Chapter 29 - Leaving Spirit City
"Xiao Hua, it's about time for me to log off for dinner. I will be back later." Yuan said to her sometime after leaving the Cultivator shop.
"Where will you go during my absence?" he then asked her.
Xiao Hua pointed to the necklace around his neck, and she said, "You can call Xiao Hua using the necklace whenever you are back."
After saying those words, Xiao Hua's body began glowing, before being absorbed into the necklace.
"What a profound necklace…" Yuan mumbled to himself before logging off.
After logging off the game, Yuan patiently waited for Yu Rou to bring him dinner, and he felt as though time had stopped.
Unlike the colorful world in the game, the real world was pitch black, almost like he was living in the void, and his body felt nonexistent.
'Haaa… If only I could live inside Cultivation Online forever…' Yuan sighed inwardly.
After familiarizing himself with the world inside the game, his perception of the real world became even worse, and it felt even more lonely than usual.
Inside the game, whether it be the pedestrians or just the noises nature made, it was always lively. However, whenever he returned to his own room, the only thing he could hear was the sound of his own heart beating and very rarely subtle noises from outside his room, a world he hasn't stepped foot in for many years.
After waiting around for a few minutes that felt like hours, he could finally hear footsteps approaching his bed.
However, he could immediately tell that it was not Yu Rou, as these footsteps were too heavy to be Yu Rou's, so it was someone else in his room.
"Who's there...?" Yuan asked in a hoarse voice.
"Young Master, the Young Lady is currently busy with the Masters, so I will be taking care of you for today." A voice belonging to a middle-aged woman responded.
"For today's dinner, we have beef soup with—"
"It's fine…" Yuan suddenly interrupted.
"I am not hungry today…"
"Even if you say that… I have a job to do..." The person sighed in a troubled tone.
"I won't… repeat myself…"
Silence filled the room, and a moment later, the middle-aged woman spoke, "I understand. Please rest well, Young Master."
The door closed a few seconds later, and Yuan could barely hear the person who just left coldly snorting in disdain.
"With that useless body, it's a miracle that he hasn't been tossed out of this house already..."
'I can still hear you, you know?' Yuan smiled bitterly.
Since the only functioning part of his body were his mouth and ears, he has to rely on his hearing more than normal people, allowing him to hear things people normally wouldn't be able to.
'Perhaps my voice, even my ability to hear might abandon me in the future, just like the rest of my body had…'
Sometime later, Yuan returned to Cultivation Online.
However, he did not immediately call for Xiao Hua, as he had spent a few minutes silently staring at this colorful world.
'What am I doing? I don't have the time to be depressed! Every second I spend idling around is a second lost in this beautiful world! I may be useless and crippled in the real world, but I am not like that in this world!'
After calming down, Yuan summoned Xiao Hua using the necklace.
"You're back already, Brother Yuan?" she looked at him with a pondering gaze.
Despite Yuan's efforts to hide his emotions, Xiao Hua was able to notice the sadness within his eyes at a single glance.
"Are you okay, Brother Yuan? You seem a bit sad." She asked him.
"Don't worry about it. It's nothing I can't handle, and it'll quickly go away after I slay a few monsters!" He said.
Although she was worried, Xiao Hua did not want to force him.
"If Brother Yuan needs somebody to talk to, Xiao Hua will always be by your side."
"Thank you, Xiao Hua. I will keep that in mind." Yuan smiled.
Xiao Hua nodded, and she said, "Then let's continue Brother Yuan's training. Although you won't gain much from Monsters Cores at the Spirit Apprentice levels, you can still improve your sword techniques. And once you are more experienced in combat, we can start looking for monsters at the Spirit Warrior realm."
"Then what are we waiting for? Let's start training!"
Yuan and Xiao Hua began making their way out of the city.
Sometime later, once they were a few miles away from the city, Xiao Hua spoke in a low voice, "Brother Yuan, we are being followed."
"Could it be the Du Brothers from the Auction House? Xuan Wuhan did warn me that those two might be up to something before we separated."
Xiao Hua nodded and said, "Yes, but I can sense another person with them. He's a Cultivator at the peak of the Spirit Master realm."
"Spirit Master? That's one realm above me…" Yuan showed a worried expression, completely forgetting about the Spirit King walking beside him.
"Don't worry, Brother Yuan. If they try to do anything funny, Xiao Hua will take care of them. Let's just continue acting like we are unaware of their presence."
Yuan nodded, and the two of them delved deeper into the wilderness.
After walking for a few more miles, a familiar-sounding voice resounded.
"Stop right there, you little bastard!"
Yuan and Xiao Hua stopped walking and turned around, and standing a few meters behind them were the Du Brothers and a tall middle-aged man with a bulky frame.
"Following me all the way out here, what do you want from me? I doubt it's anything good, though." Yuan asked them with a frown on his face.
"Since you dared to ruin my face in the Auction House before so many people and even directly in front of Lady Xuan's presence, I will have you pay for it with your life!" Du Hai spoke loudly, his face filled with anger.