Chapter 173: The Clash of Opinions
Bluebird was clearly in low spirits . An empty bowl was in front of him on the table . It took him a while before his eyes regained their liveliness and shone with energy . He puffed out his chest, exuding the aura of a professional newshawk . The vibe he gave off was completely different from before .
To be honest, Sila had only seen Bluebird in this state once; it was when he met him for the first time . Since then, he had never seen this side of him .
“Blue, I want you to tell everyone what we know regarding the Gems of Catastrophe . ”
“Sila, are you sure? It’s one thing to tell you information regarding Montra since this information is included in the deal . However, the same doesn’t apply to everyone else . Sure, it’s your right to share the information with anyone you want, but let me warn you that if this information is shared, it will bring you more harm than good . ” Bluebird stopped and said to everyone else, “Sorry but I need to bring this up first, so please understand . ”
Sila was confused . “It will cause me more harm than good? What do you mean?”
Bluebird opened his system window and sent a message to Sila for him to read alone .
Realizing that it was a secret, everyone waited patiently and didn’t mind Bluebird’s action, though they were more curious about the gems .
Bluebird’s message was: “Yes, you will . That’s because only three players have the Gems of Catastrophe in their possession at the moment . The first is Montra, next is Boss, and the last one is you . For the former two, people can’t easily offend them . However, you are an individual player . If this information gets out, people will realise the grand value of the gems and they will stop at nothing to hunt you down . ”
Sila sent a message back . It said, “How will that change anything for me now?”
“It will be different . Currently, only enemies and some of the neutral parties are targeting you . However, when it comes to sublime power and great benefits, people will do whatever it takes to obtain them . Even your friend might become your enemy . Killing you is one thing; you’ll only lose some levels, or maybe a rank . However, for them to obtain the item you possess, they need to force you to personally hand it to them . Naturally, they will use dirty means . In the worst case, they will target not only you but everyone you hold dear . ”
Sila was shocked to see the message Bluebird sent back to him . However, once he turned his head back and looked at the people waiting for him, he made a decision .
“I don’t know about others, but I trust everyone here . ”
Lone Wolf objected . “If it will put you in a bad spot, we don’t need to hear it . ”
Beluga agreed . “Sure, I don’t know what kind of items these Gems of Catastrophe are, but even if we don’t know about them, I’m sure we can come up with a countermeasure anyway . ”
Their intentions were clear; they didn’t want to cause trouble for Sila . As such, Sila had an easier time deciding .
“I have decided . Blue, please share the information regarding the Gems of Catastrophe with them . ”
Bluebird nodded and started to explain . “The Gems of Catastrophe are speculated to be ultimate-tier items and the top secret of Monster Soul . As far as I know, the number of players who are aware of their existence at this time is less than ten . This number already includes Sila, Boss, Montra, and myself .
“There are twelve gems in total . Each of the gems possesses tremendous power that can’t be measured . Even our guild, the Blue Pigeon Guild, has only come this far thanks to one of the gems in Boss’ possession . ”
This was the first time White Swan ever heard of this . Meanwhile, the others still doubted the power of the gems .
Nednapha asked, “Could you please tell us how much power they hold? And, what can they do?”
Bluebird answered with a professional look, “Extremely tremendous . The extent of their powers covers almost anything you can possibly think of . Each of their powers is seemingly bottomless . I know that you are finding what I said hard to comprehend, so let me put it this way . Do you all know about Orichalcum?”
Hermit replied, “We know . Orichalcum is a mysterious, legendary mineral . No one knows how to get it aside from accomplishing the system’s quests . At present, the only holders of it are Montra and Miss Varee . Oh, I heard that Mister Sila also has it now as well . This mineral can be used to create a powerful, or rather, an ultimate weapon . It is the highest-grade item discovered to date . Are you telling us that the Gems of Catastrophe are on par with it?”
Although everyone had yet to know what the gems could do, they were starting to feel concerned . If there were as many as twelve items that were comparable to Orichalcum and Montra got a hold of some of them, it was clear that they would be in an extremely disadvantageous position . However, Bluebird’s next statement caused an upheaval .
“Not on par . Far from it . If I were to compare Orichalcum to the Gems of Catastrophe, the power that the single gem holds is enough to make Orichalcum not be any different from the cheapest health potion . ”
“I-Impossible . . . ” Ratri gaped . However, looking at Bluebird’s expression, everyone knew that he wasn’t joking around .
“Tell us . What exactly can these gems do?” asked Beluga .
“That depends on each gem . Each of the gems holds a different power, though identically almighty . Its power is a conceptual ability that can be put into a single word, yet have many interpretations . For example, Presence, or Life . ”
Life was referring to Julia’s Ocean Heart Aquamarine . As for Presence, Sila guessed that it must be the ability of the gem that Yardpirun possessed . It enabled her to completely merge her presence with her surroundings . If she got serious, no one would be able to detect her . It was as if her presence never existed to begin with .
Sila explained, “It may be hard to understand . Please take the gem I have for the example . The gem that I have is the Ocean Heart Aquamarine . Its conceptual ability is Life . This ability can grant life to inanimate beings, including an AI like Julia . ”
Julia added, “This ability can be used in diverse ways without limits . Only, it depends on the user’s interpretation of the word ‘Life . ’ As for me, for now, based off my thoughts I can use it to grant, revive, and sacrifice life . ”
She picked up a spoon on the table and a blue aura enveloped it . Soon, the spoon began to jump around and dance as if it was a living being .
Ratri was shocked . “T-This is absurd . Such a short word can be interpreted in several ways . To think that it can even be used without limits . . . ”
Everybody agreed with her . They thought that such an overpowered item shouldn’t even exist in the game . Just one of them could easily break the game’s balance beyond repair . Right now, everyone was thinking the same thing: that the name ‘Gems of Catastrophe’ was truly suitable .
Hermit asked, “And am I right to assume that Montra has one of them? If that is the case, we will have to hurry and assemble people to search for the gems . At the very least, we have to prevent him from getting more of them . ”
Bluebird shook his head . “It’s already too late . We have confirmed that eight of the Gems of Catastrophe are already in Montra’s possession . Two belong to Sila, and one is with Boss . Only the last one is missing . ”
“Eight gems?!! Montra has eight of this kind of overpowered item? This is too fraudulent!”
Ratri was shouting while Beluga, Hermit, Nednapha, and Lone Wolf showed worried expressions . Lone Wolf turned to Sila and asked a question .
“Sila, may I ask how you found two of them?”
Everyone was also curious, so they attentively waited for the answer . Sila recalled the events of acquiring two gems and explained .
“I got both of them by mere chance . I got the first one from killing Leviathan above the ocean . Bluebird and Burapha were with me . The gem I got from it was the Ocean Heart Aquamarine . For the record, it was once an event item in the event ‘Seeking for Beginning Town’s Best Couple,’ though Varee and I had to give it back to the host at that time . As for the second gem, it was attached to a ring that I purchased from a shop in Grea City for 500,000 gold . After that, I had to unseal the ring with the help of the Transcendent Unsealer in Beginning Town in order to obtain the gem . Actually, I should have another one, which is the Cloudy Pearl, from killing Pythia . However, Montra snatched it from me in Beginning Town . ”
“Wait, you just conveniently purchased a single item worth 500,000 gold?” asked Ratri .
“I know that it was expensive, but it couldn’t be helped . It’s a ring for keeping Lookhin inside . ” Sila showed a black ring on his finger .
“So you got them by chance,” Lone Wolf turned his head to Bluebird . “What about your boss?”
“Boss didn’t explain the details, but it wasn’t different from Sila’s case . It was by pure coincidence . ”
Lone Wolf wondered . “In that case, how did Montra find the gems?”
“He probably got them by chance as well, no?” asked Ratri .
Hermit shook his head . “No way . Just one or two might be the work of chance, but eight of them is too many to simply be luck . Moreover, if we consider that Montra could manage to snatch one of them from Mister Sila, it means . . . ”
“Montra possesses the knowledge of how to acquire the Gems of Catastrophe?!” Ratri exclaimed .
Sila strongly nodded . “That should be the case . At that time, Montra explicitly threatened me to give him the gem that I got from the Wind Dragon . It is clear that he was fully aware that Pythia would drop one of the gems . ”
“So, let’s find out how Montra came to know such information,” said Ratri .
However, Nednapha shook her head . “No, I don’t think that will be the best course of action . That information is no longer important . Montra already has eight of them, so it won’t make a difference if he gets one more . We will be wasting our time trying to find out how he knows about them . I think we better come up with countermeasures instead . ”
“I’m thinking the same thing as Miss Nednapha; we should focus on the problem in front of us . First, about this ring . Mister Bluebird, I heard from Mister Sila that you might be able to inspect this ring in greater detail . ”
Hermit handed the ring to Bluebird, to which Bluebird used his Information Analysis on it .
“Cloudy Baby Dragon Ring, an S-grade item . The wearer will get twice as much money and experience points from killing monsters when wearing this ring . The wearer can breakthrough to Marquis Rank without experiencing a bottleneck . However, the wearer can’t possibly breakthrough to Lord Rank by any means, except successfully killing a slime-race player . One percent of experience points and money the wearer earns while wearing the ring will be transferred to the person who wears the Cloudy Mother Dragon Ring . Furthermore, the wearer will die instantly if the ring is unequipped . . . ”
“Oh, it really has hidden options . Well, we should be fine as long as we don’t unequip the ring . One percent seems negligible anyway,” said Ratri .
Hermit showed his concern . “Even though it’s just one percent, if it comes from thousands of players, it will be quite huge . ”
Bluebird interrupted . “I haven’t finished yet . There is one more option, and that’s that the wearer of the Cloudy Mother Dragon Ring can forcefully remove any Cloudy Baby Dragon Rings in their line of sight . ”
“W-What did you just say?!” exclaimed everybody .
“What a brutal move . If we were to wear this kind of ring and encounter the Mother Ring, we will die instantly,” said Hermit .
Beluga laughed . “What a sly move, that damn Montra . It’s good that we discovered his plan beforehand . Otherwise, we will lose the war event as soon as it starts . ”
“Why? It’s just dying once, isn’t it?” asked Sila .
“The next war event will be your first one, right, Sila? You should know that you will have only a single life during the war event . As soon as you die, you will be removed from the event and be forced to wait until the war event ends . Wearing this ring spells instant death to us,” explained Beluga .
Hermit pondered . “Mn . In that case, we need to tell everyone and have them remove it . Dying now is better than dying during the war event . ”
Beluga smirked . “I don’t think so . Rather, to efficiently utilize this ring, we can wear it for the time being to farm money and grind experience points . Then, we will remove it just before the war event starts, and wear replicants that we make, but without the options . We can fool Montra into believing that we have fallen into his trap this way . ”
Lone Wolf agreed, “True, this plan sounds better . ”
Everyone wanted to continue the conversation . However, killing intent was suddenly aimed at them . Thus, they stopped talking and looked at a group of players coming to their table .
Lone Wolf was the host of the party, so he stood up and greeted the incoming group .
“Excuse me . May I ask for your names, and what business do you have with me?”
A bear-like, muscular man in wuxia clothing with a giant axe strapped to his back stepped forward and put his palms together to salute .
“We are merely a group of no-name players who happen to have a question to ask . ”
“Don’t hesitate, Brother . This gathering party was organized so that we can collaborate with each other, so all questions are welcome . ”
The man cleared his throat and said, “Among the group at this table, we are not doubting the strengths of Lone Wolf, Beluga, or some of the others . We know that everyone at this table is an important figure and all of you are the keys to making the alliance advance in the right direction . However, we’re sorry to say that we’re doubting the ability of this man, Sila . How does he have the right to sit together with you?
“Sila is my guest . Moreover, he is well qualified to sit at this table among us leaders . ”
“If that’s really your answer, Lone Wolf, then we are totally disappointed in you and are sad to inform you that we will have to reject your invitation to join the alliance . It’s clearly wrong to choose people based on intimacy rather than true skills . No matter how big or how great the organization is, with such discrimination, we will have no way to win against Montra . If that is the case, we better take our chances and fight alone instead of following you . ”
The man said with a loud voice with the intention of letting everyone else in the gathering party hear the conversation . As such, people began to gossip and there was clearly signs of opinions clashing . Some even stood up and prepared to leave .
“I don’t judge people with intimacy . Rather, Sila is truly qualified to discuss the direction of the alliance with us . He is armed with virtue, strength, allies, and wealth . ”
“These words of yours, anyone can say them . However, who can ensure that they aren’t hollow and fabricated? For this kind of matter, we should decide it by putting it on a show . ”
“What do you mean?”
“Honestly, we don’t care about wealth, virtue, allies, or that kind of stuff . The key factor that can lead us to victory is nothing but true strength! And that’s the only thing we will believe in . So, I propose that he will have to show his strength to us through a match!!”
“We have all gathered here today in a peaceful manner . Moreover, Sila is a guest like all of you . I’m afraid that it won’t be appropriate to . . . ”
“No problem, Mister Lone Wolf, I accept his proposal . . . ”
Sila interrupted Lone Wolf and stepped forward .
“That’s right . By accepting the challenge, I admit that you are more manly than I thought . ”
The man complimented him, while Lone Wolf sent a sound transmission to warn Sila .
“Sila, this can be hectic . We still don’t know his purpose . He might explicitly mean what he said, or maybe he is the enemy’s spy trying to cause a ruckus . To be safe, we shouldn’t start a conflict in the party . ”
Using qi, Sila sent a sound transmission back .
“I understand . But, instead of avoiding the challenge, we might as well show them that we aren’t afraid of them . This way, not only will we stop them from proceeding with further actions, but we will increase the morale of the players in the party and put a stop to those who are still hesitant to join us . ”
The man jumped and soared to the stage . Sila waited for a moment to impart some words to Julia before following the man, landing on the opposite side of the stage .
Everyone sitting at the main table locked their gazes on the stage . Meanwhile, Julia asked them to sit with a gesture before imparting the message Sila left her .
“Master said that he knows you all might still be unable to understand what kind of power the Gems of Catastrophe hold, so he will use himself to demonstrate it to all of you, in commemoration of us all deciding to join forces and oppose the Heavenly Dragon Guild . ”
Julia spoke with an innocent smile and gestured toward the stage, as if this development was simply the exhibition of a new product .