QZ Chapter 12
Quality Checker: MochiMochi95
First Published on Ainushi.
A short and small figure appeared inside the central community of the Sky-Era Network. This scene would definitely arouse the suspicion of anyone who saw it because this was an Adults-only area, while that person, judging by his figure alone, looked like an undeveloped Nestling no matter what. Not to mention, the place he was currently at was the core building where only supreme administrators of the Sky-Era Network were allowed to enter——the Void Era.
He walked straight to the entrance of the control center without any obstruction along the way. Surprisingly, the building, which claimed to be the most heavily-guarded over the entire Internet, didn’t try to stop him at all.
He stood before the iris scanner at the end. His smoky-gray eyes once again confirmed his status as a Nestling. The scanning light passed the vitreous humor with a uniform speed, then beeped after making its judgment.
“Unable to identify the target’s identity. Please leave in 30 seconds. Alarms will be triggered otherwise,” the AI’s voice prompted.
“So annoying,” the person grumbled softly. He called up the control panel with an oral command, then manually entered a string of passcode.
“Identity confirmed. The passage is now open. Would you like to bind the new iris?”
“Please choose between Replace and Save As.”
“Replace.” He gave out the order casually. “The previous body is already dead. What’s the point of keeping it?”
The mysterious Nestling went all the way up and reached the top floor of Void Era smoothly. The light in the room was not on. It appeared desolate, seemingly unvisited for a long time.
He went around the obstacles on the floor in the dark with ease, and lied down on a cozy recliner.
Meanwhile, he called out, “Yue Ying.”
The square-shaped lights on the surrounding walls gradually lit up one after the other until the entire wall brightened. The walls were cut into squares by these side-by-side lamp bodies.
“You’re back.” Waveforms of sound appeared on the wall.
“I’m back,” the person lying on the chair replied with a smile, not even opening his eyes.
“You’ve slept for so long this time.”
“Did you miss me?” His tone was a little frivolous.
“I did.” Yue Ying answered quite straightforwardly. At the same time, several strands of fibrous light rays extended out from the wall, gently covering his forehead like tentacles. “You have so many names. I don’t even know what to call you with.”
“Xing Lou.” His voice was pleasant to the ear. It made the name sounded especially beautiful. “I quite like my name this time.”
“Fine, Xing Lou.” Yue Ying sounded rather reluctant to accept this name. “Your previous lives were so short. I hope you can hold out a little longer this time.”
“I also feel the same.” Xing Lou seconded his statement. “It’s such a waste of time to hibernate back and forth like this.”
The glowing threads probed into his brain from his temples. “You have backed up all of your memories on the Internet in the form of data, thus, they will awaken the moment you access the Internet. However, to prevent your brain from being overloaded due to receiving too much data at one time, the memories you acquired beforehand were only the core pieces. Now, I’m going to implant the rest of the fragments for you; it might hurt just a little.”
Xing Lou pouted, showing that he didn’t care, “You didn’t secretly tamper with my memories while I was hibernating, did you?”
“Huh,” Yue Ying gave a soft laugh, “Who knows?”
A strand of light wave immediately poured into his brain along the connecting line. Xing Lou’s face tightened for a second, but he quickly restrained himself.
“Done.” The fiber beams withdrew from his brain. “You can continue your great undertaking now.”
“It’s our great undertaking,” Xing Lou corrected him.
The recliner was automatically raised. Xing Lou was now in a half-leaning half-sitting position.
“How are you going to solve the problem of becoming an Adult in this life? Or are you just going to randomly grab someone to pass through your awakening phase?”
“Whatever,” Xing Lou couldn’t care less. “Qizi is just an instrument for maturing anyway.”
“You are the most heartless person I’ve ever seen,” Yue Ying said softly. “But again, ideally this is what we think a perfect piece of work should be like.”
Xing Lou didn’t raise any objection towards the phrase ‘piece of work’. He put forth his index finger, and the tentacles automatically winded around it, their lingering movements filled with affection.
He put the index finger next to his lips and pecked it in an infatuated manner, “What if I said that the person I want in this life is you?”
“Then I’m afraid you’ll have to work extra hard for it,” Yue Ying gave another soft laugh. “I’m looking forward to meeting you in my real body as well.”
The signal light on the wall flashed twice. “An old friend wants to see you.”
The tentacles withdrew themselves from his fingers and retreated back inside the wall as if they were never here.
Xing Lou issued a permission for access. A good-looking, stalwart person appeared inside the room.
“Long time no see…”
“Long time no see, Sir Tai Yin.” Xing Lou rushed and said it first, “My name is Xing Lou now.”
“Xing Lou,” Tai Yin repeated. “It sounds better than the one you had in your last life.”
“Thank you for the compliment,” Xing Lou smiled. “You must have gone through a lot of troubles handling everything during my absence.”
“You saved my life and also provided an environment for me to continue my research. I have always been clear about what I should be thankful for and what deserves my revenge.”
“Then, I must strive towards not doing anything offensive to you,” Xing Lou’s eyes curved from laughing. “How’s Shang Yang?”
“Same as before.”
Xing Lou shrugged his shoulders as if it wasn’t good news.
“Where were you assigned this time?” asked Tai Yin.
“Why? You know it? Oh, I remember. Your proud student is now a school doctor in Bikong. I just saw her not long ago today. She’s still so Queen-like.”
“I’m not talking about her. We have grown a new member during your hibernation. He is currently studying in Bikong.”
“So coincidental!” Xing Lou turned to the side, “Yue Ying didn’t mention it to me.”
“I haven’t had the chance to say it yet.” The waveform on the wall vibrated.
“He’s a serious Internet addict. He must be online now. Should I invite him over?”
“Sure. Let me meet this senior [brother] of mine… or senior [sister] ?”
Tai Yin didn’t need to waste much time to explain because Shen He’s image had already appeared before them.
“So it’s a senior [brother]. Nice to meet you.” Xing Lou cheerfully greeted the other person.
“Just call me Shen He. So you are the legendary developer of the first generation Sky-Era Network? It’s an honor to meet you at last.”
“Not only the first generation,” Tai Yin interrupted, “The second generation, the third generation, it’s all him. For the fourth generation, I can’t predict what other blood-shedding revolution he’s going to set off. Maybe he’ll completely replace reality with the Internet.”
“Don’t say that.” Xing Lou felt rather helpless. “Can’t I just stay low-key and be an ordinary person in this life?”
“You’re not the kind of person who can settle for mediocrity. It’s written on your face.”
“To be able to come up with the idea of using the Internet to store your previous lives’ memories… you truly aren’t an ordinary person,” laughed Shen He.
“You flatter me. Right now, I’m the new first-grader in Bikong Institute, Xing Lou. Please take good care of me in the future, Senior Shen He.”
Xing Lou paused for a second, then continued, “Some people gather together because they have common goals and others for common interests. But our group is different. Each person here has their own objective. We help to supply each other’s needs, while each taking what he needs. May I ask Senior Shen He, what’s your reason for joining us?”
“Just as you see, I’m a twenty-two years old Nestling.”
Xing Lou’s eyebrows were raised, “A twenty-two-year-old Nestling who is still staying in Bikong, and hasn’t entered a higher grade school yet? That sure is pretty rare.”
“Not only that, I’m also a protester against Adult Ceremonies. I have this delusion to be able to find a way to become Adult without going through the Adult Ceremony.”
“That sounds like a delusion indeed… what if you can’t find one?”
“Then I’ll stay as I am.”
“Even Nestlings will eventually die one day. Are you aware of the consequences of dying before the Adult Ceremony?”
“I am, but I will not surrender because of it.”
Xing Lou clapped his hands. “Every person in our group has delusions. If one day these delusions can come true, even only one of them, Tianxiu will welcome a new earth-shaking pattern.” He fixed his eyes on Shen He. “Welcome to the delusionists’ team.”
“Thank you very much.”
“Speaking of delusions,” Xing Lou turned to Tai Yin, “I wonder how’s your delusion about removing the original blood-bonded relationship going?”
Xing Lou was a little surprised, “I’ve slept for almost twenty years. Don’t tell me that you didn’t do anything during these twenty years or so.”
“No. It’s just that to me, there are only two types of results for an experiment, either success or failure. No success means no progress.”
“Fine,” Xing Lou accepted his statement. “Then I shall wish you a breakthrough from zero progress soon, sir. I hope that Shang Yang won’t scratch me again the next time I see him.”
“So I guess the research on my end has zero progress as well.” It was Yue Ying who spoke this time. He was jumping around on the wall, his unwilling-to-be-left-alone shadow could be seen in all directions.
“I’ve already found the way to wake up Yue Ying.”
“Oh?” Yue Ying and Xing Lou asked simultaneously.
“They have frozen his body using a very advanced medical approach. The only way to warm him up again is to inject fresh blood.”
“How is that any difficult?” Xing Lou didn’t hesitate at all and replied at once, “I can transfuse blood for him.”
“What’s difficult is that we must find the suitable blood type. Not everyone’s blood can be accepted by him. If we inject the wrong blood sample, the worst consequences are internal combustions inside his veins and even organ failures. If that happens, we will not be able to save him, however advanced the medical technology. As for the standard-compliant blood type, I gather that there is one and only one available in the entire Tianxiu planet.”
“A fragile race indeed,” Xing Lou let out a soft sigh, “The one and only matching blood type in the entire Tianxiu planet… searching for it is simply like finding a needle in a haystack.”
“We used some small tricks,” Shen He continued, “In the name of Disease Control Center, we issued a blood sampling order to all Tianxiu people. A large quantity of samples has already been sent to the spaceship, the Eagle. As long as this person is not in hibernation right now, I believe we can definitely find the suitable blood type given enough time.”
“I saw Disease Control Center’s blood stations at Bikong.” Xing Lou got up from the recliner. “I was wondering since when did Tianxiu people start to catch contagious disease, so as it turns out, you’re the ones behind the tricks.”
He walked up to the wall, putting his palm onto its ice-cold surface. “But I have to admit, you’ve done a pretty good job.”
The light beam flew around the outline of his palm in circles, producing some ‘bzzt’ sounds of current, as if it was echoing his touch.
Xing Lou said softly, “It seems like we will meet soon.”
“No, no, I’m not fighting anymore.” The nth student who lost to Ling Xiao waved at him incessantly, “I can’t win anyway.”
Ling Xiao gloomily retreated to the side of the field. It was just a practice round in the close-combat class. Besides, he didn’t exert his full strength anyway.
He then looked at Ping Zong and Lan Sheng on the side. Lan Sheng had obviously gained an upper hand, but there was still a lot of room left between Ping Zong’s movements for him to play around. It seemed like Lan Sheng was the one attacking, while in fact, the rhythm had been controlled by the other person all this time, making the battle between them appear more like a coaching round.
Ling Xiao idly watched those two people leave the field for a rest after finishing their fight.“Why don’t you go up there and practice?” Ping Zong asked.
“Are you going to practice with me?” Ling Xiao asked back.
Ping Zong glanced at Lan Sheng and smiled, refusing to answer.
“Don’t bully my Ping Zong. If you want to train, then I’ll train with you.” Lan Sheng stood up for Ping Zong.
“I don’t want to train with you even if you want to train with me.” Ling Xiao intentionally said it with a tone of despise.
“Get lost!” Lan Sheng laughed out a curse, and gave him a punch. “I heard that you got into a fight with some seniors yesterday?”
“Ah, Ping Zong is such a blabbermouth,” Ling Xiao indirectly admitted.
Ling Xiao was vexed at the thought of what happened after that. “Don’t want to talk about it.”
“What’s their level?”
“Just like that.”
“Being cocky again, huh?” Lan Sheng pointed with his chin, “How about you go practice with him? He should be good enough to be your opponent, right?”
Lan Sheng was referring to Ying Feng who was training alone at the edge of the field. His opponent at the moment was a robot for close-combat training. This kind of robot could automatically adjust its combat ability according to the strength of its opponent. As he looked, Ling Xiao saw Ying Feng chop on the robot’s neck with his hand. If it were an ordinary person, he would probably have collapsed already, but the robot was not the least affected by it and punched at Ying Feng’s abdomen right away.
Just as Ling Xiao thought Ying Feng would totally take this punch, the other person suddenly pivoted backward and followed with a spin kick. Not only did he dodge the robot’s offensive, he also used the opportunity to give it a heavy blow. After the kick hit the target, Ying Feng jumped up at top speed and kicked it three more times, physically sending a metal-made robot flying into the air. The robot became paralyzed right on the spot.
As a wrestling lover, Ling Xiao had felt his blood racing and his limbs itching after seeing the scene. Ying Feng finished off the robot. As soon as he turned around, he saw the unexpected guest coming to challenge him.“Hey,” Ling Xiao raised his chin at Ying Feng, “Let’s practice a little?”
His eyes were filled with excitement that was practically impossible to conceal. Ying Feng was also bored from fighting with robots. Since Ling Xiao had offered himself on a platter, there was no reason for him to refuse.He thought for a moment, “Have you eaten your fill? I don’t wish to bully someone who’s starving.”
“It’s not certain who’s going to get bullied yet,” Ling Xiao replied, full of confidence. “Just so you know, by the way, compared to strawberry, I like banana flavor better!”
Translator’s Note: “Senior schoolmate” is referred to by gender in Chinese. And the pronoun “he” and “she” sounds the same in Chinese, therefore XL wasn’t able to tell it was a guy or a girl.