Chapter 149: Rest Stop Number 2
You Huo regained consciousness at the end of that year and was transferred to Munich after receiving emergency treatment where he continued to focus on recuperating.
After another four months, Qin Jiu who had been continuously hovering over the brink of death finally escaped from danger and opened his eyes in a medical centre inside the system.
As for this sudden event, the system had issued an announcement explaining that it was due to a serious bug before confining all the examinees in the rest stops and the invigilators in the Invigilator’s District and beginning its longest ever self-assessment and upgrade.
Once the main control centre was repaired, the system reached out to all the invigilators. The original ranks were abolished, and all the code numbers were shuffled.
Chu Yue’s title as an invigilator was removed and she was transferred to the most remote rest stop. She wasn’t surprised by this. Afterall, she had discussed with A a long time before about the fate of their ‘rebellion’. The other invigilators who are familiar with them were similarly transferred away or demoted down.
The system acted like it had anxiety. It moved everything around, particularly the early invigilators because they were the ones they were most familiar with.
As a result, the Invigilator’s District was filled with rumours. Everyone tried to guess what had happened and what could have possibly happened to Invigilator A and Invigilator Gin.
In view of the fact that those two had always appeared incompatible to the others, most speculations revolved around one party doing something and the other trying to prevent it, ultimately resulting in both parties being harmed. There were also a small minority who say that they may have joined forces at some point.
This continued until the system eliminated all traces of Invigilator A and set Qin Jiu’s rank to 001. At this point, all speculations came to an abrupt halt.
It was because there we no need to speculate. Just this outcome alone explained everything.
Before leaving the medical centre, Qin Jiu had become the thorn in the eyes of many of the early invigilators.
Invigilator A’s former good friend Gao Qi would constantly be drunk day in and day out. Once, when he drank a little too much, he almost made a commotion inside the intensive care unit where Qin Jiu stayed. Very soon afterwards, he fell to the end of the invigilator ranks and was given the code name 1006.
Not long after that, the system selected a group from the examinees and added them to the existing team of invigilators. A young woman who had just graduated from military school immediately requested to join 001’s group however she didn’t get her wish and was eventually assigned to team nine. Carrying a request entrusted to her, she fell into the upper ranks and was given the code name 021.
A month later, Qin Jiu was discharged, and he had now become the new head invigilator. Within the batch of examinees selected by the system, the small system fragment accidentally released by Qin Jiu was mixed in. He later became one of 001’s subordinates and was called 154.
Several months later, Examinee Wen Yuan was also selected to be an invigilator by chance. He later became one of 001’s subordinate and was called 922.
From that day on, no matter where head invigilator 001 went, there would always be two other figures beside him.
They followed Qin Jiu to deal with daily head invigilator affairs, held countless meetings both large and small, dealt with all sorts of paperwork and went through more than two hundred examination centres together.
And then, one day, when the next examination centre was being randomly selected, 154 saw a familiar figure amongst countless people waiting for their exams. He didn’t hesitate to set their examination centre as the same one.
That examinee was called You Huo, the Invigilator A who was removed by the system.
The time inside the system was chaotic.
Often the calendar would have just turned a page at the rest stop despite spending ten days in an exam. Rest stop number 1 could already be late autumn while rest stop number 2 could still be in early spring. Only by standing on the main street of the Invigilator’s District could one see a hint of time passing. It was because here it was least affected, and the time was almost in sync with reality.
Invigilators had become accustomed to this. Wherever they are, they would just refer to the time there. To check the date and time, they would always check their phone but if they wanted to know the ‘year’, they would have to check the examination centre.
That night in the mountains, Qin Jiu pushed open the door to the hunter’s cabin amidst snowstorm while holding a notice of violation.
All the examinees in the room looked nervously at him, all except one.
He immediately noticed that person standing under the orange light radiating from the fireplace.
Please read this from kk translates
At that moment, three years had passed since they were separated.
Three years. To You Huo those were long and endless days when he was blind, and 700 arduous days spent alone. To Qin Jiu, it was a total of more than two thousand days.
Two thousand, three hundred and twelve days later, they met again amidst the snowstorm.
They thought it was their first meeting, but it was in fact a reunion.
Memories flooded in, squeezing into their chest nonstop such that their heart swelled to the point that it hurt. They didn’t know if it was because it was too full, or because the memories were too heavy.
The fire had been sealed off by 154 but the heat still lingered. Perhaps because the temperature was too high and the fire earlier was too fierce, it made their eyes sting and burn.
You Huo lowered his head and took a few heavy breaths as he clenched both his hands tightly into a fist. Air poured into the lungs, but it didn’t lighten the load in his heart. Satisfaction and pain co-existed at the same time. It struggled and fought and couldn’t be erased.
He closed his eyes for a while before looking up again only to see Qin Jiu also raising his head. The protruding lump on the neck moved slightly. There seemed to be something heavy wrapped around him, like an invisible fire that would soon burn him. Qin Jiu finally looked over in his direction with eyes tinged red.
Suddenly, someone exclaimed, “Brother, your hand!”
You Huo looked down. The back of his right hand was bloody —– The cleaning program that would start every ten seconds had started again and the red light had once again begun to scan. The back of his hand had just been touched by this light and was left dripping with blood but at this moment his mind was only on Qin Jiu and he didn’t feel any pain.
Another person’s body temperature wrapped around him.
“Go out first.” Qin Jiu’s voice was slightly hoarse as it sounded lowly next to his ears.
The next moment, they stepped out right behind the red light and crashed through the third door.
The scene past the door was completely different from the main control centre in his memory. You Huo didn’t see the familiar forest, nor the metal fencing with the words NA or the city in the distance.
It looked like a semi-sealed off laboratory with a screen and simple control pad on one side and a mass of fog on the other.
“After your incident, the main control centre was moved. The core is no longer here.” 154 explained as he quickly established a passage leading to a rest stop.
Memory recovery only took a moment, but it took time for it to be digested. In those few minutes, almost everyone whose memories had been tampered with were in a state of confusion. Those with minor tampering could still recover quickly but those who were more strongly affected, like 922, basically needed to be dragged along by Yu Wen and Old Yu the entire time.
They were divided into three groups and they finally came together in the third room.
Chu Yue’s eyes were also red. She looked at Qin Jiu for a while and then at You Huo for a while before asking softly, “Are you okay?”
You Huo heard himself say something to which Chu Yue let out a long sigh.
154 looked back and asked something as he busied himself and he also similarly answered him.
He and Qin Jiu must’ve appeared very calm on the outside. So calm, even Old Yu and Yu Wen who were looking at them with eyes of worry were able to walk away reassured.
But in fact, You Huo had no recollection of what he said or did.
He could only feel a blazing heat next to him that continued to burn. He was probably the same.
They were just suppressing their emotions in the presence of others, hiding them very deeply. This matter may be difficult for others, but not for them because long ago they had done this every day.
The passage to the rest stop was quickly established and it went unexpectedly smoothly.
154 mumbled with a frown, “How strange. No alert was triggered, and the defence system wasn’t very complicated. This can’t be…..”
Wu Li asked, “How difficult should it be under normal circumstances?”
“That’s not what I mean. Afterall, usually there wouldn’t be anyone who is brave enough to mess with this so there is no ‘normal circumstances’ but…..” 154 said, “I thought the system would at least set up several defence barriers but there weren’t any.”
Along the way here, 154 had been rapidly removing trances left by them so it didn’t rule out the possibility that he had cleaned up after them so quickly, the system didn’t raise its guard.
But……..That possibility was too slim.
154 was more inclined to believe that it had done it deliberately, and that it had some other intentions.
But at this moment, they didn’t have the time to ponder over this. Since they had already reached this point, it was too late to turn back, and it also didn’t fit their personality. It was better to continue with their plans.
They quickly crossed through the mass of fog. As they crossed through, 154’s heart was constantly hanging fearing that the system would suddenly wake up and cut off the path, scattering them as a result.
But as it turned out, they passed through successfully.
When everyone came out of the fog, they were met with tall silver-grey buildings, metal towers and large warehouse-style buildings with some simple buildings lined in the centre. At first glance, it looked like a school or a military dormitory. On the courtyard walls enclosing the buildings was a metal plate with the words: Rest Stop Hostel.
It was Yu Wen and the others’ first time here. They stared wide-mouthed for a long time before asking, “What rest stop is this? What is it for?”
154 said: “Rest stop number 2. Also known as the weapons depot.”
“You’re taking us here to get equipped?”
“Equipping is one matter, but it isn’t just for that.” 154 explained, “It’s also because this place is a little special.”
As they spoke, You Huo looked up into the distance.
There, three silver-grey buildings were sandwiched between two steel towers. It was the most iconic building here. Long ago when You Huo was still Invigilator A, he would often see the shadow of this building from amidst the smoke.
But it wasn’t from this place. It was from the former master control centre.
Every time he went through the forest, crossed through the metal fencing and walked towards the main control centre, he would always look at the horizon. There in the distance were faint shadows of a town shrouded in fog.
That was rest stop number two.
The last time You Huo saw this was three years ago. He had a self-destructing control in his hands while gunpowder filled the air in front of him and behind him was a mass of blood. Under the bright sunlight, he closed his eyes and pressed the button. Intense pain suddenly seized his eyes.
He bent down for a moment before straightening up again. With pursed lips, he forced his eyes to open under the pain. The daylight gradually grew darker and the buildings in the distance became more blurred. He was about to lose his sight, but he knew that someone was still waiting for him on the other side of the ruins. He needed to go over and take one last look before the light in his world disappears completely.
“How is it special?” Yu Wen was still chattering on.
“Special in that it was once connected to the main control centre. As long as you have the authority and you know the way, you could get there.” 154 said.
“Really?!” Yu Wen was a little excited: “Then let’s procure some weapons now?”
154 said: “Not yet. You guys are not supposed to be here. The moment you enter the weapon storehouse, alarms will go off. Find a place to stay first and give me some time.”
Please read this from kk translates
He led everyone to around a hotel, through two abandoned plots before stopping before a row of old and run-down buildings: “This used to be a hotel. It looks old but the inside is actually okay. I can turn on the water an electricity and water for you.”
“Hotel? How did it become like this?”
“Because when the two of them rebelled back then, they had procured a lot of weapons from here and brought it into the main control centre. They had used the road here.” 154 pointed at Qin Jiu and You Huo: “The system was furious and scrapped this entire part.”
“Then can we still access the main control centre from here?”
“Keep dreaming.” 154 said, “Of course you’ll have to find another entrance.”
“Are you sure there’s another entrance?” Yang Shu asked, “If it was me, I wouldn’t allow for one no matter what.”
“That’s why you’re not the system.” 154 said, “The main control centre must ensure that there is sufficient armament and firepower to support it. To the system, opening a new entrance is not very risky.”
“Make do with this place for tonight. I’ve turned on the shield to stop the system from monitoring you. Let’s wait for everyone to gather.”
Everyone went upstairs. All the rooms had been opened by 154 and lights and the sound of water appeared at the same time. Their tensed nerves finally loosened, and exhaustion accumulated over the past few days instantly swept over them.
922 was still in a state of confusion. 154 who couldn’t stand seeing it dragged him into a room.
The entire corridor suddenly became quiet. All the ‘others’ were gone, leaving only You Huo and Qin Jiu.
The moment their eyes met, the fire burning inside them instantly surged.
From the time Examinee Qin Jiu first met Invigilator A, they had known each other for five years. Although it was said to be five years it was actually a total of almost four thousand days, which was basically about ten years in reality.
Over those four thousand days, less than half that time was spent in the system, they interacted for less than six hundred days and there were only a handful of moments where they were alone together.
There was no one who could be less like lovers than these two.
They crashed into the door as they entangled and they entangled on the desk.
Through the shadows cast onto his narrowed eyes, Qin Jiu’s eyes were still a little red.
Damp sweat rolled down his defined muscles, landing on the other person.
You Huo grabbed the back of his neck as he breathed heavily and arched his back to kiss Qin Jiu.
Qin Jiu kissed his slightly parted lips, his half-lidded wet eyes and the side of his neck, and said hoarsely, “I did this four years ago and kissed these places…….But I actually forgot.”
“My Big Invigilator is so good, but I actually forgot.”
He had forgotten twice.
And one of it, the other party still remembered…….
You Huo tightened his waist as he could clearly feel the other party’s presence. Under that person’s actions, a cloud of mist formed across his eyes.
As he breathed heavily, he looked down at Qin Jiu. Those light-coloured eyes of his that normally carried a hint of coldness at this moment also carried two parts passion.
“Compensate me.” He said.
A long time ago, someone had touched the corner of his eyes and said: Are you uncomfortable here? After leaving the system, I will accompany you to check your eyes.
Later that person left for a while and when he returned, he was the only one who remembered those words.
And after that, when he left the system, was admitted to hospital and had his eyes blindfolded, even he himself had forgotten.
Only after a long period of darkness passed and he stood by the window watching the dazzlingly peaceful sky outside after removing the gauze over his eyes did he suddenly feel that something was missing from his side.
That was at the end of the year. He listened to the nurses nearby chattering about the liveliness at Saint Maria Square and that, other than that place, the other places were beginning to be deserted and closed as the new year was coming.
Outside where he stayed was an empty street corner. At times when he looked at it, he would feel that it seemed a little familiar.
A nurse asked him why he seemed to be lost in thought. He said it was nothing.
He just felt that he had seen a similarly quiet street like this somewhere. It was clearly still bright out but there was no one around. That time should also be the beginning of a new year and it was snowing outside. He strode though that snow to his place of residence and seemed to be……wanting to return to meet someone.
Fortunately, after going around in circles for so long, he still met him.
Please support the translator and read this from
KK has something to say:
They’ve all recovered their memories~!