11. Splitting the Hoard
“Let’s go find a shop to sit in,” Bai XiaoYu said into the Party channel as he stepped out of the portal.
He waited for a while but heard no response. Strange. It’s fine if NonMeta didn’t reply as he doesn’t like to talk but how could CopperPlate not talk? XiaoYu raised his head to find CopperPlate circling him with eyes wide as if he’d just discovered a new continent.
“W-what is it?” XiaoYu could feel himself getting flustered from CopperPlate’s stare.
“Tsk tsk. It’s rare for us to hear Lucky putting forth a suggestion without prompts.”
“Hee-hee. Let’s go eat something! I’m hungry again.”
The three found a Western restaurant with only a few people sitting inside, for it wasn’t meal time yet. CopperPlateKing wanted to sit by the window when he felt his armour tightening on him. He was then pulled by XiaoYu to a hidden alcove.
“Why’re we sitting in such a remote spot…” Even though CopperPlateKing’s mouth kept mumbling and chattering, he still allowed himself to be dragged over by XiaoYu. Otherwise, that tiny strength of XiaoYu’s wouldn’t have even be able to move him half a step.
The four-seater table in the corner was surrounded by peculiarly arranged decor. If one wasn’t observant enough, they’d never have found it.
After seating down, XiaoYu looked around and was visibly satisfied with the seating.
“Lucky, are you hiding from an enemy? Wow, you don’t look like someone who’d attract trouble in such a short time.”
Bai XiaoYu poured out everything the tiny cat had in its inventory, a pile of gold coins and a few equipment. It’s obvious they were the results from their dive into the Zombie Cave.
“Sorry. The little one picks up everything. The equipment and money are all here. There are also a few more items I’ll directly trade to you later. If I take them out now, I’m afraid it’ll affect your appetite,” apologised XiaoYu. While the three hadn’t discussed anything about splitting the loot up, XiaoYu knew that the most troublesome thing about partying up was splitting up the loot. There are large numbers of threads started on the forum every day arguing about such things.
“Aah, a crown!” shouted CopperPlateKing. It was fortunate that they’d been speaking in the Party channel the whole time or they’d be surrounded by a crowd of people now.
That’s right. That’s the crown that was on the Zombie King’s head. The market price ranged from 500 to 1000 crystals with a drop rate rumoured to be 0.1%. Even though a lot of royal type bosses would drop it, like the Zombie King and the Corpse King, there are only a miniscule number found on the market. The main reason was that average players are around LV 90, so the crown is at an awkward phase right now.
While the strongest of the ugly royal bosses, like the Zombie King and the Corpse King, are only at LV 90, they don’t look attractive at all. Except for the professional workshop parties, most boss hunters would never be able to bear the disgusting looks of those bosses and their environments and leave after a few rounds. Along with its low drop date, normal players would go mad hunting for it unless they have strong RNG luck.
Of course, AO has a few royal-type bosses with passable looks which might even be called handsome, but they’re all over LV 100. Those who’ve yet to reach the Third Job Change can’t even think about getting close to them. Not only that, there’s not a single LV 100 player yet in the entire server.
The top 10 players are all at LV 99 but it’s a big jump from 99 to 100. First, let’s not talk about the huge amount of experience needed. Players also need to complete a special quest before they can get to LV 100. The quests are random and have time limits. Once failed, the player would have to start all over again at LV 99 with 0% experience.
The reason behind such an insane design was, other than because the game company didn’t want players to grow that fast easily, mainly because the game would patch in the Guild Wars system as soon as the first player to reach LV 100 appears. Then, the era of war throughout the server would begin. Guild Wars are a test to a server’s capabilities. That’s why the company was terrified. They constantly put it through tests after tests. It’s much preferable to have the patch released late than to have an error in the server.
The crown on the table right now had a beautiful design that males crave for and females prefer. But its price wasn’t the highest it could be. That’s because it only has Strength +2 and Intelligence +2. Its stats are low, awkward and not suitable for combat at all. The combination of its extravagant exterior and trashy stats made players love and hate it.
“The crown…The crown and heart dropped at the same time. Gods, our RNG’s too good~” CopperPlateKing cried out loud with his head in his hands, danced around then buried his head in his arms again.
“…” NonMetaAssassin was really appreciative of the seats XiaoYu chose. Otherwise CopperPlateKing’s crazy behaviour would have attracted weird looks from others. Combined with XiaoYu’s ungreedy behaviour, NonMeta decided his decision to help him was correct. While it had been because he wanted to pay the other back for CopperPlateKing nearly killing XiaoYu, it now seemed like XiaoYu would make a good friend.
“Lucky, you’re really a lucky charm! We’ve been at it for two days, but we only dropped some equipment. Ignoring the crown, we couldn’t even get a normal accessory. As soon as you came, a heart dropped then a crown. I love you to death!” If there hadn’t been a table between the two, CopperPlateKing would’ve bear hugged XiaoYu.
“= =+” NonMeta’s veins popped. NonMetaAssasin was clearly unhappy with CopperPlateKing’s last sentence. He reached out and gave CopperPlate a painful hit to the head.
“Aargh!” The other cried as he held his head in pain.
“Heh heh…” XiaoYu could only give out a silly laugh. While it hurt to give away such an expensive crown, the price it would’ve sold for could last him for a whole month, it wasn’t his in the end. Even without his help, the two of them could’ve killed the boss.
“Yours. One third of the crown.” Another rare occasion where NonMetaAssassin spoke more than a few words. He pushed everything except for the crown towards XiaoYu.
“There’s no need. I didn’t help much.”
“Lucky, stop dithering. Take it. Without you, we’d have suffered for much longer.”
“No buts. We were there to look for quest items. Without you, we’d never have gotten it.” The two had planned on a long battle so they’d stuffed their bags full of potions and food (1 stack = 100). They’d only pick up one item or equipment after emptying one slot. So most of the items were mercilessly wiped away by the game.
“Oh. Thank you.” XiaoYu swept the pile of equipment and money into his bag. It was filled to the brim. Fortunately, he hadn’t taken out some of the random items from the tiny cat’s inventory. It seemed to be time to buy a bigger bag.
“Hee-hee. Let me touch the crown for two more days. It’s so rare that I can’t bear to sell it. I’ll sell it in a few days and give you the money.”
“You don’t need to give me the money from the crown. I didn’t really help that much.” XiaoYu was already satisfied with the items he had received.
“No way. Since you’re in my party, you’re mine now. How can I let you suffer? Those items can’t even add up to the minimum worth of the crown.”
“…” What do you mean yours? Gloomy and dark clouds appeared around NonMetaAssassin.
“Erm…It’s really fine. You’ve already helped the little one level up twice. I haven’t even thanked you.” (Even though the crown’s market price was high, it’s only worth 10 gold when sold to NPCs. But for the low level TinyLuckyCat, it’s enough to level up.)
“No way. If I let my…” person suffer, I won’t be a man anymore.
“Okay!” XiaoYu loudly interrupted CopperPlateKing. He kept saying such things that others would misunderstand. He didn’t want to be massaged by katars. He could already see lightning rumbling above NonMeta’s head.
XiaoYu really didn’t think anything weird. He only felt that perhaps NonMeta had few friends because of his personality (quite like himself XD) so CopperPlateKing was very important to NonMeta. If NonMeta saw the other being too friendly with other people, he’d be jealous.
“But I’m only taking 10%. Any more and I won’t feel good.”
“Ugh, fine. Lucky, you’re really self-conscious.”
“Level up?” The clouds had finally dispersed and NonMeta opened the mouth worth its weight in gold once again.
“Oh right. When the boss died, your cat levelled up twice. I remember you were busy buffing us and didn’t hit it once.” Pets usually gain experience based on what their owner gained.
“It levels up through collecting money.”
“Eeh? So mysterious.” It wasn’t just CopperPlateKing. Even NonMetaAssassin stared at him with wide eyes.
“The little one’s species is lucky cat. It levels up by collecting money. Items are calculated according to NPC prices.” In the event his explanation wasn’t clear enough, XiaoYu showed the two the tiny lucky cat’s stats.
“Pffft. You actually named it TinyLuckyCat.”
“What a strange pet. I really want one now. Lucky where did you capture it?” CopperPlateKing thought it must’ve been a monster from some hidden newbie village’s surroundings. None of the low-level monsters he knew of were as cute as the little cat.
“It’s a gift from the game. I got it from the Newbie Gift Box.”
“No wonder it’s account-bound. I got a knife with no level restrictions and Attack 30. It was very good at first but then it was trash. I don’t even remember which shop I sold it to.”
“Eat.” NonMetaAssassin’s speech was as clear cut as always. XiaoYu really wanted to know what it’s like when the other spoke more than 10 words.
“Right. We’ve been chatting away and haven’t ordered anything yet. Let’s not get kicked out and look at the menu. I want ribs…”
Mouth worth its weight in gold: The literal translation is golden mouth. It refers to a mouth that speaks so rarely that every word is like a nugget of gold.