IWOL Chapter 334: A Love Letter

The path under their feet was dark green, extending endlessly onward. Aside from the path, there was nothing else except for the dark blue that stretched on from all directions, like some kind of fantastical force field.

There were huge circular shapes floating in the sky, so large that they seemed small in comparison, just like how a basketball was to humans.

“Where are we?” Dong Linhai asked. Like everyone else, he stared curiously at their surroundings. This strange scene made him feel both inexplicably scared and curious at the same time.

“The information superhighway,” Dong Zheng replied. “That dark blue is the shield, and those round things are security bacteriophages, whose duties are to prevent the intrusion of viruses.”

Lin Hangzhi ‘s eyes widened, “What about us?”

“We’re data.” Dong Zheng turned his head and told everyone, “We got really lucky. Thanks to Allen, we can directly access Kether’s computer program through the emergency passage. My original plan was much more troublesome.”

“This is fantastic.” Wang Que leaned over and touched the path under her feet. The place she touched turned semi-illusory, and data could be faintly seen.

Dong Zheng said, “We mustn’t let the security bacteriophages swallow us as abnormal data. We should be fine so long as we stay on the emergency passage.”

Under Dong Zheng’s leadership, everyone walked along the information superhighway. As the highway stretched onward, the surface of the road sometimes became distorted, and sometimes it would rise or fall vertically. As they were walking, they suddenly realized that the path they’d walked before was over their head and even the path they were on had been mirrored many times over.

Without Dong Zheng there to guide them, they would have all gotten lost. In this massive data space, they felt no temperature, no exhaustion, no hunger, and no thirst. Their five senses seemed to have shifted into some other form. It was a strange feeling, as if…they had lost their human body, and only their consciousness remained.

They walked silently. Cui Zuojing had once entered Dong Zheng’s kernel. He intuitively felt that this place was much more open and more massive than Dong Zheng’s, and he kept asking, “How much longer?”

“We’re still in the emergency passage and still haven’t entered the program yet.” Dong Zheng raised his finger and pointed to the huge barrier standing in the distance. “That’s the firewall. Once we pass the firewall, we will officially enter the kernel.”

“It looks like it might take a long time to get there.”

“Then, let’s use a faster method.” Dong Zheng stopped walking. He closed his eyes and the spiritual force from his kernel slowly spread out, gradually forming a crawler.

This spider-like thing gave everyone a sense of great discomfort, but Dong Zheng casually touched the crawler’s head and said, “A data crawler. This mode of transportation can increase our travel a little.”

They climbed onto the crawler one after another. After he went up, Victor transformed into a cat and was held by Wang Que. The crawler’s size wasn’t small, and even with six people and a cat sitting on it, there was still plenty of room left. The crawler skittered quickly along the information superhighway, so fast that the surroundings became a blur. They watched as the firewall got closer and closer, and the security bacteriophages were left behind.

It took them about five minutes to reach the firewall. When they got close enough, everyone felt that the space was completely split in half, one half holding the outside world and the other half holding the kernel.

All the data entering the kernel needed to be checked by the firewall, which would block the more harmful data while releasing the more harmless data. Just as Cui Zuojing was getting worried that they would be stopped, the crawler swept through the firewall and quickly left the high wall behind.

Xia Qiongyun asked, “The emergency passage doesn’t require data verification?”

“Yes, I wrapped the crawler with Allen’s key in advance, so that’s why it didn’t identify us as abnormal data,” Dong Zheng explained. “As we moved through the firewall, its verification speed was very fast and that’s why you didn’t notice anything.”

Once they were able to smoothly enter the kernel, a brand new world unfolded before them. The reason they encountered no other data on the road was entirely because they took the emergency passage. Now that they’d entered Kether’s computer kernel, an endless amount of data traveling along the intertwining information superhighway milled past them at rapid speed.

The shield still hung high over their heads and the number of security bacteriophages had increased exponentially. There were also more floating objects in odd shapes, and many crawlers were purposefully moving about, grabbing data to pack and transport.

The crawler beneath them slowed down under Dong Zheng’s command. Dong Zheng looked around them. To achieve the true purpose of their trip and interfere with Kether’s operation, they needed to locate the memory or the CPU.

The primary reason why the Afternoon Tea Party was defeated in their final battle against the Queen was because they could not solve Kether, who was able to spy on them. Therefore, no matter what their plans were, it would inevitably be known by the Queen.

This time, they must solve this huge problem.

Except for Dong Zheng and Cui Zuojing, the others were talking in low voices, discussing their complete amazement at this world. Cui Zuojing sat next to Dong Zheng and asked, “What’s the plan?”

“We can determine the location of the core based on the direction of the data flow,” Dong Zheng explained in a low voice. “The computer’s main internal components are the memory, the controller, and the arithmetic logic unit. The controller and the arithmetic logic unit are usually known as the CPU, short for Central Processing Unit. They are the core part of a computer. As long as one goes missing or is destroyed, it would interfere with Kether’s operation.”

This was a little bit out of Cui Zuojing’s field of expertise. Anyway, this was Dong Zheng’s home court. The specific decision-making and implementation would depend on him alone. They could only strive to support him. Even then, they might not be able to help and might hold him back.

Most of the data originating from the kernel were converging toward a certain center. Dong Zheng drove the crawler to follow these data. As it approached a certain direction, there was more and more data intertwining on the information superhighway, densely converging onto one branch and rushing toward one specific place.

Ten minutes later, Cui Zuojing finally saw the spot at the end of his sight. It was a square glass room. As most of the data passed through it, they disappeared from sight.

The crawler’s speed slowed down. It slowly approached the glass room. As it got closer, Cui Zuojing clearly saw that the square glass room had some plants. The green branches and leaves concealed a wooden table, and someone was sitting on that table, looking out.

“Is that a person?” Victor voiced the doubts in everyone’s hearts.

Dong Zheng pressed his palm down to signal for Cui Zuojing to remain patient. He jumped off the crawler, and the others followed down one after another. Dong Linhai stretched out his hand to take Wang Que’s hand, even as clear data passed by them and rushed into the glass room, disappearing without a trace.

“This is the memory processor,” Dong Zheng whispered as he observed the situation in the lower glass room from outside. The glass room had blooming flowers and plants of various shapes and sizes.

Under the cover of flowers and other greeneries, the man wore a red robe that was reminiscent of the clothes worn by European royals in the Middle Ages, with layers of clothes hanging down to the ground. His short chestnut hair was slightly curled, and his temples were covered with several colorful bird feathers. A mask hung at his waist, as if he could stand up and step onto the dance floor of a carnival at any time.

Dong Zheng walked to the front and knocked on the glass.

The person, who was sitting at the table writing something, raised his head at the sound. He had a pair of ember eyes and his delicate facial features were almost androgynus. The golden patterns spreading upward from his neck toward his face were a mixture of wind and flowers.

He was clearly surprised to see Dong Zheng. Standing up, he said, “Please come in.”

His voice was indistinguishable. The glass room was too big, so Dong Zheng only walked in with Cui Zuojing, leaving the others outside.

“It has been a long time since anyone else came here.” The man stared at Dong Zheng with a smile. “I haven’t seen anyone other than Kether.”

That face was beyond human comprehension. His raised smile was so beautiful that it was hard to look directly at it. At this moment, Dong Zheng had already guessed his identity. “Sorry for the inconvenience. We’re just passing by on our way to find the CPU.”

The computer memory was responsible for storing programs, data, and various kinds of signals. He primarily worked with information, and therefore he had no antivirus function. He could not identify abnormal data, or if he found abnormal data, he wouldn’t expose it.

Hearing that Dong Zheng was looking for the CPU, Memory’s eyes lit up and he said, “You’re going to find her? Can you help me with something?”

Cui Zuojing was taken aback. “What?”

Memory folded the paper he’d been writing and stuffed it into an envelope. He said shyly, “This is a letter to my CPU. Can you give her this letter?”

Whether judging by the pink envelope painted with rose paint, or by Memory’s shy expression, something told Cui Zuojing that it was a love letter.

A love letter written by the memory to the ‌CPU.

Cui Zuojing: “…………..”

Cui Zuojing suddenly realized the magic of the world, messy as it was. Dong Zheng took the envelope, looked down, and said, “Okay, so can you tell us where she is?”

Memory pointed to an information superhighway behind the glass house. “Go straight down this path and you will see her.”

A question rose in Cui Zuojing’s heart. He raised his hand and asked, “Why didn’t you go and find her yourself?”

A wry smile appeared at the corners of Memory’s lips. He shook his head and said, “I can’t leave here. But I will send a letter every day. I look forward to her responding to me, but so far, there has been no response. That’s why I’m asking you to personally deliver this letter to her.”

Cui Zuojing realized the point. “You haven’t seen her?”

“No, we can’t leave this place, but I think that she must be a very beautiful person. Otherwise, how can she do so many things in such an orderly fashion?”

“I will try my best to deliver this to her.” Dong Zheng put the letter into his chest pocket. “Don’t worry.”

After accepting Memory’s request, they walked out of the room and climbed back onto the crawler. Memory stood at the door, watching the crawler drift away along the information superhighway. There was still clear information entering his glass room in the form of data and being stored.

Memory gently exhaled, turned back to the table, and sat down. He pulled out a new piece of paper from the drawer and started writing tomorrow’s love letter to the CPU.

When the glass room disappeared from view behind them, Cui Zuojing finally exclaimed, “Even computer parts can fall in love?”

The others listened to him describe their “adventures” in the glass room, and their reactions were no different from Cui Zuojing’s. The computer memory liked the CPU? This was too cyberpunk.

“He hasn’t seen her before, or even communicated with her. This kind of love is amazing.” Lin Hangzhi sighed. “At least with online dating, you can chat every day.”

In the end, the seven humans present couldn’t figure out the computer memory’s admiration for the CPU. He had never met her, did not know her appearance, and had not even exchanged letters with her. Yet, he still fell in love.

It was important to pass this letter. Since he’d promised Memory, Dong Zheng would try his best to deliver this letter.

As they travelled on the path that Memory had pointed out to them, nothing eventful happened. They were mixed in with a lot of normal data and were protected by the secret key. As a result, they didn’t attract the attention of the security bacteriophages and anti-virus programs in the sky. At first, this cyberspace kernel with its punk style scene caused everyone to look around, but after some exposure, it was no longer so novel.

That was, until a huge trash can appeared at the end of their line of sight. The trash can was monstrously huge, with three blues arrows drawn on it. The arrows were circulated in a circle—exactly like the enlarged version of the recycle bin on a computer desktop.

Cui Zuojing swore that this was definitely the largest trash can in the universe. The trash can connected several superhighways, which threw countless information into it. The visual effect was simply shocking.

Victor asked softly, “A recycle bin?”

“Sure is.”

The crawler walked along the road and passed by the recycle bin. Numerous checkpoints combed through the data and threw what was useless into the trash can. The Wonton Insurgency were detected, along with the crawler they were riding on, but Dong Zheng used the key to protect them, allowing them to pass through the checkpoint without encountering any danger.

“Is Allen’s key so easy to use?” Cui Zuojing asked in confusion. “This is the inside of Kether’s base, can we really move about unimpeded?”

Dong Zheng shook his head. He’d been encountering issues since the moment they’d entered this computer world. With the help of his kernel, he could see far more problems than the others. “The key’s relationship with this world isn’t too big. But this shouldn’t be Kether’s internal world. Perhaps…our understanding of Kether deviates from the truth.”

Memory’s appearance had strengthened this notion. For example, if Kether was really the visualization of an entire computer, then why did Memory exist in the form of an independent individual?

These doubts could only be solved after seeing the CPU.

The crawler continued to move forward. No one knew how long this would continue. After a while, the journey became very boring when no one knew how long the journey would be, especially when they couldn’t get tired or sleepy.

Dong Linhai yawned. Although he wasn’t sleepy, the surrounding scenes were just too boring. “Is this computer such a large one?”

Dong Zheng explained, “No. The flow of time here and the real world is different. You think about it. Considering the speed of a supercomputer, the time it takes to send data from the memory to the CPU is so short that it is impossible to calculate. Our current time has been infinitely enlarged, so that’s why you feel the journey is extraordinarily long.”

Cui Zuojing nodded, “Indeed, the time here almost seems to never pass.”

“We should be there soon. Be patient.”

As Dong Zheng had said, it didn’t take very long. After a quarter of an hour, they came upon a cage.

Just like the glass house, the cage was in the center where countless information superhighways converged. Massive amounts of information flooded in and went through the same path after being redistributed. In the three-meter-high black bird cage, a slim woman in a black dress was sitting alone on the floor, her silver hair hanging down to her waist.

‌There were no flowers, tables or chairs in the glass room. The whole cage was empty except for the woman.

Wang Que asked in a low voice, “Is this it?”

“It should be.” As usual, he and Cui Zuojing climbed down. As Dong Zheng walked toward the cage, he noticed that when they passed by, they caused a wave among the data. The person in the cage looked up at them.

She had the same amber eyes as Memory. And like Memory, dark-gold lines rose from the side of her neck and outlined anemones on her cheeks. The lines would become light or dim, and the number of flowers represented the number of CPUs being used.

Compared with the indistinguishable Memory, she was more feminine, and she also had a beauty that was indescribable to human beings. Seeing them, a hint of surprise flashed across her eyes.

“Who are you? How did you get here?” Unlike Memory, the CPU was more vigilant.

“Someone asked me to deliver this to you.” Dong Zheng took out the envelope.

The CPU did not get up. She stretched out her hand and took Dong Zheng’s letter from between the gap in the cage. “What is this?”

“Memory asked me to deliver this to you.”

“Really? This is the first time he has sent me a letter.” The CPU was obviously a little confused. She didn’t rush to open the envelope in front of a stranger, but put it on her lap and continued to ask, “I can feel that your data is abnormal. Why are you here?”

“We used a key to enter through the emergency passage,” Dong Zheng said. “If I may take the liberty to ask, did Kether lock you in here?”

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3 years ago

Hmm I wonder if maybe freeing the CPU and memory will disrupt kether so they can go live their own lives

Seathe the Scaleless
Seathe the Scaleless
3 years ago

The CPU and memory are cute lol

1 year ago

Shipping cpu and memory all aboard toot toot