Chapter 293 Zuo Xiaolan's Worries

Chapter 293 Zuo Xiaolan’s Worries 


The first three hours of the duo’s imprisonment were quite  uneventful. 


Ye Ci sat meditating in one corner of the cell, trying her best to ignore the presence of Fleeting Time, who sat in another corner. They sat there in silence, until it was time for dinner, and Ye Ci opened her eyes to look at Fleeting Time. She thought of calling out to him before logging out of the game, but decided against it. After all, they were not that familiar with each other yet. There was no such need. 


That was why Ye Ci went offline after casting a glance at Fleeting Time. 


Fleeting Time opened his eyes once Ye Ci was gone. He looked at the spot of her last location, rubbed his chin, and logged out of the game after some moment of thought. 


The fragrance of food assaulted Ye Ci’s nostrils as she limped out of her room. The dishes tonight are rather sumptuous. She could feel her stomach rumbling even as she made her way into the dining room. 


Bai Mo, who happened to have walked out of the bathroom at that moment stared at Ye Ci with amazement. He flicked the water away from his hands, walked up to Ye Ci, and proceeded to study her up and down, “Heh, did the sun rise in the west today? You’re actually punctual today.” 


Ye Ci narrowed her eyes at Bai Mo, “Didn’t you say that you will let me know when it’s time for dinner? You didn’t seem to be planning to do so!” 


“Well, you have to be idling in the game anyways, it doesn’t matter if you’re late for dinner?” Bai Mo shrugged. He leaned forward and whispered into Ye Ci’s ears, “Besides, I have a feeling that you have a lot to say to Fleeting Time. Wouldn’t I be making a huge mistake if I get between you two?” 


“What are you talking about!” Ye Ci shot Bai Mo a glare. 


“What’s with the staring contest over there? Come grab your rice and eat.” Ye Nantian called out to Ye Ci and Bai Mo when he noticed the duo in the living room. 


Bai Mo grabbed at his hair innocently under Ye Ci’s glare. He walked into the kitchen, followed by Ye Ci who was surprised by the number of dishes on the table, “Wow! That’s a lot of food! Is Polang coming back today?” 


“Yup. He had an exam today. I’m sure he’ll be arriving soon.” said Ye Nantian with a wide smile on his face as he set an extra chair down for Tan Polang. He was happy to have all the members of his family gathered by the dinner table. 


The rustling of keyes announced Tan Polang’s arrival as Ye Ci was having a small talk with Ye Nantian, “I’m back!” shouted the youth. 


“Oh, you’re back?” Zuo Xiaolan poked her head out from the kitchen, “Go wash your hands, I’m almost done here.” 


“Alright!” The joy in Tan Polang’s voice was an indicator that he did well in the exams. 


Tan Polang’s results would of course be the focus of the family in their conversation during dinner. Other than his satisfactory performance, what happened to Ye Ci was also inevitably brought up. 


“Little Ci, will getting imprisoned in the game affect anything in real life?” Zuo Xiaolan was very worried. They were from a very ordinary family. She was afraid that her daughter’s action would result in a lawsuit in real life. 


But Ye Nantian spoke up before Ye Ci could respond to the question, “What are you talking about? Why would it affect her in real life in any way? Everything in the game is fake! You should understand it after playing the game for so long. It’s just like having to eat in real life after eating in the game! Is the portion of your meal suddenly decreased just because you’ve eaten in game?” 


But Zuo Xiaolan’s worry was not fully dispelled by his words. “Don’t worry about it auntie.” said Bai Mo, “The game has nothing to do with real life. Besides, it’s a very common occurrence in the game. You don’t have to worry about it.” 


Ye Ci immediately voiced out her agreement as well. Tan Polang who was still unaware of the events that had transpired threw in his weight as well before Zuo Xiaolan’s worry was finally quelled. 


It was apparently not the only worry that Zuo Xiaolan had intended to voice out. She looked at Ye Ci, then at Ye Nantian and instead changed the topic of the conversation. 


Ye Ci immediately went online after her meal. She knew that she had to make every second count so that she could leave her cell as soon as possible. She did not want to stay in that place even a single second longer. 


Bai Mo had long since returned to the game as the guild was planning to explore the Scorching Canyon dungeon at night. Tan Polang was the only one who remained behind to help Ye Nantian and Zuo Xiaolan in cleaning up the table. 


He noticed the frequent stares from Zuo Xiaolan as he was washing the dishes. It was something very unusual, as Zuo Xiaolan had always been blunt with her words. 


“Mom, is there something you want to say?” asked Tan Polang. 


Zuo Xiaolan chuckled. Am I being that obvious? But since Tan Polang had spoken up, she decided to go straight to the point, “Polang, remember that time you told me about the guy who was interested in Little Ci? What’s his name again?” 


“His in-game name?” asked Tan Polang and Zuo Xiaolan responded with a nod, “Fleeting Time.” 


“Liu as in the flower of water, and nian as in a ‘year’?” asked Zuo Xiaolan. 


“That’s right.” Tan Polang nodded, “What about him?” 


“Well, Little Ci was sent to jail today for murdering this man…” Zuo Xiaolan voiced out her worries, “Were they fighting because that Fleeting Time person is no longer interested in Little Ci?” 


Tan Polang almost gagged when he heard the question. He had only been away for half a month, and the first news received upon his return had blown his mind. He took in a deep breath and stared incredulously at Zuo Xiaolan, “Mom, are you telling me that Fleeting Time was the one killed by sister Ye Ci today?” 


“Yup! That’s right!” Zuo Xiaolan nodded, “Isn’t Fleeting Time interested in Little Ci? Why did they end up fighting? Was it because Ye Ci did not like him, and did not want him to woo her?” Zuo Xiaolan knew her daughter well. Ye Ci had never had good interactions with boys since she was young. She had even beaten up a few boys in her kindergarten. 


Zuo Xiaolan did not think much about it. After all, her daughter was still young. But the situation did not change even when she was in her highschool. Even when Ye Ci had never gotten into a fight, none of the boys in her school had ever expressed their interest in her. Zuo Xiaolan was very worried. Many of her neighbour’s children had gotten into puppy love with many others entering their rebellious phase while her daughter remained the same. 


She could not decide if she should be happy or be worried when she heard of all the complaints about children of Ye Ci’s age during the parents teacher meeting. 


Ye Ci had always been a selfish person, but her behavior was never problematic. Zuo Xiaolan had never had to worry about her daughter, and she could not decide if it was a blessing or a curse. 


She was certain that her daughter would start to have a romantic relationship when she finally attended a university. But after a year and a half of silence, Zuo Xiaolan had almost given up. She had even started to think that her daughter was a lesbian. Is she really not into men? Does it mean that I will never have a grandchild? It had always been her dream. 


But good news arrived from Tan Polang before Zuo Xiaolan fell into despair. A man who was very good in the game had fallen for her daughter. It was probably the greatest news Zuo Xiaolan received in her entire life. She rejoiced as if she had just won the jackpot. 


And from that day onwards, Zuo Xiaolan began paying attention to every single news about the player named Fleeting Time. But he was a player from the Western Continent, which meant that there really was not a lot of information about the man other than accounts from the other players that he was very good at the game.  


The messages on the World Channel on this day reignited Zuo Xiaolan’s worry. She had waited long and hard for someone to finally start wooing her daughter, but before their romance could grow, her daughter had dealt him such a heavy blow. At that moment, Zuo Xiaolan’s world became dark.


It’s been like this since she was three. Even her admirer in the game is pushed away by her. I guess there’s no more hope left for her in real life. 


Tan Polang knew nothing about what was going on in Zuo Xiaolan’s mind. To him, his mom was simply worrying about the fight between Ye Ci and Fleeting Time, “It’s no big deal mom. It’s normal for players to kill each other in this game. I’ve done something like this to my friends, but our friendship remains strong.” 


“Is that so?” Zuo Xiaolan still had a feeling of unease despite his reassurance. 


“Oh come on mom, don’t worry about it. I have to go study now.” Tan Polang patted Zuo Xiaolan on the back with a smile and went back to his room after cleaning the last bowl.


His studies? That was merely part of the reason he was in a hurry. The real driving force behind his action was his strong sense of curiosity. There was no way Fleeting Time would be killed by Ye Ci without even putting up a fight, and he knew that Ye Ci would never make the simple mistake of killing a player in the middle of the streets. Things were not as simple as they seemed. 


Tan Polang entered his room, and was able to confirm that Bai Mo was already in game with the glowing of his gaming cabin. He then logged into the forum of Genesis. Before he could begin his journey of gossipping, he noticed a private message. 


As a long time lurker, Tan Polang did not expect the sudden message, and he clicked it open out of curiosity, “What is your phone number?” 


The content of the message was baffling, but Tan Polang was shocked when he noticed the name of its sender. 


Fleeting Time is asking for my number? What’s up with that? Tan Polang was curious, but he quickly remembered what he said to Fleeting Time before leaving the Western Continent. 


A smile appeared on his face as he typed in a string of numbers and hit the “reply” button. He proceeded to browse through the forums, but there was nothing much to be seen other than the discussions about the latest patch. 


One post in particular managed to catch Tan Polang attention with its title: <Fleeting Time! Is what they say about you in the official forums true??> 


What is being discussed on the official forums? Tan Polang immediately clicked into the thread, but there were no replies. Even the OP had long abandoned his own post. It seems that the gosippers had swarmed to official forums. Thought Tan Polang as he logged into his forum account. 


Due to the large number of players, the official forums of Fate supported multiple languages. And the game’s high player count meant that it was normal to have tens of thousands of threads posted each day. Tan Polang had already steeled himself mentally to have a long search for the thread that was mentioned from a sea of other posts. 


Translator's note: 

Fleeting Time's name in Chinese is written as 流年( liúnián ). As many Chinese characters share the same pronunciation, Zuo Xiaolan was trying to figure out what the characters were, hence the question. 

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