Striking Up an Ongoing Conversation
A clear river ran through the town, and the mossy stone bridge was immersed in the early morning mist. Only a few hazy shadows slightly undulated over the wet bluestone road. There may be two or three stubborn lime green cracks in the crevices, but they could not emerge, and remained faintly hidden. The distinctive aspect was the vermillion window pane on the small building near the water, and the clear and melodious cry of the girl punting the boat across the water. She seemed to slowly sink into the hazy blue-gray mist.
It had to be said that the one or two silly people standing on the side of the bridge, wearing coarse clothing, were simply ruining the scenery.
The map of the game Jiuzhou was very large. Every small town and village that served as a novice village had a limit of 1,000 players, and the first time a player logged on, the system automatically assigned the spawning area. Players less than level 10 simply could not leave their starting village. Besides the fact that the bandits and monsters had generally high levels, in ancient China, there was one very important fact that was easily forgotten by those who watched wuxia novels and television series. That was, the travel permit granted by the official government, which was 100 times more difficult to obtain than a train ticket during Chinese New Year in modern society. The average person simply could not get this thing at all. If they left the county where their household was registered, and went to another place, they had to have this stupid thing, or they couldn’t even enter the city gate…they would directly be locked up in jail. They couldn’t even get into the city by paying money. The people of the villages not far from the city had to enter the city to do business, but also had to go to Baojia (similar to the lowest level of the neighborhood committee’s members) and go with them into the city.
The ancient people did not easily leave their hometowns, not only because they were born on the land and relied on it to live, but because the laws of the country also kept them in one place. There were no unknown neighbors, and there were no neighborhoods they hadn’t seen, which made it easy for the government to facilitate official investigation. In the distant Qin Dynasty, there was a person who broke the law, and this person lived together with ten families who also committed the same crime. They really shared weal and woe, and were extremely close. This type of intimacy was something unique to those neighborhoods and was not something 21st century modern people could imagine.
So upon seeing the system providing prompt information about the travel permit, countless people had the impulse to spray blood. The television serials were really harmful ah, fortunately this was a game. If you accidentally transmigrated, you would definitely be defeated by this.
The identity Jiuzhou arranged for each player was an unemployed person. The household was registered in the starting village, and each player had a set of the humblest, cheapest clothes and shoes, a rusty dagger, and ten coppers. The starting stats were exactly the same: ten life points, for men two agility points and three physical strength points, for females three agility points and two strength points, and the rest were either zero or some special attributes were greyed out. There were no other stats such as intelligence, spirit, charm, luck and so on from other games. Jiuzhou’s game company explained very clearly in their promotions that whether the player judged the situation correctly or not depended on their own ability, as well as the favorability of the NPC when carrying out plot-related missions. What was the use of adding other points?
Liang Shuang, no, Mo Han pawed at the ten coppers, feeling a little dumbfounded.
Jiuzhou had no beginner’s guide, and only a few sentences were provided: This game had infinite possibilities; you could become the world’s first expert, and you could also usurp the throne from the emperor. Every time you log on to the game, treat it as if you were transmigrating. When you go offline, regard it as returning to modern times. At least having a house was not a necessity. A friendly reminder, money wasn’t everything, but without money, you couldn’t find a way to make money. If you really could not find another way to make money, you could pick up a broken bowl and beg along the street, but be prepared to be robbed and beaten by the NPC beggars who lost their territory. If you could win, then congratulations, you could continue to engage in the begging industry. If you lost, let it go and keep on trying.
During the public beta, they did not accept exchanges with real world money and the game world’s currency.
Therefore, the penny beating the hero was the first problem that stumped all the players. In South Maple Town, like Liang Shuang, the players strolling through this Jiangnan-style water town had begun to think about how to obtain money. So they confidently ran across the streets, talking to NPCs and asking questions, ready to accept missions, because in the entire town there were no mobs of monsters, like in normal games, that they could cut down to gain experience and level up.
Soon, everyone found out that Jiuzhou was a really abnormal game. Different people went up and said different things, and the NPC’s attitude was completely different. So some people received a task, and ran away excitedly, but other people who spoke to the same NPC didn’t receive it. This wasn’t to say that the players’ attitude was good. No matter how gentle and polite you were, the little girl with a basket would definitely ignore you. If you had a bad attitude, it still could be useful if you ran into the right person. Mo Han saw someone with a bad attitude. In that person’s anxiety, he kicked a beggar who was crawling and kowtowing on the ground. The beggar looked up and saw his assailant was tall, angry, and about to kick again. The NPC beggar was stunned on the spot. Shaking and holding up the broken bowl, he said, “Master, don’t fight me, just take this money…”
Although the bowl was broken, there were seven or eight coins inside it.
The player was stunned, immediately and joyfully took it, and went to the next beggar.
Mo Han couldn’t help but twitch the corners of his mouth. Even if there was a beggar at his feet, he would not kick him, let alone kick him a second time. What kind of person they were depended entirely on the players.
The embarrassing things he saw along the way continued, the most outrageous one was a teenage girl, angry at a silk store boss, stomping and yelling “Why aren’t you giving the task, I know you must have a task, your employees have a task how could you not?!” The chubby NPC was even more desperate, actually answering her, “I want to know, too”.
Mo Han walked around town for more than an hour, constantly thinking about the most suitable words for a conversation based on different goals, and finally received a mission to help the blind aunt buy steamed buns from Fatty Yang’s shop. After handing in the task, the aunt thanked him a lot, but did not reimburse him for the steamed buns. Mo Han touched his nose and walked out, looking at his information. His experience had only increased a little bit, and it cost 10 points to go from level 0 to level 1. After another half hour with no luck, a lady in a blue turban suddenly caught up to him and gave him ten cents, saying that it was the blind lady who had forgotten things in her old age, and later remembered she hadn’t given him any money.
Mo Han was excited from the few coins, almost to the point of shedding tears.
The older lady asked him to send something to the son of the shopkeeper in Zhenxi Inn to the west of the town. It was just a blue cloth package delivery and there was no need to spend money. Mo Han impulsively took it and ran on the bluestone road, almost falling on the way because the road was too slippery.
When standing in front of the only inn in South Maple Town, Mo Han had a feeling of tears and laughter.
Could this inn be more broken? There was not even a plaque, and the door was open, but looking at the way it was tilted and dilapidated, it absolutely could not be closed. The wind blew, and the paint chipped and fell off. There were wormholes on the boards. He felt that this was not an inn, but an abandoned temple, especially in this peaceful and affluent town. That this inn was this broken was a little bizarre.
Crossing through the door, Mo Han who had not yet seen the black hole inside, politely asked,
“Which one is the son of Aunt Qi? She entrusted me to send you something.”
After he finished his words, his eyes also adapted to the light inside. Indeed, the inn tables were not the most broken, but were slightly broken. It would be difficult for three players to find a bench to sit on. Carefully sitting in front of the most intact table, the boss-like NPC glanced at Mo Han. Then a short and thin fellow smiled and came over, thanked him repeatedly, and took the blue cloth baggage, giving him a copper coin.
At this time Mo Han heard the system prompt, and gained some experience. He thanked Qi Xiao Er for giving him money.
Another darker and thinner shopkeeper came over and asked Mo Han what he wanted to eat!
He must be joking, where did he have the money to eat? Mo Han was just about to refuse, when he suddenly found his life value had dropped two points. He remembered that he had been in the game for two hours… so he very speechlessly asked the shopkeeper what the cheapest food was.
“Of course it is a bun, one copper apiece, to restore one point of life value.”
Mo Han was embarrassed when he heard the last sentence, but it was a waste of time to go all the way to the east of town to buy it from Fatty Yang’s store. Hoping the food in this inn was not as shabby as its appearance was, he calmly asked for a bun.
Since he could not find a stool to sit on, Mo Han decided that since his first meal in the game was undoubtedly packaged, cough, he should just directly grab it and go. It could also save time. Groping around for his property of thirteen coins and about to lose one, Mo Han felt pain.
He was torn, but then he heard the shopkeeper say, “One coin for one bun, please remember it, Mr. Liang.”
“Mr. Liang?!” Mo Han looked up in shock, disbelieving of the coincidence that he would meet the owner of the so-called “name that belonged to an NPC in the game, and couldn’t be used.”
In addition to the three players who were also eating buns to replenish their life value, there was only the shopkeeper, another shopkeeper…uh, there was also an NPC with an abacus in front of the broken counter in the corner. It looked like he was the bookkeeper, uh, this inn was too miserable, they even had to account for a single coin?
Because of his previous hatred, although it was not a very good name, Mo Han still looked at the NPC carefully in the dim light. He was very old, and even had a torn robe with an inconspicuous patch on it. He appeared to be thirty years old, with a withered face, and was average-looking. At that time, he was very perfunctory and plucked at the broken abacus that lacked beads. He looked oddly at Mo Han, who had raised his voice by an octave.
It is obviously just an NPC, but Mo Han felt a little embarrassed.
Uh, the NPC’s name and even their identity was not their own decision, so shouting out a person’s name in a high pitch, not to mention ancient times, was also quite rude in modern times. And the name Mr. Liang…
“Haha, nothing, nothing, I thought this name belonged to a scholar or teacher… did not expect it to be the inn bookkeeper…” —It was over, if this NPC had a task, it would definitely not be given to him. This was the reason why Mo Han was really a bit chagrined.
Then Mo Han felt a strange look of bewilderment and weird surprise flash through the NPC’s eyes, and before he could carefully figure out what was going on, the bookkeeper lowered his head again and continued to fret.
The shopkeeper brought over the bun, which was exactly the same as the store in the east of town. Mo Han really couldn’t find a place to sit, so he stepped out of the broken inn, and while chewing on the bun continued to look for tasks to pick up.
The boat girl on the river issued a clear cry, and when Mo Han walked from the stone bridge, and saw the boat girl’s big black and clear eyes, he finally figured out what was wrong with the bookkeeper named Mr. Liang. His pair of eyes were very clear, and could even be called beautiful. How would a middle-aged man in his thirties have such eyes? Was this game really so abnormal?
“Haha, nothing, nothing, I thought this name belonged to a scholar or teacher… did not expect it to be the inn bookkeeper…”
System Alert: Someone suspects your identity, the hidden quest has been triggered.