Chapter 608: Chapter 608 – A storm is coming.
Translator: Exodus Tales Editor: Exodus Tales
“You were too quick!” Southern Lone Blade had barely collected himself in the spawn point at this moment! Even though they had already agreed to this beforehand, Gu Fei’s slash was far quicker than anything he had imagined, especially in a situation when that single move could completely extinguish his life. Southern Lone Blade was not so accommodating as to offer his life up just like that; he originally wanted to use his Windchaser’s Blessing to teleport himself to safety in that moment before Gu Fei’s attack would snuff him out – perhaps fooling everyone. After all, there was no way he would not feel heartache from losing a level now that he was at level 40. No matter how indifferent he was toward it, it was still something he had spent a good amount of time and effort in!
Ultimately, Gu Fei’s attack was truly too fast, especially since he had Blinked specifically for it. His sword had already plunged straight at Southern Lone Blade by the time he materialized between the two. Southern Lone Blade barely had any time to react before he got slain.
“It was a worthy death.” Gu Fei expressed his condolences.
“Can I come back now?” Southern Lone Blade sighed.
“My mates won’t be troubled by this further, right?” Southern Lone Blade asked.
“She doesn’t even recognize them,” replied Gu Fei.
“Okay, then!” Southern Lone Blade was put at ease and began his walk back to the 9527 outcrop in the Wilderness Camp.
Back over to Svelte Dancer; even though the lady said that she was over it, the fact was she was still feeling rather discontented over this whole affair. However, she had consecutively lost twice to Southern Lone Blade, so it obviously meant that it was not an issue of luck. Southern Lone Blade’s equipment was not at the run of the mill standard of the average player, either, and with how he had made a living with larceny, his PK experience and skills were all well-honed. At the same time, while Svelte Dancer’s PK skills were nothing to scoff at, she was a pay-to-win player through and through. With her equipment often being a tier above the other average players out there, she was used to obliterating her enemies like they were cabbage waiting to be shredded. Tragedy was all that awaited her for treating a skilled expert like Southern Lone Blade as a similar cannon fodder.
Melancholia was keenly reflected in Svelte Dancer’s expression as she sat listlessly by the 9527 outcrop at the moment.
“D’you wanna come play with us?” Gu Fei could tell that the lady was still upset about all this, so he extended this invitation to give herself an activity that would take her mind off the matter.
“Money-making?” she asked, absolutely not having any interest in such stuff.
Gu Fei laughed dryly. “It’s not like you’re doing anything else at the moment.”
“What are you guys doing, anyway?” Svelte Dancer collected herself up a little. While she could not be bothered to participate, she figured that it would be fine to see what gimmick these people were up.
“Efficient monster grinding.” Gu Fei shook his hand as he pointed to the crowd of players conscientiously learning the fighting routine from Brother Assist.
“How’s that efficient?” Svelte Dancer was also looking at Brother assist on the outcrop.
“Uhmm… It is considered efficient for the majority of players out there… but your equipment is probably too high for this,” Gu Fei said.
The efficient monster grinding routine utilized actual combat techniques to let a player achieve even greater efficiency when killing monsters, but for someone like Svelte Dancer who possessed overly powerful equipment, what could be even more efficient when she was already capable of finishing off monster with one or two basic attacks? Thus, the efficient monster grinding style that Gu Fei pioneered in was essentially useless to her.
“How boring…” Svelte Dancer languidly muttered after watching it for a moment, her interest waning.
“Level 40 monsters are too low for you, anyway. What’s the level of monsters you usually grind against?” Gu Fei asked.
“Level 50,” Svelte Dancer replied.
“Have you killed level 60 monsters?” Gu Fei asked.
“I have, but it’s not as quick as level 50 monsters,” Svelte Dancer answered.
“He he he…” Gu Fei chuckled.
Svelte Dancer’s eyes instantly sparkled. “You have a way to increase the efficiency of killing level 60 monsters; am I right?!”
“Of course,” Gu Fei affirmed.
“Teach me!” Svelte Dancer leaped to her feet.
“Sure. We’re still a little busy here right now. I’ll teach you once I’m free,” Gu Fei promised.
“Call me when you’re free!” Svelte Dancer’s melancholia was swept away in an instant. Instead, it was those experts eavesdropping in the two’s conversation that were now feeling depressed.
“Using level 60 monsters to grind your levels, you guys are too much!” These people all remonstrated.
“You can come too if you want to learn.” Gu Fei chuckled.
Who would not wish to do that? Everybody pounced on this chance to register, but Gu Fei ended up adding, “But you’ll first have to re-allocate all your points to Agility.”
“With the amount of Agility we’ve got, it should be about the same as your all-Agility build, yeah?” Sword Demon and Royal God Call asked, while War Without Wounds already had tears streaming freely down his cheeks, for he knew he had no chance at all.
“Sure, but… Royal, I won’t be using a ranged fighting style, so your damage output might not be up to par if you swap to a melee weapon; in the end, it’s gonna be counter-efficient for you,” Gu Fei said. Even though Archers could similarly use other weapons like daggers, there was still the weapon proficiency requirement that they needed to fulfill, and adding the fact that Archers possessed the Bow and Crossbow Mastery skill, even if they equipped these melee weapons, the damage output of their basic attack would be hardly at the level a Warrior or a Thief could deal. This fighting style that Gu Fei and the others were teaching, aside from the limitations Priests would face when it came to dealing damage, Archers were the other job class that suffered. Needing to swap to a melee weapon, their damage output was incomparably lower than the other job classes possessed. As such, their efficiency was naturally dismal as well.
Royal God Call’s tears were flowing freely when he heard this.
Out of the people in the crowd, only Sword Demon met the criteria Gu Fei stipulated. Glue and the others were not particularly interested in this, and when Royal God Call came to ask them about it, he learned that none of them were in the least bit concerned about level grinding, but were more interested in finding out how much profit they could make from this business venture.
“Call me once you’re free!” Svelte Dancer was now back to her usual self, and after reminding Gu Fei for the umpteenth time, no longer wasted any more time loitering here.
And so, everybody waited until Southern Lone Blade arrived before officially beginning their discussion over this business that they were about to collaborate on.
Since it was decided that they would be working together, the next step was the question of how the profits would be distributed. The six men of Young Master’s Elite were largely agreeable to negotiating how the money would be split among themselves, mainly because they were not completely concerned with earning money in-game. Even though they were usually rather mean to each other, it was all done in jest and for fun; the words they exchanged were largely harmless and without malice. When splitting up their earnings, and someone ended up taking 800 gold coins while another took 300, everybody would argue and clown around but never take things to heart. Conversely, it was impossible for Southern Lone Blade’s gang to do this. They were all playing this game to earn a living, so they placed great emphasis to this aspect of the game. As such, they were naturally very conscientious about such matters, which was why Southern Lone Blade did not even mention a word about what had transpired between him and Svelte Dancer and directly dove into the topic of cooperation when he arrived.
Thus, right by the front of 9527, Brother Assist continued to take the class as Eternal Dominion moved about in the crowd to collect fees, and behind this very outcrop, a whole bunch of them gathered to covertly negotiate how they would split the profits for the work that they would be doing.
First, Young Master Han reported the earnings they had made from Brother Assist and Eternal Dominion’s two rounds of classes yesterday, as well as the income they had made from today’s chaotic events. The final sum was well in the six digits of gold coins, which left Southern Lone Blade’s team utterly shell-shocked. Both parties then had a jolly time with the ensuing discussion. Fortunately, Southern Lone Blade’s group was not too greedy, and Gu Fei’s lot was not particularly stingy. As a result, one side did not mind a smaller cut of the lion’s share, while the other was more than happy to be more generous, so how could they not have an easy and relaxed dialogue together?
However, at the end of the day, this was still everyone’s first time setting up such a business venture, so there were plenty of fine details neither party had thought of yet. Their decision was to take a ‘play it by ear’ approach and to develop as they explored this together. Tentatively, Southern Lone Blade’s team would initially be under Gu Fei’s guidance and would make up the main group of instructors. Meanwhile, the rest would be in charge of other miscellaneous duties that came with this venture, and any issue that cropped up would be further deliberated and decided together.
Once the negotiations were over, Brother Assist was left to take charge of all the tutoring over by 9527, while Gu Fei and Eternal Dominion brought Southern Lone Blade and his men over to the White Mill to begin preparation for the next phase of their business. The seven men were about to oversee the teaching for this map, so they of course must first learn the relevant fighting routines from Gu Fei and Eternal Dominion.
To prevent a re-enactment of what had happened over at the Wilderness Camp that inadvertently attracted overwhelming attention with the surrounding players, all of them specifically sought a corner where there were hardly any people around and kidnapped the monsters from far away to begin the lesson.
Once it was over, Gu Fei and Eternal Dominion had nothing left to do, but Southern Lone Blade’s team still needed to familiarize themselves with what they had been taught. They were not at the level most players were currently at, but because the expertise each man possessed remained unchanged, and their receptivity to new techniques was much better than the average player, as well as how they represented almost every job class, the routine they had to learn became all the more comprehensive. Take how Gu Fei directly taught the Mage Flame Singed Clothes his Close Combat Mage fighting routine. At the end of the day, most Mages would not be wielding a sword and fighting monsters. This made it hard for them to be anywhere near as effective against level 40 monsters, since Mages would have to mainly focus on using Twin Incineration and the Additional Attack traits to dish out damage, melee combat wise.
Flame Singed Clothes had quite a frighteningly heart-pounding time learning from Gu Fei. Every time Gu Fei struck, it made him want to shrink away while he stood next to the man. Honestly, considering how it was not too long ago that they were butting heads with each other, Flame Singed Clothes still had difficulties getting used to Gu Fei’s sword not slashing at him.
Furthermore, Glue, Paddy Scent Pastures, and Verdant Timber had a much uneasier time using the efficient monster grinding style due to their job classes. But since they were only in charge of teaching the routine, and the key was to demonstrate and instruct the players on how to use it; the actual effectiveness of these routines would ultimately be different from person to person. Logically speaking, players with better equipment could naturally obtain even greater effectiveness, but there came a threshold in standard of equipment where the efficient grinding method would become ineffectual. Essentially, the efficient monster grinding routine Gu Fei taught would only be good for the average, middle-class players.
After Gu Fei and Eternal Dominion finished tutoring, the two men punctually went back to log off, leaving the rest of the busy work to these gamers who devoted their hearts and lives entirely to the game.
At this time, the situation over by the Wilderness Camp was sharply deteriorating as how everyone had expected. More and more players arrived until the grinding map finally reached past the capacity in terms of player saturation. Batches after batches of graduates were in the zone, yet they were completely unable to get even one monster to fight. They had all spent the gold to learn the routine, yet there was no monster for them to execute it on. Their hopes of rapidly accumulating experience points and level were nothing but pipe dreams at this point, which only caused depression among countless players. This would hardly qualify as a MMO if such a backdrop did not induce the players to resort to kill-stealing.
The chaos of this scramble kept escalating even as the battlefield continued to spread. The smarter players had already left this hellscape that was fraught with danger. Kill-steal? There was no point to do that when considering the present situation, since any player that was attempting to kill-steal would very well find themselves treated like a monster and have their own lives stolen in the next minute.
There was no way any solo player could make any substantial stand in such chaos, and the various large guilds of Baishi City finally made their debut.
This was hardly because the large guilds of Baishi City were slow to act. With how sudden the promotion of the efficient monster grinding routine, and how the Wilderness Camp was a famous locale for solo grinding, since these large guilds were focused on group grinding, they were entirely cut off from such grinding maps, in the beginning. There might be certain individuals in the guild who had passion for solo grinding, but these individuals were often the sort that was antisocial or withdrawn from the main body of their guilds, or they were the sort that were looking to secretly squirrel themselves away and work hard in an effort to resurface with a bang. The discovery of this wondrous new style was not something these people would report to the guild about. As a result, quite a few smaller groups had gathered in the Wilderness Camp these last few days, while the top guilds in Baishi City were comparatively late to the party.
In any case, it was evident that the three largest guilds of Baishi City had come prepared. There were hardly any complications after they entered the Wilderness Camp, and the map was easily divided into three separate sectors almost instantly. Those players still dazedly embroiled in kill-stealing quickly got that nothing more was left to the show when they saw these three major guilds enter the gauntlet. Still, who would be willing to give up so easily just like that? There were those who were willing to keep trying their luck as they continued to hang around the grinding map, and then there were those who immediately headed back to call their friends along, in hopes of mustering up more manpower.
The reaction from the three guilds was swift as they immediately adapted their strategy and divided half of the map. These guilds had their scruples as well. After all, this was not a piece of equipment, but a grinding map that gave people two times to three times the experience points they would normally earn over the same period of time. This was a commodity that everybody needed, and for the three guilds to dominate this piece of land in such a manner, that was as good as them going against all the players in Baishi City. While the guilds were strong, none of them dared to force the people’s hand and pit themselves against the masses.
This change in strategy was extremely effective. When the players returned and saw that half of the map was occupied by the three major guilds, and that the other half was just a free-for-all of random players, anyone with half a brain would know which side would be easier to contend with. Thus, the Wilderness Camp once more became a strange sight, with half of the grinding map split into three sectors, each harmoniously grinding in an orderly fashion, while the other half was divided into an innumerable amount of small plots that were constantly in motion and being fought over among the players. With all the PK-ing everywhere, flashes of white light intermittently sparkled. Descending Wheels of Flames, Cyclones, Bludgeons were being used on every inch of this land.
All this happened over the course of one night. By then, the members of Young Master’s Elite knew how to act, and had long since left the Wilderness Camp. After the guilds entered the grinding map, the tutoring business for the efficient monster grinding routine essentially could no longer exist in any shape or form. As long as one player in the guild knew the routine, even if they were to start the same venture, they would be able to do so internally, without the need to hire any outsider for this. Additionally, players that came after were all called here by their friends to snatch a spot on the map; even if they were not privy to the efficient monster grinding routine in the first place, their friends would naturally impart it to them, so those innocent days when players would eagerly come forth and register to learn the routine would never be repeated again after lasting the whole two days.
This situation, however, worked as an early warning to Young Master Han and the others. Guilds would be a huge enemy to their development of this business. Level 6 guilds had over thousands of members in them; All they had to do was send a representative to learn the routine, and it would be spread to the entire guild. Later, when they descended on the maps, they would be the ones dominating a huge chunk of land.
“We’ll need to make people register in advance.” Thinking about this, Young Master Han was all the more resolute and decisive about the matter. “From tomorrow onward, announce that registration is required to learn the efficient grinding method for the White Mill grinding map. Who did the inspection for that map today?”
“That would be me.” Royal God Call raised his hand. “That place is slightly smaller than the Wilderness Camp, so I reckon it shouldn’t have a problem holding somewhere around 5000 players grinding at any given time.”
“Royal, you’ve disregarded a complication. A saturation of 5000 players is based on the current usual means of grinding, but once the players have a total grasp of the fighting routine, where the average efficiency of players will double in the least, it means that the time to kill a single monster right now will let players kill two monsters then, instead. In other words, if a single player needs three spawn points to continuously grind, that very same player will then need 6 separate spawns once they grasp the routine. As such, we need to lower the number of players for the map’s saturation; meaning, the White Mill will only need 3000 players,” Brother Assist said.
Royal God Call had a painful look on his face. “Brother Assist, next time, just tell me directly that I’m wrong, and that 3000 should be the right count. There’s no need for you to explain to me your reasoning.”
“What’s the situation over in the Wilderness Camp now?” Young Master Han asked Brother Assist.
“The three largest guilds in Baishi City, White Wind, Torrential Rain, and Winter Season, occupy half of the map. They are all level 6 guilds, numbering a total of 3150 players, but there’s no way every member gets online at the same time, so I estimate that there should only be about 2500 members present there,” Brother Assist shared.
“2500 players? Half of the map isn’t gonna be enough now, is it?” Young Master Han asked.
“If they all grind together, yes, that won’t be enough, but these large guilds usually organize group grinds, and they have just received the news and began their domination of the Wilderness Camp. They are all still in the initial stages of holding the place and have yet to popularize the grinding routine, so they have yet to officially start their leveling,” Brother Assist explained. “As for the other half of the map, that’s plenty livelier. Currently, it is still in that chaotic massacre state we’ve caught a glimpse of earlier, so few are able to safely secure their spots, much less any solo players. However, seeing how the situation is panning out, there’s a strong possibility that some of the second-class guilds will work together to step in and subsequently split out another half of the map again.”
“Sure enough, parties and groups still have the advantage in the end.” Young Master Han nodded.
“Perhaps, we can take the initiative and contact guilds first, directly teaching them the efficient grinding routine,” Brother Assist offered.
“It’s not the time yet.” Young Master Han waved his hand dismissively, “They won’t realize the benefit of this if we market this to them. Right now, they will only feel that a mere expenditure of 99 gold coins is sufficient for them to enjoy the benefit here and will completely see no need to pull out any lump sum for this. Thus, we will still follow our original line of thought, except this time, we’ll be much quicker. Looks like everybody has to sacrifice a bit of their time presently, with everyone showing up in force and getting on tutoring. Southern Lone Blade’s team and us six make thirteen instructors. We’ll cultivate a whole grinding map worth of people at one go in the shortest time possible.”
“Yeah!” Everyone nodded.
“Also, we’ll announce the establishment of our workshop along with the post of us accepting registration for the White Mill! Let everyone know that we’re the workshop that’s hosting this particular venture!” Young Master Han said.
“We haven’t discussed what our workshop’s name should be called!” Brother Assist cried out.
“We’ll go with Thousand Miles Drunk Workshop, making use of Miles’ name. Any of you have any thoughts about this?” Young Master Han asked.
“We don’t have any…” The people all shook their heads. “But the question is if he has any issues with this. Have you asked him?”
“Yup,” Young Master Han replied.
“Did you really ask him?” Brother Assist was suspicious. He was the one who was about to make the post, so he would be the one Gu Fei would look to slay if he had any problems with this.
“Asking him and not asking him about it is all the same; the point is: he won’t be visiting the forums,” Young Master Han said.
“F*ck!” Brother Assist was crestfallen. Sure enough, that man did not ask Gu Fei at all. As a precaution, Brother Assist decided that he would confirm with Gu Fei before making the post.
“Also, the money for all the players registering shall be directly sent to Miles’ mailbox; any of you have further questions?” Young Master Han asked.
Issues about money were always a little more sensitive, but because they had already seen what Gu Fei’s personality was usually like, they knew how trustworthy he was as a person, which was precisely why Young Master Han had made such a suggestion in the first place. Everyone nodded, and in the end, it was Brother Assist who had once again asked, “Say; you haven’t discussed any of this with Miles, have you?”
“What’s there to discuss? The collection of money is such a big deal; if he’s unwilling to do it, I’ll gladly take over!” Young Master Han said.
“F*ck! Fine. Miles, it is!” Brother Assist did not dare to question this decision further. If Young Master Han oversaw this task, Brother Assist suspected that they might end up with bottles of liquor instead of gold coins when it was time to split the profits.