Chapter 19 Icy Cave Hard Difficulty!
As Ol’ Three was happily devouring his meal, Ye Ci could hear the chime of a private message. “Little Ci, Little Ci, are you there?”
It was Leftie (Yi Cang), “Yes? Anything going on, Yi Cang?”
“Brother He created his guild just now. We’ve all joined it. Let’s join in too!”
Steel Blooded Battle Spear was formed? It did not even take two days. Ye Ci was stunned. “Ok, get somebody to add me.” Ye Ci replied after Yi Cang blabbered impatiently.
“Sure, wait a moment!”
Ye Ci continued feeding roasted meat to Ol’ Three after Yi Cang’s voice faded away. She planned to learn Cooking in the city. She could no longer satisfy Ol’ Three’s appetite.
“Peacock Blue invited you to join ‘Steel Blooded Battle Spear’.”
“System will teleport you to the guild encampment once for free. Do you want to be teleported?”
Ye Ci thought about it for a moment. The guild encampment lead straight into the city. If she teleported at this moment, it would save her the time of travelling. Since she had caught a pet and could not clear Icy Cave on Hard Mode, why not go to the guild encampment and then select a major city to bind her City Recalling Crystal to?
Ye Ci selected the option “Yes” and she was transported along with Ol’ Three to the encampment.
Steel Blooded Battle Spear was obviously still recruiting. The encampment was chaotic with people walking all over the place. The encampment was still lacking a lot of necessary facilities, and the guild chat was bustling with activities as well.
Ye Ci walked towards the NPC guard in the guild encampment after muting her guild chat. Steel Blooded Battle Spear was still a level 1 guild. The encampment NPC could provide guild members with a buff that would increase their hitpoints for 10% for 3 hours. The NPC could also transport guild members to different main cities.
After receiving her buff, Ye Ci confirmed the location of Steel Blooded Battle Spear members in each of the main cities. After making comparisons, Ye Ci chose the Red Lake City, which was not bound by any Steel Blooded Battle Spear members to the City Recalling Crystal. She paid 1 silver coin and was transported to the city.
Red Lake City was very developed. The huge red lake in the middle of the city was its namesake. This was a rather scenic city. Doing business in the city could be a chore for someone who could not afford a boat ride. One must swim across the lake or traverse half the city to get to their destination.
Ye Ci located and reported to the Mayor in the city hall. After skipping his dialogue, Ye Ci was directed to an administrative officer by the mayor. Ye Ci bound her City Recalling Crystal with the help of the officer and received a repeatable quest: Clear away the rubbish around Red Lake City.
Similar quests were offered in every major city. But these quests were generally avoided by players at the start of the game as they had low experience, gold, and prestige reward.
Ye Ci knew, however, that carrying on such quest would raise her prestige in the city and allow her to receive a special reward from the mayor. Regrettably, Ye Ci had yet to receive any special rewards from a city as she had always been switching her bound city to avoid assassination attempts by her rivals.
The special reward was obtained by doing the repeatable quests. If the quest was interrupted, the player had to start the quest all over again.
As Ye Ci was carrying a broomstick around cleaning the city, Liu Chang was looking for her in the guild encampment. Leftie and Gleaming Sunshine were finally lvl 8 while Liu Chang was lvl 8. She was planning to look for a healer, whereupon the five of them would attempt to clear Icy Cave on Hard difficulty.
Ye Ci could not be found in the guild encampment. She could not even be contacted through private messages. Liu Chang was so anxious that she nagged at Leftie and Gleaming Sunshine. “Yi Cang, Dong Yin, are you sure you guys have invited Ye Ci into the guild? I can’t find her!”
“I’m sure! I’m very absolutely sure! Wasn’t she invited in already? I’ve personally asked for Sister Blue’s help for that. I’ve even confirmed it with her!”
“Then where is she!?”
Leftie and Gleaming Sunshine shook their heads collectively, obviously stating that they had nothing to do with Ye Ci’s disappearance.
Liu Chang glared at the duo. Before she could say a word, Peacock Blue’s voice rang in the guild channel. “To those who have not gone to any dungeons yet, report to Drunken Dream at Administration. You’ll each be assigned to a party and sent into the dungeon an hour later.”
Leftie and Gleaming Sunshine were excited. “Liu Chang. Since you can’t find Ye Ci, let’s head into the dungeon and get ourselves some good equipment!”
“Hasn’t Little Ci given you guys a set of equipment each?”
“We must go into the dungeon ourselves at least once!” Dong Yin grabbed hold of Liu Chang and dragged her to register with Drunken Dream.
After spending 2 hours cleaning Red Lake City, Ye Ci greeted the NPC’s and learned Gathering, Skinning, Potion Brewing, and Cooking. She returned to the city hall and handed in the quest to the officer.
Ye Ci then went back to the guild encampment, then to the newbie village.
She once again arrived at Natasha’s to replenish her arrows and headed to Icy Cave.
“Icy Cave Normal Difficulty. We need two more, need one tank and a healer!
“Orcish Rogue going to Icy Cave normal difficulty, looking for a party!”
“Lvl 10 Gnome Druid, I can tank and heal. Add me into your party!”
When the players had begun to level up, hordes of lvl 5 players gathered in front of Icy Cave. Some of them looked for a party while others were a party looking for members.
Most of them were going for normal difficulty. There was no one going for Hard difficulty of Icy Cave. Ye Ci decided to write a message searching for a party.
It was then that she realized her chat channels were automatically muted by the system when she had entered Red Lake City. She unmuted her Private Message and Map channel, after which she immediately received a message from Liu Chang. “Goddammit! Where have you been Little Ci!?”
“I went to Red Lake City to bind my City Recalling Crystal. All my chat channels were reset and muted.”
Liu Chang did not trouble her further but still grumbled under her breath, “I have been looking for you!”
“Icy Cave, Hard difficulty of course. I’ve been looking for you everywhere and I could not contact you. I was dragged by Dong Yin and Yi Cang to perform hard labor instead.”
“What hard labor?”
“The guild admin separated us into different parties to head into the dungeon. It was not that bad, except for the fact that it was quiet once we entered the dungeon and the equipment was not divided fairly. The party leader took what he needed and gave one of the best equipment to the guild. Only then did we get to divide the rest amongst ourselves!”
Liu Cang was agitated. “I don’t really care about the equipment, but after all our hard work, we only got like one or two each. The party leader got at least three!”
“That’s how it works. Guilds would usually try their best to raise the GS (equipment rating) of their core players so that they could clear dungeons. It’s normal for you guys to receive less in the earlier stages.” Ye Ci was not surprised as this was how the major guilds usually operated.
“You mean that we’re all substitutes!” Liu Chang was even more depressed.
“Don’t worry about it. You’ll get your chance once you have enough GS. Your current equipment is possibly even better than your party leader’s. You’re not a substitute.” Ye Ci comforted Liu Chang with a laugh.
“Sigh, talk to you later. We’re fighting a BOSS.” Liu Chang didn’t appear to be in a good mood, but she was no longer agitated after her conversation with Ye Ci. She closed the private message channel just as the party leader directed them to fight against Shator.
“Any brave ones headed for Icy Cave hard difficulty!? Looking for DP (note: a slang for damage dealers). We need three more members!”
Someone announced this right after Ye Ci turned off her private message. She immediately looked for the source of the voice and sent a request to join the party.
Her request was immediately accepted.
A Dwarven Warrior and a Human Cleric was in the party. The warrior’s name was Little Icy Cold Hands and the Cleric’s name was Icy Cold Little Hands. It was obvious that they were friends. They shouted in amazement as the saw Ye Ci, “Wow there’s actually someone who’s not afraid to die!”
Ye Ci was ridiculed by the duo. “Will the fear of death prevent you from dying?”
The now trio gathered in front of Icy Cave and Little Icy Cold Hands called out for party members again. Little Grouper Fish and Just A Blade joined the party. They were a Mage and Barbarian respectively, the former lvl 8 and the latter lvl 9. They were still under newbie protection. No wonder they were not afraid to die.
With the exception of Little Icy Cold Hands, the rest of the party was either Orc, Human, or Elf. All of them were tall. Little Icy Cold Hands could only look up to them as he spoke, “I’d like to think that nobody has been to the Hard difficulty of Icy Cave yet. Don’t be afraid to die when you enter the dungeon!”