½ Prince 10th Anniversary Side Story
Original novel in Chinese by: 御 我 (Yu Wo)
Part One—translated by lucathia (proofread by Trespasserby & Arcedemius)
I turned my head. It was that guy again, getting his ass chased by a green giant. It was a familiar sight. Wasn’t it the same last week? Even the monster behind him hasn’t changed!
If I didn’t know him so well, I would have thought I’d time traveled!
Sighing, I still drew my dao and rushed forward, using the same leap as last week’s to step on that guy’s shoulder. I flew up, blade swinging down, a green head falling to the ground with a “clunk,” followed by a huge body collapsing with a boom.
I turned and scolded, “XiMen Feng, what the hell are you doing? Don’t keep engaging those monsters you can’t beat!”
XiMen Feng was breathing heavily and took a long time before he could speak. The game was really growing more and more realistic. I really didn’t know what the Dictator of Life’s limits were. But, continuing to change the game like this wasn’t ideal. Sometimes, I almost couldn’t tell reality and the game apart.
It was a small matter if I couldn’t tell them apart, as the real world was also very interesting, and I wouldn’t be able to bear only staying in the game. However, I’d heard that many people had been mesmerized by Second Life. Even dying again and again, with the pain of dying altered by the Dictator to be unbearable, still couldn’t prevent them from crawling online!
After this, I have to tell the Dictator to see if he can restrict it more. At the very least, he needs to restrict it so that players aren’t allowed to be online more than a certain amount of time.
The moment XiMen Feng stopped gasping, he complained without stopping, “There’s no way I’d know that that monster got stronger again! Last time, I was so close to winning. Now after I raised my level, I actually lost even worse. What the hell!”
I rolled my eyes and snapped, “Do you think Second Life is a normal game? The monsters here level up faster than we do. It’s not like you don’t know that the Dictator of Life would love it if they all leveled up to max level, possibly gaining awareness. Their experience rate is 1.5 of ours! Your lazy way of leveling would never win against theirs.”
XiMen Feng immediately protested, “The Dictator is so unfair! Isn’t he your family’s virtual butler? Tell him to cut us a deal. Give us an experience rate of ten!”
“Go tell him yourself.” I helpfully reminded him, “Last time, when I asked him only to adjust the experience rate so that they’d be the same, he was so angry that it was like I’d wanted to kill all of the AI. He even hid himself, not wanting to see me. But my house is all automatic, completely controlled by the Dictator. During those days, we couldn’t even open the door. My hubby was locked behind the automatic door at home for several days, only able to eat instant noodles made with cold water. He couldn’t even boil hot water because the Dictator controlled that too! He was stuck until I came home and smashed the door, finally saving him.”
Almost losing my husband gave me a huge fright. Even though the Dictator was apologetic and assured me that it wouldn’t ever happen again, who knows if the Dictator would ever throw a fit and forget to turn off the gas? What if my house explodes?
In any case, I wasn’t ever going to bother the Dictator’s AI again.
XiMen Feng patted his chest as he said, “Don’t worry, you have to open my house’s door with your own hands!”
I grumbled, “Then, do you want the Dictator of Life to send you back to the start to retrain? Tell me, just how many times have you had to retrain? You keep dying. I’m not gonna help you train anymore. It’s a waste of my time.”
In order to be fair, when a high-leveled player trains with a low-leveled player, the experience rate is beyond sad. Furthermore, we have to train at newbie areas. Otherwise, a moment of inattention would mean the newbie would have to immediately restart.
For this XiMen Feng fellow, I’m almost a slime killing expert!
“No!” XiMen Feng wailed, “I won’t disturb the Dictator. You have to help me train!”
My fury erupted, and I yelled, “So you plan on dying again, huh?”
XiMen Feng shamelessly said, “It’s not like you haven’t died before. With Second Life like it is now, who dares to say they don’t die?”
I was silenced. I really had died several times. The Dictator had expanded this world again and again, and it was also the headquarters of AI. The Dictator even let them set up their own personal worlds, so Second Life was filled with all kinds of beautiful and surprising sights. I often wandered around and randomly died everywhere…
Do you know what kind of feeling it is to see a “Welcome to my world” sign, happily walk through the gates, and get pierced by thousands of arrows?
Out of nine hundred and ninety nine ways a person could die, I understand this one the best—six out of ten AI are crazy!
Even Gui didn’t like logging into the game. He had died so much that he developed a phobia. The moment he hears about logging in, he would rather go with me to save the world.
XiMen Feng wouldn’t let go of my sleeve. He begged, “Prince, help me level. Then next time, I’ll be able to kill that monster myself!”
I turned him down flatly. “No way. I finally found some time to sneak on to play. I still have to cook later. I don’t want to help you train. Unless you go where I go, and I can just look after you on the way. I can at least do that.”
“Are you going to those strange places again?” XiMen Feng’s face twisted, and he yelled, “What if I die again?”
“Then just go and kill slimes—”
As I berated him, a rumbling sound from the ground interrupted me. The ground shook nonstop, the trembling so severe it was practically like I was jumping on a spring bed. Luckily, there weren’t any tall things around me, or else they would definitely fall over and squash me.
“Ahhhh Prince, what is your Dictator doing again!” XiMen Feng grabbed my thigh and screamed.
I gave him a hard whack. “If you keep taking advantage of me, Gui is going to beat you up again!”
“No one’s afraid of a bard!”
“Wicked will beat you up too!”
“Didn’t he get married to your Xiao Xiao Lan?”
“Because he got married to my Xiao Xiao Lan, I’m now his childhood friend, someone he used to have a crush on, plus his mother-in-law—”
XiMen Feng jumped up. Did he actually get scared by “mother-in-law”… His mouth fell open as he pointed ahead. I followed his gaze, discovering that the scene before us had begun to waver like a mirage. The forest and mountains started to blur, slowly getting replaced by another scene that was rather familiar…
XiMen Feng gulped and said, “Maybe contact your Dictator?”
“I did. No response…”
The mirage expanded super quickly, so quickly that even the scenery near me began to change. Pieces fell down one after another like a mosaic, changing it to a completely different scene. The two scenes overlaid each other, causing a strange effect.
The falling mosaic pieces had almost reached my feet. I was only able to call out, “XiMen Feng, log off,” and then I immediately took the game helmet off. Before my eyes appeared a surprised, handsome face that looked at me in worry.
“Gui, what is it?” I grew nervous. Don’t tell me that not only did the game malfunction, something also happened outside the game?
Gui smiled wryly. “Did you anger the Dictator again?”
“Ah?” I hurriedly explained, “No, no, I didn’t even see him.”
Gui asked in confusion, “Then, why has our house stopped working again? First, I couldn’t get the phone to work, so I called for the Dictator but got no response. I just went to push open the front door but as expected, I couldn’t again.”
“There was no response from the Dictator when I called for him in the game either. Something also happened in the game. The entire world has changed. I could only quickly log off.”
Hearing that, Gui frowned and said, “That’s strange. Oh no, I wonder if there’s anyone who didn’t manage to log off in time. I don’t know what will happen…”
That would be terrible! I blurted, “They won’t be stuck in the game, would they?”
Gui shook his head. “Nothing so serious. They’re just game helmets, after all.”
“But didn’t Long Dian do exactly that? He experimented and made a lot of people into NPCs stuck in Second Life.”
“Long Dian’s experiments were much more complicated than game helmets. A mere game helmet is unable to keep a person stuck in the game, unable to log off.”
So complicated. But if Gui says so, then that has to be the case. I finally relaxed a lot more. As long as it didn’t affect real life, the game could be remade. The Dictator had also created all kinds of backups. He, Kenshin, and all the other AI wouldn’t disappear just because something had gone wrong with the game.
“Let’s contact everyone else first.”
I nodded and reflexively said, “Dictator, help me call…”
My words died when I saw the helplessness on Gui’s face. Oh, right, we can’t get a hold of the Dictator at all right now. I was just so used to calling on the Dictator for everything that I didn’t even know how to operate a phone anymore.
Pained, Gui said, “Without the Dictator, we don’t even know how to function. This won’t do. We should—”
“That’s right!” I resolved and declared, “We should immediately find and bring back the Dictator!”
Gui looked at me and said helplessly, “What I meant was that we should learn how to do some things, like at least making calls by ourselves. We can’t continue being so lazy.”
I said with conviction, “Once we find the Dictator, why make our own calls? I’m always so diligently working out and cooking. I’m not lazy at all! If we can’t find the Dictator, making calls won’t even matter. Think about how many things the Dictator has a hand in throughout the world. Last time, if it weren’t for the Dictator stopping the criminals from firing nuclear bombs, Earth would have been destroyed more than three times!”
Gui thought it over and immediately praised, “Dear, you are truly the wisest after all. We should immediately find and bring back the Dictator!”
Of course. With the Dictator around, the entire world is in our hands. Finding the Dictator is top priority.
“The most urgent thing now is—where’d my communicator go…”
After searching forever, I finally managed to dig out my communicator, but it was out of battery! I then spent forever to find the charger. When I saw the screen of the communicator flicker on, I was near tears. Then, I heard nonstop incoming calls.
I took the call and immediately heard Lolidragon’s shriek. I hurriedly held the communicator a bit farther away, or else my ear would have gone severely deaf from the noise.
“Prince, where the hell are you? I couldn’t reach you!”
“I haven’t gone anywhere. I’m at home!” I quickly explained, “It’s not like you don’t know how much I depend on the Dictator. With him gone, I don’t even know how to make calls. That’s why it took me until now.”
“That’s your problem. You shouldn’t be so reliant on him, making him do everything. Don’t you know that he’s a super AI that could conquer the world—wait, so the Dictator really did disappear?”
“Yeah, didn’t you know?” I asked in confusion, “Or else, why’d you call me?”
“You haven’t watched the TV, I bet!”
I fell silent. Just how many years has it been since I’ve turned on the TV at home? Is it when my daughter was still in diapers? Or when her teacher called me over again, saying that she beat up three kids, one versus three, and if I could do something about it so that three different parents wouldn’t go after the school at the same time again?
To one side, Gui turned on the TV. The quality of the TV was really good, thanks to the Dictator consulting thousands of online reviews, tracking down all of the component and assembly suppliers, and finally selecting this awesome TV! That’s why it could still turn on after so many years!
But there was only a black screen and a line of bloody words displayed—
Your Second Life is about to arrive…
If this were an advertisement, it was bound to be very successful—very successful at getting people to swear.
“Prince, come over to the company right away. I’ve already contacted everyone else.” Lolidragon fired off, “The Dictator is too important. We can’t have anything happening to him. We’re going in the game to take a look.”
“We can go in?” I looked at the helmet in my hands. Should I go in right away?
“You could always go in, but the moment you do, a bunch of NPCs would mob and kill you. Right now, the player with the highest level in Second Life is you. If you don’t do it, who will?”
“All right, I’ll head in right now.”
“Stop, what’s the hurry? Even you’d get killed if a bunch of NPCs surround you. If you’re a goner, then there’s no hope for the rest of us. Come to the company. We’ll head in together. If something happens, we can relay it directly to avoid any communication problems in the game.”
True. I grabbed my hubby, who was in the middle of a call with our daughter. It took a lot of effort to find our daughter’s number. It was really no easy task. When our daughter was born, the Dictator had long been living with Gui and me already. The two of us only knew how to make calls with our voices. Who’d remember how to use a communicator?
“Our sweetie says she’s shopping with her husband. She’ll be there right away.” Gui’s face showed deep suspicion as he said, “That guy Wicked actually knows how to shop?”
“If our daughter forces him, he can probably do anything.”
Gui praised, “Just like how you force me, so there’s nothing I can’t do either.”
The two of us tried our hardest to find the transmission station closest to us out there, even though it had been a long time since we’d last used a primitive transmission station. But it wasn’t all that different from the models from several years ago. After we messed around, we soon arrived at the company. See, technology is based off of human intuition after all. Just go with your gut feeling, and it’ll be right.
Once we arrived at the company doors, our faces darkened. I looked at my hubby, and he looked at me. The two of us stood in front of the door, unable to open it at all… We’d always opened it with our voices.
“We have to find the Dictator quickly.” Gui said in a pained voice, “After this, I’ll definitely work with Wicked to research how to increase the Dictator’s security levels even more. We must not ever have to live without the Dictator again!”
I nodded solemnly. The Dictator is our whole world!
Just as Gui was about to press the call button, the door opened. A bunch of people rushed out from within, everyone shouting, “Prince, you’re finally here,” “Prince, are you okay?” “Prince, let’s hurry and save the Dictator”…
I often thought that I should just change my name from “Feng Lan” to “Prince.” I’d grown so accustomed to being called Prince that if someone called me “Feng Lan” now, I wouldn’t be able to react right away!
“Prince!” Lolidragon rushed forward… Then again, I’m also used to calling them “Lolidragon,” “Gui,” and such, so I can’t really say anything about everyone calling me “Prince.”
I saw my daughter, son-in-law, Wolf-gē and Dàsaǒ, Cold Fox, and Kenshin who had been kidnapped to be a short-term trainer over at the assassin syndicate, and so forth… It was rare, but everyone was here.
Before I could even ask anything, Lolidragon shot out a bunch of words. “The preparations at the company are already done. Come on, hurry. The technicians have discovered that Second Life is completely sealed off. We can’t go in or get out.”
Hearing that, I jumped in shock. “Then what do we do?”
Lolidragon rolled her eyes at me. “Nothing different. If you’re taking us along with you, it won’t be a problem. The Dictator gave you the same level of access as him. You’ll definitely be able to go in.”
I nodded in a stupor. This access thing sounds super powerful. Why is it that I didn’t know that I had so much power…
Lolidragon sighed exaggeratedly. “It makes no sense. Why does the Dictator like you so much? Whatever, it’s better than liking someone else. You’re so dumb that you won’t even tell the Dictator to give you any advantages.”
“I know right… Hey! Who’s dumb? I tell the Dictator to do a lot. It’s not like I don’t know anything!”
“Uh huh.” Yang Ming joined in with his wife and said, “Like making phone calls, watching the soup, locking the door, and helping to remember what vegetables are left in the fridge.”
I-Isn’t that normal? The Dictator is so useful, and he’s really happy doing those things. What’s wrong about it? At most, I’ll let him do less. I can even make my own phone calls now!
For some reason, everyone kept snickering.
“We should hurry and log on.” Wicked sighed and said helplessly, “Someone who can make something happen to the Dictator can’t be anyone simple. We have to solve this quickly.”
I nodded. It couldn’t be helped. Saving the world had become the norm. At first, everyone was nervous in the face of the end of the world, but now it was just another day. If there was a year where we didn’t have to save the world, we might even think there was nothing to do that year.
Lolidragon led us to a spacious hall with many long tables. On top of them were various new types of game helmets. Many didn’t even look like helmets and were just visors. They looked very light and convenient.
She explained, “This is the newest type of game helmet. It’s almost done being developed. It’s lighter than the previous generation and much safer, with force termination built in. Even though nothing should happen, there’s no guarantee that some enemy won’t have the technology to upgrade it. Before this, there were also people who broke into many countries’ nuclear access, almost setting fireworks off with those nuclear weapons.”
I know, that was really scary. If it weren’t because the Dictator found out in time and stopped it, who knew how things would have gone? Before that happened, didn’t everyone say a bunch of stuff about how it wouldn’t ever happen? In the end, the Dictator was the one who made it impossible, or else it would have come true!
“Prince, you should use the main helmet. You’ll lead us into the game. In other words, you’re our ticket!”
I looked in the direction Lolidragon pointed, at the table to the very front. On top of it was a helmet that couldn’t be called a light one. It was pretty much the largest type there. How infuriating! I like the small, cute, pink one in the corner… Doll grabbed it and put it on her head. Sunshine even clapped to the side, praising that it looked good.
Then, how about the purple one? It’s also very pretty… My daughter, Xiao Xiao Lan, rushed over, snatching it to wear. She even rushed over to Wicked’s side to show it off, fishing for praise. Watching made goose bumps rise all over my skin. How did my cute daughter turn into such a lovesick brute? Thankfully, the target is Wicked, so it’s not too bad…
Whatever, whatever. It’s just the style of the helmet. I sadly took the large helmet and put it on, looking toward Gui. He gave me a thumbs up.
All right, imposing is not bad.
After everyone put their helmets on—Lolidragon wore a spicy red helmet—with the press of a button on the long table, a virtual image was projected on the table. It was the login screen of the game.
“Everyone, get ready. Three, two, one, log in!”
When I opened my eyes again, the first thing I saw was a street. To the side were skyscrapers and hovercars…
Haven’t I entered the game? But that’s not right. Even if I haven’t, I shouldn’t be on the streets. I was in the company building.
I looked around doubtfully, feeling that I should be in the game. However, a sudden sight seized my attention. I immediately rushed toward a window, the glass reflecting my appearance. It wasn’t very clear, but it was enough for me to realize what was wrong.
I retained my normal appearance—Feng Lan, not the appearance of the handsome, white-haired, red-eyed Prince.
Players appeared one after another. I first saw my brute of a daughter. In the game, she was a true brute, but currently, my daughter was still a daughter. She had an appearance that was rather cute and naïve, as long as she didn’t do anything stupid or violent. She actually hadn’t turned into a buff brute of a guy!
Following that, Gui also came online, a gentle and graceful professor. He hadn’t turned into a devilish demon, and everyone else was also no different from earlier. However, based on the fact that we had all appeared out of thin air, I was sure that we were definitely in the game.
Second Life is actually exactly the same as real life!
Dictator of Life, what exactly happened to you?