Chapter 82 - Kung Fu Lover
The members of the game monitoring team were repeatedly playing the footage of how Gu Fei completed his chain quest. There was no recording of Gu Fei’s fight with Mountain Bandit Leader Sooto, which had led to his discovery of the chain quest, so the team could regrettably not view it; Fleeting Smile had yet to regard Gu Fei highly at that time.
“This part!” One of the monitoring staff paused the footage, indicated the figures of Gu Fei and Xiaoyu crouching by the church, and asked Ye Xiaowu, “What did he see here that prompted him to search for Murphy next?”
Ye Xiaowu shook his head, “I don’t know.”
“What sorts of clues can quest-takers find here?” The monitoring team was unfamiliar with the details of any Parallel World’s chain quests.
“Quest-takers with high proficiency in the Herbalist crafting profession can discover that Murphy’s bloodstain on the ground is not human blood,” Ye Xiaowu answered.
“It doesn’t seem like he found that out,” one of the monitoring staff remarked.
“He didn’t,” Ye Xiaowu nodded his head in affirmation.
“Anything else suspicious besides that?” everyone compared facts with one another.
“No. Nothing’s unusual with the data, including the Final Boss fight. If anything is unusual, it’s his great fighting prowess!” someone stated.
“How do we explain that suspicious part concerning Murphy’s bloodstain by the church, then?” Everyone in the monitoring team eyed Ye Xiaowu.
Ye Xiaoyu simply shrugged his shoulders, “He probably just got lucky! It’s also possible that he didn’t know how to proceed further with the quest, so he grasped at straws by asking about the deceased Murphy’s background.”
Watching the footage five more times, the monitoring team still found nothing that violated the game’s rules and designs. The only thing left questionable was whether some staff had given Gu Fei clues regarding the chain quest or not. With that in mind, they once again focused their gazes on Ye Xiaowu.
Ye Xiaowu had a relaxed demeanor and did not feel burdened by their gazes. At most, he could be accused of having a loose mouth for accidentally mentioning that the chain quest’s setting was in Yeguang Village; however, that was a detail that Eddie would have mentioned during Gu Fei’s acceptance of ‘Eddie’s Mission’. It just so happened that Gu Fei had not paid attention to Eddie’s explanation of the quest details, nor did he manage to find out more about the matter on his own. More than anyone else, Ye Xiaowu wanted to know just what Gu Fei had discovered back then at the church.
The monitoring team would only act when there was a solid proof and would never arbitrarily accuse any in-game players of cheating; naturally, they would also not jump to conclusions regarding the matter with Ye Xiaowu. In the end, they only asked him this, “Those two pieces of equipment he obtained, if we judge them based on the leveling system, how high will their levels be?”
“Around level 70 or so,” Ye Xiaowu answered.
Everyone remained silent. Easily taking care of level 50 monsters was truly not unfathomable for a level 30 player who had gotten his hands on two pieces of level 70 equipment and was capable of unleashing their potential.
“In other words, this chain quest has a level 70 difficulty. Yet, a level 30 player completed it?” What the monitoring team meant was obvious: The chain quest’s level of difficulty was somewhat imbalanced.
“Our chain quests are designed with the ordinary players’ capabilities in mind! Look here! Could just anyone else prevent the Final Boss from equipping the Fang of the Wolf King? Forget about a level 30 account; why don’t you guys try doing the quest with a level 70 account and see if it can be accomplished?! Not everyone is that extraordinary. So you’re all saying that we should use this superhuman as gauge for the quests difficulty just because he’s capable of doing what others can’t?” Ye Xiaowu countered as he pointed to the screen replaying Gu Fei’s fight with the NPC Adrian.
Everyone remained silent.
“If there’s nothing else, then I’m leaving,” Ye Xiaowu left. It was strange. He himself had been hoping for Thousand Miles Drunk to get banned. And yet, why did he root for him just now?
Meanwhile, inside the game, at the entrance to Youye Valley outside Yueye City… A group of Past Deeds’ players was at their wits’ end. The one leading this group, Vast Lushness, appeared to be even more agitated. Many non-Past Deeds players were near the valley entrance as well. These players were all pretending to grind on the few monsters close-by while actually enjoying the sight of Past Deeds losing their cool. They were all harmoniously working together to pretend to grind levels. In fact, five among these players would often ‘accidentally’ let a level 22 monster escape their clutches for five minutes just to appear struggling in this grinding map that was already sparsely populated by monsters.
“Even the Thieves can’t go inside using Stealth?”
A Thief shook his head, “No. The super high-level monsters inside can easily sense our presence even with Stealth. Our four guild mates even died there.”
“And you did not see a lick of that guy’s shadow?”
“Yes. He’s nowhere in sight,” the Thief answered, feeling disheartened.
Those of Past Deeds had chased after Fugitive 27149’s coordinates until they got here. None of them believed that Gu Fei was inside Youye Valley at first. But after circling around Youye Valley’s perimeters for a few times and confirming these areas’ coordinates, they could only grudgingly accept the fact that Gu Fei was indeed inside the valley.
A Past Deeds’ team composed of different job classes had previously entered the valley, but they did not get far inside. The monsters within were simply too strong for the group’s Attack Power and Defense to work against those. The Priests had to give their all into keeping everyone alive, needing the joint efforts of two or three of them just to keep one teammate alive at a given time. While they did clear off the monsters nearby, they consumed a high amount of HP and mana in return. It left them with not enough time to recover their lost HP and mana. If they proceeded into other spots with greater monster density, the only outcome for them would be a team wipeout.
A second Past Deeds’ group composed of Thieves was sent inside following the first team’s return. This group of Thieves was tasked to find Gu Fei by utilizing Stealth. However, the monsters inside possessed high perception and were able to sense their presence even while they were on Stealth mode. Without the support of Priests, four among this group of vulnerable Thieves quickly got killed off. The rest activated Fleetfoot and barely made it out alive.
Vast Lushness almost lost it, “He’s just a Mage! How is he able to stay alive inside for this long?”
Nobody could answer that question, as none of them knew that Gu Fei already possessed the might of a level 50 Mage – or even stronger. After all, no level 50 Mage with the same Magic Attack Power would ever possess the current Gu Fei’s speed.
Inside Youye Valley, Gu Fei was asking Coward’s Savior, “When you came in earlier, did you see many Past Deeds’ members outside?”
Coward’s Savior nodded his head, “Yes.”
“How did you enter unscathed, then?” Gu Fei asked, puzzled.
“I covered my face!” Coward’s Savior said, “Lots of them, including those after you, have their faces covered.”
“Ah, they must be fearful of my revenge!” Gu Fei smiled wryly. It appeared that his in-game reputation had already been fully defined.
“They didn’t stop you from coming in?” Gu Fei asked.
“What’s there to stop? They thought that I’m seeking death by walking in,” Coward’s Savior replied matter-of-factly. He then recalled his earlier fear and added, “I’d really be dead if you didn’t come over to pick me up, though.”
“Well said,” Gu Fei remarked, “Look. I wrote another letter. Come on, I’ll escort you out.”
Gu Fei thought of something as he was handing the letter to Coward’s Savior, “Oh, yeah. If you go out there without a scratch on you, they’ll suspect you.”
“Yup! In fact, they’re already suspicious of me earlier. I had to put on a terrified look and pretend not to know that this is a level 50 grinding map,” Coward’s Savior recounted.
“You’re quite sharp.” After praising Coward’s Savior, Gu Fei added him as a friend, “That’s me.”
Coward’s Savior was so thrilled that he was at a loss of what to do, repeatedly saying, “Neat... Neat….”
Gu Fei felt slightly embarrassed by Coward’s Savior’s reaction. This guy; besides being a little annoying with how he rambles on, his other characteristics seem okay. He appears to be genuinely interested in kung fu as well.
“Did you really learn Mantis Fist Style before?” Gu Fei asked.
“I’ve studied about it,” Coward’s Savior answered.
“How have you studied it?” Gu Fei pressed on.
“By reading books,” Coward’s Savior replied.
“Ohhh...” Gu Fei figured everything out, “No wonder you don’t know of its footwork. Most published kung fu manuals don’t really mention about the footwork. He he… Learning kung fu that way isn’t that different from following a radio exercise.”
“Can you teach me, then?” Coward’s Savior’s face was brimming with expectation.
“Uhh. I’m not that well-versed on the Seven Stars Mantis Fist Style; the one I’ve learned is the Six Harmonies Mantis Fist Style, which is different from yours. From what I’ve seen, your stances have taken roots already. It’ll be difficult for you to replace them with Six Harmonies Style now. So I’ll have to research more about the Seven Stars Mantis Fist Style before I can teach you!” Gu Fei explained.
“Thank – Thank you so much!” Coward’s Savior nodded his head and bent his back.
“You like kung fu that much?” Gu Fei liked kung fu as well, and he made no attempt to hide this from everyone. But compared to Coward’s Savior, he realized that his passion for kung fu was still modest.
“Kung fu produces no cowards!” Coward’s Savior said with conviction, clenching his fists.
Gu Fei laughed at that. Gu Fei had become chattier now that their conversation revolved around kung fu. He discussed the subject unceasingly with Coward’s Savior while dealing with the monsters that would spawn from time to time. Noticing that Gu Fei was a kung fu practitioner, Coward’s Savior could not help but ask curiously, “Why did you choose to become a Mage?”
The answer dawned on him before Gu Fei could speak, though, “Oh, I get it! It’s to better train yourself right?”
Gu Fei did not know whether to laugh or cry at his words, “While this VRMMO lets you accumulate combat experiences, the monsters’ pre-programmed attacks and most players’ unfamiliarity with kung fu can only provide minimal experiences. In fact, they’re so meager that they’re practically useless. That’s why I only play this game for the purpose of using kung fu to my heart’s content. If I find ways to improve my kung fu here, I just consider them as perks!”
“Did you find ways?” Coward’s Savior asked.
Gu Fei nodded his head, “I already found some, such as how much strength to apply, how to determine the right attack angle, how to time an attack, how to choose the correct attack route, and so on. But they’re stuff I had to figure out and master by myself due to online games being different from reality. In online games, a player’s job class and stat point allocation decide how high his or her speed, strength, and HP will be. An ordinary Thief needs three or four stabs to kill someone in-game; in reality, one strike is enough to kill a person.”
Gu Fei startled himself with his words. Never did he expect that he would already ponder about the art of killing someone just by comparing the experiences gained in reality and in a game. It seemed like the killing in-game had totally awakened his killing drive.
Coward’s Savior obviously did not understand all of Gu Fei’s speech, merely nodding his head repeatedly, “The fighting knowledge that we pick up in-game... might not necessarily be useful in real life?”
Gu Fei nodded his head, “The takeaway in this is that your speed and strength in-game are a far cry of what they’re in reality. If you really want to improve your kung fu skills through this VRMMO, you should fine-tune your stats to match your real self!”
“Is that what you’ve been doing?” Coward’s Savior asked.
“Me?” Gu Fei laughed, “You’re wrong. I’m mainly playing this VRMMO to use my kung fu. Training is just something that comes along with it. I don’t really have high standard; I only want my stats to be at a level where I can use kung fu fully. But recently, I’ve found out that spells can be harnessed like kung fu as well.”