Translated by: Effyis
Edited by: Stbunbun
Chapter 19: Resting on Laurels
Black Dragon Cave. Just as the name suggests, it was a cave on Black Dragon Mountain.
The Black Dragon Mountain was located about 500 metres in the northwest direction from the west gate of Cloud City. It was infested with bandits and a good place for levelling up, suitable for players of level 25-30, from what the official introduction of the place had said.
As for Black Dragon Cave, the bandits there were the elites of the lot and were as strong as some level 35’s. The inside of the cave was like a maze, and if a player got lost, since it was due to their own carelessness, the official site said that the GMs would not help. Many players complained about that part.
Gu Fei’s words had made the other five become lost in thought and quarrel, so he was the earliest to arrive, while the rest were still nowhere in sight. Gu Fei saw only a lone player who looked like a mage loitering near the cave mouth.
“This guy is probably our employer,” thought Gu Fei. He went up to the player and spoke, “Hi!”
The player glanced at Gu Fei, “Hi.”
“What are you doing here?” asked Gu Fei.
“Waiting for someone,” the player answered.
“Oh, are you waiting for someone to help you complete the Black Dragon Cave quest?” Gu Fei continued.
“How did you know?” the guy was surprised.
Gu Fei smiled, “Because I’m one of those who are going to help you.”
“Oh! You are from Master’s Elite Group!” the guy hurriedly straightened up.
Gu Fei had too only just learned about the mercenary group’s name. It was a name that not many liked, but it was understandable, since for a narcissist like Master Han, his group name would definitely contain his own name.
“Hmm, why are you alone then?” asked the player.
“The rest will be here soon.”
“Oh!” replied the guy and he started examining Gu Fei’s equipment carefully. He had thought that Gu Fei was a random passer-by, so he couldn’t be bothered to even raise his head. Now, since he knew Gu Fei was someone essential for his quest, he would naturally care. With one look, he was astounded.
A straw hat, a mage’s starter robe and a light pair of boots that rogues love. They were of three totally different styles, and he had to use Identification on Gu Fei before he could confirm that Gu Fei’s class was Mage.
He then noticed Gu Fei’s “staff”. What a uniquely-styled “staff”! It was long and flat, and even had a hilt. What high-grade equipment is this? Wondered the player.
It was then that the other five arrived. The two parties met at the cave mouth and Master Han introduced the group to this employer of theirs. The player had excitement written all over his face. These names were all gold that glittered no matter what game they played! The real legends of online games! He looked especially elated to meet Royal Heavens’ Cries, for he was also a mage, and expressed his regret upon knowing that for this time round, Royal Heavens’ Cries decided to play as an archer instead.
It was finally Gu Fei’s turn, and the player’s “Nice to meet you! I have heard so much about you!” had finally ceased.
Thousand Miles Drunk? Who’s that? Never heard of him. Is he a pro as well? Everyone could read these thoughts from the player’s expression.
Gu Fei didn’t mind, as he wasn’t someone from their circle of influence after all. If it had been the Kung Fu world, Gu Fei would be a name that everybody would know. Yet, sadly, the Kung Fu circle had much fewer people than the gaming one now.
“Do you know how to play online games?” That would sound like an insult.
“Do you know Kung Fu?” That just sounded unreasonable.
“What a difference!” sighed Gu Fei as he followed the rest into the cave.
Master Han made his last announcement as they walked. “You two just follow us and we’ll clear all the monsters. Do NOT attack. Understand?”
Gu Fei and the player nodded. The player looked absolutely excited whereas Gu Fei was listless. He played the game with the motive to “attack”, yet now “do not attack” became his responsibility.
The path was crooked and uneven. Players could see clearly here even though there was no light at all, which was one of the convenient “magical” aspects of an online game. Not long after entering, the group met with bandits. The duo obediently stayed still at the back of the group and started chatting since they had nothing better to do.
“Are you also a mage?” asked the player.
Gu Fei nodded.
“What’s your level now?” he continued asking.
“25…” said the guy with sparkles of admiration appearing in his eyes.
“Your staff looks unusual,” said the player again.
“Staff?” Gu Fei was puzzled for a moment before he realized what the player meant. “Have a look then,” he passed his weapon over with a smile.
“Really?” the player was shocked. Surely it had to be a pro’s demeanour for him to pass his weapon over to someone else so casually! The player hurriedly received it with utmost respect and stroked it delightedly. When he finally calmed down enough to take a careful look, he immediately exclaimed, “What the hell?”
What staff? It was just a sword that looked like a mix between a katana and a Tang dao. Such a weapon which was neither fish nor fowl was common in online games and no one really cared what type it specifically was. The sword itself was just a common equipment with no buffs or add-ons, but what made him shocked was for it to appear in the hands of a mage.
The player decided that this Mr. Mage was probably just trying to look cool with a sword by his side, which certainly looked better than holding a staff.
“I’ll get one too soon!” the player thought to himself as he returned the sword.
As the two chatted casually, the rest were engaged in a fierce battle.
These were monsters which were 5 levels higher than them!
In Parallel World, it wasn’t an easy thing to fight monsters of higher levels. If your equipment wasn’t up to par, then it was out of the question. Only those with top-tier equipment and great awareness could accomplish this, and the five pro players were among those who met these requirements.
Awareness was the deciding factor of a player’s proficiency, as common players would not possess the real world combat skills that Gu Fei had cultivated which were of great help in this VR world of Parallel World.
How do you gain awareness? It comes from the accumulation of experience, knowledge and so on. The five were clearly ones who had top-tier awareness in the gaming world as they performed ingenious co-operation that common players would have never even thought possible.
Royal Heavens’ Cries the archer hit a target with a quick arrow, causing the attacked target to immediately turn to charge at him. Sword Ghost, who was in Stealth mode, then quickly used a Backstab after the monster turned. The monster then spun around again, only to find that Sword Ghost had escaped to the side. It was then that Battle Unscathed and Bless Brother rushed forward to stop the monster’s movement and pull its aggro. After that Sword Ghost returned, and the few continued to attack until the monster collapsed. Master Han, on the other hand, efficiently applied healing spells without wasting any of the healing.
It was the most efficient method, a method which allowed them to fight only one monster at a time without attracting other monsters’ aggros.
The main target of this quest was the bandit leader, so Master Han had stressed the importance of being efficient and not wasting any time on the small mobs they would fight along the way.
Parallel World had records on the amount of time spent on a quest. The quest would definitely be recorded under the name of the client, but the name of Master’s Elite Group would stand in the Mercenary Hall, which was the best place to prove the power of a mercenary group.
The group moved forward with such high efficiency that even Master Han couldn’t help but give praises in his mind. Had it not been for Parallel World which gathered all these pros in one place, he would never have imagined that they would cooperate like this one day. Master Han turned to look behind after that thought, only to see that Gu Fei and the player were following behind leisurely and enjoying the trip like tourists, sometimes even discussing the scenery in the cave. They had simply turned a blind eye to the ingenious co-operations happening at the front of the group.
This caused Master Han to become quite pissed. The player was a stranger whom they would never meet with again, so it was still forgivable. But Gu Fei, a member of the group, was distracted too! He was still a complete stranger to the group compared to the rest, so Master Han expected him to use this opportunity to learn about the characteristics, traits and habits of each member in the group as quickly as possible so he could join the cooperation as well. And yet, with such a good opportunity before his eyes, there he was talking about random shit with a random level 25 mage!
Despite being extremely displeased with Gu Fei, Master Han was too busy with healing to reprimand him. Although many girls preferred to play as priests since they wouldn’t have to be the ones at the front line with the enemies, healing was an exceptionally tough job that very few players could excel at since they lacked the high concentration, calm judgments, good analysis of the big picture, decisiveness at the critical moments and the execution skills at the right moments, which were required to be a highly-skilled priest.
Master Han was one such highly-skilled priest. He had acted as an assistant to Sword Ghost in past games, but as Sword Ghost took quite a heavy blow in this VR game and didn’t look like he wanted to be a leader for now, so Master Han decided to take over the role and be the leader instead.
As a perfectionist, Master Han would have rushed over and given Gu Fei a good scolding if not for all the work he had to do. How dare he rest on his laurels and take this quest as a tour!