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Chapter 201 Party Coordination (Part 1)
Although Ye Ci had repeatedly expressed her reluctance to take command, as matters stood, even if she wanted to ride the waves and goof off, it would be futile. Under the ardent hopeful gazes of everyone, she could only open the command system's voice chat. She cleared her throat and explained in simple terms, “This BOSS has 3 stages. But before I talk about the different stages, let me first explain where everyone should be positioned.”
“During the first stage, everyone remains stationary. Actually, most BOSSes are fought like this, so it’s not much of a problem; the difficulty lies in where to stand.” Ye Ci stood by the pond and gestured to three points, informing the melee, ranged, and healers of their respective positions. She then continued, “Once the fight reaches the second stage, the BOSS will summon clones. The tank will then pull the BOSS over to this point, where the healers are positioned, while the healers group up with the ranged classes. You guys then continue your damage output while remaining in the same place. When the third stage approaches, the Tanks will need to kite the BOSS around the pond in a large circle, with everyone else standing within the circle. If you get poisoned, quickly run over to the Tank’s side and transmit the poison to the BOSS. Healers, remember to keep their health up. As for whether or not there is a fourth stage, save that for after the fight. As long as we beat these three stages, we shall be victorious."
Ye Ci's commands were clear and simple throughout. She didn't have a habit of dealing with trivial matters either. She believed that players would retain a deeper impression if they personally experienced being extremely focused and making their own preparations. However, if she needed to explain everything clearly, she wouldn't really be giving them the chance to grow.
Ye Ci’s voice faded away after giving everyone 5 minutes to prepare. The members who often teamed up with Ye Ci promptly assigned all of their potions and single-target skills to a hotkey.
One of the members who was partying with them for the first time was slightly confused when she saw someone beside her bustling around so much. As a result, she asked him, "Happy, what are you doing?"
Happy Family was a veteran member; naturally, he was very familiar with Ye Ci's habits. However, he didn't know what to do with a newbie following Ye Ci for the first time, and hence explained to Naturally Cute while he prepared, "Leader is letting us do our own preparations, didn't you hear her?"
"Preparations? Aren't we already prepared?" Naturally Cute was clearly used to elaborate commands. Usually, Mi Lu and Overflowing Ink would clarify every trifling matter in advance when instructing the party so she was very dependent on this kind of leader.
"Already prepared?" Happy Family glanced at Naturally Cute. "Have you set your single-target skills to a hotkey? Have you recast your BUFFs? Did your munitions automatically get restocked? Where did you put your contingency potions?"
“This… Shouldn’t our commander remind us about all of this? And wouldn’t they tell us when we need to use them?” Although Naturally Cute didn't quite understand, she also started preparing everything that Happy Family had mentioned when she saw him making the same preparations.
"You haven't partied under Leader's command before, right?"
"I haven't, this is the first time." Naturally Cute was also a huntress. Her eyes immediately lit up when he mentioned Ye Ci. "Guild Leader Gongzi is my idol. I queue for a party every day just so I can get a glimpse of her. Seeing her today makes me very excited, I'm stoked..."
Naturally Cute had yet to finish proclaiming her feelings of excitement before Happy Family bluntly interrupted her rambling. "Let me tell you, there's only one word to describe Leader's command—simple. Were you listening to her fighting strategy just now? That's the most that Leader says. Once the battle starts, you won't hear her voice in the command chat, nor the reminders that you spoke of…"
"Huh? Then… Then when should I use these things I’m preparing?" Having been told all of this by Happy Family, Naturally Cute had already gotten wound up. "Like this… Won't we die very quickly like this?"
"If you don't want to die too quickly then you better learn everything properly." Happy Family let out a deep breath. "I was originally just like you, not used to this way of commanding. However, after dying several times, I learned to progress a bit on my own. I needed to think and learn on my own; only then did I find myself making great progress."
"But… But…" Hearing Happy Family's statement, Naturally Cute became even more worried. "If I die, will Leader… will Leader scold me?" Naturally Cute evidently cared about Gongzi You's mood a lot. "It took a lot of effort before I could finally join her party. If… if I die, will she kick me out of the party?" She became more and more nervous, and more and more afraid. She even started shaking a little in the end.
"Aiya, you don't need to worry, Leader absolutely won’t kick you. Though she might give you special treatment if you die too much." Happy Family consoled her immediately. "You should know, Gongzi You is a deity-level character. If you get singled out for special treatment, it might be very harsh…"
"But… But I want her to give me special attention." When Naturally Cute heard that she wouldn't be kicked even if she died a lot, her heart suddenly felt relieved. Moreover, when she heard that she might be given special treatment, she was even more excited. She clutched her cheeks, somewhat embarrassed. "Will I be given special treatment as long as I keep dying?"
"You're not planning to die many times on purpose to get some alone time with Gongzi, are you?" Happy Family saw through Naturally Cute's intentions straight away.
"No way, no way."
"I don't care if you want to die, but think about it—If the whole team were to be annihilated because of your deliberate deaths, even if Leader and the commanders don't tell you off, would you be able to withstand everyone's gazes?" Happy Family immediately advised Naturally Cute to give up on her stupid, suicidal idol-chasing dream.
"Eh…" Naturally Cute stared wide-eyed at him, dumbfounded.
"There's only 2 minutes left, everyone hurry up with your preparations. Those who need arrows or spellcasting materials quickly go to the merchant over there and stock up." Faced with Ye Ci's silence, Mi Lu and Overflowing Ink couldn't simply look on. They were the most familiar with their party's circumstances, so they immediately spoke up and spurred everyone on with their preparations.
Ye Ci just flicked her gaze over to the two without a word. Only after they had sat down did she apathetically say, "Was there a need to remind them?"
"There are a lot of them who don't know what they should be preparing. If we don't remind them now, wouldn't it come back to bite us later?"
"An elite team should not need reminding."
"But we're not quite elites yet…"
"You guys should believe in your party, believe in each party member, and believe that they are elite." Ye Ci smirked. "We are clearing a dungeon, not leading kindergarten kids around. If you have to do everything yourselves, you'll tire yourselves out."
"Leader, we're still not assured." Mi Lu and Overflowing Ink couldn't be as laid back as Ye Ci.
"To clear a dungeon, you must be ready to die. If you're worried that your party members will lose confidence because they die too many times, then you'll be too cautious and timid. In actuality, this is also a kind of natural selection. Those who are able to adapt to this pattern will naturally grow stronger, those who can't adapt will naturally perish on their own. You need to believe in them, none of them will be struck down so easily."
Mi Lu and Overflowing Ink glanced at one another, seriously pondering over Ye Ci's words.
When Ye Ci had shoved the last piece of meat in her mouth, she stood up and clapped her hands together. Just as she was about to call out to everyone so they could start fighting, she received a private message.
The private message was from Unbridled Willow. His voice was serene, not revealing the kind of mood he was in. "22 million, real world cash."
"What? You think the 20 million I quoted is too little?" Ye Ci raised her brows when she heard the price.
"20 million is the amount you wanted. The other 2 million is for your silence, as well as ensure that the video won't fall into the possession of any other guilds." Unbridled Willow naturally wouldn't gift so much money to Ye Ci for free; he had his own demands.
"I've got no problem with that." Ye Ci promptly restricted the video-recording function of all the party members. This way, no one would be able to record their screen apart from her. However, she still spoke one more line. "What made you decide to agree with my price?"
Unbridled Willow was silent on his end for a while. He then said, "Someone once said to me that if I wanted to succeed in something, I must commit to doing everything for it."
Ye Ci pursed her lips and sneered, "Unbridled Willow, what you should be saying is: If a problem can be resolved with money, it shouldn't be called a problem."
Unbridled Willow jolted slightly as he was shocked speechless.
Fortunately, Ye Ci didn't continue this issue with him, instead straightforwardly saying, "Since you've quoted me 22 million, I'll really seem to be lacking sincerity if I keep acting pretentious. We'll settle on 22 million, but… I want to first see a down payment of 10 million."
"Down payment? What? Gongzi You, are you so certain of success that you want me to give you half as down payment when you don't even have anything?" Unbridled Willow took a deep breath. "What happens if you fail? What's to be done if you can't seize First Blood?"
"These aren't problems you should be worrying about." Ye Ci harrumphed softly to express her discontentment. She was somewhat annoyed at these men who would fuss over every minor matter when doing business. For such simple matters, why would they insist on being so difficult? "You should only be concerned about handing over the money and collecting the goods, I'll be concerned about receiving the money and delivering the goods. This was originally a matter without much conflict. If you are really that worried, we can cancel the deal. There won't be any loss on my end anyway."
Needless to say, Unbridled Willow heard the discontentment in Ye Ci's voice and sighed to himself. He really couldn't afford to provoke this woman. How did his current fate lie in her grasp? Although he was a little unresigned, he could only do as she said in the end. "Give me your bank details."
"Just exchange it for game currency and send it directly to me." Bank details? Ye Ci wasn't foolish enough to divulge her personal information to these people from the internet. "Just deduct the processing fee directly from the payment, I'll accept all the money in in-game currency."
Although this process would take a large commission, this service charge really didn't count for much when compared to her life. She only had shallow ties to Unbridled Willow. Even if he was a friend, with the internet separating them, who knew just what kind of person he was in real life? Having gone through the matter with Thousand Sunsets, Ye Ci could be considered thoroughly experienced. When facing a rich man with some authority like him, she might be able to avoid him as an ordinary commoner. However, if she revealed her account details to him, wouldn't that equate to her telling Unbridled Willow everything about her? If he was kind and honest then it was still fine, but if he was a narrow-minded fellow like Thousand Sunsets, would she have even a single day of peace in the future?
As for Thousand Sunsets… Ye Ci thought that he probably wouldn't let his personal information leak out to Unbridled Willow, even if he were to be beaten to death. They were eternal enemies, absolutely irreconcilable enemies with mutual interests. It would be hard to stop Unbridled Willow from tracking him down and stirring up a lot of trouble were he to ever reveal his personal information to him. The game was one thing, but who could say that there would be a lot of good words spoken in reality, especially when facing someone he had no favourable impression of.
If that happened, Thousand Sunsets was sure to lose more than he gained.
If Thousand Sunset had even a bit of IQ, he would unconditionally keep a tight leash on all of his personal information.
"Alright, I'll exchange 50 million in-game coins for you in a bit." Unbridled Willow didn't seem to think as much as Ye Ci had just now, merely agreeing to Ye Ci's request before hanging up. "Oh, that's right, I had something to ask you."
"What is it?"
"What's your relationship with Gleaming Sunshine and Leftie?" Unbridled Willow had investigated the dispute between Ye Ci and Thousand Sunsets, so he was well aware of both Dong Yin and Yi Cang. However, he still didn't have the means to conduct an investigation in the real world with his current strength, so he was still unsure about Ye Ci's relationship with them.
"Why do you ask that?"
Would Unbridled Willow be curious about something for no reason? Of course not. Ye Ci knew this, but she was still not sure why Unbridled Willow would ask about them out of the blue. Ye Ci muttered to herself faintly, ‘this couldn't be considered the truth, but it couldn't be considered a lie’: "Former acquaintances."
These words, Unbridled Willow naturally would not believe it completely. However, he also wouldn't disbelieve it completely. He was an intelligent man, so when he heard Gongzi You say this, he could more or less guess that Ye Ci's relationship with them wasn’t shallow. At least, that’s how it had been in the past.
As a result, his mind remained somewhat uneasy. He said, half-probingly, half-warningly, "Those two seem to have invested a lot of money in Steel Blooded Battle Spear. I always think that investing actual money into the game isn't too appropriate…"
Ye Ci interrupted him before he had finished speaking, casually throwing him a line, "The outcome of their decisions is no concern of anyone’s whatsoever."
Unbridled Willow was very satisfied with Ye Ci's answer and smiled. Gongzi You's words thoroughly dispelled all of his doubts. With Gongzi You as a chess piece, he could cease his involvement with Thousand Sunsets. Victory or defeat in but one move.
Unbridled Willow closed the conversation window. Ye Ci was shocked. Dong Yin and Yi Cang was actually throwing so much money at Thousand Sunsets. Just how much were they going to pay for these affections of theirs? But when she thought about it again, these matters had nothing to do with her. She merely thought that her information was somewhat lagging behind. She had been completely oblivious to the fact that they had been making such large movements. As a result, she let all the party members prepare for another five minutes, while she herself promptly headed over to Liu Chang to ask her quietly, "I heard that Dong Yin and Yi Cang have been sending money to Thousand Sunsets?"
Liu Chang turned her head to look at Ye Ci, thinking for a moment before saying, "It seems like it. My mum encountered that bastard, Yi Cang, the other day and he showed off for so long. When my mum returned, she spent the evening sighing about how their family was living a good life, investing money into the game to earn even more, and how our family doesn’t have money, blah blah…" Liu Chang rolled her eyes. "Listening to her annoyed me so much I stopped paying attention, but it should be about this thing."
Ye Ci could not help laughing. "You can still be considered poor? You've been farming gold every day for the past few months now, can the money you've earned still be considered little?"
Once her loaded purse was mentioned, Liu Chang became more cheerful and she chuckled. "What's up? Did that bastard seek you guys out too?"
"Don't think so, at least my mother hasn’t said anything about it. Oh right, do you know how much money they invested?"
Liu Chang clutched her head, mentally confirming it for a bit before speaking. "It should be at least half of the two families' combined properties. You also know that although Dong Yin and Yi Cang's families aren't billionaires, they still have several tens of millions worth, so… it should be quite a lot."
"To think they really dare to invest…" Ye Ci also couldn't help but sigh.
"Investing in a game really isn't that uncommon. Fate's currently occupying an increasingly larger share in the market. Dong Yin and Yi Cang's fathers are both business men, and would naturally be quite clear about this matter. Moreover, it seems like Dong Yin and Yi Cang are still making some money in the game, so…" Liu Chang didn't finish her words, but believed that Ye Ci would understand what she way implying.
"True." The corners of Ye Ci’s mouth curved to reveal a cold smile. Originally, she had only wanted to help teach Dong Yin and Yi Cang a lesson, but now she had gotten serious. She definitely had to beat this dungeon today. After she acquired First Blood for the dungeon, future events might not need her to preside over them.
Unbridled Willow wanted to trounce Thousand Sunsets completely, so he obviously wouldn't let Dong Yin and Yi Cang off. They were likely to abandon ship in the end. She had merely been thinking of teaching them a small lesson, however, the matter had developed into what it currently was…
She was afraid that everything had gone beyond her control.
Ye Ci sucked in a deep breath. She hadn't wanted to hurt them but they had ultimately taken a dive. Utterly defeated; it was quite ironic.
"We're about to start, you should make your preparations." Ye Ci lowered her gaze and impassively instructed Liu Chang, turning around to leave. As Liu Chang stood there watching her departure, it was very clear in her mind that although Ye Ci seemed to no longer wish to have anything to do with Dong Yin and Yi Cang, deep in her heart, she still didn't wish for them to suffer injury.
Unfortunately, the world was fickle.
Although Liu Chang didn't understand what problems Thousand Sunsets was facing at the moment, from the many times Dong Yin had anxiously tried to buy strategy guides from her in private, it wasn't hard to see that Thousand Sunsets had met with a disturbing affair. If this matter continued to cause trouble… it would probably end up implicating Dong Yin and Yi Cang's homes.
Liu Chang once again recalled Yi Cang's cruel words that day, and her heart ached as though it was bleeding. She took a deep breath, "Fine, let's just leave it as that.’ After all was said and done, they weren’t travelling on the same road. This was good enough."
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