After Wu Yan left, he didn’t get to see the chaos in the theater-esque place.
The revelation of a mass-murderer in the player base came like some had dropped an atomic bomb on them. They started freaking out while getting all dizzy.
The players started dissing Wu Yan just like Kibaou had predicted. They cursed the so-called “demonic killer”.
Of course, some of the players came to their senses and they started casting doubt on the claim of killing a lot of humans.
If they calmed down to think about it, realistically, anyone who killed thousands or even ten thousand humans would surely be reported in the news, right? Deaths in that magnitude would surely make the news, they weren’t sure if the 2000 deaths in-game were reported in the real world, but, surely, he couldn’t have killed those players right?
That’s just impossible.
After they discussed it, they came to another logical conclusion.
Wu Yan must have a military background.
The only job in this world where you can kill a lot of people while getting away with it would be in the fields of war.
Their irrational fear turned into respect for Wu Yan that was still rooted in fear.
Another player came out to point out the fact that beta testers pulled together to publish a free guidebook that was accessible to players if they visited any NPC store. Kibaou’s argument got weakened by this revelation. Wu Yan turned from a savage beast into a hero in everyone’s eyes.
Because of Wu Yan, the whole meeting got side-tracked. They spent half of the time here talking about Wu Yan. They only spent about 10 minutes discussing strategies.
Wu Yan didn’t know what went down after he left. Even if he knew, he wouldn’t care if they thought better or worse about him. His fame inside this virtual world isn’t important, he didn’t plan on living permanently in this world anyway. Plus, it’s true that his hands are stained with blood.
As a tier 8 individual, these mortals aren’t worth mentioning in the same breath as him. Of course, he made exceptions for people like the ones in Moonlit Black Cats.
His title turned from beta tester to veteran beta tester. There are those that respected him, revered him just as there are people who feared him. The people that used to hate or envy him reduced day by day.
Who would mess with a veteran for petty reasons like jealousy, greed, and hate? They would have a better time praying to their gods that don’t run into a hostile encounter with Wu Yan. They are afraid that he would use his veteran knowledge to legally end them.
In a day, news of this reached every player in SAO. Wu Yan who heard about this from a mail by Sachi almost fainted. He didn’t anticipate that the players would have such good imagination. They filled in the gaps and made a myth out of a simple sentence he said.
Anyway, this was better for him. His title as military personnel can definitely go a long way in this world. He can use it to suppress negative news about him. The generally accepted rumor of him being a beta tester also seemed more acceptable once players knew about his made-up background.
Night, in a corner inside the town…
Tomorrow is the boss raid, the raid participants all spent the night chatting and drinking to get closer to each other. This will improve camaraderie and enhance battle coordination.
Wu Yan came here but he didn’t mingle with the players. He stayed in his quiet corner while eating his own self-made Salisbury steak with the night sky as his television.
Because Hinagiku liked eating Salisbury steak, this is one dish he can cook with his eyes closed. Inside his item tab, he stored a lot of Salisbury steak.
The other players would probably go crazy if they saw his steak. They would be fencing with sandals and throwing shields around just to get a bite of his steak. Most players are stuck with eating bland bread in this death game, they are too busy leveling or getting essentials down, the tasteless food wasn’t really a huge concern for them. It’s amazing that they can eat only bland bread for a whole month without succumbing to malnutrition, maybe the game is designed without a focus on food.
The other players around Wu Yan noticed his steak but nobody approached him out of respectful apprehension. Nobody was dumb enough to approach him as an enemy. Diavel greeted him but they only shared a brief conversation. The others watched from the side.
Soon, the second person to draw close to him appeared.
Wu Yan looked at the newcomer on reflex and he was petrified for a second.
Hidden behind her hood, Wu Yan couldn’t exactly see Asuna’s face but he was sure it was her.
“You, what do you want?”
Asuna didn’t reply. She stood there like she’s not sure if she should ask this. In the end, she asked anyway.
“Are you really a soldier?…”
Wu Yan rolled his eyes at her.
“You believe the same crap those dudes talked about?”
Asuna’s palm started shaking, her voice was shaky too.
“If you’re not a soldier, then how can you speak of killing another person so easily?”
Wu Yan glanced at her and then he looked at the sky. His nonchalant voice entered her ears.
“I am just used to it…”
Those six words sounded like he’s been there and done that. Her complex emotions and thoughts jumbled up even more.
Wu Yan asked Asuna.
“And you, are you only here to ask me about that?”
Asuna fell silent again.
She didn’t know to answer him.
Asuna wasn’t sure herself, why is she here standing in front of this man?…
One month ago, Asuna fell into despair when she heard about this death game.
In the end, she was different from the other female players, she didn’t want to rot away inside this virtual world, she picked herself up and she started grinding with her trusty sword. She didn’t want her soul to waste away in despair and sorrow.
Her heart became numb after she spent one month fighting against monsters and leveling up.
His outrageous words stirred up a ripple inside her paralyzed heart.
He was like a maniac that would draw anyone’s attention no matter what he did. To Asuna, he’s the kinda freak that appeared while she’s lost inside the labyrinth of her own heart. Even if he’s a lunatic, upon first sight of humanity, her heart responded by calling out to this lunatic that entered her heart.
Asuna was driven by her own subconscious to reach out to Wu Yan.
Wu Yan wasn’t sure what he should say. He helplessly shook his head and he called up his item tab. He materialized a piping hot Salisbury steak.
He tossed it over to her and she caught it with inhuman dexterity. Asuna was stunned upon seeing the content in her hands.
That nostalgic scent entered her nostrils and she said in a dumbfounded manner.
“A Salisbury steak?”
Wu Yan said.
It didn’t take long for his food to conquer her olfactory sense. Asuna forgot about her lady manners and she wolfed down the whole thing in a few bites. Her tastebuds went into a frenzy mode, as drops of tear formed at the corners of her eyes.
A whole month of eating bland bread left her feeling like she’s in hell. In contrast, his food came like a divine host sent from heaven up high.