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Chapter 499 - Deep Waters Doing Drills with His Men

 "Oh? Your Faction Honor got reduced? How much?" Brother Assist had his notebook at the ready as diligently probed Sword Demon.

"50 points," Sword Demon answered.

Brother Assist recorded this down in a hurry as he asked again, "And how much were you awarded before?"

"The first time was 7 points, the second time had nothing, and the third was 2 points," Sword Demon answered.

"There don't seem to be any logic behind this!" Brother Assist took the quill and lightly tapped it against his temple, as if he were trying to come up with an idea to test things out.

"Eh? Sword Demon, where are you going?" Gu Fei exclaimed. His hand stretched out into thin air and slapped Sword Demon right as he was about to enter Stealth. It was only then that Brother Assist realized that Sword Demon had sneaked off away after standing next to him moments ago.

Sword Demon was in tears. "I wanna leave. If we continue testing things out like this, I think I might just be kicked out from my faction."

"Kicked out of a faction? What're the requirements for that? How much Faction Honor should be deducted from you?" Brother Assist asked.

As a man who had experienced countless battles, Sword Demon was never one to furrow his brows no matter how tough a mission or quest might be. However, now, the man was in tears as he pleaded to Gu Fei. "Let me go!"

Gu Fei hurriedly retracted his hand and let Sword Demon past, allowing him to disappear in a puff of smoke.

"Kicked out of faction..."

"I gotta go, too." Before Brother Assist could say anything else, Gu Fei Blinked out of the door. Only two players were in a faction among them, and with Sword Demon gone, Brother Assist was starting to turn his attention to Gu Fei. Gu Fei was a little rueful. Had he known this would happen, he would have stopped Sword Demon from leaving. Fortunately, Brother Assist did not have much of a movement speed, so Gu Fei was able to make it out the door and did not see Brother Assist's attempt to chase after him.

"Oh, lord. Could you please tell me what the requirements needed are to get kicked out of a faction?" Brother Assist began to beg Old Man Yaru.

"The man has gone nuts," War Without Wounds said.

"Yup. We're leaving, too," Royal God Call said.

With that, the others left the room as well, leaving just Brother Assist with Yaru. The man was unable to get any information out of the NPC, so he turned to search for information in the library...


Outside the library, Sword Demon and Gu Fei sat by the roadside after they had made their escape. Gu Fei tilted his head over to Sword Demon, who was fingering that card Gru had given him which listed his target.

"I was planning to ask Brother Assist if he has information on this guy!" Sword Demon shook his head with regret. The card only included the name of the player and the city this person resided in; asking anyone to hunt for such a target with such sparse information was no better than searching for a needle in the haystack. Actually, back when Gu Fei had just gotten that stack of paper containing Cool Apple's information, the only realistically useful bit in it was the name and the city his target resided in as well. Gu Fei was just fortuitous enough to cross paths with the man so serendipitously. Truthfully, the more of an expert someone was, the more likely they would feel that it was harder locating a target than killing.

"Brother Assist can't possibly know everything!" Gu Fei consoled. "Why not find that friend of yours; what's his name again? Depth Water?"

"Deep Waters, you mean."

"Right. Deep Waters." Gu Fei nodded.

"Looks like I don't have another choice." Sword Demon sighed. Gu Fei did not say anything else, but from what he understood of Sword Demon, the latter was not the type to seek for anyone's help unless he really had no options left. Take the time he grinded out the Windchaser's Boots from before; the man had grinded a pair for himself through his own effort, which was in stark contrast with how Royal God Call had borrowed equipment and aid - whichever best suited him to make the entire process easier - to get his pair. It was not really that either option was better than the other, but that their choice depicted the difference in their personalities and preferences.

Since Gu Fei was the one who suggested consulting Deep Waters, he believed that Sword Demon would at least have an easier time agreeing to it.

"What are the two of you sitting down here for?" The other four had left the library by this time too. Young Master Han asked this the moment they spotted the two sitting at the roadside.

"We're about to search for Deep Waters to find out more about my target." Sword Demon raised the card in his hand. "Wanna tag along? We could use this chance to catch up."

"I think it's best if I'm not present if you want to get his help; if you wanna make him feel a little better, you can just tell him I'm dead," Young Master Han said.

Sword Demon did not bother to say anything further. He had already seen much of the tumultuous relationship that the two shared.

"What about you guys?" Sword Demon turned to regard the rest.

"I'm off to do some quests. I've wasted quite a lot of time running all over the place." War Without Wounds' fighting spirit had been relatively high recently. Following Southern Lone Blade's fall in the ranking, he rose up to take second place on the Warrior leaderboard, which was just a step away from the number 1 Warrior spot that he was all too familiar with. While he was traveling with the mercenary group from place to place, he had also been doing his best to efficiently use the free time he had. While his efforts might not surpass the player currently in the number 1 spot, it would at least stave him off from falling from number 2. Despite this, there were truly a huge number of players in this game, so the competition was stiff. As hard as War Without Wounds tried, given that the places he had recently been were regions he was unfamiliar with, the efficiency of his level grinding was greatly affected, such that he experienced a drop in his ranking. Along with Royal God Call and Young Master Han, the three men had dropped two places and were now ranked fourth, ninth, and tenth in the Warrior, Archer, and Priest leaderboards respectively.

The only player whose position among the Ten Great Adepts had remained unchanged was Sword Demon, which only showed just how frightening his rate of experience accumulation was on average. This legendary top MMO gamer was indeed a tier above the rest.

Even more indomitable than Sword Demon was the lady Svelte Dancer. She had never mentioned anything about how she grinded her levels, yet her position as the number one player across the leaderboards had never been broken. As War Without Wounds boomed about his need to grind his level, she leisurely said, "That's so boring; I'm off to go shopping!"

"Do you need me to accompany you shopping?" Royal God Call suddenly perked up.

"Are you offering to pay for me?" Svelte Dancer smiled.

"Wounds, count me in for your grinding." Royal God Call quickly changed his mind. It was not that he was stingy in spending any money when courting ladies, but the problem was that the lady in question right now was the world-renowned top pay-to-win gamer; If anyone were to attempt to woo her with money... Royal God Call was not that much of a fool.

The four went their separate ways thusly, leaving just Gu Fei and Sword Demon.

"I'll accompany you for a bit; I'll be logging off soon after," Gu Fei said. Actually, when it came to grinding levels, Gu Fei was really the one that left these experts grinding their teeth. The man played just a handful of hours each day, yet his level was on a steady rise. Decked out in equipment that left others salivating, they would only be left exasperated when they compared themselves to him.

Sword Demon asked for Deep Waters' location as the two made their way to the coordinates they were given.

Deep Water was not in the city but was currently in the jungle outside, most likely grinding his level. As the two men drew nearer to the given coordinates, Gu Fei suddenly reached his hand out to stop Sword Demon. "Wait a minute."

"What's the matter? Killing intent?!" Just like how Gu Fei had a grasp of Sword Demon's personality and actions, the same could be said of the latter to the former.

Gu Fei nodded as he scanned their surroundings while doing a rough mental calculation of the number of people he had sensed just then. Before he could finish tallying the number, they heard the rustling of leaves from the shrubbery and foliage around as numerous heads poked out, their bows and arrows aiming right at the two men as someone shouted, "Don't move!"

Gu Fei and Sword Demon suddenly felt that they had traversed into another dimension altogether. This circle of players were all dressed in camouflage, each wearing a green cap on their heads. Meanwhile, it was unknown whether their faces were painted or covered with something that seemed to be mud or colored paint. Sword Demon pinched his own thigh; was he still in Parallel World?

Gu Fei had reached for his sword by now and was just about to use Blink to slay some of these men when he heard a man laugh as he stepped forward. "So what do you guys think of this formation?"

The two froze up. Sword Demon carefully stared at this man whose face and clothes were all in the same shade of green and gingerly asked, "Deep Waters?"

"Ha ha! If even you struggle to locate me, that just goes to show how successful our disguise is!" Deep Waters was still chuckling as he reached the two of them with his hands behind his back. The players all around kept the bows in their hands as they stood at attention with a salute. Gu Fei and Sword Demon looked at each other.

"What in the world are you guys doing? Is this some simulation of a field ops?" Sword Demon asked, he had heard of people trying to dress up and play out Counterstrike in live action, and it was very similar to what Deep Waters and his men were doing right now.

"Ha ha! What? It's a long story; I'll fill you in later." Deep Waters chortled before his expression abruptly turned cold as he asked frigidly, "Where's that b*st*rd?"

Sword Demon obviously knew who he was referring to. That was when he realized that if Young Master Han was here, he would probably be killed by this formation. Just when did this sort of bad blood brew between the two? Seeing that look seemingly emanating killing intent from every pore of Deep Waters' skin, Sword Demon blurted out, "He's dead!"

"Dead? But he's clearly online! How did he die?" Deep Waters asked.

"I slew him," Gu Fei chimed in.

Deep Water finally realized that what Sword Demon meant was that Young Master Han had died in the game. Cheerfully patting Gu Fei on his back, he said, "That's a good bro!"

With the matter about Young Master Han out of the way, Deep Waters quickly returned to the topic at hand as he pointed to his men. "So what do you think of this formation we have?"

"It's very good," Sword Demon replied without batting an eyelid.

"It's a good thing you came out in time." Gu Fei gave this answer.

"Ha ha!" Deep Waters was elated. Sword Demon sighed, instead. Seeing Gu Fei stow his sword away, he knew that Deep Waters had misinterpreted his meaning. Gu Fei meant that 'it was a good thing Deep Waters had came out and identified himself in time, or he would have mistaken them for enemies and started a massacre', yet Deep Waters obviously thought that Gu Fei meant that 'they would be dead had it not been for Deep Waters' timely intervention'.

"What exactly are you looking to achieve, troubling yourself over all this?" Sword Demon asked.

"Well, it's like this. One of the new recruits to my guild used to serve in the army in real life. The man was part of a unit and had experience doing covert operations in this type of terrain. He said that the terrain in Linyin City is suitable for jungle warfare, so we went along with his plan and have been doing a it of drills here since we have nothing to do. It's pretty fun. Look at our clothes; we made them ourselves!" Deep Water showed off.

Is the green cap¹ part of the outfit, too? Gu Fei and Sword Demon uttered this same line in their minds, but neither was so inconsiderate to voice it out. Had Young Master Han really been here, the man would most likely have had no qualms saying it.

"The City War is about to begin, right? We've been training as much as we can for it; I feel that our PK standard in the jungle has seen a stark improvement," Deep Waters continued.

"City War?" The two had no idea what that was about.

"Eh, don't you guys know? The war that will pit guilds against one another to vie for control for the city. It seems that it is something that will automatically begin the moment a guild reaches a certain size," Deep Waters explained.

Gu Fei and Sword Demon shook their heads. They were indeed unaware of this. Besides the fact that the six men from Young Master's Elite were disassociated from things involving guilds, they had been away from their city of origin ever since they left for Traversing Four Seas' guild quest. Recently, they had also been caught up with the quest in Andrew Su's Diary, so even Brother Assist was not updated on this matter.

"When was this made known?" Sword Demon asked.

"These last two days, I think! The system directly announced this to the guilds; even the official website have yet to publish this information!" Deep Waters replied.

[1] A little bit of language lesson here. A green cap () holds the same significance/meaning as being cuckolded.