½ Prince Volume 1: The Beginning of a Legend
Original novel in Chinese by: 御我 (Yu Wo)
Chapter 5: Sworn Enemies – translated by Erialis
I hacked, I slashed, I chopped N number of times. I furiously vented all my frustration on the mobs, even as I thought to myself, What the hell! Not only did Lolidragon abandon me, even Wolf-dàgē turned his back on me, and Doll! Actually saying stuff about how it was more fun with more people…!
Damn Gui, stupid Gui, stinking Gui! Gazing at me with that perverted look from day to night! My back feels as if a hole’s about to be burnt through it!
I turned around and glared savagely at that damn homo.
Unbelievably enough, Gui, seeing that I had turned about and was glaring at him, actually started waving at me enthusiastically, and…
And even blowing me a kiss! I’m dodging it! I hurriedly turned away and went back to fighting mobs, so as to avoid receiving any more of those blown kisses with Gui’s questionable intentions.
“Sigh! His noble and beautiful Highness really is shy,” Gui said, looking at Prince – who was looking for more mobs to vent his frustration on – with an infatuated expression on his handsome face.
…Are you sure that he’s SHY!? thought the others.
After finishing off the last mob that Lolidragon had lured over, the two of us received a PM from Wolf-dàgē. We rejoined the others and listened quietly as Wolf-dàgē gave us a briefing.
“I think that with our party’s current make-up – a level forty priest, a level forty warrior, a level thirty-nine thief, a level thirty-seven necromancer, and a level forty bard – we should be able to train in areas with even tougher mobs,” Wolf-dàgē said critically. “I believe that Raging Dragons’ Valley will suit our purpose nicely. There, we’ll be able to find small dragons that deal different types of elemental damage. There are also high-level magical beasts. Those mobs yield quite a lot of experience and frequently drop rare items, which in turn would greatly boost our overall combat strength.
“In addition, the Adventurers’ Guild offers quests that require players to collect dragon hide, dragon bones, and dragon tendons. Rewards include an increase in reputation, money, and even extra experience points.
“But all of that is pretty inconsequential. The most important thing is…” Wolf-dàgē’s expression became grave.
“Is…what?” we asked, and each of us gulped nervously.
“I’ve heard that dragon XXs work wonders…”
“Wolf-dàgē…?” I could hardly believe my ears, hearing the straight-laced Wolf-dàgē saying something like that.
“…And can be sold for one gold apiece.”
“Right then! Let’s go kill some dragons!” Burning with enthusiasm, I gave an experimental swing of my blade, my eyes having turned into money signs.
We decided to head over to the Adventurers’ Guild first to register our party and to take on all the dragon-related quests. It was at this point, however, that we encountered a huge problem…
“For our party’s name, I think we should go with ‘Dragon Slayers’. It sounds more impressive,” said Wolf-dàgē.
“That’s no good, it sounds too coarse. ‘Wild Roses Team’ sounds better.” Lolidragon became engrossed in a fantasy of wild roses…
Doll exclaimed with excitement, “Let’s call ourselves ‘Sailor Team!’”
…I was suddenly confronted with the image of Wolf-dàgē proclaiming himself to be from Sailor Team…
“We should be called ‘Noble Prince Team’.”
I struck out with my right fist, squarely hitting the frail-bodied bard and sending him to the ground. He lay there with stars circling about his head.
“How about, ‘The Legend of Wild Wolf Team’?” Wolf-dàgē asked, his brow creased with thought.
“Nah, ‘Alluringly Aromatic Herbs Team’!” Lolidragon wasn’t about to give up.
“‘Love and Justice Fight-e-rs!’” Doll hollered.
“‘Cute Doll Team’…”
Watching the three of them as they argued, I scratched my face and muttered, “Looks like the only thing we can be called is ‘weird’…”
All three of them instantly turned to stare at me. In unison, they demanded, “What did you just say?”
A bit of sweat ran down the back of my neck. “I…”
In the end, we decided on a name for our party – Odd Squad.1 It may seem like a nonsensical name at first glance, but it actually does make sense if you read it as ‘Fēi, Cháng Duì’ and not ‘Fēi Cháng, Duì’.2
Upon reaching Raging Dragons’ Valley, we spent some time observing the speed of the small dragons. After noting that they were quite a bit slower than Lolidragon, especially with Gui’s speed debuff3 on them, it was decided that we would employ the usual strategy to fight them.
“Meatbun, Aroma Release.” I absolutely adore this ability of Meatbun’s. There’s just no knowing how much time we’ve managed to save on looking for mobs. And its range has increased to 250 meters!
After a while, the earth began to tremble beneath our feet. A cloud of dust could be seen rising in the distance, as though something was stampeding towards us… All of a sudden, we found ourselves looking at an extremely bizarre picture: Dozens of dragons, each one approximately three meters tall, surrounding a single meat bun. That’s odd; I don’t think anybody’s ever told me that dragons love to eat meat buns.
My eyes widened. “L-Lolidragon, can you handle it? It sort of looks like…there are way too many mobs!”
Looking somewhat taken aback, Lolidragon swallowed…and then promptly burst out laughing. “Don’t worry! I swear, on the reputation of the world’s greatest thief, that I can handle it.”
The world’s greatest thief? What use is there in swearing on somebody else’s reputation?
“Doll, summon your Flame-armored Skeletons. Gui, use your Sheng-ge Entrancement Technique and have your Supersonic Soul-chasing Arrow at the ready, just in case. Also, use your Flurry of Musical Notes4 whenever you can, to help Prince out. Prince… Draw your sword and give me the sheath,” Wolf-dàgē instructed, even as he buffed Lolidragon and I.
All was ready. “Be careful, Lolidragon.”
We sent Lolidragon off with expressions that seemed to say, “The hero leaves and will never return!” Ah, the piercing winds…5
I watched as Lolidragon crept up on one of the dragons noiselessly and then, as though in defiance of Death, viciously stabbed the dragon in the butt.
Here I should mention that the reason why Lolidragon stabbed the dragon in the butt was because she was so short that the highest she could reach was the dragon’s behind. It had absolutely nothing to do with her personal preferences.
Then Lolidragon began to sprint frantically, her speed faster than ever before.
“Wow, she’s so fast that she’s practically flying,” I remarked, sighing in admiration. Lolidragon was so quick that by the time Wolf-dàgē brought Meatbun back, he was completely out of range and unable to land an attack using Double Kill.
“Supersonic Soul-chasing Arrow.” Strumming his guqin, Gui fired two consecutive arrows. He lured two dragons back before continuing to play his Sheng-ge Entrancement Technique.
Charging alongside the Flame-armored Skeletons, I proceeded to engage one of the dragons while the skeletons held the others off.
As I fought, I kept a lookout for any signs of weakness in my opponent. Although it initially appeared as though the dragon had no weak point, I soon realized that despite their strong attack power, heavy defense, and considerable speed, dragons had one major shortcoming. That was…their paws were too short.
As the dragon could rarely attack me with its paws, I needed only to watch out for its tail, and dodge whenever it lunged toward me. That way I could slowly whittle away at its health. Even if I took a couple of blows, Wolf-dàgē would be there to heal me, so there wasn’t anything to be afraid of.
Doll was having a bit more trouble with her Flame-armored Skeletons. As the Flame-armored Skeletons had no intelligence to speak of, their skill at dodging and evading was certainly below mine, and so they took quite a number of hits. Luckily for us, they were Rank 4 minions with high defense and health, as well as strong attack power. Thus, they were able to get by with Doll’s Black Restoration Spell.
In addition, there was Wolf-dàgē’s ranged attack and Meatbun’s Double Kill, which lowered the dragons’ health considerably…
Fine! Gui also frequently used Flurry of Musical Notes to help me out, so he wasn’t completely useless…
At long last, the dragon before me collapsed. I rejoiced, Dragon XXs are worth one gold apiece…wahahaha! Before Gui lured back yet another dragon, I decided to take the opportunity to satisfy my curiosity by checking to see if dragon XXs looked anything like a gold coin.
…It’s not there! It’s not there! Why isn’t there a XX on this dragon? Oh, my gold coin, where are you?
“Wolf-dàgē, why isn’t there a XX on this dragon? You said they had…” I asked Wolf-dàgē in a pitiful tone.
“Prince, you really…” You really want to eat it? Seriously, at least don’t be so obvious about it! Wolf thought as he examined the dragon’s corpse. “Prince, this is a female, so it doesn’t have one.” Wolf-dàgē gave me a pat on the back. “Don’t worry; we’ll definitely give you any that we come across.”
That’s right, look at how scrawny Prince is. We really should give him a tonic… Besides, that aspect of a man’s life is very important – mustn’t let any problems develop! Hmm, it would probably help if we gave Prince a dragon’s XX then, Ugly Wolf thought and his contemplation drifted to how it should be served. Stir-fried dragon’s XX, dragon’s XX braised in wine, dragon’s XX soup…6
“Really? That’s great!” My gold coin, hohoho! I want to go for some afternoon tea! I thought happily.
“Noble Highness, save meeeeee!” Gui was running all over the place like a chicken with its head cut off, and there was a dragon – the one that he had just lured back with his Supersonic Soul-chasing Arrow – snapping at his backside. Although I was sorely tempted to ignore his plight… Sigh! In the end, I still hefted my Black Dao and took down the dragon.
Through our combined efforts, we managed to gradually reduce the number of dragons from several dozen to zero. As expected, since the dragons were pretty tough mobs, the amount of experience points that they yielded was incredibly high. Wolf-dàgē, whose level was the highest in our group, leveled up once, while Doll, whose level was the lowest, leveled up twice. However…
“Huff…huff…” Lolidragon lay sprawled out on the ground in a most unladylike fashion. She was wheezing heavily and was unable to so much as utter a word.
I was no better off. I was weary to the bone after fighting all those dragons one after another with no respite. Every muscle in my right arm ached, protesting even the slightest movement. My legs were as weak as jelly.
Wolf-dàgē was so worn out from his “game” of baseball that he had pitched forward and was all but lying on the ground. Doll’s mouth was as dry as a drought-stricken country from chanting the incantation for her Black Restoration Spell. As for Gui, his fingers had cramped up into exceedingly contorted positions. Looks like he’ll have to eat straight from his plate like a dog tonight!
In this condition, the members of Odd Squad lay sprawled on the ground. We didn’t have the energy to sort out the dragon cadavers, much less skin them or remove their tendons and bones… And yet, all I could think about was my dragon XXs and gold coins. Thus, summoning the rest of my strength, I crawled, and crawled, and crawled to the nearest dead dragon…
Waaah! Why is it yet another female? Tears pooled in the corners of my eyes. My afternoon tea…
“Does the noble Lord Prince really like dragon XXs that much?” Gui asked, looking at me with compassion. “Come, let Gui serve you!” He then ran off towards a random dragon and began to clean it up.
Gui… It was the first time I’d felt that grateful towards him – the first time that he didn’t say something that made me want to thrash him. I watched, wide-eyed, as Gui sliced something off from the dragon before speedily taking a pot out and getting a fire going. He then threw that thing into the pot, and started adding various condiments.
“…Gui, what are you doing?” I asked, my voice trembling.
“Beautiful Highness, it’ll just be a bit longer before the dragon XX soup is done!” Gui replied, even as he tasted the soup to check if it was salty enough.
When a person has been infuriated to the extreme, they possess limitless drive. Before, I had never imagined myself capable of the speed at which I sprinted towards Gui. Once I reached him, I knocked him aside with a flying kick. Fingers shaking, I grabbed the pot of dragon XX soup.
“M-my gold co-o-in! My afternoon tea!” I wailed.
I stomped, stomped and stomped on Gui the Floor Mat, occasionally adding an Exploding Punch7 as well…
“HAHAHA…huff…huff…HAHA!” Lolidragon laughed manically between gasps. Prince? Drink dragon’s XX soup? Hahahahahaha!
So Prince wasn’t thinking about eating dragon’s XX after all! Wolf-dàgē realized. Good thing Gui acted first. Otherwise, I’d have served the dragon’s XX up, and…
“What’s a dragon’s whip?8 Do dragons use whips?” Doll asked uncomprehendingly. With a worried look at Gui – who was getting thrashed by me – she added, “Is Gui-gēge going to die?”
“No, he’s not. Don’t worry, I’ll heal him up later,” Wolf-dàgē consoled. Secretly, he thought, It might actually be a bit better for Gui to die and return to the rebirth point…
After a long while, I was finally tired from beating Gui up. Ordering him to clean up all of the dragons, I looked at all the XXs…
Embarrassed? All that’s in front of me are gold coins and the fragrance of tea. What’s there to be embarrassed about? Wahahahaha!
“Hold up there, you people.” It was a woman’s voice; her tone was arrogant.
I felt a twinge of panic. Don’t tell me it’s yet another “The way is mine to cut…with the hottie you must part” highwaywoman! Glancing at Gui, I thought, Perhaps I should sell him to the highwaywoman?!
As for Gui… Although his expression was still as besotted as ever, a shiver suddenly ran down his spine. Odd, has the weather turned chilly? He glanced at the sky.
I turned around and looked, only to see an extremely cool-looking human girl standing not too far away from us. Behind her stood another four players of different races and classes – clearly they were a team.
A band of highwaymen? That can’t be, right!?
Now on my guard, I looked coldly at that human girl with her “manly” cool. I decided to scare her off – or at least to get her to kidnap Gui instead of me. I deliberately struck a pose with my legs apart, my back slouched, and my hands on my hips. Tapping my left foot impatiently, I spoke in the rudest tone that I could manage.
“Whaaat now! Whada’ya want, girlie?”
“Prince, what on earth are you doing?” Lolidragon asked me on party chat. She sounded utterly astonished.
“I’m pretending to be a gangster! How does it look?”
“…You look like anything BUT a gangster.”
Although Lolidragon’s reaction took some of the wind out of my sails, the cool-looking girl facing me was clearly furious. In fact, she was infuriated to the point where you could almost see her blazing with flames. Waaah! So scary! Looks like I better not pretend to be a gangster any longer.
“What. Did. You. Just. Say?” she asked through gritted teeth.
I was so terrified that I straightened up and stood properly. With a nervous gulp, I replied, “N-nothing much. I just wanted to ask you if anything was the matter, miss.”
“WHAT did you say?!”
Waaah! Why are the flames of her anger even hotter and brighter than before???
Question marks hung in the air over my head. I decided – for safety’s sake – that I’d better put on my “first-rate merchandise,” princely look. Smiling my most charming, most gracious smile, I asked, “Beautiful lady, what would you like to command me to do?”
However, the “beautiful lady” in question actually cussed. (“F*** YOU!” was what she yelled.) Then, she promptly kicked me…using a leg-type move commonly known as “a kick in the nuts.”
The rest of my party was stunned. To think that a girl would actually be willing to kick the Ultra-Gorgeous Prince’s XX! Lolidragon in particular was so flabbergasted that her jaw had nearly fallen off.
“Uhn!” Caught off guard, I had been kicked squarely in the nuts. IT HURTS! I really wanted to use my hands to protect my XX and then hop all over the place in order to relieve the pain. That, however, was out of the question. My feminine reserve told me that a girl couldn’t just shield her XX with her hands in the presence of strangers. Besides, do girls even have XXs to shield?
Still, the pain! Unable to bear it, I curled up in agony, kneeling on the ground with my head hanging low. I could feel the tears trickling down my face…
“Prince…” Gui looked at me helplessly, clearly at a loss as to what to do. Then, he stood up and faced the cool-looking girl. His gaze was merciless and as cold as ice, and his entire person radiated a freezing chill. Even Lolidragon and Ugly Wolf – who had been about to respond swiftly to the affront – were dumbfounded. Have they ever seen Gui looking this cold?
Pak! Gui gave the cool-looking girl a vicious slap, knocking her to the ground. He then pinned her forcefully to the earth with his right foot, and spoke in a bitingly cold tone. “I don’t know how Prince might have offended you, but nobody should ever treat him like that.”
Immediately, the girl’s teammates rushed over. The dark elf standing at the head of the group drew his longsword, leveling it at Gui. “Release him.”
Seeing the situation, Lolidragon drew her daggers. Wolf-dàgē picked Meatbun up from the floor, clutching his Light of Glory tightly. Doll summoned her Flame-armored Skeletons and dashed to my side. “Prince-gēge, are you all right?” she asked urgently in a voice filled with concern.
At that moment, both parties immediately drew their weapons and took aim at their opponents. The situation was becoming critical and since I was the only warrior on our side, I hurriedly wiped my tears away. Standing up with red-rimmed eyes, I drew out my level 20 Black Dao, which now had an attack power of 65.
I looked at the girl, who was still pinned to the ground by Gui, with hatred and a desire for vengeance. To think that she actually made me go through the worst pain that a guy could ever experience… Damn her!
Still, there was one thing that puzzled me. “Why did you kick me? What did I say wrong?”
The girl looked at me, infuriated. “F*** you! You’re an air-headed sissy who can’t distinguish male from female! You couldn’t even tell that I’m a guy?! Calling me “girlie, girlie” like a dumbass…!” He then turned to glare at Gui, and began to cuss again. “Let me go!”
Gui, however, merely increased the pressure of his foot, and spoke in an unrelenting tone. “How dare you call Prince an air-headed sissy? Why don’t you look at yourself first – what sort of guy would actually kick another guy in the nuts? As for letting you go… When you turn into a pillar of white light, I’ll let you go.”
…A guy? I was flabbergasted. I then closely examined the “girl” as he lay on the floor. No matter how I looked at him, I really couldn’t see how he was in any way like a guy, with the exception of his level brows. His face was even heart-shaped, his eyes were framed with long lashes, and his physique was slender. Plus, he was dressed in a mage’s robes, so I couldn’t tell if he had a chest or not…
“Let go of Ming Huang.” This time, the dark elf dashed forward. With a cry of “Sword of the Flawless Circle”, the longsword in his hand pierced Gui mercilessly from five different directions.
<Gui HP -500, 1000/1500>
“Urgh!” Gui bit back a cry of pain even as he was flung onto his back by the impact.
Not having expected that the opponent would actually attack when he said so, I was completely unprepared to catch Gui as he fell. I kneeled down hurriedly to take a look at Gui’s injuries. Wolf-dàgē rushed over as well, casting a healing spell to help Gui recover his health.
With Gui’s foot no longer resting on him, Ming Huang immediately got to his feet. Casting a poisonous look at Gui, he began to chant an incantation. “Elf of lightning…”
Hearing the words of his incantation, Lolidragon shouted, “Prince, stop him, quick! Lightning magic is exceptionally powerful. At this rate, Gui will be killed!”
As soon as I heard Lolidragon’s warning, I raised my blade and charged towards Ming Huang, thinking to run him through so as to prevent him from chanting any further. However, the longsword-wielding dark elf immediately blocked my path.
I swung my dao at the dark elf, my heart gripped by anxiety. He did not retreat an inch, countering me with an attack of his own instead. The two of us exchanged blow after blow, attacking and defending in turn, but I was actually frantic by then.
“…Divine Lightning Strike!” Ming Huang had finally finished the incantation, and a bolt of lightning struck Gui.
“A-argh…urgh,” Gui cried out, his voice laced with pain. Meanwhile, Wolf-dàgē continued to cast his healing magic ceaselessly, hoping to restore some of Gui’s HP in time.
<Guiliastes’s HP 350/1500>
At least he’s still alive, I thought.
Just as I turned my head to spare a concerned glance for Gui, however, the dark elf’s longsword pierced me twice. Somewhat pissed off, I resolved not to be distracted again and began to focus my attention on fighting the dark elf.
“Twin Shot!” The enemy’s elf archer actually dared to take the opportunity to shoot at the already injured Gui. I ignored the dark elf’s blade and began dashing towards Gui. Still, how can anyone hope to be faster than an arrow?
“Skeletons, protect Gui-gēgē.” Luckily for us, Doll was right beside Gui, and she instantly directed her skeletons to stand in front of Gui, blocking any incoming attacks.
Seeing how things were, I was deeply relieved – to the point where I actually forgot that there was an enemy behind me. The dark elf cried out, “Sword of the Flawless Circle,” and brought his blade down on my back.
<Prince’s HP 2350/3000>
“Uhn…” I winced.
“Prince!” My teammates shouted, clearly worried. Doll even directed three of her skeletons to come and support me. Retreating as the Flame-armored Skeletons shielded me, I rejoined Odd Squad and let Wolf-dàgē heal me.
My wounds weren’t heavy, so Wolf-dàgē only had to use a medium heal to restore me to max HP. However, when I looked at Gui – his expression twisted as he fought to endure to pain – a killing intent rose in my heart. I stood slowly, and when I spoke to Ming Huang, my voice was soft – quiet like the lull before a storm.
“I admit that mistaking you for a girl was my fault, but you were in the wrong for injuring me before even clarifying things. Gui did slap you, but he had no intention of killing you. Now you want to take his life? Aren’t you going overboard?”
“Overboard? For stepping on me as he did, I am only asking for his worthless life,” Ming Huang replied coolly.
I took a deep breath, struggling to contain my rising ire. Using party chat, I asked the rest of the team, “Guys, what shall we do?”
“Yo! The other party’s been all courtesy; how can we not reciprocate?” Lolidragon said acerbically.
“RO-O-AR! Those who hurt my teammates should die!” Wolf-dàgē bellowed.
“They’re too much! First poor Gui-gēgē, and now they’ve hurt Prince-gēgē as well! For love and justice, Doll shall punish them!” Doll replied, her tone conveying her indignation.
“Dàgē, hurry and heal me! I will repay them for the hurt they’ve caused Prince,” Gui said, his face still pale as a sheet.
I smiled faintly.
“Odd Squad, five team members. Prince, warrior. Lolidragon, thief. Ugly Wolf, priest. Doll, necromancer. Guiliastes, bard. Kindly report your names,” I said coldly.
With a “Hmph!”, Ming Huang replied, “Dark Emperor, five team members. Ming Huang, mage (human). Wicked, warrior (dark elf). Ambusher, archer (elf). Black Lily, priest (angel). Playboy Lord, thief (human).”
A very well-balanced team composition…ahem! Shaking off that sense of respect, I silently listened as Wolf-dàgē gave his instructions over party chat.
“Well… There’s not much to say. Prince will go against Wicked, Lolidragon against Playboy Lord. Gui, your task is to interfere with Ambusher. Make sure he doesn’t get the chance to shoot at anyone on our side! You’ll have to protect Doll and Lolidragon in particular…
“Doll, your task is very important. Make sure that the enemy mage doesn’t have the chance to harm anyone from our team. Otherwise, the situation will be critical. Don’t worry; I’ll be there to help you.”
The two parties all stood quietly facing each other, except for the priests, who were busy buffing their teammates up.
The situation had quickly become volatile as our battle fury was ignited. Finally, I moved, hefting my Black Dao and leveling it challengingly at Wicked, who had managed to score on me twice earlier. Wicked too, held his longsword at the ready.
“Nine-headed Dragon Strike,” I said as I rushed forward.
“Flawless Frenzied Blade-Dance.” Wicked too, came charging in.
My dao and his longsword met and there was the ringing sound of metal clashing against metal as my Nine-headed Dragon Strike and Wicked’s Flawless Frenzied Blade-Dance were blocked by one another. With neither having been successfully executed, we both quickly guessed that the other was also a warrior skilled in swift yet powerful attacks.
Our blades flashed as we continued our fight, yet neither of us could overpower the other.
As Wicked and I commenced our attacks, the others also began to enter combat. Lolidragon was up against Playboy Lord. He attempted one attack after another on Lolidragon, but none of them landed. Her agility was clearly way above Playboy Lord’s. I was worried, however, since that probably meant that his strength was greater than hers.
Luckily, Lolidragon seemed to have arrived at the same conclusion. Realizing that Playboy Lord had pumped his skill points into strength, she avoided going head-to-head with him. Instead, she chose to dodge and evade his attacks, waiting for the perfect moment to strike.
Doll had directed two of her Flame-armored Skeletons to interrupt Ming Huang’s spell-casting, while keeping two skeletons at hand to protect her, Ugly Wolf, and Gui. I had engaged Wicked, their only warrior, in combat. Thus, their mage – with no warrior to protect him – could only cast weak spells to defend against the skeletons. Things were to our advantage here.
As Doll was controlling the skeletons, their archer – Ambusher – thought to take her down. At first, he fired arrows like mad, but Doll was shielded by her skeletons. Moreover, Gui was anything but idle all this while. Supremely pissed off, he alternated between drinking mana potions like plain water and casting Supersonic Soul-chasing Arrow over and over again like a maniac, giving Ming Huang a royal thrashing.
Ming Huang, in turn, was so terrified that he could only hide behind Ambusher and cast defensive spells. Although Ambusher had Ming Huang’s defensive spells to protect him from Gui’s attacks, Doll’s skeletons were also eyeing him hungrily from the side. Facing two Flame-armored Skeletons, Ambusher could only fire Twin Shot like a man possessed in order to block their attacks.
Since Gui’s attacks were blocked by Ming Huang’s Impenetrable Wall, he’d immediately switched to playing Sheng-ge Entrancement Technique in order to support Lolidragon and I. Once Ming Huang dropped the Impenetrable Wall in order to cast offensive spells, however, Gui would immediately attack Ming Huang and Ambusher, casting Flurry of Musical Notes continuously.
As for Wolf-dàgē, his role was the same as the enemy priest’s: to stand to one side and heal any injured party members.
With Gui’s occasional Sheng-ge Entrancement Technique, my speed instantly surpassed Wicked’s. He began to retreat step by step, his body covered with numerous wounds, leaving their priest Black Lily flustered as she attempted to heal him. Lolidragon too, benefitted from Gui’s Sheng-ge Entrancement Technique. It allowed her to greatly outstrip Playboy Lord in terms of speed, even making it possible for her to occasionally attack him without sustaining any injury herself.
We have the upper hand now! Our team was clearly winning. It would only be a matter of time before Dark Emperor was defeated, so long as there were no sudden changes…
“Lily, heal me! Wicked, Playboy Lord, come over and help Ambusher to cover me,” Ming Huang instructed his team mates.
“Attack! Don’t let him cast any spell,” Wolf-dàgē bellowed in an urgent voice.
I immediately rushed forward, but that bastard Wicked kept blocking me. With Wicked being completely on the defensive, I was unable to quickly overcome him. While the two of us were locked in an impasse, the rest of my party was busy attacking. The HP of the members of Dark Emperor dropped quickly and even Black Lily could not restore their health quickly enough.
Still, their mage Ming Huang continued to chant. With such a long incantation, the strength of the spell… We did not dare to so much as imagine it.
At long last, I managed to break through Wicked’s defense. I swung my dao at Ming Huang—
“…Wrath of the Nine Heavens!”
Ming Huang raised both arms. He chanted the final line of the incantation, even as he was turned into a pillar of white light by my strike. By that point, his teammates Black Lily, Playboy Lord and Ambusher had already taken a free airplane ride back to the city as well.
His spell, however, was still in motion. The originally clear sky changed, turned ominously dark and overcast as lightning played among the dark clouds. Suddenly, the first bolt of lightning struck, hitting Doll. Before we could even shout, more than ten bolts of lightning flashed, almost becoming a single enormous pillar of lightning as they came crashing down on our heads.
“Prince…” Even in the midst of that sea of blazing light, Wolf-dàgē was still casting a healing spell on me.
As the piercingly bright lightning vanished, I found myself the only one left standing with 450/3000 health. Wolf-dàgē’s final, high-level healing spell must have saved my life.
I was at a loss. My eyes filled with tears as I thought, I’d much rather experience the awfulness of death with everyone else than survive all by myself…
“Come back to your senses and drink up,” Wicked’s cold voice came to me from behind.
I was alarmed that Wicked was still alive, but there was astonishment as well. Wicked didn’t try to attack me while I was off my guard and now he’s even reminding me to drink up? I looked at him with a questioning expression.
“You guys are the most worthy opponents that I’ve fought. Your team might look very weird, but you’re actually really strong,” Wicked said with a shred of respect in his cold eyes. “I will consider you and your team our sworn enemies. I hope you won’t disappoint me.”
“You wish to continue fighting?” I was rather sick of fighting.
“No, let’s stop here for today,” Wicked replied wearily as he sheathed his longsword. “I have to get back and console Ming Huang.”
“Is Ming Huang really a guy?” I asked, curious.
“…Yes, he is. He is my younger brother in real life,” Wicked explained, his tone a tad embarrassed.
“…” I looked at the icily cool dark elf and thought, They sure aren’t like a pair of brothers – but then again, I’m not like my brother myself…
Just then, I thought of a pressing question. Since Ming Huang is a guy…
“Why did you guys first tell us to hold up?” …And cause this huge fight.
It was a rare sight as Wicked’s expression revealed a hint of embarrassment. “We just wanted to ask what sort of method you guys used to lure so many dragons and maybe get you guys to teach us.”
“…” I stared at Wicked with a dumbfounded expression.
“…If there’s nothing else, I’m leaving first.”
“Wait up, Wicked, don’t leave.” I grabbed a corner of Wicked’s shirt and looked at him with my most pitiful and helpless gaze.
“Is something the matter?” Wicked looked at me questioningly, an odd sort of feeling stirring in his heart.
“You mustn’t abandon me,” I said urgently, on the verge of tears.
“I— I don’t remember the way back to Star City…” With one hand held to the back of my head, I smiled innocently at him. After all, it was Wolf-dàgē who led the way here…
“…Follow me then.”
[½ Prince Volume 1 Chapter 5 End]
1 Odd Squad: Written in Chinese as “非常队” (prn. fēi cháng duì).
2 ‘Fēi, Cháng Duì’ … ‘Fēi Cháng, Duì’: Both are written and pronounced as “非常队” (prn. fēi cháng duì), but their meanings are significantly different, with the former meaning “Not, Normal Squad” and the latter meaning “Very, Squad” (which is nonsensical). The reason for the difference is because the same Chinese characters, when grouped differently, have different meanings. In the first one, “fēi” stands on its own, and means “not”, while “cháng” (which means “regular” or “normal) is grouped with “duì”, which means “squad”, hence the result is “not, normal squad”, or “Odd Squad”. In the second version, “fēi” and “cháng” have been grouped together and together they actually mean “very” or “extreme”, hence “Very, Squad”. Although this is the incorrect interpretation of Odd Squad’s name, most of the other players in Second Life believed this to be Odd Squad’s name initially (hence everybody thought they were weird).
3 Debuff: A debuff is the opposite of a buff – while it lasts, it hampers the target in some way, such as by lower agility or strength (as opposed to increasing them).
4 Flurry of Musical Notes: In Chinese, this is written as “群音乱舞” (prn. qún yīng luàn wŭ) – the mental image it provokes is something like a flock of ducks scattering in panic (but substitute the ducks with musical notes). This may be a pun on the phrase “群莺乱舞” (prn. qún yīng luàn wŭ, pronunciation is exactly the same), which means a gathering of unchaste women. The character “莺” (prn. yīng) here refers to a type of bird, but is also used when referring to prostitutes. The skill appears to be an offensive-type spell, but this is not clearly stated.
5 “The hero leaves, and will never return!” …Ah, the piercing winds: This is a reference to Jing Ke (荊軻, prn. jīng kē), an assassin who lived during the Warring States Period. He was sent by Yan Dan (燕丹, prn. yàn dān), crown prince of Yan, to assassinate Qin Shi Huang (秦始皇, prn. qín shĭ huáng), emperor of Qin. According to ancient records, Jing Ke supposedly came up with this impromptu poem as he bade farewell to his friends on the banks of the river Yi – “风潇潇兮，易水寒，壮士一去兮不复返!” (prn. fēng xiāo xiāo xí, yì shuĭ hán, zhuàng shì yì qù xí bù fù făn), which can be translated as, “The piercing winds, ah, the freezing waters of the river Yi, the hero leaves, and he will never return!” So in the same sense, Prince and the others are (melodramatically) bidding Lolidragon farewell.
6 Dragon’s XX: When it comes to herbs and tonics, there are all kinds of weird Chinese recipes involving all kinds of weird ingredients, such as monkey brains. In this case, dragon’s XX is basically a cure for impotency (those game developers in Second Life must have been very bored). Interestingly enough, the word used here for “XX” actually means “whip”.
7 Exploding Punch: Just a generic attack name. Similarly named moves appear in a wide number of comics and video games, including King of Fighters.
8 Whip: In case you didn’t read footnote 6, the word used for “XX” in “Dragon’s XX” actually means “whip”.