Chapter 235 Exploring Vo’sok (Part 1)
“There’s a Machine Trap 27 degrees to your left with the radius of 7 yards, go around it.” Fleeting Time advanced carefully while relaying vital information to Ye Ci, who was following after him.
With Fleeting Time’s instructions, Ye Ci was able to avoid the trap.
“There’s another one 15 degrees to your left with a 10 yards radius. There’s also a trap with a 10 yards radius 17 degrees to your right. You can avoid those traps by going between them, but you have to be careful, the soil is loose and you risk triggering the trap.” Fleeting Time was able to analyse the situation clearly and relayed it to Ye Ci as he scouted ahead.
Even if Fleeting Time was a Western Continent player, Ye Ci had no choice but to trust the man unconditionally due to their circumstances. It was not an easy task, but after spending four hours with Fleeting Time, Ye Ci realised that it was not hard to work with the man. He was a nuisance to her most of the time, but he was a trustworthy teammate in exploring a dungeon.
“There’s a mechanical dog in front of us. Let’s wait until it passes.” the duo encountered a mechanical dog right when they entered Vo’sok after traversing through roads that were filled with traps.
After untold years of wear and tear, the dog’s metal body was covered with rust, and every movement made by the mechanical dog was accompanied by the shrill sound of grinding metal parts. However, the red glow in the dog’s eyes was a sign that it still retained its function.
Goblin Engineering was superior to the Engineering techniques that could be learned by players. It was rare for players to be able to produce machines that could simulate living animals. Of course, creating machines such as mechanical dogs and machines in humanoid form was impossible for players. Despite its appearance, the mechanical dog was as nimble as a regular hound. It roamed the streets in an irregular pattern, occasionally sniffing the scent in the air. Ye Ci might have mistaken the mechanical dog for a real dog if not for the metallic noises being released as a result of lack of maintenance.
The name of the dog was not red in color, but yellow instead. This meant that the mechanical dog was neutral, and would not attack Ye Ci and Fleeting Time unless it was attacked first.
However, humans would always overlook tiny details due to what they perceive as common sense, and therefore met with unexpected failures. When Ye Ci and Fleeting Time walked past the mechanical dog, thinking that it was a mere neutral monster, the dog pounced on the duo.
The dog’s attack posed not much of the threat to Ye Ci and Fleeting Time, but it's sharp and loud bark attracted the attention of the Goblins and other mechanical dogs that were in the vicinity.
“Goddamnit! So these dogs are the trigger for those neutral monsters!” Ye Ci gritted her teeth. The mechanical dog was able to get within 8 yards of the duo with its high speed, which meant that Ye Ci and Fleeting Time were unable to engage their foes with ranged attacks. They were forced to summon their pets in an attempt to defeat the mechanical dog.
When the mechanical dog had only 10% of its HP left, Ye Ci backed away and dashed at the direction of the incoming enemies, planting Frost and Icy traps in their path. Fleeting Time was able to take out the mechanical dog with the help of Ol’ Four and Little Five by the time Ye Ci was done setting up the traps. The advancing Goblins and mechanical dogs were frozen solid when they stepped on Ye Ci’s traps.
Fleeting Time was already on the move before his foes were even frozen. He cast Hunter’s Mark on one of the enemies, marking it as the target of the duo. As Ye Ci attracted the aggro of the marked Goblin, Fleeting Time charged ahead and placed his traps as well.
The duo shared a similar combat style even if they had never been part of the same party before.. They were able to cooperate well with each other before long, which improved their effectiveness in clearing the monsters. Only 8 of the 20 enemies remained. “Let’s just take them all out with Multi Arrows. There’s only 8 of them left, and they’re only Elite monsters. There shouldn’t be a problem.”
Ye Ci had the same thought as well. She directed Ol’ Four forward to attract the aggro of the monsters and cast Rain of Arrows on the enemies before firing Multi Arrows with Fleeting Time.
The Rain of Arrows, which was followed up by two Multi Arrows released by two high leveled Hunters were enough to defeat a huge number of Elite monsters. With their combined firepower and strong pets, Ye Ci and Fleeting Time were able to dispatch their opponents before they could even get within attack range.
The battle lasted for 3 minutes and 47 seconds, which resulted in complete annihilation of 22 lvl60 Elite monsters.
Fleeting Time sat on the ground to replenish his mana after the battle. Due to her Strength Conservation, Ye Ci had no need of replenishing her mana, but being in the Western Continent meant that her stamina drain was significantly higher. This was why she had to take frequent rests during her stay in the Western Continent. Ol’ Four walked up to Ye Ci, wacking its tail as it began pestering Ye Ci for food. When Ye Ci threw a piece of roasted meat at Ol’ Four, the beast snatched the meat from midair and stared at Little Five provocatively.
Little Five creaked as it flew in circles around Fleeting Time. It was apparent that the bat was enraged, and that it would definitely attack Ol’ Four if they were not part of the same party. Little Five could only complain his grievances to its master, hoping that its master would do it justice. Fleeting Time patted Little Five on its head and threw it a piece of roasted meat as well.
This was the first time Ye Ci had the opportunity to observe Fleeting Time’s pet at such a close distance. Little Five was a huge bat with dark red fur. With an eight yards long wingspan, a pair of gleaming eyes, and strang claws, the bat was something that should not be trifled with. However, at that moment, the bat was like a child that was throwing a tantrum.
“Your bat doesn’t seem like an ordinary bat.” observed Ye Ci. Even an Elite bat would not be as fearsome as Fleeting Time’s bat. It was very obvious that Little Five was an Epic-tier life form, “Is it an Epic-tier pet?”
“Yup. I ran into it in the Togo Canyon, and was almost killed by it.” said Fleeting Time as he cast a sideways glance at Ol’ Four, “Your T-rex is no ordinary T-rex as well. Is it an Epic-tier monster too?”
“Yup. I almost died as well in the process of capturing him.” Ye Ci nodded with a smile. There was a lot of things that two Hunters could talk about, including their combat strategy, skill combos, equipment, weapons, and pets.
“I can imagine that.” Fleeting Time could understand the hardship suffered by Ye Ci. It was not easy to acquire an Epic-tier pet, and every Hunter who had managed to acquire one would usually suffer a lot of hardships, “What’s the name of your pet.”
“Ol’ Four.” Ye Ci was no longer as guarded against Fleeting Time. She was even in a good mood, “How about yours?”
“Why such a name?” Ye Ci was curious.
“I’m the boss, so I should be number one, and ‘Little Two’ was just awful, and ‘Little Three’ is just too immoral, so the name of my pets started with ‘Little Four’, and ‘Little Five’ is my second pet, which is why he got the name.” Fleeting Time was very proud of his pet’s naming system, “How about you? Why did you name your pet ‘Ol’ Four’?”
Ye Ci pursed her lips. She was reluctant to answer the question. So someone who is as bad at naming as I am exists in this word.
“How many pets do you have?” Fleeting Time stared at Ye Ci with a smile on his face.
“Don’t tell me that.. Your first pet is called ‘Ol’ Three’?”
“How do you know?” Ye Ci was surprised. Is the name that easy to guess?
“Because you’re the boss, which places you as ‘one’, and Ol’ Two is a certain male organ, which meant that your only viable choice is to start with Ol’ Three, and this dinosaur right here is Ol’ Four.” Fleeting Time chuckled, “Little Gongzi, I’ve never expected you to use a similar naming system. You can say that it’s just like different tunes played with equal skill!”
“You mean we’re both bad at naming our pets…” Ye Ci mumbled. This guy is so shameless… How can he describe something as embarrassing like that into something dignified? I don’t think there’s somebody as shameless as he is.
After a moment’s of rest and making sure that Ol’ Four and Little Five were fed, the duo continued their exploration.
They no longer needed to go into stealth as they had already discovered the trigger to the neutral monsters. Vo’sok was once a beautiful city full of plants and life, but the only things remaining in the city were dead trees and wilted flowers. Even the river had dried up, and the bone remains of fishes that had once inhabited the river could be seen on the cracked riverbed. One could easily imagine the former glory of Vo’sok. Ye Ci and Fleeting Time were free to walk around the Goblins when there were no mechanical dogs around. The Goblins in the city were dull and sluggish. There was not even a sign of vigor in their eyes.
The duo advanced ahead carefully, constantly taking note of their surroundings. They would take out any mechanical dogs that appeared, before their barks could attract any monsters nearby. When the two finally stopped for a short rest, it was time for dinner.
“What? You’re not logging off to have dinner?” asked Fleeting Time when he noticed that Ye Ci showed no intention of logging out of the game.
“Nope.” Ye Ci shook her head, “This quest is too time sensitive. I’ve even connected nutrient packs to my gaming cabin. I won’t be logging off before I complete this quest unless something serious happens.” she stared at Fleeting Time, even if I’m not going to go offline for the sake of completing this quest, I can’t expect him to stay online with me, can I? My supplies were replenished anyways, “Why don’t you go have you meal? I promise I’ll remain in the dungeon.”
Fleeting Time was about to voice his mind, but decided against it. “Alright. I’ll go offline. Be careful and take note of your surroundings when you’re in the dungeon alone.”
“I will.” even if they were enemies, Ye Ci accepted Fleeting Time’s parting advice. After all, she would definitely suffer from a heavy penalty if she died in the dungeon. Even respawning would be a problem for her.
Fleeting Time logged out of the game after Ye Ci nodded her affirmation.
Ye Ci decided to head deeper into the city of Vo’sok after replenishing her Stamina. Despite the significant number of Goblin roaming aimlessly at the outskirts of the Vo’sok, Ye Ci did not encounter any Goblins within the city itself while walking around the streets with the Goblin Compass in hand. The city was filled with the stench of rotting plants and corrupted soil, but Ye Ci could still see the occasional wild flowers in secluded corners of the city.
This made the atmosphere of Vo’sok even more sorrowful to Ye Ci. Despite her lack of knowledge in the Ancient Goblin language, Ye Ci was able to discern the different shops in the city through the symbols drawn on their signs, which were used in every continents.
Since Vo’sok used to be a bustling city, these shops must be filled with goods.
With that thought in mind, Ye Ci walked into one of the shops. The shop was in a state of mess. Ye Ci could find no valuables after making her round through the shop. Most of the objects in the shop had already fallen into disrepair since the fall of Vo’sok. Despite the situation, Ye Ci refused to give up hope.
She was able to find some flawless gems in one of the shops, which were very valuable in the market. This shall be the payment for my hard work in the last few days. She continued her exploration after placing the gems into her inventory.
Right at that moment, the Goblin Compass announced in a sharp voice, “Danger ahead! Danger ahead, 45 degrees to the left!”
Ye Ci immediately dismissed Ol’ Four and entered stealth. She snuck into an abandoned house through an open window. She peeked at the direction indicated by the Goblin Compass. Her sights laid on a small alley, but there was no enemies in sight.
After a short minute of waiting in silence, Ye Ci could hear of footsteps approaching her position. The footsteps were muffled, but Ye Ci could tell that there was her enemies were travelling in a large group.
“Little Gongzi, where are you right now?” Ye Ci received a message from Fleeting Time just as she hid back into the house.
 Little two (小二) is literally "waiter" in mandarin, so... It doesn't really sound nice. Imagine people calling your pet "Waiter!!!" while "Little three" (小三) means homewrecker in mandarin. Like the third person in a relationship.
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