Chapter 195 A Person with Aspirations
As the words slowly left Ye Ci’s lips, Wang Jiangnan had the feeling that he was dreaming.
It was as if the cool and gentle female voice, tinted with a hint of indifference, was blown into his ears by chilly winds, tickling his eardrums with a tingling persistence. He startled as he felt a gentle tug at his heartstrings.
He was utterly stunned. At that moment, time stopped for Wang Jiangnan. There was only him, and the girl standing in front of him.
“You…” it took quite a while before Wang Jiangnan regained his composure. He visibly gulped before slowly exhaling, “You… Are Gongzi You?”
The surprise was obvious in his soothing voice. He was utterly caught off guard and was overwhelmed. He stood silently. Even after the computer completed its start up, even with the bustling activity not far away, all his thoughts were focussed on the girl wearing an aloof expression.
“Why? Is something wrong with me being Gongzi You?” Ye Ci was amused by Wang Jiangnan’s dumbstruck expression. The Wang Jiangnan she remembered, was a humble person who had absolute confidence in himself. Has he ever shown this side of him? It would be her privilege as a reincarnator to witness the transformation of a young man into a legend.
“I h-had the impression that you’re someone special, but I’ve never expected you to be Gongzi You.” facing Ye Ci’s smile, Wang Jiangnan was slightly embarrassed, and his face had even taken a slight shade of red, adding some fresh rosy tint to his youthful face.
Still in awe, Wang Jiangnan did not make fun of Ye Ci like he normally would. He was very quiet as he set up the character card for Ye Ci. “Y-you are different from what I’ve imagined.” Wang Jiangnan grimaced.
His words piqued Ye Ci’s interest, “Then how did you think I would look like?”
“When I first heard your voice, you were reporting a BUG. When we first met, you were helping us with fixing the BUG. I had the impression you’re a matured and insightful person.” Wang Jiangnan who was immersed in his own thoughts replied reflexively.
Matured? Ye Ci narrowed her eyes. If she take her age in her past life into account, she was indeed not young, “So do I look childish to you?”
“N-no” Wang Jiangnan himself could not understand the source of his nervousness. She was just a player. Just a player! Even if she was the one who gave him courage… Even if her words had guided him towards his aspirations… Even if his actions of tracking her in-game progress was already a norm for him… Even if she appeared in front of him without warning… She was still a player! You are a developer! Wang Jiangnan, you should remain composed! Why are you losing your calm?
Wang Jiangnan met Ye Ci’s sharp gaze, took in a deep breath and calmed himself down. “You’re much younger than I expected. You’re even younger than I am!” he said with a smile.
Ye Ci offered him a smile. At that point, he was already done with her character card. After receiving the card from Wang Jiangnan, Ye Ci placed her index finger on her lips and said in a soft voice, “Shhh… Keep it a secret.”
Wang Jiangnan was momentarily stunned. After eyeing the rest of the players, he immediately understood Ye Ci’s words. He nodded and smiled at her, “Miss, you can log into the game with one of those machines over there.” he nodded at Ye Ci once again and raised his voice, “You can activate your character cards here as well!”
Before Wang Jiangnan could finish his sentence, he was swallowed by a sea of players.
Ye Ci nodded and headed to a machine at the farthest corner. She climbed into the gaming cabin after plugging in her character card.
The sandbox mode of the game was very similar to the normal version of the game. However, with the high grade facilities in the Fate HQ, players were able to have a different gaming experience. They were still longing for more time in the game after the 1 hour was over.
The group had their lunch together with the Fate employees. The management had even set up a welcome party for the players, and took a group photo with the visiting players after their meal. Players and employees mingled together and took photos together, filling the dining hall with laughter and excitement.
Ye Ci, on the other hand, sat alone in a corner, silently watching the others, looking like she was unable to fit in. Moments like this were very awkward for Ye Ci, because she was not talkative and her social skills were horrible. She preferred to be far away from the crowd in situations like this, hoping that she could avoid attention.
“Why are you sitting here alone?” Wang Jiangnan sat beside Ye Ci with his food tray. He had made his way through the dining hall just to sit by her side so that he could have a conversation with her.
“This place offers a nice view.” Ye Ci smiled as she observed the interaction between the World Conqueror players and the Fate employees.
Following Ye Ci’s gaze, Wang Jiangnan caught a sight of the bustling scene and smiled, “Why not join them? Your best friend is there.” Fang Susu was the one he mentioned. The girl had long abandoned her ladylike manner, and was having fun. She alone was able to fill the entire dining hall with joy.
“Everybody has their own shortcomings.” Ye Ci lowered her gaze, and began eating silently. She acted as if the jovial atmosphere had nothing to do with her. Alas, in truth, she had nothing to do with it.
“I’ve always thought that the top-tier Huntress, the godlike player Gongzi You is omnipotent. It seems that there’s something you’re bad at as well.” Wang Jiangnan chuckled, and began eating his meal as well.
“I’m just a normal person playing the game. I’m no god, so why can’t I have something that I’m bad at?” Ye Ci pursed her lips, but she was not offended by Wang Jiangnan’s words.
Wang Jiangnan did not respond to Ye Ci’s words. He smiled, and spoke up after a long silence, “I want to thank you.”
“Thank me?” Ye Ci was astonished, “For what?”
Wang Jiangnan did not immediately give Ye Ci his answer. He set down his spoon, looked Ye Ci right in her mesmerizing eyes, and and calmly articulated the following words:
“Give me 3 seconds, and I will bring you an entirely different world! I am Fate.”
Ye Ci was stunned. She remembered those words. Wang Jiangnan said them, while using his Cleric character for the trailer of the second Fate expansion, “Another World.”. It was exactly what Ye Ci told Wang Jiangnan when they met in game.
It was a catchphrase which Ye Ci had stolen from her previous life. But in her current life, she ended up being its creator. Fate is such a wonderful thing.
“What do you mean?” keeping her emotions in check, Ye Ci asked indifferently.
“Thank you, for showing me the way when I was lost and at my lowest point.” Wang Jiangnan regarded Ye Ci with a serious expression.
“I am but a player. I did nothing.” replied Ye Ci. The trailer was the brainchild of Wang Jiangnan in her previous life. It was the thoughts and aspirations of Wang Jiangnan himself, and had nothing to do with her. She only passed on his future inspirations to his current self, thus hastening a development that would still happen. Since she did not contribute to the idea, it was also not her place to take undeserved credit for it.
Sensing that Ye Ci would not accept his gratitude, Wang Jiangnan did not press the matter,
“I would also like to thank you for turning me into a normal player from just another developer testing out the game.” he continued after noticing Ye Ci’s curiosity, “I proposed what you said to the higher ups to get all the developers and Fate employees to play the game to experience the perspective of a player. The higher ups agreed to my proposal. I think I’m one step closer to my dreams.”
“That is why…” Wang Jiangnan took in a deep breath , “I would like to thank you. Not as a developer, not as a player, but as someone with an aspiration thanking a kindred person.”
A person with an aspiration.
Ye Ci was astonished. What exactly was her aspiration? She who was reincarnated… What goals and dreams does she have?
“A kindred person? Are you talking about me?”
“Yup. That’s right. It’s you, Gongzi You. Despite being at the top, and being the best of the best, you’re the only person I’ve met to appreciate life to the fullest,” Wang Jiangnan smiled, “You’re always so serious and calculative. It’s something the previous me was jealous about.”
Ye Ci was dumbstruck. “What kind of metaphor was that? Being serious and calculative are signs that she was a person with aspirations?” that was totally something new and unheard of, despite her experience of living twice.
“Exactly! You have to be serious and calculative because you have aspirations!” despite his age, Wang Jiangnan had a unique view regarding life, and he was not stingy when it was his turn to share his standpoint with Ye Ci, “If one has no aspiration in life, one would have nothing to look forward to. Without that, how could someone be serious? And how could someone be calculative about every tiny aspect of life? The person would just be wasting time!”
It was a fresh idea for Ye Ci. She listened to Wang Jiangnan intently. Even if it offered no real benefit, those words were encouragement for Ye Ci. She was still lost and confused about her aspirations. Her seriousness in life however, was reminding her that she still had something to look forward to.
It was good enough.
Really, it was good enough.
To be able to start over, and achieve what she already did from the time she was reincarnated, she had done her best.
Hiya minna-san! Here’s a chapter of the awesome novel translated by an awesomtacular translator, Jimminx!!! (shameless)
How’s everybody doing? Are you people having a good day? Are you enjoying life? Well… Jimmi is sorta enjoying university here.. Short semester is chill af… Head into campus every morning for classes, and basically hanging out with friends in the library or our uni’s “Learning Point” with friends chilling and doing all sorts of retarded shit… Oh and of course, of course we did some revisions *cough cough* I just LOVE short semester. This is the last semester of my 1st year! I’m going to be a 2nd year student soon! I’ll be THE senior!!
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The members of World Conqueror spent a day in A City after their two-day tour around Fate HQ before leaving for C City.
Ye Ci’s return was welcomed by Bai Mo with open arms. But Bai Mo’s joy turned into sorrow as he learned that Ye Ci did not take many photos during her visit, “I knew you’re such a failure! Haven’t I told you to take more photos? Just look at what you brought back! Offering you the chance to visit the Fate HQ is such a waste!”
Ye Ci rolled her eyes at Bai Mo. She did not want to waste time quarreling with Bai Mo on such insignificant matters. Instead, she turned around and headed to the bathroom.
Despite being angry, Bai Mo did not punish Ye Ci for failing to complete her mission. He had even prepared a table full of dishes as a welcoming dinner. Ye Ci was immediately able to enjoy the meal after her bath. “For a metropolis, the food in A City is horrible. Nothing tastes good over there.”
Bai Mo snorted and looked at Ye Ci with disdain, “You damned country bumpkin! Why don’t you just stay here for the rest of your life?” Despite his sharp rebuttal, Bai Mo kept piling food onto Ye Ci’s plate, as if she was a refugee from Ethiopia.
“Have you defeated the 4th BOSS?” asked Ye Ci as she chewed on a piece of pork rib. She was more interested in the dungeon-clearing progress of ‘Upwards Ho!’ than her visit to the Fate HQ.
“Yup, we’ve taken care of it on the night before,” Bai Mo was also eating a pork rib, “They resumed their progress yesterday. They’re planning to take the 5th BOSS on today, but I’m taking a day off.”
“How’s Wolf Pack doing?” asked Ye Ci.
“Pretty bad. They’re stuck.” Bai Mo picked up another piece of pork rib, “The other guilds were hampered by the 3rd BOSS, and would not overtake our progress anytime soon. I’m worried about Wolf Pack. They might get lucky and obtain a First Blood.”
“I can give up on the First Blood of anything else, but not this one.” Ye Ci set the rib aside, wiped her hand, and had a sip of soup.
“Oh? How persistent of you.” Bai Mo, of course, knew the reason behind Ye Ci’s persistence.
“Of course! I’ve always been someone who would seek revenge over the most petty of things. That guy’s been a pain in the ass for so long. It’s time for some payback.” the person mentioned by Ye Ci was none other than Thousand Sunsets. The question was asked by Bai Mo as he was well aware of the feud between Ye Ci and Thousand Sunsets.
Bai Mo let out a sigh, “Liu Chang told me that Dong Yin asked her for a guide to defeat the third BOSS.”
Ye Ci snorted. She was not worried that Liu Chang would reveal anything to Dong Yin. After all, not everyone was so naive that they would be kind to somebody who has bullied them.
“You don’t seem to worry that Liu Chang would help them out.”
“If she did, she’s an idiot.”
Despite being confused by Ye Ci’s response, Bai Mo could not deny that Ye Ci was correct, “After rejecting Dong Yin’s request, Liu Chang told me about the incident and requested to be transferred out of the first squadron. I did not accept her request. After all, one does not simply doubt a person one has decided to trust.”
“Yup.” Ye Ci was very calm. To her, Dong Yin and Yi Cang were names that no longer mattered. She did not take any actions against them for the time was not right, but it did not mean that she was weak, and can be trampled upon at any time.
“Ah, there’s one more thing.”
“Drunk Melancholy is in a turmoil right now!”
“What are you talking about?” it was a name that was very familiar yet alien to Ye Ci. She stared at Bai Mo with confusion written all over her face.
“That’s the guild of Purity Essence.” Bai Mo narrowed his eyes,
“Don’t tell me… You don’t even know which guild he’s from?”
Ye Ci let out a low chuckle. She, of course…. did not know. How could she remember all the information given to her in her past life? Ye Ci immediately changed the topic,
“So… What happened?”
“I’ve heard about it from someone else. It might not be accurate, but I’m sure it’s very close to the truth.” Bai Mo began by providing an excuse in case the information was inaccurate before he started his narration, “As you said, Purity Essence is a very loyal person. His guild members however… are not. Your thread has aroused suspicion within the guild. With people from everywhere trying to figure out the relationship between Gongzi You and Purity Essence, his guild also started to have their suspicions. It started as a small gossip, but eventually escalated.”
Bai Mo chewed on another pork rib, and continued slowly, as if he was casually commenting on a book, “Drunk Melancholy has only defeated the first BOSS of Castle Ruins recently.
Once their members learnt that Purity Essence is friends with Gongzi You, they immediately thought of him as a stingy person. Why did Purity Essence not seek help from Gongzi You? Instead, he kept his friendship with Gongzi You a secret, and yielded no results as a commander. The situation went out of control. It turned into a crisis from a small gossip.”
Ye Ci pursed her lips, “Humans live for the sake of their own benefits. The firmest relationship in this world is one built on mutual benefit, but the most fragile of relationships is also built on benefits. When they became aware that something was kept from them, of course they would be angry. How did Purity Essence respond?”
“He of course denied his relationship with you, and made it clear that the only time he had any form of contact with you is during the battle against the Northern Continent. He even said that all the gossip flying around were all baseless accusations. He had nothing to hide, and was not going to betray his guild.”
“It was very foolish of him to say something like that in this situation.”
“No shit. Nobody believed him. Even his friends doubted his words. This drama has been going on for days now. The guild members have been ostracising Purity Essence, and some of them were even trying to get him to leave the guild.” Bai Mo said with a grin,
“So.. How do you plan to clean up the mess you made?”
Ye Ci let out a chuckle. She set her cutleries down and stood up, “My dearest cousin, you’re washing the dishes today.”
“Oi oi… This is supposed to be your job.”
“Go clean the dishes!” Ye Ci shot Bai Mo a glare before heading into her room.
Bai Mo could only protest helplessly against the unfair treatment.
Ye Ci opened up her friend list after logging into the game. Purity Essence was online. Ye Ci let out a breath. As long as he’s online, it’s not a problem. If he was not online, Ye Ci’s efforts would be in vain.
Before Ye Ci could initiate a conversation with Purity Essence, she received a private message from Green Hill’s Moon, “Wow! Where have you been these few days? I thought you went into hiding because of the scandal!”
“Oh yes – you have quite a number of them. You had a scandal with Fleeting Time, and now with Purity Essence…”
“Green Hill’s Moon… are you telling me that you don’t want your money anymore?” Ye Ci had a way of dealing with Green Hill’s Moon gossipping.
“Aiya! My bad, boss, it’s my bad! You see, I was just trying to greet you and find out how you’ve been. I have no ill will. Please don’t be angry boss!” as long as money was involved, Green Hill’s Moon would immediately lose his self-esteem, “I actually have something that I need to tell you. I’ve completed my investigation. Are you free? Shall we meet up somewhere?”
“Why would you want to meet up?” with her attention focused on Purity Essence, Ye Ci was not interested in anything else.
“Oi oi.. Boss.. Are you telling me that you’ve forgotten all about the job you gave me? I’m here to report my findings to you.” Green Hill’s Moon cried out loud. If Ye Ci did not acknowledge his work, it would be a huge blunder for him. He did not collect any down payment from Ye Ci!
Ye Ci finally remembered the errand she sent Green Hill’s Moon on. After a short pause, she sent Green Hill’s Moon a reply, “I’m busy now. Give me a few moments. I’ll get in touch when I’m done with things on my end.”
After receiving a confirmation from Ye Ci, Green Hill’s Moon was about to log off before Ye Ci called out to him. “Boss, have you changed your mind? Do you want me to go over and hand over my findings and you’ll be paying me?”
“I need you help to look something up.”
It was excusable for Ye Ci to not exploit Green Hill’s Moon’s money-loving nature.
“Will you pay me for this?”
“Green Hill’s Moon, just how important is money to you? Let me tell you something. You’ll end up dead someday if you greed over money too much.” Ye Ci snorted. She showed extreme disdain to Green Hill’s Moon’s scrooge-like behavior.
Green Hill’s Moon sobbed loudly. He actually liked doing business with Gongzi You. She was very knowledgeable about the market price. Even if she was someone who was unwilling to spend even one extra gold coin, she would never cut someone a bad deal. She would always pay on time when the job was done. And most importantly, this girl is his benefactor. She was the one who rescued him from poverty. That was why Green Hill’s Moon regarded Gongzi You as an important customer.
It was not because of her fame. It was due to her character.
“I want to know where Purity Essence is. Don’t tell me you can’t do it. With your capabilities…” Ye Ci cut off any of Green Hill’s Moon chances of backing out of the deal. After a short moment of grumbling, Green Hill’s Moon set off to complete the task assigned to him.
Ye Ci was contacted by Green Hill’s Moon 10 minutes later. In accordance to his habit, the man would definitely gossip and spout nonsense before getting to the point. Of course, there was no exception this time,
“Say, do you really have something going on with Fleeting Time or Purity Essence?”
Ye Ci’s temples bulged. What did he just say? However, she remained calm and collected. In situations like this, one’s reaction could easily cause misunderstanding. People would eventually lose their interest in gossipping if one reacted calmly.
“So, who do you think I should have a scandal with?”
“If you look at their strength and fame, I would say Fleeting Time is your best choice. But.. Both you and Fleeting Time are strong. A relationship where both partners are dominant will not last long. This is why I think Purity Essence suits you better. He’s a nobody, but he’s quite a gentleman. Coupled with an expert like you, the both of you will be able to complement each other. Of course, of course… This is my personal opinion. Your thoughts are what’s matters, after all. What do you think?” Green Hill’s Moon immediately started gossipping with Ye Ci, as if they were best friends.
She curved her lips into a strained smirk. Even if Green Hill’s Moon could not see her expression, he could still hear the sarcasm in his voice, “Say, Green Hill’s Moon, you should stop being an information broker. I think you’re more suitable for running a marriage agency.”
Green Hill’s Moon rubbed the bridge of his nose. He was a smart person. He knew that none of the rumors were true, after listening to Ye Ci’s words. There was nothing to gossip about. “Purity Essence is in the Hidden Treasure Gulf. He’s fishing at the coordinates 732:60:114. It is a secluded area, and I can’t guarantee that he will still be there by the time you arrive.”
The only thing Ye Ci wanted to know, was t Purity Essence’s location. As for what he was doing, and whether or not Ye Ci would be able to run into him was not important. She immediately headed to the closest teleportation point after cutting Green Hill’s Moon off.
Because she had been the one who discovered the Hidden Treasure Gulf, Ye Ci was able to teleport to the map from any location within the Eastern Continent – unlike the other players who were required to traverse through other maps to reach the place.
The NPC soldiers stationed in Hidden Treasure Gulf saluted her respectfully as she teleported into the city.
As an explored map, Hidden Treasure Gulf was classified as a neutral map, even when it would be opened for players from other continents. However, players from foreign continents would face some obstacles before they were able to access the Hidden Treasure Gulf. They would first need to find and complete the hidden quest for the Unexplored Map, like Ye Ci did, in their home continents before they were able to gain access to Hidden Treasure Gulf.
Despite being a neutral map, the Hidden Treasure Gulf was still a safe haven for Eastern Continent players as the Unexplored Maps from other continents have yet to be uncovered by players.
Players were attracted to Hidden Treasure Gulf by the vast amount of quests it offered and the huge leveling area with hordes of lvl 30 monsters. It was the perfect place to level up. Even if it could not be said that the area was completely packed with players, the map was still bustling with activity.
Gongzi You had always been a mysterious figure. It was very difficult to recognise her because of her equipment, and almost impossible to spot her by her appearance. The only way players were able to recognize Gongzi You was because of her pet, Ol’ Four.
Ye Ci was no fool. After becoming the focal point of the scandal that she herself had created, players would definitely flock around her if she rode Ol’ Four into the city. In the worst case scenario, her appearance might make its way to the forums.
Ye Ci’s original plan was to fabricate negative news about her relationship with Purity Essence to force him out of his guild, but she would not allow herself to be be troubled by this affair. Such foolish acts of causing harm to herself was something that she would like to avoid.
She summoned her little red horse upon her arrival and galloped to the set of coordinates provided to her by Green Hill’s Moon.
Facing the boundless sea as she arrived at the harbor, Ye Ci realised that the coordinates she received was not on land. Purity Essence was probably out at sea or was on the rocks on the other side of the harbor. With her plan falling into motion, and her attempt to recruit Purity Essence a guaranteed success, she would track him to the end of the world if that was necessary.
Ye Ci dismounted and leapt into the water. The beautiful sceneries of the Hidden Treasure Gulf and the cozy seawater would often attract swimmers. The players fishing nearby paid no heed to Ye Ci, dismissing her as yet another player swimming in the ocean.
Ye Ci did not dare to even take a short break as she headed to the coordinates at top speed. She finally spotted a red cliff after swimming for a full hour. A man with a bamboo hat was sitting on one of the rocks submerged in the water with a fishing rod in hand. He was fishing casually under the reddish-golden sunset.
Who would that person be if not Purity Essence?
Ye Ci let out a long breath. She finally found him.
Thank God he did not quit the game despite the rumors!
After observing Purity Essence for quite a while, Ye Ci swam towards the coast and went ashore in a spot far away from Purity Essence. After drying herself, she walked casually towards Purity Essence, as if she was just passing by.
Purity Essence ignored the rustling of grasses behind him. He had been fishing at that spot for an entire day. The noise was probably made by harmless animals running around the area, or even a breeze.
His attention was focused on the surface of the water, on the floater that was bobbing up and down along with the wave, just like his restless mind that was filled with sorrow.
“I’ve heard that you can get a unique type of seashell called the Rainbow Seashell by fishing in the Hidden Treasure Gulf, and have a certain chance of obtaining Rainbow Pearls from the seashells.How many did you get today?” Ye Ci stood behind Purity Essence and asked with a smile.
Purity Essence shuddered when he heard the sudden voice, as if he was struck by lightning. His body immediately tensed up. The voice was something that was rather familiar to him. It was a voice that had been haunting his dreams for quite a while. How he wished that he could go back in time to the day where they met, and avoid her at all cost.
Purity Essence tensed up, but did not respond to Ye Ci’s words. Noticing Purity Essence’s change in demeanor, Ye Ci knew that he heard her words.
She smiled wryly.. She could understand his feelings. A person like Purity Essence was very easily moved emotionally. “What? You haven’t gotten any yet? I’ve even thought of buying a few of them from you at a high price.”
Purity Essence knew that he could not ignore Ye Ci forever. He had a strong urge to run away, but was unable to bring himself to do so. How could a man run away from a girl?
He forced the raging emotions in his heart to calm down, and took in deep breaths for good measure before slowly turning around to face the culprit who had brought sorrow to his life.
She was still quiet, with the same smile hanging on the face. Yet… She felt so distant at the same time. So out of this world that it was almost impossible to be close to her. The brilliance of the setting sun was shining on Ye Ci’s face. She looked serene. It was as if the person standing in front of him was not Gongzi You, but just a normal Huntress.
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