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Chapter 456 - Climbing the Wall

 Both parties met right outside the gates of the courtyard. Three Sighs of Flowing Maple recognized Yan Xiaozhu at the same time that she did. One of them was part of the Ten Great Adepts of his class, while the other was one of the Seven Bottlenecks; they were famed individuals but not exactly friends. They only happened to be fellow acquaintances.

At the moment, they exchanged the briefest of nods with each other, but Yan Xiaozhu enthusiastically addressed Drifting with a crisp, "Big Brother Drifting!" Drifting merely smiled at her and then noted Gu Fei's presence. "Why are you here?"

"Ha ha. Just walking around," Gu Fei said. With that, he greeted the two partners of his, Left Hand of Love and Right Hand of Cool, that were never too far away from Drifting, "Hey Left Hand, Right Hand." He did not directly call them, for even to this day, he was still unsure if he could identify them individually.

"And this person is..." Three Sighs of Flowing Maple was curious toward the identity of Gu Fei.

Thus, Drifting introduced Gu Fei; his name was quite possibly the most renowned and was an existence even greater than the legendary Five Unyielding Experts. Three Sighs of Flowing Maple quickly began apologizing profusely and showered him with praises and admiration the moment he heard this.

Gu Fei was quick to modestly accept his kind words, not daring to show a lack of etiquette. Once that was over, Three Sighs of Flowing Maple asked, "Did the two of you come all this way to attend to some matters? Do mention it if there's anything you need!" He expressed this out of good will, for he was clear what sort of treatment they would receive from his guild the moment they entered this area. However, Gu Fei was well aware that what he was intending to do might very likely cause serious trouble to them. Considering that their guild quest was given to them by Giordano, and he was here to assassinate that same NPC, would that not mean his success would result in their progress bar to take a 100% reduction? This was why the more courteous Three Sighs of Flowing Maple acted toward him, the more embarrassed he felt. In the end, he decided that it was best for him to avoid forming any sort of relationship with the man.

Just as he was about to casually say a few words and take his leave, Yan Xiaozhu's enthusiasm got the better of her. Thinking that this was a good chance for Gu Fei to directly ask the guild leader for a favor, she blurted out, "Wonderful! Guild Leader Flowing Maple-AH! AIYEE!"

Yan Xiaozhu had barely gotten half of her words out when she yelped, for Gu Fei, who was suddenly beside her, surreptitiously gave her a pinch. He was worried that he might not have enough Strength to get her attention, so he even found an acupuncture point with that pinch. He did not hold back any of his Strength as he thought of how weak his Mage body was. Yan Xiaozhu had not been struck and slashed by monsters much ever since she began playing Parallel World, so she had never experienced such an intense pain before and instantly cried out loud in agony. Turning her head to question Gu Fei, she saw him give her a look as the man quickly sent a private message to her at the same time, "Don't say a word."

She was no fool. She could tell that he had other plans once she read the message. Fortunately, that pinch of Gu Fei did not deal any actual damage to her, so Yan Xiaozhu was not resentful about it, especially since the pain had quickly faded away, so she immediately kept her mouth shut. Nonetheless, everyone heard her shout, and Three Sighs of Flowing Maple regarded her questioningly. "What?"

Gu Fei also acted his part and stared at her with a curious expression. Yan Xiaozhu giggled a bit before saying, "Ha ha. It's nothing. I just suddenly realized that Guild Leader Flowing Maple looks really dashing today. We're leaving!" She dragged Gu Fei and fled, afraid that she would be unable to answer any further questions if Three Sighs of Flowing Maple pressed her further.

Three Sighs of Flowing Maple felt that he had been splashed by a bucket of cold water after that exchange. Drifting, who was standing next to him, chuckled at this. "He he! Young lasses are always so strange."

"Hmm, you're right!" This guild leader quickly recovered his senses and put on a look of maturity.

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Gu Fei and Yan Xiaozhu fled until they entered the fog, only heaving a sigh of relief once they saw nobody following them. At this, she promptly turned to Gu Fei and complained, "You almost killed me back there!"

"He he. Thank you for your hard work," Gu Fei merely said.

"Tell me why you didn't let me raise the matter to Three Sighs, then. And it's such a good chance, too. Could it be that you have a hidden agenda in mind?" she emphasized the words 'hidden agenda'. She had evidently made up her mind about the issue already.

"None of your business. Go on; look for your sister and play!" Gu Fei did not answer her question.

"Hey, hey, you can't do that! How can you have the nerve to just toss me aside after you've used me?" she demanded.

This lass sure loves to string her words so recklessly... Saying something like 'used me' makes it sound so distasteful, Gu Fei thought about this as he said, "I mainly want to consult you about that matter we've discussed before. I am extremely grateful for your help, and now that our consultation is over, what's gonna happen next... I'll take care of things myself."

Yan Xiaozhu could tell that Gu Fei had no intention of going further into detail, as he was most likely unwilling to divulge anything to her, but she was still rather curious toward this matter, so she could only remark accordingly, "Then, I'll wait till you're done before you tell me all about it."

"Fine with me." Gu Fei nodded.

The two said their goodbyes at this point. Gu Fei made note of his position and direction before heading off to that tavern. Sure enough, Young Master Han was still there. Gu Fei immediately called out as he made his way to the man, "That spyglass you've got with you, hand it over to me for a bit."

"Does your quest have the prospect of attaining a solution?" Young Master Han finally called it a 'quest'; After all, Gu Fei's definition of a quest was clearly not confined to those only appearing on their quest logs.

"I'm gonna check things out before deciding," Gu Fei answered even as he took the spyglass from Young Master Han.

Leaving the tavern, Gu Fei once more made his way back over to the Government City Hall's courtyard. He took a quick look around him after rounding a corner and, locating a desolated spot, pivoted as he called out, "Come on out. I know you're here."

No response.

Gu Fei grabbed a meat carving knife and flung it in a certain direction. "Stop hiding."

The figure of a Thief appeared upon dodging that knife; Yan Xiaozhu asked in her astonishment, "How did you know?"

Gu Fei did not give her a response. In fact, he already knew that she had faked her departure from the very start and very quickly went to follow him. He merely thought that, given how curious she was, it was better for him to keep watch over her by allowing her to tag along instead of letting her run amok on her own, which might bring him unnecessary trouble. This was why he was not really bothered by her trailing him thusly.

"Are you gonna do something?" She had been following him all this while and simply could not make sense of what he was doing. She could not see anything special about the spot he had chosen to stop, so she took a step closer to look. She saw him take out a large coil of rope from his dimensional pocket and begin to carefully straighten it out. The end of the rope had a cross claw hook attached to it, and he continued to measure out the rope even as he gazed up the high wall before him.

"Whoa... You can't possibly be thinking of climbing your way up there, are you?" Yan Xiaozhu was surprised.

"That is indeed my intention," Gu Fei affirmed.

"It's really high up." Yan Xiaozhu raised her head to have a look as well and gauged that the wall was well over ten meters tall.

"Yeah, I'm seeing if my rope is long enough," he agreed.

"Then, why aren't you uncoiling it?" She could see that he was still curling up his rope.

"Don't you know your multiplication?" He scoffed. Kids these days are really far too inflexible; education has failed to teach them anything.

Only at that point did she understand what was happening; he had neatly coiled the rope loop by loop to make it easier for him to judge how long the rope would be by multiplying the number of coils together.

"It's about there; I should have enough," he deduced in the end.

Next, she saw him throw his hand out in one smooth motion. That hook quickly found purchase atop the wall. With two tugs to test its hold, Gu Fei managed to accomplish this feat in just one try!

"Just what are you trying to do?" Yan Xiaozhu was completely taken by the expertise he had just demonstrated.

"You wanna go up first?" he asked her.

"Is it sturdy enough?" She was a little worried.

"Of course," he confidently assured. As a martial arts practitioner, he naturally had a very professional understanding of his weapons. He was very clear about the tensile strength of the rope, and he was certain that it would have no problem holding the weight of a person.

"You can go up first, then," she said. She was actually hoping to see a demonstration.

"No need for that. We can go together," he said. Pulling out another coil of rope from his dimensional pocket as if he were doing a magic trick, he tossed this one right up the wall as well.

"Is there more?" she asked numbly.

"It's enough," he replied.

He was already hanging on the rope on the left as he was saying that. Yan Xiaozhu quickly did the same to the other rope. That was when Gu Fei began to carefully explain to her the procedure, "Lower your center of gravity and mainly depend on your two arms to get you up. Don't use too much strength with your legs, or the rope will sway. Yup, exactly like that..." Halfway through with his explanation, he trailed off as he saw her fall down to the ground. Plenty of things looked easy in theory, but people would only realize there was a technique to things when they are actually doing it themselves.

"Are you sure you wanna continue?" he asked.

"I am certain and sure," she replied determinedly.

"The key to this lie in what I've just told you. Here; let me give you an example." He grabbed hold of his rope as he said that. Next, his hands and legs nimbly worked in tandem at a steady pace. Gu Fei's demonstration made such a scandalous act, such as climbing a wall, look like a form of art. Clearing up three meters in the blink of an eye, the man turned to look at her. "Got it?"

"Let me try!" She tried it again. Her second try confirmed his previous assessment of the young lass. Gifted with good coordination, this talented lady was able to quickly grasp the essentials. Even though her actions were not as polished and trained as Gu Fei's, she was at least able to slowly make her way up.

"Just what exactly do you do?" Seeing how familiar he was toward such activities, she could not help but suspect that he was in a special line of work.

"I'm a teacher," he answered.

"Tsk," she clicked her tongue. She had no idea that Gu Fei was telling the truth and had automatically assumed that he was calling himself a teacher as a jest since he was currently teaching her this skill.

"Yup, just like that. Stabilize your center of gravity and slowly make your way up," he continued to instruct her.

"Actually, the shaking isn't too much a problem. I won't fall as long as I hold on tight to the rope; this sort of thing in this MMO-AHHHHHH!"

Poof!

Gu Fei had no choice but to slide back down to the ground. Firmly looking at the fallen her, he said, "I know you have more stamina here in the game, but the shaking isn't because I'm afraid that you can't hold on. I'm afraid that the hook will become loose."

Gu Fei sighed as he picked up the fallen hook and threw it up the wall once more. Tugging at it to make sure it was securely fastened, he passed it over to her.

"Now, do you know not to shake about?"

"I know..." She rubbed her sore butt as she fought back her tears.

"Let's carry on, then!" He took the rope and began his ascent while keeping an eye on her to make sure she was properly doing the same thing as him. This time, the lass finally no longer dared to be careless and gingerly made her way up in accordance to Gu Fei's instructions. However, she was overly cautious this time, so her climbing speed was much slower than before. He looked up; at the rate that she was going, there was a high possibility of her not having enough strength to clear that last stretch despite them being in a game!

Still, he did not dare to hurry her, for he was aware that the lady was already afraid to fall yet again. The more he rushed her, the more anxious she would be, which would only make it all the more difficult for her to continue her ascent. All he could do was hope that her actions would become smoother the more she climbed, slowly increasing her speed as she went along.

In the end, Yan Xiaozhu had instead maintained that slow and careful climb up. Finally, after clearing over ten meters, four or five meters were left to reach the top of the wall. The lass turned to regard him. "I don't think I can continue climbing further."

Having accompanied her all this while at her pace, he nodded as well. "I, too."

"So what do we do now?" she asked.

He sighed and then raised his hand to point above them. Yan Xiaozhu had no idea what this meant and looked over to where he had pointed even as she heard him chant, "Translocation! Blink!"