The fourth and final method for Players to earn experience was by winning ”Games ”.

These were not mere video games with no real consequences, but highly risky challenges similar to raid dungeons, where the price of failure was death.
A small number of these death games were based on games that had been developed over the course of human history, but more often than not, the rules and objectives of each game were unknown and unpredictable.

”Games ” also appeared at random times and locations, and entry limits were imposed on the Players, depending on the difficulty of the game, to prevent abuse.
For example, some games could only be attempted once a week.

The one constant was that every time a Game appeared, the major organizations would send teams out to crack them, because Games represented a highly valuable strategic resource.

Each Game possessed a property called Extraction.
Each successful attempt raised the Extraction of a Game, and when it reached 100%, the top Player to complete the Game for the final time would receive control over it.

Games that had been fully Extracted could still be attempted by other players for the rewards, and since the process of Extraction meant that some Players would have learned the ins and outs of the Game, the knowledge could be passed on, minimizing the risk to new Players attempting them for the first time.
As for the rewards, clearing a Game not only rewarded Players with experience points, but also a chance of acquiring equipment.

Thus, Games yielded far-reaching benefits for the organizations that owned them, and were a key incentive used to recruit new Players into their ranks.
However, Games were incredibly rare, even more so than neutral creeps, but with their vast resources, each major organization had managed to claim ownership over one or two games.

The Concerning Department, for example, owned several Games of different ”sizes ”—one large, two mid-sized, and one small—reflecting their scope and complexity.
The large one even offered a small chance for Players to earn a Potion of Basic Stats which, as the name suggested, had the effect of increasing a Player ’s basic attribute points.

The demand for such an item on the black market far outstripped the supply.
After all, raising one ’s basic stats by training alone was impractical.
Just imagine how much time it would take to reach peak human performance by that method alone!

So, with such perks being available only to those who joined the major organizations, they served as substantial incentives that encouraged casual Players to join.

”Mandatory Quests ”, ”Supernatural Entities ”, ’Neutral Creeps ” and ”Games ”.
These were the four methods that Players currently knew of for gaining experience.

If I want to get to Level 5, the fastest way available to me right now is to defeat supernatural entities…
Shall I get rid of the fake campus belle?

Bai Zhi ’s face contorted into various expressions as he drummed his fingers thoughtfully on the desk.

After all, she ’s the weakest supernatural entity I ’m aware of…
or perhaps I should try hunting a neutral creep?

After thinking about it for a while, he shook his head.
He could not rely on Games or neutral creeps, since they appeared completely randomly.
There was the Scuttle Crab he had seen on his first day, but since neutral creeps despawned after a certain time, if it hadn ’t been defeated by some other Player by now, it had certainly disappeared by now.

After spending a whole morning pondering on the fastest way to gain experience, Bai Zhi was no closer to a viable, effective solution.

As noon rolled around, Bai Zhi entered the Marketplace again, and after weighing his options carefully, spent 200 Coins on one of the ten items available to him this month.

[ Item Name: Bane ]

[ Type: Weapon ]

[ Class: Normal ]

[ Durability: 30/30 ]

[ Effect: Can inflict minor damage to incorporeal entities ]

[ Requirements: Strength of 6 or above ]

[ Note: Good for sharpening pencils, chopping produce and many more household uses ]

Though it shared a name with deadly plants* and formidable comic-book characters**, in reality, it was no more than a knife that fit snugly into Bai Zhi ’s hand, far humbler than its packaging would suggest.

Tch, no wonder the note mentioned sharpening pencils…

200 Coins was equivalent to about 200,000 yuan, but if he ever had to deal with supernatural entities which could not be hurt by physical attacks, this weapon would really shine, making it worth the price.

If Bai Zhi could have bought a better piece of equipment, he would have, but out of all the items in the shop, except the PODS, Bane was the one that offered the best value for money.

If a simple knife costs two hundred thousand, a million yuan really isn ’t worth all that much…

After hefting the blade a few times, Bai Zhi sighed and placed it into his Inventory.

He had acquitted himself well in clearing the Newbie Run, despite the twists and turns it had taken, but all things considered, Bai Zhi felt like he had made a loss.
For one thing, he had forgotten to take his portable amplifier back from a certain Late Night Kitty.

”The next time I see her, I have to get that amplifier back.
I spent a few hundred on that thing, that ’s nearly a month ’s worth of expenses… ” Grumbling to himself, Bai Zhi walked downstairs and toward the cafeteria in search of some lunch.

The Newbie Run had trapped him in a run-down villa for six hours, but in the real world, only six minutes had passed.
Even after spending so much time dawdling over his next move, it was only noon.


As expected of the weather during the dog days of summer, the blazing sun was out in full force and the muggy air trapped its merciless heat, threatening to melt anything that stood in it.

In a room on the third floor of a certain women ’s dormitory building, a wave of cool air from an air conditioner valiantly kept the heat at bay, for the moment.

The girl on the bed was staring blankly into the air and had been for some time.
Suddenly, she sat up and retrieved a portable amplifier from somewhere, placing it on her desk with a grave, heavy air.

On the wall facing the desk was a photograph of a person, but the face had been slashed to ribbons, which gave it a grim look.

”Black&White, huh? You ’re just as much of a scumbag as that other guy! I can ’t believe— using a stapler to— The next time I see you, I swear I ’ll bite your face off! ”

Baring her teeth in indignant rage, the girl expressed all her vengeful fury at the piece of electronic equipment sitting mutely on her desk.

*Referring to wolfsbane.
Also known as queen of poisons, the plant contains substantial amounts of a potent neurotoxin and cardiotoxin.
Mild to severe toxicity may be experienced from skin contact alone.
The main causes of death include paralysis of the heart or respiratory center.

**Such as Bane from the Batman comics.
Possessing a mix of brute strength and exceptional intelligence, Bane is often credited as the only villain to have ”broken the bat ”, defeating him both physically and mentally.

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