Chapter 1: A Game of Prestige [1]

----- This translation belongs to konila.com -----

----- THIS TRANSLATION BELONGS TO konila.com -----

----- This translation belongs to konila.com -----

----- This translation belongs to konila.com -----

The ruckus outside had come to an end when Qi Wang finally woke up. What was left in its wake was only a cacophony of leaving footsteps before silence pervaded once more.

Qi Wang lifted a hand over his brows to rub at his temple as he panned his gaze to take in the view of the lavish furnishing of his deluxe hospital suite. His eyelids closed gently to focus on recollecting his thoughts.

It was 2008 – the year where the opening ceremony of the Olympics had just begun.

Enter Original 1: the first Qi Wang whose body he had just assumed. Original 1 came from a farming village somewhere far North-west. With three sisters that preceded him, he was the youngest son of the family. Scoring excellent results in his studies, he was accepted into Green Oak University at the capital.

He was always in no two minds in his goals. Through his determination and grit, he got himself into the prestigious Green Oak University and that taste of success hardly waned his conviction and he held on, keeping his focus on his studies with bookish tenacity, until one day, in an accident, he rescued the beautiful daughter of a wealthy family, Qi Qiuyu.

It was love at first sight for Qi Qiuyu, who became smitten with his dashing good looks. Thus began her relentless pursuit of him until her sincerity finally moved him and melted his stoic heart, and four years later, he got married to Qi Qiuyu.

In the eyes of bystanders, he was nothing but a man who reached his heights through the good graces of his wife. Without Qi Qiuyu, he would never have risen to the ranks of the upper class. As if anything worse could be said of him. Yet, if anything, he was hardly troubled nor overwhelmed by the naysayers, much to his wife’s guilt, and he lived like the man he was and the man he became: a man of strict discipline.

Even after his nuptials with Qi Qiuyu, he saw no reason to discontinue his studies. He graduated with a degree from Green Oak and stayed on to further his learning.

But as how all good things must come to an end and how uncertain Life and Death could be, he was only just waiting for his graduation when Qi Qiuyu’s parents perished in an automobile accident and they could not be saved.

The deaths of Qi Qiuyu’s parents struck a heavy blow to the Qi Group and Qi Qiuyu, never before navigated the choppy rapids of boardroom politics, could barely hold off the hungry wolves now circling around her and what remained of the company. With the utter existence of the whole Qi Group hanging by a thread, he appeared. He made a shocking, if not critical, decision that saw his studies cut short and entered the Qi Group, presiding the board as the husband of Qi Qiuyu, the heir to the Group, and secured the reins of the entire business empire in his hands.

With an impeccable and remarkable flair for business, he propelled the Qi Group up to become the mightiest business entity in their line, and following a few years, not without his hard work, the Qi Group turned into a behemothic business group with the Qis now among the great houses in the area.

It became a perfect life for him. At least until his only son with Qi Qiuyu, Qi Ze got involved with his own adopted half-sister, Qi Xiaoyu.

The birth of Qi Ze took a great toll upon Qi Qiuyu’s health. But she loved children dearly. So when Qi Ze was still two, the husband and wife adopted Qi Xiaoyu from an orphanage.

Qi Ze and Qi Xiaoyu were too young to know anything, growing up not knowing that they did not share the same blood. They became so close and intimate, that one day when Qi Xiaoyu was nineteen, Qi Ze suddenly announced his intentions to spend the rest of his life with Xiaoyu.

It was a decision their father could hardly believe nor accept, and unsurprisingly, he disapproved of it strongly.

Little did he realize that his forceful opposition would spark the downward spiral of his life.

Qi Qiuyu, the love of his life and his wife for decades, suddenly demanded a divorce, citing the crumbling of their relationship.

 Qi Ze and Qi Xiaoyu immediately took her side, supporting their mother’s decision for a divorce. Even Bai Qiujiang, his most trusted subordinate, had to agree that he should let her go since Qi Qiuyu no longer held any love for him.

Wanting to seek reconciliation, he tried to talk to Qi Qiuyu to try to mend things. But that did not improve things any better. The usually soft-spoken and persuadable wife he once had, Qi Qiuyu turned strangely stubborn and irascible, insisting on the divorce, and to quash any effort to repair their relationship, she found the best attorney in solving divorce disputes to expedite the matter.

Qi Qiuyu petitioned to court for the divorce.

Right after that, Qi Qiuyu, as the largest stakeholder of the Qi Group, forced a shareholder meeting to sack him from his position as President of the Group, accusing him of having caused losses of astronomical amounts.

Only then did he realize that someone had, under his name, purchased a tract of land somewhere East of downtown to develop it into a residential estate. But during construction, they uncovered an ancient tomb underneath and this caused the sudden cease and desist of the whole building project and culminating in a several-billion deficit in the company’s finances.

With this as pretense, Qi Qiuyu not only sacked him from his position as President but also booted him out of the board of directors.

Qi Qiuyu’s ruthless coup came piecemeal steps – each destructive, clockwork, and vicious – to erode his influence and power within the company. Following his expulsion from the board, she called him, asking for a talk only to get him drunk. Then she called several prostitutes to have him photographed with them in several compromising positions. The photos were then leaked to the press.

By the time he woke up, the once high-and-mighty savior and President of the Qi Group had fallen from grace and became as hated as a rabid rodent by the streets.

Qi Qiuyu held a press conference to accuse him of being unfaithful and ill-tempered, denouncing him as a husband who inflicts violence at home. The presence of Qi Ze and Qi Xiaoyu by her side hardly helped; they showed to the press various bruises and lacerations, alleging that they were caused by their father and further proving Qi Qiuyu’s charges.

For all the glory and fame he once enjoyed as President of the Qi Group, everything vanished with a puff of brimstone like a magician’s trick. Being labeled an abusive husband and father, coupled with his history as a farmhouse country boy, turned him into the most hated man in town who had relied on his wife’s wealth and fortune to achieve success, only to treat her with malevolence and cruelty later.

With his life now turned into a latter-day reenactment of the Scarlet Letter, so came to an ultimate end his marriage to Qi Qiuyu.

His misfortune only seemed to pile when he discovered following his divorce that he has virtually nothing – no properties to own and the cash in his bank account mysteriously vanished. All that remained to line his pockets were the five hundred-dollar banknotes and nothing else.

He could not understand the sudden change in Qi Qiuyu’s behavior and temperament. How could she have changed so much so suddenly? He had never done anything unfaithful to her and after so many years of marriage, he had never once refused her anything nor contradicted her before, save for one thing – Qi Ze’s and Qi Xiaoyu’s engagement.

Just because of this? And for this, Qi Qiuyu wishes to ruin him utterly?

Not until a half-year later, when he was watching TV, did he finally know why.

When he saw Qi Qiuyu walking down the aisle for the second time in her life, her arm curled around the elbow of his former subordinate Bai Qiujiang and gave to him the reins to the Qi Group.

He stared with his eyes devoid of life how Qi Ze and Qi Xiaoyu, both serving as best man and bridesmaid, so easily and flippantly called Bai Qiujiang “Father” after the latter exchanged rings with their mother.

Always with a mind as keen as a blade, the veil of mysteries immediately dispelled as he finally realized the truth.

Qi Ze had never been his – he has always been Bai Qiujiang’s son.

There was no rage, no maniacal fits, nor anything hysterical. Just sane and still calmness. To make sure of his doubts, he took their hairs and his to a lab for a paternity test.

The results did not take long: Bai Qiujiang was truly Qi Ze’s biological father.

Now that the cat is out of the bag, he could only lament with anguish how he had failed to notice anything wrong before.

Bai Qiujiang had always maintained the facade of a trusty subordinate whose loyalty had never seemed to waver. Even during the tug of war of his divorce with Qi Qiuyu, Bai Qiujiang had steadfastly supported him. He had provided him with a place to stay when he was ostracized from the very ones he had loved so dearly like a pariah, given him money to sustain himself all when the going was truly tough indeed.

To Bai Qiujiang, he has only the deepest and sincerest gratefulness especially when he has retained Bai’s unfaltering friendship even when he was at the lowest.

To think that everything was just a stupid play with him being the puppet, being tugged and jerked by the strings at the whim of his puppeteer.

Everything was nothing but a sham – his marriage, his friendship, and even the bond with his son.

With composure never thought possible in him, he made several purchases and made a homemade bomb. When it was done, he went to the residence of Bai Qiujiang and Qi Qiuyu – the residence that was once his home.

It was the night of Qi Qiuyu’s birthday when he decided to come. Qi Ze and Qi Xiaoyu were present too to celebrate their mother’s birthday and he had chosen this moment precisely to come.

It was very powerful, the bomb that he made, that only dust and debris remained of the whole lavish estate, and there was no way anyone inside could have survived with their bodies utterly blasted to bits.

[Memory Transfer Complete. Objectives: To change the life of Original 1 while doing the same to the four individuals responsible]

Qi Wang opened his eyes and a discomforting sensation from the veins at his temples twitching furiously somewhat left him peeved.

He was not the Original, and the Original was not him. Without the same sentiments and feelings, Qi Wang knew it was not his position to judge his actions.

But if he were in his shoes – to have a loving wife who is actually unfaithful, a son for more than twenty years who’s not of his own blood, and a subordinate and friend who had been having an affair behind his back; and to have them all plotting against him and ruined him...

There was no way he would let them go, mused Qi Wang. There are countless ways in which one could avenge himself, and doing so at the cost of his own life hardly seemed a smart way.

As if it was not bad enough, what Original 1 did was also illegal.

It was when Qi Ze announced his decision to marry Qi Xiaoyu when he assumed the Original’s body, his soul splicing into Original 1 right when he disagreed and Qi Qiuyu tendered her request for a divorce.

But his being in a hospital ward has little to do with Qi Qiuyu and Bai Qiujiang. Last night, when he got home, Qi Xiaoyu came out of her room, weeping profusely as she begged Qi Wang to allow her to marry Qi Ze.

They were joined by Qi Ze later who saw his sweetheart crying and bellowed at Qi Wang for making her cry.

This frightened Qi Xiaoyu that she asked Qi Ze to not lose his temper against Qi Wang, at the same time, she desperately maintained that it was her fault and hers alone, imploring Qi Wang to not blame Qi Ze for his outburst and how he only behaved so aggressively because of his deep concern for her wellbeing.

Those words only seemed to have the adverse effect of convincing Qi Ze that Qi Wang must have done something bad to Qi Xiaoyu. In a hysterical rage, he threw himself at Qi Wang, and instead of helping, a panicking Qi Xiaoyu gave Qi Wang a forceful shove.

Qi Wang was just standing at the top of a staircase when the altercation began, and because of Qi Ze’s sudden madness, Qi Wang was not prepared when Qi Xiaoyu pushed him off the ledge and losing control, he barreled down the steps.

That was how Qi Wang ended up in a hospital ward.


Author’s Notes:

Welcome to my new story.

Point No.1: I might have not been direct, but a number of spots here might indicate that this is not the MC’s first foray into another dimension.

Point No.2: The MC is a police officer of sorts, charged to uphold justice and the correctness of worldviews, philosophy, and value system while equipping himself with the prerequisite skills and knowledge to assume the identities of the Originals whose bodies he assumes.

Point No.3: The MC can traverse through different dimensions by fulfilling some systematic requirements. Needless to say, these are merely contrivances of my imaginations and would be fiction and shall remain rightly so, hence my desire to express such fantasies in this story.

Point No.4: The various dimensions that the MC enters do not have a uniform perception of time and by no necessarily the past. I won’t delve much into the minute particulars since this is fiction where anything is possible.

Point No.5: It’s all part of the story and its groundwork about how the MC possesses the ability and knowledge to come up with his various inventions and how he could be invincible and powerful. Then again, all this could be attributed to the vast knowledge he gleaned from his substantial experiences from traversing through different dimensions.

Point No.6: Please do not introduce anything realistic into the story. Heaven knows that I understand how impossible some of my figments could be. But this is a fantasy fiction story with myriads of possibilities that could have never been possible in romance novels.

Point No.7: Please do not assume every detail within the worlds and dimensions of the MC to have any relation to anything in the real world. Think of it like how there’s no Avengers and Thanos in today’s real-life and no Captain America and the Winter Soldier during the Second World War. Everything’s just fiction.

Point No.8: Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinions. Feel free to direct any criticisms my way, but please leave the readers who enjoy my story alone.

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----- This translation belongs to konila.com -----

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