Mighty Spring Rain
On the evening of the first day of Jiuzhou’s public beta, the forum was once again flooded with resentment of the players. The curfew, which was extremely dumb and in line with history, spared some players who were born in the mountains or small villages. Other slightly populated areas had night patrol NPCs, catching players completely unprepared.
In ancient times, those who violated curfew were dragged to the County Magistrate’s office to be hit forty times. No matter how realistic Jiuzhou was, players would not be sent to the office for such a trivial matter. If that were the case, they would go to the Consumers’ Association and say their human rights were being violated… But the punishment that Jiuzhou set was not one that players could accept—being caught once meant a fine of ten coins, being caught again the same night meant twenty coins, and the third time they were thrown directly into a cell and held for an hour. This didn’t count offline time, either… If they didn’t have enough coins to pay the fine, they were directly thrown into the cell…
As a result, a large number of players who were detained felt uncomfortable and swore, logging into the forums to complain.
In the rush of righteous indignation, they quickly flooded the forums, when suddenly Jiuzhou released a system announcement, which was automatically shown on the forums.
—”Congratulations to the Jinhong player [Rice Fan] for being the first to reach level 10, and obtaining the travel permit to pass within the county. After curfew is lifted, go to Changzhou” —
What did they mean?! This was simply a nuclear bomb of information! In the fourteenth hour after the launch of the Jiuzhou public beta, at 10:30 p.m, most players were still struggling at about level 3, and high-end players were only on the way to level 5 or 6, but there were actually people at level 10!
It wasn’t someone from those previously popular posts, nor those posting upgrading tips. At once, most players felt very unpleasant, and felt that this person had found a trick yet neglected to share it, which was extremely unkind. The questioning and condemning posts were overwhelming the forums for a while. Levelling up in Jiuzhou was not easy; level 0 to level 1 took 10 points of experience, but from level 1 to level 2 tok 80 points, level 3 took 400 points …up until level 5 to 6, where the experience needed had reached a very scary 1000 points. Even if you wanted to suspect that the guy was cheating, there were no cheating programs suitable for holographic online games, and upgrading in Jiuzhou basically relied only on doing tasks. There wasn’t a large amount of small monsters for players to repeatedly cut down, except for rats, which were very hard to catch.
The group’s passion lasted for half an hour. The lucky player with the ID [Rice Fan] was afraid of being sprayed to death with spit, and went on the forum to post.
This post was clicked over 10,000 times in a few minutes, and after reading the post, all reprimands grew silent, leaving only messages of envy and jealousy.
The official forum of Jiuzhou was ID-bound, that was, to the player’s in-game name. It could not be changed, and players could not speak without logging in. So the first player to rush to level 10, Rice Fan, was extremely innocent. He said he ran into a family at a school. The school gave him a task to help him level up, which was also very easy. It was to help the teachers inside find classics from the library. The experience given was not high, but the good thing was that it was not a one-time task, and could be repeated. In the afternoon when he was level 3, the NPC asked him if he knew Sanzijing1 a classic Chinese text, and it just so happened that this player was studying ancient Chinese. After reciting it in front of the NPC, he somehow became a student of the academy. He spent several hours memorizing and reciting the analects of Confucius and Mencius in front of the NPC…He knew these before playing the game, so he simply watched his experience grow. It had just reached level 10, when the NPCs of the academy started nagging him a lot. Their general idea was to let him go to the county school in the state capital to study.
As for why this was the case, Rice Fan had called and consulted Jiuzhou Game Company, and the official explanation for his outrageously speedy upgrade method was:
Players could choose a career at level 10, and there were over three hundred and sixty options, but they were roughly divided into three categories: taking the examination to join the officialdom, understanding the martial arts of the Jianghu2This will keep being brought up, so as a note for those not used to reading wuxia novels, the Jianghu is known as the material arts world, and learning pure life skills. For players before level 10, the rate of experience gain of the scholars was the fastest, almost 100 times that of others. As to why, the ancients had a saying, the so-called “worth of other pursuits is small, study of books excels them all.” It was much faster than the anti-rat task, and did not affect life points.
—Hey, Jiuzhou, could you have a lower limit? Was it even possible for you to be cheaper?
But after reading the description below the official information, it was almost like the post in the afternoon that led to a national extermination of rats. The players went to academies and private schools and calmed down.
Although Jiuzhou allowed players to have more than one occupation, the second occupation could only be chosen at level 40, and it wasted an opportunity to promote your original occupation. The scholar class players, after 10 levels, would slow down in upgrade speed, because in reality although they might know the analects of Confucius they could not always write poetry. Of course, if a player knew how to write essays in reality, taking a month to reach level 50 was no problem. The problem, cough, was that as long as you memorized the Four Books and Five Classics and also understood poetry and metre, reaching level 40 was no problem at all… This was a game, and as long as you had it ‘memorized’, the book would be automatically recorded and displayed at any time for the player to find. You only needed to be familiar with the first sentence to think of the next one. If a player went to the imperial examination it would simply be an open-book examination. You could just copy the information. As long as the essay’s point of view was correct, you had a bright future waiting ahead of you. Of course, it was necessary to use literary language…
Suddenly Rice Fan’s post was filled with words of sympathy. For example, “Dad, I’ll wait for level 40 to change classes, this is a road filled with trees normal people cannot tread!”
Everyone was there to enjoy the world. What kind of compulsion did you have to have to play a game to take a test? Even if you took the writing test, you had to use classical Chinese. Fuck, that was more painful than writing the CET-4 essay.3One of China’s English certification tests
There was a wall in front of them. Please, Rice Fan, be unrestrained and… break it!
The forums were surging, and after several changes in the situation Mo Han at the inn in South Maple Town was still unaware.
When the system shouted all over Jiuzhou, rocketing Rice Fan into fame, Mo Han had blocked the channel because the players yelling about the curfew were too noisy. He squatted in the barren grass in the backyard of the inn, dumbfounded at the four-legged, short creatures known as weasels.
“Weasel (Mustela)4Scientific name for weasels, level 5, has a soft body, especially around the waist. It can cross narrow gaps, even fitting into a rat hole, can climb, will swim, and has a violent temperament. Against creatures weaker than them, even if they do not eat it, they will bite each other to death. Odor Attack causes great damage, resulting in a one-time drop in life points by five, with a chance of causing a dizzy state if hit by it more than 3 times. “
Mo Han looked at the system’s display of attributes, and speechlessly raised his head to question the heavens.
Oh, the moon was nice tonight.
The courtyard was full of decaying and scattered wood. Picking up a weapon was no problem, but with his twelve points of life, 4 physical strength, 8 agility, and 1 reputation, he was only afraid to attack these small animals. Ah, even if he hadn’t assigned the 5 free attribute points to agility, he wouldn’t be able to beat the weasel to death.
“I can’t believe there’s a poison attack bonus…” Mo Han squatted on the ground and sulked.
Ahem, anyways, he could take the initiative to attack (because he was a lower level), and attack in a group.
Did he want to give up the mission?
Mo Han was thinking nonsense, when he suddenly heard an eerie laugh in his ears.
“Young man, what are you doing?”
Mo Han scampered up from the ground. The nearby group of weasels ran away faster than he could react. Even the shadows disappeared. An icy air blew from the back of Mo Han’s neck. He was so shocked that he turned around, but there was nothing behind him, and he felt the chill of coldness in his ears.
“Young man, I advise you, leave this inn, this is not a good place.”
It was just a game, what was there to be scared of? Even powerful NPCs were just data!
Mo Han was certain of this, and regardless of the coldness behind his neck, smiled and said, “Why, is this inn haunted?”
“There aren’t any ghosts, but there is a guy hiding here who is more frightening than ghosts.”
The voice was long, very thin and slight, but for some reason, Mo Han heard it very clearly, and smiled even more amusedly.
“Oh, is it you?”
“Oh, how can it be this old man, of course it is-“
The voice abruptly stopped, and Mo Han felt a wind blowing from behind. Half his cheek was stabbed in pain, and he heard a yell. But he did not have time to see what happened, before an inexplicable force lifted him up. Getting up, he felt dizzy, touching not the grass and stones, but a soft, sticky, warm mass. He jumped in shock.
Under the moonlight, Mo Han hands were dyed a bright red.
On the ground lay the body of the stingy shopkeeper, eyes wide open, and a needle with a half-curved cyan end inserted in the center of his eyebrows. It wasn’t terrible, it was just abrupt. For no reason, someone had died.
“Humph, how dare you make yourself a fool in front of me…”
He only heard the sound but didn’t see the person, Mo Han looked at the only three life points he had left, dumbfounded
Hey, this was too exaggerated, he just fell, and didn’t break his arms or legs. Someone else made trouble, while he was just an innocent bystander!
No way! If the system’s mission-issuing NPC died, what was he going to do?
“I’m safe…uh! Ah–“
A sharp scream cut through the silence of the night sky. Mo Han listened, dumbfounded. The courtyard was still in disrepair, and had nothing except the corpse of the boss. In the end, what happened ah, could he calm down and explain it?
From the collapsed half of the courtyard wall, in the direction of the front yard, a figure slowly appeared.
White washed blue cloth robe, yellow skin, ordinary downtrodden appearance, with only a pair of clear eyes. In the silver moonlight, they were bright and profound, fascinating him.
Mo Han shouted open-mouthed, could it be that he had met the legendary hermit who used to be a high ranking person? This so-called ‘small hidden in the wild, the big hidden in the city’? From the shopkeeper to the bookkeeper in this ruined inn, were they all martial arts experts? Or was he unlucky enough to have provoked an enemy NPC?
Still, he should run away quickly, lest he get attacked by an NPC due to confusion.
“This, the shopkeeper was not killed by me, really.”
“I know.” You didn’t have the ability to kill him either, little level 1 player.
“I didn’t see anything, I just heard a ghost-like voice floating around.”
“I know.” You never thought about who drove away the guy you just mentioned, either.
“What, what’s going on here?”
“This…” Liang subconsciously rubbed his fingers, slowly hanging down his sleeves, his face expressionless, “I just found out that I seem to know martial arts.”
Mo Han bitterly lowered his head. As a level 1 player, he could not afford to offend him.
“So what, the boss has no son?”
“…Probably.” He was stingy enough to even gnaw on hard buns, and even rats wouldn’t stay here. How would he be able to take care of children?
“No wife either?”
“Haven’t seen any.” For this kind of thing, the system had the final say, and it would be refreshed when it said so.
“Then who does this inn belong to now?” Liang was silent. It was a good question. He also wanted to know, but the system did not tell him.
“Apart from you and me, there are no living people in this inn?”
“I think so.”
Mr. Liang thought, “Why on earth did he just leave his nice counter to sleep on and run to see how this player would get bitten by a weasel (…this prediction was really correct, and he was bitten), and as a result – such a broken inn had uninvited guests! When the innkeeper rushed out, Mr. Liang didn’t care, maybe it was a plot task arranged by the system for the innkeeper. It had nothing to do with him anyway, but once the innkeeper died, it was a big problem. If the inn couldn’t even open for business, with no players going in and out, and no contact at all, when would he be able to get rid of that damn hidden task?
Thoughtful, Mr. Liang then stopped paying attention to Mo Han and crouched down to pull out the green needle from the boss’s body.
“System prompt: You have received the concealed weapon, Spring Rain.”
“Spring Rain, concealed weapon, expendable, can be used 3 times. If the enemy’s internal strength is 1000 or less, then it ignores defense values. Attack power 7000-13000, the critical strike bonus is 80%. Requires a justice value of 10 for use, but has no level restrictions.”
Dumbfounded for ten seconds, Mo Han suddenly looked up to the sky and laughed.
Because a certain someone had blocked the system, he didn’t know that this wasn’t an outbreak of luck, but rather a trouble.
“System announcement, South Maple Town player [Mo Han] received Jiuzhou’s first artifact, hidden weapon [Spring Rain]. This object was forged through the ingenuity of Ghost Valley, and its name means to ‘moisten things silently.’ Attributes ignore defense, it is silent, and the artifact can not be traded, but can be dropped. Please note that men are not guilty, except for carrying good fortune.”7It is a metaphor for suffering from being talented
“……” Even players who were jealous and wanted to chop him down couldn’t help the black lines that appeared on their face.
Hey hey, not tradable, but it could be dropped?
And what did it mean by the last idiom?
Jiuzhou, could you be any cheaper?! Were you not afraid the world would grow chaotic?!
Of course, the most important thing was that no one except for Mo Han knew that this could only be used three times! And moreover, Spring Rain was a divine weapon, but he didn’t even know…
- 1a classic Chinese text
- 2This will keep being brought up, so as a note for those not used to reading wuxia novels, the Jianghu is known as the material arts world
- 3One of China’s English certification tests
- 4Scientific name for weasels
- 5An arrogant way to refer to oneself
- 6a way to express a lucky happening; RP stand for Ren Pin, which is a character that means luck
- 7It is a metaphor for suffering from being talented