½ Prince Volume 8: Eternal Legend
Original novel in Chinese by: 御我 (Yu Wo)
Chapter 2: Second Life – Out of Control – translated by ErodingPersona
After I struggled to stand, I charged to the rooftop with everyone else and saw Lolidragon kneeling down on the ground. Her entire demeanor was that of a person in shock. There were even two tracks of tears running down her face…
How am I supposed to comfort Lolidragon like this? I couldn’t help feeling frustrated. The total number of times I had actually comforted someone was so infrequent that it was pathetic… I think it’s mostly been other people comforting me instead of the other way around.
“Wow, so you actually know how to cry? I thought that you only knew how to cackle evilly like a witch.” Yang Ming walked over to Lolidragon in an infuriating manner and teased her.
Lolidragon swiveled her head around. “That’s right! After all, I’m just a scary old witch that no one loves.”
Yang Ming suddenly coughed. “Actually, riding on a broomstick is also quite fun!”
Everyone stared at Yang Ming strangely while Lolidragon looked at him, perplexed… I, on the other hand, as Yang Ming’s elder twin sister, completely understood what he was trying to do. He was trying to “comfort” Lolidragon.
“Witches wearing pointy hats are actually very cute too. After all, it’s not only princesses who get loved by others… I, I for one prefer witches…” Yang Ming stammered and stuttered, his face completely red. Even his voice had gradually become softer and softer.
Lolidragon seemed to finally understand that the moronic Yang Ming was trying to comfort her. A blush bloomed on her face and, for the first time, she had a bashful look on her face. “What nonsense are you talking about?!”
Both of them looked down with their faces red, once in a while looking up and sneaking glances at the other, completely consumed in their own little world!
“Long Dian ran away already, but what about the Dictator, Kenshin, and Sunshine?” I worriedly thought of the three people whose statuses were unknown. Since Lolidragon was immersed in her own world, I could only ask everyone else about what to do next.
If we didn’t hurry up and think of an idea, Fairsky, who was green with envy and shooting death glares at Lolidragon and Yang Ming might… whip out a machine gun and shoot randomly in anger, possibly even shooting holes in innocent bystanders. As one of those innocent bystanders, I of course needed to hurry and come up with a plan to rescue Sunshine.
“If they just disappeared like this, it might still be alright,” Wicked said. “But I don’t believe that Long Dian will go into hiding so easily.”
“There’s a one hundred percent chance that he will never go into hiding.” Gui immediately explained, “I definitely do not believe that Long Dian snatched the Dictator of Life for the sole purpose of hiding. There must be some other plot behind that.”
Plot? I asked in surprise, “Could it be that he wants to use the Dictator to control the world? I remember that he once said that the Dictator could set off the missiles of every country like fireworks?”
“Dian wants to control the world? He’s not that type of person!” Lolidragon, who had still been in her own little world, suddenly protested this furiously. The determined look on her face said that she was not going to allow anyone to insult Long Dian.
Yang Ming, whose face twisted in jealousy, bitterly asked, “Oh? You’re so sure?”
“Then why would Long Dian want to take the Dictator of Life away?” Even though I tried with all my might, I just could not fathom it. Could it be that Long Dian had fallen in love with the Dictator of Life and wanted to take him away so that they could live together forever? Ugh, two people who look exactly alike, living together forever… That’s a really disgusting image.
Although they heard my question, nobody could give me an answer. Everyone lowered their heads and tried to brainstorm several different reasons why he could have done so.
“Prince, let’s just ignore that for the moment. How are your wounds?” Gui’s worried stare roamed over my body and lingered for a long time on my bruised hands, his concern written all over his face.
“Xiao Lan, I have already called the ambulance. Don’t move about for now.” Zhuo-gēgē gently lifted my hands up and frowned when he saw the swelling bruises littered all over them.
“Okay.” Facing Zhuo-gēgē, I could only readily comply. If I moved about restlessly, I would definitely receive an endless lecture from him.
“Prince, you…” The baby-faced Nan Gong Zui had walked up to me. He said somewhat helplessly, “You’re actually a girl.”
My heart skipped a beat. Ugh, that’s right; my real gender had been revealed. Because the situation with Long Dian had yet to be solved, no one had overly questioned me. How am I supposed to face them now? I couldn’t help lowering my head and playing with my fingers. However, repeatedly linking and unlinking ten fingers that had swollen to the size of sausages was really tough.
“Phew!” Nan Gong Zui gave a big sigh, shook his head and said, “Luckily Phoenix hadn’t come along. If she found out that you’re of the same gender as her, she might…”
Hearing this, my head dipped even lower. Normally, I hate bad guys who cheat on a girl’s feelings the most. Now, I had actually turned into… a girl who cheats on another girl’s feelings!
“I’m so sorry, Zui…” I apologized with my head lowered. I tentatively turned around to face my teammates, whom I had lied to for the longest time. “I’m sorry everyone, I didn’t want to lie to you on purpose. Originally it was because…”
I turned around and grabbed Yang Ming, who was standing around, not doing anything. I pointed my index finger directly at his nose and loudly proclaimed his wrongdoing. “It’s all his fault! Because I fought with him, I went on to become a transvestite! Please, don’t blame only me!” After all, if I was going to die, I had to drag someone down with me. How can I leave my brother, who was the cause of all of this, to just go unscathed?
Yu Lian-dàsăo suddenly giggled aloud and, while I was still staring in confusion, she looked passionately at Wolf-dàgē and said, “I already knew that you were actually a girl, Prince. Wolf even knew who you actually were!”
What! My eyes bulged out of my head. Could I have really been such a failure as a transgender person? If Yu Lian-dàsăo saw through me, that’s alright, but even Wolf-dàgē, who was as oblivious as me, knew?
“How did you find out?” I asked, dazed.
Yu Lian-dàsăo smiled gently, laid her hand on my head, and patted me. “I’ve been with you for so long, how could I not tell your true gender?”
“Ah… Doll didn’t know that Prince-gēgē was actually Prince-jiějie.” Doll chewed at her fingers, pursing her mouth in dissatisfaction. (It’s normal that you couldn’t tell…)
“Prince, no, Feng Lan, you don’t have any more period cramps, do you?” Wolf-dàgē laughed cheerfully.
Period cramps? Ah! I suddenly remembered that when I had snuck off to peek at Wolf-dàgē, I had used something like that as an excuse…
“Although I did say that I didn’t care about guessing who you really were, I had already seen the real you. Even if I didn’t want to recognize you, it’d be too hard not to do so!” Wolf-dàgē scratched at his face and shook his head. “Prince, your expressions and actions were too similar to the ones in the game. Even though your appearances differ, if one took a bit of extra care to notice, it was easy to recognize you.”
If this is true, then Gui, who sees me in class every day, had also… recognized me a long time ago? I turned my head around quickly and looked at Gui. I asked unhappily, “You purposely acted like you didn’t know it was me?”
Gui had a blank look on his face as he murmured, “This… Was it really so easy to recognize you?”
I flinched. Could Gui not have recognized me? How could that be true? Isn’t he a genius with an IQ of 200?
“You couldn’t even recognize Xiao Lan? Were you only able to see Prince’s ‘looks’ the entire time?” Zhuo-gēgē ruthlessly attacked.
Gui’s face tightened, and he yelled, “That’s not true, I don’t care what Prince looks like!”
“Then why didn’t you recognize me?” I asked coldly. Gui was the one person who had spent the longest amount of time with me, yet he hadn’t recognized me. Gui must only like Prince’s looks after all! I suddenly felt very unhappy.
“I…” Gui was at a lost for words. His mouth hung open, but he wasn’t able to say a single word the entire time. Finally, he dropped his head down sadly.
Miffed, I ignored Gui and swivelled my head around to look at everyone, planning to continue on taking care of the Long Dian problem. However, Lolidragon made a shushing gesture at me.
“The blockade on Second Life has been removed? Are you sure?” Lolidragon asked, holding a cell phone. “There are already people who have entered inside?”
“Have there been any changes in the game?” Lolidragon asked while frowning. Upon hearing the reply, her jaw dropped open and her eyes bugged out as she hurriedly demanded, “Repeat that!”
Lolidragon pressed the loudspeaker button and summoned everyone to come closer. The cell phone announced the inconceivable changes in Second Life in succession.
“The shape of the entire world has had little to no changes. The main changes have been in the NPCs. All of the NPCs have been modified to have very high IQ’s, and the humanoid NPCs in the cities no longer just stand in one spot. They run around like real humans. Even the NPCs who worked to help players change their classes are now not willing to do that, and are coming up with absurd requests.
“Several boss NPCs are also wandering around. I just saw a boss walking around the streets of Star City and quite a few cities have already been massacred by the NPCs.”
“What on earth is Long Dian trying to do?” I couldn’t help but ask.
“A real Second Life,” Cold Fox suddenly replied. He had kept silent for so long that I had long forgotten his presence. His sudden words were like lightning, shocking everyone present.
After yet another car racing journey, Lolidragon brought all of us to Second Life’s headquarters. I noticed with surprise that the glass I had shattered had already reverted back to its original shape. The Second Life Company really did do things very efficiently.
“Miss, the Chairman wanted you to see him when you returned.” Upon seeing Lolidragon, the female worker at the reception immediately bowed and gave her the Chairman’s message.
“Got it.” Lolidragon nodded her head, turned to us, and said, “All of you, try going online to see what the game has turned into and check on Kenshin and Sunshine. I’ll go see my father first and tell him about Dian’s escape.”
After we nodded our heads, Lolidragon told the receptionist, “Bring them up to my office and give them the game helmets to allow them to enter Second Life.”
“Yes, miss,” the receptionist replied and politely said to us, “Please follow me.”
Lolidragon hurriedly rushed into one of the elevators. Without even saying goodbye to us, she left, the elevator doors closing behind her. She must be really worried.
The receptionist brought us to the elevator and elegantly pressed the 44th floor1 (Lolidragon, you really should have chosen a better floor…). The minute the elevator doors opened, a roomy office, that was obviously far larger than my home, appeared. The decorations on the desk were simple and plain and, behind the desk, was a large glass surface providing a view of the entire city. The only thing out of the ordinary was that the bookshelves weren’t filled with books, but were rather filled with brand name bags like Chanel…
The receptionist unhurriedly helped us to set up some ten-odd helmets. She gave a polite ninety degree bow to us and said, “If you need anything, please let me know. I will help you prepare it.”
Flattered, I nodded at the lady and said to everyone, “Then let’s all go and see what has become of Second Life.”
“Yes, let’s all gather at Flower City’s Central Tower.” Zhuo-gēgē also nodded his head.
Everyone put on their helmets and returned to the Second Life that had been thought to be closed forever to us.
I put on the helmet and entered the game. When I slowly opened my eyes again, the sight that greeted me was both familiar and foreign… It was the initial scene to create a character, but the GM standing in front of me wasn’t Lolidragon. It was a completely foreign NPC beauty. She stared at me curiously and tentatively gave a greeting. “Hi?”
What is going on? Why am I here? Why am I not in Flower City… Ah! That’s right, my character, Prince, had disappeared completely. Once I remembered this, I couldn’t help but feel sad.
“Do you want to create a character?” The NPC beauty blinked her eyes.
“I already created one before, but my character has disappeared. Can you help me get my character back?” I asked without much hope. How could I not try? Prince was a character that I had painstakingly trained. How could I let him go just like that?
“Of course not.” The NPC beauty shrugged her shoulders. “If you were previously destroyed by ND or HD, even the God of Life can’t bring the character back!”
“Oh…” I was a little disappointed but didn’t lose hope and continued by asking, “Then can you let me play as a guy? I want white hair and red eyes, and then beautification by forty percent?”
“Anything’s fine, you can design your character however you like. The game’s original rules were that the players could design their characters in any way they wanted!” The NPC beauty answered matter-of-factly.
What? However we want to design it? Before, it had obviously been based on the person’s actual face, and gender couldn’t be changed. I stared doubtfully at the NPC beauty. She couldn’t be toying with me, could she?
“Hehe… You look so confused.” The NPC beauty laughed and urged, “Hurry up and create your character. There are still a lot of people I have to help create characters for.”
Still suspicious, I could only design my character. When Prince’s appearance appeared before me once again, I couldn’t help breathing a sigh of relief. Now all I have to do is just regain my levels, right?
“Where do you want to be born?” The NPC beauty laughingly asked.
“Anywhere is fine… No, the Northern Continent! I want to go to the Northern Continent.” I hurriedly changed my words, almost making the same mistake I had made the first time. If I had unwittingly landed in the Southern Continent, I would really have to cry myself to death.
“The Northern Continent again? Everyone really has no creativity. A group of people all like this sort of look, and another group of people all choose either the Northern Continent or the Central Continent,” the NPC beauty murmured to herself.
This sort of look… What does that mean? An alarm sounded from the bottom of my heart, but before I could ask the NPC beauty, I already started to feel myself free-falling…
When I landed on the ground like a meteor, I found my answer…
“Why…” My eyes bulged out as I stared at the group of white-haired, red-eyed people. I yelled loudly, “Why are there so many Princes?!”
The surrounding Princes snickered. “Look who’s talking. Aren’t you using Prince’s looks yourself?”
I couldn’t help yelling back in frustration, “I’m the real Prince!”
“Haha, yet another person who’s saying that he’s the real Prince.” A snobby and infuriating expression came over one of the people with Prince’s looks. My God, please don’t use that sort of expression, it is completely staining my reputation and destroying my style!
My God, there are actually so many people using my looks, it’s no wonder the NPC beauty said that… Ah! Oh no, what if Wolf-dàgē and the rest of them mistake someone else for me? I couldn’t help feeling worried.
“Calm down, calm down.” I breathed in two deep breaths, my emotions finally calming down a little. That’s right! I should PM and tell them about this first… But I can’t open the PM channel. What on earth is going on?
“My God! Why can’t I PM?” I yelled up at the sky.
“Duh, did you set a name before you entered?” one of the surrounding Princes asked coldly. This particular Prince looked very cool. He probably wasn’t that obnoxious Prince from earlier.
“No…” That’s right; I didn’t even set a name! I suddenly recalled this.
“The private messaging system has completely disappeared,” a cheerful Prince told me with a smile.
“What?” My entire body turned to jelly. How am I supposed to communicate with everyone else now?
“Ignore that guy, we should hurry up and see what’s happening at the Central Tower.” When an excited Prince finished saying this, the surrounding crowd then started moving in the same direction.
I tilted my head upwards and looked toward the Central Tower. Hasn’t Wicked mentioned gathering at the Central Tower? Everything will be alright. If I mention that I’m Feng Lan, then wouldn’t everyone know that I’m the real Prince? Realizing this, I breathed a sigh of relief.
Alright, move forth toward the Central Tower! I relaxed and followed the crowd of moving people.
“So many people…” I stared open-mouthed at the crowds of people thronging the grounds.
“Everyone, look! This is the place where the Execution Squad massacred NPCs while outnumbered a thousand to one! Then, Prince bypassed all of the guards and led the charge into Flower City’s plaza alone. Upon seeing the tens of thousands of NPCs, his expression didn’t even change! With a slash of his blade, he turned thousands of NPCs into mincemeat, and arrogantly laughed that he wanted the Dictator of Life to stop sending out trash like them…”
“Long live Prince, Liege Lord of Infinite City! Long live the Blood Elf~” The crowds started cheering.
This… Is he really talking about me? The corner of my lips stiffened. With a slash of my blade, I turned thousands of NPCs into mincemeat? Why is it that my memory tells me that it was the NPCs that had almost turned me into mincemeat?
“Everyone look! The Execution Squad is here!” Some sharp-eyed individual gave a loud shout.
“Execution Squad! Execution Squad…” The tens of thousands of people cramped together in the plaza suddenly turned wild, screaming out the name of the Execution Squad.
“Doll!” I could also see everyone now, so I hurriedly yelled, “Cold Fox! Zui! Fairsky!”
“Doll! Cold Fox~~” The people around me, upon hearing me yell their names, immediately started calling out their names too. The surrounding atmosphere became even more frenzied, almost as if the crowd had gone crazy…
I flinched again. Why is this happening?
I saw them standing before the Central Tower, their faces all sharing stony expressions. I wanted to rush forward and squeeze through the crowd, but I kept on being pushed back by the frenzied crowd and ended up farther and farther away from everyone… I was so worried that tears were already threatening to fall.
“Prince! Over here.” Just as I was growing more and more dejected, my right hand was suddenly tugged by someone, and a familiar voice yelled for me in panic.
I was stunned for a half a beat. There’s actually someone who could recognize me amongst this crowd of “Princes”? I turned my head around, and Gui’s slightly seductive demon face greeted my eyes.
“Gui?” Confused, I couldn’t react properly.
“Prince, hurry up and come over here, everyone’s looking for you.” Gui pulled my hand and led me out of the crowd of people.
As I squeezed out of the crowd with all my effort, I asked doubtfully, “Gui, why were you so sure it’s me? There are so many people with this look now.”
Gui stopped in his tracks. He slowly turned his head around and looked at me. His gaze was still as gentle as ever. “I will never mistake you for someone else. Your light footsteps, your blank expression. When you fly into a temper, your favorite action is to tighten your fist and show a stubborn expression on your face.
“Also, you always unintentionally tilt your head to one side.” Gui couldn’t help laughing, “The minute I saw you, I knew you were Prince.”
My heart warmed, yet I couldn’t help retaliating, “But you didn’t recognize that Feng Lan was me.”
Gui’s expression suddenly became distant. It was as if he was not answering me, but was actually talking to himself. He murmured, “How could I not have recognized you? But I really hadn’t… Maybe I had already known beforehand, but I had promised you… I promised that I would never try and guess your real identity. My promise to you was so important to me, so important that… I let myself be blinded and could not see your real identity.”
Tentatively, I asked, “Gui… What are you saying, why can’t I understand a single word?”
Hearing my words, Gui smiled bitterly. His shoulders dropped, and with frustration he said, “I also have no idea what I’m saying.”
Seeing Gui’s sad look, I scratched my head and couldn’t help but say, “It’s alright. You, you did recognize me, I’m really happy, uh…” Seeing Gui’s gaze brighten all of a sudden, I couldn’t help but blush. I completely forgot the words I had planned on saying.
The atmosphere became very awkward. We walked for a short while before Gui abruptly said, “Prince, no matter how it has turned out… I still like you.”
Hearing this, I couldn’t help feeling very, very surprised. Could Gui really have such a good temperament? “You’re not angry? I, I lied to you and even had other people think you were gay…” The more I went on, the smaller my voice became. Even I thought that Gui should be furious at me.
Gui fell silent for a while, and then finally said, “I am a little angry, yet I don’t dare to be angry.”
I blinked my eyes. Today’s Gui seemed to enjoy saying a bunch of incomprehensible things.
“I’m angry that you lied to me, angry about the things I don’t know but that Wicked knows so clearly…” After saying this, Gui gave a light sigh. “But I don’t dare to get angry. I’m scared that you won’t be happy, scared that you won’t care about me anymore, scared… that I will no longer have any chance of getting you to like me.”
“Gui!” I tugged at him, and with the greatest amount of courage I could muster, admitted my wrongdoings. “This time it’s my fault. You don’t need to cover for me. It’ll just make me feel very guilty.”
Gui turned around and faced me. He opened his mouth, but didn’t seem to know what to say. His expression turned conflicted… Finally, his shoulders slumped and he said dimly, “I don’t blame you for lying to me anymore. We should hurry and meet up with the others.”
Did Gui want to say something? Deep in my heart, I believed that he did. I, again, strongly tugged at Gui. Being pulled back by me, his face betrayed his surprise.
“What’s wrong, Prince?” Gui asked hesitantly.
“What did you want to say? Tell me.” I stubbornly refused to let go of Gui.
Gui acted as though he had made some kind of decision and said, “I wasn’t thinking of saying something. I was thinking of doing something.”
“Then what were you thinking of…” My words were lost in Gui’s mouth….
I stared wide-eyed at Gui’s handsome face. His lips were pressed closely against mine… This wasn’t the first time I’d been kissed, but, but Gui’s absolutely serious expression made me feel very shy all of a sudden. Embarrassed, I pushed him away slightly. “Gui, you…”
But Gui kissed me again, and this time he even, he even slipped his tongue into my mouth! Panicked, I tried to push him away, but his hands were firmly locked onto the back of my head… Even worse, the character I had just created didn’t have any advantage over him in strength. I could not push Gui away.
Even though this wasn’t the first time I’d been kissed, this time I felt as though I truly understood it for the first time, truly understood the feeling of kissing someone…
Gui’s palms were still strongly latched onto me, not allowing me even half a chance of escape. But his kiss was very soft, his tongue light in my mouth… I had no idea what description to use, but it felt very soft, very very soft. It was almost making me feel drunk, drunk on that gentleness. Slowly, Gui stopped holding onto me tightly, and instead started running his hand lightly through my hair.
Looking at Gui, who had his eyes closed, his expression drunk and soft, I unconsciously closed my eyes as well and felt Gui’s utter gentleness: inside my mouth, the gentle touches on my hair, the hand hugging my waist tightly, the light heat between our bodies pressed close together.
“Oh my God! A guy’s kissing a guy!” The surrounding people suddenly yelled aloud.
Gui and I both started. My God! I almost forgot that we were on a busy street. I actually kissed Gui in public, which was made even worse since we were both guys at the moment…
A burning sensation on my face made me feel like meat could be grilled on it instantly. I hurriedly pushed Gui away, but just as I was about to smack him and release my anger, I saw someone — Zhuo-gēgē!
Never before had I seen Zhuo-gēgē, who was always so strong and unyielding, with such a weak expression on his face. It was as if all his beliefs had been destroyed. His face was stark white and… His eyes were red-rimmed.
I almost thought that Zhuo-gēgē… was crying? “Zhuo-gēgē…”
Zhuo-gēgē didn’t say anything and quickly turned around… I might have been wrong, but were Zhuo-gēgē’s shoulders shaking?
Gui sighed, and told me unhappily, “Prince… The longer you take to decide, the deeper you will hurt the two of us.”
My heart wavered. Have I… hurt Zhuo-gēgē?
“Eh? Both Gui-gēgē and Wicked-gēgē are here? Then is this the real Prince-gēgē?” Doll rushed over, opened her eyes wide and stared at the three of us, a little bit of doubt in her eyes.
“Prince, is that you?” Nan Gong Zui frowned, as if he were making a rather hard decision.
“Baby-faced police!” I immediately said.
Nan Gong Zui let out a bleak expression. “Alright, you really are the real Prince.”
“Prince! Sunshine has disappeared!” Fairsky yelled furiously, then couldn’t help herself and started sobbing with her head bent low.
I started. That’s right! We came here to ensure Sunshine and Kenshin’s safety! I hurriedly tried to make sense of the situation. “Sunshine and Kenshin are not in the Central Tower?”
“There is no one in the Central Tower; even the Dictator of Life is not there.” Doll said with worry.
What? Sunshine and Kenshin couldn’t have… I couldn’t help sucking in a breath. This was the thing that I had dreaded the most.
1 “…the 44th floor…”: The number four in Chinese culture is considered an unlucky number because it sounds the same as “death,” so many apartments actually skip the 4th floor. Hospitals also do not usually have a 4th floor. Needless to say, the 44th floor is also considered unlucky. What a double dose of bad fortune!