Translated by: Effyis
Edited by: Stbunbun
Chapter 10: Unique taste
The number of players increased on the way as Gu Fei neared Cloud City. It was obvious that the players were engrossed in the freshness of a virtual reality game, so they had not started focusing their energy on levelling up yet. Even shaking hands or touching other players was an interesting new experience.
A while later, Gu Fei was back in Cloud City. He walked towards the city square after asking for directions to the bar from Fireball.
The three important structures of the city, the bar, the auction house and the bank were located at three different sides of the city square.
Gu Fei pushed the bar door open and walked in.
The inside of the bar was bathed in a warm light, contrary to the dim setting that Gu Fei had imagined. There were a lot of people, but everyone in the bar was in high spirits. Those who indulge in drinking due to unhappy events would not appear just yet. Bottles of a variety of wine sat on the wooden shelf, and the NPC waiters took no notice of the mood of their customers, receiving everyone hospitably.
Gu Fei looked around for Fireball, but Fireball was sharper in sight. “Drunk Bro! Here! Here!” he called out from a table.
Gu Fei had to wait for the fireball to disappear before going up to Fireball’s table. Fireball looked glum and started cursing his friend who chose his name. Gu Fei continued looking around as he listened to Fireball’s complaints.
“Eh? Isn’t that…” Gu Fei caught sight of someone.
“Oh Sword Ghost. He came in not too long ago as well.” Fireball smiled after taking a look.
“He came back faster than me even though he took the longer route!” said Gu Fei.
“Huh?” Fireball was confused.
“I saw him also levelling up at that area just now.” said Gu Fei.
“Oh… yeah it’s suitable for his current level,” said Fireball as he poured some wine for Gu Fei. “Come, try this wine! Drunk Bro, I know you must love drinking! I can tell from your name!”
Gu Fei forced a smile. “Dude, don’t you remember? My name is given by someone else too, just like you.”
“Oh yeah! I forgot about that. If I had known that, I wouldn’t have treated you to a drink. My one silver coin!” Fireball’s heart ached for the money he spent. One silver coin was equal in value to 100 copper coins, which could buy an elementary level weapon from the blacksmith in the early stages of the game. And accumulating coins was no doubt a time-consuming task that required continuous grinding of mobs.
“Never mind that, take it as my treat then!” Gu Fei smiled at Fireball. He was much richer than Fireball, for the mobs he killed were of a much higher level than that of the latter.
Sword Ghost had also noticed Gu Fei by then. He nodded at Gu Fei when their eyes met as a quick greeting.
The bar continued to buzz with noise and activities.
The door suddenly opened with a creak. The whole bar quietened down at once. Any remaining noise was made by guests who were not facing the door. Gu Fei was one of them.
He turned back to see what the others’ glowing eyes fell upon, and he saw a young woman.
The purple robe she wore looked familiar, but Gu Fei could not be sure that that was the one he saw on the hill. He had seen many of the same on his way back, so the robe was probably a character class’s elementary level outfit.
The game outfits would all automatically be a perfect fit for the character, so everybody’s figures would be well shown. Everyone in the bar had every reason to gawk in awe. The girl was tall and slim, and had curves where they should be. Yet, she had no extra fat or flabs whatsoever. She had an absolutely perfect figure.
Her face was not as stunning as her figure in comparison, but it was still outstanding. Her eyes shone like glittering waves and her sweet smile made everyone feel warm inside. The girl smiled and slightly nodded to everyone in the bar.
Everybody regained their composure and continued with their activities. At first, they were all staring openly at her, but now, they had to at least pretend to be gentlemanly. One could steal glances at her if they really wanted to look.
There were no more empty tables and only a few empty seats at the bar due to the large number of customers. Those male players at tables with empty seats all looked excited. But no one gave an invitation. Whoever did would become the common enemy of all and would probably be thrown into the moat later. So even if he would get to see her close-up for a short time period no one took the risk. Everyone harmoniously waited for the girl’s own decision.
The girl walked closer in small and graceful steps. Fireball looked excited as well. Gu Fei and he were sitting at a table for four, and chances seemed good with only two of them there. Unfortunately for him, the girl only glanced at all the empty seats and bypassed him in the blink of an eye.
Fireball’s anticipation and hopes were dashed. At last, he sniffed the air and said, “Wow, smells good.”
“Dude, it’s a game… How can there be any perfume smells?” Gu Fei gave Fireball a look of disdain.
“It must be her body scent then! The game stimulated her body scent!” Fireball said with certainty.
Gu Fei smiled and ignored him. By then, the girl had already walked past most of the room and almost to the other door since there were no empty tables. Suddenly, she stopped beside Sword Ghost.
Sword Ghost was at a two-seater table, which had an empty seat and was just right.
Everyone watched with bated breath, and most couldn’t believe their eyes. What a unique taste the girl had! There was no uglier-looking guy in the room.
Regardless of being a pro gamer, Sword Ghost was a normal man in this aspect as well. He also was a little expectant at the sight of a pretty girl stopping beside him. However, the girl did not sit down. She only raised her hand and tapped Sword Ghost on the back.
The room remained quiet. These two knew each other? “They were totally the real-life version of Beauty and the Beast!!!” thought most. The rest were thinking that it was the perfect example of a beauty gone to waste.
Sword Ghost was surprised and flattered. Of course he knew that he and the girl were total strangers. He was about to speak when the girl smiled at him and pointed at his feet, “You’ve dropped your money!”
Everyone, including Sword Ghost, looked down.
A glittering gold coin was lying beside Sword Ghost’s feet.
“Oh thank you!” Sword Ghost bent down to pick it up subconsciously and was at the same time pondering over how he could use this as an excuse to treat her to a drink.
“You’re welcome.” The girl answered. When he straightened up, the girl had already reached the door. She looked back, smiled at him and left.
Sword Ghost was totally bedazzled. He held on the coin tightly, so tight as if he were practising Great Strength Vajra Finger1.
“I think I’m in love! Ah, such a beautiful face and good figure! Even her voice is like music!” Fireball murmured. “Drunk Bro, you… Huh??” Fireball was turning to talk to Gu Fei as the girl left, but found Gu Fei taking big strides to the door already, right after the girl.
“You are really my idol!” Fireball stared in astonishment as Gu Fei disappeared out of the bar.
Gu Fei dashed out of the bar and looked around. The girl had turned into a street on the right, and he quickly followed.
What an idiot Sword Ghost was! Gu Fei shook his head. How could he not have discovered that his Frost Memories on the table was stolen? All the while sitting there pinching his coin!
No one would have thought that such a girl would do this. Gu Fei would not have believed it too if he had not seen it with his own eyes.
Gu Fei gnashed his teeth in anger. It was just too despicable! What happened had reminded him of his childhood nightmare.
He was learning martial arts then, so he would have many small meals daily to satisfy his body’s consumption. And whenever he had additional dishes especially for him, that irritating kid of his second uncle would appear out of nowhere. “Hey Little Fei,” he would say. “You’ve just dropped food again! Quick, pick it up or else you’ll receive a beating from your dad again.”
“Oh!” Little Gu Fei would hurriedly get down on the floor to pick up the food. When he got back to the table again, his delicious food would have disappeared along with his cousin.
Other than that, lies like “your dad is looking for you”, “there’s a UFO”, “the cartoons are showing now” were inexhaustible, and Gu Fei was furious at his cousin for conning his food away. However, when he finally decided to beat up his cousin if that happened again, his cousin stopped playing tricks on him as he had gotten tired of his food.
Years had passed, but it still haunted Gu Fei. What happened today was totally something that he could not approve of.
Unfortunately, his opponent now was a girl. So, he needed a more suitable way to resolve this matter.
As he was thinking, Gu Fei had already reached the end of the street. He turned around the corner and found himself nose to nose with the girl.
“Wow! She really did smell kinda good!” was Gu Fei’s first thought. Then he realised their distance and immediately took a step back. “Why are you following me?” the girl asked as she made eyes at him.
“Hand over the loot!” Gu Fei was a little flushed from that close-up and had the urge of doing it again, but he still gave her the look of disgust.
“What loot?” The girl was obviously feigning ignorance.
“Are you playing dumb? I’m talking about the dagger Frost Memories which you took from the bar just now!” said Gu Fei.
The girl was a little shocked. She was not actually playing dumb, but she didn’t think that her pursuer was going to ask for that since he wasn’t the owner. Confident of her own beauty, she had misunderstood him as someone after her for her looks and was preparing to woo her.
I was having dinner when it blacked out! Damn! So I lighted a candle… Well, I heard that having a candlelit dinner was romantic? But I’m sure that a such a spicy dish like Shuizhuroupian2 would spoil the atmosphere… The electricity still hadn’t come back after dinner. Sigh. In the ancient times, people had the moonlight, caught fireflies, made holes in the wall for his neighbour’s light, and so on. Today, we have the streetlights… Butterfly started to read newspapers under the streetlight. Man, there is no interesting news at all lately, and the weather was getting colder. The wind blew like knives on the face and leaves fell, adding up to become the word “awful”. What could be more depressing? Looking to eat kebab by the street and to find that they were sold out… I resorted to eating crushed bones (a kind of street delicacy) but it was too tiring… Damn, I give up on eating, supper is still waiting for me at home!
1: Great Strength Vajra Finger: A kind of Shaolin martial art which trains the finger to be able to press into hard materials such as wood or metal. Used in many wuxia novels, such as Louis Cha’s Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber.
2: flavorShuizhuroupian(水煮肉片) is a Chinese dish which originated from the cuisine of Sichuan province and the name literally means “water-cooked meat slices”. It offers a good combination of tender meat, freshness of vegetable, hot flavour of chilli pepper, and numbing sensation of Sichuan pepper.