‘Please take me in as your disciple!’
Looking at Sasaki who suddenly knelt down in front of him, Drako Yau was perplexed. ‘What are you doing? Get up quickly.’
Sasaki shook his head and said, ‘No, I really hope that you will be my master. You would have defeated me with your strength alone right from the start, but you still fought alongside the goblins. I understand now, you’re trying to teach me that this is a game. You want to let me know the difference between a game and reality, I get it now!’
Drako Yau ignored the topic the young man brought up and simply shook his head. ‘I don’t know swordsmanship, so I can’t teach you.’
Sasaki frowned. This was obviously different from the martial arts fiction scene he had in mind.
‘But,’ Drako Yau said as he looked at the forest in the distance, ‘someone else will take you in as a disciple.’
‘Ah?’ Sasaki lifted his head up with confusion written all over his face. He then saw someone slowly heading towards them. ‘Who’s that?’
Drako Yau didn’t reply, his eyes showing an intense gaze.
As expected, even this encounter quest is exactly the same…
The person who approached them wore a traditional Japanese kimono and had his hair tied into a ponytail at the back of his head. A sword hung on his waist, and it was so long that the sheath almost touched the ground. Seeing the red question mark floating above his head, Sasaki was startled.
‘Sasaki Kojirou is my name’, the man said in a low voice. ‘Young swordsman, are you willing to undergo a trial?’
After the player Sasaki disappeared, the NPC Sasaki Kojirou smiled at Drako Yau. ‘Thank you for finding me a successor.’
Slightly perturbed, Drako Yau looked at the NPC and said, ‘You…’
Sasaki Kojirou seemed like an actual human.
Sasaki Kojirou chuckled. ‘Of course I know you. I’ve heard a lot about you from the old geezer. Now that I’ve seen you myself, you indeed are worthy of your reputation.’
‘Are you… a real person? Or NPC?’ Drako Yau sprung to his feet and stared at Sasaki Kojirou like he had seen a ghost.
He simply gave another hearty laugh and said, ‘Real person or not, is it important? Do your best! Grow stronger, and live on! Young man!’
Leaving those words behind, Sasaki Kojirou entered the cave, which then disappeared as if it had never existed.
Drako Yau took in a deep breath in an attempt to calm himself down. Was he a real person? Was he an NPC? Judging from the way he spoke, he clearly had his own consciousness. Yet, he had the NPC-exclusive question mark above him that indicated an available quest and had the name tag of an NPC.
This encounter quest was called ‘Verity of the Blade’. The quest might be triggered when the requirements are met, which was reaching this cave as a Level 5 or below warrior who carried a sword or katana.
It was rather difficult for a Level 5 warrior to pass through the forest when even Level 10 players found the goblin warriors hard to deal with. The most difficult part, though, was reaching this particular cave. The cave appeared at different locations at different hours, so it basically only appeared randomly. Drako Yau wouldn’t have caught a glimpse of the cave if Zephyrwolf hadn’t attacked them.
Even if they found the cave, the chance that Sasaki Kojirou would appear was below 50 per cent. Everything combined, the actual chance of discovering this encounter quest was likely below five per cent.
It must have been Sasaki’s luck. The player’s character was named Sasaki, and the NPC also had the same name. Perhaps it was fate pulling the strings?
The reward for this quest was a powerful skill book. It contained a sword skill that carried strength beyond the limits of ordinary warriors. Anyways, it was not something that had to do with Drako Yau. He stood up and patted the dust off his clothes, then headed back to the city with the potions Sasaki had given to him.
Different from other players, he had no such things as health or health bar. The so-called health was something he could only estimate by feeling his body. Those potions that could instantly heal players didn’t have such an effect on him, though it could still speed up his rate of recovery, just not as quickly as they were supposed to be. Still, his wounds had already healed for the most part.
As he walked, he contemplated various things. The first thing was that he felt thankful for developing his character in an all-rounded manner instead of dumping all points into Strength. If not for the few points he had invested into Constitution, he would have been dead already.
The old geezer did say he could only help out once, which meant he would really end up dying the next time he was caught up in a similar situation.
‘Looks like I have to get myself some equipment…’ Drako Yau scratched his chin, then continued his way to the city of Yoda.
Meanwhile in Yoda, dozens of people had gathered near the resurrection altar, attracting sidelong glances from players who passed by. The people gathered all had a wolf emblem on them.
Howl of the Tempest Wolves, the ever-so notorious guild!
Leader of the guild, Zephyrwolf, made a speech in the guild chat.
‘Our target is a warrior who uses spears, and his ID is Dragonspear. He has a rare longsword that’s worth 5000 dollars on him. Once he drops the sword, it is our win!’
Zephyrwolf gritted his teeth. He had not expected the sword to drop when he died. If he had known that it would happen, he wouldn’t have equipped the sword.
But… it was a four versus one situation, four Level 10 players against a Level 5 player no less. If he had been told before the fight that he would get his ass whooped by a single Level 5 player, he would have dismissed it with a snicker.
Looking at the words ‘Level 9’ in his status menu, Zephyrwolf felt extremely infuriated and pissed off.
After ordering the dozens of his subordinates to spread out and search for the man, only four players stayed beside him. It was the two hunters, the cleric, and the other warrior named Dogsnout. The four were his most trusted aides.
Dogsnout went over with a concerned look. ‘Boss, are we really going to look for the man? That guy… he’s scary! We ganged up on him with four of us, yet we all died!’
It was obvious that Zephyrwolf wasn’t in a good mood either. ‘Screw it! I can’t take this lying down without taking revenge! Even if he can win against four of us, can he fight twenty, or thirty of us? As long as someone finds and holds him up, we’ll definitely win once the support arrives.’
Dogsnout looked like he had more to say, but in the end he stayed silent. Annoyed, Zephyrwolf almost shouted, ‘Just say it already!’
Dogsnout took a deep breath and said, ‘That man… It looks like he didn’t cast a single skill.’ It almost sounded like he didn’t believe his own words either.
At the city outskirts, Drako Yau felt that something was off. There was… a bit too many people hanging around.
He carefully hid himself in nearby bushes and saw players who had wolf emblems rush out of the city one after another. They were all headed towards the forest where goblin warriors spawned.
It was pretty obvious what they were up to. Drako Yau waited until the group of players had all left before slinking his way into the city, taking only alleys and avoiding major streets.
In Real World, there was no such place as safe zones. Players could fight even in cities, but that might attract the attention of armies stationed within cities. Once caught by the soldiers, players would be thrown into jail, so fighting within cities was of considerable risk.
Drako Yau sneakily entered the trade centre. He didn’t visit the NPC armourers’ stores because they only sold common equipment, and anything uncommon or above had to come from monster drops.
‘Armour… armour… armour…’ Drako Yau murmured as he scrolled through the screen in the trade centre. With hundreds of players inside the building, no one bothered to look at his player ID.