Chapter 251 Quest Lock (Part 2)
Ye Ci brought Blossom to the and handed the problematic individual to Timely Rain. She then instructed him to offer a contract with a long term and high pay to Blossom. As he was a person who was afraid of debt, Blossom’s contract would have the highest penalty in case of a breach of said contract.
It would take Blossom years before he realised the shameless of Gongzi You’s actions. By that time however, he was already at the point of no return, and could only remain in Upwards Ho!.
Of course, this was something that would happen in a very far future.
With the necessary arrangements done, Ye Ci immediately headed to the Lesser Demon Sanctuary. The Black Iron Dwarves should be done with their exploration, and it was time to reap what Ye Ci had sown. She summoned Ol’ Four as soon as she arrived at her destination, and headed straight to the Mithril ore vein.
The Lesser Demon Sanctuary was devoid of the presence of players as usual. Ye Ci could feel the heat as she walked on the hot sand. The entire place was shrouded in a thick smoke, and there was the smell of sulphur in the air.
Ye Ci dismounted from Ol’ Four when she was 200 yards away from the ore vein and cast Hawkeye at the ore vein’s direction. What she found was something that she did not wish to see: A group of players surrounded the Black Iron Dwarves as they busied themselves around the Mithril ore vein.
Despite the vision granted by Hawkeye, it was impossible for Ye Ci to listen in on any of the players’ conversations. This was why Ye Ci immediately entered stealth and began closing in on the players. She found a hiding spot behind a large piece of rock 20 yards away from the players and began observing their movements.
The party of players had a balanced composition of Warriors, Knights, Rogues, Hunters, mages and healers. There was, however, no dungeons in the map. The only possible place of interest was a mine in the Black Canyon. This was why their presence in the map was a mystery to Ye Ci.
Even Ye Ci will have a moment of panic as she saw the players around the Black Iron Dwarves. Have they discovered the Mithril ore vein?
Ye Ci spotted the guild emblem on the chest of one of the players as he turned around. They were members of Bloody Steel.
So the saying of “destiny will make enemies meet” is true then.
Ye Ci was able to calm herself down despite her worries. She must have a better picture of the situation before she could act. Things might end up badly if she acted rashly.
She then crept closer to the party, and her movement was immediately noticed by a Rogue in the party, who turned around to find nothing but thin air.
“What is it?” asked the party’s Sorcerer.
“It’s nothing. I must’ve been the wind. The mist here is thick, and it messes with my Perception.” replied the Rogue when he was sure that nobody was around.
The Sorcerer nodded and turned to face the Cleric, “Hidden Dragon, have you found it?”
“That’s strange… All of them replied with ‘I have nothing to say to you’ when I tried to initiate a conversation.” the Cleric with the name Hidden Dragon scratched his head in confusion.
“Say, have you perhaps remembered it wrong?” said the Warrior of the party who was armed with a broadsword, “You said that it was something that you came across months ago, and you’ve only had a short glance. What if you’re mistaken?”
“No way…” Hidden Dragon was puzzled, “I can still remember that there was a Dwarf with the name ‘Jasmine’ in the camp. Why is she here now? This can’t be normal… Besides, she’s not even responding to me now. Something’s not right.” Hidden Dragon was someone who was very sensitive to each and every NPCs and the hidden aspect of any quests. Even if he did not have a full grasp of the situation, his instincts were telling him that something was amiss.
“I was expecting some sort of hidden quest, but it turns out to be nothing…” the Hunter grumbled with dissatisfaction clear in his voice.
Hidden Dragon’s face reddened. It was apparent that his confidence was starting to crumble. Alright, alright,” said another Cleric in the party, “There’s a lvl50 map nearby, why don’t we go farm some monsters?” he then turned around and spoke to Hidden Dragon, “Don’t drag us all in a wild goose chase like this. Do you think that we’re all idling our time away like you? You do that again, and we’ll kick you out of the party.”
The Cleric’s words caused Hidden Dragon to lower his head in shame as he stood silently. Even after the departure of his party members, he was still attempting to initiate a conversation with Jasmine. Without the completion of the prologue quest, there was no way Jasmine would respond to Hidden Dragon. The man finally gave up after a few more tries and left in the direction of his party members.
Ye Ci remained hidden behind the rock. She cast Hawkeye after the players left to make sure that not a single one of them remained before walking up to the Black Iron Dwarves.
She was immediately greeted warmly by Ha’er, “Oh, look who’s here?” the Dwarf had even set aside his instruments as he walked up to Ye Ci, “My dear friend, I have some news for you!”
“Dear Mr.Ha’er, I’m sure it’s something good judging from your expression. I’m all ears.” Ye Ci was already an expert when it came to dealing with NPCs. Even when her interpersonal skills in real life were almost non-existent, she had her own way of interacting with the NPCs in game. She was able to worm her way into being an NPC’s friend after a short conversation with the NPC.
The NPC Jasmine was like a child who had just left her home and was filled with curiosity. Du Du, on the other hand, was a coward who would get easily excited during a happy occasion, but could easily get depressed if things went wrong. Despite his tendency to be negative, Du Du was afraid of Jasmine and Ha’er, who was a mining fanatic that loved everything about mining.
Ye Ci had to deal with the three different NPCs in different ways to maximize her benefits.
“It’s about the ore vein! I’m so excited! I have to tell you about it!” Ha’er’s laughter was thunderous. A question appeared in Ye Ci’s HUD: Do you want Ha’er to tell you about his discovery?
A. I’ll listen to it right now.
B. I’ll listen to it later.
Ye Ci selected the option to listen to the news without much of a thought. Her hand stopped just before it reached the button as she came to a sudden realization. Hidden Dragon must’ve noticed the changes here. It seems that he was very certain of his judgement even when his companions doubted his words.
Such is human nature.
It was hard to change the mind of a person who had his or her thoughts set on stone.
It was obvious that Hidden Dragon was very sure of his observation when he brought so many of his guild members to this place. Even if they doubted his words, it was clear from his expression and his words that his confidence in himself had not wavered.
Even if he left, there’s no guarantee that he will not return. Even if he is now unsure of himself, there’s no guarantee that he has given up. It’s a good thing if he does not return, but what if he does?
Ye Ci did not know of Golden Era’s progress with the Mithril quest in her past life, but she could tell from the interaction between Hidden Dragon and Jasmine that the quest was already locked.
Fate was a game with a huge variety of quests. The quest to unlock the Mithril ore vein was a Unique Quest that came with a quest lock. This meant that the quest would automatically locked once a player had managed to progress to a certain stage of quest, and only the player could continue with the quest. When the quest lock was activated, nobody else would be able to accept the quest.
A Unique Quest, as its name implied, could only be completed by a single player. This why players who came across a Unique Quest in Ye Ci’s past life would not rest until the quest lock was in place.
It was obvious that Ye Ci had already activated the quest lock of her Unique Quest. She could proceed with the quest, but there was hesitation in her heart. The quest was safe, and she was the only person who could continue with the quest. As long as she did not proceed with the quest, the Mithril ore vein of the Eastern Continent will forever be locked away even after the arrival of Golden Era.
Hidden Dragon was not Ye Ci’s only concern. A small guild like Upwards Ho! would never be able to defend the ore vein alone. Despite her relationship with major guilds like Wolf Pack, Tang Dynasty, and World Conqueror, this did not necessarily mean that they would never go into conflict in the future. If the secret of the Mithril ore vein was leaked, and Upwards Ho! lacked the strength to hold its own against the other guilds, her efforts would only benefit her enemies.
There’s no way the major guilds like Tang Dynasty, Wolf Pack, and World Conqueror will not be tempted to seize the Mithril ore vein for their own, not to mention Golden Era that will be arriving soon.
After a long moment of thought, Ye Ci decided to keep the quest locked as Upwards Ho! continued to gather its strength. She had also made the decision to head to the Southern Continent and even the Northern Continent to lock up the Mithril ore veins in the continents.
With the secret of the Western Continent’s Mithril ore vein revealed to Genesis, there was no point for Ye Ci to worry about quest lock of that continent. Despite her personal strength, she knew that she could not stand up against an entire guild, and especially when that guild was a million-man guild like Genesis.
As long as she had control of the quest lock on the three other continents, she would be in control of the economy of Fate.
Ye Ci’s blood boiled. She narrowed her eyes and clenched her fists, as if she was holding the very lifeline of Fate in her hands.
“Ha’er, I just came back from the Southern Continent, and I brought a lot Black Beer back with me. Perhaps you might be interested in taking a drink?” Ha’er, Jasmine,and Du Du were overjoyed at the mention of Black Beer, and the fact that Ye Ci had ignored the words of Ha’er was completely overlooked by the NPCs.
The three NPCs were not gifted with a high level of intelligence, but they were not at all stupid. Even if they knew nothing of Ye Ci’s intention, they could tell that she was a worthy friend. After all, she was a friendly person who had helped them out in their time of need.
Because of that, Ye Ci’s Intimacy with the three NPCs immediately increased along with her Reputation with the Black iron Dwarves.
Ye Ci herself was amazed by her own intelligence. She randomly thought of the three NPCs before leaving Hurricane City, and bought bottles of Black Beer at the cost of hundreds of gold. The effects, however, was something that she could not buy with gold.
When the three Dwarves were done with their feast, Ye Ci left with the promise that she would once again visit them in the future. The blissfully drunken NPCs had even forgotten about the news that they were supposed to share with Ye Ci.
Ye Ci vanished into the thick mist of the Lesser Demon Sanctuary. She kept herself hidden in a spot near the three Black Iron Dwarves. She wanted to be sure. Will Hidden Dragon return?
Waiting is painful, especially when there were still a lot of things that required Ye Ci’s attention. There were moments when Ye Ci had almost given up, but she was able to steel her resolve and remained at her hiding spot. After all, this was something that would decide the future of Upwards Ho!.
She took in a deep breath, suppressing the restlessness in her heart, and continued to wait. After an untold amount of time, Ye Ci could hear the sound of an approaching horse.
The sound was faint, but the Lesser Demon Sanctuary was too quiet. Ye Ci could pick up the sound of clacking hooves easily with her high Perception from 200 yards away.
Ye Ci pressed herself closer to the ground. The three Black Iron Dwarves were well within her vision even as her position was well concealed against players.
A Cleric entered Ye Ci’s view as the sound of crashing hooves crept closer to her position. He was none other than Hidden Dragon.
The three Black Iron Dwarves were snoring loudly on the ground. It was easy to tell the reason behind their current state from the empty beer mugs strewn all over the ground.
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