GOR Chapter 439 Chen Xiaolian’s Weakness
A bus slowly moved out of Jerusalem, moving along the road as it headed north.
The coordinate in Tel Aviv was northwest of Jerusalem and the distance between them was not too far away. They should be able to reach the place in about one hour’s time.
The one driving the bus was naturally Roddy.
Lun Tai held onto an assault rifle in his hand. The rifle also had a 40 mm under-barrel grenade launcher affixed to it.
Lun Tai sat in the first passenger seat in the bus with his body leaning against the railing. On his feet was a canvas bag containing grenades.
He bit onto a cigar in his mouth as his sharp pair of eyes coldly stared up front.
Will and Soo Soo were at the centre position. Will was clearly feeling rather cautious and would occasionally cast glancing looks at Soo Soo, who was beside him – it was obvious that he had a good impression on Soo Soo. However, he was too timid to start chatting with Soo Soo.
Soo Soo had been very kind to him earlier. At present however, this little girl remained silent, appearing occupied with something.
Qiao Qiao and Xia Xiaolei sat on the two sides of the bus. Xia Xiaolei had a pair of night vision goggles hanging around his neck while his hand held onto his gun tightly. He had opened up the window to allow the wind to flow in and blow on his face. There was an absent-minded expression on his face.
As for Qiao Qiao, there was a slightly anxious expression on her face and she would occasionally check her watch. She had tried using the guild channel to contact Chen Xiaolian a few times, but got no reply.
Qimu Xi sat in the rear – in the first phase, her performance was disappointing to all.
Timid, cowardly and panicky, she had contributed nothing to the team.
If she were in another team, they would have long since kicked out such a worthless baggage.
Although the members of Meteor Rock Guild were fairly kind-hearted, Qimu Xi’s performance was still too disappointing.
In order to survive through this game, everyone will help each other out. However, it was necessary for her to first show courage. If she cannot even do that…
“Still no reply?”
Qiao Qiao, who had her head cast down, heard Lun Tai asking.
She raised her head to see Lun Tai’s stalwart figure standing before her.
Qiao Qiao forced out a smile. “No.”
“I had called him as well, but I did not get any reply.” Lun Tai furrowed his brows. “Maybe something is delaying him. However, I believe in his decision.”
Qiao Qiao took a deep breath. “Of course I trust him, but… … did you not realize his biggest issue?”
Those words attracted the attention of Lun Tai and also Roddy, who was driving. He turned his head involuntarily at that.
“This fellow has too much of a tendency to shoulder everything.” Qiao Qiao narrowed her eyes and there was a trace of vexation in her tone. “No matter what happens, he would always try to shoulder it all without telling us about it – perhaps he is doing it out of goodwill in his desire to solve the issue by himself. However, this way of doing things would only make him exhausted. If he keeps doing this, then it is only a matter of time before he gets himself killed.”
Lun Tai smiled.
He had long since realized this issue with Chen Xiaolian.
An overly strong sense of responsibility… … always trying to shoulder the guild’s burden by himself…
“Something has happened, but he refused to talk about it and tries to deal with it alone!” Qiao Qiao sighed in frustration.
Lun Tai was silent for a few seconds. Then, he sat down beside Qiao Qiao and looked at her in silence for a bit before speaking up, “Qiao Qiao, do you know how the other guilds operate in this game world?”
“I am considered your senior here,” said Lun Tai with a wry smile. “Back then, me and Bei Tai were in Nangong Guild and we had some interactions with other Awakened guilds before. The other guilds, how should I put it… … all I can say is, Chen Xiaolian is the best Guild Leader that I have ever met.”
Qiao Qiao was surprised.
“This game world is very cruel. All of it is cruel. Death might come for us in any instance dungeon. Thus, every Awakened would fight and struggle with all they have in order to survive! Even within guilds, there would be civil competitions and bitter fights!
“I have seen it before. The members of the other guilds would start fighting each other for the sake of loot and resources.
“In order to maintain their position and authority, Guild Leaders would manipulate their subordinates, breaking them into factions and leading them along according to their designs. Some would even secretly eradicate dissidents.
“There is no need to look at others. Just look at the former leader of Meteor Rock Guild, Qiu Yun. His leadership led to an all-out revolt. This is an example.
“Feelings of camaraderie are something absent in most of the other guilds.
“That holds true even in my previous guild, Nangong Guild. Guild Leader Nangong was quite a righteous big brother to us, but me and Bei Tai dared not trust him fully. There are times that he would act in an unjust manner in order to protect himself or gain personal power.
“Let me put it in another way. I had originally thought of Guild Leader Nangong as a good Guild Leader. When he dies, I would be willing to help him out with any final requests.
“However, in Chen Xiaolian’s case, I am willing to go die with him! Alternatively, even die for him!
“This is the magnetic charm of Chen Xiaolian’s character. Be it Bei Tai, or me, the both of us are willing to follow him.
“The reason for this is precisely because of his selflessness. Chen Xiaolian is always acting in a selfless manner, willing to shoulder the guild’s responsibilities by himself. Whenever a problem arises, he would always want to solve it himself without dragging others into the dangers involved.
“This is a weakness. But it is also a strength.”
“But if he keeps this up, it is only a matter of time before he kills himself.” Qiao Qiao clenched her fists.
“Then we should trust him unconditionally. At the same time, we need to do our best to display our strength to have him understand that we do not require his protection. There is no need for him to take it all on his own. He can put his faith and count on us, on our strength.” Lun Tai smiled wryly.
Roddy, who was driving, suddenly spoke out coldly, “Qiao Qiao, you still don’t understand him.”
This sentence caused Qiao Qiao’s face to flicker.
In terms of intimacy, Qiao Qiao, who was Chen Xiaolian’s girlfriend, was naturally the most intimate with him.
However, they had not known each other for that long.
When it came to understanding him, Roddy, Chen Xiaolian’s best friend, who had known him for years, was the one who knew him the most.
“You all do not know this, but before getting sucked into this game, Chen Xiaolian was a very withdrawn fellow.”
Roddy sighed softly.
He retrieved a piece of cigarette and stuffed it in his mouth. As he was reaching for the cigarette lighter, Lun Tai, who was beside him, leaned over and used a lighter to light it up for Roddy.
Roddy glanced at him before winding down the window to allow the night breeze to flow in. Then, he puffed out a breath of smoke, which dissipated into the air.
“Roddy, tell us about Guild Leader’s past.” Xia Xiaolei moved over to join their conversation.
“His past?” Roddy narrowed his eyes and he observed the road ahead.
At this late hour, the road was empty. Who knows if this was due to the lack of people or if the system was the one that had emptied the area. At any rate, their bus was the only vehicle to be moving along the road.
“In the past… he was a very withdrawn fellow. Additionally, he refused to have people get too close to him.” Roddy sighed. “You all should already know this, right? Chen Xiaolian is an orphan. Both his parents are long gone.”
Qiao Qiao was silent for a moment before speaking in a hushed tone, “I know that. However, he is never willing to talk about the matter with his parents.”
“… I don’t know much about the specifics myself.” Roddy kept one hand on the steering wheel as his other hand held the cigarette. He looked at the road ahead and a contemplative look appeared on his face. Then, he slowly said, “Deep inside, he is a very prideful fellow.
“From what I know, his parents were gone since before he got to junior high – I went to the same school as him for junior high. Back then, everyone thought he was a weirdo. He disliked talking or getting to know others.
“No, I do not mean he is a very reclusive person.
“On the contrary, he was very courteous. No matter who talked to him, he would reply in a very warm and kind manner. However… … it was a very distant form of courtesy.
“He would speak courteously, and in all the years I know of him, I have never seen him have feelings or argue with anyone. He seemed insulated from all those things.
“He had never once chased after girls like our other school mates.
“From all outward appearances, he too liked basketball and could communicate normally with others. However, he did not have a single friend.
“It was not that they were unwilling to be his friend. In my opinion… … he himself was unwilling to be friends with others.
“In fact… … I had this feeling that he was looking down on his peers for being too childish.
“During junior high, he would come to school alone and leave school alone. When holidays came, he would never play with others.
“At that time, I only knew that he was the only one in his family.
“He had begun living alone since before he was 14 years old.
“His parents left him some inheritance and a house. However, he did not have any guardians.
“Just think about it, a child who was still that young had to take care of himself. What was that like?”
When he got there, Lun Tai thought about it and asked, “What about you? How did you end up being his friend?”
“Me?” Roddy smiled and a nostalgic expression appeared on his face.
“That year… … I had just joined his class. I kept getting the feeling that this kid looked weak. He would always cast a courteous glance at others. However, how do I put it… … there was this coldness in his eyes.
“Thus, I noticed him. When others make jokes about him or ridicule him, he would smile. When others provoke him, he would smile as well. When the teacher scolded him, he would smile. When the teacher praised him, he would smile…
“But I feel that deep down, he simply did not care about them at all.
“The incident where I got acquainted with him happened after school.
“There was an end of semester’s parent-teacher meeting that day.
“I played alone in the school grounds playground swing and saw him sitting under the basketball platform, watching the others play.
“So I walked up to him and casually asked him why he is not going home.
“Instead, he asked me why I did not go home.
“I told him that my old man was chatting with the teacher and he will probably come beat me up after their conversation was done.
“He then asked me why am I not running away.
“I told him, getting beat up early means dealing with it early. If I run, I will only be happy for a moment. But that means an even worse beating when I get home.
“He smiled at me and said, ‘You’re smart.’
“Back then, I had a terrible mouth and I asked him, ‘Where are your parents?’
“He looked at me and said calmly, ‘In Heaven.’”
“That is it? Just like that?” Qiao Qiao, who was engrossed by the story, was unable to stop herself from blurting out.
“How could it be that simple?” Roddy gave a wry smile. “Back then, I thought that this fellow was quite interesting. Most importantly, I thought he was pitiful. Therefore, I kept an eye on him.
“Later on, something happened.
“Outside our school, some hoodlums came to snatch some student’s money.
“I personally saw a girl getting stopped by the hoodlums. Originally, I had planned to step forward, but I was too late and Chen Xiaolian got there first.
“I saw him exchange a few words with the hoodlums. Then, the hoodlums let the girl go and had Chen Xiaolian follow them into an alley.”
“He knew those hoodlums?” Qiao Qiao was rather surprised.
“I thought so in the beginning.” Roddy smiled wryly. “Later on, when I followed them and eavesdropped on them, I found out that was not the case.”
Pausing a little, his expression turned strange. “Truth was, after seeing the hoodlums trying to snatch the little girl’s money, he went out and pulled out his own money. Then, he told the hoodlums: She has no money. Also, bullying a girl will make you a laughing stock in the underworld and cause you to lose face. If you want to snatch, come snatch from me. I have money.”
“Very clever.” Lun Tai sighed. “Using loss of face from bullying girls to put those hoodlums in a bind. Although those hoodlums were dregs of society, they would still want to maintain face. Next, he showed them his own money to lure them with benefits. Despite being so young, he could already consider things so thoroughly.”
“I also thought he was quite smart. However, no matter how smart he was, he cannot use it to fight.” Roddy smiled wryly. “That day, I had wanted to keep on following them but I failed. I also did not know what happened between Chen Xiaolian and those hoodlums. However, on the second day, when I got to school, I saw that he was slightly hurt on his face.”
Qiao Qiao’s eyes flickered.
“I tried asking him about it, but he did not say anything. Later on, for many days, there would always be injuries on his face. From time to time, new injuries would be added to the mix.
“However, after a certain time, an infighting broke out between the hoodlums. From what I had heard, some people got critically injured in the process and all of them were arrested. As for him, he was no longer injured and the matter just went away.”
“Did you ask him what happened?”
“I did. Later on when I got the chance, I asked him.” Roddy thought back on it and smiled wryly again. “That day, after saving the girl, he was brought by the hoodlums into an alley. When those hoodlums wanted to snatch his money, he resisted.
“The result was naturally very miserable for him. With his weak body, they beat him up and took all his money away.
“The hoodlums all took him to be an easy target, a juicy piece of meat. Thus, they would come look for him every few days.
“Each time it happened, he would resist. But each time, the hoodlums would successfully snatch away his money. However, they would need to put in quite some effort each time.
“Later, I asked Chen Xiaolian why the hoodlums would start fighting among themselves and end up being arrested.”
Xia Xiaolei asked eagerly, “What did Guild Leader say?”
An odd look escaped Roddy’s eyes.
“He told me, after getting his money snatched a few times; he was able to more or less figure out who was the boss, the second-in-command and the henchmen.
“Secondly, he more or less found out that those hoodlums had no backing. Thinking about it, it makes sense. Would scums who snatch money from students have any powerful backing? Those with powerful backing would not do something as substandard as that.
“Thirdly, he told me he was certain that these fellows, who could even snatch money from a little girl, were lowly scums. There were no morality and loyalty between them.
“Fourthly… … he told me that he would resist each time. He left an impression on them. Getting money from him was not easy. However, the amount of money they would obtain from him each time was no small sum, at least three to five hundred each time. He fed their appetite and greed.
“Fifth, he determined that not all the hoodlums would be there when they came to snatch his money. Sometimes, it would this few fellows. Then at other times, it would be those other fellows.
“Finally, when they came to rob him again, Chen Xiaolian deliberately chose not to bring any money with him for days.
“Coincidentally, that was the day when their boss came with two others. Chen Xiaolian told him: You are too late. I had two thousand in tuition fees with me, but the other fellows had taken it away.”
“… … …”
After a few seconds of silence, Lun Tai laughed out. “Ha ha ha! Cunning!”
Roddy shrugged. “This kid is a devious one.
“If I had to guess, that fellow must have ran back empty-handed to find his associates to split the money. However, was there any money to begin with? But because they could not trust each other, they started fighting among themselves. That fellow must have wanted to split the juicy spoils obtained from Chen Xiaolian. And since they were just lowly scums with no sense of trust or loyalty, an infighting broke out.
“I later talked to Chen Xiaolian about it: You were robbed of thousands and even got beaten up several times. Is it worth it?
“He told me: Due to the infighting, one of them had his intestine punctured, another had his spleen split from a vicious kick and had to groan while lying in bed. As for the other three, one of them ended up in a detention centre while the other two were sentenced to prison for wounding the others. On my end, I used up no more than 3,000 yuan and endured a couple beatings. When I resisted them, I did my best to control myself so that the amount of beatings I got was tolerable. Thus, I was not too heavily injured.
“Right, when the case was being looked through in the police station, the family members of those hoodlums came to find Chen Xiaolian to return him the money. Otherwise, if the robbery was added to their list of crimes, their sentence would be even higher. Chen Xiaolian had accepted 5,000 yuan from them, plus another 3,000 yuan for medical expenses.”
Lun Tai suddenly thought of something. “Back then, how old was Guild Leader?”
“I think he was… … 14 years old.”
“… … …”
“… … …”
Xia Xiaolei was unable to stop himself from blurting out, “Damn!”
Roddy too, released a sigh. “Back then, I felt that this kid would certainly become someone capable. I had no interest in being friends with the fools in school, but I must certainly be friends with him. When I got back home, I told my old man about him and he too, agreed with me. He said that this is someone I must befriend. But if I fail to be friends with him, I must make sure to distance myself as far away as possible from him.
“And then, this Young Master Roddy went forward and did everything he could to embrace his thigh.” Roddy broke into a laughter.
After laughing for a while, Roddy regarded Qiao Qiao intently through the side-view mirror. “Qiao Qiao, you don’t understand. This fellow has always been withdrawn and has a certain pride deep within him. However, he is very lonely. Thus, his biggest weakness is not a heavy sense of responsibility. Rather, it is a shitty sense of responsibility.
“The problem with him is that he had been too lonely all this time. He has no relatives or friends after all. Thus, when he has all those, he will instinctively and willingly step forward to protect them with everything he has.
“I will say this. He is in fact very weak. His weakness lies in an excessive desire to be ‘needed, ‘relied upon’ and ‘trusted’.
“He is the Guild Leader of this guild and all of us are counting on him. Under such circumstance, his sense of responsibility will increase to the point of bursting apart. Because he believes that everyone needs and relies on him. And so he must do his very best!”
Chen Xiaolian was leaning against the wall and panting. He pushed out the blade of the Sword in the Stone slightly and used the reflection on the surface of the blade to check out what was happening on the street. He saw a knight in armour holding a warhammer in his hand as he rode on a unicorn, which slowly trotted forward.
Chen Xiaolian gave a grunt.
There were quite a number of people in the other party. Additionally, they possessed those strange mounts, unicorns, which gave them the upper hand in terms of speed and mobility.
Chen Xiaolian had been running around in the vicinity for a while, but was gradually surrounded by them. They were very clever. After spreading out, they circled around from both sides and gradually formed an encirclement.
Chen Xiaolian looked at the street and saw that the warhammer wielding fellow was slowly approaching.
Traces of a sneer appeared on his face.
“I will deal with you first.”
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