Chapter 26: Did he return to infancy?
Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Assistant Editor: GaeaTiamat
Under Wen XingYao’s increasingly dark gaze, Tang Ying’s shoulders trembled as he tried to hold back the maniacal laughter that was about to erupt.
“Okay, let’s get down to business.” Wen XingYao steered the topic into a serious direction. “During my absence, has everything been okay in the military department?”
Tang Ying also corrected his expression, and reported seriously, “Everything is fine at the military headquarters, except for the day you had an accident, which caused a brief panic. Everyone who knows about it is under a gag order, and the soldiers below didn’t know about your situation. Also, I arranged for the 300 soldiers to enter the game as you asked, and now they are all enjoying the game, which is reflected in the reports they submit.”
After the good news, it was time to talk about the bad news. “In the last week, more than 200 soldiers showed the first symptoms of Genetic Collapse Disorder. Now, they are actively cooperating with the treatment. They are guaranteed to go to the games every day. However, according to the observation of the military hospital, the effect of relying on the games to slow down the genetic collapse seems to be gradually weakening. Within the Empire, the situation of Genetic Collapse Disorder is also getting more and more severe…”
This news brought Wen XingYao’s mood down, Genetic Collapse Disorder, another major enemy of the Empire, without knowing the cause of its creation or the way to make it disappear completely, the people of the Empire could only rely on their strong willpower to fight against it until a solution was found for this disease. It was obviously inanimate, but a hundred times more horrible and evil than the Zerg. In the long run, the fear of Genetic Collapse Disorder would be rooted deep in the genes and souls of all the people of the Empire.
No one wanted to see such a situation.
His sharp sword eyebrows frowned slightly, his dark golden pupils were gloomy with a few hints of disgust. Wen XingYao had changed to an ordinary face, but it was filled with an overwhelming aura.
After a minute of silence, he exhaled a sharp breath and said to Tang Ying, “Let the Imperial Research Institute take more time to study this matter. On our side then…We will focus on the 300 soldiers who have entered this game, and give them a full body checkup around the end of the month. Then let me know if they find anything.”
Wen XingYao thought that if it was as he guessed, Bai Li’s game could also play a role in relieving Genetic Collapse Disorder. Maybe it would be even stronger than the top ranking games in the virtual reality game arena. If that was so, then he would inevitably have to ask the designer. With the new game quota, if possible, he hoped some of it could be provided to the military as priority.
Of course, at that time, he would have to tell the other man his true identity. After the past few days, he believed that with Bai Li’s character, he wouldn’t tell others about his identity.
Tang Ying was a little excited. “Ad- Demon Xing, you mean, this game…”
The unfinished words were full of infinite expectation.
Wen XingYao was still hesitant, “Not sure yet. It’s just a guess for now.” But, he thought, even if this guess was not 100% accurate, it was more or less tied together. After all, he had played it himself and enjoyed it, and he knew all about his own spiritual changes.
Tang Ying wasn’t listening to that, he just knew that the Admiral must be sure of something to say such a thing!
After that, the two of them added each other as game friends and agreed to meet often in the game and to discuss anything important there. After the conversation was over, Wen XingYao planned to withdraw. He hadn’t harvested the crops he had planted in the fields even after being in the game for so long.
“Demon Xing, I’ll go with you, so that way I can recognize your home. Hehehe!” Knowing Wen XingYao’s plans afterwards, Tang Ying cheekily followed.
Wen XingYao didn’t drive him away, just led him directly back to his small courtyard. On the way back the two passed by the village entrance and saw a large group of people huddled separately in what appeared to be several small stalls, with their shouts coming from the wind.
“Give me popcorn! I’m first in line!”
“Don’t squeeze the ones behind you, if you have a lot of people, go line up somewhere else. It all tastes the same, we learned it from the same anchor!”
“Wow, you guys learned well, ah! This popcorn is crunchy! You chew a bite and it gets more and more fragrant!”
“Old village chief, hey, look at this popcorn did I not do okay?”
They didn’t know what was going on, but it was very lively. The two curiously looked in that direction, but didn’t stop and went straight towards their destination. In the yard surrounded by a homemade fence, the ripe carrots were big while their bright green tassels waved in the wind like little green arms; practically welcoming people to pick them.
When he saw the ripe carrots, Tang Ying’s eyes were so big. He was frustrated that Wen XingYao left him behind, but his eyes were only on the huge, wonderful carrots. Wen XingYao had already planted carrots once before, but the freshness was still there. He remembered the method of pulling carrots quite clearly, and immediately rolled up his sleeves and buried his head in hard work. While his hands were moving, he didn’t even notice the smile that appeared on his face.
Tang Ying thought it wasn’t good enough to watch from the side. He was Wen XingYao’s adjutant, so he also squatted down to give a hand.
As a result, he was glared at and shooed back by Wen XingYao, “Don’t you move! I can handle this myself!”
Probably because he felt that his tone was too urgent, Wen XingYao’s eyes flashed and he made a conciliatory statement, “The harvesting action can only be done by the grower, no one else can help.”
Tang Ying, “…” Don’t think that I can’t see that you just don’t want people to take your job. As for that, Aren’t I still your adjutant?
… Tang Ying, who had been put in his place, was very reluctant. If someone else wanted to harvest his wheat, break his corn and pull out his radishes…If it was something he worked hard to grow, would he let someone else take the credit when it was time to harvest? At that moment, Tang Ying suddenly understood Wen XingYao’s thoughts. He obediently took a few steps back, and left space for Wen XingYao. He even wondered if he shouldn’t have followed the Admiral to his house, where there seemed to be no place for him…
He was not going to wait for him to finish, but Wen XingYao had already quickly harvested all the carrots, took out a hoe to turn the ground flat, planted new seeds, covered the soil, and watered it. He moved skillfully and naturally.
This scene made Tang Ying say in his heart, I can’t compare with him. I really can’t compare with him. I don’t know what the Admiral had gone through in the past few days when he was missing. Why did he become so skilled at this activity of planting?
After the watering, it meant the new round of planting was almost finished, Tang Ying thought Wen XingYao would straighten up and continue to talk to him, then he saw the man take a small bottle full of magical spring water in his hand, as he went next door.
Under his shocked gaze, Wen XingYao dumped the water in the bottle on the ground next door. There were small buds of some unfamiliar plants planted there and they visibly jumped up a few centimeters.
“Ad-, Demon Xing, why are you helping others to water the ground?” Tang Ying’s eyes were dumbfounded, as he mumbled under his breath.
Wen XingYao, as if not understanding the subtext of his words, said, “You know, except for not helping others to harvest, fertilizing and watering are allowed.”
Was that the point of the question? The point was clearly why you helped water a stranger’s plot! Watering with magical spring water, one had to spend star coins in the game store to buy it!
Tang Ying’s heart was a little sour.
“Next door is my friend who taught me a lot of things since I entered the game, he even told me how to plant the seeds. Didn’t you secretly learn a lot from me? Such a great help, so I help him to water the crops. What’s the problem?”
Without Bai Li’s demonstrative actions, they, a group of Interstellar players who were not divided by grains, and most likely had never been exposed to farming since birth, would probably be stuck in the third newbie mission, and wouldn’t be able to play.
Don’t look at how skilled Wen XingYao was now, he was actually exercised out. Ever since that time when he was discovered to be farming by one player who had just come online, he had been targeted by more novice rookie players, who often squatted near his house in order to learn his farming techniques. Although Wen XingYao did not mind the action being learned, being watched by so many people while he was learning a skill that even he was not very good at, it was inevitable that he was a little nervous. Several times, when he was sowing seeds his hands shook and dropped double the number of seeds in a pit. Later, when he got used to it, it became natural.
Wen XingYao felt that his reason was very tenable. It was just spending a little money on the teacher who had helped him so much, and it wasn’t as if he couldn’t afford to spend it. Besides, Bai Li also secretly gave him a lot of benefits. Just the last two hours buff let him benefit a lot…
After he listened to Wen XingYao’s explanation, Tang Ying also shut up. It turned out that the farming techniques he learned from other players actually came from the Admiral and the Admiral’s friend. That wasn’t a problem.
Wen XingYao waved his hand quickly, and told him to go do what he needed to do.
Hmph, how ruthless.
“Then I’ll leave first to see if Xiao Die and the others have made successful food or not.” By the way, he also went to the village entrance there and bought a popcorn that was said to be fragrant and crispy.
After Tang Ying left, Wen XingYao worked in front of the house for a while, but never saw Bai Li’s figure. He turned around and went to the grove outside the village, to try to find something interesting inside.
The last time he went to the grove was with Bai Li, where they found some special vines and wood to make their fence outside the yard. Since then, Wen XingYao had become interested in activities that required hands-on work. Now, every time he went online, he liked to look around, walk around, and find things he liked to decorate his house with.
This time, he found a dark black wooden stump hidden in a gap of a boulder, with a thick root system at the bottom. It looked a bit rough, but also inexplicably heartwarming. After another look around the neighborhood with no new discoveries, he went home.
The wooden stump was taken out again, placed by the creek and cleaned. It kept its original appearance but made it look cleaner. Wen XingYao walked around the house and found a suitable shaded place under the eaves to settle the stump.
In this way, a single seat full of wilderness was available.
As he sat on the wooden stump for a while, it felt good and was very enjoyable.
However, after so long, Bai Li still hadn’t come back. Wen XingYao couldn’t help but want to send a message to ask him what he was doing, but Bai Li was the designer of the game. It was likely that he was looking around for new inspirations, so he suppressed this emotion.
After he thought about it, he really should go offline. That idea had just come up, but Wen XingYao felt that it really should be done.
The first few times, he didn’t want to go offline of his own accord. Each time it happened suddenly, when his consciousness fell into darkness, as if the power was cut off. Unless he came online again, there was no way to ensure that he was still alive.
If he chose to go offline of his own accord, what would the situation be?
After such a thought, Wen XingYao quickly put it into action. His consciousness just left Starnet, when the familiar feeling came back, and in that short moment, he caught the sensations of his body as he returned to reality.
That feeling of powerlessness and lethargy…did he regress to his infancy?
But time wasn’t waiting for him to feel where he was. His consciousness became hazy again with a new layer of fog.
Darkness fell once again.
Meanwhile, Bai Li, who had been on Wen XingYao’s mind for a while, closed the official website of the Virtual Reality Game Design Competition with a sheepish expression. He had also happened to take a glance at the Carefree Farmstead comment book, and was almost crushed by the substantial resentment of the netizens.
What’s going on? The game had only been online for a few days, why were there so many people urging him to upgrade the game builder? What exactly happened on Starnet that he didn’t know about? No matter. It was impossible to upgrade, not even this month. So he would…pretend to have never seen anything!