Don’t Be a Kept Man
Don’t even think about dine and dashing!”
And then lifted up the curtains to leave.
Wen Chuo looked at Bai Yang before smiling and following along,
“Beautiful lady, don’t make it too expensive.
Give me a discount, and I’ll keep coming back to eat.”
“Who would believe you? Not a single honest word ever comes out of your mouth,”
Liu Meng Meng used a calculator to count up his bill, but then she thought that she wasn’t exactly great at cooking, so she didn’t really have the heart to ask for more.
Under Feng-shu’s sleepy eyes, she gave Wen Chuo a 30% discount.
A hundred or so for a meal, that wasn’t too expensive.
Wen Chuo counted out a hundred in bills for her, and when Liu Meng Meng saw that his pocket still had a few red bills, she asked curiously with surprise,
“Wow, how rare.
An old man like you actually has money.
You wouldn’t have scored a jackpot, would you?”
“If I did, would I even be here to eat your food?”
Wen Chuo shook the remaining coins in his hand and looked at her,
“See this? This is my entire savings.
Beautiful lady, if you want to pity, pity me, lend me some money and I’ll be grateful to you for the rest of my life.”
Liu Meng Meng rolled her eyes at him,
“You just blindly flirt and harass others everyday and then run away right after.
Who would believe your lies? No.
I won’t lend anything.
Wen Chuo raised an eyebrow and lit up a cigarette.
His mouth was tinged with a meaningful smile.
He knew that Liu Meng Meng liked him, but he also felt that this like of hers was too surface level, too shallow.
Other people liked him but that didn’t mean that they owed him anything.
To lend was a gesture of kindness, and to not lend was their choice.
But in the eyes of Wen Chuo who had grown up so twisted, to lend him money meant to really like him.
No money? Then that’s too fake of a like.
Wen Chuo could just twitch his finger and he’d be able to swindle Bai Yang out of all of his money.
To Liu Meng Meng, that kind of action may not even be able to get a penny out of her.
Where’s the difference you ask? Well, the reason is probably in Bai Yang’s heart, he was the most important, and yet in Liu Meng Meng’s, there were many other important things that ranked above Wen Chuo.
As the smoke from his cigarette wafted around them, a smile came to Wen Chuo’s eyes, and he asked Liu Meng Meng,
“Hey beautiful lady, you really won’t lend me some?”
Liu Meng Meng ‘hmph’ed and then walked back into the kitchen,
Wen Chuo raised his eyebrow, pridefully extinguishing his cigarette,
“If you won’t, then you won’t.”
Without a doubt, Bai Yang was always the best to him.
There were some times when he thought, perhaps he will never meet another person like this for the rest of his life.
Wen Chuo was walking towards the door when he saw Bai Yang cleaning up the leftovers from just now.
He couldn’t help but pause his steps and retraced them back, stuffing himself closer to Bai Yang to take a good look at him without speaking a word.
“Ah, come over.
I’ll tell you a secret.”
Behind the counter, Feng-shu saw Bai Yang slowly move his head over.
Then Wen Chuo covered his mouth and bent down to whisper something in his ear before walking to the door and leaving.
As he did so, the cloth Bai Yang was holding fell straight to the floor.
“What did he say to you?”
Wen Chuo hadn’t said anything; he had only, only kissed Bai Yang once.
When it was the afternoon, when the sun wasn’t shining as brightly as it had at noon, Wen Chuo walked out of the restaurant, bumping right into Shan Dian and his groupies who were bumming around on the streets.
“Hey, Wen Chuo, the cafe just got a new game.
Let’s go try it out.
I think it looks pretty good.”
Shan Dian has only ever shaved his hair down to a short length, yet he was still very stubborn about leaving that bit of hair in a dumb looking lightning symbol.
Wen Chuo jumped on the spot a few times as if to stretch and warm up his muscles, yet also looking as if he was contemplating something.
He finally tilted up his chin and said,
To the internet cafe.”
Since the beginning of middle school, Wen Chuo grew up in internet cafes.
Playing games everyday and playing games everyday.
He had in his hands a few high level gaming accounts, and when he needed money, he’d sell one.
Need some more money, sell some more.
All the way until now where he’s left with only one.
The internet cafe was filled with smoke and other scents.
One of the more crazy fellows in the bar has been here since half a month ago and hasn’t left for his home since.
Wen Chuo found an empty spot but upon finding that the keyboard was filled with dandruff and that the headphones were oily and greasy, he switched to a new spot with a disgusted face.
He put his leg on the other knee as he sat on the chair and then went to put his remaining high level account on the market, waiting for someone to contact him.
The owner was just selling instant noodles and seeing him in this stance, patted him and said,
“Hey hey hey, leg.”
The owner of the cafe looked down on Wen Chuo and the group.
Without fail, he’d always give them the stink eye whenever he saw them and there was a time where he upped the prices and sold them all expired food.
Wen Chuo lifted up his head and closed his eyes before putting down his leg.
The owner muttered,
“What pieces of shit.
Just looking at you lot and people would be afraid.
Must have been mortal enemies in the past life.”
Wen Chuo raised his eyebrow,
“A father and son aren’t really family if they didn’t have animosity towards each other.
Do you think I look like your dad huh?”1
The owner immediately slammed the instant noodles on the table and pointed at Wen Chuo,
“What did you say, you rat bastard? Say it again to my face if you dare!”
Shan Dian and the gang were all just sitting beside Wen Chuo and they all immediately stood up at the owner’s words.
They followed along each other to bang the keyboards and said,
“What hey, said you look like our son.
What? Didn’t hear it clearly huh?”
“What Wen Chuo said was right, fathers and sons aren’t really family if they didn’t have animosity towards each other.”
The owner became agitated and pointed at the lot,
“Go go go! I don’t want your business! All shitheads who have mothers but didn’t get taught!”
Wen Chuo had just sold his account and so at that, he pushed back his chair and emotionlessly pointed at the owner’s head.
Underneath the gaze of the other’s slightly fearful eyes, he walked out.
Shan Dian and them looked at each other, before reacting and chasing after him.
“Ah ah ah, Wen Chuo, where are you going? We’ve already paid the money.
If we don’t play, we’d have wasted it.”
Wen Chuo flipped over to sit on the railing, a bit irritated,
No matter what we play, we won’t be playing there.”
Shan Dian grabbed his hair, a bit downtrodden,
“I just started a game on << Jue Jing >>, and I’ll have to surrender before I even start.
A boy wearing glasses beside them said,
“Scared of what.
It’s not only you.
Quite a few people have been stuck on the first level.
Even Jiu Cang, that hero rank number 1 streamer, has only beaten the first level now.”
<< Jue Jing >> was a new FPS game with an extremely high difficulty.
The game company had some big backing and they contracted quite a few streamers to play it as a promotion.
Even though it just came out, it has already found itself in the eyes of the public, but unfortunately too many still haven’t understood the mechanics and so even just the first couple levels have blocked a lot of people from advancing.
The popularity of this game in his past life lasted for a very long time.
Wen Chuo had played it to death, and hearing Shan Dian and them talking their tongues off about it, a thought suddenly appeared at the bottom of his heart.
Other people couldn’t play << Jue Jing >> well, but he could.
If he led new players to win, with a new group every time, the amount he would earn wouldn’t be small……
The more Wen Chuo thought about it, the more he believed it could work.
But then he was stuck with another new problem — he didn’t own a computer.
Liu Xian was small, and there were only those two internet bars.
It wasn’t great to always sink his time everyday at one, so it was better to buy his own computer.
But what should he do if he doesn’t have enough money?
Wen Chuo couldn’t help but think of Bai Yang……
[ Ding! Please, my dear host, be more self conscious and follow the rules of being self-sufficient and self-reliant.
If you disobey, your life points will be deducted an appropriate amount ]
Every time Wen Chuo heard a “ding”, his head would hurt.
He raised his eyebrows and asked,
Borrowing money counts as being reliant?!”
[ …… Other people don’t count, but you count.
Wen Chuo: “Why?”
[ Because I think you won’t return it ]
Wen Chuo: “……”
Wen Chuo’s anger almost exploded out of him, but he really didn’t think about returning what he borrowed.
He took a deep breath and then laughed out coldly,
“Borrow a bit of money and my life points will be deducted.
You must have a lot of hosts who have died by your hands, right?”
Wen Chuo lit up a cigarette and said,
How many lives have been on your hands? Let me prepare myself mentally.”
[ …… My host, please don’t slander this system!!! ]
From the bottom of its heart, out of the goodness of its conscience, it has always only used this to scare-scare its host.
At most, shock them a few times, but it has never really deducted their life points.
The system thought, its generosity has been slandered.
TL Tidbit: The name of the troublemaker friend of Wen Chuo who is said to have a lightning bolt on his head also means “lightning bolt”.
*1 A father and son aren’t really family if they didn’t have animosity towards each other is a phrase that has been usually considered to be passed down orally, but it has been seen in some historical texts like folktales, and it usually has a second phrase that basically says a wife and husband can’t be really a wife and a husband if they didn’t have resentment towards each other.
There’s a few ways to interpret this, but one way to see this is in modern times, it’s mostly because of how children are raised, in particular the very strict standards and being rebellious against their fathers for enforcing such strict rules and growing hatred at the restrictions and certain ways you have to act in the culture.
As they say, filial piety is the basis…
In any case, this phrase has also been tied with religion such as buddhism with reincarnation, about cycles of life, and to have been mortal enemies in a past life means you have to “end” that animosity in this life somehow (reminds me of the phrases daughters are their father’s past lover / sons are their father’s past mortal enemies)
*2 Jue Jing: I’ve learned my lesson from golden money sword last volume haha, so you get the pinyin for these names now.
In any case, Jue Jing can mean like something like the apocalypse, where it’s basically a moment/place where it feels like there is no way out (stuck between a rock and a hard place, somewhere where you have no hope of escaping).
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