The current ZHOU Tech was full of confidence, holding a very grand conference for the new games, not only inviting the country’s most well-known media, but also spending heavily to invite domestic A-list male and female celebrities as spokespeople.
Zhou Yun Sheng and Yi Zheng sat together, an elegant smile, an expressionless face, after the end of the male and female celebrities’ performances, the reporters immediately flocked to the two to ask questions.
Yi Zheng was the interview’s main object, most of the microphones stacked on top of his desk. He indifferently opened, “Today is a game conference, please distinguish between the primary and secondary objectives.”
The reporters turned to Zhou Yun Sheng, but he just gave them a lazy smile, waved and said, “Let’s not make words do the talking, see for yourself the extent of our games’ brilliance.”
He turned on the huge LED screen behind him, countless black lights circled, gradually forming a towering and majestic palace. A handsome robed man stepped into the palace, holding a scarred and haggard looking teenager, his voice deep and resounding, “From today on, Xinghai is my, Zong Yi’s, small disciple. Leave immediately, no more begging.”
The camera shifted, an old man and a young girl, whose face was twisted in jealousy, were standing outside the gate, they bent stiffly in acquiescence. They walked to the edge of the cliff, fleeing on top of flying swords.
The scene suddenly changed, the original scarred and battered boy was already cured, although his appearance was the same, his temperament was very cynical. His sometimes blurry and sometimes solid body maneuvered around numerous distorted faced cultivators, his hand a sharp blade, mercilessly reaping their lives. His black robe was soaked bloody, his cheeks splashed with spots of bright red blood, making his handsome face appear frightening, like a demon.
“What devil method, what Heart Sutra, just a convenient excuse to murder and loot treasures. Since you slander me, Fang Xinghai, as fallen into the devil path, today I’ll slaughter you all. I’ll make this accusation a self-fulfilling prophecy.” The teenager’s clear and melodious voice was filled with unnatural coldness, making those who listened to it somehow feel both comfortable and uneasy.
His voice faded, and every cultivator he touched exploded into blood red mist. The scarlet mist lingered on the boy’s body, and he slightly raised his head and sniffed deeply, his expression intoxicated.
Although it was just 3D effects, the boy’s yokai face was beautiful enough to suck in souls, they seemed to be able to perceive his nose expanding as he breathed, and his trembling eyelashes through the lifeless screen. His anger, his despair, his cruelty, his sharp skill and fear inducing cultivation method had repeatedly brought these people to feel that this was not an illusion, but real life.
A needle drop could be heard in the audience, the reporters were slack jawed and dulled eyed. Even if God gifted them with the richest imagination, they would still lack the ability to describe the boy’s grace.
He was also very cruel, his decisive killing resembling a raging inferno engulfing the screen.
After the slaughter, the cultivators who had encircled him had to resort to their most powerful immortal killing spell array to trap him, shockingly, the man taking the lead was the old man from the beginning scene.
“Today, I’ll clean up the sect on your master’s behalf.” His voice was tranquil, disguised as compassion, but it gave off a very strong sense of violation.
The teenager was trapped in an immortal killing spell array and burned by godly fire, his bewitching yokai face finally showing a look of agony. The audience felt like their hearts were being squeezed by an invisible hand, deeply melancholy. They felt sorrow at the boy’s pain, joy at the boy’s happiness, and heart filling anger when the boy suffered slander.
Just as the boy was about to dig out his own dantian in insanity, a majestic voice came down from the sky, “Who dares clean up the sect on my behalf? How bold!”
Black light swords filled the sky before the voice faded, tearing through the space barrier with the sound of thunder. The audience covered their faces and ducked, to prevent accidental injury, they unexpectedly felt tangible threat from the light swords.
The moment the light swords appeared on screen, the scene switched back to the cultivators around the spell array. They had no time to react before they were twisted into pieces, countless magic weapons were also pierced through with the light swords. Even worse, a giant black light sword formed from condensed Yuanshen was sung at the cultivators gathered outside the sect, hacking them to pieces.
The words ‘Promise Immortal Sect’ that were engraved on the wall split open in a thunderous explosion, and numerous pavilions were destroyed at once. Under the dust and blood mist filled sky, the man once again carried the bruised and beaten boy in his arms and slowly said, “Small Xing’s cultivation method was passed down from me. Since you’ve dismissed him as a devil path cultivator, no matter, we master and disciple will depart from Wuji Immortal Sect and fall into the devil path, and embrace the hearsay. If you wish to wipe out the devil path cultivators, just come to the Devil Realm’s Poisonous Miasma Land to find me. I, Zong Yi cultivates the Shattered Heaven Sword Path, I can break through the heavens, and kill any immortal!”
He steered the light swords and calmly left, and the present cultivators didn’t dare intercept him. The camera travelled over the destroyed sect and the blood bath soaking the land. The blood twisted and distorted into a scarlet mist, spelling out a grand title with a thunderous clap – Shattered Heaven Zhu Xian.
With sad atmospheric music sound, the game trailer for the first game ended. However, the magnificent and extremely cruel cultivation world was deeply rooted in the audience’s mind, making them incessantly reflect, incessantly sigh, then long from the heart.
Without waiting for them to catch their breath, the second game’s trailer immediately started playing. This one was a sci-fi game called ‘Star Warfare’, contrary to the previous one’s ancient fantasy setting. But the scene quality, character set, storyline, soundtrack, etc., were all as equally excellent as the first game.
When the crowds of Zergs appeared in the human settlements to massacre them for food, the audience gasped, some even shouting out in fright. At the mecha warriors’ brave performances and teamwork, they couldn’t help but cheer.
The trailers gathered the most exciting scenes into one, forming a strong visual impact. The graphics quality could be seen from the fineness of the game character’s hair, to the grand starships parading through the vast universe.
The extremely realistic 3D effects were shockingly cool to behold.
Where were these game trailers, they were obviously hundreds of millions in special effects budget blockbusters, and they could throw those western blockbusters out in the street like trash. What was superior quality production? This was superior quality production! Compared to these two games, ‘Magic World’ really could only be described as ‘clumsy’, or even more bluntly, it was a shoddy defective product.
Chief Zhou’s words on that day still rang in their ears, today, they no longer viewed it as an exaggerated taunt.
After the trailer broadcast finished, in about a minute or two the audience let out thunderous applause. The male celebrity that was the spokesperson for ‘Star Warfare’ quietly moved to Zhou Yun Sheng’s side and fluttered his eyelashes as he asked, “Chief Zhou, can you send me ten game discs?” My hands are so fucking itchy to get them now!
The two trailers were highly classified before they were broadcasted, not to mention him, many of the company’s higher ups hadn’t seen them. He was a veteran MMO gamer, he could see the excellence of these two games at a glance.
Zhou Yun Sheng nodded with a smile. He was very satisfied with the results of the conference, except for the man seated next to him who was exuding a more and more gloomy atmosphere. Leaving the rest of the work to the publishing department’s head, Zhou Yun Sheng dragged his lover out of the venue.
They got into a black business car and headed home.
“Why aren’t you talking today?” Zhou Yun Sheng reached over to fiddle with his lover’s slender fingers. He had deliberately made those two trailers to stimulate his lover’s memory, now they seemed to have been a bit useful.
“Did you think of something? You have a painful headache?” He smiled and massaged his lover’s temple.
“What should I think of?” Yi Zheng grabbed his wrist, his eyes darkening, he closed his eyes and said in a slightly painful and puzzled voice, “My head doesn’t hurt, but here feels very uncomfortable.” He pointed to his heart.
Zhou Yun Sheng sighed, changed to massaging his chest, but the man suddenly pulled him into his arms, and quickly unzipped their pants, reached in and squeezed.
Zhou Yun Sheng let out a muffled groan, then condemned, “Are you fucking crazy? Don’t you know I’m a mortal right now?”
Yi Zheng ignored his scolding and sped up his hand movements, hugging him tightly, wishing he could crush him into his chest and meld them inseparable. Only such a brutal action could make him feel that this was reality, that this person was still with him.
He’d come back, he hadn’t lost him.
Zhou Yun Sheng felt his restlessness, sighed, then closed the tinted window between driver and passenger. He turned to face the taller man and gently kissed his dark eyes. Seeing the love overflowing from the man’s eyes, he let out a gentle chuckle…
With Yi Group’s support, the current ZHOU didn’t lack for money, just after the conference ended, the two trailers broadcasted on mainstream media at the same time, the online publicity was an overwhelming, vast momentum.
Fang Zhifei and Tengda’s CEO sat in their office to watch the trailers, by the time the music completely faded, the two’s expressions had turned from scornful to shock and disbelief. Their ‘Magic World’ they’d thought was an incomparable classic now seemed so unsightly.
“Didn’t you tell me that your team was the best in the country? So what’s all this?! Is this the kind of crap the top team makes? Fang Zhifei, take a good fucking look, look at the gap between you and those people! If you don’t have the skill, don’t try to fucking sell it! If you hadn’t urged me, do you think I would’ve left ZHOU to set up this shit show? You’ve fucking killed me!” Tengda’s CEO cursed viciously while pouring heart stabilizers into his mouth.
Fang Zhifei stared at the computer screen, his eyes red, face distorted. To make two such perfect games, it must have taken eight or more years of effort, but no one in ZHOU, from the bottom to the top, knew when Zhou Yun Sheng had started the research and development, or which developers he’d hired. Even when he was jailed unjustly, he never bit back, he just quietly laid dormant until ‘Magic World’ had launched and his father had sold off all his stock, then he jumped out, turning the tide in an unimaginable way.
This showed that he was already long aware of the world around him. He was not a braindead rich boy, a prodigal son, on the contrary, his scheming was deep and his means were ruthless, far more skilled than himself. Fang Zhifei wiped his face, his expression sinister, and chuckled as he stood up. He knew when to admit when he lost, but he had only lost the battle, not the war. This was only the first round, the days ahead were long.
In Tengda’s R & D department, except for a few interns, the rest of the staff were all seniors from ZHOU science and technology. They sat stiffly in their chairs, only letting out their held breaths when the trailers ended. Prior to this, they had proudly announced that no other team in China could go shoulder to shoulder with them, so if ZHOU Tech wanted to rely on seizing ‘Magic World’s market to rise again, that was simply a dream.
But now, ZHOU Tech showed them that their so-called top skill was nothing but rough, not worth mentioning rubbish. They hung their heads, their cheeks burning as if they were viciously slapped dozens of times. There was no doubt that ZHOU Tech would continue growing stronger, and its growth would be better than before. They were originally ZHOU’s veterans, many of them had been gifted shares in the company. But they had sold off all their shares before jumping ship to Tengda, thinking that they would be creating a legend with their own hands, only to end up creating a joke.
If Tengda went bankrupt, they wouldn’t be able to find a decent job with their seriously damaged credit and background of lack of professional ethics. They were ruined, everything was ruined!
Recalling how Meng Wan and Fang Zhifei had head hunted them with sweet talk and promises of grandeur, their hearts were filled with intense hatred.
The two games each focused on the markets in China, Europe and the United States. Yi Group was in charge of publicity in the West, and they simply didn’t bother to promote in China, because as soon as the demo versions went up, there was more than two hundred thousand downloads in one day.
After the players had access to the demo for half a month, their fanboyism had already reached the level of madness. All kinds of praise flooded small and large game forums, creating wider visibility for the games.
“I downloaded it immediately after watching the trailers. I had only one thought, are these really two game trailers, and not multimillion dollar western blockbusters? The effects were simply stunning! I downloaded them purely out of curiosity about the difference between the real qualities of the games vs the trailers. But now I can only use three phrases to describe my feelings on the games – immersive, beautiful, and stupidly fun!”
“This world has a soul! I swear, not only do the NPCs of every major sect and the awesome bosses feel alive, even a blade of grass is like real life. This is more than just a game, it’s a real world.”
“I just entered Lianqi Qi, and I swear my dantian feels hot.”
“I watched my NPC senior brother pass through tribulations after entering Jindan Qi, the tribulations were too realistic, I am now paralyzed. The people who created this game must have superhuman skills, no other game developer in the entire world can compare!”
“This, I just saw the news, a western film studio got interested in celestial beings after watching the trailer, they’re hoping to cooperate with ZHOU Tech’s production team to shoot a fantasy movie, the budget will be at least 200mil. Hollywood has so many special effects teams, it’s overwhelming.”
Such praise was overflowing on the internet, in just over half of the trial period, the number of players in ‘Shattered Heaven Zhu Xian’ reached a staggering ten million. Of course, after the subscriptions started this data would be reduced, but it’ll still firmly occupy the top of the list of games with the world’s largest number of players. ‘Star Warfare’ also had very impressive results in the West, the current number of downloads was five hundred and fifty thousand, and increasing day by day.
Before, the players had worried about technical problems that were bound to appear, but the longer they played, the more they understood just how perfectly the two games were produced. ‘Shattered Heaven Zhu Xian’ encompassed four grand instances of the Human World, the Devil Realm, the Immortal World, and the Spirit World, each world having many smaller instances. The game was currently updated to the Human World instance, after reaching a higher level, the instance you joined also becomes more difficult, and the degree of sophistication doubles. It was the type of game where the more you played, the more you were unable to stop. Furthermore, there was strict level divide between Lianqi Qi, Zhuji Qi, Jindan Qi, etc. Promotion required carrying lightning tribulations, making the players really experience the feeling of cultivation.
Basically, once you started playing ‘Shattered Heaven Zhu Xian’, very few people were willing to leave.
In contrast, ‘Magic World’s technical problems still haven’t been resolved, dropped connections, lag and lost equipment incidents were occurring more frequently, so many players were directly deleting the game off their computer.
In their words – I’m too busy playing ‘Shattered Heaven Zhu Xian’ and ‘Star Warfare’, I simply don’t have any interest in or time to play other games, especially not garbage like ‘Magic World’.
Currently, ‘Magic World’s trial period was over, and Tengda had started charging the players, Fang Zhifei received the financial reports and glanced over the extremely tragic data.
Tengda not only didn’t make any money, it also lost nearly 10 million in one month, if coupled with the 75 million to purchase the game’s copyright, the loaned 20 million for publicity and post-production costs, and the 5 million US dollars to hire the hacker to modify the code, Tengda’s deficit was up to 130 million.
To save Tengda, they not only needed to fill this huge deficiency in time, but also inject a huge amount of money into the company, just like how Yi Group saved ZHOU. But where would they find another Yi Zheng? After the scandal about Fang Zhifei being an illegitimate child, and how he might’ve framed and imprisoned the legitimate child burst out, the people that used to be close to him deliberately alienated him, even avoided him.
Until this moment, Fang Zhifei hadn’t realized how much the damage to his reputation had affected him. Cooperation between two companies first valued each other’s character and credit line, then the strength. And his character and credit line was clearly already bankrupt.
Now he was like a cornered beast, hovering over the edge of despair and madness every day.
However, for Zhou Yun Sheng, the game was far from over. He sent a few documents to the Inland Revenue Department, and used 008 to synthesize a video file and two audio files, then embedded them in Fang Zhifei’s finance folder.
On the following day, Fang Zhifei entered the company to see uniformed tax officers sealing up the accounting office and his own computer. The chairman had been sent to the hospital because of a heart attack, so he had no choice but to go over to negotiate.
“We received a report that your company has a large amount of illegal financing, according to the law, we’ve come to review your accounts.”
“Of course, we will try our best to cooperate as necessary.” Fang Zhifei glanced at his computer. He was confident that no one could find his hidden financial documents, so he wasn’t even slightly tense.
A tax officer turned on his computer and easily found the finance-related documents, after opening a few folders, his expression slightly froze. He very calmly pressed the pause button, then put on his headset and continued playing. A few minutes later, he took off his headphones and shouted, “Boss, come look.”
Fang Zhifei stood outside the office, saw the two people staring at his computer with strange expressions, and his calm mood began stirring. The offices were under control of the tax officials, so he couldn’t trespass, he could only pace back and forth.
After a while, the leading tax officer made a phone call and glanced over at Fang Zhifei with cold eyes. Fang Zhifei wiped off the cold sweat that had broken out on his forehead and walked stiffly towards the office kitchenette.
He poured two packets of instant black coffee powder into his cup and tried to dilute his restlessness with the bitter taste. Two tax officers walked by, seemingly casually, saw that he hadn’t absconded, then waited outside in the corridor.
At this point, Fang Zhifei was aware of the unusual atmosphere, he felt that he had to get out of here, otherwise, he would be in a very dangerous situation. He pretended to accidentally shake his cup, the coffee splashing onto his body, then pretended to casually walk towards the bathroom.
However, the two tax officers followed him in, staring at him with cold eyes.
He had no choice to wash out the coffee stains and obediently go back, but before he reached the office door, several police officers rushed over and cuffed him while declaring his rights.
In an interrogation room, facing the glare of the lights and the cold faces of the investigators, Fang Zhifei hoarsely asked, “Police comrades, what crimes have I committed?”
The ones responsible for interrogation was the same old and young police officer. The younger detective took out a laptop wrapped in an evidence bag and asked, “Do you know what this is?”
“Yes, it’s my laptop.”
“Then explain to us what this is.” The younger detective turned on the laptop, brought up a video hidden in the finance folder, then turned the screen to the suspect.
Fang Zhifei twisted his eyebrows as he watched, then his face suddenly paled. It was a recording of the red skirt woman being gang-raped by the two burly men, from her dragging unconscious Zhou Yun Sheng into the room, to calling Meng Wan, and then to the two burly men coming in to gang-rape her. The sequence of events was very clear.
“This laptop has always been something I and my girlfriend share, I don’t know why there’s such a video on there.” Fang Zhifei put on a stunned expression, but suddenly noticed something in the lower left corner of the video. A diaper wearing 3D toddler appeared out of thin air, took out its water gun, pew pewed two times and disappeared.
He instantly understood that he had fallen into a trap set by his enemy again, and the dangerous situation was even more serious. His expression turned from startled to fearful, he stressed loudly, “This video has nothing to do with me! I don’t know everything Meng Wan stores inside. Check it out ah, this laptop has more of her fingerprints than it does mine! She’s a designer, she usually uses it more than me.”
The younger detective quietly turned off the video, then clicked to open an audio file, Fang Zhifei and Meng Wan’s voices came out clearly.
“Meng Meng, what about that thing? Did you find anyone?”
“Is she reliable?”
“She’s reliable. That woman is a credit card slave, she earned over 100,000 in overdraft fees just to maintain her high consumption lifestyle. I found her in a bar threatening suicide to scare people. I told her, if she puts Zhou Yun Sheng in jail I’ll give her 200,000, plus she’ll get Zhou Fangfang’s (Zhou mother) hush money. I described how rich Zhou family was, how they casually give out millions, and she didn’t even pretend to think it over before agreeing.”
“Good, you be careful.”
“I know, love you beau!”
The sinister conversation ended in sweetness, the disparity making people shudder. The younger detective gave Fang Zhifei a cold glance, then opened the second audio file.
“Zhifei, Zhou Yun Sheng’s unconscious. The play can’t go on. What do we do? ”
“Find a substitute.”
“Do you mean… have someone really rape that woman?”
“If you have to.”
“But that’s illegal!”
“It’s only a crime if you get caught, if you’re not caught, it’s not a crime. Videotape the rape and the woman will keep quiet. Got it? Go ahead.”
The conversation stopped abruptly, and Fang Zhifei had only one thought in mind – the audio is fake! He never said these words! Even if he had to say them, he wouldn’t have said them so bluntly, just imply them.
Someone was framing him!
Instances- Wikipedia “In massively multiplayer online games, an instance is a special area, typically a dungeon, that generates a new copy of the location for each group, or for certain number of players, that enters the area.”
I’m glad the author finally talked about gameplay. I was starting to think she’s a graphics whore.
I’d rather play this
if the first one’s a better game.