The symbol of kingship, the "Pangu Divine Sword", which was fought over by players across the server, was abandoned at the foot of Wild Boar Mountain just like this.
Zhou Dalei felt like his heart had been stabbed with a sword, a feeling commonly known as heartache.
This group of addicted teenagers almost rushed to grab the police officer's mouse, but their remaining sanity kept pulling them back: No, it's not appropriate, we can't win, don't be foolish. Hold back.
The police officer pointed to the computer screen, where a wild boar was running around the glowing Pangu Divine Sword: "It's just a virtual item. I don't oppose young people playing games, but it should be done in moderation and with the right values. Let's get back to building a harmonious society..."
After half an hour of ideological education, their minds were filled with the two words of a "harmonious society", circling around in their heads.
Xie Yu was tired of squatting, so he took the opportunity when no one was paying attention and sat down on the ground.
Zhou Dalei caught this subtle movement out of the corner of his eye: "Old Xie, you're slacking off."
Xie Yu patted the ground beside him and said, "You should sit down too."
"..." Zhou Dalei hesitated for two seconds and chickened out, "I dare not. I'm afraid he'll log into my gaming account and throw away all the equipment I worked so hard to get. My fragile heart can't handle such a blow."
Xie Yu said, "What a lack of character."
After giving them an educational lesson, the police officer wanted to test their knowledge. He cleared his throat and asked in a commanding tone, "I'll ask a question and you all answer. What is a harmonious society?"
No one could answer.
They had just listened to a long lecture on the topic, but there was no indication that they would be tested on it. It was already an accomplishment just to have sat through it all.
"I-it...it...it is?" someone finally stuttered.
They repeated the word with fervor and emotion, but there was still no continuation.
The officer scanned the group and personally selected someone to answer. "What about that pacifist over there? Do you know?"
He noticed that He Chao seemed a bit drowsy, with his eyes half-closed. When his name was called, He Chao finally looked up and asked, "Me?"
The officer replied, "Yes, you. Answer the question."
He Chao had no idea what the topic was, and no one seemed to dare to hint to him. After thinking for a moment, he answered, "I choose c."
Because of He Chao's answer, everyone's self-criticism report increased from two thousand characters to three thousand.
The environment for writing self-criticism was particularly harsh, with no desks provided, so they had to make do with writing on their laps. Xie Yu placed the paper on his knee and pressed down a little too hard, causing the pen tip to poke a hole in the paper.
After writing a few lines, Xie Yu had to poke another hole. When he reached the second page, he finally became impatient and furrowed his brow, muttering, "Damn it."
"Take it easy, my friend. Keep a calm mindset," said He Chao, sitting across from Xie Yu in a rather peculiar posture while writing his self-criticism.
His handwriting was so wild that the words seemed to be flying off the page. "Life is full of unexpected challenges, but we can overcome them...oh, for f***'s sake! This paper is so fragile, it tore just like that!" He exclaimed as he accidentally ripped the A4 paper he was writing on.
Xie Yu looked up and saw that He Chao had torn the paper in half with his hand, leaving the content crawling all over the page. It was so messy that it made him doubt if he had ever learned Chinese. From the way He Chao was writing, it seemed like he wanted every word to be connected in one long stroke.
He Chao took out a piece of paper and placed it on the ground.
A young boy next to him was clearly impressed by his impressive calligraphy skills. He leaned in and stared at the characters for a long time before exclaiming, "How did you write so fast? What kind of sorcery is this?"
He Chao replied with a smirk, "I guess I'm just that cool."
Xie Yu chimed in, "You have quite the confidence in yourself."
Zhou Dalei, who was bored with his own writing, joined in the conversation, "Hey, handsome brother, I heard you're the boss around here?"
He Chao stopped writing and looked up. His collar was open, revealing a red string necklace with a simple round jade pendant. "Boss? Not really. We just met at the internet cafe and occasionally play games together."
Now that they had fought together and shared hardships, it seemed like they had formed a bond. But Zhou Dalei couldn't help but ask, "Did you also participate in the fight for Ziwu?"
"I'm not that idle," He Chao replied. "I spent three days guarding the hidden boss respawn point without sleep or rest. But buddy, I'm really sorry. It was my idea to begin with, it was just a joke. I didn't expect them to be so persistent."
He had casually suggested that they go and steal the Pangu Divine Sword since they couldn't defeat the hidden boss.
He didn't expect that it would actually give them a new idea.
Zhou Dalei was still confused, "So why did you come out to provoke us before the fight?"
He Chao said, "Since you guys want to fight, then you should fight properly, right, the atmosphere wasn't good enough. I just came out to adjust the atmosphere. Friends, I really didn't have any other intentions."
Zhou Dalei remained silent, thinking that He Chao's words were so weird.
Xie Yu said, "Truly, thank you for that."
He Chao replied, "You're welcome."
By the time they submitted their self-reflections, it was already evening. One person was writing particularly slowly, so they had to wait until everyone finished before they could leave.
"Only three thousand words can bring you down, are you still a man?" At first, He Chao tried to give him some guidance, but later he admitted that this person was beyond help. "You don't even know how to write a self-criticism. I was wrong, I deeply realize my mistake, I promise not to do it again next time, and then talk about your future - write, I'll dictate and you write."
Xie Yu stood by with a cold eye, watching as others finished writing three thousand words while this person only wrote an introduction. He didn't have as many words as He Chao, but he said a sentence that almost made the person cry: "Tell me, did you really finish your nine-year compulsory education?"
"Is everyone done?" The police officer who had just received a phone call and went out to handle something came back, holding the thick stack of self-criticism papers and casually flipping through them.
He said, "Alright then. Considering that this is your first offense, the organization has decided to give you a chance to reform. We hope that this kind of thing won't happen again in the future. Regardless of whether you are a minor or not, you must take responsibility for your actions."
Everyone chimed in, "Yes, thank you, Uncle Police Officer."
"We won't do it again."
"We will always remember the four core elements and eight basic points of a harmonious society."
"Okay, now line up in two rows like you did when you came in," the police officer said.
Zhou Dalei pondered, so they all had to leave in an orderly fashion? It was indeed a place that valued order.
Xie Yu and He Chao stood facing each other in their original positions - this person had put on their mask again at some point, only revealing their eyes.
After everyone had taken their positions, the police dropped a bombshell on them, leaving them completely stunned: "Our police station advocates for education through love, and based on the principle of love, we will take some targeted measures against you children who fight and brawl. For example, shaking hands, hugging, saying 'I love you, my friend,' allowing you to truly experience the meaning of the words 'harmonious society.' Children, the world is beautiful, the world is full of love."
Xie Yu: "..."
He Chao: "..."
Zhou Dalei: "...?!" Are the police in this jurisdiction too twisted?
It was 7 o'clock in the evening.
Xie Yu sat in the Lanzhou noodle restaurant, scrolling through his phone while waiting for Zhou Dalei to finish his second bowl of noodles.
"I swear, I'll never fight in this jurisdiction again," Zhou Dalei said, using his chopsticks to separate the onions and garlic, and stuffing the noodles into his mouth. "I'm too scared."
"Finish eating first before you talk," Xie Yu said, putting down his phone.
Zhou Dalei swallowed his food and continued, "I've been wandering the world for sixteen years, and this is the first time I've encountered someone like him - my friend, I love you? Can't we give the young people in the world a way out?"
This young man eating noodles became increasingly bitter as he spoke, and in the end, all his emotions condensed into one sentence: "I don't respect anyone, except for that brother in the station who had no shame. How could he be so skilled?"
Upon the reminder of this shameless person, Xie Yu's face turned slightly green.
Amongst everyone, He Chao was the one with the least psychological burden and the fastest reflexes.
He naturally grabbed Xie Yu's hand and sincerely embraced him, holding onto his shoulder and reciting the seven words "I love you, my friend" with full emotion. They looked like a pair of long-lost brothers.
The sky had already turned dark, and suddenly a wind blew in the evening, bringing some relief to the hot weather.
"To be honest, that Ziwu today, I really didn't care about it," said Zhou Dalei, his voice suddenly lowering. He put down his chopsticks and continued, "As you know, I'm not good at studying. Those textbooks just give me a headache with all that nonsense. My parents' barbecue stall may not seem like much, but it's actually quite tiring work. But what else can I do? I only know how to play games, and I'm pretty good at it. Maybe I could sell some game equipment... Boss Xie, do you think I could become a professional esports player?"
Xie Yu remained silent, just listening to him.
"Never mind, I just said it casually. Playing games, no matter how good you are, can't be considered a real job," Zhou Dalei grabbed a tissue from the side, wiped his mouth, and stood up. "Let's go, it's getting late. Hurry back and tell your mom you're okay. She's probably worried sick."
Zhou Dalei was usually a carefree person. To those who didn't know him, he seemed like a typical slacker with no ambition.
During his vocational school days, he pursued a girl he liked. At the time, the girl was also in her second year of vocational school and thought it was cool to have a friend from outside school.
But after the second year, she found fault with everything he did and thought he was a loser. She regretted ever being with him.
But the Zhou Dalei that Xie Yu knew was not like that.
"Do you like playing games?"
"I love it."
"Do you think you're strong enough?"
Zhou Dalei thought Xie Yu was just chatting nonsense and casually replied, "I'm damn good."
But when Zhou Dalei walked out a long way, he realized Xie Yu hadn't followed him.
He turned around and was about to shout, "What are you doing? Are you coming or not, we need to catch the bus!" when he saw his good friend standing ten meters away from him, saying, "I think you're capable of it."
Zhou Dalei was stunned.
Xie Yu smiled and said, "You're damn good."