Wuxiaworld > Tempest of the Battlefield > Chapter 16: Noob
Chapter 16: Noob

Translator: Oneshotwonder Editor: Tehrn
The excitement of a new semester boiled over as Wang Tong ate lunch happily with a group of classmates. He couldn’t wait to attend his first class and make his first friend at school.

"Hey, kiddo, what are you waiting for?"

"Fine, but don't rush me!" Wang Tong understood that Mr. Wannabe had been waiting anxiously since this morning, any more delay might blow his gasket. Therefore Wang Tong hurried down to Dream-Heaven as soon as he finished lunch.

The game was called PA or Practical Arena, a well-known game that was the most popular game of the world for many years. Although only half of the game content was open to the public, as indicated by its full name "Military Use METAL Fighter Practice Arena", it was also used by the military as their training platform for METAL fighters.

The DREAM Corporation had been engaged in long-term negotiations with the Military for the release of the PA system, yet no one had fully understood DREAM's intention since the amount of red tape they were willing to battle with, did not seem to be worth the release of a simple game.

There were two main leagues of the PA system, one was the commercial users, and the other was the professional military users of the Confederation, which included the Military Academies and the Confederation Military Forces. This PA system had saved the Confederation a significant amount of money since all the public schools in the entire solar system were connected online to this program, unfortunately, due to technical difficulties, none of the schools located in the Andromeda Galaxy were linked to it through cyberspace.

In most cases, the two leagues played together unless there was a covert operation being carried out by the military. Thanks to the mingling between commercial players and the professional players, a beginner or the so-called “noob” would have the opportunity to meet professionals such as academy students and even instructors; however, the real masters were hard to find on-line as they liked to remain elusive. Eighty percent of the users were commercial users or so-called IPA, and the rest were professional users, called TPA.

Although the two leagues were together, the cunning businessmen working for DREAM wouldn't let such an opportunity pass by without making a healthy profit. In order to stimulate the sales of the virtual METAL suits, the in-game equipment that did not exist in real life, they signed an agreement with the Confederation that allowed the IPAs to participate as bystanders when there was a fight between TPAs. Commercial users who became obsessed fanboys of the TPA tournaments would then become equally obsessed with purchasing in_game virtual equipment with real world money. This marketing strategy had made the PA system an extremely profitable game for DREAM.

Coincidentally, this very profitable business model of the PA system was the graduation project of Wang Tong's Principal Samantha while she was finishing up her MBA degree, on which she had, not surprisingly, scored 100%.

In cyberspace, there were very distinct differentiations between the two groups of players. The commercial players' in-game names were white, and the TPA players' names were displayed with different colors based on their origin. Earth was blue, Mars and Ceres were red, and the Kaedeians names were in purple which was also the color they adored so much in their culture. Just as in real life, Kaedeians were a cautious bunch even in the PA system as they barely participated as fighters but merely as audience members.

Although most people would use a pseudonym online, most top notch students from S-Class academies prefer to use their real names, since it was a good way of getting themselves noticed by the military. That being said, even the students who were eager to prove themselves had obscured their tactics since those were the top secrets of every METAL fighter.

Wang Tong logged on as he heard the system welcoming him as Einherjar and remembered that he wouldn't even be here if not for Mr. Wannabe's ceaseless pestering in the first place. After coming back from Norton, he started to disdain these virtual games: “A real fight means life and death, blood and gore, and preferably, Zergs’ blood,” Wang Tong thought to himself.

Wang Tong registered as a TPA fighter without thinking, and together with Mr. Wannabe, they entered a jam-packed player lobby. Wang Tong could hear Mr. Wannabe’s words: "Find a good fighter and let’s have some fun! Hurry!"

Wang Tong looked at Mr. Wannabe’s apparition in pity since he had remained a formless shadow even in this intangible cyberspace.

"Don't you worry, let me see. How about him?"

"Boys and girls, Stock has won nine consecutive matches, if he wins the next bout, he will be able to ascend to the next level and gain access to level three METAL suits, now, do we have a challenger?"

The audiences let out envious cheers as the Master of Ceremonies announced Stock's impressive fighting record.

Stock, who stood on the stage, looked like an Earthling student in his twenties. He had fought his way there with a winning streak, one more victory and he would be able to successfully ascend to a higher level.

The METAL suits TPA used were programmed to resemble those employed by the military in real life combat so that the students would get used to them before they used them on a battlefield. Just like the METAL suits in real life, the METAL suits in the game were divided into six tiers.

The first tier, albeit basic, came with a variety of styles depending on the manufacturer, in order to fit different types of fighters.

The second tier, equipped by only the elite fighters, was still mass produced.

From the second to the third tier meant a leap in quality as the METAL suits were almost all custom-made for officers of the military.

As for the fourth, fifth and the sixth tiers, they were truly one in a million gears, which were often imbued with cutting edge technologies to aid the user during combat. They could rarely be seen, even among TPA matches, since the wearers, who were usually master fighters, wouldn't care to show off in front of rookies.

There was, however, one more tier above the sixth tier which was reserved exclusively for Einherjars and had never been spotted on the TPA system. That being said, in the virtual world of IPA, even the sixth tier METAL suit had flooded the online market, but they were merely fan-made replicas in the IPA league and should not be confused with the real deal.

Knowing that this fight could be the only way of getting a defense-focused third tier suit before he graduated, Stoke was thrilled and nervous at the same time.

"Who will challenge him?"

Many fighters hesitated as the MC called out for challengers. Some fighters present were at a higher level than Stock if they enter the ring, not only would they receive a debuff on their higher tier METAL suit as per the game law, it would also look bad on them for acting like a bully.

"Go Stock go!"

"You can do it!!"

"You are the best!"

The twenty or so teenagers who formed a ring surrounding the arena cheered for Stock, they were probably his classmates coming to witness his ascension.