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101 The Meeting

 Melting Snow was surprised to hear from his cousin, he knew how busy he had been. Opening up the video call, Melting Snow couldn't help but frown at how tired his cousin's avatar appeared to be. He had a feeling that he was overworking himself again if it was showing this much inside of the game.

"What's with the frown, my cute little cousin should always be smiling," Zixuan told him with a grin.

"I would be smiling," Melting Snow staring hard at his cousin. "If a certain cousin of mine didn't look so haggard."

Zixuan eyebrows raised in disbelief, "Haggard, you say? The game might be realistic but I doubt my avatar could look haggard."

"That's just it if you're so tired that it's changing the appearance of your avatar, then something is wrong." Melting Snow said seriously.

"Are you worried about me?" Zixuan began, chuckling. "It seems my little cousins have grown somewhat."

Peeved, Melting Snow retorted, "Don't try to change the topic. I'm very worried, you could get sick from the way you're overworking yourself."

Zixuan saw how sincere his cousin was in his concern about him and tried to soothe him, "Don't worry, I know my limits. I will even give you permission to check up on me and make me rest."

"Are you sure you want to give me permission to boss you around?" A mischievous grin formed on Melting Snow's face at the thought of telling his cousin what to do.

"Well," Zixuan started, already knowing what kind of thoughts that were going through Melting Snow's mind. "I know you would never take advantage of it, right?"

Melting Snow couldn't help but pout while silently tsk'ing in his heart before saying, "Right, I would never do that."

Zixuan wished he could give his cousin's head a pat right, he looked so adorable standing there pouting. Before he got a chance to say another word he saw his cousin's face light up followed by the sound of a man's voice calling Melting Snow's name.

~

Xinya couldn't hide the joy that appeared on his face when he saw Melting Snow standing there, in front of the inn. He couldn't believe how much Melting Snow had changed since the last time he saw him. He was still as cute as ever with his black wolf ears and fluffy tail, but the gear he had was upgraded a lot.

He looked like a modernized samurai, wearing a blue and gold hakama for his armor. It was completely different from a normal one, the pants, for one thing, wasn't loose but fitted perfectly to his legs while his undershirt hung loosely over his trousers, and lastly, his golden Haori lay open over his shirt.

Melting Snow swords were also different, gone was his twin black swords, they were now replaced by blue ones that matched his outfit perfectly. Xinya could tell that his armor and swords were custom made, and was happy to know that Melting Snow had such a caring brother that would spend so much on him.

Seeing that Melting Snow caught sight of him, Xinya smile became bigger and he started to walk over to him, "Long time no see, did you miss me?"

"Well we did chat all the time with one another," Melting Snow replied jokingly. "So not really."

"I'm hurt, and here I thought you missed going on adventures with me." Xinya teased him.

Melting Snow huffed at him, "Don't even get me started. I still can't believe I missed that epic adventure you went on."

Xinya just laughed at the frustrated expression that was currently on Melting Snow's face. He almost forgot how amusing this boy was, all his irritation about handling monster guts disappeared. It seems he did miss him more than he thought.

~

The sound of someone clearing his throat interrupted Melting Snow's inner rant about how stupid his brother was and how much he wanted to kick him. The sound came from his cousin who was looking at him as if saying, 'You didn't forget about me did you?'

"Oh, I'm so sorry cousin," Melting Snow sheepishly said, "Let me introduce you to my friend."

After changing some settings in his video call, the once transparent screen that was only visible to him could now be seen by everyone. Melting Snow grabbed Xinya's arm and pulled him closer to him.

"Drifting Cloud meet my older cousin Nascent Soul," Melting Snow said happily that his two favorite people in the game were meeting.

Xinya was taken aback by the suddenness of the introduction but pulled himself together. Looking into Melting Snow's video screen he said, "Hello, Nascent Soul, it's nice to meet you."

Melting Snow always talked about his cousin a lot so Xinya was quite curious to see what he looked like. From how Melting Snow talked about him he expected a gorgeous god-like man, but what he saw was a semi-handsome man that looked very tired. He had an urge to ask if he was alright.

"It's nice to meet you too, Drifting Cloud. I heard so much about you from Melting Snow." Zixuan said polity not thinking much of the other man.

He could see why his cousin was so enamored with him though, The Dryad did look cool. With his tree-like skin and how leaves made up his hair. It was like the man was a living plant, although he was older than what he expected. But, from the way he heard them speak to one another, he didn't feel like he had anything to worry about.

"The same could be said about you," Xinya said with a smile.

Chuckling, Zixuan said, "I guess he doesn't have anything else to talk about."

"Hey!!" Melting Snow gave both of them the stink eye, "I have plenty of things to talk about that don't contain you two."

"Oh? Like what?" Xinya asked curiously.

"You know... things." Melting Snow replied while shyly looking away from them.

Zixuan was about to chime in when he suddenly heard a knock on the door. Remembering that he told his guild members to inform him when another guild came, he started to say his goodbyes to Melting Snow.

"It seems we have to cut this short. I will message you later cousin and Drifting Cloud it's been a pleasure to meet you. Please look out for Melting Snow for me."

"Don't worry, I will keep an eye on Melting Snow for you," Xinya said.

Melting Snow just rolled his eyes, "I don't need anyone to keep an eye on me, if anyone needs it, it's your cousin."

"You could be right about that," Zixuan said with a chuckle.

"Goodbye cousin." Was the last thing Melting Snow said before turning off the video chat.

~

"Your cousin seems nice," Xinya stated once Melting Snow said goodbye.

As soon as the words left Xinya's lips Melting Snow begins to speak warmly about his cousin. "He is, he looks out for me. He helps me with any problems I'm having. He just the greatest."

"So basically you got two caring older brothers instead of one," Xinya said while smiling lightly.

"Right..." Melting Snow's face distorted for a moment but cleared up before Xinya noticed it. "Two caring older brothers."

"So are you ready to go to where we are staying for the next couple of days?" Xinya asked.

"I'm sure I am, where is it?" Questioned Melting Snow, wondering where Xinya was going to take him.

Gesturing for Melting Snow to follow him, Xinya said, "One of my friends named Wandering Sound, rented us a boathouse to stay in."

"Wandering Sound?! That's right I wanted to ask how you became friends with him. With him being a celebrity and all." Melting Snow asked bouncing around Xinya as he walked.

Confused, Xinya stopped walking."What do you mean? Wandering Sound is a celebrity?"

"You mean you didn't know? He's one of the biggest idols in the eastern region of the game." Melting Snow said as if it was a known fact.

Xinya couldn't believe he was hanging out with a celebrity all this time and didn't know it, he wondered why Wandering Sound didn't tell him and Wei. After being around Wandering Sound for this long he knew he wasn't the type of guy to hide things. So the only thing he could think was that there was a reason why he didn't want to let them know.

Xinya started walking again, weaving in and out through the crowd of players and NPCs with Melting Snow, trying not to bump into anyone. Turning his head to face Melting Snow, Xinya said, "When you meet Wandering Sound, pretend like you don't know him."

"Why?" asked Melting Snow curious as to why Xinya was asking him to do that.

"Because I think he doesn't want to be recognized and wants to be treated like a regular person," Xinya explained. It was the only reason Xinya could think of as to why Wandering Sound was hiding his identity.

Since Xinya wasn't paying attention to the road and busy talking to Melting Snow he didn't see the man who was holding a giant cake coming towards him very quickly. Before he knew it, the two of them crashed against each other causing the cake that the man was holding to fall, completely ruining it.

The man was horrified, Xinya was covered in cake and Melting Snow was desperately trying to hold back his laughter. After wiping off some of the frostings that landed on his face-off, Xinya began to profusely apologize to the man.

Xinya expected the man to get angry, but what he did exceeded his expectations. The man started to literally bawl his eyes out. Xinya and Melting Snow exchanged glances but neither of them knew what to do. Since he was older Xinya thought it was up to him to calm the man down.

Patting the man on the back, Xinya said, "Are you alright is there anything I can help you with?"

"This cake was for the mayor's banquet tonight," The man spoke still crying a bit. "If it's not delivered on time the mayor will have my head."

Xinya had a bad feeling about this, this was the second time that he ran into an NPC that had to do something for the mayor. Something about this seemed so familiar to him like he read it before.

While Xinya was thinking, Melting Snow tried calming down the man by saying, "My friend here is a chef, he would be able to help you make a new one."

[Quest Triggered!!]

The man looked at Xinya with hope in his eyes and said, " Are you a chef?"

"Yes, I am," Xinya said, watching as the man's eyes fill with happiness.