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The Lengthy Process

Zhao Youyue’s 2D travels lasted a long time. Approximately the entire summer holiday was spent in the gaming world. After all, she was here to create an iconic character. Su Shi had her full attention, and effort and Zhao Youyue hoped that the same applied to the creator.

Su Shi was a hidden protagonist. People would think that she was some mysterious quest-giver, or a side event that occasionally saved players from death.

Nobody would actually assume that she was the actual protagonist, all this while hidden behind the splash image of a decoy heroine.

Only players who have been in contact with Su Shi at length would know who she really was.

She did not seem cute at all, and lacked proper speech. She did not even know how to act courteously, and seemed to be hiding something. She gave off the vibe of some wild conspirator, looking plain on the outside; hiding her deft elegance behind masked movements. No one would be able to tell that she was an actual princess.

All this just gave players a feeling that she could not be trusted, the thought of her being the type of character that will plot players in a lousy situation bloomed in many. However, she was impeccable; doing better than what was said.

Slowly but surely, she evolved from being a side character, to something far more – by remaining who she was and sticking to her ideals.

She had basically sneaked into that secret place in a gamer’s heart. As they cleared missions together, her fame would increase, and when it reaches a certain point, she would have her grand battle with Lee Xiye.

From such an angle, if players could just hold off on deploying her as their companion in various boss fights, they could postpone the battle between Lee Xiye and her.

To casual players, having her around would decrease the difficulty of the game while letting them feel the warmth of a good-hearted maiden. What reason was there not to use her?

Many players who had experience in dating games would give Su Shi’s affection pointstheir best. The more time spent together, the higher the affection points.

Some players would purchase beautiful clothes for the maiden and change her appearance, only to find that this regular looking maiden was actually a goddess.

Players who were able to come upon this discovery would most likely be scarce as, “trust challenges” tended to happen. This was a typical Zha Feng deathtrap. It got players complacent and misled into thinking that they had seen through Su Shi’s plan, and trusted the righteous fairy, Yan Qingmeng’s deceptive, evil ways. As they try to increase Yan Qingmeng’s affection points, that path would lead them against Su Shi.

Only those who have been standing by Su Shi’s side the entire time would understand her true beauty. Thus, when the truth is revealed, those who did not trust Su Shi could only regret their choices.

In this artificial game world, unlike previous light novels or manga where the timeline moved in one direction, Zhao Youyue noticed that time was not relative, so players could make different choices. It was an interesting observation, but it did not matter much to her.

The nameless maiden Su Shi would never gain any feelings for the player, as she had too much in her mind to even consider irrelevant emotions such as love. Of course, she would be appreciative of the players’ actions, while even accepting the players’ many gifts, unlocking the outfit changing function. That function would also open up her scarred heart, where she would begin to learn that the world may still hold people who would still give their all to her.

Players were chameleons. They could turn into angels; they could also end up as devils. They could proceed down a path without giving a second thought about any possible rewards; they could also chop up the NPC in charge of the mission just because they did not like him, hoping that something rare would drop.

They could drop by Qing Lou to pick up girls; only to go on a prostitute killing frenzy by the next moment – to get back their payment. This would then be followed by the player killing everyone in Qing Lou resulting in soldiers coming after them

With such a mindset, they could naturally destroy the maiden’s equipment – just because they were curious about her sword, or they could also trust her unconditionally and stay by her side forever to see what the plot had in store for them.

Even if the game was only capable of autosaving, Supa Hackers [1] would be able to manually retrieve save files to select different routes, being able to experience multiple endings conveniently.

Regular players would rather use dumb, old-fashioned methods by using different save files for different endings

That was why sometimes playing a game without guides had its charm. Players could experience the excitement of discovering the unknown that they feared, the apprehension, the horror to learn that they’ve gone down a dead end, etc. Guides basically served as spoilers and killed all that fun.

Fortunately, this game was almost like an interactive movie. Even if you have been spoiled, you would still be deeply immersed as the full screen strikes you.

Zhao Youyue was fairly certain that this trip to the other world had been successful. She would not need to worry about going through the full military bootcamp before obtaining Su Shi’s ability. What was there to fear?

The game may only have low-level martial arts to offer, but she would still end up a warrior nevertheless, or even a parkour expert. This would allow her to participate in many extreme sports and perform many types of incredible flips and rolls.

Bootcamps may or may not produce the same results, except that character cards were a shortcut of sorts. The only potential problem was the abilities being beyond that which the world could accept, resulting in some depowering or nerfing by the powers that will be.

Zhao Youyue was the arts scholar of the Jiangnan province, yet she chose to study at Jiangnan University. After such a leak, many were surprised. They had expected her to choose Central University or one of the Chinese Universities, which were all top universities in their own right. Jiangnan University may not be so far behind the mentioned two, but it was nowhere nearly as renown.

Many asked for her reasons, and Zhao Youyue replied bluntly – saying that Jiangnan University was closer to her home, adding on the fact that she was not comfortable with the weather at the city center. All she could do was apologize.

Zhao Youyue could not care less about her prospective universities. She could always change her fate with her “Two Dimension Gate” ability.

There was also the fact that her mother worked at Jiangnan University as a lecturer. All Zhao Youyue had to do was to make the simple choice of either choosing to bask in her mother’s glory or going to Central and suffocate in smog.

And thus, Zhao Youyue’s new, lengthy stage of social life begun.

Successfully entering a good university while allowing herself to receive reward money one by one and then bask in that glory was what Zhao Youyue’s parents thought

Early next morning, Zhao Youyue received a message from Su Li.

“Missy, a gaming company has asked for me to illustrate several characters for them, do you think I should accept it?”


TL Note:

[1] Supa Hacker A term used by Daru from Stein’s Gate as he is proficient with computers and hacking.