Kneel to MeChapters List
Chapter 5: First Arc 
"Welcome to ‘Judgement Day’ produced by Dreams Factory of Star Dreams Entertainment! In the previous season, Li Qiang, the defendant, was convicted of domestic violence and killing his wife. He claimed that he had killed her because she constantly insulted and belittled him, causing harm to his self-esteem and that it was a mistake he made in a fit of anger. He firmly refused the life sentence handed down by the court."
"In the ‘trial’, we gave him a gentle and kind wife and a successful career. But he still revealed his true nature by committing infidelity, sleeping with young girls, and complaining that his wife was not young or beautiful enough. He even physically abused his wife when his business started to decline. Even after his wife divorced him and took their children to live a difficult life, he still had the audacity to harass her repeatedly."
"The three-month holographic reality show ‘Judgement Day' began promptly at 8 PM, with over a billion viewers eagerly tuned in. The righteous and suspenseful opening credits, along with the show's title, appeared on the screen, accompanied by the familiar voice of the host recapping the previous episode."
【Li Qiang's season really pissed me off. How dare this scumbag refuse the court's verdict! I think the deserves not just life imprisonment but the death penalty!】
【Right. When I saw my goddess being treated like this, it nearly brought me to tears. Thank God it's just acting.】
【Finally, Ou Lan divorced him and started her own business and found someone who appreciates her. She is truly heroic. Watching the scumbag getting what he deserves was such a refreshing experience!】
【Ou Lan's acting skills are simply amazing, I've become a fan!】
Ou Lan was the actress who portrayed the gentle and lovely wife of Li Qiang in the previous trial. She had been married for several years and had a child, causing her to lose her initial popularity in the entertainment industry. However, her impeccable performance in the live reality show has made her famous once again. The audience was captivated by her realism and had forgotten that she was only acting. Her role has earned her several awards, and she has been invited by the renowned director Sun Ying to star in a movie.
The live holographic reality show by Star Dream Entertainment has become a true test of an actor's skills. Only those with real talent dare to participate, and those who do, become popular after just one season.
As people watched the show on their smart brains, they couldn't help but comment. The thousands of comments per minute demonstrate just how popular the show has become.
By now, the pre-review had finished, and the audience stopped commenting to listen to the information about the defendant who would be on trial next.
"...the defendant being judged in this season is Song Juyao, 22 years old. The prosecution confirmed that she flirted with a 17-year-old boy during her job as his tutor. She got angry when she failed to seduce the boy and pushed him off the stairs, resulting in the boy's death. Our fair judge sentenced her to life imprisonment. She was adamant and firmly refused to accept the verdict, insisting that she pushed the boy off because it was the teenager who tried to rape her." The host shrugged his shoulders and made a false regretful expression while further adding, "According to the statement of the victim's family, the victim had a childhood sweetheart of the same age, who shared mutual affection and was from similar deep family backgrounds."
Despite the claim as a ‘Judgement Day Trial’, the public held a deep-seated mistrust and disdain for the defendants due to past seasons and their faith in the state authorities, so even though they knew that the host’s words were guiding them, most people didn't mind it.
After introducing the main character who was undergoing the trial, it was time to introduce the two main actors of this episode. For Song Juyao, this trial is a trial, and she faced it with genuine apprehension. But the celebrity players entering the holographic world viewed it as merely a show of their acting skills.
The host interviewed both the celebrities, eliciting their nerves and fears as the trial approached.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, the actors will now take their places and the ‘Judgement Day Trial’ will commence. To all of our viewers at home, keep a sharp eye out for any hidden details or potential instances of injustice in the case of the accused murderer, Song Juyao. After a short 120-second advertisement break, the trial will begin!"
As the advertisement began, those who hadn't already grabbed snacks or drinks rushed to do so, and those who needed a bathroom break took advantage of the time, bringing along fruits and calling family and friends. The break ended, and the first episode of the new season of ‘Judgement Day’ was underway.
In a lavish villa, a woman dressed as a noble watched the proceedings on TV. Hatred contorted her features as anger boiled within her.
A young woman with red eyes comforted quietly on the side: "Aunt, that woman will be punished. I've already spoken with the program team, she will definitely face the consequences. Her reputation will be tarnished and she'll ultimately die in the bio-pod."
"Bitch, she killed my son and is still bothering me with her lousy life. I think she should be chopped to a thousand pieces directly!" The noblewoman cursed with gritted teeth. She had actually arranged for Song Yuhao to be tortured to death in the most miserable way in prison. However, she never expected that she signed an agreement to participate in the reality show trial, ruining her plan. Although her cleverness couldn't save her and she just went from the dragon's den into the tiger's den, the noblewoman still felt itching with hatred at the thought of letting her live a little longer.
"That bitch killed my son and still has the nerve to bother me with her lousy life. I think she should be chopped to a thousand pieces directly!" The noblewoman cursed through gritted teeth. She had actually arranged for Song Juyao to be tortured to death in prison, but she never expected that Song Juyao signed an agreement to participate in the reality show trial, thwarting her plan. Although her cleverness couldn't save her and she just went from the dragon's den into the tiger's den, the noblewoman still felt seethed with hatred at the thought of letting her live a little longer.
Footsteps echoed from upstairs, and a cold-faced man in a suit and leather shoes walked down. The young woman immediately stood up and greeted him eagerly: "Sen Ge. The trial for that woman is about to start, would you like to watch it together?"
"No," Huo Sen walked out of the door while replying with a voice devoid of emotion, as if his younger brother's death and the murderer's punishment were of no concern to him.
The young woman watched his back, biting her lip. As the program started, she slowly sat down and pressed the remote control to open the barrage area, to see the reactions of other viewers and interact with them. It would be more interesting that way.
As usual, the screen lit up, and the audience was first introduced to the celebrity players gathered in the black space known as the ‘Small Dark Room’.
In the barrage, the sound of fans frantically waving flags and shouting for their beloved idols appeared immediately.
There was a table in the Small Dark Room, two actors sat around the table and began to read cards. These cards were put to introduce the family background set up for Song Juyao by the director group.
"In this trial, Song Juyao was born in the countryside. Her father was a carpenter, and her mother was beautiful, weak, and incompetent. When she was ten years old, her father died in an accident leaving the mother and daughter to rely on each other for survival. A few years later, the mother was taken care of by a rich man and became his lover. So Song Juyao was able to wear good clothes and go to a good school. The wealthy man's partner became aware of the existence of the mother and daughter, and her two children also went to the same school as..." said actor Tang Kai, who had been absent from the film industry for three years and was making a comeback with this reality show.
After understanding the basic settings of Song Juyao in this issue, it was time to introduce the identities they would be playing. The NPCs in the virtual world all have their own set of behavioral and logic operation systems, each of them could respond to various events like a real person, and have their own emotions. They couldn’t be controlled by the director’s team during operation, so the program required real NPCs who could adjust to the situation and follow the plan.
The use of real people NPCs wasn't because the defendants couldn't be controlled. In fact, from the start of the program, every defendant was already under the control of the program group. The program group had a team of behavior psychology and logic experts who designed the backgrounds of the defendants, and the outcome that the defendants would eventually face had already been predetermined.
Putting real people NPCs into the program was simply to add interest and popularity to the show.
"My identity is that of a newly hired physician at Jinke Duola Academy. I am married and have a daughter less than a year old. My task is to provide physical and psychological treatment to the defendant, and my ultimate goal is...to seduce the defendant, make her fall in love with me, and then reject her, revealing that I am already married and have a child." Tang Kai looked at his character task card with a hint of frustration, "It seems a bit unethical."
"This trial is meant to test the defendant's moral integrity. Regardless of the temptations they face, they must not indulge in falling in love with a married man who is already a father of a baby and become a third party that destroys someone's family." explained the newly debuted female idol, Ming Shu.
"Is that right, senior?" she added, addressing Tang Kai.
Tang Kai: "It should be. What role are you going to play?"
"I'm a transfer student. My task is to gain the defendant's friendship and test whether they will abandon me in a life-or-death situation," replied Ming Shu.
These trials have a high degree of flexibility and the players are allowed to act freely within the scope of their task. How much attention and popularity they can attract depends on their own abilities, but the primary goal is always to make Song Juyao suffer.
"Everyone, please prepare. The portal is about to open." The director's voice echoed in the Small Dark Room.
The portal opened and the two celebrities were suddenly greeted by a blindingly bright light.
The trial of Song Juyao had begun. On the screen in front of the audience, a picture appeared, showing the back of a girl crouching on the road. As the camera zoomed in, she suddenly turned her head, taking the audience by surprise, with a small white kitten in her arms.
In the sunlight, Song Juyao's skin looked fair and glossy, her features were delicate, and her long black hair was surrounded by a hazy halo. Her black eyes were clear and bright, giving the impression of an angel. The small white kitten with round eyes in her arms added twice to the cuteness.
There was a momentary silence on the barrage screen. Song Juyao stood up with the kitten in her arms and spoke softly, with a hint of worry in her voice: "We can't just leave it here. We should take it to the vet."
The driver replied, somewhat helplessly: "But you will be late for school. Isn't it not good to be late on the first day back?"
"Well... there's no choice then. I have to do it this way." Song Juyao lowered her head and tenderly rubbed the kitten's head. The kitten meowed pitifully and cutely, looking at her with its head tilted. Song Juyao smiled and touched the kitten's nose with hers, her clear eyes curving into a crescent. She looked sweet and cute, like the moment when snow melts. She wrapped the kitten in her school uniform jacket and got into the car, still hugging it in her arms.
Netizens finally snapped back to senses and began a lively discussion.
【Oh my gosh... I'm smitten! Is this an angel?】
【Is this the main shot? No way.】
【The main focus should be on the defendant. This beauty couldn't possibly be Song Juyao, right?】
【If you take a closer look, the name in the upper right corner says Song Juyao! She's the defendant!】
【??? To be honest, with her looks, could she really not be able to seduce someone?】
【"I'm guilty, I'm willing to lie down and let her do her way with me..."】
【These beauty-obsessed people are really disgusting. If she killed someone in your family, would you still think she's pretty?】
【"No matter how attractive the appearance is, her mind is distorted. Gross."】
【I bet she's definitely going to abuse the kitten when she takes it home.】
The beauty-seekers were besieged and soon disappeared silently.
Not only the audience, but even the directing team was shocked. This… this was different from the behavior and psychological logic reasoning predicted by their experts!
In the virtual world, people's projections are based on their real-life appearance for the audience's convenience to identify them, which means that the murderer Song Juyao was actually this beautiful. When the program crew met her before the show started, she was already emaciated and unrecognizable from the year-long detention and sentencing process. It was only now that they realized that she was actually so beautiful.
However, the more pressing issue was that given the background they had set for Song Juyao, her current state shouldn’t have been like this.
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