After the heart-to-heart talk, the mood in the party lightened. They began talking about work, about life in general, in the party chat. QiXuan knew his younger brother’s habits. He knew how the other was, but he never could’ve imagined the man would have already moved his lover into his own home. The plot seemed to be skipping ahead way too fast.
With Sacrifice in their disposal, QiYao no longer had to worry about risking XiaoYu’s life from the big level gap between him and the Berserk Mummies. The three swept through the Elite monsters. They were the unstoppable force. Soon, the last Essence dropped amidst the roaring cries of dying monsters.
Finally, QiYao and XiaoYu understood what this quest was about. QiXuan was working on the Paladin’s Level 100 Third Job Change quest. The original quest had automatically been deleted because QiXuan didn’t complete it in time. Thankfully for QiXuan, he’d gotten a gathering quest again. He just had to gather the Essences of all 10 Undead mobs within 5 days.
As the items were special quest items, they would never be found by other players. Only players with the quest active, and their party members, would stand a slim chance of finding them. The three players sighed. What ridiculously low chances. Even with XiaoYu – the silently acknowledged lucky charm of grinding for quest items – in the party, they had taken days to gather them all. Who knew how long it’d take QiXuan if he tackled it alone?
In return for helping out with grinding, QiYao and XiaoYu could follow QiXuan to the Job Change Hall and witness the moment he was promoted to a Templar. There were also two more Templar skills added to QiXuan’s skillset. However, these two new skills made QiXuan regret instead of rejoice having triggered this secret Job. These skills had nothing to do with his personal style at all. All they did were making him work for nothing.
As usual, one was a passive skill. It’s an upgrade to the skill that increased the damage dealt to Undead mobs, the player’s defence against all Undead and experience gained from the Undead. Now, anyone who was in the same party as QiXuan would benefit from the skill. The other Templar skill was an upgraded version of Sacrifice. Initially, the player could only cast it at one plater. If the Paladin tried to cast Sacrifice on another player while one was already in effect, the buff on the previous target would disappear. Now, QiXuan could cast the skill on multiple players. But for every additional player he targets, the damaged he’d receive would be increased by 1%.
From how the secret Jobs’ skills were progressing, QiYao was very much looking forward to when XiaoYu would go through his third Job Change. Perhaps Obsecro will turn into an AoE skill. It did take a little too much time right now with XiaoYu having to cast it on everyone one-by-one.
However, that moment was still rather far off in the future. His primary mission right now was to focus on grinding.
“Brother, will you be returning to the main guild?” QiXuan had been in the main guild before. When the subsidiary guilds started up, he ran off to help hold down the fort in those guilds.
“No. I’ll head back to the subsidiary guilds. I’ll help you take care of XiaoYu.” QiXuan and QiYao’s in-game names were part of a set. A lot of people back then were curious and kept throwing theories around. The two’s cold and aloof attitudes didn’t help the situation. Of course, there were people who knew they were brothers in real life. There weren’t many though and they kept their mouth shuts, pretending to be as confused as the others.
“Oh.” QiYao really didn’t want his brother to take care of XiaoYu but it was the other man’s decision. He won’t nag and whine.
“XiaoYu, can you add players into the guild?” QiXuan turned to XiaoYu and asked.
“I’ll just ask Egg_Tart then. I’ll help you with grinding in the future.” While QiXuan had a lot to complain about his new skills, it had given him a good chance to bond with the his “brother-in-law”.
“Okay. Thanks, Brother.”
After the third-wheeling lightbulb went away, QiYao and XiaoYu only hung out for a few moments before splitting ways to grind on their own. QiYao had been very busy lately, in-game that is. XiaoYu still didn’t know just how busy the other was.
Nevertheless, no matter how busy QiYao was, he still remembered to check on the forums. He couldn’t have imagined the explosive impact of the PvP duel in the Pyramids. While he didn’t care much that other people get hurt from their own ill-intent, he was surprised that the ever low-key XiaoYu would offer up a video to protect him. More importantly, there was a video of the incident! It seemed like XiaoYu was getting smarter and smarter on ways to protect himself. To QiYao, this was the most satisfying conclusion he could’ve hoped for. As for the braindead woman, he didn’t care at all. By the time he got off the forums, he’d already forgotten what she looked like.
Days went by. The Christmas Socks began to pile up in XiaoYu’s storage. XiaoYu never turned in any more socks, except for those used for the first two presents. That’s because he had realised, he had no self-control regarding chests and boxes whatsoever. As soon as he got one, he would be overwhelmed by a strong desire to open it. Fortunately, he’d given one to QiYao in time. Of course, the other present was already cracked open by then. A tiny Christmas Confetti Popper was quietly hiding in his storage. To prevent his hands from itching to tear into all the presents he got, XiaoYu suppressed the urge to hand the socks in.
But on one fine day, he finally couldn’t bear it anymore. He handed in all his Christmas socks for presents. Of course, one of the main reasons that pushed him to do so was because Poor_Man had gotten his hands on another XP Penalty Waiver. He told XiaoYu to free up the afternoon to train with him.
It was still, roughly, the same party as the last time they’d done this, but when they gathered, everyone received a present. While presents were nothing new or rare to high-levelled players, they still understood XiaoYu wasn’t great with words and this was his way of thanking them. What an adorable and sweet child. No wonder Chief liked him.
“Aah, Xiao-Yu, I’m so touched.” If not for Chief’s presence, and the Chief’s boss’s presence, Poor_Man would’ve pounced on XiaoYu and hug the life out of this cute kid. Poor_Man had always been the one to offer up help to anyone. He had always been the proactive party in his relationships. It was very rare for anyone to give him a present with such sincere intentions. It’s just too touching.
That’s right. Chief’s boss meant QiXuan. Poor_Man knew their relationship. QiXuan had also been invited to train with them too. That skill, Sacrifice, was a hundred-times better than Safety Wall. Furthermore, QiXuan’s new skill could increase the entire party’s experience gains. Those skills made an already desirable player even more attractive to grinding parties. It was like they’d added wings to a ferocious tiger.
“Hehe. Ah, I’ve got an extra present here. Here, it’s yours.” After handing one out to everyone, there was one more left in XiaoYu’s inventory. He knew that if it was left in his hands, it would never live to see tomorrow. Thus, he stuffed it in Poor_Man’s hands.
A whimsical act immediately resulted in Poor_Man being stabbed by death glares. His hands stuttered and the present nearly fell to the ground.
“W-Why for me?” Poor_Man asked.
Receiving one meant a touching moment. Receiving another meant a burden. Just look at the Hei brothers’ expressions, especially the Chief’s. Poor_Man could feel holes being drilled into him.
“Because you passed your Job Change. It’s a congratulatory present.” Let no one say XiaoYu wasn’t a considerate and thorough man. Back when QiYao hit Level 100, the two weren’t even friends yet. Even so, XiaoYu had congratulated him over private messaging. I_Am_A_Poor_Man had dawdled and shuffled towards Level 100 for a long time. Finally, he had reached his goal. He had taken care of XiaoYu ever since they met. How could XiaoYu not have noticed Poor_Man’s achievement?
Aah, Poor_Man felt his heart bursting with joy. If the other wasn’t already taken, he might consider asking this cute kid out too.
Xuan: XiaoYu, why didn’t I get a present when I passed my third Job Change a few days ago?
Yu: Erm…sorry. I didn’t have any back then.
Xuan: (Squint, smile) It seems a little unfair. I want a present too.
Yu: (Troubled) …I…
Xuan: (Sneaky smile) You don’t have anymore? I’m so hurt.
Yu: Ah, I have two more Christmas socks. (Take out, hand over, implying that QiXuan could get a present when he gathered five)
Yao: (Smile, hugs XiaoYu tight)
Hei QiXuan VS Bai XiaoYu, Round Two: Bai XiaoYu, win.