Chapter 46: Fourth World (5)
Translated by Shiya of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Bai Duan observed the fox tribe teenager without being too obvious, the other two soon noticed Bai Duan who was standing beside Xie Yan. They both showed a surprised expression.
The fox tribe teenager recognized Bai Duan’s amour, then he seemed to be relieved, his eyes that were on Bai Duan became compassionate and sorrowful, and the look gave Bai Duan goose bumps. However, the expression of the human swordsman was a little more complicated. He looked at Bai Duan, and then at the fox tribe teenager beside himself. It seemed that he had a lot of thoughts.
As these two people were obviously related to Xie Yan’s ‘tragic past’, Bai Duan instinctively found them repulsive. The aura around Bai Duan suddenly turned cold, he looked arrogant and inviolable, making the fox tribe teenager subconsciously shiver and hurriedly withdraw his gaze.
In contrast to Bai Duan, Xie Yan seemed to have never seen the two men. He kept walking without even batting an eye. Xie Yan walked straight past the two, as if he was passing two unremarkable pebbles. On the contrary, the human swordsman and the fox tribe teenager, who stopped in their tracks just to look at Xie Yan, seemed to have the lower-hand.
To be honest, Xie Yan really didn’t want to pay any attention to the two ‘straws’ that killed his original body. He still had not completed the counter attack tasks. Even if he fought the two, he would inevitably have the lower-hand. In the eyes of outsiders, he would only be seen as either messing around or pretending to be cool, which had no meaning at all.
Only when he ‘flipped the scales around’ and completed both of his tasks in reality and in game, could he finally avenge his original body and flex in front of them.
Therefore, before this, Xie Yan was not going to pay attention to these two.
Obviously, the two men didn’t expect Xie Yan to just walk away. They were a bit shocked for a while. The fox tribe teenager stepped forward and opened his mouth, he seemed to have something to say, but he was held back by the human swordsman. After some hesitation, he finally decided to swallow the words back.
Since Xie Yan, the main concerned party had no intention of fighting, Bai Duan, as an outsider, didn’t have a chance to do anything about it either. He followed behind Xie Yan, peeping at his unchanging expression. He didn’t know whether he should comfort him, should he ask him about it, or treat this as if it had never happened.
Xie Yan glanced at him, he noticed that Bai Duan was hesitating, and he sighed softly, “I know you’ve been wanting to ask questions for a long time — there really aren’t any reasons for me to hide it from you, those two people… Well, you’ve meet them now. It’s a long story, so I’ll tell you bit by bit when you have the time and have honed your skills some more. If you know about it sooner… you can be a little more prepared too.”
Bai Duan did not know how to answer, but silently patted Xie Yan’s shoulder to comfort him. Later, he went to a fox tribe NPC who was in the center of the hall, and actively greeted him.
The fox tribe NPC glanced at Bai Duan, but didn’t directly ask him what skills he wanted to learn.
Instead, he raised his eyebrows and said, “Oh, it’s you. You’re here? Looks like you’re growing very fast!”
Bai Duan was shocked by his familiar tone, “You… Do you know me?”
“Yes, I know you.” The fox tribe NPC nodded and said, “To be exact, I heard about you.” After saying that, his lips raised and had a joking smile, “I heard that you stole things from the people in the village?”
Bai Duan’s face suddenly turned bitter. So this is what people call ‘good deeds don’t get spread, but bad deeds spread thousands of miles’. What he did in the novice village just a few hours ago had already reached the ears of the NPCs in the main city?! It was so unscientifically fast!
Seeing the look on Bai Duan’s face, the smile on the NPC’s face intensified a little, “Since you have done something wrong, you have to bear the consequences. Is that right?”
“…Right.” Bai Duan answered weakly, the ears on his head were drooping in depression, and his big white tail was sweeping the floor as it hung lifelessly on his back.
Xie Yan looked at them and felt a little restless, but he did not disturb the communication between Bai Duan and the NPC. With years of experience in the game, Xie Yan knew that an NPC would never idly chat with the players aimlessly. If he was talking so many lines that were outside the normal script. There was a high chance that this was a hidden quest.
…However, the trigger condition of this hidden quest was really a bit strange. One needed to steal in the novice village of the fox tribe, and then be forgiven by the villagers? No wonder it had never been triggered by other players before.
“So, in order to make up for your previous mistakes, I will give you a task now.” The fox tribe NPC held his chin up and added, “Of course, you can also choose not to accept the mission.”
Bai Duan was also a person who had been playing a lot of online games. When he heard this sentence, he immediately responded — hidden quests could be met but never sought, and the harvest from them was usually extremely high. How could he not accept?
Seeing that Bai Duan could not wait to get a bite of it, the fox tribe NPC, who had an AI level design twitched the corner of his mouth, he added one more remark which was like pouring cold water on Bai Duan, “This is your punishment for doing wrong things, so don’t expect me to give you any rewards. At most, it will just make your reputation amongst the tribe’s people better.”
Bai Duan and Xie Yan, “……”
So, the reward of this task was to increase Bai Duan’s likeability amongst the fox tribe? How come it sounded very useless… In other words, this was not a hidden quest, but one disguised as punishment for thieves?
However, in any case, Bai Duan still took the quest. The fox NPC gave him a map and a staff, and asked him to go to the Lost Forest outside the Demon Moon City to find a hermit demon who had been away for a long time.
The map turned into a stream of light in Bai Duan’s hands, and was directly marked on his system’s map. As for the staff, it was the key to enter the hermit’s place, which was also carefully stored by Bai Duan.
After all this, the fox NPC finally returned to ‘normal’. Bai Duan talked with him again, and he asked if he wanted to learn any skills.
Under Xie Yan’s guidance, Bai Duan quickly selected three skills that were suitable for his current situation and were also affordable. Next, he prepared their clothes, bought medicine items and embarked on the ‘hidden quest.’
Although the reward of the task seemed to be not so good, it was never too much to prepare for hidden quests.
Bai Duan knew nothing about preparing for a quest, but Xie Yan was a veteran at that and they went directly to the players’ market to purchase items in large quantities.
While Xie Yan was preparing, Bai Duan, who could not help him, opened the players’ forum for the [Ten Thousand Realms] server and began to browse the various ranking lists in the game.
There were many different ranking lists in the game, including level rank, wealth rank, badge rank 1, combat power rank and so on. There were also various lists created by the players themselves, such as a popularity list, beauty list, notoriety list and even a gossip list. Bai Duan read them one by one to kill time.
On all the various lists, Bai Duan could easily see a familiar name — Xie Yan’s game ID. Xie Yan was the richest man in the game, ranking at the top of the wealth list. Although he was almost at the end of the player level rank list — since, many people were playing the game a lot longer before him. However, he was also at the top of the combat strength rank list.
At the same time, he could be seen on the notoriety list and the gossip list. He was also on the beauty list but there was a special joking remark, indicating that his beauty can only be seen in the game. There was even a list dedicated to Xie Yan alone, the list of being good at making an avatar. At present, he was the only one on the list, showing that he was great at crafting a character, so great that it was beyond any ordinary people’s reach.
The list set by these players weren’t friendly, but they weren’t too vicious either. Most people just saw it as a joke. When they were bored, they would get entertainment from gossiping. But when all these come together, they would bring harm to the parties involved and even lead to tragedy.
This was the power of public opinion. When everyone around was talking about something and taunting a person, others could only join the masses in order to appear normal and intelligent. As for the feelings of the victim, how many people would care?
Aside from the various lists, there were also a lot of posts in the forum. Except for the gaming strategy posts, most posts were about gossip and they mostly have some relevance with Xie Yan. The titles were always shocking and intriguing just to earn attention and as click-bait.
For those posts, Bai Duan did not have any desire to read. He sighed in his heart, then quietly closed the forum interface, and turned his eyes to Xie Yan. Xie Yan was sitting not far away, using his fingers to draw on the screen in front of him with a serious and attentive expression.
Except for his appearance in real life, Bai Duan didn’t think Xie Yan had any bad points. He worked hard — at least in the game; he had perseverance — at least in crafting an avatar; he was gentle and easy to get along with, considerate, patient and meticulous. Not to mention, he had good cooking skills. Although Bai Duan was not sure whether he could get along with him and really love him without reservation as a lover. But at least, as a friend, Xie Yan was in line with Bai Duan’s ideals.
At present, from the perspective of being friends, Bai Duan really hoped Xie Yan could get through this obstacle and regain his self-confidence. Now, everything seemed to be moving towards a good direction, and Xie Yan was beginning to learn how to ignore others bad comments about him…
Sensing Bai Duan’s gaze, Xie Yan tilted his head a little, then smiled subconsciously. He closed the floating screen in front of him and walked back to Bai Duan, “I’ve bought all the things we need. Do you want to do the quest now?”
After looking at the players’ forum, Bai Duan’s mood was not great. Besides, he had been playing long enough for today, so he replied, “No, I’m going to logout and have dinner.”
“Oh.” Xie Yan suddenly realized, “It’s really time for dinner already.” After that, he unintentionally showed his zero-distance personality, “What do you want to eat tonight?”
Bai Duan, “……”
Why did he keep thinking that this kind of development was a little dangerous?
Just think about it. He and Xie Yan just met this morning and they introduced themselves. Then he was fed by him at noon. Then they did a lot of gaming together in the afternoon. In the evening, they were naturally going to have dinner together.
This speed… was it not too fast?!