Chapter 239 Belief (Part 2)
It was a habit of Absalom and his wife to go offline and head to bed at 12am. But with Absalom busy with locating the Mithril ore vein, and Sour Apple occupied with consoling White Fairytale, the couple remained online way past their bedtime.
Despite Sour Apple’s efforts, White Fairytale remained silent.
Sour Apple was tired. She no longer wanted to waste her time on White Fairytale, who ignored her as she blabbered on for hours. Nobody could bear with such an attitude. If her heart was not filled with guilt, White Fairytale would have bursted in anger. She regretted her conversation with Absalom earlier on as she stared out at the sea. I should’ve listened to Absalom. It’s stupid of me to try and play matchmaker. I’ve ended up placing myself in an awkward position.
White Fairytale finally spoke up after a long moment of silence, as if she was a phantom that suddenly appeared before Sour Apple.
“Apple, do you know why I love this map?”
“Because it’s beautiful?” replied Sour Apple with a bored tone. In her tired and sleepy state, she no longer had the patience for White Fairytale.
“Nope.” replied White Fairytale with a smile.
“Why do you like this map then?”
“Do you remember that time we all filled in our alumni during our highschool days?”
“Yup, yup.” answered Sour Apple. It was a distant memory for her. The only thing she remembered during her high school days was when Absalom gave her a kissed in public.
“Do you know what he wrote in his alumni about his favourite place?”
“Who is he?” Sour Apple let out a yawn. She was sleepy and her thoughts were sluggish, “You mean Fleeting Time?”
“Yes! His alumni said that he loved beaches with white sand.”
“This is why you love this map so much?” Sour Apple was shocked.
“Yup.” White Fairytale smiled sweetly at Sour Apple.
Sour Apple immediately rested her hand against White Fairytale’s forehead to make sure that her friend was not having a fever.
“Fairytale, he wrote that a long time ago! He was still a wimpy kid back then! Do you think that the things he wrote back then still counts?” Sour Apple’s shrieked at White Fairytale. She could feel her sanity falling apart.
“Of course.” White Fairytale remained calm despite Sour Apple’s question, “As long as he was the one who said it.”
“That’s not the point! People change! You can’t just take the words of a 16 year old kid as some sort of holy edict! You’re saying that Fleeting Time loves beaches? Funny, I can remember Absalom telling me that Fleeting Time likes lofty mountains and flowing waters! Your way is thinking is just not right!” Sour Apple could not comprehend the words of her friend. She had even begun to suspect that there was something wrong with White Fairytale. A normal person would never be so obsessed with something a little kid said more than ten years ago!
White Fairytale shook her head, and a serious expression formed on her face. She looked at Sour Apple and spoke with a firm voice, “People do change, but the innocence they have will not. Even if he likes the mountains and the rivers now, and the desert in the future, I believe that deep down, Fleeting Time loved the beach. As long as I wait… As long as I don’t give up on him… He’ll definitely see the good within me.”
“You…” Sour Apple pointed at White Fairytale. She was lost for words. She then tugged at White Fairytale’s hand and headed to the teleportation crystal that would bring them back to the guild encampment, “That’s enough for today. You need some rest. Everything will be better after a good night’s sleep.”
“Apple, I know what you’re thinking, but this is how I feel. Even if you put me to sleep for 10 years, I’ll still think the same way when I wake up.” White Fairytale allowed her friend to drag her along without much of a stuggle.
“You’re crazy! You must be.” Sour Apple shook her head. If White Fairytale is not the one who’s being crazy right now, then I must be the one losing my mind! This is scary!
“Apple, you must believe in me! Believe in my when I say that Fleeting Time will return to me in the end.” said White Fairytale with a smile.
Sour Apple stopped dead in her tracks. There was a volcano in her heart that was ready to erupt. Her last shred of rationality was rapidly burned away by the anger that was surging forward like a torrent of lava.
“Apple, please help me, just like you’ve always been. Give me the chance to get along with him. I know that I’m making things difficult for you, and that Absalom will never agree to it, but don’t you know what I’m thinking after so many years? Isn’t it great if I can end up as a couple with Fleeting Time just like you and Absalom? Our love will be able to last as long as our friendship…” said White Fairytale as she walked up to Sour Apple and caressed her face. She was so soft and gentle with her demure voice and the smile on her face.
Sour Apple did not agree with her friend like how she always would, “Stop it, Fairytale.” she sighed as she looked away.
“What’s wrong? I’ve always been well. We all have our own goals, and being together Fleeting Time is mine.”
“Fairytale, stop it!” shouted Sour Apple. She slapped White Fairytale’s hand away and took two steps back. Her anger had finally erupted, devouring all her rationality. “I did not help you for all these years because I think that you two are suitable for each other! I helped because I don’t want you to be sad! As a bystander, and I can tell that Fleeting Time does not look at you the same way you’re looking at him! Why have I always been helping you? Because I can’t stand to refuse you pleas for help after all the sad stories you’ve told me! Wake up! Do you really think that you can win him over like this? You wouldn’t even have to waste so many years if that’s the case!”
“Apple, you just don’t understand men. Fleeting Time is like a child. He’s having fun out there right now, but he’ll eventually grow tired of it one day. When that day comes, he’ll return to me.” White Fairytale shook her head.
“You’re telling me that you’re willing to be his fallback girl? And that you’ll wait for him your entire life?” Sour Apple was shocked deeply by her words.
“As long as he’s willing, why not?”
“White Fairytale can you not sink so low? Please do not throw away your dignity as a woman! How could you say something like that? What happened to all the education you had?” Sour Apple’s eyes were two fiery orbs that were red with anger. She gripped down on White Fairtytale’s shoulders and shook her hard, “Wake up! Even if you’re willing, you have to know that he’s a bastard who doesn’t need something like that!”
“You’re talking nonsense!”
“I’m not! We’ve all known each other for years, and I can tell that Fleeting Time is selfish! He’s a selfish bastard who does not care about somebody else! He doesn’t care about your feelings! They mean nothing to him!”
“Stop it!” White Fairytale screamed at the top of her lungs, “He knows what I did for him! He just haven’t made up his mind yet!”
“His mind was made the moment you confessed to him! He made his mind when he first rejected you! You’re not the one he wants! You don’t have to keep on waiting for you!”
“You’re lying!” White Fairytale screamed once again as her vision blurred.
Sour Apple’s heart ache as she stared at her friend. The most cruel thing to do in this world was to build up hope for a person, and destroy that hope in front him or her. Sour Apple did just that. She was overwhelmed by guilt. I’m such an asshole! I kept her hopes up, but now I’m destroying it myself. Why am I doing this? Have I lost my mind?
Just when White Fairytale began to weep, a private message notification rang out in her ears. She might not pay it any heed if the it was just a normal notification. This call, however, was different.
Players in Fate had the option of customizing specialized ringtones for each of their friends, just like how people would assign a ringtone to a specific number in real life. Of course, such ringtone could only be assigned to a friend. Fleeting Time was the first person who was added into White Fairytale’s friend list when she strated playing the game. Fleeting Time, however, did not return the gesture. While Fleeting Time was displayed as a friend in the friend list of White Fairytale, her name did not even exist his friend list.
Despite knowing such a fact, White Fairytale assigned a special ringtone to Fleeting Time so that she would be able to immediately be notified when Fleeting Time attempted to contact her.
Unfortunately for White Fairytale, Fleeting Time had never made any attempts at contacting her from the first day of Fate, just like how his name would never light up the screen of her cellphone.
On this day, the special ringtone that White Fairytale did not expect to hear was ringing out in her ears. The flow of her tears immediately stopped as she listened intently to the ringtone. Is it him? Is it really him? She opened her private message channel and saw the name that had always haunted her dreams. She could not believe her eyes, but the pain she felt when she pinched herself told her that it was real.
She fumbled with the console to connect to the voice call.
“Are you there?”
“Yes, I am. I’m always here.” White Fairytale answered with clear desperation in her voice, as if Fleeting Time would disappear if she was slow with her reply.
Fleeting Time furrowed his eyebrows when he heard the desperation in White Fairytale’s voice. He had even begun to regret his decision. I shouldn’t have contacted her! The urgency in her reply and the desperation he could hear in her voice gave him a feeling that he would be eaten alive by that woman. However, when Fleeting Time laid his eyes on Gongzi You who was standing not far away, he forced himself to carry on with the conversation.
“Is your friend who learnt Goblin Engineering online?”
“Yes, he is!” White Fairytale was overjoyed. This is the first time Fleeting Time took the initiative to talk to her.
“Can you please ask him where is the power core usually installed in a Goblin Robot?” Fleeting Time went straight to the point with the intention of ending the conversation as soon as possible.
“Alright, wait up, I’ll get to it.” White Fairytale immediately contacted her friend with such haste that one might think that she was doing the most important thing to her in this world. She was, however, reluctant to immediately pass the answer on to Fleeting Time. She knew that he would immediately end the call once he received the answer, “Fleeting Time, he told me that there are different types of robots, with varying design. Why don’t you take that robot over and I’ll take you to my friend.”
“Forget about it, I’ll ask someone else.” Fleeting Time pursed his lips. He saw through White Fairytale like an open book. Even if I can’t find the answer, I’ll just ask around in the World Channel. I’m sure that many of the players would be very willing to provide me with an answer.
“No, wait. Let me ask my friend again…” said White Fairytale, fearing that Fleeting Time would immediately end the call.
“So where do I place the core?” asked Fleeting Time after a slight pause.
“Why are you asking about this? I-is it for a quest? Are you in a dungeon?” asked White Fairytale with a voice full of concern, “Do you need me to heal…”
Fleeting Time ended the call before she could finish her sentence. White Fairytale was taken aback by his gesture, and tears started to flow down her cheeks. Just then, a message by Fleeting Time appeared in the World Channel.
[Fleeting Time]: Are there any Engineers who have learnt Goblin Engineering online? Can you tell me where the power core is placed in a Goblin Robot? I’ll give you 10,000 gold coins if you can answer my question.”
“Wow! Am I dreaming? I just saw Fleeting Time in the World Channel!”
“Fleeting Time is so rich! 10,000 gold coins for an answer? My God…”
“Noooo!!! Why have I not learnt Goblin Engineering? That’s 10,000 gold coins!”
Fleeting Time’s message would always cause an uproar among the Western Continent players. Many of the Engineer players among them squealed in delight when the saw the reward offered by Fleeting Time.
“I have the answer, let me slide you a DM.”
“I have the answer as well!”
“There’s a hidden notch at the middle of the robots throat. You can then open the casing with that notch and place the energy core into the slot within.”
Fleeting Time walked up to the robot when he received the answer, and found the well-hidden notch at the back of its neck. “Hand me the energy core.” Fleeting Time extended a hand towards Gongzi You.
Ye Ci immediately handed Fleeting Time the energy core, which was then placed into the slot. Life immediately returned to the inanimate machine and it began to stand up with shaky legs. Despite its rusting body, the machine was able to walk with firm steps.
The machine, which was significantly taller than Fleeting Time, was surprisingly agile. Even with the screeching of rusted metal with each of its movement, the machine was still an awe-inspiring presence. Ye Ci discovered that the robot was renamed to “Captured Goblin Robot”, and that its HP and damage values was 20% lower than the robots that they encountered earlier on. There was also a small timer that was displayed alongside the name of the machine, indicating that the energy core would last for 3 hours.
“Ah, it seems that we have to kill more Goblins for more energy cores.” observed Fleeting Time.
“Yup, but it seems that the Goblin population in the Goblin Palace is somewhat scarce.”
Fleeting Time then sent a friend request to the player who gave him the answer and told him that someone would deliver the promised 10,000 gold coins by the next day. The player was excited by the fact that he was able to earn 10,000 gold coins just by answering a very simple question.
Absalom then received a message from Fleeting Time, who instructed him to hand a certain amount of money to a certain player. Despite his grumblings, Absalom was forced to comply with the request. After all, the presence of Gongzi You in the Western Continent was not known to many. With Fleeting Time occupied with keeping and eye out on Gongzi You, he was forced to run errands for the man.
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