GOR Chapter 91: Zero
The next morning, Roddy and Xia Xiaolei were sitting in the hotel’s dining area while drinking yogurt. Seeing Chen Xiaolian and Qiao Qiao walking side by side into the dining area, the two of them instantly revealed peculiar expressions. Roddy even sent several winks at him.
Chen Xiaolian blushed but Qiao Qiao calmly walked over before Roddy. Looking at Roddy in the eyes, she asked. “Is your skin itching?”
“No, no…” Roddy quickly stopped smiling.
Xia Xiaolei who was not as perceptible was still smiling.
Their actions made Chen Xiaolian feel embarrassed and he frowned. “Are you fellows quite done yet?”
Roddy let out a snigger. “Last night, someone did not return to their room to sleep oh. To think that this brotherly me would worry that his mood might be bad. I brought a bottle of wine and went knocking on his room. How could I have guessed… the room was actually empty.”
Chen Xiaolian replied with a serious demeanour. “Last night, Qiao Qiao and I were enjoying the view on the rooftop. After chatting for some time, we felt sleepy and slept on the rooftop. Do not misunderstand.”
Roddy smiled. “Taking in the night scenery on the rooftop of a high-rise building while sampling wine, a beauty beside for company, how enviable. You are simply bullying the solitary dogs .”
Qiao Qiao suddenly raised the table’s fork and knife. While maintaining a calm expression, she said. “I just happen to love bullying solitary dogs. Roddy, do you have a problem with that?”
Seeing the knife in Qiao Qiao’s hand, Roddy gulped. “… No! Big Miss Qiao, please continue bullying any way you like!”
Qiao Qiao stood up and picked up several pieces of sandwiches before leaving. “I am going back to the room to check up on Soo Soo. She has been sleeping all night until now. I am a little worried.”
After Qiao Qiao left, Roddy breathed a sigh of relief before patting Chen Xiaolian on his shoulder. “Brother, it seems you have succeeded. Congratulations for making it out of the bitter seas of forever alone.”
Chen Xiaolian ignored him and looked at Xia Xiaolei. “Did you get a good sleep last night?”
“Of course,” Xia Xiaolei smiled widely. “I have never stayed in such a high class hotel. The room even has a big bathtub with massage bath function. It is simply too pleasant.”
“Xiaolei, there is something I want to discuss with you,” Chen Xiaolian seriously looked at Xia Xiaolei. “When we had parted ways last time, I did not know the procedures involved in the selection for the instance dungeons. That was why I had advised you to live in the mountains. But now, it would appear that once you have become an Awakened one, you will get sucked into this game. There will no longer be any more peaceful days. Therefore, I was thinking… if you are willing, you could join my guild. Since we are acquainted, at least we will be able to help one another.”
“Of course I want to!” Xia Xiaolei slapped down onto the table. The resulting “pa” sound attracted the attention of the other surrounding guests. He then shrank his head and lowered his voice. “I have been wanting to talk to you about this yesterday night. Brother Xiaolian, now that you have a guild, I must join it!”
“Very well, then it is agreed,” Chen Xiaolian thought for a moment. “En, if you have no other matters to do in the mountain village, why not follow us back? As of now, I still do not know when the next instance dungeon’s information will come. With everyone being together, many issues can be prepared for in advance.”
“Even if you don’t say that, I would still not want to go back. That suffocating place is too boring,” Xia Xiaolei giggled. “I prefer following you all. There is good food and so much fun to be had. Not to mention, I also get to live in such a comfortable place.”
Xia Xiaolei’s words were said without any other intent and were simply filled with childish envy.
“By the way, how old are you?”
“I became 16 last month.”
“En,” Chen Xiaolian looked at him and sighed without saying a word.
“Hey, there is also me,” Roddy pointed at his nose.
“You? What about you?” Chen Xiaolian frowned. “You are not even an Awakened.”
“I am your bro,” Roddy said in a dissatisfied voice. “Do not forget, back in the Mausoleum Area, I had helped you by putting on an act .”
“What do you want to do?”
“I want to be like you people,” Roddy said with a straight face. “As a bro, I cannot simply sit by the sides and watch as you all go risk your lives time and again.”
Chen Xiaolian shook his head. “It is too dangerous. You have a family and a home. It would be best for you to live an ordinary life.”
Roddy was silent for a moment before looking at Chen Xiaolian. “Xiaolian, do you not take me as a bro?”
“It is precisely because I consider you as a bro…”
“Listen to what I have to say first,” Roddy waved his hand.
At that moment, the usual simpleton look on Roddy’s face has been replaced with a stern expression.
“Xiaolian, yesterday I went with Qiao Qiao to find cars. On the way, we talked about many things. That is why I now know about what you all have been through,” Roddy slowly said. “I know that you are doing this for my sake. But… just think, when I found out that all of this, when I found that this world… is actually a son of a bitch game setting. When it turns out that we cannot even verify the veracity of all of these things, real or virtual… just think, could I just continue on with my life as an ordinary person with a clear conscience?
“Having known all these, could I still live on thoughtlessly and pretend that I am unaware about all of them?
“In the future, the people that I will meet and the issues that I will face, when I encounter all that, would I not have any thoughts about it? Are those real, or false? Are they things that the program has arranged for me? Or are they the wishes of my real existence?
“Even someone like me will think about it!
“I am aware that it is dangerous, of course I am aware about it!
“Nevertheless, I still want to go with you all and give it a go!
“At any rate, this layer of paper window has been pierced through. Could it be that I should just watch as you all walk through the gates while I stand here and watch through the window as all of you go fight to the death?
“I am awake now. There is no rationale for me to continue sleeping – I cannot even fall asleep anymore! Unless you can erase these memories of mine!
“Otherwise, how would I go on living as an ordinary person with a clear conscience?”
Facing Roddy’s questions, Chen Xiaolian could only remain silent.
The two of them looked at each other in silence for several minutes.
Chen Xiaolian sighed and looked straight at Roddy’s eyes. He solemnly said. “I will admit that what you say is logical. However… I think that this decision should not be made in haste. How about this, I will give you a few days’ time. Think about it properly within these few days, think about your life, think about your parents, your family… a few days later, once you have considered all these, tell me what you decide.”
After finishing their breakfast, the three of them went back into the room.
They entered a very large suite. After entering, they saw Qiao Qiao sitting together with Soo Soo in the living room, watching the television.
Observing the three of them walking into the room, Qiao Qiao quickly made a gesture towards Chen Xiaolian and pointed towards Soo Soo – Chen Xiaolian understood immediately. After last night’s sleep, Soo Soo had reverted to her first personality.
Seeing Chen Xiaolian entering through the door, Soo Soo suddenly tossed aside the remote control. She bounced up and ran to Chen Xiaolian’s side. She grabbed onto his arm and swayed it. “Xiaolian oppa!”
“You are awake?”
“Yup!” Soo Soo puffed up her face into a bun like shape. “Oppa, I dreamt of many, many things. But, for some unknown reason, I can no longer remember them after waking up. All I know is that you appeared in my dreams.”
“Oh?” Chen Xiaolian’s eyes flickered.
“En, I seem to recall you bringing me to a very dark place where we walked for a long time. En, I also saw some people fighting. I remember… in the end, you do not want me anymore and gave me away to someone else.”
After saying that, Soo Soo stared at Chen Xiaolian with wide-opened eyes that held traces of grievance. “Oppa, you would not do that, would you?”
“…” Chen Xiaolian could only smile while remaining speechless.
“That is enough. Soo Soo, do not keep pestering him!” Qiao Qiao went over and pulled Soo Soo away. She looked at Soo Soo and said. “Go wash up! We will pack our things and prepare to return home!”
At that moment, the sound of 2 door knocks could be heard before the door was opened.
Lun Tai and Bei Tai walked in.
“Do you all always break into others room?” Roddy smiled bitterly. “Are all Awakened ones so powerful? Next time, when we are together, it seems that there would be no need for me to lock the doors when I sleep.”
Lun Tai and Bei Tai’s expressions were serious, not a trace of humour could be seen on them.
Lun Tai held onto today’s newspaper in his hand. “Chen Xiaolian, have you read today’s newspaper?”
Chen Xiaolian shook his head. “Newspaper? Who still reads those things? If we want to read the news, we will just go online with our mobile phones.”
“… it seems you do not know,” Lun Tai nodded his head and let out a bitter smile. “You really are a rookie Guild Leader. Putting both me and my brother’s life into the hands of a rookie Guild Leader like you, I wonder if it is a blessing or a curse.”
“What happened?” Chen Xiaolian turned serious.
Lun Tai and Bei Tai walked over and sat opposite Chen Xiaolian. Then, they placed the newspaper onto the coffee table and pushed it before Chen Xiaolian.
“Zero… there is news about it.”
“Zero? What is that thing?”
Lun Tai shook his head. “The ‘Zero’ I am referring to is not a thing.”
“Is it a codename for someone?”
“Zero is not a person.”
Lun Tai answered with an expression of awe. “To be more accurate… ‘Zero’ is a city that does not exist.”
“City? Does not exist?” Chen Xiaolian became intrigued.
Lun Tai glanced at Bei Tai before glancing at the others within the room. He then let out a soft sigh and whispered. “To be even more precise, it is… a city that belongs to the Awakened community.”
Chen Xiaolian’s face became tense. “Continue!”
1 ‘Solitary dogs’ is a Chinese online term for men without girlfriend or wife.↩