Chapter 6: “Deception” – translated by dahlys
“Fox? So this is a fox.” I had never seen a fox before, so it was no wonder I didn’t know what it was… But to think that foxes actually have nine tails! That was a real eye-opener.
“So foxes actually have nine tails…” Sigh, if I had known this before, then I would have put more effort into studying biology properly. How could I have not even known that foxes have nine tails?
“Of course foxes don’t have nine tails!” Lolidragon said as she fiercely punched me.
“This should also be a robot,” said Wicked, who immediately pulled out his gun as a precaution.
“A robot?” I exclaimed. “I don’t believe it. It’s too beautiful.”
“Humans…” The fox actually talked, and it had an extremely pleasant voice too. It said, “You are not my master. Besides my master, no one else is permitted to enter this place.”
“Oh?” I calmed down a little. Since the fox could talk, it couldn’t possibly be a real fox. After hesitating for a bit, I asked, “Do you know what we have to do in order to continue going up? Why can we only reach the second floor?”
“Haha,” laughed the nine-tailed fox. “I know how you can continue going up. Once you have defeated me, the elevator will automatically allow you to go up.”
“Defeat you?” Why is this situation so similar to a fighting game? After fighting through an army of cannon fodder, I will finally meet the final boss, and the stage will be cleared when the final boss is defeated…
“That’s right,” said the calm and composed nine-tailed fox as it paced around.
“Then bring it on! I don’t have much time to waste, since the artificial body could have already been created.” I immediately drew my lightsaber and was about to charge forward when Cold Fox stretched out a hand and stopped me. He furrowed his brow slightly and said, “Let me test its strength first.”
“Oh.” Although I’m a little disappointed, I should let Cold Fox attack first. Even though the first enemy that appears is usually just cannon fodder, there was always the possibility of this being an exception to the norm, especially since the one we were dealing with now was the Dictator of Life who was even harder to fathom. He had even given me a meat bun for a pet, so nothing is impossible, right?
Cold Fox slowly walked forward, moving closer to the nine-tailed fox one step at a time. The nine-tailed fox seemed to know that the person approaching it was very strong. Its fur bristled slightly and its nine tails stopped moving randomly. Instead, the tails fanned out like a peacock’s tail.
Cold Fox stopped walking and remained where he was… No, he was no longer standing there. I suddenly discovered that the Cold Fox that was standing there was just an afterimage, and the real Cold Fox… I immediately looked in the nine-tailed fox’s direction. As if it were in a frenzy, the nine-tailed fox’s white fur bristled and shot out like needles. A few hundred of these needles were all aimed at a very fast-moving figure.
I jumped in alarm. Oh no, Cold Fox won’t get hurt, will he?
However, Cold Fox moved left and right quickly, causing all the needles to pierce the ground and soften back into normal fur. At that moment, Cold Fox moved in front of the nine-tailed fox and hurled a flying dagger at it. However, he missed as the nine-tailed fox dodged to the side gracefully.
According to my previous experiences, Cold Fox would definitely pursue the enemy whenever he could, and would never give up all the way until the opponent felt like committing suicide. However, this time, not only did Cold Fox not pursue the enemy, he actually turned around and walked back, coldly saying, “Prince, you try it.”
“Me?” I was stunned.
“You should be more than enough to take care of it,” said Cold Fox before he irresponsibly walked to the back and closed his eyes to rest.
“Then I will not hold back any longer.” Once again, I drew my lightsaber and walked toward the nine-tailed fox, eyes gleaming…
“Wait!” shouted the nine-tailed fox suddenly.
I looked at it suspiciously. What on earth does it want to do?
The nine-tailed fox walked toward me slowly, moving closer and closer… Could this be a trap? I immediately raised my guard and held my lightsaber thirty degrees from the plane of my body.
The nine-tailed fox finally stopped walking when it was three steps away from me. It looked me in the eye…
The fox said, “My Lord! I have an eighty year old parent and a three year old child to take care of. The entire fox den depends on me to survive. If you slay me, my family will have no one to depend on.” As the nine-tailed fox recounted its sad story, it lay down on the ground and bawled its eyes out. The fox’s previous aura of nobility and elegance instantly vanished, and he… no, it appeared extremely miserable, so much so that one who heard the story would cry, and one who witnessed it would grieve…
I could not help but… raise my leg and kick it ruthlessly before scolding, “I was almost fooled, you sly fox.”
The nine-tailed fox paled when it heard what I had said. It exclaimed, “How did you know I was trying to fool you?”
“That’s obvious!” I glared at it while saying, “Have you forgotten what you are? You’re a robot. Have you ever heard of a robot that has parents and can give birth?”
“Ah!” The nine-tailed fox looked extremely shocked. Chagrined, the fox said, “I forgot.”
I fell! The fox was indeed another NPC that just couldn’t get any stranger. How on earth did Long Dian educate the Dictator of Life? Why are all the NPCs created by the Dictator so weird?
“Boo hoo hoo, I’ve lost. You guys can go up now.” The nine-tailed fox raised its forelegs and cried tragically.
“H-How can it be that simple?” Stunned, I remained where I was.
“It’s true, the button to go to the third floor has lit up,” said Lolidragon as she stuck her head out from inside the elevator. “Quick, hurry up and come in, we can go up now.”
I followed everyone into the elevator in a daze. I didn’t know at this point whether I should laugh or cry. Originally, I had wanted to have a warm-up exercise, but in the end, I didn’t get any warm-up at all. Even Cold Fox didn’t look happy… A proper fight with the nine-tailed fox would have been better.
The elevator door opened again. As expected, a monster appeared on the third floor… but the description I used isn’t quite right; this should be a can of a monster!
“Why?” I said, shedding a drop of cold sweat. “Why does it have to be Pepsi, not Coca Cola? Coca Cola is obviously the more famous brand, and curvy bottles also look better than aluminum cans.”
“I heard that Pepsi sales are higher than Coca Cola sales. Perhaps that’s the reason why the Dictator of Life chose Pepsi,” explained Lolidragon calmly.
That’s right, a can of Pepsi as tall as a man has appeared in front of my eyes…
“I wonder how this thing attacks. It’s really hard to imagine,” said Cold Fox, who also couldn’t help but be curious.
“Err…” I couldn’t imagine that as well.
However, we quickly learned how a can of Pepsi attacked. We saw the pull tab of the aluminum can being pulled out, the can tilting itself forty-five degrees…
“Get down!” Cold Fox shouted as he pushed me to the ground forcefully.
A loud noise and vibration scared me out of my wits. While I was confused, someone suddenly threw me out of the elevator. I turned around, only to see Cold Fox tossing everyone out of the elevator, which had been damaged beyond recognition. There was a huge hole at the back of the elevator which allowed one to actually see the forest outside, and the elevator itself looked like it was on the verge of collapse.
“Cold Fox, come out quickly!” I exclaimed.
After Cold Fox had thrown the last person, Wolf-dàgē, out, he too leapt out of the elevator. However, the elevator had already begun to fall, and at the last second, Cold Fox’s legs brushed against the falling elevator…
I heard Cold Fox’s soft but extremely clear grunt of pain.
Cold Fox propped himself up and shouted at the same time, “Prince, finish it off!”
I turned around abruptly and saw that damn can of Pepsi begin to tilt itself again. I quickly charged forward and straightened it with a kick. Now, the can opening faced the ceiling… Oh no! I immediately retreated as the Pepsi spat out another large pillar of cola water that punched a hole in the ceiling.
An unknown object suddenly dropped down from the large hole and landed on the Pepsi can’s body with great precision. Furious, the unknown object yelled, “Pi~ka~chu~~”
The strong electric discharge stung my eyes with its brilliance, and I could not help but cover my eyes with my hands. After some time, I noticed the horrible smell of a burnt object. I opened my eyes only to see a burnt, round pillar with that unknown object on top of it. Unfortunately, I did not get a good look at the unknown object before it was turned into ash.
“What on earth is going on?” I asked, my head in a blur.
“Probably…” A little uncertain, Lolidragon answered, “The robot on the fourth floor seems to be able to use lightning attacks, and it happened to fall down when the hole was punched through the ceiling. Angry, it attacked with lightning, but the Pepsi can happened to attack with its water pillar again. Just like that, both robots electrocuted themselves to death.”
This ending really left me… totally speechless!
I abruptly remembered that Cold Fox had let out a grunt when he leapt out of the elevator. I immediately looked toward him, only to see him standing at his original position with a cold expression on his face, as if nothing had happened.
Is Cold Fox okay? Doubtful, I looked him over. Blood! I suddenly noticed that there was a bloodstain at the base of Cold Fox’s right trouser leg. I rushed toward him, pushed him over with one movement, and raised his right foot to see if it was okay. Cold Fox grunted softly.
“Wolf-dàgē, hurry up and take a look at Cold Fox’s foot!” In a panic, I shouted to Wolf-dàgē, the only medical staff present.
Wolf-dàgē furrowed his brows as he examined Cold Fox’s foot. I wanted to remove Cold Fox’s shoe so that Wolf-dàgē could examine him more carefully, but Wolf-dàgē quickly stopped me by saying, “Prince, don’t remove it. The bones in the sole of Cold Fox’s foot have been shattered, so you must not touch his foot at all costs. Most importantly, don’t remove his shoe, as it will help stabilize his foot.”
“Cold Fox…” I looked at Cold Fox, but didn’t know what to say. If he had not risked his life to save everyone, he would not have gotten hurt.
With his usual icy expression, Cold Fox said, “Time is short. Since the elevator is broken, you guys should use the hole that the Pepsi can made to go up. Use a human pyramid to send one person up, and then have that person dangle a rope down for the others to climb.”
In the face of Cold Fox’s calm attitude, I also calmed down without realizing it. “Okay,” I said.
Using the human pyramid and rope method, we successfully climbed up to the fourth floor. Of course, the robot on the fourth floor had already been destroyed together with the Pepsi can. But how would we proceed to the fifth floor without an elevator?
Wicked took his time to load a bazooka, and he fired three shots in a row at the ceiling. After a large hole had finally been made, I happily thought to use the human pyramid again to climb up. We were soon going to see the Dictator of Life.
“Wicked, make the hole larger so that we can see where the fifth floor robot is,” commanded Cold Fox coolly.
That’s right! There was a robot guarding the fifth floor, so we could not climb up unprepared like we had done for the fourth floor. I stuck out my tongue and silently berated myself for being too careless.
Wicked fired several more rounds, but there was no response from above. Also, the hole was only big enough to let us see a third of the room. Wicked frowned and began shooting at different parts of the ceiling. He even carried a machine gun in his left hand and raked the ceiling with gunfire. Under Wicked’s shocking destructive power, the ceiling soon seemed like…it was going to collapse.
“Oh no!” Wicked said calmly. “Looks like I’ve gone overboard with the shooting.”
Everyone was dumbfounded, and even Cold Fox couldn’t refrain from making a helpless expression while saying, “Everyone lean against the wall.”
I had just leaned against the wall when the ceiling announced that it was doomed. It fell down in large blocks, and the resultant huge cloud of dust nearly caused me to cough my lungs out. But where is the robot? I did not dare relax, and instead searched for traces of the robot within the dust cloud.
Found it! I saw an oddly shaped object. Although I didn’t know what it was, it definitely wasn’t human. I stepped lightly toward it because if I could use this opportunity to finish it off from behind, that would save us a lot of trouble.
I moved closer to the unknown object one step at a time. This thing looks a lot like a bus stop sign. How does something like that fight? Don’t tell me it can summon buses?
Whatever, I’ll just go for it! I immediately accelerated and charged at the bus stop sign, aiming my lightsaber at its thinnest part… Actually, the entire pole was uniformly thin. Anyways, I used all my strength to cut it in half. I felt a little resistance from the lightsaber when it hit the pole, but after I put in more strength, that resistance disappeared and the bus stop sign was sliced in two.
“Prince, you…” shouted Lolidragon in shock.
“How’s that? I’m really strong, aren’t I?” Elated, I turned around and said, “I defeated the fifth floor robot in one strike.”
“…You mean that this bus stop sign is the fifth floor robot?” Lolidragon picked up the two halves of the bus stop sign and tossed them around unconcernedly. She said, “If this counts as a robot, then I could probably add a sixth floor and guard it with the toaster I have at home.”
I looked at the thing that Lolidragon was tossing around. One half was a long metal pole, and the other was a round metal board. It really could not possibly be anything except a bus stop sign.
“Wait,” I said, noticing the words written on the round metal board. Neither the name of the bus stop nor the available bus services was written on it. Instead, there was this sentence: ‘Was the fighting game fun? I hope that Prince did not get hurt.’
I stared into space for a long, long time. Even if I had used the dandruff on my head to think, I would still know that this was definitely a message that the Dictator of Life had left behind. However, what on earth does this mean?
“We have been deceived!” Zhuo-gēge’s face was very, very cold. He said, “This is not Long Dian’s base of operations, it’s just a sham.”
“That’s impossible!” Lolidragon retorted. “This island is definitely Long Dian’s base of operations. Sunshine and I confirmed this fact over and over again.”
“Don’t get agitated, Lolidragon. Wicked just said that this place is a sham, not that this whole island is a sham,” said Nan Gong Zui as he analyzed the situation calmly.
“Something is definitely wrong,” sighed Cold Fox.
Visibly annoyed, Zhuo-gēge hit his forehead several times and said, “We should have known that he would take precautions against Kenshin and Sunshine when he returned them to us.”
“What should we do? How are we going to find them now?” Lolidragon was so depressed that she just plopped down on the floor. She said, “There are no other buildings on this island, so Long Dian’s base of operations is probably underground. At this point, even if we kept digging without any rest or sleep, it could take us months or years to find him.”
I furrowed my brows and asked uncertainly, “Lolidragon, isn’t there something called a metal detector?” I seemed to remember reading about things like that in adventure novels.
“There is!” Lolidragon jumped up, but then started pulling her hair desperately. “I didn’t bring one! I didn’t prepare a metal detector. Ahh! How could I be so stupid? If we had a metal detector, we would immediately know where Long Dian is. His laboratory definitely contains metal!”
“Hmph, I don’t need a metal detector. I already know where Long Dian is,” Wu Qing, who had been keeping quiet all this time, said suddenly. Not only that, the moment he opened his mouth, everyone was taken aback.
“Where is he?” Lolidragon jumped vigorously and rushed to Yang Ming’s side. She grabbed his shoulders and shook him, saying, “Hurry up and tell us!”
“He is in a place we can’t find, even if we use a metal detector.” Yang Ming smiled mysteriously and took a deep breath before saying, “The aircraft parking ground!”
“Ah!” Nan Gong Zui exclaimed in shock. “That’s right, the aircraft parking ground already has a lot of metal. Even if we went there with a metal detector, we would just think that we were detecting the metal in the parking ground, and not Long Dian’s base of operations.”
“So we had already stepped on Long Dian’s head just now, but we didn’t realize it?” muttered Lolidragon to herself.
“Those incompetent robots were meant to delay us,” concluded Cold Fox.
Everyone looked upset, and I also could not help but be affected by this failure. However, the Dictator of Life was still waiting for me to save him. I calmed my emotions and firmly said, “Let’s go. We have already wasted too much time.”
Upon hearing this, everyone’s fighting spirits ignited once more and we rushed back to the aircraft parking ground without resting.
After we told him how we had been deceived, Kenshin simply said, “This is not unexpected. The Dictator of Life’s abilities are above mine and Sunshine’s, and Long Dian is a rarely seen genius among humans. Your failure was hard to avoid.”
“How do we get in?” Everyone looked around for an entrance to the base, but our efforts were in vain. No matter how we looked at it, this appeared to be a normal aircraft parking ground. The cement floor was hexagonal in shape, and a metal fence surrounded the entire place. There was even a metal signboard which had the words “Danger! Living people may not enter” written on it.
“Want to ask Gui?” asked Kenshin plainly as he looked at our exhausted and troubled appearances.
“Can you contact Gui?” I asked hopefully. After all, Gui was a genius with an IQ of 200. He should be able to compete with Long Dian.
“There is no need to contact him.” Kenshin said something very strange.
“No need to contact him?” The moment I asked this question, an unlikely person walked out of the airship. Need I say who it is? Of course it’s Gui!
In front of everyone’s shocked faces, the fully equipped Gui made an embarrassed expression. He stuttered as he explained, “S-Sorry, but because I really wanted to come with Prince, I hid in the airship a day earlier. The engine room is just big enough for one person to hide in…”
I could not resist scolding, “You really are an idiot. You even stayed in the aircraft parking ground, the place closest to Long Dian, alone.” If Long Dian had felt like taking the airship into his base of operations, there would have been no way for Gui to avoid being detected.
“I’m sorry, I just wanted…to follow you here. If I did anything more, I would just become a burden,” said Gui. The more he said, the gloomier his eyes became, and the weaker his voice.
“Anyway, you’re still alive and in one piece, that’s the most important thing,” I said. I could not bear to blame Gui any more. After all, he had just wanted to follow me.
“Gui, hurry up and tell us, how will we be able to enter Long Dian’s base?” demanded Lolidragon hastily, as though she could not wait any longer.
Gui muttered to himself in a low voice, then walked in front of the metal signboard and said, “Living humans may not enter? Interesting. Lolidragon, Sunshine is inside your tablet pc, right?”
Lolidragon nodded earnestly.
“Sunshine, let’s see if you can invade this signboard,” said Gui, smiling mysteriously. “If my guess is correct, the reason living people may not enter is because only NPCs can approach this signboard.”
“Okay, I will try it,” said Sunshine. After that, he paused for a moment. Only one or two seconds had passed when he happily spoke again, saying, “It’s fine, there’s an AI inside this signboard. I have already opened the entrance.”
Faster than you could blink, the entire hexagonal, cement floor started to sink. After I had gotten over the initial shock, I immediately pulled out my lightsaber as a precaution. Who knows how many robots could be gathered down there?
“The door has opened, the door has opened!” A few panicked voices shouted, as if they were very happy at being saved.
Those did not sound like voices of robots, but it was better to be careful. I pulled Gui behind me and nagged, “Gui, you are not very strong in battle, so you should stay behind me as much as possible.”
“Okay,” said Gui in a happy but slightly sorrowful voice, happy to be cared for by the person he liked, but depressed that he had to let his beloved woman protect him.
The hexagonal floor finally landed on the ground. To summarize the situation, about twenty “people” looked at us with fear and expectation, leaving us extremely confused, wondering what was going on. Are they people or robots?
“Are you robots?” someone on their side asked, first in surprise and then in fear.
“No, of course not,” I answered, shocked. “We are definitely human.”
“That’s great!” They actually started to hug each other in joy. One of them said, “Are you here to rescue us? Has the government finally found a way to control ‘him’?”
Filled with suspicion, I asked, “Just who are you people?”
“They are the world’s most talented people,” said Zhuo-gēge suddenly. He then walked toward an old man with a white beard. The old man’s eyes had nearly popped out in astonishment.
“Professor, I have been very worried for your safety. It looks like you’re okay,” said Zhuo-gēge as he held the white-bearded old man’s hands, face filled with emotion.
“Ling Bin? Why are you here?” The white-bearded old man was so surprised that he stuttered.
“There is something I must do,” said Zhuo-gēge, smiling. “On the contrary, Professor, why are you people allowed to wander around freely? Won’t Long Dian restrict your movements?”
The white-bearded old man shook his head, saying, “Previously, he kept threatening us by saying that he would launch a nuclear weapon and destroy the world unless we helped him. Thus, we had no choice but to help him successfully create an artificial body. Also, we performed some strange brain surgery on him.”
“Did you guys take the opportunity to kill him during the operation?” asked Lolidragon, worried.
“Of course not!” yelled a doctor in a white coat. “He said that he had already set a time for the launch of the nuclear weapon, and if the surgery failed, causing him to die, no one would be able to stop it.” The doctor’s face was so pale it was almost white. He continued, “That was the first time I’d ever heard about that kind of surgery. I did not expect it to be successful… Luckily, we succeeded in the end.”
“Oh my god, this lunatic actually wants the whole world to die with him,” said the old man, who could not help but shudder at the thought.
However, I felt like I had been struck by lightning. The surgery was successful? Does this mean that the Dictator of Life has already…disappeared?