77. Christmas Event
XiaoYu pulled the tiny cat, that’d been curling round and round his legs, up into his arms. Four days ago, XiaoYu would never have imagined the few days of server maintenance would be so eventful. The happiness overwhelming him made him rub his face against the small cat. Sensing its little owner was very much happier now than when he’d logged off, it stretched its tiny pink tongue out and licked him.
“Heeheh. Let’s go grind,” XiaoYu said.
As for how the new Guild Wars update, that wasn’t something XiaoYu needed to worry about as long as the grind spots stayed the same. His mission was to level up. What about QiYao who should be concerned about this matter? He’d left for work after having the breakfast XiaoYu had lovingly cooked.
However, the update this time not only made some changes to the weekly Guild Wars rules, it patched in the Christmas and New Year events. The year was nearly over.
First to occur was the Christmas event. Just like last year, it was about the grudge between the two Santa Clauses.
In Asgard Online, lived two Santa Clauses. One was an NPC dubbed the “Crying Santa Claus” while the other was a…monster named the “Evil Santa Claus”. That’s right. The evil Santa Claus was a mob. It would spawn in every single place a normal mob might spawn.
The true Santa Claus was the crying NPC. Every year, he aimed to spread happiness and give Christmas presents to everyone. But an evil person would always appear and disrupt his plans.
Last year, the evil culprit stole his presents and threw them all over the world. The Christmas event required players to defeat the Evil Santa Clauses and collect the “Scattered Christmas Present” items. Return five of them to the real Santa Claus and he’ll give you a present in return. These boxes would drop some peculiar and unique little joke items.
This year, it’s a little different. The alert Santa Claus didn’t get cheated. He didn’t have his presents stolen but, infuriatingly, the socks the kids of Asgard Online used to collect their Christmas presents had been stolen overnight. This meant even if Santa Claus had his presents, he couldn’t give them to the children. Hence, he has sought help from the players once more. It was roughly the same quest. Defeat the Evil Santa Clauses. Collect five Christmas Socks and exchange them for a present from him.
It was a little overdramatic for a Christmas event, but the players of AO were already grinding everywhere. They didn’t mind attacking another mob. It was an easy monster to tackle anyway, even a Level 1 player could kill it. The reason’s simple. He won’t attack and he only had 1 HP.
Thus, even if the players just lightly tapped the Evil Santa Claus with their weapons, he would immediately collapse, wriggle in pain for a few moments before disappearing and leaving behind the quest item. Last year, this sight made quite a few players’ faces go 囧, but everyone was used to it this year. They were even curious just what kind of drama these two characters will act out this year.
Staring at the red and worn-down, with holes in the heel, sock in his inventory, XiaoYu hesitated. With every event, there would be a major business opportunity lurking behind it. Be it the socks or the presents, the streets would soon be filled with players buying and selling them. Should XiaoYu sell them or open the presents himself for some fun?
To be honest, XiaoYu quite liked opening chests and boxes. After all, that’s how he got his tiny cat. So, it was only a moment of dithering before he decided to keep the socks. He’ll just take it as a chance to open some presents.
By the end of the day, XiaoYu was able to exchange the socks for two presents. That was a nice battle record. If one were slightly unlucky, they might not encounter a single Evil Santa Claus at all within 24 hours.
After a glance at the time, XiaoYu bent down and lifted the small cat into a hug and a kiss. “I’m sorry, little one. I’ve got to log off for a while. I’ll play with you more tonight,” he said.
What was XiaoYu logging off for? To cook dinner.
With the existence of high-grade nutritional solution, having an actual meal didn’t really matter. However, since XiaoYu and QiYao were living together, XiaoYu wanted to do something for their home. Most of the household chores didn’t need him though. QiYao had plenty of high-tech products in charge of them, plus the occasional professional cleaners.
At the sight of XiaoYu wrecking his head over this, QiYao suggested that XiaoYu be in charge of all three meals whenever QiYao had to head in for work. That way, he would be able to have XiaoYu’s loving cooking at work too. He wouldn’t have to order takeout all the time. XiaoYu thought that was a great idea too and agreed to it. Unknown to him, this man was a boss so rich that his savings were enough for both of them to live off of. He was also way past the period when a new boss needed to achieve something grand to prove himself. There were more days QiYao didn’t need to go to work than the days when he needed to.
After dinner, the couple logged on.
“For me?” QiYao asked, shocked at the present XiaoYu handed over.
“Mn,” XiaoYu replied. He scratched the back of his head bashfully. “It’s a little early but I’m afraid I might not be able to hold back from opening it up.”
“Thanks.” While the logic behind the decision made QiYao want to laugh and cry at the same time, he appreciated the intent behind it.
He reached out to accept the present and snuck a kiss along the way, successfully making XiaoYu’s hair stand on end from the gesture. They were currently in Prole. There were players all around them bustling about >///<. QiYao didn’t mind at all. He was so quick, and he had done a quick survey of their surroundings, that even if someone wanted to take a photo of them kissing, he would be done before anything could be done.
“Let’s go grind at the Pyramids,” QiYao said.
“You don’t have a meeting today?” XiaoYu recalled the patch notes he had briefly read through earlier that day. The points about the Guild Wars update occupied more than half of the notes.
“It’s tomorrow night.”
With QiYao in party, XiaoYu could climb to the top of the Pyramids to fight the higher levelled Mummies that spawned there. They could even kill a Christmas-only mob called Santa Poring, which was basically a ball of jelly wearing a Santa hat.
The Santa Porings and Evil Santa Clauses spawned anywhere a normal mob could. The reason for Santa Poring’s existence was to assist the weak and fragile Santa Claus. Santa Porings didn’t have a set level. They would spawn five levels higher than the average mob at their spawn location. Hence, if players were trying to power level by grinding in an area too strong for them, they would first need to consider the level gap between them and the mob before any attempt to attack a Santa Poring. Wouldn’t want to be stomped to death by a ball of jelly.
Fortunately, Santa Porings were as rare as the Evil Santa Claus and they weren’t aggressive. If one wasn’t attacking it, it can be considered a very cute creature. In spite of all that, it had a very irritating characteristic. It would pick up loot and there was a chance the loot it gobbled up would be dissolved. That meant if one were to be really unlucky, the item that was eaten up by the Santa Poring would still be gone even if the monster was killed.
Nevertheless, any and all loot-picking monsters had to bow down to the tiny cat, the grandmaster of the art. And so not only did the Santa Poring that came bouncing towards the party, attracted by the loot drops, not find anything for it to gobble up, it was also tragically dissected by a certain Guild Leader.
“XiaoYu, take out the Christmas Candy.”
“Okay.” XiaoYu opened up the little cat’s inventory to find a piece of candy wrapped in pretty and colourful wrapping paper. He took it out and read its description.
Christmas Candy: A special candy that can be used in battle. 1 HP regenerated every second for 5 minutes after consumption.
To high level players, that measly health regeneration’s worth nothing but it was better than nothing. And the candy’s quite delicious.
“Try it.” Last year’s event had that candy too. The prices went as high as 50 gold per piece. It might be expensive but it was one of the most delicious candies in the game, according to those who liked sweets.
XiaoYu unwrapped the candy and popped it in his mouth. An “Auto-Regen” symbol instantly appeared in the buff section of his status bar.
“Is it tasty?”
“Mn. It’s very sweet.” It’s sweet yet not sickly sweet. It was a very tasty candy indeed.
“Is that so…”Because QiYao had been tanking mobs for XiaoYu with his back to the younger man, XiaoYu couldn’t see the sly smile that was creeping up the knight’s face.
All of a sudden, QiYao let out a few of his Third Job moves to clear the area around them. XiaoYu was confused. Were they going to rest now? Then, he saw QiYao turn around and pull him into a kiss.
“I want to try it too,” muttered QiYao.
When kissing, keep his mouth open. After a few days of “training”, XiaoYu had taken that lesson to heart. But they were kissing in the middle of a monsters’ den and QiYao’s tongue was still chasing after the candy in XiaoYu’s mouth. It was the first time anything like this had ever happened to XiaoYu. He didn’t have the mental capacity to wonder if there were any more monsters around them, if doing this right then and there was dangerous. All he could do was clutch at QiYao’s cape and drown in that passionate and sweet kiss.
Santa Claus: In RO, there were no 2 Santa Clauses. The “Evil Santa Claus” here is likely a stand-in/adaptation of the Christmas Goblins.