Virtual World: Close Combat Mage
271 Chapter 271 - A Champion’s Prize I
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Virtual World: Close Combat Mage
Author :Butterfly Blue
© Wuxiaworld

271 Chapter 271 - A Champion’s Prize I

"Royal, we're about to receive our prize. WAKE UP!" Gu Fei was naturally the most considerate among the members of Young Master's Elite. Ignoring War Without Wounds who tried to stop him, he shook Royal God Call's shoulder to wake him up.

"Huh? What – what's going on?" Royal God Call was still out of it.

"We're about to receive our prize; the guild versus guild tournament has just ended!" Gu Fei informed him.

"YAY!" Royal God Call perked up. Jumping to his feet, he cheered. All were beaming at him when Royal God Call's face visibly paled. The festive mood he was feeling was replaced with horror as he stuttered, "Did… Did I just miss the finals for the guild versus guild tournament?"

The other five men's expression also changed as they exchanged glances. Burying his face in his arms, only War Without Wounds was snickering at Royal God Call's misfortune.

"I… I…" Royal God Call seemed to have currently lost his ability to form coherent words.

"We totally forgot about it…" Brother Assist apologetically said.

Sword Demon sighed deeply.

"You really should've kept it in mind!" Gu Fei mildly chastised. Royal God Call had been participating in both tournaments all along, so it should have become second nature for him to head over to the Main Hall of Guilds after the finals of the mercenary PvP tournament.

Young Master Han objectively analyzed the matter, "He hasn't competed for the last three days. Plus, the prospect of obtaining a prize probably made him forget about it. Finally… He needs to get better at holding his liquor!"

"The rules state that a player who didn't participate in the finals won't receive a special prize, right?" Sword Demon whispered to Brother Assist, afraid of triggering Royal God Call by asking this aloud.

"Naturally. Why else would they arrange it to occur on a weekend?" Brother Assist whispered back.

Fear gripped Royal God Call as he stood still with his hands clenched.

Gu Fei kicked War Without Wounds, whose shoulders were shaking from laughter, "Since you remembered, why didn't you remind him of it?! You're too much!"

War Without Wounds lifted his head in surprise before raising his hands solemnly, "I swear to the heavens that I totally didn't remember about it. I'm naturally very glad that I didn't remember… Royal, I'm really happy for you!"

"F*ck!" all of them eyed this inconsiderate man disdainfully.

"Take a seat…" Brother Assist tugged the petrified Royal God Call back to his seat.

"Ah…" Sword Demon was at a loss; he happened to be sitting opposite of Royal God Call, and he was clearly not good at consoling others.

"Everybody, the prize allocation method is out!" Brother Assist cried out.

They excitedly read the system announcement; even Royal God Call seemed to have regained a bit of his energy.

The first to be announced was the mercenary PvP tournament prize allocation.

Six special rewards would be awarded for the third-place winner. The system would assign three out of the six items in accordance to the tabulated scores by directly depositing them into the dimensional pockets of the respective players. The remaining three prizes would be mailed over to the mailbox by the Hall of Mercenaries, and the group leader could retrieve and give them out freely. Additional experience points and gold coins would be awarded individually.

Eight special rewards would be given for the second-place winner; four would be assigned and the other four would be mailed. Additional experience points and gold coins would be awarded individually.

Finally, ten special rewards would be given to the first-place winner; five would be assigned and the other five would be mailed. Additional experience points and gold coins would be awarded individually.

The system publicly announced all this. Prizes were the most enticing aspect in games; the game officials specifically made it public to ignite their players' passion toward Parallel World, so why would they announce it in private and to only the players involved?

The players in every in-game city were now aware of the prize allocation, with those in Yunduan City showing the most reaction to it.

Was there even a need to explain why? Every Yunduan City player knew that Young Master's Elite which had placed first in the mercenary PvP tournament had six members. This meant that each member of the group would obtain one item each and four would receive another extra. No other city had such miraculous winners; most winners were either level 5 or level 3 mercenary groups. They would have a minimum of sixty members at most, so splitting the prizes evenly was difficult even if they were at first place. Young Master's Elite absolutely lucked out in the prize-allocation department.

"F*ck! This is awesome!" War Without Wounds happily slapped the table. He tried high-fiving someone, but the one beside him was Gu Fei while opposite him was Young Master Han. Both regarded him calmly, forcing War Without Wounds back to his seat.

At this moment, the system announced the prizes for the guild versus guild tournament. Since its scale was larger than the mercenary PvP tournament, it was largely seen as the highlight of Parallel World's event. The prizes provided for it was naturally far grander despite the prize distribution being a copy of the mercenary PvP tournament's prize allocation.

As expected, the allocation was indeed very similar.

Thirty special rewards would be given to the third-place winner. Fifteen would be assigned and the other fifteen would be mailed. Additional experience points and gold coins would be awarded individually.

Forty special rewards would be given to the second-place winner. The item assignment was split evenly as well. Additional experience points and gold coins would be awarded individually.

Lastly, fifty special rewards would be given to the first-place winner. The item assignment was split evenly as usual. Additional experience points and gold coins would be awarded individually. A guild quest would be awarded to the winning guild as well.

The additional quest was something that the first-place winner of the mercenary PvP tournament was not given. Just as the players were about to discuss this difference, the system notified them that fifteen minutes would be given for the guild members and mercenaries to tidy their dimensional pockets. Parallel World would not be responsible for any issues arising due to insufficient inventory slots, and players would be considered as voluntarily giving up their prizes if such issues occurred.

The members of the affected guilds and mercenary groups burst into activity after this announcement was made. With how dimensional pockets worked in Parallel World, no matter how large the given item was, a player only needed to ensure that he or she had a free inventory slot to safely receive the prize. Most people naturally had a slot or two available. Some individuals fantasized about receiving all the prizes, so they hurriedly cleared out their inventories.

This fifteen-minute duration gave everyone ample time to discuss and speculate about this.

"I've not caught wind of the system assigning prizes in accordance to our performance!" Brother Assist expressed his surprise over this tidbit.

"I wonder what it will be based on… Kill points, perhaps?" War Without Wounds eyed Gu Fei with jealousy as he asked this.

"Logically speaking, that isn't possible. It's probably gonna be related to the skills used during the matches in consideration of each job class's specialty. Only Mages would qualify for the big prizes if it were to be based off on kill points! After all, Mages are the most likely to secure kills in large-scale fights like these," Brother Assist opined.

"Still, there's no way Miles would win all the prizes alone!" War Without Wounds declared.

"There are six of us. Since five prizes are assigned, I wonder who is that ultimate loser who won't get any item!" Gu Fei looked at Young Master Han and Brother Assist when he said this.

The loser would most likely be one of the two. The fights that Young Master's Elite had engaged in were always focused on guerilla tactics. This meant that these two players barely had a chance to shine. It was unlikely that the system would be intelligent enough to include Young Master Han's commanding ability or Brother Assist's information gathering in the score tabulation.

The two men looked at each other….

It was a really tense fifteen minutes for everyone involved. Things were not too bad for Young Master's Elite since the prize that they earned was enough to go around them. As for those players in the other mercenary groups and guilds, they were fervently praying to Buddha and zealously burning incense to their ancestors in hopes of the system looking fondly on them and blessing them with items. Although some of these people knew that they had barely contributed in the tournaments, they still had every right to fantasize about receiving special rewards.

At the exact end of fifteen minutes, the system publicly announced about sending out the prizes to the respective players simultaneously. Whether the people who had just logged in understood the system's meaning or not, feelings of envy and excitement still propagated among the players that had heard the previous announcement, especially those who were not going to receive any prizes. The only information that that had been withheld to the public was the names of the winners.

Inside the room at Ray's Bar, five players heard a dinging sound at the same time. None of them lost their composure when this happened; they did not anxiously check what they had received, either. Instead, they examined the others' expressions. War Without Wounds' expectant face utterly betrayed him to everyone.

The other five burst into laughter as they pointed at him, "Turns out you're the ultimate loser!"

"What?" War Without Wounds stood up abruptly, "Has the prizes already been sent out?"

As the others nodded their heads, he moaned in dismay, "F*ck! Why am I the loser?! Why must it be me?!"

Brother Assist, the King of Information, began analyzing this based on statistics and data, "You didn't actually bag many kills throughout the tournament, yeah? You are also lacking in terms time spent in the matches, death count, and so on…."

War Without Wounds was speechless when he heard this. Indeed, he barely had any kills throughout the tournament, and he often died first before everyone else in the group.

"Forget it. Since you didn't get an item, one of the five freely assigned items for this group shall be yours," Young Master Han said.

"Doesn't that mean I won't have the chance to acquire two?" War Without Wounds asked.

All of them looked at him and spat one word, "Shameless!"

"Come. Let's see what each of us got!" The other five took out the item rewards from their dimensional pockets, whistling in awe in the process.

"The system sure is considerate. The prizes were given depending on our job classes!" Brother Assist exclaimed.

Young Master Han got a holy staff for Priest.

[Angelic Deceit
+ 10 Intelligence
+ 10 Spirit
+ 10 Endurance
+20% Heal Enhancement
Special skill: Phantasmic Lifeforce. Instantly fills the target's HP to full, disappearing once the skill duration expires
Skill duration: 30 seconds
Skill cooldown: 2 minutes]

As everyone looked at the staff, Brother Assist immediately said, "This skill is so… sinister…"

He then showed off his item reward to everyone, "Take a look at mine!"

[Twilight Blade
+ 10 Strength
+ 10 Agility
+ 10 Endurance
+ 20% attack Enhancement
+ 10% chance of inflicting the Weaken effect]

"This…" The others looked at Brother Assist. "Did you advance your job class to a Dark Knight?"

Brother Assist nodded his head in confirmation, saying, "The high-level skills of a Holy Knight specialize in party-wide buffing and such. I feel that our mercenary group doesn't really need that sort of skill."

"You should've just chosen whatever you wished to play with; no need to think about this group," Young Master Han chastised.

"Well… The sight of you guys having fun killing made me somewhat envious!" Brother Assist smiled.

"Assist has finally woken up!" Gu Fei felt pleased. He had never truly understood where Brother Assist was finding the joy in playing Parallel World all this while.

Brother Assist laughed as he glanced at Royal God Call, "What did you get?"

The item reward seemed to have failed to mitigate Royal God Call's sadness for missing the guild versus guild tournament as he still had an awkward expression when he took the item out of his dimensional pocket. Suddenly, the room was illuminated by two bright lights.

Everyone showed an astonished expression, "What did you just take out?"

Royal God Call was equally shocked by the sudden glow. Did he miss a finer detail that made his equipment emit godly lights? As he was about to closely inspect the item, Sword Demon apologetically said, "Sorry about that. Wounds and I just leveled up."

"Ah?! Oh… Did they award the gold coins and EXP already?" The others hurriedly checked their money pouches and experience point bars, realizing that they received quite an increase. Sword Demon and War Without Wounds accumulated a lot of experience points, so their experience point rewards allowed them to rise to level 41.

Since the six men all received these rewards, they were not that surprised by them. All turned their gazes on the item Royal God Call had placed on the table.

[Point of Ephemera
+ 10 Agility
+ 10 Strength
+ 5 attack range
+ 35% attack Enhancement
+ 10% chance of inflicting the Pierce effect]

"This…" Brother Assist, along with the rest, was silent for a moment before saying, "You can't really tell if it's better than Sniper's Scream or worse!"

"Yup!" Royal God Call could also not decide which was better between his two weapons. Sniper's Scream increased Agility by 20 points, Attack Range by 10 points, and Fatal Blow by 15% with 30% Snipe enhancement. While Point of Ephemera was the better choice in terms of basic attacks due to its '35% Attack Enhancement' trait, Sniper's Scream could greatly enhance the Attack Power of Royal God Call's ultimate skill, Snipe.

"Just swap it when the need arrives. There's no such thing as perfect equipment, anyway," Brother Assist told Royal God Call after comparing the two items on the table.

Royal God Call could only nod his head as their gazes shifted onto Sword Demon.

"Fortunately, the prize I got isn't a weapon!" Sword Demon expressed his relief as he took out something from his dimensional pocket. He already had the two overleveled daggers, Lasting Sentence and Dying Breath, which were also set equipment. The system would certainly give out items according to the current level 40 standard, so it would have been a waste if Sword Demon had gotten a weapon. Sword Demon placed a piece of bandana on the table, yet it was different from the pieces of cloth Gu Fei and the rest used to cover their faces as it had stats.

[Assassin's Bandana
+ 10 Agility
+ 10 Strength
+ 10% defense Enhancement
+ 20% Stealth Enhancement]

"That name is so plain!" everyone exclaimed.

"Stealth enhancement… So Stealth could be enhanced, huh!" Royal God Call muttered.

"It's probably because no equipment has skill for detecting Stealth yet, so there isn't an urgent need to enhance Stealth at the moment!" Sword Demon glanced over to Gu Fei. Although the latter told him that he did not depend on equipment or skill to detect Stealth, Sword Demon could still not help but be curious if Stealth enhancement would be effective against Gu Fei.

It was Gu Fei's turn to show them what he got. Fishing out an item from his dimensional pocket, he casually dropped it on the table, "It's this accessory." His item reward was a ring.

[Ring of Subdued Lightning
+ 12% chance of triggering additional lightning attack
+ 12% lightning resistance]

Different types of equipment had different criteria to judge their grades. Accessories and similar items were different from weapons when it came to the amount of traits. Ring of Subdued Lightning for instance was purple-tier equipment despite it only having two traits.

The system judged the equipment's value rather differently from players because it never considered trait application. Take Gu Fei's Ring of Subdued Lightning as an example; while it giving such an item to the Lightning Mage Gu Fei was apt, its 'additional lightning attack' trait was something the average Mage would be unable to utilize. As for the 'lightning resistance' trait… A majority of Mages had chosen the job class with Water Affinity, so equipment related to the Water Affinity would be more valuable to them. Lightning Affinity equipment was therefore not really in demand and highly valued.

No matter how exceptional the traits were, top-grade equipment with 'useless' traits was still considered as faux top-grade equipment.

Parallel World's system did not distinguish between true top-grade and faux top-grade equipment like players did. The ring's two traits had high value, so the system evaluated it highly to the point that the A.I. considered it as the most fitting item reward for Gu Fei. From its perspective, this ring could even be valued higher than Sword Demon, Royal God Call and the others' item rewards. Fortunately, Gu Fei was a faux Mage; if he were like the other Mages, he would probably be cursing Parallel World for awarding him such an item right about now.

No matter how the system or players judged the items they had received, everyone in Young Master's Elite unanimously agreed that Young Master Han's holy staff with a skill was the most outstanding item reward thus far. If the system had gifted the players based on the number of kills and ilk, the best equipment would have never fallen in the hands of Young Master Han. After all, Gu Fei had the best performance in the tournament out of them all.

Everyone pondered on this issue for a long time. In the end, Brother Assist came up with a logical answer, "I GOT IT! Only Young Master has perfect attendance throughout the tournament."

"Perfect attendance?" Everyone thought back to the first match of the mercenary PvP tournament. On the first day of Parallel World's PvP event, the square by the Hall of Mercenaries had been thoroughly filled with players that only Young Master Han and Gu Fei had decisively participated in the first match against only one opponent.

As for Gu Fei, he had missed a match when he had gotten waylaid by Cloud Herder Guild. Indeed, only Young Master Han had participated in all the matches of the mercenary PvP tournament.

Just like how not turning up for work was the biggest mistake one could make when working, the system also handed harsh punishment for players who failed to participate in all the PvP event's matches. Although Young Master Han had not earned his group kill points, the system had still judged him as the role model of his mercenary group and had thus assigned him the greatest item reward.

"Heh... I'm truly wonderful," Young Master Han boasted.

The others did not know what to say and could only blame themselves for letting this narcissistic person obtain the greatest prize out there.

"Alright. Let's get the freely assigned prizes we've earned!" War Without Wounds felt thoroughly envious as he watched everyone pull out top-grade equipment one after another and deemed it to be his turn to get an item reward!
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