Chapter 352 Andriel’s Grave
“I thought we Elves are doomed. It seems that I’ve been too pessimistic.” Tamra tugged lightly at the corner of his robes. His skin was so pale that it was almost transparent. It was a sign that an Elf was very old, or was in very poor health.
But Tamra’s expression was not of someone who was frail and weak. The Elf then tidied up his hair with his hand, “Seems that it has not come to past.”
“What has not come to pass?” Ye Ci was confused.
The intensity of Tamra’s gaze disperse as he stared at Ye Ci, “The world did not end because of the demise of a single individual.” he smiled, “Even if that person is Dau’er.”
“The Elven King Dau’er?” It was the first time Ye Ci had heard the name spoken in such a way by an NPC. She had a feeling that Tamra was different from the other NPCs.
“Yes. He’s the mightiest hero and the greatest king in Elven history. He was the first Elf who succeeded in uniting our different tribes under one banner. Our people grew stronger than ever under his rule. No other race dared look down on us. We were great people.” Tamra spoke as if he was merely discussing something that was insignificant.
Even his voice was calm.
Ye Ci remained silent, as Tamra had been staring at the pitch-black cave wall as he spoke, as if he was seeing things from far far away, “I thought that our race is doomed after Dau’er’s death. But it seems that we shall be great once again even without Dau’er. But will he be sad if he knew that his death would not bring that much of an impact on the history of our race?” a sorrowful smile appeared on the old Elf’s face.
And the cave returned to silence once more. Tamra did not speak, and did not even acknowledge Ye Ci’s presence. The NPC began humming a song instead.
This phenomenon was not uncommon in Fate. It was usually the prelude to a Hidden Quest. NPCs that were in charge of giving out such quests possess high levels of intelligence, and this was a mechanism that allowed players to think of a proper response. The success or failure of the player to unlock the next stages of the hidden quest depended on their answer.
And this was why the same quest might yield different results when it was completed by different players.
Ye Ci called out her “Quest” menu. Her intuition was correct, a Hidden Quest with the instruction “Talk to Tamra” had appeared.
Her conversation with Tamra was listed below the description of the quest. She read through the conversation, and began thinking up a response.
She closed the “Quest” menu after a short while and spoke to Tamra, “I’m but a normal Elf. I do not know how King Dau’er would feel, but if I’m the king himself, I will not be sad.”
“Oh? Why is that?” Tamra narrowed his eyes and rested his gaze on Ye Ci.
“It has always been the king’s wish for us Elves to grow stronger. He is not capable of affecting the course of an entire world in life or in death. He has done what he can when he was alive. And he did a very good job. How us Elves will fare in the days without him is no concern of his.” Ye Ci smiled at the old Elf.
“How do you know he will not be worried? Didn’t you say that that cannot tell what he is thinking?” Tamra’s gaze on Ye Ci grew sharper.
But Ye Ci was not afraid. She shrugged at the Elf, “Of course I can’t tell what he’s thinking.” and she let out a breath, “But I believe that the wisdom of a king is something that we cannot hope to match. And this is why I have confidence that things like this will not cause much concern to him.”
She then smiled at Tamra, “Esteemed elder, I am still young, and I still lack wisdom. My view of the world is simple. I might be wrong, but I hope that it did not offend you.”
Tamra did not immediately respond to Ye Ci’s words. He stared at her for a long time before lowering his head, “Simple is good. From simplicity comes strength.” he chuckled.
Ye Ci did not respond to that remark.
Tamra then raised his head and sighed at Ye Ci, “Young one, you are very smart. Tell me, are there many like you among our kin?”
Ye Ci bowed at Tamra, “Most esteemed elder, intelligence and wisdom are things that flow in the blood of all Elves. It’s not mine alone, but a gift from my race to me, it was also a gift that you have received as well.” she was subtle with her flattery.
Not many in this world were immune to flattery. And Tamra was no exception. He did not display his joy to Ye Ci, but his tensed expression had grown warmer, “You’ve read my diary?”
“Yes.” replied Ye Ci as she immediately handed the diary to Tamra.
Sorrow crept into Tamra’s expression as he brushed his fingers against the cover of his diary, as if he was reliving the moments in the past.
“I was arrogant but also had very low self esteem in my younger days.” he spoke up after a short moment of silence, “And I was selfish, pessimistic, and callous. I missed a lot of opportunities in my life, But… I have never once regretted my decision to save Andriel.”
Ye Ci furrowed her eyebrows, “Is Andriel the Elf who brought you the news of Dau’er’s demise?”
“Yes. I found him in the swamp and saved his life. But he died despite my care.” Tamra sighed, “I’ve not left this place for a long time, young one. And it has been a long while since I’ve visited his grave. Can you do it in my stead?”
Ye Ci’s quest of “Talk to Tamra” was replaced by a new quest: “Locate Andriel’s grave.”. The location of the fallen Elf’s grave was described in detail in the quest description. Ye Ci immediately accepted the courier quest.
Tamra offered no more information that was of value after Ye Ci accepted the quest. The Elf continued humming his song and would not engage Ye Ci in any form of conversation. It was apparent that the quest would only progress when Ye Ci located Andriel’s grave.
Ye Ci summoned Ol’ Six after leaving the cave. She jumped onto the Dragon’s back and flew towards the map indicated by the quest, the Swamp of Despair.
The Swamp of Despair was in the southwestern part of the Middle Continent. The map was not big, but its location was unique. It was the battlefield where the armies of the alliance clashed against Naga’s minions.
And it was a place where the fighting was the fiercest.
It had been hundreds of years since the battle in the distant past, but the land had been ravaged by the war. The swamp had been a lush green plain with clear spring water, but it was forever transformed into a swamp due to Naga’s magical energy. The warriors who fought and died in the war still roamed the swamp as Ghouls and Phantoms.
This was how the map was given the name Swamp of Despair.
The Swamp of Despair was a high level map with monsters at the level of lvl160. It was the perfect spot for mages to level up in the later stages of the game. Players could find monsters lurking near any body of water, and a simple bait would attract the attention of countless enemies to the players.
Due to the extremely high spawn rate of the monsters, the Swamp of Despair was a place avoided by solo players. Those who had the misfortune of venturing near the bodies of water would find themselves in peril almost immediately.
Ye Ci hovered in the sky when she arrived at the Swamp of Sorrow and began studying her surroundings.
Unlike the monsters found in other maps, the monsters in the Swamp of Despair would remain docile unless they were triggered.
The howling wind in the Swamp of Despair and the corpses of the dead warriors on the bodies of water scattered around the swamp were an unpleasant sight. These corpses were not entirely harmless to the living, as they had been corrupted by Naga’s powerful magic.
The corpses would open their eyes and stare at players who walked past the water. They would then cast “Charm” on the players. Any player afflicted by Charm would approach the water,and would be dragged down by the corpses.
But there were also ways to counter this effect. If players were a distance away from the corpses, they would not be able to grab hold of the players before the effects of Charm wore off. A smug smile appeared on Ye Ci’s face as she looked down at the corpses that were trying to grab hold of her.
She directed Ol’ Six to launch a Dragon Breath attack on the corpses, but gave up when the Dragon’s attack resulted in nothing but misses.
No matter how formidable a life form Ol’ Six was, its attack was still limited by the level penalty of the monsters. Ye Ci’s hopes of leveling up in the Swamp of Despair was instantly crushed.
And with a sigh, she set out to locate Andriel’s grave.
According to the hints in her quest description, Andriel’s grave was located at the border separating the Swamp of Despair and the Scorched Plains. The plains was one of the places Tamra had set foot in his travels according to his diary.
It was one of the closest maps to the ancient battlefield between Naga’s minions and the armies of the alliance of races, but due to the natural barriers protecting the map, it became the sanctuary for refugees of the war. Despite being a high leveled map, the population of monsters in the Scorched Plains was very low.
While their numbers were few, aerial monsters with levels far surpassing Ol’ Six’s roamed the skies of these two maps. Ye Ci was forced to proceed with extreme caution out of fear for these monsters. She did not want to be killed and arrested in Hero City when she respawned.
And due to her experiences in her last life, Ye Ci was able to avoid the monsters and was quick to locate Andriel’s grave. She jumped down from Ol’ Six, dismissed her pet, and immediately entered stealth. She then approached the grave once she was certain that her surroundings was safe.
It was a very simple grave with its marker made from rocks and tree branches. Half the grave had collapsed due to its exposure to the elements, and Ye Ci could even see the scattered remains of corpses around the grave. It was a very sorrowful sight.
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