LC: Chapter 25

25. It’s No Good Underestimating Birds~

“You brought sufficient water supplies?” Normally, HereticKing would not natter on about such things. One, he had capable subordinates. A single glance would be enough to make himself understood. Two, even if there were idiots, he wouldn’t bother to worry about them. However, LuckyCat was rather special. Instead, the foolish antics of LuckyCat was funnier and more interesting to him. Provided, of course, that they wouldn’t put LuckyCat’s life at risk.

There would only be a Hunger meter usually, but in certain special areas, a thermometer-looking special status bar would appear in the upper right corner of a player’s vision. For example, a Thirst meter when in a desert, a Freezing meter on snowy mountains, a Heat bar when inside a lava cave, and so on. Once those meters reach over 100 points, the player would be inflicted with a special status and would lose health continuously until they die.

The only way to avoid such a fate would be to use special items, which would lower that specific bar and subsequently stop decreasing the player’s health. The player cannot use Return Scrolls or items like it as they’re being hurt. Once a player was stuck in such a scenario without any supplies, they can only wait for death.

“I brought 100 bottles of milk.” It was enough to fill 1 slot of his inventory.

“= =|||. Bring 5 slots full of clear water.”

Of course, pure water was the most effective against the Thirst meter. However, one cannot buy that in most NPC stores. There were plenty of streams and rivers in the world, should anyone want water. Water didn’t help with Hunger either. Only Kemet’s NPC stores would sell water. 5 silvers a bottle. Of course, there would be players who’d try and earn some cash by collecting empty bottles then come running back to Kemet to sell them to other players.

“Oh.” XiaoYu thought about it. There was a special note in the section regarding grinding in the desert about bringing water which was sold in shops. He should’ve familiarised himself with the area on the forums this morning when he woke up. Sometimes, the want to experience everything first-hand could cost him his life.

“Meow~~” The tiny cat was done scratching its nose and was up and running again. It pounced into HereticKing’s lap and started asking for attention. It’s a pity the large hood blocked its face. Otherwise, the two humans would be able to see its eyes transform into gold coins and its face trying its best to be cute.

“Ugh…” The moment HereticKing pulled the little cat’s hood back, he regretted it. As expected, there’s a reason why everyone says there are some things better off unseen. Now, before the little cat’s expectant gaze, he really can’t refuse to take out something to tease it with.

“Ah.” XiaoYu sighed with his head in his hands. If the small cat was given another chance to choose its owner, XiaoYu was sure there’s an 80% chance it would abandon him at once for the shiny new being.

HereticKing recalled the last time he played with the tiny cat. From what he remembered, it seemed to prefer the gold coin more than the fish. Thus, he took a coin out and flipped it back and forth between his hands. The tiny cat was so interested that it started wriggling and pouncing after the coin.

“Hehe. You should’ve named it GreedyCat.” HerecticKing actually didn’t know the kitten’s name. XiaoYu never mentioned it before and I_Am_A_Poor_Man didn’t mention it at all in his constant chatter last time.

“Close enough.” Both names involved money.

“What did you name it?”

“TinyLuckyCat.”

“Ugh…” His hands froze, and the gold coin was stolen by the little cat. “Hahaha…A big lucky cat and a tiny lucky cat.”

XiaoYu scratched his neck. He was basically immune already to the laughter at the names he entered. He took a gold coin out and handed it back to the other.

HereticKing was made to understand XiaoYu’s stubbornness regarding money once before. So, he said nothing of it and continued teasing the tiny cat with the gold coin.

Once the clock struck 10, the whirling winds immediately stopped. XiaoYu ran once more to buy a bunch of water, then stepped out of the North Gate of Kemet. As soon as they did so, the Thirst meter slowly began to rise.

Far off in the distance, large golden pyramids specifically constructed for Guild Wars could be seen. Unfortunately, they weren’t there to sightsee. Still, the map was certainly huge. It was only after they’d walk to the northwest for over an hour were the pyramids gone from view. (As long as the Guild Wars buildings could be viewed, the area was considered a Guild Wars map. No aggressive mobs will be spawned, and players could not battle each other.)

At this point, XiaoYu and the tiny cat had already drunk half a slot full of water. His respect for veteran players raised even more and his impression of HereticKing rose again.

Meanwhile, HereticKing was frustrated over why he’d been so stubborn as to not buy a horse from the game earlier on and decided to tame a temperamental purebred Thousand-Li Horse. Now he could only stumble along the desert sands with XiaoYu. It would be much more comfortable if he rode his horse, but it’s too stubborn. It would never allow anyone outside of its owner to ride it. The last time a female healer who was interested in him coyly talked about riding together with him, his horse took out half of her HP in one kick. His name had turned grey because of that =_=+.

Before the Guild Wars was patched it, players need only walk for 30 minutes before they arrived at the Peco Peco region. Now, they’d need to walk for about 2 whole hours. Fortunately, he’d decided to carry the TinyLuckyCat in his arms for the journey. He could tease and play with it to relieve the two players’ fatigue. If he teased the big cat, he’d blush. It’d be fine if he teased the tiny one, right? After all, it was covered in black fur. If it blushed, no one knew.

In the desert, a player could see everything around them until the far ends of the horizon. With one glance, they could tell if there were monsters around them. Outside of the venomous scorpions buried deep under the sands in the far regions of the desert, it’s still a rather safe area.

“That’s a Peco Peco,” said HereticKing as he pointed to a bird far away with its butt swaying high in the air and trying its best to bury its head into the sands.

= =|||. It’s exactly like an ostrich. Unfortunately, the ostrich had a small brain which could be buried in the ground. This dumb bird worked so hard and so long, but was only able to bury of its large beak in the sands. A gloomy cloud loomed over XiaoYu’s head. He somewhat regretted coming to tame a mount.

HereticKing stepped up and released a Taunt. The skill was successful. Normally, the monster would be forcefully pulled in by HereticKing and attack him. But this idiotic bird just raised its large head, looked around, and continued in its attempt to bury its head in the ground.

= =+. It wouldn’t even respond and be courteous to a major guild’s Leader. HereticKing resisted the urge to slash down at it. After all, the capture would have to depend on XiaoYu himself. Even if a player wanted to make the taming attempt easier by beating down on the monster until it only had a sliver of health left, the attacks must come from the tamer themselves. A monster that had been beaten up by other players could not be captured. Thus, it can be said that Taunt is a skill that was very good at taking advantage of the game’s loopholes.

Far away, XiaoYu frowned slightly. He really didn’t like this Taunt skill. It made him recall the inhumane torture he’d suffered before.

In order to save the reputation of all Knights, HereticKing just walked all the way to the Peco Peco and shoved a handful of sand onto the Peco Peco’s short neck. Such a close-up taunt should have a 100% success rate. If not, he’ll complain to the GMs!

This time, the first thing the dumb bird saw as it raised its head was HereticKing with irritation written all over his face. The two tiny eyes hiding behind its large beak blinked and blinked. Then, it tilted its head 30° and continued blinked. Either way, it just wouldn’t attack. It nearly made HereticKing think he’d found a mentally retarded bird. Just as he was prepared to chop it to pieces and go look for another, it finally flared open its fat wings. With a loud cry, it rushed forward to peck him with its large beak.

HereticKing placed a large stone shield before himself and watched as the Peco Peco pecked hard on the sold rock. When it saw stars from the recoil, HereticKing’s heart was soothed a little. He then gestured XiaoYu to come over.

XiaoYu placed the tiny cat on the ground and he quickly jogged ahead to stand behind the Peco Peco. He stood close to the bird and silently waited for his chance.

“Now,” HereticKing signalled to XiaoYu the moment the Peco Peco confused itself with another failed attack at the stone shield. It would only be confused for 5 seconds or so.

XiaoYu jumped onto the Peco Peco as if it was a vaulting horse from his middle school days. He hurriedly closed his eyes, leaned down, and hugged its neck tightly.

Having recovered from its dizziness, the Peco Peco soon felt the abnormal weight on it. It let out a sharp cry. The sudden fervour and wild rage made one think the dumb and dull bird from before was a totally different perso-no, bird. It flailed itself up and down, left and right. It swung round and round to try and throw XiaoYu off.

XiaoYu who knew he was weaker in strength than the bird, could only cling onto its neck in hopes of winning it over with his stamina.

Now that the Peco Peco had given up on attacking HereticKing completely, the carefree HereticKing put his stone shield away and stood aside, observing the other. Mn. He’d really taken in all the directions HereticKing had told him before. It seemed like their capture attempt would be very successful…Just as HereticKing thought so, an unexpected event happened.

The Peco Peco suddenly stopped struggling. It mournfully cried. XiaoYu slowly opened his eyes and looked up. The Peco Peco’s tiny eyes were streaming with tears. It looked so very pitiful. His heart sank and his arms around its neck loosened.

“Hold tight!” HereticKing thought the Peco Peco’s sudden calm was because the game had already told XiaoYu the capture was successful. (The confirmation dialogue box that appeared before players could not be seen by other players.) However, the gleam flashing across the bird’s eyes when XiaoYu’s grip loosened made his guts tell him there was more to it.

No matter how fast XiaoYu reacted, it was too later. The Peco Peco fiercely swung its tail to the right and XiaoYu was sent flying.

“Mrrow!” Upon witnessing its owner fly off with a swoosh, the tiny cat was yowled in fright. It laid flat on the ground and covered its eyes with its paws.

As XiaoYu’s brain repeatedly chanted “crap” and wondered if he would instantly morph into a beam of white light, he felt himself collapse into a soft embrace.

“Are you okay?”

A deep voice echoed in his ears. The stunned XiaoYu twisted his head up and felt something soft brushing across his face along his ears. (You’re asking about the hood? It’s long been thrown off during the struggle before. ╮(╯▽╰)╭)

>/////<. When XiaoYu realised what it was, his face instantly became as red as a cooked lobster. If one looked closely, they would find white steam appearing above his head.

“Awwk!” screamed the Peco Peco in an untimely manner. It furiously rushed over in an attempt to attack the two humans and burst the pink bubbly atmosphere.

HereticKing quickly put XiaoYu down and stood before him. He brought out his stone shield and blocked the Peco Peco’s pecks.

“Hmph. It’s been so long since I’ve last seen them. Looks like their A.I. became more sophisticated.” Still, an attempt to attack HereticKing was just a daydream. His high Agility was not just for show.

HereticKing’s guess was correct. When there were a lot of new players around, a lot of players ran over to catch this monster which could be the first mount they would ever have in their gaming life. The desert was once filled to the brim with humans. The moment a Peco Peco appeared, all eyes would be staring at it. After countless bloodshed from its elders, the Peco Peco’s A.I. drastically increased. This teary trick was the big stumbling obstacle stopping recent new players from trying to capture them.

Unfortunately, no matter how much their A.I. improved, they’re still a tiny speck before high-levelled players. Frankly, even without any equipment, HereticKing could punch this Peco Peco to death with one blow.

“Don’t be fooled by them. Before the game’s notification appears, don’t ever loosen your grip.”

“Um…okay.” The shocked XiaoYu finally snapped back. Still, he was unable to look at the other straight in the eye for now. With his head lowered, he looped over until he was standing behind the Peco Peco. He readied himself, geared up for his chance and pounced…

With a high-level Knight’s death glare beaming down at it from the side, the Peco Peco seemed to know it had lost. With a single twitch of his fingers, HereticKing could beat it back to its respawn point. Thus, it only twisted around for show. It didn’t even bother with “crocodile tears”. It really felt so wrong. It’s innocent! Its beak hurt from all that pecking, and its neck was aching from all that strangling. It really wanted to cry. T-T

“Ding! Peco Peco is now tamed. Would you like to accept it as your mount?”

“Yes.”

“Ding! Congratulations Player LuckyCat on taming your first mount – the desert Peco Peco.” Players could tame an unlimited number of mounts, as long as you have the capability. However, players could only tame one of each kind.

“Done. Thank you.” XiaoYu sat up straight and thanked HereticKing. But his gaze would drift and roam all over the place. Even when he wouldn’t look at the other in the eyes, his face was still burning.

“No need to thank me.” Hm, hm~ There’ll be more chances in the future to bully this disrespectful idiotic bird.

The Peco Peco shivered. Why did it suddenly feel so cold in this blazing desert?

Translator’s Note:

North Gate: Previously translated as South Gate due to a mistake. The proper direction is to the north.

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GC: Chapter 18

18. Not to be His Obstacle

If YiHan started saving now, he could make it. But time waits for no one. He’s afraid by the time he saved enough, all property would be split up and devoured already.

He laid down on his bed. Maybe he should borrow some from his mother, brother and sister. He’d try and get as much as he could. And JingYuan could also lend him some…

Forget about it. YiHan had yet decided on how he should face JingYuan. Soon, JingYuan will announce his engagement with YiHan’s sister. He’d best avoid interacting with JingYuan as much as possible.

Bai YiHan sprawled on his bed like salted fish waiting to be dried. He closed his eyes and recalled the last time he met Mu JingYuan in his last life.

That time, he’d finally understood his emotions for JingYuan had long since been sown deep into his heart. However, their relationship was already broken beyond repair and he’d been so spoiled that he didn’t understand who he really was. He wanted to repair his relationship with JingYuan, fight for a chance to be with him, yet was unable to put away his ego and could only think up an evil plan. He’d pretend to be drunk and confessed to JingYuan with his arms around the other’s neck. “Let’s get together. I quite like you.”

YiHan still remembered the nervous drumbeat of his heart and how laughably secure he was in his actions. Since they were young children, JingYuan had always been doting and spoiling him. He thought JingYuan must’ve had feelings for him. But what were JingYuan’s reactions then?

YiHan laughed mockingly at himself. He’d memorised that single moment. Every one of JingYuan’s expressions. Every one of his words. JingYuan stared down at him with eyes hiding an endless void of disappointment. He spoke with his unique deep bass voice, “Bai YiHan. You really disappoint me. Emotions are not a game. They’re not for you to play with, and not for you to use as tools.”

Heh. Was YiHan already considered helpless in JingYuan’s eyes? True. Now that he looked back at how he was back then, he really wanted to slap himself. It’s rare enough that JingYuan had held it in and not just beat him up then and there.

Back then, he’s maintained his laughable pride. His embarrassment turned into anger. “Scram! Get out! I never want to see you again!” he shouted.

And then? Then, JingYuan really left. He went overseas to his branch office, and never came back again. Just as YiHan said, he never saw him again even when he died.

It’s meant to be too, now that he thought about it. The one JingYuan loved was YiHan’s sister. YiHan’s nonsensical behaviour destroyed his future marriage. As a male, he then shamelessly ran to recommend himself to JingYuan. JingYuan, as a straight man, was probably so disgusted he was about to puke, wasn’t he? No wonder he rushed out of the country as if he was on fire and never came back again.

YiHan couldn’t help but wonder. In his last life, when JingYuan knew of his death many years later, how would he react? Would he be upset? Happy? Or would he let out a sigh of relief?

He should’ve let out a sigh of relief, right? If he knew of what a miserable and cruel death YiHan had, would JingYuan felt like he’d vented his disgust? Would he come back and marry XueQing? Without YiHan as an obstacle, if they married, they’d be happy, right? And with JingYuan, YiHan’s family would be able to rise again. After all, his family’s cursed luck was all because of him. With his death, everything would be alright.

YiHan hoped it was so. He didn’t know if he really did travel back in time or if he travelled into a parallel dimension that looked exactly the same. No matter what, he wouldn’t be JingYuan’s obstacle to love again.

For JingYuan. For his sister. This whole life, YiHan must maintain his distance from JingYuan. He can’t make any other move to create more troubles for his sister and JingYuan. It’d be for the best if he could move out and live alone. That way, he wouldn’t affect his family anymore.

YiHan turned on the bed and stretched his limbs out until there was a starfish lying on the bed. He broodily thought: Why was he reborn? It was clear that without him, everything would be alright. So, why send him back? Why not just make him disappear? He’s so stupid. He’s useless even when he came back. He finally thought of a way to earn money, but it couldn’t be realised. He’s just so useless.

Ah~ So infuriating. His hands wandered up and scrunched his soft hair into a chicken’s nest. Resigned, YiHan showered and slept.


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LC: Chapter 24

24. Bird Catching?

During the event, there wasn’t any kind of big unexpected accidents. All the large guilds were defending their own cities. There were no major clashes. Other than the initial seven, another four more cities found their owners. Still, no one took over a number 3 city. It made those cities much more mysterious and mystical.

 As to how the Heretic Demons fared this battle, XiaoYu could only guess from the expressions on the guild members. They didn’t look too upset. Looks like Prole-4 was successfully defended.

XiaoYu who wasn’t used to staying up overnight went back to Serica as soon as the event was over. His revival point was now set to Serica. After some bag organisation, he found an old broken-down little hostel and prepared for sleep.

While he’s now considered quite rich, he’d save and scrimp on wherever he should. It’s just sleep. Close his eyes and he’d be unconscious. Who cared where he slept as long as he wasn’t being bitten by monsters.

XiaoYu was still saving for when he reaches Level 40. Then, he’ll be able to convert in-game currency for real life currency. He’ll convert a portion of his crystals to help with his savings issue. It’d be for the best if he could find a way to earn a lot of money. Then the monthly fee will be paid by crystals and if the game shut down, his bank account would still be filled to the brim. (While there’s a limit to exchanging real life money for crystals, there’s no limit to exchanging in-game currency for real life money, as long as you had enough crystals. But reality has always been that cruel. XD)

When HereticKing ended his meeting and recalled he’d yet to set a meeting time and place with LuckyCat, the other had already taken a tour around the globe while snoring. He tried calling LuckyCat and got the door shut in his face by the game. And so, the rarest of all happened – HereticKing wrote a letter himself. Tomorrow 10 am. Meet me at the North Gate of Kemet.

********

While there was still a lot of time between 9 am and the appointed meeting time, XiaoYu had never been to Kemet which was also hailed as one of the four big cities of AO. Thus, he teleported over bright and early to shop around and prepare.

Kemet was really a city that’d bury a player in sand (what a shock.). Look out to the horizon and all one would see were yellow and gold. The buildings were made with yellow clay and yellow clay. Once out of the city, there’d most likely be sand and more sand. It made him suspect whether camping here for long would turn one colour-blind. No matter what, all colours would be perceived as yellow in the future.

XiaoYu didn’t know what the monsters were around the area or how to capture a mount. He pondered about it. It can’t be he’d have to ride on a gigantic venomous desert scorpion, right? He shivered. HereticKing’s not that petty, right? He didn’t mean to treat him as an NPC yesterday > <.

Still there’s only yellow and more yellow there. There weren’t many people roaming around either. XiaoYu finished exploring the place in a snap. He sat down near the North Gate and started daydreaming.

“Achoo!” “Meow-choo!” There were quite a lot of sand being blown about by the desert winds. XiaoYu had accidentally inhaled some in. Even the tiny cat that wanted to comfort its owner sneezed. XiaoYu rubbed his nose. Did he forget about something?

“Hehe. Little fool, why didn’t you buy a cloak?” A large hand suddenly landed on XiaoYu’s head. He looked up to find HereticKing grinning down at him whilst covered in a large cloak. “Luckily the hurricanes aren’t that active today. If you lost a level due to that, I’d have gravely sinned.”

It was only then did XiaoYu’s mind connected the dots. No wonder most of the players wandering around were equipped with a large cloak. The forums did mention the areas around Kemet would be covered in hurricanes from 8 am to 10 am, and from 4 pm to 6pm. The magnitude differs according to area and time. Even though the city’s quite shielded, players were told to be wary in the post introducing all the major cities in the game. He knew he’d forgotten something.

“I’ll go buy one now.” It’d be normal if players die suffocating in the sands outside near the launch of the game when no one was certain of the times, but to be blasted by sand while in the desert now? That’d be hilarious.

“It’s fine. I bought two extra.” HereticKing took out two cloaks, one large and one mini, from his bracelet and handed them to him.

“Thank you.” XiaoYu was rather moved. The other had remembered his little cat. The cape was already mini-sized but it’s still quite big. If the tiny cat came out wandering at night with its cape on, it’d look exactly like a white will-o-wisp.

“You’re here so early.” HereticKing pulled XiaoYu over to an alcove blocked from the winds and sat down.

“Mn. I came to explore. You’re here early too.”

“I was worried there’d be two foolish little cats who didn’t know how to take care of themselves and get blown away by the sands.”

“…>///<” Alright. XiaoYu will admit he did ignore that point. After all, the Undead monsters here, the Mummies, were over Level 70. It’s too early for him to start camping here, so he didn’t pay much attention.

“Hehe. Don’t worry. You’re still a newbie.” When HereticKing saw XiaoYu’s face blushing from embarrassment, he sighed internally. Why did this boy blush so easily? It happened in the Newbie Village. Yesterday too. He only said the other’s hands were small and that tiny pale face immediately flushed red. Afterwards, he was even told by I_Am_A_Poor_Man in Prole-4 that he was flirting with a little kid. But he didn’t think so. He just said what was true.

“Mn.” How was XiaoYu still not used to being humiliating? The number of times he’d humiliated himself in the past month was more than one hand’s worth.

Bai XiaoYu hung his head, as if he was still flustered over how embarrassing he was. Even his kitten raised its paw and buried its face within the large cloak, as though in embarrassment. (It’s actually just scratching at its nose. It was itchy from all the sand.) HereticKing’s lethargy from having to wake up early trickled off by the view of two dusty and ruffled cats. There’s not even a tinge of apathy left in him. Seemed like waking up early once in a while was very much worth it.

HereticKing lifted his hand to pat at XiaoYu’s head again. It’s a pity the pleasant experience was decreased just now due to some bandages being in the way. Now, there’s an additional layer of fabric between his hand and the other’s head. Next time, he’d got to find a chance and make the other take of his accessories and let HereticKing have his fill of touching that hair.

“What’re we catching today?” XiaoYu was not repulsed by HereticKing’s hand at all. It made him recall the time when his parents were still living. They loved to touch and pat his head. He was so opposed to it back then. Now, there’s no chance left for them to do so.

“The desert’s Peco Peco.” HereticKing thought of catching a feline mount for XiaoYu, but he gave up on the notion after some thought. One, there were no large cat mobs in the game that could be ridden. Two, those ferocious feline monsters had rather high levels and there’re way too many obstacles in the forests. If they suddenly stumbled upon a herd, he’d be fine but LuckyCat would be sent flying back to the revival point with just the swipe of a paw.

“…a bird?” XiaoYu remembered reading that monster’s introduction. They range from Level 35 to 45. Large-sized and they run fast. They’re gentle which made them a suitable mount for players who hadn’t hit their Second Job Change. While they’re birds, they can’t fly like the ostrich. However, the biggest difference between a Peco Peco and an ostrich was in the neck. Their necks are thick and short. Their beaks large enough that the special mount reigns could be looped around it. The only issue was only one person could ride on it, and that rider cannot be tall or too buff. For lovers who wish to have a romantic ride together, it was suggested they wait to buy a horse after the Second Job Change.

“Mn. The most important aspect is its stability when running. Players don’t need to learn how to ride and your tiny cat won’t be shaken off.” A player can’t just ride on a horse after buying one. They have to learn how to ride and raise the skill’s proficiency before they could ride on a galloping horse. Otherwise, the player would be galloping alongside the horse.

“Oh. So how do we tame it?”

“Ride on top of it. Hold tight to its neck and don’t be shaken off. Once it calms down, the game will notify you.” While Peco Pecos were gentle, they’d naturally object to humans riding on them. HereticKing’s main duty was to attract the bird’s attention, then ensure LuckyCat wasn’t shaken off. While the ground’s covered in sand, a bad fall will split one’s arse wide open. Their brains too.

“Mn. I’ll try my best.” Since the other had taken so many aspects into consideration, it should be no issue. XiaoYu felt the only thing he can do now was wait for the hurricanes to end at 10 am, then head out of the city in search of a Peco Peco.

Translator’s Note:

What a shock (Kemet): The Chinese name translates to “Sandy City”. So, the sentence would go “Sandy City was really covered in sand (what a shocker).” Trivial puns like this are not worth making a city name weird, especially if it’s just a one-liner. I wish I knew enough Middle Eastern-ish languages to find a proper translation for that. Google Translate is so unreliable _(:3」∠)_

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GC: Chapter 17

17. It’s not Easy Raising a Child

YiHan definitely could not tell his father about being reborn. Regardless of whether his father would believe him, Yihan was too ashamed to even mention the dishonourable things he’d done. He had decided to keep this secret in and bring it to the grave with him.

However, he can’t just make a fuss over nothing just because he wanted something like before. How should he word such an “unreasonable” request?

YiHan hung his head. He tried his best for a long time, but he couldn’t think of a way to convince his father. His head drooped as he dejectedly thought: He’s really the most useless child. His elder siblings are all so clever, so why’s he so stupid? Did his family doted on him because they pitied how especially dumb he was? Ah, he’s off-topic. What should he do now?

Bai FuRen looked on at his depressed son. Nothing showed on his face, but his mind spun fast. Based on his youngest son’s personality, if he didn’t give YiHan money when asked, YiHan would definitely display his obvious displeasure. Even if he didn’t dare throw a tantrum in front of FuRen, he’s certain to slam the door with an upset face and find his mother or some other helper. However, he’s just like a little flower being hailed on today, sitting there hanging his head in dejection. Was this a new strategy or did something really happened which made him hold his temper?

Helpless, YiHan could only ask pitifully, “I only want the south. Can’t I?”

FuRen’s kindly father’s heart was harshly triggered. He felt that if his son really was trying out a new strategy, then he’d succeeded for sure. Such a miserable look was much more useful than making a ruckus. Still, he persisted.

“HanHan, you must know that while that’s not a particularly big sum, it’s not small either. It’s good that you want to plan for the future by buying immovable assets. But you need to research deep into such a matter. Weigh the pros and cons, not follow your gut and feelings as if you’re buying a toy. Understand?” FuRen gently said.

YiHan’s face fell. “I know,” he dolefully replied.

FuRen was somewhat uneasy at how obedient YiHan was. His heart softened. “Why don’t I help you look at some land which are more likely to rise in value? Okay?” he asked.

YiHan shook his head.

FuRen pondered as he looked on as YiHan’s disappointed figure. “Can you tell Father why you must have that place?” he said.

YiHan’s mouth gaped and closed. “Property there is very cheap now. Once everything goes as planned, it’ll surely raise in value,” he softly said.

“HanHan, you must know that one can’t be greedy when doing business. Cheap property has its reasons for being cheap. Until now, there’ve been no rumours of any government plans for that area. Your habit of blindly rushing in to take advantage will make you suffer a great loss,” FuRen said with a resigned tone.

By the time word of it gets out, he can’t even squeeze in to buy them, YiHan despondently thought. There’s nothing he can do but to nod in agreement and walk out the door with his head drooped down.

FuRen watched as his young son walked out with his head full of grief. There were a few times when FuRen wanted to call out to YiHan. Stop him and hand him the money to play with. He held it in with immense willpower. He kept chanting in his head: You can’t dote on a child like that. You’ll raise him to be a useless son. That’s not loving him, it’s hurting him.

Ah~

FuRen took off his glasses and massaged his nose bridge. It’s not easy raising a child!

YiHan returned to his bedroom and look at his bank balance via his phone. He let out a heavy sigh. New Year’s, dividends, pocket money from his parents and siblings. Add up how much he’d gotten throughout his life and it’d be a sizeable sum. Pity he never had any notions of saving up before. After all, he had enough cash to spend and he never thought of the future. Money always left him as fast as he got them. That meant there was only one million left in his bank account. It really disheartened him.


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LC: Chapter 23

23. Directly From “a Wide Range”

The reason why HereticKing and I_Am_A_Poor_Man were at the portal zone so early on was for the last preparations at Prole-4. As the mighty Guild Leader, of course he’d have a private plane. This was also why HereticKing only appeared once in the Zhang Village during the last battle. They’d planned early on to focus on conquering Prole-4 first, so I_Am_A_Poor_Man’s saved Teleport locations were just Prole-4’s entrances. Thus, HereticKing only arrived at the guild’s public airport when he decided to have a look around elsewhere.

While Bai XiaoYu didn’t know why HereticKing would want to add a puny portal opener like him as a friend, he still accepted it. Then, he watched as the two heads of Heretic Demons disappeared into a portal’s glow.

He sat down and continued eating.

The tiny cat hung its head in dejection. The uncle didn’t give it any gold coins to play with this time. Paw, dirt. Dirt, paw.

XiaoYu was speechless at the mercenary ways of this little cat. He dug out a grilled fish skewer from his inventory and teased the tiny cat with it. And so, the uncle with the gold coin was thrown back into the back of the kitten’s mind.

************

Meanwhile, HereticKing and I_Am_A_Poor_Man were resting in the Crystal Room after a check over Prole-4’s defences. Once they made sure every defence station had NPC soldiers (The city’s lord could hire a certain number of NPC soldiers to help defend the city, according to the city’s development.), they were prepared for the upcoming three hours of intense battle.

This time was usually meant for I_Am_A_Poor_Man’s and Below_The_Moon’s bantering and lively fights. Unfortunately, Below_The_Moon was rushing a batch of special traps and setting them up today, which were not done yet. That’s because there’re only three Level 100 archers in the entire guild, including Below_The_Moon, who can make this special large AoE trap. The workload was unimaginably huge.

“Chief, how do you know LuckyCat?” I_Am_A_Poor_Man is curious. He’s just so curious. At least he’s in the same class as LuckyCat. Even then, they barely interacted. The chief and LuckyCat were really miles apart from each other. He couldn’t think of a way they’d be able to know each other at all.

At the thought of the past two meetings where the big and small cats were mimicking each other, especially the first time they met, HereticKing’s eyes crinkled with laughter.

I_Am_A_Poor_Man’s curiosity was seriously hooked. Chief actually smiled when he thought of LuckyCat. It seemed like they made a good first impression. Was their first meeting so interesting? However, LuckyCat’s reaction to seeing Chief didn’t seem like they met.

Thus, I_Am_A_Poor_Man’s brain started imagining a play about a hero saving the damsel in distress-no. A hero saving the cat in distress. At the time, LuckyCat had been tormented to the point of collapsing on the floor. He’s panting. His vision’s going blurry. TinyLuckyCat was going to falling into the hands of a villain when the hero finally arrives. He saved the little cat and gently returned it back to its owner’s side. Then, he’d walk off into the sky of colourful clouds. The breeze blew dust up, further blurring LuckyCat’s vision. All he saw in the end was the shadow of a back walking away. Smaller and smaller and smaller until it disappeared…At last, LuckyCat’s vision blacken and he faints.

Ah, look at how talented I am at creating scenarios. If Chief doesn’t want me in the future, perhaps I can earn a living through script-writing. As I_Am_A_Poor_Man drowned himself in his thoughts, he suddenly realised Chief never bothered replying to him.

“Chief? Chief~ Chief~” Chief was in a good mood, so I_Am_A_Poor_Man bravely started bothering HereticKing. He was the ideal ever-curious baby.

“Ahem. Nothing. That tiny cat just snatched a gold coin from me.”

“…orz” Reality was cruel indeed. I_Am_A_Poor_Man’s wonderful fantasies were all popped.

However, since the little cat’s race was a lucky cat, perhaps it really loves money. I_Am_A_Poor_Man would try using a gold coin next time. He’d given that tiny cat so many fish skewers but he’d never seen it act so affectionate to him before.

“How do you know LuckyCat?”

“!!” It’s was so rare for Chief to start a conversation. I_Am_A_Poor_Man’s mind perked up and he started blabbing nonstop. It’s still quite early.

“Chief, you don’t know how pitiful and miserable LuckyCat was when I first met him. He was being attacked by a swordsman to the point where his body was covered with wounds. There were at least dozens of cuts on him. All because LuckyCat didn’t want to sell the kitten to that swordsman blah blah blah…”

I_Am_A_Poor_Man never noticed HereticKing’s slight frown.

“…While LuckyCat is a little tactless, he’s an honest, serious and a good child. He even helped me collect Zombie Fluids and Rotten Bandages without pay…Ah.” All of a sudden, I_Am_A_Poor_Man realised what he said and covered his mouth with his hands.

“Hm-hm. So you weren’t the one collecting them, and for free too.” HereticKing’s lips curved into an evil smirk.

“Hehe…That…” Chief really went around in circles just to set a trap for I_Am_A_Poor_Man. He must’ve suspected I_Am_A_Poor_Man’s and LuckyCat’s meeting was most likely related to the Zombie Cave. That’s why, to him, HereticKing’s evil. “I did thank him. I sent him a lot of fish skewers and cake. I even recommended LuckyCat to come earn some pocket money through opening portals!”

“Really…” He knew it. No one was really willing to head into that cave. I_Am_A_Poor_Man loved money so much, he’d never put up a high asking price for those materials. It’s absolutely suspicious that he could actually collect so many materials in such a short time.

“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t enslave kids. Once the battle’s over, I’ll personally go collect some. T-T” I_Am_A_Poor_Man was getting goosebumps from HereticKing’s stare. He took the initiative to raise his right hand and admit he was wrong. But in his heart, he wept. Why did he let it slip? It’s all Chief’s fault, and Below_The_Moon’s (he’s the most innocent).

HereticKing caressed the patterns on the city’s Protection Crystal with a blank face. Sometimes, it’s not a good thing to have outstanding subordinates. He didn’t say anything at all. He never even thought of punishing I_Am_A_Poor_Man. He just wanted to tease I_Am_A_Poor_Man after watching him try and be smart by covering his mouth up. As expected, after bumping into the two lucky cats, his mood would be especially good.

“Thank you.”

Bai XiaoYu who was playing with the little cat to pass time away suddenly heard HereticKing’s voice. He looked up and around but didn’t see the other at all. Ah, it was a private call.

“Huh?” If it was just about helping out with the Guild Wars, did he need to thank XiaoYu so many times?

“You helped me collect fluids and bandages.”

“It’s nothing much. I happened to be grinding.” So it was about that. It must’ve been I_Am_A_Poor_Man who told HereticKing.

“Do you have a mount?” Name cards exchanged to befriend other players would record the player’s current level then. HereticKing remember glancing at it. The other should be over Level 30. He can have his own mount.

“No.” NPC stores do sell horses, but those can only be ridden after the Second Job Change. Other mounts require him to catch them himself.

“Do you have time tomorrow?”

“Yes.” He has time every day.

“I’ll go catch a mount with you.”

“…Okay. Thanks.”

“Thank me once we capture one.”

“Mn.”

The call ended, and the Guild Wars was about to begin. After a last check through their inventory, every member of the Heretic Demons guild started to put on their serious faces. I_Am_A_Poor_Man didn’t know it yet, but his boss was already prepared to secretly give himself a day off tomorrow. That meant more work would be bearing down on him. By the time I_Am_A_Poor_Man knew about it and started scratching at the walls, it was already too late.

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GC: Chapter 16

16. Lend Me Some Money

Bai FuRen was very satisfied with how attentive his eldest son was to his youngest son. FuRen raised his hand to invite Bai Yan to sit down. Then, he informed Yan about the discussion from before and what FuRen’s own thoughts were.

Yan frowned. “Something like that happened? This is strange indeed. I’ll arrange some hidden bodyguards for him. I want to see who it is who dares to touch my little brother!”

“This is all just guesswork for now. Perhaps your brother suddenly matured. Nothing’s confirmed yet,” said FuRen.

“Even if it’s maturity, it’d be a slow and gradual process. He won’t suddenly mature overnight. If my brother’s maturity and obedience come from pain and suffering, then I’d rather he doesn’t grow up,” replied Yan.

“So, we shouldn’t make a move now and see what really went on,” said FuRen.

“You’re right,” agreed Yan with a nod.

“You’ve also worked for a whole day. Sleep early and rest up,” said FuRen with a wave of his hand.

“You rest early too,” said Yan.

FuRen nodded and let Yan exit the study.

The evening after, YiHan knocked on the door to FuRen’s study. Carefully, he peeped his head out from behind the door and asked, “Dad, I’d like to talk to you about something.”

FuRen’s heart froze for a beat. Still, he didn’t let it show on his face and replied, “What are you hanging about the door for? Come in if you’ve got something you want to talk to me about.”

YiHan hesitantly stumbled into the room and closed the door behind him. He sat down on the chair before the desk. “Father, can you…lend me some money?” he asked. YiHan had his own little gold coffer and there’s quite a lot in it, but if he wanted to purchase huge amounts of property in the southern suburbs, it wasn’t enough at all. He didn’t plan on touching the property where the new university would be built because even if he did, all he’d get was another pile of compensation money. The average finances of the citizens from that plot of land was currently very low. He wasn’t greedy enough to want to earn money off of pulling the rug from the bottom of poor citizens. That’s rather evil.

YiHan was thinking about purchasing the districts around it where he’d build malls and so on.

“Is your allowance not enough? How much do you want?” asked FuRen.

“F-Fifty million?” YiHan sheepishly said as he scratched his head.

“Why do you want so much money?” FuRen replied in shock. His heart went cold with fear. Was someone blackmailing YiHan? The moment that thought went through his mind, FuRen brow furrowed and his gaze turned cold. “You can talk to me about anything that’s troubling or worrying you. You’re still young. Be careful you’re not lied to by others,” he continued solemnly.

“No. No. It’s just…I’d like to buy some immovable assets like property or shops. The kind that could have raised value later on,” YiHan hurriedly answered.

“That is possible. However, why do you suddenly want such assets? Have you got a place in mind? I can help you research on which area has the best potential,” said FuRen.

“It’s fine,” said YiHan, “I’ve got an area in mind already.”

FuRen was still uneasy. “Is that so? Where is it? I’ll help you purchase the property, in case you get cheated just because of how young you are,” he said.

“Alright. I want the property in the southern districts, particularly near Mount NanXiang,” said YiHan. After pondering about it, he realised what his father said was true.

It was just as FuRen thought. His silly child was being lied and cheated to by someone. Everyone knew the southern suburbs were famous for being useless. Only his own cute and silly little son would think of spending fifty million on property there.

“HanHan, have you researched the market? The south is a place publicly known to be a useless piece of land in the city. The property you buy would only decrease in value,” said FuRen as he frowned.

YiHan’s mind panicked. How was he going to tell his father that, within three years, the southern suburbs would turn into a gold mine that every single businessman would beg to get into but can’t?

Even his father wouldn’t know such sensitive and secretive information. How was he to know about it? It’d only make his father suspicious. But if YiHan doesn’t tell his father, how was he going to convince his father to lend him such a hefty sum knowing it was just a trap?

Translator’s Note:

50 million RMB ≈7.3 million USD

The amount YiHan asked for is upped in the translation (partially due to translation error as I’d mistakenly read it as thousand-10k instead of the hundred-10k it was). It was meant to be 5 million. This mistake was left in as property prices in China are relatively high.

(Below is the ridiculous explanation my brain concocted to explain why I decided to leave a mess-up for the world to see.)

A shop lot can be as small as 200 square metres (for one floor) or 2000 square metres (multi-storey). If one goes by the number given in numbeo.com where the minimum for an apartment is 10k RMB per square metre, YiHan would be spending at least 20 million for one shop lot. If one goes by a more reasonable amount provided by GlobalPropertyGuide, it’d be roughly 630 RMB per square metres – 126k to 1.26m (based on range provided above). As YiHan’s plan would need him to own at least 1 shop lot + the numerous renovations it’d require, it doesn’t really make sense for him to ask his father for just 5 million (which would not really work out as there’s a difference between buying a property and getting it up and running as a shop, a mall, or any sort of rent-able state – especially so if it’s rundown).


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LC: Chapter 22

22. Encounter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

********

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“LuckyCat?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Hehe. What a tiny hand.”

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

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