The next day, I woke up at 6:30 in the morning. It was way earlier than I expected myself to wake, but I didn’t feel like sleeping anymore, so I washed myself and went downstairs to buy three sets of breakfast. After eating breakfast, I immediately went online.
Sky City inn, 7 am. I took a look at my friend list and found no one online. There was over 2.5 million gold in my backpack, so I logged onto the trading platform and converted them into 2.5 million yuan. Next, I transferred 500k, or 20% of the Purple Thunder War Axe’s sale price, to Murong Mingyue as contributions to the workshop. 20% was pretty fair all things considered; it was more or less the same percentage as what an individual would pay for their income taxes. Of course, you didn’t actually get taxed inside the game, or no one would use the official trading platform. After all, why should we allow ourselves to be exploited by them?
I repaired my equipment before walking toward the plaza. There should be a lot of foragers selling ingredients at the plaza right now; a bunch of men and women shouting on top of their lungs to get rid of their Chicken Meat for 50 silver per stack, Fish Meat for 2 gold per stack, Turtle Meat for 5 gold per stack, and so on. With high level came higher mana expenditure, and some of my newer skills such as Dragon Slaying Slash and Thunderous Charge consumed a lot of MP, so it was time I made some high-rank Magic Consumables. Right now I had almost 700 MP, meaning that only Rank 8 Magic Consumables could restore my MP to full.
I hid my ID and walked into the plaza. It was as busy as I expected it to be. Since most of the foragers I saw were above Level 70, it meant that there should be high-rank food ingredients such as Turtle Meat for sale.
I spotted a Level 84 Warrior called “Timely Rain” beneath the city wall. It was a middle-aged man who seemed to sell Turtle Meat and Turtle Meat only. It just so happened that I needed a large amount of Turtle Meat to make my Rank 7 Magic Consumables, so his presence really was as timely as his ID would suggest.
I walked up to him and asked with a smile, “How much for your Turtle Meat, uncle?”
“4.8 gold per set, no haggling.” Timely Rain shot me a glance and noticed that my ID and level weren’t visible to him. “You’re above Level 84? Not bad. Is Cooking your profession skill?”
I nodded. “How many sets of Turtle Meat do you have?”
“120 sets including the ones in the warehouse. You want them all?”
“Yeah. Can you lower the price to 4.5 gold since I’m buying everything you have?”
“Sure, no problem!”
I nodded again. Timely Rain closed his stall and started trading me the Turtle Meat I wanted to buy, but because he only had 30 inventory slots, he had to run back and forth between the plaza and the warehouse to make the transfer. I paid him 135 gold per transaction, and the business was complete after four successive trades. Thanks to my new Universe Bag, I didn’t need to go to the warehouse at all.
Timely Rain looked astonished. “How big is your inventory, brother?”
I smiled. “It’s okay. Do you want to add each other as friends? I may purchase more food ingredients from you in the future.”
I started cooking after adding Timely Rain to my friend list. While I was working, I asked, “Why are you still selling Turtle Meat, brother? They’re already starting to fall behind the curve. Why didn’t you try hunting the Snow Rabbits? A stack of their meat could sell for 20 gold or more. It’s worth far more than Turtle Meat!”
Timely Rain smiled helplessly before shaking his head. “That’s a tall order you’re asking. Snow Rabbits are Level 115 elites, and they can only be found at certain areas at the center of Dragonbone Mountain Range. I tried going there a couple of days ago, but two Snow Rabbits attacked me and one-shot me with ease. I highly doubt that I’ll be able to hunt down any Snow Rabbit unless I reach Level 100 at minimum.”
I checked out his equipment for a bit and noted one Dark Gold–grade item coupled with several Gold-grade ones. “Are you a solo player?”
“Yep. You noticed?”
Timely Rain chuckled. “I’m a full-time solo player right now. There was a layoff at my factory some time ago, and I was one of the unfortunate ones. I have a family to raise, and none of the interviews I went to were successful, so I bought a low-quality helmet and gave Heavenblessed a try. And now I’m here. My plan is to farm high-rank ingredients and use half of my income to get better gear. Then, once I’m strong enough, I would move on to more difficult zones to farm even better food ingredients.”
I smiled understandingly. It was the same story for many other full-time players. Still, he did well to earn enough money to feed his family. Not everyone could stand at the top of the pyramid after all.
I was thinking of recruiting Timely Rain to the guild, but in the end I decided against it. One, it would require him to give up his current lifestyle. Two, Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls was neither a refuge nor the government; we didn’t provide our players with relief payment. Finally, Timely Rain simply wasn’t strong enough to join us, so it would be better for both of us if we stuck to our separate ways.
Almost 10 minutes of cooking later, over 140 stacks of Rank 7 Turtle Soup that restored 800 MP in one go appeared in my bag. This should be enough to last me a month at least.
It was at this moment a beep entered my ears. System Notice: Your friend “Wind Fantasy” has come online!
Very good, it looked like Beauty Lin was early as well!
“Hi, Little Cheat~” Lin Yixin messaged me.
I replied with a smile, “Hi, pretty pretty…”
Lin Yixin stepped out of the inn and partied me immediately. She said, “We’re heading out in 5 minutes!”
“Give me the party leader.”
I activated my stratagem, Bloodlust, after Lin Yixin made me the party leader. Her mouth fell open when she saw that our party’s attack speed had been increased by 35.8%. “Wow, that much? Tsk tsk, stratagems sure are useful…”
I nodded. “Yeah. It buffs that much because my level is high, and I have a lot of Tactics now. The base value of Bloodlust is 20%, and since I have 79 Tactics points the buff is improved by 79%.”
Lin Yixin giggled. “Mn, that’s way better than my second-rate Encourage. It only buffs my Attack by 13% or so…”
I clicked open the Famous General screen to take a look. “Damn, no one’s a Famous General yet even though it’s been a while since the Famous General patch…”
Lin Yixin gave me 200 Rank 8 Health Potions, so I returned the favor with 50 stacks of Rank 7 Magic Consumables. One shouldn’t be stingy with their party members. Moreover, Lin Yixin’s Ice Flame Slash cost around 100 MP per use after reaching Rank 9, so she absolutely needed these Magic Consumables.
“Here, this is yours…”
Lin Yixin suddenly opened the trading platform and transferred 15k RMB to my account directly. A light dimple appeared on her face as she smiled. “Don’t worry about me, I can afford it since I sold a 1-star Outstanding Dark Gold–grade mage robe yesterday and earned 240k yesterday. Hehe, it’s so nice to have money again. I wonder who’s that madman who sold a 2-star Outstanding axe yesterday and earned 2.5 million though. So annoying…”
I hurriedly zipped my mouth and stayed completely quiet. If Lin Yixin learned that I was the “madman” she spoke of, she would scorn me even more than she already did.
“Where are we grinding today, Yiyi?” I asked.
“Our destination is Dragonbone Mountain Range!”
“Ah? Dragonbone Mountain Range?” My eyes widened. “That’s… not a very good idea, I think. Some of the strongest mobs on Dragonbone Mountain Range are Level 150, and most of them are elites. I highly doubt we’ll be able to challenge it as we are now. Why don’t we find a priest first before we go?”
Lin Yixin shook a bottle of Rank 8 Health Potion in front of me. “Why would you need a priest when you have these?”
“Fine, let’s go!”
Dragonbone Mountain Range was an unexplored map. In fact, most players were only at Level 80, so forget venturing into Dragonbone Mountain Range, most of them couldn’t even handle the Level 100 common mobs at the foot of the mountain range. It was the same as committing suicide.
Lin Yixin’s intention was very obvious. She wanted us to use our gear, skill, and level advantage and harvest the unseen rewards lying in wait at Dragonbone Mountain Range before anyone else. All the games the Eternal Moon Corporation made had always obeyed the first-come-first-serve rule. The first time a boss was killed, it had a 100% chance of dropping loot. The second time it was killed, the drop rate was halved. The pattern continued until the final drop chance was between 1% to 5%. Everyone knew how profitable it was to kill a boss the first time, but only a small subset of people had the power to make their dream come true.
I summoned the Level 95 Sky Obsidian Greedy Wolf after we exited the city. The little wolf wasn’t so little now, and its appearance reminded me of a tibetan mastiff. It looked like the little wolf still recognized Lin Yixin because it shook its head and wagged its tail like it had a stroke the moment it saw her.
“Wah, your Sky Obsidian Greedy Wolf is all grown up already!” Lin Yixin exclaimed in pleasant surprise.
I grabbed the little wolf’s head before it could pounce toward Lin Yixin. Hey now, that girl over there is mine, you hear me!?
Seemingly noticing my protective behavior, the Sky Obsidian Greedy Wolf wisely changed its attention to the nearby rabbits and mountain goats. Oh yeah, you’re my pet, so you’d better learn to obey my rules! Suddenly, it broke off into a run and killed a mountain goat in the blink of an eye. Then, it started devouring its prey as if it hadn’t eaten in days.
Lin Yixin looked at me. “Did you forget to feed it or something?”
“Of course not!”
The truth was I couldn’t even remember the last time I fed the Greedy Wolf. Oh well.
We walked alongside a river that passed through the Sky Forest. The atmosphere was incredibly serene, and there were only animal mobs around us. Of course, a lot of players were grinding in the forest, but since Lin Yixin and I had hidden our IDs and equipment effects, no one should be able to recognize us.
That being said, people kept shooting us, or more specifically Lin Yixin, looks as we walked past them. The girl was currently talking to me about the stupid stuff that happened in the campus, and she looked so lovely that even I was dazzled by her beauty, much less the others.
Lin Yixin and I were very, very close friends, so it was only natural that people would question my place. But why would I care about the opinion of nobodies? Let them question me all they want!
Over half an hour later, we finally exited the Sky Forest map and arrived at the foot of a gigantic mountain range. Here we come, Dragonbone Mountain Range!Previous Chapter Next Chapter