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Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
“Just as I’ve imagined it. You’ve always been this characteristically pragmatic, not even one bit impulsive.” The girl laughed.
“I share your imagination.” Lin Sheng laughed too. As they said, laughter was the best medicine for awkwardness.
“I like you, and that’s just me. It has nothing to do with you. Lin Sheng, I hope you well, healthy, and smart as ever. And no other girls will ever see your good might I add.” She sounded as if she meant it.
“You’re a good girl, but I’ve no plan to get into a relationship just yet,” Lin Sheng said matter-of-factly. “There are many people attracted to you in our class as you’re such a catch. You deserve more than this and shouldn’t waste time on me.”
“You’re all that I want. But that’s fine.” The girl exhaled, broken-hearted. “I hope you will continue to remain single, just like you have said.”
“I don’t lie.” Lin Sheng smiled.
They smiled at each other as if there was already a tacit understanding between them. They walked side by side for a while and then arrived at a junction. The girl clasped her hands and twitched her mouth; her delicate skin looked so tenderly soft under the soft light of the street lamps.
“Well, see you again, Lin Sheng.”
“Yup, until we meet again. Goodbye, Bervie.” Lin Sheng reciprocated as he finally recalled her name.
The girl’s affectionate smile suddenly collapsed and became stiff, her hand that she was waving at him just now had frozen midair. Her name was Sylvie, not Bervie. After a moment of silence, tears started to swirl in her eyes, and she turned around and left apace.
Lin Sheng stood there, dumbfounded. He then ripped the envelop open and looked at the letter, a confession of love. It was a long one. At the end of the letter was a heart with an arrow emoji, and the undersigned was Sylvie Adeline. The penny dropped, and it all made sense now. Lin Sheng finally knew why the girl ran away with such an emotional reaction. He crumpled the letter in his hand, tucked it inside his pocket, and gave himself a moment of silence for the relationship that died before it even started.
Lin Sheng trotted in the direction of his house. He had not rambled on the streets like this for a long while. It was seven something when the night market began to spring to life as stalls selling a variety of street food sprung up like mushrooms along the street.
Like an innocent child, Lin Sheng bought apple-flavored ice cream, happily savoring it in his mouth as he continued to meander in the night market. He passed by a food stall selling hot barbeque on sticks and bought a bunch of it, greedily devouring it until his lips swelled red from the spices.
Furthering up ahead, he saw a hotpot stall with lots of fresh green veggies, meats, and seafood on the iron pan. There were also bright red tomatoes, yellowish-green cucumbers, and jade-green bok choy. Not to mention potato slices, Chinese yam slices, sticks of chicken, lamb, beef, pork belly, and all. The owner grabbed whatever his customers ordered and tossed the ingredients into the boiling broth. Before long, a tantalizing aroma of spices and meats began to waft around in the air. Lin Sheng quickly found himself a seat. “I’d like to have fifty sticks of lamb, fifty sticks of beef, and ten sticks of potato and veggie each.”
“Sure.” The stall owner who grew a large waistline responded loudly. Lin Sheng sat at the table, silently finishing off the barbeque sticks that he had bought earlier while observing the flowing traffic. For a moment, he fell into deep thought.
At the adjacent table, three youngsters with the dragon, tiger, and panther tattoos on their arms were gulping glass after glass of beer down their throats along with the hotpot broth.
On the other side, a pair of lovey-dovely lovebirds were feeding each other ‘bird-feed’ as if they were the only persons in the world.
At the far-end table, an old man with brown glasses was diligently wiping the oily residue off the table using a single-use tablecloth.
Retracting his gaze, Lin Sheng lowered his head and wolfed down another two sticks of barbeque. He got a big jump in appetite after practicing the sacred power. And as he got better at it, he began to feel that the sacred power was actually his own soul, more like the cultivation of his mental strength.
When the hotpot was served, Lin Sheng quickly finished off the remaining few sticks of barbeque and proceeded to slurp up the aromatic hot and spicy broth. He had never found eating so enjoyable for a long time. When he finally had enough of it, he stopped and was almost in sweat. He paid and went back in the direction from where he had come.
After the break, it was time to study a way of dealing with the dark, fat dude. Lin Sheng would have to wait three days to recover before he could get back in after he died in the dream. He would not allow himself to fail again.
Back at home, his big sis, Lin Xiao, was watching TV in a wheelchair. It seemed she was recovering quickly. His dad was working hard in the study room, busily paring some wooden stuff. His mom, Gu Wanqiu, was laboriously weaving some ornament using colorful polyester thread for celebratory purposes in the kindergarten.
“You’re home late. Have you had your dinner?” Gu Wanqiu quickly stopped what she was doing and came up to Lin Sheng as he walked in the doorway.
“Of course, I did. Haven’t I told you not to wait for me?” Lin Sheng changed into a pair of slippers and closed the door behind him.
“There are still some leftovers in the kitchen. You can reheat them and eat if you want,” reminded Gu Wanqiu.
“I’ve had enough, mom. I have to do revision after cleaning up.” Lin Sheng could not wait to meditate on the Ashen Seal.
“Go, go.” Gu Wanqiu went into the kitchen and came back out with some bright-red strawberries that she had just bought today. “Come out to eat some strawberries if you are tired. It’s good for your body.”
“Okay.” Lin Sheng responded. He quickly went to clean himself up. Earlier, during the time when he did not have any dreams, he took the opportunity to digest thoroughly all the memories that he had previously acquired. Combining with the many armored soldiers and a spell-caster monster that he had killed last night, he got quite a lot of fragmented souls. Today, he was going to meditate on Ashen Seal-Furious Roar, purifying and turning the fragmented souls as his own power. On the other hand, he was in no hurry to recruit more people. His priority now was to accumulate more soul space for more powerful summoned creatures later.
The night went by without any dream. Lin Sheng mediated on Ashen Seal for a while and pondered the strategy of defeating the fire-spitting, dark fat dude. He then took a break before continuing on the Ashen Seal meditation. This routine went on for three days—meditating, resting, meditating, resting—over and over again until he got the hang of Ashen Seal-Furious Roar. It would not be long before he could use the Ashen Seal, he thought.
Finally, on the fourth day, the sequelae of death had vanished entirely. Lin Sheng reentered the dream to begin his second attempt.
He took a deep breath, vapor spurting out of his mouth for over ten centimeters in the vault before slowly diffusing into the gray fog. When he opened his eyes, he found himself resurrected at the spot where he had killed the spell caster earlier. This position was right at the corner, after which it would be leading straight into the prison section where there was a thick blanket of fog. He had no scale armor, wooden shield, broadsword, helmet, and whatsoever gear with him, just the white sports suit that he had put on the night before he went to sleep.
“It’s all back to square one…” Lin Sheng did some stretches, but he did not go down the corner. Instead, he jogged back in the direction from where he had come. He did not want to go head-on with the fat dude just yet because he first needed to gear up. He had learned firsthand how seriously disadvantaged he would be without some sort of powerful weaponry. He had to get some sharper sword.
After trotting for a while, he arrived back to the place where he first came in. He did not stop. Instead, he continued to run down the passage at an even faster pace.
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