Chapter 9 — Managing the Household Diligently and Thriftily!
Hubby, you’re the best!
Edited by Planetes
The huge dragon stopped outside the entrance of Changjing Cave. After putting the two people down, it flew away.
“What are you trying to do, bringing me here instead of back to the county?”
Not flying did made Ling Xiaolu feel a lot better. It was just that when the fat dragon was running, it jolted too much, making Ling Xiaolu feel as though his bones had been jolted into pieces.
“We’re doing instances.”
Uncomfortably, Ji Meng turned his head away, explaining unwillingly. “Didn’t you want me to make it up to you? Doing an instance with you should be enough, right?”
“I didn’t ask for that.”
Ji Meng nearly choked. Just a second ago, his tone was still gentle, but a moment later, he was back to his usual fierce and angry tone. “What’s so bad about doing instances? Look at your ragged clothes, others would immediately know you’re a noob at first sight.”
“As a newbie, I can’t be blamed for my clothes, right? If you’re so scornful about my gear, then just let your company developers change the newbie clothes into god-like armour!”
“Also, do you think your clothes are very respectable? Exposing your chest and revealing your nipples, one look and we can tell you’re not a decent person.”
“I—” Ji Meng looked down at himself, “How am I revealing?!”
Ling Xiaolu reached out and grabbed a handful of Ji Meng’s exposed pecs. “Isn’t this revealing?”
Ji Meng ruthlessly caught his groping hand. Seeing how his face was flushed and his ears were red, Ling Xiaolu knew he had gone overboard this time.
“Uhh,” He spoke timidly. “Are you going to shock me again?”
Ji Meng had clearly “condescended” himself and deigned to bring Ling Xiaolu along to do an instance. However, the other party did not feel any gratitude. Ji Meng clenched his fist, again struggling between the decision of whether he should hit him or not.
In the end, Ji Meng chose to forcefully drag the person into the instance. “Get in!”
A buzz sounded in Ling Xiaolu’s ears. Now, in another location, his curiosity made him temporarily put his guard against Ji Meng down.
Changjing Cave was the easiest instance in <Spirit Pact>. As such, there were no showy spectacle, but just a simple and plain cave. To help the newbies from getting lost, the path within did not even branch off.
It was originally pitch black within the cave itself. However, Ling Xiaolu could clearly see even the thin, delicate veins of the rock walls, as well as the water droplets hanging off the stalactites. This probably was the night vision effect provided by the game.
Ji Meng only released him after they entered the instance.
“Follow behind me properly, don’t run around.”
“What happens if I run around?” Ling Xiaolu asked rhetorically.
Ji Meng actually considered it seriously, but his voice was full of disdain. “Just run around if you want, it’s not like I won’t be able to save you.”
Ling Xiaolu, “…”
If you had said this nicely, I might even have been moved by you!
“Hey,” Ling Xiaolu followed behind. “Aren’t there many people outside who would love to go do instances with you?”
“What do you think?” Ji Meng’s tone implied that he was asking a superfluous question.
“Then why am I the only unlucky one?”
Ji Meng stopped, turning around to glare at him. “You’re in luck, ok?”
“I’m in luck, I’m in luck, I’m the luckiest I’ve ever been in all 18 of my lives.”
Ji Meng knew he was being sarcastic, but he could not hit him as he was afraid he would cry again. As such, he could only vent his anger on the little monsters. A crackle of lightning, and there were three new glowing corpses on the ground.
Once Ling Xiaolu saw that there were spoils of war to collect, he temporarily forgot all his resentment. Running over joyfully, he swept everything into his inventory. When he collected the last one, he hesitated and asked Ji Meng, “Do you want them?”
Ji Meng shot him a look with the corner of his eyes. Ling Xiaolu accurately read this subtle expression, I would never think much about this sort of things. Very good, which meant they would all belong to him!
Ahead, Ji Meng started grinding away in the instance with sparks and flashes of lightning. Such low level monsters, before they could even come within touching distance of him, they all paid with their lives.
Behind, Ling Xiaolu started picking up everything in the instance, keeping all the items dropped by the monsters. At first, the progress of both people were similar, but soon, Ling Xiaolu’s inventory that had only 24 slots was full. To store the more valuable items, he could only look through the items in his inventory and compare them, choosing to keep the more valuable one.
Ji Meng easily cleared half the instance. When he turned back, there was no one behind him, and he could only head back and look for him.
When Ji Meng found Ling Xiaolu, Ling Xiaolu was crouching next to a corpse. In both hands were worthless items, and he was comparing them seriously.
“What are you doing?”
“Picking things up.” Ling Xiaolu responded without even looking up. After his serious comparison, he finally confirmed that the item in his right hand was worth 2 coins more than the item in his left.
“Do you need so much time to pick things up?” Ji Meng did not understand.
“My bag is full, I can’t store so many items. I can only choose to keep the good ones.”
“That one can be considered good? They’re all just random junk that can’t be sold for much in the stores.”
“For you, they may be worthless, but for me, they’re worth a lot!”
“…” Ji Meng was unable to object. “Then quickly pick them up and go!”
“I’ve already said that my bag is full!”
Ji Meng could no longer tolerate this, and pointed at him. “I’ll give you two choices. You can either throw away that pile of junk and come with me, or I turn you into ashes just like them.”
Ling Xiaolu considered it, then resolutely tightened his arms around that pile of spoils and refused to let them go. Stubbornly, he raised his chin, as though he was looking at death in the face.
Ji Meng who had his finger raised and unable to take his words back, “…”
Thinking about how Ling Xiaolu was going to continue on the same way, wasting so much time comparing junk against each other, Ji Meng felt that the path ahead of him was even darker that the actual cave.
“You really have to pick everything up?”
“It’s such a waste to not pick them up!”
“Time is more precious!”
“I’m not in a hurry.”
The two of them were at a stalemate, until Ji Meng once again surrendered. Resigned, he opened his inventory and selected the sharing function.
This function was originally designed to allow couples to easily share their items together. There were various settings that allowed for restrictions to be set or removed. Ji Meng was too lazy to look at them, carelessly checking them all, and directly allowing Ling Xiaolu full access to his inventory.
Ling Xiaolu received a system notification. On his interface, his inventory icon was flashing.
Not understand what was going on, he selected it. He then discovered that other than his original inventory, there was another new inventory. The difference was, on his inventory, 24 was in brackets, and on the new one, it showed “unlimited”.
“My time is precious. For now, I’ll allow you to put the junk inside.” Ji Meng emphasised with an icy face, “It’s only temporary!”
Ji Meng’s items were enough to open a door to a whole new world for new players. How would Ling Xiaolu ever notice what he was emphasising?
Even though Ling Xiaolu had only just recently started playing this game, from the icons of the items, he could guess that the various dazzling gears and equipment inside were all priceless.
There were even all sorts of top class consumables, all grouped in sets of 99. As Ling Xiaolu scrolled down the inventory, he could not stop ooh-ing and ahh-ing.
“So a benefactor’s inventory looks like this,” Ling Xiaolu exclaimed. “Is there no limit to the storage?”
“No, so is this enough space for you now?” Ji Meng asked ferociously.
Never try keeping up with the Joneses. Ling Xiaolu looked at his own brown sack made of a coarse material that had only 24 slots. Next to the benefactor’s inventory, it looked even more sad and pathetically.
“How nice to have money,” He shook his head.
“Having money is the worst,” He sighed.
“So is it nice or is it the worst?” Ji Meng could not understand him.
“It’s nice if I have money, it’s the worst if others have money.” Ling Xiaolu concluded.
Ji Meng did not want to continue debating over the issue of having money or not. “Pick up your items, let’s move quickly.”
Ling Xiaolu swiftly and neatly picked up everything that was dropped and stored them in Ji Meng’s bag. He even picked up everything that he had disappointedly discarded just now, and placed them all with Ji Meng’s expensive items.
Ji Meng glanced at his bag. In it was all sorts of rubbish, and he nearly threw them all back in a fit of anger.
“After we get back, go sell all this junk! You’re not allowed to keep a single one of them!”
“Don’t worry, I’ll definitely do that!” Ling Xiaolu patted his chest in assurance, and even took the opportunity to flatter him. “There’s so many fun things in your bag!”
Ji Meng pretended as though he did not hear anything. After a while, he feigned indifference and said, “Just take anything you need.”
“Oh… Huh?” It took Ling Xiaolu some time before he registered what he said.
“What are you huh-ing about?”
“Really?” Ling Xiaolu was delighted. “I can really take anything?”
“I’ve already said it, why are you still talking so much?!”
“Hubby, you’re the best!” Ling Xiaolu shouted excitedly.
Ji Meng’s expression immediately turned strange. “What did you call me?”
Ling Xiaolu looked troubled. “Hubby? Doesn’t everyone call you that? You don’t like it? Then what should I call you? Ji Papa also doesn’t sound nice.”
Ji Meng’s face flushed, then whitened, extremely interesting. After a long time, he finally gritted out, “Whatever!”
Ji Meng turned around and continued clearing the instance. Before he even took two steps, he turned back and said fiercely, “You can’t use the last one1!”
With an unlimited inventory, Ji Meng’s speed at killing monsters (Ling Xiaolu’s speed at picking up items) sped up a lot. In less than fifteen minutes, the two people soon reached the boss of the instance.
The boss was a spider beast. Just as it was about to recite its lines, it got turned into slag by a few strikes of Ji Meng’s lightning. This game experience was very poor.
“Go touch it.” Ji Meng motioned at Ling Xiaolu.
Touching the corpse of the boss, Ling Xiaolu got an attribute pill and a pair of underpants that improved agility.
“The pill is for pets, you can’t use it for now. Just keep it first.”
“Understood.” Ling Xiaolu stored the pill in his own bag.
Ji Meng remembered that Ling Xiaolu had a track record of eating pet food. “Don’t eat it yourself.”
… I’m going to do it!
He had a huge harvest this instance. Ling Xiaolu thought, after selling everything he collected, he would definitely go purchase a larger inventory.
The two people exited the instance.
Before the “go back” left his mouth, Ling Xiaolu saw Ji Meng draw a strange symbol on the entrance to the instance.
“Repeat.” Ji Meng said, and the entrance to the cave flashed. A whirlpool appeared, then it returned to its original appearance.
“What is this?” Ling Xiaolu did not understand.
“Resetting the instance.”
“Why must we reset it?”
“Of course to do it again.”
“Hold on, why are we doing it again?”
“Is this your first time playing a game?”
“Yes!” Ling Xiaolu said self-righteously.
“Who would only do this sort of low level instance once after coming all the way here?”
“Me!” He sounded even more self-righteous.
Knowing that he was a newbie amongst newbies, Ji Meng could only restrain himself and explain, “Small instances are used to grind for gear.”
“But I already got it.” Ling Xiaolu patted the underpants he had just changed into, extremely satisfied with them.
“The boss would drop different items each time. How many times you repeat the instance, that’s the number of items you’ll drop. People will try to gain a full set.”
“I don’t need a full set, this is enough for me.”
Annoyance could be detected in Ji Meng’s voice. “How is that enough? Only the lower half of you can barely be considered decent, but your upper half is still dressed so shoddily!”
Ling Xiaolu was indignant, “Why are you looking at my bottom half?! I didn’t ask you to look!”
This was the first time he had decided to charitably bring a new account to clear an instance. At first, this was the scenario Ji Meng had imagined:
Ling Xiaolu, “Wow! Hubby, you’re great! All the monsters here are no competition for you!”
Ji Meng, “Now you know how impressive I am?”
Ling Xiaolu, “I was wrong to run away immediately from you before. Can you bring me along to do more instances?”
Ji Meng, “No, I’m tired.”
Ling Xiaolu, “No, no, it won’t be tiring, I’ll massage your legs~”
Ji Meng, “Forget it, forget it. I really don’t know what to do with you. Fine, we’ll do one more instance!”
“Hey, hey hey!” Ling Xiaolu saw that Ji Meng had suddenly zoned out, falling silent. He poked at him in incomprehension. “When are you going to bring me back to the county?”
Ji Meng snapped out from his trance, ruthlessly grabbing Ling Xiaolu’s naughty wrist.
… Oh no, this plot seems a little familiar.
Ji Meng’s lips quirked up, revealing a threatening sneer. “Go in!”
Ling Xiaolu was once again dragged forcefully into the instance, feeling upset. He only wanted to distance himself from Ji Meng, why was it so difficult to do so?!
This time, Ji Meng released his pet to fight the monsters. When Ling Xiaolu saw that chubby little thing, he recalled how Ji Meng took its photo. The more he thought about it, the angrier he got, and he decided to take his revenge. Secretly, he activated his camera function, and called out to Ji Meng from behind him. “Hey, hey!”
As expected, Ji Meng turned his head back bad-temperedly. “What?!”
Ling Xiaolu blinked furiously, snapping Ji Meng’s murderous expression.
“Nothing, I was just calling out randomly.” Ling Xiaolu feigned innocence and shrugged.
Ji Meng could not help but feel suspicious about him, but he could not think of what sort of tricks he could be up to in the dark. As such, he could only pretend that nothing had happened, and continued venting his feelings by killing monsters.
Ling Xiaolu deliberately took a few steps back. He turned on the photo-editing function, selecting the fiercest looking photo, and added two lines underneath.
— I’m going to catch a kid now to go into an instance
— Let me see, who will be the lucky one?
Ling Xiaolu then shared the edited image onto his own social page.
Although I don’t have a single fan, I’m still going to blacken his name! Ling Xiaolu gnashed his teeth.
“Why are you so slow again?!” Ji Meng discovered that he was missing again, and had to return to look for him. He could not believe that Ling Xiaolu was able to fill up his unlimited storage!
“No,” Ling Xiaolu swiftly exited his social page. “We’ve been grinding for too long, I’m a little tired.”
“You’re tired?” Ji Meng strode over, looking at him. “Want me to massage your leg?”
He leaned in closer, so close that Ling Xiaolu could feel his breath on his face. “I guarantee that your leg will be massaged broken.”
“… I’m not tired, I’m not tired,” Ling Xiaolu was so frightened he backed up and shook his head. “I still have the strength to do this instance 10 more times.”