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.”


“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.


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.


“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.


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.”


“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.


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.


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.


“…” 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 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.


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.”


“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?”


“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.


“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.”


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.


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!


LC: Chapter 81

81. A New Beginning

Everyone was happily chattering away on the forums. It was as if they had all forgotten it was the first day the updated Guild Wars would be held.

The event had now gone through a major patch. The largest change was to the players’ damage. It wouldn’t be limited to just the enemy units now. It would follow the usual rules. That meant when a huge skill was casted, everyone within range would be hurt. This also meant players must have great teamwork and bond with their own parties.

Another eye-catching update to the game were the four new monster maps. Every day, a new type of monster would be randomly spawned on them. That meant today’s mobs might all be Animal types. The next, Undead. The day after, Human…All monsters spawned were above Level 90, and there’s a chance a Boss mob might spawn.

These maps were great, but they were located under the four maps used for Guild Wars. It meant it was harder to enter these maps. A player’s guild needed to be the master of one of the five fortresses above the underground monster map for them to enter. That’s because the map’s entrances were located in the fortresses, guarded by an NPC that’ll only let in members of the fortress’s guild. That meant the underground maps would be the conquering guild’s personal training grounds.

There was also another update to the fortresses, just for the Guild Leaders. Each fortress now had a special room called the Lord Mayor’s Office. The focus of this room was the large treasure chest held within. It can be opened for all sorts of treasures and new items will appear every day at midnight. However, its items won’t accumulate if left inside. If the Guild Leader didn’t log in and open it that day, they would’ve missed out on that day’s treasures. In consideration for Guild Leaders who might not be able to log in every single day, the Lord Mayor’s Office can be opened up to other players if so desired.

There were a few more minor notes to the patch, like how the “Build City Order” item won’t be released just yet. Overall, quite a lot had changed but everyone, particularly the powerful guilds, were itching to try out the new maps and treasure chests.

The Heretic Demons’ flight network didn’t need to be tweaked so XiaoYu didn’t bother reading up on the above updates. He went on with life as usual. Head in early to his post. Have his dinner. Play with his cat. All around him, his guildmates would pretend to glance in his direction. They wanted to see for themselves just what kind of magic the personal healer to their Guild Healer had to have made their Chief run over to protect XiaoYu himself. While there were some jealous people, at least none of them were dumb enough to start causing trouble.

Tonight’s battle would be a messy one. Initially, none of the players had to worry about harming their own teammates. Now, before any skills were let loose, they had to keep an eye on the icons above everyone’s heads and confirm if the players within range were part of their own alliances or not. It caused great headaches to the many who had gotten use to just throwing out spells and skills as they pleased. If they accidentally killed any of their own teammates, they had to make sure to apologise in the appropriate chat channels too.

Thankfully, all subsidiaries of the Heretic Demons use the same logo as the main guild. All leaders had been emphasising on the importance of team formations and working with each other when using skills. With a tiny bit of effort, none of the Heretic Demons fighters had issues adapting to the new update. Despite the hiccups caused by the new patch, their enemies had seemingly multiplied overnight. Every guild wanted to try their hands at the new maps and treasure chest. Just what kind of monsters would spawn there? What kind of treasures would these chests reveal? There were no clear answers by the game developers. The players had to seek out the information themselves. Thus, for the right to scout out new information, the players had to take over a city first.

By the time the event ended, the Heretic Demons had just two fortresses left to their names. Prole-3 from the main guild and Prole-4 from a subsidiary guild. While they had been prepared for strong guilds to start their ambush late in the battle, no one could’ve imagined losing Prole-5 to the guild I Die For Riches again. If the game publisher could show the official number of players participating in a Guild Wars event, it would announce that today’s was the highest ever. Hence, it was rather difficult for the Main Guild to defend two cities at the same time.

QiYao still had some work left to do after the battle was over, so XiaoYu returned to Prole alone with his tiny luck cat. When it came to selling off his items, XiaoYu preferred going to the Market more than to setting up a stall. The Market didn’t disappoint this time either. No matter how lively and crowded it was outside, the Market hall would always have more NPC than players.

As XiaoYu was intently looking up the prices with an NPC and making his transactions, the bored and restless little cat started prowling around him. What’s this? What’s that? Hm? A knight smelling very strongly of gold just walked in. Let’s stare at him for a little while~ (*@○@*)

By the time XiaoYu was finally snapped back from staring at the NPC and turned around to call for his kitten, what he saw surprised him. A knight was squatting down before his little cat and playing with it. XiaoYu had to admit it. His cat was really eye-catching. It’s a genius at looking cute.

Then, as if the other man felt his gaze, the knight looked up.

“???” XiaoYu’s mind went blank at first. He wasn’t sure why the knight’s face had that effect on him.

“Your kitten is very cute. Here, all yours again,” the knight said. He scooped up the little cat, stood up and handed it over to XiaoYu.

“…Oh, thanks.” XiaoYu was still staring at the knight. His arms instinctively reached out and accepted his small cat back into his embrace.

“Is there something on my face?”

“Ah, no. I’m sorry.” XiaoYu too wondered just why he would stare at a stranger so hard that he blanked out. While the other man was very handsome, almost as handsome as QiYao, XiaoYu didn’t react this badly when he first met QiYao. By that logic, he shouldn’t have blanked out just because of the other’s beauty. Yet there was an inexplicable familiarity to the other man. That was why his gaze was locked onto the other’s face from the very first moment he saw the other.

“It seems like fate for your little cat and I to meet. Let’s be friends,” the knight friendly said, ignoring XiaoYu’s rather rude gaze. He handed over his name card.

“Okay.” XiaoYu was never one who liked rejecting others, so he approved of the friend request. Anyway, he didn’t feel any bad intentions coming from the other.

After the two parted ways, XiaoYu received a message from QiYao asking him to head to Prole-3’s Lord Mayor Office. While they had never been in the same guild system before, QiYao had used his right as the Lord Mayor to add in XiaoYu’s in-game name to the new list of players allowed in the city.

It wasn’t XiaoYu’s first time in Prole-3 plus QiYao’s directions, XiaoYu soon found the new Lord Mayor’s Office. He politely knocked on the door before entering.

To his surprise, it wasn’t just QiYao in the room. There were a few familiar faces too.

“Hi, Xiao-Yu,” greeted Poor_Man, the almighty and forever follower. The other players in the room were various team leaders with great sway in the main guild.

“??” XiaoYu was starting to suspect it wasn’t the Lord Mayor’s Office he’d entered but a meeting room.

“Wait a second. I’ll chase them out now,” QiYao said as he pulled XiaoYu up against his side.

“Relax, Chief. We’ll definitely disappear when the clock strikes twelve,” Poor_Man vowed with his right hand held up.

“Are you guys still in a meeting?” XiaoYu asked.

“No. They just want to take a peek at what the treasure chest holds,” QiYao said, pointing out the large chest hidden in a corner of the room. “Let’s go to bed a little later tonight, okay?”

“Mn.” XiaoYu might be a good kid who slept and woke up early, but he had no issues with occasionally staying up past midnight.

There was still some time left to kill before it was midnight. None of them would be a fool to just stand around waiting, so they started talking about the new map.

Don’t be mistaken by them just sitting there and chatting. All of them had been down there at least once. Today’s mobs were Animal types, specifically berserk elites. It was much more suitable to explore it fully in a party.

Still, they didn’t linger down there for long. While the map was huge, they still met a few other players. Some were from their own guilds; some were from the others. Everyone was there to take a peek at the brand new thing. With how crowded it was going to get, they’d quickly left. They had plenty of time in the future to slowly explore. After all, it would require the other top ten guilds of the server working together to pull the Heretic Demons down from their fortresses forever.

The only remaining curiosity left to explore was this big chest and the secret wonders it may hold. Naturally, Prole-4’s chest was Egg_Tart’s to open, as was his right as the subsidiary guild’s leader. They would communicate with him later in chat anyway. As for Prole-3’s chest, who would it be? Who would open the chest? Everyone turned their gazes to QiYao only to see him affectionately look at XiaoYu.

“You open it,” QiYao dotingly said.

At that very moment, everyone’s mind thought of the same thing – this would be a leader drowning in lust.

With how lively it was in the room, midnight soon arrived. The air around the treasure chest began to gleam and glow in rainbow light. It was as if the chest was calling out to them.

“Come open me,” it seemingly sang. “Come open me.”

With everyone’s eyes stuck on him, XiaoYu walked over to the chest. The tiny cat was mesmerised by the light too. It reached out its paws. It swiped. It pounced. All it touched was air, but it didn’t care. It kept on trying, deliriously happy in its efforts.

When XiaoYu’s hand touched the chest, he received a reminder from the game. Please ensure you have enough space in your inventory, it said. This was not a problem at all to XiaoYu, who’d just cleared his inventory of junk. In one sharp move, he flipped the chest wide open.

Despite the room being fully lit, everyone still felt as if they could visibly see a blinding amount of light jumping forth from the chest. They were nearly, very literally, blinded. When their eyes finally adjusted to the light and were finally able to look into the chest, all they could see was the bottom of an empty treasure chest.

“Where are the items?” everyone asked.

“In my inventory,” XiaoYu answered.

“Oh. So what are they?” They were all vibrating in excitement. They hated how they can’t look into XiaoYu’s own inventory themselves.

XiaoYu opened his inventory and took out everything, one by one, he had gotten from the chest.

A bundle of tree sticks, one of which had some blood on it. Everyone in the room instantly recognised them for what they were – Dead Branches. Break them and a random monster would be summoned. The ones without any blood on them could summon normal monsters with a small chance of summoning an elite and no chance of summoning a boss. Dead Branches were considered a rather common item. On the other hand, branches with blood on it were called Bloody Branches. It could summon elites at worst, bosses at best. It was very precious.

A bag of rocks used to refinement. There was at least thirty to forty of them from the looks of it.

A few heavy bars of gold. These were required for crafting equipment.

A large chest of medicine containing hundreds of XL potion bottles of both red and blue varieties.

The remaining items were equipment. A knight’s cape, shimmering blue, and a pair of leather boots. They weren’t especially rare, but they were at least above average.

Also, ten Crystal Coins.

By the time everything was placed down, a large portion of floorspace had been taken up by the chest’s contents. Overall, it was great loot. It seemed like the game was rather kind to them. With a few clicks on their internal calculators everyone in the room could tell just how astonishing the treasure pile would become with time.

“Erm…Egg_Tart’s chest only gave him a medicine chest, a pair of boots and…one normal Dead Branch,” a squad leader said as he looked at the items laid out before him. He was starting to suspect his ears and eyes. It’s rather hard to mess up one stick with one bundle.

Even if that was a mistake, just the number of items outside of the branches was way too different to what they had before their eyes. Silence reigned the room.

Who was it? Who commented the game was being kind? That it was generous? Drag them over to Egg_Tart for some stress relief!

Translator’s Note:

  1. Dead Branch/Bloody Branch: Also exist in RO under the same names.

Sorry for being late! Had some cross-state driving to do and got exhausted from it.

Also, since I know that the majority of my readers are from the US (unless you’re using a VPN), take care. No matter what time it is or where you’re from, take care.


LC: Chapter 80

80. Trouble on the Forums

After a long night’s chat, QiYao finally had a rough understanding of the story behind the animosity between XiaoYu and Snow. Who would’ve thought it’d be related to the scheming assassin Egg_Tart mentioned before?

If one boiled it down to the basics, it’s a series of unfortunate and unpleasant reactions born from the meeting between someone who’s used to just thinking of herself and someone who’d so introverted that he didn’t know how to explain things. Objectively none of them were in the wrong and none of them were right. It was a simple case of a clash of personalities that easily led to misunderstandings and grudges.

Most men wouldn’t think too much on what’s in the past. That’s why the two men put aside the PvP duel after a good night’s sleep. Just because they’ve put it aside, doesn’t mean everyone had, especially not the person who was outclassed and forced to leave in humiliation.

Unknown to QiYao and XiaoYu, a post on the forums was gaining popularity.

A large-scale game like AO would have countless of new posts appearing on its forums. They asked for help, for trade, to chat, to fight. If one wanted to stand out from the crowd, they would need an astonishing, eye-catching title. Like this one.

Bully of the weak, dogsbody of the strong! Who knew the Heretic Demons leader would be like this? [picture]

Gossip about famous people were topics the average player of the game preferred, especially if there were pictures. Quite a few of the readers only clicked into the topic because it had an image of the Heretic Demons Guild Leader.

Indeed, there was a picture attached to the post. In the image, QiYao had a blank face on and pointing his sharp sword at a weak female wizard with her head lowered. On the surface, it certainly did look like he was bullying a lower-levelled player.

Under the image was the post detailing how she, a low-level wizard, was scouting out the Pyramids when she accidentally hit the same monster as another healer. Some misunderstandings were born from that incident and the other player called his party member for help. To her surprise, it was the famous Guild Leader of the Heretic Demons. They forced her to apologise just because they were part of a major guild. If she didn’t apologise, they’d kill her. They were very mean and evil. She’s just a weak little wizard. She wasn’t looking for justice on how she was bullied by two men, she just wanted everyone to know the true character of these people.

Before Snow uploaded the photo, she’d erased her own nametag which would show that she was the one who attacked first. However, she left QiYao’s and XiaoYu’s nametags in the image as QiYao had decided to show their party name. The bright “(Black-White)” text clearly announced they belonged to the same party. It portrayed an image of the Heretic Demons Guild Leader threatening a wizard to apologise after a misunderstanding happened.

There’s an air of a culprit making a complaint before the victim in Snow’s post. That’s because the more she thought about it through the night, the angrier she got, the harder it was to calm down. But she can’t go against QiYao and XiaoYu head-on. None of her so-called best friends were useful. All she could do was vent out her anger on the forums.

Anyone who have spent some time on the forums would know how messy things were. There were all sorts of people on there. When a hot topic appeared, there were always those clicking in just because they were curious, just because they wanted to watch the fire burn, and just because they wanted to make sure justice was properly served. The replies started piling up until the conversation veered off into rather strange territories.

No. 1: First~ I’ll edit after reading.

No. 2: Second. Watching.

No. 3: Please give the truth. *roll around*

No. 9: Wow, who knew HereticKing would do this.

No. 10: So what if you’re from Heretic Demons?

No. 25: Is this just clickbait?

No. 26: HereticKing is so hot. He’s so handsome even when fighting!

No. 48: Is this image fake or real? Video, please!

No. 78: Sometimes, healers are just bad news.

No. 79: Healers only know to hide behind others. Hahaha!

No. 80: 78, 79, if you’ve got the balls to, then don’t beg us for help. I hate those who are biased against healers!

No. 85: Healers just love acting like fckbois.

No. 90: Scram. If you’ve got guts, post your IGN. Let the Healers Alliance hunt you down.

No. 125: Heretic Demons, come out and apologise. You think you’re all that just because you’re a big guild?

No. 131: OP, is this slander about our boss? Go home. It’s your bedtime already.

No. 132: 131, you think your leader really is a good man?

No. 133: You may know someone for years but you’ll never know who they truly are.

No. 134: 132, are you looking for a fight?

Verbal fights broke out regarding the Healers Alliance and the Heretic Demons. A cold smirk spread over Snow’s face as she read through the thread. The replies mocking and insulting the Healers Alliance and the Heretic Demons made her feel so very happy and satisfied. While some of them also directed hate at her, she ignored them. However, after she logged off for the night, the replies started swerving to another direction in a few pages.

No. 282: Why’s no one talking about the healer behind HereticKing? It doesn’t look like Mr Poor!

No. 283: It definitely isn’t him. Analysis complete!

No. 284: Does His Majesty not want the great Poor anymore? PS. The height difference is just beautiful!

No. 290: According to a little bird, that’s Heretic Demon’s Mrs Guild Leader.

No. 293: I told you HereticKing’s gay.

No. 285: Disgusting!

No. 298: 285 is the most disgusting one here.

No. 299: Bunch of ignorant women who only know to gossip.

No. 300: Requesting the healer’s information. I’m curious.

No. 311: I’ve seen them in Prole before. They looked so happy with each other!

Most of the replies after this shift then focused on gossiping about HereticKing and the new healer. Even if someone tried to bring the conversation back on topic about HereticKing’s character or tried to implicitly mock the Heretic Demons, it’d be drowned out by the gossiping replies. The more topics were introduced to the thread, the messier things became. There were those fighting with each other. There were those just there to gossip and fawn over the couple in the image. Kings of providing new information and confirming information began popping out of the woodworks. Simply put, the thread slowly began to get off-topic.

With everyone’s passionately replying, the post was “manually pinned” for the whole night. More people began to notice the post and participate in the discussions within. Heretic Demons guild members were a significant portion of them. Due to the real-life gathering they just had two days ago, anyone with eyes could tell something was going on between their Guild Leader and this young healer. A few of the higher-ups could feel their curiosity bursting out of their bodies. They had watched as their calm leader suddenly jump out of his seat halfway through the meeting and dashed out the door without a single word to them. What a thrilling story behind that mysterious act. Please, they need the truth!

When Snow woke up, she was hoping to see more and more players joining in the fight. No matter who won in the end, the insults thrown around would pacify her anger. To her astonishment, replies of that type started to peter out. Unfortunately, there was no way for her to create alternate accounts to poke the fire and start a fight all by herself. While forum usernames were different to the in-game names, the two accounts were linked when registering. She wouldn’t have taken the risk to pretend to be the feeble victim otherwise. She would’ve started up hundreds of alternate accounts to flood the forums with insults targeting the two men.

No. 3183: (OP)  Healers are so arrogant. How can a major guild’s leader intentionally spoil them? I don’t know why so many people are on their side! [cry] [cry]

No. 3184: Oh, OP’s finally popped out. Should you add another line about how tired you are and how you’ve lost all faith in love?

No. 3185: Don’t be so serious to a little girl. It’s true love~

No. 3186: You must have a sense of humour. Gossip is king.

No. 3187: I support OP. Bullies should all die!

No. 3190: Pictures aren’t the truth. If OP really wants our sympathy, post the video. PS. So was OP killed in the end?

No. 3193: Video please. I really want to see the mighty HereticKing unleashed! He’s a rare “Emperor”

Snow’s reply didn’t pull the thread back on topic. Instead, people started spamming her with replies requesting for a video of the incident. How could she have one? The image was taken after everything when QiYao made her pick between apologising and dying. In the few moments she had to think, her mind went blank. It was only a tiny urge that made her take a screenshot of the moment for her revenge in the future.

As the topic went off-topic again, a new problem started to present itself. The longer the thread was, the fewer players would have the patience to scroll through the replies in search of its highlights. New posts regarding this post appeared. Posts like “Let’s gossip about the thing between HereticKing and Healer”, “Caption this. Let’s write a novel”, “Heretic Demons bullying compilation post”, “All the ways the healers acted like arrogant bastards”, and so on.

Of course, the latter examples were started by people with ill-intent. They wanted to seize the chance to stomp on the people they always disliked. Usually, nothing would come of it. Now, they had this incident as their shield. To top it all off, one of the people involved was a famous player. With the truth being unknown to the public, it was fodder for arguments. The moderators could close off replies that personally attacked the other party, but they had no power to stop the people from discussing controversial issues.

Snow, as the first poster, gradually lost any offensive powers. Even so, new threads about the topic kept it viral, especially among those who didn’t have any good intents in mind. It became a place where they could gather and let their anger loose.

The main characters of this post rarely appeared on the forums. Thus, while the world outside burned, the two men went about their day as usual.

For some reason, XiaoYu mused, the female healers’ gazes were particularly heated when looking at him. He kept looking down at himself to make sure he had the correct equipment on today.

“Well, if it isn’t Lil Lucky,” someone called.

“Ah, Chrysanthemum. Hello,” XiaoYu replied.

“Come. I’ll grind with you today. Just the two of us. Let’s head to the Berserk Mummies downstairs.”

“Oh, okay.” After a word to his party leader, XiaoYu left the party he was in to join Chrysanthemum’s.

As the two players went through the first floor, Chrysanthemum nonchalantly asked, “Lil Lucky, did you and Chief come train at the Pyramids yesterday?”

“Yes. How did you know?”

“About half of all AO players know by now.”

“Huh? What?” XiaoYu shouted.

“Did you two get into a fight with a wizard?”


“Go take a look at the forums. I’ll keep guard.” She pulled XiaoYu over to a dead-end and buffed him up.

With question marks stamped all over his mind, XiaoYu “left his body” to browse the forums. He didn’t have to search for anything at all. All of the trending topics were posts about the incident. All of them made XiaoYu very uncomfortable, be they idle gossip or insults. It’s no wonder. He had always been a very private person who liked to keep a low profile. Now that he was forced into the limelight, and pulling QiYao, the Heretic Demons and the Healers Alliance in as targets too, it would be weird if he didn’t feel uneasy at all.

“Why did this blow up?” XiaoYu asked in confusion. He merely took a rough glance at a few of those threads. Of course, Snow’s post was included in his reading. Soon, his soul was pulled back into the game.

“Because Chief and the Heretic Demons are way too popular. Someone would always use the excuse to start a fight.” After all, the rumours didn’t come from nothing. That image was very real.

“What do we do?”

“The most direct way is to ignore them. After a few days, they should stop. But…” While Chrysanthemum had pulled her friends along to pull the thread off-topic, there would still be plenty of people who loved to see the world burn. They would keep starting negative threads. They couldn’t keep their facade of “unrelated personnel” forever.

“But what?”

“But with the truth unknown and that wizard embellishing the whole story, the two of you, the guild and the alliance would be affected one way or another.” After all, it was easier for a lot of people to accept the first story to be published.  While the source of all the discussion was just a picture, the story created was rather plausible.

“I didn’t think this would explode just because of me.” It was impossible for him to not feel guilty. XiaoYu was a very responsible man.

“Lil Lucky, I’m now asking you, seriously. Did it happen like how that wizard described?”

“We did hit the same mob, but what happened later is very different.”

“I believe you, but other people don’t know you. Ugh, if only we have something to prove your words. The worst part about this whole thing is that woman’s picture.” While the picture didn’t really prove anything, it was much more credible than a block of text.

“I’ve got a video.”

If Chrysanthemum wasn’t familiar with how slow-paced XiaoYu was, she would’ve slapped him at the back of his head. Why didn’t he say he had that?

One of the reasons XiaoYu would have a recording of the incident was because his past few PvP duels had taught him a grave lesson. Another reason was how Poor_Man and some of the other healers would chatter on at him about the ways a healer could protect themselves. They kept emphasising how important it was to have proof, to have a video of everything. With that, the Healers Alliance could publicly help him. Hence, when the two spells hit the Evil Santa Claus, XiaoYu instinctively started recording. The entire incident was recorded, from the moment the mob died to the end.

With a video on hand, everything was so much easier for Chrysanthemum. XiaoYu didn’t mind going public about it too. The default setting for recordings was the third-person point-of-view. If it wasn’t changed to the first, individual information would be kept private. XiaoYu didn’t have to worry about unintentionally exposing anything at all.

Chrysanthemum confidently assured XiaoYu she would handle the matter with a fist thump to her chest. She shamelessly begged him for the video. She had a selfish wish to be the first to witness QiYao heroically saving the cat. Luckily for her, XiaoYu had always been too lazy to create an account on the forums. He’d always been browsing as a guest. Now that he had the option to not register and verify an account just for this matter, he took it.

Never in all of Snow’s dreams would she have thought there would be a version of the incident that perfectly exposed all of her evil words and deeds. The easily swayed masses also began bombarding her with judgements. Comments like “You shrew!”, “Are you a kid?”, “How shameless of you to hide your name when you’re the one who actively attacked them!”, “Snow? Haha. This woman really overestimates herself!”, “What a loser! How can a magician not have Cough Drops?” filled her initial post. It made her so angry that she started smashing everything she could reached in her home. That was the truth though. There was no way she could argue and turn it to her favour. Furthermore, her forum account had been suspended for a day by the administrators due to spreading misinformation.

And so passed the incident, neither major nor trivial, with QiYao still ignorant to the fuss. Never could QiYao have imagined he would end up mesmerising players with the way he’d drawn his sword to protect his healer. His fanbase grew tremendously.

Translator’s Notes:

  1. Fckbois: The more accurate translation for “装逼” would be “boasting/bragging/pretending to be more just to fulfil their own superficial pride”. However, it’s the forums and the term fits. It’ll date really fast though (as if my translation would stay up for more than a decade heh).
  2. How tired you are and how you’ve lost all faith in love: For those who don’t understand the reference/meme, it’s the common line spoken by “lotus” characters (characters who play the innocent saint but really create problems due to their naive [supposedly naive and evil if they’re “black”] actions). Another way to translate it would be “I’m tired. I won’t love anymore”.
  3. Easily swayed masses: “Water army” to be literal. It’s just people who have already have their mind set on a story, either because they’ve been paid to or because they share a common goal (like being fans of a certain celebrity). A more accurate translation would be “bots” or “paid commenters” but with obvious proof that those are not what’s going on, it’s been changed. I welcome any and all suggestions. I don’t dig into comment sections enough to know the proper accurate term.


LC: Chapter 79

79. Apologise or Die

Stalemates would always end. While the two players are engrossed in their duel in the Pyramids, a shadow was flying through the land to them.

When Snow’s first fireball struck XiaoYu, QiYao in Prole received a notification:  (No Party) Player Snow has attacked your party member at Pyramids 1st Floor (112, 332). Hurry and help them.

This was a major benefit of being partied up. It was why XiaoYu would always be partied up with QiYao when he wasn’t with the grinding parties at the Pyramids. After the incident where XiaoYu was killed when not partied up, QiYao never wanted to witness the sight of his lover grieving all alone in a corner somewhere with all means of contacting XiaoYu closed off.

From the ID, this attacker should be a female player. However, QiYao didn’t recall anything about it at all. He might not know why she started a fight with XiaoYu, but AO’s healers can’t solo-PvP. Whether it was intentional or an accident, QiYao needed to assess the situation personally.

QiYao kept an eye on XiaoYu’s health during his dash through the countryside. It went up and down and up and down, but fortunately there were no signs of imminent danger.

Here was where his white Thousand-Li Horse shined. Its large galloping strides at up the distance much faster than the typical horse. And so, when QiYao arrived at the Pyramids and started to search for XiaoYu, the younger man had just Silenced Snow for the fifth time.

A duel between a magician who can’t finish a spell time after time and a healer with only one attack skill and long cast times was a very boring duel to those who knew how to PvP. What’s stranger was how Snow, a magician, became overwhelmed with rage after being Silenced multiple times in a row a began to act out in a very entitled, angry housewife fashion. “You won’t let me cast spells? Fine. I’ll hit you with my staff!” was the implied thought.

Thankfully, XiaoYu didn’t lose his calm too. The fight didn’t end up being two spellcasters hitting each other with their staffs. Every time Snow got close to him, he would pull back until he was a safe distance away. Then, he’d cast all sorts of debuffs on the woman. His skill proficiency bars were visibly increasing by the minute.

This bizarre sight was what QiYao saw when he finally charged into sight. XiaoYu should’ve been the weaker party. He looked like the bully instead while the magician who should be the stronger party was acting as the punching bag with a dark look on her face and ellipses filling the air above her. Ugh…okay. It seems like there was nothing he could do here.

By the time the current bout of Silence was ending, Snow was near insane. At first, she could still hit XiaoYu. Now, she could do nothing but take hits. She downed potion after potion. If this situation went on, she would die a shameful death in the hands of a healer. She was about to shout and yell at XiaoYu when she suddenly spotted a Knight standing in the shadows behind XiaoYu. She hurriedly swallowed back the curses about to escape her throat.

XiaoYu was prepared to continue casting Silence until it succeeded again, but then his opponent stopped moving and her gaze shifted to something behind him. He looked back. It’s QiYao. When did he arrive?

The two players had noticed QiYao’s presence. He couldn’t just stand by and watch the show now. He softly cleared his throat and walked over.

“What’s going on?” he asked.

“He stole my kill!” shouted Snow.

QiYao ignored the rude display and looked at XiaoYu. His instincts told him he would get a clearer picture of the story from his lover. However, a certain someone didn’t know to read the room. While the bully voiced her complaint first, she was also arrogantly pointing her finger at XiaoYu.

Faced with QiYao’s questioning gaze, all XiaoYu did was shake his head and blandly replied, “It’s a long story.”

Indeed. The grudge between Snow and him was something that was hard to fully explain right now. Should he not have partied up with her way back then because he had the tiny little cat with him? Should he not have thrown that robe over to her? Should he not have saved that scheming assassin? Should he not have pointed an Evil Santa Claus out for her? Should he not have attacked that monster? There was so much miscommunication and lack of patience in their interactions that XiaoYu didn’t even know just how he had offended the other player.

“It’s not a long story. You stole what was mine back then and now you’re stealing my kill!” It was such a rough summary that excluded a lot of context.

“That’s curious. Just what monster was here that was worth stealing?” QiYao could tell just how much hate was behind that one sentence. QiYao can hear XiaoYu’s thorough explanation of the whole thing afterwards. Right now, he at the very least didn’t think XiaoYu was the kind to kill-steal, or that he was strong enough to steal a magician’s kill.

“Evil Santa Clauses! He stole two at once!” Snow was the best at exaggerating the truth.

Unfortunately for her, QiYao wasn’t as brainless as the assassin from Wings. Anyone with the slightest bit of logic would realise the hole in that accusation.

“Oh? How did he still your kill? Melee attack or magical?”

“Of course it’s through magic…”

“That’ll be Holy Light then? There’s a Poring over there. Try hitting it.” The latter half of QiYao’s words were directed to XiaoYu. A finger rose to point at the green Poring being all cute and bouncing around them, ignorant to its imminent death.

XiaoYu didn’t really get what QiYao was getting to, but he locked onto the Poring and started to cast Holy Light.

“Over two seconds. He stole your kill with that cast time?” Magicians could instantly cast a spell. How could a healer who needed over two seconds to attack kill-steal? How could he do it twice? Even a fool would know something was fishy.


“If you can’t explain why, then please apologise for this duel,” said QiYao.

“Why?” Snow screeched.

“Because you attacked first.” He glanced at the grey name above Snow. If it was a male player, QiYao would never have wasted his breath. He would slice the other down in one swift slash. However, as a gentleman, he had to be patient with ladies. That didn’t mean he could let the other bully her way around though. Because even if this was just a game, she should know basic gaming etiquette.

“…I won’t apologise. Especially not to healers.” Snow had hoped the famed guild leader would be leaning towards her side and snuff out the other player’s ego. To her surprise, everyone she met helped the healer. As if he’s all that great just because he had the Healers Alliance backing him up! As the two men selected to hide their party name, Snow still thought QiYao’s appearance was just a coincidence.

For the first time ever, QiYao could feel his patience hitting rock bottom. “Well, you should’ve been ready to die when you decided it was okay to have a grey name out in the wild,” he said, pulling out his sword.

“You…! You’re a major Guild Leader! How could you bully players at a lower level than you?” Snow had thought a famous man like Hei QiYao wouldn’t be so nosy, but the man had just displayed his desire to help the healer out. He had pulled out his sword. It would be a lie to say she wasn’t afraid of death.

“I’m just protecting my healer.”                QiYao switched their party settings to show their party name. The words “(Black-White)” appeared before their name tags.

“You two…!” It was only then did Snow understood why the over-Level 100 player would appear in the Pyramids. It’s because the two were in the same party all along.

“One last chance. Apologise or die.”

“…” Her fist curled into fists. Snow didn’t want to apologise at all, but she knew the Heretic Demons Guild Leader was very much stronger. It was impossible for her to escape either. She wavered between her life and her proud dignity for a moment. In the end, her jaws clenched tight.

“I’m…sorry,” she spat out between gritted teeth.


Once Snow hastily left in a dishevelled manner, QiYao languidly hid their party name once more. The name hovering before their individual names vanished.

“Yao, thank you,” said XiaoYu.

“If you really want to thank me, tell me everything about the grudge between you and her tonight,” QiYao said.

“Okay. Your meeting’s done?”



“Don’t be silly. I came because I wanted to protect you. Although, you didn’t seem to need my protection today.” It’s only natural to protect one’s beloved. Of course, QiYao understood he had to let go and stop when appropriate. That was why he didn’t instantly charge into the scene before. Watching XiaoYu grow and learn to PvP a magician on his own gave him a sense of satisfaction too.

“Hehe. Do you still need to go to your meeting?”

“No, it was about to end anyway. Let’s go grind.”

“Okay. Hm?”

“Mrrrrow~” The tiny cat clambered up XiaoYu’s leg. It wanted hugs. Today was so terrifying. It needed to pick up some gold to help it get over the shock. >w<

Previous IndexNext

LC: Chapter 78

78. A Bloody Case Started by a Sock

The next day, QiYao and XiaoYu trained separately. QiYao couldn’t spend all his time by XiaoYu’s side after all, unless he didn’t want to level up. Also, with him around, XiaoYu wouldn’t have an easy time grinding as well.

It was just a piece of candy yesterday and it was enough for them to get lovestruck for half-a-day. Afterwards, QiYao still wasn’t satisfied. He commented how surprisingly delicious the candy would be when shared. He insisted on looking for another Santa Poring. XiaoYu was blushing so hard by the end of it and stomped his feet. He proactively objected and said he didn’t want another candy. He just wanted to head back to Prole to sleep. A rare sight indeed.

Thus, after a honey-sweet morning kiss, XiaoYu swiftly ran away, with the help of a Haste spell, to the Pyramids in search of the Healer Squad. QiYao was left behind on the comfortable bed in the inn, helpless to XiaoYu’s escape. Did he dote on XiaoYu so much that the other started to be a little spoiled? But that’s fine. He’s the one who spoiled XiaoYu. Anything the other did was okay. It might even add a little spice to their relationship.

The couple might fight their own battles apart during the day but they would always have dinner together. That was a habit they’ve developed ever since they started dating.

“Do you still want to go grind later?” QiYao asked.

“Mn. I want to sell off the stuff I got earlier first. If I have time afterwards, I’ll go train a little more,” XiaoYu replied.

“I’ll come look for you after my meeting. Be careful.”


“Right. These are for you.” As QiYao said so, he stuffed a few pieces of candy in XiaoYu’s hands.

When XiaoYu saw the candy, he felt his cheeks flushing. Weren’t these the culprits that ruined their grind session yesterday?

“You can have some when you’re training. It’ll be a minor insurance. But…” QiYao leaned in close to XiaoYu’s ear. “Leave one for us to share.”

Daily teasing of a blushing lover is so very fun. ╮(╯▽╰)╭


The two split up. QiYao gathered some of their guild’s researchers to sort through the information on the new updates. XiaoYu went around with the tiny cat and cleared their inventories of the day’s drops while replenishing their supplies.

Once everything was settled, it was only past eight. XiaoYu decided to train for two more hours and teleported straight to the Pyramids. His proficiency at Teleport was very high now. Not only can he maintain all the portals he needed for the Guild Wars, he could even save one slot for his own personal use.

The first floor of the Pyramids was a maze. However, after the players mapped out the whole dungeon, the maze lost its meaning. All it did now was act as a buffer floor between the mummies upstairs and the Berserk Mummies downstairs. The monsters on this level weren’t that strong, bats that die in a few hits and little Porings that only knew to be cute and pick up loot.

XiaoYu buffed himself up and hurried through the maze to the floor above. Along the way, he smacked away the few bats attracted by his presence.

“Hm?” Out of the corner of his eye, XiaoYu spotted a large shadow to his left. He turned to find an Evil Santa Claus standing not far away. It was looking around at a cross-junction with its back to XiaoYu. The maze seemed to have confused it.

He raised his hands and chanted Holy Light. Soon, a sock should be his.

All of a sudden, right before his spell hit the monster, a fireball came streaking from a hallway blocked from XiaoYu’s sight by the maze’s walls and struck the Evil Santa Claus too.

It would be hard to tell which spell hit the mob first, so they had to rely on the game’s judgement. The one who hit it first would have priority in collecting the EXP and loot dropped.

From the way the small cat went sprinting for the sock, XiaoYu knew the game decided his spell struck first. What a pity for this unknown other player.

“Where did this ratty cat come from? Die!” shouted a female voice. Another fireball was casted and headed straight for the little kitten.

Fortunately, the kitten was very fast at picking up loot. It was also very good at retreating fast. Therefore, the fireball didn’t hit it at all. It merely brushed by the cat’s tail and struck the floor. It did scare the unsuspecting little one. It immediately charged back to XiaoYu and hid behind his legs.

XiaoYu frowned. This voice…it reminded him of very unpleasant memories.

“Where are you running to…it’s you!” the other player yelled.

Frankly, XiaoYu didn’t want to see her either. The past two times they met, they’d parted on bad terms. The two seemed destined to be enemies.

“Hmph. I was wondering why that darned cat looked so familiar. So it’s you, you arrogant bastard.”

“Why did you hurt my cat?” XiaoYu didn’t care much for the verbal jabs aimed at him. He just didn’t like Snow’s attitude towards his precious cat.

“Did you need to ask? It stole my sock!”

“The game is the judge.”

“This…!” Snow was rendered speechless. When the kitten bounced out and grabbed the sock, it hadn’t click in her mind yet. She soon realised if the game hadn’t decided it was XiaoYu who hit the monster first, the cat couldn’t have grabbed the sock, not with the loot protection still active. But the words she had thrown out on impulse were already spoken. Even if she wanted to take it back, she couldn’t. She didn’t want to admit she was in the wrong before this hateful healer anyway.

When Snow didn’t reply, XiaoYu didn’t feel like saying anything anymore. He wasn’t the kind to force others to do something anyway. He was just a little angry at seeing his little cat being nearly hurt.

“There’s another behind you,” XiaoYu said. He had been about to turn and leave when he spotted an Evil Santa Claus spawn right behind Snow, so he pointed it out to her. Then, he turned to leave. He didn’t want it. Why not just let the other have it? They’ll be even then.

“Freeze! I don’t need your charity!” Unfortunately, some people loved to think badly of others, especially because Snow always had some biases against XiaoYu. No matter what he did, she would be upset.

XiaoYu, on the other hand, was unsurprised by Snow’s ridiculous tantrum. The consequences of acknowledging her back at the Zombie Cave was nearly being 3v1-ed. So, he ignored the frustrated and irritated shouts. He checked his position on the map and continued towards the staircase connecting this floor and the above.

However, Snow had always been the one ignoring others. Being ignored was a hard pill for her to swallow. In a fit of rage, she flung out a fireball. Of course, she didn’t aim for XiaoYu. She merely aimed for the spell to brush past him and hit the ground before him. That would be more threatening.

XiaoYu had to stop and turn around at that. He wasn’t afraid of being killed, but he didn’t want to turn his back on an attacker. That would only be bad for him.

“I’m warning you. Don’t think you’re all that just because you’re a healer,” Snow threatened.

XiaoYu had never thought he was superior in any way. The communication gap between them was way too big.

“Aren’t you going to hit it?” XiaoYu asked, pointing to the Evil Santa Claus behind Snow once more. The mob was about to leave the range for magic attacks.

“I don’t have to hit it just because you let me!” Snow snarled.

“…” If XiaoYu understood that correctly, that meant she didn’t want that monster. It’s not rational for him to ignore a present that’s inviting him to open it.

“!!!” Snow didn’t think XiaoYu would immediately start chanting Holy Light. While the chant took over two seconds (XiaoYu’s more proficient in the skill now), she didn’t react in time. All she could do was stare as the cross-shaped light flew past her and hit the Evil Santa Claus behind her. Then, a tiny black shadow dashed over before bouncing back to XiaoYu.

“W-Who said you could hit it?” Snow might’ve said she didn’t care about the mob, but it has been two days since the event started and Snow didn’t have a single sock. Today was the first time she’s seen an Evil Santa Claus. How could she not panic? But the more emotional one was, the harder it was for her to make the right decision. A tiny temper tantrum and she missed out on a sock.

At that, she lashed out on an impulse.

Suddenly, XiaoYu felt like this whole situation was rather laughable. If not for the fact this game was only open to adults, he would’ve thought Snow was a primary school student. He’d be insane to argue with such an illogical person.

“How dare you laugh at me!” Snow shouted.

Was XiaoYu really smiling? XiaoYu raised a hand and touched the corners of his mouth.

The meaning of a trivial, instinctive action would always change in the eyes of the petty. Snow was always bad-tempered. The only reason she didn’t attack XiaoYu the past two times was because there were more rational players by her side. Today, she had been made a fool of over and over again before the healer she hated. What little drops of patience she had were long since gone. When emotions overruled logic, she forgot all about the Healers Alliance. There was no way she could show her face in AO if she didn’t punish him!

The basic skill of a mage could be casted within milliseconds, but it wasn’t that powerful and there were no proficiency levels to upgrade it with. When faced against healers whose builds also relied heavily on Intelligence, this party trick did as much damage as a tickle. That’s why XiaoYu’s mind didn’t understand what the tiny sparks clashing into him were until he saw the familiar notification from the game. He was being pulled into a PvP fight.

“Player Snow has attacked you. PvP  mode activated. You can retaliate within the next 10 minutes and your nametag won’t change colours.”

Even instantaneous spells had cooldowns. Snow usually switched between the instant-cast spells and those that needed to be chanted. She was currently chanting Fire Arrow, a more threatening spell.

Did she think XiaoYu would just stand there like an idiot and let her cast her spell? That’s impossible. XiaoYu used the time Snow spent chanting to buff himself up. Against mages and wizards, the Acolyte tree had a skill that technically wasn’t an attack, but it would make the enemy grit their teeth in anger.

Silence: Inflicts Silence status on a target by chance. When Silenced, the enemy won’t be able to use their skills for a given period of time. Improved with Proficiency. (Ineffective against Boss monsters)

Of course, the Magician tree had an item to counter Silence – Cough Drops bought from the Item Shop. It could cure Silence and grants immunity to the status effect for five seconds.

XiaoYu had never used Silence before so the success rate was very low, but he patiently casted spell after spell as he dodged attacks. He did get stabbed by a Fire Arrow or two, but he could never be instantly killed. This PvP duel couldn’t really be called a fight. They were locked in a stalemate.

Snow didn’t dare use her high-level spells all willy-nilly. Without a tank, her chanting would be interrupted. She started to regret being greedy and just levelled up her attack spells. The Dark spells meant to protect her were very low-level. Otherwise, she could cast a high-level Dark Barrier and she could chant all the spells as she pleased to torture this damned healer to death.

“Ding. Spell successful. Proficiency +1.”

Accompanying the pleasant ding of a system notification, a series of ellipses appeared above Snow. It told everyone the Silence spell was a success. Snow was halfway through her chant for the next Fire Arrow spell when it fizzled out. Snow had the urge to yell and scream, but something seemed stuck in her throat and preventing her from saying anything, even if it wasn’t to chant a spell. What’s worse is that she didn’t have the habit of bringing Cough Drops with her everywhere she went, even though she was a wizard. There was no way she could cure herself of this status effect. She could only stand and stare at the fifteen-second timer.

By this time, XiaoYu too realised Snow didn’t have any Cough Drops on her. He could do a lot with these fifteen seconds. He could have hit Snow with five Holy Light spells. He could even replenish his health back to full, buff himself back up and ready himself for the next round of attacks. He could even leave Snow behind in the dust and continued with his grind session.

“I don’t know just what you misunderstood of me, but I don’t want to fight you. If possible, I hope we can each go our own way after the debuff ends,” said XiaoYu.

Snow’s unruly temper hadn’t given XiaoYu even a chance to speak up. This was a rare chance. He had to use this opportunity to communicate his thoughts to her. Of course, if she wasn’t willing to listen, he’ll continue with the fight. After all, he didn’t like to kill.

What Snow heard instead was a taunt. She clenched her teeth and waited out the timer. “Stop pretending,” she spat out. “One of us will die today!”

It seemed like there was no way for them to talk it out. XiaoYu internally sighed and continued tossing out Silences. His level was higher than Snow’s and his gear was better than hers. The walls of the maze meant he could avoid being locked on by her spells. Strictly speaking, this round of PvP was just a meaningless battle. There was no way of telling just how long it’ll last.

Translator’s Notes:

  1. Silence spell: Likely referring to Lex Divina by Priests. However, this version of the skill can’t un-Silence targets.
  2. Dark Barrier: Mages in RO had a spell called Safety Wall that could stop a number of melee attacks. However, AO’s version of the spell is Dark-element and (implied) could stop magic attacks too.

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LC: Chapter 77

77. Christmas Event

XiaoYu pulled the tiny cat, that’d been curling round and round his legs, up into his arms. Four days ago, XiaoYu would never have imagined the few days of server maintenance would be so eventful. The happiness overwhelming him made him rub his face against the small cat. Sensing its little owner was very much happier now than when he’d logged off, it stretched its tiny pink tongue out and licked him.

“Heeheh. Let’s go grind,” XiaoYu said.

As for how the new Guild Wars update, that wasn’t something XiaoYu needed to worry about as long as the grind spots stayed the same. His mission was to level up. What about QiYao who should be concerned about this matter? He’d left for work after having the breakfast XiaoYu had lovingly cooked.

However, the update this time not only made some changes to the weekly Guild Wars rules, it patched in the Christmas and New Year events. The year was nearly over.

First to occur was the Christmas event. Just like last year, it was about the grudge between the two Santa Clauses.

In Asgard Online, lived two Santa Clauses. One was an NPC dubbed the “Crying Santa Claus” while the other was a…monster named the “Evil Santa Claus”. That’s right. The evil Santa Claus was a mob. It would spawn in every single place a normal mob might spawn.

The true Santa Claus was the crying NPC. Every year, he aimed to spread happiness and give Christmas presents to everyone. But an evil person would always appear and disrupt his plans.

Last year, the evil culprit stole his presents and threw them all over the world. The Christmas event required players to defeat the Evil Santa Clauses and collect the “Scattered Christmas Present” items. Return five of them to the real Santa Claus and he’ll give you a present in return. These boxes would drop some peculiar and unique little joke items.

This year, it’s a little different. The alert Santa Claus didn’t get cheated. He didn’t have his presents stolen but, infuriatingly, the socks the kids of Asgard Online used to collect their Christmas presents had been stolen overnight. This meant even if Santa Claus had his presents, he couldn’t give them to the children. Hence, he has sought help from the players once more. It was roughly the same quest. Defeat the Evil Santa Clauses. Collect five Christmas Socks and exchange them for a present from him.

It was a little overdramatic for a Christmas event, but the players of AO were already grinding everywhere. They didn’t mind attacking another mob. It was an easy monster to tackle anyway, even a Level 1 player could kill it. The reason’s simple. He won’t attack and he only had 1 HP.

Thus, even if the players just lightly tapped the Evil Santa Claus with their weapons, he would immediately collapse, wriggle in pain for a few moments before disappearing and leaving behind the quest item. Last year, this sight made quite a few players’ faces go 囧, but everyone was used to it this year. They were even curious just what kind of drama these two characters will act out this year.

Staring at the red and worn-down, with holes in the heel, sock in his inventory, XiaoYu hesitated. With every event, there would be a major business opportunity lurking behind it. Be it the socks or the presents, the streets would soon be filled with players buying and selling them. Should XiaoYu sell them or open the presents himself for some fun?

To be honest, XiaoYu quite liked opening chests and boxes. After all, that’s how he got his tiny cat. So, it was only a moment of dithering before he decided to keep the socks. He’ll just take it as a chance to open some presents.

By the end of the day, XiaoYu was able to exchange the socks for two presents. That was a nice battle record. If one were slightly unlucky, they might not encounter a single Evil Santa Claus at all within 24 hours.

After a glance at the time, XiaoYu bent down and lifted the small cat into a hug and a kiss. “I’m sorry, little one. I’ve got to log off for a while. I’ll play with you more tonight,” he said.


What was XiaoYu logging off for? To cook dinner.

With the existence of high-grade nutritional solution, having an actual meal didn’t really matter. However, since XiaoYu and QiYao were living together, XiaoYu wanted to do something for their home. Most of the household chores didn’t need him though. QiYao had plenty of high-tech products in charge of them, plus the occasional professional cleaners.

At the sight of XiaoYu wrecking his head over this, QiYao suggested that XiaoYu be in charge of all three meals whenever QiYao had to head in for work. That way, he would be able to have XiaoYu’s loving cooking at work too. He wouldn’t have to order takeout all the time. XiaoYu thought that was a great idea too and agreed to it. Unknown to him, this man was a boss so rich that his savings were enough for both of them to live off of. He was also way past the period when a new boss needed to achieve something grand to prove himself. There were more days QiYao didn’t need to go to work than the days when he needed to.

After dinner, the couple logged on.

“For me?” QiYao asked, shocked at the present XiaoYu handed over.

“Mn,” XiaoYu replied. He scratched the back of his head bashfully. “It’s a little early but I’m afraid I might not be able to hold back from opening it up.”

“Thanks.” While the logic behind the decision made QiYao want to laugh and cry at the same time, he appreciated the intent behind it.

He reached out to accept the present and snuck a kiss along the way, successfully making XiaoYu’s hair stand on end from the gesture. They were currently in Prole. There were players all around them bustling about >///<. QiYao didn’t mind at all. He was so quick, and he had done a quick survey of their surroundings, that even if someone wanted to take a photo of them kissing, he would be done before anything could be done.

“Let’s go grind at the Pyramids,” QiYao said.

“You don’t have a meeting today?” XiaoYu recalled the patch notes he had briefly read through earlier that day. The points about the Guild Wars update occupied more than half of the notes.

 “It’s tomorrow night.”


With QiYao in party, XiaoYu could climb to the top of the Pyramids to fight the higher levelled Mummies that spawned there. They could even kill a Christmas-only mob called Santa Poring, which was basically a ball of jelly wearing a Santa hat.

The Santa Porings and Evil Santa Clauses spawned anywhere a normal mob could. The reason for Santa Poring’s existence was to assist the weak and fragile Santa Claus. Santa Porings didn’t have a set level. They would spawn five levels higher than the average mob at their spawn location. Hence, if players were trying to power level by grinding in an area too strong for them, they would first need to consider the level gap between them and the mob before any attempt to attack a Santa Poring. Wouldn’t want to be stomped to death by a ball of jelly.

Fortunately, Santa Porings were as rare as the Evil Santa Claus and they weren’t aggressive. If one wasn’t attacking it, it can be considered a very cute creature. In spite of all that, it had a very irritating characteristic. It would pick up loot and there was a chance the loot it gobbled up would be dissolved. That meant if one were to be really unlucky, the item that was eaten up by the Santa Poring would still be gone even if the monster was killed.

Nevertheless, any and all loot-picking monsters had to bow down to the tiny cat, the grandmaster of the art. And so not only did the Santa Poring that came bouncing towards the party, attracted by the loot drops, not find anything for it to gobble up, it was also tragically dissected by a certain Guild Leader.

“XiaoYu, take out the Christmas Candy.”

“Okay.” XiaoYu opened up the little cat’s inventory to find a piece of candy wrapped in pretty and colourful wrapping paper. He took it out and read its description.

Christmas Candy: A special candy that can be used in battle. 1 HP regenerated every second for 5 minutes after consumption.

To high level players, that measly health regeneration’s worth nothing but it was better than nothing. And the candy’s quite delicious.

“Try it.” Last year’s event had that candy too. The prices went as high as 50 gold per piece. It might be expensive but it was one of the most delicious candies in the game, according to those who liked sweets.

XiaoYu unwrapped the candy and popped it in his mouth. An “Auto-Regen” symbol instantly appeared in the buff section of his status bar.

“Is it tasty?”

“Mn. It’s very sweet.” It’s sweet yet not sickly sweet. It was a very tasty candy indeed.

“Is that so…”Because QiYao had been tanking mobs for XiaoYu with his back to the younger man, XiaoYu couldn’t see the sly smile that was creeping up the knight’s face.

All of a sudden, QiYao let out a few of his Third Job moves to clear the area around them. XiaoYu was confused. Were they going to rest now? Then, he saw QiYao turn around and pull him into a kiss.

“I want to try it too,” muttered QiYao.

When kissing, keep his mouth open. After a few days of “training”, XiaoYu had taken that lesson to heart. But they were kissing in the middle of a monsters’ den and QiYao’s tongue was still chasing after the candy in XiaoYu’s mouth. It was the first time anything like this had ever happened to XiaoYu. He didn’t have the mental capacity to wonder if there were any more monsters around them, if doing this right then and there was dangerous. All he could do was clutch at QiYao’s cape and drown in that passionate and sweet kiss.

Translator’s Note:

Santa Claus: In RO, there were no 2 Santa Clauses. The “Evil Santa Claus” here is likely a stand-in/adaptation of the Christmas Goblins.

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