Chapter 122: Gamble
You Huo suddenly sat up.
With the blankets gathered loosely around his slim waist, he looked at Qin Jiu thoughtfully, “Think about it. Under what circumstances would someone use other people’s belongings?”
Qin Jiu: “When they don’t have it themselves.”
You Huo: “What kind of person wouldn’t have any childhood photos?”
Qin Jiu fell silent for a moment, “Or if you put it another way—–What kind of person wouldn’t have a childhood?”
They looked at each other with complicated expressions.
What kind of person wouldn’t have a childhood?
If it only referred to a certain stage in life, everyone would have that. As long as you are human, there would have been a point in which you would’ve grown up.
Unless 154 wasn’t that so-called ‘human’ most people would think of.
Then what is he?
You Huo couldn’t help but think of an existence———
From the look in Qin Jiu’s eyes, he seemed to have also reached the same conclusion.
Chu Yue had said before that the system had existed in his eyes for a long time and had seen the world through his perspective.
And if it still perceives itself through You Huo’s perspective? Then it was indeed possible for it to treat You Huo’s childhood as its own.
You Huo then remembered various things about 154. Many small things had gone unnoticed back then——-
He suddenly recalled the first time he had the feeling of being watched. It was during the first exam at the invigilator’s place when he was standing in the corridor.
At that time, he was in the middle of talking to 154 and there was no one else present in the corridor apart from them.
If 154 was the system, then that could be explained. It was because of the other party’s presence that You Huo had subconsciously become more vigilant.
He then remembered that someone had once joked that if the system was a person, it would definitely have an emotionless poker face.
154’s image was very similar to this conjecture, but it was also slightly different.
He was stern and serious and would always do things by the book but when he was not performing his invigilator duties, he would suddenly become livelier and more straightforward in his manners.
In fact, compared to that single-sided conjecture, 154’s current personality was closer to those of the system’s itself.
Afterall, it had once learned from two subjects, You Huo and Chu Yue.
It had inherited one’s calm and quiet temperament, and it also inherited the other’s straightforwardness eventually resulting in such a duality.
There were many small details like this. The more You Huo thought about it, the more he felt that he was getting closer to the truth. 154 was the system itself.
“It’s not quite right.” Qin Jiu carefully selected his words, “If he’s really who we think he is, there are a few points that don’t make sense. Firstly, it doesn’t have a reason to do this——”
Regardless of whether it was inside an examination centre, the invigilator’s district or the rest stops, the system’s existence was almost ubiquitous and omniscient.
Why would it need to personify itself?
“Secondly…..” Qin Jiu smirked rather wickedly, “Secondly, if he really is the system, we would have already been caught and punished 800 times.”
You Huo said, “It doesn’t rule out the possibility of it waiting for all of us to team up and eradicate us in one go.”
Qin Jiu thought about it and said, “That indeed can’t be ruled out but there is another point.”
You Huo: “What?”
“Don’t forget why it feels that it is superior.” Qin Jiu reminded.
You Huo was stunned for a moment. He quickly understood what he meant.
The system is extremely conceited and stubbornly insists that it is superior.
Its absolute rationality and absolute adherence to the rules were its biggest traits that sets it apart from normal humans and it believes that it is far superior to that of humans because of this.
How could it give up these advantageous traits and turn itself into a “normal human”?
You Huo fell into thought for a moment. He thought of another existence——
The system self-correcting program that they’re currently looking for.
154 isn’t the system, then could he be that missing self-correcting program?
“Rather than aimlessly guessing, I like taking a more straightforward route.” You Huo said.
When they heard sounds outside, Qin Jiu put on his trousers and reached over to pick up a clean shirt.
“I also like it, but it’s a bit risky.” Although his mouth said risky, his expression was unconcerned.
You Huo let out an ‘oh’ and asked back, “Until now, have we done anything that’s not risky?”
Qin Jiu answered frankly, “No.”
He laughed at his own response.
With the shirt unbuttoned and opened loosely at the front, strong and firm chest muscles were clearly visible.
“Then can I trouble our Invigilator A to get up?” He stretched his hand out to You Huo, “Need a hand?”
You Huo lightly slapped his hand away and got out of bed.
Ten minutes later, an alarm sounded throughout the invigilator’s place.
【An examinee has broken a transmission system at the invigilator’s place. Responsible invigilators please immediately implement punishment!】
【An examinee has broken a transmission system at the invigilator’s place. Responsible invigilators please immediately implement punishment!】
154 had just come out of the bathroom and was about to put on his pyjama pants but it was taken away by 922, “Hurry up, there’s a problem! I was just wondering why my eyelids were twitching the whole day.”
“Give my pants back first.” 154 snatched his pyjama pants back and was almost about to roll his eyes. “I heard it. Boss and that person got in trouble again?”
922 internally muttered: There are no speakers in the bathroom, but you still heard it through the water sounds? Do you have dog ears?
“Forget it, it’s good that you heard it. Hurry and change to normal clothes!” 922 quickly threw the thought to the back of his mind and threw clean clothes over.
154 put the clothes on without checking only to find that the sleeves and pants were too long.
He took the clothes off again and threw it back onto 922’s face, “These are yours. Give me the other set.”
“Oh—-so that’s why it didn’t feel right.”
When 922 was almost done changing, 154 had already opened the door.
“You can go down first. I’ll come soon!” 922 hopped on one foot trying to put his other leg into his pants.
Thanks to 922 this fool, 154 went downstairs alone to meet Qin Jiu and You Huo in the transmission room, single-handedly brought them over to the third floor and then…..was dragged into a confinement room by two pairs of hands.
154’s heart was filled with profanities.
“Boss, what are you two doing?”
154 was pressed down into a chair with Qin Jiu and You Huo standing on either side of the table. Qin Jiu lowered his eyes and said to him, “Borrowing the confinement room to ask you something.”
“Something like that can just be asked. There’s no need to turn it into kidnapping.” He grabbed the edge of the table with the intention to stand up, “What do you need to ask, boss?”
“I just want to ask. Who exactly—–”
Qin Jiu stopped here. There was slight hesitation in his expression.
You Huo naturally understood why he hesitated.
With 154 working with him for so long, it can be rather hurtful suddenly asking ‘Who exactly are you’.
Qin Jiu poked his cheek with his tongue and was still hesitating when You Huo spoke up for him.
Please read this from kk translates
“Are you the system?”
154 was stunned for a moment before his complexion changed.
Although You Huo’s words can sound rather harsh, he had his own considerations.
Before confirming 154’s identity he wouldn’t expose the existence of the system self-correcting program.
He chose to ask this question because he wouldn’t reveal too much information if 154 truly was the system.
Secondly, if he wasn’t the system, the other party would immediately deny it. No one innocent would be willing to be put together with that pervert.
It wouldn’t be too late asking more questions at that time.
But ultimately 154’s reaction wasn’t to his expectations.
His reaction wasn’t as if his disguise was exposed and he also didn’t immediately deny his relationship with the system.
He froze for a long time before slowly asking, “Do you think I’m similar?”
This time You Huo answered very quickly, “Not really, not very similar.”
Some colour was restored onto 154’s face.
His mouth moved a few times. He seemed to be pondering over something.
After a long time, the surrounding confinement room finally began to show changes. 154 quickly reacted and said: “I……..can be considered as the system, but that’s also not accurate.”
He glanced around and licked his dry lips, “Can I talk about it later? The confinement room is about to take effect.”
You Huo remembered his first conversation with 154. If he remembered correctly, 154 seemed to be particularly afraid of the confinement room.
The system was scared of the confinement room?
The thought of this made him more relaxed.
He said, “There are about 2 minutes before it completely takes effect. You can either make the long story short or we’ll break something else later.”
154 was stunned, “Break something else? It was deliberate?”
You Huo: “How else could we come here to talk?”
154 asked blankly, “You made the alarm go off just so that you can drag me here to say a few words?”
Qin Jiu: “Yeah, isn’t it pretty good?”
154 was speechless.
After a moment, he said expressionlessly, “Boss, in fact if you want to talk for a few days without being monitored you can just let me know. I have a way to do it for your room. There’s no need to……put so much effort.”
Qin Jiu: “……”
Seeing his expression, 154 awkwardly shuffled the chair back a little.
“You can block system monitoring?” Qin Jiu asked.
Why the hell didn’t you say that earlier????
“It couldn’t be done before because it could be noticed but now it’s more stable.” 154 explained immediately, “I know you don’t like being watched every day, so I actually blocked it in your room yesterday. Your conversations wouldn’t be heard.”
You Huo internally said, no wonder.
No wonder they haven’t received any warnings from the system after mucking around for so long.
Qin Jiu rubbed his face. He didn’t know whether he should be happy or unhappy.
He stared at 154 with frustration for a while before pointing at the door: “Alright, you can go. I’ll go find you in three hours.”
154 didn’t want to stay in here a second longer. He quickly flew out the room.
This left the two great masters standing in the room. They shared a look and awkwardly laughed.
Three hours couldn’t be considered long, nor could it be considered short.
After enduring through those three hours, You Huo and Qin Jiu knocked on 154 and 922’s room door.
922 had gone downstairs for lunch. It was a good chance for them to talk.
This time 154 didn’t drag things out.
“Where should I start, let me think…..I should start from the beginning or it’ll get too messy.”
“I am actually just a part of the system, basically a part that was abandoned…..”
At that time, the systems stay in You Huo and Chu Yue’s eyes allowed it to develop some ‘human’ characteristics including its ability to think independently and continuously learn from its experiences to upgrade and achieve a high degree of intelligence
This approach was actually quite useful.
At the very, very beginning, the system wasn’t like how it was now.
During certain moments, it would exhibit some ‘humanistic traits’ and even when making certain choices, it would be influenced by the soft side of humans.
Once irrational factors are involved, the choices it makes began to carry some risk.
What followed that was occasional frustration and regret.
The system instinctively rejected these characteristics, so these characteristics didn’t last long. It soon resolutely cut off that ‘soft human side’ of it.
This removed part was 154.
“For a long time, I existed as a garbage program.” 154 said, “Inside the system’s backup station……You can think of it as the recycle bin in computers.”
When he was a recycle bin, he was basically in a sleeping mode and didn’t receive any influences from the world outside.
This continued until a little more than three years ago when Qin Jiu and You Huo tried to destroy the system for the second time.
“You released me from the backup station.” He said to Qin Jiu.
Qin Jiu had no impression of it, “So are you the legendary self-correcting program?”
154 was stunned for a moment. He shook his head, “Self-correcting program? I’m not.”
“Based on what I learned later, you two should have left behind a self-correcting program as a backup plan. You had managed to procure it by using your authority.” He said to You Huo.
“It was indeed a good thing, but what you two were doing was too risky. Perhaps it was because you thought having one backup plan wasn’t enough? In any case, you released me from the backup station.” 154 said to Qin Jiu.
After being moved out from the “garbage sorting centre”, he was afraid of being noticed by the main body of the system, so he quietly hid in a bustling place inside the system —- The rest stop.
He later learned that Invigilator A was removed from the system and 001 was recuperating after almost losing his life.
“I hid in the rest stop for more than a month before realising that the best disguise for me was to become an examinee and then convert into an invigilator.”
And so, 154 found an opportunity to infiltrate into a group of examinees.
The exams themselves weren’t too troublesome for him because his existence itself was the biggest cheat anyone could get, and all the systems rules basically protected him.
The system would design the exams, but it wouldn’t do anything to harm itself.
Unlike the Qin Jiu from the past and the current You Huo, he deliberately maintained a performance that was average but also rather good.
In the end, he managed to successfully become an invigilator.
When Qin Jiu woke up, 154 inserted himself into 001’s team.
This was his way of expressing his friendship and gratitude.
When invigilating, he continued to avoid standing out and chose the plain and simple rank of 154.
Deep in his bones were the system’s rule-abiding side and there were also the traits he had gained through You Huo and Chu Yue. Thanks to these, Qin Jiu who had lost his memory saw him in good light.
And slowly after that, he gained two companions.
001 and 922.
One was a boss, and another was a colleague. Their personalities were completely different, but they all got along pretty well.
He gradually became more and more human, and less and less system-like.
Sometimes he would even think of himself as a human.
A human that has a past, present and future; a complete human who can laugh and cry.
“Why haven’t you mentioned it during the past three years?” Qin Jiu asked.
Let alone mentioning it, he didn’t reveal any abnormalities.
154: “……Boss, you should be more reasonable. It would’ve been fine if you had your memories but with your amnesiac state you would instantly turn me back into a garbage program the moment I tell you that I’m a part of the system.”
Qin Jiu thought for a while and felt that it was indeed likely.
Afterall, he had never tried to conceal his distaste towards the system.
“But it wasn’t just because of this. It was also because all I had was a code name back then and didn’t have any power or authority.” 154 said.
In order to not be detected and erased, the connection between him and the main body of the system had always been cut off.
In a state like that, he didn’t have any authority like the system and was a completely ordinary person. At most he would just know more things and remember more rules compared to others.
Later he realised that although Qin Jiu and You Huo had failed, they had left behind significant aftereffects.
Please read this from kk translates
More and more bugs appeared in the system like time bombs buried in advance.
Under the cover of the bugs, 154 began to try and gain some power.
But he was still very careful.
“I wasn’t sure how helpful it can be and I also wasn’t sure if you two will succeed this time so I have always been hesitating…..”
154 said: “Even earlier in the confinement room, I was hesitating. Of course, I will help you. I will definitely help you, but I don’t know if this is helping everyone or actually harming them.”
He had seen too many. Much too many deaths.
Except for the time he was a garbage program, he remembered everyone who had died in the system.
He didn’t want to see it happen again with Qin Jiu and You Huo.
The room was quiet for a moment.
After a long time, Qin Jiu suddenly said, “In fact, it makes no difference.”
“What?” 154 was surprised.
“What isn’t risky in this world? In my opinion, there are none. Even if you don’t take the risk now, you will take the risk later.” Qin Jiu spoke unhurriedly, “So no matter what you choose, it doesn’t matter. It’s just choosing the one that would leave behind fewer regrets.”
Qin Jiu paused for a moment and smiled, “This may just be nonsense from a madman but I think it’s better to give it a try. Wouldn’t it be better to try and destroy the system a few more times?”
“There is a possibility of destroying it if we try but if we don’t, we will be stuck in here forever.”
154 was still silent.
You Huo suddenly spoke up, “In fact, you have already made your decision.”
154 was stunned, “What?”
“You have already given us a lending hand.” You Huo said, “You were invigilating my first exam. Even for all the exams after that, I would always run into you. Don’t tell me it was random and just a coincidence. I don’t have such luck.”
154 had lost his ability to speak.
Yes, he had in fact already made his decision.
But it was like he was walking on thin ice. He was afraid that any reckless action would result in this group of people dying.
The room fell silent again. Qin Jiu didn’t push him to speak, nor did You Huo.
After a moment, 154 finally spoke, “My authority is still limited and I can’t do too much. If the main body of the system notices, it will be very troublesome.”
Qin Jiu nodded, “Can you help me immediately remember my past?”
154: “…..Not really.”
“Then can you send me to the special area? I will revoke the order myself.”
154: “……Can’t really do that too.”
“That ruin site in my confinement room is the core right? You can send us there.”
Qin Jiu: “………”
“Can I change my mind?” 154 asked awkwardly.
Qin Ju laughed.
You Huo said, “Can you block monitoring in the exam?”
154 finally came across something within his range of capabilities and had come alive again, “Can’t do it for the whole examination centre or it’s too conspicuous. If such a large-scale exam suddenly turns black, the system would notice it unless its blind. I can do it for a small area, like the house. That way you can discuss more easily.”
“Just directly block us from being monitoring. It would be more convenient like that.”
154: “That is doable too. The blind spots would be smaller than the house.”
Although he could only be of little help, it was more reassuring than anything.
“There are also some random things that I can help with.” 154 said, “As for the core….I’ll do my best. Right now, as soon I get close to those places, the system’s main body will report an error. This is more dangerous than you two getting there.”
He mumbled, “I need to find a way for the main body to relax its guard against me.”
Hearing this, You Huo was reminded of the self-correcting program, “What if it’s with the purpose of correction?”
154 let out an ‘ah’ and clapped his hands, “Correction works. If I brought along the self-correcting program I can use the excuse of fixing up a hole or bug to force open a path but…..where is your self-correction program?”
“You also couldn’t find it?”
154 glumly shook his head, “Finding people is easy but finding a program is hard. The system’s main body is everywhere and can see everything. Finding a program in the system is on par to finding a needle in a haystack. It might even be easier for you two to find it compared to me.”
“But we don’t know where to start.”
“It may be at the same place where I was originally. If there is a bug or abnormality in a rest stop or exam centre, pay more attention to it. It would either be some aftereffects left by you two or the self-correcting program.”
In a blink of an eye, it was already 12 o’clock.
The system sounded inside the building, startling 154.
【The second stage of the exam is about to start. Responsible invigilators please send the examinees back to their relevant examination centre.】
【Responsible invigilators please send the examinees back to their relevant examination centre.】
The three of them silently exchanged a look.
“Let’s go. Just hearing the systems voice makes my hand shake.”
154 said this as he walked over to the door. Qin Jiu and You Huo followed behind him.
When he grabbed the door handle, he seemed to have remembered something and paused.
“No, I just wanted to say that……you two really are crazy.” 154 said, “Aren’t you afraid that I am the system itself? You two even dared to come over.”
Qin Jiu said, “It’s alright. I was just making a gamble.”
154 was surprised, “Gambling what?”
“Gambling on my ability to choose friends.” Qin Jiu said.
This single word was more important than anything to 154, particularly after having just revealed his identity.
It meant that the other party regarded him as an independent individual, a complete person.
He glanced at Qin Jiu and You Huo before turning back to the door and returning his expression to his usual expressionless and serious look.
“As for 922……”
“I’ll find a chance to tell him.” 154 spoke nonsense with a straight face, “I’m afraid of scaring that fool to tears.”
“It’s time, boss. I’ll take you two to the examination centre.”
He spoke seriously, just like usual.
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KK has something to say:
Aren’t you glad 154 is a good guy haha