Chapter 12 – The way I grabbed people must be wrong!
Bone dust showered Du Ze’s face. The shockwave blew him off his feet. He rolled several times until he hit the bottom of the pyramid. He struggled to get up and, when he saw what had happened, Du Ze’s blood ran cold.
The female’s meter and a half-long and two inches wide sword was thrust into Xiu’s waist. Most of it was now behind his back. Black blood was dripping down before evaporating. Even with such a grievous injury, Xiu’s eyes were still bright, the blue soul flames blazing. The Lich used his body to hold the sword in place. He did not hesitate. Summoning a spirit of despair, the Lich put his hand on her forehead – the summoned spirit will rend her mind and destroy her utterly.
However, the grey spirit just flowed out from the female soldier’s head. Xiu’s face was pale. Looking at the unaffected female soldier, he said, voice low and grating, “… Puppet.”1
“You found out?” Flandal walked over to Xiu and stood beside him, patting the female soldier proudly. “This is my best work, Mia.”
Mia heard Flandal’s praise and smiled shyly. Looking at her, who would believe that this lively woman warrior is just a mechanical puppet?2 The plague magic wouldn’t affect her and the Lich can’t rip out her soul because she has no soul at all. Inanimate machines have always been the bane of the undead.
Xiu suddenly stretched out his hand to try to attack Flandal but Mia was wise to his tricks and pulled out the sword. Once the sword was withdrawn, Xiu could not hold on and fell to his knees, coughing up black blood. Flandal paused and stared at the black blood that was quickly vaporizing.
A drop of black blood flew past him.
Flandal’s power forced a drop of blood to take shape and fly towards his palm. He cautiously took the drop of blood, put it near his nose, and sniffed. The next moment, the small figure trembled in excitement.
“This is the scent of gnome! 30,000 years! I’m Flandal, I didn’t expect to see my fellow countryman again. The father did not abandon the gnome -”
Flandal was thrilled, looking at Xiu as though he was a long-lost relative, saying “I am Flandal Steelskin, the gnome’s god of forging! What is your relationship with the gnomes?”
Xiu was silent, refusing to respond. His dim, gloomy eyes were hostile. Flandal didn’t care about Xiu’s resentment but he frowned at the death aura that was wrapped around Xiu’s body. “Your undead aura is too strong.”
Under the angel’s disbelieving gaze, Flandal bit his finger, squeezed out a drop of red-gold blood, and placed it in the struggling Xiu’s eye.
Once the red-gold blood was absorbed by Xiu’s body, Flandal gestured at Mia to let go of Xiu.
The Lich fell to the ground and curled up in pain. Xiu felt as though hot magma had been poured into his body. He felt full, as if he was going to explode. The pain began to paralyze his mind and his vision blurred. The whole world seemed to sway left and right and lurch up and down.
What he didn’t know was that the world really was shaking. The metal pyramid, which had stood silent for thousands of years, began to awaken. It had restructured itself. The tip of the triangle was gone; the pyramid turned into a trapezoid and revealed its interior. A straight path leading inside appeared.
Jolted by the shaking of the earth, Flandal couldn’t believe what was happening. “Why is it activated?”
“How could anyone, apart from the gnome race, activate it -”
The only one unaffected was Xiu who was writhing in pain.
The pain was incredible, as if his body was being torn apart. It was similar to when he had been captured by the Temple of Light’s knights, when the nail had pierced his body and his flesh and blood melted away. It wasn’t just the pain of the body, but also the feeling of despair when he had been abandoned by everyone. He opened his eyes in a trance and looked around hopelessly. He didn’t know what he wanted to see. Daniel poised to attack? Enoch’s3 ice-cold glare? Rose’s panic-stricken gaze?
Then he raised his head and looked into black eyes like cold, deep pools – he saw his reflection in these eyes many times. The skeleton, human form, evil, intolerable,4 … each time, the eyes are cold and indifferent, but it is the kind of unchanging aloofness that makes him feel calm and comforted.
– Regardless of how he changes, that person always look at him like this and will not change … very good.
When the female soldier removed the sword from Xiu’s body, Du Ze was horrified. He couldn’t hear what they were saying but it looked like they were about to kill the protagonist. The story of “Mixed Blood” was going to come to an end because the reader suggested that they leave the Lost Land early and they met a miniBOSS! The protagonist was defeated, the story ended – this is not the ending that he saw in the Time Corridor, that lying tramp!5
Du Ze started to go all out looking for a way to save the protagonist. With his frail otaku8 body, Du Ze can’t possibly fight the others. He can only resort to using the magic of plot spoilers. The metal pyramid behind him was the only thing he could use right now. After reading “Mixed Blood,” naturally he knew how to activate the pyramid. But if he activates it, how will this change affect the events of “Mixed Blood?”
However, seeing that the protagonist has fallen down, Du Ze gritted his teeth and put a hand on the metal pyramid’s surface, drawing a line on some of the black grooves etched on the surface of the metal. Even though it might mess up the plot, the most important thing now is to save the protagonist.
The black grooves that Du Ze drew across lit up until a complete pattern was formed. The ground began to quiver and the metal pyramid, which had stood silent for thousands of years, began to awaken. The small fellow and the angel’s attention was instantly attracted. Du Ze took this opportunity to go to Xiu’s side. He saw the protagonist, who was curled up on the ground, suddenly look up and stare at him.
The young one always speaks to me when my headphones have betrayed me!
Du Ze couldn’t pay attention to this problem during an emergency and directly grabbed Xiu to carry him into the pyramid. He felt as though they had never run so fast before! Perhaps it’s the legendary adrenaline rush, but Xiu was surprisingly very light and seemed to become lighter and lighter as they ran. And why did he not forget to take the doujinshi with him?
Then Flandal and the angel discovered that Du Ze had fled with Xiu. The gnome god shouted, “Halt!” The order carried with it an invisible compulsion. The god’s words had a strong spiritual pressure – as long as they are not gods, the ones who hear it will be unable to shrug off the strain. The angel was unable to stand, but, to their shock, Du Ze continued to cheerfully run away with Xiu, not affected in the slightest by the god’s invincible might.
The headphones are on strike, please redial the number later. Even if Du Ze had heard Flandal’s “halt” he would have said that the wind was too loud for him to hear anything. By the time Flandal and the angel reacted, Du Ze had sprinted into the pyramid like a runaway horse.
After entering the pyramid, Du Ze and Xiu were transported to the uppermost layer of the pyramid. From their position, they could look down at the continental passage9 at the bottom of the pyramid. It was a huge eye that had been buried inside the metal pyramid for tens of thousands of years. Even though they were in a hurry to escape, Du Ze was awed by the magical scene. This was the “space eye” that connects the continent’s positive and negative sides.
Du Ze snapped back to his senses, pulled Xiu to his side, and jumped down with him. The only way to get rid of their pursuers is to enter the space eye which will randomly transfer them to a place on the opposite side of the continent.
Behind them, Flandal and the angel can only watch helplessly as the two were swallowed up by the space eye. They stayed on top of the pyramid for a time before Flandal spoke. “Let’s go back, we can’t find them.”
Du Ze took a long time to wake up. His first impulse was to check the protagonist because he was afraid that the space eye had separated them. When he saw the familiar black robe, Du Ze breathed a sigh of relief, then he turned as still as a statue.10
The black robe was spread over the ground and loosely wrapped around a small figure. A gnome who looks like a 12 year old human was laying in the black robe, his eyes closed. His flax-colored short hair fell back to reveal a pair of pointed gnome ears. His skin is so pink that it makes people want to pinch it.
Du Ze … Du Ze took off his eyeglasses, cleaned the lenses with the hem of his shirt, then put them back on.
The sleeping youth with the flaxen hair has a pure, innocent11 face that looks totally different to the Lich’s pale, sombre face.
… The way I grabbed people must be wrong!
They said, “If you want to journey across the sky, we can make a spaceship for you.”
They said, “If you want to explore the ocean, we can make a submarine for you.”
They said, “If you want to roam around the earth, we can make a combat tank for you.”
They said, “Hey, you’re so tall!”
They said, “We will be much more, because we are Gnomes.”12
– excerpt from “Mixed Blood: Gnome Poetry”
The author has something to say;
Reader: The way I grabbed people must be wrong! Whose family does this child belong to! @author
Author: My family, you must become part of my family quickly … What do you think? @protagonist
Protagonist: … Come here. @reader
- 傀儡 it’s actually puppet but I want to translate it as “robot.”
- I will be using mechanical puppet and robot interchangeably.
- 伊诺 (yi nuo) is either Eno, Gino, Ino, or something. I choose Enoch for now.
- The word used was actually “unbearable” 不堪 meaning either unbearable pain, exhaustion, or “can’t stand it.” I believe the actual English equivalent is intolerable but there are many different possible meanings.
- Some untranslatable stuff here since it’s literally “pit father” but meaning “liar.”
- Scammers (and the police) commonly try to enter a house saying “we’re here to check the water meter.”
- This is super hard to translate. Literally, Qiu has been going house to house, “checking water meters” (scamming or annoying people/fans) but now Du Ze wants to be the one to check water meters. I think the meaning is that Du Ze wants to take over the script of the novel from Qiu.
- 宅男 = otaku.
- The way to the other side of the continent.
- Literally “he solidified.”
- The original said “harmless.”
- This is the reason why I translated the race as gnome. Here the author put the a parenthesis with the word “Gnome” in English.