Kneel to MeChapters List
Chapter 1: Revival
Have you ever wondered if your existence and the world around you are real?
Song Juyao once doubted her own life, questioning why she had lived so miserably and why it had been such a failure. She wondered if she hadn't worked hard enough, or if she was simply too stupid. Luck never seemed to favor her, so she grumbled more than once about God's injustice, envying those who effortlessly obtained everything that she and people like her desperately craved.
She was born into a family living in abject poverty, a life that most city dwellers couldn't imagine anyone living. Their house was located near a dump, and the family lived a hard and unkempt existence sorting and picking up garbage brought in from all around the city every day. It was a life she despised and desperately strove to change. She studied hard to achieve her dreams at a young age while other kids were still naive.
At just seven years old, she realized that she needed money and must work hard to earn it. She used various methods, such as running errands for adults, helping her classmates with their homework, cleaning for others, and flattering professors to gain perks from them. Her classmates mocked and ridiculed her behind her back, but she didn't care because she knew their mockery was insignificant in comparison to her life. She lived frugally to save money and gazed enviously at the gorgeous garments in storefront displays, believing that one day she would succeed and become a world-famous person.
Wen Ruoning from the same school was the person Song Juyao hated the most. She was constantly bugging her, lecturing that helping others with their homework would harm and lead those students to get terrible grades. She would give her own worn out clothes while having a disgustingly sympathetic expression as if she is doing it all for Song Juyao's benefit, as if to say, I know you're poor and you don't even have a decent outfit.
Wen Ruoning from the same school was the person Song Juyao hated the most. She constantly bugged Song Juyao, lecturing her that helping others with their homework would harm those students' grades. She would give her own worn-out clothes while wearing a disgustingly sympathetic expression, as if to say, ‘I know you're poor, and you don't even have a decent outfit.’
Song Juyao almost cried out of anger several times, but resisted the urge and worked hard to earn money and finish her studies. She wanted to convey the message that she didn't have time to play and needed to focus on reading, doing homework, going home early to do house chores, and assisting her parents in sorting the garbage. She also wanted to say that not helping those students with their homework wouldn't make a difference, as they would find someone else to do it for free or copy it the next day. Their poor grades were due to a lack of effort, not her help. She also wanted to say, Don't give me your worn-out clothes in public. I'm poor, but I have my own pride.
However, Song Juyao didn't say anything because she knew it wouldn't make a difference.
Wen Ruoning was a wealthy young miss from an affluent household. How could she understand the struggle and hard work required to have a future worth looking forward to?
Song Juyao always believed that she and Wen Ruoning were from completely different worlds until Wen Ruoning's parents unexpectedly showed up at her door in the second year of high school, claiming she was their lost daughter and Wen Ruoning's fraternal twin sister. Her parents also revealed that they had bought her from a human trafficker.
Song Juyao was perplexed because wasn't the point of all her past efforts to live Wen Ruoning's life? Suddenly, it became a reality, not because of her hard work, but rather an unexpected twist of fate that fell from heaven like a pie. What should she do now?
At this point, Song Juyao's life ambitions and objectives, which she had been striving for her whole life, were all thrown off track.
One day she was dragged by Wen Ruoning to her friend’s party, and met Wei Qing, a rich and confident man who was both witty and charming. He was very kind to Song Juyao. She, who had no thoughts about indulging in love before, but now became an unburdened young lady, suddenly had a lot of space in her heart, which Wei Qing then occupied.
She became infatuated, learnt how to deck up and imitated his friends, learning how to drink and sing. She was concerned of being despised if she couldn't keep up with their pace, so her grades rapidly dropped to the bottom. Wei Qing and those "friends" would show up to discourage her from studying whenever she felt regret, unease, and wanted to take up books.
She thought she and Wei Qing were in love until she overheard Wen Ruoning urging Wei Qing to keep dating her and not hurt her, and she realized that Wei Qing's approach had all been guided by Wen Ruoning from the start. Wei Qing didn't like her at all! It was yet another charity-Wen Ruoning's another vile self-righteous act of giving alms!
Song Juyao was furious, both because of being ridiculed and because of her jealousy towards Wen Ruoning. These negative emotions drove her to retaliate against Wen Ruoning, but it had disastrous consequences. Everyone sided with Wen Ruoning, thinking that Song Juyao was being unreasonable. Even her birth parents were disappointed in her and stated that they wouldn't have brought her back if they had known she would act in that way.
As a result, Song Juyao was eventually sent out of the country. She felt disheartened while overseas for a while and then tried to improve her mood. She ran into Raymond, who offered her both narcotics and tender love. This led her biological parents to cut ties with her, and Raymond eventually left her plunging her into an even deeper abyss.
After undergoing a challenging detox process at a drug rehab facility, she started anew, trying her best to find a job to support herself. However, she was repeatedly rejected due to her education and past struggles with drug addiction. She failed repeatedly, was mistreated, given a hard time, dismissed and ultimately accomplished nothing.
Finally as she walked outside the mall and saw the beautiful clothes on display, she wondered in a trance what had happened to her and how her life could have turned out this way. Everything had deviated from the path she had envisioned for herself from the moment she was brought back by the Wen family. She blamed herself, wondering why she hadn't persevered and why she was so easily influenced by others.
At that moment, Song Juyao noticed Wen Ruoning accepting Wei Qing's proposal on the mall's LED billboard. Wen Ruoning's face remained unchanged. It was still the same face with innocent and clear eyes that had never suffered. Meanwhile, Song Juyao's dream gown still hung on display in the mall.
And then, as she crossed the road, a car suddenly rushed out and crashed her into a bloody mess, ending her short, sad, and seemingly worthless life…..
Have you ever doubted your world and your life? Song Juyao had doubts, but only until her death.
She felt herself drifting upwards outside of her mangled body, traveling higher and higher until she discovered something incredible. She saw a lot of people and machines as she unbelievably felt as if she had floated out of a screen. There, she heard a director-like person say, "It’s a wrap! Song Juyao is finished. How is the response from the audience?"
"Director, we shouldn't say ‘she is finished’, we should say the trial is over."
"What a waste of words."
"The audience response is fantastic. They're all praising you, director. Most of the comments from the audience describe Song Juyao as unscrupulous, vain, deep-hearted, scheming, wicked, licentious, and insatiable... In short, it's all negative information. It seems she has no hope of commuting her sentence."
At this point, another staff member entered hastily and said, "Director, Song Juyao seems to have died."
The Director responded, "It's not surprising. Given all the bad things that happened inside, her negative emotions must have accumulated, leading to a mental breakdown. Besides, she's a murderer anyway, so this way she's paid for the death of the young master of the Huo family. Just inform the higher ups."
What are they talking about? What do they mean? The context of the conversation was unclear. Song Juyao uncontrollably followed a man and then she saw herself, as thin as skin and bones, lying in a strange pod. She watched a bizarre scene of her body being carried away in a body bag like a sack.
As the body bag passed other rooms, Song Juyao spotted Wen Ruoming and Wei Qing drinking water while sitting inside the identical oval-shaped pods. Continuing on, she actually saw her biological and adoptive parents - who had passed away six years ago - talking happily.
Watching her body bag passing by, they casually inquired before shrugging and resuming their conversation, as if only an insignificant dog had died…..
What is this? What kind of grotesque scene is this? Song Juyao looked like she had fallen into a terrible dream, in which everything was so bizarre that it overturned her perceptions.
At that moment, her repressed memories revived. She realized that everything was a facade, including her identity and life. It was all a performance orchestrated by others. Her suspicions were confirmed: her life was manipulated, even her life and death were not up to her let alone the direction!
Star Dream Entertainment, the largest entertainment company in the Red Lotus Empire, was owned by nobles and several prominent families. Its subsidiary, Dream Factory, was the most popular, with over a billion daily viewers. Their most talked-about program was a holographic live reality show called "Judgment Day," featuring criminals who disagreed with their verdict.
These criminals signed an agreement to enter the game cabin without their memories, becoming a new person in a virtual world with more than a billion viewers scrutinizing their every move.
In the virtual world, their fate was completely in the hands of the director and the audience. If viewers found the offender likable or believed their past mistakes were justifiable, they may be granted a second chance. If there was no grievance, public opinion would sway the court to retry their case. Even if no evidence is to be found to show that the previous sentence was incorrect, the offender may nevertheless receive a reduced sentence.
At a time when human existence is becoming increasingly dull and the mind needs more and more stimulation, this ultimate thrill of watching the live performance and being able to influence the fate of others made this show enormously sought after.
Reduced sentences were a rarity on the show. In fact, since the show began, no criminal has ever been able to change their fate as the director intentionally set up hurdles to lead defendants towards degeneracy and difficulties, like what happened to Song Juyao. Her pride was shattered repeatedly, hindering her progress towards her dreams and tempting her to become degenerate and turn into an ugly character that would offset the beauty of the protagonist, played by new-generation actress Wen Ruoning, promoted by Star Dream Group's entertainment company.
The trial was extremely unfair. The reason Song Juyao needed to undergo this trial was because someone tried to rape her, she resisted, and the rapist accidentally fell down the stairs and died. She was sentenced to life imprisonment. The man's family was very rich, so waiting for her could only be such a pathetic end.
Of course Song Juyao was not convinced, so after hearing about this trial reality show she resolutely decided to participate, and then...... died of a nervous breakdown in the game cabin without causing any splashes. It was only after her death that she learned the family of the rapist was an investor in the program.
Upon hearing this fact, Song Juyao burst out laughing, she laughed wildly until tears streamed down her face. So the truth was like this ah, so it was like this…. hahahahaha......
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