Chapter 3: Chapter 3 – This Game’s Pretty Interesting (1)
Translator: Dragon Boat Translation Editor: Dragon Boat Translation
Never heard of the game. Is it a mini-game made by foreign developers?
Ren Suo glanced at the clock. It was near noon. He ordered food to be delivered, then peed and washed his face. When he was done, he settled on the couch in the living room and started playing the Mini Worlds Gaming Console.
The apartment his uncle rented out to him was well-designed, furnished with a sound system, a 4K TV, couch and other furniture. It was a haven for a single inhabitant. And even more so with a girlfriend.
So Ren Suo bought his dream girlfriend – the fourth princess, a.k.a. Hell4PRO.
Having washed his face, Ren Suo felt fully awake. Only then did he recall that he had bought his games separately from his gaming console.
The order confirmation in his mobile phone showed that his “Unparalled Hero 8” and “Curse of the Evil Spirit 2” was still on the way. It would probably take a couple more days to reach him. So, even though he had the console, it was useless.
“Unparalled Hero 8” was the latest arcade game, while “Curse of the Evil Spirit 2” was a hardcore action RPG. Ren Suo had taken a long time to decide on these two games. He was ready to throw a few months into them till he became a platinum player and till he started work.
Because buying these two masterpieces had nearly emptied Ren Suo’s gaming fund, he wasn’t intending to buy digital copies of games on the Hell online game store. Digital copies were typically more expensive than physical copies. Unless there was a discount, Ren Suo would not consider them, not to mention the collectible nature and resale potential of physical copies.
If he were to become rich in the future, Ren Suo would collect game discs as trophies of his glorious days;
If he were poor, then he would sell them away to recoup his losses. After all, these games cost him quite a fortune.
Because of these two reasons, Ren Suo chose to buy physical copies despite their long delivery time.
Without the games, Ren Suo had no choice but to leave the Hell4PRO in the garage and play “Hitman” on Mini Worlds.
He clicked on [Free Game of the Month]. The game description of “Hitman” introduced the game was an action RPG – an immersive assassination game. The gamer played the role of a modern hitman who had the skill “Bullet Time” and was a master of all weaponry and combat styles. He could even pick other assassin characters. It looked pretty impressive.
After selecting to download the game, a message popped out:
[Player has chosen a free chapter. The free chapter of this month is Hitman’s “Bloodied Banquet”. Difficulty of game: 1 star.]
[This free chapter has a difficulty rating of 1 star, hence the exclusive reward is canceled (exclusive rewards are awarded only to 2 stars or above).]
[The time left in this free chapter is 14 hours 23 minutes 51 seconds. This game will be deleted when the time is up.]
“What? I can only play one chapter in the free game, and I’m left with less than 15 hours?” Ren Suo complained. But having seen the likes of too many freebies in Xuan Nation, he wasn’t too surprised.
Yet, the download speed of this game was crazy quick. In less than five seconds, Ren Suo received the message that the download was complete. That took away any hopes Ren Suo had about the game. Although the apartment boasted Xuan Telecom’s 200M fibre optic cables, a game that could be downloaded via WIFI in less than 5 seconds couldn’t have been more than 100M in size.
Even if it was just a single chapter, the music, software, images…etc. had to be downloaded still. Such a small game was either cut to its bare bones or tiny in scale to begin with. Although size didn’t equate to a game’s quality, it limited how impressive a game could be.
“Looks like it’s just a mini game… Wait?”
Ren Suo suddenly realized that he had not connected the Mini Worlds Gaming Console to the apartment WIFI.
But this Mini Worlds Gaming Console was omnipotent the moment it appeared. It could connect to Hell4PRO’s game controller and the DaMi TV. It wasn’t too much of a stretch for it to be able to connect to the apartment’s WIFI automatically.
However, the moment he entered the game, Ren Suo’s slain expectations revived immediately!
On the screen, rain drops fell off the roofs of the buildings on either side. Pitter patter, they hit the murky alley floor. In the distance, the lights on the skyscrapers and the streetlamp outside the alley became the only source of light in the alley.
And in that dark abysmal alley, a figure shrouded under a black umbrella stepped leisurely through puddles of water till he occupied the center of the screen. He was dressed in a suit, his bearing straight, like an aristocrat in the rainy night.
Just then, the camera zoomed in under the umbrella, giving the player a clear view of this man’s face-
[Please configure the hitman’s appearance.]
“What the-? This isn’t CG, it’s the actual graphics in the game?” Ren Suo was stunned. Even now, the rain-soaked alley was visible behind the character. The play of light, the rain drops, the buildings, the details, the ambience, the character… they were unmatched even by that so-called highest-performance game “Log Horizon”!
“No way this is a mini game. This is definitely a triple-A heavy-hitter!” Ren Suo’s interest was piqued. He noticed that the character in the game was automatically set as a fearsome looking bald man. After he selected to change his appearance, a series of face-changing options popped out, intimidating Ren Suo.
Although he liked to control cool-looking characters, Ren Suo was really not that interested in changing their appearance, especially when appearance attributes are so finely calibrated now that a single facial adjustment involved changing a dozen of digits. As a terminal patient of laziness, Ren Suo wasn’t going to waste his time on this.
Typically, one who liked good-looking characters but didn’t want to waste time like Ren Suo would simply search for other players’ records, copy their facial attributes and paste it into his game to make a character he liked. At most he’d adjust the pupil colour, hair style and hair colour. And voila – that’d be Ren Suo’s character!
But when Ren Suo searched “Hitman” online, while he did find other games with the same theme and title, none of them had graphics like Ren Suo’s version. And none of them allowed the player to change the character’s face. So Ren Suo’s lazy tactic couldn’t work.
Thankfully, in the menu there were options like [Recommend a face] and [Recommend a character].
In [Recommend a character], apart from the initial ‘Bald Hitman’, ‘Clown Hitman’, ‘Demon-Hunter Hitman’, there was also [For more characters, please purchase Characters DLC].
Ren Suo looked and realized that apart from the looks and voice, the choice of characters would affect their skill and abilities. For instance, the Bald Hitman’s skill was [Bullet Time], which affected the speed of time;
Clown Hitman, who sported make-up on his face, had the skill [Shapeshifting], which needed 30 merit points to unlock;
the white-haired wrinkly-faced Demon-Hunter Hitman’s skill was [Abyssal Wolf Sword Art], which needed 30 merit points to unlock.
Not only that, even their starting expertise were different. Bald Hitman’s was [Combat Master] and [Weapon Master]. Clown Hitman’s was [Weapon Novice] and [Throwing Expert]. Demon-Hunter Hitman’s just [Grandmaster of Sword].
Among the three [Recommended Characters], only Bald Hitman was recommended for first-time players and free to use.
Till now, Ren Suo had not figured out how he could top-up credit in the game. Regardless, he was not going to burn cash on a game that would be deleted in 14 hours. So he picked Bald Hitman.
But of course, he wasn’t going to use the default face settings. In the [Recommend a face] option, he picked a sharp-looking Xuannese face and added a teardrop shaped red mark on his forehead to make him look even more sick.
[Please name the hitman.] The message popped up after he confirmed the character.
Ren Suo just named him “Hitman”. In the next instant, the image on the screen moved as his controller vibrated. The hitman smiled at him under the umbrella; he could now control this character.
Just then, a homeless drunkard appeared in front of the hitman. Stepping through murky puddles of water, he lifted his bottle like he was looking for a fight.
Through the process of subduing this drunkard and walking out of the alley, Ren Suo learnt the basics of the game. After knocking out the drunkard with his combat skills, the message popped out: [Find a way to enter the Lamperouge banquet on the 8thfloor of the Blackthorn Tower using a legitimate identity by 2000HRS.]
The camera moved upwards. In the screen, a bright majestic tower right in front of the alley rose up into the sky. A green inverted pyramid mark appeared above the tower. Looks like that’s the target destination of the player.
Ren Suo controlled the hitman to walk out of the alley. Branded sportscars and lamborginis lined the road outside the tower. Ushers holding umbrellas came greeted and welcomed guests outside the tower.
He walked nearer to take a closer look. Those finely dressed social elites would produce an invitation before entering the tower. Only after the ushers had verified their invitations could they enter. Moreover, these ushers had impeccable service and manners; their eyes stayed on the guests all the way up till the point when they entered the elevator.
For example, Ren Suo saw a young gentleman who had parked a distance away and had filthy water splashed onto him. When he approached the building and flashed his invitation, the usher immediately said, “Mr. Ricard, we have spare suits and dryers up in the tower. Allow me to take you there.”
Truly, the usher’s service was faultless. He led this young gentleman all the way to the elevator and told the usher inside the elevator about the gentleman’s needs. Throughout the whole process, at least three ushers had their eyes on him. Looks like it was absolutely impossible to sneak in.
Ren Suo controlled the hitman and made him attempt to enter the tower. Naturally, he was stopped by an usher. The usher spoke a few lines of English and simultaneously, a dialogue box popped up beside his head, “Sir, please present your invitation.”
At this moment, four options appeared at the bottom of the screen. Ren Suo could pick them using his direction pad, but he had only 10 seconds to do so, otherwise the first option would be picked for him by default.
①”I left my invitation at home.”
②”I’m one of the people in charge of the company up above. I need to ride the elevator up to pick up a document.”
③ (Attack him) “Since when do I take instructions from you?”
④ (Take out 5 pounds) “Cousin! It’s been such a long time…”
Wow, he could pick a response? Ren Suo wasn’t all too alien with this sort of gameplay. These options basically decided how the player would get past the obstacle. Based on Ren Suo’s many years of watching gameplay videos, he believed that ① was pretty much a useless option;②was a tactic of talking his way through the obstacle;③ was surely charging through with brute force;④ was an option to bribe his way through.
Tentatively, he picked the seemingly cost-free ② – “I’m one of the people in charge of the company up above. I need to ride the elevator up to pick up a document.”
Usher: “Oh? Unfortunately, the tower’s been closed since 1800HRS. Please come back tomorrow.”
Ren Suo: “What gives you the right?”
Usher: “The fact that this tower belongs to the Lamperouge family.”
Ren Suo: “…”
So his first attempt failed. Ren Suo decided to try again with the other options.
But this time, the usher frowned. “Why are you here again? Security, take this man next door so he can cool down.”
Two nearly two-meter tall security personnel, dressed in blue uniforms, strode over and grasped the hitman, one on each side. Ren Suo assumed that the mission had failed. Soon, however, the hitman was taken to an alley.
“Don’t start trouble, kid,” the security guard patted the hitman’s head, then turned around and started to leave. Subconsciouly, Ren Suo pressed a button on his controller and the hitman automatically seized the guard’s neck and snapped it with a crack.
Ren Suo was momentarily stunned. But not the other guard. He immediately pressed something in his ear and shouted, “A hostile has appeared. Position – Palen Alley. Terry’s been killed. Send reinforcements, send reinforcements!”
He pulled out his baton and pointed it at the hitman, retreating out of the alley slowly while he reported the hitman’s deeds to his superiors.
Ren Suo watched as the security guard exited the alley. In the screen, the dead body of the guard began to glow a faint yellow. He made the hitman turn and examine the body. Three options appeared above the body: Search, Drag and Handle.
[Search] allowed him to strip the guard of his clothes and equipment and use them himself;
[Drag] would mean to move the body; but when Ren Suo clicked [Handle], the game prompt appeared: [You do not have any tools to handle the body.]
Just then, a dozen men in black armed with guns appeared outside the alley and started shooting at the hitman. Blood burst out of the hitman and the game screen turned into black and white.