½ Prince Volume 4: The Buskers of Infinite City
Original novel in Chinese by: 御我 (Yu Wo)
Chapter 10: XiMen Feng, Someone in the Same Situation as Me? – translated by Erihppas
With his face pulled down into a troubled frown, Gui spoke in a deeply apologetic tone, “I’m truly sorry, everyone. My personal affairs have caused the concert to be interrupted.”
“It doesn’t matter; it wasn’t that big of a deal anyway. But what is the truth about the situation between you and XiMen Feng?” I replied as Wolf-dàgē healed the wound on my arm.
“He robbed me of my lover, don’t you FREAKIN’ understand?!” XiMen Feng, who was tied up tightly off to the side, roared suddenly.
“Besides my Prince, you’ve stolen someone else’s man as well?” Fairsky looked at Gui in disbelief.
Gui’s face flushed bright red, and he roared back with clenched fists, “I did not, and Prince is not yours either!”
Wicked coldly asked, “Then why would this girl make such an accusation?”
Hearing Wicked’s words, Gui deflated like a punctured balloon. He replied, as if tormented by a splitting migraine, “I don’t understand either, but since she said that she’s XiMen Feng, and even mentioned Lovely Consort… So I guess it must be related to that incident. Before joining Odd Squad, I had teamed up with a couple, namely XiMen Feng and Lovely Consort. However, Lovely Consort later confessed that she had fallen in love with me. In order to avoid Lovely Consort’s constant badgering and XiMen Feng’s onslaught, I had no choice but to flee.”
“Bastard, it’s all because of you that Lovely Consort had a change of heart,” XiMen Feng was so angry that the veins on her head were bulging out, a sight unbefitting of her elegant face.
“Uh… sorry, I have a question.” Looking at XiMen Feng’s noticeably busty chest, I hesitantly spoke up. “You… are a girl, right? And Lovely Consort, it sounds like she’s a girl too, right? Don’t get me wrong… I have nothing against homosexuals.”
“You’re the damn homo! I’m a guy, sonny!” XiMen Feng glared at me fiercely.
A guy? Could this XiMen Feng be like Ming Huang, a male who looks like a female? I was a bit suspicious. But that can’t be; Ming Huang’s chest is as flat as an iron board and XiMen Feng’s chest… Hmph, it’s two sizes larger than mine as a girl. How could this be a guy?
I tilted my head, doubtfully studying XiMen Feng’s pair of meat jugs. Don’t tell me these are fake? I absent-mindedly placed my palms on the two blobs of flesh. Mmm, they’re soft. I squeezed them twice. They’re quite bouncy too. Strange, they have to be real!
“P-Prince, Your Highness…!” Gui’s eyes bulged out, fixated on me…well, on my hands.
Phoenix and Fairsky were also staring at my hands with flushed faces. I wasn’t sure whether or not I was seeing things, but it seemed like both of them were swallowing their saliva and looking at my hands with expressions of desire.
“Get your filthy hands off me, sonny!” XiMen Feng, who had froze up in shock, finally snapped. XiMen Feng’s eyes were staring at my hands so hard that they looked ready to jump out of their sockets. Flustered, I withdrew my hand to avoid the possibility of her putting her neck on the line to bite off my hand.
“You’re obviously a girl,” I pointed out the truth without any reservations.
Everyone nodded. I had already so brazenly grabbed her for confirmation, so could there still be any room for error?
“If it weren’t for that bastard Guileastes, I wouldn’t have fallen to this state!” XiMen Feng bellowed angrily.
“What do you mean?” I scratched my head, still unable to make heads or tails of the situation1. Don’t tell me Gui can even perform a sex-change operation?
Acting like he owned the place, Boss2 XiMen Feng sat down without any courtesy. With his legs crossed, he snorted a little, and began telling his tale.
“Damn it, after I found out Lovely Consort had a change of heart, I vowed to PK3 that punk Guileastes until he returned to level one. Who would have guessed that the punk would preemptively escape, forcing me to hunt him down for many miles.”
At that, Gui smiled helplessly.
“Luckily, that punk Guileastes was so conspicuous that you could find his whereabouts just by asking around casually. I pursued him all the way to a cliff and I found a piece of that bastard’s clothing by the edge. Surely, that bastard must have hid under the cliff to hide from me! Hmph, you think I’d just give up like that, sonny? I lowered a rope on the spot and continued the chase.” XiMen Feng seemed particularly proud of his own perseverance.
My gaze shifted to Gui. He doesn’t seemed like one that would climb down a cliff just to avoid someone; a bard’s stamina isn’t that great, and he could very well lose his grip halfway and fall to his death.
Presently, Gui had assumed a resigned expression and he wordlessly mouthed the words: diversion tactic.
That explains it. I scratched my head. Looks like Gui also realized that XiMen Feng is not one to look before he leaps.
“Who would have thought that instead of finding that punk, I’d encounter some sort of hidden quest instead?” XiMen Feng made a strange face. “That damn mythical beast even went as far as to say that I would receive a random divine punishment if I couldn’t defeat it. There was no way in hell that I could defeat that freak of a monster whose hide was as thick as a steel wall, so I had to receive its divine punishment. Who would have imagined that the random divine punishment would turn me into a girl!” XiMen Feng complained loudly.
At that, Lolidragon’s, Wicked’s and my own expression changed slightly. Never would we have thought that I wasn’t the only tranny in Second Life! To think that I have a comrade here! The only difference is that I’m a woman who became a man, and he’s a man who became a woman. I wonder who is more unfortunate?
After a while, as both of us were in the same boat, I half-heartedly opened my mouth to comfort XiMen Feng. “Err, at least you still look quite pretty.”
“Bullshit, it’s darn troublesome!” XiMen Feng roared loudly.
Troublesome? I thought it’s alright. At least the game doesn’t simulate women’s monthly ‘problem’… I thought.
“Are you looking down on women?” Lolidragon snorted coldly.
“Women mean nothing.” XiMen Feng slowly stood up, and walked towards the window as his legs were untied, allowing the final rays of the sunset bathe his body. “The trouble I mentioned ain’t gotta do with women, but…”
As the sun set, night suddenly descended outside, and XiMen Feng’s body also began to change: her body slowly grew taller and brawnier, her long hairstyle became a buzz cut, the curves of her chest slowly flattened down, until finally, she became a he.
We gaped in surprise at the inconceivable transformation, unable to snap out of it for quite a while, until at last, I let out a breath and said, “That sure is faster than a sex change operation.”
“XiMen Feng, what exactly is going on here?” Gui asked in bewilderment.
“It’s all that mythical beast’s fault.” XiMen Feng spoke in a rough, manly voice that suited his crude language. He impatiently creased his brow. “I didn’t want to become a woman, so the result of our negotiation was that I’d become a woman in the morning, and transform back into a man when night falls.”
“That sure is troublesome,” I said, resisting with difficulty the urge to smile.
“No shit! Oi, untie me quickly. The rope is freakin’ tight,” XiMen Feng had an expression of discomfort.
Gui looked at me with a bit of hesitation. After I shrugged, indicating that it didn’t matter, Gui turned to face XiMen Feng again. “Before I untie you, you must first promise that you will never harm Prince.”
XiMen Feng scoffed. “No can do. Even if I don’t fight him for the sake of revenge, I’d still like to challenge him, sonny. This pretty boy got some skills.”
I burst into loud laughter. “Why don’t you just join Infinite City? Then you’d be able to challenge me whenever you want.”
“Prince, that’s not a good idea. What if he hurts you?” Gui had concern written all over his face.
I replied without any fear, “It’ll be fine. I haven’t fought any monsters for some time now and I’m feeling rusty. At least now I’ll have someone to spar with. If I get injured, I’ll just have to find Wolf-dàgē for healing and if I die, it would just mean that I have to practice harder. But,” I confidently challenged XiMen Feng, “I have no intention of losing.”
XiMen Feng’s eyes lit up. “Ha! Looks like pretty boy got some guts!”
“Stop calling me pretty boy, or I’ll start calling you hot babe,” I said to XiMen Feng in a semi-threatening manner.
“You wouldn’t dare!” XiMen Feng roared furiously.
“Of course I dare to, XiMen you hot babe with C-sized cups,” I unsheathed Black Dao and cut open the rope that bound XiMen Feng with one slash.
XiMen Feng’s eyes shone with excitement as he brandished his sword, gazing at me like a greedy tiger. I could see that he was also a lover of combat.
“Don’t disappoint me, XiMen Feng.” I held up Black Dao, eyes sparkling with the excitement of returning to battle.
XiMen Feng immediately charged forward without thinking. I shook my head. XiMen Feng may like fighting, but he doesn’t like to use his brain to fight. I shifted aside my body slightly, dodging XiMen Feng’s incoming thrust while simultaneously giving him a push, forcing him to almost fall flat on his back.
“Damnit!” XiMen Feng growled loudly. Dissatisfied by his loss, he charged towards me again.
Seeing that he still hadn’t understood the point, I raised my eyebrows slightly. It seems I will have to let his body remember the lesson instead. I found an opening, grabbed a hold of XiMen Feng’s wrist that was holding his sword, and fiercely landed a kick to his stomach with my right foot. He painfully gritted his teeth while I snatched away his sword, smiling faintly. Let the massacre begin!
I used all four limbs, plus both sword and sheathe as lethal weapons… Head butt combo! Cross cutter! I even kicked my boots off toward him as I shouted repeatedly, “Lets see if you dare to interrupt my concert ever again!”
“Whew! That fight felt so liberating,” I said as I happily put my Black Dao away, cracked my neck and did some stretches. Alright! Time to eat. Before I left, I didn’t forget to turn around, gesture at the lump of bloody flesh on the ground, and give instructions to Wicked, who was in charge of the military department. “Remember to recruit XiMen Feng into the army. His level and martial arts skill aren’t bad at all, and he can even freely use sex appeal as a tactic. It would be difficult to recruit even a single person with this kind of talent in ten years.”
“Yes,” Wicked said as he gazed at XiMen Feng with furrowed brows, probably plotting to find the most screwed up, overworked unit for him to join.
“Alright, let us all head to the Infinite Restaurant to eat!” I led the group joyfully, preparing to go to my most beloved Infinite Restaurant for a free meal… Hehehe, not having to pay for meals at the Infinite Restaurant has proven to be the biggest perk since I became the liege lord.
“I’ve already made plans with Sunshine to try the foods from street vendors, so I won’t be coming along,” Fairsky said with a bit of hesitation.
“Oh,” I replied while biting my thumb. Fairsky and Sunshine seemed to be getting closer these days. Have they become good friends? That’s not a bad thing… At least it keeps Fairsky happy.
“Alright, let’s go eat!” Just as I was about to raise my legs and walk in front, two hands suddenly rested on my shoulder.
“Prince, the bookshop is almost ready and the autograph session for the portfolio is next week. Please remember to practice making your signature look neater.” I turned around to see Yu Lian-dàsăo smiling at me. She then turned towards Gui and asked, “How are the books coming along?”
Gui nodded and answered, “I have two books that are ready to be published, plus the one that Jing and Yun gave me. So there are a total of three books that can be displayed on the day of the grand opening.”
“Prince, the construction of Infinite Rhapsody has caused Infinite City’s budget to be in the red again,” Yu Lian-dàsăo’s smile was bright beyond comparison. “We’ll have to organize more concerts and sell more portfolios in order to earn some cash, so please work hard on singing and selling your portfolios, do you understand?”
“Understood…” I swallowed stiffly, and my head felt numb from thinking about what I had to do.
The days that followed were a living nightmare. Within two weeks, Infinite Band had performed five concerts. Moreover, in order to attract audiences, every concert featured new stunts, such as jumping through hoops of fire to appear on stage and descending onto the stage dressed up as angels.
(That was when I finally realized why angels in paintings are always depicted standing up, straight as an arrow with only their arms stretching out slightly… It’s obvious! If you’re carrying a pair of wings weighing over thirty kilograms on your back, what can you do besides stand up straight?!)
What was even stranger was the fans seemed to really like the minor interruption that XiMen Feng stirred up during the first concert. Thus, in every subsequent concert, XiMen Feng, under the smiling supervision of Yu Lian-dàsăo, was forced to challenge me in front of the audience. Then I’d have to start kicking his ass. The harder he got his ass kicked, the happier the fans would be.
Sigh, it must have been hard on you, hot babe XiMen Feng.
(XiMen Feng furiously roars: I’m a guy, damn it!)
Next, the bookstores were finally done being constructed thanks to all the hard work from Gui, Fairsky, and the others. They built two bookstores. One was in the middle of downtown and the other was combined with a café, built on the lakeside with a nice atmosphere and great lighting, specifically designed to be a couples-trap. Therefore, my signature, which I had spent many days practicing, would finally be put to good use.
On the day of the autograph session, there was a surging sea of people… Wait, what? That phrase is too ordinary—it’s not my style? Alright then, that horrendous autograph session was swamped with so many people that it seemed as if Jolin Tsai4, Jay Chou5, Andy Lau6 plus Stephanie7 all appeared together in Ximending8. In short, people of all ages and genders huddled together in one massive crowd. There were men, women, and lechers, with ages ranging from five to fifty.
“Thank goodness we have the flying carpet! I don’t think we could enter the bookstore otherwise.” I released a sigh, looking down at the horrifyingly jam-packed crowd.
“Sunshine, land on that makeshift stage,” Gui said as he gestured at a very small stage, complete with tables and chairs, surrounded by soldiers led by Nan Gong Zui for security purposes, to prevent the fans from running onto the stage.
“Sure.” Sunshine obediently directed his flying carpet to land slowly on the stage.
I jumped off the flying carpet first, smiling slightly at the screaming female fans below the stage. Then I walked to a pre-arranged table and sat in the chair.
“The autograph session shall now begin,” I said as I exhaled deeply, picking up the pen prepared by the workers as I readied myself for the possibility that I might have to sign until my arm fell off.
“Thank you for your support.”, “Handshakes are fine.”, “Uh, kisses are not acceptable!”, and “Zui! Hurry and drag this fan off the stage!” were my various comments as I signed.
I gave out autographs while answering each and every fan’s questions with a gentle smile. From time to time, there would be fans who wanted to kiss me, and some of them were so unwilling to be rejected that they would just forcefully throw themselves at me. Only after Nan Gong Zui dragged them away could I continue signing autographs. This cycle continued to be play out: sign, answer, be offered a kiss, be forced a kiss, and watch them get taken away…
Out of the corner of my eyes, I would occasionally sneak a peek toward the other members of Infinite Band. Gui’s situation was no different than mine, except that as a bard with not much strength, he had already been kissed forcibly on his cheeks by “wolves” several times… Gui was currently holding back tears of grief as he continued signing and was even using XiMen Feng, who was previously enjoying a break, as his shield. The jealous fangirls had already used their wolf claws to scratch several bloody crosses on poor XiMen Feng the hot babe, and he wasn’t even allowed to retaliate.
(As Yu Lian-dàsăo would say, the paying customer is king, so no matter what the fans do, they are always right.)
In contrast, Wicked was in a much better situation. Being a warrior and with his aloof face, hardly any fangirls dared to approach him wantonly with their mouths. Instead, they gazed at him in a tender, yearning manner, as though ready to swallow him up if the opportunity came.
Since Phoenix and Fairsky were both girls, allowing the male fans to do as they pleased with them was obviously out of the question. The duo was surrounded by so many Infinite City warriors that I could barely even see their silhouettes… What kind of attitude is this? Why is Zui the only warrior protecting me? A bunch of lechers who’d forget about their liege lord at the sight of women…
The autograph session went on like this until even XiMen Feng the hot babe had became XiMen Feng with the buzz cut. We continued signing autographs, except now it wasn’t just Gui, but everyone in the group who were holding back tears as they signed. If there weren’t any fans looking at me, there was a very good chance that I would have cried out loud. I glanced at my right hand mournfully, which was shaking uncontrollably as though as I had a stroke, while keeping count in my mind how many people were still lined up.
“The last one…” I finished giving out my final signature, feeling deeply moved. Luckily, it was a dude and it was quite obvious from the way he kept looking back towards Fairsky and Phoenix that he wasn’t the slightest bit interested in me. What a perfect ending. I felt touched beyond words.
Sure enough, just as I finished signing, he immediately ran towards the duo, and ended up sliding into a half-kneeling position on the floor. A colossal bouquet of red roses appeared out of nowhere in his left hand and an enormous ring with a diamond the size of a baseball appeared unexpectedly in his right hand.
“O dearest Lady Fairsky, my love for you flows ceaselessly like the Yellow River, stretches on infinitely like the white clouds above, and crashes wave after wave like the ocean tide…” Such nauseating drivel gushed forth endlessly from this animal’s mouth, and the sounds of people puking all around flowed ceaselessly like the Yellow River as well.
“…So, beloved Lady Fairsky, please marry me!”
“Sorry, I have to tell everyone, there’s already someone that I’m in love with,” Fairsky announced straightly, not even sparing a glance at the mongrel onstage, and then bowed towards her fans below the stage to express her apologies.
“Who is it? Who is the one that dares to steal away my woman without regard for his own life?” Below the stage, Fairsky’s fans began to riot. I sighed helplessly. I probably have the most enemies in the world.
Then, Fairsky inhaled deeply and raised her head to gaze at the sky towards Sunshine, who was sitting on the flying carpet. “He is the one that I like.”
“Ehh?” Including mine and Sunshine’s, there were five “ehh” sounds.
Fairsky gazed at the astonished Sunshine with her cheeks flushed red. After a long while, she turned and bowed to me. “Sorry Prince, but I realized that I have fallen in love with Sunshine, so I can’t have feelings for you anymore.”
“T-this…” I stuttered awkwardly for quite a while, but couldn’t seem to squeeze out even half a sentence.
Oh, why does my head hurt more now compared to the time Fairsky tried to force me to marry her? Fairsky, if you had a change of heart and fell in love with someone else I would be 120% supportive, but couldn’t you pick a more normal partner? First you fall for a tranny like me, and now you pick him? You might as well continue loving me because that would be just homosexual, but you’re now in love with an NPC! What would that be called?
Even bestiality is better than falling in love with a NPC. At least a beast has a physical body, but NPCs… Don’t tell me you would insist and say, “That’s right; I’m in love with several lines of computer code.”?
“Sunshine, don’t you like me?” Fairsky asked in a calm tone as she gazed at Sunshine earnestly, sounding fully confident.9
“I… I…” Sunshine knitted his eyebrows tightly; he was clearly at a loss.
“You really like Fairsky as well?” I paled in shock. Sunshine is an NPC. Even though he has gained self-awareness, he is still different from an ordinary human being. For example, he does not know how to tell a lie, so he cannot comfort people with white lies. If he didn’t have feelings for Fairsky, he would have said so directly, and yet he could not seem to speak? Does that mean…?
Sunshine turned towards me, confusion written in his eyes.
“Prince, this is not a good place for an interrogation!” Gui pulled me away, gesturing at the audience below the stage.
“You’re right.” I could only forcibly suppress my anxiety, reassuming the appearance of the Blood Elf Prince.
I put on a polite smile and said with a charming tone, “The autograph session shall end here for today. Infinite Band shall work harder in the future, and we hope that you would continue to support us. Thank you.”
The seconds I waited as the crowd dispersed felt like years. Then, I immediately dragged Fairsky and Sunshine away with me. Where to go? I hesitated for a moment. Right, to Jing and Yun’s house. After making up my mind, I swiftly PMed Jing and Yun, telling them to wait for me at their home.
Just as I started walking, I suddenly stopped and turned to face the other Infinite Band members that were following close behind. I said in a highly threatening tone, “No one is allowed to come along, you hear?”
The trio behind me froze conspicuously. Seeing my stern expression, they all nodded in unison.
[½ Prince Volume 4 Chapter 10 End]
1 Unable to make heads or tails of the situation: Here, Yu Wo uses “丈八摸不着头脑”, (zhàng bā mō bu zháo tóu nǎo) which is the shortened/slang version of a Chinese idiom, ‘丈二金刚，摸不着头脑’ (zhàng èr jīn gāng mō bu zháo tóu nǎo).
In some Chinese idioms, the first phrase is a description for a riddle, while the following phrase offers the explanation. In this case, the first phrase 丈二金刚 (zhàng èr jīn gāng) means ‘Twelve foot tall Monk (Also known as Vajrapani)’, the following phrase 摸不着头脑 (mō bu zháo tóu nǎo) means ‘can’t touch his head’. Literally, it means the monk is so tall that you can’t touch his head. The whole idiom basically means something that is so surprising or bizarre that one wouldn’t know what to do immediately. It best describes the confusion/questions one usually has in the middle of a thought process (i.e. Imagine you’re in the middle of solving a murder case, ‘how could the murder occur when the room is locked from the inside?’ is such confusion).
Yu Wo, however, exaggerates the idiom by saying that the monk (problem) is eighteen feet tall, and thus Prince could not reach its head (understand). [Credit to Erihppas]
2 Boss: 老大 usually means boss. Prince was just jokingly calling XiMen Feng that because he acts like he can just do whatever he wants, as if he owned the place. [Credit to Erihppas]
3 PK: Gamer term for Player Kill in this case, though PK can also refer to general player vs player combat.
4 Jolin Tsai (蔡依林, Cài Yīlín): A Golden Melody award–winning Taiwanese Mandopop singer. She is extremely popular in not only Taiwan and China, but has also seen great success in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia, as well as having a strong fanbase in the United States. (For more information, please refer to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jolin_Tsai)
5 Jay Chou (周杰倫, Zhōu Jiélún): A Taiwanese musician, singer, music and film producer, actor, and director. He is known for composing all his own songs and songs for other singers. His music has gained recognition throughout Asia and his career now extends into directing, acting, and running his own record company, JVR Music. (For more information, please refer to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jay_Chou)
6 Andy Lau (劉德華, Liú Déhuá): A Hong Kong Cantopop singer, film actor, and producer. He has been one of Hong Kong’s most commercially successful film actors since the mid-1980s while maintaining a successful singing career at the same time. In the 1990s he was branded by the media as one of the Four Heavenly Kings of Cantopop (四大天王) with Aaron Kwok, Jacky Cheung, and Leon Lai. (For more information, please refer to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andy_Lau)
7 Stephanie (萧蔷, Xiāo Qiáng): Famous in Taiwan as a model and actress. She was extremely popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s and was branded by the media as Taiwan’s Number One Most Beautiful Woman. (For more information, please refer to http://wiki.d-addicts.com/Xiao_Qiang)
8 Ximending (西门町, Xī mén ding, also known as HsiMenDing): A well-known neighborhood and shopping district in Taipei that is largest pedestrian zone in Taiwan. It is located in the northeastern part of Wanhua District and is also the most important consumer district in the west side of Taipei. It is the source of Taiwan’s fashion, subculture, and Japanese culture.
9 Sounding fully confident: Here Yu Wo uses the idiom “胸有成竹” (xiōng yǒu chéng zhú), literally “having had the images of the bamboo ready in one’s bosom”. It is later used to refer to making extensive preparation before doing something, and having full confidence in the final success. It also indicates that someone can remain composed no matter what happens. Refer to this website for the story the idiom originated from: http://www.myechinese.org/Chinese/Idiom_Detail.aspx?id=51.