[Congratulations, you eliminated the monster who killed seven townspeople. Coolness + 50 points, reputation + 50 points]
Shen Qingqiu flicked a drop of blood off his sword with a huff. „Only hundred points? Give me a break! That damn monster almost ate me alive!“
With a disgusted look he turned away from the huge pile of bloody mess on the ground. Maybe he went overboard when he shredded the monster beyond recognition, but he was so annoyed, so he vented out his anger on that thing.
„System, tell me, how much points did I achieve until now?“
[This system is pleased to be of assistance. You collected 2450 points until now.]
Suddenly Shen Qingqiu felt exhausted. Only 2450...? This has to be some kind of bad joke! Since the system told him Luo Binghe would lose 10.000 coolness points if he doesn't fall into the abyss, Shen Qingqiu was almost every day on the run, completing mission after mission. Sometimes he took Binghe with him so he would gain some battle experience, but most of the time he was all alone.
It was painful.He never thought that this would hurt him, but he really felt lonely from time to time.
At some point Yue Qingyuan asked him with concern in his eyes if everything was okay, but Shen Qingqiu told him, he just „wanted to practice his martial skills more“. How could he tell him the truth? That he wanted to save Luo Binghe in the future from blackening?
So he was all alone with this burden and with the big secret concerning this world and his prtagonist. There was noone to talk about it, noone who would help.
And now he was goind to pester the mission giving NPC Yue Qingyuan again tomorrow for more missions. Almost one year went by until now, and with this low amount of points he earned from the missions, it was almost impossible to gain the amount needed.
Well, he could pay the points – with his life. But he didn't want to die. Not because of this shitty system! But he didn't want to be cut into a human stick, too!
Shen Qingqiu grittet his teeth. Giving up was out of the question! He had more than two years left, he would make good use of the time!
When he came back, a concerned little flower was waiting for him. „Shizun!“ Luo Binghe cried out when he saw the tattered hem of She Qingqius sleeve. „Are you hurt?“
„No, nothing happened. I was just careless.“
Shen Qingqiu spared a soft smile to the concerned Luo Binghe before sitting down on his bed. Just a moment later a cup of steaming hot tea was brought to him.
„You came back awfully late.“ Another glance full of concern. „This disciple was worried.“
Shen Qingqiu took a sip of his tea, before he exhaled a deep breath. „The monster this time was a tricky one. It took me some time to lure it out“, he explained.
Luo Binghe wasn't convinced. He kneeled before his Shizun, then he lifted the sleeve to examine the damage it had taken. „Why is Shizun going out so much recently? This disciple really doesn't understand!“
If you just know the truth, Binghe...
Instead of answering, Shen Qingqiu gripped his fan lying on the bedside. With a elegant move he put the tip under Luo Binghes chin, lifting his head a bit so he could examine him. „Look at you, you are growing up so fast right now!“
Indeed, Luo Binghes face matured quite a bit in the last year. He still was a youthful little flower, but signs of his later charm and handsomeness were showing more and more. With a faint blush Luo Binghe looked away. „Doesn't Shizun like when I mature?“ He asked with a hint of uneasiness in his voice. „This disciple want to mature fast, so he becomes strong for Shizun!“
Now it was Shen Qingqiu who almost blushed, so he took his fan back and hid his face behind it, only the eyes showing. „Nono, Binghe, you will be a splendid adult! I just like this soft face of yours, too.“
Welp... he said it. These cheesy lines. Almost like flattering a lover. But he wanted Luo Binghe to remember, that there was this soft warm and innocent side Shen Qingqiu wanted to save. That he doesn't need to blacken, even if he -
Shen Qinqius train of thoughts was interrupted when Luo Binghe jumped to his feet, his face beet red. „We-well... this disciple prepared dinner. I'll go and get it!“ And before Shen Qingqiu hat the chance to say one word, Luo Binghe rushed out of the room, leaving the other man baffled.
Okay, somehow his words reached Luo Binghes heart – didn't they?
Another month went by, but almost no missions were given. So Shen Qingqiu decided to teach Luo Binghe various things. First he began with literature and poetry. This should lift his coolness, too, right? The more knowledge Luo Binghe had, the more he would be able to solve difficult problems and impress more female characters, and so his harem should grow.
It was a warm sunny day when the both of them were sitting under a tree, several scrolls scattered around them. Luo Binghe was reading some strategy manual, when the system ringed in Shen Qingqius ears.
[Luo Binghe reached another level of knowledge, + 50 coolness points!]
Only 50 points again... Shen Qingqiu sighed inwardly. But since he heard this message some times since the last mission, he was still quite satisfied. This tactic to gain points was successful, too. The more options, the better. Especially because he could let Luo Binghe gain points while he himself was away on missions.
„Shizun...“, the young man in front of him spoke up. His voice was cracking a bit, puberty began to hit him more often these days. „I understand that knowlege is essential. But isn't it better to practice martial arts and become stronger?“ He looked at Shen Qingqiu with irritation in his eyes. „How can I beat an enemy with... books?“
Shen Qingqiu fanned himself. „There are a lot of enemies out there who don't rely on brute strength alone. For example, if someone is better in debating, how will you beat him? You make an enemy of yourself if you use just your sword and your reputation will drop.“
This seemed to make sense for the protagonist. If his reputation went down, his Shizun would be the one who would be made responsible. This should never happen! So he nodded with a smile on his face. „This disciple understands. There are battles to fight without physical contact.“
With a clap the fan was closed. „Exactly.“ Shen Qingqiu was satisfied. „I'm glad, you understand. You are a smart child.“
This praise let Luo Binghe smile more, and with renewed energy he went on reading the scroll in his hands.
Yes, in the future, Luo Binghe will be able to outsmart others easily, Shen Qingqiu thought. This will save his life more than once.
While he stared absentmindedly on the young man before him, the other felt the eyes of the other person laying on him and blushed slightly. It seemed Shizun liked seeing how he engrossed himself in literature, and so Luo Binghe swore to himself to study more and harder in front of Sheng Qingqiu.
But this was just adding water drop by drop instead of filling a bucket with one scoop. Shen Qingqiu needed a bigger scoop, and not long after this day Lady Luck seemed to be on his side, when an unexpected visitor showed himself in front of Shen Qingqiu.