Chapter 38: Add Friend
After Ai Qian entered the house, he had jumped impatiently towards the three women at once. But when he suddenly heard from Yue Qiang that he had more meds, he immediately turned around and asked, “You have more meds? Where? Show me!”
Yue Qiang very calmly took out yet another pill from his inventory. It was sticky and potholed all over just like the one taken out from Zhao Yan’s room.
This pill was the one he swindled from the doctor Ming Que. Since the pill’s description was rather bizarre, he hadn’t dared to eat it since the day he acquired it. Now that he realized that both pills looked very similar to each other, and that Ai Qian had Keen Eye, he thought that he might as well put it onto the table.
Ai Qian’s eyes immediately brightened, “Good stuff! Give me this pill.”
“Why so hasty; help me appraise these three items first.”
This place was the blacksmith Tan Xiong’s old home. Yue Qiang remembered clearly that Tan Xiong had given him three additional choices back when he had completed Tan Xiong’s quest. At the time, they had all appeared to be incredibly comedic weapons. However, if this blackish iron rod could have such amazing stats, then these three items should not be too lousy either. If there was any items with hidden stats at all, then it would’ve been totally worth it!
Yue Qiang had always been been rather meticulous when playing games. He had memorised the situation at the time, and since he had run into Ai Qian, it was the perfect moment to utilize him.
The trader was thirsty beyond words (T/N: thirsty for sex, if you don’t get it), and so he snatched over the blackish wok, the blackish shovel and blackish brick and appraised them swiftly.
The results quickly came out. The three weapons had become:
Cleaned Wok, Cleaned Shovel and Brick That Can’t Be Cleaned No Matter What.
Yue Qiang passed the pill to Ai Qian while feeling a bit sore. He had obviously suffered a loss this round.
At the end of the appraisal the pill had become: Freely Distributed Stat Points + 1, Random Stats – 1. Ai Qian dropped it under his Libido without the slightest hesitation, and this time the stat that he lost was Strength.
Yue Qiang shook his head repeatedly at the sight. He would never accept having his stats randomly deducted even if he was beaten to death. It would be barely acceptable if his Charisma that was deducted, but if it fell onto his Strength or Vitality, then it would be a total loss. However, Ai Qian wore a look of great satisfaction. Perhaps the only way to describe him was that he was as lecherous as a bonobo.
He kicked Yue Qiang out of the house and had gone back in ready to resume his business, but then he turned back and said, “I’ll gift you one more information for eating your great supplements twice in a row.”
“I see that you are in urgent need of equipment-like items. After you escape during midnight, head north until you reach a marketplace. There will be people selling all kinds of equipment, including ones that are like your iron rod.”
This information was pretty useful. Yue Qiang memorised it.
“Also.” Ai Qian said again, “Let’s add friends. If you have any new supplements in the future, don’t forget to leave one for your buddy, yeah?”
Yue Qiang was speechless. This Ai Qian seriously thought that he was a fake meds seller.
Resigned, he typed ‘Ok’.
System Message [Green]: Friend System activated.
Friend System: You can become friends with in-game characters. Friends can speak with each other through ‘Whisper’. If the distance is too great, Progress Points will be spent to use Whisper.
Meanwhile, Ai Qian had long since returned with great haste back into the house.
Yue Qiang opened the friend list and was about to add Ai Qian’s name in it. However, he made a surprising discovery. There was another person in the friend list!
He rubbed his eyes. Yep, his eyes weren’t deceiving him. The friend list was just activated, and one minute hadn’t even passed by since its activation. Ai Qian should be the only friend he had right now, so where did this other friend come from?
This sudden appearing name was grey in color. It might mean that this person could not be contacted for the time being. The name consisted of three words:
It was a very unfamiliar name.
But there was a very familiar surname.
He immediately recalled the female fitness coach whose figure was so hot she had no friends*. After all, this surname was simply too rare. Not only had he never heard of it in real life, even in historical games or movies the compound surnames were all like Dongfang Ximen, Nangong Beigong and so on. He had never seen a surname quite like this one.
*A Chinese way of exaggeration.
Was Luqiu Dianyi and Liuqiu Ning the same person? Or was it pure coincidence?
Also how did this Luqiu Ning come to be in my Friend System?
Wait a second, a Friend System!
Yue Qiang suddenly recalled a very serious question.
This is a single player game, isn’t it? Shouldn’t… a Friend System exist only in multiplayer online games? Yue Qiang was feeling a little stupid right now.
From the beginning up to this point, this game had featured the extremely clear pattern of a single player game. Plot, quests, and even cutscenes had appeared in this game. Yue Qiang had never thought of the possibility that this might be an online game, and the easiest proof of that was the fact that he had not encountered any other players at all. If a game that only had one player wasn’t a single player game, then what was?
That wasn’t all. His own reality had almost turned into a single player game.
When Yue Qiang thought thought up to this point, he abruptly threw down his mouse and keyboard. In an instant he had leaned backwards on his chair while breathing heavily.
It had been three months since he played this game. For three months, every moment of his life was spent thinking about this game. Even though he had realized the changes that was occurring in the real world, it was as if something was controlling him and causing him to subconsciously not consider everything that was happening in the real world. It was only until he had connected the two terms ‘reality’ and ‘single player game’ that he abruptly awakened.
That’s right. It seemed that playing this single player game was all that he did in real life now.
It had been three months since he attended school, three months since he met his classmates, three months since he returned home. Exams, living expenses, running to the streets and peeking at pretty girls… those very familiar terms of the past had suddenly become incredibly foreign.
Yue Qiang suddenly realized that he hadn’t approached anyone in the real world for a very long time now. His mind hadn’t even turned once in that direction at all.
If any regular person had run into such a situation; such a bizarre change in real life, wouldn’t their first reaction be recounting it to his classmates, asking help from his family, or getting the people’s police (T/N: This is how China’s police are called) when in trouble?
What about him? Other than surfing a bit on the internet and making some assumptions with the Turing Test, he did nothing else and continued playing the game. It was only up till now, up till this very moment that he realized that his behavior was incredibly abnormal.
Before I knew it, I was playing a single player game, huh? Be it in real life, or inside the game?
He shut his eyes hard while rubbing his temple with his thumb forcefully. It was only until his temple was red that he stopped. He went blank staring at the grey-colored name on the screen for a while. Suddenly, he picked up his phone and began flipping through his contacts.
He hadn’t used his mobile phone much at all for the past three months. There were neither harassment calls, nor insurance sale harassment messages, nor phone calls from his friends. There were only the few calls he had made himself.
There was one conversation between him and the class beauty Rao Xiao Ting, but he couldn’t find it in his phone. Then he discovered that his mobile phone had deleted it automatically after a month passed. He had never saved Rao Xiao Ting’s number at all!
There was another call log from Luqiu Duanyi. He had purposely saved this woman’s number.
After watching the grey-colored name ‘Luqiu Ning’ in the friend list on the screen again for a while, he tapped the number and called.
“I want to ask you something.” Yue Qiang said.
The melodious voice on the other end of the phone did not answer him. Instead she replied with a question, “How much is the progress bar? The one that is blue in color.”