"Are you Roland?"
The person before Roland was excited. He had golden hair, blue eyes, and an athletic body, although something about his face was unusual. It was obvious that he was a player.
Roland blinked his eyes and asked, "And you are?"
"Im Ziegfeld, from the Coalition of Progress." The player shook hands with Roland warmly and firmly. "Ive been meaning to talk to you, but I never had time. I didnt expect to meet you here. Its really great. Im quite lucky!"
Roland could barely stand the guys enthusiasm.
The young men nowadays, including Roland, were unusually not good at dealing with people who were particularly warm to them. It was not because they were short of social skills, but because they treated colleagues, clients, and friends in different ways.
They could greet strangers normally, but they were quite unused to talking to them warmly or being talked to in the same way.
So, Roland could only manage a smile and say, "Hello, Im indeed Roland. What can I do for you?"
"Can we talk for a while in the tavern over there?" Ziegfeld pointed to one side.
Roland pondered for a moment. He was about to decline the request, but Ziegfeld was too hopeful and earnest.
Having no choice, Roland could only agree to his request.
They sat down in the tavern.
There were few people in the tavern, probably because it was not rush hour yet.
After ordering two cups of fruit wine, Ziegfeld said, "You mustve heard about the Coalition of Progress, right?"
"Ive read your posts on the forum that are hiring new people and looking for new friends."
Ziegfeld smiled happily and continued, "Weve been paying attention to you too. Most players nowadays are selfish and are unwilling to share their new discoveries or research results. When they do release their findings, they will still charge forum coins."
Roland listened in silence. He had noticed the trend too.
"But youre different. Youre still publicizing your knowledge for free," Ziegfeld said in admiration. "You have the spirit of community. The central members of our group all agree that you should join us."
Roland was briefly stunned. "Right now?"
"Of course right now. Its never too early to start." Ziegfeld smiled and said, "We need powerful partners who can understand us."
Roland frowned. "But now is still not the time."
"Why not?" Ziegfeld was slightly surprised.
"The players are not strong enough yet," Roland explained. "Personally, I dont object to your ambitions. I dont like the aristocracy in this world either. But this is really not the best time."
"Are you saying that were too weak?" asked Ziegfeld slowly.
Ziegfeld smiled. "Rest assured, weve taken that into consideration. We all know the importance of military force. So, were still preparing and havent really done anything yet."
Roland was much more reassured after hearing that.
He asked curiously, "How many members have you recruited?"
"A thousand players have joined our group." Ziegfeld smiled and said, "There are also more than ten thousand ordinary people, who live with us in the suburbs. We have established a small town that is run completely according to the system on our side."
Roland gasped after hearing that. "More than ten thousand people?"
Ziegfeld nodded in satisfaction.
"Thats too huge a target," Roland mumbled. "I feel that something might go wrong."
"Thats fine. Weve taken that into consideration too. If they come, well beat them." Ziegfeld smiled. "We know the soldiers of the lieges nearby well, and were not scared."
"No." Roland shook his head. "Im scared that the gods will be involved."
After a brief silence, Ziegfeld said, "Personally, Im rather worried too. Thats why we live in the suburbs and try to stay away from the believers."
Roland drank the fruit wine in silence.
Observing Roland for a while, Ziegfeld asked, "Roland, are you willing to join us?"
Roland thought for a moment and replied, "Can I consider it for a couple of days?"
"Of course. You can find us in the suburbs when you think it through. You wont miss it." Ziegfeld smiled and stood up. "Its getting late. I have to deliver the salt to the town."
The good thing about the system Backpack was that nobody could see what other people were carrying or rob them.
After Ziegfeld left, Roland finished the fruit wine and asked the bartender where the Chamber of Commerce was. Then, he left for his destination.
This was a crowded city of business. While he walked, Roland considered what Ziegfeld said.
It was unquestionable that Ziegfeld and his group were doing the right thing, but they were too hasty.
They had already copied the system and the ideas from reality and even established a town.
They were quite effective, but they were not powerful enough.
More importantly, they had shown their intentions, and should they be discovered, the gods would be wary of such ideas in the future.
In such a case, it would be much harder to disseminate similar ideas.
Roland only hoped that he was overthinking it
Soon, Roland arrived at the Chamber of Commerce.
He was about to ask the guard if there was a Rollaford in this place, when a young man walked out and waved his hand at Roland. "Roland, here!"
Roland walked to him and asked, "Rollaford?"
The player nodded. Without further ado, he took out a black gem from his system Backpack. "This can help you find the Red Magic Tower."
Roland gave him ten gold coins.
They exchanged the black gem and the gold coins.
After taking the gold coins, the player seemed to be leaving. But he suddenly turned around and asked, "Right, are you willing to be hired by players?"
Roland was puzzled. "With the system Backpacks, you neednt worry about someone robbing you of your merchandise, do you?"
Rollaford shook his head. "Its not about business. Our boss accepted a blue quest but got stuck. He needs a translator, but none of the people we looked for could understand what it means."
Oh, so they were interested in Rolands Language Proficiency.
"Is it a tricky quest?"
"Not exactly. Well pay you one gold coin for your service. How does it sound?" Rollaford thought for a moment and continued, "Also, this quest probably rewards a lot of EXP. Its a blue quest."
"Deal." Roland nodded.
The guy was truly a smart businessman to discover Rolands need. Roland did not care about a gold coin, but EXP was definitely attractive to him.
At this point, Roland needed EXP more than he needed money.
Rollaford smiled and said, "Fantastic. The quest weve been stuck on for five days can finally be resolved."