Roland wasn't in a hurry to leave. Since the players varied in distance from Mory, they agreed on a time on the forums to meet in the woods on the eastern outskirts of Mory within 10 days.
Currently, more than a hundred players had signed up, but Roland estimated that only half would make it without a hitch.
This was not the modern world, where one could drive hundreds of kilometers by car on the highway or take a high-speed rail or plane and arrive in a few hours.
This was an alien world with extremely primitive transportation. More importantly, apart from the ranges where humans moved about, there was also dangerous no man's land between cities, crawling rampantly with wild monsters and magical beasts.
Diseases, weather, and emergencies, these could all make people disappear on the road.
Travelers and merchants could make a lot of money because they were fighting for it with their lives.
Unlike Roland, who directly joined an organization and received pay, most players were as broke as can be, so then there were players clever enough to take advantage of the system's Backpack.
In contrast, it was much more convenient for players to be traveling merchants. For one, they were professionals, and in groups of three to five, their strength was quite something. Ordinary bandits wouldn't dare to do anything reckless.
And… even if they were robbed, the goods were all stored in the Backpack and wouldn't be lost. It was very safe, and at worst, they could just take a detour.
A two-by-two-by-two Backpack could also hold a lot of things. All they had to do was find those small, but more valuable things to transport.
It took the better part of a month, but they could earn a gold coin or two.
Then, other players who wanted to make money followed by example, and in a short while, an indistinct trend of a "running business" was formed.
Using the forums, they could also communicate about what goods were missing in which location, and what the specialties of different cities were.
Roland dedicated his time in Delpon to studying magic and didn't go out much, so he didn't know much about the current state of the players' world.
Now, apart from the two titles of undying and Golden Son, there was also a vague addition of the title "great merchants from another world."
Those traveling merchant players were just "economic coolies" at the lowest rung, while the high-end players were already attempting to control the prices of certain special items in their cities.
For example, the people around Principal Huang and Fan Six Hundred Million.
Of course, these things had little to do with Roland.
After making a reply on the forum, he stayed at the Magic Tower for two more days to make sure that things were calm after John Senior returned and that the latter didn't take any drastic actions. After doing so, he finally planned on setting out.
But before he left, he made a special trip to see Hawk and Link.
Now the docks here had begun to scale, the next part was the problem of how to attract investors and expand channels.
Hawk sat in a high place and looked down at the docks with a perfectly content look.
For civil engineering slaves, leading and completing a big project was in and of itself something to brag about for a lifetime.
Although this was only in a game.
Roland found Hawk, took two handfuls of gold coins from his Backpack, and put them in Hawk's large hands. "Here are 20 gold coins. You can count them."
"So much this time around?" Hawk's eyes lit up.
Again, the Silver Wings Guild was currently paving the way for the future with money, so they would accept whatever gold Roland had.
Roland also sat down and said, "Over the past few days, people have successively found my statue in the capital and started learning my skill. Now, one or two gold coins come into my account every day."
"Tsk, it's so nice to make money lying down." Hawk sighed.
"Once Silver Wings paves the road, it'll be even more profitable." Roland looked down at the majestic docks. "I guess your guild leader wants to create a waterborne transport logistics company in the alternate world."
Hawk smiled and said nothing.
Large guilds were great for this point. They had a wide range of talent and abundant resources, and they did things on a grand scale with a sense of perspicacity.
"The mayor is back. What are you guys going to do?" Roland asked.
Hawk pointed to the distance and said, "Pay more taxes in exchange for full autonomy. We're willing to follow the rules here, but if they're too greedy, like trying to get their hands on a key part of the Silver Wings waterborne transport and logistics company—it'll be impossible. The elites of Silver Wings are already starting to shift toward this area. How many players do you think can topple a city?"
"I'd say fifty," Roland answered after a moment's thought.
Players were undying. Moreover, the players of large guilds were more disciplined and their commanders had plenty of experience with "armchair strategies."
Some large group battle games, such as Shadowbane and PlanetSide, had already raised the strategic vision and improvisational command ability of large guild commanders to a certain extent.
Intersperse, divide, and outflank—this kind of mobile warfare in games was something they were already skilled at playing.
Besides, Zhao Kuo wasn't a bad armchair general, he just met Bai Qi, quite unfortunately.
These commanders were all armchair strategists like Zhao Kuo with plenty of room to grow, but what made them more fortunate than Zhao Kuo was that they had countless trial and error opportunities.
NPCs only had one.
Fifty players was Roland's most conservative estimate.
At this moment, Hawk smiled. "We'll have 83 guild players."
Upon hearing this, Roland began to laugh.
Eighty-three players, eighty-three professionals—the mayor of any city would be terrified.
"Apart from giving you money, I came over to ask you to take care of Magic Tower!" Looking at the river stretching into the horizon, Roland spoke these words slowly.
"I thought so." Hawk sighed. "I read the forum post and saw your message. I wanted to go too, but I really can't get away from here."
His voice seemed disappointed. Being unable to participate in a special event that was destined to leave a mark in the history of the game and that feeling of his heart and lungs being scratched made him extremely out of sorts.
Roland smiled and said, "I'll help put in more effort in your stead."
"Then, thank you very much." Hawk's voice had a hidden bitterness to it. It was disgusting to see a muscular, steel man make such an expression.
With a look of disgust on his face, Roland patted the goosebumps on his body and left.
He hired a coach and coachman in the city and drove slowly away from Delpon.
There were no good roads in the world. The carriage moved slowly yet unsteadily.
The swaying made Roland uncomfortable. Then, he turned his attention to the front and saw the coachman, who was intently driving.
The coachman was an old black man who didn't look sturdy.
Roland was curious. "Why are you willing to travel alone with me? This trip will be quite dangerous."
The coachman didn't turn round. His voice was timid. "Better die on the road than die of hunger. My family is running out of food."
Not even afraid of danger for the sake of family?
Because this world was too dangerous, the mortality rate was very high, and one would generally pay half the deposit in advance when hiring guards, coachmen, and so on.
Roland had paid the driver 10 silver coins before he set out. The 10 silver coins should already be in the hands of his family.
The price for hiring this coachman was 20 silver coins for a trip.
It was quite expensive, but Roland thought it was too cheap in terms of human life.
Fortunately, there were no major incidents along the way. Occasionally, a few small, ravenous wild beasts emerged from the woods on either side of the road and were frozen into ice by Roland immediately.
Then these became "rations" in the driver's hands.
Four days later, Roland reached the outskirts of Mory. He gave the driver the remaining 10 silver coins, and said, "If you trust me, you can wait for me in the city of Mory. I will return to Delpon in a few days, and then I can take your coach again. I just don't know how to find you then."
"Master Mage, you may come to find me at the stable. I'll try to stay there."
Roland nodded and let the coachman leave. Roland opened the forums and found a map of Mory's region posted on the forums by a certain player. Following the map, he found the agreed upon gathering spot in a mountain forest.
There were a few wooden cabins already built, and a few player-like people gathered around a campfire in the middle, roasting the meat of some unknown beast and talking and laughing.
Roland walked over and they noticed him at once.
After being stunned for a short moment, some players exclaimed in admiration. "Oh, the great mage Roland is here. Come quickly, you sit here and eat barbecue first. I'll go buy you some oranges…"
Roland laughed. "Bugger off. You treat me like I've never attended junior high school. I joined Hongxing after my third year of junior high school."
The other players suddenly burst into laughter.
It was the easiest to integrate with idiotic players. With a simple meme, he was connected with them—he was one of their own.
Then Roland joined them and ate the roasted meat.
At the same time, Roland also saw the "victim" that they were helping this time. She was a beautiful girl.
People with added charm were different indeed. This female player was truly quite beautiful, slightly prettier than Vivian.
However, the thought that she was plain-looking in the real world seemed to make her less pretty.
The female player smiled at Roland as she saw him size her up.
There was a lot of unsettled resentment showing on her face.
"We will wait for another four days. After four days, most of the other players should arrive by then. Once there are enough people, we'll storm the city."
"Should we branch out into two or three routes? To create a diversion."
Players surrounded the campfire, exchanging ideas.
Roland contemplated for a while, coughed, and the others instantly stopped talking.
"The man we are going to kill is the mayor." Roland looked around the crowd and continued, "This is no little nobleman, but a man of considerable importance. If he were killed by us in public, it would certainly cause a violent backlash of the noble class."
Everyone frowned. They thought Roland wanted to persuade them to give up this operation, but they didn't say anything for fear of guessing wrong. They wanted to wait for Roland to finish.
"It's not going to be good for our development in this world," Roland continued. "If we just kill the mayor without batting an eye, the other mayors will surely feel sympathetic. Then, we players will definitely become the thorn in the sides of the nobles. Moreover, we're generally not strong yet, and if we do this and cause the nobles to collectively denounce us, there'll be a lot of trouble."
Finally, someone couldn't help but retort, "You mean, we shouldn't kill him?"
"We will kill him, but we have to be particular about the method."
 the hapless general of Zhao state who led an army of 400k to total annihilation in the battle of Changping
 Famous general of Qin state who won in Changping
 Meme; a scene where a father goes to buy oranges for his son, originates from Retreating Figure by Zhu Ziqing. Now used to indirectly say "I'm your father"
 A fictitious Triad in the movie Young and Dangerous
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