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Chapter 63 - One Truth Prevails

 Chapter 63 - One Truth Prevails

"Did we mistake a regular wolfhound for the Werewolf?" Xiaoyu asked.

"That's... highly unlikely," Gu Fei believed that the chain quests' complex design was something that the developers were very proud; hence, they would never incorporate such a ludicrous concept to any of those quests. Instead of being a real werewolf, it was actually a wolfhound with sentience? That was just plain silly.

"Let's see if it has left any other trails of blood," Gu Fei suggested.

"Good idea! We can catch up to it by following the blood trail!" Xiaoyu exclaimed.

"Uhh... It was scratched once on its claw. Wouldn't it be too far-fetched for it to bleed that much?" Gu Fei rationalized.

"Who knows?" Xiaoyu asked rhetorically, as she began to search around once more.

As for Gu Fei, he stared intently at the few drops of blood on the ground.

The Werewolf was far stronger than what Gu Fei had anticipated. It was unusually fast and possessed high attack power. Gu Fei only managed to block its single attack even though he had tried his best. He had no chance of winning at all if he were to engage the Werewolf in a real fight. Ultimately, it was inevitable for there to be a gap in terms of strength between the bosses and players. Even if Gu Fei wanted to, he had no way of bridging the gap between them with his skills alone. The Werewolf would most likely be done with Gu Fei in just two or three strikes before he could even observe its attack patterns and grasp the loopholes within.

Still, why would such a powerful boss flee? Was a mere scratch on its claw all it took to frighten the ferocious Werewolf? This was far too ridiculous. Or was the Sacred Flames of Baptism that fearsome after being plated with silver? Was the Werewolf so stricken with terror once it noticed that the weapon had been coated with silver?

Evidently, the escape of the Werewolf was not something that it decided on its own. Rather, it was a scenario that the game designers had come up with beforehand. Gu Fei just happened to fulfill the condition that led to the Werewolf's escape.

The 'condition' seemed to be injuring the Werewolf.

Just what kind of message was such a scenario trying to convey? Gu Fei could not fathom it at the moment.

"There's no other blood trail," Xiaoyu said disappointedly after searching the nearby surroundings through and through.

"Let's go to where the village chief is, I have some more things to ask," Gu Fei said.

"Is that so? Let's go, let's go!"

It was quiet over in Yeguang Village under the night sky. The NPCs that had earlier been roaming about were nowhere to be seen; instead, there were now houses with lit windows. Whereas the players were active inside the game twenty-four seven, the NPCs were bounded by their programmed daily schedule: being active at daytime and resting at nighttime. At times like this, telling who the humans and who the NPCs were was amusingly hard.

When they knocked on Chief Edwin's door, he politely greeted them like how he always did. "Ah, Chosen Hero, you are here again," Chief Edwin kept on addressing Gu Fei as the 'Chosen Hero'.

"The Werewolf that killed Murphy... What does it look like? Does it wear anything on its neck?" Gu Fei asked.

"Oh, you'll have to ask Mr. Adrian about that. He's the guy who lives near the church, and the sole witness of that past incident. He heard sounds coming from the church that night, so he went over to investigate and witnessed the Werewolf killing Murphy. That poor man; he must have been traumatized," Chief Edwin said.

"Mr. Adrian..." Gu Fei recalled him as the wealthiest man in Yeguang Village.

"Chief, where's Murphy house?" Gu Fei asked again.

"It's the third house by the woods. No one has gone there ever since he died," Chief Edwin answered.

"Let's go there for a look," Gu Fei said to Xiaoyu.

Murphy's house was actually very easy to find, as it was the only one with no lit windows among the houses. No one lived there ever since Murphy passed away.

As they drew closer to Murphy's house, Gu Fei gently blocked Xiaoyu, who was behind him, and signaled her to keep quiet. He then carefully walked toward the house as he held Sacred Flames of Baptism in front of him.

Xiaoyu felt so nervous that she dared not exhale, although she was clueless as to what Gu Fei was doing. She only saw Gu Fei walking up to the door, sticking his ear on it as he listened for quite a while, and pushing the door open. Xiaoyu inspected her surroundings nervously before sneakily going inside along with Gu Fei.

Gu Fei had already lit up an oil lamp inside the house and stood near a bed, looking at a parchment in his hand.

"What is it?" Xiaoyu got close to him.

"Seems like a map to me," Gu Fei answered.

"Treasure map?!" Xiaoyu felt thrilled.

"Too bad there're no coordinates on it. It might be a little tricky to locate it!" Gu Fei said.

"Let me see it," Xiaoyu took it.

"This right here is the main street of the village, and over here looks to be the church..." Xiaoyu pointed at the parchment with her quill and started to mumble.

"I know where it is!" Xiaoyu declared happily after a while. But when she turned around, she saw that Gu Fei was standing by the door and peeking outside warily.

"What are you looking at?" Xiaoyu inched closer to him.

"Shhhh..." Gu Fei gestured her to keep her voice down. Even though NPCs were currently outside, Gu Fei was not sure if 'making too much noise' would be one of the condition to cancel their current actions.

"Come on, let's trail after them," Gu Fei pulled Xiaoyu.

"I found the treasure spot!" Xiaoyu waved the parchment wildly.

"Really nice; we'll go treasure hunting later. For now let's trail these four fellows," Gu Fei said.

"Why? Are they up to something?" Xiaoyu asked.

"Not sure... But I recognized the three among the four as the NPCs that kept on avoiding me. I have never seen the fourth guy before. They are definitely up to something," Gu Fei said.

"Let's go, let's go!" Xiaoyu excitedly said.

The four people walked silently on the main street of Yeguang Village, resting on their shoulders were something that seemed like shovels.

"Uh-oh, don't tell me they're going to dig treasures! Could they be planning to dig the treasure shown on this map?" Xiaoyu said.

"Didn't you already figure out the treasure spot of that parchment? See if the path they are taking now leads to that treasure or not," Gu Fei said.

"It's not the right way," Xiaoyu replied.

"Then, let's keep on trailing them."

The four NPCs eventually reached a little hill near the village. They disappeared somewhere in the middle of it after pushing away a layer of plants blocking their way.

"Look, what's that?" Xiaoyu pointed at something.

"That's a shaft..." Gu Fei answered.

"What are they doing inside?" Xiaoyu asked.

"How am I supposed to know?" Gu Fei replied.

"Shall we take a look?" Xiaoyu suggested.

"Don't be so hasty! Let's wait until morning before going in. They'll surely leave in the morning," Gu Fei said.

"How do you know that?" Xiaoyu asked.

"These NPCs need to be in their position inside the village during the day," Gu Fei answered.

Xiaoyu looked at the time, "There's still more than an hour left!"

"Then, let's go through the spot that you've figured out earlier," Gu Fei said, "Where is it?"

"The woods behind Murphy's house."

The two returned to Murphy's house and entered the woods behind it. Xiaoyu led the way with the parchment in her hand, looking around and finally stopping under a tree. "It's here," Xiaoyu pointed.

"This iron shovel is well worth the money," Gu Fei mumbled as he took the iron shovel out and began digging.

"Treasure chest! Treasure chest! Treasure chest!" Xiaoyu chanted as she saw the pit got dug deeper and deeper. However, what appeared in the end was not a treasure chest but a burlap sack.

"So heavy!" Gu Fei grabbed the sack with his two hands, yet he was still unable to pull it out from the pit he had dug.

"Allow me," Xiaoyu came forward. The burlap sack was pulled out from the pit as she lightly grabbed on to it. Once again, Gu Fei felt depressed at the sight.

The two were stunned as they opened the burlap sack and looked inside.

"Gold?" They looked at each other.

Xiaoyu took out the small bag of gold ore from her own quest. She compared a piece of gold from her bag with the one inside the burlap sack.

"They look so much alike!" Xiaoyu remarked.

"Mr. Adrian, huh?" Gu Fei was deep in thought.

"Let's return this gold to him. There must be a reward," Xiaoyu felt delighted.

"Did you receive a quest related to this sack of gold?" Gu Fei asked.


"Then, why would there be a reward when there's no quest?" Gu Fei stated matter-of-factly.

"What are these gold ore for, then?"

"I'm thinking that it might be an important aspect of my chain quest," Gu Fei was feeling vexed, "Things just go on and on. I am tired; let's take a break!"

"Where to?" Xiaoyu asked.

"The village Inn should still be open for business. Let's head there to rest and wait until morning," Gu Fei said.

The two headed to the Inn. It was a game after all, so there was no such thing as 'closing time' for the system-operated shops.

"Order any drinks you want. It's my treat," Gu Fei said.

"I feel sleepy all of a sudden... I'm taking a nap," Xiaoyu lay down on the table as soon as she finished speaking.

Gu Fei randomly ordered a glass of drink. While drinking on, he pondered about his chain quest...

Two groups of village NPCs treated him differently;

Traces of a fight in front of the church;

Murphy's strong yet unknown fighting capabilities;

The missing corpse of Murphy;

The Werewolf that fled from just a light injury;

Murphy's hidden sack of gold;

And finally, the NPC villagers that went to a shaft late at night.

There must be a story timeline that could explain all these events clearly, which would display the chronological order of the entire storyline behind the 'Eddie's Mission' quest. Gu Fei doubted that everything could be solved by simply finding the Werewolf and killing it. Currently, Gu Fei had an idea of what he was supposed to do. He just needed to wait until morning. The whole thing would be revealed once he made sure of a few crucial things.

Meanwhile, Ye Xiaowu who had been observing Gu Fei as if he was watching a movie was utterly blown away by how Gu Fei carried out his quest.

From what Ye Xiaowu observed, Gu Fei was roaming about in front of the church when he suddenly ran off to unearth Murphy's grave. Ye Xiaowu still did not know whether Gu Fei had figured something out or simply taken a wild guess.

He actually managed to fend off the Werewolf's assault... He's only at level 30! A mere slap from that Werewolf can kill a level 30 player....

If the situation continued to unfold at the current pace, Gu Fei might be able to achieve a completion rating of 90% or above for his chain quest.

Completion rating. This was how the game measured how well a player did for a chain quest; this same criterion was used to determine the value of the final reward for players as well.

Killing the Werewolf? That was only one of the many ways to complete the chain quest. For example, if Ye Xiaowu was the one doing the quest, he could complete it simply by going to where the Werewolf was and killing it with a single blow. This was because he knew the whereabouts of the Werewolf. However, he would get the lowest completion rating and the worst kind of reward.

The way to get the highest completion rating was to unravel the entire storyline behind the chain quest and leave no stone unturned, presenting everything clearly.

This was akin to a standalone game with multiple endings; every ending could be considered clearing the game and beating it, but only one true ending would be considered as the perfect ending.

As the great kid detective Conan once said, "One truth prevails!"