“Long time no see, Gongzi You.” Absalom was beaming at Ye Ci as he introduced her to the man beside him, “This is the vice leader of Genesis, Silent Hymn. And this is Eastern Continent’s Gongzi You, one of the largest customers of our guild.”
Ye Ci exchanged pleasantries with the duo, and when she once again turned around, the Rogue was already nowhere to be seen.
“Your guild’s Rogues are not bad. That guy is quite good at shadowing someone.” she smiled at Absalom.
“Blue Wolf would’ve been pleased if he knew that’s what Gongzi You thinks of him.” Silent Hymn was paying close attention to Ye CI’s expression the moment she entered the tavern. She was hiding her emotions very well, but he could sense the slight disappointment she had of Fleeting Time’s absence.
“Anyways, I’m sorry for calling you over so abruptly. We did not plan for this meeting, and we’ve just acquired your location, that’s why Fleeting Time is not here…” Absalom grinned at Gongzi You.
The Huntress’s expression immediately, “If this is what you have to say to me, then I’ll take my leave…”
Silent Hymn shot Absalom a glare as Ye Ci turned around to leave. You idiot! Don’t you know that some things can’t be said? This is not the time for gossipping!
He called out to Ye Ci, “Gongzi You, this is not what we called you here for. There’s something important that we have to talk to you about.”
Ye Ci turned back to face the duo again, but her expression was still dark.
Genesis would of course not waste their time and Gongzi You’s on baseless gossip. And Ye Ci’s guess was correct. It was about the Mithril ore vein. “What? You want me to help defend your fort?” Ye Ci’s eyes widened as she stared incredulously at the duo, “Absalom, am I losing my hearing or have you gone mad?”
“You’re not hearing things. We’re planning to build a series of fortifications around the Mithril ore vein of the Western Continent. We’ve completed the quest, and have hired the workers required to build the fort. The construction will begin as soon as I give the order. But after their defeat at your hands, I’m sure Golden Era would have learned of the existence of Mithril in this game. And I believe they will not sit back and watch as we build our fort.”
“Absalom, your guild is one of the largest guilds in Fate.” Ye Ci sneered at Absalom, “You have your own elites, and they are more than a match for Golden Era. Why do you need me? I’m a player from a hostile continent…”
“Of course, what we need is not you. We need your Dragon.”
Ye Ci’s face was without expression as she stared at Absalom. The words were unspoken, but it was written very clearly on her face: I knew you’re up to something! But she did not let Absalom wait long for her response, “Impossible.”
Absalom sighed. He had expected the answer, “Will you please reconsider?”
“Say, Absalom, look at my red name. Are you sure you want me to do something like this?” Ye Ci pulled back her hood so that her stats could be revealed to the other party, “Besides, you and I are from opposing continents. Have you ever thought that your men will take damage from my Dragon as well?”
“Of course we did! That’s why we’ll not be sending you near the fort. We hope that you can stand guard at teleportation points and places where different maps meet.” Absalom chuckled, he had planned for this all along, “Think about it, is there a better chance to farm for Glory Points? I wouldn’t have asked if you do not have that Dragon. But now that you do, you can just fly over to our continent, right?”
Ye Ci clicked her tongue at Absalom, “You’ve really thought it through haven’t you? It’s all part of your little scheme”
“That’s right!” Absalom smiled at Ye Ci. His smile was harmless, but there was a glint of cunningness in his eyes, “Weren’t you scheming something as well when you gave us the location of our Mithril ore vein? You knew that you can’t possibly keep all four veins to yourself, that’s why you gave one to us so that we’ll owe you a favor. Of course, I have to admit that you’re sincere in our alliance against Golden Era, but Upwards Ho! is the one that will suffer more at the hands of that guild don’t you think? They’re most active in the Eastern Continent, and have only made a move against your guild. I think you know that they’re using you to set an example for the other guilds…”
Ye Ci did not deny Absalom’s assertions. His analysis of the entire situation was correct, and this annoyed Ye ci. She could smell the threat in his words. A frown appeared on her face.
“So? What you’re trying to say is…”
“Let’s make another deal.”
A deal? What sort of deal? Ye Ci did not like the word when it came out of the mouth of somebody else, as it meant that she would not be the one in an advantageous position.
She relaxed herself and leaned back against the chair, “Name your terms, and I’ll see if we can work it out.”
“We need you to defend our fort until the completion of its construction. I’ll lend a thousand of my Elites to Upwards Ho! for an entire year if you promise to help us. They’ll obey anything you ask of them.” Absalom chuckled, “I’m taking a very large risk here.”
It was a very tempting deal. A thousand elites from Genesis was definitely of higher quality than the elites of a normal guild. They could definitely improve the quality of Upwards Ho! players during their stay in the guild. Even Ye Ci herself was tempted to accept the deal right there and then.
But Ye Ci was someone who would always maximize her benefits. There was no way she would one-sidedly accept Absalom’s terms.
“You make it sound like a really fair deal, but that doesn’t seem to be the case, isn’t it?” Ye Ci drummed her fingers against the table.
“Eh?” Absalom had a bad feeling when he noticed Ye Ci’s expression. It was exactly the smile she had on her face when they first met in the cave. Her eyes felt even colder and more calculative in the cave. Absalom was alarmed. The girl before him was no pushover. She would never give up before she pecked the last shred of meat from his bare bones.
“There’s no way that Golden Era will use the same strategy twice. And even if they did, and I successfully intercepted their players, this will only mean that their anger will be focused on me alone and not your guild. What sort of treachery is this?” despite the smile on her face, Ye Ci’s words were as sharp as a knife.
Absalom avoided her gaze and cleared his throat, “What do you mean…”
“Let me spell it out for you then. If you can guess correctly that the Dragon is mine, then surely Breeze can do the same. Doesn’t it mean that I will suffer retaliation from Golden Era in Genesis’s stead?” said Ye Ci, “I am a member of Upwards Ho!, and this means that Golden ERa’s anger will be focused on my guild. We’re way smaller than them, and Breeze himself is on the Eastern Continent. Do you think he’ll let us be if we continue to be a hindrance to him time and time again?”
A sneer appeared on Ye ci’s lips, “My guild will surely suffer a huge loss. And I don’t think the risk is worth a mere thousand elite from your guild. There’s no way I’ll exchange the entire Upwards Ho! for just a thousand players!”
Silent Hymn spoke up before Absalom could respond, “I’ve heard that Gongzi You was someone who would haggle over the smallest trifle. It seems that the rumors are not wrong. You’re an expert at the game, and is also good at doing business.”
Ye Ci shifted her gaze to Silent Hymn, and stared at him in silence.
“You’re not wrong, we may have overlooked some of the details, but…” Silent Hymn continued after he noticed Ye Ci raising her eyebrows, “This assumption is based on the fact that Golden Era will be using the same strategy. And even you have said that Golden Era will not repeat the same mistake twice. And if they fight our main force head on, doesn't it mean that you don’t have to do anything at all? You’ll be getting a thousand elites from our guild by staying in the Western Continent for a few days. Don’t you think this deal is worth your while?”
Ye Ci remained silent for a long moment before resting her arms on the table and leaned forward, “Why are you so sure that I’ll give you my cooperation?”
“Why not? I’m sure that you, of all people, would want to increase the strength of Upwards Ho! after your fight with Golden Era.” Silent Hymn was apparently very confident with their success in sealing the deal.
“But you’re only here today because I gave you the location of the Mithril ore vein.” Ye Ci laughed.
“And even if you don’t, I’m sure that my guild will eventually stumble upon this little secret.” Silent Hymn refused to back down.
“But… It also means that the other guilds will be on the move as well. If I did not give you the coordinates, the other guilds on your continent will be alerted by the existence of the Mithril ore veins. They’re not idiots, they’ll definitely go look for it. What if they find it before you do?” Ye Ci’s thoughts were masked well by her smile.
“The chances of that happening is small.” Silent Hymn was very confident of his guild’s strength.
Ye Ci’s smile widened. And Silent Hymn was unsettled by her smile. He have not dealt with Ye Ci before, but he knew that he must be careful. Absalom who was seated beside Silent Hymn was also unnerved by the smile on Ye Ci’s face.
“How are you sure that I’ve told you all the secrets of the Mithril ore vein?”
Ye Ci’s smile was accompanied by the words that struck fear in their hearts.
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