3. The Magical Tiny Lucky Cat
“Hahahahahaha!” A man’s laughter came roaring by from a place not far from Bai XiaoYu. In an instant, his face was flushed red. He’d thought there’d be no one around. XiaoYu hurriedly packed up his bag and ran away with the kitten in his arms. He didn’t even dare to look at where the laughter came from in fear that he’ll say something that’d agitate his frail sense of dignity.
With a head full of gloomy thoughts, he rushed out of the village and blindly ran for quite a while. Finally, he stopped to catch his breath. After a series of harsh pants followed by chugging a whole bottle of Milk in one go, Bai XiaoYu’s breathing calmed down. Being a newbie is no fun at all. If you want agility, they have none. If you want strength, they have none. He’s already panting from running such a short distance. His Hunger even shot up!
Looking around, XiaoYu found that he’d run into a small forest with the village completely out of sight. When he summoned the map, it was labelled “Outskirts of Newbie Village”. Fortunately, he didn’t continue running. Apart from those around the Newbie Villages, the monsters are all aggressive. With how little health he had, he would most likely be sent back to the revival point in one bite.
Bai XiaoYu was not inclined to head back to the village for now. He had food and potions anyway. What if that person was still there? He’d rather kill some monsters first. He laid down the kitten and began hunting for monsters with his newly-equipped knife.
“You attacked Caterpillar. -2.” Huh? He clearly hasn’t even found a single monster yet. How could he have damaged something?
“Caterpillar attacked you. -1.” A faint something could be felt coming from his feet. As he looked down, he found that he had stepped on a tiny green fuzzy caterpillar. Now the caterpillar is angrily gnawing on his foot. It felt rather disgusting…If he wasn’t wearing a pair of sandals, how great that’d be. With a pair of leather shoes, he could kick it around like a ball!
“You attacked Caterpillar. -5.” He quickly shuffled his feet back before the caterpillar continued tormenting his toes, knelt down and stabbed at it with his knife. A weapon’s attack is not the same as being stepped upon. Look, it dealt double the damage.
“Your pet attacked Caterpillar. -2.” The cat most likely realised this caterpillar was smaller than it. Happily, it rushed in smack the caterpillar with its paw. On the other hand, he was feeling quite dejected. The threat of being stepped on by him was the same as the kitten’s tiny paw lightly smacking at it.
“You attacked Caterpillar. -4. You defeated Caterpillar. EXP +1.” The caterpillar’s corpse turned transparent and was swept away by the game within 2 seconds. All that’s left on the ground was a copper coin and a puddle of sticky mucus. Before XiaoYu could even reach out his hand, the tiny lucky cat had already pounced on them and pulled them towards itself. And so the copper coin and sticky mucus vanished.
XiaoYu stared blankly down at the spot where they had been. He called out his Inventory tab only to discover that it still displayed 0 copper with nary a shadow of the sticky mucus. Shocked, he snatched up the kitten and started shaking it back and forth, “The money? The item? Where are they? You, spit them out now!”
He’d originally thought that whatever Tiny Lucky Cat picked up would be automatically stored in his bag. He didn’t think that there’d be nothing. Is this a joke? Wouldn’t he gain nothing but experience in the future when he kills a monster? It really is snatching money.
“Meow?” The kitten looked up at its owner in confusion. It didn’t seem to understand why its owner would suddenly treat it so unkindly. It’s being shaken so hard that its tiny head felt really, really dizzy @.@
Realising that his method of communication was useless, Bai XiaoYu could only put the little cat down with a heavy heart and took out a bottle of Milk to comfort it. Watching on as the cat drank the milk with tiny gulps, he half-heartedly summoned the Pet tab to have a look at it. “Heeey!”
The Level display on the tab was still 1 but the words in the brackets had actually changed: (97 coppers left to be picked up to next level up). This change was within his expectations. However what surprised him was on the last line of the tab. An option “Do you wish to open pet storage space? (Items may only be taken out and not deposited.)” had appeared.
Thank the gods. The items did not disappear but were placed in the tiny lucky cat’s storage space. Doesn’t that also mean he now had an extra storage space? He saw that it can only store 20 types of items, and will expand as it levels up. His grin stretched from ear to ear. Although if he takes out the items now, would the tiny lucky cat’s experience drop back to 1 silver?
After a moment of deliberation, he decided to test it out. After taking out the items, his inventory now had an additional 2 coppers and 1 puddle of sticky mucus. (It doesn’t matter how much money is dropped, the game will show 1 coin. It’s only when the coin is picked up will the players know how many coins were dropped. The sticky mucus’s NPC vending price is 1 copper coin.) The kitten’s experience also did not change.
“That’s awesome! Little cat, I love you!” Bai XiaoYu excitedly hugged the kitten and gave it a kiss. Not only would he get more money but he’d also have an extra storage space. According to information online, pets will not drop any items upon death. Therefore, from now on, all items he found would be safeguarded by TinyLuckyCat. If he needed anything, he can take it out whenever. If he didn’t need it then, no one else can take it. Hahahaha…
And so the motivated and optimistic Bai XiaoYu, along with his tiny lucky cat, began killing and killing and killing in the small forest. Though the experience gained from killing monsters weren’t a lot and AO contained a large collection of quests and missions, but for the tiny lucky cat’s experience levels plus happiness (He found that when picking up items, the tiny lucky cat’s meows were exceptionally happy. Don’t ask him how he knew that. He just knew!). This little bit of hard labour wasn’t much to him.
After a busy day, the sky began to darken. (Time in AO and in reality flowed at the same speed. It’s split into day and night, though night time just meant it’s a little bit darker than usual. To allow those who work or study to be able to play at night, the sky only becomes fully dark between midnight and 5 a.m.) XiaoYu’s stock of Apples and Milk were nearly depleted. The man who laughed at him in the Newbie Village should have left by now. Thus he decided to head back to the village and rearrange his items in the meantime.
AO’s cheapskate nature was not just limited to the low amount of money that could be grinded out, but also in the drop rate of equipment and monster cards. Monster cards are akin to what some games call attribute gems which could be inlaid into equipment. AO’s rules are that each equipment could have 0 to 4 slots. Cards can be inlaid to increase the equipment’s stats. (Once inlaid, cards cannot be taken out, excluding the use of special items.) However other players cannot see the effects and would not affect the equipment’s appearance, nor would it leak out what sort of cards the player had inlaid.
Bai XiaoYu levelled up by 2 while TinyLuckCat’s level rose by 1. Its storage space also increased by 1 tile. Naturally, no cards were dropped and the only equipment he found were a pitiful Average Knife (Attack +3. Level Limit: 5) and a Coarse Grass Wreathe (Headgear. Def +1. No level limit.).These too can probably be considered alright. Even though he felt that it was a bit weird to have a guy wear a wreath, it’s better to add a bit more defence. XiaoYu considered and reconsidered and thought it all over again before deciding that once he reached level 10, he would become an Acolyte. He’d first need to increase his Intelligence to raise his MP and the effects of his healing skills. That way he can save on red potions and even buff himself and the kitten.
While it wouldn’t be hard to find a group to level with as a healer, it’s not like he can’t go solo because the healing spells of an Acolyte can damage undead monsters. Furthermore, due to the game’s realistic monsters, most players are not willing to enter gloomy and ghastly places like the Zombie Cave and the Spirit Grotto. If he went to those places to train, he could even avoid interacting or arguing with a lot of the other players.
He’s not afraid of horrifying things like ghosts and monsters anyway. After seeing the corpses of his parents which were smashed until blood and flesh blended together, nothing else could make him feel fear again. Except for automated vehicles = =.