“Let’s finish up after killing a few more.”
Tao Xin and Qin Jiming were friends who started playing together from the open beta. They were both Chinese users and they began Eternal Life as soon as it began since they were quite interested in it before its release.
Both of them had pretty high VRA measurements and had quite good understanding of games so they could rush ahead of the others. However, they took one wrong path and it was to become a malefactor.
“Today’s income isn’t that good.”
“There are so many malefactors nowadays that the number of users we can rob have decreased.”
Tao Xin shook his head with a disappointed expression.
“Should we rob a malefactor instead then?”
“We can’t even get any evil karma or items off them, what good is that?”
Malefactors could kill each other. However, there was nothing to be gained from doing that.
“Hm, that’s a little disappointing.”
“We can’t help it. Other than malefactors that get in our way, we need to ignore the rest of them.”
Tao Xin and Qin Jiming were looking for prey while going roaming the Valley of the Dead. They were currently level 19, and this was quite high right now.
On top of that, they had the Ancient Knowledge ‘Archer’ and “Swordsman’ respectively. Two high-level malefactors with Ancient Knowledge.
They were definitely a source of fear at this point in time.
“Let’s look around a little more.”
The two malefactors went around looking for prey. They went around the Valley of the Dead like hyenas looking for prey.
Tao Xin was currently running while panting heavily. Even while running continuously, he thought back to what happened 10 minutes ago, thinking about where it all went wrong.
The user that Tao Xin and Qin Jiming had found around 10 minutes ago was a perfect prey in their eyes. Well, they thought so until that user instantly slashed Qin Jiming’s head off.
That really happened in a blink of an eye.
Tao Xin and Qin Jiming’s PK style was that usually Tao Xin would shoot an arrow first to harass them and Qin Jiming would ambush the player.
At a glance, it looked simple, but in reality, it was quite a useful way of PK. They had killed numerous normal users through this pattern.
However, that user…… easily dodged Tao Xin’s arrow. With Tao Xin’s long-range harassment not working, Qin Jiming’s ambush naturally failed as well. In fact, Qin Jiming was defeated instead.
That user blocked Qin Jiming’s ambush lightly with the sword and simply played around with Qin Jiming. Tao Xin tried to salvage the situation somehow and shot arrows continuously while using all of his Soul skills, but that user instead mysteriously put Qin Jiming in the trajectory and the arrow hit Qin Jiming.
Ironically, both Qin Jiming and Tao Xin were malefactors so they could hurt each other. Like that, an element that normal users wouldn’t have to worry about became a fatal weakness to the malefactors and in the end, Tao Xin and Qin Jiming became hindrances to each other.
At the last moment, three consecutive slashes were swung fast.
Those three slashes easily hit Qin Jiming’s arm, body and neck and he was defeated that easily.
Obviously, Tao Xin could only run when Qin Jiming died. Their prey wasn’t a prey but a monster so Tao Xin ran like mad.
‘Just where the hell did such a monster pop out from?’
Tao Xin had killed a fair share of players until now, but this was a first time for him. In fact, the two had killed users that were pretty high level and had a lot of experience.
And they didn’t feel anything like this until now.
‘No one can win against this…….’
Although Tao Xin felt slightly sorry for Qin Jiming, the only thought on his mind right now was to survive on his own. However…… that was just false hope.
A shadow fell down from the sky and accurately struck Tao Xin’s body.
Since he was hit while he was running at full speed, Tao Xin fell backward. The one that toppled him over was the user that killed Qin Jiming, no, Sanghyuk.
Tao Xin thought that he’d be able to run away from Sanghyuk, but unfortunately, that was impossible.
The Valley of the Dead was a place Sanghyuk had been to countless times in his previous life, so Tao Xin’s escape path was as clear as day to him.
So, Sanghyuk took a shortcut and blocked Tao Xin’s front.
“Ugh…… just what are you?”
Shouted Tao Xin in Chinese. However, Sanghyuk understood his words. This was possible thanks to the real-time interpretation system for Dream Network, developed 5 years ago.
The moment Tao Xin spoke, his words would naturally be translated and would appear on the right of Sanghyuk’s vision. Since it took less than 1 second for the text to appear, there were no hindrances in real-time conversation.
Just that it was possible for too many texts to pop up if there were many people talking in different languages at once, but that could simply be turned off in important moments.
“That’s not the important thing right now, is it?”
Sanghyuk had no time to have a chat with a malefactor. His head was currently filled with the thoughts to kill 100 malefactors as quickly as possible and acquire the First Malefactor Hunter title.
Tao Xin tried to stand up and run away. However, Sanghyuk approached him quicker than he could stand up with a rapid rush forward that contained the low rank Charge skill.
And a follow up Triple Slash!
Sanghyuk’s sword instantly slashed Tao Xin’s body and arm.
Of course, there was nothing like pain. However, there was a really unpleasant feeling. This unpleasant feeling replaced pain in Dream Network games, and it was similar to being splashed with a liquid containing all sorts of things in it.
It wasn’t like Tao Xin’s health had dropped completely so he tried to fight back. The white light scattering from various parts of his body signified that his state wasn’t good, but it wasn’t enough to make him collapse yet.
However, no matter how hard he struggled, Sanghyuk was on top of his head. To be exact, Sanghyuk too easily predicted his simple melee attack and left him with sword wounds after dodging them with ease.
In the end, Tao Xin couldn’t even last one minute.
In the first place, it was impossible for someone who chose ‘Archer’, a long-range class to endure Sanghyuk’s attack.
Even Qin Jiming couldn’t last 3 minutes with his ‘Swordsman’ Ancient Knowledge, it was natural for Tao Xin to last even less.
In the end, The moment Tao Xin’s life became 0, Sanghyuk’s Traveller’s Treasure sword pierced his heart.
Tao Xin had set the ‘skip death’ setting on so he didn’t even know how he died.
“This is the forty-seventh…….”
Sanghyuk defeated Tao Xin and muttered while he stood up. Tao Xin was the 47th malefactor he had killed.
There were 53 remaining now, and at this pace, he would be able to finish all 100 in 4 days.
Honestly, there were malefactors everywhere right now.
Half the users he discovered were malefactors.
Sanghyuk picked up all the items that Tao Xin had dropped. Neither Qin Jiming nor Tao Xin dropped any expensive items, but they weren’t so worthless that he would just abandon them here.
‘Looks like I should commission the miscellaneous items in Falcon City and come back again.’
Besides acquiring the First Malefactor Hunter title, he also earned quite a bit of karma as well as money from selling their loots.
Since Sanghyuk intended to hunt them down anyway, everything was a profit. Actually, killing malefactors was a quicker way to gather karma.
“There were no fatal bugs, and there were four cases of minor NPC AI errors. Those four were already fixed by ‘Chaos’ with its internal correction program.”
The development team’s report finished.
Since this was a meeting to check everything after the official launch, team leaders of all departments had participated via video calls.
“The in-game errors will be handled by Chaos so the development team should look into external attacks or illegal programs.”
Chaos was the single greatest artificial intelligence program developed by Raonsoft through 10 years of research. In fact, EL was born practically thanks to Chaos alone.
Chaos could be considered the Creator God of EL. Chaos was watched all matters that happened within Eternal Life with its divine eyes and managed the world.
Of course, just because Chaos was there didn’t mean that the development team was unnecessary. Chaos itself needed to be managed by the development team, so President Seo Wontae of Raonsoft always looked after the development team.
“Operation team, how is the user influx?”
“It’s increasing rapidly. Since there were praises after praises of EL’s game elements in almost all existing communities, the number of users are expected to increase even faster in the future.”
“That’s good. Once the number of users increases, the PPL (Product placement) problem will be solved too, right?”
“Yes, as long as the number of users increases, there will be plenty of companies wanting to advertise in our game.”
“Take it slow. We aren’t in a rush anyway.”
Smiled Seo Wontae lightly. At first, even the invincible president was nervous, but right now, he was sure that EL was a huge hit.
“Are there any other problems?”
“The number of increasing malefactors is a slight concern.”
The game balance team’s team leader, spoke in a careful tone. Since Raonsoft’s game policy was ‘non-intervention’, the balancing team had to be careful when mentioning such things.
“We cannot interfere with the game just because the number of malefactors increased. I will repeat this again, but Eternal Life pursues infinite freedom. So the number of malefactors should be overcome by the users themselves.”
“But once the number of malefactors increases too much, the normal users may experience a big damage…….”
“Sheesh, you still don’t get it. Did I say that you had to stay still? We may not be able to interfere with the actual game, but we can from outside the game. For example, if you secretly leak the information on how you can get large rewards by killing malefactors on several online communities, this will no longer be a problem. Do I really need to tell you this? I already allowed controlling the game balance in a way that it doesn’t impact the game much.”
When Seo Wontae spoke in frustration, the balancing team’s team leader could only repeat his apologies.
“The operation team too. Don’t just fool around because you don’t need to monitor the game much and look into the direction that the users are going towards by looking at various online communities. We need to be aware of all the changes that are occurring within the game.”
Seo Wontae’s principle was simple.
Direct intervention in the game wasn’t allowed, but indirect control from outside the game was allowed. This was how he operated EL.