24. Bird Catching?
During the event, there wasn’t any kind of big unexpected accidents. All the large guilds were defending their own cities. There were no major clashes. Other than the initial seven, another four more cities found their owners. Still, no one took over a number 3 city. It made those cities much more mysterious and mystical.
As to how the Heretic Demons fared this battle, XiaoYu could only guess from the expressions on the guild members. They didn’t look too upset. Looks like Prole-4 was successfully defended.
XiaoYu who wasn’t used to staying up overnight went back to Serica as soon as the event was over. His revival point was now set to Serica. After some bag organisation, he found an old broken-down little hostel and prepared for sleep.
While he’s now considered quite rich, he’d save and scrimp on wherever he should. It’s just sleep. Close his eyes and he’d be unconscious. Who cared where he slept as long as he wasn’t being bitten by monsters.
XiaoYu was still saving for when he reaches Level 40. Then, he’ll be able to convert in-game currency for real life currency. He’ll convert a portion of his crystals to help with his savings issue. It’d be for the best if he could find a way to earn a lot of money. Then the monthly fee will be paid by crystals and if the game shut down, his bank account would still be filled to the brim. (While there’s a limit to exchanging real life money for crystals, there’s no limit to exchanging in-game currency for real life money, as long as you had enough crystals. But reality has always been that cruel. XD)
When HereticKing ended his meeting and recalled he’d yet to set a meeting time and place with LuckyCat, the other had already taken a tour around the globe while snoring. He tried calling LuckyCat and got the door shut in his face by the game. And so, the rarest of all happened – HereticKing wrote a letter himself. Tomorrow 10 am. Meet me at the North Gate of Kemet.
While there was still a lot of time between 9 am and the appointed meeting time, XiaoYu had never been to Kemet which was also hailed as one of the four big cities of AO. Thus, he teleported over bright and early to shop around and prepare.
Kemet was really a city that’d bury a player in sand (what a shock.). Look out to the horizon and all one would see were yellow and gold. The buildings were made with yellow clay and yellow clay. Once out of the city, there’d most likely be sand and more sand. It made him suspect whether camping here for long would turn one colour-blind. No matter what, all colours would be perceived as yellow in the future.
XiaoYu didn’t know what the monsters were around the area or how to capture a mount. He pondered about it. It can’t be he’d have to ride on a gigantic venomous desert scorpion, right? He shivered. HereticKing’s not that petty, right? He didn’t mean to treat him as an NPC yesterday > <.
Still there’s only yellow and more yellow there. There weren’t many people roaming around either. XiaoYu finished exploring the place in a snap. He sat down near the North Gate and started daydreaming.
“Achoo!” “Meow-choo!” There were quite a lot of sand being blown about by the desert winds. XiaoYu had accidentally inhaled some in. Even the tiny cat that wanted to comfort its owner sneezed. XiaoYu rubbed his nose. Did he forget about something?
“Hehe. Little fool, why didn’t you buy a cloak?” A large hand suddenly landed on XiaoYu’s head. He looked up to find HereticKing grinning down at him whilst covered in a large cloak. “Luckily the hurricanes aren’t that active today. If you lost a level due to that, I’d have gravely sinned.”
It was only then did XiaoYu’s mind connected the dots. No wonder most of the players wandering around were equipped with a large cloak. The forums did mention the areas around Kemet would be covered in hurricanes from 8 am to 10 am, and from 4 pm to 6pm. The magnitude differs according to area and time. Even though the city’s quite shielded, players were told to be wary in the post introducing all the major cities in the game. He knew he’d forgotten something.
“I’ll go buy one now.” It’d be normal if players die suffocating in the sands outside near the launch of the game when no one was certain of the times, but to be blasted by sand while in the desert now? That’d be hilarious.
“It’s fine. I bought two extra.” HereticKing took out two cloaks, one large and one mini, from his bracelet and handed them to him.
“Thank you.” XiaoYu was rather moved. The other had remembered his little cat. The cape was already mini-sized but it’s still quite big. If the tiny cat came out wandering at night with its cape on, it’d look exactly like a white will-o-wisp.
“You’re here so early.” HereticKing pulled XiaoYu over to an alcove blocked from the winds and sat down.
“Mn. I came to explore. You’re here early too.”
“I was worried there’d be two foolish little cats who didn’t know how to take care of themselves and get blown away by the sands.”
“…>///<” Alright. XiaoYu will admit he did ignore that point. After all, the Undead monsters here, the Mummies, were over Level 70. It’s too early for him to start camping here, so he didn’t pay much attention.
“Hehe. Don’t worry. You’re still a newbie.” When HereticKing saw XiaoYu’s face blushing from embarrassment, he sighed internally. Why did this boy blush so easily? It happened in the Newbie Village. Yesterday too. He only said the other’s hands were small and that tiny pale face immediately flushed red. Afterwards, he was even told by I_Am_A_Poor_Man in Prole-4 that he was flirting with a little kid. But he didn’t think so. He just said what was true.
“Mn.” How was XiaoYu still not used to being humiliating? The number of times he’d humiliated himself in the past month was more than one hand’s worth.
Bai XiaoYu hung his head, as if he was still flustered over how embarrassing he was. Even his kitten raised its paw and buried its face within the large cloak, as though in embarrassment. (It’s actually just scratching at its nose. It was itchy from all the sand.) HereticKing’s lethargy from having to wake up early trickled off by the view of two dusty and ruffled cats. There’s not even a tinge of apathy left in him. Seemed like waking up early once in a while was very much worth it.
HereticKing lifted his hand to pat at XiaoYu’s head again. It’s a pity the pleasant experience was decreased just now due to some bandages being in the way. Now, there’s an additional layer of fabric between his hand and the other’s head. Next time, he’d got to find a chance and make the other take of his accessories and let HereticKing have his fill of touching that hair.
“What’re we catching today?” XiaoYu was not repulsed by HereticKing’s hand at all. It made him recall the time when his parents were still living. They loved to touch and pat his head. He was so opposed to it back then. Now, there’s no chance left for them to do so.
“The desert’s Peco Peco.” HereticKing thought of catching a feline mount for XiaoYu, but he gave up on the notion after some thought. One, there were no large cat mobs in the game that could be ridden. Two, those ferocious feline monsters had rather high levels and there’re way too many obstacles in the forests. If they suddenly stumbled upon a herd, he’d be fine but LuckyCat would be sent flying back to the revival point with just the swipe of a paw.
“…a bird?” XiaoYu remembered reading that monster’s introduction. They range from Level 35 to 45. Large-sized and they run fast. They’re gentle which made them a suitable mount for players who hadn’t hit their Second Job Change. While they’re birds, they can’t fly like the ostrich. However, the biggest difference between a Peco Peco and an ostrich was in the neck. Their necks are thick and short. Their beaks large enough that the special mount reigns could be looped around it. The only issue was only one person could ride on it, and that rider cannot be tall or too buff. For lovers who wish to have a romantic ride together, it was suggested they wait to buy a horse after the Second Job Change.
“Mn. The most important aspect is its stability when running. Players don’t need to learn how to ride and your tiny cat won’t be shaken off.” A player can’t just ride on a horse after buying one. They have to learn how to ride and raise the skill’s proficiency before they could ride on a galloping horse. Otherwise, the player would be galloping alongside the horse.
“Oh. So how do we tame it?”
“Ride on top of it. Hold tight to its neck and don’t be shaken off. Once it calms down, the game will notify you.” While Peco Pecos were gentle, they’d naturally object to humans riding on them. HereticKing’s main duty was to attract the bird’s attention, then ensure LuckyCat wasn’t shaken off. While the ground’s covered in sand, a bad fall will split one’s arse wide open. Their brains too.
“Mn. I’ll try my best.” Since the other had taken so many aspects into consideration, it should be no issue. XiaoYu felt the only thing he can do now was wait for the hurricanes to end at 10 am, then head out of the city in search of a Peco Peco.
What a shock (Kemet): The Chinese name translates to “Sandy City”. So, the sentence would go “Sandy City was really covered in sand (what a shocker).” Trivial puns like this are not worth making a city name weird, especially if it’s just a one-liner. I wish I knew enough Middle Eastern-ish languages to find a proper translation for that. Google Translate is so unreliable _(:3」∠)_