Chapter 96 - Will-low wants to join the group?
Outside the tavern, Dusky Cloud and his gang spent almost an hour saying their goodbyes to Sword Demon. In actual fact, not many words could be exchanged between two parties that had only known each other for two days. Saying goodbye should take five minutes at most, yet Dusky Cloud stubbornly stayed and was even currently discussing with Sword Demon the ideal stat point distribution for Thieves.
Standing by the side, Young Master Han laughed mockingly and said, “Stop dawdling. Fugitive 27149 isn’t coming.”
Dusky Cloud’s true intention was uncovered with that single remark. These players claimed that they were here to give Sword Demon a send off while their real goal was to lay eyes on Fugitive 27149’s true visage. Gu Fei had become prominent in Yueye City these days. However, his face had remained hidden from start to finish as he wielded a blade in one hand and a Chinese broadsword in the other. While many players admired his getup, none of them knew what he looked like or what his name was. Only Will-low in Yueye City knew of Gu Fei’s appearance, and she had seen it not too long ago.
They felt slightly embarrassed when Young Master Han exposed their real intention. But considering how he had tolerated their presence for the past hour, he had at least saved them some face. Although Dusky Cloud felt discontented with Young Master Han, he did not snap at him this time. Dusky Cloud tried to make light of the situation by laughing self-deprecatingly, “Ha ha… Looks like we don’t qualify to meet him. Guess we’ll have to trouble Sword Demon to thank him for us. I had intended to do that at the Warrior Encampment yesterday, but he quickly logged off before I could say a word to him.”
Sword Demon smiled and nodded his head, “I’ll be sure to tell him.”
“We won’t bother you guys any further, then,” Dusky Cloud said.
Cliché parting comments, such as “Come and play whenever you’re free”, “Take care on the road”, “Stay in touch”, et cetera, were all spouted before they truly departed.
The five mercenary group members entered the tavern and saw Gu Fei moving his table back to its original position.
“What’re you doing?” Sword Demon asked, puzzled.
“Uh... I feel more secure when I’m leaning against a wall. But since we’re leaving now, I’m moving this table back to its original spot,” Gu Fei answered defensively.
“You’re eavesdropping, right?” Young Master Han bluntly exposed Gu Fei while flashing him a mocking smile.
“Ha ha… I felt bored doing nothing, so I listened in,” Gu Fei tried to play it off, just like what Dusky Cloud had done not too long ago.
Young Master Han noticed Will-low sitting beside Gu Fei, so he remarked dryly, “You must have been really bored to busy yourself intently in this one hour.”
Unexpectedly, Sword Demon went up and greeted Will-low, “You’re here, too!”
“Yup! I’ll be going with you guys to Yunduan City,” Will-low said happily.
Royal God Call had a dumbstruck look on his face as he whispered to Gu Fei, “You’re quite the player to reel in a lady to return with you in just two days. How did you do it? Teach this lil’ bro!”
Gu Fei was annoyed by his insinuation, “What does a kid like you know? Go play with yourself.”
Royal God Call was affronted by his dismissal.
Gu Fei introduced Will-low to the five men. Besides the new IGN Young Master Han specifically created for this game, Will-low recognized the IGNs of the other players. She punctuated every introduction with bouts of shock. When Gu Fei got to Brother Assist, Will-low bounced excitedly, “Brother Assist?! You’re my idol, you know?”
Everyone was astonished by her reaction. Even Brother Assist did not know how to respond, “Oh? Even I have fans in this day and age?”
“Yup! Collecting information and analyzing data are my hobbies, too!” Will-low exclaimed.
“Ha ha ha! This lady here has a bright future!” Brother Assist told everyone. Truthfully, Brother Assist’s gaming style was often criticized unlike the others. To describe him using past gaming knowledge, he was not a player with amazing control, high level, or overpowered equipment; what he had was the theoretical knowledge of how to properly distribute stats for every job class, what kind of skills did the different job classes had, and how to best utilize the job class that was chosen. Any gaming noobs who encountered him would definitely be in luck, yet Brother Assist’s ability to contribute when it came to an actual fight was very minute. Many people could not understand why he spent his entire day meaninglessly obsessing over these things, but they could see that he actually enjoyed doing it.
Spending most of his time discussing matters with other players and posting the top discussion threads on the game forums were how Brother Assist acquired his fame; the same fame that Sword Demon and the others greatly enjoyed in their respective fields of expertise, yet greatly diminished once outside these domains. In contrast, Brother Assist’s expertise that could be applied in all areas allowed his fame to be more constant than the other four gaming experts.
However, fame did not equate to strength. The players that despised Brother Assist’s work were greater than those that admired it. The players who were interested in researching and analyzing data components were naturally few as well. It was no wonder everyone was surprised when Will-low claimed that she idolized Brother Assist.
As everyone was feeling gleeful, Will-low continued speaking, “Are you guys part of one mercenary group? Can I join your group?”
Everyone looked at Young Master Han.
Will-low definitely did not qualify to join Young Master’s Elite mercenary group considering the level requirement criterion that they had set during its inception. But ultimately, Young Master Han was the one who had set this criterion and the rest were more or less indifferent to that criterion. This matter could be considered resolved as long as he gave his approval.
Gu Fei had his sight trained on to Royal God Call. Recalling that time when Sword Demon had asked him to join their mercenary group, Brother Assist, War Without Wounds, and Young Master Han did not voice objections except for Royal God Call. And yet, this kid currently did not voice any objection when this level 24 Thief had asked to join their mercenary group. A stupid smile was even plastered all over his face as he salivated at the prospect. This kid’s disappointing. Truly and utterly disappointing, Gu Fei thought spitefully to himself. Royal God Call usually boasted about his abilities, yet his carnal desire was in full display when faced with this lady. It was no wonder why Amethyst Rebirth’s ladies showed such a strong reaction when a male player joined their guild. It was lecherous men like him that sullied male players’ good name.
Will-low finally caught on to who was calling the shots in this group. Fixing her gaze on to Young Master Han, she happily said, “This big sis here must be the group leader. Let me join the group, pretty please?”
Big sis! The harmonious atmosphere instantly dispersed. Everyone nervously looked at Young Master Han as an amiable smile slowly appeared from his originally expressionless face. Young Master Han patted Will-low’s shoulder and warmly said, “So you wish to join our group! Not a chance.” He then turned around and told the others, “Let’s hit the road.”
Young Master Han’s words vastly contrasted his friendly tone, so Will-low was momentarily frozen in place. After a bit, she asked, “What happened?”
Sword Demon sighed deeply as he left the tavern. War Without Wounds laughed weakly and exited the establishment as well.
“When it comes to information gathering, you’ve still got a long way to go,” with a heavy heart, Brother Assist sincerely said to Will-low.
“Don’t worry, leave this to me. Do you have QQ1? Let’s—”
“A kid like you should quietly play in a corner!” Gu Fei swiftly butted in and interrupted Royal God Call’s pickup line. He then directed a troubled gaze on to Will-low, “Couldn’t you tell that ‘she’ is actually a ‘he’? Although he doesn’t look like one, his voice is a dead giveaway! He clearly spoke quite a few words since he entered the tavern.”
“Ah? I totally didn’t notice…” Will-low said gloomily.
Gu Fei had no other words to say. This was a mistake he would expect Xiaoyu to make but not from Will-low who did not seem to be an airhead at all!
“I’ll go apologize to him,” Will-low moved to chase after Young Master Han.
“Forget it,” Gu Fei tried to stop her but he was too late; Will-low had already run outside the premise. He rushed outside, only to find Will-low bowing repeatedly to Young Master Han to show her contrition.
Young Master Han still had that amiable smile on his face, saying “I’m not that petty. This often happens to me, so I’m used to it. You can’t join our group solely because you’re not strong enough. Our team…” Young Master Han looked at the others, before pointing at Gu Fei, “You know what he’s capable, right? And yet, he’s the weakest among us. If you wish to join our group, you need to at least be at his level.”
Will-low glumly said, “It seems I can never join your group.”
Young Master Han nodded his head solemnly, “That’s why I said those words before.”
Meanwhile, the others gathered in a corner to quietly discuss the situation. “Is he telling the truth or lying? Does he really not mind?” War Without Wounds asked.
“It’s definitely a lie. Just look at his smile,” Brother Assist answered.
“Sword Demon, you know him best. What do you think?” Royal God Call asked.
“It’s half true, half false!” Sword Demon replied.
“What do you mean?” Royal God Call pressed on.
“Will-low’s level is truly not acceptable to him. But she has touched a nerve coincidentally, so he’s using this opportunity to snub her. I think that’s his initial intention, anyway,” Gu Fei chimed in.
Sword Demon looked at Gu Fei in surprise, “You’ve got quite a good grasp of his character.”
“I’ve got no choice,” Gu Fei sighed, “His personality is too obvious.”
“How come I can’t see that?” Royal God Call scratched his head.
“What does a kid like you know? I’ve eaten more salt than you’ve eaten rice,” Gu Fei remarked.
Royal God Call was getting fed up with him by now.
“Alright, let’s go!” After Will-low and Young Master Han concluded their talk, everyone finally hit the road.
“I’ll definitely join your mercenary group,” Will-low whispered as she walked beside Gu Fei.
“So you’ve not given up yet, huh,” Gu Fei mused.
“Of course, not.”
“Good luck!” Gu Fei smiled.
“Hey, what did you do to get so OP?” Will-low asked inquisitively.
“Been training hard for twenty years nonstop even to these days,” Gu Fei answered.
“What have you been training hard?” Will-low asked, baffled.
“Kung fu,” Gu Fei replied.
“You mean to say you’re so good at PvP wholly because you’ve been training kung fu?” Will-low had watched the entire process of Gu Fei’s battle with Vast Lushness. That fight was not like Gu Fei’s usual one-on-one bout that ended in two or three moves. Having spent quite some time observing him, she was convinced that Gu Fei was not an average player.
Gu Fei nodded his head.
“Oh? Can I learn it, too?” Will-low asked.
“If you’ve got the passion for it, of course I can teach you some moves. But you can forget it if your intention for learning kung fu is to be like me in-game. I doubt you’ll be able to devote so much time to learning it,” Gu Fei candidly told her.
While Gu Fei had spent twenty years practicing kung fu, what he had learned in those years was incomparable to an average practitioner’s. Kung fu was already his entire being with his lifestyle revolving around it. Moreover, talent factored when learning this particular martial art. The time an average person had to spend into practicing kung fu up to Gu Fei’s current level would take about... forty or sixty years. Even their whole lives might not be enough to attain Gu Fei’s kung fu prowess.
 QQ - is an application or program that the Chinese use to send instant-messages to one another, except it is way bigger and has multiple uses aside from providing people a means to communicate. Think of Facebook Messenger, Discord, Whatsapp, etc., and then add in all sorts of crazy things like Paypal, Venmo, and Skype.