ARTT Chapter 12

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Chapter 12 — A Powerful Backer!
The person you can least afford to offend on the entire server!


Edited by Planetes

 

The spirit who had just been killed wanted to raise his card towards Zhen Jiu, but did not dare to do so. He hesitated for a while but ultimately, he released his spirit in frustration and left.

These people were different from ordinary players. Ordinary players could instantly revive after dying, but assassins, no matter whether their names were black or not, they all had a killer’s aura on them. Only when the aura had accumulate to a certain level would they then clear themselves of it. During this period of time, if they were to carelessly die, they would be automatically sent to the prison by the system. They would either have to pay a fine to get themselves out of jail, or sit there and wait for the aura to reduce to zero.

Hence, in comparison to everyone else, assassins were even more afraid of death.

Knowing that the consequence of losing was death, the few people who had quite a high level of killer’s aura on them all considered leaving.

“If this is the rule, I won’t be keeping you guys company any longer.”

Throwing these words at them, he only took a step after turning to leave before he knelt down.

Ling Xiaolu: !!!

He previously did not see how Zhen Jiu had made his way over, and now, he completely did not manage to catch how Zhen Jiu made his move.

He could actually just casually kill two people instantly. No wonder everyone behaved as though they had seen a ghost when they saw him.

Ling Xiaolu was a little regretful about the second person’s death. Just now, when the bulky man was attacking him, he was one of those who protected him.

“Dropping out equals to losing,” Zhen Jiu surveyed the crowd. “Does anyone else want to leave?”

Those few who did consider leaving all remained silent.

Zhen Jiu again faced Ling Xiaolu. “My deepest apologies, I seem to have increased the difficulty for you once again.”

Everyone had started off with the attitude that winning would bring them large gains while losing would not have any impact, but now it seemed they would have to try their best so as to keep their lives.

“It’s fine,” Ling Xiaolu turned his wrist, the dagger twirling around the back of his hand before returning to his grip. “It was only a warm-up for me just now too.”

Eight people were left as prey.

“The next target…” Ling Xiaolu made a random selection. “I choose you.”

Spider frowned. Anyone Ling Xiaolu harmed would be considered as having lost. In this situation, there was no need for him to choose a target, and a feint attack like just now would be the most beneficial for him. For him to deliberately announce it like that, was he trying to lower the vigilance of the others?

Thinking about this, he did not relax a bit. However, just like what Ling Xiaolu had said, he ignored everyone else, only aiming at his target specifically and admitting it.

Not only that, Spider noticed that Ling Xiaolu’s attacks were very incisive. He aimed for the weakest part of his target’s body and attacked. However, everyone would protect their weakest spot well enough, so Ling Xiaolu was entirely unable to touch him. In the eyes of experts, these two people were only wasting their energy.

“Be careful!” When nearing his target, Ling Xiaolu suddenly yelled. He aimed the point of the dagger right at his target’s eyes.

The target was alarmed, unconsciously blocking it with his arm, only to hear an “Aiyah”. Ling Xiaolu’s dagger flew out, shooting unerringly towards a person on the southwest. It brushed past his right shoulder, and slammed right into the trunk of the tree behind him.

When they looked at Ling Xiaolu, he was holding onto his wrist. With a slight crease of his brows, he looked as though he was in pain.

The judge Zhen Jiu announced the results. “An injury by the dagger, out. The prey attacked the assassin, out.”

The person whom Ling Xiaolu targeted only reacted then. He looked at Ling Xiaolu in astonishment. “You’re faking me out?!”

“I’m faking you out?” Ling Xiaolu blankly recalled what just happened, then shook his head. “I didn’t, you were clearly the one who hit me.”

“You…!”

His expression suddenly changed, slamming his fist to the ground. The earth under Ling Xiaolu started writhing, and he was unable to steady himself.

At the same time, four large beasts lunged over from all four directions, their maws gaping. Just as Ling Xiaolu felt that he was about to lose his life, he was suddenly dragged up onto the tree by someone. As he was going up, he could clearly see the four beasts rushing towards Zhen Jiu on the ground.

A gust of strong wind blew, and a storm of black sand occurred. Ling Xiaolu had to raise his arms to protect his face.

Only after at least half a minute later did the wind gradually stop and the sandstorm abated. Light returned to the surroundings.

Beneath Ling Xiaolu, Zhen Jiu was still standing at his original position, but there were four gravestones at his feet.

However, Zhen Jiu was looking in the opposite direction. He discovered his target, and with a wave of his hand, an enormous black crow screamed, flying over. After hitting the target, it dissipated into smoke, and the person it hit fell straight to the ground from mid-air. It turned out to be one of the assassins.”

“Attacking the judge, out. Taking advantage of the chaos and running away, out.”

Only three of the prey were left.

In one breath, Zhen Jiu had gotten rid of five people. He flicked away the dirt on his sleeve in disdain.

“I did not think that being a judge would still need me to display my skills.”

Ling Xiaolu looked next to himself, realising that the person who saved him just now was Spider.

“… Thank you.” Ling Xiaolu prayed that he had not been lifted up the tree by spider silk.

“You’re welcome,” Spider cast a sidelong glance at him. “Your life is worth a million after all.”

Ling Xiaolu too sneered. “Have you seen these gravestones? No matter how valuable my life is, you need to still have your life to collect the bounty.”

“You’re still left with three.” Zhen Jiu told Ling Xiaolu who had once again returned to the ground.

“Yes…” Ling Xiaolu wanted to correct him that it should be two, as one would be the winner, but behind him, Spider suddenly attacked, killing off the two unprepared people.

The two spirits were furious, raising their cards in unison: Spider, just wait and see!

Spider was not affected at all by their threats.

“It’s stipulated that the last person will win. I’ve won.”

“You’re right,” There was a change in Zhen Jiu’s tone. “But it’s also stipulated that you’re not allowed to use your pets.”

Spider’s hand holding his cards froze. He had used these cards to kill the others just now, and the cards were his “pets”.

“You’re out.” Zhen Jiu said.

Looking at the shape of his mouth, Spider seemed to be cursing. He then vanished into the air.

“He’s done an emergency disconnect,” Zhen Jiu commented. “As least he’s smart.”

Ling Xiaolu: … Then why did the other 9 people insisted on remaining online?!

“Uh… Judge.” Ling Xiaolu raised his hand meekly.

“Hmm?”

“I have a request.”

“Tell me.”

“May I touch your helmet please?”

Zhen Jiu’s answer came very quickly. “Sure.”

The helmet was very shiny, and in close distance, Ling Xiaolu’s marvelling face was reflected in it.

He carefully stroke the sharp beak with his fingertip, and dazzling light gathered along the path of his finger, pulsing along with the amount of force Ling Xiaolu exerted on it

“Wow—” Ling Xiaolu was unable to drag his eyes away from that enchanting light. “It’s so pretty.”

“Aren’t you afraid of me?” Zhen Jiu suddenly asked.

Ling Xiaolu’s hand paused. “Why should I be afraid of you? You’re not a gold name.”

Zhen Jiu’s interest was aroused. “Why are you afraid of gold names?”

“Because… don’t you feel that the gold names are throwing their weight around? If a gold name had not placed this bounty on me, there also won’t be so many people who want to kill me.”

Zhen Jiu nodded, enlightened.

“You like this helmet?”

“Yes, it must be really difficult to get one, right?”

“It’s from beta-testing, and it’s no longer available.”

“Ah, if I knew earlier, I’ll have started playing earlier,” Ling Xiaolu sighed. “You’re here to collect the bounty too right? I’ve readied myself now.”

“I’ve changed my mind,” Zhen Jiu made a few taps in the air. “Now, no one would dare to kill you anymore.”

Ling Xiaolu: ???

“What did you do?”

“You’ll know in the future.”

Zhen Jiu raised his thumb towards Ling Xiaolu. This time, Ling Xiaolu of course did not misunderstand that he was complimenting him.

Their thumbs touched, and the two people became friends.

“Although I’m not very clear of the situation, but it seemed like you’ve did me a great favour?”

“That seems to be the case.”

Ling Xiaolu patted his own chest righteously. “Since we’re now friends, when you need anything in the future, remember to ask me!”

Zhen Jiu pondered over it. “It seems like I really do need your help.”

Zhen Jiu summoned a mechanical crow. The size of the crow was many times smaller than Ji Meng’s gigantic dragon, and its metal shell made it look very smooth, as though one could easily fall from it.”

Ling Xiaolu unconsciously took a step back. “Don’t tell you want me to take a ride on this?”

Zhen Jiu heard the stiffness in his voice. “You’re afraid?”

“Uh, not really… At least, when I’m completely sealed within, I’m not afraid.”

Zhen Jiu waved his hand, changing the crow into an ostrich. “What about this one?”

“No problem. Do you especially like birds?”

“My zodiac’s the chicken.”

Ling Xiaolu: What sort of logic is this?

With how the ostrich sprinted, it quickly brought the two people outside a nearby county, but it did not go in.

Zhen Jiu tossed a small bag over. Ling Xiaolu opened it to see money.

“I’ll have to trouble you to buy some provisions for me from the county.”

“You can’t go in?”

Zhen Jiu pointed above his head. “It’s not very convenient with this thing.”

Ling Xiaolu saw his name in black above his head. He thought, I even have “Reward” above my head, isn’t that even more inconvenient?

“When a black name enters the city, the guards would chase after them. Once they’re caught, they’ll be sent to prison. With my current level of aura, I’ll need to be in prison for at least 2 to 3 years.”

… Then why are you still playing this game? Just delete your account!

“Don’t worry, you can count on me!”

Ling Xiaolu agreed, and on the way to make the purchase, he summoned Ling Long.

Lu Bi: Where are you?

Ling Long: Has that player left?

Lu Bi: He’s currently not here.

The little dragon that had been following Ling Xiaolu trembled, then cautiously looked around, only relaxing after confirming it for himself.

“Say, as a GM, even if he’s a black name, there’s also no need for you to be this scared.”

Ling Long was barely able to hold on to his professionalism. Agitated, he objected. “W-who said I’m afraid of black names?!”

“Then why did you have such a big reaction?”

“I’m afraid of birds! All animals with sharp beaks are all so scary! I’ve made so many suggestions to the art department to get rid of this helmet, but they never accepted it! Why did they design such a helmet in the first place, it’s really a revenge on society!”

Ling Xiaolu: …

“Then you should be very afraid of your president.”

“Why?”

“Because his last name is Ji1.”

“Do you believe that your account will be deleted if you continue making fun of this last name?”

Ling Xiaolu stopped teasing him.

“Still, why are you afraid of birds?”

“I was pecked by a goose when I was a kid!”

“A goose can be considered an animal with a sharp beak?”

“And a chicken! And a parrot!”

“… Then you should reflect on why they wanted to peck you.”

Ling Long heaved a breath of relief. “However, it’s still ok. There’s only one of this helmet in the entire server, and seeing it is a very rare occurrence.”

“That’s true, it won’t happen again.”

“Oh? You’re saying that we won’t see him again?”

“No. I’m now friends with him, and meeting him in the future would not be a rare occurrence again.”

Ling Long: ?????

“I’m now going into the county because I’m getting some things for him. Right, just now he said that no one would dare to kill me anymore. What did he mean by that?”

Only now did Ling Long noticed what was above his head. “Eh? You’ve been targeted by someone?”

“Targeted?” Ling Xiaolu looked up to see a knife planted in “Reward”.

“If an assassin takes the initiative to ‘target’ someone listed, that means that he wants to accept this bounty. Anyone who wants to snatch this bounty would need to consider if this assassin would attack them if they were to kill the bounty first. If the assassin is weaker, then the ‘target’ lock is useless, so anyone who dares to lock on a target would definitely not be an ordinary player.”

“So what if the person who targeted me is Zhen Jiu?”

“Then just as he said, there would no longer be anyone who would dare eye your bounty anymore. Throughout the entire world, there would probably be no one who would dare snatch Zhen Jiu’s prey. Even if there is, they would not be concerned over this one million, and would be unwilling to trouble themselves over such a pittance.”

“Are all black names this savage?”

“He’s no ordinary black name. Zhen Jiu is a player who was here since the beta testing, and he’s been playing this game even longer than I’ve been working for the company. I also heard from my colleagues that ever since the beta testing days, he’s been a character whom all players would be terrified of. He would often camp on a map, killing other players. Every day, the customer service department will receive complaints with regards to him, and the prison system was basically set up because of him. However, it’s useless, as even if he went in, he would still be able to break out from it.”

“Why do I feel like the person you’re describing is completely different? I feel that he’s very friendly and easygoing, and he even let me touch his helmet.”

“You??? Touched that helmet???”

“Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill, alright?”

“Don’t use that hand that touched the helmet to touch me! I’ll be infected with birdie germs!” Ling Long dodged him in alarm.

Ling Xiaolu: …

Ling Xiaolu swaggered into the county, and activated the waypoint in the inn.

There were quite a lot of people in the inn. With that eye catching sign on his head, his entrance attracted the attention of nearly everyone.

Everyone whispered amongst themselves.

“Eh? Isn’t this that…?”

“The walking one million?”

“That’s right, it’s him!”

“Apparently many hunters had gone in search of him, turns out he hasn’t died yet?”

“But he seems as though he can’t even withstand a single blow. Why don’t we…”

“Shh, don’t go crazy! Haven’t you seen who has targeted him?”

“??!”

“No wonder so many people have returned crestfallen. To be targeted by that person, would he even be able to last till tonight?”

“I suddenly feel that he’s a little pitiful. He’s only just started playing, but he now has to face the game’s greatest devil.”

The pitiful person seemed unaware of his surroundings, and was still cheerily greeting a seated player.”

“Hi, may I ask you something? Where can I buy food and potions?”

“Uhh, if you’re the one using them, you can just buy them from the NPC here.”

“They’re not for me, I’m helping my friend to buy them. I want the highest quality ones.”

“Then you have to go to the shop, or ask if there’s anyone who has mastered alchemy or cooking, and you can buy directly off them. Like this, you can save the trade fee.”

“So it’s like this. Then…”

Ling Xiaolu looked around, and everyone had been listening to their conversation. A girl raised her hand. “I’m an alchemy master, I can sell you potions.”

“Wow, thank you!”

Another person spoke. “I’ve just made some lamb chops, do you want any?”

“Lamb chops! They sound very delicious.”

Ling Xiaolu conducted a private trade with those two people, and someone appeared at the door of the inn, gasping.

“Oh no! Zhen Jiu is here, right here outside the county!”

The person whom Ling Xiaolu first spoke to stood up, pounding the table. He pointed at Ling Xiaolu in fear. “He’s here for him!”

Ling Xiaolu looked confused. “Huh?”

“Quick, run! If not we’ll be affected!”

“Hold on! It’s not what you think it is, listen to my explanation! Lamb chops, don’t leave! Lamb… chops…”

When Ji Meng came online, out of habit, he opened his inventory to feed his pets. However, he discovered a pile of junk in there, and without thinking, he summoned the customer service agent.

“What’s going on? Why is there so much junk in my inventory?”

“Please hold on, I’ll check it for you.”

The customer service agent returned after a moment of investigation. “Hi, our investigation has told us that you’ve allowed a player with the ID “Lu Bi” access to your inventory in the afternoon, and all these were placed there by him.

Ji Meng smacked his forehead. Yes, how did he forget about what this fellow had done?

“I’ll like to remind you that your inventory is currently still in the sharing mode, and the players that have been approved by you can still access your inventory anytime you’re online. They’ll be able to add to or remove anything from your inventory. As there is a risk in doing so, may I check with you if you’d like to disable this mode?”

“No need,” Ji Meng waved his hand. “Thank you.”

His social panel showed that the person was currently now at Qiwang County. Ji Meng had no clue what he could be doing there. Just as he was going to teleport over, the global channel suddenly exploded.

 

【Global】Ah Shuo: Everyone, don’t go to Qiwang County! Zhen Jiu is currently on the hunt for that Lu Bi person, and half the county has been slaughtered! Everyone, stay far away!!!

 

Ji Meng: ?!!


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