Chapter 1: Number T-105
It was a calm and quiet night, or at least it should have been. The nights in the city were busier than the days. A good place to see this was at the city’s night market. As night fell, the rainbow lights flickered on, the hawking of various street vendors began to sound out, the smell of various snacks filled the air, and there was too much merchandise for the eyes to take in.
Among the hustle and bustle of the night market; in a simple, little, outdoor eatery selling stir-fry; there was a table of customers with a completely different atmosphere compared to the surroundings. They were three men with grave expressions looking somewhat indisposed. However, as far as the bosses of the little eatery, the old Wang couple, was concerned; these three were frequent customers.
The one among these three men who could cause others to raise an eyebrow was named Ye Cang. It was a fairly ordinary name, Ye meaning leaf and Cang meaning pale, but his appearance was not ordinary. He had white hair, white eyebrows, as well as fluttering white eyelashes. Even his pupils were a weird pink with a hint of red. His expression faintly showed some grief. He had a delicate face, a scrawny build, and fair-white but not sickly pale skin. At this moment, with one hand on his forehead, he gave a deep sight: “Considering our credits at the city college, our failed courses, as well as the results of the group combat test. Mm~. I think we should start properly considering our livelihood until the next test.”
Sitting on Ye Cang’s left was a big man in a tanktop with a crewcut named Zhang ZhengXiong. He had sculpted face with stalwart and manly features, an abnormally well built body, and tiger like eyes. It made people think he was a musclehead. Even though he was sitting, no one would doubt that he was at least 185cm tall. At this point, he nodded his head, casually looked at Ye Cang and said: “Bro, what’s your plan?”
The one sitting on the right of Ye Cang was a very ordinary looking youth named Lin Le. He had a sort of ‘eldest child from next door’ impression. He had neat and tidy short hair except for one bundle that stuck up and would occasionally sway back and forth (ahoge). He was short, around 160cm if you were being generous. His gaze made him look smart but it had a little dullness to it too. Hearing what Ye Cang said, he indifferently shrugged and lightly nodded his head to signal them to continue.
Ye Cang slowly put both hands on the table, his fingers interweaved. He took a deep breath, played with his clean white eyebrows and said seriously: “Considering our classes, we have to repeat so many that we’re screwed. We’ve also been disqualified from, our only hope, the group combat test. However! I still have a plan for our current situation. I merely regret is that recently I pretended to be Lele and gave his rich girlfriend a call asking her to provide for us and she refused. Therefore, it appears we have to use our Plan B: find a part-time job to support us until the next group combat test.”
Zhang ZhengXiong raised his head and felt something was wrong. He doubtfully pointed out: “Hey, bro. Wasn’t our Plan B to let our younger siblings provide for us?”
“Brother Lil’Xiong, what does it mean to provide for us?” Lin Le who was also involved blinked his large eyes and expressed his puzzlement.
Ye Cang and Zhang ZhengXiong looked at each other and sighed. Ye Cang gave a Lin Le a cold look and returned to the subject: “The next group combat test is in half a year. We need to make enough to live. So A’Xiong, you’re responsible for pushing the fried cake cart. Lele, you set up a stall and sell roasted yams.”
The two of them slowly nodded their heads. Zhang ZhengXiong thought of a problem: “Bro, what about you?”
“I’ll be responsible for supervising you two and to collect the money. Conveniently, I can help both of you stand guard.” Ye Cang said ruthlessly, not embarrassed about it at all.
Just at that moment, a clamor emerged in the night sky. It was the sound of the holographic commercial again.
The three of them simultaneously raised their heads to watch the dazzling hologram in the sky. Swords and magic interweaved, good and evil collided, countless classes and all kinds of creatures clashed in a battle royale, creating sparks.
”’* - Conviction’ will open at 9 o’clock. An unknown and mysterious new world is waiting for you to explore! Brave warriors! What are you still waiting for!”
’* - Conviction’ was produced by a coalition of game developers. Every country’s government came together to release a new generation, extremely lifelike, virtual game. One must be 18 years or older to enter.
A short moment later the dazzling commercial finished and it returned to being peaceful.
“Wow, it looks like it’d be so awesome” Lin Le’s eyes sparkled like a child’s.
“Bro, what do you think about relying on that and becoming professional gamers?” Zhang ZhengXiong murmured while staring at the hologram.
Ye Cang slowly retracted his hands from the table and leaned back on his chair. He closed his eyes, faintly frowned and pondered for not even a second. Suddenly, he nodded and said seriously: “Sure, then it’s agreed. Cheers! Wait, let’s toast together once Nana arrives!”
Lin Le happily let out a childlike smile and cried out: “Long Live Brother Lil’White!”
Ye Cang calmly smiled and pet Lin Le’s head. He raise his cup, the three of them glanced at each other, then they all downed their drink.
“I say, you three. You drank it just like that!? Heartless, didn’t even wait for me.” Just as the three of them raise their head from drinking, a rough female voice arrived. Although it was rough, it gave people a heart-warming, cheerful feeling.
The three of them simultaneously looked towards the source of the voice. She was in a black windbreaker that was worn-out yet covered the body, a leather top with a leather skirt, long fishnet stockings, and leather boots that were up to her knees. She had deep smokey eye makeup, and blood red lipstick. She was like a model wearing black gothic clothes. Both her clothes and her makeup were extremely gaudy. She carried a big guitar case as she smiled and walked towards the three. Everyone around looked at them strangely but the three were used to it, they didn’t give much reaction. This girl was precisely the Nana that they mentioned before. Her real name was Wu Na. She was a member of a band called ‘Falling Sand’ that was quite famous at LinHai city college.
“The band was busy today?” Ye Cang smiled looking at the new arrival.
“Mm~, we’ll be performing soon. Today we practiced a lot.” Wu Na shrugged. She set her guitar case aside and slowly sat down. She rapidly split open her chopsticks and hurriedly began eating the freshly fried squid. “I’m starving. Oh right, how were your tests?”
“Failed! Failed all of them!” Ye Cang raised his chin proudly and said.
“Same!” Zhang ZhengXiong slapped his chest and said with a smile.
“Me too! Me too!” Lin Le bounced excitedly like a kid.
“…Cough~ Cough~” Wu Na’s choked and looked at the three of them, her chest heavy. She then roared at them: “What’s there to be proud of!!”
Wu Na gave a helpless sigh sighed: “Then what about the group combat test?”
“We were disqualified!” Ye Cang said, as proud as before.
Wu Na rolled her eyes. She wanted to ask why, but, an announcement hologram appeared nearby and broadcasted: “This time’s group test, groups number T-13 and number T-36 have passed… and group number T-105: Ye Cang, Zhang ZhengXiong, Lin Le; these three people, due to excessively vile conduct, caused 3 instructors and 15 examinees to suffer mental trauma. They are disqualified from this test and have to retake it!!”
“…” Wu Na mouth hung open. What did these three bastards do!!? She suddenly turned her head to look at the three.
“Beautifully done!” Ye Cang raised both hands to high five Zhang ZhengXiong and Lin Le.
“…” Wu Na didn’t know wether to laugh or cry. She felt a surge of anger. All the bottled up anger exploded out: “You guys, what exactly did you do!? Also! This isn’t something you should be celebrating!!”
Ye Cang and the guys stared blankly for a moment. They raised their heads and thought back.
“I remember while we were at the third district’s riverbank barbecuing, some instructor Wang or something cursed at us, however, Brother Lil’Xiong beat him up.” Lin Le faintly raised his head and said after thinking back with great effort.
“Afterwards, we confiscated all his equipment. I recall it was Lele who said: ‘Let’s punish those evil-doers that bully us!’. Bro agreed too. We then made him strip, then tied him naked onto a raft, then…” Zhang ZhengXiong added in.
“It’s all Lele’s fault! He wanted hold a festival and make a wish!” Ye Cang exclaimed, complaining and interrupting.
“Eh! That’s how you guys humiliated the instructor?” Wu Na mouth hung open, these three fellows are really out of control. Her dressed up, slender eyebrows raised: “Wait! What festival!?”
“We prepared three candles, lit them, and wanted to put them on the raft. Unfortunately there was no more room so we put them on the instructor’s body. I made so many wishes. I even wished for world peace, wishing everyone can be forever happy…” Lin Le’s eyes were filled with hope. He began to recall the scene and his wishes. The three of them, hand in hand, seeing off the naked instructor Wang while making wishes into the night sky.
“However, afterwards, I realized it was a good opportunity to show off my great strategic mind.” Ye Cang once again butt in and explained.
Wu Na was already dumbfounded. There was still more. How much did those three need to toy with instructor Wang? She put her hand on her forehead: “There’s more!?”
“After that, bro used the floating raft and the electric grenade that we confiscated and made a trap. He put the grenade under instructor Wang’s ass and as long as anyone helped him, it would explode. It would use the moisture in the air and the surrounding river to paralyse everyone in a large radius! In brief, we electrocuted another two stupid instructors who tried to help him. We continued to strip them too and to confiscate their equipment, made another three raft traps, and it just snowballed like that. We followed the river and, in total, got rid of 3 instructors and 15 examinees before we were finally called back to the command center by a broadcast.” Zhang ZhengXiong proudly said, then put on a sympathetic expression.
“It’s a pity that they invalidated our combat achievements.” Lin Le unhappily clenched his teeth.
“Haa~, nothing we can do. Heaven is jealous of our brave and talented little squad. However, just wait half a year! We’ll be back!” Ye Cang sighed then faintly smiled. He wrapped his arms around the other two’s shoulders to console them.
“Definitely!” Lin Le and Zhang ZhengXiong simultaneously nodded. They had a resolute smile.
“Bro, next time let’s think of a method to bomb the command center.” Zhang ZhengXiong said in a bad mood.
“Exactly! They’re too hateful, calling us to the command center to disqualify us.” Lin Le said, fanning the flames.
“Hmph~, be at ease. This hatred, we will surely get revenge!” Ye Cang grabbed both their shoulders and sneered at the holographic announcement.
“…” Wu Na facepalmed speechlessly. Mother of god, was this still a combat test? Blowing up an electronic grenade under an instructor’s ass, and not only once. She couldn’t help but shudder. She who understood the three of them began to pray for the people in the next test. She gave a deep sigh: “Then what do you plan to do now?”
“For a period of time, we’ll be professional gamers or something in the new game, Conviction. See if we can make a bit of money while we wait for next years test. Oh right, Nana, you should join us.” Ye Cang’s words caused Wu Na to roll her eyes. Her heart beat furiously. Just them three and they wanted to march into the game and become pros? Did they think anyone could become professional gamers! Did they think the virtual world was so easy!?
Her head hurt as she weakly nodded while having second thoughts. She decided to just treat it as playing games together.
“Then good! It’s decided!” Ye Cang happily nodded. He split his chopsticks and the four of them merrily enjoyed their meal.
City college’s 3rd administration building.
“Haha~, this group T-105; Ye Cang, Zhang ZhengXiong, Lin Le. These fellows sure are amusing.” A middle aged, scholarly man in a western suit, who just finished looking over the combat test data, murmured.
Superpower: Not Tested
Evaluation: Doesn’t excel at anything. IQ fairly low.
Superpower: Not Tested
Evaluation: Body is a work of nature, blessed by heaven. He’s a genius among geniuses.
Superpower: Not Tested
Evaluation: By far the lowest of the low. No talent.
“A normal person’s IQ is 90. These three fellows are all below average. Especially Lin Le, he was clearly admitted through a backdoor. Oh wait, he was recommended by Song Xin? That’s interesting. And that Zhang ZhengXiong is a martial genius. Without systematic training or family inheritances, yet he’s strong enough to give an instructor trouble. As for Ye Cang, however you look at it…” The middle age man’s fingers tapped on the table. He slowly turned his head to look at the female in tight commander clothes, a professional ponytail, and an elegant oval face that looked exceptionally cold. Not one hair was out of place. She said in a somewhat condescending tone: “This group number T-105, all their power comes from Zhang ZhengXiong. As for Lin Le and Ye Cang, all they’re good for is coming up with these rotten ideas. It’s fine to ignore them.”
“Is that so…” The middle aged man smiled and stroked his chin: “So be it. Lets first observe Zhang ZhengXiong then. Look into his background. ‘The Five Schools Competition’ is coming up. We have Qin ShaoTian, Yang Huo, Sun Xue and the others. However, we still need more outstanding talents.”
“I know.” The woman with a ponytail gave a serious nod and turned to leave.
The man thought of something funny and asked: “Right, how are instructor Wang and the others?”
“The electric grenade have traumatized them. They are emotionally unstable. Seven of the examinees chose to transfer full time to the liberal arts department.” The woman didn’t turn around and directly left. She thought back to when she brought people to rescue them. The spectacular scene of a large number of naked people drifting on rafts. Many kinds of wails, crying out for their parents to take them home. Afterwards at the hospital, the trembling students and raging instructor Wang. Hah~, those three trouble makers.
The man took the hologram of Ye Cang, faintly smiled and murmured: “No outstanding qualities? Yet your scores are way too ordinary.”