Chapter 161: Dispersing of Smoke and Gunpowder
Outside the gate and separated by a wall, more than four thousand people were cheering and dancing. Everyone thought they had succeeded but only You Huo and Qin Jiu had a poor expression ——-This was different from what they had expected.
According to their estimations, when the main control centre reaches 100% in damage, the building would be turned into ruins, leaving only the central control panel.
This central control panel is very solidly guarded and will only reveal a defence loophole during the last 1% critical point. If they could seize this opportunity to destroy it, the most vulnerable part of the system would be exposed.
It should be something similar to a microchip which is difficult to see with the naked eye. Looking almost similar to the thing that was placed into You Huo’s eye, it is called the system’s nucleus.
When they reach that stage, You Huo and the others would have two choices.
They could either use the self-correcting program to interfere with the ‘nucleus’ and force the system to become self-aware of its problems and fall into a self-destructive state. Before the self-destruction, the system would follow the rules and throw everyone out.
Or, they could wait for Team S to completely disappear, gain the master control authority of the system and with just one command, everyone could be set free.
But now, the main control centre was disintegrating, and they didn’t manage to get the master control authority or the nucleus.
The sound of the system sounded again. It crackled intermittently like it had poor connection.
【Warning! Warning! Main……..control centre has suffered irreversible…….damage. Emergency measures by Team S fail…ed! Head invigilator master control authority protocol has been cancelled. The authority will be fully recovered in ten seconds.】
【Main control centre has been abandoned……Self-cleaning program has started.】
【Counting down. 10—–】
This sudden change shocked the celebrating people. Everyone stopped in place and looked at each other blankly.
“What’s the situation? Isn’t it over?”
“What does it mean by self-cleaning? Self-destruction?”
“Then what should we do? Shouldn’t we get out first?”
Amidst the loud discussions, someone said, “Don’t tell me we can’t get out?!”
Those words were like a nuclear bomb. In an instant, shouts and exclamations erupted amongst the group of people.
With the systems countdown hanging over them, every time a number was said, the crowd erupted with chaos.
Please read this from kk translates
The sky was completely grey and yellow. Dust and smoke shrouded the air and outside this dense fog, there was something like a warning light flashing red with each countdown like it was reminding them of their imminent death.
Just as it flashed when the countdown reached its next number, the speaker rustled and another voice forcible replaced the systems:
【Boss, A, I am 154.】
The moment 154 seized control, the red light stopped flashing and the countdown also stopped. Everyone’s hearts were hanging in their throats.
For You Huo and Qin Jiu who were in the building, 154’s voice came from the main control panel before them.
“154? Can you hear us?” Qin Jiu went straight to the main point, “We blew up the main control panel but there is no nucleus. It’s empty.”
【I know. While the main control centre was being destroyed, I have been trying to gain control. I saw everything that happened here, but I wasn’t able to speak.】
【There are two things I want to remind you.】
【Firstly, not everything Team S has said is true. I took over the systems historical database a minute ago and saw all the data inside. As far as I know, the early invigilators are all real people entering the system which is similar to opening a connection point between the two dimensions with the help of the magnetic field and various other conditions. The system only changed its ways after that, especially after it went severely out of control, and only a small portion of them are real people, like you boss. Perhaps it was because the system realised that the disappearances were too noticeable and things like illness, shock and brain death were more normal.】
154’s tone seemed to hold rare anxiousness: 【So don’t believe that nonsense. I’m worried that the two of you would start becoming even more unrestrained after thinking that your physical self isn’t here. If you two die here, you’ll really die!】
“I know.” You Huo said.
In fact, half a minute ago, when he heard those words, he had almost believed it.
But just now, when Qin Jiu blew up those ‘screens’ and walked over to him, he suddenly remembered something ——- His earring.
If everything here was just a projection of his thoughts, it was impossible for the earring remain on his ears even after getting out of the system and returning to reality.
154 breathed a sigh of relief.
【The second thing is the systems nucleus. If it is not here, then it must be hidden—-】
His words were suddenly cut off. The red warning light in the distance flashed again and the systems cold voice once again took over the main position, continuing its countdown:
Before they could take in 154’s words, everyone fell into another round of panic.
Qin Jiu pinched the inner corners of his brows and tried to stay calm under interference of the countdown and chaos around him, “154 means to say that the system may have hidden the nucleus. The question now is where it could be.”
“Since the main control centre is getting destroyed, it must not be here. Where else could it be hidden?” Qin Jiu looked around, “What place can it leave it and feel reassured?”
“It should be a place that it thinks is very safe.” You Huo licked his dry lips.
Those small actions of theirs were enough to show that even they were beginning to feel anxious and nervous.
What is an absolutely safe place?
Either it is a place you will never think of or a place you will think of but would not rashly approach.
The system is to some extent very arrogant. It definitely wouldn’t put its nucleus in the corner of some random place. No matter what, it wouldn’t really leave the systems centre.
So where could it be?
Invigilator’s District? Rest stop?
Was there a place they wouldn’t dare touch?
There didn’t seem to be. Afterall, they are already crazy enough to enter this place.
Please read this from kk translates
Suddenly, You Huo’s expression changed.
The concept of ‘self’ reminded him that compared to the two of them, the lives of other people may be safer, especially friends and companions.
Friends and companions……
A burst of thunder sounded in his head.
At this very moment, the speaker rustled again.
154 once again gained control. This time he didn’t give any greetings and said quickly:
【Time is running out. We must first figure out where the system must have hidden the nucleus. In addition to that, the self-correcting program is with you. If it has hidden it somewhere outside the main control centre and you can’t reach it, you’ll have to—–】
He seemed to have swallowed back the words he had wanted to say and changed his words: 【I thought of another way.】
When he finished speaking, he didn’t receive the response he was expecting. The two people standing before the main control panel had suddenly fallen silent for some reason.
【Are you listening?】
“It’s in……” You Huo looked over at the main control panel.
Neither he nor Qin Jiu were distracted. They had just suddenly thought of the answer——-
Suddenly, there was some rustling sounds coming from the speaker. It was as if someone had suddenly stood up.
Then, a very soft female voice sounded nearby, “154.”
When she spoke, her voice contained some unconcealable shock but the next second, she was able to calm herself down. Seeming to have thought of an idea, she continued, “I have something to tell you.”
When he heard those words, You Huo’s expression changed.
He wanted to say wait. He wanted to tell Chu Yue not to be too rash. But the next second, the speakers had gone silent. Even the rustling sounds had suddenly stopped……..
In the abandoned hotel in rest stop number 2, 154 looked at the suspended broadcast before looking over at Chu Yue who took a deep breath and said, “The system’s nucleus should be hidden in me.”
“I was like A in the beginning and had something planted in my eye. You already know this right? I think the nucleus was probably hidden in there.”
In fact, for a long time she had felt that she was luckier than You Huo. They are both learning targets, and are special existences in the system but their experiences were very different——
The person the system’s voice imitated was You Huo’s, the one who is being watched 24/7 was You Huo, the one who was promoted to a high position and then kicked out was You Huo and the one whose memory and past was erased was also You Huo.
In contrast, she had hardly experienced much ups or downs; she hadn’t received any hurtful punishments and even the thing inside her eyes seem to be safer than You Huo’s. Once shut down, it didn’t seem to do anything anymore. It was so much such that, she would even occasionally forget that there was something like that in her.
A long, long time ago, a colleague once said to her: “You and A are clearly both Head Invigilators but why does it seem like it is more biased towards him? In all situations, it seems to be more focused on A. You seem to be forgotten and cast aside.”
She had replied at the time, “You got it wrong. I might be the one the system is more biased towards.”
She had spent a lot of time wondering why there was such a bias.
And today, she finally understood…….
Because the system had hidden its most important thing in her, and it didn’t want others to notice her.
It firmly believed that this was the safest place, because it was impossible for people to hurt her rashly. As long as A couldn’t do anything, the others are not a threat.
But unfortunately, it had left out one person —— Herself.
Chu Yue pointed at her eyes and said, “Everything they need to do have already been done. All that is left is this. 154, help me out.”
Above the wilderness, the countdown had stopped abruptly in the last two seconds. Even the dust and smoke in the air seemed to have stopped in place.
After a long silence, the systems voice spoke. The contents however had changed:
【Self-cleaning procedure interrupted.】
【Self-correcting program detected.】
Countless ‘errors’ were repeated mechanically, like an endless road extending out into the distance with no end in sight.
At a certain moment, this repetition finally stopped, and the system’s voice changed from its usual calm tone to a rough and distorted voice. It said:
【Self-check done. System dysfunction level S. Exam terminated.】
【Operated for a total of 6 years, 1 month and 7 days, with 26,921 reference personnel in total and 11,582 existing. All personnel will be removed from the system in five minutes.】
【Self-destruction procedure has started.】
The moment it finished saying this, a strong wind blew away the dust and smoke in the air.
12,822 independent examination centres began to fall apart. Everything that had happened in these places; life and death, love and hate, sorrow and joy, will no longer exist from this moment onwards but it will also always remain remembered by the others.
Some cried, some laughed, some were shocked, some shouted.
Chu Yue blinked a few times as she watched on. A strange darkness slowly enveloped her vision. In that darkness, she could faintly see a figure rushing over.
She remembered 154’s words from just now. Before he took action, he asked her, “Are you afraid?”
She had said that there was nothing to be afraid of. She had friends she could entrust her life with and they definitely wouldn’t abandon her just like how she will never disappoint them.
From here on, they would be free.
But strangely, it was clearly something she should be happy about but for a moment, she wanted to cry.
At the very end, she saw You Huo and Qin Jiu in the distance as well as the night sky that had appeared after all the dust and smoke had cleared. Stars dotted the sky and there were faint bright lights in the horizon.
This was something that could never be seen in the system. With lights from thousands of households, that was the normal bustling world.
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KK has something to say:
They’re finally out!!