½ Prince Volume 2: Reality and Fantasy
Original novel in Chinese by: 御我 (Yu Wo)
Chapter 3: Odd Squad Strikes Back – translated by xosugarhighox
“Ahahaha…” I laughed callously. “Hahahaha, I’m not scared. I’m not scared! Hahaha!”
“Looks like Prince is really scared…” Ugly Wolf looked helplessly at me, who had been laughing maniacally in a corner for a while now.
“Well, he’s always been the one who slaughters everyone in his path. Now that the time for retribution has arrived, obviously he’d be scared!” Lolidragon responded indifferently.
“What do we do, then? With things like this, how are we going to compete?” Yu Lian asked, her voice filled with anxiety. “Don’t tell me we’re going to have to forfeit!”
“Haha, it’s okay; don’t worry about him. Prince has always been like this! He’s routinely scared half to death before the fight, but once the battle actually commences, he’ll become their most enthusiastic opponent by far. Don’t worry, don’t worry!” Lolidragon replied, laughing heartily.
“Is that so…?”
“It’s time,” Wolf-dàgē said calmly.
Hearing that, I stood up and turned, holding Black Dao in my left hand. “It’s time to kill people,” I said emotionlessly.
I’m not really sure why, but no matter how scared I am before a fight, somehow, I always manage to calm down the moment I step in the arena and feel the weight of the spectators’ gaze on me. Although I still can’t think of a way to defeat the two dragons using a meat bun and a disobedient fire phoenix…didn’t we still win even though I couldn’t think of a way to defeat a fire phoenix with a meat bun? Wahaha, this is called “Heaven watches over the good guys”… (Actually, it’s more like “God looks out for fools, drunks, and little children”!)1
As usual, I was the first to enter the arena. Hell’s Murderers had only just emerged from the tunnel, led by a person garbed in a blood-red mage’s robe.
“That’s the Blood-soaked Demon King, a frost-type mage. He loves to skewer his opponents using giant icicles. He’s the most terrifying figure in Hell’s Murderers,” Lolidragon explained.
“Skewer? So the worst that could happen is that I’d get a hole through my stomach? That’s not too bad… You guys nearly scared me to death! I thought he would XXX out my intestines and stuff them into my mouth, Then XXX my heart from my chest as it dripped with blood. After that, he would crack my skull wide open, splattering the ground with the soft white brain XXX as it spews from the wound…” I heaved a sigh of relief. All that talk about them being the scariest team ever; I was terrified for nothing!
“Your Highness! I beg of you, please don’t say any more!” Gui’s face had grown frightfully pale as he listened to my XXX-filled commentary. With a hand covering her mouth, Lolidragon growled from between gritted teeth, “If you say anymore, I’m going to puke up even my breakfast!”
“Heheh, sorry about that! It’s just that I’ve been watching too many horror movies lately…” Thinking back to the horror movie I had watched last night, I realized that I’d gotten those ideas from the homicidal psychopath who had slaughtered his victims using similar methods. I laughed, embarrassed and feeling somewhat foolish.
Just then, Blood-soaked Demon King – who was standing across from me – suddenly spoke. In an ominous voice, he said slowly, “Today, I am going to turn Odd Squad into a barbequed meat kabob. I’m going to skewer each of you one by one and then let my pet dragon slowly burn you all alive. I am going to acquaint you with REAL TERROR!”
I merely smiled impassively. “Shall we begin?”
My indifferent attitude seemed to have driven my opponent into an inarticulate rage, and several veins popped on his forehead…
“What’s there to be mad about right now?” I asked, chuckling. “Wait until after I XXX open your stomach, XXX out your intestines, and then use them as a rope to tie you up with. Then I’ll XXX up your skull, extract your brain, and get Fire Phoenix to roast it into a crisp using Heaven’s Blazing Flame. I’ll XXX it in your mouth and, finally, drench you in a sauce made of your own fresh blood! It won’t be too late for you to be mad then!”
Wahaha, it would be just like the movie I watched the day before yesterday. That day, after watching it with my brother, I even deliberately created some new recipes. Using high quality tofu that was as white as brain XXX and fresh red beans that were as vibrant as fresh blood, I made red bean tofu soup for him. That was the first time in his life my brother skipped dinner…
Was I too evil? Well, who asked him to keep repeating in my ear for three days straight that Dark Emperor had already made it past the preliminaries, and were now in the finals? Stupid brother, do you know how much pressure this puts on me?!
The throbbing veins on Blood-soaked Demon King’s face disappeared without a trace. Instead, his face had become white as a sheet and his hands were trembling slightly. He was probably imagining himself being tied up in his intestines, watching helplessly as his own brain was sliced up and roasted to a crisp then XXX down his throat, before finally being drenched in his own blood… (I don’t think you’d still be alive by that time…)
But won’t I be plagiarizing the movie? I pondered for a while. Would I be charged for theft of intellectual property? Or why don’t we….
“Gouge out his eyeballs and stuff them up his ass?” Nope, can’t do that; that was from the horror movie three days ago.
“Bury him alive and then flay his skin?” If I recall correctly, this was one of the ten major torture methods of the Qing Dynasty!
“Cut off all four limbs and throw them into a cesspit?” Where am I going to find a cesspit?
“Carve his flesh slowly off him, slice by slice?” Don’t they call this “rending flesh from bone”?
“Castration?” …I don’t think he can die from that. According to the game’s design, that area isn’t a weak spot for attacks…right?
“Stuff my blade up his ass? No, that’d be filthy.” How can I sully my darling Black Dao like that!
I let out a sigh. “I never realized that coming up with new methods of torture and execution would be so difficult. Forget it, I’ll just pick one of those methods and use it. Let’s start! Referee…eh? Where did everyone go?” I looked everywhere around me, but… Strange, I’m the only person left in the whole arena?
“Where’s Blood-soaked Demon King?” I looked at the deserted arena in front of me. Our opponents have disappeared? I turned to ask my teammates where our opponents had gone, but… “Lolidragon? Wolf-dàgē? Gui? Dàsăo? Doll? Where have they all disappeared to?”
Just then, an announcement came over the broadcasting system, accompanied by the sound of vomiting. “Everyone…this is your commentator, Xiao Li. As the competitor Prince’s descriptions were simply excessively violent and gruesome— *BARF* …It has caused all of the competitors to flee from the arena. I presume they are in the restrooms…vomiting. There are still five more minutes before the match must start. If not a single member from Hell’s Murderers has returned before the five minutes are up, the victory will be awarded to the team that still has a member in the arena, Odd Squad… *BARF*”
At this moment, in the restrooms…
The members of Odd Squad were shouting loudly as one. “Prince, you’re dead meat! *BARF*”
The members of Hell’s Murderers next to them were sobbing from fear. “No matter what, there’s no way we’re going back there! *BARF*”
“*BARF* Odd Squad, victory!” the referee announced.
Standing alone in the middle of the arena, I twiddled my fingers, muttering in a small voice, “I didn’t do it on purpose…”
I had only just left the arena when Lolidragon approached me with a dangerous glint in her eyes. “Prince, you’re DEAD MEAT!”
“You caused me to puke up even last night’s dinner!” Yu Lian-dàsăo said, and her terrifying shadowy smile appeared again.
“Prince-gēge, Doll is very scared!”
Scared? If you’re truly frightened, why is the expression on your face reminiscent of the time you summoned the bone dragon to try to get that delicious roasted meat, Doll?
“Sigh. Prince, you know that I have always thought of you as a younger brother…” said Wolf-dàgē.
Then please don’t wave your two meter-long staff around… You’re even doing warm up exercises? Wolf-dàgē, don’t you know how humiliating it’ll be for a warrior to be slaughtered by a priest using sheer brute force?
“Your Highness…” Gui looked worried.
Seeing that a dagger, two magic staves, and a skeletal hand were about to come crashing down on my head, I could only throw Gui a pitiful look and tragically cry out, “Gui, save meeeee!”
Unable to bear the sight of me getting hurt, Gui immediately flew forward to shield me. “Don’t beat up his Highness!”
A small brawl ensued, in which fists and feet were not the only things used — even slippers, forks, and knives came flying my way. I hid beneath Gui, protected securely by his body, narrowly escaping the storm of attacks.
I gazed gratefully at Gui, whose body no longer bore any resemblance to a human’s. Strange, why isn’t he dead yet? Actually, come to think of it, Wolf-dàgē’s healing spells have been leveling up largely because of Gui’s “assistance”. In my heart, I silently vowed not to beat Gui up too badly next time.
“Prince! You really are despicable,” Lolidragon panted, worn out from the fight.
“How is that true? You had an enjoyable time beating someone into a pulp, I didn’t have to endure any pain, and Gui’s masochism has been satisfied. We’ve killed multiple birds with a single stone, so why not? Hahaha.” I really am coolly calculating, heh heh!
“I wonder why the tournament committee was looking for Dàgē? I’m starving, I want to eat.”
A moment before, the system had broadcasted out of the blue that the tournament committee wanted our team leader to go see them. They said that they needed to discuss something with us…
Don’t tell me that they’re not going to count our victory just now? Do we have to fight again? I don’t want to… I’ve already been dealt with so harshly by my team members. If they nullify our victory, I will really use the ten major torture methods of the Qing dynasty on the tournament committee members.
“You really love to eat. It makes me wonder if you really are a girl…”
Lolidragon suddenly realized that she had made a blunder. My face paled as I looked at Dàsăo and Doll.
“…A girl’s dream guy.”
“…” Great save, Lolidragon! I let out a relieved sigh.
“Wolf is back!” Yu Lian-dàsăo had spotted him from afar.
“Sigh. Everyone, I have some not-very-bad-but-still-bad news.” Wolf-dàgē furrowed his brows together. “We still have to fight one more match.”
“Now? Right now?” But I’m hungry…
“To be precise, we have twenty more minutes.”
“Gui…” We all looked worriedly at Gui, who was lying on the ground like a misshapen lump of mud.
“I’ll heal him up, don’t worry.” Wolf-dàgē said, before adding, “These injuries are nothing compared to the ones he receives when Prince beats him up.”
…I pretended not to hear that.
“Spirit Spirit Team is our next opponent. Also, the reason why we are fighting twice in a row is because we’re one of the last remaining teams in the preliminaries. The tournament committee wishes to conclude the preliminaries today,” Wolf-dàgē said, his voice troubled.
“The damn thing is, there’s no time for us to wring information about our opponents out of random passersbys. However, our opponents know exactly what they’re up against, since they probably saw everything that transpired in our previous match. The situation is clearly very unfavorable for us.”
“Bat’s beri unhayeraber hor arshe,” I said indistinctly through a mouthful of mantou.
“That might not be true. Luckily for us, there was no fighting at all during the match just now, so at most, they would know our classes,” Yu Lian-dàsăo said with a comforting smile.
“I hope that’s true…”
In the arena…
“Those are…our opponents?” I forced myself to ask. *SWEAT*
“Looks like it.” Wolf-dàgē’s brows were knitted even more tightly together than before.
“Are you serious? You’re saying that flower, that blade of grass, that tree, that rock, that pool of water, plus something that we can’t see – they’re our opponents?” The corner of my mouth twitched as I thought, Isn’t this a bit over-the-top?
“No wonder they’re called Spirit Spirit Team2 — they’re actually made up of a flower spirit, a grass spirit, a tree spirit, a rock spirit, a water spirit, and a wind spirit. This is bad; spirits have many sub-categories and their abilities vary widely. Plus, very few players choose to play as spirits. We have never encountered a player of the spirit race before, so our knowledge of them is simply too superficial. This will be a tough battle,” Lolidragon explained worriedly.
“Sigh! And here I was, thinking I could try repeating the horrifying descriptions I used during the last fight, but now…” I sighed. “Lolidragon, do you think it/he/she/they will have intestines for me to yank out?”
“It doesn’t matter, I guess. After all, we still have to fight anyway,” I said. I didn’t really care who my opponent was. Instead, I moved into a fighting position, readying myself for battle.
“Prince is right. Let’s wipe the floor with them!” roared Wolf-dàgē maniacally.
I began to laugh wildly and unsheathed my Black Dao. The last match in the preliminary rounds — begin!
The moment the match started, I immediately rushed forward, thinking to get rid of one or two of the opponents first. However, I suddenly discovered that something seemed to have twined around my foot, sending me sprawling onto the ground. Hastily, I glanced at my foot…
Grass? The arena actually has grass for me to trip over? I quickly hacked at the grass with my dao, but just as I was about to climb to my feet, numerous long strands of grass suddenly sprouted all around me…
“Urgh.” The grass had twined about my entire body, leaving me immobilized.
“Prince!” Odd Squad’s members were shocked. Wolf-dàgē rushed forward to where I was and began to yank at the hindering grass while Doll directed her skeletons to cover us. Lolidragon — who had been about to burrow towards the opponents — ran over as well, desperately hacking away at the grass with her dagger.
As I struggled, I saw that the rock spirit was charging at us from the corner of my eye. My princely countenance turned ashen and yelled, “Forget about me — quick, defend yourselves!”
“Skeletons, hurry forward to shield them!” Doll hastily dispatched her skeletons to bar the rock spirit’s path. However, with each sweep of its thick branches, the tree spirit next to it easily sent a skeleton flying. Although it wasn’t enough to destroy the skeletons, the attack hindered their movements, wasting precious time as they struggled to crawl back on their feet.
Seeing the hefty tree spirit surge forward, Yu Lian immediately cast a fireball, which sent it scurrying back to the Spirit Spirit Team. The rock spirit was unaffected, however, and instead threw a punch at Doll. Intent on pushing Doll out of harm’s way, Wolf-dàgē was struck by the heavy blow. Even with his large frame and towering height of over two meters, Wolf-dàgē was sent flying.
“Wolf…!” Yu Lian-dàsăo cried out in alarm.
“Flaming Skeletons! Quick! Fall back to defend everyone!” Doll urgently commanded her skeletons to defend against the rock spirit’s onslaught.
“Gui! Berserk Melody! Hurry up and cast Berserk Melody!” I bellowed.
“Right,” Gui replied, immediately casting Berserk Melody on me.
I felt my strength increase. With a heroic effort, I struggled and finally managed to free my right arm. “Bat Catching Sword!” I sliced, hewed, cleaved, stabbed, slashed – in mere moments I had executed all sorts of sword moves to chop up the grass ensaring my body. After freeing myself, I jumped to my feet and ran urgently towards the rock spirit…
Suddenly, a pillar of water came gushing up in front of me. Surprised, I took a hurried step back. Unfortunately, having no eyes in the back of my head, I did not see the second pillar of water behind me. To make matters worse, the strength of the current in the one behind me was even stronger than the one in front. I was trapped.
“AHHH!” I was immediate swept away by the currents. Just as I was about to be washed right out of the arena, I stabbed my Black Dao into the ground. Hanging on for dear life, I managed to avoid getting flushed out of the arena. However, as soon as the water receded, I found myself once again bound by the grass.
This is damn irritating! I thought. I would hack away at the grass, only to be washed away to the edge of the arena; when the torrent of water finally stopped, I’d once more be tangled in the grass…
In the midst of all this, I threw a glance in Doll’s direction, worried about how the others were faring. Luckily, Doll and Yu Lian-dàsăo were stalling the rock spirit together. Gui was playing his guqin and casting Supersonic Soul-chasing Arrow to interfere with the enemy’s attacks, but… Wolf-dàgē seems to be fighting an imaginary opponent?!
Abruptly, I recalled the presence of an invisible opponent – the wind spirit! The wind spirit has forced Wolf-dàgē into a one-on-one fight. This is bad! Where’s Lolidragon?
I turned around to look at the other members of Spirit Spirit Team. As expected, I saw Lolidragon crouching stealthily behind the water spirit. She was planning to take it down by surprise, but…
Having returned to its teammates’ side, the tree spirit had already raised its guard against this thief who could burrow through the ground to assassinate her opponents. As soon as it noticed her presence, it immediately swung its large tree branches at her.
“Urgh…!” Unable to evade in time, Lolidragon was struck squarely by the attack, and her HP dropped drastically. She got to her feet immediately and burrowed her way back to Odd Squad. On her way back, however, she noticed that Wolf-dàgē was in peril and instantly rushed to his aid.
Although it’s really hard to see an invisible person with the naked eye, even an invisible person would have trouble hiding from the trained eyes of a thief. Gui’s supporting fire added to that, and soon the wind spirit was clearly on the brink of defeat…
At that moment, the flower spirit that had remained motionless all this time unexpectedly started to chant a healing spell. Flower petals drifted slowly down onto the wind spirit’s head, and we watched as its injuries healed up substantially.
“So the flower spirit is a priest!” Wolf-dàgē uttered in surprise.
Just then, the tree spirit ran over to help the wind spirit. With the addition of the incredibly strong tree spirit, it became an even match between the enemy and Lolidragon, Dàgē, and Gui. Doll and Yu Lian could only stop the rock spirit’s offensive as their attacks had no effect against the granite-like skin and thick body of the rock spirit. As for me, I was still trapped by the grass spirit and the water spirit…
We can’t go on like this! Once again, I struggled free of the grass, and then whipped Meatbun out.
“Mama? Are you playing with water? Meat-bunbun also wants to play!” Meatbun said as it looked at my water-battered appearance with an innocent wide-eyed gaze.
After this match, I will never play with water again! Having little strength to resist, I was once again bound up by the grass spirit. “Meatbun – later, use that XXX skill to lift me out of the water while I’m being washed away by the current, you understand?”
I hacked my way free of the grass for the Nth time and then leapt to my feet. Immediately, the stream of water began to surge towards me again.
“Meatbun, use Take-copter!” I cried out.3
A Take-copter suddenly grew out of the top of Meatbun’s head. It began to twirl, slowly lifting Meatbun into the air, and I hung onto Meatbun for dear life. “Stay away from that water current, Meatbun,” I ordered, and Meatbun immediately dodged to the left, evading the pillar of water that was spinning towards us like a hurricane.
Helpless, I had no choice but to rely on a meat bun to weave left and right while I analyzed the situation. I decided to first get rid of the grass spirit and the water spirit, both of whom would hamper my movements. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to move on ground at all.
“Meatbun, carefully approach the enemy.”
“What’s an ‘enemy’?”
I nearly fainted upon hearing that. Instead, I said, “Go towards the people gathered over there.” I leveled my Black Dao in the direction of Spirit Spirit Team.
“Oookay, Mama!” Meatbun obediently began to advance on Spirit Spirit Team.
“Dragon Whirlwind Strike!” I darted past a pillar of water and, like a whirlwind, I charged at the water spirit. A large gaping hole immediate appeared in that hateful water spirit’s stomach, but just as I was about to send it to heaven with another thrust of my sword, my body was bound up by grass again. Worse still…
“Icicle Spears.” Although seriously hurt, the water spirit smiled sinisterly, nearly ten icicles held in its grasp…
“Bat Catching Sword!” I hurriedly cut myself free of the grass, but I was still unable to dodge in time. Five icicles pierced my body.
My face turned white… Urgh! It was extremely painful, but the worst injury was on my left thigh – it had been pierced by an icicle, which remained lodged there. The rest of my wounds ranged from deep gashes to light cuts. Though I still had more than half of my health left, I was once again bound and immobilized by the grass spirit…
Waaah! In front of me, another N number of icicles suddenly appeared! Looks like Spirit Spirit Team is about to fulfill Blood-soaked Demon King’s will of turning me into a kebab.
“Even if I have to die, I’m taking one of them with me… Meatbun, Dog Beating Technique!” I lobbed Meatbun at the water spirit with all my strength.
“Urgh!” One after another, spears of ice struck me piercing my left hand, waist, and shoulder – one even scraped past my forehead. Across from me, the water spirit was unable to dodge Meatbun’s attack in time, but alas the flower spirit quickly healed it. I lay on the ground and watching the remnants of my HP drain away bit by bit. Looks like I can’t even bring one of them down with me, damn it!
“Prince, let’s go!” Lolidragon suddenly appeared behind me and began dragging me back towards the rest of the team with all her strength. Seeing that, the grass spirit was about to use its grass to prevent us from escaping when a translucent arrow stopped it. Gui – now infuriated – began to rain a spray of arrows down on the grass spirit, forcing it to hastily use grass to protect himself, the flower spirit, and the water spirit.
“We’re almost there, Prince!” Lolidragon was pulling me along as hard as she could, trying to get me close enough to Wolf-dàgē so that he could heal me. Wolf-dàgē would have come forward himself, but without Lolidragon and Gui’s help, it was all he could do not to be killed by the wind spirit and the tree spirit. There was no way he could get himself out of his fix and come heal me.
Grasping at once the severity of Wolf-dàgē’s situation, I bellowed urgently at Lolidragon, “Go help Wolf-dàgē! He— he can’t hold them off by himself!”
Lolidragon looked at Wolf-dàgē, and then looked at me. “God damn it – if I don’t help Wolf-dàgē get rid of those two, we won’t be able to save Prince at all!”
Lolidragon gritted her teeth, then let go of me and rushed over to help Wolf-dàgē fight back against his two opponents. “You have to hang in there, Prince. You hear me?!” Lolidragon roared over her shoulder as she ran.
Helpless, I could only nod my head weakly even as I thought, Hang in there? Damn this 99% realism level. How am I supposed to hang in there with my HP steadily draining away thanks to my open wounds? We’re not allowed to bring health potions to a match either… Crap! My consciousness is starting to become fuzzy… I hastily shook my head, trying to clear my mind.
By this time, the water spirit’s wounds were completely healed. Enraged, it sent a tidal wave towards me, but I was still lost in my hazy consciousness…
“PRIIIINCE!” Gui, Lolidragon, Ugly Wolf, Yu Lian, and Doll cried out in despair.
“Prince!” Gui cried out again. With a heroic effort, he leaped over and held me – now nearly unconscious – in his arms, futilely trying to shield me with his body as the tidal wave hit us. What little blood that was left in my body was still sufficient to stain the water red…
Suddenly my head cleared. In my heart, I understood that I was just an inch away from death. “Fight hard, Gui!”
Gui looked at me with fear starkly visible in his eyes. “Prince… No, you can’t die!”
I smiled gently as my corporeal form gradually turned translucent and indistinct, before dissolving into bits of sparkling stardust. Under Gui’s devastated gaze, I turned into a pillar of light and shot into the sky.
“Prince…” Gui whispered in a choked voice, clenching his hands – hands that had held Prince just moments earlier – and pounded on the ground…
“Prince…” The blood had drained from Lolidragon’s face.
“How could…” Yu Lian covered her mouth, her eyes glittering with tears.
“NOOO! PRINCE!” Wolf-dàgē howled.
“Waaaah…waaaaah, Prince-gēge!” Doll wailed and began to cry…
“Mama? Where is Mama? Waaah, waaaah…” Meatbun’s two super-ultra faucets had made a comeback.
The atmosphere throughout the entire stadium seemed to have frozen/solidified. The feeling of grief began to permeate throughout the spectators, and even the members of Spirit Spirit Team seemed to be at a loss for what to do. The minutes ticked away, one by one.
Just as Spirit Spirit Team finally decided to continue the fight, the flames of fury ignited – blazing – with Gui at the heart of the inferno…
“Fire Phoenix, as your master I command you: Burn! Send all those ignorant fools who dared to hurt my true love into the fiery depths of hell.” Gui’s eyes smoldered with the thirst for revenge, and even the recalcitrant Fire Phoenix knew that it wasn’t a good time to disobey. He gave a long cry before he flew high up into the sky and breathed a surge of flames at Spirit Spirit Team.
The grass spirit had thought to set up a barricade, but what could grass do to impede fire? The water spirit immediately took over, using a screen of water to block the fatal flames.
Sensing that the situation had somehow turned ominous for them, the grass spirit immediately thought of using its Grass Weaving Technique against Gui. Long strands of grass suddenly sprouted from beneath Gui’s feet…
“Earthquake!” Yu Lian casted a spell as she crouched on the ground, her right hand touching it lightly. A huge crevice instantly appeared beneath the grass spirit as the ground split in two. The grass spirit lost its footing and nearly fell into the rift, but luckily for it, the tree spirit was nearby and managed to catch it in time. However, Yu Lian only smiled lightly as she finished reciting the incantation a second time. Yet another crack ran towards both the grass spirit and the tree spirit…
“You used this move to kill Prince – do you really think I’m going to let you kill Gui too? In your dreams!” Yu Lian lightly spat out these words.
“Inferno from the darkest depths of hell, blaze upon the mighty undead creature, bone dragon! Incarnate as Hell’s Inferno Dragon, prideful and haughty creature, and descend upon the human realm to aid your master in destroying all that stands in her way!” Fury was evident on Doll’s stubborn face, and even having to summon the incomparably terrifying Hell’s Inferno Dragon couldn’t make her give up her desire to avenge Prince.
Thus, aside from Fire Phoenix with its divine flames, Spirit Spirit Team now had to contend with an additional airborne enemy – a bone dragon belching flames of darkness. Undoubtedly, for Spirit Spirit Team, it was like having hail on top of a snowstorm…no, it was like adding fuel to the fire.
The wind spirit and the rock spirit saw what was happening and immediately charged towards Odd Squad, planning to get rid of these three dangerous individuals quickly. Lolidragon darted in front of the wind spirit, however, barring its way.
“Someone once said it is a foolish endeavor to compare speeds with the wind, but I will now show you that it is even more foolish to compete against me,” Lolidragon said menacingly. As she uttered those words, she flipped the two daggers in her hands and began hacking, chopping, and stabbing swiftly, forcing the wind spirit into a hasty retreat.
Ugly Wolf swung his Light of Glory, having begun to fight the rock spirit one-on-one. Technically speaking, Ugly Wolf’s strength and physique clearly couldn’t compare to the rock spirit’s. Ugly Wolf scoffed, however, remarking silently in his heart: Even a three-year-old kid knows how to defeat a rock; don’t you just let the heat and cold deal with it?
“Gui! Get Fire Phoenix to breathe fire at this rock spirit!” Ugly Wolf told Gui over the team channel and Gui immediately did as he was asked.
“You think fire will have an effect on me?” The rock spirit was engulfed in flames, but was unconcerned.
Ugly Wolf grinned icily. Oh? And what if we add water? Fine, just watch as I shatter you to pieces using water… Should I ask Yu Lian for water? No, Yu Lian only has fire and earth-type spells. Not Doll, and Gui doesn’t have water either, while Lolidragon is a thief.
Crap! No water, Ugly Wolf thought, freezing where he stood. What should I do now? There’s no way I can go up to the water spirit and say, “Hey! Can you lend me some water so I can kill the rock spirit?”…right?
“Waaah, waaah, Mama!” Meatbun cried unceasingly at one side even as signs of imminent flooding began to present themselves.
Ugly Wolf’s ugly face broke out into a hideous smile. How unexpected, Prince. You’re already dead, but you didn’t forget to leave such a useful “orphan” behind, Ugly Wolf thought. He quickly scooped Meatbun up and began to negotiate with it.
“Meatbun, that rock over there caused your Mama to die. Do you want revenge?”
“Waaah… What’s ‘revenge’?” Meatbun asked, its huge innocent eyes widening.
Ugly Wolf scratched the fur on his head. “Just… go over to the rock spirit and cry, and your Mama will be very happy!” Ugly Wolf said, doing his best to use a cajoling tone of voice, just as one would use on children.
“Then Mama will come back? Meat-bunbun misses Mama.”
“Okay!” Meatbun’s little face filled with resolve, and it bounced and bopped its way towards the rock spirit.
Ugly Wolf wiped cold sweat away, thinking, It’s a good thing that buns don’t have brains…
The rock spirit initially stared, dumbfounded at the meat bun which hopped towards him before jumping onto its shoulder. As two pillars of water gushed forth, the rock spirit seemed to hear the sound of himself cracking. It paled in alarm and frantically began to try to grab Meatbun. “What are you doing? Get off!”
However, Meatbun’s body was small, and it was quite nimble. One moment, Meatbun was on its head, the next moment, it had hopped to its shoulder, and then its arms… The two faucets began to fulfil their purpose and began to destroy the rock spirit’s body.
The situation had begun to turn around…
I left the rebirth point, experienced the after-death nausea, and then found myself somewhat rooted to the spot.
“Now what shall I do?” I mumbled to myself. Then, suddenly, I remembered. “That right! I should go and watch the match.”
Worried that I would not get to the stadium in time to watch the match, I hastily grabbed a bag of guazi, bought a plate of fried rice, and got a can of Coke before hurrying to the stadium. I got there just in time to see Gui going berserk. Then, I found a seat and began to watch my teammates go crazy as a result of my death.
“Wooow! If I’d known that Gui could control Fire Phoenix just like that, then I would have committed suicide. That way, wouldn’t we have roasted meat to eat?”
“What a scary Inferno Bone Dragon…”
“Yu Lian-dàsăo is seriously impressive…”
I emitted sigh after sigh of admiration as I watched my teammates do their best to go berserk. By the time I finished eating my fried rice, the whole arena was in a state of “deep waters and hot fires”, “fallen skies and cracked earth”…4
“Wuuuuuaaaaah! Wuaaah! Mama didn’t come back! Mamaaaaa!” Meatbun’s two faucets had evolved into two very impressive waterfalls. As a follow-up to the restaurant-booth-flooding incident, Meatbun once again set a new record for flooding a stadium…
“Fire Phoenix, quickly! Burn all of the damnable spirits to ashes! AHAHAHA!” Gui was already half-insane, and Fire Phoenix was starting to turn into a pyromaniac. Aside from the small area where the members of Odd Squad stood, Fire Phoenix breathed streams of flame all over the place whenever and however it pleased.
With a huge, earth-shattering “WHAM!”, Doll’s terrifying Hell’s Inferno Dragon once again “accidentally” rammed into the pillars on the edge of the arena. Blocks of debris the size of human heads went flying all over the arena. Even the spectators in the stands were not spared the misfortune of this assault. Dodge! Whew, that almost hit me. As for the one responsible for the catastrophe… Doll just stood to one side of the arena with her head tilted, wearing an innocent expression on her face…
By the time Yu Lian-dàsăo’s terrifying Earthquake spell was cast for the eleventh time, the floor of the arena had already fragmented into six slabs of rock of different sizes, and showed signs that they would be fractured into even more pieces…
In short, the immediate surroundings is one of airborne rocks and pillars of white light shooting into the sky together, while the seas of flames and floodwater surge as one. Wonderful! What a wonderful hell on earth! The spectators around me had long since fled for their lives. The referee was clinging on for dear life to the only pillar that the bone dragon hadn’t KOed. Listening to the broadcast by the commentator Xiao Li would have given anyone the impression that Armageddon had arrived, and as for Spirit Spirit Team… I really couldn’t tell if any of Spirit Spirit Team’s spirits had survived. Someone should have, right? Otherwise, the match should have ended already.
In the end, Wolf-dàgē – who still had a little bit of reason left in him – finally stopped. He surveyed the surroundings and then howled, “Enough, that’s enough! Everyone stop right now! We have already avenged Prince. I think Prince‘s soul in heaven will rest easy now.”
Hearing her husband’s roar, Yu Lian-dàsăo also stopped. She looked at the ruined arena and said in a choked voice, “Prince, you can rest in peace now…”
“Prince-gēge… Waaah!” Tears welled up in Doll’s eyes again.
“Prince! I have avenged your death!” Gui howled at the sky, tears glimmering on his lashes. “Do you hear me, Prince? We’ve AVENGED YOU!”
I swallowed a mouthful of guazi, took a swig of my Coke, and dodged another surge of flames. “Okay, okay, I heard you.” Although you’re yelling in the wrong direction, Gui. I’m not in the sky, I’m here, by your left hand side!
In the arena, Wolf-dàgē lifted his head to look at the referee, who was perched on top the pillar. He asked, “Referee, aren’t you going to hurry and declare us as the victors? Unless you want us to continue wreaking havoc? You should know that my team members aren’t very patient people.”
Hearing that, the referee almost began to cry as he hurried to explain. “But there’s still a survivor in the Spirit Spirit Team. According to the tournament rules, all members of the opposing team must either be dead or have surrendered. Only then can I declare the victors…”
“Surrender! We surrender!” Wolf-dàgē didn’t even have the chance to open his mouth before a shrill voice cried out from under the rubble of rocks. Wolf-dàgē walked over and shifted the rocks away, only to see a flower with a single petal left lying in a pathetic state under it.
The referee looked as relieved as a man who had just been saved from certain death. “Victory goes to Odd Squad! Victory goes to Odd Squad! They have successfully cleared the preliminaries and entered the finals!”
I ran down to the arena floor happily and hugged my teammates. That’s great! We’ve cleared the preliminaries!
Sometime later, I heard a strange rumor about me. Someone said that I was even more terrifying dead than alive. What’s that supposed to mean? Like Meatbun, I could only listen uncomprehendingly with wide, innocent eyes.
[½ Prince Volume 2 Chapter 3 End]
1 Heaven watches over the good guys… God looks out for fools, drunks, and little children: What Prince actually says here are two separate proverbs. The first is “吉人自有天相” (prn. jī rén zì yŏu tiān xiàng), which means that the heavens will ensure that no harm comes to good people (like heroes). The second is “傻人有傻福” (prn. shă rén yŏu shă fú), which means that “even fools have a fool’s luck”, implying that heaven grants an extra dose of luck to fools.
2 Spirit Spirit Team: The character for “spirit”, “妖” (prn. yāo), is actually quite ambiguous – depending on its usage, its meaning ranges from “spirit” to “demon” to “monster”. In essence, it suggests a supernatural being – and not necessarily an agent for evil either, such as the fox spirit/demon in Japanese myths.
4 “Deep waters and hot fires”, “fallen skies and cracked earth”: The two are both sayings in Chinese. The first means “in deep trouble” and the second basically means a very extreme scene of destruction along the lines of Armageddon.