Luo Yuan had just woken up and begun to stretch when the system beeped. He leaped with joy as he read the notification. Physique was an attribute he had never upgraded using his attribute points – his physical training had finally paid off.
Physique was the only one out of the three core attributes that did not reflect one’s combat skills; he had always known it would be a bad investment to improve his physique using his attribute points, which was why he had distributed them to other attributes, such as Strength and Dexterity, thus weakening his physique and affecting his physical efficiency. This was why he had terrible stamina, and why he had never been able to last long in physically strenuous activities like sports.
Physical training had always been a slow process for him. Ever since his physique had achieved 11 points two years ago, it had remained stagnant. He had even considered investing some attribute points in it if it did not improve by his next level up.
I shouldn’t be so surprised. I have been training for so long, it’s about damn time my physique points increased!
There had been a severe imbalance in his attributes after he had increased his Dexterity, which had caused a certain strain on his physique – his stamina had been unable to keep up. After going through an intense period of physical training, Luo Yuan had been able to push his potential and finally improve his physique. Unfortunately, an attribute improved by personal training did not carry as much weight; at 12 points he felt no better than he had at 11.
Luo Yuan got dressed and checked his watch, seeing it was nearly ten in the morning. Huang Jiahui had already woken up a while ago and left him some clean clothes by his bed. He washed up and walked into the major spring cleaning taking place downstairs.
“About time you woke up, sleepyhead!” Wang Shishi said as Luo Yuan walked down the stairs.
He smiled, failing to mask the pain on his face. He was drained from last night, exhausted beyond any battle fatigue. He still felt the ache and soreness all over his body. The horrific experience was still lingering on his mind, but he realized his oversensitivity might not be such a bad thing. How else would he experience such pleasure during coitus?
Huang Yuying stopped mopping the floor and hesitantly greeted him with a smile, “Brother Luo!”
She was dressed in Huang Jiahui’s clothes – it was a good fit as the two of them had a similar built. Luo Yuan would have thought she was Huang Jiahui if she hadn’t lifted her head.
He nodded and asked, “Where’s Jiahui?”
“Oh…She’s on the first floor cleaning the windows of the washroom… I’ve left porridge in a food container… It’s still warm if you want to have it now!”
He acknowledged her remark as he walked past her.
Huang Yuying exhaled and wiped the sweat that was breaking on her forehead. It still stressed her out to speak to Luo Yuan, even if it was from a distance.
Realizing that he could be of no help with the cleaning, Luo Yuan walked into the kitchen and opened the food container. It was a rich breakfast – a bowl of porridge, half a salted egg and a dish of reheated luncheon meat. He had just finished the porridge when there was a loud knock on the front door.
“Open the door! We’re from the City Council Safety Committee! We’ve got an urgent notice!’
His face changed as he rushed to answer the door. Two men in protective gear were standing by the entrance, looking suspiciously like soldiers. They quickly rushed indoors as Luo Yuan frantically closed the door, pretending to be afraid of the mutant mosquitoes outside.
The two men circled the living room. One of them lifted a stack of documents as he eyed Luo Yuan suspiciously. He looked at a printed photo, seeming doubtful as he asked, “Are you a tenant here in this unit?”
“Yes, sir. Is there some kind of problem?” Luo Yuan replied.
“The photo on the deed does not look like you.” The man spoke softly and arrogantly like a typical government officer. “Are you Zhao Jianfeng?”
Luo Yuan was surprised by the question. Thousands of neurons started firing inside his brain.
This can’t be right. I’ve seen the deed in the basement – even if it was just a glance my genius 13-point Intelligence would have registered it accurately. The name on the deed was definitely not Zhao Jianfeng!
He looked at the officer’s face through the protective gear and saw the mockery there – Luo Yuan understood what was going on. He remained calm, hoping the doubt would not show on his face. “Zhao Jianfeng? You must be mistaken, sir. My name is Zhou Jianfeng, not Zhao.”
The officer’s eyes widened as he pretended to review the data in his hand. “My apologies. I have indeed misread it.” However that did not make the officer look any less suspicious, especially when he noticed the younger of the two girls standing at a distance looking rather anxious.
Wang Shishi had never experienced such an encounter. She was shaking like she had been caught shoplifting.
“Ma’am, could you step over here for a moment, please? I am an officer of the City Council Safety Committee and I need you to confirm some information.” He gestured for Wang Shishi, who was shrinking at the far corner.
She panicked, beads of sweat dripping down her messy hair as her face reddened. She stood still, not knowing what to do.
Luo Yuan broke the silence, trying to handle the situation, “Sir, if there’s any problem, please just say it directly. I don’t believe you’ve come all the way here just to check the deed.”
The second officer moved past his colleague and looked Luo Yuan in the eye before he finally spoke,“Excuse me, Comrade. What are you saying? Hedong City is no longer safe – innocent civilians are being slaughtered, homes are being broken into – it is imperative that we fortify the city safety measures! We as government officials would definitely not wrongly accuse an innocent person, nor would we ever let a criminal roam free. It has come to our attention that this house might not be yours, and that you might have murdered its rightful owner.”
If killing could have solved this, I would have already sliced these bloody bastards to bits! But these are not some random people that I can just kill – it’s way too risky and we can’t afford the consequences. As soon as I kill them, reinforcements will surround the whole area. We could potentially escape from the gap upstairs, but considering how tight the space is, we woudn’t be able to take enough provisions with us. It’s pretty obvious that these two are not here just to investigate a petty lodging matter. As long as the mutated mosquitoes are not eliminated, the government is basically bruised, battered and burdened by the pressure of it all. The only logical explanation is that they’re here to take advantage of civilians and create problems where there are none.
Luo Yuan smiled, and spoke slowly after composing his thoughts, “Why, officers, how could this house belong to somebody else? You best start talking sense. I may not know what the purpose of your visit is, but I sure know how society works.”
Then he turned to the girls, “Shishi, go to my bedroom and bring the food stamps from my desk.”
“O-okay!” Wang Shishi dropped the broom and ran frantically up the stairs. A few minutes later, she returned with two stacks of food stamps. The amount took Luo Yuan aback – she’d brought along all of her and Huang Jiahui’s savings too.
Luo Yuan took the food stamps from Wang Shishi, trying to keep his calm and imagine that he was just feeding stray dogs. After several rounds of acting hesitant about accepting the bribe, in the end the officers took the food stamps, which somehow disgusted Luo Yuan even more.
After accepting the money, the officers’ faces lightened up and the first man spoke again, “We apologize about the misunderstanding, and how strict we might have come off. This district is becoming more and more problematic. Just a piece of advice- you best get things in order with the Housing Ministry; they will eventually come after you.”
“Alright. Thanks, officers. Glad that everything is sorted out,” Luo Yuan said with a grin.
“Oh, before we forget, there’s one more thing we’re supposed to inform you about. Tomorrow at 10 a.m. the City Council will exterminate the mutated mosquitoes by spraying a newly-developed pesticide that was proven to be effective in the lab. It should be harmless to the human body as long as you don’t inhale too much of it. During that time, you are all required to stay indoors. Also, to avoid any potential cases of allergic reactions and mass hysteria, each civilian will receive a free anti-toxic mask from the city council.”
After asking Luo Yuan the number of tenants in the house, the officers handed him four paper boxes.