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Chapter 251 - A well-rewarded effort?

 Chapter 251 - A well-rewarded effort?

Nightmare of Death held the tiniest bit of hope inside him as he forcefully logged himself off.

The game officials had emphasized about the potential loss that could result from forcefully logging off, but contrary to what was being implied, this loss was akin to a character reverting to a backup file, similar to those single-player games that would load the most recent saved file if people exited them without saving.

While this outcome sounded logical, it would naturally pose a huge loophole to the game if things were really that simple. For instance, if Nightmare of Death's equipment, level, and such would revert to how they were by forcefully logging off, would this not become a method to recover things or freely duplicate items? Just imagine if a player transferred his or her equipment to another before forcefully logging off....

Many people had naturally thought of this, yet such an incident had never occurred in Parallel World. So far, the occasional flaws that had happened were due to the use of immersion technology and the problems that came with being the first of its kind. Glitches and technical problems that happened in the usual MMOs were far and few in between.

Despite knowing this, Nightmare of Death could not help but hope otherwise. When Nightmare of Death nervously logged into the game again after much waiting....

It was indeed difficult to log into the game after forcefully going offline. Simply put, the server had too many users playing the game at any given point of time that gathering them into the designated log-off points was no longer a matter of efficiency but an issue of necessity. Therefore, while the system would automatically save the players' data upon forcefully logging off, it was just as how the game officials had put it: "Certain aspects will not be fully taken care of." This statement was essentially a disclaimer for any loss data that the system might fail to save or record completely due to a player's forceful exit to the game.

Naturally, this incomplete or unsaved data referred to lost items or diminished experience points. It was impossible for a player to suddenly gain equipment or for a level 30 character to suddenly become level 40.

Nightmare of Death's wish obviously did not come true. When he logged into the game once more, his level and equipment were still the same as before. Since the data reverting to its original state was just a small hope he had, he was only slightly disappointed when it did not happen. Actually, he felt surprised that his level did not drop. He had actually managed to benefit from his forceful log off. Given that Sword Demon, Gu Fei, and many enemy players had him surrounded previously, him dying was inevitable, and that 'death' would have caused him to lose two more levels!

Nightmare of Death based this assumption on the MMOs he had played in the past; forcefully logging off or getting disconnecting due to power outage would leave a character idle in-game, allowing other players to dish out attacks or deal damage on it. Unexpectedly, Parallel World's system was efficient enough to take the character out of the game entirely upon a forceful log off. Indeed, this was a VR game that did not suffer from lagging like the other MMOs....

Nightmare of Death only felt relieved after ascertaining that his level, experience points, equipment, skill proficiency, et cetera had not lost even 1 point. When that was done, he reached into his dimensional pocket next. The color from his face instantly drained. Fishing out his coin pouch and counting its content repeatedly, he could not help but utter, "F*CK*NG HELL!" There was discrepancy in his character data, after all; the content of Nightmare of Death's coin pouch had lost an entire digit to its original value. Kicking out in frustration, he heard the clanking of metal as his foot got caught.

"Those b*st*rds!" Nightmare of Death furiously roared, "They F*CK*NG left a trap behind! You guys... GO TO HELL!"

This was actually a mistake. The Hunting Trap skill in Parallel World would only take effect after getting triggered, so a trap could forever remain buried under the soil if it was not triggered. Only the Hunter who had set the trap could remove it. Anyone else would need the corresponding skill to do so. A Hunter therefore had to remove the trap he had set up if it was not triggered; otherwise, he or she would not be able to set another trap. Currently, every Hunter was only able to set one trap.

That trap Nightmare of Death trod on was unintentionally left behind by a Hunter.

Before Nightmare of Death got online, White Leaf Plumage had been feeling depressed for his inability to use the Hunting Trap skill, generating much laughter from his brothers-in-arms. Everyone had each set a trap earlier and Nightmare of Death had only triggered one of them. This naturally meant that someone among them did not need to remove his. White Leaf Plumage's friends tricked him into thinking that his trap was the one that that had been triggered back then. These Hunters loved to deceive one another, and their greatest enjoyment came from seeing one of their fellows fail to disarm his Hunting Trap and being forced to come back later in frustration to recover it. It just happened that White Leaf Plumage was among the most gullible members of Forever in Flowers. He probably would not even remember the trap if no one reminded him about it, which just made his nickname Xiaobai¹ all the more fitting.

He was just about to report this matter to a GM, thinking that he had stumbled across a bug, when Nightmare of Death happened to trigger the trap upon getting online. White Leaf Plumage felt extremely thankful once he discovered that his Hunting Trap was usable again, which was the exact opposite of what Nightmare of Death was currently feeling about them based on his expletive-laden tirade.

Nightmare of Death discovered that Gu Fei had gone offline upon checking the 'Bounty Mission' log. At present, he no longer had any thoughts of recovering Lasting Sentence and Dying Breath and was instead thinking of ways to hide from Gu Fei. Thus, he hurriedly contacted his colleagues in the gaming workshop to help him erase his PK value. Nightmare of Death was practically naked at this point and was only at level 36; he no longer had the capacity to do missions by himself, so he could only ask his colleagues for help regarding this. In return, his coworkers tried their best to console the crestfallen Nightmare of Death. "We'll find a chance to exact vengeance on that guy for you!" As colleagues in the same gaming workshop, their level of unity and discipline was better than what was found in guilds and mercenary groups. Compared to the average players, they were also more skillful and were the sort that the term 'professional player' was applicable. Gu Fei might be an undeniably formidable existence in Parallel World, yet they were not the least bit hesitant to confront him.

However, when these gaming professionals arrived at the Bounty Assignment Hall, they discovered that Nightmare of Death still had a 'Bounty Mission', which could not be discarded. Nightmare of Death was a little out of it from his ordeal, so he had actually forgotten about this fact. Moreover, his mind was currently busy thinking of ways to resolve the matter regarding Lasting Sentence and Dying Breath.

Should he give an honest account of the matter and hope for leniency? Nightmare of Death was the sort who would only shed tears when he saw his casket². With this bit of grim determination, he decided against mentioning the matter and chose to turn himself in over to Yunduan City's prison. This day thus ended without much disturbance on the forums.

Indeed, Gu Fei only flaunted about the top-grade equipment to his friends; going to the forums to brag about his equipment acquisition was not his style, after all. In fact, his style was the exact opposite this.

Just like how he had helped Sword Demon recover Frost Memories from Xi Xiaotian, Gu Fei asked his friends for a way to return the looted top-grade equipment back to the original owner.

All the experts present at Ray's Bar were astonished when they heard this. Returning a lost property to its real owner had always been a matter of how valuable it was. While it was easy to return ten dollars to someone, it would be the opposite if it involved a million dollars.

It was the same in a game. Those with conscience would be able to easily return average equipment that they had casually picked up, but it would be difficult if the equipment in question was something as exceedingly rare as Lasting Sentence and Dying Breath; there might even be people who would betray their friends for these items, much less if the owner of such items was someone who could not even hope to beat Gu Fei for eight generations. More importantly, this was just a matter of returning lost property to its owner. In the eyes of these experts, the items were obtained by Gu Fei through PvP, so it was clearly an effort well-rewarded! Even someone as upright as Sword Demon thought so. The entire gaming community would certainly share this sentiment when it came to such matters; Gu Fei's thought process was really too foreign and ridiculous to gamers.

"Who knows who originally owned those items? Are you planning to ask Nightmare of Death about that?" Brother Assist asked.

"That's a possible option..." Gu Fei considered.

Brother Assist was speechless for quite some time before finally saying, "And if they belong to Nightmare of Death?"

Brother Assist thought Gu Fei would struggle over this question, yet the latter was apparently more decisive than that since he immediately replied, "I would naturally take them for myself."

Everyone was truly speechless now. While any gamer would think Gu Fei was being pedantic, his way of handling this issue was truly the most morally upright, so these few experts with Gu Fei felt somewhat embarrassed to persuade him otherwise.

"Ask Nightmare of Death, then! Let's see if he would tell you," Brother Assist said in the end.

"That will be quite difficult. When I got online today, his PK value was already cleared off. If he is someone who can easily be found, the whole city will certainly be in uproar to chase after him!" Gu Fei said.

When Gu Fei had first found out Nightmare of Death's IGN and his vile deeds, Brother Assist had posted it on the forums, causing others to say that Nightmare of Death was that one person that they would pursue for life.

This was one of the reasons Nightmare of Death and company had abruptly halted their operations in Yunduan City. In the end, no one had hunted for them. Although a city in-game was nowhere as large as a city in reality, its population was still over hundreds of thousands. Searching for one player was truly a difficult task. Having just the person's IGN did not help the situation, either. Without a picture or a location, looking for him was as good as finding a needle in the haystack. This was how the matter had been left unsettled and how Nightmare of Death had managed to continue living his in-game life in relative peace. He was even at level 40 before his fight with Gu Fei.

"Let Brother Assist create a thread on the forums to get the equipment's owner to contact Gu Fei personally," Royal God Call suggested.

"A lot of 'owners' would surely be turning up," Young Master Han said.

"Get them to state the equipment's traits, then! Who else but the real owner will know of these?" Royal God Call said.

"We do. Nightmare of Death and his gang will be able to do so as well... You youngsters truly have yet to experience the world in its entirety; you're so naïve!" Young Master Han mocked Royal God Call before continuing, "Or maybe you're hoping Miles will do that? That way, you can have someone pretend to be the 'owner' of Lasting Sentence and Dying Breath?"

"That's so shameless and despicable!" everyone exclaimed.

"That's what he said! I never even thought of that!" Royal God Call indignantly pointed at Young Master Han.

"We know." Gu Fei ruffled Royal God Call's hair, "He's the only one who could possibly think of such a method this quickly."

"May God have mercy on this evil man, so he won't head straight to hell upon his death," War Without Wounds pretended to pray for Young Master Han.

"Tsk! I was just trying to tell him that finding the original owner is an extremely daunting task. It's better to exchange the items for more liquor and enjoy yourself," Young Master Han said disdainfully.

"I'll just find the solution to this myself!" Gu Fei declared as he vacated his seat.