LC: Chapter 17

17. Guild Wars

After two long days, the game finally completed its update and the long-awaited guild wars began.

To the north of all four major cities, a huge plot of land appeared. This new map was split into 5 enormous buildings, one in each corner and one in the centre. They far exceeded any buildings found in reality. Each building formed a beautiful and bewitching small city. (These cities followed the architectural style of the major cities nearby. Prole was in the style of European castles. Serica, Chinese palaces. Sakura was a Japanese castle city modelled after the Osaka Castle. Kemet after the great pyramids.) These minor cities were named after the major city that was nearby, i.e. Prole 1 to 5, Serica 1 to 5, etc.

These were where 20 guilds would wage war. Guild wars would be held every Saturday from 7 pm to 10 pm. Those who destroy the crystal protected deep within the cities would occupy the city. Non-guild members would be teleported to the last recorded revival point.

PvP was not allowed within the outskirts  in these four maps. During the time allocated for guild wars, players who enter the surroundings of the cities will enter PvP state. Players can then attack members of other guilds with no change to their name tag’s colour. Discomfort from debuffs and death will be dramatically dropped. Players will also be punished by experience loss or item drops at death, only their equipment durability will decreased.

Players who were not in a guild will be automatically considered neutral parties. They can attack and be attacked, but they cannot attack the crystal. Once the time has passed, PvP was prohibited in the cities. The guild leader of the guild occupying the cities could decide whether to allow non-guild members to enter to the city or not.

For the first guild war, the cities will randomly generate a large number of monsters to protect themselves. These monsters range from levels 70 to 110. Successfully occupying the city would make the monsters disappear. From then on, it’s up to the players themselves to protect the city.

Guilds could form an alliance. Each guild can only ally themselves with a maximum of 5 other guilds. Alliance members cannot attack each other.

In the mean time, guilds cannot build their own cities yet. There were millions of players in AO and the top guilds in AO could only have a maximum of 1000 members. 1000 was still not enough to build a city. Forget about attacks from other players. They won’t even be able to stop the first wave of monsters attacking the city.

That’s why the game opened up these guild war maps first. They’re there to train the guilds. Once a guild occupies all 5 minor cities of a major city, the game will reward that guild with the item needed to build a city. The actual methods for players to build a city themselves and the rules of wars then will only be announced upon update after someone has achieved the item. So for now, it’s just a messy battlefield of thousands.

This time’s patch also updated a new way for guilds to raise their levels – Guild Reputation. Every time a guild shatters a city crystal, they would be rewarded with a certain number of Reputation. If they successfully defend the city until the end of Guild Wars, they will be rewarded with a large amount of Reputation. Member allowance would be automatically increased once their Reputation hit a certain value.

When the game servers opened up once more, players swarmed into the four new maps. Luckily, PvP was not allowed in these maps or there’d be a lot of abuse happening. As no guild could’ve occupied the cities before the first Guild Wars, no players were allowed to enter. Everyone could only view these gigantic buildings from outside the city walls.

One couldn’t help but sigh in awe at how extravagant it all was. Such big buildings could never have been built in reality. A rough estimate of how many could fit in them went up to tens of thousands. There’d be plenty of space left even if several of the major guilds waged war within them.

After scouting out the maps, all guild scouts reached the same conclusion. The maps were far too big and they were too far. Even going from the North Gate to the closest minor city would require 3 minutes on horseback at top speed. The furthest would need over 10 minutes. With only a mere 3 hours to wage war in, every minute was precious.

“Gather all the healers and train their Teleport skill!”

It’s time for the special Teleport skill all Acolytes had to shine. Originally it was used to mark down a few of the common training grounds. While the cities’ portals could transport a player to each major grinding zone, they were only sent to a town nearby. Players still needed to walk or ride over to their desired area, especially when those zones were deep within mountains and caves.

Teleport could mark two to five spots (Players cannot mark the inside of buildings). The number increased as Proficiency did. Usually, 2 was enough. No Acolyte would specifically go train up this skill as each skill use consumed a Teleport Gem. Teleport Gems were sold for 10 silvers each. Each Teleport could only transport 20 players and lasted 10 minutes. As soon as time ran out, 20 players were teleported or the Acolyte walked through their own portal, the portal would disappear. Players could open up as many portals as they wanted, provided they have enough money and MP.

With so many battlefields, 2 points were definitely not enough unless they were only focusing on 1 city. The larger the guild, the more MP potions and Gems would be used. Just 1 Acolyte was probably not enough. Who knew how many portals they’d have to open in those 3 hours. If they were doing it alone, they’d go crazy.

“I didn’t think Asgard Online could be that humane. They’re starting us off with the most basic of guild wars.” It’s just a messy battlefield where strategy was not required and all one needed to do was just shoot off all their skills. After all, death caused no discomfort and they can even join back in.

“After a while, they’ll adjust it. At this point, if you can’t aim properly, you could hit your own teammates. Not only are the skills’ range and area increased, you can’t even harm friendlies.”

“It might be a trick from the game. Let everyone have fun using skills as they please and forget about the usual strategies we use in PvE. Then it’ll be so much messier in the wars.”

“But this castle is really big. I bet I’d get lost a lot.” The preview of the City Crystal Room was as large as half of a football field. There’s no need to discuss how big the other areas would be. If one ran at full speed from the gates to the room, they’d probably get there in 10 minutes. More time would be wasted on the way by all the killing and slaughtering during the Guild Wars.

“Lil Chang’e, follow me. This big brother will show you what the City Crystal looks like.”

“Yeah, right. You just stay at the revival point and open some portals, add some buffs.”

“Hey! As the leader of the Healers Squad, how can I not personally be on the battlefield?”

“Let’s keep training according to our initial strategy. No one is allowed to throw around their skills as they please. Also, tell the assassins to raise their Stealth Proficiency. We’ll try and scout out the maps of all 20 cities in the first Guild Wars.”

“Yes, Chief.”

“I_Am_A_Poor_Man, select some low-level healers to be in charge of the portals. All potions and Gems used can be declared to the treasurer. Also, there’ll be additional salary as compensation.”

“Yes. Um…can I ask outsiders to help? Their character can be guaranteed for sure.” I_Am_A_Poor_Man thought of LuckyCat. Was he at Level 25 yet? (An Acolyte can only learn Teleport at Level 25.)

“That’d be for the best, as long as they won’t create more trouble.” That way, more of the guild’s healers could be used in the battle.

“No problem.”

“Next…” HereticKing continued to hand out assignments to the other squad leaders to ensure the first Guild Wars happening that Saturday would be a prosperous start for them.

*************************

“LuckyCat, LuckyCat.”

“Hm? Big brother Poor, what is it?” This was a nickname the two decided on sometime ago.

“Are you Level 25 yet?”

“Yup. I’m nearly at Level 30.”

“So fast! Have you learned Teleport?”

“Not yet.”

“Go learn it. I’ll pay for it. Also, can you help out this Saturday evening? We need healers who can open up portals. Relax. You can declare all Gems and MP potions you use. You even get a salary.”

“Sure. That’s fine.”

“I’ll notify you on the time and place we’ll be gathering later.”

“Okay.”

“Thanks, little Lucky. Big brother loves you.”

“Hehe. You’re welcome.”

And so the private chat ended. Bai XiaoYu turned to where he’d learn the Teleport skill from. He had thought the Zombie Cave was close enough to Prole so he didn’t need to learn it yet.

“Meow…” There’s no chance for it to show off. How tiring.

“Hehe. Behave. Once I learn this skill, we’ll go kill some monsters.”

Translator’s Notes:

Sakura = Amatsu, the Sakura city
Kemet, an old name for Egypt = Morroc, desert town near the Pyramids

PreviousIndexNext

LC: Chapter 16

16. The So-Called Luck in Quests

“Ugh. Chief, you smiled. How ominous.” I_Am_A_Poor_Man rubbed at his goose bumps.

“Gods. Poorie, come pinch me. Am I dreaming?” Shooting_Chang’e_From_Below_The_Moon’s eyes were as big as plates and his jaw dropped. His whole expression could only be described as “Error: cannot compute”.

“Okay.”

Bang!

“Ouch. That hurts. Why did you hit me with your book?”

HereticKing ignored his two lively subordinates and continued the glorious task of deleting messages.

He just knew he’d receive all sorts of rubbish messages from random strangers as soon as the server-wide announcement rang out. Some mocked him, some congratulated him…It irritated him to the extreme. He originally intended to end it all by putting his messaging and whispers settings to “Friends Only” but then he spotted a familiar name while skimming through the list – LuckyCat.

When he opened up LuckyCat’s message, he saw only two simple words but they conveyed so much more sincerity than those flowery nonsensical messages.

In a glance, his mood instantly turned for the better. He didn’t think that little guy would still remember him. He replied to that message only and deleted the rest. But since his mood was better now, those annoying messages weren’t so annoying now. With a tap, one message was destroyed. It’s easier than killing monsters.

“What a pity. If it wasn’t because of that committee meeting for something or what-not, Chief would be the first to hit Level 100. That Wings dude was lucky.”

Wings, full name Angel Wings, was one of the top guilds in the server. GloryOfTheWorld was Wings’s Guild Leader. Initially, Wings and HereticKing’s guild, Heretic Demons, didn’t interact much. However, one had a righteous name and the other had an evil name so the first reactions players had were that they were rivals. Add on the fact that large guilds always have issues with the others snatching grinding spots or bosses, the situation became tense. The more such situations were talked about, the more fantastical such issues became. Now, these two guilds became actual rivals.

“But the top 3 guild’s Guild Leaders all reached Level 100 at nearly the same time. I suspect it was intentionally made so by the game,” Below_The_Moon who had switched back to the main topic deduced.

“There might not only be 3. They just won’t be announced to everyone by the game.”

“That’s also possible. Then the game intentionally made everyone equal at the starting line so that everyone can see clearly who’s better.” If it’s as Poor_Man said, there’s more than 3, then it’s very likely all of the reputable guilds would have at least 1 Level 100 player in them.

“Moon, how far away are you?” HereticKing, who had finally gotten rid of all his messages, said.

“2% left. I should be able to accept the Level 100 Quest before 12.”

“Ugh. Please don’t be a SS-rank again. Pfft.” I_Am_A_Poor_Man patted Below_The_Moon on the shoulder in comfort but still couldn’t resist spoiling the effect in the end. He recalled the SS-rank quest Below_The_Moon received last time: Steal the egg of the Level 130 Dragon King within 15 days. At the thought of it, he couldn’t resist laughing. Below_The_Moon had returned all pale and dusty when he was killed within seconds by the Dragon King. Even his hair was charred. His usual princely demeanour was nowhere to be seen.

“= =+ It’s at least better that Chief’s last 3S quest…” Before Below_The_Moon finished his sentence, he snuck a peak at HereticKing only to find the other was squinting unhappily.  Below_The_Moon had immediately swallowed the last half of the sentence back to where it came from.

If one had to comment on HereticKing’s luck in quests, then it can only be said to be the best in the whole wide world. Not only did he successfully obtained a hidden Profession, he even finished the final hidden quest of a newbie village – Among the Level 1 to 99 monsters, kill 100 monsters each of 10 species of each level. HereticKing was then rewarded with a top-tier storage ring with 1000 slots.

In AO where the average number of slots found in a storage ring was 200 or so, this ring was considered an ultimate warehouse that went everywhere with its user. Even trying to fill it up was a heavy task by itself. It’s a pity HereticKing disliked it for having too many slots. He threw it back into Storage and continued using his high-grade white-gold bracelet with 300 slots. It made all who knew about it quiver in agony for a long while. If it wasn’t account-bound, they’d really try stealing it for themselves. There was even a time where they’d suspect their chief’s luck stat was at max. They ached to tear away those question marks to see how high that number was.

Nevertheless, such great luck in quests became terrible when used on Job Change quests. Not everyone could draw a 3S quest. The first time HereticKing drew his Level 100 Quest, he drew the quest to subjugate the Level 140 Human-type boss, King Ceres. How was he meant to subjugate that? Force was definitely a no-go. Seduction? Put aside the issue of HereticKing being not interested in men, he’s not even interested in Caucasian beauties. King Ceres is Caucasian and a man!

So no even if that King Ser-something was the ultimate beauty in a Westerner’s eyes, he’s no different than a Western monkey in HereticKing’s eyes. But strangely, when HereticKing was teleported to that king’s palace, the two of them stared at each other for 3 days and 3 nights. In the end, it was actually that king who fell in love with HereticKing’s cold nature and began offering everything he could to the other. Still, at the final moment before HereticKing could complete the quest, he couldn’t resist it anymore. He pulled his sword and stabbed at the man who was about to pounce on him. In the end, he was slaughtered by a group of Level 130 guards = =.

That was the greatest humiliation in all of HereticKing’s quests.

“Mmhm. When it’s your time to draw a Level 100 Quest, I’ll be right there laughing at you.” Below_The_Moon changed the topic. Teasing the chief had dire consequences.

“Tsk. I’ll definitely go for it behind your backs. I won’t tell you about it even if I failed.”

“Alright. Go grind. I’ll go craft poison.”

“Good day, o gracious Chief.”

“Speaking of which, Poorie, you finished collecting all the Zombie Mucus Chief wanted? The taste of Zombie Cave isn’t bad, right?” Below_The_Moon retorted.

“I wouldn’t know. I never went in.” I_Am_A_Poor_Man played the fool and blinked his wide innocent eyes.

“No way. You made a request? Someone would go into that disgusting cave for that tiny sum? Aren’t you the one who’s always crying about how poor you are?”

“Tee-hee. I’ve got a cute little friend who’s helping me grind them. He’d grind at the same time.” I_Am_A_Poor_Man didn’t think he’d receive so many ingredients every day. Did the kid sink himself into the game all day long and not go to class? That’s why he’d frequently mail over some grilled fish and cakes out of guilt. There were even a few times when he couldn’t help but remind the other to focus on his health. It wasn’t urgent. But in the end, the reply he got was just a huge pile of materials as usual and the line “It’s fine.”

“Where did you go to find child labour?”

“Shoo! Only adults can play this game, alright? That child’s quite good. I’ll introduce him to you when we have time.” It’s all because of something he’d done out of sheer whim. He didn’t think the kid would be that sincere and help without accepting a single cent. It’s rare to find such kids nowadays.

*************

“Achoo~” Bai XiaoYu who was currently challenging a high-level zombie sneezed. His hand shook. The spell missed and hit another monster. XiaoYu hurriedly rushed back into the portal back up. Luckily, he’d been wandering near the portal in the event he needed to escape in an instant.

Could it be he’s been staying in this stifling cave for far too long? He’d better end his training early today since he can’t sleep in the inn today. Once he went offline, he’d better exercise his body which had been soaking in nutritional fluids for forever.

“Little one, I’ll come and play with you again in 2 more days.” Ever since he’d entered the game, this was the first time he’d be apart from the tiny cat. XiaoYu was quite reluctant to do so.

“Meow~” The little cat rubbed its head against XiaoYu’s hand as if to say it’s alright.

PreviousIndexNext

LC: Chapter 15

15. Level 100 Player

A dreamless night.

As morning came, Bai XiaoYu received a message. In it were a few grilled fish skewers. The message was “To comfort the big and small lucky cats” and came from I_Am_A_Poor_Man.

XiaoYu’s mood instantly rose. When he woke up and saw the torn up clothes from yesterday, he’d remembered the torment he went through. His mood had instantly swooped down. All of that sadness was now like that cloud high up in the sky. Floating, floating and gone in a flash.

Although it was meant to comfort himself and the little cat, XiaoYu still decided to leave it all for the tiny one. After all, it’s just a matter of Hunger levels. Once he reached Level 40, he can accept a Profession quest. Then, he can eat whatever he wanted.

From today onwards, he’ll be rooted down in the Zombie Cave. May God protect him so he never meets that swordsman again.

He crossed himself then went rummaging in his storage and selling off some items for silver. All because he doesn’t have the money to repair his equipment T-T

After leaving the Exchange, he headed to the smith to repair his equipment. However, he didn’t think he’d bump into an unexpected person in front of the shop – NonMeta, all alone.

“NonMeta, morning.”

Mn. NonMeta nodded in acknowledgement. He then saw the ragged clothes on XiaoYu, they were only slightly better than a beggar’s, and frowned. “Clothes?”

“Oh, I’m here to repair them.” Without CopperPlate acting as translator, XiaoYu could only guess what NonMeta meant.

“PvP. Who?”

“Hm?” How did the other know this was from PvP?

“Sword.”

“Oh…” So that’s why. There were a few tiny slashes on his robes that were probably left behind from BattleOverlord’s stabbing.

“Give them to me.” NonMetaAssassin saw that XiaoYu wasn’t willing to explain so he didn’t continue questioning the other about it. Instead, he spoke a rarely heard complete sentence.

“?” While XiaoYu didn’t understand what NonMeta wanted his equipment for, he still took off his clothes and handed them to NonMeta. When he saw the other staring at his shoes and wand, he hurriedly handed them over too.

Well, that’s just great. His main equipment were all off. Bai XiaoYu was now standing in the middle of the main street barefoot, wearing only the tiny underpants and tank top that were forced onto him by the game. Thank goodness there weren’t a lot of people who play in the morning. >///<

“Clink. Clink. Clank. Clank.” NonMetaAssassin took out a set of tools identical to the one in the NPC smithy and began hammering at XiaoYu’s equipment.

(⊙o⊙) So NonMeta’s Profession was a Smith, and a refining type too. Smiths are separated into refiners and creators. The first could repair and refine equipment. The prime choice for solo or party players. The latter could create their own named equipment with special stats. The equipment crafted would be as good as the better equipment dropped by elite monsters of the same level. These were only inferior to the special equipment sets dropped by boss monsters.

Not long later, NonMeta was done repairing.

As XiaoYu accepted the three equipment handed back to him, he realised not only were they fully repaired but they were also refined to +5.

“Thank you. The money…” Refining took quite a bit of cash. This was also why XiaoYu had never refined a single item before. He didn’t have the money or the materials needed.

“It’s fine.” NonMeta put his tools back into his inventory. “From now. Equipment. Find me.”

“Okay.” XiaoYu’s impression of NonMeta rose day by day. He was thankful to have such a good friend…Wait. He hadn’t added NonMeta as a friend yet! As of now, there were only a measly 3 friends on his list and all of the requests were initiated by the other. Naturally, NonMeta wouldn’t send a request himself.

Then let him be the active party for once. XiaoYu sent the other a friend request. NonMeta was obviously startled but soon agreed.

After bidding farewell to NonMeta, XiaoYu set off for the Zombie Cave. Even though he was curious as to why CopperPlate wasn’t online, even an extremely gossipy person wouldn’t be in the mood to gossip when faced with NonMeta. Furthermore, XiaoYu wasn’t one to gossip.

The remaining days passed by in an extraordinarily pleasant whirl. He never met that swordsman again. Everyday, he’d wake up, head to the Zombie Cave, grind for a whole day, then sort and mail the items he found to I_Am_A_Poor_Man. Sometimes, the other would mail back a few fish skewers and cake in comfort.

In the meantime, CopperPlateKing had also mailed over the money gotten from the crown and even sped up his grinding along the way. He never mentioned the issue about PvP. Seemed like NonMetaAssassin didn’t tell CopperPlateKing.

As XiaoYu looked on at the few dozens of crystals in his storage, he worked harder at grinding. Because he was now also considered rich among the new players. His gaming future looked bright.

Half a month passed by and XiaoYu was soon Level 30.

The first stages of a game was always easy. But later on, especially after Level 40, levelling up would take longer and longer. Otherwise, how could no one be at Level 100 after over a year? Of course, that ridiculously outrageous and perverted Level 100 Quest was also an important reason. Apparently nearly all players would fail at least once. If anyone was so unlucky as to draw S rank or higher quests a few times in a row, they’d probably rage-quit and delete their account.

Still, XiaoYu’s levelling speed could be said to be rather fast. Not only was it due to him using a game pod (he could sink all 24 hours into the game), but also because of something he never realised. Undead monsters give out more experience than normal monsters of the same level. In the long run, the amount accumulated was shocking.

That was an adjustment made in a patch long time ago. The company saw that the Undead zones were very unpopular. After some discussion, they decided to not change its realism but to use increased experience to draw players in. It was effective. The high level Undead grinding spots began to have parties running in and out of them. However, they’d never stay for long. No matter how much the players love horror movies, no one was willing to stay in such a place for long. Most of them still need to go offline to eat and live. Seeing ghosts and terrifying creatures day and night would affect their real life, excluding a few exceptions.

XiaoYu wasn’t one of those exceptions. He just had a goal. With the tiny cat being so happy from collecting money that it’d start acting cute and play with the monsters, even the most tedious repetitive motions became interesting.

After changing to the Silver Staff, it was much easier to kill zombies. On average, he could kill a mid-tier zombie with 3 blows now. He had been pondering whether to continue downwards and challenge a higher level zombie or not. But that ranged acid spitting skill would be very troublesome and there were no absolute safe zones down there. It’s something he must plan carefully. As XiaoYu was working hard on recalling the map, surroundings and monster distribution of the lower level, a server-wide notice sounded out from above.

“Congratulations, Player GloryOfTheWorld, for being the first player in the server to reach Level 100. Rewards are: 30,000 Crystal Coins, Stat Points +5, Double experience and drop rate for 1 week.”

“Ping. Due to the appearance of Level 100 player(s), the game will be in maintenance for 2 days from midnight tonight. New content will be updated. For details, please visit the forum announcement. All players, please prepare to log off on time.”

A new update. However, midnight was still quite far off. XiaoYu didn’t immediately rush back to the city. Once the maintenance finished, he’ll continue grinding here.

XiaoYu had never opened up the World chat so he didn’t now that the whole server was buzzing in excitement. It’d been over a year. Finally, someone finished that insane quest and brought hope to all the Level 99-ers. Still, rumours spread of the player having some backing in the company, their mission was ultra-simple, so and so forth. These made the World channel be filled with joy and gunpowder smoke. Every second, there would be a huge number of messages being sent through as if they cost nothing. (Every character sent to World chat costs 1 gold coin.)

“Congratulations, Player HereticKing, for being the second player in the server to reach Level 100. Rewards are: 5,000 Crystal Coins, Stat Points +3.”

“Congratulations, Player WolfKing, for being the third player in the server to reach Level 100. Rewards are: 1,000 Crystal Coins, Stat Points +1.”

Another 2 more server-wide notices rang out. The server’s atmosphere was hyped up to the extreme. In an instant, 3 Level 100 players appeared. What an inspiring sight!

XiaoYu was stunned. He had heard a familiar name. So that HereticKing player was that awesome. No wonder he didn’t care for that tiny amount of 1 gold of his. Should he send a congratulatory message?

After thinking about it, there was a chance the other would ignore all Whispers but XiaoYu still sent one anyway. The message was just one simple word: Congratulations.

That’s how XiaoYu acts. If someone treated him well, then he’d treat the other well too. Even if he had never seen that player before, the other was nice to his cat. He took that gesture to heart.

He thought his message would be drowned out but unexpectedly, a few minutes later, the other replied. The message was also just a simple word: Thanks.

Spirits were that easy to be lifted.

Translator’s Nonsense:

Chekhov’s gun appears!

PreviousIndexNext

LC: Chapter 14

14. Saved

The expected pain didn’t happen. Instead, his weakened state was cured…by a healing spell!

“Hehe. It’s not good to bully children,” an unknown man’s voice rang out.

Bai XiaoYu opened his eyes to find a male healer with bible in hand not far behind BattleOverlord. A pink aura surrounded XiaoYu. It’s a skill healers only learn at Level 90 – Safety Wall. It’s a spell that can block a certain number of attacks. The higher the proficiency, the higher the number. However, it has a cooldown of 30 minutes and uses a Blue Gemstone. Looks like the attack from BattleOverlord was blocked by this skill.

“Mind your own business!”

“Alright. I will. Go on. Keep killing.” The healer folded his hands together and tucked his chin into it. He sat down by a tree and stared at them.

BattleOverlord and XiaoYu were both stunned. What’s going on? Don’t think about the fact that he stopped saving someone halfway through the act. What’s with the “everyone can do what they want. I’m going to watch something fun” expression on his face?

“Hm? You’re done? If you won’t attack, I will. Those who don’t attack grey names are idiots. Come, let’s see what you’ll drop.” Upon noticing the other two were stunned with surprise, he started standing up while talking to himself. He patted down the exquisite high-level red and white Priest’s uniform and dropped into a fighting stance.

“Should I slowly bludgeon you to death with my book or should I give a quick death via Holy Light?” I_Am_A_Poor_Man had a usually cheery grin on his face. He showed off his big gleaming white teeth while swinging the book as thick as a dictionary in his hand. “Why don’t we play a game? Let’s see if you can kill that little healer first or if I’ll kill you first. Let me put this out first. My Safety Wall can resist around 3000 damage or so.”

“You…” The swordsman deflated. While priests aren’t combat-focused, the huge gap in level and equipment meant it was an easy task for the other to squish him and there was no way he could fight back at all.

After throwing a seething glare at XiaoYu, BattleOverlord changed into a set focused on Agility and Dexterity before running out of the woods as quick as he could.

“Boring.” If I_Am_A_Poor_Man had really wanted to make a move, that little swordsman wouldn’t have been able to escape. But killing children was not his style.

“Thank you…” Finally, XiaoYu’s taut mind could relax. His body swayed. With a hand against the tree trunk behind him, he slowly sat down.

“No worries. It’s our duty to protect those in the same field.” I_Am_A_Poor_Man squatted down before XiaoYu and sized him up. “How dreadful. Your clothes are falling apart. How many times did he stab you? You’re not even Level 20, right?” The swordsman looked to be nearly at his Second Job Change. It didn’t make sense that the little Acolyte had been stabbed so many times and yet didn’t die. Normally, he should be dead in one blow.

“I can’t remember…” XiaoYu breathlessly replied. He placed the tiny cat on his knees and lightly stroked it in comfort.

“Can’t remember?”

“It’s been 4 hours.” It was the longest 4 hours of XiaoYu’s life.

“What? That bastard! I shouldn’t have let him go.” With some minor extrapolation, I_Am_A_Poor_Man figured out what probably came of it. What great vengeance was there that it required torturing a small Acolyte for 4 whole hours? If there was a grudge between them, then kill the other and be done with it. He despised those who love scheming and fooled around.

“What did you do to him?” Healers were a class that everyone loved. Furthermore, this honest child in front of him didn’t look like someone who’d cause trouble.

“I…didn’t want to sell my pet to him.” Suddenly, XiaoYu felt upset and deeply wronged. He had done absolutely nothing wrong, yet he had to suffer such treatment.

“Just that?” There are plenty of petty people in-game who’d bully newbies without a guild’s backing just because their levels were high. Even so, he’d never met someone who’d torment a newbie so. This BattleOverlord sure is a fine specimen.

“Meow…” The tiny cat licked at XiaoYu’s finger. It knew its owner had suffered tremendously.

“This kitten’s quite cute. What’s its name?” I_Am_A_Poor_Man examined the little one yet saw no special attributes to it. Weren’t there a lot of cute pets in the game?

“TinyLuckyCat”

“Mrow!” The little cat grinned at I_Am_A_Poor_Man as if to introduce itself.

“Eh?” So cute! A floral backdrop blossomed behind it. I_Am_A_Poor_Man roughly understood that swordsman’s intentions now. Still, it wasn’t right for him to torture others. “What an…interesting name. Could there be a big lucky cat?” I_Am_A_Poor_Man joked.

“Um…No, but there’s a lucky cat.”

“Where?” Really? He only asked on a whim.

XiaoYu pointed to his own nose.

“Pfft. Hahahaha!” I_Am_A_Poor_Man fell down laughing. This kid’s name was too cute. [slaps floor]

“= =+” Another one.

Perhaps it was because I_Am_A_Poor_Man realised his image of a high and mighty Priest was being squashed. He softly cleared his throat and solemnly sat cross-legged in front of XiaoYu with the posture of a serious senior.

“Can you stand?” While physical hunger could be replenished through food, mental fatigue can only depend on the players themselves.

XiaoYu shook his head. It looked like today’s training plan was a bust. Once recovered, he just wanted to head straight back to the city, find an inn and sleep.

“Hm…” I_Am_A_Poor_Man stroked his chin. Usually, he wouldn’t be such a busy body but what a coincidence, this pitiful child was an Acolyte.

After a whole day of grinding at Gryphons with Chief, he’s finally had enough experience to accept the Level 100 Quest. As it could only be done solo, he’s got a rare chance to slow down.

Initially, he thought he was most likely the most pitiful healer in the game. The moment Chief summoned him, he’d have to instantly leave his grinding party and report in. Nothing he can do. Who asked for Chief to be his boss in real life? After a while, every guild member knew that he was Chief’s exclusive healer. They never called him to go training with them again.

It made him really depressed. Think, every healer was treated like the party’s gem no matter where they went. Not only were they well-protected, they were also never left out when it came to splitting up loot. It’s all because once proof of healers being maltreated were posted on the forums, those parties would enter the Healers Alliance’s blacklist. No healer would ever willingly party with them again.

Thus, he’d always complain about how one could never find a more miserable healer than he. Be it in reality or in game, he’s always a certain someone’s nanny. His brain and body would be squeezed dry, but more money would never be squeezed into his salary. Not only that, he’d have to protect the chief at all costs when they meet danger and use his measly body to back Chief up. Hence while everyone else was at Level 90, he was still struggling at Level 94.

Now, he’s found someone who’s more pitiful than he was – this tiny Acolyte at Level 10-plus. If he was the one being tortured for 4 hours, he’d never rest until the culprit was culled back to Level 10 by all the bounty hunters in the server.

“Here. Eat something tasty. You’ll feel better.” I_Am_A_Poor_Man took out a piece of mousse cake from his inventory. This was his way of rewarding himself, so he chose to be a chef as his Profession.

“Thanks.”

“Meow…” The tiny cat drooled. It looked really, really tasty. Maybe its owner would be willing to split some with it >0<

“I’ve got something for the tiny lucky cat too.” A staple for camping – ‘tis skewered fish.

“Meow!” After all, cats love fish. The little cat immediately abandoned the sweet and fragrant cake and pounced towards the golden crispy fish.

“Hehe. Don’t rush. I’ve got more.” I_Am_A_Poor_Man petted the kitten on the head. Feels so nice. One day, he’ll go buy a cute pet for himself too.

“Thank you.” XiaoYu realised he didn’t know what else to say except thank you and was frustrated over how stupid his mouth was.

“No need to thank me. Taking care of new players is everyone’s duty.”

“Please…”

“Hm?”

“Where did you buy those skewers?” It’s the second time XiaoYu had seen grilled fish skewers. This time, he’s determined to suss out where they came from to improve the little guy’s diet.

“I made them myself. Also, don’t be so formal. It sounds cold.”

“Oh. How do you make them?”

“Go to Serica and look for the head chef of Yang’s Restaurant. Tell him you want to be his apprentice and learn to cook. Once you complete the quest, you can then be a chef.” Serica is one of the 4 main cities. Its buildings were in the vibrant style of ancient China. Asgard Online is a strange and mystical game. It gathers different cultures from all over the world and let its players pick which they prefer.

“Meow…” The fish skewer was quickly demolished. The little cat obediently pawed at I_Am_A_Poor_Man’s pants, its face filled with charm.

[Head in hand] I must hurry up and be a chef. It’s too shameful!

“Hehe. The little one’s AI is quite sophisticated. No wonder that kid kept chasing after you.” I_Am_A_Poor_Man scratched below the tiny cat’s jaw and took out another fish skewer. However, he didn’t put it straight on the floor this time. Instead, he held it in his hand as if it was a cat toy and teased the little cat.

“Mrow! Meow!” Left, pounce. Right, pounce. Still can’t eat it T0T

“Hehe.” Feels great. I_Am_A_Poor_Man finally found his kindness and stopped teasing it. “But you can’t get a Profession yet. You need to be at Level 40 or higher.”

“Mn. I’ll work hard.”

Alright. I’ve got to go to that dirty stinking Zombie Cave and grind for items. Ugh. I am a miserable healer as well. Chief wants Zombie Mucus and Rotten Bandages so I’ve got to do everything I can to get it done.” He eloquently wrapped it up as because “you are the kryptonite to Undeads” but actually it was because he was too lazy to go grind himself. Why did he hook up with such a boss?

I_Am_A_Poor_Man stood up and stretched his body in preparation for sacrificing himself for the greater good.

“How many do you need?” XiaoYu thought of the items he accumulated over the day in his storage.

“As many as possible.” HereticKing’s Profession was a hidden Profession, Poison Maker. Guild Wars would be patched in anytime soon. As the Guild Leader, he finally recalled his own Profession and was prepared to craft large batches of poison. Luckily, they had always been hoarding items dropped by high-level monsters. The only items they lack now were ingredients dropped by low-level monsters. Who asked him to not know that he’d have a hidden Profession?

“I’ve got some and I can help.” Until XiaoYu reached Level 40, he’d most likely be soaking in the Zombie Cave.

“Right. The only monsters you can grind at now are Undead monsters. How about this? Sell everything you find to me for 5 silvers each. Well?”

“Y-You don’t need to pay me.”

“How could I do that?”

“I should do this. It’s to thank you for saving me today and chatting with me.” Otherwise, who knew how long today’s torment would last. XiaoYu stood up and gave a slight bow to I_Am_A_Poor_Man.

“Ah, don’t be like this.” Being thanked so made I_Am_A_Poor_Man felt a bit embarrassed. “How about we add each other? The next time that despicable swordsman dares to hold you up, you message me and I’ll bash his head in with my book.”

“Okay.”

“I_Am_A_Poor_Man.” Hand stretched out.

“Huh?” XiaoYu scratched his head in confusion. Once he glanced at the friend request sent over by the other person, he realised it was in reference to his name.

“LuckyCat.”

“The next time you see other PVP-ing you with bad intentions, remember to record it and expose the other on the forums.” If you dare bully the nanny class, then let’s see how you’ll be when every healer in the server ignores you.

“Mn.”

“Alright. It’s getting late. Start working tomorrow. Go back and rest well.”

“Yes. Good night.”

Translator’s Notes:

1. Serica: An old name for China by Ancient Greeks. Meaning where the silk comes from. The proper Ragnarok Online equivalent would be Payon.

2. Nanny class: Yes, healers are called nannies. To be exact, it translates to wet nurse or nursemaid. However, a nanny translates better as it implies all the different aspects of taking care of a child (instead of just feeding or taking care of toddlers).

Welcome, I_Am_A_Poor_Man! He’s the best friend character who will sadly have no significant other. So sad but true. He’s also now one of the characters I hate because of his name. However, that’s what it translates to and that’s what we’ll have to deal with – lots of underscores.

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LC: Chapter 13

13. Trapped

XiaoYu stored the new staff into his storage and changed into the leather shoes (Level Limit: 10). After getting more potions and food, he once again discovered his wallet was empty to the point where there’s not even a scrap left orz. Fortunately, he still had some equipment and items found in the Zombie Cave in his storage that had not been cleared out. So he’s not really poor as dirt.

XiaoYu ran straight for the Mission Board. He handed in the Zombie Cave mission and accepted it again. After all, this mission can be done repeatedly. Even though he felt a little disgusted at the sight of the cave, XiaoYu was too lazy to run to other cities and research whether they had an Undead mission.

He left Prole through the Southern Gate and dove into the woods without problems.

“Meow!” The tiny cat suddenly cried out in nervousness.

His heart stopped. It couldn’t be a boss, right? Even if it was a mini-boss from a low-level monster, he might not be able to handle it himself. What should he do?

“Rustle~” The sound of feet shuffling through the grass behind him abruptly rang out. In a few moments, the far-off being had closed in on him.

XiaoYu was about to take out a Return Scroll when he felt a sharp pain burst from his right shoulder. His health dropped by half in an instant and he nearly dropped his wand. XiaoYu stumbled forward. A sigh flashed through his mind. Not in dejection because he was unlucky, but in relief that the tiny one was sitting on his left shoulder. If it had been hurt, he’d be very sad.

Still, the wound felt very strange. It’d felt as if some metal weapon had pierced through his flesh instead of a monster’s sharp claws. Human-type monsters are usually high level and would never appear here. Could it be a player?

“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.”

Bai XiaoYu held his wounded shoulder and turned around. It was one of the players he’d met when grinding at the flower sprites. A male swordsman in his first Job glared at him with an average-looking long sword in his hand. Fresh blood dripped from the swordsman’s weapon. The other’s name was hidden before. However, as the one who initiated PK mode, his ID, BattleOverlord, can be seen floating in grey above his head.

“…” XiaoYu only looked coldly at the other. To those with explosive tempers, anything he said would be seen as trying to snake his way out of things.

“Hmph. I won’t let you go today. If you’re smart, you’ll hand that pet over.” BattleOverlord looked exactly like an unhappy, stern pirate now. He and his girlfriend parted in unhappy terms yesterday so he’d gone online all alone today. The more he thought about it, the angrier he got. In the end, he decided to look around and see if he could catch that brat from yesterday and force him to hand that pet over. Then he can use it to make his girlfriend happy with him again.

XiaoYu kept silent. He was too lazy to even bother replenishing his health. The worse that can happen was he’d die and return to Prole.

“Fuck you! Do you think I’d let you wait out the combat timer and escape again? I’ve got ways to make you stay in that mode and not die. Once you’re healed up, I’ll strike you again.”

While swordsmen do not have healing skills, they can make another remain in combat without dealing damage. They have a unique skill called Provoke. Its intended use was for party play. There’s a guaranteed chance to force monsters to aggro on the user for a certain amount of time so they can protect the spellcasters behind them.

Provoke can also be used in PvP. However, players aren’t a dead, robotic group of numbers. There’s no “aggro” system. They can attack whoever they want to. Thus, this skill wasn’t very useful in PvP scenarios at all. Even so, it can force the provoked to stay in combat mode. Of course, the attacker would also remain in PK mode with a grey ID.

XiaoYu’s health recovered bit by bit but BattleOverlord wasn’t in a rush at all. The swordsman would throw out a Provoke once in a while and when XiaoYu’s life was full, he’d strike out with his sword.

There was a level gap of over 30 between the two. In normal circumstances, the swordsman can kill XiaoYu in one blow. But BattleOverlord wouldn’t let XiaoYu go that easily. After find the other outside the Southern Gate, he’d changed into white-grade gear with no bonus stats. He even changed out his weapon for a trash sword with the lowest attack possible.

XiaoYu had thought of running away but he only had 5 measly points in Agility. There’s definitely no other player with lower stats than him. Furthermore, from the ambush, XiaoYu could tell that the other leaned more towards an Agility build. He had ran forward and struck at XiaoYu in such a short time that XiaoYu couldn’t even use a Return Scroll.

“Meow!” The tiny lucky cat arched its back and roared at BattleOverlord. It’s a pity it was too small. Its threat was effectively negligible.

Time slowly ticked by. XiaoYu lost count on how many times he had been stabbed at. He only knew that his wounds kept healing before opening up and healing again. The blood kept getting wiped away. Only numerous gashes in his robe were left to prove he had been attacked.

The pain of being kept on the brink of death hurt a lot. Without using skills or potions, the process of waiting for his health to tick back to full was unusually agonising. And it’s all because a player would experience varying degrees of fatigue and dizziness once their health drops below a certain number. There were a few times when XiaoYu nearly couldn’t resist moaning out loud or collapsing. He only bit down on his lips and forced his body to stay upright out of sheer stubbornness.

There was a tickling sensation on his neck. XiaoYu knew it was the little one rubbing its head against his neck. A flush of warmth trickled through his heart. No matter what happened, his kitten will never abandon him. Even if it was just a bunch of numbers, it gave him warmth and happiness. So, even if it wasn’t account-bound, he would never hand it over to anyone else.

XiaoYu looked at his Friends tab. CopperPlate’s icon was still greyed out so he’s clearly still in class. BlazeTheEarth was online, a Level 75 Second Job Magician. He’s probably still at his stall.

XiaoYu didn’t want to trouble them at first. He thought he’d die and lose a level at most. There’s nothing valuable on him so it didn’t matter if they were lost. But he can’t ensure he won’t be traumatised in the future with his mind and body being constantly tortured like so. He still wanted to play this game! Just as he was about to try messaging BlazeThe Earth…

“You’re so obstinate!”

Obviously BattleOverlord wasn’t very patient. He wanted to make this newbie suffer a little. Once the other can’t stand it anymore and begged for mercy, he’d make the other obediently hand that pet over. It’d allow him to vent and get that pet without spending a single cent.

He didn’t think this new player could be this obstinate. The other kept silent at all times and never swayed at all. It made him more irritated and frustrated as it went on. He didn’t get to vent out his anger at all. Conversely, he was made angrier. If it wasn’t because a player would never drop their pet on death, he’d have rushed ahead and bet on that miniscule chance.

“From now on, I’ll kill you once every time I see you!” Having said that, BattleOverlord didn’t wait for XiaoYu’s health to fully regenerate and slashed at him.

XiaoYu didn’t need to message anyone now. It’d be good to be sent back to Prole for free as well. Bai XiaoYu closed his eyes and waited for release.

Translator’s Nonsense:

BattleOverlord, our first small-time boss, has arrived! Welcome, our first contestant on “Who’ll help ML and MC the most?”

I’ve realised that this boy’s relationship with his girlfriend might be seen as toxic and abusive. (Gosh, you can’t get bf to buy something for you because the person didn’t want to sell. Boo-hoo, it’s all the bf’s fault? As if you helped at all, you blood-sucking thing.) But fun fact: Did you know that the stereotypical Asian relationships are quite abusive? It’s not intentional but from the modern point-of-view it’s got too many ways to go bad.

There’s 2 options. Either the girl is controlling and the queen while the guy has to hand all his money over and live off what the other gave as allowance, or the opposite. The first is more commonly seen among normal, young couples while the later is mainly seen in families where boys are seen as way more important than girls. We’ve got to keep our surname going, right? (It’s Asian so it’s not just a bunch of made-up meaningless words like Potter.) BattleOverlord here is just a common victim to the first common relationship. Not to say he’s not an arse who may or may not deserve it.

So next time you wonder why you just see two models of relationship in trashy romance novels, just know that they’re the most common relationships found. I mean, how does one learn how to live with a spouse? From the outdated relationship models of our parents, of course!

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LC: Chapter 12

12. Equipment Change

Stuffed and satisfied, the three of them picked at their teeth and lazed under the relaxing afternoon sun.

“I’m guessing Lucky’s luck must be very good. After this, we must bring you along any time we farm for an item.”

“Hehe. Mn.”

“But you really should hurry and raise your levels. It’s hard for a healer at the start. You either party up or you just grind at Undead regions. Once you hit the second job change, you’d get Holy Light (Single-target attack. 150% damage to Undead and 80% to other monsters). You can farm anything then. Once you’re there, we’ll bring you as whenever we grind. You can leech some Exp or something.

“Mn, mn.”

“Also, you mustn’t be too frugal with your money. Change into good equipment. Then you’d grind at double the efficiency. Don’t keep wearing the garbage the game gives out. You are the lucky cat.”

“Mn, mn = =”

“Aah, so boring. Why are you and NonMeta so reserved? This is me caring for you. What can you say except for ‘mn’? Come, chirp for big brother here.”

“Chirp = =+”

“Pfft. Fine. I give up.” CopperPlateKing laughed and sprawled out all over the table.

“Time for class.” NonMeta pulled CopperPlate up by the neck.

“Tch. It’s already so late. I really want to skip class. Lucky, we’ve got classes at night, so we’ll be getting off to have dinner first.”

“Class…”

“Yup. Do you not have classes? Speaking of which, I don’t know how old you are still. You look younger than me, so first year in university?”

“I don’t go to school…19 years old.” Bai XiaoYu dipped his head to where no one could take a good look at his face.

“Eh? Why?”

“…”

“Offline.” NonMeta kicked CopperPlate.

“You damned…” Bastard. CopperPlateKig swallowed back the last word as he suddenly realised what NonMeta meant was for him to stop questioning it. Everyone has their own secrets.

“Well, I’m going. Lucky, work hard at your levels.”

“Mn. Bye.”

The beams of light flashed by and then there was only XiaoYu left at the table.

Classes…It’s only been a year of no classes but why do those days feel so far away? Perhaps deep down inside he was still afraid of being lonely. Though he never interacted much with the other students back then, just sitting by the side and watching them fool around was enough.

XiaoYu let out a deep sigh and raised his head. His two hands patted himself on the cheeks, “Alright. Cheer up.”

“Meow~” The little cat had been sitting on XiaoYu’s shoulders. Upon detecting its owner’s rippling emotions, it stuck out its tiny pink tongue and softly licked at his cheek in comfort.

“Hehe. Tickles.” He petted the tiny cat’s head. He’s not alone now so what’s the use of moping about? Charge, to grinding!

However, before he dived into grinding, he should clear the items on him and have a look at the market to see what he can buy.

After a walk around, XiaoYu was left a little disappointed. That’s because most equipment being sold were for those at Level 60 or above. It’s not a rare sight. The average level for AO players is now very high and there are very few of low-level newbies like XiaoYu. Items for new players are ordinary and don’t bring in much profit. So, there aren’t a lot of sellers unless they’d gathered all 20 slots worth of merchandise.

Hm? XiaoYu stopped in front of a stall. He found a very beautiful silver staff on it. There weren’t any complex embellishments and it didn’t have precious and exquisite gems on it. It was merely a simple silver staff topped with a tiny crystal. A pair of small, white, stretched-out wings floated beside the crystal. Dainty and delicate, it was very attractive.

XiaoYu squatted down before the stall and looked at the silver staff’s stats. In his mind, he prayed that it wasn’t very far off from his level and the price he had in mind. After observing the market, he realised that the higher an item’s level restrictions, the grander it looked. The silver staff’s design was quite plain, so it shouldn’t have too high of a limit.

+4 Silver Crystal Staff. Magic Attack 80 – 100 (+20). Int +4. Holy Damage +10%. Slots: 1. Level Limit: 25. Job Limit: Acolyte, Magician.

Thank goodness its requirements weren’t that high. This should be a rather good equipment for an early-stage Acolyte. Despite that, the price of 1 crystal was not within XiaoYu’s budget. Even though he’d just gotten 50 gold from the boss, he didn’t have any other savings. There’s still nearly half of the money missing. He’ll wait for a few days until he’d gotten his part from the crown. Hopefully this stall would still be here then.

“Ugh…” XiaoYu prepared to stand up and leave.

“Little healer, do you want this staff?” The motionless stall-keeper suddenly spoke up.

“Whoa~!” “Mrow~!” Both XiaoYu and the little cat on his shoulders were startled.

“Hehe. Sorry. I was on the forums just now.” Looking down at the pair of owner and pet before him who displayed the same shocked expression, BlazeTheEarth’s first impression of this player was quite good.

“It’s fine. I thought it was a Body-Double Stall.” XiaoYu steadied himself and pet the tiny cat. “Yes, I quite like this staff. But I don’t have that much money…”

“Is that so…” 1 crystal was a rather expensive price tag for a new player. Add on the fact that there weren’t a lot of new players, he’d been trying to sell this staff for a week without any interested buyers.

AO has an exchange service between real-life money and in-game cash. However, to prevent the game from being flooded and a messy in-game economy, players would not be able to survive in-game without buying in-game currency. AO also had a special rule where the player’s allowance for currency exchange would increase to a certain value gradually after Level 40. (For example, a Level 40 could exchange 100 units in a month while a Level 45 can exchange 150. So on and so forth until Level 100 where it became unlimited.)  This way, professional players could earn money and the market’s economy would be stable.

“Can I reserve it for a few days? In a few days, I’ll have the money for it.”

“How much do you have now?” Just because this newbie looked quite okay to him, he planned on letting it go if the price wasn’t ridiculous. He’d also help a new player then.

“I only have 50 gold.”

“Oh, then…” It’s only half the price. Should he sell? BlazeTheEarth measured XiaoYu up as he considered it. This player’s wide eyes looked a little upset and a little disappointed then (so he thought). That black cat was also staring tearfully at him with its big eyes. Ugh…Why does he feel so guilty and slimy when being stared at by these two pairs of wide eyes? The staff was really unintentionally farmed out and refining it only took around 20 gold coins…Just sell it to him!

“Alright. I’ll sell it to you.”

“Eh? T-Thank you.” XiaoYu didn’t think he’d be this lucky. When the saw the stall owner hesitating, he stopped hoping. All he wanted was for the owner to reserve for a few days. He’s not at Leve 25 either way so he’s not rushed.

At XiaoYu’s thanks, BlazeTheEarth felt even more guilty. Originally, it was an old equipment of his. A few days ago, his storage was full so he thought of digging it out to sell.

After inserting the staff into the trading screen, BlazeTheEarth paused and flipped through his bracelet before putting in a pair of small black leather shoes as well.

“Hm?”

“A gift. You’re still barefoot.” As he said so, he looked down at the two pale ankles peeking out from beneath XiaoYu’s Acolyte robes. In BlazeTheEarth’s eyes, wearing such crudely made and thin sandals was no different to being barefoot.

“T-Thank you.” Was today an extremely lucky day? When he was grinding, someone was there to carry him. He even dropped a rare accessory. When he’s buying something, someone gave him a 50% discount and even gave him a “buy one free one” deal.

“It’s nothing. It’s not worth much.” That’s true. This pair of leather shoes only had 4 Defence. It was essentially selling something found in an NPC store. He’d rather use it to do a good deed and deal with this guilty feeling of his ><. “Add me. After all, Acolytes and Magicians share quite a lot of equipment. Once I change my gear, I’ll sell them to you for cheap if you need any of them.”

“Okay.” XiaoYu was very happy. He obtained two equipment in one go.

“Pfft. LuckyCat. You look like it.”

“= =+” Why did everyone he befriended laugh at his name at the start?

Translator’s Comments:

Reserved (CopperPlateKing’s dialogue): What he actually said was
闷葫芦 (men hu lu), meaning silent gourd (the typical hourglass shaped gourd). It refers to people who are either not talkative or people who are mysterious/an enigma (original meaning). The source most likely refers to how the gourd is usually used as a storage device, so a silent one is one that keeps its secrets/things hidden. (Probably because it’s easy to tell what is inside the gourd by shaking it)

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LC: Chapter 11

11. Splitting the Hoard

“Let’s go find a shop to sit in,” Bai XiaoYu said into the Party channel as he stepped out of the portal.

He waited for a while but heard no response. Strange. It’s fine if NonMeta didn’t reply as he doesn’t like to talk but how could CopperPlate not talk? XiaoYu raised his head to find CopperPlate circling him with eyes wide as if he’d just discovered a new continent.

“W-what is it?” XiaoYu could feel himself getting flustered from CopperPlate’s stare.

“Tsk tsk. It’s rare for us to hear Lucky putting forth a suggestion without prompts.”

“…= =+”

“Hee-hee. Let’s go eat something! I’m hungry again.”

The three found a Western restaurant with only a few people sitting inside, for it wasn’t meal time yet. CopperPlateKing wanted to sit by the window when he felt his armour tightening on him. He was then pulled by XiaoYu to a hidden alcove.

“Why’re we sitting in such a remote spot…”  Even though CopperPlateKing’s mouth kept mumbling and chattering, he still allowed himself to be dragged over by XiaoYu. Otherwise, that tiny strength of XiaoYu’s wouldn’t have even be able to move him half a step.

The four-seater table in the corner was surrounded by peculiarly arranged decor. If one wasn’t observant enough, they’d never have found it.

After seating down, XiaoYu looked around and was visibly satisfied with the seating.

“Lucky, are you hiding from an enemy? Wow, you don’t look like someone who’d attract trouble in such a short time.”

“No.”

“Whoosh~”

“??!!”

Bai XiaoYu poured out everything the tiny cat had in its inventory, a pile of gold coins and a few equipment. It’s obvious they were the results from their dive into the Zombie Cave.

“Sorry. The little one picks up everything. The equipment and money are all here. There are also a few more items I’ll directly trade to you later. If I take them out now, I’m afraid it’ll affect your appetite,” apologised XiaoYu. While the three hadn’t discussed anything about splitting the loot up, XiaoYu knew that the most troublesome thing about partying up was splitting up the loot. There are large numbers of threads started on the forum every day arguing about such things.

“Aah, a crown!” shouted CopperPlateKing. It was fortunate that they’d been speaking in the Party channel the whole time or they’d be surrounded by a crowd of people now.

That’s right. That’s the crown that was on the Zombie King’s head. The market price ranged from 500 to 1000 crystals with a drop rate rumoured to be 0.1%. Even though a lot of royal type bosses would drop it, like the Zombie King and the Corpse King, there are only a miniscule number found on the market. The main reason was that average players are around LV 90, so the crown is at an awkward phase right now.

While the strongest of the ugly royal bosses, like the Zombie King and the Corpse King, are only at LV 90, they don’t look attractive at all. Except for the professional workshop parties, most boss hunters would never be able to bear the disgusting looks of those bosses and their environments and leave after a few rounds. Along with its low drop date, normal players would go mad hunting for it unless they have strong RNG luck.

Of course, AO has a few royal-type bosses with passable looks which might even be called handsome, but they’re all over LV 100. Those who’ve yet to reach the Third Job Change can’t even think about getting close to them. Not only that, there’s not a single LV 100 player yet in the entire server.

The top 10 players are all at LV 99 but it’s a big jump from 99 to 100. First, let’s not talk about the huge amount of experience needed. Players also need to complete a special quest before they can get to LV 100. The quests are random and have time limits. Once failed, the player would have to start all over again at LV 99 with 0% experience.

The reason behind such an insane design was, other than because the game company didn’t want players to grow that fast easily, mainly because the game would patch in the Guild Wars system as soon as the first player to reach LV 100 appears. Then, the era of war throughout the server would begin. Guild Wars are a test to a server’s capabilities. That’s why the company was terrified. They constantly put it through tests after tests. It’s much preferable to have the patch released late than to have an error in the server.

The crown on the table right now had a beautiful design that males crave for and females prefer. But its price wasn’t the highest it could be. That’s because it only has Strength +2 and Intelligence +2. Its stats are low, awkward and not suitable for combat at all. The combination of its extravagant exterior and trashy stats made players love and hate it.

“The crown…The crown and heart dropped at the same time. Gods, our RNG’s too good~” CopperPlateKing cried out loud with his head in his hands, danced around then buried his head in his arms again.

“…” NonMetaAssassin was really appreciative of the seats XiaoYu chose. Otherwise CopperPlateKing’s crazy behaviour would have attracted weird looks from others. Combined with XiaoYu’s ungreedy behaviour, NonMeta decided his decision to help him was correct. While it had been because he wanted to pay the other back for CopperPlateKing nearly killing XiaoYu, it now seemed like XiaoYu would make a good friend.

“Lucky, you’re really a lucky charm! We’ve been at it for two days, but we only dropped some equipment. Ignoring the crown, we couldn’t even get a normal accessory. As soon as you came, a heart dropped then a crown. I love you to death!” If there hadn’t been a table between the two, CopperPlateKing would’ve bear hugged XiaoYu.

“= =+” NonMeta’s veins popped. NonMetaAssasin was clearly unhappy with CopperPlateKing’s last sentence. He reached out and gave CopperPlate a painful hit to the head.

“Aargh!” The other cried as he held his head in pain.

“Heh heh…” XiaoYu could only give out a silly laugh. While it hurt to give away such an expensive crown, the price it would’ve sold for could last him for a whole month, it wasn’t his in the end. Even without his help, the two of them could’ve killed the boss.

“Yours. One third of the crown.” Another rare occasion where NonMetaAssassin spoke more than a few words. He pushed everything except for the crown towards XiaoYu.

“There’s no need. I didn’t help much.”

“Lucky, stop dithering. Take it. Without you, we’d have suffered for much longer.”

“But…”

“No buts. We were there to look for quest items. Without you, we’d never have gotten it.” The two had planned on a long battle so they’d stuffed their bags full of potions and food (1 stack = 100). They’d only pick up one item or equipment after emptying one slot. So most of the items were mercilessly wiped away by the game.

“Oh. Thank you.” XiaoYu swept the pile of equipment and money into his bag. It was filled to the brim. Fortunately, he hadn’t taken out some of the random items from the tiny cat’s inventory. It seemed to be time to buy a bigger bag.

“Hee-hee. Let me touch the crown for two more days. It’s so rare that I can’t bear to sell it. I’ll sell it in a few days and give you the money.”

“You don’t need to give me the money from the crown. I didn’t really help that much.” XiaoYu was already satisfied with the items he had received.

“No way. Since you’re in my party, you’re mine now. How can I let you suffer? Those items can’t even add up to the minimum worth of the crown.”

“…” What do you mean yours? Gloomy and dark clouds appeared around NonMetaAssassin.

“Erm…It’s really fine. You’ve already helped the little one level up twice. I haven’t even thanked you.” (Even though the crown’s market price was high, it’s only worth 10 gold when sold to NPCs. But for the low level TinyLuckyCat, it’s enough to level up.)

“No way. If I let my…” person suffer, I won’t be a man anymore.

“Okay!” XiaoYu loudly interrupted CopperPlateKing. He kept saying such things that others would misunderstand. He didn’t want to be massaged by katars. He could already see lightning rumbling above NonMeta’s head.

XiaoYu really didn’t think anything weird. He only felt that perhaps NonMeta had few friends because of his personality (quite like himself XD) so CopperPlateKing was very important to NonMeta. If NonMeta saw the other being too friendly with other people, he’d be jealous.

“But I’m only taking 10%. Any more and I won’t feel good.”

“Ugh, fine. Lucky, you’re really self-conscious.”

“Level up?” The clouds had finally dispersed and NonMeta opened the mouth worth its weight in gold once again.

“Oh right. When the boss died, your cat levelled up twice. I remember you were busy buffing us and didn’t hit it once.” Pets usually gain experience based on what their owner gained.

“It levels up through collecting money.”

“Eeh? So mysterious.” It wasn’t just CopperPlateKing. Even NonMetaAssassin stared at him with wide eyes.

“The little one’s species is lucky cat. It levels up by collecting money. Items are calculated according to NPC prices.” In the event his explanation wasn’t clear enough, XiaoYu showed the two the tiny lucky cat’s stats.

“Pffft. You actually named it TinyLuckyCat.”

“>////<”

“What a strange pet. I really want one now. Lucky where did you capture it?” CopperPlateKing thought it must’ve been a monster from some hidden newbie village’s surroundings. None of the low-level monsters he knew of were as cute as the little cat.

“It’s a gift from the game. I got it from the Newbie Gift Box.”

“No wonder it’s account-bound. I got a knife with no level restrictions and Attack 30. It was very good at first but then it was trash. I don’t even remember which shop I sold it to.”

“Eat.” NonMetaAssassin’s speech was as clear cut as always. XiaoYu really wanted to know what it’s like when the other spoke more than 10 words.

“Right. We’ve been chatting away and haven’t ordered anything yet. Let’s not get kicked out and look at the menu. I want ribs…”

Translator’s Comments:

Mouth worth its weight in gold: The literal translation is golden mouth. It refers to a mouth that speaks so rarely that every word is like a nugget of gold.

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