White River City, inside the Candlelight Trading Firm’s first-floor reception hall…

Currently, the upper managers from various Guilds occupied the large reception hall. Among the Guilds present, the weakest were second-rate Guilds, while the strongest Guild was close to becoming a Super Guild. Some of these Guilds were allies, while others were enemies. Hence, the reception hall’s atmosphere was extraordinarily intense.

Even the NPC beauty receiving these people felt uncomfortable.

“I didn’t think Guild Leader Snow would show up as well. It is indeed a rare sight,” Galaxy Past said, laughing as he glanced at Gentle Snow sitting a short distance away. “I heard that you have a mountain of work to do back at Ouroboros and that Cao Chenghua is trying to split up the Guild. Cao Chenghua has many of his supporters stationed in Star-Moon City. Guild Leader Snow, is it really a good idea for you to be here right now?”

“There is no reason for Guild Leader Galaxy to worry. Ouroboros is getting by quite well right now. Otherwise, why would I come here?” Gentle Snow did not reveal a trace of weakness as she replied. “On the contrary, aren’t you, Guild Leader Galaxy, having a bad time right now? I’ve heard that Star Alliance’s branch in the Lion Kingdom has suffered a major loss, losing over 10,000 people in a single Guild War. In the end, you even allowed others to profit.”

First-rate Guilds would usually develop themselves in several major regions. Naturally, the Star Alliance was no exception.

The Lion Kingdom was west of the Star-Moon Kingdom. Though the kingdom only occupied half as much area as the Star-Moon Kingdom, the kingdom’s player population was still significant. Two first-rate Guilds and multiple second-rate Guilds constantly fought over the Lion Kingdom. The Star Alliance was one of the two first-rate Guilds. However, in order to fight over a treasure, many of the Guilds in the Lion Kingdom had gone all-out. In the end, the Star Alliance had suffered heavy losses. To make matters worse, the other first-rate Guild had snatched the treasure.

Despite Gentle Snow striking a sore spot, Galaxy Past did not grow angry. Instead, he laughed and said, “As expected of Guild Leader Snow; you really are well-informed. You truly do possess some of your brother’s aura from when he controlled Ouroboros. Unfortunately, the Ouroboros of today is not the Ouroboros of the past.”

Purple Eye, the beautiful female Elementalist sitting beside Galaxy Past, on the other hand, radiated an intense killing intent as she glared at Gentle Snow.

“You want to make a move?” Gentle Snow laughed. Suddenly, a frightening aura surged forth. Smiling at Purple Eye, she said, “I heard that the Star Alliance possesses five great experts, and they are Galaxy Past, Red Feather, Flourishing Willow, Flying Jade, and Purple Eye. Among them, Flying Jade is the most mysterious, and Purple Eye is the strongest. I really want to know if this rumor is true.”


“Let’s put it to the test, then!” Purple Eye provoked, showing no intention of backing off.

For a time, it felt as if the temperature in the reception hall had fallen by a few degrees.

Ouroboros and the Star Alliance were known enemies. Both Guilds had competed against each other for over a dozen years, and at this point, their rivalry would not stop until one of them was wiped out of existence. Hence, the stand-off between the two Guilds did not seem out of place to anyone watching.

The many Guild representatives promptly moved to the side, hoping to watch the fight between the two beauties.

Meanwhile, sitting at the forefront of the reception hall, a robust man resembling Zhang Fei[1] suddenly turned to the handsome and dashing youth seated beside him, respectfully saying, “Pavilion Master, this subordinate will go and remind them of where they are lest they ruin Pavilion Master’s good mood.”

Saying so, this robust man strode towards Gentle Snow and Purple Eye. Suddenly, however, a single hand halted his advance.

“Forget it. Doing nothing but waiting here is quite boring. Watching them fight will be a nice change of pace,” the dashing youth said, smiling faintly.

“Understood.”

The robust man returned to his seat.

Everyone present had seen the handsome youth’s actions. And though that high and mighty attitude of his displeased the other Guild representatives, nobody felt that the youth’s attitude was inappropriate.

This handsome youth was one of the two Pavilion Masters of the Dragon-Phoenix Pavilion. The Pavilion had possessed the strength of a Super Guild for a long time now. It lacked a stage to display its might. Meanwhile, in the eyes of Super Guilds, first-rate Guilds were nothing but children. It was only natural that the handsome youth thought little of the others.

Just as Gentle Snow and Purple Eye were about to face-off, a loud shout suddenly echoed through the hall.

“Everyone, stay your hands!”

A clear, crisp voice swept through the crowd. When everyone turned to look at the owner of this voice, they discovered another great beauty. Unlike Gentle Snow and Purple Eye, this beauty did not possess a frightening aura. However, although she seemed somewhat ordinary, every Guild representative took her seriously.

This beauty was the Candlelight Trading Firm’s manager, Melancholic Smile.

“This is the Candlelight Trading Firm, not the arena! All forms of fighting are prohibited here. If someone wishes to challenge the rules of the Candlelight Trading Firm, then I will have no choice but to send you on your way!” Melancholic Smile scolded.

Nobody doubted Melancholic Smile’s power. Inside a private Shop, the manager was invincible. The manager of the Shop could teleport someone out with a single thought and bar that person from entering the building ever again.

Sure enough, she is indeed formidable! It is no wonder why she can ignore even Underworld! Galaxy Past could not help but focus on Melancholic Smile.

The upper managers of the other Guilds were similarly surprised.

They had not expected Melancholic Smile to be so fearless.

Every player here was an overlord in their own right; their status and identities were extraordinary. It was especially true for the first-rate Guilds present. Yet, Melancholic Smile had not left any room for argument. Her mighty attitude was exactly as the information they received stated, so much so that she appeared even more overwhelming than before.

At Melancholic Smile’s appearance, Gentle Snow and Purple Eye glanced at each other before turning away.

Everyone had come here today to do business. Nothing good would come from provoking the Candlelight Trading Firm.

Peace returned to the reception hall, and everyone began to observe Melancholic Smile. Although she did not emit any sort of aura, there were not many people who had the courage to reproach two first-rate Guilds.

After all, the Candlelight Trading Firm was but a single Lifestyle Guild. Without any combat power of its own, it would have no choice but to purchase its materials from Combat Guilds. One could say that the Trading Firm’s survival relied on Combat Guilds. Moreover, as the game progressed, the Trading Firm would require more precious materials. At that time, the Firm’s reliance on Combat Guilds would grow stronger. Hence, it was not a good idea for the Firm to offend powerful Combat Guilds.

At this moment, the Dragon Pavilion Master seated at the forefront of the hall opened his mouth and said, “Miss Melancholic, since you have arrived, shouldn’t it be about time to begin our discussion?”

Everyone nodded their agreement to the Dragon Pavilion Master’s words.

They had waited for quite some time now, and they had only waited for so long out of respect for the Candlelight Trading Firm’s prestige. Now that its manager had arrived, it was only natural that they began discussing business.

“Certainly. However, a manager like myself does not have the power to make the decisions you are all looking for.” Melancholic Smile shook her head.

“What are you trying to say?” various representatives asked, curious. “Are you saying that you’re not going to do business with us?”

What a joke! They had come from so far and had spent a significant sum on teleportation fees. Now that they were told that there was nothing to discuss. Was the Candlelight Trading Firm just toying with them?

Suddenly, the temperature in the reception hall dropped sharply.

Not a single person present was someone that should be easily offended. Not only were they powerful experts, but the influence they commanded was also frightening. Standing by the side, Melancholic Smile’s assistant felt her legs grow weak, her complexion paling. To an ordinary player like herself, this pressure was immense.

Fortunately for the female assistant, everyone focused not on her, but on Melancholic Smile instead. However, even Melancholic Smile did not feel too well right now. This was her first time experiencing such an immense pressure, so much so that even her hand trembled slightly.

She found it astonishing. This was merely a virtual reality game, yet, she could still feel such intensity. She nearly lost her breath.

“I am only the manager of the Candlelight Trading Firm. Only my boss can make decisions regarding the business you wish to discuss. If you are really interested in working with us, then you’ll be able to meet my boss if you wait for a little while longer.” After Melancholic Smile finished speaking, she turned and left the reception hall.

For a time, silence overtook the reception hall.

Although they had long since guessed that Melancholic Smile was not the Candlelight Trading Firm’s proprietor, hearing her statement had surprised them.

Since Melancholic Smile had been able to establish such a powerful trading firm, the force backing her would naturally be extraordinary. Moreover, nobody present had yet to uncover the tiniest bit of information about this hidden backer. One could just imagine this mysterious backer’s power.

TL Notes:

[1]Zhang Fei (张飞): a military general serving under the warlord Liu Bei in the late Eastern Han dynasty and early Three Kingdoms period of China.

Picture:

http://www.sgcha.cn/sanguochaphoto/image762.jpg

Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhang_Fei