Assassin Reborn

edited May 2018 in Translations


Raw: http://www.17k.com/book/107212.html
Author: 菜鸟之下
Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-fi, Litrpg, Romance
Translator: ChickenBakuba
Synopsis: Dancing on the point of a knife. A dancer of the dark, every move of his strikes fear into the hearts of his enemies. A man followed by the goddess of fortune, he has been reborn with two years of experience in the game, numerous raid strategies, hidden task guides and the locations of equipment second to none. The things he once lost, the things he had not taken and the things that had been taken from him — he is getting them back.

Note: This is not scheduled for release yet, and I only plan to release this at the end of the year in bulk with 50 chapters stocked up. What you see here is something like a preview, the actual thing will be preened for mistakes and edited thoroughly. Do tell me your thoughts, because the purpose of publishing it here was to see how well it would do with the readerbase. :D I referred to Tannhäuser for the format. Happy readings.

Table of Contents:

1. Reborn!
2. Into the Game!
3. Red-Tailed Snake King!
4. Snake King's Gall Bladder
5. A mission from a gay
6. The Blue-Eyed Wolf King!
7. First Death!
8. Dog in the Manger
9. The Happy Miner
10. Frostbite Dagger
11. Enemies Encountered!
12. Xia Yao and the Orphanage
13. That spot where the lights wane
14. Astonishment
15. Current Skill! 
16. Mind Acceleration
17. Strike to Kill!
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  • Chapter 1


    [Translated by ChickenBakuba]

    Chapter 1, Reborn

    A world of darkness. Xu Xiang slowly opened his eyes, only to discover that his surroundings were pitch black. Was he dead? His eyelids flickered back close again. 

    The sudden ringing of a phone alarm shook Xu Xiang awake. Blinking, Xu Xiang realised that he was sprawled on his bed. The familiar feeling of his old bed was distinct, pronounced. For a second, Xu Xiang suspected it was merely a dream, a trick played on part of his whimsical brain. His room was just as he remembered. Yangde district, room 504. A cheap flat applicable only for the lower-income group. 

    A series of muffled thumps came from his door. Someone was knocking. 

    Although Xu Xiang was still unsure if he was in a lucid dream, he got up to answer the door. 

    It was Zhang Fan, his best friend. 

    Zhang Fan was ugly. Indeed, it was for this reason that Zhang Fan had not touched hands with a female despite having chased after countless girls from elementary school to high school. 

    “Hey, Xu Xiang, what time are you going to sleep until? Today is Dispute's grand opening. Don’t tell me you forgot.” Something was slightly off about Xu Xiang today, Zhang Fan noted, although he couldn’t tell what. He shoved it to the back of his mind. Zhang Fan was much more concerned about the game now. 

    Dispute is released today?” Xu Xiang repeated dumbly. Dispute was the game he had played for two years, the game where he had met Wang Xue. If it was released today, that could only mean that...

    Xu Xiang grabbed his handphone roughly, fumbling to confirm the date.

    2015, June 28th. 

    Xu Xiang’s pupils contracted. 2015, June 28th. It was displayed as clear as day on his phone’s screen. It really was five years ago! Even a cheap counterfeit of a phone couldn’t have such a large discrepancy error in time. 

    “What year is it now?” Xu Xiang turned to Zhang Fan.

    “2015. Huh, I’ve heard of people not getting the days of the week right, but to think I now know someone who can’t even tell the year.” Was Xu Xiang pulling some sort of test on him?[footnote]Raws put testing his intelligence but rly.[/footnote]

    'Five years ago, it really is five years ago!' Xu Xiang broke into a fit of laughter. The Xu Xiang five years ago was still an otaku, 
    a professional gamer, but more importantly, a pure and naïve schoolboy who had not entered the world of Dispute yet. He had also not met Wang Xue, and did not have three years of the experience of a mercenary yet...

    Nature loved to toy with people. In his last life, he had carried guilt and regret with him. Who would've thought the heavens would yield him another chance? 

    'Wang Xue, this time, I won't allow you to repeat that disaster. Bai Xinming, if you continue bothering Wang Xue, I have no qualms with sending you to hell.' Xu Xiang's fingers closed into a fist and his eyes shone with an unspeakable determination.

    "Oi, Xu Xiang, you didn't sleep till stupid did you? Tragic, a big and good youth has been ruined just like that." Zhang Fan wrung his wrists and sighed.

    "You're the stupid one." Xu Xiang punched Zhang Fan lightly. They shared a moment of laughter.

    'Come, I'll let you know that I'm not the same weak and poor brat!' Xu Xiang swore.

    "What are you choosing for your occupation and your username?"  

    "Sky..."

    Xu Xiang paused. 'Wings of the sky' was his previous ID in the game. The level 65 thief he had poured his blood and sweat into for two years...although it could not contend against the strongest players, it was still of top-quality. But...

    "Feng Xiang." The Phoenix symbolised Nirvana and Rebirth. Now that he could start anew, everything would be different. As a reborn person, if he could not sweep away all obstacles like the autumn gale, he would have squandered away the chance the rebirth had given him.

    The 'Xiang' (翔) word was to commemorate his parents. He was born an orphan. When he was born, his parents had immediately coined him a name 'Xu Xiang' (徐徐). 'Slowly fly', was it? His lips twisted into a wry smile. In his previous life, he had done exactly that - 'slowly fly' - only to find that when he reached his destination, everything had changed. Objects could remain the same, but people would always change.[footnote] 'Xu' 徐 means slow, and 'Xiang' 徐 means soar/to glide.[/footnote]

    His occupation was Thief. This was indisputable. If he continued to play as a Thief, he would have an immense advantage over the other players. His understanding towards the Thief profession was certainly unrivalled. There wasn't much to think of for his occupation, as he also had his three years experience of a mercenary.

    "I'm going with Sheng Zhishang, I think I'll become a warrior for my profession." Although Xu Xiang had already confirmed it, confirming that things were going along with the past events allowed him to relax. If the 'butterfly effect' held true, then he would be the butterfly. His advantage as a reborn person would either cause a disaster or it would be greatly lowered.[footnote]If you don't know what the butterfly effect is, go https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly_effect. It talks about how something small like a butterfly can lead to a tornado in Texas.[/footnote]

    Xu Xiang decided to bring out his savings to buy a gaming helmet. Dispute was supported by a game helmet and a game cartridge. It was 2015, and computer were practically ubiquitous. Almost everyone had one. However, the computer could only access the internet, but the game helmet could allow one to access the game. Furthermore, the game helmet was 80 per cent virtual degree, so one would have perfect and immediate control over the body in the virtual world. Playing the game with a game helmet would make the gameplay several times smoother and easier. As for the game cartridge, it was something Xu Xiang could only dream of now.

    Xu Xiang knew that Dispute would eventually monopolise the entire gaming industry and market within the coming year. Making ends meet wasn't the issue, as Xu Xiang was confident that he could use his extensive two years of experience to his advantage.

    Most of Xu Xiang's cash was his own hard-earned money. He worked a job after school and whenever he had spare time, so he had quite a bit of money. However, this had allowed his grades to go into shambles and he hence did not enter College. However, he still had around RMB 5,000 on him (approx. USD 789.56) and the cheapest gaming helmet was around RMB 3,000 (approx. USD 473.74). As for the remaining RMB 2,000 (approx. USD 315.83) he could save it for future needs.

    Dispute only allowed ten hours of gameplay daily, but it did not restrict when the ten hours applied. After the online timer hit ten hours, all loot/gain would be reduced to 1. That would mean all experience would be 1, practicing skills would only give you 1 proficiency, and so on. There was also the concept of day and night in the game, but as China's time and reality had a time ratio of 1:1, day and night in reality was more or less the same as with the game.

    Xu Xiang grabbed his money and headed to the nearest Dispute's retail outlet.

    Throngs of people flooded the outlet. Even the plaza outside the retail outlet was swarming with people.

    "Who's the pervert who dares to feel I, your mother?"

    "I don't swing that way, big brother, please don't touch me."[footnote]A guy is molesting another guy...[/footnote]

    "Who trod on my shoe! Use your mouth and properly clean it!" 

    "Ah, One Thousand Years of Death!"[footnote]For those of you who don't get this reference, it refers to Kakashi's move on Naruto during their test to retrieve the bells. Also known as Kanchō in Japan. [http://naruto.wikia.com/wiki/One_Thousand_Years_of_Death][/footnote]

    ...

    This flooded square spoke volumes of Dispute's flourishing business. This was not surprising. Ever since 2015's big liberation of manpower, other than orphans like Xu Xiang who were left to fend for themselves, many people had more disposable income to burn. Being in the virtual world of Dispute was equivalent to sleeping. For one to be able to sleep and play, it was virtually impossible for the game not to make a big hit.

    Although Xu Xiang was a professional gamer, he paid close attention to his health and body. Xu Xiang believed that if his body deteriorated or collapsed, everything would be for naught. Health first, job second. So he exercised regularly. He stood at 180 cm, (~5'11") and weighed 68 kilograms. (~150 lbs/pounds) Xu Xiang forced his way through the mass of people, treading on countless people's shoes as he made his way to the outlet. It was a good thing his body was fit, even if it was not as strong as his peak during his mercenary years.

    "Miss, one gaming helmet please." Xu Xiang dug out his ID and handed it to the service lady working at the Dispute outlet. Every helmet was identity coded, something personal to the owner. Other people could not use the helmet. This prevented selling of accounts, hiring someone to train/farm for you, et cetera. 

    And just like that, RMB 3,000 was quickly spent. Xu Xiang hugged the case with his helmet inside as he squeezed his way out of the crowd again. While stepping on more shoes, of course. 

    Then he returned home.

    Chapter 1, END


  • Chapter 2


    [Translated by ChickenBakuba]

    Chapter 2, Into the Game!

    The helmet needed to be connected to the computer to enter the game. There was a technical manual inside the box with instructions on how to do so. The helmet was blue in colour, like what one would expect from a motorcyclist's helmet. There was a push-button on the helmet. The push-button allowed someone in reality (outside the game) to alert the one immersed inside the game. 

    After setting everything up, Xu Xiang logged onto Dispute's official website. The game officially released at 8 p.m., and there was still some time to kill before then. Xu Xiang wanted to search for useful information. Unfortunately, other than the big header 'Even if the world is shattered, there will still be light', there was not another inkling of information on the website. The rest were some guilds and clans recruiting people in advance.

    "'Even if the world is shattered, there will still be light'." Xu Xiang murmured. He had never understood the meaning of the sentence - that is, if there was one - throughout his two years of gaming. Maybe he would finally understood what it meant this time.

    Xu Xiang went to the toilet, had a quick shower, and returned to the computer. He glanced at the time. 7.45 p.m.. Time to enter the game.

    Dispute opened 15 minutes earlier than the publicly announced time. This was privy, and was only revealed by other players a week later after its release. Of course, Xu Xiang knew this now. He had not notified Zhang Fan. Knowing Zhang Fan, that blabbermouth would probably run his mouth off. It was not a stretch to say that the entire city would know of it within a day. 

    Xu Xiang hesitated. Xu Xiang had ran into Wang Xue in the novice village. If he entered the game sooner than planned, the novice villages they would be entered into different novice villages.[footnote]IF you aren't a gamer and don't know of this, search up game instances.[/footnote] If he was going to meet with Wang Xue again, that would require more time and effort. But if he had enough strength, would he even need to worry about finding her?[footnote]A ship has sailed.[/footnote]

    Checking irises, identity verified, generated serial number: 1545244589545123. Esteemed Mr. Xu Xiang, welcome to the world of Dispute." A metallic female voice spoke to him. A new world began to form. A vast plain of mossy green spread out in front of him.

    To the left of the fields stood an army of knights and an army of elves. Xu Xiang knew that these knights were the Imperial Astle Knights, reputed as the 'Eternally sharp blades'. It was the strongest military power in the Empire. As for the army of elves, it had a great number of archers and magicians. Above the armies, enormous dragons zipped by, their gigantic shadows sweeping over the ground. 

    To the right was an army of undead and beastmen. The massive volume of skulls had no end. This was the power of a Necromancer. Overhead flew a couple of bone dragons and ghost dragons. The beastmen did not lose out either, looking as tough as old boots. Behemoths, thunder eagles, advanced organisms of all conceivable shapes and sizes littered the fields. Orderly rows of taurens and shamans stretched out, their scarlet eyes glaring ahead. Enormous totems with glowing magic runes shone brightly.

    A bugle horn thundered, and both sides began their charge. The clash of steel and the bellows of war cries mingled. Even if it was his second time, the scene didn’t fail to make Xu Xiang’s blood boil. This was a man’s ending, this was an apocalypse of fire and blood!

    “Name?” "Feng Xiang." "Profession?" "Thief." Dispute had four professions, namely: Warrior, Robber, Archer, Warlock, Magician, Priest. These were the seven conventional professions, but due to the different preferences in adding skill points, there were different branches for every profession.

    "Race?" Dispute had several different races too, chiefly, humans, beastmen, undead, seakind, night elves. What suited the profession of Thief the best was actually the undead race and the elf race. The former was superior in resistance against control, while the latter was more superior in concealing and hiding. Previously, Xu Xiang was an undead Thief. Naturally, there was no exception this time.

    "Undead." "I wish you a pleasant experience in the game." White light enveloped his vision as Xu Xiang entered the world of Dispute.

    It was a small, quiet village. There was an open plaza in the middle of the village, with various stores of selling all sorts of wares around it. In the centre of the plaza was a kindly old man, the village chief. Guards patrolled the entrance of the village.

    Xu Xiang spawned at the only open space in the village. Being an undead did not necessarily mean that one would turn into a skeleton with a human skull. On the contrary, one would only have unusually pale skin.

    "Novice village 0009527." Xu Xiang slid his eyes to the map coordinates at the top right hand corner of his vision. No. 9527 novice village. It was the same novice village as the past. It seemed like entering the game ahead of schedule did not have any effect on the wheel of fate. 9527 was a number that had an implication behind it. Novice villages weren't allocated based on how early you entered the game. Instead, it seemed like it was randomly arranged. It seemed like the butterfly effect had not begun to flap its wings yet.[footnote]See butterfly effect on wikipedia.[/footnote]

    Taking no notice of the village chief's chattering, Xu Xiang began heading outside the village. He pulled up the data of his individual stats.

    [Character: Feng Xiang

    Sex: Male

    Level: 0

    Prestige: 0

    Attributes: Strength (2), Agility (3), Spirit (2), Intelligence (1), Toughness (1)

    HP: 110 (100 + 1*10)[footnote]1*10 means 1 x 10 or 1 multiplied by 10.[/footnote]

    Rage: 0/100

    Attack: 3-3 (2*1 + 3*0.3)

    Defence: 1 (1*1)

    Magic defence: 2

    Magic resistance: 10% (Magic attacks - Magic harm - Magic resistance = Magic Damage)

    Conceal: 3 (Thief profession talent value) 

    Perception: 1

    Movement speed (Max): 5 yards per second (1 meter = 0.9144 yards)

    Jumping distance (Max): 3 yards 

    Skills: Undead talent (Passive): Increased resistance against all control-type skills by 1 per cent. Cannot be upgraded.

    Undead's willpower (Active): 3 second immunity to all control skills except for stun. Cooldown: 10 minutes. Cannot be upgraded.

    Junior short-sword proficiency (Inactive): When weapon equipped is a short-sword, damage is increased by 10 per cent. Upgradable.

    Junior dagger proficiency: When weapon equipped is a dagger, damage is increased by 10 per cent. Upgradable.

    Thief profession attribute: Backstab: Attacking enemies from behind increases damage is increased by 20 per cent. Cannot be upgraded.

    Reflex: Traps are a thief's specialty. You can sense traps to a certain degree.

    Use of Poison: Poison is a thief's best friend. You can smear weapons with poison.]

    Xu Xiang added his only skill point into dagger proficiency. Xu Xiang's favourite weapon was the dagger. The short-sword had a high attack and was longer than the dagger, which suited a thief's combat. However, Xu Xiang was a thief which specialised in assassination. It was clear that the dagger was more suited for him.

    Although he was very familiar with the stats table, Xu Xiang sighed with emotion as he studied his stats.

    "I, Xu Xiang, am finally back!"  

    His voice resounded in the spacious village. Not a single NPC took notice of him. Other players had not entered this novice village either. 

    Xu Xiang arrived at the entrance of the village and received novice equipment from the guards. "Esteemed Warrior Feng Xiang, are you willing to eradicate the village's monsters?"

    "Yes." Xu Xiang was sorely reminded of a marriage ceremony, with the pastor asking, 'Are you willing to love her forever, to protect...' and followed by 'I am willing.' Xu Xiang studied the big uncle in front of him with a beard and chuckled.

    "Warrior Xu Xiang, please cherish this. This is a token of my regards. I hope that the God of Light blesses you." The guard put his palms together in pious prayer. Ignoring the praying guard, Xu Xiang equipped the two pieces of equipment for novices.

    Novice dagger: Attack (0-1) Attack Speed (0.8) Weight (5) Cannot be sold.

    Novice garment: Defence (0-1), Weight (3). Cannot be sold.

    Xu Xiang knew that there was no missions to be done in the novice village during the early stage of the game. Currently, he was the only one aware of the level 5 dungeon mission that the village chief had. Dispute had a sophisticated game system, but most of the missions were a one-time thing. As long as one person completed the mission, the mission would no longer be available for others. Missions were designed for players to search and discover for themselves. 

    In his previous life, Xu Xiang, other than completing instance dungeons, had been an idiot. He had not completed many missions. Xu Xiang had been a thief that fought on the battlefield, and doing missions were not his priority. Furthermore, repeatable missions yielded very low rewards. This was how Dispute's difficulty in gameplay increased as one advanced. In his previous two years of playing Dispute, the highest level had yet to hit 80.

    Due to Dispute's limited gaming time per day, Xu Xiang would browse the forums after his gaming time was up or visit the empire's library to read. The forums had a great amount of players who published completed missions and strategies of dungeons. These information were now priceless treasures! The empire's library contained many books on history. These information and resources would prove helpful in his future endeavours. 

    Chapter 2, END


  • Chapter 3

    [Translated by ChickenBakuba]

    Chapter 3, Red-Tailed Snake King!

    Upon exiting the village, Xu Xiang immediately noticed a gelatin, jelly-like organism.

    A slime.

    The information of low-levelled monsters could be easily accessed. As for the BOSS of a low-levelled area, players could check its attributes even if it was 5 levels higher than them. As for monsters with levels below 5, they would not take the initiative to attack the player. 

    Slime

    Level: 0

    Attack: 2

    Defence: 0

    HP: 50

    Introduction: A low-levelled monster around novice village. Easily defeated.

    Xu Xiang's slightly pale hands toyed with the dagger in his hand. This was a small habit of Xu Xiang's. It helped to divert his attention when he was somewhat distracted.

    Xu Xiang walked to the back of the slime and plunged his dagger into it. 5 points of damage emerged from the head of the slime. The slime turned around with difficulty, spitting out a stream of saliva at Xu Xiang. Xu Xiang twisted to the side to avoid it. In Dispute, one could move their limbs to avoid monsters' attacks. However, they needed to dodge according to the system's regulated movements. Xu Xiang had already mastered this.

    Sidestepping a melee attack from a monster only needed one to avoid the attack of the monster. However, dodging ranged attacks like this would not get you anywhere. If you thought that dodging arrows or magic would have the projectiles fly past you, you are gravely mistaken. Ranged attacks possessed an automatic correction system. One needed skill and technique to dodge a ranged attack. Although the slime had spat its saliva to attack, it was still considered a melee attack by the system.

    Xu Xiang went around the slime and plunged his dagger into its back again, taking away 6 HP this time. As the slime struggled to turn around and face him again, he slid behind its back and stabbed its back. In this way, he began to toy with the slime. The familiar feeling of killing monsters returned to him as his rusty, sluggish movements began to change into polished, oiled actions. Although he did not have the powerful attributes of his previous life, his eyesight was no less weaker than before and his skills were still there.

    "Ding~ slime killed, 5 experience points gained." A paltry 5 experience points. For one to rise to the next level, one needed 10,000 experience points, which could be translated to the staggering number of 2,000 slimes. One slime took around 10 seconds to kill, so this meant that at least five hours of grinding was needed to rise from the level 0 to level 1. It could be seen that Dispute's difficulty in levelling up was not low.

    Moreover, finding the monsters required time. Xu Xiang had managed to enter the game 15 minutes ahead of others, but this level 0 monster area would definitely be flooded soon. Even if 30 hours were spent grinding, raising one level would be a difficult task.

    After killing one slime, Xu Xiang did not bother chasing after more. He had experienced Dispute before, and if he obediently squandered his time grinding to level 5 before challenging the dungeon, it would be nothing short of tragic. He had only killed the slime to recover a bit of his skill from the past. After all, Xu Xiang had not touched the game for 3 years. Now that he had more or less achieved it, there was no need to hunt for more slimes.

    There were already people beginning to show up at the open plaza in the village. Xu Xiang was unsurprised. He had not expected only himself to discover the early release of the game. The 15 minutes did not make much difference anyway.

    Xu Xiang received 10 copper coins from the system when he entered the game. Xu Xiang spent all 10 coppers on elementary instant recovery potions. Each elementary instant recovery potion went for 5 coppers. Xu Xiang clenched his teeth as he purchased two of them. Created accounts in Dispute were unable to be removed and second accounts were not allowed. This prevented exploiters from creating multiple accounts and transferring money. 

    Elementary instant recovery potion

    Use: Instantly recovers 100 HP

    Cooldown period: 30 seconds

    Weight: 2

    Introduction: A popular potion in the continent, capable of rapidly recover one's HP.

    Xu Xiang exited the village again. Now, the level 0 slime area was booming with people. More and more people were joining. Every time a slime made its appearance, at least five different weapons would fall on it. Knives, swords, staffs, you name it. As Xu Xiang passed through the slime area, he effortlessly collected a few experience points from slimes. Xu Xiang's nerves, reflex and speed outstripped the average person by far. This was his experience of playing the Thief for the past years. Naturally, he was much better at killing monsters than other people.

    If there was no party or team, the first player who landed the hit on the monster would gain the experience. However, loot left behind from the monsters were up for grabs. Anybody could collect the loot. This was why robbing and killing in Dispute was a common sight. If one did not play Dispute for the action and fighting, what else would one play it for?

    However, it was extremely difficult for magicians and archers to steal kills or earn experience points in their early stages. Even if they possessed the elementary ranged attack skill from the system, ranged-attacks required time. By the time your attack reached its target, the warriors and thieves would have long torn the monster apart. According to the experience distribution of Dispute, even the first attacker in a party earned 20 per cent of the experience. The last attacker earned 30 per cent of the experience. As for priests, they could only obediently beat the monsters with their staff.

    Xu Xiang passed through the slime area and arrived at the level 1 large rodent area. The level 1 monster area only had a few specific teams hunting monsters, and was much more toned-down as compared to the level 0 slime area. A five-men squad killing monsters was not particularly difficult, and the experience was almost similar to hunting slimes. However, there was nobody snatching monster kills here. It was much better and more efficient than the level 0 area.

    Large rodent

    Level: 1

    Attack: 8

    Defence: 4

    HP: 70

    Introduction: A primary monster for novices. Enjoys eating crops on farmlands, an existence loathed by everyone in the village.

    Xu Xiang did not stop at the level 1 monster area and nonchalantly continued straight ahead. Watching Xu Xiang advance to the next area, the players stared blankly at him.

    "Does that dude want to die? Everyone's still a level 0 at this stage, does he think he can defeat monsters above level 1?" "Ignore him — Ah! Who stole my kill?!" "Does that guy think he's a main character or something? Idiot."[footnote]They do not know monsters below level 5 do not take the initiative to attack players.[/footnote]

    Because it was evening, more lights were lit around the novice village. The darkness of the night did not affect their grinding. However, the deeper one advanced away from the village, the less light there would be. Only the moonlight would be left if one advanced too far from the village.

    Xu Xiang passed the level 2 deer area, the level 3 goblin area, the level 4 goblin archer area until he finally hit the level 5 red-tailed snake area. He paused.

    As monsters level 5 and below would not take the initiative to attack players, it was still considered safe here. However, scaly reptiles covered everything, with their hissing tongues as they wandered back and forth, so it could frighten away some girls.

    Red-tailed snake

    Level: 5

    Attack: 60

    Defence: 20

    HP: 300

    Introduction: The strongest primary monster of novice village. Possess high attack and decent HP.

    Red-tailed snakes, as the name implied, had red tails. Although it was dark, the bright red colour of their tails were easily noticeable under the moonlight. However, Xu Xiang's objective was not the red-tailed snakes, but instead the red-tailed snake king. The first BOSS for novices. Xu Xiang easily identified it among the sea of snakes. Its body was much bigger than ordinary red-tailed snakes, and the red of its tail was also much more brilliant than the other snakes. There was no way someone could overlook it.

    Red-tailed snake king (Bronze level BOSS)

    Level: 7

    Attack: 120

    Defence: 40

    HP: 3000

    Skill: [Venom of the Snake King]

    Introduction: King of the red-tailed snakes. Possesses extremely high attack and lethal venom. 

    Chapter 3, END

  • Chapter 4

    [Translated by ChickenBakuba]

    Chapter 4, Snake King's Gall Bladder

    Xu Xiang estimated one bite of the snake king to send him to the edge of death. However, he still remembered the video of exploiting the land's topography to kill the red-tailed snake king. The video was pinned on the forums after a month from the game's release. The video was about a level 2 archer using the topography to trap the red-tailed snake king before shooting it slowly, arrow by arrow, to death.

    Although it had already been a month since the servers started and many people had changed professions, the video still caused a huge sensation. Not long before the video, a guild had assembled 20 level 5 players against the red-tailed snake king.

    But the snake king was too dangerous. With one bite, it could take out half a player's HP, and the level 5 players had no capable priest to heal them. Defeating the snake king required a lot of sustain and HP. Even simply relying on health potions was not enough. The entire group was wiped out.

    Xu Xiang first verified the topography. As a mercenary, he could not blindly believe information. The information could have been fake or wrong. It was best to confirm it with his own eyes for safety. This had become a rigid habit of Xu Xiang's, similar to eating and sleeping. Xu Xiang returned to his previous position after confirming it and discovered that the red-tailed snake king was still in the same position, and had not even moved a single yard from its original position.

    Xu Xiang quietly approached the red-tailed snake king. The red-tailed snake king was an impressive 7 yards in length. The bright-red scales of its tail glinted evilly under the moonlight. The snake rested impassively on the ground, as still as a rock. Xu Xiang calmed himself down, before abruptly leaping up. Exploding with strength, he plunged his dagger into the back of the red-tailed snake king. 1 point of damage emerged above the red-tailed snake king's head. The snake's eyes shot open.

    Xu Xiang retracted his dagger and turned heel to run. He remembered the place where the archer had trapped the red-tailed snake king. It was at a certain tree, not far away from where he was currently. Three people could wrap their arms around the trunk of the colossal tree. The tree began to branch out 1 yard from the ground. A person could just barely fit through the small space between the branched-out trunks of the tree, but not the red-tailed snake king. If he got the snake king to jump through the branched-out trunks of the tree, the snake king would be stuck in the tree, unable to advance nor retreat.

    In reality, though, it was nothing as easy as described. The person in the video was an archer. Although speed was the forte of both of the archer and the thief profession, Xu Xiang was only level 0 currently. All he had on him was novice garments. The archer was level 2, and it was estimated that he had pumped 20 attribute points into agility. To top it off, the archer also had shoes. Hence, his speed was extremely fast, enough to rival the snake king.

    However, it was because Xu Xiang did not have these equipment that he did not have to worry about straying from the aggro range of the snake king and losing its attention.

    Xu Xiang's speed could not match up to the snake king's. Within 50 yards of running, the snake king had caught up to Xu Xiang. The bloody mouth of the snake king split horrifyingly wide open as it snapped at Xu Xiang. Xu Xiang rolled to the side as he evaded the gaping maws of the beast, before leaping to his feet to continue fleeing. Pain flared on his back as he noted an additional condition on his stats.

    Venom of the Snake King

    9 HP lost every single, persists for 15 seconds.

    Now, Xu Xiang finally understood why the group of level 5s had been wiped out. The fact that he had still been affected by the venom of the snake king despite successfully evading it meant that the venom was an AOE skill. As long as one touched the venom, one would be poisoned. A lethal poison indeed.

    Xu Xiang quickly did the math. After 11 seconds, he dug out the elementary instant recovery potion and gulped it down. His HP recovered to full, before it began to fall again, finally stopping at 74 points. He received another dose of venom while fleeing, but Xu Xiang had an additional potion on him and the potion had already finished its cooldown. Everything was going smoothly.

    Xu Xiang had already neared the tree, and the snake king was 10 yards away from Xu Xiang's position. Leaping through the tree, Xu Xiang heard the rustle of leaves as it whipped past his face. Smoothly rolling to break his fall as he landed, he got up and backed a few yards away from the tree before finally turning back to face it.

    Dear god! The red-tailed snake king was already trapped in the tree, its fleshy abdomen jammed between the sturdy trunks of the tree. The snake king thrashed about violently. The leaves began to rustle loudly, fluttering to the ground as the ferocious beast struggled to free itself in vain. However, the snake was tightly stuck in the tree, like a pair of pliers were tightly clamping it together.

    Xu Xiang walked around the snake, approaching its back. At present, the snake had already given up, powerlessly hanging down, suspended in the tree. Fortunately, this position of it gave it no chances to borrow force from the ground and free itself. If that happened, the red-tailed snake king would swallow Xu Xiang with a gulp.

    Xu Xiang began to relentlessly attack the snake king. Although he had the boost from his passive backstabbing skill, Xu Xiang's level was too low. Every strike of his only dealt one point of damage, which angered the snake king greatly. However, the snake king's heart had already given up at this point, if it had one.
     
    Dispute ensured that damage was done as long as one struck the target successfully. Even if it was a level 0 novice attacking a level 250 overlord monster, it would not MISS unless  the target had evading passive skills or equipment. This had also resulted in numerous guilds employing the 'quality in quantity' tactic by simply swarming BOSSes with players. However, the BOSSes' HP recovery speed would put most guilds to shame, and then there was the AOE skills.

    The HP recovery speed of the red-tailed snake king was average. By continuously attacking it, Xu Xiang discovered that he required at least 1 hour before he could successfully kill it. Despite how ridiculous it sounded, it made sense if one did the math. To begin with,  a level 0 novice to slay a level 7 BOSS was something inconceivable. 

    "Ding~ Red-tailed snake king HP is lower than 10 per cent, entering a frenzied status. Attack will increase by 30 per cent, defence will be raised by 20 per cent and HP will cease recovery. Lasts for 10 minutes."

    The entire body of the red-tailed snake king turned several shades redder. The entire tree tottered, like it was on the verge of collapse. This made Xu Xiang's heart leap to his mouth. Fortunately, the tree was sturdy and held firm. No cracks appeared on the trunk. On the contrary, since the red-tailed snake king's body had swelled in size, it had become wedged even tighter in the tree. Now, the red-tailed snake king could not even budge.

    If the players who had banded together as a team to take on the red-tailed snake king had heard of the system's notification, they would have spat a mouthful of blood onto their screens. The initially attack had been raised even higher by 30 per cent. A normal team which had fought to this point would not even have many people left to finish it, but to Xu Xiang, it was instead good news because the snake king's HP had stopped recovering.

    "Ding~ Congratulations on killing the red-tailed snake king (Bronze level BOSS), 30,000 experience points obtained, additional 80 per cent boost to experience points for killing a monster 8 levels higher than you. Total experience points received: 54,000 exp. Prestige obtained: 10 points. Congratulations, you have levelled up! Present level is 1. All attributes upgraded by 1. You have received 10 free attribute points."

    Gorgeous white light enveloped Xu Xiang. The red-tailed snake king had finally been slain and he had levelled up. The stiffened body of the snake king relaxed. Xu Xiang collapsed onto the ground as he breathed heavily. Waving a dagger for an hour continuously for an hour had made him quite tired. However, his fatigue was soon diluted by the BOSS's loot. The snake had dropped three items.

    Snake king's leather boots (Bronze-level)

    Level requirement: 5

    Type: Leather

    Defence: 18

    +5 Agility

    +2% movement speed

    Can be enhanced to level 4, +1% dodge rate

    Weight: 10

    Class restrictions: Thief, Archer. Not limited to race.

    Snake king sword (Bronze-level)

    Level requirement: 5

    Type: One-handed sword

    Attack: 35-42

    +7 strength

    Attack speed: 1.2

    Can be enhanced to level 4, +2% damage.

    Weight: 25

    Class restrictions: Warrior, Knight. Not limited to race.

    Snake king's gall bladder (Mission item)

    Introduction: Gall bladder of the red-tailed snake king of the novice village. A reward can be collected from the village head if presented to him.

    Chapter 4, END

  • Chapter 5

    [Translated by ChickenBakuba]

    Chapter 5, A Mission From a Gay

    Perhaps it was because it was the first time the red-tailed snake king was killed that the land was opening up. The red-tailed snake king very generously dropped 2 bronze equipment as well as a mission item. Within 1 hour of the game's release, while players still wore voice garments, the two pieces of equipment could be considered legendary equipment. However, the level requirement was 5. It seemed like he would have to keep the sword for a while before bringing it out again.

    Equipment below level 5 would not require appraisal, or the thought of the appraisal costs would make his blood run cold. 

    Other than the equipment, there were also 81 copper coins. It could be considered as Xu Xiang’s first windfall in the game.

    Xu Xiang added the 7 attribute points into agility and 3 into strength. His attack was raised to 10 points. Because he levelled up, all his attributes had risen by one point. His HP was now 120 points, his defence 3. Xu Xiang glanced at his experience bar ‘44,005/50,000’. As expected, levelling up was the most challenging task in Dispute. Even after slaying a high levelled BOSS 8 levels higher than him, he had only risen by one level.

    It was a pity that Xu Xiang had no methods to deal with the body of the snake king. Xu Xiang knew what to do, but was helpless. He did not learn the skinning skill for harvesting, and had no way to deal with the snake’s body. Besides, he had no tools on hand. “I’ll leave you with an intact corpse to thank you for helping in my progress. Amen.”

    Xu Xing returned to novice village 9527 with his newfound booty. The surrounding players gawked at him. That idiot had actually gotten out with an intact body.

    "He must have gone out for a stroll. It seems like monsters below level 5 in the novice village will not take the initiative to attack players." A player conjectured with the typical mentality of others not being able to do something if he couldn't.

    "Didn't you see his happy expression? He must have gained something. No, I need to take a look." This was a player who was adept at reading people from their body expressions. However, his mistake of his would cause him to waste a lot of levelling up time.

    Xu Xiang blithely ignored the chattering players as he directly headed to the village plaza. He took out the snake king's gall bladder. All the eyes of the surrounding players fell onto the item in Xu Xiang's hand. The snake king's gall bladder was much larger than ordinary gall bladders. It was the size of a human fist, and really red. The amazed gazes of the surrounding players turned into greed and envy. Unfortunately for them, stealing and PKing in safe zones was prohibited. Even if it were in the wild, they would have to consider their gains and losses from conducting theft. 

    The eyes of the village chief brightened as he spotted the snake king's gall bladder. His two withered hands shot out to grasp Xu Xiang's hand which was clasping the snake king's gall bladder. His expression was like a person who had not met his gay lover in many years, but also the expression of a thirsty gay man ready to embrace his lover.

    "Esteemed Warrior Feng Xiang, you have actually defeated the red-tailed snake king! Colour me astonished. Here is your reward." The village chief waved his hand. The snake's gall bladder in Xu Xiang's hands disappeared as he collected his reward.

    "Ding~ Congratulations for finishing the [Snake king's gall bladder] mission. Received 5,000 experience points. You have obtained 1 silver coin." The reward wasn't half-bad. Killing a level 1 large rodent would only get him around 20 experience points. This was the equivalent of the experience points from killing 250 monsters. Xu Xiang was content. If this continued, he would level up soon. 49,005/50,000.

    Seeing the 1 silver and 81 coppers in his bag, Xu Xiang was delighted. He could be considered a small millionaire. Raising a younger sister was no problem. However, now was not the time to think about raising little sisters. The expression on the village chief's face sunk. It was a mission! 

    "Senior, is there anything I can help you with?" Xu Xiang's took on a more respectful tone. He knew that the favourable impression of NPCs were important. It affected your odds of triggering a mission or assignment. If on very good terms, an NPC would even help you complete the mission. In addition, who would know if the old man in front of you was actually a legendary magic teacher who lived in seclusion here? That being said, Xu Xiang didn't actually believe the old man was a legendary magic teacher if he were the main lead.

    "Esteemed Warrior Feng Xiang, although you have vanquished the red-tailed snake king, its minions still continue to jeopardise the village's safety. Could you help us exterminate them?" Expectation brimmed from the village chief's eyes. Xu Xiang felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end. 

    'This old man is definitely gay.' Xu Xiang mentally cursed. Xu Xiang replied immediately, "Of course, I accept."

    If one didn't accept a mission when offered, one would be a fool. Even if offered by a gay guy.

    "Ding~ You have accepted 9527's village chief's request.

    Exterminate red-tailed snakes [Mission difficulty: 45]

    Kill 500 red-tailed snakes, collect 20 red-tailed snake tails, and present them to the village chief to obtain a generous reward.

    Time limit: None."

    Mission difficulty 45 meant that this mission was best done once one hit level 4. Mission difficulties were related to levels and equipment. However, Xu Xiang's level was low and he had no equippable equipment. Naturally, the difficulty level of the mission was drastically raised. As for the 'generous reward' that the system mentioned, Xu Xiang rolled his eyes. Even if it was a mission with a difficulty of 1, the system would also write it off as said 'generous reward'.

    Seeing the village chief return to his expressionless NPC state, Xu Xiang knew it was time to leave.

    Standing at the entrance of the village, Xu Xiang studied the slime area which was flooded with players. Where would he go to level up next? There was actually another BOSS that he could go kill, but the monsters in that area were capable of taking the initiative attacking players. If he let his guard down even a little, he would die. Dying wasn't that bad, since he was going to level up soon. His experience points would not fall after he just levelled up. However, if he could not kill the boss, he would have wasted a lot of time. The BOSS's difficulty was extremely high.

    Furthermore, if he died, a random equipment on his body as well as a random equipment from his bag would drop. He would also have to return to his body. To resurrect directly in the village cost 3 levels. The price was unbearable.

    "Screw it, since nobody can catch up to my level till tomorrow, I should think of an idea to get some equipment and skill books." Xu Xiang silently pondered and made his decision.

    To thieves, skills and equipment were infinitely more important than levels. Thieves being called the king of control was not for no reason. Their normal strikes, surprise attacks and stunning attacks could stun a person to death. A higher-levelled thief would also possess an arsenal of unusual skills and equipment as well as additional skills from equipments.

    All the skills in Dispute required players to search for skill books to learn it themselves. One needed to be familiar with it himself, and there were no special NPCs to teach one skills. Therefore, skill books were higher on the priority list than the talent of the player, as well as the difference between a professional and a noob. The low-levelled basic skill books were on sale from instructors, but the prices were costly.

    Thieves were the profession that had the largest requirement towards the success rate of skills. Other professions like warriors only required standard movements. If they followed the requirements of the system, their skills would have a 70% success rate. As for magicians, it was even simpler; as long as one made the correct movements, chanted the full chant, the success rate of the spell would be very high.

    The skill of thieves were harder to execute, and it needed one to attack in different manners and patterns. However, a thief with a consistently high success rate in executing skills would be outright terrifying.

    How fully a skill was used was based on success rate, movement and weapons. Some skills needed to be changed according to the weapons. As for movement, it was the action made by the players when they were executing their skills. The success rate was the most important to a magician. If a magician's required chanting time was 5 seconds, and the magician casted it within 3 seconds, the success rate would only be at 60 per cent at most, or even lower. The strength of the magic would also be much lower, and it was possible that the magic would backfire and explode from instability.

    Chapter 5, END

  • Chapter 6

    [Translated by ChickenBakuba]

    Chapter 6, The Blue-Eyed Wolf King!

    Now, Xu Xiang was about to take a skill. That's right, take. Taking and stealing were not the same thing. A person of noble character took, Xu Xiang regarded himself as a man of noble character. So the correct term was take. Not steal.

    Now that he was a rich person, he spent 25 coppers with a wave of his hand. He bought 5 elementary instant recovery potions from the wretched potion merchant with his wretched smile. He deposited the two pieces of level 5 bronze equipment into the equipment warehouse. The level 1 warehouse was open for free, with 20 item slots.

    After he finished storing everything, he emerged from the warehouse. The target this time was a treasure chest. All the treasure chests in the novice areas were wooden chests, the lowest grade of treasure chests which did not require lock picking or unlocking skills. The estimated time to open the chests were 5 seconds. The highest from a wooden chest was 1 silver coin or 5 red enhancing stones which could enhance the level of equipment to level 4. There were also bronze-grade equipment as well as skill books.

    Skill books were the hardest to determine the level of, as the use of the skills varied from person to person. Even if a professional had a basic skill, he would be able to take down a noob with all sorts of high-levelled skills. The noob would not be able to scratch the professional at all.

    The chest Xu Xiang needed was in another level 5 monster area, which was the blue-eyed wolves' area. The blue-eyed wolf was the lowest levelled monster that could attack players on its own initiative.

    Xu Xiang felt that the blue-eyed wolf and the white-eyed wolf were definitely gay friends. How else could the blue-eyed wolf attack on its own initiative then? The red-tailed snakes were similarly level 5, but they were unable to take the initiative to attack.

    Xu Xiang left the 9527 novice village fro the third time. Many players struggling in the slime area watched Xu Xiang as he entered further into the monster area. Their eyes turned red and there were even a few people who decided to tag along.

    However, as a thief, Xu Xiang was a master at shadowing people. These people were still too tender. Although Xu Xiang did not bother to hide himself from them, he easily threw them off after 7-8 turns in the forest. While losing them, he dealt with a few more large rodents, increasing his level to level 2. He distributed 7 attribute points into agility and 3 attribute points into strength.

    Another ten minutes of walking saw him the blue-eyed wolf area.

    Blue-eyed wolf

    Level: 5

    Attack: 65

    Defence: 18

    HP: 250

    Introduction: Blue-eyed wolves is the first monster in the novice village that can take the initiative to attack. It possesses high movement speed and attack rate.

    The attributes of blue-eyed wolves were lower than that of red-tailed snakes. However, the experience it yielded was more than red-tailed snakes as it was a monster that could take the initiative to attack. In Dispute, monsters that could attack on their own initiative yielded more experience than monsters of the same level that could not initiatively attack by 20 per cent.

    Xu Xiang's eyes fell onto the treasure chest in the middle of the pack of wolves. The appearance of the wooden chest was exactly as he had remembered it in his previous life. A layer of half-rotting wood, around 0.2 yards high (approx 18.288 cm), half a yard in length (approx 45.72 cm), and 0.3 yards thick (approx 27.432 cm). Within the area packed with wolves, the wooden chest was particularly eye-catching. 

    The treasure chest also had 10 wolves wandering around it. This was the work of the system. Every wolf had its own established path. What Xu Xiang needed to do was to avoid the wolf's aggro radius* until he reached the treasure chest.

    *The aggro radius is the distance from a player at which a mob will stop its normal behaviour and engage the player in combat. See [http://et.worldofwarcraft.wikia.com/wiki/Aggro_radius]

    Xu Xiang eyed the massive figure of a wolf on the right side of the pack. Terrifyingly law maws, gleaming fangs, the muscles of the crouching canine rippled with power. The expression of 'strangers, back off' seemed to be written on its face. If it had one, of course.

    It was the wolf king! Xu Xiang estimated that the distance between the treasure chest and the wolf king to be 50 yards. This was an open plain. Although the wolf king would easily spot him, its aggro radius would not be as far as its view. At this moment, the wolf king moved. From Xu Xiang's view, he could glimpse the treasure chest directly behind the wolf king's back. Xu Xiang's eyes shrunk for a second, but he quickly calmed down.

    In his previous life, he had never heard of the wolf king having a treasure chest. Perhaps someone had reached the treasure chest of the wolf king before and looted it clean before the wolf king was defeated. In any case, the wolf king was definitely not an opponent that Xu Xiang could take on at this level.

    Blue-eyed wolf king (Bronze level BOSS)

    Level: 9

    Attack: 200

    Defence: 75

    HP: 3500

    Skill: [Roar]

    Introduction: Overlord of the novice village's plains. Possesses extremely fast movement and attack speed.

    The blue-eyed wolf king was higher a level than the red-tailed snake king. Hence, all its attributes were even higher than the snake king. This wolf king needed a minimum of 20 level 9s or Xu Xiang to change his profession to perhaps stand a chance against it.

    Sliding his gaze back to rest on his target this time, Xu Xiang carefully observed and calculated the established paths of the wolves. The fixed aggro radius of blue-eyed wolves were 5 yards. However, you still had a chance of proccing* the wolf's hostility if you were within 5-8 yards of it. This was known as the buffer zone. Only beyond 8 yards was your safety guaranteed. Currently, even being in the buffer zone was dangerous as Xu Xiang had a higher chance of getting attacked due to his low level.*

    *Proc, or proccing is a common term used primarily in game programming to refer to an event - a "procedure" - triggered under particular circumstances. For example, in WoW, a particular weapon (that hits many times) might have a 10% chance on each hit to apply a special effect, such as poison damage.

    *See level-based behaviour. [https://wow.gamepedia.com/Aggro_radius]

    In Dispute, aggro would not be proc'ed just by the monster taking notice of you. With the exception of special circumstances, unless you were already injured, you would not attract the attention of other monsters. This put the skill of players to the test. Even if ten thousand soldiers walked through a jungle, not a single leaf would touch them. 

    As a thief in his previous life, Xu Xiang often had to calculate the aggro range of different monsters. A thief could get to many places that other professions could not reach. Thieves never got the highest profits from fights. Instead, they lived off the earnings they got from opening treasure chests. True to their profession, when it came to opening treasure chests, the thief was unparalleled. However, now that Xu Xiang had no stealth, the aggro range of the monsters were much higher. 

    To top it off, the wolves loitering around the treasure chest had non-radius-based aggro.* Attract the aggro of one, and the entire pack would come running.

    *Related to co-aggro is group aggro, where a predetermined group will all aggro Paula if she attacks any of them, regardless of radius. Sometimes the group aggro will not be equal - for instance it may be impossible to pull an elite monster without aggroing his "friends", but possible to pull a friend away from the elite using ranged attacks without engaging the whole group at once. This is particularly common in instances, where engaging a boss typically aggro's any remaining mobs in the room, but not vice versa.

    Xu Xiang had observed the wolves for 5 minutes, mentally calculated the various aggro radius and paths before mapping out the safest route. The route he had chosen was the safest because it only had a few buffer zones. Even then, Xu Xiang could only pray to heaven not to attract the aggro of the wolves.

    Xu Xiang did not have any important things on him, so even if he died it was no big deal. He would be slightly depressed about losing some experience, but it was nothing compared to the skill. This skill could provide great assistance in the future.

    Xu Xiang approached the treasure chest slowly, following the route he had deemed the safest. 20 yards later, he halted. 

    There were 3 wolves' aggro radiuses overlapping his route, and they were close. One was 9 yards ahead, the other 8 yards to his right, and the third was 7 yards to his left. 

    3 seconds passed. Xu Xiang held his breath. 

    Safe. Xu Xiang released the breath was holding and continued on his way.

    Walking and halting, the distance between the treasure chest closed eventually. He had almost been caught several times, but he had managed to safely pass through, more scared than hurt. 

    After 3 minutes of heart-stopping fear, Xu Xiang finally reached the treasure chest. Xu Xiang's back was soaked with sweat. If he failed this time, the difficulty in attempting this would increase because this would disrupt the established paths of the wolves. Xu Xiang would also lose some experience. 

    He did not have much time to think. Xu Xiang began to open the treasure chest. Opening the chest required 5 seconds, but the time he had left for guaranteed safety before he entered the buffer zones was also 5 seconds. That meant that he had virtually no time after opening the treasure chest. He needed to beat it out of there immediately after opening the chest. In theory, it was feasible, but in reality, the difficulty was near impossible.

    System: Treasure chest opening, 20% completed, 40%, 60%...

    It was open! There was something in the chest. It was a skill book. Xu Xiang grabbed and turned to throw it inside his backpack.

    Chapter 6, END

  • Chapter 7

    [Translated by ChickenBakuba]

    Chapter 7, First Death!

    A ferocious snarl, somewhere between a roar and a growl. He had been discovered! Raw instinct took over and Xu Xiang immediately broke into a run with wild abandon.[footnote]’Raw instinct took over’ substituted for ‘三七二十三’.[/footnote]

    Unfortunately, Xu Xiang’s movement speed was laughable when conpared with the bloodthirsty canines. A wolf snapped at him. 65 points of HP lost instantly. High-levelled monsters attacking players had the advantage of the difference in levels. A guttural growl, and another strike. Xu Xiang twisted to the side this time in response. The sharp claws of the wolf grazed him. His HP was in the single digits now.

    Whipping out a potion of elementary instant recovery potion, Xu Xiang gulped it down as he continued his sprint, the wolves right on his heels. The cooldown for the potion was 30 seconds. If his HP dropped any further, he would have no way to replenish his HP. As he neared the forest, he noticed an a massive wolf matching his sprint with stride. It was the wolf king!

    ”Fuck, guess I failed.” Xu Xiang stood at the resurrection point in spirit form as he quickly checked his inventory (backpack). If the skill book was dropped, then he would have lost the gamble for the skill book.

    Thank his lucky stars, the skill book was still there. Xu Xiang guffawed triumphantly, "It looks like the heavens are on my side!"

    Skill book: Enhanced Stealth

    Skill introduction: Enhanced version of the thief's skill 'Stealth', it possesses an even faster movement speed boost as well as a stronger stealth ability.

    Weapon requirement: None

    Skill attributes: Grants user invisibility, movement speed +10%, stealth effect +20%. Continues for 1 minute. No cooldown. Cannot be used during battle. Ability is cancelled when user receives damage or takes the initiative to attack. 

    User limitation: Thief profession, no race requirements.

    That was it! Although Xu Xiang had died once, his profits far outweighed his losses. The gamble had paid off. It was common knowledge that stealth was a robber's trademark. What the thieves relied on to access places that normal professions could not access was precisely stealth. Stealth was the basic skill that made a good thief.

    With this skill book, Xu Xiang had more confidence to carry out future plans. However, the Xu Xiang now was only in his spirit form. He was incapable of learning skills. It was best to find his corpse in the blue-eyed wolf area first.

    The players in the novice village could spot a novice thief in the cemetery that wore a silly, lopsided grin despite having even his clothes dropped after his death.

    "Be careful, don't get infected by that fool's stupidity." The surrounding players wisely advised the novice players who had just joined. They reckoned that a foolish thief like him had definitely been killed by a slime before being sent back here. Little did they know that they would look at the 'fool' in a new light soon.

    Approaching the blue-eyed wolf area, Xu Xiang discovered that the position of his corpse wasn't too bad. The nearest wolf was 7 yards away from him, and the forest was merely 10 yards away. Once he burst into the forest, the blue-eyed wolves should not continue chasing after him. Furthermore, 7 yards was in the buffer zone of the wolf, so it was not guaranteed that he would attract the wolf's aggro. The wolf king had already returned to its original position. Xu Xiang opened the system notification history.

    "Ding~ The blue-eyed wolf king's 'Roar' has inflicted 289 damage. You have died."

    After reviving, Xu Xiang immediately learnt the skill with the skill book. The skill book turned into white light and shattered. 

    Under the effect of stealth, the aggro range of blue-eyed wolves was only 3 yards. 3 to 5 yards was the buffer zone. Xu Xiang's skill, however, was 'Enhanced Stealth', so estimates set it at even less.

    Xu Xiang hotfooted it back to the novice village, and immediately logged off.

    Removing the game helmet, Xu Xiang discovered his entire body drenched in perspiration.

    "It looks like I can work on my mental courage more," He chuckled.  However, this came as no surprise. No matter how many times one experienced something, the brain would always be nervous when faced with a nerve-wrecking situation. Being nervous was not necessarily a bad thing. For all you know, it could arouse one's hidden potential.

    Xu Xiang stripped and happily took another shower. Today's profit in the game was marvellous. He was temporarily in the lead for levels, and had also received a very important skill. It could be translated as a good beginning, the first step of a great journey.

    Wang Xue came into his mind. Wang Xue had ran into him when Xu Xiang was level 5. At that time, they had formed a team to explore a dungeon. As an attractive person of the opposite sex, Wang Xue had immediately taken notice of Wang Xue the minute they met. The world worked in mysterious ways. It was love at first site.

    "In this lief, I won't let you stray from my side. Bai Xinming, just you wait!" Xu Xiang clenched his fist. This was an oath to himself, something Xu Xiang would not forget to remind himself daily. This was what drove him.

    After finishing his shower, Xu Xiang took out 2 packets of instant noodles and 3 pieces of ham from his stock of instant food and boiled them in a pan. He was at the top of the world. Even drinking plain boiled water. The pot was eaten empty by Xu Xiang to the last strand of noodles. He let out a satisfying belch. 

    It was 11:50 p.m.. He had spent a little over 3 hours in the game. After 12:00 a.m., it would be considered as the next day. Although the brain was in a state of mild sleep when playing Dispute, Xu Xiang preferred to get a good rest.

    Xu Xiang set his alarm clock to 7:30 a.m. in the morning. This way, he'd wake up, brush his teeth, wash up and have breakfast before going online at 8:00 a.m.. When his 10 hours on Dispute were up, exercise came next. Three years of Xu Xiang's mercenary career told him that a healthy body was of utmost importance. Xu Xiang had also came across a good set of special training methods during his mercenary career. 

    Xu Xiang got into bed. Whether it was from happiness or fatigue, Xu Xiang quickly fell asleep while thinking about Wang Xue.


    "Wang Xue!" Xu Xiang gaped. It was Wang Xue. The girl he had dreamt of day and night. She was still as beautiful as he remembered her. Beautiful dark hair spilled down to her waist. Her intelligent eyes watched Xu Xiang with an amused glint. She waved at Xu Xiang. "Xu Xiang, come, quickly."

    Xu Xiang rushed towards Wang Xue in large strides, but the distance between the two persons only widened and widened, until Xu Xiang was no longer able to see Wang Xue. When the last bits of her figure faded, an ethereal, fragile voice chimed out, "Don't chase after me anymore, elder brother. Brother is only a legend."[footnote]Reference to the song title [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDvw2OBA7SY] It's a really sad MV btw. If you understand the context.[/footnote]


    "Wang Xue!" Xu Xiang cried out as he lunged up in bed.

    He silently looked at the ringing alarm clock. 

    "Just a dream." Xu Xiang sighed. The saying 'Whatever you think of in the day, you will dream of at night.'[footnote]A chinese saying that means exactly what it says. This has some scientific backing though, also known as the Tetris Effect, if memory serves me right.[/footnote]

    "Wang Xue, although I don't know when I will meet you...even if you are in a vast crowd of people, I will definitely recognise you with a glance." 

    But Xu Xiang had forgot the saying 'I look for her in the middle of the crowd, but to no avail. All hope has been lost...until I spot a sorrowful light in a corner. It's her.'

    After washing up and brushing his teeth, Xu Xiang headed off to breakfast. Xu Xiang went downstairs and out, arriving at the small vendor he often frequented.

    "Boss, one soy milk, two sticks of youtiao."* Even if it was 2015, many people couldn't shake away the habit of eating the classical Chinese breakfast. Xu Xiang was among those people.

    *Youtiao is deep-fried breadstick.

    Xu Xiang did not die from choking on youtiao. Xu Xiang contently finished his breakfast and returned home.

    He went online!

    He spawned back in the novice village. Novices would be in the novice village until they reached level 10 where they could change professions. Only after level 10 could they reach the city. Xu Xiang glanced at his present experience. Level 2, 0%. Because he had died yesterday, his experience bar had been reset. Fortunately, he had levelled up recently before attempting that gamble.

    There was probably many people who had already reached level 1, or possibly level 2. Xu Xiang wasn't alone. However, Xu Xiang knew that levelling up for him was made very simple. He had all sorts of levelling strategies in his head. If he committed fully to levelling, he was certain that he would surpass other players by a good amount. However, skills and equipment made the thief. Not levels.

    Chapter 7, END

    I was listening to The Moon Embracing The Sun OST: Back In Time and it's an amazing song. You can check it out. —> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dzXNjxIeyA

  • Chapter 8

    [Translated by ChickenBakuba]

    Chapter 8, Dog in the Manger!

    Today, Xu Xiang planned to get his level to 3 before searching for more equipments and skills. That way, he’d at least be more confident and prepared. He exited novice village. 

    The people farming in the level 0 slime area had lessened by a lot. However, there were still many people. Even if they had levelled up to level 1, normal players killing level 1 monsters alone was still less efficient than killing level 0 slimes. Killing level 1 monsters required more time and level 1 monsters were more dangerous. They also needed to wait for their HP to recover between fighting every level 1 monster.

    When Xu Xiang headed deeper into the monster zone, not one person glanced at him. There had already been people advancing into the level 1 and level 2 monsters areas to farm. He was not the first.

    Xu Xiang's target today as the level 4 goblin archer area.

    Goblin archer

    Level: 4

    Attack: 41

    Defence: 9

    HP: 180

    Aside from having a decent HP, goblin archers did not really have any attributes comparable to other monsters. They were only slightly stronger than level 3 goblins, except that they could attack from a distance. Due to the cowardly nature of the goblin race, when a goblin was attacked, all goblins within 5 yards of it would join the attacked goblin in ganging up on the player. If there were 2 goblins within 5 yards of a goblin, it meant that the player had to face 3 goblin archers in total.

    Using his memory, Xu Xiang arrived at the monster area. This was a mountain wall, but there was actually a cramped crevice in the wall that could fit one person.A goblin archer spawned inside the crevice. The goblin race was a very ugly race. Stunted and ugly, with skin the sickly grey of a terminal patient, they were barely more humanoid than not, caught on the evolutionary scale between a chimpanzee and a deformed tribal pygmy. Their bows and arrows raised them from disturbing to terrifying.*

    *Last part was heavily original, I drew reference from one of my favourite stories: No Life to Lose. Good story.

    In his previous life, a player who was a warrior discovered it. Because he was a casual player, he had no fixed group. When he passed by here and checked it out, he discovered, to his surprise, only one goblin archer. There was no other mobs within 5 yards — no, even the faintest shadow of a second goblin archer could not be found within 20 yards of it. As would any normal player, he slew the goblin archer. 

    Only to discover another goblin archer spawning within 5 seconds of the previous goblin's death. The fast respawn rate of it immediately caught his attention.

    Furthermore, Dispute also had a particular condition for the archer class. Attack damage of the archer profession would be reduced by 50% and could also be interrupted when the enemy was within 3 yards of it. 

    Xu Xiang was now going to exploit this condition as well as the high respawn rate to level up. The attack rate of thieves were relatively faster than other professions. The high attack rate of thieves would get more and more distinct in later stages. Xu Xiang was able to capture the movements of the goblin archer and interrupt its attack. Even if Xu Xiang was hit by the occasional arrow, the reduction of 50 per cent damage would not make the hit dangerous.

    Xu Xiang entered the crevice and blocked all paths of retreat for the goblin. Raising his dagger, Xu Xiang dashed his dagger into the goblin archer's ugly face. 3 points of damage rose from the goblin archer's head. Xu Xiang's level was pretty low, and he was also using novice equipment.

    The goblin archer was furious. Raising its bow, it sent an arrow towards Xu Xiang's face. Xu Xiang coughed. His HP had fallen a little. 20 points of damage rose from Xu Xiang's head.

    "Still manageable." Xu Xiang nodded imperceptibly to himself. He had purposely taken the hit to see how much damage the goblin would fare. Its damage was not high. Satisfied, Xu Xiang began to attack. 3 points, 2 points, the occasional 6-7 points of crit. Because his level gap was pretty big, even several dozen strikes would only see a few crits.

    Xu Xiang continued attacking the monster effortlessly. The goblin was only a level 4 mob. As a former level 65 thief, although he no longer had his attributes, his eyesight and skill was still there. If the goblin archer managed a shot on him he would be thoroughly ashamed. His three years of mercenary experience allowed him to handle the mob with ease.

    The goblin archer fell down with a gurgle and took its last breath. As it died, it dropped leggings.

    "Ding~ Congratulations for killing a goblin archer. 250 experience points awarded. You have killed a monster 2 levels higher than you, experience awarded has been increased by 20 per cent. Total experience points: 300." 300 experience points for one monster was pretty decent. He needed to kill 600+ monsters to level. Every monster required around 40 seconds, so 6 hours of farming would suffice. Xu Xiang examined the equipment.

    Goblin's leggings

    Level requirement: 0

    Type: Leather

    Defence: 4

    Can be enhanced by 1 level, HP +5

    Weight: 4

    Wearer's restrictions: Thief, Archer. Not limited to races.

    Nothing much, but it was better than nothing. Xu Xiang happily accepted the equipment and wore the leggings. The leggings would provide some shelter against the elements for his legs. His novice garments were of poor quality and did not provide the wearer warmth. His defence was also boosted to 7 by wearing the leggings.

    Sure enough as stated on the forums in his last life, within 5 seconds, a new goblin archer spawned. In his past life, the warrior had eventually been discovered after he farmed there for a short while because there were many people in the monster area. After all, a warrior determinedly assaulting a mountain wall was a weird sight. 

    However, Xu Xiang did not have to worry about this. Nobody would have reached here yet. Xu Xiang could set his mine at ease and grind.

    And thus Xu Xiang swung his dagger for 40 seconds, rested for 5 seconds, then continued for the next 40 seconds. The cycle continued until the system's metallic voice rang out. After going through three years as a mercenary, Xu Xiang's temperament was as hard as steel. Not just anyone could continuously strike at a goblin archer fro 6 hours just to level up. 

    "Ding! Congratulations for killing a goblin archer. 251 experience points awarded. You have slain a monster 2 levels higher than you, experience received increased by 20 per cent. Total experience gained: 300. Congratulations, your level has risen to level 3. All attributes have risen by 1. 10 free attribute points gained."

    Xu Xiang pumped 3 points into strength and 7 points into agility just like before. He had also gained two new equipment in his inventory.

    Goblin armguard

    Level requirement: 0

    Type: Leather

    Defence: 3

    Can be enhanced by 1 level. Attack rate increased by 1%

    Weight: 3

    Wearer restrictions: Thief, Archer. Not limited to race.

    Goblin's leather hat

    Level requirement: 0

    Type: Leather

    Defence: 4

    Can be enhanced by 1 level, defence +1

    Weight: 3

    Wearer's restrictions: Thief, archer. Not limited to race.

    Perhaps it was because the profession of the goblin only wore leather that everything it dropped was leather. Xu Xiang's attack was now at 23 points, and his defence had increased to 15 points. 

    "A pity that it didn't drop any weapons," Xu Xiang mused. "It'll be really depressing if it drops only a bow the next time it drops."

    The goblin archer respawned. Xu Xiang regarded the crevice as a manger in this point, where the goblin archer was the dog in the manger. Xu Xiang thought of himself as justice as he killed the goblins in an attempt to stave away his boredom. Now that he'd levelled up, he'd kill one more for practice. He plunged his knife into the goblin archer's face.

    14 points of damage. Impressive, but he still had no weapon.

    Within a few hits, he finished off the monster. As Xu Xiang turned to leave, he discovered one equipment the monster had dropped.

    Goblin shortbow

    Level requirement: 0

    Type: Shortbow

    Attack: 8-10

    Attack speed: 1.3

    Can be enhanced by 1 level, attack +1

    Weight: 6

    User restrictions: Archer. Not limited to race.

    Actually, thieves could also use bows, but the bows thieves used were crossbows. Not shortbows like this.

    "Eh, it actually dropped a weapon. But not a weapon I can use." Xu Xiang sighed with sorrow. Seeing something one could not eat was the most painful pain.

    Chapter 8, END

    Finally finished translating to the point the previous translator stopped.

  • Spoiler function has...spoiled. So no spoilers for chapter 9. 

    [Translated by ChickenBakuba]

    Chapter 9, The Happy Miner! 

    After arranging his items, Xu Xiang returned to the novice village. The store actually sold scrolls that allowed you to teleport back to one's serialised novice village or city, where one would respawn after dying. However, a return scroll required 10 silvers, something unaffordable for people early int he game. Even if it was affordable, nobody would bother purchasing it as the farming areas were close to the novice city. It was illogical to waste so much money on a few minutes of walking.

    After returning to the village, Xu Xiang did not immediately leave for finding more equipment and skills, but instead went to the open plaza in the village. 

    "Offering a level 0 shortbow. 8-10 attack. Essential for levelling up and killing BOSSes. If you have money, come quickly to get it. Only available in this village!" Xu Xiang yelled in the plaza. He could not set up a vendor's store currently, so he could only shout to promote his products.

    Someone offering equipment for sale? The surrounding players flocked towards him rapidly in swarms. Almost all the equipment so far were needed, and there were very little of it. Furthermore, the rate of monsters dropping equipment was not high. The vast majority of the playerbase did not even have a single equipment.
     
    "50 coppers." A young boy, evidently an archer, offered. 

    "50 coppers." Xu Xiang repeated with slight incredulity before averting his gaze from the young boy. Did he not understand what a rare equipment was? Despite having the drop-rate increase from killing monsters higher level than him, Xu Xiang had only obtained 3 equipment after killing the goblin archer several hundred times.

    "Those with below 1 silver can beat it." Xu Xiang added. A few casual players left. 

    "1.5 silvers. I want it." A middle-aged man with rugged looks stepped forward. Judging from the novice bow on his back, he was clearly an archer. Strange. A person with such a tough look should have chosen a warrior or knight as his profession. What a waste of talent.

    "Deal." The familiar appearance of the man struck a chord in Xu Xiang's memory. He was the guild master of 'Era's summit', a wealthy person in real life. Unfortunately, to accomplish his goals, he resorted to unscrupulous means. However, he believed himself infallible, and stupidly got eliminated by Bai Xinming's Dream Soul guild, turning into the first subordinate guild in history. Now, he would not have any relation with Xu Xiang. Perhaps they could collaborate together in the future to take down Bai Xinming. However, that was merely collaboration, established in mutual interest or benefit of both parties. 

    After they finished the transaction, Xu Xiang left novice village without a word. Jianfeng Suozhi watched Xu Xiang's leaving figure thoughtfully. For a moment, it seemed like he wanted to say something, but stopped at the last moment. 

    Xu Xiang knew that Mr. Infallible wanted to recruit him. Sigh. Xu Xiang appreciated the gesture but he already had one guild in his heart forever — Alluring Snow.*

    *Many thanks to Phantasma (Immortal Dreamer), a fellow translator who helped me create a name for the guild.

    Xu Xiang arrived at the ore mine. The ore mine was also a monster area. However, one would only encounter monsters upon exploring deeper. The monsters were level 8 maggots, with nauseating, disgusting appearances that could force one's lunch out when seen. The monster that should have originally been censored resided in this dark ore mine. Fortunately, miners and girls would have no contact with that abhorrent creature, or many complaints would have been lodged.

    Of course, while monsters did not appear on the surface of the ore mine, it also went the other way. The quality and level of the ores were proportional to the depth of the miner. Suffice to say, the lives of miners sucked. They needed a certain degree of strength, or else they would not be able to mine valuable ores because of the monsters. Spending money to hire people as bodyguards was also an option, but if you did not manage to obtain any valuable ores, you would have made a loss.

    Xu Xiang had been a normal player in his past life. When he had no team and had free time on his hands, he would come to the mines to earn a little more cash from mining. If a miner attained the grandmaster level, the miner would actually have a high income. Guilds were more than willing to spend big wads of cash in return for valuable ores. However, Xu Xiang did not have any particular talent in mining in his previous life nor this one.

    However, if it was just mining low-level ores to create low-level weapons, Xu Xiang’s experience in that field was plenty. Mining, forging, potion making and alchemy, all these crafts were based on your experience and skill. They were not simply mechanised. 

    Nobody had came to the mines to mine yet. The entire playerbase was still busy levelling. It would be around a week before the first person discovered this place and started mining. After all, low-levelled players needed to make ends meet. If the easy cash from mining did not exist, their progress in the game would be much more difficult.[footnote]I’m guessing that cash you receive from mobs are not enough to help you progress through the game.[/footnote]

    Xu Xiang scanned his surroundings. If memory served him right, then he would be able to determine the places in the mine that had already been mined many times and the places that had been less mined by people. The quality and fineness of the rock could also be used to determine the value of the ore inside the rock. Although the mines were void of players, there were still NPCs mining.

    Xu Xiang's eyes locked onto a fine rock and struck his hammer onto it. Black Iron Amethyst Gold ore!* Of course, this was impossible. A few ordinary lumps rocks crumbled down as they struck the floor. In the vast, cavernous confines of the mine, the sound created a series of echoes.

    *Don't look at me idk what's going on either. 

    One hit, two hits, another hit, Xu Xiang began to diligently mine.

    "Ah, I'm dead tired." Mining was indeed tiring work. However, nothing in life was easy. The easiest enchantment was the most expensive one, and even that wasn't so easy. 

    After 4 hours of mining, Xu Xiang had dug out 5 coppers and 2 iron ores. He had also managed to dig out one silver ore. 

    Copper ore

    Quality: 65.73.55.58

    Weight: 10

    Iron ore

    Quality: 63.67

    Weight: 12

    Silver ore:

    Quality: 72 

    Weight: 15

    What a profit. If these ores were sold to the blacksmith, he could receive around 2 silvers for them. However, these ores could also be forged into a convenient weapon for Xu Xiang.

    Xu Xiang hefted his backpack filled with ores to the blacksmith store at the novice village. The blacksmith was a middle-aged man, though one could not tell his age so easily because of the scraggy beard which hid his entire face. Currently, the bearded man was diligently swinging his hammer as he worked away in the forge. The rhythmic of hammer and metal striking together was grating to the ears.

    "Uncle, I need a weapon." Xu Xiang poured all ores in his backpack out. The ores stacked on the blacksmith's beloved desk.

    "Warrior, what weapon do you require?" The blacksmith uncle was not in the slightest displeased. His eyes creased with wrinkles as he smiled at Xu Xiang nicely.[footnote]Originals put the blacksmith uncle looked at Xu Xiang like he was his gay sex partner, which isn't even funny at this point and did not make sense. Completely out of context, so I removed it.[/footnote]

    "A dagger. Uncle, here's the down payment." Xu Xiang reluctantly parted with two silvers, his heart aching as he passed it to the blacksmith uncle. Initially, Xu Xiang had only planned to use 1 silver for crafting the weapon if he did not have a silver ore. 

    "Ok. Come back 2 hours later to collect it." The blacksmith received the money and waved Xu Xiang away.

    And thus, Xu Xiang eagerly returned to the goblin archer farming area to vent his emotions on the poor mob. Depression, happiness, heartache, he threw it all onto the wicked personification of ugliness the game called a goblin. Xu Xiang tore through goblin archers' chrysanthemums* one after another. His farming speed had quickened by a lot, even if his experienced had lessened due to his levelling up. Within two hours, he managed to gain another 40,000 experience.

    *Chrysanthemum is Chinese slang for anus. Basically the author meant that he was raping/thrashing the goblins.

    "Current experience 45,612/50,000." Dispute's levelling system was indeed terrifying. Even if one was better than Xu Xiang, levelling up in a short time was nigh impossible. Another equipment had dropped.

    Goblin archer's leather armour

    Level requirement: 0

    Type: Leather

    Defence: 6

    Can be enhanced by 1 level, +1% dodge-rate

    Weight: 7

    User's restriction: Thief, Archer. Not limited to races.

    Finally, some proper clothes. After his novice garbs had dropped after his encounter with the blue-eyed wolf king, Xu Xiang had been going naked. The publicity was not good. His defence was now 21 from the 6 points increase. The attack and defence stat being almost the same was common in the early stages of the game. Once Xu Xiang reached level 10 and switched his professions, he would be able to learn dual wielding, equipments' actives and secondary weapons. When that happened, his firepower would greatly exceed his now. 

    Chapter 9, END

    Yeah, I need a tlc. :/ Pardon the occasional bumps in translation since this hasn't even been scheduled for release yet.

  • Thanks for the chapters..  :)
  • Thanks for the chapters..  :)
  • Thanks for reading! :) Trying to link the comments to the original post and hoping the thread won't be crashed though
  • edited May 2018
    Chapter 10, Frostbite Dagger

    [Translated by ChickenBakuba]

    By the time Xu Xiang returned to the blacksmith, the blacksmith uncle had already prepared his dagger for him. The platinum-coloured blade of the dagger was pleasing to the eye. The blade, however, held a strange chillness when touched. Xu Xiang glanced at its attributes.

    Frostbite dagger (Bronze level)

    Level requirement: 3

    Type: Dagger

    Attack: 16-20

    +4 agility

    Attack speed: 0.8

    Can be enhanced by 4 levels, +1% crit rate

    Weight: 15 

    User's restriction: Thief, Archer. Not limited to race.

    The attacks of daggers could not exceed that of bows by a lot, but the dagger clearly held superiority over the bow in terms of attack speed. A bronze level dagger could already satisfy Xu Xiang's current level requirement. 

    Seeing his high attack of 39-43 points, Xu Xiang was overjoyed. Bidding the blacksmith uncle farewell, he went offline.

    Taking off the helmet, Xu Xiang glanced at the clock. It was a little past 7 p.m.. Time flies when you have fun. Xu Xiang entered the shower and took a hot bath. The hot water helped to relax his muscles and allowed him to sleep sleep better. Xu Xiang was a creature of habit, and the hot bath had become something like a routine. Xu Xiang went downstairs as he prepared to have a meal.[footnote]Creature of habit is original, but I thought I'd add that in because this guy has way too many habits.[/footnote]

    Although Dispute at the moment did not earn Xu Xiang a pot of gold daily, he could still drink his soy milk, could still eat his youtiao, and still had his waifu. 

    Below his flat, there were various barbecue vendor stands, noodle shops, restaurants, et cetera. Xu Xiang selected a barbecue vendor stall which looked slightly cleaner than the others and sat down. “Boss, bring me a few jars of beer.” Xu Xiang randomly chose a few different types of barbecue meat and called for a few jars of beer. A young man simply having a meal simply wouldn’t do, one needed beer to feast like a king.

    Xu Xiang greedily chugged down the cold beer. This summer seemed particularly cooling. Xu Xiang's ears picked up on a few students from the nearby school animatedly discussing Dispute. It seems like Dispute's influence had extended to everyday conversations.

    "What level are you guys? I'm already level 1 and halfway to level 2. Fast, right?" A student proudly boasted to his other friends. He did have reason to be proud, his speed was incredibly fast for normal players. For the first day of Dispute's release, Xu Xiang had still be busy killing slimes. Although Xu Xiang was a professional gamer in his previous life, only those who were willing to invest time in the game were the real professional gamers. Now that he had his three years of mercenary experience, his body, eyesight, reaction speed and more had been heavily boosted. 

    "Wow, I'm still at level 0. Can you help carry me?" Another student, whose reaction speed was obviously slow - the type that could not manage to steal or snatch monster kills - asked him.

    "'Kay. I'll call you tomorrow. I have a fixed group, it should be no problem if you just tag along for some experience.” Contrary to what one might expect, the student was actually a pretty caring student. Allowing one to leech a portion off your experience as a player was unbearable as it would slow one’s levelling speed. 

    “Thanks so much.” 

    “What’s with the pleasantries? We’re friends; brothers. Let’s take down a BOSS one day.” The two students had already sunk into a reverie of their hopes and visions of the unlimited potentials that the future held in store for them. 

    A cynical smile parted Xu Xiang’s lips. A BOSS was not so easily killed. In Dispute, normal players, at the very minimum, needed a team to defeat a BOSS of the same level. If their equipment was not good enough, then they needed at least a few teams. From Xu Xiang's recent experience with the red-tailed snake king, it could be seen that the stats of BOSSes far surpassed players. Unless you were a top-grade player, vainly attempting to fight a BOSS was outright foolish. 

    As for Xu Xiang - though it was embarrassing to say - he recognised himself as an expert. At the very least, he was a top expert. Xu Xiang coughed. This wasn't an exaggeration.

    Xu Xiang finished his meal, sloshed down the beer, paid the storekeeper and returned home. Instead of going immediately to sleep after eating and drinking his fill, Xu Xiang began to train according to his special training manual.

    After training for more than two hours, Xu Xiang was already drenched in sweat and gasping for breath. He stepped into the shower and took another bathe. His body beaten and exhausted, he climbed onto his bed and drifted into sleep.

    The sun in summer rose very early and fell very late. This resulted in daytime in summer becoming particularly long. The sunlight of early summer morning flitted through the window and beamed onto Xu Xiang's face. As if stung by the sunlight's glare, Xu Xiang's eyes flickered. He was awake, but he did not want to open his eyes. This behaviour had a scientific name in the study of medicine, known as 'dawdling in bed'. 

    If he was still a mercenary in the past, Xu Xiang would definitely not dawdle in bed. However, now that he had been reborn, perhaps it was him missing Wang Xue that his nature had changed. He had become more light-hearted, not the rigid and self-depreciating person he once was. He had become more bright and confident, easygoing and unrestrained.

    Xu Xiang lazed around in bed for 10 more minutes before finally reluctantly opening his eyes. He knew his alarm clock had still not gone off, meaning that it was still early. "After waking up, I feel refreshed. It seems like I've slept a little more." As being in the game classified as mild sleep, by adding on 8 hours of deep, normal sleep, Xu Xiang had passed the level of some domesticated animals to become number 1 in laziness. 

    Xu Xiang glanced at his clock. 6:30 a.m.. He got up to wash his face and brush his teeth. Bringing out two packs of instant noodle, 1 egg and 2 hams, he wolfed down his breakfast and went online.

    Novice village appeared in front of his eyes. Going online while in novice village did not make a difference. If one went online in a dangerous area, then the player would have 10 seconds of invulnerability. During these 10 seconds, players would be unable to be killed, but they would not be able to be attack either. The 10 seconds were meant for players to find a safe area to escape. 

    Xu Xiang suddenly remembered Zhang Fan. He had no idea what was happening on his end. Zhang Fan was a person that loved games. In the normal player ladder, because Zhang Fan was better at playing games than other players, but was not able to compete against professionals, he was probably around level 1 by now. Unless he managed to find a good team....but with Zhang Fan's looks—alright, let's stop here. Discussing this any further would be damaging to the nation's decency.

    However, private communication before level 5 was restricted. It required both parties to be level 5 before they could enable private chatting. If Zhang Fan was not in the same novice village as him currently then there was really no way to contact him.

    Today, Xu Xiang's goal was level 4. Currently, levelling up was more important. If it was equipment, dungeon equipment was the most important. However, Xu Xiang knew the complete strategies of all the dungeons from level 5 to 60 and did not need to worry. His previously crafted weapon was only for convenience in levelling. 

    Of course, his farming place for levelling would no longer be that...hole. If he still farmed there he would require around 6 more hours to level. A levelling speed of that pace was no longer able for him to be in the lead of other players. Now was not a time for casual levelling. Now that he had a convenient weapon, Xu Xiang decided to take up that mission he had accepted last time.

    Exterminate the red-tailed snakes:[Mission difficulty: 45]

    Kill 500 red-tailed snakes and gather 20 red-tailed snake tails. Present them to the village head to receive a generous reward.

    Mission time limit: None.

    Now was the perfect opportunity to complete this mission. Level 5 mobs that could not take the initiative to attack as well as the bonus experience that he would obtain from killing mobs higher level than him. It was killing two birds with one stone. This was the best way to level.

    Chapter 10, END

    Df first author says that skills and equipment more important now levelling more important. .-.
  • Thank :)..
  • Chapter 11, Enemies Encountered!

    [Translated by ChickenBakuba]

    Xu Xiang revisited the red-tailed snakes’ grounds - a huge forest - for the second time. But of course. Snakes naturally thrived in forests or grasslands. Xu Xiang inspected the area. It seemed like the red-tailed snake king had yet to respawn. The respawn time for it seemed to be 3 days. Xu Xiang was not too sure as he had slightly forgotten the details. The BOSSes in Dispute were varying and many. A BOSS on the novice level was something Xu Xiang would hardly take to note. 

    Circling around a red-tailed snake, Xu Xiang stabbed his dagger into its back. He had no need for using stealth yet as these monsters could not attack of their own initiative yet. 20 points of damage floated above the red-tailed snake’s head. Not bad, it seemed like a bronze-level dagger was pretty effective. It would take around 10+ hits to down one monster.

    The red-tailed snake was furious. The head of the viper swivelled around and snapped at Xu Xiang’s crotch. 

    There was no way Xu Xiang would allow his family jewel to be assaulted. Blocking the bite with his arm, Xu Xiang grimaced as 38 points of damage rose from his head. 4 bites from the snake would turn him into fodder for its belly, where its gastric juices would eventually process him into waste of some sort. Howeber, Xu Xiang attack speed was several times faster than the red-tailed snake. Even if it was a fight where they exchanged blows without bothering to defend, Xu Xiang would still emerge victorious. 

    Of course, a foolish strategy like the above was not in Xu Xiang’s book. The snake had high damage and his HP potions did not come cheap. The next strike of the viper was dodged by Xu Xiang anticipating its movement and flanking it smoothly while returning a strike. But because the stats and level of Xu Xiang was slightly lower than the monster, an unlucky hit was inevitable. Only after losing 70 HP was he able to finish the red-tailed snake. 

    “Ding~ Congratulations for killing the red-tailed snake. 380 experience awarded. Monster killed was 2 levels higher, experienced gained boosted by 20 per per cent. Total experience gained: 456 points.” 456 experience, pretty decent. 1000 red-tailed snakes would be all it took to level. However, one red-tailed snake would also require 10 seconds at the minimum. Xu Xiang estimated 3 hours before he would level up.

    Level 5 was something like a ‘small divide’ in the game, so level 5 mobs were far stronger than level 4 mobs in comparison. They also yielded more experience.

    Contrary to what one may expect, when it came to levelling, Xu Xiang was plenty generous. When his health was not enough, he would not hesitate to drink HP potions. Now that he was rich, using a couple of potions to level up was nothing. As time passed, his movements became more precise. The amount of times he got hit grew lesser and lesser, until he no longer took damage from killing one monster.

    After 3 more hours of struggle, Xu Xiang finally managed to level up. The white light embraced Xu Xiang’s figure once again. One had to admit that Dispute’s animation for levelling was pretty cool. It was the equivalent of plastering “I’ve levelled up!” on the face of the person levelling up. 

    “Ding~ Congratulations, your level has increased. Current level: level 4. All attributes have been raised by 1. You have gained 10 free attribute points.” Xu Xiang three 3 points into strength and 7 points into agility once again. His attack reached 46-50 points.

    The mission for slaying 500 red-tailed snakes had long been cleared by Xu Xiang. He had collected 32 tails, above the mission quota of 25. He had also obtained a few equipment in the process, of which some were bronze-level ones. There was even an uncommon jewelry-type equipment.

    Snakeskin boots 

    Level requirement: 5

    Type: Leather

    Defence: 8

    Can be enhanced by 1 level, movement speed +0.5%

    Weight: 7

    User’s limitations: Thief, Archer. Not limited to race.

    Snake-scale armour

    Level requirement: 5

    Type: Plate armour

    Defence: 15

    Can be enhanced by 1 level, HP +10

    Weight: 20

    User’s limitations: Knight, Warrior. Not limited to race.

    Snake-saliva ring (Bronze level)

    Level requirement: 5

    Attacks carry 5 points of DOT damage, continues for 10 seconds. DOT damage does not stack with multiple hits. Does not affect the undead. 

    Can be enhanced by 4 levels. Attack speed +1%

    Weight: 5

    User’s limitations: Warrior, Knight, Thief, Archer. Not limited to race. 

    Impressive. The stats of the ring was more than satisfactory. Unless the enemy was carrying anti-poison equipment, he would be afflicted with additional poison damage, which was equivalent to 5 extra damage per strike. If Xu Xiang stacked it with additional damage by smearing poison on his dagger, the damage would be considerable. Killing people would become a stroll in a park.

    However, the equipment had a prerequisite of level 5 before it was able to be used. It seemed like he would only be able to arm it one or two days later. “One zero, two zeroes...six zeroes, fuck me sideways.” Xu Xiang rubbed his hands all over his face and clutched at his chest. A million points of fucking experience. He had never taken notice of this in the past, but now that he did a second take, the figures were actually terrifying. 

    As for the snakeskin boots, he had no use for them. He still had the snake king's leather boots saved in the storehouse. Just by looking at the title, one could tell which was better. It was like comparing brands between Nike and Erke.* Whichever stood out more was better. As for the warrior plate armour, he could pair it together with the snake king's sword and put them up for sale together. Of course, selling them together in a package would not be cheap. 

    *Both sportswear brands. Nike is an international brand you should be very familiar with, but Erke is a brand owned by a Chinese company. 

    Xu Xiang packed up his things and set on his journey to return to the village.

    However, it seemed that Xu Xiang was not destined to return to the novice village. Or perhaps one too many people had taken notice of the man who repeatedly entered deep into the monster areas. Just as Xu Xiang left the level 4 monster area and stepped into the level 3 goblin monster area, he was stopped by 5 people.

    Xu Xiang immediately recognised the 5 people. It seemed like destiny would make enemies meet; in his previous life, Xu Xiang had the misfortune of stumbling into these 5 men. Their eyes sparkled as they noticed the bronze-level equipment on Xu Xiang's body. Because the 5 of them had only lousy equipment on them, the least they could do was play the part of the stereotypical bandit.*

    *I actually have no idea how to translate this part without sounding awkward so I fitted in something from my writer's imagination.

    But the Xu Xiang in the past had been a slow leveller. His level was not the equal of 5 people. Even if he fought only one of them, his victory would still be uncertain, let alone 5 people. His equipment had naturally been robbed from him. However, this time...

    Their levels were definitely lower. However, he had no idea what their levels were nor if they had any special skills. 

    "It seems like I need to do some probing." Xu Xiang suddenly realised that the use of the inspect skill was strong. It could tell the player the most basic information about other players and monsters.

    Seeing Xu Xiang disregard their presence like blank air, the five rogues were incensed. They had seen Xu Xiang pack his entire character with equipment (although he was not level 5 yet, so he had no shoes). Their eyes had turned green with envy, but they knew Xu Xiang was not someone they could easily trifle with.

    "Young lad, it looks like your equipment isn't too bad. How about, gifting, us brothers a few spare equipment? We brothers don't even have one or two equipment." The leader, Blood God, smiled thinly, his ugly voice directed towards Xu Xiang.

    The 5 men's ID had a strange ring to it, with 'Blood' as the prefix and ending with God, Heaven, Earth, Mystery and Emperor, that is, Blood God, Blood Heaven, Blood Earth, Blood Mystery and Blood Emperor.* 

    *Phantasma(Immortal Dreamer) helped me translate this part too, so thank him. 

    "Winning without fighting."* Xu Xiang gawked. Who would've likened these chaps to people with good heads on them? Such a pity it was that they were destined to return to the embrace of the novice village today (by dying). All the equipment they had were novice equipment, and they didn't seem to be higher than level two.

    *A reference to a military classic in China about the arts of warfare. One method is to win over your enemies through other means than armed weapons.

    Of course, Xu Xiang would not yield his equipment. From the time Xu Xiang laid his eyes on them, he had decided he did not like them. Even if some coward gave away his equipment to appease them they would only ask for more. People like these were best dealt with by either burying alive or murder. As for matters pertaining to the method of death...well, a death as good as dying from excessive ejaculation was definitely not on the repertoire.[footnote]This was actually what the author wrote[/footnote]

    "Alas, dreams are beautiful, but reality is horrid. You guys best go back to wherever you crawled out from. So I can avoid sullying my knife, of course." Xu Xiang decided that wasting time to dispose of garbage like them was not the most sensible action. There was also benefits whatsoever to killing them. In his previous life, these guys had vanished without a trace within a week of the game's release. Xu Xiang reckoned that they had provoked some important person and had been eliminated.

    "Young lady, you've forced our hand." Although Blood God held some unease towards Xu Xiang, the allure of his equipment had bolstered his courage greatly. He was the very personification of someone that bullied the weak and rubbed shoulders with the strong.

    The 5 men circled around Xu Xiang. The team was made out of 1 magician, 1 warrior, 1 knight, 1 priest and 1 thief. They were a very average team. However, it seems like their death had been set in stone after they had met Xu Xiang.

    Xu Xiang was calm. The damage of these people were low, even if added together. With their novice equipment, breaking from their encirclement was hardly an issue. But playing with them was also an option. It would be good if he could conveniently lay the animosity between them from his previous life to rest. Furthermore, this was legitimate self-defence. He would - probably - not increase his PK value. Killing one person would raise your PK value to 100 points. After 500 points, your name would turn red. After 1,000 points, you would be listed as a wanted man. After 3,000 points, even the guards in the cities would personally arrive to capture you. As for red names, they would not be allowed to enter cities or villages.

    If one was killed while one had a red name, he would drop 5 levels and had an 80 per cent chance of dropping all equipment. He would also have a 20 per cent chance of dropping all equipment as well as everything in his inventory/backpack. The penalty for PK'ing was severe.*

    *Equipment means the equipment armed on the dude. Equipment not armed is in inventory/backpack.

    Chapter 11, END

    Wtf. The penalty for Dispute is one of the stupidest things I've ever heard since pineapples on pizza.
  • Thank for the chapter.. :)
  • edited May 2018
    Chaptee 12, Xia Yao and the Orphanage

    [Translated by ChickenBakuba]

    YES, GAME DEVELOPMENT THIS CHAPTER. Rankings, he meets up with friends and gosh, the story is finally going well on track. Was frightened it would suck. And is that the five fried players I smell? Also spoilers function failed so no spoiler lol. 

    Chapter 12, Xia Yao and the Orphanage 

    Blood God had chosen the warrior profession. It was likely that he had pumped all his attribute points into strength. His novice longblade loped down onto Xu Xiang's shoulder. His weapon sparked off Xu Xiang's leather armour as '1' point of damage floated from Xu Xiang's head.

    "Ding~ You have received an attack initiated by Blood God! For 10 minutes, you can conduct legitimate self-defence on the player and his team." Xu Xiang grinned wolfishly as the names of the five men turned into green, a sign that he could attack them without repercussions. He flipped them the bird.[footnote]Originals said he put on the green hat which meant cuckold in Chinese but I got no idea how to use it in this context so I used middle finger[/footnote]

    Blood God widened his eyes. He had kicked an iron board. He immediately turned tail to run, but was immediately stabbed in the back by Xu Xiang.

    As the attack hit Blood God's back, the damage was multiplied by the Thief class's passive - backstab. A massive red number loomed from his head. 170 damage. Instant kill!

    "Who would've thought your luck would be this bad. I guess a person as ugly as you would die from a critical hit." Xu Xiang's dagger spun in the air, before his figure shot towards the other men. The 4 men had been struck dumb from the two points of damage that had emerged from Xu Xiang's hits. The sight of Xu Xiang bursting towards them with frightening agility brought the four men back to their senses as they frantically scattered like birds and beasts. But it was too late. 

    Each one of them almost died in a hit.  The four men were cut down like vegetables. Unfortunately for the men, they had also dropped 10 coppers and a few sets of novice equipment. Better than nothing, Xu Xiang blinked.

    Returning to the village, Xu Xiang did not see the 5 men in the cemetery. They had probably already gone to find their corpses. Xu Xiang laughed, before finding the village head.

    "Respected village head, I have completed your mission." Xu Xiang passed the red-tailed snake tails to the perverted village head. 

    "Warrior Feng Xiang, you have completed many tasks, not to mention that you have exceeded the criteria for many of them. This is your reward, I pray the god of light shall bless and protect you." The village head did not forget to mention a line of the 'god of light' in his sentence. 

    "Ding~ Congratulations for completing [Exterminate the red-tailed snakes] mission. You have received 5,000 experience. You have received 1 silver copper. Because you have exceeded the criterion for the mission, you have received the equipment [Blood Shadow Armguard]."

    Blood Shadow Armguard (Bronze-level)

    Level requirement: 5

    Type: Leather

    Defence: 12

    +3 toughness

    Can be enhanced by 4 levels. Attack speed +3%

    Weight: 10

    User's limitations: Thief, Archer. Not limited to race.

    Not a bad reward. The experience was not much, but the money was good. One silver was still considered quite a profit. But the best was still the equipment. Xu Xiang happily received the equipment.

    Depositing all his level 5 equipment into the storehouse, the system's notification rang in Xu Xiang's head.[footnote]Author made a typo.[/footnote]

    "Respected player, there is a person offline looking for you." Someone had pressed the offline button on the helmet. Xu Xiang frantically logged off. He had already guessed who it was. As expected...
     
    "Xia Yao, you've come." Xu Xiang studied the youthful girl in front of him. She was fitted in a snow-white dress, which made her appear refined and elegant. Actually, Xia Yao was a grown-up, but she did not receive enough nutrients from her meals. After all, she was part of the lower income group in the city. However, an outline could still be gleaned from her chest.

    "Today's the day we're supposed to return to the orphanage. You remember, don't you?" Xia Yao playfully chided Xu Xiang. Xia Yao and Xu Xiang were from this city's orphanage. Xia Yao's parents had found Xia Yao when they were still younger. She eventually began to live together with her parents, although she was just as impoverished as before. 

    As for Xu Xiang, he was no longer able to depend on the orphanage for support after reaching the age where he was deemed self-sufficient. Hence, he struggled to live on the fringes of society through living off games and the government's subsistence allowance. Xia Yao needed to return to the orphanage every month to seek out the orphanage chairman's permission play with the little kids at the orphanage.

    "Ahaha." Xu Xiang chuckled. He had no means of rejecting a request from a childhood friend like her. Their relationship was close enough for Xu Xiang to give the keys to his house to Xia Yao. Although Xu Xiang was considered a shut-in, Xia Yao was willing to visit Xu Xiang's house frequently to help him tidy his room and wash his clothes. Her concern for him was a giveaway to anyone, but the Xu Xiang in the past had been a dense piece of wood. After meeting Wang Xue, Xu Xiang only had Wang Xue in his heart. But perhaps Xu Xiang would have time for her in this world. 

    After waking Xu Xiang up, Xia Yao began her routine of tidying up his bed, opening his window to ventilate the room. Although Xu Xiang didn't know, she had came earlier and washed his clothes before Xu Xiang woke up. 

    Seeing Xia Yao do everything for him, Xu Xiang felt apologetic. In his previous life, when Xia Yao had confessed to him, he had rejected her. What about this world? Xu Xiang froze, bewildered. Xia Yao was the perfect wife, no matter how one looked at her.

    "Oh, elder brother's wife has come." Zhang Fan had arrived. What a curious coincidence. "Elder brother is indeed lucky. For older brother to have such a good wife, it makes me envy you to death." Actually Zhang Fan knew that Xia Yao and Xu Xiang were only childhood friends. At the very least, that was how it played out on the surface.

    Zhang Fan's first meeting with Xia Yao had him mistaking her as some celestial being. Before, it could be said that Zhang Fan had chased after Xia Yao, vowing not to give up. Nobody knew what happened after. Perhaps Zhang Fan appeared too much like a 'celestial being' too. The matter remained a mystery and Zhang Fan began to call Xia Yao 'elder brother's wife'. This made Xia Yao flush a little, but she did not protest. 

    "Zhang Fan, what level are you?" Xu Xiang was far better than Zhang Fan at gaming, which was why Zhang Fan called Xu Xiang 'elder brother'. Although Xu Xiang's age was indeed slightly older than Zhang Fan, Zhang Fan's signature phrase was 'Age is not a problem, nor is gender a problem'.[footnote]Unsure of what it means myself. .-.[/footnote]

    "Finally level 2. That novice village's snatching monster place they call a monster area, today it slightly formed into a P."* Zhang Fan patted the bottom of his stomach with slight trepidation. It seemed like Zhang Fan was not the type to monotonously farm over and over again.[footnote]*Unsure again. .-.[/footnote]

    "Then continue training hard. I believe you'll be able to find out my level very soon." Xu Xiang mysteriously chuckled. Indeed, once a person reached level 5, the ranking charts would be opened and could be accessed. Even if one was not level 5, they would be able to access the ranking charts.

    "Wa, so mysterious." Zhang Fan, of course, was unaware.

    Zhang Fan understood that Xia Yao and Xu Xiang would be returning to the orphanage soon after, so he did not stay long. He parted with a few words typical of him: "Husband and Wife make a home".[footnote]夫夫妻双双把家还 was the original, but it's actually a quote from a Chinese song, so yeah.[/footnote]

    Locking the door, Xu Xiang and Xia Yao walked along the streets shoulder to shoulder. There was a faint, delicate fragrance from Xia Yao's body. It was not perfume or shampoo, but her natural odour. Xu Xiang peeked sideways at Xia Yao. 'How was it possible for me not to discover her beauty when I was young?'

    When Xia Yao was young, she did not receive adequate nutrition, and hence her beautiful features had been unable to be noticed.

    The orphanage was pretty close to Xu Xiang's house, around 10 minutes on foot. A few minutes of walking would see you the roof of an orphanage which bore heavy resemblance to a church's spire. 

    Upon their arrival, a few children began to gather as soon as they noticed Xia Yan as they knew Xia Yan was here to play with them. "Big sister, you've come again." A small girl from the orphanage greeted. She was Lin Xinxin, a tiny child of 7-8 years old. Two cute braids dangled down from her hair. Long hair was initially against the orphanage's rules, but the little girl was persistent on having long hair after seeing Xia Yao's long hair trailing over her shoulders. So they had compromised with braids. 

    "Big sister Fu, we want to play The Eagles Catches the Chicken." (Author's Note: Spare me, I can't think of a better game) A little boy caught Xia Yao's warm and soft hand with his and beamed.

    "Alright." Xia Yao smiled gently. She brought the kids to another side.

    At this moment, the orphanage chairman appeared. The orphanage chairman was a kindly elderly lady who would hit seventy this year. Xu Xiang had been cared for by her much ever since he was young, and he held a lot of respect for her. "Grandma Huang, you're here." Xu Xiang said. The chairman was surnamed Huang, but she hated it when others called her chairman. She felt that 'Grandma' was a little less scary. 

    Chapter 12, END

    Glad that we're finally delving into the important shit like the guilds and rankings and everything in general. And also a harem. I love harems, but I hate it when harems don't end and/or the mc does not pick only one girl at the end. >.> I'm already building a ship here. 
  • Thank for the chapter.. :)
  • Chapter 13, That spot where the lights wane

    [Translated by ChickenBakuba]

    Chapter 13, That spot where the lights wane

    The chairwoman watched Xia Yao accompany the children on their games quietly, before returning her gaze to Xu Xiang. “You guys still aren’t dating?” Every time they visited this orphanage, the chairwoman would ask this question. Xu Xiang had always been together with Xia Yao ever since they were children. If he proceeded to marry Xia Yao and have a few kids with her, it would come as no surprise to anybody. However, Xu Xiang had another person in his heart. Unbeknown to Xu Xiang, the chairwoman would like nothing more than Xu Xiang and Xia Yao to have a future together.

    Xu Xiang did not reply. His answer went without saying. His gaze flickered to Xia Yao who was playing with the children. She was playing as the hen in the game with the children. Her simple white summer dress fluttered in the air as she played, her bright, infectious smile radiating energy and youth. It was enchanting. She was enchanting. The guilt in Xu Xiang’s heart doubled.

    Every time Xu Xiang visited the orphanage, he would just silently loiter at one side and quietly watch Xia Yao and the lids. Returning to the orphanage was Xia Yao’s idea, Xu Xiang was completely classified as just someone passing by. However, Xu Xiang’s concern for the orphanage was no lesser than Xia Yao’s. At least Xia Yao had her family. Xu Xiang had none.

    Xia Yao also got up from playing with the children to greet the chairwoman. She seemed to share a few lines to the chairwoman. A knowing smile formed on the chairwoman’s face. Xia Yao blushed, turning her head slightly to peek at Xu Xiang. Their eyes locked for a second before she tore her gaze from his and turned back. 

    They stayed in the orphanage until it grew late. When red clouds covered the sky, Xu Xiang and Xia Yao left the orphanage together.

    The two of them were unusually quiet on the way back. 15 centimetres. That was the distance between their hands, and it was a very safe distance away from each other; enough to express that they were not in an intimate relationship. This was also the distance between their hearts.[footnote]Yeah I was incredibly tempted to put 5 centimetres per second[/footnote] 

    "Xu Xiang, how have you been living currently?" Xia Yao knew that Xu Xiang played games as a profession. It was an unstable source of income. There were occasions where even getting enough to eat was a problem.

    "I've been doing quite well recently. Oh—right, today, I'll treat you to dinner." Xu Xiang remembered his recent successes in Dispute, and he decided to celebrate it by offering Xia Yao to a meal.

    "Eh...Okay." Xia Yao hesitated for a moment. Her parents had probably already cooked dinner at home, but she could not bear to reject Xu Xiang's offer. This was could be taken as a small date. Xia Yao cheerfully thought.

    Xu Xiang brought Xia Yao to a small cafeteria. For low-income class people like them, eating outside was only on special occasions, like a festival or holiday. Normally, they would not spend such money. However, Xu Xiang was certain that his accomplishments in Dispute would not be low. Hence, he decided to have a his celebration a little early. 

    Xu Xiang estimated that he would receive several thousand at the minimum* if he sold all his equipment on hand now. However, killing the chicken to get the eggs was something that Xu Xiang would never dream of doing.

    *Guessing USD. 

    Xu Xiang ordered a few plates of dishes and a bottle of fruit juice. Xu Xiang did not dare to touch alcohol. It would be terrible to present a sloshed him to a lady. Sigh. Xu Xiang and Xia Yao began to eat and chat as they caught up with each other. Xu Xiang had been living his daily life as usual — just like boiled water; no matter how much one drank, it would be tasteless. Like every single meeting, Xia Yao worried for Xu Xiang.

    "Xu Xiang, isn't living off professional gaming not too good?" This worry of hers always ate away at Xia Yao. She wanted Xu Xiang to find a stable job.

    "Don't worry. At most, it'll be a month before I show you my success." Xu Xiang grinned. It was only common courtesy to live a good life after being reborn to not waste the second chance. 

    "En, but if we don't see any improvements in a month, then you must listen to me." Xia Yao stared at Xu Xiang petulantly, like she was a young child making a pinky-swear with Xu Xiang.

    "Then if I succeed, what will you do for me?" Xu Xiang wore a playful smile on his lips as he watched Xia Yao. "A contract goes both ways." 

    The Xu Xiang now was much wiser and mature. If it was the dense blockhead from before, he would have not have uttered these words."

    "I'll...I'll..." Xia Yao stammered. She did not have much to give Xu Xiang either. 

    "Forget it, I'm only joking." Xu Xiang grinned as he watched Xia Yao's flustered expression. There wasn't much he needed anyway. 

    But he had not heard her words; an unheard line mumbled only for the owner's ears. "I'll give myself to you." 

    —————————

    Xu Xiang bade farewell to Xia Yao after they finished their dinner. By the time he reached home, it was past 7. Xu Xiang impatiently logged on.

    He appeared in novice village. Now, novice village 9527 was crowded with people. The players who had just logged on flickered with white light as they spawned on the only open spaces in the plaza. Popular games had unending players. This brought hope to Xu Xiang's tomorrow. 

    Xu Xiang's goal now was level 5. He had many equipment stored in the storehouse for when he became level 5. He had to level up asap. Xu Xiang estimated that that would be already one person at level 5 by midnight, which was when the ranking charts would be unlocked. Xu Xiang was contemplating whether he should become the first level 5 player.

    "If I become the first level 5 player, I could be attacked." Xu Xiang decided that it was best to have a low profile now. Although he had reborn, even if Xu Xiang got his level and equipment up to a high level, there was no way he would be able to face a guild head on. The charge of a thousand or ten thousand players was not something one player could deal with.

    The odds would be impossible. 

    In that case, Xu Xiang's goal today was to return to the mines he had visited yesterday. The mines were infested with level 8 maggots, a mob that Xu Xiang could now kill with his increased attributes. But Xu Xiang's main reason for visiting the mines was because of the large quantity of treasure chests the mines held. Treasure chests were like a race; only the first person who opened it would be able to win. The rest of the people would not get a piece of the treasure. 

    Xu Xiang spotted the figure of a person as he walked out of the novice village and stopped in his tracks. 

    It was Wang Xue! Even now, Wang Xue still seemed innocent and pure. She amiably chatted with a female archer beside her, Li Xin. Wasn't that the girl who had told Xu Xiang about the news of Wang Xue's death in the past?

    Wang Xue's profession was priest. She always fitted the standard pure and white priest gown, pure and unadulterated. Xu Xiang vowed one again to protect her from harm. Xu Xiang turned glum as he recalled his fruitless efforts in the past...

    Beside the two women, Wang Xue and Li Xin, there was also another figure beside them, overshadowed by the beauty of the two girls. From her magician garbs, she was a magician. There was also a warrior, who seemed like he had already collected all the sets of an equipment. The warrior proudly stood beside the two attractive girls, as if he would be able to be noticed by them. Unfortunately for him, Wang Xue and Li Xin did not spare him a glance. They continued speaking with each other.

    Dispute did not allow the emendation of one's appearance. However, one could use various methods to conceal their appearances, such as a veil. The two beauties stood at the village entrance, one lovely and one adorable. They attracted the gazes of almost all the players. However, the warrior was still standing beside the two girls, blocking the vision of many people.

    Chapter 13, END

  • edited May 2018
    I can't be the only one that already hates Wang Xue right? I don't understand his unhealthy obsession with her. I sure as hell hope that he does not make contact with them now, so early in the story. In game novels, the romance always come so early for some reason. Would prefer him to go to the mines first and become a proper player. 

    Edit: just read ahead and my worries came true ._.
  • Thank...
  • Thnx... n.n
  • is it on just my screen or is the comments section screwed up? 
  • edited May 2018
    https://pastebin.com/E13dH2QN <— Chapter 14 

    I can't post the chapter here for some reason
  • Thanks for the chapter
  • according to I was my navigator, but it has been for all ...
  • Note that Assassin Reborn release rates will slow down. Currently debating whether to drop it to a side-project and take up another novel as a main translation since the story looks mediocre. 
  • Have you already chosen the new novel or are you in search?
  • bosa2800 said:
    Have you already chosen the new novel or are you in search?
    In search haha