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85 A Day of Rest: Part I

 Since Xi Wei had to relax and rest to properly digest the Aquatic Lord's Divinity Shard, the players had found themselves with a lot more free time than usual.

Well, maybe it wasn't 'free time' per se. After all, even the highest level players were only around a measly Level 30, and the new level cap was now raised to Level 60, it was as if Xi Wei was using this simple method to tell his players, "The grind never stops! You still have a long way to go, so keep at it!!"

But players really didn't have much to do. The Unnamed Town, the Underground Hideout of Lancaster, the Frogmen Village, all of them had their own daily missions to help gain reputation, only 25% of Valley of the Tragic Dead had been explored, and the newly opened shores of the Grey Fjord Port had only had 1% of its explorable area uncovered... A lot of players drowned out at sea since they hadn't unlocked the 'Swimming' skill yet, needing to employ the help of the Frogmen to drag their floating corpses back to shore, and then get revived by Cleric players or the frogmen village elder.

A Lifestone had also been erected in the middle of the Frogmen Village, allowing players sleeping with the fish to be able to instantly respawn at the Frogmen Village... though it didn't have much purpose aside from helping players save some leg time.

But now players could teleport to the Unnamed Town and the Underground Hideout of Lancaster through the Lifestone by spending some in-game money.

At first, Xi Wei was hesitant to place a Lifestone in the Frogmen Village, fearing that the Ocean God would storm his Divine Kingdom if he found the Aquatic Lord's Divinity to be missing.

But then he figured that with so many players finishing their daily quests in the Frogmen Village, even without the Lifestone, the Ocean God would probably be able to tell what had happened and invade his kingdom regardless.

And without the ability to teleport, players entering and exiting the Frogmen Village would have to waste a lot of the village elder's time, causing progress to be slowed and overall efficiency to drop.

In the end, Xi Wei decided that what would happen, would happen, and thus allowed the village elder to set the Lifestone in place.

Overseeing all the players carrying out their daily round of quests with such enthusiasm, Xi Wei smiled down at them from the Divine Kingdom like a proud mother looking at her children.



After closing down for a couple of days to let its boss do some business elsewhere, Iron Cauldron Tavern finally reopened, and its business was booming as usual.

Just as the owner was hanging up a notice saying, "We welcome our guests to bring their own ingredients, excluding Aquatic Angels, please do not treat your summons as ingredients to give to the chef", Joe walked in with his head hung low.

"Well if it isn't Paul (Joe's full name was Joe Paul)!" Ivan saw him enter from his table with his teammates, greeting him brightly. "I haven't seen you in two days, have you been at the Frogmen Village doing your daily tasks?"

Since they were both Warrior class players they had a pretty decent relationship, sometimes getting together to eat or spar or clear raids, that sort of stuff.

"I don't wanna talk about it, I took on a quest to go find some domesticable animals for the town's farm, but apparently all the Frost Season animals decided to go back into their burrows. I crawled through so many caves, fought through packs of Dire Bears, and spent two whole days out in some random ravine to find a Snow-Tailed Deer that fits the quest's requirements."

Joe had a dark expression. "Guess what the quests rewards were?"

"What?" Ivan asked curiously.

In lieu of a reply, Joe started doing an extremely accurate rendition of the Gangnam Style dance.

???

'I asked you what your reward was and you start dancing? I mean, it's not a bad dance but still...'

Joe stopped after a while.

Ivan gave him polite applause for his performance. "Not bad, but what did that have to do with your quest?"

"That was the reward," Joe lamented, "After I finished the quest I unlocked the 'Horse Riding' skill, but after activating it, that was what I got?"

"So does the dance have any other effects? Like maybe it's a rally dance to buff you and your allies or something?"

"Nope," Joe replied dryly, "It's just a dance, nothing else."

The other players in the tavern all gave an audible gasp, shocked by this turn of events.

"So what you're saying is, that the quest reward wasted one of your skill points to get this useless skill?" Ivan furrowed his brows, thinking that this quest was a bit too evil.

"Skill points? No, no. The skill was straight up given to me, I didn't have to spend my skill points on it," Joe explained, "It doesn't show up on the skill tree either, it opened up some weird Collectibles tab, it had some other stuff in it too, I think..."

"Oh I see."

Ivan nodded, deep in thought, then suddenly slamming his drink on the table. "Boss, bill please! Paul, could you tell me where you obtained the quest?"

"Yeah?"

Joe looked at Ivan in confusion, not understanding why he would ask such a question. "You want to do it too? But this skill is pretty pointless..."

Ivan let out a sigh then laughed. "It doesn't matter whether or not it's useful, I'm just a completionist I guess, I wanna collect everything I can! Plus, your little dance seemed like fun, so I'd like to have it in my possession, since it doesn't waste a skill point anyways."

"I want in too!" Ivan's teammates all joined in on the excitement.

"Stop joking, why would you want to learn this?" Ivan frowned at his friends, scolding them in case Joe thought they were teasing him.

"Well you see, the previous two banquets, even though I went, I kept feeling like something was missing. Well for one, there weren't any female players there to chat up, but thinking about it now, there wasn't any dancing either! If I could dance, I'd look like such a baller!" The player was practically drooling at his own fantasy. "If I could do that dance during the next banquet, I'm sure it'll be great!"

After his enthusiastic speech, a few of the remaining players who were reluctant at first were now very much ready to participate.

"Yeah, yeah, since it doesn't use up any skill points, it wouldn't hurt to learn!"

"Ahem, I'm personally a person of a higher standard, I just think the dance looks nice."

"Let's get those girls!"

Joe didn't care about keeping a secret, telling the guests of the tavern everything from the NPC they had to talk to to the best spot to find a suitable animal. And thus, under the lead of Ivan, they went off on their journey to master the art of dance, thanking Joe for his help as they left the tavern.

Leaving Joe alone in the building still trying to process what had happened.

After a bit, he inexplicably started dancing again.

"Hmm, I guess it's kinda fun..."

The Iron Cauldron's boss was watching the whole event play out from the sidelines after putting up his notice, it wasn't the first time something like this had happened.

He could already see it, a bunch of players showing off their weird dances during the next banquet, their clunky armor not hindering them at all as they danced through the night. Oh the chaos that would ensue...