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Geez, is it just my imagination, or is there an increasing number of people these days who try to solve all problems with money in haste? Seriously, even relationship problems. A 26-year-old woman in China got slapped with a wad of Chinese yuan when her boyfriend found out that she was cheating on him with a “cyber husband” on an online gaming platform. And here I thought such distasteful behavior only existed in melodramatic TV soap operas.

This story gets a little dramatic and messy, as most love-triangle stories do, so let’s set things straight before we jump into it! The incident revolves around Zhang, Yu and Yang. Zhang and Yu are a couple, and Yang is the online acquaintance of Yu. The person who captured the images of Zhang slapping Yu and subsequently leaked the story to the media is Wang, who shares a rented apartment with the couple.

According to Wang, the couple used to be very close as the both of them shared similar interests in online gaming and movies, especially superhero action flicks. But little did they expect their shared interest to be the catalyst which triggered off the ugly quarrel.

It all traces back to when Yu found out about a movie-themed online game about to be released for beta testing. Being quite the game and movie fanatic, she enthusiastically signed up for the first closed testing. Through the fictional realm, she got to know Yang, a young man who was around her age. Coincidentally, Yang was into games and superheros as well. They hit it off almost instantly, and were soon having daily chats on QQ, China’s number one instant messaging service, till the wee hours of the night. Things started treading into the gray zone when Yu and Yang exchanged photos, and Yang found himself completely smitten with Yu. However, he knew full well that she had a boyfriend (Zhang) and they could not be together.

Despite the unfavorable circumstances, Yang decided to cling onto the tiniest ray of hope, and offered his dream girl 5,000 yuan (approximately US$825) worth of in-game items in exchange for her to be his “wife” in their gaming world. Yu was reluctant at first, but the bait of luxury game power-ups proved to be too tempting, and she eventually gave in.

Have we gotten you on the edge of your seat yet? It’s about time the male lead makes his appearance in this dramatic story!

Zhang noticed that his girlfriend had begun to behave strangely and questioned her, but the cyber heroine kept mum about her online rendezvous. Sensing that something was fishy, he secretly accessed his girlfriend’s computer while she was taking a nap, and upon peeking into her chat records, found the flirtatious chats between Yu and Yang as well as evidence of the in-game gifts. Furious, he ran to a nearby ATM and withdrew 5,000 yuan at once, and mercilessly dealt a few slaps to Yu’s face with the freshly withdrawn cash. Admitting that she was in the wrong, Yu punished herself by kneeling on her keyboard to appease Zhang. Only then did the enraged man calm down and gather his thoughts together.

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If you think that’s the end, it’s not! Although Zhang had forgiven his girlfriend, he was determined to show his rival who’s boss. Perhaps there’s an unspoken rule that cyber vengeance should be settled in the cyber realm; Zhang created an account on the gaming platform and announced online that he was out to get Yang, his girlfriends now ex-cyber-husband. He splurged on premium in-game items to ensure victory over his love rival. Faced with the aggressive attacks online, Yang backed down and faded away into the abyss of the cyber realm.

Even though it’s quite obvious that the girl made a mistake by giving in to greed, it is not cool to slap a lady in the face, much less with a wad of cash. We live in a materialistic world that revolves around money, but putting a price tag on human emotions, integrity and relationships only cheapens what is supposed to be priceless. If only we can learn to treasure ourselves, and treasure the people important to us, we might realize that we’re actually richer than our bank statements tell us!

Source/Images: ET Today