Chapter 217 First Five (Part 1)
Ye Ci stared at Bai Mo, and cast her glance over the rest of the party members. Even when the party members remained silent about Ye Ci’s mistakes, she must have been a burden as Bai Mo himself was the one who approached her. “Is it that obvious?” Ye Ci grimaced.
“It’s like you’re an entirely different person. You’ve been making mistakes left and right. Even I am worried that you will affect the performance of the party once we begin challenging the final BOSS.” said Bai Mo with a smile. He had always been straightforward when he was talking to Ye Ci.
Ye Ci rubbed her aching temples after listening to Bai Mo’s words. “I know it’s bad for me to keep this up, but I’m very upset right now.” said Ye Ci as she let out a long sigh.
“What happened?” Bai Mo could tell that something was up.
Ye Ci closed her eyes and muttered to herself before finally speaking up, “I had a conversation with Liu Chang just now.”
“Liu Chang?” Bai Mo was momentarily stunned. Liu Chang was a person in a precarious position. Despite her fall out with Yi Cang, she maintained some form of friendship with Dong Yin. Getting into contact with her would often mean that one had also gotten into contact with Dong Yin, “Was it about Dong Yin?”
“Not really. She knew that we were beaten up, but was unaware of the circumstances behind the incident. Besides, I’ve never let her in on the fact that we’ve moved, and that I had a new number,” sighed Ye Ci, “It’s not that I don’t trust her, and I’m sure that Liu Chang knew who was in the wrong as well. She would never tell Dong Yin anything about us. However, if we maintained close contact with Liu Chang, it might bring trouble for her and her family as well. I don’t want to drag even more people into this mess.” Ye Ci knew that Bai Mo did not fully trust Liu Chang, even if he treated her with courtesy. Because of what happened before at the stall earlier on, his distrust of Liu Chang grew.
Ye Ci hoped that Bai Mo would not see her as an unwitting accomplice, as Liu Chang was also a victim.
Bai Mo smiled at Ye Ci. He understood the meaning behind her words, “Look at you! You’re still trying to cover for you friends even if you’re in a mess right now. Don’t you feel burdened by all of this?” the smile then disappeared from Bai Mo’s face, “I’m sure that Liu Chang did not only speak of petty matters with you. There must be something else. Don’t keep any secrets from me.”
“I’m not.” Ye Ci frowned in response, “It’s just that… I’m still not sure about it yet.”
“What is it?”
“There’s a high possibility that our guesses are correct.” Ye Ci could feel her headache intensifying.
“You’re saying that Dong Yin was behind all that?” Bai Mo was not surprised to receive such an answer. He and Ye Ci had made their speculations, and they came to the conclusion that Dong Yin was the most plausible culprit behind the incident, but they could not be entirely sure. The same thing could be said about Ye Ci’s heist on Steel-Blooded Battle Spear’s warehouse. Even though she was the biggest suspect, Thousand Sunsets could not be sure. No evidence was left behind.
Acting rashly without proof would only bring them trouble, especially when the problem would follow them into their real lives.
Bai Mo’s eyebrows furrowed when Ye Ci told him about the conversation she had with Liu Chang, “So you suspect that Dong Yin was not the only person involved in this, and that Thousand Sunsets was backing her up?”
“This is the thing that’s bothering me the most.” Ye Ci sighed, “We’re just a newly formed guild in Fate. Even with our First Bloods, we’re still a relatively small guild. Steel-Blooded Battle Spear was on an entirely different level. Even if the guild was split into Bloody Steel and Battle Spear, a starving camel is still larger than a horse. Thousand Sunsets had the backing of an entire financial group as well as a number of his wealthy associates. Going up against them with our current strength is like striking a stone with an egg. It’ll be even worse for us in real life. We’re even living in the same city as Thousand Sunsets. I’ve severed all ties with Dong Yin, but if she instigated him into taking action, you know that normal people like us can do nothing against them.”
“What are you planning to do?” Bai Mo could tell that Ye Ci had a plan judging by how thoroughly she was able to analyze the situation.
“If we don’t solve this problem at its roots, it will cause us endless trouble.” Ye Ci stared into the foggy sky, with worry in her heart, “What an unexpected turn of events…”
“What do you mean by that?” Bai Mo was startled by Ye Ci’s words. However, he knew that Ye Ci was hiding a secret deep in her heart. It was a secret that nobody was able to reach. Even Bai Mo himself would never be able coax out such a secret.
“It’s nothing.” Ye Ci grimaced. She was staring at Bai Mo, but her thoughts had already wandered far away.
Indeed, Ye Ci did not expect such a turn of events. Dong Yin’s family suffered the same fate in her past life, and things did not end well for her. However, Ye Ci was not responsible for such a thing. She had merely declined Dong Yin’s pleas for help. How about my current life? Will I be the one who caused Dong Yin’s downfall? Ye Ci had the urge to laugh. Fate was such a funny thing. Even after her reincarnation, there were things that she was entirely powerless to change.
“All hands, listen up! I’m initiating the boss fight now. Press the “confirm” button if you’re ready.” Overflowing Ink spoke up in the Command Channel.
Bai Mo stood up, and patted Ye Ci on her shoulders, “So how is it? How are you feeling right now?”
Ye Ci took in a deep breath, and slapped her own cheeks in an attempt to clear her head. She looked at Bai Mo and said with a smile, “Don’t worry, I won’t allow my emotions to affect the performance of the party.”
Bai Mo nodded, and spoke in a soft tone, “Don’t carry everything on your shoulders. Remember, I’ll always be with you. No matter what happens, I’ll always be there for you.”
Ye Ci understood the meaning behind Bai Mo’s words. Her heart was filled with dismay. Will someone as pure as Bai Mo fall from grace because of her? Ye Ci was bitter. She had thought that she could protect everyone dear to her after her reincarnation. With all said and done, am I still going to fail?
Bai Mo stared at Ye Ci’s pained expression, and pain spread through his heart as if a nail has been driven into his chest. He pulled Ye Ci into an embrace and patted her on the back, speaking to her in a soft voice, “Little Ci, don’t make that face. You shouldn’t be having that kind of expression. I know what you’re thinking. You don’t have to worry for me. I’m not as pure and innocent as you think I am.”
“Bai Mo…” Ye Ci was surprised to hear Bai Mo’s words.
“Little Ci, you have to put yourself in somebody else’s shoes sometimes.” Bai Mo released Ye Ci from his embrace and caressed Ye Ci’s hair with a smile on his face. He then turned around, heading towards the party that was gathering front of Overflowing Ink.
“What are you doing? We’re going to initiate the boss fight soon, why are you just standing here?” Fruit Jelly walked up to Ye Ci and patted her shoulder as a reminder.
Ye Ci finally snapped out of her daze. She looked at Fruit Jelly and nodded, shoving all her thoughts to the back of her mind. She was finally able to calm her emotions.
As Overflowing Ink immediately initiated the process of challenging the BOSS, Ye Ci stood amongst the members of her party, readying herself for the fight ahead.
“Attack!” with the order given by Overflowing Ink, the party members immediately charged into the pond at the center of the map. Aside from its increased health and damage, there was nothing special about the fifth BOSS. This was, however, the first time the party had attempted to challenge the BOSS at Expert difficulty. They were simply testing the waters before engaging in a serious fight.
“Relax, this is just a test run. It’s the first time we take on this BOSS on Expert difficulty. We’re trying to gauge its damage. Don’t worry about it. We’ll just leave the dungeon if we suffer a high amount of casualties. I want all of you to relax.” said Overflowing Ink to the rest of the party in a carefree tone, which did not go unnoticed by the party members.
It was rumored that the four guilds that had already secured First Five had a hard time in defeating the BOSS. The party members did not have high hopes in their success during the first attempt. For them, it was a process to familiarize themselves with the BOSS before the real fight began.
The mood in the party was light under such circumstances. They were relaxed as there was no need to feel pressured. The atmosphere in the dungeon could be said to be harmonious. One of the party members even began humming a tune. It was as if they were not even trying to clearing a dungeon, and was instead having a get-together meeting with the fifth BOSS.
The party was able to perform unexpectedly well under such an atmosphere. Before long, they were already at the third stage of the boss fight. Even Ye Ci was surprised. The members of the party must have trained hard during her one month of absence. Their team work was perfect, and their positioning was precise.
Ye Ci even felt that they had the chance of defeating the fifth BOSS in this fight. Just then, she heard the voice of Overflowing Ink, “Use your mana potion if you’re low on mana, and cast all the buffs you have. Don’t worry about it. If we die, we can simply restart the fight.”
Ye Ci was surprised by the calmness in Overflowing Ink’s voice. He was able to remain calm even when they were at the third stage of the fight. It was apparent that Overflowing Ink had improved greatly as a commander.
The party was able to reach the fourth stage of the fight without much of an incident. “F*ck me sideways! Is this for real? None of us actually died! Am I dreaming?” shouted Overflowing Ink in surprise, as if he was an entirely different person.
It was something that the rest of the members had in their minds as well. “Charge into the circle when your name is called. Just use any consumables you have on you and give it all you got! We’re going to defeat this BOSS in one go!” shouted Overflowing Ink with excitement clear in his voice.
“Roger that!” even if their commander remained silent, the party members had a clear picture of what the should do during the fourth stage of the fight.
Ye Ci stole a glance at the time. It had been 40 minutes since they began challenging the BOSS. If they were unable to defeat the BOSS within 10 minutes, the dungeon would be reset. This meant that the efforts of the party would be in vain, and it was something that Ye Ci wanted to avoid. After chugging down some potions that would raise her attack damage, Ye Ci began pouring in all her firepower onto the BOSS.
It was amazing how fate would work in wonderful ways at times. Upwards Ho!’s boss fight was the perfect example. Many of the parties of other major guilds have tried their best and gave their all to defeat the BOSS, but many of them had a hard time in defeating the BOSS. On the other hand, Upwards Ho! was able to defeat the BOSS without even breaking a sweat. God must be asleep during these se times, which would explain their dogshit luck.
Not one of them knew that things would end up this way when they started the fight. However, reality seemed to disagree with them.
The entire dungeon was quiet when the BOSS returned to her throne and gave the mandatory speech that was part of her death cinematic. The Upwards Ho! players stared silently at the BOSS. It felt like a dream to them. They were surprised that they have defeated the BOSS just like that. It all finally felt real when the system announcement began flooding the World Channel.
“Congratulations Upwards Ho! for clearing the 100-player dungeon, Castle Ruins on Expert difficulty. Rewards: Guild Prestige x4000, Global Prestige x20,000, Gold Coins x15,000. Let us remember the names of the heroes!”
“Congratulations Remote Depths for achieving First Blood in the 100-player dungeon, Castle Ruins on Expert difficulty. Rewards: Black Stone City Prestige x500, Talent Points x5. Achievement: “Expert Difficulty Castle Ruins First Five”. His name shall forever be remembered in the history of Fate!”
“Congratulations Overflowing Ink for achieving First Blood in the 100-player dungeon, Castle Ruins on Expert difficulty. Rewards: Black Stone City Prestige x500, Talent Points x5. Achievement: “Expert Difficulty Castle Ruins First Five”. His name shall forever be remembered in the history of Fate!”
“Congratulations Mi Lu for achieving First Blood in the 100-player dungeon, Castle Ruins on Expert difficulty. Rewards: Black Stone City Prestige x500, Talent Points x5. Achievement: “Expert Difficulty Castle Ruins First Five”. His name shall forever be remembered in the history of Fate!”
“Congratulations Fruit Jelly for achieving First Blood in the 100-player dungeon, Castle Ruins on Expert difficulty. Rewards: Black Stone City Prestige x500, Talent Points x5. Achievement: “Expert Difficulty Castle Ruins First Five”. His name shall forever be remembered in the history of Fate!”
“Congratulations Let Go Of That Girl for achieving First Blood in the 100-player dungeon, Castle Ruins on Expert difficulty. Rewards: Black Stone City Prestige x500, Talent Points x5. Achievement: “Expert Difficulty Castle Ruins First Five”. His name shall forever be remembered in the history of Fate!”
“Congratulations Gongzi You for achieving First Blood in the 100-player dungeon, Castle Ruins on Expert difficulty. Rewards: Black Stone City Prestige x500, Talent Points x5. Achievement: “Expert Difficulty Castle Ruins First Five”. Her name shall forever be remembered in the history of Fate!”
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