Edited by Tropes
After Shen Kanyu recovered, he took the internal user ID of《Laughter in the Vast Seas》 given to him by Gu Yansheng and arranged a meeting with a group of his closest friends from that group of delinquents—Guo Teng, Xu Jun, Lu Zhihang, and Jiang Mo. The five of them made a group video chat and started gaming.
It was the first time Shen Kanyu had access to this game; Gu Yansheng had never divulged anything about it to him before. Now he was playing it, Shen Kanyu finally understood why he couldn’t make up for the shortfall in funds for《Laughter in the Vast Seas》despite the amount of money he earned.
This game was way too awesome.
《Laughter in the Vast Seas》was classified as an interactive, online RPG game based in Ancient China. Like many of its competitors on the market its character customization offers a lot of freedom. After players select their profession they can happily immerse themselves into the story or set off on side quests. Apart from fighting, cutting people down, and topping the martial arts circle, this kind of violent playing style, of course there were the many more domestic and lifestyle quests of growing vegetables, mining, marrying, having children and so on.
What made it stand out from the crowd was being able to give the player the most genuine and complete experience of navigating the complex world that is the Jianghu1. Every choice you make affects your character’s personality, marriage prospects, reputation, as well as plot direction and ability to trigger subplots.
[T/N: 1Community of martial artists in wuxia stories]
To give an example, you meet a beautiful NPC on the street and really want to have a little story with her, but you realize that she’s unwilling to acknowledge you no matter how you tease her. Meanwhile, someone else can start a romantic subplot with her with ease. That was because some of the choices you made on missions before have established your personality and charm, meaning that you won’t be able to appeal to her.
As everyone chattered and played, Guo Teng suddenly cheered, “Hahahaha! I’ve started a subplot with little fairy Ruiyun! I told you girls find my boundless charms irresistible! You steel straight men can’t pick up little fairies!”
Xu Jun shouted out a “holy shit”. “You’re that amazing? Is Kan-ge also unable to start a subplot with Ruiyun?”
Lu Zhihang’s face was filled with envy. “I also want to have a story with Ruiyun, Ruiyun is too damn cute.”
Shen Kanyu, who was currently trying the mining function, honestly replied, “I can’t, she keeps on hitting me.”
Guo Teng, Xu Jun, and Lu Zhihang burst into barbell-sounding laughter.
Jiang Mo’s personality was like his name2. He was a man of few words. Simply pursing his lips into a smile, he said, “Kanyu what are you playing?”
[T/N: 2默 (mò) = silence]
“I’m mining,” Shen Kanyu answered, “Mining is also very fun ah. It doesn’t let you mine much, because once you mine too many ores your body weighs down and restricts your movement, then bandits will come rob you.”
Guo Teng sneered, “Kan-ge, you’ve just looked into fishing and now you’re mining. Don’t you like to fight best?”
“What does an uncouth fellow like you know?” Xu Jun spoke with contempt, “This is the game developed by our sister-in-law, Kan-ge must study it thoroughly from all possible angles, eh? Will he just do whatever he wants like you?”
“Oh!” Guo Teng thought it was reasonable. Then he moved onto small talk. “Hey tell us Kan-ge, does sister-in-law still give you the cold shoulder as he did in the past? It’s been so many years since you’ve married, have you guys clicked yet?”
His face didn’t flush, his heart didn’t quicken, Shen Kanyu smiled and lied, “Nonsense, don’t you believe in my charms? My little darling loves me to death now.”
Xu Jun was stunned for a moment. Then he said, “That’s really great.”
“Really great!” Lu Zhihang excitedly said, “Sister-in-law’s really too cold and aloof. We’re really scared you’d be wronged ah!”
Shen Kanyu rolled his eyes. “Be wronged? Me? Don’t you think these words are funny?”
“Hahaha I was wrong I was wrong!”
The five of them played a little longer. When it was time for dinner, a few of them brought up some bugs they encountered and gave Shen Kanyu suggestions on optimization, then they ended the meeting.
Shen Kanyu picked up the instant noodles on the shelf leftover from lunch, and poured hot water in. After taking a couple of bites, he kind of felt like throwing up so he put it to a side and continued researching the game.
The phone alert tone told him it was an incoming message. Shen Kanyu picked it up to have a look; it was from Jiang Mo.
[Your complexion’s really bad.]
Shen Kanyu rubbed his neck before slowly typing his reply: [Is it that bad?]
Jiang Mo replied very quickly: [Yeah, your entire face is as white as the walls.]
Shen Kanyu was blank. He raised his head to glance at the wall before entering the bathroom and looking at his reflection in the mirror.
Seems like it really does look kinda horrible. Also, his lips were gray.
Shen Kanyu bit his lips and rubbed his face, but he couldn’t bring color back to them.
This half-dead3 appearance of his would scare his daughter, right? Even though that girl had always been bold.
[T/N: 3Between human and ghost; ugly]
That said, no wonder A-Sheng wouldn’t look at him no matter what. This face of a dead man, who would like it?
Let’s buy some poor quality makeup to cover it up sometime.
Shen Kanyu played《Laughter in the Vast Seas》until the skies turned dark. He cheerfully held onto the few large sheets of paper he had written for Gu Yansheng with improvement and refinement measures, intending to find Gu Yansheng and discuss it with him.
As a result, once he pushed open the door, he found Mother Gu, Song Li, playing with Gu Yutian while seated on the ground.
As if he was struck by lightning, his legs became slightly weak. He even wanted to close the door and slip back into his room, but that’d be way too rude.
He blinked his eyes as he looked at Gu Yutian who was on the sofa. Then with a forehead covered in cold sweat, he mouthed in prayer “mother-in-law can’t see me, she can’t see me” while holding his breath and tiptoeing toward the direction of Gu Yansheng.
Yet Song Li didn’t let him off. Although she didn’t look him in the eyes, her tongue was just as sharp as she said, “You’re a grown man and you still play games like this. You didn’t even make dinner. Do you know your position? No wonder your husband scorns you, and your daughter dislikes you.”
Shen Kanyu felt like a steel needle had pricked inside his heart and nailed him in place so he couldn’t move a single step.
Song Li continued, “Quickly go and find a proper job. Doing those shady live broadcasts all day, those who don’t know would think you’re living off selling yourself.”
Shen Kanyu licked his dry lips, then wiped the sweat on his eyes. Smiling and slightly bowing at Song Li, he obediently said in a hoarse voice, “I know, Auntie. I will change.”
“Change my foot. You’re so stubborn in your ways.” Song Li glared at him.
Shen Kanyu thought that his mother-in-law was a little cute like this. He really wanted to laugh, but his face didn’t dare to reveal his thoughts.
He sat beside Gu Yansheng and handed him those few pages. “This is today’s harvest~ Then again, it’s fair to say you’ve put your blood, sweat and tears into making this game, right? I feel like I’ve only touched the surface after playing it for an entire afternoon.”
Gu Yansheng accepted the pages and glanced over it. He lightly glimpsed at him, saying, “Did you think up all of this by yourself?”
With his mother-in-law still behind him, Shen Kanyu was sitting on pins and needles. He could dimly sense the frown in Gu Yansheng’s tone and eyes, so he rushed to shake his head in denial, afraid that Gu Yansheng wouldn’t listen to his suggestions. “How could I ah, the others came up with most of it. I just played, it was too much fun. It’s my first time playing such a fun game!”
Gu Yansheng let out an “en” before bowing his head to earnestly look at the contents.
Shen Kanyu breathed a sigh of relief. He wiped the sweat off his forehead while saying sincerely, “A-Sheng. Those friends of mine are actually very good people. You can see their ideas are quite reliable, right? Also, they basically all work in the gaming industry now. If you need any help in the future, you can look for them. At the time, I’ll give you their numbers.”
Gu Yansheng felt that these words were strange. Unable to resist himself from lifting his gaze to look at him, he saw how sweaty his face was, and no matter how much he tried, he couldn’t wipe it off. Frowning, he said, “Why are you sweating so much?”
“Ah…it-it’s too hot,” Shen Kanyu pushed himself off the sofa and stood up. “I’m going out for some air, and I’ll buy some groceries back on the way. What would you like to eat?”
Gu Yansheng: “My mom already bought groceries to cook here.”
Song Li scoffed. “Wait for you? The entire family will starve to death!”
“Sorry, Auntie. I’m sorry, I’ll do better next time,” Shen Kanyu mumbled an apology and used his sleeve to wipe the sweat on his chin. His voice grew more and more hoarse as he spoke, “Then I’m going now. A-Sheng, remember to give Tiantian some rice paste before letting her eat anything else.”
“Shen Kanyu!” Gu Yansheng watched as he walked toward the door with lightning speed. He wanted to stop him, but Shen Kanyu was swift as he opened the door and left.
After a moment of shock, Gu Yansheng immediately got up and left to go after him.
Hiding in a dark corner of the hallway, Shen Kanyu hugged an abandoned cardboard box and firmly pressed a corner into his heart that was struck with chest pain.
He was in so much pain his whole back was drenched in cold sweat, his damp shirt clung to his body, and his hair was wet. He hugged the box with so much strength he was like a drowning man tightly holding onto a rock on the shores.
He freed a hand with difficulty to rummage through his pockets for medicine. Since his eyes grew dim and he kept seeing overlapping images, he couldn’t clearly see whether it was Danshen pills or aspirin he had carelessly stuffed into his mouth. After stuffing down the pills, he bit onto his own hand.
It hurts so much. He was afraid that he wouldn’t be able to stop himself from shouting, or even calling out Gu Yansheng’s name.
Actually, he had called out for him many times in his heart. He wasn’t hoping for him to be called over; he was really scared of disturbing him. He only wanted a solace so it wouldn’t hurt that much.
He recalled how when gege had a heart attack, it was also this agonizing. Their parents were so worried their eyes reddened, and they looked like they couldn’t even stand steadily. Yet he couldn’t help out at all; his heart hurt a lot as he watched.
Fortunately…fortunately his husband scorned him, his daughter disliked him, and he wasn’t an important existence to his parents and older brother. No one would be worried about him the way his parents worry about gege.
That way his heart won’t have to hurt anymore, it already hurt enough.
Shen Kanyu closed his eyes as he endured the pain, then he lightly chuckled.
By the time the medicine took effect and the pain eased, he became aware of the phone that had been buzzing in his pocket. Very slowly, he fumbled for his phone but the incoming call ended by the time he took it out.
It was unexpectedly Gu Yansheng, and he’d made many calls.
Frightened, he promptly dialed back.
Gu Yansheng picked up very quickly. “Where are you? Why didn’t you pick up?”
“I…” Shen Kanyu found that his voice was so hoarse he couldn’t even speak. He could only move the phone slightly away from him and cough hard a couple of times. Once he made sure he could make a sound, he answered the phone again, “Am I not…calling you now? What’s the matter?”
Gu Yansheng was silent.
“A-Sheng? What’s wrong?” Shen Kanyu was a little nervous, “Did something happen?”
“…No,” Like he had breathed out a light sigh, Gu Yansheng sounded rather helpless as he said, “My mom made a meal for four. She wants you to eat with us.”
“…” Shen Kanyu didn’t know what to say for a moment, only to feel the rim of his eyes suddenly turn sour.
“Shen Kanyu? Can you hear me?”
Shen Kanyu promptly nodded. “Can hear, I can hear you.”
He lightly sniffled. A smile of satisfaction, or even one of happiness was shown on his pale face. His eyes were gleaming. “I thought Auntie really did hate me that much… Turns out her mouth is firm but her heart is soft, just like you. People like you two ah, are the kindest and easiest to bully.”
Gu Yansheng dry coughed twice. In a somewhat brusque manner, he said, “Then, are you coming back to eat?”
“No…I’ve still got something else to do. Since the three of you are eating a meal for four, then eat a little more and be a little fuller.” It would probably spoil their appetite to see him like this.
Shen Kanyu looked in the direction of home. Holding onto the phone, his eyes and voice became extremely gentle. “A-Sheng, thank you. Thank Auntie for me as well.”
Translations belong to grimtranslations(.)home(.)blog
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