Chapter 51: Fourth World (10)
Translated by Shiya of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
“Finally, you guys are here!” The human Taoist couldn’t wait anymore, he rushed up to the two.
Xie Yan hurriedly backed a few steps away and quickly pulled Bai Duan back with him. Bai Duan staggered, he looked at the Taoist while frowning, “Who are you?”
“I’m Zhao ZeHong! The chief designer of the game!” The human Taoist stopped rushing and realized that he might be too excited. He smiled awkwardly and said, “I’m sorry, I’ve lost my composure… One of you just cracked the program lock we set, right?”
Although Zhao ZeHong’s expression didn’t seem to be angry, Bai Duan was still in awe.
Subconsciously, he stepped in front of Xie Yan and retaliated, “It was wrong for us to enter the locked dungeon without permission. But… what do you want with us?”
Xie Yan’s personality was ‘more introverted’, although this was not obvious when they were alone, when in front of outsiders, Xie Yan seldom spoke. Bai Duan was also used to actively defending Xie Yan in the face of strangers and answering questions for him. What’s more, Xie Yan did that because of his request, so Bai Duan must take corresponding responsibility.
“Please, don’t worry!” Zhao ZeHong noticed Bai Duan’s uneasy expression, and quickly explained, “I’m not here to reprimand you. You got to this stage, and even unlocked the program lock, then got ‘The Nurturing Water of Life’ with your own skills, we willingly admit our defeat — to be exact, we should be the ones apologizing to you, since we made you go on this incomplete mission route for such a long time…”
Zhao ZeHong’s tone was quite sincere, not perfunctory in the slightest. In truth, there was a considerable amount of controversy surrounding whether to open this game route up to the players. On one hand, they should not make players suffer through an incomplete game route, but on the other hand, this route was the most meticulous one they made. Except for the last part, the rest of the stages were all quite complete, and the rewards were also very attractive, it could certainly provide the players with a lot of support. More importantly, the main controversy of this route was not that it was incomplete, but doubts about whether the game could support opening a second occupation.
In the beginning, they designed a lot of races in the game, and there were obvious distinctions and special stories in each race. Unfortunately, their technology skills at the time did not allow for such a large-scale architectural concept, so the game production team had cut out most of the races they designed. Finally, only the demon race and the human race remained.
Although they had abandoned those races, they never gave up on those designs and had been trying to add them back to the game. However, even after several years of development, allowing them to carry out many technical transformations and equipment upgrades, they were still not sure that the game could handle such a large-scale expansion.
[Ten Thousand Realms] was developing very well, it had almost gone into every household, becoming a form of national entertainment, so they dared not and could not gamble on this. If the technical equipment wasn’t able to support this, this specially made route might be put on hold indefinitely, which made the game production team quite frustrated and uneasy.
Although the route was locked at first, several staff members who were responsible for its production were not willing to let their efforts go to waste, and they quietly opened it without telling the upper brass. They did it to soothe themselves, thinking that the route was not deleted, it was just that no one triggered it.
After all, it was linked to a hidden quest, the triggering requirement was set in the novice village, a place where very few people carefully explored. The triggering condition was also to violate rules that everyone knew to abide, hence, the possibility of the mission being received by players was very low. Even if someone received it, they would probably be new players who knew nothing about the game. If they wanted to go to the final stage, they would have to go through quite a lot of leveling up to improve their combat strength and also form parties with other strong players. However, they also thought, maybe by that time, the technology would allow them to support developing a second occupation?
The idea of the game makers was quite naive, but unexpectedly, they never anticipated that Bai Duan, the ‘lucky winner’, knew the player with the highest combat strength in the game. The strongest player was also very willing to give up on all the things he had to do to chaperone Bai Duan through the quest step by step, not only that, they finished the whole task at a very high speed.
When the company noticed that some players had received the quest and even completed the first few tasks already, even they were stupefied. Yet, even if the company punished the producers who opened the route up without permission, they couldn’t just block the hidden quest that was triggered by the players without any reason. They could only pull their ears and pay attention to their progression on the route, hoping that Bai Duan and Xie Yan would get stuck somewhere and temporarily give up on the route.
However, the wishes of the game company did not come true. Xie Yan wasn’t only strong, but also knew the game very well. He was neither defeated by the bosses nor the puzzle solving parts, which finally brought him to the end of the route.
So all of a sudden, the game company just couldn’t sit idly by anymore. They had to lock the door to the place where Chaos was sleeping. They had to prevent them from getting the most critical item in the game ‘The Nurturing Water of Life’. Of course, in order to make up for Xie Yan and Bai Duan’s losses, they had also prepared a generous compensation, hoping to have their understanding.
Unfortunately, just when they were about to communicate with the two and talk about compensation, the program lock they set was suddenly intruded. The technicians were trying to stop it, but they had no chance to fight back against the attack from their opponents. They could only watch as the lock was easily destroyed, revealing to them the crude look of Chaos that they had made.
Although there was dissatisfaction amongst them towards Xie Yan and Bai Duan’s rough and willful approach, the game company was still in the wrong, and they couldn’t exactly blame them. More importantly, they were completely shocked by their opponent’s skills. In front of such skills, no matter what kind of defense they used, it was rendered completely worthless.
Therefore, the chief designer of the game had to log into the game immediately. They wanted to meet the expert who had defeated their most skilled programming technician, they also wanted to learn from him and maybe have a discussion with him. Also… maybe get the person to work for them.
After confirming that Zhao ZeHong did not mean to harm them and considering that they accepted a lot of compensation from the company, Bai Duan’s attitude obviously softened, and he hesitantly looked at Xie Yan, not sure whether the ‘introverted’ Xie Yan was willing to deal with this Zhao ZeHong.
But Xie Yan certainly wouldn’t make his sweetheart embarrassed. He pursed his lips and looked up at Zhao ZeHong, “It’s me… I unlocked the program lock.”
Zhao ZeHong looked at the handsome human swordsman standing in front of him, and he felt a little depressed.
Although the game company never intervened in the game, they had been paying close attention to various game channels and player forums in order to control the situation in the game. Naturally, they also knew of the bloody ‘avatar making incident’.
As a technical nerd with a poor appearance in real life, Zhao ZeHong sympathized with Xie Yan. After all, it was not easy for him to create such a beautiful looking avatar.
What’s more, Xie Yan had always been a very excellent gamer — he was a paying gamer — who had even come up with many effective gaming strategies, some of which even made the game production team sigh with admiration.
When he heard that Xie Yan might be forced out of the game by public opinion, Zhao ZeHong also felt sad for a while. When Xie Yan returned to the game and started to push back in retaliation, then even finished their incomplete mission route, Zhao ZeHong found that he both loved and hated him.
Now that he knew Xie Yan was the one who unlocked the program lock, his affection for Xie Yan had been raised. After all, he was a straight man. What other men looked like had nothing to do with him, as long as the other party had the skills and technique, he’d admire said person.
After rubbing his hands together, Zhao ZeHong fully expressed his admiration for Xie Yan and successfully resolved the tension between him and them. He finally asked them to go to a place with a better environment to sit down and talk.
After getting their consent, Zhao ZeHong used his power to open a transmission gate and sent them directly out of the snowy mountain, bringing all of them back to the main city of the human race.
With Xie Yan and Bai Duan, Zhao ZeHong went straight into the best restaurant in the city, he opened a private room, and began to ask them about their feelings and opinions on [Ten Thousand Realms]. First of all, they needed to get along, so that they could carry out some more in-depth conversations.
There was nothing Bai Duan had to say about the game. Most of his feelings were the same with the masses. But Xie Yan was different. He knew too much about the world and had a lot to say. Some were his own ideas, while some were the original’s feelings.
These words, the original wanted to say all these, but dared not say, and had no place to say it, and that inevitably left some regrets. So taking this opportunity, Xie Yan simply put aside the ‘introvertness’ part in him, and he conveyed his thoughts and wishes in the original body’s stead. If they were feasible, Xie Yan would directly voice them. If there were defects in the original body’s Utopia, he would modify and correct them with his own experiences.
Zhao ZeHong just wanted to find a topic, but he didn’t think that the more he listened, the more attentive and amazed he got, he was even feeling enlightened and inspired. He hadn’t had such huge passion and motivation to do something before. The last time he was so energetic, was when they were at the initial stage of developing [Ten Thousand Realms].
Zhao ZeHong repeatedly asked questions, completely forgetting his purpose, and all his attention was directed to Xie Yan’s opinions. Until Bai Duan secretly rubbed his belly, the unexpectedly long conversation abruptly stopped. After all, the food in the game could only restore the avatar’s physical stamina, but couldn’t really fill their bellies.
Xie Yan, who had been paying close attention to Bai Duan, turned to him and said, “I’m sorry, I’ve been talking for so long that I forgot the time. Are you hungry? It’s time we had dinner, too.”
Bai Duan glanced at Zhao ZeHong’s undisguised disappointment and smiled dryly, “It doesn’t matter. I can wait a little longer.”
“No, you can’t!” Bai Duan didn’t want to disturb Xie Yan’s rare conversation, but Xie Yan was more concerned with Bai Duan’s health, “Irregular diet causes stomach diseases. We are going offline now, and dinner will be ready soon.”
“Then after you have dinner—” Zhao ZeHong said hurriedly, but before his sentence was finished, he was interrupted by Xie Yan who was shaking his head.
In addition to talking about game related topics, Xie Yan’s dialogue with strangers still had some ‘obstacles’, and his voice was muffled, “I’m sorry, after dinner… Well, there’s something else.”
Zhao ZeHong, who was rejected, tried asking Xie Yan for his real life contact information, but he was rejected again by Xie Yan.
After pursing his lips, Zhao ZeHong was determined to tell Xie Yan his contact number directly, “You are very talented, logical, creative, and more capable of coming up with ideas. Our company needs such talents as you very much. If you have any intentions, you can contact me. We can sit down and communicate in the real world. How about that?” He emphasized, “Our company is the largest game company in the country, in the world even. It is also one of the top three ranking games, and its development potential is huge. Although it was founded later, it is absolutely not any less competitive than those old game companies. You will never regret working in our company.”
This sudden invitation made both Bai Duan and Xie Yan stupefied. Bai Duan really didn’t expect it, while Xie Yan was surprised by Zhao ZeHong’s vigorous and fierce behavior, so he couldn’t immediately make a decision.
Seeing Xie Yan’s hesitation, Zhao ZeHong pursued his lips again, “Besides, I can see that you like the game very much and put in a lot of energy and effort into it — don’t you want to help design it, build it and make it better yourself?”
Xie Yan’s eyes narrowed slightly, and his expression became more and more hesitant.
Zhao ZeHong also knew the series of difficulties Xie Yan faced because of his obesity, and understood that it would take him a lot of time to get out of his shell. So he did not continue pursuing to avoid it causing adverse effects. Instead, he took the lead and left the game after emphasizing his expectations for Xie Yan again.
Xie Yan stood there, silent for a long time, and finally turned to look at Bai Duan, trying to pretend to be relaxed, “Shall we also logout?”
“…Okay,” Bai Duan nodded and said nothing more, but he realized… that something was about to change.