Virtual World: Close Combat Mage

Chapter 737 - It has only just begun



Chapter 737: Chapter 737 – It has only just begun


Translator: Exodus Tales Editor: Exodus Tales


In the level 40 and above grinding map outside Yunduan City, Brother Assist was moving about and approaching players like he was engaged in a pyramid scheme. The recruitment this time was not the same as what it had been doing the last time with the initial 20 players, where the criteria had been the trustworthiness of said person. This time, they were more than willing to accept players simply based on the merits of their combat power before considering anything else. In truth, the hardest portion of what he had to do was to convince the ladies of Amethyst Rebirth to temporarily forget their pursuit of an all-woman guild. Thankfully, the ladies were all sympathetic and reasonable beings, so convincing them was not as difficult as what Gu Fei had imagined it would. All of them had readily agreed with the plan in the end, since none of the ladies wished to experience what it would be like to be killed 25 times and sent to the 17th District, isolated from the rest of the world.


Fireball had very lewdly proposed they use this ‘Lady card’, and that sounded somewhat unreliable. However, before Gu Fei could even oppose this suggestion, some had already said they did not just have the ‘Lady card’, they could even add the ‘Thousand Miles Drunk card’ into the mix, maximizing the effectiveness of their recruitment drive. Since the ladies saw that they were already giving their guild up, they decided that they could just offer themselves up as well, so none of them raised any objection to Fireball’s tasteless proposal, expressing their acquiescence to the idea. Seeing how the ladies were being so magnanimous, how could Gu Fei bring himself to argue over it? All he could do was tacitly agree to be part of the gimmick.


With the decision made, everyone thought to contact their own friends to extend an invite out, but given their status as city defenders, they were unable to contact the players from the opposing side via messages, and they would have to step out of the city at the very least if they intended to communicate with the neutral players. However, all the players outside the city were keeping an eye out for them all, waiting for the chance to take these people down the moment they poke their heads out from behind the safety of the city walls.


In the end, all Gu Fei and the others had to do was loiter around under the city gates, hiding behind the formation of City guards that were busy fighting with the players assaulting the city who had no idea what they were up to. All they could do was curse and insult Gu Fei and the rest for being cowards, afraid of exiting the city.


They contacted all the friends they could approach, and some expressed an interest in joining them, while others were the opposite. Those who were interested could further get the word out among their own contacts; Gu Fei and the others did not particularly mind for such a recurrence either. Once all the players that were contacted messaged each other, they gathered into groups of fours and headed to the mailboxes placed outside encampments to receive the teleportation scrolls that Gu Fei and the others mailed over. After using them to directly teleport into the city, they simply applied to join the guild, got to know each other, understand the situation they were in, and form into respective teams.


Everyone would naturally have plenty of friends, but those who wanted to help needed to at least be neutral third party players who were unaffiliated with any guilds. Otherwise, it would be somewhat embarrassing to get people to back out from their guilds just to lend a hand. Then again, it was all the more impossible to contact those players who were in guilds that were currently participating in the City Wars.


Everybody contributed their manpower to this call-to-arms, with some managing to get as many as three to five players to join, while some only getting one, or none at all. In any case, all of them did what they could to gather as many as they could. In the end, the one who managed to rally the most people actually was not Sword Demon or Brother Assist, but it was the ladies from Amethyst Rebirth. As far as universal truth went, nobody could deny that ladies had an innate advantage when it came to making friends in MMOs; they did not need to have strength, equipment or money. All the people needed to know was that she was a lady and it became very easy for them to befriend others.


However, the most eye-catching of the helpers that were called over were still who Gu Fei had rallied, directly getting Drifting, a player of Five Unyielding Experts’ caliber. Furthermore, he had even introduced Drifting and his two companions as players with a Faction as well, and that meant they would still be able to depend on the three to establish three more guilds, giving them another 150 spots for more members if they lacked the manpower.


Drifting had very quickly rushed over when he was hailed. He was very motivated when he first got this message. Even though Drifting did not keep in contact with Gu Fei, he had read about Gu Fei’s exploits in the forums. The discussions in Yunduan City were pretty much dominated by Thousand Miles Drunk’s defection, and how several tens of thousands of men from the guilds had come together, all panicking in the face of this one man. The players from Yunduan City were all complaining about how their city ended up in such circumstances, because it became apparent by the various topics of discussion that out of the various cities engaged in the City Wars event, it was only Yunduan City that actually had players that ended up as city defenders.


Drifting was ashamed. Deeply ashamed. He was a city defender as well, but he did not feel that his presence was even felt while ‘defending’. No one from the city where he was stationed had any idea that there were three city defenders secretly earning contribution scores. Upon reading the report of Yunduan City, Drifting had decided to imitate it, getting online this time to try and complete his Faction quest. In the end, he learned that the quest he was offered would also be dependent on the Faction he was with. Gu Fei was with the Vigilante Corps, while Sword Demon was with the League of Assassins. They were two different Factions that played different roles in this City Wars event. But what about Drifting as his party of three? The Wayfarer’s Society had assigned the three men quests that encapsulated the idea of Wayfarers best: They were all errand missions.


The north gate’s guard captain sent his regards to the west gate’s guard captain; the west gate’s guard captain had a letter for the south gate’s guard captain; the south gate’s guard captain requested aid from the east gate’s guard captain; the east gate’s guard captain had also packed two loaves of bread as well, asking them to send it over to his fiance. Drifting and the other two were on the brink of mental collapse. It would be utterly preposterous if they were able to grind these missions to the point they could feel involved in the war effort. The three were no more than a trio of messengers, heralds and errand boys for the city guards…


So the moment he received Gu Fei’s invite to head over to Yunduan City and share in the contribution scores that they would earn in the defense of the city, Drifting did not even hesitate. He felt that be it from an entertainment standpoint, or in view of the pros and cons, the three of them barely had much of a future continuing their errand missions. They figured that they were better off joining Thousand Miles Drunk and his bunch.


In the end, the first thing that Gu Fei asked them to do was to kill a horde of players that were also on the city defender’s side… Something definitely caused them to be in this situation, but would the system care so much about the minutiae involved? Even a fool could tell that there would hardly be any reward for killing other players that were on the same side. Perhaps there might even be some sort of penalty for their actions.


But all Drifting could do was take things as they came. He knew that they could not keep killing like this and that this was merely the darkness before the dawn. The light of contribution scores was right before them. For that glorious future ahead, all he could do was grit his teeth and get through this bit of darkness.


There were only just so many players that they could get from their friends’ lists, so it was necessary for them to head out into the wilderness to directly recruit new players next. Fireball nagged about going, and he had very quickly attracted the eyes of the city assaulters who were waiting for prey to turn up the moment he took several steps out from the city. Fireball had blended amidst the battlefield without realizing that he was being watched, and he was immediately shredded by the players that swarmed him, suffering a fairly inescapable death in the end.


After the inner circle of the guild convened to discuss what transpired, they had also come to the conclusion that Fireball’s sordid attribute would make for a poor representation of their guild, and they made the final decision that both Amethyst Rebirth and Extremely Heaven Defying would send one player each to shoulder this responsibility.


Amethyst Rebirth had July herself that stepped up to the plate, while Brother Assist became the spokesperson for Extremely Heaven Defying.


Everyone was already well aware of just how dangerous it was to head out of the city at this time, so they naturally had to come up with a solution to successfully blend in with the crowd. This was the time for July to shine, pulling out all the equipment that the ladies had gathered for ‘cosplaying’ purposes. After the two had put together their outfits, they looked almost exactly like city guards. The moment they stepped out of the city gates, they ran straight into the pack of NPCs fighting, and nobody could even differentiate them. After getting past this first phase of the plan, the rest of their plan proceeded easily. While the players were not paying any attention to them, they swapped their equipment once more, and the two were now dressed like just another city assaulter, pretending to be attacking the NPCs as they tried to avoid everyone, leaving the battlefield in such manner.


The two ran over to the grinding maps for level 40 players and higher, and began their recruitment drive.


Thousand Miles Drunk’s guild was an all-women guild. Such a gimmick was indeed resounding. When Brother Assist shouted out this point, a huge mass of players came mobbing to express their interest. However, the players who would be grinding at this time were not necessarily neutral players. There were quite a few players around belonging to guilds who did not participate in the Guild Wars event, but for them to be able to grind in this area, they would at least already be covered in terms of their level. Since this was not the time to nitpick on their character, Brother Assist was essentially persuading people whenever he met them, enlisting everyone he met.


It was just that the attitude of players above level 40 was much more matured. Those already in a guild might not be enticed into swapping guilds just like that, while those without a guild had already more or less decided that they would not join a guild and were having fun being unaffiliated. So even though Brother Assist was surrounded the entire time, his recruitment did not go as smoothly as he had thought it would. Many had come forth out of sheer curiosity, with some even treating Brother Assist like some sort of City War broadcast, learning everything about what was happening with the event at the moment.


As Brother Assist and July continued on their way, earnestly persuading everyone they come across, whenever they managed to gather 4 players interested in joining up, they would proceed to hand out a teleportation scroll to get them into the city. They had already changed all the teleportations scroll destinations to the coordinates of the Hall of Guild Creations by now, and there was someone there to receive the newcomers, getting them to apply for the guild and join, admiring Thousand Miles Drunk along the way before explaining the current predicament.


Amethyst Rebirth and Extremely Heaven Defying had been occupied with this matter on their end while the 43 guild members from Colored Clouds busied about their quests. All the ambushers inside the hall were pretty much casually positioned. After the players who teleported to the city had entered the guild, they immediately heard Gu Fei explain what they needed to do in the Hall of Guild Creations after, which was the ambush Young Master Han and the others that they found themselves encountering later. In the meantime, after Brother Assist had finished handing out the teleportation scrolls, the players that he was recruiting by this time had to learn how to mingle their way into the city and infiltrated accordingly.


The players who got recruited were no longer limited to just players who were unaffiliated with guilds. There were some who were already in a guild of their own who felt that this was a great opportunity for them to jump ship after getting a good understanding of the present situation, and there were some who immediately left their original guild just to join them. Brother Assist, of course, had no idea that such changes had occurred. In his eyes, each and every player that he met were potential newcomers to their guild, and all he knew was that he did not seem to have to take the initiative to tout and cajole players any longer. Their recruitment drive had already begun to spread by word of mouth, and there were people whom Brother Assist no longer needed to persuade as these players hurried over to them just to apply to join.


“We’re about to be full, right?” The information expert Brother Assist had not forgotten about the count, and since it was a matter of arithmetics with regards to how many more players both guilds could accept, there was simply no way for them to fit in more even if they wanted to.


“We’re almost there,” July nodded.


“But recruiting beyond our current limit isn’t that much of an issue in itself either. Amethyst Rebirth is about to reach level 3, and given how there’s no other guild competing in the city, it is truly the most appropriate time for us to speed level the guild. It’s not just Amethyst Rebirth, I think even Extremely Heaven Defying would be able to level quickly as well,” Brother Assist was a little excited.


“Let’s deal with the matter at hand first!” July was very down to earth.


“It’s already been dealt with! Aren’t men streaming over right now? We would hardly impact the battle outcome with the two of us being here. I think it’s better if we continue our recruitment. I’ll go ask Sword Demon and Miles what their thoughts are on this,” Brother Assist said.


July nodded in agreement. Brother Assist swiftly contacted Gu Fei and Sword Demon. Because both men were in two different guilds, they were unable to find any shared channels that they could use, which meant Brother Assist had to privately message the two men separately. In the end, Gu Fei had expressed his thoughts on this very simply in two words: Anything goes. On his side, Sword Demon had put some thought into it. Now that imminent danger had passed, Sword Demon was just like Brother Assist, also viewing their current situation to be the best opportunity for their guild. For a newly established guild like Extremely Heaven Defying, guild levels were no doubt a very valuable thing.


“So what are their thoughts?” July asked Brother Assist.


“Uhm, your guild leader said he was fine with anything, and my guild leader has allowed us to continue our recruitment. However, there’s no rush for this yet. We’ll discuss this in greater detail once they manage to cleanse those guys from the city,” Brother Assist replied.


“Okay…” July responded. The two then involuntarily headed toward in the direction of Yunduan City. The over level 40 grinding map that they were currently in was quite a distance away from the city, with mountains and forests to traverse, obscuring any direct line of sight. Since they were unable to see what was happening, the two could only try and conjure up the scene inside the city in their heads.


—————————————————-


Outside the Hall of Guild Creations, Young Master Han’s comrades had already been completely wiped out. Young Master Han was left standing by the side watching this coldly, not uttering a single word.


“Give in and surrender, that is your only way out now,” Gu Fei commented somberly.


“It won’t be that easy,” Young Master Han laughed. Gu Fei’s sword had already flown in with his response. Flames, then a flash of light. The damage sent Young Master Han’s HP plummeting, but a Heal pushed his HP back up, and the most boring and dreadful PK in MMO carried on. However, Gu Fei’s damage output was ultimately more powerful than Young Master Han’s Heals, and the one who would lose in the end will still be Young Master Han.


“Do you need help?” Drifting had finished his work, and came over with his magic staff raised.


“Yes, speed this up,” Gu Fei did not really have any reservations about this. He was fine with anything as long as Young Master Han’s dead.


Drifting immediately whirled out his spell. In terms of spell damage, Drifting was second to Gu Fei. With the top two Mages of Parallel World in terms of their spell damage casting their spell on Young Master Han, there was essentially no amount of skill that could allow him to hang on. Young Master Han saw his HP drop rapidly as he was engulfed in a white light in no time. He was finally killed, and as for who earned the credit of this kill, neither Gu Fei nor Drifting minded. Gu Fei had already pulled out a scroll and said to Drifting, “I’ve specially saved one. Wanna head over?”


“Sure,” Drifting nodded his head, stepping right into the space where the teleportation array would appear. Gu Fei unfurled the teleportation scroll and white light descended upon them. The two disappeared almost instantly, their destination the Priest Academy in Yunduan City. Gu Fei had specially kept this teleportation scroll, all in preparation to cut the head of the snake.


The white glow shone and the two men were already deposited in the Priest Academy. The scene that greeted the pair was very familiar. Flames from above the sky, and fire that was rising from the ground. There was fire flying in straight from in front of them as well, and they were indeed the various spells that Mages in Parallel World could conjure.


“D*mn, just what sort of crap have you flown us into this time?” Drifting could tell from a glance that they had fallen victim to an ambush. There was no time for him to evade the spells by now as the attacks were coming from every single direction around them. Gu Fei had wanted to explain himself, but Drifting was already gone when he turned his head over to face his fellow Mage. Gu Fei could only sigh, “You’re no match for me in terms of HP!” With that, he saw Young Master Han wave at him from outside the spawn point, and Gu Fei could only hold on long enough to utter that sentence before he was turned into white light as well.


Of course, Gu Fei subsequently found himself revived back at the Mage Academy. Without even a moment of hesitation, he immediately Blinked the moment he reappeared. However, everything was silent around him. There were no spells or ambushing troops. There was no one around, not even Drifting. Gu Fei was extremely shocked to discover this as he quickly fired a message to Drifting, “Where the hell did you respawn in?”


Drifting was in tears, “I did not register my account in Yunduan City yet, so I ended up back in my previous city.”


“That’s too much of a waste. Do you have any teleportation scrolls?” Gu Fei asked.


“I’ll go to the Auction House to check! You owe me an explanation for this death.” Drifting staggered out of his city’s Mage Academy, suddenly feeling that his future was uncertain.


Gu Fei was left wondering this time too! This was because according to their arrangement, Gu Fei’s attempt to hunt Young Master Han down back to the Priest Academy was part of the plan, and the ambushers there should have been cleared out beforehand. Logically speaking, there should not be anyone there. However, the truth of the reality was there had been a huge pack of players there, while there was actually nobody here in the Mage Academy.


Did we clear out the wrong place? Was Royal God Call the one leading the team? Gu Fei was skeptical and was about to fire a message to ask when he saw that his messages had been constantly flashing. When he opened, he saw that Sword Demon had messaged him, “The situation has changed. Do not pursue him.”


The moment that Gu Fei saw the time of the message, it was evidently sent before he teleported over. As it turned out, Sword Demon had already tried to warn him. He could only blame himself for getting carried away while fighting, not even checking his messages. Sure enough, this was a truly terrible habit he had.


Gu Fei helplessly replied, “What happened?”


“The enemy pulled out from camping in the various spawn points and gathered near the Priest Academy instead. Currently, both our forces are even in terms of numbers, so we’ll have to think over this properly if we were to clash head on.” Sword Demon said.


“How did this come to be?” Gu Fei asked.


“We’re disadvantaged if we were to have a direct confrontation like this! We may have about the same amount of men on either side, but our combat strength… Hmm, I’ll be blunt; The ladies of Amethyst Rebirth are limited in terms of their strength, while the rest of the men we have gathered are last minute additions, so our coordination will be a problem. Besides, we still have one major flaw! We lack Priests.” Sword Demon explained.


“How did that happen?”


“Priests don’t usually grind alone. Those players Brother Assist and July recruited were mostly players who were in the middle of solo grinding, and Priests would usually run with a team. Even if it was a team of randoms, they would feel embarrassed to leave just like that. There were some who had expressed their interest, but because their team was still grinding and did not leave the map, they are presently unable to come over,” Sword Demon gave a concise breakdown of their predicament.


“So troublesome! Then where are you guys right now?” Sword Demon asked.


“I’ve sent some of those with fast movement speed to keep tabs on them from a distance. I don’t think we’re able to be in conflict with them for now,” Sword Demon said.


“Yes, get everyone to keep away. I’ll go alone,” Gu Fei said.


“What?”


“All of you go camp the different spawn points. I’ll be sending you people to kill,” Gu Fei said.


“Don’t underestimate the enemy; these aren’t your usual enemies,” Sword Demon cautioned.


“I know that. I’ll hide from afar and catch one or two whenever a chance arises. Each kill counts!” Gu Fei said.


“Then you gotta at least tell us which spawn points should we go camp out, right?” Sword Demon asked.


Gu Fei gave it a thought. “Target the Archers!”


“How about this? You shouldn’t go alone either. Let’s form a strike team that consists of strong and speedy players. We’ll use them to engage with the enemy utilizing hit and run tactics,” Sword Demon suggested.


“Hmm, that’s not a bad idea. But why do I feel a sense of deja vu here?” Gu Fei wondered.


“This was the battle strategy that they were prepared to use on us.” Sword Demon said.


“So we’re giving him a taste of their own medicine!” Gu Fei sighed.


The guerilla strike team was hastily put together. Aside from Sword Demon and Gu Fei, Svelte Dancer and Royal God Call were of course recruited as well. Furthermore, they had brought along Xi Xiaotian as well. She possessed that strange skill of hers, Targeted Double Shot; there was no telling if she might be of use with it.


“They can utilize this same method of fighting like us as well. The rest of our men has to take care to protect themselves. Big South, you’ll be in charge of them,” Sword Demon had given this line of instruction to the team of players headed for the Archer’s Range over before they set off.


“This operation is as good as done,” Southern Lone Blade smiled. “Don’t worry, there’s no way they could form a guerilla strike team that is even more elite than ours.”


“Okay, let’s move out!” Sword Demon was leading the team, and the five-man guerilla strike team was on their way, obeying the directions from their spy as they headed to the location where Young Master Han and the others were located.


“Slow down. Don’t act with undue haste, this fight has only just begun.” Sword Demon saw that Gu Fei and Svelte Dancer were both looking particularly exuberant, and he could not help but remind them.



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