Chapter 97: Hidden Motivation

At nine o'clock, Lin Dongxue called and said, "I found out that Lu Jianye's account is in the 24th district. It is called the Solitary Sword. He is ranked second in this district. The customer service representative told us that his account last logged in 25 hours ago. Since there is a lock function for advanced equipment in the game, there hasn’t been any transferral of equipment or items. Furthermore, the ingots on his account—that is, the coupons and items, all haven’t been touched.”

"Thank you. Where are you now?"

"In the bureau. I haven’t left yet because of you."

"Get off work. Go out and play games. We will see you in the 24th district. You should practice a bit first. You may have to top up your account though. I’ll reimburse you the money later on.”

"Huh? Play games? That’s not my cup of tea... I can call Xu Xiaodong; he is a game master."

"Okay!"

Chen Shi left the computer and went to the bar to buy a pack of Yuxi cigarettes. Then, he wandered around the Internet café. When he saw someone playing the same game, he handed a cigarette over and asked, “Brother, your equipment isn’t bad. What district are you from?”

There were too few people who played this game, so they couldn’t find anyone from the 24th district. But there was someone who said, “My equipment is trash! Yesterday, I saw an uncle in the Internet café. Damn, he was the best in the server. He was dressed like the Gods and was super arrogant.”

"Was it the guy who was balding? The one who is a bit chubby?"

"Do you know him?"

"We’ve drank together."

"His account is really amazing. It’s estimated that he’s spent tens of millions of yuan on the game. Fuck, he’s a show-off! If I had an account like that, I would laugh myself awake in my sleep… But when he came, his whole body was wet. I asked if he was worried about catching a cold, but he smiled and said it didn’t matter.”

This guy had lots of snacks and drinks on his table. He took a sip of coke and rubbed his reddened eyes. Then, he typed on the keyboard, “Take me along to the magical forbidden land.”

When this man joined a team, there was a person in the team who knew him and informed the others, "He’s only spent a million on his account; don't team up with him."

Then, there was a message box on the screen that noted, "You have been kicked out of the team". The man screamed and threw his mouse, "Looking down on people? Fuck! I will recharge now!"

"It’s just a game. Why did you get so angry? How many nights have you been here?" Chen Shi asked.

"Just a game?" The man got really irritated. "Do you know how much money and energy I’ve invested in this game? The equipment in this game gets churned out really fast. If you don’t keep up, you’ll be a whole level behind. For example, let's take the highest ranked player in our server. His ride is enhanced with gems and runes that are of higher value than all the equipment on my body combined. The top players  can kill me in one fell swoop. When meeting these God-level players, I can only turn around… Haii, people like me who are neither here nor there can only rely on others and team up with other mediocre people. I need to waste time to upgrade my equipment… If I had more fucking money, it would be so nice.”

"You have spent a whole million?"

"One million? In this game, that’s considered a small sum... Hey, someone is doing PK."[1]

The man manipulated his character to join in on the fun. When the characters inside the game were killed, there was a chance of them dropping equipment. So, lots of people would follow the people that were duelling each other like flies. If they were lucky, they might pick up some good equipment. 

Chen Shi noticed that a warrior died and was resurrected. The enemies who surrounded him were killing him over and over again. The man laughed and kept hitting the table, "Idiot, he’s letting them guard his corpse?"

"Guard the corpse?"

"Fuck, you don't even know this? When he dies, he is resurrected with only a tenth of his health, so if he stays logged in, they’ll just keep killing him again and again. This is what guarding the corpse means... See? These people are still guarding the corpse, so the guy stopped trying to resurrect himself and is just lying on the ground.”

"Guarding the corpse?" Chen Shi seemed to have some inspiration and thanked the man before leaving. 

When he got back to his seat, Tao Yueyue was playing puzzle games on his computer. Upon seeing Chen Shi, she left his seat.

His QQ[2] was open and Xu Xiaodong was looking for him, saying, "Brother Chen, I am in the novice village. Where are you?" Then, he screenshotted a picture of his whereabouts. His character is already level 20, so he could go to the Wang Cheng map.

"Give me your account." Chen Shi instructed.

"What the fuck? I just invested a huge sum of money. I have never spent so much money on a game before."

"How much?"

"A hundred yuan!"

"Okay, just give me the account. I need to investigate the case.”

"Fine, I will make another account, and we can meet up later."

"No, I will give you my account."

The two exchanged their accounts. Chen Shi logged back into the game. Tao Yueyue marvelled, "Wow, it looks pretty powerful."

"Equipment plated with money sure is different; the whole body is glittering."

Chen Shi left the novice village. He got to the village exit when he was stabbed to death instantly. He lay on the ground and cursed. The other party gloated, "Why don’t you kill me then if you’re capable enough?!"

Chen Shi was so angry that he had the urge to top-up some money, but he restrained himself from doing so. When the other party left, he quickly climbed up and ran to Wang Cheng quickly.

The bustling and lively Wang Cheng was like a world where you could go out and ask for money anywhere. Equipment, experience, faces and even marriage could be bought here.

He began to understand the mentality of these gamers. This world was so good because everything could be obtained, but it was costly. 

On the other hand, by spending a few million, you were ranked as an elite and countless people looked up to you. However, in the real world, a few million may only get you a house as an ordinary person. It might be worth it for some people.  

A cheap sense of accomplishment, friendship between teammates, the ability and arrogance of being able to kill someone you don’t like, and the triumph of desperately trying to counterattack someone after getting killed is the essence of this game with terrible graphics. It must be said that the person who designed this game had really grasped their players’ mentality very clearly.

He opened the ranking list and saw that the second person was the victim in this case. Then he added all the top 20 rankers to his friends list in one breath and asked them one by one, "Do you know Lu Jianye?"

The first and third ranked players ignored him, but the fourth said, "Oh I know him, he’s the solitary sword!"

"How do you know him?"

"Why wouldn't I know? He’s ranked second in the whole server. He locks horns with Mad Sea Dragon’s Roar every day and communicates on the server chat. The whole server knows his name and even knows that Lu Jianye’s wife left him because he was so addicted to the game. We also know that he sold his car and house for the game.”

"What is the name of Mad Sea Dragon’s Roar?"

"Deng Zhongming."

"Do they know each other in reality?"

"Why are you asking this? What, are you a policeman?"

"Yes."

"Are you really a policeman?"

"Why should I lie to you?"

"In today's guild war, Solitary Sword was not online, and Mad Sea Dragon’s Roar is now seated on the throne of the city. Did something happen to him? Hey, hey, if you are a police officer, do me a favor. Recently, I had some of my equipment stolen. Can you help me get it back? If you help me, I’ll let you in on some information.” 

"Your equipment was stolen? Why don't you message customer service?" Chen Shi snorted. The words “customer service” had been blocked in the game. There were too many words blocked in this game, and there was no way to talk freely to others.

"Customer service ignored me." The other party replied, "Unless I have police documents backing me anyway. If you are a real police officer, open a letter for me."

"Tell me your personal information."

"You wouldn’t be a scammer, would you?"

"Whether you believe me is up to you."

The other party added Chen Shi on QQ. They had a beautiful woman as their character in the game, but in real life, he had the avatar of a lame old man scratching his foot. He sent his personal information over and an expression, "Officer, thanks for the trouble."

Xu Xiaodong privately messaged Chen Shi for a long time in the game. He was ready to group and tackle the boss. When he was ignored, he complained on QQ. Chen Shi screenshotted the chat records he had with the fourth ranker and sent it to Xu Xiaodong. “Stop talking about nonsense. Go open a letter to help this guy find his stolen equipment.”

“Does this not count as abuse of authority?”

"Come on, I have to make friends." 

1. Player-killing. 

2. A messenger-like app. King of like Chinese MSN (back when MSN was a thing). So it’s more like Facebook messenger at this point.  

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