Chapter 13 – The Day Things Don’t Work Out (2)
Since there was only one server in Asrian Online for the whole world, many things became trending news.
People posted new threads in the communities with different strategies or videos all the time.
‘Asrian Online’ was the game with the biggest audience on most streaming platforms.
Users often recorded their gameplays or downloaded different footage to make a highlight video and post it on YouTube.
Since there was a lot of footage being uploaded all the time, most videos were buried, but some of them quickly became a hot issue.
On Reddit’s biggest Asrian Community, a video was rapidly becoming a hot topic.
<Two Person, Named Monster Clear Footage!>
The title of the thread was written to grab any Asrian Online player’s attention. In just a few hours, it was on Reddit’s main page.
You could see a guild trying to clear the raid in the video.
Since the guild members in the video were very skillful, some were relatively famous among the community.
– Two-person clear? Isn’t this a 20 people annihilation?
At the beginning of the video, you could see a party of 20 being defeated. That’s why many people thought that it was just clickbait.
The video’s highlight started when two people dressed in black robes appeared.
Those two moved as if they’d been playing together for many years.
After seeing how they brushed off the named monster’s attack, people felt cathartic.
The most amazing thing was that they could defend themselves against an attack that couldn’t even be seen.
It was so incredible that you could even hear the person recording saying, “How did they do that?”
The reason why no one commented for many minutes was that everyone was watching that scene repeatedly.
– Is this Lattice?
The user that had posted that name had the most upvotes.
Lattice was at level 50 and thus, the number 1 player in the hall of fame.
Even though Lattice was at the top of the rankings, no one knew who the person was behind that character. That was because Lattice didn’t make public appearances.
– If one of the two is Lattice. Who’s the other person?
– It seems like one is doing all the damage. The other player appears to be supporting.
– But both have an amazing level of control over their characters. How many users are skillful enough to brush off an attack as fast as that with their hands?
– Oh my god. How are they doing that? I’ve never thought that something like that was possible.
It was unfortunate that the video was recorded from a distance. Because of the snowstorm going on, you couldn’t see very well what was happening.
– Is that person really Lattice? Because of the black robe, the face can’t be seen. Well, it isn’t like we know how Lattice looks or anything.
– Are you all stupid? They’re obviously NPCs.
People began to take seriously what one user had commented.
– They could very well be NPCs. Unlike users, they aren’t carrying weapons. Not only that, the skills they use are completely different. Their skills aren’t among those that a Warrior, Thief, Magician, or Priest has available.
– They could be using hidden jobs, right?
– My friend, getting a hidden job isn’t something as simple as asking your mom to give you something.
Among the replies, there were some nonsensical ones.
– The person inside that robe is a woman! If you look carefully, you’ll notice that something stands out around the chest area!
Even though that post was written as a joke, it didn’t change the fact that he was able to analyze the image with very sharp eyes. Sadly, no one took him seriously.
– loool, it’s true that the height of that user is low… But I don’t think what you’ve said is true.
– Go find your waifu somewhere else.
That post had received more than a thousand comments in just one day.
Some people discussed whether brushing off that attack with bare hands was even possible, but most were more interested in the identity of the two people wearing black robes.
After an intense day of debate, most users began agreeing about their identity.
– It seems like they really are NPCs. Considering many things, that’s the only possible answer.
– Do NPCs hunt named monsters?
– Someone else has commented about that before. This game’s Artificial Intelligence is so advanced that you can’t differentiate it from a real human being, so some NPCs act in a very similar way to users.
– Then, what country or organization are they from? Both seem to have jobs related to Magician.
– There’s someone in the comment section that had analyzed both of them. According to that user, they’re probably ‘Dark Priests.’
– Wow… So they’re really NPCs? They’re amazing… Will a user ever be able to beat high-level NPCs?
The one that had uploaded that video was Tarr Tarr.
He was sitting alone in the park, on a chair next to a fountain.
“They kicked me out…”
It had happened just a few hours ago.
Tarr Tarr was officially kicked out of the guild.
He still remembered the cold gaze everyone directed toward him.
The only one who managed to survive in the fight against the named monster was Tarr Tarr: that basically meant that he hadn’t properly participated in the battle, and that was why most guild members had begun thinking negatively about him.
But the main reason why they kicked him out was another thing…
The leader of the guild shouted angrily at him.
“Why did you upload the video?! It took us a lot of effort to get information about the hidden named monster. Twenty people died for us to get information on this hidden named monster! But now, the entire world knows about this.”
The leader couldn’t calm down and began shouting at him again.
“We’re not going to be able to get the title for being the first ones to kill a hidden named monster. And now, a stronger guild will probably take the hunting field from us!”
To be honest, Tarr Tarr hadn’t thought very deeply before posting the video.
How both users fought the hidden named monster was too cool to see alone, and that was the reason why he had uploaded that video.
Seeing the commentaries with the reaction of the people made him excited.
Tarr Tarr, who was still a middle schooler, couldn’t think and make decisions like an adult.
“I… I’m sorry…”
He was just a kid. Facing such harsh criticism from the rest of the guild members was too much for him.
It was his first time learning that someone had to take responsibility when something bad happened.
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Although he had left the guild on his own accord, it was as if they’d kicked him out.
He felt like a criminal, so he didn’t dare to face the other guild members; that’s why he walked out as if he was escaping.
Even though Tarr Tarr was sitting in the park and around him there were many different people, he felt loneliness.
He was angry with his timid and stupid self.
‘I should’ve let the boss kill me with the rest of the members. Then, I wouldn’t have been able to record the video… No, maybe I’m just not fit to be part of a high-ranking guild.’
He kept blaming himself for a while, and then he remembered the guild members with whom he had a good relationship.
Especially Arneng and Hell Dust.
He felt sorry.
They’d always told him that they were expecting great things from him, but in the end, he was just a disappointment.
He had hid and watched them being killed at the hands of the named boss.
‘I showed them a pitiful side of me until the end.’
He was thinking lots of depressing things when someone tapped on his shoulder. He was able to awake from the negative thoughts.
That sensation seemed familiar. Who was it?
Tarr Tarr turned his head around.
“Why are you making such an expression?”
“Yeah, a man needs to be able to deal with situations like this.”
It was Arneng and Hell Dust.
They had treated him like their little brother when he was in the guild. Those two were standing right behind him.
Tarr Tarr began crying.
Translator – Daniel Shin
Proofreader – ilafy
* * *
Maybe he just needed someone to spoil him.
“I… I’m sorry… Because of me, the guild… Coff…?!”
The hand hitting his back, like always, made his mouth stop moving.
“Why are you sorry?”
“Because I survived alone…”
“You should try to live, of course! If it were either of us that was in your situation, we would have grabbed the guild leader by the collar after coming back alive. He pushed us into the enemy’s hand without giving us proper information!”
“Oh, and about the guild.”
Hell Dust immediately replied.
“We also left it.”
“Gaming is how we make money to live… So rather than being tied to rules, we feel more comfortable by being free to do whatever we want.”
“Yes, that’s true.”
Arneng agreed to what Hell Dust said.
Arneng suddenly changed the topic and didn’t let Tarr Tarr finish his sentence.
“About the video you posted, I think it could cause you trouble.”
Tarr Tarr shrugged.
“About that… I’m sorry. Because I’ve uploaded that video, everyone came to know about the information on the named monster. I didn’t intentionally leak information. Because of me, the guild…”
“You’re not part of the guild anymore! So it’s as if they were strangers to you.”
Tarr Tarr couldn’t hide his surprise. Arneng kept talking.
“Uploading the footage of another user without their permission is wrong. You can generate income through YouTube, so it could create problems for you.”
Tarr Tarr was surprised.
“Weren’t those two NPCs?”
On Reddit, most people had concluded that those two were actually NPCs. They’d given a very good explanation about why they thought that, and Tarr Tarr had agreed to what those people had commented.
Because he had seen that fight with his own eyes, he still remembered the excitement he felt while watching that battle.
Especially because Asrian had been barely online for a month, how those two fought was on another level from the rest of the users; that’s why Tarr Tarr thought from the beginning that they were NPCs.
“I also thought that they were NPCs in the beginning. I’ve never seen anyone use the equipment or skills they had. Also, how they were able to move.”
“I almost overlooked it, but once I watched closer, I noticed something. Take out the unedited video.”
Tarr Tarr opened the footage of that battle as a hologram.
While smiling, Arneng pointed to a certain part.
He could clearly see footage that didn’t make the video’s final cut.
“See? When one of them froze, the other one melted the ice using a fire attack. I’m sure NPCs couldn’t do something like this.”
“Ah… Now that you say it…!”
“They’re party members! You can’t apply damage to another member of the same party. This means that those two are users.”
Tarr Tarr remembered another similar scene.
He had seen the battle happen in real-time.
Not only that, he had seen the video over and over again—so he remembered every single scene.
There was definitely a scene where one party member melted the ice covering the other person.
The fact that they could use the party system meant they were users.
If he had put that scene on the edited video, the conclusion of Reddit users would’ve been different.
“Then, is that Lattice?”
Tarr Tarr asked with a serious expression.
“Well, it could be… But I don’t know why, but I think it’s another person,” Hell Dust answered.
“I also think so. From what we know, Lattice is someone that likes playing alone… Even if one of the people that appeared in the video was Lattice, what about the other one?”
“They’re probably users that haven’t registered in the hall of fame. This world is definitely bigger than what we thought.”
“Amazing… There are people on top of the rankers?”
Arneng and Hell Dust were immersed in their conversation, but Tarr Tarr was beginning to feel anxious.
If what they said was true, he had uploaded footage of another player to the internet without their consent.
“W… What should I do?”
Tarr Tarr was about to cry.
Using the game footage of another person without their consent was a crime. They could take you to court because of it.
If they used that footage and sued him, he would definitely lose.
“You need to talk with those people. Since the video has gained quite a lot of popularity, maybe they’ll contact you first through YouTube.”
“It wasn’t your intention to earn money from another person’s work, so I’m sure you’ll be okay.”
“You didn’t even turn on monetization… So you really haven’t earned money at all from the video.”
“But if you get to meet these people, at least say sorry to them.”
Arneng and Hell Dust talked to Tarr Tarr in a mean way to scare him a little bit, but deep down, they knew that he wouldn’t get into trouble for something like that.
Since gaming was their livelihood, they knew a lot about streaming or uploading gaming footage. They also knew from what point things could get serious.
Not only that, if trouble were to arise, they were willing to help Tarr Tarr deal with it.
On the other hand, Tarr Tarr was frightened. He thought he should try to find the people on the video as soon as possible.