Dabao Daoist Temple, located on Qinglong Mountain, Linhai City.
Although it was early morning, the temple was already swamped with people since it was the peak tourism season.
Observing the packed temple, Lin Fan took out his newly bought Xiaomi mobile phone, holding it tightly.
He was aware that amongst the large crowd, there may well be thieves. He didn't want his phone that he'd saved up a year's worth of breakfast money for to be stolen. He deemed it safer to keep it in his hand.
Passing through the crowd, Lin Fan walked into the temple, knelt before the statue of Daoist Dabao and prayed earnestly, "Great God, please bless me! Our English teacher announced there would be an English test in a few days. I hope I can guess more answers correctly in the multiple-choice section. Please, Great God!"
This makeshift prayer technique was taught to him by his desk mate and best friend, Wang Fatty, and was reputed to be effective. To Lin Fan, who struggled with his studies, he was naturally willing to try.
He had previously tried the method of consuming a stick of deep-fried dough and two eggs, but it wasn't effective. Thus, he decided to use this method this time.
After the prayer, Lin Fan saw the donation box not far from the statue, hesitated for a moment before walking towards it and pulling out a twenty-yuan note from his pocket.
"This really is costing me now, Great God. If I give you another twenty yuan, you must ensure that I guess more multiple-choice answers correctly!" After speaking, Lin Fan gritted his teeth, ready to drop the twenty yuan into the donation box.
However, just as he was about to do this, someone knocked into him from behind; this made him lose his balance temporarily and he not only dropped the twenty yuan into the donation box but his phone as well.
With a "clang" sound, Lin Fan's face changed dramatically.
"Dammit, my phone!" Lin Fan shook the donation box due to the pain of losing his new phone - a phone he just bought and hadn't even made a single call with yet. Now it was donated to the gods.
"Young lad, what are you doing? Stop shaking the donation box randomly!" At that moment, an old Daoist priest with white hair walked over and reprimanded sternly.
"My savior! Master, Priest, please open the donation box quickly; my phone fell into it!" When Lin Fan saw his savior, he excitedly reported.
"Nonsense, can the donation box be opened randomly?" The old Daoist's face hardened, rebuking seriously.
"Master, please, I've scrimped and saved, just to buy this phone. I was planning on showing it off to a female classmate. I..." Seeing the old daoist refuse, Lin Fan began to ramble on like Monk Tang.
This went on for about five minutes. The old daoist could hardly bear it. He had never seen anyone who could talk so much. Even Monk Tang wasn't this bad, right?
"Alright young man, I'll open it for you!" The old daoist couldn't help but admit defeat. He reluctantly opened the Merit Box, took out the phone, and handed it to Lin Fan.
Lin Fan took the phone and profusely thanked the old daoist, who, fearing Lin Fan would start talking again, promptly locked the Merit Box and ran away.
"Finally, my precious is back!" Lin Fan looked at his phone, heaving a sigh of relief while gently caressing it.
However, as he touched it, he noticed something was off. His phone screen had a thin crack on it. Clearly, it had been cracked when it fell inside the Merit Box.
This deeply saddened Lin Fan. Just as he was about to touch the crack, the phone screen lit up.
A WeChat message appeared on the top of the screen: DuoBao Celestial invites you to join the DuoBao Celestial Merchants Chat Group and gives you a novice bonus of 500 ingots.
"DuoBao Celestial Merchants Chat Group? 500 ingots? What kind of weird group is this?" Curious, Lin Fan opened WeChat and entered the so-called chat group.
As soon as he entered the group, a message was sent.
Celestial Potion Merchant: "New inventory alert, Intelligence Potion that can increase intelligence by 100. Please help promote it in your circle of friends!"
Celestial Elixir Merchant: "I also have new inventory – Strength Elixir can instantly increase strength by 5 times. Please help me promote it too!"
Celestial Charm Merchant: "Me too, me too, Invisibility Charm can make you invisible for five minutes, 100 ingots each, first come first serve! Help me promote it, please!"
Several other vendors were also sending messages asking for promotion.
Celestial Artifact Merchant: "Would you people quit selling such basic stuff? You clearly have old inventory, yet you tout it as new. Have some shame!"
Immortal Potion Trader: "There's nothing we can do, the number of new treasures in Many Treasures Immortal World is overwhelming, our old products' sales are getting worse, we need to come up with some strategies!
Immortal Elixir Trader: "Exactly, let everyone help promote, I need to get back to work."
Next, both the Talisman Trader and Divine Artifact Trader sent a message saying "remote" and then they stopped talking, but there were some other traders who kept scrolling and advertising on the screen.
"God, are they a bunch of lunatics? So obsessed with the game?" Lin Fan, looking at the messages one after another, he only saw the names of those products in the game, so he suspected that he had joined a chat group created by a bunch of game fanatics.
Lin Fan wanted to leave the group right away, but he prepared to leave something before quitting.
"Hehe, aren't you selling elixirs or talismans? Let me show you what high-end products look like!" Lin Fan smirked, and then sent a message.
'Cutie gets Chopped'
Lin Fan's WeChat nickname
: "New product in stock, Ultimate Invincible Atomic Bomb, stunning power, limited-time panic buying!"
After he sent that message, Lin Fan prepared to exit this strange chat room.
However, at this moment, his phone vibrated, and a new message came in.
Lin Fan opened it and saw a guy named "Ammo Collector" sent him a private message.
Ammo Collector: "Boss, how much is your Ultimate Invincible Atomic Bomb? I want to buy it!"
A smirk appeared at the corner of Lin Fan's mouth, thinking that this guy was too obsessed. But since you want to play with me, then I'll play with you.
So Lin Fan replied: "Dude, this time, I only had two in stock and they got sold out immediately. You'll have to wait till next time!"
Ammo Collector: "Ah? Seems like it's really a good stuff, it got sold out so fast, then I can only wait till next time! But, you have to save me one when you restock, this is my pre-order!"
Just after Lin Fan read the message, an ancient paper emitting a faint blue glow appeared out of thin air in his hand.
"Holy moly... What the hell?!" Lin Fan stood rooted to the spot, utterly clueless as to how the pre-order form had appeared in his hand out of nowhere.
Is this... some sort of high tech? But isn't this too miraculous?
If this is indeed high tech, does it mean that the items they're selling are real?
After a moment of wild thoughts, Lin Fan decided to take another look at the message content in the group.
But when Lin Fan saw the time displayed at the top of his phone screen, he quickly put it away.
"Damn it, I'm going to be late for school!"
Without giving a second thought about that weird chat group, Lin Fan took off running towards the school...