Chapter 16 — I Refuse Cohabitation!
Even if I, Ling Xiaolu, were to freeze to death sleeping on the streets, I would never cohabitate with anyone!
Edited by Planetes
The air was thick with tension — one second, two seconds, three seconds… It was as though a freezing spell had been casted on all the living things present. They were stuck in the position of having been caught red handed, and not even a hair on them was moving, looking very comical and hilarious.
A hazelnut fell onto the ground, and time resumed ticking.
Ling Xiaolu swiftly held up his hands, then pointed. “It was the squirrel!”
Almost at the same time, five stumpy arms pointed neatly towards Ling Xiaolu. One of them included that absurdly small and tiny wing.
…These ungrateful beasts.
With an unfriendly look on his face, Ji Meng walked towards them. The animals scattered and escaped, leaving the “culprit” behind to await the interrogation by the owner of the house.
“I’m really only an accessory to the crime, don’t believe them, I…”
Ji Meng raised his hand. Ling Xiaolu thought that he was about to be shocked, and shut his eyes in fear.
There was no expected charge of current through his body. Instead, a hand wiped the corner of his mouth forcefully.
He secretly slitted his eyes open, and Ji Meng was standing very close to him with a dark expression.
“Your face is all dirty with food!” Ji Meng reproached with no sense of politeness.
Ling Xiaolu hurriedly wiped his entire face slipshodly, feigning innocence. “I was hungry, and I didn’t manage to find any other food. If there was, I wouldn’t have to…”
Without a word, Ji Meng opened the door of the next cabinet. In it was all sorts of food and ingredients.
“… If I knew that there was food there, I would definitely not have opened this one.” Ling Xiaolu smoothly changed his tune. If one was not listening to what he was saying, they would not have registered that they were two different sentences.
Ji Meng felt it was beneath him to expose Ling Xiaolu. “I’ve given you the access rights to this house as a cohabitant…”
“… So you can take anything in the house, and you can also eat anything from my inventory. HOW-EV-ER,” Ji Meng emphasised, “you’re definitely not allowed to eat anything of unknown sources!”
“I didn’t eat…”
“And you’re not allowed to drink anything too!” Ji Meng interrupted him huffily. “Don’t you know that you have a special constitution?”
“Me? A special constitution? Really?”
“You can even get drunk off deer wine. What if you get poisoned to death from eating something unknown next time?”
“Then your company will need to cough up a lot of money.” Ling Xiaolu responded with no hesitation, then immediately regretted it as Ji Meng looked as though he really wanted to hit him. Judging by Ji Meng’s actions, Ling Xiaolu had probably been very troublesome the night before.
“I also didn’t know that I could get drunk after drinking that. Did I cause you great trouble after getting drunk?”
“What do you think?”
Ling Xiaolu was rather embarrassed. “Then what should I do to mollify you?”
Ji Meng originally had nothing in mind, but he caught sight of Ling Long from the corner of his eye. Suddenly, he thought that he should beat a certain someone at his own game.
“Sure, then I want to beat the backside of your mini pterosaur.”
Without a pause, Ling Xiaolu grabbed Ling Long and delivered it to Ji Meng. “Sure.”
Ling Long: …
Ji Meng: …
“Don’t stand on courtesy, just do it.” Ling Xiaolu warmly shoved Ling Long into Ji Meng’s hands.
Ji Meng was not interested in actually hitting it. “Isn’t your answer a little too quick?”
“Why would you say that? It’s not like I’m the one hurting when you beat its backside.”
Ji Meng regretted it. He should have suggested hitting the backside of the owner of the pterosaur!
“However, there’s something I’ve long been wanting to ask about. Where did you get this little pet of yours from?” Ji Meng took Ling Long, unable to turn down Ling Xiaolu’s bighearted offer. Holding it up, he studied it.
The wind pterosaur was a new pet that had just been released, and was rarely seen in the game. Nonetheless, the first time he met Ling Xiaolu, this little thing was already following him.
Fortunately Manager Ke had already instructed Ling Xiaolu about this situation before. Ling Xiaolu’s reply did not sound nervous at all. “It comes with buying the bracelet device and the deluxe version of the game together at once, a bonus of being a new player. You can get it if you buy them too, but it’s probably not worth a second look for you.”
Ji Meng had no doubts, and returned the pterosaur to Ling Xiaolu. “We’ll forget about it this time, but in the future, don’t imagine it as a GM in your drunken fit again.”
“Ah? I-I-I imagined i-i-it as a GM?” Ling Xiaolu was alarmed. “How could I be that stupid?”
“You were even chasing after it asking it to lock my account. I really regret not recording that scene down for you to watch!”
Only then did Ling Xiaolu realise that he had an extremely close brush with the loss of his “chastity”. People were right when they said drinking stirred up nothing but trouble.
“Thank you, my friend, for being so kind as to not record it!” Ling Xiaolu’s words were very sincere, to the point where Ji Meng was even more regretful over not recording it. If he had recorded it, he would then have the materials for mocking him, and maybe Ling Xiaolu might even whine gently and plead with him to delete it…
“Hubby~ Please delete this dark history of mine~ Alright~~”
“No,” Ji Meng replied with a poker-face.
“No?” Ling Xiaolu saw that Ji Meng was again daydreaming, and reached out to nudge him. “Are you drunk?”
Returning to his senses, Ji Meng met Ling Xiaolu’s questioning gaze and pretended nothing happened. “Forget it.”
With how good this fellow was at stirring trouble, there would definitely be many more chances in the future for him to record his shame, so Ji Meng would forget it this time.
Ling Xiaolu was even more baffled. “Forget what?”
”Did you forget where you’re going next?”
Ling Xiaolu: … Are we really on the same frequency?
“What do you mean about me forgetting where I’m going next?”
“I’m going out later. I’ll teleport you to wherever you want to go.”
The two people were finally back on the same frequency.
“Just go if you have something to do, you didn’t have to come online.” Ling Xiaolu was perfunctorily polite.
Ji Meng had wanted to come online to see if Ling Xiaolu was fine, but when the words were on his tongue, they changed. “Of course I had to come online… to see if you were secretly eating my food!”
“…” If Ling Xiaolu knew, he would not have been polite! However, he could not retort, as he did eat Ji Meng’s food secretly, and was even caught red handed!
“Where am I going… I’m not sure as well. Why don’t you send me to the place where the new players can do their quest?”
Ji Meng fell silent, was silent, and remained silent.
Ling Xiaolu was confused. “Is this request so difficult that you need such a long time to think?”
Ji Meng received a jab at his sore spot. “I’m just thinking! How would I know where is it? I’ve never done any of the quests for new players before!”
“Then what were you doing when you first started playing?”
“Catching pets and fighting monsters.”
“Continue catching pets and continue fighting monsters.”
“…” Ling Xiaolu was very bitter. “Your uncle gave you a benefactor’s ring, but you’re living like a plug-in. How can you face the programmers working overtime in your company?”
Ji Meng again fell into a bout of silence. “Then you also shouldn’t do them.”
Ling Xiaolu: ???
“Wait for me to come back online and we’ll do them together.”
Ling Xiaolu: ?????
“What do you mean by that expression?!” Ji Meng came up with an explanation. “What I mean is that I heard the quests in this game are very difficult, and many can only be completed in a party. Just you alone, you’ll definitely not be able to complete them!”
“Why would I not be able to complete the beginner’s quests alone? Don’t look down on me.”
“Am I wrong? The moment I went offline you had a bounty on your head, I leave for a bit and you got drunk. As long as I’m not around, you’ll stir up trouble!”
Ling Xiaolu disagreed. “It’s not that when you’re not around, I’ll stir up trouble. Even when you’re around, I’ll still stir up trouble!”
“You— You’re very proud of that, aren’t you?”
“So what if I’m proud about it? If you don’t agree, just endure it!”
With suppressed anger, Ji Meng sent the Ling Xiaolu that could not do anything without him (in his head) back to Yuanting County.
Ling Xiaolu saw that he was preparing to go offline, and hurriedly shouted, “Oi! Go cancel that co-something rights of your house, I’m never going to that Dongye again!”
Ji Meng: “Hmph!”
Ling Xiaolu: … Look look look he’s again like this! He’s basically reincarnated from a pig!
“Is it that you don’t know how to remove the rights yourself?” Ji Meng asked.
“Can I actually cancel the rights myself? How do I do it?”
Knowing that he did not know how to do so, Ji Meng relaxed. Turning away, he continued making his preparations to go offline, and it was evident that he did not want to tell Ling Xiaolu how to do so.
Ling Xiaolu was very angry. He could only take the opportunity of the last second before Ji Meng went offline, taking a photo of him with his stiff neck and looking bossy. Again, he edited the photo and posted it onto his wall.
— Let’s learn the sounds of Ji together:
— Hmph! 1
He, the current Ling Xiaolu, was now different from the past version of him. He now had over ten thousand followers, and as long as he posted quickly enough, Crown Prince Ji would not beat him in this image competition!
Ji Meng was half an hour late to meeting Chang Yuanxi2.
“Why are you so late? You went online again to feed your pets?”
Ji Meng was in a bad mood.
“I wasn’t feeding them.”
Chang Huanxi saw that he denied feeding the pets, but did not deny going online, and was very amazed. If Ji Meng doesn’t feed his pets, pigs can become extinct!
“What happened? Since I had to wait for you for half an hour, quick, tell me about it for my own amusement.”
Feeling cranky, and having someone shooting questions at him, Ji Meng hence told Chang Huanxi all about Ling Xiaolu’s fake and phoney friendship with him.
Chang Huanxi analysed the situation logically. “Maybe he’s just disdainful of you, and doesn’t want to have any interactions with you at all?”
“That’s impossible!” Ji Meng refuted resolutely.
“How are you so sure?”
Ji Meng diligently considered all instances of their interactions, and came up with a decisive conclusion. “He personally acknowledged that he’s friends with me.”
This time, it was Chang Huanxi with a face full of scorn. “So what if he personally acknowledged that you’re friends? In your family’s game, tons and tons of people call you Hubby, but aren’t they all just saying that they love you to death, while deep in their hearts they’re just cursing and swearing at you?”
“…” Ji Meng paused. “It’s different this time.”
“Then tell me what you said then, describe everything to me.”
“I said… ‘The quests in this game are very difficult. Just you alone, you’ll definitely not be able to complete them.’ How is there a problem with this sentence?”
“You’re not wrong, but can’t you phrase it nicely?”
“How did I not phrase it nicely?” Ji Meng was disgruntled.
“Come, follow me.” Chang Huanxi taught him word by word, “I want to form a party with you and do the quests together.”
“… That’s so simple, who wouldn’t know how to say it?”
“It’s all just words, you can do it. Try it!”
Chang Huanxi gestured at him vigorously, signalling him to try it just once.
Ji Meng, “…”
He cleared his throat. “I want to f-form…”
His lips were a little dry. Swallowing, Ji Meng looked left and right.
“Stop looking all over the place, just look at me.” Chang Huanxi did not allow Ji Meng to avert his gaze. “Look into my eyes, and say it sincerely.”
Ji Meng was forced into meeting Chang Huanxi’s eyes directly. “I want… I want…”
Ji Meng was tongue-tied, and now they were only staring into each other’s eyes. Finally, it was Chang Huanxi who could no longer endure it. “It’s best that you stop looking at me anymore, I’m afraid that you’ll start liking me.”
Ji Meng twisted his head away in a pique.
Chang Huanxi was bitter. If there was only one person in the world who was able to be friends with Ji Meng, why did that person have to be him?
At that moment, in the game, Ling Xiaolu who had finally regained his freedom flew into the Pet-X, and ate up all the skill tablets he had accumulated in one go. He then selected a few useful close target skills:
— Wind Rage: Passive skill. A certain probability of causing double the damage when attacking. It can only be used once every 2.5 seconds.
— Vampiric: Passive skill. 15% of the damage dealt is converted into replenishing your own Hp.
— Heat Shimmer: Passive skill. A certain probability of avoiding attacks, creating many illusions in an instant to confuse enemies. It can be only used once every 15 seconds.
— Conceal: Become a part of the surroundings, and you won’t be easily discovered. Any form of active attacks, or if you receive any damage, the effect will be cancelled. Under this concealment effect, the first physical attack would definitely be explosive. This effect will last for 30 seconds, and has a cooldown of 5 minutes.
The greatest benefit of these four skills was that they could be used by both players and pets, and there was no need to disguise them. The first three skills need not be bound to any actions, and the last skill, Conceal, Ling Xiaolu set the action as placing his index finger by his lips, and no sound was required to activate it. After all, no one, before concealing themselves, would shout “I’m going to make myself invisible!”
After learning the skills, Ling Xiaolu’s purse was empty. However, he was still very satisfied. I’ve turned poor, but I’ve also turned stronger.
Yuanting County was as bustling as ever. Even though it was now the afternoon, where there were comparably fewer people online, the market street was still busy. Calls to look at wares, as well as the sounds of laughing and chattering rose and fell along the street. With a green name above his head, Ling Xiaolu felt very safe walking in the crowd — as long as he ignored the “Reward” word next to it.
The mass of people around prevented Ling Long from speaking, but this did not affect him running riot in Ling Xiaolu’s private chat.
Ling Long: Would you like to take a look at the latest ongoings in the game? Don’t want to miss the latest, most popular gossip? Then quick, open up the News panel, and you’ll have the latest news in the palm of your hand!
Ling Long: Instructions for opening the News panel—
Ling Long: Hold your hand out with the palm facing up, then drag the two fingers of your other hand from your wrist to your fingertips.
While seriously considering the feasibility of blacklisting a GM, Ling Xiaolu opened up the so-called News panel, and finally understood why Ling Long insisted on him looking at it.
The News panel showed the summary of yesterday’s popular news. Ling Xiaolu did not know if he could be considered lucky or unlucky, as he was involved in four of them.
(Ling Xiaolu thought: As expected, the Adonis is the most popular.)
(Mn, as expected of the National Husband, that’s his power.)
(Even the news about getting locked on can be this popular? I don’t understand.)
(One cannot underestimate the power of money.)
(… I reject.)
Ling Long: How do you feel?
Lu Bi: How much did Li Zheng pay to get the top listing? I, Crown Prince Ji, will offer twice the amount!
Ling Long: Seeing that you’re still able to joke around like this I’m not worried now. After all, your current situation is the opposite of the original low profile you wanted to keep. I was still reflecting if there had been some issues with my guidance in the game wuwuwu.
Lu Bi: Don’t worry, I won’t report you.
Ling Xiaolu consoled him.
Lu Bi: After all, I don’t remember your employee ID number.
Extremely touched, Ling Long hid away his ID properly.
From the door of the restaurant came a person’s voice, telling a story. It attracted Ling Xiaolu’s attention, as he had not expected that there would be storytellers in the game. Many players were gathered around, listening, and Ling Xiaolu too went to join in the fun.
“It was said that the National Adonis Li Zheng pulled out his weapon, and battled the National Husband Ji Meng. Their fight was chaotic, earthquaking, feet trembling, and they did whatever they liked. The scene was devastated, thunder rattling the skies, while the silver snake and Leilulu tore at each other, strangling each other’s powers, and all sorts of marvellous techniques were seen…”
“Melon seeds, drinks, peanuts!”
Ling Xiaolu was very entertained by the story. He waved the hawker over, “A bag of melon seeds here!”
Eating the seeds, Ling Xiaolu listened as the storyteller continued with cadence. “… In the blink of an eye, Li Zheng wrapped up the youth next to him in his arms and leapt backwards. That youth had delicate features, looking as though he was carved from jade, but he was crying, his tears like blossoms falling from the skies, and aroused the pity of many.”
Ling Xiaolu found this hilarious. He asked, “What was he crying about?”
“What that youth said while weeping, ‘I have no grudges with you, Crown Prince Ji, but why are you making things difficult for me over and over again?’ Ji Meng then rebutted, ‘You’re so intimate with this person, flying straight into his arms. Have you considered that I, Crown Prince Ji, is standing right here?!”
“Hahaha excellent!” Ling Xiaolu cheered.
The storyteller cupped his hands in Ling Xiaolu’s direction and continued, “This youth, called Lu Bi…”
Cough cough cough cough cough cough!
From the crowd came an earthshaking cough, giving everyone a fright.
“Are you alright?”
Hoarsely, Ling Xiaolu pointed at his throat. “Me-melon seed…”
“Oh no! This person is choking on the kernel of the melon seed!”
“Here! Here… This youth called Lu Bi… has choked on melon seeds…” The eyewitness continued the storyteller’s words, stunned.
Ling Xiaolu: … At this time, don’t think about how you’re going to continue the story!
“Wow! I’ve now seen the real life Lu Bi!”
“I never thought I’ll be able to see four out of the top five headlines in one go!”
“Lu Bi, I watched your livestream yesterday, Papa Dou fell so deep into your trap! When would you livestream again? I’ll definitely subscribe.”
“Can you tell us about your experiences about having such close interactions with the three great benefactors?”
“If Lu Bi’s here, where’s my hubby? Where’s my Adonis?”
“Shouldn’t you guys be worried that there’s a higher possibility that Zhen Jiu will slash his way over here? Don’t you see that the ‘Reward’ is still over his head?”
“Lu Bi should be the one more worried, right? Haven’t you guys noticed that he’s about to choke to death?”
Ling Xiaolu was finally saved after a bout of pounding and slapping on his back by the people around him. He shuddered at the thought that his first death in the game was nearly given up to the kernel of the melon seed. Such an embarrassing death, would there be an achievement in the game?
Also, who came up with this story? He, the youth carved from jade, was about to report it to the police!
The storyteller too recognised the main character in the story. With a grin, he was about to greet Ling Xiaolu, only for his expression to change abruptly. “Watch out!”
Ling Long’s warning came almost at the same time—
Ling Long: Run run run run run run!
The first step Ling Xiaolu took, he felt a wind above his head, and knew he was too late. Covering his head, he fell to the ground and rolled away. Behind him came a loud crash, and was even accompanied by a wave of heat. The shockwave of the enormous impact pushed Ling Xiaolu away, causing him to roll a few times across the ground.
Those people who received no warnings were not so fortunate. Due to the sudden appearance of the meteor rain spell, they all turned into spirits, and each and everyone of them held up their cards angrily.
What the fuck! Who did this?
This person fucking dared to do a sneak attack?
Even if I become a ghost, I won’t let you off!
A howl shook the earth. Ling Xiaolu, along with everyone else, turned towards the sound. He swore loudly but silently: King Kong?!
This giant gorilla, looking very much like King Kong, was pounding its chest on the roof. With complete impartiality, it leapt down to where Ling Xiaolu was.
If he were to get slammed by it, was he not going to turn into paste? In his panic, Ling Xiaolu unconsciously held two fingers out. “Don’t come over!”
The speed of the “King Kong” was reduced for 1.5 seconds, and Ling Xiaolu hurriedly took advantage of this break to tumble twice away. He pressed his index finger to the side of his lips, and vanished under everyone’s eyes.
In the next second, the “King Kong” landed heavily on the ground. It uttered a long and loud cry, then raised two strong and powerful arms before punching savagely down to the ground. The area of effect damage from the hit cancelled Ling Xiaolu’s concealment spell, and the retreat Ling Xiaolu was planning to use was also disrupted by the “King Kong”.
The “King Kong” had all four limbs on the ground, aiming and rushing towards the Ling Xiaolu who might not be able to escape even if he were to give it his all. This time, there was no way he would be able to avoid the attack. Ling Xiaolu raised his arm, covering his eyes. Dou Kou’s warning was real. Although the death in this game was fake, but that moment of fear when facing death — especially for a newbie who had never experienced dying before — was truly genuine.
His eyes shut tightly, Ling Xiaolu stood there for a long time, but the heavy impact he was expecting never came.
There seemed to be a wind blowing around him, as though he was standing in the middle of a vortex. Even without opening his eyes, he could feel the debris carried up by the gusts of air hitting his body.
The wind stopped. It took Ling Xiaolu half a beat before he slowly put down his arm that was shielding his eyes. The figure that gradually appeared in front of him seemed much taller than normal due to Ling Xiaolu having fallen to the ground.
The bursts of wind had already stopped, but the newcomer’s white long hair, as well as his clothes there were also white, still fluttered without the help of the wind.
The burly body of the “King Kong” had been frozen with just a point of the newcomer’s finger.
“Go.” A light tap of his middle finger, and the gorilla was tossed away at a high speed, crashing through three entire buildings before finally landing.
The person who saved Ling Xiaolu from the “King Kong” slowly turned around, revealing a perfect face that would make one exclaim over it no matter how many times they saw it.
Seeing how Ling Xiaolu was staring blankly, the other person was also not surprised that he would have such an expression.
“Disciple, are you alright?”
Author’s Note: One of the characters of the side-CP has come online today. (Side characters who are not worthy of being named on the side character lists are too tragic.)