Last chapter recap: Yun Ling goes shopping and reunites with the Restaurant Regiment.
This chapter has been brought to you by me, and Smash10101.
Chapter 8 – Hiring an NPC
So it was her.
Yun Ling dazedly remembered that when she had been going to the park, she had encountered a couple fleeing for their life.
Back then, she had left after speaking, and had not cared afterwards. She had not expected the other to recognize her.
“It was you, right?” You Qing Wen felt that the girl was familiar, but could not remember where they had met before. Then when leaving, a light had come on, and she recalled who this person was. She hurried over, and had not expected to help.
“Yesterday, I ran to the point I almost threw up. I was fortunate to have met you.”
“After we separated, my boyfriend and I each learned two skills, and went back to the restaurant to rescue people. Now, we have formed an eight member team with the survivors. The members all have equipment and skills.”
If she had not encountered the other, she and her boyfriend likely would have died already.
Even if they had survived, they would not have been so well off.
The cards in open places had all been picked. There were only some in deserted places that had not been discovered. In other words, if they did not learn skills yesterday, they would not be able to learn today even if they wanted to!
Each time You Qing Wen thought of this, she was very grateful. “If you have no place to go, you can come with us.”
“No,” Yun Ling refused, “I am used to being alone.”
You Qing Wen was regretful at this. Thinking, she then asked, “What are you called? Where do you live?”
Before Yun Ling could answer, she said, “I am You Qing Wen, and temporarily living at XX Restaurant. If you get in trouble, you can come find me.”
“Okay.” Yun Ling did not refuse the other’s goodwill. “I am Yun Ling, I live in Rising Cloud Camp.”
“Camp?” You Qing Wen stilled.
“Yes, similar to a safety area in the game. Monsters cannot get close. When players stay in the camp, they cannot attack each other. But you have to spend money to live there. For each person, 5 copper coins per day.” To thank the other for helping at a key time, Yun Ling revealed more information.
“It seems like a good place.” You Qing Wen had a thoughtful look. “Where is the camp?”
“Near XX Community,” Yun Ling answered.
You Qing Wen wanted to ask more, but then remembered that it was almost the time that she had agreed to meet her teammates. She had not found any supplies, and did not do what was needed…
“I cannot talk today, when I have time, I will go to Rising Cloud Camp to find you,” You Qing Wen said helplessly.
“Okay, I will wait,” Yun Ling responded with a smile.
With her HP dropping to the warning line, Yun Ling did not stay long. She found a chance to sneak out of the supermarket, and ran back to the camp.
But the world did not follow people’s wishes.
The more she was in a rush to return, the more easily she encountered trouble.
Halfway, two tall men blocked her path.
“Little girl, where are you in a hurry to get to?”
“Give us the backpack, and we will let you leave.”
The two spoke as though they were certain that Yun Ling would not dare resist. Or in other words, she could not resist.
To this, Yun Ling responded by raising the round shield and charging. Her dagger stabbed into the other’s shoulder, and then slashed the other person’s wrist.
“Damn! Such a quiet looking girl, why so vicious when fighting?” The two did not have any thoughts of resisting. After being wounded, they scrambled away madly, and soon disappeared from sight.
Yun Ling could not be bothered to give chase, and moved towards the camp.
Returning to the camp, the first thing she did was to go into the warehouse, and unload her goods.
Then she went into the mission hall, and clicked to view. Soon, she found the three missions were like before she went out, in “unfinished ” status.
A window suddenly jumped out, [NPC “John” is visiting. Will you hire them?]
[Note 1: You have 12 hours to consider. After 12 hours, if not hired, John will leave the territory.]
[Note 2: The present mission hall is level 1 and can refresh 2 NPCs each day.]
[Note 3: After being hired, NPC will have 100% loyalty, and will swear to follow the orders of the lord.]
Yun Ling became alert, and read carefully.
[Name: John (The lord can give a name, and choose whether to make the name public)]
Attributes: Strength 6, Agility 5, Stamina 5, Intelligence 5, Spirit 5.
Combat Skills: C-rank Chaos Stick
Life Skills: None
Employment Price: 50 copper coins.
While this was not the life skills professional that she wanted, a combat type was not bad. In the future, when she made a team, it would be more convenient whether it was killing monsters or gathering dropped materials.
Thinking of this, Yun Ling clicked “yes.”
Copper coins -50.
White light flashed. A person knelt on one knee in front of her and said respectfully, “Willing to serve you, Lord.”
Yun Ling was satisfied, and named the first NPC of the territory. “In the future, you will be ‘Guard A’.”
“Lord, thank you for naming me.” Guard A did not jump up and beat Yun Ling with a stick, just accepting it calmly.
Yun Ling felt slightly guilty for changing the other’s name so it was easier to remember. “Can you use weapons?”
“Yes.” Guard A said, “however, I can only use “Chaos Stick” if I have stick type weapons.”
There was a wood stick in the dust of the warehouse. Yun Ling took it out, and gave it to Guard A.
“Thank you, Lord, for the reward.” Guard A held the wood stick and stood by Yun Ling’s side like a bodyguard.
She did not know how strong he was.
Thinking about it, Yun Ling set the name to “not public.” And then took Guard A out, planning to find a monster for him to test.
There were obviously fewer cards on the street, and the monsters were not very common. The two walked for a while, and found a lone goblin.
Yun Ling asked, “Will you level up if you kill monsters? If you pick cards, can you learn skills?”
Guard A answered, “I can level up and learn skills.”
If she had hired an NPC yesterday and learned all four skills, how great would it have been?
But she knew it was not possible. The money for unlocking the mission hall mostly came from the taxes the temporary residents paid and the reward for making equipment. Otherwise, on the first night, she would not have taxes, or have gotten all the materials.
“Go, kill that monster,” Yun Ling ordered.
“Yes.” Guard A accepted the orders.
At this time, the goblin saw Guard A. It grinned, and greeted him with a large stick.
The two quickly tangled together, fighting each other.
Apocalypse Calamity did not show the remaining HP of the enemy. But after being damaged, wounds would occur on the face and body. This was another type of sign.
Based on the wound, experts could judge the difference in strength, and quickly make a change between “continue to fight” or “quickly retreat.”
Based on Yun Ling’s observations, Guard A and the goblin were equal in strength. Who won in the end may depend on luck…
“Use your skill,” Yun Ling ordered.
“Chaos Stick!” Guard A shouted, and made the wood stick blur.
The goblin was hit three times, screamed, and then fell to the ground.
When the monster died, it dropped 1 x linen cloth, and 1 x C-rank card.
[Name: Stone Skin (Passive Skill)]
Skill Effect: When attacked, pain is slightly reduced, -10% damage received.
During beta, the first skill Yun Ling picked was Stone Skin. But that was A-rank, with -35% damage received, and clear reduction in pain.
Fortunately, due to this skill, it did not hurt being hit, like an itch.
Now, without Stone Skin, it hurt a lot being hit.
… She clearly had two S-rank skills, but why did she feel that she was getting worse?
Yun Ling stared at the card for a while. In the end, she did not waste the skill slot because she feared pain. She indicated to Guard A. “Learn the skill.”
“Yes.” Guard A gently touched the card which disappeared. In the skill window, there were the words “C-rank Stone Skin.”
Seeing both of them were wounded, Yun Ling announced, “Return to camp to rest. When we are in our best condition, we can come back to kill monsters.”
In Apocalypse Calamity, fighting monsters was not the main focus.
On one hand, recovery items were rare. On the other hand, the recovery of players’ HP and MP was very slow. This was disliked by the beta players who said that such low recovery rates was not worthy of being called an online game.
Yun Ling possessed the passive S-rank skill “Heart of Nature” which doubled the healing effect. Even so, her base recovery rate was just 2 HP per minute.
After being seriously injured, she had to rest for an hour or two before leaving the camp to keep on going.
Idle, Yun Ling got a pot of water and ate lunch early.
Just now, when she went to the warehouse, she found that the frozen foods were only two days before the best before date. Such things could not be stored long without a refrigerator. Even though the warehouse could extend the shelf life, at most, they would last three days.
Rather than watch the food rot, she would rather eat it. With such thoughts, Yun Ling poured all the frozen dumplings into the pot.
When cooking them, she rejoiced inside that she did not hoard too much frozen food. After eating the dumplings, she would eat two milk steamed buns, and then she would be finished with frozen food.
Soon, the dumplings were cooked. The skin was thin, and the stuffing large. When she bit down, her mouth filled with soup.
After eating, Yun Ling was still on guard, and paid attention to the surrounding movements. She accidentally saw Guard A staring at the pot, and asked in wonderment, “You also want to eat?”
Guard A said, “I have to eat two meals a day to stay full of energy. If I have not eaten for more than 12 hours, I will not have enough stamina.”
Yun Ling guessed that this would be like the players. When hungry, they would have negative states.
Originally, she thought that hiring an NPC would mean another helper, she did not expect that she had to provide food… Now, even if she could afford to hire, she feared she could not afford to feed them.
She had transported several bags of rice before, and had not felt that she lacked food. Now, Yun Ling felt a sense of crisis. She sighed, and asked, “Do dumplings count as a meal?”
Guard A said, “As long as it fills the stomach, anything will do.”
Yun Ling took out a bowl, and served the NPC a full bowl of dumplings and soup.
Guard A ate one by one.
Yun Ling estimated that this was likely the appetite of an ordinary adult man.
It seemed that she had to think of more ways to hoard food. She ate as she thought about it.
Editor’s ramblings: Does buying an NPC count as slavery? She has to pay money upfront, and provide food and shelter, but they have to follow her orders and don’t earn a wage. I guess it really depends on whether or not NPCs are people.