79. Apologise or Die
Stalemates would always end. While the two players are engrossed in their duel in the Pyramids, a shadow was flying through the land to them.
When Snow’s first fireball struck XiaoYu, QiYao in Prole received a notification: (No Party) Player Snow has attacked your party member at Pyramids 1st Floor (112, 332). Hurry and help them.
This was a major benefit of being partied up. It was why XiaoYu would always be partied up with QiYao when he wasn’t with the grinding parties at the Pyramids. After the incident where XiaoYu was killed when not partied up, QiYao never wanted to witness the sight of his lover grieving all alone in a corner somewhere with all means of contacting XiaoYu closed off.
From the ID, this attacker should be a female player. However, QiYao didn’t recall anything about it at all. He might not know why she started a fight with XiaoYu, but AO’s healers can’t solo-PvP. Whether it was intentional or an accident, QiYao needed to assess the situation personally.
QiYao kept an eye on XiaoYu’s health during his dash through the countryside. It went up and down and up and down, but fortunately there were no signs of imminent danger.
Here was where his white Thousand-Li Horse shined. Its large galloping strides at up the distance much faster than the typical horse. And so, when QiYao arrived at the Pyramids and started to search for XiaoYu, the younger man had just Silenced Snow for the fifth time.
A duel between a magician who can’t finish a spell time after time and a healer with only one attack skill and long cast times was a very boring duel to those who knew how to PvP. What’s stranger was how Snow, a magician, became overwhelmed with rage after being Silenced multiple times in a row a began to act out in a very entitled, angry housewife fashion. “You won’t let me cast spells? Fine. I’ll hit you with my staff!” was the implied thought.
Thankfully, XiaoYu didn’t lose his calm too. The fight didn’t end up being two spellcasters hitting each other with their staffs. Every time Snow got close to him, he would pull back until he was a safe distance away. Then, he’d cast all sorts of debuffs on the woman. His skill proficiency bars were visibly increasing by the minute.
This bizarre sight was what QiYao saw when he finally charged into sight. XiaoYu should’ve been the weaker party. He looked like the bully instead while the magician who should be the stronger party was acting as the punching bag with a dark look on her face and ellipses filling the air above her. Ugh…okay. It seems like there was nothing he could do here.
By the time the current bout of Silence was ending, Snow was near insane. At first, she could still hit XiaoYu. Now, she could do nothing but take hits. She downed potion after potion. If this situation went on, she would die a shameful death in the hands of a healer. She was about to shout and yell at XiaoYu when she suddenly spotted a Knight standing in the shadows behind XiaoYu. She hurriedly swallowed back the curses about to escape her throat.
XiaoYu was prepared to continue casting Silence until it succeeded again, but then his opponent stopped moving and her gaze shifted to something behind him. He looked back. It’s QiYao. When did he arrive?
The two players had noticed QiYao’s presence. He couldn’t just stand by and watch the show now. He softly cleared his throat and walked over.
“What’s going on?” he asked.
“He stole my kill!” shouted Snow.
QiYao ignored the rude display and looked at XiaoYu. His instincts told him he would get a clearer picture of the story from his lover. However, a certain someone didn’t know to read the room. While the bully voiced her complaint first, she was also arrogantly pointing her finger at XiaoYu.
Faced with QiYao’s questioning gaze, all XiaoYu did was shake his head and blandly replied, “It’s a long story.”
Indeed. The grudge between Snow and him was something that was hard to fully explain right now. Should he not have partied up with her way back then because he had the tiny little cat with him? Should he not have thrown that robe over to her? Should he not have saved that scheming assassin? Should he not have pointed an Evil Santa Claus out for her? Should he not have attacked that monster? There was so much miscommunication and lack of patience in their interactions that XiaoYu didn’t even know just how he had offended the other player.
“It’s not a long story. You stole what was mine back then and now you’re stealing my kill!” It was such a rough summary that excluded a lot of context.
“That’s curious. Just what monster was here that was worth stealing?” QiYao could tell just how much hate was behind that one sentence. QiYao can hear XiaoYu’s thorough explanation of the whole thing afterwards. Right now, he at the very least didn’t think XiaoYu was the kind to kill-steal, or that he was strong enough to steal a magician’s kill.
“Evil Santa Clauses! He stole two at once!” Snow was the best at exaggerating the truth.
Unfortunately for her, QiYao wasn’t as brainless as the assassin from Wings. Anyone with the slightest bit of logic would realise the hole in that accusation.
“Oh? How did he still your kill? Melee attack or magical?”
“Of course it’s through magic…”
“That’ll be Holy Light then? There’s a Poring over there. Try hitting it.” The latter half of QiYao’s words were directed to XiaoYu. A finger rose to point at the green Poring being all cute and bouncing around them, ignorant to its imminent death.
XiaoYu didn’t really get what QiYao was getting to, but he locked onto the Poring and started to cast Holy Light.
“Over two seconds. He stole your kill with that cast time?” Magicians could instantly cast a spell. How could a healer who needed over two seconds to attack kill-steal? How could he do it twice? Even a fool would know something was fishy.
“If you can’t explain why, then please apologise for this duel,” said QiYao.
“Why?” Snow screeched.
“Because you attacked first.” He glanced at the grey name above Snow. If it was a male player, QiYao would never have wasted his breath. He would slice the other down in one swift slash. However, as a gentleman, he had to be patient with ladies. That didn’t mean he could let the other bully her way around though. Because even if this was just a game, she should know basic gaming etiquette.
“…I won’t apologise. Especially not to healers.” Snow had hoped the famed guild leader would be leaning towards her side and snuff out the other player’s ego. To her surprise, everyone she met helped the healer. As if he’s all that great just because he had the Healers Alliance backing him up! As the two men selected to hide their party name, Snow still thought QiYao’s appearance was just a coincidence.
For the first time ever, QiYao could feel his patience hitting rock bottom. “Well, you should’ve been ready to die when you decided it was okay to have a grey name out in the wild,” he said, pulling out his sword.
“You…! You’re a major Guild Leader! How could you bully players at a lower level than you?” Snow had thought a famous man like Hei QiYao wouldn’t be so nosy, but the man had just displayed his desire to help the healer out. He had pulled out his sword. It would be a lie to say she wasn’t afraid of death.
“I’m just protecting my healer.” QiYao switched their party settings to show their party name. The words “(Black-White)” appeared before their name tags.
“You two…!” It was only then did Snow understood why the over-Level 100 player would appear in the Pyramids. It’s because the two were in the same party all along.
“One last chance. Apologise or die.”
“…” Her fist curled into fists. Snow didn’t want to apologise at all, but she knew the Heretic Demons Guild Leader was very much stronger. It was impossible for her to escape either. She wavered between her life and her proud dignity for a moment. In the end, her jaws clenched tight.
“I’m…sorry,” she spat out between gritted teeth.
Once Snow hastily left in a dishevelled manner, QiYao languidly hid their party name once more. The name hovering before their individual names vanished.
“Yao, thank you,” said XiaoYu.
“If you really want to thank me, tell me everything about the grudge between you and her tonight,” QiYao said.
“Okay. Your meeting’s done?”
“Don’t be silly. I came because I wanted to protect you. Although, you didn’t seem to need my protection today.” It’s only natural to protect one’s beloved. Of course, QiYao understood he had to let go and stop when appropriate. That was why he didn’t instantly charge into the scene before. Watching XiaoYu grow and learn to PvP a magician on his own gave him a sense of satisfaction too.
“Hehe. Do you still need to go to your meeting?”
“No, it was about to end anyway. Let’s go grind.”
“Mrrrrow~” The tiny cat clambered up XiaoYu’s leg. It wanted hugs. Today was so terrifying. It needed to pick up some gold to help it get over the shock. >w<