38. Hateful People Are Everywhere
CopperPlate and NonMeta had evening classes. As soon as the celebrations ended, they rushed off with a hasty goodbye. The entire party had a long day, so those who needed to log off logged off.
Bai XiaoYu was tasked with the duty of selling off the pile of random objects, since he now had a skill to increase gold received from selling.
“Remember to go for your Job Change afterwards, XiaoYu.” Just as XiaoYu was pouring out the items to be sold to the NPC, a message reached his ears. That deep and rich voice of HereticKing was so very soothing.
“Hehe. I knew it. Look at your levels.” While HereticKing can’t see XiaoYu then, he could already imagine that befuddled expression.
“Huh? 50! Already?” XiaoYu was stunned the moment he opened up his stats. How did his Level rise so quickly?
“The last two quests gave us 400,000 EXP.” HereticKing had done a quick calculation. It should’ve been enough for XiaoYu to level up. A quick tap into his Friends tab proved the guess to be correct.
“I see. I’ll go now.” XiaoYu accepted the bag of coins the NPC held out to him, politely thanked the other, then followed his memory to where the Job Change Centre was.
“Do you still remember our promise?”
“Mn. You’ll be the first I notify.” While XiaoYu was always a klutz when it came to matters regarding himself, he’d do his very best when it’s something he promised others he’d do. That’s one of the Bai family rules.
“I’ll wait for your good news.”
The second Job Change quest wasn’t hard at all. It’s just as troublesome as the first Job Change. Only, the type of monsters he needed to kill increased. 100 mid-tier Zombies, 100 high-tier Zombies and 100 mid-tier Jiangshi.
However, XiaoYu was very glad it was a kill quest. He’d rather kill some monsters so the tiny cat could pick up some items than a fetch quest or a chain of errands.
He knew the Zombie Cave like the back of his hand, so much so he could walk from the capital gates to the cave entrance with his eyes closed. Not that he’d be that bored as to try that out. The moment he stepped out of the South Gate, he summoned his Peco Peco mount and head straight for the Zombie Cave. The journey which previously took 15 minutes of walking would now take an approximate of 7 minutes. It’s so convenient having a mount.
Just as that thought went through XiaoYu’s mind, he heard hoofbeats coming from behind. He didn’t bother turning around. It’s probably some player who’s also in a rush. Thus, he nudged the Peco Peco to the side and made way for the person coming up behind him.
Never in his wildest dreams would XiaoYu have thought this subconscious polite gesture would help him dodge a direct hit to his back.
Even though he avoided a critical hit, the swift blade still scored a wound on his arm. Bright red blood instantly gushed out. -200.
“Player BattleOverlord attacked you. PK mode activated. Your ID’s colour will not change if you attack any other player in the opponent’s team in the next 10 minutes.”
The same old scenery. The same old notification. XiaoYu thought time would dull the ache, but it seemed like he was just being way too naive. A classic example of forgetting the pain once the scar healed. XiaoYu laughed at how foolish he was.
“I said I’d kill you every single time I see you!” When BattleOverlord was reorganising his Storage near the South Gate of Prole, he saw the player who humiliated him over a month ago. The pet cat on his shoulder even had an accessory now. From memory, it could battle and it could pick up items. Hmph. He’s furious just looking at a low-levelled noob having a special pet!
And so, BattleOverlord geared up and snuck out after XiaoYu. If it was a quick hit-and-run, who’d be able to save him then?
If XiaoYu was still in a party, all his teammates should be receiving a message stating “Player so-and-so from Party such-and-such attacked your teammate. Hurry and go help,” or something like that. But their party was too famous. The announcement was still floating up in the air, reminding everyone of the upcoming server maintenance. Thus, they split up as soon as they were done.
XiaoYu was all alone. He didn’t put any hope on the game notification system saving him anyway because he knew this swordsman – no, he’s now a Knight – was really in a crazed frenzy now. There was no use complaining and pitying himself. Only by relying on himself can he be saved. XiaoYu quickly stood up. He put his Peco Peco away, buffed and healed himself. The series of actions flowed smoothly together without a single hitch. The time he spent watching videos of high-levelled healers wasn’t a waste after all.
On the other hand, this BattleOverlord was clearly not a new player. XiaoYu was not given a single chance to catch his breath at all. While XiaoYu was busy buffing himself, he slashed and sliced away. One could tell he was a very experienced player before Asgard Online.
XiaoYu’s Agility was extremely low. Even with a speed-boosting buff and a speed debuff on BattleOverlord, he still found it hard to keep dodging the constant attacks from a Knight who’s built towards high Agility. XiaoYu was able to use the trees around him to block some of them, but it was still a frazzling experience for him. Streams of red began to blossom on his body. Still, he focused his all in dodging the heavy sword before him. It might not be a complete dodge, but merely avoiding critical hits was better than nothing. Right now, a single split second of inattention could lead him to instant death. Hence, even if XiaoYu planned on calling for help, the moment he tried opening the messaging tab, he’d be struck down.
This was not the same as dodging attacks from a one-handed Agility knight like HereticKing. BattleOverlord was a two-handed Agility Knight. The broadsword was a two-handed sword. It had a higher attack compared to a one-handed sword of the same tier. The downside was the user can’t use a shield. When trying to avoid being hit, the player must dodge or they’d be hurt. It’s a playstyle which sacrificed defence for strength.
Thus, XiaoYu cannot be hit straight on by that sword. The level difference between the two had decreased. It was rather impossible for XiaoYu to be killed in one hit, but a critical hit would make most of his health disappear in a blink. The dizziness from the resulting blood loss would very likely throw XiaoYu off his beat and the next hit would kill him for sure.
BattleOverlord didn’t think XiaoYu would be so resilient this time. The health he knocked off weren’t as much as he thought he should. Even if the other grinded hard without sleeping or breaks for the whole month they’ve not seen each other, XiaoYu couldn’t be more than Level 40 right now. How could he have the same buffs and debuffs as a Level 55 Knight? They could hurt each other, and XiaoYu’s health would hover around near full during the time between skill cooldowns. He would never be heavily injured at all… (As opposed to the PC game where hovering one’s cursor over the other player could show their health and level, one would need to rely on pure observation in VR games. What kind of equipment the opponent had, the effects of skill used, and rough estimations based on the increase and decrease of the HP bar above the other’s avatar. The only additional display for Friends was what Level the other was.)
Could it be this brat had some kind of special equipment? As the thought flashed through BattleOverlord’s mind, his greedy gaze swept over XiaoYu’s body. Average leather shoes. Average healer’s robes. Ratty old headdress. Only that staff looked special, but he recognised that staff. His girlfriend was a wizard. That’s a Level 25 Silver Crystal Staff commonly used by healers. It didn’t look any special at all…Wait! Is that a necklace?
Several long slashes marked XiaoYu’s long robes, allowing a tiny bit of the necklace hidden to shimmer through. Thus, BattleOverlord’s blade swooped faster and harder. Frick! How could this puny brat have a necklace too? He didn’t even have one yet! I’m going to burst your arse open!
XiaoYu did not understand just why BattleOverlord was hitting harder and faster all of a sudden. It was probably due to impatience from not having killed him yet. Perhaps he’ll find a chance to escape onto the main road then. If he was lucky, some high-level players passing by might help him out. There was no hope for XiaoYu to win this duel, because his only way to attack non-Undead were to just whack the enemy with his staff.
It’d be a lie if one were to describe BattleOverlord as relaxed and unworried at the sight of XiaoYu slowly inching towards the main road. His nametag was currently grey. Anyone could kill him. What should he do?
Suddenly, BattleOverlord’s eyes spotted the tiny cat on the floor. It had been sticking close to its little owner’s feet. Nervous, irritated and angry, but it couldn’t attack the hateful knight before it at all. Even if it could break through the game’s limitations, its puny attack would deal as much damage as a light scratch.
BattleOverlord’s mind whirled. His sword turned midway through the air and slashed down at the small cat. It was so fast that the tiny cat who’d been staring at its little owner in worry couldn’t react in time. The sword was flashing right before its eyes. Any moment now, it’d be split in two.
-768 (Critical). Finally, a critical hit. That was mainly because a critical hit was easier when it’s a hit to the back.
Mouth spurt from XiaoYu’s mouth. Thank goodness. The little kitten wasn’t hit. As seen in life, humans would always be able to exceed the game’s limitations when in danger. How else would his measly slow pace be able to make it?
XiaoYu held the tiny cat tight in his arms, protecting it from the knight. He didn’t care that his back was now completely exposed to the other. To XiaoYu, the tiny cat was the most important existence of his life. He’d rather die than let any harm come to it.
“You have been killed. Would you like to revive in the last recorded checkpoint, Prole?”
“Yes.” XiaoYu didn’t hesitate for a single second. He can’t let the tiny cat be left alone before that knight. Who knew what cruel things he’d do to it? Upon revival, pets will follow their owners back to the checkpoint.
“Death Penalty: -1 Level. Dropped: 10 Crystal Coins, +4 Silver Crystal Staff.”
Covered in blood, XiaoYu ignored the strange looks he was getting and trudged towards the alley he’d hidden in before. He buried his head between his arms, quivering.