Chapter 527: Chapter 527 – Don’t You Agree that it is Excessive?
Translator: Exodus Tales Editor: Exodus Tales
It was the next day.
The guilt Sword Demon was feeling did not lessen by much after resting offline. He did not say another word about the matter when he got online and just delved into the jungle. He was not off to look for Deep Waters or Coco. Instead, he was off to find the NPC Gru that resided in the Oak Forest to abandon the ‘Daily Assassination Mission’ he got from it.
As NPCs were always around, Sword Demon found Gru and informed the latter of his reason for coming over. Instantly, he saw the young NPC’s forehead wrinkle, looking like that old man in Linyin City’s Library.
“Abandon the quest? Joining the League of Assassins means to abandon your life and dignity for the sake of eliminating the evil in this world. It is the creed of Assassins never to have the word ‘abandon’ in our vocabulary,” Gru said
Sword Demon was stunned to hear this. Gru continued speaking at length about this, making this simple rule sound so transcendental. What he essentially meant was that missions or quests from the League of Assassins could not be abandoned, or at least that was what applied to their ‘Daily Mission’.
“So… What’s going to happen if I can’t complete it?” Sword Demon asked.
“Perseverance isn’t a bad thing. Keep working hard, young man!” Gru replied.
Sword Demon saw no way out of this. Would this not mean he could never complete it? He would have to keep trying until he completed it, but the issue was not the difficulty of completing the mission; rather, it was the fact that he would have to disregard his kinship in the process. The man tried to ask Gru if he could put this ‘Daily Mission’ on hold and pick up another, but the NPC once more pontificated about the importance of devoting all his attention into one task…
Sword Demon was in pain. He had the once-in-a-lifetime chance to join a faction while few people were aware of it, but at the same time, it was a damnable coincidence that the target he got was what resulted in him being unable to complete the mission. Did that mean he could never accept any ‘Daily Mission’ from his faction again?
Sword Demon was a little listless as he left that log cabin in the oak forest. His guilt from his actions before still lingered, yet he now faced the additional melancholia of his current situation. Truly, it was as how the idiom went: ‘It never rains, but it pours.’ Sword Demon was all the more helpless toward the rule the system had set. Just as he wanted to contact Broken Water Arrow to apologize and undo the knot in his heart, Sword Demon suddenly caught a glimpse of a figure walking toward him from the corner of his eye. He quickly turned in that direction and entered Stealth as swiftly as he could.
It was not that Sword Demon was overly cautious, but that the game environment made it such that no one could afford to be careless. In this society where there was no explicit law that punished wrongdoing, it was not uncommon for a player to find himself or herself being ambushed by another. Sword Demon was used to solo-grinding; as such, he was used to occasionally meeting malicious people that would ambush unsuspecting players when they were in a tight spot. Of course, the average player usually ended up dying when they made such an attempt on Sword Demon. Still, a team of career opportunists, such as Nightmare of Death’s group, would be able to kill Sword Demon without him even catching a glimpse of their faces.
Given that he was in Linyin City, a place he was foreign to, the very setting and environment were just perfect for ambushes. Having taken a loss before, Sword Demon was naturally all the more vigilant toward such attempts.
The direction his eyes were looking at showed clear signs of its branches and bushes being bashed through. Soon after, he saw a player wearily make his way through the thicket and approach him. This man looked in the direction where Sword Demon had disappeared and lifted both his hands. “Brother, you don’t have to be so wary. I come with no ill-intent.”
Sword Demon did not move. He could not currently tell the level of this newcomer, who was dressed like a Priest since using Appraisal would interrupt his Stealth and end up exposing himself. Seeing that this person appeared to be a stranger, Sword Demon did not plan to stay around for long. Just as he was about to quietly take his leave, he heard another player appear from behind a big tree before him. This man was staring in the direction Sword Demon was Stealthed. “Wait, Brother Sword Demon.”
“Broken Water Arrow!” Sword Demon could not help calling this out while still in Stealth mode. Looking at Broken Water Arrow and this person dressed like a Priest standing behind him, it seemed that these two had come here looking for him.
“We don’t have any ill-intentions. We simply have something we wish to discuss with you.” The man behind him smiled.
Sword Demon recalled the analysis that Young Master Han and Xi Xiaotian had made last night: Even though Broken Water Arrow was not a troublemaker sent by a workshop to infiltrate Deep Freeze like they had originally assumed, but the man did indeed have plans with others. Could it be that this Priest behind him was one of those people Broken Water Arrow was working with?
Since these people said that they meant him no harm again, Sword Demon was of course not a coward that would refuse to reveal himself. Stealth had simply been a measure of precaution he adopted for this. Hearing these people’s declaration again, Sword Demon easily revealed himself.
“Who are you guys?” Sword Demon asked.
“Just like you, we’re players in this game,” the Priest answered.
There was no answer more useless than what he had just said, and it was no better than saying that ‘I’m a human’ when asked ‘What are you’. Sword Demon could not tell what their intentions were, so he had no choice but to continue asking questions. “Why do you wish to speak with me?”
“I wish to ask you a question first,” the Priest said.
“As a normal player, what are your thoughts about Thousand Miles Drunk?” the Priest asked.
“Miles? You know Miles?” Sword Demon was surprised.
“You can say that!” The Priest nodded.
“Still, I don’t quite understand what you mean by asking me that question,” Sword Demon said.
“I’m asking you about Thousand Miles Drunk’s image in this game. What do you think?” the Priest asked.
“Very good and very strong.” Sword Demon summed it up succinctly.
“Don’t you feel that it’s a little excessive?” the Priest asked.
“You mean his Strength? Of course, it’s excessive.” Sword Demon nodded.
The Priest gazed at Sword Demon strangely. “With such an excessive strength, don’t you have any opinion about it? You seem to be oddly accepting of it.”
“What sort of opinion should I have?”
“You know why he has such a ridiculous strength, right?”
Sword Demon nodded.
“Don’t you feel that it’s a little unfair? You’re a fellow player, too, yet he possesses such a high starting point, and such an extreme grinding efficiency. He has the ability to solo a BOSS, as if he has a cheating program.”
“Miles is using a cheating program?!” Sword Demon had a fright when he heard that. He had actually met quite a few players with motor control far beyond his imagination in MMOs, and everybody suspected that they were using a cheating program, but a game like Parallel World was different, since such programs were of no use here. That was why Sword Demon had never associated Gu Fei to something like that despite his indomitable skills. This was also why he had a fright when this man made such a claim; Sword Demon regarded the usage of such cheating programs with disdain, but he did not really know how they worked.
“Oh, no. That’s just an example,” the Priest said.
Sword Demon sighed in relief. “It’s by his skill and ability, then. Why would that be a problem?”
“You really don’t think that’s an issue?”
“You’re a strange one. Just what sort of relationship do you have with Miles? Just say it straight if you have problems with it,” Sword Demon said.
“Don’t you think that his existence can potentially, and severely, disrupt the game balance?” The Priest continued to ask.
“Game balance?” Sword Demon chuckled. “Is there any game out there that can create a perfect balance in the various job classes? Even in Parallel World, don’t the different job classes adopt a rock-paper-scissor approach, too? Something like balance can’t possibly exist. You must’ve heard this cliché saying popularized among the gamers: ‘There’s no strongest job class, there’s only the strongest player.’ The way I see it, Miles is the only person fit for that moniker as the strongest player, for no matter what job class he uses, he’s bound to make that job class the strongest.”
“What you’re talking about is the balance designed by the game, yet don’t you think he’s far too ‘broken’ when it comes to the balance between the players?”
“Why would there be balance between players?” Sword Demon was left completely nonplussed by this statement.
“What I’m trying to say is that Thousand Miles Drunk’s Strength already surpasses what the average gamer can possess. With such a player in the game, do you really think that there’s balance between the players?” the Priest asked.
“You’re being inexplicably baffling! When have I said that there should be balance among players? I’ve never once believed that there is any sort of balance among players, much less anything that breaks this ‘balance’ or otherwise…” Sword Demon said.
“I’m the one who is left spinning here…” The Priest showed a helpless expression. “Man, why can’t you make sense of this, how can you not understand what I mean?”
“I understand what you mean…” Sword Demon laughed. “You think Miles is a game-breaking existence, but I don’t think he’s one because there’s no such thing as balance in the game in the first place. It is that simple.”
“Since that’s the case, it’s meaningless for us to continue discussing this,” the Priest said.
“I really don’t know why you’re talking about all these…” Sword Demon replied in kind.
“Because of how powerful Miles is, do you realize how much harm and damage he has brought to this game?” the Priest asked.
“Is that so? How?”
“Let’s just talk about what happened recently! Linyin City’s Deep Freeze Guild picked up a competitive quest that pitted them against Traversing Four Seas during their guild quest. If it were not for Thousand Miles Drunk’s existence, do you really think they would succeed? You can’t deny this, can you?” the Priest asked.
Sword Demon recalled what had happened and nodded. Even if it was said that Gu Fei had not stood out during the large-scale chaotic battle in the jungle in Linyin City, Oathless Sword’s guild quest would surely have ended in a tragedy were it not for Gu Fei’s involvement during Deep Freeze’s ambush at the final moment in Luori City, made possible thanks to Coco acting as a spy for her guild..
“See!” Priest said.
“Because of him, this sort of heaven-defying thing, which shouldn’t have been possible, actually happened,” the Priest said.
“But how do you know that it’s impossible?” Sword Demon countered.
“Then, tell me; aside from Thousand Miles Drunk stepping in, what other methods can be used to turn the tables?” the Priest asked.
“I can’t answer that for you, but I do know that if our group didn’t have Miles, we would also come up with another solution that wouldn’t require his involvement. I can’t say for certain if that would work, but by removing the key factor that allowed us to achieve victory in the first place and proceeding to argue on the basis that we would fail no matter what or how things panned out, isn’t there a problem with your way of thinking?” Sword Demon asked.
“Key factor? Can you merely call that a key factor? Don’t you mean indispensable factor?” the Priest retorted.
“Fine. Let’s just say you’re right. Just what are you trying to get at?” Sword Demon asked.
“There’s nothing more to be said. As someone who directly benefits from Thousand Miles Drunk’s existence, ask yourself: have you lost your principle?” the Priest questioned.
“I haven’t.” Sword Demon did not even hesitate to give this answer. “Instead, I’m the one uncertain as to what principle you seem to hold.”
“My principle? To properly correct all the injustices that Thousand Miles Drunk have afflicted and get things back on the right track,” the Priest answered.