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After the 10 preliminary rounds, the name list of four battle teams was displayed in White Jade Castle. Lone Desert Smoke took up two slots out of the four finalists. Their excellent performance had caused a heated discussion in the forums. The superguilds in the other cities also performed as expected. The result was pretty predictable. Big names appeared up there, as expected. None of them emulated Lone Desert Smoke’s achievement, however, to take up two slots like that.
The atmosphere in Lone Desert Smoke was jubilant! Even though only 10 of them made it, the glory and pride was still shared among all the members in the guild! Two days after the local competition ended, Zhang Yang had received a call from the Soaring Swords program committee. He was told to be at the Empark Grand Hotel in Shanghai by 20th and register there. All transportation and accommodation fees will be covered by the program committee. If the selected participant is willing, they could even choose to head over there right now. The program committee was rather generous at this. They did not mind you freeloading there, as long as the participant was present on the date of the launch.
It was all due on the 20th of December, where the committee will start the launching ceremony in Empark Grand Hotel. All 32-party leaders would have to be present on the launch date to draw for their matches.
Just as Zhang Yang logged into the game, the little brat’s voice came bombarding his ears. "Hey hey hey hey hey hey! Noob tank! Q-Q-Q-Quickly pack up your stuff! We’re heading down to Shanghai this evening!"
"…Is it because it’s all paid for?"
Zhang Yang sighed. However, as long as he had the gaming helmet with him, he could play anytime, anywhere. It made no difference to him if he did it in his room, or in the hotel. "Ok. Go inform Daffodil, Hundred Shots and the others! We’ll gather there!"
The little brat hung up without another word. After informing everyone, they all agreed to stay in Shanghai for a few days.
However, since some of them were staying much further away, they had to book flight tickets to get to Shanghai! For Zhang Yang and his merry friends, the distance between Zhou Su City and Shanghai was only 80 kilometers apart! They would only need half an hour to reach there via the freeway.
Out of the 10 people, Zhang Yang, Fatty Han, Wei Yang Er, Han Ying Xue and Sun Xin Yu lived in Zhou Su City. Besides Sun Xin Yu, who had to work and could only take a leave on the 20th, the rest of them gathered at the freeway toll gate. Fatty Han drove Zhang Yang while Hang Ying Xue drove Wei Yan Er, and the four people in two sports cars sped off to Shanghai.
"Dude, I really think that you should get a car already!" said Fatty Han out of the blue.
Zhang Yang chuckled. "If I owned a car, you can drive mine and yours separately and show off. Isn’t that right?"
"Hah! You know me best, Little Yang!" Fatty Han laughed heavily.
Luckily, Fatty Han drove ahead, guiding Han Ying Xue who was basically a broken compass. After half an hour, both of them entered Shanghai and with the G.P.S guidance, they had safely arrived at the Empark Grand Hotel. After parking their car in, Zhang Yang made a call. A committee member came out of the hotel and helped them to register. The four of them got into two separate rooms. They didn’t exactly get first class suites, but at 888 a night, it was rather luxurious.
After settling in for a while, Wei Yan Er came knocking on the guys’ room. Zhang Yang got up and let her in. However, the young, petite little girl stood at the door entrance, stroking her flat tummy, she said, "Noob tank! Pervy bro, let’s go eat!"
Zhang Yang frowned immediately. "I don’t supposed you guys were starving yourself just to have a fancy meal here?"
"Nyehehehe!" The girl snickered happily. "Not to the point of starving. We did have a little snack!"
"Hoho! Oh my little Yan Er, you look lavishing! Astounding!" Fatty Han grinned and stared at the little flowery and cheerful girl.
"Hey! Pervy bro! Keep your eyes off Wei Er, you pervert!" Han Ying Xue appeared right beside her and scolded Fatty Han.
Fatty Han froze when he saw Han Ying Xue for the first time. Like being kicked in the buttock by a horse, Fatty Han rose to his feet and pointed his trembling fingers at Han Ying Xue in disbelief. "Y-Y-You are Little Snow!?"
Zhang Yang could not helped but laughed at his over-exaggerated reaction. This devilish Snow had purposely tweaked her settings to look as plain as possible in the game. No one could possibly compare her real look and in-game look! Since Han Ying Xue was wearing sunglasses and wrapped in a scarf ever since they got out of the car, Fatty Han had now only just witnessed her true appearance.
Fatty Han turned over to Zhang Yang, almost in tears. "Little Yang…Is she really Little Snow? The Little Snow in our guild?"
Zhang Yang nodded happily and said, "The one and only."
"Sii!" Fatty Han sucked a long breath through his teeth. He cried pitifully, "Argh! I’m so freaking jealous! Little Yang! D*mn son! How could I, a modal citizen, a handsome man, a man of talent never ever have encountered someone as beautiful as her!"
"Enough, enough! Let’s go eat!"
Knowing that they wouldn’t have to pay anything, Wei Yan Er and Han Ying Xue were rather barbaric. You can just ignore the fact they are both women, they had monstrous appetites! Zhang Yang felt truly suspicious. Did these sisters starve themselves since yesterday when they knew that they were about to get free food, and let themselves go all out today?
The hotel system used a tab system. The bill would be accumulated until the customer checks out. Of course, they need not worry since the person who will pay for their meal would be the committee of the program.
Having stuffed themselves with luxurious food, the four of them went back to their rooms and logged into the game.
Zhang Yang departed from Thunderstorm Castle after stocking up on necessary supplies, and headed to Kalojar Highlands. He had been chasing after all quests in the maps around the area, and had been searching for more quests in further places.
The experience points gained by questing was almost as good as grinding itself. After all, most of the time questing was spent in traveling here and there. Since killing monsters all day was rather dull and boring, it was better to do some quest since, sometimes, they will get good rewards! Especially if the quest was a hidden quest that triggered the main story quest! The rewards of those quests were several times more lucrative than fighting monsters all day long!
Zhang Yang was just a normal human being, ignoring the fact that he was reincarnated, he had a regular human’s memory. He could not remember all the hidden quests and main story quests. Sometimes, those memories were all jumbled up that he would only recall them once he actually encounters a certain place or NPC.
After spending some time climbing mountains and crossing rivers, Zhang Yang arrived at a small village. Where there is a village, there must be villagers! When there were villagers, there could be quests!
Zhang Yang pulled the reins of the bear and moved inside. There were just a few houses in this village. A few lonely women were seen bustling in and out of the house while children were playing merrily in the streets. As Zhang Yang approached closer, the children started to surround him and looked at the bear with admiration and curiosity.
This time, the women noticed Zhang Yang presence and screamed loudly at the children to get away from Zhang Yang. One by one, the women wielded broomsticks and approached Zhang Yang as if he was an enemy.
[Villager of White Lambs Village] (Elite, Humanoid)
Judge not by the weapons that these women wielded, they were all elite tier! If Zhang Yang were to face one or two villagers, he would not mind forcing his way in. However, when there were more than 10 of them grouped together, it would be like poking your hands into a swarm of wasps!
Hurriedly, Zhang Yang spoke. "I am an adventurer from White Jade Castle! I am just passing through! I mean you no harm!"
Zhang Yang pointed at his badge in his chest. After Level 10, players could select which city to be based in. The badge would then indicate their city.
"Y-You…you’re not a bandit?" One of the elder woman cried.
"No!" Zhang Yang shook his head. "Where are all the men in the village? Why are there only women around here?"
"Thank the gods!" All the NPCs sighed a breath of relief. After they lowered their guard down, the same elderly woman spoke. "Two months ago, our men started to go missing! Three days ago, the last man in the village had went out hunting and never came back! Adventurer! I’m telling you! It must be the work of those bloody mountain bandits! Please help us! Vanquish those evil bandits and rescue our men!"
‘Ding! Villagers of White Lamb Village have a quest for you: Rescue Our Men! Will you accept it?’
Zhang Yang nodded and said, "Rest assure, I will try my very best!"
"Adventurer! Please exercise caution! Oh right! We have right here, homemade Hawthorn Biscuits! Please take them and help yourselves whenever you’re hungry!" said the older woman as she hand over a bag.
[Hawthorn Biscuits] (Useable)
Use: Restores 10% HP and MP every second, for 10 seconds. Can only be used in non-combat status. Unable to execute any other actions during consumption, or the recovery process will be interrupted.
Duration: 36 hours.
Level Requirement: 60
The bag was filled with three stacks, or 600 counts of Hawthorn Biscuits. Enough for Zhang Yang to last for a very very long time!
This recovery snack which healed based on percentages were extremely efficient for players with high HP and MP! It was a pity that the snack would expire in 36 hours, or else he could use this all the way to level 300, where its effects would only be more potent!
Zhang Yang left the village and headed to the west.
[Rescue Our Men] (Difficulty Level: C)
Quest Description: Our men have been kidnapped by bandits! Please rescue them! According to the villagers of White Lamb Village, the men were taken away by the bandits from Evil Wolves Fortress! The fortress should be located at the west, in the Mountains of Evil Wolves! Warrior! You must make haste! You not only rescuing the men of White Lamb Village, you’re also rescuing countless roosters!
Progress: Find the clue about the missing men from the village 0/1
Luckily, the little brat was not following him. Zhang Yang laughed a little. This little brat would have relentlessly asked him about what rescuing men had got to do with roosters!
The Evil Wolves Mountains was not far away from White Lamb Village. Zhang Yang only took about 20 minutes before reaching his destination with the bear. Even though the name of the place bore the word: mountain, in actuality, the place was just a slightly steep hill. From afar, Zhang Yang could easily spot a fortress built on the side of the hill. The surrounding was protected by some large, round pillars of wood, forming a barrier around the fortress. The entrance was two large wooden doors.
Without delaying any further, Zhang Yang took out his axe and shield and prepared for a huge battle. When he rode close to the fortress, he found the doors wide open with no one aroundit. He went inside to search, expecting an ambush, but no one was present. The entire fortress was as silent as a graveyard.
He rode around the entire fortress and could not find any living being! There was only one thing present, an ominous aura. A cold wind blew by and sent shivers up Zhang Yang’s spine.
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