Virtual World Close Combat Mage Chapter 672: Chapter 672 - Secretly Meddling
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Gu Fei and Sword Demon both met up by the city gates, yet they did not see any trace of the three soldiers anywhere. Gu Fei looked all around in search for any trace of them but still found nothing.
"Where are the soldiers?" Gu Fei wondered aloud.
"Did you send them to the wrong gate?"
"How could I do that? I'm not Royal."
Sword Demon accompanied Gu Fei to walk a whole round in search of the NPCs, but neither managed to find any trace of them. Sword Demon even recalled, "I don't think I saw them along the road as I made my way back to the city!"
"Where did they go?" Gu Fei scratched his head and pulled open his quest log, hoping he could perhaps get a hint as to what happened. In the end, he was stunned when he took a glance, "Ah, my quest failed."
"Failed?" Sword Demon realized what happened. "No wonder your soldiers disappeared." Since his quest failed, that meant his quest had ended, so there was, of course, no reason for the soldiers to still be following his orders.
"How did I fail it? Was I not allowed to die?" Gu Fei said.
"Perhaps. Check your quest description for an explanation," Sword Demon said. Most quests would not fail just because a player had died, and if there were such a condition, the quest would usually point it out clearly in its description.
"I don't see it say anything about that!" Gu Fei blurted out after reading through the quest description.
"Then, could it have been a special design set in place for the City War?" Sword Demon speculated.
"That might very well be the case…" Gu Fei could only make such an assumption as well. In that battle before, he simply did not see how there were any other plausible reasons that could have led to the quest to fail, aside from his death.
"You should head back to the place where you got your quest and take a look. See if you could still pick it up again," Sword Demon said.
"Yes, I'll do just that," Gu Fei answered before he departed for Yunduan City's City Hall once more. The building itself looked just the same as it did before, and Gu Fei deftly made his way back to the Vigilante Corp's Chambers. He spotted the three soldiers he had fought side by side with moments ago the moment he stepped into the room. The three NPCs looked none worse for the wear as they stood by the side of the room as if nothing happened. Gu Fei greeted the three, yet none of them even reacted to him. It seemed like the three soldiers had returned to their original state of having no connections with Gu Fei once the quest had ended. Gu Fei carefully examined all the soldiers in the room and did not manage to find the soldier he had sacrificed. Perhaps the system had created a new NPC to replace it. After all, these soldiers were no more than lines of code at the end of the day.
The captain of Yunduan City's Vigilante Corps did not greet Gu Fei warmly like it did before this time, and had a very solemn expression on its face. Gu Fei stepped forward to converse with the NPC, and it actually heavily berated Gu Fei. He had not expected that the intelligent AI would actually lecture him because he had failed his quest.
Gu Fei could only endure and waited for it to finish its tirade. The NPC did not seem to mind what was Gu Fei's attitude toward this, continuing to give Gu Fei a choice after it completed its 'dress down': Choose to pick up the quest again, or get a new quest.Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.
Gu Fei did not even spare a moment of hesitation as he chose to try that same quest again. That was when the system announced that choosing to repeat the quest would have quite the penalty and that there would be an increased difficulty for making another attempt.
Gu Fei was glum. This quest was a confrontation between players, and there was no way the system could tell whether it was difficult or otherwise! Would the system care whether Carouse had sent experts or noobs to guard the target? But when the captain gave the order, Gu Fei immediately understood what the system meant by the quest having an increased difficulty. The first time he did the quest, the system had given him four NPC soldiers as companions, yet it only allocated three soldiers for the second attempt. Naturally, losing a companion meant the overall strength loaned had decreased, and that meant the difficulty for the player taking the quest had risen quite a bit as a result.
However, Gu Fei was unfazed by this increased difficulty. To begin with, he never thought that he would fail the quest just because he had died, and it was his intention to mount a repeat assault with just the three soldiers he had left. Now that the quest failure meant he was only given three soldiers for his second attempt, all Gu Fei had wasted was merely the time it took for him traveling about. In his heart, he had already treated that soldier that died before as a permanent loss.
Furthermore, it was apparent that the soldiers that would be assigned to him were random each time, as the three that followed him this time round all had different faces, though their equipment was all the same. Their skills were most likely the same as well, by the looks of things. Gu Fei had wanted to take the three soldiers whom he was already familiar with, so he tried asking the captain about it. In the end, the captain ignored him, making it seem like such a feature was not available for players, so Gu Fei had no choice but to lead the three new companions out the door.
"I managed to get the quest again, but I was only given three NPCs as helpers, instead of the four before. By this design, if I were to fail again, I might only be given two soldiers…" Gu Fei relayed what had happened to Sword Demon.
Sword Demon listened to his account, before he asked, "Since you were allowed to pick up another quest, why did you not do just that? This quest… The strength we've got is a little insubstantial, it's not gonna be easy for us to accomplish this."
Gu Fei really thought what Sword Demon had said had plenty of truth to it. Even though he had managed to kill off 30 players from Carouse before, there was no way that they would ignore defending the place afterward, so there would surely be more players there by the time Gu Fei made his way back. If he was really just doing it for the quest, it made perfect sense for him to get another instead; he just might get lucky and get something easier. Furthermore, when Gu Fei was skimming through the quest description before, he realized that the increased difficulty did not just affect the number of NPCs that he was allocated with; as the quest was originally on a timer, picking up the quest again did not reset said time, but continued from the time that had previously elapsed. When Gu Fei took a look at the time, even the time that passed after he failed the quest was included in the count. He had already lost around an hour the first time around, so now all he had left was another hour. If he were to fail this quest once more, even if he was given a third chance to redo the quest, it probably would be impossible for him to do so, given how the system chose to calculate the time spent for the quest.
"However, I do have an idea," Sword Demon continued.
"What's that?" Gu Fei quickly asked.
"The quest would fail if the player dies. Going by this condition, all we have to do is find and slay the player from Carouse who first picked up the quest and we can ruin their quest, which would essentially mean your quest would succeed," Sword Demon proposed.
"That makes sense," Gu Fei nodded. "But how would we get a hold of such information!?"
Forget about the fact that neither of them could make contact with the players on the other side of this war, even if they managed to make contact, Carouse might have already made the following information public.
Thousand Miles Drunk and Sword Demon were the enemies, bringing along NPCs and would be going after players.
Sure enough, this information had indeed been propagated by Carouse to every guild that they were collaborating with. Even though everybody had wanted to learn more about this, the guild leader of Carouse would only reveal that they had been attacked by both Thousand Miles Drunk and Sword Demon, letting everyone know that the two were not together with the city seigers, claiming they know nothing else beyond this.
It was an ordinary member from Carouse who unknowingly picked up the quest from an NPC by the name of Guillermo, reportedly a famed master Civil Engineer who was someone that had designed and constructed Yunduan City. Apparently, the information that they had uncovered from it would allow the players to discover a breakthrough for this assault for Yunduan City.
Brave Surge could tell that this quest would have a profound impact on the ultimate outcome of the City War, which meant that the contribution score awarded for its completion would surely be substantial, so he proceeded to advance through the quest with caution. This was because he was very certain, given a huge part of Parallel World's design, there was a very good chance that it would be subjected to direct competition from others, or that there would often be plenty of hidden hindrances as they progress.
There was no harm in playing it safe! Brave Surge's fear of divulging information about the quest stemmed from precisely such a setting in Parallel World, otherwise the other rivals that were competing for contribution scores during this event would surely make plans toward such ends; if they were unable to snatch the quest away from Carouse or benefit from it in any sense, they would most definitely think up of ways to undermine it for them.
After repelling Thousand Miles Drunk and Sword Demon, Brave Surge decided to just hand the right of command for this defense straight to Young Master Han. While there was no doubt that he was friends with those two, the man had shown a complete lack of leniency in the battle before and had demonstrated a reasonable command of the situation. Even though Carouse had paid a high price for emerging victorious, what mattered was that they did not ultimately end up failing the quest. Young Master Han's ability to command was exceptional, and because he had a very in-depth understanding of the two assailants, Brave Surge felt he was truly the best candidate for the job. Even if the two did not make another attempt, and some other guilds ended up harassing them instead, he nevertheless felt rather reassured handing the task over to Young Master Han.
Brave Surge did not go into detail about the clash that they had with Sword Demon and Thousand Miles Drunk, afraid that the other guilds would realize they were secretly making progress with the quest. However, no matter how much he hid the incident from the others, he was not able to conceal this from Oathless Sword, who had already suspected him of doing something on the sly. Since Thousand Miles Drunk and Sword Demon are the enemy, why must they end up antagonizing Carouse out of the hundreds of guilds participating in the City Wars? Could it really have been a sheer coincidence?
Oathless Sword had taken quite the savvy approach in his guesswork, quickly relating his conjecture to Youthful Reflection, who had already been sent to investigate and keep an eye on Carouse.
Youthful Reflection had brought some men over to the west gate and had been blindly groping about for any leads for quite some time, and it was under this intentional search that targeted Carouse that actually led them to the cavity in the land where that guild had stationed their men at. Traversing Four Seas and Carouse were old acquaintances, and Youthful Reflection could tell from a single glance of the over hundred players camping out there that quite a good number of experts had gathered. He was left all the more flustered especially after he spotted Young Master Han sitting outside the cavity, just drinking his liquor languidly.
"Oathless Sword, I found it!" Youthful Reflection Was not in a rush to head over and had brought his men and circled round to a nearby collection of trees. They continued to observe the situation by furtively peeking their heads out from cover from time to time.
"Oh? What's the situation there?" Oathless Sword quickly asked.
"I still don't really know what's going on, but there's quite a lot of experts from Carouse here, and I could see the traces of battle, which were very likely created when Thousand Miles Drunk and Sword Demon made their attack. Oh yeah, Young Master Han is also present," Youthful Reflection said.
"Young Master Han's there as well?" Oathless Sword was astonished hearing this. "Thousand Miles Drunk, Sword Demon… Could this be a trap that they've set to hoodwink us?"
Youthful Reflection froze up as well when he heard this. The news that Thousand Miles Drunk and Sword Demon were their enemies came from Brave Surge, but there was no evidence that could verify his claim. All the guilds had tried to inquire about this revelation with Carouse; after all, the players all had their own circle of friends. There were bound to be players who were acquainted with friends from other guilds, yet nobody found out any further information about this matter from anyone else… No, it was more accurate to say that no one from Traversing Four Seas had learned anything new when they asked about the matter. Even if the other guilds learned anything, they would not share it with others, which was why everybody simply said that they had no idea what was going on, Youthful Reflection pondered.
"Why don't you keep watch over them for longer? If Thousand Miles Drunk and Sword Demon were to turn up again, that means it's true and we can discuss this in further detail later." Back when Oathless Sword was doing his guild chain quest, he had experienced what it was like to be fleeced by the Young Master's Elite mercenary group from the very start, and this persistently happened many times over throughout their expedition. Though it was also ultimately thanks to the help that they provided that Traversing Four Seas had managed to complete their quest in the end. But he had also gained an insight into the depths of their tricks and methods as a result of this. Oathless Sword had originally thought that Youthful Reflection was someone with plenty of schemes and plots, but he now knew what the saying 'There's always a higher mountain' meant! He made it a point in his heart to take extra precautions out of reverent fear, now that matters involved the members of Young Master's Elite.
"Oathless… It's fine if I wait here but think about it. If Carouse has a quest here if we were to wait around here till they finish their quest… Looking at the presence of their men here, the value of this quest that they are doing isn't anything insignificant. If we do not find a similarly valued quest, we'll just end up falling behind in terms of our contribution score. Do we intend to earn it all back by killing the enemy? While our guild possesses great strength, don't forget that Carouse is strongest when it comes to their Mages, and when it comes to grinding monsters, there's no way we are any match against them," Youthful Reflection analyzed.
"Well… What do you think we should do, then?" Oathless Sword asked.
"Let's kill with a borrowed knife! I'll keep watch here, while you secretly leak the news about what's happening here to the other guilds," Youthful Reflection said.
"That's a good idea!" Oathless Sword perked up. "Who would be more suitable for leaking this info to? Foe-herder? That guy already has his doubts about Brave Surge, he had even said this to me himself!"
"We can't find him then!" Youthful Reflection quickly interrupted. "Since the man already has his suspicious, that means he's pretty sharp himself. There's a good chance that he's already planning something behind Brave Surge's back, there's no way we can hide our intentions from him if we act the fool here. At this rate, even if he was willing to help with this, he's sure to get us to share the same fate as them. We definitely can't find him."
"Who else could I look for? Black Index Finger? That guy suspects I'm already working together with Brave Surge, so there's no way I can trust him! Xiaoshang? Who else is there?" Oathless Sword did not even bother to give a reason as to why he raised her name; Why would he? Not only could Oathless Sword not bear to let Gu Xiaoshang become the scapegoat, but he was also all the more afraid that he would end up offending Gu Xiaoshang because of this.
Youthful Reflection sighed. He actually thought Gu Xiaoshang was a decent candidate, but it just so happened that this lady was the one who Oathless Sword was so smitten over.
Now that none of the large guilds could play this part, all that was left were the other guilds out there. Youthful Reflection actually had quite a few names in mind, so he proceeded to offer names up to Oathless Sword, "How about Black Rose?"
"Oh, that guy…" Oathless Sword had limited interaction with the average player, but he had interacted with quite a few guild leaders. Even though Black Rose was flattened like a meat pancake and became the laughingstock for this event, his guild, Pike N' Roses, was also a level 4 guild, possessing certain strength. From what Oathless Sword knew of the person, as well as the enthusiasm he had shown in the fight for contribution score today, he was truly a good candidate.
"Oh, that guy isn't too bad," Oathless Sword messaged his reply after thinking about it for a while.
"Furthermore, there's also White and Black. I think he's a good choice too," Youthful Reflection suggested.
"That guy huh? His guild isn't too bad either!" Oathless Sword said.
"That's right, and that guy just spent quite a lot of coins purchasing his equipment before the update, all just to swap his equipment color palette. That man is still holding in a bellyful of resentment now, after being blindsided by the currency update that happened!"
Oathless Sword knew very well what Youthful Reflection was insinuating. He was touching on how White and Black was currently experiencing an issue with his mentality, which made him more susceptible to provocations. If these two guilds were to work together, even though they were incapable of facing a full-on confrontation with the whole of Carouse, they should not have any problem disrupting Carouse's plans since they had only diverted a portion of their manpower toward this quest. Even if there was some sort of trap within all this, Traversing Four Seas would be able to watch safely from the sidelines, profiteering off this clash.
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