Chapter 500: Million dollar prize, a nation drifts

Chapter 500: Million dollar prize, a nation drifts


“Hackers are destined for solitude.”

In the end, Little Zheng himself concluded the topic with this sentence. His tone when saying this was like Ouyang Feng in Wong Kar Wai’s <<Ashes of Time>>, muttering into the wind at horizon’s desolate end.

Tragic, bleak, and with the feeling of having seen through all with the cycle of rebirth.

Everyone yelled that they could not stand it.

Next, the conversation started to revolve around Old Jin. The male and female employees surrounded him, asking this and that.

These people had mostly had outstanding grades all along, having studied in a famous school or overseas. While Xu Tingsheng was legendary to them, it was not so far out of their understanding, because his deeds and his path were closer to their trajectories.

It was different for Old Jin. While one might often hear of the exploits of wealthy coal mine bosses, virtually none of them had actually ever met one before. Also, Old Jin’s temperament as an august member of that community was actually very intriguing too.

“Boss Jin, is it true that you never even graduated from primary school?” A young employee asked, her eyes shining like stars.

“Yes, it’s true. I’m the only person here who never went to university, right?” Old Jin laughed straightforwardly.

“But I can’t tell at all when listening to you speak,” The female employee hurriedly replied, “I really admire you, anyway. You’ve already caused my impression of mine bosses to change completely.”

Old Jin smiled and said earnestly, “Actually, because of our origins, most of us will inevitably become a bit arrogant after earning a bit of money. We’ll feel like we want to make up for our past suffering, those who looked down on us. So, it’s actually normal that society has such an impression of us.”

“Can you tell us about your experiences?” The female employees gazed at him, enraptured.

Old Jin smiled, seemingly liking Xingchen’s atmosphere a lot too. Compared to that ‘world’ he lived in, no longer was there that darkness, harsh brutality, treachery and distrust, scheming and deceiving…

“My parents died when I was little,” Old Jin reminisced, “When I was thirteen, I was brought to the mines by my uncle and auntie. That was a private mine. I still remember it clearly, standing by the side back then as I listened to them talking with the boss of the mine. They mainly asked just two questions that day."

“First: How much can this child earn in a month?”

“Second: How much will the compensation be if he dies?”

While Old Jin spoke very calmly, what he had recounted, these two questions, actually inflicted immense shock on all these privileged heaven’s favoured here. This was survival and life in its foremost, barefaced state.

“Can anyone guess how much the boss said they would compensate if I died inside that mine?”

No one answered.

“Three thousand,” Old Jin said.

Hushed murmurings resounded.

“My uncle and auntie nearly did get their hands on that money in the end. Not one month after I started working in the mine, I encountered a mine collapse and was buried. Just a section of the mine collapsed, actually. I didn’t die. However, the boss only organised the team to dig for a day. Without digging thoroughly...they simply stopped digging. Perhaps because it was only me and another person trapped in the mine at the time, he might have thought that compensation was more worth it.”

“One of my arms was broken. I used my other arm to dig my way out myself. There was also someone outside who didn’t give up, who continued digging inside...this was a girl who would later become the mother of my son, Jinshan. She and her family were in charge of cooking at that mine. She was two years older than me. Everyone else had given up except for her. With rain pouring down, bearing the risk of another collapse, she dug little by little from day to night till her hands were full of blood…”

“At the moment that the tunnel connected, I looked at her, and she looked at me. I said: When I’m rich, I’ll marry you. She said: It’s fine even if you don’t get rich.”

“Clap…”

“Clap, clap, clap, clap, clap…”

To everyone present, Xu Tingsheng, Hu Chen and He Yutan included, while such a tale was very brutal and fraught with hardship, it was just so romantic too. Thunderous applause now resounded…

“After I climbed out, that boss came to see me. He threw 500 yuan at me and asked me to come back after my hand had healed. At that time, since there just happened to be a safety squad at our area, I went all out. I told him: I won’t be coming anymore. Give me ten thousand. I nearly died, and there’s one dead inside...if you don’t give it to me, I’ll go find the safety squad and report you. He said: What, do you think they’ll do something to me? I said: I know they won’t. Still, you’d have to spend more money that way.”

“You got that ten thousand yuan?”

“Yes. I told him that aside from these two options, there was only one other way out of this, which was for him to bury me back in. He really dragged me to that abandoned entrance, wanting to bury me. I stood there and watched him filling up that soil. When the soil had accumulated beyond my chest level, he said: Get up here. I’ll give you your ten thousand.”

“I started out with that very ten thousand yuan. One year later, I had made my first million. I  returned to the mine and invited the boss to a meal. Then, I gave my wife’s parents a hundred thousand and took her away.”

Everyone cheered, filled with delight and really looking forward to what came next.

Old Jin looked at his watch and said, “Another time, perhaps. It’s almost time now.”

……

The open beta for Xingchen Games’ first online game, <<Crazyracing Kartrider>>, officially commenced. The server colours turned from grey to green all at once as they now opened.

Right after entering the page, one would be assailed by images of drifting karts.

Above the podium, one could see the huge words: Million dollar prize, a nation drifts.

There was a row of small words below as well: For more details, check the official website.

Shao Yanshan was in charge of this activity. He did not usually speak much, was very devoted to his work and also seldom interacted with Xu Tingsheng. Still, when he did speak, everything he said was of value and to be taken seriously.

When he had approached Xu Tingsheng with this proposal, the latter had nearly been stunned.

While the concept of game competitions did already exist at the present time, there were virtually no games that also organised single-event competitions. Xu Tingsheng, meanwhile, knew that even as Crazyracing Kartrider had leagues in his previous life, it also had the tradition of organising single-event competitions.

He had been going to propose this himself, but Shao Yanshan had beat him to it. This might be the acuity and insight of a professional elite.

“Give me reasons,” Xu Tingsheng had said at the time.

“First, the game will be very popular. Second, this game is itself very suited for such competitions. Third, this game will be even more popular with a competition,” Shao Yanshan replied.

The total prize sum on his proposal had been 500000. Xu Tingsheng had drawn a stroke across it and changed it to one million.

The words on their advertisement had correspondingly been brilliantly modified to: Million dollar prize, a nation drifts.

“At the end of August this year, a live competition right in Shenghai, splitting million dollar prize money. The first prize for team matches is 180000. For individual matches, first prize 100000, second prize…”

Possessing 180000 would already be enough to buy a flat in some places in the current era.

Xingchen Games was playing it very big here. There were those who voiced their approval as well as those who scolded them, but the topic...undoubtedly went viral. As this was a new game, it meant that everybody stood a chance…

Sitting in front of the projector, Xu Tingsheng, Old Jin, Hu Chen, He Yutan, Shao Yanshan and the rest watched on nervously but calmly as the server colours turned from yellow to red to an even deeper red.

At 6.30 pm, the first batch of servers for the game had all turned red.

At 7.30, some of the servers were crammed full as the programming team turned the queues on. 

Champagne bottles opened and at hand, they waited.

At 9pm, there were a hundred thousand people online.

Xu Tingsheng did not know what the statistic for this game had been in his previous life. In having proclaimed a hundred thousand in two days, he had actually been exaggerating a little so as to give everybody confidence. From his impressions, a hundred thousand online would be a considerable achievement even in post-2010 times.

Xu Tingsheng had not thought that in this life, bolstered by the user base of Weibo and Weixin, with the reputation and popularity of Xingchen’s two previous games...along with the collective propagation by online celebrities and the high-spiritedness from the million dollar prize money…

Within the span of a mere day, they had actually broken past the one hundred thousand mark.

“You underestimated us,” Shao Yanshan sounded a little gloomy and unhappy as he said this.

Still, Xu Tingsheng did not mind this in the least as he cheerily said to Hu Chen and He Yutan, “I’m finally gonna have money.”

The champagne glasses clinked.

“Then it looks like I’m going to have even more money,” Old Jin said.

Hu Chen, He Yutan, Shao Yanshan and the rest looked at Xu Tingsheng and Old Jin.

“The car has already been dispatched. Help us to tell Little Lady Boss later, Boss Xu...now, we won’t interrupt our two bosses as they discuss the prizes for our annual gathering.”

“Right, we trust that our two bosses will definitely live up to our expectations.”

They all left the meeting room, leaving Old Jin and Xu Tingsheng behind.

Deafening cheers could be heard from outside. Even though some people had not slept for two days, they had still climbed up onto the tables, jumping, yelling, hugging, hi-fiving, beating their chests like they were on steroids…

Xu Tingsheng looked at Old Jin.

Old Jin looked at Xu Tingsheng.

They were going to bleed here...

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