Chapter 86 Dragon Dance Competition
Champion City deserved the title of the largest city in the Eastern Continent. This human city was at least 5-6 times larger than Red Lake City, and that wasn’t all. The economy in the city was at its peak. The NPCs in the city were generally leading very happy lives. With around a hundred guilds based in the city, the city was very prosperous.
Clear Moon, who was standing outside of the teleportation point, said to Fruit Jelly beside him, “T-this is the first time I’ve been to Champion City.”
Fruit Jelly nodded as she observed the people in the city that were more numerous than a hive of ants, mouth agape. “M-m-me too…”
“Why have you guys not visited this place? It’s not that expensive to teleport here. You’re acting like country bumpkins entering the city for the first time.” Golden Man was someone who visited Champion City often, but the crowd gave him a headache as well. “My goodness, why are there so many people? I bet we’d be scattered in the crowd before we could find the registration NPC.”
“This place is just too big and with so many people around, I’m afraid that I’ll get lost.” Clear Moon sniffed again. He was still in awe of Champion City’s grand scale and the sheer number of players in the city. “If only Red Lake City was this prosperous.”
Ever since Upwards Ho! had bound its staging area to Red Lake City, all the members of the guild had also bound their city-recalling stones to the city as well. A lot of them joined Red Lake City as a citizen. Although they’d benefitted from the daily quests in Red Lake City, they still couldn’t help but envy the prosperity of such a huge city.
Just as the group was still contemplating how to enter the city, Bai Mo sent a message in the guild channel. “I’ve managed to to register our guild. Don’t leave the vicinity of the city or we might not be able to locate you later.”
Ye Ci, of course, went into the city alongside Bai Mo. She was able to put her high Agility and Balance to good use in the crowd and reached the registration NPC before Bai Mo. There were a total of 5 NPCs in charge of registration in Champion City, situated in the North, South, East, West and Central Districts. All the NPCs were surrounded by crowds of players.
The Dragon Dance Competition required teamwork. There was only one rule: No solo players accepted, only teams with between 5-100 members were allowed. The condition was announced on the official website before the New Year, and a lot of solo players had banded into groups.
The registration was done by the leader of a party. Judging from the sheer amount of party leaders registering their parties, one could roughly guess the number of players in the city.
As the guild leader, Bai Mo was fast to register the name ‘Upwards Ho!’ to the NPC. A notification panel then appeared in front of all the party members: The emcee of the Dragon Dance Competition wishes to invite you to the competition arena, do you agree?
The panel would only appear once. If a player selected ‘reject’ by accident, it meant that they forfeited from the competition and could not enter the arena. Bai Mo shouted in the guild channel, “Look closely, choose ‘confirm?’ Y’all must choose ‘confirm!’”
After some white flashes, they were transported into a special arena. It was a very vast plain with soft green grass. One could not even see where the plain ended. There was a little flag planted on the ground every 20m, and the name of each registered party was written on the flag, while the party members stood below the flag. The props for dragon dancing were placed beside the flag.
The dragon props for each team were different. Ye Ci’s party’s was a green one decorated with golden patterns. The dragon’s eyes were bright and full of life, as if the entire prop was a real dragon.
Players who took part in this activity were divided into 3 categories: parties with 20 members and below were the Lightweight category; parties with 21-60 members are categorized as Middleweight; parties that had 61-100 members were of the Heavyweight category. They would compete in different arenas and receive different rewards.
The rewards for being the champion in the Heavyweight category were abundant. The winner would receive a lvl 5 guild encampment and an Epic tier title for all the guild members. That was why all the 72 members of Upwards Ho! had taken part in the event, forming a Heavyweight team.
The members had decided their positions. Bai Mo and Let Go Of That Girl had the highest Strength in the party. That was why Bai Mo was at the head of the dragon while Let Go Of That Girl was at the middle part of the dragon. These 2 positions were the key for the dragon to move forward smoothly. Because of her high Agility and Perception, Ye Ci was placed at the tail so that she could have a better view of what was going on.
The entire area was bustling with activity due to the huge number of contestants. Just then, a siren blared across the field, and countless multi-colored ball shaped objects appeared all over the place. They were the very crucial items in the 4 rounds of competition: ‘Pearls.’
The first round was simple. Players were to collect the ‘pearls’ scattered all over the plains. The top 10 teams would advance the the next round. Players were allowed to use any means at their disposal to grab the pearls as long as they did not leave the vicinity of their dragon. Of course, the usage of weapons and abilities were not allowed in the arena.
A few more sirens blared, notifying players that the competition was about to begin. The players raised their dragons, and with a signal from the system, the hundred-something Chinese dragons headed for the ‘pearls’ scattered around the plains.
Dragon Dancing was no longer exclusive to China. The culture had spread to foreign nations as well, and many foreigners would enjoy watching the Dragon Dance. However, simply spectating it was an entirely different matter than doing it for real. Dragon Dancing had the same working concept as 3 legged racing. The people involved must have synchronized pace and tempo.
However, to synchronize the tempo and pacing of nearly a hundred individuals was easier said than done. A few moments after the event started, chaos erupted as players lost their footing and fell. Sometimes it was one of the players and the dragon’s body fell, sometimes the head or the tail.
Laughter, clamor and all sorts of noise filled the place. Although the prize was their ultimate goal, the players were able to remain cheerful despite their blunders, as it was the New Year. The atmosphere was jovial.
Upwards Ho! was one of the parties who had done some minor preparations. It was said in the rules that if one let go of both hands from the pole supporting the dragon’s body, the person would be counted as forfeiting from the competition. That was why despite falling down a few times, none of them had dared to let go of the pole.
“Don’t panic, everybody remain calm. Humans, Orcs, Elves and Lycans please slow down so that the Dwarves, Gnomes and Undead can keep up.” Bai Mo himself had tripped and fallen several times. He laughed and then shouted into the guild channel, “We gain nothing from being so rushed, if some of us get disqualified accidentally, it’s not worth it.”
The members of Upwards Ho! stopped, got into formation, and marched in place as they followed Bai Mo’s marching cadence. They began to advance once they’d gotten used to the pace.
Ye Ci spotted a colored ball in front of her, and just as she moved to retrieve the colored ball, somebody in front of her threw something out and grabbed hold of the ball.
“Pea Cake, what’s that?”
“It’s the cat claw that I gave you. I thought I couldn’t use it. But it seems that the use of tools was not prohibited alongside the usage of weapons.” Pea Cake chuckled as he fiddled around with the cat claws.
So that was how it worked.
Ye Ci took the cat claw out of her inventory as well. After swinging it around for a few times, Ye Ci was able to get used to it. As a ranged class, Ye Ci was able to grasp the range of it well, and she was able to collect more than 10 colored balls within a short period of time.
“Pea Cake, do you have any more of those cat claws?” Shouted Bai Mo after noticing the two having fun with their tools. If all members of the party could have one, it would definitely be great.
“I have 11 of them right now. That’ll be a total of 12 including the one Gongzi has.”
“Hand them to the Hunters, Mages and the Rangers. Those who received the cat claws, just remember to keep up with the rest of us, and try and grab those color balls that are too far away from us.” Upwards Ho!’s dragon stopped once again under Bai Mo’s command. When they once again resumed moving, Upwards Ho!’s dragon was like Spiderman.
Whenever they advanced, there were not any colored balls left as long as they were within range of the cat claws.
The other guilds were quick to notice the method used by Upwards Ho!. They were unable to identify the the tool used by Upwards Ho!, and thought instead that it was some sort of rope as they began to imitate it, greatly improving their efficiency.
“Bang!” A dragon head suddenly bumped right into Bai Mo, and a wave of dizziness washed over him, “What the heck, collision in such a wide space?”
“Dammit Steel Blooded Battle Spear, why do you bump into us?” Ideal Height 1.7m was standing behind Bai Mo. The moment they bumped into him, she immediately recognised the guild. She then remembered the incident where Ye Ci left Steel Blooded Battle Spear, and associated their as an act of revenge, “You wanna fight?”
“Well, even accidents could happen in the highway, so what if we accidentally bumped into you?” The person replying was Peacock Blue, who then showed off her perfectly round breasts to Ideal Height 1.7m and snorted, apparently looking down on her height.
“What, who do you think you are?” Seeing that somebody was trying to bully Ideal Height 1.7m, Let Go Of That Girl rushed out with his portion of the dragon’s body and landed a kick on a Steel Blooded Battle Spear member.
A section of the Steel Blooded Battle Spear’s dragon that was moving smoothly fell, and the guild members from both sides began shoving and kicking at each other.
“To the members of Upwards Ho! and Steel Blooded Battle Spear, if you do not break away, you will be disqualified immediately.” A familiar voice rang out just was the two dragons were ‘clashing’ with each other.
Dragon Dance (舞龙) is a form of traditional dance and performance in Chinese culture. Like the lion dance, it is most often seen in festive celebrations. The dance is performed by a team of dancers who manipulate a long flexible figure of a dragon using poles positioned at regular intervals along the length of the dragon. The dance team simulates the imagined movements of this river spirit in a sinuous, undulating manner.
The dragon dance is often performed during Chinese New Year. Chinese dragons are a symbol of China, and they are believed to bring good luck to people, therefore the longer the dragon in the dance, the more luck it will bring to the community.The dragons are believed to possess qualities that include great power, dignity, fertility, wisdom, and auspiciousness. The appearance of a dragon is both fearsome and bold but it has a benevolent disposition, and it was an emblem to represent imperial authority. The movements in a performance traditionally symbolize historical roles of dragons demonstrating power and dignity.