Chapter 257 The Doluo Tribe (Part 1)
Ye Ci dismissed Ol’ Four in a bid to avoid unwanted aggro and entered Stealth. She traversed around the traps and advanced deeper into the forest.
As Ye Ci had expected, she encountered some humanoid NPCs some 500 yards away. Several Humans clothed in animal hide with bows strung on the backs were setting up traps. Their bodies were sturdy, and they were way taller than a standard Human. Their well-toned muscles, slightly reddish skin, big soles, and strong limbs were telltale signs that they were used to life in the jungle.
Ye Ci remained hidden behind a bush, observing the NPCs from afar. The physical traps that were buried were not high-tiered, but were expertly planted. Even Ye Ci herself would find herself in deep trouble if she was not a Huntress, a character class that was adept at laying down traps.
The NPCs spoke in a language not known to Ye Ci as they worked on setting up their traps. This came as a source of great curiosity for Ye Ci. There were 59 recorded races in Fate, each with their own unique language. Members of these 59 races lived in different tribes, which brought more diversity to the language of the races. It was entirely normal for Ye Ci who knew only languages in the game to not understand the words spoken by the NPC, but most NPC would speak in a Common Language that was mainly used to communicate with players in the process of handing out quests.
The NPCs then stood up and headed deeper into the forest once they were done setting up the traps. Ye Ci tailed the NPC from afar. Despite her curiosity about their destination, she knew that she could not afford to get too close. She had cast Detection earlier on, and found that the NPCs’ were at the level of 70, and were neutral. This fact alone, however, did not guarantee her safety. While neutral NPCs bare no ill will towards the players, it also meant that they did not have a good impression of the players as well. This was why Ye Ci made the decision to remain hidden.
The NPCs did not set up more traps along the way, and were instead chatting happily with each other. Ye Ci marked the trees with a dagger as she followed the NPC deeper into the forest to prevent herself from getting loss as the terrain was not known to her.
A primitive village built from wood and animal hide soon appeared in Ye Ci’s view. She waited patiently a safe distance away, and began slowly making her way to the outskirts of the village once she was certain that the NPCs have entered deep into the village, with the intention of scouting the village out and to search for the NPC named Dalufar.
But just as Ye Ci approached the village, an eye-shaped orb mounted on a pole outside the village turned towards her, and her Stealth was immediately dispelled with a system notification ringing in her ears: “Stealth attempt failed.”
Ye Ci’s heart sank. I’ve been discovered! She turned around and began to leave.
A loud roar came from the village before she could safely withdraw, “Dfrgm ……edgm!!”
And Ye Ci found herself surrounded by weapons that were pointed at her. The weapons themselves were dull, but Ye Ci knew that she would not be able to survive even with her Agility when she was in the midst of such a huge number of enemies.
She stood still as she stared her assailants. The dozens of different faces each wielding a different weapon stared back at her with blank expressions. Ye Ci was stunned. Just what are they? They have the appearance of humans, but their movements were too fast! Where did they even come from?
Any attempts from Ye Ci to communicate with the NPCs ended with failure. From the blank expressions on their faces, it was obvious that they could not understand even a single word from Ye Ci’s mouth. Ye Ci was at a loss. What should I do in a situation like this…
Just then, the crowd parted and a tall and study old man made his way to Ye Ci. The old man’s face was unknown to her, but his facial hair was white, and the wrinkles on his face was a sign of the passing of time. The old man wore a lavishly decorated crown on his head, and his body was covered by a blue robe decorated by the teeth of unknown beats. Ye Ci could feel a powerful aura coming from the fist-sized red colored gem mounted on the old man’s staff.
The old man walked slowly towards Ye Ci with a sharp gaze in his eyes. His steps were slow, but Ye Ci could feel an unknown pressure with each step he took. She cast Detection and the old man, but his information were displayed as strings of question marks just like the Mermaid she encountered earlier on. This was an indication that the old man was at least 60 levels above Ye Ci. The old man studied Ye Ci silently, and she could feel from his penetrating gaze that he was a formidable man.
Ye Ci held his gaze and took in a deep breath. She was able to remain calm despite the intimidating air around the old man.
He began speaking to Ye Ci in ancient Common Language, “It has been a long time since I’ve seen an Elf. There are usually only Mermaids around here. So what are you doing in this place, Elf?”
Ye Ci let out a sigh of relief. Thank God there’s one of them who can speak the Common Language! Ye Ci, who was on the ground, made an attempt to stand up as a sign of respect for the elder. His level was as high as the Mermaid, but Ye Ci could tell from his apparent age and demeanor that he was way more reasonable and reliable.
The weapons that were already lowered were immediately pointed again at Ye Ci at the slightest sign of her movement, forcing her to remain still as she continued staring at the old man.
The old man was surprisingly courteous. With a gesture of his hand, he dismissed his tribesmen who immediately backed away from Ye Ci. They were, however, still in a position where they could easily strike at her.
Ye Ci stood up and held her hands up, indicating that she was unarmed and that she bore the NPCs no ill will, before she bowed at the old man and addressed him with the most standard greeting in the game with respectful tone, “Honorable elder, please forgive my trespassing into your territory. I am an Elf from the Jiama Continent, and I arrived here by chance when my ship sank as a result of a storm. I’m lost and I can’t find my way back. I came across your tribesmen by chance as I was exploring the forest and followed them here. If I have offended you with my actions, I would like to offer my sincerest apology.”
Ye Ci was confident in her abilities to handle an NPC, and her confidence was rewarded when the tension on the elder’s face immediately began to ease. The NPC, of course, was not quick to trust Ye Ci’s words, “Dear Elf, I can smell the scent of a Mermaid on you, and why is that?” he asked after studying Ye Ci for a short moment.
“Honorable elder, I did run into a blue tailed Mermaid before meeting you here. In fact, I almost ended up as her food, but she let me off for reasons unknown. She wanted me to search for a man called Dalufar who is in possession of a harp she needs, but I was not able to locate Dalufar at the Kalidor Volcano, and ran into your tribesmen instead. I then made the decision to follow them here.” Ye Ci spoke the whole truth. The NPC appeared to be very intelligent, and it was obvious that he was a person of great importance. Such an NPC could tell if a player was lying, and would punish the player for the lie that was told.
A player might lose the trust or an NPC, or even his or her life.
And this was why Ye Ci did not hesitate to tell the truth.
The old man nodded after a long moment of silence, “You’re right. Mermaids despise the consumption of the flesh of a female. It is repugnant, and even toxic to them. They prefer male flesh.”
So that’s why! thought Ye Ci to herself, No wonder I was let off the hook so easily! I’m a female, and they prefer to eat males!
“I have spoken to the Gods. They told me that you speak the truth, Elf. Since that is the case, I shall trust in your words.” the old man slammed his staff onto the ground thrice, and the crowd immediately dispersed, “I am the Dalufar that you’re looking for, Elf.”
So he is Dalufar. Ye Ci sighed. The things that I need the most tend to appear before me when I least expect it.
“Greetings, Mr.Dalufar. I am Gongzi You.” Ye Ci immediately introduced herself with a voice full of respect.
Dalufar nodded at Ye Ci, and his expression softened, “A Mermaid wanted you to get a harp from me?”
“Yes, that’s what she wanted me to do.” Ye Ci was in no rush. She knew that a lvl120 NPC will never hand her a quest item so easily.
“Alright then. Follow me, and see what she needs.” said Dalufar with a nod before leading Ye Ci into the village.
Eh? Is the quest completed just like that? Ye Ci was momentarily stunned. Perhaps I’ve been thinking too much about it. This could actually be a simple courier quest. Ye Ci’s gaming sense was screaming at her that she had been mistaken, but the current situation was suggesting an entirely different thing.
Ye Ci studied the NPCs and the buildings in the village as she followed close behind Dalufar. The village was big, and was easily inhabited by thousands of NPCs. Their bodies were muscular and well built, and even the females appeared to be tough despite their smaller build. The NPCs greeted Dalufar respectfully in an unknown language as he passed.
The buildings in the village were simple structures made out of wood and animal skin that were built in different fashions. There were even watch towers on the hill overlooking the village. Despite their designs that were decorated by animal bones, Ye Ci could tell that the towers were could even rival the towers of Champion City.
This was a source of amazement for Ye Ci, who did not expect traces of advanced civilization in the midst of a primitive village.
Ye Ci could suddenly feel a multitude of gazes resting upon her as she continued onwards with Dalufar. She turned around and just to find eyeballs staring at her from a few totems that were erected on the ground.
“This person is a guest.” said Dalufar and he tapped his staff lightly on the ground in front of the totems, and the eyeballs immediately averted their gaze from Ye Ci.
Totems could only be placed by a Shaman. thought Ye Ci Is he a Shaman? Dalufar turned around to face Ye Ci as she was still deep in thought, “Are you trying to guess my identity?”
“Forgive my rudeness, Mr.Dalufar, but I’m amazed by your ability to control totems. You reminded me of the statue of a hero in Champion City. It was said that his mastery of the totems was superb. It’s a shame that I’m not able to witness his prowess with my own eyes.”
Dalufar stared at Ye Ci with an unfathomable expression before finally speaking up with a soft voice, “You must be talking about Khutak.”
“Yes.” Ye Ci nodded, “Do you know him, Mr.Dalufar” she asked with surprise clear in her voice.
“He was my brother.” replied Dalufar with a calm voice.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
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