Chapter 42 - Rift
Ouyang Shuo returned to his office, picked up his paper and pen, and began to integrate the real world’s federal discipline and military training code in preparation for setting the territory’s military behavior code, for General Shi’s reference.
The next day, after coming online, a burst of system announcements exploded in Ouyang Shuo’s ears.
“System Notification: Congratulations to player Chun Shenjun for becoming the third Lord in China to upgrade to Grade 3 Village! Special reward of 900 merit points!”
“System Notification: Congratulations to player Chun Shenjun…”
“System Notification: Congratulations…”
So it was Chun Shenjun; this was hardly surprising. Wealth was a very strong advantage in the early game. There was no pause for Ouyang Shuo to recover his senses before another announcement went off.
“System Notification: Congratulations to player Xiongba for becoming the fourth Lord in China to upgrade to the Grade 3 Village! Special reward of 800 merit points!”
“System Notification: Congratulations to player Xiongba…”
“System Notification: Congratulations…”
This announcement caused an immediate uproar in China. First one surprise, and now another one had appeared! Nobody thought that the status of the Six Tyrants of Handan would be challenged again. A dark horse could be considered as lucky. Two dark horses weren"t luck but instead the inability of the horses in front.
The Six Tyrants of Handan who used custom game cabins, the imposing forces behind their backs, and their slowly built up hegemony... were now starting to be threatened.
Hence, Xiongba from King village announced himself in such a domineering manner. Even more interesting was that the names of King Village and the Six Tyrants were like dead rivals, meant to oppose one another. Suddenly, the calm air of China was getting filled with smoke.
At that moment, as if dropping this bomb wasn’t enough, someone suddenly decided to toss out some propaganda on the formerly quiet all-China channel.
“Chun Shenjun: You are awesome! Congratulations, congratulations!”
“Xiongba: Back at you! Back at you!”
The national channel required 1 gold for every single word. It was a luxury service, and this was the first time someone had used it. However, no one was paying attention to the luxury behavior, instead what they were curious about was the hidden meaning which was revealed by those simple words.
Chen Shenjun and Xiongba, both had upgraded to a grade 3 village, and then through the national channel gave one another congratulatory calls, which was sort of strange. One of them was one of the Six Tyrants of Handan, the God of Wealth, and backbone of the group. The other was a challenger to the Six Tyrants, and should’ve been an enemy of them.
Strange that both of them should be on opposing sides, but yet they were on friendly terms. Was this a coalition? What it meant was something everyone was hungry to know. Everyone could not help but wonder if the coalition of the Six Tyrants, the strongest in China, was ready to fall apart?
Truthfully, Ouyang Shuo couldn’t read the situation either. In his past life, the Six Tyrants were unshakeable, destroying all challengers. At the same time, because of the lack of challenges, it was difficult for outsiders to speculate on the relationship between the Six Tyrants. Even if they had problems, they had always resolved it privately, giving no one a glimpse of their internal politics. Di Chen of the Six had often played the role of mediator.
This time though, the Six had not bonded so strongly when Ouyang Shuo struck them successively three times, and then when they were successfully struck by Xiongba. Whether the Six people would be able to maintain that level of trust was really pretty hard to say.
At the same time in Jingdu, near the Handan Village Council, Di Chen was sitting on the throne, his face gloomy. In the chamber, the backbone of his village staff was gathered. They were just about to begin their meeting but met with such a situation.
“Is second brother trying to challenge me?” Di Chen’s voice was cold, making people stiffen in fear.
It was no surprise why he was so angry. Other people did not know the identity of Xiongba, but he was crystal clear on who it was. The family of Xiongba was also a political family, and they had always had a hostile relationship with him. Between them, there would always be rivalry and animosity.
Now, a member of the Handan Alliance, Chun Shenjun, had even openly spoken with Xiongba, which was, as far as Di Chen was concerned, a naked betrayal.
The sudden emergence of Qiyue Wuyi did not make Di Chen so angry. After all, as long as the Handan Alliance stayed together, there could be no forces in China who could shake them. But now, a crack in the wall was before them, and he could not erase it.
The atmosphere of the chamber was exceptionally solemn; no one dared to speak out.
Sitting next to him, Juedai Fenghua broke the deadlock, saying, “Chen, now is not the time to be angry. We have to find out as soon as possible what Chun Shenjun intended with his words. More importantly, we have to see what the other four members are thinking. Otherwise, if this happens again, it may ruin everything.”
“This, I am afraid it is not so simple. Shenjun dared to speak this time; he may already be ready to move. It is also possible that in this matter, he is simply blowing smoke, deliberately confusing us so that he can profit from disorder,” Di Chen calmly analyzed.
“The idea is that, while stabilizing the interior of the Alliance, you could also find new allies to fill the gap left by Chun Shenjun.”
Di Chen frowned, hesitating to say, “You speak of new allies, you mean Qiyue Wuyi?”
“Yes. As long as we succeeded in drawing Qiyue Wuyi over, then the strength of the alliance will not only not be damaged, but strengthened,” Juedai Fenghua said.
“But if we can’t even find out his identity at this point, how can we figure out if we can trust him?” Di Chen habitually retorted.
Juedai Fenghua smiled beautifully, “In fact, we are blinded by our inertial thinking in reality. Think about it. In Earth Online, is the real identity so important? A year from now, our real identities will basically no longer exist and will re-shuffled into a new life.”
Di Chen realized her point. “Yes, I want to see if we can rope him in. As long as we have a common goal in the game, even if we don’t know his real identity, it really doesn’t matter. Qiyue Wuyi needs to expand in the game; he is going to need to find allies. In the whole of China, what could be more attractive than our alliance? Ha, so it seems that for this matter, I should send him a message, and invite him to join the Handan Alliance.
“Shenjun, this act of yours, I must make you regret it.”
Juedai Fenghua nodded her head, her heart was not as confident as Di Chen. But this was not the time to speak, so she could only stay silent and make calculations in her heart.
While Di Chen was thinking about how to counter the actions of Shenjun, Chun Shenjun had already been a step ahead of him and already sent a message to Ouyang Shuo.
Receiving invitations from both Chun Shenjun and Di Chen did not surprise Ouyang Shuo, but it was impossible for him to join either party. Ouyang Shuo was very clear that the moment they found out his bottom line, they would turn on him and eat him until not even his bones were left.
To be in an alliance, you had to be with similar people. It was difficult for people from different circles and status to come together. Ouyang Shuo’s pride was strong and wasn’t the kind of person who wanted to be under someone else. Likewise, whether it was Di Chen or Chun Shenjun, they would want the dominant position in any alliance. Between them, there were irreconcilable differences.
Ouyang Shuo immediately sent messages back to both Di Chen and Chun Shenjun, casually noting that now wasn’t a good time to talk about alliances, but they might be able to talk about such things at a later date.
As Ouyang Shuo was sending his replies, in Dali’s Consonance Village, the four core members of Consonance Studio, ‘Green Red Purple White’ were all gathered together.
“Sister, this person Shenjun is trying to start an alliance with Xiongba, what do you think?” The one who spoke was Tsing Yi. She looked like a little girl, but she held the studio together.
“According to their previous contact in other games, Chun Shenjun had been a strong controller of other people. In the Handan Six Tyrants, only he and Zhan Lang were old game players. The other four were all first-timers. Chun Shenjun had long been accustomed to being the dominating, king player in games, and even Zhan Lang had been defeated at his hands.
“But in Earth Online, Di Chen had won the leadership position, and even the Alliance’s name was based on Chen’s domain name, which made him the spokesman. Actually, what he did was nothing as long as they still had a common interest. Even though he had problems, he wouldn"t retaliate.”
“Who would have thought that a freak like Qiyue Wuyi would emerge. The Six Tyrants have lost three times in a row; their dominance is now crushed. Chun Shenjun is naturally unwilling to stick with them; it’s not a surprise he is making a move here.”
Bai Hua was truly a leader among professional players, and her analysis of Chun Shenjun was crystal clear. It was like the old saying went: the person who understood you best was often your enemy. In previous games, Consonance Studio and Chun Shenjun had many conflicts; the two could be considered old rivals.
Second sister Zi Luolan smiled and said, “Sister, the freak you talked about is in Dali just like us.”
Of the sisters, Luolan was the most lively, the team diplomat, and second in command, so she dared to talk back to Bai Hua. She giggled at Bai Hua, who remained serene and calm, but frowned. Purple left her with something to think about.
Bai Hua glanced at the other sisters, her commanding presence on display.
“Second sister, we could try to talk to Qiyue Wuyi. Even if we could not enter an alliance, we could indicate our goodwill.”
Third sister, Hong Ying was a militant, and hearing this, was a bit unhappy, muttering, “Why do you want to show goodwill? Yeah, we are not afraid of him. I really want to fight him, and make him run away.”
Tsing Yi raised her hand, saying helplessly, “Third Sister, please stop only thinking about fighting and killing. From everything eldest sister has learned from the closed beta, this game is not simple, with many hidden secrets. Before the situation is clear, one friend is better than one enemy.”
Of the four, Hong Ying was the fearless one. But in eloquence, she was still far behind Tsing Yi. She just muttered and didn’t say anything else.
Bai Hua laughed and shook her head. “What Tsing Yi said is right. Second sister should contact Qiyue Wuyi and test his attitude and we shall then decide.”
Zi Luolan nodded. External contact was her job, and she was naturally going to handle this.