Chapter 48: Fourth World (7)
Translated by Shiya of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
The original body tried to lose weight before, but both his lack of willpower and physical condition made him give up after some setbacks. After all, although the original body had been rejected by others, he had always been rich, and never suffered from lack of food, so he wasn’t great at endurance.
But now, Xie Yan was totally different. Xie Yan had been through fights and bloodshed before, losing weight by exercising was a piece of cake for him. What’s more, he could also use his own system to ensure that his muscles wouldn’t be damaged after strenuous exercises, and would improve the efficiency of losing weight.
At the same time, Bai Duan also performed his supervision duty diligently according to their agreement. The more he observed, the more shocked he was by Xie Yan’s tenacious willpower. Bai Duan thought that Xie Yan would not be able to endure such a high-intensity exercise regimen. To be honest, even Bai Duan, who was good at sports, could hardly reach this level, so he never thought that Xie Yan could, and he persisted on it. Xie Yan never even tried to slack off.
Every morning, Bai Duan would count the number of laps Xie Yan ran around the yard. Occasionally, he would run a few laps with him and exercise together.
Then after a short rest, Xie Yan would go to the gym he prepared in the apartment and spend the whole morning there.
At noon, Bai Duan and Xie Yan would have a meal together. After a short lunch break, they would both log in to the game to relax themselves. After dinner, Xie Yan would go downstairs again to run laps, and then enter the gym to exercise until he went to bed.
Xie Yan persisted with this kind of high-intensity exercise for the whole summer vacation, and even Bai Duan, who met him every day, could clearly feel that the other party was indeed becoming thinner. Even though he was still fat when compared to the average person, having change was already the best result.
When it came to Xie Yan’s ‘success’, even Bai Duan felt full of a sense of achievement, as if he had done something great, he looked at Xie Yan with eyes full of pride.
Of course, day by day, the relationship between them continued to develop steadily. Bai Duan noticed more and more of Xie Yan’s good traits, and gradually he fell deeper in his thoughtfulness and his flirting words. They were basically at a level of ‘more than friends, but not yet lovers.’
However, the two never took that step.
Xie Yan was still dissatisfied with his own body and restrained his desire to be close to his lover. He didn’t want Bai Duan to remember this life after recovering his memory, especially not for him to remember his fat naked appearance in bed.
For Bai Duan, this was the first time for him to like someone. It was hard to not be tied up, he also lacked the courage to move their relationship forward. Moreover, Xie Yan had experienced an emotional scar regarding love. Bai Duan, who was dense in his emotions, had no idea how to judge whether Xie Yan had come out of the pain yet. He was also not certain if Xie Yan would be willing to start a new relationship so soon.
Even now, looking at Xie Yan’s hard-working and persistent manner, Bai Duan sometimes doubted whether Xie Yan still had feelings for Luo Xi. After all, Xie Yan never lost his weight so seriously before, but he was so desperate after being abandoned by Luo Xi. To say that there was zero relationship with that, Bai Duan didn’t believe it for even a second.
Every time Bai Duan thought of that, he couldn’t help but feel bitter. As such, his attitude towards Xie Yan was sometimes cloudy and sometimes sunny, which made the innocent Xie Yan feel wronged, but there was no one for him to appeal to.
However, looking at his little lover’s jealous expression, Xie Yan was actually happy. After all, this showed that Bai Duan cared about him, but not because of his appearance.
Seeing Bai Duan get jealous was interesting, but if Bai Duan got jealous too often, it would affect their relationship. So even though Xie Yan was secretly happy in his heart, he still had to explain to Bai Duan that he had no lingering feelings for Luo Xi. He was trying to lose weight just to improve himself and to justify himself.
Seeing Xie Yan’s solemn expression, Bai Duan naturally couldn’t doubt him. After all, he was not a person who would meddle with others, and he didn’t have the qualifications to compete with his ‘predecessor’ at present.
Xie Yan hesitated for a moment and shook Bai Duan’s hand, “Losing weight is something that I have always wanted to do, but I never stuck to it. Even… even when I was with Luo Xi, I also tried losing weight, but I soon gave up. So, this time, the reason that I could bite my lips and lose weight, was in fact because of your company and encouragement. If it wasn’t for you, I would probably have given up halfway this time like before…”
Xie Yan’s expression and tone were sincere — lies, no doubt. Yet, it was also hard for Bai Duan to doubt him. Bai Duan who was coaxed by his words, felt his ears turn red, but he tried not to let that show.
He glanced at Xie Yan and said, “You are good with your words.”
“I… I’m not good with my words…” Xie Yan blushed and hurriedly explained, “I seldom communicate with others. You are the first one who I have been completely honest with. I… I’m just saying what I truly think…”
That was what Bai Duan couldn’t stand the most about Xie Yan, his ‘honest and sincere’ appearance. He was clearly flirting, but made Bai Duan feel itchy by being seemingly ignorant of it.
Fortunately, he was still a fat man, and he seldom interacted with other people. If he succeeded in losing weight and became good-looking in the future, he would definitely be a popular playboy.
At the thought of that, Bai Duan had the desire to keep Xie Yan fat. Then… only he would know how good Xie Yan was, and Xie Yan would only stay by his side…
Of course, Bai Duan couldn’t tell anyone about those dark and selfish ideas. He still tried his best to help Xie Yan lose weight. Even after the summer vacation, when he began to return to school, he always sent messages to Xie Yan during breaks, urging him not to be lazy — although Xie Yan was very hard-working, and never really needed Bai Duan to worry.
In addition to losing weight, Bai Duan and Xie Yan were moving forward step by step on the hidden quest in the game, and they soon realized that it was the most complex, most dangerous but also most profitable hidden quest in the history of hidden quests.
It was difficult to find the destination even with the map to guide the way. Bai Duan and Xie Yan had been wandering like headless flies in the Lost Forest for a long time. Then finally they found the hermit’s hiding place. Yet, they didn’t expect to open up the door with the staff only to find that the hermit had been long dead, even his flesh had almost completely degraded, leaving only a pile of white bones.
Caught by surprise, Bai Duan froze. But Xie Yan, who had some experience immediately checked the scene and found some evidence, though he was not sure if they were useful. Then they went back to the fox NPC who gave them the task and asked for assistance.
The fox NPC was shocked to learn the news. The NPC had a suspect in mind after going through the murder scene, then he sent Bai Duan back to further investigate.
Of course, the murderer who could kill the hermit must be powerful. In order to prevent Bai Duan, a small fox from dying in the middle of the investigation, the fox NPC gave him a weapon that could be called a godly weapon in the early stages — and it was exactly what Bai Duan with the best equipment didn’t have at present.
Later, Bai Duan and Xie Yan followed the clues step by step. Sometimes they took a detour and suspected the good people. Sometimes they found the right direction and got closer to the final answer.
In a sense, this mission was definitely not easy. Almost every task required fighting a huge boss. Even Xie Yan, who had great stats, almost lost several times. It was a really difficult mission when they thought back on it.
But fortunately, the efforts and gains were balanced. They gained a lot of experience and good things through the mission. Even though Xie Yan spent a lot of his time on losing weight and his online time was greatly shortened, his position on the player level rank list had not lowered, he was even able to get a greater gap between him and the second place player on the combat strength rank list.
Of course, the players of [Ten Thousand Realms] also found this phenomenon strange and speculated about what ‘the celebrity’ Xie Yan was doing during this period of time. Most people guessed that he must have received a hidden quest, otherwise he would not disappear from almost all dungeons, and still have his strength rise instead of declining.
There were many people who wanted to follow his footsteps and share a piece of meat, but it was a pity for them that Xie Yan and Bai Duan were always in remote places, so no one had succeeded so far.
For example, at this moment, they were struggling to climb the snow capped summit, shivering in the howling cold wind and flying snow…
“What the hell is this place…” Bai Duan rubbed his arms, his voice trembled. This game was really well-made, when they were in a bad environment, players could do nothing but cry.
“Ice Blade Cliff…” Xie Yan read the label on the map and thought, ‘I’ve never heard of this place… Is this a newly developed site?’ Then, he took out a White Velvet Cape from his bags and put it on Bai Duan.
Bai Duan adjusted the cape feeling a bit weirded out, but he no longer refused Xie Yan’s thoughtfulness, “How come you have everything?”
“When I saw the quest description and the approximate destination, I already guessed that this would happen, so I prepared in advance.” Xie Yan’s tone didn’t sound like he was trying to show off or was asking for praises, but he was still unintentionally showing off.
Bai Duan had always admired Xie Yan’s understanding of [Ten Thousand Realms], which was not surprising anymore, but he did feel more and more moved by it.
Xie Yan had a high player level, so his endurance status in the game was better. As such, the external environment would not affect Xie Yan’s avatar that much, even if it was freezing here, he wouldn’t feel it. However, at all times, his first concern was always Bai Duan’s needs. When Bai Duan was with him, he didn’t have to worry about anything, he could just relax and enjoy the game.
Bai Duan thought about how Luo Xi once got the same treatment from Xie Yan, and that made him feel sourness in his heart. Fortunately, Luo Xi had no taste and was ‘deceived’ by his fat appearance, which gave Bai Duan the chance to be with Xie Yan.
In order to get rid of his bad mood, Bai Duan quickened his pace, following the quest directions, he turned around. Then he stared up in surprise, and cried out to Xie Yan who was behind him, “Do you see the ruins there?!”
After saying that, he took a step forward, but suddenly his lost his footing. What he stepped on was not hard ice, but soft snow.
Immediately, Bai Duan’s body swayed and he fell. Xie Yan quickly grabbed a hold of Bai Duan’s arm.
Even though Xie Yan’s footing was extremely stable, plus he had enough strength, according to common sense, he should have been able to pull Bai Duan back up completely. However, for some reason, he felt a strong suction power, and he was pulled down together with Bai Duan instead.
Subconsciously, Xie Yan pulled Bai Duan into his arms and carefully protected him. They were getting dizzy from rolling down the snow slope. Yet, as the slope was covered in soft and fluffy snow, they did not sustain much damage.
They didn’t know how long they had been rolling down, but eventually Bai Duan and Xie Yan hit the bottom of the mountain and splashed into a thick pile of snow, splashing up a bunch of snowflakes. Xie Yan was the one who landed on his back, he was holding Bai Duan’s waist with one arm and protecting his head with the other. Bai Duan curled up on him for a while, until he suddenly got up and sat aside, he was blushing and he covered his bruised lips.
Xie Yan also got up and his cheeks blushed a bit as well, since he was bewildered by the current situation. Xie Yan pursed his also bruised and hurting lips together with flickering eyes, he was a bit nervous and scared.
For a while, the air was quiet. Bai Duan was out of it, his mind had completely stopped. In the meantime, Xie Yan licked his own lips in secret. In his heart, he thought: Although their ‘first kiss’ in this life was more unexpected, bloody, and… The pain was a little bit… but the taste seemed to be good? ^_^