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Chapter 246 - A Gloomy Day
There would occasionally be dark and gloomy days in a person's life. For Nightmare of Death, today was that day - an extremely dark and gloomy day.
He had previously been bullied in the Thieves' Union by Gu Fei. Nightmare of Death had considered that as the darkest day of his in-game life, especially when he had been relentlessly chased all over the streets of Yunduan City by Gu Fei. But when that day was compared to today, the loss Nightmare of Death had experienced back then was mere chicken feed.
Since he still had 5 PK points, Nightmare of Death's two deaths reduced his level from 40 to 36. With how the needed experience points increased with every level up, just his drop of a level right now was equivalent to all the experience points he had lost last time.
His PK value had caused him to lose a total of five items. Among the dropped items, Lasting Sentence and Dying Breath were rare top-grade equipment that Nightmare of Death had not even used yet. The other three items were not as precious, but they were still worth hundreds of gold coins.
However, his tragic situation had yet to end as he still had those abominable PK points. As long as he did not log off, Gu Fei would continue to hunt him down. And even if he did log off, Nightmare of Death doubted that the Thief just then would give up. Has he been sniffing around me all that time? The Thief's level of perseverance brought a chill down Nightmare of Death's spine. Heading to a log-off point now would only expose his position to the two, and that Thief would surely just patiently wait for him to come online.
Nightmare of Death recognized Sword Demon. He was a top-cla.s.s expert in other MMOs who had been a victim of his group's money-making scheme in Parallel World. The man had every reason to crush Nightmare of Death in the palm of his hands, so Nightmare of Death was not thinking of avoiding the problem; instead, he was thinking of how to take revenge and trap Gu Fei in order to recover Lasting Sentence and Dying Breath.
This was not due to his attachment to the items but was due to it being his job. Nightmare of Death was a member of a gold-farming gaming workshop. His account, gaming equipment, salary, et cetera were provided by the gaming workshop's boss. His boss's primary order was to help him earn money, earn money, and earn more money… PKing players to loot their top-grade equipment was just one of the many methods they used to earn money.
From this perspective, Lasting Sentence and Dying Breath did not actually belong to Nightmare of Death but to the boss, who would decide what to do with the items upon receiving them. The more valuable the top-grade equipment was, the more important it was for them to turn it over to the boss.
This was actually the first time Nightmare of Death had gotten such top-grade equipment. His greed got the better of him, and in hopes of earning a little side income, he did not even equip the daggers himself but searched for a way to sell them off, instead.
Trade Exchange? Auction House? Those places were not viable. Once the items were put on sale, his name would be featured right next to them. This sort of under-the-table transaction was forbidden in a gaming workshop, and it was almost guaranteed that anyone who would do such thing would be fired. This might just be a game for many, but this was Nightmare of Death's livelihood, so he could not be careless on how he handled this.
Naturally, his colleagues were in the dark about Nightmare of Death's intention to keep the equipment for himself. Only two companions of his knew about his intention, and neither was his colleague. Nightmare of Death truly wanted to retrieve Lasting Sentence and Dying Breath soon, yet he could not depend on the gaming workshop's strength. This was because the rule stated that they must immediately inform the workshop of any valuable items when they first obtained them. n.o.body knew about the existence of Lasting Sentence and Dying Breath, so if Nightmare of Death were to report it now, his intention would come to light… His colleagues might understand why Nightmare of Death had withheld information about the equipment, but….
Nightmare of Death would not be so fl.u.s.tered if the enemies in question would just quietly take and use the items for themselves after looting them. Unfortunately, he did not believe that this would be the case with Gu Fei and company.
Nightmare of Death and his team were currently reviled throughout Yunduan City to the point of causing everyone's teeth to itch whenever they were mentioned. Just the act of looting top-grade equipment from them would elicit schadenfreude from the people who would hear about it. From this point alone, Nightmare of Death reckoned that the person in question would find a chance to announce his bad deed everywhere he went. Not only would the ma.s.ses be cursing him endlessly, he would even be kicked out of the gaming workshop under corruption charges. How could Nightmare of Death not think that today was a truly dark and gloomy day at this rate?
As such, his current priority was to quickly s.n.a.t.c.h back Lasting Sentence and Dying Breath. Everything would be fine once he retrieved the goods and turned them over to the organization. If he were to head back empty-handed and report about the equipment he had lost, no one would certainly believe him. At present, Nightmare of Death was no longer thinking of earning a quick buck on the side; all he wanted was to secure his job. As for the issue of mistrust that would arise from this, he would think about that later!
Nightmare of Death activated Stealth as he walked along the street. He no longer dared to be careless and moved as fast as he could while on Stealth. At the same time, he sent his two friends a message: "Don't head to the city gate…."
"You got killed again…" His friends grieved for his loss.
"Yeah, where are you guys at? I'll go to you two, instead!" Nightmare of Death said as he kept himself on the move.
"We just went past the main plaza by Picker Street," his friend replied.
"I'm coming. Do you have any clothes on you?" Nightmare of Death asked.
"F*ck! Are you b.u.t.t naked now?!"
Nightmare of Death was in tears. Sword Demon's stab had cost him his clothes. He was only wearing a flimsy s.h.i.+rt and pants when he revived by the sp.a.w.n point. It was utterly embarra.s.sing. With how the s.h.i.+rt and pants looked, Nightmare of Death would be better off stark naked.
Fortunately, he had Stealth! Nightmare of Death sure was optimistic, being able to find something to be happy about despite his current dest.i.tute state.
Nightmare of Death met his friends at Picker Street, yet he did not reveal himself to them. Maintaining his Stealth state, he said to his friends, "Over here!"
His friends could naturally not see him, but they could hear his voice drifting out from their surrounding area. "Can you stop moving about?" the two were irked. By the sound of his voice, Nightmare of Death seemed to be going around the two of them.
"No can do! It's too dangerous! Don't speak unnecessarily, too. Pretend I'm not here. We'll talk through the private chatbox." Nightmare of Death was taking every possible precaution right now. Perhaps, Sword Demon is near me… was what he was thinking.
"You two should keep walking. I'll follow behind," Nightmare of Death said.
Hence, his two friends began walking as Nightmare of Death asked, "Have you found someone appropriate?"
"I've posted the mission description, but there's no reply yet. Guess we'll hafta wait. Shall we wait by the Hall of Mercenaries?" one of his friends asked.
Nightmare of Death needed to attack Gu Fei, yet he did not have enough manpower to do so. Gu Fei was someone who could not be killed by a dozen or so players, so he could only look for external aid for this matter. Hiring a mercenary group was the most efficient method. The problem was that Nightmare of Death required someone who could PvP. The usual bunch of honest and peaceful mercenary groups out there would not accept such a mission. The larger mercenary groups would be even more unwilling to take on this sort of mission as they paid attention to their image. Expressly accepting such a mission would be tantamount to going against the generally accepted notion of justice. But while no one would openly accept this sort of mission, people would still talk about it privately.
There was of course no way of putting up a mission about PvP through the system, but how was that a problem for the intelligent players?
In Yunduan City, there was a quest called 'Punis.h.i.+ng Pudgy Keith'. This quest was so easy that no one needed to hire help for it. Those who would create a mission for this quest meant that the employers were looking for help to PvP. 'Pudgy Keith' had the initials of 'P' and 'K', which indirectly referred to 'player killing'! Any mercenary group that saw this mission would promptly understand its true nature, so everyone would conduct a transaction about it privately.
Nightmare of Death had asked his friends to put up a mission for 'Punis.h.i.+ng Pudgy Keith', and they had specifically described the players needed for it. Going up against Gu Fei was difficult due to his fast movement speed and Blink skill; ranged job cla.s.ses could not kite him, while melee job cla.s.ses were in danger of being kited by him. Moreover, he seemed to be able to detect Thieves on Stealth. After thinking about it, Nightmare of Death felt that the safest and most effective method to deal with Gu Fei was to use the Hunting Trap skill.
Although the chances of traps being discovered were currently high, most players already knew of how to manually bury or hide their traps. If it was just one trap, there was no guarantee of his target falling prey to it... What if there were more traps, then?
Thus, for this mission, Nightmare of Death specified the need for players with high proficiency in the Hunting Trap skill. If there's a mercenary group skilled at using traps, it would be perfect. Better if those players can coordinate well with one another to create an intricate formation of traps, was what Nightmare of Death was hoping for.
Currently, the ones famous for having perfectly coordinated formations in Yunduan City were Carouse with its spell bombardment and Traversing Four Seas with its archer formation. While Nightmare of Death felt it would be perfect if either of them was able to help out with their ambush, these mercenary groups belonged to two large guilds respectively, which would surely cost him a hefty price. Furthermore, the probability of some players among them being Nightmare of Death's past 'clients' was high. Although he always carefully hid himself whenever they PKed, some would still manage to catch a glimpse of him, just like Sword Demon had had. Would Nightmare of Death not be courting death if he chanced upon a player whom he had victimized in the past?
In the end, the trap method was still the most economical, safest, and most realistic plan. He just did not know if they could find such mercenaries.
As they made their way over to the Hall of Mercenaries, one of his friends suddenly messaged him: "Someone contacted me!"
"Yeah, the person said his mercenary group is the most skilled at using the Hunting Trap skill!"
"Are you for real?!" Nightmare of Death overflowed with elation. He had merely been hoping to hire such mercenary group, as the chances of a bunch of players having prowess at the Hunting Trap skill were low. Each player could only lay trap out one at a time, and the trap could only clamp on one target. Frankly speaking, the game had yet to reach the stage where such a specialized group of trappers would be needed. He wondered... What sort of eminent expert out there had such broad view to train a troop of trappers this early in the game?
"Where are they?" Nightmare of Death excitedly asked.
"They are in the Hall of Mercenaries, waiting for us!" his friend replied.