Chapter 232 Ambition
F*ck! Just what the heck is this weather?
Ye Ci inched closer to the fallen tree in an attempt to find cover from the rain.
The rain was bad news for Ye Ci. She had been expecting rain ever since the dark clouds, flashes of lightning and the rumbling of thunder appeared. She waited and waited for the rain to fall, and it did at the worst possible moment. The rain fell just as she was exhausted and was about to consume some food to restore her Stamina.
Even when the rain would not affect a high level Hunter, it would still cause discomfort to Ye Ci. Her vision would also be affected by the rain splashing on her face.
The Western Continent players had long since vacated the Bloody Wilderness due to the rain. Unlike the players, monsters were not affected by the weather, and this was a disadvantage that the players would want to avoid.
Silence enveloped the Bloody Wilderness. The only source of noise was the gurgling of rain and the occasional rumbling thunder.
Ye Ci wiped the water away from her face. She was depressed. F*ck this! Why does it have to rain at a time like this? Her bread was soaked due to the rain, and she was forced to consumed the last of her roasted chicken as an alternative.
She was able to recover her Stamina, but she was also drenched from head to toe by the rain. Her rain-slickened silvery hair was clinging to her throat, and her entire body was dripping with water. She looked no different from a drowned rat.
Players would not catch a cold in Fate, but the weather could still affect their Stamina. Ye Ci was almost out of food, and her Stamina would be drained away with her continuous exposure to the rain. After a brief moment of hesitation, Ye Ci decided to search for a new hiding spot.
After all, the Bloody Wilderness is a big place. There was no way she would be detected by hostile players as most of the players had either left the map or were already seeking shelter.
Ye Ci wasted no time in entering stealth as she made her way to the opening of a cave. It was an area that she had scouted out before stopping for a meal. The place was well-hidden, and was devoid of players and monsters alike. It was the best hiding spot she had in mind.
Before she could make her few final steps to safety, her long pointed ears twitched, and she dodged out of reflex. And object then whistled past her ears.
It was an arrow.
As a Huntress, she was very sensitive to the sounds of arrows. Despite the heavy rain, Ye Ci was able to hear the incoming arrow. With a quick motion, she was able to avoid the arrow as it flew past her throat harmlessly.
The arrow buried itself onto the ground not far from her. The feathers at the base of the arrow was still quivering with the force of the impact. Ye Ci shifted her gaze to the direction where the arrow was fired, and saw a silhouette with a bow in his hands.
She narrowed her eyes. That person was someone that she would recognise even when he was turned into ash.
Fleeting Time immediately headed to the Bloody Wilderness from Light Saint City for the sake of confirming his suspicions. If that person was really Gongzi You… For her to travel to the hinterlands of the Western Continent all the way from the Eastern Continent… Whatever she’s up to, it must be very important.
He was very certain with his assumption. It must be something that could benefit Gongzi You greatly. It might even be an Epic-tier quest! mused Fleeting Time, there’s no way she’d come here if it’s not for an Epic-tier quest.
After all, he would definitely do the same thing for an Epic-tier quest, even if he had to venture into Eastern Continent’s Champion Continent.
An Epic-tier quest was not something that could be easily encountered.
An Eastern Continent player would not be able to see the details of a map in the Western Continent. The player must explore the area before details would begin to appear on his or her map. Fleeting Time was certain that Gongzi You had never been to the Western Continent, and her first course of action in the Bloody Wilderness was to explore the map.
The Bloody Wilderness was a huge map. Despite its lack of dungeons, the map was populated by a large number of lvl60 Elite Monsters with absurd amounts of attack, defence and HP. They were not something that an average player could handle. This was why the population of players in the Bloody Wilderness was relatively small. The total number of solo and partied players were less than 200. Even when these players were spread out all over the map, they were still a threat to players from a hostile continent.
Fleeting Time had confidence in Gongzi You’s ability in handling herself in a PVP combat. With that annoying dinosaurs of hers, she could easily defeat any Western Continent player she encountered in the Bloody Wilderness. The humanoid monsters in the map would not even pose a challenge to Gongzi You.
However… thought Fleeting Time to himself, Gongz You would definitely explore the map cautiously, and avoid any conflict as she won’t be able to resupply herself in the Western Continent. He did not know of Gongzi You’s entry point to the Western Continent, but he was certain that she would be low on supplies due to her long journey to the Bloody Wilderness. With the quest she must accomplish, she would definitely not engage anyone in battle. She would definitely traverse the map in stealth and avoid players along the way.
But… Things will definitely take a turn if Gongzi You was able to complete her quest. There was no way she would deny herself the chance to earn some Kill Glory in the Bloody Wilderness. This was why Fleeting Time came to the conclusion that Gongzi You was still exploring the Bloody Wilderness. The only thing in Fleeting Time’s mind at that moment was to head to the Bloody Wilderness and seek her out.
He was sure that he would have done what Gongzi You was doing under the same circumstances.
In times, top-tier players would actually share similar ways of thinking..
However, the level of uncertainty was still too high for Fleeting Time. When he saw Gongzi You in the Putrid Trail, she had the appearance of a Western Continent male Rogue. This meant that she had an item that could allow her to disguise herself. Does it have a time limit? If it does not, then I’ll be wrong.
Despite his doubts, Fleeting Time was determined to cling on to the tiniest clue that would allow her to locate Gongzi You.
Fleeting Time’s unicorn was restless when he entered the Bloody Wilderness. Unicorns were sacred beasts living in a pure forest, and were very sensitive to the scent of evil beings. A unicorn would naturally be restless in a place full of evil aura.
Fleeting Time stroked the mane of his unicorn in an attempt to calm its nerves. The beast, reassured by the presence of its master, lifted its head and let out a long neigh.
“So where is she headed…” Fleeting Time gazed into the distance as he stood at the opening of the crevice. He seemed lost in the vast, borderless map. After a moment of thought, Fleeting Time decided to activate his skill, Humanoid Tracking, and headed into a random direction.
Using Humanoid Tracking in such a situation was not the most ideal solution. After all, the Bloody Wilderness was full of humanoid monsters, and players from hostile continents were classified as humanoid opponents as well. To locate Gongzi You who would definitely be in stealth in the midst of a sea of humanoid monsters was like finding a needle in a haystack.
Fleeting Time’s search turned out to be fruitless after searching far and wide for Gongzi You. he would occasionally stumble upon the corpses of some humanoid monsters which were far away from any spawn points, in an area that was devoid of players. As he approached the corpse of a humanoid monster, Fleeting Time could see that the wounds on the corpses were caused by arrows. Even if the lack of wounds left by a pet could be an indicator that it was the handiwork of a Ranger, Fleeting Time was certain that the monsters were slain by Gongzi You.
The wounds suffered by the monsters were all centered around their weak spot, and Fleeting Time had never seen a single Ranger in the Western Continent who could hit their targets with such precision. This was definitely the handiwork of a Hunter. A Hunter who did not summon her pet in combat. It could only be Gongzi You! After all, her pet dinosaur would definitely attract the attention of players nearby.
There was no signs of footstep anywhere near the corpses. It was apparent that Gongzi You was extremely careful in avoiding detection.
It also meant that effect of the the item that allowed her to disguise herself as a Western Continent had a time limit, and that the time limit for her disguise was already up. This was why Gongzi You was so careful in hiding her tracks.
A smile appeared on Fleeting Time’s lips. This is interesting. This is very interesting indeed.
Fleeting Time noticed the gathering clouds on the distant sky when he heard the rumbling of thunder. What a bother, it’s going to rain in the Bloody Wilderness again. Fleeting Time furrowed his eyebrows. The map could be said to have the one of the highest intensity in the entire Western Continent. It would not be that much of a bother if it only drizzles in the Bloody Wilderness, but rain in the map came in the form of fierce thunderstorms that would last for hours.
This is the most undesirable environment for a ranged class like the Hunter.
Fleeting Time spurred his unicorn onwards, galloping his way deeper into the deeper parts of the Bloody Wilderness. He must locate Gongzi You before the rain, or it would be almost impossible to locate her in the midst of a thunderstorm. He knew nothing about the quest that Gongzi You was trying to complete in the Bloody Wilderness, but he knew that he could not allow time to drag on, as it would mean that Gongzi You was closer in completing her quest. If she was able to complete her quest… He might not be able to get an opportunity like this again.
An hour had passed, and Fleeting Time was still not able to track the location of Gongzi You.
The rain, however, began to pour down from the sky, and was getting heavier with each passing moment. Fleeting Time’s visibility was severely hindered by the rain. He stood in the rain and studied his surroundings. He had traversed through 80% of the map, but Gongzi You was still nowhere in sight. This girl sure knows how to cover her tracks well…
Fleeting Time closed his eyes, and rainwater dripped down from his eyelashes. There was a glint of excitement in his gaze when he finally reopened his eyes. It’s not a bad thing at all. What fun would there be if I find her too easily?
Just then, he received a message from Absalom “Fleeting Time, the party’s heading into the dungeon in 30 minutes, why are you still not here yet?”
“I’m not going.” Fleeting Time rejected Absalom’s summons without even a moment of consideration.
“What? You’re telling me that you’re not going into the Elite difficulty dungeon with us? There’ll be a lot of good stuff! Are you sure you’re not coming along?” Absalom could hardly contain his rage.
“You’re telling me that Genesis will never be able to clear the dungeon without me, Fleeting Time?” Fleeting Time would never believe such a thing. After all, there were a lot of good Hunters in the guild that could work well with the party. There was no way they would fail without his presence.
“It’s not like that…” Absalom grabbed at his hair. Sour Apple had already arranged for White Fairytale to be in the same team with Fleeting Time. He would definitely be scolded by his wife if Fleeting Time decided to not show up at the last moment.
“There’s something that I really have to deal with. I’ll join you guys in the next run.” Fleeting Time was in a good mood in his process of looking for Gongzi You, which made him more willing to engage in lengthier conversations with Absalom.
“Just what are you up to?” any other person who displayed such an attitude would have long since been removed from the elite squadron, “How can it be more important than clearing this dungeon?”
“I can join you people in clearing an Elite difficulty dungeon anytime I want, but some opportunities would be lost forever if I don’t grab it in time.” Fleeting Time spotted a figure leaning against a fallen tree not far away from him. Is it a player, or just a humanoid monster?
Fleeting Time was wary due to the low visibility. He dismounted from his unicorn, and began creeping on the figure in stealth.
The figure stood up, and studied her surroundings carefully. After making sure that there were no hostile players around, she immediately sprinted at the direction of a cave not far away from her.
Her skin was pale, and her silvery hair that was drenched by the rain was messy as they clung on to her armor. Her movements, however, remained swift and sharp as an unsheathed blade. Even when her form appeared to be frailer than usual in the heavy rain, there was an unmistaken aura surrounding her shrewd form.
Fleeting Time smiled as he studied the figure. He was right, the person was Gongzi You.
He had never dreamt of the day where he would meet her in the Western Continent.
She had been staying in the Bloody Wilderness since their brief encounter, and eight hours have passed since that short moment. The long time she spent on hiding and the heavy rain would definitely dull her sense. This was why she was not aware of his presence.
Fleeting Time stood up slowly, and drew a Black Feather Arrow from his quiver. He took his aim at Gongzi You who was sprinting through the rain, and fired the arrow.
I have to give her some form of greeting after such a long time, right?
Fleeting Time did not fire of a second shot. Ye Ci could not see the expression of his face as he stood silently in the rain, but judging from his posture, she was certain that he was not planning on firing off a second shot. Ye Ci stood up slowly and raised her eyebrows. It seems that I’ve underestimated this guy.
She thought that she would be free from danger when he did not immediately show up after their brief encounter. She wanted nothing to do with that man. His appearance was something that was beyond her expectation.
They were in a secluded spot of the Bloody Wilderness that was far away from any spawn points. Ye Ci was certain that Fleeting Time was definitely not there to level up. He was there for her.
Ye Ci took in a deep breath, and the ghost of a smile appeared on her lips. Now this is interesting.
Ye Ci knew that she was almost out of arrows and consumables. If she engage Fleeting Time in combat at this moment, she would no longer be able to continue her exploration of the map. Then again, she was not a person who would be willing back down despite the situation.
Should I fight? Or should I back down?
After a moment of thought, Ye Ci decided to fight. In a worst case scenario, she would be forced to waste an entire day to wait for the cooldown of the Brooch of Deceit, and sneak her way to the closest resupplying camp. Since she had already scouted out the route for her journey back, she would not be in any danger if she was careful enough.
Her only concern at that moment was to defeat Fleeting Time before her arrows ran out, and log out of the game.
Fleeting Time stood motionlessly as he stared at Gongzi You, who was also standing in silence. He knew that she was weighing her options. A smile appeared on his face as he waited patiently for Gongzi You to reach her decision.
As a gentleman, he would of course allow the lady to determine if they should fight.
After a long moment of silence, Gongzi You finally drew her bow, and nocked an arrow.
At the blink of an eye, the two figures dashed out into the rain like arrows fired from a bow.
The rain itself grew heavier, as if the sky itself was falling.
In truth, the movements of Fleeting Time and Ye Ci were hindered by the storm. It was a very uncomfortable to have rain splattering on their armor. Their accuracy was also greatly decreased because of the rain, and Ye Ci could feel her heart aching whenever her arrows missed their mark.
In a battle in the pouring rain, Stamina was a deciding factor for victory. Ye Ci was running out of arrows, and her Stamina was in the red. It was obvious that Fleeting Time would be able to outlast her in this fight. She was in an absolute disadvantage.
Will he accept a ceasefire? Even if he’s willing to.. What sort of reason do I use to call for one?
A sudden idea appeared in Ye Ci’s mind. This solution could turn the situation around for her, and even benefit her in her quest.
Despite her eagerness to finish the fight with Fleeting Time, Ye Ci knew that such a course of action was a foolish one. She could not afford to die in the Western Continent. Time was not on her side. She might also fail the quest if she died and was respawned in the Eastern Continent.
Because of that, Ye Ci made the hardest decision she had ever made in her gaming life.
She slung her bow, and walked towards Fleeting Time.
Fleeting Time stopped his attacked as well when he saw that Gongzi You had ceased all her attacks, and was walking slowly towards him. He studied Gongzi You silently, maintaining his readiness for a fight.
“What is it?” Gongzi You stopped 10 yards away from Fleeting Time. Despite her pale face, Fleeting Time could still see the strong spirit in her captivating amber eyes. Gongz You did not reach for her sword, nor was she displaying any intention to continue the fight. It was as if the intense killing intent around her had dispersed altogether.
“I concede defeat.” said Ye Ci in a soft voice that was audible despite the heavy rain.
Fleeting Time was surprised to hear her words. Is Gongzi You someone who knows defeat? No. She’s a person who will fight to the bitter end. Why is she conceding defeat now?
He was right. Ye Ci was someone who would never give up. Her decision to concede defeat did not come easily. Under such a situation, conceding defeat was her best choice.
A person who refused to back down for the sake of pride was not a hero, but a fool. A person destined for success was a person who knew when to make a stand and when to back down. After taking into account the price she would have to pay for continuing the fight, Ye Ci concluded that there was nothing wrong in admitting defeat. After all, this course of action would actually benefit her in the long term.
Fleeting Time slung his brow and raised his eyebrows, “Why is that?” Ye Ci’s action had successfully aroused his curiosity.
“I’m out of supplies.” said Ye Ci calmly, as if she was merely discussing the weather.
Fleeting Time narrowed his eyes. This was well within his expectation, but he refused to believe that it was the sole contributor to Gongzi You’s decision of conceding defeat. She have not even summoned her pet, and even if she was out of arrows, she could still engage him in melee combat. Besides, he remembered that Gongzi You was armed with bombs that were highly destructive. There could be only one reason why Gongzi You admitted defeat before even trying her best: She was up to something.
Fleeting Time’s lips formed into a smile, and a glint of excitement appeared in his eyes, “Ahh… Didn’t we agreed the last time we met? That you’ll have a drink with me if you lost? Come, why don’t you have a drink with me?”
As expected, Fleeting Time could see Gongzi You’s eyebrows furrowing slightly despite her calm expression. It was an indicator that she was slightly angered. However, she did not explode into anger like she normally would, and instead spoke in a calm voice, “I don’t have useless things like that with me.”
Ahhhh… She must be up to something. The Gongzi You he knew would have been enraged by now. Fleeting Time was amused. He walked up to Ye Ci and stared at her calm expression, into the depths of her eyes.
“I have a bottle of wine with me.” Fleeting Time studied his surroundings, and spotted Ye Ci’s original destination, “That’s a good spot to hide from the rain. Let’s go, drink with me.”
Ye Ci had the urge to stab at Fleeting Time who was exposing his back to her. If she was able to stab him in the heart, it would definitely be a fatal blow. It was impossible that Fleeting Time was unaware of such a fact. A person who would do such a thing even when he knows about the danger is either an idiot, or is confident that I won’t be able to kill him.
Fleeting Time was apparently the latter.
He was sure that Gongzi You would not be able to kill him. In fact, he was certain that Gongzi You would not even attempt to kill him.
Ye Ci was not happy to have a drink under such circumstances, especially after listening to Fleeting Time’s words. What is there to celebrate for? Despite her anger, Ye Ci did not show her displeasure.
Fleeting Time was a worthy opponent. Even if he had a bad mouth, he would not fight dirty, and would not take advantage of his opponent’s difficulties. It was rare for a player from a hostile continent to exhibit such a behavior. Drinking with an opponent like this… It’s not bad at all.
Ye Ci received the finest of wines from Fleeting Time. It was the best wine in the entire Western Continent, brewed with the raspberry grown on the Everspring Plateau at the Ma’ou Mountain near Light Saint City.
It was something that could not be found in the Eastern Continent.
Ye Ci took a whiff of the bottle, and was able to tell the origins of the wine. She stared at Fleeting Time, this guy sure knows how to enjoy life, “This is the Midnight Wine of the Light Saint City. It’s quite expensive.”
“You’re quite knowledgeable about the stuff in this game.” Fleeting Time was surprised that Ye Ci was able to name the wine, this girl is keeping a lot of secrets, and he said with a laugh, “Since I’m treating Little Gongzi to a drink, I must of course use the best wine.” he did not mind how expensive and how rare the wine was. To him, the wine was just a tool to liven things up.
The rich and mellow flavor of the wine spread in Ye Ci’s mouth, and flowed down her throat. As a high quality wine, the Midnight Wine was able to recover Ye Ci’s stamina after a few mouthfuls.
Fleeting Time leaned lazily against a boulder and stared at Ye Ci. A weird smile appeared on his lips as he drummed his fingers against his knee.
Ye Ci ignored Fleeting Time’s gaze, and stared at the bonfire beside her. She appeared to be deep in thought, but at the same time, it was as if her mind was blank.
“You don’t have to be so courteous with me. Just speak out your mind.” said Fleeting Time with a smile after a moment of silence.
Ye Ci turned around to face the piercing gaze of Fleeting Time. She felt as if she could hide no secret from the man. She narrowed her eyes, it seems that Fleeting Time is not someone that I can deal with easily after all. Ye Ci pursed her lips, and went straight to the point, “I want to see Absalom.”
The movements of Fleeting Time’s fingers paused for a brief moment before he resumed drumming them on his knees. “You broke my heart, Little Gongzi. I thought you came to the Western Continent for me, but you’re here to see that guy? This is just sad.”
Ye Ci did not explode into rage despite Fleeting Time’s teasing. She raised her eyebrows and smiled, totally ignoring his words.
Now that’s rare. I’ve never seen her remaining calm even after being teased. She’s not as simple as I thought. But why is she looking for Absalom? Do they even know each other?
Fleeting Time stared at Ye Ci, “If you don’t mind, can you tell me what business do you have with Absalom?”
“I’m looking for the guild leader of the strongest guild in the Western Continent, and Absalom happened to be that person.” said Ye Ci with a calculative smile.
It was the first time Fleeting Time saw such an expression on Gongzi You’s face. He was always teasing her in their previous encounters, and they were always fighting to the death. This came as an amusement to Fleeting Time.
The intensity of her gaze and the mischievous grin gave Fleeting Time a feeling that she was an ambitious person despite her calm expression. Truth to be told, he was captivated by her ambitious look, “Little Gongzi, you’re so coy. I’m merely asking about your business with Absalom, and not why you’re looking for him.”
“Mithril.” Ye Ci sighed,it was tiring to communicate with a smart person, especially when he was right in front of you. She lost her patience in playing word games with Fleeting Time.
Mithril was just a metal to a normal player at the current stage of the game. But for a top-tier player like Fleeting Time and the leader of a major guid like Absalom, it had an entirely different meaning.
Fleeting Time froze when the words left Ye Ci’s mouth. He was still leaning against the boulder, but the mischievous smile on his face was long gone. He spoke up in a low voice after a long moment of silence, “Did you say ‘Mithril’?”
“What? Is Fleeting Time so senile that he can’t hear me?” Ye Ci smiled innocently.
Fleeting Time was unfazed by Ye Ci’s insult, and instead returned her smile, “Alright. I’ll get him to come over.”
Ye Ci knew that Fleeting Time was a member of Genesis, but his close relationship with Absalom was beyond her knowledge. How can a person summon the leader of the strongest guild in the Western Continent as he pleases? Ye Ci raised her eyebrows. She had a feeling that the Goddess of Luck had actually never abandoned her.
“Tell him that he must come alone.” said Ye Ci.
Fleeting Time’s smile widened, “Alright. Consider it done.”
At that moment, Absalom was leader a 100-player party in a Elite difficulty dungeon. Before they could even reach the first BOSS, Absalom received a message from Fleeting Time. He spoke in an angry tone to the person who caused the misery he suffered at the hands of his wife, “Heh? You want to join us in the dungeon? Do you think that I don’t have a replacement for your spot? There’s no spot left! If you want to join the dungeon-clearing, report to me three days later!”
Absalom’s grumbling was ignored by Fleeting Time, “I want you to get to the Bloody Wilderness now to the coordinates: 7831:4691:28.” he said with a smile.
“What?” Absalom was puzzled, “Oi oi oi… You must sending be your message to the wrong person…”
He received yet another message from Fleeting Time, “Please make sure that you’re coming alone.”
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