What could a mere cat do?
Victor woke up from his cat nest, used his hind paws to scratch his cheeks, and straightened his legs. With his legs stretched out and his back in a smooth arc, he stretched his waist cat-style.
Then he shook his pink ears and came out of the cat nest. In the next moment, the white cat disappeared and a tall man with short, platinum hair appeared in the bedroom. He was in his forties, had deep eyebrows, the typical appearance of a Russian, and gentle eyes in the rare color of violet.
Victor found a suit from his closet and put it on. It was dark outside the window. Since Fu Zhe’s castle was nestled in the crack of space and time, the sky was never visible. With their keys, they could go in and out to various places and still be able to return at night to rest in the castle.
He tucked the hem of his shirt under his belt and tidied his collar. Then he walked out of the bedroom. The rooms belonging to the rest of the Wonton Insurgency were still reserved for them, so that they can still come and have a look when they return through their dreams.
Now that Luo Yan had finally managed to get out from the dream world, she didn’t want to stay in the castle at all. At this moment, he didn’t know where she had gone to play. Allen went to District XII to find the lady boss. Not long ago, Cerberus was pushed out by Fu Zhe. and indeed, using the description of “push” was apt. Clearly, Fu Zhe still hadn’t fully accepted this man who had suddenly appeared in his life. He believed that Morality may be a part of him, but it was impossible for him to give in to this sentiment that only belonged to one fragment of his soul.
Victor naturally had no right to interfere with Fu Zhe’s choice. Feelings had always been the most elusive thing to understand. Even if he became as smart as Fu Zhe, he would still be unable to completely clarify it.
Wang Que should be meeting with Dong Linhai at this time. After everything had settled down, they realized that the Queen had less to do than they thought, particularly since she had no intentions of cultivating heirs like the former Queen Anna. It turned out to be nothing more than a means for her to maintain her authority. The Pure White Realm was controlled by the supercomputer Kether as a whole, and Wang Que only needed to make decisions on certain things and make adjustments as needed.
Victor helped her. He had much more life experience than Wang Que, and so he had a more mature view of things.
Once, he used to accompany the frustrated and dejected Cui Zuojing, but now he accompanied the young Queen.
There was no one in the living room, which still maintained the same state that the Wonton Insurgency had left it before leaving. Even Cui Zuojing and Dong Zheng’s unfinished chess game was still sitting on the small round table by the fireplace. There were also many paintings on the wall, all completed by Wang Que.
Today, A’Zuo and the others wouldn’t be coming over. Victor walked out of the castle to God’s Back Garden. Miss Deer was planting, and hearing Victor’s approach, she looked up.
When Wang Que became Queen and made the wish that all evil curses would be lifted and no one would be imprisoned, Miss Deer, who was imprisoned by the deceased Queen Anna in the little secret realm inside the Labyrinth of Time, was finally freed from that lonely hut in the woods.
She still wore a black dress and still had a deer head with two small horns on top of her head. She was holding gardening shears, having been installed as the gatekeeper of this back garden. During the pilgrimage of the Afternoon Tea Party, she had believed that Queen Anna’s rule ought to be overthrown, joined the ranks of resistance, and was eventually banished after failure.
“Good morning,” Victor said.
“Good morning. Are you going out?” Miss Deer asked.
“I’ll go to the Top-of-the-Giant-Tree first and then will come and talk to Wang Que later.”
Miss Deer nodded. Suddenly remembering something, she said, “Yes, the one you told me to pay attention to–the pilgrim called Tan Qiuyu–has left the novice area and entered District IV. She didn’t save enough money on last night’s clearing, but the clown didn’t clear her.”
“I see. Thank you.” Victor smiled at her and walked toward the Queen’s Castle. Tan Qiuyu had entered the Pure White Realm nearly three months ago. Only now had she managed to leave the novice area and even then, she still had a difficult time collecting enough points to escape the Blood Night clearing. She had absolutely no talent as a pilgrim. Such people generally only existed as cannon fodder.
But some people were unwilling to allow her to only be a cannon fodder, such as the clown, such as Luo Yan. Victor could guess what the clown wanted to do. All of this was vengeance against Tan Qiuyu’s disgusting behavior. The clown had even told her that, similar to how Queen Anna had deceived other pilgrims, she could return to the real world if she managed to see the Queen after a successful pilgrimage. He wanted to allow Tan Qiuyu to reach God’s Back Garden, and after all that hardship, only to discover that the Queen she was struggling so hard to reach to petition for her life was none other than Wang Que.
That must be very interesting.
Of course, Victor didn’t think Tan Qiuyu had the strength and the luck to go all the way to the end. But before the end of her journey, she ought to experience the same difficulties and hardships that Wang Que had experienced.
Victor had heard from Cui Zuojing and Dong Zheng that they had found Tan Qiuyu and so they helped sent her into the Pure White Realm. This child that was corroded by jealousy hadn’t the slightest intention of repentance. Even after Wang Que had been forgotten by the world, she regarded it as if nothing had happened and had instead copied Wang Que’s previous works in exchange for awards and fame.
She deserved no mercy.
Victor used Fu Zhe’s key to open the door of the castle. Once all his seals were unlocked, Fu Zhe’s key would gain more abilities. But for now, it could only open the doors to places they had been to before. Victor pushed the door open and walked through it. After a quick period of darkness, his vision cleared and he found himself standing in Heimdal’s headquarters. The door he had walked out of was Heinrich’s office.
Beverly came up the stairs, holding a box, and was taken aback when she saw Victor at the door. Then she smiled and said, “Did you just arrive?”
“I hope I didn’t disturb you.” Victor turned sideways to let her through the door. This wasn’t the first time he’d returned to Heimdal. The last time he came here, it was with Wang Que. They told Heinrich about their successful pilgrimage and about the good news of her new queenship. After his initial shock, Heinrich immediately stated that they will build the strongest organization in the Pure White Realm under the leadership of the new Queen!
Wang Que didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Just because she had become queen didn’t mean she could favor them with the best resources of the Pure White Realm. The extent to which Heimdal can develop will have little to do with her and will require every effort from all the organization’s members.
The news of the Wonton Insurgency’s successful pilgrimage still made Heinrich surge with a renewed sense of ambition. Even though Wang Que told him that it was unlikely that they will return here often, he was still excited. After the meeting, he immediately publized the deeds of the Wonton Insurgency, just as Dong Zheng had promised that he could. He wanted to try his best to advertise the strength of the team.
Many pilgrims joined Heimdal after hearing this, and so the scale of the organization gradually expanded. Victor would come to help when he have nothing better to do, just like today. But it seemed that his help wasn’t needed; everything was in order under Heinrich’s management.
“Of course, it’s not a bother. Heinrich is taking care of the things you mentioned the day before yesterday. I don’t think it will take long.” Beverly pushed the office door open and laughed. “The Queen didn’t come?”
“She has other things to do and will come later.” Victor helped her with the boxes and put up the books that fell. “I’ll go and look around.”
The bottles and cans of scented tea that Xia Qiongyun left in the kitchen were still there, though much of them had been drunk already. Every place was full of memories. Victor went past the entrance of the data room and saw Tao Ji. The heavyset young man was sorting out documents, and when he saw Victor, he grinned and greeted him.
The sky was just right. Top-of-the-Giant-Tree was always caught between Spring and Summer. Victor entered the garden as a white cat and squatted in the flowerbeds. Oftentimes, pilgrims would approach him, tentatively reaching out to touch him. The people of Heimdal knew that this beautiful white cat was a frequent visitor here and that his personality was very docile.
But Victor didn’t want to be bothered today. He only wanted to quietly bask in the sun by himself. He often changed between humans and cats many times a day. The same thing often looked and felt different from different perspectives. He liked the difference between the two, as well as the dexterity and convenience that came with a cat’s appearance.
Sunlight passed through gaps in the leaves, casting little light spots on the ground. Victor laid on the edge of the flower bed with his two front paws pressed underneath him on the ground and closed his eyes to nap. He looked so cute that people couldn’t believe that underneath the cat shell was the soul of a middle-aged Russian man.
Suddenly, the sun was blocked, and a hand rubbed against his furry head. Wang Que’s soft voice sounded from above. “Is Uncle sleeping?”
“No.” Victor opened his eyes, the pupils of his amber eyes dilating into a line under the strong light. He stood up, arched his back, and relaxed. “Did you have a visit with Linhai?”
“Yes. School will start soon and he’ll have morning training.” Wang Que had changed into dark sportswear that she often wore when she was still in the Wonton Insurgency. Everything seemed to be the same as before, with the exception being that she and Victor were the only people left in the team.
“Heinrich said that he’ll be done with it soon.” Victor rose to his feet and when they reached an area with no people around, he changed back into human form. They went back to Heinrich’s office but ended up meeting him along the way.
Holding a sheet in his hand, he saw Wang Que and Victor far away from the other side of the hallway. He raised his hand to say hello. When he reached them, he handed the sheet to Wang Que. “It’s done.”
Wang Que read the contents at the top, folded the paper and put it into her pocket. She smiled at him and said, “Thank you, President.”
“It took very little effort.” Heinrich waved his hand. “When will you enter the box?”
Wang Que said, “We’ll try tomorrow. I haven’t entered a box in a long time, so I don’t know what my performance will be like.”
Heinrich laughed. “You both have such strong capabilities, why are you still worried? If I can be like you and enter a box to be tyrants every day, wouldn’t it be much more refreshing than being the president of an organization?”
Victor laughed. Just the day before yesterday, Wang Que had asked Heinrich to help them forge false identities. A queen’s life was so easy and comfortable that it made her bored. She wanted a brand new identity as an ordinary “pilgrim” so that she could enter boxes and continue to have adventures.
In this team, they had Wang Que, Victor, Fu Zhe, and Luo Yan. They agreed to temporarily seal their powers before entering a box; otherwise, it would be meaningless to pass the box so easily.
Victor looked forward to having new adventures. With Fu Zhe and Luo Yan there, they could even pull A’Zuo, Dong Zheng, Linhai, and Xiao Xia into boxes with them in their sleep.
Victor knew that even if Cui Zuojing had settled in happily in the real world, he would definitely miss the adventures to be had in the Pure White Realm.
Because he loved this world so much.
Even though everything had settled down, the hot blood in their bones had not yet cooled, and all of them will still continue to be brave youngsters forever.
Xixi: I hope they don’t get complacent. It would be the height of irony if Tan Qiuyu ended up killing Wang Que, whether in a box or at the end of her pilgrimage, and become the new Queen. Then the Pure White Realm will go through another era of darkness.