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Chapter 491 - Miscalculation

 Drifting's heart had already momentarily stopped the instant Gu Fei had pushed him out the window; hearing what the man shouted after left him ashen. How could he not know that Cool Apple was the most notorious superstar here in Xiawu City? Could he even hope for a good ending with the other players mistaking him for the man?

As he thought of this, Drifting looked below him to check out the situation, but he was soon relieved.

At that same moment, Gu Fei, who was standing by the window, felt quite rueful. Because of the cacophony of cries and sounds of death below, his shout literally achieved no effect in stirring the crowd. As the players were all focused on the enemies they were up against, any of their cries alone easily overwhelmed that half-hearted shout from him.

Without anyone noticing Drifting, the Mage directly plummeted to the ground. The Vigilante Corps Chamber was merely three stories high, so a fall from such a height was not death-inducing and merely gave a fright to the players around: What sort of alien is this thing that suddenly came falling from the sky?

Drifting got up in the next moment, dusting the dirt of himself, and received a message from Gu Fei: "Looks like you're pretty lucky."

"F*ck!" Drifting raised his middle finger right toward Gu Fei before turning around in a huff and leaving. The players surrounding him stared at this newcomer suspiciously, yet not one of them took to attacking Drifting. After hesitating for several seconds, these players suddenly remembered that they were in a middle of a battle themselves and hastily resumed their fights.

Back on the third floor, Gu Fei returned to the couch after handling Drifting and began to quietly wait for the time to arrive. In the meantime, he carefully examined Giordano, hoping to discover anything unnatural about his movement, but all Giordano did was stand and converse, making it impossible for Gu Fei to find anything unnatural about the NPC.

When the time finally came, Giordano moved to begin his patrol. Gu Fei swiftly stood up and sent a message over to Sword Demon and Svelte Dancer. "Target has begun moving..."

Following closely behind Giordano, they exited the room and went down the stairs. Giordano proceeded to the main entrance, pushing the double doors, and slowly made his way around the courtyard. Gu Fei was not particularly anxious; hiding behind the door, he observed the situation in the area first. He knew that there would be greater risk for him if he revealed himself in the courtyard. Thus, seeing that he was unable to stroll so slowly like Giordano, he figured that it was better for him to depart from safety just a bit later.

Taking note of Giordano's movement speed and the time, Gu Fei eventually left the cover of the door and gingerly crept out from the Government City Hall while he took note of his surroundings. Finally, right before Giordano stepped into the area he had estimated, Gu Fei sent a message over to Sword Demon. "Shut it down!"

"Roger that!" Sword Demon replied immediately.

"You'd better start running and do this and that while you leave... Afterward, find an opportunity to Stealth yourself; that should do." Gu Fei made sure to impart the tricks he had employed to reach the courtyard to Sword Demon. Gu Fei was not particularly worried for Sword Demon doing this by himself, since the fog would have pretty much already formed by the time he got out, so Sword Demon should have an easier time hiding himself.

The air within the courtyard began to change, as the fog began to form and thicken at a rate visible to the naked eye. The players originally focusing on the battle started to realize this transformation.

"What's going on?" Everyone shared this same question in their minds. However, Gu Fei could not even be bothered about this as he began to sprint as fast as he could.

"Get ready!" Gu Fei sent a message over to Svelte Dancer.

It would take about 35 seconds for the heavy fog to spread, and Gu Fei estimated that he would take about 20 seconds to catch up to Giordano.

"He's here!" By the time Giordano stepped into the kill zone they had set, the fog was already completely settled - the visibility players had right now was same as what was found in the wilds. Gu Fei arrived right behind Giordano at this point; everything was perfectly timed thanks to their accurate calculations, yet Gu Fei soon found himself in a situation that almost had him fainting, as something beyond his calculation happened: they had been surrounded.

A large number of people dashed out from the fog, and they were all players from Flowergazing in the Fog. Having spotted Gu Fei getting close to Giordano, they rushed over while brandishing their weapons. "What are you up to, you rascal?!"

A miscalculation! Gu Fei cried out in his heart. He had actually failed to account for the most important point; at this time, when Flowergazing in the Fog was under assault, why would these people not place an emphasis on defending Giordano? The members from Flowergazing in the Fog had a better comprehension of Giordano's patrol path; they were probably on guard the moment Giordano stepped out of the Government City Hall, except the sudden appearance of the fog had messed up their flow, which was why they were a little late to arrive. It was nothing compared to the carefully calculated timing Gu Fei had done. If it had not been for that, he might have lost his life even before he got anywhere near Giordano!

It was as Gu Fei had expected. Flowergazing in the Fog did indeed make preparations toward the defense of Giordano when it began its patrol, but they were in disagreement as to the method of prevention. Some believed that the enemies might be unaware of the importance of this NPC and target it for an attack. As such, heavily defending Giordano would only result in the Streisand effect1. It would be better if they boldly acted as if they were unaware of its existence and got the enemy to avoid Giordano just like the NPC guards out there. The others found this idea to be a little far too daring since there was no way to confirm if the enemies had gotten a hold of this information or if they had merely been waiting for Giordano to show himself all this while.

As this disagreement continued, both sides finally reached a compromise: secretly take note and guard Giordano when it appeared.

They would not rush to gather their forces to protect Giordano when it left the confines of the Government City Hall. Instead, they would gather a portion of their manpower and keep their distance from the NPC as it began its patrol. They would only react accordingly if anything strange were to happen and would obviously not do anything if nothing happened.

In the end, something really did happen. They did not discover the enemy guilds making any sort of movement, while Gu Fei actually kept his distance from Giordano, even further than where these bodyguards were, so they were not on guard against him. By the time Gu Fei dashed in, the fog was already starting to form, giving Gu Fei the perfect cover to reach Giordano's side without any interference. These bodyguards were only starting to respond to this fog as they realized that something was not right and promptly tried to get near Giordano. Still, they were way slower than Gu Fei who had been prepared for the fog.

"Don't come any nearer!" Gu Fei's sword was placed right beside Giordano's neck. He felt extremely guilty for using the same trick twice.

"It's you again!" Someone quickly identified Gu Fei. They were even more ashamed and subdued than Gu Fei for falling for the same trick twice, but they nevertheless did not dare to make a move.

Four minutes. We've only got four minutes! Gu Fei cried out to himself, pained. Every single second was precious right now, and every second he spent on this group hurt him. However, if he were to start the attack right now, these men would surely pounce on him in unison and Gu Fei was certain he would be unable to handle it!

What do I do? Gu Fei was unable to come up with a plan at this moment, so all he could do was regret that he had not been comprehensive enough with his planning. It was at this moment when a guard came running toward Giordano, causing the NPC to stop and gravely ask, "What's going on here?!"

"It seems that the dehumidifier is broken," the NPC guard reported.

"Head over immediately and check it out!" Giordano ordered severely.

"Yes, sir!" The guard received the order and ran.

Is this part of the plot for the quest? Gu Fei stared stiltedly as the NPCs interacted with one another. One was being held hostage by his sword, yet it remained as calm and composed as ever. What was even going on? However, this happening was not outside of their prediction. Sword Demon would have surely been apprehended had he remained down underground. It was truly too bad that he had a lack of understanding toward what the players would do, resulting in him being in this situation where he was no longer in control.

"What now?" Svelte Dancer messaged over. Gu Fei could sense that she was somewhere near, but what could they do? Gu Fei was mulling over this question as well.

"Twerp, you're not gonna have any chance to attack Giordano in such a circumstance. Just leave; we're not gonna make things difficult for you." Someone began attempting to dissuade Gu Fei.

However, before Gu Fei could even respond, a huge commotion came from the back of the encirclement, which caused the crowd to quickly descend into chaos. Apparently, not just one or two were under attack right now, but the entire encirclement itself. It was evident that it was an organized assault.

It's the enemy guilds! This thought flashed through Gu Fei's mind even as he saw the men before him begin to adjust and take on the enemies. Gu Fei's precious four minutes was already down to three, so he could no longer hesitate further.

"It's time to move!" Gu Fei shouted to the empty space near him where Svelte Dancer was positioned as he lifted his sword to take the first strike on Giordano.

Gu Fei was still a little anxious at this moment! This was because the quest was something he had come up by himself. Everything would essentially be for naught if Giordano turned out to just be a regular quest NPC that he could not attack.

Fortunately, the biggest worry of Gu Fei did not come true, as that slash he had performed scored true. The moment it got attack, Giordano turned to him and sent out a punch in retaliation. Gu Fei did a sidestep as Giordano unsheathed his broadsword, showing a face filled with rage as he came cleaving.

Gu Fei dodged it as he retaliated with a cut of his own. He did not use any spells with it, hoping to only begin utilizing his high damage output after he had identified Giordano's point of weakness. Svelte Dancer also began her offense at this point. Planting a cruel Backstab onto Giordano's back, before giving the NPC a wide berth right after.

Svelte Dancer had an extremely high damage output and, using gaming terminology to describe it, created a huge amount of threat in that one stroke, which caused Giordano to give chase accordingly. Svelte Dancer depended on high movement speed to slip away, leaving Giordano to be momentarily left without a choice. This situation also left Gu Fei to cry bitterly. Several seconds were wasted once more in this chase; it was important for them to quickly locate his weakness, and seeing it give chase like this was basically useless to this end.

"Attack later!" Gu Fei shouted to Svelte Dancer. He had no other options left but to send forth a Twin Incineration. Dealing that high-damage attack of his, he followed it up with a few more moves to aggravate the NPC further. Svelte Dancer was still foolishly running on her end, as Giordano's aggro finally shifted over to Gu Fei.

Giordano is very strong! Gu Fei felt this as he continued to contend with the NPC. Thankfully, it did not possess the insane level of speed that the Shadowmist Assassin had displayed, so Gu Fei could calmly dodge its attack. However, it had only been using basic attacks to poke and slash all this while. Bosses will always have some sort of ultimate move; can I evade it when it comes out? Or will this Giordano's weakness only be revealed in the instant it dishes out an ultimate move?