Reign of the Hunters
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Chapter 211 This is a Choice
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Reign of the Hunters
Author :Season Of Fireworks
© Webnovel

Chapter 211 This is a Choice

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Chapter 211 This is a Choice

Ye Ci was not sure if Dong Yin was intentionally avoiding her, or she herself no longer cared about that girl, but from that day onwards, she no longer received any news about Dong Yin. She heard nothing from Liu Chang, nor did she receive any news from Green Hill’s Moon. It was as if Dong Yin had disappeared without a trace from Ye Ci’s life.

Ye Ci was not affected by this. After all, she was a very busy person.

Other than her daily quests at the Doran Thieves Guild, Ye Ci had to complete side quests in Red Lake City as well. She was also tasked with helping out with farming equipment so that the guild could make preparations to begin exploring the next dungeon.

Perhaps due to their First Clear, the members were not bored by the daily dungeon clearing. They were excited. After all, who would not want new pieces of equipment?

Tan Polang had also joined Upwards Ho! after transferring to the Eastern Continent. Names began filling up his empty friend list, but there were times when he still missed his comrades in the Western Continent. However, he was able to hide his emotions well and never mentioned it to anyone.

Ye Ci had never asked Tan Polang about his character, Axia Mist, and why he did not join ‘Upwards Ho!’ when he started the game. She did not even do a background check on his player ID. Ye Ci was not a gossipy person, and knew that every person had a secret of their own.

Ye Ci respected everybody else’s secrets, just like how she liked to keep her own secrets.

One of her secrets was the Brooch of Deception. The BUG-like presence of the item was able to aid her in completing her quest. This was not something that she was willing to share with anybody else.

The quests from the Doran Thieves Guild was way harder compared to the Red Lake City side quests. After all, she might not succeed in baiting the players to their death. After some successes, the players began avoiding Ye Ci who was disguised as a Bandit Captain. Even when she appeared in the midst of a huge crowd of players, not many were willing to launch their attacks on Ye Ci. They knew that the appearance of the Bandit Captain would always result in the death of players. Even the Life Players who were mining the ores or gathering herbs would run for their lives when they spotted Ye Ci from afar.

There were only a few who would occasionally take the bait, but humans are smart animals who would learn from their mistake…

Not many players would feel great after being bullied by monsters. The vast majority of them were low in terms of level. The amount of experience points the lost along with the equipment the dropped were heart-wrenching. After a few attempts, Ye Ci’s strategy no longer worked on the players. She was forced to look for an alternative.

Since killing players was no longer an option, Ye Ci was left with two other options. She had to either rob NPCs from Red Lake City or kill a specific NPC within Red Lake City.


Robbing the NPCs was an easier option. She was not required to fight or kill any NPCs, and would only need to pun in less effort. Ye Ci was smart. She would never rob any NPCs within the Red Lake City itself. The villagers at the surrounding areas under Red Lake City’s domain would be her target.

Those villagers were weak and unarmed. They reside in places far away from the city, which made them easy pickings for Ye Ci. She would be able to easily obtain the 10 quest items that were required to complete the quest.

However, after a short while, the NPCs in the farms and villages around Red Lake City began putting up their guards against Ye Ci. The young men began setting up armed patrols around the villages, and there were some who even hired soldiers from the city to protect their homes. This made Ye Ci’s job very tough.

It seems that even the NPCs could not be bullied easily by Ye Ci.

Ye Ci could only revert back to her old ways of tricking the other players. When she was busy bullying the villagers, a new wave of players has arrived in the Silvery Tin Ore Vein. Despite the attention it received in the forums, most of the players eventually forgot about the lone Bandit Captain as time passed.

Players are creatures who would forget about their pain after their wounds have been healed.

There would always be players who took the bait, and those players became the catalyst for Ye Ci to complete her quest.

Another gruesome slaughter had just been completed. However, Ye Ci did not remove her disguise this time. She sat in a secluded area in the bandit hideout, casually eating an apple. She was starting to get bored with the repetitive quest. Repeating the same quest day after day was too dull for her. She would have long given up on the quest if not for the bountiful rewards offered by the Epic-tier quest.

An overpowered quest reward could only be obtained through the blood and sweat of a player. Ye Ci bit down on her apple. Although everything in the game was not real, the apple in Ye Ci’s hand tasted just like a real one. Fate was indeed the pinnacle of mankind’s greatest technology. Ye Ci’s apple was the perfect example. In the previous virtual reality games, everything tasted the same to players. Even apples were the same. Every single apple in those games shared only one flavor.

However, Fate was different. It was impossible to find the same piece of leaf in the game. Of course, the chances of finding apples that tasted the same would be next to zero. Everything in Fate was just like the real world. Players would often forget that they were merely playing a highly advanced game, and would often lose themselves in the world of Fate.

Another wave of players rushed into the bandit hideout. Ye Ci was already used to the blood-curdling screams of the dying players and the sound effects of different skills as the players struggled desperately against the bandits. When she did it for the first time, Ye Ci would still feel slightly guilty, and might even have a look at the action. However, at this point, it was merely something Ye Ci did on a daily basis.

As Ye Ci took another bite from the apple, she heard a familiar voice, “You’re always discovering or exploiting a BUG whenever we meet.”

There was nobody around, but someone was definitely speaking to Ye Ci, and he could hear him clearly. Was the game haunted? Even Ye Ci was momentarily stunned. As a reincarnator, she had a lot of experience in Fate, and was able to recover from the shock.

She was able to tell from the sound of the voice and the language used that the person who spoke was a GM who had set his character to be invisible, and was standing right in front of her.

Since Ye Ci was able to confirm the person’s identity, there was no need for her to be anxious. She took a bite from the apple and spoke up calmly, “Come out, you did not scare me at all.”

The person remained silent for a moment before breaking into laughter. A lvl 1 Human character appeared in front of Ye Ci. The character looked just like it was randomized by the system. If he did not appear in a high level spawn area, people might even have thought that he was a newly spawned NPC.

Ye Ci narrowed her eyes at the Human smurf account, “Wang Jiangnan?”

“Ei? How do you know it’s me?”

“Because I’m not able to think of another developer who is so lame and…” Ye Ci’s eyes narrowed further, and annoyance was clear in her tone, “Irritating.”

“Aiya, don’t say that! We’re old friends now. I’m hurt by your words.” Wang Jiangnan sat on a wooden crate, took an apple from Ye Ci’s fruit basket, and began chewing on the apple.

“Why do I not think that we’re close?” Ye Ci snorted. Even if she knew about this person’s glorious future, she was still irritated by the presence of a GM as a player. They were always getting in her way.

“You’re making me sad.” Wang Jiangnan chuckled, “If I’m sad, I might not be able to control my mouth. I might accidentally tell my superiors that you are gaining Prestige points by exploiting a BUG.”

That was why Ye Ci looked down on GMs.

Ye Ci was unfazed, she snorted coldly, “Oh, really? If that’s the case, I will also file a report on Customer Service No.094 for tracking my gaming record without permission and harrassing me in-game.” Ye Ci said with a smile, “I have to ask though, can your contribution of discovering a BUG outweigh your misconduct of secretly tracking a player’s gaming progress?”

“Hey hey hey, has anybody told you that you’re a very despicable person?” Wang Jiangnan raised his eyebrows.

“You just did.”
“I was just joking! You don’t have to be like that, you know?” Wang Jiangnan rubbed the bridge of his nose, and twisted his head to a side to listen to the ongoing carnage, “Ai, just listen to that. Those poor guys. Don’t you feel guilty about this?”

“This is the loophole of the game you designed. I just happened to discover it and put it to good use. Why should I feel bad about it?” stated Ye Ci matter of factly, “Besides, players are meant to kill monsters or be killed by them. This is how your game is meant to be anyways.”

“Ai, you’re such a cold blooded person.” Wang Jiangnan jumped down from the crate and walked up to Ye Ci, staring at her silently. Without warning, his hand shot forward at her.

His movement was fast. Even Ye Ci was unable to react before he grabbed hold of the Brooch of Deceit. Although Ye Ci was still disguised as a Bandit Captain, she was still shocked by Wang Jiangnan’s action.

She immediately jumped backwards and said in a shrill voice, “What are you doing?”

Wang Jiangnan then realised that his action was inappropriate. He scratched at his head, sat on the wooden crate again, and smiled at Ye Ci apologetically, “I’m sorry. I was acting rude. It’s just that I suddenly remembered that the Brooch of Deceit was a BUG itself.”

Ye Ci calmed down when Wang Jiangnan backed off away from her. She exhaled, and sat back down, “What? Are you going to remove it from the game?”

“I have half a mind to do it.”

“Whatever you say.” Ye Ci appeared calm, but Wang Jiangnan knew that this girl will never allow someone to threaten her advantages. That was why he chose to remain silent and continued staring at Ye Ci. After a short pause, Ye Ci tugged at the Brooch of Deceit and said, “To be honest with you, I have the same thought as well. This thing is indeed an overpowered equipment. It’s literally a BUG.”

Wang Jiangnan was shocked. It was very rare for Ye Ci to agree to his opinion. It seemed that he had underestimate this girl. She was not only going against the system and the developers. Her thoughts could be quite pertinent as well.

“As a developer, it was right for you to think of removing this item. If I’m one of the developers, I’m definitely going to want to remove this game-breaking thing.” Ye Ci’s appeared to be a gentle person with her smile. If her body was slightly plumper she might have looked like Buddha.

“Do you really mean that?” Wang Jiangnan was slightly hesitant. Although the item would definitely be removed as soon as he filed a report, it would be a bother to the players who owned such an item.

“Of course, don’t I look sincere to you?” Ye Ci blinked. Her expression was indeed full of sincerity.

Wang Jiangnan was sceptical. No matter which point of view he was viewing this from, be it from a normal player’s point of view, Ye Ci’s point of view, or even a developer’s point of view, he came to the same conclusion: As long as someone is not sick in the head, there’s no way the person would agree to it.

“I think you are very sincere, but not that kind of sincere that I’m thinking about.” Wang Jiangnan was very upfront with Ye Ci.

“How so?” Ye Ci raised her eyebrows and smiled at Wang Jiangnan, “The Brooch of Deceit was the special drop of the Sandstorm Scorpion, but it has a very low drop rate. Removing the item will not affect the player’s gaming experience at all, am I right?”

“I’m talking about yours…” as an intelligent person, Wang Jiangnan knew what Ye Ci meant. She was indeed supporting the idea of removing the Brooch of Deceit as an item drop in the future, but not the one she currently own. However, according to Wang Jiangnan, it would only be fair to remove all the Brooch of Deceit. Of course, Ye Ci was apparently against the idea.

“What about mine?” Ye Ci slightly narrowed her eyes, “If I’m not mistaken, I’ve obtained it through normal means. Of course, even if a BUG was involved, I’ve reported it to you people for I am an ethical player. If I’m not mistaken, the employee who reviewed my report was none other than you, Customer Service No.094, Wang Jiangnan. Have you forgotten about that?”

“Of course not, but…”

Ye Ci was quick to cut Wang Jiangnan off, “But what? Are you telling me that none of your people have noticed the design flaw of the Brooch of Deceit when you developed the game?”

Of course, it was something very impossible. There are tens of thousands of designers and planners involved in the process of developing Fate. Every single item was reviewed and processed by different developers before being released into the game. It was highly improbable that something like this would be missed.

Wang Jiangnan was speechless. Although he was not involved in designing the game during the earlier stages of the development process, If he chose to speak up, he would be discrediting the efforts of his predecessors.

Ye Ci took Wang Jiangnan’s silence as a confirmation. She nodded and smiled at Wang Jiangnan, “Nobody thought of the impact of such an overpowered item when they introduced it to the game. This means they deemed the Brooch’s design to be reasonable. Since I’ve legally obtained this reasonably designed item, you can not delete my belonging just because you deem it as a BUG.”

Wang Jiangnan was once again speechless. Ye Ci was going according to the rules of the game. What did he say in the beginning? The rules are used to restrain the players, but people like Ye Ci would always be able to exploit the rules and use any loopholes to their benefit.

She had proven it before, and she was proving it again.

“I don’t care what you developers do to the items that have not been dropped by the Sandstorm Scorpion yet. I am but a normal player, it has nothing to do with me. You don’t even have to tell me about it and ask for my opinion. However, if my belonging is removed just like that without any valid reasons…” Ye Ci said with a smile.

“What?”

“If you did not track my gaming record, you wouldn’t have discovered that the Brooch of Deceit is a BUG. If you don’t know that it’s a BUG, why would you think of removing it from the game?” Ye Ci smiled, “It seems that you’re monitoring your players and breaching their privacies so that you can get promoted. Isn’t that a violation of the rules and a breach of work ethics, my dear Customer Service No.094?”

Wang Jiangnan’s face immediately paled. He looked at Ye Ci and grimaced, “Hey, hey, aren’t you being a little too harsh? I haven’t even said that I am going to delete it…”

“No, no, no. I agree that you should be removing the Brooch of Deceit.” Ye Ci walked up to Wang Jiangnan and patted him on the shoulders. The beautiful smile on Ye Ci’s face did not even make him relax. Instead, Wang Jiangnan could feel an intense pressure.

“You can report this BUG to your superiors, and I can pretend that I know nothing about your illegal actions…” Ye Ci was like a cunning fox, “But, as a return…”

“You want to keep the stats of this particular Brooch of Deceit?”

“Ah, this is why they call you a genius! I find your EQ to be as high as your IQ.” Ye Ci nodded.

“Oi, this will cause a huge trouble for me.” Wang Jiagnan protested. To make changes to or remove certain items while preserving only one of them was a tedious process. It would be easier to just remove everything. Wang Jiangnan was unwilling to involve himself in such a troublesome matter.

“Wang Jiangnan, I seemed to have hidden my ID when I killed Werebeast Shaman Buru, but why was there a betting thread in the forums?” Ye Ci was casually picking her nails. Even her threats appeared to be casually spoken.

“Oi, oi, oi, don’t make such an irresponsible remark alright? I was not the one who did it!” Wang Jiangnan was fervently waving his hands in denial.

Ye Ci refused to believe his words. She stared at Wang Jiangnan silently with a smile on her face, and that predator’s smile was one to make him shudder.

Wang Jiangnan sighed after a long moment of silence, “Alright, alright. I know what to do. I’ll get it done.”

Ye Ci was satisfied with his answer. She nodded, and turned around to leave, “I’ll be on my way then.”

“Oh yes, there’s something else I need to ask.” Wang Jiangnan called out to Ye Ci suddenly.

“What is it?”

“Say, do you think that it’s possible for Fate to be like a second life to people in the future?” the look in Wang Jiangnan’s eyes was a mix of sincerity and desperation.

Only dreams can push a human to experience such an emotion, and not everyone had their own hopes and dreams. Ye Ci was touched when she saw the emotion in Wang Jiangnan’s eyes. Although Wang Jiangnan was being vague with his question, Ye Ci knew the meaning behind his words. She knew that he was slowly moving towards fulfilling his dreams.

“Why not?” Ye Ci replied with a smile.

“I-I mean…” Wang Jiangnan was mesmerized by Ye Ci’s glowing smile. He was able to relax , “I mean, even though we have a huge number of players, the vast majority of our player base is made up of youths. The number of middle-aged and older players are not quite impressive. We cannot ignore the fact that middle-aged adults made up a larger percentage of the population compared to the youths. But… I don’t think they will be able to accept this game…”

“Why won’t they accept it?” Ye Ci turned around and stared at Wang Jiangnan, “Where have you heard about it?”

“Well, at least my parents wont.” Wang Jiangnan grimaced. It was very ironic. Even when he was a developer of Fate, his parents was very prejudiced against video games.

“Not everyone in this world is of the same mind. The thoughts of your parents are not reflecting the thoughts of all people of the same age. Why is this a reason to hesitate and hold back? To have a dream is a wonderful thing.” Ye Ci did not want to talk too much about the future. After all, if Wang Jiangnan only moved forward because of Ye Ci’s words, he would not be able to become the future main designer of Fate. This is Wang Jiangnan’s dream, and his life story. There was no need for Ye Ci to play a part in the story of his life. The only thing she could do was to give him advice to encourage him on the road ahead..

Wang Jiangnan sat on the crate and stared at Ye Ci, at her smile, and marveled at how confident and carefree she was. He stared at her when she left the place without even a backwards glance. Wang Jiangnan smiled. He made the right choice by seeking out Gongzi You.

Of course, there was something he would never tell Gongzi You. The Brooch of Deceit BUG was merely an excuse. His true motive of looking for Ye Ci was to listen to her advice. She had once given him the strength to reach for his dreams. When his will began to falter, he immediately thought of Gongzi You. He needed her assurance.

It was as if Gongzi You was a strong flame burning bright, and a tiny spark from her could give him the courage to press forward.

“Thank you, Ye Ci.” Wang Jiangnan whispered to himself, and disappeared from the Silvery Tin Vein.

As expected, the Brooch of Deceit was removed from the game. Of course, nothing happened to Ye Ci’s Brooch of Deceit. When she logged into the game, Ye Ci immediately saw the patch notes, containing a lot of minor changes to the game. One of the notes caught her eyes: Something that should not have existed has been returned to a world where it belonged.

Not a single player knew the meaning behind the sentence, and each of them had their own theory.

With the exception of Ye Ci who was the owner of the first and last Brooch of Deceit in the game, nobody else knew what the Fate officials were talking about. Eventually, people began to forget about the message entirely.

When Ye Ci’s summer holiday was almost over, the Golan Arena was finally introduced into the game.

As the largest arena in the current stage of the game, Golan Arena received a lot of attention even before its release. Unlike the smaller scale arenas, Golan Arena offered a whole lot variety of battle modes to players with a large variety of maps. Players could have friendly matches against players from allying continents, or fight against players from opposing continents.

There competitive modes in the Golan Arena includes 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, 5v5 and 10v10 battles. Each type of competitive mode put a different aspect of a player’s gaming knowledge to the test, and offered differing amount of Glory Points, which could be exchanged for high quality PvP gear.

Many players flocked towards the Golan Arena because of the hype, but most of them were there to obtain PvP equipment. Although intercontinental wars had not been officially released into the game, players from opposing continents had the opportunity to engage each other in combat. They came to realise that engaging a player who was armed with PvP equipment in their PvE equipment gave them a huge disadvantage. Many players began to recognize the importance of PvP equipment.

After all, the war between continents would be the focus of the game in its later stages. If players were unable to gain good PvP equipment before the system was introduced, they would be at a grave disadvantage. Nobody was willing to place themselves in an unfavorable situation, which is why the Golan Arena became one of the most frequented places by players aside from the other main dungeons.

Ye Ci did not join in on the hype. Due to the sheer number of players flocking to the arena, many of the combatants had to queue up for a long time before they could even enter the arena. It was time that Ye Ci could not afford to waste. Besides, her Epic-tier quest and side quest were at the most crucial moment. She did not want to distract herself with something else.

“After such a long time, I can finally feel your sincerity,” Milada voiced his mind to Ye Ci who was staring at him silently.

Ye Ci sighed a breath of relief. She could finally proceed to the next stage of the quest. However, things were not as simple as they seem. Milada did not allow Ye Ci to proceed to the quest’s next stage, “As a last test of your sincerity, I have a small request for you. I hope you can help me out.”

“What is it?”

“My brother, Andrei, who was the true ruler of this Silvery Tin Vein, was captured by Red Lake City’s Chief Warden Fa’tar. I hope that you can help rescue him.” stated Milada matter of factly, as if it was an easy task.

Ye Ci was shocked. You’ve gotta be kidding me! This guy is asking me to rescue someone from the Red Lake City prison from the hands of Warden Fa’tar? Doesn’t it mean certain death for me?

Fa’tar was a lvl 100 Elite NPC with strong offensive capabilities. He also had an ability that allowed him to summon waves of NPC soldiers. Although he could not summon as many soldiers as the city lord and mayor, they were still more than enough to handle Ye Ci.

This is insane! Even if this is an Epic-tier quest, can you please not give out such an impossible quest? Aren’t you just playing a prank on players?

When Ye Ci was still deep in thought, Milada spoke up again, “Hmm… My brother Andrei has never seen you before. He might not leave with you even if you try to rescue him. Let me give you something that can help you gain his trust.”

Ye Ci was given two options when Milada finished his dialogue. The first option was to receive a pack of very lethal poison from Milada. The description of the poison was very detailed. Lethal Poison: Even a tiny bit is able to cause death. This is the best weapon against Fa’tar and his thugs.

The other option was a ring, which also came with a description. Milada’s ring: This is a ring given to Milada by his mother. A similar ring is also owned by Andrei. He will be happy to see this ring.

Ye Ci was given a choice.
A different choice would result in a different ending. Making a decision in this game was just like making a decision in real life. It was filled with uncertainties that might lead to different outcomes. A wrong choice could spell disaster. That was why we must all be careful when we make our choices.

Ye Ci stared at the two items. Should I choose the poison or the ring?

If she chose the poison, it would be very easy to kill Fa’tar and the rest of the guards, and this might even earn her a lot of Doran Thieves Guild Prestige. However, Fa’tar was the Chief Warden of the entire Red Lake City. There will not be another lvl 100 Elite NPC that could replace Fa’tar’s position. The citizens of Red Lake City would be living in fear when they hear the news of Fa’tar’s death. This would affect the growth of the city badly.

In Fate, certain key NPCs in a city would never respawn after they were killed. Chief Fa’tar Warden was on of such NPCs. His death meant the absence of an authority that would watch over the prisons and enforce the laws of Red Lake City. This would bring civil unrest to Red Lake City.

The only solution was for the lord of Red Lake City to find a replacement from another city as a replacement for Fa’tar. However, Lord Sha’gar was not someone who liked to take care of the administration of his city. He might not even take action to solve the crisis.

When Ye Ci thought of the economy of Red Lake City the would definitely downhill due to the ever increasing crime rate caused by the absence of Fa’tar. The players who were bound to Red Lake City as well as its NPC citizens would suffer a huge loss.

Because of that, the Lethal Poison was immediately rejected by Ye Ci. Although it was the quickest way, it would also bring an everlasting damage to Red Lake City.

The only option left was the ring.

Since the poison was no longer a viable choice, Ye Ci immediately chose the ring without any hesitation. Milada then handed an already worn out ring to Ye Ci.

There was no time limit to the quest. It was the only glint of light in Ye Ci’s very dark situation, and it also meant that Ye Ci had enough time to devise a strategy.

The guide to this qest from her past life was not very helpful. The player who completed the quest did not write about the entire process of the quest in detail. After all, not every player could come across this Epic-quest, which meant that his guide would serve little purpose. The player’s focus was on the rewards offered by the Epic-tier quest.

It was very enticing.

Ye Ci was a greedy person. She might not even have attempted to complete this Epic-tier quest if not for its bountiful reward.
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