Chapter 21 — The Wedding Celebration
It’s Getting Hot!
Edited by Planetes
Ling Xiaolu checked his friends panel. Discovering that Zhen Jiu was online, he casually sent the pastry he had just received over to him through the pet mail.
Before Zhen Jiu replied, Ling Long’s chat box lit up first. He was so agitated that his words were no longer polite and respectful.
Ling Long: Lu Bi I @￥#*# you %*……!
Ling Xiaolu felt guilty. He had forgotten that Ling Long was still in the body of the wind pterosaur pet. This pitiful person who feared birds probably had received quite a fright.
When Zhen Jiu received the mail, he sent a surprised emoji.
Lu Bi: You didn’t get your lamb shank the last time. I’m treating you to a pastry now, I harvested it myself.
Zhen Jiu: Thank you ^^
Ling Xiaolu really wanted to call over the online mobs who insisted on calling Zhen Jiu a demon king over to take a look. See that smiling expression? Look at how friendly and easy-going this person is!
Lu Bi: Are you coming to the wedding celebration happening the day after tomorrow?
Lu Bi: I’ll be performing something that day!
Zhen Jiu: Sure, I’ll definitely attend.
Only after getting Zhen Jiu’s agreement did Ling Xiaolu remember that his name was still in black.
Lu Bi: Aiyah, I forgot. Won’t you not be able to enter the city?
Zhen Jiu: Don’t worry, I’ll think of something.
The wind pterosaur returned. Ling Xiaolu quietly called “Ling Long” a few times, yet there was no response. It seemed like he had been frightened away.
This was really too bad. Ling Xiaolu was sincerely remorseful, and he wondered if he should give Ling Long a screaming chicken toy in apology the next time.
The highly anticipated wedding was finally happening. To participate in this event, and also to not miss out on the once-in-a-lifetime dinner party Papa Dou was hosting, many faraway players arrived at Jingzhe City a day earlier.
The wedding ceremony was held at noon, and the bridal party left Chunfen City right on time. Other than Priestess Sadia and her guards, the rest of her bridal party consisted of players participating voluntarily. Sadia was a very popular NPC in Chunfen City, and she had a long list of admirers. These admirers considered themselves to be her knights, even creating a clan called The Priestess’s Knights, and their strength did not lose out to Ri-Dou-culing You.
To travel from Chunfen City to Jingzhe City, the bridal party needed to make their way through a quarter of the map, taking up the entire afternoon. Along the way, more and more players joined the party, forming a large and impressive entourage as they escorted the bride to meet her groom.
In the evening, the groom’s party formed by the guards of Commander Titus left the city to welcome the arriving bridal party. Inside the city, the lively and boisterous wedding party too kicked off.
“Welcome all of you to this… to this…”
Dou Kou had pretty much immediately blanked out the moment he spoke into the mic. Behind him, his lackey whispered, “Commander Titus and Priestess Sadia”.
“Wedding ceremony between two NPCs. I, Dou Kou, the current castellan of Jingzhe City, the clan leader of Ri-Dou-culing You, welcomes every single one of you on behalf of Jingzhe City! …”
Dou Kou had arranged a VIP seat in the audience for Ling Xiaolu. Sitting there, Ling Xiaolu was whispering with Ji Meng.
“Why is the castellan of Jingzhe City Papa Dou?”
“There’s a siege at the end of every month. The clan who takes over the city at the end of the siege will win the rights over the city. Ever since I started playing this game, Ri-Dou-culing You has always held jurisdiction over Jingzhe City.”
“What are the benefits of having jurisdiction?”
“In every shop in the city and its suburbs, whenever you make a transaction, you’ll have to pay Ri-Dou-culing You tax and rent.”
Thinking about the various shops he saw in Yuanting County, Ling Xiaolu could not help exclaiming, “That’s quite a lot! Seems like getting Papa Dou to hold a banquet of six hundred tables is asking too little of him.”
That VIP seat was very close to the stage, and Dou Kou could see everything clearly from where he stood.
At that very moment, he was quite unhappy. He clearly only left that seat for the little friend, but how can that Ji Meng, who did not even hold any banquet at all, have the cheek to come and sponge off him?
The two of them were even so close when they spoke. For all he knew, Ji Meng’s tactic of seduction had already succeeded! Dou Kou truly felt an injustice for the little friend.
A lackey poked at Dou Kou who was lost in his thoughts, reminding him that there was an audience waiting for him.
Dou Kou recollected himself, continuing his speech. “I know, the priestess has always been the pride of the residents of Chunfen City. During the weekends especially, many people would travel long distances to go to Chunfeng City, just to listen to the priestess sing. However, from today on, this pride will belong to us, our Jingzhe City! We welcome all players to come to my Jingzhe City every week from now to listen to the priestess sing! This banquet of six hundred tables will be my welcome gift to you visitors from all around!”
“Well said, Papa Dou!” Below the stage, Ling Xiaolu clapped and shouted.
Dou Kou was secretly paying attention to his reaction, and he was very pleased. The little friend must have definitely sensed how liberal I am with my money. The game had been going on for so long, and there had never been a banquet that reached the limits that a city could hold. Only him, Dou Kou, had this sort of ability, and Crown Prince Ji was definitely not his rival.
This was the first step in changing the little friend’s impression of him for the better, despite this move being a little painful on the wallet. When Dou Kou thought about the bill, he vaguely felt as though he was about to have a heart attack.
However, if he was able to gain a human pet out of it, everything would be worth what he had paid. Originally, his speech should have just ended there, but as Dou Kou held onto the mic, looking out at the eyes that were watching him, he suddenly wanted to pour out some of the emotions he had been keeping in his heart.
“With the priestess joining us, the total strength of our Jingzhe City has once again increased. I, Dou Kou, have played this game for so long, other than owning the rights to the most popular city in the game, as well as having the most powerful clan, I have another wish that has yet to be fulfilled.”
“If I were to have any regrets, that would be that never in this game have I ever owned a human pet. If I can have one of the pink names, I’m willing to…”
Dou Kou paused, raising the anticipation level of the crowd. “Gift him one of my mines!”
“Ohhhhhh!” The crowd exclaimed as a group, and Ling Xiaolu’s voice was the loudest.
“… mineral rights for a year!” Dou Kou added emotionally.
“Eeeee—” Ling Xiaolu led the crowd in booing and hissing, and everyone was roused in excitement.
Seeing the drastic change in his reaction, Dou Kou was very anxious. “Two years! Anything that’s mined will belong to you!”
The booing got louder. The lackeys saw that the situation had turned for the worse, and they hurried over to coax and push their clan leader off the stage. Having spent so much money to win the hearts of the people, it would not be good if they ended up making a wrong move.
“Thank you to our clan leader for such an exciting speech. Next, everyone, please go ahead and eat and drink to your fill, and play to your heart’s content. Is there anyone who would like to take the initiative and come up on stage to perform?” The lackeys tried their best to warm up the crowd.
Ling Xiaolu naturally would not miss this opportunity. With a leap, he bounded up onstage.
The moment they recognised him, the crowd started cheering again. This youth which exuded luck and gossip would always bring everyone all sorts of surprises with his every appearance.
Ling Xiaolu tested the mic. “Everyone knows that today’s host was originally your hubby Ji Meng. Unexpectedly, Papa Dou would offer six hundred tables, and triumph over your hubby. To thank such a generous and decisive Papa Dou, I’ll perform a dance for all of you to liven up the atmosphere.
“Yes!!!” Cheers and agreements resounded from the crowd. The colourful lights on the stage flashed brightly, and an energetic beat filled the air. A few big and burly figures ran in practiced movements onto the stage, standing in a formation like that of a professional dance troupe.
The audience under the stage at first did not recognise who the backup dancers were. Only when the performance started, then they all revealed a shocked expression, one by one.
This was the entire server’s most famous mercenary group, and the jobs they accepted usually had to do with attacking the cities, escorting and other fighting and combat situations. No one expected that they would appear on stage right at this moment. Their stern expressions and their seriousness in performing the steps were completely inconsistent with the energetic dance, and the entire performance exuded a surprising contrast.
Ling Xiaolu was the only person on stage with a vivid expression on his face, his movements graceful and lithe, and his steps lively. With the awe-inspiring backdrop of the mercenary soldiers, he was like a flower of life bursting out of the sands of a desert, like an incandescent burst of fireworks in a dark night sky, lighting up the scene in an instant.
The crowd simultaneously turned their screenshot and recording functions on, and thousands of people started shouting his name in unison.
“Lu Bi! Lu Bi! Lu Bi!”
Under the cheers and exclamations, Ling Xiaolu did one dazzling move after another. When the crowd’s excitement reached their peak, he suddenly crouched down, motionless. The music also followed, the volume turning low. The lights gradually dimmed, as though everything was about to return to silence.
“Release the fog!” Ling Xiaolu shouted. The stage was immediately covered in a thick fog. The dim lights flashed periodically, and in the haziness, a person’s silhouette could vaguely be seen.
The crowd all stretched their necks out, wanting to see exactly what was going on.
The spotlight flashed, and a figure appeared in front of everyone clearly. A name was on the tip of everyone’s tongue, but for some reason, they seemed to be unable to recall what it was exactly.
The music quickly lifted up. The figure turned around, and bright lights flashed everywhere.
“Ahh—!!!” A girl started shrieking agitatedly. “Hubby!!!”
Ling Xiaolu took a step back, giving the center position to Ji Meng. Ji Meng’s expression was cold and aloof, his movements tempered with a sort of forceful gentleness. Each time his muscles flexed and tightened, the pulse of the crowd would quicken. A look from him would send one’s hormones into frenzy, and a crook of his finger would cause one’s adrenaline to soar through the body.
Loud and deafening screams erupted. Girls shrieked about their hubby to the point of asphyxiation, while the guys were all delightedly rushing to capture a video of this moment. Their pet companions all pushed and shoved their way into the air, trying the best to capture this startling performance in Jingzhe City and sending it to every corner of the server.
A dozen high beam lights lit the sky, reaching all the way up. Ji Meng’s handsomeness reached an exploding point as well, illuminating Jingzhe, the city that never slept.
After a segment of frenzied drum beats, the music came to an abrupt end. Ji Meng’s unparalleled, aloof and handsome movements pushed the atmosphere of the crowd to the highest peak it could get. If the sky had a ceiling, it would be shattered into dust by the crowd’s passion and excitement.
As the crowd screamed and yelled excitedly, Ling Xiaolu jumped forward, grabbing a mic. “Was Hubby’s dancing good?”
“Do you all want more?”
“Who is the host of the banquet today?”
“Does Papa Dou want to come and perform too?”
The crowd was entirely riled up. “Papa Dou! Papa Dou! Papa Dou!”
Seating quietly offstage, Dou Kou had been suddenly cued. Reflexively, he vetoed three times, “I can’t, I didn’t, I don’t know…”
The lackeys, “Papa Dou! Papa Dou!”
Dou Kou’s brows creased. “You guys are joining in the nonsense too?”
All the lackeys shut up simultaneously, except for Lackey A who meekly hunched down, quietly reciting along with the crowd, “Papa Dou, Papa Dou.”
The shouts of people urging Dou Kou onstage were like waves crashing down, one crest higher than the other. The cheers were earthshaking, rumbling throughout the entire venue.
Ling Xiaolu clapped twice, shooting a look behind him. Five or six tall and burly mercenaries jumped off the stage, looping a flower garland that they had already prepared around Dou Kou’s neck, and then they carried him up on stage without giving him any chance to escape.
Forced up onstage, Dou Kou stood in the center, at a loss for what to do. Around his neck was hung a garland made from sunflowers, and they were currently continuously sticking their tongues out, spitting non-stop. The audience quietened down, and once they realised what those sunflowers were, their amusement shot back up.
As Dou Kou went onstage, Ling Xiaolu grabbed onto Ji Meng and jumped down, shouting, “Music!”
Music started to play. The mercenaries changed their formation, surrounding Dou Kou from all around and trapping him in the center. They then started to dance along with the music, their faces all still looking stern.
“Come~ Have fun~ In any case~ There’s time ahead of us~”
“…” Dou Kou had no experience in dancing at all, but everyone around him was now dancing. As such, he could only follow the movements of the mercenaries, swaying his arms along, and his actions could barely be classified as dancing.
“Ahh!!!” Screams resounded from the crowd again, and Ling Xiaolu’s encouraging gesture too was caught by Dou Kou’s eyes.
Dou Kou was immediately delighted. Does this little friend like such things?
With an opportunity to improve their relationship, Dou Kou no longer thought too much about it. Following the mercenaries, his body started moving stiffly. Although he was forever half a beat behind the rest, he was truly trying his best, and learning from the dancers he often watched, he even twerked his butt a few times.
Ling Xiaolu leapt onto his chair, sticking two fingers in his mouth and giving a long whistle.
As though a button had been pressed, the excited crowd too all clambered onto the tables and chairs, screaming and cheering to their hearts’ delight. They threw their cloaks up into the air, swaying them, and it was the members of Ri-Dou-culing You who were dancing the most enthusiastically. Everyone’s pets too started joining in the mass dancing, twisting and moving their bodies along with the beat. Little pet companions flew about in the air, spinning, capturing this wild revelry from all angles.
Even more sunflowers swayed their heads, forming a line as they climbed up the steps and jumped onto the stage. The mercenaries all retreated with tacit understanding, leaving the front of the stage to Dou Kou and the sunflowers. The colourful lights swung and flashed, and the music changed to another song with an even faster beat. This time, it was basically impossible for Dou Kou to not want to dance. His limbs moved instinctively to the beat, and each time he threw his hands up in the air, it would cause a wave of excitement to run through the crowd.
Influenced by the crowd’s passion, Dou Kou put even more effort into dancing, displaying all the moves and steps he could think up. He completely forgot that he had been forced up on stage.
A few pets took the opportunity to climb onto the stage, swaying their heads and shaking their tails along with the rest on stage, extremely happy.
When Ling Xiaolu paid attention to them, he pointed with amusement. “Leilulu!”
Ji Meng looked at his pets storage, only realising now that this fellow of his had run out again.
Leilulu moved its short arms and legs, and when it was getting excited, lightning started to spark from it.
Dou Kou noticed this from the corner of his eyes. Thinking that he could not allow this to carry on, he hurriedly took out his riding steed — a fierce black-spotted white tiger with upturned eyes. The white tiger grabbed onto Leilulu then tossed it away, up into the air. Leilulu executed a difficult move, tumbling in the air and landing on the white tiger’s back. Now, with an even higher stage, its tummy shook and its buttocks wiggled, and it danced even more joyfully.
The excitement of Jingzhe City, through the various livestreams, spread through the entire map of the server. No matter where the players were physically, they all could not help but bob their heads and shake their legs along with the music, and some even started dancing along.
Ling Long’s colleagues, the GMs in charge of overseeing the various events behind the scenes, also relaxed their vigilance in the revelry, their heads nodding along to the beat.
“O-o-o-oh, oh no!”
From outside the city, someone ran in urgently, his voice drowning in the crowd dancing jubilantly.
Ignoring everything else, he jumped onto the stage, snatching the mic. “It’s not good! Things are not good! Don’t dance anymore!”
The music stopped, and the people gradually stopped dancing too. Their eyes all turned towards the source of the voice.
The messenger panted heavily. “Our groom’s party has been attacked!”
The people who had been lost in their revelry only a second ago did not know what was going on, and they all looked at each other. The groom’s party was made up of friendly NPCs, and players had to turn on the slaughter mode to be able to attack them. However, who would be so free as to do something like that?
“It’s the people from Chunfen City! They say that they refuse to let their priestess marry over to Jingzhe City! When our groom’s party arrived, they immediately turned on their slaughter mode, and their headcount is way way higher than ours! All of them are even fully geared up! They’ve been prepared right from the start, and their motive wasn’t to accompany the bride at all…”
With all his might, he shouted, “They’re here to snatch the bride!”
The sudden situation left the recently boisterous crowd in a tense silence.
Ji Meng opened his mouth. “How many people do they have?”
The messenger shook his head. “I don’t know. Maybe… twice the size of this crowd? Or even more.”
There were a lot of visitors to Jingzhe City today. According to the estimation of the crowd, the attackers did not only belong to Chunfen City, but also other players from nearby cities as well. They had probably formed an alliance to keep the priestess in Chunfen City.
Most importantly, everyone here all came in the name of fun and entertainment, and they were completely unlike those who had come in preparation of battle.
“No matter what, we can’t let them get their way. This has to do with Jingzhe City’s dignity, and we must escort the priestess safely into the city!”
The crowd chimed in haphazardly.
“We have to escort the priestess!”
“We must protect Jingzhe City’s dignity!”
“But how? We don’t have as many people as them.”
“That’s right, that’s right.” When they thought about this point, everyone became deeply worried.
“How many more people are there in your guild?” Ji Meng asked the leader of the mercenaries.
“There’s about 200 more like us.”
“Ask them all to come online, and escort Sadia into the city.” Ji Meng’s voice resounded powerfully. “I’ll pay for it.”
Just as Ling Xiaolu was about to cheer, an enormous banner descended from the sky. In surprise, he looked at his hands glowing a faint white, the glow rippling from within. At the same time, he felt his entire body suffused with power.
People who understood immediately exclaimed, “The Battle Flag of Inspiration! It’s sold for 398 dollars at the shop! For a period of one hour, all friendly players in the vicinity of the banner will have their attributes raised by 50%!”
Ling Xiaolu clapped his hand on Ji Meng’s back. “Truly a crown prince, you’re so generous with your actions.”
Ji Meng frowned. “It’s not me.”
“It’s not?” Ling Xiaolu was curious. “Then who is it?”
A battle flag descended from the sky again, and the flagpole landed firmly in a person’s hand.
Dou Kou climbed up the steps on the stage, the flag in his hand. Looking heroic and high-spirited, he said, “The priestess is not Chunfen City’s priestess, but everyone’s priestess. From now on, she’s also our Jingzhe City’s priestess! Those people are living in their own fantasies! I, on behalf of all members of Ri-Dou-culing You, as well as all citizens of Jingzhe City, declare that we will fight them the whole way! I will not allow anyone to snatch away the priestess that belongs to us!”