Chapter 171: The Calm Before the Storm
The next morning came . Sila had only slept for less than two hours, but that was all he needed . He hadn’t been sleeping much lately . One of the benefits of selecting qi type was that they could cultivate instead of sleep . Nevertheless, many argued that it wasn’t a proper rest, and Sila was no different . That’s why he still chose to sleep some nights .
Way of the Hermit, the skill he got right after the eight qi techniques fused into his body, was quite helpful in that regard .
This skill didn’t possess any combat capabilities . It helped to temper the body, allowing one to elevate from their mortal flesh to become a true hermit . Just a single meal was enough to fill their belly for an entire week, and an hour of sleep would be equivalent to five hours . Therefore, Sila sleeping two hours was like he had slept for ten hours, which was more than enough . Furthermore, this skill didn’t only affect eating and sleeping . It also reduced the rate at which fatigue built up . Sila personally thought that this skill was meant to extend the user’s practice time .
The gathering party would start in less than an hour . Today, the Victorious Wolves Sect strictly administered the city . They banned masks and enforced that violence was unacceptable . Lone Wolf staked his name and reputation on the line that he would severely punish anyone who caused trouble .
Sila stored his mask in his system window and walked toward Sebastian’s shop with Lookhin perched on his shoulder and Julia by his side .
Along the way, people always turned their heads at Sila . It seemed his face was finally as recognizable as his reputation . It was natural considering he was the most wanted player and also the sole slime-raced player, who could, in one way or another, help people step into the realm of Lord Rank upon being killed . Many sent menacing glares or pressured him with oppressive energies, though Sila didn’t care . It seemed that as long as he was inside the city ruled by the Victorious Wolves Sect, no one would dare to initiate a fight .
All of the shops in Zhongsuyuan City were out of service today . Only restaurants were open and provided free meals to everyone at the expense of the Victorious Wolves Sect . Obviously, Sebastian’s shop was closed as well . Sebastian, Franz, and Asura joined Sila at the designated place .
“Sorry for making you wait,” Sila said as he greeted them .
“We just arrived as well, sir . Let’s get going . We’re Lone Wolf’s acquaintances . It will be improper if we are late to the party,” replied Sebastian .
Sila and his colleagues traveled from roof to roof at an astonishing speed . Before long, they arrived at the front gate of the Victorious Wolves Sect’s headquarters, where there was a crowd that continued to grow larger .
A voice came from somewhere, giving directions . “Since there are so many participants for this party, it will be held in our sect’s backyard . Please walk in a line . ”
“God damn it . Why are there so many people? How can I find that brat?” Franz complained while locking her eyes on the crowd .
“Don’t worry, Franz . Everyone in town has gathered here . That Venom you are looking for should be here as well,” said Sebastian .
“That better be the truth,” replied Franz before she advanced in line while avoiding the crowd .
Once they entered the backyard, they could see that the venue was well prepared . There was a large stage and several round tables scattered around the field . They could estimate that the place should be able to hold at least ten thousand people .
Sila’s jaw dropped . It was his first time participating in such a large-scale party . For him, a banquet with fifty people was already considered luxurious .
Sebastian looked at such a sight with a smile . In fact, he didn’t have to be here with Sila today . However, he chose to come with a hidden agenda .
‘Such a big party . Well, well . It seems I will make a lot today . ’
A woman wearing a cheongsam came to greet them . “Welcome to the Heavenly Dragon Resistance gathering party . We are honored to have you here, Mister Sila, Mister Sebastian, and companions . ”T/N: In case you have forgotten, “Cheongsam” is a straight, close-fitting silk dress with a high neck, short sleeves, and a slit skirt, worn traditionally by Chinese and Indonesian women .
“Ah, yes . Hello . . . Miss . . . ?” Sila replied politely, though he was a bit startled .
“My name is Rin, a member of the Victorious Wolves Sect . You don’t need to wonder how I know your name, sir . It’s my duty to remember the face of every important figure in Monster Soul, including Mister Sebastian, who is operating a potion shop in Zhongsuyuan City . May I ask who is accompanying you?”
“This is Julia, my maid . The other two are Asura and Franz, Sebastian’s friends . ”
“Friends?” Rin was confused . Based on her information, Sebastian was Sila’s high-rank pet . The fact that these two next to him were his friends meant there was a high probability that they were high-rank monsters as well .
Regardless, a second later, Rin’s expression returned to normal . “Our sect master has prepared a table for Mister Sila and your companions . Please come this way, everyone . ”
She assigned the group a guide, whom they followed to their table, where they saw something incredulous . There sat Bluebird, who was gobbling down food non-stop even though the party had yet to properly start . He was sitting next to Burapha, and White Swan was on Burapha’s other side, looking fed up .
“Oh, Sila! You have arrived . This smoked barbecued suckling pig is pure bliss! The sauce is also heavenly . Let’s eat!”
“Eating again? Aren’t you afraid of getting fat?” Sila said jokingly while taking his seat .
“This is a game, Sila . We won’t get fat no matter how much we eat . The taste is also realistic . In the outside world, I can’t possibly afford to eat something as luxurious as this . ”
“Geez . Even in the game, you also can’t afford it . You are only good at eating food other people prepare,” satirized White Swan .
“You are free to scold me all you want . Life is short . Just living a life that our future self won’t be ashamed of is enough,” Bluebird replied with philosophy .
“Hah . You are not ashamed because your face is just too damn thick . ”
Bluebird ignored her words . He placed a piece of flatbread on his palm, upon which he placed a sliced cucumber piece, diced onions, and a piece of crispy pig skin . After topping it with a brown sauce and wrapping it, he placed the entire thing in his mouth with ease and chewed with an ecstatic expression .
Everyone sitting at the table passed time by relaxing and making small talk, until a member of the Victorious Wolves Sect came over .
“Mister Sila and Miss White Swan, may I ask you two to join us at the main table in front of the stage? The party will begin shortly . ”
Sila wondered . “Can’t I just sit here?”
“You may, sir, if you would like to . It’s just that, at the main table, we have invited several leaders of various guilds and powerful players, and we were hoping Mister Sila would join the discussion . ”
Bluebird replied before Sila could . “Why is it that Swan is invited, but not me?”
White Swan stood up, her face was brimming with superiority . “That’s because I’m the official representative of the Blue Pigeon Guild . On the other hand, you are just a mere guest . ”
However, Bluebird didn’t care . “Why are you bragging? The food they serve is the same, don’t you know?”
White Swan became mad and yelled, “Not everyone is a glutton like you!!” She departed without giving more attention to Bluebird .
Burapha sighed . “Big Brother Blue, why do you like to tease her? She is usually a sweet woman, you know?”
“Huh? I did nothing wrong . I’m just being myself . That woman just has a short temper . ”
“In that case, please try your best to not be yourself, will you? I’m fine either way, but I’m afraid you will end up angering someone you shouldn’t one day . ”
The conversation about Bluebird being himself continued . Meanwhile, Sila was pondering whether he should go to the main table . To be honest, he thought he was fine with sitting anywhere . However, if he didn’t go, it might seem rude .
“Then, pardon me . I will go and say hello to Lone Wolf . I will be back later . ”
Sila left, followed by Lookhin, while the rest continued conversing .
Sebastian turned to Julia . “Miss Head Maid, did you bring what we discussed last night?”
Julia nodded . “My body is connected to Master’s treasury room, so I can summon those items anytime . However, the party seems peaceful . I don’t see any reason why we would have to prepare such things . ”
“Um . . . I’m sure that this peacefulness is just the calm before the storm . I anticipate that something big will happen at this party . ”
Knowing that Julia was connected to the treasury room, Sebastian thought that her existence was extremely convenient . Usually, even when he went hunting monsters to acquire raw materials, he would have to carry stuff with magic all the way . However, with Julia, he would have an easier time bringing items with him .
“And what if nothing happens?” Julia asked .
“Believe me . Something will surely happen,” Sebastian replied with confidence . His plan to make a large profit today totally depended on whether ‘something big’ happened or not . Therefore, even if something didn’t happen, he would make it happen himself .
Sila followed a guide and walked past many tables . It seemed that the tables were divided into three classes . The first was the main table, which Sila was currently moving toward . The second was for honorable guests, like the one where Sebastian and his friends were sitting . Lastly, the third was common tables for the rest of the participants . Though, aside from the fact that they were different colours— red, blue, and white—the only distinguishing factor between them was simply how far they were from the stage .
The main table was just a large red table in the shape of a circle . There were already many people sitting around it . However, Sila only knew a handful of them . Those were Ratri, White Swan, Sangdao, and Varee .
Sila was shocked to see Sangdao and Varee . It was even more shocking for him to see both of them at the same time . He quickly circulated qi to calm his mind, before approaching the table without changing expression .
“Hello, everyone . My name is Sila . It’s nice to see you,” Sila greeted them politely .
Then, a muscular man with a large physique turned his gaze to Sila and looked at him from head to toe .
The man stuck his thumb up . “Splendid . You are more than the rumors said . Nice to meet you . My name is Beluga . I’m the boss of a small bandit gang . ”
Sila observed this man . It was rare to see someone proudly declare themselves as a bandit . Even though the man said he was a bandit, Sila found him likable . The man seemed to have an open-minded and honest personality . He gave off the same vibe as Lone Wolf .
“Boss, please don’t joke around . Mister Sila, we are from the guild called Mountain Thieves League . My name is Nednapha, and the person on the Boss’s left is Elso . We are both vice-leaders of the guild . It’s an honor to meet you . ” Nednapha bowed, but that caused her pair of glasses to slip off, so she pushed it back into place .
Elso nodded at Sila once . His eyes were wandering around . Sila guessed that he was constantly watching out for danger .
“It’s good to see you again, Miss Nednapha,” replied Sila, to which Nednapha shot a meaningful gaze at him before immediately acting normal . This caused Sila to know that she wasn’t so simple .
Ratri stood up and began an introduction . “Sila, you might not have seen him yet so let me introduce you . This man here is Hermit, our guild’s important strategist . ”
She gestured toward a man with a long white beard . Sila couldn’t help but wonder how old Hermit was, since he looked even older than Teacher Mora .
“I’m glad to meet you, sir . ” Sila put his palms together to salute him .
“Me too, me too . I have been hearing about you for a while, so it’s good to finally meet you . Please take your seat first,” said Hermit before ordering one of the guild members to pull out a seat, inviting Sila to sit .
Sila didn’t know whether he should laugh or cry, as the seat prepared for him happened to be exactly between Sangdao and Varee . At this point declining to sit seemed rude, so he had no choice but to sit down without saying anything .
“Long time no see, Sila . Dao wondered whether you had already forgotten about Dao since you didn’t contact me even once,” Sangdao greeted him with her usual warm and gentle smile .
“About that, I didn’t have time . The task . . . that the Elders entrusted me with is incredibly important, so I have been very busy lately . ”
“If my father sees that you are this dedicated, he will surely feel delighted . He often complained to me whenever you pay him visits, you come frequently, but when you don’t, you just vanish for a long time . ”
“Is that so? In that case, I will find some free time to drop by,” Sila replied softly .
Being fully aware that matters regarding the Wulin Masters Association were a secret, Sila avoided mentioning anything about it and kept his voice down when talking with Sangdao .
He turned to look at Varee and found that she didn’t show an angry face nor a smile . He didn’t know why, but he felt like something bad was going to befall him .
“Hello, Varee . How is Big Sister Vata? Is everyone in the house feeling well?”
Varee sipped her tea without looking at Sila . “Everyone is perfectly healthy, though we are all curious why Sila just disappeared without saying anything . You only told us that you would go to visit the dojo . When someone came to our house to pack your belongings, my dad was shocked . It wasn’t until Uncle Mora contacted us that we finally learned that you already moved in with him . ”
‘T-This is bad . I completely forgot about them . ’ Sila was panicking inwardly . In fact, he didn’t know he would be using a special capsule to extend his playing time, so he didn’t tell anyone that he would be moving out . Who would have thought that Mora had already prepared everything for him .
“It’s sudden for me too . Anyway, why didn’t you just ask me in the game? You can find me anytime you want, can’t you?”
Varee slowly placed her cup on the table . “I tried, but I couldn’t reach you . The ring didn’t work . Contacting you through the system window also told me you were in a special location where contacting people on the outside was prohibited . I even went to the mansion and couldn’t find anyone . ”
‘Ow, I forgot that I sealed it . She must have contacted me when I was in the Slime Kingdom . Julia wasn’t at the mansion during that time too . ’
While Sila was breaking into a cold sweat and thinking that he was in grave trouble, Lookhin flew away from his shoulder and perched on Varee’s teacup . It tilted its head, looking at Varee .
“Chirp, chirp . ”
Varee revealed a faint smile and no longer minded Sila . “How about you, Lookhin? We haven’t met for a while but you are still as adorable as ever . ”
Once Varee turned her attention to Lookhin, Sila got a chance to release a sigh of relief . He promised to himself that he would reward Lookhin later .
Their conversations were overheard by others, and the misunderstanding surrounding Sila’s relationships with the women only deepened . Beluga turned his head to look at his sides before muttering to himself .
“Sigh, heaven is truly unfair . While others are blessed with beauties at their sides, all I got is a strict and nerdy woman on my right and a man with a sharp stare on my left . This sucks . ”
Inevitably, Sila had to constantly turn left and right to keep conversing with the two females . On one side, she was Teacher Wu Ming’s daughter . On the other side, she was Uncle Rashane’s daughter . He was indebted to both their parents . Others might be looking at him with green eyes, but for Sila, he felt like he was in between two blazing fires, and either could reduce him to ashes if he wasn’t careful .