(Warning: PG-13+. Contains attempted rape.)
Dominion’s End Volume 1: Raining Stars at World’s End
Original novel in Chinese by: 御 我 (Yu Wo)
Chapter 7: The Coffee’s Not to Blame, Part Two– translated by Elkin
The next time I opened my eyes, I was trussed up like a turkey.
What the hell?
“Yo, Mr. Handsome’s awake!”
A sudden voice rang out, and it was only then that I noticed there were other people in the room. I turned my head to look, only to discover that it was a woman I didn’t recognize. She was gazing at me up and down in a leisurely manner, with a look in her eyes that pissed me off.
“He looks even better than those TV stars. God, seriously, he looked good asleep, but now that he’s awake, he looks even better.”
This voice… Someone else is in the room, too? I twisted my head around and saw three men and two women in total, all strangers.
The other woman was sprawled on one side of the bed. She looked younger, at most twenty-odd years old, and she reached out to stroke my face. Seeing that, the other woman also leaned forward to touch and feel me.
I was speechless. As a woman in the previous world, I was worried that I would be raped. Now that I was a man in this world, it seemed I still had to worry about being raped. So that was why I always said, it wasn’t good to be born with good looks in the apocalypse!
Ignoring the ongoing sexual harassment, I struggled to figure out the situation while being completely immobilized. First, I discovered Uncle and Auntie on the floor to one side. Both were bound hand and foot and were looking at me worriedly, but thankfully, neither of them seemed hurt.
Uncle and Auntie are both here, so why isn’t Shujun around… Shit! Shujun is a pretty girl! I panicked.
Wait, hold your horses. Uncle and Auntie only look a little alarmed and are still relatively calm. Judging from their reactions, Shujun should be fine—she has to be fine!
At this point, someone else walked into the room. He was very tall and lanky, and he even had a rifle hanging from a shoulder. Facing the tall, broad-built man in the room, he reported, “Sir, something’s wrong. The basement is stockpiled with foods and civilian supplies. There’s boxes of the stuff. It’s crazy how much stuff there is. It doesn’t seem like these were foraged supplies either. It’s almost like these people predicted the apocalypse and rounded up some supplies beforehand.”
Crap, they discovered our supplies. Now, they’re not going to go anywhere any time soon.
There were too many of them, and they were armed with guns as well, guns that packed serious firepower. Mr. Broad even had a machine gun slung across his back, and even the women were equipped with handguns.
If it were just handguns, I could still try dodging or blocking the bullets with ice. But there was no way I could go up against a machine gun. The only thing I was sure I could pull off was fleeing. But with Uncle and Auntie here, there was no way I could run off just by myself.
I checked my body’s condition. First, I created a piece of ice in my mouth to confirm that I was able to use my powers, and it also slaked my thirst at the same time. Then, I shifted my waist a bit. It stung a little, so it seemed the wound hadn’t completely healed yet. But my head was clear, so the fever was gone.
If these people were just slightly more spread out from each other, with a bit of a head start, I might be able to take them down one by one.
“You’re the only ones having fun!” A short man with a pointy head and rat-like eyes said spitefully as he glared at the two women, “Such a pity that doll ran off. She sure looked damn fine.”
Shujun got away? Good!
A fat man whacked the back of Shorty’s head, yelling, “Don’t reveal things so easily!”
Shorty gingerly rubbed the back of his head, replying “S’not like it matters. Two out of the three are old fogies, and the young one looks like he’s currently sick. Who gives a shit about them?”
Hearing that, I frowned. There should be someone from the mercenary troop on guard in the attic. Is that person dead, or did they run away?
No matter what, the only thing I could do right now was to quietly wait for the right opportunity. Once they were scattered enough, I should be able to deal with these people without putting Uncle and Auntie in danger. Although they had guns, aside from Mr. Broad and Lanky who seemed just a little dangerous, the others didn’t seem like they were people who were familiar with guns.
Although I wanted to quietly wait, those two women sure as hell couldn’t and just kept stroking here and there all over my body. They even started feeling me up and rolling up my shirt.
I was astounded. Seriously? Are you so horny that you’re prepared to rape me in front of everyone? It’s not even two months into the apocalypse, so how did things degenerate to be this shameless so quickly?
“Don’t you dare touch Shuyu!” Uncle was so angry, his entire face was flushed, and he couldn’t help shouting, “Don’t you have any shame, doing things like that to a kid?”
The younger woman stopped, her face a little red. So it seemed she still had a shred of morality left in her. But the older one just burst into laughter as she said, “So what? It’s the apocalypse. What’s there to be ashamed about? Do you think that shame will keep you fed?”
With that, she forcefully and provokingly ripped open the clothes in front of my chest.
Fucking hell! If I waited quietly for an opportunity, I’d get raped! And I’d even sworn beforehand that I would never get topped by anyone as long as I lived! Fury erupted from my heart, and I had the sudden impulse to chop off the woman’s wandering hands and shove them down her throat!
“Stop right this instant!” Uncle ground his teeth.
“Xiao Yu’s just eighteen! You can’t do that!” Auntie shouted desperately.
Hearing Uncle’s and Auntie’s voices, the fury in my heart extinguished. Whatever, I’m a man after all. Even if a woman does this and that to me, it wouldn’t really count as topping me.
If I threw all caution to the wind and started fighting, it would be too risky. There were still too many people. There were six of them just in this room, and it was likely that there were still more people outside. On the other hand, Uncle and Auntie were still tied up and unable to move. Bullets would fly around indiscriminately.
Hearing Auntie’s words, the older woman became even more delighted, shrieking, “Yo! What a catch! He’s still young and fresh, only eighteen!”
Then, she lowered herself onto me and started nibbling at my chest. The younger woman was only able to hold herself back for a minute before she swooped in to kiss my face. Thankfully, I was able to twist my face aside quickly, so she wasn’t able to kiss me on the lips. Otherwise, this body’s first kiss would have been over, just like that.
Don’t tell me they’re planning to enact some kind of AV scene in front of everyone?! I really wanted to cry. Although I’d seen a lot in my previous life, I’d originally thought that I just had to increase my combat abilities in this lifetime to avoid these kinds of shitty situations. But I never imagined that, just a mere month and a half into the apocalypse, I would become the protagonist of such a sorry situation, and that it’d be even more tragic than Guan Weijun’s as a bystander.
That’s why, people living in the apocalypse really can’t afford to look too good. That applies to both men and women!
No, I really have to at least fight to preserve my chastity somehow.
“D-don’t…” Tears sprung up in my eyes. I summoned the most pitiful expression I could, imploring weakly, “At least, please, don’t do it here.”
I struggled to squeeze out tears. An idle smile was enough to captivate people, so now that I’m intentionally looking pitiful, let’s see if that isn’t enough to bewitch the two of you! Quickly take me to the next room to force yourselves on me, and I’ll annihilate you immediately!
Honestly though, I was weeping on the inside as I played out the honey trap. I was already at tier one, yet I still ended up being bullied by two ordinary women. How the mighty have fallen!
The two women gazed at my face in a daze. Mere moments ago, they had been bold enough to want to rape a man in front of everyone, but now, they were reduced to shy maidens. Jiang Shuyu’s charm really was invincible. Just this face alone was a kind of power!
“That’s a nice expression he’s got,” Shorty actually leapt forward and started groping my chest with outstretched claws, saying gleefully, “Even a man like me, who’s never been into other guys, wants to eat him up. Now that the doll’s gone, this one will do just fine.”
Fuck off and rot in hell, this woman… no, this man will never let you top him!
As if feeling their territory getting threatened, the two women snarled and bared their teeth. “Hands off! You fucking pervert, don’t you dare touch him again!”
Shorty was clearly undaunted by them, shouting back, “Then what, you’re allowed to rape someone but we’re not?! Everyone worked to capture him, so everyone can damn well share! So what, are you sayin’ other people can’t touch him?” He looked at the fatty and the tall, skinny man, yelling, “I mean, look at this guy, doesn’t he make you wanna top him?”
Top top top… get topped by an aberrant, you shithead!
I never dreamed that I would attract even more people, and men to boot. I was a little frustrated. It looked like I really couldn’t use my allure in the future. It works for other women and men, but the moment Jiang Shuyu uses it, not only would he blast away all opposition, he’d bring himself to ruin as well.
Auntie suddenly spoke up. “Come feel me up instead! I’m just a bit old, that’s all. But look, I still look good, and my boobs are big. No matter what, a woman’s better than a man, don’t you think?”
I want to kill all these people.
“Shut up!” Mr. Broad snapped irritably, “No one is allowed to touch him. There’s something up with this house. Keep your hands on your guns!”
Another man walked in from outside and reported to Mr. Broad, “Chief Hao, there’s a sentry point set up in the attic. It looks very professional and is definitely not an ordinary set up. But there’s no one there. It’s likely that the person ran off the moment they saw how many of us there were.”
Dammit. I knew it wasn’t just six people. So how many of them are there? And the person who just walked in doesn’t look like an ordinary civilian either. He definitely has combat abilities.
I shouldn’t make a move carelessly, but if they really do lay even a finger on Auntie—then I’m going down fighting to the bitter end!
Under Mr. Broad’s orders, Uncle was taken away, and Auntie was left where she was.
“How many of you are there?” Mr. Broad questioned Auntie, but held a knife against my neck.
Auntie’s expression changed.
Mr. Broad said flatly, “I won’t kill him in one go. No, I’ll avoid the vital parts and carve out dozens of pieces of flesh and still leave him alive. Believe me, I can. So, I’ll ask you first, and then I’ll ask that man of yours as well. If the stories don’t match up between the two of you, then everyone here will have a taste of your boy, and then I’ll carve out his flesh, slice by slice.”
Hearing this threat, Auntie’s face turned white and she fessed up to everything. When Uncle was switched in next, Mr. Broad repeated the same routine and obtained the exact same answer.
This was really bad. They had found out every detail about the composition of our home team, whereas we had no idea whether our people had found out that our house had been taken over. I really hoped that Shujun, after escaping their clutches, or the person who had been on guard duty could quickly find Dàgē and the others.
Lanky said, “Chief Hao, it doesn’t sound like many people, but the mercenaries are gonna be tricky.”
Chief Hao—I wasn’t sure if that was his name or if it stood for chief leader Hao—stroked his chin as he said boomingly, “Kid, what’s your full name?”
I frowned inwardly at this question, but Auntie hadn’t been brought back yet. We were screwed if the names didn’t match up, so I had no choice but to reply honestly, “Jiang Shuyu.”
“Chief Hao, you’re thinking of taking him in?” The fatty seemed to find this very unusual and asked curiously, “I never knew Chief Hao was into guys as well.”
“The hell are you saying? A man like me has zero interest in guys!” Chief Hao whacked the back of the guy’s head, and then responded with a question in kind, “JDT. Have you heard of it?”
Lanky clearly seemed to think that his intellect had been insulted, but because the person who had insulted him was his team leader, he had no choice but to suppress his anger and reply, “Of course I have, it’s the Jiang Dominion Troop. That mercenary troop’s not big, but it’s said that the members are pretty good. They’re quite well known in the industry as well. So you know them, boss? I’ve never heard you mention it before.”
“I’ve met them before, but I can’t say I know them. At the time, I wanted to recruit some of their members, so I asked around.”
Lanky blurted out, “But I heard it’s really hard to recruit guys from the JDT. They rarely change members, and it’s hard to lure any of them away. And it’s even harder to get in.”
“That’s right. After hearing things, I wasn’t gonna waste my time or breath to recruit them.” Chief Hao stroked his chin again, musing, “But at the time, I heard that the JDT’s leader lived near Zhongguan City, and that his real name was Jiang Shutian. So, who d’ya think this Jiang Shuyu is?”
He actually knows Dàgē? I frowned, thinking hard, but judging from his tone, he didn’t seem like he had a grudge against Dàgē, nor did he know him well. They’re just both in the same business.
I never imagined that they would be mercenaries as well. Now shit really had hit the fan. An average person and a professional mercenary were simply on different levels in terms of combative power.
“If this really is the JDT’s territory, then things are gonna get real tricky.” Chief Hao pondered for a moment before continuing, “It’s not worth going up against them in a direct confrontation.”
“But Chief Hao, there’re a lot of supplies here,” Fatty immediately protested.
“I didn’t say I didn’t want the supplies.” Chief Hao waved to dispel everyone’s doubts and explained, “I was originally planning to just take over this house directly. This location and the house’s construction are both pretty good, and the basement is full of supplies. We didn’t encounter any monsters on the way in either, so it’s likely that the JDT cleared out the nests. But we gotta make sure we wipe out the entire JDT, otherwise they’ll get revenge on us for sure. Just firing off a few shots at us every so often is enough to be a pain in the ass to deal with.”
“Then, let’s just fight already!” Shorty shouted, “We’ve got more people, so what’s there to be scared of?!”
“Do you even know how many bullets are spent in a gun fight, you little fucker? And we’ve got grenades, and god knows how much firepower the JDT are packing. That’s gonna blow up way big, y’know?!”
Chief Hao snapped irritably, “And even if we exterminated them, we’d probably have run out of bullets ourselves. The sounds of gunfire would also attract a whole lot of monsters, and we won’t be able to stay in this house much longer. And we probably won’t have any choice but to abandon the supplies. And with no guns, whatcha gonna do, have a go at the monsters with a knife?”
Shorty shrunk back, not daring to speak.
How unexpected. This man looked like a brute, but he had a pretty good head on his shoulders. The others also felt that he was making sense, so no one made any more objections.
“Go find a car nearby and carry away all the supplies.”
Lanky said, “There are a lot of supplies here, so it’ll take some time.”
“If time’s the issue, then we can just make use of this kid here.” Chief Hao used the nozzle of the gun to lift my chin, and he remarked with a grin, “Jiang Shutian is famous for caring about his troop’s lives. So what do you think will happen if it came down to his own little brother? Such a pity we couldn’t capture that sister of his, though. With such a pretty, little sister, I’m sure that, as the big brother, he must love her to bits!” He placed particular emphasis on the word “love.”
The others started chuckling with the lewdest expressions you could think of.
Chief Hao thought for a bit, then beckoned to the two women. “The two of you, bite him a few more times and make him look more pathetic. That way, it’ll hurt Jiang Shutian’s little heart even more.”
The two women’s faces lit up, while mine darkened.
Wahhh my staying up late was worth it. Part two is here, Thanks for the update! I really wanted to know why the coffee’s not to blame :D
(On a sidenote, but am I the first?)
No. There were two people (coincidentally both named Faa) who posted comments ahead of you.
If you don’t see your comment pop up immediately, don’t panic. All comments get screened for spoilers and spam before they appear on the site. It can take several hours before a comment will be approved.
Glad to see you’re enjoying Dominion’s End, though.
I’m very sorry for that, it was my iPad’s fault. The second comment also almost got doubled post.
The coffee is most certainly to blame! If Shuyu had not decided to tackle that tier one for the gem to give to Shutian…Coffee can alsways be blamed, no matter how round about!
Thanks for the chappy peoples and I send lots of virtual pie your way.
At least Junjun is safe ;(… Dang that group is sick in the head alright, zero morality…sure its the apocalipse…extreme situations sure bring the worst or best of people. i just hope they destroy them for treating Aunty, Uncle and Shuyu like garbage and toys
eh … is de count for 15+ by chance ? ahahaha I cant think of yu wo will make a story for 18+ with her constantly babling about how she’s not able to make a romance story.
now I see why u make it part 2 :p it’s not that long, but it sure has cut down the work a lot. and the story is totally different too. and yet, the cliffhanger ~><~ it seems like I will endlessly scam u all with comments until u release de (did it scare u ? I didnt think this will work, as I think I am addicted to read comment as well.)
It’s me again…thanksss for the chapter!!
I never thought something like this would happen *shock* Luckily JunJun got away. I hope our Dage is coming back fast! I cannot stand their base being robbed but more importantly, I cannot stand seeing our Shuyu getting molested by that kind of people!!!!
At least it seems like they don’t know much about superpowers or haven’t developed it much yet since they still heavily rely on their guns. Talking about powers, maybe we will finally get to know what kind of power uncle has.
Anyway what a cliffhanger… I’m definitely gonna die if I have to wait two months for the next chapter :O
Thanks for all the hardwork PR! Hope you bring us more DE chapters soon :D
eh, didnt anyone vote for halloween contest ? we wont get the promise that PR will release 2 chapter coz of not enough voters (buuuu 8 more voters and we got 2 ch), but there’s definitely a chapter for dec. the things is, I guess we need to wait till the end of the month again (is this cliffhanger beat the cliffhanger that sun died ?)
eheehhehe I started my comments spam already ^o^
Loving this!!!! Thank you so much for translating!!! Please please please, this cliffhanger is so real, let de come next month too…
Such an intense chapter! Thanks for translating it!
thanks a lot!
th-th-that scene change—-! suddenly, the house has been taken over! well, whew, glad that shujun had managed to escape! i’m most worried about her, honestly! go, shuyu! i trust you can escape or something!
Thanks for the chapter~~
Aaarrrgggg waiting will be painful… I hope there’s a chapter next month :D
Lol, his pitiful face backfired pretty horribly lol~
I bet he and junjun are going to finish these guys before dage is back,
We’re finally to the place past the teaser~ I’m so excited, I hope he powns these guys.
They clearly don’t know about powers…
I really hope the supplies aren’t taken though
Sorry, but that seems like a ridiculous waste of time. Why is so important to waste time doing such a thing. Wouldn’t be better to let people freely comment? I mean why bother commenting with anything if just might be censored. Well, thanks for the chapter.
Some of the reasons why we screen comments is because:
1) Advertisements. We don’t want random advertising comments on our blog
2) Spoilers. Some people have already read the raws, so when they actually do say something that is spoilery and haven’t been released in our English translations, we remove them!
Another reason that doesn’t occur very often (I think?) is when people make very rude or mean comments. But I don’t think we ever had to do that much.
Does that answer your question?
there was a time when there’s some meany comment (after april fool few years ago). PR release some of them. and after read them, I was still mad until now when I’m remember. if no screening, I thought there will be an endless arguements between us readers, and that’s not a good thing to happen right ? it was peaceful here, and I like the atmosfer. that’s why I’m addicted to the comment too :p
and since I was accidentally write a spoiler once and the comment was cut, I was carefully commenting before I write anything (for half prince) hahahha it was fun to seriously commenting something u know, especially when u know someone read them.
o.O What the heck happened!?
Oh wow. This felt way to short. The cliffhanger is going to kill me. Now for the two month wait ugh. I really want to know what’s going to happen next. I wish I could read Chinese so I can read this story. I’m hands down a fan now for this series.
GAAAH that evil cliffhanger! -cries in a corner-
Thanks for the upload, I’ve been camping this site for it! And how dare they touch Shuyu! -flips table- Hopefully I don’t fossilize waiting for the next chapter… and THANK YOU PR! <3
Damn! I NEED the next chapter… Please tell me we get another release this month. I’ll die if I don’t know what will happen~
Oh! And thanks a lot for the update :-) ( I’ve been refreshing since yesterday 5 pm)
BTW, it says “Welcome Back, Hikari. Change”
[Seems like the website is a bit messed up and has loaded the previous commentor’s information, so I’m not gonna put mine up…]
Excited… excited… more~~~ roaar~~~
And the post moderation is to prevent spoilers from leaking out and being leaked out.
This is Mizzy btw…
Thanks for the warning up front – but it needs to be MUCH more obvious. Bold or red and/or larger font. Blends into the chapter title right now. I’m loving this story! (Still bummed about the 92 voters)
Agreed. I went straight to reading the chapter and after finishing it, I went to FB and saw the PR page post the link to the next chapter with a warning. So I came back to this page and had to look for the warning.
I’m really glad Shujun managed to escape. Although Shuyu seems like he’d be able to think of something to get out of this situation, I can’t help but hope that Shujun comes in and helps kick some mercenary butt.
Although I didn’t like this chapter much… The worst part for me was when Auntie desperately tried to help her nephew out. We don’t see as much of Auntie and Uncle, but this chapter shows how much they care about their niece and nephews…
I wanted to punch those molesters to death. They sure dare to touch Jiang Shuyu and their supplies. They must be really sick of living. And ahhhHHHH!!! The cliffhanger! Just thinking that I have to wait for the next chapter next year is a pure torture! T-T Dear PR, please update DE this December… please…please…please… :)
Thank you so much for the update!!!
I thought I missed something due to the scene changing so abruptly…ahh, no wonder you had to split the chapter parts.
I’m surprised the intruders could get in…given that they should have secured the perimeter…or some defence system against aberrants wandering in.
Thanks for the chapter~ Really looking forward to the next update :)
Thanks for the chapter!
I want to see Uncle and Auntie super powers! It’s time to unreveil them no? To destroy these vile mercenaries!
That crazy BL fan shipping shuyu and his dage~
BAM Dage will come at your rescue~ and kill them all with fury in his eyes~~ and then he will take you in his arms~ and stroke your hair~ and hug you tightly~~ huhuhu fufufufufufu HUEHUEHUEHUEUHEUHEHUE *is crazy*
(Inappropriate content removed)
All I want for Christmas…. is mooreee DE~ Moooore~ rooaaar~~~ It’s very exciting… Ahh… but all the novels are good… T__T
I’d like to see Shujun electrecute these tresspassers… Or throw an exploding battery on them…
And Shuyu shouldn’t forget that these people also have powers… Afterall, everyone has… but they might not be as aware compared to Dage’s group.
Thank you for the chapter! I hope you will love us enough to give us another chapter for Xmas! pretty please!~ Here are some cyber cookies!
The damned cliffhanger again! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Please, make DE one of the firsts releases! Pretty please *-*
Such cliffhanger is too unfair! It’s on times like that that I wanted to know chinese to be able to read all at once T^T
Those people totally lost themselves in such short spam of time, I wonder if Shuyu’s group will be able to make a society…
Thanks very very much for the chapter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So amazing! But that cliffhanger, argh!
Damn! What a cliff~
Man, I never liked the mc’s power. Ice can be powerful, but what about telekinesis or mind control? Aberrant still have a mind, right? I mean, every animal has one.
If I could choose, I would definitely choose the power to kill any and everything I want :p
I would be so awesome, with the snap of a finger I could kill aberrants or those assholes.
Well, thanks for the chapter <3
thanks for a wonderful chapter.. i’ve been waiting for this for almost two months. I hope to read more of this novel. thanks again PR.
Can anyone explained me what this means: “Chief Hao—I wasn’t sure if that was his name or if it stood for chief leader Hao—stroked his chin as he said boomingly”. Who is chief leader Hao? Is it a character from somewhere? What could “Hao” mean other that his name?
Shuyu is wondering if Chief is his name, or if it means chief, as in leader. Apologies if that part isn’t clear. Are you wondering how to translate it? We can talk over email if you would like to find a different way to translate Shuyu’s puzzlement in the Russian version.
Jiang’s mercenaries are rottened so they probable won’t bother to help when they discover what happened to Wushu. ~~
The end of this arc will decided the futur relationship between the Jiang Family and the Jiang mercenaries. It won’t end in a good way, I think.
Was anyone else alarmed when they found out the name of Dage’s group is “Jiang Dominion Troop”? >.<;; Given that this novel is called "Dominion's End" I'm now quite worried… Is this detailing the end of just the mercenary group? Or the whole household? @[email protected];;; (also, thank you for this chapter!! Really love this series. It makes me so concerned for the characters! Sooo engaging)
how dare them? pleasee i hope he kills them all!!
thanks for the chapter:)
Uhg!! That ending is ruining my soul, thank you soo much PR! Staff, you rock!!!
Hello :) is this already completed in raws?
*rage* *rage* *rage*
…wow.. the author is really good.. the emotion roller coaster is really good..
And before i forget,
Thank you for the chapter ( ●w●)
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaa! I cannot access part 1 for some reason. The page exists, there is just nothing on it. I was enjoying revisit to this series whilecwaiting for fresh morsels to devour.
The site isn’t loading very well recently. Might take a few more tries.
Wow I’m kinda shocked about the PG rating.
Usually it’s gore but not this kind of stuff….
Well, Shuyu did indeed look pretty x,D haha (in the cover, I thought he was Guei Weijun tho. He looks so feminin lmao)
Hope he could kick some ass before Dage come tho.. Can’t have his dignity plummeted further
They’re scarier then the aberrants
Thanks for the hard work😍
Fuck the author for thinking women can’t rape men. Rape is the act of not wanting sex and it being forced upon them. And what so bad about not just being bisexual now that the main character has been both a woman and now a man.
I’m about to be really pissed off if the author manufactured that stupid and unnecessary family/mercenary drama, just for them to get attacked and now THIS is the way it’s all gonna get resolved.
“Top top top… get topped by an aberrant, you shithead!” Hahaha
And ahh, auntie ;-;
Also I’m p sure the author does believe men can get raped. It’s not like protag isn’t distressed, it’s more that they’re trying to cope and rationalize.