The game employees were all dumbfounded as they witnessed the two men, Gu Fei and Eternal Dominion, toy with the enraged Shadowmist Assassin in the palm of their hands.
“What an exciting collaboration!” someone could not help but exclaim. The two players on the screen took up the role of attacker and defender, respectively; their intricate combination allowed them to evenly bear the workload of facing the Shadowmist Assassin. As such, the greatest advantage of speed that the Shadowmist Assassin held did not appear to be as frightening as before. They worked in such a way that there was no need for Gu Fei to waste time defending when attacking, while there was no need for Eternal Dominion to find time to prepare an attack while defending.
Ye Xiaowu was ever paler. He had presumed that Gu Fei would be unable to deal with the Shadowmist Assassin once its stats increased from the enrage state, but he had unfortunately failed to realize the skills Eternal Dominion possessed. It was only at this point that he realized: This Fighter looked to be the same sort of person as that Mage, boasting an impressive prowess that the average Joe lacked.
“How could this be…” Ye Xiaowu muttered to himself.
A colleague beside him saw his ghastly pallor, but having no idea what the man was thinking, this man simply attributed it to Ye Xiaowu feeling guilty about his design causing such mishap; this someone even tried to console him, “Chief Ye, don’t worry. This will all be settled soon. You’ll just have to work hard on fixing this after.”
What could Ye Xiaowu say at this point? All he could do was bury his head and laugh bitterly. Fix it? Will I even have the opportunity to do that? Ye Xiaowu had a rather foreboding feeling about this.
Gu Fei and Eternal Dominion were both of course unaware that there were so many pairs of eyes closely watching their progress; the two of them focused every bit of their soul and fiber of their body to deal with the attacks from the Shadowmist Assassin as they concentrated wholeheartedly to block and retaliate every time the BOSS struck. Finally, after Eternal Dominion threw the Shadowmist Assassin up in the air with his Seismic Toss, Gu Fei leaped right past it; the flaming arc he drew with his sword slashed across the Shadowmist Assassin. Its entire body set alight as it landed painfully on the ground and rolled about.
Gu Fei heaved a sigh of relief. This was the end. It was finally over. The two of them had finally successfully slain this BOSS.
“I wonder what it would drop? If it is some top-grade equipment, we can definitely earn quite a bit of money selling it,” Gu Fei told Eternal Dominion.
“Money…” Eternal Dominion’s eyes were like stars. “I haven’t expected that it’s so easy to earn money in games.”
The Shadowmist Assassin began to drop its loot. Gold coins scattered all over as the BOSS rolled about on the ground. Eternal Dominion wanted to bound over in his excitement and pick them all up but was held back by Gu Fei. “Wait a moment. It might be a trick.”
“What trick could there be?” Eternal Dominion did not understand.
All Gu Fei could think about was his experience with BOSSES that faked their surrender, so he did not dare to be too careless. It was only until the Shadowmist Assassin lay on the ground, unmoving, and dropped all its loot that he truly believed that this BOSS was dead.
“Looks like he’s really dead,” Gu Fei said.
Eternal Dominion quickly flung himself over to snatch the gold coins on the ground as quickly as he could, as if every coin would sink into the ground at any moment and could no longer be found.
“The eyes of a mouse can only see an inch of light!” Gu Fei scoffed, “Didn’t I tell you that the truly valuable drops here are the top-grade equipment?!” With that, he stepped forward and picked up the dagger on the ground. Peering at it, he exclaimed, “Fuck, it’s white-tier!” Nobody said anything about the BOSS only dropping top-grade equipment. Sometimes, it would also drop some common items. Gu Fei already had a dagger, and he was not about to start a collection, so he casually tossed it aside.
“That’s still worth something if we sell it to the merchants,” Eternal Dominion said as he scrambled to pick up the dagger Gu Fei had flung aside. The merchant he was talking about was the various NPCs that manned the system-operated shops. Players could sell anything to them, but the price that they would offer was abysmally low.
“Look here. This is what’s truly valuable!” Gu Fei said, as he lobbed over the second item he picked up to Eternal Dominion.
[Skill Scroll: Shadowmist Assault, Assassin skill. Instantly appear behind a target to execute a high-speed strike and deal a powerful blow.]
“How much do you think that is worth?” Eternal Dominion asked as he examined it.
“We’ll talk about that when we head back.” Gu Fei did not mention that he had no idea himself.
The third item he picked up was a book. Gu Fei saw ‘Andrew Su’s Diary’ written on its cover.
“Andrew Su? Is that this guy’s name?” Gu Fei mumbled to himself as he casually browsed through the pages within. It looked to be a narrative of Andrew Su’s tale after he was lost in the fog. Naturally, Gu Fei was not in the mood to properly read through it at the moment, so he casually placed it into his dimensional pocket and picked up the remaining two pieces of equipment still left on the ground.
“F*ck! F*ck!” Gu Fei swore twice and tossed them one by one, for the two items were both white-tier equipment. This meant that this BOSS had only dropped one skill scroll and a weird diary, and there was no top-grade equipment at all.
Meanwhile, Eternal Dominion was seemingly oblivious to all that had happened, as he happily picked up all the coins the BOSS had dropped. The man carefully picked up every single gold coin that rolled off Andrew Su, counting as he went. He ended up with a total of 241 gold coins. Adding to that bottle of liquor Young Master Han had given him, which was worth 200 gold coins, he earned himself a total of 441 gold coins. Eternal Dominion was extremely elated once he did the math. The highest amount he had seen ever since he started playing this game was 200 gold coins, and that was the amount that a whole bunch of people had managed to raise for him for his Job Class Advancement. Of course, this money was spent really quickly, and the amount of money he had never got past three digits after.
“Let’s see if there’s anything left on its body,” Eternal Dominion muttered as he rifled through the Shadowmist Assassin’s corpse. This was the outcome of every BOSS; players would not even let them off in death.
Gu Fei was contacting the other members of Young Master’s Elite. “Where are you guys?”
“What, what, what? Did something happen?” The one who replied was actually Royal God Call.
“Oh, we just killed the BOSS. And you?” Gu Fei replied.
“Killed? What did it drop?” Royal God Call hurried to ask.
“Nothing. Just an Assassin skill scroll and some random diary which I don’t even know what’s it about,” Gu Fei replied.
“Where are the rest, then?” Royal God Call asked.
“I don’t know. Why aren’t they saying anything?” Gu Fei called a few more times, but none of the others replied. Gu Fei tried to privately message them each but got no response from any of them either.
“What in the heck is going on?” Gu Fei was perplexed. Royal God Call was also yelling over the mercenary channel. “Quickly come and get me from the spawn point…”
Gu Fei was speechless. He really could not imagine what would happen if Royal God Call randomly spawned at Xiawu City from the very start when he had no friends. What sort of inhuman life would he lead?
“We’re leaving,” Gu Fei called out to Eternal Dominion as the two of them proceeded to head back to the city. They had come across War Without Wounds, who was sent flying to his death after being struck by the Shadowmist Assassin before, along the way, and Gu Fei decided to head over to take a look.
In the end, he discovered that War Without Wounds was still where he was earlier. What was even more bizarre was that he remained in the same position as he previously was when Gu Fei left him. Gu Fei approached him, confused. “What in the world are you doing?”
War Without Wounds was very dejected as well. “I don’t know. I can’t move. My HP is zero. Why can’t I respawn?”
“Why didn’t you guys reply when I sent a message?” Gu Fei asked even as he came forward to try and lift War Without Wounds up to his feet.
“You sent a message?” War Without Wounds was astonished. His mercenary channel and private conversation window were silent all this while.
Gu Fei was also extremely surprised. This was because he had just found out that he could not touch War Without Wounds. This was the same configuration that was seen in the various safe zones in the game; it was a restriction placed by the system on the players. He wondered why it would appear here.
“What is going on?” The two of them were baffled.
Compared to these two, Brother Assist and Young Master Han came to a possible conclusion after analyzing the situation; perhaps, the game company had discovered that the BOSS was too outrageous and had taken certain precautions.
“Not allowing us to die, sealing us in this space… Perhaps, they are getting ready to restore us back to life?” Brother Assist deduced.
“That’s highly likely,” Young Master Han agreed with this assessment. Furthermore, they were both not in a location unlike War Without Wounds who was all alone. There were plenty of other players around them that were acting like corpses. None of them was able to move or send any sort of messages. All they could do was participate in the ongoing discussion. Some of these people even let their imaginations run wild. They were not satisfied with being merely restored back to life and were dreaming that the game company would provide them some sort of peerless item as compensation, replacing Gu Fei as the main character of this novel...
The whole lot of employees in the game company watched Gu Fei and Eternal Dominion finish off the Shadowmist Assassin. There was a certain disagreement that occurred, thereafter. One side believed that since the BOSS was ultimately defeated by players, this meant that this BOSS was not exactly so overpowered that players were unable to overcome it, so the losses every player had incurred would not need to be compensated; the other side held a firm belief that the fact that this BOSS got enraged was a design flaw by itself – a BUG. Since they managed to discover this in time, they bore the responsibility to deal with it accordingly by providing the appropriate compensation to all the players. Considering this condition for the incident, it made no sense why the players should bear the losses from an error in game design.
The ensuing debate between both sides wasted yet more time, until somebody reminded everyone that there were still plenty of players lying on the ground like corpses, waiting for a resolution! Thus, the game operations’ senior lead made the final decision to recompense the players.
This was when the employees that were dealing with the back-end data gave their feedback; there were no issues with restoring the data assets of those players that were frozen in place, resembling corpses, on the ground at the moment. There were also no problems restoring those deaths that they had not managed to lock down in time but were able to track down at the spawn points. The real issue began from those players that had died before they were able to do anything about this incident and had left the spawn points; these people’s whereabouts were hard to track down consequently. They were worried that their efforts would be unable to do anything to those players in this final category.
“See!” someone, who was in support of the former argument, said, “it’s no longer possible for us to completely give all these players recompense. If we only restore those that we are able to track down, won’t that just be unfair to the small population of players that we fail to locate?”
In the end, the game operations’ senior lead rolled his eyes at this man’s comment. “If we don’t compensate these players, all of them will find this entire affair unfair. If we do compensate these players, at least a good majority of them will feel that this is fair. Isn’t it obvious what we should be doing here?”
And so, the process of restoring the data began. The players, who had become corpses after the enraged Shadowmist Assassin had slain its way through them, suddenly found themselves able to move again with a fully restored HP. Those players that had dropped items upon their deaths saw the system return these items to them right before their eyes.
Everybody climbed to their feet while feeling confused, continuing their discussion.
“Exactly as we’ve thought.” Brother Assist and Young Master Han, who had long expected such a result, chuckled as they looked at each other.
Meanwhile, it was Royal God Call who was the most astonished by all this. He had patiently been waiting by the spawn point all this while when the scene around him suddenly changed in a flash, and he was thrown back into the fog from before. He rubbed his eyes in disbelief, unable to make sense of what had just happened to him.