Greyness enveloped Ye Ci’s vision. She could not see anything, and she did not know where she was.
She tried to move her body, but it felt like she was trapped in the body of someone else. It was as if a powerful force had pulled her consciousness out of her body.
An intensifying headache ravaged Ye Ci. She attempted to open her mouth to take in some fresh air, but even that was impossible. The pain slowly began spreading through the rest of her body, down every vein and nerve ending, until her entire being was feeling the intense pain.
A scream escaped Ye Ci’s mouth. She screamed and screamed in pain until she had to take a breath.
But she quickly found that there was no longer a need for that.
She sat up, and saw her body still lying on the ground, while Fleeting Time was kneeling beside her with a frown on his face. A bright light enveloped her body, the sign that she was being continuously revived by a Cleric.
Fleeting Time’s expression was rapidly darkening. He said something to the Cleric, but it was inaudible to Ye Ci.
She knew that she was not truly dead, but she had indeed experienced something akin to death.
“Welcome to my wonderland, Elf.” a voice snapped her out of her thoughts. It was the same voice she had heard moments before.
She turned her head to the direction of the voice, and saw a figure in a dark cloak shrouded in black smoke standing before her.
Ye Ci turned around slowly to face the NPC. she was not even able to see the NPCs stats as everything was displayed as “Unknown” to her.
“Who are you?” she asked. It was the thing she wanted to know the most at the moment even though she was unsure if the NPC would reply truthfully.
The figure chuckled at the question. He sounded happy. He lifted his hands. They were very beautiful hands.
Ye Ci had seen many pairs of hands in her life, but none of them could even hold a candle to the pair of white, slender, and elegant hands that were displayed before her. It was as if they were the most magnificent sculpture in the world.
They were unique.
That was the only word Ye Ci could think of when she saw the hands. And the pair of hands pulled back the hood covering the NPC’s face.
Ye Ci was immediately blinded by a glaring golden light. She could barely open her eyes. The person standing before her had a perfect appearance that even words could not describe. His beautiful, golden hair was so long that they were touching the ground. His elegance was a sharp contrast to the world of grey around them.
This is very strange.
“Who am I?” I’ve found myself asking the question before as well, but I could not find an answer. But you’re probably very familiar with my name. But it is just a name. Even I myself do not know who I am.”
Ye Ci was confused by the NPC’s words. Despite her strong desire to skip his dialogue, she knew that the ‘Cunning’ trait would never work on a high tier NPC. The only thing she could do was to silently curse at the NPC in her heart. Just answer the question, damn it!
“I know your name?” Ye Ci raised an eyebrow and stared at the NPC. While she did not have a photographic memory, she would never forget someone like the man. This was why she was very certain that she had never seen the NPC before, “I don’t think I’ve met you before.”
But the NPC did not seem to be surprised by her response, or rather, he did not seem fazed by any answer that Ye Ci might give, “Who I am is not important. What’s important is that you’re in trouble.” he smiled.
Well, I am in somewhat of a pinch. Thought Ye Ci. Golden Era is summoning a creature of the void, I failed to stop their summoning, and I died. We’ve also lost our only shot at stopping the ritual after Golden Era had been alerted by Fleeting Time’s rescue attempt.
Wait… How did the NPC know? Even if he’s an AI, how did he come to the conclusion that the situation is bad for me?
Well, it doesn’t matter, does it? He looks like he’s able to help.
“I’m indeed in trouble. But what does it have to do with you?”
“Well, it depends on the choice you make.” a chair materialized with the wave of the man’s hand. And he took a seat on the simple yet exquisitely made chair.
“Name your price.” Ye Ci knew that there was no free lunch in the world, and she also knew that the NPC wanted something from her in exchange for his help.
But surprise was the emotion that the man showed when he heard her response, before he eventually erupted into laughter. He nodded at Ye Ci and clapped his hands, “Interesting. Very interesting! You Elves have grown more interesting that the one called Dau’er after so many years!”
?You know of King Dau’er?” Ye Ci was shocked. Could this be a side quest of Dau’er’s questline?
“Well, I know the name.” the man responded casually, “I’ve never liked remembering the names of opponents that I’ve vanquished.”
An opponent that he had vanquished? Ye Ci was shocked once again. The Elven King Dau’er was an ancient hero of the Elves, and their greatest warrior. His legacy was something that not a single Elf could match, but the man claimed to have defeated the Elven King.
Ye Ci could still remember the history recorded in the books that she had read in the National Library. Dau’er was never defeated on the battlefield. His only defeat was...
She finally knew who the man was.
He told her that she knew his name, and that he could help with her troubles. He also named Dau’er as someone who he had vanquished. There was only one being who met such a criteria.
Ye Ci tried her best to force herself to remain calm. She took in a deep breath and said to the man, “Wow, I sure am lucky. How many in this world have had the honor of seeing your true appearance, Naga?”
“And that’s why I said you Elves have grown more interesting.”
“I will not accept your help no matter what trouble I’m in.” While she was not part of the conflict between the NPCs, Ye Ci was very close to completing Dau’er’s quest. She did not want to see her efforts going to waste.
“Oh really?” it was as if Naga had expected her response, “Are you sure that you do not want my help?”
“There is no free lunch in this world, especially when it comes from you. And I don’t think the price is something I can afford.” Ye Ci shook her head. Well, it seems that it’s our loss today. We’ll have to get back at them next time.
“Will your decision remain the same no matter what happens?” the smile remained on Naga’s face.
“Yes. I will not betray my faith.” Ye Ci responded with the most standard option provided by the game.
Naga nodded at her, “Very well. But allow me to confirm it with you one last time.” Naga waved his hand, and the battlefield between Upwards Ho! and Golden Era appeared before Ye Ci.
Players from Golden Era were locked in combat with players from Upwards Ho!, Wolf Pack, Tang Dynasty, and Conquering the Heavens. Spells and projectiles crisscrossed between the two bodies of players. Casualties were a common occurrence, but the fallen would often immediately be replaced with more players surging forth to join the battle.
This was the first time Ye Ci was viewing a battle as a spectator, and she felt anger. She was angry at herself for dying, and she was angry that she could not join her comrades in battle.
Naga’s voice entered her ears as she observed the ongoing battle with her fists clenched tightly, “Ah, after so many years, the people of this land are still addicted to the thrills of war. Look at that, what you see before you is just like what happened thousands of years ago. Death. Death is everywhere!”
Ye Ci’s face paled when she heard a loud roar coming from afar. It’s the summoned beast!
A gigantic scorpion appeared at the rear of Golden Era’s formations. Its size was so large that the players around it appeared tiny as ants in comparison.
“Ahh… They’ve summoned little Latal. It seems that your comrades are doomed.” Naga whispered into Ye Ci’s ears. She did not even realize that Naga had already walked up to her.
Ye Ci had a choice to make: To sacrifice the hard work of Upwards Ho! players, or her own benefit.
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