Chapter 261 Forbidden Grounds (Part 1)
“One last question.” Dalufar stood up and stared at Ye Ci with a serious expression, and Ye Ci could immediately tell that answering the question was no easy task. “What do you think of Alaunar?”
It was a question that she did not expect. The questions asked by Dalufar were well within her expectations, as they were something that the chieftain of a tribe would ask. As long as she was careful with her answers, Ye Ci would never run into trouble. The final question however, caught Ye Ci completely off guard. Her instincts were screaming at her that this question was the key to bringing Alaunar off the Island with her. She clamped her mouth shut, and stared at Dalufar silently. A smile appeared on her face after a short moment of silence.
“He’s an outstanding Shaman.” replied Ye Ci.
Dalufar’s expression immediately grew cold. He stared at Ye Ci in silence, and any semblance of emotion slowly faded from his face. His gaze was intense, and his thoughts remained unknown. Despite that, Ye Ci remained calm and was able to maintain the smile on her face, as if she was not affected at all by Dalufar’s change in demeanor.
Dalufar let out a long breath after a short while, “He… is but a mere warrior.”
“Yes. Alaunar can only be a Warrior in the Doluo Tribe.” Ye Ci nodded. She had learned the customs of the tribe after her long stay. Alaunar was right. Only the children from the rich and powerful had the right to learn the ways of the Shaman. It was something that a poor child like Alaunar could not achieve despite his talents. This was why Ye Ci had the impression that the Doluo Tribe was a very narrow minded community.
As the most intelligent NPC in the entire Doluo Tribe, Dalufar would naturally understand the meaning behind Ye Ci’s words, “You knew everything all along, Elf.” he said with a sigh.
“Yes, Mr. Dalufar. I knew all along.” Ye Ci made no attempts to deny his statement, “I knew everything.”
“Why did you not ask me about it? You’re always meeting me alone.” Dalufar took his seat once again.
“I would be exposing Alaunar’s secret to you by asking something like this. It will destroy his dreams. I can’t do that. I can’t bring myself to destroy a person’s dream, especially when it was so precious to Alaunar.” Ye Ci shook her head and replied in the Common Tongue, expecting that Dalufar would understand the meaning behind such a gesture.
“You are a kindhearted and wise person.” Dalufar stared at Ye Ci for a long moment before letting out a sigh. A system notification immediately chimed in, and Ye Ci noticed that her reputation with the Doluo Tribe was raised to the level of ‘Revered’, and her intimacy with Dalufar was increased to ‘Intimate’.
This also meant that the stats of Dalufar was finally made available to Ye Ci. She cast Detection on Dalufar, and was shocked by what she saw. Dalufar is a lvl240 Legendary Shaman! The NPC was far more formidable than Ye Ci had expected.
The subjugation of such a BOSS would require a minimum of 3000 players that were at the level of 240.
Looks like the Godly Artifact will remain a legend. Mused Ye Ci as she stared at the staff in Dalufar’s hand.
A row of words were written as Dalufar’s social status: Leader of the Doluo Tribe.
This was a title given to Dalufar by the system, and was also an indicator that the NPC would never be able to be hired as a mercenary or servant. Ye Ci would not be able to depend on his strength in the future.
“I can see it in your eyes. You wish to take Alaunar with you.” Dalufar did not hold back as he pointed out Ye Ci’s thoughts.
A sly smile formed on Ye Ci’s lips, “Is this one of the questions that you wanted to ask just now, Mr. Dalufar?”
“No, but I still want an answer. The real answer.” Dalufar laughed after a slight pause.
Ye Ci nodded at the NPC. She was not alarmed by the fact that Dalufar had discovered her intentions, “Of course, Mr. Dalufar. I want to bring Alaunar with me so that he can see the outside world, just like your brother did.”
A hint of sadness surfaced on Dalufar’s face, “If he did not leave the tribe… He might not have died…”
“But he was able to win the respect of the entire Majia Continent. He showed the world that the Doluo is a great tribe, and the members of the Doluo Tribe are a great people. I know why you’re reluctant to let Khutak leave the tribe, but I know that you’ve been gathering information about the outside world at the same time.”
“How did you find out?” Dalufar was shocked.
Ye Ci responded to the question with a smile. It was the result of her research on the forums when she logged out of the game. She could never tell Dalufar that the description of Khutak in Fate’s official website included the following sentence: Khutak’s brother seems to be very curious about the outside world, and had collected a lot of books about the Majia continent. She instead diverted the conversation into another direction, “I understand that the best way for the Doluo Tribe to survive is to continue your current way of life, but this also means that Alaunar will not be able to fulfill his dream. I like the boy, and I want to help him in fulfilling his dream.” and she stared right into Dalufar’s eyes, “I’m sure that you yourself know how cruel an act will be if you stop me from taking him to the outside world. You’ll be killing the dreams that you’ve given to him with your own hands. Is this something that you want to see?”
Ye Ci spread her arms open and smiled at Dalufar. She was certain that the NPC would agree with her words after the days she spent in the tribe. Dalufar was conflicted, but he still clung on to the tiniest sliver of hope that Alaunar would become a Legendary Shaman just like him. He knew that something like this was impossible if the boy remained with the tribe, but he was unwilling to let such a talented individual go.
Dalufar was forced by Ye Ci to face his dilemma. He was no longer able to lie to himself that keeping Alaunar in the tribe was his only option. Ye Ci had done all she could, and it would be up to the system to decide if she was able to bring Alaunar and his family along as she left the island.
It all depends on fate now.
“I’ll have to think about it.” it was an obvious sign that Dalufar no longer wanted Ye Ci’s company, and she would naturally not overstay her welcome. She bowed at Dalufar, and was about to leave the tent when the chieftain of the tribe spoke up, “Many in the tribe needs your help, Elf. If you so wish, you can help them out.”
That’s great! I can finally start completing the quests here!
As she stood at the entrance of Dalufar’s tent, Ye Ci could see golden exclamation marks appearing on the heads of many of the NPCs in the village. This was an indication that quests were being offered by the NPCs. While most of the quests offered were Common Quests, they were still useful in increasing her Prestige.
These quests were simple, and could easily be completed by Ye Ci alone. They were able to give her huge amounts of Prestige with the Doluo Tribe, and earn her a number of Ancient Ores. With her increase in Prestige , many of the services by NPCs were finally made available to her. Such services would already be made available to players when they were able to reach the Prestige level of “Friendly”, but in the Doluo Tribe, the Prestige level of “Respected” was required.
But when these NPC functions were finally available, all of Ye Ci’s efforts were worth it.
Despite the secluded location of the Doluo Tribe, the goods sold by its NPCs were top-tier. Every single piece of equipment sold by the NPCs were Purple and above, and included the equipment of every single class. They were very high in quality but came at very high prices as well. The items were also available in the outside world, which was why Ye Ci had never once considered purchasing the items. She knew that her time with the Doluo Tribe was limited, and the Ancient Ores in her inventory were not limitless. She had to spend her resources wisely in such a situation.
After browsing through the different weapons, armor, and potions offered by the NPCs, Ye Ci did not make a choice to purchase any of the items. They might be rare, but they were simply not worth the price. She then paid the NPCs selling miscellaneous goods a visit. Such stores in secluded villages had a very large variety of items due to the lack of more specialised shops.
This was why Ye Ci had very high hopes for the miscellaneous NPC. She might be able to acquire some rare items that were not available in the outside world.
Unlike the 10-odd pages of items offered by NPCs in commercial districts, the NPC in the Doluo Tribe had an item list of up to 100 pages. Every single page contained items that would make Ye Ci’s heart leap. She was filled with the desire to purchase all the items available in the shop, but she had not completed Lia’s quest, and she knew that she would never have enough funds once the quest was completed.
Ye Ci was like a starving person that was staring at a table filled with delicacies through a glass window. She could feel the tears welling in her eyes. Why am I so poor?
When she was at the second last page of the item list, Ye Ci saw something that immediately caught her eye: Master Key.
Her heart leapt as she took a look at the stats of the Master Key.
Master Key: Orange Equipment. Can be used to unlock any chest below the level of 12. (Sole Item) Can be leveled up, cannot be discarded.
There were a huge number of treasure chests scattered throughout the world of Fate, but these chests were locked, but the keys to unlock the chests were very hard to forge. This was why it was a norm in the game that Rogues were the only ones who could open a treasure chest. Ye Ci herself had come across multiple treasure chests during her many adventures in Fate. Despite the knowledge that these chests contained valuable items, Ye Ci was forced to ignore them as she lacked the capability to unlock the chests.
If I have this thing… I can open any chests that I come across!
The treasure chests in Fate were divided into 15 levels. Chests with the levels from lvl1 to lvl12 could possibly be found in almost any map in Fate, but chests that were lvl9 and above were usually placed in dangerous locations that were guarded by strong monsters. Treasure chests that were above lvl12 could only be found near the BOSS of large dungeons or Hidden Dungeons. Players would never be able to gain access to a treasure chest without defeating the BOSS.
Even in Ye Ci’s past life, the appearance of treasure chests that were above lvl12 were very rare, and even if one did appear, it would require a force of at least a thousand players to defeat the BOSS guarding the chest. Lvl1-lvl12 treasure chests, however, are very common. With her Stealth, Ye Ci was confident that she would be able to easily gain access to treasure chests below the level of 9.
With the Master Key in her possession, Ye Ci would be able to unlock a treasure chest just like the Rogue class. I can overlook the other items, but I must buy this Master Key no matter what! Ye Ci glanced at the price of the Master Key. It was sold at 3 Ancient Emerald Ores, which was the entirety of Ye Ci’s current fortune. She was reluctant to part with her ores, as it meant that her stay on the island would be delayed.
Then again, I would definitely hate myself in the future for not buying this Master Key.
Without much of a thought, Ye Ci immediately made the purchase. When the Master Key was safely stored away in Ye Ci’s inventory, she noticed a change in the item list of the NPC. This was an indication that there was only 1 Master Key in the NPC’s inventory.
Ye Ci was shocked. Does it mean that all the items sold by the NPC are like that as well?
Ye Ci had noticed the “Sole Item” trait in the description of the Master Key, and made the assumption that only one copy of such item could be owned by a player. What she did not expect was the fact that the same could be said for the NPC as well. She immediately browsed through the items in the NPC’s inventory, and found that most of the items sold by the NPC were labeled as “Sole Items” as well.
She had never felt so troubled in her gaming life. There were only two options available to Ye Ci. She could either spend a long time on the island to clear all the unique items from the NPC’s shop. Or she could also complete the quest she received from Lia the Mermaid and return to the Northern Continent as soon as possible to complete the Mithril ore vein quest, but she was unsure if she could ever return to the island ever again.
Sole Items or the Mithril ore vein?
Ye Ci was in a dilemma.
Since Dalufar has not given me an answer about Alaunar yet, and I have not collected enough of the Ancient Emerald Ores to leave the Island, I might as well continue exploring the Pitch Black Cave instead of wasting my time pondering about something like this. Sighed Ye Ci.
Ye Ci was already at the deepest part of the Pitch Black Cave.
But something just doesn’t feel right, thought Ye Ci, is this the deepest part of such a deep and complex cave system? Why is there no BOSS? Why have I not run into any Elite monsters yet? This is not normal.
The Pitch Black Cave was definitely not a normal map. Even if not a single person had talked about the Pitch Black Cave, Ye Ci’s instincts were telling her that there was something peculiar about the cave. She explored all corners of the Pitch Black Cave with Alaunar in tow, but to no avail.
The Magical Crystals and the Magma Golems in the cave have not respawned yet . The cave was empty. There was nothing but the occasional heat wave that would wash over Ye Ci’s face. Ye Ci mined up the last piece of Magical Crystal in sight. The chunk of crystal that was as big as Ye Ci’s fist was of good quality. She sat down to take a rest, and pulled out two chunks of meat, and threw one of them at Alaunar while keeping one for herself.
Alaunar snatched the meat out of the air and began stuffing his mouth full of food.
The Intimacy between Ye Ci and the NPC were already very high. Due to her interaction with Alaunar’s family, her Intimacy level with the boy was just a small step away from “Loyal”. This was something that Ye Ci had been trying very hard but has failed to achieve.
This could be just like my Intimacy with Yolan. I need a chance. A chance that will raise our Intimacy level to “Loyal”. thought Ye Ci.
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