ARTT Chapter 10

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Chapter 10 — I Have Mines!
It’s time to perform the real continuous cycle of life and death!


Edited by Planetes

 

After three rounds, Ling Xiaolu regretted it.

“Let’s just end here today, it’s getting late.”

Ji Meng refused to let him go. “You’ve said it yourself, you could do it ten more times.”

“I’m just worried that you’ll be tired! Also, I feel bad for taking up so much of your time.”

Ji Meng snorted, ignoring him.

“You said that you wanted to make it up to me right? You’ve already done enough. If we continue doing more instances, I’ll be the one in debt to you. Why don’t we change it to four times… Five times?”

Ling Xiaolu was bargaining cautiously, until Ji Meng received a call that saved him. Only then did Ling Xiaolu learn that they could even answer calls in the game.

“I need to go out for a bit, so I can’t continue anymore. Consider this your misfortune.”

“It’s my good fortune, alright?!”

Ji Meng, “Hmm?”

“… Misfortune, misfortune, it’s my worst misfortune ever.”

How can this person be like this? Why is my fortune determined by him?!

“Before leaving, shouldn’t you…”

Ling Xiaolu pointed at the earth under his feet, hinting wildly at Ji Meng. Ji Meng then remembered that he could not return by himself.

“Didn’t you do the task to transport crystals?”

“I was such a fortunate little person that I had been immediately captured by you to go do instances when I came online. How would I have time to do any tasks?” Ling Xiaolu spoke sarcastically, and Ji Meng pretended that he did not catch it.

Ji Meng’s ride had arrived to pick them up. It was still that fat fire breathing dragon.

“I’ve just realised, you don’t have any rides that can walk on the ground, right?”

“Less rubbish,” Ji Meng carried him up. “Hold tight.”

Since the flying dragon was not flying, Ling Xiaolu was naturally no longer scared. Holding Ji Meng’s waist loosely, he considered it as having hold on to him.

Ji Meng was still waiting. Ling Xiaolu saw that he did not make any move after a long while, and urged him, baffled. “Shouldn’t we go now?”

“…” Ji Meng glanced down unhappily. He thought that this person was so unprofessional even as a passenger.

Carrying the two people, the flying dragon headed towards the nearest village, again causing an earthquake in its trail.

After putting Ling Xiaolu down, Ji Meng was still worried. “Do you have a place to stay?”

“Do you have a very bad online addiction? If I don’t have a place to stay, wouldn’t I just go offline and hug my dearest to sleep?”

“Your dearest?” Their age could not be determined in the game, but Ji Meng could not believe that this person was already married.

“Why? Can’t a boy hug a bear to sleep?”

Learning that his “dearest” was a toy, Ji Meng looked especially scornful.

“If you don’t want to go offline, you can stay at my house.”

“No way am I going to Dongye.”

Ji Meng and Ling Xiaolu, “…”

An abnormal silence appeared in their conversation.

“A newbie knows something again.” Ji Meng said faintly.

Ling Xiaolu was well aware of having exposed himself, and he could only cook something up. “Was this supposed to be a secret? I’m pretty sure the whole server knows this. Can you blame me for having looked in the global chat?”

Ji Meng gave him a warning glance, that he better not be hiding something from him. Ling Xiaolu averted his eyes guiltily.

“Lu Bi.” Ji Meng called his name, forcing his attention back to him.

Ling Xiaolu saw him raising his thumb, giving a “like” motion.

Ling Xiaolu did not know what he meant, and did not react.

Impatiently, Ji Meng extended his arm further.

Was this some farewell gesture popular in the game? “Liking” each other?

Ling Xiaolu hesitated. He copied Ji Meng, raising his thumb. “… Good job?”

The vein in Ji Meng’s temple throbbed. He stepped forward, grabbing hold of and yanking Ling Xiaolu’s wrist over, pressing their thumbs together.

 

【System】You’re now friends with Ji Meng.

 

“Learn something useful, stop looking at gossip!” Ji Meng spoke fiercely.

Ling Xiaolu could only laugh wryly.

Ji Meng took his greatsword out, plunging it into the ground. A crack appeared, and a gold light coming from the crack enveloped his entire body. The pulsing light enhanced his defined features even further.

Once again, Ling Xiaolu affirmed secretly, it was truly very worthwhile to spend money modifying their faces in the game.

Before Ji Meng had completely vanished, Ling Xiaolu expressionlessly snapped his fingers. In his social tab, a new name, and the only one there had appeared. Quietly, he moved his index finger over.

“You’re not allowed to unfriend me!”

Ling Xiaolu swiftly raised his other index finger and formed an X, and the interface disappeared.

“I wasn’t planning on unfriending anything, I was just looking.”

At the same time, he was secretly grumbling, why the hell is the time taken to go offline so long?

“If you unfriend me, you’re dead!”

With his last harsh words, Ji Meng finally faded away.

“Ah—” Ling Xiaolu gave a long exhale. “He’s finally gone.”

A sigh of relief came almost the same time as his. “— I can finally speak now.”

“You’re still around?” Ling Xiaolu looked at Ling Long a little sulkily. “I thought you had feigned your death and ran away.”

“Don’t insult the professionalism of a conscientious GM. I’ve been here the entire time, not daring to make a sound. Just maintaining the system-determined actions of the pet is already very tiring.”

“Oh, then you’ve really worked hard.” Ling Xiaolu praised him expressionlessly.

“However, it’s good that we haven’t been exposed. It means that the colleagues in the technical department have been very successful at disguising you.”

“Why don’t you compliment me for my good acting skills instead?” Ling Xiaolu objected. “But anyway, why is your company’s prince so free? He didn’t do anything the entire afternoon, only forcing a little account he had just met to go do instances?”

“To tell the truth, this is also my first time interacting with Ji Meng from such a close distance. If it’s our president, I’ve seen him twice during our annual meeting…”

Ling Xiaolu waved him off. “I’ll just take it that he’s doing his daily good deed. Anyway, I’ve amassed quite a bit of goods.”

Through the auto-navigation system, he found the closest NPC merchant and opened his inventory.

After a few seconds of silence, Ling Xiaolu’s tragic cry rang out in the village.

“Ahh!!! Where are my things??!”

His cry startled the crows. The crows flapped their wings, calling him a fool as they flew away.

Ling Xiaolu squatted down under the eaves of a building with a dejected look, clouds covering his head.

Next to him, Ling Long cautiously smiled. “The sharing of inventory is an online function. Since the other party is offline, his inventory is naturally offline too.”

“But it’s fine. As long as Ji Meng did not remove your rights, when he comes back online, the shared inventory would automatically appear again.”

Ling Xiaolu gnashed his teeth. “Those are the things I’ve collected one by one the entire afternoon! I had to go through three instances, enduring all the hardships, swallowing my humiliation and bearing this heavy burden, they were my blood, sweat and tears!”

“Yes, yes.” Ling Long echoed.

“As a benefactor, he could actually do such a mad thing to a newbie like me, absconding with all my things??”

“… He… might have just forgot about it.”

Ling Xiaolu discovered that ever since his day started, his life had become like a movie, and the screen was filled entirely with one word — tragedy.

Indignant, he opened his interface, wanting to add another mark to Ji Meng’s numerous crimes.

However, just as his page loaded, he was buried in an avalanche of notifications.

His last post, during the period when he was completely unaware, had been shared over hundreds of thousands of times.

Even the random photos he took to complete the task objectives had accumulated a five-digit number of shares and comments.

Ling Xiaolu was stunned for a moment, and he selected one of them.

 

Top Comment #1: What sort of relationship do you have with Adonis Li Zheng?!! [Photo of Li Zheng hugging him on the stone pillar]

Top Comment #2: What sort of relationship do you have with Hubby Ji Meng?!! [Photo of him hugging Ji Meng on top of the dragon]

Top Comment #3: Who exactly are you??!

 

Ling Xiaolu was relieved. Fortunately I can still answer one of the above questions.

No, wait, exactly where did all these people appear from?!

He scrolled through his notifications history, and realised that after his post was shared by someone called Sinking Doghead with 5 million fans, things went out of control.

This is too insulting to my intelligence! There’s only slightly more than a million players in this game!

With Sinking Doghead sharing his post, the players online all rushed to Ling Xiaolu’s page, leaving comments announcing their presence.

They included Li Zheng’s fans, Ji Meng’s fans, Dou Kou’s fans, various onlookers who were unclear of the situation… Everyone wanted to see who exactly it was that had made Ji Meng abandon the fight with Dou Kou and instead started fighting with Li Zheng.

“What should I do?” Ling Xiaolu asked Ling Long.

Ling Long accessed his page, and after murmuring to himself, he spoke. “… Bro, why don’t we start a livestream and earn some money?”

Ling Xiaolu glared at him for at least ten seconds, then smiled evilly.

Five minutes later, a player walking by happened to glance in their direction. Exaggeratedly, he shouted, “Ah! You’re here!”

Ling Xiaolu reflexively denied it. “I’m not!”

The person was taken aback. He looked and looked a few times, confirming that he was not hallucinating. “You clearly are here!”

Dejected, Ling Xiaolu covered his eyes. I’ve unfortunately contracted stupidity, how do I cure it?

“Don’t go!” The player pinched his own ear. “I’ve found the person who was with Crown Prince Ji! Quick, call the clan leader over!”

“Clan leader? Who is that?”

The player was incredulous when he heard Ling Xiaolu’s question. “I’m from Clan Ri-DOU-culing You. You don’t know who the clan leader of Ri-Dou-Culing You is?”

Ling Xiaolu saw the clan name and emblem on his head, and felt that he had seen the same image somewhere before.

Seeing the blankness on Ling Xiaolu’s face, that person was even more astonished. “Is this your first day playing this game?”

“Yup.”

“…” The player choked. “Just wait! Our clan leader will arrive very quickly!”

The teleportation ability of the benefactors worked very quickly. Although Ling Xiaolu was unwilling to admit it, he did recognise the person who came.

Dou Kou did not come alone. He even brought with him a dozen lackeys, so as to prevent the situation where he was trapped by the crowd in the morning from happening again.

Well practiced, the lackeys cleared the nearby area to prevent onlookers from announcing Dou Kou’s location again.

Only Ling Xiaolu was left. Surrounded by the group that stood there like an iron barrel, he trembled as he faced the gold name.

“Clan Leader, it’s him, right?” The lackey who had first found Ling Xiaolu asked. “However, I suspect this person isn’t too smart.”

Ling Xiaolu, “?”

Dou Kou asked as well, “Why do you say that?”

“I said that he was here, then he said he wasn’t, but he clearly was! Also, when I discovered him, he had his sleeves rolled up and he was beating up that little pet of his! While hitting him, he was even saying, ‘Who’s your bro? Who are you calling bro?’”

Ling Xiaolu, “…”

Ling Long, “…”

As the lackey described what he saw, he was also acting it out. His performance was true to life, but too bad Dou Kou did not pay attention to what he was saying.

Dou Kou studied Ling Xiaolu from head to toe. He had changed his gear. When he saw him in the morning, he was not dressed like this.

“Little friend, where’s Ji Meng?”

“He’s offline.”

Ling Xiaolu’s mood had actually improved a little, but when he heard this name, his anger rushed back in. Furious, he started complaining about Ji Meng’s wicked deed.

“He stole my money and went offline!”

Dou Kou, “…”

He glanced at his lackey who had just said that Ling Xiaolu was not too smart, and thought that his opinion seemed to be correct.

“Then when would he come back online?” Dou Kou’s tone was gentler towards the disabled.

“I don’t know, I’m also not familiar with him.”

“Clan Leader, he’s lying to you! Look!” The lackey showed his screen. “Look at their distance in the photo, look how close they are ! Crown Prince Ji even brought him along to do instances!”

Dou Kou pinched the corner of the screen. He shook his hand, and another card appeared between his fingers.

Ling Xiaolu was dumbfounded. Was he a magician?

Dou Kou tossed the cards into Ling Xiaolu’s hands. Ling Xiaolu turned it over, and it was the photo he had taken the smear Ji Meng’s reputation.

“What is this? You can even print things on the spot now?” Ling Xiaolu was about to kneel to the greatness of Xinshan.

“I advise you to tell the truth,” Dou Kou waved his hand, motioning at his lackey to close the screen. “Ji Meng owes me something too.”

“What does he owe you?”

“A battle.”

“Oh…” Ling Xiaolu recalled it. “You should just directly say that he owes you a million dollars then. But I feel that you shouldn’t hold any hope for this money.”

“Why?”

“Think about it, he even stole my money. Three full instances, after adding them up, there should be at least 3000 dollars…”

When Ling Xiaolu spoke about this upsetting matter, he once again vented his anger on his little pet, jabbing away at its tummy. The little wind pterosaur could not bear the harassment, and flew up into midair.

Dou Kou listened to his nonsense for a little while, and his patience gradually faded away.

“I’m not looking for him because of money.”

“Oh.”

“This little bit of money is nothing to me.”

“Oh.”

Dou Kou wanted to continue speaking, but he felt that no matter what he said, Ling Xiaolu would just give him a perfunctory “oh”.

“Are you thinking that I’m bragging?”

“Oh… No, I’m not. You’re someone who can offer a five million dollars reward!”

Ling Xiaolu was very sincere in his praise, but in Dou Kou’s ears, it sounded very evidently like mockery.

After all, his five million dollars reward had been challenged publicly by Ji Meng today, and that was also the source of their unfinished battle.

“You really think that I’m not able to offer more than what he did? As long as I want it, I can even buy over Xinshan.”

“How boastful. Why, you have a mine?”

“How did you know that?”

Ling Xiaolu, “…”

Silently, he added a note to his game log: When mouthing off to people, never speak casually to the benefactors in this game!

Dou Kou raised his chin slightly. “I have mines on eleven planets. The material Xinshan uses to manufacture the collars and the rings are all supplied by my company. Have you heard of the chain stores Dou Dafu1? That’s my group.”

“… So we’re in the same trade. Nice to meet you.”

Dou Kou perked up. “Your family is in the jewellery business too?”

“There’s a chain restaurant near my house called Da Doufu2. I worked there before during my school holidays.” Ling Xiaolu responded earnestly.

“Pfft—” The lackey next to Dou Kou could not control himself, and laughed. After receiving a harsh glare from Dou Kou, he forced his laughter back down his throat.

Dou Kou gave up on his pretense of politeness. “Little friend, you’ve only started playing not too long ago. Do you know what are the two most interesting points of this game?”

“Uh, the pets and… the PK system?”

“…” What sort of nonsense was this? Dou Kou nearly swore. “Let me tell you then. First, death in the game is fake, but the fear is real.”

“Second, after dying, you can revive, and after reviving, you can die again. There’s no limit to the number of times this can happen. Don’t you think it’s interesting?”

It clicked for Ling Xiaolu. “You want me to act out a non-stop cycle of life and death!”

Not waiting for Dou Kou to admit or deny it, Ling Xiaolu quickly continued, “But as a benefactor, threatening a newbie like me, don’t you think it’s a case of the strong bullying the weak?”

“The strong bullying the weak?” Dou Kou looked to the left, then to the right. Everyone present were all people from his clam. “Who would know?”

Ling Xiaolu raised three fingers3, his voice clear and bright. “You can’t say things like this, you never know who’s watching!”

Once again, Dou Kou deliberately looked to the east, then to the west. “But why do I… only see your gecko?”

As Dou Kou looked around, the smile on his face gradually vanished. Far away in the distance, a few small black dots appeared, and it looked like more and more were gathering together.

“Clan Leader, s-something bad is happening,” The lackey’s voice had also changed. “It seems like a lot of people are flying towards our direction.”

Dou Kou was anxious. “How, how did this leak happen again?”

“I think it’s this person!” A lackey quickly scanned through the global chat, then pointed at Ling Xiaolu. “This person is livestreaming!”

“He — You — When did you…?!” Dou Kou wrenched his head back to glare at Ling Long, enlightened. “It’s that thing!”

“Ah,” Ling Xiaolu’s face was filled with innocence. “I think when I was poking at my gecko just now, I accidentally touched something.”

The lackeys were deeply worried. There were too many people coming, and with their current numbers, they were definitely unable to hold them back.

“Clan Leader, quick, let’s leave! If we don’t go now, we won’t be able to leave soon!”

Dou Kou pointed ahead of him. “Bring this fellow along…”

Halfway through his sentence, he stopped. There was no one at the end of his finger. In that short amount of time he took to look at his pet, Ling Xiaolu had disappeared.

“He’s on the tree!” A lackey shouted.

Dou Kou looked over to the tree next to them. Ling Xiaolu was really standing up in the fork of the tree, and smiling at him from up above.

Ling Xiaolu’s clear voice suddenly rang in Dou Kou’s ears — You can’t say things like this, you never know who’s watching!

Ling Xiaolu chuckled, revealing his small, white teeth. He executed a beautiful back roll. “I’m going!”

The players came running up warmly from all over. “Papa! Papa! I heard that you have mines, is that true?”

Dou Kou’s eyes widened. “D-don’t come here!”

In a fluster, he commanded his lackeys. “Stop them!”

The dozen lackeys did try to hold the swelling crowd back, but they were soon overwhelmed by the increasing force.

“C-clan Leader,” The lackeys turned their heads stiffly. “Why don’t we share the mines with everyone…”

Dou Kou’s teleportation progress bar was currently at 90%. Hearing his lackey, he was furious. “Share my ass!”

Agitated, he stomped his foot, and the progress bar was interrupted.

Dou Kou, “…”

Half an hour later, with all their might, Dou Kou and his lackeys had finally escaped the crowd. They ran to the most remote area to take a rest.

One of the top ten most influential clans in the game — the core members of Ri-DOU-culing You, were now all dishevelled and exhausted. Everyone was very skittish, and they all stiffened each time they heard someone.

Amongst them, the clan leader looked the most wretched. In the chaos, he had been stepped on many times, and the durability of his high quality combat boots worth a thousand gold was now zero due being stepped on consistently.

“There’s a bird on the clan leader’s head.” Lackey A whispered to Lackey B.

“Shh!” Lackey B quickly motioned at him to shut his mouth.

Having been made a fool by a new player, Dou Kou was raging.

“So he doesn’t believe that I have money?” Dou Kou twisted his bird nest-like hair. “I’ll return this one million gold to Ji Meng, and put it on his little friend’s head.”

“A, a million in one go?” A lackey stammered.

“A hundred thousand. We’ll place ten bounties.” Dou Kou gnashed his teeth, “This time, I’ll make him truly experience the continuous cycle of life and death!”


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0 thoughts on “ARTT Chapter 10

  1. “Dou Kou’s tone was gentler towards the disabled.”
    How very generous of you Dou Kou~

    God, I love our little LXL :3

    Thx for the ch (ㅅ˘ㅂ˘)

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