LC: Chapter 66

66. Sweet as Honey

1.        Sweet as Honey

Every time XiaoYu and QiYao hugged, the final ending would be XiaoYu abandoning the other man to meet with the Sandman. When QiYao felt the hand clutching at his cape drop, he knew XiaoYu had drifted off to sleep again. He felt slightly dejected at that. Were his hugs lullabies?

Was this a sign of something wrong with XiaoYu mentally? Sure, he fell asleep the past few times too, but that was before their relationship changed. They had just confirmed they were dating, and he immediately fell asleep once more without a single care. Was this a type of seduction? Wasn’t XiaoYu afraid of being swallowed whole by QiYao? Fine, yes. In the game, it’s impossible to do so without going through marriage first.

QiYao was about to lift XiaoYu up in a carry when his lowered gaze saw the tiny cat clinging tight on the big cat pants. It too was sleeping soundly. He was rendered completely speechless. Just how many more big surprises did these two cats have in store for him?

Once more, QiYao carried the two cats back to the hotel. Unlike last time, QiYao didn’t leave gap as wide as the Milky Way between them on the bed. He held XiaoYu close in his arms. The dreaming XiaoYu snuggled in, as if to find a comfortable spot. His hands grabbed at the shirt on QiYao’s chest.

Staring down at the blissfully sleeping XiaoYu, a smile slow spread across QiYao face and he gently kissed the other on the forehead. Goodnight, my XiaoYu.

All of a sudden, he recalled the fumbling act XiaoYu performed the last time he woke up. The smile turned into a grin. He was quite eager to see just how the other would react when he woke up the next morning. With that evil little thought in mind, QiYao drifted off to sleep.

****

It was a good night’s sleep. XiaoYu felt as if he was laying on a large fluffy cloud of feathers. It was so warm and comfy that he snuggled in more. Strangely enough, he could hear the rhythmic thumping of a heartbeat. Ba-thump. Ba-thump. Strong and steady.

Curious, XiaoYu languidly turned his focus from his dreams and opened his eyes. Initially, he had to squint from the sudden sunlight. His hand raised to block it. Once his eyes got used to the light, he started looking about. What was he sleeping on last night?

If only he hadn’t been curious. What he saw petrified him.

This was clearly a man’s chest. No wonder it’s warm and had a heartbeat. XiaoYu knew whose chest this was without even looking up at the man’s face. From the current position, he must have been clinging onto QiYao like an octopus last night. Just look at the man’s shirt. The entire front was all wrinkled and creased up from XiaoYu’s grasp. While their lower bodies were hiding beneath a blanket, XiaoYu could feel one of his legs thrown across the other.

Embarrassed, XiaoYu gently withdrew the leg in question. Then, he gradually inched backwards in an attempt to leave QiYao’s embrace. The entire process was done in tiny cautious, deliberate steps so as to not wake the man up. However, one of QiYao’s arms was wrapped around him. If XiaoYu didn’t use force, there was no way he’d get out of this pose soon.

The whole time, XiaoYu never lifted his head. He just looked down at the tangled limbs. In truth, when he first woke up and instinctively snugged into his comfortable “pillow”, QiYao woke up. Afterwards, he silently watched as the little guy in his arms went still before attempting a stealthy escape. Yet, XiaoYu never dared to use any force to pry QiYao’s arm away. QiYao’s face grew wider and wider. Finally, he found it in his heart to be kind and not pretend he was sleeping.

“Attempting an escape as soon as you wake up, XiaoYu?”

XiaoYu whose mind was twisting into a knot from thinking of a safe way to move the other man’s arm away suddenly heard a teasing voice ring out from above him. He went stock-still, like he had been cursed with a petrification spell. QiYao seized the chance to pull XiaoYu back into his embrace.

“Did I wake you up?” XiaoYu cautiously asked.

“Yes. I was going to sleep a while longer,” came the reply.

“I’m sorry. I’ll get up right now. You can keep sleeping,” as he said so, XiaoYu tried pushing himself up and off the bed.

But the next instant saw a whirlwind pass before XiaoYu’s eyes. The next thing he knew, he had actually switched positions with QiYao. Now, the other man was on top of him. His whole body was pressed into the mattress by the man’s body. What a tantalising position.

“XiaoYu, don’t move. You know men are the worst at resisting temptations in the morning, especially when it’s the one they like.”

XiaoYu’s face instantly flushed red at that. He didn’t dare shirk or squirm anymore. He just laid there unmoving.

“Pffft.” At the sight of such a cute reaction from XiaoYu, QiYao couldn’t hold back his laughter anymore.

“I’m just teasing you, silly billy. Before marriage in the game, nothing can be done. Even if we could…” QiYao paused. He looked down at XiaoYu with an unusual warmth. “If you say no, I won’t force you. Okay?”

“Mn,” XiaoYu replied, nodding. He believed in QiYao.

But it would be a disservice to QiYao himself if he didn’t do anything while they’re in this perfect situation. Hence, his lips kissed XiaoYu on the forehead as a morning kiss. When XiaoYu didn’t seem repulsed by it, he gradually shifted down and to the other’s lips. It was just a simple peck. QiYao didn’t delve deeper. He knew going overboard would scare this shy guy away. He could already feel faint quivering from the man under him.

“I didn’t lie,” XiaoYu said out of the blue. They had just ended their shallow kiss and QiYao was pulling back from the other.

“Huh?” QiYao was confused.

“You said…if I lie, you’ll…” kiss me. XiaoYu’s voice went softer and softer until the words disappeared. He wasn’t used to being so direct.

“Haha! You really are a silly little thing.” QiYao, who now understood what was being referenced, tapped XiaoYu on the nose. “I kissed you because I like you. Understand?”

“Oh.”

“Do you hate it?”

“No.” XiaoYu shook his head. He was only a little nervous. QiYao had always been kind and gentle to him. No matter what, he could never despise QiYao when he’s like this.

“That’s good. That’s a good sign. It says we’ll have a successful relationship, so don’t run away.”

“Mn.” It wasn’t only QiYao’s hugs that were magical. His voice was too. It made XiaoYu want to just follow along with what the other said.

“Let’s sleep a while longer. Look at your tiny cat. It’s still snoring,” QiYao said. XiaoYu followed the man’s finger to the tiny tuff of black fur peeking out from a bundle of blankets next to the bed. It moved up and down to its own rhythm. They were so loud, yet they didn’t wake it up at all. It was still sound asleep.

“Oh.” XiaoYu glanced at the time. It was just six o’clock. They did have time to take a nap, but XiaoYu didn’t dare move from where he was on the bed right now. His two wide eyes merely stared back at QiYao. Blink. Another blink.

“Hehe. XiaoYu, if you keep looking at me like that, I’ll be unable to hold myself back.” XiaoYu’s innocent and pitiful gaze was devastatingly cute up-close. To avoid actually biting into the little white rabbit, QiYao had to lay back down beside the other.

“Sleep,” QiYao said, pulling the other back into his arms.

At first, XiaoYu was worried he’d be too nervous to sleep. Who knew being nervous was the easiest way to tire one out? Especially since QiYao’s hand was gently patting him on the back at a consistent tempo. Slowly, his muscles relaxed and his mind was clouded with sleep.

Sunday, early morning. In a high-class hotel room in the capital of Asgard Online, the family of black (Hei) and white (Bai) was happily sleeping in.

Translator’s Note:

Sweet as honey: The original text “甜蜜蜜 (Tian Mi Mi)” is likely a reference to the famous 1979 song by Teresa Teng. There was also a movie using the song as a title and as the theme song called “Comrades: Almost a Love Story”.


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GC: Chapter 64

64. I’ll Scout It Out

“What wish?” YiHan asked tentatively.

“You didn’t know?” XueQing asked in a shocked tone.  “I thought JingYuan told you already. Whatever. He knows it anyway, so I’ll tell you straight up. I…” she continued in the most “embarrassed and shy” way possible. “I like Chen TianYang. But I’m not too sure on his feelings. Aah, it’s so frustrating.”

“It’s really just an agreement between you and JingYuan?” YiHan asked.

“Of course,” XueQing stated. “Who’d like him? TianYang is so much better than him!” she continued with real distaste in her voice.

“Then the whole marriage thing is really your idea?” YiHan pressed on. He didn’t know if he was going to burst in tears or laughter.

XueQing glared hard at the expressionless JingYuan. “Yes,” she said. “It’s my idea. I know now that it’s a rotten idea, but I didn’t have any choice. Right? So I looked online and read something about using jealousy as a push. I thought I should try it out.”

Finally, YiHan bought their explanation. He let out a soft sigh of relief. A hint of smile bloomed in his eyes.

“Then what do you plan to do now?” he asked.

JingYuan gave XueQing a big thumbs-up from YiHan’s blind spot. You’re so much better at making things up than I am!

XueQing ignored him. When she saw her younger brother’s face looking less pale and harrowed, she let out a big sigh of relief too.

“I don’t know either,” she said with a smile. “Why don’t my smart little brother help me out?”

YiHan really did try to think up of a solution right then and there. After a lot of serious musing, he finally shook his head and gave up.

“You’re so smart,” he said, “Yet even you can’t find a plan for this. I’m the dumbest in this family. How could I think up of a good plan?”

XueQing smoothed her younger brother’s soft hair back. “How are you dumb?” she asked with a smile. “My brother’s the smartest of all. I’m counting on you for ensuring my future prosperity.”

YiHan instantly felt a heavy weight falling on his shoulders. “Why don’t I go test the waters out one day?” he asked after a pause.

“Okay,” XueQing happily replied. “Why didn’t I think of getting you to scope it out first? My brother really is the smartest of all.”

JingYuan looked at XueQing in admiration. This was a good plan. Find something “proper” for the little one to do so he didn’t have time to brood and worry. It’d also give JingYuan more time to find out just what was wrong with YiHan.

YiHan was at a loss. This concerned his sister’s happiness for the rest of her days. He can’t take it lightly. Just what, and how, should he do so he could “naturally” get close to Chen TianYang and encourage the other man to be brave and confess to his sister?

After witnessing what happened in his last life, YiHan had no doubts that the man loved his sister. He just needed to think up of a plan to get the man to say it out loud. Then, everything would be resolved. The more YiHan thought about it, the more he worried for TianYang. XueQing clearly loved him. As long as those feelings were voiced, they can be together. But TianYang had to be even more of a coward than YiHan was in his last life. That man couldn’t say the word “like”, even until his death.

Wait, no. From this fake engagement between JingYuan and XueQing, YiHan could conclude: What he thought happened in his last life might not be accurate. There were plenty of things he where he merely saw the surface. What he saw was far from the truth. What If the whole “TianYang loving his sister so much that he’d die for her” thing was just a misunderstanding?

No way. YiHan had to proceed this with caution. First, get close to him. Scout out what the man thinks and says first. He can’t have his mistake hurting his sister.

JingYuan watched the emotions changing in YiHan. He and XueQing exchanged glances. They both let out a sigh of relief. It looked like YiHan bought their lie completely. This lie JingYuan made up…if XueQing kept going on about it, even she would start to believe in it.


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LC: Chapter 65

65. Confession

The special chat channel for the Heretic Demons higher-ups and the public chat channels were dead silent. Everyone understood Egg_Tart must be under immense pressure right now, but this was the first time they’d been faced with such a shocking defeat. It had been smooth sailing for them since the Guild Wars first started. They didn’t even know how to quell the disappointment swelling in them, let alone how to comfort Egg_Tart.

QiYao didn’t say anything about the loss. The only thing on his mind was whether XiaoYu knew the way through Prole-3. The other probably didn’t, if he remembered correctly. Thus, just like last time, he sent Poor_Man to guide XiaoYu to him.

“Chief, no meeting today?” Poor_Man asked.

“No. Egg_Tart should have a moment to himself,” QiYao replied.

“True. Once I lead Xiao-Yu over, I’ll go comfort him. That kid always had a case of tunnel vision. Hopefully he won’t be too hard on himself.”

“I’ll leave him to you.”

Thus, Poor_Man headed over to Egg_Tart as soon as he led Xiao-Yu over to the Crystal Room. In that vast room, two pairs of eyes, black (Hei) and white (Bai), held a staring competition.

“Yao, did you need me for something?” Bai XiaoYu found it somewhat strange that Hei QiYao merely stared at him this whole time. However, compared to last time, QiYao didn’t seem angry today. Instead, his gaze was very gentle and warm.

He really wanted to hug this frail little guy! As he thought so, QiYao’s arms were stretched out to XiaoYu and locked the other into an embrace.

“???” No matter how dense he was, XiaoYu still realised QiYao loved hugging him more and more. Why? He didn’t look like a fuzzy little teddy bear. If question marks could materialise into the game world, the air above his head would be filled with big question marks.

“XiaoYu,” QiYao ducked his head and spoke into XiaoYu’s ear. “I like you.” He never liked beating around the bush. Once he understood what he wanted, he’d take the necessary action.

“Oh. I like you too.” XiaoYu didn’t think much of it. He just felt like he really liked his friend QiYao too.

QiYao knew the “like” XiaoYu referred to was merely the kind between friends. How else could this little guy whose cheeks flush red at the drop of a hat admit it so easily? Internally, he sighed. His hands landed on XiaoYu’s shoulders and pushed him slightly away so he could look at the other in the eye.

“The ‘like’ I’m referring to is the kind between lovers. Do you get me?” he asked.

“…>////<.” The sight of a red blush crawling its way up that catlike face told QiYao the healer understood his words now. That’s the normal reaction.

T-T-The “like” between lovers! Wasn’t that love? Was QiYao confessing to him? XiaoYu’s mind was in a daze. He had no experience in this at all. It’s his first time being confessed straight-up. He didn’t know how he should respond at all.

Ah, every thought of XiaoYu was written on his face. How could QiYao bear to hurt such a pure-hearted little guy? QiYao looked at the obviously petrified and befuddled XiaoYu. He was equally frazzled. He leaned his forehead on XiaoYu’s forehead in an attempt to ease the other’s nervousness and uneasiness.

“XiaoYu, do you feel distaste at it?” QiYao asked.

“No,” the other replied, shaking his head. While he felt a little shy and somewhat confused, perhaps even a tiny bit of happiness at being confessed to, XiaoYu didn’t feel any distaste or disgust at all.

People in this era were more open and accepting on this front. There might be a small minority of extremists who hated it, but the majority would treat it as usual. Therefore, XiaoYu didn’t hold any discrimination against homosexuality.

“That means I still stand a chance, right?”

“…Mn.” XiaoYu did feel hesitant, but he didn’t hate the other. In fact, he might feel something for the man too.

“Then, will you try dating me?” QiYao asked, gradually leading XiaoYu to the question he wanted to ask. He wasn’t in a rush to get the other to fully accept his confession right now. He’s patient. He was also confident he could make XiaoYu his.

“…Yes,” XiaoYu replied with a slight nod. Since he didn’t hate the other man, he shouldn’t shrink back and hide like a cowardly turtle. An attempt was good too. Perhaps it might make him make full sense of just what that vague feeling he felt for QiYao really was.

“That’s great.” QiYao locked XiaoYu into a tight hug again. He felt a heavy weight lift off his shoulders.

XiaoYu didn’t just let his hands hand like dead flesh during the hug this time. They slowly rose and wrapped around QiYao’s back to gently grab at the other’s cape. He still didn’t have the courage to hug back as tight as the man was, but this was the greatest response he could muster up the courage for.

When QiYao felt XiaoYu timidly responding to his hug, he didn’t push any further. This shy little guy needed time for feelings to develop. Not being kicked out of the ring from the start proved that XiaoYu felt something for him.

“Um…I don’t understand anything. I might be very boring,” XiaoYu whispered, his head buried in QiYao’s chest.

“Hehe. Me too. Let’s learn together.” That’s the truth. This was the first time QiYao was the proactive party in a relationship.

“Mn.”

Just then, XiaoYu felt something brushing against his leg. However, he didn’t spare the strange sensation a single glance. On one hand, he needed to calm his thumping heart. On the other, there was some kind of magic in QiYao’s embrace. It was so warm and comfortable, and it made him feel so very safe. He couldn’t bear to leave it.

Thank goodness the couple didn’t look down or this romantic atmosphere might be broken by laughter. It was the tiny cat. After seeing the two humans clinging onto each other and ignoring it for so very long with no signs of ending, it was curious. Did its little master feel that comfortable to hug? Thus, it used its paws to hug onto XiaoYu’s leg, just like a koala bear. Then, it comfortably drifted off to dream of the god of Asgard Online.


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GC: Chapter 63

63. Annoying

“I said it was your suggestion,” JingYuan guiltily admitted.

“Mu JingYuan!” shouted the frazzled XueQing. “You petty little man! You think you’re the only one who needs to maintain their image before my brother? Why would I even think of such a dumb idea?”

“You were the one who suggested this,” JingYuan said.

She froze. “Okay. I was the one who mentioned this rotten plan. I’ll take the blame,” she meekly replied.

Satisfied, JingYuan stood up and reminded, “Don’t ever let it slip. If he finds out, there will be severe consequences.”

“I understand,” XueQing solemnly replied. “Relax. Even if the act turns real and I marry TianYang, I’ll say nothing.”

He walked to the door, paused and turned back to say, “This is just the plan for now. Once HanHan is better, it’s your choice to marry whoever you like. But it’s not a loss for you to marry him either. He really likes you. Everyone knows that.”

XueQing waved her hand at him. “Hurry up and go,” she weakly shooed. “I get angry whenever I look at you.”

“Tidy yourself up a little. Look livelier. Later on, go explain to HanHan our relationship,” JingYuan stubbornly finished.

“Don’t worry,” she tiredly said.

Only then was JingYuan appeased. He opened the door and left.

XueQing: “…” Why had she never realised how annoying this person was?

***

By the time XueQing head over to YiHan’s room, a piercing pain shot through her serious bro-con heart at the sight of bandages around her cute little brother’s neck and hand and YiHan spacing out in confused daze. The thought that she nearly lost her precious little brother while she was off in dreamland caused cold sweat to soak through her shirt. That person had better pray she never ever finds out who they were or she would kill him, even if she had to do it with her own dull teeth!

When YiHan saw his sister, guilt ran through him. He closely examined her face. From his experience observing and acting upon the emotions of other people in his later years in his last life, it seemed…Mn. She didn’t look too good. Did JingYuan lie to him?

His heart thumped in nervousness. Unconsciously, his fingers curled and dug deep into the wound in his palm. This motion was instantly noticed by JingYuan who immediately grabbed his hand. Startled, YiHan snuck a peek at his sister and tried hard to tug his hand out of JingYuan’s.

JingYuan shot a glare at XueQing. Over and over, he used his gaze to push her to act. XueQing was stunned. Hurriedly, she composed herself and walked over to YiHan. She knelt down to his eye level and reached out to the bandages on his neck. In the softest voice possible, she asked, “HanHan, I heard from JingYuan you hurt yourself. Why were you so careless? Does it still hurt?”

The tiny wound on YiHan’s neck was completely negligible to the YiHan after rebirth. He cautiously scanned his sister’s face. Fear in his voice, he spoke up. “Sis, d-don’t be angry at me. I…I won’t…” Won’t break you two up.

When JingYuan realised YiHan’s mind was heading towards the wrong path, he pulled YiHan’s head in with a hand behind YiHan’s head and stopped his mouth with his own.

YiHan: “…” His sister was right there! What would she think?

XueQing: “…” JingYuan, you bastard! How dare you bully my brother right before my eyes!

No matter how much she wanted to beat JingYuan up right now, she had to admit he was better than she was at calming down her brother. She suppressed the impulse to throw something at JingYuan’s head and cleared her throat.

No matter how much JingYuan wanted to kiss YiHan until the end of time, XueQing, this third wheel, was still right beside them. Anyway, he still had something to do. JingYuan could only sigh regretfully inward and let go of YiHan.

“Don’t talk nonsense,” JingYuan said unhappily.

YiHan glared back, fuming in rage.

XueQing did her best to put on a teasing expression. “Little guy, aren’t you embarrassed doing that before your sister?” she light-heartedly commented. “I know you two are together now. Good for JingYuan. He’s got the ending he wished for. Me? Who knows when life would take pity on me and give me what I wish for.”

Translator’s Note:

Annoying: The proper translation was someone who’s “so easy to hate” aka “despicable” or “hateful”, but those don’t have the same implied meaning as the original text.


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LC: Chapter 63

63. Uncorked

QiYao stopped living with his brother the year he became of age. While they were both working in their family’s business, they were in totally different fields. Thus, they rarely ever interacted at work. However, once a month, they set aside a day to call each other and discuss what was going on in their lives, professionally and personally. One could probably consider this as proof the two brothers had a good relationship.

“You’re late today, Yao,” commented QiXuan.

“Sorry, brother. I had something on in-game,” replied QiYao.

“Now that I think of it, it’s been a long time since I logged on. I heard A.O. has opened up Level 100 content now. Yes?”

“Yes.”

“Looks like it’s about time to go back and have a look. Otherwise, won’t it be a waste of my hidden Job?” That’s right. QiXuan was the aforementioned player who discovered the first hidden Job, the Paladin.

Back when he was just a Swordsman, he was so bored that, in search of excitement, he would spend day after day grinding in the Undead Cave. Who knew this would trigger a secret quest when he went in to change Jobs and be the first player in the entire server to unlock a hidden Job? The game rewarded him 1000 crystal coins and 3 stat points for opening the gates to hidden Jobs. It was shortly after the servers opened. During that time, 1000 crystals was quite a hefty sum. In an instant, he’d become famous in the game.

Naturally, after Level 99, he went for the Level 100 Quest. Hei QiXuan’s luck at quests was not as bad as his younger brother’s. His Level 100 Quest was actually Rank A. It was the dream. His quest wasn’t hard. It was just annoying. He needed to collect a long list of items within a time limit. He can’t buy them either. He needed to personally grind them out.

After estimating his free time compared to the number of quest items, QiXuan realised that he’d have to spend every single waking moment during this period grinding and grinding and grinding to even complete the list. It wasn’t worth it at all. Furthermore, he just so happened to have a major project he needed to follow up on during that time. He was too lazy to do a quest he’d deemed to be a failure. Hence, he didn’t log on much afterwards.

“Right, Yao. Have any more hidden jobs been found out after that?” asked QiXuan.

“Yes. We now know the healers’ hidden Job is the Bishop.” QiYao instantly thought of XiaoYu. He was also reminded of the dilemma he had pushed aside for the moment. A tinge of confusion laced through his spaced-out eyes.

“Looks like I’ve got to find a chance to get to know them. Are they in Heretic Demons?” QiXuan had noticed QiYao’s expression changing. He was adept at catching such micro-expressions. Because the other man had his heart written on his face all the time, making it very easy to understand what the other was feeling, QiXuan bullied him quite a bit. After QiYao grew up, he learned to face all the teasing and harassment with a blank poker face. Unfortunately for him, as the gods grow, so does the devil. The 10-plus age gap between QiXuan and QiYao wasn’t spent on nothing.

“…Yes,” replied QiYao, half-a-beat too late.

“Yao, you don’t seem all that focused today. Did something happen in-game?”

“Nothing much.”

“Got stuck on a quest?” As QiXuan kept guessing, he squinted at QiYao’s face. “Broke an equipment? Fell for someone’s scheme? Met an emotional dilemma?”

Emotional dilemma? QiYao certainly didn’t know just what he felt for XiaoYu.

Bingo! That was it. The sight of QiYao’s face spiralling deeper into confusion let QiXuan know he’d hit the jackpot. But even he was surprised. He didn’t think it would be about feelings. Could QiYao have met his “fated maiden” in the game?

He knew his younger brother’s love history extremely well. With his encouragement, QiYao was very much into games. When the other was still a boy who can’t play VR games, he’d played everything. All the popular single-player games? Done. Browser games? Done. He even spent some time in a few MMOs. Under the pressures of having a heavy homework load, skipping grades and completing his Business Management certifications, QiYao had no free time outside of studying and gaming to even talk to girls, let alone go dating. Even after he turned into an adult and could play VR games, it was the same. The only change was the heavy homework load that merely turned into a heavy workload.

That’s not to say QiYao spent all of his time playing games like a shut-in and never even dated. He did date a few times in between all that time sunk into studying, working and gaming. However, the other party had always been the one to confess first. QiYao thought the other party didn’t have any obvious flaws, so he decided to give it a try. The relationships all ended the same way too. The other party didn’t feel safe with QiYao. They couldn’t feel any love from QiYao, so they decided to break up with him.

After the same thing happened a few more times, QiYao stopped accepting confessions. He just played his games.

QiXuan knew his brother dated before, but he could also tell QiYao didn’t put in any real feelings into those relationships. That meant his younger brother had never really dated in a relationship where he was the confessor. QiXuan had a big duty before him. With a tiny bit of guilt and huge amounts of curiosity, QiXuan put on the hat of a psychologist.

“So it’s a problem about feelings? Talk to me. Let your brother help you out,” said QiXuan.

“It’s fine. I can handle it myself.”

“Are you sure? Yao, this is my first time seeing you troubled y love.”

“Love?” QiXuan’s choice of words had caught QiYao’s attention.

“What else can it be but love? Don’t tell me you’d still be troubled by friendship at this age.”

“Love, is it? But it doesn’t feel the same as before.” QiYao had never felt the urge to hug any of his ex-girlfriends forever. Even when he’d spot them being affectionate with their new boyfriends after their break-up, he wouldn’t feel frustrated or annoyed.

“What rubbish! How could you call what you had before love? Let me ask you. Were you at all upset when those girls suggested you break up?”

“No.” Not just no, it felt like a heavy weight was lifted off his shoulders.

“That’s it then. If you really loved, would you bear for her to leave you? If the one in the game right now leaves you, what will you do?” QiXuan didn’t know the person in question here was a guy.

“…Catch her and drag her back.” QiYao imagined what if XiaoYu was dragged into the Wings by Glory. First, he would absolutely beat Glory up, then reel XiaoYu back for a round of tight and fervent hugs.

“That clearly means you like her. Yes…it won’t be an exaggeration to say you love her.” QiXuan could guess just what QiYao was imagining based on that frown.

“But I should just think of him as a younger brother…” Unknowingly, QiYao’s story was slowly teased out of him by his brother. As they say, the older the ginger, the spicier.

“Tch. Would you be that possessive if it was just a brother? IF you leave me, I would never chase you down and catch you back.” QiXuan disliked this type of sibling-like relationships. That’s just an excuse for being too much of a coward to face their love. Wait…a brother!

“It’s a guy?” QiXuan shouted as he leaped out of his chair. His hands both slammed down on the desk as he leaned in close to QiYao’s face on the screen. If they weren’t in a video call, his hands would definitely be gripping hard at QiYao’s shirt.

“Ugh…” QiYao only realised his brother had made him slip up when QiXuan’s face was suddenly enlarged.

However, his brother was correct. If he thought of XiaoYu as a younger brother, he shouldn’t feel that strong possessiveness over the other man. While the Hei family’s eldest son’s way of educating a child was…unique, QiYao had to admit it. His brother taught him a lot. He admired his brother. He was very grateful to him. His brother never spoiled him, nor was he overindulged as a child. If QiYao had a younger brother, he’d definitely use the same methods his older brother had used on him. He won’t go overboard like QiXuan though =_=.

“Wow, Yao. I always thought you’re just into games. That’s why you acted so cold to those beautiful ladies and didn’t date properly. In the end, you’re just into guys. Even I was fooled,” QiXuan muttered. After getting over his shock, he’d sat back down on his comfy chair.

“I don’t like men. Perhaps…he’s special.”

“I trust your taste in people. But from the looks of it, you still haven’t confessed. Just a reminder. Be careful of others getting to him first.”

“Yes.” Now that he knew what his heart was telling him, QiYao wouldn’t hesitate anymore. He wouldn’t let anyone else snatch his XiaoYu away from him.

“Once I end this project, I really have to log on to have a look around. Just what kind of man has my little Yao so mesmerised?”

“Brother, you’re still as bad in Chinese as ever. One day, all your clients will run in fright.”

“No worries. I know five languages.”

“…”

Hei QiYao. Male. 24 years old. To this day, he still hasn’t found an effective way of dealing with his brother.


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LC: Chapter 64

64. Lost…

Hei QiYao can’t log onto A.O. everyday. The next time he logged on would be Saturday when Guild Wars would be held.

As the Guild Leader, he’d promised his guildies if they took down another Prole fortress, the Heretic Demons guild would have a gathering in real life. Hence, every member of the guild had been rubbing their paws together in anticipation of the thrilling moment they’d create together today.

As usual, XiaoYu arrived early to the base at just past 5. He sat down and had dinner with the tiny cat. Meanwhile, all team leaders’ eyes were stuck to QiYao the moment he’d logged on. They then discussed defence arrangements for Prole-3 and Prole-4 along with the attack plans for the third fortress. As a result, the two had yet to speak to each other since their parting.

When the team leaders were finally willing to let QiYao go and dispersed to finish their preparations, it was already 6.30 pm. The Healer Squad was already at work. They needed to send their fellow guild members to their allocated spots before the event started.

“XiaoYu, already working?” QiYao didn’t leave Prole-3. He knew XiaoYu should have started working on his portals by now. Hence, the message was sent through a private message.

“Yes.”

“After the battle, come to Prole-3’s Crystal Room, okay? I’ve got something to tell you.” The Guild Leader of an occupied fortress could personalise entrance permissions of a fortress once the event was over. That would stay until the next Guild Wars where it’d be reset to default once more.

“Okay.”

“You can keep working, then.”

“Yes. Good luck.”

“Mn.” Because of those two words, they must not lose Prole-3 today.

While XiaoYu didn’t know what QiYao wanted to tell him, the busy XiaoYu still put his curiosity aside and focused on his portals.

“Chief, all NPC guards in Prole-3 are ready,” said Poor_Man as he stumbled and swayed into the Crystal Room.

“Mn.”

“You’re in a good mood today. Something good happen?” Poor_Man was the type to think those who didn’t gossip when there’s gossip before them were all idiots. Since there were still a few minutes before the battle started, he was going to start chatting with QiYao about anything and everything. Still, he didn’t hold any hopes for the ever-silent Chief to tell him anything.

“Lin Qiong.”

“Yes!” Poor_Man instinctively called out when he heard QiYao call him by his real name. It was very strange, though. It’s rare to hear Chief call him by that name in the game. Was Chief going to increase his salary from seeing how hard he’d been working lately?

“…” As QiYao stared down Poor_Man, he internally debated whether to tell the other man he loved XiaoYu? On one hand, they were close friends for many years. He should notify the other. On the other, QiYao knew just how much Poor_Man cared for XiaoYu. While he didn’t know what the other thought of XiaoYu, he still didn’t want his friend to step in before he could get to XiaoYu.

“Um…Chief, if you keep staring at me like that, I’ll think you’ve fallen in love with me.” Poor_Man hated silent moments the most. Rather than being stared at by QiYao, he’d much prefer to go play with Eggy in Prole-4.

“The one I like is XiaoYu.”

“I know. Didn’t you always like Xiao-Yu?”

“I mean that kind of like.”

 “Mn. Yes.”

“How do you know…?” it was QiYao’s turn to find things strange. Even he’d just realised his own intentions. Why does it feel like the entire world knows?

“What can I say? I’ve known you for so long. It’s my first time seeing you pay so much attention to a person and not just games.” When Poor_Man noticed QiYao’s confusion, he stopped joking around. “At first, I thought you liked women. I’ve never seen you get interested in men before. But then your ex-girlfriends all complain to me about how you don’t like them at all. I thought you just ignored them because you were too focused on games and work. That’s until I witnessed how you treat Xiao-Yu. Only then did I finally get why they say a women’s intuition is always right.”

Poor_Man paused and refilled his lungs. “I thought that perhaps you wouldn’t know what gender you prefer until you find someone suited for you,” he continued in a serious tone. “Perhaps you just like Xiao-Yu. Even if he was a girl, maybe you’ll still like him. But…Xiao-Yu is a very good child. This type of kid fear pain the most. QiYao, if you’re really going to like him, to love him, then never ever hurt him.”

“I know. How could I bear to?”

“That’ll do. As long as your mind is settled, as your friend, I will support you with all my might.” Poor_Man patted QiYao on the shoulder, then he was suddenly struck by a thought. In one exaggerated leap, his hand shrank back and he retreated backwards. “You’re not telling me that to warn me not to touch Xiao-Yu, right? You’re mistaken, Chief. I absolutely do not think of him that way. I can swear to the gods right now I like huge boobs.”

“Even if you like Xiao-Yu, I would choose a fair competition,” QiYao said with a slight smile. He was used to his friend’s split-second switches from serious mode to goofy. He had to admit, Poor_Man was a friend who was very worth befriending. He would always point things out and remind him of certain things during key moments.

“Heh…Heh…Chief, relax. I won’t fight with you.” While Poor_Man thought Chief’s smile was very nice, such a confident and scheming smile was usually directed to his business rivals. Then, that person would have a horrible end.

Poor_Man liked Xiao-Yu too, but his liking was based on friendship. It was vastly different to Chief’s “like”. That’s because he wouldn’t get all jealous over something minor. Hee-hee.

Time ticked by. Tonight’s Guild Wars officially started. It was three hours before QiYao’s and XiaoYu’s meeting.

Tonight’s battle opened up with I Die For Riches taking back Sakura-3. They had an easy time because the Heretic Demons didn’t send any players to defend it at all.

As concluded from the last meeting, the Heretic Demons’ main battlefield was Prole. Hence, their tactics were formed with Prole-3 as its centre. Then, they’d spread to the four other fortresses. Egg_Tart’s Suicide Squad was in charge of Prole-4’s upper left corner’s defences. The first two hours of the event was spent punching in at the other three fortresses being fought over. Only at the last hour would they aim for their true target at full force.

Except for the announcement of the Wings occupying Serica-3 halfway through the event, opening up another battlefield and causing a minor ruckus, the Heretic Demons’ plan went smoothly. Occasionally, there’d be a few I Die For Riches teams who’d come looking for trouble, but they’d be bounce back by the solid defences. The minor guilds tried their luck a few times, but when all efforts proved fruitless, they turned their attentions to other fortresses. There were moments where Prole-3 and Prole-4 had no business at all and one could hear a pin drop at the walls.

In the last hour, the main forces of each subsidiary guild would receive notice to leave for an attack on the upper right corner of Prole-5. Prole-3 and Prole-4 had weakened defences as a result, but the Squad Leaders’ orders for everyone to be on high alert in the event of a last-minute ambush were obeyed.

“Looks like today would be easy.” Guildies in Prole-4 have started talking on Public chat channels.

“Yes, but we can’t let down our guard. Healers and magicians, focus on lighting up and patrolling every corner with your skills.” There were no special missions that required XiaoYu’s unique skills today, so Egg_Tart remained in command of Prole-4. He strolled through all the stations in Prole-4, reminding the chatting guildies to stay on guard and do their jobs.

SleepEveryDay: Leader, all of our teams attacking Prole-5 have successfully passed Level 2.

WorkEveryDay: We’re getting ready to meet up with the main guild on the third level and charge through Levels 4 and 5.

The “EveryDay” siblings piped up in the Suicide Squad chat to share the progress of their guild’s teams. Only the few Egg_Tart had given permission to could use the Guild chat to distribute new information. Everyone else must use other channels at all times to prevent important messages from being drowned.

“Wow. That’s great. Perhaps our guild can get another fortress again.”

“Impossible. One for the main guild and two for the subsidiaries? We’d be chased down by the main guild then.”

“What can we do? The EveryDay bros are just too awesome.”

“True, true. Keep at it, guys!”

Guild chat channels everywhere were immediately filled with intense debates.  Everyone was fantasising seeing their guild’s name being announced by the game later on.

“Ah, an assassin!”

“Kill him!”

“He’s gone. Probably went back to Prole.”

“Did you see the guild logo?” (Within fortress walls, all players would have their guild’s logo floating above their heads.)

“It looked yellow. I didn’t get a clear look.”

“Head outside and see if there’s a crowd.”

“I did. There was no one.”

This was a minor interlude that occurred at the East Gate of Prole-4. The chatting guards suddenly found a sneaking assassin. As that assassin quickly escaped back to the capital and there were no signs outside the fortress of players gathering, no one paid much heed to it and no one reported it to their superiors.

The more peaceful it was, the duller one became. This was quickly proven accurate a few minutes later.

Red light rained down on them and a large troop of I Die For Riches players blinked into existence at Prole-4’s East Gate. The gate defences are down! Everyone, look out!

Those who died swiftly conveyed the above message the instant they respawned. At first, it was just a few tanky knights. Soon, more and more players arrived at Prole-4 and the guards were soon overwhelmed. The last thing they saw before they disappeared back to their base was a field full of I Die For Riches’ golden logo.

“Sir, do we need to head back to back you up?” messaged the EveryDay brothers to Egg_Tart. While they were now at the fourth level of Prole-5, they couldn’t help worrying at the sight of those messages about the emergency.

“…No. You keep it up at Prole-5. We can hold them.” After some consideration, Egg_Tart decided not to summon non-Prole-4 members. They didn’t have a lot of players and NPCs guarding each city. After assigning them to defending each layer of the fortress’s defences, they only had a few left to guard the City Crystal Room. Even if his own team members fell in battle, they should be able to charge through the portals, fill in the gaps left behind and hold the line.

Prole-4 was the type of city that’s easy to invade but hard to defend. There were two huge spiral staircases to the left and right of the great hall on Level 3 that went straight into the Crystal Room. This was also why the Heretic Demons started off with this as their first target.

Egg_Tart walked out of the Crystal Room. He peeked down at the hall’s situation from the spot upstairs between the two staircases. There were quite a few guild members there. This was an important line of defence. Everyone had their serious faces on. Soon, 7 or 8 Knights rushed in, followed shortly by other players. After a while, it was all a mess.

According to usual PvP rules, players would first attack healers and magicians. After exterminating the healers and the fragile glass cannons, players would then slowly grind down the others. As a result, the trained Suicide Squad focused their sights on the healers and wizards. The opponent seemed to have the same idea. The archers all aimed at the healers hiding at the back. A great battle was had at the expansive great hall.

As time went by, numbers on both sides went down bit by bit. The fragile players kept dying and leaving the battlefield. The only ones left were a few tanky but weak Knights. Then, something unexpected happened. A huge number of I Die For Riches players appeared around those Knights out of nowhere. Quite a few of them were the faces of the players who’d just fallen. They were outnumbered in all manner of ways. The Heretic Demons panicked. Egg_Tart who was observing from above was shocked. But he had no more time to think on the incident after the shock died down. He hurried back into the Crystal Room.

Egg_Tart (Guild Leader): Attention to all Heretic Demons, everyone head to the Crystal Room. I Die For Riches’s Knights might have a special ability or item that could summon teammates. Everyone, hurry back and defend! Focus your attacks on those Knights!

“You must hold on until reinforcements arrive!” Egg_Tart shouted to the guarding players. This room was smaller than the other Crystal Rooms. That’s why the main defensive post was the great hall downstairs.

However, the current situation was looking very bad for them. The players downstairs were at their limits and they didn’t know if the summons came from a skill or an item. If it was a former, then those opponents would keep coming back as long as the Knights were alive. If it were the later, then who knew just how many they have left. Either way, if the Knights kept summoning, none of the killed Heretic Demons would be able to head back in time to defend anything.

He was too cocky! Egg_Tart didn’t have time to berate himself anymore. The most important task at hand was to protect Prole-4. They cannot lose the fortress now.

The remaining few guards outside were quickly defeated. I Die For Riches split their troops in half and charged up both staircases to the Crystal Room. The Heretic Demons had never prayed for Guild Wars to end faster before, but time crawled by like a snail. All of Suicide Squad’s hearts were poised at the edge of a cliff.

“Congratulations, Guild Heretic Demons, on conquering Prole-5.”

A moment before, the guild members of the main Heretic Demons guild was celebrating conquering the third fortress. The next, came an announcement that shocked everyone.

“Congratulations, Guild I Die For Riches, on conquering Prole-4.”

Prole-4 was lost.

After they lost Prole-4, time seemed to speed up all of a sudden. No matter how fast the Heretic Demons regathered and charged back into the new battlefield, time was up. This time, the Heretic Demons still ended the event with two fortresses conquered.

“Our gathering…it’s gone.” Everyone who knew of the plan was so very disappointed.

“I’m sorry. Today was my fault.” In the special chat channel, Egg_Tart gravely apologised to the higher-ups of Heretic Demons. He didn’t know what he felt right then, but he knew he’d disappointed everyone.


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LC: Chapter 62

62. Progress

The feast was spent in silence by the two men. On one hand, HereticKing and XiaoYu weren’t big talkers to begin with. On the other, HereticKing was still musing over the peculiar feeling he’d felt for XiaoYu.

However, there were some development to be had. HereticKing told XiaoYu his full name. There was a moment when XiaoYu thought the other was Japanese instead of Chinese. Only after some explanation did he understand that HereticKing’s surname was “Hei”, not “HeiQi” (Kurosaki). It was just pure coincidence that the first character of the other man’s first name was “Qi”.

Dinner ended quite some time before XiaoYu’s bedtime. Unfortunately, QiYao couldn’t stay with him anymore. Today just so happened to be the day he would give his big brother, Hei QiXuan, the monthly report of things in his life.

After QiYao logged off, XiaoYu was reminded of the items and gold coins in the tiny cat’s pouch. A glance at his Friends tab showed I_Am_A_Poor_Man still online. Thus, he hurriedly messaged the other to discuss the loot.

When XiaoYu opened up the Pet tab, his heart sunk, and his head dropped in depression. The small cat’s level was, written clearly in black and white, Level 80. It was 20 full levels higher than its owner. How was he meant to feel about that? Not only that, the indicator for how many gold coins the kitten required before its next level up now read “Level of Pet is capped at 20 higher than Owner. Please level up player before levelling pet.” Heh. Sure, XiaoYu was now a burden to the little one’s levelling.

The moment XiaoYu opened up the kitten’s inventory, his eyes were blinded by half-a-screen’s  worth of bright, shimmering gold coins. An item slot can hold up to 100 of the same item. A quick looked showed dozens of items slots filled to the brim with x100 gold pieces. Just how many would that be? If it were up to XiaoYu to pick them all up one by one, who knew how many years it’d take? The tiny cat’s love for money has once again expanded the limits of his mind.

“Xiao-Yu, what are you looking at? You’re getting all cross-eyed,” Poor_Man asked as he lightly patted XiaoYu who’d been spacing out in the middle of the street.

“…” This overwhelming shock was so indescribable that XiaoYu just showed the other man the tiny cat’s inventory.

“Gods! What? I thought I’d just cracked open a bank’s safe!” Poor_Man dug out a pair of shades from his bag. “See no evil! Staring at this for too long will give me the impulse to do something bad.”

“How should we split them up, Big Brother Poor?” XiaoYu asked.

“Um…Xiao-Yu, if you keep calling me that, I’ll start feeling guilty. You can just call me Lin-ge from now on.” It was the first time ever Poor_Man disliked a nickname he made up, especially when he was faced with the mountain of gold.

“Oh. Okay.” Did that mean I_Am_A_Poor_Man’s surname was Lin? XiaoYu wondered.

“What a pity. The item description said these are just gold pieces of average purity. It’s recommended to sell them directly to NPC stores.” As XiaoYu had shared his screen over, Poor_Man could read up the item descriptions himself. “I wonder how much one would fetch. Xiao-Yu, go try it out with one piece.”

“Okay.”

The two took out a single gold piece and headed over to the nearest NPC shop. After showing it to the storekeeper, they were quoted 10 gold coins + 2 gold coins. (Unique passive skill from the tiny cat’s necklace – Sell Price +20%.) Likely due to the impurities within the gold piece, it didn’t fetch a high price. However, if multiplied by the number of gold pieces collected, the sum would be a terrifying number.

After some consideration, Poor_Man decided to sell them all. They weren’t rare items anyway. A single skill from a rich salesman’s ghost would result in tens of thousands of gold pieces falling from the sky. Since they weren’t very pure, blacksmiths can’t use them to strengthen anything. At the moment, there weren’t any Professions or Jobs that could purify metals. The game developers likely thought they didn’t need it. Otherwise, no one would visit the NPC gold stores.

Once the gold pieces were all sold off, they had thousands of crystal coins. Then, with Poor_Man’s help, the rather useless items were all sold off. On a rough estimate, not only could every member of the grinding party obtain an equipment with additional stats, they could also gain many practical items and over 100 crystals. This was major harvest for a normal grinding party session.

There wasn’t much XiaoYu could help with in the intricate task of deciding which items were useful, other than selling off the ones that weren’t. Hence, he was shooed off to wait in dessert shop by Poor_Man. After a long time, Poor_Man was finally done sorting and mailed each member’s part of the loot to them. When he arrived at the dessert shop, he found the tiny cat licking up its fourth bowl of ice cream while the big cat was on his third glass of milk. The table full of empty glassware was a spectacular sight to behold.

“Luckily, you won’t get food poisoning or diarrhoea in the game. Otherwise, with how you two are eating, you’d be in the hospital,” commented Poor_Man.

“Heheh.” XiaoYu didn’t think he’d finish his third glass so quickly without noticing it. It was probably because it’s been a long time since he’d had any. He was slightly nostalgic about that dense milky taste.

“Xiao-Yu, did Chief bully you just now?” asked Poor_Man.

“Nope.”

“Huh. Really?” From the way Chief dragged XiaoYu away, Poor_Man’s imagination conjured up dozens of colourful and interesting scenarios.

“Mn. Yao even treated me to a feast.”

“…” Was this the legendary appetite that’s born from rage and sorrow? Chief, accept my bent knee!

“But…” XiaoYu tilted his head to a side. A slight frown on his face. “It felt like he was in a bad mood.”

“Well, anyone would be in a bad mood if they were being “supervised” by someone else during a boss battle. Especially if it were by their enemies, the Wings. Chief’s bad mood is understandable.” Poor_Man hadn’t forgotten they’d yet to pay back for last time they’d stabbed into Prole-3. Any time their elite team bumped into those two smiling schemers, they felt like punching the Wings.

“Then, should I apologise to everyone else and Yao?”

“Its fine. You’re free to make friends. We won’t interfere.” Poor_Man paused. “But we don’t have a good relationship with the Wings. You’d best be careful. I don’t want you dragged into our feud.”

“Okay, got it.” XiaoYu’s motto for life was to lay low.

“Meow~” The tiny cat butted XiaoYu’s hand with its head. The fourth bowl was done. More, please. Tail swish.

“Pfft~ It’s clearly a greedy little kitty, but it’d mimic a puppy just to get you to please it.” The two humans were discussing something serious a moment before. With a headbutt, it scattered the solemn air. “However, it is the reason we had such great loot today. I’ll treat you to a banana boat.” Poor_Man snapped his fingers for an NPC waiter.

“Hehe. Thank you,” said XiaoYu as he scratched the small cat under the jaw. No matter if it could understand him or not, XiaoYu still talked to it as if he was coaxing a child, “This is the last one. No more.”

******

Meanwhile, the two aforementioned schemers from the Wings were currently drinking together in a room in a certain high-class hotel in Serica.

“What do you think of XiaoYu’s pet?” asked Glory.

“Just based on speed, it’s definitely an existence as great as a hacked add-on,” replied ZhuGe.

“Mn.” Glory had gone against that boss before. The feeling of those gold pieces bashing onto his head and body was fresh in his memory. Even the agile HereticKing he observed today was hit a few times. But that kitten? It actually snaked through the rain to grab the gold pieces without getting hurt. Practical pets were rare in this game and its A.I. was very sophisticated.

“But I don’t think the Heretic Demons brought XiaoYu along to the Ruins because of this pet. Not one member of that party was an average joe.” When they bumped into XiaoYu at the desert last time, he was being heavily guarded on an unknown mission that resulted in a server-wide announcement. That made ZhuGe think XiaoYu wasn’t just an ordinary healer.

“Yes. Either way, we have to keep observing.” A low-levelled newbie didn’t require the heads of the Heretic Demons, especially HereticKing who was renowned for minding his own business, to protect and stay around him. Glory was very curious just what kind of secrets XiaoYu was hiding.

It was fortunate ZhuGe didn’t spend too long sneaking around the grinding party before. He wasn’t around for when XiaoYu used his special buffs on the Knights. Because of that, XiaoYu’s hidden Job was still a secret to players outside of the higher-ups in the Heretic Demons.

Translator’s Note:

  1. Progress: The chapter title makes no sense in English as there’s no one word translation for it. It’s basically “things develop” or “things went on” in the sense of “the travel of crossing a river” etc.
  2. Ge: Suffix for brother.
  3. Hospital: In China, it’s considered (or portrayed to be) the common to go to the hospital for anytime you’re sick, even if it’s a mild fever or stomach ache.
  4. Bent knee: The accurate translation would be, “Chief, I worship you!”


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