Chapter 229 Orthus
With the Black Iron Dwarves busy exploring the Mithril ore vein, Ye Ci seized the opportunity to continue her Epic-tier quest.
She brought a return message from the Doran Thieves Guild to Dark Clay City. Just like her previous visit, Ye Ci was received by the Mayor instead of the lord of the city.
“Well done, Elf. You’ve completed your mission,” said the Mayor after reading the letter. He then lifted his head and narrowed his eyes. A smile that sent chills down Ye Ci’s spine formed on the Mayor’s lips. “I’ll inform Lord Moore about your exploits. I’m sure he’ll be happy to receive the news. As you know, Lord Moore’s health is in decline, but he is still busying himself with a lot of different tasks. As his subordinate, I’m extremely worried. Can you do me another favor?”
Ye Ci knew that the third stage of the quest had officially begun. She did not know how long it would take her to complete the quest, but with so much time and energy already invested, there was no way she could back down.
“Of course, it will be my honor.” Ye Ci bowed at the Mayor while internally laughing at her own hypocrisy. She was forced to take on the task! What sort of honor was she talking about?
“This will be a long journey. Are you sure that you’re up for the task?” The mayor of Dark Clay City was satisfied with Ye Ci’s answer. However, for reasons unknown, he asked for confirmation from Ye Ci once again.
“As long as my efforts are able to help Lord Moore out, I’ll do my best.” Ye Ci nodded.
“Alright then. This will be a long journey. You might be away from home for a very long time. I hope you won’t get homesick.” The mayor nodded. From his expression, however, Ye Ci could tell that the mayor was not at all concerned. “Head to Tempest Ravine and blow this whistle by the broken iron bridge at 12 am. Someone will meet up with you. He’ll tell you what to do next.”
The mayor then handed an old whistle made out of bone to Ye Ci. One could tell from the dull surface of the whistle that it worn out from a long time of usage. “May the Gods be with you. Lord Moore will be awaiting your return,” said the mayor.
Ye Ci furrowed her brows as she received the whistle from the mayor. If she was not mistaken, Tempest Ravine was a map that connected the Southern Continent and the Western Continent. The map itself was divided in half by a huge ravine into separate territories belonging to the Southern Continent and the Western Continent.
Don’t tell me that… He’s sending me into the Western Continent…
It was exactly as Ye Ci had expected. After logging off from the game, Ye Ci did a quick search on Fate’s official website about the Tempest Ravine and found an object connecting the South and West territories at the narrowest point of the ravine.
It seems that I’ll be gone for quite a long time then.
Ye Ci then proceeded to inform the officers of Upwards Ho! that she would be away from the Eastern Continent. Although Bai Mo was in his own hometown, he would still log into the game at night. After leaving him a message, some gold coins for her parents, and restocking her arrows, Ye Ci headed to the Southern Continent.
Due to the nature of her business, Ye Ci did not inform Fluttering Red Feather of the Southern Continent of her trip to his home continent. She headed straight for her destination: Tempest Ravine.
The Tempest Ravine was a long and narrow map divided into two parts by a deep ravine into Tempest Ravine (a) which belonged to the Southern Continent, and Tempest Ravine (b) that was under control of the Western Continent.
Before the Jiama Continent was split into four smaller continents, there was a metal bridge that connected both sides of the ravine. However, NPCs from both sides took the bridge apart after their continent was split apart, and built fortifications to keep each other out.
The Tempest Ravine in its current state was dotted with massive fortifications and towers, but one could still spot the rusting metal bridge from afar…
As Ye Ci stood at the mouth of the valley, she could see a horde of red NPCs moving on the other side. They were the Elites posted to guard the bridge. The NPCs were all high leveled and had huge amounts of defense and hitpoints. Even a single one of them was a tough opponent for Ye Ci. Taking on a huge group was next to impossible.
She fiddled with the whistle in her palm and patiently waited for time to pass.
The NPCs guarding the bridge would not forbid players from allied factions from entering enemy territory. However, when a player from an opposing faction set foot on their territory, all hell would break loose.
Ye Ci sat by the bridge, patiently waiting for the sun to set.
Her heart was as calm as the water in a lake as she observed the scenery. What will I run into on the other side? Will everything go smoothly in the Western Continent? How long will I take to complete the quest? The answer to questions like these could only be determined in the future. The only thing Ye Ci had to do at the moment was to cross the valley at 12 am.
Sentries patrolled the Southern Continent side in groups of 6 at 30-second intervals. It was very unlikely that a player from the Western Continent could cross successfully into the Southern territory undetected. The same applied to Ye Ci as well. Crossing over to the other side was next to impossible for her.
Ye Ci studied the whistle and found nothing special about it. What sort of NPC will get me across at 12 am? She wondered.
Time can be a very strange thing.
It can slip past in the blink of an eye when one was not paying attention. However, when it mattered the most, it felt as if a person could accomplish impressive feats in the span of a second.
Ye Ci was in the exact situation as she sat on a wooden pile at the edge of the valley, with a straw in her mouth, while staring at the setting sun. She hoped that time could pass faster, but time had an idea of its own. It remained still and unmoving. Ye Ci cast frequent glances at the in-game timer, and to her dismay, the time displayed remained the same. Must I really wait in boredom until the time is right?
Waiting was something that Ye Ci was not good at. With nothing to do and a lot of time left on the clock, she decided to log out of the game. The house was extremely quiet as Ye Ci climbed out of her gaming cabin. Bai Mo was away in his hometown, while Tan Polang was at school and Ye Ci’s parents were busy leveling up their skills in-game. There was nothing for her to do even in real life.
Ye Ci walked into the living room with the help of her crutches. The brilliant light of the setting sun poured into the living room as Ye Ci sat on the couch and stared at the television screen. She switched through channel after channel with the remote, with boredom gripping down on her mind.
Even Ye Ci herself was not sure if she was too matured, or if the shows on the TV were just too meaningless. Nothing caught Ye Ci’s eyes as she switched through the channels. How am I going to survive until midnight?
“We’ve just received the latest news from Glory Corporation. At the National Stadium today, the corporation has officially launched the countdown to the first expansion of , “A New Continent”. As a VRMMORPG introduced in 2050, was a game different from its predecessors. With the latest technology that improves the sense of touch, and the 100% realism in the game’s environment, as well as its perfect integration of different cultures from all around the world, the game can be said to be something that is ahead of its time. Since the launch of , the game has been holding the record of the gaming platform with the most users online, and the number has only been increasing since the game’s introduction…”
Ye Ci stopped at a news channel with the host introducing Fate’s upcoming expansion with a smile on his face. It was not the first time Fate had made its way into the news. Fate has already developed from a casual gaming platform into something so popular that corporations, political organizations, and even the military had established some presence in the game. Fate was slowly becoming something that was more and more relevant in the daily life of the people.
This was why news about the game was very common.
In normal circumstances, Ye Ci would not pay any attention to the news as shows like this were very common, and Ye Ci did not have the time and energy to waste on them.
This particular news, however, managed to attract Ye Ci’s attention.
The first expansion, “A New Continent”, was already on a 30-day countdown. This meant that the developers would introduce a huge array of new quests into the game. These quests would help in improving the levels and equipment of players, which would ease the process of clearing lower level dungeons. Of course, the introduction of the expansion would also mean that the arrival of Golden Era was near.
Ye Ci was confused by the developer’s decision.
Even a normal player like Ye Ci had caught wind of the impending arrival of Golden Era that was hired by a rival of Glory Corporation as an act of sabotage on Fate. She could not believe the fact that the developers of Fate and the higher ups of the Glory Corporation had no knowledge of such an event. They must know the impact that Golden Era will bring to Fate. Why are they still releasing an expansion despite the risk? Why are they doing this? Are they daft? Or am I not looking at this from a broad enough standpoint?
However, what the higher-ups of Glory Corporation thought of Golden Era was irrelevant to Ye Ci. Her only concern was to look for a way to survive before the introduction of the new expansion, and the arrival of Golden Era.
This was a very troublesome problem.
She suddenly thought of a certain someone.
Ye Ci logged into the game and requested for Customer Service No.094. Even if it was a slightly difficult request for the customer service receptionist, she could not reject a request made by a player as long as it was reasonable. The receptionist immediately notified Wang Jiangnan of Ye Ci’s request.
This piqued the curiosity of Wang Jiangnan. “Why are you looking for me through a channel like this?”
“I am a player. Isn’t this how I should be contacting a developer?” Ye Ci laughed at Wang Jiangnan’s question.
“I’m in Tempest Ravine at the coordinates 1893:47:3652. Are you free at the moment? Can you come?” Ye Ci knew that every call made to a customer service employee would be recorded, which was why she would not discuss certain things with Wang Jiangnan through the channel.
She had even thought up of an excuse for Wang Jiangnan, “I seem to have stumbled upon a BUG. Please come over and have a look.”
Even Wang Jiangnan himself was convinced by Ye Ci. Even if he was not the manager on duty, he would still gladly log into the game because of his friendship with Ye Ci. “Alright. Give me a minute.”
Ye Ci waited patiently after ending the call. Before long, a lvl1 account appeared right beside her. Who else could it be if not Wang Jiangnan? He was indeed a person who was dedicated to his job. “So what BUG did you run into?” said Wang Jiangnan the moment he saw Ye Ci.
Ye Ci smiled and motioned to a spot beside her, “Why don’t you have a seat first, and we’ll talk.”
Wang Jiangnan took a seat and surveyed his surroundings. He was quick to realize the reason Ye Ci was sitting at this place. “You received an Epic-tier quest?”
“Yup.” Ye Ci narrowed her eyes. “Can you give me some spoilers? What’s waiting for me on the other side?”
Wang Jiangnan shook his head. “Will it still be fun if I tell you now? Besides, I’m not the one who designed this Epic-tier quest, and I did not take part in testing the quest. I know nothing about the quest,” said Wang Jiangnan, and he immediately redirected the conversation back to the BUG. “Didn’t you say that you discovered a BUG? What is it? If a player like you can discover it, that BUG must be a game-breaking one.”
“There is no BUG. It’s just an excuse that I thought out for you.” Ye Ci took the straw out of her mouth and twirled it around with her fingers. “There’s something else that I want to talk to you about.”
“That’s new. There’s something that you want to say to me? Don’t you hate us developers?” Wang Jiangnan raised his eyebrows.
“It really depends on the situation. When my personal benefit is in jeopardy, I don’t mind coming into contact with your lot.” Ye Ci did not even attempt to mask her intention of using Wang Jiangnan for her benefit.
Wang Jiangnan was curious. Gongzi You was the top player of the Eastern Continent, and one of the best players in the entire game. There was nothing much that could threaten her. “Heh, now I’m interested. So what is the thing that is so threatening to you?”
“Why are you releasing that expansion so early?” Ye Ci did not beat around the bush, “Don’t you know that Golden Era is coming?”
Here you go, minna-san! Another awesome chapter of this awesomesauce novel translated by an awesomtacular translator(that’s me, by the way!)! Enjoy!!!!
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Golden Era was a name so notorious that it was widely known.
They were like locusts that would leave destruction in their wake.
Wang Jiangnan was momentarily stunned when he heard Ye Ci’s question, and his expression darkened slightly, “It’s a decision made by the higher ups. A developer like me can do nothing about it.”
“So tell me.. How are we supposed to brave this storm? The average level of my guild members are at lvl 40! The level cap will be raised when the new expansion is released! How do you expect small guilds like us and individual players to survive?” Ye Ci raised her eyebrows.
“You got me there. I’ve been thinking about this as well.” Wang Jiangnan grimaced, “I know the decision to release the expansion is rushed, but…” he let out a sigh, “Why don’t you give me a suggestion, and tell me what to do instead?”
Ye Ci was dismayed when she saw Wang Jiangnan’s expression. It seemed that the coming storm was inevitable. With the release of the expansion creeping closer and closer, she would lose her initiative, “You want my suggestion? For what? For after Golden Era is done messing up your game?”
“Heh! Can you not be that pessimistic?” despite the smile of Wang Jiangnan’s face, it was obvious that he was actually saying the words with a heavy heart.
“Can I not be pessimistic? Let me tell you something.. Pessimists are the ones that bring change to this world!” Ye Ci rolled her eyes at Wang Jiangnan.
“Fine.. What would you do if you’re standing in my shoes?” Wang Jiangnan was very sincere with his question. It was not the first time he pondered such a question. He knew that his life would be turned upside down as a developer, just like what would happen to Fate. Will his hopes and dreams be destroyed because of this incident?
Ye Ci held up 2 of her fingers “You have two options. You can either leave, or you can lead a miserable life.” In truth, this was also the fate that awaited the rest of the players.
“Is there a third option?” Wang Jiangnan had long considered the two options, but he refused to give up just like that.
Ye Ci narrowed her eyes. The third option… The third option was something that she wanted to do, but it was something that she was not sure if she could accomplish.
“There is…” Ye Ci let out a sigh, “Of course there is.”
“What is it?”
“Have you heard of the saying ‘drive somebody into desperation and he will find aspiration’?” Ye Ci let out another sigh.
She wished that Golden Era would not be arriving so soon, but on the other hand, she wished that they would be here as soon as possible so that the problem could be dealt with.
Even when the outcome was known, it could still be changed when all the variables in the process that led to the outcome remained unknown.
She could still remember how Wang Jiangnan was able to save Fate from the coming storm. Wasn’t her action of securing the Mithril ore vein something that will affect the outcome as well? She must acquire the rights to mine the Mithril from the Black Iron Dwarves within a month. Then again, where would she acquire the manpower to mine the ores? Even if she had the manpower, how would she defend the mine from her enemies? Upwards Ho! was a guild with less than 100,000 members. Even when all its members were mobilize, they might still lose control of the mine.
Besides, even if Golden Era did not attempt to seize the mine from Upwards Ho!, will the other major guilds not intervene?
Ye Ci doubted that her friendship with the leaders of other major guilds would help in this situation. After all, the only thing that would remain unchanged in this world was a human’s desire to secure more benefits.
She knew that she was placing herself in a desperate situation the moment she made the situation to mine the Mithril ore vein. But will she find aspiration in this situation? It was something that even Ye Ci herself did not know.
The curtain of night fell upon the land. Ye Ci sat in the dark, and glanced at the timer. There was 10 seconds left before it was 12am.
Ten, nine, eight, seven….. three, two, one.
“Pwiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!” the sound produced by the whistle was very unique. It was something that Ye Ci had never heard before. The shrill sound of the whistle was like a sharp dagger in the dark, slicing through the silence of the night..
Ye Ci covered her eardrums as her ears were assaulted by the whistle sound. She then stood up, and began studying her surroundings. However, there was not a single person in sight.
Have I forgotten something important? Ye Ci immediately began reading up her quest description, but was unable to find any clues. Just as she continued to survey her surroundings, Ye Ci heard a hoarse voice coming from above her, “Heh, so it’s an Elf!”
Ye Ci looked up at the source of the voice, and saw a black silhouette on one of the support beams of the bridge. Ye Ci could not even detect the stats of the figure shrouded in shadows.
Race: Unknown. Class: Unknown. Alignment: Unknown.
Ye Ci remained wary even when it was clearly stated in the quest description that the figure would be key to the next stage of her quest. After all, there was too many uncertainties in an Epic-tier quest. Every single course of action she took had the potential of leading the quest to a different outcome. Due to the nature of the situation, Ye Ci remained cautious as ever.
“Greetings. The mayor of Dark Clay City handed this whistle to me.” Ye Ci bowed at the figure, “He told me that this whistle will lead me to the next part of my mission.” Ye Ci had the habit of giving the initiative to any quest-giving NPCs. The gesture that seemed meaningless would often give Ye Ci an edge when it came to dealing with the NPCs.
The black figure on the bridge chuckled upon hearing Ye Ci’s words, “He’s still alive?”
Ye Ci was momentarily stunned when she heard his words. She had a gut feeling that something was wrong about this sentence, but she couldn’t put her finger on the reason why.. Despite her confusion, Ye Ci remained silent. NPCs involved in Epic-tier quests possessed high levels of intelligence, and were more cunning. She might get tricked by the NPC for saying the wrong thing. The only way to prevent this from happening was to listen attentively to what an NPC had to say and remain quiet. After all, silence is golden. The more you talk, the likely you are going to mess up.
The silhouette was satisfied with how untalkative Ye Ci was. His weird voice was terrifying in the quiet night, “You’re rather quiet for an Elf.”
Is that a compliment?
“Let’s go. Come with me, I’ll get you across.” the silhouette leaped down from the beams, and the silvery moonlight illuminated his entire form. He was a Goblin.
The Goblin, with his green skin, pointed ears, and a pair of bulging eyes had a weird appearance. The one thing that stood out the most of the Goblin’s appearance was his long hands that reached beyond his knees. He was only as tall as Ye Ci’s waist, but was agile with his movements.
Goblins were a special race in Fate. Despite their ugly appearance, Goblins were highly intelligent. They were the creators of some of the most advanced machineries and potions in the entire Jiama Continent. The Goblins were also geniuses when it came to making profit.
This was why the Goblins were one of the wealthiest races in the entire Jiama Continent. However, Goblins in general loathed the interaction with other races. They chose to remain neutral in the affairs of the land. When the Jiama Continent remained as a whole, the Goblins maintained limited contact with members of other races, but it all changed when the continent was split into four parts. The Goblins went into hiding after the incident, and only few merchants for the other races knew of their whereabouts, and Goblin-made products would usually fetch a high price in the market.
Ye Ci was excited to see the Goblin. Goblins were a high-tier race that was exceptionally useful in siege battles. The combat potential of her guild will be increased exponentially if she was able to secure the allegiance of a Goblin. But.. The question is… How should she befriend the Goblin?
It was a question that Ye Ci pondered continuously as she followed close behind the Goblin. Unlike Gnomes, Goblins was a prideful race. A mistake in her choice of words could potentially spell trouble.
“What’s the matter, Elf? Are you thinking of what sort of benefits you can get from this Goblin?” chuckled the Goblin as he noticed Ye Ci’s silence.
Despite her surprise, Ye Ci was able to keep her expression neutral, “We Elves are not a greedy race.” she said in a calm voice.
“You’re right! You Elves are not like those damned Orcs and Dwarves!” the Goblin nodded his agreement. He then stopped abruptly and blew hard at a whistle. The flapping of wings could be heard in the quiet night. She lifted her head, and found a large bird flying at their direction.
It appeared to be an eagle. Ye Ci narrowed her eyes, and confirmed with the Elf’s superior night vision that it was indeed an eagle. But when the eagle flew closer, Ye Ci was shocked. It was indeed an eagle, but it was an eagle made out of mechanical parts!
The Goblin noticed Ye Ci’s astonished expression, “What do you think? It’s a beauty, isn’t it?” he said in a voice filled with pride.
“It’s amazing!” Ye Ci was not stingy with her praise, “As expected of Goblin Engineering! It’s so beautiful!”
The Goblin’s expression immediately changed when he heard Ye Ci’s words, “Goblin Engineering? What is Goblin Engineering without me, Orthus?”
“Orthus?” Ye Ci was stunned to hear the name. According the the in the National Library, Orthus was the apprentice of the great Goblin Engineer, DeFrei. But when DeFrei disappeared without a trace, Orthus distanced himself from the world and disappeared as well.
Ye Ci was saddened when she read about the incident in her past life, as it meant that the best of the Goblin Engineering had disappeared from the continent. However, fate seemed to be playing a joke on Ye Ci. She ran into Orthus in this life, when she had least expected it.
“What? You’ve heard of my name before?”
“Yes. I’ve read about you and your mentor, DeFrei in one of the books in the National Library.” answered Ye Ci truthfully.
“Oh? Now that’s amusing. I can’t believe an Elf knew about me when almost all of the Goblins have forgotten all about me.” Otrhus’ voice was laced with sarcasm. He waved at the mechanical eagle, and it landed on the edge of the cliff. Orthus mounted the eagle and said to Ye Ci, “Hop on, Elf! I’ll get you to the other side!”
Ye Ci nodded, and mounted the mechanical eagle as well. “Hold on tight!” shouted orthus as the mechanical eagle launched itself into the night sky.
This was not the first time Ye Ci boarded a flying machine in Fate, but this was definitely one of the fastest and the most stable machines she had ever ridden in the game. Despite the strong winds, the mechanical eagle was able to keep a steady flight as it soared through the clouds.
“What’s that mad Goblin doing with his damned bird this time?” said the Western Continent sentries as the saw the mechanical eagle. It was apparent that they were used to such a scene.
“Who knows? He refused to let us anywhere near that damned bird. I nearly got my ass beaten by that damned Goblin once for trying to mount his bird.”
“Hahahahaha! You’re afraid of that Goblin? How strong can he be? If the captain finds out about this, he’s definitely going to punish you dearly.”
“What do you know? Goblins are a neutral race! I might get into trouble for picking a fight with him!” the sentry snorted, “If he can make that damned bird, who knows what else he’s got with him? Things could go real bad for me for all I know!”
The two sentries continued their conversation, totally oblivious to the fact that Orthus had smuggled an Eastern Continent player across.
Ye Ci looked down at the ground below.
She could tell that they were at a high altitude, “Can’t the sentries see me?” Ye Ci was curious.
“Why not? They’re not blind.” Orthus rolled his eyes.
“Then how are you getting me across?”
“It’s a trade secret.” snorted Orthus. It was apparent that he was reluctant to share the secrets of his mechanical eagle with Ye Ci.
Since Orthus made his stance clear, Ye Ci did not pursue the topic. She stood silently behind Orthus, patiently waiting for the eagle to finally land. After a long moment of wait, Ye Ci could feel the mechanical eagle descending. She immediately steadied herself and lowered her body so that she would not be thrown off the mechanical eagle as it landed.
As expected of a creation of Orthus, the eagle’s landing was smooth and silent. It immediately deactivated itself upon landing, and became as still as a statue.
Orthus jumped down from the mechanical eagle, followed closely by Ye Ci.
“Since you know about my mentor and I, I’ll not waste time on introducing myself. So you have a very simple task. Find my mentor, and rescue him.” said Orthus as he stood in front of Ye Ci.
Ye Ci was puzzled when she heard about her mission. According to the History of Goblins, DeFrei had already disappeared, and the reason behind his disappearance was not recorded at all.
Due to the importance of the quest, Ye Ci had to be sure, “Dear Mr. Orthus, even if I know about you and your mentor, DeFrei, I do not know where to find him! The was only a short mention about his disappearance in the book!”
“It’s not recorded at all?” Orthus was baffled, but was quick to recover from his shock, “Indeed, it would be weird if it was recorded. Of course they would not want something as vile as this to be remembered.”
It was clear that Orthus was very upset. He paced back and forth while swinging his fists in the air, “Damn those Goblins! And damn you too, Ciel! May all of you rot in hell!”
Ye Ci watched Orthus silently, waiting patiently for the next stage of her quest to be triggered.
Hiya minna-san! Here’s another awesome chapter of the awesomesauce novel translated by an awesomtacular translator(which is me, by theway)! Enjoy!!
I hope everybody’s doing well, as I have been! Hung out with some of my friends last night, and it was fun! We went to a all-you-can-eat steamboat restaurant and the food was really, really nice! (Yes, I’m Chinese, we like steamboat a lot!) Dumping fishballs and meatballs into tomyam soup while grilling marinated mutton and chicken strips…. My tummy was so full by the time we’re done…
Hmm… Goblins you say?? Goblins mentioned in this chapter???
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