Jian Yue was silent. He kept pressing the dagger against Li Shaoxi’s chest and stared without blinking.
Behind them was the sound of waves on the beach. In this limited room, the sea was endless while the sky had returned to a sapphire-like clearness and brightness when the level boss fell to the ground.
A ray of morning sun slowly rose and gently shone on the tall but thin teenager. It hit the small dimple next to the corner of his curved mouth.
Smiling could be contagious. It was especially so when it was so clean and penetrating.
Li Shaoxi was a very difficult person to hate. It could be said he was sincere but a person who was selected by the rift couldn’t be so simple. It could be said he was hypocritical but despite knowing he would die, he was willing to sacrifice his life to save Jian Yue.
Jian Yue understood the game Treasure Miner but he didn’t understand the Treasure Miner that had become a field.
Every game transformed into a ‘field’ was distorted. No one knew what type of crisis lurked underneath this familiar facade. From the day the rift appeared, every field was unique and destined to dissipate. Either the field would devour the player or the player would destroy the field.
Therefore, it didn’t matter how many fields were recorded. They couldn’t bring the strategy to the next field. Some were just the personal experiences of the players.
Due to his ability, Jian Yue could no longer swim. Of course, he also couldn’t drown due to his ability.
If Li Shaoxi hadn’t saved him, he would’ve slowly floated to the surface while unconscious. He would spend countless hours drifting to the shore before finally waking up.
He would wake up from a long period of loneliness.
During the time when Jian Yue was unconscious, Jian Yue didn’t lose consciousness. On the contrary, he maintained all five senses. The only thing was that he couldn’t control his body.
He could hear, feel and even see.
The moment he drowned, he knew that Li Shaoxi rescued him and brought him to the shore. He also clearly felt the salty but unexpectedly soft lips as well as the teenager’s persistence to save him regardless of life or death.
Jian Yue couldn’t die.
Li Shaoxi could die.
Wasn’t this person most afraid of death? Why was he… so courageous?
Jian Yue was irritated the moment he woke up. He couldn’t tell what he was angry about so he vented his anger on the boss. However, his anger didn’t diminish at all when the monster collapsed on the ground.
He pressed the dagger against Li Shaoxi’s chest to make this person feel death more clearly.
-This isn’t a game.
-You will really die.
So don’t be a fool and try to save people.
Even so, what Li Shaoxi gave him was a smile and sincere thanks. “Yes, I will really die so… thank you.”
He expressed all his thoughts with one sentence.
At this moment, Li Shaoxi had no doubts. He was certain that Jian Yue, like him, definitely wasn’t in a VR game but a ghostly place where they could actually die.
During the time when he didn’t know, Li Shaoxi could hide like a coward behind Jian Yue and wait for the bigshot to take him through. After all, the bigshot could return to the cabin when he died like Fang Yihuai and the others.
Now he knew that it wasn’t a game for Jian Yue and this person would really die. Then what Jian Yue had done for him before couldn’t be expressed with just a few touched words.
Jian Yue really stood in front of him. He gave asylum. Jian Yue saved him several times. Therefore, It was impossible for Li Shaoxi to run away after seeing Jian Yue drown.
Fear would return fear.
He couldn’t be ungrateful. Old Li’s family didn’t have such irresponsible people.
90% of the anger in Jian Yue’s chest dissipated but he couldn’t help declaring, “Stupid.”
Li Shaoxi didn’t care. He understood what Jian Yue meant but it was nothing more than underestimating his capabilities. He was somewhat afraid but he didn’t regret it.
“Brother Yue, what is this place?” Li Shaoxi gently pushed away Jian Yue’s bloody dagger and asked in a low voice. There was nothing to worry about so he naturally wanted to know more.
Jian Yue’s words were concise. “A field.”
Li Shaoxi looked confused. “Huh?”
Jian Yue didn’t explain it but asked him, “What change happened to you in reality?”
Li Shaoxi didn’t understand why he asked this but still replied honestly, “Change… um, does my family gaining a debt of 80 million yuan count?”
Jian Yue: “………”
He knew this young man had a big heart but he hadn’t expected it to be so big.
Jian Yue told him, “That was why you were chosen.”
Li Shaoxi was even more confused. “Chosen? Will you be chosen if you are in debt? Then…” There were people who had more debt than him. Why only pick him?
Jian Yue frowned. These things were obviously troublesome for him and he wasn’t a person with the patience to explain it. Still, it was for Li Shaoxi so he was more tolerant. “Desperate but not desperate. This is the condition.”
Li Shaoxi blinked and blinked again. His little head was indeed flexible. “Ohh, it is like this…”
He really understood. He realized it from Jian Yue’s concise words. This ghostly place was called the field and he was the one who was chosen. As for why he was chosen, it was because he learned early in the morning that his family was in a desperate situation—80 million in debt.
It obviously wasn’t enough to experience a desperate situation. He also had to not feel desperate.
Was Li Shaoxi desperate? Not really…
His life was turned upside down and his future was bleak… even though this debt wasn’t made by him, Li Shaoxi didn’t complain. His mentality had always been vigorous and positive.
In addition to feeling distressed for his parents, the rest of his thoughts were to find a way to repay the debt. Yes, after encountering such a change, the only thing he wanted to do was face it and solve it rather than escaping from it and feeling despair.
Li Shaoxi understood this but he felt really unwilling. “So… is it wrong to not feel desperate?”
He always faced life positively. Why did this cause him to be thrown to this hellish place where he stood on the line of life or death?
Pearl with the fat head and big ears, the bloody Ruby and Sapphire with the putrid smell…
Any one of them could crush him to death!
His debt of 80 million wasn’t miserable enough and it had to be even worse?
Jian Yue paused and looked at him with surprise. “Didn’t you trigger an ability?”
Li Shaoxi: “???”
Jian Yue had some doubts. “The first time a chosen person enters the field, they will gain an initial ability.”
Li Shaoxi was dazed. “Ability?”
Jian Yue reminded him. “Click on your skills to check.”
“Ohhh!” Li Shaoxi hurriedly clicked on the system panel and looked for the skills button.
It turned out that skills were abilities. He…
Li Shaoxi froze.
Jian Yue wondered, “What is it?”
Li Shaoxi burst into tears. “I… don’t have a skill.”
Not only did he not have a skill but he didn’t even have the skills button! His system panel only had three buttons: Attributes, Friends and Tasks.
It didn’t matter how hard he stared at the damn system panel. He couldn’t make it conjure up the skills button.
He thought about his favorite story, Harry Potter and said sadly, “I’m afraid that I am the legendary… Muggle.”
He was done for. He entered the magical world and became a Muggle. Wasn’t this the life of a real cannon fodder?
Jian Yue was also stunned. “No skill?”
Li Shaoxi was eager to turn the system panel upside down. “…There is none.”
Jian Yue: “……”
Li Shaoxi cautiously asked, “Are all the chosen people capable?”
Jian Yue was certain about this point. “All of them.” Otherwise, it would be a dead end.
However, Jian Yue just thought the latter half of the sentence and didn’t say it out of fear that this person would cry.
Li Shaoxi was full of hope. “Is there a possibility of someone developing a bit late and their ability appearing later?”
Jian Yue paused.
Li Shaoxi watched him eagerly.
“…It is possible,” Jian Yue murmured.
Li Shaoxi sighed with relief and comforted himself. “It is okay if it is late… perhaps I am a late bloomer because my ability is too strong and it needs time to ferment.”
Li Shaoxi himself didn’t believe this nonsense. However, what could he do? There was no skills button on his system panel!
Li Shaoxi had to find a way for himself to live. “That… Brother Yue…”
Jian Yue’s attitude toward him was much better. “Yes?”
This improved attitude didn’t comfort Li Shaoxi but made him even more afraid—Bigshot, your attitude is like you are talking to a terminally ill patient!
Li Shaoxi didn’t give up. “Can I return to a peaceful life after leaving here?”
These f*king gold, silver and gems could go away. He wanted to pay off the debt but he wanted to live more.
What field? He didn’t want to come in again!
Jian Yue: “……”
Li Shaoxi’s heart sank. “Will I be chosen again?”
Jian Yue shook his head. “You can only be chosen once.”
Li Shaoxi’s eyes lit up. “So I just need to go out and later…”
“You will be a resident player and will be pulled into a random field every seven days.”
Li Shaoxi: “………”
The young man who faced a debt of 80 million yuan with no desperation was now on the verge of desperation! What type of ghostly thing was this? Every seven days, he would be randomly pulled into a dangerous place?
The key was that other people had an ability while he didn’t have one? This f*king thing didn’t choose him, it wanted to kill him!
He was fortunate enough to meet Jian Yue by chance in this field. Then what about the next field? Jian Yue saved him because of benevolence, righteousness and kindness. Could Jian Yue protect him again and again? He wasn’t shameless enough to be a giant baby who relied on others every day!
He was just about to lose his mind when the system was heard.
[On the third day, the heroes haven’t returned.]
Li Shaoxi woke up with a jolt.
The first day, the second day, the third day…
Yes, his mission was to survive for three days, not to clear the game. He didn’t need to fight the boss, he just needed to survive.
Three days had passed so he…
Li Shaoxi hurriedly clicked on the task button and saw a new message appear after the task: [The task is completed and the player will exit the game in 10 seconds.]
Li Shaoxi: “!!!”
There was nothing in his luggage! His bag was empty! Previously, in order to save Jian Yue, he had emptied his bag of rubies into the sea and there was no time to fill it up again.
There were only 10 seconds left. Not only did he have no ability but he was going to return empty-handed?
F*k, he couldn’t get rid of this big injustice!
Li Shaoxi couldn’t make small talk and rushed to the treasure box in one second. He used another second to open the box and started to fill his bag. He didn’t care about the ‘cost-performance ratio’ or whether it was suitable or not. Now it was a race against time!
“Brother Yue…” Li Shaoxi kept talking while his hands were busy. “My name is Li Shaoxi and my WeChat is…”
He was able to tell Jian Yue his contact information but he didn’t know if the other person could remember it. Then his vision turned black.
The countdown ended and he returned to reality.
Li Shaoxi’s body was soaked in sweat when he took off the VR device. The morning sun shone into the room. He had spent ‘three days’ in the game but it seemed to be just a moment in reality.
Nothing had changed. The clock moved slowly from 7:08 to 7:09.
Li Shaoxi pressed a hand against his temple to suppress the surging dizziness and turned his head to look around.
There was a Ravenclaw badge hanging on the wall and two rows of bookshelves next to it. The other side of the bookshelf contained a Lego display stand that contained the countless Legos he had built since he was a child. There was also the desk, chair and bunk bed with a four-piece Ravenclaw set.
It was his bedroom. His bedroom that was full of a chuunibyou style.
He was back. He had returned home.
Li Shaoxi took a breath and continued to look around.
What about his gems? There were so many sapphires!
—It is useless.
—Everything here doesn’t exist in the real world.
Jian Yue’s words echoed in his mind and Li Shaoxi was extremely disappointed. So…
It wasn’t true.
Not only did he have no ability but he also didn’t have the gems. Not only did he face an 80 million debt but he also had to experience a life or death game every seven days.
Li Shaoxi… Li Shaoxi was only 18 years old. It was too much burden to carry so early!
Li Shaoxi fell onto the bed and raised his hand weakly, trying to cover his eyes and take deep breaths.
He had just raised his arm when he found that there was a bracelet on his wrist.
The morning light fell on the thin forearm. The slender, dark blue bracelet was tightly attached to his wrist. It was around the width of a finger. The material was soft but the color was as transparent as a sapphire.
Sap, phi, re?
Li Shaoxi tapped on the bracelet. There was a bang and a half a meter, square ‘box’ suddenly unfolded in front of him.
Li Shaoxi sat up in fright. The ‘box’ stood like a projection and the distance was just within Li Shaoxi’s reach. This…
It was like the package interface of the game but it was even more amazing and realistic. Li Shaoxi was very sure that he was in his bedroom at home. So… the thing in front of him was definitely not in the game.
What was it?
This thought had just flashed through his mind when a line of words popped up above the box: [Juduoduo’s card bag, abbreviated as Duobaoge.]
Li Shaoxi: “……” This abbreviation had nothing to do with it except for the ‘Duo’ part!
The Duobaoge erased these words on its own and another line emerged: [Initial card slot: 80 (full).]
Li Shaoxi was stunned. His weight in Treasure Miner was exactly 80. Then these words disappeared and several more sentences emerged one after another.
[Current level: 2.]
[Hatching card slots: 2.]
[Hatching level: 2.]
The rows of 2s made Li Shaoxi’s mouth twitch. 2, 2, 2, who was it scolding?
After these words disappeared, the Duobaoge opened.
Li Shaoxi saw the full 80 cards.
Apart from the different ratings, there were 76 cards that were the same sapphire blue color with different sapphires drawn on them.
The last four weren’t gem cards. They were the equipment that Li Shaoxi didn’t have time to take off.
He took out one of them. It was impressively drawn with the staff he had used in the game.
TL: Duobaoge is also known as Treasure Cabinet. I was unsure which version to use in the title but decided on Treasure Cabinet because most people wouldn’t know what a Duobaoge is and I can’t footnote a title.
Duobaoge is a type of special cabinet consisting of tiered or offset shelving in various sizes and shapes to store antiques/collectibles. Example image below.