Chapter 346 - Prison Visit
Silence descended by the edge of the forest as Svelte Dancer came strolling out from the tree line after finishing off Deep Waters. She waved to Young Master Han to indicate that she had done the deed.
Young Master Han nodded his head back in acknowledgement and looked at the other three men with him as they regarded him back.
“What are you staring at me for? Go resume whatever you’re doing.” Young Master Han dismissed them with a wave of his hand.
The three then left separately. Young Master Han rummaged through the items in his dimensional pocket, and he found several bottles of liquor. Immediately heading toward the prison, he sent Oathless Sword this message: “Quickly gather everyone to depart for the next stop.”
“What? Why?” Oathless Sword asked.
“The enemies’ boss will be serving time in prison for the next ten hours. If we don’t seize this chance to leave now, do you really want to be continually harassed by them as we journey through the jungle tomorrow?” Young Master Han asked.
Oathless Sword’s eyes instantly shone. Since characters in MMOs would not truly die, and given how they could contact their friends via the messaging system, defeating the enemies by taking down the leader was not really a viable tactic in games. However, throwing the leader in prison would completely cut him off from contacting his men. This classic tactic employable in war suddenly became useful once more.
“Ten hours, hmm. There’s no rush, then. Let’s wait till those guys from Baishi City return before we leave!” Oathless Sword said. Although some mercenaries that had respawned in Baishi City after losing their lives in their trek through the jungle withdrew from this mission, quite a number of them had decided to continue and were currently making their way toward Linyin City to rendezvous with them.
“It’s best to seize what time we have. Don’t forget; the prison allows players to pay for a visitation. He can still manually command his men, albeit it would be rather cumbersome,” Young Master Han said.
“You’re right. But we don’t have that many players with us right now. Even if the enemies don’t have Deep Waters with them now…” Oathless Sword still had his reservations.
“Both parties are in a very similar situation right now. They have men that went offline to rest just like we do. We won’t be too far off when it comes to the headcount. The crux here is to capitalize on this chance when Deep Waters isn’t around. I suggest you hurry up before this window of opportunity closes,” Young Master Han reasoned.
Oathless Sword was aware that dragging his feet would likely be his downfall in this situation. Since they were already in such a quagmire, how much worse could it get from here on? With that thought in mind, Oathless Sword gritted his teeth and decisively seized this opportunity. He immediately called for his guild members that were still online and informed each mercenary leader to prepare for departure.
Oathless Sword was a leader of a large guild, so he did not need Young Master Han to walk him through all this. Young Master Han successfully convinced Oathless Sword about departing with haste from Linyin City at the same time he reached Linyin City’s prison. After paying the exorbitant visiting fee, he entered the prison.
Not many players persevered to continue their stint through the dead of night. Many of them were even asleep in-game – probably in hopes of replenishing their need for sleep in reality while shaving off their prison sentence. This method was something game officials did not approve of. By their words, although the game allowed players to mimic sleep, and it would indeed allow them to achieve the necessary rapid eye movement sleep, their recovery from physical fatigue was entirely dependent on their resting posture in reality even if they simulated a sleeping posture in Parallel World.
Thus, sleeping in-game often gave players sore backs and strained necks, and that feeling was not a virtual sensation but an actual signal that their real body was giving. Such sensations from their real body would not be in the least bit reduced while they were fully immersed in the game. The game company did not wish for people to die due to mistakenly attributing the pain that they were feeling to sneak attack performed by other players instead of it being caused by actual life-and-death situations in reality.
With regard to sleeping, some asked if it was possible for players to connect to their VR gaming set while lying in bed.
The gaming officials’ answer to this question: Such an act was tantamount to misusing the gaming set, so they could not be held liable for any resulting damage. Thus, players would rather bear the sore backs than risked damaging the gaming equipment since this VR equipment in reality was a hundred times more important than the best equipment in-game.
Seeing all the players lying all over the place in each cell, Young Master Han finally spotted Deep Waters alone in one of these cells, lying in a corner with his back facing the outside of the cell’s confines.
“Hey. Are you facing the wall to reflect on your actions?” Young Master Han knocked on the cell door as he spoke.
Deep Waters slowly turned around, the displeasure evident on his face as he raged, “You jerk! You dare show you face here?!”
Young Master Han grinned cheekily, “Why won’t I? You should know by now how much I love seeing others in a situation like yours.”
Deep Waters was grinding his teeth as he cracked his knuckles threateningly. “Just you wait. I’ll show you what’s up once I get out of here.”
Young Master Han laughed before he lightly tossed a bottle of liquor toward the other.
This throw of his was very ingenious. If Deep Waters chose not to dodge it, that bottle would hit him square on his head; if he did dodge it, the bottle would shatter on the wall behind him and spill its content on him, the shards of glass might also even fly toward him. Thus, without any other options, Deep Waters could only reach out to grab it.
“F*ck me. Two-oh-oh, you’re really rich.” Deep Waters took the bottle and was about to throw it back when he read the label. This was the most expensive liquor available in game – a bottle that even Svelte Dancer would be unwilling to waste money on. There was no discernible benefit to drinking this alcohol in-game, after all.
Young Master Han did not respond to his comment, simply saying, “You’ll be out in ten hours’ time. Unfortunately, you won’t know where I’m gone by then. Speaking of which, I believe that the competitive quest you’re on is only limited to the region Linyin City is in. Do you have any idea on where’s our next stop?”
“It’s true, then? You really did plan to get me imprisoned, so you guys can abscond from the city without much hindrance…” Deep Waters said.
Unexpectedly, Young Master Han actually sighed. “I wished that were the case. It would be an absolutely exquisite plan if that were truly the case. Sadly, it was nothing but an idea that popped in my head at that very moment. I definitely did not arrange for those men to hunt me like that. But, in the process of our escape, the PK value you were honored with instantly became the seed that sprouted this grand idea. Let us cheers to that great idea!”
Deep Waters’ face was still black as not a word escaped from him. The only outlet for his pent-up rage was this bottle of liquor, which he brusquely took a long draw from. His actions and demeanor clearly sent this message to Young Master Han: He was only drinking by his accord and was surely not about to raise a glass to that.
Everyone could tell that Deep Waters only gained all those PK points because he had been helping Young Master Han. Even Deep Waters himself was vexed to mention this to Young Master Han, knowing full well that saying such things to the latter would not make the man remorseful or anything. In fact, Young Master Han was even likely to flip the script and reproach him for not separating personal and professional relationships – unclear of his position as he got himself confused at such a crucial moment.
D*mn. This was considered being confused? He could only blame himself for having a good conscience, not even thinking about it and just lending his hand the moment he saw someone being targeted. Who would be like this heartless cad, forever scheming and calculating, anyway?
This conversation Deep Waters had simulated in his mind had quite a bit of sense and basis behind it.
“Don’t be so smug about this,” Deep Waters said, adding, “Although I’m stuck here in prison. My comrades still aren’t pushovers for you guys.”
Young Master Han laughed. “You should be well aware of the limits of your comrades’ capabilities.”
Deep Waters was quiet. He unconsciously took another swig from that bottle of liquor in his hand. His comrades… He would not be their boss if they were stronger than him.
“Alright, it’s about time. I gotta go,” Young Master Han interrupted his pensive thoughts.
“I sincerely wish you an early death and reincarnation,” Deep Waters said.
“That’s not really possible. After all, you’re not dead and only stuck in prison. So how would I lose my life?” Young Master Han chuckled. “How are you feeling now?”
“What do you mean ‘how’?”
“Feeling a little dizzy?” Young Master Han asked.
“You… Did you spike my drink?” Now that Young Master Han had mentioned it, Deep Waters did indeed feel lightheaded.
“What a joke. There are no such drugs in the game.” Young Master Han laughed. “However, that liquor is the strongest out of all the available alcohols in this game. Instead of calling it ‘two-oh-oh’, you should call it ‘one-seven-oh’.”
“This isn’t the two-oh-oh?” Deep Waters stared at the bottle.
“Who told you the two-oh-oh bottle must contain the two-oh-oh? Alright, enough talk. Time to go to sleep!” Young Master Han waved his hand.
“You jerk…” Deep Waters groggily cursed as his legs gave way and he found himself on his knees. The bottle in his hand slipped, but it did not crash to the ground, and the bottle’s remaining content merely spilled out.
“You’ve got quite the tolerance to even finish half a bottle like that.” Deep Waters heard Young Master Han commending him as his vision dimmed. He saw Young Master Han take something out from his dimensional pocket and tossed it over to him. “The earnings we’ve got this time around are all thanks to you. Best you keep that properly. Don’t blame me if someone else pockets it.”
Young Master Han left after he said his piece. Deep Waters wanted to check what the man had thrown him in his state of grogginess, but the alcohol he had drank in this fully immersive game finally got to him and he crumpled to the ground, fast asleep.
As Young Master Han strolled out the prison, he saw several players hurriedly rushing into it. He nonchalantly stepped aside and gave way to these men while he maintained a straight face. The lighting within the prison was already abysmal, so these men did not notice that someone else was visiting in their haste to make it deeper into the prison. As Young Master Han took his last step out of the prison, he heard urgent voices coming from those men, “Deep Waters, stop sleeping! Get up! Those guys seem to be leaving!”
Deep Waters did not hear them, though. He was too far in the cell for the men to reach him, so all they could do was pelt him with their miscellaneous items from their dimensional pockets. However, no matter how they pelted him, he did not rouse him from his stupor. They yelled and made so much noise that even the other players were disturbed from their sleep.
It was not easy to fall asleep in-game. These players really wished they could have slept through their entire sentence in one go, but they were instead so rudely awakened by these players’ din, so they felt absolutely disgruntled toward them. Soon enough, the entire prison was flooded with curses and expletives as everyone began to fling insults at each other. These players could only do this since they were unable to settle their disagreement physically.
Outside the prison, the players from Yunduan City were all neatly gathered together. Oathless Sword was rather surprised when he saw Young Master Han stroll out of the prison like he did.
“Let’s get going!” Young Master Han said.
“Our plan to leave will surely get exposed once everyone gathers.” Oathless Sword carefully looked around for any signs of Deep Waters’ men. “Deep Waters probably knows of our intention by now, so he’ll at the very least come up with a sort of plan. Let’s quickly leave while he has difficulty relaying everything.”
“He he… There’s no need to rush. Deep Waters won’t be able to do any commanding for at least the next half hour,” Young Master Han said.
“Why?” Oathless Sword was perplexed.
“He’s had too much to drink,” Young Master Han calmly replied.