Chapter 3 - Becoming A Cultivator
"What's wrong, Brother Yuan?" Xiao Hua asked him, who looked dazed while staring at the sky.
"Oh, the announcement…" He pointed to the words in the sky.
"I don't see anything, though?" She said.
"Hm? You cannot see the words in the sky?"
She shook her head, prompting Yuan to ponder. 'Perhaps NPCs cannot see the game's notifications?'
«Heaven's Secret Art»
«Mastery Level: 1»
«Description: There are nine heavenly stages for Heaven's Secret Art. Each new stage will unlock a new ability.»
«Heaven's First Secret Art — Consuming Heaven Technique»
«Mastery Level: 1»
«Description: Absorbs 5 Qi per second. Can only be activated when sitting in the lotus position.»
"Xiao Hua, what is Qi?" Yuan decided to ask her, who he believes to have more knowledge than him regarding this world.
"Qi is the essence of this world; it is what people use to cultivate."
"Cultivate, huh. That old man had said the same… Let me try this…" he closed his eyes and positioned himself to sit in the lotus position before activating the skill.
«You have cultivated for the first time, unlocking Qi Experience»
His Qi Experience increased by 5 for every second he cultivated. Additionally, when he activated the Consuming Heaven Technique, his breathing naturally became calm and rhythmic, and his entire body felt refreshed, almost as though it was breathing through every existing pore.
Within just a few minutes, Yuan suddenly felt his entire body explode with a cool feeling, almost like he had been thrown into a pool of cool water on a hot day.
«You have succeeded in breaking through your mortal shackles, becoming a Spirit Apprentice!»
«All stats +100»
'All I have to do is sit here and cultivate to grow stronger in this game? How boring!' Yuan ignorantly thought to himself. 'But it does feel pleasant, almost like I am relaxing in a warm bath or something of sorts.'
Cultivation: First Level Spirit Apprentice
Physique: Heaven Refining Physique
Physical Strength: 134
Mental Strength: 375
Soul Strength: 1,310
Physical Defense: 110
Mental Defense: 1,221
"Congratulations on becoming a Cultivator, Brother Yuan." Xiao Hua said to him with a smile.
"It is all because of you, Xiao Hua. You have my gratitude."
"Then let's continue to play!" She stood up with the ball already in her hands, ready to be thrown.
Yuan smiled bitterly, but he didn't refuse and continued to play with her.
Surprisingly, when he stood up, all the fatigue he had just moments ago was gone; he had fully recovered all of his exhausted energy the moment he became a Cultivator.
The two began playing again, but the speed the ball was being thrown seemed to be at a much faster pace than previously.
Meanwhile, the world was in turmoil from the game's first world announcement.
Rich and powerful companies in the real world began looking into this player named Yuan with hopes to find his real identity. However, it was a near-impossible task due to the way the game handled the players' privacy.
Unlike other games where one can see the players' names at glance, Cultivation Online did not have that feature. Unless the individual allows it, nobody would be able to see their name, not even their friends.
After spending many resources and time looking for Yuan, people quickly came to a realization that unless Yuan willingly revealed himself, his identity would remain unknown forever. But that alone was not enough to force these people into giving up on trying to find him.
The internet, game forums, even newspapers, people began offering real money for information on Yuan, even outright paying thousands for the person himself to reveal himself.
Virtual reality has become so deeply involved in the real world that it would not be an exaggeration to say that professional gamers and top rankers have more fame and respect than even the top celebrities in the world.
Some professional gamers, in fact, earn seven digits every month just from s alone!
In fact, even casual gamers can earn more money than people with normal jobs just by selling in-game items for real money!
With so much and appeal, it would only be obvious for people to want to become a gamer where they can have fun and earn money instead of choosing work that involves labor.
Furthermore, according to last year's gaming report, at least half of the world's population is a virtual gamer!
After throwing the ball for a few hours without breaking a sweat, Yuan suddenly stops.
"What's wrong? Are you feeling tired again?" Xiao Hua asked him.
"My sister is calling for me; it is time for dinner," he said.
"You are going to leave?" Her expression instantly turned gloomy upon hearing his words, feeling reluctant to let him leave. She was afraid that he wouldn't come back once he had left.
"Don't leave Xiao Hua alone!" She hurriedly said, almost breaking into tears.
Yuan patted her head with a smile. "I will be back to play with you later, I promise."
"If I break my promise, then I shall swallow ten thousand needles!" He swore clearly in a loud voice.
"Okay… then Xiao Hua will wait for Brother Yuan here." She took a seat by the same tree and closed her eyes to rest.
Yuan's vision blurred, and the warmth in his limbs gradually disappeared. Darkness surrounded his view, and he could no longer see nor feel anything.
"Brother, how was the game?" His sister's voice resounded beside him.
"It was… fun." He showed a gentle smile, but deep inside, he was reluctant to leave that bright and colorful world where his body was not useless.
"What's for dinner today?" He asked her despite already knowing the answer.
Yuan smiled bitterly. He has been eating nothing but soup for the last few years, after all.
"Here, let me help you up." She took off the helmet on his head before lifting his head and adjusting his body to a sitting position.
She began feeding him warm soup with a spoon soon later. "How is the temperature?"
The room became quiet with Yuan drinking soup being the only sound that could be heard.
After Yuan finished dinner that was only one large bowl of soup, she laid him back down on the bed. "I will be right back for your cleaning," she said.
Moments later, she returns to the room with a towel, a bucket of warm water, and new clothes.
"Excuse me, brother." She said before stripping him completely naked.
"What is it?"
The room instantly turned silent.
"What are you saying now? You are being weird, brother," she chuckled, breaking the silence.
"I know, but I am — Mmm?!" His words were interrupted by a warm towel pressing down on his face.
"You don't have to worry about me, brother. When you cure your illness one day, then you can pay me back."
"...Un…" An indescribable feeling welled up in Yuan's heart.
'Will such a day ever come?' he wondered inwardly.
"Okay! You are all clean now, brother! Even your precious little thing! Hehe..." Teased Yu Rou with a sheepish laugh.
"Ah! You little! Don't play around with my body because I can't feel anything!"
"Eh? What are you talking about? I definitely did not touch anything!"
"You definitely did!"
Laughter filled the room.
"Yu Rou, thank you." Yuan suddenly said, "I will repay you one day, this I promise…"
Putting his clothes on for him, Yu Rou smiled, "I won't be humble when that time comes."
"Alright brother, we are done for tonight. I will be back in the morning."
"Ah, can you put the helmet back on before you leave?"
"You want to continue playing? What about sleep?"
"I don't think I can sleep tonight, and playing the game is already considered sleeping, you know?"
"What am I going to do with you if you get addicted? Only tonight, okay?"
"Brother Yuan, you're really back!" Xiao Hua instantly stood up with a happy expression upon seeing him appear out of nowhere like a ghost.
"I did make a promise to you," he patted her, who was poking her head at him with clear indications.
"What do you want to do now that the stars are already out?" he then asked.
"Play games!" She answered without hesitation.
"I figured." He nodded with a smile.