'The System had taken two months just to get to level 10, so who knows how long getting to level 100 would take? Unless a unique situation crops up that allows the Marriage Mode to be activated earlier.. It would also depend on other circumstances of activation that even the System itself has no idea about. If it knew, it wouldn't have been surprised when the "Repaying tenfold a gratitude once owed" achievement was unlocked …' With that thought in his head, Fang Ning dropped the thought of marriage for the time being, and turned to look at the guy that had spoken so carelessly.
It was a young man that had spoken to him. He seemed to be in his early 20s, which would make him younger than Fang Ning. Although he was quite tall, his limbs were quite proportionate to his body, adorned with quite a handsome face. However, the arrogant glint in the man's eyes was hard to miss.
Fang Ning looked down towards his slightly-protruding belly and suddenly felt a blow to his confidence. He regained himself quickly though, why should he be insecure? He has a System!
"Qi Tao, youngsters should know their place. Even if the Qi family owns quality items, that doesn't mean you can chase away guests like that…" President Zhao's was indeed a man of virtue as he swallowed his temper to speak to Qi Tao.
Qi Tao had sauntered over to meet them with a flute of red wine in his hand; he looked down at the pair of them from where he was standing, arrogance radiating off of him.
"I wouldn't dare do that. If I had chased our dearest President Zhao away, Older Brother Ye would have me skinned alive. I'm just reminding you that instead of having your precious daughter talk to some useless superpowered individual, why not let me be her godbrother and I'll take over the management of your assets. Your daughter's beauty is no joke, President Zhao, so be thankful she's caught my eye, because if it were someone else, I would've cared less about them."
Hearing those words sent Fang Ning into a state of shock. He thought to himself, 'What? Nobody has ever said that about me. I'm the role model that the rehabilitation center shows to its students and you dare call me useless? What did I ever do to you?'
Fang Ning continued to stare at Qi Tao, desperately searching his memories for anything about the man in front of him. After a while, Fang Ning could confirm with confidence that he had, indeed, never seen Qi Tao in his life before.
President Zhao's expression was dark as he spoke, "There's no need for your kindness, Qi Tao. The Special Affairs Department are maintaining the peace across the nation, so there's no need for the Qi family's clan to meddle in these affairs."
Qi Tao had the nerve to show pity at President Zhao's words. With a shake of his head, he pointed at President Zhao and said, "So you think that having an experienced master chef as your son-in-law would be more affordable? Not only would you have an awakened individual to help you carry on your family line, the experienced foodie in you would be able to enjoy good food every day. You'll be hitting two birds with one stone, how smart of you. Sadly, President Zhao, a chef is still a chef, no matter how skilled they are, and chefs are meant to cook for others. You're just putting him on a high horse for now, hehe…"
President Zhao's true feelings had been exposed, and it seemed that Qi Tao hadn't spoken simply either, so the shift in his expression was hard to miss.
His daughter Liu Yao on the other hand, sat quietly in her seat, as if they weren't all talking about her.
As the pair of them bickered, Fang Ning, who was actually planning on procrastinating by talking to Liu Yao, felt anger build in his chest.
He wasn't quite angry about President Zhao's true feelings towards him; one could say he even felt a bit proud of himself. He had used the System's comprehensive perspective to take a peek at Liu Yao just now, and had found out that she was in fact barefaced; her face resembled that of a porcelain doll and it seemed that she would break to the touch.
'Who was this Qi Tao anyway? Who was he to stick his hands into affairs that were none of his business, all the while calling people names?' Fang Ning was honestly quite ticked off.
'I've always been a homebody, so I've always had to endure lots of things, but now that I'm a man that's been seized by the System, I mustn't endure it any longer!'
With that thought in his head, Fang Ning was just about to call upon the System, but it had spoken up first instead, "What a waste. Your anger just now was enough to fill two Aggro Bars, but since they were already full, all that Aggro was wasted. If I had known that that was possible, I would have used it up these past few days to farm monsters."
Hearing the System's nonchalant tone, Fang Ning was astonished, "That isn't the point! I've been badmouthed by someone and you don't even feel a bit of pity for me?"
The System answered, "Why should I? Being badmouthed doesn't cause experience points to drop. In fact, we would even be able to extract Aggro."
Fang Ning really was sick of this heartless and disloyal System, and so he spat back, "Hey System, do you want to farm this guy tonight? Listen to the way he's speaking, he's a superpowered individual for sure, so he should be worth quite a lot of experience points."
As expected, once the topic of farming and increasing power was breached, the System was no longer calm as it spoke, "Of course I want to farm him, he's actually worth so much experience points it's scary. Look at his name on the System Map, it's a blinding yellow with just a hint of red; not only is he powerful and full of potential, he has also committed his fair share of sins. But, it's not red, so how can I farm him? He has committed sins, but the rules have made it that I can only farm criminals that are in the act of committing crimes, I'm not allowed to lay a hand on the innocent."
Fang Ning's idea was immediately shut down by red tape, but as he looked on at Qi Tao's arrogance, giving up would be stupid of him.
Today's conflict reminded Fang Ning that even if he wanted to keep being a homebody in the future, it wouldn't be easy. Even if he didn't look for trouble, trouble would come looking for him. No matter how much Fang Ning liked fooling around, he still needed to settle this matter before he could return to whatever he wanted to do. Besides, his potential fiancée was being coveted after by someone else, how could he keep silent…
Fang Ning suddenly remembered something from long ago, and the gears in his mind started churning. He asked, "Let's say someone tries to attack me, thus becoming a threat to me, would that person still count as being innocent?"
Being an experienced gamer, Fang Ning was most familiar with the way games worked. Any baseless attacks on the innocent would definitely bring about a punishment. Some games would turn your name yellow first, and only turn it red after you've killed somebody, while some games shifted your name to red immediately. The System was chivalrous, so any attacks on this type of "righteous figures" would definitely turn the attacker's name red.
"Their name would turn red immediately! Whoever is a threat to me is my number one enemy! No matter how just or how strong they were before, attacking me would be the biggest crime they would ever commit…they'd be pulverized!" The System's answer was firm and immediate.
These were the System's base directives.
Right after the System answered, Fang Ning replied with confidence, "Look at the System Map, and watch my mental racketeering."
While the System was still pondering on the meaning of the new term, Fang Ning suddenly turned to glare at Qi Tao, who was looking at him with distaste. Fang Ning's hand moved to grip his chest while his eyes disappeared into the back of his head. His body began to tip slowly to the floor; one hand desperately shot to grab for anything nearby that might give him support, instead sweeping cutlery on the table onto the ground in loud, rhythmic clatters.
"What's wrong, President Fang? Are you alright?" President Zhao immediately moved to hold onto Fang Ning. He had no idea if Fang Ning was sick, but it seemed being chastised had cause Fang Ning to have a heart attack.
"Unjustified verbal insult tends to send my heart into a frenzy. Quick, send me to the hospital, I need to see a doctor…" gasped Fang Ning in desperation, his expression one of extreme pain. His consciousness then began to slip away completely in President's Zhao's hands.
The audience within the room erupted into chaos, including Liu Yao, who worriedly stood up to aid her father in holding Fang Ning.
President Zhao immediately called for an ambulance before laying Fang Ning on the floor with the help of his daughter. He then ordered for someone to provide emergency first aid for Fang Ning.
As for Qi Tao, however, his face was one of nonchalance as he let out a "Hmph!" at the situation. His indifferent attitude could probably anger Fang Ning to death.
The ambulance soon arrived, and Fang Ning was quickly transferred on-board. President Zhao and Liu Yao also boarded the ambulance, mentioning that they were Fang Ning's family members.
In the ambulance, a group of doctors and nurses busied themselves with measuring Fang Ning's blood pressure and heart rate while they connected him to an IV drop.
As they settled down, the doctor looked at Fang Ning's vitals asked in a tone of confusion, "The patient is so healthy it's slightly unnatural, what caused him to faint out of the blue?"
"Could it be possible that shock had triggered an underlying cardiac illness?" questioned another doctor.
'There's no triggering here', thought the System in befuddlement. It knew that Fang Ning didn't have any problems with his body, in fact, his heart was probably beating faster than anyone here…
Why then, on the System Map, did Qi Tao's name change from yellow to red immediately? It was so red it was almost purple, and then it was so purple it was almost black. They've already long left Qi Tao, but why was it not showing any signs of reverting?
The System, of course, understood what these colors truly meant. Just like what Fang Ning had said just now, Qi Tao wasn't only worth a lot of experience points, his sins were also abundant. Farming him would not only guarantee a level up, the Morality Bar they had unlocked earlier could even be filled to the brim instantly. It wouldn't be possible to meet a monster like this during more peaceful times…
"You can do it like that? How did you do it?" asked the System excitedly, as if it had just learned something new.
If the System had a physical body with eyes, Fang Ning was sure that they would be gleaming right now…
"Bet you never thought of it. When it comes to System Rules, I might not know of them as well as you do, but I definitely know them in more detail. I'll tell you how I did it in a bit, but for now, give me control of my body."
Fang Ning's consciousness returned to the System Cyber Café, thus relinquishing its control on Fang Ning's body. Eager to know the answer, the System obediently stopped its control of the body as well; there were doctors nearby anyway, so there was no need to worry.
Besides, the doctors were from the best hospital in the city, so they've definitely seen their fair share of patients faking their illnesses.
Acting like this wasn't easy; the physiological reactions of a human that was still conscious are drastically different from that of an unconscious one.
From what they were seeing now, Fang Ning's physical body was without a problem, but the fact that he had lost consciousness was very real.
Knowing that Fang Ning had lost consciousness, President Zhao immediately inquired the doctors on the situation. Fang Ning would have never met these doctors before, so it wouldn't be possible for them to bluff him.
President Zhao even felt slight pity for Fang Ning. This young man must've never experienced someone insulting him like that before, for him to react this way was absolutely pitiful.
By her father was Liu Yao, who looked at the unconscious "Fang Ning" with worry. She never would've thought that somebody would be so angry, to the point of passing out, for her…