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Chapter 234 - Faking the Surrender
The students were deeply shaken by what they had just witnessed and were speechless for the longest time.
The fire was still burning brightly behind him when Gu Fei yelled out, "Everyone, gather. It's time to return to the city!"
The students ran toward Gu Fei and lined themselves up. Those who had a better understanding of the game, including Ah Fa, were even more baffled by Gu Fei's recent display of power. Under the others' exclamations of awe for Gu Fei, Ah Fa reminded his teacher, "Sir, the mission requires for us to capture the Brigand leader alive."
"Capture alive? How do we do that?" Gu Fei was slightly taken aback. He suddenly saw the students' faces looking horrified as one of them hurriedly screamed, "SIR, WATCH OUT!" His warning came a little too late, though, as this Boss, just like any other Bosses in MMOs, possessed extraordinarily fast speed than the average monsters.
While Gu Fei's Blazing Tree of a Thousand Inferno instkilled all the normal Brigands, the Brigand leader managed to survive his attack. The Brigand leader sprinted out of the raging inferno and charged toward Gu Fei who was busy organizing his students. Gu Fei was holding the monster's aggro, so the Brigand leader aimed its saber toward him and struck.
The way the NPCs and monsters in Parallel World were programmed might be drab and rigid, but none of them would emit killing intent! Killing intent was something that the game was able to replicate due to its system being able to fully simulate the complexities of the human body. NPCs and monsters were entirely made up of data and numbers, so something like killing intent naturally did not exist in their formatting.
The sound of burning flames behind Gu Fei perfectly masked the footfalls of the Brigand leader. By the time the students managed to alert Gu Fei of the incoming attack, the Brigand leader's saber had already connected to Gu Fei's waist and had sent him flying outward.
"Sir!" the students exclaimed. Of course, they had Priests among them, and many of them scrambled to bestow Heal on Gu Fei. No matter how powerful the Boss was, its basic attack could not instkill a player. Under the students' quick administration of Heal, Gu Fei was able to recover from his critical condition and get himself back to his feet.
"Quickly dodge!" Ah Fa shouted.
"Dodge what?" Gu Fei used the side of the cliff to support himself, his face wearing a calm expression as he held Moonlit Nightfalls aloft.
Heal and other non-offensive skills could still attract the monsters' aggro based on their properties. In fact, casting this sort of skills would garner the monsters' aggro across a wide area, so in any normal situation, the Priests' constant usage of Heal would lure nearby monsters toward them. As for this Brigand leader's aggro, it was still focused on Gu Fei, proving that Gu Fei's Spell Damage was extremely high. Considering how any target that he slashed would usually be instkilled, maintaining this Boss's aggro was an easy task.
The Brigand leader rushed toward Gu Fei in large strides and moved to slash him once more. To these students, the monster's slash was fast and vicious that it seemed capable of cleaving their teacher in half. They quickly bestowed Heal on to Gu Fei, yet he actually sidestepped to let the attack pass by. With a flip of his hand, he chanted a familiar incantation and a flaming arc flowed past the Brigand leader's head.
The two of them kept hacking at each other like this. At first, the students were somewhat worried for Gu Fei and occasionally called out, "Sir, be careful!" The Priests were even more nervous and they would tremblingly bestow Heal on Gu Fei every time they saw the Brigand leader's saber come near him. The melee job classes wished to lend Gu Fei a hand, but the fight's fast tempo did not give them any opportunities to step in. The ranged job classes feared that they instead would accidentally shoot Gu Fei with how near the Brigand leader was to their teacher.
Ironically, the calmest individual in the whole group was actually the one doing the fighting. The Brigand leader had only managed to score a hit on Gu Fei before because it had not emitted any killing intent. Now that Gu Fei was fighting it head on, he was not at a disadvantage in the least. The Brigand leader's attack patterns were similar to any normal Brigand, except that its every blow was stronger, moves were faster, and damage was higher; this Brigand leader did not seem to have any unique or weird new skill in its arsenal.
Despite that, Gu Fei remained vigilant for any change to the situation. Based on his experience facing the Mountain Bandit Leader Sooto in the past, all Bosses should have an ultimate move that could turn the tide of a fight in their favor.
Gu Fei kept blocking, but the Brigand leader never once unleashed an ultimate move, causing his heart to be filled with confusion.
On the students' end, their emotions had long since settled. The Priests were no longer nervously bestowing Heal on Gu Fei, while the other job classes no longer strove to lend him a hand. Even Ah Fa changed his words to: "Sir, slow down! Don't cut him down! We need him alive. Alive!"
"How do I capture him alive?" Gu Fei asked, somewhat frustrated. He really hated holding back.
"The mission did not mention this!" Ah Fa was shocked! Although the quest required for them to capture the Brigand leader alive, it never stated how it could be accomplished or the condition that would make the Boss surrender to them.
"Should we find some rope to tie him up?" The students began to discuss possible solutions for this problem.
"Knock him out!"
"But none of us knows Bludgeon!" The Thieves exclaimed. The skill could only be acquired by them at level 36, but even the highest level player in Ultimate Class 3, which was Ah Fa, was only at level 34.
Gu Fei, who was exchanging blows with the Boss, felt that its movement somehow slackened. Gu Fei's mana had long been used up, which was why this fight with the Brigand leader had lasted for a long time. The Boss would have long been dead had he been able to cast Twin Incineration.
Gu Fei no longer wanted to drag the fight further, so he aimed to stab the enemy. It was at this point that the Brigand leader suddenly knelt on the ground and announced his surrender.
"Oh! So this is how we capture him alive!" The students exclaimed in joy as they began to chatter among themselves once more.
Gu Fei found it rather comical. Since he no longer had to stab the Brigand leader, he merely kept his sword to his side, addressing Ah Fa, "Does this work for you?"
Ah Fa happily nodded his head, "The mission will be completed once we bring him back and hand him over to Yunduan City's NPC prison."
Gu Fei nodded his head. Just as he was about to say something, the kneeling Brigand leader suddenly sprang up, took out a huge bronze saber, and slid it over to Gu Fei with a twist of his hand.
This brutal strike was extremely quick, and Gu Fei was slightly taken aback by it. Thankfully, his reaction speed was not lacking; the sword he was holding to his side flew over horizontally and blocked the sneak attack in the nick of time.
The Brigand leader did not pull his saber back once it clashed with Gu Fei's; instead, the Boss deviated from its usual attack pattern by continuing to press the saber down toward Gu Fei's chest. Gu Fei used his two hands to support the blade that was blocking the Brigand leader's saber, yet he was still unable to stop the pressure being exerted on him. In the end, it hit him right on to his chest.
Gu Fei's HP began to diminish at a rapid rate. To make matters worse, force was continuously being applied on the saber. The Brigand leader showed no signs of relenting, as if he intended to drag Gu Fei down to the grave with him.
Gu Fei tried to beat a hasty retreat, yet the Boss chased after him to continue pressuring him. The Boss's strength was astonishing. Gu Fei no longer had any other trick up his sleeve to extricate himself from this quandary now that he had taken the route of matching his Strength with the Boss's. Eventually, Gu Fei found himself back against the valley's rocky hillslope. His back was leaning on the cliff face even as he put his all into pushing the saber away with his sword. Meanwhile, the Brigand leader did not show even the slightest intention to loosen the pressure on him.
This sucks! Gu Fei's heart was in distress. He had always been prepared for the Boss to use some sort of ultimate skill, yet he had never expected that its ultimate move would begin with its fake surrender. Which m*th*rf*ck*ng designer came up with this?! Gu Fei cursed internally. He was unable to think of any method to get out of this. Strength was his weakest stat as a Mage. Right now, he had no means to withstand the Brigand leader's force and his HP continued to drop rapidly. Was there any way for him to escape this predicament?
Fortunately, Gu Fei was not fighting alone!
The students who were lost in a daze, returned to their senses upon realizing their teacher's precarious situation. Seeing that Gu Fei was being pressed against the base of the cliff, all of them hurriedly assisted him. Those that could Heal did so, and those that could fight attacked the Brigand leader; each of them did their best without a care for their safety.
The Brigand leader once more displayed the one-track mentality that the system had programmed into it. Ignoring the flood of arrows, daggers, axes, swords, and other weapons that landed on its back, the Boss continued to push Gu Fei against the rockface.
Gu Fei was utterly dumbfounded by this Boss's tenacity. Under the Priests' support, Gu Fei's HP was once more saved from the brink of depletion.
No matter how hard the Brigand tried, it was no longer a threat to Gu Fei. With the students' attacks peppering its back, it was only a matter of time before this fight tilt back in their favor.
Gu Fei persisted as the Priests kept on healing him and the others continued to attack the Boss as best as they could. The Brigand leader finally depleted its strength and stumbled on to the ground.
Gu Fei no longer dared to be careless this time. He consumed a piece of fruit to replenish his mana before carefully approaching the Boss's body. His sword poked and his feet prodded. Seeing that the Brigand leader was no longer moving to counterattack, he glanced at the surrounding students. He still had doubts in his mind, so he asked Ah Fa, "Think we're good now?" When it came to gaming matters, Gu Fei was unsure if he was any better than his students.
Although Ah Fa was quite knowledgeable about MMOs, he was actually worse than Gu Fei when it came to this fully immersive game. He hemmed and hawed, unsure of how to answer his question. In the end, it was the other low-level students that dared to come forward to tie the Brigand leader like a rice dumpling¹ with a rope that they got somewhere. Since they had low levels, it would not be too much of a loss if they lost a level from dying. The Brigand leader did not react throughout this process. Everyone sighed in relief when the deed was done and finally considered today's quest as accomplished.
Two students, who had picked the Warrior job class, came forward to lift up the now bounded Brigand leader like luggage. Following this, the students happily began to make their way back to the city. Even Gu Fei, who had nearly been killed a few times, perked up and yelled at the students to neatly line themselves up like before.
It was as if Gu Fei had rained on their parade as the elated students instantly seemed to look half a head shorter. However, none of them dared to disobey the teacher's order and could only obediently form up the neat rows, making their way back to Yunduan City under Ah Fa's cadence of: "One, two! One, two!"
Unbeknown to them, some people were quietly waiting for their arrival by the entrance to the valley.