Master of the Stars

Chapter 394

Chapter 394: Hero Seats

Translator: Strivon

Area A of Frost River Reality was forever a place bustling with excitement. Though it might not have the most amount of people compared to other areas, thousands of figures rushed and clamored within the space. There were also large amounts of cheering, shrieking, and screaming coming from the onlooking personnel. The noises never ceased, not even for a moment..

This was the place where reality technology was the most unbridled. Guided by immersion equipment, players instantly arrived to an ocean region or the Wilderness from the bustling metropolis filled with skyscrapers. Danger lurked around every corner as they struggled to escape under the giant jaws of Mutants. They displayed their capabilities to the fullest, achieving success, winning respect, venting their emotions, and searching for challenges in this interactive hypnosis. However, the ultimate gain was the true thrill.

Indeed, the thrill was something that could be produced by the mere secretion of dopamine. It didn’t matter whether or not the experience was real, people were just that easy to trick!

Besides, who doesn't like playing games?

Luo Nan stood within the buzzing atmosphere of area A. He looked around at all the players completely lost in their games and was unable to say words of refusal.

Well, actually, there was an itch in Luo Nan's heart. Though virtual achievements, respect, and the like were meaningless to him, an ability user who tread the line between life and death countless times, being able to interact closely with his friends was quite the compelling force.

Luo Nan opened his mouth and was just about to respond when Xue Lei went, "Oh my god." He slapped Luo Nan's shoulder with ample force, but the force wasn't enough to represent anger. He said, "What are you hesitating for?!"

"Oh?" Luo Nan had an expression of innocence.

"He's not wearing a helmet, and besides, what are you expecting from a rookie?"

Papercut didn't know if he was helping Luo Nan talk or harming him. Then, he explained to Xue Lei, "There are two empty simulators available at the hero seats. Leister wanted to snatch the spots, but by the time you finished talking you two missed your chance. Actually, there are a thousand eyes keeping watch over there. It isn't that easy."

Xue Lei retorted, "I heard the probability of snatching one with a luxury room is several times higher than having a normal room. You never know, we might have gotten it?"

Hero seats? Snatching probability?

Luo Nan believed he had heard of these terms before, but there wasn't a precise memory. He once more felt the deep malice of the normal human world.

In the end it was Tian Si who was able to read his body language. She walked up to him and explained. Tian Si's voice was quiet, so she naturally leaned closely to Luo Nan's ear in this noisy environment. Her actions were very intimate.

Luo Nan felt the soft hair lightly brush across his cheek and collarbone. A faint aroma entered his nose as well. Everything was soft and fine if one were to not deliberately take in the sensations, as if there was nothing at all. This was in line with his taste.

Therefore, the sensation made Luo Nan feel quite comfortable. At the same time, Tian Si clarified the ins and outs of the matter quite clearly.

The so-called hero seats referred to the center of area A. One hundred simulators were laid out there, each with six degrees of freedom. These simulators seamlessly connected to the interface of the equipment worn by players. While giving a true sensation of reality, the simulators were able to allow the players to do more audacious actions without worrying about being overly immersed and injured in reality technology.

In addition, there were series of control indicators, such as accuracy and sensitivity. These simulators were fully upgraded as well, giving players the upper hand in battle. It was because of this that players called them Hero Templates. They naturally rushed like ducks toward them.

But the circumstances of area A were quite peculiar. There were a thousand players seeking to snatch the one-hundred seats every day. The supply and demand was seriously out of balance. It was because of this that Frost River Reality made the cost for using these seats to be on the highest level. On the other hand, they didn't accept reservations or bids. They just had random flash sales through their system, being nominally fair and open at the very least.

As for the probability for those who possessed luxury rooms versus normal rooms, these were just rumors passed down between players. The business never once confirmed this.

Luo Nan stated his own understanding, "So you might not be able to play even if you wanted to?"

Xue Lei sighed, "It doesn't matter if you aren't able to snatch a hero seat. In any case, do you want to play or not?"

"I'll play. You just lead the way." Luo Nan shrugged as he put on the semi-enclosed helmet he had in his hands on top of his head and followed Papercut's pointers. He went to the branch's gaming homepage and learned the adhoc guidance mode.

After some fiddling around, Luo Nan's mental senses smoothly retracted, no longer spilling out far and wide. This caused the immersion effect to increase substantially, and Luo Nan naturally placed his attention on the translucent face-plate before his eyes. He saw all sorts of real-time information of area A streaming down the screen.

And at the same time, the various AR effects in the surroundings were strengthened as well. The image of the gaming center gradually faded away, and it was as if Luo Nan had arrived at a dusty old town. Streets went left and right here, and there were all sorts of buildings located row after row. There were bars, stores, and training fields surrounding each other. There was also a rusty metal gate in the distance, leading out of the town. All this emerged in his field of vision.

Behind the metal gate was the real battlefield. Right now Luo Nan's current location was merely a service area.

Xue Lei turned his head to look all around. He found quite the suitable place within the complex and realistic AR images. "If we can't snatch a hero seat, then it doesn't really matter. We will go...hey!"

As Xue Lei lost his voice from screaming, Luo Nan saw an eye catching red message flash across the translucent panel. It said, "Players, take notice. Seats seventy-seven and ninety-nine are vacant in the hero area..."

"Snatch them!" Papercut shouted from the side.

Luo Nan subconsciously used his mind to make telepathic contact, but he soon realized that this wasn't the HexaEar and the Psychic Wave Network. Telepathic control wasn't worth a dime.

But then an image appeared on his translucent panel the next instant and the sound of alloy daggers clashing with ferocious beasts rang out in the last moment. Sparks sprayed everywhere, and blood-pumping background music entered his ears. There was also a vigorous male voice that spoke in a wild and dramatic manner, "The brutal battlefield welcomes a new hero. Look, the door to glory has opened!"

Luo Nan was stupefied on the spot, "T-This means I snatched one?"

"YES!" Xue Lei waved his arm fiercely before facing Luo Nan with delight, "Nanster, you did it! Today's luck...huh?"

The two were surrounded by special AR lighting effects. They knew each other's identity at first glance. It was in this way that the inexplicable happened. They had both obtained qualifications for hero seats. Achievement 'Double Hero Snatch' Get!

Papercut laughed and gave Luo Nan a push from behind, "How many old ladies have you helped cross the road these past few days? You with your god damn luck. Haul ass over there. There's a time limit for the qualifications."

"Luck?" The topic of probability was a mathematical problem. It was too reckless to explain using luck. Luo Nan was one who liked to be serious, his brain crashing for a time, entering into deadlock, but Papercut pushed him forward and Xue Lei led the way in front. The party of people headed quickly toward the hero area. They entered the closed area under the sighs and gazes of the envious.

Papercut and Tian Si were unable to enter this place. They were blocked by a beautiful projection wall.

"We've gotten rid of the people with fucking luck. Let's find a place to kill the time." Papercut chuckled as he adjusted his helmet slightly. Then he asked for Ten Days in the Wilderness, "Does Little Tian often play Ten Days in the Wilderness?"

Tian Si wore soft sensing equipment around her body. Her helmet was clasped beneath her elbow, and she gave off a bit of a heroic air under the dim lighting of the gaming area. She drew her lips into a laugh, "I play it, but I play the mobile version a bit more."

Papercut then invited her, "I also like to play mobile games. There's a strategy room here. Let's go play two rounds?"

Light flashed in Tian Si's eyes. She didn't refuse but nor did she agree. Instead, she raised a new topic. She copied the way Luo Nan addressed Papercut and said, "Brother Papercut. It wasn't luck that the junior brothers were able to snatch seats, right?"

Papercut beamed as he said, "How could this be luck? They've temporarily bound their HexaEars and made telepathic contact. Then there's also the Psychic Wave Network transmitting and converting the signal. It's the same as installing a flash sale plugin. Who can be faster than them? This is where the superiority of ability users lies."

There was many words in his sentences that were outside of Tian Si's scope of awareness, but this did not prevent her from being able to deduce the general meaning. And it was because she didn't understand that she couldn't help imagine the mysteries within. She was lost in thought for a time.

But soon she snapped back in reality. She found it a bit strange, "Then why didn't you tell them?"

"Pleasant surprises are hard to come by. Would they find delight in the truth? Especially that fellow Nanster. If he were to continue to develop like this, not only would he be precocious, he would one-hundred percent become a machine of theory. Don't you think so?"

This time, Tian Si could only smile.

Papercut invited her once more, "I just looked it up. The strategy room is over there. Do you want to go?"

"I..." Tian Si just started her sentence, but she found it a bit hard to continue. This was because the stuff she wanted to say had nothing to do with the so-called strategy room.

Papercut turned to look at her. Though there was a semi-closed helmet in the way, Tian Si inexplicably felt pressure in her heart.

At the same time, the light and shadow projected on the wall revealed the inconceivable martial might of fantasy. The gorgeous effects and the fierce clashes drew players to stop and watch and caused the players to cheer as well.

The scene drove her imagination, and it gave her impetus, "Brother Papercut, am I able to..."

Papercut probably didn't hear her because he was wearing a helmet. He turned around and waved his hand, leading her toward the strategy room.

Tian Si wanted to speak louder, but the thing known as courage came in spurts. She had run out of it, and ultimately the words never left her mouth. She glanced back at the projection screen, a little dispirited. In the end, she put on her helmet and followed Papercut.

She didn't know that Papercut was muttering to himself ahead. He sighed, "When seeing the sky outside the well, no one would want to return back to the mud...but you don't have the talent to jump out of the well. Thinking more about this matter would just harm yourself."

As for Tian Si's age and foundation, walking the path of physical enhancement and wishing to achieve results was almost impossible, even with a famous teaching guiding her.

As for mental enhancement...just one glance and Papercut could tell she didn't have the talent. Obviously, there was no point mentioning it.

Talent. Talent.

With these thoughts in mind, Papercut felt quite listless. So in this world, no one was able to find a cultivation method that was upright and frank; a method that started from scratch to become something; something that started from small to large, that was akin to a gradual accumulation of steps to reach a thousand miles?

What in the world was the foundation that they, as ability users, relied on? Who was able to give them a clear-cut answer?

An image of Luo Nan suddenly flashed in his mind. Perhaps only someone like him could do it. Only someone with super strong talent and was a freak that focused fully on studying theory could hope to break through this fog and point to the truth.

However, this sort of existence was absolutely not lovable. In comparison, even the vain and stupid Yue Zheng was more like a living person.

This was bad. Very bad!

Though Papercut probably wasn't qualified enough to make judgments on this matter, Papercut really didn't like this change in Luo Nan from the bottom of his heart.

"Curse my girly temperament!" Papercut walked a few steps with self-deprecating before using the HexaEar to make contact with someone.

At first he wanted to call He Yueyin; she was the Secretary, after all. However, his thoughts took another turn. Secretary He didn't really give off a strong sense of being human as well. Plus, Luo Nan, who could easily cause people to get lost five kilometers deep inside fog, might be on a higher level than his own secretary.

Papercut switched to a different contact when his thoughts reached this point, but the result was outside his expectations. He was left hearing, "Please leave a message."

"Back behind closed-doors." Papercut shook his head. He sincerely converted his thoughts to words and transmitted them over, "President. I want to ask something of you. It has to do with the kid Luo Nan's temperament...."

After entering the hero seats region, Luo Nan soon discovered that the placement area of the simulators formed a labyrinth. He soon parted ways with Xue Lei under the guidance of the AR guide.

But soon a dialogue window lit up to the side of the translucent faceplate, and Xue Lei's avatar appeared in a call. This was a team privilege gained after getting the luxury package. People without the luxury rooms could only send messages the old way.

"Nanster, let's not enter the battlefield just yet. Let's first make a room to play."

"Sure." Luo Nan was a typical rookie. He really was diffident when it came to immediately entering the exciting yet chaotic reality battlefield. Xue Lei's plan was in line with his intentions.

Right after they finished talking, Xue Lei and Luo Nan's luck began to rapidly grow. Avatar after avatar spawned on their screens. Some were instant messages. Some were notifications.

Mo Peng: This is dogshit. I tried snatching one a hundred of times starting from last month, and I was...

Luo Biyao: Let's go play rainbow bow in a bit. We might be able to earn back all the expenses tonight.

Mo Han: Don't you think that it's a waste?

Tian Si: Oh, I just saw this feature. Do your best.

This was an experience comparable to winning the lottery. News of it spread quite quickly within their small circle. Ruan Zihui, Tong Hui, Qiu Peipei, and others sent messages of congratulations a moment later.  Even Yue Qin and Turner, who were in rather awkward positions, sent them a few words to express congratulations.

Of course, they never counted on anything from Yue Zheng.

Luo Nan was a bit disappointed when he arrived at hero seat ninety-one, the one that he snatched. Though Xue Lei and the others had hyped this thing up to the heavens, there wasn't that much of a difference between this and the fully-enclosed maglev cabin of the VIP room, at least from looking at its surface.

Fine. Perhaps taking the VIP room's experience out to the public area might be considered a good move.

Luo Nan started under the assistance of the guide to engage in the data link. It was a walk in the park, and he received Xue Lei's invitation thirty seconds later. The scene before his eyes immediately departed from Frost River Reality to a square platform akin to a dueling arena.

"We're not doing the Wilderness?" Luo Nan was quite baffled. It was too lazy of them to make this sort of battlefield.

"Who says it isn't? There are several fighting arena settings in the Wilderness. This place is part of the Flaming Hills, the Ring of Life and Death. It's quite famous, okay?"

Xue Lei appeared within the ring. There were four types of classes to choose from: Standby, Deep Blue, Mutant, and Fantasy. He chose what fit most with reality, a human hero of the Standby Class. Under reality effects, he was bound in exoskeleton armor, but he was taking it off piece by piece.

Luo Nan had a very ominous feeling when he saw this. He shivered in his moment of stupefaction and blurted out, "Let's switch stages..."

"Why go through that much trouble? Just come at me bro! Let's both choose Standby Human Heroes and fight melee combat without armor. We can practice sanshou boxing this way." Xue Lei squeezed his hands into fists, filled with impatience as he chuckled, "It's been happily decided!"


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