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Chapter 58 - Crossing the Oolong Mountain Range
Gu Fei decided to consult the self-proclaimed Quest Expert, Xiaoyu, “Do you know what kind of quest ‘Eddie’s Mission’ is?”
“Every chain quest is unique. Obviously, I wouldn’t know anything about yours, you dummy!” Xiaoyu said.
Gu Fei felt very aggrieved. Was there anything worse than being called a dummy by such a klutz?
“But I do know of a quest called ‘The Kidnapped Eddie’. Not sure if yours and that are related, though,” Xiaoyu thought aloud.
“Tell me more about it,” Gu Fei requested.
“The wandering hero, Eddie, had been ambushed by the Mountain Bandits while passing through Oolong Mountain and was imprisoned by their Mountain Bandit Leader Sooto. Find a way to save him,” Xiaoyu recited.
“Oh? Have you accepted that quest before?” Gu Fei asked.
“Nope! I just heard about it in passing. No one has managed to finish it because nobody knows where Eddie is being kept!” Xiaoyu said.
“It’s in Sooto’s hut!” Gu Fei blurted out.
“How do you know that?” Xiaoyu questioned.
“The Eddie from my quest is the same Eddie that you just mentioned. Of course, I’ll know where he’d been hidden,” Gu Fei reasoned.
“Oh! New info! I better write this down,” Xiaoyu dropped the sack in an instant and took out a little booklet with a quill pen from her dimensional pocket. Gu Fei moved closer and saw Xiaoyu write on the booklet: Eddie is in Sooto’s hut.
“Uhh… Sooto’s hut. Was Eddie inside his bedroom?” Xiaoyu suddenly turned around to ask Gu Fei this.
“That… Must be!” Gu Fei answered.
“Why did he keep Eddie in his bedroom?” Xiaoyu thought aloud, “Were there some untold secrets between those two?”
“Oh, maybe,” Gu Fei said.
“Something like Brokeback Mountain?” Xiaoyu widened her eyes.
“You think so, too?” Xiaoyu was visibly elated.
Gu Fei did not comment further, as he saw Xiaoyu conscientiously write down another line of sentence at the corner listing Eddie’s information. He noticed that she ended it off with: He has an affair with Sooto.
“Alright! Let’s carry on,” After writing all this, she put away the booklet and lifted the sack once more.
“What’s in the sack?” Gu Fei patted it lightly.
“Food,” Xiaoyu replied.
“Food?” Gu Fei felt shocked.
“I don’t know how long it’ll take to get to Yeguang Village, so I brought some food in case I get hungry along the way,” Xiaoyu stated matter-of-factly.
Players would definitely feel hungry after staying in Parallel World for long periods of time, yet the hunger they felt in-game was actually them feeling hungry in reality. Naturally, one would have to consume actual nourishment – and not in-game food – in reality to satiate this hunger. All the in-game food only served the purpose of recovering HP and replenishing Endurance while a player rested.
And even if the food would come in handy, there was no need to bring a whole sack of it! A whole sack of food… Gu Fei reckoned that the food supplies could last them through an expedition if they were careful with their food consumption. However, he was doubtful that this so-called Yeguang Village would require them to travel as far as twenty-five thousand miles.
“It’s not just food! There’s also water. Are you thirsty? Want to drink some?” Xiaoyu immediately followed up Gu Fei’s query with an invitation, placing down the sack to retrieve some water for him.
“No thanks. I’m not thirsty,” Gu Fei hurriedly stopped her.
In a flash, the two had walked for an hour, and they pretty much exhausted every possible conversation topic out there. Conversing with Xiaoyu was actually difficult. For instance, Gu Fei had to give her three minutes to process a joke he had just told; in that time, he would have already forgotten the point of telling the joke. And when it was Xiaoyu’s turn to tell a joke to Gu Fei, he could not find anything funny about it at all. This was because it would always go along this line: “I have a friend. One day, he walked into a tree—HA HA HA HA HA….”
Xiaoyu would burst into peals of laughter before she even finished telling the joke. Gu Fei could only eke out a fake smile at this.
Nevertheless, no trip, no matter the distance, would be too tiring if a person was accompanied by someone. As long as there was someone to share the experience, foolish or not, it would be comforting enough.
Through their concerted effort, they finally got past the Oolong Mountain Range. Rolling plains, wildlands, hills, and forests were displayed before their eyes, much like what players of Yunduan City would expect to see when they left its borders. Gu Fei looked at the time and realized that it had taken them almost three hours to get through the Oolong Mountain Range. Of course, once he had realized that he was no longer being pursued by people from the city, he matched his pace with Xiaoyu’s and no longer madly dashed forward.
But the sight of monsters ahead was what truly pleased Gu Fei. Young Master Han and the rest’s plan for him was exactly this: escape into a place where there would be monsters but had few players roaming about. Gu Fei would then grind there for up to thirty hours and would only return to Yunduan City once he cleared off all the PK points.
Gu Fei had originally thought that there would be monsters along the Oolong Mountain Range, yet all he encountered were clouds of mist. Although he had the company of a lady through the foggy environment, she was someone who had claimed to be his ‘brother’. Hence, there was not even a hint of romance in the air. Gu Fei truly felt that he had been done some injustice by making him cross the mountain path for three hours.
Gu Fei’s hands were already itching for a fight. He rushed forward after taking out the Chinese broadsword and slashed deeply into the monster, killing it instantly. The monster was obviously low level, as it had been insta-killed by Gu Fei’s attack without the additional fire damage proccing.
“This can’t be right!” Gu Fei muttered to himself. Basic gaming logic dictated that the further players went from cities like Yunduan City, the better the grinding maps would be. And yet, he found himself in the opposite situation in an unknown distant place after spending three hours to pass through the Oolong Mountain Range... Could things GET any more depressing?!
“Why are the monsters over here so low level?!” Gu Fei complained to Xiaoyu.
Xiaoyu did not hear Gu Fei’s words as she was busy looking into the horizon while mumbling, “Where is Yeguang Village?”
“Do you know?” Xiaoyu turned her head and asked Gu Fei.
“I’ll – I’ll help you ask!” Gu Fei felt impressed by Xiaoyu’s boldness to spend three hours crossing the Oolong Mountain Range without knowing her actual destination. Thus, he decided to help her out by asking around.
Gu Fei pulled up his friends’ list. He knew someone who had an even greater information network than Brother Assist – the BONAFIDE Information Expert, Fleeting Smile.
“Are you there? I’ve got something to ask you,” Gu Fei began.
“I am a scrupulous gaming employee…” Fleeting Smile stated immediately.
“Is this an auto-reply?” Gu Fei asked.
“Why do you always say that line, then?!” Gu Fei bemoaned.
“Because you know my real identity,” Fleeting Smile answered.
“You revealed it yourself!”
“Should I silence you for good and leave no traces behind, then?”
Gu Fei was left speechless, not knowing how to reply to such a question.
“What’s your question? I’ll tell you if I can,” Fleeting Smile finally relented.
“Oh, do you know the way to Yeguang Village? It’s just pointing out which way, so it’s okay for you to reveal it, right?” Gu Fei asked.
“So you’ve found a clue for that chain quest?” Fleeting Smile remarked.
“What clue?” Gu Fei was puzzled.
“...I didn’t say anything,” Fleeting Smile replied.
“How do I get to Yeguang Village? You can’t even tell me that?”
“It’s pretty far; first, you have to pass through the Oolong Mountain Range,” Fleeting Smile answered.
“I’m past that.”
“Wow. It must have been tough for you to run that far!” Fleeting Smile commended Gu Fei.
“…Where do we go from there next?” Gu Fei asked.
“Next? Find someone and ask that person. The players over there should have an idea!” Fleeting Smile said.
“Players? There are players here?” Gu Fei looked all around him and saw no one.
“You’ve just passed the mountain range, yeah? It’s still far from the capital city. Head in the northwest direction and you’ll reach Yueye City. The players in that city definitely know how to get to Yeguang Village,” Fleeting Smile instructed.
“If it’s this far from this region’s city, why is the monsters’ level so low?” Gu Fei questioned.
“Ornamental; those monsters are just ornamental. Who’d be bored enough to run in that direction?” Fleeting Smile asked rhetorically.
“Alright, thanks!” Gu Fei got the answer he wanted.
“No problem. But I’ll remind you of something,” Fleeting Smile added.
“What?” Gu Fei asked.
“‘Bounty Mission’ is valid throughout the entire gaming server. That means players from Yueye City can see your serial number 27149 on their Wanted Players list. Since it’s indicated that you’re a player in Yunduan City, nobody will bother to accept the mission. But that’s not a guarantee, don’t you think? So try to be careful,” Fleeting Smile warned.
“Aren’t you going against the rule here?” Gu Fei teased.
“This isn’t going against the rule. Anyone who seriously reads the introduction regarding ‘Bounty Mission’ will know of this. Just treat me like a conscientious player,” Fleeting Smile replied.
“Much thanks, then. I’ll treat you to a drink when I get back to Yunduan City,” Gu Fei promised.
“Alright, that’s all. I’ve to go,” Gu Fei closed the conversation window.
“G*dd*mm*t. My tongue slipped…” Fleeting Smile muttered to himself. He was currently in Yunduan City, having not stopped monitoring Gu Fei’s activities. He had even passionately followed Thousand Miles Drunk’s hunt for No Smile yesterday. Actually, the progress of Gu Fei’s chain quest was what he had specifically been monitoring.
Chain quests were a major feature of Parallel World. The design team had sacrificed a copious amount of their brain cells to conceive, sequence, and create each one of those chain quests. Hence, Fleeting Smile and the rest of the R&D Department considered them as their magnum opus. Just thinking about the potential events and plot twists that could happen in a single chain quest had them beside themselves with anticipation. Upon learning that Gu Fei had gotten a chain quest, Fleeting Smile immediately checked the data files for it and committed the possible permutations this randomly generated quest could have into his memory. However, the actual owner of this quest, Gu Fei, had yet to make any progress on it at all.
The sense of anxiety that gripped Fleeting Smile’s heart was akin to creating a masterpiece that no one could appreciate or care. Therefore, Fleeting Smile had instinctively shown elation upon hearing Gu Fei’s question about Yeguang Village. He assumed that Gu Fei had managed to find the clue to continue the quest. Alas, that was not the case, and his blunder actually provided Gu Fei information instead. Fleeting Smile instantly felt miserable when he recalled this and could only hope that Gu Fei had not noticed.
However, how could the quick-witted Gu Fei not notice Fleeting Smile’s slip of the tongue? As he and Xiaoyu made their way toward Yueye City, Gu Fei carefully digested that bit of information.