Chapter 208 Happiness is like a Flower
After giving the matter a thought, Ye Ci realised that she has forgotten how she responded to Wandering Cloud’s request in her past life. How ironic it is. It seems that the relationship that I once cherished was an insignificant joke. How I wish to forget everything.
Of course, she wouldn’t waste her time on something of the past. She was a reincarnator, she would never give Wandering Cloud another chance to take advantage of her, “If you need anything from me, you can always send me a message. There’s no need for you to add me as a friend.” that was how Ye Ci rejected his request.
Wandering Cloud did not expect Gongzi You to turn him down right away. After all, adding somebody as a friend in the game was something very common. A player would normally not refuse a friend request. This was why Wandering Cloud was momentarily stunned before he could come up with a response, “Alright. I’ll get in contact if I need your help.”
Wandering Cloud ended his conversation with Ye Ci right there and then. He felt awkward after receiving her response. Continuing the conversation would only make things worse.
Ye Ci was surprised by Wandering Cloud’s action. According to her knowledge of Wandering Cloud in her past life, this person was the embodiment of persistence. It was very rare for him to give up after facing a rejection from Ye Ci.
However, with bigger problems to worry about, Ye Ci was quick to shove this incident to the back of her mind. After all, her priority was to increase her prestige with the Doran Thieves Guild so that she could complete her Epic-tier quest, while not affecting her Red Lake City prestige for the sake of continuing her side quests in the city. This dilemma was pushing Ye Ci to her limits.
She tried her best to come up with a solution as she sat fishing at the lake – but no avail. She gave up for the moment, and focussed on leveling up her Fishing and Cooking skill instead. Red Lake City was a good fishing spot. Knowing that it would be a waste to fish using a normal fishing rod, Ye Ci activated her Brooch of Deceit and equipped the Purple quality fishing rod she obtained earlier on.
A sudden thought flashed across her mind. Why have I not thought of this? She had always disguised her equipment using the Brooch of Deceit, how could she have forgotten that! The Brooch of Deceit could be used to change her appearance. She would be able to appear as an NPC with the brooch!
She would be able to solve her problem by using the Brooch of Deceit!
Forming a plan in her mind, Ye Ci was eager to try it out.
She headed to the city hall, and found the quest giving NPC. She then accepted the quest to defend Red Lake City from bandits. She was given three choices by the NPC: Killing bandits, capturing bandits, or torturing bandits.
The three quests offer the same amount of Prestige points as a reward. However, to test out the effects of the Brooch of Deceit, Ye Ci chose the bandit slaying quest.
Bandit Slaying: Kill 100 Bandits from the Doran Thieves Guild within 3 hours. The quest was not tough for Ye Ci. With her military rank in Red Lake City, she could lead a squad of 10 NPCs into battle with her. It made her job very simple.
Ye Ci then led ten lvl 50 NPC soldiers out of the city, heading northwest towards the Silvery Tin Vein. Her action aroused the curiosity of players along the way. Many of them sent messages to Ye Ci, but with her private message channel currently closed to strangers and the speed that she was travelling at, the players could not obtain an answer from her.
After entering the Silvery Tin Vein, Ye Ci activated the Brooch of Deceit, disguising herself as a Red Lake City Guard Captain, and headed straight to the spawn point of the lvl 40 bandits. She had already scouted out the area. The spawn point was quite a distant away from the bandit’s hideout, which meant that the bandit patrols in the area were thin. This area was very secluded, and the likelihood of players appearing nearby was very low.
Ye Ci ordered the NPCs under her command to charge at the bandits, once she arrived at the flat terrain of the spawn point. The bandits in the area were all lvl 40, not equipped with any special skills, dealing only physical damage. waYe Ci was able to easily dispatch the bandits with the help of the Red Lake City soldiers. The only thing she had to do was to pay attention to any bandit runners who would return to their hideout and bring reinforcements to the battle.
The bandits were quick to respawn, and Ye Ci was able to complete her bandit-slaying quest within a short while, and returned to red Lake City. To not attract unnecessary attention, Ye Ci removed her disguise and dismissed her NPC soldiers.
After having a needless talk with the officer in the city hall, Ye Ci was finally able to complete her quest and receive the reward. She then headed to the Silvery Tin Vein. She was anxious as she walked into the bandit hideout.
The bandits remained hostile towards Ye Ci, but due to her Epic-tier quest, they did not attack her on side. Millard was still resting in his house, while John’s name was still yellow in color. Their attitude towards Ye Ci did not change even after the one hundred bandits she had slain. Ye Ci was still cautious despite the situation. She opened John’s status interface, and noticed that his intimacy level with her remained the same. The notice was a huge relief to Ye Ci.
Of course, a sliver of anxiety remained in Ye Ci’s heart. Her experiment had only proved that the disguising as an NPC to kill bandits will not affect her prestige with the bandits. But what if leading bandits while disguised to attack Red Lake City could still affect her Red Lake City Prestige?
“Ah, it’s good to see you again, my friend! So, have you made your decision to help us out?” John greeted Ye Ci politely as he noticed her approach. He then offered Ye Ci three options to increase her her Doran Thieves Guild Prestige:
1. Rob 12 players.
2. Rob 12 Red Lake City Citizens.
3. Kill a specific NPC within Red Lake City.
Ye Ci read the description of the three missions carefully. In the first option, Ye Ci was required to kill 12 players in the Silvery Tine Vein. She would then receive a quest item from the system upon completing her quest. She was required to rob 12 Red Lake City citizens in the second option. There was no specific location for this option. As long as the NPCs that Ye Ci killed were citizens of Red Lake City, she would be able to complete the quest. The third option was the hardest. She was required to kill the Chief Warden of Red Lake City.
The Chief Warden was a lvl 70 NPC. There was no way Ye Ci could kill him. He was surrounded by countless NPC soldiers patrolling the area. It was almost impossible for Ye Ci to even reach the Chief Warden.
The third option was definitely out of the question for Ye Ci. She was left with the options of either attacking the players or any Red Lake City citizens.
After giving the matter a thought, Ye Ci went with the first option. Robbing an NPC from Red Lake City was just too risky. With Ye Ci’s reputation with the Doran Thieves Guild, they will never send their men to help Ye Ci out. The only thing that Ye Ci could do was to kill other players.
Although the Silvery Tin Vein was located on top of an ore vein, it was a small map. The player population in the map were not as concentrated compared to the other map. Despite that, there was still a significant number, and they always travelled in groups. It was hard to catch a straggler out.
Ye Ci disguised herself as a Bandit Captain, which utilizes magic attacks in combat. It was enough to deal with players who had a lower level than her. After completing her disguise, Ye Ci left the bandit hideout and surveyed the surrounding areas.
A Bandit Captain is a lvl 50 Elite Monster, which meant that it had a better loot drop compared to an ordinary bandit. Ye Ci, who was moving alone with the guise of a Bandit Captain immediately became the focus of player attention.
Ye Ci knew that this would happen. This was why she chose areas where players were less concentrated.Two reasons contributed to Ye Ci’s decision. Firstly, a lower concentration of players meant that there was a lower risk that she would be swarmed by players. As Gongzi You, she could take on 20 players without much of a problem with her level advantage. As a Bandit Captain, she might not be able to take on more than 5 players at a single time.
Secondly, players in such secluded areas would be grouped up in smaller parties made up of Life Players that were in the place to gather herbs or mine for ores. Such players were usually not used to combat, making them easy prey for Ye Ci.
Ye Ci immediately attracted the attention of players around her as soon as she entered an abandoned mine.
“Look! A lone Bandit Captain!”
“Hurry! Go take it out!”
“It’s a lvl 50 monster, can we take it on?”
Some of the players started discussing their course of action, but many of them let their actions speak. Spells, skills, and arrows rained down on Ye Ci as Warriors began charging at Ye Ci.
The vast majority of the players were at lvl 30. Ye Ci would be able to complete her quest if she was able to kill them all. She locked on to a Warrior that was closest to her and launched one of her abilities at him.
She was shocked by what happened next. The single target spell was able to instantly annihilate the Warrior. It seemed that a Bandit Captain was actually not an easy target. After having a rough idea of how powerful the skills of a Bandit Captain could be, Ye Ci unleashed the rest of her abilities on the players around her. The melee players who were closer to her were wiped out, while players who were farther away immediately fled.
After picking off as many players as she could, Ye Ci immediately began collecting the quest items before more players could arrive at the scene to take her on. However, she did not loot from the dead players as they were all players of the Eastern Continent. Besides, their equipment was inferior to Ye Ci’s.
She immediately returned to the bandit hideout after collecting the quest items. Many of the players chose not to revive themselves as Ye Ci was still nearby. They observed the lone Bandit Captain from afar and began their own discussion.
“F*ck me! That Bandit Captain was too strong! I thought we could kill it.. I’ve never expected that we will get wiped out.”
“We were badly organized. If we worked with the other parties instead of trying to score the last hit, we could’ve kited it and eventually defeat it.”
“That’s easier said than done! We were not the only party back there. Do you think everybody will agree to that?”
“Hey, look at that! The Bandit Captain is searching the corpses! You’ve gotta be kidding me! Even monsters know how to loot?”
“I know right! I’ve never knew that monsters will loot from players as well! What a rare sight!”
“Ahh, cut the crap! What if it loots our equipment?”
“Do you want to revive now?”
“Are you crazy? We will have only half our hitpoints if we revive! That thing can kill a full health Warrior! You’ll only lose your equipment and experience!”
Of course, Ye Ci who was wearing the appearance of an NPC did not know that her action became a topic of discussion among players. The only thing in her mind was to collect all the items and complete the quest. If she attracted too much attention, things would grow bad for her. The secret of her Epic-tier quest would be revealed along with her Brooch of Deceit. If something like that happened, Thousand Sunsets would be able to guess the identity of the thief who stole from Steel-Blooded Battle Spear. Even if he has lost much of his influence, he still posed a threat to Ye Ci in real life.
Even if Thousand Sunsets chose to ignore such a fact, the real owner of Steel-Blooded Battle Spear, who was the Old Master behind Thousand Sunsets would definitely act. The items within the warehouse of Steel-Blooded Battle Spear were his investments. If her secret was revealed, Zero Arsenic, Unbridled Willow, Thousand Sunsets, and even Dong Yin and Yi Cang would definitely go after her. It was not something that Ye Ci could handle.
Ye Ci was right to be careful.
Even with the majority of the players giving up on killing the Bandit Captain, there were still a significant number of them who wanted revenge, calling for reinforcements from their guilds and their friends. Before long, the news of a lone Bandit Captain wandering around in Silvery Tin Mine was spread across the land. Despite their traumatic experience going up against the Bandit Captain, many players were enticed by the loot drops of the Bandit Captain, and their greed overrode their fear. The players began hunting for Ye Ci who was disguised as the Bandit Captain.
This was something that Ye Ci wanted to avoid. She could never afford to drop her disguise, but this meant that her mobility was severely limited. It was very hard for her to escape the players with the Bandit Captain’s movement speed. The players could barely deal any damage to Ye Ci with their attacks, but they were still very annoying.
Ye Ci fled towards the direction of the bandit hideout, taking deep breaths to calm herself down. She had to solve this problem, and the only solution she could think of was to lead the players into the bandit hideout. The bandits will definitely swam upon the players and Ye Ci could then seize the opportunity to hide out of sight and remove her disguise.
With a plan in mind, Ye Ci was no longer panicked. She calmly led the players around the Silvery Tin Vein while occasionally casting AOE spells at the players behind her, forcing them to keep their distance.
Many of the players were enraged. They were determined to kill the Bandit Captain no matter what it cost them.
Ye Ci pursed her lips when she heard the war cries of the players. Be it in real life or in a game, once a person was controlled by his or her anger, the person will begin acting irrationally. This is why we must stay calm at all times and keep our anger in check so that we can always make the right choice.
After leading the players around the map for over 20 minutes, Ye Ci had only half of her HP left. At this point, Ye Ci decided to stop playing cat and mouse with the players. She led them straight into the bandit hideout.
Ye Ci headed down the road leading to the bandit hideout, with the players who have long lost their rationality in tow. They followed her straight into the hideout.
Bandit Captains are a common sight in the bandit hideout. When Ye Ci hid herself among the bandits, the players lost their target. Of course, this was not the only misfortune to befall the players. When the bandits saw such a huge number of players entering their hideout, they immediately descended upon the players, annihilating each and every one of them who set foot in the bandit hideout.
The tragedy that struck the players on that day made its way into the forums. None of the players suspected that the incident was triggered by another player. They were amazed by how intelligent the NPCs in Fate could be. Of course, this is something that happened much later, and is not the focus of our story.
We are currently following the story of Ye Ci.
After leading the players into the bandit hideout, Ye Ci hid herself in the midst of the huge wave of NPCs and snuck into Millard’s house after removing her disguise.
Millard was apparently better informed than the players. He walked up to Ye Ci and welcomed her with a appreciative smile the moment she entered his house, “You’re quite smart! You brought so many outsiders to us. It’s been awhile since we’re able to enjoy killing so many of these outsiders.”
“This is my show of good faith to you.” Ye Ci chose the option to skip Millard’s dialogue, and ended the conversation. Her “Cunning” trait allowed her to skip Millard’s dialogue without offending the NPC, and she received a huge Prestige Pack as a reward, raising her Prestige with the Doran Thieves Guild from Hostile to Cold.
Although the bandits’ names remained red to Ye Ci, they would not attack her as her Prestige was already at Cold. This came as a huge gain for Ye Ci.
The sound of battle between the players and the bandits reverberated in the bandit hideout, but the culprit Ye Ci had only one thing in her mind: She needed to return to Red Lake City as soon as possible.
Ye Ci had already discovered a small room in Millard’s house during her first visit. After requesting for Millard’s permission to use the room, she was escorted by one of his subordinates into the room as Millard was still unable to trust Ye Ci fully but was reluctant to offend her due to her relationship with Lord Moore. There was nothing but a locked chest within the room. Despite her curiosity about the content of the chest, she knew that it was not the right time for such a thing. She activated her City-recalling Stone upon entering the room and returned to Red Lake City.
Ye Ci headed straight to the city hall upon her arrival. She was relieved after walking around the place. It was apparent that her actions did not affect her Prestige within Red Lake City. Her plan was a brilliant success. If she kept it up, she would be able to reach the required Prestige rank with Doran Thieves Guild within two days.
People tend to work hard when they have a goal, and Ye Ci was a person who would work hard to achieve hers. Armed with her latest knowledge, Ye Ci began taking on quests from Red Lake City and the bandit, and achieved her goal in a short period of time.
During that time, Ye Nantian and Zuo Xiaolan had officially started playing Fate. After much hardships in gaining their first 10 levels, they began having a basic understanding of the game. Since they were aiming to be Life Players, the couple began learning different sorts of Life Skills once they’ve reached lvl10. Ye Ci then gave them 20,000 gold coins each and handed the two shop fronts she prepared for them over so that they could start their business.
After their short time in Fate, Ye nantian and Zuo Xiaolan knew that things could be quite expensive in the game. With their modest nature, they were anxious with Ye Ci’s arrangements.
“Little Ci, the rent of a shop like this must be high! This is one of the best location in Red Lake City? Why don’t you rent it out?” said Zuo Xiaolan as she studied the brand new storefront given to them by Ye Ci with Ye Nantian.
“I own a lot of shops, you don’t have to worry about my income.” Ye Ci replied with a smile, “I earn more than you think i do. You really don’t have to worry. I reserved these two just for you.”
“Little Ci, keep it. Save up some money. You can use it when you get married.” parents are always thinking about the future of their children, “Besides, I don’t think you can be a professional gamer forever. You should have some savings to prepare for the future. We don’t want this property from you.”
Ye Ci knew that her parents were thinking of her well being, and she tried her best to persuade them. As expected of the daughter of Ye Nantian and Zuo Xiaolan, Ye Ci was as persistent as her parents. When her parents insisted that she kept the storefront for herself, she stood her ground firmly.
Ye Ci was eventually forced to resort to the method she used on Carnivore, “Alright, since you insist, we’ll do thing sin a strictly businesslike manner.” she then led her parents to the city hall, and signed an agreement with them. She would be the main shareholders to her parents’ business, while the money and the store she gave her parents would be her investment. She would also receive 40% of her parents earnings.
Despite their reluctance, Ye Ci’s parents were forced to yield to their daughter’s persistence and they signed the contract. Ye Ci watched as her parents kept the contract away and headed to their storefronts happily.
Ye Ci’s family was not wealthy, but her parents would always try their best to satisfy her requests. Even when she was finally able to repay them, they were still thinking about her well being. Even if she could not be a filial daughter, Ye Ci still hoped that her parents could enjoy the game, and have something to entertain themselves in their older years.
Fate was about to release a new patch, “A New Continent” which would be followed by an patch called “Another World”. In that expansion, Wang Jiangnan will slowly realize his ambition. It was that expansion that would triple the number of users of Fate, raising the total number of users to a whopping 4.7 billion. It became something essential in the modern day world. The expansion would introduce new races and classes into the game. The importance of Life Players in the game also significantly increased after the introduction of the patches. Wang Jiangnan also commercialized the game, and many real life corporates began investing into the game, transforming the game into a second life for everyone. .
Of course, this was still not known by the players. Even Wang Jiangnan himself had no knowledge of something like this. As a reincarnator, Ye Ci was the only one who knew about such a thing. Despite her resolution to start afresh after her reincarnation, something had not changed: Ye Ci was still determined to be at the top.
Ye Ci looked up into the azure sky. She was looking forward to the patch. It was actually one of the reasons she invited her parents to play the game.
During Ye Ci’s past life, after realizing that they could never connect with their daughter in real life, Ye Ci’s parents started playing Fate when “Another World” was introduced into the game, investing every single penny they had. At that time, Ye Ci was annoyed by her parents, and was chasing after the title of the “Top Player” in Fate. In the process of doing so, she neglected her parents. Ye Nantian and Zuo Xiaolan who were totally inexperienced in Fate suffered many hardships. They lost all their investments in the gold fever started by the upper-class players, and were forced to quit the game.
They were forced to sell away their house, and could not even afford a doctor when they were sick.
Ye Ci remained ignorant of this fact until her past life was almost at its end. However, she had already forgotten what it was ike to be human.
That past seemed so distant to Ye Ci.
Ye Ci squinted her eyes at the warm sun, basking in its warmth. She stared at the sky, observing the moving clouds. Everything felt like a dream.
“Little Ci! Little Ci! Come, have a look! Tell me where I should hang this robe!” Zuo Xiaolan called out excitedly at Ye Ci. Snapping out of her daze, Ye Ci walked towards her mother with a smile on her face.
“Mom, stop calling me Little Ci! Call me Gongzi You! We’re in the game right now! If you call me by my name, my identity will be leaked!”
“Aiya! I know that! But I’ve been calling you Little Ci for almost 20 years! You have to give me some time to get used to it!” Zuo Xiaolan nodded. However, her main concern was the robe she was holding in her hand, and where she should hang it.
The robe was an equipment with Blue quality, which was one of Zuo Xiaolan’s best products. She wanted to place it on a spot that was visible to everyone.
“Let me hang that up for you.” Ye Ci walked up to her mother who was standing on a chair. The stats of a player’s character was distributed according to the player’s real life condition. As a middle-aged woman, Zuo Xiaolan was not as agile as her daughter, and Ye Ci was worry that she might fall from the chair.
“Do you want me to hang it over here?” Ye Ci lifted the piece of clothing she was having in her hand up.
“Move it that way a little.”
“There! That’s right, there! There!” Zuo Xiaolan waved her hand.
“Mom, please give me a clear direction. I can’t tell where do you want this thing!” despite her grumbling, there was a smile on Ye Ci’s face. She could feel flowers blooming in her heart. Those were the flowers of happiness.
“Can’t you figure it out? Are you telling me that the 20 years I spent to raise you up are a waste? Yes! That’s it! Over there!”
“Is this okay?”
“Higher, hang it higher!”
“But you won’t be able to reach it if I place it over there. You can’t hire workers yet.”
“Fine, hang it lower so that I can reach it.”
Ye Ci had forgotten how long had it been since she was able to enjoy a peaceful daily life with her family. Her past life was like a long and horrifying nightmare that she just started to wake up from.
For her, the present was the most important. She would cherish every single day and every single moment of her current life.
“Old Ye! Look! What do you think of my shop?” said Zuo Xiaolan who had finally finished decorating her shop to Ye Nantian as they stood outside the shop, with happy smiles on their faces.
“So what do you think of my dish? I’m sure it’s a lot better than yours.”
“Heh, how could it be better than mine?”
“I think I can cook better.”
Ye Ci observed with a smile from afar as Ye Nantian and Zuo Xiaolan were bickering like little children. She felt happy. She was glad to be their daughter.
“Little Ci, let’s go, we have a dungeon to clear.” she received a message from Bai Mo.
Ye Ci took in a deep breath and took one last glance at her parents, and a brilliant smile lit up her face. She then turned around and replied, “Alright, I’m on my way.”