5. The Lucky Cat Stirs Up Trouble
Upon exiting the West gate of Prole, players would spot flower sprites constantly hopping around on the grass fields as though they were afraid that players didn’t know they were monsters. Further away from the gate there were 2 players who were also killing some flower sprites, a male and a female. Bai XiaoYu chose to avoid them and began slashing at the flower sprites in an isolated corner, one stroke at a time.
-8, -9, -4, -17 (Boom!)… A flower sprite had approximately 70 health. That meant he needed to attack around 8 times before he could kill it. There’s nothing he could do about it. Who asked that he left his Strength at a mere 5 points? While the kitten would stretch out a paw to help out once in a while, its threat level was near nil. Not only that, but it was also mainly busy with collecting the loot dropped by the flower sprites.
XiaoYu who was focused on killing flower sprites didn’t notice that the 2 players who were supposedly far away from him had slowly moved towards his direction. To be fair, they had accidentally begun moving closer to him as they killed one flower sprite after another. But when that female player spotted the tiny lucky cat relentlessly pouncing on loot by his feet, her eyes sparkled.
There was a wide range of pets in AO. There were cute pets that could only be admired at. They cannot level up nor do they have possess any skills. Instead, they could be dressed up with a cute little butterfly ribbon and so on. There were pets who could pick up items. They cannot level up and their sole skill was collecting items. Items collected would be automatically sent into the owner’s inventory. The owner could then focus all their time on killing monsters. There were pets who could attack. They can level up and have their own skills. Their job was to help their owner in defeating monsters. Defensive pets…and so on and so forth. There were all sorts of pets waiting to be discovered by players.
Thus a pet with multiple uses such as this little kitten that was rare and cute (who knows if it could be dressed up) and would collect items and could even attack monsters, how could a female player’s heart not beat excitedly?
She pushed her partner and whispered to him. That male player could not withstand the cutesy tone of her voice and walked towards Bai XiaoYu.
“How much for your cat?”
“Huh?” XiaoYu hadn’t realised those 2 players had already gotten so close to him. He was slightly startled but quickly recognised they were hoping to buy the tiny lucky cat. “Sorry, I’m not selling.”
“Name a price. Any is fine.” The guy was already losing his patience because his partner kept whispering at him from behind.
“It’s true…I can’t sell. It’s account-bound.”
“What! Bound? Who do you think you’re cheating? Everyone knows pets can be traded without restrictions.” The male player’s tone became worse and worse. While he himself had only entered the game a few months ago, he was already over Level 40. He definitely knew the game better than this newbie did. If it wasn’t because his girlfriend kept going on about wanting the flower crown dropped by flower sprites, he wouldn’t even come to a low-level area to kill monsters. The repetitive labour with no experience or rewards was annoying enough. It’s fine if the player with newbie equipment in front of him wasn’t willing to sell, but he dared to try and cheat him.
“I’m not lying. It’s really bound by the game system.” XiaoYu couldn’t understand which part of his tiny lucky cat they looked well upon. There were so many pets way cuter than it to be found on the city streets just then. Pets were also very common.
“Stop trying to f*cking lie to me. Even if you don’t want to sell today, you will! Or I’ll kill you!”
The rules of Player Killing in AO are as follows; if a player with a white nametag made the first move and attacked a player with white or yellow nametag, their nametag will turn grey. Within the next 10 minutes, all players could kill them without any repercussions. If they did not kill anyone, their nametag will revert back to white 10 minutes after their last attack. If they killed 1 person, their nametag will turn yellow. If they killed 2, it will turn red. Upon killing more than 20 players, their nametag will turn black. Those with red and black names will be chased and killed by the NPC city guards. After being killed, they would be teleported to the Hell map where they must complete quests to wash their nametags until the nametags turn yellow. Only then could they exit Hell. Players with yellow nametags can regain their white nametag status after staying online for an hour. For those who had red and black nametags, the rate of turning back to white depends on the number of people murdered and the crime level (the game can determine whether the kill was done with evil intentions or not). The detailed rate of recovery and loot drop rate could be found by asking the PK Officer in each city.
This also meant it was alright if you had a yellow nametag. If someone else killed you, they’d have a yellow nametag as well. It would turn back after hiding in a city for an hour (the big cities do not allow PK within city limits). While the loot drop rate was higher than a white nametag’s, it was decisively lower than those with red or black nametags. This was to prevent players who had accidentally killed someone from being mobbed, but this had also given quite a number of people the chance to kill someone once in a while for fun.
“…” XiaoYu had just been on the game’s forums last night (players could still access the forums while in-game) and had roughly understood the PK rules of AO. He didn’t believe that this player would be so bored to the point of killing him wherever he went. Anyway even if he died, he wouldn’t drop anything. (To protect new players, players at Level 10 or below would not drop experience or items upon death. Those above Level 10 would drop by one level and there was a definitive chance they’d drop some items until they were killed back down to Level 10.) At most, all he’d feel was the pain.
But having just tasted death once yesterday, he did not want to experience it again nor did he wish to explain again that TinyLuckyCat was a gift from the game’s system and could not be traded. The other party would probably not even listen. Once he dropped out of Combat mode, he immediately shattered the Return Scroll to arrive back within Prole’s city limits.
“D*mn it! I forgot to make sure he was still in Combat mode. From now on, I’ll kill him every time I see him!” With the newbie in front of him disappearing before his eyes back to the city and the woman behind him chitter-chattering non-stop on how useless he was, the male player’s stomach full of rage and fire spewed out aimlessly.
At this moment, Bai XiaoYu was aching over the 5 silver coins he’d wasted. Prole was just nearby yet he’d used a Return Scroll. The money he and the little kitten had left wasn’t enough to buy another one.
Ugh, as he’d thought the more people there were, the more problems there were. He really missed the empty Newbie Village. He didn’t even have the mood to continue working on his job change quest. Instead, he found a desolate little alley, sat down and began browsing the forums.