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No Battle No Life - Volume 1 - Chapter 2

Published at 28th of April 2016 10:41:20 PM


Chapter 2

Volume 1 Chapter 2: The law of flags always persists…


France, Paris

“This must be the Palais des Tuileries.”

After a brief period of darkness, Tu found himself in large hall with large marble pillars. This was probably the main lounge.

The aspect of this game that garnered the most praise amongst reviewers and gamers was its unique player point of view. To quote a certain famous review, “Though it is more reality than virtual, this brings back the nature of games. This game was born out of real life, but it has itself birthed a new world that is like real life.”

— That is to say, there is nothing at all!

There is no red HP bar at the top right hand corner, no blue MP bar at the bottom, no zooming feature, no God’s eye view, no social or chat functions, even the NPC names weren’t displayed…

— What one saw in the game was exactly like what one would see in the real world.

But it was this that made the game challenging and so much more interesting. In-game currency was equivalent to real world money after all, how could the game be easy?

When he first joined the closed beta, Tu had kept reflecting these ‘serious issues’ to the developers but he soon got used to it, and even grew to liked it.

— This is how you make the game feel real! The smooth ice-cold marble, the exquisite art pieces… Everything here felt real to the touch, and Tu could save a lot of time just by playing this game instead of going to museums.

“Something’s not right eh… Seems like this is the 19th century or so… Right.”

Tu who was about to enjoy the feel of the world after a long while suddenly realised a very serious problem.

— 19th century… The King of France…

— Something feels very ominous.

“Hu…”

The biggest challenge in this game was that it would always spring some special ‘curveballs’ on you from time to time– Of course, Tu often received these curveballs with his face more often than not, and so he took a deep breath upon realising the possible trouble ahead.

— Though I might not meet with any troublesome events anyway, for safety’s sake, I might as well check it first.

“Where is the Queen?”

“Queen? Your majesty does not have an empress yet.”

A maid with short beige hair answered Tu, and only then did he feel relieved, since Marie Antoinette, the beauty who said ‘let them eat cake’, wasn’t here, Tu’s head would safely stay on his shoulders.


(TL: Since Marie Antoinette was executed at the turn of the century, Tu isn’t that off. And one of the first things that comes to mind when one mentions modern era France would be her and the revolution then. The next is–)

— And then,

“Your majesty!!”

A frantic retainer rushed in, falling over here and there as he did so. Hearing his fearful scream, Tu knew that something bad was about to come.

He was struck dumb momentarily by the retainer’s entrance before he ignored any court manners and rushed up to pull the retainer up from the ground.

“What is it?!”

“Run your majesty, the mob… The mob is coming for this place!!”

— And to think I was still celebrating just now, in the end I still have to deal with this!

“Hah…?!”

I’ve only been here for a few minutes! I haven’t even had a good look at this maid! And I’m going to be killed by a mob just like that?!

— This wouldn’t be the so-called benefits that closed beta players would have right… Can I refuse this benefit!

So unlucky, so unlucky…

“Your majesty, there’s a battalion stationed outside the city…”

— Don’t leave your sentence hanging, you’re a royal retainer damn it, why is your stamina so poor!

— Forget it, no time left! Time to run first!

As Tu thought so, he hurriedly followed the retainer who guided them out of the palace in a sprint. He quickly got on a dark horse and kicked it violently as they galloped out of the city in a frenzy. The retainer too got on a horse and followed behind closely.

This retainer ought to be an NPC, though his falling and tumbling actions were so much more smoother and natural than any NPC Tu had seen. In all honesty, Tu felt that nobody could fall as brilliantly as that NPC did even in reality.

This game was really good, to give quest hints that don’t spoil. That crazed mob was nothing more than a bunch of starved and armed bandits who think they can do whatever they want just because they have a few guns. When I bring my proper army over, I’ll sweep through you lot easy.

But in the end, the weapons that even the army wielded were mere muskets and were ill-suited to facing off against a numerous enemy, and I had to consider my own position now as the emperor when dealing with the unruly masses… When the time comes, all I need to do is capture the leaders of the most extreme factions and the remainder should scatter.

— Watch as I, the King of France, raise the second regular army of Europe and teach you what it means to be a proper subject!


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(TL: Not too sure on the accuracy of this. All I know is most armies then were poorly trained and relied on conscription.)

“When the time comes, shall I erect a monument to commemorate my victory?”

Just as he thought so, Tu had almost reached their destination. But the sight that greeted him was so unbelievably terrible that he wanted to slap himself for his earlier arrogance.

The barracks were crumbling and full of holes as though they had been in a state of disrepair for yours. And the flag that was the symbol of honour seemed like it would fall off anytime.

Leading this “army” to defeat the rebels? If I could even make it out alive, that would be a miracle!

— If they were to count the number of people who died of hunger and disease here, France would tremble.

(TL: I could only find the source for this in a Chinese translation of “Napoleon Bonaparte: An Intimate Biography”. It’s a line apparently written by a general in the barracks just before Napoleon’s arrival. See:https://book.douban.com/reading/10321465/)

This line suddenly floated up in Tu’s mind but he could not remember who said it.

He turned to the still panting retainer and smiled.

“I say, why did you bring your liege to this god damned place huh?”

As he said this, Tu gently patted the retainer’s shoulders upon which the retainer gulped and held his breath.

— Before I turn my blade to external threats, I must ascertain my internal affairs.

“Are you one of the rebels?!”

Tu was enraged in an instant as he felt like he was made fun of and he instinctively reached down to his waist only to find that because he had hurriedly followed that fellow out, he hadn’t brought anything and there was only air hanging at his waist…

— Why won’t God let me get rid of this traitor, I must purge him for France!

“Your majesty… Go and talk to them. Let these brave warriors fight for you, your majesty.”

The retainer managed to squeeze these words out in between his gasps and only then did Tu calm down.

“Talk?”

On hearing the retainer’s words, Tu felt like he finally understood the flow of events and came to the conclusion that this should be part of the tutorial.

— But I’ve never heard of such a tutorial during the closed beta though who knows what the developers would pull now that the player population is expected to be much larger…


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— Since that’s the case, I just have to do it. At least my French here is good so those people should be able to understand what I’m saying.

(TL: Unexplained game mechanic, but basically it probably works like any “language cheat” in world transfer stories. If they managed to make full dive VR commercially viable, I would assume they fixed Google translate.)

“Is that the new king? Why is it someone with black hair?”

(TL: Caucasian Europeans don’t have black hair?)

“Who knows? I bet he’s just here to say some grand speech. I hope he can at least give me a pair of boots though, this pair of mine is completely worn out…”

Tu listened to the soldiers’ conversations from the side and found some boxes that had yet to rot which he used to make a stage. Though he was rather pleased with his 180+ cm height, standing on a stage trumped not standing on one after all in making the mood.

(TL: 180+ isn’t that rare for an East Asian… Depending on where you go.)

“Brave warriors of France! Now is the time to fight, for your nation is in peril!”

The soldiers lazing about below the stage didn’t pay Tu any heed, and there were even sarcastic comments such as ‘not this again’ and the like.

Tu was sure now that this was a game. How could there be such impudent and lazy soldiers in reality…

But he could not lose his temper. If he were to lose this army which was his last card, he could only face the mob alone and hope that they were like the small fries in Dynasty Warrior…

When Moses talked to the people of Israel of the Promised Land, didn’t those short-sighted people have this very attitude? I must solve the problem of morale fast.

But who in this battalion knew the newly ascended king?

These troops had set up camp in this remote place over 3 months ago and had been thoroughly raided many times by the superior Prussian army, which Tu was then leading as the Kaiser.

A quarter were badly injured and out of combat, another quarter were captured or dead and there were quite a number of deserters as well. The numbers were unreliable as even the officers who were in charge of these administrative duties had deserted. In the months they were stationed here, because of the chaos that had been swirling in France, no one from the government had ever bothered about them!

These were troops that still clung on to what little honour they had left despite the hardships they had endured, though Tu was not able to understand this so quickly. Their equipment were dented and full of holes, their artillery consisted of just 20 mountain guns, their cavalry had only 300 warhorses that could still run, and the supplies they had could only sustain these 20,000 or so people for another month.

The officers too were observing the black haired youth bearing the royal insignia. One young cavalry officer in particular caught Tu’s attention.

— No way…

Tu quickly changed his script on seeing the officer, acting on a hunch that he himself only half-believed.

“Brave warriors! Follow me and slaughter my enemies, and you shall be rewarded with gold and titles! Your king swears in the name of God that you will receive the rewards you deserve!”

The soldiers below the stage slowly turned towards Tu and even those who lying down had sat up, as they all looked utterly surprised at the words of the black haired youth. This was a good start, I shall continue riding the wave then.

“The enemy has pillaged and burned and done much evil! How many innocent lives have been lost up till now? How many more fields shall be consumed by flames?”

“All brave warriors who will suppress those crazed bandits shall be remembered by me, by the people, and by all of France! Those who sacrifice their lives shall have their families taken care of by the nation, and their names will be engraved on the Luxor Obelisk in the Place de la Concorde, forever to be respected by all!”

The officers’ eyes had changed quite a bit and Tu could see hope in them.

— They had been struggling to protect their pride all this while. Well then, let me grant you all both pride and wealth in the name of the king!

“Long live the king!”

The solemn atmosphere below the stage was broken by this loud cheer. Tu looked over to where it came from and found that it was from the young cavalry officer from before.

“Long live the king! Long live the king!”

“Let us show your majesty how we fight.”

The black haired king seemed to have ignited the soldiers’ ardour and they all got up and slung their muskets on their officers’ orders. The drummers began sounding the drums that had a layer of dust of them. Though the troops weren’t too orderly as they gathered together, they were still decently put together.

“Hear the orders of your king!”

They were just waiting for death to come, either by hunger or disease. Moreover, there was no guarantee that the mob would spare them after they had succeeded. For the soldiers, their best bet was to throw in their lot with the king.

“Bring out all the cannons! Load them up and follow your king to victory!”

Tu mounted the horse, and once again reached down to his waist on instinct and made to draw his sword but Tu had nothing but a dusty royal military uniform.

So he had no choice but to clench his fist and raise it high in the air as he yelled out to the soldiers.

“What’s your name?”

Just then Tu rode up to the cavalry officer who had intrigued him from before.

“Your majesty! I am Joachim Murat!”

— Murat, Napoleon’s brother-in-law? Could it be that a player actually had such a name?

“Murat, is it? Follow your liege and charge to your heart’s content.”



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