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Chapter 360 - A Friend

 Chapter 360 - A Friend

With his PK value once more down to 29 points, he was pretty much safe from the pursuit guards as long as he kept himself out of their line of sight. Teleporting himself back to the Bounty Assignment Hall with the use of Windchaser's Emblem, Gu Fei entered the establishment and gingerly asked for the location of the nearest spawn point before running off toward it to log out.

In the meantime, the other mercenaries of Young Master's Elite were enjoying a short break in one of Linshui City's taverns.

"Miles isn't here yet? He should've reached the city by now, right? I'll send him a message!" Brother Assist was still talking when he saw Gu Fei's name suddenly dim - a clear indication that the man had logged off.

"Tut tut tut!" Although Gu Fei was not around, those present still derided his practice of logging off early.

"Why isn't your friend here yet?" War Without Wounds asked as he leaned his neck out toward the tavern doors after he finished ridiculing Gu Fei. He seemed to really be looking forward to this meeting.

"I'll ask again." Brother Assist sent out another message, yet his expression changed with that.

"What happened?" the other four men asked.

"He's not in a serviceable area..." he answered in a daze.

The four men were astounded by his reply.

"To actually send such an expert to prison, only one person I know is capable of doing that," Brother Assist carefully said.

"That's not necessarily true. It's difficult to take on four men with just two hands, after all. No hero can survive a mob. We're aware of how strong Miles is, yeah? I say if we all work together... that... We should be able to stand a chance!" War Without Wounds said.

"TSK!" All of them expressed their heaviest contempt toward War Without Wounds. As peak experts in their own rights, they did not wish to share a table with him for saying something that lacked confidence.

"Since he's in prison, let's just go there to visit him," Sword Demon suggested.

"Let's!" Brother Assist got up.

"Who's paying the fee for the prison visit? Who?!" War Without Wounds and Royal God Call hurriedly asked aloud.

"He will!" Young Master Han pointed his finger over to the door before turning it into a wave, "Guild Leader Oathless."

"Oh, you guys are here as well!" Oathless Sword just happened to walk into the tavern with his fellow brother Gale Force. After extricating everyone out of the quagmire that they got themselves in back in Linyin City, Oathless Sword started to look favorably on Young Master's Elite. The ferry ride was rather uneventful and gave them plenty of chances to bond. Oathless Sword even went as far as to express his concern for Gu Fei's safety and well-being.

"What are you doing here, Guild Leader Oathless?" Young Master Han enthusiastically addressed him.

Oathless Sword happily came to them. "We've only arrived at the city, so I figured it's best to walk around and try to get a better hand of the situation."

"The tavern is indeed a good place to gather information." Young Master Han nodded.

"Of course," Oathless Sword happily agreed, "have you gentlemen been here for long?"

"We just got here ourselves, but we're planning to head out and visit a friend," Young Master Han shared.

"A friend?" Oathless Sword muttered to himself, feeling rather surprised by this new information. These gentlemen before him were peak experts in their respective fields in MMOs, after all. Anyone that they would make an effort to visit would surely be quite the character!

"We'll leave you to your business then, Guild Leader Oathless. We'll take our leave first!" Young Master Han gestured for the others to get up.

As the five stood up, one even passionately said, "Great! Guild Leader Oathless can take our seats!" With that, these men slowly made their way toward the exit. Their hearts were filled with expectations as they figured out Young Master Han's intention.

"Hey, gentlemen!" Oathless Sword caught up to them before they stepped out.

The five men turned their heads over to innocently regard him.

"What's the matter?" Young Master Han was naturally the one with the most clueless and innocent expression among them.

"It seems I won't find anything useful here, so why don't I follow you guys to meet your friend? Get rowdy with everyone?" Oathless Sword suggested.

"I don't think meeting him will be a problem, but I'm afraid we won't be able to get rowdy at all," Young Master Han said.

"Why not?" Oathless Sword was perplexed.

"Because our friend is currently in prison," Young Master Han replied.

"Ah..." Oathless Sword was shocked. Since this friend of theirs was in prison, it would be odd for strangers to visit him. This also implied that the person might not be someone outstanding. Oathless Sword was contemplating this matter when Young Master Han suddenly quipped, "But I do agree that Guild Leader Oathless should visit this friend of ours."

"Oh, just who is this guy?" Oathless Sword asked.

"Come. Let's discuss this matter on our way there," Young Master Han invited.

"Guild Leader Oathless, don't you think that our trip from Linyin City over to Linshui City had been a little strange?" Young Master Han immediately changed the topic once he started speaking on their way over.

Oathless Sword could not make sense of this sudden query, so he could only answer accordingly, "Is something the matter?"

"Look." Young Master Han began to breakdown the matter to him. "From Yunduan City till Yueye City, we faced the eroded Oolong Mountain Range with a pack of Mountain Bandits blocking our way forward at the end. From Yueye City to Baishi City, there were Werewolves that were supposed to act as our roadblock. Then, on our trip from Baishi City to Linyin City, we became the targets of Deep Waters and his men's competitive quest. Based on these three incidents, we can say that every city has a sort of stage for us to clear. The first three times happened on our journey to the next city. This time, our trip from Linyin City to Linshui City did not even have any event cropping up...."

"That's true. In that case..." Oathless Sword was beginning to have an idea as to what Young Master Han was getting at.

"If nothing happens even until we leave Linshui City, won't that mean that our trip from Linyin City to here is devoid of any trial from the system? Do you think that the system is considerate enough to give us a free pass here?" Young Master Han asked.

"Of course not!" Oathless Sword immediately spat. Everyone was well aware of just how shameless the system in Parallel World was, so none of them was foolish enough to think that anything it did would be beneficial to them.

"Following that line of thinking, then something is bound to happen the moment we retrieve Todd from the prison and leave Linshui City?" Oathless Sword asked.

Young Master Han nodded solemnly.

"That must be the case!" Oathless Sword furrowed his brows and bit on his nails.

"So I suggest you come with us to meet our friend," Young Master Han said.

"What do you mean?" they five did not mention the identity of this friend of theirs. Now that the topic had rounded back to this, Oathless Sword was a little unclear what they meant.

"We believe our friend can help you as long as it involves Linshui City," Young Master Han answered.

"Oh!" Oathless Sword somewhat got what he meant. It sounded as if this person were the tyrant in this part, just like him in Yunduan City. Oathless Sword would also be the ideal candidate to help foreigners if they were to come to Yunduan City looking for something.

"I got it. Let's go, then!" Oathless Sword hurried.

The seven players quickened their pace and quickly arrived at Linshui City's prison.

"How many of you?" After filling out the form for prison visit, the guard asked for their headcount.

"Seven." Brother Assist turned to look, as if to double check the count as he reached for his coin pouch.

"Hey, hey, hey! How can you do this? Let me!" Oathless Sword rushed forward to stop the Dark Knight. Young Master Han turned his head to the side at this very moment, revealing a delighted smile.

Reaching this point, the men from Young Master's Elite somewhat felt guilty at this. Oathless Sword was not exactly a miser and was in fact quite an honorable person. He just happened to be the leader of a large guild Traversing Four Seas, so he often behaved in a somewhat arrogant or overbearing manner, making it difficult for people to tolerate him.

However, at this moment, Oathless Sword was not trying to be snobbish and was actually humbly offering to shoulder the fee for the prison visit. Faced with such a forthright person, they ended up forgetting themselves as they vied for the honor of paying the fee.

Everyone waved their coin pouches about in their eagerness to pay, yet none was able to emerge as the ultimate victor in this struggle. Sword Demon eventually shrank to a corner and said, "Enough. Let's all pay for ourselves, then!"

"That won't do! Let me!" Oathless Sword took advantage of everyone's momentary shock to shove his coin pouch into the prison guard's hand.

Naturally, the prison guard did not care for whom the coins belonged. As long as the amount was right, all of them could visit a prisoner.

Stepping into the prison, the seven players instantly knew that this trip was not a waste. Although Linshui City looked the same as the other in-game cities, it was actually hiding an unexpected uniqueness.

Linshui City's prison was actually a dungeon!

The passageway that the seven men were currently in was actually above each cell. The cell was entirely walled off, with the metal grating placed on the ceiling of each cell. All the convicted players were beneath the seven men's feet right now.

The seven men lowered their heads and found yet another unique feature. The level of the water in each cell was actually adjusted in accordance to the players' height. No matter who was inside the cell, the water would stop right at their chest level. This could be said to be one outstanding aspect of this VR game. If this were a real-life dungeon, it would be immensely difficult to adjust the water level for each individual.

The seven of them hurriedly passed several cells, only seeing a handful of players jailed. It could be seen just how powerfully sapping this experience was for the players, causing the PK incident in the city to be relatively low.

Nobody should mistakenly believe that a stint of being submerged in this dungeon was as comfortable as lying in a bathtub filled with warm water. There should be no need to mention just how terrible it was to soak in the water for several hours. What was worse was that the prisoner could not sit down while inside the dungeon, much less lie down. This was precisely what made this dungeon horrifying.

As there were few prisoners in the dungeon, the seven men quickly located Brother Assist's friend.

Obviously, just like the other convicts that were soaked in the water, Brother Assist's friend wore a glum expression on his face. Even when he saw them, his grim expression remained unchanged.

"You're all here," the man listlessly said.

"Hey, how did this happen?" Brother Assist asked.

"D*mm*t, I met an utterly shameless cad!" the man spat.

"What happened?" Brother Assist asked.

"A man came running straight to me while being chased by a NPC guard and shouted something about a mission. I couldn't understand what he meant, so I naturally asked him what was going on the moment he reached me. It turned out that it was a 'Bounty Mission' with me as the target, I quickly found myself unceremoniously slain by the guard chasing after him soon after," he narrated this while half submerged in water.

The men from Young Master's Elite could feel their hearts shuddering at this. Shouting out 'Bounty Mission' sounded so much like Gu Fei's style.

"What did the man look like?" Brother Assist could feel his heart going up his throat as he asked this.

"He looks like a Mage, but I don't remember seeing him casting a spell. It was mainly the guard's sword that killed me before he brushed me with something from behind his back. Oh, yes. He used a sword, wearing a black mage robe, and his final attack seemed to contain lightning," the man described.

"The Video Mage?" Brother Assist asked.

The man looked as if he had a sudden realization. "That's right! That man looks just like that Video Mage!"

Everyone could only grimace when they heard that.