Chapter 13 — SpeedPost!
Ji Meng has no friends, serves him right!
Edited by Planetes
Outside of Qiwang County, as Ling Xiaolu was shamefacedly explaining the matter of the lamb chops growing wings and flying away to Zhen Jiu, a dark shadow descended upon them.
Ling Xiaolu was alarmed. “Be careful!”
His warning was clearly superfluous. The shadow of a greatsword was aimed towards Zhen Jiu, only to swing through a mass of black smoke. This person was actually a fake one, while the real Zhen Jiu had silently appeared behind the sneak attacker. He only needed to make a slight action and that attacker’s soul would be released.
“Hold on!” Ling Xiaolu had finally seen that attacker’s face, and he quickly stopped Zhen Jiu. “He’s my friend!”
Zhen Jiu’s hand hovered only a centimetre away from Ji Meng. On his hand was a glove that looked like the claws of a bird. The talons that slid out during the attack were extremely sharp, and they were even coated with poison.
“He’s your friend?” Zhen Jiu repeated his words.
Ling Xiaolu had blurted that out without thinking in that dangerous situation. Whether he was willing or not, he now could only admit it. “I… guess… so…”
“What do you mean by I guess so? Say that again?”
Ji Meng took a step forward, wanting to catch Ling Xiaolu. However, he was persuaded to stop by Zhen Jiu’s talons. “Don’t move.”
Ling Xiaolu really want to hit him. Can you have some self-awareness of someone who is about to die?
Zhen Jiu glanced above Ji Meng’s head. “Seems like you’re not as afraid of gold names as you said you were.”
“What’s there to be afraid of about gold names? Black names like you are the ones to be avoided and kept a large distance away,” Ji Meng rebutted scornfully.
“Wow! Bro, can you speak a little less?! I’m afraid you’ll need to express your next words by raising cards!”
“With me around, you’ll never be able to touch Lu Bi.” Ji Meng ignored Ling Xiaolu’s warning, and instead warned Zhen Jiu instead.
“Oh?” Zhen Jiu did not explain the situation, only provoking deliberately. “What can you do, can you beat me in a fight?”
He clearly was unable to beat him, but Ji Meng suddenly recalled the reason why Zhen Jiu was after Lu Bi.
“How much is his bounty? I’ll pay you double!”
“Are you crazy?! That’s two million!” Ling Xiaolu shouted.
“Sure, take your hand away. I’ll give you four million.”
Ling Xiaolu, “What???”
Ji Meng looked at him disdainfully. “Isn’t it just someone having too much time on their hands and deciding to place a two million bounty on your head?”
“Why don’t you say that someone has too much time on their hands and wants to spend four million to pay off my bounty?!”
Light laughter came from under the mask. Zhen Jiu retracted his talons and took a step back as well.
“Now I know why you’re not afraid of him. Since your friend is here, I’ll take my leave first.”
Zhen Jiu vanished into a flock of crows, and dispersed into the distance.
Ji Meng still did not understand. “Why did he leave without the money?”
“What sort of rumours have you heard this time? Ten big men were surrounding me, wanting to attack me, if not for Zhen Jiu, I would have died so many times.”
“But you still must keep a distance from him. This fellow is an anarchist. When do you ever see ordinary people in the game killing others for fun?”
“The pressure of modern society is very intense, and you’re not even going to let people have some unusual interests in a virtual world? Huh.”
Ji Meng strode over to Ling Xiaolu, studying him from head to toe.
“And you, I only went offline for such a short while. Can you have even more things added above your head?”
“Why? Only your head can be bright and shiny, and I can’t?”
“Bright and shiny?” Ji Meng looked at him derisively. “Is your name Reward?”
“No no no,” Ling Xiaolu wagged his finger. “That was half an hour ago, now I’m called — Reward – Knife!”
Ling Xiaolu’s appearance looked entirely as though he was seeking a beating, which made Ji Meng pretend to draw his sword and wave it at him.
Ling Xiaolu pointed at himself indignantly. “You even want to swing your sword at me? Why don’t you ask me who was the one who caused me to get a bounty?”
Ji Meng put his sword down. “Who put the bounty on you?”
“Your line is wrong. You should say what I said, who was the one who caused me to get a bounty?”
“Exactly who was the one who put the bounty on you?”
“…” Ling Xiaolu gave up. “Forget it, forget it, I’ll tell you. It’s Papa Dou.”
Ji Meng did not believe him. “Dou Kou can actually bear to spend the money to put a bounty on you?”
“Why would he not bear to spend your money?”
“How did this become my money?”
“You promised a battle with him, but ran away, owing him a million dollars. Do you still remember that?”
Ji Meng pondered a little. “Oh, I think something like that did happen.”
“The entire server has seen it, don’t try to go back on it!”
“Who’s going back on it? I only forgot about it.” Thinking about it, Ji Meng was a little angry. “Also, you keep speaking on behalf of the person who placed a bounty on you. Whose side are you on?”
“I’m on the side of justice, of course! I would never be biased towards my family and friends!”
Ji Meng was originally very huffy about this. After hearing what Ling Xiaolu said, his face gradually softened. “What did you just say? Repeat it.”
“I said I’m on the side of justice.”
“The next sentence.”
“I would never be biased towards my family and friends!”
“Alright then,” Ji Meng was evidently pleased-looking. “Since you see me as part of your family and friends, I won’t argue over this with you anymore.”
Ling Xiaolu: …
Ji Meng placed a snail on the ground, then placed an even smaller trunk on the back of the snail.
“What is that?” Ling Xiaolu asked.
“A postman. Have you sent a petmail before?”
Ling Xiaolu knew “Ling Long” had this function as well, but he had never tested it before.
“No. What are you using it to send?”
“A million dollars, of course. Did you expect me to transfer it to him face to face?”
“S-s-such a small trunk can contain a million dollars?”
Ji Meng thought he was making a mountain out of a molehill. “The size of the parcel would of course change depending on the size of the pet. Anyway, non-combative pets are also smaller.”
Ling Xiaolu stared at the… creeping(?) little fellow on the ground. “But you’re using a snail as your postman. How long will it take for it to get there?”
“How is that my concern?” Ji Meng looked totally unbothered. “Sooner or later, it’ll get there.”
During their conversation, the snail had moved half a metre.
“Are you sure it won’t lose the trunk? What if someone else picks it up?”
“Don’t worry, it’ll at most get lost, it will never lose anything.”
“How can this not be worrying?!”
Ji Meng pinched his own earlobe lazily, “Hold on, let me inform that person.”
Ji Meng: There?
Dou Kou: You finally dare to come online? We’ve agreed on a battle, but why did you run away?
Ji Meng: Just take it that I lost then. I’ve sent the money over to you already.
Dou Kou: When did you post it? How come I haven’t received it yet?
Ji Meng looked down at the crawling snail at his feet.
Ji Meng: Ahhh, I’ve mailed it a while ago.
Ji Meng: However, the postman is crawling very slowly. It’s best that you don’t change your location, if not it’ll need to change direction along the way.
Dou Kou: Crawling very slowly?? What exactly are you using to post?
Ji Meng: A snail.
Dou Kou: ???
Dou Kou: (!)Ji Meng, you’re actually using a snail to send the parcel to me??
【System】: You’ve been blacklisted by the mentioned account, you are unable to send them a private message.
Dou Kou: (!)Fuck!!
【System】: You’ve been blacklisted by the mentioned account, you are unable to send them a private message.
After settling that bout of trouble, Ji Meng grabbed Ling Xiaolu’s arm and dragged him towards the county, ignoring his protests.
“Go and sell all that junk of yours right now.”
“Junk? You were clearly the one who absconded with them, ok?”
“Me? Abscond? Are those things even worth absconding with?” Ji Meng threw an insult mercilessly. “Do you know that I nearly called the police after opening my inventory when I came online?”
“That’s great! The police will catch you, this liar who absconded with my items!”
Ji Meng came to a sudden stop, only noticing something now. “There’s something wrong with this county. Why is there no one here?”
“They’ve all probably been scared away by Zhen Jiu.”
“See? Everyone knows to run away, you’re the only foolish one who delivers yourself to him.”
If not for the fact that he could not defeat him in a fight, Ling Xiaolu really wanted to hit him.
Ji Meng had wanted to sell the junk away and bring Ling Xiaolu to buy a pet. However, the empty county had spoilt his plans.
“When you’re done selling your junk, go to the next county with me.”
“Why? I need to go offline for a bit.”
“I’ve just came online and you’re going offline. Are you doing this on purpose?” To come back online as soon as possible, Ji Meng had ran back very early from his uncle’s dining table.
“I need to make a call.”
“You can make a call in the game too.”
“I need to go to the roof for a video call.”
“What sort of video calls need to be made on the roof? Are you going to livestream yourself jumping off the building?”
Ling Xiaolu, “…”
He had no choice but to tell the truth, “My parents are working onboard a vessel. My mom is concerned about me, and so she always wants to have a video call with me every friday evening.”
“Oh,” Ji Meng seemed to be convinced. “So what role does the roof play here?”
“Every day, they’ll make a circuit around the world. At 21:37, the direct distance between them and my house would be the shortest. If I go up to the roof, I’ll be even closer to them. Rounding it off, it’ll feel like I’m seeing them.”
“…” Ji Meng could not find anything wrong with his words. “Then go, I’ll wait for you here.”
Ling Xiaolu really wanted to ask him if he had nothing better to do. However, there was not enough time, so he hurriedly went offline.
Just as he was about to leave his house, Ling Xiaolu recalled that he had a collar around his neck. He quickly turned back, grabbing a scarf and wrapping it haphazardly around his neck.
As expected, his sharp-eyed mother — actually, as long as they were not blind, everyone could see it — questioned him with regards to his unusual dressing.
“Why are you wearing a scarf in summer?”
“The wind on the roof is chilly at night, I’m afraid of catching a cold.”
His mother was a little surprised. “My high school graduate son has started to take care of his body already?”
“I’m about to go into college, alright? Referring to me in this manner would make me sound a little more mature.”
“A little more mature? I have yet to even ask you about that yellow hair of yours.”
“This?” Ling Xiaolu drew closer to the camera, proudly showing off his hair. “I just dyed it yesterday, isn’t it good looking?”
“You look just like the neighbour’s poodle they kept when you were young.”
“… Ma, this is a trendy colour amongst the youth.”
“Youths are not afraid of catching a cold at night.”
Whatever, I’ll never be able to win an argument against her!
The conversation between the mother and son had lasted for less than ten minutes before Ling Xiaolu admitted that he had to go back online and play his game. He knew that if he said he was going back to study, his mother would not believe it too.
When he got back online, Ling Xiaolu discovered that Ji Meng’s position had not changed, and he was still standing there waiting for him.
However, when he went offline just now, there was only Ji Meng alone. Now, there was a giant dragon too. Leaning against the dragon, Ji Meng was sitting on the ground. In his hand was food, and he was teasing his short-legged Lu Lu into hopping up and down.
It was still that familiar scene, and it was still that familiar maternal smile.
Ling Xiaolu did not reveal himself immediately, but secretly observed this version of Ji Meng for a moment, looking lost in thought.
Ji Meng still noticed him first. “What are you doing over there? Why didn’t you make any sound coming online?”
Ling Xiaolu slowly made his way over, crouching down next to him.
“I was observing you just now. You remind me of a junior high classmate.”
“Why? He’s very handsome?”
“He’s neither handsome nor ugly, his grades were pretty decent. He also never tattled to the teachers, but no one ever played with him.”
“Why? Some sort of schoolyard mental abuse?”
“He was the son of a very fierce, bald disciplinary master in our school. Although everyone was fine with him, they would be reminded of his father each time they saw him. Unconsciously, they all kept a polite distance away from him.”
“Childish.” Ji Meng criticised bluntly.
“We were only in junior high, how mature could we be? The key point is… looking at you, I feel like I’m looking at him. Hey,” Ling Xiaolu nudged Ji Meng. “In the game, do you normally not have many friends too, and always play with your pets like this?”
“I-is it?” Ji Meng was rarely so flustered. “What’s wrong with playing with my pets, aren’t the pets fun to play with?”
Ling Xiaolu planted his butt onto the ground. “That classmate had no other choice, but why did you stupidly insist on using your real name in this game? With your real name, and being a benefactor as well, the only thing you’re missing writing that you’re a relative of the president of the company on your face. Even though we know that you’ve done nothing wrong, us ordinary people can’t help but be judgmental.”
“You know that you’re annoying as well.1”
… Why is this fellow just like Ling Long?!
A rare moment of silence from Ji Meng. “I’m happy to use my real name. Also, I do have friends, it’s just that I don’t want to play with those people who keeps calling me hubby.”
Ling Xiaolu garnered some useful information from his words. “Do you mean, once someone calls you hubby, you don’t want to play with them anymore?”
“I guess so. Would you like such superficial and shallow friends?”
Ling Xiaolu’s eyes shone brightly. “Does that mean that if I call you hubby, you’ll be scornful of me too?”
He would never have guessed that this was the way to escape from Ji Meng.
Ji Meng paused slightly, “I don’t know. Want to try it out?”
Ling Xiaolu used the most saccharine, nauseating tone he could imagine, and swung Ji Meng’s arm about. “Hubby~~ Let’s play together~~”
He tossed Ji Meng’s arm away angrily. “What is that?! Serves you right that you have no friends!”
Ji Meng suppressed his laughter with great effort, pulling Ling Xiaolu up from the ground. “Come, let’s go to the next county.”
“Why?” Ling Xiaolu was not in a good mood, but he still stood up obediently.
“We’re going to buy pets.”
“Huh? You already have so many, they’re not enough for you?”
“Haven’t you always been very disdainful that I don’t have one that can ride on land? Now you can pick one for me.”
“I only made a casual remark, and you took it so seriously?”
Ji Meng turned his head towards him, his mouth quirking up. “It was a suggestion made by one of my few friends in this game. How can I not take it to heart?”
“Hey!” Ling Xiaolu gave in. “Ji Meng, you really shouldn’t use your real name. Hurry up and go buy a name-changer. I’ve already thought of a new name for you, just call yourself Ji Mo2