LC: Chapter 39

39. Comfort

XiaoYu had never thought he’d be hated as much as he was by that swordsman. While his clumsy social skills meant he didn’t have many friends, his gentle and persistent personality along with his cute kitten-like face meant no matter how much his classmates ignored him no one would bully him.

However, today showed him there was someone in the world who hated him so much they wanted to kill him every time they met just because of a rejection. Even the tiny cat was a target. Is this what they called the ugly face of humanity? If they can’t have it, they’ll destroy it?

The air suddenly felt cold. A If a player wasn’t in a special zone, they weren’t meant to feel any noticeable temperature changes in the air. Still, XiaoYu felt a numbing chill spreading from within his body out to his skin. He closed off all chat channels. He hugged his knees tight against his chest. He won’t cry because he was killed, but he needed some time to calm his emotions.

“…meow.” The small cat paced round its depressed owner. It knew he had lost a lot of blood when protecting it just now. It looked so painful, likely even more than when it had hit its head against the table. But it didn’t know what it can do to help.

****

“…In conclusion, Prole-3 should be the hardest to conquer but the easiest to defend among all the number three fortresses. Sakura-3 will probably fall during the next battle.” The players from Heretic Demons had yet to leave the room they booked for loot splitting. They still had the room for a while longer. Just enough for them to chat and have a mini-meeting.

“Also, we have our usual meeting tomorrow afternoon, Chief. I’ll be at your place around ten tomorrow morning. Is that okay?” asked I_Am_A_Poor_Man.

“Mn,” HereticKing grunted in reply.

“Yosh.” I_Am_A_Poor_Man stood up and stretched. “I wonder what Lil Lucky’s Level now. I have a few beginner recipes for him that I forgot about just now.”

As he said so, he pulled up his Friends tab and looked for XiaoYu’s icon.

“Ah. What a shame. One more level and he could go for his Job Change quest too.” Upon noticing the tiny 49 showing beside XiaoYu’s icon, I_Am_A_Poor_Man sighed with pity.

“Impossible!” HereticKing exclaimed.

“Why would I lie to you?” I_Am_A_Poor_Man replied.

“How can it be…?” It was near impossible for someone to die during the first two Job Change quests. All that’s required was time, especially since healers were a naturally weak class. Thus, their Job Change quests were simpler than any other class’s. How could XiaoYu have lost a level?

“What’s going on, Chief?” HereticKing’s reaction felt rather strange to I_Am_A_Poor_Man. His gut was telling him there might be some issues with LuckyCat’s current Level.

“I just reminded him to do his Job Change quest an hour ago,” came the reply.

“… You’re saying Lil Lucky has died once in the past hour? How is that possible?” As a healer himself, I_Am_A_Poor_Man knew for a fact the second Job Change quest was not a difficult quest. That meant…

“He was killed by another player?” I_Am_A_Poor_Man voiced out his guess.

“Chief, look at the guild chat,” Below_The_Moon who had been sitting quietly to the side suddenly piped up. When the meeting concluded, he had reopened the muted Guild Chat channel and started reading through the previous messages. He was thinking of finding a few bored guildies to help him collect materials for his traps.

……

Terminator: Rawr. Does anyone have the Cursed Abyss marked in their Teleport? Help me out at the capital’s North Gate.

ProfessionalNanny: 10 crystals each.

Terminator: Aah, we’re all in the same guild. Don’t be a vampire.

TeenyTinyWhisper: Speaking of healers, I saw a little Acolyte at the capital just now. He was covered with blood and gashes. He looked so pitiful.

ShootYourAs: PvP?  Who’s that cruel guy?

Just_Singing: No way. Who’s suicidal enough to kill a healer? Aren’t they afraid of the Alliance?

Trainman: It’s probably a newbie who stumbled into the wrong zone and was xxx by a high-level monster.

Thundering: I saw him too. His back was dripping with blood. Why didn’t he heal himself?

TeenyTinyWhisper: I think it’s another player. Those wounds are clearly from a sword.

ProfessionalNanny: That’s a sympathy point in my books. Hey, person who uses a sword, 30 crystals to Cursed Abyss.

Terminator: Hey! I’m not the one who killed him!

……

HereticKing: Where is that healer now?

Terminator: Hi, Chief!

Trainman: Hi, Chief!

Tiramisu: Blub. Greetings, Chief!

…….

HereticKing: Stop! Whisper, Thunder, where is that Acolyte now?

TeenyTinyWhisper: I saw him at the Old Cathedral.

Thundering: I was near the vegetable stalls when I saw him walking west. But that was a long time ago. He’s probably somewhere else now.

“Haste!” HereticKing commanded.

I_Am_A_Poor_Man reflexively threw a Haste spell out upon hearing the command. All he saw afterwards was a shadow dashing out the door.

“It can’t really be LuckyCat, right?” Below_The_Moon questioned.

“Moon, let’s go look for him too. I’ve got a really bad feeling.” Shockingly, I_Am_A_Poor_Man didn’t pick a fight with Below_The_Moon. He tried messaging LuckyCat but was informed by the game that the other had closed off his communications. This had never happened before.

“Mn.”

HereticKing pulled up the map of Prole. Amidst the myriad of locations marked, he pinpointed the locations of the Old Cathedral and the vegetable stalls. Then, according to the possible revival points, he quickly drew up a rough estimate of where XiaoYu could be then. It was somewhat far from where HereticKing was standing right then. If mounts weren’t banned in the city, he would’ve summoned his horse as soon as he left the doors.

XiaoYu had closed off all communications. This was something HereticKing tested out the moment Poor_Man said XiaoYu was Level 49. Be it in text messages or via voice mail, the game rejected them all. This was absolutely not the norm.

Before this, HereticKing’s mind insisted XiaoYu was not some weak little girl. He had some strange stubbornness inside. If HereticKing waltzed over and did everything for him, he’d feel bad. However, HereticKing was starting to regret not going on the quest with him. How HereticKing wished for a Friendship skill that could teleport him straight to XiaoYu. Then, he wouldn’t have to buzz around the streets and alleyways like a headless fly.

Upon another close look at the area he marked down, HereticKing suddenly felt a sense of familiarity with one of the alleys marked. It was a narrow and quiet little alleyway. Few people realise this was a shortcut which led straight to the Guild Mission Board. It was also where he first met the two lucky cats.

While he couldn’t be sure if XiaoYu was at that spot, HereticKing still felt as if he needed to go take a look first. If he really can’t find XiaoYu, only then will he use the power of the massive guild he led.

When HereticKing spotted that familiar tiny shadow in the distance, his heart slowed down its racing by half. But when he got closer and saw the sword gashes decorating XiaoYu, his heart felt as if it was being strangled. It hurt. The game had washed away the blood, but HereticKing could imagine just how bloody XiaoYu was.

“Meow! Mrrow!” When the tiny cat spotted the familiar Mister from before, it immediately ran over and clawed at HereticKing’s trousers, frantically pulling him over to its owner.

HereticKing bent down and petted the small cat’s head to signal he had received the kitten’s message. He softly walked over to XiaoYu and knelt down before the other. He gave the other a light pat on the head.

XiaoYu slowly raised his head. Then, he slowly buried his head back into his arms. After a pause, a solemn and low whisper reached HereticKing’s ears. “I’m fine,” XiaoYu said.

“I know.” Thank goodness. He wasn’t crying. HereticKing knew just how stubborn XiaoYu was deep inside.

He sat down beside XiaoYu and pulled XiaoYu’s tremoring body into his arms. He didn’t say anything, just gently patted XiaoYu on the back, as if he was slowly transferring strength back to the quivering XiaoYu.

“I’m…really okay. I just need some time.”

“I know. I just want to be with you.”

“Ah. Thank…” you. XiaoYu didn’t continue his sentence. He was afraid if he said any more, all the sorrow and tears would burst out of his body. He wasn’t one who liked complaining and venting.

Thus, the two sat there quietly side by side. Oh, plus the tiny cat which was still leaning against XiaoYu’s feet.

“Let’s go. I think I know who did it,” I_Am_A_Poor_Man said. Below_The_Moon and he merely stood some distance away and observed the two men and the kitten.

“Do you need help?” Below_The_Moon might only have known XiaoYu for a day, but he was just like Poor_Man. He really did like this honest and emotionally-stilted child.

“Help me look into a swordsman. He might be a knight now. The name’s BattleOverlord.” Poor_Man clenched his fists. If his memory served him right…

“Okay,” Below_The_Moon replied.

“Poor, you mentioned a swordsman who bullied XiaoYu before,” HereticKing messaged.

“Yes, Chief. I’m investigating him now,” Poor_Man replied.

“Let me know as soon as you get anything,” HereticKing replied.

“Yes,” Poor_Man said.

HereticKing closed his messages and continued to quietly comfort XiaoYu. He knew any and all words were useless right now. What XiaoYu really needed was just someone to be by his side.

Translator’s Note:

Headless fly: Headless chicken + fly (because they buzz and wander in little circles).

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GC: Chapter 32

32. Don’t Dirty Your Hands

JingYuan’s heart felt like it was bleeding. His eyes were bloodshot. If he didn’t need to calm down the boy in his arms, he might’ve just charged in and beaten Feng Qun up until all that’s left were blood smears and bones.

Soon, the Bai family rushed to the scene. XueQing instantly noticed the horrible state her little brother was in. There was no way she could keep calm. She strode straight for Feng Qun and grasped him by the neck. It’s as if she wanted to strangle him to death right then and there. Her red lips parted. A chilly voice asked, “Feng Qun? I remember you. You’re always tagging along my little brother. Always following him around. Explain to me right now. Just what did you do to him? Our whole family was wondering why he’d suddenly changed. It seems like you’re the one to blame! How dare you!”

Feng Qun was well and truly frozen with fear. That terrifying gaze from Mu JingYuan which seemed like it wanted to gobble him whole. Bai XueQing’s tight strangle on his neck which threatened to kill him off at once. The gloomy expressions on the Bai parents and Bai Yan. The looks everyone else in the room was shooting at him, disagreeing, mocking, gossiping, condemning. They made his mind crawl frantically at the walls. He had a feeling that if he didn’t give a proper and thorough explanation today, he might be sent out of the room on his back.

But he didn’t know what was going on either. How could he? He really felt as if he was wronged more than Dou E from The Injustice to Dou E was. Who knew just why that oblivious, pampered fool would suddenly go crazy? He was shocked too, okay?

Everything was going alright in the first place. He coaxed and sucked up to that fool. That meant he was sort of in the same boat as the great Bai family. He didn’t know just what went wrong with that fool. All of a sudden, that fool stopped contacting him and his friends. He called and he called but no one answered. He wrecked his brains but couldn’t recall just what did he do to offend this precious baby. He was frustrated and irritated, then he bumped into the fool at this birthday party. He was going to schmooze and sweet-talk the other. Coax that idiot into talking to him again. How could he have imagined he’d start hyperventilating like a crazed man?

Feng Qun wasn’t of XueQing strangling him. No matter how much she trained, she’s still just a girl. The moment he wanted to, he could just flip her over his shoulder. But how could he? He didn’t even dare to twitch! Who’s this? This is the great Miss of the Bai family! If he dared so much as to touch a single hair on her, not only will the Bai family knock all his teeth out, her suitors will too!

The Bai family is a proud and noble family. Anyone who dared to be Bai XueQing’s suitor wouldn’t be some average joe! Without some family backing and capability, who’d dare to desire this tyrannical blossom?

Bai Yan walked forward and grasped his sister’s wrist. “XueQing, let go first. He’s not worth debasing yourself in front of everyone. If you want to get rid of him, why not just hand him to me?” he said in a low tone.

XueQing was not happy with that. Those beautiful and glamoured up eyes glared straight back at Yan. “Look at how badly he’s frightened our little brother. You want me to let go? I hate him so much I want to just strangle him right here and now!” she shot through clenched teeth.

Just as XueQing said so, a slim and tall man rushed out from the crowd. Handsome and polished in a charcoal grey suit which emphasised his broad shoulders and long legs. His ever-confident face brushed with a tinge of worry. He hurriedly walked over to XueQing. In a soft, soothing voice, he said to her, “XueQing, calm down. Anger’s bad for the body. He’s not worth it. No matter what happened, he frightened the Bai Little Master. I will help him seek justice. Let go for now. Don’t dirty your hands.”

How could Feng Qun not recognise this man? This man, who looked so gentle and refined but whose words were so out of topic he might as well be in another room, was the young master of the Chen family, Chen TianYang. The Chen family was a noble family that could stand side-by-side with the Bai and the Mu families. This Chen TianYang was also one of the best of his generation. However, he loved Bai XueQing with his entire being. That meant if Bai XueQing said the sun was square, he’d be the guy who compliments just how nice the sun looked as a square.

Translator’s Notes:

  1. The Injustice to Dou E: Chinese play from Yuan Dynasty (around 1270 to 1360 when Kublai Khan ruled and before the Ming dynasty). Child bride/Widow who was wrongly convicted and executed because of crimes a rejected suitor committed (murdering the rejected suitor’s father by poison).

    The basics of the story is guy gets rejected -> tries to poison girl’s mother-in-law so the girl is left without any “guardians” -> ends up killing his father instead by sheer bad luck -> frames girl for murdering father -> corrupted official tortures girl to get confession because what is using actual brains and power and “ooh, money!” -> girl gets executed, does a spiel about how she’s innocent and the heavy summer snowstorm + upcoming 3 years of drought + blood sticking to her clothes only will prove it so -> the snowstorm, drought and blood thing all happen -> girls come back as ghost to complain to her father (who sold her off to pay his debts) -> Justice!
  2. Chen TianYang: XueQing’s love interest finally shows up!
    ゚☆* ヾ(≧ ∀ ≦)ノ *☆゚


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LC: Chapter 38

38. Hateful People Are Everywhere

CopperPlate and NonMeta had evening classes. As soon as the celebrations ended, they rushed off with a hasty goodbye. The entire party had a long day, so those who needed to log off logged off.

Bai XiaoYu was tasked with the duty of selling off the pile of random objects, since he now had a skill to increase gold received from selling.

“Remember to go for your Job Change afterwards, XiaoYu.” Just as XiaoYu was pouring out the items to be sold to the NPC, a message reached his ears. That deep and rich voice of HereticKing was so very soothing.

“Why?”

“Hehe. I knew it. Look at your levels.” While HereticKing can’t see XiaoYu then, he could already imagine that befuddled expression.

“Huh? 50! Already?” XiaoYu was stunned the moment he opened up his stats. How did his Level rise so quickly?

“The last two quests gave us 400,000 EXP.” HereticKing had done a quick calculation. It should’ve been enough for XiaoYu to level up. A quick tap into his Friends tab proved the guess to be correct.

“I see. I’ll go now.” XiaoYu accepted the bag of coins the NPC held out to him, politely thanked the other, then followed his memory to where the Job Change Centre was.

“Do you still remember our promise?”

“Mn. You’ll be the first I notify.” While XiaoYu was always a klutz when it came to matters regarding himself, he’d do his very best when it’s something he promised others he’d do. That’s one of the Bai family rules.

“I’ll wait for your good news.”

******

The second Job Change quest wasn’t hard at all. It’s just as troublesome as the first Job Change. Only, the type of monsters he needed to kill increased. 100 mid-tier Zombies, 100 high-tier Zombies and 100 mid-tier Jiangshi.

However, XiaoYu was very glad it was a kill quest. He’d rather kill some monsters so the tiny cat could pick up some items than a fetch quest or a chain of errands.

He knew the Zombie Cave like the back of his hand, so much so he could walk from the capital gates to the cave entrance with his eyes closed. Not that he’d be that bored as to try that out. The moment he stepped out of the South Gate, he summoned his Peco Peco mount and head straight for the Zombie Cave. The journey which previously took 15 minutes of walking would now take an approximate of 7 minutes. It’s so convenient having a mount.

Just as that thought went through XiaoYu’s mind, he heard hoofbeats coming from behind. He didn’t bother turning around. It’s probably some player who’s also in a rush. Thus, he nudged the Peco Peco to the side and made way for the person coming up behind him.

Never in his wildest dreams would XiaoYu have thought this subconscious polite gesture would help him dodge a direct hit to his back.

Even though he avoided a critical hit, the swift blade still scored a wound on his arm. Bright red blood instantly gushed out. -200.

“Player BattleOverlord attacked you. PK mode activated. Your ID’s colour will not change if you attack any other player in the opponent’s team in the next 10 minutes.”

The same old scenery. The same old notification. XiaoYu thought time would dull the ache, but it seemed like he was just being way too naive. A classic example of forgetting the pain once the scar healed. XiaoYu laughed at how foolish he was.

“I said I’d kill you every single time I see you!” When BattleOverlord was reorganising his Storage near the South Gate of Prole, he saw the player who humiliated him over a month ago. The pet cat on his shoulder even had an accessory now. From memory, it could battle and it could pick up items. Hmph. He’s furious just looking at a low-levelled noob having a special pet!

And so, BattleOverlord geared up and snuck out after XiaoYu. If it was a quick hit-and-run, who’d be able to save him then?

If XiaoYu was still in a party, all his teammates should be receiving a message stating “Player so-and-so from Party such-and-such attacked your teammate. Hurry and go help,” or something like that. But their party was too famous. The announcement was still floating up in the air, reminding everyone of the upcoming server maintenance. Thus, they split up as soon as they were done.

XiaoYu was all alone. He didn’t put any hope on the game notification system saving him anyway because he knew this swordsman – no, he’s now a Knight – was really in a crazed frenzy now. There was no use complaining and pitying himself. Only by relying on himself can he be saved. XiaoYu quickly stood up. He put his Peco Peco away, buffed and healed himself. The series of actions flowed smoothly together without a single hitch. The time he spent watching videos of high-levelled healers wasn’t a waste after all.

On the other hand, this BattleOverlord was clearly not a new player. XiaoYu was not given a single chance to catch his breath at all. While XiaoYu was busy buffing himself, he slashed and sliced away. One could tell he was a very experienced player before Asgard Online.

XiaoYu’s Agility was extremely low. Even with a speed-boosting buff and a speed debuff on BattleOverlord, he still found it hard to keep dodging the constant attacks from a Knight who’s built towards high Agility. XiaoYu was able to use the trees around him to block some of them, but it was still a frazzling experience for him. Streams of red began to blossom on his body. Still, he focused his all in dodging the heavy sword before him. It might not be a complete dodge, but merely avoiding critical hits was better than nothing. Right now, a single split second of inattention could lead him to instant death. Hence, even if XiaoYu planned on calling for help, the moment he tried opening the messaging tab, he’d be struck down.

This was not the same as dodging attacks from a one-handed Agility knight like HereticKing. BattleOverlord was a two-handed Agility Knight. The broadsword was a two-handed sword. It had a higher attack compared to a one-handed sword of the same tier. The downside was the user can’t use a shield. When trying to avoid being hit, the player must dodge or they’d be hurt. It’s a playstyle which sacrificed defence for strength.

Thus, XiaoYu cannot be hit straight on by that sword. The level difference between the two had decreased. It was rather impossible for XiaoYu to be killed in one hit, but a critical hit would make most of his health disappear in a blink. The dizziness from the resulting blood loss would very likely throw XiaoYu off his beat and the next hit would kill him for sure.

BattleOverlord didn’t think XiaoYu would be so resilient this time. The health he knocked off weren’t as much as he thought he should. Even if the other grinded hard without sleeping or breaks for the whole month they’ve not seen each other, XiaoYu couldn’t be more than Level 40 right now. How could he have the same buffs and debuffs as a Level 55 Knight? They could hurt each other, and XiaoYu’s health would hover around near full during the time between skill cooldowns. He would never be heavily injured at all… (As opposed to the PC game where hovering one’s cursor over the other player could show their health and level, one would need to rely on pure observation in VR games. What kind of equipment the opponent had, the effects of skill used, and rough estimations based on the increase and decrease of the HP bar above the other’s avatar. The only additional display for Friends was what Level the other was.)

Could it be this brat had some kind of special equipment? As the thought flashed through BattleOverlord’s mind, his greedy gaze swept over XiaoYu’s body. Average leather shoes. Average healer’s robes. Ratty old headdress. Only that staff looked special, but he recognised that staff. His girlfriend was a wizard. That’s a Level 25 Silver Crystal Staff commonly used by healers. It didn’t look any special at all…Wait! Is that a necklace?

Several long slashes marked XiaoYu’s long robes, allowing a tiny bit of the necklace hidden to shimmer through. Thus, BattleOverlord’s blade swooped faster and harder. Frick! How could this puny brat have a necklace too? He didn’t even have one yet! I’m going to burst your arse open!

XiaoYu did not understand just why BattleOverlord was hitting harder and faster all of a sudden. It was probably due to impatience from not having killed him yet. Perhaps he’ll find a chance to escape onto the main road then. If he was lucky, some high-level players passing by might help him out. There was no hope for XiaoYu to win this duel, because his only way to attack non-Undead were to just whack the enemy with his staff.

It’d be a lie if one were to describe BattleOverlord as relaxed and unworried at the sight of XiaoYu slowly inching towards the main road. His nametag was currently grey. Anyone could kill him. What should he do?

Suddenly, BattleOverlord’s eyes spotted the tiny cat on the floor. It had been sticking close to its little owner’s feet. Nervous, irritated and angry, but it couldn’t attack the hateful knight before it at all. Even if it could break through the game’s limitations, its puny attack would deal as much damage as a light scratch.

BattleOverlord’s mind whirled. His sword turned midway through the air and slashed down at the small cat. It was so fast that the tiny cat who’d been staring at its little owner in worry couldn’t react in time. The sword was flashing right before its eyes. Any moment now, it’d be split in two.

“Aah!”

-768 (Critical). Finally, a critical hit. That was mainly because a critical hit was easier when it’s a hit to the back.

Mouth spurt from XiaoYu’s mouth. Thank goodness. The little kitten wasn’t hit. As seen in life, humans would always be able to exceed the game’s limitations when in danger. How else would his measly slow pace be able to make it?

XiaoYu held the tiny cat tight in his arms, protecting it from the knight. He didn’t care that his back was now completely exposed to the other. To XiaoYu, the tiny cat was the most important existence of his life. He’d rather die than let any harm come to it.

-690 (Critical).

 “You have been killed. Would you like to revive in the last recorded checkpoint, Prole?”

“Yes.” XiaoYu didn’t hesitate for a single second. He can’t let the tiny cat be left alone before that knight. Who knew what cruel things he’d do to it? Upon revival, pets will follow their owners back to the checkpoint.

“Death Penalty: -1 Level. Dropped: 10 Crystal Coins, +4 Silver Crystal Staff.”

Covered in blood, XiaoYu ignored the strange looks he was getting and trudged towards the alley he’d hidden in before. He buried his head between his arms, quivering.

Previous IndexNext

GC: Chapter 31

31. I Did Nothing!

Everything from back then felt so unbelievable now. Perhaps that was a last frantic struggle before death. If that happened once again, even under perfect conditions, YiHan didn’t know whether he could actually kill those three again. He still remembered it all. That metal bar stained with fresh blood and brain juices. He clung on tight to it, even in death. In the end, he feinted and mimed an attack with it to make the police who entered after the whole debacle to shoot and kill him.

After his rebirth, he cut off all ties with those drinking buddies of his. His entire mind was hung up on his own family. Feng Qun had tried calling him several times, but he hung up as soon as he saw who they were from. He didn’t think he’d end up meeting Feng Qun here.

The moment YiHan saw this being, those unsavoury and vile memories screeched into his mind. Feng Qun’s blood-covered face which was still stuck on an apologetic, sly and dogbody-like smile. That evil smirk when he pushed YiHan to steal company secrets. The crazed laugh as he humiliated YiHan after the Bai family fell. His face twisting and turning when he destroyed YiHan’s hand in a frenzy. The lustful look as he held YiHan down and deed that thing to him. All those faces slowly melded into one with the smile coming right at him.

Blood rushed into YiHan’s eyes. His feet shuffled back, but the balcony was only that big. Before YiHan could even escape, Feng Qun was already on him. He took a hold of YiHan’s arm and gave him a bright, schmoozing smile, “Why haven’t you been hanging out with us lately? You never answered my calls either. We’ve not seen you for a long time.”

In that moment, YiHan couldn’t differentiate the current reality from the past. All he felt was that sticky and disgusting grip Feng Qun had on his arm. The scent of Feng Qun closing in on him made his skin crawl. A shrill scream roared out of his mouth. He frantically flailed the arm being grabbed, trying his best to run back to his family.

Feng Qun was stunned. Just what’s with this lucky idiot today? Has he gone mad?

YiHan was well and truly scared to the brink of breakdown. He didn’t even dare look at Feng Qun’s face. All his frantic mind thought was he wanted to be away from Feng Qun now. The other was petrified with shock as well and forgot to loosen his grip. Instead, he subconsciously tightened his hand around YiHan’s arm.

Everyone in the banquet was shocked by the shriek. One by one, they stopped their chatter and looked over. A lot happened in those few short moments. It all happened within the span of a single sentence. JingYuan had been watching YiHan from afar the entire time. The moment he saw YiHan’s reaction, he started striding over. He pulled the frightened YiHan into his arms. Upon seeing YiHan flailing his entrapped arm in a crazed fit, his face darkened and shifted. He looked as if he was going to eat someone up right then and there.

JingYuan’s arms clutched tight at YiHan, afraid that he might hurt himself in fear. His eyes bore into Feng Qun. Ice shards could be felt within his voice. “Well? Why aren’t you letting go?”

As if he’d just gotten stabbed through by JingYuan’s voice, the hair on Feng Qun’s body stood on end and a layer of cold sweat quickly covered his back. As those words rang out, Feng Qun hurriedly loosened his hands. He raised them both up next to his head and took a few steps backwards. “Mr Mu. I did nothing. I don’t know why he’s like this!” he explained.

YiHan finally stopped shrieking when his arm was let go. His emotions finally stabilised, but his hand still kept rubbing at the arm that was grabbed. It was as if he wanted to peel off the skin on it.

Mu JingYuan’s heart ached. His little prince. Those two hands were what he loved and took pride in the most. They had beautiful bone structures. Their fingers long and thin. They were one of the most perfect masterpieces the gods have ever created. He even learned to play the piano just because someone would also comment on what a waste such pretty hands didn’t play.

However, that tender, soft, frail and stunning right hand had been scratched to the point where it’s a bright blushing red. To JingYuan’s eyes, it seemed like blood would start spewing at any time.

Mu JingYuan hurriedly took hold of YiHan’s hand and stopped him from hurting himself anymore. JingYuan’s arms embraced YiHan, trapping YiHan into his arms. The rage in his heart was visibly flaring now. Just what did this bastard called Feng Qun do to his HanHan? Why did his little prince let out such a shriek?


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LC: Chapter 37

37. Chests Will Also Have Nice Things

To be fair, the game wasn’t just fooling around with CopperPlate. According to the game notifications that came later, that was a stack of items: 10 Frightening Chests.

Frightening Chest: Account-bound. Throw it out during battle at the enemies and they will be frozen with fear for 10 seconds. Agility -5 for 30 seconds. Cooldown time – 10 minutes.

When going against highly skilled players, even a second of hesitation could mean life or death. Within ten seconds, that player could be dead several times over. So, this was quite a nice item. If nothing else, it can be used when escaping a life-threatening situation.

“Okay, okay. It’s all right now. Who’ll go next?” As soon as I_Am_A_Poor_Man saw the tiny cat hopping around again, he was eager to see what would be revealed next. As expected, the game had the same tastes in pranks as he did.

“I’ll go,” Ice_For_Miles said. Everyone looked over to where the voice came from before discreetly and unanimously shifting far away from him. Who knew what kind of ridiculous items would be revealed next?

With steady hands, Ice_For_Miles took out his chest and opened it.

Nothing jumped out of the box this time. It was only when Ice_For_Miles held up the item that they saw it was a megaphone. According to the game notifications, it was a stack of items too: 10 Voice-Changing Megaphones.

Voice-Changing Megaphone: Account-bound. Use it to imitate an enemy’s voice and they’ll be charmed for 5 seconds. Critical rate decreased by 10% for 30 seconds. (Can only be used once per enemy.)

“Pffft…” The game did not disappoint. At the thought of Ice_For_Miles using that megaphone to change his voice, I_Am_A_Poor_Man clapped his hand over his mouth in an attempt to hold his laughter in.

Ice_For_Miles looked at the crowd trying hard to not laugh. Still, he put the item in his inventory with calm hands and said, “Next.”

Chrysanthemum was rewarded with a mysterious cucumber. It was very mysterious indeed because nothing was written in its description. The crowd thought and guessed it might be a quest item, but then Chrysanthemum started cackling and muttered, “Cucumber fits a chrysanthemum. Good. Good.” The party’s minds then prayed and hoped it was not an important quest at all. They don’t want to be a participant in that. =_=

NonMeta got three microphones. Using them will create a shrill shriek. Everyone in the area (except for those who’d blocked their ears beforehand) would be confused for 20 seconds. However, everyone in the room suspected it would never be used by NonMeta.

Below_The_Moon got something more normal – an Apothecary’s recipe. But upon reading what the recipe was for – Sleeping Potion – his mouth twitched. He forced himself to learn it either way.

Poor_Man was rewarded with a recipe as well, but this time it’s a cooking recipe – the Imperial Manchu Feast. After looking at the amount of luxurious ingredients needed, he was sure he’d never ever be so bored as to go collecting them.

“Chief, let’s get a poison recipe.” With two recipes out already, it was a sign. Poor_Man stared at the chest in HereticKing’s hands with starry eyes. It’d be great if it contained an XXX recipe. The kind that will kill anyone who even touches it.

“Mrrow!” The tiny cat was still playing in HereticKing’s arms. When it saw him take out the mean chest that scared it before, its claws scraped on it in rage.

Three large scratches were etched into the chest. As if it was alive, the chest shivered and sprung open with a clack.

(⊙o⊙). That can happen too?

A shimmering golden glow came from within the chest. It was the small cat’s favourite colour. Thus, its rage towards that dratted box reduced. It clambered on it, hoping to see with its wide eyes just what was glowing. In the end, it accidentally slipped and fell into the chest.

When HereticKing plucked the kitten from the box, they found a gold coin in its mouth.

“No way. It’s just a gold coin?” I_Am_A_Poor_Man’s beautiful dreams were crushed.

“Why’s there a cloth band on the coin? It’s not some crest or seal, is it?”

“It’s a gold coin.” HereticKing had heard the game’s notification. He shared the item’s description with the party.

Lucky Gold Coin: Businessmen’s favourite shiny gold coin. Every purchase by the owner from NPC shops will have a 20% discount. Every item sold to NPC shops will have a 20% increase in price. Pet accessory. Account-bound once equipped. (When equipping, the Intimacy level must be 100. When Intimacy is less than 100, it will automatically be unequipped and placed in the owner’s Inventory.)

Silence reigned.

“Are the RNG gods sleeping? They actually gave out something this valuable?” Buy low, sell high. So many players have tried bargaining with NPCs, and they’ve all been mercilessly rejected.

“But the conditions are quite strict. Who could be sure their Intimacy would be 100 at all times?”

That was true. Be it a bought pet or a captured pet, its Intimacy levels mostly never exceeded 20 at the start. It was only through feeding and care that it slowly rose. The pet getting hungry, dying, being sold off, or being kept in the Pet Space (except for when it had to return to the Pet Space due to the owner going offline. That didn’t count as it would automatically pop back out when the player logged on.) …actions like these were all deemed to be uncaring actions. It’d cause the Intimacy levels to drop depending on several factors. As with almost everything, it’s easy to lose Intimacy but so very hard to raise it back up again. However, since the players only know that when Intimacy reached -100 the pet would run away, no one knew what other use this stat had. Hence, no one would really maintain high Intimacy levels with their pet out of the blue.

“XiaoYu, here. For you.” HereticKing took out the Lucky Gold Coin in his inventory and stuffed it into XiaoYu’s hands. Along the way, he returned a certain greedy cat who’d been hanging off him for way too long back to its true owner.

“But…” This came out of HereticKing’s chest. How could he just give it to XiaoYu just like that?

“I don’t have any pets,” came HereticKing’s reply.

“…” XiaoYu was still thinking on what to say when a finger pressed over his lips.

“Shh. If you feel guilty, then if I ever need to buy anything in the future, I’ll come looking for you. Okay?” As if mesmerised the sight of HereticKing’s gentle eyes, XiaoYu nodded.

Time seemed to have stopped. Everything was silent.

“Ahem.” I_Am_A_Poor_Man’s cough awakened the group up. As expected, people who are too handsome can’t be so gentle either. Otherwise, who could escape that alluring draw. They touched their gently burning cheeks. They had nearly drowned in that gentle ocean.

Meanwhile, Poor_Man and Below_The_Moon unanimously turned their faces away with tears streaming down their cheeks. They had been with Chief for so many years, but they’ve never known he could be that gentle and kind. That voice, that expression…they were all so darned sexy. No wonder people kept falling for him and prostrating themselves before his suit pants. If Chief treated them like that every day, they’d do the same too.

“Lucky, can your cat equip it?” CopperPlate who had snapped back to reality tried his best to shift everyone’s attention away. His heart actually pounded and leaped around like a fawn frolicking. It’s so humiliating that everyone, especially NonMeta, saw just how lovestruck he could be.

“…Yes. Its Intimacy has always been 100,” XiaoYu hurriedly replied. He said it in a serious tone, but his flushing cheeks and ears betrayed their tiny owner’s pretence. XiaoYu didn’t know why his heart skipped either, but he didn’t hate that gentleness in HereticKing. It recalled the warmth he felt from his departed family.

“Quick. Put it on.”

XiaoYu equipped the Lucky Gold Coin on the tiny cat. The ribbon on the gold coin shrank and adjusted itself to suit the small cat’s neck. Shiny gold coin on dark, black fur. It’s a different but nice kind of aesthetic.

“Meow~” I’ve got a gold coin to wear now. So happy.

“Tch. It’s asking for a beating. It’s like it’s terrified the whole world doesn’t know it’s a greedy cat.”

“Why don’t we just change its name to GreedyCat instead?”

“Hahaha.”

Finally, XiaoYu opened up his own chest. 10 potions shimmering with a menacing and colourful glow.

Lucky Potion: Account-bound. Extra, extra bitter potion. Once used, it increases drop rate by 5% for 3 hours. Cooldown time: 48 hours. (P.S. It’s really, really bitter.)

This game and RNG are so freaking perverted.

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GC: Chapter 30

30. The Past

In order to pay back their bank debts, they had to sell off their mansion and all other family assets. The whole family moved into an ordinary apartment. One of the richest men became an average joe. The friends who once called themselves his bro left instantly. Feng Qun took off his disguised and revealed his true self. He stole all of YiHan’s tiny company’s money. Only then did YiHan know it was all a well-crafted set up and Feng Qun was the mastermind behind the Bai family downfall.

In rage and regret, YiHan had charged at Feng Qun in search of justice. All he ended up with were humiliation and laughter. He was even beaten up. He spiralled down into despair. He didn’t dare conceal the truth anymore. He confessed to his family what he’d done. They didn’t say anything, but he could tell they were disappointed in him.

After the Bai family’s fall, YiHan focused on trying to do something to right the wrongs he’d done. He tried his best to think up of ways to earn some cash so his brother could rise from the ashes. He didn’t dare spend a single cent more than he needed to. He saved up the meagre allowance his family gave and looked for work everywhere he could. However, he was a rich kid who wasn’t very active. He was a sickly child. His family was very lenient on him. He never even listened properly during classes. There was no way he could find a proper job. In the end, he only got a job as a pianist at a cafe he once frequented because he once learned piano on a whim. When Feng Qun knew of it, he would bring his friends and humiliate him nearly every single day. After everything, Bai YiHan was no longer that proud rich kid anymore. He learned to bite his tongue and bear with the shameful attitudes just so he could earn some money.

But Feng Qun wasn’t willing to let YiHan go just like that. Together with the bastards that were his friends, they drugged him and dragged him back into a hotel Feng Qun’s family owned. Then, they hired men to gang rape him. They took countless photos and videos of that incident, and spread them far and wide. YiHan’s reputation shattered.

When he finally woke up sober and realised what had happened, he almost broke down. Through all that pain, he only wished to be comforted by his family. But when he stumbled back into his home, all he saw were a floor full of indescribable photos and his family’s disappointed gaze. Due to the drug, no one could tell he was being raped in the photos. His family felt so very let down. He’d hidden the fact he was working from his family. They thought he was always gone from home because he was out playing. They were already disappointed enough by his carefree and ungrateful attitude. After looking at those photos and videos, all of that just turned to rage. The health of YiHan’s grandfather, who loved him more than anything, had turned bad ever since their family’s downfall. When he saw those things, he harshly slapped YiHan in the face. He was so furious that he collapsed out of rage. The doctors tried again and again to save him, but they still failed. YiHan’s grandfather passed away and the family descended into chaos. No one could be bothered to care about YiHan then. After personally witnessing his beloved grandfather dying because of him, YiHan’s fragile mind broke.

After the funeral, YiHan was too ashamed to go back home. Among all that fear, hate and confusion, YiHan went to his and JingYuan’s “secret base” from when they were kids. It was an abandoned warehouse. He curled up in the corner of the warehouse, trying to find the safety he once felt. If no one found him, he might have died there all alone. However, Feng Qun who’d been following him this entire time found him. That trash soon found two thugs and charged into the warehouse with them.

YiHan was a spoiled rich kid. He was still hurt and his body was still weak due to the incident a few days ago and his mental breakdown. He was no match for three big men. He was quickly overtaken and held down. His right leg was broken. They shattered his left hand and raped him once more. Everyone said even a rabbit would bite back if it’s backed into a corner. Being raped over and over again while sober? He went crazy. He used all his strength to grab a sharp steel bar with his perfect right hand and stabbed it through the head of the person on top of him. The others were petrified by the bloody scene before them. He gathered the last of his courage and struck out at the remaining two while they were still in shock. The other thug fell down dead. Feng Qun was frightened to death by him and scrambled to escape. But YiHan soon took him down and dragged him to the other two’s fate.


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LC: Chapter 36

36. Chests Will Always Have Surprises

“Phew. Everyone on the streets is talking about us.”

“Yes. Luckily, we can hide our party name. I wouldn’t be here alive otherwise.”

CopperPlate was sprawled out like a corpse on the thick and fluffy carpet of the President’s Suite. Once in a while, he’d roll around in playful, goofy joy. “It’s so soft. Just as expected, the President’s Suite is a special existence,” he said.

The tiny cat was staring at CopperPlate. He looked like he was having fun and the carpet was really comfortable. So, it mimicked CopperPlate and rolled around on the carpet. Hence, the first thing the new arrivals to the party gathering saw were a black ball of fur and a man with frazzled, scruffy red hair competing on just who could roll harder. Black lines descended down the onlookers’ faces.

“Everyone’s here. I now declare the first loot-splitting meeting open.” Pop. Crackle. Sizzle. I_Am_A_Poor_Man went to his Storage beforehand to organise it and grabbed a few of last year’s Christmas poppers along the way to perk up the atmosphere.

First were the equipment. Of course, the necklace XiaoYu was already wearing didn’t count. They sorted the equipment without additional stats out. The remaining equipment was then handed out according to jobs. Those with the same jobs will compare their current equipment. The person with the worse equipment got the first choice. After all that sorting, the last remaining item, a queen’s crown, laid before the crowd. Who should have it and why were all up for debate.

“Tsk. Just like that king’s crown. It’s pretty but its stats are just trash. It’s actually +2 Agility and +2 Intelligence.”

“Right. Didn’t you guys say you found a crown while grinding once? How did you split the loot then?” Below_The_Moon recalled hearing about it from CopperPlate when they were travelling through the desert.

“Oh. Chrysanthemum sold it, then we split the money,” CopperPlate replied.

“If all of you trust me, I can help you fetch the highest price possible for this crown,” Chrysanthemum smiled. The Healers Alliance mainly comprised of female players. This queen’s crown might be even more popular than a king’s crown.

“Sure. We’ll leave it in your hands.”

With all the important equipment handed out, the party’s attitude to the leftover knick-knacks and Profession materials turned more relaxed. If someone needed it for their Profession or missions, they can grab it themselves. The unwanted items were thrown into the same pile as the stat-less equipment. Once all loot was split, they’ll sell the whole pile and split the money.

The money dropped from mobs were the simplest to deal with. Evenly split after one glance at the number listed in the small cat’s Inventory.

At last, there were the Queen Ant card and a Desert Scorpion card (Poison Resistance +5%. Type: Wrist.). These were the most troublesome questions. The latter, average mob card wasn’t that hard. It’s just a matter of patience and time. It didn’t have good stats either. The former card was an extremely rare card with stats one could only wish for. It’d be a pity to sell it off, but it’s hard to say just who should have it.

“I don’t need it. Pass!” Chrysanthemum said with a wave. She was only there to tag along. It was already way beyond her expectations to have earned so much experience and crystal coins, and she was so very satisfied and fulfilled spiritually.

“We don’t need it either. We don’t have any good clothing for it,” CopperPlate waved his hand too. A boss card should be slotted into +10 equipment or higher. Only then would it not be wasted. It’d be blasphemy otherwise.

NonMeta silently nodded in agreement.

“Me too. I don’t want it either,” XiaoYu hurriedly followed up with a shake of his head. He felt guilty enough for taking that necklace.

“Then we’ll put it into our guild’s war supplies. I’ll push our elite smiths to make a Fur Coat about +11. What do you think, Chief?” I_Am_A_Poor_Man turned to look at HereticKing. (A Fur Coat were a rather rare equipment with good defences and didn’t have any job restrictions. Unfortunately, it can only be produced from the cunning foxes of the barren snowy mountains.)

“Mn,” HereticKing grunted in assent.

“Of course, you’re all welcome to borrow it whenever you need it. But you can’t have it for guild wars,” I_Am_A_Poor_Man waggled his finger. That line was said towards the non-Heretic Demons guild members. “I, Poor_Man, formally announce the end of the first loot-splitting meeting. It’s awesome that everyone’s so friendly and compromising. Yay~” As he said so, he threw flower petals up in the air.

Black lines descended down everyone’s faces once more. Just where did he get so many of these useless toys from? The petals he threw were the rose petals from the Valentine’s Day event everyone spent their time gathering.

Still, it was indeed an occasion for celebration, especially since there were rare items. Stories of how the awkward situation of having too many hands and not enough loot caused a somewhat cooperative group to turn on each other in a brawl were everywhere in the forums. Of course, this might be because half of the party members were from Heretic Demons. They’ve got a good reputation and their chief said nothing the entire time, except for a small grunt. Naturally, there was nothing for everyone to fight over. They’d already received quite a lot of good loot.

“Then…as celebration, we’ll now proceed with the next event – the heart-throbbing, face-blushing chest opening ceremony.”

“Right. We still have the chests the game rewarded us. I wonder what’s hiding in there.”

After the server-wide announcement, everyone received a message from the game’s system. To reward the brave players who forged and paved a new way forward, the game gave them each a chest of random items. The chests were directly placed in the players’ inventories, but they were busy rushing back to the capital then. If I_Am_A_Poor_Man hadn’t mentioned it, they’d have forgotten about it.

“Let’s go one by one. I’ll open first.” CopperPlate instantly perked up and dug out his mysterious and purple-glowing chest. He clasped his hands in a prayer, gathered his courage and threw the chest lid open.

“Boing~”

“Aaah!”

“Mrrrow!”

Crash! Clatter! Thonk.

“Mrrrr…”

The above happened within mere seconds. Let us look back at it in slow-motion. First, a ghastly face popped out of the box. It’s the usual kind found in prank boxes. CopperPlate was caught unawares and shouted in fright. He threw the box away from him. Of all the places that box could go to, it unfortunately went flying at the tiny cat. Frightened to the point of all turning into a frazzled ball, it started running around the room. Finally, it ended with a bump on a table corner. Its head was all swollen and bruised. It hurts. Sobs.

XiaoYu’s heart ached and he carefully gathered the kitten up in his arms for a tender and thorough petting. The tiny cat had no health indicators. He didn’t know how badly hurt it actually was. All he could do was offer it snacks in an attempt to cheer it up. But this time, the pain was too much for it to bear. It completely ignored its favourite fish. Its teary form looked so pitiful that everyone’s eyes bore right into CopperPlate.

“Oops. I didn’t mean to. Little cat. Tiny, tiny lucky. Precious baby. Don’t cry.” CopperPlate had just started recovering from shock when everyone started glaring at him. Under the numerous glares attempting to kill him, he ran over to coax and soothe the small cat. Unluckily for him, this precious little kitten ignored him.

“Give it to me,” HereticKing said as he held a hand out to XiaoYu. A crying cat with its paws covering its head was handed over.

“Meow~” Mister, it hurts~

Bling!

HereticKing didn’t say a single word. He just took out a shiny and shimmering gold coin and started waving it before the small cat.

“Meow! Mrrow!” A gold coin!

As if it had just been injected with a stimulant, the tiny paws abandoned the small bruise on its head and changed its target to the coin in HereticKing’s hand.

Everyone, including XiaoYu, bitterly looked away. They don’t recognise this greedy cat.

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