Chapter 253 Moore Part 1
Crimson Millions drummed his fingers on the table in a slow rhythm. The sound was soft, but it was like the howling of demons out for blood to Hidden Dragon’s ears.
Hidden Dragon sat silently by the table with his breath held as he stared at the fingers of Crimson Millions. The player, with his superior mechanical skills and equipment was an elite of the guild. He was also a man that seemed to be shrouded in mystery. Even if Hidden Dragon knew that Crimson Millions was not Zero Arsenic, they were definitely the same type of people.
The movements of Crimson Millions’ fingers topped, “Are you sure that you’ve met Jasmine at the Lesser Demon Sanctuary when you were lvl40?”
“I… I…” even Hidden Dragon himself had forgotten about the details of his encounter with Jasmine. The harsh words of his party members had also planted the seeds of doubt within him, and he began to question his own judgement.
Crimson Millions stared at Hidden Dragon, “I want an objective answer from you, but please be honest with me.” and he reminded him of the virtue of staying honest.
Hidden Dragon could feel chills creeping down his spine. He could feel an unprecedented pressure pressing down on his shoulders. He nodded, and continued after taking in a deep breath, “I was lvl40 when it happened. I stumbled upon the Lesser Demon Sanctuary but was not able to accept any quest in the map due to my low level. I remember seeing Jasmine at the campsite, but she would only respond to me with a few standard lines like a normal NPC. But when I returned to the Black Wind Mountain a few days ago, Jasmine was no longer there.”
He risked stealing a glance at Crimson Millions out of fear that he would anger the man with his unnecessary repetition of something that was already mentioned earlier on.
Crimson Millions remained indifferent. He was still drumming his fingers against the table.
With the lack of reaction from Crimson Millions, Hidden Dragon continued his narration, “I know that NPCs are not limited to only a certain area, so I did not think too much about her disappearance. But I ran into her in another corner of the Lesser Demon Sanctuary later on with two Black Iron Dwarves that I’ve never seen before! The would never respond to me no matter how hard I try to initiate a conversation with them. I could, however, tell from their actions that they were searching for something. This was why I asked my party along to the place today, but we found nothing out of the ordinary.”
The cogs in Crimson Millions’ mind were turning as he listened to Hidden Dragon’s words. What are the Black Iron Dwarves trying to find? He would never have minded something like this if any other race was involved, but there was an unspoken rule in Fate that the presence of Black Iron Dwarves would signify the existence of valuable ores. Such ores were nothing but materials for equipment at the current stage of the game, but their value would soar in the later stages of the game.
There were also rumors that the Isle of Heroes and the Black Plum Family were planning to seize an abandoned fort. Similar incidents would definitely happen in the near future when guilds from all the continents began contending for the possession of abandoned forts and cities scattered throughout different maps. There would definitely be a need for war machines and siege engines that were required for such a form of warfare. This would see an increase of demands for valuable ores. A far-sighted guild would definitely hold on to their high level ores until the time was right.
Hidden Dragon’s discovery meant that the Black Iron Dwarves came across a valuable ore in the area. If Jasmine was a regular NPC, she would not ignore communication from players even when she found the ores. This meant that it was either a BUG, which will be fixed by the developers once the problem is reported. Or… There is also the possibility of a second scenario….
It can also mean that a player had already activated the quest, and had triggered the quest lock. This would mean an entirely different thing. Who did it? What sort of quest is it? Will there even be a quest lock if the ores that were discovered are just normal ores?
Crimson Millions was bubbling with excitement. He cast a glance at Hidden Dragon and spoke up, “Contact the Fate customer service and report a BUG.”
“The BUG where Jasmine will not talk to you. Try asking if the developers have missed part of Jasmine’s dialogue.” Crimson Millions’ knew that there was no way an accurate answer could be gained from the customer service, but their response would be a valuable hint. If this is not a BUG, then it’s a quest lock. I’ll have to send people over to the place and have them kill anyone who attempts to unlock the quest. Bloody Steel will then take over the quest.
“Alright.” despite his confusion, Hidden Dragon submitted a BUG report. He was informed by a customer service employee that it was a minor BUG and the developers have already been notified about the problem. He was then awarded 100 gold coins as a token of gratitude by the developers.
The developers’ response did not come as a surprise for Crimson Millions, but it was a confirmation of his suspicions. Such a vague response could only mean that the second scenario was something that was very possible.
Hidden Dragon was anxious. He did not know what was going on in Crimson Millions’ mind. He could only stared silently at the man as he waited for further instructions.
It took Crimson Millions a long while to register the presence of another person in the guild conference room. He smiled apologetically at Hidden Dragon, “Ahh, I’m so sorry. I was deep in thought just know and lost touch of my surroundings.”
“It’s no big deal boss.” Hidden Dragon stood up immediately and waved his hands. It was obvious that he was surprised by Crimson Millions’ tone.
“This is a very valuable information. I’ll see to it that you’re rewarded with two months worth of salary. I hope that you can continue to keep an eye out on things like this.” said Crimson Millions with a smile. The salary of a third-rate member was nothing to an officer like him, but was a bountiful reward for Hidden Dragon.
Excitement immediately replaced the panic in Hidden Dragon’s eyes, which was noticed by Crimson Millions despite his best attempt to keep his feelings hidden. “Alright, you can be on your way now. Don’t get into more fights with the guild members.”
“Alright boss, I understand.” Hidden Dragon stood up with excitement clear in his face. The matters of this world are indeed unpredictable. Just when Hidden Dragon thought that he had lost his salary for the month, he received a bonus that was twice the amount.
“Do not tell anybody else about this.” came the reminder from Crimson Millions.
“Alright, alright. I’ll keep this a secret. I’ll be on my way now boss.” Hidden Dragon could barely contain his joy as he left the conference room.
Crimson Millions immediately contacted Thousand Sunsets upon the departure of Hidden Dragon and briefed his leader about the situation. With his attention focused wholly on trying to bring Unbridled Willow down, Thousand Sunsets have left the guild’s daily operations to his trusted advisors, who would only go into contact with him over important matters. The man himself was busy leading the elite squadron in dungeon explorations and equipment farming.
The message from Crimson Millions sent Thousand Sunsets deep into thought. Crimson Millions was an intelligent person, but his meticulous way of handling things was not in line with Thousand Sunsets’ standards. Despite his lack of subtlety, Thousand Sunsets was very decisive with his actions. Zero Arsenic would originally take care of the finer details when it came to guild management, complementing what Thousand Sunsets lacked. When Zero Arsenic was sent to aid Unbridled Willow by the old master, Thousand Sunsets was worried that his would be at a disadvantage. He did not expect Crimson Millions to be as intelligent and attentive as Zero Arsenic.
“We don’t have a lot of information about this yet. Act as you see fit, but let me know if something big happens. I’ll leave it in your hands.” Thousand Sunsets finally replied after some moments of thought.
With the permission from Thousand Sunsets, Crimson Millions immediately dispatched Rogues to the coordinates provided by Hidden Dragon to scour for players that might hold the key to the quest lock. Many high level miners were also sent to the map to mine for any possible traces of rare ores.
Unlike Bloody Steel, Upwards Ho! decided to maintain a low profile. Despite their reputation, the guild was still no match against Bloody Steel. This meant that Upwards Ho! was forced to tread very carefully in this matter.
With the task of monitoring the Mithril ore vein handed over to Timely Rain, Ye Ci’s worry was lifted. She was not one to easily give her trust, but once her mind was made to trust in Timely Rain, she would no longer harbor any doubts towards him. As the saying goes, “A man being used cannot be suspected while a suspected man cannot be used.”
And this was how the matter came to an end for the moment.
Ye Ci’s mind, however, was still not at peace. There were still two things that required her attention. One of them was the completion of her Epic-tier quest, and the other was the preliminary quests for the Mithril ore veins in the Southern and Northern continents. She was certain that players from the Southern Continent was still unaware of the existence of the Mithril ore vein in their continent, but it would not remain a secret for long when players advance past the threshold of lvl50. The Northern Continent was too dangerous for Ye Ci at this point of the game, and there was no time limit for the completion of her Epic-tier quest.
With her mind made, Ye Ci immediately headed to the Southern Continent.
Even when there was no way that the Black Plum Family and the Isle of Heroes would expect Ye Ci to return to the Southern Continent one day after her departure, she was still wary of her surroundings. After all, one of the guilds have already attempted to tail Ye Ci, and there was no guarantee that the same thing would not happen again. This was why the Brooch of Deceit became something that was very important to Ye Ci during her stay in the Southern Continent. She was in the territory of an allying continent, which meant that the Brooch of Deceit’s ability could last as long as three hours despite retaining its one day cooldown.
Ye Ci was able to travel through the teleportation point of Hurricane City with the guise of a male Hunter into the heartlands of the Southern Continent. She had acquired a strong brown horse since her return from the Western Continent due to the low speed of her little red horse. Her new steed was something that was very normal among the general player population. The horse had a movement speed of 110, which was significantly lower than Ol’ Four’s 200 movement speed, but it was still one of the steeds favoured by players.
The steed was also something that would not attract the attention of bystanders, which made it a good choice for Ye Ci.
As expected, Ye Ci was not tailed by any Southern Continent players with her disguise. She was nothing but a Hunter with inferior equipment who was not worthy of attention to the eyes of those around her.
The Karo Plains was a vast grassland bordered by a long mountain range, which branched off from the main mountain range of the Southern Continent, the Fraroz Mountains. It was also the location of the Southern Continent’s Mithril ore vein. The Karo Plains was inhabited by muscular cannibals that were three times taller than a normal player. Despite their capacity for violence and bloodlust, the cannibals had the intelligence levels of low grade animals. Most of the cannibals were above lvl60, but Ye Ci could take on up to five of them at a time with the aid of Ol’ Four.
With her previous experience in the Eastern Continent, Ye Ci was able to quickly locate the Black Iron Dwarves in the Karo camp and triggered the Mithril quest. Due to the low monster population, low spawn rate, and low drop rate of the map, the Karo Plains were devoid of players.
This was why Ye Ci’s quest in the Karo Plains was able to progress smoothly. It took her only half a day to complete the preliminary quest. When the Black Iron Dwarves began their exploration of the ore vein, Ye Ci left the Karo Plains with a heart full of relief.
It was easy for Ye Ci to travel to the Northern Continent from. She was able to gain passage to a neutral map located in the Northern Continent, the Dor’Ami Wetlands, by paying a certain amount of gold coins at the harbour of Dark Clay city.
The harbour was situation on neutral grounds between the Eastern Continent and the Northern Continent, which meant that many players from both continents were always present around the area. With the harbor of Dark Clay City as her destination, Ye Ci decided to turn in her quest as well.
Despite the large scale battle between the Northern Continent and Eastern Continent players in the past, there was still a large number of Nothern Continent players in Dark Clay City. The soldiers posted in the city, however, would stop any fights between players in the neutral map. Any players who attempted to start a fight would be hunted down and severely punished by the soldiers.
Ye Ci did not summon Ol’ Four for the sake of laying low. She disguised herself as a normal player and entered the city on horseback. Not a single player knew that Gongzi You had entered the city. Ye Ci arrived at the administration building without trouble and was able to quickly locate the Mayor Ladar.
Ladar had always felt distant for Ye Ci no matter her Prestige level with Dark Clay City. Ye Ci would always have a strange feeling when she interacted with the mayor. It was as if she was being cheated by the mayor.
The feeling remained strong no matter how courteous Ladar was with his speech.