½ Prince Volume 2: Reality and Fantasy
Original novel in Chinese by: 御我 (Yu Wo)
Extra Chapter: Diary – translated by Eilinel
A genius with an IQ of 200, he entered university at the age of fifteen. He graduated at eighteen, received a doctorate at twenty-two. Then, furthering his studies overseas, he returned with another doctorate at twenty-five.
At twenty-six, top universities in the country were vying to employ him as a professor.
I looked at the pile of recruitment letters on the table. Which university should I go to? I thought, shaking my head at the ridiculousness of the situation.
I don’t even need ten minutes to calculate which university would be the most advantageous for me, so what is there to feel troubled about? Right – there’s nothing to worry about!
Still, in a fit of irritation, I gathered up all of the recruitment letters and savagely thrust them at the ceiling. The sheaves of paper fell, scattering all over the floor, except for one letter that landed on the table.
“It’s you then!” I picked up the recruitment letter, and barely glanced at the university’s name before putting my signature on the paper. Grabbing my helmet, I headed out to mail the document.
I dealt with the post-office clerk’s smitten gaze by faking a warm smile. After that, I went to a street filled with vendors selling electronics, with the thought of getting upgrades for my computer.
The shop owner, who had just made a fortune off me, grinned and asked, “With such good upgrades for your computer, are you planning to get started on playing ‘Second Life’ and beating everyone else?”
“‘Second Life’?” My eyebrows furrowed. What’s that?
“You don’t know about ‘Second Life’? It’s a virtual reality game that was just released two days ago! The game’s realism level is 99%, the highest ever attained!”
I glared at the game helmet that the shop owner had insisted on giving me, thinking, what’s so fun about virtual reality games? Isn’t it just wielding a sword to hack, and hack, and hack?
Still, I had already finished reading the instruction manual…
I really hate my tendency to read anything with words on it out of habit. Now my brain is full of information on how to play the game… Oh, forget it – I might as well try it out! I have nothing better to do anyway.
First, I need to decide on a race and class…where’s that die I used last time?
Once online, I was at somewhat of a loss for what to do.
I stood at the birth point, wondering, I decided on being a demon bard based on the roll of a dice, but how exactly do bards train? There’s only a shirt, pants and a wooden flute in the supply pouch – don’t tell me I’m supposed to beat up mobs with a flute? Are all games these days so weird?
After nearly a month of training, I found myself liking the carefree lifestyle of a bard more and more. I wandered everywhere with my beloved guqin in hand, mostly training, and occasionally entering the town and singing on the streets.
I ran my fingers through my hair. Why do I keep feeling like something’s incomplete? What is it that I’m missing? Oh, forget it – I’ll just keep singing my songs.
As I was singing, there seemed to be a slight disturbance in the crowd in front of me. My strumming ceased as I raised my head to find the source of the commotion.
An incredibly handsome young man – stunning enough to elicit breathy sighs – entered my view. He was…gazing at me with a smitten expression? Is he a homosexual?
Interesting! For some mysterious reason, I had an inexplicable urge to tease that beautiful youth. For a moment, the two of us stared at one another. Then, I walked over to him…and – behaving as if he were a princess – asked for permission to kiss his hand.
Unexpectedly, the young man actually accepted my kiss, blushing fiercely.
What am I supposed to do next? Shit, I didn’t actually have a follow-up plan. How do I get out of this embarrassing situation? Why didn’t I think things through before getting myself into such a situation?
The youth and I looked at each other awkwardly…
“Umm, you do know that I’m a guy, right?” The youth asked me suddenly, anxiety in his voice.
Another chance to toy with him!
I smiled and placed a finger beneath his chin, lifting up the young man’s face. Striving to maintain a mesmerized expression as I looked at him, I said, “Of course I know. You exude such a spirited aura, how could I mistake you for a feeble little girl?”
Upon hearing my answer, the young man’s face seemed to tense.
How odd… Why is the boy reacting this way? Still, his frozen expression certainly is entertaining, I thought, laughing mentally as an evil plan formed in my heart.
I enfolded the youth in my arms, and with a deliberate sigh, I added, “Men are the best. With muscles as firm as these…it feels soooo much better than hugging those soft, squishy girls.”
The young man smiled at last. As expected, he really is a homosexual, I thought. It’s such a waste of that face of his, which can mesmerize any female between the ages of five and fifty.
Within a second, however, I realized I had been wrong…
Unexpectedly, the youth was incredibly strong. With a “Nine-headed Dragon Strike!” he gave me my first taste of death in this game.
As I emerged from the rebirth point, I thought, I don’t get it. What was going on in that youth’s head? His actions didn’t have the least bit of logic behind them!
With questions swirling in my mind, I attempted to come up with a satisfactory explanation for his actions. However, no matter how I thought about it, they just didn’t make sense…
Oh, forget it. I’ll just get back to training! After all, I doubt I’ll ever see him again.
But why does that thought leave me feeling somewhat…crestfallen?
Because they moved slowly, zombies were my favorite mobs for training. This allowed me to leisurely stroll out of their range while casting my Supersonic Soul-Chasing Arrow and to slowly whittle away their HP.
“Hang in there, Lolidragon!” A shout broke my train of thought and I looked up…
It’s that youth again!
I watched as he shouted to a thief, who was running further and further away. I understood the situation instantly, and decided to help them out.
“Supersonic Soul-Chasing Arrow!”
I looked at the youth, a feeling of insatiable curiosity in my heart.
“I would very much like to join your team.” For someone who had always been a loner, I marveled at the words that I had never thought I would say.
As it turned out, the youth’s name was Prince – a name that suited him very well.
To make matters still more interesting, Prince seemed to be under the impression that I had designs on his virtue. Hehe, mistaking me for a homosexual? Now that’s a first! Interesting… then I shall act as one, just for you!
From then on, my behavior towards Prince was such that even I found it disgusting. I even cooked dragon XX soup for him – which, unfortunately for me, also wound up being the first time I got beaten up and even stomped on…
Oddly enough, for some reason all I could remember was the livid expression on Prince’s face.
The first time I saw Prince’s tears was when he was kicked below by some damnable girl. I was enraged.
Nobody should ever be allowed to do such a thing to him, much less make him cry! Prince’s face was suited for laughing, for acting brutally cool, for being furious, but definitely not for crying…
That was the first time I slapped a woman, although it was proven later that he wasn’t a woman after all.
Today, Lolidragon asked me a question: she wanted to know exactly how I felt towards Prince, as she’d realized that I was only pretending to be gay.
I replied that I only thought that it was rather entertaining to watch his reactions… but damn it, the instant the words left my mouth, I began to doubt myself.
Is it really only because I find it fun that I let Prince beat me, punch me?
I couldn’t figure it out.
Today, I met someone in school who greatly resembles Prince…
Is it him? I was very uncertain, since he was similar to Prince in some ways, but I couldn’t help but feel slightly disappointed. Could he really be Prince?
In the end, I decided not to give a damn about Prince’s real identity. After all, the Prince I know in the game is the one whom I like, anyway.
I like…? Damn it, what sort of thought is that?
Lolidragon came to me with the same question again.
Instead of answering her, I retorted – somewhat jealously – with a question on my own: just what was her relationship with Prince anyway? Why was she so concerned about Prince? Plus, Prince seemed to be pretty close to her, too.
Lolidragon didn’t answer me; she just looked at me with a smile.
That smile…it seemed to say that she knew me better than I did myself, damn it!
Many things happened today. The first thing was that I discovered that I had gotten Wu Qing and Prince mixed up – so Feng Yang Ming wasn’t Prince after all.
The second thing was that Prince got into trouble. As his pain-laced voice came over the team channel, I could feel my insides twisting as well.
I hate hearing his anguished voice, I thought, as I ran all over the place like a madman. However, I still failed to find any trace of him… That was, until I saw him cradled in Wicked’s arms.
I reached out my arms to carry him, but Wicked just stalked past me, fury flashing in his eyes. It made me uneasy…
Why? Why must Prince wear that kind of expression as he and Wicked look at one another? I don’t like this feeling, I really, really don’t!
“Lolidragon, does Prince like Wicked?” I asked her frantically, as though I’d gone mad.
“Eh? I don’t know, but I do know that Wicked likes Prince…” Lolidragon looked at me.
“But I like him too!” I roared, no longer giving a damn about the consequences.
Lolidragon replied, “You’re at a disadvantage.”
“Why? I’ve known Prince longer. Wicked… Wicked has only met him a few times.” So why am I the one at a disadvantage? Does Prince really like Wicked more?
“Then do you really love Prince? Have you ever thought about his gender?”
A painful, forlorn smile crossed my face. “I did, but… compared to his smile, his gender is totally unimportant. I only want to protect his smile. I don’t care about his gender.”
“Your feelings for Prince really are deep.”
“Yes. I will always watch over him, support him in all his endeavors, accept all his flaws, and share all his pain. This I swear.”
I vow, with all my heart, to protect that smile, forever and ever. Prince, you are my one true love.
The first time I saw her, she was wearing a pink frock and her hair was tied up with a little bow. She had large, eloquent eyes, and it felt as though you could understand everything about her, just by looking into those eyes.
“Are you going to be our neighbour?” she asked, wide-eyed.
“Yep, that’s right. What’s your name?” I asked her curiously.
“Feng Lan, but Daddy and Mommy call me Xiao Lan.”
I smiled. What an adorable name. It suits her very well.
“I’m Zhuo Ling Bin, but you can just call me Zhuo-gēge. Xiao Lan, do you want to come in and have a glass of juice?”
“Yes!” Xiao Lan replied happily.
“Zhuo-gēge, will you marry me when I grow up?” Xiao Lan asked me expectantly.
I heaved a sigh. Are all the twelve-year-old girls these days this mature?
“Yes, of course I will.” How can I say no to you, when you’re looking at me with such an expectant expression?
I have watched over Xiao Lan since she was young, and now she is already twelve years old and at the age where she will ask people to marry her! I patted Xiao Lan on the head affectionately.
Marry Xiao Lan? It sounds like a pretty good idea.
“Zhuo-gēge, you’re moving away? Why?” Xiao Lan asked me, crying.
Don’t cry, crying doesn’t suit you.
“I… it’s because of my father’s work. Don’t worry, I will come back and find you for sure. I will, definitely.”
With an aching heart, I wiped Xiao Lan’s tears away. I silently vowed in my heart that I would definitely return, and that I would never ever make Xiao Lan cry again.
In ‘The World’ ONLINE…
Xiao Lan? I stared dazedly at the person in front of me, at those eyes that I’d seen countless times in my dreams – eyes that I could never forget. It’s her, isn’t it? That silly girl who naively asked me to marry her…
Could Xiao Lan have forgotten about her Zhuo-gēge? A Zhuo-gēge who had promised to marry her? My heart thumped wildly in my chest.
I walked up to her and asked, “Would you like to be my in-game wife?”
She looked at me with some surprise, and then asked me a silly question. “Will you take care of me?”
This silly girl, doesn’t she remember that she has a Zhuo-gēge? I was slightly worried that she had really forgotten about me, although I had never forgotten about her.
“Okay then.” She gave a merry laugh, and then asked, “But why do you choose to play as a beastman?”
“Because beastmen are strong.”
“Ohhh. But they’re so ugly!”
She really is a silly girl…no wonder she didn’t stop to think before agreeing to be my in–game wife. I’d wager that she’s been too direct and scared off all the guys, so she couldn’t find a husband.
Although those were my thoughts, I was still secretly delighted.
I read the letter clutched in my hand, feeling helpless. Xiao Lan, you’re leaving to play ‘Second Life’? Then what choice do I have?
Thus, I switched to playing ‘Second Life’ as well…but where are you, Xiao Lan?
Relentlessly, I kept PM-ing Feng Xiao Xiao, Feng Xiao Xiao, but the system indicated that there was no such player.
Xiao Lan, where on earth are you? Don’t you remember me at all?
Don’t you care about me at all? The bitterness that I felt… I could almost taste it in my mouth.
I could hardly believe my eyes. Isn’t the girl who just walked by Xiao Lan? All this time, Xiao Lan has been studying in the same university as me?
I schemed to place myself in her path, hoping she would recognize me, but… She doesn’t remember me at all, I realized. The pain in my heart was overwhelming.
That night, I logged onto ‘Second Life’, my mood a wreck. Ming Bin was throwing a tantrum again. I was hardly in the mood to pay him any heed, but it seemed that he had pissed off this team in front of us. Odd Squad? Weird name.
Hmph! If you want a fight, then I will give you one. I’m in a lousy mood anyway.
Damn it, I can’t take it anymore, I thought, deciding to go to Xiao Lan’s place in person.
By some coincidence, I encountered Xiao Lan at the bus stop. This time, her expression changed as soon as she saw me, and she kept staring at me…
Has she finally recognized me? Is that it? I fought very hard to control my smile.
By the time we got off the bus, she still hadn’t said anything to me, so I decided to talk to her myself.
“Xiao Lan… you are Xiao Lan, right?” I pretended to be surprised to see her.
Unexpectedly, she just stared at me, gaping. So she really didn’t recognize me. My aching heart twisted painfully at the thought.
“Have you forgotten me? I’m Zhuo Ling Bin. Zhuo-gēge, remember?” I forced myself to smile.
At least she still remembers me… I can still take some small consolation in that fact, I thought, mentally mocking myself.
I followed Xiao Lan back to her place. To my astonishment, I found out that Feng Wu Qing was actually Feng Yang Ming.
So it’s not just Xiao Lan who has trouble recognizing people, I thought with a wry smile.
“Tranny?” I could hardly believe my ears. Xiao Lan actually went and became a tranny in-game? So that’s why she didn’t use the nickname Feng Xiao Xiao…
However, she refused to tell me her character’s name in ‘Second Life’, and even Yang Ming had no idea who she was.
I was slightly disappointed, but it wasn’t important. After all, I could finally talk to her openly on campus, and even attend classes with her when I had spare time. Cheerfully, I envisioned attending classes with Xiao Lan.
To increase our chances of survival in the competition, I decided on behalf of the team to form an alliance with Odd Squad, despite Ming Bin’s non-stop griping…
Odd Squad really is odd. They’re actually sending their only warrior Prince as bait to lure away the mobs? Aren’t they concerned that Prince might die?
Prince wasn’t dead. However, from what I heard, he had fallen off a cliff – which really was a fate far worse than death.
As a matter of principle, we – Dark Emperor Team – should help them out. I tried to deduce which direction Prince would have gone in… and promptly found him lying half-dead in a pool of blood.
I walked over to him and fed him a bottle of health potion. He even asked me if I was Gui.
So Ming Bin wasn’t just mouthing off when he said that Gui and Prince had a weird relationship, I thought, amused.
“Oh, so it’s Zhuo-gēge!” Prince muttered to himself.
Zhuo-gēge? I froze. Only Xiao Lan ever calls me that… and if I add to that the fact that Xiao Lan is playing a male character... I peered carefully at Prince’s face.
That pair of eyes… Xiao Lan! Damn it, how could I have been so stupid? Prince is Xiao Lan, and more importantly, she’s lying in a pool of blood and in pain!
Just then, Gui appeared at the scene, and I was filled with ire.
How could they let Xiao Lan experience such excruciating torment? She should be carefully watched over and protected. Furthermore, Gui actually dares to reach out his hands to take my Xiao Lan from me? And Ming Bin even said that they have some kind of weird relationship?
I glared at Gui and strode past him.
In the end, Xiao Lan asked me not to tell anyone else the truth about her.
I won’t, especially not that Professor Min! He doesn’t deserve to be with Xiao Lan, not when he’s completely incapable of protecting her.
“I will protect you with all my power. I will always stand before you, shielding you from harm. I will never let you experience any pain or sorrow, my Xiao Lan.”
I swear never to let sorrow fill those eyes again... Xiao Lan, my dearest and most beloved girl.
[½ Prince Volume 2 Extra Chapter End]