Chapter 181: Zhu QingLing, my brother.
Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Bai Li woke up at dawn. After having breakfast, Bai Li contacted Lei Bao, the current president of Tasty Foods, whom he hadn’t heard from in a while.
The day he signed a contract with Bai Li and got three Carefree Farmstead game slots from him, Lei Bao went back and gave the extra two to his subordinates who had taken credit for this matter, then he plunged himself into the world of the virtual reality game.
Lei Bao enjoyed farming, fishing and mining, and really felt the sensation of physical and mental comfort that players described. The Imperial Research Institute’s test report came out two days later, and he then realized how valuable the game quota in his hands was. Having a game slot in his hand was a guarantee of relief and treatment for his Genetic Collapse Disorder!
So in the following days, except for the necessary time for work and meetings, Lei Bao was fully engaged in Carefree Farmstead. When Bai Li contacted him offline, he withdrew from the game before replying to Bai Li.
“Dear Bai Li, good morning. Are you looking for me today for something?” Lei Bao sent a video communication directly to Bai Li, and greeted the person with a big smile when the other got through.
Compared to the meeting ten days ago, Lei Bao’s condition seemed much better. The expression on his face was no longer tense. It was more casual and natural, and when he smiled, it wasn’t a stiff business-like smile, but had heartfelt joy everywhere.
Bai Li was glad that Wen XingYao wasn’t with him at that moment, otherwise he might have made a scene. He smiled as well. “Good morning Mr. Lei, you look in good shape. I came to see you today to ask how your research on the new flavors of nutrient solutions is going, and whether you encountered any difficulties in the process.”
“Haha! You don’t have to worry, everything is going very smoothly. I got the first batch of test products yesterday, and the taste is the same as the items I ate in the game. I have already arranged to have the factory mass produce them. I was so engrossed in the game that I forgot to inform you, the biggest contributor,” Lei Bao explained to Bai Li with an embarrassed face.
Bai Li hadn’t expected the process to go so smoothly. He really only needed to provide a little bit of relevant data, and then he could get a 40% share of the profits. Why did he suddenly feel a little uneasy about how he was earning his money?
However this small mood swing wasn’t the focus of today’s conversation, Bai Li quickly adjusted his mood and explained his purpose, “Here’s the thing, Mr. Lei. I’m designing this month’s campaign, which you should know if you read the official website announcement from the beginning of the month. I was wondering if I could use the new flavor of nutrient liquid that your company has produced as part of the reward for the participating players…”
Before his words were finished, Lei Bao on the other side of the screen had already gotten an expression of excitement to the point of deformation, and was busy responding, “Yes, yes! Of course I can, what’s wrong with that?! Not to mention that our company and Mr. Bai are now in a cooperative relationship, just thinking of it as advertising our new nutritional solution! With the current popularity of Carefree Farmstead, as long as the content of the campaign rewards are announced, once the new product is released, sales will definitely explode!”
Such an offer was clearly beneficial. He would be stupid to refuse it!
Bai Li had already stopped talking, as if he was shocked by Lei Bao’s excitement and lost his words for a moment. Lei Bao was afraid that Bai Li would back out at that time, and hurriedly said, “Well, since this batch of nutrient liquid is a reward for the activity, it will be provided by our company for free. Bai Li, you just quote the quantity needed, and we will prepare it for you!”
Bai Li had reason to suspect that if he just quoted the quantity randomly, Lei Bao would pack over all the finished products he had made now. He thought about it, thanked Lei Bao for his generosity, and quoted a number that was not too high or too low. Originally, he only intended to give it to the top ten players in the final as an additional reward, but now it seemed that…rather, it could also be used as a point exchange item for the shelves?
After all, the number of players who got the nutrient solution should be more than enough to play the role of advertising.
The two quickly agreed on the exact amount of nutrient solution, and that it would be sent directly from the headquarters of Tasty Foods after the players provided their addresses at the end of the event. Both sides were satisfied with this.
After they talked about business, the video was almost ready to end, but before he hung up, Lei Bao grabbed the time and wanted to ask Bai Li about the content of the event.
“Bai Li, this month’s event…” Lei Bao made the action of rubbing his hands together, with the obvious intention of inquiring about the specific content and gameplay of the event before the other players.
Bai Li saw through it at a glance and shook his head, to express his refusal. There was no point in saying such things in advance. There was a need to maintain some mystery before the 15th.
“Hey, okay then. I’ll hang up first and continue playing the game.” Lei Bao was fine when he saw that Bai Li didn’t agree. He said goodbye and hung up the video.
The chat ended there, and after he had arranged one of the rewards that he had thought of before going to bed, Bai Li went on to replenish the other item rewards. The rewards from last month could be used, but he had to add some newer and more exotic objects, so it took half the morning to finish adding them all. After that, he gave specific instructions on how to play the event in the form of text, then let the Village Chief continue to act as the judge of the event when it started.
For month’s 15th, in addition to going live with the month’s event, Bai Li also intended to go live with a brand new gameplay.
It was the “icon collection system,” which was based on what the players had done since the creation of their character, how often they logged into the game, and all the unique items they had touched would be entered into a special collection book. Whenever a certain amount was collected, or a certain combination was collected, they would be rewarded with experience, money and special items.
Crops, flowers, fruits, fish, ores, clothing, furniture, recipes…In short, everything could be collected, which was extremely friendly to players with OCD and collecting fetishes.
For the early days of the new content, Bai Li opened nine categories of collecting, which was enough for players to handle for a while. When they were almost done collecting those, he would add new categories.
After that, the announcement was prepared, and ready to be released tomorrow at 12:00 sharp. Time rushed by in a hectic manner, and soon, it was time for the event announcement to be released.
Before the announcement came out, many players actually remembered that there was an event in the middle of the month. They were wondering how to play the event called the “Vegetable Grabbing Battle” and whether the items from last month would continue to appear this month. Then the announcement for the event finally came out!
Almost a million players, plus their fellow netizens who had nothing better to do than to come over and watch the fun, crowded the small official website. After they read the content of the announcement, there was a lively discussion.
[So this is the way to grab vegetables? I’m familiar with this job. I’ll make sure to grab more and faster! Hey, I’ve been craving those tree houses and pet eggs for a long time, so this time I must save up more event points and exchange them for more rewards!]
[A game is 30 minutes, and in one day there are 10 opportunities. That is only five hours. Okay okay, not much time. I can completely accept it!]
[The front, did you forget that seven chances have to be obtained by doing a task? That time must also be counted, but I guess the task should not be difficult. After completing there are item rewards, so it’s not a loss…]
[… I said I always feel like I’m forgetting something, and it turns out that this month’s event has not yet started, ah! I feel like this event is very interesting. My beast type leans towards speed. Grabbing things, I’m sure I’m good at it…]
[Ahhhhhhh! I am looking forward to the event day and night finally starting! As a non-celebrity on earth, I just want to know whether the first place of this event still has the reward of a game quota. If so, can I book a high price in advance? The price is randomly opened, this child only wants to play the game. Oooooooo! QAQ]
[Upstairs astonishing landlord! Players see it. It’s the time to get rich!]
[By the way, is no one discussing the ‘icon collection system’ that LiLi mentioned at the bottom of the announcement? It’s online at the same time as the event, and you don’t care about what’s going on?]
[Hey, hey, hey! Take your time on this one. Let’s try to get through the three days of the event first! My hands are thirsty for food!]
The players were still talking a lot about the event, and the fellow netizens who hadn’t entered the game yet urged the game anchors of each village to remember to open more live streams by then, so that they could also participate a little. The anchors were amused and saddened for them at the same time, and agreed to do so with their mouths full.
Newbie Village #66.
Zhu MoLing also ran to the game’s official website to read the announcement of the event, and then went to the game forum to do a brief “archaeology hunt” of last month’s event. Precious game places, tree houses, pet eggs, bicycles that only existed in the history textbooks, plus other bits and pieces of items that could be exchanged…It was undoubtedly a carnival for all players. In order to achieve their goals, players would naturally try to earn points.
This month would be no different.
Before the list of redeemable items came out, Zhu MoLing set his goal as getting the most points and redeeming the biggest rewards. Only then could he have a sense of accomplishment at the end of the event. When he thought about that, the corners of his mouth pulled up a happy curve. He took out the tall, clear glass he bought from the game store from his backpack, poured a small glass of cola, and made a “cheers” gesture to the air.
His neighbor next door happened to come out to clean up his field, and accidentally saw the whole process. The corners of his mouth twitched, and he resisted the urge to laugh as he turned his head away. His rich and capricious neighbor was good in other ways, but the occasional outpouring of the soul made it really hard for the middle-aged man not to laugh out loud…
The ground wouldn’t be cleaned up. He had to hurry into his house, or he wouldn’t be able to resist. Hahaha! The neighbor turned quickly into his house, so fast that there seemed to be a sequelae. Zhu MoLing glanced in the direction of his yard, and did not take it to heart, nor did he link the man’s reaction to his “cheers” behavior.
A short while later, Fox One and Fox Two came over. After they handed over the materials they had collected the day before to Zhu MoLing, they discussed the new event preview, and agreed to do the quests together. They were about to leave when Zhu MoLing called them back.
“You guys…Do you know anything about Bai Li?” Zhu MoLing asked.
Fox One sniffed at his own Patriarch and found that his expression was tense. His eyes were averted but he wanted to pry into something. He had a loose guess in his heart.
The Patriarch did he…did he intend to follow the Ancient Blue Star proverb, because of Bai Li’s saving grace, he wanted to give him his body in return, right? However, according to their observation in the past two days, Bai Li and Admiral Wen clearly had something going on between them.
How could their Patriarch do something that interfered with other people’s feelings? He had to put out this flame in the cradle!
As he thought of this, Fox One’s face was solemn and he answered in a serious manner, “Patriarch, we don’t know much about Bai Li, we only know that he just became an adult this year and was living alone before he participated in the Holographic Game Design Competition. He has a good relationship with Admiral Wen and Adjutant Tang. Also, according to my observation, he has a very close relationship with the Admiral.”
It was almost like saying that these two were one. Patriarch, you’re late!
Originally Zhu MoLing listened to the previous words, and occasionally nodded to show understanding, but when he heard the last sentence, he looked up at Fox One’s expression and his head was immediately filled with question marks.
Why was he looking at him with such pity and sympathy? He was not losing money, so why look at him like this? Also, Bai Li and Wen XingYao were very close, what did that matter to him? Why talk to him specifically about this?
…Well, he did feel a little uncomfortable when he heard this news.
However, Zhu MoLing could guarantee that his discomfort was completely different from what Fox One was thinking. His feeling was probably that a cabbage that was easily raised was actually swallowed by a pig? He didn’t know why he made such an association!
Zhu MoLing, “…”
Fox One, “…”
The main duo stared at each other and it was Fox One who was the first to lose the battle.
“You’re overthinking it,” Zhu MoLing said.
“Oh…” Fox One nodded weakly, and mentally reminded himself that he’d better think less in the future.
Continue back to the simple information, Fox One told himself.
He was eighteen years old, and had always lived alone.
Three years ago his brother disappeared, at exactly fifteen years old. His brother’s beast type was a white nine-tailed fox, and born with a superb talent for illusions. At first, the family only thought they were ordinary illusions, but soon found that as his brother grew up, his ability also became more and more powerful. Not only could he change his appearance and body type, he could travel beyond the ancient and modern times. It wasn’t impossible to do.
Of course, the “beyond the past and the present,” wasn’t really sending people to the past or the future, but under the effect of illusion, it would let people see scenes that didn’t match reality.
Zhu MoLing’s heart had a vague guess. Could it be that his brother pooled all his energy of illusion in his own body, which not only let him become another person and deceive everyone, but also let him lose all the memories of the past at the same time? As for his ability to create a holographic farming game, maybe that was also the effect of the illusion?
Bai Li. Bai Li. Would that refer to a white fox?
The more Zhu MoLing thought about it, the more he felt his suspicions were correct. He let Fox One and Fox Two leave first, then he sat alone in his house and thought for a long while longer. However when he calmed down and tried to come up with an action, he found that he wasn’t able to do anything. His guesses had no basis, and he didn’t know how to break the illusion he had decided existed. Unless Bai Li, was really his brother and recovered his original memory, then manually released the illusion, the two of them wouldn’t have any possible way to recognize each other.
Otherwise, if he rushed up and shouted that Bai Li was his brother, he would be taken for obsessing about his brother and not being sober in the head. When he thought about it, Zhu MoLing was depressed. However, after so many years of disappointment, now that there was an obvious clue, Zhu MoLing wouldn’t give up.
It wasn’t enough to recall the memory of his brother. He didn’t believe that the brotherly love that had lasted fifteen years couldn’t overcome three years of separation. When he regained his memory in reality again, he must do something to remind his brother.
Although he wasn’t 100% certain that Bai Li was his brother, Zhu MoLing had already decided on this fact in his heart. After he made up his mind, Zhu MoLing exhaled a heavy breath and wrote “Zhu QingLing” with his finger on the table with the tea that had gone cold.
Zhu Qingling, my brother. Your older brother will soon find you.
The 15th of March came as promised. The players who had rested well in advance the day before, entered the game at midnight exactly and found there was a slight difference in their own yard. The difference wasn’t obvious, just that some crops had anthropomorphized into dolls in the corners like an embellishment. It wasn’t much, but at least there was some atmosphere of activity.
Some players were curious, went up to tease them a little, and found that their hands could touch them. At the same time, there were system tips. Those were small gifts prepared for everyone as souvenirs. At the end of the event they wouldn’t disappear, and could be brought home as a decoration.
The players naturally laughed at the small gift and heartily praised Bai Li’s generosity and thoughtfulness.
Bai Li was also in the game with Wen XingYao at that time. He didn’t know what Wen XingYao was thinking. Obviously there was a gaming pod in his own room, but this time he insisted on running to his room to play. Fortunately the gaming pod was updated, and the capacity inside was large enough for two big men to lay down.
So Bai Li agreed after a little hesitation.
He logged on to the game, opened the door to his house, and saw a large circle of people outside the courtyard. It was everyone he knew and had a good relationship with. They all actually came.
The five anchors of Mushroom Village, Tang Ying, Xiong Pili, Jiang Huaibi’s parents, What Are You Playing?, Shaded Nettle…And almost at the same time as he opened the door, Wen XingYao opened his next door.
The dozen or so people crowded together would make other players who accidentally walked by mistake think they’d come to a debt collection site.
“LiLi, you’re finally online!” Jiang Huaibi cheerfully spoke up and waved her arms excitedly towards him. “The event has already started! We should go to the competition together!”
The others were also looking at Bai Li in anticipation, and it looked like they had all agreed beforehand.
Mo Song had already turned on the live broadcast, and in front of the live camera, Song Xinran also made a few cheering movements and set a flag. “For this month’s event, I must also get a lot of points, so when the event is over I can exchange them for the best rewards. I’ll be in the top 50 of Mushroom Village’s points!”
Jiang Huaibi gave a soft “hum” and joked with him. “Ahem. Did you forget that I was the first place winner last month? Maybe this time the first place is still mine. Hehehehe…”
After the two kids finished talking tough to each other, it was the turn of the others present. They were all talking and discussing, and they all had high expectations for the “final round” mentioned in the announcement.
Entering the finals would mean more points and the chance to meet with players from other villages in advance, so of course they had to fight for such a lively occasion. However, Bai Li came out from the courtyard and threw a pot of cold water on them.
“Are you sure that so many of us should enter the game map together? This is likely to increase the difficulty of the whole game. Maybe when we get out, we will doubt life and feel that we can’t even be friends after that.”
Although he said that with a flirtatious meaning, it was also considered a reminder. After all, the game play involved was “grabbing vegetables” and “stealing vegetables.” If you put yourself in the shoes of others and thought, if you could easily plant out the vegetables, then not wait for the harvest, it would be your good friends who could grab it, and while the other party was still squatting by the side of the eye, you were waiting for the next plants to ripen. How complicated it must be…
“Well, I don’t think so,” Skilled Target said with some uncertainty. “How can we tear our faces off after one game? Our friendship is very strong.” They had caught small animals in the forest with Bai Li, whose identity had not been revealed at that time, and they caught rabbits, deer, snakes and so on from the forest to sell at the evening market, which successfully started the pet game. After that, they also often met in the forest to collect and chat, so the relationship had been maintained.
“Yeah, yeah. I’m the first to disbelieve that.” Xiong Pili also stood out and said, “And it’s rare that in an event you can be free to form a group. Plus, there is no limit to the number of people. It’s only fun when there are more people, and it will be very lively when we enter the map.”
Bai Li took a long look at several people, and thought that they were still too naive, but no longer spoke words of refusal. He just answered the invitation of the group of people, and together they walked towards the village chief’s house.