Chapter 260 Dalufar (Part 1)
The Mysterious Egg.
Ye Ci herself had to admit that her memory was not very well. She would always forget about the many tricks that she had up her sleeves especially in situations when her capabilities alone was able to handle any problems that might arise. The Mysterious Egg was the perfect example. She had forgotten all about the egg after handing it to the Undead NPC. She might not even remember the existence of the egg if she did not come across the Magical Crystals.
After all, Ye Ci was never interested in things that depended on luck. She was a person with horrible luck. She had never once believed that something good would hatch from the egg. It might even be a complete trash. This was why Ye Ci had long since forgotten about the egg.
Well, since there’s a lot of them here, and they’re essential building fortifications, I might as well bring some back with me and spare some to hatch the egg.
“Is it possible for me to mine these crystals with my pickaxe?” Ye Ci had realised through her conversation with Alaunar that not all of the Doluo Tribe had the rights to enter the Kalidor Volcano, and only members of the tribe that were authorized by Dalufar could mine any ores in the volcano. The ores could only be mined by those in possession of a special pickaxe that was enchanted by Dalufar.
Ye Ci did not know if the rule applied to her as well, which was why she made the decision to ask a local before she wasted her very limited Stamina.
“You can.” Alaunar nodded at Ye Ci, “Individuals that are granted permission to mine the Ancient Ores are not allowed to mine any other ores in the cave, but you’ve been granted special permission by Lord Dalufar, which means that the rule does not apply to you.”
“How would Dalufar know if someone mines up something other than Ancient Ores? What if the miners all agreed to lie to him about it?” Ye Ci immediately set to work once she was sure that she was allowed to mine the crystals. Her progress, however, was slow as her Strength was not as great as Warriors or Miners.
Alaunar pointed at Ye Ci’s pickaxe with a smile, “Lord Dalufar has placed a special enchantment on the pickaxes. He will know who was doing the mining and what was being mined when they returned the pickaxe to him. It is very unlikely for someone to try something like that.”
That old fox has even placed a surveillance magic on this pickaxe! Ye Ci was shocked.
And she continued her mining.
Ye Ci was an inexperienced miner, and the swings of her pickaxe were random. It did not take long before Alaunar started pointing out her mistakes, “You must’ve been inexperienced in mining, Elf.”
“How can you tell?”
“I can tell that you’ve never done something like this before when I saw you mining outside.” Alaunar chuckled. He was a naive child, and due to his interactions with Ye Ci, the boy was no longer as reserved as he spoke, “What you’re doing is a waste of good ores.”
“Eh?” Ye Ci stood up straight and wipe away the sweat from her face. As someone who was inexperienced in mining, she would of course humbly accept any pointers from a veteran, “Am I not doing it right?”
“Of course. You’ve been swinging your pickaxe wildly at the ores, and this will shatter them into pieces. Even if you’re able to get something out of it, they will ores with low quality. You have to put your back into every swing, aiming at the base of the ore.” Alaunar demonstrated a swing with his staff as he stood beside Ye Ci, “With this, you’ll be able to conserve your strength and get some good quality ores.”
Ye Ci assumed the same posture as Alaunar, and resumed mining for ores just low how she was taught by Alaunar. The result was within expectations. Even when her progress seemed to have slowed, she was able to obtain more ores at higher quality.
The mining was completed within half an hour, and Ye Ci was able to obtain nearly a hundred pieces of Magical Crystals that were very high in quality.
Despite Ye Ci’s desire to continue her exploration, the sky had begun to darken and time was not on her side. She led Alaunar to the entrance of the cave, and the boy immediately unequipped his Shaman equipment and stored them into his inventory.
“This is your reward for the day.” said Ye Ci as she handed 3 pieces of Ancient Azure Ores to Alaunar.
Alaunar was shocked. He shook his head in protest, “But I’ve already received a lot of rewards from you…” he had indeed received a lot of equipment and skill books from Ye Ci which were deemed very valuable by the tribe. It was a boon that Alaunar himself did not expect. The 3 Ancient Azure Ores that he received from Ye Ci was more than he could have dreamnt of, and this filled his heart with guilt.
“Just take it.” Ye Ci did not wish to waste her energy on such trivial matters. She knew that the equipment and skill books that she gave to Alaunar would not fetch a good price in the outside world, but were able to increase the loyalty of Alaunar when given to the boy. These items meant nothing to her, “Can those things fill your belly with a warm meal? Don’t you have a mother at home to take care of?”
Ye Ci was so sensible that Alaunar found himself unable to refute her words, but his heart was still full of unease, “B-but that’s just too much. My salary is 50 Ancient Crimson Ores per month, if you give me that…”
F*ck! Nuoba you bastard! The fees you charged me per day is the monthly salary of Alaunar! Aren’t you earning a little too much out of this? Ye Ci’s inner anger was not reflected by her appearance. Whatever, these ores are useless when I get out of here anyways.
Ignoring Alaunar’s protest, Ye Ci shoved the 3 Ancient Azure Ores into his hand. The duo then ascended the volcano.
Nuoba was already waiting for them at the village entrance. He stole a glance at Alaunar who was cowering behind Ye Ci and smiled, “How’s your day, Elf?”
Ye Ci tossed two pieces of Ancient Azure Ore at Nuoba, “I’m going to be hiring him for 3 more days.”
This caused much confusion to Nuoba, and he stole a glance at Alaunar. The boy is still annoying as ever, and very weak. Just what does the Elf see in him? Ye Ci’s action was incomprehensible to Nuoba. After all, NPCs like him were not as intelligent as Dalufar.
“Did he cause trouble for you?” asked Nuoba with confusion clear on his face as he stuffed the Ancient Azure Ores into his pocket.
“Nope, he was quick on his feet and a good guide.” Ye Ci narrowed her eyes as the ghost of a smile appeared on her lips.
“You seem to have earned quite a good profit today, Elf,” said an elderly voice. Ye Ci shifted her gaze, and saw Dalufar making his way towards her. The Doluo tribesman, including Nuoba and Alaunar immediately bowed at their chieftain.
Ye Ci bowed at Dalufar as well and replied with a smile, “Yes, Mr.Dalufar. I’m certain that I’ll be able to afford that harp very soon.”
The smile did not leave Dalufar’s face as he shifted his gaze from Ye Ci to Alaunar, then to Ye Ci again. The then gave Ye Ci a meaningful look as he spoke, “It seems that you’ve found a treasure that you like as well.”
Ye Ci’s eyes narrowed. Why does it feel like the old man knows that I’m interested in Alaunar? Despite the lack of obvious hints, but Ye Ci’s told her that it was the beginning of a Hidden Quest. Dalufar is trying to figure out what my attitude is towards Alaunar. If I want to take him with me, I’ll definitely need his permission to do so. But will he allow me to do that? What do I have to do to make it happen?
A Hidden Quest of such nature did not allow the player the luxury of taking their own sweet time to think. After all, players might incur the anger of NPCs if they did not respond to a question quickly. Ye Ci was quick to make her choice of words after a brief moment of pause, “A treasure will always be a treasure. Even if it was hidden beneath layers of dust, even if I did not come across the treasure today, I’m sure it will eventually shine bright like it was meant to be.” said Ye Ci with a smile as she caressed Alaunar’s head.
Dalufar was apparently satisfied with Ye Ci’s answer. He nodded at Ye Ci and spoke to Alaunar, “If it is possible, Alaunar, are you willing to accept this Elf as a guest in your house?”
“Are you sure about that, Lord Dalufar? I’m afraid that my house is not a place fit for such an esteemed guest.” Alaunar was shocked to see the smile on Dalufar’s face.
“Of course. Think of it as a mission I have for you.” Dalufar nodded. Despite Ye Ci’s impression that the old NPC was a powerful and intelligent individual that was a force to be trifled with, Dalufar was unusually kind towards his tribesman, “I’ve sent some guards to deliver the necessary materials needed to host our guest to your mother. Go, be on your way now.”
Alaunar nodded and spoke to Ye Ci, “My house is at the northeastern corner of the village, Elf. I’ll head back first to set things up. I’ll be back for you once I’m done.”
Ye Ci nodded as Alaunar sprinted away with glee.
Dalufar was still staring at Ye Ci. “Your calm appearance cannot hide the desire in your heard.” he observed silently.
It took a short moment for Ye Ci to recover from the shock when she heard the NPCs words, “I have nothing to hide from you, dear Mr.Dalufar.”
“Your eyes remind me of my brother.” Dalufar did not immediately respond to Ye Ci’s words. He stared at Ye Ci for a long moment before finally speaking up, “His eyes were always filled with a strong sense of longing and desire as well.” and he let out a sigh, “I hope that you can get what you want.”
Ye Ci bowed deeply at Dalufar as he left. As she stood up straight, she could hear the hushed voices of Nuoba’s men with her superior hearing.
“Lord Dalufar is making up excuses to look out for Alaunar’s family again! It annoys me!”
“I know right! That boy is useless, but he’s receiving extra care from Lord Dalufar just because his mother is a widow!”
“Why do we have someone so weak but yet so shameless in our tribe?”
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