Chapter 618: Chapter 618 – Dommumudou’s Article
Under everyone’s gaze, Brother Assist calmly walked over to the corner of the room and picked out ten bags of the red 10,000 gold coin pouches, which totaled up to 100,000 gold, as everyone salivated at the prospect. And with that, Southern Lone Blade, Young Master Han, Sword Demon, and Blackwater were the next to complete their own tasks they were allocated respectively. Originally, these men had thought they would be done with this after they finished their own lot, yet everyone was ultimately not heartless enough to turn a blind eye to the deathly look War Without Wounds was showing as he slowly got through his pile of letters, so they all pitched in to help the man out.
Many hands make light work; thus all the replies were completed after another three hours of hard work. When the last quill was laid down, everyone was already collapsed on the floor, each looking absolutely hideous, grinding their teeth as they cursed this task.
“The printing press was truly a noble invention!” Everybody heard War Without Wounds make that comment out loud.
“Alright. Now that everything is done, let’s all gather the letters and prepare to send them all out,” Brother Assist yelled.
It was apparent that the frequency of doing this particular labour gave them all plenty of experience, and all sorts of tricks and methods appeared at this time. Take the strong War Without Wounds and Southern Lone Blade for example; both men created a makeshift pole and tied a sack of letters on either end, hauling it over one shoulder as his free hand grabbed a sack, so now they could each carry three sacks in a single trip. Those without Strength like Flame Singed Clothes and the others had it rough since the three sacks of letters they each had meant they would have to make many trips to get it all done. This was when Young Master Han pushed open the door and waved his hand out to the players passing by outside, “Looking to hire movers. 10 gold coins a single trip. Those with Strength may come forward.”
Many players stepped forward almost instantaneously. Everyone’s eyes shone as they ran to the doorway and picked their men. It was mostly newbies that were interested in doing menial labor for 10 gold coins, and they were all afraid these people would run off after picking up their sacks, so they gave these workers 5 gold coins upfront first. These newbies were elated, picking up the burlap sacks and followed behind Gu Fei and the rest, who were all looking refreshed as they led the way, pointing and laughing at War Without Wounds and Southern Lone Blade, who had to personally do the work themselves.
The task of sending the letters was much easier in comparison, as all the system required was the IGN for the recipients and it would be sent accordingly. Everyone had already filled this in when they were writing out the replies in the first place, so all they needed to do now was grab the letters by the handful and dump them all into the mailbox. Once they close up the mailbox, there would not be any delay as the system sent it all to the respective recipient instantly. As for the sender’s IGN, the system would just designate it to be whomever tossed it into the mailbox, so only Gu Fei, the current point of contact, and Brother Assist, the promoter, were the two who did the sending. All the others did was stuff the letters into the hands of these two men, or were specifically holding up the cover of the mailbox, or just keeping watch to ensure no letter was accidentally lost in the process. Working with one another, each picking different roles, they managed to finish this bit of work in just under 1 hour.
Everyone breathed a sigh of relief, and they all felt a wave of ease wash over them. Yet this was exactly the moment when Brother Assist said something a little unpleasant, “Don’t lose the burlap sacks. Keep it, since we’re gonna be using them in two days time!” Just saying that sentence alone, Brother Assist almost found himself dead on the street.
“Stop hitting me, let’s quickly head back and split our earnings!” Brother Assist yelled out in an effort to divert everyone’s attention. All the gold coins they collected was still sitting in their office right now! That was the big function that a private property possessed: It could be used for storage. However, using it for storage meant the owner will have to calculate the volume themselves, and unlike the Warehouse the system provided, or a player’s dimensional pocket, the usage of its space was versatile.
At the end of the day, the splitting of earnings was something that those involved were very enthused for, so everyone quickly made their way back to the office. Minus the 100,000 gold coins Brother Assist had taken, there was still 4,000,000 gold coins left with several thousands to spare. However, the people had their sights set significantly higher than before. The thousands of gold coins was nothing but chump change to them now!
So how were they going to split the profits? They had already discussed this matter previously, but none of them knew what to expect, so they decided to postpone it till after they collected everything. Now that the time has come, they will finally have to make a decision. It was a very sensitive question: Both parties have 14 men together and could be split into two separate groups. Young Master’s Elite and Eternal Dominion could be considered as one stake, and Southern Lone Blade and his team as another. How the seven of them would end up splitting their share would thus be up to themselves.
From the very beginning, Southern Lone Blade had always seen Gu Fei as the boss, so his gaze was precisely set on Gu Fei at this time, wondering what he would say. In the end, Gu Fei was preoccupied with something else entirely at the moment. His thoughts were preoccupied with how things cannot continue at this rate, seeing as he had already spent two consecutive nights pulling all-nighters for this business!
Seeing no one saying a word at this crucial point, it was Young Master Han who ended up starting the conversation, “What, none of you have any ideas? Shall I speak since none of you have any clue?”
“Go ahead,” War Without Wounds and the others hurriedly relented. Who would dare to raise any suggestions in front of someone like Young Master Han?
“We’ve all been working hard, but everyone here has seen just how lucrative our profit is. 4,000,000 gold coins; I doubt anyone here has ever come across such a huge sum, right? With such an abundant remuneration, I believe everyone would not care to nitpick over who did more work and who did less, nor would they mind how significant their contribution was,” Young Master Han said.
Everyone understood what he was insinuating. Take for example, how much effort Brother Assist had expended on promoting this round, while the names of Sword Demon and the others had used their names and reputation as a valued endorsement, drawing plenty of attention to the business. At the same time, the entire operation had essentially been Young Master Han’s plan, and it was Southern Lone Blade’s team that had privately done plenty of painstakingly meticulous work; it would be very troublesome if they were to compare these different tasks and assign a hard value against it. What Young Master Han meant was that, since there was so much money involved, and the fraction anyone would get from this would not be a sum they would usually see, there should not be any need for everyone to quibble over their portion.
“Of course, Miles and Dominion are the exceptions,” Young Master Han added.
Everyone nodded their head. That much was certain. They had already discussed this before; given how the two men were the source of the entire business, this made them the ‘evil’ capitalists holding all the cards.
“Aside from them, there’s a total of 12 of us here. 250,000 gold coins each would make it 3,000,000. We’ll leave the rest for the two men to split between themselves. Anyone have any objections?” Young Master Han asked.
“Nope,” Everybody shook their heads. Taking away 3,000,000 gold coins from the 4,000,000 gold coins would leave 1,000,000 gold coins, making an even split of 500,000 gold coins each between Gu Fei and Eternal Dominion. It was twice as much as what each of them got, which everybody found acceptable.
Thus, Young Master Han turned to gaze at the two men, “And the both of you?”
“We’re fine with this arrangement,” Gu Fei said, while Eternal Dominion nodded to show his approval as well.
“Time to take your money then!” Young Master Han waved his arms grandly, yet the scene where everyone hungrily pounced upon the gold did not occur. The money was as good in their own pockets by now, so it was not like anyone would be able to get more gold doing something like that, so why would anyone be in a hurry? Everyone carried themselves graciously as they took turns to step up one by one, picking out the amount they had each been allocated with without much of a fuss.
However, Brother Assist was scratching his head by the side at this time, sheepishly saying, “By the looks of our profit split, it seems like the 100,000 gold coin reward I got just now was a little too much…”
Each of them got 250,000 gold coins, but Brother Assist ended up having 100,000 more than the rest because he was quicker than anyone else when it came to writing letters by several minutes. He could not help but feel a little uneasy, especially since he was the one who came up with the idea in the first place.
“Just take it!” Young Master Han said, completely unperturbed. “The reward system should stay. It helps encourage everyone. But perhaps we don’t have it for something as nonsensical as that.”
“Then where should the reward go to?” Everyone pricked their ears to inquire about this. Writing happened to be Brother Assist’s strong suit this time around, so everyone was eager to hear which task would the next reward be placed in, so they could all practice beforehand.
Young Master Han swept his gaze through the crowd and asked, “Drinking, perhaps?”
“SCRAM!” The lot of them turned away.
Once each of them finished collected their 250,000 gold coins respectively, the remaining gold coins were left to be split between the two capitalists. Gu Fei casually strolled over and took a few bags, before nudging the remaining bags over to Eternal Dominion and said, “The rest is for you!”
“How can that be, you’ve done much more than me!” Eternal Dominion was very sincere.
“It’s not like I’m short on money,” Gu Fei shrugged.
Eternal Dominion was in tears. How despicable was it for him to hurt his pride using such a way?
Everybody had the shock of their lives when they saw Gu Fei gave up the mountain of gold coins before him. Royal God Call quickly scrambled over and asked, “Can I take some?”
“Don’t. He needs this to eke out a living!” Had this not been the reason, Gu Fei would not have minded sharing it with everyone.
“We are dependent on our earnings here too!” The seven professional gamers raised their hands.
“He and I are both affiliated,” Gu Fei said. This was blatant favoritism on his part, but Gu Fei felt it was reasonable. Even if Southern Lone Blade and his men had no other recourse but to earn a living through being professional gamers, they would not have been so helpless like martial practitioners. This was something that was considered a lifelong study, so who would not hope for it to be prescribed a value? While using a monetary measure was very superficial and rudimentary, the problem was how kungfu was precisely something that was impossible to measure in any monetary sense with regards to society as a whole; this was a feeling that most people would not experience.
These 1,000,000 gold coins were originally shared between Gu Fei and Eternal Dominion anyway, so it was nobody’s business but theirs, for Royal God Call to come over and ask was him being shameless. Southern Lone Blade and the others raising their hands was really just them joking around with Gu Fei; none of them had any intention of getting a share so obviously nobody had any issues with what Gu Fei did. Eternal Dominion happily kept the remaining 960,000 gold coins in his dimensional pocket— Gu Fei had only symbolically taken 4 bags.
“Miles come from a wealthy family!” Brother Assist helped provide background information to everyone, sharing with them what he had learnt from Eternal Dominion the other day.
“F*CK! So he’s got the makings of a pay-to-win player!” Everyone exclaimed.
“Thank god he didn’t…” Everyone could not imagine Gu Fei being armed to the teeth like Svelte Dancer. Just how fearsome would he become?
“But his equipment isn’t too far off either…” Someone muttered. Gu Fei’s was relatively well geared now, his Moonlit Nightfalls and Midnight Spirit Robe were both extremely overleveled equipment, while the other pieces he had on were either gold or purple tier; everything he had on was either BOSS or quality quest drops that would not be sold in the market, and that could be considered rather splendid as it was.
“Let’s go shopping!!” These experts had their pockets lined with gold coins right now, and could actually be considered to be at the level of pay-to-win warriors themselves. When Gu Fei was auctioning off his Moonlit Nightfalls before, Svelte Dancer had only used 20,000 gold coins to buy the item, right? That was seen as a sky-high price back then, but each and every one of them now holds 250,000 gold coins. If 20,000 gold coins were all it took to buy off something at Moonlit Nightfalls’ level twelve times over, one for every month, the amount they now hold would last them a full year. However, using gold coins like this, it depended more on getting the chance to do so; Svelte Dancer was also envious when she first laid eyes on the Windchaser’s Boots, right? And those boots were nowhere near the level of Moonlit Nightfalls.
The whole lot of them boisterously made toward the Auction House in a full sprint, looking exactly like absolute upstarts. In the meantime, Southern Lone Blade and his team of six remained in the room, and it was apparent they were the ones who made ends meet as professional gamers; each one of them was currently treating the gold they earned like treasure, carefully saving it. Currently, there were no official channels for gold coins to be cashed in for real world currency, so they had to first purchase equipment, before putting said equipment up on the Trade Exchange to get their money out of it. The vicious system was bound to charge taxes from these transactions, which was why these professional gamers like Southern Lone Blade would not do something like this. Instead, they opted to directly make use of an online listing to sell their virtual currency.
“Rest up if you don’t have anything to do. Tomorrow’s going to be another busy day!” Young Master Han was the last of the men who left, reminding Gu Fei, Eternal Dominion, and Southern Lone Blade’s team right before he departed.
All of them nodded to acknowledge this. It was the 1st of March when they got online to sort out the remaining letters. They spent the time after writing out replies, and it was already the morning of the 2nd of March now. The time their letters had stated for the lesson was on the 3rd of March, which was not even 24 hours away, so the slightest bit of urgency was there. Since the nine of them had no intention of spending their gold coins, they went to log out in a hurry.
After spending a whole day resting, Gu Fei did not go online again and casually spent his time perusing the internet leisurely. Dommumudou’s interview was also properly sorted by this time and was published on the Good Games Network website. This pair was also considered to be renowned reporters within the gaming circles, so their report naturally made the rounds among the gossips. So even though Gu Fei had no idea what Good Games Network was, he soon stumbled onto the article they had done on him.
Their article was neither filled with flashy words or baseless assertions. While Dommumudou gave off the air of someone who was a bit comical and unreliable during the interview, the final article itself was factual and measured, especially the information he gleaned from Gu Fei with regards to kungfu, which really gratified Gu Fei when he read it.
Dommumudou had not simply focused on catering to the interest of their readers but had first catered to the interviewee’s interest, so they had already given high praise to the weakened cultural institution known as kungfu. It was not that no media had ever given such a level of empty praise before, and the kungfu community would often organize events and activities in an effort to promote kungfu, to change the state of decline it was currently experiencing. Regretfully, kung fu was truly too far removed from the day to day lives of the current era. Anyone could commend the wonders of kungfu, but everyone would be stumped when asked what purpose would being good at kung fu serve. To say things like it being a personal challenge, or to develop and push the physical limits of being human was as empty as expressing amazement and wonder. To say it was good for punishing evil or upholding peace in the world, the relevant departments would not concur… That was why kungfu was something that was truly difficult to handle without anyone putting in the necessary effort.
But Dommumudou’s angle was different. Kungfu was good, but what was it good for? Take a look at Thousand Miles Drunk, and all would be clear; look at the efficient monster grinding routine, and anyone would know. Still doubtful? Then listen to some of these first-hand comments made by some of these people we interviewed…
Gu Fei had no idea where Dommumudou had found this bunch of people to interview, and it was quite possible they were just Blue Ease’s comrades that they had met outside the Trade Exchange. They had all been enemies of Gu Fei during the days when they were back in Yueye City, and might very well have been on the receiving end of Gu Fei’s sword, while those who had not been slain by Gu Fei would have seen people around them suffer that fate, so they could all be considered as first-hand accounts.
The whole lot of them had the most instinctive impression of Gu Fei’s prowess, and now that they were on the other side of the fence, happily standing on the same side as Gu Fei, it was only natural for them to be singing praises and bragging resoundingly when asked.
Thus, Dommumudou’s report was filled with glowing compliments, filled with deeds, witnesses, and examples. Among the players of Parallel World, kung fu had indeed been effectively promoted among the player base. Everyone knew of its existence and were all the more aware that there was only one word to describe kung fu in this game: Strong.
At the same time, Dommumudou had also dropped a piece of extra spicy information, and that was where Moonlit Nightfalls and Midnight Spirit Robe originated from. This was something Dommumudou had learnt that they had not expected Gu Fei would so happily divulge. This was unlike an expert grasping a peerless secret manual, who would avoid leaking anything about it in order to safeguard their own strength. The saying “Do not make too much noise when coming into money” derived from this same logic.
However, Gu Fei did not have such reservations. He had quite a deep impression of what happened with the werewolves, so he gave a clear account of everything. After this article by Dommumudou was published, Yueye City’s Yeguang Village instantly became a tourist hotspot. It was purely coincidental that Yueye City was in the vicinity for the horde of players that had travelled over to Baishi City to spectate the efficient monster grinding routine, so in two to three hours after the article dropped, the place was already overcrowded with players, everyone earnestly interacting with every NPC there, visiting the dilapidated Church, Mr. Adrian’s Mansion, the cave hidden in the forest, the grave without a corpse… These few locations that cropped up during Gu Fei’s quest became scenic sights since they had not been refreshed just because the quest had ended. Players arrived to see the traces left behind, each of them hoping to discover an enhanced version of Moonlit Nightfalls. For a time, the fervor toward this matter matched that of the efficient monster grinding routine.
What had originally been an interview with Thousand Miles Drunk’s workshop with a focus on the efficient monster grinding style had become an article about Thousand Miles Drunk’s tumultuous in-game journey. Readers could see what it was like for an expert martial practitioner to join the game from the article, a story of how he broke new ground and struck out on his own, only depending on his own skills and expertise, and had now developed into a path of riches.
Furthermore, Dommumudou had another accompaniment piece that was called “Highlights of the interview”.
People familiar with Dommumudou all knew about their practice of providing a “Highlight” with their interview, which was actually just an account of what other things happened throughout the course of the interview. These things were nothing particularly deep and largely unconfirmed, but it would be reported to share with everyone, for the readers’ to deduce what they would from it.
But this time, what Dommumudou reported was the incident with Silver Moon being chased till he got encircled. Dommumudou had not included any of their own inferences and had merely described everything and everyone he had seen as succinctly as possible. The highlight included a record of the conversation between Silver Moon, Thousand Miles Drunk, and other named players. In short, at the end of the piece, even though Dommumudou had not made any sort of conclusion, anyone with half a brain could evidently reach this conclusion: The self-proclaimed Fleeting Smile was the ex-moderator of the gossip forum board, known as the Prophetic Emperor, One Autumn Leaf, who was suspected to be a game employee.
The repercussions of this particular highlight were particularly pronounced, as players from every forum were all guessing the authenticity of this particular information. Some privately messaged One Autumn Leaf, and others came online to try and get in touch with Fleeting Smile. The fact was that game employees have plenty of permissions in the game, and players had no idea if they would be all-powerful. All they knew was that there was no doubt that such people would have plenty of principal opportunities over the average player. At the same time, there were also players who wished for officials to step forward and give an explanation, to give a proper account if there truly was such an indubitable game-breaking existence.
Game-breaking? What was game-breaking?
This was something measured in everyone’s hearts, with differing viewpoints, and on a different scale from person to person. For the people who were more tolerant, the measure of balance was a little more lenient; as for those who were more harsh and acrimonious, their measure of balance would be far stricter. Or perhaps the value they hold in their hearts was beyond that of wants, and with this change in vision, it would be on an entirely different scale altogether.
However, among the players, plenty of them did indeed consider a game employee being capable of playing the game to be something they could not stand. This was also the reason why such an unwritten rule was observed by these companies.