Kneel to Me

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Chapter 25: First Arc [24]

And those brilliant eyes swiftly shifted away, seemingly startled, only to return once more. However, in that moment, the radiance within those eyes underwent a transformation, turning moist, bright, joyful, and shy. They shed their usual air of maturity and resembled those of a blossoming young girl in the throes of love.

【Although I feel Jiang Baiqi is not worthy of Yaoyao, seeing how happy she looks, I'll accept it reluctantly!】

【Those eyes are so enchanting! No man can resist their allure!】

Jiang Baiqi felt as if his feet had sunk a few centimeters into the ground. Panic coursed through him, and he looked down, only to realize it was a mere illusion. When he lifted his gaze once more, Song Juyao had already approached him, her eyes fixated on him. In that fleeting instant, Jiang Baiqi caught a glimpse of himself through her eyes. He indeed looked radiant, no longer a neglected speck of dust.

He seemed like an entirely different person, completely unfamiliar.

As Song Juyao drew near Jiang Baiqi, Ming Shu finally took notice of him, thinking, so Song Juyao did come to find Jiang Baiqi!

Lost in her thoughts, Ming Shu felt a tap on her shoulder, startling her. She turned her head and saw Tang Kai.

Tang Kai had heavy dark circles under his eyes, his gaze numb and drifting. "What are you doing?"

Ming Shu was frightened. "Teacher Tang! What's wrong with you, Teacher Tang?"

Tang Kai replied, "Ah... It's nothing. Being a doctor is truly a noble profession..."

Ming Shu: ...How tragic!

【Hahaha, Tang Kai is too miserable!】

【Tang Kai, a doctor who was delayed by his career as an actor!】

【This is the first time I've witnessed a real-life NPC on this show, transitioning from an examiner to a prop, transforming the judgment trial show into a career performance. Hahaha!】

【I used to be indifferent towards Tang Kai, but now the highlight of my day is tuning into his livestream and witnessing his utterly loveless expression. Hahaha!】

【I must admit, Tang Kai's skills have improved tremendously. Who knows, he might even consider attending medical school.】

【Advising him to study medicine is asking for trouble! May lightning strike you!】

Song Juyao stood before Jiang Baiqi, her gaze filled with incredible tenderness, brimming with an uncontrollable joy that seemed to have erupted from the depths of her heart. "Student Jiang... Are you… you are Student Jiang Baiqi, right?"

"...Is something wrong?" Jiang Baiqi slightly furrowed his brow and uncomfortably averted his gaze. He couldn't help but think, she had clearly taken secret photos of him and spied on him before, so why was she asking now?

Song Juyao spoke, "Student Jiang, I'm Song Juyao. I'm responsible for registering the list of students who will be transferring to First Middle School. You..."

"I'm not transferring," Jiang Baiqi interrupted her.

Song Juyao froze, her gaze sweeping over the bruise on his cheekbone. Growing somewhat anxious, she asked, "Why not? Weren't you also a victim of bullying?"

"It's none of your concern." Jiang Baiqi turned and walked into the rain. After a few steps, he suddenly heard footsteps chasing after him, and then the rain falling on his head was blocked.

A warm fragrance approached, penetrating his senses and causing Jiang Baiqi to tense up. Despite his slender frame, he was quite tall, and Song Juyao had to raise her arm high to shield the umbrella over his head.

"You'll catch a cold. Let me accompany you," she said, her tone filled with deep concern.

No one had ever cared for him this much. Jiang Baiqi felt awkward and uneasy. He quickened his pace, attempting to shake off Song Juyao, but she seemed oblivious to his chilly reception. She followed him with small steps, running alongside him.


【Jiang Baiqi! What's a loser like you doing? You actually let the goddess chase after you?!】

【Ah, what kind of world is this? My eyes must be blind to witness such a scene!】

【Stop kidding. Are we supposed to believe that Song Juyao is a heartthrob? Jiang Baiqi's disinterest in her has caused a commotion, earning him the hate of both people and gods alike?】

【This sense of aesthetics truly exceeds my expectations. The contrast between Jiang Baiqi and the person she allegedly assaulted in real life is simply staggering.】

【You're absolutely right. The disparity is immense, so I find it hard to believe that Song Juyao genuinely likes Jiang Baiqi. My instincts tell me there must be an ulterior motive behind her actions.】

Song Juyao wasn't the type to suffer in silence. Seeing Jiang Baiqi walking faster and faster, she reached out and grabbed his sleeve.

"Slow down, student Jiang, I can't keep up with you," she said, her voice gentle as she lightly tugged at his sleeve. However, her grip seemed to possess an unexpected strength, causing Jiang Baiqi's legs to involuntarily stiffen, almost walking in sync.

Ming Shu looked at Tang Kai with sorrowful eyes. Ah, it's too miserable… you still came with the purpose of seducing Song Juyao, but her aesthetics seems extraordinary. I'm afraid you have no room to maneuver. You might as well just quit the show.

Tang Kai: No, being a doctor brings me joy. I won't quit even if I die!

"Doctor Tang, what are you doing here? The president has been waiting for you for quite some time," Fu Meiling interrupted their thoughts as she approached.

Both of them were startled and turned to see Fu Meiling.

Fu Meiling's gaze followed their line of sight and noticed Song Juyao... and a boy?

Tang Kai was called here to check Jin Yu's physical recovery, but compared to his physical condition, his psychological state seemed to be in worse condition.

"Damn Zhou Shuchen! He can't recognize what's good for him!" Jin Yu almost crushed the glass in his hand upon hearing Zhou Shuchen's decision this morning.

He took the initiative to make a concession, but the other party not only didn't show gratitude, but also rejected it. Compared to the few senior students remaining at school, those who transferred to the First Middle School clearly needed Song Juyao's support more. With her saintly personality, she would undoubtedly leave with them.

However, there was someone even more reluctant to let Song Juyao leave Jinke Duola.

In the real world, inside the broadcasting hall of the Justice Trial Show...

"It will be troublesome if Song Juyao leaves Jinke Duola. We must find a way to make her stay," Tang Shan said. Jinke Duola Academy was their meticulously designed stage, and all the specific NPCs were arranged here. Moreover, it was more convenient to carry out various tests with this school as the focal point. If Song Juyao were to leave, the production team would be in a very passive state and could only be led by Song Juyao.

"Don't worry, Director Tang. Among the applicants for the temporary real-life NPCs, there are quite a few formidable individuals this time. They have already been put in, so Song Juyao won't be able to leave."


Jiang Baiqi entered the boys' dormitory building, while Song Juyao stood still, watching him as he stepped into the elevator. She didn't turn around until he had entered, and then she left.

Jiang Baiqi leaned against the cold, glossy wall of the elevator, covering his chest and taking several deep breaths. He irritably scratched his flushed ears, and then lowered his head to check his watch, suspecting it might be broken. However, it was functioning normally. The elevator opened again, and a person entered, still grumbling about the state of the internet.

How could Song Juyao see him without the aid of technological devices? The person in front of him, currently complaining about the internet, paid no attention to him standing in the corner. If he were to speak up now, he could startle the person so much that they would jump and hit the elevator ceiling.

It was frustrating and incomprehensible. Even a professionally trained police officer would have difficulty noticing him at first glance. So why could Song Juyao?

And that kind of gaze...

Impossible, liar.


Song Juyao thought of something pleasant and laughed silently, her eyes curving into crescents.

It was truly... surprising. Because in this life, her starting point was too high, too proactive, so he became cautious, right?

She could understand that, so she felt even more heartfelt love when she looked at him.

The current Jiang Baiqi… wasn't he the same as in the previous life? He had been hurt countless times and had gradually built up his defenses, afraid of being hurt again. So he simply didn't believe that anything good could happen to him, right?

He's still like a stray dog.

The rain had slightly subsided, and Song Juyao looked up at the gray sky. Against her fair and translucent skin, all colors, whether white, red, or black, appeared pure. Her delicate features stood out distinctly. She seemed to shine even brighter in the darkness.

It's probably about time for the temporary real-life NPCs sent by the production team to stir up trouble soon. How could they possibly let her have the stage? Let's see what kind of people would come in.

The corners of her mouth curled up and the smile in her eyes grew softer.


The production team made an announcement to the audience in the live broadcast room, revealing that the temporary real-life NPCs were about to make their move, and the notified that Song Juyao's true test was about to begin.

The audience was familiar with the concept of temporary real-life NPCs. Before each season of the show, the production team opened a registration channel for individuals to become temporary NPCs. Initially, this was done to handle situations like Song Juyao's, where the defendant deviated from the program's intended path, rendering the actor NPCs unable to respond. In such cases, temporary real-life NPCs would be arranged to ensure the smooth progress of the judgment trial.

However, cases like Song Juyao's were rare, so the temporary NPC channel was rarely utilized. Over time, it became a game for some people to enter the virtual world and punish defendants (essentially, it was a means to vent their emotions).

The temporary real-life NPCs were spiritual entities infused into the bodies of virtual world NPCs. Unlike Song Juyao, Ming Shu, and Tang Kai, who appeared in their true forms, the identities of these NPCs were kept secret. In the virtual world, they had the freedom to do all sorts of things with defendants in various ways without consequences and might not necessarily follow the production team's instructions.

Therefore, the appearance of temporary real-life NPCs signified an unpredictable and thrilling turn of events in the plot. It also meant that the defendants would face the most dangerous situations.

Originally, these temporary real-life NPCs were meant to appear towards the end of the show, and at that point, the audience would usually often hope for the defendants to suffer misfortune, torture, or even swift demise. It was truly unprecedented for someone like Song Juyao to encounter these NPCs at this particular juncture of time.

Usually, at such moments, the audience would get excited as if they were injected with chicken blood.

However, this time, there was a polarization.


【I've been waiting for this moment. It's unbearable to see a murderer gaining popularity!】

【She's been way too smooth, why? Other defendants never had it this easy. How can this torture her soul to see if she's pure and kind?】

【Go for it! Quickly expose Song Juyao's true face!】

【What do you mean by a "real test"? Have you all forgotten what the production team initially planned and did to Song Juyao? Are you all blind or brainless?】

【Song Juyao has come this far through her own efforts! Haven't you seen how much hardship she has endured in the past? What "real test"? Are you saying the previous ones don't count? I can't accept this rhetoric from the production team!】

【This is the first time I shed tears for a defendant. The production team is too ruthless. She has already suffered so much, and they still find it insufficient? Please let's end this round of judgment trial soon!】

【I can't bear to watch anymore.】

Many viewers who couldn't bear to watch any longer were urging for this round to end quickly. However, according to the regulations, each round of live broadcasting lasts for half a month. Moreover, most importantly, how can they let Song Juyao end the first round with a true, virtuous, and beautiful image?

It's impossible. If that were the case, it would be a dereliction of duty on their part as a production team.

The first temporary real-life NPC entered the body of an official NPC from the Education Bureau. He lowered his head and glanced at his potbelly appearance, curling his lips in displeasure. The beautiful secretary was stunned by his sudden change in temperament.

"What are you looking at? Come here." Seeing the secretary's appearance, he squinted his eyes and beckoned her over.

The female secretary was somewhat scared. "Boss?"

He stood up, and the secretary tried to run out, but he grabbed her from behind. "Hehe, come on, baby!"

How thrilling! This virtual world should be turned into a game for everyone to play. Here, you can do anything you want without any fear of breaking the law. Human nature can be liberated. How exhilarating! Although he has wealth, a wife, and children in the real world, he is still bound by societal norms and restrictions. But it's different here.


The capital, the Research Institute of the Olympic Prize Team.

The sudden arrival of the Prime Minister caused some commotion within the research institute, and the staff members started discussing.

"It seems to be about Juyao?"

"What happened to Juyao? Last time, she collapsed from exhaustion because she was too engrossed in her work and forgot to eat. So, didn't Dr. Albert forced her to take a break?"

"Is the Prime Minister here to bring her back?"

"Who is that teenager accompanying the Prime Minister?"

Inside the office of the institute's director, the director wore an unpleasant expression as he looked at the high-ranking national leader before him with great distress. "Dr. Song is extremely talented, and the Olympic Prize team needs her. She hasn't made any mistakes. Isn't it unreasonable to dismiss her?"

"How can you say it's dismissal? We're just asking her to take another break and temporarily hand over her work to this person to try. Trust me, his level of excellence won't be inferior to Song Juyao." The Prime Minister said kindly, his gaze meeting the young boy standing beside him, exchanging a knowing look.

"That's true, but Song Juyao is Mr. Albert's student, and… you know Mr. Albert's temperament..."

"Dr. Albert is indeed outstanding and has made significant contributions to our country's science and technological development, but you are the director. Don't let him overstep his authority in certain matters."

The director was extremely surprised, looking at this strange Prime Minister who seemed to be a completely different person.


The production team of the show "I'm the Big Winner" was editing the footage of Song Juyao's recent recordings when suddenly the director of the television station arrived.

Peng Jia, who received the news, rushed over with an ugly expression.

"What's going on? What do you mean by cutting all of Song Juyao's scenes? Director, do you know how much the ratings will increase by Juyao's presence in the show?!"

The director retorted, "Deputy Director, is this how you speak to me?"

"Song Juyao she..."

"Indeed, Song Juyao can boost the ratings of the show, but so what? How often does she appear? And her appearance fee is so high! If it weren't for us, would she have achieved what she has today? She's nothing but an white-eyed wolf. I believe the viewers are almost getting tired of watching her, so it's time to cultivate a new popular figure to replace Song Juyao. Just as we elevated Song Juyao, we can also bring up another one."

Peng Jia could hardly believe it. Has the director gone crazy? Just a few days ago, he praised and liked her so much. How did he suddenly change his tune?


In the virtual world's operation, the production team couldn't control the NPCs, but they could "kidnap" NPCs and allow outsiders to "possess" them and take their place.

While any NPC could be chosen, most of the time, the production team wouldn't let these individuals possess NPCs at the level of national leaders in the virtual world due to the inherent dangers involved. However, considering Song Juyao's influential status and position, particularly as a member of the Olympic Team, they needed to target someone at the level of the Prime Minister if they wanted to strip her of everything.

The seven deadly sins of human nature encompass arrogance, jealousy, rage, laziness, greed, gluttony, and lust. Everyone possesses these traits to some extent, and Song Juyao couldn't be an exception. If these traits weren't visible, it meant that the current environment wasn't sufficient to bring out those traits in her.

So, what would happen if they stripped away everything she relied on and was proud of, leaving her with nothing?

In the live broadcast room, there were still only three people present, but they understood the implications of what was unfolding.

Song Juyao suddenly received a call from the principal of First Middle School. "I'm sorry, Dr. Song, I don't have the specific details either. It was a sudden notification from higher-ups, and I have no authority to change it. Did you... offend someone?" The principal's tone was awkward, tinged with embarrassment, anger, and helplessness.

He had already convened a meeting with the teachers and informed them that a group of outstanding students would be arriving soon. The teachers had eagerly started competing to enroll these students, only to receive an unexpected call from the Education Bureau. Though the message was conveyed tactfully, it effectively meant that students from Jinke Duola were no longer permitted to transfer to First Middle School.

Just as Song Juyao ended her call with the principal of First Middle School, she received another unknown call, and a malicious male voice came through the receiver.

"Hello? Is this Song Juyao? If you have a moment, please hand over your work to me. There's no need for you to return in person; we can communicate online."

"What do you mean?"

"Haven't you been informed yet? Starting today, your position in Albert's Team belongs to me."


Finally, she received a call from Peng Jia. He hesitated and stuttered, reluctant to deliver the news that could potentially hurt her. But if he didn't say anything, on the day of the program's broadcast, she would be caught off guard and might get even more hurt.

Eventually, Peng Jia found the courage to speak.

That familiar sensation washed over her, as if a malevolent force was surging from all directions, suffocating her like tightly compressed air.

She unlocked her phone and attempted to access her social media accounts, only to discover that she couldn't log in anymore. Her account was locked. They aimed to silence her on the internet, preventing her from seeking support from her fans and influencing public opinion.

Song Juyao stared blankly at her phone, unable to regain her composure. It seemed like she couldn't comprehend this sudden blow, leaving her in a state of disbelief.

【These temporary real-life NPCs are incredible, creating such a spectacular scene right at the first shot.】

【Ah ah ah, my heart aches so much! She worked tirelessly to achieve everything bit by bit!】

【Absolutely! A person's true character can only be revealed in times of adversity. Song Juyao always carried herself with such superiority, making it difficult for us to truly know who she is.】

【Those who say that she suffered in her childhood, that's all in the past now. She has grown and people change with time.】

【I've never despised a temporary real-life NPC this much before. 🤮】

【Suddenly, I'm starting to hate the program team.】

Song Wanwan worriedly trotted over, looking up at her and meowing in concern.

Song Juyao bent down and picked it up, gently stroking it to provide comfort. "It's alright, I'm fine."

She really was fine. She had anticipated this a long time ago. It was their usual routine: first, let people have something, then take it away; first, show them something beautiful, then let them witness the disappearance of that beauty. People suffer most pain during such moments, and it's when their dark side, which they want to see, is exposed the most.

Song Juyao leaned down and kissed the fluffy head of Song Wanwan, hiding the emerging smile at the corners of her mouth.

Malice, ah! You can come at me with all your might.  It will only add more bricks to my stage.

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