At 12:30, Xue Mingyue brought up the prepared lunch and placed it on the table. Once everyone sat around and had a meal together, they said goodbye to the old gentleman. Before leaving, Gui Yuanzhang called Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang privately to his study and asked, “Have you seen him?”
Yu Hanjiang naturally knew who Old Gui was referring to and nodded. “I met him in the World Weekly.”
Old Gui said, “Then I won’t say too much. He should’ve told you the next arrangement. You can go to the Intelligence Bureau and ask Mr Tang to give you some strategies for the next secret rooms to speed up the progress of clearing the instance.
Xiao Lou stated, “Don’t worry, we are going to the Intelligence Bureau on Wednesday.”
Gui Yuanzhang smiled as he looked affectionately at the two young people. “Then I’ll wait for you at the 11th level.”
After leaving the old villa, everyone silently sat in the vehicle.
It was obvious that Old Gui’s words had shocked them. Even a 60 year old person hadn’t given up. What reason did they have to shrink back? They might not have practiced martial arts or fighting skills in reality but this world relied on cards.
At that time, Professor Xiao had used the Compass card to make all types of tools while Bai Juyi’s Song of the Pipa Player made the group of sharks kill each other. Being able to use the cards flexibly was the fundamental key to surviving in this world.
The car was halfway there when it stopped at a red light at an intersection. Old Mo looked back and asked, “The card trading market is in front. Do you still want to go?”
Xiao Lou answered, “Go and see. Maybe we can find something useful.”
Old Mo started driving again at the green light. He parked at the nearby parking lot and told Shao Qingge, “Chief Shao, transferring money isn’t allowed at the card trading market. It is a one-time transaction in cash. If we want to buy cards, we’ll have to go to the nearby bank to get some gold coins…”
The moment he finished speaking, the ATM machine suddenly appeared in front of the car.
Shao Qingge put his identity card into the card slot and took out hundreds of 10,000 gold coins. He laughed, “This should be enough?”
Mo Xuemin spoke helplessly. “I forgot you have this card that allows you to withdraw money anytime and anywhere!”
Shao Qingge replied, “This is the only S-grade card I have at the moment and it is easier to take out money.”
Xiao Lou joked, “This card is more in line with your rich temperament.”
Shao Qingge nodded cheekily and gave everyone some gold coins. “The rich person is giving everyone money. Buy sure to buy the cards you want when exploring the market.”
Ye Qi joked, “Thank you, gold father!”
Shao Qingge turned back and smiled at him. “No need for thanks. Since you called me father, shall I give you more points?”
Ye Qi didn’t have a thick skin. His ears reddened and he didn’t dare speak again.
Old Mo parked the vehicle and took everyone to the underground floor. It was a bit like a night market in the real world. There were no fixed storefronts and many challengers had set up small stalls. People moved between them and bought cards.
Xiao Lou went to the stall marked with ‘electrical monopoly’ and found many good things. Electric stove, electric heating, electric kettle, electric water purifier, refrigerator, electric pressure cooker, juicer…
This was simply a home appliances supermarket!
Xiao Lou remembered how he once got the ‘charging treasure’ card that immediately reset the cooldown of electrical cards. He went over and smiled, “Boss, how much are you selling these electrical cards for?”
The boss spoke to him warmly. “It is 50,000 for one and you get a 20% discount if you buy the full package!”
Xiao Lou bought all the electrical cards. Liu Qiao bought several tool cards such as the ‘Sunshade Umbrella’. Qu Wanyue bought several fans and Long Sen bought a basketball. Everyone strolled around the market and found a wide variety of cards. There were all for daily necessities and there were no combat cards. Once almost all the money had been spent, the group turned and met again at the market gate.
Old Mo laughed. “The appliances are complete. We can probably open a hotel in the wilderness.”
Xiao Lou said, “Thanks to these materials, we can be better off in the future survival rooms.”
These were all cards obtained from the World Weekly and Clubs rooms. No one would be foolish enough to bring out and sell the really powerful combat cards. These cards were the base cards for everyone’s lives and it would be hard to survive if they were sold.
They had found many useful cards at the trading market and everyone went home. By the time the car returned to the neighbourhood, it was five in the afternoon. Xiao Lou took everyone to a nearby supermarket to buy goods.
There were restrictions on the number of users for material cards. They had to save this and only use them after entering the secret rooms. During their time in the main city, they had to go to the supermarket to buy things like toothbrushes, facial cleansers and towels.
Ye Qi suggested, “Buy some shampoo and shower gel. The bathroom ran out when I was taking a shower yesterday.”
Liu Qiao added, “The soap and hand sanitizer are running out.”
As they were speaking, Xiao Lou sent a photo to their WeChat group. “I have made a list and we will buy according to the list.”
They opened the WeChat group and saw a large number of household items such as pots and pans, toiletries, pyjamas, slippers, cups, mouthwash cups, paper towels, garbage bags…
Ye Qi stared. “Isn’t this too much? It is like moving to a new house!”
Qu Wanyue couldn’t help commenting, “Professor Xiao is really careful. I hadn’t thought of some things.”
Xiao Lou pushed a shopping cart and smiled while grabbing things. “I just moved to a new house before the new year and this is according to the list I made at that time. If you see anything else you want to add then put it in your shopping cart.”
Yu Hanjiang saw Xiao Lou carefully selecting items from the shelf and couldn’t help feeling appreciation. Unlike Professor Xiao, he knew nothing about these details of life. At most, he could cook noodles at home.
They pushed four shopping cards around. In addition to household goods, they bought a lot of food, milk, yogurt, bread, eggs as well as vegetables and meat. This was almost like emptying the supermarket and the cashier was scared.
The four shopping carts were full and they carried the plastic bags home.
Everyone bought new toiletries and different coloured cups and towels in order to not cause confusion. The two girls were responsible for organizing the kitchen and putting food in the refrigerator. The cooking oil, salt, sauces and vinegar were all purchased. The plates and chopsticks were arranged and put aside. Then the chopping board, kitchen knives, rice, noodles and other supplies soon filled the drawers and cabinets of the empty kitchen.
Yu Hanjiang walked over and asked Xiao Lou, “Are you going to cook and eat at home? Isn’t it easier to eat outside?”
Old Mo also said, “My previous team didn’t want to cook since it was cheap to eat outside.”
Xiao Lou’s eyes gently looked over the group. “Since we have signed a contract to form a team, we are a family in this world. In addition to clearing the instances, I hope that we can understand each other more. I will cook tonight and we will eat at home. There were be no employees to disturb us and we don’t have to worry about being overheard. We can talk freely.”
Once the group heard this, their mood became a bit complicated.
Ye Qi’s eyes were slightly red. He remembered struggling to eat leaves in the Nightmare Room. Now he had a temporary home and was no longer afraid to fight alone.
Liu Qiao, Long, Qu Wanyue and Old Mo also had complicated expressions. Obviously, they were all thinking of the previous difficulties. Everyone had been feeling anxious but now they had found a temporary home.
Xiao Lou was the owner of the contract. He was like a careful and responsible parent bringing everyone together in the new team.
Compared to the cold commands, he let them put down their guard and really regard their teammates as ‘family.’ No matter how difficult the situation in the future, they could fight together. Similarly, this type of life details will influence everyone’s inner feelings in a subtle manner, so as to enhance the cohesion of the team.
Yu Hanjiang thought that this was the biggest difference between Brother Jiu and Xiao Lou. As a soldier, Lu Jiuchuan’s method of leading the team was to treat them as soldiers and strictly train them, so that everyone must obey instructions. Meanwhile, Xiao Lou gently allowed everyone in the team to have a sense of belonging. Under this premise, who would betray the team and abandon their teammates?
Seeing how everyone was moved, Xiao Lou smiled and asked, “Do you want to eat dumplings tonight?”
Ye Qi Was excited. “Yes, I live in the north and we eat dumplings every New Year’s Day!”
Shao Qingge asked, “What type of festival is it today?”
Xiao Lou thought about it. “Let’s officially make it the anniversary of when our team was established. Last time, we were busy preparing for the World Weekly and signed the contract in a relatively hasty manner. We didn’t have time to celebrate.”
Shao Qingge smiled. “Since it is an anniversary, we must have wine. No wonder why you bought two bottles of red wine at the supermarket. Professor Xiao is really thoughtful and plans everything.”
Xiao Lou grinned. “We have been tired for so long and will take a rest these days. We will relax tonight and have a good celebration dinner. I will stir-fry a few dishes and make dumplings as the main dish. People who like to drink can also let go.”
Qu Wanyue took the initiative to roll up his sleeves. “I will help wash the dishes.”
Long Sen actively followed her. “I can roll the skin. At home, I often rolled the skin to make dumplings!”
Liu Qiao also volunteered. “I can make dumplings.”
Ye Qi raised his hand. “I will help Professor Xiao cut the vegetables!”
The kitchen soon became busy. The villa’s large kitchen could easily accommodate five or six adults. Once the ventilation machine started, Xiao Lou acted as the chef and seriously stir-fried vegetables in an apron. Long Sen, Qu Wanyue, Liu Qiao and Ye Qi helped to the side.
Yu Hanjiang leaned against the dining table and watched the busy backs. Xiao Lou, who was cooking with an apron, seemed particularly handsome and Yu Hanjiang couldn’t look away for a while.
A few simple home-cooked dishes were quickly brought to the table and their scents filled the dining room.
Long Sen started to roll the dumpling skin while the other four made the dumplings. The dumplings were placed in a neat row on the board and people couldn’t help recalling the lively New Year’s Eve dinner.
After the dumplings were cooked, Xiao Lou placed two plates in the middle of the table. “Let’s eat.”
The hungry group hurriedly sat down at the table. They were about to drool as they saw the exquisite home-cooked dishes.
Yu Hanjiang took the initiative to raise his glass. “Everyone, let’s have a drink to celebrate the establishment of your team.”
Shao Qingge laughed. “So formal. Then shouldn’t we name our team?”
Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou glanced at each other. “The name of the team will be ‘Sharp Arrow Commandos’. We hope that when you act, you will be as quick and decisive as an arrow, breaking through all obstacles in an unstoppable manner to return to our real homes!”
The Sharp Arrow Commandos was the name of Lu Jiuchuan’s team and was the same name as his unit in reality. The implication was that the entire time could act as sharp as an arrow. Once they reached J of Clubs, their team would join Brother Jiu. Then the reformed team would become the strongest and most united team in history.
Yu Hanjiang took the lead in raising his cup and the seven people also stood to raise their cups. The sound of the cups clinking against each other echoed in the warm light of the villa. Looking at the table filled with side dishes and steamed dumplings, everyone’s eyes were slightly sore. It was the first time they felt the warmth of a team since coming to this world.
Everyone drank the glass of red wine before picking up their chopsticks and quickly eating.
Xiao Lou’s voice was heard in Yu Hanjiang’s mind. “Group Leader Yu, you don’t have any objections to me doing this?”
Yu Hanjiang’s lips curved. “Of course not, you’re doing well.”
Xiao Lou explained, “I just hope that we aren’t just teammates breaking through. I want us to be friends and family who really care about each other and understand each other. In this way, we won’t have to worry about someone dropping the chain when our trust is tested in later stages.”
Yu Hanjiang nodded. “Yes.”
Trust was always the cornerstone of a team. Twist themselves into a rope and show mutual trust. A team temporarily put together only for clearing the instance was able to be wiped out, even if they were individually strong. Xiao Lou’s gentle approach compared with the serious, apathetic commands and would make people more convinced.
Looking at this warm and harmonious scene, Old Mo couldn’t help whispering, “I hope that when we return to the real world, we can still sit together like this to eat.”
Xiao Lou smiled. “Definitely. Once we go out, I will invite you to eat a big meal.”
The group noted down his promise. “Yes, then we will go and find Professor Xiao!”
The future might be certain and the dangers they would face might be beyond their imagination but at this moment, all their hearts were full of faith. They might be able to go to the end under the leadership of Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang!