VW:CCM Chapter 12

Translated by: Effyis

Edited by: Stbunbun


Chapter 12: Where Do You Think You Are Going

Gu Fei glared at the girl, and the girl glared back defiantly.

Each had their eyes locked on the other, and each were scheming against the other.

The girl was going to say something seeing that Gu Fei had no response, but Gu Fei suddenly nodded, “Ok, I’ll take you there.”

The girl smiled and raised an arm towards Gu Fei. “I’ll count on you then.”

“It’s my pleasure.” Gu Fei smiled back and pulled the girl quickly onto himself as he caught her arm.

“Hey! What are you…” Just as the girl began to have doubts about Gu Fei’s intentions, he squatted down, propped her waist on his shoulder, and lifted her up as he straightened up.

“Damn! You’re so heavy!” That was the first sentence that came out of Gu Fei’s mouth after he stood up with the girl on his shoulder. She could not have been heavy given her slim figure, so the problem lay with Gu Fei. He was a mage, and all his 16 levels of free points were spent on agility, so his strength was as low as a level 1 mage. It was no wonder that he had a hard time with the task of carrying even a light girl.

Gu Fei sighed. If he had his real-life body, picking up such a girl would be a piece of cake, let alone carrying her on his shoulders.

Gu Fei was grumbling about how heavy the girl was, but the girl felt no better than him. The abdomen area is soft, and it would certainly be a horrible experience to have it support the entire body’s weight. Moreover, the mage carrying her was obviously lacking in strength and staggered as he walked, which was just too dangerous! However, the healer’s place was not too far away, so the girl decided to keep quiet. If she had shown weakness, he would have probably replied to her with “So you want to get down? Hand over Frost Memories first!” which she clearly was reluctant to do, so she was determined to just endure this journey.

The girl was right. Gu Fei had wanted to “torture” her a bit like this, so he had planned to take a longer route since the healer’s place was nearby.

But now, Gu Fei almost gave way to her weight just as he lifted her. He could only regret that he had such little experience in the game leading him to make the wrong decision.  He would be glad to reach the destination as soon as possible.

The priest was the class which was associated with buffs to assist allies in the game.

Healing was only one of the buffing effects. The healer NPC was an NPC which catered to mainly the newbies of the game, who, with little money and low skill level, had no abilities to heal serious injuries on their own. Thus, when one’s wounds proved to be too severe, they would have to return to the city to find the healer, housed at a spot not far off from the Priest Academy.

The so-called “serious injuries” were not referring to the dropping of HP. That would just count as a minor injury.  The wounds and HP would restore after some rest. A serious injury would mean the lowering of your max HP.  This lowering would not return to normal even with rest. And what was more important was that the feeling of pain would also stay, which was the more intolerable part for the players.

This resulted in the situation where wails of agony, blood and tears surrounded the healer NPC, and it would not be an exaggeration to say that there were plenty heart-wrenching cries.

Thus, no one took notice of the duo as they reeled out of the alley. Most of the injured were carried over and it could not be a more common sight in this area.

Gu Fei put the girl down on a spot which he finally found, with much difficulty, in the crowd. It was a more bustling scene than the one of the sale of brooms at the Mage Academy. He turned around and said to the girl, “We’ve reached, and you can queue up and wait here. Return Frost Memories to me now.”

“A lot of people are looking at me!” the girl blinked. Although the people here were all in anguish and were in no mood for any ulterior motives, but since beauties attract attention anywhere, looking at beauties would be a useful method to distract one’s attention from the pain they were experiencing. This was a proven method by Guan Yu during the Three Kingdoms period when he had poison scraped from his bone during treatment1, and although he played chess instead, which was more graceful, appreciating beautiful women was an art as well.

Gu Fei, however, was not moved. He held out his hand and coldly said, “Hand it over.”

“There’s really someone looking at me! Look there!” the girl raised her voice with anxiety. She shouted and pointed at a spot. No one had taken notice of them previously, but some looked over as their attention was attracted.

The few who looked over suddenly beamed with surprise and hurried over. It was certainly a rare sight here to see people moving around without difficulties.

“It’s really you!” The five people increased their speed as they walked over. Before Gu Fei could make sense of the situation, the five had already stood before them and looked daggers at them.

Gu Fei did not know who they were, nor did they glare at him. However, what the girl did next diverted their attention entirely over to Gu Fei. She grabbed Gu Fei’s arm, shook it violently and screamed, “Ah, we’ve been found! Quick! Run!”

“Don’t you dare try escape!” The five were swift to surround them.

Damn! Tricked once again! Gu Fei had finally realised that these people had also been deceived by the girl, and were just looking to take revenge. He was framed and was now mistaken as an accomplice.

“Everyone! Don’t panic, I don’t know her at all. We’re totally strangers,” explained Gu Fei in a hurry.

“Strangers? Then why are you holding my dagger?” yelled one.

Dagger? Gu Fei had a shock and only took notice of what he held in his hand then.

The dagger he held was the one the girl threw at him and what he threw back into her. After it was removed from her leg, he had carried it in his hand all this time.

Gu Fei knew that the dagger was definitely not Frost Memories, but he had not had the time to take a close look at it until now. Howls of Rage was the dagger’s name, and it could cause higher damage than Frost Memories. Other than that, it gave +5% damage and +5% attack speed. Overall, it was not as fine as Frost Memories, but it was still certainly a highly-regarded weapon in the early stages of the game. It was now clear to Gu Fei that this dagger was somehow stolen by the girl and, the most pressing issue at hand was that, the dagger had landed in his hands.

She had shaken Gu Fei’s arm violently just now so that the five would notice the dagger. Although the dagger was not as prominent as Frost Memories in terms of looks, it was easy to recognise with a closer inspection, not to mention the fact that one of them was the original owner of the dagger.

“Quick, let’s fight our way out!” cried the girl as she pulled Gu Fei along to attack the player before her.

The situation had changed to two versus one, but one of their opponent’s friends quickly rushed to help since they had more people on their side, forming a glaring hole in their circle of containment. The girl flung Gu Fei’s hand away and immediately escaped through the newly formed gap to the right in an instant. At the same she shouted “Female goes right, male goes left2, meet at the usual spot later!” and ran off without looking back.

Gu Fei smiled wryly. If she had told him her plan, he could have escaped just like her. But now, obviously, she intended to make him her scapegoat. What she just said as she left was all to convince those five that he was really her accomplice. It was evident that her leg had already healed judging from how swiftly she was moving.  She had used the injury as an excuse to trick him into going to the healer’s so that she could use her enemies against him.

The girl finally shook off the two who came after her after fleeing through several alleys. She sank to the ground, as if all her strength had drained out of her. She tore off the bandage and found that the bandages had already been soaked with blood. Cursing the damned mage under her breath, the girl was extremely unpleased about everything that had happened today. Why did the game have to be so realistic in some aspects, and so far-fetched in others? He had the nerve to say that she was heavy!

The girl re-wrapped her wound with a new bandage. If she remained still, the bandage would eventually do its job in healing the wound, but since it was the most elementary stage bandage, it would need quite a bit of time. At the healer’s, her wound was far from recovered. However, it was definitely worth it to endure the pain for Frost Memories. The dagger was way too good in quality for anyone to expect that it would be obtained in the early stages of the game, and it was much better than that Howls of Rage she used to escape. But she would have to sell it quickly as an elementary-stage weapon would sell for less the more time that goes by.

The girl contemplated this as she stood up with the help of the wall, and limped towards her destination.

Trading House.

Like the Auction House, the Trading house was also a place for sale of items, but there were many differences between them as well.

For the Auction House, the system will help sell the item after the player has paid a sum and given his item a starting bid. The buyer with the highest bid within the designated time period would get it. As for the Trading House, the most important feature was that real-world currencies could be used in the trade.

With the development of online games, it is not uncommon to have virtual items sold for astonishingly high prices. Yet, due to the variety of trading avenues, the security of such transactions remained low. Thus, the company behind Parallel World had provided a transaction avenue directly within the game by setting up computers in the Trading House which could connect to external sites and in turn connect with online banking systems.

The seller would need to put his item on display, set a price and provide his bank account number. After all was done, his information would be placed online.

The buyer would be able to check out the information online or the item on display in the gallery. After a successful transaction, the buyer would be able to retrieve the item from the gallery and the system would transfer the money into the seller’s account.

It was the same flow of process as some other external websites, but it was naturally much more secure and reliable with the game company attending to the matter instead.

The girl submitted Frost Memories for display and her bank account. Next up was setting a price.

As it was really too early into the game and there was almost no market yet, the girl had to estimate a price from her experience. Frost Memories certainly was one of the top weapons in game currently, and a price of 50,000 yuan3 would be acceptable for many P2W players. The girl took a deep breath and was going to click on the confirmation button, but it was then that someone caught her hand and pressed the esc button, cancelling all the operations she made before.

The girl was taken completely by surprise and turned around to discover Gu Fei smirking at her.

“So you’re going to sell this thing for 50,000?” asked Gu Fei with concern.

===============================

It blacked out again last night… The electricity recently is inconsistent just like my updates last time. What memories…

 


1: In Luo Guanzhong’s historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, the general Guan Yu, who had been struck with a poisoned arrow during the Battle of Fancheng in 219, was supposedly healed by Hua Tuo, a famous physician of the time. Hua Tuo offered to anaesthetise Guan Yu, but he simply laughed that he was not afraid of pain. Hua Tuo used a knife to cut the flesh from Guan Yu’s arm and scrape the poison from the bone, and the sounds chilled all those who heard them. During this excruciating treatment, Guan Yu continued to play a game of weiqi with Ma Liang without flinching from pain. When later asked by Ma Liang, Guan Yu said that he feigned being unhurt to keep the morale of the army high. After Hua Tuo’s successful operation, Guan Yu allegedly rewarded him with a sumptuous banquet, and offered a present of 100 ounces of gold, but he refused, saying that a doctor’s duty was curing patients, not making profits. Despite the historical fact that Hua Tuo died in 208, a decade before Guan Yu fought the Battle of Fancheng, this storied operation is a popular artistic theme.

2: “Male on the left, female on the right” is a traditional Chinese custom based on the ancient Chinese philosophy Yin and Yang, which is not strictly followed anymore in the 21st century.

3: CN¥50000(Chinese Yuan)=US$7000+ approximately. It is around 5 times the monthly salary of an engineer in a 1st-tier city in China.

VW:CCM Chapter 11

Translated by: Effyis

Edited by: Stbunbun


Chapter 11: Flying Daggers Appear Again

“Take it out now!” Gu Fei held his hand out.

“Why should I?” the girl refused.

Gu Fei frowned. Must he tell her with geniality and patience that “stealing is bad, stealing is naughty, let’s return it to the owner, ok?” He had done it before, since he was a teacher. But the one before him was around his age, and from the adept and calm actions just now, Gu Fei suspected that she was professional. It would probably not help to try to talk sense into her.

Since it was impossible to reason things out, then his fists would have to do. As Gu Fei grew up in an environment that his dad created, other than the difference in opinion with regards to the point of learning Kung Fu, his personality and character was almost the same as his dad.

Gu Fei clenched his fist and the girl turned pale. “What are you doing? Are you going to beat me up? How can you do that to a girl!” she exclaimed.

“You don’t want a beating? Then hand it over! If not, you won’t be a beauty anymore soon!” Gu Fei said.

The girl looked terrified, and gave in after a pause. “Fine! I’ll give it to you. Just my bad luck!” she said as she flung a dagger she took from her pocket at Gu Fei forcefully.

If he were to be struck so easily, Gu Fei would be ashamed to say that he knew Kung Fu. He caught the dagger with one scoop and was going to say a few words, but the girl had turned to run away.

“Oh no!” Gu Fei cursed silently. The dagger he had caught was not Frost Memories! It was obviously a different dagger. He had been fooled! Gu Fei chased after her, annoyed.

Gu Fei thought that he would be able to catch up with a mere girl, but he found that he was wrong, and very wrong. The game of Parallel World, though said to be completely realistically simulated, had ignored one most basic problem: the difference between men and women.

In this virtual reality game, the difference between male and female players were still the same as old online games: the only difference was the two words “male” and “female” and nothing else. The official website had explicitly condemned the act of sexual harassment in the game, and made major modifications in response to the problem. However, the deciding factor was actually Character Class! Any male mage who had intentions of sexual advancements on a female warrior would probably have his head twisted off. It did not matter how high his level was. For him to successfully molest his target, he would have to get close. With a distance between them, whatever powerful spell he chants would not let him physically touch the girl.

The male-female problem is really a bug, thought Gu Fei indignantly.

Just look at the girl before him. There was only one word to describe her running: fast.

Although Gu Fei had spent all of his sixteen levels of free points on agility, he could do nothing but watch the distance between them increase. She apparently belonged to a Class which agility worked the best for. She even had the time to turn around and make faces at Gu Fei.

Gu Fei was pissed off, but being angry served no use. There was no such thing as reaching your potential in the game. You could reach your greatest value easily with some effort, but to go over that limit, was simply impossible.

“Idiot~ Come catch me! When I turn around this corner, you won’t see me anymore!” shouted the girl. The distance between them was long enough, so she had stopped to turn to tease Gu Fei.

“Don’t you dare run!” Gu Fei tried to goad her.

Yet, as matching to certain studies, the female species were resistant to provocations. The girl acted as if she heard nothing, and blew a kiss to Gu Fei, “I’m not going to play around with you anymore, little mage. Bye!”

The girl got tired of teasing Gu Fei and prepared to leave. But Gu Fei was totally enraged now. “Go die!” he thundered, and the dagger in his hand flew out like a meteor.

For flying daggers, the best would be no other than Little Li’s Flying Daggers1.

Little Li’s Flying Daggers was undeniably fast, but the real deal had to be its accuracy. In game terms, it is able to ignore dodge and has a 100% hit rate.

Of course, the reason why it was so accurate was because of its speed, which no one could avoid.

This was because Little Li’s Flying Daggers were used mostly on masters, who were all as fast as hares and could disappear in an instant. To hit these fellows, speed is essential.

But for Gu Fei, his target now was a girl who turned around a moment ago to run and had no awareness of the dagger nor the skills to avoid the daggers. So to shoot her, just accuracy was enough.

There was no need to doubt Gu Fei’s accuracy with the fact that he could strike someone’s eye with a pebble in one shot.

“Schhwaff” went the dagger as it flew.

“Ah!” The dagger hit the girl on her shin, and she fell flat onto the ground.

Gu Fei was elated and came running at top speed, while the girl burst into tears.

Looking at the puddle of blood on the ground, Gu Fei started to feel bad. He thought that he had gone a bit too far.

Although this was a game, and although this should not have caused any real injury, it would still hurt a lot. Gu Fei could also only guess from the depth of the wound, as he himself had not suffered such a deep cut before.

“You! You! You! You are so mean!!!” cried the girl loudly as she pointed at Gu Fei who arrived beside her. Gu Fei felt a little guilty. But she was a criminal, and thus enemies must be treated as coldly as the winter. So Gu Fei put on a livid face, and took out a big bunch of knives. “Try degrading me again and I’ll thrust all these knives into you.”

The girl shut up immediately. She had already been stabbed once and she didn’t dare believe that Gu Fei would not stick all those knives into her.

The girl lay prone on the ground, clutching her injured leg. She sobbed but did not dare speak.

Gu Fei reached out and touched the dagger on her leg.

“What are you doing! Are you a psychopath?!?” screamed the girl in pain.

“Pull it out. It looks quite ugly to have a knife on your leg,” said Gu Fei.

“Will it not hurt anymore that way?” the girl asked a naïve question.

If it were reality, as long as a knife did not make any mortal wounds or caused heavy bleeding, the injured usually would not die. So to prevent more bleeding, the knife should stay until the doctor came. But this was only a game, so there was also a probability that pulling the knife out would solve the problem. Thinking that, Gu Fei nodded to the girl.

“Then do it,” the girl closed her eyes.

“Ok,” Gu Fei answered and pulled out the knife without giving her any time for mental preparation.

“Ah!” the girl squealed. The pain remained and blood gushed out, proving that the game simulation was indeed very realistic.

“My HP is dropping!” said the girl.

“Oh no!” Gu Fei got worried as well. “Do you have any cloth strips? Bandages would be best! Hurry!”

The girl gave him a bandage which was an item in the game named “Stop-bleeding” Bandage. Gu Fei tore off a strip and bandaged her leg up swiftly. The bleeding stopped promptly, owing to either Gu Fei’s bandaging skills or the bandages being a healing item in the game. Gu Fei was not sure at this point.

“Is your HP still decreasing?” asked Gu Fei.

“No,” answered the girl.

“That was close!” Gu Fei breathed a sigh of relief. If her HP had reached zero, she would have resurrected at the resurrection point, and he would have no way to find her.

Her condition stabilized and her cries became softer. She glared at Gu Fei occasionally while sobbing gently. Gu Fei felt that his guilt had been more or less depleted, so he stuck out his hand towards the girl, “It’s alright now, so return Frost Memories to me!”

Although the girl’s pocket was near and Gu Fei could reach it himself, Gu Fei knew that other than the owner himself, whoever stretched out into the pocket will find nothing but his own hand.

The girl did not look to be in as much pain as before, and replied him with regained energy, “Return it to you? Is it yours?”

“Uh… no!” said Gu Fei.

“Then why should I?”

“It’s my friend’s!” said Gu Fei.

“Friend?” The girl giggled. “Why are friends not sitting together then? I did notice you there in the bar, and you were sitting with that ogling fellow. You can’t be any better.”

Gu Fei remembered Fireball. His gaze was indeed passionate and daring, and in more proper terms, lecherous.

“You steal things. You are not any better,” said Gu Fei.

“I didn’t say I was,” smiled the girl.

“Hand it over!” Gu Fei acted fierce.

“No!”

“Oh, then I’ll stab you again!” Gu Fei picked up the knife which was just removed from the girl’s leg.

“If you want to do it, then go ahead!” The girl smiled the same sweet smile which she had displayed in the bar before.

This damned girl! She looked straight through me! Gu Fei was a little despondent. He really could not put the knife down onto her again.

“I know your true intentions,” said the girl.

“What are you talking about?”

“When we were at the levelling area, didn’t you already have your eyes on the dagger in his hands?” said the girl.

The woman on the hill was indeed the one sitting before him. Gu Fei now understood the whole development. The girl had noticed SwordGhost’s dagger then, and followed him to the bar. She had easily gotten hold of what she wanted under the watchful eyes of the public.

“This item is really rare and superior you know! There’s definitely a lot of people who want to buy it online with the game being so popular. When it gets sold for a good price, we’ll share it, ok? Do you still want the dagger?” said the girl.

“Hmph!” Gu Fei let out a sound which he deemed most fit to express his disdain. “A knave tends to think of others in terms of their own desires. I just want to get it back for my friend.”

“Hey you, don’t act anymore! Be honest and be a man!” said the girl.

“I’m being perfectly honest with you!” Gu Fei answered lightly. “Hand it over and I won’t bother you anymore. And I advise you not to do such things from now on.”

“Oh?” the girl shifted her eyes. “So, you are really a good guy?”

“Of course!”

“Alright then… Good guy, take me to the healer’s then. You really think this wound will recover just with bandaging? Bring me there and I’ll return it to you,” said the girl.

 

==================================

Author’s comment:

About the title of this chapter… It is as difficult to come up with chapter names as character names!!

 


1: Flying Dagger, Flying Dagger Appears Again(飞刀!又见飞刀!)is the name of the fifth and last instalment in the wuxia series Xiaoli Feidao (literally Little Lee’s flying daggers). In the novel series by the famous writer Gu Long, the Little Li Flying Dagger (小李飞刀) is the weapon of Li Xunhuan, Ye Kai, Ding Lingzhong and Li Huai. It ranks third on the Bingqipu (兵器譜), a fictional book of weapons. The author Butterfly Blue has adapted this set of Kung Fu techniques as something that exists in the real world.

VW:CCM Chapter 10

Translated by: Effyis

Edited by: Stbunbun


Chapter 10: Unique taste

The number of players increased on the way as Gu Fei neared Cloud City. It was obvious that the players were engrossed in the freshness of a virtual reality game, so they had not started focusing their energy on leveling up yet. Even shaking hands or touching other players was an interesting new experience.

A while later, Gu Fei was back in Cloud City. He walked towards the city square after asking for directions to the bar from Fireball.

The three important structures of the city, the bar, the auction house and the bank were located at three different sides of the city square.

Gu Fei pushed the bar door open and walked in.

The inside of the bar was bathed in a warm light, contrary to the dim setting that Gu Fei had imagined. There were a lot of people, but everyone in the bar was in high spirits. Those who indulge in drinking due to unhappy events would not appear just yet. Bottles of a variety of wine sat on the wooden shelf, and the NPC waiters took no notice of the mood of their customers, receiving everyone hospitably.

Gu Fei looked around for Fireball, but Fireball was sharper in sight. “Drunk Bro! Here! Here!” he called out from a table.

Gu Fei had to wait for the fireball to disappear before going up to Fireball’s table. Fireball looked glum and started cursing his friend who chose his name. Gu Fei continued looking around as he listened to Fireball’s complaints.

“Eh? Isn’t that…” Gu Fei caught sight of someone.

“Oh Sword Ghost. He came in not too long ago as well.” Fireball smiled after taking a look.

“He came back faster than me even though he took the longer route!” said Gu Fei.

“Huh?” Fireball was confused.

“I saw him also leveling up at that area just now.” said Gu Fei.

“Oh… yeah it’s suitable for his current level,” said Fireball as he poured some wine for Gu Fei. “Come, try this wine! Drunk Bro, I know you must love drinking! I can tell from your name!”

Gu Fei forced a smile. “Dude, don’t you remember? My name is given by someone else too, just like you.”

“Oh yeah! I forgot about that. If I had known that, I wouldn’t have treated you to a drink. My one silver coin!” Fireball’s heart ached for the money he spent. One silver coin was equal in value to 100 copper coins, which could buy an elementary level weapon from the blacksmith in the early stages of the game. And accumulating coins was no doubt a time-consuming task that required continuous grinding of mobs.

“Never mind that, take it as my treat then!” Gu Fei smiled at Fireball. He was much richer than Fireball, for the mobs he killed were of a much higher level than that of the latter.

Sword Ghost had also noticed Gu Fei by then. He nodded at Gu Fei when their eyes met as a quick greeting.

The bar continued to buzz with noise and activities.

The door suddenly opened with a creak. The whole bar quietened down at once. Any remaining noise were made by guests who were not facing the door. Gu Fei was one of them.

He turned back to see what the others’ glowing eyes fell upon, and he saw a young woman.

The purple robe she wore looked familiar, but Gu Fei could not be sure that that was the one he saw on the hill. He had seen many of the same on his way back, so the robe was probably a character class’s elementary level outfit.

The game outfits would all automatically be a perfect fit for the character, so everybody’s figures would be well shown. Everyone in the bar had every reason to gawk in awe. The girl was tall and slim, and had curves where they should be. Yet, she had no extra fat or flabs whatsoever. She had an absolutely perfect figure.

Her face was not as stunning as her figure in comparison, but it was still outstanding. Her eyes shone like glittering waves and her sweet smile made everyone feel warm inside. The girl smiled and slightly nodded to everyone in the bar.

Everybody regained their composure and continued with their activities. At first, they were all staring openly at her, but now, they had to at least pretend to be gentlemanly. One could steal glances at her if they really wanted to look.

There were no more empty tables and only a few empty seats at the bar due to the large number of customers. Those male players at tables with empty seats all looked excited. But no one gave an invitation. Whoever did would become the common enemy of all and would probably be thrown into the moat later. So even if he would get to see her close-up for a short time period no one took the risk. Everyone harmoniously waited for the girl’s own decision.

The girl walked closer in small and graceful steps. Fireball looked excited as well. Gu Fei and he were sitting at a table for four, and chances seemed good with only two of them there. Unfortunately for him, the girl only glanced at all the empty seats, and bypassed him in the blink of an eye.

Fireball’s anticipation and hopes were dashed. At last, he sniffed the air and said, “Wow, smells good.”

“Dude, it’s a game… How can there be any perfume smells?” Gu Fei gave Fireball a look of disdain.

“It must be her body scent then! The game stimulated her body scent!” Fireball said with certainty.

Gu Fei smiled and ignored him. By then, the girl had already walked past most of the room and almost to the other door since there were no empty tables. Suddenly, she stopped beside Sword Ghost.

Sword Ghost was at a two-seater table, which had an empty seat and was just right.

Everyone watched with bated breath, and most couldn’t believe their eyes. What a unique taste the girl had! There was no uglier-looking guy in the room.

Regardless of being a pro gamer, Sword Ghost was a normal man in this aspect as well. He also was a little expectant at the sight of a pretty girl stopping beside him. However, the girl did not sit down. She only raised her hand and tapped Sword Ghost on the back.

The room remained quiet. These two knew each other? “They were totally the real-life version of Beauty and the Beast!!!” thought most. The rest were thinking that it was the perfect example of a beauty gone to waste.

Sword Ghost was surprised and flattered. Of course he knew that he and the girl were total strangers. He was about to speak when the girl smiled at him and pointed at his feet, “You’ve dropped your money!”

Everyone, including Sword Ghost, looked down.

A glittering gold coin was lying beside Sword Ghost’s feet.

“Oh thank you!” Sword Ghost bent down to pick it up subconsciously, and was at the same time pondering over how he could use this as an excuse to treat her to a drink.

“You’re welcome.” The girl answered. When he straightened up, the girl had already reached the door. She looked back, smiled at him and left.

Sword Ghost was totally bedazzled. He held on the coin tightly, so tight as if he were practising Great Strength Vajra Finger1.

“I think I’m in love! Ah, such a beautiful face and good figure! Even her voice is like music!” Fireball murmured. “Drunk Bro, you… Huh??” Fireball was turning to talk to Gu Fei as the girl left, but found Gu Fei taking big strides to the door already, right after the girl.

“You are really my idol!” Fireball stared in astonishment as Gu Fei disappeared out of the bar.

Gu Fei dashed out of the bar and looked around. The girl had turned into a street on the right, and he quickly followed.

What an idiot Sword Ghost was! Gu Fei shook his head. How could he not have discovered that his Frost Memories on the table was stolen? All the while sitting there pinching his coin!

No one would have thought that such a girl would do this. Gu Fei would not have believed it too if he had not seen it with his own eyes.

Gu Fei gnashed his teeth in anger. It was just too despicable! What happened had reminded him of his childhood nightmare.

He was learning martial arts then, so he would have many small meals daily to satisfy his body’s consumption. And whenever he had additional dishes especially for him, that irritating kid of his second uncle would appear out of nowhere. “Hey Little Fei,” he would say. “You’ve just dropped food again! Quick, pick it up or else you’ll receive a beating from your dad again.”

“Oh!” Little Gu Fei would hurriedly get down on the floor to pick up the food. When he got back to the table again, his delicious food would have disappeared along with his cousin.

Other than that, lies like “your dad is looking for you”, “there’s a UFO”, “the cartoons are showing now” were inexhaustible, and Gu Fei was furious at his cousin for conning his food away. However, when he finally decided to beat up his cousin if that happened again, his cousin stopped playing tricks on him as he had gotten tired of his food.

Years had passed, but it still haunted Gu Fei. What happened today was totally something that he could not approve of.

Unfortunately, his opponent now was a girl. So, he needed a more suitable way to resolve this matter.

As he was thinking, Gu Fei had already reached the end of the street. He turned around the corner and found himself nose to nose with the girl.

“Wow! She really did smell kinda good!” was Gu Fei’s first thought. Then he realised their distance and immediately took a step back. “Why are you following me?” the girl asked as she made eyes at him.

“Hand over the loot!” Gu Fei was a little flushed from that close-up and had the urge of doing it again, but he still gave her the look of disgust.

“What loot?” The girl was obviously feigning ignorance.

“Are you playing dumb? I’m talking about the dagger Frost Memories which you took from the bar just now!” said Gu Fei.

The girl was a little shocked. She was not actually playing dumb, but she didn’t think that her pursuer was going to ask for that since he wasn’t the owner. Confident of her own beauty, she had misunderstood him as someone after her for her looks and was preparing to woo her.

================================

Author’s rant:

I was having dinner when it blacked out! Damn! So I lighted a candle… Well, I heard that having a candlelit dinner was romantic? But I’m sure that a such a spicy dish like Shuizhuroupian2 would spoil the atmosphere… The electricity still hadn’t come back after dinner. Sigh. In the ancient times, people had the moonlight, caught fireflies, made holes in the wall for his neighbour’s light, and so on. Today, we have the streetlights… Butterfly started to read newspapers under the streetlight. Man, there are no interesting news at all lately, and the weather was getting colder. The wind blew like knives on the face and leaves fell, adding up to become the word “awful”. What could be more depressing? Looking to eat kebab by the street and to find that they were sold out… I resorted to eating crushed bones (a kind of street delicacy) but it was too tiring… Damn I give up on eating, supper is still waiting for me at home!

 


1: Great Strength Vajra Finger: A kind of Shaolin martial art which trains the finger to be able to press into hard materials such as wood or metal. Used in many wuxia novels, such as Louis Cha’s Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber.

2:Shuizhuroupian(水煮肉片) is a Chinese dish which originated from the cuisine of Sichuan province and the name literally means “water-cooked meat slices”. It offers a good combination of tender meat, freshness of vegetable, hot spicy flavor of chili pepper, and numbing sensation of Sichuan pepper.

VW:CCM Chapter 9

Translated by: Effyis

Edited by: Stbunbun


Chapter 9: A Master’s Metagame

The other players of Against the Heavens Guild all looked discouraged at seeing their Guild Master lose so plainly and completely. Glaring at Gu Fei and Fireball, they left with Sword Ghost in silence.

Fireball was an unforgiving chap, whistling and booing at the pro gamer he once looked up to. Now he only had one word for him: Pew!

“Drunk Bro! Drunk Bro!” Fireball found a new idol.

“How did you know he was behind you?” Fireball asked.

“He gave off Murderous Intent1.” Gu Fei smiled.

“Murderous Intent… there’s really such a thing?” Fireball muttered to himself.

“Of course,” Gu Fei nodded. “I’m still not that strong in the ability to feel it. My fourth uncle is the master of that. Imagine he is sleeping over there. He will still be in deep sleep if you just walk by. But he will wake up immediately once you focus your attention on him!”

“Wow, so you really can do Wushu?” asked Fireball.

“Not Wushu, it’s Kung Fu!” said Gu Fei.

“What’s the difference?”

“Wushu is for strengthening one’s body, whereas Kung Fu is for fighting enemies and defending one’s country,” sighed Gu Fei as he spoke. This was just where his father and he had diverged in opinion. His father stressed that what they practiced was Wushu, but Gu Fei felt that it was obviously Kung Fu.

“Defending your country… Is there even such a need anymore?” Fireball said.

“No,” smiled Gu Fei. “So that’s why I’m here gaming online!”

“Oh, so can I learn Kung Fu?” Fireball’s spirits rose.

“You…” hesitated Gu Fei.

“Is it because I’m too old?” Fireball was disappointed. He was already over twenty years of age. According to the storyline of a typical web wuxia novel, the main character should have already become famous at this age. There would be no more chance of finding wives if he started learning martial arts at this age. The girls would all be taken before he could even graduate.

However, Gu Fei shook his head. “One’s body has to be fully developed and mature to officially start learning Kung Fu. That would mean at least fifteen or sixteen. You won’t be too old considering that you are almost the same age as me. But you would need a lot of time everyday to learn Kung Fu, at least eight to twelve hours. Do you have so much time?”

“Nope,” Fireball replied without hesitation.

“Or you can make use of your in-game time…”

“It’s ok, never mind that, let’s just continue gaming! I’m not learning it then,” Fireball cut him off hastily.

Gu Fei could only give a wry smile.

By now, the six vagrant NPCs had already respawned. Gu Fei picked up his knife which fell and was ready to dive in for the kill. Fireball said at his side, “Drunk Bro, I don’t have your skills and the mobs here are too high-leveled for me. I’ll go somewhere else.”

“I can help you!” Gu Fei said.

“I’m here to play, not for people to help!” Fireball said with ambition.

“Alright, then we’ll part here,” smiled Gu Fei.

“Drunk Bro! Don’t level up too fast! Wait for me ok!” Fireball waved as he ran. “Let’s have a drink in the city later if you aren’t offline yet.”

“Sure!” Gu Fei replied.

The two went their separate ways. Gu Fei continued to grind mobs in the area. He was really excited by the battle between Sword Ghost and himself. He had not had a chance for physical fights in a long time, and liked the satisfaction he got right when the outcome was decided. Although the opponent’s fighting techniques seemed pretty crude, in a VRMMORPG game like Parallel World which requires physical fighting, everyone will gain fighting skills to some degree in time. And that is when things will get interesting.

As for the NPCs standing before him, they just held no threat to Gu Fei. AI is just AI. The attack routines used were repetitive, and with the repeated experience, all players would realise what the strategies of the AI are. Take that Sword Ghost for example. With his brains and quick responses, Gu Fei believed that he would become a pro eventually.

Gu Fei grinded mobs for a full two hours at the pond next to the hill. To him, he wasn’t killing mobs. He was just practicing his Kung Fu movements. He loved the perspiration and the hearty feeling Kung Fu gave him. He never once thought that this repetition was boring. Gu Fei was filled with love and passion for Kung Fu, and that gave him the determination to persevere whereas his family members gave up one by one.

After he finished another six vagabonds off, Gu Fei leveled up to Level 16. He splashed his face with the pond water. The icy water felt extremely refreshing on his sweaty hot face. It was the greatest feeling ever! For the first time, from the bottom of his heart, Gu Fei was full of praise for the game’s realistic simulations.

Just then, Gu Fei received a message notification. It was Fireball, as expected. “Drunk Bro Drunk Bro! What level are you now?” the message read.

“Level 16,” replied Gu Fei.

“Eh? That’s so fast! I just reached level 10…” Gu Fei could almost hear Fireball’s wails from his writing. But since Fireball rose to only level 10 in two hours, and he got to level 16 with two fights with the NPCs at this pond, Gu Fei realized that killing mobs of higher levels than oneself was a good way to level up fast.

“Hey Drunk Bro! You done? I’ve accumulated some money. Let’s go drinking in the city! It’s my treat.” Another message from Fireball came in.

“Sure!” Gu Fei replied, and then began inspecting the six NPCs lying on the ground. There was some money, some plants with their use still unknown, and knifes which Gu Fei already had. He had no room for them as he had collected more than ten of these knives already.

Although the game was simulated to be as realistic as possible, players still had to have a bag for putting their items. This bag was designed to look like a pocket in Parallel World. An item is considered to be in the bag when you throw it into the pocket on the right side of the waist, and it will not fall out. When you want to retrieve the item, you just put your hand into the pocket and a panel display of all the items will appear before your eyes. When you have selected the item you want, your hand will be holding it, and then you can pull it out. It was as magical as Doraemon’s pocket2.

Done with the packing, Gu Fei climbed to the top of the hill and looked around for the direction back to Cloud City.

It was then that he saw another guy who had also been grinding beside a pond on the other side of the hill. Stealth, to get behind the vagabond. Backstab, and then mad stabbing. When one mob was killed, he would escape from the others to rest. Then, after his HP refilled, he would repeat the trick.

The player’s dagger had a light blue aura which Gu Fei recognized. He smiled. This player was Sword Ghost. He was actually suitable for grinding mobs here since his level was more than 20. However, vagabonds came in sixes. It was difficult for a player to solo. Only players like Gu Fei who had crazily good agility and skills or players like Sword Ghost who was good at scheming could handle them alone.

There were only three vagabonds next to the fire pit, where there were supposed to be six. When the fourth respawns, Sword Ghost would rush over, attack, rest, wait for respawn, then attack again.

The routine that Sword Ghost devised for attack used the same strategy as Gu Fei surprisingly. It was also a repetition planned in accordance to the characteristics of the NPCs. Gu Fei could not help but praise.

He then discovered another audience of Sword Ghost on a nearby hill.

Tightly-clad in a purple robe, the player was obviously female as her clothing showed off her great figure. Gu Fei could not get a clear look of her face from the side. He could only see her focusing her attention on Sword Ghost: her right hand supported her left arm, and her two left fingers tapped her lips.

Gu Fei was surprised that a girl could tell that Sword Ghost was skilful as well. He smiled. Sword Ghost had just finished a vagabond off and was resting. He seemed to have realised that he had filled up his pocket and raised his head after breathing a sigh of relief. Then he discovered the two looking at him from the hills. Slightly startled, Sword Ghost turned around and left.

Did he recognize me from this distance? Gu Fei wondered. He, unlike Sword Ghost, did not possess an iconic item like Frost Memories.

The two audience members parted after losing sight of the main actor. Gu Fei noticed that the girl was walking in the same direction as Sword Ghost. Could it be that Sword Ghost was going to get hit on? Gu Fei chuckled to himself. Although he had thoughts of following them for gossip, he gave it up as he remembered that Fireball was still waiting for him at the bar.

==================================

Author’s comments:

Umm, I see that people have been discussing about the style of the story… It would be too early if you just judge from the book and summary. Those who speak of style are all old readers of mine already. If I write a summary like that of Du Chuang Tian Ya (独闯天涯, not translated yet) and Xing Zhao Bu Xuan (星照不宣, not translated yet), everyone would probably laugh it off (both novels came before this one). But for those who really need a summary, they would just come to one conclusion: “What on earth is this?” True, the summary is not Butterfly’s (the author) style, since I should have written 1000+ words if it were the usual long-winded me. This short summary is really a breakthrough. Let’s applaud the breakthrough! The real style… Actually, if you reread the two novels, you would see that there is no specific style to them. You guys probably just have a deep impression of some of the scenes, so you all capped a style to them. Well! What a good summarization! Let’s applaud again…

Lastly, just read the book first! The book had just started. I’m thinking of using 2000 thousand words for the introduction to lay the foundation, 3000 thousand words for the first little climax, 4000 thousand words for the climax, 5000 thousand words for the transition to the next part, and then… Yay! Our book starts.

 


1: Murderous Intent(杀气): also known as sakki in Japanese, is the idea that when someone intends to inflict pain or death, their intent can be felt. The effect is amplified if you look into their eyes, or if they want to hurt you in particular.
2: Doraemon’s pocket: Doraemon is a fictional character in the Japanese manga and anime series of the same name. He is a male robotic cat that travels back in time from the 22nd century to aid a preteen boy named Nobita. Doraemon has a pocket from which he produces items known as “gadgets”, which range from toy and medicines, to technology from the future. The inside of pocket is 4D, functioning similarly like a small portal (in other terms, a ‘wormhole) that allows any item to be inserted inside it without using much space. The inside of the 4D Pocket looks like a limitless, floorless room.

VW:CCM Chapter 8

So we are continuing from chapter 8, and we’ve made some changes in the terms used. And I’ll be translating some of the author’s blather or comments because some of them are interesting or funny, but I don’t know if I should keep the ads for other books…

Translated by: Effyis

Edited by: Stbunbun


Chapter 8: No Change as the Answer to All Changes

At this point, the current state of mind of Sword Ghost, as compared to Gu Fei, was a totally different story. The last three hits left him in cold sweat. In particular, his own block to that last hit was done completely subconsciously as to protect himself.

His opponent was a mage, and he was a rogue. He was supposed to be the one trying to get near his opponent, while the latter would find ways to keep his distance, attacking with long-range spells.

But now, the actual situation is that the mage wields a dagger toward the rogue instead, which resulted in the rogue keeping him at a distance after blocking three hits. Even with Sword Ghost’s rich online gaming experience, he never once had thoughts that he would one day experience such a scene. At first, he was still quite wary of the primary level spell Fireball, which could still cause as much damage as being slashed a few times. Yet what he received were not spells but instead slashes from blades! This was just absurd!

Both parties had reached a deadlock. No one moved a step.

Sword Ghost contemplated his tactics quickly. He had no long-range attack moves yet, so if he was to defeat Gu Fei, he must get close to him. But the thought of closing the distance made Sword Ghost break out in cold sweat again.

“Hey, Fireball…” Gu Fei spoke to the crowd suddenly. A fireball swiftly rose in front of him.

Oh no. Too caught up in fearing Gu Fei’s close combat ability, he had forgotten that this guy was still a mage after all. As soon as Sword Ghost saw the fireball, before it was even fired, he had begun moving in an irregular s-shape route. He had seen mages cast fireballs. After a fireball was shot, there would be a short period where the fireball would track the target in a very small range. If you were careful enough to not to get hit by it or managed to run out of its area of attack during this time, you would have successfully escaped.

Sword Ghost twisted about deliriously on the open space in the middle of the crowd, waiting for Gu Fei to say the word “Shoot!” However, unexpectedly, Gu Fei looked at the fireball in front of him, stunned. He then muttered: “I’m not calling you, I’m calling that Fireball.”

“Phew” the first fireball went out, but then a second ignited. Sword Ghost twisted about more crazily. Yet, Gu Fei’s fireball remained unfired. He looked as if at a loss of what to do, and the fireball self-extinguished moments later.

Fireballs were a nuisance for fighting at a distance, but he also could not gain the upper hand for close combat. What other choices are there for fighting under this situation? There is no way other than this now! Sword Ghost thought that Gu Fei’s repeatedly ignited fireballs were to constrain his movement, so before Gu Fei could call up a third, Sword Ghost resorted to his proprietary skills as well. His silhouette gradually became as thin as the fog, and in no time, vanished from the sight of all.

“Stealth!!” shouted someone in the crowd.

Stealth is certainly an ace amongst a rogue’s professional skills, which is not at all surprising. The real surprise was that this skill can only be learnt at level 24. Although the crowd knew that the level of Sword Ghost was certainly higher than theirs, they did not expect it to be so much higher. He was indeed the number one player in the online game field. The crowd, which had just been worried for Sword Ghost after Gu Fei’s three strokes with a heavy heart, instantly regained confidence.

In the online gaming world, a player’s level determines it all.

In a battle between a level 24 and a level 10, the disparity appears to be so huge that there is no need to even fight!

Sword Ghost disappeared from the eyes of all. He hid at a certain position on the field, paying close attention to Gu Fei’s movements.

The only reason why Sword Ghost did not use Stealth from the start was because of the level 6 skill of a mage: Resistant Ring of Fire.

The characteristic of the skill Stealth is that once the user attacks or is being attacked, the effect will die off immediately, meaning that the user will appear once again. Although the power of Resistant Ring of Fire is minute, the area of effect radiates a slight distance from the caster’s body. Thus, there is no way for rogues to get close to mages without them discovering if they use Resistant Ring of Fire.

Of course, the Resistant Ring of Fire also has weaknesses. It has up time and cool down time, and the time difference between the two means that a mage cannot make sure that they have the fire ring on themselves at all times. And so, during this time gap, it is a good opportunity to launch a close attack in secret.

Sword Ghost had deduced two points from his experience. First, when he PKs an amateur mage, the mage would start off by using the Resistant Ring of Fire; second, the mage most definitely would not have dreamt that he had mastered the skill Stealth, which can only be used by rogues at level 24. Thus, his original intention was to wait for Gu Fei’s Resistant Ring of Fire to be depleted, and then he would close the distance and deliver the deadly blow.

But now, it seemed that both his inferences were wrong. Gu Fei did not use Resistant Ring of Fire, nor did he show the slightest surprise to his Stealth. In addition, it was totally unimaginable for a mage to have better close combat skills than a rogue. Had Sword Ghost not experienced it personally, he would never have believed it possible for a mage to move like that.

Under such circumstances, Sword Ghost could only resort to using Stealth to hide himself. He believed that after seeing his usage of the Stealth, this mage would immediately use the Resistant Ring of Fire in any case. As Stealth lasts works three more seconds than Resistant Ring of Fire, Sword Ghost planned to close up the distance first, wait for Resistant Ring of Fire to wear off, then make use of those three seconds to kill him. Unless … the opponent had upgraded his fire ring to have a longer working time than his Stealth. But this possibility might as well be said to not exist, since a level 10 character would not have had enough time and money to upgrade any class skills.

Devising the best fighting plans through his understanding of the game and accurate projections had always been Sword Ghost’s gaming style. Even if his opponent was just a level 10 mage, he would not look down on him.

Unfortunately, he made another wrong judgement.

Gu Fei still did not open his Resistant Ring of Fire or move around to avoid the enemy whom he could not see. He continued standing still, motionless.

“Could it be that he hasn’t learnt Resistant Ring of Fire? Or, he is really just a genuine newbie?” Sword Ghost felt alarmed and uncertain, but the opportunity could not be missed. He approached Gu Fei quickly, predicting several possible routes that Gu Fei might take.

Gu Fei did not move, not even one finger. Sword Ghost suspected that Gu Fei would only have some sense of crisis if he had pressed up to him and blow a breath on to his face.

In the blink of an eye, Sword Ghost was behind Gu Fei, and Gu Fei still had no response. Sword Ghost had no time to think anymore; the time for his Stealth to be up was coming, and he was ready to use his current strongest attack, rogue’s level 18 skill – Backstab.

As the name suggests, this move should be performed against the target’s back. It can cause, under normal circumstances, 200% +40 points of damage. Although the effect of Stealth will disappear and the crowd would warn Gu Fei with their exclamation, by then, his dagger would have pierced his heart. With a level difference as vast as fourteen, Sword Ghost could not think of another result other than instant kill from a rogue using Backstab on a mage.

None of the onlookers understood the changes in the field. No one knew that at this moment, Sword Ghost was right behind Gu Fei.

But just then, Gu Fei turned around abruptly and quickly stretched out his left hand. The crowd let out gasps of incomprehension. Immediately after, the figure of Sword Ghost emerged from thin air: his stretched-out right hand clutched a dagger tightly, but his right wrist was held firmly by Gu Fei’s left hand.

The scene in the crowd’s mind stopped at this instant, but the situation on field did not stop changing.

Gu Fei’s left hand quickly gave a twist, inducing pain in Sword Ghost’s wrist. His fingers weakened and his dagger fell. Gu Fei’s right hand swooped downwards, throwing his original knife away and catching Sword Ghost’s dagger at the same time. Then with a movement of his left hand and a lift of his right hand, Sword Ghost’s right arm was bent to his back and the dagger was held across Sword Ghost’s neck.

Gu Fei’s few moves were so fluid that when the crowd came back to their senses, Sword Ghost was already completely suppressed by Gu Fei.

The dagger was on the neck. But as this was a game, no one knew if the situation posed a threat. However, the outcome of the contest was certainly set. Anyone with eyes could tell.

“Ah! Nice one!!!” exclaimed Fireball suddenly. He had been the one who was most worried as he would be next if Gu Fei had been defeated. Seeing that Gu Fei had won with style, his spirits rose tremendously and dashed out of the crowd in applause. He got close to the two and clapped Sword Ghost on the back, “You are already level 24 right? How does it feel losing to a level 10 mage? Convinced? Hahaha!” Fireball looked so complacent, one would think that he was the one who had defeated Sword Ghost.

Sword Ghost’s blood drained from his face. This had been a convincing defeat. He was even given the opportunity to use Stealth and Backstab, and yet, he was still overpowered. What was there to be not convinced about? There is only so much that a level 25 rogue can do. What was with this guy? Those moves that he used were definitely not preset!

Losing convincingly was by no means losing happily. Sword Ghost had mixed feelings. He had doubts regarding Gu Fei’s skills, and also sorrow for himself. He was once number one in the field of online gaming, and now, he was defeated by a mage with a difference of 15 levels. Was that glory really a thing of the past?

Just as Sword Ghost was engrossed in his thoughts, he felt that the hold on his hand suddenly loosened. Gu Fei had released him. Sword Ghost turned around, took two steps and looked at Gu Fei, “What is your name?

“ThousandMiles Drunk!” Gu Fei replied.

“Very well, I’ll look for you again,” said Sword Ghost.

Gu Fei smiled and nodded. Sword Ghost turned to leave, but Gu Fei suddenly called out to stop him. “Wait! Here’s your dagger.” Said Gu Fei as he threw the dagger over to Sword Ghost.

Sword Ghost had a look of surprise as he caught his dagger. This dagger’s name was Frost Memories. In addition to causing damage, it also comes with a 25-point increment in agility, 30% chance of a fatal blow and 10% chance of third level freeze damage. It was obtained by Sword Ghost after he managed to kill off a high-level boss by making use of the topography of the woods. Presently, amongst the weapons revealed on the official website, there was no weapon that had better properties. Half of the reason why Sword Ghost looked so pale after losing was because the dagger had landed in the hands of Gu Fei.

But now, Gu Fei had returned the dagger to him. Sword Ghost gripped on to it tightly. He couldn’t believe it. There are so many P2W1 players, nick-named RMB Warriors1, in online games nowadays. Such a high-grade weapon could easily bring back what is a few months’ wages of ordinary people. Does this guy not know this or what?

Sword Ghost did not understand, nor knew what to say. He could only turn toward Gu Fei, nod his head, say “thank you”, and then turn and walk away.

 


1: P2W Players: Short form of Pay-to-Win players, who can change for in-game money with real-life currencies or buy first-grade weapons or equipment without having to spend too much time grinding mobs. Ren Min Bi (RMB) in this case is the currency of the PRC, whereas Yuan(CN¥) is its unit.