½ Prince Volume 5: A Prince No More
Original novel in Chinese by: 御我 (Yu Wo)
Chapter 3: Neurotic and DanDan – translated by Amgine
“I want to go somewhere secluded to train. Is that okay with you, Doll?”
I had thought about this for a while. How should I explain it? I didn’t want to wear a mask, but I didn’t want to get caught up in trouble either.
“Doll is okay with whatever you decide,” Doll replied, laughing. Her previous dignified air of a princess had disappeared off to who-knows-where. I rubbed my chin, replied with a vague sound of “mm”, and walked along quietly. Doll scrutinized my aloof reaction but she didn’t say anything and just followed behind me. Thus, the two of us pressed onward with our journey with barely any words exchanged. I intended to reach the Valley of Wandering Nymphs as soon as possible and vent out my frustration through battle.
It was not until we reached the valley that Doll finally spoke up, gasping in surprise, “It’s so pretty here! What is this place?” The scenery was indeed stunning. I gazed off into the endless field of flowers. Some were sparkling and immaculate like snow, while others were pink enough to instill feelings of adoration. Still others were a soft and mysterious shade of violet. Amongst the flowers stood several cherry blossom trees in full bloom. Their petals fluttered about the entire valley, intensifying the portrayal of a utopian beauty.
I answered Doll’s question softly, “The Valley of Wandering Nymphs.”
“What a befitting1 name… Wait a second, the Valley of Wandering Nymphs?” Doll’s original infatuated expression suddenly changed, and she turned her head to look at me in fright, “Prince-gēge isn’t planning to train inside the Den of Wandering Nymphs, is he?”
I nodded. Doll looked like she wanted to say something but stopped herself, and eventually continued following after me silently. Of course, I knew why Doll was apprehensive. The nymphs in this valley were all rare beauties beyond compare. When the game was newly released, perverts kept swarming here to gawk at them. Yet, all those perverts, whether they had come alone, in pairs, or in teams, would never make it out alive… Although the perverts wanted to ogle continuously at beautiful girls, they couldn’t just throw away their lives, and so they all gradually stopped coming to the Den of Wandering Nymphs.
Moreover, the number of regular players training here had been dwindling as well for two reasons. First, all males were invariably affected by the nymphs’ physical appearances and would hold back their attacks or would even start daydreaming with saliva dripping from their mouths. How could one continue fighting under these conditions? Second, nymphs were not your run-of-the-mill monsters. Nymphs fall into three subcategories: the level 60 ones, who wore red robes, the level 70 ones, who wore blue robes, and the level 80 ones, who wore purple robes. There were also rumors of a boss called Celestial2, though nobody had seen it to this day, and only one or two pictures of purple-robed nymphs could be found on the Internet, and their beauty could rival that of Lolidragon’s, so they weren’t really a good target for males to train on. As such, the Valley of Wandering Nymphs barely showed any signs of human passing…
“Don’t worry. I only plan on attacking up to the blue robed nymphs. Even though they are always in groups of two or three, I should be able to manage with your skeleton summons.” I couldn’t help but console Doll a bit. Doll nodded, following me into the Den of Wandering Nymphs.
As expected, the red-robed nymphs were elegant and refined beauties. It’s no wonder men couldn’t attack them – who would be willing to fight against girls as beautiful as these?
In one clean strike, I attacked one of the nymphs. Seeing the nymph’s shocked expression, I chuckled coldly. I am not one of those gentlemen who believe in chivalry towards women, after all. By now, the two other nymphs nearby had begun to close in, making me a bit clumsy while parrying their attacks. But Doll immediately summoned eight Fire-armored Skeletons, changing the situation from three versus one to nine versus three. With utmost ease, I sent the three lovely nymphs to nirvana and continued further into the cave, preparing to find blue-robed nymphs and have a great time beating them up!
Doll and I continued fighting in this manner through the entire way. Apart from battling, we only stopped to eat our rations when we got hungry and to use this opportunity for some rest. Eventually, we had logged on and off so many times that we lost count, and yet, during this entire time, the two of us had barely spoken half a sentence.
While back in the real world, I saw Professor Min Gui Wen and Zhuo-gēge on campus, and both looked like they had a lot on their minds. Is it from worrying about me? I suddenly thought, Should I at least PM the people back at Infinite City? Isn’t it too irresponsible of me to take Doll along and just vanish without a trace?
The next time I went online, I discussed the issue with Doll. While chewing on her rations, Doll said to me, “Doll has already explained it to Wolf-gēge.”
“Oh, so you told him that you came with me to train?” In that case, it should be fine, since my original task was to concentrate on leveling up anyway.
“No. Doll said, ‘Doll and Prince-gēge ran away from home.’” Doll’s innocent eyes glistened.
Ran. Away. From. Home? I felt my knees giving way. This… this is even worse than not saying anything at all. No wonder Gui and Wicked looked like they were worried to death, I thought.
“And then Wolf-gēge told Doll to follow Prince-gēge properly, or else Prince-gēge would get lost and end up who-knows-where.” Doll’s innocent words hit me with a thud.
“Let’s go, it’s time to train,” I said stuffily. As we were walking, my eyes lit up as a purple-robed nymph unexpectedly appeared in front of me, and it was alone to boot. There was no way I would pass over such a magnificent, once in a blue moon opportunity. I promptly announced, “Doll, I’m going to go one-on-one with that purple robe, so don’t interfere.” Doll nodded obediently. I raised my Black Dao, and right as I was about to attack to my heart’s content…
“Chains of Ice!” Along with that shout, a chain of ice coiled around the body of the purple-robed nymph, who struggled to break free.
“Hurry up honey, hit her with a fatal strike before she breaks free.”
“No problem, darling.”
I frowned upon hearing this exchange and leaned my head out of the passageway to investigate the situation. Then I saw a man carrying an intimidatingly large claymore walking towards the nymph who couldn’t move a single step.
While waving around his claymore, he muttered, “Hey gorgeous, don’t blame me for showing no mercy. The only one to blame is yourself for being so pretty that my lovely darling couldn’t resist but have you as a pet…” Two or three hits were enough to make the pitiful purple-robed nymph fall flat to the ground.
“Capture! Yay, we’ve caught it! Honey, you’re the best.” A woman wearing a magician’s robe was cheering. Looks like she was the one who cast the Chains of Ice spell. After she called out “capture”, the purple robe had disappeared without a trace.
I can’t believe someone stole my kill3. It’s a shame, but there is nothing I can do about it. Just as I was about to walk away…
“Honey, look, there’s a very handsome person next to you!” the woman shouted while pointing at me, making the claymore wielding warrior turn his head towards me and stare in bewilderment.
The warrior suddenly shouted in shock, “The rumors were right, the legendary Celestial really is a male!”
What? The legendary Celestial is a male? This is news to me.
“Right, that’s just splendid. Honey, it looks like we didn’t come all the way here to the Central Continent in vain; Celestial really is very handsome.” The woman gazed intensely at me, her face gushing with excitement.
“But do be careful, darling. Rumors has it that Celestial is strong beyond belief, and he is one of the top three bosses!” The man scrutinized my every move very carefully.
Wait a second. I frowned a bit. Don’t tell me these two are mistaking me for Celestial? How can this be? I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Are my pointy ears not proof enough that I’m an elf?
“Chains of Ice!” The woman yelled loudly as a snow woman suddenly appeared right in front of her and started casting its own magic… So she’s a summoner? I faintly recalled that such a class existed.
But wait a second! W-why did an ice chain appear around my body? I looked up. Oh heavens! The claymore wielding warrior was getting ready to hack me to death with that intimidating sword, and being wrapped up by the chains, I had no way of pulling out Black Dao to defend myself. I had no choice but to hop to the side, but I lost my balance instead and fell to the ground. Spotting an opening, the claymore warrior spared no time in swinging his sword, directing another blow towards me.
“Prince-gēge!” As Doll let out the most desperate scream imaginable, she threw her entire body on top of me, intending to block the attack for me.
“Doll, get away from here now!” I shouted, terror-stricken by the possibility of Doll getting any injuries. Surprised, the claymore wielding swordsman promptly shifted his attack, and his weapon smashed into the ground just beside us, stirring up a large cloud of dust. We stared at each other, the claymore warrior’s large eyes reflecting off of my smaller ones for quite a while before I declared coldly, “I’m a player.”
On the spot, large beads of cold sweat appeared on the claymore warrior’s face, and the chains of ice wrapped around my body disappeared. Looking behind him, I could see the female summoner smiling with embarrassment.
“Hmph!” I snorted coldly and got back up on my feet, while Doll, clinging to my chest, was still trembling with fear.
“My sincere apologies – this is all a misunderstanding. My wife and I are here to find out whether the rumored Celestial is a male or not. Moreover, my wife is a summoner, so if possible, she would really like to capture Celestial as a summoning pet. That’s the only reason we attacked you, so please don’t be offended!” the claymore wielding warrior apologized with a sheepish smile.
“Oh my, you forgot to introduce yourself, honey. Greetings, my name is DanDan4 and I am a summoner.” DanDan smiled brilliantly. Her oval-shaped face was indeed as cute as her name suggested. Next, she gestured towards the claymore warrior, explaining, “This is my hubby. His name is Neurotic5 and he’s a warrior.”
“A warrior with the strength to move mountains, with a huge claymore nobody else can wield as weapon. This is my claymore, Ultima Sword.” As if afraid that his in-depth clarification wasn’t clear enough, Neurotic started brandishing the claymore flamboyantly, stirring up wind with each impressive swing. Unfortunately, Neurotic was about the same height as myself, and his build was not that much stockier than my own slender elf body either, giving him the impression of a small child fooling around with a large sword.
“We’re leaving.” I carried Doll in my arms and walked away without looking back.
“Bide a moment, brave champion,” DanDan cried out in surprise.
I halted. Brave champion? Why is everyone I met lately fond of speaking in ancient prose? Though I couldn’t do anything about their way of speech, I still didn’t want to have anything more to do with them. My mood was bad enough already, and the fact that they knocked me flat on the ground was just adding fuel to the fire.
“Wait a moment, ultra-handsome fellow, strong and charming young lad, honorable and righteous warrior, uh…luckiest man alive with the world’s cutest wife…” Having completely exhausted his supply of titles, Neurotic has no choice but to start babbling rubbish.
I suddenly stopped in my tracks and turned around to angrily rebuke them. “What nonsense are you spouting? This is my little sister, not my wife.”
Those two were evidently quite shocked, but recovered their senses right away. Neurotic even replied with a sickly sweet smile. “Oh, in that case, luckiest man alive with the world’s cutest little sister, can you please tell us of your exalted name? It gets pretty exhausting referring to you like this.”
Doll, who was still being carried in my arms, suddenly spoke out. “How could you two not recognize him?”
Neurotic scratched his head. “What? Is our esteemed brother actually quite famous in the Central Continent?”
DanDan even let out a “oh my,” her face full of penitence as she said, ”We are truly sorry then. My hubby and I have just arrived from the Western Continent, and we are still not quite familiar with Central Continent. We probably haven’t heard of your renowned name yet.”
“It doesn’t matter where you came from. As long as you’re a player in Second Life, then it’s impossible for you not to know the spokesperson of Second Life, Prince!” Doll proclaimed, brimming with confidence.
The two of them breathed a sound of puzzlement upon hearing that. DanDan muttered to herself, “Second Life’s spokesperson? I haven’t been on the official site for a while, so now Second Life actually has a spokesperson!”
However, Neurotic asked me skeptically, “I haven’t been on the official site for a while either so I don’t know about this spokesperson business, but Prince is a name that I’ve heard many times before. Are you the Blood Elf of Infinite City?
I kept my expression cool, not wanting to say anything, but Doll replied on my behalf, “That’s right, Prince-gēge is the lord of Infinite City.”
“Fancy finding by sheer luck what one has been searching for far and wide.” Neurotic suddenly said neurotically, as he and his wife both stared at me intently with bright eyes. “Besides confirming that the rumored Celestial of the Valley of Wandering Nymphs is a male, our second reason for coming to the Central Continent was to check out the man who is famous throughout Second Life for his handsomeness – the lord of Infinite City.”
“Don’t refer to me as the lord of Infinite City!” I shouted rudely.
“Uh, how about Blood Elf?” Neurotic asked with hesitation.
“Don’t I have a name?” I replied in my coldest tone.
DanDan gulped, and very cautiously asked, “Prince?”
I snorted coldly, gestured to Doll, and promptly turned to leave. Behind me, Doll hesitantly explained to the other two, “I’m really sorry about this. Prince-gēge is in a bad mood, but do come and visit us at Infinite City some other time!” As she finished her explanation, Doll ran in small steps to my side, and took my hand.
“But I still haven’t seen enough yet.” The sound of DanDan’s regretful voice could be heard from behind.
“Oh come on darling, he’s in a bad mood, so let’s not bother them anymore.”
“This is why we should just quietly follow them from behind. We won’t bother them with our chit-chat anymore.”
“That makes sense. I only wanted to see what Prince looks like anyway, so not speaking is fine.”
Hearing their discussion only made my anger rise with every sentence. What do they take me as, a monkey at a zoo to gawk at for their viewing pleasure? But I didn’t want to speak to them again either, so I could only let things be.
The situation lasted until Doll asked timidly, “Prince-gēge, aren’t we going a bit too far inside? It seems a bit dangerous here.” Oh right, I got so pissed off that I forgot where I was going. I looked to the left, and then looked to right, and there were purple-robed nymphs close to us no matter where I looked. If I were to continue going forward, they would definitely attack us in groups.
I couldn’t help but gulp a little, very carefully turning around and backtracking my steps.
“Wow, you really are deserving of the title Blood Elf, even when you are walking around such a dangerous place, you are still calm like you’re strolling in your own backyard.” DanDan smacked her lips in admiration.
Neurotic also shook his head, praising, “Simply miraculous. We were both attacked by the nymphs several times already, but Prince here is actually able to maintain his distance and stay safe the entire time, not getting attacked by a single nymph. This ability to determine the safe distance is just too astounding.” (Author’s Note: Every type of monster has a different safe distance. Once the player gets too close to the monster, passing the safe distance, the monster will then automatically go on the offense and attack the player.)
Eh, I guess this is what people would call the devil’s own luck… Lolidragon always rolls her eyes and says, Prince, it’s ridiculous how much devil’s luck you have. Imagining Lolidragon’s astonished, jaw-dropping expression, I couldn’t help but to raise the corners of my mouth.
“Hey, he looks even more handsome with a smile.” DanDan stared at me, drooling.
Upon hearing that, I immediately wiped the smile from my face, and glared at her a little.
“That angry glaring expression is not bad, either.” Neurotic and DanDan furiously nodded in agreement. The two of them sighed in unison, “Ah, this trip is really proving to be worthwhile.”
I couldn’t help but blurt out, “I can excuse DanDan’s behavior, but what is wrong with you, Neurotic? Don’t you realize that I’m a guy?”
Neurotic said matter-of-factly, “Beauty can be appreciated by anyone! My darling and I are both obsessed with beauty, which is why we joined hands in search of beauty together! This time is no different; we’ve come all the way to the Central Continent in search of the nymphs and Celestial of the Valley of Wandering Nymphs, and of course you as well.”
“Crazy couple,” I said while scratching the side of my face helplessly.
“You’re finally willing to talk to us. The risk of being killed by the surrounding nymphs that we took in persistently following you was not wasted,” a deeply moved DanDan exclaimed while looking at me.
“Hmph!” I obstinately turned my face away, no longer looking at them.
“Hehe, so the rumored Blood Elf turns out to be a big stubborn boy,” chuckled Neurotic.
“What are you talking about, a big stubborn boy? I…” Just as I was planning my retort, Doll suddenly let out a shriek of alarm. I could only see a flash of a white shadowy shape before Doll, who had been holding my hand just a moment ago, disappeared without a trace!
I looked frantically all over the place. Not far away from me, I found a person with a bewitchingly androgynous face embracing Doll tightly. Doll was turning pale with fright.
“Beautiful…” that thing with an ambiguous gender murmured in a mesmerized way, and then even had the nerve to stick out its tongue to lick Doll’s cheek. Doll herself was looking quite nauseated, struggling vigorously to break free from the hands of this pervert, but to no avail.
Furious, I started to charge towards them, but Neurotic grabbed my hand to stop me. I turned back to glare angrily at him. However, he was looking with uncertainty at the androgynous being.
“Celestial?” asked Neurotic.
This is Celestial? My expression changed drastically. I have absolutely no chance of winning against one of the top three bosses, pervert or not, but Doll has fallen into his hands now…
As I realized this, I became very somber, since this was entirely my fault. Everything would have been fine if I hadn’t brought Doll to the Valley of the Wandering Nymphs.
“Fair maiden, why don’t you become my bride?” Celestial said while rubbing his face against Doll’s cheek.
Doll was petrified with fear. “Waaaaa! Prince-gēge, hurry up and save Doll! Doll is very scared of this person.”
Damn! Who the hell designed this perverted NPC? He even knows how to sexually harass Doll!
I turned to Neurotic and DanDan, my eyes pleading, “I beg you guys, please help me save my teammate!”
Neurotic scratched the back of his head and said, “No problem! DanDan and I came here specifically to challenge Celestial anyway.”
DanDan even laughed confidently, saying, “Don’t worry, Prince. My honey is actually an elite warrior who is ranked ninth in the official ranking. He’ll definitely help you save that cute girl.”
“I am nothing compared to you, darling. You’re an elite summoner ranked fifth in the official ranking.” Neurotic replied with a face full of reverence.
I was jumping with joy. Looks like Doll might be saved after all. “Then I’ll be depending on you two.”
“No problem!” DanDan and Neurotic shouted together in harmony.
Their goofy expressions were replaced with a serious countenance. DanDan started chanting some incantations and then a living suit of armor appeared, separated automatically, and pieced itself back together on Neurotic’s body. Waving around his huge sword and roaring violently, Neurotic charged towards Celestial. I also scrambled to pull out my Black Dao and sped towards Celestial.
“Ha!” Celestial suddenly laughed scornfully. After reciting a phrase that I couldn’t understand, roughly ten purple-robed nymphs suddenly appeared in the space between us and Celestial.
We all gasped in surprise. Neurotic and DanDan also muttered upon seeing this. “This is going to be bad.”
“Flame-armored Skeletons, hurry and help.” Even captured, Doll was not one to sit idle. She hastily summoned her skeletons.
“Necromancer?” DanDan and Neurotic opened their mouths in surprise.
As I saw they were stunned, I shouted out to them anxiously, “Hurry up and save Doll!”
“Right!” Neurotic snapped out of it after hearing my urging. After roaring loudly, he got into a heated brawl with the ten purple-robed nymphs. It was a good thing Doll’s Flame-armored Skeletons were there to help, making it possible to slowly eliminate them one by one.
I could tell that the ten purple robes would not be a problem for Neurotic, and so I kept searching for a chance to rescue Doll. On the other side, DanDan was living up to her reputation as a fifth ranking elite summoner. Upon seeing my intention to save Doll, she summoned the snow woman as well. The snow woman activated her Chains of Ice in an attempt to tie down Celestial so that I could successfully rescue Doll.
“Chains of Ice!”
“Dispel!” Celestial snorted coldly. With just one word, not only did the snow woman’s Chains of Ice disappear, but she was also hit with an intense counterattack, making her spit out a mouthful of blood.
Ignoring the fact that Celestial did not get restrained, I still charged forward to rescue Doll anyway. As I almost reached Celestial, a white shape suddenly flew out, brutally hitting me in the chest. The impact was so great that I flew backwards, forcefully smashing against a wall. I coughed up fresh blood as I struggled to suppress the sharp pains coming from my chest. Several of my ribs seemed broken.
“Prince-gēge!” Doll shouted in shock.
DanDan was surprised too, and she called back the snow woman, and summoned forth another one, this time a katana covered in blood.
DanDan glared furiously at Celestial, shouting, “Let’s see if you can deal with a level 95 summoning – Blade of Blood.” Blade of Blood hovered in midair, and then flew like lightning towards Celestial. Good thing Neurotic and DanDan are not my enemies here… I was secretly dripping with cold sweat as I watched Blade of Blood’s evil aura surging through the air.
Celestial’s fury was radiating as he angrily shouted, “Celestial Satin!”
That white thing flew out again, blocking the Blade of Blood. Only now could I see it clearly. It turned out to be a strip of silk. Blade of Blood and Celestial Satin squared off against each other in midair, each trying to drive the other back. Blade of Blood desperately tried to cut Celestial Satin in half, but unfortunately, Celestial Satin’s ability to change from being fluidly flexible to being as stiff as steel negated all of Blade of Blood’s attacks.
“Pierce!” I suddenly heard Celestial command, and another white shape sprang forth, targeting… DanDan?
“Dodge it, DanDan!” I screamed loudly, and then knocked her out of the way with my body as the white fabric mercilessly pierced into my shoulder. I groaned roughly and was forced down on one knee.
“Darling?” Neurotic looked back worriedly as he heard moans of pain. When he saw that DanDan was fallen on the ground and I was heavily injured, he shook off the purple-robed nymphs with great force. He sprinted back towards us, and pulled out a red health potion for me to drink.
Without Neurotic, the pressure on the skeletons increased greatly. Doll could only direct the skeletons to temporarily hold off the attacks of the pursuing purple-robed nymphs.
Celestial laughed once again, reciting the same incantation that I couldn’t understand earlier. As I cursed in my mind, sure enough, another ten purple-robed nymphs appeared in front of us. Including the ones that Neurotic still hadn’t finished off, there were now a grand total of seventeen purple robes. All four of our faces changed drastically.
As the situation worsened into this, I prepared myself. I calmly said to them, “You guys run away right now. If it’s just escaping, it shouldn’t be too difficult for you two.”
“Then what will you do?” Neurotic asked in confusion.
“I’m going to stay. Even if I die, I will not abandon my teammates,” I said with determination.
“Good!” Neurotic gave me a thumbs-up, and waved around his claymore. “Then hurry and finish up your red potion, so we can charge at them together.”
Startled, I asked, “You guys?”
“Don’t be silly. I, Neurotic, would never ever abandon my teammates, except by dying in battle.” Neurotic laughed without restraint.
I creased my brows. “We don’t count as teammates, though.”
“Ah man, don’t sweat the small things! We have spoken together, so we count as teammates now—” Before DanDan could finish her sentence, she suddenly pointed towards Celestial’s direction in fright.
This time, Doll also let out a startled scream. I quickly turn my head and look, only to see Celestial actually grabbing Doll and flying up. Only now that I realized that there was a strange looking magic circle on the ceiling. From the looks of Celestial flying up… Don’t tell me he intends to fly inside? As soon as this thought entered my head, I immediately made a mad dash towards Celestial and jumped with all my might, but I couldn’t even grab a corner of his clothes. Celestial and Doll had already disappeared inside the portal….
1 It would be befitting for nymphs, being such beautiful creatures, to live in an enchanting place such as the one described.
2 Celestial: 天仙. This can literally be taken to mean “Immortal of the Sky”, but can also be construed to mean a “Heavenly Beauty”.
3 Kill-steal: A term in online games describing the situation when someone lands the finishing blow on an enemy and gets credit for doing so even though the enemy was already being targeted by another player. It is generally a frowned-upon practice, though there are generally no explicit rules against it.
4 DanDan: Her name (蛋蛋) literally means “egg” or “oval-shaped”. Chinese names often repeat the same word as a sign of endearment.
5 Neurotic: His name (神经兮兮) literally means “having a nerve disorder” but colloquially is used to describe someone who is “overly sensitive, and reacts or takes offense unexpectedly at seemingly innocuous things”. The manhua refers to him as “Wacko”, but we feel that “Neurotic” is a more suitable name and closer to the author’s original intent.