TL’s rambling @ 26/09: Hello, I am current editing glaring grammar mistakes, awkward sentences and adding footnotes, so you might see some differences in the future chapters because i am not done yet!!!!
This novel has a lot of footnotes! please bear with me !
Chapter 1 : Ling Xiao Hope Project
In the early morning, the nearby summits were covered like it was submerged in midst of clouds.
Cape Park was stationed in between the mountain and the flat land. The rides within Cape Park revealed a little glimpse of themselves amidst the trees. This building had existed for 20 years, creating numerous parts of childhood memories for the residents of the East Sea City. At this time, there were few visitors coming in to visit.
Dragging his luggage, Duan Jiaze stood in front of the park. His sight left the ferris wheel and glided towards the yawning Security Guard Uncle before settling to the small zoo that was less than hundred meters away. His face revealed an indescribable expression.
Although it was called “Cape”, this zoo and Cape Park had no relation at all.
Duan Jiaze vaguely remembered that this zoo had not been established for more than 5 years. It belonged to the private sector and was named as it was to bring up the popularity of Cape Park. Just like how Peking University and Beida Jade Bird1 had nothing to do each other.
The local media had advertised this place several times, however, the business was just not good and there was no next part to it. People who went into this business were like Duan Jiaze, they had no experience and they accounted for the vast majority.
Looking at the surrounding, no staff were seen. The signboard was resting with dust, the big gate— which should not be called a big gate, was rusting. At the gate front, there were dead branches, rotten leaves and spider webs filled at the corners. This just portrayed poor business these two words.
While Duan Jiaze was in his thoughts, the signboard screw seemed to loosen, and with a “snap” it fell to the ground. Dust shook around making the scene looked even bleaker.
Duan Jiaze: “…”
In fact, Duan Jiaze only recently learned that he had a great relationship with this dilapidated zoo.
And this story started from half a month ago—
It was the graduation season, Duan Jiaze, who had just graduated from a second-rate university in the city studying environmental engineering did not do well in his postgraduate examination. As the employment environment was not good too, his career had no progression.
When Duan Jiaze went to university, he was a work and study student. He was constantly in a tight financial state. So, if he did not find any job sooner, he would have to resort to moving brick2 to survive.
At that moment, a lawyer suddenly contacted Duan Jiaze, informing him that a distant relative of his had just passed away. The relative left a zoo behind and had decided to pass the zoo to Duan Jiaze even thought they rarely saw each other.
As for Duan Jiaze, this was like heaven dropping pies3 down; this was good news. After ensuring that this was not a fraud and that he did not have to hand in any penny, he happily contacted the lawyer to inherit this zoo with the intention to sell it away.
—After all, he did not have any experience nor passion to run a zoo. However, if the zoo was sold, he could use the money to solve his living conditions’ needs.
The day at the law firm, after Duan Jiaze confirmed the documents, he signed his name.
After he signed, he flipped the folder and suddenly found a strange contract he had never seen before. It wrote some terms, something about Party B voluntarily joins “Ling Xiao Hope Project”, Party B is responsible for resettling the employees dispatched by Party A to help in the operations, and Party A will help Party B to expand the business’ scale.
“Lawyer Wang, what is this?” Duan Jiaze took out the contract. He could not recall how he could have forgotten this contract when he was checking the documents earlier on.
Lawyer Wang wasn’t too sure, so he took the papers and was stunned when he saw it. “I have no idea too, this is not done by me… This, this format is not correct, there is no official seal too, this is basically not recognized by law.”
Out of his occupation instinct, Lawyer Wang added that last sentence.
“Weird, where did this come from?” Lawyer Wang revealed a confused expression and went to ask the assistant who printed out the contract.
The assistant was stunned and said, “Did someone used our printer to print this and I accidentally printed a copy and placed it inside?”
He racked his brains and came out with such a forcibly reasonable explanation. However, he couldn’t understand how he, Lawyer Wang and Duan Jiaze did not discover this just now. He could only admit that everyone had suddenly became careless when they were checking the documents.
“Probably… Yes.” Duan Jiaze could only say so.
Duan Jiaze stepped out of the law firm holding onto a name card given by Lawyer Wang out of friendship. It was an intermediary that Lawyer Wang had recommended to him. The person would be able to help him with the sale of the zoo. Duan Jiaze planned to contact this person after he headed back.
On the street, there were a lot of people and very abruptly, Duan Jiaze heard a particularly clear voice. It was so clear like it came from his own mind.
[Hello user, do you want to download ‘Ling Xiao Hope Project’ App?]
Duan Jiaze was stunned and almost fell.
Ling Xiao Hope Project? Wasn’t this the words that had appeared on the contract just now? But the contract had already been thrown into the shredder by Lawyer Wang’s colleague.
Duan Jiaze looked at his surrounding, it didn’t seem like the nearby passerbys had heard this voice. In the bright daylight, he was so frightened that he was producing cold sweat.
This can’t be so spiritual, right?
At noon, the downtown was bustling, people came and went. The traffic was constantly flowing.
Duan Jiaze stood dazedly in the crowd, he wasn’t moving and felt a little cold.
After about a minute, Duan Jiaze’s heartbeat gradually calmed down, and the voice rang again, Duan Jiaze was once again shocked.
[No reply, has been downloaded by default—]
Duan Jiaze almost jumped and cursed in his heart.
What exactly is this black technology4? What is this application? Will this be downloaded in his mind?
Duan Jiaze waited nervously for a while, and there seemed to be nothing new in his mind. He suddenly understood and pulled out his phone. There was a new application in it.
Duan Jiaze attempted to delete it but to no avail.
The icon of this App was a cloud with a light blue background. It was named “Ling Xiao Hope Project.”
This technology was clearly more than what a prank game could do, but Duan Jiaze could not help but look up and around. He found a flower bed and sat on the edge. With quivering hands, he opened the App.
If the icon still retained a little aesthetic, then the App’s interface was completely “Leadership.”
What was leadership aesthetics?
That was to make the words as large as possible, the color should try to clash and be eye-catching. Red and yellow was the best colors, and for the best result, add a borden to it.
But these were not the main points, the focus was on the content.
The content of this App was very simple, so simple that it could be said to be crude. The background user had been automatically logged in, showing the name of Duan Jiaze, with several categories such as “My Profile”, “My Task” and “Animal Management”.
Click on “My Profile” to display the following:
Name: Duan Jiaze (Director)
Area: 40 acres
Duan Jiaze did not look much further, he scrolled down and saw an “About Us”, and tapped at it.
“Introduction: Ling Xiao Hope Project aims to support outstanding three-level youth entrepreneurship and will provide various support free of charge. Including, but not limited to, regular dispatch of employees, customized enterprise growth plans for the recipients after the recipients complete the phased tasks. After the development of hundred of years, Ling Xiao Project has been semi-automated, and the system automatically selects the contract and generates a growth plan…”
Looking at it again, there was a column that seemed to be “Contract Service.” He tapped on it and it opened up. There seemed to be two important terms.
“Terminational of the contract: Download the following application form, fill in the instructions and hand it over to Hope Project Office. The review period is 70 years.”
“Breach of contract: Thunderstrike.”
“Discipline: After the user received the task but did not complete the task within the time limit; one strike of thunder. If user has accumulate more than three penalties, the contract is determined to be breached.”
Thunderstrike? Is that the thunderstrike he is thinking of?!
Duan Jiaze’s eyes darkened and he couldn’t wait to get his hands on the the person who had designed this, shouting:
Hey, what kind of unreasonable system is this? What gives you the rights to choose me as you wish? Who wants you to help me start a business?! Why do I have to wait for 70 years to cancel the contract, and why is the penalty for breaching the contract thunderstrike!
And why does the subsequent punishment of uncompleted tasks sounds so unscientific? Won’t you die after being struck by thunder?
After a long while, Duan Jiaze gradually calmed down and sighed with his hands covering the sides of his head. Passersby looked at him with sympathy like this young man had lost his wallet.
It seemed that the zoo might not be sold off anytime sooner. He tried to change the owner’s name but it was not allowed. The system seemed to be very rigid and had been bound to Duan Jiaze.
If Duan Jiaze sold the zoo and lost internal control, he would not be able to do the task, and then he would be strike by thunder… Or directly judged as defaulting the contract, and receive thunderstrike… Anyway, his ending would all be terrible.
Just think about the bright side, Duan Jiaze comforted himself, if you don’t think about your original career’s goals, then this can be considered a golden finger!
Looking at how this Hope Project bragged so much and how its technology is so magical, so, according to this routine, if he choose to help run this zoo, this zoo will grow to a big business, and his life will be flushed with success… right?