Chapter 614: Chapter 614 – Observing the Lamb
Translator: Exodus Tales Editor: Exodus Tales
“Prophetic Emperor?” Gu Fei repeated in his confusion.
“Drunk bro, have you not heard that name before?” Sakurazaka Moony asked.
“Nope.” Gu Fei shook his head. It was unfortunate that Brother Assist was not around; otherwise, he would surely have the most comprehensive information about forum matters.
There was already someone who opened up just as Sakurazaka Moony was about to introduce Gu Fei to the Prophetic Emperor, “The IGN for the Prophetic Emperor is One Autumn Leaf, and was originally one of the moderators for the official forums of Parallel World, specifically the board for gossip and rumors. His prophecies actually never begin in threads but his posts, especially when it comes to the more contentious topics in the game. Aside from meaningless conversation, it was discovered that the things this person said would ultimately be verified as reality. As for the nickname of Prophetic Emperor, it started because there was once a player who started a thread, self-proclaiming to be an emperor of prophecies, saying he was about to make several deductions toward the game development trend. Later on, One Autumn Leaf replied criticizing these deductions the original poster made. There’s no need for me to explain what ended up happening, right? Anyway, the nickname Prophetic Emperor stuck with the user One Autumn Leaf. Because of his identity as a moderator, everybody had always been guessing he must be an internal employee of the game company. We once attempted to contact this Prophetic Emperor for an interview, but he politely rejected. However, quite a little while ago, One Autumn Leaf was no longer a moderator for the gossip and rumors board.”
Sakurazaka Moony had originally wanted to give a detailed account of everything, but had never expected someone to snatch the opportunity from right under his nose. He saw that this person was following behind Gu Fei, but he did not recognize him at all, so he casually asked, “Who are you?”
“The name’s Dommu, a reporter from Good Games Network,” Dommu introduced himself.
“Dommumudou!!” Someone yelped. Sakurazaka Moony felt that wave of sadness that just came over him when somebody stole his thunder all the more prominently. After straightening out his equipment, he approached Dommu in an upright posture, “So it’s reporter Dommu. Sorry for my lack of respect there. I’m the guild leader Sakurakazaka Moony of the guild Forever in Flowers, from Yunduan City. The aim of our guild is—”
Before Sakurazaka Moony could even finish, Gu Fei had clasped his hand over his mouth and pushed him aside. He could already imagine that the aim Sakurazaka Moony was about to espouse would surely be something unspeakable.
But who would have thought Dommu would actually demonstrate his depth of knowledge in gossip, not only knowing about Forever in Flower, that man even nodded as he smiled, “Is it to ‘sticking an arm out from amidst the flowers, leading on the ladies we touched”, that Forever in Flowers?”
The moment Sakurazaka Moony heard that this person had actually heard of them, he was instantly beside himself with joy as he called out while struggling to push Gu Fei’s hand away, “Yup yup yup. We also have another mission statement—”
“Okay, that’s enough…” Vast Lushness quickly came to help stop Sakurazaka Moony from saying anything else. Her one quip was far stronger than Gu Fei’s kung fu in this scenario, as Sakurazaka Moony immediately shut up, not even asking why as he flashed a pleasant smile at Dommu, “We can chat later.”
Both Gu Fei and Vast Lushness were embarrassed seeing that look he gave, while Blue Ease and his men did not get along with Sakurazaka Moony and his bunch, so they were all laughing like it was a joke. But Dommu did not seem fazed by it, actually nodding his head and returning his smile.
Dommu had seen all kinds of people from all walks of life in his line of work, as long as it was a topic he was interested in, he did not care how reprehensible or noble someone was. Besides, people nowadays were very interested in reprehensible things; Dommu once interviewed a kind-hearted person who found looting dropped equipment distasteful and refrained from doing so; Dommu thought that the subject would receive a round of praise after doing a detailed article about that man, but he ended up being called a fool by the masses instead, and even Dommumudou were lambasted as idiots for covering said report. This caused Dommu to feel the extent of society’s moral degeneracy, and from then on, he only focused on topics that were interesting to people, no longer caring about ethics anymore.
Forever in Flowers… Yes, doing an article on this should resonate with plenty of people. The look he had on his face was very skeevy as well, looking very Forever in Flower-y.
“Ahem!” Gu Fei coughed heavily, as everyone came back to their senses and Dommu spoke after that bout of excitement, “Oh, where were we?”
“Prophetic Emperor,” Gu Fei said.
“Ah yes. That’s more or less everything about the Prophetic Emperor. Since he was the one who had released information about Silver Moon and No Smile’s location, then how did he know the movement of the two men? Actually, why don’t we ask Silver Moon and find out,” Dommu said.
The crowd was stunned. They watched as Dommu squeezed through the crowd and stood before the pitiful Silver Moon huddled in the Trade Exchange.
“Silver Moon, how do you do. I’m the online reporter for Good Games Network, Dommu. I wonder if you mind me taking up a few minutes of your time to ask a few questions?” Dommu was very professional, and this was something he often repeated to others, completely unchanged no matter who he was speaking to, expressing it with the utmost sincerity each time.
Silver Moon had been through a period of time when he spent very little time in-game, spending a lot of time on online forums and the like, so he was very familiar with Dommumudou. However, he was obviously not in the mood to answer this question right now, as he was still trying to brainstorm a way out of his predicament, and thus he ignored Dommu.
Dommu did not seem to be a stranger to such an attitude. If someone ignored him, he would just take it as silent consent, especially since he was in a safe zone, so there was no way he could be killed if the person was unhappy about it. Thus, he took out his paper and quill and asked, “According to an informed source, you and No Smile’s appearance here was information provided by One Autumn Leaf, from the official Parallel World gossip and rumor forum, better known for his nickname as Prophetic Emperor. May I know if you are aware of this matter?”
Silver Moon originally did not intend to acknowledge Dommu, but he froze up when he heard this and could not stand but ask, “The Prophetic Emperor, One Autumn Leaf?”
“That’s right, looks like you know this IGN, does that mean you know his real identity? Why would he be aware of your actions today? People could accept that One Autumn Leaf was able to make accurate inferences about the game’s development, but it’s just a little too fantastical for him to be able to prophesize the actions of two specific players like this. Do you, perhaps, have an explanation for this?” Dommu began his explosion of questions.
Only Fleeting Smile and Broken Water Arrow were aware that No Smile and him would appear at this place, and the two had been very careful with hiding themselves once they arrived, to the point it was impossible for any passerby to identify him. Taking a step back, even if someone did recognize him, the same could not be said for No Smile! After all, that man was hiding in Stealth back then, so even if somebody had equipment which detected Stealth, all they would know was that there was a Thief present, but there was no way people would know who the Thief really was.
“It’s Fleeting Smile! That guy is the Prophetic Emperor, One Autumn Leaf!” Silver Moon blurted out.
“Fleeting Smile?” Dommu very quickly recorded it down, lifting what he had written before Silver Moon and showed him, “Is this how it’s written? This a player? What’s his job class? What level is he at? This person’s a he, or she? Are you close to him? How did he know you’ll be here???”
Silver Moon’s expressionless face stared at Dommu, “You m*th*rf*ck*r!”
Dommu sure lived up to his name as a reporter who had seen all sorts of winds and waves. The man disregarded that expletive and continued to solemnly say, “I hope you would answer the questions I just asked.”
Silver Moon was ruffled, and was about to continue cursing when even Gu Fei squeezed into the crowd and asked, “Fleeting Smile?”
Silver Moon was startled yet again when he saw Gu Fei, but he quickly recovered before he instantly and impatiently divulged everything, “That’s right. That guy had been secretly plotting against you all this time; you should hurry and slay him!!” There was no reason Silver Moon would still protect Ye Xiaowu’s intentions after everything that happened, so the moment he saw Gu Fei, he made sure to blurt out the truth and throw the man under the bus. To him, Gu Fei and Ye Xiaowu were each other’s nemesis, so he would be most delighted if the two fought with one another.
In the end, Gu Fei had merely thrown a withering gaze at Silver Moon with great contempt when he heard this, “I don’t need you to tell me that. I already know.”
Silver Moon was stunned. When Dommu heard that Gu Fei knew the person in question, he immediately ignored Silver Moon and slid right up beside Gu Fei once more and asked, “You know Fleeting Smile? What sort of person is he? What level? Man or woman?”
“He’s a man!” Gu Fei confidently said, but he soon began to scratch his head, “Job Class… Level… I’ve never really noticed.”
“He’s a Priest, currently level 37. The man knows plenty of things behind the scene about this game. It’s very likely that he’s an internal employee of this game company, which would explain why he could be the Prophetic Emperor. No wonder…” Silver Moon said this loudly, as he had suddenly discovered another avenue of revenge he could take. He had yet to confirm if Fleeting Smile was really a company employee or not, but Dommu has an ability that not even expert gamers had: The ability to assess and steer public opinion. If he were to treat this as the truth and make an article about it, then attention would naturally be drawn to Fleeting Smile, and the game company will have no choice but to investigate it. If this turned out to be a bust, then Dommu’s report would be wrong; but if it were true, then Fleeting Smile would be in deep trouble. Thinking about this, Silver Moon got very excited, even beginning to sigh why there was no such information on Thousand Miles Drunk that would kill the man when it came to light.
“An internal employee? Is that true?” Dommu perked up several times over when he heard this. This could be considered as huge news.
“Yes, it’s true,” Gu Fei nodded.
F*ck! This guy’s pretty sinister to have said it with such conviction; he’s way better at acting than me. Silver Moon discovered that Gu Fei must be sharing the same thought as him and could not help but feel a little appreciation for the man.
“Oh, why are you so certain?” Dommu asked.
“Because he told me!” Gu Fei said.
“He? Who?” Dommu pressed.
“Fleeting Smile himself, of course,” Gu Fei smiled.
Everybody was shocked by this revelation. Silver Moon was all the more discomfited, for he felt that this lie that Gu Fei had said was a little too outrageous.
“Why would he tell you that?” Dommu felt there was a little problem. If Fleeting Smile was really an internal game company employee, he should be doing his utmost to keep it under wraps.
“Uh, he ran into some problems back then, and I lent him a hand. He casually mentioned that he received a few problematic reports from the game company and decided to come into the game to have a look for himself,” Gu Fe said.
“Ah, is he a GM?” Mudou was disappointed, for if this would be very common for a GM to get online and deal with such problems.
“I’m not so sure about that,” Gu Fei said.
“No, he’s definitely not a GM,” Silver Moon hurriedly came to life once more. “I’ve been hanging around with that guy recently, and he’s just like any other normal player, being online for several hours, doing quests, grinding his level, trading… Are these things GMs should do?”
“Oh? You’ve been together with that person recently?” Dommu heard this and came up beside Silver Moon again.
“That’s right!” Silver Moon gritted his teeth and decided to come clean. “The reason why me and No Smile appeared here today is actually by his direction. Because he wants to deal with Thousand Miles Drunk, he called the two of us to first make our way over here and lie in wait. However, I never would have thought that ungrateful cad would actually betray us!!”
“Then, may I ask if you have some sort of falling out with him?” Dommu asked.
“Falling out? Why would there be a falling out?” Silver Moon said.
“Then why would he want to devise such a trap for the two of you?” Dommu asked.
“How would I know,” Silver Moon angrily replied.
“Weird. Very weird,” Dommu shook his head and muttered to himself even as he organized everything he had just learnt from this interview.
That was when someone’s voice could be heard loudly from within the crowd, “Dommu where are you? DOMMU!!!”
“Over here!” Dommu shouted back, as a lady proceed to squeeze her way in; it was Mudou. She was a normal Mage, with the usual baby legs that plagued her job class. She had only just managed to arrive on the scene after everyone had been here for such a long time.
“I’ve told you not to choose a Mage already; How will you be able to rush and make it in the quickest time to collect the necessary information first hand,” Dommu nagged at Mudou.
“Isn’t that why you’re here?” Mudou giggled.
“Are you Miss Mudou? How do you do, I’m from Forever in— Ah, Drunk bro—” Someone from Forever in Flowers had came forth and joined in when he saw a lady appear, but ended up getting pushed back away by Gu Fei.
“What’s the situation?” Mudou asked.
“Have a look for yourself,” Dommu handed the notes he had taken down over to Mudou.
Mudou browsed through the materials and began to analyze the connections, “By the looks of everything, Prophetic Emperor had told Silver Moon and No Smile he wished to take down Thousand Miles Drunk, but as it turned out, the two ended up being betrayed by him. And Thousand Miles Drunk appeared here to hunt them down…”
Mudou was dumbfounded for a moment, before turning to Gu Fei, “Are you and Prophetic Emperor in cahoots?”
Silver Moon took a moment of pause before he howled loudly, “F*ck me, so that’s how it was. You b*st*rd, to have actually come up with such a venomous method to deal with me.”
Gu Fei had instead scoffed, “You wish. Why would I need to resort to such trickery to take on someone of the likes of you. I dare you to step out of the Trade Exchange right now and PK with me for… Uhmm,” Gu Fei appraised Silver Moon’s level before continuing, “27 rounds!”
Silver Moon was extremely dejected. Gu Fei was hinting that he would drop down to level 10 after the 27 rounds of PK, to the point where he would no longer be able to continue PK-ing after.
Mudou shook her head, “If you two are not in cahoots, then I truly can’t imagine what’s the reason for doing all this.”
“It would be great if I can contact the person and interview him,” Dommu sighed.
“I’ll help you ask!” Gu Fei took the initiative to act as the go-betweens and sent a message to Ye Xiaowu, but it was just another sinking stone in the bottomless ocean like usual. Silver Moon was already mentally fried by this point, as he simply could not decipher just what was the relationship between Thousand Miles Drunk and Fleeting Smile.
“Eh. He’s ignoring me,” Gu Fei said ruefully.
“Then can you at least say, why this Fleeting Smile wants to take care of you?” Dommu asked Gu Fei again. Gu Fei and him were already rather familiar with each other, so they were more casual with one another.
“He thinks I’m breaking the balance of the game, so he wants to pacify me.” Gu Fei laughed bitterly.
“Breaking the balance?” Dommu queried.
“It’s the issue of fairness that you’ve asked me before,” Gu Fei answered.
“Oh! At this rate, it’s evident this man thinks of you as an unfair existence,” Dommu laughed.
“Looks like it,” Gu Fei nodded in agreement.
“Then can you confirm that he is an employee from the game company?” Dommu asked.
“As long as he wasn’t lying before,” Gu Fei affirmed.
“Yeah!” Dommu nodded. It was fine as long as he said this; even if it was not an actual confirmation, he could at least be able to say “self-proclaimed internal game company employee” in his article.
With the information gathering of this matter now at a close, Dommu turned his attention back to Silver Moon. He was someone whom they had always wanted to interview but never had the opportunity to do so. Dommu cleared his throat and walked right up to the man with Mudou, “Brother Silver Moon, could you perhaps tell us just how it feels to have once been a guild leader who was extremely famous but has since fallen to such a destitute state?”
“Scram!” Silver Moon got enraged.
Dommu did not move, while Mudou continued to write furiously on her notepad by his side. Gu Fei wondered just what she could be writing based off of Silver Moon’s curt response, so he stepped up next to her and with a glance, Gu Fei recited what she wrote for all to hear, “When the reporter, after arduously making the trek to Baishi City and found Silver Moon surrounded by players, asked him what thoughts he had after all this time, Silver Moon’s shame turned into anger, and lashed out at the reporter with an unimaginable roar. We can tell that the pressure he was feeling was really great.”
“Hahahaha!” The players all around them burst into unrestrained laughter.
“It’s just a draft,” Mudou humbly added.
“So what does Brother Silver Moon intend to do next?” Dommu was still at it with his questions.
Silver Moon’s face was unpleasant, and no longer said another word. He turned his head away and squatted down by one side. Gu Fei tilted his head and saw Mudou writing, “Faced with a question about the future, Silver Moon’s face was completely in a stupor, squatting by the side like a docile lamb.”
Gu Fei did not read this out loud this time, but the other players all surely knew she must have written something, so all of them came forward to take a look. As such, Mudou decided to just read it out herself, much to the cheers of the crowd. Receiving such praises in person, Mudou was visibly excited as her cheeks flushed.
Gu Fei swept his gaze over to Silver Moon, silently praising the man for his mental resilience, to have been able to hold on despite having treated like a joke thusly.
“What’s everyone going to do?” Gu Fei turned back to ask the people here to encircle Silver Moon.
“What else. We’re gonna sow the seeds here and reap our harvest at the spawn point. We’ve already contacted the necessary people, and it’s already getting pretty crowded over there,” they said.
“Big bro Thousand Miles Drunk, you can go about your business! There’s no need for your magnificence to put in work here,” someone shouted.
“Is that so? Then I will have to thank you all for your hard work,” Gu Fei obeisance to the crowd, and was about to leave. Silver Moon had heard everything, and his face was ashen. Lifting his head up, he discovered Vast Lushness was also standing among the crowd looking over at him. Silver Moon’s heart was lit up with the tiniest flicker of hope and was just about to say something, only to find that Vast Lushness had already turned and left the crowd, no longer turning back.
“Silver Moon, why don’t you just be resolute and not waste everyone’s time. Wouldn’t you be able to go offline and rest up if you return to the spawn point?” Everybody laughed.
Silver Moon was grinding his teeth. This was the Trade Exchange, there was still a solution, and that was to purchase a teleportation scroll and leave. But the problem was that the Trade Exchange was not like the Auction House. There was no way he could use in-game currency, and he would have to use online banking to directly transact with real currency. Silver Moon was of course not poor, but the problem was that the card number from his bank card was necessary, and he did not remember it. As such, he would have to take the risk of forcefully logging out this one time to take a look at the number.
But if he did not do that, he will have to be sent to the spawn point, and he would then be camped by his enemies. Silver Moon had experienced such days once before, and he did not wish to relive that painful memory. Finally, Silver Moon steeled his heart and gritted his teeth before he forcefully disconnected from the game.