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“… Nice to meet you. Where should we start?”
Edward faced the camera and adjusted his hairstyle and collar. “Should I talk about CTOS first, or Black Nest?”
“Why don’t you start with self-introduction?” said Louis, who was sitting on the opposite side.
“Okay, sorry. It’s my first time doing an interview like this, and I don’t know how it works.” Edward paused. “My name is Benjamin, Benjamin Reynolds. I am a core developer of Black Nest’s CTOS system. Before that, I went to college for a year, but I quickly dropped out. I have a dog, and it is called Pudding. Uhh, not too long after that, I developed two programs with my friends, and I made a fortune selling them. The tech company that bought my software was a Black Nest subsidiary. After that, they wanted to hire me, and it was at that time I was told about the CTOS project. What they told me when they recruited me is completely different from what is happening right now…”
When Edward was being interviewed, Little Boy walked onto the balcony and saw Zhang Heng watching the night scene. “Z contacted me earlier. He has almost completed everything he needs to do in Hong Kong. After Edward finishes the interview, he can fly to Hong Kong right away. He will be safe until the incident is exposed.”
“Hmm,” Zhang Heng nodded. “I will send him to Hong Kong.” This part had everything to do with the success or failure of the quest. At a time like this, Zhang Heng had no intention to let his guard down, and it necessary that he went on this trip. After all, he’d overcome countless threats this round, and if something went wrong during the last phase of the plan, all the effort he had put in would be wasted.
Although, in theory, Black Nest didn’t need to kill Edward anymore after Louis sent the interview to the press in an encrypted mail, being cautious was always Zhang Heng’s way of doing things. Besides, Scarlet was still missing. According to Mr. Coffee, she decided to quit the game halfway. Little Boy wanted to say something, but in the end, all she had to say was, “I wish you all the best.” “You too,” Zhang Heng replied.
After Little Boy left, Leah came to the balcony this time.
“We have thanked you so many times so that I won’t thank you again.” Leah took out a USB flash drive from her pocket. “Hey, my brother asked me to give it to you. But I don’t know what’s inside,” she went on.
Zhang Heng took the USB flash drive and raised his eyebrows… because he heard the system’s notification the next moment.
(Game item – U disk found (unidentified)].
Between Scarlet’s half-broken katana and Mr. Coffee’s copper ring, he had obtained two-and-a-half game items when and combined with the extra 300 points he earned from finding the Easter Egg; it was a considerably good yield overall.
Other than that, Zhang Heng also noticed the proxy war mentioned by Mr. Coffee before his death.
Previously, Zhang Heng encountered a junkie in the Apollo dungeon. He could bypass machines and tests without assistance of game items, and although his ability didn’t affect the ordinary person, it was still considered a supernatural force.
Theoretically, those strange but otherworldly abilities were no different from Zhang Heng’s extra 24 hours.
This also meant that he wasn’t the only agent. The old man in the Tang suit reminded him to be careful of other agents when they met for the first time, and with the sporadic information that Zhang Heng had gathered, he probably figured out the purpose of this game, or at least the goal of the first half of the game. This peculiar game had been going on until now to allow people like the old man in the Tang suit to choose agents. Encountering players like him in the game, skill level, abilities, game items, and the character panel’s evaluation on his performance in each round tournament further confirmed Zhang Heng’s line of thought.
The so-called players were like merchandise displayed on shelves, waiting for the next customer to choose them. Zhang Heng was also more concerned about what would happen next. After every gambler at the table had selected their cards, how would the next game be carried out, and how would the proxy war unfold?
Four days later, in Hong Kong, Zhang Heng received a notification to complete the main quest. He had also officially confirmed that Scarlet had given up this round. So, he spent the remainder of his time strolling around Temple Street in Yau Ma Tei, getting a temple attendant outside the southern wall of Tin Hau Temple to look into his face.
The temple attendant was very well dressed. He had his long hair neatly tied into a bun, wore a long-sleeved attire paired with cloth shoes, and from head to toe, exuded a divine aura. Of course, he carried about with him a transcendental temperament.
The reality for many businesspeople was a cruel one, where they had a hard time keeping their business going throughout rain or shine. The temple attendant had spoken Cantonese for fifty years, but for the sake of serving a wider variety of customers, he now had to learn Mandarin.
He spoke about Zhang Heng’s career and marriage in an authentic Hong Kong accent, and although he looked calm on the surface, his heart told a different story. Failing to detect any micro-expressions on Zhang Heng’s face caused him a great deal of frustration. His tried and tested method wasn’t working, and left with no other options; he tried striking up a small conversation. After a while, he finally got to the highlight. Zhang Heng was apparently about to face a catastrophic event in two months.
Zhang Heng smiled when he heard those words, not responding in any way to it. When the temple attendant thought that he could only earn a basic service fee, Zhang Heng took out his wallet from his pocket.
The temple attendant immediately put on a serious look. “If you don’t have enough cash, Alipay will do,” he said, going straight to the point.
“Aren’t there only a handful in Hong Kong who use Alipay?” Zhang Heng asked.
“Oh, in the service industry, the customer comes first. Customers from the Mainland like electronic payments, and ever since they introduced Alipay, my customers have increased by half,” the temple attendant sighed. “Next month, I’m planning on using WeChat to help with my business. By the way, do you play online games?” “Occasionally, why?” “I can predict your chances of getting SSR characters… it’s cheap. It’s just two hundred dollars.”
Instead of opening his wallet, Zhang Heng gave the entire thing to the temple attendant.
The temple attendant looked hesitant, “Um… I said you would face a great catastrophe in two months, but you don’t have to give up on life just yet. Listen to me, young man. When there’s a will, there’s away. Am I not still here to help you change your destiny?”
“You misunderstood me. This wallet has no use to me anymore. There’s not much money left in it, but I brought this back from France. Keep it if you like it,” said Zhang Heng.
“This doesn’t sound right,” the temple attendant said cautiously. However, he reached out anyway and took the wallet. “Genuine leather?”
When he raised his head a few seconds later, Zhang Heng had been long gone.
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