Chapter 17 – Chen Dong
Back in the game, Chen Mo did quests and levelled up till 5am before logging off to rest.
Though the helmets had a sleep function, it was still in the testing stage and had not been released yet. There wasn’t a need to lose sleep over levelling up either. In order to prevent game addiction and reduce stress, GENESIS was only available for 12 hours a day. Players who exceed the 12-hour limit will be forcefully logged off after the time limit.
The time reset for Chen Mo at midnight every day.
“A life-like, new world!”
“A revolutionary game!”
“The holographic virtual network era is irresistible!”
While Chen Mo slept, a new day dawned and with it came a flood of headlines from the district’s major media companies. Everywhere one looked was an overwhelming barrage of news about GENESIS and the virtual network.
The launch of GENESIS allowed the public to have a deeper understanding of the allure of holographic virtual networks. People who had never gotten addicted to a game before entered the game, riding on the wave of novelty and popularity and became completely hooked.
GENESIS was another reality; a second world. Players experienced a freedom unlike the real world here. Though nobody was equal and money still affected the world here, they could experience a different life they never could in the real world.
As more and more people discovered this new world, their lives took on added direction and motivation.
However, there were also people who were unmoved.
Yu Hang City – Yu Hang University.
“Ruo Lian, here are today’s transfer applications.”
In the amphitheatre of Yu Hang University’s Computer Department, Year 3 Class 1 was doing self-study. Less than 10 people were present. The door opened and a clear and strong female voice could be heard from beyond the door.
A waterfall of long, straight ebony hair that fell to the waist followed the voice.
Almost all of the students raised their heads to look at the approaching person, many with a faint look of envy in their eyes.
They had already been in the same class as the girl for more than 2 years but every time they saw the girl they could not help but sigh. A person whom you would immediately envy on sight really did exist.
She had a head of shining black hair, skin as fair as white marble and a tall and slim build, a pair of peaks that was not terribly huge, but not that small either. Her eyes were onyx and calm and her gaze steady. She often wore a white shirt and black trousers but this neutral yet competent way of dressing did not take away from her unique aura. No matter where she stood, she would be instantly recognised. Anyone who had seen her once would not be able to forget her.
Her name was Chen Dong, the flower of the Computer Science Department in Yu Hang University. In the girl-poor Computer Science Department, she could even be said to be the greatest beauty in history.
She could have been just a beautiful girl with poise, but she was more.
Over the past 2 years, whether it was humanities, science, sports, professionalism, core modules or elective modules, she was always first. Second place could never hope to catch up!
Other than her stand-offish and cold manner, Chen Dong was the perfect human specimen in others’ eyes. Every time someone saw her, he or she cannot help feeling that the Heavens were unfair.
Chen Dong walked towards a person in the amphitheatre with everyone’s eyes on her.
There, was a girl in a white dress, sitting demurely like a lady.
But the students in the class all knew that she was indeed a lady.
Hua Ruo Lian – the Hua Family’s daughter. The Flowers Group is a super organisation that owns several well-known financial companies in China. The Hua Family’s business covered every corner of China.
It was already incredible enough that the Computer Science Department had a beauty such as Chen Dong but this term, there was Hua Ruo Lian too. This made the Computer Science Department very popular.
She was different from Chen Dong. Ruo Lian was warm and gentle, giving people the impression of tranquillity and calm. Everyone could not figure out why she would come to the Computer Science Department – a course of study that did not match her status and future profession.
“After we’re done with the transfer applications, we’ll be the only ones left.” Flipping through the applications, Ruo Lian laughed ruefully.
She looked at Chen Dong. “The Computer Science Department is done for. Which course are you planning on transferring to? You have high scores in your Finance and Administration elective modules and you’re beautiful to boot. You’ll be welcomed to any and every department no matter which you choose.”
With the emergence of the holographic virtual network era, the Computer Science Department had no more future.
Faced with Ruo Lian’s slightly teasing tone, Chen Dong did not even look up. “You say it as though you won’t be welcome.”
“Not as popular as you are. Especially if the people who admire you find out that you can play the piano like a pro too. Who knows? They might go crazy” Hua Ruo Lian shook her head.
Both beauties had their own unique allure. However, Hua Ruo Lian could never compare to Chen Dong in popularity. Her status as a daughter of the Hua Family had scared off countless suitors. There were many who liked her, of course, but none dared to stand before her and those who did were most likely only after her status.
So Hua Ruo Lian, too, sometimes envied Chen Dong. She knew Chen Dong better than most. In many peoples’ eyes, Chen Dong had uncountable good qualities but Hua Ruo Lian knew that Chen Dong excelled in more than her admirers could fathom.
Over a year ago, Hua Ruo Lian’s grandmother had an eightieth birthday celebration and Ruo Lian was determined to introduce Chen Dong to high society. She invited her to attend the event together. She was of the opinion that a person such as Chen Dong would become a member of high society sooner or later.
Chen Dong had tried to evade her at first but had given in in the end.
The Hua Family was large and complex and housed several factions. Hua Ruo Lian had many competitors in the Hua Family.
Hua Ruo Lian’s decision to join the Computer Science Department had sparked criticism in the family. Chen Dong was just a normal university student and the lowest ranked at the event; her being brought to this event immediately attracted the attention of Hua Ruo Lian’s cousin, Hua Ruo Yun.
Hua Ruo Yun was proud and domineering. She brought one of her friends over to Hua Ruo Lian and Chen Dong and scathingly told Hua Ruo Lian that she pitied her for stooping to making low-class friends, then told her own friend to play a famous piece on the piano, which brought thunderous applause.
Hua Ruo Yun’s intention was simple. She wanted to humiliate Hua Ruo Lian and Chen Dong. This wouldn’t hurt Hua Ruo Lian’s standing in the family but this competitive behaviour was the norm in the Hua Family and Hua Ruo Lian was used to it.
Hua Ruo Yun’s real target was Chen Dong.
Chen Dong must have a place in Hua Ruo Lian’s heart to be introduced to the Hua Family. This girl may have beauty and poise but she would surely distance herself from Hua Ruo Lian after getting humiliated. One less friend for Hua Ruo Lian was a good thing for Hua Ruo Yun.
However, when Hua Ruo Yun shot an uppity look at Chen Dong, she calmly walked to the piano and sat down, then begun to play the same piece that Hua Ruo Yun’s friend had played.
The people in the banquet had a passing knowledge of music and those who truly knew music were few and far between. But when Chen Dong started playing, they could not help looking.
It was the same piece but under the slender fingers of Chen Dong, each note seemed to touch their souls.
By the time she got to the middle of the piano piece, the entire banquet hall was silent. Everyone was listening to Chen Dong play.
When the song was finished, Hua Ruo Lian sprang into action. Before the first person in the banquet hall had gathered his wits, she had quickly left with Chen Dong.
For a long time after that, Hua Ruo Yun dared not show her face in front of Hua Ruo Lian.
Hua Ruo Yan smiled whenever she thought of that event.
Even Hua Ruo Lian had not known that Chen Dong had that skill up her sleeve.
She thought she knew Chen Dong very well but that incident showed her that her knowledge of her friend was quite superficial.
She had her own plans when she’d signed up for Computer Science but she had no idea why a person like Chen Dong would sign up.
Chen Dong could choose anything. With infinite possibilities for her to pursue, she had chosen the most unlikely.
“Hmm. Young Master Zhou has good informants. You haven’t been here long and here he comes sniffing around. That guy has been chasing you for half a year already; are you really not going to give him a chance? Zhou Yang isn’t too bad.”
An imposing figure appeared outside the amphitheatre. Hua Ruo Lian took one look and started to tease her friend.
Zhou Yang was the third son of the Zhou Family. He was one of the likely successors of the Yuan Yang Group. He was tall and handsome and said to be very loyal. In over two years at Yu Hang University, there had been no scandals. He had been chasing after Chen Dong for half a year.
“Ignore him. Help me get these transfer applications done quickly, I want to hurry home…”
Chen Dong was still concentrating on her work and had not looked at to speak to Hua Ruo Lian but before she could finish her sentence, Hua Ruo Lian interjected, ”yes, yes I know. You need to hurry home to cook for your legendary brother, don’t you?”
She’d heard this excuse a thousand times and more. Every time someone invited Chen Dong out, she would firmly say that she had to go home to cook for her brother.
She said that every single time and Hua Ruo Lian did not know if it was really so. She wanted very much to meet Chen Dong’s legendary brother but Chen Dong refused her immediately every time she asked for an introduction.
Hence, Chen Dong’s legendary brother, whom no one had ever seen, became public enemy number one of her countless admirers.