25. It’s No Good Underestimating Birds~
“You brought sufficient water supplies?” Normally, HereticKing would not natter on about such things. One, he had capable subordinates. A single glance would be enough to make himself understood. Two, even if there were idiots, he wouldn’t bother to worry about them. However, LuckyCat was rather special. Instead, the foolish antics of LuckyCat was funnier and more interesting to him. Provided, of course, that they wouldn’t put LuckyCat’s life at risk.
There would only be a Hunger meter usually, but in certain special areas, a thermometer-looking special status bar would appear in the upper right corner of a player’s vision. For example, a Thirst meter when in a desert, a Freezing meter on snowy mountains, a Heat bar when inside a lava cave, and so on. Once those meters reach over 100 points, the player would be inflicted with a special status and would lose health continuously until they die.
The only way to avoid such a fate would be to use special items, which would lower that specific bar and subsequently stop decreasing the player’s health. The player cannot use Return Scrolls or items like it as they’re being hurt. Once a player was stuck in such a scenario without any supplies, they can only wait for death.
“I brought 100 bottles of milk.” It was enough to fill 1 slot of his inventory.
“= =|||. Bring 5 slots full of clear water.”
Of course, pure water was the most effective against the Thirst meter. However, one cannot buy that in most NPC stores. There were plenty of streams and rivers in the world, should anyone want water. Water didn’t help with Hunger either. Only Kemet’s NPC stores would sell water. 5 silvers a bottle. Of course, there would be players who’d try and earn some cash by collecting empty bottles then come running back to Kemet to sell them to other players.
“Oh.” XiaoYu thought about it. There was a special note in the section regarding grinding in the desert about bringing water which was sold in shops. He should’ve familiarised himself with the area on the forums this morning when he woke up. Sometimes, the want to experience everything first-hand could cost him his life.
“Meow~~” The tiny cat was done scratching its nose and was up and running again. It pounced into HereticKing’s lap and started asking for attention. It’s a pity the large hood blocked its face. Otherwise, the two humans would be able to see its eyes transform into gold coins and its face trying its best to be cute.
“Ugh…” The moment HereticKing pulled the little cat’s hood back, he regretted it. As expected, there’s a reason why everyone says there are some things better off unseen. Now, before the little cat’s expectant gaze, he really can’t refuse to take out something to tease it with.
“Ah.” XiaoYu sighed with his head in his hands. If the small cat was given another chance to choose its owner, XiaoYu was sure there’s an 80% chance it would abandon him at once for the shiny new being.
HereticKing recalled the last time he played with the tiny cat. From what he remembered, it seemed to prefer the gold coin more than the fish. Thus, he took a coin out and flipped it back and forth between his hands. The tiny cat was so interested that it started wriggling and pouncing after the coin.
“Hehe. You should’ve named it GreedyCat.” HerecticKing actually didn’t know the kitten’s name. XiaoYu never mentioned it before and I_Am_A_Poor_Man didn’t mention it at all in his constant chatter last time.
“Close enough.” Both names involved money.
“What did you name it?”
“Ugh…” His hands froze, and the gold coin was stolen by the little cat. “Hahaha…A big lucky cat and a tiny lucky cat.”
XiaoYu scratched his neck. He was basically immune already to the laughter at the names he entered. He took a gold coin out and handed it back to the other.
HereticKing was made to understand XiaoYu’s stubbornness regarding money once before. So, he said nothing of it and continued teasing the tiny cat with the gold coin.
Once the clock struck 10, the whirling winds immediately stopped. XiaoYu ran once more to buy a bunch of water, then stepped out of the North Gate of Kemet. As soon as they did so, the Thirst meter slowly began to rise.
Far off in the distance, large golden pyramids specifically constructed for Guild Wars could be seen. Unfortunately, they weren’t there to sightsee. Still, the map was certainly huge. It was only after they’d walk to the northwest for over an hour were the pyramids gone from view. (As long as the Guild Wars buildings could be viewed, the area was considered a Guild Wars map. No aggressive mobs will be spawned, and players could not battle each other.)
At this point, XiaoYu and the tiny cat had already drunk half a slot full of water. His respect for veteran players raised even more and his impression of HereticKing rose again.
Meanwhile, HereticKing was frustrated over why he’d been so stubborn as to not buy a horse from the game earlier on and decided to tame a temperamental purebred Thousand-Li Horse. Now he could only stumble along the desert sands with XiaoYu. It would be much more comfortable if he rode his horse, but it’s too stubborn. It would never allow anyone outside of its owner to ride it. The last time a female healer who was interested in him coyly talked about riding together with him, his horse took out half of her HP in one kick. His name had turned grey because of that =_=+.
Before the Guild Wars was patched it, players need only walk for 30 minutes before they arrived at the Peco Peco region. Now, they’d need to walk for about 2 whole hours. Fortunately, he’d decided to carry the TinyLuckyCat in his arms for the journey. He could tease and play with it to relieve the two players’ fatigue. If he teased the big cat, he’d blush. It’d be fine if he teased the tiny one, right? After all, it was covered in black fur. If it blushed, no one knew.
In the desert, a player could see everything around them until the far ends of the horizon. With one glance, they could tell if there were monsters around them. Outside of the venomous scorpions buried deep under the sands in the far regions of the desert, it’s still a rather safe area.
“That’s a Peco Peco,” said HereticKing as he pointed to a bird far away with its butt swaying high in the air and trying its best to bury its head into the sands.
= =|||. It’s exactly like an ostrich. Unfortunately, the ostrich had a small brain which could be buried in the ground. This dumb bird worked so hard and so long, but was only able to bury of its large beak in the sands. A gloomy cloud loomed over XiaoYu’s head. He somewhat regretted coming to tame a mount.
HereticKing stepped up and released a Taunt. The skill was successful. Normally, the monster would be forcefully pulled in by HereticKing and attack him. But this idiotic bird just raised its large head, looked around, and continued in its attempt to bury its head in the ground.
= =+. It wouldn’t even respond and be courteous to a major guild’s Leader. HereticKing resisted the urge to slash down at it. After all, the capture would have to depend on XiaoYu himself. Even if a player wanted to make the taming attempt easier by beating down on the monster until it only had a sliver of health left, the attacks must come from the tamer themselves. A monster that had been beaten up by other players could not be captured. Thus, it can be said that Taunt is a skill that was very good at taking advantage of the game’s loopholes.
Far away, XiaoYu frowned slightly. He really didn’t like this Taunt skill. It made him recall the inhumane torture he’d suffered before.
In order to save the reputation of all Knights, HereticKing just walked all the way to the Peco Peco and shoved a handful of sand onto the Peco Peco’s short neck. Such a close-up taunt should have a 100% success rate. If not, he’ll complain to the GMs!
This time, the first thing the dumb bird saw as it raised its head was HereticKing with irritation written all over his face. The two tiny eyes hiding behind its large beak blinked and blinked. Then, it tilted its head 30° and continued blinked. Either way, it just wouldn’t attack. It nearly made HereticKing think he’d found a mentally retarded bird. Just as he was prepared to chop it to pieces and go look for another, it finally flared open its fat wings. With a loud cry, it rushed forward to peck him with its large beak.
HereticKing placed a large stone shield before himself and watched as the Peco Peco pecked hard on the sold rock. When it saw stars from the recoil, HereticKing’s heart was soothed a little. He then gestured XiaoYu to come over.
XiaoYu placed the tiny cat on the ground and he quickly jogged ahead to stand behind the Peco Peco. He stood close to the bird and silently waited for his chance.
“Now,” HereticKing signalled to XiaoYu the moment the Peco Peco confused itself with another failed attack at the stone shield. It would only be confused for 5 seconds or so.
XiaoYu jumped onto the Peco Peco as if it was a vaulting horse from his middle school days. He hurriedly closed his eyes, leaned down, and hugged its neck tightly.
Having recovered from its dizziness, the Peco Peco soon felt the abnormal weight on it. It let out a sharp cry. The sudden fervour and wild rage made one think the dumb and dull bird from before was a totally different perso-no, bird. It flailed itself up and down, left and right. It swung round and round to try and throw XiaoYu off.
XiaoYu who knew he was weaker in strength than the bird, could only cling onto its neck in hopes of winning it over with his stamina.
Now that the Peco Peco had given up on attacking HereticKing completely, the carefree HereticKing put his stone shield away and stood aside, observing the other. Mn. He’d really taken in all the directions HereticKing had told him before. It seemed like their capture attempt would be very successful…Just as HereticKing thought so, an unexpected event happened.
The Peco Peco suddenly stopped struggling. It mournfully cried. XiaoYu slowly opened his eyes and looked up. The Peco Peco’s tiny eyes were streaming with tears. It looked so very pitiful. His heart sank and his arms around its neck loosened.
“Hold tight!” HereticKing thought the Peco Peco’s sudden calm was because the game had already told XiaoYu the capture was successful. (The confirmation dialogue box that appeared before players could not be seen by other players.) However, the gleam flashing across the bird’s eyes when XiaoYu’s grip loosened made his guts tell him there was more to it.
No matter how fast XiaoYu reacted, it was too later. The Peco Peco fiercely swung its tail to the right and XiaoYu was sent flying.
“Mrrow!” Upon witnessing its owner fly off with a swoosh, the tiny cat was yowled in fright. It laid flat on the ground and covered its eyes with its paws.
As XiaoYu’s brain repeatedly chanted “crap” and wondered if he would instantly morph into a beam of white light, he felt himself collapse into a soft embrace.
“Are you okay?”
A deep voice echoed in his ears. The stunned XiaoYu twisted his head up and felt something soft brushing across his face along his ears. (You’re asking about the hood? It’s long been thrown off during the struggle before. ╮(╯▽╰)╭)
>/////<. When XiaoYu realised what it was, his face instantly became as red as a cooked lobster. If one looked closely, they would find white steam appearing above his head.
“Awwk!” screamed the Peco Peco in an untimely manner. It furiously rushed over in an attempt to attack the two humans and burst the pink bubbly atmosphere.
HereticKing quickly put XiaoYu down and stood before him. He brought out his stone shield and blocked the Peco Peco’s pecks.
“Hmph. It’s been so long since I’ve last seen them. Looks like their A.I. became more sophisticated.” Still, an attempt to attack HereticKing was just a daydream. His high Agility was not just for show.
HereticKing’s guess was correct. When there were a lot of new players around, a lot of players ran over to catch this monster which could be the first mount they would ever have in their gaming life. The desert was once filled to the brim with humans. The moment a Peco Peco appeared, all eyes would be staring at it. After countless bloodshed from its elders, the Peco Peco’s A.I. drastically increased. This teary trick was the big stumbling obstacle stopping recent new players from trying to capture them.
Unfortunately, no matter how much their A.I. improved, they’re still a tiny speck before high-levelled players. Frankly, even without any equipment, HereticKing could punch this Peco Peco to death with one blow.
“Don’t be fooled by them. Before the game’s notification appears, don’t ever loosen your grip.”
“Um…okay.” The shocked XiaoYu finally snapped back. Still, he was unable to look at the other straight in the eye for now. With his head lowered, he looped over until he was standing behind the Peco Peco. He readied himself, geared up for his chance and pounced…
With a high-level Knight’s death glare beaming down at it from the side, the Peco Peco seemed to know it had lost. With a single twitch of his fingers, HereticKing could beat it back to its respawn point. Thus, it only twisted around for show. It didn’t even bother with “crocodile tears”. It really felt so wrong. It’s innocent! Its beak hurt from all that pecking, and its neck was aching from all that strangling. It really wanted to cry. T-T
“Ding! Peco Peco is now tamed. Would you like to accept it as your mount?”
“Ding! Congratulations Player LuckyCat on taming your first mount – the desert Peco Peco.” Players could tame an unlimited number of mounts, as long as you have the capability. However, players could only tame one of each kind.
“Done. Thank you.” XiaoYu sat up straight and thanked HereticKing. But his gaze would drift and roam all over the place. Even when he wouldn’t look at the other in the eyes, his face was still burning.
“No need to thank me.” Hm, hm~ There’ll be more chances in the future to bully this disrespectful idiotic bird.
The Peco Peco shivered. Why did it suddenly feel so cold in this blazing desert?
North Gate: Previously translated as South Gate due to a mistake. The proper direction is to the north.