½ Prince Volume 3: Records of the Vagabond Prince
Original novel in Chinese by: 御我 (Yu Wo)
Chapter 3: Everyone has Assembled – translated by Eilinel
“Sheesh, Prince hasn’t been replying to my PMs for a few days now,” Lolidragon complained.
“Well, you know that he’s a really careless person. He probably just didn’t notice the messages,” Ugly Wolf replied absently. “How’s the trap-setting coming along?”
“We’ve only covered one-quarter of the perimeter. Honestly, this city is too large,” Lolidragon answered, her brow furrowing.
Ugly Wolf turned toward his wife. “Yu Lian, do we still have sufficient funds?”
Yu Lian’s brow was also deeply furrowed. She replied, “If we build according to Gui’s blueprint, we won’t be able to complete the construction of the city just by depending on the tournament’s prize money. I plan to build half the city first and open that part of the city to the public, and then continue to build the rest of the city with the tax income.”
“Can’t we just ask Gui to amend the blueprint?” Ugly Wolf asked with some anxiety.
“We can do that, but in my opinion, if we want to operate this city for a long period of time, or even make this city the largest city on the Central Continent, then Gui’s blueprint is perfect.” Yu Lian eyes shone as she spoke. She added, “I’m certain that we will not regret it in the future, even if we have to work harder now.”
“You’re probably right. As expected, you are more farsighted than I am,” Ugly Wolf said with an affectionate look at his beloved wife.
“Wolf…” said Yu Lian bashfully, and the two of them gazed at each other with eyes full of love…
“I’ll go and check up on Doll and Gui!” Lolidragon said quickly and walked away, looking rather embarrassed.
Lolidragon left the building, which was still under construction, and strode towards Doll, who was working hard to direct her skeletal minions to build a wall, and Gui, who was supervising the remaining NPCs and player workers.
“How’s the situation? Is everything coming along alright?” Lolidragon asked.
“We’re slightly behind schedule,” Gui replied, not looking altogether pleased. “Sigh… It can’t be helped since we simply don’t have enough funds, so we can’t hire more workers. If not for Doll’s skeletons, the construction would probably go on for months.”
“Sigh… It would be nice if Prince could quickly find us some recruits and hurry back. Every little bit of help counts,” Lolidragon said as she sat down, propping her chin on her hands in worry.
Doll suddenly came dashing over with a delighted expression on her face. “Wicked-gēge is here and all the big brothers and sisters from Dark Emperor have arrived as well.”
As usual, Wicked was at the fore of his team. They walked up to Gui and Lolidragon and stopped.
“You’re finally here,” Gui said, raising his eyebrows and looking as though he wasn’t in the least bit surprised to see Wicked.
“Where’s Prince?” Wicked asked, frowning.
“Not back yet…” Gui replied, troubled.
“He’s still at Nan Gong Zui’s?” Wicked demanded as a vein popped on his temple. “And you didn’t do anything to stop him?”
“Prince isn’t my prisoner; on what grounds am I supposed to stop him?” Gui retorted acidly, and then added, “Besides, we really do need Nan Gong Zui’s help.” Although what Gui had said was the truth, Wicked still continued to glare fiercely at Gui.
As for Doll, she was happily holding both Ming Huang’s – whose face was black as a thundercloud – and Wu Qing’s hands. “Yay! Doll missed all of you big brothers and sisters very much! Did Ming Huang-gēge and Wu Qing-gēge miss me too?”
Feng Wu Qing’s face softened, his disgruntled expression slowly replaced by a smile as he patted Doll’s head and said, “Yes, I missed you very much! It’s just that there was a certain someone whom I really didn’t want to see.” When he mentioned “a certain someone”, Wu Qing fixed a glare at the female thief who was busy feigning innocence.
Ming Huang’s expression of annoyance had started to slip as well, and when Doll turned to peer at him with her large, guileless eyes, he instantly surrendered. “Yes, yes, I did miss you,” he said reluctantly.
“Playboy-gēge, Black Lily-jiějie,” Doll greeted the two smiling individuals and gave them each a peck on the cheek.
Just then, Ugly Wolf and Yu Lian emerged from the temporary headquarters and approached Dark Emperor with evident delight. “You guys are here, that’s great! I was really worried at first that Dark Emperor might not be willing to help us.” Ugly Wolf shook hands with Wicked.
“We would not be so churlish. So long as we lost the showdown in a fair and square way, why should there be any resentment from us?” Feng Wu Qing said as he gently fanned himself, sounding for all the world like a perfect gentleman… Then who was that person who got drunk and said that he wanted to kill everyone from Odd Squad, especially Lolidragon? The remaining members of Dark Emperor looked at Feng Wu Qing helplessly.
“Nevertheless, thank you all very much for your willingness to come and help out. It’ll really help to lighten our workload,” Ugly Wolf said with a broad smile.
Yu Lian mumbled to herself, frowning, “It’s still not enough people. I wonder if Prince will be able to convince Rose Team and Nan Gong Zui to help out.”
“Of course he can!” A voice roared from the city gate, which was still under construction, causing the members of Odd Squad and Dark Emperor to look sharply in that direction. A cloud of dust, accompanied by hoof beats, approached them swiftly and the person in the lead was none other than Nan Gong Zui himself. He rode up to Odd Squad, then abruptly stopped and dismounted. The one hundred and fifty riders at his back dismounted as well. “Prince isn’t back yet?”
“Not yet…” The two teams answered in unison and stared dazedly at the ranks of a hundred and fifty riders and a hundred and fifty horses.
“I see. Then I’ll have to wait until he returns to introduce our liege lord to my fellows. Here, let me introduce you all. This is my adventurers’ group – The Righteous Blades. It consists almost entirely of warriors, plus a handful of priests and mages. As you can see, it’s an adventurers’ group with very high offensive power.” Nan Gong Zui could not conceal a look of pride as he regarded the group which he had founded.
“An adventurers’ group!” Lolidragon exclaimed, moved by the impressive sight of The Righteous Blades. She added, “I knew that the strength of Prince’s dumb luck and popularity is nothing common. To think that he even managed to recruit an entire adventurers’ group!”
The members of Odd Squad and Dark Emperor nodded in agreement unconsciously… Prince is definitely unusually popular.
Nan Gong Zui only gave a small smile when he heard what Lolidragon said. He said, “The sole reason that I came here is because Prince is truly a person worthy of respect. My adventurers’ group and I deeply admire the way he treats his friends and his martial prowess. All of us are very pleased to become a part of Infinite City.”
“‘Infinite City’?” Ugly Wolf asked, feeling slightly bewildered.
“Huh? Hasn’t Prince told you guys yet? I helped him to decide on ‘Infinite City’ as the name for the city. We’ve already registered it,” Nan Gong Zui asked, puzzled.
“Infinite City! I can’t believe that the last people to know the name of the city are us, the ones who own it! Where on earth did Prince run off to?” Lolidragon exclaimed totally losing her cool.
Yu Lian rubbed her temple and said, “Could it be that he didn’t dare to look for Rose Team and was afraid of getting scolded by us, and so he decided to simply go missing instead?”
“I don’t think he would go that far; shouldn’t he already be accustomed to getting scolded by us?” Ugly Wolf said, sounding a tad worried. “Maybe he was rejected by Rose Team and felt so hurt that he decided to hide somewhere?”
“Don’t tell me he lost his way and fell from some cliff again!” Gui said, his face white as a sheet, and even Wicked looked worried upon hearing that.
“What? Did he really fall from a cliff?” Ice Phoenix – who was standing next to Nan Gong Zui – demanded anxiously upon hearing Gui’s words.
“Who are you?” Gui and Wicked turned their heads in unison to look at Phoenix, their eyes narrowing dangerously.
Before Phoenix could answer, a person who looked like a thief suddenly interjected, “It’s not possible for Prince to do something as silly as falling off a cliff.”
“And who might you be?” Gui and Wicked once again turned to shoot a glare each at the speaker.
Nan Gong Zui immediately introduced them, “This is a mage in my adventurers’ group, Ice Phoenix, and the other is a thief, Kong Kong. Kong Kong has gone drinking together with Prince and I before. Additionally, this is Phoenix’s older sister, Madame White Bird. She is the strongest female warrior in my group and my second-in-command. Her husband, Chuang Wai, is one of the priests in the group.”
“From what I’ve just heard, why does it seem like Prince is a muddle-headed sort of person?” Madame White Bird remarked, not wholly pleased. She did not wish to see her sister, Phoenix, fall in love with yet another weird person. Turning to Kong Kong, she demanded, “Kong Kong, it was you who said that Prince is strong, proud, and possesses extraordinary martial skill. You said that he is gentlemanly in his attitude toward women and is both frank and loyal towards his friends, a veritable man amongst men, which was why I did not object to the decision to become part of Infinite City. So why does Prince’s character seem very different according to what they’ve just said?”
Kong Kong instantly retorted, “I don’t know why they spoke of Prince in such a way, but I’ve seen with my own eyes that Prince is exactly like how I’ve described him to be. After all, I’ve gone drinking with him and exchanged blows with him before. He is prideful and his martial prowess is at such a high level that even Captain Nan Gong and I couldn’t win against him together. He always treats girls with a tender smile on his face; you can ask Phoenix about this. As for friends, you have all seen it for yourselves that day on the battlefield. Did he not go to Captain’s rescue, even though they were opponents at the time?”
“Is that really the case?” Madame White Bird asked doubtfully as she looked at the members of Odd Squad.
“That’s right. Prince is indeed as all of you have described. We were just joking around to lighten the atmosphere, please don’t take it seriously,” Ugly Wolf answered with a serious face… Overall, it wasn’t a lie. Their description did fit Prince, and as for the other aspects of him, since they didn’t ask…then there was no reason to mention them!
“Nan Gong, is that really the case?” Madame White Bird looked at Nan Gong Zui sternly.
Nan Gong Zui nodded. “Yeah. Moreover, although he may appear proud, he is actually quite easy-going and is easy to get along with.” He hesitated for a moment and thought, That’s how it is, right? Although Prince does do some pretty weird things at times! Still, that probably doesn’t need to be mentioned…
Madame White Bird’s expression softened and she looked at Odd Squad apologetically, saying, “My apologies for having doubted your liege lord, but I had to be certain about this since the matter concerns the whole of The Righteous Blades.” Besides, the happiness of my worrisome little sister is also at stake here. Phoenix always falls in love with some unsuitable person or another, making me worry. Still, this time it seems like she’s finally fallen in love with the right person, White Bird thought, and felt a knot of worry undo in her chest.
“No problem at all, you should be vigilant indeed,” Ugly Wolf said even as he ignored the voice of his conscience.
“When will we be able to meet the liege lord?” Madame White Bird asked.
“With regard to that, our liege lord is currently travelling around in the hopes of recruiting more people to help us construct and manage the city. I’m afraid all of you will have to wait for a while before we can introduce him to everyone.” On the surface, Yu Lian answered Madame White Bird’s question calmly and unhesitatingly. Privately, however, Yu Lian said through clenched teeth over team channel, “PM Prince straight away and don’t stop PMing him until he replies. If they catch sight of Prince in his muddle-headed state, I’m afraid we’ll lose this hard-to-come-by adventurers’ group.”
She’s right, thought the rest of Odd Squad. Their thoughts went to the sight of Prince biting his index finger and looking muddle-headed. If the members of The Righteous Blades see that sight, things will definitely get real messy. With that thought, everyone began to spam Prince with PMs.
“I see. It must be hard for our liege lord,” Madame White Bird said, nodding her head understandingly.
“Then let us discuss about the placement of everyone first, and about the personnel who will take up the key officers’ job.” Ugly Wolf voiced his opinion.
“Sure, no problem,” Madame White Bird replied unhesitatingly.
Just as they were all about to enter the temporary headquarters, Doll suddenly caught sight of some very familiar-looking people at the city gates. “Eh! It’s Rose-jiējie and the others,” she cried out.
The members of Odd Squad turned to look. Sure enough, loitering by the city gates was none other than Rose Team. All of them looked slightly embarrassed as soon as they realized that Odd Squad had spotted them.
Ugly Wolf promptly walked toward Rose Team, saying, “So Prince found you guys; that’s great!”
“Prince?” Broken Sword asked, looking a bit taken aback by Ugly Wolf’s words.
“Wasn’t it Prince who recruited you guys to help with the construction of Infinite City?” Ugly Wolf asked with uncertainty in his voice. His expression had also changed visibly.
Everyone from Rose Team looked at each other in bewilderment. Finally, Rose said apprehensively, “We didn’t encounter Prince… We heard that you guys had won the tournament, so we wanted to come and apologize for the incident that happened last time, and also to see if you needed any help.”
“So that’s how it is. Then where on earth has Prince run off to…?” Ugly Wolf said, feeling a headache come up. However, as soon as he remembered that at his back stood the members of The Righteous Blades, he immediately said loudly, “It looks like you came here before Prince could even find you guys! That’s great; we really need Rose Team’s help.”
“But, the last time, I vented my anger out on Prince. I’m really sorry about that,” Broken Sword said, remorse clear on his face. “It really wasn’t his fault at all.”
“And I shouldn’t have forced my feelings on Prince like that, and even…kissed him,” Rose said, lowering her head. Her cheeks were flushed.
Fairsky poked her head out from behind Li’l Strong’s broad body, teary-eyed. “It’s entirely my fault; I shouldn’t have used those wrong ways to court Prince. I really know that I’ve behaved wrongly. I won’t do it again.”
Yu Lian patted Fairsky’s head gently and enfolded the younger woman in her arms. Fairsky immediately began to sob softly. “Don’t worry; Prince has never blamed you guys. He always wanted to reconcile with everyone from Rose Team. When he returns, I’m sure he’ll be delighted to see all of you.”
Upon hearing Yu Lian’s gentle explanation, everyone from Rose Team heaved a sigh of relief, and smiles finally appeared on their face.
“Rose, Fairsky… Are the two of you still in love with Prince?” Lolidragon asked worriedly. These two girls had already suffered too much anguish over Prince, so much so that even Lolidragon felt sorry for them.
The members of Rose Team suddenly looked at Rose with uncertainty, while Rose merely lowered her head bashfully. Next to her, Broken Sword placed an arm around her shoulder and said with a smile, “Rose is my wife now, so of course she doesn’t like Prince anymore.”
“That’s debatable, actually,” For Healing Only jibed playfully, causing Broken Sword to give him the evil eye.
“I won’t give up on Prince,” Fairsky suddenly shouted loudly as she pulled away from Yu Lian’s arms, two streaks of tears coursing down her face. Her loud announcement surprised everyone. “I know that my past methods were wrong, but I’ve improved since then. I’ll definitely move Prince’s heart with my patience and deep love.”
Hearing her words, Ice Phoenix came forward and demanded, “You like Prince too?”
Fairsky looked at Phoenix doubtfully. “You said ‘too’? Don’t tell me that you are also in love with Prince?”
“That’s right, and I will never give up either.” Phoenix said firmly, pronouncing each word clearly. There was the crackle of electricity as lightning bolts appeared between Fairsky and Phoenix.
In an incomparably icy voice, Gui said, “Prince is mine!”
While everyone else was trying to wrap their shocked minds about Gui’s sentence, Wicked had begun to glare at Gui fiercely. “Nonsense, Prince is mine!” There was another crackle of lightning…
All the people present gaped as they watched two men fight over another man, with the exception of Odd Squad and Dark Emperor’s members. Most of them had knowing expressions on their face; in particular, Ming Huang had pursed his lips and was glaring at his brother, Wicked, with an indignant expression.
Seeing that her sister’s face was turning pale, Madame White Bird turned to Odd Squad, and demanded fiercely, “Prince, he’s…he’s a…”
“Prince is definitely not a homo!” Lolidragon guaranteed with a stern look on her face. It’s the truth too! “It’s just that Prince is simply too handsome, so even guys want him for themselves,” she explained. This is simply too much fun! Lolidragon thought, collapsing with laughter inwardly. She couldn’t wait for Prince to come back and see this messy situation… Hehehe!
Both Phoenix and Fairsky heaved a sigh of relief, and then they glared at the two gays and said in unison, “I warn you, don’t you dare lead Prince astray! He’s mine!” Then the two girls turned to glare at one another again.
“No, he’s mine!” Both men roared, and then they joined ranks of those glaring at one another.
“Not baaad at all; they have enough people for a game of mah-jong, and they even have a common topic to chat over,” Lolidragon said nonchalantly.
[½ Prince Volume 3 Chapter 3 End]