Chapter 17: NPC Bully VS Player Bullies
At New Leaf Plain, there was currently a showdown happening: madman expert versus numerous bullies.
While the former bullied monsters, the latter group specialized in oppressing their brethren. There was one spot of the plain where many level 2 Chickens spawned near one another at a relatively decent rate: they had monopolized it.
Honestly, if the monsters weren’t so hard to kill, chances were the guys that called themselves the Mighty Wolves Guild would have driven their competition away already.
Had this been the goal behind the super-strong creeps near the Village? After all, often beginner mobs would get instantly deleted upon new MMO releases, and people would fight to tag mobs and steal the XP away. Here, there hadn’t been much fighting.
“Hey there! I’m Dom, one of the executives of the Mighty Wolves Guild. Would you be interested in joining our family?” A naked burly man offered Jack warmly.
“No thanks. I’m more of a solo player, you see.” He politely declined, ready to bypass them. But, they didn’t bulge in the least as they blocked him.
“I don’t think you understand. Anyone that isn’t part of the family is considered an enemy. You do not want to make an enemy of us, for there is nothing stronger than family. Think it over carefully.”
“Hm, I see. I maybe have a suggestion to make then.” Jack pondered a few seconds.
“Go on. We will give you great working conditions.” The man grinned as he understood that the mysterious player was only making a show of refusing to raise his own value.
“Alright, I can join you guys if I become the guild leader. As long as you all obey my orders, then I might just consider keeping you guys around.” Jack proposed what seemed like a fair trade to him.
Of course, this was knowing all that he knew. How was he supposed to explain coming back to the past? It was a known concept in fiction, but chances were they would either refuse to believe him or, on the contrary, try to exploit him.
“Tch— Crazy guy! There are some things one shouldn’t joke about. This is one, and you just screwed up big time. If you want to join, then you’ll only have a grunt position. Otherwise, you’ll go on our blacklist.” The man frowned as he spat out.
Of course, the gallery had a ton to say about this exchange.
“Wait, how can they be a guild already? How?!”
“Idiot, they are obviously an IRL guild at the moment.”
“Figures, how strong are these guys anyway? They seem tyrannical.”
“They’re a Desolate Desert Online Guild, I believe. They mostly PVP and own a few castles on one of the most popular servers. They’re branching out to Infinite.”
“So, any solo player going against them is fucked, right? Infinite only has one server, so changing server is not an option….”
“This guy’s joke was really a bad idea with their temperament. I’m surprised that they’re not beating him up already.”
“What are you talking about? The plain is a safe zone. They can’t use violence even if they want. Still, they can screw him up as soon as he enters the forest.”
“How do you know all this?!”
“Didn’t you listen to the Village Chief?!”
For them all, the altercation was becoming less interesting. In their minds, he was bound to accept the ultimatum. The only other option was for him to find another guild as powerful as the Mighty Wolves as backing. There were none in the New Leaf Village so far…
Jack very calmly replied to the man he had dubbed a power-hungry idiot.
“I wasn’t kidding at all. Anyway, I’ll have to pass on your crappy offer. By the way, here is a friendly tip: you guys should stop ganging up on the chickens. Otherwise, they’ll fight back with numbers too, and you won’t like it.” Jack kindly advised.
“Tch— Dumbass. You better not leave the safe zone if you know what’s good for you. You’ll be begging us to serve the Mighty Wolves. Brothers, let’s go. No need to waste any more time on this crazy guy.” The idiot scoffed as he left.
The crowd began talking in hushed voices. On the one hand, the expert was bound to be defeated by the mighty power of a zerg! On the other hand, drama! People loved drama so much! They would have posted about it on the official forum if it was available.
Bubblegum came closer, frowning her pink brows with worry. “Are you sure about this? Holding a few castles in Desolate Desert Online is no easy task. For now, they probably only have a few people in Infinite, but later….”
“You mean to say they’ll all transfer over once the game becomes bigger, right? I probably won’t have to face more than a few hundred of them in the short term. It should be fine,” Jack assured. It wasn’t that he had failed to assess the danger. He simply didn’t give a fuck!
“I see. How about you add me as a friend? Then if you require assistance, you can message me. I know a few players from a strong guild that could help.” She kindly offered.
Jack hesitated for a second. How many friends had he parted ways with over the years? How many had been in trouble because they knew him? The old him would have never added a random girl for helping him, not even a whole day.
She probably had ulterior motives. What if she was trying to get as much information as possible out of him before betraying him? What if— he forcefully stopped his train of thought. This was a new life, a new beginning.
Why should he worry about the potential ramifications of his actions? He would just have fun. As long as the people he loved weren’t endangered, it wasn’t the end of the world.
“Sure.” Jack finally accepted. He could see Bubblegum struggling to open her menu. He quickly manipulated his UI, sending her a friend request. She was seeing something like this:
[Player Jack’ O Wants to be your friend, do you wish to accept?]
She flashed a small smile as her lips silently repeated Jack’O. She felt a slight sense of satisfaction at being the first one to know the mysterious expert’s name. Perhaps it was childish, but she didn’t care. But then she heard Jack’s next sentence.
“System, change the display name of this new friend to Bubblegum Girl. Thanks.” He nonchalantly rebaptized her.
“What?! This is bullying! I have a name. I object! I am vetoing this change!” She exclaimed in mock anger. Still, he could detect a hint of playfulness in her voice.
He silently went toward the Village, reaching the Unknown Blacksmith’s forge. “Guess who’s back with fuel!” Jack shouted victoriously as he kicked the door open.
The middle-aged NPC had left the floor and was exercising with heavy hammers, using them as weight. “How about we bet some alcohol? I’m gonna bet you’re the one that grabbed it.” He chuckled.
“Wow. No bet then! Here you go, take care of it properly!” Jack instructed while handing over the three hardwood logs.
As long as one’s familiarity with an NPC was sufficient, they could serve as banks. There was a certain risk to it, but it wasn’t like people came here much in the first place. They would leave as soon as the blacksmith asked them to go into the forest to get materials.
“With this, we’re just missing the ores, right? Where are we going now?” Bubblegum asked curiously.
“Right now, I’m logging off, and you can do the same.” Jack proposed.
“Whaaat?! No way! This is the first day. We can’t take a break yet!” She vehemently objected.
Jack only shook his head in refusal before explaining himself:
“You can wander around the Village and do random quests. I reckon you can do stuff like farming, cleaning, watering plants, etc. You could get a bit of XP, silvers, and even learn the basics of a profession. I’m waiting for an event to happen. I’ll be back then.”
“An event?” She murmured, intrigued.
“Actually, you could watch over the plain and record it all if you want. It should be pretty entertaining. See you in about 30 minutes, later.” Jack waved her goodbye before login out in a purple light…why was it purple and not blue?!
Seraphine hurriedly headed to the plain. What kind of event was he waiting for? Also, what kind of man was this Jack’O? Obviously a prophet, but what else? So mysterious…
One thing that many misunderstand is that effort automatically means better results. Sure, effort is always needed and oftentimes the most decisive factor, but efficient effort is the key to success. The first hours Infinite were the most troublesome as people were left to their own devices. Afterward, it would become way easier to progress.
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