It was August. The air was still hot and disturbing.
That’s not right. This description of the environment had already been written.
It was August. The air was still… disturbingly hot. Right, that hasn’t been used yet.
This world’s Beijing Radio Station had merged with the Beijing Television Station a few years ago. Although they had merged, their offices were separate. Under the radio broadcasting building, Zhang Ye adjusted his western suit. He looked like a dog… a respectful person, before walking in. All the official employees had already started work early in the day. Now, a large portion of the people who entered were interview candidates, like Zhang Ye.
There was still some time; let’s examine the ring.
Zhang Ye lowered his head as he fiddled with the mysterious game ring on his left hand. The eye-catching screen could only be seen by him. The people surrounding him did not notice the screen. Zhang Ye felt a chill run down his back. It was too sinister. Could something have gone wrong with his brain? So as to result in such serious illusions? There was a second when he had thought that he would have to eat the brain supplement, Brain White Gold, for life.
The virtual screen had a few options.
[Merchant Shop]: Not unlocked.
[Lottery]: Obtain a treasure chest prize.
(Note: The increment of Reputation is related to the player's fame, exposure, achievement, trust, reputation and other related factors. The items in the Merchant Shop and Lottery can be bought using Reputation points. Reputation is total Reputation gained since the player's birth until today.)
190,000+ Reputation points?
Zhang Ye wondered for a while. He had obtained a few awards when he was in elementary school for writing composition. He also did alright in his studies during middle and high school. He was frequently praised by his teachers. Right, he even had the experience of going on TV. He and his dormitory mates in college were interviewed by a CCTV reporter on the streets in Xidan. Before the reporter could hand over a microphone to him, Zhang Ye had answered immediately, “I’m very happy.” Back then, the CCTV reporter was rendered speechless and said, “We aren’t asking that, we are asking if you feel…” And before he finished speaking, Zhang Ye, who seemed to be deep in thought, suddenly said loudly, “Socialism is good.” Well, it was unknown if it had been broadcast, in the end.
Were all these Reputation points obtained from that? To earn 190,000+ Reputation over 23 years? It seemed pretty good? However, Zhang Ye quickly did not think so anymore. When he opened the virtual screen’s options to see what he could buy with his Reputation points, he was rendered speechless for a long time.
The Merchant Shop had not been unlocked, so he could only click on the Lottery choice.
[Lottery]: Requires 100,000 Reputation points. Upon purchasing, the game will randomly choose a treasure chest.
Heavens. After all that he had done in his life, he had gathered enough Reputation points just to draw once in the Lottery? Just short of drawing twice? With the mindset of trying his luck with the Lottery, he touched the screen with his hand. It had a solid feeling. After confirming his selection on the prompted display, 100,000 points were spent and his Reputation immediately became 99,983. The Lottery interface flashed and a virtual wheel appeared. There was a needle and a button. On the wheel were the words, “Consumption Category”, “Stats Category”, “Skills Category” and “Special Category”. Each category had a respective color and its own region. The four regions were different in size. The Consumption Category took up a large portion of the wheel – nearly half of it. Next up were the Stats and Skills Categories. Together, they took up nearly the other half of the wheel. The smallest region was the Special Category. It only took up a tiny region and was nearly invisible.
A game screen introduction appeared!
[Consumption Category]: One-time use disposable consumable item.
[Stats Category]: Permanently increasing a stat.
[Skills Category]: Skill's experience item.
[Special Category]: Adds the purchasing privilege of buying a certain Merchant item.
Note: The treasure chest from the item category where the pointer stably stops will be the item that will be obtained.
Zhang Ye was confused. He could only try by pressing the button to begin the lottery. Ba Da! The Lottery began. The needle on the wheel kept moving as the wheel rotated clockwise extremely fast. After a few seconds, the needle slowed down and finally landed on the biggest area on the wheel, the Consumption Category.
The Lottery was completed!
A tiny golden treasure chest appeared. The prize was automatically stored in his inventory. And within his inventory appeared an icon of a “small golden treasure chest”! How do you use it? Zhang Ye tried stretching his hand into the inventory. His hand actually entered as if there was a space within it. As he touched the floating Treasure Chest (Small), he grabbed it and opened the treasure chest that no one else could see, while still on the street. With a flash of golden light, the treasure chest opened!
It was a tiny crystal!
Displayed Item: [Save].
Item Description: One-time use disposable consumable item. Saves a record. This save file can only be stored for half an hour.
Save? This was extremely familiar to Zhang Ye. Anyone who had played games knew that saves were used just before closing the game, or to redo a certain event later on. It could only be stored for 30 minutes? Did that mean that it could not be used 30 minutes after it had been used? The save would be invalidated? As for the Lottery and the treasure chests, they were not foreign to him. Many games had a Lottery. Treasure chests of different grades resulted in different grades of items. The probability was also different. Zhang Ye took the Save crystal out. The golden treasure chest immediately disappeared into points of light. Zhang Ye tinkered around with it. Pa! Accidentally, he had crushed the crystal.
At that moment, time seemed to stop for a second. Everything stood still!
When everything was restored, the ring’s interface had one more option. “Load Save” was displayed.
The record was saved just like this? Zhang Ye touched his nose, still confused. Newbie incentive? Background change? Treasure chest Lottery? Items? Save? Was he really playing a game?
“The interview is at 10 A.M. Let’s hurry.”
“Brother Sun, what’s the hurry? You will definitely be accepted.”
“That’s not necessarily true. They will only be hiring two people for the radio host position. I heard that there were more than 20 people that applied for the written interview. The competition is fierce.”
“Indeed. The position for hosts are the most popular. Old Zhou and I have comparatively less pressure. I applied to be an editor, while Old Zhou applied to be an operator. There is less competition, since fewer people applied for it.”
Some people said this as they walked in.
Zhang Ye looked at the time. He ignored researching the game ring and hurried upstairs. The interview today was too important for him. He had thought through his development path properly. With his qualities and image, should he be a television host? A singer? A movie star? He did not even qualify to be a villain in a movie. He wasn’t outstanding and would never become popular. Thinking it through, it was best that he start off as a radio host. The requirement of having good looks were lower by a tiny bit. The listeners would only have contact with his voice, so it was the best position for him to begin in. It was also the springboard for his future development. He could not fail at this!
Radio host interview venue.
There were over 20 people in the corridor. Everyone was a competing against each other, so the atmosphere was peppered with silence.
Zhang Ye glanced around and suddenly felt a chill.
All of the 20+ people were handsome and beautiful… except him.
All of the 20+ people were aged between 25 and 30 and had experience… except him.
Zhang Ye’s only advantage was that he was trained specially for the job. He was a graduate from the Media College’s broadcasting department. Besides that, he didn’t have a single advantage. After graduation, Zhang Ye had also interviewed at a few broadcasting media companies, but he was eliminated at the interview phase. Zhang Ye knew that it was because he lacked the looks and experience.
“Come on in.”
The first person was brought into the room. The interview was over in five minutes. When the next person was called inside, the people beside him quickly asked about the interview. However, after a few times, no one asked anymore. This was because everyone’s interview was different. Some were asked to interact on the spot with a difficult audience. Some were asked to debate on a topic. These differences were here to understand the candidate’s overall quality.
“Fifth person, Zhang Ye.” a female assistant called out with a list in her hand.
Zhang Ye took a deep breath and stood up. He would be lying if he said he wasn’t nervous.
Within the room were eight interviewers. There were both men and women and they looked serious.
Seeing Zhang Ye, at least two of them frowned. It was unknown what they found unsatisfactory.
Zhang Ye gently bowed. He handed over the required recordings of his information and speech to the interviewer before returning to his seat. He began introducing himself, “Dear Teachers*, how are you? My name is Zhang Ye. I’m 23 years old this year and I graduated from the Media College’s broadcasting major. I…”
A middle-aged man impolitely interrupted, “We have your resume, so you don’t have to repeat it.” He looked down at the information in his hands, “Oh, your written test results barely made the cut.”
The middle-aged woman beside him exchanged looks with him and took out a manuscript. She laid it on the table and said coldly, “There are only two questions for the interview. The first is for you to use your fastest speed to finish reading the manuscript and then read it off script.”
It was that simple?
Zhang Ye was overjoyed. Although going off script was not his best trait, it was not too difficult for him. He had undergone systematic training on this, back in college. It was considered part of the basics. As such, he walked up and picked up the manuscript and looked at it. There were about a thousand words. It was very long. But just as Zhang Ye was feeling confident that he could memorize all these words, the middle-aged woman stretched out her hands and took the manuscript from Zhang Ye’s hands after ten seconds.
“Oh? I haven’t finished reading it.” Zhang Ye said in surprise.
“That’s it. Read it.” The middle-aged woman said indifferently.
The other interviewers did not have any reaction. It appeared very normal.
However, Zhang Ye was in a daze, “Teacher, it was just ten seconds and there were a thousand words…”
The middle-aged man said unhappily, “If you need a day’s time to memorize it, then I can just grab anyone on the street to do it. Why would we need an interview? Since we asked you to recite it, recite it! Why are you saying so much nonsense!?”
Zhang Ye was a bit angry, “But…”
“Say as much off script as you can.” The middle-aged woman said impatiently, “Hurry up! There are still more than ten people after you!”
Zhang Ye swallowed his anger and began reciting, “A notary organization, which ensures judicial activities and the stability of social order in our country, is a special lawful cause. Notarization is a notary organization that depends on natural persons, lawful persons, or…or…” After ten seconds, that was all that he had read.
A few of the interviewers scribbled something on their books.
Following that, the middle-aged man waved his hand, “That’s it. There’s no need to ask the second question. Next.”
Zhang Ye knew that he had failed at his interview once again. He was disgruntled. Weren’t these people being too unreasonable? You didn’t even tell me how much time I had and asked me to go off script. In the end, you wanted me to begin just after ten seconds? Not to mention reciting it, I want to see you try reading a thousand words in ten seconds! If you can really finish it from beginning to end, then I’ll eat the Chang’e 3! Eh, forget it. The country would not let me eat that.
At the last moment before he walked out of the interview room, he heard the faint voice of an interviewer behind him, “In the future, people with such looks do not need to go through the interview. It’s a waste of our time!”
Zhang Ye heard this. Only then did he realize that the moment he entered, he had been given a death sentence. They had purposely given him an interview question that no one could answer, even under the threat of death!
I’m wasting your time?
You didn’t even give me a chance to answer! I don’t believe it!
Zhang Ye, who was in the corridor, felt like his heart had been wrenched out. He recalled the save record. The time that had passed since he had saved was still under 30 minutes and it was still within the save record’s effective time range. He decided to use it as a last resort as he opened up the ring’s game interface. Looking at the “Load Save” option, he gritted his teeth as he pressed down on it. He did not know if it would work!
*He’s using a formal mode of address here, kind of like “Sir” or “Mr.” in English. In Chinese, they use a more ambiguous word of respect that is also used to address teachers and there will be a play on words in the future, so the literal translation is used here.