GOR Chapter 496

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GOR Chapter 496 Authority!

Zero City.

Part of this world’s… inceptive template.

Those words shocked Chen Xiaolian.

After considering it, he spoke up, “When you put it that way, you are Zero City’s main program? You… … are you alive? A self-aware life form?”

“No, I am just a program,” the voice replied calmly. “I have no self-awareness. I simply follow the command of the highest authority holder and am responsible for calculations, answering questions and operations.”

Chen Xiaolian smiled wryly. “So… … what is going on right now?”

“In the absence of the highest authority holder, I was operating following the automatic operations routine mode,” Zero City continued answering with its calm voice that was devoid of emotions. “Now that a higher authority holder has been found, the routine mode has been automatically stopped.”

Chen Xiaolian pondered those words before replying, “Routine mode… … is it the equivalent of a car’s autopilot mode?”

“Yes.”

“If so, this higher authority holder… you are not by chance talking about me, are you?”

“It is you.” This reply from Zero City sent a chill down Chen Xiaolian’s spine. “After finding a higher authority holder, I had automatically formed a connection with the template, operating while following the will of the higher authority holder. At the same time, routine mode was put to a stop while awaiting the higher authority holder’s instructions.”

Routine mode stopped… … Chen Xiaolian carefully assessed those words. Then, he asked loudly, “I was in a room in Zero City. The power supply to the room was suddenly cut off and I was locked inside the room. Even the ventilation was cut off. Are these all…”

“All of them are the results of stopping the routine mode. I had stopped all operations under the routine mode,” Zero City gave a clear reply.

Chen Xiaolian sucked in a breath of cold air.

He could sense that this… … was huge.

He was certain the his room was not the only one suffering from a power outage, rather… …

All of Zero City!

If that were truly the case, this would be huge.

He thought about it and asked gingerly, “So, what is going on now? I am the higher authority holder that you are talking about? Does that mean I can… … give you commands?”

A few seconds later, Zero City gave an answer that drove Chen Xiaolian mad with rage.

“For the first question, at present, I am in a shutdown state. After exiting the routine mode, all operations were stopped and I have entered a dormant state.

“For the second question, you do fit the template criteria for the higher authority holder.

“The third question, the present you still cannot command me.”

Chen Xiaolian kneaded his forehead. “You… … can you be more specific? The amount of information in those words is quite big and I cannot digest it all at once. What do you mean when you say I fit the template criteria for the higher authority holder and yet cannot command you?”

“Because you are a higher authority holder, but not the highest authority holder.”

“… … I do not understand!” Chen Xiaolian replied furiously.

“The highest authority rests in the hands of my creators,” Zero City said. “You are not.”

Chen Xiaolian thought about it. “Creators… … who? The Development Team?”

“According to your memories, the ones indicated by the term Development Team fits the criteria. Yes, the highest authority holder is the Development Team. They are my creators.”

Chen Xiaolian was silent.

As expected, Zero City… … was also created by the Development Team.

Add this to the information he received from Mr San in their few encounters, he was able to piece together a certain information.

Mr San and his group of Irregularities seized a portion of this world’s main program, gained control over it and used it to create Zero City.

In other words, Zero City used to be part of this world’s main program and was created by the Development Team.

Just like a slice of cake that was pulled out from the main whole.

“So… … what exactly happened? This highest authority and I…”

Zero City continued intoning in that emotionless voice, “The highest authority has been locked out and the port has been cut. Thus, the seat of the highest authority holder has become indefinitely vacant. At present, I can only recognize the second highest authority. You fit the criteria of my second creator’s template.”

“Second creators… … you mean the founders of Zero City?” Chen Xiaolian’s heart beat rapidly.

He sensed that… … maybe, he had come close to an answer to a certain question.

The creator of the main program was the Development Team.

However, the ones who created Zero City was Mr San’s group.

“The answer to your question is a definite yes.” Zero City answered the question casually. “The founders of Zero City possessed the same template as you. I have come to recognize this template as the second highest authority. Following your standard of time, the second authority holders has not issued any command to me for a long time. Thus, I followed my inceptive programming and automatically entered the routine operational mode. When I recognized your template, I followed my programming and automatically closed off routine mode and entered a state of dormancy… … that is the general situation.”

Chen Xiaolian carefully went over those words for a moment. Then, he said, “So, should I be doing something now?”

“You have acquired some authority. However, you are unable to give me commands that are too critical.”

“For example?”

“For example, asking me to enter certain working state or operational mode. For now, you do not have the authority over these. However… … you do have some authority.”

Chen Xiaolian’s heart skipped a beat. “For example?”

“For example, what you are thinking right now.” The moment Zero City had spoken those words…

Chen Xiaolian suddenly felt his body plummet down from his position in the universe.

The speed at which he was falling turned the image before his eyes into a white screen of light. Then, he fell onto the surface of a planet.

Looking around, he saw that he was surrounded by mountains and rivers and fog enveloped the distance.

He found himself standing within a traditional pavilion on a flat hilltop. Before him were a square table and a soft couch.

Chen Xiaolian was taken aback. He subconsciously moved over and looked at the Chinese chessboard and the steaming cup of tea on the table. Beside the table was a small stove. Above the stove was a red clay pot and steam wafted out from the clay pot.

Chen Xiaolian was dumbfounded. “This is…”

“This is a scene I obtained from your memories. Something you drew out and imprinted into your memories,” replied Zero City. “Following your thoughts, I saw that you liked this scene. This could be considered a preferred scene. Thus, I helped you copy it out.”

Chen Xiaolian revealed a look of shock. He slowly lowered his head and found that the clothes he wore had changed. It had become a white coloured Chinese robes. The sleeves billowed in the air as he reached out to feel his head. As expected, he found a hair knot on his head.

Chinese robes the colour of white snow, a remote hilltop, a solitary pavilion, Chinese chessboard, tea…

This scenery was a fantasy formed within Chen Xiaolian’s mind as a result of reading wuxia novels since young.

“It seems, all that is missing is a guqin… mm? [1]

As Chen Xiaolian was mumbling to himself, he found that there was now a guqin on the surface of the table before him.

He was stunned by this. Next, he moved over and sat down, both his hands pressing down on the strings on the guqin.

As his fingers gently plucked the strings, a deep and sonorous tune rang out, sending waves of shock into Chen Xiaolian’s heart.

Naturally, he was not knowledgeable in guqin. At present however, whenever his fingers casually plucked the strings on the guqin, a melodious tone rang out from it…

“This is?”

Chen Xiaolian pulled back his hand.

“It is automatically generated based on your consciousness,” Zero City replied.

“… … …” Chen Xiaolian abruptly stood up. “Enough, put this aside. You have surprised me enough.”

With a swooshing sound, the scene before him disappeared completely.

The traditional pavilion, the square table, the tea trays, the Chinese chessboard, the guqin… … all of them disappeared.

Chen Xiaolian found himself standing on nothingness. Nothingness spread out all around him.

Next, he found his feet upon a white ground. The ground was flat, without any gaps and was as smooth as a mirror.

“This is the minimalist mode.” Zero City’s voice rang out again. “It meets the criteria within your mind.”

“Enough.” Chen Xiaolian sighed. “Can you stop reading my mind?”

“This request cannot be achieved.” Zero City’s reply came as a shock for Chen Xiaolian. “From the moment you entered, your mind has become integrated. Thus, as of now, it would be appropriate for me to say that I can now understand everything that you are thinking about. There is no longer a wall separating us.”

“That… … is not fair.” Chen Xiaolian smiled wryly. “I cannot read your mind.”

“That is a protective mechanism meant for your sake,” Zero City replied. “There are too many computing nodes in my mind. You mind would be unable to endure the large amount of information within my mind. The moment a connection of that type is made, your mind would burst and you would lose all self-awareness.”

“… … well, forget it then.” Chen Xiaolia raised his brows. “Now, can I ask you a question? For example, what should I do now?”

“What needs to be done would depend on your objective. Your actions would depend on what your objectives and motivations are,” Zero City slowly replied. “From what I have read from your mind, what you urgently want to do right now is to find the answer to the question in your mind.”

“… … so, there is no need for me to say anything and you already know what I want to ask, right?”

“Yes.”

“If so… … answer it.”

“Yes.” Zero City’s monotonous and emotionless voice paused for a moment before speaking again.

“From your perspective, at a certain point in time, something happened. I was cut out from the main world and became a separate program. After that, someone cut and utterly damaged the port that connected me to the main program. Doing so was the equivalent of sealing the highest authority holder’s ability to exert control over me. In a sense, the highest authority holder became non-existent from my perspective. The reasoning behind that is because, according to my calculations, I concluded that the possibility of reconnecting the port to be infinitesimally small. Thus, the existence of the highest authority holder became meaningless to me.

“As for the ones who cut me out, they acquired the authority to issue commands to me. They could control and operate me. I named them the second highest authority holders.

“Following the question in your mind: How did they cut me out and gain the second highest authority? The second highest authority holders had deleted the answer to that question. Thus, I am unable to answer that question.”

Chen Xiaolian rolled his eyes.

Mr San and his group… … they…

“The second highest authority holders then transformed me into a separate program. I mimicked a major number of the main program’s functions, creating Zero City. The second highest authority holders called it ‘refuge’. That was my earliest name.

“After the refuge was established, there were a total of seven second highest authority holders.

“According to your memories, the one known as ‘Mr San’ or ‘Umbrella’ fits one of the second highest authority holders.”

Chen Xiaolian felt his spirit rousing.

Mr San was indeed one of Zero City’s founders.

“Additionally, the information on the other six second highest authority holders could not be released because their information had been deleted.”

“Deleted? Who deleted it?” Chen Xiaolian stared.

“The last person to delete it was Mr San.”

Damn it… … Chen Xiaolian rolled his eyes again.

“Why delete it?”

“There is no stored answer to this question.”

“… … …” Chen Xiaolian smiled bitterly. “Forget I asked. Just continue.”

“At another point in time, the second highest authority holder grew silent… … what I meant by that is that they no longer issued any instructions to me for a long time.

“The last one to issue me instructions was Mr San. After deleting some information, he switched me to automatic routine mode.

“Ever since then, the second highest authority holders all entered a state of silence. That is, until you appeared.”

Chen Xiaolian was silent… … a few seconds later, before Zero City could say anything else, he blurted impatiently, “Finished?”

“Finished.”

“That… is it?” Chen Xiaolian was unable to stop himself from going furious. “Those things you said, I had mostly guessed it on my own! Don’t you have a more valuable information or clue?”

“… … there is. In the end, Mr San did leave behind a voice message. The label given to it indicated that only the second highest authority holder may access it.”

“… access it!” Chen Xiaolian did not hesitate. After saying that however, he grew concerned and said, “I… … I can access it, right?”

“You cannot.” Zero City’s answer made Chen Xiaolian feel like slashing out with his sword.

“… … you!” Chen Xiaolian held back the desire to curse out.

Zero City maintained its impartial tone. “According to your mind, there is this analogy that you like to use: Assuming I am a house, Mr San and his group are the owners. As for you, due to the similarity in your template, you could be considered a relative with the same blood. As such, you are allowed to enter this house.

“You may rest in the house, open up the refrigerator and eat whatever is inside, control some simple household appliances…

“However, you are just a ‘relative’, or should I say, a ‘guest’.

“Just because you are allowed to open the refrigerator does not mean you are allowed to open the owner’s safe.

“This analogy fits your preferences. I hope you can understand it.”

“I understand,” Chen Xiaolian answered feebly. “This analogy of yours really does fit my preference.”

Pausing for a moment, Chen Xiaolian then asked, “If so, I believe there must be a way for me to obtain the second highest authority, right? Since my template is similar and you have chosen to recognize me, that means there is something I need to do to acquire this authority, right?”

“Yes, you need to go through a screening process to obtain the second highest authority.”

“And then I would be able to access the recording that Mr San left behind?”

“Not only that, you would also obtain the same authority that Mr San and his group possess. Meaning, whatever it is Mr San can ask me to do, you who have obtained the authority could do the same.”

“Then what are you waiting for? Come on! What do I need to do?”

Chen Xiaolian’s heart grew excited.

This is… … the highest authority in Zero City!


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1 Guqin is a plucked seven-string Chinese musical instrument.

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