Translated by: Effyis
Edited by: Stbunbun
Chapter 22: Troubled
Everybody stared at each other in consternation. They were all too engaged in battle along the way to notice someone who just needed to use his two feet and walk had disappeared. As long as he followed Master Han’s route, even if he was a weak mage, he wouldn’t have needed any protection.
“Where is he?” Master Han glared at their employer who was chatting and laughing with Gu Fei along the way.
“I had accidentally lured a monster on the way and he told me to go first while he blocked it,” said the employer.
It was not a surprising thing to have happened, but it was more abnormal for him to take so long to catch up with them after only fighting one mob. How could he still be lagging behind the rest when they had fought so many mobs along the way?
“Could it be that the mobs had respawned before he finished fighting?” Bless Brother brought up a possibility.
If that is so, just one mage would definitely not be able to make it through the same path which five pro players had cooperated to achieve.
“Let me ask him!” Seeing that Master Han’s pretty face was as gloomy as night, Sword Ghost hurriedly re-enabled his chat to contact Gu Fei. If the situation was really like what Bless Brother had hypothesized, the group would need to go back and fetch him. But since they were all tired after all the intense fighting, it would probably be difficult to achieve the same results again while harbouring feelings of complaint.
Everyone fixed eyes filled with reluctance onto Sword Ghost. Who would guess that with a few messages Sword Ghost’s eyes would grow bigger? After which he walked up to the rock door in front of them and turned the door’s mechanism.
The door rose slowly with gears cranking.
And there, revealed gradually in front of the group, stood Gu Fei.
Holding the sword that wasn’t supposed to belong to a mage in his left hand and a bundle in his right, he looked at them with a cool smile and said, “You guys are so slow!”
Everyone stared at him, at a loss for words. Gu Fei walked through the door and flung the bundle into the employer’s arms, saying, “Here, it’s what you want.”
Taking a look at the bundle, the employer’s surprise grew.
The rest were all the more dumbfounded, until Sword Ghost broke the silence, “What’s going on?”
“I discovered a secret passage over there, so I had tried to message you guys but all of you had rejected messages. I travelled through the passage and reached the place directly. And then I killed Sotu and here I am with his head!” explained Gu Fei.
“How did you kill him?” Master Han had disbelief written all over his face.
Gu Fei brandished his sword.
“That’s impossible!” Master Han pushed the sword aside and walked towards the inner cave, the rest following closely behind.
Sotu’s cold body was still lying on the ground. Master Han was the first to spot Sotu and the first sentence that popped out of his mouth was “Why isn’t Sotu wearing clothes?”
The entire group gave him a strange look. It was a fact that every person who had seen Master Han’s face would sub consciously have thoughts about his sexual orientation.
Master Han didn’t care about their looks. As he started to mumble to himself, “He wasn’t like this the last time round.”
Gu Fei shrugged to show that he knew nothing about that. “Anyways, he had 0 defence on his upper body.”
“Oh…” the group felt like they’ve understood.
Their understanding was that if the target had no defence at all, then the damage caused by a mage would be quite high, yet most of the attacks used by Sotu were close combat skills, thus Gu Fei had most likely used some secret method to trap the monster or some other way to kill him safely from a distance.
Sotu was indeed covered with injuries from a sword, but those marks could have been applied after Sotu died. They guessed that Gu Fei didn’t want to reveal what mage skills he had used to kill Sotu, so he hid it by pretending to use the sword in his hand to fight him.
Everyone in the party thought this, with the exception of Sword Ghost who stared at Sotu’s body, lost in thought.
“Where’s the secret passage you were talking about?” asked Master Han. Since the group thought that Gu Fei was trying to hide how he had killed the monster, they did not pursue the matter out of politeness.
“This way!” Gu Fei lead the way.
With the strength of the group combined, the stone door was pushed open. Gu Fei happily said, “We can go out from here and we don’t need to kill so many mobs.”
The few pros were dispirited as they followed Gu Fei quietly.
They travelled to the trap door, pushed it open and as the secret passage was near the exit, in no time, they had gotten out of the cave.
“The task is done!” announced Master Han.
The employer nodded and swiftly handed over a bag of money.
Master Han took it, checked the amount and nodded, “The amount is right, and I hope you will abide by our agreement we had earlier on.”
The employer nodded with excitement on his face, “Of course of course! Your mercenary group is truly capable! And I’ve just understood how the whole thing worked.”
“What are you talking about?” asked Master Han.
The employer smiled, “Don’t hide it anymore. You guys used diversion tactics, right? You said that Sotu would gather his underlings, but you few blocked all the mobs at the main door which allowed Brother Thousand Miles to fight the boss one on one by using the secret passage. Even now you pretend that you don’t know about the secret passage. Well, it’s okay, I won’t tell anyone about your method! Even if I did, how many can even fight a boss by himself like Bro Thousand Miles?” As the employer spoke, he looked towards Gu Fei and his eyes glittered with admiration.
“What are you talking about?” Gu Fei asked, puzzled.
“Haha! Nothing! I will definitely look for you guys the next time I need help! Bye!” The employer gave Gu Fei a thumbs up before he left.
“What’s he talking about?” Gu Fei asked the rest.
The rest all felt awkward. Master Han coughed and said, “So did Sotu drop anything good?”
“Nothing at all!” Gu Fei said. “Just two bags of money from his hut.” Gu Fei handed it over to Master Han.
Master Han paused, but still took the bags and waved to the rest, “Let’s go back and divide the money.”
The few replied with “ok’s”, but everybody could tell that these “ok’s” were listless, and sounded nothing like somebody who was going to receive the reward for a job well done.
Little Thunder Bar apparently became the usual gathering spot for the group. After the group returned to Cloud City, they all travelled there in unison.
Little Thunder also seemed to be familiar with the group and pointed towards an empty room the moment they entered.
The few sat down and Master Han emptied the coin bags onto the table. The gathered pile of gold coins could be considered as a huge sum of money right now considering that most players were still trying their best to get more silver coins.
“How do we divide this? Give suggestions, everyone,” said Master Han.
Nobody spoke a word. If it was up to Gu Fei, he would suggest an equal division which sounded natural. But he didn’t speak up in case the others had some form of unspoken rules among them. As for the others, their efforts seemed useless since it was Gu Fei who charged through the secret passage and killed Sotu all by himself. Thus, they were all hesitating whether to ask for a share of the money.
“You guys say something!” Master Han was indecisive as well, so he pushed the question to the rest.
“How about dividing equally?” said Bless Brother. Master Han was a bit surprised. If anyone were to suggest an equal division, he sure had to be shameless since it was mostly Gu Fei’s contribution this time round though the rest still did spend lots of time and effort as well. Master Han didn’t think that anyone on hand would really call for such a split, as they were all famous pros who would naturally care about “face”.
Gu Fei was relieved after hearing Bless Brother’s words. So there wasn’t any trick after all. So he echoed Bless Brother’s suggestion, “Yeah, let’s divide it equally.”
Seeing that Gu Fei didn’t look like he was making fun of them, the rest were moved to take the money as it was a huge sum after all.
Finally, Master Han divided the money into six piles equally after which he moved a few coins from the other piles into Gu Fei’s, saying, “You earned the most credit this time by killing Sotu, so take a bigger portion.”
“Is that so? I’ll take it then!” Gu Fei wasn’t someone who stood on ceremony, so he stored it in his “Doraemon” pocket without hesitation. Then he stood up and said, “Ok, I’m leaving now!”
“Huh? To where?” the few asked blankly.
“To log off! There’s still work tomorrow,” said Gu Fei.
“Oh oh! Go then,” the few were still at a loss for words.
“See you guys soon!” Gu Fei waved to the rest and left in a flourish. He did prepare to log out, but it wasn’t for the next day’s work. Unlike a normal player who spends lots of time in the game, Gu Fei needed to train his Kung Fu tactics three times per day which he had never neglected. It was time for that now.
After Gu Fei left, the five pros were left staring at each other in shock and nobody reached out for their money.
Master Han was again the first to move. He picked up a coin and smiled at Bless Brother, “You are remarkable, Bless Bro!”
“I would be embarrassed to suggest an equal division. How I admire you!” Master Han had obvious hints of ridicule in his words.
Bless Brother smiled too, “Are you mocking me? But I really think that dividing equally is fair.”
“What the client said before did make sense. I do think that we were the ones who blocked help from reaching Sotu, which allowed Thousand Miles to fight a lone Sotu.”
Master Han nodded, “That’s true, that fight was indeed a little frantic. I thought the system had added extra monsters, but now it seems like they were Sotu’s underlings coming to reinforce him. Fortunately, I was the one who performed such exact and great healings so we didn’t get destroyed completely! Hahaha…”
Everyone showed different expressions, but most had admiration for Sword Ghost. To think that he could make a golden pair with such a person.
“That’s why it’s still considered fair to split equally. Even if it was a little bit unfair… Well, you did give him extra just now,” said Bless Brother.
“True true! Come on, let’s take the money!” Master Han called to the group. The group then extended a hand and kept the money, though the awkward atmosphere still lingered.
The main problem wasn’t how the money was to be divided. That was a small matter to these pros. The real thing that they were troubled about was that someone had accomplished something that they could not do.
Fighting a boss all by myself? The few all simulated this question in their minds, and what followed were all wry smiles. Even if Sotu was completely naked without any defence, I wouldn’t be able to defeat him, let alone a Sotu with only his upper body unclothed!