Chapter 231 Is That Possible?
The Hunter class was a unique class in Fate. they were the scouts of a party in the absence of a Rogue. They were also a class that could go on the offensive, but could perform well when they were on the defence. This was why Hunters could always be seen leveling up solo. A good Hunter would always have an acute sense to his or her surrounding.
Being observant was the basic quality of any Hunter. A Hunter must also find clues from the most trivial of details. A good Hunter like Fleeting Time would always take note of his surroundings. Such practice was like a second nature to him.
The things present in a certain location, the behavior of certain players or NPCs… He noted them down without making a conscious effort. It was very tiring, but you would never know when it would bring you an unexpected surprise.
As Fleeting Time brushed past the Rogue, he caught a glimpse of the seemingly unremarkable ornament on his chest.
What a familiar sight…
It was a brooch. A crude, plain-looking brooch. It was a brooch with a very common outlook, just like the ones that were very common among players. But Fleeting Time had a nudging feeling that he had seen that particular brooch before. But where?
He could not remember at all.
Fleeting Time cast a backwards glance, but the Rogue was no longer in sight. Strong winds blew as Fleeting Time continued on his journey back to Light Saint City, the split second when he saw the brooch lingered in his mind.
How long is a split of a second?
There was once such verse in the Mahabharata: A ksana is but a moment of thought, and 20 ksana makes a shun, while 20 shun is as quick as a tanzhi, and a luoding lasts 20 times longer, 20 luoding makes a xuyu, and there are 30 xuyu in a day.
One can easily deduce how fast a split of a second was.
1 day = 24 hours = 86400 seconds
30 xuyu = 1 day, which means that 1 xuyu = 86400/30 = 2880 seconds.
A luoding = 2880/20 = 144 seconds
A tanzhi = 144/20 = 7.2 seconds
Then a ksana = 7.2/20 = 0.36 second
We can conclude that a ksana, which is a split of a second, is about the length of 0.018 second.
How long is 0.018 second? It might not even be enough for a person to blink his or her eye. What can one do with that amount of time? Nobody would ever know the answer to the question. One thing, however, was certain: Fleeting Time and Ye Ci brushed past each other in the split of a second.
Ye Ci could feel the beating of her heart stop as she held her breath. That brief encounter was like a silent eternity for Ye Ci. She stared ahead at the direction of the Bloody Wilderness, not daring to look back.
Lush green bushes grew on the sides of the narrow past connecting the Putrid Trail to the Bloody Wilderness. A person can easily hide in one of the bushes without risking detection. Ye Ci jumped down from her horse and rolled behind one of the shrubs. Her little red horse, which is a normal steed, disappeared once she dismounted.
In the blink of an eye, Ye Ci and her little red horse disappeared from the Bloody Wilderness.
Ye Ci immediately activated stealth when she was hidden safely behind the bush. It was harder for hostile to detect Ye Ci when she was in stealth due to the talent points she invested into the skill. Despite her relative safety, Ye Ci remained cautious. The person that brushed past her in that brief encounter was Fleeting Time, a player that she must not underestimate. If she was not careful, he would be able to detect her easily.
Ye Ci hid behind the low bushes, listening to the wind that brushed past her head, and her ears. Time was also passing by, accompanying the billowing wind.
When Ye Ci was in stealth, she would not be spotted by any Western Continent players, this meant that she could remain in stealth indefinitely as long as her character was not revealed. However, Ye Ci was a Huntress, which was inferior to the Rogue class when it came to stealthiness. Even with her Empowered Stealth, she might still be detected by a high level Rogue.
Fleeting Time was indeed her deadliest rival in the Western Continent, but he was not the only top-tier player in the Western Continent. The situation was the same in the Eastern Continent. Even when Ye Ci was crowned as the top player in the Eastern Continent, she was not the only top-tier player in her home continent.
She waited patiently in the bush.
Ye Ci had thought that her experience of waiting for sunset in the Southern Continent was the longest moment in her life. She was wrong. As she stared at the timer in the bush, every minute felt like a year. She let out a sigh of relief after 5 full minutes.
She had been studying her surroundings as she hid. However, there was nothing other than the billowing winds in the Bloody Wilderness. There was not a single player around.
Of course, Fleeting Time did not appear as well.
Perhaps he did not notice my presence. After all, the Brooch of Deceit was an overpowered piece of equipment. Only Wang Jiangnan and myself knew about its existence. Even a top-tier player like Fleeting Time is unaware of the effects of the Brooch of Deceit.
Ye Ci concluded that it was impossible for Fleeting Time to detect her presence after making a brief analysis. She slowly crept out of the bush, and pulled out the Goblin Compass to determine the location of Vo’sok.
Vo’sok was once the home to the Goblins. It was then invaded by the Bloodthirsty Undead and Corrupted Orcs after the war between Naga and the Gods. Vo’sok was since removed from existence from any known maps across all realms.
The compass, that would lead her to DeFrei, was given to her by Orthus. According to Orthus, the compass would only work when Ye Ci entered Vo’sok’s boundaries, and according to her quest details, she would be able to locate Vo’sok in the Bloody Wilderness.
According to Ye Ci’s unexplored map, the Bloody Wilderness is a vast and dangerous place. Even Ye Ci herself was unsure if she could traverse through the map and locate Vo’sok safely. Her safest bet was to quickly determine the direction and general location of Vo’sok so that she would not waste unwanted time and resources in exploring the unknown map.
The Goblin Compass, however, had other ideas. As Ye Ci held the compass in her hands, its needle spun wildly.
It seemed that it was impossible to locate the location of Vo’sok by using the Goblin Compass.
Ye Ci let out a sigh. The Epic-tier quest was indeed a tough nut to crack. She then put away the compass, and began advancing in a random direction.
The scenery of the Bloody Wilderness was not as terrifying as its name suggested. Lush green plants and mold covered the ground, while some occasional small bush and shrubs can be seen scattered throughout the land. The only thing that could be related to blood was the skies at the Bloody Wilderness.
The sky was always painted in a shade of red any time of the day, and any day of the year. It would even remain red throughout the four seasons and different weathers. That was probably how the map got its name.
No normal monsters existed in the Bloody Wilderness. The map was inhabited by lvl60 Elite monsters that possessed high levels of intelligence, and huge amount of HP and defence. Ye Ci could only take two of such monsters at the same time. She would be forced to retreat if more of them appeared during the battle.
Of course, the Elite monsters were not the only beings that roamed the map. There was also a big population of leveling fanatics of the Western Continent that were scattered across the map individually or in small groups.
Ye Ci’s progress of exploring the map was hindered by such limitations. She would pick of the occasional isolated monster that she encountered. If the monsters came in pairs, she would then survey her surrounding for any hostile players before engaging them in combat. If the two conditions were not met, she would then avoid the monsters.
The lack of the means to resupply in hostile territory was a huge factor that affected Ye Ci’s strategy. She could not afford to engage Western Continent players in a battle. Besides, her main aim was to discover the location of Vo’sok. She would have difficulties in exploring Vo’sok if she expended too much of her arrows and consumables on hostile players and monsters. Wasn’t it an act of wasting her time?
And time was something that Ye Ci could not afford to waste.
With her movement speed halved as she moved in stealth, and some of the time she spent on killing the monsters in the Bloody Wilderness, six hours had passed when hunger began assaulting Ye Ci’s senses. She hid herself in a bush and logged off from the game after slaying a Bloodthirsty Undead.
Ye Ci informed her parents about her important quest after her lunch, and that she would not be logging off from the game for dinner. Zuo Xiaolan and Ye Nantian who were already veterans of the game knew that players could not log out of the game in certain special quests. They connected two bottles of nutrient fluid to Ye Ci’s gaming cabin and continuously to go offline during intervals of her quest.
Ye Ci then log back into the game after a quick shower. Even she did not know how long she could last after going online, just like how she did not know when she would complete her business in the Western Continent. For the sake of saving time, Ye Ci chose to remain online as long as possible.
A sea of leaves appeared in Ye Ci’s view. She could remember clearly that she hid her character in a bush before going offline. Despite her stealthed status before logging off, the stealth was remove the moment she went online.
Ye Ci immediately entered stealth and studied her surroundings. She then crept slowly out of the bush after making sure that there were no hostile players around.
Dark clouds hung on the sky, and thunder rumbled in the distant accompanied by flashing lightning.
It’s about to rain.
This is certainly not good.
As a game with 100% realism, the change in weather in Fate in a common sight. Players activity and status would also affected by the weather. Sunny and Cloudy days were the most common weather in Fate, and would not affect the players in any way. However, the same could not be said for other weather that occurred on random intervals.
Rain would reduce the visibility of players, and would soak their clothes wet. Characters that were equipped with armor were mostly unaffected by the rain, but the movements of players in cloth armor would be greatly affected. This would affect their ability to perform maneuvers and cast spells.
A windy day would spell bad luck for ranged classes and the wind would affect the range and accuracy of their attacks. Players would need to constantly adjust their aim according to the speed and direction of the wind.
Heavily armored characters would face misfortune areas during the winter. As their characters that were encased in metal armor would freeze to death and their movements would be limited due to the frost. Even the consumption of anti-frost potions could not completely remove such a debuff. Players affected by the cold weather would have reduced carry limit, movement speed, and attack speed.
This was the difference between Fate and its VRMMORPG counterparts, and this was why the experts that migrated into Fate spent a long time to adapt to the game’s weather system.
It’s definitely going to rain.
Rain would turn soil into mud, which was bad news for Ye Ci who was already in stealth. Treading on mud meant that she would be leaving her footprints behind. With the rain limiting her visual ranged, she had to be very careful.
Sometimes, things just don’t work out the way they should be.
 This entire passage here appears to be taken from some Buddhist/Hindu scriptures which I have literally 0 knowledge of, and I tried really hard to find the English translation of it but I can’t. So I’ll just have to make do with pinyin until I come across correct and accurate information in the future. I’m really sorry about this
Ye Ci took in a deep breath, before the rain falls, she then called out her minimap, and continued advancing towards the unexplored parts of the Bloody Wilderness. I hope that I can locate Vo’sok before the rain falls.
The sky grew darker and darker, and the bright red sky turned into a darker shade of red. The dark red sky made Ye Ci restless. As she listened to the distant thunder and stared into the dark red sky, she felt as if there were furious cats trying to claw their way out of her heart.
She would occasionally pull the Goblin Compass out from her pocket, but the compass refused to reveal the location of Vo’sok.
“Huff…” Ye Ci was exhausted. She studied her surroundings carefully, and found a fallen tree. She walked up to the tree and sat leaning on its trunk.. She had to replenish her strength by consuming food, and it was something that she had been doing since her arrival. After all, stealth was an ability that drained her Stamina even faster than running. That was why she was forced to take stops and consume some food to maintain her ability to remain in stealth.
Ye Ci’s heart sank as she saw the rain cloud in the sky.
Fleeting Time was standing in the workshop in Light Saint City, which was one of the busiest place in the entire Western Continent.
With the increase in average player level and the appearance of better equipment and gems, business was good for the workshop. Different gems in Fate would offer additional buffs such as Strength, Agility, Critical Rate, Health, and Speed to players.
The quality of gems were divided into several different grades: Shattered, Cracked, Complete, Flawed, Flawless, and Perfect.
A player could then hire an NPC to merge nine inferior quality gems into a gem of higher quality, with a 100% success rate but a very high price to place. Despite the cost, the workshop was still full of customers. After all, there were limited gem slots in an equipment, and it would be logical to enhance an equipment with the highest quality gems.
The drop rate of inferior gems were relatively high. They could be dropped by the common mobs in any dungeons, and any monsters that were above the level of 30. The gems with superior quality, however, would only be dropped by Elites and higher tier monsters with a very low drop rate.
Fleeting Time was able to gain three higher quality gems by consuming a bottle of Balm of Blessings. He would be lucky to walk off with a single piece of Flawed Gem without the balm.
The three NPCs in the workshop were swarmed by hundreds of players. Even a player with high Strength would have trouble shoving his or her way to the NPC.
Even if Fleeting Time was famous in the Western Continent, the gem merging NPCs operated under a first-come-first serve basis, which meant that he was also required to force his way to the NPC. He would usually be able to squeeze his way through the crowd with his high Agility, but he was distracted by a certain brooch that he saw on a certain Rogue earlier on.
“Where are you now?” Fleeting Time received a message from Absalom as he was deep in thought.
“I’m at the gem merging workshop.”
“You’ve been there for an hour! Do you really have that many gems?”
“I’m still queueing up. There’s a lot of people, you know?” Fleeting Time was distressed when his train of thoughts was distracted by Absalom. The answer was just at the tips of his finger.
“Queueing up? As a Hunter? Is your high level of Agility for show?” Absalom expressed his disdain at Fleeting Time, “By the way, my wife has a question for you. Are you coming back on New Year this time?”
Fleeting Time was momentarily stunned. Why would Absalom’s wife even bother with something like that? There must be something going on.
“Don’t beat around the bush.”
“Hehe… You know what I’m trying to say… That… Person…” it was apparent that Absalom was forced to ask such a question by his wife, and that he was troubled by the topic.
“She’s not married yet?” the impatience was clear in Fleeting Time’s voice. He hated it when people just refused to get straight to the point.
“She has liked you for so many years! Why can’t you just reciprocate her feelings? It’s not easy for a girl to like you and only you for so many years. Don’t you think you’re hurting her?” Absalom sighed. He had expected such a response from Fleeting Time.
“So if a pig had feelings for you, and has liked you for 10 years, are you going to respond to that pig’s feelings?” Fleeting Time snorted.
“Hey! She’s not a pig, alright? She’s a beautiful young lady! Fleeting Time, even if you’re a jackass most of the time, can’t you just have some propriety in your speech?” after all, the girl was a good friend of Absalom’s wife, “Even if you refuse to even acknowledge her presence in the game, can you at least be more courteous in real life? She’s a good friend of my wife, please don’t make this awkward for us.”
“If I’m not interested in her, then she’s no different from a pig to me.” engaging in a conversation that he held no interest in was a waste of time for Fleeting Time, “By the way, there’s something I want to ask?” and he began to steer the conversation away.
“What is it?” Absalom was thinking of ways to safely relay Fleeting Time’s decision to his wife. How troublesome. Women are so troublesome.
“There’s probably not a lot of players who would wear a brooch, am I right?”
“What do you think of this brooch?” Fleeting Time began describing the brooch he saw on the Rogue.
“How the hell would I know? You should go talk to my wife if it’s about jewelleries.” to a person like Absalom, a brooch was just a brooch no matter how well Fleeting Time described it. He was not interested in jewelleries, and would naturally not be able to help Fleeting Time out in this situation.
Fleeting Time immediately disconnected from his chat with Absalom. He was a person who would not waste a single word on someone who was useless to him.
Absalom’s expression darkened when Fleeting Time disconnected the call. What the heck? You hung up on me just because I can’t be of use to you? He then turned to face a Sorceress in fiery red robes after a moment of silence and scratched his head.
“So how did it go? Is he coming back in the New Year?” the Sorceress, Sour Apple, who was also Absalom’s wife was staring at him expectantly. The glitter in her eyes exerted immeasurable amounts of pressure on ABsalom.
“Honey, it’s September, don’t you think it’s too early for that?” said Absalom after a long moment of silence.
Sour Apple glared at her husband and pursed her lips, “What do you mean it’s early? New Year is very close now. We can already start the preparations for…”
“It’s okay Apple, you don’t have to do this for me.” said a Cleric in white robes who were standing behind Sour Apple. She was White Fairytale. Her heart was devoid of any feelings as she heard Absalom’s words. Am I hurting? Perhaps. But I’ve already grown numb at this point.
White Fairytale was friends with Fleeting Time, Absalom, and Sour Apple since junior high school. She began developing feelings for Fleeting Time the first time she met the boy who seemed to not care about anything around him. She dismissed her feelings at first as some fancy thoughts. But as she grew older, her feelings for Fleeting Time grew as well. She would always imagine herself becoming a couple with Fleeting Time just like how Absalom and Sour Apple fell in love with each other.
However, Fleeting Time began treating her coldly when he learned of her feelings for him. At that time, Sour Apple told her that Fleeting Time was just too shy , and would begin to accept her feelings when as time passes, but they have only grown more and more distant over the years. He would never reciprocate her feelings, and would only treat her as his former high school classmate.
From the cold looks Fleeting Time would cast her way, White Fairytale knew that, deep down, Fleeting Time might not even be willing to acknowledge the fact that they even knew each other.
She would always think to herself: Maybe… I’ll continue loving him forever. Even to the day he was married, and to the day I ended up with a husband, I will still love him. Pain gripped her heart whenever the thought surfaced in her mind. She could not even breath as she thought of such a future.
Of course, Sour Apple and Absalom knew about the thoughts of White Fairytale, and they tried their best to play matchmaker for her, but to no avail. Their efforts were ignored by Fleeting Time every single time, and Sour Apple could only vent her frustrations on Absalom.
When Sour Apple heard that Fleeting Time was interested in playing Fate, she tried once again to play matchmaker in the game. She was able to discreetly find out that Fleeting Time would be playing as a Warrior, and immediately made the suggestion for White Fairytale to be playing as a Cleric as the two classes would always work closely together in the game. Just as Sour Apple thought that she would have her way, she found out that Fleeting Time chose the Hunter class instead. She almost coughed up blood when she received the news.
She would never forget that day when she confronted Fleeting Time, “I like it.” was the answer Fleeting Time offered as he chuckled at her.
Sour Apple almost passed out due to anger after hearing the three words. That man was hiding the truth from her from the beginning. She learned an important lesson on that day: She would never be able to outsmart Fleeting Time, who was as sly as a fox. This was how Absalom ended up as a middle man between both sides.
“What do you mean? Isn’t it great if he comes back? We can all go out and have some fun!” Sour Apple winked at White Fairytale.
A sorrowful smile appeared on White Fairytale’s face. She had conflicting feelings in her heart. She was giving up on salvaging her relationship with Fleeting Time, but Sour Apple’s attempts at playing matchmaker were igniting little sparks of hope in her.
She did not utter a single word after listening to Sour Apple’s words. It was apparent that she was looking forward to such an chance.
Absalom was powerless in this situation. He knew of the temperament Fleeting Time. He also knew that White Fairytale had no chance with Fleeting Time, and that her obsession with him would only hurt herself.
“By the way, we’re heading into a dungeon today. I’ll assign you into his party. You can be his personal healer.” said Sour Apple with a smile.
White Fairytale’s expression darkened. There was a secret that even Sour Apple was unaware else. Due to the high standards imposed on the healers in Genesis, the Clerics of the guild were forced to learn to prioritize their healing targets to avoid an overheal. White Fairytale had always been assigned to the same party with Fleeting Time, but she did not even have the chance to heal him up. The reason was simple: Fleeting Time refused to give her the chance. He was always trying his best to avoid even a single point of damage.
“I-I’ll get in touch with you later tonight, there’s something I need to sell at the auction house…” White Fairytale turned around and left.
Absalom could no longer hold himself back as he stared at the lonely girl, “Fairytale!”
White Fairtytale stopped dead in her tracks, and turned around to face Absalom.
“Truth to be told… Fleeting Time is an asshole. What’s so good about him? There’s so many good people in our guild! Just tell me who you like…Aiya!” Sour Apple hit Absalom on his head before he could finish his sentence.
White Fairytale grimaced at Absalom’s unspoken words and left.
“What are you doing?” Sour Apple glared at Absalom, “Can’t you see how sad she is? How could you say something like that?”
“Honey, don’t you think that your act of giving her hope just to see it crushed by Fleeting Time is the most cruel act?” Absalom sighed.
Sour Apple knew that her husband was correct, “I know! But.. If you can see how much she loves Fleeting Time, you will definitely be moved to help her out.”
A person’s name appeared in Absalom’s mind. He could still remember the intense and intimidating aura of that person. She was just like Fleeting Time. Is he serious about her? Or is it all just game to him?
“Just stop trying to play the matchmaker for those two. It’s meaningless.” said Absalom. He could still remember the high spirits of Fleeting Time when he talked about the girl.
Just where have I seen that damn thing?
Fleeting Time crossed his arms against his chest and drummed his fingers on his arms after handing his gems to the NPC. He lifted his head, and saw an Elven Huntress walking on the streets. A sudden thought flashed across his mind.
He could finally remember where he had seen the brooch!
It was pinned in front of Gongzi You’s chest!
He paid no heed to the brooch when he first seen it during his first battle against Gongzi You in the Dragon Dance Competition. That was why he could not immediately make the connection when he saw the same brooch on the Rogue’s chest.
Come to think of it… Gongzi You has been equipping that brooch for a long time. She had never taken the brooch down for nearly 10 months. The brooch was so plain that a person would not notice its presence when he or she was not paying attention. Even the people who were close to Gongzi You would not notice the brooch.
A brooch that was used and was not replaced for 10 months by Gongzi You must be very special. Why would something so special appear on a random Rogue? Did he acquire it by sheer dumb luck?
Or… Could it be that…
Fleeting Time could not bring himself to believe that conclusion that he had reached in his mind.
Is that possible? Is that even possible?
Is it possible for a person to venture into a hostile continent alone? That person had even managed to reach the Bloody Wilderness, which is adjacent to the Light Saint City!
It actually is possible…
As long as the person is Gongzi You, nothing is impossible!