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Chapter 471 - Missing Twice

 Gu Fei picked up that piece of paper and, with one glance, identified it as a tailoring pattern. This was something a crafting profession would need to learn in order to craft a piece of equipment. That was the key difference between the poncho Two had conceptualized himself and such equipment crafted by the system's specifications; something he made would only be classified as a cosmetic item, while the stuff he tailored using the tailoring pattern would be associated with the game and would, thus, contained traits and stats.

Two was over the moon when Gu Fei informed him of the acquisition of this tailoring pattern and once he confirmed that it was indeed what he was looking for. Two temporarily forgetting the pain from recently losing a level gratified Gu Fei.

Placing the tailoring pattern into his dimensional pocket, Gu Fei was ready to leave this dump. When he passed by a broken window as he turned around, he happened to look out from it, and what he saw caused him to chortle involuntarily.

Through the broken window, Gu Fei spotted Seven still hiding in the backyard.

The man, who had already completed his quest, was only looking to preserve his life right now; unfortunately for him, the men from Flowergazing in the Fog were all on high alert, suspicious of every rustling leaf or chirping bird, and made it a point to chase after every source of noise. As such, Seven did not even dare move an inch of his muscle as huddled up in the bushes. Gu Fei found it hilarious when he saw how careworn the man looked, but he could not help breaking out in a cold sweat when he saw the members from Flowergazing in the Fog lurking within meters of where that man was every now and then.

This was when a string of burning Fireballs flew through the air. Gu Fei could tell that the spell was headed directly toward Seven, so he reflexively reached his sword out that window and incanted a Repeating Fireball.

Gu Fei had done so because he wanted his Repeating Fireball to intercept the enemy Mage's Fireballs and neutralize the attack. The skill needed to accomplish this was extremely difficult, and Gu Fei was not entirely confident that he would succeed. Furthermore, his release of the Repeating Fireball was a little delayed; he seldom used this particular spell on a daily basis, so he was particularly unsure of how long the delay to this spell release went for and ultimately made this error upon casting. The Repeating Fireball brushed the tail end of the Fireballs even as it continued to sail toward Seven, who was still lying on the ground unaware of the impending danger. There was no way Gu Fei could alert the man, so all he could do was watch.

Unexpectedly, just as those Fireballs looked as if they were about to hit Seven, they suddenly exploded mid-air. Gu Fei was overjoyed, recognizing that the spell had reached its maximum distance. A spell was different from an arrow in that the latter would be subjected to the laws of physics and drop off over time, while the former would disappear the moment they traveled to their maximum distance. Because Repeating Fireball would have an explosion effect upon connecting with its target, it would naturally still explode the moment it reached its maximum distance.

Alas, Gu Fei could not celebrate Seven's fortuity for long. Even though those Fireballs did not land on Seven, their flight and ensuing explosion had nevertheless drawn the attention of the members from Flowergazing in the Fog that were still in the backyard. Each of them dashed their way over to investigate and ended up locating Seven. The man raised his hands in an attempt to surrender, wanting to explain himself, but these players did not give him a chance to do so, as each of them tossed a skill out and vented their frustrations on the poor man.

Was this the same Mage that killed Five?

Gu Fei pondered on this as he dashed out of that dump of an attic. From the trajectory of the spell unleashed, Gu Fei determined that this Mage was most likely two levels below the attic, and that the same person was near a window facing the backyard as this person quickly attempted to kill the man the moment he or she saw Seven hiding there.

That's clearly not in line with how NPCs act, so is it Three, then? Gu Fei wondered even as he sprinted down the stairs to the room he deduced where the spell originated from.

There were still doubts lingering in his mind. If that's Three, that means he's successfully entered the Government City Hall. This person's focus will be on completing his quest, so why is he taking a shot at us-the players he's already abandoned? Why not just leave us to our devices?

He could not make head or tail of this, so it seemed that finding this man was the only way he could get a logical explanation for this. Gu Fei hurried to the corresponding floor and caught sight of a figure walking out from one of the rooms.

"HOLD IT RIGHT THERE!" Gu Fei shouted as he shot forth like a bolt of thunder. That figure did not stop and turned to run, instead.

That figure should be a player, and he was a Mage, so there was no way he would be as quick as Gu Fei when it came to his movement speed. Gu Fei was most likely the only Mage in the whole of Parallel World that had focused on adding stat points toward Agility. It would not take long for Gu Fei to catch up to this person had they been out in the open, but with them currently being indoors, an increased top speed was not that much of an advantage, and that player seemed to be aware he was unable to compete with Gu Fei in terms of movement speed, so he quickly dove right into a room.

Aren't you courting death? Gu Fei was wondering about this to himself when he saw a figure flash out from the corner of his eye and hurtle right toward him for an attack from the lower spiral staircase.

Gu Fei quickly dodged it with a sidestep as he turned around and caught a glimpse of the attacker, extremely startled by who he saw. "FOUR!"

"You've got quite the reaction!" Four was holding his dagger with a smile plastered across his face, but his tongue was stuck out like a snake which made people feel disgusted.

"How did you get out?" Gu Fei was rather perplexed as he felt that he had executed the plan flawlessly.

"He he!" Four chuckled, revealing his brace of white teeth. "How would I kill you if I don't get out?"

Gu Fei was no longer in the mood to badger Four for answer; this man was repulsive and loathsome, but at least his intentions were considerably simple. He just wanted to slay other players. Three, on the other hand, was still an unknown factor. Gu Fei could not make sense of his intentions, so that would require further investigation.

"Let's make this quick, then!" Gu Fei extended his sword and pointed it toward Four.

"You've got guts," Four cackled as he brought his dagger horizontally before his chest. Maintaining that look of a venomous snake as his eyes latched on Gu Fei closely, like a predator that had found its prey.

"Twin Incineration!" Gu Fei had no wish to waste time. Darting forward, he lashed his sword out toward Four. He exerted all his might as his sword lashed out. Using such a move was already considered as preferential treatment, given that Gu Fei could hide a move in response no matter what an average player did to match it.

However, Gu Fei failed to consider a problem. In the end, the kung fu he had was something that he had honed in real life. Any sort of countermove of his had stemmed from what he could expect in reality. At this moment, he was in a game, and the skills within the game went well beyond what existed in real life, so if an enemy were to use a skill in response, there would be no guarantee that Gu Fei's countermove would be able to cover it.

This was precisely what Four had done. Against Gu Fei's sword slash, his figure suddenly shuddered. All Gu Fei saw was but an afterimage that increased innumerably, forming out a whole series of them that circled to his back; the speed of this was no different from that of the instantaneous Blink. There was no way anybody would possess such a high movement speed in real life, so none of the moves Gu Fei had in response would be effective against this.

That dagger dove right toward Gu Fei's back. Gu Fei was unable to physically react in time to this attack after this near instantaneous movement, as there was still a limit to what he could humanly do.

However, Four's attack struck nothing but thin air; this was because Gu Fei also possessed a skill that went well beyond what was humanly possible: Blink.

"So it really was Blink?" Four was staring right at Gu Fei standing five meters away, who had now turned around to face the Thief, after that attack of his failed.

"Shadowstep? There sure are all sorts of mysterious skills in Parallel World," Gu Fei responded.

"How did you know?" Four was in shock.

"Why would I be unaware of the skill that your dagger grants?" Gu Fei chuckled.

"Appraisal skill? That's impossible..." Four was taken aback. Everybody knew that the Appraisal skill could display the opponent's equipment, but at the same time, everybody was well aware of the relation between the skill level of Appraisal and the character's equipment as well as level. Four's dagger was a piece of equipment that was overleveled when compared to the current standard of the players in the game, so logically speaking, there was no reason anybody could even appraise its traits and stats.

"Are you surprised? It really seems that you may be quite the PK-er, but you don't really do a lot of 'Bounty Mission', huh? Cool Apple!" Gu Fei called out his name.

"You even managed to appraise my name?" Four was indeed Cool Apple, and he was extremely shocked that Gu Fei had been able to call his name out like that.

"Do more 'Bounty Mission', and you'll understand," Gu Fei suggested. Cool Apple was his 'Daily Bounty Mission' target, but it was still considered as a 'Bounty Mission', so the third effect of his Windchaser's Emblem applied to him: 100% Appraisal.

Gu Fei was able to see every equipment Cool Apple had on, but he was unable to judge just how powerful his equipment was, as all Gu Fei had read was the skill that the man's dagger possessed.

[Shadowstep: Leaving behind afterimages, instantly appear behind the target and deal a fatal blow]

This was an Assassin's surekill skill.

"What a troublesome skill!" Gu Fei sighed. With the help of the system, this sort of skill that could defy common sense was really difficult to deal with.

"One minute cooldown," Gu Fei said. "Looks like I have no time for idle chit-chat; every second counts."

"I think so as well." Cool Apple laughed bitterly. He did not seem to be despondent that the skill had such a long cooldown.

"Take that!" Gu Fei brandished his sword. A malicious smile appeared on Cool Apple's face, as a streak of afterimage blurred over Gu Fei's flank.

"HA HA HA HA! This is a skill that yours truly have in my skill tree as well; did you appraise that?" Cool Apple's gratingly loud laughter rang from behind Gu Fei, as his dagger slithered out to Gu Fei like a venomous snake. The weapon made contact with Gu Fei, but it was as if he had stabbed into air.

Cool Apple was stunned. In the same moment, Gu Fei turned around as his arms crisscrossed. The poncho draped over his shoulders slid off, and he tied it into a knot that held Cool Apple's right arm and dagger.

"It's not good to talk too much because it's really noisy," Gu Fei's left hand tugged his ear lightly as his right hand drew out his gleaming Moonlit Nightfalls once more.

"How?" Cool Apple was muttering to himself.

"You don't know?" Gu Fei asked. "Let's make a bet. You've never once missed with that attack of yours, right?

"Because of that fact, you have no idea how to respond when you do miss, so your reaction was slow enough that I could even squat down and tie my shoelaces."

"The first time you miss; your reaction will be slow; but if you're still as slow the second time around... He he he..." Gu Fei shook his head and sighed.

"I don't know what sort of punishment follows this one cut, so you'll just have to find out yourself!" Gu Fei's sword lashed out with his Twin Incineration, turning Cool Apple into a disappearing flash of white light.

"Turns out I talk too much, too... Lecturing others for no rhyme or reason; what an occupational disease I've contracted!" Gu Fei sighed.