Translated by: Effyis
Edited by: Stbunbun
Chapter 17: Meeting at Little Thunder Bar (Part 2)
Undeniably Gu Fei was also judging the book by the cover, for he felt the greatest interest in this good-looking person out of the four strangers in the room because of the extreme contrast between his and Sword Ghost appearance.
He suddenly remembered a theory, about how a pretty girl always chooses to be close to a plain one so that she has a foil to emphasise her beauty. Did Master Han become friends with Sword Ghost due to this reason as well? Gu Fei knew that he was wrong the second he had that thought. They were partners before Parallel World, and no game before this required them to stand together showing their faces. Thus, the theory was invalid.
The contrast seemed to be a coincidence.
A cruel coincidence which made the beautiful look more beautiful and the ugly uglier.
Yet undeniably, this Master Han didn’t despise Sword Ghost and renounce their friendship after seeing his true form, which showed that he had much stronger morals than many others.
The two didn’t shake hands due to the wide table between them. They just nodded as a greeting.
That was the end of the introduction and it was time for Sword Ghost to present Gu Fei to the rest.
“This is Thousand Miles Drunk and his class is…” Sword Ghost paused and said, “Mage”.
“What?? You are a mage??” Other than Master Han, the rest three all blurted an exclamation in disbelief. All of them had learned Identification, but it was bad manners to use it in a friendly introduction like this. Since they were all pros who were avid players, they would naturally abide by such unwritten rules. Therefore, they could only guess at Gu Fei’s class before Sword Ghost’s speech.
Sword Ghost had the expression of “I knew it” and looked to Gu Fei innocently.
Gu Fei was also surprised. He shook his clothes and said, “Hadn’t y’all see my mage robe?”
The three exchanged astonished looks. They deemed him not a mage precisely because of this robe. Which level 30 mage would still wear the beginner’s robe? They all guessed that Gu Fei wore a mage robe just to cover up what he wore underneath which might be ugly-looking or rare, and yet he was really a mage. Reverse thinking doesn’t always come in handy, especially on a strange character like Gu Fei.
Adding to their disbelief was the fact that no one had ever seen a mage wearing a straw hat, which was usually worn on a warrior. All three turned to stare at the hat on the table.
As the referrer, Sword Ghost had to confirm for Gu Fei. “He is really a mage.”
What kind of mage wears this kind of equipment? Definitely a noob! The three thought in unison.
“Do you know the method of Fire and Ice? The use of and the difference between Ice and Fire magic reflection? The use of Chain Lightning when escaping?” The Mage expert Royal Heaven’s Cries shot three questions at Gu Fei, all regarding classical Mage techniques in three different well-known games.
And Gu Fei’s response choked him, “Are they used in Parallel World?”
Royal Heaven’s Cries was stumped but quickly recovered and rebutted, “How can you play a mage effectively if you don’t even know about these?”
Gu Fei smiled. What reason was there to fight with a kid? Moreover, he didn’t want to be a professional mage to begin with.
“Thousand Miles Drunk… Is it written like this?” Bless Brother cut in. He dipped a finger in his drink and wrote the characters on the table as he spoke.
“Yep,” nodded Gu Fei.
“2nd on the official Efficiency Leaderboard!” said Bless Brother.
“Uhh… What’s that?” asked Gu Fei.
“Oh, it’s just leaderboards in the game which focuses mainly on people’s XP. For example, Battle is 1st on the Warrior XP Leaderboard; Sword Ghost is 3rd for Rogue, Master is 4th for Priest; and Royal Heavens is 11th for now probably because he is not used to playing Archer yet. As for yours, it’s tabulated based on the ratio of XP to online time and you are currently number two. It’s an achievement to even be 11th like Royal Heavens considering the huge number of players Parallel World has,” explained Bless Brother.
“Then what about you?” Gu Fei was curious.
“I spam a lot in the official forum,” Bless Brother smiled embarrassedly.
Everyone laughed. Immediately after Royal Heavens’ Cries cut in, “Bless Brother’s total XP is lower ‘cause he spends too much time on such stuff. How about you? What’s your rank on the Mage XP Leaderboard?”
Bless Brother smiled apologetically, “Sorry, I only took notice of the leading few and my friends, I don’t remember having seen his name.”
“I knew it!” Royal Heavens’ Cries exclaimed. “What’s the use of that Efficiency Leaderboard? Anyone could get high ranked on that if they log off immediately after they finished with their first few mobs and don’t log on anymore after that.”
“Royal Heavens, you wouldn’t be able to say that if you had seen how Thousand Miles fights mobs,” Sword Ghost spoke up for Gu Fei.
Royal Heavens’ Cries was startled by Sword Ghost’s defence of Gu Fei. He suddenly remembered that Gu Fei was someone that Sword Ghost had recommended, and Sword Ghost was someone who probably wouldn’t misjudge another’s skill. Thus, he decided to quiet down.
Gu Fei grew more curious and asked Bless Brother, “So who’s the number one on this Efficiency Leaderboard?”
“Mortal Smile,” replied Bless Brother.
“So it’s him!” Gu Fei was surprised.
“You know him? What’s his class?” Sword Ghost joined the conversation, interested. He had initially held the same opinions as Royal Heavens’ Cries regarding the Efficiency Leaderboard but changed his mind after meeting Gu Fei. Since Gu Fei knew that Mortal Smile, apparently, Sword Ghost wanted to quickly start collecting information about this potential pro.
Mortal Smile had made Gu Fei promise that he would not leak anything about his true identity, so Gu Fei shook his head. “I’ve seen him before but I don’t really know him. I don’t even know his class.”
Sword Ghost did not ask any further, as they probably weren’t even acquaintances if Gu Fei didn’t even know his class. But then again, Gu Fei genuinely didn’t know what Mortal Smile’s class was.
The introduction finally ended, and Master Han finally started talking. “Ok, so our mercenary group will consist of us six for now. It’s not an easy thing for five old acquaintances to all be born in Cloud City by random, so let’s put away any personal grudges in previous games and start anew. In Parallel World, we are all best mates.”
The three nodded in unison. So this bunch of people were not friends before, and from the sounds of it, some even held grudges against others. Who could it be? Gu Fei looked around the room and decided that Royal Heavens’ Cries had the greatest possibility of being involved in these conflicts. This kind of rebellious and arrogant kid probably disliked other pro gamers who were potentially stronger than him like Sword Ghost.
Master Han continued his speech. “But I need to make things clear now. I’m not planning to build a guild this time around. I’m going to put most of my energy into this mercenary group. I don’t need many people in my group, but they all must be elites. I’ll kick anyone that I find not meeting my standards.”
This last part was obviously directed towards Gu Fei. He wasn’t an old pro gamer acquaintance like the others, and they all probably had some doubts about his skill. But it was all for the best, Gu Fei thought. If they felt that he wasn’t up to their standards, then just expel him! He initially agreed to join only out of respect for Sword Ghost anyway.
As Gu Fei was thinking this, Master Han resumed talking. “I have a player-set quest on hand now, and I can confirm that it is an almost impossible task for anyone to accomplish at this initial stage of the game. But that’s only true for ordinary players. We few famous pros can cooperate and with some luck, even complete it! If we can complete it, and Bless Brother spams about it in the official forum for a few days, we’ll have a never-ending flow of people begging us for help from then on! Hahahaha…”
Gu Fei thought that it was a decent speech at first, but it veered off in a strange direction at the end. Sounds like this Master Han was a bit narcissistic? Ok, but that was probably inevitable for a beauty who could look into a mirror at such a pretty face everyday.
Master Han held up his wine glass to soothe his throat from the long speech, yet stopped halfway and just stared into the glass.
“What’s wrong?” asked Sword Ghost.
“So beautiful!” gasped Master Han.
“What?” Sword Ghost was confused.
“Look at this face reflected on the wine glass. It’s just so perfect. Why did heavens give me such a flawless face?” Master Han wondered as he stared entranced at the liquid in his cup.
It was still ok for Sword Ghost and Bless Brother, for they were a close friend and an information expert respectively, so they had more or less come to expect Master Han’s narcissistic nature.
Whereas for Gu Fei and the others, they were all on the verge of a breakdown. Master Han’s charmed expression made them want to vomit, and yet it looked perfectly real. Are there really such narcissists in the world? Gu Fei felt that this was really an eye-opening trip.
Sword Ghost snatched Master Han’s wine glass away, and he returned to normal. He cleared his throat and said, “Anyway, let’s discuss the details of this quest. Bless Bro, you…”
“Wait a minute,” Gu Fei cut in all of a sudden.
“Yes?” Everyone looked to him.
“It’s almost 2.30,” said Gu Fei.
“Yeah.” Everyone nodded.
“I have something I need to do,” Gu Fei smiled apologetically.
“Huh?” Everyone was surprised.
“I thought it was just going to be a short intro and didn’t expect that there would be so much stuff to discuss. I have lessons at 2.30,” said Gu Fei.
“Have lessons… Are you a student too?” Royal Heavens’ Cries stared at Gu Fei. He suddenly felt a bit closer to Gu Fei.
“Nah,” Gu Fei smiled at him. “I’m a teacher.”
Royal Heavens’ Cries’ image of Gu Fei in his mind immediately became ten times worse.
“I’m sorry, I have to leave now. Can we continue this later tonight?” asked Gu Fei.
“Alright,” Master Han waved a hand. “We’ll continue the meeting tonight.”
“It’s not easy to join a group that I lead. You must seize the opportunity! I have faith in you!” said Master Han.
“I’ll try my best, bye!” Gu Fei escaped the scene. That fellow was just too narcissistic.