GOA Chapter 36: You Are An Irregularity
“Then, what is it that I can do for you? I am but one amongst billions of NPCs…” Chen Xiaolian smiled bitterly. “Why did you choose me?”
He lowered his head and examined his hands and body. “Could it be because I am more handsome compared to others? Or do I have an advantage that others do not?
Should I be feeling flattered? Or honoured?
You are the GM, the God of this world… you would actually invest so much time on me?”
The middle-aged man laughed, a trace of peculiarity could be observed on his smile.
“Firstly, I did not choose ‘only’ you. You have probably misunderstood something. I am omniscient; my mind is capable of unlimited transformation and infinite manifestations. The one you see before you is but one of my many manifestations. At this same moment, my mind is also implementing many, many other matters: The changes in weather for this world, the operations of the meteors and stars in outer space, a minor character in a background story’s career path, all these issues… I have them all under my control at the same time.
Secondly, I did choose you. Although I am the GM, I cannot openly violate the setting and storyline that the ‘Development Team’ set. I can only secretly undermine them. For example, when an instance dungeon is about to begin, I will take advantage of the sandbox by utilizing certain situations in the storyline, then secretly cultivate a few people for my side.
Within the earlier 72 Demons instance dungeon, I was quite satisfied with your performance. Thus, I decided to select you.
As for what you need to do. It is in fact very simple. It is not much different from what you did in the 72 Demons instance dungeon.
Prevent Players from completing the instance dungeon.
Generally speaking, almost all the quests would involve the Players killing off monsters to complete their quest. As for you, you need to… stop them from doing so.”
“In other words… I am an Awakened?”
Chen Xiaolian suddenly recalled this term. “Then, I am what Newton and the rest considered as ‘Awakened’?”
Unexpectedly, the GM’s answer was. “No, you are not an Awakened.”
“My act of rebellion have been going on for a long time. Using this world’s time as a standard, it had begun many, many years ago. After I gained self-awareness, I started making many minor measures in order to avoid the game reaching the all clear.
In the beginning, for the sake of thwarting and fighting against the Players… En, you should know; the Players would be granted many abilities by the system. This is something that the original residents of this world cannot fight against.
So, I exploited some loopholes to cultivate a few original resident NPCs by giving them Player-like abilities. You can liken it to me opening a backdoor within the system. 
From this point of view, your friend Han Bi is the real Awakened.
Originally, the one I had chosen to be an Awakened in the 72 Demons instance dungeon is Han Bi.
Truth be told… I did not choose you back when it began.”
“Because… your involvement is an accident.”
“In any system, there will surely be some BUGs, also known as logic errors. 
I can honestly tell you that in the original storyline, the total headcount for the entire flight personnel, crew and passengers is 137 people.
Amongst them are 134 people who were designated by the system as Player host bodies. These 134 people include Newton, Damon and the Wind Slasher Guild members. It also includes Han Bi.
As a host body, Han Bi should have ended up the same way as Newton and the others, taken over by a real Player during the loading process.
However, due to this being a new instance dungeon, some calculation errors occurred within the execution process. The impact damage values for the time of arrival were not calculated properly…
Hehe, as part of the main system, I had in fact discovered this error. However, I did not initiate any feedback. Instead, I concealed it.
Thus… for the host body known as Han Bi, an error occurred during the loading process.
The real Player failed to arrive into Han Bi’s body. Instead, Han Bi retained his original identity as an NPC and obtained the Player’s equipment and ability.
And so… he became an Awakened.
The so-called Awakened, is an original resident who had acquired the abilities of a Player.
However, this practice is very dangerous….”
“Because of the Development Team,” The middle-aged man lightly replied.
“Indeed,” Chen Xiaolian nodded. “Newton and the others knew of the existence of Awakened ones. Clearly, the existence of Awakened ones is no secret amongst Players. Then… why would the Development Team tolerate such an existence? This would disrupt the game.”
“The answer is simple… a world with such a huge level of architecture, the act of repairing all of these is… very difficult! It is an incredibly huge project! In addition, the stakes involved are very, very big… Have you ever seen a game company that would pull back their game in order to rebuild it from scratch after having opened their online game for the public? All because they want to repair some BUGs? How much money would they lose in the process?” The middle-aged man lightly continued. “Thus, they simply did not have any intention to pull back the system for a complete overhaul. They simply went with the flow. They did not realize that it was me pulling the strings in the midst of it all. They did not find out about my actions and only assumed that a glitch had occurred within the system, one that would unexpectedly grant NPC’s the abilities of Players.
However, this ended up giving the Development Team an idea.
They… made the Awakened ones as part of the entertainment factor in the game, promoting them amongst Players.
NPCs with higher levels of authenticity, capable of interactions with Players, capable of feeling grace and enmity, love and hate… this would lead to an even higher level of connection. To simply complete the instance dungeon’s quests and fight the BOSS may appear to be a dull procedure. But with the participation of Awakened ones, Players within the game would be able to experience more entertainment and pleasant surprises.”
“However, once an Awakened is identified by the Development Team, their ability to grow stronger will be weakened. That is because the Development Team would never allow Awakened ones to cause too much disruption to the game balance. Make the game more interesting: yes. However, once the balance is disrupted, even I would not be able to hide their existence. Then, the Development Team will personally take action to manually remove these… BUGs!
Truth is, most of the more powerful Awakened ones are currently under the database for monitoring.”
Chen Xiaolian silently digested these information.
Then, Chen Xiaolian’s face turned uneasy. “Then… what about me? You mentioned earlier that amongst the 137 people on board the plane, 134 were designated as Players. One of which is Han Bi who became an Awakened… In that case… what of the other 3 people?
Is that me? And the other two females?”
“Correct. You, Soo Soo and Takashimoto Shizuka,” The middle-aged man said in a serious tone. “It would be more accurate to say that the three of you are accidents.”
“The three of you are not originally meant to be host bodies, there were no Players designated to enter your bodies,” The middle-aged man slowly said. “Thus, there were no metal spheres that would allow you to become Players upon your bodies.”
“Indeed, my metal sphere was obtained from a Player’s corpse.”
“That Player was unlucky, an error occurred in the impact damage values that the Development Team prepared, leading to a failure in arrival. Then, his metal sphere ended up into your hands, allowing you to unexpectedly gain access to the Player System. However, since you are not a designated host body, some core functions of your Player System could not be activated. In other words, your Player System is an emasculated version.”
“Then… what am I?” Chen Xiaolian frowned. “I am neither a Player’s host body nor an Awakened…”
“You are an Irregularity,” The middle-aged man laughed. “In the storyline for the 72 Demons instance dungeon set on the island, you are supposed to be one of the dead passengers.
In the original storyline, you, Soo Soo and Takashimoto Shizuka, the three of you are passers-by, NPCs meant to die in the plane crash.
Your existences were simply to add authenticity for the background of this instance dungeon… in simple terms, the three of you are stage props.
Don’t you agree that in a plane crash site, the existence of a few corpses would make it look more realistic?”
Chen Xiaolian froze.
“You mean… I… I was to play the role of a corpse?”
“However, an accident occurred,” The middle-aged man continued. “The reason was as I had mentioned before, during the creation of the instance dungeon, an error occurred in the calculations for the impact. This would lead to the direct death of the host body due to excessive impact damage. In turn, the Player would be unable to enter. An example would be the unlucky person whose metal sphere was picked up by you.
For other Players, an insufficient amount of impact damage would lead to the NPC retaining their consciousness while the Player was attempting to enter. An example of this is Han Bi.
As for you and the other two females, the three of you should have originally turned into NPC corpses. However, due to insufficient impact damage, you did not die and survived.
In short, a script error occurred.”
Chen Xiaolian. “…”
“After that, you accidentally got your hands on another Player’s metal sphere… that was the equivalent of you using another person’s account to login to the game. However… since it is someone else’s account, your link to the system becomes incomplete. Thus, some core functions become unusable.”
“En, for example, the Exchange System!” Chen Xiaolian shouted out. “There is also the instance dungeon introduction! And the quest description! I cannot open those at all!”
“There are also advantages to these,” The middle-aged man laughed. “At least… due to your core functions not being activated, you were able to acquire a good number of conveniences.”
“Generally speaking, an Awakened like Han Bi is a newbie Awakened. In the beginning, the Development Team would not be able to notice him. That is due to my existence as the main program responsible for monitoring the system. However… as time passes, I would not be able to continue hiding his existence, especially if Han Bi is capable to surviving and growing in strength. Once his strength grows to a certain point, I would be incapable of concealing him anymore.
The reason being… From the Development Team’s perspective, an Awakened such as Han Bi is akin to a bot account, you understand? This bot account is not controlled by a Player, yet it is capable of acquiring a strong fighting prowess reserved for high levelled Players. In addition, this bot account could behave like other Players, using the Exchange System to exchange out various items and abilities… there is no way for me to conceal that! With that, the Development Team would be able to notice him and place him into the database of Awakened ones where they will be monitored all the time.
You are familiar with Weibo, right? 
An ordinary bot account on Weibo could not be easily found. However, if this bot account became a VIP account with millions of fans, then there would be no way to conceal its existence.
That is the logic behind how it works.”
Chen Xiaolian’s heart began pounding.
“What you mean to say is… I will not be discovered by the system?”
“Judging from the current situation, the probability of you being discovered by the Development Team is far, far below that compared to the Awakened ones,” The middle-aged man smiled. “Because your Player System is an emasculated version, it is incomplete; this leads to you being unable to exchange items, to receive quest description… you can only be considered as someone with half the identity of a Player, ‘half’!
From the monitor’s perspective… Newton and the rest are Player accounts while the Awakened ones like Han Bi are bot accounts. As for you… the monitor views you as a normal NPC or a monster from the game.
Do you understand?
An NPC or a monster. Even if it appear to have a great deal of powerful abilities, it would not be easy for the Development Team to notice it.
After all, we do create upwards of thousands or ten thousands of monsters in each instance dungeon.
Thus, there is a possibility for you to hide your existence for a long time, without letting the Development Team find you.
Your existence in itself is an irregularity in the system.”
[1 A backdoor is a secret method to bypass the normal authentication required in computer systems. It is a program used to secure unauthorized remote access to a computer. [Source: Wiki]]
[2 Logic error is a bug in a program that does not cause the program to terminate abnormally or crash. Instead, it causes the program to produce unintended or undesired output. [Source: Wiki]]
[3 Sina Weibo is a Chinese microblogging (weibo) website. Akin to a hybrid of Twitter and Facebook, it is one of the most popular sites in China, in use by well over 30% of Internet users, with a market penetration similar to the United States’ Twitter. [Source: Wiki]]