Chapter 600: Chapter 600 – There is Always a Higher Mountain
Translator: Exodus Tales Editor: Exodus Tales
Evidently, Brother Assist was not alone in uncovering the potential of this business venture. Given how plain the reasoning behind this was, it was obvious that this would become a compulsory purchase for everyone, as long as there was a way to verify the increased efficiency of this particular grinding style. Anyone who did not pay for this would be losing out at the end of the day.
The average gamers did not have the ability to develop something like this from scratch, so all they could do was reuse what Gu Fei and Eternal Dominion had taught. Moreover, because they were aware of the need to strike while the iron was hot, these players were already selling their teaching services before their own grinding even benefited from the fighting routine.
“That’s really quick. So what are they teaching?” Gu Fei asked.
“Nothing much really. They have yet to even familiarize themselves with the routine; it’s obvious that they’re completely unable to demonstrate much efficiency to speak of, so they were essentially seen as a joke. In any case, they only have themselves to blame for being too anxious; the situation will change once they spend some time practicing,” Brother Assist said.
“So what do you think we should do right now?”
“All we can do is use the opportunity we’re given to seize a larger market share.” Brother Assist was troubled by this as well. The bootlegging industry was truly too developed, perfectly opportunistic and impossible to prevent.
“Expanding our influence during this short period, won’t our manpower be a little stretched?” Gu Fei asked.
“True. Which is why I feel that, if you and Eternal Dominion don’t mind it, we should call Sword Demon, Young Master, and the others to help out with this endeavor. More hands make light work, and tossing their reputable names out there like this will work wonders for us,” Brother Assist suggested.
“I don’t mind. Have you and Eternal Dominion discussed this?” Gu Fei asked.
“Yes. He doesn’t really have any opinion about it either, so I guess that’s what we’ll do. Shall we wait for Sword Demon and the rest to get online before we discuss what we should do next?” Brother Assist suggested.
“That works for me!”
Later at around 12 noon, the members of Young Master’s Elite logged on one after another and were each called by Brother Assist to meet up at a tavern. Young Master Han’s face was visibly angered, for when he called everybody to gather, never had any of these men shown any sense of urgency to turn up so quickly. In contrast, once Brother Assist said that there was money to be made, each turned up to the rendezvous point as if they had flown there.
“Ahem. It looks like everyone’s here!” Brother Assist cleared his throat.
“Just get to the point, Brother Assist. We’ll kill you if you spout too much nonsense!” War Without Wounds took the lead to express what everyone was thinking.
Brother Assist was a little depressed when he heard this, giving a succinct summary of what had happened.
We’re depending on Miles again… These experts were all disheartened for a while. Why must this guy gotta always be so outstanding?
“Is there such a thing? Why haven’t you mentioned it to us?” Even though they knew that Gu Fei was not the sort to hide anything from others, they could not help but wonder why they were not informed of this wondrous grinding style he developed from the get-go.
“You guys are too strong to the point where you could all very quickly insta-kill those monsters through your own methods. What’s the point of learning a different fighting routine?” Gu Fei answered.
What he said made all the experts feel all pleasant from head to toe, but they soon reacted when that was over. “Who’s insta-killing here? Who’s the one who’s able to insta-kill despite fighting overlevel monsters? Are you talking about yourself?”
“That’s just an example. I just mean that you guys are already very strong, so learning my fighting routine isn’t going to help you much, unless you guys believe that you share the same standard as Brother Assist,” Gu Fei clarified.
“Who are you cursing?!” War Without Wounds slapped the table harshly.
Brother Assist coughed loudly, feeling dejected to the point that he wanted to choke War Without Wounds to death.
“Let’s get back to the topic.” Sword Demon’s concern was with the matter at hand. He was very interested in earning money right now, considering the mountain of debts he currently had!
“That’s the situation at large. There’s no need for me to tell you guys how huge a market we’re dealing with here; I’m sure there’s plenty of money to be made. If everybody chips in and helps out, we’ll be able to split the earnings. How awesome is that?!” Brother Assist said emphatically.
“Enough with the chit-chat,” Young Master Han said, “and just get straight to the point. Give us an overview of the present circumstances.”
“Right now…” Brother Assist told them about the greatest danger of piracy that they were facing, saying thereafter, “That’s why I feel the first thing we need to do is borrow the reputable names of the members of our mercenary group. We’ll be leveraging our popularity to let people know just who the fighting routine can be attributed to.”
These experts felt good again when they heard the term ‘reputable names’ thrown out, and just as Brother Assist was feeling delighted with his speech, he saw Young Master Han’s expression turn into one of contempt yet again.
Crap! Brother Assist cried out in dismay to himself, already thinking of finding some ditch to slink into.
“Fool. The first thing you should be doing is taking control of the situation. Blindly advertising will just be doing a bout of promotions for those bootleggers as well,” Young Master Han said.
“Please go on…” Brother Assist was not even going to argue with the man.
“Are we just gonna give whatever the clients want just because they ask for it? That’s utter nonsense. Right now, we hold a monopoly, so they’ll take whatever we give them. They literally have no right to choose!” Young Master Han said.
Everyone was staring fixedly at him. They had never seen anyone acting so excessive and high-handedly when selling things.
“As you’ve just said, it’s fine that we’re finished with developing the various fighting routines for the Campfire Patroller. Now, we will proceed with doing the promotion for the Campfire Patroller, and before the market gets saturated, we won’t bother developing any other monster,” Young Master Han said.
“But when will the market ever get saturated? Only disseminating the fighting routines for one monster is as good as saying that the EXP gained from the Campfire Patroller is two to three times better than any other monsters out there. At this rate, won’t players who don’t normally kill that type of monster end up running over to do just that? Even those from cities that don’t have this particular monster spawning will surely all make their way to Baishi City the moment they catch wind of this. Level 40 is where many players are right now, and with how huge the Wilderness Camp is, with so many monsters to go around, then…”Brother Assist did not dare to imagine what would result from this. “Furthermore, there’ve already pirated versions of how to kill that grinding map’s Campfire Patrollers. Just how much of this slice of cake can we eat if we stubbornly remain stagnant here?”
Young Master Han gave off a mirthless laugh, yet it was Gu Fei who quickly interjected. “While they are stubbornly fighting over that small slice, we’ll change over to a different slice. Is that what you’re trying to get at?”
Young Master Han nodded. “That’s right, but we won’t be accepting registration forms arbitrarily anymore and teach the routine freely. First, we do our promotion. Say that the next monster we’re targeting is the Greenwood Bandit. We’ll head to the forums and post a thread about it in advance, stick up notices about it in the game, and let all the players know that Young Master’s Elite will be developing the efficient monster grinding routine for the Greenwood Bandit. Get those who are interested in learning it to register and foot payment in advance, and when we reach the optimal number of applicants, we’ll officially begin to teach them.”
“We’re getting these people to make payment in advance?”
“But of course. There are some who might be worried and be unwilling to do so, so we’ll just ignore those players. Considering the low price of 99 gold coins, and adding the fact that we’ve already proven ourselves, efficiency-wise, through the results from the Campfire Patroller, I doubt that we will lack people willing to pay in advance for it. Take everyone seated here as an example; if there’s a method out there that can increase your leveling speed twice or thrice your current rate for only 99 gold coins, are you willing to risk it for the potential payout?” Young Master Han asked.
These men all exchanged glances.
Young Master Han took a gulp of his liquor before continuing. “Besides, some credibility may truly be attached to all your lousy names when we use them like this.
“You mentioned optimal numbers. What do you mean by optimal numbers? What makes it optimal?” Brother Assist asked.
“The area of the grinding map, the number of monsters, rate of respawn – these are all variables that will remain constant. Thus, we can more or less calculate how many players is required before a grinding map becomes saturated. Of course, aside from a madman, nobody is actually gonna occupy a spot without rest or sleep, so if we consider staggering the rotation of players, I do believe that we can achieve a saturation of applicants up to four times and more for each monster we develop,” Young Master Han explained.
“Doing it like this will really make it difficult for potential bootleggers.” Gu Fei realized that, going by Young Master Han’s method of operation, their profits were all but guaranteed. While those opportunistic bootleggers could take a small share of the market for themselves, their existence would still be largely suppressed by this.
“That’s right. Since we control the source, why can’t we bully them to death? Such a waste,” Young Master Han remarked dryly.
As the saying went: ‘There is always going to be a higher mountain,’ There was no doubt Eternal Dominion had coincidentally stumbled upon this idea, but it was Brother Assist who had quickly matched his understanding of the game and players to devise a plan that made this business possible. Now, it was through Young Master Han’s inherent despicable viciousness that this idea, which would force all potential competitors into a corner and leave them with nothing but dredges, came up.
Brother Assist was hitting himself in the head painfully at the moment, for it appeared that in their rush of excitement, that first bucket of gold coins Eternal Dominion and he had made last night was truly a huge failure. Had they listened to Young Master Han’s analysis earlier, they could very well have gathered the optimal number of applicants using those forms they had collected. This meant that their first foray into the business, which would have been the most convenient way of getting attention to their business, would not be inundated with so many bootleggers like right now.
“At the moment, even though the start’s a little bit of a mess.” Hearing Young Master Han saying thusly, Brother Assist buried his head deeper. He heard him continue. “It had been a necessary step that had to be taken, or else we would just end up harming our credibility, instead. Brother Assist, get on the forums and make a post when you get offline later. Make sure to emphasize that our mercenary group, Young Master’s Elite, is the genuine source of the efficient monster grinding method, and that we won’t be responsible for anything that happens after being taught by the other trash out there. Make sure to inform those who are interested to be taught the routine for the Campfire Patroller to register with the designated player; let’s make that person be you! Furthermore, be sure to give notice about what we’ve discussed on how we will operate from here on out. Oh, right. You can also open a poll, that will make things more convenient for us to tally up the numbers. Oh, oh, also, warn those bootleggers not to be seen by us, or else we’ll send Thousand Miles Drunk to chase them off to the ends of the world.”
“Hey!” Gu Fei was dissatisfied, for he was not about to be bothered with such work.
“It’s just a threat,” Young Master Han said to him.
“Anything else?” Brother Assist asked.
“What I’ve just said is just the gist of things. I’ll leave the words up to your discretion,” Young Master Han answered.
“I’m aware—” Brother Assist said.
“Then, quickly get on it already!” Young Master Han waved his hand dismissively.
Brother Assist swiftly got up and headed to the door. The man took several steps before coming to a stop, suddenly feeling a little mistreated when he looked back. This was originally his plan, yet he was now running errands in the blink of an eye; just how depressing was that? Before he could even get all his thoughts in order, the rest of the group was already staring at him suspiciously when they saw him suddenly moving after taking those few steps. Brother Assist rubbed his eyes a little before he departed from the tavern.
“The three of you.” Young Master Han turned his gaze over to Sword Demon, Royal God Call, and War Without Wounds. “You guys should be very familiar with the grinding zones that level 40s often visit here in Baishi City by now, yeah? Split those up among you three. Conscientiously calculate the size of each zone, the types of monster present, their quantity, number of players, and everything.”
“Isn’t that Brother Assist’s job?” Royal God Call wondered aloud.
“What do you want to do right now, then?” Young Master Han demanded.
Royal God Call was astonished.
“If you’re not doing anything, I take it that you don’t want a cut of the profits?” Young Master Han asked.
“What are you two still sitting around for; let’s hurry up and go!” Royal God Call yelled as he leaped to his feet, fully expressing his enthusiasm.
“Brother Assist is off to promote, and we three are off to survey the maps. There’s no need to talk about what Miles and Eternal Dominion are going to do, so may I know just what you are going to do?” War Without Wounds gingerly asked Young Master Han.
“I’ll be heading to the Wilderness Camp to check out the situation,” Young Master Han answered.
“What situation?” War Without Wounds asked.
“How am I supposed to know what’s the situation if I have yet to see it for myself?” Young Master Han retorted.
War Without Wounds was about to say something, but Sword Demon and Royal God Call wedged their arms into his and dragged him off.
Before they even left the establishment, they could already hear the two men criticize War Without Wounds accordingly. “Are you trying to debase yourself?”
“We should be leaving as well!” Young Master Han beckoned Gu Fei.
The two soon arrived at the Wilderness Camp. Gu Fei immediately sucked in a deep breath when he got there; the sight before him was split into two different scenes: players having Agility and those having none and those using short weapons and those using long.
Fighting with short weapons and Agility was one such distinct fighting style, while the other was the usage of long weapons without Agility. The players showed a varying degree of familiarity with their routines, but every player there shared the same characteristic of being red-eyed, which made Gu Fei reckon that they must have been practicing from last night till now, without getting any sort of sleep. A closer observation of either style, and Gu Fei realized that Eternal Dominion was not being modest when he said that he was unfamiliar with short weapons. The fighting style for the dagger was obviously not up to par to the efficiency he had shown with the single-handed sword, with plenty of details between the moves that were shoddily handled. It seemed that Eternal Dominion really had not studied much of short weaponry.
Meanwhile, when the two men appeared in the Wilderness Camp and blankly stood there for a good moment, they were quickly accosted by interested parties, as four to five men surrounded Gu Fei and Young Master Han in an instant.
“Bro, you’ve never seen such a sight before, huh? Ha ha! It’s the newest monster grinding technique out here. I can tell from your aura that you’re both experts, so you must have already discovered just how much more efficient this fighting routine is, right? How about it? Come over here and learn from us. It’s 40 gold; I guarantee that you’ll grasp it once you learn it,” one of them said.
“40? Isn’t it 50 gold coins?” Gu Fei was surprised.
“50 gold was the price this morning.” That player was suddenly at a loss for words after he answered. The man clearly had no issue with 50, so why did he lower the price down by his admission?
As a result, someone immediately took this moment to interject, coming right beside Gu Fei. “Bro, you’re a Mage, right? You should learn the long-weapon fighting routine. That guy teaches daggers; it’s not suited for you.”
“Who said that? Yours truly can teach both long and short weapons!” the man shouted, thumping his chest with confidence.
“Both long and short?” That other man took a measure of the first person, asking, “How much Agility do you have? Do you know how to use long weapons without depending on your Agility? You’ve got the speed of a Thief; can we Mages learn the stuff you teach? Don’t talk nonsense.”
“Heh… but that’s the advantage we’ve got. You lot have no Agility, so you can’t even go fast even if you want. Meanwhile, because we’ve got Agility, we can go slow if we feel like it. You jealous?”
“I’m jealous of your mom!”
“F*ck! Watch your words!” That man was antagonized.
“Watch your mom!” The other man persisted.
Dust and dirt flew as both parties began to fight. Gu Fei and Young Master Han looked on for a while; it was hard for either to emerge victorious any time soon, so they circled past them. In the end, the fisherman emerged from the fight between the snipe and clam 1 and approached them. “Hey, what do either of you wanna learn anyway? We’ve got a dedicated teacher on our side.”
“Where are you teaching it?” Gu Fei asked.
Thinking the Priest and Mage pair to be potential customers, this man happily gestured them in a direction and invited them. “This way, please.”
Gu Fei saw the direction he was inviting them to and asked again, “Aren’t we heading to the 9527 outcrop there?”
“There?” This person was clearly stunned.
Gu Fei could tell the direction he was pointing at was the opposite of the 9527 outcrop, so he followed up with another question. “Who’s teaching over by the outcrop now?”
This person lost his smile. “There’s no one teaching over there right now.”
“No way! That’s such a wonderful location! Why aren’t you guys using it?” Gu Fei was astonished.
“Don’t you guys know? This venture here actually belongs to Thousand Miles Drunk. Do you know who’s Thousand Miles Drunk? That guy’s a b*st*rd who won’t bat an eyelid when it comes to killing people. Well, that’s what we say behind his back; who dares to say it so openly in front of that man? Anyway, he staked a claim to that spot by the 9527 outcrop teaching people, so who’d be daring enough to snatch that spot away from him? Are they tired of living? Bro, I will advise you against learning from that man if you’re specifically looking for him. We’re all teaching the same thing, but his lessons are expensive at a price of 99 gold coins. Plus, it’s really dangerous. He’ll teach you a thing or two, and if you don’t get it, you’re instantly slain. I heard that, after Thousand Miles Drunk finished teaching last night, there was yet another new PK record created, causing the guards to leave the city in pursuit, spilling enough blood to create a new lake! Hearing all that, are you still interested in learning from such a demon?”
Gu Fei’s expression had changed from bemusement to that of malice. Holding back to hear everything this person had to say, he finally angrily barked, “There should be a limit to the amount of nonsense you can spout, yeah?!”
This man was flurried, thumping his chest as he professed, “Who’s talking nonsense? If I am making things up, then may I bump into Thousand Miles Drunk and die a horrible death.”
“Then, I shall grant you your wish!” Gu Fei pulled out his sword and made it seem as if he were about to deliver the killing blow. With his black mage robe and sword with dark purple hue, this man finally realized just who he had been talking to and planted his butt onto the ground. Seeing that Gu Fei’s sword had yet to land, he hurriedly scampered away, almost immediately disappearing in a cluster of tall grass by the side of the road.
Gu Fei grimaced, even as Young Master Han stood beside him and nodded. “Looks like your reputable name works better than I imagined.”
“It’s too ridiculous.” Gu Fei was depressed. He did not wish for people to paint such an ugly picture of him.
“Let’s head over there and take a look,” Young Master Han said. The two men made their way over to the 9527 outcrop.
“Didn’t that guy say that there’s no one here? Aren’t those people right there?” Gu Fei was elated. There was clearly a good cluster of players gathered over by the 9527 rocky outcrop. There was even someone speaking right on top of the rocky formation. It seemed that the demon the man had described of himself was truly an over exaggeration.
However, as he got closer, Gu Fei slowly realized that something was off. Standing atop that 9527 outcrop was someone dressed in a black mage robe and holding a sword that glowed purple; this person was clearly cosplaying as him!
Young Master Han’s eyes instead shone. “Hey. This person’s at least far better than that idiot before. At least, the person understands how to use you as an advertisement tool. I like it!”
Gu Fei fumed. Easily squeezing his way forward after getting into the crowd, he lifted his head and could tell that this person was really dressed just like him, except that the face was covered. As Gu Fei stared intently at this imposter, that person’s gaze briefly met his eyes and quickly turned away. Gu Fei already had a plan formulating in his mind as he fitfully squeezed his way to the front. After drawing the crowd of people’s irk as a result of his actions, Gu Fei suddenly raised his hand and pointed. Blinking right over to the top of the 9527 outcrop in an instant, he pulled off the cloth covering this person’s face.