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Chapter 170 - Endlessly Searching for Him through the Night

 Chapter 170 - Endlessly Searching for Him through the Night

People had long known that talent was the most valuable commodity in the twenty-first century. There were three types of talent necessary in establishing a guild: a natural-born leader, a smart adviser, and an indomitable fighter.

Only one player needed to possess the talent for leadership in a guild; the number of players that had to possess the talent for strategizing was dependent on the guild's size; lastly, many players that had the talent for fighting were necessary in a guild. Fortunately, a majority of the players in MMOs could be considered as possessing the talent for fighting.

Still, finding a Mage like Gu Fei who was akin to a Terminator with his ability to easily insta-kill anyone among the people with talent for fighting was difficult even in a large guild.

Terminator-like individuals possessed fighting prowess far beyond others. When one such person became the core of a mercenary group, that group could rally around him or her and easily dominate a PvP.

Many players could be slayers, yet only a few could become Terminator-like.

This sort of definitive expert had the strong backing of real-world currency, luckily acquired some kind of hidden quest, or was helped build a strong character by a well-bonded and close-knitted group.

Using some of the current Five Unyielding Experts as examples, Svelte Dancer belonged to the type that was backed by real-world currency, while Southern Lone Blade and Deep Waters were two professional gamers that could probably belong to the type that was supported by a group of like-minded individuals.

As for Gu Fei, he belonged to the type that had gotten lucky and obtained a hidden quest. In fact, he would easily step into the Five Unyielding Experts' domain if his full set of kung fu skills was included into the equation. Therefore, it was easy to understand why all those guild leaders could not forget him after witnessing his high Spell Damage.

As the Mage Gu Fei went to sleep that night, the two large guilds, Carouse and Cloud Herder, held an emergency meeting for finding out his identity.

Carouse's players had tried doing this yesterday, yet Amethyst Rebirth had not given them any answer even now. Brave Surge, the guild leader, was hesitant on pursuing the matter further with Amethyst Rebirth, as he felt that it would be far too awkward to do so when everyone could see that he was trying to poach the male Mage of Amethyst Rebirth to his guild. Amethyst Rebirth's refusal to give any information about the male Mage was therefore expected.

When Brave Surge heard the news of Cloud Herder Guild's defeat today to Amethyst Rebirth, he knew that he could no longer slowly probe about the OP Mage, as the Cloud Herder's men would surely be doing all they could to inquire about the Mage as well. This was why he had gathered his men tonight to discuss how they could uncover the Mage's identity more quickly.

In the two large guilds' respective headquarters, the guild leaders gave an identical message: "We need to move faster than Carouse/Cloud Herder in uncovering information about the Amethyst Rebirth's male Mage. Go make contact!"

Even the plan they had come up with was similar: "Plan A: Contacting Amethyst Rebirth directly is the most efficient method, so find a way to do this. Plan B: Contact Amethyst Rebirth's previous PvP tournament opponents; someone among them might know something about the Mage. Plan C: Talk to everyone in Yunduan City; perhaps, someone knows this Mage."

Both parties even emphasized on the same thing: "Do not tell others of this Mage's fighting prowess. Utmost discretion is needed when looking for information about him to prevent other guilds like Carouse/Cloud Herder from getting wind of it."

Still, the two guilds' way of doing things had some differences.

Carouse lived up to its name as a large guild filled with players with all sorts of different talents. Once Plan A of 'making contact with Amethyst Rebirth directly' was suggested, several studs priding themselves as expert pick-up artists promptly volunteered for this job. They confidently claimed that the Amethyst Rebirth's ladies would be thoroughly smitten by them that they would willingly provide them the required information. Upon hearing this, Brave Surge swiftly agreed to the studs' proposed reverse honey-pot approach. He even promised these studs that if their wooing attempts turned out to be successful, all the expenses that they had incurred while wooing the girls would be fully compensated by the guild.

Meanwhile, Cloud Herder, the other guild which was also interested in poaching Gu Fei was carrying out their Plan A in a different way. Owing to the fact that the members of Cloud Herder considered women to be on par with men when it came to playing games, they had decided to send female players of their own to infiltrate Amethyst Rebirth. Once these 'spies' managed to join Amethyst Rebirth as new members, all they had to do was look through the guild's members list to find out the identity and IGN of the mystery Mage - a very simple plan, indeed. Foe-herder was very agreeable to this simple idea and told the female players that he would find a way to repay the losses that they would incur for quitting Cloud Herder Guild.

As for their Plan B of 'contacting Amethyst Rebirth's previous PvP tournament opponents', both sides' actions were almost identical. The two guilds searched Parallel World's official website for the guilds Amethyst Rebirth had faced in the first and second rounds of the guild versus guild tournament.

Those two guilds were small guilds at level 1 that Brave Surge and Foe-herder barely paid attention to, so finding out the members' names in both guilds was bound to be difficult. Fortunately, the identities of the two small guilds' leaders could be learned from the Main Hall of Guilds.

Brave Surge and Foe-herder seemed to enter the Main Hall of Guilds simultaneously. As leaders of large guilds in Yunduan City, they might not be close with each other, but they at least knew of each other's existence. Seeing how they were heading toward the same direction, the two could easily tell that the other had the same goal for going there. Merely exchanging polite smiles without one another, they busied themselves with the task at hand.

The two started to look up information on Amethyst Rebirth's first round opponent in the guild versus guild tournament, the Unbeatable under the Heavens Guild, and tried adding its guild leader as a friend, but sadly the guild leader was currently offline. As for the guild going up against Amethyst Rebirth in the second round of the tournament ... Brave Surge and Foe-herder's hearts thumped when they saw the name of its guild leader.

Sakurazaka Moony. This guild leader was actually a powerful expert that was ranked pretty high on the Archer leaderboard. Even if he was online, he would unlikely be reachable.

Nevertheless, the two guild leaders still gave adding Sakurazaka Moony on their friends list a try and subsequently failed. Downtrodden, the two encountered each other once more on their way out of the Main Hall of Guilds. Thinking that the other must have met the same fate, each of them felt a little better about what they had just experienced.

Actually, the two only had to find a woman to add Sakurazaka Moony on her friends list and they would succeed in contacting him, yet they were unfortunately unaware of this fact. This could not be blamed on them, though. Who would even think that the setting of Sakurazaka Moony's friends list was set in a way that only a female could add him as a friend?

Time was needed before they could advance further in this part of their plan, so the two guild leaders proceeded to execute Plan C and promptly rallied a large number of their men to roam Yunduan City's streets and randomly ask players about the OP Mage.

"Did you know that Amethyst Rebirth has a male player?" was the theme of the two guilds' players' questions, which would usually earn them two kinds of reaction. The first: "Ah?! Amethyst Rebirth is now accepting male players?!" The second: "F*ck! Why are you people repeatedly asking me this question? Who are you guys?!"

Given how this particular operation lacked thorough preparation and that players would constantly move around in the city, quite a lot of them had ended up being asked this question many times. Some of the weak-willed players could no longer stand this repeated inquiry and ran off to the nearest log-off points to escape.

That night, these two large guilds' questioning had caused Yunduan City to hold the lowest amount of online players ever since the official release of Parallel World.

However, the more irritating thing here was that the two guilds had not gotten any results despite such a large-scale deployment of manpower. During their search, some were fortunate enough to meet the players who had clashed with Amethyst Rebirth in the first two rounds. The resulting conversation was as follows:

"Have you guys fought with Amethyst Rebirth before?"


Both guilds' members would get excited whenever they met players who gave out this reply, as this meant that they had finally found the right individuals to ask! In such cases, the follow-up question would come almost immediately, "Do you know that Amethyst Rebirth has a male Mage?"

"Of course."

The guild men's eyes overflowed with tears as they hugged one another, thinking that the matter was finally about to end. "What's the Mage's name?" They pricked their ears attentively, just in case they missed what was being said.

"How would I know?" was the reply that they got.

The resulting outpouring of words would make even a sailor blush.

The two large guilds spent the whole night asking questions as if they were hosting a quiz game. They wore themselves out so much that they had actually forgotten that there was a good chance that those from Unbeatable under the Heavens and Forever in Flowers were also unaware of the OP Mage's identity just like them.

"A man of Jianghu, filled with legends, yet none knows his name..." Many of the two guilds' players started visualizing a blurry, black clothed man before them whenever they talked about him.

Encountering each other in a certain tavern while taking a rest, this was already the forty-seventh time Brave Surge and Foe-herder had crossed paths. Prior to this, they had met for forty-six times in forty-six different locations all over Yunduan City. Being guild leaders, they naturally had to participate in the 'quiz game' to set an example for their respective guild members.

Meeting at this moment, the original feeling of rivalry between them was long gone and was replaced by mutual sympathy for each other.

"Take a seat!" Brave Surge spiritedly said to Foe-herder, yet his voice betrayed his exhaustion.

Foe-herder sat down across Brave Surge; his face haggard as he waved a hand to the bartender, "One, please."

"How are things on your end?" Brave Surge asked.

"What are you asking me for? It's the same situation over here," Foe-herder replied. Asking this sort of question was redundant since the answer was already written on the two guild leaders' faces.

Both men sighed deeply, just as Foe-herder's liquor was brought over. "Cheers to your hard work!" Foe-herder raised his glass toward Brave Surge.

"You, too," Brave Surge gave a wry smile as their glasses clinked and drained their liquor in one go.

"I'm baffled. How can such a powerful player not even have a bit of prestige to him?" Foe-herder wondered aloud.

Brave Surge shook his head, "Maybe, it's because few people are playing at night. Perhaps, the chatter in the morning will bring more result."

"Hmm... Perhaps!" Foe-herder agreed to his hypothesis, as his plan to have a few female players infiltrate Amethyst Rebirth had been stalled due to this. The Amethyst Rebirth's ladies were not online in the wee hours.

The pick-up artist team that Carouse had sent walked about the city, hoping to create a chance encounter with the ladies. They asked every woman they met if they were of Amethyst Rebirth, turning their heads and leaving once they heard them say no.

Very quickly, many ladies in Yunduan City were angered by this, "What was that all about?! So what if I am not from Amethyst Rebirth? Must I be looked down upon just because I am not from that guild?"

Just this act alone had offended almost all the ladies in Yunduan City, yet these flirts did not know of this. From here onward, they would no longer be able to pick up any ladies within Yunduan City.

As for those ladies Cloud Herder had sent as spies, they found no one in the Amethyst Rebirth's headquarters. The female guild leader was not online as well, so these spies sat by the door like idiots to show their sincerity of joining the guild! These spies were later mistaken for members of Amethyst Rebirth by those pick-up artists that Carouse had sent, who tried their best to pander and cajole the good senses of these ladies. In the end, these flirts almost got into a fight with the spies when they found out what was really going on.

Both guild leaders kept shaking their heads and sighing upon the mention of this incident. It had happened during their fortieth encounter, with both hurriedly resolving the situation before it escalated. At the same time, both parties learned of the method that their rival was attempting, resulting in either side enacting the same plan as well.

The only difference was that Carouse had quickly managed to find female spies on their end, while no men from Cloud Herder were willing to attempt the reverse honey-pot approach after seeing how the local ladies were treating those 'studs' despite Foe-herder promising great rewards for those who would succeed. Even now Foe-herder was feeling quite indignant about how things had unfolded.

"So, what are you gonna do next?" Brave Surge asked.

"Well..." Foe-herder hesitated.

"What's there not to say? Even if we withhold information here, I guarantee that it will just be a matter of time before either of us find out about the other's plan. And I assure you neither of us will have an edge in recruiting that person if this goes on."

"That's not it. I'm actually still thinking of what to do next," Foe-herder admitted.

"Randomly asking around isn't the way, either. How many players are there in Yunduan City?"

"Ten thousand? Twenty thousand? Or is it thirty thousand?" Foe-herder offered.

"All can be!" Brave Surge nodded his head gravely. "How long are we gonna keep quizzing people? The total manpower of our guilds combined is just over one thousand people, so there's no guarantee that we will obtain information from doing this."

"You have a point. I even feel that we might get chased out of the city by the masses if we end up irking them so much with all our questioning," Foe-herder added morosely.

Brave Surge leaked out a sly smile, "Hey, I'm not gonna keep this from you. Whenever anything happened and people asked what guild we came from, I've been instructing my men to say that we are from Cloud Herder."

Foe-herder felt stunned for a moment when he heard this before abruptly bursting into laughter.

"What's the matter?" Brave Surge asked, perplexed.

Foe-herder was laughing so much that he could not even say a word. He raised his hand to point at Brave Surge before pointing at himself.

Brave Surge immediately understood what he meant, "You mean to say that your guild has also been doing the same and was putting the blame on us, Carouse?"

Foe-herder was still laughing uncontrollably as he nodded his head.

"F*ck!" Brave Surge cursed, recalling how many times they had encountered each other in this one night. It was about forty-seven times if he included this meeting.

Forty-seven times... Godd*mn! Why am I so bored that I actually keep track of our chance encounters... With this thought in mind, Brave Surge asked Foe-herder, "How many times have we met just tonight alone?"

Foe-herder slowly stopped laughing as he replied, "Forty-eight times."

"Eh? Forty-eight, not forty-seven? Did I miss one?" Brave Surge asked aloud.

"You didn't," Foe-herder answered, explaining, "There's a time I saw you, but you didn't see me. I doubt you would include that."

"You can't count that if I actually missed you," Brave Surge chastised lightly.

"Mhm-mhm. I'm counting the number of times I saw you not met you," Foe-herder retorted.

"Ha ha ha..." Both men shared a moment together.

As they chatted on, the door to the tavern suddenly burst open as someone rushed over to Brave Surge's side, "Guild Leader, I thought of a method! Why don't we put up posters all over Yunduan City, so that people will come to us instead? Perhaps, the Mage himself may contact us if he sees it!"

Brave Surge's expression changed when he heard the suggestion, "You could just message me, so why did you have to run over?"

"Eh? I happen to be passing by and saw that you are drinking here. What's the matter?"

Brave Surge did not say another word as the person sitting across him slowly turned over and happily faced the newcomer, "That's a pretty good idea you've got there!"

"Foe-herder?!" The player almost fainted, finally realizing why Brave Surge had admonished him. How would he have guessed that these two guild leaders would be drinking together?

"D*mn! You managed to acquire such a great idea from us," Brave Surge felt disgruntled.

"Don't worry. I won't waste this tip-off," Foe-herder replied.

"That's more like it. Hit me up when you receive information!" Brave Surge promptly said.

"What?" Foe-Herder asked, looking at him with an incredulous look on his face.

"Eh? What-"

"What I meant is that this round is on me! Why would I tell you anything if I receive any information?" Foe-herder asked, laughing.

Brave Surge had assumed that Foe-herder was planning to share information to them in return for the great tip-off, yet he had been wholly wrong. This caused his expression to darken, "Don't feel so pleased with yourself, as if you would receive a word on this matter before us. Don't forget that I have more men in my guild than you."

"That's right. You have WAY more men than my guild," Foe-herder said sarcastically.

"F*ck! Let's go!" Brave Surge brought the player of his along and left in a huff.

With this another chance to headhunt the black clothed Mage, the sympathetic attitude they had for each other swiftly disappeared, once more standing on opposite sides for this struggle for talent.

Foe-herder did not hurry to leave and stayed at where he was seated. In no time at all, several men walked up to him.

"What's the matter, boss?" these men asked.

Foe-herder chuckled, "I was sitting and chatting with Brave Surge here moments ago when a guild member of his blurted out an idea, and I happened to hear what it is."

"What is it?" these men pressed on.

"Posters!" Foe-herder eagerly replied.

"Oh!" The men's eyes immediately lit up.

"Not a bad idea, huh? Quickly get this done as soon as you can. Write a few more, as well. We won't just be posting posters; we'll even hand out flyers on the streets. No matter where it flies to, someone will surely read it and find us. Remember to mention about a substantial remuneration for information!" Foe-herder ordered.

"How much should it be?" someone asked.

"Hmm... This..." Foe-herder hesitated. It was not an issue with currency, but that Carouse would also be doing the same thing. No matter how much amount was stated, both guilds might end up trying to one-up each other, resulting into the person selling the information to profit from this matter.

It seemed that he would have to discuss this matter with Brave Surge. Just as Foe-herder was thinking of this, Brave Surge burst through the tavern double doors and approached Foe-herder, "I need to discuss something with you."

How coincidental! Foe-herder muttered to himself. Could we have thought of the same thing?

"You guys won't be stupid enough to put the remuneration right on the posters, right?" Brave Surge asked.

They were indeed on the same page. Foe-herder was very impressed as he shook his head with a smile, "Of course, not. I know what you're worried about."

"Oh, that's good. We should corroborate on matters that can be worked together!" Brave Surge smilingly recommended.

"I agree," Foe-herder nodded his head.

"We shall see what you guys write, then," Brave Surge stood by the side sternly.

Those men of Cloud Herder were already making a poster to put its content on the guild channel once it was done so that the other members could copy it word-for-word. With their competitor standing right beside them, these people writing up the content of the poster felt somewhat uncomfortable and stared blankly at Brave Surge.

"F*ck off! Stop interrupting when they're trying to focus!" Foe-herder shoved Brave Surge to the side.

"Do you two big bosses really not intend to include the remuneration on the posters?" a sudden voice came over.

When Brave Surge and Foe-herder looked at the voice's origin, they saw a beautiful lady stand up from a table and make her way to them.

The two exchanged looks before asking the lady, "What do you mean?"

"If you don't mention the remuneration, how would I know who to sell this information I have on me?!" the beauty explained.

"What information?" the two asked.

"That level 39 Mage of Amethyst Rebirth!" the beauty smirked.

The two looked at each other once more and asked, "Are you from Amethyst Rebirth?"

"No." The beauty shook her head, saying, "I just happen to have the information you two are seeking."

"Oh? How did that happen?"

"Because I know the man that you two are looking for," she replied.

"What's his name?" The two said at the same time, the only difference being their tone.

The beauty smiled, not saying another word.

"Uhh..." The two men realized what was happening. Brave Surge thought for a bit before saying, "Lady, please don't leave just yet!" With that, he grabbed Foe-herder and pulled him to the side.