Chapter 115 - Windchaser’s Boots
On the first day of Parallel World’s official release, Gu Fei received quite a huge fright when he got online and saw the people all around him pack like canned sardines. It happened to be nighttime in-game when he logged in, so the balls of fire floating everywhere in the Mage Academy and lighting up the whole place appeared somewhat sinister to him. In addition to this, the sight of countless men, women, elderly, and children shouting, “Shoot! Shoot! Shoot!” to their hearts’ content created a very incongruous and cringe-worthy atmosphere in the entire academy.
Apparently, a number of Mages that day were so alarmed by the sudden change in Parallel World that they acted unlike their usual selves. Gu Fei suspected that Fireball must have had it the worst out of all these people as he had not gotten online for four days straight after that day when the game was officially released. When he finally logged in, Fireball seemed to still be out of it when Gu Fei chatted him up; obviously, his thoughts were still in turmoil.
There were too many people. This was what everyone thought when the VR game’s official release happened. The sudden population explosion of players had brought about huge changes to the game’s landscapes as well. For instance, Peddlers’ Street 1, Peddlers’ Street 2, Peddlers’ Street 3, and so on and so forth came to be. Even Yunduan City’s central plaza became a sprawling bazaar. Even the cost of beginner equipment experienced a spike during this period of time, taking about two weeks before it finally settled.
Some business-minded players that had received information about the official release before the others managed to make a tidy profit from this wave of rising prices of the beginner equipment. Young Master Han and Brother Assist were two such individuals. Sword Demon madly grinded levels after losing two levels worth of experience points before. However, he apparently had a stake in Young Master Han’s business, so he made quite a sum as well.
However, these men were clearly not professional gamers. Professional gamers would try to exchange the in-game coins they earned to real-world currency; in contrast, these men actually squandered all their newly earned gold coins haphazardly; Young Master Han could be seen at Ray’s Bar drunk like a skunk for several days, and Sword Demon’s equipment experienced an extensive overhaul. As for Brother Assist, it was unknown where he spent his gold coins on.
War Without Wounds and Royal God Call seemed to have become unofficial members of Amethyst Rebirth at this point. They felt resentful toward Gu Fei for being able to join the all-female guild while they could not. Eventually, these two men’s resentment died down upon considering the fact that they had actually been spending more time with the ladies – as they grinded their levels together – compared to the actual member, Gu Fei. Amethyst Rebirth gained quite a number of ladies ever since the game’s official release, giving these two legendary skirt-chasers much stuff to busy themselves with. Every day, they would lead a bevy of beauties outside the city to grind levels. In some players’ eyes, this was a glorious task.
As for the most prominent and glorious in-game, open beta player, Gu Fei, he was actually the one who had felt the most depressed before the start of this entire event. Gu Fei had taken to loitering around the Bounty Mission Assignment Hall as it was the one place he could legally acquire PvP subjects. Unfortunately for him, Yunduan City’s peaceful atmosphere was absolutely detrimental to his bounty hunting business. The Wanted Players list only had very few targets at any given time, which he could easily handle in no time at all. Just as Gu Fei was feeling dispirited by all this, the official release happened and the great fanfare that ensued provided a wind of change for him.
An innumerable amount of players entered the game, so an innumerable amount of players needed to grind levels as well. The disadvantages of the huge amount of experience points needed before and after level 30 in Parallel World became evident at this point.
Back then, Sword Demon could grind to level 24 in a day. Even if the current players did not have his luck and perseverance, reaching level 30 was not a tall task. In just a few days, a majority of these players’ levels managed to get within the range of level 25 to 30, which resulted in the grinding maps near Yunduan City to increase abruptly in player usage by several folds.
The players at Yunxiao Farm, which was already a treacherous place to begin with, could no longer grind on the monsters by slyly accusing their competitors of kill-stealing like before. These days, players there openly killed one another with many of them constantly kill-stealing monsters. All sorts of players could be seen over at Yunxiao Farm, such as players alone, players in a group, and gangs in alliance with other gangs. Yunxiao Farm momentarily transformed into Yunxiao Cemetery, with the sorrowful cries that incessantly echoed all across the map and blood that painted the fields red.
The Bounty Mission Assignment Hall’s Wanted Players list naturally began to fill up, leaving Gu Fei totally elated that his smile would just not come off. Every day, after grinding his level a bit, he would go to the hall and wait for the appearance of these missions in his remaining time online.
His fellow mercenary group members felt that Gu Fei busying himself with this matter was not good; after all, the efficiency of grinding through ‘Bounty Mission’ was simply too low. The efficiency would be high if the targets of the various missions stood right outside the entrance of the Assignment Hall, waiting for the players to kill them. However, something like that happening was simply impossible. Thus, a large amount of time doing these missions would be spent rushing back and forth to a target’s location and the hall. In addition, time would be spent on pinpointing the target’s exact position. However, Gu Fei did not care about all that, as his purpose for doing the missions was not to grind levels. Thus, he continued to find happiness in doing such activity without feeling the least bit bored.
Just as the rest of the mercenary group had expected, Gu Fei’s number one position on the experience leaderboard for Mages due to that one chain quest severely plummeted. It was far worse than Royal God Call and War Without Wounds that had once spent more time flirting than grinding.
However, the situation changed two weeks after the official release. Gu Fei’s leveling speed suddenly seemed to have been revitalized to his previous level of efficiency. They all thought that Gu Fei had become enlightened. When they mentioned this at their gathering, Gu Fei showed them an item instead.
This emblem had two uses. First, it allowed the refresh rate of the target’s coordinates for the ‘Bounty Mission’ to be updated every minute instead of the usual five minutes; second, it would teleport its user back to the Assignment Hall once he or she completed the 'Bounty Mission'.
“Where did you get this?” all the present experts asked in astonishment. This was a piece of accessory no one had seen on the current market yet. In fact, none of the current players was aware that there was an item inside Parallel Word with a teleportation skill .
“I got it when I went to claim my reward after completing a mission. The system stated that it will be awarded to a player who has accomplished ‘Bounty Mission’ for a hundredth time,” Gu Fei explained.
Sighing in admiration, they were no longer as envious as before. Clearly, this thing would only be useful for ‘Bounty Mission’. Besides Gu Fei, who would be mad enough to do ‘Bounty Mission’ countless times? Anyway, it was thanks to this item that Gu Fei could see a substantial increase in his speed of gaining experience points.
However, their eyeballs nearly popped out when Gu Fei pulled out another item.
Windchaser’s Boots: movement +60; boosts movement speed by 35%.
“A pair of boots with double traits!” everyone gasped loudly.
A character had a maximum movement speed when it was first created in Parallel World. Mages, for example, would have their speed capped at 100 points. Afterward, the different job classes’ growth rate in the Agility stat would result in different increases in movement speed as players added points to Agility differently. The growth rate for a Mage’s movement speed, based off the Agility stat, was 1:1. Meaning, adding a point to Agility would increase movement speed proportionately.
Thus, boots in Parallel World were only useful for one thing – boosting movement speed – and usually only had one trait. A trait like ‘movement +60’ would be chosen by characters who did not add much points to Agility stat; while the other trait that increased movement speed by a given percentage would mostly be selected by job classes that focused on Agility as part of their build.
Take Gu Fei as an example; his full-Agility build plus the Agility points he gained innately every time he leveled up would afford him 180 points to Agility by the time he was at level 30. If the 100 innate points and 180 allocated points of his Agility were added together, his resulting speed would be 280 points. If he were to equip a pair of boots that boosted ‘movement speed by 35%’ at this point in time, his movement speed would increase by another 98 points, which would evidently be better than a pair of boots that had ‘movement +60’ trait on it.
Now, consider a Mage who did not blindly add points to Agility; his or her movement speed would only be at 130 points upon reaching level 30. This meant that this pair of boots that boosted movement speed by 35% would only increase his or her Agility by 45 points, making a pair of boots with ‘movement +60’ trait a better choice for him or her.
The Windchaser’s Boots with Gu Fei had a rather average ‘movement +60’ trait and an excellent ‘boost movement speed by 35%’ trait in comparison to the traits of other boots currently available in-game. Still, the two traits appearing on a pair of boots together, none of the experts seated could claim to have ever seen another pair that was as OP as Gu Fei’s.
“Where did you get this?!” they all clamored. The mission-sending ability of Windchaser’s Emblem had given them a shock, but the accessory was useless besides that feature. This pair of shoes, however, was another matter, especially to Sword Demon and Royal God Call.
Gu Fei smiled, “I also got this from that last ‘Bounty Mission’ I completed. Besides the emblem, I was awarded with this pair of boots, too. Apparently, it’s awarded to a player who consecutively completes the ‘Bounty Mission’ for one hundred times.”
“Consecutively completing ‘Bounty Mission’ for one hundred times!” everyone murmured. This criterion was evidently far harsher than merely completing the ‘Bounty Mission’ a hundred times. There were many conditions that could cause ‘Bounty Mission’ to fail; getting killed by a target was naturally the most humiliating way to fail it. Another player capturing a target first, a target’s PK value duration ending and getting erased, or a target suddenly having a change of heart and turning himself or herself in were treated by the game’s system as a player failing the ‘Bounty Mission’.
However, with such a prize like the Windchaser’s Boots right before their eyes, it was truly difficult for them to not feel moved. Royal God Call was obviously the one who fell in love with the pair of boots the most, as he hesitated for a while before finally saying, “Miles, lend me your Windchaser’s Emblem. I want to get this pair of boots, too.”
Gu Fei decisively passed Royal God Call the emblem without a second thought: “Take it. I happen to be preparing to grind my level. I heard players can get Job Class Advancement when they reach level 40.”
One month had passed since the official release of Parallel World; players like Young Master Han and the rest who were ahead of the pack had already broken through the level 40 threshold for quite some time. A large number of players were currently assaulting the level 40 ceiling as well. Gu Fei running around to play with the ‘Bounty Mission’ with wild abandon had caused his glorious number one spot on the experience leaderboard to sharply decline. It was only after obtaining the Windchaser’s Emblem that boosted his efficiency that he somehow managed to preserve his position. After all, Gu Fei’s ability to grind on monsters twenty levels above his level was not something any other players had. His efficiency was far greater than anyone else even if he just spent two hours grinding every day. If Gu Fei did not hold this advantage, his position would surely be at a middling level in the game by now, especially since he had focused solely on bounty hunting.
“Oh, yes. Miles, what are you thinking of advancing to? Water or Lightning?” Royal God Call asked.
Gu Fei was stunned, “Must I remain as a Mage? Can’t I change to a Brawler, instead?” Level 40 Mages had the choice of advancing to a Water Mage or a Lightning Mage, yet Gu Fei thought that the ‘Job Class Advancement’ term referred to a chance to change his job class entirely. Therefore, he only researched the Job Class Advancement for Fighters: Brawler or Qigong Master.
Brother Assist patted his back, “You can only choose the Job Class Advancement of your original job class; it’s not a chance to change a job class itself as you thought.”
“So that’s how it is! I’ll have to research further, then,” Gu Fei said despondently, asking, “Have you guys advanced yet?”
Out of the six members of the mercenary group, five had already reached level 40 besides Gu Fei who was at level 39. Even Sword Demon who had previously lost two levels’ worth of experience points already reached level 40 last night.
“Nope, we’re still researching,” Brother Assist answered.