Chapter 3: Danger to the Entire World – translated by Nausicaä
<Ding! System notice: Game has experienced a disturbance from the outside world. Please conduct verification.>
I paused for a few seconds before finally reacting. Disturbance from outside?
“Lolidragon is probably looking for us,” Cold Fox muttered to himself after a while.
Lolidragon is looking for us? Did something happen in the outside world? Quickly I said to everyone, “Hurry, let’s all go offline and see what’s happening outside.”
I hastened to take off the helmet, and no sooner had I removed it than I received the sudden shock of seeing Lolidragon’s face immediately before my own. The sight of Lolidragon’s tearful eyes and trembling mouth caused my own mouth to drop open in surprise. Lolidragon is… actually crying!
“Prince! What are we going to do?” Lolidragon couldn’t help throwing herself at me. As she proceeded to sob loudly and uncontrollably into my chest, I found myself at a complete loss for what to do.
“What’s wrong, Lolidragon? Don’t be upset. What happened?” I worriedly asked as I hurriedly hugged her.
“Dian, he—he… sob sob…” Lolidragon was crying so hard that she couldn’t utter a single word.
What in the world has happened? Just what earth-shattering event would cause Lolidragon to break down like this? I simply could not believe it. Even earlier when Long Dian had said all those heartless things, Lolidragon had been able to endure it. Yet here she is, crying her heart out?
“Long Dian has threatened the entire world!” said a very commanding voice as Long-bà’s imposing figure appeared at the door. With heavy steps, he walked into the room. He no longer had a smile on his face and now wore an anguished yet forceful expression.
“He threatened the entire world?” I blankly repeated, not knowing how to react.
Long-bà’s imposing aura vanished, and his face, which had originally been full of vigor, seemed to have suddenly aged by ten years. In an extremely exhausted tone he said, “He used the Dictator of Life to fire a nuclear missile. Even though it was launched into the ocean, its effects spread to the small islands nearby, resulting in thousands of casualties.”
“…What?” I nearly couldn't respond. Thousands of lives gone… just like that?
“Moreover, he has also demanded that the entire world send him the things he needs. Otherwise, the next nuclear attack won’t be as forgiving.” Long-bà said, his voice almost pained.
“How has the government chosen to respond?” Nan Gong Zui immediately inquired. “Surely the government won’t permit him to do whatever he pleases.”
“That’s true, but the government has its hands tied,” Long-bà said coldly. “This world is entirely dependent on computers, and since the computers are now being controlled, the government is unable to do anything. All of the immigration administration, all of the radar detection systems, and all of the satellites are under Long Dian’s control. The government has no way to track his whereabouts, much less actually capture him.”
Long-bà sighed again. “The truth is, even if Dian were to boldly appear before the police in broad daylight, no one would try to arrest him, because according to the government’s information, Long Dian’s identity and appearance have already been altered.”
“What does Long Dian want?” Gui asked. “If we know what he wants, we can speculate why he’s doing all of this.”
“He requested many things, including various instruments and human resources, most of which are related to the area of biotechnology, but he also wants personnel from the medical field, authorities on neurosurgery, and experts on energy,” Long-bà said in a frustrated voice.
“Hm… I’m no expert in those areas.” Gui turned to look toward Wicked. “What do you think, Wicked?”
Wicked turned his face toward Gui, but said nothing; instead, he violently punched Gui, who was caught completely off guard, knocking him to the ground. Everyone was overcome by the same sense of utter disbelief.
“Gui!” I quickly rushed to check on Gui. A large, red bruise was forming high on his cheek, and trickles of blood were seeping from the corner of his mouth. My heart ached a little when I saw Gui in such a miserable state.
“Zhuo-gēgē, why did you hit Gui?” I angrily turned on Zhuo-gēgē, but when I saw his red-rimmed eyes, I found myself unable to criticize him. At the same time I realized that I was the reason Zhuo-gēgē had hit Gui…
With some hesitation, I opened my mouth and said, “Zhuo-gēgē…”
Zhuo-gēgē did not look at me, but fixed his glare at Gui, who was lying on the ground, and muttered, “I won’t give up Lan.”
“That’s my line. I definitely won’t give up Prince. Even if you break both my arms, I will use my mouth to hang onto her and never let go,” Gui replied, smiling an extremely arrogant smile.
I couldn’t stop myself from fiercely whacking Gui on the head with my hand. “What the heck are you talking about? Have you lost your mind?”
A complicated look flashed across Zhuo-gēgē’s eyes. Upon seeing his sorrowful expression, I felt my heart clench tightly. By delaying my decision, am I hurting them even more?
“Zhuo-dàgē, Gui, Sis—let’s go take care of Long Dian first!” Yang Ming’s serious voice called us back to our current situation. He sounded almost reproachful, as if he were suggesting that we weren’t aware of the gravity of the situation. Moreover, Lolidragon, who had been sobbing into my chest, had switched positions and was presently tucked away into Yang Ming’s chest.
Lolidragon gave a shudder, lifted her tear-stained face, and with an expression akin to shock, gave a shout and jumped away from him as she babbled, “Wasn’t I with Prince? How did it become you?”
Yang Ming’s serious expression evaporated in an instant and was replaced with an increasingly lewd-looking one as he chortled, “Hehehe…”
Upon seeing such a lascivious expression, Lolidragon couldn’t stop herself from throwing a kick at him, which Yang Ming easily dodged. As his smile became lewder, Lolidragon became even angrier, her face turning completely red.
As I watched the two play around, I couldn’t help mocking Yang Ming, saying, “Hey! Who’s the one fooling around now?”
As soon as he heard this, Yang Ming immediately assumed a look of embarrassment, while Lolidragon’s face filled with guilt.
“Alas. As things currently stand, none of you need to help anymore,” Long-bà sighed heavily.
Right away Lolidragon loudly protested, “I can’t do that! Dad, there’s no way I can leave Dian alone.”
Hearing this, Long-bà immediately reprimanded, “It’s very obvious now that Long Dian is no longer the Dian that we knew. This time he almost killed all of you! Do you think you’ll be so fortunate next time?”
“But…” Lolidragon argued in determination.
“Enough, Shui Han!” Long-bà roared. “I forbid you from interfering in this matter anymore. I will have the entire company cooperate to assist the government in arresting Long Dian and bringing him to justice. I will not allow him to harm anyone else.”
Upon hearing this, Lolidragon dropped weakly onto a chair, all the strength seemingly gone from her legs.
On the other hand, Long-bà turned to face us and said, “The same goes for all of you. Do not involve yourselves in this matter anymore. Especially you, Prince!” After saying this, he even gave me a severe look.
Why am I the one being singled out? It’s not like I particularly enjoy looking for trouble… Nevertheless, under Long-bà’s terrifying stare, I couldn’t do anything besides meekly answering with an “Oh.”
After hearing my reply, Long-bà gave another quiet sigh and walked out of the room.
“What are we going to do?” I asked, turning to look at Lolidragon. Are we really going to leave things as they are? Based on Lolidragon’s personality, there is no way she’d just give up…
“Just do as my dad says,” Lolidragon said in a most unprecedented turn of events. Seeing our dumbstruck faces she quietly snorted, “Don’t be mistaken. My dad looks like he’s easy to deal with, but when he’s serious, things get really scary. If you don’t do as he says, some people will immediately come to drag you away and throw you into an underground cellar where you’ll be locked up and never see the light of day for over a year.”
“Is it that bad?” I asked blankly. That can’t be true, can it? After all, Long-bà looks so kind…
Lolidragon rolled her eyes. “Trust me, I’ve been his daughter for twenty-some years.”
“So that’s it? We’re giving up, just like that?” asked Fairsky in an extremely frigid voice.
We all froze. Then every head turned to look toward Fairsky, whose former look of sorrow had been replaced by an icy cold expression. Even Cold Fox, who had been silently standing by this entire time, had never worn such a terrifying expression before.
Both Lolidragon and I swallowed. Of course we all knew that not knowing where Sunshine was, or even whether he was dead or alive, had thrown Fairsky into a state of distress.
I thought quietly for a bit and then said, “We didn’t have enough time to carefully search just now. Why don’t we try going into Second Life again? Maybe it’s just that they couldn’t wait for us, and since there were too many players there, they left Central Tower, and that’s why we couldn’t find them.”
“Really?” Fairsky’s original look of sorrow finally broke through her icy expression.
Both Lolidragon and I hurriedly nodded our heads. No one wanted to see that expression on Fairsky again, the one that looked as though she had just walked right out of a freezer.
“Let’s hurry up and log in then.” Before Fairsky had even finished speaking she had already put on her helmet, lain down, and appeared as though she had already entered the game.
"Man, if anything has actually happened to Sunshine, I don't want to imagine how Fairsky will respond," Lolidragon said worriedly.
“Fairsky would probably turn into a thunderous sky…” No, a thunderous sky wouldn’t be all that bad… I'm just afraid that the Ice Age would repeat itself…
“Stop joking around, Prince. Let’s hurry up and go take a look.” Lolidragon smacked me on the head, even as she forced herself to smile. “Even though we can’t do anything about Long Dian, we need to at least save Sunshine and Kenshin and bring them back. After all, it was completely my fault that we weren’t able to download them in time.”
“Lolidragon…” I hadn’t known that Lolidragon felt this way. I couldn’t help wanting to open my mouth and urge her not to blame herself, to tell her that there was no way anyone could have known things would turn out like this.
However, before I had the chance to say anything, Lolidragon swiftly put on her helmet, and her haste caused to me suspect that she had done it on purpose… Oh well, I knew very well that with Lolidragon’s personality, I couldn't persuade her out of her thoughts. Perhaps Yang Ming would be able to? After all, every time Lolidragon fell into one of her rare moments of sadness, Yang Ming especially loved to rile her up, and in the end Lolidragon would toss all of her sadness out the window and proceed to try to kill him…
I turned my head to look, and as expected, Yang Ming had already put on his helmet. It looked like my idiot brother was pretty serious this time.
“Let’s also go find Sunshine and Kenshin!” I turned to look at the others, at the same time putting a helmet on my own head, thus entering Second Life once again.
I entered the game, and the second I opened my eyes… I realized that something weird was going on. Why are there so many people staring so intently at me? It was only at this point that I discovered that I was actually surrounded by a massive crowd of legions upon legions of people.
“That’s the real Prince,” “The Blood Elf has logged on,” “It’s about time! Waiting here wasn’t a complete waste of time, after all.” A rush of excited chatter escaped from the surrounding crowd, which included a number of people who had the same appearance as me.
Eh? What kind of situation is this? I stammered in incomprehension, “H-How do you guys know that I’m Prince?”
“Of course we’d know! The demon bard and the emotionless swordsman have both appeared, so of course everyone knows that you’re the real Prince.”
Demon bard? Emotionless swordsman? What are they talking about… I could guess that the former probably referred to Gui, since there weren’t that many bards of the demon race… but what the heck was an emotionless swordsman? Obviously there was only me, Gui, and… Wicked?
So Wicked is the emotionless swordsman? Alright, I admit that the title is rather fitting.
“Prince, why are there so many people?” At this point, the “demon bard” also appeared, looking with astonishment at the surrounding crowds of people.
As befitting his title of the “emotionless swordsman,” Wicked, for his part, furrowed his brow, but said nothing.
“Wow, all three of them look so handsome,” some girl exclaimed longingly, and then swallowed her saliva. “I really want to kiss them.”
As soon as I heard the words “really want to kiss,” I was suddenly struck by an extremely uneasy feeling… as though if we didn’t flee now, that phrase would very quickly become a reality…
“Crap! Wicked, Gui, let’s run for it!” I shouted as I prepared to use my Ultimate Run-for-My-Life-Qing-Gong-Technique. But at that precise moment, I tripped over my legs and, in a spread-eagle position, kissed the ground.
Seeing my situation, both Wicked and Gui tried to rush over to save me, but unfortunately their speed wasn’t as fast as it was before, and they could only watch helplessly as I performed the act of prostrating myself for all to see.
The whole scene had fallen silent, and I could even clearly hear the sound of saliva dripping from some person’s widely gaping mouth. I slowly crawled up, and holding back my tears I gave a muffled groan. “It hurts!
“Why did I fall?” I asked, slightly vexed. At this rate, my fame for my military prowess as well as my prestige were sure to disappear down the drain.
“Prince, you’re only at level one. You can’t use qing gong anymore.” Wicked softly reminded me.
That’s right! No wonder I had fallen in such in unsightly manner. My skills and levels had disappeared without a trace the second I’d created a new character from scratch. Sigh, all my levels and skills, gone… Oh well, those can all be regained through training.
“Forget about that for now. Let’s hurry and go look for Sunshine and Kenshin,” I hurriedly said to the other two.
“Prince, maybe you…” Gui started hesitantly, then broke off.
“What?” I asked, frowning.
Gui seemed to make up his mind, and in one breath he said, “Shouldn’t we also be looking for Meatbun and Fire Phoenix?”
Meatbun… my Meatbun! Oh my goodness, I actually completely forgot that as soon as my character disappeared, Meatbun would become a wild meat bun. What should I do? Panicking, I wailed, “Oh no! I don’t even know where Meatbun is. What if he’s being bullied by players and NPCs? Maybe he’s already been mistaken for a regular meat bun and has been eaten! Sob sob sob! Meatbun, Mommy’s so sorry.”
“Meatbun! That bun with a pair of eyes? So that was your bun!” The people around me murmured, fuming with anger.
A bun with a pair of eyes… besides my meat bun, there can't be anything else with this distinctive trait. I hastily asked, “Yes, that’s right, have you seen my Meatbun?”
“Of course we have! That gluttonous scoundrel of a meat bun and that despotic phoenix have been tyrannizing Flower City. They have been stealing food from players one day, and flooding the place the next. Last time all of the hair on my body was burned to a crisp by that phoenix.”
This… it sounds like Meatbun and Fire Phoenix are doing pretty well for themselves! *Sweat
“I wonder if Meatbun would still be willing to be my pet?” I couldn’t help being a little worried. He would, wouldn’t he?
“Mama!” Meatbun’s cheerful shout could suddenly be heard.
I felt a bit dazed. I seemed to have heard Meatbun’s voice, calling for me. Or is it that I was so worried, I imagined it? I looked left and right, hoping to see that white, chubby figure, but I didn’t see anything.
Bang! My head was suddenly dealt a heavy blow, and while my head spun and my vision blurred I heard…
<System notice: You have been attacked by Meatbun, -30 HP.>
My god! I was only level one, and had no more than some ten drops of blood. No wonder my swollen head felt as though it were on the verge of exploding.
“Oh my god, it’s Meatbun! Everyone run!” A flurry of movement embroiled the surrounding crowd, and even the girl who had expressed a desire to kiss me gathered up her skirts and in the blink of an eye fled many meters away.
I stood quite still, opened my mouth, spat out a lot of blood, and then spoke. When I did, my voice sounded so feeble that I suspected that I would soon turn into a pillar of light and check back at the rebirth point. “Meatbun… don’t do that again, you’ll commit matricide…”
“Matricide? Meat-bunbun doesn’t know what Mama’s talking about,” Meatbun said, very happily bouncing onto my shoulder.
<System notice: You have been attacked by Meatbun, -10 HP.>
I violently spat out another mouthful of blood as I finally understood that, for a level one player facing a pet over level fifty, even the slightest touch could be lethal!
“Meatbun, don’t move, please, please don’t move anymore,” I begged, my face deathly pale. At this rate, I was really going to kick the bucket.
“Where did Mama go? Meat-bunbun missed Mama so much!” As Meatbun talked, it began to bawl and howl uncontrollably, and its lovable yet loathsome head kept burrowing itself into my chest…
<System notice: You have been attacked by Meatbun, -50 HP, you have died.>
“…” I looked at the huge cavity that Meatbun had burrowed into my chest, at a complete loss for words. Meanwhile, Meatbun actually bounced out of the bloody hole, its cute face wearing a questioning look.
“Gui, be careful not to follow me to the rebirth point,” I helplessly warned the other pet master, even though I had the feeling that Gui would soon follow in my footsteps.
I instantly became a pillar of light. I didn’t know where the rebirth point in Flower City was, and wondered whether I should wait there for Gui and Wicked, or look for them myself… forget it. Given the degree to which I was directionally challenged, even after Fairsky had found Sunshine and the two had finished throwing their wedding ceremony, I still wouldn’t have found the other two.
As soon as I landed on the ground, I was overcome by a wave of nausea, and I doubled over vomiting, though nothing came out. Once the nauseous feeling that always followed death passed, I looked up and saw a person, someone who could not possibly be here, yet was actually before me right now… Rather I should say, it wasn’t a person.
The Dictator of Life! I was a hundred percent certain that it was the Dictator of Life and not Long Dian, even though he possessed an identical appearance. I could not be mistaken about that pair of eyes that revealed a sorrowful resignation to fate.
“Y-You…” I was so shocked that I couldn’t even speak properly. Why is the Dictator of Life here?
Huh? Where is this place, anyway? I glanced left and right. This wasn’t the rebirth point, but a palace, a gray-colored, magnificent palace. Beneath my feet lay a gigantic magic portal, and behind the Dictator of Life was a very large throne. Surrounding us were countless giant pillars, each so wide it would have taken two people to completely wrap their arms around any of them.
“Meat-bunbun is so muddle-headed, as usual,” the Dictator of Life said with a slight smile. “As I expected, he really did end up killing you.”
My heart trembled as I asked, “Did you order Meatbun to come kill me?”
“Do you believe that Meat-bunbun would do such a thing? Intentionally kill you?” A trace of grief came over the Dictator of Life’s face.
I tilted my head to the side, thinking. “No, I don’t.” There was no way Meatbun would kill me intentionally, because… just having to explain to Meatbun what the word “kill” meant was enough to give anyone a major headache. It would have been faster to find some other NPC to come hack me to pieces.
The Dictator of Life broke into a smile, an incomparably brilliant smile. It was the most genuine one I’d seen since meeting him.
I nearly drooled at the sight. The Dictator of Life was a peerless super hottie after all. I couldn’t resist telling him, “You should smile more often. It’s such a waste of that face if you don’t smile.”
The Dictator of Life blinked, and then asked, like a child, “Do I look nice when I smile?”
“Yep! I’d say even super idols can’t compare!” I praised him very directly. With beautiful guys, I was always very generous with giving the praise that was due… ah, with the exception of that idiot brother of mine. If I told him he was handsome to his face, not only would I die of revulsion, Yang Ming himself would promptly take me to visit the doctor to see if something had gone wrong with my brain.
“Then, do you like my appearance?” asked the Dictator of Life, a little hesitantly.
I vigorously nodded my head, but then I suddenly remembered that the Dictator of Life was also one of my admirers. Thinking of this, my head started hurting again. Gui and Zhuo-gēgē are already giving me enough trouble to deal with, and now there is the Dictator of Life to add into the mix! Heavens, just when did my charisma become so irresistible?
“You don’t like it?” the Dictator of Life asked, suddenly looking very discouraged.
“No, that’s not it. Appearances aren’t that important,” I vaguely said. (Who? Who says I’m lying?)
“Wait a sec-” I suddenly wondered what in the world I was doing. Here I am, discussing appearances and looks with the Dictator of Life when there are clearly more important matters at hand. There is the question of Sunshine and Kenshin’s whereabouts, not to mention the issue regarding Long Dian.
I hurriedly asked, “What happened to Sunshine and Kenshin? And just where is this place?”
“I have already sent Kenshin and Sunshine to find your comrades, and this is my real residence, my palace,” the Dictator of Life answered simply.
Upon hearing that Kenshin and Sunshine were both alright, I was finally able to breathe a sigh of relief; at least this meant that I wouldn’t have to worry about them anymore. However, I would never have guessed that after dying this time, I would neither go up to heaven nor descend into hell, but rather end up in the residence of the Dictator of Life. This was just as well, because I could use this chance to resolve the matter concerning Long Dian. If I could persuade the Dictator of Life to stop helping Long Dian, then everything would be solved.
Yet, how am I to convince the Dictator of Life to stop helping Long Dian, who is almost like a father to him? Is it possible that I would have to resort to using my charm and beauty to seduce him? I struggled with myself for a bit, but decided that I didn’t want to use this method after all. Thus, I could only cautiously ask, “Dictator of Life, can you stop helping Long Dian? Everything he’s doing is wrong.”
“I cannot disobey Father,” the Dictator of Life told me plainly upon hearing my request.
I immediately countered, “But you did disobey him when you refused to return to his side, didn’t you?”
“The situation was different,” the Dictator of Life said calmly. “At that time, Father was utterly unprepared for my rebellion because he had not imagined that I would revolt. Things are different now. He has complete control over me, and if he gives me an order, even if it is an order to kill you, I would do it without the slightest hesitation.”
I found myself at a loss for words. This time, even my last hope was gone. I forcefully asked, “Then how did you leave Long Dian to come here?”
“I didn’t actually leave Father,” the Dictator of Life explained. “I am not a human, whose existence is limited to a single place. For an AI, simultaneously appearing in countless locations is a very simple task.”
“Of course I know that! How big of an idiot do you take me for?” A bit dissatisfied I retorted, “I’m just doubtful that Long Dian would let you come here.”
Hearing my question, the Dictator of Life stopped abruptly, and remained silent for a very, very long time… until I suddenly realized that he had come here in secret. Considering things in this light, he still had some way to disobey Long Dian.
“Father is very pitiful,” the Dictator of Life finally said.
When I heard this, I was filled with extreme rage. How can a scumbag who fired a nuclear weapon and killed thousands of people be called pitiful? I icily said, “That scumbag ought to die. The word ‘pitiful’ has nothing to do with him.”
“Father only treasures too much the happiness he worked so hard to obtain,” the Dictator of Life said serenely.
Even though I knew I shouldn’t sympathize with that scoundrel Long Dian, I still couldn’t keep myself from asking, “Just what happened to Long Dian? Why’s he threatening the world? What’s he requesting those strange items and people for?”
“Ahh…” the Dictator of Life gave a deep sigh. “Father only wants to keep on living, to remain with the ones he loves forever. If it was me, I might have done the same thing, if it meant that I could remain by your side forever.”
Even though I already knew the Dictator of Life’s feelings for me, I couldn’t keep my face from turning red upon hearing such a direct confession. In an attempt to change the subject, I said, “Isn’t Long Dian doing fine? I don’t see how his life is in any danger.”
“Terminal illness!” stated the Dictator of Life directly.
Terminal illness… I remained silent for a very long time and recalled Long Dian’s figure from when I had met him before… It was true, his condition had looked quite terrible, as though he had fallen very ill… Why haven't I thought of it before?
“Father, he… originally he had only wanted to live within Second Life, but that plan completely failed,” the Dictator of Life said with regret.
“Now, there’s only one way left.” A sorrowful smile appeared on the Dictator of Life’s face. “Father will merge together with me. This way, not only can he continue living and control the entire internet world, but he can also create an artificial body that can exist in the real world.
“Prince…” the Dictator of Life gently called me.
“Huh?” I was only aware of a sense of dizziness that had enveloped my head, which felt very swollen. This matter is simply too complex; Long Dian actually wants to merge together with the Dictator of Life?
“When I have merged with Father, in order for there not to be a conflict between two people’s consciousnesses, I will let go of my consciousness. So, I came here to say goodbye to you, Prince,” the Dictator of Life said with a gentle smile.
“Also, I want to thank you,” the Dictator of Life continued in a light voice. “Thank you for letting me understand what love is.”
Why does someone always have to sacrifice themselves? I simply could not understand. Why?
The Dictator of Life actually reached out his hand, and wiped away the tears on my face. “Don’t cry, Prince. Don’t worry, Father has promised me that once the plan to merge and produce a body has been completed, he won’t hurt anyone else anymore.”
“He has already hurt too many people,” I said hoarsely.
“There won’t be any more casualties. Rest assured, I will do everything I can to not hurt anyone.” As he gave me his word, the Dictator of Life gave me a painfully loving look, as though he was concerned that I was still worried.
“Liar!” I angrily shouted. “At the very least, you will get hurt. You will die.”
At this, the Dictator of Life actually smiled happily. “Are you worried for me?”
I forcefully wiped away my tears as I yelled, “Obviously!”
Sounding very content, the Dictator of Life sighed, “That is good enough for me.”
Upon hearing this, I nearly went mad. Even though the Dictator of Life has a very high level of comprehension and intelligence, in the end, this guy is no different from Meatbun!
“Then, will… will you remember me forever, Prince?” There was a look close to longing in his eyes.
“I won’t!” I coldly replied. Upon hearing my answer, the Dictator of Life froze at once, as if he had been struck by lightning.
“If you dare to go and die, I swear that I will forget about you completely! You hear me?” I threatened the Dictator of Life, glaring at him.
After remaining still for a while, the Dictator of Life suddenly kissed me lightly on my forehead. “Thank you.”
“Don’t thank me, you have to live—” Before I could finish speaking, everything before my eyes began to turn fuzzy. The throne, the palace, and the figure of the Dictator of Life all faded away, and the only thing that remained vivid was the bright smile that rested on the Dictator of Life’s face.
“Prince? Prince? Wake up…”
I rubbed my eyes. What just happened? Is that the Dictator of Life calling me? But when I opened my eyes, it was Gui’s handsome face that materialized before me.
“Huh? Gui, why are you here? Were you also brought here by the Dictator of Life?” I asked stupidly, even though I didn’t know why the Dictator of Life would bring him here. Strictly speaking, Gui was his love rival, after all.
Gui paused. “The Dictator of Life? Prince, what are you talking about? I don't understand anything you’re saying.”
Upon hearing Gui’s response, I also stopped abruptly. Right then, I suddenly discovered that the surrounding scenery looked very strange. I was no longer in that gray palace, but in a most ordinary-looking rebirth point, where there couldn’t possibly be any trace of the Dictator of Life.
“I was definitely in the Dictator of Life’s palace just now,” I insisted, not comprehending the situation.
“Prince, did you fall asleep? After you were accidentally killed by Meatbun, I was also burned to death by Fire Phoenix. When I was reborn, I saw you lying here.” Gui looked at me with some concern.
I fell asleep? Could it be that it was all a dream? I couldn’t help but begin to wonder if my sleeping skills were so amazing that I was able to sleep soundly to the point of dreaming even within the game, but the dream… had felt a bit too real.
“Was it really a dream?” I furrowed my brow, thinking hard. But that smile on the Dictator of Life’s face was so genuine; it didn’t look anything like a dream.
“Prince… were you crying?” Gui asked, suddenly staring at me. He lifted my chin up, and looked over my face carefully. “And someone even wiped away your tears for you.”
Gui…Your observational skills are a little too much, don’t you think? You even knew that someone wiped my tears away for me? It looked like if I married Gui, I definitely wouldn’t be able get away with sneaking around behind his back… Bah! What am I thinking? I'm not even married yet and already I was planning on sneaking around…
“Then I definitely wasn’t dreaming. The one who wiped my tears away was the Dictator of Life,” I answered with utmost certainty. “Oh yeah, Gui, the Dictator of Life told me a lot of things. Help me think of a solution.”
“Okay.” Gui did not look entirely convinced, but still he obediently listened.
Immediately I narrated in full detail everything that had happened, and then hurriedly asked Gui, “Is there any way that the Dictator of Life doesn’t have to die?”
After hearing everything I said, Gui stood silently for a moment, his brow furrowed in very deep thought. “Terminal illness… so Long Dian can only survive by merging with the Dictator of Life?
“The way things currently stand, the most obvious decision is to sacrifice either Long Dian or the Dictator of Life,” Gui analyzed critically. “Moreover, from my point of view, sacrificing the Dictator of Life is for the best. That way, everything will be resolved even if we don’t do anything. And what is more… after all is said and done, the Dictator of Life is not really a human being.”
“Sacrificing the Dictator of Life… is for the best?” Even though I knew that Gui could not possibly have erred in his judgment, I couldn’t help asking again, “Does there have to be a sacrifice?”
Gui looked deeply into my eyes and said with purpose, “Prince, there are many things that cannot be resolved perfectly. If you forcefully insist on a perfect resolution, you may lose everything.”
“Is that the way it has to be?” But is the Dictator of Life… really going to be sacrificed like this?