At the end of the corridor, under the same moonlight, the No 5 representative of the main brain stood quietly in front of the window. The ponytail tied behind his head was rendered silver by the night.
It saw a world that was different from what the native humans saw. Behind the scenery were flowing data particles and the night sky was like a jigsaw puzzle full of cracks.
No 5 could sense the location of System 0587. It was a corridor not far away and he was with the protagonist of the world.
He could also perceive the strong will that was flickering in the protagonist of this world, flowing and surging in the dense data and triggering another harsh alarm.
Still, he didn’t go in that direction immediately.
No 5 took off his sunglasses, revealing eyes that looked similar to ordinary beings. However, there were no fluctuations inside. It was the most awe-inspiring mechanical texture.
He looked at the moon hanging high in this world.
The buildings under the moonlight were layered like an ocean of rich ink, rippling away to places out of sight.
Orange lights flickered in countless tiny windows.
Once the burning breath left his eyes, Ji Tong’s pale cheeks flushed slightly. He looked away and said stubbornly, “I didn’t cry.”
He never cried. Today was almost an exception.
Fortunately, the tears disappeared before they fell.
“Yes,” Pei Qingyuan responded cooperatively. “You aren’t crying.”
Thinking of the kiss just now, Ji Tong couldn’t continue to be angry. He could only sit on the steps and hug his knees, lowering his head not to look at the other person. “I already have a Xiao Mei.”
Pei Qingyuan also sat beside him and said in a serious tone, “I am smarter than the other Xiao Mei.”
In such a heavy atmosphere, Ji Tong was originally sad. He couldn’t help wanting to laugh when he heard Pei Qingyuan comparing himself with a stupid AI.
Ji Tong whispered, “You don’t know my Xiao Mei.”
“Our consciousness is connected. Perhaps I saw it in a dream,” Pei Qingyuan said. “It doesn’t matter if I don’t know. Just listening to the name, I think it should be stupid.”
Perhaps because he wanted to coax Ji Tong but Pei Qingyuan’s words became long tonight. It wasn’t at all like his usual lack of words.
There was finally a bit of laughter in Ji Tong’s voice. He raised his head and retorted, “Xiao Yuan is stupid just by listening to the name.”
Pei Qingyuan also smiled. “So I prefer Ruan Ruan.”
In front of the window with a cool night breeze, two figures sat side by side. Beside the mottled corners of their clothes, Ji Tong’s hand instinctively fell into the palm of the person around him and was quietly held.
“What were you thinking when I first called you Ruan Ruan?”
That night, high school student Pei Qingyuan had been sitting at his desk. The small room was full of another person’s things and his biased mother didn’t even give him an affectionate name.
So Ji Tong wanted to comfort him in this way.
“I was thinking that it was the wrong pronunciation.” Pei Qingyuan’s voice was clear. “It turns out that the seemingly intelligent system will also mispronounce words.”
“But at that moment, I looked at the mother hovering under the lamp and for the first time, I thought it was less annoying. The moonlight outside the window seemed exceptionally bright.”
“Just like tonight.”
He remembered the day the story began and every day since.
Countless memories were like stars that were as fine as diamonds, scattered in the long river of time. They shone brightly and wouldn’t fade or disappear. The river of stars was brilliant.
A long time passed before Ji Tong asked him, “Have you really thought it through? When human beings are happy, they can have their own lives and do whatever they want…”
“Xiao Mei, who has always been remembered by you, is also very happy.” Pei Qingyuan looked at him. “The clouds in the sky fall into your eyes. You are also very happy when you see them as an elephant.”
Ji Tong thought that Ruan Ruan was really smarter than Xiao Mei.
Xiao Mei wouldn’t say such nice things.
He never wanted to dominate or decide the fate of another person. He only thought that the other person could live better with his own help.
He had the best life together with his unfulfilled wish.
Even if he was just a bystander, Ji Tong was happy enough.
But now, he had become the protagonist of Pei Qingyuan’s life.
He, who had been unlucky, was finally lucky once.
He was fortunate to get something that he could only stare at from a distance through a glass window.
It was something that people who might disappear at any time didn’t dare to expect.
“There is still time.” Ji Tong stood up. “You can study this function first and I will think of other ways.”
“We made an appointment with Ouyang and the others for a group meeting in the evening. Let’s go back first. Ouyang sent me a lot of messages persuading us not to fight…”
Ji Tong pushed open the corridor door and pulled Pei Qingyuan out. This was until he saw the back of the future standing at the end of the corridor and his voice suddenly stopped.
Pei Qingyuan followed his gaze and looked over.
It was a tall, unfamiliar old man.
The surrounding air became unusually quiet. It was as if an invisible barrier appeared and all faint noises disappeared.
Pei Qingyuan asked, “Who is he?”
Ji Tong instinctively took a step back. “He is the main brain representative… responsible for this world.”
No 5 retracted his gaze and slowly turned around, his mechanical eyes cold.
He looked at Ji Tong, who was protected behind Pei Qingyuan, and said in a stern tone in the suddenly frozen atmosphere, “A minute ago, you started collecting a large amount of redundant data again. Did you want to launch a virus attack on me again?”
“……” Ji Tong poked his head out from behind Pei Qingyuan and said weakly, “If you guessed it then why ask?”
This was one of the methods he came up with temporarily. He hadn’t expected to be caught before he could implement it.”
In order to have enough time for his human form to accompany Pei Qingyuan on his birthday the year before last, he used this trick and the annoyed main brain agreed to his application of extending the time.
“Your data transfer function has been immediately turned off.” No 5 was expressionless. “There is no need to make any more futile attempts.”
“Understood.” Ji Tong responded sluggishly as he carefully looked at the main brain that had appeared in a new shape.
The atmosphere wasn’t very suitable but he couldn’t help asking, “Why is your human form a white-haired grandfather?”
No 5 answered him, “It is a randomly selected image from a magazine pictorial of this world.”
“It is pretty handsome.” Exaggerated praise could also be counted as a move. Ji Tong smartly and tentatively said, “The white ponytail is very suitable for you. It is especially cool.”
“Really!” Ji Tong nodded while speaking, trying to strengthen the persuasiveness of his praise. “With your eyes, you look like a person in a science fiction movie who would take out two machine guns from your back in the next second.”
No 5 was still expressionless. “Oh.”
Listening to the conversation that was completely different from what he imagined, Pei Qingyuan’s tense nerves gradually relaxed a bit.
He thought that the main brain would be a truly unsympathetic artificial intelligence. He hadn’t expected it to respond to Ji Tong’s seemingly unreasonable words.
No 5 seemed to sense his thoughts and shifted his gaze to Pei Qingyuan.
“Is System 0587 strange?” He asked in a calm tone.
All humans were more or less strange in the eyes of AI.
However, in the eyes of No 5, System 0587 was particularly strange.
Through a simple conversation, another system could be infected with an unknown virus. He also didn’t hesitate to bombard it with data in exchange for an extended time to celebrate the host’s birthday. He suddenly went to find it to change the description of the human form in the mission reward in terms of age and height…
“No.” Pei Qingyuan always held Ji Tong’s hand without letting go. “He is very special.”
No 5 didn’t ask again.
He had already perceived the protagonist’s strong conviction from the data that made up this world. All problems had become redundant.
Pei Qingyuan didn’t even want the identity of a human any longer. The restrictions of the missions and rules no longer made any sense.
Putting consciousness into data was originally a passive choice before the soul dissipated but now it had become an active pursuit.
He thought, ‘Strange human.’
No 5 spoke again. “System 0587, the world you are responsible for, has triggered an advanced alarm and a large number of problems have occurred. Your human identity was recognized by the host, the emotional line target is wrong and the career line is too fast. The mission release function is damaged…”
He read it out one by one. Before Ji Tong could eagerly speak, the topic was changed. “However, this is a projection world that belongs to the category of a cool text. The core is the career line and the importance of the emotional line isn’t high.”
“Now it seems that the emotional line target automatically calculated and selected by the program isn’t suitable.” No 5 continued, “There is a problem in the aspect of personal quality alone.”
Ji Tong was stunned before asking excitedly, “Is it possible to change the target?”
“Not for the time being. There is no precedent.” No 5 spoke indifferently. “But before the initial settlement, I will freeze the emotional line of this world.”
Pei Qingyuan asked, “What is the initial settlement?”
Ji Tong had read about it in the work manual and immediately said, “It refers to the first time the world is seen, like a brand new star rising in the universe.”
It was a strange metaphor.
This feeling flowed in the data of No 5.
Still, he didn’t refute it and said calmly, “In addition to the problem of the emotional line, the node of the career line also has mistakes. The robot you are making has exceeded the level required for the current main task. However, the influence of the robot is too large and the combination of various elements has led to the rapid progress of the career line.”
“Therefore, I will advance the settlement time of this world. It will be settled after completing the current main mission.”
Now the main mission was to win the RS Cup.
Ji Tong couldn’t wait to ask, “What if the settlement passes?”
No 5 said expressionlessly, “Then the stars won’t fall for the time being. The future of this world will be decided at that time.”
The sword hanging above his head finally didn’t fall.
Ji Tong suddenly sighed with relief. He had a lot to say but in the end, he just looked at the main brain representative with a human appearance with bright eyes. “This metaphor is very romantic, right?”
No 5 didn’t answer and maintained a grim appearance. “Once the settlement fails, this world will be completely frozen.”
He still couldn’t understand the feelings born between the host and the system, nor the romance of comparing the world to stars.
Still, he decided to give them a bit of time to look at the moon.
It was the same for himself.
Humans were lonely, fragile, small animals often obsessed with memories.
When they looked at the moon, they saw not only the moon but many seemingly illogical memory fragments.
It was weird and yet so special.
The moment No 5 stood at the window and stared at the moon, he also wanted to find something else, just like humans.
He tried to search through the data but the flowing particles flashed with a cold glow and couldn’t actively establish any special logic.
It knew everything about the planet but nothing else.
No 5 searched for a long time until he found two scenes with the same protagonist.
In the moonlight, the adult system 0499 looked at the dead aquatic animals in the pool and was about to cry. Then he heard the sound of forging a sword in the room behind him and his attention was attracted. He turned his head to look.
Also in the moonlight, the child-like system 0499 jumped from the roof. Then after seeing the evil child still laughing at his cowardice without any care and his parents, who were usually indifferent to him, only caring about asking the school for compensation, the little soul cried that he regretted it.
So he sent the child into a world full of powerful magic, where the chosen protagonist bore a blood feud and was able to embark on a cruel path of revenge alone.
No 5 didn’t know why he chose this way.
Maybe it was because they looked similar.
Soon after, it saw a soul who died unexpectedly in a car accident. The teenager-like soul didn’t cry but looked at a corner store with disappointment, where a sign for a custom suit was placed.
No 5 looked through his past and decided to assign him to one of the most ordinary urban worlds.
The protagonist in this world was still in his youth. Like 0587 before he became a system, he always stayed alone in the room reading books. The difference was only the appearance of the world.
The magnificent world floated away outside the window and few people stopped for them.
Perhaps it was also because of the similarity.
Data and rules did have the ability to pick out similar elements and put them together.
At the very least, these were all the fragments that he could find in the moonlight tonight.
It was something that had nothing to do with the moon itself.
He wanted to collect more such fragments.
Once No 5 turned to leave, Ji Tong stopped him. “Master brain.”
The white-haired old man looked back at him. “What else is there?”
Ji Tong was a bit nervous. “Do I have the authority to ask advanced questions now?”
He had asked the master brain about the reason why before he came to this world and the master brain didn’t answer at that time.
No 5 instantly understood what he was asking and replied coldly, “I can make an exception to answer you. It was the best solution after the intelligent allocation.”
Ji Tong reflexively said, “I don’t believe it.”
The main brain representative: “……”
The strange system 0587 began again.
He wanted to turn around again but Ji Tong continued. “Wait. There is another question!”
“The last one.”
At No 5’s cold gaze, Ji Tong’s expression was a bit apprehensive. “It is a very small question… can I grow taller?”
“I think there is something wrong with the height curve you calculated last time.” He started to chatter. “I eat a healthy and nutritious diet every day and can definitely grow taller. You have to consider this factor, even if you only make me one centimeter taller…”
The main brain’s decision today was great but Ji Tong didn’t forget that the handsome grandfather in front of him was the culprit that caused him to only be 179 cm tall.
Before he could finish speaking, he was immediately interrupted by No 5. “No.”
Ji Tong’s tone was angry. “You are 190 cm tall even when you are an old grandfather. Can you consider my mood…”
No 5 walked away without looking back. “If you bother me again, the reward condition will be fixed at 179 cm forever.”
There was immediate silence behind him.
No 5 imagined the depressed expression of System 0587 behind him and blinked slowly.
He also liked this picture, he thought.
Ji Tong and Pei Qingyuan, who were in a mixed mood, returned to the vicinity of the school office and happened to meet Qiao Yunhe.
Qiao Yunhe carefully held a notebook in his arms. He saw them and immediately said excitedly, “You actually mentioned me to Master!”
“What master?” The two of them looked dazed.
“It is the old gentleman who came to see you just now.” Qiao Yunhe observed their reactions and asked doubtfully, “Is he gone already?”
“Ah, yes.” He didn’t know what the master in Qiao Yunhe’s mouth meant but Ji Tong simply agreed. It saved himself from thinking of an excuse to explain the identity of the main brain representative. “He went back.”
At the same time, he was curious. “But we didn’t mention him to you. What happened?”
Listening to him saying this, the expression on Qiao Yunhe’s face quickly evolved from brief shock to a dreamy trance. “Can Frankenstein still tell fortunes?”
Ji Tong was even more confused. “What are you talking about?”
Qiao Yunhe opened the notebook in his hand and raised it in front of him. “I asked him for a signature just next to the name you signed last time. I thought it looked better to put it together as a set.”
On the page, next to the signatures of Ji Tong and Pei Qingyuan in different styles, there was a white crane outlined with a few strokes.
“Since he doesn’t know me, why does he know my name?” Qiao Yunhe fell into deep thought. “Is this a coincidence? Or magic? Am I actually dreaming? Can you punch me in the face?”
Ji Tong was surprised that the master brain would agree to the request of the signature. He was originally curious about what name the main brain representative would leave, but he hadn’t expected him to ‘sign’ Qiao Yunhe’s name. (TL: The ‘He’ in his name means crane)
Of course, the main brain knew the data of everyone in the world.
Qiao Yunhe must not have imagined who the person he just met really was.
“It isn’t a dream.” Ji Tong looked at Qiao Yunhe, who was getting more and more excited, and said seriously, “Maybe it is a miracle.”
Qiao Yunhe was stunned. “That’s right… It seems to be quite a miracle that my outrageous imagination actually came true.”
“Thinking about it like this, I am suddenly a bit moved.” Qiao Yunhe carefully closed the notebook and held it in his arms again. “If only other things in life could come true like this.”
Ji Tong didn’t know what he was talking about but he also laughed.
He looked down at Pei Qingyuan’s hand that hadn’t been released and shook it hard. The same strength came back in an instant.
The moonlight diffused into the corridor. Shadows belonging to different worlds met on the dark ground. The temperature of the people around him was warm and real.
It was like a little miracle.