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Chapter 495 - The League of Assassins 1

 Chapter 495 - The League of Assassins (1)

Everybody eventually agreed with Young Master Han's statement. The method with which Gu Fei had completed the quest would often be muddled in with some level of inhuman feat, such as soloing Sooto during the open beta days, identifying the traces of battle from the environment in Yeguang Village, and getting a good read of Giordano's old injury just from how it attacked... Normal players out there would be unable to achieve any of these feats, so if a normal player wished to find out just where Giordano's old injury was, they would most likely have to use some other method to do so. Meanwhile, Gu Fei instead relied on his skills and taken this shortcut.

The lot of them chatted as they set off to their destination. Gu Fei made sure to send his message of farewell to everyone he had met in Xiawu City.

"Swing by whenever you're free!" The one who had given the warmest reply was Two, Scissorhands, from their gang of nine before.

"Bye." Slyris' reply was the plainest.

"Ha ha! I'm now among the Ten Great Adepts for Thieves!" Yan Xiaozhu did not really care who she was sending this message. She was simply sharing her joy with anyone who messaged her. Gu Fei chuckled, for it was also due to his actions that Yan Xiaozhu had made it among their ranks. After all, she had only gotten in after Gu Fei had slain Cool Apple, someone who was previously a Thief among the Ten Great Adepts of his job class.

"O," was the only reply of Gu Xian, which was meant to express 'oh'. That man was truly someone who would demonstrate his laziness in every moment and aspect of his being.

The journey itself was boring. Young Master Han whiled away his time by drinking liquor; meanwhile, Sword Demon was definitely a man who could bear the loneliness and boredom; as for Gu Fei, he took this chance to practice his footwork as he walked... In the end, it was Svelte Dancer who was the most bored. She began to regret not using a Teleportation Scroll for this, but it was already too late for that. There was no mailbox out here in the wilds for her to use, so all she could do was chat with the other ladies on her guild channel to kill time.

"We're almost there!" Finally, the iconic lush sea of trees that Linyin City was known for came into the view of the party of four. Getting onto the road on the outskirts of the jungle, they saw three familiar faces.

Brother Assist, War Without Wounds, and Royal God Call, who had been waiting for their arrival, watched the four figures approach.

"They are here!" Royal God Call was particularly enthusiastic, looking as if he had missed everyone dearly. "Oh, the Beautiful Svelte Dancer is here as well!" There was no way his eyes would not spot a beauty once she came into view.

"Yes, so, let's not waste any more time! Let's party up and complete the mission." War Without Wounds was shameless for making sure to emphasize the word 'us' when he said this.

"I really can't think of any reason you guys should have a share in the reward..." Sword Demon said. "Wounds, neither you nor Royal even read this diary, right?"

"What do you mean?! I heard Brother Assist read out three pages," Royal God Call looked really proud when he said this.

"Let's go. Bring us to the small log cabin," Gu Fei said, as the three men were included into the party.

Brother Assist quickly led their party of seven deep into that oak forest. Brother Assist pointed ahead, and right before everyone's eyes, a small wooden cabin stood all alone. Gu Fei went ahead and lightly pushed the door open...

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Back in Xiawu City, not long after Gu Fei and his friends had left, everyone in Flowergazing in the Fog was in a state of celebration. Moments ago, the new Giordano had appeared before them and announced: [You people have done very well with the given task this time; the City Lord is very pleased with your contributions to the city and have decided to reward all of you for your efforts.]

"That's it? Is the quest completed?" Three Sighs of Flowing Maple could hardly believe his ears. He looked incredulously at the Priest Fleeting Smile standing beside him - the noob that had mysteriously appeared out of nowhere. Under his direction, the quest that Flowergazing in the Fog had spent countless days over was completed in just a single day.

"Of course, yes," Fleeting Smile confirmed. "You may go look for the City Lord now."

After temporarily being given the permission to enter the Government City Hall, the guild leader, Three Sighs of Flowing Maple could barely contain his excitement as he followed the new Giordano to meet the City Lord. The reward, which was given thusly, was exactly the same to what was rewarded to all those other guilds for completing this quest, which was the prize for placing first in the guild PvP tournament per city. Coins and experience were awarded to players that had not died in the course of this quest, but more importantly, the guild itself leveled up once.

By the time Three Sighs of Flowing Maple stepped out of the building, he was experiencing such a rush of delight that he could barely repress his smile. The gloominess he had felt for the last few days was swept clear, and he was no longer holding that much grudge against Gu Fei despite how much trouble he had caused time and again. Instead, he was extremely intrigued by this noob who went by the name of Fleeting Smile. He wondered how such a character knew so much, and what sort of background the man had.

"I am truly grateful for your assistance!" Three Sighs of Flowing Maple walked over and thanked Fleeting Smile, expressing his heartfelt gratitude toward the man.

"It's nothing. I merely did what I should be doing," Fleeting Smile said.

"What you should be doing?" People who had heard his words were nonplussed.

"The quest that you guys have picked up was ruined by something that shouldn't currently be possible. No player out there should've been able to accept this quest to assassinate Giordano. Likewise, it should've been impossible to complete this quest even if anyone had gotten it," Fleeting Smile explained. "However, someone did indeed receive the quest and even managed to complete it..."

The image of the detestable black-robed Mage appeared in Three Sighs of Flowing Maple's mind.

"Which is why, he is an existence that defies logic," Fleeting Smile said.

"Are you a... GM?" Three Sighs of Flowing Maple was quick-witted and quickly caught on to this.

"Nope." Fleeting Smile shook his head and chuckled. "I'm just a normal player."

Three Sighs of Flowing Maple and the others were all mystified. If he were just a normal player, then why was it his business if their guild failed to complete this quest of theirs? Furthermore, he had not even hinted on any sort of benefits he would like to receive in return.

"Alright. Congratulations are in order for your guild in making it to level 7; I'm taking my leave now," Fleeting Smile turned around to leave.

"Hey, wait!" Three Sighs of Flowing Maple darted over after the man. While he had no idea about this man's true identity, Three Sighs of Flowing Maple was certain that he would surely benefit if he were to absorb this Priest into the guild.

"Guild? I think it's best if you forget about it. I'm about to depart Xiawu City immediately," Fleeting Smile replied.

"Leave Xiawu City? Where to?" Three Sighs of Flowing Maple subconsciously asked.

"The reward for assassinating Giordano should require him to head into that oak forest by Linyin City..." Fleeting Smile replied, yet he seemed to be saying this more to himself.

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Linyin City, oak forest.

Gu Fei was the one to push open the door to the log cabin, but he was the last one to enter. The rest was far more anxious than him; War Without Wounds and Royal God Call even fought to be the first one through the door, despite having contributed nothing.

The log cabin had poor lighting, but everyone could tell that the room was designed to resemble a study. A NPC was seated right at the desk and barely reacted to their sudden intrusion. All it did was raise its head and gaze at them. "My name is Gru. May I know what you people are here for?" This line was just the same one Brother Assist and the rest had heard when they first visited it.

Sword Demon glanced at Gu Fei once before walking over with that bundle of Giordano's head.

Everyone stared with bated breath. Just what sort of quest was this going to be?

Gru, after seeing that bundle, finally gave a reaction different from what Brother Assist and the others had seen.

"Giordano? Is that Xiawu City's Giordano?" Gru asked in surprise.

"That's right," Sword Demon replied.

"Did all of you do this?" Gru gazed at everyone in the room.

War Without Wounds and Royal God Call were the first to become excited. "It saying 'all of you' means we're included as well, right?"

No one bothered with the two. Sword Demon merely answered accordingly, "That's correct."

"Where's Andrew?" Gru asked.

"Hmm. He's dead." Sword Demon answered after a slight pause. The reason he had paused was because he only remembered then that that was the Shadowmist Assassin's real name. Players usually collectively just called it a BOSS, so no one really bothered to remember its name.

"What a pity," Gru remarked. Hearing about the Shadowmist Assassin's death, the NPC did not exactly show any sort of noteworthy emotion, as if what he had just heard was business as usual.

After a moment's silence, Gru continued, "You people are not of the League, but your action of completing this assassination assignment is enough to qualify you into joining the League, so ponder over this! Only those who join the League are entitled to the reward."

"We'll join! We're joining!!" War Without Wounds and Royal God Call bounced up and down the moment they heard that they would be rewarded.

"Don't be so hasty; let's first find out the situation we are in." Brother Assist sought to caution the two men as he heard Sword Demon ask, "League? What League?"

"League of Assassins," Gru answered.

"What is that?" Sword Demon asked.

"It is a secret ancient organization that exacts absolute punishment to purge evil from the world. However, now that people's ideals have largely been replaced by material desires, we have no choice but to depend on passing out rewards as a way to sustain our call of duty. So how about it, young man, be it your ideals or any other intentions you have, this door is now open before you," Gru urged.

Sword Demon turned to look at the others. With such an introduction to its background, these veteran gamers all had the same feeling of familiarity. Brother Assist, who had the greatest grasp to information was the first to conclude accordingly. "Could... Could this be a faction?"

Factions were a concept that some MMOs included. It divided the player-base into different groups - a design that sought to increase the competition and interaction between the players. Ever since Parallel World was released, there had not been any promotion or even introduction toward the faction system. Some players had criticized this point, yet the officials had maintained their silence on this.

"Is this a faction?"

"Seems like it..."

"Should we join and find out?"

"Not sure if we can quit it after we do that."

"Whatever, man. That's just how a faction work; its strength depends on the decisions the players end up making!"

"So are we going to join this League of Assassins?"

"I wonder if there's any job class restriction..."

"Could it only be for Assassins?"

"We'll know once we join up..."

After a long discussion, they unanimously decided to give it a shot, and the first one to attempt joining was naturally Sword Demon. "I wish to join the League of Assassins!" He informed Gru of his desire.

"Wonderful! Young man, I hope you are driven to your decision by your desire to fight for your ideals and not for coin. Take this; it shall be a symbol of your identity." Gru's arm waved as a black beam of light pierced through Sword Demon's left arm. Sword Demon felt a sharp prickling pain and quickly rolled his sleeve up to take a look. An image of a dagger was tattooed on his arm, a line of English words visible on its blade and the number '2' was etched on the grip.