Chapter 18 - Crisis of Faith
Gu Fei rushed to his physical education class after he got offline.
Since P.E. lesson was held just twice a week, almost every athletics teacher would instruct a few classes in a row. Today just happened to be one of the busiest for Gu Fei, as he handled three successive classes in one afternoon.
Gu Fei was somewhat distracted at the moment. The people he had just met a while ago had very unique personalities, yet their online gaming skills were exceptional. While Gu Fei’s kung fu skills were extraordinary, his gaming ability was truly lacking. Therefore, he felt that it might be inappropriate to display his kung fu skills fully when following such pinnacle experts.
While he pondered on this, the students had all arrived on the sports field and assembled themselves into waiting groups. Gu Fei quickly collected his thoughts and devoted his attention toward teaching the class curriculum. At this moment, he sighed in his heart, These students are so obedient unlike that obnoxious and arrogant Royal God Call!
Ah Fa respectfully came up beside Gu Fei as he was thinking this, “Sir....”
“What’s the matter?” Gu Fei asked.
“What’s your level now?” Ah Fa quietly inquired. Gu Fei had forbidden Ah Fa from revealing the fact that he was playing Parallel World to anyone.
“Level 30,” Gu Fei answered.
“Holy sh*t!” Ah Fa blurted out in surprise.
“Is that how you’re supposed to talk to your teacher?!” Gu Fei suddenly displayed a livid expression. He had not expected his class to have an ill-mannered and conceited student just like Royal God Call.
Ah Fa wore a wronged expression; he had accidentally treated his teacher as his buddy!
“Concentrate on your exercises! Stop constantly thinking about games. You’re a student, so focus on your studies more. Got it?” Gu Fei lectured.
Ah Fa dispiritedly replied, “Got it” before scuttling away.
Gu Fei calmly continued to instruct the students, providing the same lesson to each class throughout the afternoon. Teaching these classes felt boring compared to playing the VR game, even though he was also doing physical activities here. Naturally, it would be a different story altogether had Gu Fei been teaching the students kung fu. When the final class was about to end, Gu Fei attempted to introduce a small activity to the students, “Is there any of you who wishes to learn a bit of kung fu from me?”
“Eh…” all the students were flabbergasted.
Looks like they’re interested! Gu Fei’s eyes shone. After countless attempts, had he finally piqued the students’ interest? “Ahem!” he cleared his throat. Just as he was about to give further instructions, all the students suddenly dispersed. He could hear from the distance someone shouting, “BIG NEWS! SUPER HOT NEWS! TEACHER GU FEI MENTIONED HIS KUNG FU AGAIN!”
It looked like kung fu really was useless in real life; Gu Fei felt depressed.
Gu Fei went back into Parallel World after he finished work and had his dinner.
“We’re all waiting for you! Same location,” Sword Demon immediately sent Gu Fei a message once he got online.
Gu Fei hurriedly made his way toward Ray’s Bar from the log-off point. The log-off point actually referred to a safe zone. Given the huge number of players the game had, players were required to go offline in safe zones, so as to funnel them into a select few areas to speed up the process of archiving each player’s data and to reduce the burden on the servers. While it was possible to forcefully log off in the other zones, the officials warned that they would not be responsible if the players lost the items gained, experience earned, or even their whole character data as a result.
A player posed a hypothetical query: “What if some despicable players tie me up on the very top of a mountain or deep into a forest and prevent me from dying or returning to a safe zone? What should I do, then?”
[The system announcement: Our GMs would be on standby at your service.]
All the players cursed upon hearing this. Any veteran online gamers knew that the specialty of GMs was the fact that they were never online.
Gu Fei quickly made his way to Ray’s Bar. Ray smiled as he pointed toward one of the rooms, “They’re waiting for you in there!”
“Thanks!” Gu Fei hurriedly entered the room.
The five people were seated inside, waiting for Gu Fei’s grand arrival.
“Have you guys waited long?” Gu Fei sat down.
“Not really,” Young Master Han replied lightly, “Just the whole afternoon.”
Gu Fei was dejected. This man was not only narcissistic, but sarcastic as well.
“Don’t we have a mission to discuss? Let’s begin!” Gu Fei said.
“We’re already done with the discussion,” Young Master Han said, “We’re about to head out for the mission.”
“We’ve already talked about what each of us will do. Your job for this mission is simple so we didn’t wait for your input,” Brother Assist explained with a smile, displaying his friendliness once more, “Young Master Han, you should tell Miles the gist, especially his task.”
Young Master Han nodded before he began explaining, “This is a bounty mission. Our target is the Mountain Bandit Leader Sooto in Oolong Cave. This is the toughest mission I know of. I once helped a team of twenty-seven players to solve it; we lost twenty along the way, yet we still failed in the end. But those are just regular players. This team has few but elite members, making it much easier to coordinate with one another. You’re not needed in the early part of the mission, so just follow behind us. Your debut will be when we engage Mountain Bandit Leader Sooto.”
“Sooto’s staying in a small hut inside Oolong Cave. There’s not much space inside the hut, so we can’t all enter and fight him. If we’re not careful, it might become a deathtrap for anyone stuck inside. Although outside the hut is wide, Sooto will whistle and summon all his lackeys inside the cave for support once he exits the hut. Our plan is to trap Sooto within the hut while you unleash your level 30 Mage spell, Repeating Fireball, on him. But you’re not allowed to directly attack Sooto since we’re on the doorway, so you’ll have to fire the spell somewhere inside the hut. Since the explosions will apply an area-of-effect damage, Sooto will naturally be hurt by it. While it’s not the most efficient method, we can use it to slowly chip his health away since he doesn’t seem to have a regenerative skill or equipment. Once the situation stabilizes, it’s just a matter of repeating our skills.”
“What do you think? Your job’s pretty easy, right?” Young Master Han asked Gu Fei.
Gu Fei nodded.
“Alright then, let’s set off! I’ve already told the player who submitted this mission to meet us outside the Oolong Cave at 7 p.m. It’s about time.”
“Okay. All of you should go ahead first. I’ll catch up after,” Gu Fei got up.
“Huh? You’ve got something else again?” Young Master Han furrowed his eyebrows.
Gu Fei nodded, “I need to return to the Mage Academy to learn my level 30 spell, Repeating Fireball.” He turned around and rushed out once he finished his sentence.
Everyone inside the room immediately became listless after hearing what Gu Fei said. Their gaze all landed on Sword Demon within half a beat. Their eyes were filled with suspicion, denial, and disbelief.
Sword Demon raised his glass and acted as if he did not notice what had happened, only to have Young Master Han snatched it away from him.
Sword Demon did not protest.
“Did you make a mistake this time, Sword Demon?” Royal God Call was the first to ask.
“I have absolute faith in his ability,” Sword Demon insisted.
Royal God Call snorted coldly, “You believe in someone who hadn’t even learned his level 30 spell?”
Sword Demon snorted back, “I’d believe in you too if you could defeat my level 25 Thief with a level 10 Mage.”
“What?!” They all turned their heads to him in question. Since it was not a glorious moment, Sword Demon did not want more people to be privy of that particular defeat. The four were not convinced that his recommendation of Gu Fei held merit, thus Sword Demon’s only option was to tell them about his embarrassing match. A level 10 Mage completely overwhelmed the level 25 Thief Sword Demon, who was an online gaming expert; no one would have believed such a claim had Sword Demon not said it himself.
Seeing their reaction, Sword Demon could only laugh bitterly, “It’s not something I wanted, but a loss is a loss; it was a fair fight, too.”
“Level 10 Mage? How did he fight you with just the Fireball and Ring of Fire spells?” Royal God Call mumbled. Even though he had not chosen to be a Mage in Parallel World, he still took note of the class itself. He quickly pondered every avenue that would allow a Mage to accomplish such a feat.
“Were you unable to get close due to his Ring of Fire being too high level?” Royal God Call began guessing.
“Nope. He didn’t use Ring of Fire,” Sword Demon shook his head.
“Instantly killed by a high-level Fireball spell as his equipment amplified the damage?” he kept on guessing.
“He only used Fireball twice to control my movement,” Sword Demon explained.
“Then how did he beat you? Don’t tell me he used his fists!”
Sword Demon sighed, “You’re all wrong if you think that there’s no more control in this VR game. You’ll know what having peak control means when you see Miles fight monsters later.”
“Peak control?” the four said blankly. The name was coined by Sword Demon after all. Even Gu Fei didn’t know that his kung fu was seen as “control” by an online gaming pro, actually claiming that it was the peak.
Sword Demon nodded, “How do you guys think he managed to become number two on the efficiency leaderboard? It’s through control.”
The four were still at a loss.
Brother Assist was the first to speak after hearing all this, “Interesting, I should do some proper research on Thousand Miles Drunk.”
Royal God Call maintained his look of suspicion, barely containing himself from pointing at and calling Sword Demon a liar. If Gu Fei was truly someone amazing, then Royal God Call would be very upset. He had chosen a different job class this time for fun because he had considered himself as the unparalleled top expert in all things pertaining to the Mage job class. A player that even the undisputed professional gamer Sword Demon would consider as an expert, he didn’t think he would meet one so soon. This is just far too improbable! Sword Demon must be mistaken, Royal God Call quietly reassured himself.
War Without Wounds had not said a word. He revealed neither the excitement that was etched on Brother Assist’s face nor the complex emotions playing on Royal God Call’s face.
As for Young Master Han, he simply stared at Sword Demon and said, “I know you’re not one to joke around.”
“Of course,” Sword Demon said.
“Let’s hope this isn’t an exception. Let’s go!” Young Master Han got up.
“Okay!” Sword Demon answered. With doubt swirling in their heads, the five legendary online gaming pros began their journey together.