Translator’s Notes: Had an exam last two weeks, hence the one chapter release. Things should be back to normal!
Chapter 77: Home
A.D. was an abbreviation. The more accurate description would be a game art designer.
It could also be comprehended simply as those who draw.
In a normal 2D or 3D game, there would be illustrations, there would be character portraits, and there would be all kinds of textures. For example, the creation of a single character might use up to several thousands of polygons. Although the created object now had the shape of a human, in an image processing program it was still displayed as clumps of lines, or should we say a complex polygon object. It was only after textures were added that this polygon object appeared to be somewhat human.
The source of these textures could be found on the internet, put together and polished, but to do it well one must polish by drawing with a pen or clicking pixel after pixel.
An art designer was also responsible for many other works. Art designing as a post was very tiring.
However, right now the most important thing was the meaning behind the term ‘art designer’ itself.
Yue Qiang could not help but think further with the term as the starting point, and the more he thought the more scared he became.
There was an art designer in this game?
Did that mean that every scene in this game was drawn?
They were not real? They were all drawn?
What about the people? A person’s face, a person’s body, every miniscule movement, and even a floating hem of a clothes were all drawn then? Yin next to him, Luqiu Ning inside the coffin, the out cold Ai Qian and even his own game character were all just textures?
The first thing Yue Qiang did when he entered the game was to research the game’s textures. He used a very simple method to verify this, and to zoom into the image. He got out of the room he was in and made his character crouch on the floor. Then he inspected the ground and was able to see even an ant’s nest. He could see the tiny insect swiftly moving its six limbs and transporting food. At the time, he already thought that this was absolutely not a game that could be created with just textures.
However, when he saw the ink marks stating ‘A.D.’ on the bamboo scroll, his faith collapsed.
All of these are drawn?
Yue Qiang subconsciously tried to touch Luqiu Ning’s body to see if it was an image or a corpse of flesh and blood that could be touched. Then, before he knew what his brain was thinking, he suddenly had the thought that he might as well touch himself rather than touch her. Therefore, he raised his hand and touched his own face.
There was the tactile sensation of flesh and blood.
Thank goodness, it isn’t a drawn image…
That’s not right!
He was touching himself!
Not the character inside the game!
He then touched himself with his hand again, then reached out to touch the display monitor. The monitor hadn’t been wiped for a very long time, and his hands were covered in dust after the action. It was a little dirty.
Yue Qiang stared at his dust covered fingers.
He zoned out.
This was the second time. This was the second time he noticed that he was ‘playing a game’ after he entered the small room. He knew that this must be the effects of the so-called ‘Soul Confounding Gas’. Rather than confounding him, the gas made actually awakened him and enabled him to think through the meaning of the word ‘A.D.’ with a slightly clearer mind.
If there was an A.D. in this game, then was there a screenwriter as well? There would also be a data designer, a planner, a tester and perhaps, even a… producer?
But this game was obviously an otherworld.
He could not believe at all that this game was just a game!
Also, what about his own world? What would happen to the real world?
At this point, Yue Qiang suddenly thought of something he should have figured a long time ago.
He could’ve chosen NOT to play this game!
As long as he stopped playing, the game’s blue progress bar would not have increased, and everything that happened afterwards would not have happened!
What if all he did was add that 8 Charisma points? What if he did not even click the ‘Enter Game’ button after he added the points? Then the blue progress bar would forever stay at 0. He could toss the computer into the thrash can!
Then, he could use these additional 8 Charisma points and live a beautiful life. He would be successful in every endeavor in the real world. What a wonderful scenario that would’ve been…
He should’ve known!
He should’ve absolutely figured this out a long time ago!
Yue Qiang wasn’t smart, but he wasn’t a stupid person either. It was such an easy conclusion to arrive at; such an easy decision to make. It would have occurred to any normal person, so why not him?
The critical point was that it never occurred to him. During the few moments he did experience such an epiphany, he quickly dumped all his concentration back into the game.
It was only at this moment, when his in game body had entered the small room and was assailed by the Soul Confounding Gas that he finally noticed these problems one after another.
He gaze finally left the monitor momentarily. He saw the phone he charged while his mind cleared up for a moment.
He had a thought that had no relation whatsoever to his current situation, but was absolutely normal to arrive at.
Perhaps, he should call back his home?
It was late at night outside, and his room was pitch black. The dim light of the monitor illuminated him. His handphone was plugged into the USB charger, and computer case was blinking in a way that indicated that the phone was charging.
He really should call back to his home. But would it actually be effective? He felt an uncontrollable urge to call back to his home, but he was stricken with fear at the same time.
He was afraid that he would hear a busy signal.
My real world… my real world…
Yue Qiang lightly pressed the mouse button, and the bamboo scroll displayed the few words as if it shared a mutual understanding to this thoughts…
“Your real world… I would like to tell you something about ‘your side’…”
Once upon a time, Yue Qiang longed eagerly for the answer. He had asked Luqiu Duanyi this question many times in the real world, but she did not tell him about it. He understood that she did not tell him to suppress the blue progress bar’s progress, and he did not blame her for it. He still wanted to know the answer, though.
Now he was given another chance, but he was afraid to know.
Contrary to expectations, he was scared to know the truth now that he was close to it.
It had been a long time, and he had guessed that answer. However, he did not wish for that answer to turn into the truth, transform into ink marks and appear on the bamboo scroll. He wished to hear a whitewashed, comforting answer.
Even though he knew that the Soul Confounding Gas in this place could cancel the imperceptible influence that he had been receiving, returning him to normal and making him think as a normal person and ask the questions a normal person should have.
He suddenly didn’t feel like asking.
He was afraid that his home would be gone.
The bamboo scroll did not answer his wish. The ink marks gradually unveiled the truth:
“Your real world, is not real! It has never been real from the very beginning!”
“From the moment you allocated all 8 freely distributed stat points to your Charisma, your entire life has changed!”
“Where you are right now is not your home at all! It is just…”
When Yue Qiang saw the word ‘home’, the tremor in his heart reached its absolute limit. When he saw the word ‘not’ before the word ‘home’, he felt as if something soft inside his heart had been stirred a little.
He roared out with the loudest voice he could muster inside the quiet, small rented house:
Then, he raised his leg in agitation and sent the computer case on the floor flying. He kicked it so hard that it was smashed into pieces!
The computer’s power cut off.
The sound of the computer fans stopped.
The electric socket let out a ‘bang’ noise, and spat out the electric sparks that indicated that it was now broken.
But the monitor was still glowing.
Inside the game, Yue Qiang trembled as he held the scroll.