½ Prince Volume 5: A Prince No More
Original novel in Chinese by: 御我 (Yu Wo)
Chapter 7: A Cougar’s Unimaginable Love – translated by Amgine
“Actually, I’ve been meaning to ask: what are our plans after unifying the Central Continent?” I asked White Bird and the others with a face brimming with curiosity.
I received many scornful looks in response. White Bird in particular couldn’t resist complaining loudly, “Only you would ask about something like that, Liege Lord. We are already being worked to the bone just from managing the city.
I scratched my head thoughtfully. “But I really don’t have anything to do! You guys rarely even give me any paperwork these days.”
“That’s because all you ever do is edit them into nonsense!” White Bird yelled, on the verge of spitting fire at me. It looked like ever since I forcibly rejected the idea of being treated with the dignity of a liege lord, White Bird’s respect for me had completely disappeared.
Feeling wronged, I replied, “No way, I have been assessing them very carefully.”
“You have been assessing them very carefully? Just take a look at this document, ‘The City Walls Reinforcement Project’. You actually gave the response, ‘Considering that the city walls have been worn down by the fires of war, and are now disheveled beyond belief, a special allowance is granted to repaint the walls, preferably in pink, my favorite color. Signed, Prince, the Liege Lord.’”
“What’s wrong with that?” I asked, puzzled.
“…” Everyone was silent. White Bird took out another document. “‘The Lack of Senior Level Management’ – to which your response was, ‘There’s not enough people? Eh, perhaps there are not as many players in Second Life as I thought? Alright, I’ll respond to this issue after consulting with a GM. Signed, Prince, the Liege Lord.’”
“Oh…right. I haven’t asked a GM about that yet,” I replied while twiddling my fingers nervously. But you can’t really blame me for forgetting about this with all the recent attacks launched on other cities!
White Bird didn’t respond to me, but reacted in kind with everyone else—pressing her forehead with a look of hopeless resignation.
I bit my fingernails. It’s rare that I’m starting to be addicted to amending documents! I begged desperately, “White Bird, please give me some more documents to edit!”
“No. Way.” White Bird responded firmly.
Immediately, I put on my best grieving-victim face, complete with pouting lips and even tears in the corner of my eyes. I muttered with reluctance, “How did things turn out like this? I spent so much time and effort doing paperwork without receiving an ounce of praise and now I’m not even given any more to work on.”
Wolf-dàgē walked over to my side and patted my head as though he were coaxing a child. He cooed, “Good boy Prince, run along now and play outside for a bit by yourself. When we find something for you to do, we’ll call you back.”
“Oh.” Since even Wolf-dàgē was saying things like this, I had no choice but to resign myself to ‘playing outside by myself.’
After just barely passing through the city gate, I quickly cast off my sulking look and started debating on whom to play with. Should I go find Kenshin and Cold Fox and steal some of their tea? Or bully some monsters? Or perhaps I could find Infinity City’s army and investigate Meatbun’s Fermentation Technique? I walked along, considering all the possibilities.
Lolidragon? Suddenly hearing a voice I hadn’t heard for a very long time filled me with happiness as I looked up to the sky, searching for the source. Indeed, I could see the trails left by a flying carpet.
“Lolidragon! You guys are back!” I called out loudly while happily waving my hands.
Lolidragon, Feng Wu Qing, and Sunshine all hopped off the flying carpet, but the first two both carried a heavy expression. Puzzled, I asked, “What’s wrong? Are the results of the investigation bad?”
“Yes, extremely bad. We found out that of the five overlords of each continent, the Eastern, Western, and Southern Continents’ overlords were all targeted by assassins. Worse, the Northern Continent’s Flower Overlord and her five teammates all mysteriously disappeared last week. The citizens of the Flower City are all in pandemonium since none of them could be contacted at all,” Lolidragon reported with a grim expression.
“Are Neurotic and the others okay?” I asked with concern, hoping that they hadn’t been assassinated.
“They’re okay. In fact, the overlords from the other four continents are all fine right now,” Feng Wu Qing said.
“Except the Northern Continent’s missing Flower Overlord.” Lolidragon retorted with lips pursed and brows creased.
Deep in thought, I wondered out loud, “So the Northern Continent is the most suspicious right now?”
Lolidragon and Feng Wu Qing were both quiet for a while, until Wu Qing finally broke the silence. “That’s how it seems based on the current situation, but there’s also a lot of information that doesn’t add up. For example, how they could abandon their own Flower Capital that they have been working so hard to maintain and make it public that they’ve disappeared? This particular turn of events is strange indeed.”
“To top it all off, according to our investigation, Northern Flower isn’t someone who would have lofty ambitions of unifying all of Second Life,” said Wu Qing.
Lolidragon continued the explanation, “In my opinion, she seems to be the type that would worry more about the blemishes on her face than her overlord status. She probably would rather be putting on face mask than marching off to war.”
So she’s one of those completely vain types… I couldn’t help but asked in confusion, “If that is so, then what’s really going on with the assassinations?”
“We still don’t know for sure, but we’ve already spoke to the three other overlords and it’s agreed that they will all travel to the Central Continent by boat in a week’s time to discuss this together.”
Lolidragon raised her voice to emphasize her point, “That means in a week’s time, Infinite City will host a meeting of the overlords.”
A meeting of the overlords, eh? I couldn’t help but feel a bit impressed. “One would have to be pretty amazing to become the overlord of an entire continent, right? I wonder what these leaders are like.”
“Ahem, in theory they should all be amazing, but of course there are always exceptions,” Lolidragon replied while furtively glancing at me.
“Exceptions? What exceptions?” I asked curiously.
But Feng Wu Qing who was at the side was already trying to stifle his amusement and it wasn’t long before both of them were howling with unrestrained laughter. I, on the other hand, was left scratching my head fishing for the punch line. Strange, what are they laughing at?
After Lolidragon and Feng Wu Qing finished laughing at their inside joke, they both suddenly fell suspiciously silent with a strange atmosphere surrounding them. I stared at them, still in the dark about what was going on, but the two before me seemed hesitant to meet each other’s gaze. The questions in my head just kept piling up.
“I- I will go look for some other people to discuss this and get more opinions. The more heads the better right?” The normally calm Lolidragon appeared unusually flustered as she said this and quickly fled without looking back.
“What just happened?” I asked with suspicion while looking at the trail of dust left behind from Lolidragon’s sudden escape.
“Prince, I have something important to tell you,” Wu Qing suddenly said to me, still standing on his original spot.
Bro has something to discuss with me? How rare! “Let’s talk this over at Infinite Restaurant,” I said as I pointed to it.
Wu Qing nodded and Sunshine, whose presence had long been forgotten, smiled faintly and announced, “Then I’ll go look for Fairsky.”
As usual, I sat down at my favorite corner and ordered dishes for the two of us. I silently waited for Wu Qing to start talking about whatever he wanted to discuss, but after all the food was served, I couldn’t wait any longer and started stuffing my face.
“Sis, I’m in love with Lolidragon,” my brother said to me matter-of-factly, in a tone that he might use to announce that he ate an egg on toast for breakfast, while conveying a message that would frighten the gods and make devils cry. The situation was no less grave than if the president of the United States had accidently pressed the button that would launch their nuclear missiles, bringing endless disaster thereafter.
I turned towards him in slow motion, tossing aside my chopsticks along with the next bite of food that was already by my mouth. Placing both hands on his shoulders, I said with all seriousness, “Dear bro, there’s an influenza pandemic going around and it looks like you’re already infected pretty badly, seeing as how you’ve already lost your mind from fever. But not to worry, your sister will immediately take you to see the doctor and after a few shots you’ll soon be as good as new.”
Wu Qing unceremoniously brushed my hands aside and replied peevishly, “My mind is fine, thank you very much.”
The atmosphere was dead quiet for a few minutes. Suddenly, in a flash of understanding, my right hand curled into a fist and landed on top of my left palm. “I understand now! You must have fallen in love with the beautiful and otherworldly Lolidragon from Jin Yong’s novel!1 My dear bro, she is but a character in a book and doesn’t actually exist. You should just perish the thought, and besides, even if it were possible, Yang Guo and his Melancholic Palms are not to be trifled with.”2
“The one that I love is the Lolidragon from Second Life, a member of Odd Squad who works with me in the Foreign Affairs department. Did that get through that thick head of yours yet?” Wu Qing’s words once again shattered my delusions.
My hands started shaking uncontrollably. I asked my brother incredulously, “Are you really in love with Lolidragon? How’s that possible? Didn’t you say that you’d never fall for anyone older than you? Not only was she born before you, but she looks very mature as well, so how…”
“Horses can misstep, and people can be misspoken. It’s a proven fact that you can fall in love with someone who is not necessarily your type.” Wu Qing shrugged casually.
I was at a loss for words. “How could you possibly have fallen in love with her? Didn’t you hate her not too long ago?”
“I’m not sure either. Perhaps it happened while we were investigating the assassination, or maybe it was earlier, while she was stomping me to death,” Wu Qing replied honestly. He then furrowed his brows and added, “It might even be when I saw her for the first time with you outside Star City, or else even if you had stolen away Fairsky and Rose I wouldn’t have gotten so unreasonably angry. Maybe the real reason I was angry was because of my jealousy at you, who was with her.” Finally, Wu Qing laughed wanly. “In any case, love always starts from hatred.”
Looks like my brother really has fallen in love with Lolidragon…
“What are you going to do?” I asked again. Lolidragon is no pushover and I fear that my brother would run off and do something stupid after getting heartbroken, like letting slip the fact that I am a transsexual or something.
Wu Qing’s next words hit me like a bolt from the blue, for the second time. “I already confessed to her.”
I was left speechless for a while, with my mouth agape. No wonder Lolidragon was acting so strangely earlier…I finally forced out my next two words, “The result?”
“She called me an idiot.” Wu Qing shrugged again.
I sighed and patted him on the back. “There are plenty of fish in the sea, so one little rejection is not a big deal. You can easily find a better match. Just don’t do anything stupid, especially something like revealing my true identity.”
Wu Qing laughed several times, looking like a hooligan. “I’m not the type to get heartbroken, hmph.”
Not get heartbroken? Weren’t you the one who lost Rose and Fairsky to me…? I wouldn’t dare say that out loud though. Instead, I could only foolishly ask, “But she rejected you, right?”
Wu Qing gave a mysterious little laugh and wagged his fingers. “When a woman hears a confession and calls you an idiot with her face beet-red, that is definitely not a sign of rejection.”
“What else would it be?” I asked naïvely.
Wu Qing laughed loudly several times again, and irresponsibly let out a, “You won’t understand!” before swaggering off.
But, I couldn’t tell whether it was a coincidence or an understanding between them, for as soon as Wu Qing was out of sight, I saw Lolidragon angrily running towards me. Weren’t you looking for people to get more opinions from? She frantically said, “Prince, what did your brother just tell you? Was it about his confession?”
“Yeah,” I said honestly.
“I can’t believe that punk would go around telling everyone. Not only does he spill the beans to Sunshine, he now goes and blabs to you about it as well. I bet it won’t be long before the entire world knows about it!” Barely containing her anger, Lolidragon continued, “That fool better not think that I don’t know that he’s just trying to rile me up!”
I scowled. “Wu Qing is not trying to rile you up – he’s being completely serious.”
Lolidragon stared blankly for a bit before asking with hesitation, “He… is serious? How can that be? He’s obviously just trying to piss me off.”
I tilted my head and thought deeply before finally concluding, “I believe my brother is being serious. Before, when chasing girls, he would never tell me anything. For him to actually talk to me about it this time, it seems like he might really like you a lot.”
According to the romance novels I have read, when the female lead hears the male lead made a serious confession to her, her face should flush red, her heart might skip a beat, and she should be looking quite embarrassed, perhaps even dumbfounded.
It’s a shame that this book is obviously not a romance novel, and Lolidragon most certainly wasn’t the female lead of such a novel. Instead of looking embarrassed, her facial expression was full of killing intent and it looked like this book had a really good chance of turning into a horror novel.
For some reason Lolidragon, fuming with rage and gritting her teeth, pulled out a knife and started waving it around wildly while howling violently, “Watch as I slaughter that bastard!”
I was dumbstruck. Even if she did dislike my brother, that’s not quite enough of a reason to slaughter him, is it? “Why are you going to slaughter him?”
“You won’t understand,” Lolidragon fiercely repeated the very same words my brother had said to me earlier before running off in the same manner as him.
I scratched my cheek, not quite understanding the situation. Normal couples like to get matching outfits or rings, but you two have matching actions and manners of speech. Although I really didn’t know what my brother and Lolidragon were planning, it looked like I had a good idea of who my future sister-in-law might be.
I muttered to myself, “I better start watching out for myself, or else once Lolidragon becomes part of the family, she might really lay the smack down on me.”
1 “Lolidragon from Jin Yong’s novel”: This is a reference to The Return of the Condor Heroes, one of Jin Yong’s wuxia novels about martial arts. She was an orphan who was left at the doorsteps of a palace and was eventually taken away by a woman to the Ancient Tomb Sect. She was raised as a disciple and was taught and mastered the sect’s martial arts. Having never left the tomb, she grew up to be an innocent beauty but was cold to the point of being unsociable and emotionless. The Lolidragon in this novel is most likely a name borrowed from Jin Yong.
2 “Yang Guo and his Melancholic Palms”: Yang Guo was Lolidragon’s only disciple and they eventually fell in love, but master-apprentice relationships were highly taboo at the time. Due to quarrels with their peers and misunderstandings, they were separated for 16 years before being reunited at the end of the novel. During that time, Yang Guo learned kung fu from various elite martial artists. His Melancholic Palms is a hybrid skill that he developed that incorporates elements from his various masters.