Chapter 48: Ice-type

“Eh? Why has Blue Maple disappeared?” Little Wen looked left and right doubtfully.

“Did something happen with his Teleportation Scroll? Or didn't he have a scroll that took him back to the same city?” Scarlet Heart shared the same sentiments.

Glorious Warsong tried to analyze the situation calmly, and said, “Perhaps his scroll brought him to a different city. It’s not strange for players like that to move between cities. We don’t have the ability, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t.”

There was nothing strange about Blue Maple moving between cities with that curious personality of his, but Glorious Warsong overlooked Blue Maple’s laziness… Blue Maple found running between cities rather tiring because he would have to refamiliarize himself with maps and whatnot. Therefore, Blue Maple hadn’t gone to other cities yet.

“Alright. Whatever the case, he’s gone. Let’s claim our reward while he hasn’t withdrawn from our team. Otherwise, we’re going to split his share of the reward again. I feel like we already owe him too much, even though he doesn’t mind.” Red Tea said after contemplating for a few moments before she spoke; nobody knew what was going on in her mind.

“Yes. Let’s go. Who knows when he’ll leave the team?” Lian Na shared her leader’s sentiments.

Ding! Game Announcement: Blue Maple has left the party. Please divide the quest’s rewards evenly with your other teammates.

“Sister Na, you are bringing about such bad omens. That’s not good because you’re the holy priest…” Little Wen glanced at Lian Na wilfully.

“Eh? Today’s moon is really bright.” Lian Na looked up at the sky.

Red Tea sounded a little exasperated as she said, “Forget it. Let’s treat today’s events as a favor from him. We will return the favor when we get the opportunity in the future.”

Glorious Warsong looked at Blue Maple's final message and said, “The problem is, I don’t think he considers today a favor.”

Half Cup Red Tea also felt a little helpless about that.

“Playing with a team is quite interesting.” was Blue Maple’s last message to the team before he quit.

Red Tea turned towards everyone and said, “Let’s go.”

Everyone departed the portal in single file, and Red Tea even turned back to have a final look in the end.

If you found this interesting, why did you have to go? Red Tea thought to herself.

------

Two days later, Blue Maple was sitting quietly in a cubicle in the city’s library, just closing the book in his hands.

Blue Maple closed the book as he leaned back on the chair’s backrest. He deliberated as he thought to himself, it’s time to get some exercise. This is also a good time to move to a different city.

Blue Maple had been sitting and reading in the library over the past two days. He hadn’t been training or gaining XP outside, and his Level remained the same. Even then, his level was still very high. The highest player in the Ranking Leaderboard was only Level 38, which was also Blue Maple’s Level.

Blue Maple had started to find farming and training a little boring, one of the reasons why he had been in the library this whole time. The other reason was that people were starting to stream into the city, and Blue Maple felt they were incredibly noisy. In contrast, the library was a lot quieter. At least, not many players who could Level up so quickly and reach this city wouldt come to the library to read.

Blue Maple placed his history book back onto its shelf as he walked out.

The sun is a little strong today, Blue Maple thought as he shielded his head from the sunlight. It was already noontime.

I should eat something. Blue Maple lifted his foot and was about to set off when he froze.

Blue Maple turned toward the Mercenary Union. Forget it, I’ll look for some quests.

There were a lot more people in the city now, and it was also noontime. There had to be many people out eating, and there were probably fewer people in the Mercenary Union now. Blue Maple didn’t feel hungry anyway, because he had been reading since the morning.

------

Inside the Mercenary Union...

There are so many people here. Blue Maple surveyed the throngs of people hustling around the Mercenary Union, lamenting to himself.

There was still a plentitude of quests dotting the boards on the walls, and the reception desks were filled with people. Blue Maple’s strange outfit was attracting many people’s attention, but nobody paid more than a single glance before they returned to their own business. There were many strange people in the game, and everyone got used to it.

Seems like there are very few quests that require me to travel to a different city. I should queue, since I have to do so even if there’s one that I want to accept. Blue Maple glanced around at the quests before he gave up searching by himself.

Blue Maple decided that asking NPCs when it was his turn in the queue was better than searching for one by himself. However, Blue Maple didn’t like to talk, so he would rather choose the quest’s serial number, accept it right away, and leave during his turn if a quest wasn’t difficult to find. He would just wait and ask an NPC for now.

There were quite a few people who were cutting the lines. Many people were relying on their numbers to bully players who were by themselves and cut their queues. There were quite a few fighting incidents, while Blue Maple appeared very calm and collected by himself.

Other players cutting lines had nothing to do with him, and he didn’t care if other players cut his own line, either. They were inside a game world, and time was the least of his worries. He didn’t care how people cut the line before him, as long as the queue in front of him didn’t become increasingly longer. What Blue Maple didn’t want was finding someone to argue with, and least of all, he didn’t want to fight.

Everyone fought their own fights, and he would… he didn’t want to fight. He was too lazy.

But right at this moment, an ice spike was fired towards Blue Maple! It was a result of someone else dodging an attack in another fight.

Zii...

The ice spike was vaporized into steam by a dash of blue light when it came close to Blue Maple. Ice Spike was a low-tier Skill, and Heavenly Fire’s Flames of Heaven automatically gave Blue Maple immunity.

The two parties who were fighting immediately fell silent when that happened.

Shit! The person who fired that spike cursed to himself.

He wasn’t particularly concerned when his spike missed its target. He would end up hitting some other average player, and nobody would be bored enough to throw themselves into the fray. But someone who could turn the spike into steam in an instant couldn’t be just another average player! Furthermore, this player was clad in a strange outfit, and he knew with one look that this guy wasn’t someone easy to deal with.

His opponent felt quietly fortunate. There was nothing better than a player like that helping him in this fight.

But many moments passed, and everyone realized that that player didn’t react at all. Instead, he was minding his own business as he took out some unknown beverage to drink.

Whew. That was terrifying. Fortunately, he doesn’t seem to want to pursue the matter. The player who had fired the spike heaved a sigh of relief. His opponent was a little disappointed, because that player didn’t look like he was going to help out.

Wait! Something’s not right. Why does he feel so familiar? The drink, and the blue light looks like fire. That’s the color of blue fire. Then this must be… The player who had fired the spike suddenly recalled something after he heaved a sigh of relief, and took another closer look at Blue Maple.

Fuck! That’s the player who dueled Crippled Feather not too long ago! He took a step back subconsciously. He had seen that video before, taken when Blue Maple had returned to claim his reward on the quest.

His teammates were confused about why he had been shocked into retreat when nothing was happening. They followed suit and glanced in the same direction. This caused a chain reaction, and their opponents did the same thing, and every single player around them stared.

Eh? Blue Maple was still sipping on his drink when he realized that something was amiss. He glanced around at his surroundings and realized that everyone was staring at him.

Those stares made him look up, and all the players around him immediately recalled that fact when they saw him! Shit, wasn’t he that player who competed with Crippled Feather, and who knocked him out of the top ten in the Ranking Leaderboard? Wasn’t he the player who could complete a quest without a single point of damage, and could still complete the quest at lightning speed?

The players in Blue Maple’s line who had seen his profile immediately stepped to one side, and a huge path opened before him.

The player who was accepting a quest at the reception desk suddenly felt everything behind him was empty. He turned around in confusion, and saw there was only one player who was wearing a strange outfit left behind him. He didn’t even look closely because he figured that something was about to happen, and stepped aside obediently.

Everywhere around Blue Maple emptied out within the span of a few seconds, and he was left standing alone. Blue Maple was still sipping on his drink, and the atmosphere had an inexplicable eeriness to it…

Blue Maple finally realized what was going on at this point, but he kept an expressionless face. He was still calm and collected, as he had always been, like nothing was going on at all.

“Aren’t you going to accept the quest?” Blue Maple asked the player who was just at the reception desk.

“You can go first. Don’t worry about me,” that player replied politely, evidently recognizing Blue Maple too. A million curses flashed through his brain at the same time. To hell with that! I fought with Crippled Feather because of a quest back then. I couldn’t beat him, and there must be something wrong with my brain if I want to drop a level.

Blue Maple’s rumors didn’t sound right. He had been misunderstood…

“Oh.” Blue Maple didn’t care about the opinions of those who were unrelated to him.

Blue Maple continued sipping on his drink as he strolled toward the reception desk while everyone watched on. Everything appeared so eerie.

“Do you have any cross-city quests? The ones with the highest rank, please.” Blue Maple added. He decided to choose the one with the highest difficulty, since he had already made up his mind to take a quest. He hadn’t been training for two days.

---

Everyone in the crowd started murmuring to themselves.

“Fuck, he is what they say he is in all the rumors. He wants a cross-city quest, and he’s looking for the one with the highest rank.”

“His temper seems decent, too. He didn’t react when the spike flew at him just now.”

“Yes, that’s right. So many people were cutting his line before this, but he didn’t respond at all.”

“But how did he just break the ice spike like he did?”…

---

“Hello, there’s a SS-rank extermination quest. You can choose to add players into your team for this quest, with a limit of five. But five players will lower the quest’s rank to S. Do you accept?”

“I accept.” Blue Maple didn’t even take a look at the quest when he accepted it. He didn’t feel good with so many people watching him, but his expression made it seem like he had no feelings at all.

The player who had fired the ice spike immediately caught up with Blue Maple to apologize. “Uh, I’m sorry about that attack. I hope you don’t mind.” The player had decided that pissing off somebody like that wasn’t great for him.

Blue Maple glanced at the fellow who was apologizing and asked, “Ice Wizard?”

“Uh, I am an Ice Wizard. Is there a problem?” the player asked carefully.

“Oh. This is our first time meeting, so why don’t I give you this?” Blue Maple took out the Snow Pearl from his encounter with the Icy Snow Wolf King, and he gave it to this player that he didn’t even know.

[Snow Pearl] (Special Item): Can be used to craft intricate jewelry. Jewelry will boost ice-type skills by 10% after crafting, and provides additional 10% resistance to ice-type abilities, effective within one hundred ranks. The Snow Pearl is formed in perennially snowing grounds, so placing this item in your backpack will help resist the negative effects of normal icy and snowy environments.

“What… what…” The Ice Wizard didn’t know what to do.

Blue Maple pushed the item into his hands and walked away. He didn’t give that player a chance to reject it at all.

All the players watched with their jaws hanging and eyes wide open. They didn’t understand what was happening.

What was going on? That fellow hit him with an ice spike, and he didn’t seem to care. That player caught up to apologize, and he asked him if he was an Ice Wizard, and he gave him a special item just like that. The key was that the special item was excellent stuff for ice magic wielders.

“What an interesting fellow. He must have lots of good stuff on him. Hehehe, jackpot!” A wretched individual shifted out from the crowd and followed after the departing Blue Maple.

The Ice Wizard finally came to, but realized that Blue Maple had disappeared after he wanted to call him back.

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