Stuffed and satisfied, the three of them picked at their teeth and lazed under the relaxing afternoon sun.
"I'm guessing Lucky's luck must be very good. After this, we must bring you along any time we farm for an item."
"But you really should hurry and raise your levels. It's hard for a healer at the start. You either party up or you just grind at Undead regions. Once you hit the second job change, you'd get Holy Light (Single-target attack. 150% damage to Undead and 80% to other monsters). You can farm anything then. Once you're there, we'll bring you as whenever we grind. You can leech some Exp or something.
"Also, you mustn't be too frugal with your money. Change into good equipment. Then you'd grind at double the efficiency. Don't keep wearing the garbage the game gives out. You are the lucky cat."
"Mn, mn = ="
"Aah, so boring. Why are you and NonMeta so reserved? This is me caring for you. What can you say except for 'mn'? Come, chirp for big brother here."
"Chirp = =+"
"Pfft. Fine. I give up." CopperPlateKing laughed and sprawled out all over the table.
"Time for class." NonMeta pulled CopperPlate up by the neck.
"Tch. It's already so late. I really want to skip class. Lucky, we've got classes at night, so we'll be getting off to have dinner first."
"Yup. Do you not have classes? Speaking of which, I don't know how old you are still. You look younger than me, so first year in university?"
"I don't go to school…19 years old." Bai XiaoYu dipped his head to where no one could take a good look at his face.
"Offline." NonMeta kicked CopperPlate.
"You damned…" Bastard. CopperPlateKig swallowed back the last word as he suddenly realised what NonMeta meant was for him to stop questioning it. Everyone has their own secrets.
"Well, I'm going. Lucky, work hard at your levels."
The beams of light flashed by and then there was only XiaoYu left at the table.
Classes…It's only been a year of no classes but why do those days feel so far away? Perhaps deep down inside he was still afraid of being lonely. Though he never interacted much with the other students back then, just sitting by the side and watching them fool around was enough.
XiaoYu let out a deep sigh and raised his head. His two hands patted himself on the cheeks, "Alright. Cheer up."
"Meow~" The little cat had been sitting on XiaoYu's shoulders. Upon detecting its owner's rippling emotions, it stuck out its tiny pink tongue and softly licked at his cheek in comfort.
"Hehe. Tickles." He petted the tiny cat's head. He's not alone now so what's the use of moping about? Charge, to grinding!
However, before he dived into grinding, he should clear the items on him and have a look at the market to see what he can buy.
After a walk around, XiaoYu was left a little disappointed. That's because most equipment being sold were for those at Level 60 or above. It's not a rare sight. The average level for AO players is now very high and there are very few of low-level newbies like XiaoYu. Items for new players are ordinary and don't bring in much profit. So, there aren't a lot of sellers unless they'd gathered all 20 slots worth of merchandise.
Hm? XiaoYu stopped in front of a stall. He found a very beautiful silver staff on it. There weren't any complex embellishments and it didn't have precious and exquisite gems on it. It was merely a simple silver staff topped with a tiny crystal. A pair of small, white, stretched-out wings floated beside the crystal. Dainty and delicate, it was very attractive.
XiaoYu squatted down before the stall and looked at the silver staff's stats. In his mind, he prayed that it wasn't very far off from his level and the price he had in mind. After observing the market, he realised that the higher an item's level restrictions, the grander it looked. The silver staff's design was quite plain, so it shouldn't have too high of a limit.
+4 Silver Crystal Staff. Magic Attack 80 - 100 (+20). Int +4. Holy Damage +10%. Slots: 1. Level Limit: 25. Job Limit: Acolyte, Magician.
Thank goodness its requirements weren't that high. This should be a rather good equipment for an early-stage Acolyte. Despite that, the price of 1 crystal was not within XiaoYu's budget. Even though he'd just gotten 50 gold from the boss, he didn't have any other savings. There's still nearly half of the money missing. He'll wait for a few days until he'd gotten his part from the crown. Hopefully this stall would still be here then.
"Ugh…" XiaoYu prepared to stand up and leave.
"Little healer, do you want this staff?" The motionless stall-keeper suddenly spoke up.
"Whoa~!" "Mrow~!" Both XiaoYu and the little cat on his shoulders were startled.
"Hehe. Sorry. I was on the forums just now." Looking down at the pair of owner and pet before him who displayed the same shocked expression, BlazeTheEarth's first impression of this player was quite good.
"It's fine. I thought it was a Body-Double Stall." XiaoYu steadied himself and pet the tiny cat. "Yes, I quite like this staff. But I don't have that much money…"
"Is that so…" 1 crystal was a rather expensive price tag for a new player. Add on the fact that there weren't a lot of new players, he'd been trying to sell this staff for a week without any interested buyers.
AO has an exchange service between real-life money and in-game cash. However, to prevent the game from being flooded and a messy in-game economy, players would not be able to survive in-game without buying in-game currency. AO also had a special rule where the player's allowance for currency exchange would increase to a certain value gradually after Level 40. (For example, a Level 40 could exchange 100 units in a month while a Level 45 can exchange 150. So on and so forth until Level 100 where it became unlimited.) This way, professional players could earn money and the market's economy would be stable.
"Can I reserve it for a few days? In a few days, I'll have the money for it."
"How much do you have now?" Just because this newbie looked quite okay to him, he planned on letting it go if the price wasn't ridiculous. He'd also help a new player then.
"I only have 50 gold."
"Oh, then…" It's only half the price. Should he sell? BlazeTheEarth measured XiaoYu up as he considered it. This player's wide eyes looked a little upset and a little disappointed then (so he thought). That black cat was also staring tearfully at him with its big eyes. Ugh…Why does he feel so guilty and slimy when being stared at by these two pairs of wide eyes? The staff was really unintentionally farmed out and refining it only took around 20 gold coins…Just sell it to him!
"Alright. I'll sell it to you."
"Eh? T-Thank you." XiaoYu didn't think he'd be this lucky. When the saw the stall owner hesitating, he stopped hoping. All he wanted was for the owner to reserve for a few days. He's not at Leve 25 either way so he's not rushed.
At XiaoYu's thanks, BlazeTheEarth felt even more guilty. Originally, it was an old equipment of his. A few days ago, his storage was full so he thought of digging it out to sell.
After inserting the staff into the trading screen, BlazeTheEarth paused and flipped through his bracelet before putting in a pair of small black leather shoes as well.
"A gift. You're still barefoot." As he said so, he looked down at the two pale ankles peeking out from beneath XiaoYu's Acolyte robes. In BlazeTheEarth's eyes, wearing such crudely made and thin sandals was no different to being barefoot.
"T-Thank you." Was today an extremely lucky day? When he was grinding, someone was there to carry him. He even dropped a rare accessory. When he's buying something, someone gave him a 50% discount and even gave him a "buy one free one" deal.
"It's nothing. It's not worth much." That's true. This pair of leather shoes only had 4 Defence. It was essentially selling something found in an NPC store. He'd rather use it to do a good deed and deal with this guilty feeling of his ><. "Add me. After all, Acolytes and Magicians share quite a lot of equipment. Once I change my gear, I'll sell them to you for cheap if you need any of them."
"Okay." XiaoYu was very happy. He obtained two equipment in one go.
"Pfft. LuckyCat. You look like it."
"= =+" Why did everyone he befriended laugh at his name at the start?
Reserved (CopperPlateKing’s dialogue): What he actually said was
闷葫芦 (men hu lu), meaning silent gourd (the typical hourglass shaped gourd). It refers to people who are either not talkative or people who are mysterious/an enigma (original meaning). The source most likely refers to how the gourd is usually used as a storage device, so a silent one is one that keeps its secrets/things hidden. (Probably because it’s easy to tell what is inside the gourd by shaking it)