Chapter 252 A Secret (Part 1)
Ye Ci had already done a thorough work in clearing out the scene before going into hiding. She cleared away all the bottles she brought from the Southern Continent, and left a few barrels of beer that were very commonly seen in the Western Continent, and was sold in almost every NPC owned taverns near the Dwarves. As it is common knowledge that the Dwarves loved drinking, and the presence of barrels of beer in a place with Dwarves around was not at all suspicious as long as the beer did not belong to the Southern Continent.
Hidden Dragon did not expect the three Black Iron Dwarves to be drunken mere moments after his departure. Their behaviour, of course, did not arouse his suspicion as many of the races in Fate loved drinking.
The scene that unfolded him still came as a shock to him. He returned with the intention to confirm his hunch about the hidden quest, only to find the three NPCs intoxicated. This was something that Hidden Dragon had never considered.
Ye Ci observed silently from her hiding spot as Hidden Dragon circled the Dwarves. He then knelt on the ground and attempted to rouse the Dwarves from their sleep. After several tries that were met with failures, the man summoned his mount and prepared to leave.
He will definitely be back.
It was something that Ye Ci was very sure of the moment Hidden Dragon appeared in her view. She could not move against him, and could not risk proceeding with the quest as she was certain that he would once again return to the spot. As long as I don’t do anything, he’ll start doubting himself, and by that time I might’ve found a way to keep the Mithril ore vein safe.
Then again, it was not possible for Ye Ci to remain in this spot every single day. The only solution available to her was to put someone in charge of the surveillance on the ore vein. But is Timely Rain reliable? Will he betray us once he learns about the Mithril ore vein?
Ye Ci was hesitant. Bai Mo had always been the one who handled guild affairs as she was always away from the guild. He was a better judge of Timely Rain’s character than she could ever be. She immediately initiated a voice call with Bai Mo.
At that point in time, Bai Mo had only just finished a meeting with the officers of Upwards Ho!, and was making preparations to lead the elites of the guild out to level up. After all, if more members of Upwards Ho! were able to reach lvl60 before the introduction of the patch, it could give the guild an edge over its competitors when the patch is finally implemented into the game. He immediately sent the coordinates provided by Ye Ci to the officers, assigning party members to each of the officers who were then assigned to a leveling area.
This was when he received the call from Ye Ci.
Bai Mo listened patiently to Ye Ci’s words and spoke in a calm voice, “We can trust in Timely Rain.”
“Do you know him in real life? If he’s just an online friend of yours, there is no way we can trust him.”
“Yup.” this was something that Bai Mo had forgotten to tell Ye Ci, “We were close friends back in high school. I didn’t know who he was until I found out about it in a conversation some time ago. This guy is a trustworthy person. You don’t have to worry about it.”
“Alright then. I’ll leave this to you.” trust was something that did not come easy. Despite the repeated reassurance of Bai Mo, Ye Ci was still worried. She took in a deep breath, and decided to trust Timely Rain fully just like how she trusted Bai Mo and Tan Polang.
There were times when we had to earn a person’s trust by first trusting in the person.
“Who don’t you talk to Timely Rain about this? I think it’s better if you can speak to him in person.” Bai Mo knew Ye Ci very well. He knew that it was part of her nature to be overly suspicious, and he would not let a chance to fix this shortcoming of hers slip by without trying.
Ye Ci’s eyebrows furrowed when she heard Bai Mo’s words. She was hesitant. She knew that Bai Mo was simply trying to help build up her reputation in the guild. She was but a figurehead in the guild, and was far from being the soul of the guild. This was why Ye Ci relented despite her hesidation.
Trust was not something that could sprout overnight. She must learn to trust little by little, starting from this very moment.
Ye Ci returned to Red Lake City and immediately made her way to the guild encampment, where a curious Timely Rain was already waiting for her.
Based on the man’s knowing of Ye Ci, he had expected her to shun away from the affairs of the guild upon the return of Bai Mo. He was baffled when he received a message from Ye Ci, telling him to await her arrival in the guild encampment.
Ye Ci quickly arrived at the conference room and Timely Rain immediately stood up as she entered the room, “Gongzi, you’re here.”
“Yup.” the smile on Ye Ci’s face was stiff as she greeted Timely Rain.
“What is it? Is it something very important?” Timely Rain was unsettled by the unnatural expression on Ye Ci’s face.
“Why don’t you take a seat first?” Ye Ci was not oblivious to Timely Rain’s feeling of unease, and she was apologetic as she was the source of his anxiety. She took in deep breaths in an attempt to calm her emotions.
Anxiety gripped Timely Rain’s heart as he took a seat at the table.
Ye Ci seated herself as well. Her crossed arms and tightly knitted eyebrows were telltale signs that something very important was at hand. Something that would trouble even the usually high spirited Gongzi You would of course unsettle Timely Rain, “Gongzi, have you run into some sort of trouble?”
After a long moment of silence,Ye Ci stared square at Timely Rain and spoke in a soft voice, “Timely Rain, I found a Mithril ore vein.”
“Huh?” Timely Rain stood up abruptly and stared at Ye Ci, “What did you say?”
“I found a Mithril ore vein.”
“Mithril…. Ore vein…” Timely Rain could hear ringing in his ears, and he was hit by a wave of nausea that rendered him breathless.
Timely Rain would probably be unfazed if he was just a normal player. Players knew that Mithril was precious, but no one would get overly excited about something that was considered to be way out of their league. As an officer of Upwards Ho!, Timely Rain was different. Even if Upwards Ho! was a medium-sized guild, and even when his knowledge of the game was nowhere as impressive as Ye Ci, he knew about the true worth of a Mithril ore vein.
Mithril was something that was next to useless in the current stage of the game, but it was a very valuable resource that were highly sought by major guilds. Even a million-member guild like the Wolf Pack had not more than 10 pieces of Mithril ore of low quality.
Ye Ci, on the other hand, found an entire Mithril ore vein.
What does it mean to have control over an ore vein? It means the guild would be able to establish itself as the lead producer of Mithril ores.
Timely Rain was at verge of fainting. His mouth was dry and he could see stars in his vision. The only reason he remained standing upright was his hands that were propped against the table.
Ye Ci was worried as Timely Rain’s face was a shade of red. The man was even panting heavily. Will he faint from a brain hemorrhage or something? “Timely… Are you alright?”
Timely Rain took in a deep breath, he could see multiple Ye Cis in his vision, “Gongzi, that was a joke right?”
“Do you think that I’m a person with a sense of humor?” Ye Ci grimaced. Oh come on, he doesn’t even believe what I said.
Timely Rain stared at Ye Ci as his brain struggled to process her words. It was apparent that Ye Ci’s words were very hard to process indeed.
As a disheartened Hidden Dragon returned to his guild encampment, his party members were turning in a portion of the loot they have obtained. A Warrior named Christmas Night spotted Hidden Dragon and walked up to him, “Hey, Hidden Dragon, how did your little expedition go? Have you found any clues yet?”
“Nope.” Hidden Dragon heart was stung by the mockery from Christmas Night. Despite his anger, there was nothing he could do to Christmas Night. After all, he was nothing but a third rate player whose words held no sway among his fellow guild members. The only reason he was allowed in a party was the ‘Resurrection’ spell that he had obtained through sheer dumb luck.
Christmas Night laughed at Hidden Dragon’s response, “I knew it! I told you that it’s not worth it! Even if you suck as a healer, but you left the party just because of a hunch that turned out to be nothing! Don’t you think that you’re dumb?”
The penalty of leaving a party that was leveling up or exploring a dungeon without a valid reason was severe in the Bloody Steel guild. The offender might even lose his or her salary for the month.
“That’s enough. It’s not that much of a big deal anyways. Why are you treating him like this?” Christmas Night was cut off by Bubblegum, the female Cleric.
It was apparent that Christmas Night did not share the same thought, “Stay out of this Bubble! The only contribution to this party that he has is Resurrection! There’s nothing else that he can do. I’ve had enough of him dragging our party down for a long time, and now he left the party without permission? Is the rules of Bloody Steel a joke to him?”
“His only job is to resurrect any dead party members. Why do you have to keep picking on him? Nobody died today anyways. Besides, we all have that moment where we need to attend to some emergencies! Why must you be so harsh to him?” it was apparent that Bubblegum was an upright person. Even when Hidden Dragon was bad at healing and had no offensive capabilities, his Resurrection meant that he was a very important member of the party especially when Resurrection was still a rare ability.
“What if someone died today?” Christmas Night rage grew as he listened to Bubblegum’s words, and it further encouraged him to vent his anger on Hidden Dragon.
Hidden Dragon lowered his head. He clenched his fists tightly and gritted his teeth, but there was nothing he could do. Despite the raging anger in his heart and the strong urge to throw a punch at Christmas Night’s face, Hidden Dragon forced himself to remain calm. He had always been at the bottom of the food chain. Even if Bloody Steel was a shadow of its former self, the guild was still a very competitive medium-sized guild. As someone who was lacking in terms of talent and influence, he could only swallow his anger and submit to humiliation. After all, the salary he was earning from Bloody Steel was his only source of income that he could not afford to lose.
“You…” Bubblegum was rendered speechless by Christmas Night. Despite his harsh words, Bubblegum knew that Christmas Night presented a sound argument. She cast a glance at Hidden Dragon who was cowering from Christmas Night and sighed. She felt pity for Hidden Dragon, but in a society where the weak are prey to the strong, she knew that the man must stand up for himself. How many times can I help him out if he himself is not willing to grow?
Besides, Hidden Dragon was clearly in the wrong for abandoning his party. Christmas Night’s action was not entirely unjustified.
Bubblegum understood the feelings of Hidden Dragon. He knew that he could lose his place in the party at any given time, which led to his desperation in searching for the hidden quest that might be offered by the NPCs. The discovery of a high grade quest would increase his contribution to the guild and win him a handsome reward, especially in terms of money, equipment, and skillbooks.
Success could bring great change to the fate of Hidden Dragon. It could at least propel his role as a third-rate member in the party into a first-rate healer. This was a temptation that not many could refuse, not to mention someone who was at the bottom.
Hidden Dragon’s luck, however, seemed to be lacking.
Bubblegum sighed and stole a glance at Christmas Night, it seems that I have to be the peacemaker, “Enough of this. Let’s go cash in on our contribution points and continue leveling up.”
“Contribution points?” Christmas Night sneered at Hidden Dragon, “Are you implying that he contributed to today’s farming?”
“What do you mean?” Bubblegum furrowed her eyebrows. Christmas Night was not a bad person, but he was very narrow minded.
“You don’t have to look at me like that Bubble. I’m not a bad person. Have I said anything when we have to bring this burden along with us every single time? No! And that’s because he was a responsible person who did his job even when he lacked the skills. But today? He left the party because of some stupid NPC! Do you think he deserves a share of our contribution points? We’re not the best the guild has to offer, but we don’t have the obligation to keep this parasite around!” Christmas Night raised his voice, and many of the guild members began staring at Hidden Dragon coldly.
“Besides, do you think I don’t know what was going on in your mind, Hidden Dragon? You wanted to report a high grade quest to the higher ups am I right? What do you think we are? Are we stepping stones for you?” Christmas Night continued.
Hidden Dragon began shaking in anger. As the saying goes, even a saint could still feel anger. No matter how cowardly a person Hidden Dragon was, there was still a limit to his tolerance, “Christmas Night! What the heck do you want? I admit it’s my fault! We can settle this according to the guild rules, so what’s the big deal? Are your words even necessary?”
Christmas Night was shocked. Hidden Dragon had always been very quiet and meek. His sudden anger was a surprise to the rest of his party members as well. However, it did not take long for Christmas Night to regain his composure, “What’s the big deal? Are you saying that the guild rules are something that you abide to only if you feel like it?”
“That was not what I said.”
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