Chapter 13.1 Back to the Beginning
Mecha and starships have always been the military’s trump cards, to a certain extent, they determined the military strength of an empire. But now, these two powerful weapons were controlled by the Queen, and being used to destroy humanity itself.
The military wanted to destroy the Queen’s source code, but all the hackers they found hadn’t succeeded, they couldn’t even get into the Queen’s first defense system. In desperation, the military could only disconnect the Queen’s energy system, hoping it would shut down. But a strange event occurred, even though the energy system was removed, the Queen was still up and running, and it was behaving more and more aggressively.
At the same time, doctors noticed that those who had connected to the Star Network and fallen into a coma had symptoms of brain death. They boldly guessed, the Queen’s new energy source was the spiritual force of these people, commonly known as the soul.
Although there was a lack of scientific basis for the assumption, the military attached great importance to this and focused on moving the surviving patients to protected areas. After confirming the identity of these people, the military was surprised to find that they were all industry leaders, their spiritual power was also very strong, one of them was even the top hacker Zhou Yun Sheng, who had invaded the galaxy’s defense system more than once. At the age of thirteen he became a major criminal on the military’s wanted list, but after trying to track down and arrest him for three years, unexpectedly, they couldn’t even touch his shadow.
Each one of the Empire’s defense system was designed and personally built by the Queen, if Zhou Yun Sheng could easily compromise those systems at 13, he should also be able to destroy the Queen’s terminal. So they put Zhou Yun Sheng in restoration bay No. 1, making every effort to treat him.
When they got the news of his awakening, the Imperial Marshal personally came to visit the hospital.
The hospital was actually more in name than in fact, it was only a long abandoned underground air-raid shelter. Now, in order for humanity to escape the Queen’s surveillance and attacks, people began moving underground, the army’s maneuvering had even fallen back to ancient time’s wireless communication.
“… … so now the Empire and even all of mankind needs your help.” The Marshal said sincerely after thoroughly explaining the situation.
Zhou Yun Sheng didn’t respond immediately. To be honest, the illusions and reality were no different for him. Currently, technology was very advanced, human beings could also have a sense of smell, touch, hearing and the other senses while in the Star Network, injuries would be painful, sadness would bring tears. If his lover hadn’t asserted himself and sent him back in such a showy way, he wouldn’t be able to tell if he was still completely trapped in the illusions and brain dead, or back home.
He thought for a moment, then asked, “When Dr. Wilson made the Queen, he once predicted this current situation, and he never did anything without security measures. There should be a set of self-destruct procedures in the Queen. Once an abnormality was detected in the Queen, the self-destruct program should’ve been started. Why didn’t your computer experts activate the program?”
The Marshal seemed surprised that he asked about this matter, he quickly replied, “Except for Dr. Wilson, no one knew that the Star Network had such a self-destruct program. If it hadn’t suddenly started up on its own about a month ago, we would have been kept in the dark.”
Zhou Yun Sheng nodded, knowing that his guess about his lover’s identity was correct, he impatiently demanded, “Take me to your computer room, I want to decode this program’s operations.” Then go back in to find Zong Yi.
The Marshal waved his hand, his expression gloomy, “This program has disappeared.”
Zhou Yun Sheng turned rigid as he sat up, almost falling off the hospital bed, he barely managed to suppress his rattled emotions and ask, “Disappeared? What do you mean?”
“We were very excited after the program started to work, we watched the progress bar rise from 0 to 60% and all thought the Queen would soon be destroyed. But the Queen somehow found out about the program and ordered the mecha forces to invade our computer room and smash the computers that started the program. When the computer room was rebuilt, we discovered that the program had disappeared, and we couldn’t find it in any of the repositories.”
Zhou Yun Sheng clenched a fist, he asked in a heavy voice, “What happened to the Queen?”
“The Queen also vanished, but we think it’s just hiding. The mechs and starships are still protecting the computer room where its terminal and source code are located.”
Zhou Yun Sheng unclenched his fist and glanced at the four bloody crescents left by his fingernails, he said, “I need a virtua helmet, I’ll enter the Star Network and help you find the program.”
The Marshal was overjoyed, but before he could thank him the boy said, “But I have some conditions, you have to cancel my previous arrest warrants, give me a legal identity and a lot of money.” If he could bring back his lover, he certainly needed to plan for their future life.
“Of course, as it should be, we already have a contract ready, here.” The Marshal took out paper documents and a pen. Without personal terminals, they could only use these ancient things.
Zhou Yun Sheng took only half a minute to read the thick stack of documents, then signed his name.
The Marshal immediately took him to the military’s secret base and gave him a sensory helmet to connect with the Star Network. Everyone stared at him, like watching a martyr. Who didn’t know that if he went back to sleep, he might not be able to wake up again.
But Zhou Yun Sheng didn’t immediately put it on, instead, he opened up his own toolbox, modifying the helmet. In Grand Heaven World, 007 had been destroyed, so he now needed a similar assistive tool like 007 which would help him retrieve a wide range of programs in the Star Network’s database and find his lover as soon as possible. Fortunately, last time he’d had the foresight to quietly put a thread of his soul into his lover’s spirit, he should be able to sense his presence.
After a few days of hard work, the helmet was completely modified, he’d built in a number of firewalls to avoid being detected by the Queen. Then he put on the helmet and laid down in the restoration bay.
When he opened his eyes again, he was sitting at a large conference table, surrounded by many professionally dressed people. On the opposite wall was a huge LED screen, which was playing some 3D animation. To Zhou Yun Sheng’s eyes, these pictures could only be described with one word – shoddy, but the people around him were fascinated, only his face wasn’t showing an astonished expression.
The animation finished, and a woman wearing a blue suit, her appearance pure and pleasant, walked onto the podium and gave a detailed presentation of the images pasted on the display board. The images were of people and scenery, fantasy style, colorful, it could be called splendid and magnificent.
As she explained in a step-by-step manner, the present elite all smiled, there were even a few who couldn’t help letting out sounds of appreciation.
Sitting in the head position, Zhou Yun Sheng stared at the woman’s face, his mind constantly circulating the sentence “What the fuck!”. Who’s going to tell him why he’d returned to the world where the Lord God had given him his first task while he was under its control? That woman was the world’s goddess, his former “Madly pursued sweetheart”, even if she turned into ashes, he would still recognize her.
At that time, maybe the Lord God had wanted to make him integrate more quickly into the environment, because in this world, his character had his real name. He was the only heir to one of Y City’s top IT companies, ZHOU. The family business was founded by his grandfather, Zhou Tang, and had accumulated hundreds of millions in assets over just a few decades. In China, it was nothing, in Y City, it sat tight in the IT sector’s top spot.
However, Zhou Tang’s career was smooth, but his home life was very unfortunate, he lost his wife early, leaving him with only a baby girl. In order to prevent his daughter from being mistreated, he never remarried, but he also hastily helped his daughter find him a son-in-law, that was Zhou Yun Sheng’s father, Fang Kunpeng.
Fang Kunpeng was a university professor, elegant appearance, mild temperament, and very loving to Zhou mother. He never liked to intervene in ZHOU’s company’s affairs, preferring to write poetry and paint on his free time, or go out to collect plants- a to the letter scholar. Zhou Tang was very pleased by him, so before his death he allocated him 5% of ZHOU’s shares as compensation, and the rest of the shares were given to his daughter and grandson.
Zhou Yun Sheng, as the only successor of ZHOU enterprise, entered an important post in ZHOU soon after graduating college. He was spoiled from childhood, and coupled with his excellent family finances, he developed a proud and conceited character, unable to stand not getting something he wanted.
Of course, this was the character the Lord God had drawn up for this man, so regardless of what character Zhou Yun Sheng himself had, he had to act in accordance with this person’s preset personality.
Under the Lord God’s control, he had to be ‘madly in love’ with his school junior Meng Wan, and he used various means to pursue her. Meng Wan was a professional designer, her art foundation was exceptional, so when he heard that Meng Wan was looking for work after graduation, he immediately invited her to work at ZHOU enterprise.
Meng Wan entered the research and development department with her own ability, and was responsible for art design of the MMO game ZHOU had in production for the important end of the year launch. At work, she frequently had bursts of inspiration, so she gradually carried the game from a simple prototype to something solid.
At the moment, due to lack of production funding, she was making a final pitch, hoping that ZHOU’s top brass could see the potential of this game.
Zhou Yun Sheng had dropped in at this time, but he didn’t need to listen to Meng Wan’s analysis. Since he’d experienced this drama already, he naturally knew just how popular this game would grow, earning more than a billion dollars in one year, enough to buy several ZHOUs.
Meng Wan’s presentation ended, she bowed and stepped down amidst everyone’s warm applause, then looked towards the young man in the head seat with hope. The man was wearing a black suit, his handsome face could make someone stop in their tracks, a noble and elegant temperament from head to toe. A few of the secretaries frequently peeped at him, their glances very titillating.
But only Meng Wan knew, under this person’s glamorous shell was a selfish and overbearing character. She didn’t like him at all, even to the point of disgust.
Zhou Yun Sheng, of course, knew that Meng Wan was disgusted with himself, since he was not under 007’s control this time, he would be able to deal with this Meng Wan. He would not only ignore her, he would make this world’s hero and heroine pay a heavy price. The villains never have good endings, so in this world, he dies very miserably, three idioms could be used to describe it – people rebelling and friends deserting, a complete defeat and fall from grace, death without an intact corpse.
He’d thought that that sullen past had already become un-changeable history, he hadn’t expected to have the opportunity to re-visit it. Zhou Yun Sheng thought for a moment, aware that this phenomenon must be related to his lover. The man had tried to destroy the Queen, and the Queen had resisted with all its might, they both lost, one disappeared, one went into hiding, quietly building back its data.
Since the whole galaxy banned personal terminals, the Queen had no new energy infusions, so while its data recovery was incomplete, it produced this data regression phenomenon.
But where was his lover now? Zhou Yun Sheng thought uneasily.
“Chief Zhou, do you have something to say?” Seeing everyone waiting for the boss’ opinion, his secretary could only loudly remind him.
Zhou Yun Sheng instantly returned to reality, he closed the project folder in front of him and said, “Have the R & D department make a budget proposal and send it to my office, this meeting is dismissed.” Last year in this timeline, he approved the project 10 million in funds, and later he would approve another 10 million. Although ZHOU’s eventual bankruptcy was because of this project, at this time, he still wanted to let the project go on.
The R & D department’s staff cheered, and Meng Wan even walked forward to thank Zhou Yun Sheng, but her attitude was very aloof and arrogant, as if her taking the initiative to talk to Zhou Yun Sheng was a favor to him.
Zhou Yun Sheng didn’t even meet her eyes, he just turned and left.
A few secretaries of the Administration Department pointed to Meng Wan’s awkward figure and whispered, snickering repeatedly, making Meng Wan’s white face tint purple.
Zhou Yun Sheng returned to his office and touched his black earring disguised sensor. He called the sensor 008, hoping it could be better than 007.
He started up 008 with his spiritual power, invaded the Queen’s database, and began searching for traces of his lover. This was a big project, he couldn’t guess when it would end. But he believed that his lover wouldn’t be too far away from him, as long as he appeared within a radius of 500 meters around him, he would be able to accurately lock him down.
Will he even be in this world? Maybe.
But in any case, he would turn the world upside down before leaving, so he needed to quickly clear away this unsightly drama, then earn enough wealth to freely travel around the world. Although this was a virtual world, there was no difference between its size and the real world. Here, he was only someone with a strong spiritual force, not an omnipotent god, if he wanted to do anything, money was a necessity.
When passing through the data turbulence, the energy he’d stored up had been consumed to protect his soul, most of which had come from Zong Yi. Was it because he lacked this slice of energy, Zong Yi lost to the Queen and inexplicably disappeared?
Thinking of this, Zhou Yun Sheng’s heart was very itchy with impatience, he wanted to immediately go to his lover’s side. As he was stewing in melancholy, the door was knocked, and the secretary sent in the research and development department’s budget proposal.
Like last life, they wanted 10 million. Zhou Yun Sheng roughly glanced over it, then added an additional 10 million at the bottom of the form. This 20 million was enough for them to develop the game six months ahead of time.
When he handed it to his secretary, he requested, “Have the R & D department send up all the information on the game, including the code.”
The secretary nodded.
A few minutes later, Meng Wan sent the USB up, then hesitated, obviously wanting to say something.
Zhou Yun Sheng inserted the USB into the computer, opened the game’s source code, and began modifying it, then he set his modified code to hidden, covering it up with the original code. His skills could walk circles around the tech staff for thousands of years, even if the top hacker in the interstellar era came in, they probably wouldn’t be able to find it.
It took a minute to take care of all this, then he glanced up at the still hesitantly standing in place Meng Wan. He knew that Meng Wan wanted to borrow money from him, 3 million in order to treat her sister’s leukemia. They were orphans, their parents long dead, so they’ve been dependent on each other all these years.
Meng Wan was disgusted with Zhou Yun Sheng, but she never straightforwardly rejected him, because she fancied Zhou Yun Sheng’s monetary generosity.
Sure enough, Meng Wan noticed his slightly concerned eyes and hesitantly opened, “Chief Zhou, can I have an advance on this year’s salary?”
Zhou Yun Sheng was very attentive of Meng Wan, her annual salary was 300,000, for a fresh college graduate, this was considered top treatment. Asking for an advance of 300,000, no matter who, they would curiously question it.
Meng Wan waited for Zhou Yun Sheng to ask.
Zhou Yun Sheng obeyed her desire, he asked, surprised, “Why do you want so much money? Is there a family emergency?”
Meng Wan’s eyes flushed, she neatly and pitifully explained the matter of her sister’s illness.
Zhou Yun Sheng listened, his eyes also growing red, without saying anything further he gave her a check for 3 million, and also said he would introduce her sister to the best doctors in China, frequently implying between words that he wanted to provide for her.
Meng Wan’s face was pale, looking at Zhou Yun Sheng with eyes full of hatred, but she couldn’t do without this life-saving money. She hesitated for a long time before nodding, then grabbed the check and slammed the door when she left.
Zhou Yun Sheng’s expression immediately darkened, he started planning how to make the hero and heroine of this world feel that death was preferable to living.
In fact, Meng Wan had a boyfriend, the other man was called Fang Zhifei, this world’s hero. But he was also Zhou Yun Sheng’s not-money-grubbing father, Zhou mother’s affectionate, and sincere scholar husband, Fang Kunpeng’s outside raised illegitimate child, the beloved son his true love gave birth to.
Fang Zhifei had always wanted to start his own business, but unfortunately, Fang Kunpeng’s property was tightly controlled by Zhou mother, he only managed to save two million after a few decades, all given to Fang Zhifei as startup funds. Fang Zhifei was studying IT, his superb tech skills comparable to a hacker’s, he opened a small IT company with a few classmates, only a dozen employees.
Just as he’d invested the money into the company, Meng Wan’s sister fell sick, helpless, he could only let Meng Wan find Zhou Yun Sheng. Don’t misunderstand, he didn’t send his girlfriend to sell her body, it was to set a trap for Zhou Yun Sheng.
Sure enough, after getting off work, past Zhou Yun Sheng had stepped out of the company and was immediately accosted by a female porn star, who flirted with him in many ambiguous and gropey poses. A tabloid reporter photographed the two entangled on the streets and immediately posted it online, saying that ZHOU young master’s private life was rotten, and so on.
Zhou mother was a very strict parent, she immediately called him back to the main house and scolded him, banning him from living in his outside apartment. She also stuck two bodyguards on him to and from work.
Zhou Yun Sheng was helpless, he could only temporarily rest the idea of capturing Meng Wan. Plus, he was in ‘true love’ with Meng Wan, he wanted to get her heart, not her body, so he momentarily quieted down.
This loaned life-saving money was a huge stimulus to Fang Zhifei, he felt that he must quickly grow stronger, otherwise, he couldn’t protect his loved ones. With his extraordinary intelligence, ruthless methods, and also his fate of the world’s son luck, when he started eyeing Zhou family, the end result was easy to imagine.
After current Zhou Yun Sheng shook off the porn star, he really was called home to be scolded by Zhou mother. Last life, he hadn’t wanted to lend money to Meng Wan, nor did he want to provide for her. He was gay, what could he gain from keeping a woman? To feel repulsion whenever he fucks her? If the system hadn’t repeatedly given him tasks to give her money and harass her, the resulting bad outcomes wouldn’t have transpired.
To put it bluntly, the villain was just a tool to propel the hero and heroine’s plot to completion, when necessary, they could also be swapped into being the hero and heroine’s cannon fodder tool, their fate was worth nothing more.
The system made him pursue Meng Wan, while at the same time making him sleep with other women, if he resisted, it would control his body autonomously. Even now, those humiliating scenes were still engraved in Zhou Yun Sheng’s mind.
Now, this body was his own, the face following him from birth to 16 years old, how couldn’t he recognize it? The original Zhou Yun Sheng looked like Zhou mother, he could only be regarded as average, he didn’t have Fang Zhifei’s refined and graceful looks inherited from Fang Kunpeng. But now, this extremely handsome, one-look-can-take-away-your-soul face, belonged to the real Zhou Yun Sheng.
This was his face and body, so he certainly needed to keep it clean. Thinking about that, he immediately took out his phone, broke up with the original’s fuck bodies, and went to sleep with peace of mind.
The next day, he didn’t go directly to the company, but diverted to the hospital. The bodyguard who registered him at the hospital frequently glanced at his crotch with strange eyes. Visiting an urologist for no rhyme or reason? Could it be that young master’s contracted a sexually transmitted disease, or that place has a problem?
Zhou Yun Sheng knew what he was thinking, but he was not embarrassed, he went in for half an hour then the doctor personally walked him out, eyes full of sympathy.
“Mr. Zhou, those suffering from this illness must not hold on to psychological baggage. Try to relax, perhaps it’s because you’re under too much stress, after a while, you might be able to recover.”
“Yes, I’ll come back for regular review. I request that you please keep this confidential.”
“Certainly, certainly.” The doctor knew Zhou Yun Sheng’s identity, he unhesitantly nodded, his heart even more sympathetic. He looked so handsome, and was also so rich, unfortunately, why did he get this illness, simply losing out on one of the greatest pleasures in life.
The bodyguards were very professional, they had long ago driven away the patients waiting in front of the door, so as not to leak their employer’s privacy. Hearing the doctor’s words, they immediately concluded their own speculations, but pretended to know nothing.
“Don’t tell my mother.” Zhou Yun Sheng put on his sunglasses to hide his eye-catching appearance.
The two bodyguards nodded neatly.
The company’s executives had showed considerable admiration for the new game, and Chief Zhou approved more than 20 million in funding, so the R & D department felt very encouraged. They put in sleepless nights of work, and slowly made a rough prototype.
Watching the dream fantasy scenery, and the new and original, ahead of its time player creation options, Meng Wan knew that this game would be hot. Even she, who only studied art design, could see it, not to mention Fang Zhifei, the IT elite.
He regretted that the game was not being developed by his own company, after pondering for a few days, he focused on laying a trap for Zhou Yun Sheng and ZHOU, trying to swallow this piece of destined to be a cash cow cake.
Over the next six months, Zhou Yun Sheng broke away from Zhou mother’s control and lived a ‘genuine’ rotten life. He stepped up on coercing Meng Wan, indirectly persecuting Fang Zhifei, while also letting the tabloids photograph him in explicit situations with many female stars.
One day, he took a C-list starlet to a five-star hotel suite, the two people sat down dully for an hour, then he gave the female star a $100,000 check.
An hour to earn $100,000, for a C-list starlet this was an astronomical payment, the other side grinned and took the check, said a lot of flattery, thoughtfully glanced at his crotch, and left. Just as she walked out the hotel door, she was, as usual, photographed by a tabloid newspaper.
The two bodyguards placed the meal room service had sent up on the coffee table, silently sighing for their employer: In order to cover up his incapability, he deliberately pursues the bad reputation of a rotten womanizer, this employer is pretty hardcore.
Turned him into dust- 對方就是化成了灰他也認識. I think that’s what it says. It’s not the first time I’ve seen ashes/dust used this way in this story, but I can’t find any info about it being slang in China.
Provide for- 包養-baoyang- to provide for / to keep (a mistress)
Pretty hardcore – Man pin de, Slang: working really hard; busting one’s ass; sparing no effort; giving it your all. Here