½ Prince Volume 8: Eternal Legend
Original novel in Chinese by: 御我 (Yu Wo)
Chapter 5: Departure – translated by lucathia
“Everyone, come here for a moment.” Lolidragon suddenly mysteriously gathered everyone together.
“Lolidragon, what are you doing?” I had just been having an awesome battle with Cold Fox, and there were only three days left before our two weeks were up. Even though I had long passed level B, I had still not reached level A. Cold Fox even coldly tossed me the words, “Not even close,” making me feel super pissed off. If I didn’t pass level A to prove myself to Cold Fox, how would I ever feel satisfied?
“Stop grumbling and hurry over!” Lolidragon walked in front of a large screen, pressed a few buttons, and then the screen displayed… an excited Sunshine and an exasperated Kenshin!
“Fairsky!” With incomparable excitement, Sunshine gazed at Fairsky.
“Sunshine!” Immediately, Fairsky rushed to the front of the screen, almost pressing her entire body against it. Rapidly, she fired off like a machine gun, “Sunshine, are you alright in the game? You haven’t been bullied by players or NPCs, have you? Do you have enough to eat? When you’re cold, remember to wear more clothes.”
“Okay, I’ll wear more clothes.” Sunshine smiled idiotically in his overwhelming happiness. (You’re an AI… You try getting sick!)
Since Sunshine already had someone caring for him, I also asked after Kenshin. “Kenshin, how have you been?”
“Not too good.” Kenshin furrowed his brows.
Originally, I had only asked in afterthought. I didn’t think Kenshin would actually answer “not good.” I blanked out for a moment before I hurriedly asked in worry, “Has something happened?”
“NPCs have been endlessly attacking the cities. With just Sunshine, AnRui, Fire Phoenix, Meatbun, and I, plus a few other players of Infinite City defending, things are a little tough.” Kenshin revealed a worried expression.
“NPCs are attacking the cities?” My eyes widened. What in the world is going on? NPCs are actually attacking the cities now?
“Besides Infinite City, all the other cities have been attacked too, and the damage is extremely extensive. Right now, fewer and fewer players dare to log on to Second Life.” Sunshine even revealed a helpless smile as he said, “In contrast, there are a lot of NPCs running about now.”
“Sorry, we don’t have the manpower to protect Sun, Moon, and Star Cities,” said Kenshin faintly.
“That’s fine.” I was thankful from the bottom of my heart. “You’re willing to help us protect Infinite City. I am super, super thankful to all of you for that.”
“Sunshine, Kenshin, have you helped us pinpoint Long Dian’s current location?” asked Lolidragon urgently.
“Pinpointing Long Dian’s location? What’s going on?” I asked in incomprehension.
Lolidragon rolled her eyes. “Idiot! If even the government is unable to find Long Dian, how would we be able to find him? Of course we have to depend on NPCs with self-awareness just like he does!”
Sunshine smiled as he said, “We found him. Fortunately, the Dictator wasn’t on guard against the two of us. When I ran into him, the Dictator even greeted me and told me to treat Fairsky well. He told me that a girl like Fairsky is very rare.”
Fairsky couldn’t help but blush. “That’s not true, I’m so overbearing…”
Sunshine revealed a passionate expression. “Fairsky is lively and honest. I love Fairsky the most.”
Hearing this, Fairsky’s face looked even more like a cooked crab, with how red it was.
“Alright, if you want to profess your love to each other, do that later off to the side. Right now, tell us where Long Dian is located first.” Lolidragon spread her two hands out, looking helplessly at this pair of lovers who did not know what being corny meant.
“He’s on an island.” After Sunshine spoke, a world map suddenly appeared on the screen. Slowly, the map locked onto a specific area. Lastly, a small island appeared on the map.
“An island! That makes things difficult. How are we going to escape the Dictator of Life’s notice and reach that island?” Lolidragon furrowed her brows. With the Dictator of Life’s power, if we even approached the island’s vicinity, we would be discovered.
“Simple.” Calmly, Kenshin said, “In two days, the government will send supplies to Long Dian. All you have to do is sneak onto that airship. Sunshine and I will help you avoid the Dictator of Life’s detection.”
“Whoa, you can even do something like that?” I stared at Kenshin in shock.
Kenshin fell silent for a while before he said, “Originally, the fusion plan would have worked as well if Long Dian wanted to fuse with either me or Sunshine, but the Dictator convinced Long Dian, so Long Dian decided to continue fusing with the Dictator…”
Everyone fell silent. I sincerely believed that the Dictator of Life would definitely do this. He was… truly too kind.
“Prince, I leave the Dictator to you.” Kenshin looked straight at me.
“Don’t worry. Even if you didn’t ask me, I would definitely save him.” Without a hint of cowardice, I looked at Kenshin, and Kenshin, who always had a cold face, actually revealed a rare smile.
“Okay, then let’s decide on who will go.” Lolidragon revealed a cruel smile. “Cold Fox goes without saying. Nan Gong Zui has also reached level B for some time. Prince has passed as well. Wicked also has no problems. Feng Wu Qing has also passed, and of course so did Wolf-dàgē. Lastly, there’s also me. I’ve successfully passed!”
“Boo, can’t Doll go?” Doll’s two eyes filled with tears. “Doll also passed.”
“No!” Everyone yelled at the same time.
“Princess, if something were to happen to you, it would cause a grave foreign affair problem.” Yu Lian-dàsăo furrowed her brows.
“Oh…” Doll couldn’t help pouting, but she also knew the severity of the situation, so she did not argue any further.
“Fairsky and Phoenix are out too. As expected, asking women to train and reach level B in two short weeks is a bit too much.” Lolidragon shook her head and sighed, forgetting that there were three women who trained and passed level B in two short weeks, and one of them was even herself.
Fairsky and Phoenix smiled helplessly.
“Let me go!” An incomparably mournful and unrelenting sound arose. Yes, Gui was currently pulling on the corner of my shirt as if his life depended on it, and he kept repeating, “Let me go let me go let me go…”
I helplessly lowered my head to look at him. “But you haven’t passed…”
“I know.” Gui dispiritedly let his shoulders drop.
“Then don’t go and be a burden!” said Wicked, mercilessly.
Gui’s shoulders shuddered, but he still persevered. “I want to go.”
“Based on what abilities?” Wicked went as far as roaring, “Do you want to drag Xiao Lan down? Do you want her to lose her focus in dangerous moments to protect you?”
“I…” In pain, Gui used both hands to cover his face. “I want to go with Prince.”
I felt a little sorry for him, but I still did not plan on letting Gui go. After all, it was too dangerous, and I did not want to see anyone get hurt. “You can just wait for me here. It’s alright even if you don’t go with me.”
“I…” After Gui barely managed to squeeze this word out, he slowly lowered his head and said no more.
Even though I knew Gui was very disappointed, I could do nothing about it. I could only leave him and start discussing with Lolidragon. How were we going to stow away on the airship the government was going to use to send supplies to Long Dian?
“We can help you avoid all detection from machines, but you will have to avoid human eyes by yourself,” Kenshin clearly explained what he could do.
After I heard this, I happily said, “That’s enough.” Even though someone like Long Dian had appeared and caused the entire world to begin worrying about the usage of computers, we had been dependent on computers and the internet for such a long time already. Humans became unable to step away from technology ages ago. Even with Long Dian’s appearance, people were still depending mostly on computers for surveillance.
“Lolidragon, remember to download me into a small computer that you can bring along with you. This way, I can help control the situation on the scene, and I can also keep in contact with Sunshine in case we need to change tactics.” For the first time, Kenshin lengthily rambled on, “The two of us are not as powerful as the Dictator and cannot be in too many places at the same time. This is the most we can do.”
“That is enough.” I nodded my head.
After stowing away on the government ship, I could only call the experience a thrilling and exciting activity, as well as an unsuitable exercise for people with bad hearts.
Thankfully, everyone’s hearts were functioning quite normally. With Cold Fox’s expertise in stealth, along with Kenshin and Sunshine’s guidance, we were, on a whole, alarmed but not in danger of a heart attack…
“Ah, I’m actually knowingly committing a crime. This is bad!” Even though Nan Gong Zui had protested before our departure, he still obediently accompanied us in breaking the law because our current situation left us with no choice. He even utilized his position as a police officer to help us avoid many dangerous traps.
However, once we stepped onto the ship, we discovered that the situation was kind of bad. The ship’s cargo capacity truly wasn’t very large, so there wasn’t enough space for all of us to hide in. The moment the government began transporting supplies onto the ship, they would discover the lot of us for sure.
I clenched my teeth and then yelled at the tablet pc Lolidragon held in her hands, “Kenshin, start up this airship and head toward Long Dian’s location, then seal off the government’s communication with Long Dian. Don’t let them use computers to contact Long Dian to alert him about the ship being seized.”
“Are you planning on directly impersonating government workers to head over there?” Lolidragon was stunned.
By the time I finished instructing Kenshin, the airship had already begun launching. Kenshin also straightforwardly said, “The government workers are pressing closer. There’s no time for hesitation. I will start the ship. Everyone, please stay seated and buckle your seat belts.”
Hearing this, we immediately found seats and sat down. We almost didn’t have time to buckle our seat belts when all of a sudden the airship’s main body shook and then we took off, rising into the sky in an instant.
“Sunshine, have you opened the gate?” Kenshin’s face appeared on the airship’s screen. Next to his face there was a small image of Sunshine, like Kenshin was communicating with him.
“I am in the process of opening it, but we’re too pressed for time, so there’s no way for me to open it wide.” Very professionally, Sunshine said, “Kenshin, it would be best if you tilt the airship vertically to fly through.”
“Understood.” Kenshin still had no expression on his face, but in an instant, the airship went from a horizontal state to a vertical state.
“I have this feeling like I’m riding a clam…” Yang Ming’s face was pale as he recalled the frightening memories of riding AnRui.
“Kenshin, there are small airships chasing you from behind.” After Sunshine said this, a radar image appeared on the screen. There were truly some small airships chasing us from behind.
“They seem hostile.” Sunshine wrinkled his brows. “Should we retaliate?”
I had a sudden flash of inspiration. “Sunshine, you can pretend to be the Dictator of Life and issue them a warning, telling them not to chase us, or else we’ll launch nuclear weapons.”
Happily, Sunshine smiled and said, “Okay, this way we won’t have to attack them.”
It only took a moment for the small airships behind us to stop. They no longer dared to take any action, and they let us swagger through the gates in our departure.
After all this, we finally breathed a sigh of relief.
“Well then, I’m going to focus all of my efforts on stopping the government from releasing a public statement. Kenshin, I’m going to leave it to you to help them avoid the Dictator’s detection.” Sunshine’s happily smiling face slowly disappeared from the screen.
Under Kenshin’s control, the airship flew very smoothly. I couldn’t help but break the silence, lamenting, “In the past, if someone had told me that I would steal a government airship, I would definitely have scolded him for being such an alarmist.”
Hearing my words, Nan Gong Zui smiled wryly. “I had the same thought.”
Everyone started laughing, and since I was bored sitting on the airship, I started thinking about Cold Fox’s strong fighting abilities and his expertise in stealth. I couldn’t help but ask, “Cold Fox, just how did you gain such a strong fighting ability?”
Once my words left my mouth, everyone stared curiously at Cold Fox. It looked like they had been harboring the same question for quite a while.
“My family is part of the criminal underworld,” said Cold Fox simply.
Everyone fell silent for a bit until Nan Gong Zui couldn’t help but ask, “Even if crime syndicates know how to use a dao, it’s still only used under circumstances with no other alternatives. They will definitely use guns if guns are available. A crime syndicate member like you using flying daggers for all situations, I really haven’t seen before…” As Nan Gong Zui trailed off, Cold Fox remained silent. Instead, it was Nan Gong Zui himself who stopped as if he was thinking about something.
Finally, Nan Gong Zui carefully asked, “You can’t be… someone from the Guan Dong Group?”
Guan Dong Zhu1? Hasn’t this type of food been gone for a long time? I thought I was the only one who knew about the deliciousness of this type of food. I didn’t think Nan Gong Zui would also be interested in it.
“No.” Cold Fox glanced at Nan Gong Zui. Just as Nan Gong Zui started relaxing visibly, Cold Fox wore an extremely rare smile as he said, “I am a member of the Ice Emperor Syndicate.”
Ice Emperor Syndicate? I was completely confused, but Nan Gong Zui’s mouth dropped wide open, making me very worried that his jaw might fall off at any time. After a moment, he revealed an expression of sudden realization as he shouted, “Silver-Masked Quick Fox from the Ice Emperor Syndicate! My god! How come I didn’t make the connection?”
I was still completely confused, but my brother Yang Ming had already revealed an expression full of worship. Touched, he said, “Who knew that I was guided by Silver-Masked Quick Fox in martial arts? Sniff, my life is complete.”
Is this really such a big deal? Before, he had still been mocking Cold Fox with “Xiaoli Feidao,” yet now he looked like a rabid fan of Cold Fox. I couldn’t help but cut in, “What’s going on? What’s the Ice Emperor Syndicate? Silver-Masked Quick Fox?”
“Oh please, Sis, the righteous syndicate of the criminal underworld, Ice Emperor Syndicate. You don’t know about them? The Ice Emperor Syndicate has a famous assassin—Silver-Masked Quick Fox. You don’t know about him? He was rumored to be a fierce person who killed the prime ministers of two countries.” Yang Ming revealed an expression that implied I was truly ignorant and inexperienced, but he suddenly thought of something else and loudly shouted, “My god! My sis was actually able to spar against Silver-Masked Quick Fox for ten minutes. Sis, you’ve become a top tier fighter.”
Blankly, I looked toward Cold Fox. This guy got rid of the prime ministers of two countries?
“They don’t count as prime ministers. They were merely the military leaders of rebellions from small countries,” explained Cold Fox indifferently.
That’s still impressive… So this guy really is a terrorist. I tilted my head to think. Oh well, it’s not like there are many ordinary people among this group.
“We have arrived above the island.” Kenshin calmly said, “Prepare for landing.”
Quietly, we sat in our seats to wait for landing, but when the airship finally rocked slightly once we landed, all of us impatiently undid our seatbelts.
“I can’t help you with what follows.” Kenshin straightforwardly said, “I will remain here to look after the airship and wait for your return. Sunshine will be responsible for shielding all of you from here on out, but we don’t know how effective Sunshine will be against the Dictator of Life. Be careful.”
I nodded my head. “Got it.”
One after another, everyone got off the ship. When I abruptly turned my head to look, Cold Fox had his gaze fixed on the screen on Kenshin. In a cool voice, he asked, “When everything’s over, come to my place? I can guarantee your safety.”
Kenshin fell silent for a good while. “We’ll speak later. For now… Help me protect Prince.”
“Got it.” Cold Fox didn’t pursue the matter further, and turned to leave.
Kenshin actually cares this much about me. I couldn’t help crack a smile. So this guy is also the type to be cold on the outside, but warm on the inside.
Once I left the airship, I surveyed our surroundings. Other than the aircraft parking lot where we parked the airship, the other areas made me feel like I had arrived at a primitive forest, but this was fine. This way, we didn’t have to be worried about not being able to find Long Dian on this small island. The entire island only had one building. Even a world-class idiot with directions like me could leisurely walk up to the place.
“Everyone, hide. Something’s coming,” Cold Fox warned suddenly. We quickly hid in the thickets surrounding us, and then we peered through the small openings between the leaves.
Two robots were walking toward our direction. One was a humanoid robot while the other was a horse-shaped robot, and it was even pulling along a horse carriage that I had only ever seen in my history textbooks.
The two robots stopped in front of the airship, and the humanoid robot even walked into the airship. It didn’t take long for him to walk out and broadcast, “The inside of the airship contains no supplies; the inside of the airship contains no supplies… Airship, the airship has not landed yet… The airship has crashed.” Once he said this, the humanoid robot led the horse-shaped robot and left.
What happened? The airship was perfectly alright and parked right there, yet this robot first said the airship hadn’t landed, and then said the airship had crashed. Just which nerve of this robot’s– No, I mean, just which screw of this robot’s wasn’t screwed tightly, causing its brain to break down?
Lolidragon walked out of the thickets and called out to us. “Come over quickly. Sunshine has already helped us in confusing that robot.”
I suddenly realized that it was Sunshine who had done this. I hurried out of the thickets, asking, “Are we heading to the building now?”
“Wait for a moment. Sunshine said that this place is strange. He wants to look into it first.” Lolidragon wrinkled her brows in apparent worry.
After a while, Sunshine’s warm voice came out of the tablet pc in Lolidragon’s hand. “Phew, I spent a lot of effort deactivating the building’s security system so that it won’t react to you, but be careful everyone. My control against robots isn’t great. Inside that building, there are a few robots that I was unable to hack into.”
“Got it. When we see robots, we will try to evade as many as we can.” I nodded my head.
It was truly apt calling this an island with a primitive forest. All around us were trees, and it looked like humans had yet to develop the area. If it weren’t for that building, I would absolutely never believe that someone had come here before.
Stepping over the ground that was overgrown with moss and crawling with vines and weeds, our group passed through very carefully. Although I was the nimble type, I still stumbled a lot, so don’t even mention the others… Of course, this didn’t include Cold Fox and Lolidragon. Cold Fox’s abilities could already be described as inhuman, and Lolidragon was a thief that could even burrow underground in-game, so a little forest like this wouldn’t trip her up.
What was lucky for us was that this small island was as described: truly very small. We didn’t have to walk for long before the entirety of the building clearly came into our view.
The entire building looked like an old, five-story apartment. It had ugly, ash-colored walls and a rectangular shape… What was different was that it did not have any windows, not even a single one. The entire wall was bare, and the only door flashed with the gleam of metal. It looked like it would not be easy to break, and by each side of the door stood a humanoid robot.
“No windows. This is actually not what I expected,” Cold Fox murmured.
“Are we going to break through the front door? Or does Sunshine have other means?” I asked.
“You can enter through the front door. I already told the robots by the door to let you inside,” came Sunshine’s voice from the tablet pc.
I took a deep breath. “Then let’s go.” After I said this, I took the lead, walking toward the two robots by the door. Nonetheless, when I walked by them, I still could not resist timidly looking their way. However, they did not react even the slightest bit, so I finally relaxed. When I walked up to the door, an ethereal, androgynous voice came from the door.
“Confirming the identities of the arriving parties. Please do not move. Begin scan… Scan concluded. Your arrival brings much joy, Prince.” Once the ethereal, androgynous voice finished speaking, the metal door slowly opened.
I walked inside, and my companions behind me also followed me in. Except for an old elevator, the place was absolutely empty.
“Then there’s no choice except to enter the elevator?” I motioned toward the elevator, turning my head to ask for everyone’s opinions.
Everyone nodded their heads. Only Cold Fox showed hesitation on his face. I couldn’t help but ask, “Cold Fox? Do you think that something’s wrong?”
Cold Fox lightly wrinkled his brows and said, “It’s too simple, so simple that it’s strange.”
“You’re saying that the course of events that got us here was too simple?” I carefully pondered Cold Fox’s words. True, this is really not what I had expected. Even the government has no choice but to follow Long Dian’s words, yet we were able to come here so easily?
“Oh please, what was easy about this? You guys just don’t know how hard it was.” Lolidragon rolled her eyes and started explaining, “Dian can now control all of the satellites of the world. These satellites alone are enough for him to seize control over the entire world’s transport means. Also, without satellites to probe for us, trying to find a small island in the boundless ocean would require more luck than Columbus finding new land.
“On top of that, this island is completely protected by a heat-sensing apparatus. Unless your body temperature is lower than zero degrees Celsius, you will be discovered immediately. Even if you were to wear a special outfit that completely insulated you, how would you reach this island? Any ships or planes that approach would be discovered right away.
“Unless you row a canoe or swim over,” added Lolidragon in a disdainful tone. Of course, that was something that would never happen.
“If someone unexpectedly found this place, then they could have directly launched missiles to destroy the island,” Wicked tried to raise a conjecture.
Lolidragon shook her finger. “First, all of the missiles in the entire world are pretty much under Dian’s command. Even if the government immediately makes new missiles, and they don’t connect to any internet system and don’t use the satellites to direct the missiles’ flight, Dian still has all types of missiles from all over the world under his control. He can use those to intercept them.”
Lastly, Lolidragon simply said, “Reaching this island is actually a very, very difficult task. If not for Sunshine and Kenshin’s existence, I would never have let any of you take part in that special training because we wouldn’t have had any means of finding this island. Don’t even mention actually coming to the island.”
“Phew, then it’s a good thing the Dictator of Life returned Kenshin and Sunshine to us at that time, or else we would have had our hands bound without being able to do anything about it.” I sighed in relief, and turned my head to ask Cold Fox, “Then can we enter now?”
Cold Fox paused for a bit before he nodded his head.
“Okay, let’s enter the elevator, everyone.” I took the lead and walked into the elevator. With the robots outside and the deactivated security system as examples, I no longer doubted Sunshine’s abilities.
This is an ordinary and standard elevator. I sincerely believed this, and I even felt it needed a good fixing. There was nothing inside the elevator except for a few number buttons for the different floors, but what was strange was that other than the digit two that was glowing, all the other buttons were darkened. When I pressed the numbers that weren’t glowing, the elevator did not respond at all. Could it be… We can only go to the second floor? With trepidation, I pressed the two.
The elevator immediately moved, slowly rising. In a short while, we arrived at the second floor, and the door slowly opened…
I sucked in my breath. In front of my eyes, there was… What kind of animal is this? I really didn’t know. I could only tell that its outer appearance was like that of a huge, white dog, but it felt a little more noble and elegant than a dog… Curse it! This was the first time I’d ever used descriptions like “noble” and “elegant” to describe an animal.
Its face was exceptionally unusual with a snout that was particularly sharp, and its two eyes were particularly slender as well, giving off a clever and crafty kind of feeling. Its tail was even stranger. It actually had nine tails, and its nine large tails were waving behind it.
“A nine-tailed fox?” Cold Fox couldn’t refrain from lightly shouting out.
1 Guan Dong Zhu: Pronounced the same as Guan Dong Group but written with different Chinese characters, Guan Dong Zhu refers to oden, a type of Japanese dish that contains several ingredients such as boiled eggs, daikon radish, and fish cakes in broth. “Guan Dong” is the Chinese pronunciation of Kantou, an area in Japan.