One sentence to abruptly end the topic.
“Well…okay.” Chen Xing didn’t have much to say at the moment. Being not particularly eloquent to begin with, he decided to leave it at that.
He planned to retreat to his room and think things through, and give it another try tomorrow.
Seeing how easily Chen Xing gave up, Zero felt a sense of unease instead.
“Get some rest soon.” He stood up as he spoke.
Chen Xing passed by Zero without any expression on his face.
Zero kept watching him, suddenly feeling an urge to take back her words. Her heart was in constant turmoil. She wanted to follow him, but she was afraid of being a burden to him!
Just as Chen Xing opened the door to his room, ready to go in. For some reason, she instinctively called out his name.
“Hmm? What’s the matter?” Chen Xing turned back.
“I…” Zero stammered, trying to say those words… (I want to become your Spirit User!)
But she couldn’t bring herself to say it… She was afraid, afraid that in the end, even Chen Xing wouldn’t want her!
Once again, she hesitated. And spoke words that went against her true feelings: “Are we friends?”
“Friends?” Chen Xing paused, it had been a while since he heard that word. In his previous world, he only had his idiotic system – San’er. Friends were too luxurious.
In that world, friends would only strike you from behind when you turned around. Then they would take your place on the assassin ranking, or exchange your head for a reward. That’s why Chen Xing didn’t trust anyone except Saner.
But, this world is different now!
From the moment Chen Xing crossed over, he decided not to live like before. A life as an assassin had become too dull. He happened to want to make a few friends in this world.
However, there weren’t many people who he found pleasing to the eye. Zero counted as one!
So he smiled, genuinely happy for the first time since arriving in this world. Although he had smiled before, there had always been a cold feeling to it. But this time, it was filled with the warmth of a sunny youth.
In this moment, he felt like he had returned to the summer of his fifteenth year, those days when he and his friends laughed and chatted all the way home after school.
“Of course, we’re friends!” Chen Xing’s smile was radiant, warming Zero’s heart. The gloom on her face vanished, replaced by a sweet smile.
Chen Xing’s gaze lingered on her, suddenly a thought popped into his mind. ‘I will protect this smile!’
Seeing him staring at her again, Zero’s face reddened and she asked in confusion, “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing! Well then, rest early, my friend.”
“Squeak Squeak Squeak…” Zero stepped back into her room, accompanied by the sound effects. A smile remained on her face.
With a thud, she jumped onto the bed, rolled over, and smiled as she gazed at the ceiling. After a while, she spoke to her Spirit System:
“Request connection to Spirit User: Susu.”
Spirit System: 【 Establishing connection… Please wait. 】
After about ten seconds…
【 Connection successful. 】
Then, a voice echoed in Zero’s mind.
“Hey? What’s up, Little Zero? Why are you contacting me so late? Missed me?” Judging from the voice, it belonged to a young girl.
She was Zero’s only friend. The two of them grew up together in an orphanage, so their bond was very strong.
Every time Zero encountered trouble, Susu would help her. Later on, Susu and Zero underwent the evaluation by the Weapon Spirit Association and became professional Spirit Users. They both joined the Weapon Spirit Association.
However, they were forced to separate and serve different masters.
Susu was an A-grade Spirit User, classified as a firearm-type with special abilities… (more details later).
Zero, on the other hand, was an SSS-grade Spirit User, classified as a universal type. In theory, Zero should have had a better life than Susu, but fate played its hand. Susu met a very good Spirit Master, who happened to be an older sister figure to her.
As for Zero, being an SSS-grade Spirit User, the hiring fee reported by the Weapon Spirit Association was an astronomical figure! A woman, Zero’s first Spirit Master, paid a sky-high price and hired her.
However, after spending a lot of spirit points to level up, she found that Zero was completely useless! In a fit of anger, she went to the Weapon Spirit Association to return Zero. She accused the Weapon Spirit Association of fraud! Demanding ten times the hiring fee as compensation. Eventually, it escalated to a court battle.
The court ruled that the Weapon Spirit Association must compensate three times the hiring fee! This resulted in a significant blow to the Weapon Spirit Association’s reputation.
As for Zero, she was expelled from the Weapon Spirit Association. She became a freelance Spirit User. This incident was known to many Spirit Masters on the S-grade list.
Everyone unanimously believed that Zero’s SSS-grade was a system error. No matter how many retests were conducted, she always remained at the SSS-grade.
But no powerful Spirit Master dared to attempt to form a bond with her.
Since then, Zero could only wander between different Spirit Masters as a freelance Spirit User, never encountering a suitable partner.
When Zero had nowhere to go or was being bullied, Susu would always be the first to step forward and help her.
“Susu, let me tell you something…”
“Yes, go ahead~”
“I got terminated by He Yu today…”
Susu fell silent for a moment and helplessly said, “I told you a long time ago that He Yu wasn’t a good person, but you didn’t believe me.”
Susu said, “But you don’t sound too heartbroken. Have you seen through the world of mortals?”
“No, at first, I was quite saddened. But later on, I met someone amazing!”
As Zero mentioned Chen Xing, a smile appeared on her face again. She flipped over, propped herself up on the bed, and swung her little feet.
Susu said, “I hope he’s not another scumbag. Where are you? I have some free time, I can come see you. Let’s meet after our Ranking Match tomorrow.”
The Ranking Match was one of the ways for Spirit Master to compete for a position in the Spirit Rankings list.
The winners received generous rewards. The losers also had to pay a price.
“Ah, no need! Don’t come over. I can handle it myself.”
“Pshh~ You can handle it? You always say that newcomers are good people, but end up getting abandoned every time. You’re just being foolish.”
“But this time it’s different, really! He’s truly a good person!”
“Fine, fine, fine. You say so, so be it! So, what did this good person do to make you so happy?” Susu also noticed that Zero’s state of mind was different.
Normally, after being abandoned by He Yu, she should have entered a period of depression for some time. Unexpectedly, her mood was so good, which made Susu curious to know what had happened.
“Blah blah blah…” Zero recounted today’s events in great detail to Susu. She spoke while smile, and every time she mentioned Chen Xing’s name, her tone became noticeably cheerful. Her account was also mixed with various subjective and emotionally charged adjectives.
Zero: “And now, we’re friends! You’re not my only friend anymore, hoho…”
Susu listened silently, without saying a word.
“Susu? Are you still there?”
“I’m here.” Susu’s tone suddenly became flat.
“Why aren’t you saying anything?”
“Are you falling for him?”
“Huuhhh?” Zero’s face turned red after hearing that, and she quickly defended herself, saying, “What nonsense are you talking about! How could I possibly like him? We just met, we’re just friends!”
Susu: “Your face seems to be blushing now.”
“How do you know… Ugh! No way, stop making wild guesses. It’s not true!”
“Fine, you little girl. It was forgivable when you were being silly before, but now you’ve fallen head over heels. This is outrageous. Where are you? I’ll come find you tomorrow!” Susu was getting a little anxious!
Although Zero had been abandoned by Spirit Masters before, her emotional attachment had never been that of romantic love. If this time, Zero really developed feelings for Chen Xing, and if she were to be abandoned again, it would be a devastating blow to her.
Even though Zero described Chen Xing in countless positive ways, Susu understood the concept that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So, she had to come in person!
“I’m going to sleep now! Good night!”
“System, end the connection!”
【 Closing connection…】
“Zero!!” Before the connection was cut off, Susu’s voice exploded in Zero’s mind. It reverberated in her head, making her feel dizzy.
“Phew~” Zero let out a long breath. She placed her cold little hand on her face to cool down…
In fact, Susu had met almost every Spirit Master Zero had been with before. Some of them had even been scolded by Susu. Zero didn’t mind Susu meeting them.
But this time, for some reason, when Susu mentioned meeting Chen Xing, Zero felt uneasy. To put it in simpler terms, it was like the panic before introducing a boyfriend to one’s parents!
She already considered Susu as family, an older sister. It was just that Zero didn’t understand this at the moment.
【 Ding~ Your friend Susu has sent a message…】
【 Ding~ Your friend…】
Soon, Zero had 99+ unread messages. She opened Susu’s message to check. The screen was filled with just two words: Where are you? Where are you?…
She’s spamming! Sending messages really doesn’t cost anything.
Zero edited her response in her mind and replied to Susu: “Oh dear! We’ll have a chance to meet in the future! The three of us can become good friends!”
Susu: 【There won’t be a chance in the future! You idiot!】
“I’m not a child anymore! I really don’t like him, so don’t worry! I swear!”
After typing a few ellipses, Susu didn’t reply, and Zero didn’t respond to her. Neither of them said anything.
“Is she angry…?” Zero wondered, and then her set time reminder went off.
【 Ding dong~ The current time is June 1, 2021, 00:00.】
【 Ding~ Your friend Susu has sent a message.】
Zero opened it to check.
Susu: 【 Happy birthday! You fool. You’re 18 now! An adult! My little missy! Take care of yourself and grow up a bit! Well, I can’t be with you to celebrate this time… I’ll make it up to you when we meet again! 】
Zero’s eyes suddenly welled up with tears… “Thank you.”
Susu: 【 Alright, stop crying now. Go to bed early. Good night. 】
How did she know I was crying!?
“Good night, Susu!”
Zero wiped away her tears and smiled. “I’m already 18. Time flies so fast.”
Memories and past events replayed in her mind once again. There were moments of touch, despair, and happiness.
And there was the feeling of a heartbeat.
That was Chen Xing.
“When is Chen Xing’s birthday?”
“Should I ask him…?”
“How should I ask?”
“Let’s use my birthday as an excuse and casually ask!”
At this moment, inside Chen Xing’s room.
He was seen upside down, with his head down and feet up. He supported his entire body with just his two thumbs. With each count, he went up and down. Sweat dripped from his face, “drip, drip…”
Constantly falling to the ground, wetting the area beneath.
Chen Xing was waiting for the system update to finish to see what new features were added. Bored, he began his daily physical exercise.
【Ding~ System update complete~】
Chen Xing felt delighted, exerted force with his two fingers, pushed himself up forcefully, curled up in the air, flipped, and landed steadily on the ground.
“Finally, it’s done.”
【Detected host’s birthday on June 1, now 18 years old. Special delivery of an adult gift package!】
“Birthday!? Adult gift package!?”