Once Ouyang Yu belatedly reunited with his teammates, the first thing he said was, “How is the meal tonight? Is it still satisfactory?”
It was obviously a normal sentence but there was inexplicably a depressed tone.
“You shouldn’t be left alone with Mark.” Xie Yuchi and Lin Rui took a step back in unison. “Don’t talk to us.”
“What’s the matter? I wasn’t infected today?” Ouyang Yu didn’t realize it. “I am speaking normally.”
“……” Xie Yuchi’s expression was indifferent. “It is really normal.”
Ji Tong laughed while filling a small plate with a few desserts that he thought were the best tonight. Then he handed it to Ouyang Yu. “Here, Aunt Susan’s baked apple pie.”
Ouyang Yu was flattered and reflexively said, “Oh—”
Xie Yuchi felt that the virus was frantically impacting on his nerves and said frantically, “Don’t say oh!”
As a person who had been infected by a real virus, Ji Tong wasn’t afraid at all. He was watching the fun with great interest but was quietly pulled away by Pei Qingyuan.
This new model was made by Pei Qingyuan so during the development period, he faced a lot of material every day and he was theoretically desensitized.
Still, the virus was scary. If they could hide then they should hide.
Looking at the snow falling outside the window, Ji Tong missed Mark who was alone in the hotel.
In Mary mode, Mark’s voice had been adjusted. He didn’t sound like Ouyang Yu anymore. He was really like a personable gentleman in a black-and-white old movie. His voice was elegant and magnetic.
He sighed. “If only Mary could speak.”
Pei Qingyuan said, “When the competition is over, you can make another Mary for Mark.”
He added, “Mary with a real bionic look.”
The preparation time for this competition was too short to optimize Mark into a fully humanoid robot.
However, the future is still long.
He still had a lot to do.
Ji Tong turned to look at him. “Really?”
Ji Tong immediately imagined it. “Then I want to watch Mary and Mark play cards face to face.”
Pei Qingyuan said with a smile, “I thought you would want Mary and Mark to play flying chess with us.”
“Yes, flying chess. I should think about which one to play first.”
“In addition, soccer. Mary can play so Mark needs to know it as well.”
“I also want to play. Wait, which one should I play first…”
The next day, the venue of the competition.
The venue this time was larger than the domestic competition and the environment was better. Each sub-venue for each event had a special broadcast camera for interested international audiences to watch online.
College students from various countries moved through the venue with their own robots. Many media reporters and industry insiders visited the venue and the whole venue was extremely lively.
In the crowd, Ji Tong and his party always received extra attention.
It wasn’t just because of the outstanding Asian faces but also because of the unique shape of the robot around them.
There were many cute-looking robots but there were many robots that were both cute and gentlemanly.
Mark didn’t wear a coat today. There was only a black bow tie around his neck and a top hat on his round head.
Xiao Jianping was at the front of the team. He led all the students participating in different events into the venue. Each group had a competition today.
Mark followed behind Ji Tong and greeted Mary One beside Qiao Yunhe. “Good morning, Miss Mary. I hope you have a sunny morning.”
Qiao Yunhe couldn’t help being shocked. “The voice of this new mode is quite sexy. It is just a bit of brainwashing.”
Xie Yuchi, who was wearing earplugs, said, “It’s okay. It isn’t that brainwashing.”
“Then why are you wearing earplugs?” Someone immediately asked. “No, aren’t you wearing earplugs? How can you hear us talking?”
Ouyang Yu tried to analyze it. “This is probably him saying that he doesn’t like it, but his soul is attracted to Mark and involuntarily approaches him.”
Mark summed it up gracefully, “Honey, I seem to understand what you mean. This is called verbal integrity, right?”
“Does this type of devilish Chinese and Western mix-and-match really exist…?”
“Help, who came up with this weird idea?!”
“Now I want to see Mark sweeping the world!”
In the midst of the giggling laughter, the teams cheered for each other and separated, heading for their respective sub-venues.
Ji Tong walked into the life event area and once again met the champion team from last night.
The warm and friendly blond-haired girl, Annie greeted them, “Hi, we meet again.”
She looked at Mark curiously. “I finally see Mark with my own eyes. Is the display on his chest the latest addition to the design?”
Mark had an extra monitor on his chest so he wasn’t wearing a coat today.
There was a small button next to the frame of the display. Ji Tong reached out and pressed it.
“Yes, beautiful young lady.”
Mark answered Annie and a string of corresponding foreign subtitles quickly scrolled on the chest display.
Annie and her teammates were surprised. “You have actually made a translation module. The response time is very fast.”
“Wait, you don’t seem to have set up a translation language for Mark.”
Pei Qingyuan said, “Mark can automatically recognize it.”
This was a feature they had focused on in the last two months in preparation for the international competition.
Annie immediately greeted Mark in a different language. Mark still answered in his magical Chinese dubbed voice and the chest subtitles were replaced with the corresponding foreign language with excellent accuracy.
Annie was greatly shocked and couldn’t care about Mark’s magical tone. She said from the bottom of her heart, “Mark can be a translation assistant, not an entertainment robot. Such practical positioning might help you achieve better results.”
Ji Tong replied to her with a smile, “It’s okay, Mark is also very good now.”
Mark understood his words. The corners of his mouth raised and he skillfully extended a mechanical hand to Ji Tong. “Thank you for the beautiful compliment, my dear.”
Ji Tong couldn’t help shaking hands with the gentleman Mark. “You are welcome.”
They politely said goodbye to Annie’s group. Annie stared at their departing words and her mind didn’t return for a long time.
After a while, she said to her companion, “This is really a strange team. They have the best technology and creativity but they are using it for the least important things…”
Her companion replied to her with a smile, “But it makes people happy, right? Annie, you have a smile on your face.”
A similar conversation took place among the judges.
The judges in the international competition came from different countries all over the world. They had an understanding of the competition situation of each country in advance and they focused on the more powerful teams and outstanding entries.
Pei Qingyuan’s team and the robot Mark were the most discussed.
“They have unquestionable abilities. I remember that they are Xiao’s students.”
“Xiao is also here. I just greeted him in the venue. He is very discerning when it comes to selecting students.”
“But why didn’t Xiao remind them to make something more valuable?”
One of the men with brown curly hair sighed. “I know mahjong and cards are fun games but they don’t have enough importance in people’s lives. I feel sorry for the time wasted by this group of young people.”
A judge with an Asian face listened to their conversation and finally couldn’t help saying, “I have communicated with Professor Xiao about this and he liked Mark very much.”
Everyone looked over. The female judge said in a gentle tone, “You should know that Professor Xiao has made a humanoid robot named Xiao Ming to accompany his wife, who finds it inconvenient to go out. At that time, Xiao Ming was already a very breakthrough robot.”
Professor Xiao said that if he had such good ideas when he was young and the technology was mature enough, perhaps his wife would’ve had happier times.
Thousands of miles away, in the sunny faculty dormitory, Shi Yuelan sat in a wheelchair and intently watched the live stream on the computer screen.
Xiao Ming brought a glass of water and placed it firmly on the table beside her.
After the opening ceremony, events began one after another in different venues. The competition in the life event that Shi Yuelan was most concerned about began.
Familiar faces flashed on the screen and she said excitedly, “Look, Old Xiao. It is Xiao Pei…”
Once Mark with a black bow tie appeared in the center of the picture, Shi Yuelan laughed. “Mark wearing a bow tie is also very cute. Xiao Ming, do you want to change your look?”
Xiao Ming’s camera eyes moved. “It looks good. You can try it.”
Xiao Ming was made many years ago. His appearance was slightly outdated and the AI wasn’t smart enough. Xiao Jianping mentioned upgrading him but Shi Yuelan didn’t agree.
“Xiao Pei has drawn the number six. It will be their turn soon.”
Shi Yuelan seemed to be talking to herself again while also chatting with Xiao Ming, “Once this international competition is over, Mark should enter the market.”
“Shall we buy a Mark at that time?”
Xiao Ming agreed to her in a clear voice. “Okay, what do you need me to do?”
With his intelligence, he actually didn’t understand the previous string of words. He could only recognize the last question.
Shi Yuelan smiled and shook her head. “No, you don’t have to do anything. It is good now.”
Her voice was gentle. “At that time, we will have one more friend and the family will be livelier.”
“Yes, Master.” Xiao Ming looked at the water cup that hadn’t been touched and reminded. “Master, don’t forget to drink water.”
Shi Yuelan obediently picked up the water cup and touched his head. “He is smarter than you. He can play mahjong and a lot of multiplayer games. Even I can’t do it. But you will stay by my side and teach me the rules, right?”
Xiao Ming nodded. He sat down next to Shi Xuelan and looked at the screen with her, just like they had spent countless days together.
The voice of this white robot was full of seriousness. “Yes, Master. Xiao Ming is always by your side.”
On the screen, in the midst of the polite welcoming applause, the bean-green Mark moved his wheels. He followed Ji Tong and walked toward the mahjong table in front.
According to the information and function description declared by the team, the staff members prepared a mahjong table. This would allow Mark to show his most distinctive mahjong playing function.
The competition method was the same as last time. There were two judges and one more team member competing at the same table as Mark.
However, mahjong was different from cards. Its popularity in foreign countries was relatively low. There were only three or four people who could play mahjong in the group of judges. The only foreigner who could play mahjong was the middle-aged man with brown curly hair.
The organizing committee also recruited two foreigners who won awards in the international competitive mahjong competition to give explanations to the judges.
Pei Qingyuan’s team didn’t emphasize how superb Mark’s skills in mahjong were. He just said that his mahjong level could be adjusted according to people’s requirements. It was because it was positioned as an entertainment robot. If he kept beating the opponent then it couldn’t be called entertainment.
Considering the level of the opponents in this match, Mark’s mahjong skills were adjusted to a medium level. Winning or losing the match wasn’t the most important thing. The key was Mark’s comprehensive performance throughout the process.
JI Tong, the brown-haired judge called Tom and the professor surnamed Liu who knew Xiao Jianping sat down at the mahjong table.
Tom remembered the video of the game he had seen and asked Ji Tong, “What mode will Mark use today? Will he attack us like his opponent that day? However, will I be able to understand what he is saying?”
Ji Tong replied to him fluently in a foreign language, “It is a brand new model. Even if you can’t understand, you can understand it.”
Tom was wondering what this meant when he heard Mark, who was sitting opposite him, say something he couldn’t understand in a wonderful tone.
Mark neatly stretched out his manipulator to take the mahjong tiles. He scanned the opponents with his camera eyes and said politely, “Ladies and gentlemen, it is my honor to meet you here tonight.”
At the same time, foreign language subtitles scrolled on the display on his chest. This allowed Tom to understand these words.
Professor Liu was the first to laugh without restraint. “This tone sounds strangely familiar. It is like watching an old movie.”
Ji Tong explained with a smile, “Yes, the inspiration of this model does come from the dubbing style of our country in the early years.”
Mark’s response was particularly pompous as if singing an opera, “Your wisdom is as shining as your beauty.”
Hearing this, Professor Liu laughed even harder. Soon, she wasn’t careful and the mahjong tile she had just picked up fell out of her hands.
Mark saw this scene and immediately picked up the mahjong tile. He politely handed it to Professor Liu. “Ma’am, this is the tile you dropped.”
From language to movement and visual recognition, Mark’s performance was impeccable. It was even stronger than it was two months ago.
Professor Liu was inwardly shocked. She quickly stretched out her hand to take the tile and said sincerely, “O-Oh my god…”
As the words came out, she couldn’t help feeling that her tone was a bit off.
Meanwhile, Mark retracted the manipulator and touched his bow tie. He seemed to be tidying it up.
Then he put down his hand and responded very humbly, “It is my great honor to serve you.”