Chapter 71: Curiosity Killed the Cat

The next day...

Aika City was as noisy and bustling as usual. Everyone minded their own business, and discussed topics that interested them. One of the most discussed items was the previous day’s auction.

Which guilds managed to win a bid for which equipment, and which players won bids for which items…

Players rarely spoke about topics like which locations were great for killing monsters and leveling up. Most of these players were just in the game to spend five years of time.

Earth was mired in never-ending war. Everyone there lived through each day nervously, because nobody knew if they would still be alive when the next moment came…

Worlds in virtual games were wonderful, and many people were willing to spend their time in those illusions. However, the fire of war didn’t allow that to happen because nowhere was safe on Earth. Nobody knew if they would be stuck forever in a virtual reality.

Everyone was talking about their respective topics in elation, happy from the bottom of their hearts. Every person’s radiant smile was just so genuine…

Blue Maple accelerated through the crowd. He had just accepted a quest from the Mercenary Union, and had accidentally wandered into a bustling street because he wasn’t very familiar with the place.

“Eh? Why is there a beggar in this place? Little Orange, wait.” Somebody’s words suddenly drew Blue Maple’s attention. However, he wasn’t attracted by how sweet and cute the voice sounded. Instead, his attention was drawn to the word ‘beggar’.

Blue Maple glanced over curiously and realized that there indeed was a beggar. He was dressed in old and tattered clothes, and the beggar’s situation appeared very desolate with all the snow beneath his feet.

The beggar was an old man, and appeared extremely frail. He probably didn’t have anything to eat due to the cold and was forced to beg on the streets.

“Here, old man. Here’s some money for you.”

Blue Maple turned his attention to the beautiful young woman. Yes, she was the young girl from the fifth box at the auction, but Blue Maple didn’t know anything about the auction.

However, Blue Maple didn’t notice how pretty and charming this young girl was. Instead, his attention was focused on how the girl was taking out her money.

She had taken out two silver coins. Yes, just two silver coins!

Blue Maple scanned the girl’s equipment, along with the other members of her team. Their equipment seemed relatively powerful, and quite a few pieces were emanating golden hues. Those items were obviously Gold-tier equipment.

She only gave the beggar two silver coins, so there was only one explanation, because she did look kind and sincere.

Is she afraid of creating trouble for the elderly beggar by giving him too much money? Blue Maple thought, before he turned to leave.

I didn’t expect this world to have beggars. That’s very close to reality…, was Blue Maple’s last thought as he was about to leave.

“Alright, Little Orange. Let’s go!” the pretty girl announced to her friends as she turned around happily. However, every man around her seemed to be her admirer, and she didn’t realize Blue Maple had been watching her.

“Can you not call me Little Orange?” The player who was called Little Orange pulled a long face. Little Orange was his name because his hair was an orangish-yellow color and his head was round like a mushroom, so he did look a little like an orange.

His nickname, Little Orange, stuck, and everyone agreed. Furthermore, they couldn’t do anything about this unruly and wilful young girl. They already knew that ever since they started following her.

“No way. That nickname is so fitting. Why, do you not like it?” The girl planted her hands on her hips as she glared at him with those large and alluring eyes, and even her voice sounded a little threatening.

“No! I love it. I don’t hate it at all.” Little Orange immediately pretended like he was elated and submitted to her. Everyone else laughed under their breath, watching this show from one side.

Players couldn’t avoid being separated from their friends and family, because they were randomly assigned into the game. They would probably search for a small group by themselves, and would treat each other like companions before they found their family and friends.

Some of these players surrounding this girl were part of the team that she had assembled. Fortunately for her, some of these players were veterans and experts at the game, which was why they had so much spare cash lying around for the auction.

“Hmph. I’ll keep calling you that, then. Come! Let’s go finish our quest!” The little girl immediately put on a happy face. She was like a joyous elf as she immediately attracted the attention of all the players around her. Some players were staring for so hard that they were walking into each other…

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Blue Maple quickly left the scene, taking a detour to buy a teleportation scroll back to this city. The quest that he had taken was a little more difficult than usual, and he was afraid that he would use too much Heavenly Fire, to the point where he couldn’t use Heavenly Fire to teleport himself back. If that happened, he would have to walk back.

However, he probably didn’t have to walk the entire journey back. He could kill some wild monsters along the way and wait for his Heavenly Fire to replenish so that he could teleport himself for some distance, but he didn’t want to go through all that trouble. He didn’t really want to kill monsters to level up anyway, because that was extremely boring.

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Blue Maple departed from Aika City and arrived in a small forest. His quest’s map displayed a route through this small forest.

The tiny forest was very quiet, and also extremely barren. It wasn’t filled with life like the forest with those treants. Snow collected upon the trees and their branches, painting the forest white.

The sun came out yesterday, but didn’t melt all the snow accumulated in this place. Instead, the snow beneath Blue Maple’s feet became soft and loose, and he could hear squelching sounds as he walked.

“Eh? Where are the deer in this forest? Have they all been killed?” a familiar voice travelled from somewhere not far behind Blue Maple; he had just heard this voice recently.

“This area is a low-rank monster zone. There are many people killing the monsters here while they’re passing by. These deer aren’t normal deer anyway, and will attack people aggressively,” a stranger’s voice replied.

Blue Maple didn’t plan to associate or interact with a group of unacquainted players, even if there was a young and pretty girl among them. He ignored them and continued walking.

“Eh? There’s a very strange player over there. He’s only wearing a long coat, and I can’t see any information about him.” The girl’s eyes sparkled like she had just seen something interesting.

The girl chased forward after him like a curious baby, and the people behind her had no choice but to follow her.They knew that this little girl was unstoppable when she found something fascinating.

“Hey, strange player over there, wait!” the girl hollered as she ran.

The people behind her felt their hearts skip a beat. How can she call him that? Strange player over there?

“Eh?” Blue Maple stopped in his tracks when he heard the girl’s shouting, and he turned back to look, confused.

Blue Maple saw a pretty young woman with golden hair and bluish-green eyes running toward him with an excited look on her face. This left Blue Maple even more confused, because he was quite certain that he didn’t know her.

“Whew.” The girl ran up before Blue Maple and stopped as she exhaled deeply. “Wow! Why aren’t you wearing any armor? And, and, why can’t I see any information about you? Yes, your hair and your eyes look a little blue.” The girl spurted a whole bunch of questions in a few seconds, stunning Blue Maple. Her followers felt their hearts skip another beat, because they would have trouble if the girl provoked this strange player.

“…” Blue Maple was rendered speechless.

Aren’t you a curious one?, Blue Maple thought to himself, recovering before he turned towards this young and pretty girl and scrutinized her.

[Dazed Kitty] (Level 36 Catwoman Archer)

She had a very cute name, and seemed to hail from some unique race. Blue Maple didn’t know if she had a Hidden Class, but she did look very beautiful and charming.

“Hey, hey. Answer me! I’m talking to you!” Dazed Kitty expressed her displeasure at Blue Maple’s silence, and pouted as she spoke.

“I don’t have to answer you,” Blue Maple replied plainly. There wasn’t any emotion in his voice at all.

Shit! The players who were following behind Dazed Kitty cursed silently when they heard Blue Maple’s answer. Dazed Kitty seemed like she had angered this player, but that was it.

One of the players who was relatively more logical took the initiative to step forward and diffuse the situation. “I’m very sorry, my friend. Our companion is a little rash.”

“Okay,” Blue Maple casually answered as he turned around to leave.

“What? Don’t you just have a Hidden Class and other things? I’m just asking because I’m curious. Why are you acting so cool?” Dazed Kitty continued whining unhappily.

“That’s right. You’re just a little unique. What’s so great about that? Our team leader is honoring you with her question.” Little Orange chimed in.

Dazed Kitty puffed out her chest at the same time , showing proudly that she was, indeed, honoring him by asking him a question.

Blue Maple was still turning when he suddenly stopped and turned back around.

“Is that right?” Blue Maple’s tone seemed no different than before.

However, sharper players would be able to tell that Blue Maple was different from before, and the person who realized it was the same logical player from before.

“Shit, back away!”

But he was too late!

Swish! -879, -708, -412, -277, -124!

Blue Maple chopped through Little Orange’s neck, and followed up with Sweeping Sword Slash, obliterating him!

Blue Maple shifted to another player nearby with his momentum, struck him with a basic attack and used Lightning Chain Strike!

Blue Maple locked onto four players, and he struck them all at their weak necks before stopping next to a player of his choice and swiftly cutting in his direction.

Blue Maple’s basic attack was parried this time, but that was just futile effort.

Blue Maple swiftly pulled back his blade and used Cold Light Slash, before quickly unleashing Spatial Fiery Chop at another player and immediately putting both of them into the ground!

Blue Maple used Airborne Somersault and got close to the remaining player he had just used Lightning Chain Strike on. Even though Blue Maple’s basic attack was parried once more, that didn’t matter much, as being able to parry one of Blue Maple’s attacks didn’t mean that the player could parry his second or third one!

Blue Maple’s strength wasn’t something normal players could match, even if he didn’t use any skills!

There were several gaming veterans here, which Blue Maple was also able to tell. The Yamato Guild’s members didn’t even have the ability to retaliate, while these players were still able to parry Blue Maple’s attacks.

However, Blue Maple’s hands were unnaturally swift. Blue Maple’s reflexes were also incredibly quick, to the point where they overshadowed Blue Maple’s striking speed. Blue Maple’s attack speed was terrifying!

“What are you trying to do?” The same logical player was still relatively calm. He could tell that his five companions didn’t appear like they could resist at all, and Blue Maple slaughtered them all fairly easily.

Blue fire still burned faintly on Blue Maple’s blade. Every strike dealt an effect that exploded with blue flames, but even so, this player didn’t panic.

Blue Maple also didn’t attack him first.

Perhaps it was because this player’s attitude was a little better. However, he was a Warrior, and Blue Maple wouldn’t have an easy time killing him. Furthermore, he did seem a little stronger.

[Ocean Waves] (Level 37 Silverforged Warrior)

This player had a Hidden Class, and didn’t seem very easy to deal with.

This team started out with seven players, and only Ocean Waves and the pretty girl Dazed Kitty remained in the blink of an eye.

Blue Maple remained where he was in silence as he gazed into Ocean Waves’ eyes, who already had his blade drawn.

Dazed Kitty looked mortified. Her tender white cheeks had turned pale, and her expression was filled with panic. She didn’t even think of drawing her bow to fight Blue Maple; she didn’t know what to do.

“There’s a saying in the West,” Blue Maple remarked suddenly.

“What?” Ocean Waves was all tensed up, and Blue Maple’s words alarmed him.

“Curiosity killed the cat.”

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