1043 I“ll put up a strong front and make you cry
In the great hall of Black Star Palace, an emotional roar sounded as a white beam of light shone up. It transformed into a revived army player with the ID of [Under the Soaring Clouds]. Naturally, he came from China.
The great hall had quite a few players coming and going, and hearing this loud exclamation, everyone turned to look at Under the Soaring Clouds. All they saw was him heaving hard with a look of resentment.
To the side, one of the veterans asked with a tone as though he expected it, “What’s wrong, brother with big lungs? Why the anger? Who f*cked you?”
“I got squatted by a bunch of foreigners, and they even ridiculed me. This is already the third time!” Under the Soaring Clouds was exasperated.
“Sigh, it’s now Version 4.0, the World Server. There are players from all sorts of factions outside now, and it can’t be compared to back then when we were in the Shattered Star Ring. You have to watch out for your safety,” the veteran advised before shaking his head and leaving.
Under the Soaring Clouds’ face was nasty to behold.
He was a new player that only joined in Version 3.0, and he was more of a casual player, not interested in PK at all.
In the last version, the World Server had not been opened yet, so as an army player, he was basically only meeting his own people whenever he went out, so he was rarely attacked by others. However, there was no security in the current version. He had done a couple of missions but was maliciously interfered with by players from other organizations.
He struggled to get used to the huge gap between the two versions, so he felt that his gaming experience had drastically fallen.
Looking around, he saw that players with foreign IDs were scattered around, basically newcomers who had only joined the army recently. Among them, a small group of players constantly scanned the coming and going army players, looking at him from time to time as well. This sort of performance was most likely from a ‘spy’ sent by a foreign guild.
“Recently, there have been many squatting incidents, and this is probably the work of those spies. My whereabouts were revealed by them, which caused me to be squatted as well.” Under the Soaring Clouds felt that this was likely, and he gritted his teeth in indignation.
He disliked the foreign players who had recently joined, and he was not the only one—many of the Chinese players had the same idea as him, as the previous versions were so much more comfortable to play in. Everyone belonged to the same country, but now, since there were more foreigners, they had to be aware of the lurking dangers in their external and internal environments, making many people sick and tired of playing.
Under the Soaring Clouds belonged to the category of a new player, and he was unlike the veterans who had invested a lot of time into the army. Right now, he could not help but think about changing factions.
“I really don’t want to encounter the mess of being squatted anymore. It really affects my mood.”
Just as he was about to act on his words, the communicators of every player in the room rang. The moving players all gave each other a strange look, collectively stopping as they lowered the heads to read the news.
Under the Soaring Clouds also retrieved his communicator, and when he scanned the notification, he realized it was an internal announcement from the army, and there were three messages.
Army Announcement 1: Newcomer Preferential Treatment Policy
Addressed to all soldiers of the army: Now is the period of the development in the Flickering World. Recently, we have recruited new warriors from the other Star Fields. In order to quickly integrate the newcomers into the army, we’re re-enabling the policy of supporting the newcomers. Existing members can take the newcomers to perform missions, and both parties will obtain additional benefits. The army will give certain subsidies, which include but are not limited to Enas, Contribution Points, Ammo, and free repair opportunities. The full list can be seen in the Appendix (Expand/Collapse). I hope everyone will actively help newcomers, no matter which Star Field they arrived from. As long as one has joined the Black Star Army, I hope we can all entrust each other with our backs in battle—Army Commander, Black Star.
“It turned out to be this policy.” Under the Soaring Clouds had a shift in heart.
In the previous version, the army recruited a bunch of Russian and Australian players in the Constellation Corridor. During that time, they also announced a similar policy, which was implemented for a period of time. After results were achieved, this welfare plan was temporarily frozen.
The effect of this policy had been proven in the previous version. It would mobilize the enthusiasm of older players to bring in newcomers, and it also quickly narrowed the distance between them, encouraging the making of friends. This allowed the Russian and Australian players in the previous version to quickly blend into the army.
Right now, the Russian and Australian players in the army were different from those new players who had only joined the army recently. They had blended in with the Chinese players for a longer period of time and got along relatively well with them. Han Xiao had thus proposed this plan again in order to quickly integrate the new players from various countries and to allow them to feel the warmth of the old players, eliminating any barriers caused by unfamiliarity.
Under the Soaring Clouds was not surprised by this announcement… but he was a little upset. Now that many of the old players were being squatted, the army actually wanted them to even lead the newcomers.
While the spies only accounted for a small portion of the population, he could not help but blame the entire new player group. Thus, in his eyes, this plan sounded like the leader still choosing to help the bully even after he had shown signs of being bullied. The more he thought of it, the angrier he got.
“This is too much!”
Under the Soaring Clouds knew that the NPC could not be blamed, but he could not help sulking.
As he scrolled down to the next messages, he suddenly jerked, and his eyes widened like saucers.
Army Announcement 2: Organization Warning List
Recently, a large number of immortals have reported to the upper echelons that while they were performing their missions, they were ambushed and killed by immortals from other organizations. After a detailed investigation, we have found this to be true. We have compiled a list of organizations that are deliberately targeting our members. For details, please refer to [Appendix – List of Organizations] (Expand/Collapse). Although immortals do not fear death, their actions are regarded as a provocation to the Black Star Army. Thus, I am issuing a public warning to these organizations to restrain your immortal subordinates before I declare war—Army Commander, Black Star.
Army Announcement 3: Counterattack Permit
Until these organizations restrain their subordinates and put an end to the ambushes made to our immortals, we will initiate counterattacks. I hereby inform all immortals of the army that they can engage in retaliatory attacks against the above organizations, restricted only to their immortals. It is not our style to be beaten and not fight back. In order to encourage this behavior, the army will subsidize additional supplies, which can be found in [Appendix – Reward List] (Expand/Collapse). Repeated kills are allowed, and to receive rewards, you will need to use the Phillip mini program to upload each battle video in exchange for the reward you are entitled to. Kills on the same person will not be awarded.
At the same time, for those habitual offenders who have repeatedly attacked members of our army, a special pursuit order will be issued. Every time you kill a designated wanted person, you can exchange it for special reward, please refer to [Appendix – Kill List] (Expand/Collapse). Everyone, please remember, those who offend me, Black Star, will be punished no matter the distance—Army Commander, Black Star.
An uproar sounded as Under the Soaring Clouds finished reading the other two notifications, and many players got excited.
“Damn, what is this? The army actually moved!”
“The PKs between players actually caused such a change in the faction‽”
“Haha, those dumb bitches. Squatting on us? Do you think our identity as army members is given for free‽”
“This is the feeling of having a backer. It’s really good.”
“Our Army Commander is truly domineering, tsk, warning the other factions immediately.”
The recent squatting incidents had left the army players outraged, but it was because they did not have any teams, they could only count on themselves, praying that they would not meet any of those malicious players from the other factions.
But right now, the Black Star Army had directly issued a faction announcement, with very domineering wording indicating that they could retaliate against their enemies. This attitude made many of the army players extremely comfortable.
Especially since killing players from other factions would now give them reward, everyone was immediately motivated.
Han Xiao released three announcements with the intention of a full-scale blow. He first used the Black Star Army to suppress people and skipped through the chain of command to warn the other factions that their people were causing trouble, making them pull those troublemakers back.
The second was the permission to counterattack. All players in the army could thus be mobilized, and players in the other factions could be hunted down. Not only could they vent their frustrations and enhance their sense of identity, this would also allow the older players to fight together with the newbies to build friendships.
In addition, he even dragged the players from other countries into the water, tying everyone to the same ship. In this manner, it would be much more difficult for any foreign clubs to incite discrimination between countries.
They wanted to divide based on nationalities? Even their own countrymen would end up attacking them, so there was nothing to fuss about!
The manpower used by the clubs to incite trouble was limited, which was only considered annoying to the army players, but if all the army players turned around to hunt down the hostile players, the foreign club players would be overwhelmed and choose to change factions, which would in turn weaken the scale of players in the faction and would help expand their own leek farms.
The third announcement served to specifically fish out players that liked to cause chaos, killing the chicken to warn the monkeys. This would reduce the number of players who engaged in trouble together, thus reducing the manpower available for the clubs as much as possible.
Under the Soaring Clouds was pleasantly surprised. He turned his head, seeing those people he suspected of being spies now standing still, as though frozen stiff.
Under the Soaring Clouds felt as though all his grievances had been vented. He felt extremely good and comfortable, and if there was a faction identity score, one would see his score have continuously rising.
“Haha, this is the judgement from heaven. Who will Black Star forgive!”
Under the Soaring Clouds laughed out loud, feeling extremely comfortable.
A perfectly normal casual player was actually rubbing his knuckles, as though he could not wait to form a team and cut down people.
From today onward, Black Star will be my big brother. Whoever tries to mess with the army, I’ll show them who they’re messing with!
Once the three announcements were issued, a storm was set off among the players.
The players were no strangers to this sort of mission. Was this not a faction war?
The army players felt like they had been brought to a carnival, where many of them did not even bother with the normal missions any longer, calling for their friends and rushing for the clearing list, exiting the base like locusts leaving empty fields.
The Black Star Army was the first organization to organize a faction war mission. In the memory of the army players, some people in the previous version had switched over to Bloodshed Land, causing the army to issue a similar killing list, but it paled in comparison to the current operation.
This was a large group consisting of more than a million people!
The players were more prone to chaos than NPCs. Missions could be skipped, but how could such an interesting event be passed up?
Whether it was an old player or a new player, their enthusiasm was stimulated!
In particular, the new players from the various countries who had joined recently were even more enthusiastic than the Chinese players. Because many of them had jumped from such factions, they were familiar with the formations of these organizations, and they had naturally rushed faster than anyone to fight with their own people. The veterans naturally took on a few of such ‘pathfinders’ in their parties.
The hostile factions listed by Han Xiao were those organizations that the clubs worked for. They came from different Star Fields and did not have a particularly strong background, let alone being in the Flickering World where Black Star reigned supreme.
Thus, facing the warning of the Black Star Army, most of them were bewildered.
What are you warning us about? We didn’t provoke you guys at all!
But after a short check, they discovered the truth and almost had a stroke.
They obviously had no intention of targeting the Black Star Army, but some of the immortals under them had acted spontaneously and caused trouble, resulting in them being wronged.
It was literally the scenario of sitting at home, but a pot descended from the sky to strike at their head!
Most of the organizations immediately responded to Black Star Army’s warning and hurriedly stated to Han Xiao that those were not their intentions. It was only some crazy subordinates who had acted without permission. They had no intention of becoming an enemy of the army, and their weak hearts could not withstand such a ‘surprise’.
Internally, these organizations started to strictly restrict the movement of their immortals, ensuring that without their orders, they were not allowed to provoke anyone, lest they suffered from dire consequences. They also punished those troublemakers and instigators… Reflected in the player interface, those players experienced a decrease in Contribution Points and Favorability.
However, there were a small portion of organizations with a rather unique way of thinking. Considering the special reputation Black Star Army had among the immortals, they came to a startling conclusion.
This group of troublemaking subordinates must have been spies sent over by the Black Star Army!
The Black Star Army must have plans to swallow us, so they purposely got the spies to create trouble. That way, they will have a just cause to attack us!
These smart alecks began to brew their own conspiracy theories and decided not to fall for the evil plot.
There were even a handful of organizations whose thought process was more refined, thinking that these Immortals that caused trouble were neither their people nor the people of Black Star, but rather a third party.
Their goal was to cause a conflict between them and the Black Star Army, thus acting as the fisherman that benefited in the fight between the sandpiper and clam!
Anyway, regardless of whether this was a truth or not, the organizations already believed it to be so.
And for the Limitless Financial Group, which was the keenest on recruiting the players, it had turned into an excellent target.
Hearing this, Sorokin was in a mess.
There was no problem. I really had such a plan…
But I haven’t even started implementing it!
Could this be retribution?
Han Xiao’s announcements stirred up the situation and directly caused the entire player population in the World Server to turn into chaos.
And the foreign clubs were immediately forced into a corner by Han Xiao’s triple attack.
This is not right. Us players originally liked to PK, so why is it you as the NPC that reacted most strongly‽
We only attacked your Immortals troops, and you already made such a big hoo-ha. Do you even feel embarrassed‽
Their plan was hit hard right after it started, and they almost got destroyed because of it. In this situation, even if the plan could continue, it would be far from achieving their desired results.
The executives of the clubs were also unable to do anything.
If they fought a faction war, they would not be the ones suffering. Including all the affected factions, even if they could not beat the Black Star Army players, they would not lose too badly. They could even rally the ordinary players in their respective factions through this faction war.
However, the factions they belonged to directly complied. Not only did they not allow a counterattack, they even restrained the players under their command.
Since their superiors did not allow them to retaliate, the faction war could not take place. All they could do was withstand the enemy’s attacks.
The Black Star Army had encouraged their players and even released faction rewards. Not only did their organizations not have rewards, but they even held them back. The contrast was just too jarring.
They all knew that if they were bullied like this, the casual players in their faction would be disappointed, maybe even jumping over to the Black Star Army since they could not beat them.
The benefits of staying in a strong faction were just too much!
However, it was not these clubs that had the worst. It was the casuals.
Faced with such a situation, many of them were caught totally unawares.
I just got out of bed, without even brushing my teeth, and you’re telling me that I’ve been marked by hundreds of thousands of players‽
What are you trying to do‽
Just as these players were tearing up in confusion and desperation, Hila, who was situated in the Emerald Star Cluster, suddenly received a special communication request.
It came from the Arcane Church, from the Pope himself!
 Squatted is gaming slang where the PKers spawn camp the corpse.