|Author: Mad Flower||Original Source: SFACG||Word Count: 2089 characters|
|Translator: Keissen||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1035 words|
Fifteen minutes later, the room grew quiet. Vera 17 lay collapsed on the floor, her face pale, eyes dim, and saliva dribbling from her mouth. She looked as if she’d been drained of all vitality.
“I really regret feeding you,” Yaeger said, crouching down to pat Vera 17’s behind. The latter trembled all over, twitching like a reanimated corpse.
“I think it’s better to starve you.” With those words, Yaeger pressed a hand to Vera 17’s chest, and began to siphon off the lingering green energy within her.
“Ah! No!” Feeling her life draining away, Vera 17 ceased her pretense of death and let out a horrified scream.
Regrettably, Yaeger was unmoved. Pressing her hand harder against Vera 17, the draining of energy accelerated. “Sob, sob, sob. I’m sorry. Stop, I’m going to die!” Vera 17 wailed in genuine terror.
Initially, she had felt immense anger, spite, and humiliation when Yaeger began the forceful energy replacement. It was a brutal process that invaded her from head to toe, compelling her to accept this alien life energy.
“Heh, try messing with me again. Why don’t you?” Just as Yaeger was about to completely drain her, she pulled back her hand and chuckled.
The mere sensation of her life energy being siphoned was excruciating for Vera 17. With such depleted energy, even basic bodily functions became a struggle. “If I could turn back time, I’d never repeat this stupidity,” she thought, sobbing uncontrollably.
“I’ll starve you for a few days, see how obedient you become,” Yaeger announced, standing up and putting her foot firmly on Vera’s behind.
“No, I don’t want to starve! I’ll do whatever you say!” Vera 17 twisted around and grabbed Yaeger’s leg, her face awash in tears. The fear of starvation seemed even worse to her than death.
Yaeger found this sudden shift puzzling. “Starving for a few days won’t kill you,” she thought. For normal humans, deprivation of food and water could be fatal within days, but Vera 17 could survive on her remaining life energy.
“I don’t want to starve!” Vera’s face was a mess, splotched with tears and mucus. She looked even more pitiful now than she had during her previous punishment.
“Will you really obey every word I say?” Yaeger finally asked.
“Mm-hmm! I’ll do anything, just anything!” Vera 17 quickly assured, lifting her teary face.
“Good. I’ll trust you this one time and feed you,” Yaeger responded. Vera 17’s tears continued, but a sigh of relief escaped her lips. Starvation was her singular, overwhelming fear.
“If you dare betray me again, I’ll starve you to death,” Yaeger warned, her tone frosty.
“It won’t happen again, I swear!” Vera 17 quickly nodded, fearing that Yaeger might reconsider her decision.
“Fine, but remember, my patience has its limits,” Yaeger admonished as she tied up Vera 17 again. This time, however, there was no struggle; Vera 17 remained entirely obedient.
Satisfied, Yaeger turned her gaze upward, staring at the ceiling as her thoughts wandered. In the stairwell leading to the rooftop lay an average-looking man, bundled up and deeply unconscious.
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“I’ll return to the game now; the medical research can wait,” Yaeger muttered to herself. She lay down on her bed and re-entered the virtual world, confident that with Vera 17 now obedient, and Jordan incapacitated and isolated, nothing would disturb her in the real world for the time being.
A flash of white light heralded Yaeger’s arrival at her previous logout location. The soldiers who spotted her scattered immediately, evidently traumatized by their earlier defeat. Unfazed by their cowardice, Yaeger opened her game interface to check the guild’s chatroom. After reading updates from Yunuen and Little Fairy, she felt relieved.
“They’re no children; why was I so concerned?” With a small chuckle, she headed towards the commercial district. By now, Yunuen and Little Fairy had become among the strongest figures in Jade City. Apart from Yaeger herself, no one could threaten them. That said, if isolated, Little Fairy still remained the more vulnerable of the two.
After a brief chat with the guild to update them on her situation, Yaeger closed the game interface. As she strode through Crystal Avenue, the crowded place emptied in a panicked rush at her approach. It wasn’t surprising; after all, Yunuen and Little Fairy had wreaked havoc near the city gates. If her minions inspired such dread, the Black-hearted Princess herself would undoubtedly be far worse.
The fear that had momentarily left the hearts of the players once again sprouted and grew rapidly. However, Yaeger remained unaffected. Perhaps she had grown accustomed to such reactions. She walked along the avenue until she reached its end, where she paused to look at a large but somewhat weathered item shop ahead of her. The shop belonged to Behn, the greatest craftsman of the Jade Empire. Despite sharing similar names, Behn and Blei had nothing in common—one was a distinguished army commander, while the other was a lackluster alcoholic.
Finding the shop’s interior completely empty and forlorn, Yaeger spotted a middle-aged man in tattered clothes, busily drowning his sorrows in alcohol. “Behn, do you have a minute?” she asked.
“Get lost, get lost! The store is closed today!” Behn waved his hand dismissively, without even glancing up. But upon hearing her voice, he recognized its familiar tone and his heart skipped a beat. When he finally looked up, he was paralyzed with fear—it was her, the demon he dreaded.
“You’re telling me to get lost?” Yaeger said as she approached, cracking her knuckles with a menacing smile.
“Stay away from me!” Behn shouted in terror, nearly dropping to his knees to beg. “It’s my fault, my mistake. I shouldn’t have said that to you!”
Realizing the source of his distress, Yaeger unclenched her fists. “Something happened to my sword. Can you fix it?” As her knuckles emitted a popcorn-like cracking, Behn breathed a sigh of relief. So, she was here for business, not vengeance.
“This one,” Yaeger said, pulling the [Dragon Abyss Sword: Sunscorch] from her backpack. The sword was riddled with cracks and seemed on the brink of shattering.
Studying the damaged weapon, Behn tilted his head and asked, “Are you here to deliberately mock me?”