Chapter 111: Black Bandage
That sentence was shocking.
You Huo sat there stunned for a very long time.
He then felt as if he was being watched.
This feeling was something he would often experience. Sometimes he would suddenly look up at the ceiling or over to a corner of the room to find the source.
He had always felt that the system was hidden somewhere, quietly watching over the events unfolding, but he had not been able to locate its exact position
But now, he suddenly realised…….
That feeling of his probably wasn’t something that was happening at that time and was rather remnants left behind in his subconscious.
Qin Jiu had said that the system is everywhere and wouldn’t be condensed in one place.
Then this feeling of being watched was in fact something that came from within himself.
This feeling must have followed him for many years to the point that even after losing his memories, he was still affected.
Qin Jiu acutely sensed his emotions and held his hand.
“It wasn’t really learning from you.” Chu Yue saw disgust and self-deprecation in his eyes so she quickly added, “It wouldn’t become something like this if it really learned from you. It didn’t only imitate you. After it experiences the same things as you, the developers would copy your thoughts and emotions and alter it to further develop the system. Eventually, it became more independent than they had imagined it would be.”
“It possessed its own set of logic which had been generated from various rules and it became something very different from normal human nature. That’s why, although it used the same pair of eyes and saw the same things, its judgement is often the opposite to the imitated subject…….”
Chu Yue seemed to have thought of something and was lost in thought for a moment.
“So, you probably were unhappy as a child. I actually didn’t want to talk to you about this but I was worried that you would recall some things from that time and would be troubled if you didn’t understand…..”
“The systems existence would make the imitated subject appear abnormal. How should I put it…It’s as if there is another soul hiding in the body, a soul completely different to your own.”
In fact, ‘unhappy’ was just an understatement.
If a child looked at you and sensed that there appeared to be someone else hiding behind you, they would inevitably feel afraid.
They would fear him, and estrange him…..
Even if it was a loved one, even if the child had no knowledge himself.
If everyone who should have been close to him steered away from him, it wasn’t just an ‘unhappy’ thing……
As Chu Yue said this, You Huo had his eyes slightly lowered. He seemed to be listening carefully but at the same time he also seemed to be indifferent.
As Qin Jiu watched him, he realised that he seemed to have been like this all along.
Please read this from kk translates
Most of the time, You Huo would be looking down. When listening to others talking, waiting for others to do their thing, feeling impatient or patient, happy or unhappy…….He had always been like this; as if he was sleepy, too lazy to do anything.
When unfamiliar, Qin Jiu thought he was arrogant by nature.
Perhaps, he was indeed a little like that.
But if he had been feared and alienated by others since a young age, if his eyes always made others feel uneasy and afraid, as time passed, he would naturally become unwilling to look at another person seriously…….
Qin Jiu suddenly wanted to asked Chu Yue: When did You Huo find out about this?
When he was a child? A teenager? Or was it after becoming an invigilator?
Before he knew, how many years had he been confused? How did he explain to himself these inexplicable estrangements? And after knowing, would he occasionally think of the past?
His Big Invigilator only looks cold and indifferent outwardly. Inside, his heart is actually rather soft.
That act of avoiding gazes became a habit embedded into him and it also perhaps held a protective meaning – To protect those trying to get close to him so that they would not be subjected to those prying eyes.
Qin Jiu’s expression was very poor.
Regardless of what it was, he felt distressed.
You Huo had been quiet the entire time. No one knew what he was thinking, or perhaps he wasn’t thinking about anything at all.
After a while, he pointed at his eyes and asked Chu Yue, “Did this sharing continue until I was removed?”
If that was the case, then……
He suddenly looked at Qin Jiu.
Chu Yue quickly shook her hand, “No. It continued until the system started to be used officially so until we became trainer’s ——– In the beginning we were called trainers. After entering the system using that identity, it was no longer shared. It had finished learning, so it didn’t need it anymore. There were also measures taken to avoid sharing.”
“Are you sure?” You Huo was doubtful.
Chu Yue said, “Think about it. The basic set up for this examination system is such that the system is omnipresent and almost present everywhere. Apart from some special circumstances, everything that we experience is known by the system so why would it need to borrow someone else’s eyes? And conversely, it is also a limitation. By using your eyes, everything is seen from your perspective so it’s limited, and it cannot see anything else.”
She was very certain about this, “With its strong desire for control and the fact that it believes that it is superior to humans in all aspects, it wouldn’t do something like this. However,………”
“However, what?” You Huo asked.
“Although we know that it wouldn’t do it and there are measures put in place to prevent it, sometimes you just can’t let it go and feel uneasy.” Chu Yue said, “Things like worrying that your eyes have been taken over again and possibly putting others into harms away……..Mentally, you know it’s okay but it’s natural to worry about it…..”
You Huo looked at her and suddenly asked, “Why do you know so much about this?”
Chu Yue paused for a moment. She said with a bitter smile, “The system is actually genderless, and the developers didn’t know whether it was more suitable to be set as a male or female so there were actually two subjects it imitated, a boy and a girl. I was the other unlucky one. Our origins can be traced back to our childhood. Everything you have experienced; I have also experienced. How else would we have become friends?”
You Huo nodded in understanding.
No wonder he trusted in Chu Yue so much and no wonder they were given the highest authority after becoming an invigilator.
“In a way, the system grew up with us. For us, it’s called growth but for it, it’s called learning and upgrading. It……perhaps considers us as its brother and sister and that’s why it trusts us a little more and is a little more lenient.”
Chu Yue had said that the system was normal in the beginning and had even shown some human traits in some cases —— Chu Yue’s straightforward nature mixed with You Huo’s calmness
Of course, it was only very occasional, and it also wasn’t quite similar.
Later, as the system become more powerful and independent, this part of it disappeared and no longer appeared.
In Chu Yue’s words —— All that was left was stubbornness and perversion.
Having personally experienced it, You Huo and Chu Yue had a more thorough understanding of the system compared to anyone else. They possessed privileges other invigilators didn’t have but at the same time, they were also subjected to more explicit and implicit restrictions.
And so, after the system started going down the wrong path, the two had always been firmly in the “Gentle Faction”.
They originally needed to spend a much longer time to destroy the system, but an unexpected element appeared in the midst of their endeavours.
This element broke many rules, making the system constantly follow him to patch up its holes.
There is a saying that goes: The more that is done, the more mistakes that can be made.
Patching and patching; creating rules and creating rules. As more were done, contradictions and bugs became inevitable.
This unexpected element was Qin Jiu.
His appearance and actions created a breakthrough that allowed You Huo and Chu Yue’s plans to be pushed ahead.
Unfortunately, Qin Jiu at that time was too eye-catching as an examinee.
Due to certain reasons, he had placed himself at the tip of the knife and was watched more closely by the system than anyone else.
So as soon as they got together, the system sensed something.
In fact, it didn’t have any evidence, but the system was extra cautious of Qin Jiu.
Something as dangerous as this would best be placed somewhere in the system so that it could keep an eye on him. Becoming an invigilator was the best option.
And so, after Qin Jiu cleared the exam, he soon returned with the identity of an invigilator.
On one hand, it was due to some strings pulled on Chu Yue’s end and on the other hand, it also followed the systems intent.
The second time they got together took some time.
Firstly, it was because Qin Jiu’s memory was interfered with and he was at first in opposition to You Huo. And secondly, even after melting the ice between them and finally standing together again, they had to be more cautious than ever to at least avoid the system sensing something.
Please read this from kk translates
“At that time, we were actually very close.” Chu Yue had a look of disappointment, “We had reached the core and had already destroyed a large part of it but there was a misstep in the end and the operation failed.”
“That, I don’t know. The one who entered the core was the two of you and I was guarding the back. In the end, the news I received wasn’t good news.” Chu Yue said, “As for why it failed, only the two of you would know. Of course, something like the partnership breaking up is all bullshit! Things like you betraying him or him betraying you, you don’t need to believe in that kind of nonsense. It was all made up for the others to hear.”
“Didn’t believe it in the first place.” You Huo said.
Qin Jiu rubbed his chin and let out a light cough.
You Huo kept quiet for a few seconds to give him some time to reflect before asking Chu Yue: “I asked someone to leave me a message; to go to a rest stop to find a thing and a person. The person I should find is definitely you, but do you know what the thing is?”
“I know.” Chu Yue said
When You Huo heard this, he was relieved.
But Chu Yue added, “It’s useless even if I know.”
You Huo: “?”
“That thing is quite special. It’s no longer in the rest stop.” Chu Yue said.
“What do you mean?”
“The two of you left behind a backup plan back then in case anything went wrong. It was a system self-correcting program that would monitor and judge the systems actions and take appropriate measures to correct and balance it out if needed. In certain circumstances, it is even able to make it self-destruct.”
Chu Yue suddenly stopped talking. She took in You Huo and Qin Jiu’s expression and continued hesitantly, “But……the system was very meticulous. After the accident, that self-correcting program was also gone. I have been searching for it for a long time, but I haven’t been able to find it. But don’t worry, now that we’re all together again, that is more beneficial to us than anything.”
That could also be considered a consolation.
Neither You Huo nor Qin Jiu were people who liked to dwell on things. They very quickly focused on the system core instead.
But Chu Yue said, “The system core has been hidden by the system and cannot be accessed by normal invigilators. But don’t worry, if I was able to send you two in the first time, I will be able to send you two in the second time. Compared to the system core, the most important thing right now is for you to recover your memories. We would only be going into the system core blindly if we have no knowledge of the cause for the failure last time.”
And now another question arose……..
How should they restore their memories???
You Huo thought Chu Yue knew of a method but she only raised a finger and said after falling in thought for a long time: “As far as I know, the first method is to go to places you have often visited especially those which leave a deep impression or hold a special significance. The second is to reproduce scenes from the past. By stimulating your mind, perhaps you can recall something. In addition to that, I have also noticed something……….”
“In places with low system interference, it is easier to recall the past. The reason for that is self-explanatory. Since the interference is low, it will also work for invigilators.”
With her reminder, Qin Jiu realised that that was indeed the case.
His limited memories of Invigilator A had pretty much all been recalled while he was in a confinement room.
But every time he entered a confinement room, all he would see was a ruin site so the small snippets he remembered was mostly related to that place.
Recovering their memories was a major problem.
Chu Yue and You Huo continued to exchange dialogue and they discussed a few more things.
Just as they were talking about this building being an ideal location, Qin Jiu suddenly interrupted, “In fact, there is also another method to restore our memories.”
Chu Yue knew his character and suddenly had a bad feeling, “What method? Tell me about it first.”
“As far as I know, there is a place in the system were orders can be revoked——–”
Before Qin Jiu could finish, Chu Yue had already jumped up, “Don’t even think about it! Even if you want to die, you shouldn’t do it this way!”
“Revoking orders?” You Huo was very interested.
No longer willing to talk about it, Chu Yue pushed the two towards the basement and pointed at the room underground, “Go, go, go! If you have the time to think about this, go and stimulate yourselves in the confinement room! To be honest, I think this building is the ideal location for stimulating your memories, but the layout of the rooms has been changed and it no longer resembles how it used to look. The only place here that hasn’t been changed is the confinement room.”
The method Qin Jiu mentioned was clearly a dangerous one. Chu Yue was very reluctant to talk about it.
“I’ll go and see if I can get them to let me out first. I’m starving and the food upstairs haven’t been included in here. You two go have fun. Nothing will happen here for the time being anyway. Didn’t Xiao Wu say that she had something to say? We can call her in later.”
Please read this from KKTranslates. If it’s on another site, it was stolen. Please don’t support those thieves, the translator KK is going to cry…
As Chu Yue said this, she waved her hands and moved to call out to the people outside.
But when she reached the mirror, she exclaimed with surprise: “Huh, where are they?”
You Huo turned around to look.
The tall mirror reflected the living room in reality but the sofa that was originally filled with people was now empty.
There was a tissue let on the coffee table. It was clearly left there in a hurry.
The number 9 was written with a marker.
Chu Yue didn’t understand, “9? What does that mean? Did they randomly answer the question?”
“No.” You Huo pointed at the clock on the wall, “It’s past nine.”
After narrowing escaping death and being in a rush to talk in private, everyone had forgotten about the time schedule.
The schedule had mentioned that 9pm was sleeping time.
They should have gone to sleep.
The drowsiness in the exam centre as usual came very quickly. No one could resist it.
It wasn’t easy for them to leave behind that message.
Since they had entered the mirror, theoretically the rules should no longer apply to them.
But the mirror itself seemed to also be resting. It seemed to share the same state as Sali and Shirley and this similarly affected the people inside the mirror.
Drowsiness came as soon as it was mentioned.
Chu Yue covered her mouth and yawned three times consecutively.
She waved her hand and said, “When they get up, it will be dawn. I can’t do it, I’ll have a rest in the study.”
“You plan to sleep on the table for ten hours?” Qin Jiu said, “Go use the guest room. We can make do with the two sofas.”
Chu Yue didn’t resist. She went straight to the guest room and the room soon fell silent.
You Huo and Qin Jiu actually also felt the sudden bout of sleepiness. While they weren’t too sleepy, You Huo took a quick shower using the bathroom on the first floor.
As he dried his hair, he originally intended on sleeping on the sofa but just as he sat down, he changed his mind and moved from the living room to the basement.
Affected by Chu Yue’s words, he wanted to check the confinement room again.
Many of his memory remnants were related to this place and, because of some special reasons, this place was also a place that gave him a deep impression, so it was indeed the ideal place to help with memory recovery. He wanted to give it a try to see if he could remember anything.
The basement was very quiet. He was just a staircase below but the sound of Qin Jiu showering had become distant and muffled, like it was concealed inside a jar.
The confinement room was still the same as usual——-
The glass around the shower was grey and the floor was dry. It looked like it hadn’t been exposed to water for hundreds of years.
There was a bed against the wall. It actually wasn’t small but You Huo wondered whether a tall man like Qin Jiu was able to sleep on it comfortably.
On the table was a glass cup and the chair was pulled out. At first glance, it looked like someone had just finished drinking water, placed down the glass cup and had only briefly stepped out…….
But in fact, several years had passed.
In order to make the confinement room look more like a punishment site, the system would always like to hang various equipment on the walls; bloody ropes, sharp hooks, black and white bandages and so on…….
They were all things that made the room appear bleaker.
But You Huo didn’t find it bleak.
Perhaps it was because even after all this time, Qin Jiu’s presence still lingered in here. All his memories of this place included his presence.
He glanced at the odd arrangements in the room as his mind thought back to Chu Yue’s words.
She had said that although she knew that her eyes were no longer affected, she would occasionally feel as if the system was still quietly looking out from behind her eyes. Perhaps it was because they had been affected by the system for a very long time……too long, in fact.
Despite mentally knowing that it was fine, there would still be occasional moments of doubt and avoidance.
You Huo was deep in thought for a long time and hadn’t even realised that the faint sounds of water had stopped.
He stood by the bed with his gaze resting on a bandage. It had half fallen off the wall and was hanging loosely on the railing at the head of the bed. You Huo bent over to pick it up.
For some reason, for a moment that action of his gave him a sense of déjà vu.
You Huo froze for a moment.
Just as he straightened back up, light footsteps sounded behind him.
“Why are you here?”
In a playful manner, Qin Jiu left a light peck on the back of his exposed neck.
When he lowered his head, he looked past You Huo’s shoulder and saw the object wrapped around his fingers.
He was stunned for a moment. Some fragmented scenes suddenly appeared in his mind without a warning…..
It was probably in this confinement room, right here.
And it was also this bed with railings.
It was Invigilator A who raised his chin slightly to kiss Qin Jiu.
Most of his shirt buttons were undone and the neckline was open. The hem of his shirt was pulled out from under the belt and it loosely rested at his waist.
After a moment of intertwining, he moved back a few centimetres and, with damp and misty eyes that were half open, his gaze moved from Qin Jiu’s eyes to his lips.
He had originally wanted to continue the kiss, but he paused for a moment when he suddenly remembered something. Under Qin Jiu’s scorching breaths and hot gaze, he closed his eyes and said with a hoarse voice to wait.
He reached out and grabbed a black bandage that was hanging from the railing at the head of the bed. The colour of the fabric made his fingers appear even more pale that it originally looked.
“…….Don’t look at my eyes.”
He said to Qin Jiu.
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