81. A New Beginning
Everyone was happily chattering away on the forums. It was as if they had all forgotten it was the first day the updated Guild Wars would be held.
The event had now gone through a major patch. The largest change was to the players’ damage. It wouldn’t be limited to just the enemy units now. It would follow the usual rules. That meant when a huge skill was casted, everyone within range would be hurt. This also meant players must have great teamwork and bond with their own parties.
Another eye-catching update to the game were the four new monster maps. Every day, a new type of monster would be randomly spawned on them. That meant today’s mobs might all be Animal types. The next, Undead. The day after, Human…All monsters spawned were above Level 90, and there’s a chance a Boss mob might spawn.
These maps were great, but they were located under the four maps used for Guild Wars. It meant it was harder to enter these maps. A player’s guild needed to be the master of one of the five fortresses above the underground monster map for them to enter. That’s because the map’s entrances were located in the fortresses, guarded by an NPC that’ll only let in members of the fortress’s guild. That meant the underground maps would be the conquering guild’s personal training grounds.
There was also another update to the fortresses, just for the Guild Leaders. Each fortress now had a special room called the Lord Mayor’s Office. The focus of this room was the large treasure chest held within. It can be opened for all sorts of treasures and new items will appear every day at midnight. However, its items won’t accumulate if left inside. If the Guild Leader didn’t log in and open it that day, they would’ve missed out on that day’s treasures. In consideration for Guild Leaders who might not be able to log in every single day, the Lord Mayor’s Office can be opened up to other players if so desired.
There were a few more minor notes to the patch, like how the “Build City Order” item won’t be released just yet. Overall, quite a lot had changed but everyone, particularly the powerful guilds, were itching to try out the new maps and treasure chests.
The Heretic Demons’ flight network didn’t need to be tweaked so XiaoYu didn’t bother reading up on the above updates. He went on with life as usual. Head in early to his post. Have his dinner. Play with his cat. All around him, his guildmates would pretend to glance in his direction. They wanted to see for themselves just what kind of magic the personal healer to their Guild Healer had to have made their Chief run over to protect XiaoYu himself. While there were some jealous people, at least none of them were dumb enough to start causing trouble.
Tonight’s battle would be a messy one. Initially, none of the players had to worry about harming their own teammates. Now, before any skills were let loose, they had to keep an eye on the icons above everyone’s heads and confirm if the players within range were part of their own alliances or not. It caused great headaches to the many who had gotten use to just throwing out spells and skills as they pleased. If they accidentally killed any of their own teammates, they had to make sure to apologise in the appropriate chat channels too.
Thankfully, all subsidiaries of the Heretic Demons use the same logo as the main guild. All leaders had been emphasising on the importance of team formations and working with each other when using skills. With a tiny bit of effort, none of the Heretic Demons fighters had issues adapting to the new update. Despite the hiccups caused by the new patch, their enemies had seemingly multiplied overnight. Every guild wanted to try their hands at the new maps and treasure chest. Just what kind of monsters would spawn there? What kind of treasures would these chests reveal? There were no clear answers by the game developers. The players had to seek out the information themselves. Thus, for the right to scout out new information, the players had to take over a city first.
By the time the event ended, the Heretic Demons had just two fortresses left to their names. Prole-3 from the main guild and Prole-4 from a subsidiary guild. While they had been prepared for strong guilds to start their ambush late in the battle, no one could’ve imagined losing Prole-5 to the guild I Die For Riches again. If the game publisher could show the official number of players participating in a Guild Wars event, it would announce that today’s was the highest ever. Hence, it was rather difficult for the Main Guild to defend two cities at the same time.
QiYao still had some work left to do after the battle was over, so XiaoYu returned to Prole alone with his tiny luck cat. When it came to selling off his items, XiaoYu preferred going to the Market more than to setting up a stall. The Market didn’t disappoint this time either. No matter how lively and crowded it was outside, the Market hall would always have more NPC than players.
As XiaoYu was intently looking up the prices with an NPC and making his transactions, the bored and restless little cat started prowling around him. What’s this? What’s that? Hm? A knight smelling very strongly of gold just walked in. Let’s stare at him for a little while~ (*@○@*)
By the time XiaoYu was finally snapped back from staring at the NPC and turned around to call for his kitten, what he saw surprised him. A knight was squatting down before his little cat and playing with it. XiaoYu had to admit it. His cat was really eye-catching. It’s a genius at looking cute.
Then, as if the other man felt his gaze, the knight looked up.
“???” XiaoYu’s mind went blank at first. He wasn’t sure why the knight’s face had that effect on him.
“Your kitten is very cute. Here, all yours again,” the knight said. He scooped up the little cat, stood up and handed it over to XiaoYu.
“…Oh, thanks.” XiaoYu was still staring at the knight. His arms instinctively reached out and accepted his small cat back into his embrace.
“Is there something on my face?”
“Ah, no. I’m sorry.” XiaoYu too wondered just why he would stare at a stranger so hard that he blanked out. While the other man was very handsome, almost as handsome as QiYao, XiaoYu didn’t react this badly when he first met QiYao. By that logic, he shouldn’t have blanked out just because of the other’s beauty. Yet there was an inexplicable familiarity to the other man. That was why his gaze was locked onto the other’s face from the very first moment he saw the other.
“It seems like fate for your little cat and I to meet. Let’s be friends,” the knight friendly said, ignoring XiaoYu’s rather rude gaze. He handed over his name card.
“Okay.” XiaoYu was never one who liked rejecting others, so he approved of the friend request. Anyway, he didn’t feel any bad intentions coming from the other.
After the two parted ways, XiaoYu received a message from QiYao asking him to head to Prole-3’s Lord Mayor Office. While they had never been in the same guild system before, QiYao had used his right as the Lord Mayor to add in XiaoYu’s in-game name to the new list of players allowed in the city.
It wasn’t XiaoYu’s first time in Prole-3 plus QiYao’s directions, XiaoYu soon found the new Lord Mayor’s Office. He politely knocked on the door before entering.
To his surprise, it wasn’t just QiYao in the room. There were a few familiar faces too.
“Hi, Xiao-Yu,” greeted Poor_Man, the almighty and forever follower. The other players in the room were various team leaders with great sway in the main guild.
“??” XiaoYu was starting to suspect it wasn’t the Lord Mayor’s Office he’d entered but a meeting room.
“Wait a second. I’ll chase them out now,” QiYao said as he pulled XiaoYu up against his side.
“Relax, Chief. We’ll definitely disappear when the clock strikes twelve,” Poor_Man vowed with his right hand held up.
“Are you guys still in a meeting?” XiaoYu asked.
“No. They just want to take a peek at what the treasure chest holds,” QiYao said, pointing out the large chest hidden in a corner of the room. “Let’s go to bed a little later tonight, okay?”
“Mn.” XiaoYu might be a good kid who slept and woke up early, but he had no issues with occasionally staying up past midnight.
There was still some time left to kill before it was midnight. None of them would be a fool to just stand around waiting, so they started talking about the new map.
Don’t be mistaken by them just sitting there and chatting. All of them had been down there at least once. Today’s mobs were Animal types, specifically berserk elites. It was much more suitable to explore it fully in a party.
Still, they didn’t linger down there for long. While the map was huge, they still met a few other players. Some were from their own guilds; some were from the others. Everyone was there to take a peek at the brand new thing. With how crowded it was going to get, they’d quickly left. They had plenty of time in the future to slowly explore. After all, it would require the other top ten guilds of the server working together to pull the Heretic Demons down from their fortresses forever.
The only remaining curiosity left to explore was this big chest and the secret wonders it may hold. Naturally, Prole-4’s chest was Egg_Tart’s to open, as was his right as the subsidiary guild’s leader. They would communicate with him later in chat anyway. As for Prole-3’s chest, who would it be? Who would open the chest? Everyone turned their gazes to QiYao only to see him affectionately look at XiaoYu.
“You open it,” QiYao dotingly said.
At that very moment, everyone’s mind thought of the same thing – this would be a leader drowning in lust.
With how lively it was in the room, midnight soon arrived. The air around the treasure chest began to gleam and glow in rainbow light. It was as if the chest was calling out to them.
“Come open me,” it seemingly sang. “Come open me.”
With everyone’s eyes stuck on him, XiaoYu walked over to the chest. The tiny cat was mesmerised by the light too. It reached out its paws. It swiped. It pounced. All it touched was air, but it didn’t care. It kept on trying, deliriously happy in its efforts.
When XiaoYu’s hand touched the chest, he received a reminder from the game. Please ensure you have enough space in your inventory, it said. This was not a problem at all to XiaoYu, who’d just cleared his inventory of junk. In one sharp move, he flipped the chest wide open.
Despite the room being fully lit, everyone still felt as if they could visibly see a blinding amount of light jumping forth from the chest. They were nearly, very literally, blinded. When their eyes finally adjusted to the light and were finally able to look into the chest, all they could see was the bottom of an empty treasure chest.
“Where are the items?” everyone asked.
“In my inventory,” XiaoYu answered.
“Oh. So what are they?” They were all vibrating in excitement. They hated how they can’t look into XiaoYu’s own inventory themselves.
XiaoYu opened his inventory and took out everything, one by one, he had gotten from the chest.
A bundle of tree sticks, one of which had some blood on it. Everyone in the room instantly recognised them for what they were – Dead Branches. Break them and a random monster would be summoned. The ones without any blood on them could summon normal monsters with a small chance of summoning an elite and no chance of summoning a boss. Dead Branches were considered a rather common item. On the other hand, branches with blood on it were called Bloody Branches. It could summon elites at worst, bosses at best. It was very precious.
A bag of rocks used to refinement. There was at least thirty to forty of them from the looks of it.
A few heavy bars of gold. These were required for crafting equipment.
A large chest of medicine containing hundreds of XL potion bottles of both red and blue varieties.
The remaining items were equipment. A knight’s cape, shimmering blue, and a pair of leather boots. They weren’t especially rare, but they were at least above average.
Also, ten Crystal Coins.
By the time everything was placed down, a large portion of floorspace had been taken up by the chest’s contents. Overall, it was great loot. It seemed like the game was rather kind to them. With a few clicks on their internal calculators everyone in the room could tell just how astonishing the treasure pile would become with time.
“Erm…Egg_Tart’s chest only gave him a medicine chest, a pair of boots and…one normal Dead Branch,” a squad leader said as he looked at the items laid out before him. He was starting to suspect his ears and eyes. It’s rather hard to mess up one stick with one bundle.
Even if that was a mistake, just the number of items outside of the branches was way too different to what they had before their eyes. Silence reigned the room.
Who was it? Who commented the game was being kind? That it was generous? Drag them over to Egg_Tart for some stress relief!
- Dead Branch/Bloody Branch: Also exist in RO under the same names.
Sorry for being late! Had some cross-state driving to do and got exhausted from it.
Also, since I know that the majority of my readers are from the US (unless you’re using a VPN), take care. No matter what time it is or where you’re from, take care.