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Chapter 169 - Black Clothed, Masked Man

 Chapter 169 - Black Clothed, Masked Man

The six made their way over to Ray's Bar.

Not only did War Without Wounds gain quite a lot of face in front of the ladies during Young Master's Elite's match with Amethyst, he also learned that Gu Fei's presence in the guild was not as worrisome as what he and Royal God Call had visualized. Thus, War Without Wounds was currently in an exceptionally good mood.

As for Royal God Call, he was bitter that he had not been able to do the same as War Without Wounds and had only made a fool of himself by falling into a ditch, but the permanent skill scroll - although it was meant for a Lightning Mage - he had obtained helped ease his mood a bit. Moreover, he shared the same sentiment with War Without Wounds regarding the discovery of Gu Fei's place in the ladies' hearts. All in all, he felt somewhat consoled by everything that that had happened.

As for the other four men, their mercenary group winning another match and someone treating them to a round of drinks were enough to make them happy.

In summary, their current drinking session was a tremendously exuberant affair.

However, Gu Fei was more reserved with his drinking, as he had another guild match to participate later. From Sword Demon's past experience, all knew that getting drunk was possible in-game, but the others did not seem to be bothered by their upcoming matches and were drinking to their hearts' content. Gu Fei felt somewhat jealous of this, as it seemed that life in a large guild was pretty good with the others not needing to bear so much responsibility. This was not the case for him, though, since Amethyst Rebirth would automatically lose 50% of its combat might if he drank himself into stupor.

Only half an hour was left until the match began, yet no one seemed to have any intention of leaving and all were even getting into the drinking session more.

Gu Fei kindly reminded everyone, "Guys, the guild match is about to start." Now that they were in the fourth round of the guild versus guild tournament and the various guilds had been halved three times over, the remaining guilds no longer needed to queue and wait for their turn to use the teleportation array and only had to take note of the time in order to not be late.

Brother Assist and Sword Demon did not react to his reminder since they were not part of any guilds.

Upon hearing that, Young Master Han raised a glass to his lips while glaring intently at Gu Fei. Gu Fei's heart thumped faster as he suddenly recalled that he was the one who had personally eliminated Young Master Han's guild yesterday.

Gazing at the next person, War Without Wounds said to him, "My guild has been eliminated long ago!" War Without Wounds' guild was called Home of the Warriors, and it was more like a club for aficionados. The guild's size was not large and its job class composition was extreme imbalanced. The members lacked ambition, too. In short, they possessed all the traits that contributed to an incompetent guild and none of the qualities that was essential for a strong guild. Without someone like Gu Fei or Svelte Dancer who had monstrous PvP prowess to help around, Home of the Warriors was immediately eliminated from the guild versus guild tournament in the second round by a second-rate guild.

The last one was Royal God Call, who was currently calculating inside what he could get out of the skill scroll reward he had gotten. "Royal, are you not going to participate in a guild match?" Gu Fei asked.

Royal God Call was smiling smugly at Gu Fei's inquiry, indicating that losing one person was not that big of a deal for a guild the size of Traversing Four Seas.

"Your luck is pretty good today. Perhaps, you can get another skill scroll?" Gu Fei cajoled.

Royal God Call immediately got up, "Let's go!"

The ladies of Amethyst Rebirth were starting to call for Gu Fei. Despite their method of fighting not changing in any way, the guild members would always gather thirty minutes prior to the match's start for July's introduction of the opposing guild. The ladies believed that knowing the opponents would better increase their chances of winning, yet they never gained any deep understanding from the not-so-detailed report of July. In fact, they were usually more focused on how pleasant-sounding the names of their upcoming opponents were than on how to properly deal with the opponents.

Gu Fei hurriedly entered the teleportation array. Upon his arrival to the 'changing room', all the fifty ladies glared daggers at Gu Fei in unison, obviously still holding grudges at how harsh he had treated them during their last PvP match. "Hey!" he casually greeted them and proceeded to lay low in a corner.

July began to introduce the opposing guild for today's match: "Level 4 Cloud Herder Guild with five hundred members. The guild leader is a Warrior called Foe-herder who is pretty high up on the Warrior leaderboard."

"Eh..." As Gu Fei was thinking that the name sounded familiar, July continued, "Something I must mention is that Cloud Herder Guild has a mercenary group. It is the same one that lost to Young Master's Elite. Everyone knows about this, right?"

All the ladies said, "Oh" before shifting their gazes toward Gu Fei who merely smiled.

"I hope comrade Miles would treat them as viciously as he treated us earlier," July said with a straight face.

"Of course! I treat my enemies as cold as a winter's day," Gu Fei replied.

"Does that mean that you treat your companions as warm as a summer's day? Let's see you do that, then," Luo Luo remarked.

"Carry on with the report, please," Gu Fei simply said.

As the guild leader, July tactfully refrained from joining Luo Luo and the ladies into teasing Gu Fei and instead chose to continue presenting the information about the Cloud Herder Guild's high-level members and job class composition. July's report simply could not hold a candle to Brother Assist's detailed report, which also pointed out the unique individuals to be wary of. Still, she managed to cover a lot of details.

Unexpectedly, the opposing guild's PvP participants remained at fifty even as the match was about to begin in five minutes. The ladies found this to be very strange. When everyone was teleported into the PvP arena, the five-hundred-strong Cloud Herder Guild still only had fifty men present; instead, Amethyst Rebirth was the one that that had hit fifty-one with the inclusion of Gu Fei.

"Just what is up with Cloud Herder?" The ladies discussed the perplexing matter among themselves.

Gu Fei meanwhile was clear on why this had happened, immediately understanding what Young Master Han meant with affecting the large-scale PvPs with his strategy.

Cloud Herder Guild only sent out fifty men, not because its four hundred fifty men were absent but because it had intended this. The reason behind this was that Cloud Herder's men were fearful of the small groups and guilds' fighting style that that had been dubbed on the forums as the 'Huge Kite'. Cloud Herder's mercenary group had fallen under such a strategy before. Since their current opponents had managed to beat Yunduan City's number two guild, Carouse, by using the same strategy yesterday, every Cloud Herder Guild's member could not help but feel apprehensive right now.

The guild members firmly resolved to not be victimized of the same tactic. After a thorough investigation of Amethyst Rebirth, they had discovered that, besides the indomitable Svelte Dancer, its members were average. All the experience points she had gained in the last few days of the guild versus guild tournament and mercenary PvP tournament shot her up to level 42, obtaining that coveted throne of the one and only player at that level. She was now the highest level player in the entire server of Parallel World.

They also learned that this guild of beauties had one male member. All of them were positive that some extraordinary reason for such a unique exception must exist, so they resolved to take special note of this said male player. The Cloud Herder's members tried to single out a few other individuals of Amethyst Rebirth to come up with better strategies to deal with them, but honestly speaking, the majority of Amethyst Rebirth would definitely be the weakest guildmates if they were to join Cloud Herder. For these players to receive special attention from Cloud Herder, it was essentially similar to treating the trees and grass as actual soldiers1.

Whatever the case might be, Cloud Herder had still opted to send out just fifty players for this match to defend against the Huge Kite strategy. By doing this, they had wholly fallen for Young Master Han's ploy for the entire PvP event of Parallel World.

Amethyst Rebirth actually benefited from Young Master Han's ploy. "Are you really okay with making a bridal dress for the others2?" Gu Fei had actually posed this question to Young Master Han back then.

"If I were you, I would intentionally lose this match to Cloud Herder Guild, so that my overarching strategy would take an even bigger step toward perfection," Young Master Han opined. As Gu Fei became absolutely speechless of his selfish suggestion, Young Master Han continued, "Naturally, you would be unwilling to do anything like that, so just go ahead and kill all you want! Let them experience the gap between experts and mediocre players and the true meaning of being oppressed! Also, cover your face! Not letting them know that you are part of our mercenary group is beneficial to us."

Covering his face was not a big deal, so Gu Fei pulled out a black scarf and tied it to his face, quickly drawing the ladies' attention to him.

"Why are you covering your face?" the ladies asked.

"It's a strategy, not that any of you would understand," Gu Fei shrugged their question off.

"Tsk!" The ladies clicked their tongues in annoyance.

"Our opponents have the same number as us, so let's not run around like headless chickens and fight them head on instead!" Gu Fei suggested.

"Sure!" the ladies agreed; those with fast speed immediately matched their pace with everyone else's.

"Svelte, come back. The guild has decided to advance together," Gu Fei sent Svelte Dancer this message.

"When did the guild decide that?" Svelte Dancer asked back.

"Moments ago," Gu Fei replied.

"F*ck. You should have told me earlier. I already have the enemy in my line of sight," Svelte Dancer glumly made her way back to the pack.

The ladies would look quite imposing with them all gathered together if it were not for their constant chattering. After walking for how many meters, the ladies actually realized something: "Since we are not charging at them at our pace, why not just wait for them to make their way to us?"

The rest of the ladies immediately agreed to this suggestion, so they stopped proceeding forward and proceeded to set up their PvP formation, patiently waiting for their enemies to head over to them.

In no time at all, Cloud Herder Guild's fifty men emanating strong killing intent arrived by the Amethyst Rebirth Guild's PvP formation. With this 'one for all, all for one' mentality, everyone of Cloud Herder was determined to not leave one guildmate behind and let the enemies earn a kill point.

"Kill!" Seeing that their opponents were set up before them, the Cloud Herder's men high-spiritedly charged toward them together.

"Archers! Mages!" July shouted. The Archers of Amethyst Rebirth moved forward and fired off arrows.

Cloud Herder Guild also called for its Archers to unleash their attacks, and a uniform row of arrows went sailing toward Amethyst Rebirth Guild.

The result of this exchange of arrows was quickly revealed: two ladies of Amethyst Rebirth died. Amethyst Rebirth's attack was weak and uncoordinated, which was a stark contrast to the opposing guild's attack. Both sides' Priests began to get busy. The two opposing sides were evenly matched in terms of numbers, yet Amethyst Rebirth's Priests were busier than Cloud Herder's. As such, quite a few of Amethyst Rebirth failed to be saved in time.

The distance between the two sides had entered the Mages' attack range, so the Mages of both sides made their way to the front of their respective PvP formations and chanted spells. The difference between the two forces was once more seen in this exchange.

The Archers of both guilds had adjusted their targets, beginning to fire off arrows at the opposing Mages to interrupt their spell-casting. The Amethyst Rebirth's once more earned some casualties from this exchange.

Meanwhile, the Warriors of Cloud Herder also moved to the front of their PvP formation to shield the Mages from the enemies' attacks, as the Priests continued bestowing Heal on them.

Amethyst Rebirth lacked awareness in this aspect, only copying Cloud Herder's action upon seeing it. The PvP was constantly changing at a moment's notice, so how could such hesitation not cost the lives of the players involved? By the time Amethyst Rebirth thought of employing the same move, the PvP had already advanced to the next stage.

A certain black clothed, masked man within the Amethyst Rebirth's formation drew the attention of Cloud Herder Guild. His attire is quite unique; wonder what he's up to? Cloud Herder's men thought similarly about the man, but they did not just focus their attention on him as all were moving according to their duties. Cloud Herder's teamwork was great, as its many Archers could instantly coordinate their attacks to target specific opponents.

Fortunately, Gu Fei had already expected this situation to unfold. Bellowing to a certain lady above the PvP din, he then calmly chanted, "Blazing Tree of a Thousand Inferno! Arise! Descending Wheel of Flames! Descend!"

The two guilds' Archers released their arrows just as the Mages of both sides chanted. While the chanting of the Cloud Herder's Mages was uninterrupted, the chanting of the Amethyst Rebirth's Mages was promptly interrupted by the enemy Archers' rain of arrows. Hearing Gu Fei's bellow, Svelte Dancer used her swiftest speed to arrive in front of him. She deflected most of the arrows heading his way and simply tanked the others with her body when she could not stop them in time. Svelte Dancer had top-grade equipment with high defense stat, so taking a few arrows would not result into her death.

The Amethyst Rebirth's formation broke as all the ladies dispersed in every direction to dodge the incoming spells. The Cloud Herder's formation meanwhile remained in place. Gu Fei was the only Mage of Amethyst Rebirth who had managed to complete his chanting. One Mage's spells were not worth worrying about... was the mature assessment of Cloud Herder's men as they disregarded him entirely and focused their attention on making use of the chaos to take down the entire Amethyst Rebirth.

They did not even bother to move away as a flame wheel emerged above their heads and tiny flames sprouted beneath their feet. Only the Cloud Herder's Priests moved to ready their staves in response to the spell attack.

Hence... Once Gu Fei's two spells went into effect, a feeling of vacuity suddenly overcame Cloud Herder's many members

"How did our perfect fifty-man formation become so spacious and empty in an instant?", "My mate was just right beside me moments ago, why is he gone in the blink of an eye?", "Where are the others? They are no longer near me!" The remaining players of Cloud Herder could only see the vividly glowing fire around them while they were pondering questions like so.

By the time they realized that their guildmates were no longer around, they had already received the infallible system announcement. The system repeatedly updated its scoreboard until it finally announced the kill points of Cloud Herder and Amethyst Rebirth: 14 against 36.

The Amethyst Rebirth's ladies cheered, as the Cloud Herder's men were stupefied by this shocking outcome.

"Go!" Gu Fei nudged Svelte Dancer's back.

She nodded her head and sprinted toward the enemies. Gu Fei followed her closely behind as the fleeing ladies suddenly began to attack the opponents in their individual ways.

Gu Fei had casted his spells in the middle of Cloud Herder's formation, cutting the fifty-man group into just one column on either side. These two columns were still neatly lined up; the Cloud Herder's men were skilled in this field, after all. Before the enemies could regain their senses, Svelte Dancer and Gu Fei had already begun their massacre.

The scores were constantly getting updated. By the time the ladies that that had dispersed from their formation made it to the final skirmish, Gu Fei and Svelte Dancer had already killed off almost half of the Cloud Herder's remaining members. Gu Fei retreated to the side to eat a banana with his mana all depleted. Svelte Dancer's speed slowed as well with her Fleetfoot ending. Still, the ladies now held numerical superiority, so the Cloud Herder's members fell one after another. Finally, only Guild Leader Foe-herder was alive.

As an expert player, Foe-herder naturally remained calm and composed in the face of an encirclement of dozens of players. Extricating himself from the loss was impossible and wallowing about it was even more pointless. The black clothed, masked man was the only person in Foe-herder's mind right now.

His attire looked familiar, and the weapon he was holding... seemed to be a sword? If that was the case... Foe-herder tried his best to search for Gu Fei's figure amid the crowd, yet the latter had already distanced himself from the fight and was currently being shielded from view by the ladies as he ate a banana.

Just as Foe-herder was feeling aggrieved, he suddenly heard a man's voice come from within the crowd of ladies, "Leave this guy to me!" A masked man came forward in the next instant and stood right before Foe-herder.

The black scarf on his face was still there, yet the man was no longer wearing a black robe. His Appraisal identified the man's new attire as the Flaming Robe. The weapon in his hand was no longer a sword as well, and it was now a Chinese broadsword. Appraisal of it indicated that it was called Sacred Flames of Baptism.

Was I mistaken? Foe-herder began to have misgivings. When a thought crossed his mind, he immediately asked, "Why is your face covered?"

"It's a strategy!" Gu Fei honestly replied.


Gu Fei only nodded his head and firmly held the Chinese broadsword before him.

Foe-herder took a step back and dropped both his hands to his sides.

Cyclone! Gu Fei thought to himself. Battling up to this point, Foe-herder unexpectedly still managed to reserve enough Rage points to unleash Cyclone. His fighting experience was indeed not insignificant.

Foe-herder's Cyclone usage was unique in how he would activate it when his opponent was a little further than usual, preventing his target from preemptively interrupting his attack. The only drawback to this was that due to the increase in distance, the skill activation must be done earlier. This made it much easier for the enemy to dodge it.

How could Gu Fei still not know the crux to breaking this tactic? He had actually darted forward to entice Foe-herder into unleashing his skill, intending to dodge it at the last second and slay the latter after Cyclone ran its course.

Foe-herder who had indeed fallen for his feint rotated his wrists to activate Cyclone. Gu Fei could clearly see his action and readied himself to evade it. Unexpectedly, an even faster figure appeared behind Foe-herder and battered his nape with a stiff baton.

Foe-herder's skill execution instantly stopped as the person smiled at Gu Fei, "This is a group PvP, why are you treating it like a duel?!"

Gu Fei helplessly smiled back at her as he waved to the ladies surrounding them, "Everyone, all together now!" Fireballs, arrows, Gu Fei's Chinese broadsword, and Svelte Dancer's dagger landed on Foe-herder, turning him into a beam of white light. This was the scene that ended today's guild match.

Over by the teleportation array outside the Main Hall of Guilds, the Cloud Herder's members were dejectedly shaking their heads. All could tell that they had lost this match when Foe-Herder was teleported out.

M*th*rf*ck*r! I just got ambushed without knowing it! I thought it was a one-on-one duel! Foe-herder was crestfallen. Thinking that he was the main character in that setting, he had actually thought that Svelte Dancer's words were for him.

In a short while, the victorious Amethyst Rebirth was also teleported outside after the system finished calculating the match result and awarded each member accordingly.

Foe-herder had long been keeping an eye on Amethyst Rebirth's exit to the PvP arena. Upon seeing that they were finally teleported outside of the PvP arena, he immediately approached them and called out to Gu Fei, "Hey, that brother over there!"

Gu Fei ignored his call and merely ran off with a brush of his sleeves. He was so fast that Foe-herder immediately gave up the thought of chasing after him and could only beseech the Amethyst Rebirth's ladies, "How may I address that brother who has just left?"

All the ladies looked at one another. This man was obviously similar to Carouse's guild leader, looking to poach Gu Fei after recognizing his high Spell Damage.

"What are you trying to do?! That guy is from our guild!" Svelte Dancer directly revealed his insidious intention.

Foe-herder brushed off her accusation with a smile, "I just wish to get to know him a little."

"What's there to know about him? We can all tell what you really want! So back the f*ck off!" Svelte Dancer drove him away.

Foe-herder could only helplessly return to his guild's side and say to several members, "Find out what you can about that Mage! It shan't be difficult to find information about the only male player of Amethyst Rebirth, right?"

"I've actually never heard of him before!" someone commented. Everyone was already aware that an all-female guild existed in Yunduan City after that incident with No Smile, yet no one knew that a male player was actually hidden within it until now.

"Hmm... Go ask the opponents Amethyst Rebirth met in the previous rounds. Information might be gathered from them," Foe-herder changed his order, adding, "Maybe these guilds will know more about him."

Saying that, Foe-herder suddenly recalled something as he abruptly slapped his thigh, "F*ck! When I was inquiring about how Carouse's players had lost their match, they did not even mention anything about such an OP Mage. Those m*th*rf*ck*rs are also trying to recruit him! We gotta move fast. Get the whole guild to find out more about that guy!"

The members of Cloud Herder hurriedly inquired what they could to whomever they could. In that instant, a new legend of another black clothed, masked man rapidly spread all over Yunduan City.

Chapter Notes:

[1] A Chinese idiom that means 'overreacting due to one's fear/misconception'.

[2] Another Chinese saying that means something along the line of 'paving the road for others', just in a more personal way.