“Wang Lu’s starting to take action!”
“Is that true!? Quickly, go call everyone!”
On the day that the pageboy had left with his companions, Wang Lu had finally come out of his seclusion. Walking out of the doors, many people started to crowd around him and observe.
“Oh, so he’s that Wang Lu. He doesn’t seem all that amazing. Hearing all about him, I thought he would look like some sort of evil demon.”
“Tch, don’t judge a book by its cover- this guy was the first person to walk out of the Cloud Wave Map.”
“Maybe he was just really lucky; he hasn’t even done anything in the Garden of Peaches yet.”
“Hasn’t done anything yet? The first person to walk out, Hai Yun Fan, was only able to do so because of his instructions.”
“Cheh, just because he got out of here quickly, that says nothing about his overall completion status. He pretty much wasted the Village Chief’s A Rank Quest. Now, almost all of the quests in the village have been taken. So what if he’s been planning all this time?”
“Who knows… everyone’s here to see what he’s going to do now.”
Wang Lu’s actions did not disappoint everyone.
He first went to help Auntie Huang, who lived on the east side of the village, carry the water from the well to her house.
“Ehhhh, the hell’s he doing!? Auntie Huang’s quest has already been completed; she can’t possibly take another adoptive son. What’s he carrying water for!?”
The person who had completed Auntie Huang’s quest was also feeling confused. This quest was only a D Rank Quest, and was one of the most worthless ones in the village. Who would have thought that this was where Wang Lu started.
Wang Lu ignored everyone around him, and continued to carry water. Because he had a fairly good body, it didn’t take long for him to fill up Auntie Huang’s water tank.
“Ah, young man, thank-”
Before Auntie Huang could even finish her sentence, Wang Lu cut her off, “I want to go to your son’s school.”
Auntie Huang was shocked for a moment, then nodded her head.
Afterwards, Wang Lu immediately headed next door.
Next door lived Auntie Huang’s son, Scholar Huang [TLN: ‘Scholar’ was his title]. His quest was worth much more than Auntie Huang’s. At the beginning, it was only a D Rank Quest, but after progressing, one would be able to meet an Old Sage in the village, beginning an A Rank Quest. This was the quest that the little pageboy, Wang Zhong, had completed.
After the little pageboy had completed his quest and left, he had never shown interest in anyone else. None of the other challengers even bothered talking to this Scholar anymore. Upon seeing Wang Lu stride into the school, all of the challengers were all wondering what he was going to do.
“Could it be that this Scholar has a hidden quest?”
“Probably not, otherwise it would mean that every villager has a hidden quest. I doubt Wang Lu stayed in seclusion all that time just to complete hidden quests.”
They saw Wang Lu walk in, and before Scholar Huang even had the chance to say something, he shoved a piece of paper into his hands. “Teacher, this is today’s homework.”
Everyone outside was thoroughly confused. Wang Lu had not been accepted as a pupil, nor had he paid his study fees. According to principle, he should be chased out! And yet, he had swaggered in, claiming to have finished his homework?! What homework? However, Scholar Huang was teaching poems today, so it must have been a poem on the piece of paper.
Scholar Huang began to read through the poem, then gasped. “This poem was written by you?!”
“Who else?” Wang Lu smiled, “The waters from the Yellow River descend from the sky, yet who has ever seen it return from the sea… haven’t you heard anything like this before?” [TLN: The meaning in the two verses is meant to show the brevity of life; the water flowing from the Yellow River to the sea (and supposedly never coming back) is a metaphor for how fast time flows, as well as how you can never ‘regain’ time. The joke here is that Wang Lu actually plagiarised this poem from the great Chinese poet Li Bai (李白), and passed it off as his own].
“There are deeply sincere emotions imbued in this poem, and is deeply moving. You, an eleven or twelve-year-old child, how can you experience such feelings?”
“I suppose I’m just gifted, or I’m some sort of God of Literature that descended here or something.”
Wang Lu chuckled. He looked at Scholar Huang as if he was a dog from the village. Scholar Huang gave a sigh of appreciation.
“It’s a pity that I’ve already taken a Closing Disciple, otherwise I would definitely want you as a disciple.” [TLN: Closing Disciple= final disciple that a master accepts].
Wang Lu continued to chuckle, completely oblivious to Scholar Huang’s disappointment, asked, “Can I ask a favour of you?”
Scholar Huang looked at him seriously. “Anything.”
“I want your sweat towel,” Wang Lu pointed at the towel on the table that Scholar Wang used to wipe his sweat.
Scholar Huang looked extremely shocked. “You want that??”
“Mhmm,” Wang Lu took the towel, and simply left. Scholar Huang was evidently no ordinary person either – a short moment after their exchange, he began to start teaching again, as if nothing had just happened.
However, the crowd outside didn’t find this exchange too strange. After all, this is how all the villagers of the Garden of Peaches were like. Apart from when a quest was actually in progression and in direct relation to them, they made decisions that seemed incredibly stupid to the outsiders.
The strange one was Wang Lu. He strode out with the towel, and started heading towards somewhere else. What was he thinking? Scholar Huang wasn’t some sort of beautiful maiden – his towel was both sweaty and stinky. What was he going to use it for?
The crowd continued to follow Wang Lu. Upon reaching a house, a few of them began to exclaim, “Little Fong! It’s Little Fong’s house!”
The village girl Little Fong was somewhat of a legendary being. She was like a small mountain, and could eat twenty steamed buns and ten plates of beef in one sitting. Outside her house were gigantic rocks that she would flip and throw around for fun.
Anywhere else, she could have become some sort of valiant hero. However, in the Garden of Peaches she was the ‘village girl Little Fong’, whose one desire was true love. Everything related to her quest was about love, and the only way to finish the quest was to be completely devoted and faithful to her. Many of the challengers had described this quest as a legendary A Rank Quest. One princeling had tried his hand at this quest, but had lost everything when he had failed it. Who would have thought that Wang Lu would have come here…
It was a pity- if that princeling hadn’t messed up this quest so badly, perhaps Wang Lu really might have been able to complete it… although just thinking about it made people want to vomit. Nevertheless, Wang Lu had no chance in completing this quest.
Wang Lu knocked on the door and said, “Little Fong, I’ve got Scholar Huang’s sweat towel.”
Just as he finished speaking, the door opened. Little Fong, holding a greasy leg of ham, quickly replied, “What did you just say?”
Wang Lu smiled. “I’ve got Scholar Huang’s sweat towel that hasn’t been washed yet. I’ll trade it for your special recipe’s Steamed Pork with Rice.”
“You want my special Steamed Pork with Rice? … Fine, give me the towel.”
As she grabbed the towel, one could see the ripples forming across her fat arm. Who knew if it was because of how excited she was, or just how much fat there was on her arm.
Wang Lu did not resist, and let her take the towel. Then, Little Fong, under the gaze of the crowd, raised the towel to her nose and took in a deep breath, as if it were some sort of aromatic scent.
At this moment, one of the challengers, who almost looked like a beggar, emanating an aura of defeat suddenly exclaimed, “That’s right, Little Fong has a crush on Scholar Huang!”
Everyone looked over, and saw the princeling that had been beaten half to death for being unfaithful to Little Fong.
Little Fong seemed to be in a rush to do something to this towel, her two eyes shone with a strange glow, and charged indoors. In her haste, she even threw the leg of ham onto the ground.
In the end, this village girl was still a person of her word. After a few minutes, with a cheerful smile, she carried a large jar out and handed it to Wang Lu. “The goods were authentic, thanks!”
Wang Lu received the jar gratefully. Although it was sealed, the aroma still wafted out from jar, causing everyone’s stomachs to rumble.
If there was anything about Little Fong, it would be her legendary skill in cooking.
Little Fong patted her chest, “No need to thank me. Next time you have something like this, you must bring it to me. I’ve also got my special recipe ham – it’s yours once you bring something good again!”
Wang Lu smiled. “Sure, in that case, I’ll even get Scholar Huang’s underwear for you.”
Little Fong’s nostrils flared. “Ah, ah! If you can really give me his underwear, I’ll even give you my body!”
“No thanks.” Wang Lu declined, and walked off, struggling to carry the large jar.
After walking for a short while, Wang Lu reached yet another person’s house.
It was the same thing again and again. Wang Lu traded some of the Steamed Pork with Rice for some fine silk, then used the fine silk to trade for some cosmetics. He then traded the cosmetics for desserts… in some of the transactions he made a profit; in others he made a loss. However, Wang Lu did not care at all. Like a puppet, he repeated the same action over and over again: knocking on the door, handing over what he had in his hands, receiving something else in his hands. However, what he gained from each transaction was not simply the physical goods in his hands, but also the gratitude of each person.
In just one day Wang Lu had continuously walked throughout the entire village, knocking on around one hundred and twenty doors, and receiving the gratitude of around one hundred and twenty people. In the end, he took a box of food from the Garden of Peaches Inn back to where he was staying.
During the entire day, ten or so people had stopped progressing in their own quests just to follow Wang Lu around to see what he would do. In the morning, there were still many people who were confused about what Wang Lu was doing. However, by noon, even the least intelligent of them had worked out what was happening.
After living in the Garden of Peaches for a month, everyone knew that this discovery of ‘favourability’ was made by Wang Lu, and made known to everyone by Hai Yun Fan. Every villager had levels of favourability, and this favourability was also the challenger’s completion status of the quest! Wang Lu’s actions would be seen as ridiculous by a businessman, but it could only be described as one word by the challengers.
The only goal for the challengers in the Garden of Peaches was to increase the villagers’ favourability towards them. Wang Lu had gathered an incredible amount of favourability in just one day. Apart from the words that he absolutely had to say, he had not said much, and some conversations he had with villagers even defied logic, and yet everything had progressed smoothly and successfully.
There was only one explanation. Wang Lu had grasped the essence behind this trial, and had used the simplest and most efficient method to gain the most amount of favourability. What was even more impressive was that he had completed a one hundred and twenty chain of tasks in a single go.
One day, one hundred and twenty people. Every single person was incredibly grateful towards Wang Lu. If their quests had not been started or completed yet, there was not a single person who did not believe that Wang Lu would have been able to trigger all one hundred and twenty of them. Although he did not receive much favourability from each individual, but altogether, it was a monstrous amount.
At the moment, the most quests that had been undertaken by a single person was ten, and that challenger had been busy to death.
However, what about Wang Lu? In just one go, he had gone through all one hundred and twenty people. The spectating crowd found that in the route he had taken, he had not walked even a single unnecessary step! What was even more monstrous was that he could repeat this method of gaining favourability unlimited times.
For most people, just washing their hands one hundred and twenty times in a single day would drive them crazy… so what about completing one hundred and twenty tasks? Only Wang Lu would be able to accomplish such a feat.
“…However, what’s the point?”
A challenger used a mocking tone to cover the jealousy in his heart.
“If he started doing this one month ago, then he would have a massive advantage over everyone else, and no one would even be able to get a quest, and would be forever stuck here. However, he’s the one stuck here now! So what if he can get a bit of favourability from one hundred and twenty people? There’s no one else to give him quests now!”
Although the statement was quite harsh, it reflected what many people were thinking.
Wang Lu, this is pretty brilliant and all, but don’t you think this is a bit stupid?
Of course, Wang Lu didn’t think so at all.
The morning after, when Wang Lu left his residence, there were many youths who came to taunt him.
“Ah, Wang Lu, you’ve gained so much favourability, it’s just a pity…”
Before he could even finish his sentence, Wang Lu cut him off.
“I know what you want to say… but to be honest, I didn’t think you would all be this stupid. Did you think those one hundred and twenty people were all the people in the village?”
This caused the youths to become shocked, and they started to count.
“I… I don’t think we missed anyone.”
One youth hesitantly said, “Unless you count the baby in Auntie Zhang’s belly, there should only be one hundred and twenty people in total.”
Another person wondered out loud, “What if the village’s dogs and pigs all had quests too?”
Wang Lu once again cut them off. “Are you retards all inbreeds with genetic problems?”
Although they couldn’t quite understand some of the words Wang Lu was saying, they could still tell that he was badmouthing them. A few of them turned red with anger. “What did you say?”
While shouting, a few of them charged towards him.
Wang Lu lifted his face up, looking down on them as if they were wild dogs.
However, just before the fists of the Young Masters reached him, a black shadow descended from the sky.