GC: Chapter 88

87. Search and Rescue

“Shortly after you left, Mr Mu,” the man over the phone said. “The Little Master went out with Madam Bai. They went to the shopping district in a car. It was very crowded so we could only follow from afar. Then, we passed by a group of performers surrounded by a lot of people. By the time we squeezed our way past the crowd, he was gone. Madam Bai is now in our protection but it was such a messy situation. The crowd forced them apart and the Madam didn’t know when the Little Master disappeared. She’s currently in great distress.”

“You couldn’t find him anywhere nearby? No other clues?” JingYuan asked.

“We’ve searched everywhere but there was not a single trace of him. However, someone did spot a few men carrying a young man who seemed to be asleep into a man.”

Blood drained from JingYuan’s face. “Then? What did you find?” he shot through gritted teeth.

“All our men are on the case. Our investigation will soon bear fruit. I think it should be that van. This was a premeditated abduction,” the bodyguard said.

“Use everyone we can. It must be swift. I’ll be there soon,” JingYuan sternly barked. His voice was so cold that it could freeze water.

JingYuan hung up and turned to the Bai family. “HanHan was kidnapped,” he said.

The three Bai family could guess what had happened from what they could hear of the call, but their fears were now confirmed. There was no hope it wasn’t true.

“Didn’t you say HanHan was at home?” XueQing angrily asked.

JingYuan’s face turned gloomy and his eyes were red. “My men said that soon after I drove off, he left the house with Aunt Bai,” he replied. He repeated what he knew of the current situation, then turned to Bai FuRen. “She’s very upset right now. You had best head back to comfort her. Yan, XueQing, we must combine the might of our two families and find HanHan as fast as possible. In his state, he can’t be agitated anymore!”

“I’ll go call the old Mr Yan,” FuRen said. “YiHan made a good impression on him. During the birthday party, the old Mr Yan protected him so much. The Yan family has ties in the government. The police would definitely be much more effective if the old Mr Yan speaks up!”

“Will he help us?” Yan asked.

“We’ll only know once we try,” FuRen replied.

The Bai and Mu families threw themselves into a tense search and rescue operation. Everyone had a dark and brooding face on. Their pace so swift that winds were born. The most unexpected thing to arise from it all was that the old Mr Yan actually helped them.

The Bai and Mu families were powerful enough that the police were already under high pressure. While YiHan had yet to go missing for over twenty-four hours, they’d already arranged for a team to solely tackle this case. When the old Mr Yan spoke to the police, the mountain putting pressure on the police force only grew. They assigned all the elite members they could to this case. Through rigorous investigation, they soon found a lead.

YiHan went missing at the outskirts of the performing group. The store had hired several great celebrities to help out with the event and they had a lot of fans. Every single inch of the area was packed with people passionately cheering for their stars. Many of them had already lost their sense to the cheering. If one wanted to get across this area, they’d had to loop around them.

YiHan only came out this time because he wasn’t strong enough to keep his objections up against his mother’s requests to go shopping with her. JingYuan told him to stay at home and wait for him. He wanted to be home before JingYuan did. Thus, he didn’t want to waste any more time by circling around the crowd or by driving off to somewhere else. The mother-son duo had a discussion, before deciding to wade through the crowd at the outer rings of the group. But then a group of rabid fans charged over all of a sudden and forced them away from their bodyguards and from each other. By the time JingYuan’s men and the Bai family bodyguards could grab Ma and pull her out of the crowd, YiHan was nowhere to be seen.


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LC: Extra 01

Extra 01. The Confessions of an Assassin

I am KillerA. That’s my username.

My goal entering this game was simple. Train hard and earn money through assassination.

At first, I didn’t like showing my name. After all, having a grey name on the field so very problematic. It took 10 minutes just to re-hide one’s name. Once I killed anyone, my name would turn yellow, red, then black. Even if I hid my name, the spot where my name should’ve been would glow in the same colour as my nametag to remind surrounding players I was a murderer.

Using my excellent mind, I instantly knew how I could silently kill other people with the Assassin’s special Cloaking skill. (For more details on the skill, see Chapter 48.)

It was obvious the players of this game had yet to realise how evil this skill could be. Thus, many of them would be swarmed by a horde of monsters and given a free ride back to the city while still confused as to what was going on. My mission is to de-Cloak and pick up the items dropped by the victim when the monsters are too busy to notice me.

It’s a tried-and-tested method to assassinate others without exposing my name or actual face. While I’d be betting on the small chance for items to drop at death, but it proved to be a rather fruitful harvest after a few more tries.

Unfortunately, it was used too many times. Some of my fellow assassins started noticing and imitating it. More and more discussion forums popped up on the forums. For some time, the reputation of the Assassin job was very low. The moment an assassin was spotted, all players would skirt far away from them. Some of the foolish copycats didn’t even know to hide their faces. In the end, their victims took pictures of their faces and their names were eventually found and added to a blacklist. As soon as anyone on that list appeared out on the field, they’d be surrounded by a mob of players.

Naturally, with my careful nature, I wouldn’t be found out. However, this method can’t work now. Since I can’t assassinate people in secret, I’ll do it out in the open.

I started targeting players who had rather nice equipment but played badly. I’d pretend to be passing by behind them, then I’d nonchalantly ambush them from behind. With my special buff, a critical hit was enough to take off over half of their HP.

Then, my name would be exposed to the other players. Thankfully, the Assassin’s outfit also came with a face mask. In my efforts in being the best nobody I could be, I had tweaked my appearance to be as average as possible. My gears were all selected according to what most people wear. Beneath that facade though, every gear I had was refined and slotted with the best cards possible for additional attack damage. Overall, once I’m buried among the crowds of the city, no one can find me.

Time passed and the benefits of having exposed my name started showing up. Players started messaging me, asking me to help them murder other players.

Of course, to ensure the requests were true, I’d be paid before I did the deed. I encountered some difficulties at first. Several of my deals came to nothing. But soon, my reputation grew and someone would always be ready to send some business my way.

In spite of all that, I must’ve forgotten to check my horoscope this morning before I left my room. It’s a day bad for assassination. That’s not to say I didn’t succeed in my mission. My success rate is very high unless I forgot to scope my target out properly and stumble upon a secretly great player. After killing another player, my name would be exposed for 10 minutes. It was a bad time to be going back to the city so I thought to just bunker down during that time. To my surprise, I bumped into someone.

“So you’re KillerA,” spoke the male healer. He looked about the same level as I was and had roughly the same gears.

“…” My one rule is that I would never kill healers unless they are overly arrogant. I’m not afraid of the Healers Alliance. They’re just too weak. It would be too boring.

I turned around, thinking to leave, but then he kept bothering me.

“You’re a professional assassin, right? Are you interested in joining a guild?”

“…” He was really stubborn, but it wasn’t over the line. I had no need to argue so much with weaklings.

“I want to start a guild for assassins. Come help me,” he said.

“…!” Was something wrong with him? A person in the weakest Job in the game actually wanted to start up a guild for assassins. It’d be more likely to turn into a guild for being killed instead.

“Don’t believe me? How about this? If I can defeat you, you’ll help me. Okay?” he pushed.

“Do you want to die?” I shot back. Was this a joke? Even with Holy Light, the chant time was long enough for me to keep interrupting him. If he wanted to defeat me, he’d have to start over in another Job.

“I’m only asking for you to help me. Well? Want to bet on it?”

“Fine. Come.” Let’s see what he had to offer.

“Can you not move? I’ll punch you once. No magic.”

“…okay.” Without magic? Is he mad? With how weak healers were, I didn’t care.

“Wait. Let me get ready. Heh! Heerh!”

“…” I watched as he lowered himself into the horse stance, his palms pushing out against the air before him. Suddenly, I had an urge to get far away from him. Just what was wrong with me? Why was I fooling around with some delusional healer?

“I’m coming! Haarh!”

What the frick! Why am I flat out on the floor?

“As I expected, I defeated you. It was a bet. Join my guild,” the man said.

The dead can’t move or speak. All they can do was wait for a living player to save them or just return back to the city. But I can’t die without knowing what happened! I stared right at him. If I could move, I would’ve grabbed him by the collar, shook him and roared at him. What kind of healer are you?

“You even dropped some equipment. Let me see. This pair of boots is rather average. Who knew you’d actually they’d have such a high refinement? You even have two cards slotted in them.” As I had just killed a player, my luck hit rock bottom and it was very easy to drop any items at death. He picked up the boots I dropped and turned them around in his hands. He even criticised them.

Unfortunately, all I could do was just grit my teeth in anger.

“Join my guild. Oh, right. You can’t move now.” The healer then stuffed an Yggdrasil Leaf into my mouth.

Yggdrasil Leaf: It can revive fallen players and restore half of their HP and MP.

I dragged myself up from the floor and downed some potions to bring my HP and MP back to full.

“What kind of healer are you?” I shouted. I brought the fantasy I had just now into reality.

“If you join my guild, I’ll tell you,” the healer said, giving me the typical tiny grin that exposed eight pearly teeth.

“…” My fists itched to punch that smile off his face. But I had been the one underestimating his strength. Now, I didn’t dare to act rashly.

“Ah, right. Here are your boots.”

“…!” Perhaps he wasn’t as bad as I thought. What kind of player would return a killer’s dropped gear after they died?

“Ding. Player aStrangeFlower invited you to join the guild, Assassin Gods. Would you like to accept?” A system notification tab popped up before my eyes. I resisted the strong impulse to gripe about the names, but after some reconsideration, I decided to accept it. I had to uphold my reputation.

“Great. I’ve found my first guild member. I’ve got motivation to work now.”

I opened up the Guild tab and saw there I was really the only one in the guild other than the weird Guild Leader. Was it too late to quit?

“So just what kind of healer are you?” I barked at him. Even if he dumped his points in Strength, he can’t be so powerful as to kill me with his bare hands.

“Oh, I’m one of the hidden Jobs – a Monk. I specialise in Strength.” Healers should at least put some of their points in Intelligence, but this person just loved going against the common meta. All of his stat points went into his Strength and at the Second Job Change, he triggered a hidden Job’s quest.

“Crap…!” There was actually another person with a hidden Job after the Paladin and this person was him! Why wasn’t there a server-wide announcement?

***

I didn’t actually lose anything by joining the guild. At least I found another use for aStrangeFlower – he had a very widespread information network.

I just needed to mention my next target’s name and within a few hours, he could tell me where the other was. At one point, I had suspected he was a GM, but he just chuckled and kept silent.

Later on, a few more assassins joined the guild. It was only when I asked them did I realise all of them were lured in with the same lie. Slowly, the guild grew and we could accept slightly larger deals, like killing someone back until they were Level 1.

Of course, that was the most severe punishment available in the game. Strang would also lightly interrogate and repeatedly confirm it with the client before accepting the mission. Naturally, it paid the most.

Today, Strange accepted another mission to kill someone back to Level 1 again. To my surprise, it came from the Heretic Demons. I wonder which unlucky player made an enemy of them.

When Strange briefed us about the whole situation, quite a lot of the assassins were shocked. This target was trash. He actually used Taunt to torment a low-levelled healer for hours. Even if the healer did something wrong, the target shouldn’t have used that skill to get back at the other. Was he even a man? Oh, wait. I’ve already called him trash.

I really don’t know where Strange got his information from. He knew every single move of that trash. He could accurately predict from which city the target left, which gate he used and the exact minute he did so. This dramatically sped up our plans. Even if this trash was killed so many times that he was terrified enough to teleport to other cities, we could quickly follow suit.

“Why do you guys even want to kill me?” The trash finally burst out after having been killed for n-times and was about to be killed for the n+1th time.

“Properly think about what you did,” Strange said, walking out from behind a great tree. He cracked his joints while the rest of us simultaneously retreated.

“I didn’t do anything! Who sent you? I’ll pay you double. Go kill them for me!”

“Apologies. We have a reputation to uphold.”

“What kind of crappy reputation? Just how much were you paid? Tell me. I can afford it!”

“I wouldn’t dare to accept money from trash. Come, Xiao-A, grab him. I despise Agility-based players.” I had fought against that nickname for a long time but I eventually gave up.

“What are you doing?”

“Punching you.” Strange huffed out a breath at his fist and got into his stance. “Don’t worry. I’m not like you. I’ll definitely make it quick.”

Yes…the birth of another player dying in confusion. While I was the first sacrifice, the last was not in sight yet.

To be honest, I had been pondering for a long time about why Strange’s information could act so fast. Until, one day, I finally knew why. He was very close to NPCs. Every time a player talked to an NPC, they would get a little bit closer to them. Different NPCs had different amount of Friendliness a player could collect. However, most players would never reach the level Strange was at. That’s because every time he went anywhere, he would talk to every single NPC at the place three times or more. Thus, the NPCs were all happy to chat with him and they would tell him what time a certain player we were looking for would be passing by them. Of course, the NPCs were professional enough not to disclose certain private information about our targets. They would only tell him when they had passed by them. As for how Strange extrapolated the target’s possible location from there, I think even I could’ve done that. After all, there was a level limit to most areas.

My butt hurt for days just so I could unveil this secret. Ugh.

Oh, right. The leader of the Heretic Demons got married recently. His significant other was really the healer in that video on the forums. I wonder if the Heretic Demons were interested in purchasing a package for that idiotic and irrational wizard in the video. Since they’re an old client, Strange might even give them a discount.


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GC: Chapter 87

87. Little Master’s Missing

FuRen paused and considered. “What JingYuan said makes sense,” he said after a while. “We’ve all been trapped by the stubborn assumption it’s ‘useless’ land. Now that I’ve reconsidered it, it’s very likely the heart of the city would shift in the future.”

“In that case, we…” started Yan.

“Unfortunately, the Bai family isn’t into property investment,” FuRen interrupted.

“Truthfully, the southern suburbs are too big. The Mu Group can’t handle it all alone. If you have any intention on trying your hand, why don’t we work together and nab the land first? Even if it never comes to anything, we wouldn’t lose too much if we wash our hands of the land then. It’ll be a gamble that can also make HanHan smile,” JingYuan said.

XueQing: “…” Making HanHan smile would be the main point, wouldn’t it?

“Okay. You go get your team to prepare the documents,” FuRen eventually agreed with a nod.

JingYuan nodded. “Any development regarding HanHan’s matter?” he then asked.

“No,” FuRen replied with a frown. “We’ve only found out the Qi family had contacted Feng Qun once. In the end, that was all. Afterwards, they did nothing. We need to re-evaluate the Qi family son. He did something to HanHan without any of us noticing. We can’t find out what happened even now. He’s definitely a complicated guy.”

“Could it be we were wrong? Qi MingYang wasn’t the one behind this after all?” XueQing proposed.

“He’d been in contact with Feng Qun. Usually, someone like Feng Qun wouldn’t bother about some proud, egotistical man like Qi MingYang. The man specifically contacted Feng Qun. He must’ve been aiming for HanHan. Only, this pawn was rendered useless,” JingYuan said.

Then, JingYuan expanded into his guess of how not every single part of the mental manipulation could be controlled.

XueQing perked up. “That means as long as we protect Lil Bro well and make him comprehend the vast difference between reality and the ‘dream’, he can recover without us needing to capture the enemy?”

FuRen let out a sigh of relief. “I’ve been searching for an expert in hypnotism, but those are for too rare. I couldn’t find anyone. I was thinking if the only chance we have of healing HanHan would be to make the opponent act first. If it’s really as you guess, we can relax a little.”

“Father’s right,” Yan said. The cold hard lines on his  face softened. “As long as HanHan is okay, we won’t have to hold back.”

“So when HanHan wants me to buy the land and I’d buy it, he was so very happy,” JingYuan proudly stated.

The Bai trio: “…” So it was because of HanHan! That entire speech and debate was just so he could convince himself? But they had to admit. JingYuan doted on HanHan to the extreme. Not even his family could do any better than JingYuan.

FuRen patted JingYuan on the shoulder and said nothing. Thanks wasn’t enough for this. He can only hope that once his younger son recovered, the boy could understand just how much effort his brother-in-law put in for his sake, that the boy would be grateful to JingYuan.

Just then, JingYuan’s phone rang. The man glanced at it. It was the man he’d arranged to secretly follow YiHan as the younger man went about his day. JingYuan’s heart sank. He swiftly answered the call.

“What is it?” JingYuan barked.

“Mr Mu, Little Master’s missing.”

JingYuan instantly shot to his feet. “What did you say?” he roared.


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LC: Chapter 89

89. Afterword

Author:

First, let me laugh out loud as I’m finished! Hahaha!

Thank you, everyone, for your years of dedication. I know I wrote very slowly.

Because I never planned out the things I do, the story progressed very haphazardly according to what I felt like. I did mention before this story had no draft. I myself didn’t even know what to write about later in the story or how I’d end it.

Every time a hiatus happened, it was because I’d reached a writer’s block. Plus a lot had happened in real life, so I’d put it down for a while to freshen up my mind.

Every year I write, my mind was in a different place. I can’t say I matured or grew. It sort of feels like I was being bipolar instead. As such, there were plenty of newbie mistakes, cringe and idiocy rolled into the story. Dear readers who can completely accept it, I can only say you’re way too kind. Your generosity makes me cry.

However, because this is the first long story I’d ever written, I wanted to complete it. Even if the story ends up dragging its feet into a long, stinking plot, I still had to finish it.

Some people might think there’s a lot of things yet to be tied up. Did XiaoYu overcome his mental issues? Could his real life be as perfect as his in-game life? After such a high-profile wedding, did anyone cause trouble for the couple?…

To be honest, an important reason why I wanted to end it is because the main plotline was so tiring to write out chronologically. The level gap between XiaoYu and the rest is just too big. While I have a few extra snippets in my mind, I don’t know where to fit them in. Thus, I want to end the story first. All that’s left would be adding in the extra stories as inspiration hits.

Of course, don’t expect too much from how often those will be updated. You know, yeah?

I might make a few small edits later on as I’ve realised quite a lot of my words got eaten up by the censorship crab. So you don’t need to reread it. The story won’t change all that much.

Lastly, the game this story is set in was inspired by Ragnarok Online. It encompasses all of my past experiences with the game. It’s really all jumbled up. Dear RO fans, please be gentle while smacking me for the mess.

That’s all. Thank you for reading to the end. Bow. Bury self deep.

Translator:

Thank you all for reading! The story’s not perfect and the translation definitely had room to improve, but it was amazing to be able share an old favourite with the English novel readers.

Also, thank you all for the comments! I do read every single one of the comments and I greatly enjoy how much everyone loved the light imperfect fluff piece this is. And I love how you guys catch onto my mistakes that quickly.

Also also, thanks for all the donations. It’s a little embarrassing to put it out so publicly, but I can’t just ignore how all of you have helped me keep going through caffeine and the cute messages you guys send over!

Lastly, criticism time! Send in all your gripes with the story and the translation. I know I probably messed up a few RO facts. I did only play for 1 month via the free trial as a kid. There were probably a few phrases that could’ve been translated differently. The story is very much a mindless fluff piece most of the time. It didn’t represent trauma properly (but if I go anymore, I’ll end up ranting about Hong Kong and Singaporean drama shows I’m subjected to because my relatives watch them while we eat).

There’re 7 extra side stories coming up within the next weeks, including the tiny cat’s origin story (ish). So stay tuned! (๑•̀ㅂ•́)و✧


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LC: Chapter 88

88. The End

The Guild Leader’s getting married!

In the middle of complaining and griping about the ugly bosses they’d faced last night and how insane their attacks were, the Heretic Demons guild members heard the news and exploded! What? Are we sure today is Christmas and not April Fool’s?

While everyone was busy confirming if the news was true, the couple in question were already back shopping in Prole.

AO’s wedding ceremonies weren’t complicated and same-sex marriages were allowed. The couple just needed to have two sets of formal wear and a pair of rings ready, make an appointment with one of the churches built in every single city, and pay. By the way, one needed to pay for divorces too. However, it can be done as long as one party paid. Both parties’ wedding outfits and rings would be destroyed.

There were many kinds of wedding outfits available for sale, especially for brides. There were enough wedding dresses to make one’s eyes swirl in confusion. But that wasn’t QiYao’s and XiaoYu’s concern. They just needed to pick out two sets of outfits from the groom’s section. In the end, they selected their wedding suits according to their surnames. Hei QiYao went with an all-black suit while Bai XiaoYu picked out an all-white outfit. Standing side-by-side before the mirror as they tried on their new outfits, the two burst out in chuckles. They were certainly buying fully into the matching black and white theme.

There were plenty of rings to choose from too. They were the most important of the vital parts of a wedding. Being able to experience doing this and that wasn’t the only benefit to being married in-game. The couple would also gain two new skills to be used only between themselves. These came with the rings, “I Love You” and “I Miss You”.

I Love You: Consumes half of the caster’s total MP to randomly replenish the partner’s HP or MP back to full. (Must have sufficient MP)

I Miss You: Consumes all of the caster’s total MP to summon the partner to the caster. (Must have sufficient MP)

Of course, these skills can’t be used over and over again without any limits. According to the price of the rings, chant times and daily cast limits vary. Even the most expensive rings would have some restrictions.

What kind of rings did QiYao and XiaoYu choose then? The most expensive type, without a single doubt. The game developers were quite evil. The more generous and elegant the design of the ring was, the more expensive. Thus, naturally, any designs that QiYao preferred would come from the most expensive shelf. The sight of those prices nearly made XiaoYu puke blood in shock. How many of him (as in all of his worldly possessions) must they sell off just to have enough for those rings?

“I don’t have that much money,” muttered the poor frustrated newbie. His wedding outfit had used up a rather sizeable chunk of his savings.

“I do,” shimmered the golden black-haired man. He wasn’t able to show off when they were purchasing their wedding outfits. Now, he was finally of use.

“But…”

“You can gradually pay me back afterwards.” Another constant source of headache for QiYao was how stubborn XiaoYu could be. Thankfully after the wedding ceremony, he could push back saying it would be their shared property.  “This is our only chance in the game, XiaoYu. I want the best for you.”

“…okay.” XiaoYu couldn’t help wondering just why he could never win any debate with QiYao. Was this what they meant by one would always be vanquished by another? If that’s so, who should he vanquish? (Your brother-in-law, d’uh ╮(╯▽╰)╭)

Once they were done paying for their rings, it was time for their appointment at the cathedral. The biggest, most grand cathedral in the entire game was Prole’s Cathedral. It also had the most terrifying price among them all. Still, many players were still willing to part with their hard-earned gold for the chance to get married in Prole. That was because a citywide announcement was part of the wedding ceremony. Announcements like “Congratulations to the happy couple, XX and YY. Everyone is invited to come to the Cathedral and get your prosperous red packet” would be seen floating mid-air in the city the wedding was being held in until the ceremony was finished.

People would pay thousands of gold just for the chance to be in the spotlight. If a couple didn’t want others to know, they can get married in a little city somewhere else. For QiYao, however, it wasn’t that he wanted everyone to know of his marriage. Everyone knew how the rich were. They’re used to selecting the luxurious option. If one chased QiYao out of Prole and to a rundown little church in a minor town for his wedding, he would draw his sword on them.

Wedding ceremonies could not be held on the same day of walking in to make an appointment. The priests were the conservative type. They would insist the young couple be given a day to reconsider. That meant the earliest the ceremony could be held would be on the second day of talking to the priests. If another couple just so happened to have booked the cathedral on that specific time slot, their ceremony would take precedence and the newer couple’s ceremony would have to wait.

When making the appointment, both parties must have their outfit and ring in their inventories. Only then would the quest to get married be triggered. Otherwise, the nun would just chat with you. Making an appointment was simple. Trigger the quest to get married and fill in both parties’ usernames. Both players must fill in the same names. After the nun verified the applications, players would be shown a calendar with available appointment slots. All that’s left was for the couple to select their desired time slot and pay the fee.

The couple getting married and their guests would have half an hour prior to the appointment to arrive at the cathedral. After the ceremony, they would have another half-hour to clear the venue.

After a bit of discussion, QiYao and XiaoYu agreed to have the ceremony on the very last day of the year. It meant that they’ll be welcoming the new year with a new beginning.

When the two men stepped out of the cathedral, they found a few of their close acquaintances from the main Heretic Demons guild waiting for them. It was clear they’d heard their Chief was getting married and were here to take a look. The source of the news must’ve been Poor_Man as QiYao had messaged the man about it last night. QiYao had asked him to prepare some door gifts and red packets. Even Poor_Man, QiYao’s very best friend, was shocked at how fast their Chief acted. How could he not share it with the others? It was much healthier for everyone to be shocked together.

“Chief, you’re really going to get married?” someone asked.

“Yes,” QiYao replied.

“Can we come watch and grab some red packets?”

“Of course. You’re all invited.” QiYao didn’t mind how many people attended their wedding. The entire guild would know about it anyway.

“That’s great. Even if I have work on that day, I will postpone everything. Congratulations, Chief. And our future Madame Guild Master~”

“>////<” XiaoYu really did find that nickname to be quite embarrassing.

“I’ll announce it to the guild later.” QiYao then dragged XiaoYu off with a wave at the group. It was an obvious signal he wanted to be alone with his lover and no one else may disturb them. All because no one but he may tease his lover.

“Farewell, Chief. Farewell~” the group happily bowed and chimed. It was so nice to have a party.

In the few days between then and the actual wedding ceremony, every guild member of the Heretic Demons would find a mass notice from their guild leaders notifying them their great Guild Leader would be getting married in Prole’s Cathedral on the 31st at 8 in the evening. As a grand celebration happening so soon after the real-life gathering was held, everyone was looking forward to it. They began looking at their calendars to see if they could attend the wedding. Those that couldn’t all started bashing their heads against the walls right next to them.

During this period, XiaoYu received countless congratulatory messages. His inbox was stuffed to the brim. Everyone only sent them out of the kindness of their hearts. He didn’t want to turn off private messaging. Everyone say a couple about to be married would get cold feet right before the wedding, the pre-wedding jitters, but XiaoYu felt fine. He trained and opened up chests as he usually did. The only difference now was when QiYao went to work, XiaoYu would log off too to send him off. Something in XiaoYu felt an indescribably worry at the way he acted. After QiYao guffawed and embraced him, asking if he was rehearsing for how their future would be, the tiny shred of worry vanished into steam rising from his tomato-red face.

The wedding day everyone had been eagerly anticipating was finally here. It wasn’t time for the Heretic Demons to arrive at the cathedral, but the streets surrounding it were packed with players. The Heretic Demons weren’t waiting alone. Others who had heard the rumours also came to watch. This was the wedding of a very famous player after all. Most were actually there to see if the significant other was the little healer that they’d been gossiping about online. Unfortunately for them, they’d have to wait. The grooms had arrived way ahead of them and were currently waiting inside the cathedral.

Despite the event guests being limited to only the Heretic Demons members and the couple’s best friends outside of the guild, the so-called largest cathedral in the entire game was under immense pressure. There wasn’t enough space for everyone.

The NPC priest somehow even knew this would be the greatest crowd he would ever address in a wedding ceremony. He tried clearing his throat a few times to get everyone to quiet down, but it did nothing. What a headache. The moment QiYao and XiaoYu entered the hall though, one could hear a pin drop in the cathedral.

Because there was no need for the bride to be walked down the aisle to the groom, the entire aisle scene was skipped and QiYao just led XiaoYu straight before the priest. They were wearing the same style of tuxedos but of two different colours. The contrasting pair made them stand out amongst the crowd. Ah, and don’t forget about the lively tiny black cat following behind them. It also dressed up for today’s special occasion. A white lace veil laid demurely on its head. This was a pet headpiece they’d specifically ordered from an NPC for the wedding.

The priest had officiated plenty of weddings but the couple before him radiated such a peaceful aura that they looked like a perfect couple to him.

A happy smile filled his face as he began his sermon, “We are gathered here before god in this solemn moment to witness the beginning of a new couple…”

“…Lovers who look forward to the bright future, forever remember this moment, the beauty beside you. Remember the sincere love surrounding you. We pray that it will last until the end of the world.”

“Mr HereticKing, do you accept Mr LuckyCat to be your partner in the path ahead of you? Do you swear by your life to love him and to protect him as long as you may live?” Finally, after a long flowery speech praising the wonders of love, the priest approached the main segment of the ceremony.

“I do.”

“Mr LuckyCat, do you accept Mr HereticKing to be your partner in the path ahead of you? Do you swear by your life to love him and to protect him as long as you may live?”

“I do.”

“You may now exchange the rings and vows.”

They took out the rings and placed it on each other’s ring finger. The best thing about getting married in-game was that they didn’t have to bother about ring sizes. The rings would automatically resize themselves.

The vast hall was silent. Everyone was waiting for the kiss with bated breath. XiaoYu had never kissed QiYao before so many people before. By right, he should be so nervous that his ears were flushed red. But XiaoYu seemed to have forgotten about the hundreds of eyes staring at him due to the loving atmosphere the priest created via his speech. After he exchanged rings with QiYao, all he could see was the man standing before him and gently gazing down at him. It felt so natural for lips to meet lips, for bodies to meld perfectly together. Black and white entwined around each other and formed one of the most beautiful sights in the game for years to come.

***

On their wedding night, QiYao and XiaoYu didn’t return to the Lord Mayor’s suite. Newly wed couples have a free night in one of the couple suites in the game. Naturally, they chose the most expensive suite.

Even if the suite type was just a cheap hotel room, the lovebirds weren’t in the mood to admire the lavish decorations and striking night sky. After the ceremony ended, the couple, now husbands, can start experiencing the sexual side of the game. They could now take off each other’s gear and the underwear the game forcibly attached to them. They were also able to touch each other in the most intimate manner possible with no worry of being struck by lightning.

QiYao chose to have their first sexual experience in-game so XiaoYu could gradually adapt to being open to sexual encounters in reality. Never could he have imagined he would be nervous on the day. Perhaps his wish to give XiaoYu the most perfect first sexual experience ever was just too strong.

However, the most nervous person in the room would be XiaoYu who was currently spread out under QiYao on the bed. He had no knowledge of any sexual experiences. Fear rose in him at facing the unknown. Saliva kept pooling in his mouth. He kept swallowing them back down. His eyes were wide and stared straight into the eyes of his new husband.

“Don’t be nervous, XiaoYu. I’ll be very gentle.” A large hand cupped XiaoYu’s cheek in an attempt to calm him down.

“…mn.” He took a deep breath. Closed his eyes. XiaoYu knew this would happen one day. At least the other was QiYao. QiYao who loved him and whom he loved. No matter what difficulties faced them in the future, they would face them together.

QiYao leaned down and their lips melded together once more. The night was long. They would welcome the new year with a sweet and unforgettable celebration.

***

Far off at the corner of the gigantic bed laid a tiny black cat with its head tilted to the side. Its two owners were clinging onto each other. They seem to be unusually intimate today. Aah, they’re naked. Shame. Hurry up. Lie down and cover the eyes with the paws.

Although, the silly little cat forgot. Its eyes may be covered but its ears were not. They could still hear every tiny rustle and shift of the bedsheets. The one memory that would linger on strong in its mind was just how delightfully pleasant its small owner’s moans were (≧ω≦).

The End.

Translator’s Notes:

  1. I love you/I miss you: Amplified versions of Romantic Rendezvous, Loving Touch and Undying Love skills from iRO.
  2. Poor frustrated newbie vs golden black-haired man: Not only was this a pun on their surnames (Bai/Hei), but it’s also a reference to the holy black credit card, the ultimate symbol of wealth.


Previous IndexNext

GC: Chapter 86

86. Love Makes One Blind

YiHan’s hands shot up to cover his mouth. Love really made one blind. Even the ever logical and calm JingYuan couldn’t resist it. He would actually make that kind of decision just because YiHan said so. He was exactly like the foolish and lustful emperors of old!

And he, Bai YiHan, was the demonic concubine, no, man who seduced the emperor to misdeed.

Over the phone, Chen Hong placed down the phone blaring out the bland tone of an unavailable number.

“Love. It really makes one blind. Thank goodness the boss had already made the company a vessel of his will. Otherwise, this proposal would never pass. Really, it’s just like how King You of Zhou made fools of his ministers just for Baosi’s smile,” Chen Hong bitterly chuckled.

Hopefully this Little Master Bai wouldn’t disappoint his boss. He wouldn’t know just what JingYuan would resort to if that really happened.

Chen Hong looked up only to find the secretary, young Gao Zheng, staring at him in confusion. Hong patted the other on the should.

“Little Gao,” he sighed heavily. “You must be prudent with love. Loving someone meant you’ve placed the knife capable to killing you in their hands. It won’t be up to you whether you live or die anymore.”

Gorgeous lady Little Gao who changed boyfriends as fast as one changed clothes: “…” Was he sick?

***

After that day out riding with Chen TianYang, YiHan had hung out with the other a few more times. The more they spent time together, the more YiHan liked the man. With his buff of being loved just because of the other’s beloved, YiHan already thought of the other man as his brother-in-law. After repeated testings, he was sure of it. Chen TianYang had fallen head over heels for XueQing.

Just as someone once said, the two things hardest to hide in the world were coughs and love. Every time the man talked about XueQing, his voice left no one questioning just what TianYang thought of her. YiHan’s doubts were soothed. From the looks of it, there was only one last step to the plan. He just had to encourage TianYang to push past the thin boundary separating the two and XueQing’s love would be realised.

Bai Group Tower.

FuRen, Yan, XueQing and JingYuan were all sitting in a meeting room.

XueQing spoke up first. “JingYuan, is our brother okay with you out here?”

“He’s home,” JingYuan replied. “I said I had some work to deal with at the office. Before I left, I told him not to leave the house until I return. Aunt Bai is also home.” He paused. “She still doesn’t know about HanHan, right?”

“My wife has a weak body and loved her son as if he was her life,” FuRen said with a nod. “I didn’t tell her so she wouldn’t worry too much. Right. I heard the real estate company under you has been low-key purchasing land in the southern suburbs. Is that true?”

“Yes,” JingYuan replied.

“What made you think of doing that?” Yan asked. “Did you hear of something?”

“No. HanHan told me it would become a land worth its weight in gold,” JingYuan said.

The three Bai family members: “…”

JingYuan glanced at the same blank face dominating the Bai family’s faces.

“HanHan was so very serious when he talked about it, and he was so frustrated about it,” JingYuan said with smile. “That wasn’t good. Once I made the decision to purchase the land, he visibly brightened up. It was clear he was very confident of the worth of the place.”

XueQing couldn’t hold back anymore. “JingYuan, you should know this might also be part of the “future” he dreamed of. He might feel it’s real, but that might not happen in reality.”

“It’s fine,” JingYuan said. “Actually, I’ve got some plans for the area. I was just being conservative and didn’t make a move first. Every inch of this city is worth its weight in gold. How could there be a ‘useless’ part of town? Especially such large suburbs. It’d be an insult to even say it’s an ownerless land up for grabs. It must be the opposite. Such a huge land must have its uses. I’m purchasing it at a low price now. Perhaps a surprise will really be waiting for me in the future.”


Previous IndexNext

LC: Chapter 87

87. Surprise

This was Isle of Romanz, also known as the Love Island.

It’s located in the middle of a giant hurricane. Thus, if a player wasn’t led to the island by an NPC familiar with the oceans, it’s impossible for them to get here. The process of riding through the frightening, but safe, thunderstorm was also playfully called Love’s Trial.

Did that mean someone could reach the Isle of Romanz by paying the NPC like QiYao did? It’s not that simple.

QiYao was busy bustling around before all so he could find this NPC. He had to go through a very long chain of quests just so he could get to the Isle of Romanz. First, the player needed to patiently listen to the man describe the long story of how he grew up in the Isle of Romanz, the thrilling battles he had when sailing across the seas after growing up, how he eventually found the mainland and settled in. It was a very boring and dry process. It had no worth even if one wrote a whole novel and made a movie out of it.

Afterwards, the player would receive a quest to deliver a love letter. They would be going back and forth delivering love letters between the man and his wife who lives in another city. Sometimes, the player would have to deal with the other having a disgusted expression and dawdle around before giving them to reply. It was only after a long time before the man would finally tell the player he hadn’t given his beloved wife any roses for years. He’d then request the player to grow a bouquet of rainbow roses with their own hands before giving them to his wife in his place.

This was the most troublesome aspect of the quest. The player would need to start planting roses at a predetermined spot. At the start, they would only be able to plant one rose bush in a tiny plot of land. It was only after levelling up the skill could someone plant more rose bushes at once in larger plots of lands. It was just like a certain vegetable-stealing game from years ago.

But this wasn’t the most frustrating part of the quest. The so-called rainbow roses meant seven roses of different colours. The seeds players could buy from the shop would only be named “rose seed”. The player would only know the rose’s colour after it bloomed. While the game has shortened the rose’s growth time to just four hours, but the unlucky players would get the same colours over and over again. This one request might require constant planting for days. A less patient player would’ve given up by now.

The quest was only over when the bouquet was delivered and the man’s wife, with an embarrassed face, asks the player to deliver a special pack of tobacco to the man in return. The man would then hand over a business card. The player would then be led to the Isle of Romanz with their lover by showing him the card and paying him. There was even a promotion for heading there multiple times. It would decrease by 30 Crystal Coins each time until it was set at the minimum of 10 Crystal Coins per trip.

There was one requirement for going to Isle of Romanz though. Every time the player went to the island, they had to be with the same lover. If the player tried to ask the man to lead them and another player to the island after the first time the player had been to the island, the man wouldn’t even bother acknowledging the player. This was why the NPC asked QiYao twice if he was sure. Once XiaoYu was acknowledged as his lover, QiYao would never be able to go to the Isle of Romanz with another person.

However, if XiaoYu were to complete this quest, he didn’t have to bring QiYao along to the island. The “lover” would only be set on the first ride and it didn’t go both ways. This was set in place so ignorant players wouldn’t be cheated out of the experience by players who had a one-sided crush on them. While it was quite unfair to players who had to go through the quest, it was still accepted as a tiny sacrifice to make for love.

XiaoYu was only told about the island’s story and uniqueness after they had landed. He was touched by how far the other would go when he finally learned of how troublesome the quest was.

The Isle of Romanz was a gorgeous island. Pink bubbles of various sizes could be seen filling the air everywhere. They wouldn’t pop even when poked. They’d just slide away in a cutesy, shy whoosh and slowly float away. Thus, the tiny cat began its great war against the bubbles.

The island wasn’t really primitive like its history suggested. After some renovation, an amusement park stood tall in the centre of the island. It didn’t have many thrilling rides. After all, the island was meant to be the ideal lovers’ hangout. If one was really looking for thrill rides in the game, there were cities with the proper parks on the mainland for that.

 Of course, the required attractions for increasing the bond between a couple, the haunted house, mirror maze, spinning cup ride, carousel etc. were all there. Naturally, there was the most necessary attraction representing a couple’s happiness, the Ferris wheel. The Isle of Romanz’s Ferris wheel was located right in the middle of the island. It was also the largest Ferris wheel in the game. It was said that when one was at the very top of the ride, one could view the island in its entirety. The sight was said to be too grand for words.

The other main attraction for the island was the couple’s suites scattered all over the place.

When the game was first launched, the publishers had sent out a tiny survey to all players. One of the questions was for the players to pick out the most famous and romantic couple’s suite they knew of from reality. The publishers then signed contracts with the real-life hotels of those suites to get those suites inserted into AO in return for a portion of the profits.

There were plenty of these romantic suites in all of the cities in-game, but they’re scattered through all the cities. By the time one went to all of them, the amount spent on teleporting around would make it an expensive endeavour. Either way, this was a game. Men loved to fight, women loved to look pretty and couples were all foolishly in love. Game publishers loved earning money from them the most.

QiYao led XiaoYu around and through the area with various hotels and mansions. That was a question for later tonight. Right now, all they needed to focus on was having fun and enjoying themselves!

QiYao let the two cats decide what ride to go on first. The little one was still busy fighting the pink bubbles around them. While the larger cat was already past the typical age for amusement park guests, he was stupidly in love. It’d be a shame not to do something rather foolish. XiaoYu was also secretly excited about it. It had been a really long time since he’d been to an amusement park. It was quite nostalgic.

“Let’s just go on every ride then,” QiYao said. XiaoYu had been wrecking his head over which ride to start with, so QiYao just pulled him over to the ride closest to where they were standing. It’d be very rare for them see any other player here. They were all gathered in the major capitals. Even if anyone did come to the island, it’d be after the hourly boss battle. The two had plenty of time to enjoy a little bit of everything. As expected, QiYao deliberately avoided the giant Ferris wheel dominating the centre of the park. That’s the climatic ride, wasn’t it?

They got on all the different rides, accepted love-shaped balloons from an NPC, ate some ice cream, tried their luck with the claw machines, won a tiny ribbon to be tied to the little cat’s tail from a shooting gallery, and more. They did every single thing that was typically done in real-life amusement parks. As they say, people in love do dumb things. As long as the couple’s happy, all was well.

Time passed and soon the sky grew dark. Frankly, it was no easy feat to do everything that could be done on the island. If someone could finish exploring the Isle of Romanz in just one day, then no one would visit the island. QiYao glanced at the time and led XiaoYu over to the eye-catching Ferris wheel.

Before they got in, QiYao spent a few minutes muttering to the NPC in charge of the ride. After receiving what seemed to be an affirmative answer, he happily led XiaoYu into their ride.

The Ferris wheel’s capsule was huge. An adult man could lie flat out on the ground and roll around. However, the couple had no interest in testing that out themselves. They merely watched as the tiny cat toyed with the ribbon tied to its tail. Occasionally they’d glancing out at the shrinking scenery.

“Did you have fun today?” QiYao asked.

“Mn.”

“Let’s go explore the other areas of the island next time then.”

“Okay. Yao, thank you for bringing me here.” XiaoYu didn’t know of the Isle of Roman’s existence before today. He had been playing alone anyway. There was no need for him to understand a niche part of the game like this island, but then QiYao happened. He showed XiaoYu there were other things to enjoy in the game other than just killing monster after monster. They went to capture a mount, taking him to the Holiday Island, the capital’s festival, and now the holy land for dates. He was really thankful for being able to know QiYao.

Their capsule was still rising. It rose high past the buildings and trees and through the pink bubbles. The source of the bubbles was still a mystery, but its creations filled the entire island, making the place seem like a pink wonderland.

“This island is heart-shaped?” XiaoYu yelped in surprise. The higher they went, the more of the island they could see.

“Yes.” It was a little cringe-worthy, but this place was meant to be where all the stupidly-in-love couples gather. That made it much easier for everyone to accept it.

“This island is so beautiful…hm?” Their capsule was finally at the peak, but it seemed to have stopped.

“XiaoYu, do you know of the legend about Ferris wheels?”

“No.”

“Couples who’ve been on a Ferris wheel together will eventually break up.” QiYao paused and glance at XiaoYu’s shocked face. “But if the couple kiss while they’re at the top of the ride, they will forever be together.”

“Hm?”

“XiaoYu, don’t you think you should do something?” Teasing his lover had always been one of the greatest joys in QiYao’s life. He was rather eager to see just what the other would do.

Be together forever…XiaoYu recalled the promise he made to QiXuan. He wasn’t lying back then. He was sincerely ready to never give up no matter what happened. For him, QiYao’s presence by his side was the greatest motivation to live.

While the Ferris wheel legend is just superstitious nonsense, XiaoYu understood he needed to be the proactive party sometimes in this relationship. He placed his hand on QiYao’s shoulder and slowly leaned in. The easily embarrassed XiaoYu could already feel his whole face flushing red. Even so, he continued to slowly, but steadily, lean in until his lips were against QiYao’s.

This was the first time XiaoYu had kissed QiYao, instead of it being the other way. Even against the lips nervously trembling against his, QiYao was very satisfied. He pulled the other closer in and deepened the kiss. QiYao even thought it’d be nice if XiaoYu’s bashful nature never changed.

After the kiss, XiaoYu’s mind snapped back and realised what he’d just done. He had a strong urge to bury himself but they were at the tallest point of the island. There was nowhere to bury himself unless he wanted to just give up and bury himself in QiYao’s embrace.

“…Hm? Why haven’t we started descending?” XiaoYu didn’t dare to look into the QiYao’s kind and twinkling eyes. He snuck a glance outside only to realise their capsule didn’t seem to be descending anytime soon.

“I’ve asked the NPC to let us stop at the top for a while longer.” There weren’t many players on the island today, so QiYao negotiated for some more time at the peak in exchange for paying a bit more. The manager was more than happy to do so with money in it for him. With a smack to his own chest, he promised he’d stop the ride until QiYao was satisfied.

“Why?”

 “There’s something we’ve yet to do.”

“??” They’d already kissed. Was there more to the legend?

Then, QiYao suddenly stood up. He knelt down on one knee before XiaoYu. As a knight, QiYao looked very graceful and handsome with that move, but it gave XiaoYu a fright.

“Let’s get married, XiaoYu,” QiYao said, pulling out a bouquet of rainbow roses. He had always been lucky. It didn’t take long for him to get the flowers he needed for the quest, but he kept planting because he wanted to have another bouquet to propose to XiaoYu with.

“!!” It’d be a lie to say XiaoYu wasn’t shocked to the core. Never could he have imagined QiYao would be proposing marriage. The other even had flowers ready. His mind went blank. He didn’t know how he should respond.

“…okay?” QiYao was actually a little nervous. After all, it was his first time proposing marriage.

“…mn. >////<” XiaoYu would never have said no. He had just never thought about marriage before. That was why he couldn’t react in time. But since QiYao mentioned it, he wouldn’t mind trying it out. He was looking forward to it too.

Perhaps the legend of the Ferris wheel would be changed now. Dear foolish lovers, if you want to be happy, remember to kiss and propose.

Translator’s Notes:

  1. Isle of Romanz: Jawaii in iRO. Named “Romanz” instead of “Roman” as that’s the old French version.
  2. Vegetable-stealing game: Happy Farm, the Chinese version of Farmville that includes stealing your neighbour’s crops instead of just helping them grow crops.  


Previous IndexNext

GC: Chapter 85

85. You Believe Me Just Like That?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Previous IndexNext

LC: Chapter 86

86. Christmas Eve

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Sure. Where to?” XiaoYu replied.

“It’s a secret.”

“??”

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

“…” That just made XiaoYu even more curious.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Yes,” QiYao said.

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

“Yes.”

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

Without hesitation, QiYao handed the man a pouch.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“A typhoon?” XiaoYu exclaimed.

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

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

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

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

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

Translator’s Notes:

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


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GC: Chapter 84

84. President Mu’s Request for Help

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glamorous.Chrisanthemum: My analysis, OP is top!

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

JingYuan helped YiHan to sit up and held him close.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Translator’s Notes:

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


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