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243 The Real Reward

 What did the Players do right after arriving at the new continent?

Explore the completely unfamiliar land, search for interesting quests, mysterious treasure or valuable prey in the brand-new region. (X)

Declare the greatness of the God of Games to the natives of this land, preach their religion and bring in new converts to strengthen the influence of the Church of Games. (X)

Help their fellow brother Zonyan get even, strutting to the Grayclaw Village with no quarter given and beat up Swordtail and reclaim Zonyan's place as chief. (X)

Anything can wait. The feast comes first (✓).

And naturally, the feast wasn't held in honor of arriving at the new continent.

The truth was that the feast was more a celebration for the perfect conclusion of the previous even, [Undead Disaster ~The Creeping Shadows].

And with the scrumptious food put right in front of them, Zonyan's trio naturally ignored all else and started wolfing everything down.

Moreover, unlike the wood elves, although the Long Ears Tribe weren't strongly positive about the Players, they didn't regard them with indifference or disdain either.

For the Long Ears, since the Players were using food which they brought here themselves for the feast, wasn't using their storage (which were all Betula) and were actually exchanging some grounded sweet wheat powder for their seafood for barbecues, there wasn't any need for hate at all.

And what few children of the Long Ears tribe were drooling at the sight of the grill stalls that the Players had put up...

In a cheerful mood, the Players naturally wouldn't be thrifty and invited the whole tribe to join their festivities.

With the assurances from Zonyan's trio with their strong reputation, more and more Long Ears who were unable to resist the lure came to feast away with the Players. Eventually-even before the skies darkened and the largest bonfire unlit-the Long Ears tribe had integrated with the Players...

"Oh, the crabs here are so huge?! Wonderful!" Gou Dan said, gnawing at a freshly cooked crab emotionally. "Those fellows farming the Fishmen Island every day had cleared out the crabs back there... Last time I was there, I couldn't even find one over three hours!"

The other Players were heaping praise on the Long Ears' seafood as well.

It was true that the marine life was rich and scrumptious back at the Gray Fjord Cape. But either because the Dark Tidal Coast was more dangerous or the tides there being more rapid, the seafood which the Long Ears managed to catch was fresher and tastier than the seafood at the Gray Fjord Cape.

That said, the taste of the sea monsters was more or less the same, but some were grilled wrongly that caused a weird taste and less delicious than the ones the Frogmen grilled.

But unlike the Players who were picky about taste-some of them who didn't like doing daily quest or farm dungeons had begun exploration in search of better food ingredients-the Long Ears were much easier satisfied.

They refused nothing, be it charred, over-fried meat or pasty bread that wasn't baked long enough-even savoring the taste.

After all, they had been caught in food shortages ever since they were chased out of their homeland at the Vierlin Plains. Even though they could afford to have Betula every day and occasionally get their hands on some seafood, there was no hiding the signs that food sources dwindled with every passing day.

In fact, when Zonyan's trio arrived at the Long Ears' village and would take up three additional portions of food, their daily rationing became stricter and they had to stay hungry constantly.

Without sufficient protein from meat and eggs, the growth of children amongst the tribe had slowed as well. Their stamina was lacking, their bodies scrawny and they are definitely unable to learn the martial sorcery passed down through generations.

But now, the overflowing supplies that the Players brought (mainly food) left the chief of the Long Ears feeling as if they had opened a door to a new world.

In his opinion, food, an important element for survival wasn't a precious resource for the humans.

Even if their tribe still couldn't break through the blockade set up by the Graywolfmen and the Hyena-men and secure necessary resources for their survival, wouldn't they be able to start something new and trade with the humans calling themselves 'Players'? It certainly looked like they enjoyed their seafood.

Still, the chief found that the numbers weren't right when he thought deeper about it.

The Players' preference of seafood merely extends to a matter of taste, and they are not the nobility who would spend astronomical prices to buy seafood which actually wasn't worth much.

Trade wouldn't last long if they use the seafood as their competitive commodity.

Besides, harvesting seafood was quite difficult at the Dark Tidal Coast and a moment of carelessness would mean the loss of more of their tribespeople, which was hardly worth it...

Meanwhile, the Players were naturally unconcerned with what the Long Ears' tribe chief was thinking. Most of them were boasting about their heroic deeds in the previous event-there was no lack of tales about how they fought the Dead Red Dragon and crippled one of its legs or how they stood alone against hundreds of Undead Orks. Even Joe, who was taking sips of his malt ale was describing in detail to an onlooking crowd about how he knocked off one the Dead Red Dragon's toes with a single swing of his sword.

Edward, on the other hand, caught sight of Zonyan who looked a little lonely.

He walked up, offering the Leo a toast and only then asked about why he looked a little dejected.

"I thought the rewards for building the Lifestone to connect the two continents would be better." Zonyan smiled bitterly, shaking his head. "But all the God of Games gave is some EXP and game coins... it's a lot, but it's not quite what I expected..."

This was exactly what it meant: greater expectations lead to greater disappointment.

Edward, however, chuckled after hearing Zonyan's story-he knew then that the Leo's faith was not as firm as his that he would doubt the God of Games over something so trivial. "You've misunderstood our lord. If I'm right, you could still exchange the big ships before, right?"

"Yes... but I would have to carry out more daily quests." Zonyan nodded, but then exclaimed in irritation, "And I hate daily quests!"

"But that reward is granted to you alone!" Edward replied seriously. "Think about it-us Players may be able to move between the continents through the Lifestone, but what we could carry isn't much. We even have to pay game coins to come through!"

"Ships are different in that respect. Make one big enough and chart a safe route over the seas, you could move as much cargo as you want! Aren't you please with being able to conduct trade between continents? If it was Marni, he would literally die again from happiness!"

Then, Edward made a solemn face as he summed things up. "So, don't be down over such things. How could the God of Games be wrong? He has already prepared everything for you!"

Zonyan thought about it. That did make sense, although there was also something wrong about it...

He glanced at Edward and thought to himself: The God of Games truly worked in mysterious ways. Us mortals could hardly understand...