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Chapter 494 - A Noob Visitor

 Everybody did not feel that they were in the wrong. Indeed, everyone had been busy over this quest in the past few days and had all forgotten about the initial reason they had for coming here to Xiawu City, which was to hunt down Southern Lone Blade. It was obvious that Young Master Han himself had forgotten about this matter as well, yet he had actually indignantly lectured the others over this right now.

"That Staff of Resurrection in the possession of Southern Lone Blade's squad was already listed for sale," Young Master Han said.

"Did that really happen?!" The rest were surprised by this new information.

"Bunch of trashes!" Young Master Han continued to express his disdain for the lot. However, these people who had long been in the company of him were already impervious to his derisive words; ignoring his insults had already became a habit to them.

"Could they be intentionally trying to fake us out?" Brother Assist asked.

"No. It was put up in the official Trade Exchange with the stats of the staff and seller apparent for all to see. Someone already bought it two days ago," Young Master Han replied.

"How very decisive." Sword Demon sighed. "Since the item is nothing but trouble in their hands, they simply decided to sell it for money."

"Losing three levels across those last few days had probably dealt a heavy blow to their self-confidence." Everyone of them was feeling all sorts of emotions, and those near Gu Fei turned to look at him, habitually thinking that it was all his fault once more. However, if they actually thought of it more deeply, the seven robbers actually did not directly die by Gu Fei's hands...

"I think it isn't just an issue of confidence. Southern Lone Blade is in the inner circle when it comes to the business of larceny. Perhaps, they got hold of some information about quite a few people within the business targeting them, which became their main reason for making such a calculated decision," Brother Assist analyzed. "I'll look through the forums later. He might have announced the fact if he intended to throw this ticking time bomb."

"That makes sense," everyone said.

"Also..." Brother Assist continued to fire off messages across the mercenary channel. "The stats and other information on the magic staff; quickly tell me."

Gu Fei and the others not with Brother Assist right now could imagine the Knight pulling out that notebook and quill of his as he anxiously waited for further information. Unfortunately, only Young Master Han had seen the goods, and he was pretty much unreliable when it came to such things. Though the man was clever, he never bothered to dedicate any bit of his brain cell to memorizing things he was not interested in, so the answer he gave was thoroughly unsatisfying. "I forgot. I think the name goes something like 'Staff of Resurrection' and the skill is called Rise from the Dead or something similar."

"Perhaps the information will be available on the forums," everyone consoled Brother Assist; the latter, thus, quickly went to log out to get on the forums.

Gu Fei soon went offline for the day as well.

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While this was a day that the members of Young Master's Elite had achieved total victory, it was a tragic defeat to those from Flowergazing in the Fog.

After Gu Fei and the two Thieves with him escaped, the enemy guilds immediately began their retreat in an orderly fashion. Truthfully, they had no idea as to how they had managed to ruin the guild quest of the Flowergazing in the Fog here, and all they knew was that they had visited mayhem to the courtyard and that someone seemed to have succeeded in killing the BOSS of the NPC guards. This was the best outcome they could hope for. After all, even if they had more manpower for the assault, they would not even dare to have designs on attacking the NPC guards. Young Master Han had expected exactly this, so he had made sure to mention that there just happened to be players doing such a quest and willing to help them defeat the BOSS. This was why these guilds would cooperate to such a degree.

After the dust of the battle had settled, every member from Flowergazing in the Fog had a look of sorrow to them. The many days and nights that they had persevered for the quest only ended up with a headless corpse of their quest-giver. The body laid there, not being refreshed for the longest time, as if it were mocking their incompetence. Three Sighs of Flowing Maple was ashen. He had made all the possible arrangements, yet despite knowing their enemies target, they were still unable to prevent that man from completing their quest...

"Where's Windchord?! Didn't he say he'd take care of that guy?" Three Sighs of Flowing Maple was livid.

"He left..." someone replied. "Before he left, he mentioned something about that man being his blood relative and having tried persuading him but was unsuccessful..."

"B*ll f*ck*ng sh*t!" Three Sighs of Flowing Maple bellowed.

Everybody was silent. Their guild leader was known for being stoic in the face at any sort of adversity, yet it was as if his mind was rattled by what had recently happened and repeatedly lost his temper to the point of giving out emotionally charged orders that were atypical of him.

"Drifting... Where did Drifting go?" Three Sighs of Flowing Maple could not locate that Mage anywhere, so he sent a message over to Drifting directly.

"Sorry Guild Leader Flowing Maple, I tried convincing that man to give up on his quest, but I wasn't able to in the end. I've let you and the guild down, so it's better if I leave!" Drifting replied.

"F*CK!" If the messaging system was a handphone, Three Sighs of Flowing Maple would definitely have broken it in his anger by now.

"Flowing Maple, calm down!" A comrade of Three Sighs of Flowing Maple came to comfort the man. "Let's wait for the quest-giver to respawn and see what we have to work with before we do anything rash!"

"The quest-giver's right there!" Three Sighs of Flowing Maple pointed to the headless corpse still lying on the ground in the courtyard.

Everyone had nothing else to say. Giordano was indeed dead, but would the NPCs created by the system be forever lost just because one died? In this case, it was only natural for another Giordano to soon appear and replace the one that had just been killed. It looked like Three Sighs of Flowing Maple was really in a current state of mess, mentally speaking. The other players each began to back off, for they felt that it was not wise of them to be dealing with the man right now.

Giordano would patrol the courtyard once a day, which was about six hours in real time. No one from Flowergazing in the Fog left the premise and spent the six hours with a heavy heart. Finally, the door of the Government City Hall opened, and Giordano appeared right before everyone's eyes with a placid smile on his face.

No one was excited, since this was just how every NPC was upon respawning. The look it had did not change the fact that the previous Giordano had been killed hours ago.

Sure enough, upon reaching the position where it would usually announce the progress of the quest, the new Giordano was infuriated. "I'm the new Vigilante Corps Captain Giordano. My predecessor was assassinated while under your guard; just how in the world are you people doing your job?"

No one cared to answer. What sort of response could they give to a NPC criticizing them? No matter what honeyed words they said or begged for forgiveness, the NPC would just be merciless. Everyone was merely waiting for Giordano's final verdict to be announced.

"Minus 50 points! You guys better buck up from here on out!" The new Giordano turned and walk away.

"Guild leader! Guild leader! Someone, come over quickly! The guild leader has turned catatonic!" All the players were in a state of panic.

"50 points..." Three Sighs of Flowing Maple could almost feel his tears welling up when he came to. That 50 points meant 50%. With the entire courtyard no longer even having a single blade of weed, Three Sighs of Flowing Maple simply could not think of any means by which he could earn back this 50% progress. Did he have to depend on the minuscule but gradual increase in progress he got every day? Would he even be able to complete this quest in this lifetime?

"Let's leave! We'll abandon this quest," Three Sighs of Flowing Maple announced, his shoulders slumped in defeat.

Everyone was in low spirits, not knowing what else to say. The morale of the guild had plummeted to the lowest depths knowable to man.

"Guild leader..." At this time, someone suddenly sent a message over to the guild channel. "There's someone outside the gates calling for you by name and looking to meet you."

"Let him in," Three Sighs of Flowing Maple replied in a daze. Perhaps he did not see it as a problem; the point was he agreed to this request because he simply did not think that the matter could get any worse.

"Who's this person?" People in the guild wondered.

The man soon presented himself before Three Sighs of Flowing Maple and his men. He lifted his eyes feebly and said after using his Appraisal skill, "We won't accept anyone that has yet to reach level 40."

The person before him was a small level 35 Priest.

"You lost 50 points after Giordano got killed, right?" The man was smiling when he asked this.

"Yeah!" Three Sighs of Flowing Maple answered, before becoming startled. "Who are you? How did you know that?"

The man roamed his eyes across the downcast players around him. "Don't be sad. You've still got a chance to salvage this."

"What chance?"

"Something that will earn you back 50 points at one go. If it's successful, you may even accomplish the quest right there and then." That smile was stuck fast on the man's face.

"You... Who are you?" Three Sighs of Flowing Maple once more regained his usual composure as his mind churned. Who is this guy? A spy from an enemy guild? But there doesn't seem to be a need to fudge things up for us since our quest has already failed. So what is the true intention of this man?

"My name's Fleeting Smile; believe in me and I can help you," The look of confidence this man showed amid this sea of disappointment and dejectedness was striking.

"Is that so? Then, what should we do? Tell me more!" Three Sighs of Flowing Maple was hoping that there was truly a last resort he could do to turn the tide for the quest.

"Don't give me that look. It's not really that tough. Follow me!" Fleeting Smile did an about turn.

"Let's have a look!" Three Sighs of Flowing Maple addressed the men next to him and followed Fleeting Smile.

The look on everyone's faces was a mixture of suspicion and surprise. They had all been guessing just who this person was, with some even believing that their guild leader was still falling apart, so much so that he would even believe the words of some unknown level 35 noob...

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Another day passed.

When Gu Fei got online the next day, he was immediately greeted by Sword Demon, who had clearly been waiting for his arrival the whole gaming time.

"Let's get moving!" Sword Demon called to gather the others still in Xiawu City.

"Let's teleport..." Gu Fei said to Svelte Dancer. He knew that the Teleportation Scroll could transport more than one person at a time.

"Scram! Do you think it grows on trees?!" Svelte Dancer instantly rejected his request. She was prepared to use such an expensive item in times of crisis: someone being lazy was definitely not a reason to use the scroll.

"I've heard that there's a shortcut that's much closer than Linshui City," Sword Demon said.

"Oh?"

"Xiawu, Linshui, Linyin... These three cities are laid out like a triangle, so it is entirely possible to walk from Xiawu City over to Linyin City," Sword Demon explained.

"So why did the Shadowmist Assassin head over to Linshui City if he's from Linyin City?" Gu Fei asked.

Sword Demon was quiet for a moment. "Let's not talk about logic when it comes to the system, alright?"

"Sometimes, it's realistic; other times, it's entirely nonsensical..." Gu Fei complained.

"Passing by Linshui City as he had should be an important clue as well. A normal player would most likely have to search for something over there," Young Master Han said.

"What do you mean? What normal player?"

"Simply put, do you really think a normal player would be able to determine where Giordano's old injury is after exchanging a few blows with it?" Young Master Han asked.

"So what you mean to say is..."

"The diary mentioned that Giordano has an old injury, but where that injury is would most likely be a lead that a normal player would have to waste plenty of time and effort finding out. Where would anyone find a barbaric guy like you that would resort to violence to resolve this?" Young Master Han scoffed.

"So do you mean that the clue would be in Linshui City?" Gu Fei asked.

"That's not what I said. I simply mean that the Assassin traveled through Linshui City. This has nothing to do with the system being illogical and has everything to do with the system giving the quester an obvious clue or lead to follow. Since you guys believe that it is realistic, portions that you deem nonsensical should not be considered as illogical but uncertainty, instead!"