Chapter 605 – Do you wish to be a good guy?
“Manpower is an issue.” Young Master Han nodded in agreement, before turning his gaze on the others. “Do any of you have any trustworthy friends whom we can get to join us?”
These men exchanged glances. It was Sword Demon who finally spoke. “This business venture is quite the money-maker, so it’s going to be really easy to find people to help out, but the problem is that we’re dealing with a lot of money here! Just look at this afternoon alone; were it not for those guys lowering the price once more, how long do you think we would be busy? Honestly, I’m not interested in spending all my time just making money.”
“Yeah. Making money isn’t our main reason for playing this game.” The two other players, whose hands were jelly from collecting money, bemoaned this as well.
“No way. It’s really interesting!” Eternal Dominion made his stance known by speaking out against the prevailing sentiment.
“Can the two kung fu practitioners head to another corner and converse with themselves? Don’t come here and speak to us.” Young Master Han waved his hand dismissively.
War Without Wounds shot Young Master Han a hard glare, meaning to tell him not to drag the others into the water with his flippant words. Meanwhile, Royal God Call already happily sought to pull Gu Fei into the conversation. “Miles, what are your thoughts on this?”
“I don’t have any desire for money.” Gu Fei was in an even more enlightened state than the three. The three men merely expressed that they had no wish to spend all their time making money, while Gu Fei immediately came out saying that he had no such desires to begin with.
“If you don’t have any desire for it, why are you so enthusiastic about it?” everyone wondered aloud.
Gu Fei let loose a heavy sigh. Where should he begin? After giving it a moment of thought, he said, “I can’t be bothered to explain it. Do you guys want my sword to do the talking, instead?”
“I feel that what Sword Demon said makes a lot of sense. We’re not playing this game to make money.” The topic changed too quickly, making it seem as if no one had spoken to Gu Fei.
Sword Demon nodded solemnly, waving his hand to Gu Fei at the same time. “I’ll return your money in a bit.” The heavy burden he had been carrying all this while could finally be lifted. Although no one said anything about the money allocation for today’s session, since Sword Demon was among the three collecting fees, he had a good idea about their earnings. He believed that no matter how the money was split, as long as he was included in the count, the portion he would receive should be more than enough to clear his debts.
“Since everyone is so enlightened and doesn’t wish to use money to measure their worth, why don’t we stop right here?” Young Master Han asked.
“NO, DON’T!” Royal God Call and War Without Wounds vehemently disagreed.
Gu Fei was completely unconcerned, so he did not make a sound. As for Sword Demon, he knew Young Master Han’s nature too well. He would be too much of a failure if he became flustered just from hearing this. Eternal Dominion, meanwhile, completely believed that the man was being honest, but he was hardly anxious. Instead, he was thinking far ahead. Oh? You guys don’t want to do this? How troublesome. I’ll have to search for others to help out, then. I wonder if Brother Assist is still interested in this…
It was obvious from Eternal Dominion’s contemplative look that he was thinking about contacting new partners. This time, it was Young Master Han’s expression that changed ever so slightly, as things would be troublesome if a key source like Eternal Dominion was to slip out of his palms; Eternal Dominion did not see any value in having him as part of the operation. Meanwhile, War Without Wounds and Royal God Call had already stepped closer to Eternal Dominion’s side.
“Brother Eternal, don’t listen to the ravings of this mad man,” War Without Wounds coaxed.
“That’s right!” Royal God Call nodded. During such crucial moments, both men even dared to do something as dangerous as deride Young Master Han.
“Look; it’s not that we’re unwilling to do it, but you can tell what the crux of the matter is; The main reason we play this game is to relax and enjoy ourselves online after a hard day’s work. We’re only looking to earn a little extra here in Parallel World for us to spend. Isn’t it too much for us to work so hard on it like it’s an actual job even in-game?”
“Yeah!” Royal God Call agreed.
Too shameless! Even someone as considerate as Sword Demon could not stand the two any longer and used both his middle fingers to express his disdain for the two. These two who spent all their time submerged in the game actually dared to say that they had a hard time working the whole day. Especially Royal God Call, he was not even sure if the boy was of age to work yet.
In any case, Eternal Dominion understood that they meant; it was evident that they placed enjoyment as their priority in Parallel World; money was merely a supplement to their enjoyment. Getting them to treat this business as a part-time job was possible, but for them to develop this venture from the ground up like this was simply too much. They had expressed their misgivings to the idea given how it would most likely occupy a lot of their time once things got busy if they were not too careful with their time management.
In the end, the most reliable person was still Sword Demon, who considered the issue thoughtfully before saying, “If you truly want to form a steady, long-term partnership for this venture. I feel that your best bet is a workshop.”
“Workshop?” Young Master Han chuckled. “That is indeed the best choice; unfortunately, if you cooperate with a workshop, they will only require Miles and Eternal Dominion; what can you miscellaneous men do? Collect fees? Run errands? Deliver mails? Whatever you guys can do, there are plenty of workshop members that can replace you. Why should they split any part of their profits to you guys?”
“Hmm… We can always negotiate it right from the start!” Royal God Call suggested.
“Okay, then that will require Miles and Eternal Dominion to go make contact. The general idea is for these two men to hire the workshop for all the menial labor, and everyone will share the profits together, but there’s a catch; it’s where you useless bums will be reared for nothing. M*th*rf*ck*r. Do you guys even have any semblance of pride?” Young Master Han reprimanded.
“Sword Demon, what sort of lousy suggestion did you give?!” Royal God Call and War Without Wounds were quick to turn sides.
Furthermore, after hearing Young Master Han described this in detail, Sword Demon could feel just how unbearable his suggestion was. He was a good-to-honest apex expert, after all. There was really no way he could stand becoming a freeloader that depended on his relations.
“It’s impossible to work with a workshop, anyway. Besides the issue of face that I previously detailed, workshops have scale, resources, and organization; they are a disciplined operation. Working with them means surrendering your ability to make decisions to their hands. Although Miles and Eternal Dominion possess the critical skill for this business venture, intentionally burning bridges after making the crossing is one such method people utilized during the early stages of businesses that are highly reliant on skilled talents. Thus, working together with workshops isn’t exactly a good idea.” In the end, it was still Young Master Han who had given a more severe analysis of the matter.
“So what do you think is the best recourse?” Royal God Call asked.
“That’s easy; set up our own workshop,” Young Master Han replied.
“F*CK!” The three men all expressed their contempt at this answer. A workshop was totally nothing about gaming anymore but a company, of which the sole purpose was to earn money in games, instead, and this was something Sword Demon and the others would definitely not do.
“Please, can all of your brains put in a little more work? If we set up a workshop, we’ll be the boss. Tell me; which workshop has their boss farming gold out there?” Young Master Han asked.
“Yes, there are. Take Almond Workshop—”
“Can you shut up?” Young Master Han glared at Royal God Call for pulling out a contrarian example.
Thus, Royal God Call kept his mouth shut. Honestly, the example he had raised was a unique outlier. There was no end of strangeness in the world, so there was no way to say for sure that there was no boss out there who would have the pastime of being the chauffeur or bodyguard, but it was not inaccurate to assert that the vast majority of bosses out there would definitely not be found doing the most menial labor in their companies.
Thus, Young Master Han continued to elaborate on his plan. “Pull out all your names and set up a workshop. You should still have some measure of star power within the MMO community, right? So take in a few professional gamers, specifically to work on this business. Oh, god. I can’t help but commend myself for this amazing idea of mine.”
“Hey, hey, hey!” Gu Fei called the four men who had long since forgotten about his and Eternal Dominion’s presence. The four mercenaries turned to look, only to hear him casually say, “There’s no need for things to get so complicated. Eternal Dominion and I have discussed the matter on our end, and we’ll just randomly find a workshop to cooperate on this.”
War Without Wounds and Royal God Call screeched; they were already rushing right to Gu Fei to condemn him for his lack of loyalty. Sword Demon was still maintaining his composure, as he did not believe that Gu Fei would be so disloyal and act so unbrotherly. Young Master Han was similarly holding back his words; he too was aware that Gu Fei would not act in such a manner, but for the man to blurt this out while he was commending his idea moments ago, his words acted like a splash of cold water whether Gu Fei was being serious or otherwise.
“Alright, alright. Let’s all get serious! Ahem!” Gu Fei was solemn as he continued. “I do think that this workshop idea is good. Eternal Dominion, what do you think?”
“Yes, very good.” Eternal Dominion nodded.
“Those students you’ve got can come and lend us a hand by then!” Gu Fei said.
“Those guys? They already graduated after the orientation training; they got their certification last New Year and went off to find relevant jobs,” Eternal Dominion said.
“Is that so? Your school will graduate students just like that?”
“Of course, what about you?”
“Mine is an official national public school, so their graduation is in the summer,” Gu Fei answered.
“Doesn’t that make you a right and proper teacher? Enjoying the benefits of being a civil servant, are you?”
“It’s not bad!”
“You can normally go head a class and do stuff like home tutoring and the sorts. That’s very profitable!”
“Bro. I’m teaching Phys Ed,” Gu Fei reminded.
“Oh. I forgot. Then, are there any kung fu admirers out there that got you to teach a little?” Eternal Dominion was still inquiring.
“Nope. Absolutely nothing…” This was a point of disappointment for Gu Fei. Any mention of kung fu in school was essentially a tragedy.
“How unfortunate. If there’s any sort of tutoring in this avenue, do introduce me as well,” Eternal Dominion requested.
“Of course. You know I’m not short on that bit of money, so I’ll be sure to recommend you if such an opportunity comes up,” Gu Fei concurred.
“Thanks!” Eternal Dominion expressed his gratitude.
“Are you two done with your small talk?” The four men were visibly annoyed by their conversation.
“Ahem. That workshop isn’t a bad idea. Any thoughts, Eternal Dominion?” Gu Fei asked again.
“Yes, it’s great. Actually, don’t your students play Parallel World? We can use them to work for us and help them earn a little pocket money!” Eternal Dominion suggested.
“My students aren’t of age yet!” Gu Fei sweated.
“Earning a bit of allowance isn’t bad, too!” Eternal Dominion persuaded.
“No way! Students ought to prioritize studying. What sort of future are they gonna have if they keep playing games?” Gu Fei reasoned.
“That’s true. Take some of my students for example—”
“Are you two done yet?!” the four men angrily bellowed in unison.
“Alright. We’ll take charge with setting up this workshop! You two instructors, just remember to show up to take these classes when the time comes!” Young Master Han said.
“The players who join workshops are those professionals seeking to earn money through gaming, right?” Gu Fei asked.
“Sometimes, they can’t even be considered as players. They treat it like a job, making it no different from any other line of work out there,” Sword Demon said.
“Will Southern Lone Blade and the others count?” Gu Fei suddenly asked.
They were all stunned, as Young Master Han sardonically quipped, “Oh, is the great hero thinking of hanging a medicine gourd 1?”
“I don’t think it’s an easy life for them to be looting other players’ equipment to earn money,” Gu Fei commented.
You’re the reason things aren’t easy for them… The crowd silently thought this.
“I don’t really mind it if they are willing to join us. Those guys are certainly of caliber, and it just so perfectly covers the six main job classes. They’d make for excellent demonstration instructors,” Young Master Han agreed.
“Hey, they are the enemy! Aren’t you afraid of them pulling dirty tricks when the time comes?” Royal God Call exclaimed in shock.
“Under the very scrutiny of yours truly, is there anyone that can pull anything without me knowing?” Young Master Han retorted.
Royal God Call deflated, saying despondently, “The point is, how can we trust them?”
“Honestly, gaining their trust now is the far more difficult matter,” Young Master Han said.
“I’ll go look for them.” Gu Fei nodded.
“PLEASE DO NOT FORCE THEM!” Royal God Call yelled after him; a child would always draw a clear distinction between love and hate.
“Got it!” Gu Fei answered, leaping off the outcrop and making his way to Baishi City even as he sent a message over to Southern Lone Blade. “Where are you?”
As expected, he got no reply to his message for quite some time. Thus, Gu Fei sent another message. “I have a very lucrative business venture; Are you interested?”
Southern Lone Blade was having very mixed feelings when he received Gu Fei’s message. This was because it had been days since he last saw or received a message from Gu Fei. For something as surprising as this to pop up, it only made matters far more complex than usual.
Nevertheless, Southern Lone Blade was a man who was gaming to earn money, so there was no way he could bear to ignore such a message. Since exchanging messages was not about to result in death, the man decided to respond. “What business venture?”
“Oh? Don’t you know about the huge venture I’m recently involved with?” Gu Fei was somewhat surprised. He thought that Southern Lone Blade would quickly think of the super popular instructing occurring at the Wilderness Camp when he mentioned about doing business; Southern Lone Blade did not seem to be the sort that would not be in the loop of such news, after all.
Who would have thought that Southern Lone Blade would really answer ‘no’, though?
“Wilderness Camp! Campfire Patroller! Efficient monster grinding routines!” Gu Fei consecutively sent him these three key phrases.
Southern Lone Blade replied with four words of his. “What do you mean?”
“Lately, what have you been busy with?” Gu Fei asked. The fact that Southern Lone Blade had no idea of such a huge thing happening, Gu Fei suspected that the man was no longer in Baishi City.
He did not get any reply for a long time, and just as Gu Fei was about to send another message, Southern Lone Blade replied, “What are you seeking me for?”
“Huh? Do you know what the three phrases I’ve sent your way mean?”
“Of course, I do!” Southern Lone Blade had in fact inquired about this in that last minute, and since he was not a noob, he could already estimate just how huge the profits would be without needing to think a lot.
“We’re about to set up a workshop to do this business, and we need helpers,” Gu Fei said.
“So why do you look for me?” This was the question Southern Lone Blade inevitably had to ask.
“If this were a movie, we would be like: Southern Lone Blade, ‘I want to be a good guy; why can’t you give me a chance?’ Gu Fei, ‘I’ll give you the chance.’” Gu Fei replied thusly.
“Whoops. Sorry. That’s my real name. Just replace it accordingly…” Gu Fei figuratively wiped sweat off his forehead. His IGN, Thousand Miles Drunk, was not ingrained into his identity much, so while he would answer when someone called him that, in his internal monologue, he still called himself ‘Gu Fei’.
“This is a great opportunity. If I were in your shoes, I’d surely risk my life and give it a shot.” Gu Fei added.
“Why would I be risking my life?” Southern Lone Blade asked.
“Because there’s a very simple test to find out whether I’m telling the truth or not. All you gotta do is step right up to me. If I’m lying, you’ll die on the spot; if I’m telling the truth, you’ll have your life intact,” Gu Fei replied.
Southern Lone Blade broke out in a cold sweat. “You’re the one who suggested this! If you still have other schemes, you won’t just kill me once you get me on the hook.”
“Aside from being slain by me, what other sort of tragedy can you suffer in my hands?” Gu Fei asked.
Southern Lone Blade contemplated further. “Our cooperation means all my fellow teammates will be brought on board, too, right?”
“Of course,” Gu Fei guaranteed.
“So, if you choose not to kill me when we meet, can’t you get rid of us all at one go once I gather everyone else for you?” Southern Lone Blade asked.
Gu Fei was irked. “Say; can’t you be a little bit more optimistic about this, or have you done too much evil already?”
Southern Lone Blade began to ruminate over this offer once more. Gu Fei sighed. Sure enough, it’s exactly as what Young Master said. Getting Southern Lone Blade to trust us is far more difficult than us trusting Southern Lone Blade’s gang.
“Fine! I’ll meet you just once!” Southern Lone Blade finally bit the bullet and made his decision.
“Where are you?” Gu Fei heaved a sigh of relief. It seemed that his persuasion had seen initial results as Southern Lone Blade had been slightly swayed by it.
“Auction House,” Southern Lone Blade answered.
“Hey… No way, right?” Gu Fei was astonished. If that man is at the Auction House… He glanced at the time and date. Today was the last day that Vast Lushness’s magic staff could be retrieved from the distribution NPC, and there was in fact only forty minutes left.
Southern Lone Blade did not say a word because Gu Fei’s guess was spot on. They were still camping out the Utopian Magic Staff.
Gu Fei ran all the way back to the city. By the time he arrived at the Auction House, there was only eight minutes left on the clock.
“Where are you?” Gu Fei messaged.
Seven players appeared from nearby corners of the streets. They were the seven members of Southern Lone Blade’s posse, and all these men moved to surround Gu Fei.* An ambush?* Gu Fei did not think that was the case, for it would be more effective for them to begin their assault right away if this was truly an ambush. It would be too unprofessional of them to step out and confront him together so measuredly.
“Since you’re the one suggesting this test, we don’t mind going the full mile for it. All seven of us are present here. Better make it quick if you’re gonna slay us all!” Southern Lone Blade said.
Gu Fei gazed at the seven men, not making a move. All he did was utter a single sentence.
“You guys have thinned.”
Almost instantly, four out of the seven men choked back tears.
Gu Fei addressed the unshaven and haggard-looking Southern Lone Blade. “Have you guys been waiting for the Utopian Magic Staff all this while?”
Southern Lone Blade nodded.
“And the buyer hasn’t appeared even once?” Gu Fei was very surprised by this fact.
Southern Lone Blade nodded yet again.
“Forget about it! There’s much more money for you guys to be made,” Gu Fei said.
Having been chatting all this while, they were more or less convinced about Gu Fei’s sincerity in his offer, but they still had one final shred of obstinacy right now. “We’re not gonna make a move, but we must find out just who the buyer is!”
The seven men gritted their teeth.
That’s right! Just who is the buyer? Even Gu Fei found this affair to be a little strange. He glanced at the time again. “There’s still five minutes left.”
“Shall we go in?” Flame Singed Clothes suggested. They were still outside the Auction House, with only Glue standing somewhere nearby to keep watch from afar.
“Let’s go.” Gu Fei waved his hand and walked in first.
The seven men followed behind, thinking that this entire sequence seemed like a dream. Never did they imagine that there would be a day when they would be neatly following right behind Thousand Miles Drunk.
In the main hall of the Auction House, players were queuing in an orderly fashion by the retrieval point to pick up either their money or goods. Gu Fei took another look at the time. “Four minutes.”
The eyes of Southern Lone Blade and his men were almost bloodshot at this point. They stared rigidly at everybody in the queue, especially the Priests. Just who would actually be so callous and inconsiderate to leave things in suspense to such a degree?
Ch 605 Footnote 1
Chinese parable about a mystical old medical practitioner who visited and hung his medicine gourd, from which every pill he pulled out cured the illness of every patient who visited him.
This term is often used to refer to any aspiring Chinese physician, while also refering to any person who’s seeking to save someone else from pain/misery/illness.