LC: Chapter 22

22. Encounter

It must be said that XiaoYu really had the potential to enrich a party’s drops. This time, the boss dropped a Charm Paper even though no crown was found.

CopperPlateKing pounced onto XiaoYu and rubbed himself all over the other. He said it was to leech some luck off of XiaoYu. This went on until NonMeta decided he had enough of it and plucked CopperPlate away from XiaoYu. Finally, XiaoYu who’d been squashed to the point of gasping was saved.

“Thank you.” It was rare for NonMeta to speak up, but that Charm Paper was for him after all.

“It’s nothing much. >///<” XiaoYu didn’t think he was some lucky star or lucky charm. Why else did he never get a good drop when he’s grinding alone?

XiaoYu split the rest of the loot to the other four players, rejecting his own portion. This time, he’d not been of use at all. He was only there to observe a boss-hunting session and to learn from it.

Once the other four sent XiaoYu back up to the top layer of the Jiangshi Cave, they left for the city. Before the bright white light whisked them away, Chrysanthemum’s thoughtful stare at XiaoYu terrified him more than being killed by another player. The tiny cat seemed to be quite afraid of that healer too. It hid behind XiaoYu’s feet and only dared to pop out half of its head to peep at the departing players.

Four beams of light later, XiaoYu was left all alone in that vast cave. He shook away the questions filling his head. She was a friend of CopperPlate and NonMeta. She wouldn’t harm him. His current mission was to keep grinding.

********

Saturday soon arrived. Every guild in the game prayed and hoped that the name of their own guild would sound out to the entire server.

Bai XiaoYu arrived at the Zhang Village just past 5. Not a lot of Heretic Demons members had gathered there yet. They grouped together in duos or trios, either chatting with each other or staring blankly at the forums.

XiaoYu sat down cross-legged at the spot he was assigned to last time. He took the time to rearrange his inventory as he ate dinner with the little cat.

As previously mentioned, the in-game sun would stay up shining bright until midnight for students and those working 9 to 5. It was only slightly darker than usual and did not affect anyone’s line of sight at all.

Hence, XiaoYu immediately noticed it when the light shining down on him turned significantly dimmer. The first thing that he saw as he looked up and packed away his bag was a pair of combat boots.

The glow emitting from the boots looked neither gold nor silver. It wasn’t blinding yet it still made one feel as if they shouldn’t look at it for too long. It’d be disrespectful and might taint its shine. XiaoYu’s first reaction was this was definitely not a normal pair of combat boots. It was at least an SSR item. XiaoYu’s eyes trailed upwards along those boots until the face of its owner could be clearly seen.

Mn. It’s a man. A rather attractive man, XiaoYu reviewed mentally.

One can’t fault XiaoYu for that. If it was a woman in XiaoYu’s place, the most common reaction now would perhaps be to screech out loud, then spin round and round the other player. If it was a brave woman, she might even try seducing him outright.

It’s a pity that while XiaoYu couldn’t really be called a man, due to a lack of experience in certain aspects, the “sex” category in his birth papers stated “male” in black and white. Thus, even if it was a face so handsome that the gods would be infatuated with it, XiaoYu wouldn’t act like a lovestruck fool when looking at another guy. Furthermore, this man was still standing before him and staring down at him for some unknown reason. Was there rice on his face?

“Meow~” The little kitten sprinted across to the man’s feet and lightly twined around them.

“?” XiaoYu felt even more curious. The tiny cat wasn’t afraid of strangers, but it would never act so affectionate with a stranger. Was this man some special NPC? Did the two know each other because they were created by the same A.I. overlord?

As if HereticKing wasn’t pitiful enough, because he still didn’t know he was being seen as an old “uncle” by a tiny cat, he’s not even a human in XiaoYu’s mind. At that moment, HereticKing was just a string of numbers.

“LuckyCat?”

“? Yes! Hello. Can I help you with anything?” When the other spouted his name right off the bat, XiaoYu was even more certain this attractive man before him was an NPC. NPCs with sophisticated A.I. systems would sometimes proactively hand out quests to players they liked.

“…” HereticKing suddenly remembered that the previous two times they’d met, it was just him looking at the other. This boy in front of him didn’t seem to recognise him.

Bai XiaoYu patiently and politely looked back at HereticKing. This NPC might have been in some complicated situation or had some complex backstory. He’s just considering how to phrase his speech.

“Chief~ What wind blew you over? Everyone in this airport has been personally t-r-a-i-n-e-d up by me.” I_Am_A_Poor_Man saw HereticKing and XiaoYu staring at each other in the eyes from far off in the distance. He was very afraid XiaoYu would accidentally offend his boss. This was an existence over a hundred times more perverted and insane than the worst of the game’s bosses.

“You’re a human?” When XiaoYu heard what I_Am_A_Poor_Man had called the other, he was going to ask him “So you’re a player?”. However, his mouth ended up being half-a-beat faster than his own brain and what came out of his mouth warped.

“!!”/ “= =+” That line obviously didn’t go through the brain filter, but the other two understood it.

I_Am_A_Poor_Man sighed. Sure. Even if this lucky cat’s mouth was usually that foolish, it’s fine. But to actually question the Chief to his face whether he was a real human or not? XiaoYu’s doomed. Doomed. He’s going to be killed over and over again until he’s back to Level 1.

HereticKing was stunned at first. He didn’t think XiaoYu was mocking him, but why did that line sound so weird? “You mean you thought I was an NPC?” he answered with twitching lips.

“Aren’t you? Ah, Big Brother Poor called you Chief. Chief…Uhm. You’re HereticKing?” I_Am_A_Poor_Man’s Chief would be the Guild Leader. CopperPlate said the Guild Leader of the Heretic Demons was HereticKing…Only then did XiaoYu link everything together.

“S-Sorry. I thought you were a Quest NPC.” XiaoYu hurriedly bowed. He embarrassed himself again >///<.

“…” HereticKing didn’t know whether he should cry or laugh. Every meeting with LuckyCat was a fresh new experience.

“Meow~~” The little one scratched at HereticKing’s boots. It liked this uncle. He gave it delicious food to eat and even shiny gold coins to play with.

“Aah, it’s fine.” HereticKing bent down and picked the tiny cat up by its neck, lifting it until it could meet his eyes on an even plane. He stretched out a finger and bopped it on the nose. “Little one, are you craving my fish skewers or gold coins?” He wasn’t that egotistical to think his face could subdue a tiny cat.

“Meow. Mrrow~” The kitten pawed at the finger poking the tip of its nose. If the humans could understand it, they’d know it was saying “Gold coin! Gold coin~ Shiny, shimmering coins!” Because Big Brother Poor had already fed it fish.

I_Am_A_Poor_Man’s mouth was gaped wide enough a large chicken egg could fit in it. Why was the Chief acting so close to the greedy cat? From the tone of his voice, they probably knew each other for some time already. That meant he should know LuckyCat. However, LuckyCat didn’t sound like he knew the other.

Fortunately, the area around them was empty. The rest of the healers would not be on standby so early on. Normal guild members would also not roam around for no reason at the portal zone before the battle. Otherwise, the area would be planted with rows of dropped jaws. Their great and mighty Guild Leader was playing around with a tiny black cat, and their ever-violent Healer Squad Leader actually had a goofy, foolish expression on his face.

“Lil Lucky, you know Chief?” whispered I_Am_A_Poor_Man as he pulled XiaoYu aside.

“Mn…Sort of. We messaged each other before.”

“Gods, why didn’t you say so?” He was so dead. He’d gossiped, moaned and bitched about Chief so much. Did the Chief know about it?

“Sorry. I didn’t know he was your Guild Leader.”

“Then did you m-mention about…two days ago…” mumbled I_Am_A_Poor_Man.

“Nope.” XiaoYu didn’t have much to talk to HereticKing about anyway. And why would he spread around what I_Am_A_Poor_Man told him? He also just knew the cheapskate and harsh boss I_Am_A_Poor_Man was going on about was HereticKing himself.

“Good. Don’t pay attention to what I’ve told you before. He’s actually quite nice. He didn’t really squeeze and force me to work. Mm-mph.”

“Oh.” It really didn’t matter what kind of person he was. XiaoYu was not one to gossip.

“So, you two know each other.” When HereticKing was done teasing the little cat, he found I_Am_A_Poor_Man and LuckyCat whispering to each other far away from him. His intuition told him they should be talking about himself.

“Hehe. So, Chief, you know Lil Lucky too. And I was even thinking about introducing you to each other.”

“There’s no need.” HereticKing walked over to XiaoYu and elegantly held out a hand. “Let me reintroduce myself. HereticKing. Heretic Demons’ Guild Leader. Thank you for your help.”

“LuckyCat. B-Being able to help is my pleasure.” XiaoYu rubbed his hand on his robe before nervously shaking HereticKing’s outstretched hand.

“Hehe. What a tiny hand.”

>///<. It’s not his fault his hand was tiny. It’s clearly HereticKing’s hand that was too large. That’s what XiaoYu thought. But when he looked down at his hand that was nearly engulfed by the other’s hand, he blushed for some strange reason.

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