The two were surrounded by flickering shines of gold. As they walked, they saw tons of gold and jewelry lying next to the path. Upon picking them up, they were notified that they could sell them to NPCs in stores for gold coins.
However, when they finally got to the deepest part of the cave, their eyes were glued to the centre of the room.
Four pieces of equipment lay there.
‘Level 15 epic equipment, Nightly Crescent Bow. The bow is a crescent in itself, and it has tremendous power when fired at full draw. It is said to be the favourite bow of a famous hunter on the continent.’
‘Level 15 epic equipment, Night’s Venator. The blade is dyed pitch-black and has a blood groove, turning it into a terrifying sword of massacre.’
‘Level 15 epic equipment, Nightly Argent Roundshield. A totem that absorbs moonlight essence is engraved onto the shield’s centre, granting it marvelous defence.’
The final one, it only took Drako Yau a glance to know that it was what he was going to pick.
‘Level 15 epic equipment, Moon Gazer. The spear has a thin handle, and the tip is formed by two new moons hanging on each side. It can also tangle the enemy’s weapon.’
The two grinned as they shot each other a glance. Zephyrwolf picked up the sword, Night’s Venator, while Drako Yau naturally picked up the spear, Moon Gazer.
Once he leveled up one more time, the uncommon spear that he had been using all this time, Dawnlight, could finally retire gloriously.
‘Level 15 epic equipment! I wonder how much I can sell this for!’ Zephyrwolf exclaimed, his eyes blinded by greed.
‘It’s a Level 15 epic weapon. It’s basically the strongest weapon in the entire Real World, so even if it’s worth a lot, not a lot of people can afford and actually use it.’
Zephyrwolf chuckled and replied, ‘If I sell it somehow, it should be enough to buy myself a mansion, right?’
Drako Yau sighed. After all, not everyone was as well off as he was. Plenty of people had to struggle just to put food on their tables.
He had a serious look as he asked, ‘Zephyrwolf, I will now ask you one question. Think over it clearly before you answer me.’
At that moment, Zephyrwolf hadn’t realised that it would be a question that served as the fork in the journey of his life. He casually responded, ‘Go ahead’
‘What do you think about this game? Is it just purely a game, or is it something else?’ Drako Yau asked austerely.
Zephyrwolf looked at him with a puzzled look. ‘Did you hurt your brain or what? Of course it’s a game! What else could it be?’
It gave Drako Yau a headache. Given that players were only entering the game with their consciousness and can leave and rejoin whenever they wished to, of course their outlook on the game was different than his. He might need to put it in another way…
‘I’m sure you’ve noticed by now that this game isn’t the same as previous ones. It’s not exaggerating to say that this is your second chance at life. Think about it, although you gave up on 3 levels when picking your reward, you’re already at Level 15 anyways. Once you change into your hidden class at Level 20, Night’s Venator and the demon wolf king will turn you into one of the best players in the game, even if your actual combat skills are lacking a bit.
‘When that happens, there’s a lot more you could do, like farming dungeons that drop higher level items. Do you think you’ll lack money then? But if you sell Night’s Venator now… just your hidden class alone isn’t enough to make it happen.
‘It’s an investment. It’s up to you to decide whether you have the guts to take the risk.’
Drako Yau’s plan wasn’t a complicated one. It wasn’t really taking advantage of Zephyrwolf when he was telling him the truth, and it was for Zephyrwolf’s own sake as well. But more importantly, his relationship with Zephyrwolf had improved greatly after clearing the quest. If Zephyrwolf grew stronger in the future, his chances of survival would also increase greatly.
Zephyrwolf didn’t utter a word.
Indeed, in the actual world, he had the commonest of jobs, he lived in the smallest of flats. Just purchasing the brainwave helmet had practically used up all his savings.
Such a life, it truly was without any hope. Even if he sold Night’s Venator and got plenty of money, then what? Slowly burn through the money, then return to his original lifestyle?
Drako Yau then said, ‘If you really intend to develop yourself in the game, I can give you a hundred thousand dollars and a top-tier game pod up front. Use the money to rent a flat or something.’
Zephyrwolf was surprised to find out that Drako Yau was actually such a rich person.
‘Why are you doing this?’ Zephyrwolf asked a straightforward question.
Drako Yau was actually relieved upon hearing that. While Zephyrwolf wasn’t really a good person considering what he used to do, he wasn’t an unscrupulous person either. Even if he was committing evil deeds, he was always so blatant with it. In short, he had the guts.
‘Heh, call it my investment in the future demon wolf hero. You better repay me in the future!’
Zephyrwolf’s mind was struggling to make a decision. He recalled the previous battle.
He was just a mediocre player, yet he dared to charge straight at the terrifying demon wolf king. Fighting tough battles that brought both fear and excitement, wasn’t this the life he had always dreamed of?
‘Fricking hell! I’m in! I’ll quit my damn job tomorrow and spend the entire day in the game! From now on, we’re bros who’ll kill any bastard who gets in our way!’ Zephyrwolf replied energetically, almost howling as he did.
Drako Yau finally showed a smile for once.
Thanks to the bombardment of advertisements that showed on television all day round, the number of new players who joined New World only kept skyrocketing. The starter village was as crowded as always with all the new players joining. A batch of newbies would enter the starter village and leave for the cities, followed by another batch of new players.
All of a sudden, a beam of light shone from the skies.
When the light dispersed, a teenager dressed like a samurai was standing there. Compared to the new players who wore their tattered starter equipment, his samurai clothing was almost luxurious, making him seem like a prince who entered the slums. Everyone was drooling as they looked at his equipment.
The teen quickly checked his attributes and had a bitter smile.
‘Ugh… It really reset my character to Level 0…’
After murmuring to himself, the teen walked straight out of the village without caring about anything, the katana hanging on his waist almost touching the ground.
His ID was one that was considered old-fashioned: Sasaki.
While Zephyrwolf and Drako Yau was busy engaging the demon wolf king in a heated battle, a shocking announcement startled everyone in Real World.
‘Player: Barefooty Worldrunner has reached Level 20. Story unlocked: The Siege.’
‘The world has always been a prosperous and peaceful place. One day, the skies suddenly turned dark, accompanied by the roaring thunders…’
Along with the announcement that rang in the players’ head, an announcement text showed up while the bright and clear skies were shrouded by thick layers of stormy clouds.
‘From within the dense, filthy clouds, monsters emerged one after another. Under the continuous siege of the mad monsters, humans are gradually getting burnt out and are unable to hold off the monsters for much longer. As such, they turn to their mentors for a way to grow stronger—class progression.’
When the sound finally came to a halt, the notification sound resounded in everyone’s heads.
‘In half an hour, monsters will siege the cities. If a city is lost, all players who belong to that city will have every attribute lowered by 10 for a week, and they will be unable to enter any cities (excluding the starter village) for a week. The fallen city will turn into a demon city.’
‘Players who successfully defend their cities will receive a buff of 20 points to all attributes for a week and gain the permanent title, City Defender. Cities that are successfully defended will be exempted from taxes for a week.’
‘When the siege story ends, class progression will be available.’