Chapter 213 The Search For Bella (Part 1)
“I really want to know how you turn into Fa’tar. Even someone like me who have known him for so many years did not see the difference.” asked Andrei after wolfing down the horse meat. He was way more energetic than before, and when a person was energetic, he or she would do a lot of things. With Andrei as an example, the thing that he wanted to do most was to talk to someone. It was probably due to the fact that he had been held in captivity for a very long time, and once he was in safety and was able to relax, Andrei started opening up to the next best person. He did not even care if the person was a good choice to have a chat with. He wanted to talk to someone, and had never kept his mouth shut since then.
Ye Ci pursed her lips. It was a question she did not want to answer. Ye Ci was reluctant to let anyone in on the secret, and Andrei, of course, was not an exception. However, she could not afford to treat the NPC who was the key to completing her quest rudely.
After a short moment of silence, Ye Ci smiled at Andrei, “I’ve told you that I’m a merchant, and every merchant has his or her own secrets. If I tell you my secret, how will I be able to make a living?”
“Is that so…” although he was unable to learn Ye Ci’s secret, Andrei was not disappointed. He nodded at Ye Ci, appearing to be deep in thought.
“Andrei, I believe that you’re someone who can do big things, and someone who can do big things will not be so obsessive about the minor insignificant details. Since that is the case, why not let it remain a secret?” Ye Ci spoke up slowly, with a tone full of pride and dignity, “This is a secret, and I hope that we can keep it that way.”
“It’s not such a big deal! Why can’t you just tell me?” Andrei was apparently not an NPC with a high level of intelligence. He was unable to grasp the meaning behind Ye Ci’s words.
Ye Ci sighed inwardly. This was why she hated to deal with idiots. People like Green Hill’s Moon or Zero Arsenic would definitely understand her meaning right away. She was forced to be even more direct with Andrei.
“If that’s the case, I’m sure you don’t mind the world to know about how you’re so weak that you can’t even walk in the Red Lake City prison, and what a weakling you are, am I right?” Ye Ci did not even spare a glance at Andrei. She continued munching on the roasted horse meat with gentleness and elegance, as if she was a well-mannered noble.
Andrei’s face immediately paled. A NPC as arrogant as Andrei had a weakness. They were afraid that their moment of weakness was exposed. It was a news that Andrei could never allow Ye Ci to spread.
He shook his head and waved his hands, “No no no! You can’t tell anybody about such an embarrassing thing!”
“Like I said, I’m a merchant.” Ye Ci looked at Andrei with narrowed eyes, “Why don’t we make a deal?”
“What deal?” Andrei could feel that the female Elf was not a kind person, and was very cunning as well. However, Andrei’s feeling did not translate into his thoughts as his attention was already focused on Ye Ci’s proposal.
Ye Ci stared at Andrei silently. She has given him a lot of hints. If he was still unable to grasp her meaning, the Andrei was truly an idiot.
Fortunately for Ye Ci, Andrei was not a total idiot despite his lower IQ. He was initially confused when the Elf stared at him. Is there something on my face? He was then hit by a sudden realisation when he relate the things spoken by the Elf together, “Ahh… I get it! You’re saying that if I keep the process of how you rescued me from the prison a secret, you won’t tell anyone about my condition in the prison, am I right? That’s what you were talking about, am I right?”
At least this NPC is not beyond help. Ye Ci let out a sigh of relief, “You’re right. So, what will it be? Are you going to make the deal?”
“Of course! You don’t have to worry about it! I, Andrei, can keep a secret! I’m sure you’ve seen it with your own eyes! I did not even tell Fa’tar a thing despite his tortures. I will definitely be able to keep this thing a secret!” Andrei patted his shoulder, trying his best to reassure Ye Ci. However, he was still worried about things on Ye Ci’s end, “I’m worried about you though. Can you keep my secret?”
“I’m a merchant, and the most important quality of a merchant is to have good faith. Since I’ve given you my word, I will definitely keep your secret.”
“That’s good! That’s good!” Andrei was relieved to hear Ye Ci’s words. He then finished off the few remaining bites of the horse meat. However, it was not enough for Andrei. He stared at the large chunk of meat that Ye Ci was slowly roasting over the fire, but was too embarrassed to ask for a portion. He could only stare at the meat, while the fragrance of the sizzling meat assaulted his senses.
Ye Ci stole a glance at Andrei, and invited him to sit next to her to partake in the meal, “Come, it’s almost done.”
“I’ll pass. You’ve done so much for me. I-I’m full.” despite his boorish nature, Andrei acted in a gentlemanly manner in front of women, especially Ye Ci who was also his savior. He ignored the protest of his rumbling stomach, and rejected Ye Ci’s offer.
Ye Ci insisted on inviting Andrei to have more of the meat. In an open quest like this, the interaction between a player and an NPC would affect the emotion of the NPC. Andrei was the perfect example. Although the bandits in Silvery Tin Ore was just a branch of the Doran Thieves Guild, being able to become the leader of a branch meant that Andrei was someone with considerable influence within the guild.
It was very important to flatter and curry favor with such NPCs. However, these NPCs have human emotion, if players overdid their attempt to win over the NPC, they might ended up making more losses than gain. To increase their Intimacy Level with NPCs like such as Andrei, the best option was to fulfill their heart’s desire, and adapt to his taste. The attempt must not be overly deliberate, or it might backfire on the player.
“I’m sure that you haven’t had a good meal during your stay in the prison. Just look at yourself! Millard will be heartbroken if he sees you like this. Sometimes, we stay alive not for ourselves, but for the others closest to us. That is why you must eat up, for the sake of your brother. Besides, this horse is too big for me to finish alone. Why don’t you help me out and finish the meat for me?” Ye Ci smiled at Andrei.
After listening to Ye Ci’s words, Andrei had no more grounds to reject her offer. He grabbed at his hair and smiled awkwardly at Ye Ci, “You have a point. I’ll help you finish the meat then.” he then sat in front of Ye Ci and grabbed a piece of roasted meat.
As he gobbled down the meat, Andrei began showering Ye Ci with praise, “Elf, although you’re a citizen of Red Lake City, you’re a good person, and you cook good food as well! I think I don’t hate you anymore.”
Ye Ci quietly opened Andrei’s status window, and looked at her Intimacy Level with him. He was no longer hostile towards Ye Ci, and their relationship was displayed as “Intimate”. As Andrei continued gobbling down the meat, their intimacy rose. If Ye Ci could do something to raise his level of happiness, she would be able to reach the intimacy level of Sworn Friends with Andrei.
As long as Ye Ci could become Sworn Friends with Andrei, she would be able to gain many benefits from the Doran Thieves Guild. In the many Prestige systems in Fate, the Faction Prestige was one of the most beneficial systems to players. However, Faction Prestige was very hard to earn. Even in her past life, Ye Ci was barely able to name a handful of players who were able to reach the Prestige level of “Intimate” with certain factions. Those who were able to reach the Prestige level of “Revered” was few and far between.
Ye Ci’s past incarnation was very greedy and was very obsessed in gaining fame. She had never achieved the Prestige level of “Intimate” with any factions. She could only stare with envy at players who shared their joy in the forums for achieving such Prestige level with a faction.
However, the current Ye Ci preferred to enjoy the game. She would never let such a precious chance slip by.. She was determined to raise her Prestige level with the Doran Thieves Guild, and Andrei was her best chance to achieve such a goal.
When Andrei was almost done with his meal, Ye Ci took a rare wine out of her inventory, and toss the bottle at Andrei, “Although you hate the people of Red Lake City, I’m sure that you won’t hate a good wine. This gin is made by the One-eyed Jack Tavern in Red Lake City. I heard that it’s very famous in the Eastern Continent.”
“I’m someone who has a clear discrimination between love and hate. Although I hate everything about Red Lake City and its people, I love the wine from Red Lake City.” Andrei’s expression was one of pleasant surprise. He did not expect Ye Ci to be in possession of the wine. He caught the bottle of gin from midair, twisted the lid open, and sniffed at the wonderful aroma of the gin. He then smiled at Ye Ci, “This is a good wine! I don’t hate it at all! Just like how I don’t hate you!”
As expected, Ye Ci’s gesture gifting the wine to Andrei was able to increase her Intimacy with Andrei, but she was still a far cry away from being Sworn Friends with the NPC. Unfortunately, such method would no longer be effective a second time. If a player used the same method in an attempt to increase his or her Intimacy with an NPC repeatedly, the increase in Intimacy would gradually decrease, and the NPC might even be irritated, resulting in a loss of Intimacy points.
This meant that Ye Ci could not repeat the same gesture twice. She waited for Andrei to have his fill of the meat and fine wine before speaking up, “Andrei, it’ll be getting dark soon, let’s get back when it’s still bright.”
Hiya minna-san! Sorry for not posting a chap for 2 days straight! I was feeling quite unwell actually, and at the same time I also needed to deal with some school stuff. My semester's starting next week, and I had tons of stuff to settle.
I hope the week's treating you people well (It sure is hectic for me) So uhh... Hope you guys can enjoy this chapter!
Don't forget that we have a teaser next page!
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