Translator: Mr Voltaire
While it was still day in China, at another place on earth, it was completely dark. The creator of Mystic Moon, the largest virtual gaming company in the world, Cosmos Corporation, still had lights on in its headquarters.
The Cosmos Corporation’s headquarters’ security was incredibly tight, and many reporters who had been rejected countless times bitterly smiled outside, wanting to enter. Entering this place was even more difficult than entering the presidential building of a country.
Only internal staff could enter the Cosmos Corporation’s headquarters. After entering the first door, they had to pass through a facial check, fingerprint check, retina check, security card check, and biological systems check. If anyone tried to force their way through, they would immediately be electrocuted. It was more difficult than scaling the heavens for any outsiders to enter; at the very least, no one had succeeded, and those who wanted to bring in dangerous items did not even need to think about it.
As such, for the 1 year that Mystic Moon had been released, apart from the internal staff, no one knew where the main servers were, nor did anyone know the daily operations and processes. However, without a doubt, Mystic Moon was incredibly successful, and its current CEO, the godfather of virtual gaming, Arlington Smith, was given extremely high praise. However, Smith had appeared far less than before, and he had only spoken on television once, as if he had put all of his effort into Mystic Moon.
The security outside of the Cosmos Corporation’s headquarters was incredibly tight and rigorous, and bright lights filled the inside, as did the sound of machinery. The headquarters were quite large, but from the inside, it looked extremely empty. From the first level to the thirtieth level, there were only around 5 people per level standing in front of a massive screen, controlling various screens, devices, and keyboards.
It was just that if anyone came close, they would find their movements extremely stiff and their expressions frozen with no light in their eyes. They looked exactly like… robots.
If a single person was like this, perhaps it was because of tiredness. However, everyone inside was like this. Within the entire Cosmos Corporation’s headquarters, an eerie and strange atmosphere persisted.
At 12am, the rarely-opened large doors of the thirtieth floor slowly opened. Behind the doors were 2 short and skinny people with yellowed faces staring at a gigantic screen, both of their hands running over controls. Their gazes did not deviate from the screen at all, and it was as if they had not noticed that the doors had opened and that a person had walked in.
All of the lights on the thirtieth floor lit up, illuminating the person who had walked in. It was a short and skinny old man whose back was severely hunched. He was wearing a white Chinese-styled garment, and he wore a pair of white-framed glasses. He was so skinny that he looked like he was all skin and bones. This was especially so for his head – he simply looked like a skeleton, but the ancient eyes behind his white-framed glasses gave off a terrifying light like those of a venomous snake’s.
At the same time, the lights illuminated another elderly man in the hall. He had a head of messy white hair, and his face was quite gaunt. His eyes, which were once full of wisdom and intelligence, were hollow and lifeless. He was tied to a chair, unable to move at all. When the lights turned on, his eyes twitched as he opened them, and after seeing who had walked in, his pupils constricted, revealing an expression of deep fear and rage as he roared in his hoarse voice, “Y-You… what have you come for this time?!”
The hunchbacked old man unpleasantly laughed. He walked with his hands behind his back, his withered body looking like it could be blown over by a gust of wind. “My dear Mr Smith, I’m very happy to see you again; have you been well? There are some things I need your help with. No, no, more accurately speaking, I’m here to give you a big present. In a month, it will be your 80th birthday. Heheh, that day is truly worthy of celebration, heheheh…”
“You… What do you want to use me for this time?”
“Haha, it’s very simple.” The hunchbacked old man raised his white-framed glasses, his eyes giving off a glow that even a venomous snake would be fearful of. “I want you to make a media announcement telling players all over the world to break the ‘most logons in the Mystic Moon world’ record for your 80th birthday. I’m sure a smart person like you will understand and do it well, right?”
“No, no!” The hunchbacked old man’s words caused a deep uneasiness and fear to grow in Smith’s heart. He could feel that there would be terrifying consequences that might doom the entire human race if he really did this. His eyes widened as he desperately shook his head. “Keep dreaming; I definitely won’t keep working for you!”
“Oh? Heheh…” The hunchbacked old man sinisterly laughed. “Looks like you’ve forgotten about your cute little granddaughter. Since that’s the case, I’ll help you remember her.”
The hunchbacked old man flicked his finger as one of the massive life support systems at the side of the hall opened, and through a layer of glass, a 7 year old girl with golden hair could be seen. Her eyes were closed as she silently lay there… only her grandpa knew that she, who had been so lively and spirited, had lain there for more than 1 year.
“Tina… Tina!” Seeing the girl in the life support system, tears flowed out of Smith’s eyes. He struggled to reach out with his bound right hand towards the girl. However, he immediately closed his eyes – he knew what the Mad Scientist wanted to do, and he said with great pain and hatred, “Give up! This time, no matter how you threaten me, I won’t help you anymore!!”
“Aiyaya, what admirable determination.” The hunchbacked old man eerily smiled as if he did not mind Smith’s resistance at all. He glanced at the girl in the life support system and said while smiling, “What a poor little fellow. Since your grandpa has abandoned you, there’s no point in keeping you here anymore… hehehehe…”
As the hunchbacked old man gave a horrible, ear-piercing laugh, he flicked out with his finger. Sparks flew from the life support system, causing the sleeping girl to cry out in pain, her little face twisting in discomfort.
Hearing that cry, Smith felt as if his heart had been pierced by a blade. He closed his eyes as tears flowed down his elderly face. He clenched his fist, his fingernails digging into his flesh. “I’m sorry, Tina. Grandpa loves you the most in the world, but… but… grandpa can’t sacrifice the whole human race for you… I’m sorry, Tina… grandpa’s sorry…”
Smith’s voice was filled with pain and helplessness. If it wasn’t for his granddaughter, he would have long since tried to commit suicide over the past year. This time, he simply could not give in again.
“Heheh, this scene is moving to the point that I’m about to laugh. Since you’ve chosen to abandon your granddaughter, of course I can’t disappoint you. However, don’t worry, I’ll be merciful so that she doesn’t die immediately. I’ll keep her alive to the day that all living creatures on earth disappear. Moreover, while she lives here, every cell and nerve of hers will be perfectly stimulated by me, making her feel that death is something that’s wonderful; it will be to the point that she will think that hell is heaven. Hahaha, heheheh…” The hunchbacked old man wildly laughed. Every sentence he spoke, Smith’s face became paler, and by the end, his body started to violently tremble. Following this, the hunchbacked old man flicked his finger. “Now, my dear Mr Smith, have a good listen to your granddaughter’s beautiful song, heheheheh…”
The hunchbacked old man snapped his fingers, and the life support machine was suddenly filled with berserk electricity.
The instant that the electricity appeared, a horrifying shriek came from the girl’s mouth. This scream seemed like it came from hell, and it was so horrifying that no one would be able to listen to it. One could only imagine what sort of pain the owner of this voice was in.
Smith’s face became completely pale. He squeezed his eyes shut, his face twisting until it looked terrifying. The screams persisted, but she had become hoarse. Hearing the voice, Smith felt as if his heart was being torn to pieces, and the scream was so piercing that even the air trembled.
“No… stop! Stop it!! I’ll do it… I’ll do anything! Stop torturing my Tina!”
In just a few seconds, the hellish screams caused Smith’s determination to completely crumble. If the one being tortured was himself, even if it was 10 times worse, he would not have given in. However, the one suffering was his innocent and cute granddaughter who he loved with all his heart…
“Oh? How can that be? Surely your granddaughter isn’t as important as the entire human race. How can you doom the entire human race for your granddaughter? You should know what a catastrophe you’re pushing the world into.” The hunchbacked old man eerily smiled, his eyes filled with delight and vindictiveness.
“Stop!! Hurry up and stop! I’ll do whatever you say… I’ll follow your commands… just stop… I beg you, just stop!!”
Every second he listened to his granddaughter scream, the pain in his heart increased by many times. He desperately struggled and pleaded, falling with the chair right in front of the hunchbacked old man. He rapidly banged his head against the ground, his face covered with tears as he pleaded, “Please… stop… I’ll do whatever you say… please…”
“My dear Mr Smith, I’m starting to like you more and more.” The hunchbacked old man gave an ugly smile and snapped his fingers, causing the electricity within the life support machine to disappear. The girl finally stopped screaming, and she weakly fell silent again.
“I hope our cooperation will be just as enjoyable as before.”
Smith’s body was covered with sweat, and he lay on the ground, feeling completely spent. Even though it was not him who had been tortured, he could not take the psychological torture of hearing his granddaughter screaming like that. After a while, he finally said hoarsely, “You can… turn me into a puppet like them… and make me do anything… so why… must you do this…”
“Heheh,” The hunchbacked old man laughed. “Puppets are indeed the most obedient things in the world, but if they’re too obedient, they become boring. However, having someone who hates my guts to the point that they want to rip me to shreds while still having to obediently do things that they would rather die than do… making them feel furious, helpless, and despair to the point that they want to die… heheh, do you know what a wonderful feeling that is? Heheheh…”
“Y-You… You demon! Madman!”
“Oh! Thank you for your praises; I’m indeed the world’s greatest madman, heheheh… now, you have 24 hours to think about how you can do this perfectly. If you disappoint me, the consequences won’t be good.”
Smith’s eyes widened, and his body spasmed before he fainted.
The hunchbacked old man turned around, his skeleton-like head slightly raised. “The Mystic Moon Plan has finally reached its conclusion; in 1 month, it will be the beginning of the end. Even though I wanted to play for a few more years, since King gave the order, I’ll have to speed up this poor planet’s apocalypse.”
The hunchbacked old man took a few steps forwards to the people who were controlling the screen. He swept his eyes over the screen, on which there was a big patch of blue, as well as a crescent-moon shaped object on the patch of blue. There were gaps within the crescent moon, and was made up of different colours, looking quite complex. This was evidently a map of the Mystic Moon world!
The hunchbacked old man’s gaze fell on the region with the darkest colour within the crescent moon, speaking in a sinister voice, “Forgotten Continent? It’s that place they call China. This place’s overall strength has surpassed all of the other regions by so much, causing the perfect world I created to become unbalanced! It’s simply destroying my perfect creation!”
“Since that’s the case, I’ll personally create a lovable disease and spread it on that region, heheheheh…”
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