Chapter 267 Servant (Part 2)
“Excitement?” Mara cocked her head to the side and looked at Ye Ci quizzically.
“Yes. You never know what kind of excitement you will go through in the next moment. You could be in danger, or receive boons beyond your wildest imagination, or find yourself in the face of disaster. You will never know for sure. It’s exactly because of this unknown that you can feel how truly exciting the world really is. Unlike here, where the sky is always blue, the forest is always green and the beautiful mermaids are always there.”
Yolan listened to Ye Ci attentively. She had never left this tribe ever since she was born, so the world out there greatly fascinated her.
She suddenly smiled wryly. “I think I know why my husband yearned for the world outside so badly. Perhaps, he was also an adventurer.”
“Mommy, you can’t say that! That means…” Tears welled up in Mara’s eyes, threatening to fall at any moment.
Alaunar reached out to grab Mara’s hand, then gently shook his head. “That’s enough, Mara.”
Mara bit her lower lip. Although she was very young, she knew a lot of things. She lowered her head in great sorrow. “Brother, Khu’tak also yearned for the outside world back then. But in the end, the mermaids brought back news on his departure and he never returned. If you are going to be like Khu’tak, will you still remember me and mommy?”
Ye Ci determined that the timing was right, so she put on a look of surprise. “W-Wait…! Alaunar, are you thinking of leaving here?”
“Yes!” Alaunar snapped his head up as soon as he heard Ye Ci’s question. There was no hesitation, only unswerving determination.
“B-But… Dalufar probably won’t allow you to leave.” Ye Ci shook her head. “I think he regards all of you very importantly. You are Dak’s younger brother. He surely wouldn’t want the same thing to happen again.”
“Yeah! Brother, Elf is right. There’s no way Lord Dalufar will allow you to leave.” Before Mara could finish speaking, she was stopped by Yolan. She shook her head gently to Mara, then sighed. “Stop it, Mara. Your brother has the right to decide his own future.”
Mara bit her lips and lowered her head. Tears fell from her eyes.
“Elf, I need your help.” Alaunar looked at Ye Ci, with the determination of a man.
“My help?” Ye Ci pointed at herself, acting as though she was very innocent while asking the question even when she already clearly knew the answer.
“Elf, please take me with you!” Alaunar set down the bowl he was holding and walked to Ye Ci. He kneeled on his right knee, placed his left fist on his chest and lowered his head as he spoke earnestly. “If you are willing to take me with you, I swear that I will forever be your loyal servant!”
Ye Ci had thought of this before, but she didn’t expect Alaunar to suggest this on his own accord. This was still quite shocking to her. She silently stared at Alaunar who was kneeling before her on one knee. This was the most formal and respectful bow in the Doluo Tribe. It was the highest form of respect one could show to another.
She looked at Alaunar for a good while, before finally reaching out to help him up. She seated him beside her and spoke to him with a serious expression. “Alaunar, do you really wish to leave?”
“I want to become a hero like Khu’tak! I don’t want Doluo people to remain unknown. I want everyone to know, the Doluo isn’t some useless tribe being exiled by Humans and Barbarians. We are one of the best tribes in the world. I don’t want our people to continue to be oppressed, and be tempted by Devils. We are clearly capable of defending ourselves. That’s why I want to leave and train. I want to be the second Khu’tak, no, I want to be an even bigger hero than Khu’tak!” Alaunar wasn’t loud, but his speech was powerful and resonating. Even as a player, Ye Ci couldn’t help but cheer the NPC on for his lofty ambitions.
“I can take you away.” Ye Ci stared into Alaunar’s black eyes for a long while, before giving him a careful answer. A sparkle of joy flashed across Alaunar’s eyes when he heard her reply. However, Ye Ci’s next word made him anxious again. “But…”
“But I can’t accept you as my servant.” This was Ye Ci’s conclusion after pondering the matter over for a good while.
“Why?!” Alaunar couldn’t believe it. In his simple mind, he thought that he wouldn’t be able to leave and see the outside world without becoming Ye Ci’s servant. So Ye Ci’s answer was no different than outright refusing his request and this naturally made Alaunar feel extremely helpless. “I am willing to be your servant! I am willing!”
“No. I still can’t agree to that regardless if you are willing or not.” No matter how much Alaunar insisted, Ye Ci was firm on refusing him because she suddenly thought of a way to bring their entire family away. Sometimes, refusing didn’t mean denying and agreeing didn’t necessarily mean accepting either. Playing hard to get was indeed an intriguing phrase.
“Why?! You have to give me an answer!” Alaunar was extremely agitated. He had a strange feeling toward Ye Ci. He admired, feared, revered yet also unwilling to submit to her. Despite the fact that he was still a mercenary hired by Ye Ci, he was acting recklessly and being unruly.
Ye Ci wasn’t bothered by this because she knew Alaunar wasn’t fully loyal to her yet. If his loyalty had reached that extent, then this situation wouldn’t occur in the first place. “The answer is actually very simple.” Ye Ci looked at Alaunar, then glanced at Yolan and Mara. In her gaze was forgiveness and smile. “A hero should never be a servant.”
Unlike the mindset of Chinese where ‘a hero might also have a humble family root’, status was taken very seriously in Jiama Continent. If a hero or warrior came from a less honorable background, his growth would be affected negatively. It was for this reason Ye Ci decided to refuse taking Alaunar in as her servant. Only by maintaining Alaunar’s pride would she win Yolan and Mara undying loyalty.
As expected, the tent fell into silence after the answer came out of her mouth. After a long while, only then she heard Yolan’s faint sobs. Both her and Mara had kneeled before Ye Ci and were rubbing their hair against Ye Ci’s feet. “Thank you, my master. Thank you for making my son possess the dream and journey of becoming a hero. My son cannot serve you as a servant, but my daughter and I are willing to serve you as your servants in his place. We are willing to serve you with our whole life, my master!”
“Mara agrees with mommy!”
Ye Ci secretly assessed Yolan and Mara’s fondness toward her, and discovered that their loyalty toward her had been maxed out. It seemed like all she needed to take Alaunar down was to loosen her reins on him in order to grasp him better. Ye Ci quickly helped Yolan and Mara up, then shook her head with a smile. “How is that possible? I can’t even agree to have Alaunar as my servant, how will I possibly agree to having both of you as my servants? Moreover, it’s pointless even if I were to accept your request. I’m leaving here after all. There’s no way both of you will leave your hometown. So…”
Alaunar looked at his mother and younger sister, then suddenly spoke up. “Can you take all of us away from here together?”
“Together?” Ye Ci blinked, acting as though she was bewildered, but her heart was blooming with joy. I did it, I finally did it!
“Yes, together.” Alaunar nodded. “Truth be told, I am the only son in my family. If I were to leave my mother and sister behind in the tribe alone, I don’t think I will ever be at ease.”
“Isn’t Dalufar taking good care of your family?”
“Indeed. Lord Dalufar takes special care of orphans and widows like us. But Lord Dalufar is the chief of this tribe. There’s a limit to how much he can care for us. Even if I am here in the tribe, my mother and sister are still being bullied. If I’m gone, I’m afraid that life is going to get more difficult for them. So, if you’ll allow, I wish to bring my mother and sister away from here too. That way, they won’t be too worried about me as they can always see me.”
Alaunar seemed to have suddenly grown up at this very moment. He was very mature in his thinking, and was no longer the willful youth who only did the things he wanted. He was really like the pillar of his family now.
“What do you think, Yolan and Mara?” Naturally Ye Ci couldn’t only listen to Alaunar’s opinion when it came to matters like these. She had to listen to the opinions of the people who were involved in this. “Do you both agree to leave the tribe with Alaunar?”
Yolan looked at Mara. After thinking for a moment, she finally spoke up. “I have never left the tribe and have no idea on what lies out there beyond here. But if master is willing to take us with you away from here, we are willing to leave the tribe together with Alaunar. We are a family. Unless there is any special circumstances, we are not willing to part with each other.”
Ye Ci nodded, extremely satisfied with the turn of events. “Alright. If all of you insist, then I can bring you all with me.” After Ye Ci said that, she could immediately hear three system messages.
“Doluo Tribe member Yolan is now your servant.”
“Doluo Tribe member Mara is now your servant.”
“Doluo Tribe member Alaunar is now your guard.”
Guard? Ye Ci was slightly taken aback. In the previous world, she had only heard about the mercenary and servant systems but not a guard. Could it be that she has triggered the system, that she never did in the previous world, in this world? Just when Ye Ci was thinking about that, she received another system message. “You have discovered the servant and guard systems due to your diligence and resolve, would you like to make your ID public?”
It would be best to lay as low as possible when it comes to matters like these. Letting more people know that she had servants and guards would only invite trouble, so she ought to be more cautious.
“Due to… player’s unrelenting diligence and resolve, the servant and guard systems have been discovered. The servant and guard markets will now be opened in cities for players to experience these new aspects in the game. Have a good time.” After Ye Ci refused making her ID public, this message immediately popped up in the global chat, and caused passionate discussions among guilds and players. Even so, Ye Ci didn’t seem to be too bothered about it.
That was because Ye Ci was more concerned on how to break the news that she would be bringing the three away to Dalufar. After mulling it over for a long time, she came to the conclusion that it was better to clarify things up with Dalufar as early as possible. She had been to the illusionary realm, and discovered Nuoba’s Secret. She was certain that Dalufar was close to discovering the truth as well. If she did not share what she knew, Dalufar might not allow her to bring the family with her easily.
Ye Ci went to buy the harp that Lia needed first, then bought the most decent recipes from the shop. After spending the last piece of ore she had on her, only then she went toward Dalufar’s tent. However before she even reached Dalufar’s tent, she spotted Alaunar watching her silently under the moonlight.
“What’s wrong, Alaunar? Why are you standing here?” Ye Ci was curious, so she went up to him and asked.
“Master, I know what you are about to do. I wish to join you.” Alaunar ran up to Ye Ci and bowed. Ever since he became her guard, he was behaving a lot more polite around her.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” There was no way Alaunar didn’t know what she was going to do, and he was adamant in following her so Ye Ci was worried if it was wise for him to do that.
“I am sure, master. I know what I am doing. I have my own obligations toward this tribe.” Alaunar seemed so sure that he would probably disagree even if Ye Ci were to command him to return to his own tent. Guards and servants were different. Guards had their own rights in doing certain things, but not servants. Servants would always obey their master’s command, regardless if it was right or wrong.
“Alright.” Ye Ci nodded. In any case, she was going to use Nuoba’s matter as a deal with Dalufar and make him owe her a personal favor so he would willingly release the family of three. At first, she was still worried if she would be able to convince him alone. Now that Alaunar was joining, it would probably be easier to convince Dalufar.
Dalufar was quietly sitting in front of his huge table as usual. The table was piled up with all sorts of books. Under the dim light, Dalufar’s white hair and beard was tinted gold, making him look very divinely. His magical staff rested quietly against the right arm of his chair, just within his reach. Ye Ci looked at the staff and thought to herself that it was impossible for her to ever get her hands on it in her entire life. It was fine though, she shouldn’t be too greedy as she had already reaped a lot of rewards by coming here.
Dalufar sensed Ye Ci entering the tent, yet didn’t raise his head. He continued reading his book but spoke slowly, “I heard you have bought Lia’s harp.”
“Yes, Lord Dalufar.”
“Are you preparing to leave?” “Yes, Sir Dalufar. I've been here too long. I must continue my journey.” Ye Ci responded with a very standard answer, as an NPC with high intelligence would see through any possible play of words.
Dalufar nodded, then closed up the book in front of him and lifted his head. He looked at the boy standing behind Ye Ci in silence. After a very long time, he finally spoke. “What about you, Alaunar? Have you made your decision?”
“Yes, Lord Dalufar. I have. I wish to leave with her to travel the outside world, just like Khu’tak did back then.” Alaunar’s voice wasn’t loud, but one could hear the unwavering determination in it.
Dalufar listened to Alaunar and seemed to become dispirited. He remained seated and let out a long sigh before shutting his eyes. “It’s been many years. I thought I wouldn’t hear anyone talking about leaving the tribe again, yet I am hearing it now. The last time I heard this, I was still a youth like you, Alaunar. Back then, Khu’tak stood before me and told me the same thing. I was proud of him. After so many years, you’re now telling me the same thing again. I…” Speaking up to this point, Dalufar paused slightly and an affectionate smile appeared on his face. “I am also proud of you.”
Alaunar was very nervous at first but after hearing Dalufar’s words, he felt relieved at once. After he relaxed, the only response he could give was speechlessly staring at Dalufar in a daze. After a long while, only did he manage to speak again. “Is that so? Lord Dalufar, are you really proud of me?” “Of course, my child. I am proud of anyone who can find their courage to take this first step out. Not only that…” Dalufar paused slightly, then looked at Ye Ci and continued speaking, “Advancing for the sake of your dream is a joyous thing that is worth celebrating. Alaunar, I look forward to the day you’ll become a Great Shaman.”
Alaunar was even more shocked now. “What? A Shaman? Not a Warrior?”
“Why a warrior? Aren’t you a shaman?” Dalufar stood up, with the magical staff that Ye Ci had been drooling over in his hand. He slowly walked toward Ye Ci, then lowered his head to look at her. He sighed, then spoke only loud enough for both of them to hear. “I think what you said is right. People should chase after their own dreams. I can’t make him stay here. Elf, I’ll leave them in your hands.”
Dalufar’s words greatly astonished Ye Ci. He had figured out everything before she even said anything. This must be a BUG...
Despite Ye Ci’s surprise, she still nodded and made a promise with Dalufar. She glanced at Alaunar behind her, then spoke to Dalufar. “Lord Dalufar, I come here today to inform you of another matter.”
“What is it?”
Ye Ci sighed, then told everything about the things she and Alaunar saw in the Pitch Black Cave as well as everything in the realm of illusion to Dalufar. Dalufar appeared to be shocked. “What?! You are saying that Nuoba and Sha’jia are actually colluding together?!”
“No, I don’t think it is Sha’jia. That was only an illusion. Only Sha’jia’s servant, Ciss, was inside that illusion.”
“That doesn’t make any difference.” Dalufar’s face turned sour. “I only know that the Heart of Flame is sealed under the Pitch Black Cave. I’ve been watching over it with care for so many years, so that no demons have any chance to get close to it! Yet I didn’t expect Nuoba to actually collude with a demon to steal the Heart of Flame! Just what is he thinking?!”
“I’m afraid that Nuoba is coveting over your position.” Ye Ci sighed and slowly pointed out the key point of this matter. After all, Dalufar had been alive for too long. Although he was powerful, it was inevitable that some of his subordinates would start to misbehave.
Dalufar stared at Ye Ci intently, unable to utter another word.
The moon was shining bright In the night sky above Doluo Tribe. The moonlight silently shone on the ancient tribe that seemed silent, yet lurking with wild ambitions within.
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