Those reporters ordered to District 79 shivered. Gaming was not their forte; glib talk, secretly taking photos, and ambushing celebrities were their true life's calling!
Therefore, those that had obtained accounts for District 79 looked for places to hide after logging in. They had not come to slay monsters but to spot someone!
A member of a media forum contacted his colleague.
"Anything happening on your end?"
"Nope, just a bunch of players fighting off a group of beasts that appeared from nowhere... I'm considering whether to pick off some scraps. Who knows, I might gain some points."
"Forget about it. Considering the standard of your marksmanship, it's better not to take that risk. At my side, someone took the opportunity to play a little. In less than five minutes, he lost three lives and got a scolding when he disconnected. I reckon his wages are going to be deducted."
"...I guess I should just wait instead."
"This game is a little too scary," a reporter who rarely played games added in. He had been temporarily dragged over to assist. He used to report on culinary and culture, and his field of expertise was literature and art. Today, the company's gaming entertainment section lacked manpower, and since he was free, he had been transferred over to help out and lay in wait for that mysterious AliveAfter500Years to appear. It was rumored that, if luck was good and one managed to catch him, there would be a pay raise. The assignment sounded easy enough, so he had accepted. What he had not expected was that, upon entering the game and seeing those sickening beasts, he would nearly scream; his legs were still jelly.
"You are just a scaredy-cat. You will get used to it after playing these games more."
"The sky... The sky is already dark! That AliveAfter500Years might have gone to bed, right?"
"Have you ever seen a gamer that sleeps so early? Just wait, he wouldn't go offline so early. At most for a little rest, and then he will log back in. Don't bother about anything else, just listen for gunfire."
"Nothing will be coming out at night, right? I have never used a gun before. I didn't even handle a gun during my military service."
"Don't worry, just take shelter in a safe place and wait. Close the doors and windows and don't make any unnecessary sounds and you will be fine."
After AliveAfter500Years had revealed himself, District 79 was now filled with the eyes of the media. Some were reporters hoping to catch some news, while others were players that had been paid to shadow him.
Other sorts of mutated beasts came out at night. Due to the lack of light, players with night vision would fare better, but for those without night vision, many times they would not even catch sight of anything before dying.
Reporters from many media groups holed themselves in places they felt safe, not daring to step out, just listening out for the gunfire that was mentioned in the information. However, they did not hear gunfire but, rather, strange roars and blood-curdling screams that frayed their nerves and made them feel chills down their spines.
It was more difficult at night; a moment of carelessness could result in the loss of life. Therefore, many players just disconnected straightaway. Compared to during the day, there were fewer players. But there were still players that liked this sort of even more intense environment.
The time zones across the world were all different. If it was daytime in a continent, that region would also experience daytime in-game. This resulted in gamers that were placed further behind taking advantage of daytime and going on a rampage, sweeping up points and rising up the rankings.
However, the global leaderboard's top ten still did not see drastic changes.
When a region entered night time, players that were not suited for a night environment and disconnected did not go to sleep. Instead, they paid attention to information related to the game. Some people were busy buying equipment, whereas others were busy memorizing strategies in preparation for resuming the fight the next day. There were also some that watched gossip news.
"The f*ck! How is he still sweeping up points!"
"AliveAfter500Years is online again?"
"I asked my cousin's classmate's relative's neighbor in Yanzhou a while back. It was all quiet in District 79."
"You don't say, of course District 79 is quiet! He has gone over to District 78!"
Indeed, very quickly, a piece of news appeared. It was a screenshot of an announcer. Someone at District 78 had sent that message.
"District 78 has been swept clean! Listen to the sound of gunfire, AliveAfter500Years has appeared!"
"Why has he come over to our district? Bullying us at District 78 because we don't have an expert?! Why doesn't he go over to District 80?!
Someone from District 80 immediately replied, "Over at District 80, the monsters are few and the roads are bad. Big god, please don't come over."
The expanded map of the Yanzhou region only displayed 100 districts, and the lines were drawn out well. As the names of many places during the Period of Destruction had already become hazy, in the game, the places were just straightforwardly labeled as districts and given a number each. As for District 79, on the map, its position was between District 78 and District 80.
After a short while, those stationed at District 79 received instructions from their own bosses: "Withdraw first."
"We are no longer keeping watch tonight?" a reported squatting in District 79 asked his colleague.
"Nope, he's already gone to 78. There is nothing left to watch."
"Have we just wasted an hour waiting for nothing?"
"Anyone have District 78 accounts? I want to head over for a look."
Reporters in District 79 left in succession after receiving their instructions. Some went to purchase District 78's accounts. They definitely did not dare to run alone from District 78 to 79. There were dangers en route that could make them die a hundred times over. They were reporters, not gamers.
District 78's players that sold accounts and equipment had originally logged off, intending to rest. When they heard that AliveAfter500Years had come over to District 78, they were immediately awakened, not because of panic but because of excitement. They could smell the influx of people coming over to District 78, and they could raise the prices of their equipment. Profit!
As before, the number of reporters hiding in District 78 increased. Some were temporarily hired by media from other continents. Noticing that player being so active on the leaderboards even at night drew a lot of interest. They were all thinking that maybe they might get some big news tonight.
However, as these people arrived at District 78, Fang Zhao logged off.
The environment at night used up much more mental and physical strength than daytime. A moment of carelessness could easily result in injury of death. In addition, he had already played for a long time during the day. In the evening, he only had a little rest while eating and had played five hours straight after that. He was too tired now.
After a bath, some food, and browsing the news, Fang Zhao laid on his bed and slept. This was probably the first time he'd had proper sleep since being reborn, a peaceful rest.
Still, reporters in District 78 continued hiding in their spots, pricking their ears up and shaking from the beastly roars outside, all the way till they received instructions from their superiors to withdraw.
The night was in no way tranquil. Players excitedly discussed their harvests from the first day, sharing their own experiences and interesting stories. Fans's were busy keeping tabs on the stars of various gaming clubs. The media was especially lively. Today, a real expert had emerged in Yanzhou, not from the Big Five, but from Silver Wing, an entertainment company. Everyone had their own guesses on who AliveAfter500Years was, but no matter what, no matter who he was, it was sensationalized.
The next day, Zuo Yu came over early in the morning to pick up Fang Zhao. As Fang Zhao's driver cum bodyguard, he needed to fulfill his obligations. He felt that he might only be a "driver," and if he did not perform well, who knew when he would be dismissed. Zuo Yu really liked this job; there was not much to do and the salary was high. The only drawback was that the mental pressure was rather high. His boss was even more capable than him, and he felt a little guilty to be getting paid so much.
Meeting Fang Zhao once more, Zuo Yu was feeling complicated. That little bit of superiority he had once felt had completely vanished. He could no longer face Fang Zhao in the same casual and playful manner. He instead had to be respectful just like the majority of other bodyguards. He was also curious as to how Fang Zhao had managed to get so many points, but if Fang Zhao did not say, he also could not demand answers. Besides, there would be chances to find out in the future.
Zuo Yu spoke about the incident with Wayne coming over to the virtual project department.
"Boss, are you going to collaborate with the gaming department?" Zuo Yu asked.
"Depends on the situation." Fang Zhao had come over today because of this matter. He had to see what plans Silver Wing had and discuss the terms and conditions. If the conditions were satisfactory, he did not mind collaborating and gaming with Silver Wing. After all, being idle was still being idle.
"Oh, right, I have a question for you," Fang Zhao said.
"Go ahead." Zuo Yu unconsciously sat up straight. His boss's question needed to be taken seriously.
"Do personnel from the military and police play a lot of these sort of games?" Fang Zhao asked.
"This sort, uh, actually, military and police forces rarely play this. If they do play, they also treat it as training. There isn't much time for games, and they rarely go all-out when playing. Those that go all-out, other than professional e-sports athletes, are sportsmen. The guy from Mazhou who is ranked second after you is a professional shooter."
Noticing Fang Zhao taking an interest in this topic, Zuo Yu continued to explain, "Actually, it is not that hard to comprehend. Let's use this analogy: over at Muzhou, there are shepherd dogs and police dogs. They do not train a police dog using methods for training shepherd dogs and do not let them take part in sheep-herding competitions. The same goes for shepherd dogs. The two kinds are trained differently. However, if one day, a police dog is suitable for a sheep-herding competition, the people of Muzhou would not treat it as a police dog anymore, because it is no longer suitable."
Zuo Yu did not know whether he was explaining it to Fang Zhao or telling himself. Zuo Yu's voice sounded downcast. "If they get used to the mentality of games, when it comes to executing a real mission, that could result in losing one's life."
When he finished, Zuo Yu glanced at the rear-view mirror to see Fang Zhao's reaction. Fang Zhao was only looking out of the car window, as if thinking of something. Zuo Yu was unable to discern his state of mind from his face and did not know whether Fang Zhao had understood his words.
When they were approaching Silver Wing tower, Zuo Yu said, "Today there are a lot more people camping outside Silver Wing. We will enter another way."
With the matter of the emergence of AliveAfter500Years and SilverWing50PolarLight, the number of reporters loitering outside Silver Wing tower was a lot more. Today, the car that Zuo Yu drove was not the usual one but a less conspicuous one, and they entered the tower through another entrance that was rarely used. Silver Wing's 50th floor was already sealed shut, and they were afraid that, if it was opened, someone might slip in if they were careless.
Fang Zhao rode the elevator up to the 50th floor. When the elevator doors opened, he realized five people were standing just outside. From the staff badges on their chests, he could tell they were from Silver Wing's gaming department. Out of the five, Fang Zhao recognized three. Back when he'd headed to the film department, he had run into them in the elevator. The other two were unfamiliar. Fang Zhao guessed that they were probably signed by the gaming department separately.
Just as he was about to ask what they were doing here, the five simultaneously looked over, their eyes looking as if they had just seen a gold bar, and they bowed toward Fang Zhao as though they had practiced it. "Morning, Boss!"
Fang Zhao: "..."
He checked his surroundings; he was at the right place. This was the 50th floor.