The company soon announced Ye Xiaowu’s punishment: suspension. Everybody within the company felt that this was inappropriately blown out of proportion, as what Ye Xiaowu had committed could be seen at a glance. Was there really a need to suspend the man and place him under investigation? Everybody felt that this was just the company’s way of giving a proper account before the many eyes focusing on this matter, and that everything would return to normal with the lifting of the suspension in a few days’ time.
Who would have thought that, shortly after departing from the boss’s office, Ye Xiaowu would pack up his things, carry a box, and see the boss again?
“What do you mean by this?!” The boss was furious when he saw him like this, thinking that Ye Xiaowu was protesting against his punishment. Even though he was a core member of R&D Department, the company would definitely not be crippled if he decided to call it quits, which was why the boss was extremely disappointed by his action.
“This isn’t a protest,” Ye Xiaowu was calm as he said this. “I truly wish to resign.”
“Give me a reason,” the boss demanded.
“We do not see eye to eye, philosophically speaking,” he replied.
“So what you’re saying is that you completely refuse to accept my ideology?” The boss sighed.
“I have to stick to my belief,” Ye Xiaowu said.
“Is that so? So what are your thoughts on those pay-to-win players I’ve mentioned before?” the boss asked.
“While playing the game may tilt the scales in their favor, it is not to the point of significantly affecting the game and will certainly not be game-breaking. Only a sufficiently heavy weight can tip the scale so thoroughly. Pay-to-win warriors are not that, but those guys definitely are,” Ye Xiaowu insisted.
The boss sighed deeply once more. This young man before him was smart and talented. He had always regarded him highly, but he never would have thought that he would actually stand his ground like this. A clever man that stood his ground was far scarier than one that did not. This was because, most of the time, clever individuals had plenty of self-confidence to the point of being conceited. No one should expect such people to concede their beliefs and ideologies for others.
“If that’s the case, you may leave!” The boss did not bother saying anything more; he only hoped that this young man would come to his senses sooner than later.
“I do have a request,” Ye Xiaowu said.
“Since I’m no longer an employee here, I wish to play the game like a normal person,” he said.
The boss was stunned. He did not expect that this young man would make such a request, but he very quickly nodded his head.
It was now Ye Xiaowu’s turn to be astonished. He had not expected that the boss would agree to his request directly like this. He had originally thought that this request of his would be rejected; in fact, he even thought of means by which he could fight for this right in the event he got rejected. A shred of doubt could not help but surface in his mind seeing how readily the boss had agreed to his request.
“Are you wondering why I agreed?” the boss asked, gazing at the young man.
Ye Xiaowu nodded his head.
“Looks like we really do differ in our philosophy.” The boss sighed. “Since you are no longer part of the company, why should I forbid you from playing the game like a normal person?”
“You truly don’t understand. Why do you think the company restricts its employees from playing the game? For fear of you having a better understanding of the game? That’s nothing but a superficial reason. The fear is in the power you people hold; we are afraid that you guys will abuse this power, like making use the modification tool or defrauding the system through the alteration of the backend data. Be it damaging others or for personal benefit, these are all instances I don’t wish to see. But with your resignation, you lost the rights to access this power, so what other reason is there for me to worry about you playing the game?” the boss asked.
“But the level of understanding I possess on this game is very different,” Ye Xiaowu said.
“As a core member of the game, you are of course different. Surely, you haven’t forgotten that non-disclosure agreement you signed with the company? Although you’re no longer a member of this company, this agreement still stands. Thus, once we are certain that your actions violate the terms in that agreement, you will have to face the company’s lawsuit.”
“Non-disclosure agreement...” Ye Xiaowu smiled. “If that’s the case, then I supposed there’s really nothing for everyone to be worried about.”
With his chin held high in pride, Ye Xiaowu strode off like a victorious general amid the countless pairs of watchful eyes. The looks directed toward him were a mixture of pity, shock, sympathy, and even gloating. He did not pay heed to any of these as he departed without a backward glance.
Back in the game, after their protracted fight with the BOSS, everybody was feeling very tired. Even those gaming fanatics who would play through the night found it difficult to continue and logged off to rest once they returned back to the city.
The next day, when everybody got online, Brother Assist immediately read out the notice that the game company had posted on the official website’s homepage. As the active participants, victims, and eventually compensated of the incident, everybody was feeling gratified. Royal God Call took this chance to request for Gu Fei to show them the BOSS’s drops; reminding the others that the BOSS was successfully hunted down by Gu Fei, and they all proceeded to request the same thing from him.
“Of course, I got items,” Gu Fei slowly answered.
Everybody waited eagerly for him to link it onto the mercenary channel for them to see, but he savagely left them hanging for a bit, vexing the others so much they loudly condemned him for his inconsiderate action; eventually, though, Gu Fei linked the two items worthy of note onto the channel.
[Andrew Su’s Diary]. These mercenaries were in different places, but all of them read this name out in tandem with the item link in their hearts together.
Meanwhile, the item description contained only a single line: [An ordinary looking diary.]
Nobody could make sense of what sort of meaning this particular line of words had at this time, so they pestered him to give the diary a quick skim, asking him about the second item that he and Eternal Dominion got while they were at it.
“‘Shadowmist Assault, Assassin skill. Instantly appear and execute a high-speed strike that deals a powerful blow to the target,’” everybody read this. Immediately after, Brother Assist exclaimed, “Hey! Why did you type that out and not link the item?”
They could easily click on the diary’s link on the mercenary channel to read its description themselves, but as for the second item, he merely typed its description on the channel.
“Oh. The diary is with me, while the skill scroll is with Eternal Dominion,” Gu Fei informed.
“Oh…” Everyone nodded. It seemed that the two had already split the BOSS’s loot equally between them. Still, since they had no idea what that diary was used for, they considered that skill scroll as the more substantial loot. Aware of his goal to help Eternal Dominion earn money, they reckoned that he had intentionally given the item to Eternal Dominion.
Besides Sword Demon, the others held no sort of illusion or desire for that item. That skill scroll was useless to them, after all, as the game did not allow its players to learn skills from other job classes. Given that the BOSS was confirmed to be high level, Sword Demon was quite tempted to have it. While there was no specification of how high the skill was, it was guaranteed to be higher than what all the skills players had at the moment; simply put, this was a high-level skill scroll.
The game did not restrict the players through their levels when it came to learning skill scrolls or donning equipment, so learning a high-level skill was as significant as obtaining some high-level equipment. Moreover, plenty of experts in the game possessed unique skills that others did not have access to. Sword Demon might not have said as much, but he was nevertheless slightly envious of this. Of course, an expert would wish to stand out from the crowd. Now that such a chance was poised right before him, he would not qualify to call himself an expert if he did not cherish it.
“How much?” the honest Sword Demon asked frankly.
“I’m not too sure myself,” Gu Fei answered. Saying this, he candidly reminded Sword Demon, “Do you have money? I think you still owe me some yourself!”
Considering Sword Demon’s character, Gu Fei believed that the man was most likely short on cash right now; otherwise, he would have long since returned the 1800 gold coins he owed him for the Lasting Sentence and Dying Breath. That was no small sum, so he figured that Sword Demon started saving money to pay him back the moment he got the daggers. In fact, he had even considered selling off Frost Memories, and only when Gu Fei told him that there was absolutely no rush to the matter and to just slowly save up did Sword Demon give up on this thought. After all, this was something that he was somewhat unwilling to do.
Back then, Brother Assist had priced the weapon set that came with a skill, Lasting Sentence and Dying Breath, at 3000 gold coins, and, similarly, the Bandit Leader Sooto’s Rogue skill scroll’s Shadow Walk had been bought off by Svelte Dancer for 3000 gold coins.
Sure enough, Sword Demon awkwardly admitted, “I currently don’t have enough. Can you speak to Eternal Dominion and get him to reserve it for me? I’ll try and find some way to raise the funds.”
Since Eternal Dominion’s job class clashed with the skill scroll, there was no way he could use it on himself. Still, the man was someone with an urgent need for money, so Sword Demon was worried that he might sell the item off at the first opportunity.
“That guy has a pressing need when it comes to money! I’m afraid he may be unable to wait,” Gu Fei said.
If that’s the case… Sword Demon was quite despondent.
“How about this, then. I still have some money on me. I’ll buy it first, and you can slowly return it to me after,” Gu Fei suggested.
“This…” Sword Demon had not thought that Gu Fei would do this. Everybody knew that aside from the income he had gotten from their mission, just the fact he had gotten 1500 gold coins from Svelte Dancer in that first segment of the mission meant he was richer than anyone presently around.
“Brother Assist, how much do you think that skill scroll costs?” Gu Fei turned to ask Brother Assist.
“Uhm… I haven’t seen that skill before or even the data description of it, so it is a little difficult for me to provide too high an estimate, but we are well aware that this item was dropped by a high-level BOSS. As such, I think a price around 2000 to 2500 gold coins should be a fair.”
This price range was within Gu Fei’s estimation and was also considered as acceptable by Sword Demon, but it was still a bit of a stretch to say that he was currently cash-strapped. But Gu Fei had already interjected, “I’ll pass you 2000 gold coin, quickly go buy it off Eternal Dominion!”
Sword Demon really did not wish to take this sum of money, but he was worried that Eternal Dominion might sell the skill scroll off in his impatience. Conversely, it was not as if he intended to drag out paying back Gu Fei, so why should he be conflicted about doing so? With this thought in mind, he accepted his suggestion readily, “Alright. I’ll borrow the money from you now. I’ll be sure to pay you back as soon as I can.”
“There’s no rush; take your time!” Gu Fei said.
“Then, can you please contact Eternal Dominion for me as soon as possible.” Sword Demon was anxious to complete the transaction, afraid that the skill scroll might no longer be available for purchase.
“He’s not online yet. He may get online later tonight, so there’s no need to hurry,” Gu Fei said.
“Aye, speaking of which. Why are you online in the day? Don’t you have to go to work?” They were all puzzled.
“Today’s is Teachers’ Day, so I have a day off…” Gu Fei replied.