Translated by: Effyis
Edited by: Stbunbun
Chapter 21: Sotu the Bandit Leader
True to his words, after Sotu left his hut, he stuck two fingers into his mouth let out a loud whistle.
The whistle resonated throughout the cave. Gu Fei held his breath, awaiting the appearance of the underlings, yet none appeared. The boss Sotu was not someone who cared about this however. As soon as he was done whistling, he continued charging towards Gu Fei.
Sotu was a monster who had a similar height and stature to a normal human being, also he was extremely muscular and had an unbelievably scary face. He was created while strictly adhering to the rule that a monster must have a hideous appearance.
Sotu swung his sword down with a twisted expression. After experiencing the power of his first blow, Gu Fei no longer dared to receive the hit directly and instead dodged the attack. Since Sotu was an opponent with higher speed and strength than himself, Gu Fei decided that he had to depend on his techniques to win against him.
What were techniques? It was what Gu Fei was best at. Kung Fu!
Martial arts included all sorts of battling techniques and skills that could bring down a stronger opponent.
Nine Slashes of the Tang Dao!
It was a style of techniques specially devised for the Tang Dao. Gu Fei had chosen his current weapon precisely for these techniques.
Gu Fei clutched his sword tightly and fixed his eyes on Sotu.
Here it comes! Gu Fei could clearly see Sotu raise his shoulders which brought his whole body into movement.
Gu Fei dodged to the side quickly and a glaring red light flashed past him barely missing him. It was a skill called “Red Beauty’s Flash” which Master Han had mentioned before. If Sotu was kept in the hut during the fight, he wouldn’t use this ultimate move of his.
According to Master Han, this was a skill that would cause so much damage that currently no player at this stage of the game could survive it, including those who added all their points into Vitality.
“Why receive the attack? Just dodge it!” Gu Fei had asked.
“You try dodging?” Master Han had snapped sarcastically.
Now, Gu Fei did manage to avoid it but Master Han wasn’t here to see it. The essence of combat could be summarised with just ten words: Eyes keep up with hands, hands keep up with eyes.
It was difficult for a normal person to even follow his opponents movements with his eyes, let alone moving his body where his eyes saw it needed to be.
As for Gu Fei, with thanks to his training, he had learned how to do both parts, but in the game, the latter part needed statistical support. Thankfully since Gu Fei added all his free points to Agility, it was enough to allow him to fight Sotu.
Part of the dodge was also thanks to the game’s intricate system that forced even NPCs to make certain preparatory motions before they unleash attacks, even when releasing a mythical skill like “Red Beauty’s Flash” Sotu had to raise his arms beforehand. Thus, Gu Fei could predict the next movement from these preparatory movements and figure out how to dodge all their attacks. Whereas for the boss, like all NPCs, they would just receive attacks head on without bothering to dodge, which made all the difference.
The only thing that made Gu Fei worry was the amount of damage he could cause to Sotu with his own attacks.
Gu Fei currently only had his sword in mind. He did not yet have the conscience to release magic attacks and felt that he could rely only on his sword.
However, Gu Fei’s sword was just a normal equipment which while good enough for killing small mobs by maximising its damage, it fell short in the face of a boss with high HP and defence, becoming a cause for concern.
But Gu Fei soon regained his confidence when he finally caught an opportunity and sliced through Sotu’s belly with one of his “Three Moves of Splitting Waves”. The resistance that he felt from his blade told him how much damage he had managed to cause.
Sword Ghost was able to tell how much damage Gu Fei caused with every slice by calculating all the small mobs’ HP and then dividing it by the number of hits Gu Fei had made, while Gu Fei, after so many days in the game, could tell approximately how much damage he had done from the feeling his weapon returned after a hit.
What he had given Sotu was certainly the maximum damage, which was rare even on normal monsters. How did that happen? Gu Fei was puzzled. How could a boss’ defence be even weaker than a normal small mob?
Gu Fei finally unravelled the mystery after a few rounds with Sotu, after he hit Sotu’s left leg.
It was due to Sotu’s naked upper body.
It seemed that under this condition, Sotu’s upper body was considered to have 0 defence. As for the hit on Sotu’s left leg just now, since he had some armour bound to his leg, Gu Fei’s hit caused no damage at all.
Gu Fei immediately started aiming for Sotu’s upper body after understanding this point. He gave up any chances he saw to attack Sotu’s lower body as those wouldn’t make any difference.
Even so, the battle took a full fifteen minutes!
Though Sotu’s defence was 0, his HP was still really high. Gu Fei started to have doubts about Master Han’s plan about slowly killing off Sotu’s HP. Gu Fei had just learnt the skill Continuous Fireballs which Master Han had recommended. It was not primarily an AOE skill and just had some additional effects, which caused such little damage that if they really wanted to depend on this skill… Well, they wouldn’t need to work the next day.
Sotu, with fatal injuries scattered all over his upper body, finally had his head separated from his body the moment he collapsed, conveniently it had even been automatically wrapped up into a package. Gu Fei smiled. It would be too bloody and cruel for the players to have to chop off Sotu’s head on their own since he was made to look very human.
The name given to the package was indeed “Bandit Leader’s Head” when Gu Fei examined it after he picked it up.
The problem now was that Gu Fei was trapped at the bottom of this cave. He couldn’t open the rock door of the secret passage, nor did he find any way to open the front door which the rest were going to arrive from. It seemed like he would only be able to get out when the rest of the party opened the door.
Since he was going to wait anyway, Gu Fei strolled into the little wooden hut. As soon as he walked into the hut, a feeble voice called out, “Who are you?”
Gu Fei got a shock and did not even have the chance to respond before the voice started mumbling on. Immediately Gu Fei breathed a sigh of relief. That was characteristic of NPCs in Parallel World. Asking a “who are you” was only to let you know about their presence. The whole long ramble that follows would be the introduction of the storyline.
“Will you help me?” the weak voice asked.
So it was a quest. Gu Fei didn’t listen attentively to the NPC, but the general idea was that he was from some place to find this something, but was caught by bandits here and was tortured till almost dead because he refused to surrender. Thankfully, Gu Fei the hero had shown up, so he hoped that Gu Fei would help him finish his ambitions and so on.
Gu Fei accepted immediately. Accepting a quest wouldn’t bring you any loss, and you can just cancel it if you didn’t want to continue. As for the detailed information which he did not hear, he could always check it out on the official website.
After hearing that Gu Fei agreed to help him, the almost-dead guy said, “Thank you, please take my badge and all the best for the quest!”
The NPC stretched out a hand and handed Gu Fei something. As soon as Gu Fei took it, the NPC resolutely breathed his last.
Gu Fei looked at the badge in his hand. There wasn’t much information except for its name, Eddy’s Coat of Arms.
The information glittered with golden light, a sign that this was one of the high-quality equipment that existed in Parallel World.
“Eddy’s Coat of Arms”, All stats +6.
Gu Fei was amazed. It was just the start of the quest when he hadn’t yet done anything, but he still received such a strong piece of equipment? To be honest, people usually would prefer something that adds points to one stat like Sword Ghost’s Frost Memories in comparison to something that adds points to all stats. Although it raises a total of 30 points, five more than what Frost Memories raised, there was almost no one who would add all their stats equally. Thus, with the purpose of strengthening one’s best traits, this “Eddy’s Coat of Arms” was like chicken ribs – tasteless when eaten but a pity to throw away1.
On the other hand, a gold-worded equipment is still a gold-worded equipment. It seemed to show how valuable this quest was, and even someone like Gu Fei who was not very interested in quests was moved. He decided to check out his quest panel immediately and saw the quest “Eddy’s Mission”.
Eddy’s Mission: Eddy, who was trying to complete an important mission, has unfortunately lost his life in the hands of the bandits. Would you help him complete his mission?
That was all there was to this quest in the panel. The quests in Parallel World was all as such: the one sentence in the quest panel was just to inform you of the quest’s existence. The rest of the information you needed to know was all from the NPCs’ speech and there were almost no hints thereafter. Therefore, players who were doing quests all had pen and paper prepared, and would take notes furiously as soon as the NPC started talking.
Gu Fei wore the badge on his chest, yet found that it didn’t look good with his clothes. As badges belonged to accessories, they would work no matter where you wore them, of course, except in the pocket. Thus after Gu Fei wore it beneath his cloak, he immediately felt stronger, having an all stats +6 addition was equal to having gained 6 whole levels!
Maybe there’s some good stuff in Sotu’s room too, Gu Fei thought to himself as he started rummaging through Sotu’s belongings.
At that moment, the rest of the group who were still outside the deepest part of the cave had finally reached the last barrier.
There was a mini boss and many small bandits, who made the battle pretty nasty and the group had fought with all their might before they had managed to clear all the mobs. If it wasn’t for Sword Ghost’s one block, Battle Unscathed the aggro puller would have been killed. Master Han had no more mana left at that point and thus could not lend a hand. And only an old comrade like Sword Ghost could have noticed his awkwardness in the heat of the moment.
The group attended to their injuries after the battle concluded. Other than Master Han and Royal Heavens’ Cries the archer, the other three were all in a sorry state.
“It’s ok,” Master Han comforted the group, “Whatever that is nasty is done now. What’s next is just killing time. The monsters here will need five minutes to respawn, so we can rest for a while. We’re depending on you next, Thousand Miles.”
“Thousand Miles?” Master Han turned back, only to see the employer with a strange expression on his face.
“Where’s Thousand Miles Drunk?” Master Han looked around.
1: “Chicken ribs” is a famous phrase which comes from the historical text Records of the Three Kingdoms. As chicken ribs have less meat and are difficult to eat, yet was a pity to throw away, it is now a reference to things that don’t serve many purposes yet a shame to be abandoned.