This is a bonus chapter
Chapter 178 The Higher One Climbs, The Colder They Feel
Ye Ci pondered for a while as she gazed at the ring in her hands before throwing it inside her backpack. Although she wished to improve her accuracy, she felt that she would be able to achieve it without relying on the ring. Of course, this was just a reason that Ye Ci came up with to persuade herself. The truth was that she had been in a dilemma; since this was something that Fleeting Time had worn, what does that represent if she used it?
Even if this is a game, and stats are very important to her character, Ye Ci was still troubled by such a fat. In the end, she gave up and decided to leave it in her backpack to gather dust.
Ye Ci intended to rush out of the gates and toss out another bomb to gather some glory points if possible; however, she had just reached the abbey’s entrance when she saw the noisy group of western continent players vanish on the spot with a flash of white light.
Was she really that unlucky? She was fully prepared to collect the loot but it turns out there was nothing for her to loot at all.
“Due to the players of the Western Continent activating the transfer device, the Western Continent’s siege on Eastern Continent’s Champion City has been forcibly ended. Congratulations to Eastern Continent players for successfully defending Champion City and to Western Continent players for being the first brave individuals to challenge the unknown.”
After the players from the Western Continent vanished, the system announcement reached every player’s ears. Furthermore, it was repeated numerous times.
Ye Ci listened to the system announcement, and was deeply puzzled. The developers are so kind. Since this was the first siege battle ever, no serious penalties were imposed on the losing side.
However, it seemed that Ye Ci was the only one dissatisfied with the situation. The rest of the players of the Eastern Continent couldn’t help but scream with exhilaration at the announcement that they had successfully defended Champion City. The entire city echoed with joyful roars and cheers, as though it was insufficient to vent out the excitement they had just kept bottled up for a few hours.
Afterwards, the system even set up a celebratory banquet in Champion City. Coloured lanterns were hung everywhere and wine was served from all restaurants to welcome their heroes.
Ye Ci did not like festivities. She was unable to get used to situations where crowds of people would gather for a celebration. Silently, Ye Ci walked out of Champion City, summoned Ol’ Four and once again set forth towards the Mausoleum of Blades with the intention of grinding.
She had just taken a few steps, when she received a PM from Sir Ditty, “Where did you go?”
“I just left the city.”
“What are you doing outside? Hurry up and come back, the king is holding a banquet in the palace square, you have to participate!”
“Just go in my stead.” The corners of Ye Ci’s mouth raised slightly, she was never the one for festive occasions.
Sir Ditty attempted to persuade her time after time but was politely declined each time. In the end, Sir Ditty could only give up. However, Good Ol’ Days, Flawless Reflection, CorruptingTheLiving, Dane and several guild leaders of major guilds began to pepper her with private messages, inviting her to have a drink with them. Left with no way to refuse, Ye Ci had no choice but to turn Ol’ Four around and make her way back to Champion City’s palace.
This night, the entire Champion City seemed to be immersed in joyous mirth, the never-ending sea of players feasted, danced and sang non-stop. Massive fireworks appeared in the night sky, beautiful and dazzling. Ye Ci saw many familiar people, there were those who were on good terms with her and those that weren’t.
However, just for tonight, it seems that everybody had set aside their past grudges and celebrated. What happens after that, will be left till tomorrow.
Bai Mo and Ye Ci sat at the stairs by the National Treasury’s fountain, a large bottle of wine located by Bai Mo’s side. As part of the system’s celebration, the wine distributed was much more delicious compared to the usual alcohol served in restaurants; furthermore, it was entirely free. Bai Mo took a large swig and smacked his lips in content, “How good would it be, if we could drink fine wine like this everyday?”
Ye Ci rolled her eyes, “Why didn’t I know that you have such a high tolerance for alcohol?”
“You wish, it’s precisely because I’m usually down after just a bottle that it’s impossible for me to feast on wine and meat like what you’d see on TV! That’s why I can only do so in the game.” Bai Mo chuckled as he took another swig of the wine, it was clear that he was truly delighted.
“You don’t look very happy?” Bai Mo noticed that Ye Ci was serenely gazing at the fountain without a sound, and used his elbow to nudge her.
“It’s nothing,” Ye Ci shook her head, “How could I not be after we successfully defended the city?”
“It’s just that you’re not that happy.” Bai Mo chortled, “To you, the greatest thing that came out of defending the city was that you wouldn’t have to suffer the punishments set by the system, no?”
Ye Ci turned to look at Bai Mo. This person really understood her as he had hit the nail on the head. However, in all honesty, after being through numerous siege battles in her past life, Ye Ci had long treated them as a competition and whether she was able to gain some form of an advantage from it. This time was something different, she felt as though she had contributed just a little towards today’s siege. Perhaps this contribution would have meant nothing to her in her previous life, but she felt a strange feeling.
That emotion, was not joy, nor was it agitation, it was a very foreign emotion…a sense of belonging.
That’s right, belonging, a sense of belonging that proves that she had started over, a sense of belonging that proves that she was now a part of this world
It was really incredible.
Of course, there was still some dissatisfaction lingering in her. Although it seemed that she had defeated Fleeting Time from the results, she instinctively felt that something was not right, the sense of joy that everything has ended was absent.
“I heard Ditty say that you killed Fleeting Time?” Bai Mo abruptly changed topics.
This caused Ye Ci to pause briefly before nodding with a bitter smile, “Looking at the result, that seems to be the case.”
“Then, you’re still unhappy? Haven’t you always seen that fellow as your strongest rival?” Bai Mo noticed that there was no joy in the smile that Ye Ci had shown him.
“It was just luck, not ability.” Ye Ci stretched her limbs, gazing at the moon that hung in the sky like a silver platter and sighed, “If I really won based on my ability, I’m afraid I would be jumping about in joy right now.”
Bai Mo looked at Ye Ci’s face from the side with the corners of his lips raised, but remained silent.
“What are you trying to say? Don’t just smirk there, I dislike that kind of expression.” Ye Ci noticed Bai Mo’s queer behaviour and immediately protested.
“I just feel that it’s alright if you are unable to beat him.” Bai Mo said as he raised his wine bottle and took another mouthful.
“Why?” Ye Ci’s volume immediately doubled as she exclaimed in apparent puzzlement at Bai Mo’s statement. From her point of view, Fleeting Time has to be defeated. If not, she would be missing out on a lot of exciting things in her new life.
“Have you heard of the saying ‘The higher one climbs, the colder they feel’?” Bai Mo turned to look at Ye Ci with a look that radiated warmth.
Ye Ci froze and did not reply.
Without waiting for a reply, Bai Mo continued, “Little Ci, you’re already plenty strong already. The reason why you’re so fixated on Fleeting Time is merely because he’s stronger than you. However, Little Ci, have you ever thought about this: If you were to defeat Fleeting Time one day, who would your next target be?”
Ye Ci still remained silent.
“Currently, the players who can stand toe to toe with you can be counted with a single hand. If you were to win against that Fleeting Time, wouldn’t you think that Fate means nothing to you anymore?”
“I can still go and clear dungeons…” It took a while before Ye Ci finally gave a reply.
“Dungeons are designed to be cleared by players eventually. Furthermore, dungeon clearing is basically playing against a computer, since when is that more interesting than playing against other players?” Bai Mo chuckled, his smile as clear and warm as the moonlight.
This was the first time Ye Ci had considered this question: So what if she defeated Fleeting Time? Would she really turn out to be the way Bai Mo had described? That she would never meet a rival again?
“You’ve read Jin Yong’s novels before right?”
“Then you know of Dugu Qiubai?”
Bai Mo did not immediately speak, instead he turned to look at that desolate moon, slowly sighing once before speaking, “He was invincible throughout his entire life and what came out of it? ‘Wandering the four seas in search for a single defeat’. Most people would feel that this saying is overly arrogant and about how famous and invincible he would be. However, have you noticed the feelings of desolation hidden in this phrase? Having no equal in the four seas, do you know the loneliness of standing on top of everyone else? ”
The look in Ye Ci’s eyes flickered as though recalling something.
“You know about King right?” Bai Mo changed topics once more and gave a name.
“When we returned home last time and Polang and I went to swim, he told me about King. Do you know why King did not participate in this year’s competition?”
“Didn’t Polang say that it was because he went to play Fate?”
“That’s just one of the reasons, the most important reason was…” Bai Mo turned his head, gently played with Ye Ci’s long hair whilst sighing, “Because King felt that there was no one that could match him in the eSports scene ”
“Hah?” The answer caused Ye Ci to feel extremely puzzled.
“King once said that the reason he participated in competitions season after season was not because he was passionate about eSports. It was to look for a rival. However, five years had gone by and the person that he could call a rival did not appear, which was why…”
“Which was why he retired?” Ye Ci’s face had an expression of incredulity.
“That’s right.” Bai Mo smiled.
“His brain got waterlogged.” Ye Ci rolled her eyes as she refused to accept that comment.
“You’re saying that because you have yet to stand on the peak and therefore, you’re unable to understand that feeling.” Bai Mo chuckled.
“You’re commenting as though you know everything.” Ye Ci snorted in displeasure.
“Little Ci, allow yourself to have an opponent, you’ll be happier in the long run if you do that.” Bai Mo felt that there was no point in continuing this tireless debate with Ye Ci. Which was why, instead of arguing with her, he chose to voice his thoughts with a slight smile.
Ye Ci looked at Bai Mo as he said, “I just want you to be happy.”
The moonlight that night was truly beautiful. Radiant as polished silver, the world was covered with warm light, as though the entire world was enveloped by Bai Mo’s smile.