GOR Chapter 107: Thorned Flower Guild
When Roddy reached the bar, the purple-haired girl was still coldly drinking liquor by herself.
Before her was a row of cups, her eyes showing slight intoxication. Even though Roddy was in front of her, she remained indifferent.
Roddy placed one hand upon the bar counter and leaned over, trying his best to put on his most charming posture. “It is boring to drink alone. Let’s drink together.”
The purple-haired girl did not bother looking at him. She raised her cup and finished it in one gulp before slamming it down onto the table. After that, she licked the back of her hand.
Roddy noted that she had smeared some salt on the back of her hand.
That was the standard way of drinking tequila …
“Tequila? It is rare to see a girl drinking such hard liquor,” Roddy blurted out. “How about I buy you a drink?”
The purple-haired girl tilted her head to the side to look at Roddy. Roddy noticed that this girl had a pair of extremely blue eyes. However, her appearance highly resembled an Asian American.
“Buy me a drink?” The purple-haired girl sneered, showing disdain. “I do not like a sissy who drinks cocktails.”
Roddy became embarrassed and he quickly placed down the cocktail onto the table before speaking in a loud voice. “I drink hard liquor as well. Come, I will buy you a drink.”
At that, he snapped his fingers. The android bartender in floral Hawaiian shirt came over and Roddy used a hundred US dollars to buy 2 cups of tequila.
The girl smiled with pursed lips as she picked up one cup, gulping it down in one go. Roddy gritted his teeth, picked up a cup and gulped it all down in one go as well. Instantly, his face turned red.
“Finished drinking, now what?” The purple-haired girl revealed a pair of ridiculing eyes. “Are you just going to buy me one drink?”
“I will buy you as many drinks as you can take,” Roddy produced his wallet, pulling out a stack of US dollar bills and placing them on the table.
The liquor here was at least 3 times more expensive compared to the outside world. However, a rich kid like Roddy paid it no heed.
Soon, a bottle of tequila arrived on the surface of the bar counter.
The purple-haired girl sneered. She picked up the bottle and poured a cup for herself before looking at Roddy. Despite his low tolerance for alcohol, he too poured a cup for himself.
Next, the girl chose to say nothing. She slowly poured one cup after another without being hasty or slow.
Roddy noticed that the purple-haired girl’s brows were revealing traces of worry.
“Beautiful lady, for you to be drinking alone, did something sad happen?” Roddy was on the verge of puking. He put down his cup and quietly sat down.
The purple-haired girl raised an eyebrow and suddenly turned to look at Roddy. “Are you thinking of wooing me?”
“… err…” Roddy was stunned, as he did not expect the girl to be so frank. Nonetheless, as a rich kid, he had quite some experience in picking up girls. He deliberately asked. “What if I say yes?”
“Interesting,” The purple-haired girl sneered. “I do not like sissies.”
“I am not a sissy. This brother is a pure man,” Roddy instantly puffed out his chest.
“I do not like weak men,” The purple-haired girl smirked.
“I… how am I weak?” Roddy deliberately let out a smile. “This brother is very strong.”
He purposely emphasized the word ‘strong’.
The purple-haired girl smiled and she narrowed her eyes. “Oh? Then let’s try it out.”
After saying that, she suddenly cleared away the wine cups on the surface of the counter, creating an open space. Then, she placed her right arm onto the surface. “Let us test how strong you are.”
“Arm wrestle?” Roddy was stunned for a moment. Then, he smiled. “Are you joking?”
“If you don’t dare, take your wine and leave.”
“I dare! Why would I not dare!”
The inebriated Roddy instantly extended his hand outwards.
Unfortunately, he was forgetting about one critical issue.
This was not an ordinary bar.
This was Zero City!
Although Roddy had become an Irregularity, his body has not received adequate strengthening. Using the Beginner Strengthening Package , he was only barely able to strengthen his Physique somewhat.
In merely seconds…
Roddy’s entire being, together with the chair he sat on, fell flat onto the ground!
The girl smiled as she retracted her hand. While remaining seated on the high chair, she lowered her head to look at Roddy. “Are you done proving yourself?”
Roddy’s face flushed and he suddenly bounced up. “Once more!”
The young master Roddy’s face showed that he was struggling.
However, a hand pressed down on his shoulder.
Roddy turned his head to see Chen Xiaolian, Qiao Qiao ad Soo Soo standing behind him.
“Roddy, forget it,” Chen Xiaolian held himself back from laughing.
Truthfully, he had arrived early on, but remained standing behind to watch the spectacle.
“I…” Roddy’s face was red.
“Just by looking at her, you can tell that she is a veteran. There is no shame in losing to her,” Chen Xiaolian waved his hand.
The purple-haired girl has jumped down from her chair. Despite her slender figure, she was not tall, only about 1.6 metres in height. She was a petite type of girl with a well-proportioned body.
“Very well, I thank you for the wine. I have had my fill, and I feel happy now. See you, then.”
The purple-haired girl spoke to Roddy with a smile. Then, without looking at Chen Xiaolian and the others, she moved away.
“Wait, wait!” Roddy suddenly shouted out.
“What is it?” The purple-haired girl asked indifferently. “Do you want to compete one more time?”
“En…” Roddy seemed somewhat hesitant. “Can you tell me… your name?”
The purple-haired girl smiled. “Why?”
“There is no why. I just want to know; I want to remember you,” Roddy spoke in a serious tone.
The purple-haired girl stared at Roddy for a few seconds. “My name is Nicole (nī kě).”
“Nicole, Nicole…” Roddy quietly repeated the name several times. Seeing as the girl was moving away, he immediately shouted. “Remember! My name is…”
“Your name is Roddy,” Nicole suddenly turned around, laughing as she looked at Roddy. She revealed a peculiar smile. “18-years-old, you entered Zero City for the first time noon today. Your Entry Registration Number is L3755.”
Roddy, Chen Xiaolian and the others were dumbfounded!
“You, how did you know that?” Roddy was gaping.
“When you came in today, I was standing right by your side, cute little rookie.”
After saying that, Nicole turned around and left. This time, she did not look back.
Roddy stood there in a daze for several seconds before recovering!
“Holy shit! She is the Sentinel Mech’s pilot!” Roddy suddenly became excited. “I actually got to meet a mech pilot! Heavens! The pilot is actually such a lovely beauty!”
Roddy suddenly turned to face the distant Nicole’s figure and used all his might to shout.
“Nicole! I will definitely woo you! You are my Goddess!”
Chen Xiaolian grabbed onto Roddy’s neck and pulled him back!
“Are you crazy? Shouting crazily before such a huge crowd; you make me want to bury my head in the sand!” Qiao Qiao delivered a kick to Roddy’s calf. “Following beside you makes me too embarrassed!”
Chen Xiaolian tilted his eyes. “You even went so far as to swear? Since that female is a mech pilot, that means she is veteran member of Zero City. For a small rookie like you to set such an ambitious goal, you are bound for bitter times.”
“Hey, what do you know? This is my dream! As a gifted engineer, who is also a high-class mech enthusiast, finding a girl who is of the same type, piloting mechs to fight together and soar above the skies… an intimate and inseparable love. That is my ultimate goal!” Roddy’s eyes shone.
Chen Xiaolian looked at this fellow suffering from chuunibyou illness and sighed. He was very familiar with Roddy’s character. Now was not the time to give him advice, any words spoken would not reach him.
“That girl is a mech pilot from Zero City?” Lun Tai was also stunned. Then, he let out a bitter laugh. “Zero City’s official members are not to be provoked. To be qualified to become a member of Zero City’s official organization, a mech pilot no less…that girl must certainly be a remarkable elite in technological abilities. Zero City’s security personnel are filled with crouching tigers and hidden dragons. All of them are lead figures amongst Awakened ones.”
“All right, let us talk about your afternoon stroll. Did you all get any good items?” Chen Xiaolian changed the subject.
Roddy became excited again. “Holy shit! That Military Arms Department is too amazing! You should have gone to take a good look! There are many types of mechs in the exhibition hall! There are underground offensive types, defensive types, air and land, dual types… sigh! Unfortunately, we cannot approach and can only watch from outside the cordon line. Only one with the specific intention of purchasing would be allowed to go for a test drive.”
“Test drive?” Chen Xiaolian glanced at Roddy.
“He cannot test drive,” Lun Tai laughed. “He still does not have mech piloting skills. There are two ways to acquire mech piloting skills. The first is to purchase it from the Exchange System. Exchange out the relevant skills from the system. However, that method is more expensive, requiring several hundred points. The other method is cheaper. Apply to learn up on Mech Control from the Military Arms Department in Zero City. You can learn using a simulator and they will even assign an instructor for you – however, we can forget about that method of learning. We have no qualification for permanent residence in Zero City. That method of learning is reserved for the permanent residents in Zero City.”
Chen Xiaolian then asked. “How does one become a permanent resident?”
“Simple, make our guild into a top guild and apply for it from Zero City. If approved, we will become permanent residents… but you can forget about it. That matter is as difficult as ascending the Heavens,” Lun Tai laughed bitterly. “In the past few years, countless big guilds have attempted to do so only to return wounded.
“Moreover, the assessment is very strict. Besides the standard set by Zero City’s officials, the applying guild also needs the approval from half of the top guilds with permanent residence in Zero City. Only then can the guild qualify,” Lun Tai continued. “Thus, whenever other Awakened ones encounter members from the top guild with permanent residence in Zero City within instance dungeons, they will practice humility and choose to not make enemies of them.”
Roddy’s eyes suddenly lit up. “Then… if one could become a member of that top guild, will that person also become a permanent resident…”
Qiao Qiao quickly rapped his head. “Hey! You want to defect from our guild?”
Roddy cried out in pain and gripped his head. “I am just asking a casual question ah!”
“Occasionally, top guilds will conduct recruitments for members. However, their requirements are very strict…” After saying that, Lun Tai did not continue. He glanced at Roddy meaningfully: You are behind by tens of thousands of li (0.5 km).
“Also, not all recruited members will have the qualifications to permanent residence in Zero City. Only the main powerhouses of the guild will have qualifications to permanent residence,” Bei Tai added.
“Are there that many people in the top guilds? They could even separate into main and peripheral?” Roddy stared.
“Naturally, those guilds with the qualification to permanent residence in Zero City have a minimum member count of at least a hundred. I hear the biggest guild have a member count nearing a thousand.”
“… so many?”
“More members mean more resources,” Lun Tai sighed. “Just think about it, if a guild has several hundred veteran Awakened ones, when facing a difficult instance dungeon, they will have the assistance of many guild members, be it in the matter of collecting information or the preparation of various weapons and equipment. Additionally, there are many good items acquired from the instance dungeons. The guild would first exchange the items internally, leaving only items that they cannot use for sale. As a result, the strong guild will become even stronger and the gap between them and an ordinary guild grows even bigger.”
That night, the seven of them drank some liquor on the beach, ate a round of high-grade seafood flown in from who knew where before returning to the ‘Tourist Lodge’ to rest.
The night passed in silence.
The next morning, Chen Xiaolian joined the others to the South District’s business area. There, they strolled around the shops opened by the top guilds and Zero City’s officials.
The feeling that he got was: The good items here were indeed more numerous compared to the flea market!
However, the price… also seemed somewhat higher. The flea market allowed acts of haggling but these shops generally do not allow that. Naturally, there was also another type of shop known as the mortgage type, it allowed for the mortgage of some equipment or items for points. Like any pawnshop, if one did not redeem their items within the allocated time, then those items would no longer belong to that person.
Overall, it gave Chen Xiaolian a strange feeling: It was as though within this Zero City, the shops opened by both the Zero City officials and the top guilds… intentionally or not, they were mimicking the structure of the Exchange System.
They were doing their best to exhibit a very serious and formal feeling.
However… something did not feel right…
In the afternoon, Chen Xiaolian went to the flea market again.
He tried to test his luck, testing to see if he could find another feline type of pet like the Gryphon.
Unfortunately, after spending the entire afternoon strolling around, he ended up becoming disappointed.
However, that was not to say he did not acquire any harvest.
Unexpectedly, he managed to buy two ‘Genetic Enhancement Serum’ from a booth!
It came at a price of 100 points each.
This price was much cheaper than that of the Exchange System!
Chen Xiaolian had secretly inquired about it from Xia Xiaolei. The Genetic Enhancement Serum in the Exchange System required 250 points each. Even with Xia Xiaolei’s discounting skill, the price would still be at 200 points each.
The booth owner from the flea market obviously did not purchase them from the Exchange System. According to him, he had acquired them from a certain instance dungeon. As he was unable to use them, he could only choose to sell them in the flea market.
This rare occurrence was one that depended on one’s luck!
Chen Xiaolian quickly bought it up… any longer and it would be sold out. He intended to give them to Roddy and Xia Xiaolei.
As for Soo Soo… the little girl will still have to follow beside him.
Tokyo, Senso-ji Temple.
A champagne coloured Bentley Continental slowly moved past an intersection before coming to a halt.
A tall, lean young man alighted from the opened car door. He wore a pure white trench coat, with blond hair as dazzling as the sun.
Upon his pale face were handsome facial features and eyes resembling stars.
A thorned flower pattern adorned the sleeves of his trench coat!
The blond man’s face revealed a faint smile as he slowly walked towards Senso-ji Temple.
Miao Yan stood below the famed ‘Thunder Gate’, adjusting her hands as she looked at the stars above the skies. Hearing footsteps, she lowered her head to check it. She observed as the blond man in white trench coat slowly walked through the long, still street. Buildings from the Edo era and green plants dotted the area around him.
This man approached step by step with a faint smile on his face and a majestic bearing!
“Miss Miao Yan?”
The blond man stood before her. “I am here as promised. How are you?”
Miao Yan narrowed her eyes. “You are?”
The blond man gave a light smile, his expression glowing like the stars!
His voice was calm and refined. “Thorned Flower Guild Leader, Augustine Shen (àogǔsīdīng chén).”
Nicole, raw: ‘妮可’, pinyin: ‘nī kě’.
Augustine Shen, raw: ‘奥古斯丁•辰’, pinyin: ‘àogǔsīdīng•chén’. He has a different surname from Chen (陈) Xiaolian. In order to avoid any confusions, I changed Augustine’s surname of Chen to Shen. Augustine Shen’s surname (辰)(chén) means ‘day or time’.
1 Actually, the standard way of drinking tequila is actually to lick the salt first, then down the tequila. After that, bite into a slice of lime. [Source: Wikihow].↩