Virtual World Close Combat Mage Chapter 749: Chapter 749 - Searching for Information
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"A strange creature has been slain by the players," This information was relayed from Oathless Sword to Ye Xiaowu. There was of course no way for Ye Xiaowu to have such a comprehensive information network like what they have.
"How about Thousand Miles Drunk?" Ye Xiaowu asked.
"Nobody gave chase, but the monster has been killed," Oathless Sword looked at Ye Xiaowu straight in the eye. The players who were sent ahead to scout things out were all Agility based job classes, and the Arrow Formation from Traversing Four Seas had sent was very outstanding, contributing the most in the battle to defeat the monster. Oathless Sword was really hoping that this was one of the rumored endings that splits everyone apart, hoping that the self-proclaimed man of knowledge, Ye Xiaowu could give him a hint toward this end.
In the end, Ye Xiaowu did not seem to be interested in this particular development, continuing to ask, "What's the situation over by Yunjiao Quarry?"
"The situation there? Nothing's going on…" Oathless Sword answered with uncertainty.
"Let's head over and see for ourselves," Ye Xiaowu said.
Oathless Sword's eyes gleamed, and the man slid up beside Ye Xiaowu to quietly ask, "What can we find over there?"
Ye Xiaowu looked at him and was just about to say something when Oathless Sword sensed that the three other guild leaders had also edged closer to them, so he quickly looked away like he was absolutely unconcerned with what was happening. Those three men came over and asked the same questions about the creature and how it was related to the quest, eyeing Oathless Sword constantly not without envy. It was apparent that the large guilds were all well aware that Traversing Four Seas had now gained the upper hand for killing the creature.
"Let's go to Yunjiao Quarry and find out!" That was still the answer that Ye Xiaowu gave.
The guild leaders from the four large guilds nodded, but they had all privately sent out teams with faster movement speeds to investigate Yunjiao Quarry in advance. They only sighed in relief after finishing sending out the order, looking around to see that the other three guild leaders had all mirrored the same expression, everyone tacitly aware that they had all done the same without openly declaring their actions.
The four guild leaders were all left dejected, however, when the speedy advance teams turned up empty handed in their search of the Quarry. Looking at one another, that mirrored expression was once more all the indication they got from each other. Keeping this silence between each other, the four continued to follow Ye Xiaowu until they reached Yunjiao Quarry. The Priest appeared to be very familiar with the grounds, striding with great purpose to a certain spot and squatted down to begin searching for something.
Oathless Sword would always react agilely at certain moments, and a single look from him was all it took to let his underlings tacitly understand what to do. Someone immediately came scrambling over to Ye Xiaowu's side, smiling, "What are you troubling yourself over? What are you looking for? Let me do it!"
Brave Surge was not slow reacting to this either. It was just that Folding Fan Invader, who had implicitly understood his intention in this instance, simply lacked that unassailable temperament. In the time he stepped forward, Oathless Sword's man had pounced before Ye Xiaowu's feet and already said his lines. Foe-herder and Black Index Finger were both a bit slower on the uptake. They had also sent for their men as quickly as they could, and everyone saw as someone shouted "Let me do this," while another yelled, "Leave the menial work to me." These two figures darted out to intercept, leaving Folding Fan Invader dead last.
Ye Xiaowu watched them in shock. He saw as a big ditch was quickly dug out right before him, so large it was big enough for him to be buried alive in it. That was around the time when the four guild leaders stepped forward themselves and probed Ye Xiaowu, "What are we looking for?"
"There was originally supposed to be something here, but by the looks of it now, Thousand Miles Drunk and his friends must have made off with it," Ye Xiaowu said.
Oathless Sword was angry, turning around to find the players that had been here doing missions this whole time, "There was vital information here. Why did none of you realize it after spending all your time questing here?"
These players were speechless. None of them had truly thought they could dig out a quest like that.
"So what do we do now?" The guild leaders from the four large guilds asked Ye Xiaowu.
"We can only continue to run interference," Ye Xiaowu sighed.
Gu Fei left the three to their own devices and went back to Yunduan City all by himself, going straight for the City Hall upon returning. He ended up bumping into Drifting and his two crew members loitering about.
"Why are you back? Have you made a breakthrough with your quest?" Drifting asked.
"We're doing further research on it. What are you guys all doing here?" Gu Fei asked.
"We're trying to see if there are any other quests being offered here! You know, most people can't come in here," Drifting said.
"Oh, that's right. I've never thought of that," Gu Fei slapped his forehead.
"Heh," Drifting chuckled.
"Well, I'll leave you to your business," Gu Fei quickly said his farewell and went straight to the Vigilante Chambers. He had already lost count the number of times he went through those doors, and he could not care to be courteous any longer. The moment he stepped into the chamber, he made a beeline straight for the Captain and took out the necklace to begin his questioning, "Guillermo's assistant is dead and left this behind. Who is Courtney? Where is she!"
"Dead?" That Captain was stunned. "Did he leave anything behind?"
"Isn't this something?" Gu Fei was dangling the necklace before the Captain's eyes, feeling particularly irate that this NPC did not seem to be registering what it could evidently see before it.
The Captain took that necklace into its hands and examined it, before casually putting it aside, asking, "Is there anything else?" The fact that the Captain had included the word "else" meant the system's line of thought still required more items to make the logical deduction necessary.
"There are still these notes. The content of what's written here mentioned this lady by the name of Courtney that seems to be very related to Gullermo. Perhaps she could be of some help to us," Gu Fei said.
"Courtney? I have never heard of this name before. Let me check. What is her full name?" That Captain asked.
"I don't know!" Gu Fei was agitated by now. He felt that the system was purposely trying to test the players' patience. It was not often for the system to be willing to lend a hand in finding someone, so it also wanted to deliberately put up some roadblocks to impede the player. It looked like Parallel World is doing its best to make 'finding people' the least liked activity for players.
The Captain who had to face the annoyance from Gu Fei demonstrated the qualities of an NPC by hardly showing its own anger as it patiently sat before its desk, taking a piece of paper to write something on it and handed it over to Gu Fei, "Head over to the Archives Room on the first floor and look for the lady in charge of the population census, Kelly. She'll help you with this."
Gu Fei immediately felt glum the moment he took the piece paper and saw that it was actually an approved edict from command. However, there was no way of arguing with an NPC, so all he could do was act in accordance with its instructions, going down to the Archives Room on the first floor.
There were guards stationed outside the Archives Room, and Gu Fei only got through after showing them the edict. Searching for the NPC by the name of Kelly, her name made Gu Fei believe that he would be searching for a pretty lady, but the reality left him stunned. Kelly was an older woman with a very weird look on her, wearing some very weird glasses. When it saw Gu Fei coming over with that edict in hand, it immediately handed him five thick and large books that were bound in sheepskin.
"Just Yunduan City's census will do," Gu Fei said.
"Do you think what I handed to you isn't just the population list for Yunduan City?" The matured lady Kelly did not even sound the least bit polite at all.
Gu Fei shivered quite a bit. How could there be so many NPCs in Yunduan City? He did not understand this. Could it be including the total number of players, as well as the NPCs? Gu Fei casually flipped over the first page for a quick look, and sure enough, this sheepskin bound book had included players' IGN as well, as well as their different job classes and level. Gu Fei was reminded of the information service that Sword Demon and the League of Assassins maintained, but theirs needed players to do the research while these books were all under the system's care, and the information contained was all obtained without wasting any effort. However, it looked like had it not been for that edict from the Captain, he might not have been able to have easy access to even look through all the information present merely as a member of the Vigilante Corps. He wondered if there would be such a thing as the Archives Room for his Faction…
Gu Fei was randomly flipping through the pages as his thoughts were running wild, and he very soon discovered that the names were arranged by alphabetical order, and this made him very relieved. Muttering Courtney's name, Gu Fei flipped the pages till he reached the names starting with Cs, but after stumbling upon several NPC names there, he came to the realization how different the names of these NPCs worked than the players, that were just a messy string of words. NPC's real names all had their first and last names, with some that were inconceivably long, and this alphabetical order went by the NPCs' last name.
There was without a doubt that Courtney could not be its last name, and it was even more impossible to imagine such close lovers would call each other with their last names. Gu Fei was vexed as this meant the books being in alphabetical order was essentially useless for him, and all he could do was flip through them page by page. Five books… Gu Fei's eyes glazed over when he suddenly thought of Drifting and his crew; with three extra pairs of hands, their speed could increase by 3 times! Gu Fei quickly sent a message to Drifting, telling them to hurry on over to the Archives Room on the first floor. Gu Fei had originally wanted to call for even more helpers, but he quickly considered the fact that aside from himself and those three men, there was basically no one else that could enter the City Hall.
"What's the matter?" Drifting sent a message to ask.
"I need some help," Gu Fei said.
Drifting and the three hurried over excitedly. Gu Fei had been wondering if there was a need for him to form a group with the three so that they could share the edict, only to see that they were all able to enter the room without anyone stepping out to stop them.
"How did you guys make it in here so easily?" Gu Fei was surprised.
"How else would we come in?" Drifting asked.
Gu Fei showed them his edict, and Drifting went "oh" as he nodded, "So the Archives Room is readily accessible for players in our Faction! We had no idea that was the case. It should probably be due to our Faction. We're in the Wayfarer's Society, and our job is to walk the land and wander. The establishment and breadth of the Archives is all thanks to our work."
"More like contributing even more to the chaos, yeah? Changing where you register your account must create plenty of trouble for the old lady doing the census," Gu Fei said.
"Tsk," Drifting did not think much of it. "What do you want us to do?"
Gu Fei pointed to the five sheepskin books, "Help me look for someone by the name of Courtney."
"Screw that!" Drifting was someone who often used the Archives Room indeed as he immediately understood just how daunting a task it would be to search for more information pertaining to an NPC using the census books Gu Fei had been given.
"To make matters worse, Courtney is just her first name, and I don't know her last name," Gu Fei shrugged.
Drifting gave him a withering look, "That is a good thing. It would be a true tragedy if all you had was her last name; Just try and imagine just how many names would you end up with if you were asked to find a player with the last name of Lee."
Gu Fei imagined it and thought what Drifting had said held merit. There were much more repeated instances of last names than first names, so there were positives to only knowing someones' first name. He felt a little assured when he realized this, and then beckoned the three men to step up and get down to business.
Since the three were already here, they did not really dawdle as each of them grabbed a book and began browsing. Drifting was very careful, pulling out a quill and was propping it on his book, writing things down as he asked Gu Fei, "Is it Courtney or Courtnay?"
"Courtney," Gu Fei pointed before asking, "Can you just randomly write in the books?"
"The system will automatically restore it back to how we first got it." Indubitably, Drifting was really very experienced with the process, but Gu Fei could tell from his pained expression that he must have learned a very agonizing lesson in doing so. He must have made recordings with his quill while checking through for information and was about to refer back to it when he discovered that the system had already restored it back to its original state.
The four of them continued to flip through the books searching for the name as they were talking. They were hardly doing time consuming work either, given how a player's IGN was evidently different from a normal name, so they could all pick out the NPC names with a quick skim through of the pages.
"If there was a new person that created a new account, would this information immediately reflect that here? Would that not mess up the pages here?" Gu Fei asked.
"Take a closer look; all the information shown here regarding the players only included those above level 10, so the newly created characters would not be tabulated in it," Drifting was already seasoned with how this worked.
"But it's still the same issue even if only level 10 and above players are included; players could reach level 10 in the blink of an eye," Gu Fei said.
"But what you're looking for right now is an NPC, not a player. So how do you think that will affect your search?" Drifting said.
"Can't a player come up with the same name?" Gu Fei retorted.
Drifting moved his book over and pointed one out to Gu Fei as he asked, "Do you think a player out there would name himself Ryan-Francis, Bryan?"
Gu Fei glanced at that long name and said, "Well, that's hard to say…"
Drifting cursed in his mind as he backed away without another word, burying his head in the search for Courtney, no longer speaking to Gu Fei.
The only sound heard in the Archives Room was just the flipping of pages, until Left Hand of Love finally made a noise, "I found one."
"Oh?" Gu Fei quickly looked over. The NPC was called Green, Courtney, but the profile of this NPC stated that she was only 13 years of age, and was a florist in the Central Plaza.
"So even that little lass has a name," Drifting nodded when he came over to look. He had seen the girl that sold flowers when he was at the Central Plaza.
"That's not the one I'm looking for," Gu Fei said.
"Who are you looking for?"
"A student who is studying civil engineering," Gu Fei said. "She must at least be of age to be in a relationship."
Drifting read the profile for the florist, "Student, relationship… How could this NPC not fulfill your criteria? She could perhaps be selling flowers to support her studies."
"She's 13!" Gu Fei emphasized.
"It's precisely the age for people to have their first love!" Drifting exclaimed.
Gu Fei was vomiting blood, "Let's just note down the page number and continue our search!"
The three had no choice but to continue their perusal of their books. There was really not just one NPC that went by the name of Courtney, and they managed to come across a total of 4 different NPCs sharing that name. It was evident that one of these Courtneys was a student of the Master Civil Engineer Guillermo, and she happened to be the very last one they came across because her full name was Zola, Courtney.
"Alright, this is the one," Gu Fei confirmed after carefully reading through the information listed. Zola, Courtney was 28 years old, and was one of the students of the Master Civil Engineer Guillermo. After her lover had died during a major project in Yunduan City, she was in such sorrow that she ended up ending her career in civil engineering and became a ranger.
"This is the NPC you're looking for? A female ranger?" Drifting asked.
"She's the one. It says she's over by Yunjiao Lakeside, but I don't recall bumping into her," Gu Fei was puzzled.
"Oh? Do you go there often?" Even though Drifting was an outsider to the city, he had spent some time staying around Yunduan City, so he knew what sort of place Yunjiao Lakeside was.
"I'll go continue my quest there, you guys can carry on with what you're doing. Thanks a lot!" Gu Fei said as he was about to leave when he suddenly remembered something and quickly turned around, almost bumping into the three men behind him.
"What is it now?" The three asked.
"A project of some sort was mentioned in my quest, can we perhaps look it up here in the Archives Room?" Gu Fei said.
"It should be possible," Drifting nodded. Being more familiar with the layout of the Archives Room, Drifting led Gu Fei over to where the log of special projects was filed. Gu Fei asked the relevant NPC to have a look through it, but his request ended up getting rejected.
"I'll do it!" Drifting stepped forward and said the same words as Gu Fei did. In response, that NPC did not hesitate and handed the records to Drifting. Gu Fei stepped forward to take a look, but the NPC did not seem to mind at all. Oh, system...
"D*mn, there's quite a lot of projects that Guillermo has led. Which one is it?" Drifting wondered.
"The one that was done over by Yunjiao Lake," Gu Fei said.
"Then there's only this one," Drifting pointed. "The Yunjiao Lake Water Storage and Drainage Project."
Gu Fei very quickly skimmed through its contents, but he did not discover anything special. The project described made the usual explanations and brags, praising how the completion of this project had resolved Yunduan City's issues with potable drinking water and sewage drainage, that it was considered as a project that led to greater public satisfaction and improved public opinion. In the process of all the boasting, there did not seem to be any mention of any casualties during the project.
"Anything else?" Gu Fei asked.
Drifting flipped through the pages some more, and because there were not as many projects as there were people, he very quickly got to the end and so he shook his head, "There's no other mention on Yunjiao Lake."
"So it looks like this is the one."
Gu Fei nodded. This information finding had really enlightened Gu Fei, and he had a mind to go over and check the information pertaining to Guillermo and Angus in the census records. However, he was certain that Drifting and his crew would surely kill him if he were to mention this again. Thinking that there might not be much of a clue from the two dead men, Gu Fei decided it was still best to not waste any more time here and swiftly made his exit.
While making his way out of the city, Gu Fei had quickly contacted the three outside and passed over the information that he had learned.
"The project that the quest had mentioned was no doubt the Yunjiao Lake Water Storage and Drainage Project, but there were no notes about any casualties during the work. However, in Courtney's profile, it had clearly stated that her lover had died as a result of what happened during a certain project. This person should be referring to Angus, but could the truth be that Angus had not actually died?" Gu Fei analyzed.
"We need to find Courtney. Information stated that she's currently a ranger stationed near Yunjiao Lakeside, but I've never seen her before," Gu Fei said.
"She's a ranger, so perhaps that means she's not a non-stationary NPC. You don't visit Yunjiao Lakeside that often do you? It's nothing too strange to have not bumped into her," Xi Xiaotian countered.
"Hmm, who would often find themselves visiting that place?" Gu Fei was wondering as he sent out a message in the guild channel, asking if anyone would be familiar with Yunjiao Lakeside.
No one responded. A place like Yunjiao Lakeside would only be frequented by people who intended to engage in lovey dovey activities. Nobody would dare to openly admit to participating in such a private and intimate affair like that.
"What are you trying to do?" July privately message Gu Fei.
"There's an NPC there that I'm trying to find out if anyone knows about its existence." Gu Fei explained. "Are any of our ladies in the guild in a relationship?"
"Let me help you ask this!" July replied. It was evident that there were ladies who would visit the place, but because of how Gu Fei had raised the question so publicly, no one really wanted to reveal this fact about themselves.
Gu Fei was only thinking about results, and did not consider all these various details that came along with such an admission, so all he did was urge July to do this as soon as possible. Meanwhile, he had caught up with the other three outside and were already making their way toward Yunjiao Lakeside.
"I managed to learn something. Players would often spot Rangers patrolling in the forest near the hillside of Yunjiao Lakeside, and there would occasionally be a female NPC strolling along the banks of the lake. Is that who you're looking for?" July had managed to get the information he needed.
"That's the one! Thank you so much!!" Gu Fei was extremely grateful. Sure enough, the strength of the masses had no limit.
"The information has been confirmed. There is indeed a female ranger in Yunjiao Lakeside who I do believe must be Courtney. We shall now head on over and make contact with her, but we have to keep our movement hidden. We have reasons to believe that the area around Yunjiao Lakeside could already have an ambush lying in wait," Gu Fei said.
"Let's not take the main road into Yunjiao Lakeside. We'll take the detour and circle around the small track around the back of the hill. We'll take the high ground and observe the place first," Xi Xiaotian suggested.
"Why didn't I think to borrow Vast Lushness' spyglass earlier!?" Gu Fei was dejected.
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