Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
At the very last moment when everyone cooperated to battle against the Deathfiend Spider, Qin Ruo was "fortunate" enough to arrive at the "Resurrection Gallery" once again…
This was the place where the dead souls of countless players gathered as they waited to be resurrected. Just like Qin Ruo, everyone currently did not have a physical body. They could see the outlines of their own body, but they were hazy and blurry. Even though they seemed like wandering ghosts, they did not appear to be horrifying.
Nonetheless, the Resurrection Gallery looked extremely imposing!
Qin Ruo was still able to recall that one time he was killed by a magical beast. He had wandered around this place for over half a day. It was likely that many players who died in the game could remember going there as they felt like odd, newly-born wandering souls during that period. They would stick their necks up, mesmerized by the sight of the patterns and pictures on the Resurrection Gallery's ceiling, which was over twenty meters above them. Everything seemed very fresh to them. Players would first walk along all the four lengthy corridors that were connected with each other to converge into a square. After that, they would finally follow the system's instructions and walk into a gigantic, white Teleportation Circle right in the center of the gallery's four corridors. It was actually the Resurrection Teleportation Circle, which was connected to countless Resurrection Points (Respawn Points) all over the game.
Looking back now, Qin Ruo blushed as he thought himself a fool in the past—what was so beautiful about an empty winding corridor? The corridor's ceiling was also filled with birds and bats all over. Even though there was a brief backstory behind it, the exact same story was published on the game's website. There was really no reason for anyone to let their necks suffer like that.
Just as he was going down memory lane, Qin Ruo suddenly received a system notification.
"Unknown Player, 'Executioner' requesting for a call."
Qin Ruo was stunned for a brief moment when he noticed that someone he did not know attempting to call him. It was actually the first time that had ever happened to him since he joined the game.
Instinctively sweeping his eyes across the dense crowd of wandering souls all around him, Qin Ruo had a quick random thought. Could it be that he had become much more charming after he died?
While he was being carried away by his unrealistic thought, Qin Ruo accepted the stranger's request.
"Who are you?" The moment Qin Ruo spoke, he regretted picking up. Regardless, it resulted in…
Qin Ruo was speechless.
He suddenly thought that there was actually someone even more bored than he was... Sighing, he actually began to talk to this person, whom he found had nothing better to do. He could not help but feel that he was a person who had nothing better to do himself!
Both of them remained silent for a few seconds. After that, the other person broke the awkward silence once again and said, "While we were snatching for the key, I was there as well. So, please forgive me for asking you, do you… have a fixed party at the moment?"
"A fixed party? Why would you ask me that?"
Qin Ruo instantly became cautious. He immediately thought of Crackpot and Netherspirit's Claw. His instincts told him that this stranger may not be straightforward in his approach, having the agenda to pry for information about his relationship with Slayer's Heart and the other party members.
The moment Executioner sensed that Qin Ruo was speaking cautiously, he also started to distance himself. Executioner then immediately explained.
"Please don't get me wrong. I'm just representing our leader to ask you this. Are you willing to join our party? Our captain has been very fond of your capabilities ever since he witnessed your battle with Crackpot. Personally, I think your strength is not bad as well. So, we'd like to invite you to join… Oh yeah, our Squad Leader's also one of the members of the Bauhinia League. We hope that you'll consider our invitation."
After hearing Executioner out, Qin Ruo remained vigilant, because he only believed half of the story he was told.
"What's your Squad Leader's name?"
"Level 46 Ignis Swordmaster, Flame Martyr." After he answered Qin Ruo's question, Executioner began to list out the benefits of joining his party. "…There are a lot of benefits in joining our party. Not only will you have a fixed party every time you come online, but you'll also never have to worry about equipment. Other than that, you'll be receiving about 500 gold coins as a reward on a weekly basis."
When Qin Ruo heard that equipment would be provided, and he would have a fixed party to grind with, plus receive 1,000 Yuan once a week, he was slightly moved by the attractive benefits. However, he soon came across one problem. "Do you have any restrictions or requirements on how long I have to be online every day? Do members of the party always have to stick together?"
"Uh, about that…"
The moment he heard Qin Ruo bringing up those matters, Executioner slightly hesitated for a brief moment.
"Because we have to send 500 gold coins to every party member on a weekly basis, not to mention gather all the equipment first before we distribute them, all members in the party need to contribute. About the duration of staying online… one cannot be online less than twelve hours a day."
After he discovered the minimum duration for staying online in the game every day, Qin Ruo did not show the slightest hesitation as he rejected the invitation. Executioner did not even manage to finish his. After all, Qin Ruo was able to discern that the party obviously belonged to a guild that played for a living. Regardless of how large it could turn out to be, these people would always recruit high-tier players with good abilities to win, as they relied on such players to make a living and earn money.
Despite how attractive the offer sounded, they would remain a bunch of people who hired other people or other parties to do the hard work for them…
Twelve hours… And he would only be earning 4,000 Yuan a month. If he really agreed to join the party and commit himself to the cause, Qin Ruo would definitely lose his current job in real life. On top of that, his salary was much higher than the benefits he could get in the game. Even if there was a party that could offer him a higher price than his salary, it would still be an unstable job him. It would still be far from enough compared to Qin Ruo's two jobs!
After remaining silent for a brief moment, Executioner began to speak again.
"Actually, the benefits that our party provides is not bad compared to the others. If you're convinced that it's still too little, perhaps I can discuss with my Squad Leader and come up with a better offer."
"There's no need for that. I'm definitely not going to be able to become a professional player. I still have work outside, in the real world," Qin Ruo explained the reason for rejecting the offer.
"Is that so…"
Executioner's tone sounded a little relaxed after that. "Actually, the time you need to be online isn't really that important. If you can come online at night, you can join our party too. It's just that your benefits will be a little lesser than the benefits provided to official members of the party." Executioner seemed like he was not about to give up completely on the Tier 3 Aquamancer just yet. He possessed enormous potential after all.
However, he was not aware that Qin Ruo had a great sum of debt he needed to pay off…
Even though Executioner made it sound very nice, it actually sounded like the Squad Leader was the one who held absolute power over everyone else in the party. The Squad Leader would then have total control over the distribution system with regard to equipment. Furthermore, the welfare of those wage earners was not really that good to begin with. Perhaps Qin Ruo would need to hand over the spoils of his victory to the party each time after battles. That would just be the same as joining a one-time party like he usually did in the past.
He immediately changed his tone and turned down Executioner's invitation—at the end of the day, it would never be a casual thing to work under someone. Instead of getting exploited by others for some equipment and lose his own freedom, he would rather stay put with Slayer's Heart and the others. That way, he could stay in the game as a free man.
Still, Executioner seemingly refused to give up. He spoke again as he attempted to convince Qin Ruo.
"If you don't join Heart's party, I believe that we're your best option. It'd be better if you just join us. That Crackpot's a mean and unforgiving bastard. You really embarrassed him so much today. You'll definitely be facing much more trouble than you can possibly imagine if you're without a party."
Qin Ruo was convinced by that point though. Furthermore, Slayer's Heart and the others in his party had also reminded him about it. However, Slayer's Heart also mentioned that Crackpot would never be bold enough to commit a heinous act as long as Qin Ruo stayed with a party.
Even if Qin Ruo was alone in the game, he could just travel to the other cities to play the game for a while. That Crackpot was merely an ordinary member of a League after all. He could not have possibly had eyes and ears all over H&G. He was also not capable of mobilizing an entire League or Clan out of the blue for his personal vendetta.
After he responded to Executioner, telling him that he would not accept the invitation for sure, the view before Qin Ruo's eyes suddenly changed. The next moment, Qin Ruo found himself back on the third floor of the underground crypt. Greeted by Violet Orchid's pretty face, Qin Ruo smiled as he twitched his nose a little. Much of the disgusting stench in the air had faded…
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