Chapter 263 Soul Restoration (Part 2)

Chapter 263 Soul Restoration (Part 2)

 

The Master Key was a very strange item.

 

The chests in Fate were locked, and none of the locks shared similar designs. Despite such a fact, the Master Key was able to fit into any and all keyholes. Ye Ci’s heart was filled with worries as her hand hovered just inches away from the keyhole with the Master Key. She was shocked was the key fit right into the hole, as if it was tailored just to open that particular chest. 

 

A system notification immediately appeared: Opening chest, 3%... 7%... 39%... 

 

A high level chest would naturally take a longer time to unlock, and this rule applies to Rogues and any players with a key. Ye Ci was able to unlock the chest in peace due to the absence of monsters in her surroundings. 

 

Players love treasure chests, no matter the game they might be playing. A treasure chest signifies the promise of loot, and the rush of adrenaline from the tense moment as the chest was opened. Everyone was a gambler, the only difference between the players were the stakes. 

 

The padlock on the chest snapped open with a loud “Crack!” after 3 long minutes, and Ye Ci pulled her Master Key out. The key was immediately ruined, with its status turning grey. 

 

Ye Ci opened the treasure chest that was already filled with golden sand. She dipped her hands into the soft sand, and after a short while of groping around, found three items. She placed the items into her inventory, emptied the sand from the chest, and began fiddling the chest around in search of more possible loot until she was sure that it was truly empty. The chest that was emptied of its content vanished mere moments later. 

 

Ye Ci then began taking a closer look at the three items she pulled out from the chest. 

Two of the three items were equipment: An Unidentified necklace and an Unidentified armguard. Items dropped from a treasure chest in a map like this would definitely be high in quality. Ye Ci had no way of appraising the items, which meant that she would have to have it appraised later on. 

 

The last item was an incomplete book. The front half of the book was complete, but the rest were torn beyond recognition. A few golden words could be seen on the dark red leather cover of the book: Soul Restoration. 

 

Ye Ci was shocked. Soul Restoration! This was something very rare even in her past life. Running into this skillbook in a place like this was beyond her wildest expectations. 

 

She immediately inspected the stats of the book. 

 

Soul Restoration Fragment: Can be used to resurrect an NPC, but due to its incomplete state, the resurrected NPC will enter a 24-hours weakened state, and lose a random amount of Loyalty. Class: All. Level Requirement: 5. 

 

The skill book itself was incomplete, but the stats written on the book was still something that was shocking. Ye Ci could still remember the NPC and Mercenary system from her past life. Players would usually be accompanied by humanoid NPCs that could aid them in battle or craft essential consumables. Normal NPCs, however, did not possess high intelligence, which meant that they faced a high risk of losing their lives. Players treasured their NPC very much as humanoid NPCs were very hard to acquire. 

 

There were still moments when meticulous planning failed due to unforeseen misfortunes, resulting in the deaths of NPC companions. This was when Soul Restoration was introduced into the game, and it was a relief to the players of Fate. 

 

According to in-game legend, Soul Restoration was one of the few rare skills that were left behind by the gods in the continent. This made the skill extremely valuable, and was not available to all the players. A Soul Restoration skillbook cannot be obtained from NPCs, and could only be obtained through chance drop from quest rewards and treasure chests. Luck was indeed a deciding factor in such an encounter. But how many of the players could enjoy such luck? 

 

Soul Restoration could be used to revive dead NPCs without cooldown and barely and limitations. It would not even reduce the stats of a revived NPC. The skill could even be used to revive NPCs that did not belong to a player. This was why the skill was considered to be an overpowered existence in the game. 

 

And because of this overpowered stats, the first player that acquired Soul Restoration was able to gain a small fortune just by reviving dead NPCs. 

 

Ye Ci’s copy of the skillbook was a mere fragment which was restrained by a lot of limitations, but she was still overjoyed. She was worried that Alaunar might die. The 24 hours weakened state and the slight loss of a random amount of Loyalty and Intimacy was a lesser evil than permanent death. 

 

And without the slightest hesitation, Ye Ci immediately learned the skill. 

 

This was the best loot she was able to get her hands on since her arrival in this place. 

 

The duo’s previous battle had left Alaunar severely exhausted. He sat on the ground and began munching on a piece of roasted meat. Despite retaining most of her Stamina, Ye Ci was still afflicted by hunger after their long journey, and Ol’ Four himself was staring at the food in Alaunar’s hand. Ye Ci had no other choice but to set up a campfire and began preparing a meal. Before long, the sizzling of roasted meat could be heard, and the air was filled with a wonderful aroma. 

 

Even Alaunar began staring openly at the greasy roasted meat. Apparently the appeal of a freshly cooked meal was greater than one that has already begun to cool. 

 

“Just a little longer,” Ye Ci chuckled at Alaunar, “The meat is not cooked yet.” 

 

An embarrassed Alaunar scratched his head, and continued munching on his roasted meat. A sudden sudden thought flashed across the boy’s mind, and he tossed the piece of meat at Ol’ Four, which caught the meat with its mouth out of reflex. The beast then came to a sudden realisation and spit the meat out. It then glared at Alaunar and growled at the boy. Ol’ Four was feeling that it had been treated unfairly, and if Ye Ci was not around, the beast would have pounced on the boy to put him in his place. 

 

The “interaction” between Ol’ Four and Alaunar was wholly ignored by Ye Ci, and Ol’ Four, feeling that it was wronged, nudged at Ye Ci with its head. Alaunar did not waste a second in mocking the beast for its tantrum, “You can drop the act. Look at how big you are, it’s disgusting.” 

 

Ol’ Four immediately bared its fangs at Alaunar, and the boy did not stop with his provocations. To Ye Ci, it was a friendly banter between children. She smiled at the pair as she continued roasting the meat. Just then, Ye Ci sensed movement near her. Her assailant’s movements were so quick and silent that she was completely caught off guard. Ye Ci’s reflex immediately kicked in as she drew her short sword with a flick of her wrist and pressed it against the neck of her assailant. 

 

“Ahhh! Don’t hurt me!” a voice rang out. 

 

The timing of that voice was so abrupt that Ye Ci was shocked into sheathed her sword. She stared at the silhouette that had approached her, and found a scrawny man staring right back at her. The man was looking at Ye Ci as if she was a monster, and not an Elf who was known for the race’s kindness. 

 

Ye Ci studied the man closely, but was unable to tell his age. His skin was dark, and his body was very thin. It was as if the man’s skin was hanging loosely from his bones. The man was literally a pile of moving skins and bones with a few shreds of cloth hanging from his body. He stood on bare legs as he extended a crooked arm towards Ye Ci. 

 

“Who are you!” Ye Ci’s voice was calm, but her expression suggested otherwise. She could not let her guard down against an NPC who was able to sneak up on her undetected, especially in such a weakened state! 

 

“I’m just a merchant. Please, I need some water.” the man gasped. It was apparent that he was not far from death. 

 

Alaunar was already on his feet as he stared at the man. Even when he was still a normal NPC, the boy was more aware of his surroundings after his time spent with Ye Ci. Ol’ Four was on alert as well. The beast glared at the man standing in front of Ye Ci as if he was the most dangerous life form it had ever encountered. It was ready to pounce on the man and tear him apart. 

 

“A merchant?” Ye Ci narrowed her eyes, “Caravans run through this palce?” 

“Yes yes.” the man nodded as he replied with a hoarse voice, and he started coughing violently. It was apparent that he would die if he received no water.

 

Ye Ci placed a pouch filled with water in front of the man after a brief moment of thought, “The water is yours if you tell me what I want, or….” Ye Ci tapped her sword against the pouch, “You won’t be getting any of it.” 

“Alright, alright!” the man’s eyes widened the moment he saw the pouch. It was as if the largest diamond in the world was right before his eyes. He let out a shriek of despair when Ye Ci inched her sword closer to the pouch, “No! Please! I’ll tell you anything you want to know! Just give me water!” 

 

The man’s reaction was natural. And Ye Ci tossed the pouch to the man once she was certain that it was not an act. She cast Detection on the man, and found that he was an NPC called Mark. NPCs such as Mark were not gifted with high intelligence, which meant that his reactions were genuine. This was why Ye Ci lowered her guard. 

 

Mark immediately gulped down the content of the pouch. 

 

Alaunar approached Ye Ci silently and asked in a hushed voice, “Is that man dangerous, Elf?” 

 

Ye Ci shook her head, indicating to the boy that she was unsure as well. Her instincts were telling her that this encounter was linked directly to events that might happen in the map, and her only source of intelligence was the NPC. She had a feeling that Mark was not the only NPC in the map. Many NPCs just like Mark were scattered across the map, waiting to be approached by players. 

 

“Here you go.” Ye Ci handed Mark a small piece of meat. 

 

Mark’s was overjoyed, but he hesitated to reach out for the meat. 

 

“Eat up, drinking the water alone will do you no good. You need some food as well.” said Ye Ci with a friendlier tone. 

 

“Thank you! Thank you!” Mark immediately snatched the piece of meat from Ye Ci’s hand and shoved it into his mouth. 

 

This earned  Mark a low growl from Ol’ Four, and he immediately jumped back at the sound. Ye Ci patted her pet, and gave out pieces of roasted meat to Alaunar and Ol’ Four. Despite Ol’ Four’s resentment towards Mark for taking a share of the meat, the beast quieted down once it received the huge chunk of meat. 

 

Mark was revitalised after receiving food and drinks for Ye Ci. “Thank you for helping me out.” he immediately expressed his gratitude to Ye Ci.

 

“You don’t have to thank me. By the way, where are you from? And where are you headed?” judging from Mark’s physical appearance, Ye Ci was certain that the NPC was not capable of running away from  her. This was why she shifted her attention elsewhere to calm the NPC down, which might work well to loosen his lips. 

 

“I’m a merchant from the Majia Continent on my way to Jade island.” Mark sighed, “I was hoping that I can bring some rare goods with me back to the Majia Continent.” 

 

“Jade Island?” Ye Ci furrowed her eyebrows. She was surprised. Jade Island was something that was recorded in the history books of the Jiama Continent, and was also promoted by the developers of Fate in Ye Ci’s last life. However, none of the players were able to gain entry to the island, making it one of the greatest mysteries of Fate at that time. 

 

“Yes, Jade Island.” Mark did not appear to be interested in explaining the details of Jade Island to Ye Ci. The NPC sat on the ground with a pained expression. It was apparent that he was in a state of exhaustion and sorrow.

 

“Is this your first time going through this route?” asked Ye Ci as she studied Mark’s form. 

 

“N-no. I’ve used this route frequently, but this is the first time something so terrible has happened to me!” terror immediately appeared on Mark’s face, a telltale sign that he had witnessed an unspeakable horror. 

 

Whatever happened to Mark will happen to me if I continue forward. Thought Ye Ci to herself as she stared at the NPC. “What did you see beyond the rolling sands?” 

 

Mark cupped his face with his scrawny hands and began weeping. Even Ye Ci was at a loss when she saw the NPC’s sorrowful expression.  

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Jimminx's Thoughts

We're back posting! And this will continue because Malaysia's on lockdown. 

Stay safe my fellow Malaysians, and stay at home. The compliance rate of the Restricted Movement Order is at 60%-70%, which is really disappointing. An extension of the lockdown is not good for everyone, okay?Don't be stubborn, don't move around if unnecessary, and... Just... Just stay at home okay? We can do this, people! It's just a mere 2 weeks! 

(Sorry if there's a lot of grammatical mistakes, I got rusty)