GC: Chapter 85

85. You Believe Me Just Like That?

YiHan tugged at a corner of a blanket and hummed an affirmative sound. He didn’t know what to say. In his last life, the old Mr Yan acted first. He had the advantage of being early and bought half of all the available areas. He earned so much from it that the entire Yan Group was significantly stronger for it. The remaining crumbs left by the Yan family was enough to produce batches after batches of real estate kings.

The five great families of the city were the Yan family, the Bai family, the Mu family, the Chen family and the Qi family. While there weren’t many differences on the surface, in reality, some of them were stronger than the others. The Yan family was like a great, old oak. It had many branches and dominated both in business and in politics. It was already stronger than the other four families. After eating such a big slice of cake, it jumped straight up to be the top dog of the city. The Mu family slowly shifted its focus overseas because JingYuan went overseas. As Qi Kun was ill and Qi MingYang was a young man who wasn’t crafty enough yet, they were rather weak. The Chen family had lost its heir, so they weren’t stable. But then, the Bai family got into trouble. The Qi and Chen family each took a slice of the Bai family’s pie, rapidly building themselves up. In the end, only three major forces were left in the city.

Now that he was reborn, he had only thought that his family would be fine as long as he didn’t try and commit suicide. He never thought about helping his family get stronger, to be so strong that no one else would dare touch them. Among the five great families, the Bai family was the simplest of them all. There weren’t a lot of them and they didn’t have any political ties of their own. This was a fatal wound. That was why even though the Bai family was strong in YiHan’s last life, it was still toppled over by other forces working together. As they say, a strong man trumps over ten martial artists. One had nothing to fear as long as they were stronger than the others. As for YiHan, he would never be the “soft spot” of the Bai family ever again.

The Bai family was gobbled up by the Qi and Chen family but they could only rise to the Yan family’s equal in the end. It was obvious just how beneficial the southern suburbs were.  In that case, if the Mu and Bai families could seize this chance, they’d definitely grow to be much stronger. Then, they wouldn’t be so easily toppled. As for the Chen family, as long as TianYang was kept alive and he truly loved XueQing, then the two families would unite to be a single family with no grudges between them at all. From then on, only the Qi family would be left among their enemies. They wouldn’t be able to do much. At the thought of that, an urge began rising in YiHan’s mind.

However, just how could he convince his family and JingYuan that the southern suburbs, the “useless lands” would turn into a treasure trove? That’s the main question.

In JingYuan’s eyes, YiHan had went silent all of a sudden. A great frown overtook the younger man’s face. Who knew what was going on in his mind? JingYuan started getting nervous. He had been traumatised by the incident where YiHan had mental breakdown while clutching at a shard of glass.

“What are you thinking about?” JingYuan asked in the softest voice he could muster. “Can you talk to me about it?”

YiHan snapped back from his thoughts and stared at JingYuan with wide eyes.

“If I say,” YiHan started in a what-do-I-have-to-lose tone. “The southern suburbs would turn into land so precious that every inch would be worth its weight in gold, that there’s a limitless business opportunity there, would you believe me?”

JingYuan let loose a soft sigh of relief. “Why wouldn’t I believe you?” he said. “Did you receive some sort of news?”

YiHan shook his head. JingYuan tilted his head up and pecked him on the lips.

“You felt a business opportunity there?” JingYuan gently asked.

YiHan looked back dazedly. Felt a business opportunity? He had no such skill.

“I just feel that there must be some sort of potential in it,” YiHan replied.

JingYuan lightly chuckled. He rubbed his cheek against YiHan’s before rising and picking up his phone.

“Chen Hong,” JingYuan said into the phone after dialling a number into it. “Take a look at the company’s finances. We’ll buy as many of the southern suburbs’ lands as we can afford to.”

“Don’t ask that many questions. Just do as I say,” JingYuan continued.

Then, he hung up, only to look up and see YiHan’s eyes had went as wide as saucers. A smile burst out of him at that sight. He walked over to tap the other on the tip of the nose.

“What’s with your expression? Is it that shocking?” JingYuan asked with a low chuckle.

“You believe me just like that?” YiHan was stunned.

“Of course,” JingYuan stated in a matter-of-fact tone. “As if you would hurt me.”


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LC: Chapter 86

86. Christmas Eve

In the blink of an eye, Christmas was here. After a few game updates patched on in the silent of the night, the game was soon filled with Christmas decorations. Even players nested deep in their caves or forests would occasionally be startled by a Christmas bell chiming from a tree branch, thinking it was a monster.

On Christmas Eve, the main cities of AO would be facing the very last attempt by the Evil Santa Clauses to ruin Christmas. During the event, not only will players face an invading force of Evil Santa Clauses, the mobs will also be spawning inside the cities to make it easier for players to collect all the socks they want one last time.

In the great plaza outside of the cities’ southern gate, a ginormous Evil Santa Claus boss monster would also spawn on the hour from 8 pm to 10 pm.  Naturally, this boss would be much, much tougher than the normal mobs roaming within the city. Still, no one had to worry. As it was Christmas Eve, PvP was not allowed in all maps from noon to midnight, except for PvP arena. Furthermore, no one would be losing levels from being killed, not even by monsters.

Meanwhile, the New Year events have quietly started. The first event was defeating the monster “Nian”. Kill it and the player would stand a chance to win New Year Rice Cakes, Red Envelopes and other gifts. Either way, as a result, the servers were bursting with life. Every morning, the first thing anyone did was to look at the Update Notice Board to see what fun new things were in store for them.

In comparison, the Guild Wars were looking rather lacklustre. With it being so close to the new year, many players, particularly the female players, have lost their will to just massacre everything in sight. They’d all applied for leave to participate in the festivities and muck about with their outfits and accessories. Even the latest underground map had lost any attractive qualities it might’ve had from being new to the game. All guilds with a fortress had it all mapped out by now. Treasure Chests were only ever in the control of Guild Leaders so most players would never be able to see it. Hence, they’d given up on even fantasising about it at all.

Speaking of the Treasure Chests, after days of secret comparisons, Egg_Tart finally had to admit it. XiaoYu was much luckier than he was. Even if XiaoYu was unlucky enough to only get a normal Dead Branch and a chest of potions, Egg_Tart would only get a chest of potions, nothing more. He got so pissed that he nearly tried to lift the chest up, turn it upside down and start shaking to see if there was anything stuck to the bottom.

However, this was a matter of dignity. No matter how bad things got, he would never ask XiaoYu to come open up the chest in his subsidiary guild. He wouldn’t be that kind of lustful ruler. ╭(╯^╰)╮

“XiaoYu, can you follow me to a place tomorrow night?” QiYao asked the day before Christmas Eve.

“Sure. Where to?” XiaoYu replied.

“It’s a secret.”

“??”

“You’ll know once you get there,” QiYao said, acting all mysterious.

“…” That just made XiaoYu even more curious.

On the evening of Christmas Eve, the cities were filled to the brim with players. No Evil Santa Clauses could live past 5 seconds after spawning. When the hourly boss spawned, the numbers would skyrocket even further.

XiaoYu didn’t like events with crowds. Anyway, he was a healer. Unless the mob spawned right next to his hand, there was no way he could be faster than a wizard or archer. QiYao’s plan to vanish into thin air with XiaoYu came at the right time.

Throughout the whole journey, QiYao never told the other were they were going. All he did was pull XiaoYu along by the hand as they jumped from portal to portal until they reached a port somewhere XiaoYu knew not.

It was a tiny town. There was a single straight road and one could look out at the flat blue horizon from the other end of the street. There was no one around other than a few fishermen NPCs.

QiYao led XiaoYu along the road until they reached the wooden pier at the end. All they could see were the endless ocean and a few seagulls scattered across the evening sky. XiaoYu’s confusion grew. Just why did QiYao want to bring him here? Were they going fishing?

“Hello,” QiYao called out to someone below the pier.

XiaoYu peeked under. This was a two-tier pier. There was a middle-aged man, an NPC, fishing with a cigarette hanging from his lips.

“Ah, young man, you’re here. This is the one you want to bring along?” the man languidly replied. He didn’t look up at QiYao, as if the other’s appearance wasn’t a surprise to him.

“Yes,” QiYao said.

“You’re really sure? Once we set out, there’s no regrets.”

“Yes.”

“Okay. Pay up.” The man perked up to life. He threw aside his fishing rod and stood up. With a quick swoosh, he climbed up to the upper pier and laid his hand out before QiYao.

Without hesitation, QiYao handed the man a pouch.

“All’s good. 100 Crystal Coins in total. Just a moment. I’ll be right back,” the man said with a satisfied nod after a quick count of the bag’s contents. Immediately afterwards, he scampered off into the distance.

“…?” XiaoYu’s confusion was now visible on his face as the plot developed into a strange direction.

“You’ll soon know,” QiYao calmly replied.

Time ticked by. Just as XiaoYu was about to think the NPC wasn’t coming back, he heard a boat closing in from far away. It was the missing NPC, slowly steering his way to them.

“Get in, young ones,” the man happily chimed with a wide grin. As expected, his attitude was completely changed after being paid.

“Sit tight!” the man yodelled once the two men had sat down in the boat. It started to gain speed and was soon speeding off into the vast sea.

“XiaoYu, remember to hold on tight to me later.”

“…?” The ship was fast but it wasn’t a rocky ride. While XiaoYu pondered over why QiYao said that, he saw the sky changing colours outside the window.

“A typhoon?” XiaoYu exclaimed.

The skies were bright and cheery just a moment ago. Now, grey clouds stretch all across the horizon. Thunder could be heard coming from afar. The waves started growing. The boat started swaying. XiaoYu had never encountered such a situation before. He was lost. His hands clamped down on QiYao who was sitting right beside him.

“Don’t worry. The ship won’t crash.” QiYao embraced XiaoYu and gently patted the other on the back.

“Mn.” QiYao’s voice always had a magical effect on XiaoYu. It’d make him unwittingly trust every single word that came out of the other’s mouth. No matter how worrying the unknown path forward was, XiaoYu would still calm down.

The boat didn’t shy away from the thundering storm ahead. Instead, it sped and charged straight into the cyclone. Wind and water twine and mingle. The sea splashed and sloshed. The boat should’ve succumbed to the huge waves surrounding it long ago, sinking to the depths of the ocean. But the man steering the boat didn’t seem to mind the horrible weather around him. The boat plunged up one wave after another in ease. The terrifying waves seemed to have turned into the best assistance forward for the boat. They pushed the boat far past the speed it could’ve achieved by itself.

The boat sped past the rainstorm without any danger. When light once again shone on XiaoYu’s face, a gigantic island had appeared before the ship.

Translator’s Notes:

  1. Nian: In the original game, this monster is called “Zhu Po Long” or “Dancing Dragon”. Not only is it a mob in the Endless Tower and the Louyang Dungeons, according to certain sources it (apparently) was an Event mob. It could drop Lucky Candy, Lucky Candy Cane, Lucky Cookie, Firecracker and Red Envelope. However, this particular version of the New Year event might be derived from Asian RO editions as websites that claim these all link to the Korean, Japanese and Taiwanese databases (which won’t load for me). The closest equivalent to AO’s New Year Event from iRO appears to be the 2008 Lunar New Year Event where players exchange rice pouches for rice cakes and Red Envelopes.
  2. New Year: Reminder that this is a Chinese novel completed in 2011 set in a Korean game. The Gregorian Calendar’s new year wasn’t really a thing anyone celebrated online and RO only ever had Lunar New Year events.
  3. Many players, particularly female players: To anyone who’s looking to write anything, please note this specific example of how too much description can be detrimental to one’s career. This is a problematic phrasing that could lead to great backlash from English readers. It contributes nothing as there aren’t any female players about to enter the scene and only highlights the misogynistic culture the writer is surrounded by. I had been debating whether to edit “particularly female players” out as it really highlights just how few women there are in this novel, but it’s been left in as it’s not the most problematic phrasing to be found in this novel.


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GC: Chapter 84

84. President Mu’s Request for Help

Tao Qi was standing right there, yet HanHan didn’t recognise her at all. And when JingYuan had went over, he looked so very happy. That had made him let out a tiny sigh of relief. HanHan really did liked him!

JingYuan thought back to YiHan’s responses last night. In bed, the other man would always make him feel like he could do anything he wanted to. Subconsciously, his lips curved into a gentle smile. But then, he recalled how YiHan would always awkwardly dodge his attempts at being affectionate. His mood instantly drooped. He pondered and wondered. In the end, he pulled his phone out and started a thread on an anonymous forum.

HELP: My boyfriend constantly switches between being affectionate and cold, but when we make love, he’d spoil me and let me do what I want. Does he love me or not? Waiting online.

JingYuan waited a few minutes before he refreshed the page and a slew of comments appeared below his question.

Dearest.Doggy: OP, are you asking for help or showing off?

Doggy: OP’s showing off! Not going to help!

Green.Grass.Growing.On.Your.Head: Showing off +1

Undies.in.the.Wind: Does this need explaining? Humans might try and cover up in their daily lives, but they’d be very honest when making love. If he didn’t love you, why would he spoil you? Say, how is he spoiling you?

Prettiest.Flower.in.the.Sky: Miss, you’ve got to communicate with him. Girls need to feel safe. If that keeps going on, anyone would be exhausted!

No.One.Wants.a.Wild.Chrysanthemum: Upstairs, are you mistaken? OP is clearly a guy!

Prettiest.Flower.in.the.Sky: Upstairs, are you blind? OP said. Boy. Friend!

Glamorous.Chrisanthemum: Haha, upstairs, have you never heard of a species called gays? Hurry away from here. Be careful. You might open up to a brand new world!

Prettiest.Flower.in.the.Sky: Brand new world, my ass. Same-sex marriage has been legal for years. I just didn’t think of it!

Glamorous.Chrisanthemum: My analysis, OP is top!

Flexing.Love: OP, your boyfriend is such a great bf!

I.am.the.Greatest.Top: Don’t worry, OP. He loves you very much, that’s for sure. Mouths may lie but bodies don’t. Most people go with their instinctive reactions when making love. They’re the most honest then.

Forever.Alone.Dog: Forever alone person passing by. It’s very unethical to flex your relationship before those who are single. OP, you’re a beast!

Sunflower: OP just wanted to show off his boyfriend. Analysis complete!

JingYuan scrolled and scrolled. He read every single reply. Buried under a bunch of random information, he found the answer he was seeking: HanHan loved him very much.

He smiled and closed the page. HanHan’s changes might very well be due to those vague mental manipulations twisting his mind and traumatising him. None of that mattered though. He’d stay by HanHan’s side until the other was completely free and happy.

***

The moment YiHan opened his eyes, he saw JingYuan sitting by his bedside. The man was spacing out while staring at him. YiHan’s face flushed pink.

“What time is it?” YiHan asked in a rather hoarse voice.

JingYuan helped YiHan to sit up and held him close.

“It’s noon,” he replied with a warm smile. “Are you hungry?”

YiHan laid a hand across his stomach and lightly pressed on it.

“I’m not hungry,” he said, shaking his head. “Why aren’t you at work?”

“I have so many employees in my company. Must I still do everything myself? What? You don’t like me staying behind to be with you?” JingYuan said.

YiHan cleared his throat and mumbled, “I do. Why would I not? It’d be great if you never left.”

“What did you say?” JingYuan asked, leaning in close.

“Nothing. I said nothing.” YiHan smiled. He paused, then asked in a tentative tone, “The Mu Group is into real estate, right?”

“Yes,” JingYuan replied after giving the other a peck on the lips. “Why the sudden interest? I heard from your mother you’ve been looking into the southern suburbs lately. Is that right?”

Translator’s Notes:

  1. Waiting online: This phrase would usually be followed by “urgent” and commonly meant the OP needed answers now (as a way to push other users to answer). However, it’s now become so common, and redundant, that it’s more used to convey the OP’s desire to get answers.
  2. My analysis/analysis complete: It’s a Chinese meme. MTL might say “identification is complete” or “certification accomplished”. Source of meme is a bunch of people on the internet certifying breasts from popular online celebrities (presumably for fake breasts/plastic surgery). People then used it for other purposes.


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LC: Chapter 85

85. Present

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.

“No.”

“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.

***

Omake Theatre:

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)

Xuan: …

Yao: (Smile, hugs XiaoYu tight)

Hei QiXuan VS Bai XiaoYu, Round Two: Bai XiaoYu, win.


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GC: Chapter 83

83. Is It Coincidence?

YiHan fainted from overexertion. He didn’t know how long JingYuan went on for. He wasn’t able to get out of bed at all the next morning. Thankfully, he had worse bouts of lazing in bed. He also had a really bad temper when woken up, so no one came to disturb him. Otherwise, his relationship with JingYuan could’ve been easily exposed.

JingYuan had grabbed a bowl of congee from the kitchen and fed it to YiHan by his bed for breakfast. Then, he soothed YiHan to sleep again before, finally, heading back to his own guest bedroom.

He took out his phone and called a number in his contacts. “Chen Hong, look into a woman for me. Tao Qi. I want all information on her within three days. Also, how’s the investigation into Feng Qun going?”

“There’s nothing special about Feng Qun. He’s not particularly good at anything, but he really did know how to have fun and enjoy himself. He would play anything, do anything. If I really have to pinpoint something suspicious about him, it would be the incident roughly a month ago when someone secretly contacted him,” Chen Hong responded from the other end of the phone call.

JingYuan’s gaze sharpened. “Who is it?”

“The person wasn’t familiar to me, but I followed the leads and found him to be someone from the Qi family’s branch family. However, nothing really came from that secret meetup as Feng Qun never did anything afterwards. Not long after, Little Master broke off all ties with Feng Qun and the Qi family withdrew,” Chen Hong replied.

“The Qi family…” JingYuan’s voice went low. “Just as I thought. It’s them. They bribed Feng Qun. They had schemes in place against HanHan, but then when they saw HanHan ignoring Feng Qun for good, they gave up on that path.”

“That should be it,” Hong said.

“Put the matter of Feng Qun aside for now. Investigate Tao Qi. I want to know every single thing about her. From her childhood to now, from her family’s situation and all the way to who she knows.”

“Yes, Mr Mu,” Chen Hong said in a very professional tone.

“Also, teach the group of rich kids led by Li Sun a lesson. Make them know their own limits so they won’t ever upset HanHan again.”

“Yes, Mr Mu,” Chen Hong repeated.

JingYuan hung up and a dark cloud overtook his face. It was the Qi family behind the scheme against his little one. However, they’ve already bought over Feng Qun. Why did they paint him as the villain while hypnotising HanHan then? Not only would it kill off one of their pawns, it’d tip the Bai family off. It made no sense. If it’s Qi MingYang behind it, why would such a minor mistake be made? The other man was a very careful and thorough man.

Could the mistake be caused by something out of the other’s control?

Perhaps the hypnotism could be completely controlled. There were many tiny details about it that could be emphasised by HanHan’s subconscious. HanHan was already cautious about Feng Qun. After that escalated, of course the younger man thought the other was a villain. This was the only explanation that made some sort of sense as of now.

If that was the case, that meant the hypnotism wasn’t invincible. Once real life turned out to be drastically different to what happened while HanHan was hypnotised, once HanHan felt cared for and safe, then he would be able to separate dream from reality!

As JingYuan pondered, he let out a soft sigh. While an obedient little HanHan was very cute, it made his heart ache so much. He would rather have his HanHan turn back into the sensitive, easily frazzled little porcupine from before than to see his lost gaze with tears streaking down his cheeks again.

JingYuan’s mind flashed back to YiHan on that morning. Hands dripping with blood. Glass shard raised. Tears rolling down his cheeks. Two soulless eyes blankly staring back at him. JingYuan’s heart throbbed. TianYang was correct. If he loved someone, he must protect them from a role as close to the other as possible. It would be extremely dangerous to let anyone else be in that role! (TianYang: That’s not what I meant!)

That Tao Qi…

JingYuan squinted his eyes. She’s not as simple and naive as she looked. She could keep a leash on a mean dog like Li Sun. How could she be simple? She acted so pure and naive that even he was nearly taken in. Was her appearance truly a coincidence?


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LC: Chapter 84

84. Test

When QiYao was informed XiaoYu would be grinding at the Pyramids with his brother again, he decided to go along with XiaoYu. It had been a very long time since he had seen his brother anyway, other than phone calls.

“Is Brother also a hidden job?” XiaoYu asked, recalling the unique skill, Sacrifice, he’d witnessed.

“He told you?”

“No…he used a skill.” XiaoYu thought back to yesterday. He hadn’t said anything in particular. All the other mentioned was that this skill could transfer damage between players.

“That’s the skill Sacrifice. Brother is a Paladin, the hidden job of knights.” QiYao instantly knew which skill was used from XiaoYu’s description.

After his brother became a Paladin, he also gained two more skills. They were similar to XiaoYu’s Bishop skills. One skill was for the caster themselves; one was for other players. The difference between a Paladin’s and a Bishop’s skills was in the skill for the caster. The Paladin’s skill was passive. It didn’t need to be casted. It just increased the damage dealt to Undead mobs, the player’s defence against all Undead and experience gained from the Undead. It was also why XiaoYu mistakenly thought the other’s Strength and Constitution was higher than QiYao’s.

The other skill from the Paladin class was Sacrifice. It allowed the caster to tank all damage for another player. However, to QiYao’s brother, it was quite useless. On the surface, it made it seem like he could protect other players, but when one really thought about it, it just meant he’d be like the target of a voodoo doll, a poor willing sod destined to die out of no fault of his own. That’s because this skill ignored all of the Paladin’s Defence and Agility. It mainly depended on the other player’s stats. If the other was weak, that meant the other player was more likely to be hurt and suffer more damage. The number generated would then be transferred to the Paladin’s health.

QiYao’s brother didn’t plan on training to be a tank in the first place. However, he might have to use the skill one day. So he intentionally started adding more points to his Constitution.

The game was very fair, to an extent. Even though hidden jobs were available in-game, the advantage gained wouldn’t be that overwhelming. Even XiaoYu’s Bishop skills required items to cast and were restricted to long chant times.

It was nearly noon when QiYao’s brother finally messaged XiaoYu to tell the other he was in the Pyramids. The couple who had their minds occupied by other tasks hurriedly headed for the portal.

“Looks like there’ll be one more person to help me grind today.” QiYao’s brother wasn’t shocked to see QiYao appear alongside XiaoYu. He had known the other would come along.

“Long time no see, Brother.”

“Hello.”

“Okay. XiaoYu, you must’ve told him about everything, right? Let’s jump right into it,” QiXuan said. He skipped past all formalities, invited the other two to a party and continued slashing down Berserk Mummies.

For a while, all was silent. The only sounds heard were the sounds of mummies dying. However, the two brothers had been chatting away in a private channel.

“Brother, how did you meet XiaoYu?”

“So his name is XiaoYu.”

“Yeah. Bai XiaoYu.”

“Black and white? That’s nice.”

“Brother…don’t change the topic.”

“Relax. I didn’t hire anyone to investigate you guys.”

“I know.” While QiXuan was quite a schemer, QiYao still trusted him. After all, without his brother, QiYao wouldn’t be who he was now.

“It’s quite a coincidence. I was at the Market, thinking I should take a look at the latest prices, when I was eyed on by that little cat,” QiXuan said as he pointed to the tiny black cat circling them. He was very happy his younger brother hadn’t “abandoned his friends for a lover”. If the other really did suspect him of secretly investigating them, he would’ve failed in raising the other.

“As I thought, it’s the kitten.”

“Could it be the little one targeted you too?” QiXuan was shocked. Just how sophisticated was the cat’s A.I.?  QiXuan had felt a strong gaze boring into him the moment he’d entered the building. He’d follow it to find the small cat staring at him with an open mouth. No matter where he went, those eyes followed him, completely ignoring its owner behind it who’d been talking with an NPC. He’d only teased it on a whim born from curiosity.

“Not entirely, but sort of.” More accurately, QiYao was simultaneously attracted by both the cats. Whenever he recalled how foolish the two had looked, he still had the urge to laugh. Even now, his eyes were crinkling with mirth.

“I understand now why he thinks you’re gentle. Yao, have you noticed? You look more like a normal person now.”  The tiny change to QiYao’s expression didn’t escape QiXuan’s eyes. It seemed like his younger brother had fallen deep into it this time. The uncurable blank poker face was cured.

“Brother, I’ve always been a normal human.”

“Really? I’ve been afraid for nothing then. I’ve been so worried that there was something wrong with the muscles or nerves on your face.”

“=.=|||||| How did you find out about our relationship?” Time to change the topic. While the encounter was just a coincidence, there was no way his brother was that amazing. He couldn’t have realised just through observation because XiaoYu was never the kind of person to talk about it with a stranger unprompted.

“I kind of guessed it when I saw the video on the forums. I knew it to be through after talking to him.” QiXuan had wanted to read up on the recent updates on the forums. To his surprise, all he found were gossip threads about his younger brother and XiaoYu, especially about that video. In QiXuan’s mind, QiYao would never help just any healer. Combined with the memory of having talked about relationships and emotions the last time the two were on a call, QiXuan committed the healer’s looks into his memory. It just so happened that they bumped into each other as soon as QiXuan logged on.

The encounter might just be a coincidence, but QiXuan calling XiaoYu for help with a quest was definitely intentional. He just needed to sway the topic towards discussing QiYao and he could immediately tell just how much XiaoYu loved QiYao. On the call, QiXuan had told QiYao to confess as soon as possible. Based on his younger brother’s strait-laced personality, the two were probably in love with each other.

“Video?” QiYao didn’t even know about the latest development on the forums. His “followers” had never mentioned it because there were drastic consequences to teasing the Chief.

“You must’ve not been on the forums yet. He even offered up a video of the incident to protect your reputation.” The post it was uploaded in was by an anonymous account. The description said they were publicising the video so people wouldn’t be taken in by lies, the guild leader of Heretic Demons was a very responsible man with a logical mind, etc. Due to this case being one of possibly a strong player bullying a weaker player, everyone’s focus was on the popular Hei QiYao and the Heretic Demons. No one really cared who the healer was.

“I’ll go look it up.” While QiYao didn’t really know what was going on, his XiaoYu was involved. He had to take a look.

The Hei brothers were busy chattering at each other, the party chat was dead silent. Despite the awkward and strange atmosphere created, XiaoYu still did his best as the healer. He didn’t feel uneasy at all because he didn’t feel any ill-intent from QiYao’s brother.

The regulars of the Pyramids felt like their hearts were about to burst. They just fantasised stories and stories of love and hate yesterday. Now, all three of the main cast were here together and, for some reason, they were grinding together. Aah, must they direct the forums’ chatter towards a threesome? That would make them seem like they had no self-control or shame.

“Yao, XiaoYu’s not a bad kid but if you want me to acknowledge him as a future brother-in-law, I would need more time to consider it.” QiXuan might’ve spent some time with XiaoYu yesterday and his impression of the other was quite good – kind, polite, honest and even knew to be grateful – but he still needed to know a bit more, for his only little brother.

“Brother, remember not to go overboard.” While QiYao knew his brother wouldn’t be too rash, the two men he loved were clearly not on the same level in life. QiYao was also worried about unexpected outcomes.

“Don’t worry. I know my limits.” Having said that, QiXuan cut down the last monster nearby and switched to the party chat. “Can I call you XiaoYu too?”

“Huh? Sure.” XiaoYu was stunned at first at hearing a voice coming from the party chat, but he was able to respond back quickly enough.

“XiaoYu, did you know? Xiao-Yao here is quite popular.”

“Hm?” XiaoYu didn’t really get what the other meant by that.

“Ever since he was a child, there’d been plenty of girls after him. Of course, there were plenty of men.” QiXuan paused. “You’re currently dating, right? I want to know. What will you do if you encounter something like that?”

“…” Never could XiaoYu have imagined QiXuan would ask him that. To be honest, QiYao had been great to him ever since they started dating. He had never thought about such a situation.

“Your answer?”

“…” QiYao kept silence. He knew his brother had a reason why he asked that. He can’t answer it for XiaoYu.

“If Yao doesn’t give up, then no matter what happens, I’ll always be with him,” XiaoYu decisively replied after only a brief consideration. He really wasn’t one for musing about what-ifs. Who cared if there would be plenty of people who’d try and break up his relationship with QiYao? Perhaps they would go through some tough times because of it, but as long as QiYao didn’t let go, he wouldn’t either.

“Very good. Remember the determination you feel now. What the Hei family needs is a strong ‘wife’”. It’s fine to be kind, but he can’t be weak. What QiXuan despised was seeing lovers argue and cry over some trivial non-existent matter until they want to die or break up. While some might think he just didn’t understand what romance was, but such romance was much better stayed away from, in his opinion.

W-Wife? XiaoYu had never thought such a word would be used to refer to him. It’s a little strange =o=||||.

Before XiaoYu had time to blush in embarrassment, QiYao pulled XiaoYu into his embrace and lightly kissed the other on the forehead.

“I won’t let go, XiaoYu.” QiYao rarely had the chance to hear XiaoYu speak about how much he loved QiYao. But what XiaoYu had just said was enough for him. XiaoYu loved him in his own special way.

“Mn.”

Aaaah…Suddenly, QiXuan felt like he’d just turned into a bright, shining, third-wheeling lightbulb.

***

Omake theatre:

Xuan: (Glance) Heehee. XiaoYu, did you know? Xiao-Yao’s first kiss was mine.

Yu: Hehe. My first kiss was given to my mother. ^-^

Xuan: …

Yao: (Smile. Hugs XiaoYu)

Hei QiXuan VS Bai XiaoYu, Round One: Bai XiaoYu, win.


PreviousIndexNext

GC: Chapter 82

82. Female Lead of the World

Li Sun let out an evil chuckle. He twisted his fingers around the girl’s chin and raised her face to look up at him.

“Of course. As long as I still have money to my name, of course you’ll like me,” he said.

The girl blinked. Her eyes as innocent and pure as always.

Sun just loved the way she’d put on an act. The maniac fire burning in him slowly died down at  the look on her face. He can’t not calm down. Any one of the three men in the club could easily squash him to death. If they never fall from grace, he’d never have a chance to pay back for the slight.

At that thought, his arm roughly pinched at the girl’s waist. She let out a pained squeal. He let out a loud laugh.

That night, because Li Sun was still fuming inside, what happened in bed was very crass, rough and painful. It took every trick in her sleeves to finally satisfy him with her service.

Li Sun slept beside her like a dead pig. There was not a single inch on her that wasn’t burning with pain, especially that spot below. The girl shot him a venomous glare. This foolish pig who only dared to bully the weak and kowtow to the strong! Once the plot started developing and she grew stronger, he would be the first to die! His corpse would be left in pieces!

She then recalled the sight she saw today. A hint of unease stirring in her heart. Things didn’t seem to be developing as the novel said it would. Why were the three of them together? They seemed to be friends too. This was not how it went in the book! Also, there’s that mini-boss, Feng Qun. While he was already dead by the time the story started, but that was after he’d completed all the plot points and had been stabbed to death by Bai YiHan just before he died too! But now, Feng Qun’s already out of the game while Bai YiHan was still doing okay. Just what went wrong? Did her transmigration affect the storyline? It’s all the transmigration’s fault. She entered into the novel too early. The proper story had yet to start. The event happening now were just pre-novel setups. The part of the story that the author merely summarised in a few sentences with no specifics at all.

However, so what if the story’s been warped? What if her transmigration affected it? She was a reader who knew everything that would happen in this story. She was also this world’s female lead. Did the universe think she couldn’t pacify a group of ignorant natives acting out?

Her mind flashed to the male lead, Mu JingYuan. His gentlemanly manners. His strong aura. Her heart raced in delight. Mu JingYuan. The male protagonist of this world. This man who was so strong that he could easily make anyone and everyone bow to him. He could only be hers!

***

Bai Family.

The male protagonist of the world, who was so strong he could make anyone and everyone bow to him, was currently sneaking into YiHan’s bedroom in the middle of the night from the guest bedroom next door. He kissed YiHan awake and the couple did some shameful things.

This time, YiHan was completely sober. It had a great impact on him mentally. He had never ever felt as close to JingYuan as he did then. While life had turned on its head after his rebirth, and his relationship with JingYuan had changed drastically, plus JingYuan had also properly confessed his love to him, YiHan’s past life still had a tight hold on him. JingYuan’s past rejection and departure had been something bothering him the whole time. It was why he was unable to fully accept what was happening. Nothing felt like it was real. Everything was so perfect that it all felt like a one-sided fantasy of his. He was always afraid he’d wake up one day and find out everything was just a dream. All of that dreamlike quality dissipated with JingYuan’s tight embrace, with how close they were to each other, the negative distance between them. Under the dim light of his wall lamp, he could clearly see every inch of the passionate gaze rushing at him and washing away his fears. The thrilling sensation of his body being taken was unmistakable. JingYuan’s heavy pants. His blazing lips. They made his entire body tremble. He watched as JingYuan lost control. Love took over YiHan. He couldn’t resist it anymore. He leaned up to kiss the other and embraced JingYuan’s neck. His legs lifted and wrapped around the other’s waist. YiHan’s spirited response pushed JingYuan over the edge and his body went berserk…

Translator’s Note:

Welp, this story had definitely slipped past the censors. Fun!


Previous IndexNext

LC: Chapter 83

83. Honest Kid

The Pyramids was not like the past two dungeons. There was an elite for Berserk Mummies. However, the Berserk Mummies could be considered a type of elite by themselves. They were already hard to defeat. Half of the time the two players spent grinding in the Pyramids was sacrificed in tribute to the Berserk Mummy’s elite. It simply wouldn’t drop its essence.

“Forget it. I’ll come back tomorrow,” said the knight. He’d watch XiaoYu yawn again and again. It’s time to wrap things up.

“Mn. I can help you tomorrow too.” XiaoYu had been pondering how best to mention his nearing bedtime when the knight spoke up first.

“Then, I’ll message you tomorrow. Thanks for today.”

“No problem.” XiaoYu was tired, but it was all worth it to see the tiny cat prancing around in joy.

“Mrrow~” The small cat patted the knight’s boots with its paw. It was so very happy with its collecting spree today. This was a good man. Print a paw and the analysis was complete.

“Hehe. Can’t bear to leave me, little one?” The knight bent down and scooped up the cat rubbing itself against him. He then handed it over to XiaoYu. “Say hi to HereticKing for me.”

“Hm? Okay.” XiaoYu accepted the armful of purring kitten, his mind blanking out a little from confusion. Did the knight and QiYao know each other?

It had been a tough day battling monsters. XiaoYu didn’t head back to clear out his inventory as he usually did. While a player wouldn’t feel physical exhaustion as long as their HP and MP were full, mental exhaustion was still a thing. Thus, XiaoYu decided to just leave it for tomorrow morning. He was so tired that he just wanted to get in his bed and sleep.

Back at the Lord Mayor’s Suite, QiYao had been waiting for XiaoYu for a while now.

“I was just about to message you,” QiYao said as XiaoYu walked into the room. “You’ve gotten a little too engrossed today.”

“Yes. There’s a quest item that simply won’t drop,” XiaoYu sulkily replied as he took off his equipment and climbed into the bed to curl into QiYao. The difficulty in finding a drop had left XiaoYu in a rather despondent mood. He’d always had great luck when in a party.

“What quest is it?” QiYao wasn’t superstitious, but he had great faith in XiaoYu’s luck. It’s rare for the other to be this badly troubled by a quest.

“I don’t know. He didn’t share it with me…I…just helped…a friend….” XiaoYu’s voice slowly drifted off. His eyelids hung lower and lower. QiYao was so warm. He wanted to sleep so badly.

“Sleep. You must’ve been exhausted from today,” QiYao said, wrapping his arms around the younger man and gently patting the other on the back. He could tell the other was dead tired.

“Mn…right. He told me…to tell you…hi. He was…part of Heretic Demons…before.” Just then, XiaoYu remembered the last words the knight said to him before they split up. He forced his eyes open and pushed the last message through his heavy tongue.

“Do I know him? What’s his name?”

“It’s…Demonic…Emperor…zzz.” XiaoYu was finally knocked out.

HereticKing, DemonicEmperor. Combine the characters and they spell out “the Heretic Demon Emperor”. That’s his brother! QiYao’s sleep-addled mind snapped wide awake at that name.

“He didn’t do anything to you, right?” QiYao yelped in worry.

“Zzzzz…”

“…” Alright. QiYao wouldn’t be sleeping well tonight for sure.

***

XiaoYu had a wonderful night of sleep. He subconsciously rubbed his cheek against his human pillow, QiYao. He slowly opened his eyes and stared blankly into the air as his mind gradually started to clear up from the haziness of sleep.

“You awake?”

“Yeah. Morning~” XiaoYu lazily replied. A little voice in his mind wondered why QiYao was up so much earlier than him.

“Let’s continue last night’s topic. Did he do anything to you?” QiYao had woken up long ago. Never could he have imagined his brother would come in contact with XiaoYu first. It also seemed like his brother had figured out his relationship with XiaoYu. Why else would he tell the younger man to say hi for him? What QiYao wanted to know was just how his brother befriended XiaoYu and what else the other might’ve said.

“He?” XiaoYu’s brain was still working at half-capacity.

“DemonicEmperor who asked you to say hi for him.”

“Oh. He’s quite nice. You know each other?”

“…” Not only did they know each other, that man was the bane of QiYao’s life. “I planned on introducing the two of you in a few days.”

“??”

“He’s my older brother.”

“!!” Any hint of sleep lingering in XiaoYu’s instantly vanished. DemonicEmperor was QiYao’s brother? HereticKing. DemonicEmperor. They were quite similar. Why hadn’t he noticed before? However, now that he thought of it…

“No wonder I keep blanking out while staring at his face,” XiaoYu commented.

“Why?” QiYao wasn’t jealous of his brother. Not at all. The first time XiaoYu met him, the other didn’t even think of him as human. How could XiaoYu stare at his brother’s face for so long he blanked out?

“I didn’t really know why at first, but now I do. It’s because you two look alike.” While the brothers had both tweaked their appearances in-game, they were brothers. There were a lot of minute similarities that not even the game could cover up. When XiaoYu looked at QiYao’s brother, his subconscious thought he was staring at how QiYao would look like in the future. That’s why he’d blank out while staring at the other man.

“How did you two meet?” The spilled pot of vinegar was straightened up. QiYao was very satisfied with XiaoYu’s answer. Implicitly, XiaoYu said he was seeing through QiYao’s brother. What he was really looking at was QiYao. Also, while QiYao didn’t think his brother would hire an investigator to look into him after the conversation they had last time, nothing could be so coincidental in real life.

“The other evening when I was selling off my items at the Market. He, um, your brother was playing with the cat.” XiaoYu didn’t know what about him caught QiYao’s brother’s eye. All he knew was that he just turned around and there QiYao’s brother was, playing with the little one.

“You can just call him ‘Brother’ like I do. We’ll be family after all.” Playing with the kitten too? Did the tiny cat exist just to attract the Hei family members? Or was it because the small cat also sniffed out his brother was a potential investor?

“Mn.” Family…warmth filled XiaoYu’s heart at the word. It even did a little skip and hop.

“What did Brother say to you?” That’s the most important part.

“Nothing much. He just asked about the guild and the Guild Wars event.”

“That’s it?” QiYao would never believe his brother could be so pure.

“And…”

“And what?” Something told QiYao what XiaoYu was about to say would be important.

“He asked what…I thought of you.”

“How did you reply?” If QiYao hadn’t known just how big of a schemer his brother was, he would be praising that question to the heavens. It was very hard to hear any type of sweet-talk from his easily embarrassed lover. It was even harder to find out what the other really thought of him.

“I said…you were a very gentle man. >\\\\<” It felt okay saying that to Brother, but it felt a little awkward saying that to the man himself.

XiaoYu did his best at burying his head. QiYao watched in amusement as his lover gradually curled and shrank into the blankets like a little prawn. What a cute and honest guy. How could QiYao not love him?

“Honest kids will be rewarded,” QiYao said as he pulled XiaoYu out from the bundle of blankets the other was hiding in. He pounced on XiaoYu and peppered kisses all over the blushing face.

What a beautiful morning.

Translator’s Note:

Potential investor: The exact phrasing here is “gold master” aka sugar daddy.


PreviousIndexNext

GC: Chapter 81

81. Preening Peacock

YiHan looked at JingYuan strangely. If they didn’t like sweet stuff, they could order something else. This place didn’t just serve cakes!

However, YiHan didn’t voice his thoughts. Instead, he asked, “Are you finished with your meetings? Leaving soon?”

“I’m done with business,” JingYuan replied. “The other party has left. Let’s go home together later.”

“Is it really okay to let them leave alone?” YiHan mumbled.

“It’s fine,” JingYuan said with a smile.

TianYang: …where did this other party come from? This shameless fool secretly followed us on his own accord!

With JingYuan around, YiHan didn’t feel okay to keep asking TianYang personal questions in case the other man felt uneasy, which would then make things awkward again (TianYang: Huh?). The three men went on a ride around the area. JingYuan had changed into his riding clothes. On horseback, he looked so confident and handsome that YiHan’s eyes turned into two thumping hearts. The thought that they were lovers now made joy, pride, love, and some terror, rise in YiHan’s heart. All he could do was pray to the Gods to not take it all away from him. He was willing to pay any price to keep this.

JingYuan smiled. He was very satisfied with the younger man’s mesmerised gaze.

TianYang stared at JingYuan who was acting like a preening peacock. He silently raised a hand and covered his eyes. This wasn’t the Mu JingYuan he knew.

Once Li Sun and the others escaped, they weren’t in any mood to fool around anymore. As the group slowly walked out of the venue, Li Sun suddenly started gritting his teeth in anger.

“Fuck! What’s with that fool? He just got born lucky, now he’s acting like he’s God! Life is always changing. I will punish him when he falls from grace!” Sun burst out.

Wang QiYang who’d been following behind Li Sun softly said, “Enough. Stop it. He’s like the Chosen One. How could he fall from grace so easily? Be careful. If someone hears it, it might cause a fuss. While we have it great now, people like them aren’t people we can offend!”

Sun glared at QiYang. “You useless coward. You kept quiet back then. Now you’re shooting your mouth off. If you love kissing someone else’s stinking feet, why did you follow me?” he spat out.

QiYang bit the insides of his cheek and kept quiet.

Sun was still fuming. He grabbed the girl trailing behind him and dragged her forward.

“And you!” he shouted. “Don’t think I don’t know how you kept staring at Little Master Bai the whole time just now. When that Mu guy came, you then stared at him. Your eyeballs nearly flew from your head to plaster themselves on him! Well? Do you feel humiliated to be with me now that you’ve seen what the truly rich and powerful look like? Do you want to crawl into their beds? Look at yourself in the mirror first! Men like them don’t lack women. Someone like you, especially one as slutty and ruined as you, would be too dirty for them to even look at!”

The way the girl held herself and her looks had made her appear very pure and innocent. After being yelled at by Li Sun, tears rolled down her cheeks. Her innocent eyes went wide. Teardrops welling up on her eyelashes made anyone and everyone around her feel great sympathy for her. Poor girl, some thought. It was plain vile for Li Sun to take his anger out on his own woman just because he can’t afford to anger Little Master Bai.

At the sight of her tearful face, Sun’s anger dimmed. His grip on her arm loosened.

“I didn’t. I was hiding behind you the whole time. I only looked at Little Master Bai because I was curious what your friend looked like. Sun, you’re the only one in my heart,” the girl gently said.

Sun let out a snort of laughter. Only one in her heart? He didn’t believe that at all. A very large portion of the girls these days only care for money. They don’t care about other people. The girl before his eyes was clearly that kind of girl. If he was a poor beggar with nothing to his name, she wouldn’t even look at him. They were together only to get what they wanted from each other. One wanted money, the other wanted sex. If anyone ever believed the love she spoke of, he would be robbed blind.


Previous IndexNext

LC: Chapter 82

82. Knight

Not long after the treasure chest was opened, and under the pressuring aura radiating from QiYao,  the crowd finally, unwillingly, filed out of the Lord Mayor’s Office. QiYao had also decided to just kick everyone out from the list of allowed players, all except for XiaoYu.

How could rooms set aside for the Lord Mayor of the city not have a bed? This bed was even more lavish than the grand bed found in the most expensive hotel in-game. It would be waste to not use it. With the Lord Mayor’s room available, XiaoYu could wave goodbye to staying at hotels forever. Well, almost.

Due to the extraordinary performance of XiaoYu at the midnight meeting, the main guild’s treasure chest will be opened by him from then on. However, he didn’t have to stay up until midnight every day. He could open the chest during the day. The first time they did it at midnight just to test out the new shiny thing. Of course, even if no good loot was found, QiYao wouldn’t blame XiaoYu. However, from how XiaoYu would give him a Christmas present weeks before the actual holiday,  QiYao deduced his XiaoYu might be a bit obsessed with boxes. Why not just give the other a big treasure chest for them to open together?

Team training was scheduled for the day, but because of the new maps, all guilds with a fortress to their name were looking through their team training arrangements and doing some reorganisation. Thus, Egg_Tart announced last night that training for today would be cancelled. Guild members were free to party up and train together, but anyone who were heading to the underground maps should pay attention to their behaviour and safety while down there. Just to avoid unnecessary confrontations with other guilds.

The levels of the new maps’ monsters were way beyond XiaoYu’s consideration for now. It just so happened some of his team’s members were away on business trips. As such, XiaoYu had nothing to do. And so, he went back to the Pyramids and began training his day away.

“Hey, LuckyCat, are you free?” It was nearly noon when a somewhat unfamiliar voice rang out beside XiaoYu’s ears. It took him a few seconds of blankly staring at nothing before he realised it was the new friend he’d made yesterday.

“I am. What do you need?” The Healers’ Squad Pyramids training parties were very lax with their members. People who needed to leave just had to mention it to the party leader before they left.

“I’ve accepted a quest that needs me to grind for quest items in the Undead caves. Want to come with?” the other asked.

“Okay. Which cave?”

“I’m all done at the Zombie Cave. Next is the Jiangshi Cave. Let’s meet at the East Gate of Serica.”

“…Okay. I’ll be there soon.” It had been quite some time since XiaoYu had last been to Serica.

Nevertheless, XiaoYu still remembered the way to the Jiangshi Cave. He teleported to Serica, partied up with his Knight friend, and raced for the cave. They then began grinding from the lowest level monsters up.

“What item do you need?” The other man didn’t share his quest with XiaoYu, so all the items the tiny lucky cat could gather would just be normal items. It was best to get clear information beforehand.

“All sorts of essences, like the essences of the lower-levelled Jiangshi, the mid-tier Jiangshi and so on. I just need one of each.”

“Okay, got it.”

The monsters in this Cave were already no threat to XiaoYu at his level. The knight tanked all damage heading their way. He carved out a path through the horde and looped back and around. Meanwhile, XiaoYu would check in on the little cat’s inventory. However, there was no sign of an essence. It seemed like this quest item’s drop rate was exceptionally low.

“So you’re already grinding above your level at the Pyramids? Sorry about this. I thought we could grind together or something.” Just killing monster after monster in silence was a very excruciating experience. That’s why the two players would sometimes engage in small talk.

“It’s fine.”

“But you’ve been so very helpful. I couldn’t have imagined just how quick the kitten would be at picking up loot.”

“Mn. I’ll hand you everything it collected later.” Loot-splitting was always the greatest headache of partying up, especially with a random group one wasn’t familiar with.

“I don’t need them. You have them.”

“But…”

“I can’t share this quest. You’re already losing out. It’s fine. I’ll have my quest reward.”

“Oh.” XiaoYu paused and thought about it. That made sense too. However, if anything rare dropped, they can discuss about it then.

“You’ve got a guild?”

“Yes. Suicide Squad of Heretic Demons.”

“A subsidiary guild of the Heretic Demons?”

“Yes.”

“Speaking of which, I was in a guild of theirs too. But then life got very busy so I left the guild.”

“What a coincidence. Are you re-joining?”

“I’m only back to take a look around. If I’m interested, I’ll continue playing.”

“Ah. We were so busy talking that the essence has already been picked up.” XiaoYu had just opened up the small cat’s inventory tab by habit. It didn’t occur to him he’d find an essence silently shining back at him.

“That’s fast. Let’s head to the next floor.” The three Zombie essences had taken him the entire night. He had been stuck in that cave until early morning.

Now that they both know they belonged to the same guild, or used to, there was so much more they could talk about now. Their conversation went from the subsidiary guilds in Heretic Demons, to the Guild Wars, then to the main guild. As long as XiaoYu knew anything regarding the knight’s question, he would do his best to answer it. XiaoYu didn’t know of any secret, higher-ups-only information anyway.

“The main Guild Leader is still HereticKing?” the knight asked.

“Yes.”

“You’ve seen him?”

“Yes…” We see each other every day.

“What do you think?”

“…” This particular question seemed rather broad. If it was asking if XiaoYu liked QiYao, he would naturally reply he did. If he didn’t like QiYao, he wouldn’t be dating the other. However, the question was about what he thought of QiYao. He can’t just reply he liked the other, right? That wasn’t really answering the question.

“Can’t think of a description?”

“Yes. Not right now.”

“From what I know, I think he’s got issues with expressing his emotions.”

“Pfft. Haha.” It wasn’t the first time XiaoYu heard someone say that of QiYao. His fellow guildmates would often chat in the guild channel. Whenever they talked about QiYao, they would always mention something along that line. XiaoYu, on the other hand, didn’t agree with them. After all, QiYao had always been very expressive and kind to him.

“You don’t think so?”

“No. He’s a very gentle man.” XiaoYu didn’t realise it, but when he spoke, his eyes and mouth was full of mirth. Tiny flowers of joy nearly bloomed in the air around him.

“Looks like you two are very close.”

“Yes.”

The knight then took it as an appropriate time to end the topic and moved on. He didn’t keep asking because he’d already gotten the answer he wanted.

With XiaoYu’s help and the tiny cat’s agile and cheat-code-esque movements, the three essences they needed from the Jiangshi Cave didn’t take as long to collect as they’d anticipated. There was still quite some time left before dinner.

They decided to continue onto the Pyramids and stepped through the portal XiaoYu placed. Unlike the Jiangshi Cave where players were rarely ever seen, the Pyramids were filled with players. This was the holy land for the large batches of healers preparing for their Third Job Change but had to grind themselves because they had no one to pull them up. XiaoYu had also been around for some days now. Most of the healers there recognise him by now.

The crowd was already used to XiaoYu and QiYao occasionally appearing at the Pyramids for some post-dinner exercise. They also took the chance to sneak a few glances at the wholesome couple. However, XiaoYu’s companion today was very obviously not the great guild leader himself. This man was just as handsome as QiYao though. Who was this knight? Why were they together? Was XiaoYu cheating? Did they break up? Instantly, dozens of varied heart-wrenching tales were thought up. How they wished they could instantly post them on the forums for a satisfying session of gossip and swooning.

XiaoYu didn’t understand the twists and turns imaginative minds can conjure up. Therefore, while some people were crafting up entire worlds out of nothing, he acted as he usually did. Kill some monsters, buff both players up, chat, check in on the cat’s inventory. Not a single hitch in his actions.

“XiaoYu, are you still training?” It was past dinner time. QiYao was wondering why XiaoYu would suddenly forget about food for AO.

“I’m helping a friend with his quest. Ah, it’s so late.”

“Since it’s for a quest, then you keep going. Remember to come back to Prole-3 to sleep tonight.” QiYao wasn’t one to force XiaoYu to be by his side all the time. A certain someone couldn’t run away when it came to bedtime anyway. Since XiaoYu was busy with a quest, QiYao would take this time to seek out Poor_Man for some discussion about business.

“Mn.”

Mummies were generally more powerful than the Jiangshi, so the rate of monsters killed were visibly lower. The main attacking power came from the knight while XiaoYu followed along, leeching some experience with a few hits from time to time. XiaoYu and QiYao often trained in the Pyramids together. A simple comparison and XiaoYu was shocked to discover that while this knight was only at Level 99 at his Second Job, his attacks were much more powerful than QiYao’s. Was it a Strength-heavy build? But the other’s Constitution should be quite high too because the monsters’ hits took away less health from the knight than they did from QiYao. The only stat that the other seemed to have lower than QiYao would be Agility, but it shouldn’t be that much different. The knight’s attacks and dodges were rather swift. Perhaps this was a skilled player keeping it low.

“Is there something on my face?” the knight asked, turning around to look at XiaoYu with an amused face.

“Ah, no. Your attacks are really strong.” XiaoYu didn’t realise he had been staring at the somewhat familiar face again while he analysed the other’s stats.

“If I tell you I’ve got a special skill, will you believe me?”

“Hm? I would.” XiaoYu himself had special skills too. What surprised XiaoYu was just how straightforward the other man was. Did that mean the other trusted him?

“Aren’t you curious?”

“Yes…a little.”

“Hehe.” The knight didn’t say anything more. He just reached out and placed his hand on XiaoYu’s shoulder.

Soon, that hand went away. Mysteriously, a white light appeared between the two of them. It was as if they were being linked together by the light.

“What’s this?” Even if XiaoYu wasn’t a curious cat who’d never proactively suss out other people’s secrets, one of the white light’s ends was connected to him. While he didn’t feel any change and his Character tab showed no changes, it’d still be abnormal for him not to wonder.

“It’s protection for you. Any and all damage you receive would be transferred to me.” This was one of a Knight’s skills – Sacrifice.

“!!” XiaoYu had never heard of a skill like that before. His belief that this knight was a skilled player was even stronger now. He was also a little moved by how much this skilled player was trusting him. “Thanks,” he said.

“You’re welcome,” the knight said with a wave. He turned around and continue slashing down Mummies around them.

XiaoYu rummaged through his Inventory. Thankfully, he hadn’t buried the Bible in his bag in his Storage. He glanced around. They were in a rather empty part of the floor. There was not a single player in sight.

“Wait,” XiaoYu called out.

“Hm?” This time, it was the knight’s turn to be the curious cat. XiaoYu seemed to be softly chanting at him. The chant kept going on and on. It had been over thirty seconds and it was still not stopping. That was when he realised this might be the healer’s special skill.

Finally, the minute-long chant was over. A beam of white light shone down on the knight and his immediate surroundings. After a brief wash from head to toe, it vanished. Even without an explanation the knight understood what went on, because there was an obvious jump in all of his stats.

“So we’re the same.”

“Hehe.” The two looked at each other in the eye and laughed. There was no need to say anymore.

That’s just XiaoYu’s character. If someone sincerely treated him well, he would do the same.

Translator’s Notes:

  1. Sacrifice: The skill in RO uses the same name and has the same function. It’s also known as Devotion.

Sorry for the late update! Real life got away from me again. This will be the last of that though. Take that, pesky real life!


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