Chapter 55: Fourth World (14)
Translated by Shiya of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Although Bai Duan had only been in the game for half a year, the reward of the hidden quest was great. Plus, he always ran around with Xie Yan to dangerous areas where a lot of high level monsters were at. Therefore, Bai Duan’s player level had rapidly increased. Even though it was still very far away from getting into the rankings, he was catching up to the average level of all the players very quickly. Moreover, personal quality of the player was emphasized in the [Ten Thousand Realms], so binds weren’t set for players with lower player level.
In addition to his rapidly rising player level, Bai Duan also had top-notch equipment. They were made by Xie Yan himself. They were way more sophisticated than the previous equipment he collected himself. It completely made up for the lower player defense stats that Bai Duan had. Moreover, with this set of equipment, Bai Duan could calmly face various dungeon bosses and high level small monsters and return without dying every time.
Compared with Bai Duan, Cheng Hong was obviously insufficient.
Although Cheng Hong played the game for a longer time and had a higher player level, he didn’t spend much effort in managing his own account. That was why he was jealous of Xie Yan and wanted to pull him down from the altar into the mud because, except for that method, he would never be able to catch up with Xie Yan in the game and would always be trampled over by the other.
On one side was Cheng Hong, who was a high-level but muddle headed player. On the other side was Bai Duan, who was a lower level player with more battle experiences and often fought dungeon bosses. The result of this fight was as clear as day.
The fox race specialized in speed and control. Due to Bai Duan’s low player level and insufficient attack stats, Bai Duan gave up attacking completely and chose to use control skills to help Xie Yan during the hidden quest.
When he was with Xie Yan, he was responsible for controlling the state of their opponents, allowing Xie Yan to focus on attacking at full strength. The cooperation between them was smooth and seamless. Even the dungeon bosses with extremely thick skin and flesh could not stand against Bai Duan, let alone Cheng Hong who was way inferior than the dungeon bosses. Even if Xie Yan was not present, only Bai Duan was enough to take Cheng Hong down.
In the face of Cheng Hong, Bai Duan used a set of ‘shock’, ‘weaken’, ‘confusion’, and ‘bewilderment’ skills. His mental strength was much stronger than Cheng Hong’s, so his aiming was ridiculously good. Cheng Hong had just dealt with one negative effect, before he could fight back, he was immediately faced with another negative effect.
Bai Duan, who specialized in control skills, had a stack of different skills to use. After using the whole set, their individual CDs1 almost ended as well. So, Bai Duan could start all over from the beginning. Whenever Cheng Hong was affected by his control skills, Bai Duan would carefully and slowly stab him, making his HP go down slowly. After all, Cheng Hong had a higher player level, so he had a stronger defense status and a higher total HP. With Bai Duan’s tragic attack status, even if he had the best weapon, each stab could only take away a dozen drops of Cheng Hong’s total HP, but Bai Duan was not in a hurry, not at all. ^_^
For the sake of making it real, the players could feel pain when they sustained injuries. Even if the pain was adjusted to the lowest level, it would still hurt. Cheng Hong felt as if he had been stabbed hundreds of times by Bai Duan with an embroidery needle, as if his body had been stabbed so much that he was going to turn into a sieve. The pain was not intense but continuous, like a chronic torture, something he was unable to escape, and unable to fight back against, forcing him to nearly collapse.
Of course, there were also other reasons for Bai Duan to continuously use control skills.
The players in this world were the embodiment of their spirits and will, and the control skills that would act on the player’s spirit would continue to consume it. Although this kind of effect was very small, if you piled them up layer by layer and didn’t give the player any chance to rest, it would make the player feel tired, dizzy and sick.
Later on, even though Bai Duan stopped using control skills, Cheng Hong, who did not have strong willpower to begin with, was so weakened that he was much like a headless fly. He was just randomly attacking. He even cut Luo Xi several times as Luo Xi was trying to persuade them not to fight, Luo Xi almost lost all of his HP and died.
Bai Duan glanced at Luo Xi who was seriously injured, he apologized insincerely in his heart, and then continued to have a ‘duel’ with Cheng Hong merrily.
The only pity was that Bai Duan’s attack status was not high enough to kill Cheng Hong back to the respawn point before the ‘administrator’ arrived. Because the tavern was a place where PK was forbidden, so the human race enforcers soon received a call from the tavern manager and came to arrest the people who caused the trouble.
Bai Duan had to stop fighting regrettably, he quickly left the battle area and feigned an obedient and honest look. However, Cheng Hong, who was still wielding his weapons, was surrounded by the enforcers, he was pushed to the ground and tied up with heavy chains.
Because it was Cheng Hong who attacked the innocent (?) Bai Duan and Luo Xi first, as such Cheng Hong got the heaviest fine among them. As for Bai Duan and Luo Xi, they only need to pay a small fine for disrupting public order, and that was the end of story. Money was not the most scarce thing for Bai Duan to begin with, and not to mention, Xie Yan would never let him suffer. Plus, in truth, the compensation money from the game company for the hidden quest incident was enough for Bai Duan to spend recklessly for a long time.
When Cheng Hong was taken away by the officer, his face was pale and his legs were trembling. He even had some difficulties in walking, but at least his mind had recovered.
When passing by Bai Duan, Bai Duan curved his lips up, giving him a bright and beautiful smile, one that was full of malice. Bai Duan then quietly bid him farewell, “When you are released, we can pick this up again. Let’s have fun and play~ ”
Cheng Hong’s eyes narrowed slightly, it took him a long time to understand what Bai Duan was talking about. He suddenly showed an expression of horror. His knees were weak and he almost fell to the ground. At this moment, he had a thick shadow called, ‘Bai Duan’ covering his heart. A fear that he could not resist, it was too much that he probably would never forget it for the rest of his life.
Cheng Hong was taken away by the official in fright. Bai Duan watched him leave and turned his eyes to Luo Xi in the corner.
Feeling Bai Duan’s gaze, Luo Xi subconsciously shivered. Obviously, he was also frightened by Cheng Hong’s ‘tormented’ look caused by Bai Duan just now. His face, which was already pale due to his injuries, got even whiter.
In face of such a weak and uncompetitive ‘love rival’, Bai Duan really didn’t know what to do. If he let it go, he would have some lingering unwillingness in the back of his mind. But if he continued, it would seem like he was bullying the weak, and that wouldn’t be virtuous.
Finally, Bai Duan raised his eyebrows and said with a kind voice, “Although Qian LinFeng doesn’t like you now, I’m rather petty, so please don’t appear in front of him again. Can you promise me that?”
Luo Xi nodded his head repeatedly, he dared not say a word.
“Thank you.” Seeing that he was so obedient, Bai Duan was quite satisfied. He politely said goodbye to Luo Xi and walked out of the tavern.
After Cheng Hong and Luo Xi made that whole mess, it was almost time for him to logout. Xie Yan wouldn’t be online today anyways, so Bai Duan decided that he would logout as well. He planned to rest and regain enough spirit, he needed it to face the bloodshed that would come in the game tomorrow. He believed that with how narrow Cheng Hong’s mind was, it would be impossible for him to just swallow his failure. Even if he didn’t dare appear in front of Bai Duan himself, he would surely hide and make posts in the public forums to manipulate the public opinion.
Wasn’t that what he used last time, almost forcing Xie Yan out of the game?
Bai Duan’s expectations were not wrong. When he logged into the game the next day, gossip about him and Xie Yan were making a storm in the city. It was obvious that it was Cheng Hong’s doing.
Bai Duan was not as famous as Xie Yan. He was an extremely low-key player and rarely appeared. The only black spot was about his ‘might be fake’ beautiful appearance.
It was said in the posts that Bai Duan knew of Xie Yan’s real appearance, but he was still willing to be with him. So, eight out of ten, he was wearing a fake skin too, and he sympathized with Xie Yan. Although the posts were just the imagination of the post writers, and there was no real evidence like with Xie Yan’s revelation post, there were still many players who kind of believed it, especially since there was the old case Xie Yan there. Some who were afraid that the world was not chaotic enough, even especially started maliciously uproaring.
For those ‘revelation’ posts, Bai Duan didn’t really care at all. After all, he was not like Xie Yan who had long suffered pressure in real life because of his appearance. Bai Duan didn’t care about other people’s opinions and evaluations of his own appearance. The only thing he cared about was how Xie Yan would react when he read those posts and hears the rumors. In Cheng Hong’s posts, he clearly and definitely said that Bai Duan was together with Xie Yan and even cohabited with him. While in fact, they haven’t even held hands before, they were still at the stage of pure ‘friendship’!
… Well, except for the kiss that happened by accident when they were rolling off the snow mountain.
Bai Duan anxiously waited for Xie Yan to go online and tried to think of ways to explain these. In the meantime, in another city, Xie Yan settled down smoothly. He had completed the formalities of getting into the new job, familiarized himself with the company and colleagues. Then, finally, he had time to log into the game to meet his sweetheart, the person whom he had been missing for a long time. When he logged in, he learned about what Bai Duan did from the game’s media system which was responsible for showing the various trends in the game.
Xie Yan felt quite complicated. Usually, it was Xie Yan who would use public opinion or lies to bind Bai Duan to him, but this time, he was the one who was bound. He didn’t know whether he should be happy that Bai Duan was learning fast or worry about ‘teaching an apprentice only to make himself starve to death’.
However, if it was this kind of ‘starve to death’, he must admit, he enjoyed it.
After logging into the game, the first thing Xie Yan did was to find his lover who had taken the initiative in this life. Xie Yan put on his honest and cowardly mask once again, he narrated his life in the new city and the company to Bai Duan, not forgetting to look worried and uneasy.
Although Bai Duan had something on his mind, he still listened to Xie Yan’s story carefully. From time to time, he encouraged Xie Yan, he also gave him suggestions, and tried to help Xie Yan take the first step towards society and into the world.
In truth, as long as you were optimistic and confident enough, even if you were fat, ugly or disabled, you could still live in your own way. After recounting his experiences, Xie Yan seemed to be relieved. After being encouraged and comforted by Bai Duan, he finally had the energy and vitality that a young man in his twenties should have.
Seeing this side of Xie Yan, Bai Duan was happy for him, and he felt more certain that he made the right choice, persuading Xie Yan to work hard for his favorite game — even if he needed to bear the pain of being lovesick and suffer from being separated.
After taking a deep breath, Bai Duan pursed his lips together, he had made a decision.
Yesterday’s confrontation with Luo Xi had made Bai Duan recognize his feelings for Xie Yan even more. He wanted to be together with him, and he was unwilling to give him up to anyone.
If that was the case, was there still any reason for Bai Duan to hesitate? Now that Xie Yan was living far away in another city, the more reason he should label him as his as soon as possible. He had to avoid other people snatching Xie Yan away, right?
After putting up a light smile, Bai Duan looked at Xie Yan, “In fact, there’s something I need to tell you.”
“What is it?” Xie Yan blinked and asked, even though he already knew what Bai Duan was referring to.
“Just open the players’ forum and have a look,” Bai Duan coughed dryly and urged him softly. “You have a look first.”
Xie Yan had a reluctant expression. Ever since his real face in reality had been revealed, he had never gone to the players’ forum again, and had a very strong shadow in his heart when it came to that place. However, Xie Yan still opened the forum page since Bai Duan asked him to, and he saw the ‘gossip posts’ about Bai Duan almost immediately.
Xie Yan’s face suddenly sank, he quickly clicked the post, and the more he read it, the angrier he got. Even though the media system had already reported that to him beforehand, when Xie Yan actually read these contemptuous, malicious, and fake posts that were referring to Bai Duan, Xie Yan still couldn’t stand them.
In essence, he and Bai Duan were the same kind of people. They could ignore other people’s opinions about themselves, but if the accusations were directed to their lovers, that would completely piss them off. Observing Xie Yan’s angry expression, Bai Duan gently pat him on the shoulder, drawing Xie Yan’s attention back to himself.
Xie Yan turned to look at Bai Duan. Although he had already come up with 180 ways of revenge in his mind, he continued to maintain his mask of clumsiness, “These… these are all not true!”
“Hmn, but I don’t care at all,” Bai Duan shrugged his shoulders as he said. Bai Duan suddenly raised his hand to hold Xie Yan’s cheeks and looked him in the eye, “But there is one part in it that’s true.”
Xie Yan’s anger flew out to space in a flash, he stared at Bai Duan stupidly, as if he was bewildered and confused by his sudden intimacy, “Whi… which part?”
“Why of course the part that I’m deeply in love with you,” Bai Duan said with a joking and playful tone, but his eyes were serious and focused. He confessed his long hidden feelings for Xie Yan without any disguise, “I like you, Xie Yan. I liked you for a long time ago. Let’s get together?”
Although a questioning tone was used at the end, Bai Duan’s tone did not have the slightest room for negotiations. Instead, it sounded like he had already made a decisive decision. He knew that Xie Yan felt inferior and cowardly because of his appearance, so Xie Yan was very defensive when it came to feelings. Xie Yan might even choose to hide back into his shell and refuse his confession because of all those concerns, uneasiness and for self-protection.
But it didn’t matter.
If Xie Yan dared not take the step, then Bai Duan would do it. Although Bai Duan would think carefully again and again before taking action, when it came to things that he had already decided on, Bai Duan would never waver or hesitate. Even if he hit a wall, he would never turn back.
He was certain that he liked Xie Yan, and Bai Duan also knew that Xie Yan was interested in him, so nothing was going to stop him. Moreover, even if Xie Yan didn’t cooperate, Bai Duan wouldn’t mind taking more drastic measures to force Xie Yan out of his shell and to admit his feelings.
For certain people and certain things, perhaps a more direct approach would be more effective. Since Bai Duan already made the decision to take the initiative, then he would not give Xie Yan the chance to escape. “I like you, and I think you like me too. It doesn’t matter if you don’t, you will eventually like me. So, from now on, we are lovers,” Bai Duan had a big smiley face on, but his tone was unnegotiable, “If you have any problems with the arrangements, please hold it. After we’ve been together for a while, and if you still can’t accept it, we can discuss it.”
This was the first time Xie Yan was bound and forced, “…”