"You are Saint John? From the Everlasting Heavenly Legends?" The skinny player asked.

"You can use your Inspect to check my identity, friend," John replied. Which the two did. They were mighty impressed to find out John was level 58. Most everyone was still at level 55.

After confirming John's identity, the skinny player said, "I am Billy Pants, he is Rough Criminal."

"I know. I used my Inspect, unlike you," John said mockingly. "Now, let's dispense with these useless formalities. Continue your tale."

"Don't you want to tell us where you need us to guide you?" Billy asked.

"Later. Your tale has piqued my curiosity. Continue, or I'm finding others for the job," John said.

Billy didn't know whether he should feel offended or glad that someone was interested in hearing his tale to this extent. He decided to continue then.

"Well, after all that happened, we were adamant about leaving. Will still insisted to continue, but we would have none of it. We agreed to leave. Will could continue on his own if he wanted. Seeing that the others started leaving, he had no choice but to turn back as well. He followed us but he continued to curse and grumble that he would find someone else with some balls the next time he ventured into the sea. He even threatened to not let us board his ship to return. We said to him to try it if he could. We couldn't kill him and took over his ship because it was rented to him so only he could control the ship, but he needed to physically throw us off the ship if he wanted to drive us out. With all of us and only one of him, he won't be able to. But anyway, we soon found out that it didn't matter whether we could board his ship or not."

"Oh? Why is that?" John asked, leaning closer.

"At that time, an eerie voice was heard from our back, asking us why do we turn back. Why didn't we go deeper into the ship? We looked back and found that the corridor behind us had turned pitch black. There was still some moonlight coming in from the window when we walked through that corridor before, but now, it's like something was blocking the light. Then we heard rapid footsteps approaching, faster and louder from inside that darkness."

"Shit, man! I'm sure you are shitting me now!" Rough Criminal uttered.

"I still shit you not! I tell you, man. We were spooked as hell. We started running as fast as we could. Even Will who was so eager to continue exploring the ship was running faster than us. He was a Bard who spent lots of his free attribute points on dexterity. He is also higher level than us at level 56, so he eventually ran past us. One of us who was the slowest since he had the Sentinel class, got left behind. I looked back and saw him overtaken by the darkness. I still remembered his scream from inside that darkness."

"He also couldn't tell what got him inside that darkness?" John asked.

"No, he couldn't. He said the same thing as the others who fell through the floorboards," Billy replied.

"So, since you are telling the story merrily, I assume you got out of there safely?" Rough Criminal asked.

"No, bro. Can't you see my level is 54 now? I died as well. I lost another Amulet of Rebirth. Damn! I already lost five amulets of rebirth. This one here cost 32 gold coins! I won't be able to afford the next one if I die again."

"I pity your predicament, friend, but I'm not interested in the sad part of your story. Please continue the interesting part of your story," John said.

Billy was again in a conflict about how he should feel.

"Yeah, tell me how you die. I'm also eager to know," Rough Criminal said.

Billy sighed. He continued, "After running as fast as we could, we finally came out of the ship's deck. However, instead of feeling relieved, we found that we were not alone. Along the deck, there were ghosts of sailors, blocking our way to Will's ship."


"Yeah, it's like those spooky colorless hologram images you saw in old movies about ghosts. We were at first panicked about what we should do. The ghosts were all around us and coming at us, we have nowhere to run. No way we were going back into the inside of the ship. It was Will who first drew a sword and hit a ghost that was approaching. When we saw a damage number come up from the ghost Will hit, we remembered then that we are in a game world. Everyone took out their weapons and fought the ghosts. The ghosts were tough, but not at the levels that we couldn't handle. With our cooperation, we managed to kill those that approached. However, as we fought, we realized that their number didn't decrease. New ghosts just popped up to replace the one being killed. We knew we couldn't continue like this. We then fought our way toward Will's ship, inching there little by little."

"Then you were killed by the ghosts?" Rough Criminal asked.

"No, I ain't killed by the ghosts!" Billy answered.

"Then how did you die?" Rough Criminal asked again.

"If you keep on interrupting, then you won't find out, will you?" Billy replied with annoyance.

Rough Criminal took the hint and shut himself up.

"Now, where was I? Oh yes, we were fighting our way toward Will's ship. When we reached the side where we docked the ship, we found out that it was half sinking already. Many ghosts were on Will's ship, hacking at it. Even if we jumped over and chased those ghosts away, the ship was already too damaged to be used. That was when we became truly panicked."

"So, that's when you died," Rough Criminal said.

Billy gave him an irritated stare. Rough Criminal put both his hands on his mouth, indicating that he won't speak anymore.

"Though we were panicking, we still fought the ghosts off the best we could. But we truly see no way out, the ghost waves were unending. During our struggle, Will proposed a crazy solution. Jump to the water and swim, he said. We all turned to him as if he was a lunatic. Well, now that I think about it, he was certainly a lunatic. But since none of us had any better idea at the time, we followed the crazy man. All of us jumped into the water."

Rough Criminal almost opened his mouth and spoke but he stopped himself when he saw Billy was staring at him.

"Luckily, there is a map system in this world, so we knew in which direction we had to swim to reach the nearest shore."

"Can't you just use your Town Return Scroll once you put enough distance between you and that ghost ship?" It was John who interrupted this time.

"He must be one of those players who have not swum in the ocean before," Billy said to Rough Criminal with a laugh.

"Haha. Yeah, dude, you are such a land dweller," Rough Criminal mocked John.

"I can easily find others to be my guides, you know?" John threatened.

"Ahem," Billy cleared his throat. "Well, the reason we can't use Town Return Scroll is that it is unlikely for a player who fell from a ship to be out of combat. Many aquatic monsters swam around the ocean. Even though most near the sea surface are low levels, their existence nearby still causes the players to be in a state of combat. Unless one was aboard a ship, it is unlikely that the Town Return Scroll can be used. That's why one must get a ship before venturing into the sea, one can't be in constant combat."

"Hm… Interesting fact," John muttered. "So, these low-level monsters just kept on attacking you as you swam?"

"Yeah. That's how I died. Although most of these aquatic monsters were low-level, sometimes some decent ones could appear. I was killed when I was attacked by a level 50 Red Shark while being harassed by other low-level monsters."

"This will be a problem… I need to get to the bottom of the gulf. Does this mean that I will be constantly attacked by monsters?" John asked.

"What? Why do you want to go down there? Is that why you hired us?" Rough Criminal asked.

"If you are looking for treasures, forget about the gulf. Players in this town had scoured the place. Well, except for the more dangerous areas with high-level monsters and the Merfolk's territory," Billy added. "Anyway, answering your question. The bottom of the sea is not that heavily packed with monsters. It is only on the surface that had such thick monster density."

"Then why didn't you just dive into the ocean to escape from the non-stop combat?"

"Because although the deep has fewer monsters, it is guaranteed that the ones you encounter are much higher level than the ones near the surface. If I didn't have the bad luck of getting attacked by the red shark, I had a better survival chance by swimming on the surface."

"I see… Since you said the bottom of the gulf had been scoured by players, you should know which area had the higher-level monsters, am I right?"

"That's right. If you need guides through the bottom of the gulf, you have come to the right ones," Billy said proudly.

"Great, all right. Let's go then," John said.

"Wait, wait. You don't expect us to guide you from the port all the way through the gulf by walking at the bottom of the ocean, right? It is a long way to go. The longer we spent swimming under there, the more likely we might stumble into a high-level monster that roams outside its usual place."

"Of course not, we are going to rent a ship. I will be needing your info as the locals for that. Take me to a place where I can rent a ship!"