Shan Ziwei looked back at Chiron with an expression like “=口=”.
The elf with “Monopolize (Active)” now in effect merely smiled at him, exuding an innocent aura that told Shan Ziwei he clearly didn’t realize he had done anything to be surprised about.
Shan Ziwei only managed to say a single word before he paused. If he thought about it carefully, amongst “Ace of Hearts – Love (Active)”, “Ace of Clubs – Monopolize (Active)” and “Ace of Diamonds – Monopolize (Passive)”, Chiron had chosen the most appropriate one. Chiron had used “Ace of Clubs – Monopolize (Active)”, which meant that the elf would express possessiveness for him in accordance with the Relationship Scenario Card effect description. If he just so happened to have a “Monopolize (Passive)” relationship with the other at these times, he would be able to recover his half-depleted Diamonds SP.
Shan Ziwei stared at the remaining “Ace of Diamonds – Monopolize (Passive)”. Though it was kind of embarrassing, he used it without hesitation.
[Scenario 9: You are being monopolized by Chiron.]
… Somehow, it felt like he had lost something very important to him. _(:з」∠)_
“Heh…” He wasn’t sure if he was imagining it or not, but Chiron’s voice was even more pleasing than before, ripe with unbridled joy. “Let’s go.”
Shan Ziwei held the remaining “Ace of Hearts – Love (Active)” in his hand, and headed back to Teddy’s position with Chiron. On the way back, everything was peaceful and there wasn’t a single mob to be seen; perhaps it was because of the presence of such a powerful pawn like Chiron. Soon enough, Shan Ziwei was able to see that fluffy figure in the distance.
Shan Ziwei ran towards the cute plush with evident delight. Dear Teddy, I’ve collected those chessmen of yours~ We’re good friends and helped each other right? So, system, hurry and restore my Spades SP please!
The teddy bear was also delighted to see Shan Ziwei return, and ran over to greet him with balloons in hand.
“Rawr~ You’re ba-“
For a moment, Shan Ziwei’s head was completely blank. He stared that multitude of colours rise into the sky, as if unable to process why they were flying away.
The multicoloured balloons had scattered into the skies because the one holding onto them was no longer there. Shan Ziwei turned his head around stiffly to stare at Chiron as the elf leisurely shouldered his silver bow. He was right about that bow’s power – a power that could instantly kill the Bishop level Teddy, holy crap!!!
So instant kills existed in this game!? What kind of damage output could send Teddy all the way from healthy to heaven in one hit? Wait, that’s not the main point. The point was: why did Chiron kill Teddy!? They were both quest NPCs, so weren’t they meant to get along with one another?
Shan Ziwei felt like he was going to have a mental breakdown from the inexplicable way this game was going. He trembled as he stared at the elf, stuttering.
Chiron walked closer to him, his smile still as bright as ever, filled with pure and innocent beauty.
“I was a bit upset at how close the two of you seemed.” Chiron stood right in front of Shan Ziwei. He was taller by a full head and he bowed slightly, like a gentleman about to kiss a lady’s hand. “You’re mine, so don’t get too close with anyone else, alright?”
It was phrased as a request, an inquiry, yet there was an oppressive forcefulness to it. Overwhelmed, Shan Ziwei wore an expression of shock, utterly speechless.
Chiron gazed deeply at the shaken Shan Ziwei, before suddenly laughing.
“It was just a joke.” The elf blinked at him. “Of course you can get close with others – so long as you don’t let me catch you.”
Gods, he was starting to get PTSD from the word “joke”.
He vaguely remembered a saying: the brighter and purer the person, the more twisted they were when they snapped. Shan Ziwei now had personal experience of this. He didn’t feel too good when he thought of the description and effects of “Ace of Clubs – Monopolize (Active)”.
So, in the future, when he was with Chiron, if anyone tried to get close, Chiron would just kill them? What was with this? He felt like a promiscuous wife with a possessive psychopath husband who would kill everyone he might cheat with.
Although he knew the elf was doing this because of the Relationship Scenario, it certainly didn’t feel great.
What was even more shameful, was that his Diamond SP had been restored.
–– Restoring Spiritual Points due to being monopolized… that sounded even worse ok?!
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
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“These should be very useful to you.”
Faced with this elf who obeyed his system programming to the letter, and much more importantly, could one-shot him at any time, what else could Shan Ziwei do but accept the box of chess pieces and the bishop chess piece docilely. He silently lit a candle for Teddy, who had gotten caught in the crossfire.
Type: Two of Diamonds
Category: Storage Item
Effect: Can store one chess piece set (10/16)
Description: Did’ja know that a set of chess pieces contains one king, one queen, two castles, two bishops, two knights and eight pawns?]
Shan Ziwei put the knight and pawn chess pieces that he had obtained before into the chess box and then looked towards the bishop chess piece that the teddy bear had dropped. His guess had been correct. When a pawn on the chessboard died, they would drop their corresponding chess piece. There were six kinds of chess pieces: king, queen, castle, bishop, knight and pawns. That meant that the pawns on the chessboard should be divided into these six categories, possibly hinting at their level? Let’s say pawn category rabbit soldiers were normal mobs, then the knight category Mr. White Rabbit would be an elite mob. While he hadn’t fought with Teddy Bear before, considering its MP, it should count as a small Boss.
… So how terrifying was someone like Chiron, who could OHKO a small Boss?
Noticing Shan Ziwei’s gaze, the elf’s smile brightened so much that you could almost see flowers blooming in the background.
“The City of Toys is in sight. Let’s continue, we’ll be there soon.”
Just as Shan Ziwei wanted to agree with the human shaped killing machine beside him, his sight was filled with red and black puzzle pieces. His entire body froze.
#Mourning the Teddy now in Heaven and the scattered balloons#
Chiron took a few steps forwards before realizing that Shan Ziwei wasn’t following. Confused, he questioned, “What’s wrong?”
“I’m afraid of red and black puzzle pieces. I can’t touch them.”
Chiron gazed at Shan Ziwei, seeming a little bemused. In the end, he finally sighed, “So be it.”
He took the massive silver bow off his back and notched two golden arrows, raising the bow and shooting the arrows off in the direction of the City of Toys. The golden arrows fell at the gates like comets. At the same time, a small magic array appeared under Shan Ziwei and Chiron’s feet.
The light from the magic array stung Shan Ziwei’s eyes. He felt his body being pulled by a powerful force, and when he recovered, he found that he and Chiron had already gotten past the red and black puzzle pieces. They were now standing in front of the gate to the City of Toys.
Shan Ziwei dumbly watched Chiron pick up the golden arrows – why did they walk when this guy had a BMW handy?
As if understanding Shan Ziwei’s silent question, Chiron handed Shan Ziwei the golden arrow as he said with a smile, “I wanted to stay with you for a bit longer.”
He raised his gaze towards the looming City of Toys, with a storm brewing behind his eyes.
“I am not your host for this chessboard.” The elf almost seemed like he was talking to himself. Before Shan Ziwei could properly make out his words, the elf returned to his usual smile. “I’ll drop you off here. These two arrows are for you. When you come to my chessboard, you can use them to come and find me.”
Shan Ziwei accepted the golden arrows despite his confusion and thanked Chiron, “Thank you.”
Chiron grinned happily.
The ancient, heavy city gates creaked behind him and Shan Ziwei subconsciously turned his head to look. The sight of the City of Toys’ multicoloured building brick gates slowly opening greeted him, revealing the dim murkiness of its interior.
Shan Ziwei cut off his inquiry abruptly as he realized that the person he was asking had disappeared. Chiron had left without notice, and Shan Ziwei was now back to how he had been when he had just entered the chessboard, all alone.
Though the elf was kind of terrifying with the Monopolize Scenario, Shan Ziwei couldn’t deny that the other was very good to him. Shan Ziwei nervously looked into the City of Toys, but it was too dark inside; he couldn’t see a thing.
[Scenario 2: You have entered the City of Toys. (00:15:43)]
There was a mere fifteen minutes before Scenario 2 was activated. Stalling wouldn’t do anything for him. He was standing at the gates of the City of Toys like he was stranded on a desert island. All around him were black and red puzzle pieces. Apart from advancing, he had no other choice.
Shan Ziwei gritted his teeth and stepped into the darkness – a tutorial stage wouldn’t set an ambush at the door for him, would it?
After stepping inside, it wasn’t as dimly lit as he thought it would’ve been. Instead, it grew brighter. The darkness before seemed to have been a temporary barrier. Now, what was in front of Shan Ziwei was a deep, immense, and dream-like room. Speckles of blue light drifted through the air, forming silky galaxies. The floor was covered in a thick, fluffy rug. It looked warm, comfortable, and made you think of stories by the fireplace. Countless present boxes of various shapes, sizes, and patterns were scattered across the rug. Some were striped, some spotted, and others decorated with ribbons. They were stacked haphazardly, forming a maze of wrapped gifts.
So, was it time for him to start the puzzle portion of the game?
Shan Ziwei hesitantly walked into the maze of presents and soon realized that he was wrong. Though these boxes were stacked haphazardly, they didn’t form a particularly complicated maze or anything, but a very simple pathway. The path was a little wonky, but there weren’t any alternative or diverging paths.
Soon enough, Shan Ziwei reached the end of the maze. If his estimates were correct, he should be in the centre of this room.
In the centre, the first thing Shan Ziwei saw was a massive television screen that looked to be from the seventies or eighties. After a moment of surprise, he followed the screen upwards with his gaze until he made contact with a pair of deep, mysterious eyes.
It was impossible to describe the kind of shock Shan Ziwei felt in that moment as he stared, speechless, at that figure.
It – why was it here?
On the three-meter tall screen sat a young man comprised solely of grey, white and black. The young man’s eyes held a clear contrast of black and white – black sclera and white irises. He was dressed like a Father in a church, in a long, wide-sleeved robe and a stole around his neck. His long, straight silver-grey hair cascaded down like a waterfall, like countless optic fibres connecting to invisible nodes. Shan Ziwei didn’t know how to describe his visage, for he was like a symbol of beauty – he was comprised of all the ideas of beauty that humans had ever held. Anyone who saw him would only know that he was beautiful, yet unable to voice why or how.
Perfect, like some sort of god.
And he was a god – a manmade god.
The other’s name fell from Shan Ziwei’s lips like a mumbled prayer. He had seen the central computer’s human avatar before in the documents he had been given at the welfare centre, but it was nowhere near as impactful as seeing the other at such a close distance like this.
Humans loved to give nonhuman beings human forms, and the central computer was no different. They had poured so much work and effort into designing its human form. For Shan Ziwei, it was hard for him to connect this fragile, thin young man to the central computer responsible for managing the information system of the entire world – he looked like a kid that was in need of guidance and protection, not the supervisor of the entire world.
“Christ, this is…”
Shan Ziwei didn’t know if he should praise the game developers for how much they poured into this measly tutorial stage or not. He knew that RPG used the central computer as its server, but he never would’ve expected that they would just throw Gaia into the tutorial stage. He couldn’t even begin to describe how awe-spiring that was.
However, the Gaia in front of him was a little different from the avatar he had seen before. Apart from that black-white reversed pair of eyes, this Gaia also wore a Western style robe, possibly to fit with the style of the game. He also had a white mask slung over the side of his face; it was the emotionless face that acted as the logo of RPG.
Kudos to that shameless promotion.
Shan Ziwei silently joked to himself in an attempt to try and calm his nerves, yet that was when the source of his nervousness chose to lean forward and open his mouth to speak.
[Please choose one of these children to be your Toybox.]
Shan Ziwei didn’t hear anything. However, he saw the words appear on the screen one after the other, like someone was typing them out there.
When the last punctuation mark appeared, the entire room went into an uproar.
The lids of countless giftboxes were flung open like those jack-in-a-box toys, and out sprang all sorts of different toys. Some were humanoid, some were animalistic, some were mechanical… the crowd of toys crawled out of their boxes and rushed at Shan Ziwei with enthusiasm.
“Do-do-don’t come near me!!!”
A certain hypersexual cried out in terror, as he was backed completely against the screen. The toys paused a meter away, looking like they had been grievously wronged, and surrounded Shan Ziwei while trying to get him to pick them.
“Choose me choose me~ I start out with a whole twenty slots~“ A Fuwa shaped doll waved the hair it had tied at the top of its head cutely.
“I can help you curse others. If you don’t choose me, then I’ll curse you tee hee…” A blue cloth doll smiled in the creepiest way, lying atop its black box.
“My dear~ Do you believe in fate?” A poker doll shook its box that looked like a dice, “Do you want to place your bets on me?”
The bombardment of information, noise and movement was dizzying and Shan Ziwei took a second to orient himself, looking right towards the System Scenarios tab – just now, the system had given a new Scenario.
[Scenario 6: You have chosen your very own Toybox. (Checkmate)]
Checkmate? It wasn’t a activation countdown and instead Checkmate?
Shan Ziwei was curious about this new development. “Checkmate” was what you said to end a game of chess, when you won. Did that mean that if he accomplished the Scenario, he would complete the chessboard?
“We’re finally at the end…”
Shan Ziwei let out a breath of relief. He had never thought a tutorial stage would be so difficult. Now, there was no time limit and it didn’t seem like he would have to fight, so Shan Ziwei began to feel relaxed and content. All he had to do to get through the stage was choose a “Toybox” now.
Shan Ziwei looked at the box-based dolls. “What’s a Toybox?”
In response to Shan Ziwei’s question, the dolls all fought to answer first.
“We’re very useful~”
“If you give me chess pieces, I can give you Scenario Cards~ I’m easier to raise than all of them, pick me pick meee~”
“I can help you store things and buy things and sell things, pick me~ After I level up I can even give you discounts.”
“I can help you contact others. I’ve got a really long range~ Consider it, meow?”
“I can support you in combat and after I level up, I can even buff your defence!”
That was a convincing argument for Shan Ziwei. He looked towards the doll with a box like a Rubix cube that had just talked – I guess I’m choosing you.
But before making his choice, Shan Ziwei checked over his profits from this chessboard to avoid missing or losing anything after completing the stage. He currently had a Bishop chess piece, a box of chess pieces, two golden arrows and a Relationship Scenario Card “Ace of Hearts – Love (Active)”.
Shan Ziwei stared at the Relationship Scenario Card. He had never tried out an Active Relationship before – his good friend Teddy had been turned into cannon fodder by his monopolizer Chiron, so he had never actually managed to test out the effects of “Ace of Spades – Friendship (Active)”.
Well, “Ace of Hearts – Love (Active)” would be something he wouldn’t use unless forced to – he definitely wouldn’t use it on anyone else, especially not another player. He might as well test it out now.
Shan Ziwei used “Ace of Hearts – Love (Active)” on the Rubix cube doll. The Scenario Card didn’t have any effect or reaction.
Huh, he couldn’t use it?
He tried it on the other dolls, but the card remained ineffective.
Did Toyboxes count as tools? So that’s why he couldn’t use the Relationship Scenario Card?
Shan Ziwei subconsciously glanced at the mysterious young man above him. Amongst the group of dolls, only Gaia was really “human”. He carefully threw an Investigate at the young man, but the result was unsuccessful, just like with Chiron.
Whatever, let’s try it first.
Thus, Shan Ziwei discretely used “Ace of Hearts – Love (Active)” on Gaia. This time, the Relationship Scenario Card successfully turned into specks of blue light that migrated into Shan Ziwei’s Personal Scenarios tab.
[Scenario 10: You’re in love with ???]
Seeing the last slot in his Personal Scenarios filled, Shan Ziwei let out a breath of either relief or anxiety.
Once the relationship was established, all that was left to do was to confess like the description of “Ace of Hearts – Love (Active)” said.
There was nothing to be embarrassed about. The other was just the personification of an emotionless computer. Just-just treat it like expressing admiration for a work of art.
Shan Ziwei turned to face the gigantic screen, not daring to look upwards at Gaia. His lips moved, voice inaudible to the point where only he could hear himself speak:
“I like you.”
I’ve been a bit busy recently with two essays due and a test this week >.< So my buffer is gone orz Not sure if I’ll be able to update next week. qwq
But hopefully, next Thursday, you’ll be greeted by Scenario Nine, the fifth and final City of Toys Scenario