Chapter 155 - Process and Result
A certain level of intelligence was necessary for anyone to become part of a generation of experts in an online game. In the fast ever-changing world of online games, many people would move to a new game every three to five months, so going down the path of Guo Jing1 would never work if someone wanted to make a name for himself or herself in the online gaming community.
The gaming experts currently seated in one of the private rooms at Ray's Bar bagged numerous achievements in the many MMOs that they had played. Although they might not be heaven-sent geniuses, they were at least very experienced and quick-witted. Therefore, Young Master Han did not need to elaborate further after giving his straightforward speech.
If sacrificing themselves could secure their mercenary group's victory in the long run, these experts would of course be more than willing to comply with Young Master Han's instructions. Although they were still resentful about being kept in the dark and being sent out like lambs to the slaughter, Young Master Han's actions actually went in line with his personality. Now, they could only content themselves with cursing at him inwardly and move on from this matter. They even refrained themselves from saying pointless stuff like "never again" to him, as they knew that it would truly be 'pointless'. After all, Young Master Han's actions were governed by his 'great' personality and this narcissist would certainly never accept anyone's advice about reforming his 'awesome' personality.
The atmosphere in the room was still far from regaining its usual sense of friendliness, but the current ambiance would do. At the very least, this six-man mercenary group was no longer on the verge of breaking apart. For them, dying once was not actually that big of a deal in a game, but it was especially hurtful to their pride as experts! Brother Assist was just a 'pseudo expert', so his pride was not as intense as Royal God Call and War Without Wounds'. Despite the two being utterly deplorable when in front of beautiful women, they seriously valued their reputation as pros. The two felt somewhat better after hearing Young Master Han's explanation and it might even be possible to remove the last splinter in their hearts if a sycophant were to praise them right now for their noble sacrifice at yesterday's PvP match.
Such a person unfortunately did not exist in this six-man mercenary group, so everyone stared blankly at one another for a while. Recovering himself first, Royal God Call promptly stood up, "I'm gonna restock my arrows. I'll meet you guys in the 'changing room'!"
"I'll go repair my equipment," War Without Wounds said as he stood up as well.
Restocking on arrows and repairing equipment were pretexts that these two would often give to excuse themselves from the room, so no one was surprised.
"I'll go walk around for a bit," Brother Assist said as he also stood up. Reaching the curtain door, he casually called out to Gu Fei who had been staying motionless for a while now, "Let's go, Miles!"
Gu Fei jolted awake and sat upright, "Ah! Is the meeting over?"
Everyone suddenly felt irked. In a meeting where the life and death of their mercenary group was on tenterhooks, this person actually had the nerve to sleep. He was being far too easy-going!
"It's over," Young Master Han replied faintly.
"Oh. Then, I'm off to buy two catties of fruits." This was Gu Fei's excuse for leaving every time.
Leaving Ray's Bar together, Brother Assist asked Gu Fei, "Buying fruits?"
Gu Fei flashed him a grin, as his dimensional pocket already had plenty of fruits. Brother Assist returned his smile. Since neither knew where to go, they ended up walking around aimlessly.
"Do you also mind Young Master's method?" Brother Assist finally broached this topic after a period of hesitation.
Gu Fei smiled and replied, "Although he sacrificed you all for his scheme, he did nothing untoward to me!"
"That reason… It's too superficial!" Brother Assist sighed.
"I'm just joking," Gu Fei laughingly said. He then asked in return, "How about you? What do you think of it?"
"If our mercenary group were a large one, his method would be hard to accept. Since we are just a small mercenary group made up of a handful of friends, it should not be that big a deal," Brother Assist offered.
"Mhm!" Gu Fei nodded his head, saying, "I think so, too."
"How sly of you to copy my opinion! Just what do you really think?" Brother Assist probed.
Gu Fei gave a serious reply this time, "I was angry at first, but this is just a game in the end. Based on the PvP tournament's rules, dying won't affect us much. If we can truly win, I reckon it won't matter what method we use."
"Hmm… You've got a point," Brother Assist, "Does this mean that you don't mind Young Master's method at all?"
"I mind. In fact, I am extremely bothered by it!" Gu Fei admitted with a crestfallen look on his face, adding, "We should just kill our opponents every match. That's far more enjoyable."
"But how far can we go using that method with only us, six men?" Brother Assist asked.
"Why even care about that?! As long as we enjoy the fights, any result is fine," Gu Fei firmly replied with clenched fists.
Brother Assist stayed quiet for quite a while before finally saying with a sigh, "You're such a PvP fanatic that we're barely on the same wavelength."
Gu Fei only smiled at his comment, as his perspective about this matter was indeed very different from Brother Assist and the rest's. Between process and result, most players would value the result more. As long as they could obtain a satisfactory result, they would not care about the process at all. A slight dispute might happen along the way, but it would truly not matter as long as the end goal was achieved.
There were of course some players who claimed to value the process more, but the majority of them were the kind that would spout phrases like "Gaming is about having fun" or "Play the game instead of being played by the game." These players were usually mediocre players who simply wanted to act high and mighty in front of those who valued the result more with their 'holier than thou attitude'. Besides these hypocrites, meeting someone like Gu Fei who truly and strongly subscribed to this mentality was rare.
Gu Fei merely wanted to PvP, so the result and process were the same to him. As for the 'result' that the other players valued, it often meant experience, items, or similar rewards that Gu Fei cared the least.
No more words were exchanged between Gu Fei and Brother Assist after that, and the two went their separate ways eventually. Thus, all the members of Young Master's Elite wasted their time singly before making their way to the teleportation array and into the 'changing room' when their next match was about to begin.
Since the opposing mercenary group only had five members, this group of experts did not bother discussing about any sort of tactics beforehand and decided on the spot to take the enemies head on. Hence, everyone only focused on emphasizing to Gu Fei that he must limit his exposure. "Don't use AOE spells or fight against two targets. There are only five opponents this time, so you are forbidden to fight more than one," Royal God Call and the rest repeatedly reminded Gu Fei.
"I already said that you guys did not need to show up for this match!" Gu Fei could only say this in his frustration.
"No way!" everyone collectively said. So far, only Gu Fei and Young Master Han participated in the first match and all but Gu Fei were used as cannon fodders in the second match. No matter how much they valued the result, the process should not be entirely boring either. It was unknown if they had discussed ganging up on Gu Fei for this matter beforehand but everyone insisted: "One each! Four of us will take care of one opponent each while Brother Assist and Young Master will take care of the last one."
"Fine!" Gu Fei reluctantly acquiesced.
Something unexpected happened, though; only three out of the five members of the opposing mercenary group had shown up for the match.
"How should we split them up?" Brother Assist asked.
Gu Fei, Royal God Call, and Sword Demon exchanged smiles before saying, "It's first come, first served basis."
"Screw this!" War Without Wounds roared in annoyance. Doing that would clearly become a contest of speed and, as a Warrior, he would never have a chance against these three speed freaks.
As for Brother Assist and Young Master Han, they were not really disappointed to not participate in this match with them having non-combat job classes.
As the timer turned zero, everyone was teleported straight into the PvP arena. Only nine players were participating in this match, so they got the map for ten individuals and below. Once they spawned into the map, the six immediately spotted their three opponents.
"Charge!" Royal God Call shouted with utmost confidence. Although he had traded his Windchaser's Boots to Svelte Dancer, the pair he got from her, Boots of the Nimble Cloud, was merely 'movement +2' off. Moreover, Royal God Call had the Archer job class that benefited the most from the Agility stat, so his speed was currently on par with Gu Fei despite not going for an all-Agility build.
With that shout of his, Gu Fei and Sword Demon dashed forward. Royal God Call was about to make his move too when his feet were lifted off the ground. Looking backward, he saw that War Without Wounds had picked him up. "What are you doing?!" Royal God Call asked, dumbfounded.
"Since I can't snatch one, I'm just going to drag someone with me," War Without Wounds flashed him a devious smile.
"F*ck! Why must it be me?!" Royal God Call flailed about in his attempt to wriggle his way out of War Without Wounds' vice grip. Sadly, even if he managed to hit War Without Wounds with his arms flailing around up there, he could only inflict a limited amount of damage to the Warrior.
War Without Wounds swung Royal God Call about for a bit to disorient him before answering with a question, "Do you think I would rather grab Miles? Do I look suicidal to you?"
"Sword Demon! There's still him!" Royal God Call moaned feebly.
"It's too late now," War Without Wounds used his free hand to point afar, "Look. They're already upon them."
War Without Wounds placed Royal God Call back to the ground yet maintained his hands on the latter's shoulders. A taller middle-aged man and a smaller young boy stood on an elevated piece of land and watched Gu Fei and Sword Demon flurry their weapons toward the three opponents. Royal God Call could feel tears streaking down his cheeks.
No tension could be felt from this scene. To repay Sword Demon sacrificing himself for him yesterday, Gu Fei gave up his kill to Sword Demon. Young Master's Elite mercenary group easily breezed through the third round with this win.
The guild versus guild tournament was up next. Gu Fei's interest in the guild matches had long surpassed his interest in the mercenary PvP matches for several reasons. First, he could fight more opponents in the guild matches. Second, Amethyst Rebirth never had any battle strategy, which pretty much gave Gu Fei free reign to rampage across the PvP arena and kill whenever he wanted. This was what Gu Fei had been looking forward to all this while, albeit he had yet to kill an opponent that could put up a fight—well, maybe Sakurazuka Moony could count as one in a way. However, the two would never be able to best each other and would only end up in a stalemate given their respective fortes, so Sakurazaka Moony technically did not count as one of Gu Fei's PvP conquests in this guild versus guild tournament.
The third round of the mercenary PvP tournament ended way too fast and too early, so Gu Fei decided to pick up 'Bounty Mission' to pass the time. When it was time for the guild versus guild tournament, he hurried over to the teleportation array by the Main Hall of Guilds.
When he entered the 'changing room', he saw that all the Amethyst Rebirth's ladies had a somber expression on their faces once more. Could they have met another scabrous guild? As Gu Fei was thinking of this, July started introducing today's opposing guild when she saw that everyone had arrived.
Amethyst Rebirth had finally drawn a big lot, as it was currently up against Yunduan City's number two guild, Carouse.