Chapter 186 – The Day Real Life Invaded the Game (1)
Robert Conner had sent the message. The moment he accepted the conversation, he was greeted by a bright voice.
「Long time no see, Hyun.」
「Did something happen?」
「It seems like the video will be ready sooner than we thought. I called to tell you about the change in the agenda.」
Robert Connor told him how production was going and thanked him for TarrTarr’s help.
He’d sent TarrTarr without thinking about it too deeply, but it seemed like he’d been of great help.
「It’s going to be done in a month?」
「Yes. If that’s a problem with you, we could push back the release.」
「No. There’s no need for that. The faster, the better.」
Fufu. Robert Connor laughed inside. He understood why Hyun had said that.
「Understood. Then we’re going to proceed.」
After the conversation was over, Robert nodded.
He’d seen the video Hyun had uploaded. He hadn’t cleared the Kaidan Castle episode because of their future plans.
That way, their video would have a bigger effect when it released!
‘Flawless as always.’
It was as if he had the world in the palm of his hands. He was someone who had both the appearance of a hero and an intellectual.
It wasn’t intended, but Robert heard what Hyun had just mumbled.
‘Did he say he was going to Demonia?’
Of course, Robert had no right to reveal a user’s plans, but he could more or less understand what Hyun would do next.
‘To think he’d leave other things behind and go to the Demonia Gorge first…!’
The more he thought about it, the more impressed he became.
There were two huge benefits to controlling Demonia Gorge…
The first reason was obviously ‘Sacred Stones’, and the other one was hidden.
If it were Hyun, he surely knew of both.
‘Does he have a personal information network?’
One would easily be able to figure out the Sacred Stones, but the hidden reason wasn’t that easy to see.
Kwon DaeHo’s research team had announced that, by using Asrian, research teams could reduce research costs to 1/1000 of the price. They’d even announced how to do that through a thesis.
After that, numerous research institutions, universities, and big corporations started to become interested in the possibilities of Asrian’s world.
Demonia Gorge was a place that corporations and other real-life institutions were looking at with great interest.
‘He shouldn’t have been able to figure out things like that if he was so immersed in the game.’
Their thesis started with the question of where
The first one was a ‘Private Room’, but in the end, such a place wasn’t picked because destroyed objects returned to normal in such places.
That meant that the laws of physics inside the room were different from the outside. It was also impossible to process something into the form they desired.
If it was Director Kwon DaeHo, he should’ve been able to solve that issue, right?
People in high positions met with Kwon DaeHo with those expectations. They wanted to get an area for research just like there was a place separated that was used for tournament purposes, but Kwon DaeHo rejected them.
“The rules of the world also don’t apply in the tournament area; that’s why, to obtain a realistic result, you must conduct the research inside Asrian.”
Most of the Asrian’s world was full of wars, monsters, or were places where a certain NPC or a country had strong leadership, so there wasn’t a place exclusive to users.
In the end, corporations were forced to get ‘information’ from ex-Asra users.
The desert, underground, the forest, the sea, the sky, or even space!
All places available inside the game were considered.
The place that ultimately was chosen was ‘Demonia Gorge.’
It was a place safe from the influence of NPCs or monsters.
The gorge was a place where fog appeared from time to time, so it was like a valley of death for NPCs. Users could easily dodge the fog by using the ‘logout’ method.
After that became publicly known, huge research groups started to plan to move to Demonia Gorge.
The investors had already made deals with rankers that were to get control of that area. Among those that had been contacted, there was the most famous guild of the time, ‘Darkness’, included.
‘Not only that, but he knows his own strength exactly…!’
Asrian wasn’t a place where the laws of the real world applied. It was a world where what mattered was your strength.
Everyone had proposed such a contract to Darkness because they believed they were the strongest. but what if there was a force who could face them?
‘If it’s Hyun, he could destroy that contract. The Returner’s Guild members are too few in the first place. Not only that, but they’re in another place… Is there another force that could face Hyun?’
The story might change if a fort was created around the gorge and defensive magic circles were put in place, but Hyun was probably going to move as soon as the patch was done. If he was with Ain, an average guild wouldn’t be able to face them.
Thinking about the variable that two users could bring to the table made Robert tremble in excitement.
‘The Emperor of Asrian… Is going to become the Emperor of the real world.’
It was something Director Kwon DaeHo had said as a joke.
The social status and influence of a few rankers were already comparable to big corporations, and the one who was at the top could become capable of being on top of the corporations.
Robert, who was expectant, reassured himself that he would look at what would happen in the near future.
A Sacred Stone was a stone that had the power of a Transcendent.
It could be used to fortify and create items. Not only that, but you could use it to enchant, fortify skills, and even change jobs! There were many uses for Sacred Stones.
From level 200~300, people would start paying attention to the Sacred Stones, and they would struggle after realizing they had no other choice but to buy them from NPCs for a high price.
Sacred Stones appeared near sacred places, and most of those places were under the control of named NPCs, but Demonia Gorge was free from the influence of NPCs.
‘It’s a land that hasn’t been touched by anyone. I wonder how many Sacred Stones there are stacked over there.’
During Asra, he realized that late, so Hyun was forced to be satisfied with what was generated from natural means, but with his second chance, he would probably be the first to step into that territory.
If he went to Demonia Gorge once the patch was done, all the Sacred Stones that were stacked during the past five years would probably become his.
‘If I go with Ain, we might lack hands… No, it probably won’t be enough with all the guild members.’
The gorge was a few kilometers big, so even an entire day wouldn’t be enough for four people.
He also had no intention of doing manual work for the entire day.
‘I’ll have to get some people.’
Hyun left the capsule and logged in to a site, Asrian Job World.
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With Asrian’s explosive popularity, web pages with jobs for users started to appear.
[Looking for users with more than 100 Strength]
Come and read on our website wuxia worldsite. Thanks
[Hiring mercenaries that are among the 0.1% of the Hall of Fame (Escort Mission)]
[Looking for someone who can work part-time in a shop inside a big city! (Someone who has experience working in a convenience store is preferred)]
[Looking for users that are either Magicians or Priests who have experience programming (Looking for someone who can sign a contract for more than 6 months)]
There were lots of different threads, and some seemed to have no purpose whatsoever.
It was something that couldn’t have been imagined a few months before, but users had gotten used to it.
SeoHyun posted a new thread using a similar format.
[Searching for 4 people to do a manual job! (More than 150 Strength)]
He was going to pay 250 USD per person.
Although it might’ve seemed like a lot at first glance, you had to use that much money to hire a user who had more than 150 Strength.
He set things up so that, in case lots of people were interested, users with more ‘Strength’ and ‘Agility’ would be prioritized.
‘I’ll also have to hire someone with a specialized job.’
[Searching for 1 Theologian! (Someone who can detect Sacred Power)]
SeoHyun nodded, satisfied, after reading the two threads he had posted.
The amount of money he had to pay a scholar was higher, but it was still cheaper than hiring an NPC with a similar job.
NPCs would refuse to go to Demonia Gorge, so that was also the only choice he had.
‘Should I get going?’
SeoHyun looked at the time.
It was afternoon, and he had finished everything he had to do.
He had arranged to meet up with JaeHoon for the first time in quite a while.
Tournament, videos, main quest, etc… He had lots of things to talk about.
“You won the finals, right? Congrats.”
“Thanks. Although I lost the MVP…”
“I saw it. That happened because you messed up the combo during the last confrontation.”
“Haha… Yes, my mistake.”
They talked about Ain’s video next.
JaeHoon told him that he immediately knew it was him «Assimilated» into Ain.
He told him that, thanks to that video, he became motivated.
Not only that, but Hyun told him how to clear the areas he had been having trouble with.
“Woah, that’s crazy. You even had to think about those kinds of variables?!”
“Yes. You can’t look at the entire battlefield with just a recording, so it’s an easy mistake to make.”
“I was surprised when I saw it, but hearing it makes even less sense.”
It became night while they were talking.
Then Hyun heard something somewhat surprising.
JaeHoon began talking about Jini while they drank coffee.
“SeoHyun, have you heard that Jini noona quit being a professional gamer?”
“Quit?! What do you mean?!”
“As expected, you seem busy these days… I thought you might not have heard about it.”
JaeHoon showed him the news article that mentioned Jini had retired.
The news said she’d completely quit being a professional gamer.
SeoHyun was expecting her to convert to a coach, so he was surprised after reading that she had decided to quit the professional gaming world completely.
“Why so suddenly?”
“You’re right… Noona sounded too disheartened yesterday, so I spent all night drinking with her.”
“If she quits being a pro, what will she do? Become a streamer?”
“I don’t think so.”
“Then is she going to quit Asrian? But she’s worked so hard and done so much on her character…”
Hyun was once again shocked.
He was sure she wouldn’t be able to throw away the character she’d taken so much time and effort to nurture.
It seemed like JaeHoon understood what he was thinking.
“No, she isn’t going to quit Asrian. Have you heard of a Magical Engineer?”
Something SeoHyun had never even been able to imagine came out of his mouth.
“It seems like the science and engineering fields have recently been growing in Asrian.”
It was something that already went beyond how much Asrian’s popularity had been increasing.
“Yes. To put it simply, they’re those who try to take the things that exist in the real world to Asrian.”
It was surprising.
Although Hyun was studying something related to engineering, he just did the attendance check, so it was the first time he’d heard about Magic Engineering.
He was surprised that something like that was happening in a place he wasn’t aware of.
“From what I’ve heard, it’s still far away from being practical, but isn’t it still quite impressive? Who would have thought that jobs like that would appear in real life?”
“Don’t tell me that Jini noona’s new job is…”
“Yes. It seems like a company scouted her. It seems like noona’s ultimate attack, «Retrogression» has a lot of potential for Magic Engineering. Oh, yeah. Noona told me that she’d contact you and that she probably won’t take classes anymore since she doesn’t need them.”
“She didn’t contact you?”
Suddenly, Hyun became confused.
It wasn’t that they had a deep relationship, but they’d seen each other constantly for a few months. Not only that, they’d done the Betty raid together, which later became a History Quest.
He had not only taught her, but when he looked at the matches Stardust had, he cheered for Practice and Jini.
Although she wasn’t quitting Asrian, she was one of the few people he had a close relationship with, so it felt as if she’d left for somewhere far away.
As SeoHyun hesitated, not knowing what to say, JaeHoon opened his mouth.
“I don’t think we need to worry about her. Maybe that area suits her more because it’s an area that has been becoming really hot recently.”
“Hmm… I see.”
“Haha. Let’s meet with Ain, the four of us, one day. We’re the party that took out Betty. To be honest, I think that was when I had the most fun.”
After that, he didn’t talk with JaeHoon for much longer.
After returning to his house, Hyun couldn’t help but think that what he’d heard that night would stay in his mind for quite some time.