1 Chapter 0 Prologue
It was noon in the suburbs of Zhong Zhou City in China.
This was a normal street in a what could not be more normal resident district. The hot sun scorched the earth, blistering the poor pedestrians on the street, causing them to curse and complain at the unforgiving weather. Though not a silent city, it was not as bustling and flourishing as the city center.
On the side of the street laid an unmoving body. The intense sun was like fire, yet he was clad in a body of black clothing. Under the scorching heat, the pure black face cloth was unmistakably immensely hot and the surface of the ground was also hot to the point where not one person dared to touch it. With such black clothing, with such burning ground, just the thought of touching either could induce fear. Yet this person had been on the ground for a whole one day and night.
"Why is he still here?"
"Probably already dead."
The passer-bys would only gaze at him for a brief moment, before hurriedly leaving. The majority living here were in the lowest caste of society, busying every day for sustenance. In this society where the human essence is inhibited, kindness to them is a worthless thing. At the same time, in this era, a person fallen by the roadside should not be saved, this unknowingly, had become a cold consensus.
TL: This relates to the culture of faking falls in China currently
"Mama, look, be slowthere's a person there? Is he sick?" A child holding his mother's hand said and pointed at the collapsed man.
"Do not get close to him, don't forget what mama told you before. Most people collapsed by the roadside have contracted ' Isrock ' and been abandoned. Do not get close or you will be infected, come, let's move further away."
"Ah!" The boy shouted with astonishment. His face revealed a terrified look and he took the initiative to hold his mama's hand and hastily moved further away, not giving the man another look.
Even a six or seven year old child knew to be terrified of 'Isrock'.
'Isrock', is a terminal illness that diminishes one's immune system and lifeforce. The only way to be afflicted with 'Isrock' was to be infected from a carrier. Its makeup is similar to 'AIDS' that was once common in the 20th and 21st centuries, but it is much scarier than 'AIDS'. The longest known survivor of 'Isrock' had lived only 5 years.
After entering the 30th century, mankind suffered retribution from Mother Earth. In order to fight for the gradually diminishing resources, dangerous wars were started and the world fell into chaos. By nuclear and magnetic pollution left behind by wars, the 'Isrock' disease was born. Those with weak innate immune systems with long exposure to the polluted environments would develop the 'Isrock' virus in their body. The appearance of the 'Isrock' virus signaled that one's life was nearing its end.
Even more terrifying was how contagious the nature of 'Isrock' is. It can spread through any bodily fluids...Including blood, saliva and even sweat… Thus, family members could only mercilessly choose to abandon an infected. Because no amount of money or effort could save an infected, keeping them on the other hand would cause more to be infected….
'Isrock' was like a terrifying demon that people are not slow in avoiding. It was also known as heaven's punishment towards humanity's crude wars. If it weren't for the nuclear and magnetic pollution, the 'Isrock' virus would not have been born. Therefore, under the whole world's cries and urges, the famous <Hundred Year Armistice Convention> that's known to all was signed by all of the countries. And the battlefield to solve the international disputes, under the convention, would be the second world that people had come to deeply rely on - the virtual reality game world.
The majority of the world voted in favour of having the battleground in the gaming world to settle international disputes. Thus, after signing the <Hundred Year Armistice Convention>, the development of the gaming world has reached an unprecedented pinnacle. Each country invested large amounts of money and meticulous training to refine the gaming world top gamers.
After the <Hundred Year Armistice Convention>, with the nuclear and magnetic pollution gradually decreasing, fewer and fewer people carried 'Isrock'. However this horrifying incident would forever be etched in people's heart.
And so, the black clothed man collapsed by the road, was naturally assumed to be a carrier of 'Isrock' whom had been abandoned, people pitied him but no one dared to approach.
"Big brother! Big brother, quickly wake up. You will be burned if you lie down here. Big brother..."
In front of the man, there was a little girl wearing a light yellow dress. She looked to be only ten with eyes beautiful like stars and a face as delicate as a porcelain doll. Anyone that saw her would halt in their steps and stare, wondering if they were seeing an angel that had mistakenly descended down to Earth.
The girl held a half consumed cold beverage in one hand and threw aside her umbrella that was being held on her other hand. Then, she lightly shook the unmoving man as her star like eyes were filled with worry and anxiety and called out in a tender voice.
Perhaps the man was only slightly unconscious and never truly knocked out. Under the call of the girl that wasn't too loud, the man's body moved lightly. Slowly, he lifted his head with great difficulty, revealing a pale man's face. He looked to be around sixteen to seventeen years of age with messy hair, cracked lips, his face pale to the point it scared people. He opened his eyes slightly, and cloudy eyes met a pair of crystal clear eyes.
Such pretty... eyes....
"Good good, you are finally awake!" The girl breathed a sigh of relief and beamed a happy smile. Looking at her flawless smile through his hazy eyesight, the teenage male was stunned for a moment. Before today, he had experienced a lot of cold stares and indifference that he had long since gotten used to. This experience made it hard for him to believe, that a pair of clean, clear eyes still existed in this world.
"Big brother, have you fallen ill? Can you stand up? It's hot lying on the ground... Ah, it's alright, papa and mama will be here shortly. They will definitely help big brother. Oh right, my papa's a doctor, he'll help big brother get better." The girl held her umbrella over him, covering his upper body, inquiring and comforting him in a soft voice.
The male moved his dry cracked lips, his throat felt like it was being grilled by fire. After trying with great effort, he only managed to get a word out…...
"Water...." The girl's eyes fluttered for a brief second then brought her half consumed beverage close to the male's lips, "I don't have water... Is this okay? Its cooling and sweet."
The girl carefully brought the straw to his lips, the teen used all his energy to take a deep sip. Instantly, a cold liquid - like clear spring flowed into his mouth. Slowly flowing through his throat, the liquid flowed into his body which seemed to have died long ago. At that moment, he finally could perceive the existence of his body, his sight had also become clearer. He tightly bite the straw that brought him back from death's door and his eyes stared at the girl that watched him attentively, unwilling to move.
"Is it nice? If it's nice then you must finish it all. If you want more, I can have my mama and papa buy more in a short while." Seeing him trying hard to suck the straw, the girls thin eyebrow lifted into two crescent moons and revealed a cute smile. This smile was instantly etched deeply into his heart... He knew, that in this life, he could not allow himself to forget this moment, even more so this girl.
Even footsteps sounded from behind. The girl turned back immediately then waved and shouted "Papa mama, I am here. This big brother had fainted."
A middle aged couple approached, dressed in normal clothing that showed that their family was not wealthy. Seeing the girl and the male collapsed on the ground beside, both of them were shocked.
"Ruo Ruo, get away from him quickly!" The girl's mom ran toward her terrified with a cry then hastily carried her away. The beverage in the girl's hand fell to the ground.
"Wuu... Mama, why did you pull me away, big brother is thirsty. He wants water... Mama, papa, can you save him? Papa, you are a great doctor, you can definitely save him right?" The girl struggled slightly in her mother's embrace before looking to the teenage male with a worried gaze.
"Rest assured, he has not been infected with the 'Isrock' disease,"
The girl's father is a doctor and coincidentally, he normally interacts with lots of 'Isrock' patients. After looking at the teen for a while, he knew the teen has not contracted 'Isrock'. After hearing this, the girl's mother felt relieved. She crouched down and gave the teenage male an apologetic smile. "Child, I am sorry. Earlier I was too worried about Ruo Ruo... What is your name? Why are you here? "
The teen moved his lips, after some time, he let out a voice with great difficulty, "My…. Name…. Is…"
What is my name now….. I don't know.
Because, I have already decided to forget my past name…. How I wish I can forget forever….