[Volume#5 The Eternal Darkness]
Chapter 134: Eastern Sea Evil God
Today marked the last day that Sila could stay online in Monster Soul. He was watching a giant test tube filled with clear liquid and a sky-blue gem which shone brilliantly like the rays of the sun being reflected off of water.
The Android King had told him that all of Julia's data had been transferred into the tube and more time was needed for the process to be finished.
Sebastian suddenly left as soon as he perceived that there was nothing for him to do, and he didn't tell anyone where he was going.
Meanwhile, Bow went outside to go sightseeing around the city after the Android King guaranteed that she would be completely safe. Not only was the slime race now allied with the android race and the city patrolled by Android Guards who would do their best to protect her, the current Lost Grea City also had no other players present. Almost all players had left when Sila and his team invaded the city, and the ones who stayed behind got hit by stray attacks from Sebastian and the androids before they also decided to leave.
Based on the requirements for entering Lost Grea City, it would take some time before the city received visitors again. Even so, Sila was still cautious and asked Lookhin to look after Bow.
"Are you sure it won't be dangerous?" Sila asked Orpheus, who just entered the room.
"I'm sure it won't. It will be more dangerous if you're too hurried." The Android King also watched the gem attentively.
"I'm going to log out today, sir. It should be three to four days in the game. Can I ask whether this will be finished by the time I return?"
The Android King shook his head. "I'm not sure. It may be finished as soon as today or it could take several days. I'm just positive that it won't take longer than two weeks. As for logging out, you can use the hotel in the residential area."
"I'm curious about something, sir. Why did you set that weird condition for accessing the city? I think it is the main reason this city is rarely visited by players. Isn't it bad for business?"
"Hahaha. Are you afraid your share of the profits will be too low?"
Sila quickly denied, "That's not it, sir. That's not the problem. I'm just curious."
"Well, to answer your question, our business isn't bad at all. Although not many players come, our products are high quality so the price and profit are not insignificant. However, our annual profit isn't that high."
Sila thought about how the Slime King had changed the drop rate of the Slime Card. Since changing the drop rate was possible, changing the method to access the Lost Android Kingdom should be possible as well. Thus, he asked, "Why don't you change the rule, sir?"
The Android King shook his head again. "It's not that I don't want to do it, but that I can't. It's the agreement I have with the game creator."
"The agreement that we need to complete those senseless missions in order to enter the city? What is the game creator thinking?"
"Hahaha. That's not it. Actually, I'm the one who came up with the condition. The game creator only asked me to come up with a way to prevent players from easily entering the city. However, my city heavily relies on trading, so setting a harsh condition would prevent merchants from entering. So, this is the answer I came up with. You can enter the city if you are very persistent."
"Um... I believe your definition of the term 'persistent' is a bit off..."
"Ah. There are some peculiar missions that I included as a joke. Well, it's unexpected that there were some players who dared to complete them. I should say that they have my profound respect. Even I don't think I could do those missions myself."
"Can I ask why there must be a condition for entering the city? Other cities don't seem to have any."
"Um... About this question, it's not a secret or anything, but not many players are interested in hearing the answer. Do you know who the Independent NPCs are?"
"I know, sir. They are the first generation players who were invited to play Monster Soul when it was still in the closed beta stage, and decided to continue playing after the game launched."
"That's correct. Most of them didn't select a race and there wasn't a problem with that. However, for those who had selected a race before the end of the closed beta, with the great ability of Independent NPCs, it wouldn't be strange for them to ascend to the upper or even top position of the race.
"The problem is the balance of the game. The stronger the king of the race, the stronger the race as a whole becomes. To limit the strength of the races with Independent NPCs, those races were bound with some limitation or constraints; for example, having low quantity, weak in a certain situation, hard to find, or sealed in a certain area.
"The android race has me as its king so the race is bound to Lost Grea City which has a difficult method of accessing. Well, there is a hidden quest for each race to break this kind of restriction, but no player has ever completed any of them as of now. If just one of the races is freed from the constraint, I'm sure that the situation in Monster Soul will be overturned."
"Are four Independent NPCs considered a lot?" Sila tried to act casual when asking this question.
"Four?! Are you nuts? Two is already too many. The balance of the game would be ruined if they aren't being restrained."
Finally, Sila discovered the hidden reason why the slime race was sealed. With the race having four Independent NPCs, it is restrained by being sealed in a limited territory, having low quantity, and being very weak in a sealed state. The quest to slay eight dragons wasn't too unreasonable considering what would happen as soon as all the seals were broken.
In the worst case, Sila negatively thought that this quest might have been designed to be impossible to complete, even.
As he was still thinking about this matter, Bluebird grinned and approached the two as if he was a kid who just found a new toy. For the record, Sila and the Android King had long since detected his presence. However, they were curious how Bluebird could arrive at this room despite the maze-like structure of the castle.
"You're really here. Hahaha, this skill is very excellent."
"Did you use a new skill?" asked Sila.
"Correct. On the third sub-floor of the castle, there was a Spying Android who just gave me a skill. This skill is really neat. It seems I need to think very hard before choosing the other two skills."
"Oh. You even went to the android storage zone? I guess the skill you chose is Tracking."
Bluebird smiled and nodded. "Yes, sir. I questioned the android for three hours before I was certain that this skill is very useful. It can analyze even the tiniest clue to track down the target. As its level goes up, the information that I get will be more detailed."
"Wow. It suits your job as a newshawk."
"Right? I'm thinking about searching for two other skills that will cover my weaknesses. How about you? Why don't you try searching for the skills in the city? This city is like a treasure. There are hundreds of skills to choose from. Regrettably, we can choose only three so we need to think it through carefully before choosing."
"Mn. If you plan to search for the information of all the skills, you better be prepared to spend a month or more. Getting three is already a lot. You got this reward because you completed the quest with a team of only two players. The reward of the quest depends on the number of participants. The fewer players in the group, the greater the reward."
"What about Montra... I mean, the dragon race player who came before us? How many people were in their group when they raided this city?" Sila couldn't help but be curious.
"Three players. They didn't use a high grade dimension-invading device like you though. They didn't choose to stamp the seal either, instead choosing to confront one of my guardians, who was Lord Rank. Although it was a four-against-one battle, they were quite skilled, so I formed an alliance with them. Their reward wasn't the right to obtain any skill but a certain item..." as he said this, the Android King showed a worried expression.
"Who was the fourth member? / What item?" Bluebird and Sila asked at the same time.
"Not so fast. One question at a time, okay? There may have only been three players, but one of them had a partner. And, like with your case, I didn't view the pet nor partner as one of the participators."
As soon as Orpheus finished speaking, Bluebird immediately wrote something down in his notebook. No one had ever obtained information about Montra, Kawin, or Revin having a partner. Regardless, Bluebird didn't think that it was too weird for them to have one. The Heavenly Dragon Guild was a large and influential guild and those three were strong. It was entirely possible that one of them found out how to obtain a partner. Still, Bluebird believed that he had to research this some more.
"As for the reward, I can't tell you about it. I can only tell you that it's a very dangerous item. If you are the foe of this group of players, you have to be on guard."
Silence filled the room. Bluebird noticed that Sila was stressed about Montra again.
"Well, Sila, do you have any ideas what skills you will choose? Do you want me to guide you around the castle?"
"The number of skills seems to be a lot. I don't think I want to tour around the castle. Can you prepare the skills that might be suitable for me later?"
"Fine by me. Don't worry. By the way, if you come back and don't see me, I will leave a note about the skills in your mansion, okay?"
"Okay. Mister Orpheus, I think I will have to take my leave."
"You're welcome to. The hotel is located at the front of the residential area. It's easy to find."
Sila left the two. Afterward, become Bluebird found searching and making discoveries regarding the Lost Grea City enjoyable, he quickly went outside to continue his work.
As for Orpheus, he remained in the room and looked intently at the giant tube. Ordinary people wouldn't notice any chance but his expert eyes could tell him that the light reflected on the gem was gradually getting weaker. This meant the energy within the gem was constantly being drawn to something.
"It has begun," murmured the Android King, before striding to his working desk and beginning to upgrade Sila's system window.
Meanwhile, in Zhongsuyuan City, in the Victorious Wolves Sect...
A sky-blue flash of light filled the resting room and a certain man appeared suddenly.
He wore a red Hawaiian shirt with a white floral pattern, showing off his lean muscles through the buttonless shirt, and deep blue pants similar to what Thai fishermen wear. His left eye was covered by a pirate eyepatch while his right eye gleamed with the color of the ocean. In his hand was a wooden stick that was one and a half meters long.
He looked to the left and to the right. As he didn't see anyone inside the room, he left.
While he was exiting the sect, dozens of eyes fell on him, but he didn't stop and instead sped up so he could leave sooner.
'Oh, my. My dad ruined all my clothes and this was all he had for me. Sigh, talk about how eye-catching I am,' Burapha inwardly complained as he was heading to the most famous weapon shop in Zhongsuyuan City.
"You... Burapha, right?" A familiar voice could be heard next to him.
Burapha turned his head and found that the voice's owner was someone he knew. "Hello, Miss White Swan. I heard that you helped me after I fell unconscious. I'm truly grateful for that."
"Are you crazy? Why are you wearing such eye-catching clothing in the middle of Zhongsuyuan City? Don't you know that you are being hunted? Even I have heard that you are out in the open with a red Hawaiian shirt. I didn't believe it at first, but... look at you! I can spot you even if the distance between us is a kilometer!"
"Ah. About this... I have no spare clothing. Zhongsuyuan City is the Qi Kingdom so most sets of clothing being sold are qi-type. That's why I plan to quickly go and get my item at the weapon shop and leave the city as soon..."
White Swan stopped listening to Burapha and grabbed his wrist before pulling him down an alley. She told him to keep his voice down. "Be quiet. Someone is coming."
Dozens of people came to the area and spread around. "The hell? Where has he gone?"
"Don't know. I'm sure he was here a moment ago. Is he crazy, though? Wearing that eye-catching outfit."
"In this case, let's split up and find him. Whoever spots him first, please tell the rest of us."
"Are you insane? We are not friends. Kill one merchant and I can get an S-grade weapon. I would be a fool to let you know if I find him."
"Damn. Just don't cry if I'm the one who finds him first, then."
People scattered around to search for Burapha. As they left, White Swan let out a sigh of relief.
"They have left. Please take this." She took the Crystal of Connecting out. "This crystal will teleport you to Snow City in the north. Not many players live there so it should be safer for you to be there. You should stay low at that place until the situation improves."
Burapha looked at the crystal and didn't take it. "I can't. I still have something to do in Zhongsuyuan City. And once I'm done, I can find a safe place on my own."
"The weapon shop that you said you are going to go has been closed for many days. It will be a waste of a trip if you go there." White Swan tried to convince Burapha to take the crystal.
Burapha scratched his head. "Honestly, Miss White Swan, when do you think the situation will be better for me? I personally think that most players would still try to hunt me down for the sword a year from now."
Listening to Burapha's reasonable argument, White Swan couldn't think of a response. "But... If we don't do something..."
"Well, let's go to the weapon shop first." Burapha jumped and landed on the roof of a building, followed by White Swan.
Although she wasn't a combat-type player, her ability regarding healing and qinggong was by no means lacking. Afterward, the red and white shadows could be seen jumping from one roof to another, heading in the direction of the weapon shop.
'He is quite fast... It's unexpected. His speed seemed to be much slower than this the last time I saw him.' White Swan thought while following Burapha.
Finally, the two arrived at the front door of the weapon shop. Burapha swooped down and knocked on the door, despite seeing the sign saying 'Closed' hanging on it. "Uncle, I'm here to get my item, sir."
There was no response. Burapha scratched his head, thinking, 'Could it be that he hasn't finished it yet?'
"I told you. The shop is closed. Let's get out of here. People have begun to notice us," pressed White Swan.
Burapha looked around and noticed that people really began to shift their attention to both of them. It seemed that him possessing the sword had become a bigger deal than he had anticipated.
"20 gold for the clue," said White Swan, "20 gold will be paid to anyone who shares the whereabouts of Player Burapha. Everyone wants money. You will have a hard time escaping from all the players."
News was something that could travel with exceptional speed. It had been less than a minute since Burapha arrived in front of the weapon shop but dozens of players had already surrounded him.
"You are Burapha, right? Just give me the sword. My aim is only the sword, not your life," said one of the men.
"That's his deal, not mine. Your bounty is 10,000 gold. Killing you will be worth it. Well, don't worry. I'm a kind man and will let you die peacefully." Another one of them stepped forward.
White Swan stood in front of Burapha and whispered to him, "You, go! I will hold them off."
Burapha furrowed his brows and asked, "Excuse me. I've been wanting to ask you this question for a while. Why are you being so nice to me?"
White Swan gritted her teeth. "This isn't the right time to ask, you know?"
"I'm terribly sorry, but I really want to know the reason. Could you please tell me?"
She sighed. "Ah. I will you, but don't become angry, okay?"
Burapha nodded while wondering why he would be angry.
"...I'm a dog person. I like them very much. When you left my guild's building, you were making an expression like a puppy being abandoned by its owner. So... how can I abandon you..." She replied while shooting a side glance at Burapha to see whether he was angry at her words.
Burapha was stunned for a second before suddenly laughing. "Hahaha! A puppy? That's unexpected!"
"You... Aren't you mad?"
"Why would I be? Miss White Swan said that you 'like' dogs very much, right? I'm touched by that."
White Swan's face was reddened. "I... Not that kind of like. I meant..."
The sound of a metal stick being slammed on the ground echoed. The man with a savage face took several steps forward. "Oi! Do you plan to continue flirting forever? We are still here, you know?"
White Swan was quick to deny, "No, we aren't flirting... We are just acquaintances."
Another man drew a sword. "You don't need to hurry to be single, lady. Let me finish off your boyfriend first and we can have a nice, long chat. I'm single too and you are just my type."
"We are not in a relationship or anything! You guys are misunderstanding! We're really just acquaintances!" She denied it again, but no one seemed to bother listening to her.
"In that case, please hurry up and come at me, so that both of us can quickly leave this place and have a nice talk later." Even Burapha seemed to ignore her denial.
In the end, White Swan realized that it was no use denying it. She should just shut up and the news about this would die down in no time.
"Oh, you are too damn brave, aren't you? I won't hold back, then. Hah!!" Another man drew out the silver saber and rushed at him while the previous man with savage face lifted up his heavy, metal stick and aimed at Burapha from a different angle.
White Swan's face was pale while Burapha gently pushed her out of the way. His wooden stick rotated in his hand.
No one noticed what happened. The moment that they came to their senses was the moment when Burapha's stick connected with both incoming weapons; the metal stick and silver saber. Both his opponents were pushed back by the impact.
Burapha's wooden stick twisted and finally broke into pieces. He murmured, "I'm indeed lacking. I'm not yet at the level where I can use anything as a weapon like my dad."
Both opponents looked at Burapha while feeling uneasy. "What did he just do? How could a wooden stick parry a qi-strengthened weapon?"
"It doesn't matter. He no longer has a weapon."
Burapha looked blankly at the remains of the wooden stick in his hand and wondered how long it would take before he could become as strong as his dad. The ability of these opponents in front of him paled in comparison to Revin's.
"Prepare yourself, merchant. You won't survive our next move."
Burapha looked at the two players who had attacked him and said, "You have already lost. One strike of the Eastern Sea Sailing Lance Art consists of eight waves. The power in the next wave will be stronger than the previous ones."
Blood dripped down from the corners of their mouths. They inclined their heads and spotted wooden-stick-sized dents on their chests, two inches deep. Then, their bodies were blown away like they were pushed by a violent sea wave.
The swordsman took four steps backward before his body turned into light and disappeared. As for the man with a savage face, his endurance was higher so it took him six steps before he died.
The area in front of the weapon shop suddenly fell silent.
"E-Everyone, charge at him! He is just a merchant without any weapon!" One of the men yelled.
As they were about to rush at him, a black lance with golden trims fell down in front of Burapha. There was a blue glow emanating from it.
"Nice timing, isn't it, son? You can test it out right away," said Zeref, who was standing on the roof of the weapon shop.
Burapha bowed his head to Zeref to show his respect and tightened the lance.
Not too light and not too heavy. The length was ideal and he even felt the power sleeping within it. This lance was truly the perfect lance to use with his Eastern Sea Sailing Lance Art.
Burapha rotated the lance in his hand thrice and the power residing within the lance was emitted, pushing all the players several meters away.
"What is the name of this lance, Uncle?"
"Eastern Sea Evil Lance."