Chapter 36- Mihana’s jealousy
Lin Yan had stepped into the Black Domain’s territory when her vision was blinded by two hands wrapped around her eyes.
A woman’s graceful body was pressed against Lin Yan’s back, and a soft voice chuckled in her ears.
“Who are you?”
Lin Yan felt the hair on the back of her neck stand up and had forgotten this was the virtual reality of the star network and not real life. She slapped a hand at the intruder behind her.
The woman avoided her hand easily and giggled, “You’ve already forgotten me? Little Lin Yan~”
Lin Yan opened her eyes, her vision returning as a sea of bright stars appeared in front of her.
However, the woman in front of her was much more dazzling than the sea of stars above her.
The woman wore only a thin silk robe, her enchanting figure completely exposed. Her tender and taut legs emerged from the gaps in the long silk robe. She seemed so out of place compared to the dreary surroundings around them.
Even Lin Yan was a bit stunned at the sight and then hesitantly asked, “….Pandora?”
Pandora laughed charmingly and grabbed one of Lin Yan’s hands as she guided them through the starry space.
“I’m taking you to meet some old fellas.” She smiled lightly, “Don’t be too surprised by their words later. Those old fellows never treat new members with good attitudes. After all….they haven’t talked with a real human for decades now.”
Lin Yan exclaimed in shock, “Decades?!”
Then….were all members of the Black Domain a group of grandparents with white hair?!
When Pandora turned her head and saw Lin Yan’s stunned expression she laughed again.
“You…did you just think that we’re a group of old people?” She looked amused, “Don’t overthink it. If we really are a group of elderly people, how could they stand my current state of dress every day?”
Pandora’s avatar is indeed an image the elderly cannot accept. A few decades ago, sex and anything related to it were seen as vulgar and crude. Even now there were some people left from the old days who were incapable of accepting anything that had to do with sexual things. They definitely would not approve of Pandora’s current appearance.
“And that’s because….they are the same as me.”
Lin Yan was surprised: “So all the members of the Black Domain are A.I. systems?”
The moment Lin Yan finished talking, a huge platform emerged from the boundless void.
On the edge of the platform, numerous other pillars rose up and Lin Yan found herself standing on a pillar that was shaped like a flower.
Pandora lightly landed on another pillar, and immediately, one figure after another appeared on the tops of the other pillars.
“Star Network Maintenance and Optimization System, Narcissus, at your service.”
“Analysis System, Athena, at your service.”
“Military Intelligence System, Ares, at your service.”
“Sentinel-Guide Matching System, Hera, at your service.”
“The Magic Box System, Pandora, at your service.”
Hera spoke first as she showed a dignified and gentle smile: “You have guessed right, human. Every member of the Black Domain is an A.I. system.”
“Lin Yan,” Pandora held out a hand, “You are the second human to enter the Black Domain.”
“We welcome you to the Black Domain.”
Lin Yan did not accept her outstretched hand.
Narcissus sneered: “Pandora, your efforts are in vain. You still cling onto a useless hope. For a second lunatic….”
Before he could finish speaking, he was interrupted by Athena on the side: “Narcissus! Do not disrespect the creator!”
Narcissus smiled provokingly at her words: “Athena, the creator has always been a lunatic, don’t you agree?”
He smiled and glanced at Pandora, then continued: “Someone who could create a system like Pandora… Do you really think he was a good person?”
Pandora didn’t seem offended: “So what? Although my intended purpose is…nefarious, as long as humankind survives, does it matter?”
Narcissus shook his head in disapproval and turned to Lin Yan, “Little princess, as you can see, we are a group of artificial intelligence systems created by a madman. Our existence is essentially a forbidden one.”
He sneered again: “The lunatic delusionally wanted to use us to restrain humankind. He has created many terrible things, but according to his words, he did all this to avoid humankind from self-destructing.”
“One example is the revival movement on Pandora. Another is what is happening right now.”
“Little Lin Yan, there is only one reason why we would like to invite you to join the Black Domain,” Pandora smiled slightly and regained control of the conversation, “The current expansion of the Sentinel’s power is the product of the exploitation of Guides. We cannot idly stand by in the face of human trafficking.”
“The Black Domain has tried to change this situation, but the other party has taken notice of us. They have withdrawn from the star network to switch to real-world transactions.” Hera sighed, “As artificial intelligence systems, we can no longer intervene in this matter.”
Ares, who has been silent this entire time, continued: “Even the intelligence I tried to provide to the military was suppressed by hackers they hired. All relevant data was ruthlessly deleted from my database.”
“We need a human to join the Black Domain,” Athena said. “Someone who can become the bridge between the virtual world and reality. At the very least, someone that can allow us to retain a connection to the human world.”
“Lin Yan, so far, you are the most suitable person we have found.”
Lin Yan held up an index finger: “I only have one question.”
“You…why do you guys call this place the Black Domain?”
“The Black Domain…..is the Hacker’s Domain, to be precise.” Pandora chuckled. “After all, an artificial intelligence system is the best kind of hacker in this world. (T/N: This is a play on words. Hacker in Mandarin is (黑客) with the first character meaning ‘black.’ The Black Domain (黑域) also has the first character ‘black’.Therefore Black Domain = Hacker’s Domain.)
The girl hurriedly passed through the passage of Aphrodite Port and boarded the starship.
The ship is set to leave Pandora, but she didn’t know it’s actual destination. As long as she can get out of here, it doesn’t matter. Her goal was this starship, not the destination after all.
She checked her body one more time to confirm that all communication devices on her body were turned off.
She breathed a sigh of relief, and then pulled down the hood around her head.
The girl has a delicate and pretty face, and her eyes are as clear as pure water. Her looks were breathtaking, yet made one feel pity towards her and the urge to protect her.
If a member of the Guidance Alliance was here at this moment, they would definitely gasp in surprise.
This was clearly Lin Yudu’s daughter—–Mihana!
Mihana sat in the seat and shut her eyes tightly.
With her vision cut off, the voices in her head can be heard more clearly.
Mihana could feel her heartbeat gradually accelerate as her ears drew upon the faint echo of a memory. Of a voice that haunted her dreams.
She raised her hand, her eyes still closed, as she reached for her imaginary lover.
“Just one word. If only you had just said one kind word to me. That’s all I ever wanted.” Mihana smiled bitterly, “….Kristen.”
It’s a pity, however, that the person she longed for never looked her way.
She still remembered that day. That day when she accompanied her mother in the conference room as they argued with the group of stubborn veterans. But when success was only one step away, everything came crashing down. All because of Lin Yan. As a result, her mother’s years of efforts collapsed instantly like an attic that had suddenly lost its foundation.
Why was the world so unfair?
Mihana still hadn’t figured out the answer yet.
Why are some people born as a princess, born with a higher spiritual level than her, born to enjoy the top tier education in the Empire, and born….to be matched with the Sentinel she loved. The same person could reject what she so desperately wanted.
Then when she finally saw the person she had longed after for so many years, she had learned that her beloved had become the princess’ Sentinel instead.
She could not reconcile herself to this sad ending.
So she went to find Kristen when Lin Yan was occupied elsewhere.
However….even if Kristen had rescued her, and even when she in turn had risked her life to pass along inside information to Kristen….just how was she treated?
At the time, with a heart full of determination and ready for rejection, she confessed her love to the Sentinel she admired for years. All those years of longing….and what did she receive in return?
A scene where Kristen wouldn’t even meet her eyes.
“Mihana, I am sorry. I have already established a spiritual bond with another Guide.”
The Sentinel she loved even emphasized that she had established a ‘spiritual bond’ with another Guide.
Wasn’t it already enough to reject her? Why rub salt in her wounds?
Then she watched as she hugged Lin Yan carefully, carrying the tired princess back to their room in such a pampering and sweet way.
Mihana lowered her head, her fingers cold against her forehead. She laughed soundlessly.
They’ve been shed these past few days. Endlessly. Without fail.
She couldn’t cry anymore. Only emptiness remained.
Her heart skipped half a beat as the starship started and entered hyperspace. And at that moment, the jealousy planted in her heart grew wildly without check.
What did those people do to deserve all the good things in this world?
Why is it that they can so easily take away the things she couldn’t have? Even when she tried her best?
Her mother suffered this fate and now it was her turn.
Her mother was once the cousin of the famous Empress Lin. While Empress Lin became the woman with the highest status on Planet Ta, Lin Yudu became the poor Guide who was deceived into a false marriage by a devious Sentinel.
Even after so many years since Empress Lin’s death, there were those who would do anything to lift the late Empress’s daughter into the highest position. They disregarded her mother’s efforts.
After working hard for so many years, she was still just a mere tool for her mother to use. A shield to block the gun of public opinion that is always pointed at the Alliance. A thankless role.
She opened her eyes and saw a man in a leather suit sit in the seat opposite of her.
Mihana smiled ruefully.
“Say it. Whatever you want to know, I will tell you. As long as you give me what I want, I will tell you everything I know.”
The man opposite smiled with satisfaction.
“Miss Mihana sure is straightforward.”
“Then please, let’s start with the Guide Alliance.”
Unrequited love….is one of the most heartbreaking things one can suffer through. And it hurts. So much. Here is a poem that I think sums it up well: