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Chapter 447 - Irrational

 The whole lot of them were already somewhere a good distance away from where they had first encountered the BOSS. Because each time he clashed with the Shadowmist Assassin, Gu Fei would find himself being sent flying, the group had no choice but to chase after him time and again as he got involuntarily displaced. Unknowingly, they had since fought their way to a grinding map. They were unaware of this because they had not chanced upon any monsters or other players, but this fact was plain for them to see now that Slyris had pointed it out and that the BOSS had not returned from its sojourn in the mist.

Young Master Han laughed coldly. "I'm not to blame for this, right?"

Nobody said a word. They all knew what he had been planning the moment Young Master Han had asked them to find out where the most populous grinding map was. He intended to draw the BOSS all the way to such a place so that they could escape once the BOSS's aggro shifted to a stranger.

The aggro of the BOSS ever since it became enraged was entirely strange and hard to comprehend; just its range of aggro alone was excessive. Even considering the limited range of vision in Xiawu City, players were still able to make out things within twenty or thirty meters. Meanwhile, this BOSS was able to hide beyond the players' vision before initiating a sudden attack. This meant that its aggro range was outside of thirty meters, which was something unheard of.

What made this all the more ridiculous was the fact that this BOSS would randomly select its target by its volition; meaning, it was capable of ignoring any player that was looking to generate threat and would attack players who did not even make an attempt to it like Royal God Call before. Royal God Call had truly suffered an injustice a lot worse than Dou E's1.

Once such a BOSS traveled to a populous area, any players that were within 30 meters of its range would all have a chance of becoming its target. Even scarier was the fact that not one player out there would be able to sense this hidden danger once the weather in Xiawu City was added into consideration. With this BOSS at the heart, the area around would transform into a figurative black hole that removed a level from all the players it crossed paths with, and it was a mobile one, too.

Just who is the idiot that has designed this thing? Young Master Han once more wondered about this to himself as he brought up his suggestion from before again. Nobody would have guessed that Gu Fei and Eternal Dominion would still insist on rejecting it.

Young Master Han did not agree with this at all. Actually, considering their condition back then, he already felt that they would have trouble attempting to lure this BOSS for any discernible distance but still figured it was a suggestion worth trying. He had not expected the two men to hold such noble ethics and conduct that they would rather sacrifice themselves than cause others to die on their behalf. Young Master Han had no choice but to dismiss the idea eventually. Never had he thought that luck would be on his side this time, and that they would unwittingly move the BOSS over to this grinding map.

"What the heck are you guys waiting for?" Young Master Han asked.

Gu Fei and Eternal Dominion exchanged glances, and they both headed in the direction where the Shadowmist Assassin had disappeared. "We're gonna go take a look."

The two were well aware that their presence might not change anything, but neither of them felt comfortable using this opportunity to flee. Everybody had this line of morality that acted as the threshold. A person might waver and hesitate if they were alone, but with two of them together, they would naturally work to support each other. Even though they might not achieve anything substantial, at least they would have a clear conscience.

"F*ck, are people who learned a few moves all such righteous Samaritans?!" Young Master Han scoffed. Who knew where his line of morality lay? The fact that he was able to think of something as despicable as making scapegoat out of the innocent to save his own hide simply showed how contrastingly distant they were when it came to their ethics.

Sword Demon, on the other hand, was a lot more upstanding. Seeing that Gu Fei and Eternal Dominion were heading off together, he was also inspired by their actions and resolutely nodded his head. "I'll go take a look, too."

"Let's head off if we're gonna go, then!" Young Master Han disregarded his life as much as he disregarded others. He would not even frown or hesitate when he had to sacrifice others or himself.

Brother Assist clutched his booklet tightly. "I'll go take a look as well!" Having spent so much of his time collecting and analyzing game information with such zeal, how could Brother Assist resist this opportunity?

Now that all his companions had gone, would War Without Wounds attempt to flee just by himself? How would he face the others if he did that? Even though he felt it was a real waste to give up this opportunity, he had no choice but follow the rest with generous strides.

The Shadowmist Assassin had previously homed in on Gu Fei's position and was always the one initiating the fight. Now, nobody knew where it went after it returned into the fog. All they knew was that it was impossible for it to remain immobile since not once did the BOSS reappear in the same direction as when it dove into the fog. None of them had any other choice but to head in the general direction it had disappeared to.

Following along in that direction, they did not chance upon any trace of the Shadowmist Assassin aside from the screams from players that rang out from time to time. They hurried toward in the direction of these sounds, only to find that the Shadowmist Assassin had gotten away yet again. Along the way, they met plenty of players and monsters, but they still did not bump into the Shadowmist Assassin again. Even after inquiring about the matter from the players they met and chasing in the direction where the BOSS had supposedly disappeared to, they nevertheless still came up empty-handed.

They were now properly in the crowded grinding map, with plenty of players all around them. All the players had somehow become like a springboard for the Shadowmist Assassin, killing two or three every time it surfaced before disappearing into the fog again. It randomly found itself a new target and continued along its merry way killing and bounding. The only chance Gu Fei and the others could bump into the BOSS again would be if it coincidentally appeared beside them or they got chosen as its target. There was no way they could catch up to the Shadowmist Assassin considering the movement speed it possessed.

Slowly, the screams from the players became more and more distant from them, and before long, it disappeared altogether. The Shadowmist Assassin had actually left them all in its dust and bloodshed.

The few of them regarded one another, utterly at a loss on what to do.

"This would actually happen?" War Without Wounds found it hard to believe.

"When is it gonna stop killing if it carries on like this?" Gu Fei asked a rhetorical question.

"This special aggro formula seems to have only appeared after it got enraged. Perhaps, it would all return to normal once the state ends?" Brother Assist posited.

"Is there even a time limit for a BOSS's enraged state?" Sword Demon had never yet come across such a thing in his years of gaming.

"Why wouldn't there be?" Young Master Han said, "after eliminating all the players it has aggro on, and with nothing left to do, the BOSS will of course remove all sorts of status. It's HP will recover fully, too."

"Killing all of its aggro targets?" Eternal Dominion wiped the imaginary sweat off his forehead.

"But this BOSS randomly selects its aggro target!" War Without Wounds exclaimed.

"So that means..." Young Master Han shrugged.

"This... This is a BUG?" Brother Assist said.

"That's right. I've already opened a ticket report to the GM," Young Master Han informed.

"Did the GM reply?"

"Yes."

"What did they say?"

"'Please describe in detail the issue you are now facing. We will do our best to serve you,'" Young Master Han repeated what he had received.

"F*ck, so what did you reply with?" This was a clearly an automated response from the officials.

"'BOSS is slaughtering the city'..." answered Young Master Han.

Everybody was speechless. Thus, Brother Assist began to carefully report the situation to the GM in detail, basing his argument off the evidence and findings he presented as if he were showing off his talent. This was when Gu Fei's ears suddenly pricked up. "Listen!"

"What?"

"ARGGHHHH!" A scream was heard.

"The BOSS is back!" Everybody exclaimed in unison, but the tone in which they said this differed, with some expressing glee, shock, and complaint.

"This way!" Gu Fei could hear where the sound was coming from and rushed forth, with the others following closely behind. They could still see the players within the fog conscientiously grinding. Gu Fei suddenly had an idea; turning to the nearby players that were grinding, he shouted, "Quickly RUN! There's an enraged BOSS running amok!"

"BOSS? Where?" The eyes of those players who had heard him instantly twinkled with passion.

The more perceptive player disdainfully regarded Gu Fei. "Ignore him. He's probably trying to trick us off our grinding spot. Do you think yours truly haven't seen that trick before?!"

"I'm serious. There's a really powerful BOSS out here," Gu Fei insisted.

"How powerful?" taunted the crowd.

Gu Fei truly wished he could dash right up and kill these two players with a slash to show them that that was how powerful the Shadowmist Assassin was, but he of course did not do that. Just as he did not know what he should do, Young Master Han lifted his finger and said, "Shut up and LISTEN!"

Screams and even curses were heard.

"Do you guys hear that? That's the sound of an enraged BOSS rampaging through this area wherever it goes. You can stay here and wait for it to appear if you aren't afraid of dying!" Young Master Han said.

Screams could often be heard from time to time in grinding maps, so most people would not usually find hearing these sounds to be strange. However, upon paying closer attention, they could discern that these screams were quite different from usual. Usually, players would accidentally be struck by the monsters, and that was it, but the screams they were hearing today were far more bloodcurdling. The screams sounded like when a player found themselves surrounded by a mob of monsters, and there were also plenty of curses and swear words being flung in these screams today. It seemed that the players were all stunned and were unable to make sense of what was happening, as if something inexplicable were indeed happening to them.

"So why aren't you guys fleeing?" Some were still suspicious.

"He he!" Young Master Han laughed. "It's because we are fools. We had a chance to flee but, instead, intentionally came seeking for our deaths."

The man he was speaking to was dazed. He found what this person's words to be odd; he looked like a woman, too, which was really revolting. Gu Fei knew that Young Master Han had just insulted him in a roundabout way, but he merely chuckled dismissively before sincerely addressing all the players present, "We're not lying. You guys better run while you can!"

"Or you can stay and be fools with us," Young Master Han quipped.

Finally, somebody wavered. Gu Fei also felt that he had said enough; there was no need for him to go and hug their legs just to beg them not to send themselves to their deaths, right? Thus, he pointed in the direction behind him and said, "Let's head over there."

With that, Gu Fei continued his way onward, as the rest of the group followed right behind.

The players that had been grinding were all in a daze for quite some time when someone suddenly realized, "F*ck, we're the real fools here. That guy wanted to trick us all so that we won't compete with them for the BOSS!"

It was as if they had all woken up from a dream. Not only did none of them prepare to leave, they tidied up their equipment and inventory and came cursing and swearing right after the six men. The considerate Gu Fei, who had tried to warn them out of the kindness of his heart, instead became the person of ire to all these people, who were relentlessly cursing him directly with uncouth words.

Gu Fei was not in the least bit bothered by being maligned by the crowd as he continued forward minding his business. Unfortunately, there were people in this world that would take things a step too far when they realized they were being ignored. Gu Fei was fine if they were just tossing accusations and taunts, but they crossed the line when they started becoming more and more boorish and crude with their words, going so far as to even drag his ancestors and elders into their insults. This was precisely what Gu Fei, a man who was brought up to respect his teachers and elders could not take lying down. As such, the man halted in his step and turned around, locking his gaze at the whole lot of them as he calmly said, "It's fine if you don't believe me. Curse at me all you want, but don't go too far with your words."

The crowd was stunned as well when Gu Fei, who had been silent all the way, turned around to say this. However, someone, who quickly realized that they held superiority in numbers, pointed at Gu Fei as he howled, "What, you trying to intimidate us?!"

"Nope, it's a warning," Gu Fei said.

"We're gonna curse you; what are you gonna do about it? F*ck your-"

A Blink and a Twin Incineration. That man disappeared before he could even finish his sentence. Gu Fei stowed his sword away and glanced at the others. "Send a message to that guy and tell him: that's what I do about it."

Chapter Notes:

[1] The story follows a child bride turned widow, Dou E, who is wrongly convicted of crimes by a corrupt court official for actions perpetrated by a rejected suitor, Mule Zhang.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Injustice_to_Dou_E