Chapter 13: A Game of Prestige [13]

----- 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 thief was swiftly apprehended and the conductor found in his pockets more than a dozen cell phones, plus seven or eight purses and wallets of varying sizes and colors.

With so much proof available, there was no disputing the thief’s guilt.

The shrill voice that alerted the entire coach mysteriously died down right after the thief was arrested and it did just enough to rouse up the sleeping passengers in their cabins. Following the voice, they eventually found their way here.

“Hey, that’s my phone!”

“My purse!”

“Worthless thief! That’s a three-thousand-dollar phone I only just bought recently! How dare you!”

The ruckus caused Chen Yang to wake up as well. But with his phone and wallet tucked safely under his pillow, he managed to prevent them from being stolen. Hearing the noises outside, he clambered off his bed and went outside to have a look.

The railroad police officer had taken the thief into custody, and the items he pilfered were returned to their respective owners. The culprit would be taken to the nearest police station once the train reaches the next stop.

But the excitement did not end even after everyone claimed back their items.

“Wait a minute. There was a voice crying just now, saying ‘I’m being stolen’. Heavens, it was so loud that it woke me up.”

“Yeah, I was awakened by that voice too.”

“I wonder who that was? ‘I’m being stolen’? Surely not a cell phone screaming for help?”

“You’re nuts. If phones can call for help, what do you think happened to our phones just now?”

Everyone talked about what happened but none of them could come to any logical explanation as to the origin of the mysterious voice just now. They peered around, as if searching for answers until they finally stopped at the railroad police officer and the conductor. The two men were the first two to arrive at the scene to apprehend the thief so they should know where the voice came from earlier.

But all they got were dubious stares from the police officer and the conductor. The passengers shifted their focus to the thief and saw his wrist. They paused for one moment until one of them finally breathed, “Heavens, so it really was a cell phone.”

At first, none of them could believe that the item clasped around the thief’s wrist was a cell phone. Without any question, this strange thingamajig resembled one. But since when do cell phones these days possess such functions?

“AAHHHH!! MY PHONE! YOU VILLAIN! HOW DARE YOU STEAL MY PHONE!”

The passengers were still lurching with disbelief when a plump young girl appeared. She ran up to the thief and reached for the cell phone latched on the thief’s wrist, howling wildly as she pried her cell phone free.

“HOW DARE YOU STEAL MY CELL PHONE! TAKE THIS!”

The young lass with her chubby face and figure made her look like an oversized, cuddly plush toy. Yet her outwardly soft and demure bearing belied a feisty personality hidden inside. She ripped the cell phone off the thief’s wrist and vented her anger by pouncing at the culprit and giving him a few tight slaps on the face.

What was supposed to be a solemn spectacle turned out to be a comical display. The young woman’s reprisal looked more hilarious than vicious that everyone present burst into guffaws of laughter.

Chen Yang was stunned by what happened at first, just like everyone else, before he too broke into a smile.

No shorter than the thief, the young girl only wanted to jump so that she could put in more force behind her blows. As soon as her resentment has been adequately vented and justice has been served, the girl dug out a napkin from her pocket and cleaned her cell phone carefully.

“It’s not damaged. Good.”

As she mumbled to herself, she tapped on the screen of her phone. The electronic device emitted a couple of sharp beeps and a blue little character appeared over her phone.

“Duoduo, I was stolen…”

The little blue Smurf grimaced hurtfully once he saw his mistress and complained. That prompted the little girl to speak softly to him to assuage him.

But everyone was utterly lost for words when they realized how real and solid the little Smurf looked like.

What on earth is that?! And its voice, despite the different pitch, was unquestionably the same voice which had been screaming “I’m being stolen” just now!

Wait. So that means the voice just now crying for help did really come from a cell phone?! But… Is that really a cell phone?

In an era where only slider and bar phones were popular, hardly anyone had ever seen anything like what the young lass was holding. Isn’t that a gadget from a sci-fi movie?

Admittedly, everyone had the fleeting dread if they were dreaming or hallucinating. They rubbed their eyes but to no avail; the holographic image of the little Smurf hovered still over the screen of the young lass’s cell phone.

Is it even real?!

In their shock and amazement, no one could utter even one word.

Like all common people, the instance of an unbelievable feat of science only thought possible in fiction or movies taking place right before their very eyes left everyone speechless beyond words.

“Lovely?!”

From the midst of the silent and amazed crowd, the clear voice of a man uttered hesitantly.

That made the young lass jerk her head up at once to see who it was.

“How did you know that name?”

Chen Yang only knew it because he recognized the little Einstein-like Smurf from the Hope videos he watched before.

I can’t believe it! Is that really Lovely?!

The railroad police officer took the thief away. But that did not disperse the crowd of passengers into their respective rooms. Interested about the strange and futuristic cell phone, they huddled around the chubby lass, peppering her with questions about the device.

“From where did you get this phone, girl? I must get something like this for myself!”

“It’s a gift from my uncle,” said the young girl, pleased at being the focus of activity and attention, “Although it’s not yet in the market, it will soon be, according to him.”

“Really? So will it carry the same functions as yours when this model hits the market then?”

The young girl nodded. Beaming earnestly, she said, “This is a just prototype, so the functions of this unit are not yet complete. That means the models that hit the market later would definitely be better than mine.”

The curious passengers urged the young girl to demonstrate more about the cell phone but she declined.

“Just one more month. That’s the most you’ll have to wait before you’ll begin seeing these in the market. You won’t be feeling any novelty if I were to demonstrate the uniqueness of this phone now.”

Her manners and lovable comportment softened her refusal. In fact, hardly anyone could begrudge her; especially since it was her cell phone that thwarted the theft of everyone’s belongings. If anything, it was they who should’ve owed her for that and no one could blame her nor press her any further.

Even so, the capability of the phone’s AI and the anti-theft function were enough to make the device very, very unique.

The passengers retreated back to their cabins, each impregnated with the same thought: I must get this phone when it’s available soon.

Everyone could hardly sleep a wink after the night’s excitement, and they remained wide-awake for the next few hours until morning came.

And because he recognized Lovely, the young girl – whose name he then discovered to be Han Duoduo – began warming up to Chen Yang and they became fast friends. They talked the whole night and became very close.

When it was time to disembark, Chen Yang saw Han Duoduo encumbered by her many luggages and he stopped to give her a hand.

“Thank you so much, Chen Yang. You’re such a nice person. I won’t know how I would ever get all these bags off in time if not for you.”

“Don’t mention it. It’s only right to help a lady in need,” said Chen Yang, beaming proudly.

“My uncle is coming to fetch me. Wait till you see him; I’d make sure he buys you lunch.”

Carrying their luggages, Chen Yang and Han Duoduo walked side by side out the station. The latter never stopped uttering a word with more than half of what she said was about this uncle of hers.

“My uncle is a great person. You’re a science student, aren’t you? He used to be one himself.”

“My uncle is good-looking enough to give even movie stars a run for their money.”

“My uncle dotes on me a lot. He’s a nice person like you. Don’t worry; I’m sure he’ll like you very much.”

Chen Yang could hardly defend himself against the unremitting onslaught of words she slung at him.

Almost every girl Chen Yang knew was quiet and demure, if not reticent. It was the first time he ever encountered someone as chatty as Han Duoduo. Nevertheless, he did not find Duoduo’s loquaciousness annoying. In fact, he felt himself amazed and electrified by her bright sun-like charisma, radiating optimism, exuberance, and passion.

The walk from the train platform to the entrance of the station was a long one, but it hardly felt so with Han Duoduo accompanying him.

They reached the outside and Duoduo put down her luggage and began looking around. Her sight spied a man standing not far away and upon recognition of who he was, she sped after him.

“Uncle!”

Han Duoduo grabbed at the man’s arm, bouncing wildly like an excited jackrabbit with euphoric thrill. It took her several seconds before she could recover herself, remembering that she had left the friend she had just made behind.

“Come here, Chen Yang! This is my uncle! The one that I’ve been telling you about!”

Dragging all the luggage with him, Chen Yang immediately scrambled over. When he finally saw the man beside Han Duoduo, his jaws dropped.

Chen Yang had a foreboding sensation when he first saw Lovely. Duoduo’s confirmation that it really was the same Einstein-like Smurf he saw from Hope’s videos online had almost attested his suspicion. And now that he saw the man, he knew he had guessed correctly all along.

The uncle whom Han Duoduo could never stop singing praises about really was Qi Wang.

“Hello, Mr. Qi. My name is Chen Yang, a sophomore student of the Institute of Technology. We met a year ago at the National Droid-building Competition, although I’m not sure if you still remember me.”

Chen Yang spoke as carefully as walking on ice, afraid that he might lose control of the excitement he was struggling to keep in check.

Right after Patriot One took the droid-building community by storm, Chen Yang was so impressed and obsessed with Qi Wang’s creation that he studied Qi Wang’s Hope videos on Site B again and again to gain a deeper understanding about constructing droids.

Qi Wang was Chen Yang’s idol and if he did not keep his excitement and elation in check, he might already be requesting for an autograph.

But Qi Wang did not forget him; he quickly remembered their first meeting.

“I remember you. The droid your team built came in second in the competition, no? I’ve seen your droid and it’s really good.”

Chen Yang felt himself going pink at being complimented by Qi Wang himself, his entire self shaking so badly that he looked nothing like the composed and collected person Han Duoduo saw before. But he was hardly to be blamed; after all, this was his idol praising and acknowledging his good work.

Han Duoduo was so amazed by his transformation that she could hardly utter a syllable.

He’s practically swooning like a lovestruck boy! Is this even necessary!?


Author’s Notes:

Thank you all for your support! I’ll be sure to keep on going!

New update! Do stay tuned if you like this story! Thank you!

Scribbles of TheBrokenPen:

Terribly sorry for the late update. I’m afraid I’ve been busy lately.

(>人<;)对不起

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

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