LC: Chapter 60

60. Unexpected Events

As all bosses had a certain type of terrifying aura, there shouldn’t be any monsters that’d dare to appear within a 10-plus metre radius. However, the ghosts of this place were once humans. They possess a certain intelligence. At the sight of such a dense rain of gold pieces in the far-off distance, there was no reason they who’d been peasants, beggars even, weren’t attracted to it. Currently, there was a ghost casually and slowly drifting over from behind XiaoYu. The Heretic Demons crowd actually never noticed it.

When it was within 5 metres of XiaoYu, the long-tongued ghost was forced by the game to switch its attentions from the original target, the gold raining down, to the players. It stretched out its two arms and revealed its 20-plus cm nails and pounced towards XiaoYu.

By the time the other sensed the presence of danger and turned around, the long nails were already within reach. He wanted to run but his low Agility meant his feet couldn’t catch up to his brain. Reflexively, he raised his arms in a block.


“Clink!” The nails didn’t hit XiaoYu, but was instead blocked by something mid-air, emitting a loud piercing shriek.

A figure gradually drifted into sight. It was a katar that blocked the ghost’s attack. While this katar-wielding assassin had a mask over his face, everyone recognised him – LittleZhuGe from Angel Wings.

XiaoYu’s cry just now had already drawn everyone’s gazes to him. Their hearts leapt at the sight of XiaoYu nearly being hit by the claws of a ghost. While they understood the protective buffs he had on should be able to withstand the attack, it was still a sign of their oversight.

Excluding Kathryne who was still suffering from dizziness, the two archers closes to XiaoYu disregarded the gold pieces falling from the sky and swerved their arrows over. Silver-Winged_Angel then let loose a few Penetrating Shots (Single-target skill. Deals 300% damage.)  and killed the mob. On the other hand, Below_The_Moon aimed at LittleZhuGe.

“Hey, hey. No need for that. I did save your lucky cat,” LittleZhuGe said with a smile. The moment he saw Below_The_Moon aiming his bow at him, he swiftly sheathed his katar and raised his hands. Imperceptibly, he took a few subtle steps backwards.

“Are the Wings grinding here too?” Below_The_Moon held his bow taut while his eyes darted around. ZhuGe was here. Perhaps there were a few more Wings’ members around too. Maybe even GloryOfTheWorld. They can’t have the boss stolen from them here.

“That’s right. But don’t worry. We’re not here to steal the boss from you.” Two figures walked out from behind a piece of the ruins. It was GloryOfTheWorld and a female player. Seemed like the three of them were training here.

“Since you’re not here for the boss, why is ZhuGe in stealth?” Poor_Man asked.

The close-ranged combatants were still fighting the boss and can’t extract themselves from the salesman for now. Because Sunshine was past the 10 minutes of double chant time debuff, he was left behind as support while Poor_Man snuck over.

“Hehe. I only planned on witnessing the Heretic Demons’ execution of a boos up close. But then I saw LuckyCat was in danger. As a friend, I can’t not help, right?” ZhuGe was smiling as brightly as ever.

“Alright. You guys keep going. We won’t do anything. We’ll just help you protect LuckyCat too.” This time, it was Glory who spoke. “But if the Heretic Demons die here, we’ll be taking over this boss.”

“Heh. No need for you to worry over that. Such a small boss is no threat,” Poor_Man said. Implicitly, he said, you three are the danger here.

“Believe it or not, it’s up to you. However, I think XiaoYu here won’t refuse his friends, right?” Glory replied.

“Um…no. Erm…thank you for just now.” XiaoYu was somewhat startled by the sudden mention of him. Anyways, his upbringing meant he must at least thank his saviours first.

No one noticed the light tremor in HereticKing’s sword when GloryOfTheWorld called XiaoYu by name. His hands clenched harder on it and he kept hacking away at this big, fat pig in front of his eyes. For some strange reason, he was rather angry right now. No, he was very angry. He wanted to get rid of this annoying fellow as fast as possible.

“See. XiaoYu didn’t say no. We’ll make ourselves at home,” said Glory as he called for the healer and ZhuGe to join him on the pile of rocks nearby. His face spoke clearly. He’s only here to watch the show.

“Since Mr Glory wants to observe, naturally, we won’t hide anything. Please do respect what you just said,” Poor_Man said. Ever since he spotted someone from Wings around, the experienced Poor_Man intentionally started recording. Either way things went, he should have recorded Glory’s promise to not interfere.

“Relax. I keep to my word,” Glory said.

“Exterminate this boss with the fastest possible speed!” HereticKing commanded over the Party chat.

The gold rain was already much weaker. Having received the order, the party stopped holding back to conserve their mana. They all unleashed their strongest attacks on the boss. In an instant, all sorts of kill effects appeared around the boss along with the glow that appeared every time MP was used. The air was filled with shimmering, blinding rainbow glares.

“XiaoYu, won’t you come sit with us? It looks like they’ll take a while still,” Glory called out to XiaoYu.

“No, it’s fine,” XiaoYu replied with a wave of his hand. He was still aware he’s part of the Heretic Demons.

“Ah, you’re always rejecting me. This is the fourth time.”

“Um…Sorry about that.” XiaoYu realised he’s always found it hard to think up a response to Glory’s words.

“LuckyCat, you don’t mind me calling you XiaoYu too, right?”

“No…” That’s not really something he could refuse.

“Your kitten’s so powerful. It actually picked up all those gold pieces before the game could sweep them away,” Glory said as he pointed to the tiny cat which was still pouncing at the ground full of gold. Quite a few teams had gone against this boss already and all of them were busy fighting the boss. No one had the time to pick up the coins falling from the sky. Finally, when they got rid of the boss, those gold were all swept away. It really made one’s heart throb at the wastage.

“Mn.” For some reason, XiaoYu was always very restrained when in front of his two “friends” from Angel Wings. While he didn’t talk much either with the Heretic Demons, the two don’t feel the same. As for what, he couldn’t name it too.

XiaoYu turned back to look at his teammates whaling on the boss. He really didn’t know how he should talk to Glory and ZhuGe or about what.

Once past this one wave of gold rain lasting over ten minutes, it was only a matter of time as long as the boss didn’t go berserk. The salesman had paid a huge price in health just to throw out so many gold pieces. He couldn’t bear using this skill to throw that many out again.

“Alright. Boss is done. Show’s over. Time to leave.” Below_The_Moon didn’t want to start an upfront conflict with the Wings, but the acknowledged, unspoken rule of boss-hunting was everyone not related to the hunt to stay far, far away. Otherwise, they deserved it if they were killed on suspicion of boss-stealing. However, the Wings used the excuse of being XiaoYu’s friends, so the Heretic Demons can’t do anything really. There’s some frustration being built up from that.

“Yes, yes. It was a truly spectacular performance. XiaoYu, your guild friends don’t welcome us. We can only chat another day.” With a wave, the three Wings members walked off.

“I think the time’s almost up. Let’s all head back to the city. Sunshine, does your team still want to keep grinding?” Poor_Man looked at the time. There were only a couple of minutes left. They wouldn’t be able to get more than a few monsters. Why not just pack it up now?

“No. We’re dead tired. We’ll head back too,” Sunshine replied.

It was just a portal trip back to the capital before HereticKing pulled XiaoYu away to walk down a desolated alley. At first, everyone was stunned.

Poor_Man immediately reacted and told everyone, “Let’s go rest first. I’ll mail everyone’s portion of the loot later.”

“Okay. I’ll be going off.”

“I’m heading off too.”


No matter what, loot was something that can’t be waived away. The others didn’t worry at all and logged off to stretch.

“Why do I feel like Chief’s angry?” Below_The_Moon asked Poor_Man.

“Mn. I think so too. I pray that Xiao-Yu’s not going to be torn limb from limb. That’s all. Amen.” Poor_Man can’t just interfere in the Chief’s matters as he pleased. All he could do was cross himself and pray for the distant XiaoYu.

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LC: Chapter 59

59. Attack of the Gold Coins

The knights were buffed with Obsecro. The party slowly moved forward to where Below_The_Moon found the boss.

Because of the minor boss’s frightful presence, the party didn’t encounter any normal mobs near it at all. As they walked closer, the giant half-translucent ghost with a bulging belly drifted into their sight. A group of souls dressed as servants trailed behind him.

Around 100 metres away from it, Sunshine and XiaoYu halted. The two knights split up and flanked the rich salesman. Eremes went into stealth mode. The ranged DPS slowed down and waited until the closed-ranged players had secured the boss.

The rich salesman sensed the presence of living humans and thought they were there to steal his treasures. With a loud roar, he ordered his servants to prepare to attack. When he smelled players coming from several directions, he hesitated. Which should he attack?

When he sensed more and more strangers appearing, the boss began to panic. He randomly picked a player, the one on his right, and began attacking. When Poor_Man saw the salesman being attracted to Terminator, he changed his focus and was ready to support Terminator. Meanwhile, the three ranged DPS were ready to unleash their attacks.

The rich salesman was a huge ghost, so his fist was as big as a man’s head. With a shout, he threw a punch at Terminator. It just so happened that HereticKing handed his boss-specific shield to Terminator. Thus, all that can be heard was a thunk. The fist bashed on the shield, but the huge impact still made Terminator take two steps back to steady himself.

HereticKing and Eremes took advantage of this opportunity to attack both the salesman and his retinue with their AoE skills. The majority of the minions aggroed on the two. With the battlefield stabilising into formation, the ranged DPS rained their attacks down on the monsters. The archers used Arrow Rain to clear off the minions while Kathryne chanted one of the largest spells of fire magic – Meteor.

XiaoYu and Sunshine stood in an open area roughly 20 metres away to avoid the salesman’s AoE ability. Sunshine carefully scanned their surroundings. There were no other monsters in sight. This house was essentially a wasted ruin too. There was no place for a monster to hide. Overall, it’s quite a safe spot. Sunshine ordered XiaoYu to not wander around, they’ll try their best not to let the boss come near him, before heading off to join Poor_Man in healing and buffing the other party members.

The two healers split the work between them swiftly without any need to communicate. None of the buffs or heals overrode each other and every party member was covered. It was clear the two had worked together plenty before. Hence, the scene of Poor_Man trying his best and more to support their party turned on its head. The Heretic Demons team began to systematically vanquish the ghosts around them.

“Meteor!” At Kathryne’s cry, all close-combat players rushed backwards. Are you trying to pull their legs? Anyone hit by Meteor would be affected by dizziness.

A vast, 7-by-7 magic array materialised on the ground with the boss as its centre. Somewhere up in the air, large flaming balls roughly 3 metres in diameter began forming. Soon, the formed balls of flame came bashing down to the ground. In the blink of an eye, the magic array was filled with endless fires and cries of pain.

The fireballs hurled down by Meteor were randomly aimed. So, pit after pit was dug into the earth being set aflame. The ground was also charred black through and through. Tiny stars began spinning around some of the ghosts’ heads. That was the visual effect for dizziness caused by Meteor. More accurately, that’s due to being bashed into a whirl. Unfortunately, the boss was resistant to dizziness. He merely suffered damage from being burned.

Once Meteor was done, the minions were mostly gone. The close-ranged DPS resumed their tango with the rich salesman. One by one, the archers killed off the remaining minions. Except for the last one.

When the rich salesman realised most of his men were dead, he was so angry he stomped his feet, stretched his fists out and roared up into the sky.

“It’s his gold coin attack. Be careful of the dizzy effects.”

Just like Meteor from before, the 20-by-20 space, with the boss at the centre, was filled with numerous tiny, shiny and heavy gold pieces. The closer to the salesman, the larger the gold pieces and the more packed together they were.

At the sight, XiaoYu couldn’t resist from sighing at how extravagant this boss was. Just how much money would he lose through a single attack?

“Meow!” They’re doomed. The tiny cat’s eyes were almost bulging out of their sockets with how wide they were. If it wasn’t for the fact it didn’t have wings, it’d be pouncing on them right now.

Wave after wave of gold coins came raining down. Even the most agile players would have a rough time dodging the boss’s attacks and the gold rain. Therefore, the most pitiful and miserable of the party was Terminator whose stats mainly went into Constitution instead of Agility. Nearly all gold pieces aimed near him would smack him head-on.

It was only due to the two healers’ AoE heals acting as the baseline that allowed them to catch up to the speed health was being lost with their single-target heals. The healers were in range of the golden rain too, so they also had to heal themselves up before they died. This meant there were times when no one was being healed. Thankfully, Terminator had a lot of health and XiaoYu’s skill allowed his tankiness to rise to a much higher level. So his health could be maintained at around a third instead of risking depletion.

“So dizzy…” The lower their Constitution, the more susceptible one was to the rain’s dizzy effect. While Kathryne was standing near the edge and the number of times she was hit by a gold piece was less than any other close-combat DPS, she would gain a dizzy debuff every time she was struck. That was enough to make her exhausted of it all.

XiaoYu was standing not far behind Kathryne, so he could heal Kathryne’s constantly decreasing health. At the same time, he would use Dispel (dispels the majority of debuffs but has a far lower chance than curing poison) in an attempt to ease her suffering.

If one had to name just who was the happiest about the situation, one must mention the tiny cat. . The gold pieces clinking on the floor wouldn’t be immediately cleared away by the game. The small cat had pounced on one. Upon realising it could store the gold piece in its Inventory, its happiness level shot through the roof. Left! Right! Here! There! It wanted them all!

Especially since the coins in the air can’t hit it no matter how hard they tried. If anyone had a moment to spare and glanced over, they’d probably die of frustration.

While the kitten was very fast, it still wasn’t fast enough to sweep a whole floor of shimmering gold. Moreover, while everyone was fumbling in panic, no one noticed danger was slowly creeping close to XiaoYu.

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LC: Chapter 58

58. Luck at Full Force

Unfortunately, the higher the hope, the bigger the disappointment. Nothing valuable was found in the second hour except for a thing they could’ve bought in a store. After repeatedly hacking and slashing for so long, they were getting tired. At the 1-hour-and-50-minute mark, the party decided to rest for 10 minutes in a sparse corner.

“There’s 3 more hours left. Looks like I can level up once today,” Sunshine_Illumination said as he admired how much experience he’d gained.

“How many levels have you gained, Xiao-Yu?”


“Not bad. Let’s try and get you past Level 60 today.”

“Mn.” Ever since XiaoYu passed his Second Job Change, it’s been a long time since he’d seen his experience bar fly so fast. That’s because the game’s stingy. The journey between the Second and Third Job Changes was a long and painful process. An accidental death meant a level lost. That would be so excruciating.

“Hopefully we can drop a dagger later. My dagger was destroyed in an attempt to get to +10 a few days ago. This one’s attack isn’t that good,” Eremes commented as he swayed the tiny dagger in his left hand. Compared to the knife in his right, there was a very noticeable difference.

“We already have 2 different types of weapons. Don’t get too greedy.” Kathryne knocked Eremes on the head with her staff. It looked so affectionate. That’s because they’re a couple in real life and they’re married in-game. Upon closer inspection, one could spot the same diamond ring on both their left ring fingers.

“Yes, oh great wife.”

To avoid wasting the XP Penalty Waiver, they only rested for 10 brief minutes. The following 3 hours were to be filled with just grinding. As the party got up, patted the dust from their clothes and the healers buffed everyone up, an idea popped into XiaoYu’s mind. After some consideration, he dug into his bag and took out a bottle of rainbow potion. With a slight frown, he tilted his head back and chugged it down.

“Argh. Ack. Hack. Ack…” Just as the item description said. It wasn’t merely bitter. It was extra, extra bitter. XiaoYu accidentally choked on it and coughed so badly his vision started going faint.

HereticKing patted XiaoYu on the back in hopes the other could feel better. He pondered. Then, he took out a bottle of milk from his inventory and handed it to XiaoYu who drank it up.


“Ahem…Yes. Thanks.” The mild sweetness from the milk washed away the bitter taste in his mouth. XiaoYu finally caught his breath. It’d be a huge joke if he died choking on a potion.

The other players stared at them in confusion. They were also surprised their Chief’s inventory actually had a low-grade drink like milk. Truthfully, HereticKing prepared it for the tiny cat. It somehow ended up in the big cat’s stomach, but that doesn’t matter. He had more.

“Lil Lucky, if I’m not wrong, that’s the Lucky Potion.” Below_The_Moon’s eyes were very sharp. That potion’s colours looked strangled like the Lucky Potion XiaoYu received from his chest during the loot-splitting meeting last time. If his memory served him right, it increased treasure drop rates by 5%.

“Mn. It was going to last 3 hours too.” XiaoYu never had the chance to use it before.

“What’s a Lucky Potion?” Naturally, the other party members who weren’t there didn’t know of the new and fascinating items found in the loot-splitting meeting.

“It’s from a System Reward Chest. It’ll increase the chances of treasures dropping by 5%. The problem is it’s very, very bitter,” Below_The_Moon explained.

“Huh. It’s that good? I wonder if the 5% is directly applied to the original drop rate or if it’s 5% of the drop rate.” (E.g. If an item’s drop rate is 30%, adding 5% directly meant 35% after consuming the Lucky Potion. If it’s 5% of the 30%, it’ll be a total of 31.5% [30% + 1.5%].)

“We’ll know once we test it out. Is this your first time drinking it, Xiao-Yu?” Poor_Man asked.

“Yes. I didn’t think it’d be so bitter,” replied XiaoYu, spitting his tongue out as he did so. It was so bad that tears started swelling in his eyes.

“There, there. I’ll buy you some lollipops once we get back. Alright. Everyone, let’s work hard in the next 3 hours. Don’t waste that 5%,” Poor_Man said as he comforted the frowning XiaoYu.

“Roger!” Once everyone knew of the potion’s effects, their deflating spirits rose up once more. It’s like they could see a huge number of equipment, and even cards, beckoning them. They were also much more respectful of XiaoYu and the tiny lucky cat now. This might be the true fortune deity.

Actually, the drop rate of good items had always been low. Even if the 5% was added directly to the drop rate, there wouldn’t be any obvious effects. However, from the significant increase in trash equipment being dropped, the crowd’s morale remained high. The party chat would occasionally be filled with chatter, but it would also be dead silent. Then, all that can be heard would be the sounds of swords slashing, spells casting and arrows swooshing past.

The party grinded hard for 2 hours. They found a silk magic robe and a triangle headband. The sight of an ultra-rare headdress dropping made the party strive even harder.

“Card!” All heads turned to where the gasp came from. What a pity they’d forgotten that they’d be lucky enough if the person who killed the mob could even spot what it’d dropped. The most anyone else who turned their heads at the sound could see was a flash of black. Any slower and they wouldn’t even see a ball of black shadow.

“Tsk, tsk. The kitten’s getting faster and faster. I suspect it’s got outside – ah, no. I mean inside – help.” All 3 major jobs that mainly dealt in Agility were all gathered in this party. Yet, the sight of this precious cat still made them sigh in how lacking they were.

“Can you see what card it is, Xiao-Yu?”

“Human-type White Ghost Card. +10 complete evasion against attacks by Human-types, but +50% damage received by Undead attacks. Shoulder slot,” XiaoYu read out.

“That’s good for the fortresses.” High agility builds had higher evasion but that’s only against attacks from the front. They’d still be grazed for up to 10-plus HP by the leftover attack shockwaves. Complete evasion meant they wouldn’t be hurt at all. 10 points of complete evasion was equal to 20 to 30 Agility points. That card’s really worth it.

“Ooh. There’s still an hour left. Charge! Have them hand up all their supplies!” Eremes cried.

“Hey, don’t you think there are fewer mobs now?” Compared to the ecstatic Eremes, Kathryne who’s a glass-cannon wizard was much more sensitive to the surrounding mob situation.

“No way. Are we going to hit the jackpot? Below_The_Moon!” As the party leader, Sunshine could not let anything happen to their party. Especially since they had a boss and a tiny luck deity here.

Below_The_Moon scaled to the top of an abandoned house and looked around. “Behind the broken-down house bout 200 metres to 10 o’clock, there’s a boss. From its outfit, it’s a rich salesman,” he said.

“Shall we go for it, Chief?” Everyone stared at their Chief with starry eyes the moment they heard it was a minor boss they could defeat. It was the juicy, rich flesh they’d been discussing a few hours ago too.

“Does anyone roughly understand this monster’s skills?” The unspoken rule of Heretic Demons was: how could they not make out like a bandit when they encounter a boss? However, they had XiaoYu in their party. HereticKing hoped to be informed of this monster’s skillset in detail so XiaoYu wouldn’t be caught in the crossfire.

“According to the forums, it only has a 20 by 20 AoE attack via gold coins. That is, it’ll rain coins down at you.”

“Mn. Sunshine, you’re in charge of XiaoYu’s safety. Everyone else, go according to our usual formation against bosses,” HereticKing ordered.

“Huh? Why aren’t I protecting Xiao-Yu?” Poor_Man found it strange. Sunshine thought it was strange too. After all, he had never worked with XiaoYu before.

“Because Sunshine is going to use Sacrificial Chant on XiaoYu. His casting time will be doubled. You’ll be the main healer,” HereticKing explained.

“I see. Xiao-Yu, did you bring the Bibles?” Poor_Man asked.

“I did,” replied XiaoYu.

“Then, please start from the two tanking knights,” Poor_Man said.


They didn’t intend for XiaoYu to waste the Bibles on this grind session, but they didn’t think they’d accidentally bump into a minor boss. With Sunshine’s speedy casting out of the equation, it was safer if the tanks didn’t falter at all.

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LC: Chapter 57

57. Grinding at the Derelict Ruins

Perhaps XiaoYu was frightened into a daze by HereticKing’s last sentence. All the way until they met up with the rest of the team, XiaoYu remained in a dazed out, lost-spirit state.

“Chief…what did you do to Xiao-Yu?” I_Am_A_Poor_Man asked.

“Nothing much…” Just a tiny scare. HereticKing must say, his brother’s strange way of scaring people is quite effective. It’d be hard to forget it. “XiaoYu, come back to us.”

“Ugh…hm?” XiaoYu didn’t know how to react to the sudden party of people before his eyes.

“Party up. Then, you can all introduce yourselves,” I_Am_A_Poor_Man said as he patted another healer.

“Sunshine_Illumination.” He started the party this time. A male healer.

“Silver-Winged_Angel.” Female archer.

“Eremes.” Dual-wielding assassin.

“Kathryne.” Fire wizard.

“Terminator.” Tank knight.

“Hi. I’m LuckyCat.” – “Meow~” – “Ah, this is my pet, TinyLuckyCat.”

“Hehe. We met before. Thanks for your buffs last Guild Wars.”

“Ah, no problem.” XiaoYu really didn’t recognise them. His attention was all on his chanting back then.

“Take this, Xiao-Yu. Use it once we’re through the gates,” said I_Am_A_Poor_Man as he handed the XP Penalty Waiver to XiaoYu.

They were now right outside the huge ruins. Marked with cracks and black scorch marks, its walls stretched on infinitely. If one listened carefully, they could faintly hear the sobs and cries of the dead souls coming from within. The world within this ruined city must be very interesting.

The two high-levelled healers refreshed the buffs on the party and the mighty nine-player party was ready to set out.

The giant city gates were slowly pushed open. A slight waft of rotting flesh scent drifted out. XiaoYu shredded the XP Penalty Wait and a buff with a five-hour timer started.

There were all kinds of spirits in the city. Some looked straight-up gruesome. Some had their heads covered up with only the three holes on their faces exposed. Some had a triangular headband on with their long tongues hanging out…Most of them shared a very special characteristic – they hovered over the ground. Thus, they were either higher than the players by half. But these monsters would lean down to bite and attack once they notice a player or get attacked. Therefore, there was no worry that players can’t hit them.

The city was very big, so big that one would barely ever see any other players in there. The nine fell into a circle formation with XiaoYu enclosed within. Slowly, they advanced.

All the bored XiaoYu had to do was pay attention to everyone’s health. If anyone’s health started dropping, he’ll just fill it back up. Poor_Man told him not to use his heals to attack those ghosts. While it won’t do much damage, magic attacks attracted more aggro than physical attacks. If he accidentally died, the Waiver would be wasted.

But compared to the professional healers, XiaoYu was always a beat slower to heal his party members. Thus, his skill would only reach the injured once Sunshine or Poor_Man had healed the other back up to full. He’d then waste his MP and his skill’s Proficiency won’t increase. (Proficiency would only increase if a skill succeeded. Using a heal on a full-health player wouldn’t increase anything.)

However, XiaoYu soon realised his skill was slowly gaining more Proficiency. Sunshine and Poor_Man had noticed XiaoYu’s fruitless attempts. After sneaking a few laughs, they decided to not fight with him over it. They instead used their heals to bash up the souls attracted by the scent of living human beings. Once XiaoYu was overwhelmed by the amount of heals needed, then they’ll help.

The party was silent the whole way through. Everyone was busy slash and bashing at the souls around them with all their skills. Still, it’d be boring if that was what happened the entire time. Thus, twenty minutes later when they got used to the formation and battle speed, they began chatting while they grinded.

“Has anyone seen the boss of this place before?” Terminator asked as he was munched on by three dead spirits.

“I’ve seen a minor boss before. It’s the soul of a rich businessman.” Those were the monsters created from the souls of a few businessmen who died during the peak of the city’s glory. Their fixed focus on wealth led them to bring along a large number of their men to continue guarding their treasures. Therefore, if a player could defeat them, the amount of gold dropped would definitely be higher than any other boss monsters of the same level.

“I saw a minor boss who was a military squad leader when he was alive.”

“There are so many types of boss monsters here?”

“I hear the final boss of the city is the soul of the city lord. That’s a Level 130 maniac. We definitely can’t touch him.”

“Usually, the more one wished to not meet something, the more likely they will.”

“Phooey! Don’t jinx it.”

“I’m hoping we find a rich businessman. They’re so juicy. Yesterday, I read a post that said a party found 100 crystals from it.”

“Come throw your money down at me. I’ve been panicking over how poor I’ve gotten enhancing a sword lately.”

As XiaoYu watched everyone talk and laugh, while not slowing down their attacks at all, XiaoYu couldn’t help but admire how well they could all multitask. He couldn’t join in their conversation, so he merely listened and absorbed the knowledge sprinkled within.

“Yes! We found a knight’s longsword,” Terminator gasped as he finished off a ghost wearing the military outfit. With a bam, a longsword fell on the ground. Before anyone had time to look at it, the sword had already been absorbed into a ball of black shadow.

“I…I was going to ask. What mystical beast is that?” Terminator was about to point at the tiny cat, but it had already leapt to another spot to collect more treasures.

“This is the great lucky cat. Remember to pray,” Poor_Man explained.

“Lucky cats aren’t…that breed…” Terminator who was busy stabbing at another soul couldn’t think up of an appropriate description for the traditional lucky cat just then.

“Stop thinking, tankie. The lucky cats in this game are all like that,” Below_The_Moon added. He couldn’t believe it back then either. (Terminator = Tank knight = Tankie)

“That’s so unbelievable. Isn’t it afraid of Kathryne’s flames?” Terminator spared a glance at the small cat. It actually ran over to Kathryne’s side of the formation to pick up the dropped loot. Surrounding here were a myriad of blazing embers. A single misstep and its fur would be burned to ashes.

“It’s even more agile that I am,” HereticKing solemnly commented.

The whole party went silent.

Alien – is what everyone concluded of the small cat.

“Ah. A silver crossbow again.” A shimmering bow fell from the clothes of a covered-up soul Silver-Winged_Angel shot down. It ended up getting swallowed by the kitten too.

“We’re astonishingly lucky today,” Eremes sighed. Generally, two pieces of equipment would be considered as a good harvest for an afternoon’s worth of grinding. Today, they’d gotten two in a row after only an hour. From the glow he glimpsed, the bow had special stats too. It’s not some common store-bought item. But just how bad were its stats, he wondered.

“Hmph. You now know how lucky you are I called for you. Xiao-Yu, that’s LuckyCat, he’s very good with RNG when in a party. That Ant Queen card was found with him.” Poor_Man had his nose high up in the air. When he contacted these brats, they complained so much. It’s not that they don’t want to help a newbie, but they were each very strong attackers. They didn’t need to be protected and didn’t know how to protect anyone else. They were deeply afraid they’d accidentally let LuckyCat die. Once dead, all effects would be cleared away. The XP Penalty Waiver would be wasted. They’d be dumped into the PvP Arena to be tortured to hell and back by their higher-ups.

“Yes, yes. All hail the great Poor_Man. Please do call on us mere peasants the next time any good gigs pop up.” While they only half believed him, they were pretty lucky with their loot today. Hopefully it can continue on.

Translator’s Notes:

  1. Silver-Winged_Angel: MTL might have issues translating this name as it used the “no” (の) hiragana. Possibly a reference to One-Winged Angel from Final Fantasy 7.
  2. Eremes: Reference to Eremes Guile from the original game. A boss/MVP demon mob found in The Endless Tower and the Bio/Regenschirm Laboratory. As expected, this lab experimented on humans. Its name is German for “umbrella” aka a reference to Resident Evil.
  3. Kathryne: Kathryne Keyron from the original game, also known as Katrinn. Same as Eremes, she’s a woman of “unparalleled magical prowess” which led her to be targeted for experiments.
  4. Terminator: Some may remember him as the poor guy being charged extra in guild chat due to being the same class as XiaoYu’s bully.

That’s the last of the Advent Calendar. Hope you enjoyed it. Updates will be going back to usual, aka weekly.

P.S. Some have been asking for my schedule. It’s roughly Wednesdays for GC and Fridays for LC (Australia time as it’s where I’m living in until next February). I’ve been shying away from setting actual times because of my inability to be punctual with the updates. Hopefully that’ll change once I finish the move back to Malaysia in March. Until then, keep guessing. ( ‵▽′)ψ

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LC: Chapter 56

56. Interlude: The Hei Family Rule

It was back when Hei QiYao was five.

The character used for his generation was Qi. There were two sons – the younger son, Hei QiYao, and the elder son, Hei QiXuan. QiXuan was fifteen years old.

Their parents would travel the world the whole year round. At first, they’d drag Hei QiYao, this third-wheeler, with them. Finally, they saw the light. They left QiYao in his brother’s care and drifted off into their own little romantic world.

The first day he transferred to his new kindergarten, tiny Hei QiYao caused an uproar. That’s not surprising. While he was still a teeny toddler who’d yet grown into a handsome man, his excellent genes showed themselves. A beautiful kid would have a great life no matter where they went.

All the boys and girls buzzed around him. QiYao got rather annoyed by them, but he did his best to hold his temper in as it was only the first day.

“Hey, pretty girl, be my girlfriend,” said a brash and arrogant voice.

“…” QiYao decided to ignore it. He walked around the great lump and his two little followers standing in front of him.

“Feisty. I like it. Be my girlfriend. I’ll protect you.” The lump grabbed QiYao’s hand. He wasn’t going to let the pretty girl run off that easily.

“…Let go!” Not only was he being pulled around by a pig, he’s also being mistaken for a girl. QiYao’s patience was near bottom.

“Hey, how dare you yell at our bro. Don’t…refuse the…the…cawwot for the pick.” The child still didn’t know what the idiom really was. ╮(╯▽╰)╭

“…” Hei QiYao threw a scornful side-eye glance at the kid. He harshly tugged his hand back from the grip, turned away and left.

Xiao Zheng didn’t think this tiny and thin “pretty girl” would be so strong. He stared down at his hand. Not willing to give up, he ran after QiYao once more. He was this kindergarten’s most handsome boy. Every kid in the area knew that. If others knew he got rejected, that’d be so humiliating.

“Hey, be my girlfriend.” Xiao Zheng ran ahead and struck a pose he thought was a good one right in front of QiYao.

“…How boring.”

“Hmph. One kiss and you’ll be my girlfriend.”

QiYao looked at the pouting mouth heading for his face. Finally, he snapped. He punched the other at his jaw.

“You hit me!” While Xiao Zheng was part of the older class and was more mature in all departments (so he thought), he wasn’t so mature as to not hit back when punched. His blood rushed up and he immediately charged in. Soon, the both of them were in a cloud of fists.

QiYao might be smaller than the other, but rich kids were all trained in all matters of self-defence since they could start walking. QiYao knew how to fight. On the other hand, the larger Xiao Zheng didn’t have much of an advantage. He was soon in tears.

“Y-You actually hit Zheng!” The two followers finally reacted. They rushed over to join the fight and the four of them tumbled into a lively, wrestling mess.

By the time the teachers split the kids apart, rainbows decorated every face. Not even Hei QiYao was left out. There was no helping it. With his physique, there’s no way he’d be uninjured when fighting three alone unless he had outside help. Compared to the three bawling boys, QiYao merely patted the dust off his clothes and left after throwing out, “I’m a boy!”

When QiYao got home that night, QiXuan was sitting on the couch with his legs crossed, watching television.

“You’re back,” QiXuan said as QiYao stepped into sight.

“Mn. Brother.” QiYao gave out a simple greeting. He just wanted to get back to his room now and change out of his dirty clothes.

“Hm? Wait. Xiao-Yao, come back.” QiXuan instantly noticed his brother’s weird look. He curled a finger in a beckoning gesture at QiYao.

QiYao hesitated. Still, he obediently walked over. QiXuan lifted his younger brother onto his lap and examined him from top to bottom: messy hair, bruise on face, new clothes that’d turned into a crumpled mess with a hole in it now. It was clear the boy had been in a fight.

“Heh. You were in a fight. And you lost?” teased QiXuan.

“…No. I just tripped.” QiYao twisted his head away. The tiny seed known as a man’s dignity, or rather rebellious spirit, popped up. Unwittingly, QiYao lied.

QiXuan squinted his eyes at the boy. With two fingers, he turned that stubborn face to look at him again.

The next moment, QiYao’s eyes went as wide as saucers and his mind blanked out. QiXuan was…kissing him.

That’s right. A mouth-to-mouth kiss. Bleurgh. There’s even tongue. The weird sensation freaked QiYao right down to his core. His mind snapped back to reality and he begun struggling with all his might. Unfortunately, the size difference was way too big. QiYao couldn’t move at all. He was at the mercy of the man.

“Are you a pervert?” QiYao shouted when his brother had enough of the kissing and released his lips. He forcefully scrubbed his mouth with the back of his hand. It was the first time he’d yelled at the brother he’d so revered.

“You hate it, don’t you?”

“Of course!”

“I too hate it when others lie to me, QiYao. Especially you, my younger brother.” QiXuan stopped his mocking and teasing manner. He looked at the boy in the eye and solemnly spoke.

“…I-I’m sorry.” The tiny Hei QiYao was a teensy bit scared of his big brother who suddenly got serious.

“Listen up. If you ever dare lie, you’d best be prepared for punishment.”

“Yes.” Lying meant punishment. This rule was set in stone within QiYao’s mind. The tiny seed of useless dignity scattered like a cloud of dust before the strange punishment of the Hei family’s eldest son.

“Now, go change.”

“Yes.” QiYao climbed off his brother’s lap and dutifully walked back to his room.

“Right, Xiao-Yao,” QiXuan called out just before QiYao walked into his room.

“What is it, Brother?”

“For the next punishment, which do you prefer? Kiss you until you faint or strip you down and spank you?” With a hand behind his head, QiXuan went back to how he was before – someone who desperately needed a beating.

“None. Of. It!” QiYao burst into a rage once more. He stomped his way into his room and slammed the door behind him.

“Hehehe…” The living room was filled with QiXuan’s laughter. “Xiao-Yao’s first kiss. I can even boast about it to his future girlfriends now…”

Translator’s Notes:

1. Carrot and pick: Translation of the typical “to refuse a toast only to be forced to drink a forfeit” to the “carrot and stick” saying. Because the kid fumbled and used similar sounding words instead, it got replaced with “cawwot and pick”.

2. Xiao Zheng: No, not the character used for little. It’s a surname + first name.

3. Legs crossed: In Chinese, it’s called “二郎脚”. Named after Erlang Shen. According to legends/old poets/records, the original statue of the deity had him sitting down with his legs crossed. Years later, they renovated the shrine/temple and changed him into a standing pose. Actual recordings of whether this was true and how it looked was lost to the ages. So no one really knows that the original “Erlang feet” meant. Nowadays, it generally does mean crossed legs but it differs depending on context and reader/writer background. There’s the general crossed at knees with legs hanging down, a weird type that hooks the ankle behind the knee and the ankle-on-knee type. Either way, it means the person’s relaxed, but whether it’s in a negative light (e.g. lazy bum) or not is highly dependant on context and gender. Women are never said to be sitting with “二郎脚” negatively.

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LC: Chapter 55

55. Punishment for Lying

“I think I said too much…” HaoRan felt rather guilty as he stared at XiaoYu’s fading shadow. He was only ecstatic over meeting an old classmate in the game, so he wanted to keep chatting. He didn’t think he’d stumble and cause a mess.

“It’s fine,” I_Am_A_Poor_Man comforted, patting the other on the shoulder.

“But Xiao-Bai seems…angry.”

“Really?” Poor_Man thought back at their interactions with XiaoYu in the past. The younger man certainly didn’t show any signs of his temper before. Except for certain issues which he was quite stubborn about, XiaoYu had always accepted everyone’s suggestions, reminders and even teasing with a gentle demeanour.

“In my memory, Xiao-Bai has always been sitting quietly to a side.” Hong HaoRan summarised how the nicknames came about. “While some of the bored kids in the class would seize the chance to insult Xiao-Bai by calling him Little Moron (Xiao-BaiChi) or Boy Toy (Xiao-BaiLian). He would just politely smile at them. He’d never acknowledge it or argue. But just now…” It was his first time witnessing XiaoYu turn and leave. Was that a sign he was angry?

“Perhaps Xiao-Yu isn’t angry. Don’t think too much about it.”

“None of you know about his family issues?” HereticKing was surprised no one in such a large class knew of XiaoYu’s situation. They’d even spread false rumours during a class fathering. Anyone who’d spent an ounce of time with XiaoYu would know he’s not that kind of person who only focuses on power and benefits.

“XiaoYu doesn’t talk much to us. None of us are good friends of his, so we don’t really know what happened to him after graduation.” HaoRan scratched his head in shame. Even the fact XiaoYu got into University C was something he only knew through the school’s congratulatory notice.

HereticKing stared at the direction XiaoYu disappeared to in thought. He sort of understood why he could always spot the type of lonely gaze within XiaoYu’s eyes. The kind that spoke of attempts to hide it but could never succeed all the time.

Once DrunkBed dejectedly walked away, HereticKing messaged XiaoYu, “Come to the Portal at the East Gate.”

XiaoYu didn’t reply at once. He was afraid he’d be asked about his real life. He wasn’t ready to say it out yet. He didn’t even feel like telling anyone about it for the time being.

“XiaoYu, we’re leaving. You’re the only one left. Hurry back now,” HereticKing’s voice rang out again just as XiaoYu was hesitating. While the other’s voice was as steady as ever with no way of telling what the other was thinking, XiaoYu felt a sense of pressure coming from those words. There was no way XiaoYu could try pretending to be an ostrich now. Furthermore, XiaoYu was someone who kept his word. They all agreed to go to the Derelict Ruins. Sure, the current situation was a little awkward, but he can’t recklessly stand the rest up.

“I’ll be there soon.” XiaoYu decided to put aside his conflicted feelings for now. Perhaps everyone would be too busy grinding later to ask about his family.

XiaoYu swiftly traced back his steps only to see HereticKing alone. The other man was leaning against a lamp post with his arms crossed in front of him. While his face was expressionless, the overwhelming presence still attracted many a stray eye.

XiaoYu felt it strange that Poor_Man and Below_The_Moon weren’t anywhere to be seen at all. By the time he’d walked closer, the wax statue HereticKing sprang to life. He grasped XiaoYu by the arm and dragged him to the centre of the nearby Portal.

“Select Nebula,” HereticKing commanded.

Nebula was a tiny suburb within Prole. Thus, when XiaoYu and HereticKing stepped out of the portal, the street was so not a match for the bustling streets in the heart of the capital. The autumn breeze showered the ground with leaves. There was only one word that could aptly describe the scene – desolate.

HereticKing led XiaoYu into an empty alley. Then, HereticKing abruptly stopped before XiaoYu and turned to stare right into XiaoYu.

XiaoYu was already half a head shorter than the other man. Under direct eye contact, XiaoYu felt as if he’d shrunk even further. His instincts told him the other wanted to say something to him, but he was also afraid he’d be asked a question he didn’t want to answer. So he tried to shrink smaller and smaller.

HereticKing reached out and held XiaoYu’s cheeks.

In the blink of an eye, he pulled them apart. XiaoYu’s cute kitten face was instantly turned into flatbread.

“…Ouch.” XiaoYu didn’t know what’d happened at first as he never could’ve imagined HereticKing would pull such a childish prank.

“Does it hurt?”


“This is your punishment for lying.” HereticKing let go. One look at XiaoYu’s red cheeks and anyone would know HereticKing didn’t hold back at all.

“I’m sorry.” XiaoYu knew too he’d told a shoddy lie. It was so obvious that anyone with sense would instantly know it was fake. Since they agreed to meet up beforehand, he must’ve already finished organising his bag. Otherwise, all these weeks XiaoYu had been living with the guild would’ve been a waste.

“In the future, if you don’t want to tell anyone, just say no.”


“You can even just stay silent. No one would force you to speak, but I don’t like you escaping via lying.”

“Yes. I know.”

“Does it still hurt?” XiaoYu was good at acknowledging his mistakes. At that, HereticKing gently rubbed at XiaoYu’s burning cheeks.

“Not anymore.” XiaoYu had lowered the in-game pain sensors to the minimum from the very beginning. Compared to the torture that was death, this was nothing.

“Then let’s go meet up with the others.” HereticKing won’t apologise for pinching XiaoYu’s cheeks. Telling a lie means accepting punishment. That was the rule his big brother set for him since he was a child. Hei QiYao had carved this rule deep into his heart and mind. He was basically raised (bullied?) by his big brother.

HereticKing led XiaoYu through Nebula by the hand. The Derelict Ruins of Natalis were still a few portals away. (Even if the portals were in the same city, they’re located in different areas and each of them have different ranges.)

The journey was silent. XiaoYu was still reflecting on his actions. He didn’t know how to read and decipher the air. He didn’t know if HereticKing was still angry or not based on that calm voice. But he did know he did something wrong today. He didn’t want to be hated by HereticKing, so he decided to sincerely apologise once more.

“Yao, I’m sorry. I won’t lie ever again,” XiaoYu said.

“Mn.” HereticKing nonchalantly hummed in response. After a pause, an idea seemed to have struck him. He curved his lips into a small smile and continued, “Tell a lie again and I’ll kiss you.”

“Hah?” XiaoYu instantly froze. He cannot compute.

Translator’s Notes:

Boy toy/Toy boy: American vs British. Take your pick. Boy toy is used here because I only ever heard the American version of it. For those wondering, it’s a synonym for gigolo. Google and some dictionaries seem to think it refers to a female edition of that meaning instead. Online forums seem to concur that their version is rather dated. Urban dictionary (the most unreliable dictionary on the internet) + memes show that most people don’t know boy toy might refer to a younger woman instead. Thanks, Madonna, for showing how “dated” you are. (jk. Don’t kill me. That’s what they said on the forums.)

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LC: Chapter 54

54. Classmate

Each Squad Leader needed to stay informed of the basic circumstances of players under them at all time. For example, if they were low level, then the leaders should arrange some team practices or carry them through grinding. But that didn’t mean the leaders needed to do all that themselves. As XiaoYu’s hidden Job was a secret few knew, I_Am_A_Poor_Man personally led the charge.

However, a certain someone also knew he was a certain Chief’s exclusive healer. If he didn’t notify the executive, what if he was summoned halfway through the grind? They’d have wasted a precious tool. Forget about how Sealed_Sword would strike him down in half. He himself would prepare a tiny knife for seppuku.

Truth be told, HereticKing heard the whole conversation between I_Am_A_Poor_Man and Sealed_Sword. His first reaction was also how he could bring XiaoYu to a high-level zone for experience. Thus, when I_Am_A_Poor_Man tried negotiating with him on taking XiaoYu to the Derelict Ruins of Natalis, HereticKing instantly agreed to Poor_Man’s request to not summon him for anything else for those five hours. Because HereticKing wanted to join in too.

I_Am_A_Poor_Man was always astonished at HereticKing’s attitude towards XiaoYu. It’s so rare to see Chief care so much about someone else. His mind thought of the bone-chilling winter dropping in from the north winds in reality. A saying popped into his mind: If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?

He shook the saying out of his head. Poor_Man pondered on future plans. The year was coming to an end. The game would probably have plenty of events then. Why not take this chance to use up that XP Penalty Waiver? Otherwise, the night might drag on for too long. Too many dreams might come and go.

Two days later, I_Am_A_Poor_Man who’d been exploring the Derelict Ruins with a party received a message from Sealed_Sword. DrunkBed had logged on at noon the day after the meeting. He’d been told to send the XP Penalty Waiver over.

“Exams over?” Poor_Man seemed to recall DrunkBed was a university student studying fitness. He was truly amazing at sports. The job he picked, Assassin, had higher agility requirements than other jobs. It was the perfect class for him. While the base stats decided by the game were rather effective on deciding which job would be the best, each player’s reflex speed and ability to think on their feet was a type of hidden talent. They also effect whether the selected job was suitable for the player.

“Not that fast. He’s already called me to say he’ll be absent from the next treasure hunting session. I told him to log on tomorrow to lend his gear to another assassin for the time being.”

“I see.”

I_Am_A_Poor_Man then instantly started bothering XiaoYu over chat.

“Xiao-Yu, are you free tomorrow noon?” Poor_Man asked.


“Then come to the East Gate of Prole. I’ll take you exploring.”


“Not going to ask me where?”

“Mn. Because I believe in you. You wouldn’t sell me off.”

“Ah, you actually know how to crack a joke. I must still be asleep.”

“Hehe.” XiaoYu had been grinding at the Pyramids for the past few days with different healers. All those ladies kept chattering on about wanting to buy him so they can train it up. They’ll make sure everyone would love him then. Monsters would explode if they saw him. Drenched in such circumstances where the “selling” of a person was constantly talked about, he too could make similar jokes. This proved it’s very easy to lead someone astray.

But this was just some minor jokes thrown in during the boredom of grinding. They were all very caring of XiaoYu. Thus, they had a wonderful time together. Even the tiny cat learned to walk sedately through the stomping feet to pick up items. Occasionally, it’d accidentally blink its wide innocent eyes at the hungry wolves waiting to pounce on it, making them go crazy with how cute it was.

Time past swiftly and tomorrow was soon here. XiaoYu packed up his belongings and arrived ahead of time at the East Gate. Only he never would’ve thought someone else would be earlier than he was.

“Oh, Lil Lucky. Morning,” greeted Below_The_Moon.

 “Hello, Below_The_Moon.”

“Ah. Chief’s here so early. I hope we won’t meet any berserk monsters today.” Below_The_Moon was shocked at the familiar silhouette walking to them from around the corner of a building. While Chief wasn’t one to arrive fashionably late, he would always appear precisely one minute before they were supposed to meet up.

“How rare for me to hear your cursed mouth so early in the morning.” A gloomy face rang out from behind Below_The_Moon. I_Am_A_Poor_Man stared grudgingly at the other as if Poor_Man was a haunted and mad man. “I’m working hard on getting through the last stretch to Level 100. If we do meet any berserk monsters, I will chop you down and make soup out of your bones.”

“Tsk. You were the one who came early,” Below_The_Moon retorted.

“Hmph. Without me, this team wouldn’t be grinding later,” said I_Am_A_Poor_Man in an exhausted voice which came from a lack of sleep. He was still confirming the last member of their grind party today just now. As there was a chance they’d have to use XiaoYu’s special skills, any players who they weren’t particularly familiar with were all eliminated.

“Is everyone here?” HereticKing asked.

“You don’t need to worry about my work, Chief. They’re already grinding at our destination. We just need to head over and join in,” Poor_Man replied.


“Xiao-Yu, we’ll be grinding ghost mobs at the Derelict Ruins later. Remember to stay close to me,” Poor_Man said. The mobs over there were all Levels 100 to 110. Basically, a second was all it’d take to give XiaoYu a free ride back to Prole. Poor_Man didn’t want them to lose levels instead of gaining them. But as long as XiaoYu stuck close to him, he, plus another healer’s buffs, would definitely be enough to guarantee XiaoYu’s safety.

“Okay. Got it,” XiaoYu responded.

“Here are the ten or so Bibles the Treasure Squad found. Keep them safe. We might need you to use your skills later.” Poor_Man dragged the books straight into the Transfer tab. There were too many people coming and going on the street. Shoving a pile of thick books into another player’s arms was a sure way to attract attention. Even though with Chief’s blinding presence around them, they’d already attracted the eyes of many female players =_=.


I_Am_A_Poor_Man received a message from DrunkBed. “Ah.  DrunkBed’s online. Once he sends over the item, we can head to the ruins,” he commented. He then proceeded to explain to XiaoYu what the item in question was.

A player could mail items to another player, but it’d take half an hour before the parcel arrived. Only letters could be immediately received. So, to avoid wasting time, DrunkBed had to personally meet up with them.

If one ignored the prices, travelling through Portals between each city was one of the fastest ways to travel. Within five minutes, DrunkBed’s body, along with its mysterious purple glow, appeared before their eyes.

“Thanks for coming all the way here, DrunkBed,” Poor_Man greeted.

“No, no. It’s no big deal,” the other replied.

Strangely enough, when this purple-clothed assassin replied to Poor_Man, he kept staring at XiaoYu’s face.

XiaoYu was wary at the gaze. This player didn’t look familiar. They shouldn’t know each other.

“You’re…Xiao-Bai?” DrunkBed asked.

XiaoYu stared at the assassin in shock. How did the other know of his nickname in high school?

“I’m Xiao-Hong…Ah, no. I’m Hong HaoRan. Remember me?”

“Ah. You’re in the Sports Committee.” The name Xiao-Hong sparked XiaoYu’s memory. Someone, no one remembered who, once mentioned there were a lot of surnames which sounded like the names of the colours in their class. Thus, the gossipy girls began to call them by coloured nicknames.

The student with the surname Huang was immediately known as Xiao-Huang or Yellow. Sometimes, it felt as if it was a dog’s name. Naturally, XiaoYu didn’t escape their demonic reach. Everyone called him Xiao-Bai for white. There were Xiao-Lan (Blue), Xiao-Cheng (Blue), Xiao-Lü (Green), and the most pitiful of them all – Hong HaoRan, the Sports Committee member. All because his name was the homonym for red, a 185cm tall boy was affectionately nicknamed Xiao-Hong or Little Red Riding Hood. He objected hard and long but gave up in the end.

“Hehe. It’s normal that you didn’t recognise me. I spent over an hour adjusting my appearance. You, on the other hand, didn’t change at all,” HaoRan commented.

“I didn’t adjust anything.” XiaoYu didn’t think he’d meet anyone he knew in the game. What a small world.

“Xiao-Bai?” HereticKing knew XiaoYu could be rather absent-minded at times, it’s not to the point where others would call him a noob or an idiot, right?

“Ah. That’s because his surname is Bai, as in white. That’s why we all call him that.”

“Pfft. It’s the direct opposite of Chief’s,” Poor_Man chuckled.


“Chief’s surname is Hei, as in black.”

“Eh? What a coincidence. Fortunately, Chief wasn’t in our class back then.” Otherwise, HereticKing would be called Xiao-Hei. The thought of it just made HaoRan feel like he’s going to burst out laughing.

“You were classmates?”

“Yes. Ever since first year of high school. Xiao-Bai, you weren’t there at the classmate gathering last time. Someone spread a rumour around about how you look down on us now that you got into University C. I don’t think you’re that type of person. Did you receive the invitation?” University C was one of the top universities in City S. Their rate of employment was near 100%. Thus, everyone wanted to get in.

Ah, so he unintentionally caused a misunderstanding. However, someone still believed in him. XiaoYu was touched. “I did…” he said. “But some issues with my family came up.” He was frustrated and frazzled over his parents’ funeral and the court case back then. XiaoYu had no time to think about some classmate gathering.

“I see. Right. I heard you got into University C. What are you studying?” HaoRan asked.


“Hm?” XiaoYu sudden silence made HaoRan curious.


“What? That’s such an awesome opportunity!” It wasn’t just HaoRan who was shocked. Even HereticKing and the others who’d just been standing to the side were shocked.

“…A lot happened in my family.” XiaoYu really didn’t want to continue on this topic.

“Ah. I’m sorry.” The sight of XiaoYu biting on his pale lips made HaoRan realise he shouldn’t be that nosy. He seemed to have stumbled upon a thorny topic for XiaoYu.

“It’s fine.”

“I’ll make sure to explain to the others on your behalf next time.”

“Thanks, but it doesn’t matter.” All he’d get in return would be a few brief comforting words. XiaoYu wasn’t close to anyone. He didn’t care much what they thought. “My inventory’s full. I’ll go clean it out,” he said.

Without waiting for a reply, XiaoYu left in the rudest exit he’d made in his entire life. The whole time, he was walking with his head drooped low. The mere thought of maybe seeing eyes filled with pity or sympathy gazing at him made his eyes stare resolutely down. He’d seen enough of the so-called sympathy when he was at the hospital and at the courthouse. He didn’t need a single shred of that at all.

Translator’s Notes:

1. If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?: Ode to the West Wind by Percy Bysshe Shelley. As one might guess, this was the husband of Mary Shelley (Frankenstein). Percy was a good poet but a bad man. Here’s how his life went:

Expelled from Oxford for being atheist. Disowned because he was atheist. Eloped. Cheated on that wife with Mary (Shelley) who was the daughter of his friend. Eloped to Scotland with Mary. Returned with his new wife back to the house with his first wife and son because they ran out of money. Kept the one man, two wives household. Went on a holiday with Mary (leaving the first wife and two sons behind at home) where Frankenstein was created. First wife committed suicide just a year later. Officially married Mary. Lost custody of his sons by first wife. Travelled the world. Drowned trying to sail from one side of a bay to the other.

2. Night…too long…dreams…come and go: An idiom stating how the longer something is dragged out, the higher the chance of a harmful accident happening.

3. Colours and surnames: As explained in the text, the nicknames came about because the surnames were homonyms for the characters used for the different colours. However, some surnames used the exact same characters – like Bai and White.

4. Dog’s name: Xiao-Huang (Lil Yellow) was a common dog’s name as the average canine fur coat was a murky yellow-brown in Chinese cultures. In fact, names surrounding colours like Lil Black (Xiao-Hei) and Big Yellow (Da-Huang) are often used for pets. Hence why some Chinese gags like to go on about names and colours.

5. Xiao-Bai/Noob: Newbies are often called “Lil White”s as they were as blank as an empty page. This term was negative as it can imply the person in question is being called an idiot.

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