52 The Broken Ring
jiang fei had initially intended to rope in the girls of the knighthood for another round at the elite mode dungeon after distributing his attribute points. apparently, they did not have the time for that, so jiang fei gave up on that thought. ever since logging in for this session, he had been hammering away, only stopping for a class advancement quest between his swings. he was barely away from his anvil!
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jiang fei reorganized his bag. as he had obtained a massive amount of linen, jade tinkerbell had been able to mass-produce bags. naturally, jiang fei had taken the opportunity to expand the total slots in his inventory!
as he barely had a half-hour's worth of uptime remaining, jiang fei rummaged about the knighthood's warehouse. although he had produced much during these few days, he had only extracted a pair of pre-level 10 shoes to the real world. it was time for another real-life upgrade!
as jiang fei had been working like an iron horse, there was an excess of chainmail equipment in the warehouse. all the samples had been carefully handpicked premium samples! jiang fei selected a full equipment set and placed them into the blue slots within the ring, ready to be retrieved into reality when he woke.
with 6 a.m. looming just over the horizon, jiang fei returned to reality in a flash of light.
"haha! i'm gonna be superhuman!" the moment jiang fei opened his eyes, he retrieved the equipment from the ring. a wardrobe switch was all he needed to join his heroes in the comics!
"hmm?" jiang fei peered into the ring. he could clearly see the equipment lying within. however, they did not seem to be extractable!
"what the f*ck! what's going on?!" jiang fei frowned.
jiang fei tried a few more times to no avail. it was right there in front of his eyes, within the empty space of the ring. but he was unable to retrieve them out from the ring no matter what he tried!
it was saturday morning, and jiang fei had the entire day off. on those days, he would usually enter his dad's study room and surf the internet after a quick breakfast. it was different today. he had all day to attempt retrieving his treasures.
by lunch, jiang fei's elated mother was still chirping most enthusiastically to her husband about jiang fei, saying that he had been studying much harder as of late. no internet surfing, no television, only studying all day long in his room. jiang fei's dad was greatly pleased. well, jiang fei's pocket money for the next month was about to be multiplied!
"xiao fei, your dad and i have an evening party to attend later. feed yourself tonight, would you?" jiang fei's mum had said after lunch.
"okay! time to study!" letting his mouth go on autopilot, jiang fei returned to his room and continued his research on the mysterious ring.
"xiao fei, moderation is a necessity when it comes to everything. sufficient rest would take you far in studies!" seeing her son putting so much effort into his studies raised a pang in his mother's heart.
"got it!" jiang fei nodded.
"oh, yeah. jiang fei, if you're available this afternoon, please take my diamond necklace from the room and have it cleaned at the jewelry shop. i need it for the evening!" jiang fei's mum finally decided to have him go outside for some fresh air, instead of being cooped up all day long!
"okay!" jiang fei nodded.
as jiang fei was unable to retrieve the equipment at the moment, he too decided that a change of environment was much needed. the jewelry shop was a simple 10-minute cab trip from his house. without thinking much of it,
he did as she asked.
the necklace was in pristine condition, save for some slight discoloration on the metal from typical oxidation. a quick polish would make quick work of that!
on his way back home via taxi, jiang fei took the necklace out of its box. as he ran it through his fingers, he murmured, "these jewelers are ruthless. not only have they used their magical chemicals to take off whatever precious metals throughout the cleaning process, they're asking us to pay for the damage!"
as the necklace slid through his fingers, the mysterious ring clicked with the diamond that was embedded in the necklace!
"what the f*ck!" jiang fei was struck dumb.
the diamond pendant vanished into a brilliant white light before literally sinking into the mysterious ring. a small mark appeared on his mysterious ring, while the diamond necklace had been stripped of its gem!
"f*ck! f*ck you!" jiang fei would have admitted himself into any mental asylum, there and then. he knew very well what the ring just did. the only difference back then was it chewing up on virtual equipment!
"you've been eating up all my equipment, and i let that slide. but now, you're devouring real-life diamonds? are you f*cking kidding me?!"
finally, jiang fei knew why the ring had been such a pain in the ass. it had not been accepting any of his recent offerings, and it had refused to cough up that new set of equipment. this had been its endgame!
jiang fei's current concern was not on the splendorous expenses awaiting him, but his mother's rage! this was one of his mum's most favorite accessories. now that the ring had devoured it, he would definitely end up being eaten by his mum.
the taxi driver could not care less about his inane-sounding ramblings. a few minutes later, jiang fei was left alone at the doorway of his house, clutching the now diamondless-necklace in his hand! he had no choice but to slink into the house.
"xiao fei, what happened to you?" jiang fei's face was basically leaking the very essence of depression itself. his mother quickly caught on to it in a single glance.
"your necklace..." jiang fei mumbled.
"what?" jiang fei's mother froze up in apprehension.
"i lost the diamond pendant…" jiang fei certainly could not say that his ring had devoured the diamond. he could only lie about losing it.
"sigh! xiao fei, that was very careless of you, considering your current age!" jiang fei's mum frowned -- she truly liked the necklace. but her son's recent hard work gave her a moment's pause!
"forget it. i'll wear something else!" jiang fei's family was not exactly poor. as much as she loved the necklace, jiang fei's mum chose to let it go, as the necklace was incomparable to her beloved dearest son.
when jiang fei returned to his room, staring blankly at the mysterious ring. although he had managed to fool his mum, where the heck would he obtain more diamonds? the ring had swallowed up a rather sizable diamond, and only had a slight mark on its surface to speak of! leveling up his ring would be something else. forget his mother's full collection -- they might have to sell the house off!
diamonds were not a rarity. it was the money! as long as jiang fei had money, he could easily obtain enough diamonds for the ring to level up. but the simple fact of the matter now was this -- jiang fei had no money!
"where do i even begin?" jiang fei mumbled to himself. at the same time, four faces emerged within his mind!
as an ordinary high school student, the ring that enabled him to bring items out from the game set him apart from ordinary people. now that the ring was simply refusing to spit its contents out, jiang fei had been robbed of that advantage!
but within the game, these four major guilds might be able to serve him far better!