of the world had remained the same. Strength dictated who was in the right; combat solved everything. These were truer in online games.

Strength took many forms and shapes. It could be an individual’s prowess, a guild’s force… or a crowd’s might born at a certain time and in a certain place.

On November 21, 1345, in Yunduan City’s Cloud Pattern Main Street, which the players had dubbed as the Peddlers’ Street, such a mighty crowd formed – or perhaps the players in this crowd only thought that they were mighty. After all, the gauge of strength was relative. In any case, this throng of players at Peddlers’ Street definitely thought that their superiority in number would make the opponent unable to match up with them. Gu Fei, who had just stood up from squatting in a corner, was of course the opponent that this crowd was referring.

As was said before, a good portion of the ‘rational’ players immediately left the area upon noticing that their intention to cheat the noob had been discovered. Only this group of ‘irrational’ players remained after having their plan foiled and subsequently feeling that they had been had instead. 

The surrounding players now had another purpose besides their initial one; it was to stop Gu Fei from leaving so that they could have a good ‘talk’ with him.

Gu Fei felt vexed. Just like any novel’s main character programmed to uphold justice, he demanded loudly, “What do you lot want?”

No one spoke a word and just continued glaring at him. This group of people that had united due to their common interest only interacted with one another through eye contact and had yet to choose a representative.

“If there’s nothing else, I’m leaving,” Gu Fei said.

“Wait a moment!” someone stopped him. The group scattered, blocking off all possible exits for Gu Fei. Their similar mentality and intention made it possible for them to tacitly coordinate with one another.

Gu Fei coldly regarded the men before him. This group seemed to be composed of the violent sort that Gu Fei loved encountering the most. Although his father liked taking care of him quite physically using the excuse of them being a family of kung fu practitioners, he would always stop Gu Fei from laying his hands on other people. Gu Fei had even thought that he would never get a chance to physically express himself until he had his own son. Therefore, he was really thankful to online games, Parallel World, and the great author, Blue Butterfly, for making his dream come true.

Gu Fei beckoned Xi Xiaotian nearer using his pinky finger.

“What?” Xi Xiaotian asked, after getting close enough to him.

“What’re the rules of PvP? Give me a quick rundown,” Gu Fei requested.

Everyone before him was in an uproar. They all thought to themselves, He’s not only a noob, but also a super arrogant noob!

Xi Xiaotian froze in place, not knowing what to say. After a bit, she blurted out, “PK value increases by 1 point with every kill.”

“That’s not it!” Gu Fei rolled his eyes at her, saying, “I already know that. What I’m asking is if there’s any way to not increase my PK value.” After carefully considering Fleeting Smile’s words before, he had somewhat gleaned that there was a way to kill players without incurring PK points. Gu Fei wanted to inquire more about it back then, but he somehow forgot it in the midst of their conversation. Afterward, he also procrastinated from checking the game’s official website for information about it.

“No PK points will be awarded if you’re retaliating after someone attacks you. Killing players with PK value won’t add PK points either,” Xi Xiaotian explained.

“Are you sure that killing players with PK value won’t incur me PK points?” Gu Fei asked, skeptical. He doubted that none of the Past Deeds’ players he had bombarded with Descending Wheel of Flames twice in Yueye City was without PK value.

“That’s only when you don’t have PK value yourself; it's a different case altogether if you do,” Xi Xiaotian clarified.

Gu Fei understood now. With that, he gripped his sword firmly and faced the players surrounding him, “Come at me!”

The crowd was astounded. No one made a move as everyone thought, Planning to kill us without incurring PK points? How can we give you such a sweet deal? We’ll definitely not attack first. The surrounding players seemed to have forgotten that they were the aggressors and Gu Fei was the retaliator. In their minds right now, he was the one surrounding them and was preparing to take his anger out on them.

With the opponents not taking up his challenge, Gu Fei felt quite regretful. Although he actually loved PvPing, he was not an unreasonable person. Thus, he could only hope that someone among the crowd would get impatient and strike him first. 

At times like this, Gu Fei could not help but miss Yueye City’s PvP atmosphere. He still wondered why The Black Hand mercenary group wanted to rob him. How are they doing right now? Sorrow flowed through Gu Fei. Only three hours had passed since he left Yueye City, yet he was already missing it. He let loose a sigh, “If you guys don’t have the guts to fight with me, then scram!”

His confident words and sorrowful expression unintentionally heightened the crowd’s suspicion. These players circumstantially banding together naturally had deficiencies; the most obvious among these was the lack of trust and understanding between them. None was confident to solo Gu Fei who had a top-grade weapon. This meant that they would have to rely on one another to deal with him. It was inevitable for them to think, I’m confident with my strength, but I’m not sure about these guys….

Everyone eyed one another with apprehension, collectively thinking, That one’s no good; his eyes clearly show his intention to rely on the others.

In an instant, everyone had the I-had-the-ability-but-the-others-did-not mentality. None of them was able to abandon this thinking as they silently congratulated themselves for not being rash.

Slowly but surely, the crowd surrounding Gu Fei thinned. All arrogantly made their way here, yet they left quite meekly. In no time at all, Gu Fei was left standing there alone.

“How annoying!” Gu Fei exclaimed in disappointment. All it took to scare the enemies away was a few smug words and a sigh. Was he too domineering with his posturing?

“Don’t worry,” Xi Xiaotian consoled, saying, “You still have a chance to fight.”

“Are you talking about those guys over there?” Gu Fei glanced over to a corner of Peddlers’ Street.

“You’ve noticed them, too?” Xi Xiaotian asked in shock.

“I’ve spotted them long ago,” Gu Fei confirmed.

“Why are you feeling so down, then?” Xi Xiaotian asked.

“Those guys are already on the menu. I thought I could fight twice; now, it’ll just be once. That’s what’s saddening!” Gu Fei explained, utterly dissatisfied.

“Violent Fei!” Xi Xiaotian extoled.

Gu Fei squatted down once more while asking, “Why’re they not coming over?”

“They won’t come over so easily,” Xi Xiaotian answered.

“Oh? Seems like you know them,” Gu Fei said.

“They’re part of a certain gang in Yunduan City… Whenever the players of that gang have their eyes on someone’s top-grade gear, they’ll find a chance to eliminate that player for him or her to drop the equipment. Seems like they’ve set their eyes on you,” Xi Xiaotian expounded.

“Is that so?” Gu Fei once again swept his gaze over to that corner. The group of men over there had already left without a trace. Only a man with a stall was in that area, acting as if nothing out of the ordinary had just happened.

“They won’t strike so easily, but they won’t give up as well. They’ll stop at nothing till you drop that sword,” Xi Xiaotian warned.

Gu Fei knew the importance of keeping a low profile as well as not showing off one’s wealth. Right now, however, he felt fortunate for owning a top-grade weapon like Moonlit Nightfalls; it could seduce players with evil intentions to provoke him into a PvP. He could use this chance to vanquish evil and maintain world peace if there was a need for that… Overall, it meant that there would be a battle to be fought!

“They’re gone for now, probably leaving that guy behind to keep an eye on you. Once they find you alone in a secluded place, that’s when they’ll strike!” Xi Xiaotian said, “They’ll kill you today, tomorrow, and the day after. My point is that they’ll remember your identity and keep on killing you until they get that sword of yours.”

Gu Fei nodded his head and casually asked, “Are you part of their gang?”

“To hell with you! Stop treating me like I’m such a bad person!” Xi Xiaotian bristled, making Gu Fei feel dumbfounded.

Gu Fei’s expression was hard to read. Hesitating for a bit, he finally asked, “So why cover your face?”

“To sell things!” Xi Xiaotian said, stomping on the ground.

“Why must you cover your face when you sell things?” Gu Fei pressed on.

“You wanna know why I’m hiding my face?” Xi Xiaotian asked. She abruptly took off the veil she was wearing as she shouted, “Selling equipment! The price is cheap, so come take a look!”

Her crisp female voice compelled everyone to look over. Many male players’ eyes flashed. A man darted over, bent down to inspect the cheap items on Xi Xiaotian’s mat, and eagerly remarked, “Not bad. I’ll buy them all! Babe, give me your price!”

“10 gold coins,” Xi Xiaotian dully said.

“No problem!” The guy quickly picked the mat with all the items on it off the ground and rolled it up into a bundle. Following this, he counted 10 gold coins and graciously handed the sum to her. Many of the nearby players displayed an envious look when they saw her accept the coins.

“Babe, I’ve bought everything you’re selling. Since you’re free now, why don’t you have a couple of drinks with me?” The buyer remained standing there after lifting up the bundle.

“Go to hell and scram!” Xi Xiaotian viciously snapped back, short of spitting at the person’s face.

Those watching were astounded by what they had just heard.

The items on Xi Xiaotian’s stall were just average goods. Their total cost was indeed worth 10 gold coins. However, the items were of different professions. Logically speaking, none would purchase everything at once. Based on what was transpiring right now, it was clear that the buyer was not after the items.

The sum of 10 gold coins was already high for the average players. The gist was that the man had spent quite a significant sum just to strike up a conversation with Xi Xiaotian and to show off his wealth to others. 

All gawked at his show of wealth, not expecting that he would provide them a more exciting scene to watch afterward. The lady before their eyes was truly vicious. Not wanting to date the man after selling her items was fair. However, she actually cursed him rather showily.

Only Gu Fei knew the reason for her behavior. Xi Xiaotian clearly vented all her pent-up frustration on this pitiful man. Had he really wronged her this time around? Was she honestly trying to sell those trashy items? Gu Fei was at a loss.

Whatever the case might be, the buyer before them had definitely been angered. No matter how beautiful Xi Xiaotian was, no one could tolerate being shamed like that.

“F*ck!” The buyer wasted 10 gold coins, yet he was nearly spat at in return. He was turned into a laughingstock for those who were watching as well. Unable to restrain himself, he threw the bundle of equipment he had just bought at Xi Xiaotian. Following this, he pulled out from his dimensional pocket a huge axe that was bigger than Xiaoyu’s. The man straightened his spine, channeled energy throughout his body, and bent his legs. His right hand lowered the axe to his side, leveling it off the ground at a forty-five-degree angle.

Gu Fei, who had a vast amount of fighting experience, immediately recognized the man’s stance. Quickly lifting his sword forward with one hand, he used his other hand to hold Xi Xiaotian.

Cyclone came as he expected. This Warrior obviously had a lot of fighting experience as well. Experienced Warriors would always retain a certain amount of Rage to activate their skill whenever the need arose. Not only did Cyclone provide Warriors the highest damage output, it functioned as their life-saving skill as well. It was much more useful than the level 6 Warrior skill, Safeguard.

Blocking Cyclone was already a practiced move for Gu Fei. Even his flying-outward posture after taking advantage of the attack’s force was very smooth. But this time around, a slight mishap occurred when he took advantage of Cyclone’s force, causing him to fly outward rather sloppily.

The reason being his Strength was just too low. Gu Fei holding Xi Xiaotian while they flew outward was truly an impossible feat. Xi Xiaotian became a deadweight that prevented him from properly being hurtled outward by the Cyclone’s force.

Although Gu Fei managed to use Cyclone’s force to propel them outward, they did not fly in the air; instead, the two tumbled on the ground from that attack like a pair of gophers, sending dust scattering everywhere.

Gu Fei was alright. At the very least, he was able to stand up. He had high Agility so he managed to catch his footing despite everything happening in a split second. Xi Xiaotian, meanwhile, was in a miserable state. Clueless of what was about to happen, she literally rolled to the ground when they were plunged outward by Cyclone. However, the even worse thing here was that she was still carrying the bundle of equipment that the Warrior had thrown her way. It clung to the hem of her thief cloak and made loud clanking noises as she rolled together with it to the ground.

Holding Xi Xiaotian, Gu Fei failed to completely grasp the direction of the incoming force. Thus, the force of the attack sent his back banging against a wall. Pain quickly blossomed from his back and he felt as if his bones had been shaken loose. He raised his head slightly, just in time to see Xi Xiaotian hurtling toward his direction like a guided missile; her head was about to make contact with a wall. He hurriedly pushed Xi Xiaotian to forcefully change her trajectory, resulting into her rolling quite a distance before finally stopping.

“I’m so sorry!” Gu Fei called out.

“Big bro, get off from there!” A voice came from beneath him.

Gu Fei lowered his head and immediately stepped to the side. His foot was actually stepping on someone! The guy was one of the many players lining the wall with their merchandise. The man tried to dodge when he saw Gu Fei hurtling toward his direction. However, his legs had become numb from sitting all day long, so he proceeded to crawl on the ground instead. This unfortunately resulted into him being stepped on by Gu Fei.

“Sorry! So sorry!” Gu Fei apologized profusely.

The man tumbled once. Facing the sky from where he was lying, he blurted out, “Don’t worry about it.”

Gu Fei looked toward Xi Xiaotian by the side. She slowly picked herself up from the ground, paused for a moment, and said, “Would’ve been better if I’d been killed!”

The onlookers were once more in an uproar. None of them had expected the two players to survive Cyclone. While they saw Gu Fei raising his sword to block the skill, none noticed how his sword had threaded through the shredding Cyclone. The two whizzed out after taking the blow of Cyclone. Even if they were not dead, they should be close to dying. Right now, however, the two seemed to be quite alright despite looking quite bedraggled.

The Warrior’s Cyclone ended at this point, yet he apparently had no intention of stopping as he swiftly strode toward Xi Xiaotian.

Gu Fei looked at her and asked, “I won’t incur PK points if I slice him up now, right?”

Xi Xiaotian perplexedly nodded her head. She was also clueless about what had happened with that Cyclone moments ago. All she knew was that Gu Fei had helped her evade the skill, allowing her HP bar to remain full.

Unlike the others who could not appraise Gu Fei’s job class, she knew very well that he was a Mage. Mage was the job class most advantageous against the Warrior job class, so soloing a Warrior was not a difficult task for Gu Fei. However, no matter how anyone put it, Mages should not be attempting to ‘slice’ Warriors with swords. This left Xi Xiaotian somewhat puzzled.

Gu Fei was about to head toward the Warrior when three men came out of nowhere and blocked the path between the Warrior and Xi Xiaotian. Gu Fei saw that the player who had asked Xi Xiaotian to appraise his item was among the three.

“Chill out, friend. This is probably just a misunderstanding,” someone said.

“Go to hell! Scram!” The Warrior used Xi Xiaotian’s words from earlier. Lifting his huge axe and activating his Charge skill, he swiftly knocked the person who had spoken several steps backward.

The person was in a Dizzy state even after stabilizing his footing. The two beside him quickly stepped forward upon seeing that the Warrior could not be talked into seeing reason. The Warrior on the left lifted his sword single-handedly and activated his Charge. The Thief on the right wielded his dagger, intending to circle the target and inflict Backstab on him.

Charge struck the opposing Warrior, but since the skill’s ability to cause a Dizzy status effect did not have a 100% proc rate, the status effect did not get triggered. The person’s skill proficiency and the opponent’s level and equipment affected this interaction as well.

The opposing Warrior bravely ignored the other Warrior’s Charge. Turning around, he cleaved his axe toward the Thief who had crept behind him. The Warrior moved his feet to prevent his target from positioning himself behind him again, and the two proceeded to exchange blows with each other. 

Those who came to Xi Xiaotian’s rescue were clearly subpar in term of fighting abilities. Despite having a two-versus-one advantage, they were still overwhelmed by the huge axe wielder. The opposing Warrior easily controlled the fight’s tempo and forced the two to back off.

Their weapons clashed and tangled, causing Gu Fei to shake his head in disappointment.

How is this fighting? This is clearly children playing! Using the tree root and bamboo pole as if they were godly weapons, the two weapons clashed with each other without striking the bodies of the wielders. The one whose weapon broke first would be the loser. Gu Fei recalled when a neighbor kid had been inspired by the TV series, ‘Condor Heroes’, and began practicing Quanzhen Sword Style and Yunu Sword Style. It was similar to how the two people before him were fighting their opponent.

Gu Fei was rattled watching this. The two people clashing with the Warrior were even more rattled. Turning their heads at Xi Xiaotian, they shouted, “Sis Xiaotian, run away quickly!”

Xi Xiaotian hollered back, “I’m coming!” She was about to reach into her dimensional pocket for her weapon to assist her comrades when Gu Fei stopped her, “Let me go, instead!”

Xi Xiaotian glanced at him. Gu Fei was smiling as he said to her, “Seems like some people still like you.” With that, he turned and shouted to the two subpar players, “You two get out of my way. I’ll solo him!”

The two had probably been waiting for this moment for quite some time. Not caring who had shouted, they quickly retreated to the side. Gu Fei coughed awkwardly as he took a few steps forward and stood in front of the huge axe wielder.

The axe-wielding Warrior squared his stance. He had been slashing away spiritedly for quite a while now. Managing to beat up the three players before had boosted his self-confidence to an unknown level. His heart could not help but thump in anticipation upon seeing Gu Fei’s sword, Moonlit Nightfalls, which was shrouded in black luster. The Warrior was able to bully those three players before largely because their levels were significantly lower than his own. Each was equipping common-grade equipment as well.

Suddenly, the Warrior noticed that the person he was about to fight owned a top-grade equipment. Calming himself down, he immediately used Appraisal on the person. And yet, he learned nothing. He tried gauging the opponent’s ability using his eyes, yet he ended up becoming more perplexed about the latter.

The black robe, which was something he had not seen before, seemed to be a mage robe. However, the weapon he was holding was a sword. Those who would wield a sword were usually Warriors and sometimes Knights.

Weapons were the most obvious way to differentiate all the job classes. In the end, the Warrior surmised that Gu Fei was a fellow Warrior. He was about to confront Gu Fei when the latter suddenly put his sword inside his dimensional pocket and assumed a barehanded fighting stance.

Unarmed? Is he a Fighter? The Warrior became more and more confused. Fighters would usually wear sparring gloves to increase their Attack Power. And yet, Gu Fei was facing him without wearing gloves. I’ll just take a move of his and make sense of everything! the Warrior thought to himself. He then started clashing with Gu Fei ferociously.

Gu Fei slightly stepped to the Warrior’s side and raised his right hand, “Twin Incineration! Incinerate!”

A fire lit up and the Warrior was instantly enveloped by it. His heart was engulfed by fear, F*ck! He’s actually a Mage!

Mages had a natural advantage over Warriors. This was a fact every player knew. The Warrior could bravely engage in a one-versus-three fight with his enemies before precisely because he had appraised that they were not Mages and had lower levels.

Ironically, this present opponent of his, whom he could not appraise, happened to be his Warrior job class’ arch-nemesis. The Warrior’s arrogance immediately dissipated by half.

Actually, Gu Fei kept his weapon out of consideration for the Warrior. The Warrior had definitely lost quite a bit of HP after engaging in a one-versus-three crude fight; Gu Fei was afraid that the Warrior would be instant-killed if he used either Moonlit Nightfalls or Sacred Flames of Baptism on him. For some reason, Gu Fei did not actually have the intention to kill this Warrior, even though he would not gain PK point by killing him. He deduced that his bare fists and average magic damage would enable him to prolong his fight with the Warrior.

The Warrior saw his HP dip after he was hit with Twin Incineration. However, he quickly collected himself upon noticing that the damage dealt on him was not high. The large axe in his hand danced in the air as he began his own assault.

Mages having an advantage over Warriors was largely due to their higher Agility. This allowed them to distance themselves from Warriors and cast spells from afar that ignored the high physical defense of Warriors. 

If the average Mages could do this, Gu Fei could of course do so as well with his full-Agility build. Gu Fei easily distanced himself from the target and threw out a fireball as if it was a flying dagger. Although the damage dealt by the spell was insignificant, it nevertheless chipped off a bit of the Warrior’s HP.

The Warrior would not have a chance of winning at this rate if the fighting dragged on.

Gu Fei saw the Warrior’s eyes glaze over. He immediately stopped his attacks and retreated a few steps, saying, “Bro, what happened before was really just a misunderstanding.”

The Warrior did not curse off this time, opting to stand quietly and listen to Gu Fei’s words. With strength came the right to speak; this phrase was very true in online games.

Xi Xiaotian also walked over at this moment, “Mhm, it’s my fault. I’ve been in a bad mood these past few days and couldn’t control my temper. I scolded people for no rhyme or reason. Sorry that I offended you.” Xi Xiaotian gathered the equipment still sticking on her body and bundled all up once more. Taking out 10 gold coins, she handed everything to the Warrior, “These things are for you. Here’s your money, too. Consider everything as my compensation.”

The Warrior felt stunned as he took the coins back, “I’ll take the gold coins, but I don’t need those items.”

“Just take them!” Xi Xiaotian insisted as she tried to stuff the bundle into his hands. The Warrior did not know how to react. After telling him off minutes ago, she was now forcefully gifting him this bundle. This change was too huge.

“Forget it! Who cares about your worthless stuff?” Gu Fei remarked from behind them.

“Go to hell! This is your fault!” Xi Xiaotian turned around and tossed the bundle of equipment to Gu Fei instead.

Gu Fei felt awkward. He headed to the Warrior and shook his hands, feeling helpless as he said, “You see, when it comes to women, there’re these few days every month….”

The onlookers seemed to realize something with that remark as they stared at Xi Xiaotian. Gu Fei who was standing beside her had that naturally obtuse look plastered across his face.

A distance away, a man in a corner was stealthily sending a message out, “That person’s a Mage!”

Leave a comment.

Sign in or Register to comment

 

6 Comments

new  |  old  |  top