Chapter 224 Mithril
When Ye Ci logged off it was still too early for dinner, so she took the opportunity to take a shower as Bai Mo was still logged into the game. Bai Mo was already waiting for her in the living room by the time she was done with her shower. Ye Nan Tian and Zuo Xiaolan were still online, probably still thinking about how they could recoup some costs.
Ye Ci sat down next to Bai Mo and started drying her hair. She snuck a peek at Bai Mo; his face was very serene. It was so serene that one was unable to tell what he was thinking. Not a word was spoken, as they sat there in silence, accompanied by the background noise from the TV. This created a somewhat strange atmosphere between the two.
Bai Mo spoke up after a long silence, “Was the result exactly as we expected?”
“Yes, and..” Ye Ci hesitated, her voice ultimately fading into nothingness.
“Thousand Sunsets is also involved in this.” Bai Mo laughed. He had already predicted this would happen. It was not possible that a girl who was so powerless and broke had the ability to cover up a fight to the point where even Bai Zixuan could not find out anything.
“You seem to have expected this.” Ye Ci did not find Bai Mo’s ability to predict what was going to happen strange at all. Bai Mo’s father was an official in a neighbouring city. His position wasn’t insignificant and had been rising steadily Ever since Bai Mo’s youth, it could be said that Bai Mo had grown up surrounded by the children of other officials.
Ye Ci knew that Bai Mo had a past she knew very little of. She similarly had a past that Bai Mo did not know of either. When they’re together, they are just siblings, but when apart, only they themselves know, what sort of demons they are.
She could tell that someone with Bai Mo’s background would definitely not be a coddled boy that had not experienced the world. Ye Ci did not know the other side of Bai Mo, nor did she want to know.
The only thing she needed to know was that Bai Mo treated her well, and that was all.
“Green Hill’s Moon told me a very dull story, do you want to hear it?” Ye Ci gently combed through her hair using her fingers, with a light smile on her face, “the end is stereotypical but the process is very dramatic.”
“Well, spit it out. I’m bored,” said Bai Mo as he took out a packet of cigarettes, and began lighting one up with practiced movements.. Although he and Ye Ci had lived together for such a long time, Ye Ci had hardly ever seen Bai Mo smoke, but seeing his practiced motions however, suggested otherwise.
The corners of her lips were raised slightly, and she proceeded to tell Green Moon Hill’s long boring story to Bai Mo. He did not say a word from beginning to end, merely listened intently. After she finished recounting the story, he laughed, “no wonder you said it was boring. This story is indeed very bland.” Saying so, he pursed his lips, “I see why my dad couldn’t do anything about it. It looks like being here in person is better than district magistrate for this case.”
“What do you want to do?” Ye Ci suddenly asked.
Bai Mo shook his head, “You don’t have to worry about it.” Some things were better off not letting her know.
Ye Ci saw how reluctant Bai Mo was to tell her, so she did not pry any further, only passing on the words of warning from Green Moon Hill, “Thousand Sunset’s family background is not minor, and it’s no longer just a matter of money. With our current abilities, it might be hard to deal with him, and Dong Yin’s family is currently rebuilding their empire. You must consider carefully…”
Bai Mo waved his hand, signalling that he did not want to continue this conversation. Thus, Ye Ci did not let a single word slip past her lips regarding the topic.
“Clear Moon managed to get his hands on a recipe for a very good enchantment, but the materials are quite rare.” Bai Mo changed the topic of the conversation.
“What recipe?” Right now, Clear Moon was the only high leveled Blacksmith in the guild. The number of his creations numbered in the tens of thousands. Every month, just the things that he made sold for a large amount of money at the auction, and was now one of the financial supports of Upwards Ho!.
“It’s a plating that adds 38 Strength and 50 Accuracy to a weapon with an additional random attribute, but they’re keeping the recipe a secret.” Once Bai Mo started speaking of matters related to the game, his expression was no longer stiff, but after he reported the stats of the armor he sighed, “there is a material we are short on. Even if it is Upwards Ho!, there are only two in the entire guild.”
Ye Ci raised her eyebrows after she realised what item Bai Mo was talking about. Although she rarely took note of what was in the guild warehouse, once Bai Mo mentioned how rare the item was, she immediately knew. At the moment, Bai Mo only knew that the item was extremely hard to get, but not how important it would be later in the game.
“You’re talking about mithril, right?” Ye Ci laughed.
“Yeah. It really wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call you a god; no matter what I talk about, you always know.” Bai Mo originally wanted it to be a surprise but who would have thought that Ye Ci immediately said the name of the item.
Ye Ci only bitterly smiled. She was not a walking encyclopedia. If Bai Mo was the one who had reincarnated instead, he would know about it too. After all, it was due to this item that Golden Age almost caused the end of Fate.
Mithril was an extremely rare ore in Western Fantasy. It was not only light and sturdy, but more importantly, had a very mysterious attribute that could greatly increase one’s attributes. The mithril itself did not come with any specific attributes,, but it was like a magnifying glass which could amplify the effects of equipment. Equipment with the fire attribute crafted from this material would have its fire damage amplified multiple folds. If equipment with Holy attribute was forged with mithril, the equipment’s Holy attribute would be increased as well..
Most importantly, after the release of the new expansion “New Continent”, players will begin to realise the importance of mithril.
By that time, all the players would find out that all gear dropped from lvl70 and above dungeons required the player to wear a mithril shirt in order to be equipped. As the number of players that reached lvl70 increased, and more people cleared the dungeons, there would be an explosive growth in demand.
Even if one reached lvl80, without being able to equip lvl70 gear, it was impossible to enter lvl80 dungeons. It was in this way that the use of mithril increased exponentially.
It was precisely because of this exponential need that almost caused Fate to collapse. Of course, thought Ye Ci to herself, the introduction of the mithril mines was the developer’s attempt to cultivate a group of top-tier players. Who would’ve thought that it abused by Golden Age instead. Their action almost led to the collapse of the game.
Although the use of mithril was indeed great, but…after all, it was a rare item that was hard to get, not some rubbish on the side of the road. Until this day, mithril was only dropped by BOSSes in dungeons. No one knew where else it could be obtained.
Of course, of course, in the current game, there are only a few players, or players with high life skills in large guilds that understand the rarity and usefulness of mithril. To ordinary players, they have not even heard of it, let alone comprehend its uses.
But, can mithril only be obtained from dungeons?
Of course not, otherwise if it was only obtainable as drops from BOSSes, then how could Golden Age use it to do such heaven defying things? Mithril, a rare and precious ore, was right under everyone’s nose the entire time.
As long as it is an ore, no matter how precious it is, there must be a ore vein. If there is an ore vein, then there must be a mine where it can be found.
Mithril is not an exception.
This is how the game was designed. In the entirety of Fate, there are only four mithril veins spread across the North, South, East and West continents. This has not changed. Even after ten years, when new areas and continents had been opened, this would not change. It was originally designed this way so that the starting four continents would always have players even after later expansions.
Only who would have thought that after the appearance of Golden Age, they managed to find the locations of all four veins, and sent out players to protect each one. Thus, they held a monopoly over mithril.
Once they established a monopoly, the price of mithril was completely controlled by Golden Age. They raised the price sky high. While players from large guilds could grind in dungeons all day just to obtain a few pieces of mithril, while solo players who were without a guild were left at the mercy of Golden age. In order to continue playing, they had to earn money to buy the rare ore.
The number of solo players were naturally higher than those who were part of a guild. With the fluctuation in the prices of mithril, many solo players were forced into the profession of Life Players. With the drastic increase of Life Players, the market in the game was flooded with huge numbers of items, which drove prices down. With their earning becoming more and more meagre due to the low prices, players were forced to real world cash into the game, eventually leading to an inflation.
Golden Age was the sole cause of such a scary chain of events. Instead of using their usual strategy of using overwhelming numbers to slaughter the player population, Golden Age employed a totally different approach against Fate. They seized control of the economy in Fate, and had almost succeeded in bringing the game down.
When things had almost reached the point of no return, Wang Jiangnan stepped forward with determination to stem the tide. He single-handedly managed to turn the tables despite the pressure from angry players. It was a story that would later be circulated in the Glory Corporation in Ye Ci’s past life. She herself heard the story from one of the employees.
This kind of story sounded interesting, but those that had not experienced it would not know how the dark storm started and ended. To people listening to the story, it is only a story, but to those who have experienced it, it was a memory that made people tremble in fear.
Ye Ci took a deep breath. She did not want to remember that storm.
That state of economic collapse and confusion was the greatest test of one’s humanity.
Sometimes Ye Ci thought that maybe, it was in that storm that people no longer became able to differentiate between real life and the game. Was she not one of those people in her past life?
“What’s the drop rate like?” Ye Ci retracted her faraway thoughts and asked Bai Mo.
“Forget about it, the drop rate is awful! When the first of them dropped, I noticed that is was a Purple material. But without any description about the item’s usage, I could do nothing but place it into the guild storage. I’ve forgotten all about it until Clear Moon rushed up to me asking for mithril while holding the recipe for it. It was only at that time that I realised what mithril could be used for, so ever since then I have been carefully collecting it, but the drop rate is just too low. We’ve been clearing dungeons for half a year already but only found five pieces. Of those five, I’ve given Clear Moon three pieces and the other two are in storage as a decoration.” Once this topic was mentioned, Bai Mo shook his head and sighed.
Ye Ci laughed. She did not tell Bai Mo that it was impossible to rely on the low drop rates to gather mithril. She also did not tell him that she knew the location of not only the mithril vein in the East Continent, but also the location of the veins on the other three continents as well.
It was better to pretend to find these things by chance. Only, she had to hurry, as Golden Age would soon enter Fate. If she waited until they entered Fate to do it, then it might be too late.
“Don’t worry. Everything will happen when the timing is right. If the developers designed something like this, then there must always be a reason for it. Anyway, the plating is very precious now; its a waste to use it on lvl30-40 weapons. Isn’t it better for everyone to reach lvl60 and then use it on lvl60 weapons?” Ye Ci explained. After all, these kind of things cannot be rushed.
Bai Mo took a deep breath and nodded.
After finding out about how Dong Yin and Thousand Sunsets had worked together to beat Ye Ci, up, he was exceptionally calm. He was so calm that one would not be able to tell anything had happened at all. As Ye Ci had already gave her promise to not interfere with Bai Mo when he move against Dong Yin and Thousand Sunsets, she naturally would not ask about it. She only considered how could she use someone else to get rid of the disgusting people. For example, just like that time when she stole from their storage. Although it was very satisfying at the time, it created a lot of problems for her, and was unable to harm them. More importantly, if she pulled too many of these stunts then they would definitely be on guard against her.
This time, what Ye Ci wanted was complete elimination.
Until that time, she would hone her abilities and conceal her strength, waiting until the opportunity arose.
Golden Age would soon arrive. But before they came, every player and every guild would still live their everyday life. No one would have trouble eating or sleeping because of this news. They were all living their own life. Upwards Ho! would continue, as would Ye Ci.
It was also worth mentioning that at this time, the official site had organised a player photography competition. There were two types: video and photo. All players could contribute. There were three prizes for drama, skill, and promotional ability under the video category and the photo category likewise had three prizes for scenery, people, and other photos that did not fall into these categories, the miscellaneous. This competition was organised to test the waters, and thus did not give the players much time to enter. However, the organisers did not expect that so many players would participate, nor did they expect the level of excitement generated from this competition. This caused the organisers to consider continuing this competition the next year. Of course, this all happened later.
More importantly, in this year’s competition, the entries were truly a feast for the eyes.
According to statistics, there were hundreds of thousands of entries for the video category alone, and there were several million entries for the photo category. The organisers had to hire a huge panel of judges to look at these entries, and took a whole two weeks to finally choose a winner.
The most popular type in the video category was of course drama. Everyone took particular notice of the comedies and tragedies. The skill subcategory came next, with more than half of the entries being recordings of duels between experts. Although the number of views was not as high as that of the drama entries, they were still well liked. After all, experts were few and far between, and there are even fewer videos of spars. As for promotional ability, it was a bit lacking compared to the other two subcategories.
In the photo category, the most popular type was people. For this subcategory, most entries were of various guilds that sought to advertise themselves with beautiful pictures. Next was the scenery type. In Fate, not everyone aimed to raise their level as high as possible, or aimed to become an expert, but rather to explore the mountains and rivers. The art design in Fate is indeed very impressive. Even the scenery of a desolate graveyard could be stunning.
As the saying goes: the world never lacks beauty; only people to appreciate it.
And these players did appreciate it. They roamed all over Fate, no matter how dangerous or how barren a map can be, they have been there and seen it all. The players, and even the game developers themselves, were stunned by the impressive scenery offered by the different maps in Fate.
It was precisely because of this that most of the comments on these photos consisted of players asking for the coordinates of these places. It seems that many players wanted to go experience such a wonderful place themselves.
One would assume that the photo category not as popular as the video category. The miscellaneous type of photos were even less popular than the people and scenery subcategories. However, the results were a bit strange this year. The miscellaneous category was actually very popular, so popular in fact that it even diverted attention away from the video category.
The reason for this had to do with Ye Ci. That day, in the party she and Fleeting Time were in, there was another person that loved to find gossip material. That’s right, it was Glistening Moonlight.
At that time, she had recorded everything that had happened between Ye Ci and Fleeting Time, and had also taken many photos.
The set of photos that drew so much attention was precisely the fight between Ye Ci and Fleeting Time. It clearly indicated how Fleeting Time attacked Gongzi You but missed, and was kicked down instead. It also showed how he pulled Gongzi You down onto the ground as well. If the photos only showed the part with the battle, then there would not be as much discussion.
The next photos however, were the same apart from the timestamp and the words written down the bottom by Glistening Moonlight.
The scene was like this: Fleeting Time grabbed Gongzi You’s ankle while lying on the floor. Gongzi You was also lying on the floor. The two people were surrounded by flying sand, a very desolate sight.
But the words written by Glistening Moonlightlight went like this. The first photo read: “Gongzi You and Fleeting Time have been lying there for over five seconds, but neither of them have made a move to get up. From what I can see in the party log, Gongzi You hasn’t died…”
The explanations for the following photos were similar to the first, with the only change being the time. Especially in the last couple of photos, it was clear that Glistening Moonlight could no longer hold back her urge to gossip. She wrote: “until when are they going to lie there? What are they doing? What are they saying? Ah I really want to know, don’t you want to know?”
“Oh my god, this obviously doesn’t count as pushing her down, why are they lying there and not getting up? Can it be they are stargazing? Are they discussing trivial things or philosophy? Argh, I really want to know.”
“How long are you two going to lie there for? If you have to lie there, can you put on some scandalising act please, don’t just lie there like corpses. Can you not hear the cries of the audience? We want more, we want more!”
After these photos were the ones of the two people standing up. By that time, the fight had already ended, and they were seemingly going to go their own ways. This photo had the following caption: “do you really think things have finished here? Are you going to exit out of the screen? Then you must not be a true gossip, remember, the climax is always at the end.”
This caption captured the attention of many players that were indeed going to exit, and they impatiently waited to see the end.
The last photo actually depicted Fleeting Time talking whilst leaning towards Ye Ci, but from Glistening Moonlightlight’s perspective, the angle was enough to create a misunderstanding. The caption of this photo was only a few words: “actions speak louder than words.”
The photos ended here, but Glistening Moonlightlight made a smart decision. These photos were only taken by chance, if someone wanted to see the video of it, then they could click on her video submitted to the skills category.
This was originally merely a piece of boring gossip from a little chatterbox, but when the whole screen was full of made up stories, this seemed to be something more realistic. It was as if a large bomb had exploded among the players, spreading waves among the community.
In one night, there were tens of pages of replies, with one hundred replies on each page. There was no sign of this trend slowing down.
In the replies, there was no lack of interesting comments.
“*raises hand I just want to ask are they…in the last photo?”
“I’d love to see the view from above”
“This is the highlight”
“Godly captions by the photographer”
“It’s full of feelings”
“If people from the East Continent and West Continent can be together despite the obstacles like Fleeting TIme and Gongzi You, then I can believe in true love.”
“Fleeting Time is definitely not the top expert of our West Continent. How could he like Gongzi You? Gongzi You is flat in front and behind. It’s not as if Fleeting Time is gay, why’d he have to like Gongzi You?”
“Yeah, we definitely can’t believe these photos. In the last photo we can only see Gongzi You’s back so from this angle something might be happening but there’s definitely nothing going on. Please don’t talk about Fleeting Time like this.”
“There’s nothing wrong with Gongzi You! She’s only skinny. How is she not worthy of Fleeting Time, that silver haired ruffian! Do you really think the West Continent is that great? Let me tell you, even if Fleeting Time was given as a gift, Gongzi You wouldn’t want him!”
“Support our Gongzi You! She definitely doesn’t like Fleeting Time. Think about it, if they do team up, their gear would clash. Support Gongzi You, look down on the West Continent’s silver haired ruffian!”
Any post, as long as it becomes popular, would end up being host to a large fight. This post was no exception. From the start, it was mere gossip, but it had grown to the point that players from the East and West Continents would fight over. The North and South Continents were mediating the conflict but also at the same time making things worse.
By the time Ye Ci knew about this, it was already old news. Players from the East and West Continents fought over it three days ago. She looked at the post and felt the world go black. Thinking that speaking more would result in more misunderstandings, she did not answer the calls from the gossip loving players to explain the situation. Fleeting Time did not either.
Faced with the huge gossip in the game, the two people at the heart of the matter seemed exceptionally calm, almost as if they were dead. The more they remained silent, the more the player’s hearts felt like they had just been scratched by a cat.
Ye Ci thought that as long as she kept silent, this would all be forgotten sooner or later, so she ignored them. In her heart, she knew what had happened. There was no need to live according to the wagging tongues of other players. She had more important things to do.
But, Ye Ci could not have known that right at the end of this drama, Fleeting Time stepped forward.
He left three comments in that skyscraper like pile of comments.
The first one read: “what a shitty gaming cabin you have, OP. The photos are all blurry, not professional at all~”
The second one was: “do you really want to know what Gongzi You and I talked about? It was just a small promise.”
The third was: “also, original poster, when you uploaded these photos and videos did you ask the people involved? If Gongzi agrees, I do too. If Gongzi disagrees, don’t let me see you, or else…”
It was these comments that caused the originally calming fervor to rise again. This time, it rose even higher than before, so high that Ye Ci had to ask the organisers to delete them.
The reason was that these photos and videos were uploaded without her consent. Under normal circumstances, this request would have been granted, but it seemed that the organisers were also interested in this gossip.
When Ye Ci requested the deletion of the photos, the staff that answered the phone even quietly asked: “Gongzi You, did you really…with Fleeting Time? In the game.”
Ye Ci almost shouted at this point: “No I didn’t! What’s your staff number?! I want to register a complaint!”
The staff was so scared they hurriedly called over the customer service manager. It was obvious that the manager was well versed in dealing with these kind of incidents. He told Ye Ci that because there were two people involved, the other person’s opinion must also be sought. If Fleeting Time agreed, the post would be immediately deleted. If he did not agree, then the two must come to an agreement and then deal with the matter.
This kind of answer made Ye Ci so angry she almost cursed. Where was she supposed to find Fleeting Time?
Thus, until the end, Ye Ci was unable to get the post deleted, and it became recorded in history as Fate’s most popular forum that year. After everything was concluded, the originator of the post, Glistening Moonlightlight, was the biggest winner.
She won the miscellaneous photo category and received a large sum as the prize. The video was also the most popular one in the competition of skills category, but due to the content overlapping with the photos, it was not considered for the prize. Glistening Moonlight also won another prize, “Biggest Gossip of the Year”.
Glistening Moonlight was not the only one that won a prize. What made people surprised was that Fleeting Time received the title of “Best at Stirring up Trouble”.
Ye Ci also received a prize, “Best Silent Protagonist”.
Although the organisers also awarded Ye Ci a large sum of money, she was still conflicted. That was probably the first time she felt that she burned her hands to earn money. When she looked at the money sitting in her inbox, it was always with a heavy heart.
She clearly did not do anything, yet why did she feel like she had committed an unspeakable evil?
Fruit Jelly had a different way of thinking, “it doesn’t matter what you did, as long you got the money, nothing else matters. Don’t worry about it.”
Okay, nothing else matters.
Although this entire matter made Ye Ci feel like she was going crazy, at the end, nothing mattered. It was just a small bump in her in-game life. Ye Ci was not a person who was overly conscious of her surroundings, so even after such a large uproar, she continued grinding the Spirit Medallion and steadily work towards the mithril vein.
As all the gossip was flying everywhere, Ye Ci and Bai Mo had already gathered a few sets. When Bai Mo saw these sets, he was incomparably happy, but as he was only lvl44 at the moment, he would have to wait a while until he could wear it.
Ye Ci also did not slow down her progress in finding the mithril vein. The only problem was that she knew the location of the vein, but did not know how to enter. In her previous life, Golden Age kept the knowledge of how they unearthed the mithril vein a tightly kept secret, which resulted in her standing in front of it, but unable to find the entrance.
Ye Ci drank the wine she always carried as she sat on a tree stump outside the mithril vein while looking closely at it…
Of course, it was now an extremely large mountain, but soon, it would turn into a huge mine, from which the rarest ore could be continuously mined – mithril. There would always be all sorts of killing, all sorts of players surrounding it. Their goal was the mithril.
Ye Ci could almost see what it was like in her previous life when she closed her eyes. This was an area dyed by blood. Would it happen again in this life? Previously, Golden Age had sent out many troops to guard this place, which caused the players to loot and kill. What about this life? Upwards Ho! could not compete with Golden Age in numbers. Even if she did discover this mithril mine, how would Upwards Ho! protect it?
She was running out of time, and felt as if she were facing an unprecedented pressure.