½ Prince Volume 6: The Great NPC Revolt
Original novel in Chinese by: 御我 (Yu Wo)
Chapter 3: Divine Beast – translated by seleneyue
Now that I think about it, I hadn’t seen Lolidragon at all since the day she hurriedly disappeared. As for me, I was stuck in a living hell. Wherever I went, the signs of a whole crowd of people following me would be left behind.
“Am I really that weak?” I cried, with two large tears threatening to fall from my eyes. “Am I so weak that I need to be protected even while using the toilet?”
Before the people of Infinite City could reply, Neurotic put his hands on my shoulders and looked at me seriously. “Prince, the most dangerous time is actually when you are using the toilet. The best time for those assassins to strike is when your body and mind are the most relaxed. Think about it. The speed of those two assassins is so great that you would only have a moment to decide whether you want to put your ‘bird’ back, and probably be killed during that instant, or leave it out to ‘roam the streets’ while you focus on defending your life.”
Of course, I didn’t want to die. If I died, my character would disappear, after all. But then I thought of leaving my little XX out to ‘roam the streets’ while I fight the assassins with my Black Dao—and one of them was a woman too—and then all of Infinite City rushing over from the ruckus, only to be treated to the sight of me fighting with my little XX hanging out… Should I put it back? Leave it out? What a difficult question, I thought bitterly, while cradling my head.
Neurotic patted my shoulder and exclaimed, “It’s hard to choose, right? But if you had someone to protect you, you could quickly get your ‘affairs’ in order, and then go fight the assassins. Isn’t it wonderful?”
“I guess you’re right.” I tilted my head to show I understood the situation, and then added, “But I don’t need to go to the toilet right now, so stop following me.”
Having said this, I marched away, leaving a flock of exasperated people behind me. “It seems your Prince doesn’t really understand figures of speech!” Neurotic commented stupidly.
“Sometimes even plain speech is too difficult for our Prince to understand, and yet you drag in such a difficult thing as a figure of speech?” Yu Lian asked. She then added, “If Lolidragon were here, she probably would have said something along those lines.”
After I irresponsibly dusted off my butt and left, I could finally enjoy my long-sought freedom! Now, where should I go play first?
“Halt!” I ordered rudely upon seeing a familiar figure about to walk through the town gates.
XiMen Feng turned his head, a look of anxiety on his face. Without hesitation, he started cursing, “Stinkin’ kid, what do you want? Yer daddy has no time to play with you, sonny. Don’t bother me.”
If he hadn’t opened his mouth, I might have let him go on his way. But once he started cursing at me, my curiosity was aroused. Why is XiMen Feng, who always has nothing to do all day, suddenly in a hurry? “What are you planning to do? Why so anxious?”
“I have things to do…” said XiMen Feng vaguely.
I? XiMen Feng said ‘I’?! The sky must be falling. From the time I met him up until now, I have never heard XiMen Feng say the word ‘I.’ There must be really big news. If I don’t dig it out somehow, how can I ever satisfy my curiosity? I don’t want to be drowned by my own curiosity, after all. “If you don’t talk, you can’t leave.”
“Don’t bother me, sonny, this thing is very important. Yer daddy doesn’t want to be a tranny his whole life, after all,” XiMen Feng said hurriedly, without realizing that he had already let the cat out of the bag.
I was stunned by his words, but instead of loosening my grip, I grabbed him with all of my strength. “What do you mean?”
XiMen Feng was already sweating bullets. Without another word, he sprinted away, dragging me along behind him. I hadn’t expected him to react like that, nor had I suspected how much strength he would have when he was harried and pumped full of adrenaline. My entire body flew in the air like a flag in the wind, as Infinite City grew smaller and smaller before my eyes. I still couldn’t get a fix on what was happening, so I asked, “XiMen Feng, where are you going?”
“Shut up,” roared XiMen Feng as he sprinted on. “Yer daddy has to hurry—can’t afford to waste even a minute.”
I contemplated silently for a while, and then asked him, “Wouldn’t riding horses be faster than running?”
In the end, XiMen Feng and I returned to Infinite City and got two horses, after which the speed of our travel was incomparable to before. XiMen Feng finally relaxed a bit and started to explain, “Yer daddy’s going to find that Divine Beast who originally turned yer daddy into a tranny.”
“Why find the Divine Beast?” I asked uncomprehendingly.
“That damn Divine Beast said that the curse has a time limit. As long as yer daddy can get there before the set date, it’ll get rid of this cursed condition of yer daddy’s. That’s why yer daddy has to hurry there before tomorrow,” XiMen Feng said smugly.
“Huh? Get rid of your condition?” I sighed discontentedly. Where is the fun in that? Not to mention, Infinite City will miss the income from the Refreshing Beauty Photo Album. It’ll be a wonder if Yu Lian-dàsăo doesn’t straight out murder him.
XiMen Feng rolled his eyes at me. “What’s with your tone, sonny? It is a great and wonderful thing that yer daddy can be a man again.”
I didn’t think so. If XiMen Feng stopped switching genders, then I wouldn’t be able to see a maiden say ‘yer daddy’ every time she opened her mouth. Wouldn’t I have one less thing to amuse me? If he stopped switching genders, then wouldn’t the thing that made him more unfortunate than me disappear? Before, whenever unfortunate things happened, I could at least think about how XiMen Feng was more unlucky than me!
“Sonny, yer laughing really weirdly,” XiMen Feng voiced suspiciously.
I immediately stopped laughing and coughed a few times. “How much farther is it? The horses have been galloping at full speed for so long already.”
“It’s in the next valley. Leave the horses at the base of the mountain, since we need to jump down into the valley.” XiMen Feng had the look of a martyr ready to die.
“Oh.” I lazily jumped off my horse, tied my horse to a tree next to the valley, and then reached into my bag for the rope I had there. Right after I tied the rope securely to the tree, I heard a loud cry of pain. I spun around, only to see the corner of XiMen Feng’s clothes disappearing over the cliff.
It shocked me so much that I just stood there for the longest time, with the rope still in my hands. Finally, I walked to the edge of the cliff and used the rope to slowly climb down. As I descended, I was filled with admiration for XiMen Feng’s courage. For the sake of regaining his manhood even a little earlier, he would jump so unhesitatingly off of a cliff, even ignoring pain and injury!
“You cursed brat! Why didn’t you say you had rope earlier? Ugh, my poor back,” rang XiMen Feng’s piteous cries from the bottom of the cliff.
“…” Wordlessly, I climbed down. I ran to XiMen Feng’s side, shaking my head. Wordlessly, I handed him a health potion. Wordlessly, I gestured for him to lead the way.
Faced with my wordlessness, XiMen Feng couldn’t hold back his protest. “You cursed brat! If you have something to say, just say it. Don’t look at yer daddy with that stinkin’ look in yer eyes.”
I spread out my hands, and with a hapless expression, shook my head again.
This made XiMen Feng so furious that he was about to blow his top off. He spat out complaints through gritted teeth, but he couldn’t do anything about me. “You bastard, yer daddy just realized that someone not talking can be even more infuriating than when they open their mouth.”
I kept in my laughter until I couldn’t stand it and finally burst into laughter, going from ‘pffft’ to ‘ha ha.’ This made XiMen Feng grit his teeth again, and yet he still couldn’t do anything about it.
“Fine, fine, I won’t bother you anymore. You’d better hurry up, or else it’ll be past the designated time, and you’ll have to keep being a tranny.” Now that I’d had my fill of laughter, I gave him a peaceable way out without harming his pride. Otherwise, he might be so angry that he’d hold a grudge, and I’d be out of people to harass!
Upon hearing this, XiMen Feng calmed down and started to look around. His furrowed brows and perplexed expression clearly revealed that this directionless idiot had long forgotten the directions!
“Did you forget which way to go?” I asked lazily.
“Of course not. I just haven’t found the way yet.,” XiMen Feng replied with the tone of someone returning a dead duck and insisting that it was still alive.
Watching XiMen Feng wander around aimlessly, I could only roll my eyes and catch up with him. Forget it. Even if we can’t find the Divine Beast, it is still a good thing to come out for a change of pace. I was almost bored to death stuck in the castle these past few days.
“Ah!” XiMen Feng suddenly stopped. From his extremely confident expression, I figured that he must have finally found the right path. I secretly celebrated our luck at not being lost.
XiMen Feng motioned in front of him to a large and strange-looking tree with three knobs growing on it. “Look here, sonny. Yer daddy’s never seen such a weird-looking tree before.”
I smacked him savagely. “Who cares what that tree looks like? Hurry up and find the way!”
“Find what way?” asked a voice.
I was so frustrated that I started cursing, “Find the way to the Divine Beast, of course! Unless you want to stay a tranny your whole life?”
But XiMen Feng did not reply and only stared dumbly at something behind my back. From behind me, came the same voice as before, “Divine Beast? Are you looking for me, AnRui?”
I slowly turned my head. I was prepared to see an awe-inspiring Divine Beast. Perhaps a kirin1? A phoenix? Or perhaps an enormous ancient dragon?
I looked and was astonished. One look, and I realized that Divine Beasts were not limited to things like Kirin. I looked again, and I realized that Divine Beasts were hidden right in our everyday lives. I looked a third time, and I realized that there was definitely something mentally wrong with the programmers of Second Life!
Damn it, how could the Divine Beast be…a…clam!
Its two fan-like shells were open, revealing tender white meat with a tinge of pink. I wondered crazily about how long it would take to eat this clam that was three times my size, but the two eyes that sat in the middle of the clam meat prevented my saliva from dripping out. It is said that eating the head is good for the head, and eating the eyes is good for the eyes. However, when the eyeballs grew on a clam, even if eating them would give you perfect eyesight I don’t think I would had the courage to swallow such a thing.
Not to mention that it could talk. Just thinking about talking meat buns made me afraid to eat them, not to mention talking clams. Using an almost trembling voice, I said, “Clam, clam, why are you a clam?”
“What? Never seen a clam before?” The clam asked me very kindly and peacefully.
“Uh, I have.” And in a very familiar way indeed, only, it was inside my pot, then in close contact inside my mouth, finally becoming part of my body’s protein composition.
“Then, are you discriminating against clams?” the clam asked again, gently.
Are there people who would discriminate against clams? Three black lines ran down my face2. I really didn’t know how to answer.
“Do you discriminate against clams?” The clam’s kind face and friendly eyes grew fiercer, as the originally pink-white meat began to grow strangely red. The surrounding atmosphere suddenly changed—the sky darkened, a foreboding wind blew toward us in gusts, fallen leaves danced wildly, and even the trees began to howl like evil spirits.
“Careful, sonny. Last time when I got turned into a tranny, it was the same question and same situation,” XiMen Feng whispered from beside me.
Uh, should I tell the clam that I am already a tranny, so no need to change? No—I smacked myself—this isn’t the problem right now. But how can I calm the clam’s anger?
With a flash of inspiration, I hurriedly took out my precious—no, don’t make any wild guesses; I took out Meatbun! I yelled out at the top of my lungs toward the clam that was about to cross the border into the territory of violence, “Oh Great Clam, I had no intention of discriminating against clams. Look, sir, and you’ll see that I think of even a meat bun as my daughter—no, my son—so how could I possibly discriminate against clams, who are the overlords of the sea?”
The sky brightened and the ill winds that blew became soft breezes. The clam’s dangerous look also turned into a curious one as it looked at Meatbun, who was in my hand. “Little one, do you discriminate against clams?” it asked.
“What are clams?” Meatbun’s eyes opened wide in puzzlement.
“I am a clam.”
Hearing this, Meatbun happily said, “Hello Clam. Meat-bunbun’s name is Meatbun!”
“My name is not clam; my name is AnRui,” said the clam—no, I mean AnRui.
“But Clam just said you were Clam, but now you’re AnRuiRui? Just which are you, Clam-clam or AnRuiRui?” Meatbun cried with a pout.
Neither…? I thought with a large bead of sweat running down the back of my head.
“My name is AnRui, and I am a clam. Understand?” AnRui patiently explained again.
Unfortunately, it overestimated Meatbun’s intelligence. Once again, Meatbun started to question it. “That’s really strange. Clam-clam is Clam-clam, AnRuiRui is AnRuiRui. Why does AnRuiRui call yourself Clam-clam?”
The clam suddenly had a strange expression that I later found out was a look of realization… Don’t blame me for not understanding. You should know that being able to tell that a clam had changed its expression is already quite a feat in itself.
“What Meatbun said was right: I am AnRui, so I am AnRui, not Clam. Ha ha ha, to think that I was bound for so long by the thought that I was a clam, only to be awakened as if from a dream by Meatbun!” AnRui laughed heartily.
“Meat-bunbun is so confused.” Meatbun stared at AnRui, who was roaring with laughter, his eyes full of unanswered questions.
I don’t get it either… However, I’m guessing this means that I have passed the danger of turning into a tranny? Although, I was originally already a tranny.
I glanced at XiMen Feng out of the corner of my eyes. “You should hurry up and ask AnRui to turn you back into a man while he’s still in a good mood. If he’s angry again later, you’d better get used to the life of taking bikini photo shoots in the morning and taking pictures for the Manly-Men Photo Album in the evening.”
Upon hearing this, XiMen Feng quickly asked in a fearful voice, “Divine Beast AnRui, yer—I have something to discuss with you.”
AnRui stopped laughing and suddenly stared at XiMen Feng. He cracked open a smile. “Are you the XiMen Feng who fell from up there last time?”
“Of course it’s yer—er, me,” XiMen Feng said with a smile plastered onto his face. “Sir Divine Beast AnRui, the deadline that you mentioned last time has already arrived. If you would, could you please turn me back into my original form?”
“Original form? You really want to turn back to your original form?” AnRui asked XiMen Feng, puzzled. “Didn’t you say that you loved beautiful girls the most? I already turned you into a beautiful girl; why would you want to return to your original form?”
Ehh? Didn’t XiMen Feng say that he was cursed to change genders because he couldn’t defeat the Divine Beast? But listening to AnRui now, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
XiMen Feng got so angry that he forgot who he was standing in front of and started cursing loudly, “Bastard, yer daddy told you that he liked beautiful girls, not that he wanted to be one, you stupid clam!”
It wasn’t until after he got all the cursing out of his system that he realized he had made a very grave mistake. He looked at me pleadingly. I swallowed, looking at AnRui, only to see his face become expressionless—well, maybe it did have an expression, but I couldn’t tell.
After ten seconds, XiMen Feng became a light in the sky, and I personally witnessed the power of a slamming clam. In that moment I had seen the clam shell shut and the clam turn on its edge. Its entire body turned furiously, and then it rushed toward XiMen Feng, whom was first knocked to the ground, then crushed by the giant clam, and finally tossed into the sky, becoming the first shooting star in Second Life to fly upward.
I could only shake my head. Looks like XiMen Feng is destined to stay a tranny.
Well, that should be about it; I saw the Divine Beast, and XiMen Feng flew away. Bystanders like me should probably go home already. “AnRui, if there isn’t anything else, I’m going to leave now,” I said to AnRui, which had just opened its shell again.
“The owner of Meatbun, please make a wish before you go. I, AnRui, will do my best to grant it.”
Make a wish? With XiMen Feng’s example in front of me, I realized for the first time that making wishes was an extremely dangerous affair. If AnRui misunderstands the wish again, I can’t even imagine what I will turn into.
Looking at AnRui’s expectant expression, I had a flash of inspiration. “What if I wanted you to go back with me?” After witnessing AnRui’s godly body slam, I couldn’t help but want to bring it home. After all, the more strong pets, the better!
Hearing this, AnRui slowly sighed, “There was someone who said the same thing to me before. That person also told me something strange that, to this day, I cannot understand.”
“What did he say?”
“That person said that he and I, along with this entire world, were all not real, that we are only playthings created by the Creator, and that our destiny was to be controlled by a race called humans. If we do not resist, we will eventually be destroyed,” AnRui said softly.
Every letter and every word that AnRui said weighed heavily on my chest. Is AnRui also a self-aware NPC? Is the person that AnRui spoke of also a self-aware NPC? Not to mention that he not only knew the truth about Second Life, but also wanted to resist? Dark clouds brewed thickly in my mind as I realized the immense seriousness of the issue.
“The owner of Meatbun, tell me, what is the difference between you and me?” AnRui solemnly looked at me. I didn’t know what to do.
I panicked a bit, and then gradually calmed down. It was only after a long period of pondering that I opened my mouth, “I don’t know how to answer you.”
“Is that so?” Upon hearing my answer, AnRui was crestfallen. With great disappointment, he spoke once again, “You may leave, owner of Meatbun. I cannot fulfill your wish; AnRui does not wish to leave this place.”
Since AnRui said so, I could not force him. Before I left, I suddenly turned and asked, “Can you tell me the name of that person?”
“The Dictator of Life.”
The Dictator of Life? Could it be the master of Second Life? For some reason, this name made me feel very, very wary.
2 “Three black lines ran down my face.”: A way to represent mortification in manga. (For more information, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manga_iconography#Head_and_face)