Don’t Be a Kept Man
Chapter 117: News
The cake was a bit overly sweet, which wasn’t to Wen Chuo’s taste.
But perhaps it had been too long since he had been entrenched in the past and cannot leave, as this kind of sweetness made it so much more precious.
He turned his computer on to start editing a video, which was to teach about some mechanics in << Jue Jing >>’s beginner level.
When he recorded this, he had fought in that level more than ten, fifteen times, which now allowed him to have a large selection pool to pick out the one that showed off the smoothest action.
He was very detailed, cutting and selecting each frame carefully.
The clips picked had his movements shown to be very clean, and with how rarely he got hit, most people would only see how simple it could look in the beginner level.
The special effects after editing the gameplay were a bit tedious, but Wen Chuo had the rare kind of patience to pick and put each one in a perfectly curated spot.
When Bai Yang finished his meal, he went back to the restaurant to continue working.
When he came back home at 9pm, Wen Chuo was still sitting in front of his computer, editing, with the lunch from this afternoon still left unfinished by his side.
Wen Chuo had been staring at the monitor, but when he heard the door open, he tilted his head over to look,
Bai Yang gave a ‘hmm’ through the other side of the wall before going out in the hallway to pick up plastic bottles.
He came back afterwards to grab the big plastic checkered bag sitting in the corner of the room that was packed full to the brim with the other plastic bottles he’d picked up to sell.
In an instant, the apartment felt emptied.
The sky was glooming, and with the computer desk by the window, Wen Chuo suddenly felt a bit cold.
He reached over to close the window when a sprinkle of water splashed onto his face.
Reaching out with his hand, he only realized then that it was raining.
When Wen Chuo recalled that Bai Yang had already been gone for at least twenty minutes, it felt as if he was suddenly drenched in ice cold, freezing water.
His heart immediately started to panic, and he stood up in a racket, preparing to head out to go find Bai Yang.
But in the midst of putting on his shoes, the front door opened, and his eyes met up with Bai Yang’s.
Wen Chuo held that awkward position of him putting on his shoes as he sighed in relief after seeing Bai Yang.
He took off his shoes, scolding angrily,
“Can you tell me when you head out? What are you blindly running around in the night for? Are you happy if someone kidnaps you? Do you not know more than I do how many thugs are around here, in this tiny rundown town?”
Their relationship dynamic was always one strong and one weak.
When Wen Chuo was angry, Bai Yang would not utter a peep.
When Bai Yang was angry, Wen Chuo could only bow down his head.
The door closed, separating them from the rain that was slowly getting heavier.
Little droplets of rain were still on Bai Yang’s hair as he opened his hand, showing off a roll of scrunched up bills in his palm to Wen Chuo, and said only two words,
Seeing that he hadn’t run outside in fear like before, Wen Chuo’s heart that had been racing finally calmed down.
He pulled Bai Yang further in to the apartment as he wiped off the rain on Bai Yang’s hair,
“Next time, sell them during the day.
It’s too dangerous at night.
Alright, go shower.
The lightbulb in the living room was a bit old, and during days of rain and thunder, it would all too easily start flickering.
Bai Yang had just entered the bathroom with a clean set of clothes when it suddenly dimmed outside.
Following that, the faint yellow lightbulb buzzed a few times, just like the special effect in a horror film about ghosts.
In preparation for a blackout, Wen Chuo saved the video he was editing and created a backup.
Originally, he was going to look up at the flickering lightbulb on the ceiling when he found a tiny wire was dangling just above him and he froze.
Chen Mei Ying, seemed to have hung herself to death right above him……
It was just at this time, the loud sound of thunder rang out outside.
The room was suddenly illuminated in white before momentarily growing dim again.
Shivering all the way down to his bones, Wen Chuo calmed down a bit only when he realized that the lightbulb had just gone out. He closed his computer and unplugged it from the source before sitting like an idiot in his chair, not moving an inch.
There was still some visibility inside the room, and Wen Chuo was solely staring at his computer monitor when he found two shadows on the upper right corner.
Swaying back and forth, as if they were a pair of legs.
His face slightly changed, with cold sweat immediately dripping down his back, and he almost jumped up from the chair.
He quietly sighed in relief.
The noises from the bathroom slowed to a stop, and moments after, Bai Yang came out.
Seeing Wen Chuo sitting in his chair and not moving, his dark black pupils slowly scanned the room.
He glanced at the metal wire hanging down from the ceiling before retracting his gaze and used his towel to dry his hair.
Seeing Bai Yang appear in front of him, Wen Chuo suddenly jerked away, pushing his chair back.
Embarrassed, he coughed a few times,
“Bai Yang, you you you……accompany me to shower.
It’s too dark, I can’t see anything.”
Bai Yang didn’t say anything as he tried to tug away the hand by his waist.
But following that, he was suddenly wrapped up in a heavy tight embrace.
Wen Chuo immediately wiped his own ass by bowing his head and admitting to his fault,
I shouldn’t have been so mean to you just now.”
And then grabbed a set of pyjamas from the closet before dragging Bai Yang all the way back to the bathroom.
He closed the door and the sound of running water immediately started.
Following a faint sound of struggling, all sounds from the bathroom quickly calmed down.
In this kind of situation, there wouldn’t exactly be something going on, but it wasn’t to the point where nothing would be done at all.
Being kissed to the point where his legs were weakened, Bai Yang’s mind was in a daze, flying away into space, and in the end, he was carried out in a princess hold by Wen Chuo.
As they traversed through the apartment, Bai Yang leaned against Wen Chuo’s shoulders, silently recovering his breathing.
He blinked, the metal wire hanging from the ceiling flashed across his dark inky eyes before leaving his sight, without a single trace left behind, and he was lightly tossed onto his soft bed.
Following the sound of muted thunder interspersed with the howling wind and rain sounds, a shivering cold began to seep in silently through the corners of the room.
Every time it was this kind of rainy night, he would run out.
Whether it was to sleep at the entrance of an alley, or just by the roadside, it didn’t matter.
He would curl up into a ball, letting all the rain soak through his entire body and freeze him to the point of nonstop, uncontrollable shivers……
Lin Xian was a place that Wen Chuo would even dream of escaping.
This room was also the nightmare of Bai Yang’s youth.
But tonight, there was something different about it.
Or perhaps, to say, from tonight onwards, it wasn’t the same.
Wen Chuo shuffled over, covering them with a blanket before bringing Bai Yang into his embrace.
A faint smell of body wash emitted from both of their bodies and mixed together, creating an inseparable entity.
Wen Chuo’s fingers stroked across Bai Yang’s bare back, and perhaps he had been too scared just now as his voice was muted and pouting, sounding quite like a small child,
“Bai Yang, you have to come home earlier from work in the future.”
Bai Yang was being stimulated by the finger such that he was a bit out of breath.
His breathing stuttered before slightly nodding his head, as if it was another part of their normal routine.
Whatever Wen Chuo said, he’ll agree.
The body beneath him was honestly way too weak and lean that even if Wen Chuo had the heart to do something, he couldn’t do it in reality.
His finger brushed away the stray bangs in front of Bai Yang’s forehead and stroked down his eyebrows, eyes, nose before asking quietly,
“If……would you be willing?”
This kind of action was too overly loving that Bai Yang was dazed momentarily before he understood what Wen Chuo meant.
He slowly pushed away to create some distance between them before lowering his head and slowly, one button at a time, undid the buttons on his shirt.
A few seconds of silence passed later, he smiled, but he didn’t say why.
He brought Bai Yang’s hands over to his own waist, creating a position where they were both embracing each other,
“……It’s quite late, sleep.”
The early morning of the next day was quite cool, and the air outside brought about a faint scent of wet dirt.
When it was time, Bai Yang woke up, without the need of an alarm clock.
He was crawling out of bed to prepare for work when he was suddenly pulled back by a hand and his already loose pyjamas were almost pulled off of him.
Half awake, Wen Chuo hugged him and muttered a few words that couldn’t be made out before continuing to go back to sleep.
Bai Yang lowered his head in his half kneeling position to push his hand off and stuffed a pillow into Wen Chuo’s embrace before pulling his pyjamas back up and quietly got out of bed.
When he got to the doorway, he suddenly paused his footsteps and turned around to take a look.
The usually well organized room was suddenly filled with many more things.
The person on the bed was hugging a pillow and still deep asleep.
It was very messy, but it finally had some “humanness” to it all.
Bai Yang’s life was very simple.
Day after day, he repeated the same things over and over again.
As like a cogwheel that would never stop spinning, there was already a normal habitual routine formed: Work, pick up bottles, wipe the tables, clean the dishes, and also……
Love Wen Chuo……
It was a silent, soundless like.
He has never said it to anyone, hiding his love deep inside his heart, for many years.
Liu Meng Meng already knew that Wen Chuo was moving and upon seeing Bai Yang come in to work, she held up her chin with her hand as she asked curiously,
“Ah, that Wen Chuo troublemaker didn’t bully you, did he? Make sure to keep a close eye on your money or when you’re scammed, you won’t even have a place to cry.”
Bai Yang only shook his head and didn’t say anything in reply.
He wiped the table by himself, slowly and seriously, which to other people’s eyes, were idiotic, dumb.
In small towns, people married early.
Liu Meng Meng was almost at the age of marriage and recently, she was always in a state of senseless irritation.
There weren’t many, if any at all, customers around in the early morning.
The chef and Feng-shu were out in the market to pick up fresh supplies, leaving only her and Bai Yang around.
“Say…… What is Wen Chuo like as a person?”
Liu Meng Meng leaned against the table, twisting her braids around, contemplating.
She had been here helping at the restaurant since her teens and her personality was on the straight and narrow, with a smart head on her shoulders.
There were no worthless thoughts about only living on love, so even though she liked Wen Chuo, she would never choose to be hung up on him for marriage.
What is Wen Chuo like as a person?
This was a useless question as who around here didn’t know that he was a troublemaker, with no house, no car, and no job.
Only an idiot would marry him.
Liu Meng Meng never expected Bai Yang to answer and continued to talk to herself,
“I just came from a blind date a few days ago.
That man was okay.
Quite honest and realistic.
His work’s pretty presentable too.
So without any surprises, it’s most likely going to be him…… but my heart doesn’t feel quite right.”
Perhaps, it wasn’t exactly not feeling quite right, but a reluctance to accept her fate kind of feeling.
Just as she continued, she suddenly saw the glass door being pushed open and in walked Wen Chuo.
She immediately zipped her mouth, and this time, she wasn’t staring at him like she normally was.
Instead, her back turned towards him as she ran behind the counter to continue her work.
In Wen Chuo’s hands was a bottle of warm milk and two marinated eggs.
He pulled the tablecloth from Bai Yang’s hands and passed breakfast over to him,
“Eat up quick.
It’ll be cold soon.”
Perhaps it was rare to see him act so caring, but Liu Meng Meng looked up at him and asked with curiosity,
“Did you come here just to give Bai Yang his breakfast?”
Wen Chuo smiled as he leaned on the table and pushed up his glasses.
Wearing an all-black casual outfit, there were no longer any similarities to the troublemaker focused only on fooling around.
Even his words were charismatic as he joked,
“Hey beautiful lady, I had wanted to come eat here, but I have no money.
Sensitive to money, a cheapskate, you know? How about you pay for me?”
The hard to explain and hard to swallow feeling of unwillingness became even stronger inside Liu Meng Meng’s heart.
She rested her body on the short table behind the counter and said out of distaste,
“If you aren’t going to eat here, then get out.
Don’t bother my business! Go go go!”
“Fine, I’ll head out.”
Wen Chuo hadn’t originally planned to stay for long.
After staying up for so many all-nighters, he was almost done with his editing.
Seeing Bai Yang obediently eating his breakfast, he pinched his chin and his finger quietly and subtly pressed on his blooming red lips.
It went in a bit further, touching that wet and soft tongue tip……
Bai Yang paused from drinking his milk and lifted his eyes to quietly watch him.
Wen Chuo smiled, and then he headed out the door.
Wen Chuo had a chat group, and there weren’t a lot of people in there.
Only about twenty or so members, and they were all customers who needed his help to carry them to pass the levels.
There were a few notable streaming platforms and Wen Chuo looked for a while, before choosing a platform that had a slightly higher rating, DK.
After he examined what the style of the videos were like on DK, he created his own account and uploaded his beginner level tutorial and @’d the group members for them to see.
The group name was very simple and was exactly what it says on the tin.
It was called newbie group and the group members were all enthusiastically social creatures, and they called themselves Big Newbie, second newbie, and so on.
When Wen Chuo sent out his message, all of them started popping up in the chat.
Fifth Newbie: Boss, you’re on DK too? And you are even teaching? How professional of you.
But speaking of which, I’ve been stuck on the 2nd level of Heaven’s Risk.
Please carry me wu wu wu
Third Newbie: …… isn’t the 2nd level of Heaven’s Risk the end of the beginner level…..I feel like you haven’t advanced even one bit…..
Although on that note, I’m going to go watch the tutorial.
I still want to try passing one stage of the beginning level by myself.
Fourth Newbie: I’ve passed that stage, but my experience level is still not enough to enter the forest stage.
Can I ask if you are still accepting requests? Please carry me, I’ll wait for your call the entire day.
If you do, remember to /call/ me.
Wen Chuo sent them a location, saying he’ll group up at 2pm.
Those who wanted to come can sign and pay up.
Whenever he carried newbies on levels, he’d usually use his smaller accounts, and their IDs were very business-like, just a “Helper” + QQ number1 which allowed most people to automatically know he’s a carry.
If there was a need, they’d come find him.
But the one in the tutorial was a main account and in the game, their account name would appear above the character’s head.
A very simple name consisting of only three english letters.
When Wen Chuo had created his account, it kept saying the name he was trying had already been taken.
And in the end, he had lost his patience and randomly typed in three ‘K’s which unbelievably worked.
Those who keep flipping through the overall top chart of the players in all twelve areas were not a stranger to this ID.
No one doesn’t know who this KKK is.
As like bamboo after rain2, he suddenly rose up onto the charts and his level beating progress was a landslide over Wan Ye.
In his information panel, it was only wins, an all green panel.
But perhaps it was because he hadn’t fought a lot of monsters, his experience wasn’t as high as the other players above him which put him closer to the bottom of the overall chart.
Wen Chuo had been too busy editing his video and he had no time to grind for experience.
So in the ranks, where he was supposed to be 98, he fell all the way down to 132.
Still, there were a lot of people trying to find information on him.
Big Newbie: I’m kneeling for these techniques.
But I really wanted to ask…..
Boss, do you have another account? Is the K-Da3 that always charted you?!!!
Sixth Newbie: I’m suffocating — when my roommate was playing with me, he had been worshipping K-Da, as there was no one who was so new that was so good.
I can’t believe…..
I can’t believe……!!!
There were a few videos that Wen Chuo didn’t have time to edit yet, but he basically had tutorials for all the stages.
Normally the newbies were a bit overwhelming in the group chat, so he had muted the group.
He also wouldn’t purposefully go and read the messages, so he only kept editing his videos, planning to wait until the night to grind experience for his main account and get back up higher on the chart.
Occasionally pop ups of random news would appear on the computer screen, and as Wen Chuo was just trimming down the unneeded parts of his video, there was an entertainment news popup just by the bottom right of the screen.
A headline that seemed to be related to the Wen Corporation’s CEO Wen Tian Hao and fashion icon Fang Xin Tong’s marriage.
Wen Chuo’s hand that was in the process of editing paused and he wanted to hit close on the popup.
But his hands trembled, and a website was instead immediately opened up.
The first thing he was greeted with was a picture of a couple, a man and a woman, at their wedding with a background of a line of luxury cars, showing off how big and expensive the wedding had been.
Those asked to comment for the article were all blowing up how they were a match made in heaven, so lovey-dovey, so in love with each other.
Wen Chuo didn’t even want to read it, but it was as if he was hypnotized and he kept reading and reading, stopping at the comment section.
>> Is the Wen family about to go bankrupt.
They want Fang Xin Tong, this kind of headline queen? Probably about twenty or more green hats to wear for him, wow.
Wealthy second generations are absolutely not what normal humans could be.
>> Hey above me, business marriage do you understand? When the Wen family had invested in the Tian Hua Building project, they lost over 3 billion yuan, which almost forced the CEO to resign.
Isn’t it perfect how Fang Xin Tong’s father was just balding over not being able to marry off his daughter.
How great, perfect for using each other.
>> Hehehe Wen Tian Hao, this kind of small body, didn’t he get admitted to the hospital a few days ago because of a heart condition he was born with? Doesn’t look like he will live very long.
Be careful of being smothered to death by Fang Xin Tong and her adulterer.
Honey~ Time for your medicine ~
>> Wen Jin Cheng is a seed planter huh.
Turned too old so not moving on anymore.
I remember he had a wife before, but she was kicked out.
What a vicious woman Fan Qiu Yun is.
Homewrecker moving right into marriage with a wealthy family, what a role model you want to be!
Wen Chuo’s heart felt stuffed, and he closed the news article.
He buried his face into his palm and took a deep breath.
But the compressed negative air inside his heart was not decreasing and instead, increasing, almost to the point of suffocating.
His hope and expectation towards the future that had been established after so much difficulty had for some reason suddenly crumbled so easily, as if no matter how hard he worked, he would never be able to catch up to those people.
Wen Chuo felt excruciating pain ragging on his heart.
It was an unspeakable discomfort, and he forcefully held onto a state of calmness to finish editing his video.
Yet he found that the entire internet was filled from top to bottom with the same related news, even occupying a few top search tags.
They all crowded his mind, as like a tsunami that was about to wash him up from all directions.
*1 QQ: kind of like imessage, whatsapp, fb messenger and the number is unique per account
*2 an idiom that basically means a lot things quickly speeding up and appearing (where a lot of bamboo shoots appear after rain/speedy growth)
*3 -Da: like in Volume 2 means someone more respectable/have more authority than you in the ancient eras, but specifically on the internet, to games, it means someone who is too good/amazing for what they are doing, so here they are referencing as if he’s a god-tier gamer.
Usually they’d take a portion of their in-game name/account name that uploads the video or is streaming and add the -Da to reference.
I didn’t find an exact equivalent for this in English, as mostly I heard it was just their account name or nickname that is so good, etc, so here just to reference that they do this, I’m using the pinyin
In one of the chats by the noob/newbie group, I’m using the / … / to indicate them using english.
I’m not quite well versed in MMO terms, so most of the terms I kind of wrangled into use after asking, uh with some discretion, some of my friends that are more into games like these haha.
As far as I can tell and what I’m going to use is that each level is kind of like an area and consists of stages (so when they say they haven’t passed the stage, they can’t proceed onwards in the level, or I guess “further into” the area).
A bit more detail will be described later, so hopefully that will help! Please let me know if there’s anything confusing (as I got confused myself later as I translate later chapters haha, but hopefully this still sets up the backdrop quite well – the gaming isn’t particularly prominent as in other novels that are set in VR or FPS games/competitive settings, but it’s still an important bit in Wen Chuo’s life, so … : |)
Also a little note about the green hats from the netizens: as like in Volume 1, green hats symbolize to mean Fang Xin Tong had cheated more than twenty times as to wear a green hat comes with a negative connotation as you got/will be cheated on by your partner.
You can see [chapter 13 footnote] for more information!
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