Chapter 203 Ye Ci’s Troubles (Part 2)
“What I mean is that…” Ye Ci chuckled, “My guild will use this three precious days to rest. When the three days are over, our second squadron will begin the exploration of the Castle Ruins.”
“You!” Unbridled Willow’s eyes bulged. He was lost for words.
Ye Ci sneered coldly, “I don’t know if you don’t know how the gaming world works, or that you’re simply childish.” and she stood up, “I am giving you a special treatment. If I’m doing business with any other guild, I would not give them a head start. Not even a single day.”
Unbridled Willow realized that he was indeed still new to the gaming world. Gongzi You was correct. If he was dealing with anybody else, they might demand a higher price from him, and might not even give him three days.
He took in a deep breath. Despite his unwillingness to accept such a fact, Unbridled Willow thanked Ye Ci sincerely, “If that’s the case, I would like to thank you.”
“Well, allow me to congratulate you in advance. I’m sure that you’ll be able to achieve your goals.” Ye Ci stood up and left without casting a backwards glance at Unbridled Willow, “I did not run into you today. Of course, I’m sure you don’t want to meet me as well.”
“Of course.” Unbridled Willow understood Ye Ci’s words.
Before Ye Ci could open the door, Unbridled Willow called out to her, “Gongzi You, wait up!”
“What is it?” Ye Ci turned around and looked at Unbridled Willow. She did not know why she was called out by him. There was no need for her to stay any longer.
“I have one final question for you.” Unbridled Willow stared at Ye Ci, his eyes full of sincerity.
Ye Ci was not used to such sincerity, “What do you have in mind?”
“If Thousand Sunsets does not exist, would you still be doing business with me?”
As expected, this person is suspicious of my motives. However, at this point, Ye Ci’s motives did not matter anymore. Ye Ci smiled with all her sincerity, “Of course.” and was met with Unbridled Willow’s surprised expression, which was something that she has expected, “I like the price you offered. To be honest, I don’t really care who am I dealing is, as long as the price is right.” Ye Ci answered slowly.
“Thousand Sunsets as well?”
“He’s an exception.” Ye Ci pursed her lips, “I’ll never help out someone who has wronged me in the past. Besides, Thousand Sunsets is not the only wealthy player in the Eastern Continent.”
It was a good answer. At least for Unbridled Willow, it was a good answer. He would never have to fear that this deal today would bring misfortune upon him in the future. That’s right, the deal with Gongzi You today was nothing out of the ordinary. He offered a decent price, and she was satisfied with the price.
“If there’s nothing else, I’ll be leaving.” Ye Ci turned around, opened the door, and left.
As she walked down the stairs, Ye Ci could hear the dull thud of her own footsteps. She felt a sudden emptiness in her heart. Thousand Sunsets, our past grievances is coming to an end. Our one year of grudge is about to end soon.
Although I was unable to take you out with my own hands, I think it will be better for you to lose at the hands of Unbridled Willow. The situation will be far worse for you, and I, will be happier.
As for Dong Yin and Yi Cang… Ye Ci suddenly remembered the two names. She had grew so unfamiliar to those two. It seems that her past memories of them were fading away.
I have no intention to bring harm to your families, but too bad, you’ll have to pay the price for the choice you’ve made.
“Have you settled matters over there? Come back to the guild encampment. We have wine!” said Bai Mo through the voice chat.
“I don’t drink.”
“I think you need it today.”
Bai Mo is correct. thought Ye Ci. She needed to drink. Without wine, she will be unable to fill the emptiness in her heart.
This day was not a day to be lonely. It was not a day to remain solitary.
The guild encampment was packed full of people. Decorative lightings lit up the place, a bright contrast to the darkening sky. The multicolored lights were do dazzling yet so pretty at the same time.
Ye Ci stood at the gates of the guild encampment, staring at the crowd and the dazzling lights, taking in the bustling scene in front of her. For some reason, her cold and rational heart was beating excitedly.
“Vice leader, you’re here!” a loud voice pierced through her daze and pulled her back to reality. It was someone she did not even know. Judging from the person’s equipment, she did not have a high level, and had inferior equipment. However, joy was written all over the person’s face.
“Yes, I’m back.” Ye Ci could not help but mirror the player’s smile. It was just too rude to not return the smile.
“Hurry up! Guild leader and the rest have reserved the best wine and were waiting for your return! They say that they’ll only begin drinking the wine when you’re back!” the player’s smile was like the most precious treasure in this world. She grabbed hold of Ye Ci’s wrist, and dragged her towards the Grand Hall.
Ye Ci allowed herself to be dragged along by the girl towards the building occupied by the most players. She did not know who the girl was, but she somehow felt a sense of familiarity with the girl. But why?
“You, are you happy today?” trailing behind the girl, and watching her hair bobbing up and down , the question escaped Ye Ci’s lips.
“What? Are you talking to me vice leader?” the girl could faintly hear Ye Ci’s question. She stopped right in her tracks and turned around, studying Ye Ci with a face full of curiosity.
Ye Ci was momentarily stunned. She regained her composure and repeated the question, “Are you happy?”
“Of course! Of course I’m happy! This is the happiest day I’ve ever had since I joined Upwards Ho!” the girl’s jovial expression was a testimony of her heart’s feelings.
“Why”? Ye Ci was unable to comprehend her words. What’s there to be happy about?
“Why?” the girl looked at Ye Ci, “Our guild has secured First Clear for Castle Ruins today! How could I not be happy? Are you not happy vice leader?”
A fuzzy feeling washed over Ye Ci. What am I thinking? What should I think about this? “But you did not take part in the dungeon exploration team, why are you so happy?” asked Ye Ci absentmindedly.
The question was a rather offensive one. However, the girl did not mind. She tilted her head, appearing to be deep in thought. The girl the let out a smile, “Even if I did not join the dungeon exploration, I’m still part of guild! ‘Upwards Ho!’ was able to achieve a First Clear, and I’m a member of ‘Upwards Ho!’. How lucky I am to be able to join this guild! Even if I’m not able to join the first and second squadron today due to my low level, I believe that I will be able to do so one day, and secure my very own First Clear!”
The girl continued when she noticed Ye Ci’s dumbfounded expression, “I’m happy to be part of ‘Upwards Ho!’. This is my home!”
Ye Ci snapped out of her daze. She surveyed her surroundings slowly. She might not be able to name every single one of them, but they still felt so familiar to her. This was all because of the fact that they were members of ‘Upwards Ho!’, and she, was a member of ‘Upwards Ho!’ as well.
She suddenly came to a realization. She did not even know when it began, but at some point, people has stopped referring to her as Gongzi You, and instead began referring to her as Gongzi You of ‘Upwards Ho!’. She has never realised such a change, but once the realisation struck, she felt a sliver of warmth.
“Let’s go vice leader, what are you doing?” the girl did not wait for Ye Ci to clear her thoughts. She continued dragging Ye Ci towards the Grand Hall while giggling loudly, “Guild leader, look! Look who I found?”
“Heh, I thought you’d never show up.” Bai Mo pulled Ye Ci along, “Hurry, I’ve taken out the best wine we have in the guild.
It was a Château Blaignan vintage wine. Ye Ci was stunned. The wine could not be purchased in the game, and could only be acquired through a lengthy quest. She asked with a voice full of amazement, “How did you get this?”
“We got it from a quest!” Bai Mo laughed, “25 of us worked our asses off to complete the quest during your trip to Fate HQ.” Bai Mo patted the barrel containing the win, “We got it just for this occasion. Such foresight.”
“Why did you not wait for me?”
“You have things of your own to worry about, and so do we.” Timely Rain laughed. He walked up to Bai Mo and said with a smile, “Hurry, can we drink this think already? I’ve been waiting to have a taste for days! Tell you what, I wouldn’t even have fought so hard just now if not for this barrel of wine!”
The players in the Grand Hall broke out in laughter.
Ye Ci felt a sudden pang of sadness. She barely did anything for the guild, but her members were always so tolerant of her actions. She has always been a lone wolf. As she left her footprints in various maps, going on adventures as she pleased, she had never thought that there were a lot of things that she could have done for the guild.
Bai Mo opened up the casket of wine, and the players immediately swarmed over him, scrambling to have a taste of the wine. Ye Ci stood at the back of the crowd, staring silently at the players. They were all unfamiliar faces. She felt so distant from them. It was as if she did not belong to that place.
This situation lasted until somebody grabbed hold of her shoulders. She lifted her sight, and found Bai Mo’s smiling face. He shoved a cup into Ye Ci’s hand and smiled, “If I did not grab this for you, there might be none left!”
Ye Ci clutched at the cup tightly. She did not speak a single word, and instead stared at Bai Mo’s pretty face. She was distracted.
Bai Mo gripped on her shoulder, lifted his cup, and spoke up loudly, “We’ve managed to achieve First Clear on Castle Ruins! The world shall remember our names!”
“Yes! The world shall remember our names!” the players in the Grand Hall lifted their cups as well. Their faces were flushed red. It was a beautiful scene.
“Who are we?”
The players drank and chattered merrily with each other. The air was full of joy. Ye Ci felt as if she was looking at a painting. She could admire it, she could be deeply entranced by it, by she could never be part of it.
It was an awful feeling. A feeling that was troubling Ye Ci.
The ‘Upwards Ho!’ players were enjoying the celebration. They were not only gathering in the Grand Hall. The party has spread to all corners of the guild encampment. There were a lot of fun and games in the encampment, and the players were thoroughly enjoying themselves.
The bustling Grand Hall began quieting down.
Bai Mo grabbed hold of Ye Ci’s hand and dragged her along.
“Where to?” Ye Ci stumbled as she followed behind Bai Mo.
“We’ve done that before. Don’t tell me that I have to do it with you all the time!” Ye Ci’s eyebrows furrowed as she started grumbling.
“I don’t have the rights to watch the sunrise with you, so I can only stargaze with you.” Bai Mo turned around, saw Ye Ci’s depressed face and turned back again.
Ye Ci stared at his back as she followed him closely.
They ended up sitting on the wall of the encampment.
“I realised that you do not like scenes like that.”
“What scene?” Ye Ci looked up into the night sky. There was no moon that was prettier than the moon in the map of their encampment.. It was so shiny and round. It was as if everything is pure under the moonlight.
“A scene where everybody is celebrating, where they are enjoying themselves.”
“No.” Ye Ci stared at the moon, and offered a dishonest answer.
Bai Mo knew that she was keeping her real feelings to herself, but he did not expose her. He patted Ye Ci on the head, “Why are you unhappy?”
“I’m not.” Ye Ci blinked. She was trying very hard to convince herself that she was happy. I’m happy, aren’t I?
“Drink this.” Bai Mo handed her a bottle of wine, “It’s not as rare as the wine just now, but I’ve did an entire month’s worth of repeatable quest to get it. I was going to keep it for myself, but since you’re so pitiful, I’ll let you have a sip.”
“Me? Pitiful?” Ye Ci glared at Bai Mo. She hated to be described with that word. Was she pitiful? No! She was not pitiful at all, and she needed no sympathy. Not even from Bai Mo.
“Is that so? Your expression suggested otherwise.”
“Oi…” Ye Ci raised her eyebrows. It was apparent that she was starting to get angry.
“If I’m wrong, why do you even need to be angry?” Bai Mo carressed Ye Ci’s brows, “Little Ci, I’m Bai Mo. I’m not Fleeting Time, nor am I Thousand Sunsets. I’m not your enemy, nor am I your nemesis, and I’m definitely somebody who is plotting against you. I’m just Bai Mo.”
Ye Ci opened her mouth to retort, but was found herself unable to speak, as if she was choking on sand. She relaxed her brows, and snatched the bottle away from Bai Mo. Pulling away the cork, Ye Ci sipped in a mouthful of wine. The rich aftertaste was something to be remembered. She basked in the taste of the wine and spoke up after a long time, “Cousin, have I always been alone?”
Bai Mo was momentarily stunned before he slowly realised the meaning of Ye Ci’s words. He smiled and pulled her into an embrace, “Each and every one of us is alone when we were born. We will be alone when we die. From the beginning of our lives until our demise, we are indeed alone.”
Sadness gripped Ye Ci’s hard.
She could remember the scene in her past life, when she was at the top floor of the Fate HQ. That night was just like tonight. The moon was bright, the night was quiet, and… She was alone.
“But, before we end our journey in life, we have spent many years on this earth. We will meet many people in life. They could be friends, they could be enemies, and they could be strangers. However, they are always keeping us company, just like how we are company to them.”
Ye Ci blinked. Has her level of intelligence dropped? Why can’t she understand any of Bai Mo’s words?
“Bai Mo, somebody told me that she was happy. Even if she did not take part in the First Clear, she was happy. When I asked her the reason behind her happiness, she said that it was because Upwards Ho! has achieved First Clear, and she’s part of Upwards Ho!. That was why she was happy and proud. But, Bai Mo, why do I not feel any of that?” it was apparent that Ye Ci was troubled, “Why do I feel like I don’t belong to the team? Tell me, Bai Mo! Do I really belong to this team? Or… Or that… I’ve always been alone?”
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