½ Prince Volume 5: A Prince No More
Original novel in Chinese by: 御我 (Yu Wo)
Chapter 4: The Terrifying Side of a Self-aware NPC – translated by raylight
“Calm down, you have to calm down,” I muttered frantically to myself.
First, let’s see whether PMing works. Trembling, I opened the PM channel.
“Prince-gēge,” Doll replied anxiously.
Thank goodness that PMs still works. The load weighing on my heart finally lifted a little.
“Doll, are you alright?”
“I’m fine, but Celestial keeps rubbing his face against Doll’s cheek, which feels really disgusting.” Doll sounded as though she was about to cry.
WHAT?! That perverted NPC… I was so angry that I nearly rushed up into the portal.
“Doll, you wait for me, I’m coming to save you!”
Doll stopped me quickly. “Don’t come up, Prince-gēge. Celestial is too strong; you guys won’t be able to defeat him. Just let Doll fly back to the rebirth point. Prince-gēge, your level is important to me, so whatever you do, don’t lose any levels.”
I was silent for quite a while. What Doll had said was indeed the truth, and even if I combined powers with Neurotic and DanDan, I was afraid that we might not even be able to grab the ends of Celestial’s clothes. However, can I really just abandon Doll? After all, it was me who had brought her here to her death.
I sat down on the ground, discouraged. As expected, my strength is still too low. I couldn’t even protect my own companion.
Neurotic and DanDan stood to one side, also unsure of what to do. They only stared at me, and I was lost in thought.
It was not until Doll messaged me with sobs, that I was roughly awakened.
“Prince-gēge, Celestial said that he wants Doll to be his wife, and he isn’t willing to kill Doll. Also, it’s strange that Doll has no way to go offline.”
“What?!” I was so shocked that I jumped up from the floor, even giving Neurotic and DanDan beside me a huge scare.
I was simply beside myself with panic. Doesn’t that mean that Doll is trapped? No way, I have to go save her! After I had made up my mind, I started calmly considering Doll’s rescue. After all, if the three of us went up, and were not only unable to rescue Doll but also became trapped there with her, then we would really be up the creek without a paddle1.
“Neurotic, DanDan…” I explained what Doll had just told me. They too started furrowing their brows, and DanDan appeared to become even more worried.
“I intend to get help from Infinite City. Neurotic, DanDan, would you lend me your strength?” I was practically pleading as I looked at them.
“No problem! Even if we have to climb a mountain of knives or jump into cauldrons2 of hot oil or even if the enemy in front of our eyes is Celestial, the two of us will rescue that cute little girl,” Neurotic roared with heroic spirit.
“That’s great,” I replied. “With someone leading the way, I won’t be afraid of not being able to find this place.”
“Leading the way?” Neurotic repeated blankly.
I nodded my head embarrassedly, and laughed, “Because I have no sense of direction, I’m afraid I won’t be able to find this place. Therefore, I’ll have to ask you guys to help bring my companions and me to this place later on.”
Neurotic’s whole face looked lifeless, while DanDan let out a laugh. “Okay, okay, my husband and I will act like a GPS device this once.”
After I finished talking to them, I immediately PMed my invincible pet, Kenshin. “Kenshin, matters are really serious. Hurry over to the Den of Wandering Nymphs and bring along Sunshine, Cold Fox, and XiMen Feng. Take note to use the flying carpet and hurry over. I’ll be waiting for you at the cave entrance.”
Kenshin was speechless for a moment, and then asked me, “The others aren’t needed? Wicked, Nan Gong Zui, and even Broken Sword are all stronger than XiMen Feng.”
I was silent for a moment. Right now, I really don’t want to see them! …I threw a tantrum and then I willfully ran away. Now that I have landed Doll into this predicament, how could I have the nerve to see them? Stubbornly, I said, “I don’t want to see people that I know well.”
“Understood. I’ll go look for them now.” Kenshin didn’t say much, and after saying that he’d look for the others, nothing else was heard from him.
After instructing Kenshin, I turned my head around and looked towards Neurotic and DanDan. “Please help bring me to the cave entrance to wait for support.”
“No problem!” Neurotic gave me a thumbs up.
As Neurotic brought me toward the cave entrance, he absent-mindedly told me, “You look a lot better now, not like a little while back when you had a ‘living people stay away’ appearance.”
“Sorry, I wasn’t in a very good mood,” I apologized, full of sincerity. Being that impolite to them, it’s surprising that they are still willing to help me.
“Ooh, not in a good mood? Come, tell big sister what’s the matter, and big sister will comfort you.” DanDan had the kind of glint in her eyes that appears whenever females see a cute small animal.
“Your husband would be jealous, right?” I hung a helpless expression on my face, for I hadn’t imagined that this face of mine would even tempt married woman.
Neurotic turned his head to look at me, and his eyes had the kind of glint that appears whenever a guy sees a cute girl.
“That won’t happen; I will comfort you together with my wife.”
This terrible pair of husband and wife…
“We’ve reached the cave entrance. Are those your companions?” DanDan pointed at the few shadows in front.
I looked over to where she was pointing. As expected, it was Kenshin. Beside him were the people that I had just requested, Cold Fox and such.
XiMen Feng reproached loudly, “Sonny, what kind of nonsense were you taking care of, missing for that many days, and leaving yer daddy without anyone to fight.”
“Don’t you know how to find Kenshin and Cold Fox? The both of them should’ve been quite idle,” I said angrily, yet finding it hilarious. Could it be that XiMen Feng had fallen in love with the feeling of having his ass kicked by me? Why does it seem as though everyone who has been beaten up by me becomes addicted to it?
XiMen Feng flinched as he glanced at Kenshin and Cold Fox. Looking highly embarrassed, he grumbled, “I did, but the red-haired sonny ignores yer daddy, and though that damn fox was willing to fight with yer daddy, his attacks were so heavy. Last time he even caused yer daddy to fly into the sky. Who would dare to look for him for a fight? It’s not as if I resent my level being too high and want to lose a few levels, eh.”
“Prince, just what happened? Why would you suddenly ask us to come over? Fairsky originally told me that you had a falling out with us, and you wouldn’t appear for ten days to half a month.” Sunshine questioned me confusedly. He even smilingly added, “Fairsky even spent a really long time explaining to me what ‘fall out with’ means!”
Sunshine is so straightforward that it would make people want to cry. I could only automatically overlook the three words ‘fall out with’, and directly explain the situation.
“Doll has been captured by a boss named Celestial. For unknown reasons, she is unable to go offline, so we have to go rescue her.”
Once I had said the word ‘boss’, Cold Fox’s eyes suddenly lit up. Straight and to the point, he said, “Let’s go then!”
This battle fanatic… Helplessly, I hoped that he would not forget that my main objective was to rescue someone. I gestured to Neurotic and DanDan to lead the way.
“Neurotic, DanDan, sorry to trouble you to lead the way.”
“No problem. I’m going to run, okay? After all, the sooner we rescue Doll, the better. If you guys cannot catch up, let me know.” The moment Neurotic finished his words, he immediately started running, and our party followed behind.
“Sprint forward, I think all of us can catch up!” When I thought of Doll trapped in the hands of the perverted Celestial, I wished that I could teleport there to rescue her.
“Prince,” Kenshin shouted to me, and then he pointed to the mage Sunshine, who was full of innocent smiles, as well as the beefy warrior XiMen Feng.
“Uh, Kenshin, you carry Sunshine. XiMen Feng… You better run faster.” I glared at XiMen Feng ferociously.
“F***, sonny, that’s discrimination!” Though grumbling, XiMen Feng still had a face of resignation as he prepared to use all his might to run.
With some difficulty, we ran back to the place where Celestial and Doll had disappeared. I gazed at the magic formation above and held in the urge to charge in to save Doll. Although there are this many strong people to help, Celestial is still someone who should not be trifled with. Let’s first PM Doll and check the situation before doing anything. Without further ado, I opened up the PM channel.
“Doll, how are you doing? Were you bullied by Celestial?”
“No,” replied Doll vaguely. It made my heart pump vigorously once. What has happened?
I took on a tone of worry. Has Doll been beaten up so badly that even speaking is difficult?
“Then we are going up to save you, okay?”
“Mhmm…” Doll gave another vague reply.
My heart was heavy. It looks like Doll really has been beaten up. How hateful!
I immediately changed my facial expression, and the look of the blood elf appeared once again. Full of rage, I used a dangerous tone as I said, “Nobody can bully my friends!”
Using all my strength to kick against the mountain wall, I took the lead and jumped into the magic formation, and the rest of them followed me. I glanced left and right in worry, searching for Doll. However, in the great hall full of snow-white pillars, other than the throne in the center and the scattered and gleaming treasures made of gold and silver everywhere, there was no trace of Doll. I couldn’t help but urgently shout, “Doll? Doll, where are you?”
“Who are you?” A voice came from behind a pillar and my eyes snapped towards it. As I expected, the one who appeared in front of our eyes was the androgynous pervert Celestial.
I gave a snort. “Hmph, you just captured my companion and now you don’t recognize us anymore?”
“So it is you, my wife’s former companion.” Celestial had a face of indifference, as though that was already the past tense. Seeing that, I was really infuriated. What do you mean ‘former’ companion?
“Return Doll now!” I bellowed.
Celestial narrowed his eyes dangerously and coldly said, “You want to snatch my wife?”
I too, replied coldly, “She is not your wife. You’re not worthy!”
“I said she is my wife, thus she is my wife!” Celestial was so angry that as he roared a length of white satin shot towards me.
I did my best to roll to the side and dodged the tattered cloth that had once made me break a few ribs. As I did that, I yelled at everyone, “Why are you just standing there? Start fighting!”
They returned to their senses and immediately drew their weapons to vigorously attack Celestial. Kenshin, whose speed was the fastest, was already in front of Celestial in the blink of an eye. Celestial revealed a shocked expression on his face, and hastily shot a few lengths of white satin to act as a shield between him and Kenshin. However, Kenshin indifferently shouted, “Void Piercer.”
“Urgh,” Celestial let out a groan of pain and Kenshin, who had abruptly appeared behind Celestial, took the chance to attack. Once Celestial turned around, Kenshin sliced again. Celestial was unable to dodge it, and was once again given a wound on his right shoulder.
Celestial was staring at his own wound with disbelief, an expression of rage on his face growing with each passing second. Following that, he flew up high in the sky to put some distance between him and Kenshin, his mouth spitting out that sound that I couldn’t understand.
Oh no! I shouted loudly inside my heart, but purple-robed nymphs had already appeared before my eyes. The difference this time round was that their number was so great that they were like a miniature army. Serious expressions appeared on our faces. Although it was not as though we couldn’t win against this bunch of purple robes, behind them there was still Celestial, who was eyeing us with fury!
Seeing the situation, I came to a decision. “Sunshine and DanDan, you guys will be in charge of using magic to force Celestial back toward the floor. Kenshin, you prepare to pursue and attack Celestial. The rest of you surround the two of them, and be sure to protect them well.”
Hearing my words, DanDan immediately stood beside Sunshine, and Neurotic and XiMen Feng also stood at both of their sides to protect them. However, Cold Fox stared at Celestial with his face full of longing instead, looking as though he was itching to have a fight to the death with him. I rolled my eyes. As expected, he is a fox that doesn’t follow the crowd. I could only open my mouth in exasperation to say, “Cold Fox, Celestial is not a warrior. Even if you fight him, you won’t find pleasure in it. Listen to me first and act accordingly. When we get back, you can have as many rounds of combat with Kenshin as you please.”
Cold Fox didn’t say a single word, but he obediently stood to the side of Sunshine and DanDan. Looks like Kenshin is not just ordinarily useful—besides being able to battle, he can still be used to ‘tempt’ battle fanatics.
Sunshine immediately started to recite an incantation and wind blades shot towards Celestial. Unfortunately, they were all blocked by Celestial’s white satin. The superb summoner DanDan was not to be outdone, and while she summoned blood blades to fly into the air and fight with Celestial, she also summoned a stone giant to help us fight the purple robes, greatly reducing the pressure on us.
Kenshin prowled continuously underneath Celestial. The moment Celestial was forced to descend to lower heights by the blood blades and magic, Kenshin immediately used his astonishing jumping ability to jump between the pillars, frequently catching Celestial unprepared.
The rest of the warriors spared no effort in battling the purple robes that swarmed like ants. Swinging his claymore, Neurotic frequently chopped the purple robes into half through their waists and Cold Fox would appear and disappear unpredictably to strike a blade right into their hearts. I too, specialized in hitting crucial areas. The neck, the heart, and the forehead were all my favorite places. XiMen Feng, who was comparably lacking in power, instead adopted a strategy of fighting slowly, taking them on one at a time.
Killing them continuously, our bodies were drenched in unknown amounts of blood; our sight was a sea of red. Our hands had swung our blades an unknown number of times and we only knew that with every swing of a blade, there would be a fountain of blood spurting. Our bodies…had unknown amounts of injuries, but the pain had long since disappeared, leaving only numbness behind. However, the nymphs still continued to come at us like a tide and I didn’t have any time to check the situation with Celestial. Will Kenshin and the others be able to kill Celestial? I anxiously wanted to go check on Kenshin’s situation, but the moment I showed a little bit of hesitation, my left shoulder immediately received a heavy blow.
I knelt with a knee on the ground, wildly coughing up blood. When I raised my head once again, I saw both Neurotic and Cold Fox were already standing beside me, blocking the attacks of the purple robes in my place. If they hadn’t been there, I’m afraid I would have already flown back to Infinite City!
However, both of their bodies were also riddled with scars, and I could see that they were at their limit. Still the purple robes surrounded us in groups. Could it be that there is no end to Celestial’s summonings? Does his magic have no limit? My heart was half chilled. At this moment, I focused in Kenshin’s direction. His originally neat body was now covered in blood; his clothes had actually been torn in a few areas. Could it be that he is injured?
Damn, I actually forgot again—if Kenshin and Sunshine die, their consciousness might not remain. I definitely can’t let them die.
“Kenshin, Sunshine, if the situation turns critical, you guys should immediately escape,” I instantly PMed Kenshin and Sunshine.
“What is considered critical?” Kenshin indifferently asked.
“As long as your life is endangered, it’s considered critical,” I replied anxiously.
Kenshin gave a bitter smile. “But, I think I can no longer escape.”
What? I stared at Kenshin in fright, and at this moment then I realized that both of Kenshin’s legs had actually been bounded by countless lengths of white satin, making him unable to move. He could only block off attacks while standing in that spot. Moreover, surrounding Kenshin were ten or more purple robes, and Celestial was eyeing him covetously. Although Sunshine and DanDan frantically tried to distract Celestial, the white satin attacking Kenshin didn’t even stop once.
“Sunshine, hurry and help Kenshin!” I turned my head to look at Sunshine, and was once again shocked at another scene. As Neurotic and Cold Fox were standing within my vicinity to protect me, it caused the pressure at DanDan and Sunshine’s side to increase. DanDan not only had to command a stone giant to block off the purple robes, Sunshine still had to continuously use his magic to deal with Celestial’s white satins. The critical status of their situation was not at all lower than Kenshin’s.
Was it me who burdened everyone? Thinking this, I decided that I couldn’t care less that my body was in so much pain till I was numb, and forced myself to stand up. I shouted to Neurotic and Cold Fox, “I’m fine, you guys hurry and go help the magicians.”
Neurotic and Cold Fox gave me a worried glance, but under my firm gaze, both sped back to Sunshine and DanDan’s sides to help block off the attacks from the purple robes.
I want to go help Kenshin! Dragging my suddenly heavy body, I still did my best to swing Black Dao in my hands, using the speed that I was most proud of to weave in between the purple robes, and rush towards Kenshin’s side step by step.
“Kenshin, I have come to help you.” After reaching Kenshin’s side with much difficulty, I continued to swing my blade non-stop to hack at the white satin that was binding Kenshin’s feet.
“Mhh,” Kenshin grunted in reply. He started to concentrate even more on dealing with the surrounding purple robes. After quite a while he had cut down a large group of purple robes and I had also finally reduced the number of white satin strips on Kenshin’s feet to one.
“Prince, you guys be careful; I don’t have any more magic to continue the blood blades summon to fight with Celestial!” DanDan shouted anxiously.
What? I turned my head to look at Celestial. Without the blood blades, Celestial had no more concerns. With a wave of his hand, the white satin that I had chopped once again wound onto Kenshin’s legs. Another ten or so lengths of white satin floated behind Celestial, and then all of them shot towards Kenshin. It seemed that Kenshin’s body was going to have ten or so more holes…
“No!” I gave a roar and I threw my whole body towards Kenshin, determined to protect him at the cost of my own life.
“Rebound Barrier!” a familiar voice suddenly rose, and as I turned my head to look I saw that the lengths of attacking white satin had actually rebounded back to Celestial’s body. Unfortunately, Celestial had evaded it in time, and didn’t take any serious damage.
“Prince, are you alright?”
Lolidragon’s voice? Once again, I turned my head to look in shock. The people I saw were not just Yun and Lolidragon, but there were many more companions. The whole group of Odd Squad was assembled, and Rose Team was also here. Ming Huang from Dark Emperor was already looking at me with a face that revealed his bad mood and of course Nan Gong Zui and Kong Kong were not absent.
I was dumbfounded, and could only ask with a stammer, “Everyone… Why have you all come here?”
Lolidragon snappily replied, “Seeing that Kenshin was searching for people everywhere, I instantly knew that you must have gotten into trouble again. I PMed XiMen Feng to ask what had happened and found out that you guys were in trouble.”
“Afterwards, once I told everyone about this matter, no one said a single word and just rushed here.” Lolidragon said pointedly.
While Lolidragon was explaining, Wolf-dàgē’s healing white light had already enveloped me. Gui and Wicked had also long since run over to help me up and Nan Gong Zui and the others had run to battle with Celestial.
Within my heart, I felt warmly touched, and was a little at a loss as to what to do. I merely said, “Everyone, be more careful. Celestial is very strong.”
However, it seems that I was thinking too much. Although Celestial was a little strong to an exaggerated extent, facing this many people helping on my side, there was only defeat left in store for him. The purple robes on the ground were being massacred for fun and with the huge amounts of magic being released from our side, Celestial barely had any space to dodge the attacks. Mostly he could just use his white satin to block them, but gradually, many wounds were inflicted onto his body.
At last, Celestial was eventually unable to endure it any further, and dropped down from the air. Nan Gong Zui gestured for everyone to stop, and then walked in front of me. “Liege lord, go and kill off Celestial. Once you have killed him, you should be able to level up.”
“Oh.” I seem to be a little useless like this? But after stirring up a load of troubles, how could I dare to protest. I could only obediently walk in front of Celestial, and then pull out my Black Dao, intending to slice Celestial into half.
However, I suddenly thought of Doll, and I hurriedly asked him fiercely, “Where did you imprison Doll?”
“Kill me then. I definitely will not let you take away my wife.” Celestial was lying on the ground soaked in blood, but his face still had that determined expression.
In my heart, a strange feeling suddenly arose. This expression seems to be very familiar? Almost like…the resolve that Kenshin had when he was digging Kaoru’s grave.
At this moment, Neurotic who was beside me started muttering to himself, “This boss is sure strange. Although I have fought many bosses before, I still haven’t met a NPC that is so much like a human. Could it be that the stronger the bosses, the higher their intelligence?”
My heart thumped in surprise. True, Celestial’s reaction is really too human, and is the exact same as Kenshin’s and Sunshine’s. Could it be that Celestial has also become self-aware? I threw a dumbstruck look towards Lolidragon, who also looked back at me. On her face, she wore a serious expression.
“Kill him, Prince.” Lolidragon’s voice came from over the PM channel.
I was dumbstruck. “But, do you think he might have become self-aware?”
“That’s precisely why we have to hurry and kill him. If not, when everyone becomes suspicious towards Celestial, they might also become suspicious of Sunshine and Kenshin. Surely you don’t wish for any mishaps to happen to them, right?” Lolidragon said, agitated.
Kenshin and Sunshine definitely can’t meet any mishaps! I hardened my heart and flipped my Black Dao around to stab downwards into Celestial, who was on the ground. Softly, I muttered, “Sorry.”
Just as my Black Dao was about to penetrate through Celestial’s body, his body actually faded away in a flash, like particles dissolving. I was stunned for quite a while. Did I kill him? I raised my Dao and looked at it suspiciously, but I didn’t even think that the Dao had stabbed him. What was that?
“What happened? Prince, have you killed Celestial?” After a long moment, Nan Gong Zui came up to inquire.
Uncertain, I replied, “I don’t know—”
Before I could finish my words, Lolidragon’s voice came from over the PM channel again. “Say that you killed Celestial. I’ll go look for the people in the company. After a while, they’ll supplement you with the experience and loot. Right now, just focus on saying that you have already killed him.”
I was filled with doubts, but as I looked over, I saw that Lolidragon had already gone offline. Just what is going on? But since Lolidragon had instructed as such, I could only tell Nan Gong Zui, “…Should be dead, though his way of dying is sure strange.”
“Why is there no loot? This is really strange,” Nan Gong Zui muttered in incomprehension.
“Let’s not care about that, and hurry and look for Doll! I wonder if she’s alright now?” I said worriedly.
Just as I finished my words, I immediately heard a familiar voice. “Prince-gēge, you’re so slow!”
Seeing Doll walk over alone as though she was talking a stroll, and her hands even holding two packets of biscuits, my eyes nearly popped out.
“Doll, are you alright?”
Doll grabbed a biscuit and put it in her mouth, saying unclearly, “I’m alright, didn’t Doll tell Prince-gēge that I’m fine?”
The corner of my mouth twitched a little as I asked, “Then what have you been doing just now?”
“Eating, and also playing ball games with the purple-robed big sister!” Doll answered happily.
Doll ran over in a hurry. “Prince-gēge, what happened to you? Why did you suddenly fall over? Your head is even spurting blood! Wolf-gēge, hurry and come over, Prince-gēge is about to die!”
Rubbing my head, I stood up and sighed. I turned around to face Neurotic and DanDan. “Neurotic, DanDan, my apologies. I’m deeply sorry for making you guys worry along with me.”
“Haha, it doesn’t matter. It’s on your account that we were able to meet Celestial today and even being able to fight a round with him is to your credit. Otherwise, I don’t know how much longer the both of us would have had to search for him.” Neurotic gave an unrestrained smile.
“Neurotic and DanDan?” Nan Gong Zui abruptly said with shock, “The winners of the Western Continent’s Adventurers’ Tournament? The couple from Wandering City?
I looked at Neurotic and DanDan in shock. They were the Liege Lords from the Western Continent’s Wandering City?
Neurotic embarrassedly scratched his head. “We’ve been discovered?”
“Then let us re-introduce ourselves! I am DanDan, a summoner who is fifth in the rankings. This is my hubby Neurotic, a warrior who is ninth in the rankings. We are the winning team of the Western Continent’s Adventurer’s Tournament, Wandering Team. After that we constructed Wandering City, and currently we are in the process of honing our strength for the big push, preparing to conquer the whole of the Western Continent. Hopefully, we will be able to become the region’s Overlords, just like you, Prince,” DanDan grinned at me.
“Me? Overlord?” I asked with shock.
DanDan’s eyes sparkled as she looked at me. “That’s right, Central Continent’s Bloody Overlord, Prince, is currently one of the most established names of the Overlords within the five continents.”
“Bloody Overlord?” I let out a small sigh, not knowing how to feel about that.
1 “Up the creek without a paddle”: 叫天天不应，叫地地不灵 (jiào tiān tiān bù yìng, jiào dì dì bù líng). Literally: Cry out to the heavens, but the heavens don’t respond. Cry out to the earth, but the earth is impervious.
2 Climb a mountain of knives, go into the oil cauldrons: Actually refers to some of the punishments depicted in Chinese Hell. There are eighteen levels of hell, each incorporating a different kind of torture/punishment meant for different kind of sinners. These two are some of the most common ones. For more info, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diyu (Warning: Not for the faint-hearted).