“Pfft. Hahahahaha!” Ignoring things like first impression or his dignity, CopperPlateKing leaned on his spear as he laughed out loud.
“…= =+” Bai XiaoYu didn’t think his name was weird at all. Calling himself CopperPlateKing, why didn’t this Knight just call himself SilverKing or GoldKing.
“Haha…Sorry, you look very cat-like…Your name’s a cat and you have a pet cat. Haha…” The other explained as he continued laughing. It’s a wonder he’s still got the breath for talking.
“…Thanks.” His parents used to say he had a cat’s face as well. They’d constantly pet his head and jokingly asked if they should change his name to Bai XiaoMao (Bai Kitten). While XiaoYu didn’t think he looked like a cat at all, except his eyes were just a tiny bit too big, he still thought it was a type of compliment.
“Ahem…So, Lucky, are you grinding zombies for experience?” Not knowing how to thank XiaoYu, CopperPlateKing felt bad for laughing and changed the topic.
“Yea, for a mission.” It’s still a little weird to hear others call him Lucky.
“You can call me CopperPlate. You…Aren’t you afraid of zombies?” Looking at XiaoYu’s awkward expression, CopperPlateKing thought he probably didn’t like this nickname. But he didn’t want to add on the “Cat” behind it. Saying that to this cat-like face will make him burst out laughing again. It’d make him imagine it. Haha…If that’s the case, he’ll just have to remove the “King” from his name.
“I’m not.” While they’re quite disgusting, he got used to it after a while.
“Just like that dead bastard.” CopperPlateKing tsked.
“Oh, I’m not saying you’re like the zombies. I’m talking about a friend who’s not afraid of zombies. That bastard actually left me alone in the lowest level of the cave and ran off himself…blahblahblah.”
After silently listening to CopperPlateKing complain, XiaoYu finally figured out why he’s in the Zombie Cave even though he’s afraid of them.
CopperPlateKing had received a quest to gather medicine ingredients from a group of NPCs. One of the quests had the Everlasting Heart as a catalyst. After looking it up on the forums, he discovered that it’s only dropped by the Level 50 boss found in the lowest level of the Zombie Cave – the Zombie King.
At that time, he flew into a rage. The body’s already rotten. How can its heart not rot as well? It’s not logical! He’d wanted to abandon the quest. CopperPlateKing wasn’t afraid of anything in the world, except for scary and disgusting things. When he saw the images of the Zombie Cave on the forums, he’d lost all desire to continue. After all, the Everlasting Heart didn’t have a 100% drop rate. Who knew how many days he’d be stuck boiling in that filthy, stinking Zombie Cave?
However, an Assassin named NonMetaAssassin, CopperPlateKing’s friend who’s also a friend in real life, didn’t agree with him. He too had accepted the quest alongside CopperPlateKing. Even if CopperPlateKing abandoned the quest, CopperPlate will have to accompany him as he grinded for the Everlasting Heart. They’d been partying together ever since they entered the game.
CopperPlateKing originally planned to buy the heart. He’d roamed the markets of all the four main cities and even posted a request for one whole week. He still couldn’t get half of what they needed.
It’s not hard to understand why. The Zombie Cave was one of the most depressing grinding areas in AO. Not only was it smelly and dirty, looking at it made one felt like they were being raped. No one was willing to camp at the boss’s spawn point. Not to mention the reward offered wasn’t much. A mere 10 gold coins.
And so NonMetaAssassin instantly dragged CopperPlateKing with him into the Zombie Cave. CopperPlateKing howled and cried the whole way but he didn’t dare resist. The Dirk Spear in his hands, and the countless other items that shall go unmentioned, was a +10-quality product the other had crafted through his Profession as a Blacksmith. Numerous equipment were broken in the process. (NPC Blacksmiths can refine equipment until it’s +5. Only players whose Professions were Blacksmith can continue refining the item. The highest was +13. From +5 onwards, there’s a certain failure rate. The higher the refinement, the higher the chances of a failure, refreshing its refinement level to 10 or destroying the item.)
While he was afraid of all the monsters in the Zombie Cave, he was fine when he’s just chopping everything down along with NonMetaAssassin. But when there’s a living human being next to him, he’d be so scared that he’ll pounce on the other and pretend to be an ostrich.
After two days of camping the bottom layer of the Zombie Cave and slaughtering dozens of bosses, they finally dropped a heart. CopperPlateKing had happily rushed in and picked it up. He was prepared to use it to make NonMetaAssassin happy when the devilish voice of the game’s system piped up, “Congratulations Player CopperPlateKing for obtaining Everlasting Heart +1. Progress for Search for the Life-Saving Medicine quest at 2.0%. Quest items are automatically bound.”
B-Bound? Account-bound! Freaking binding! This had never happened in the past quests! (You just never noticed it.)
As such, this heart was thrown straight into CopperPlateKing’s bracelet. Since they still had enough potions and food, the two continued camping for the Boss so they could get NonMetaAssassin’s heart. CopperPlateKing sobbed internally at this T-T.
The two had agreed on a time when they’d get online to continue torturing the boss. CopperPlateKing was used to getting on a few minutes later as he knew NonMetaAssassin was very punctual. He’d feel safe as soon as he sees the other once he gets online. Being left alone in the Zombie Cave was a very scary matter.
However, who knew that CopperPlateKing would be staring straight at the enlarged version of the Zombie King’s “handsome” face. This boss didn’t have a set spawn point. It’d spawned right on top of where the two had gone offline. Such an intimate encounter was not one someone who was already afraid of scary things can withstand. He had nearly become the first player in gaming history to be frightened to death. He instantly ran away, yelling and flailing his spear as he went.
It was only after messaging his friend did CopperPlateKing know that the other had immediately used a Return Scroll upon spotting that boss and the crowd of monsters surrounding him. While NonMetaAssassin was at a high level (they were both at 80), he was a fragile assassin whose main stat was Agility. The cave’s environment and the density of monsters stuffed in it made it unsuitable for dodging. It wasn’t worth trying to force his way. He had planned on messaging CopperPlateKing as soon as he was online but NonMetaAssassin was still one step too late.
CopperPlateKing loudly complained about how crass the other was being but even he knew the other had made the right judgement. If it had been CopperPlateKing himself, he would’ve done the same too. It was due to the shock that he’d lost his chance to use a Return Scroll. Being stuck in combat mode, he could only persist in carving out a bloody path in search of finding a safe spot to wait it out or finding the cave’s exit. He just didn’t want to be bitten to death by zombies!
But the sea of zombies was endless. Zombies in the lower levels had a ranged attack in the first place – Acid Spit. After being covered in spit and poisoned, CopperPlateKing went berserk. That led to the sight Bai XiaoYu witnessed.
XiaoYu sympathised greatly at the disaster CopperPlateKing had encountered and patted his shoulder to comfort him.
“I’m fine. Meeting little Lucky has summoned me away from this sea of despair. Haha.” The happy-go-lucky CopperPlateKing instantly bounced back from his depression. He hooked one arm around XiaoYu’s skinny shoulders in a friendly gesture.
“Hm? Little Lucky, you don’t need to be so polite. You’ll be hanging out with me from now on. Haha!”
“Is he the assassin friend you mentioned?” XiaoYu pointed at the assassin standing a few meters away with a face as black as pot. That assassin’s glare at the arm CopperPlateKing had around XiaoYu’s shoulders seemed as if it wanted to burn a hole into it.
“Erm. Ah. Hey, bastard. When did you arrive?” CopperPlateKing slowly retracted his fool of a hand. His eyes drifted around, and his hands kept fiddling with the spear’s grip. He was obviously feeling uneasy.
“…” The assassin didn’t say a word and only squinted at CopperPlateKing.
Everything was still, silent and awkward with a tinge of danger. Stuck between the two, XiaoYu didn’t know what to do with himself.
Three pairs of eyes swooshed over at the same time to look at the ignorant little fortune cat on the ground. The sight scared the cat so much all its hair stood on ends. It gazed up at its owner with wide pitiful eyes. It was only hungry and wanted some fish…
XiaoYu quickly scooped the little cat up and went straight for the cave. That assassin didn’t seem like he welcomed XiaoYu’s presence. He’d better scram as fast as he can.
“Hey, Lil Lucky, wait. I’ll help you.” CopperPlateKing wasn’t foolish enough to let himself be left behind to continue the staring match with the mysteriously unhappy NonMetaAssassin.
While that bastard’s usually not talkative, years of friendship had allowed CopperPlateKing understand how to tell when the other’s in a good mood and when he wasn’t. The other was not in a good mood at all right now. He mustn’t be alone with him. Who knew if he’d be kidnapped to some desolate corner of the forest so the other can vent out his feelings at the monsters for three days and three nights.
“It’s okay…I’m fine by myself.” XiaoYu sighed at CopperPlateKing’s obliviousness. He could tell NonMetaAssassin didn’t like him in a glance, yet CopperPlateKing still followed him. He was afraid of having his throat slit open by this agile assassin.
“Don’t be a stranger, Lil Lucky. I nearly stabbed you just now. I should pay you back for it.”
XiaoYu had yet to reject them in time when a shadow flashed before his eyes. NonMetaAssassin was now standing between the two of them and staring down at him. His aura seemed to say, “If you’ve got the guts not to let me follow you, I’ll kill you now.”
“Bastard, don’t be so aggressive to Lil Lucky. Not everyone can withstand your chilly attitude.” CopperPlateKing howled from behind them.
“Don’t be scared, Lil Lucky. He’s just got a bit of a face problem. He won’t hurt you.” CopperPlateKing popped his head out from behind NonMetaAssassin. He was scared XiaoYu would be scared off. It wasn’t easy befriending such an interesting and catty little friend.
“…” XiaoYu couldn’t even decline now.
“Alright, alright. What’re we standing around for? Let’s go thrash that ugly-ass’s nest. He actually had the balls to frighten me.” CopperPlateKing pushed NonMetaAssassin forward into the Zombie Cave while shouting for XiaoYu to hurry up and follow them.
Bai XiaoYu rolled his eyes. Just a little bit. He was too lazy to bother saying anything else.
_(:3 」∠)_ I procrastinate too much. Here’s the chapter, one day later than planned.