I Was Once a Legend, Chapter 12: Official Beginning

“Congratulations on your successful passage of [Fairy Tale I: Hamelin]. Clearing points for you, please wait.”

A woman’s voice rang in his mind as the dazzling light gradually faded. Dong Zheng opened his eyes. A familiar scene reflected on his retina, displaying two copies of “The Pure White Realm’s Survival Guide for Newcomers” on the off-white table. A pen laid on some A4 papers, which he’d been using to detail his notes.

He was sitting at the table, still holding a box in his hands. The box was painted with a simple childish pattern in colorful crayons. The originally blurry image had become clear after customs clearance and was in the shape of a frog and a flute.

The lid was half open, and there was only one box of medicine inside.

Dong Zheng took out the pill box and opened it. There was one capsule left. After the words “Eat me,” a sentence was added: “Where is Alice? It’s time to take medicine.”

Dong Linhai, who no longer had any blood on him, sat on the other chair beside him. The teenager stared at the box in Dong Zheng’s hands incredulously, reached out and touched it incredulously, and said, “Is this how it came out?”

To tell the truth, the difficulty of this box… and the original novice guide seemed almost similar.

Indeed, they seemed to have passed the box in a muddy-headed manner.

“Settlement completed. Successfully passed [Hamelin]: 20 points. Beat Henry: 20 points. Illegal use of abnormal energy detected, deduct 30 points. Your team’s total points is 44. Props brought out [Medicine for paranoid patients x1].” [t/n: The total points includes the points they already had + the points they just earned from the box.]

As soon as this result came out, both Dong Zheng and Dong Linhai were puzzled.

“Illegal use of abnormal energy detected? What is that?” Dong Linhai was dumbfounded. “No, why did they confiscate so many points all of a sudden? Isn’t normal clearance only 20 points?”

Dong Zheng frowned and pressed the prisoner symbol on his left hand, calling, “Cui Zuojing?”

“I’m here.” The teen’s figure appeared out of thin air as he was summoned out. He didn’t directly focus on the two people in front of him and looked sideways out toward the window. He gazed out at the blue-and-white sky, feeling a trace of nostalgia.

This was the sky of the Pure White Realm that he’d not seen in many years.

Dong Zheng said, “The settlement just showed that we illegally used abnormal energy in the box.”

“This.” Cui Zuojing turned back and looked at the young man in front of him. Dong Zheng’s facial features were straight and clean, with a handsome silhouette, and his body inadvertently revealed the temperament of a person who was used to being a superior. His light-colored lips were slightly pressed into a straight line and those eyes, dark and sharp, looked as if they could see through everything.

Probably in the real world, he wasn’t an ordinary person.

“I’ve recovered a soul fragment. You may be aware of it.”

The indifference and lightness in Cui Zuojing’s tone succeeded in making those two brows deepened.

Dong Linhai looked confused. He was ignorant of the plot development in the box, but this didn’t prevent him from having a big ignition. “What fragment? Our points were deducted by a full 30 points, and the points for passing the customs is only 20!”

Cui Zuojing immediately went from good to good. “That must be recovered. If it causes trouble to you, I apologize.”

Then he turned his words. “But don’t forget. If you didn’t have me, you both would have died in that simple, terribly low-level box. But I saved you twice.”

Dong Linhai choked off. What he said before was just out of anger, but he knew it very well. If it weren’t for Cui Zuojing, he and Dong Zheng would have been long dead by now.

Dong Linhai swallowed back the sorry in his mouth. But, he was not an unreasonable person and finally whispered, “Sorry. I shouldn’t have said that.”

“I won’t mention the points for the time being, but can you explain what the soul fragment is? You ought to have seen that we haven’t been here for long and this was just our first experience in a formal box. There are many things we still don’t know.”

Looking at this reluctant partner, Cui Zuojing’s attitude was slightly better. Except for when this person wanted to order him as a master when the blood contract was first signed, Cui Zuojing was very satisfied with his performance.

The youth stretched out his right hand and showed the man the pale green line that was faintly glowing on his palm.

“The magic flute player in that box is not an ordinary npc. The npc and the monsters in normal boxes are all people who’d previously died, but he is different. He is a soul fragment of a friend of mine. Or rather, he is the “goodwill” that my friend had lost.”

Many doubts in the box were explained. Dong Zheng understood and said, “So, when he said that I felt familiar to him, it was because you are my prisoner?”

Cui Zuojing said, “Yes, that’s right. He ended up recognizing me, and I used a little method to take this fragment away.”

Dong Zheng said, “Do you want to return that to your friend? I remember you calling him Fu Zhe.”

Cui Zuojing hummed in agreement.

Dong Zheng nodded and then threw another question, “When I used [Chronos’ Fingerprint], why wasn’t the magic flute player controlled as was stated in the instructions? Probably in the eighth second, he came to me in an instant.”

This man…Why did he always have to go straight to the main point?

To be honest, Cui Zuojing did not want to answer this question. His identity as the Prisoner of Time could not be known to others yet, at least not now.

Like Cui Zuojing, Fu Zhe was also selected by the elements of this world to control the power of space. Although the queen’s curse turned him into the Prisoner of Space, the flute player was only a fragment of his soul. Even so, a mere fingerprint of the Master of Time was simply not enough to trap him.

“This can’t be said yet.”

Dong Linhai asked, “Why?”

Cui Zuojing had a good impression of Dong Zheng, but that didn’t mean he would go out of his way to treat Dong Linhai well. In his estimation, until now, the teen’s performance was really bad. Even if the brain wasn’t so easy to use, he still said so many unnecessary words. When something happened, his first reaction was to ask his brother for help, like a three year old child.

He bluntly said, “Do you know what the core of the Cthulhu myth is? The more you know, the crazier you will become. The less you know, the more stable you are. The same applies here. At this time, you’re still far from being exposed to these things. For an easier time, don’t ask too many questions.”

Cui Zuojing’s verbal criticism bore fruit but, in light of the chasm of strength between them, Dong Linhai could only shut up even if he wasn’t convinced.

Seeing Cui Zuojing like this, Dong Zheng became more and more convinced that this teenager would never be ordinary. Since he’d known him, Dong Zheng had never seen temperature changes in Cui Zuojing’s eyes. Even when he recovered the soul fragments of his old friend, his eyes were still cold, leaving only an oppressive depression.

Would normal people kick old friends without hesitation?

“Linhai and I will improve ourselves as soon as possible. I can feel that you have many stories. It’s normal to be vigilant against me for a while but, in any case, I hope we can have a really frank day between us.”

Dong Zheng covered the box, looked at Cui Zuojing in the eyes, and said with the most sincere attitude, “We’re connected by the prisoner’s contract and the blood contract. I expect that we still need to get along for a long time. The circumstances inside the box were urgent and we haven’t had the opportunity to formally introduce ourselves. Now, we can make the time to do so.”

Cui Zuojing found Dong Zheng’s attitude quite satisfactory. There were only two chairs in the room, so he removed the glass and sat down directly on the coffee table. He said, “Okay, you go first.”

“Dong Zheng, 26 years old. In the real world, I do some work in the family business. Died in a car accident three days ago.”

He graduated from a top ten university with a dual master’s degree in Finance and Business Administration, with an identity as a young entrepreneur with capital. But, that was in the real world. Here, it was no use at all.

Dong Zheng was very self-aware.

“Dong Linhai, turning 18 next month, just finished the college entrance examination, and died with him.” While speaking of his death, Dong Linhai shifted uncomfortably. “I am a sports student, and my physical fitness is relatively good, at least as good as brother.”

Two rich children.

Cui Zuojing nodded. No wonder Dong Zheng had the temperament of a superior, and Dong Linhai was spoiled growing up.

“Cui Zuojing. My prisoner’s name is Arabidopsis, age…16 years old. What I experienced in the Pure White Realm, I can’t tell you for the time being. But just remember that I am much stronger than you think. With my help, you can definitely live here for a long time. At least, you won’t be as uninformed as most newcomers.”

There will never be pure, selfless help. Dong Zheng was aware of Cui Zuojing’s unspoken words. “What is your condition?”

It was very comfortable speaking with a smart man. Cui Zuojing bluntly said, “Don’t just call on me based on the existence of the blood contract. You’re not allowed to use those three absolute commands without my knowledge. Don’t allow yourself to get hurt easily. I’m afraid of pain. When I feel pain, I will be in a bad mood. Once I’m in a bad mood, even I’m afraid of myself.”

This was not a difficult condition. Dong Zheng agreed immediately. “Mmn, is there anything else?”

“No, if you have any questions, you can ask me at any time. As long as I can say, I will say.”

“Actually, there is one most important question.” Dong Zheng pulled out a phone from the drawer and opened an app with a white icon. The app had automatically appeared on his phone after coming to the Pure White Realm.

He’d researched it and saw that it included many functions needed here, including basic information, online trading platforms, and intelligence centers.

Dong Zheng opened the basic information function and handed the phone to Cui Zuojing. “Now, Linhai and I only have 44 team points in total. The night clearing will come in five days. If we don’t have 60 points before then, one of us will be cleared.”

Cui Zuojing glanced at the team information on the screen, and then went to see the date in the upper right-hand corner, April 3. It was indeed time for a bloody night.

In the world of the Pure White Realm, it wasn’t enough to just successfully pass the box to survive. Points were definitely the most important. With every day spent in the Pure White Realm, a little points will be deducted. Points were also needed to buy various things from the store. On the 8th of each month, a night clearing will come and those with less than 30 points will be “cleared.”

The most extensive way to earn points was to clear boxes and trade items. Dong Zheng and Dong Linhai earned 40 points total after completing the novice box. Afterward, each person spent 3 points to survive. They thought they would be able to pass the most recent box and stay here temporarily before moving on. However, they didn’t expect that the points earned would be deducted with only 10 points remaining.

“It’s easy to manage. Isn’t it just points? Just go through a box.” Cui Zuojing returned the phone to Dong Zheng and his pair of “I thought it was a big deal” eyes relaxed. “You guys can take a break for two days. After building up our energy, we will earn some points and come back.”

The teen no longer watched their reactions. He straightened and walked to the window, stretched out his hand and pressed it against the narrow window of the tube house. From afar, he could see the scattered towers of the city, the roads interwoven like blood vessels, and the completely white area in the far distance.

Out there was a circus. Every day, endless trains passed by the door of that tent, delivered to the smiling clown who was responsible for welcoming newcomers and guiding them to live in this post-death world.

In the distant region, a giant tree connected the earth and the sky, with train tracks winding up into the clouds. There was a whale born from the afterglow of 10,000 lightnings, and the tears of flowers and fire spawned the vast snowfield.

Further away, Kether dominated the information superhighway. The entrance to dreams were twisted by the roar of the steam engine, while the vast mist spread out, unrestrained. The entropy rose upstream, and the queen’s palace stood forever in the god’s back garden.

This was the Pure White Realm he was familiar with.

——Volume One: Hamelin [End] ——


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3 years ago

so far the story is slightly confusing, but I'm also very excited for any reveals that come next! >w<

3 years ago

Wowwww I'm really really liking this so far

3 years ago

this is really exciting

3 years ago

The plot is so cool!!!

2 years ago

I feel like I have nothing to say except that the world of the Pure White Realm is so fascinating and interesting. Or I’m just so used to the usual unlimited flow setting of just moving between instances lol. Earth is Online also has one of the most interesting “other world” setting.

Gotta say… salute to DZ and DL! If I were them I would be furious if suddenly points were suddenly deducted out of nowhere and not knowing the exact reason why. Instead of being fine for the day of the purge, they have to go through an additional box to get their points back. Though yes CZJ did save them, it would still feel infuriating. Or… Is that just me?

2 years ago

thank u so much for the translation! another really good story for me to binge ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ

during tense moments i can’t help but read quickly to match the pace so sometimes I have to reread some parts because I didn’t process all the details LMAO

2 years ago

Is there a way to get the font’s size decrease?

2 years ago
Reply to  3694

If you’re on mobile, you should be able to click on the AA to the left of the URL to decrease the font. If you’re on desktop, you should be able to scale down the size by zooming out.

14 days ago

Thanks for the chapter