Chapter 1: Beautiful Leader

(Overture)

 

Looking at the door of dreams

Listening to distant whispers

Oh bloodstained sword

Please guide me on the path onward

 

The fountain of light cleanses my dusted body

Weary, I still begin a new journey

Blood and tears spread across my eyes, the killing never stops

Oh, my lover, please don’t shed tears for me

The devil will never obtain blessing

I will protect you, even if it costs me a lifetime

 ……

It was a moonlit night. A warm spring breeze mixed with the fragrance of flowers and plants brushed across a forest, tree branches swaying in response.

In just the blink of an eye, two swift figures appeared, moving deeper into the forest.

Rustle…

Crushing thin grass beneath my feet, I looked up to the stars and felt an indescribable gloom come over me.

Another party wipe.

I wasn’t alone. Beside me was a beautiful and attractive elf archer. Bathed in poignant and beautiful moonlight, it looked like her face itself was glowing.

“Phew…”

She leaned back against an ancient pine tree. Fatigue and discontent was peeking through her features, and her chest heaved as she breathed deeply. She was gripping a saber with light flowing around it tightly. Her chest armor was cracked after the fierce battle, causing a speck of her near perfect curves to peek through it. Her bracers and legguards were also cracked, exposing her pale, round legs to the mountain wind. Her white cape was soaked with blood and severely shredded.

“Let’s stop running, Lu Chen.” She looked at me with red cheeks.

“Why?” I asked in astonishment.

She waved her hands. “We’re going to proceed with the plan in two days anyway. In that case, we may as well set this place on fire and delete our accounts now!”

“Alright, whatever you say, boss.”

I nodded and raised my bloodstained palms slowly.

Swoosh!

A burning arrow flew to the sky before exploding into a shower of fire. It only took an instant for the whole forest to become covered in flames.

“Aaaaah…”

Bloodcurdling screams resounded throughout the forest. The thousands of players chasing behind us were burned into a crisp as they succumbed to the sea of flames.

I let out a long sigh of relief. “It’s done.”

“Mn.” The girl nodded. “Now, let’s go. Let’s begin our new journey!”

I lifted my hand, and several streams of light composed of data swirled across my palm. My body started vanishing slowly. The beautiful archer seated on the opposite side of me nodded at me with a smile before doing the same. Just like that, we vanished from the virtual forest.

 ……

“Whew…”

I let out a long sigh and took off my gaming helmet.

It was finally over.

I had fought in the north and the south during the two years I spent in “Spirit of Grief”. I’ve seen honor, felt pain, experienced sorrow, met friends, enemies… in the end though, I had to leave that virtual world.

There was a shiny helmet on top of a table not far away from me. Two bold, cursive characters were engraved on its surface: Heavenblessed!

That’s right. After the success that was “Spirit of Grief”, the world’s greatest gaming corporation, Eternal Moon Corporation, had carefully pushed out a new game called “Heavenblessed”. It claimed itself to be the king of games, boasting top rankings, whether it be design or consumerbase. More than 800 million gaming helmets had been sold in the first month alone, and it dominated the market with a whopping 95%.

The official release date of “Heavenblessed” was two days later, at midnight, with no closed or open beta. “Heavenblessed” was one of the reasons I chose to leave. Many teams were ready to leave “Spirit of Grief” and develop themselves in the new game, and we were no exception.

Heavenblessed’s gaming helmets were split into four different types: low tier, middle tier, high tier and VIP tier. Naturally, each tier was priced differently. My helmet was of the VIP tier. It even had a small line of text imprinted on the side: Proud Member of the CGL Ranking, Falling Dust.

That’s right. My name is Lu Chen, and my legend is everywhere in this world.

 ……

“Heh…”

I let out a self-derisive laugh before turning on my computer. An avatar nicknamed “Boss” was vibrating in my MSN Messenger. It was of course my beautiful leader.

I clicked the avatar and read the message she left behind to me. “Let's meet tomorrow morning, okay? Where should we meet?”

“9 am, in front of the gym at Sanxiang Road.”

Her response was quick. “Alright. Including your salaries, we’ve got over 200 thousand after selling all our equipment. I’ve made a new card, and I’ll send it to you tomorrow.”

“Mn.”

I lay on my bed after sorting out my feelings. I recalled all the things that had happened in the past two years and lamented about the ups and downs of life.

I had worked for the boss for over a year already, but I had never seen her in person before. She told me that her appearance in game was beautified, and that she was a dinosaur in real life.

I didn’t really care about that anyway.

 ……

The next day, very early in the morning, I woke up and put on a set of casual clothes. I walked downstairs and strolled through the streets. The gym was only ten minutes away from my place.

Feeling a bit of trepidation, I called the boss again. “Boss, how do you look like? What should I look out for?”

A melodious laugh came from the opposite side of the phone. “Silly boy, just head to the front of the gym and look for the girl who stands out the most.”

“Mn.”

I hung up the phone and arrived at the public transport stop in front of the gym. Then, I waited while looking all over the place.

There were seven or eight people at the public transport stop besides me. A brand new black sports car with gorgeous curves was also parked nearby. I didn’t recognize the license plate, but it was probably very expensive.

It was time, but boss still hadn’t shown up yet.

At this point I was growing impatient, so I took out my phone and acted to call her again.

Speaking of which, everyone at the stop including me had noticed that the owner of the sports car was a superbly beautiful woman. She had bright eyes, clean teeth and long hair. Her looks were good enough to compete in a national beauty pageant. The faint smile on her face and the way her hair danced slightly to the wind only increased her charm further and flabbergasted nearly all the young men waiting at the stop. No one was expecting to find such a gorgeous woman in that amazing sports car.

 ……

That was the first time I saw He Yi. Beautiful, outstanding and natural, she split open the muddy pool that was my life and bathed everything in light. Everything except her peerless appearance faded into the background, pulling at my eyeballs like a ray of holy light that descended from the heavens.

The beautiful woman didn’t mind the shower of attention she was receiving. However, the corner of her lips curled slightly with dissatisfaction as she called a number.

“Doo doo doo…”

My phone rang. When I brought it to my ears, I heard the boss saying, “What’s keeping you, Lu Chen?”

I was stunned and in disbelief. Was this beauty really the boss I had been working with for almost two years? If that was true, then she had lied to me earlier. She was beautiful enough to shake anyone to the core.

“Boss, I arrived a while ago…”

Feeling a bit embarrassed, I walked up to her while still holding my phone.

The beautiful woman turned around to shoot me a glance. Then, she smiled and opened the door, saying, “It was you? Hop in then, there’s a place I want to take you to.”

I climbed into her car while my back was showered by countless sharp gazes of envy and jealousy. They felt like literal swords stabbing into my back.

“Boss, I didn’t think you would be so…”

“So what?” She turned toward me with a smile. Her eyes were clearly playful.

I gulped once and didn’t continue. The woman’s uniform she was wearing had a very low collar, so I had a clear view of pale flesh hidden beneath the fabric. That alone was enough to make my heart throb, much less the ravine that nearly sucked my soul away. It was more than enough temptation to boil up my head.

Next to my boss’s collar was an exquisite-looking work badge. Clearly, she was supposed to be working at this time. Her company’s name, “GGS” was written in huge font on the work badge, and beneath it was her name, He Yi! What really astonished me, however, was the job title written after her name. It said “Asia Region Vice President”!

“Boss, your name is He Yi?” I asked.

“Mn. It’s a good name, isn’t it?” She smiled slightly while starting the car. “What do you want to do in the future, Lu Chen? Or should I say, what are your dreams for the future?”

“My dreams?”

I thought for a second before laughing. “My dream is to hide in a mountain starting tomorrow and live in happiness. I want to feed my horse, chop up firewood for warmth and travel around the world. Starting tomorrow, I’m going to focus on agriculture, build a big house that faces the sea and let spring come to me…”

“Enough, you!”

He Yi let out a giggle. “You sure are hopeless. I guess it’s up to me to be your guiding light again! Come on, I’m going to take you somewhere.”

“Where?”

I asked a bit worriedly from the front passenger seat.

He Yi shot me a mysterious smile and lifted her eyebrows. “It is a place where dreams are realized. The Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls guild is planning to build a high-level workshop, and it’s probably going to consist of all our main members. You are the first candidate that came into my mind.”

“A workshop?”

I felt a little lost. I was alone for the longest time, and now I’m going to be joining a gaming workshop?

“Boss, I think I prefer to be…” I fell silent for a very long time before continuing, “I really don’t think Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls needs someone like me…”

He Yi immediately glared at me and scolded, “Cut the whining and just follow me!”

I could only shut up as ordered. Everyone who followed He Yi knew about her drive, and the only thing we could ever do was to obey her decision.

I didn’t say anything else after that. He Yi was also focused on her driving. Once in a while though, she would sneak a glance at me and smile.

After a while, she passed a card to me. It contained a portion of the income I had accumulated in the last half a year or so. The car quickly exited the city area, and the traffic growing thinner by the second.

At the time, I had no idea that that peaceful morning was about to change my life forever. It was a path in life I never imagined I would tread.

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