IRL C5 A Not-So-Easy Task

In the end, Ao Jing didn’t go into the men’s outfitter. While he did feel like it would be nice to have some new clothes for their first date in real life, it was still some days until then. He had no reason to rush anything. It would be best to take his time to choose an outfit. Before they didn’t even have a date, it wouldn’t make much sense anyway. That way, he could also get a second opinion on things.

With these thoughts, Ao Jing finally went home. He rushed up the stairs, stepping into his apartment with a bright smile. He went into the kitchen, got something to eat, and then carried everything over into the living room, plunging down onto the couch, and immediately picking up his headset. He just couldn’t wait to see Shangguan Yu again.

He stuffed a few bites of food into his mouth, put on the VR glasses and then logged into the game.

Since they hadn’t gone to do anything else after their talk yesterday, he was still sitting at the very same spot atop that cliff, looking out at the valley below and the mountains in the distance.

Right now, he couldn’t care less about the natural beauty of this place though. He checked his friendslist to look where his husband currently was at. As usual, Shangguan Yu was already online. The list showed that he was currently somewhere out in the wilderness close to a small town called Lu Kou town. Ao Jing closed the list and used the transportation skill to get to where Shangguan Yu was.

At that moment, his husband was fighting with some NPCs. He was whirling around, the violet robe flapping around him while his white hair glittered like freshly fallen snow in the sun.

Ao Jing stared for a moment, crossing his arms in front of his chest without moving a single inch. Even though it had been half a year, he just couldn’t get enough of this sight. He could have watched him do this for hours on end.

Shangguan Yu finally kicked away his last opponent and then sheathed his weapon, turning around to his husband. “Have you seen enough yet?”

“Never.” Ao Jing went over, motioning at the man lying on the ground. “Looks like you were busy. A mission?”

Shangguan Yu reached out, putting an arm around his husband’s shoulders as if nothing had happened yesterday. “I was. But luckily enough for you, it’s a quest you can jump in on easily. I was just supposed to kill off those bandits.”

Ao Jing raised his brows at that and glanced at the people on the ground. “Those are bandits?”

“Yeah. Why are you wondering?”

“They … don’t look like it.” Ao Jing furrowed his brows. Save for the man that Shangguan Yu had just kicked away, the others were all wearing the same practical clothes. It felt a bit too uniform for a group of bandits. And this last man was dressed elegantly. Definitely not what he’d imagine a bandit to look like.

Shangguan Yu just shrugged his shoulders. “Well, the designers probably just used some template for them. They can’t make every character individually and I think it fits the spirit. Like, their leader is dressed like he’s rich. That’s probably supposed to show how much he terrorized the poor people. Anyway, do you want to go and see what the reward will be?”

Ao Jing nodded, not thinking about the matter any further. Anyway, he hadn’t been there when Shangguan Yu accepted the task. Most likely, he had had more clues for this task. Thus, he followed him down the road toward the city that could be seen in the distance. Since they were going back to the quest giver, he was curious about the rest of the mission though. “What’s the storyline behind it?”

“A group of bandits has been making life hell for the townspeople, attacking the merchants that are delivering vital goods to them, and endangering lives with their behavior. With no other way out, the townspeople have gathered the little money they had left to employ a mighty warrior to rid them of the problem. They want us to take out the bandits and bring proof back to them to make sure we won’t swindle them.”

“Nothing more than that?” Ao Jing couldn’t help but be a little bummed out. Normally, the background for the tasks was a little more interesting.

Shangguan Yu just laughed though. “What? Not satisfied with just that? Then let me tell you that there are quite a few subtasks for this one. In fact, I’m guessing that we might get a nice surprise when we get back.”

“Do you think they won’t pay up?”

Shangguan Yu shrugged his shoulders. “That would be a possibility. Actually, I think that they might even do more than that. Maybe things aren’t quite like they seem. Maybe there was more to what these bandits were doing. I guess there’s no way to find out without going to the town though.”

The two of them continued on their way, not saying anything for the moment. When they could already make out the people at the gates, Shangguan Yu couldn’t take it any longer though. He turned to his husband, taking back his arm and instead grabbing his hand. “I … I’ll be going home tomorrow. I already purchased the ticket.”

Ao Jing looked over and smiled. “That’s good to hear. Don’t rush anything though. I’ll still be here every evening for you and I guess you will also have some other things to do after returning for the holidays.”

Shangguan Yu gave a hum but he couldn’t help but wonder if Ao Jing was really as relaxed regarding their first meeting as he pretended to be. He kept quiet for a moment longer and then leaned closer when they were almost in front of the gate. “Aren’t you nervous at all?”

Ao Jing gave a wry smile. “Will you start to question my masculinity if I admit that I am?”

Shangguan Yu gave a laugh. “No, I’d actually be quite happy if you are. I thought about going shopping today but I finally didn’t know what to pick out.”

Ao Jing gave him a sideways glance. “You mean to wear for our first date?”

Shangguan Yu didn’t look at him and instead stared straight ahead but still gave an awkward nod. “Is that stupid?”

Ao Jing scratched the back of his head. “Actually … I went to look for something to wear today after work too. That’s why I am slightly late today. I finally didn’t buy anything though. I just felt like I shouldn’t rush and give it some more time to think about.”

Shangguan Yu burst out laughing. “I also didn’t buy anything. I gave my mother a call and asked what she thought would be a good idea to take. But she told me to just come home and that she’d go shopping with me. I do think she might have a better idea of what to take but I can’t help but feel a bit like a child having to rely on her for that. And what do I do if she chooses something really out of date? If she does and I have to wear it, you definitely can’t laugh at me, alright?”

“At the very least, I won’t mistake you then.”

Shangguan Yu once again laughed at that but at that moment, they already arrived in front of the guards. They handed over their identity tokens as if this wasn’t just a game but actual ancient times where it really would matter if they had one or not.

The guard looked it over and then looked up at their faces. “Are you the hero that went to eliminate the bandits outside the city?”

Shangguan Yu raised his brows and looked at his husband before turning back to the guard. “I am indeed.” Surprisingly enough, it seemed that the task would already continue before they could even get back to the quest giver. That certainly was a hint that things really wouldn’t be that easy just as they had thought.

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