From enlisting in the Stardragon Army to joining underworld societies, there was no lack of work opportunities for players in the Western Capital. Even just by walking on the streets and interacting with NPCs, there were plenty of quests waiting to be triggered. From the money that they earned from these common quests such as "Find the Missing Purse", "Rescue the Cat Stuck on the Tree", and other collection missions, it became clear to Sleepy Winter that exploring had been the right thing to do.
Of course, as the Western Capital was a high-level zone, there were many places that the trio found inaccessible at their current level. Rainy Kim had been rejected at the gates of the Western Capital Academy while Twinkle Fried Rice had been held at gunpoint when he'd tried to enter District 1, almost giving away his first death.
The day after, the trio enlisted in the Stardragon Army, thereby gaining their first combat class: [Recruit]. After a couple of training quests, their Faction changed from [Stardragon] to [Stardragon Army], and they earned the rank of [Private].
Out of goodwill, Sleepy Winter messaged Frenzied Sword to let him know about being able to join the army, but Frenzied Sword only replied briefly in acknowledgement. For some reason, he seemed uninterested.
What Sleepy Winter did not know was that Frenzied Sword was preoccupied with trying to win Han Xiao's favor.
In order to test out the limitations of the quest function, Han Xiao entertained Frenzied Sword and issued him with all sorts of strange quests, such as [Kick Ten People in the Ass], [Strip a Patrolling Officer of His Shorts], [Remain in a Ballerina Pose for Five Minutes], and many more.
From these tests, Han Xiao learned that as long as the maximum reward was able to match the quest's difficulty, he would be able to choose any type of quest scenario that he wanted.
Meanwhile, things were a bit different on the receiving end. Frenzied Sword, who found himself only being assigned crude and twisted quests, gradually began to develop a sense of fear toward Han Xiao.
Nonetheless, he religiously completed all of the quests as the experience that Han Xiao rewarded him with was several times more than the standard reward. That alone was enough for him to ignore his own morals.
The quests allowed him to level up rapidly, and he used the earnings themself to learn more basic skills from Han Xiao.
The beta test might have been unexpected for Han Xiao, but overall, it did not do much to disrupt his plans. The beta players were simply too scattered and few in number to have much influence on their respective starting planets. Twelve days was not enough time for them to level up significantly.
It would take longer for a breeze to develop into a storm.
In the long haul, however, the influx of players would be like a gold mine to Han Xiao.
Helping to strengthen Frenzied Sword was only the first step. Soon, his progress would definitely catch the attention of the other players and his own association. His association would certainly capitalize on it and release information on this 'secret NPC' in order to gain popularity. That was when the money and experience would start pouring in for Han Xiao. Frenzied Sword might have thought he was hogging Han Xiao to himself, but he was actually dancing in the palm of his hand.
[Official Launch Countdown: 126 Days 11 Hours 32 Minutes]
Aside from crafting [Incendiary Bullets], Han Xiao spent most of his free time browsing the forums.
Although it was usually buzzing with discussion and players would frequent it while their characters were dead or had set up shop, there were only beta players posting now.
"The women on Aquamarine are so beautiful!"
"Urgently looking for party members to fight the Sand Bandits. Location: Fallen Dragon Valley, Planet Longtune. Coordinates are"
"A shot of Planet Brighton's magical floating city."
"I somehow transformed myself into some tentacled monster. How do I change back"
"Damn it, teach me how!"
Most of the threads were posted to request help or share information. Some parties also used the forums as a means to record and share their progress.
There were over a dozen beginner planets of various civilizations available in the betamagical civilizations, scientific civilizations, and religious civilizations, to name a few. The societal structure of each planet also varied.
The most popular planet seemed to be Planet Winterfrost, which was ruled by the void demon race. The planet also served as an outpost for the Destruction Army, whose aim was to 'destroy all civilizations'. In Han Xiao's past life, they were an enemy who had given him quite a headache.
As Han Xiao refreshed the forum page, a new thread caught his attention.
"First B-class quest!"
Han Xiao narrowed his eyes. He recalled that the first B-class mission had only appeared after the official launch. How could someone have unlocked such a high class mission during the beta test?
Curious, he entered the thread to see that it was already erupting with discussion.
"Who are you trying to fool? I haven't even seen a D-class quest yet."
"Are you dumb? He posted pictures as proof!"
"They must be fake! Why is there only a quest name but no quest information?"
"Nice try, clown. Who would want to share their quest information with you."
"It must be super hard. I'm still at the beginner zone. Does anyone know how to get out?"
"The poster is the official account of the Throne of Gods guild. They're legit. It should be true."
"Does anyone know which planet this is?"
"All of you are noobs."
"Sorry, my dog ran over my keyboard."
Han Xiao chuckled. In his nostalgia, he continued reading through all the banter before finally checking out the contents of the original post. There was only a cropped screenshot of a quest name.
B-class Quest: [Investigate Zero]
Han Xiao scrolled up to check the poster's name.
'Throne of Gods?'
The Throne of Gods was a prestigious guild that boasted a line-up of renowned gamers. They were so big that they even had their own line of goods.
In his previous life, Han Xiao had once taken up an assignment to strip their leader and take pictures of him in various embarrassing poses. He had then posted them on the forums with the title: "Shocking! Why would the leader of the Throne of Gods" and charged a fee for viewing. While Han Xiao had earned his money, he had also ended up being chased around by the entire guild for an entire month.
'Ah, I miss player killing' Han Xiao sighed as he turned around to look at Frenzied Sword, causing him to freeze up.
Han Xiao shook his head.
If things went as they had previously, the Throne of Gods would join the Germinal faction to become the biggest player guild on their side. It was already looking likely.
Germinal must be hellbent on getting him this time, for even beta players to be able to acquire the mission to look for him.
For the average player, it would be impossible to evade the notice of Division 13 while trying to locate Han Xiao by themselves. Normally, it would take a large amount of people to even have a chance of succeeding. However, the Throne of Gods did not seem to lack manpower.
As he considered the situation, Han Xiao finally decided on which Germinal base to act upon next.
The Throne of Gods guild had 15 players in the beta test. It was a team of core members led by both the leader and the vice-leader. Before the beta test started, they had already decided to list science as a preference.
Their reasoning was simplesince the world of Galaxy had a 'galactic' setting, science would definitely be a core driving force of the game. As such, they were all able to start together on Aquamarine and had also quickly purchased a map to begin exploring.
The leader, Jupiter, was the one who decided to join the Germinal Organization. Their starting zone had also been close to a Germinal base.
Jupiter thought that the Germinal Organization was probably the strongest faction on the planet as they able to stand strong against all of the nations on their own. Choosing them had nothing to do with favoring their ideology or anything like that. After all, their only priority was to get stronger.
And reality did not betray their expectations. After joining Germinal, they were brought to the Dark Crow Valley Base where they underwent tough training to become low level grunts.
The biggest gain that they received there, however, was none other than the B-class quest, [Investigate Zero].
The only information provided by the quest was that the target, Zero, was currently residing within Stardragon.
At present, the 15 members were having a top-secret meeting to discuss how they would complete the quest.
"This is our first B-class quest," said Jupiter in a low voice. "As there doesn't seem to be fighting involved, with our level, we have a good chance of succeeding. The rewards are extremely good. With them, we will definitely be able to become the number one guild!"
"All we know is that Zero is in the country, but Stardragon is just too big," added Poseidon, a core member of the guild. "The beta test period is too short, so I think that we should only aim to complete the quest after official launch. Now, we should just do some preliminary investigation."
Everyone nodded in agreement.
"The quest information only tells us that Zero is an enemy of the Germinal Organization. If we manage to kill him, will there be a bonus reward?"
"Nice thinking, as expected of our leader."
"But that would most likely be A-class difficulty," pointed out Poseidon.
"There's no impossible quest in a game. We just have to find the way," answered Jupiter matter-of-factly. "The official launch is one week after the end of this beta test. During this period of time, we will also have to discuss the matter with the rest of the guild."
"In any case," added Shiva, the vice-leader, "with the backing of our gaming organization, we are the ones with the highest chance of completing this quest."
"That is true," agreed Jupiter.
"It would be faster if we made use of the other players," suggested Poseidon.
Jupiter's eyes lit up.
"Good idea. Let's release Zero's face and put up a reward for any valuable leads."
Rich guilds had their way of doing things.