VW:CCM Chapter 17

Translated by: Effyis

Edited by: Stbunbun


Chapter 17: Meeting at Little Thunder Bar (Part 2)

Undeniably Gu Fei was also judging the book by the cover, for he felt the greatest interest in this good-looking person out of the four strangers in the room because of the extreme contrast between his and Sword Ghost appearance.

He suddenly remembered a theory, about how a pretty girl always chooses to be close to a plain one so that she has a foil to emphasize her beauty. Did Master Han become friends with Sword Ghost due to this reason as well? Gu Fei knew that he was wrong the second he had that thought. They were partners before Parallel World, and no game before this required them to stand together showing their faces. Thus, the theory was invalid.

The contrast seemed to be a coincidence.

A cruel coincidence which made the beautiful look more beautiful and the ugly uglier.

Yet undeniably, this Master Han didn’t despise Sword Ghost and renounce their friendship after seeing his true form, which showed that he had much stronger morals than many others.

The two didn’t shake hands due to the wide table between them. They just nodded as a greeting.

That was the end of the introduction and it was time for Sword Ghost to present Gu Fei to the rest.

“This is Thousand Miles Drunk and his class is…” Sword Ghost paused and said, “Mage”.

“What?? You are a mage??” Other than Master Han, the rest three all blurted an exclamation in disbelief. All of them had learned Identification, but it was bad manners to use it in a friendly introduction like this. Since they were all pros who were avid players, they would naturally abide by such unwritten rules. Therefore, they could only guess at Gu Fei’s class before Sword Ghost’s speech.

Sword Ghost had the expression of “I knew it” and looked to Gu Fei innocently.

Gu Fei was also surprised. He shook his clothes and said, “Hadn’t y’all see my mage robe?”

The three exchanged astonished looks. They deemed him not a mage precisely because of this robe. Which level 30 mage would still wear the beginner’s robe? They all guessed that Gu Fei wore a mage robe just to cover up what he wore underneath which might be ugly-looking or rare, and yet he was really a mage. Reverse thinking doesn’t always come in handy, especially on a strange character like Gu Fei.

Adding to their disbelief was the fact that no one had ever seen a mage wearing a straw hat, which was usually worn on a warrior. All three turned to stare at the hat on the table.

As the referrer, Sword Ghost had to confirm for Gu Fei. “He is really a mage.”

What kind of mage wears this kind of equipment? Definitely a noob! The three thought in unison.

“Do you know the method of Fire and Ice? The use of and the difference between Ice and Fire magic reflection? The use of Chain Lightning when escaping?” The Mage expert Royal Heaven’s Cries shot three questions at Gu Fei, all regarding classical Mage techniques in three different well-known games.

And Gu Fei’s response choked him, “Are they used in Parallel World?”

Royal Heaven’s Cries was stumped but quickly recovered and rebutted, “How can you play a mage effectively if you don’t even know about these?”

Gu Fei smiled. What reason was there to fight with a kid? Moreover, he didn’t want to be a professional mage to begin with.

“Thousand Miles Drunk… Is it written like this?” Bless Brother cut in. He dipped a finger in his drink and wrote the characters on the table as he spoke.

“Yep,” nodded Gu Fei.

“2nd on the official Efficiency Leaderboard!” said Bless Brother.

“Uhh… What’s that?” asked Gu Fei.

“Oh, it’s just leaderboards in the game which focuses mainly on people’s XP. For example, Battle is 1st on the Warrior XP Leaderboard; Sword Ghost is 3rd for Rogue, Master is 4th for Priest; and Royal Heavens is 11th for now probably because he is not used to playing Archer yet. As for yours, it’s tabulated based on the ratio of XP to online time and you are currently number two. It’s an achievement to even be 11th like Royal Heavens considering the huge number of players Parallel World has,” explained Bless Brother.

“Then what about you?” Gu Fei was curious.

“I spam a lot in the official forum,” Bless Brother smiled embarrassedly.

Everyone laughed. Immediately after Royal Heaven’s Cries cut in, “Bless Brother’s total XP is lower ‘cause he spends too much time on such stuff. How about you? What’s your rank on the Mage XP Leaderboard?”

Bless Brother smiled apologetically, “Sorry, I only took notice of the leading few and my friends, I don’t remember having seen his name.”

“I knew it!” Royal Heaven’s Cries exclaimed. “What’s the use of that Efficiency Leaderboard? Anyone could get high ranked on that if they log off immediately after they finished with their first few mobs and don’t log on anymore after that.”

“Royal Heavens, you wouldn’t be able to say that if you had seen how Thousand Miles fights mobs,” Sword Ghost spoke up for Gu Fei.

Royal Heaven’s Cries was startled by Sword Ghost’s defence of Gu Fei. He suddenly remembered that Gu Fei was someone that Sword Ghost had recommended, and Sword Ghost was someone who probably wouldn’t misjudge another’s skill. Thus, he decided to quiet down.

Gu Fei grew more curious and asked Bless Brother, “So who’s the number one on this Efficiency Leaderboard?”

“Mortal Smile,” replied Bless Brother.

“So it’s him!” Gu Fei was surprised.

“You know him? What’s his class?” Sword Ghost joined the conversation, interested. He had initially held the same opinions as Royal Heaven’s Cries regarding the Efficiency Leaderboard, but changed his mind after meeting Gu Fei. Since Gu Fei knew that Mortal Smile, apparently, Sword Ghost wanted to quickly start collecting information about this potential pro.

Mortal Smile had made Gu Fei promise that he would not leak anything about his true identity, so Gu Fei shook his head. “I’ve seen him before but I don’t really know him. I don’t even know his class.”

Sword Ghost did not ask any further, as they probably weren’t even acquaintances if Gu Fei didn’t even know his class. But then again, Gu Fei genuinely didn’t know what Mortal Smile’s class was.

The introduction finally ended, and Master Han finally started talking. “Ok, so our mercenary group will consist of us six for now. It’s not an easy thing for five old acquaintances to all be born in Cloud City by random, so let’s put away any personal grudges in previous games and start anew. In Parallel World, we are all best mates.”

The three nodded in unison. So this bunch of people were not friends before, and from the sounds of it some even held grudges against others. Who could it be? Gu Fei looked around the room, and decided that Royal Heaven’s Cries had the greatest possibility of being involved in these conflicts. This kind of rebellious and arrogant kid probably disliked other pro gamers who were potentially stronger than him like Sword Ghost.

Master Han continued his speech. “But I need to make things clear now. I’m not planning to build a guild this time around. I’m going to put most of my energy into this mercenary group. I don’t need many people in my group, but they all must be elites. I’ll kick anyone that I find not meeting my standards.”

This last part was obviously directed towards Gu Fei. He wasn’t an old pro gamer acquaintance like the others, and they all probably had some doubts about his skill. But it was all for the best, Gu Fei thought. If they felt that he wasn’t up to their standards, then just expel him! He initially agreed to join only out of respect for Sword Ghost anyways.

As Gu Fei was thinking this, Master Han resumed talking. “I have a player-set task on hand now, and I can confirm that it is an almost impossible task for anyone to accomplish at this initial stage of the game. But that’s only true for ordinary players. We few famous pros can cooperate and with some luck, even complete it! If we can complete it, and Bless Brother spams about it in the official forum for a few days, we’ll have a never ending flow of people begging us for help from then on! Hahahaha…”

Gu Fei thought that it was a decent speech at first, but it veered off in a strange direction at the end. Sounds like this Master Han was a bit narcissistic? Ok, but that was probably inevitable for a beauty who could look into a mirror at such a pretty face everyday.

Master Han held up his wine glass to soothe his throat from the long speech, yet stopped halfway and just stared into the glass.

“What’s wrong?” asked Sword Ghost.

“So beautiful!” gasped Master Han.

“What?” Sword Ghost was confused.

“Look at this face reflected on the wine glass. It’s just so perfect. Why did heavens give me such a flawless face?” Master Han wondered as he stared entranced at the liquid in his cup.

“…”

It was still ok for Sword Ghost and Bless Brother, for they were a close friend and an information expert respectively, so they had more or less come to expect Master Han’s narcissistic nature.

Whereas for Gu Fei and the others, they were all on the verge of a breakdown. Master Han’s charmed expression made them want to vomit, and yet it looked perfectly real. Are there really such narcissists in the world? Gu Fei felt that this was really an eye-opening trip.

Sword Ghost snatched Master Han’s wine glass away, and he returned to normal. He cleared his throat and said, “Anyway, let’s discuss the details of this task. Bless Bro, you…”

“Wait a minute,” Gu Fei cut in all of a sudden.

“Yes?” Everyone looked to him.

“It’s almost 2.30,” said Gu Fei.

“Yeah.” Everyone nodded.

“I have something I need to do,” Gu Fei smiled apologetically.

“Huh?” Everyone was surprised.

“I thought it was just going to be a short intro, and didn’t expect that there would be so much stuff to discuss. I have lessons at 2.30,” said Gu Fei.

“Have lessons… Are you a student too?” Royal Heaven’s Cries stared at Gu Fei. He suddenly felt a bit closer to Gu Fei.

“Nah,” Gu Fei smiled at him. “I’m a teacher.”

Royal Heaven’s Cries’ image of Gu Fei in his mind immediately became ten times worse.

“I’m sorry, I have to leave now. Can we continue this later tonight?” asked Gu Fei.

“Alright,” Master Han waved a hand. “We’ll continue the meeting tonight.”

“Thanks!”

“It’s not easy to join a group that I lead. You must seize the opportunity! I have faith in you!” said Master Han.

“I’ll try my best, bye!” Gu Fei escaped the scene. That fellow was just too narcissistic.

VW:CCM Chapter 16

Translated by: Effyis

Edited by: Stbunbun


Chapter 16: Meeting at Little Thunder Bar (Part 1)

Gu Fei’s “why” made Sword Ghost glum.

Why else? It was obviously because of Gu Fei. After Sword Ghost, a level 24 rogue, was beaten by Gu Fei, a level 10 mage, no one believed that Sword Ghost was still as capable as before. What’s the use of having a high level? Even a mage 15 levels lower could win you. With such a common thought, those who considered staying with Sword Ghost all left him within days.

But Sword Ghost felt that Gu Fei had beaten him fair and square, so he had no intentions of blaming Gu Fei. It was just that the “culprit” had a bemused face and blurted out “why”, which made him a little indignant.

“Uh, nothing! Let’s talk about the mercenary group instead. Are you interested?” asked Sword Ghost.

“Ok, I’m free to go,” said Gu Fei. He did not want to participate in group events, which would eat into his personal time, but from Sword Ghost’s expression just now and information from Fireball about Sword Ghost, he could guess what had happened to Sword Ghost’s guild, and he felt a bit apologetic.

Gu Fei regretted it. He shouldn’t have been so competitive and instead gave in a little to the extent that Sword Ghost knew about their difference in skill but still managed to keep some face. Sword Ghost, as a sincere person, would not have pursued the matter anymore after that.

What was most important was that Gu Fei knew perfectly what being ostracised felt like. And the reason for Sword Ghost’s ostracisation was his looks! How unfair was that! It was too much for those people to shun someone just because of his looks. And luckily for me, I’m not born as ugly… thought Gu Fei as he felt sorry for Sword Ghost at the same time.

With remorse and empathy, Gu Fei felt that he should give up a bit of his personal time and fulfill Sword Ghost’s wish as compensation to him.

Sword Ghost didn’t know that Gu Fei only agreed out of goodwill. He nodded after he heard Gu Fei agree and said, “Very well, we’ve agreed to meet in the afternoon. Let’s go together.”

“Afternoon? What time will it be?” asked Gu Fei.

“2pm,” said Sword Ghost.

“We’ll meet in the afternoon then!” Sword Ghost nodded and returned to where he was killing monsters at the other side of the woods.

Gu Fei, on the other hand, stretched a little and shook his shoulders, and charged towards the mobs once again with his sword raised.

Sword Ghost sent Gu Fei a message at 1:50pm. “Where are you now?” he asked.

“Almost back in the city!” Gu Fei had been training in the outskirts of the city, and started rushing back to the city when he felt that the meeting time was near. Parallel World did not provide any shortcuts back to the city. The official statement justified it as making the game more realistic. Players all scorned the company and deemed the decision a way to extend players’ online gaming time. The best proof to this was that the game would only have game time cards and no monthly game cards after official operations started.

“Good,” Sword Ghost replied.

“Where are y’all meeting at? I’ll go straight there,” typed Gu Fei.

“Little Thunder Bar,” answered Sword Ghost.

“Ok, I’m going there now,” replied Gu Fei.

Little Thunder Bar could be regarded as a legend, as it was the first player-operated bar in the whole of Parallel World. The requirement for players to open shops was that they had to be at least level 20, but that wasn’t the crux of the matter. The key thing was – the money needed to buy the shop.

You could set up a stall on the streets and the system would not care, nor would there be Urban Management officers1 to fine you. But to own an actual shop, you had to buy it from the system.

Though cities in the game were big, fixed assets like houses were still limited, thus they were very costly. No one would have thought that someone could really start a bar at level 20, especially a bar that was actually quite large.

Where did he get so much money from? Everyone racked their brains and only one way seemed possible: He had used real world money to buy equipment or weapons from the Trading House, and then sold them in the Auction House for in game money. Such a rich guy! Everyone marveled.

And yet he opened a bar with such high capital. Everyone felt puzzled by these actions. The bar might look like it had good business for the time being, but when the beta test ends and game time cards came into play, fewer people would waste their valuable play time in a bar. Furthermore, the system’s bars have a variety of wines which players are unable to provide. Though you could choose to be a bartender as your Life Profession and then make wine, how much wine would you be able to make at such low levels? Another way would be to buy wine from the system and sell them in your own shop, but who would do that?

Yet, the fact was that Little Thunder Bar did function that way. The owner buys wine from the system and sells them at the same price. Not only that, the system still requires him to pay a transaction tax every day for his shop. He was totally just bleeding money!

But he still continued even though he was sustaining losses! What a strange person with such unique leisure pursuits! Everyone marveled.

This rich and exceptional man however had an ordinary name: Little Thunder.

This was the first ID that became famous in Parallel World. Although countless secretly regarded him as an idiot, he was still a cool idiot no matter what, and the pride of all Cloud City players since he was born there randomly!

It was only natural for Gu Fei to know about such a famous person and his bar. He had even been there once with Fireball, and had seen the well-known Little Thunder who was selling drinks behind the bar counter himself.

After Gu Fei arrived outside Little Thunder Bar, he looked at the system time. It was two o’clock on the dot. He took a deep breath and walked in.

Gu Fei looked around and couldn’t seem to find Sword Ghost in the bar. He was just about to send him a message when Little Thunder himself approached him, “Do you need any help?”

“Oh I’m looking for someone,” Gu Fei proceeded to describe Sword Ghost’s appearance.

Sword Ghost had a face that was just too unique. Gu Fei had only managed to say a few words before Little Thunder pointed at private room No. 3, “They’re there.” As it was a bar operated by a player, the bar wasn’t as old-fashioned and inflexible as the system’s. Little Thunder had used logs to build up a few private rooms by the side of the bar, giving it the feeling of a modern bar.

“Ok thanks!” said Gu Fei.

“You’re welcome. Call me if you need anything!” Little Thunder’s smile was really exemplary of the service industry.

“Little Thunder!” Gu Fei waved a finger. “Your real name must be Lei Feng2, right?”

“You must be kidding,” laughed Little Thunder.

Gu Fei bid farewell to him with a smile and walked towards private room No. 3.

Since the private room was made out of a circle of logs and had no door, a piece of old sheet was hung in place as the door. Gu Fei shook the cloth in place of knocking.

“Come in,” said someone in the room.

Gu Fei lifted the cloth and walked in. And it was then he saw the person directly facing the door.

One word: beautiful.

Two words: very pretty.

Three words: just too gorgeous.

Four words: how could it be?

Five words: that is actually a man?

Such a fellow was sitting facing the door beside Sword Ghost. If not for his flat chest and bulging Adam’s apple, Gu Fei would have never believed that he was a man.

The young man had slung an arm across Sword Ghost’s shoulder and pointed at Gu Fei as he walked in, “Is that him?”

Sword Ghost nodded and spoke to Gu Fei, “You’re here.”

“I’m here,” nodded Gu Fei as well.

The beauty pointed at an empty chair and said, “Have a seat!”

Gu Fei sat down and looked at the other three people present. All had very ordinary and common facial features. They seemed much more human than Sword Ghost and the other guy who were exceptionally ugly and beautiful respectively.

“I’m going to give you an introduction now,” said Sword Ghost to Gu Fei and started with the person beside Gu Fei. “Battle Unscathed. He is a warrior.”

Battle Unscathed was a middle-aged man who had a sturdy physique and gave off a mature and staid vibe. “Hello!” he stretched out a hand and introduced himself further. “I like the Warrior class, so I choose it for all my online games!”

“And always the number one warrior while he’s at it,” added Sword Ghost.

“Hello hello!” Gu Fei took off his straw hat and quickly held his hand, only to find that Battle Unscathed’s grip was too strong. It was an inevitable fact, for warriors would definitely place emphasis on Strength. For a mage like Gu Fei who spent all his points on Agility, his bones were nearly crushed from this one handshake. Fortunately, it seemed like only a habit. Battle Unscathed didn’t mean to make things difficult for Gu Fei and let go immediately after the shake. Gu Fei could only smile wryly. It was the first time in his life that he had actually had the weaker hand in a handshake.

“This is Bless Brother. He always chooses his class randomly. He got Knight this time round. He is good at collecting information and noticing minor details,” Sword Ghost introduced the next person.

“Bless brother3? You don’t look very old,” Gu Fei extended a hand.

“Haha, it’s just that my ID is Bless Brother. Sorry for taking advantage of you!” Bless Brother scratched his head in embarrassment and then shook Gu Fei’s hand, his genial smile showing that he was an easy-going person.

“I see,” Gu Fei smiled back.

“This is Royal Heaven’s Cries, and he is an expert in Mages. But he chose to be an archer for this game,” said Sword Ghost as he introduced the third person. This person displayed no trace of a smile. He looked like an arrogant and defiant teenager, most likely he was still a student.

“Pleased to meet you,” said Gu Fei as he reached out a hand. His attitude was the most serious this time around. He knew that when dealing with such youngsters, it is best to show them your respect and don’t treat them as children.

Yet, that didn’t work with Royal Heaven’s Cries. He was childish enough to not even extend a hand and only snorted a greeting through his nose, “Hi!”

What a rude kid! He totally has no respect for his elders. Gu Fei felt like rolling his eyes.

“And the last one would be him, Master Han, my old partner in game. His class is forever Priest.” Sword Ghost finally introduced the one beside him.

 


1: Chengguan, or Urban Management officers, walk the streets of China with their main roles as chasing away unlicensed street vendors and checking permits. They are widely reviled for harshness and are regarded by many as little better than thugs, though they have been trying to rebuild their image recently.

2: Lei Feng (1940-1962) was a soldier in the People’s Liberation Army and is a communist legend in China. After his death from an accident, his diary was discovered and it had recorded countless good deeds he had done anonymously. Lei was portrayed in propaganda as a model citizen, and the masses were encouraged to emulate his selflessness, modesty, and devotion to Mao. Lei Feng remains a cultural icon representing earnestness and service till this day. The term “活雷锋/Huó Léi Fēng” (literally “living Lei Feng”) has become a noun (or adjective) for anyone who is seen as selfless, or anyone who goes out of their way to help others. Here, since Lei literally translates to thunder, a pun is made on Little Thunder’s name.

3: The brother here is elder brother in Chinese, which unfortunately has no corresponding single word in English. Asians are particular about family hierarchy, and calling people elder brother is usually a display of admiration or to show their seniority in status. Thus, Bless Brother implied that he had put upon Gu Fei in terms of seniority.

VW:CCM Chapter 15

Translated by: Effyis

Edited by: Stbunbun


Chapter 15: Nine Slashes of the Tang Dao

Sword Ghost was shocked by Gu Fei’s equipment the first time he set eyes on him. And the shock was so overwhelming that he forgot to use Identification on Gu Fei. But truth be told, there was no need for it as Gu Fei’s clothes and equipment all couldn’t be more than ordinary. The true high-graded things would look like it as well, like Frost Memories.

As the continuous screams resounded in the distance, Sword Ghost couldn’t take it anymore. How, just how did he battle those monsters? Sword Ghost, as an experienced player, could roughly tell what skills others used from the sounds they made, yet now, Gu Fei’s moves were simply unintelligible. Sword Ghost prepared to find out for himself.

In order to obtain first-hand information, Sword Ghost chose to use Stealth to get close to Gu Fei unnoticed.

In Parallel World, the skills were not learnt once and for all. They would still need polishing and upgrading to gain proficiency, of which higher values means better effects. Ways of doing so included using the skills frequently, receiving rewards from game tasks, effects from equipment, and so on.

Stealth was certainly one of the most important skills of the Rogue class. Sword Ghost, as a die-hard gamer, clearly knew of its significance and had thus spent a lot of effort on it. Now, his Stealth skill was already of standard and had no time limitation to its effect. As long as he wasn’t attacking or being attacked, he could remain in Stealth mode forever. A skill perfect for spying.

Sword Ghost crossed the woods under Stealth mode to where Gu Fei was. There was no wind, but Sword Ghost could feel chills down his spine.

What Gu Fei did was beyond his comprehension. He felt as if his years of experience built up had been completely fallen apart.

With the half-worn straw hat covering part of his face, Gu Fei’s fluid steps made his mage robe flutter in the wind. Slashes of cold steel flashed before Sword Ghost’s eyes, bringing out the incessant screams of the monsters. What Gu Fei held in his hands was unexpectedly, a sword.

It was a sword which looked like a Tang dao1, and it flew with grace in Gu Fei’s hands, bringing down the monster, as well as all of Sword Ghost’s knowledge of gaming.

Gu Fei’s attacking techniques were beautiful, beautifully perfect.

Yet, they were just ordinary attacks, without using any in game skills.

Sword Ghost was completely baffled. Would anyone believe what he had just seen? A mage, equipped with a sword, used ordinary attacks, and somehow was much more efficient than he was.

After taking a closer look, Sword Ghost had realized some of the mechanics behind the scene.

Gu Fei could cause the greatest damage possible with every attack!

The damage caused by weapons in a lot of games is usually decided by choosing a number between a maximum and a minimum value, which leads to the damage being dealt varying greatly, leading to the never-ending debate of whether choosing a weapon that has higher maximum damage but contains a lower minimum damage or a weapon that has smaller difference between its minimum and maximum damage values is a better choice. How to reliably bring out the maximum damage value of the weapon was also an important question, but in the end, everyone agreed that it was probably up to one’s luck.

But in Parallel World, a game which boasts being a complete real world simulation, Sword Ghost could feel that achieving maximum damage was no longer a matter of luck and instead, could be determined by the players themselves.

Based on Sword Ghost’s estimation, the more accurate each attack was in terms of strength and position, the higher the damage caused. Gu Fei was the perfect example.

Sword Ghost believed that with every hit, the damage Gu Fei caused was never far from the maximum. He knew very well how much HP the monsters had, given that he had also grinded the monsters here for a long time. Thus, he could tell that Gu Fei was achieving the maximum damage per hit after counting the number of hits required to kill the monster and calculating the damage caused from each one.

Operation! The word popped into Sword Ghost’s head. Who said that a VR game had no operation? This was a type of operation that was more powerful than that of the traditional mouse and keyboard!

This kind of operation which goes for the greatest damage… Yes, we’ll call it Extreme Operation! Sword Ghost couldn’t help but be excited, as if he had discovered a new world.

Just then, Gu Fei began to retreat, fighting monsters while moving backwards in small steps.

“Hmm? So is he going to rest?” Sword Ghost was a little puzzled. He hadn’t seen Gu Fei get hurt, so it was probably due to Fatigue Level. Fatigue Level was present in the game, but to be honest, it was a setting that hindered gaming. Just imagine, if the character was as easily tired as in real life, continuous high-intensity battles would send players to the ground in minutes.

Thus although there was still Fatigue Level present in the game, it rose really slowly. Players nicknamed it “Addiction Prevention System” with sarcasm as to how the company totally had no intention of forcing players to play any less.

Could it be that the Fatigue Level rose much faster under Extreme Operation? Sword Ghost thought quietly to himself. If it were so, then it wasn’t worth the effort. Even though the Fatigue Levels were slow to rise, they dropped slowly as well, and there were no ways to speed this drop up at the moment. Though offline time counted towards the recovery as well, Sword Ghost felt that the drawbacks of Extreme Operation’s fatigue gain outweighed the XP benefits.

Whatever the case, Gu Fei was obviously retreating as he fought, and those monsters pulled were cleared off one by one. Those which respawned were not within the aggro radius and so did not pursue him. As he reached the side of the woods, the last monster was killed off with a slash.

Sword Ghost had only one word for it – amazing! The accuracy shown during the retreat was truly deserving of the title Extreme Operation.

What was more amazing was however yet to come. After bringing down the last monster, Gu Fei turned around. With his sword in one hand and the other pushing up his straw hat, he looked towards Sword Ghost’s direction and spoke, “What’s the matter?”

Sword Ghost turned around to look but no one was in sight.

“Are you saying that you can see me?” Sword Ghost was taken by surprise.

“I can’t see you, but I can feel your presence,” said Gu Fei.

“How is that possible?” Sword Ghost wondered out aloud. His thoughts suddenly went back to the day of their PvP. He thought Gu Fei had discovered him as he was about to attack using Backstab, but, according to the current situation, Gu Fei probably had already known that he was laying in wait long before then.

Sword Ghost was bewildered. Did this even count as operation?

“Hey you! Show yourself!” Gu Fei shouted. Though he could feel Sword Ghost’s presence, he still could not see him, and it was too bizarre a scene to be conversing with the air.

Sword Ghost came out of Stealth mode and gradually appeared before Gu Fei.

“Is something the matter?” asked Gu Fei.

“I wanted to watch you battle monsters,” replied Sword Ghost.

“How was it?” smiled Gu Fei.

“Impressive!” nodded Sword Ghost.

“My Nine Slashes of the Tang Dao…”

“Nine Slashes of the Tang Dao?”

“Yep!” Gu Fei nodded.

What was that? The name for his operation techniques? Tang dao, there was a weapon with that name in a wuxia online game two years ago, but it was pretty low-levelled, Sword Ghost thought to himself. He was an expert only with regard to online games, so the famous Tang dao was only an online game weapon to him.

“Three moves of splitting waves!” Gu Fei exclaimed suddenly. He flipped his wrist and the sword sliced through the air in three swift moves.

“Three moves of cutting water!” As the words were spoken, his demeanour had changed, akin to that of a fierce tiger, striking the air trice.

“Three moves of blazing sun!” The sword was drawn back and stabbed thrice in succession.

“In Nine Slashes of the Tang Dao, it makes use of slicing, striking and stabbing, and without years of practice, it’s impossible to achieve mastery. What I did was not at all worth mentioning.” Gu Fei dismissed himself.

Sword Ghost could only nod in bewilderment. He had absolutely no idea what Gu Fei was talking about. To him, what Gu Fei showed him just now was not at all a spectacle compared to when he was battling the monsters.

“Hmm, so what’s the matter?” Gu Fei asked.

Sword Ghost did have something to ask, but he couldn’t decide on it. After watching Gu Fei’s “Extreme Operation”, he finally made up his mind. “I have a friend who wants to form a mercenary group. Are you interested in joining?”

“Mercenary group?”

“You don’t know about it?”

“I do, of course I do.” Gu Fei had been well-informed about the details of the game, so he did have knowledge about the two main forms of organization in game.

Guilds and mercenary groups.

A guild functioned just like in the usual online games. In Parallel World, as long as there is one person who initiates and twenty responses, a guild is formed.

As for mercenary groups, it was a new creation which had no requirements about the number of members. You could form one with just one person. After forming the group, the members could accept tasks from the system and complete them for XP, money or other rewards. Other than that, players or guilds could also set tasks and offer rewards in the mercenary group building. If a mercenary group completed the task, the rewards would go to them. Of course, rewards provided by players themselves would be things like money and weapons. Players are unable to award XP for completion of their tasks.

There was no conflict between forming a guild and a mercenary group, which means that people belonging to different guilds could belong to the same mercenary group. But the prevalent trend now was that guilds formed their own mercenary group. The main reason was that although one person could form a mercenary group by himself, it was impossible for him to complete the tasks given by the system alone. Such players would probably only be able to complete simple tasks set by other players in the future. Therefore, guilds raising strong mercenary groups in game was a hot topic for now.

Gu Fei smiled, “So you want me to join your Against the Heavens guild’s mercenary group?”

Sword Ghost gave a bitter laugh and said, “Against the Heavens guild has dissolved.”

“Eh? Why?” Gu Fei was curious. A guild could be initiated by a player who was level 30, and responded by players above level 30. Sword Ghost reached level 30 long ago, so Gu Fei thought that his guild had already been formed for some time.

 


1: Dao are single-edged Chinese swords, primarily used for slashing and chopping. During the Tang Dynasty, dao were exported to both Korea and Japan, influencing the swordsmithing of both nations. The blades of Tang era dao are similar to that of the Japanese chokuto. As in the preceding dynasties, Tang dynasty dao were straight along the entire length of the blade.

VW:CCM Chapter 14

Translated by: Effyis

Edited by: Stbunbun


Chapter 14: Difficult to Comprehend

Time flew by and one week has passed from the day that Parallel World started its beta test. Players tried their best to adapt to the changes of a new mode of gaming. As a teacher, Gu Fei was surrounded by chit-chats about the game. Of course, he would not join in the conversations. In response to Gu Fei’s request, Ah Fa did not tell anyone at school that Teacher Gu Fei also played the game.

Gu Fei, like many other young teachers, liked video games as well. However, most teachers chose to abide by the principle of setting an example for their students as teachers and expressed their disdain for anything students liked. Although Gu Fei was an unimportant gym teacher, he chose to comply as well.

Yet, Gu Fei still showed a significant change in the eyes of his colleagues and students: he no longer rambled on and on about his beloved Kung Fu!

Teacher Gu Fei was finally normal! That became a news item in school.

Gu Fei didn’t care for all those attention he gained in school. All his leisure time was spent in Parallel World. He loved this virtual world, the world where he could use his Kung Fu however he liked.

Still, Parallel World, as a game, required information to work best, and Gu Fei didn’t forget that. Whenever he rose a few levels, he would visit the official site so as to choose the levelling area for the next stage.

Gu Fei had three criteria when choosing monsters. They had to be human-shaped, attacked using close combat, and had higher level than oneself. Choosing a monster which was human-shaped and attacked using close combat was because of his Kung Fu. Gu Fei gamed not for the sake of gaming, but for his Kung Fu. He had never once thought that grinding mobs was boring and tedious. Instead, he could pour his heart and soul into the activity as he took the process as training for Kung Fu.

As for choosing monsters that had higher levels than him, it was a choice due to gaming reasons. The monsters in Parallel World gave set amounts of XP, so monsters of higher levels than the player obviously gave more points. Gu Fei would not give up on this avenue of gaining XP faster given that he had the ability to do so. Even so, there was still a limit to how much he could bypass the level difference when killing monsters with all his Kung Fu techniques. He wouldn’t be able to keep up with the monster’s speed or defence if it were around 20 or more levels higher than him.

This situation reminded Gu Fei about how his dad had taught him Kung Fu when he was young. “You are small and weak, so I have no need to care for your attacks,” Dad cheerfully flipped little Gu Fei onto the ground although he took a punch from him. “You can tell that I’m going to flip you from the movement of my shoulder, but you can’t avoid it. Why? Because your body still can’t keep up with your eyes. You still need training, kid. Loads of it.”

Gu Fei grew up in such challenges and he missed the fun he had then. Now, he had the opportunity to do it again. How could he not be excited?

Train, improve oneself and challenge stronger enemies. It was all so simple in the world of gaming.

Finally the day for Gu Fei to reach level 30 had come.

Every player who levelled up would take a quick look at the amount of XP needed for the next level. Gu Fei was no exception. However, what he saw made his jaw drop.

Am I seeing things? Is this really the amount of XP needed for level 30 to rise to level 31? Am I now level 30 or 300? Gu Fei thought with surprise.

The XP needed this time, instead of the usual 10% increment before, was a 10 times increment.

10 times!

There had been no online game that required such a vast increment of XP during levelling before.

And during this time, a great number of players in Parallel World had reached or were reaching this level.

Everyone was caught in the swirl of leveling up and getting shocked.

Thus forth, this was taken as a bug and the whole world was crazily reporting the problem to the game company. Almost no one was still training.

Soon, the game company came out with a public announcement.

It wasn’t a bug. As to why this had happened, the reason was that the game company had altered the amount of XP required for levelling up for the first 30 levels.

In order to avoid having a large number of acts of violence such as that on the first day of the beta test, the company could only tweak game settings as they could not interfere directly regarding these bullying incidents. And the final decision after discussion was to greatly cut the XP needed for a player to level up till level 30.

The company deemed level 30 as a level that all Classes would have formed a balance in all areas and have enough skills and ability to battle and protect themselves. Of course, this might not apply if you were a complete noob. But that would have nothing to do with the game company.

It was an explanation that everyone would accept readily, as they knew about those misdeeds which happened during the initial release of the game. When players learnt that no changes would be made, they flew back to the game to carry on with their levelling.

Gu Fei on the other hand, was completely unaware of this happening. After making sure that he wasn’t level 300, nor did he misread the XP needed, he dismissed the matter. He had wanted to ask Mortal Smile, but he gave it up since Mortal Smile wasn’t online. If there were any mistakes, the company would make adjustments accordingly. Gu Fei decided to get back to training and started travelling towards the levelling area he had chosen for his level 30 stage.

The area Gu Fei had selected for level 30 was one that others’ would view as a level 40 levelling area.

One could have still managed with even higher-levelled monsters, but those had exceptionally higher defense and HP, so it would be the most efficient to grind those which were level 40.

When Gu Fei unexpectedly met Sword Ghost at this leveling area, Sword Ghost gave the above theory in a tone of great minds think alike.

Gu Fei had, naturally, planned it that way too. The only difference was their attitude. Sword Ghost did it for the purpose of levelling up as fast as possible, but Gu Fei took it as polishing his Kung Fu skills, and gained satisfaction from levelling up. If he did it purely for the purpose of levelling up, Gu Fei definitely would not have the enthusiasm he had now.

By then, the XP Sword Ghost had gained was equivalent to level 30.5. It was obvious that he had reached level 30 earlier than anyone else, and although he had doubts, he had continued on just like Gu Fei did.

After exchanging greetings, Gu Fei turned to leave for another levelling area.

Both of them did not suggest teaming up for levelling.

For Sword Ghost, he knew his routine was specially devised for levelling alone. Overall, if someone joined in, although total XP gained would potentially increase, the efficiency would decrease.

Whereas for Gu Fei, he could tell that Sword Ghost didn’t need any help. Moreover, he fought monsters to practice Kung Fu, so he didn’t need help as well.

By tacit agreement they split up, each to one side.

Before they parted, Gu Fei took an envious glance at Sword Ghost’s Frost Memories. Xi Xiaotian was a real connoisseur. The dagger could have easily fetched even more than 50,000 Yuan.

The most valuable trait of the dagger was not its high attack damage nor the chance of causing a fatal blow, but its 25-point increment, which means that the player could be considered to have gained 5 levels since only 5 points were given per rise in level. No further explanation would be needed to explain this trait’s worth for a game that allowed players to gain XP the fastest by killing monsters of higher levels than oneself.

Even if it were just a rock and not a weapon, I would have gladly taken it to try it out in the higher-levelled areas! Gu Fei thought to himself. Still, though he coveted the dagger, he would never have second thoughts about the decision of returning it to Sword Ghost. It was a matter of principles.

The two had a patch of woods between them. They could not see each other, but only hear the screams of the monsters. The difference was that there were pauses on Sword Ghost’s side, whereas shrieks of agony persisted on Gu Fei’s side.

Sword Ghost needed rest to regain HP. In Parallel World, under the situation that the player is being attacked or attacking, items like Potions could not be used to restore HP. Potions can only be used when the player is not in battle, and during battle, only skills or special equipment could be used to restore HP.

Thus it could be said that in Parallel World, it was tough to train by oneself all alone.

Of course, Gu Fei was a different case. He needed no high-levelled skills and relied mostly on just normal attacks, yet he achieved a much more efficient result than Sword Ghost, who had made use of every Rogue’s skill within level 30 to the maximum.

However, Gu Fei had a job and still needed to spend large amounts of time on training of Kung Fu in real life, which gaming could never replace, resulting in the huge disparity in XP between him and Sword Ghost.

As for Sword Ghost, Gu Fei didn’t know what he did for a living. As long as Gu Fei was online, Sword Ghost’s name had never darkened. He was probably a so-called professional gamer, thought Gu Fei as he fought a monster.

And Sword Ghost, as well, was thinking about Gu Fei at the other side of the woods.

It was days before meeting again. And this chap is now level 30 too.

Sword Ghost would have regarded getting to level 30 in a week as a really unworthy result. But since he was online for long periods of time everyday and paid close attention to Gu Fei, he was clear about Gu Fei’s short gaming time.

Taking these factors into consideration, all that Sword Ghost had left for Gu Fei was shock and admiration. What astounding efficiency!

At the same time, he was perplexed regarding Gu Fei’s attire.

A level-30 mage with such ridiculous clothes! He still wore the beginner mage robe and had a bulge at his waist which probably would turn out to be a dagger again. That straw hat on his head was meant for warriors and his boots were for us rogues!

Oh gosh! What on earth is with this combination?

VW:CCM Chapter 13

Sorry for taking quite long to finish with this chapter. Exams 🙁

Translated by: Effyis

Edited by: Stbunbun


Chapter 13: Restitution

“Ah, you’re here!” The girl smiled so widely and warmly, as if welcoming her husband home from work.

Gu Fei was not at all moved. He smiled, “You run pretty fast!” Then he glanced at her injured leg and quickly gave it a kick. “So your leg has healed already?” he said.

The girl was in great pain but she did not show it on her face. Before she could say anything, she heard Gu Fei mumbling, “This isn’t the bandaging that I did before already!”

“You’re actually quite attentive to details!” The girl was surprised.

Gu Fei smiled. “Of course! I wouldn’t have followed you or found you once again now if not for that.”

The girl looked at Gu Fei expressionless and in silence. No one knew what she was thinking at that moment.

“You would also have guessed that I know that you are going to make transactions here right? Just that you didn’t think that I would get here so fast.” Gu Fei continued talking.

“Where did they go?” The girl asked. The “they” obviously referred to the five people who were at the healer’s.

“They left!” said Gu Fei.

The girl was bemused. “Why would they let you off?”

“It’s very simple,” Gu Fei said. “I returned the dagger to them.”

“They believed you just because you returned the dagger to them?” the girl thought it sounded impossible.

“Of course not. But I’ve already returned it to them, and they can’t beat me in a fight. What more could they do?” Gu Fei answered.

“They can’t beat you?” The girl was astonished. She had learnt the skill of Identification, and could tell that Gu Fei was level 16. It was a level higher than most of the players around, but his opponents who could get a dagger like Howls of Rage wouldn’t be weak as well. And they had five people, versus one.

Gu Fei was unperturbed by her surprise. He just smiled.

“So you’re saying, you’ve returned the dagger to them even though they couldn’t do anything to you?” If the expression on her face before was a look of surprise, it was now covered with disbelief. That dagger could have brought him an estimated sum of 30,000 Yuan in her experience, although it was not as good as Frost Memories. She really could not have imagined that he would just let it go. Was he really not after money?

“What do you exactly want?” the girl could not hold back her curiosity.

“How many times have I repeated it? Return the dagger to me now.” Gu Fei was exasperated.

The girl continued to look incredulous.

“I know you didn’t believe me all along, so! Please look here…” Gu Fei held his hand out and introduced someone who was standing behind him. A scrawny lad with piercing eyes appeared in a flash. It was Sword Ghost.

“So you can believe me now, can’t you?” Gu Fei smiled. “And you must recognize him. You can return the dagger directly to him.”

The girl stared at Sword Ghost and finally nodded after some moment.

They returned to the gallery and cancelled the transaction. The girl passed the dagger over the moment she retrieved it.

Gu Fei handed over the dagger to Sword Ghost as soon as he took hold of it. Sword Ghost, on the other hand, was also neither anxious nor nervous. His glare remained fixed on the girl.

The girl could imagine the amount of anger he harboured. However, they were at the Trading House, which was one of the safest out of all the safe zones in the game.

The scene of a thousand fireballs rising like that at the Mage Academy would never happen here. Gu Fei called out, “Fireball!” and immediately Fireball answered and walked over briskly from the exhibit he had been admiring.

“You had a question for the lady, didn’t you?” Gu Fei asked Fireball.

Fireball nodded and looked towards the girl. “Miss, may I know what’s your name?”

“Xi Xiaotian.” The girl kept an expressionless face. “You?”

“I’m Fireball!” Fireball exclaimed happily.

Xi Xiaotian’s stare stayed fixated on Gu Fei, and didn’t give much of a response to Fireball. Gu Fei knew that her “you” was actually directed towards him.

“ThousandMiles Drunk.” Gu Fei sighed. He didn’t like the name, but he had to accept it.

“Real name?” Xi Xiaotian demanded.

Gu Fei was a little stunned, but still answered her question, “Gu Fei.”

Xi Xiaotian nodded and stepped backwards. She slid onto the floor, leaned against the wall and stroked her injured calf. “Violent Fei!” said Xi Xiaotian with her gaze on Gu Fei.

Gu Fei, though startled, quickly retorted, “Swindler Tian!”

The atmosphere became weird, and Sword Ghost could not hold back a cough.

“Well, she’s a little girl, so let’s not pursue it anymore?” Gu Fei said to Sword Ghost.

“Alright,” Sword Ghost responded without hesitation.

Gu Fei smiled. “With the dagger back in your possession, you can’t wait to get back to leveling up?”

Although an ugly smile, Sword Ghost finally cracked the first after he entered the Trading House. “I’m leaving now, message me if there’s anything!” He left without a second glance at the three.

“What a cool guy! He does have the charm as rumoured.” Fireball said, and added on, “Other than his looks, of course.”

Gu Fei sighed, “Something that I can’t refute.”

“What about us?” Fireball glanced at Gu Fei and then Xi Xiaotian.

“I’m going to level up too,” said Gu Fei. “You?”

Fireball peeked at Xi Xiaotian, but she didn’t spare him any attention at all. Snubbed, Fireball could only reply “I’m going too.”

“Then let’s go!” Gu Fei turned to leave.

“Hey!” Xi Xiaotian gave a sudden shout.

Fireball spun around as if he were the full-Agility mage instead.

Xi Xiaotian still did not spare him a glance. “My leg!” She pointed at her calf and looked at Gu Fei.

Gu Fei saw blood oozing out from the bandage. He walked back and complained, “You are too heavy. I can’t stand your weight!” With that, he even massaged his right shoulder: the spot where he carried Xi Xiaotian on just now.

Xi Xiaotian scowled at him.

Gu Fei sighed. He extended a hand, “Bandage.”

Xi Xiaotian passed over a roll of bandage. Gu Fei bent over and started bandaging the wound anew. “I knew it! How could my method be useless? It’s yours that didn’t work.”

It was over in seconds, and Gu Fei got up, “It won’t bleed anymore now, unless you temper with it. And that, won’t be my responsibility.”

“Bye!” Gu Fei waved at Xi Xiaotian and walked out of the Trading House with Fireball. The moment he stepped out he received a system notification: Xi Xiaotian has sent you a friend request.

This girl… She gave her name as Xi Xiaotian, and then asked me for my real name. So this is probably her real name too? Everyone in game uses a fake name while a swindler uses her real name. Where’s the logic? Gu Fei muttered under his breath.

Gu Fei’s conversation tab remained open after he left the Trading House.

“Thanks for your help! Without you, I wouldn’t have known that there’s a such a place like a Trading House in the game.” Gu Fei sent a message with the target as Mortal Smile.

“Heh, found her at the Trading House?” Mortal Smile responded.

“Yep, all is well now,” said Gu Fei.

“Do you want to give me the information on the swindler?” asked Mortal Smile.

“Eh, forget it…” said Gu Fei.

“Oh? Defending a swindler? What a rare sight! Must be a pretty girl huh?” replied Mortal Smile.

“Not bad.” Gu Fei was honest.

Mortal Smile answered, “I have to remind you that from my many years of experience, female gamers not only have impressive deception skills, their desires of seeking revenge also shouldn’t be underestimated. Be careful!”

“It’s such an enormous game. We probably won’t meet anymore.” Said Gu Fei.

“Really?”

“Umm…Maybe!” Gu Fei stayed honest. She had sent him a friend request herself, and so there did exist the chance of her looking for him again.

“Let’s end the conversation here. I’ve to get started leveling up now.”

“Hey! Give some hints on the bosses, hidden tasks, top weapons and so on!” said Gu Fei.

“Stop kidding. I’m a self-disciplined game worker.” replied Mortal Smile.

Gu Fei was indeed just teasing, so he sent a smiley over and closed the conversation tab.

“Fireball! Pooh!” Gu Fei realized that it was a name that should not be called as and when he liked.

But it was too late. A fireball had already risen in front of him, and Fireball who stood beside him was indignant as well. “Who are you swearing at!” He gave Gu Fei a glare.

“It was a mistake!” Gu Fei said. “But your name is really inconvenient. Let’s think of a nickname.”

As usual, Fireball cursed the fellow who chose his name profusely. Only after that did he respond to Gu Fei’s question, “Call me Little Fire then.”

“Little Fire… Ok, that will be it for now!” said Gu Fei.

The two talked and walked, and headed towards the outskirts of the city. On the way, Fireball suddenly remembered something. “Drunk Bro…” he began.

“Hmm?”

“You said that the drinks just now were on you, but you ran away all of a sudden, so I was still the one who paid!” Fireball said.

“Oh really? Then it’s my treat the next time!”Gu Fei wasn’t bothered at all.

“Why do I have a feeling that you will play dumb when that time comes?” Fireball raised his guard.

“Please! Do I look like that kind of person to you?” Gu Fei acted innocent.

“You didn’t at first, but now you look like it. A lot.” Fireball looked worried.

Gu Fei grinned. “To be honest, I don’t like to bully strangers. But doing it to friends is ok!”