Virtual World: Close Combat Mage

Chapter 698: The Ugliness Between Guilds

Skygazing Under the Tree stood staring at the sky in the cavity and was feeling very despondent. Gu Fei had managed to turn what had been a perfect encirclement into a total mess, and the man himself had unexpectedly made his escape in the wake of the chaos. His indomitability was truly impossible to grasp with conventional understanding. Who else would have been able to step on people’s heads and escape from an encirclement in such a fashion? It was far too unreasonable.

But now, this was the second time that Gu Fei had launched an attack on them, and he used plenty of spells each time. However, as he was able to send a good number of players to the spawn point with each attack, there were not many people left from Skygazing Under the Tree’s guild, Disembodied Spirits under the Tree. They were unable to withstand Gu Fei’s repeated attacks, and it seemed like two more rounds from him would essentially wipe them all out.

However, Skygazing Under the Tree was not afraid of death. What he was feeling crestfallen about was that he had no way to kill Gu Fei. He felt that Gu Fei was contesting so fiercely mainly because his quest had directed him to be here, which was why the man had the patience to keep coming back fighting. If they managed to kill Thousand Miles Drunk, and his quest failed as a result, he would merely be venting his anger even if he were to return for revenge a couple of times. Would he really have the heart to keep going on and on? To put it plainly, he was convinced that it was the system’s arrangement of this Competitive Quest that led to what was happening here. Even if everyone was trying to outplay and outwit one another, they should at least have a mutual understanding of circumstances! Only an immature gamer, much less an expert gamer, would end up causing so much trouble to the point where both sides end up with heavy losses.

This was how Skygazing Under the Tree understood the situation at hand, which was why he was a little at a loss at what he could do right now. There were no more traps that he could lay to suppress Thousand Miles Drunk’s martial prowess; it was not easy for Skygazing Under the Tree to successfully play the emotion card on Gu Fei the first time around. Acting like a deferential coward the whole time had left him feeling nauseated, and in the end, his act had all been for naught. Now, they were all being killed off like they were insignificant weaklings that Skygazing Under the Tree felt extremely aggrieved.

“Guild Leader, he’s back again!” An underling reported as he came running in all dejected.

This was Gu Fei’s third trip in, and he dove into the enemy with great relish. Disembodied Spirits under the Tree no longer had any Assassins Stealthed beyond the cavity, and Skygazing Under the Tree was unable to position any sort of battle tactic to contend with Gu Fei. All he could do was grit his teeth and bellow, “Drag it out for another round! Let’s not charge at him all at once.”

Everyone heeded the order, so they watched as Gu Fei charge right into the side of the cavity as they scattered in every direction. This made it seem like they did not want to fight but were just waiting for Gu Fei to come over and slaughter them when they stood at a distance. Gu Fei would have to use his Twin Incineration to slay these people, but now that they were standing so far apart, at most he could kill was one at a time, but if he were to use his spells to attack, the Priests would immediately begin casting their Heals and they would only end up expending each others’ mana.

“How shameless!” Gu Fei was indignant.

“Let me help you,” Flux Bead bravely stood out this time. He had quite a lot of combat experience under his belt, and when he saw how Gu Fei’s targets were always getting Healed by a Priest, he could tell at a glance just where the Priest was positioned. As such, he immediately went over and attacked the Priest, so he could interrupt the Heal from being fully cast. The men from Disembodied Spirits Under the Tree were all angered as a result. Just who does this little Assassin think he was!? Was he pretending to be someone of outstanding repute and skill as well? At that moment, several of these people could not stand it, and they came rushing over with their weapons drawn, every intention to shred this gatecrasher into pieces. In the end, Gu Fei Blinked over, brandished his sword out with a Twin Incineration, and killed them all at once.

“Don’t move around unnecessarily!” Skygazing Under the Tree growled out his command. “You, Heal him.” Skygazing Under the Tree pointed to a Priest. This was to create a Healing link, so as long as there was a Priest’s support to Heal the players unless the difference in strength was too great, there would not be any way to kill targets off.

Skygazing Under the Tree clearly wanted to carry on in such a shameless manner, even as he was feeling vexed deep down. Why did I not do this two rounds ago? Truly, Thousand Miles Drunk had come in and out too quickly that even my thoughts can’t keep up with him! *Furthermore, I reckon this method still isn’t enough to prevent how destructive that man can be! *

It was very obvious what Skygazing Under the Tree’s battle plan here was. Since he had already positioned everyone thusly, it was an open invitation for Gu Fei to come and kill whomever he wished, though he would not be able to accomplish that without the use of his mana. Due to Gu Fei’s mana limitations, the most he could do was kill four men at any one attack. Seeing Gu Fei’s expression of helplessness, Skygazing Under the Tree suddenly found a bit of what it felt like to be a winner, loudly yelling, “Brother Miles, don’t mind this! I’ve got no choice. It is all the competitive quest’s fault for forcing my hand. We are all compelled to act our parts.”

“I’ll compel your mother!” Flux Bead shouted back. He was feeling disgruntled as well. When he followed Gu Fei to charge into the cavity, nobody even spared a glance over at him. All of them had kept their eye on Gu Fei without straying even a millimeter, watching Gu Fei’s every move. Even though he was irritated to the point that he wanted to attack them, it also highlighted his lowly status in the standoff. Even Gu Fei did not even dare to make his move despite standing so high on the totem pole! When that the guild leader had given the d*mn*d order to not make any rash move, Flux Bead had really ended up becoming somewhat transparent. This allowed him to head up and stab a Priest moments ago, yet all that Priest did was glance at him with the corner of his eyes. It was insulting! Utterly insulting!

When Gu Fei came to the conclusion that he was no longer able to carry on slaying them with impunity, so he had no choice but to stay his hand. He heard what Skygazing Under the Tree had shouted, and figured what he said made sense. The man had initially sought to trick him entirely for the sake of completing his quest. The system’s Competitive Quest was the real culprit here. Everyone wanted to complete the quest they had; Gu Fei relied on violence, and when the enemy knew that they were unable to match his combat prowess, all they could do was rely on their wits to even the playing field. Even though it was a little repulsive, they had done so for the same reason.

Gu Fei contemplated over this as he nodded toward Skygazing Under the Tree, “Then you can’t blame me either.”

Skygazing Under the Tree chuckled, showing an expression of deep understanding.

There were several simple tents set up in the cavity. Gu Fei walked among the crowd of players without giving these people any regard whatsoever. He began shuttling from tent to tent. But what he found strange was how Skygazing Under the Tree, as well as his men, none of them made a move and merely smiled and watched him search.

Gu Fei was skeptical even as he continued to walk through all the tents. That was when he understood: Guillermo was no longer here.

The tent that Gu Fei had Blinked to before had been the one that Guillermo had stayed in the last time, but there was nobody there. Gu Fei had thought that Guillermo might be the sort of NPC that would move about randomly and could be found doing things in the other tents, but now that he searched through them, it seemed like Guillermo had not even changed his tent at all. Skygazing Under the Tree was also very certain that people knew which tent Guillermo would be in, which was why he had set such a trap. Everything set up in this cavity was nothing more than for show, and it was essentially an empty fort strategy. The real Guillermo had already been moved to somewhere else as the quest progressed, and it must definitely be relevant to the quest content that Skygazing Under the Tree and his men were looking to accomplish. However, Skygazing Under the Tree had intentionally set up such a defensive perimeter here so conscientiously, all just to redirect everybody’s vision right here, when in fact, their quest would not be progressing here in this cavity…

“Marvelous. This move of yours is truly marvelous!” Gu Fei commended Skygazing Under the Tree.

Skygazing Under the Tree smiled, “I’ve got no choice, I was forced to take such measures. We are but a small guild. There’s no way we could hope to complete our quest without resorting to a bit of schemes and trickery.”

Just as he said this, the sound of a growing crowd could already be heard from outside the cavity. Flux Bead instantly perked up as he told Gu Fei, “My people are here.”

Saying that, Flux Bead suddenly became a dispirited once more. Why? Why was I so excited now that my guildmates are here? Was I really looking forward to the strength of my guild coming and support me? Wasn’t it my intention in Parallel World to become an Assassin that could take on the world alone?

Flux Bead was conflicted as he discovered that his intentions seemed to have been shaken quite a bit. He searched for a reason, before finally coming to the conclusion that it was because he had found someone he could compare against, but what made it painful was the fact that he was no match at all; not now, not ever.

Flux Bead blankly stared at Gu Fei, a mix of envy and admiration in his eyes.

More men continued to appear from outside the cavity, before the edge itself was filled with men. Gu Fei lifted his eyes and soon spotted Brave Surge.

“Where’s Wind Seal?” Brave Surge acted in an imposing manner that befitted him, directly asking for an answer to his question without even sparing a glance to search for him among the crowd below.

Skygazing Under the Tree chuckled, “So it was guild leader Surge that had made his way over here.”

“And who might you be?” Brave Surge asked.

“The name’s Skygazing Under the Tree,” Skygazing Under the Tree said.

“Oh, you’re Skygazing Under the Tree.” Brave Surge had also heard of the name, and what he had gathered about Skygazing Under the Tree was the version that Brother Assist had initially quoted: Skygazing Under the Tree was a guild leader of a small guild that had quite a sizeable capability, and was suspected to be a pay-to-win player.

“That’s me,” Skygazing Under the Tree laughed. “I wonder just what might guild leader Surge be looking for, bring so much of his men over here?”

“Where’s Wind Seal? Call him out and speak to me,” Brave Surge said.

“Wind Seal? I don’t know the name. Who’s that?” Skygazing Under the Tree asked.

“Are you acting dumb?” Brave Surge laughed mirthlessly. “We’re all clever men here; let’s not speak in riddles. I’m now asking you: Did Wind Seal bring that quest into your guild?”

“Oh? Did such a thing actually happen? Let’s not talk about Wind Seal first; guild leader Surge, you don’t seem to have gotten a good study of the rules in this game! How can a player still have a guild quest after they quit from a guild?” Skygazing Under the Tree posed the question.

“Don’t you nitpick on my words,” Brave Surge warned. “Wind Seal had discovered the quest but did not pick it up first. He only did so after he quit my guild and joined yours. Am I wrong in my assessment of what happened?”

“Oh, that’s a lot more logical,” Skygazing Under the Tree nodded.

“So where is Wind Seal?” Brave Surge asked.

“I’ve already told you I have no idea. Guild leader Surge, just how many guilds are there in Yunduan City, why must you look toward me now that one of your guild members has left your guild? Don’t you think a large guild like Traversing Four Seas would be all the more suspicious?” Skygazing Under the Tree wondered.

“Looks like you intend to deny this till the end,” Brave Surge cooly lifted his magic staff. Countless staves were also raised above their heads in a circle around the cavity.

“Wait a minute!” Someone suddenly raised his hand and shouted from inside the cavity.

Brave Surge turned to look in the direction of this voice and was shocked, “Miles bro?”

Gu Fei was the textbook example of interpersonal relationships: As long as someone is strong enough, anyone would affectionately call them a brother.

“It’s me,” Gu Fei said.

Flux Bead saw Brave Surge send a message directed right at him in the guild channel, “Flux Bead, why didn’t you tell me Thousand Miles Drunk was here?”

“Ah….” Flux Bead was stumped. Indeed, he seemed to have forgotten to mention this fact to the guild. It seemed like he had no idea what he should be doing after Thousand Miles Drunk had appeared, even going so far as to have forgotten what he was tasked to do here in the first place.

“You guys carry on with your business, I’ll be taking my leave first.” Just as Brave Surge thought this matter was about to get prickly, he had not expected Gu Fei to say something like this.

Brave Surge was obviously elated when he heard this. Truly, he was not afraid of Gu Fei alone since he had a thousand men on his side, but the problem was that what made Gu Fei so fearsome was precisely because he was but one man that possessed indomitable strength. Just the thought of really offending the man, in the end, caused him to hesitate, for there was no way to legitimately defend themselves from him. And adding to the fact that the incident before with Traversing Four Seas was now a cautionary tale for everyone about the dangers of going up against Gu Fei, Brave Surge really had no wish to clash against Gu Fei. That was why he could not be any happier when he heard what Gu Fei said, as he quickly called his guild members to let the man pass.

Gu Fei calmly walked through the crowd. He could not help but feel depressed when he saw how so many people were looking forward for him to leave, while Skygazing Under the Tree and his men down in the cavity were eyeing him with animosity.

Just how did this make sense? Going by the rules the system had designed, both guilds should be on the same side, and Gu Fei should have been the enemy that they focused on. But now? Because there was no benefit in directly coming into conflict with Gu Fei, Brave Surge had not even spared a second thought and proceeded to let the man go, all because the guilds were competing with each other over the contribution scores for the City Wars event. As a result, the pretense of civility between the guilds had been torn off as they began fighting with each other…

Was the system design really the ultimate culprit? Gu Fei did not believe this to be so. Just like his opinion toward hacking, it was his belief that the fault was on the hackers themselves and not the act of hacking, even going so far as to claim that the people who create hacks were equally not at fault. Instead, it was those who chose to use the hacks that gave the chance for hacking to flourish.

Gu Fei felt more and more conflicted as he thought about this. All of a sudden, he pulled out his sword and uttered the incantation for Twin Incineration, whirling out his sword in a full circle. He was still within the crowd of players from Carouse, and the path they made for Gu Fei to pass was nothing too wide. There were still plenty of players around him, so at least ten players ended up dying to this one slash from his sword. Everybody was surprised, and Brave Surge quickly got the news of what happened as the crack in the crowd very quickly widened. Brave Surge and Gu Fei were now facing one another in between this sea of men.

Gu Fei glanced over to Brave Surge, “Guild Leader Surge. Have you made a mistake? Actually, the enemy you’ve come for should be me.”

“Miles bro, just what do you mean by that?”

“Nothing. It’s just that the system had designated me as the enemy, or have you forgotten about that?” Gu Fei said.

“But the system is inflexible, while we humans are far more flexible. Carouse has no intention of viewing Miles bro as an enemy,” Brave Surge affirmed.

“Hehe, that’s not right yeah? I had previously crossed swords with your guild here on this ground. Guillermo; wasn’t that NPC relevant to your quest?” Gu Fei said.

Brave Surge quickly added two and two together, “Was it you who caused our quest to fail?”

“Oh? You failed?” Gu Fei had been unaware of this development!

“The quest holder got insta-killed by someone hiding in the tent. Were you that assailant?” Brave Surge pressed.

“Oh? I don’t know who the quest holder was, but I did indeed insta-kill someone when I was in the tent. I had thought it was a guard coming over to check on the NPC!” Gu Fei replied.

Brave Surge harbored a burgeoning hate for Gu Fei right now, but he did not reveal even a sliver of his emotion on his face. In fact, he even flashed a bright smile in response, “Looks like it was really due to Miles bro. But I’ll forget about it. The quest had failed anyway. There’s no point to look any further into this.”

“Don’t say that, I welcome you looking into things,” Gu Fei commented flippantly.

You…” Brave Surge was really at the end of his rope; the person in front of him was really detestable. He had offered a way out for Gu Fei to back down, yet he insisted on persisting to the point of insult, merely just waiting for Brave Surge to lose his temper.

Should I endure? Do I bear with this? Brave Surge was grinding his teeth as he mulled over this.

Skygazing Under the Tree was still down in the cavity and had no idea what was going on. He had originally been waiting for Carouse to bombard them into oblivion, yet he now saw them all standing up there rooted in place, and all of them had their backs turned to them.

“What’s going on?” The only player from Carouse inside the cavity was Flux Bead, and he was asking this in the guild channel.

However, nobody bothered to answer him. Those who could see what was happening were just waiting for Brave Surge to give the order; while those who had no line of sight to their guild leader were equally confused like Flux Bead, not knowing what had happened.

The atmosphere got heavy, yet Gu Fei still showed his nonchalant expression, while Brave Surge was in serious conflict deep down. Finally, someone in the guild could no longer stand it as he cried out in the channel, “Guild Leader, are we killing him or not?”

“Guild leader, kill him! He’s just one man, what’s there to be afraid of?”

“What do you know? It is not about being afraid. That guy’s too strong when it comes to his ability to mess things up. Furthermore, he is just but one man, and with how no one would lose their levels dying during this City War, we’ll be pestered to our deaths if we get entangled with him.”

“But there should be a limit to how much we can bear!”

“That is true. It would really look like we are afraid of him if we keep giving him face.”

“So what if he can mess things up? He won’t lose his levels fighting with us, but the same applies to us as well! How many can he kill in one go? Can he even run after all his killing?”

“That’s right. Let’s kill him!”

“Guild leader, give the order to kill him!”

In a glance, it was clear to Brave Surge that the majority sentiment among his guild was to exterminate Gu Fei. It just so happened that he did not wish to make this decision, so he decided to let democracy have its day in the sun and simply gave the order across the guild channel, “KILL HIM!”

From Gu Fei’s perspective, this order had been secretly given, but Gu Fei’s observation skills meant there was no way that he would miss the cues. The moment he discovered the expressions from plenty of the players around him change, he knew the conclusion he had been waiting for this while had finally come to be. Gu Fei raised his hand, “Blink!”

Gu Fei disappeared from the ground, as Gu Fei appeared above people’s heads. The same method he used to get past Disembodied Spirits Under the Tree was on display once more.

Don’t blame me for this; who asked you guys to stand so close to one another? Gu Fei thought to himself as he ran.

The anger that built in Brave Surge almost had him vomiting blood. Gu Fei clearly meant to goad them into killing him, yet the moment they made their move, he had instead turned tail and ran off. Just what was he intending to do here? Just how am I supposed to service this master?

“Chase him. Bring along 50 Thieves and 50 Archers. Folding Fan, you’re in charge.” Brave Surge gave the order, resolute in finishing Gu Fei off.

“Roger that,” The player whom Brave Surge directed the orders to acknowledged. Folding Fan Invader was the number one Assassin in Carouse. As one of the Ten Great Adepts for the Thief job class, he was decisive and unwavering when given a task. Brave Surge had assigned him two parties of 50 men, and he was not about to take this lightly. He sent a message in the guild channel, “Party me and let’s set off.”

Many men voluntarily applied to party with Folding Fan. Folding Fan Invader accepted these as he sent out invites to the Archers and Thieves he saw along the way as he chased his target. Soon, he had managed to gather exactly 100 men for this operation. In the meantime, Gu Fei was still escaping the mob as he stepped on people’s heads. He turned around and saw a good group of players had separated from the majority, and it was a horde of Thieves and Archers with the movement speed to give chase that was specifically sent to hunt him down.

“That’s more like it. This should be how it was supposed to be,” Gu Fei simply could not stand watching the guilds fight amongst each other. To him, it was too ugly a sight to behold.

“Guild leader, what about the matter here?” Someone asked Brave Surge how they intend to deal with Disembodied Spirits Under the Tree.

Brave Surge was completely discontented at this time, and when he thought of how Skygazing Under the Tree had denied everything, he knew it was not possible for them to snatch back the quest any longer. Since I can’t do this, no one else will either! Brave Surge heartlessly thought to himself this even as he waved his hand, “Obliterate them.”

The Mages chanted their spells, as an innumerable amount of Flaming Wheels and Blazing Trees blanketed the cavity. Almost instantaneously, the entire location transformed into a raging sea of flames. Even Flux Bead had not managed to escape from this.

“F*ck!” Flux Bead was super depressed when he revived back at the encampment with Skygazing Under the Tree and his men. He did not believe that so many people had not even seen him there. It was fine if he got sacrificed, but someone should at least say something about it! Flux Bead was completely disappointed with the guild so he decided not to tell them the most important information he had learned. Even he could tell: The defensive arrangements that Disembodied Spirit Under the Tree had set up in the cavity were all a ruse. The quest had already progressed on to the next step.

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