Chapter 1: Departure
It was just the time to turn a page, and the scenery before him changed abruptly.
Dark red flannel curtains half-covered arched French windows. Thick lambswool carpets covered the floor, even the bed behind him was handcrafted from wood, emitting a refreshing woody fragrance.
Dong Du, standing by the window, was covered in mud from head to toe. His clothes lost their original color, and he carried a bundle almost half his height, resembling a refugee, completely out of place in this room.
The only clean thing on his face was his pair of distinctly black and white eyes, shining as if emitting light. He enthusiastically stared at the tattered scroll in his hands. Outside the tightly closed double doors, someone mocked, “His Majesty is finally sending him away. Almost everyone in the Black Gold Fortress is an alpha; let’s see how arrogant he can be.”
Wow, it’s just like the content in the book. His inner emotions surged, and he almost burst into silent laughter. He is now the little prince, free from worries about food and drink in the future, a complete win.
“What if he doesn’t have bad luck after leaving? After all, he’s an omega, and he looks pretty good…” Another person spoke meaningfully, and then both people outside the door laughed together, as if the little prince inside, not yet sent away, had already encountered a great misfortune.
Dong Du turned another page of the book, and the person from earlier said again, “Those bumpkins in the Black Gold Fortress wouldn’t really dare to marry this disaster star, right? His Majesty, his own older brother, can’t even stand him.”
“If someone dares, then it would be strange. With his bad reputation, who in the empire doesn’t know?”
As soon as these words fell, the two people outside the door burst into laughter again, paying no attention to whether the little prince inside the room could hear them.
Dong Du closed the book in his hands, glanced out the window, and unlike the apocalypse, the sky outside was blue, the clouds were white, and even the sunlight was warm and orange. There were no zombies, food was abundant, and there was no better place than here.
He calmly accepted his transmigration, even though he was still uncertain whether he was the little prince discussed by the people outside. After all, he came through intact, not entering the body of that little prince. But he saw this as a rare opportunity to become that little prince and have a chance to win effortlessly.
The mocking laughter outside suddenly quieted down, followed by a knock on the door. “Your Highness, everything is ready.
“Alright, please set off.”
He folded the book and stuffed it into his backpack before going to open the door. Outside stood an elderly man with white hair, dressed in a three-piece tuxedo. His kindly smile almost faltered upon seeing Dong Du’s dirty appearance, “Your Highness, what’s this?”
“In such a hurry, can’t I have a meal before leaving? Is there no farewell ceremony?” Dong Du responded to a different question, speaking while glancing outside. The two people who had mocked him earlier were now respectfully bowing, though they looked down on him, they had to lower their heads. It seemed that he was indeed the little prince.
The steward was stunned by his response for a good ten seconds before putting on a smile again, with a stiff tone, “Food is prepared for you on the ship. You can eat comfortably on board.”
Dong Du acknowledged with a sound, shifted the long bundle behind him to the front, and started walking out. The steward closely followed, and after a short distance, they were even accompanied by two fully armed soldiers. Dong Du didn’t believe it was for his protection; most likely, these two were there to prevent him from escaping.
He slowly halted his steps, and the two soldiers immediately became tense.
“Your Highness, please don’t delay any longer. The ship has ample provisions, and you won’t suffer on the way.” The steward impatiently emphasized, “His Majesty is waiting for you on the ship.”
Dong Du had already sensed the emperor’s indifferent attitude towards him. He walked obediently outside the palace, stood in front of the spaceship parked on the lawn, facing the emperor brother who was just a cannon fodder like himself.
Xi Yuan, even more impatient than his steward, stood on the grass and glanced at Dong Du, saying coldly, “Have you repented? Do you think I’ll have a change of heart just because you’ve made a mess of yourself?”
He felt sympathy for his cannon fodder brother; after all, he only suffered humiliation, but this brother of his endured both physical and emotional abuse. It vividly illustrated the concept of being a lickspittle until you have nothing left. Dong Du kindly refrained from arguing and sincerely said, “I don’t think that way. I’m leaving; take care of yourself.”
“What are you up to?” Xi Yuan looked at him suspiciously, as if someone had fed him candy-coated poison, “Have you truly repented? Speaking kind words now?”
Before Dong Du could say anything, a furry head appeared behind Xi Yuan. Softly, the person said, “Xi Yuan, don’t trouble him anymore; he’s leaving. Let it be.”
“Xia En, are you a fool? Still speaking up for him at this point?” Xi Yuan sighed, scolded affectionately while rubbing the person’s head, and then looked back at Dong Du, “After arriving at the Black Gold Fortress, don’t be as willful as now. Fix all your problems, and I’ll take you back.”
Dong Du tilted his head and barely saw the person standing behind Xi Yuan. His brother was broad-shouldered and tall, easily obscuring the smaller figure behind him. Dong Du pinched his own arm in confusion, wondering why he felt as soft as that smaller person. It would be nice to be as sturdy as his dear brother, even though he didn’t seem to have much muscle.
Moreover, he didn’t like that smaller person at all. Despite appearing to speak up for him, in reality, the person prevented him from pleading with his brother. Not that he planned to beg for mercy; he was ready to become a little overlord at that fortress.
“Are you listening to me?” Xi Yuan frowned, his tone filled with irritation towards his brother, “What are you pouting for? Unhappy?”
“No, not at all. I’m leaving now. Bye.” Dong Du spoke with a light tone, and his expression could be described as joyful, as if he was heading out for a vacation.
Xi Yuan opened his mouth, seemingly wanting to say something, but in the end, he remained silent, watching the spaceship take off and leave.
Dong Du leaned on the window of the spaceship, watching the people on the ground gradually turn into indistinct dots. Only then did he shift his attention to scrutinize the spaceship carrying him.
The ship isn’t large, but it has everything, including a bathroom, dressing room, study, and dining room. However, there is only Dong Du inside. He can’t even find the ship’s cockpit. Perhaps, does this ship have staff?
These questions didn’t bother him for long. After all, compared to the post-apocalyptic world, there seemed to be nothing to worry about here. He took off the long backpack from his back and placed it aside. With a relaxed mind, he undressed and entered the bathroom. His entire body was dirty, and it was time for a thorough clean-up.
The bathroom had a bathtub, a luxury Dong Du had never enjoyed in the post-apocalyptic world. Dong Du remembered that people on TV would clean themselves before taking a bath. He followed suit.
As he laid in the bathtub, his whole body relaxed, inevitably thinking about his companions still in the post-apocalyptic world.
How were they doing? Did they manage to get food? Were there casualties? Were they saddened by his disappearance?
He hoped they wouldn’t come looking for him.
In the post-apocalyptic sky, the cloud layer was leaden gray, sunlight was bleak, and the road undulated with cracks resembling the mouths of demons. Occasionally, these cracks would swallow the stumbling footsteps of zombies on the road.
On the roadside stood a rare intact building in the post-apocalyptic world, serving as a crucial transportation hub – survivors had converted it into a landing pad.
Now, six people stood on the landing pad – a teenager who looked about fifteen or sixteen and five strong adult men.
The teenager’s skin was so pale that faint blue veins were visible, and he had slightly yellowish curls due to malnutrition. He wasn’t tall or robust, and his features carried a strong scholarly vibe, like a beautiful doll in a little suit on a wedding car. This appearance was in stark contrast to the five men behind him.
However, the six of them seemed to feel nothing amiss, looking at the swarms of zombies below in various expressions. Occasionally, someone made a jest, creating a very relaxed atmosphere.
However, the doll-like teenager had a serious expression and said, “Can we get started a bit faster? We might miss dinner if we keep delaying.”
One of the companions laughed, reached over to ruffle the teenager’s hair, and said, “Then let’s rendezvous here in three hours. Everyone work efficiently. Later, when our little Dong Du is not tall and robust, it will be our fault.”
Dong Du swatted away the hand messing up his hair, feeling embarrassed and angry. His face turned red, as being not tall and not robust had always been his biggest sore point. He was determined to grow tall and strong, never allowing anyone to say he was soft!
He scornfully spat and scolded, “You’re the one who’s not tall and not robust. All of you are not tall and not robust!”
“Haha, our Dong Du is short, but his temper is still so big.”
Someone in the group teased, but Dong Du couldn’t be bothered with them. He took out a crossbow with eagle claws from his waist, shot an arrow onto the railing of the dilapidated building opposite, and secured it at both ends. He agilely climbed across the rope to the opposite side.
He carried a small alarm device on his waist. As soon as he reached the other side, he threw the alarm device down.
The alarm device emitted a sharp sound upon hitting the ground, startling the zombies lurking in the shadows. They flocked to the shrill noise, crowding around the alarming device. The area below was densely packed with zombies, and the onlookers’ scalps tingled.
However, Dong Du didn’t hesitate at all. From the height of almost three floors, he leaped down, causing the teammates to involuntarily gasp.
He was the bait for this operation, responsible for attracting zombies, allowing others to smoothly move food from the abandoned supermarket. The survivor base had considered having others take on this task, with everyone taking turns on duty. However, those zombies seemed to recognize Dong Du. No matter where he went, they could accurately chase after him, even if there were more than a dozen people in another team, the zombies only pursued Dong Du.
Dong Du always felt that it was because he had a scent, but others in the base said they had never smelled anything and laughed at him for being narcissistic!
According to his usual method of avoiding zombies, Dong Du entered a bookstore that could only be accessed by sliding on the ground. The bookstore had a half-open window allowing daylight to filter through. Dong Du sat by the window and picked up a tattered book with the faintly visible words “Interstellar” on the cover.
He had also studied at the survivor base, but now he couldn’t go out. Instead, he decided to sit by the window, cross-legged, and started reading the book.
Opening it in the middle, he just saw, “The malicious Little Prince Dong Du, even at this point, shows no remorse. On the spaceship, he continued to curse Xia En relentlessly, but Xia En doesn’t care because Dong Du cannot possibly survive to reach the Black Gold Fortress…” Then he transmigrated.
Dong Du, who was comfortably soaking in the bathtub, suddenly sat up and left the bathroom. He took out the book from his backpack, flipped to the back, and saw that in the original story, the ship taking the Little Prince to the Black Gold Fortress exploded. The subsequent plot didn’t even mention the words ‘Black Gold Fortress,’ indicating that the Little Prince must have died rigidly.
Dong Du chuckled. This well-equipped spaceship suddenly didn’t seem appealing anymore.