Chapter 25: A Game of Prestige [21.1]

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

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

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

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

Standing all alone on the tall and wide stage in front of all those scrutinizing eyes of the horde of reporters and journalists could have terrified anyone and filled one with stage fright. Yet there Qi Wang stood, as serene as a cloudless sky, gazing down at the press as he began to speak.

“Perhaps it’s safe to say that within the voices of dissent now denouncing the good of Patriot Kids, there are those who might be pedophiles, although they might not know it yet. They add their voices to the cries of blame on the Patriot Kids system, all because they fear that they would one day be arrested too.”

Members of the press standing below the stage could not believe their ears.

Isn’t that just being arrogant?! What gives him the right to judge others!? Does he really believe that the Patriot Kids system to be perfect and infallible?!

The personnel of the Special Security Detachment detail tasked to keep Qi Wang safe drew long breaths. Qi Wang’s abrupt change of behavior puzzled them; it was out of his character that he was behaving oddly high-handedly this time.

Even so, the members of the SSD found no reason to contradict what Qi Wang said. Nevermind that he spoke sense, Qi Wang’s present position and worth allowed him to say those words without suffering any repercussions.

But his message was captured by the cameras these reporters brought. If anything, the reporters and journalists rather welcomed the despotic response for that would sensationalize the news further and rile up more emotions, allowing their papers to sell more.

“Don’t you feel that it’s a tad snobbish to say these things, Mr. Qi? I’d pray that you refrain from deviating from the subject; it’s undeniable that Patriot Kids carries a 24/7 recording function. That’s a blatant infringement of human rights. Kindly explain that?”

A young firebrand of a journalist fielded that question. His scathing gaze raked over Qi Wang like the hungry stare of a predator bearing down on its prey and Qi Wang would be his chance for the Pulitzer.

Qi Wang gave him a curt look of amusement, his deep, dark eyes betraying no one tinge of emotion at all.

“Before I answer that question, allow me to present some facts.”

In the wake of Qi Wang’s voice, thousands of blue laser lines shot across the hall. The multitude of thin, long beams of light interlaced and crisscrossed, flooding the entire hall in shades of blue as if everyone was swimming in a sea of laser lights.

“According to incomplete data, we have more than five thousand children in the country who have been subjected to molest and rape every year. But this being incomplete data shows how little we know; that this is only the tip of an iceberg, for more similar acts have been left unreported if not utterly stifled into silence. Suffice it to say that the number of children being hurt by adults is far greater than what we know.”

“So just because you don’t know about this, or you have been fortunate to not endure such trauma, does that give you the right to deny these facts?”

“Perhaps you might think 5000 is not too big a figure. It’s true. If compared to the full number of 200 million children all around the country, 5000 children are but merely a negligible figure to some. But let’s visualize how big a crowd this number is. The number itself. 5000. Can you honestly say 5000 is a small figure?”

The blue lights that formed the holographic presentation of numbers and facts displayed a new image: that of a faceless boy. More children appeared beside him. Then more, and more, until they made up a whole crowd of children that stretched far beyond everyone’s sights.

When the numbers were illustrated visually in the most direct way from the mere number, only then the reporters and journalists realized how big a number 5000 actually was.

Many times numbers do not convey the true significance of things and in this case, only after the holographic presentation demonstrated how large a group of 5000 children could be, did everyone finally understand why.

“Here’s another fact: a common-sized elementary school is usually made up of 1,500 students. So, 5000 children; that’s the size of three elementary schools put together. And this is only the figure from the data that the police collected after reports were made. What about unreported cases? Believe me when I say this: we have more children being hurt every day and we know nothing about it.”

Through the PA system, Qi Wang’s voice reverberated into the ears of everyone present in the hall.

“Some say that blood relations won’t ever hurt children related to them. Some even say that some who had been implicated in this crime were nice and good people and many could vouch for that. They would never hurt children, many insisted in their favor. Then even some said that adults of the same gender would never sexually abuse children. Well, you know what? Here is data from the authorities: eight or nine out of ten convicted molesters or rapists of underage children are people whom the children were close with, and more than half of this number are blood relations.”

“Many judge these convicted individuals based on their job nature, their everyday character, their gender, and people’s perception of these individuals. But these are not the right criteria to ascertain if a person is a paedophilic predator. The heinous acts they committed against these innocent children and only that should be the one thing we judge these people for.”

“These people hurt our children, causing them such irreparable damage and trauma. Can you honestly say that these monsters deserve absolution?”

“These are convicts. Sinful abominations who have forfeited the right to have anyone defend them from the very crimes they had committed against the poor children whose lives they destroyed.”

No one could ever tell what lingers in the minds of these monsters. Many a great paedophilic predator possessed the talent to mask their depraved appetite. Yet no matter how nice they seemed to people around them, no matter how good these people were in their jobs, and no matter how good a facade they have so skillfully maintained in the presence of their family and the people around them, all those qualities would not matter the moment these people were left alone with a child.

Yet if these people were to be granted leniency because of their positions or their jobs or their social standing, or worse, they were given the chance to outright deny the atrocities they had wrought, what would it mean to the children whom they have hurt? Would it be fair if compared to the devastation they suffered?

Since the public discovered the omniscience of the Patriot Kids Intelligent Security System, more than thirteen paedophilic predators have been arrested and that meant that more than thirteen children have been saved before irreversible damage was done.

Knowing that the proof is in the pudding, Qi Wang decided to replay the recordings the Patriot Kids mainframe had kept prior to the arrests.

Did they not try so vehemently to argue on behalf of these predators? Did they not criticize how the people’s rights to privacy have been wantonly invaded? Then these people should see with their own eyes what the Patriot Kids system has been fighting to prevent.

The holographic laser display showed a little girl being approached by her uncle when she was doing her homework. He drew closer and stripped off her jacket before trying to remove her undercoat…

Inside a bedroom, a man only in his underwear had a little girl barely the age of five sat on his private parts while he shoved himself upwards into her again and again with a manic look on his face…

In an office, a man suddenly locked the door, and instead of tutoring her in schoolwork, he wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her into him…

In a jungle, a man in the uniform of a security guard stripped of the pants of a little boy…

In a little girl’s bedroom, a young home tutor reached into her clothes to feel her chest…

The holographic motion picture and the actual audio recording of the incidents by the Patriot Kids mainframe depicted what really happened, bringing everyone present in the hall down into a rabbit hole of the grotesqueries and monstrosity of paedophilic abuse.

The reporters and journalist below the dais remembered the many news articles and comments condemning Patriot Kids and their foreheads all went slick with cold sweat.

Who would have known such savageries were afoot if not for these recordings? Who would have known when and where did such unspeakable horrors take place? Perhaps even the victims were nowhere near aware of what was going on.

The holographic display showed only the 4D-animated depiction of what happened but no one could dispute what really took place. Any children present might not understand what was going on in the depictions but ask any adult. They would instantly pick up the nefarious and malicious intent displayed by the adults in the animated depiction.

No sane adult would dare commit such revolting acts against any child and do that practically stripped these beings the right to be called and regarded as humans. They were monstrosities even worse than beasts.

The naysaying reporters – all of whom had been waiting for their chance to hurl rebukes at Chu Xun for his seemingly overbearing words – all fell silent. They no longer found anything to doubt him, for they were too shocked and appalled by what they had just seen, which no amount of words could ever hope to deny.

A child’s perception of the world is a gentle and innocent one. No child could ever imagine how demented and warp an adult’s look of life could be and they could never comprehend the damage and devastation that adults with malicious intent could do to them. Little do they realize that such damages could haunt them for an entire lifetime. Such traumatic wounds never heal and they would follow the children up to adulthood, where they could still be spending time to nurse these wounds. Some children might end up worse; the harrowing agony could distort their minds and in turn, mangle their minds enough to change them into the very same monsters which had caused their disrepair in the first place.

But could these children be found guilty? They did no wrong; if anyone was to blame, it was the monsters and abominations who had hurt them.

So what hell would these children find themselves inside, if Patriot Kids did not detect the heinous acts of such deplorable monsters, or if Patriot One and the cops failed to arrive on time? What sort of and how much damage would they suffer? And would these abominations be given their just desserts?

To allow them forgiveness and absolution would be to condone such wickedness and encourage these beasts, for remorse would only be the last thing they intend to seek. In fact, they would want more. They always do.

Author's Notes:

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Scribbles of TheBrokenPen:

A Game of Prestige is nearing an end, and hopefully, we’ll be able to usher in a new arc with roaring reception.

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

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