Chapter 104 - Ice Glaze the Mage
Although Gu Fei had seen all the Amethyst Rebirth Guild’s ladies, he could still not match their faces to their IGNs besides a handful of them. Hence, he was unsure which one was Ice Glaze among the ladies. At this moment, he arrived at the north gate and saw no one near the mailbox. Gu Fei promptly took a spot to stake out the mailbox’s vicinity. Looking around, he did not see a familiar face from Amethyst Rebirth.
At this instant, Will-low sent him a private message asking if she could help him with anything.
“It’s okay now. Someone’s on the way to assist me with my need. I don’t have the Appraisal skill, so I was looking for an assistant,” Gu Fei informed her.
“Oh. My Appraisal skill used to be pretty strong before, but its rank dropped when my levels got reduced,” Will-low said dejectedly. Technically, the penalty for dying would only reduce the player’s level and hold the possibility of dropping his or her equipment. However, the causal relationship of skill and level meant that losing a level would corollary reduce a skill’s rank. For example, a player’s character had to reach level 30 first for his or her Appraisal skill to get to rank 10. If that player dropped a level, his or her Appraisal skill would drop down to the next highest rank possible for his or her level 29 character.
Putting the skill’s rank aside, what Gu Fei needed right now was someone who could appraise his target, which meant he had a strict criterion for his helper: The player’s Appraisal skill must be higher or equal to the target. If that were not the case, he would ask for Will-low’s help already – with him being on closer terms to her than the other ladies – instead of asking for help on the guild channel.
When Gu Fei first entered Amethyst Rebirth, the guild’s ladies had lower levels except for Xiaoyu who had already reached level 30. A few days had passed since then; Gu Fei was unsure if it was No Smile’s incident that had incited them, but when Gu Fei looked through the guild members list anew, quite a few of them were at level 30. This included Ice Glaze.
“I’m near the mailbox,” Gu Fei sent Ice Glaze a message.
“I see you,” Ice Glaze replied.
Gu Fei looked around him once again and saw a familiar-looking lady walking down the paved road toward him.
“Hi!” Ice Glaze greeted Gu Fei when she was close enough. This was the first time that they had properly exchanged greetings with each other.
“What is it that you need me to appraise?” Ice Glaze took the initiative to ask Gu Fei.
“It’s like this…” Gu Fei kept an eye on the city’s entrance as he gave her a briefing of the matter at hand. “I just need you to find that person. Leave the rest to me,” Gu Fei passed the relevant information Sword Demon had given him to Ice Glaze.
“So that’s how it is. Hope I can be of help!” Ice Glaze said. Level 30 players could raise their Appraisal skill to rank 10. Hence, she was somewhat apprehensive if her rank 8 Appraisal skill could help Gu Fei in identifying his target.
“Sorry to trouble you,” Gu Fei said.
“No need to be formal with me. We’re in the same guild, after all!” Ice Glaze tittered. Since she specially came here to assist him, Gu Fei believed her words to be sincere and not out of courtesy. He felt slightly touched by this fact.
“You’re a Mage, too!” Gu Fei said after checking Ice Glaze’s character window.
“Mhm-mhm. Same as you,” Ice Glaze nodded her head.
“May I look at your weapon?” Gu Fei asked.
“Oh…” Ice Glaze handed over her magic stave to Gu Fei without a second thought.
The trust being shown right now was something the newbie Gu Fei would not understand. Equipment in online games was much more valuable than life itself. Gu Fei asking Ice Glaze to hand over her equipment was akin to people in reality saying, “May I borrow your life for a bit?” Someone who knew the decorum in online games would never make such a request no matter how close they were. Gu Fei was magnanimous at heart, yet he did not give his request much thought despite understanding the meaning of those words. He only wanted to gauge how much stronger Moonlit Nightfalls was in comparison to a level 30 Mage’s magic staff. Reflexively asking to borrow the equipment, he easily got it in his hands. He inspected the item briefly and handed it back just as quickly.
Ice Glaze’s magic staff was a white-tier weapon with average stats. Gu Fei thoughtlessly pulled out the staff July had previously given him and passed it over to her, “Yours isn’t as good as this one, right?”
Ice Glaze received it and took a look before nodding her head, “Yeah. It’s tons better than mine.”
“You should take and use it, then!” Gu Fei offered casually.
Players becoming fond of new equipment and getting tired of their old ones happened every day in online games. Ice Glaze was no exception. She did not stand on ceremony and promptly nodded her head, saying, “I’ll borrow this, then.” She really did not seem to consider Gu Fei as an outsider.
Gu Fei continued to lock his eyes on the city gate before him. Ice Glaze followed suit, appraising the players that passed by. A while later, a team of six men appeared on the road leading toward into city. Judging from their equipment, they were a group of one Thief, two Mages, two Archers, and one Priest. They matched the job class composition Sword Demon had described to them.
Gu Fei’s eyes shone as he quickly pointed them out to Ice Glaze. She also noticed these men. Nodding her head in acknowledgement, she waited for the six to step into her Appraisal skill’s range.
The six crossed the city’s archway entrance. Their eyes automatically fell on the mailbox and made a beeline for it. Gu Fei felt as if the answer was very obvious by now. As expected, Ice Glaze quickly appraised each and faced Gu Fei, nodding her head; the Appraisal result matched the information given to her.
The six arrived at where Gu Fei and Ice Glaze were standing just as he sent a message through the mercenary channel, “Targets appeared!”
“Bro, are you sending something? Please make way if you’re not,” the Thief addressed Gu Fei courteously. Players would need to touch the mailbox to mail things; Gu Fei was currently blocking the mailbox. Upon hearing the Thief’s request, he stepped aside quickly.
The man flashed Gu Fei a friendly smile. Gu Fei matched his friendly attitude as he stood beside the mailbox, asking, “Bro, how should I address you?”
“Nightmare of Death.” The person smiled at Gu Fei as he activated the mailbox.
“Good name!” Gu Fei smilingly complimented. Suddenly, he lifted his leg sideways to score a high kick right at Nightmare of Death’s shoulder.
Gu Fei was assailed with gloom. His Strength was just too weak! This was a weakness he had had ever since he first entered the game. Whenever an event made this weakness apparent, he would somewhat lose his concentration as the realization hit him hard.
Nightmare of Death merely took a few steps back after taking such a high side kick. If this were in reality, a kick from me to someone of his stature would send him flying for five meters, Gu Fei thought dejectedly while feeling a slight sense of déjà vu.
Unbeknown to Gu Fei, his unsatisfactory kick had actually caused Nightmare of Death and his companions to be in a daze. Although the hostility behind that kick was palpable, the damage it had caused was ‘friendly’. Nowadays, some players who did not have high Attack Power would indeed engage in such horseplay with their friends oftentimes. Since Parallel World was but a game, falling down would not cause much injury to a player’s body. Right now, the problem was that Nightmare of Death was not buddy-buddy with Gu Fei. Naturally, they were not friendly enough for one to roughhouse the other.
Nightmare of Death felt confused as he hesitantly regarded Gu Fei. Meanwhile, Gu Fei already recollected himself and sent another kick his way. Nightmare of Death saw the attack clearly this time and tried dodge it. However, he found himself unable to do so, and the kick from Gu Fei connected with his skull. While the damage dealt by the attack was still insignificant, a foot imprint could clearly be seen on his face, looking somewhat unsightly. Nightmare of Death touched the huge footprint on his face, still at a loss regarding what was happening.
His five friends finally reacted. The Priest bestowed Heal on to Nightmare of Death, the Mages casted Fireball, and the Archers went through the process of shooting an arrow.
As two balls of fire zoomed toward Gu Fei, he bounced about the PvP field to dodge them. While wearing off Fireball’s tracking effect, he was swiftly increasing his distance from the two Archers. The arrows the Archers would release were faster than these balls of fire. If Gu Fei wanted to evade them, he would need to buffer them a little.
The twang of bows resounded as arrows shot out from the two Archers at this moment. Gu Fei clearly saw this and nimbly bent himself, easily evading the arrows and balls of fire altogether.
Everyone was dumbfounded at what they had just witnessed. Just how precise was this person’s calculation and skill? From their perspective, Gu Fei appeared to have calculated the chronological order of the fire balls and arrows’ arrival.
In actual fact, which pair of the attacks came first or last did not matter as they would head to the general direction of Gu Fei. He only had to leave his original position and the arrows would be easy to avoid while waiting for the Fireball’s tracking effect to wear off. It was not through Gu Fei’s superb control but instead the heavens’ kindness that the arrows had arrived together with the balls of fire. Therefore, they should bemoan their flawless coordination that had unknowingly created such a favorable scenario for Gu Fei.
Gu Fei began his counterattack after dodging their assault. He had not initiated the attack at the start due to one reason: He had enough of being oppressed by PK value. Thus, he manipulated the opponents into attacking him first. This allowed Gu Fei to take advantage of the PvP rule that let him kill without acquiring PK value.
He darted toward the men. The two Archers were just about to nock their second arrows and the Mages were about to chant spells for their second Fireball when Gu Fei swung his sword in a circular motion toward them. This caused the Archers’ arrow nocking to go awry and the Mages’ chanting to be interrupted midway, with the balls of fire extinguishing just as quickly as they were ignited.
Once a Mage’s ball of fire formed, it would not stay afloat and wait for the spell-caster to shout, “Shoot!” The spell-casting process required a Mage to complete the incantation. If the Mage suffered an attack during this process, the spell would immediately be disrupted.
At this moment, the air above the heads of Gu Fei and this group of men that that had clustered together began to change color. The two Mages and Gu Fei’s expressions changed when they heard the sound coming from above their heads. Upon lifting their heads up, they indeed saw that a flame wheel had begun to take shape mid-air. Gu Fei felt stunned. He quickly looked backward and spotted Ice Glaze by the side with her magic staff raised high up.
“DON’T MAKE IT DESCEND!” Gu Fei yelled at the top of his lungs as the fiery glow in the sky flashed. The flame wheel solidified and was about to land forcefully onto the ground.
“AH!” Ice Glaze’s face turned ashen as she screamed as well.
Gu Fei had not expected her to aid him; Ice Glaze had also not expected the Mage Gu Fei to close in on his targets after distancing himself from them previously. She had prepared this flame wheel for these men beforehand. “Descending Wheel of Flames! Descend!” Afraid that her assistance would come too late, she had said these five words in one go. Why would she hold the spell’s last command, anyway? But outside her expectation, Gu Fei had darted toward its area of effect. Right now, she could only watch Gu Fei and those men attempt to survive the searing flame wheel that was upon them.