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Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations

Editor: Sulo likes this („ಡωಡ„)

 

Luo XiaoLou was pleasantly surprised when he opened the door with the communicator on his wrist. With three rooms and one bathroom, his new home looked ridiculously large. Everything was clean and tidy, and Luo XiaoLou froze at the door for a long time. Not finding any slippers, he walked in with bare feet. There was a master bedroom, a guest room, another room that had been turned into a study according to his wishes, and the kitchen and bathroom were not small either.

What Luo XiaoLou didn’t expect was for the balcony attached to the living room to be very large, about half the size of the living room, fully demonstrating the future society’s ample real estate resources. There were many flowers and plants planted on the balcony for aesthetic reasons. All-around and on top of the balcony was transparent glass, like in a greenhouse.

From the huge glass window of the balcony, he could see the sky full of clouds and haze from the gap of the tall buildings. It was an intense fiery red, beautiful and weird.

This was the place where he would start his new life.

Luo XiaoLou gave himself a pep talk, and then started to get to work in his new house as cheerfully as possible.

Luo XiaoLou went to the kitchen first, opened the refrigerator door, and took out a lunch box. He simply heated it up, ignored the taste, and made a quick fix for dinner. As for the potatoes, they had been placed inside the refrigerator as a rare item, good thing that potatoes were a food that were made for storage.

After fumbling to use the bathroom, Luo XiaoLou realized he had forgotten to buy clothes and decided to wait until another day to get what he needed from the online courier. Wrapped in the large towel that was in the bathroom, he headed to the master bedroom.

Lying on the soft, comfortable bed, the bedside lamp on one side dimmed as Luo XiaoLou closed his eyes. It had been a frightening and chaotic day, and he really needed his rest.

After a few minutes, Luo XiaoLou, who was about to fall asleep, frowned as something hard seemed to be under his pillow, making him very uncomfortable.

Luo XiaoLou couldn’t keep his eyes open, so he only felt along the bed with his right hand. Luo XiaoLou pulled it towards his eyes, heard a crisp sound, and then… 

He seemed to be falling down? Luo XiaoLou screamed, and when he came back to his senses, he was already firmly on his feet. His surroundings were white, and in front of him was a huge computer screen-like object that read: Welcome to the virtual interstellar network. This is your first time logging in, please enter your name.

Luo XiaoLou realized at once that the receptionist had mentioned something about a miniature computer in the bedroom, and it seemed that the cable was under the pillow.

Freshly startled, Luo XiaoLou was thoroughly energized and curious about the future of networking. He simply registered his pseudonym as Chushi, 1then adjusted his appearance and entered the network.

After a dazzling burst of multi-colored light, Luo XiaoLou found himself standing on a street.

Surrounded by pedestrians coming and going, there were all kinds of shops on both sides of the street. Luo XiaoLou’s mouth was wide open. This was simply a real world, and compared to the quiet world outside, this place could be considered having a sea of people.

There were information centers, places selling all sorts of things, real trading platforms, and online education areas. Luo XiaoLou deliberately made note of the neighborhoods with free education.

The place with the largest number of people was the training competition area. On checking the information, training various proficiencies in the network was sixty percent applicable to reality. Also, the mecha in the network were not as restrictive as in reality, so many people were keen to train for battles online.

Luo XiaoLou followed the crowd into an open battle hall, and listened to the people next to him. Someone was challenging Clouds in the Sky.

Who Clouds in the Sky was, Luo XiaoLou, of course, had no idea. He went in and immediately stayed there. Luo XiaoLou had never seen a mecha before, but that didn’t stop him from loving this kind of high-tech Gundam-esque thing. In the past, he had only seen them in movies, but now, he was seeing the real thing!

Since this future world had mecha, he might be able to touch it and even drive it — Luo XiaoLou’s cheeks heated with excitement at the thought of that possibility, but of course, this was absolutely psychological. In the online world, he was just a set of data.

Even though Luo XiaoLou was just an amateur watching the show, he could see that the difference between the red mecha and the white one was so great, the red mecha could hardly fight back. Both mecha were more than ten meters tall, but the white giant warrior was more agile than a human, carrying a horrifying momentum with each strike.

And the people around them were screaming with the movements of the white mecha, “Avat Arc Step! Wow, I saw that!”

“Fuck! It’s beautiful!”

As people exclaimed, within minutes, the red mecha was beaten to the point where it could no longer stand up, and the system ruled that Clouds in the Sky had won.

In the midst of the cheers, the white mecha turned away from the battlefield, and the enthusiastic people gradually dispersed.

Only Luo XiaoLou was so excited that he forgot about his plan — to look for information for online jobs — and focused on finding information about mecha instead.

Many of the materials on the Internet were shared freely, and of course, some of the more advanced ones were available for a fee, so Luo XiaoLou downloaded them even though he couldn’t understand them.

Luo XiaoLou roamed on the virtual network, but in reality, he was lying quietly on his bed, the necklace on his chest glowing with a slight green light. Luo XiaoLou didn’t know when he had fallen asleep, but when the computer decided that the human brain needed to rest, it would automatically disconnect from the network.

So, when Luo XiaoLou woke up again, the bright sunlight was already spilling over the big bed.

Thinking about what he had seen and heard last night, Luo XiaoLou had a smile on his lips and even ate the bad breakfast cheerfully.

Luo XiaoLou then looked through the stack of information that the butler Luo Pu had given him. He was going to research his education and his current practical hands-on skills, then see how he could find a part-time job or something.

Owning a mecha of his own and then roaming and fighting in it was his goal, but now he had to plan for his life first. Besides, Luo XiaoLou had checked last night, and the most common and cheapest mecha cost half a million, so he couldn’t get it in the short term.

With a pen in his mouth, Luo XiaoLou wrote out any useful information: Luo XiaoLou, male, 17 years old, secondary school graduate, genetic rank D, poor physical fitness, barely passing grades in theory.

Luo XiaoLou’s brow furrowed, it seemed that the original owner’s education was completely hopeless. Well, as a Saint Miro Academy freshman, that’s worth mentioning, wait, what’s that?!

Note for new students: Tuition is $20,000 per year for five years, to be paid in one lump sum on the first day of school. 

“Oh, no!” Luo XiaoLou groaned with his head in his hands, he should have read the admission notice first. The Luo family had only given him college tuition, and the money was probably still only taken out to better control him for five years. 2

Now what? With tuition fees unpaid, Luo XiaoLou understood that if he couldn’t get into Saint Miro Academy, he would never have the chance to attend another university.

Without a degree, he might not be able to support himself for the rest of his life in a world that was already completely unfamiliar to him. And the mecha he loved would probably only be something he would look at on the internet every day.

He could not do that, he had to raise the money within a month.

Luo XiaoLou calmed his mind, turned on the computer in his study, and started looking for job information.

Not to mention the high academic requirements, even if there were no requirements for advanced degrees, there must be corresponding professional qualification documents. Such as the most demanded job on the network, a mecha repairer, which required professional level 2 documents. Even miners, for example, needed a Class B driver’s license.

Luo XiaoLou almost cried; looking at each message that came out one at a time before closing them. Finally, he numbly clicked on an obscure job posting for a junior worker.

Contact person: Mr. Yang; phone number: XXXXXXX.

There was no salary or conditions of employment in this job posting. Of course, the senior technicians would never call to apply for a job when they saw the word ‘junior worker.’

Luo XiaoLou clenched his teeth, and decided that no matter what the salary was, he was going to take a look.

 

The next day.

The factory’s manager shouted, “XiaoLou, here are the parts you need to install.” 

Luo XiaoLou promised to push the transport truck brought by the management into the room in his heavy overalls. 

He contacted Mr. Yang yesterday afternoon with little hope. After asking him about his age and education, and whether he had a medical history, Mr. Yang readily asked him to come to work the next day. The pay was calculated by the number of days, two hundred federal coins a day, with a three-day probationary period.

Although his salary was not enough to cover his tuition fees, Luo XiaoLou was relieved that at least he would not lose any more of the poor money on his credit card.

When he arrived at work, Luo XiaoLou discovered that it was a mecha parts manufacturing and repair shop. His job, however, was to install small parts on an assembly line. After training, Luo XiaoLou quickly got up to speed.

His young body and his excellent memory made Mr. Yang, who recruited him, very happy.

The factory had dozens of workers, each responsible for a different part. He didn’t know if it was for secrecy’s sake or for some other reason, but each worker had a separate workshop.

While surfing the Internet yesterday, Luo XiaoLou discovered that he now had a surprisingly good memory, and there was another new surprise, even his fingers were very flexible.

It seemed that the gods had compensated him for this pitiful rebirth by making up for a lot of things, except for the fact that his strength was similar to the original him, he was much better in every other aspect.

It took ten steps to install each part, and Luo XiaoLou went from rusty to skillful, slowly becoming faster. In one morning, he finished installing the twenty parts sent by the transport truck.

Luo XiaoLou didn’t know whether his speed was up to standard or not, but he had done his best. Luo XiaoLou smiled as he returned from the factory, as if he wasn’t the same person who had complained two days ago about how the food was not human food.

After finishing his lunch in the workshop, Luo XiaoLou approached the manager and told him that he was done with his work and would continue to bring in the next batch.

The manager looked at the twenty parts for a moment, then asked, “So fast?”

Luo XiaoLou was stunned, then smiled. It seemed he didn’t have to worry about the trial period.

The management quickly took away the parts and then sent another set in for Luo XiaoLou. One set was twenty parts, and each person would receive the parts by set.

Luo XiaoLou moved his fingers and then began to install the parts with great concentration. As he began to immerse himself in this monotonous work, Luo XiaoLou didn’t feel bored. He found everything new, and as he installed the parts, he couldn’t help thinking about what principles he knew were being applied, and where these parts, made of unknown materials but with perfect curvature, would be used.

So much so that he was completely oblivious to the fact that there were two people looking in from the window of his room.

When Luo XiaoLou finished machining this set of parts, he stretched his back and stood up. The day’s work was done, and while it wasn’t too tiring, it definitely wasn’t easy either.

At this moment, the door of the workroom was knocked on twice. Usually, if a worker didn’t leave the workroom on his own accord, no one would disturb him.

Luo XiaoLou was stunned and said, “Please come in.” Mr. Yang walked in with his manager.

“What? You were looking for me?” Luo XiaoLou kept an unmoving eye on Mr. Yang’s expression, hoping that he hadn’t done something wrong.

“Haha, a newcomer, a newcomer. XiaoLou ah, I watched you outside all afternoon today. Your speed is remarkable. A newbie who is almost faster than an old employee.” Mr. Yang said with a big smile.

“I just try to finish what I can.” Luo XiaoLou’s heart was full of joy and his mouth was humble.

Mr. Yang looked at his newly recruited worker with satisfaction, this child was quick and industrious. Since the factory paid workers by the day, each worker was assigned to one set per day, and no one worked more than necessary.

Most of them were already at the limit with one set, and some of them were not even able to do that much.

Mr. Yang praised Luo XiaoLou with a few sentences, pondered for a while, and said, “XiaoLou, since you’re doing more, if I pay you according to the number of days you work, it is actually a little unreasonable. I’ve decided to pay you by the number of pieces, ten federal coins for each piece processed, and you’ll get as much as you work. So, your salary today is four hundred federal coins.”

Luo XiaoLou was overjoyed. He had doubled his salary!

 

And, if he could speed things up — he could easily pay for his tuition!

 

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Translator Notes:

  1. 初始=starting point. Like a new beginning.
  2. So if you don’t understand Mrs. Luo’s plan here, she gave XiaoLou $100,000 at the beginning. However, she also gave him the condition that he needed to attend Saint Miro Academy until graduation, which is five years. After paying the tuition for the five years, $100,000, XiaoLou will be left without a single penny. Mrs. Luo basically did this on purpose so that she knew exactly where the money would go and XiaoLou would not be able to use the money for anything else other than the Academy tuition.
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