I would like to welcome everyone to the fifth chapter of Legend of Prince. Before we start, I would like to thank my mother for reading my story and supporting me.
A few days passed, during which Ai Rou and I explored what felt like every inch of the forest. It wasn't until the fourth night of wandering through the wilderness that Ai Rou was pressed by her superiors to explain the civilized world to me. She quickly led me to a city, where she proceeded to make me act as a guide. In the process of trying to get to an adventurer's guild, we stopped by all the main buildings of the city and she explained each one in detail. We reached the adventurer's guild by chance. I almost walked right past it, even while looking for the flag on top that was meant to mark it.
Tonight is the last night before I enter the world of Legend of the Sun Knight for real. When I logged on, I rose from the bed that I was in and walked downstairs to the main room of the inn.
Ai Rou was at a table, staring into the fireplace. She quickly noticed me.
"Prince, it was a pleasure teaching you about this world." Ai Rou looked up from the fire, giving me a nostalgic smile.
"At times, it seemed you were unteachable. At those times, it seemed that I was right. You're hopeless in many ways, but if you ever get caught alone in the wilderness, I'm certain you wouldn't die. Instead, you'd be lost for an eternity. Make sure to never leave home without a companion who actually knows directions." She gazed into the fire again while I processed her words. She said them in such a nice voice, like she was praising her student that's graduating, but the words… sounded more like insults.
"I wish I had more time to teach you. There were so many things we didn't get to, I'm afraid you might not have prepared enough…" her voice soon became very soft, only just loud enough for me to hear. "... food for me."
I rolled my eyes at her. It seemed to me that she was becoming melodramatic for no reason.
"Ai Rou, do you have any more instructions for me? We still have the rest of this day."
To my surprise, she shook her head.
"I've already taught you everything I can. It would be impossible to teach you what I want to, even if I had a decade to pound it into your head. Go wander around for the day. Maybe you'll get a sense of direction by miracle."
I shook my head at her laughingly as she shooed me away.
I left the inn and started wandering around as she told me to. Even if I tried to go anywhere in specific, I doubted I would get there anyway.
I passed building after building along the empty street as I thought about my life that I would be leaving it for a year. I would miss my daughter, Xiao Xiao Lan. I was sure that she could handle my absence for a month since I would leave on trips around the world time to time. For me, it would be hard to leave her for an entire year. I didn't worry about her, though since I knew she would be safe in the care of Zhou-gege, who I would also miss. I would even miss my idiot brother and Lolidragon.
I sighed, letting go of those depressing thoughts. I looked around, trying to find out where I had ended up. It was a dead end in a rather run-down part of the city. I shrugged, deciding not to stay. So I logged out and slept naturally for the first time that week.
I woke up to the normal hustle and bustle of everyday life, namely making breakfast for my large family. A few hours after we were done eating, Lolidragon announced that it was time for us to go. We would be heading to her company so that we could be under constant supervision while under. On our way there, Lolidragon assured us that she had everything planned out and we would not feel much different when we wake up than we did when we fell asleep - not that we would be able to tell.
We entered the room that we would be in for the next month. It looked a lot like a hospital ward with sleek mechanical capsules instead of hospital beds. When one of us - not me - asked about the large machinery, Lolidragon helpfully explained.
"The original headsets used for Second Life are not built to sustain a month of non-stop usage, nor are they capable of handling sped-up time to the degree that we will be doing it. For these reasons, our scientists built these capsules to fix these problems. They are also capable of offering top-notch medical treatment that is often used on coma patients to keep their bodies from deteriorating."
"Now, if none of you have any concerns, I would like you to enter the capsules. They will be activated once everything is ready."
I felt my heart pounding in anticipation and I hesitated before stepping in. Gui gripped my hand, reassuring me that everything would be fine. Through the contact, I could tell that he was excited too. I laid down in the capsule and closed it. I waited a few minutes in the dimly lit tube and willed my heart to slow down.
After what felt like hours, the world went black and I woke up in a forest. This time, I saw that I was surrounded by my friends; Gui, Meatbun, Wolf-dage, Yu Lian-dasao, Sunshine, Fairsky, Kenshin and Arctic Fox. I smiled broadly, glad to be on an adventure with them.
We took a few moments to settle ourselves and getting used to our forms. Even though we had been playing as these characters for years, and in the NPCs' case, all their lives, it still felt different. I assumed it was because of the difference of equipment used to link us in.
I looked down at myself, to see that I was wearing a leather tunic and boots with grey clothing underneath. It looked a lot like newbie's clothing to me. When looking around, I noticed that everyone was wearing more or less newbie-like clothing. Except for Meatbun, of course.
After we took stock of ourselves, Wolf-dage led us towards Leaf Bud City. While walking, Gui started up a conversation with me.
"Your Highness, how was your training session?" Gui looked at me with happy eyes, eagerly awaiting my answer. Even though we had been married for years, he still made me want to punch him.
"I was taught the history while we were camping for the first few days. On the fifth day, we went out to a city so I could learn about culture. My teacher tried to teach me about map reading and navigation, but I didn't learn anything." I shrugged, not wanting to admit that I didn't think Ai Rou taught me anything except history and culture. Gui put on a confused expression.
"My teacher taught me much more than that. He said that we were supposed to learn all about wilderness survival, the elements, backstory creation, history, culture, and how various establishments worked."
My face blanked, I didn't realize that Ai Rou didn't teach me half of what I needed to know. Sure, she mentioned the elements, pointed out the establishments, and asked if I wanted to improve my backstory, but she didn't actually teach me about these things.
"I guess you're going to help me out, Gui."
"I'm always willing to help you, your majesty." Gui looked ecstatic about the opportunity to aid me, but I frowned.
"One rule," I raised my pointer finger for emphasis. "Stop calling me by those titles."
Gui pouted for a few moments before nodding.
We walked on for a few more hours, while Gui attempted to help me invent a more detailed past for myself.
"Mama, Meatbun-bun is hungry." Meatbun called from on top of my head. He spoke loud enough that the whole group heard.
"Let's rest for a while, then." Wolf-dage announced. "Sunshine and Fairsky, could you gather firewood? Prince and Gui, gather edible plants. Kenshin and Arctic Fox, hunt. Yu Lian and I will fetch water." Everyone nodded at their assigned jobs and left to do them. Gui and I found several edible plants in the forest and I collected them to put into Gui's waiting arms. We returned with a large armful of plants, all of which I knew would taste wonderful with the meat Kenshin and Arctic Fox were bringing.
We all settled down for supper, which felt odd since we woke up only hours ago in the real world. I made the meal of several dishes, while the others either helped or worked on setting up camp for the night. After the meal, I laid down in my tent. I was full and excited for the year to come.
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