Ji Tong stared at the loading circle for a long time until his eyes were sore, but he didn’t see any changes in it.
However, there was a soft roar from the panel. He reached out to touch it and it was so hot that he immediately retracted his hand.
The mission panel couldn’t be broken, right?
As the host and Xie Yuchi were still concentrating on chatting with the competition and not paying attention to him, Ji Tong finally decided to ask for help with his system friends who were more senior than him.
[President Ji sent a photo.]
[President Ji: That… it has been in this state for 20 minutes. It isn’t showing the next mission and the shell is very hot. What should I do?]
Fang Hao and Fu Yinyin responded quickly.
[Brother Hao: ? Did you beat it up? I haven’t encountered this situation before. Is this a bug?]
[President Ji: I didn’t beat it up today.]
[President Ji: But I stepped on it once a long time ago. Could it be the root of a disease that was buried at that time? Is the reflex arc of the mission panel so long?]
[Yinyin: …It seems that the machine collapsed due to an overload of computing. I have the impression that I heard of such a legend.]
[Yinyin: But it is also the first time I am seeing it with my own eyes. What happened before it got stuck? Did you attack it with data?]
[President Ji: No! I just completed the host’s emotional line initial mission. The mission content is to appreciate each other. Once the mission was completed, the panel became like this.]
[Brother Hao: Wow, Brother Xiao Pei has an emotional line. What type of sister is it?]
[Yinyin: How was the initial mission accomplished?]
Ji Tong didn’t dare answer this question truthfully.
He struggled for a long time before saying with a flourish.
[President Ji: Since the target of the emotional line specified by the mission is also very helpful to the host’s career line, I went to invite him to form a team to participate in the competition. However, he was with a scumbag before and didn’t want to form a team with single people. As soon as we met, he recognized the host and me as a couple. The host and I could only pretend to be a couple and listen to him complaining about scumbags. In the end, he also said that people who have partners are like a piece of humanoid wood in his eyes and have no charm.]
[President Ji: To put it simply, if the host is single then the mission object won’t want any contact with him. However, if the host is in love then the task object will treat him as a piece of wood.]
[Brother Hao: ……]
[Brother Hao: I don’t seem to understand but it feels like the mission penal right rather you beat it up.]
[President Ji: Ahhhhhh help me QAQ.]
[Yinyin: Recognized you as a couple… so what I feared happened. Xiao Pei likes you, right?]
[Brother Hao: ⊙o⊙ What??]
[President Ji: Right…]
In a melancholy mood, Ji Tong temporarily cleared the stunned elementary school student from the group chat and sent him a new flying chess map package. Then he turned to the mature and reliable senior system big sister for help.]
[President Ji: Sister Yinyin, if the emotional line is off track, will this projection world be destroyed?]
[Yinyin: Don’t worry too much. Did you get a warning from the mission panel?]
[President Ji: Not before. Now it is stuck.]
[Yinyin: …Sorry, I forgot about this.]
[Yinyin: There is a complex algorithm for the selection of the emotional line task object. However, it is a machine after all. The algorithm sometimes makes mistakes. The situation of changing the task object in the middle isn’t too uncommon. You don’t have to be too nervous.]
[Yinyin: The emotional line can also have twists and turns. I haven’t heard of a situation where the system becomes the emotional line’s task object but there are examples of the system becoming the emotional line’s twists and turns. It isn’t too rare for a host that relies on the system day and night. Maybe you are the twists and turns of Xiao Pei’s emotional line.]
Ji Tong seemed to understand but not understand.
[President Ji: Twists and turns? How long can these twists and turns last? Will it be many years?]
[Yinyin: I don’t know. Every world is different.]
[Yinyin: But you asked this. Does this mean you also like Xiao Pei?]
In front of this question, Ji Tong hesitated for a long time without answering. He typed and deleted his words constantly.
[Yinyin: Okay, don’t worry about it. I understand.]
[Yinyin: In short, take advantage of the fact that the mission panel is broken due to the deadlock in this relationship line and enjoy the twists and turns first.]
[Yinyin: Be careful not to make too much noise. Try not to wake up the mission panel.]
Enjoy the twists and turns.
Ji Tong stared at these words in a daze.
The friendly meeting was coming to an end. As he got up to leave, Xie Yuchi looked at Ji Tong, who had always seemed confused in the second half, and asked curiously, “Did the two of you quarrel before you came?”
Given that he hadn’t seen any intimate interaction between normal couples with the two of them, he suddenly thought of a possibility.
A hint of doubt appeared on the cold face. “Did you guys…”
Before the words could be spoken, Xie Yuchi saw Pei Qingyuan naturally holding Ji Tong’s hand and leading him out. His movements were very smooth and skillful. It was obvious that this wasn’t their first time holding hands.
“Oh, it’s okay.” Xie Yuchi waved his hand. “You guys go first. I’ll sit down for a while. See you later.”
Ji Tong: “……”
The safety record of not holding hands lasted less than a week before it was broken again.
Now even if he didn’t enter the host’s emotional zone, he could guess how much the host appreciated Xie Yuchi.
After leaving the coffee store and Xie Yuchi’s sight and arriving at the campus road where students came and went, Pei Qingyuan quietly let go of his hand.
The turbulent heat in the palm of his hand dissipated and fell into the silent air.
Ji Tong’s fingers hanging by his side moved lightly. He felt the slightly cold body temperature that resurfaced and there was a burst of melancholy.
What was it like to hold hands with the host?
His sense of reason made him refuse but he was inwardly very happy.
Did he like the host?
But love and liking were the strangest and most distant words to him.
On the way back to the bedroom, the leaves of the treetops quietly turned yellow and it was autumn again.
Pei Qingyuan looked sideways at the person around him who was quiet all the way and asked, “What are you thinking?”
He was very satisfied with today’s step of pretending to be a couple by mistake but he was also worried about Ji Tong’s reaction.
Ji Tong looked at the leaves swaying above his head and sighed, “Time flies so fast. You are about to celebrate your birthday again.”
Pei Qingyuan’s birthday was at the start of October. At this time last year, Ji Tong was staying alone in the consciousness space and working hard to grow flowers. Then he gave the host a photo of the garden as a gift on his birthday.
…One of the actions of a scumbag.
Pei Qingyuan wondered, “How do you want to spend it?”
“I want to eat…” Ji Tong was about to start reporting the name of dishes when he realized. “It is your birthday, not mine.”
Pei Qingyuan said, “I also want to celebrate your birthday.”
Ji Tong was stunned. There was an unspeakable feeling in his heart as he said slowly, “I don’t have a birthday.”
No matter whether he was the artificial intelligence system or an orphan who didn’t know his origin, he didn’t have a real birthday.
But he liked what the host said.
This was the first time Ji Tong had heard someone say this to him.
Because he was abandoned, he didn’t have a clear date of birthday. In addition, he had a congenital disease that couldn’t be completely cured and he didn’t have the qualifications to look forward to his next birthday that meant a bright future.
He was a person with no future. His greatest wish every day was to continue to see the next day’s sunrise.
At the same time, he had no family affection and no friends close enough to make him feel like he was getting along comfortably with a friend. He also didn’t have a love that would surely accompany him for life.
It was too far away.
-I won’t fall in love.
Ji Tong said this not only to his classmates of this college but also to pursuers in another world who didn’t know his experience.
No matter what type of love it was, he wasn’t willing to let his other half carry the fear that their loved one might leave at any time.
So Ji Tong never counted on love. Now he had become a system that was completely different from ordinary humans and he still subconsciously erased the word.
At this plain answer that revealed the gap between them, Pei Qingyuan was silent for a while. He was about to say something when he heard Ji Tong’s words filled with anticipation, “Can you repeat the sentence just now?”
Pei Qingyuan did so after a brief pause. “I also want to celebrate your birthday.”
“Then I’ll pick a day I like.” This time, Ji Tong smiled. “Should I find Master Cui to calculate what day is more auspicious?”
“Okay.” Pei Qingyuan immediately responded before tentatively saying, “You can use my birthday as practice first.”
An artificial intelligence definitely didn’t celebrate birthdays.
“Practice?” Ji Tong looked at him in shock. “Host, were you trying to joke just now?”
“……” Pei Qingyuan, who failed in the attempt, looked away. “No, I didn’t think of a suitable word for a while.”
“Have you been infected by Senior Xie?” Ji Tong started to speculate reasonably. “Does the host want to become a facial paralysis chatterbox like Senior Xie? Will the style of your clothes change? Will you wear those bells and whistles?”
“Preview, trial, experience…”
The two-character scriptures of the host’s stubborn resistance were very small in front of the system’s long speeches.
After turning onto an uninhabited path of the campus, Pei Qingyuan reached out and held his wrist.
The chattering teenager instantly quieted down.
It was still a good trick.
Jokes and one-liners were still a technique that required more practice.
Pei Qingyuan thought silently.
Before the host’s birthday officially arrived, Ji Tong mainly had two major things to do.
The first thing was to think about what gift to give the host this year.
Ji Tong remembered Xie Yuchi’s deafening ‘what a scumbag’ and felt that it wasn’t right to give away any gift.
For this reason, he specially asked a few classmates to see what ordinary friends would send.
“Brother Pei’s birthday is next month. It is great to have cake to eat.” Huang Wen instantly had an answer. “Then shall I give him a gaming mouse?”
Cui Yinan said in a mysterious manner, “I will send you a good luck charm for enlightenment.
“Master, I think I really need a good luck charm. Can I buy one?” Ouyang Yu, who came to visit, said positively. “I remember seeing on the news that Brother Pei likes to play basketball. Should I give a basketball? In any case, there are basketball games in college.”
It all sounded normal.
“So what should I give?”
Cui Yinan, who had a glimpse of the mystery of heaven, and Ouyang Yu, who was deeply involved, faced this question and didn’t know how to answer. They fell into deep thought.
Only Huang Wen was silly and dragged Ji Tong to this table. “It is better if you give a keyboard. Come on, this brand is very good. I will give a mouse and you can happen to make up a pair with me.”
During the bold speech about the pair, the door was opened. Pei Qingyuan returned to the bedroom and the pressure of the electric fan was instantly relieved.
Cui Yinan rubbed his arms and looked at Huang Wen with deep pain. “Xiao Huang, I said earlier that you should be cautious in your words and deeds.”
A minute later, Huang Wen had promised to go downstairs to buy two boxes of water and he still hadn’t known what he had done wrong.
In addition, Ji Tong still hadn’t thought about what to give to make him look less like a scumbag.
The doll cat whose human form had expired leaned against the familiar yellow duck. He looked at the host who was concentrating on working under the lamp and blinked in a melancholy manner. It was hard to believe that his fluffy self was actually a scumbag.
The second thing was to concentrate on playing mahjong.
Ji Tong, Pei Qingyuan and Xie Yuchi had officially formed a team. They were preparing for the life event first. Then they would recruit other team members when the prototype was determined.
The theme of the life competition was robots deeply involved in human life. The focus would be closer to daily life and was more practical than the robot soccer game.
The talkative Xie Yuchi was in the process of chatting with his two juniors when he heard Ji Tong pick up a phone call from a senior of the mahjong club, asking him to come play because they had three people and were missing one. Then Xie Yuchi suddenly proposed a robot mahjong player to completely solve the major problem of missing a person.
In this regard, Ji Tong just wanted to say—
Now he also admired Xie Yuchi very much.
He offered to be responsible for training the AI of this mahjong robot. Xie Yuchi was best at the materials part and the host was good at machinery and control. The AI training that determined the degree of the robot’s intelligence would be handed over to the fake AI. This was simply the most perfect combination.
Due to the convenience of being a system, Ji Tong could obtain or create a large amount of data to train AI. This was an advantage that no native of this world could match.
This was also considered a golden finger that the system could give to the host.
It also gave him a reasonable excuse to participate in mahjong club activities.
In addition, now he and the host could meet in the consciousness space at any time so the real distance was no longer a problem.
In the club activity venue, Ji Tong took advantage of being distracted to relieve his worries and make a fuss again.
He was working on multiple threads in his mind. He was thinking about the birthday gift, worrying about pretending to be a couple, imagining the mahjong robot and lamenting that his last hand was really beautiful. In the future, there would be a battle between himself and the mahjong robot he had trained himself.
In short, his mind was in turmoil.
He was thinking wildly when he suddenly heard the host’s voice in his heart. “Ji Tong?”
“Host, I”m here.” Ji Tong immediately responded. “What’s wrong?”
“What was this?”
Pei Qingyuan looked at the brand new building in front of him, tone slightly confused.
The moment he finished speaking, a small robot popped up in the consciousness space. “Where?”
Pei Qingyuan stretched out his finger and pointed to the white dome standing near the garden, “What is in there?”
The little robot’s expression froze and he said with a dry laugh, “It isn’t important. It is a decoration modeled after a famous scenic spot.”
At the bottom of it was the square panel that hadn’t responded yet. It was covered tightly by several quilts and there were various heat insulation panels, sound insulation materials, cement… and a graceful white dome that hid all this mess.
He would never tell the host what was buried in this sacred building.
Pei Qingyuan hoped to give Ji Tong full freedom and didn’t object to him making buildings in the consciousness space. He was just a bit curious about where Ji Tong got his inspiration from.
He casually asked, “What scenic spot?”
The little robot’s eyes wandered wildly. “D-Downtime Tomb?”