"Battle of the Century," in a certain southern district of Yanzhou.
A large motorcade was traveling toward the destination announced by the game's system.
Milo looked at the map, surveyed the surrounding terrain, and asked the others, "The new district is in this direction, right?" He cast a glance at Fang Zhao, who was sitting on the roof of the car beside them. Seeing that Fang Zhao did not look over, he looked toward Jinro and Dorrian, who nodded. Only then did Milo give a sigh of relief. He had not given the wrong directions this time.
Now Milo only had one word for Fang Zhao: respect!
Prior to this, he just had not understood why Fang Zhao had kept forcing them to learn those skills. When it came for them to start fleeing, only then did he realize the importance of these skills. Others might spend more time trying to adapt midway through the fleeing process, and the odds of losing lives would thus be greater. In addition, once someone lost their life, they might not be able to keep up with the speed of their team. This was due to the time restriction the system placed on logging back in after a death.
And these other people who felt they were unable to kill any monsters or pick up any points following the SilverLight team were now falling over each other to ride on the their coattails, and they could not be chased away. These people were not foolish; they knew the best chance of survival was following the team. The penalties for dying just once were very severe! By following the SilverLight team, they could hide inside the vehicles and avoid greater danger. They also finally realized that experience points did not increase just by killing monsters nonstop. Tiring oneself and dying would lead to the entire week's experience points being wiped, and many times, just by surviving longer, the experience points would automatically be higher.
This was also the reason many people called "Battle of the Century" a survival game, not a monster-slaying game. Survival was of the utmost importance. Whatever one wished to do, they would have to guarantee their own life first. It was only to live that killing monsters became necessary.
The motorcade following the SilverLight team were not all members of SilverLight. A majority were other players from District 79 that had convened together, and the ranks were made up of many teams, with SilverLight at the head.
Without reporters chasing after them, the SilverLight members were more spirited as they played. However, even though there were no reporters trying to stop them, at all times, the SilverLight team was still the focal point of attention in the motorcade.
Two people were discussing in hush tones. "Hey, have you seen what 500Years-god looks like?" AliveAfter500Years's ID was too long, so people referred to him in private as 500Years.
"Nope, I only saw him killing monsters, and he was so f*cking cool. My eyes could not keep up with the speed he switched guns at!"
"Are you guys new here? What's so great about switching guns? Back when they brought us along when fleeing District 79, the way he drove the car was more like flying. Many times during those drifts, I thought that he would fly straight out! He could even kill monsters while driving, with one hand on the steering wheel and the other hand wielding a gun!" someone else exclaimed, and he clicked his tongue in approval.
"Seems like nobody even knows the real identity of 500Years-god yet. So many paparazzi, but they were unable to dig out any info?"
"Who knows? However, according to past practices, Fiery Bird's annual gala is coming soon. SilverLight seems to have settled in the top 10 and will be invited. At that time, we will all find out for ourselves."
"Oh, that's right. I really hope Fiery Bird's annual gala comes quickly. When is it going to be?"
"I heard it is set 100 days after the release date of 'Battle of the Century,' so soon, I guess. Probably around the 8th or 9th January."
"Isn't that a wait of over 20 days?"
"Just wait. In any case, no one has been able to dig out any information regarding his true identity."
"What about the paparazzi king? Wasn't there a rumor that the paparazzi king who was jailed on another planet was released? Why hasn't there been any activity?"
At that moment, the paparazzi king who was being talked about in private was telling their revered 500Years-god a story.
Wang Tie was at Fang Zhao's side, recounting his own experiences from when he had been a war journalist. Besides being in charge of shooting the team's publicity film, he held a concurrent post of telling Fang Zhao stories. At the start, he had wished to brag about himself, but later on, he had felt like he was in a film during ancient times where those nobles would hire storytellers for entertainment at taverns.
But when he thought about Fang Zhao paying him from his own pocket, Wang Tie changed his attitude and continued telling Fang Zhao about the sights and sounds he had experienced while serving his jail term. Being dragged to be a war journalist was just one of the many experiences from his time as a prisoner.
At the start, Wang Tie had only wished to recount some of his dreadful past experiences to frighten Fang Zhao, since he was enlisting to clear his military service next year. His stories were bound to scare that little brat. However, after finishing his story, Wang Tie realized that Fang Zhao only sighed and exclaimed "There are no easy times." He simply did not look the least bit frightened.
Wang Tie did not understand what Fang Zhao meant by "There are no easy times," but he knew he wouldn't get an answer by asking Fang Zhao. He had already been beaten numerous times by Fang Zhao, and he secretly hoped that Fang Zhao would hurry up and enlist. Without Fang Zhao around, he would be free to do as he wished in Yanzhou. Otherwise, as long as that person existed, he would always feel a pair of eyes on him, making him uneasy.
After talking for a bit, Wang Tie shot a quick glance at Fang Zhao and thought, This brat's mind has wandered again.
As Wang Zhao was thinking, Fang Zhao suddenly faced a certain direction, as if carefully identifying the issue.
"Something's coming, and not just a few."
Fang Zhao's one sentence made all members of the team spring to high alert immediately.
"Prepare for battle!" Jinro roared, getting up and assigning tasks to others. Besides their team, he needed to assign the other people within the motorcade. This group of survivors needed to cooperate and work together as a team if they wanted to head forth to the new district.
"The warning device hasn't even sounded, where is the dang—" before he could even finish, the warning device on his hand sounded.
People beside him rolled their eyes. "A new member? Get used to it. You can do no wrong following SilverLight members."
On this journey, everyone had gotten used to it. From doubts at the start to being fully convinced by now. Most people would not be so foolish as to provoke Silver Light members. Their battle strength was there for all to see, and their survival skills were top notch. In any case, all these people needed to do was follow after the SilverLight members.
But there was some doubt in many people's hearts. Why was it Jinro who was in charge of assigning tasks and not AliveAfter500Years? Had Jinro surpassed AliveAfter500Years and squeezed him out? But normally, Jinro and the others still called AliveAfter500Years "Boss." Could it be that AliveAfter500Years himself did not wish to be captain or vice captain and had passed the roles to Jinro and Dorrian? Or were there some secret circumstances?
The outside was full of gossip, and many tabloids even speculated that SilverLight was having an internal power struggle and that other people had join forces to crowd AliveAfter500Years out.
Some members of the motorcade had asked Schwarzer in private, as they felt that a university student would break easily. In the end, Schwarzer had not revealed any important information. When asked whether he had joined forces with the others to overthrow AliveAfter500Years, Schwarzer was so scared he jumped up. "Overthrow? I don't have that sort of guts!"
Schwarzer would never forget when Fang Zhao had come to recruit him. Back then, he had learned a little martial arts and had wanted to show off in front of Fang Zhao. In the end, he had been kicked straight offline. It was still painful even now. Ever since then, he had been training diligently, both online and offline.
"Heh, Mr Huo Li, make sure you take good-looking shots of me later!" Schwarzer did not forget to remind Wang Tie before the battle started.
"Idiot, nobody can see what you look like with a helmet on!" Jake chided disdainfully. "Handsome, definitely handsome. Don't worry, everyone, have trust in my skills. When the publicity film is released, you shall all know." Wang Tie laughed.
Jinro pointed out an area in their ranks. "Boss, there are some people in a dormant state there, and they are unable to battle over on that side. They are lacking in manpower, so we have to leave it to you."
"Got it." Fang Zhao walked over.
When everyone was at their assigned spots, the warning devices were all flashing red, but they did not have concrete digits.
First-generation warning devices that could be exchanged using credits had many functions that were not complete. When the beast hordes were smaller, they still worked fine, but when there were too many beasts, they became inaccurate. According to records in history books, the warning devices had further upgraded versions, but for now they could only use the first generation.
The SilverLight team members thought in their hearts, The first gen warning devices are not as easy to use as our boss. As long as Fang Zhao is around, encountering any situation is a breeze.
With that command, the previously tranquil surface exploded to life. Gunshots from many different types of guns filled the air. Showers of dust rose into the air as bullets peppered the ground. The howls and wails of the horde of mutated beasts, together with the cursing from the human side, all mashed together, forming a strange and fantastic symphony.
Wind picked up dust along the way and carried it off to somewhere far off in the distance.
It was another battle that lasted close to an hour. After the last beast was exterminated, there was only jubilant laughter within the motorcade.
Dorrian looked toward Jinro. "Shall we call it a day?" Generally speaking, after an hour of high-intensity battle, they would all disconnect to rest. While in-game, even if the warning devices were not sounding, they still needed to remain vigilant, which was too tiring. As this was still a game, for the sake of making it enjoyable, the difficulty was also slightly lowered. If it were really during the Period of Destruction, surely some would have collapsed from exhaustion and fallen into despair.
Jinro glanced at Fang Zhao and saw him nod his head. "Let's call it a day. Head offline to rest up. Remember to put away the vehicles. Who was it that forgot to keep them the last time..."
At Silver Wing's 50th floor gaming studio.
When Jinro and the others exited from the gaming cabins, drenched in sweat, the assistants and medical team rushed forward to surround them.
Milo gulped down a glass of water and sat down, panting, allowing the medical team to do a checkup.
"What do you think the boss is doing now?" Milo said, panting.
Jinro glanced at the time. "Probably preparing for his webcast lesson."
Having just logged out of the game and he could immediately prepare for his webcast lesson without being affected...
Schwarzer and a few others eyed each other and sighed. "Simply not human."
"I really want to see the reactions when everyone finds out the true identity of AliveAfter500Years." Dorrian chuckled. "Another 20-odd days."
The other members in the team all laughed as well. Indeed, everyone would be dumbfounded.
At the other end, after logging off, Fang Zhao took a shower before heading into his study to read a little. There was a lot of knowledge he still needed to study about the New Era. Whenever he was free, Fang Zhao would absorb this information.
When the time came, Fang Zhao turned on his webcast and began teaching.
The channel for his webcast was "Silver Wing Education." Fang Zhao would record himself, and the projection would be sent to the "Silver Wing Education" broadcasting studio, which would then stream it to the audiences.
When Silver Wing Education's anchor received Fang Zhao's cue, the image cut away.
Fang Zhao was holding a guitar with the prominent NaZ logo. Behind him, the wall was adorned with NaZ guitars of different types and designs.
"Today, I will not be teaching everyone the strumming technique. Due to the number of viewers and subscribers increasing and asking questions, today I will focus on explaining various guitar types for beginner students and how to choose them. Everyone knows folk guitars, classical guitars, and electric guitars and their special characteristics. Guitars can also be divided into hollow wood guitars, hollow electric guitars, semi-hollow electric guitars, and solid-body electric guitars. Take a look behind me..."
Fang Zhao briefly talked about the different types of guitars, how people of different ages should choose guitars of an appropriate size, how the guitar felt, the grades of guitars, and other fundamental knowledge for choosing one.
Why Fang Zhao had chosen to talk about this was because of the latest fad of a type of pretentious magical instrument—guitar.
The campus romance flick that Natiwuzi had invested in—"A Guitar Romance," starring Ji Polun—had been released, and the advertisements were good. The photograph of the male lead's posture with a guitar strapped to his back captivated the hearts of many. Ancient guitars had seen a sharp spike in popularity, especially among students.
During Fang Zhao's previous webcast lessons, he had not talked about this fundamental knowledge at the start. The viewers of his webcast were mostly industry professionals, and even those who were not in the industry still had experience with some ancient musical instruments, so Fang Zhao had not needed to tell them much and had instead been able to focus on strumming techniques. Now that the webcast viewers were rising exponentially, though, many beginner students had asked questions, so Fang Zhao needed to first use some time to focus on the basics. Even just picking a guitar to use it as a display ornament, these people also needed to know how to choose a guitar, how to hold a guitar, and how to not get scammed by unorthodox sellers.
Inside a certain residential building in Qi'an City.
In the New Era, there were six years of secondary school. A boy who was still in secondary year five carried the present he had pestered his parents so long for, a hollow-center wooden guitar. Adjusting the straps, he copied the main lead's manner before he went on stage to perform in "A Guitar's Love." He adjusted the guitar till it was below his waist level, stretching his face as he looked in the mirror and did a cool pose.
"Handsome! But it doesn't seem like the original."
The boy then adjusted the strap and posture once more, this time following the manner of certain band members he had watched videos of. He adjusted the guitar below his chin and put on a bowtie.
"Even more handsome! But it doesn't harmonize well."
Pondering for a bit, the boy then went online and saw how a guitar should look like when strapped on the back. He adjusted the strap once more, faced the head down, and strapped it to his back.
"Something still feels lacking." As he was saying this, he ran over to his father's drawer and took out an ancient-looking cowboy hat. He plucked a strand of grass from the balcony where his mother's plants were and stuck it in his mouth. Facing the mirror once more, he struck a few laid-back poses.
Nailing down his look for today, the boy whistled a tune as he left for school.
He had just left his neighborhood when he saw another fellow male student from his school who was carrying a guitar on his shoulder as if it were an ancient shovel seen in those Old Era movies. Looking at him, it seemed... rather cool.
Whatever, he could change to that appearance tomorrow.
Secondary school and university teachers watched helplessly as they found their own students acting pretentious, changing their guitar poses daily. But to the students, they felt that carrying their own guitars on their backs was showing off their own personality and style!
As nostalgic styles returned this year, the pretentious style of carrying a guitar became a sort of "politically correct" fad in schools.probably afk