“Who will be keeping an eye on Gongzi You then?” yawned Absalom. He was already very tired, and was missing his soft bed dearly.
“She’s just one person! What can she do?” Silent Hymn was sceptical to the explanation offered by Absalom, “It must be Fleeting Time isn’t it?”
“Shh… Don’t say it out loud. I’ll feel sad. I’ve been like brothers with him for so many years, but I have not noticed that he’s a person who would place his lover over friendship. I’m starting to doubt my ability to judge characters.” chuckled Absalom.
Silent Hymn let out a laugh as well. He was not placing the blame on Fleeting Time, but the man was in dead more well-read than he was when it came to the books in the National Library. This meant that Silent Hymn’s progress was significantly slower. If Fleeting Time was the one who was in charge of completing the quest, he might even be able to complete it in a single day. A yawn escaped Silent Hymn’s mouth as he leaned against a wooden crate. Before he could drift into sleep, a thought flashed across his mind, “By the way, White Fairytale seems to be trying to woo Fleeting Time, am I right?”
“What do you mean by ‘seems to be’? It’s already a widely known fact! The spirit of gossipping is weak within you.” Absalom rolled his eyes at Silent Hymn as a sign of disdain.
Silent Hymn paid no heed to Absalom, “I’ve never cared about baseless rumors like that,” and he continued after a slight pause, “So Fleeting Time had really taken a fancy to Gongzi You?”
“I guess so.” Absalom sniffed, “If he can seduce Gongzi You into joining the Western Continent, I’ll be rich!”
It was Silent Hymn’s turn to roll his eyes at Absalom, “Say, there’s something that just came into my mind.”
“What is it?”
“How do you think White Fairytale will react when she finds out about this?”
“Who knows?” Absalom was apparently not interested in the love life woman like White Fairytale, “I think you should talk to Sour Apple about this. I know nothing about this.”
“I’m not interested in White Fairytale’s love life, but I think that she can be quite extreme at time. She’s a person who is quite disconnected from reality. I understand that not everybody in this world is perfect, but I’m quite nervous about this.” Silent Hymn knew that Absalom had never thought about such an eventuality.
“Why is that?” Absalom finally caught on to the meaning behind Silent Hymn’s words, and the fatigue immediately left his body, “You mean to say that…”
“If memory serves, Sour Apple once said that White Fairytale has loved Fleeting Time for 13 years, but her love was never reciprocated by Fleeting Time. Her strong desires that went unquenched will definitely make her irrational. Once she finds out that Fleeting Time likes Gongzi You…”
Absalom furrowed his eyebrows, “You’re saying that…”
He received a nod from Silent Hymn, “And don’t forget that she’s a member of our main force. Even if she’s not an officer of her guild, I’m pretty sure that she knows a lot of our guild’s secret because of her close relationship with Sour Apple. It would be best if she’s able to accept it as it was. It’ll be the best outcome both for Fleeting Time and herself. But… What if she loses all sense of rationality? What if she decides to exact revenge on Fleeting Time?”
“Even when Genesis is the largest guild in the Western Continent, it does not mean that our position is firm. Besides, Golden Era is coming soon. It’ll be hard times for us if they decide to come to the Western Continent.” Silent Hymn had always been zealously cautious. According to the words of Fleeting Time, he was a pessimist who would always expect the worst outcome in things.
“You’re afraid that White Fairytale might betray us?”
“I don’t think she will under normal circumstances, but I’m not so sure now.” said Silent Hymn as he stared at the members of his party that was approaching from afar, “We can’t expect her to forget the things that had already happened, but we can still take precautions against her. All of us, especially Sour Apple, must maintain a tight lip around her.”
“I’ll find a way to transfer her away from our main force.” Absalom realised the gravity of the situation. He stood up and cross his arms in front of his chest, appearing to be deep in thought. It was not something that could be easily done especially when he must avoid arousing White Fairytale’s suspicions.
“By the way, I’ve been contacted by some corporations that are willing to invest in us, but I don’t think that they’re ideal choices for us. Do you want to wait for more offers? Or should we proceed with the ones we have?”
“Let’s just wait then. I have the feeling that things are going to change soon.” Absalom took in a deep breath, “If the Mithril ore vein is real, Genesis will be able make history!”
Absalom’s statement was something that even Silent Hymn could not doubt.
“Just keep moving forward. There are no more monsters ahead.” Ye Ci received a message from Fleeting Time the moment the logged into the game.
“How long do I have to walk?” Ye Ci could feel aching when she saw the countless reflections of herself.
“You’ll find out soon enough.” Fleeting Time responded with a laugh.
While she was baffled by the response of Fleeting Time, Ye Ci was not worried. Gongzi You was prepared for any situation and could remain calm at all times. Anxiety will only place a person in the worst possible condition. After the experiences in her past life, there was nothing much that could unsettle Ye Ci.
After picking off the few remaining monsters in the house of mirrors, Ye Ci moved on forward. She arrived at the end of the corridor filled with mirrors, and saw a bright blinding light ahead.
She immediately sprinted forward, leaving the house of mirrors behind her. After taking yet another right turn, Ye Ci realised that she was heading towards the same direction that she was facing when she first walked through the large metal door.
Ye Ci was shocked by the scene in front of her.
She was standing in a long corridor decorated with lights. The floor was covered with Jacquard rug that retained its lavishness despite years of neglect. She saw a man sitting at the end of the corridor, accompanied by a dark red bat.
The sight sent warmth creeping into Ye Ci’s heart. It was the feeling of a person who saw light after a long journey taken in darkness. She was actually happy to see him.
It was a weird feeling that was unfamiliar to her.
It was a feeling that Ye Ci had never experienced before, but it was also a topic that she would not ponder. She would never waste her time on things that she had no answer to. She trusted her instincts, for it was said that the instinct of a person was even more accurate than the rational mind. This was an innate ability of the human race. This was why she could tell the presence of traps without much of a thought. It was her instincts.
At that very moment, Ye Ci’s instincts were urging her to walk up to the man.
She followed her instincts, and walked slowly towards Fleeting Time, closing the distance between them with each step.
She then stopped when she was almost within reach of Fleeting Time.
Fleeting Time looked up at Ye Ci with a brilliant smile. His smile was like a blossoming flower in the spring, charming and enticing.
Ye Ci let out a breath which turned into white fog. She extended her arm, and tapped on the transparent glass in front of her. It was a very thick glass.
“We can’t break through this thing.” Fleeting Time shrugged as he tapped on the icy cold glass as well, “I’ve even tried launching attacks on it.”
Ye Ci surveyed a surroundings and found a pair of majestic looking doors not far away, “I guess there’s a BOSS behind those doors.”
“Most likely.” Fleeting Time stretched his body, “I have not tried opening the door because I’m afraid that I might trigger the BOSS fight.” and he smiled at Ye Ci, “Let’s go Little Gongzi. Let’s go through those doors and see what’s waiting for us on the other side, shall we?”
Ye Ci returned Fleeting Time’s smile with a smile of her own, and headed to the doors.
A system notification rang out before the duo could push open the doors, “You arrived upon a set of gorgeous looking doors. The glorious past of the Goblin race was engraved deeply on the doors. You could feel danger lurking behind these doors. You stood still, and your mind is filled with hesitation. The machines under your control appear to have sensed the danger as well. Just what sort of monstrosity is able to instill fear even in soulless machines? Despite the danger, you’re driven forward by curiosity. Your strong sense of curiosity drove you to push the doors open. By the Gods! All the machines that were under your control broke down the moment the doors swung open! Pity filled your heart as you stared at your comrades that were turned into scrap metals…”
An unskippable system dialogue would always ring out whenever a major event was triggered in Vo’sok, and an attentive player could gain a lot of information from the narration.
“Could it be a very powerful Goblin? Or could it be a machine?” asked Fleeting Time.
“It’s probably an extremely powerful machine.” replied Ye Ci. The system dialogue provided no information about the BOSS ahead, but she trusted her instincts.
“Well, I think there’s a Goblin ahead.” Fleeting Time shared a different opinion, “Why don’t we make a bet?”
“You seem to enjoy taking bets. Are you a gambler?” Ye Ci cast a sideway glance at Fleeting Time with a smile on her face.
“Are you not one yourself?” Fleeting Time was not affected by Ye Ci’s words.
Ye Ci did not respond to Fleeting Time’s words, and instead raised her eyebrows, as if to refute his claim.
“You wouldn’t have come to the Western Continent if you’re not a gambler. You would’ve have continued to explore the Bloody Wilderness after running into me if you’re not a gambler. Hell, you wouldn’t even use the location of the Mithril ore vein as a bargaining chip with Absalom if you’re not a gambler…” Fleeting Time crossed his arms in front of his chest and stared square at Ye Ci, “And if you’re not a gambler, you certainly wouldn’t agree to exploring Vo’sok with me.”
Ye Ci’s eyebrows were raised even higher. Fleeting Time was not exactly wrong.
“Admit it, Little Gongzi, you’re a gambler like me.”
“You might be right.” Ye Ci was in a good mood, “Then what’s your stake?”
Fleeting Time spoke up after a brief moment of thought, “I’ve not thought about it yet.”
Ye Ci turned around without a word and pushed past the doors.
Fleeting Time stared at Ye Ci and followed after her as well after taking a deep breath.
The doors slammed shut immediately slammed shut behind the door, sealing them in an enclosed room. Ye Ci cast a glance at the doors, knowing that they would never open unless she could defeat the BOSS.
But just which of the things in front of her was the BOSS?
Ye Ci and Fleeting Time found themselves standing in front of a row of machines. They could feel the power emanating from the inanimate machines, and the danger posed by their apparent strength. The machines were way larger than all the machines that the duo had previously encountered, and the faint glowing light of their metal armor was a telltale sign that they were crafted from superior materials as well.
A Goblin in royal gown could be seen on a platform behind the machines with a scepter in his hand. A Drow with slightly dark skin and pointed ears laid in a crystal coffin in front of the Goblin, who was placed his right hand on the coffin. As the Goblin chanted, his hand glowed with a bright light that surrounded the coffin. It was apparent that the Goblin was attempting to complete a ritual.
Ye Ci could see a gigantic robot that stood at least 80 m tall behind the platform. There’s so many monsters here, so which one of the is the BOSS? This dungeon is ridiculous! There was no BOSS fight at all as we explored this place, but when we ran into a BOSS fight, we have to fight through so many BOSS-tier enemies? Are you kidding me?
“De’frei spotted! De’frei spotted!” a sound rang out from the Goblin Compass as the duo stared at the spectacle before them. Ye Ci immediately took out the Goblin Compass and stared at the direction indicated by the compass. Her gaze laid upon a Goblin who was busy at work on the head of the giant robot.
The duo did not trigger any battle upon their entry, which gave them an opportunity to have a good look at their surroundings.
Common sense dictated that the duo were in the Goblin Royal Palace which is the resident of the Goblin King Ciel. What the duo saw before them, however, told otherwise. The place looked like a huge factory instead of a palace.The mechanical parts and unfinished machines scattered all over the place gave the impression to Ye Ci that this place was no different from a garage.
The reeking stench of machine oil was a source of great discomfort to Ye Ci. She immediately lowered her head and pinched her nose. She was nauseated by the smell. Fleeting Time then threw a green bottle of liquid at Ye Ci, “Drink this.”
It was a bottle of perfume.
Potion Brewers in Fate could create a large variety of potions other than the more conventional Health and Mana potions that were widely used by players, and the bottle of perfume was one such example. It served no other purpose than to give players a nice scent upon consumption. Perfumes could come in varying scents in Fate which had their own unique effect. A rose scented perfume could raise the Intimacy level between couples, while a tuberose scented perfume could allow players to attract specific monsters at night, while the peppermint scented perfume could help with refreshing and clearing the mind… In short, perfumes in Fate were classified as a consumable, and each bottle of perfume could last for two hours.
Despite their rather underwhelming effects, perfumes are very expensive in the world of Fate. They were luxurious products that an average person could not afford.
The bottle of perfume that was handed to Ye Ci by Fleeting Time was a peppermint scented perfume, “Do you always bring something like this along with you?” asked Ye Ci, with her curiosity piqued.
“I saw quite some of them in the guild warehouse, so I took one along. Never expected that I’ll be able to put it to good use.” shrugged Fleeting Time, and Ye Ci was baffled by his response. I’m sure he doesn’t know how expensive this thing can be…
“Do you have any idea how much this cost?” Ye Ci immediately felt better as she popped open the bottle.
Fleeting Time smiled as Ye Ci poured the perfume into her mouth, “About 30,000 gold coins a bottle I guess.”
Ye Ci almost choked when she received his reply, “Then why the hell would you give me something like this?” she asked as she glared at Fleeting Time.
“Well potions are meant to be consumed the moment they were created. If I leave them in the warehouse instead of using them for their intended purposes, they’ll cry.” said Fleeting Time, “Besides, I’m giving it to you because I feel like it. Is there a problem with that?”
Ye Ci was once again baffled by Fleeting Time’s words. We must be from different planets! Why is it so hard to make sense of what he said? She finally spoke up after a short moment of silence, “Alright then, you don’t have to give me my cut for the loot we sold last time. They’re worth about a several thousands anyways. Take that as the payment for this perfume.”
Despite the smile on his face, Fleeting Time’s disapproval was clearly visible in his eyes. An alarm blared off before he could voice his protest, “Intruder alert! Intruder alert!” and a swarm of lvl40 machines appeared to engage the duo in battle. The machines with their relatively low level were still a threat to Ye Ci and Fleeting Time due to their sheer numbers, which forced the duo to launch waves of AOE attacks at their enemies.
Ye Ci and Fleeting Time were hard pressed by the vast numbers of their opponents, and were even forced to consume two Greater Health Potions just to survive the onslaught of enemies. Fortunately for the duo, the attacks stopped after the last of the machines fell. A second wave of enemies would definitely spell disaster for the duo.
Before the duo could even have a moment of rest, a shrill voice rang out ahead of them, “Who dares enter my palace and disrupt my ritual?”
The duo adjusted their sight to the direction of the voice. It was the Goblin who had been standing on the crystal coffin. Ye Ci and Fleeting Time did not have a good look of the Goblin’s appearance as he was facing in the other direction. When he finally turned around to face the duo, they could see the two horns that were as long as the Goblin’s fingers and a gorgeous crown on his head.
The Goblin was none other than the king of Vo’sok who had betrayed the city to the Bloodthirsty Undead and the Corrupted Orcs: Ciel.
“Ahh… Two High Elves! Two pretentious High Elves!” Ciel laughed at Ye Ci and Fleeting Time, “I despise your race! Your selfish race is why my Llaesnyffan has been put to eternal slumber!” Ciel, who was standing on the platform, raise his scepter, “Guards! Kill them! Do not allow them to disturb Llaesnyffan’s spirit!”
Such is the way of a BOSS. It initiated the battle even before Ye Ci and Fleeting Time could reaction.
With a wave of Ciel’s scepter, the row of machines that remained dormant sprung into life. A machine that stood at the far right charged at Ye Ci and Fleeting Time. The duo nodded at each other, and immediately split up while simultaneously summoning their pets and directing them at the machine. The duo then began to launch attack after attack at the machine from each side. The machine was a formidable foe far superior to its counterparts that were destroyed by Ye Ci and Fleeting Time. It immediately morphed its right arm into a chainsaw and swung its weapon at Ol’ Four.
“Oh no!” Ye Ci’s heart sunk. She knew that even if the blow would not immediately kill Ol’ Four, her pet would still suffer a huge amount of damage. Ye Ci blew her whistle, intending to relay a command for Ol’ Four to retreat, but the attack connected right as the beast began to withdraw followed by a roar of pain. A gaping wound appeared on Ol’ Four’s side and blood was gushing out of the would. Ye Ci immediately cast Pet Heal at Ol’ Four, which was able to heal some of its health, but did nothing to stop the bleeding. Only a bandage or a potion could heal the wound.
Despite its injuries, Ol’ Four was still an Epic-tier life form. It would not allow itself to be bullied. It pounced on the machine and landed a mighty blow on its leg with a swoop of its tail.
The machine was an incomplete work that had not reached the peak of its combat strength. It had a formidable attack power, but was still lacking in defence. Ol’ Four’s attack was able to send the machine sprawling on the ground.
“You take care of this one, I’ll go deploy some traps.” according to Fleeting Time’s calculation, the duo spent 40 seconds to disable the machine. Even if they were unable to destroy their opponent, it was already rendered defenseless, and the next machine in line would take 10 seconds to activate. He immediately placed traps in front of the row of machines and backed away to resume his attack on the fallen machine, which was turned into a pile of scrap metal under the relentless onslaught of the duo.
Before they could have the chance to take a rest, a second machine charged at Ye Ci and Fleeting Time. It was then slowed by Fleeting Time’s trap, and the duo began showering the machines with their attacks.
The Frost Trap placed by Fleeting Time served its purpose well, and the duo was able to defeat their second foe without much of a problem. The rest of Ciel’s sentries were dispatched with a similar fashion with the combined effort of Ye Ci and Fleeting Time.
“You damned High Elves! You destroyed my sentries! Now I’m angry! Are you going to continue destroying my love with Llaesnyffan? Don’t even think about it! Llaesnyffan will always be my bride! She is and always will be the queen of the Goblin Kingdom! I will never allow her to return to that dirty forest of yours! This is where she belongs!” Ciel was enraged when his sentries were defeated by Ye Ci and Fleeting Time.
“You’ve gone through great pains to defeat the sentries, turning them into a pile of scrap metal. Ciel is very angry. They were his proudest warriors. Ciel swore to send out his strongest warrior to vanquish you and your companions. You lifted your head… By the Gods! How can there be such a huge robot? You’re but an ant compared to the gigantic machine. Fear gripped your heart, but you’re not even given the chance to wallow in your fear. You stared at Ciel with eyes wide open. Are you going to die here today? But.. Your eyes rested on a familiar form Isn’t that De’frei, the most renowned of engineers in the entire Goblin Kingdom? You lowered your head, your mind is spinning. Perhaps he can help you in defeating that terrible monster….”
“You damned Elves! You’ll pay for interrupting my reunion with Llaesnyffan! I’ll grind you all into dust! Come, my greatest warrior! Show them the meaning of terror!” Ciel shouted at the top of his lungs while the duo began strategizing for the fight ahead.
“That thing is lvl65… Will we even have a 50% hit rate especially with the level penalty?” Fleeting Time furrowed his eyebrows at the giant robot.
“It shouldn’t be a problem.” a lowered hit rate would definitely affect the damage output of the duo. Ye Ci was faced with an unprecedented pressure. Can we really bring this thing down?
“De’frei is here.” said Fleeting Time who spotted the Goblin on top of the robot’s head. The Goblin landed softly after jumping down from the robot and ran up to Ciel. He must have an equipment with Featherfall.
“Your Majesty, the Iron Warrior is not ready yet…” De’frei was distressed.
With his mind set on the annihilation of Ye Ci and Fleeting Time, Ciel ignored the protest of De’frei “This is my kingdom, De’frei! I don’t care what you have to say, activate the Iron Warrior!”
“But Your Majesty, if we activate the Iron Warrior now, the whole palace will collapse! It might even bring catastrophe to the entire kingdom!”
“So what? My beloved Llaesnyffan is gone! I care for nothing else, I want those Elves dead! They’ve ruined my reunion with Llaesnyffan!” Ciel’s eyes were glowing red with anger.
“Your Majesty…” De’frei’s pleas fell on deaf ears. Ciel raised his scepter, and fired a wave of golden energy at De’frei, tossing him aside.
“Great Engineer my ass! You’re just a slave! And a slave must listen to his master!” shireked the crazed Ciel.
Ye Ci ran up to De’frei who was shivering on the ground and helped him up, “Mr.De’frei, are you alright?”
De’frei opened his eyes when he heard the voice of Ye Ci. His eyes slowly focused on the two figures standing in front of him. They were Hunters. Two Elven Hunters.
“Ahh… So you’re an Elf.” De’frei let out a sigh. He was very old. Despite the long lives led by the Goblins, they were still a mortal race. Many of the Goblins had never even lived to see their adulthood before the end of their lives. A old Goblin like De’frei was a very rare sight, “I’ve not seen a Elf for a very long time now. Especially… A High Elf.”
“Mr.De’frei, do you know of a Goblin called Orthus?” asked Ye Ci.
De’frei grabbed hold of Ye Ci’s hands when he heard the name, “My dear Elf, how do you know of the name Orthus? You must tell me!”
Ye Ci knew that it was not a good time for explanations. But how should I answer his question? She then thought of the Goblin Compass, maybe this will help! And she handed the Goblin Compass to De’frei, “Mr.De’frei, do you recognise this device?”
“De’frei spotted! De’frei spotted!” the Goblin Compass was still beeping in De’frei’s grip…