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    Asianovel

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    In that instant, Fu Luoyin discovered that everything on his phone had been wiped clean – as if an invisible hand was manipulating the system, systematically opening and deleting each app before his eyes. Memo pages popped up, only to be erased in unison before him. His payment and savings system was locked, erasing all numerical traces. His ID card, which held his identity, was left devoid of any connection to him, not even his name remained.

    He was unable to send any messages or receive any calls.

    Back on the surface at the Science and Technology Park, Fu Luoyin deployed a drone and activated its navigation system for an aerial patrol.

    The drone ascended into the tempestuous storm, swaying unsteadily as it flew toward the neighboring streets.

    Fu's Technology Park is nestled in the heart of the city, where every square inch of land is worth its weight in gold. The surveillance screen rapidly unfolds the scene on the streets: urban traffic has come to a complete standstill, with red and green traffic lights flashing simultaneously; the roads are densely packed with vehicles, forming a chaotic mass. Pedestrians along the sidewalks display a gamut of expressions, each clutching their smartphones as they inquire about the situation and frantically search for their ID cards... This is not an isolated occurrence affecting him alone; the Quantum Security Wall has been breached, causing the entire alliance's existing security systems and cryptographic networks to collapse in totality!

    The image flickered, causing Fu Luoyin's brows to furrow. In an instant, he realized something crucial. With lightning speed, he pushed the joystick to its limit, altering the drone's ascent trajectory. Simultaneously, the drone slipped from his control and crashed into a building with a deafening explosion.

    The last transmitted footage was merely a chorus of terrified screams. Cold sweat drenched Fu Luoyin's palms – had he been a moment slower, the drone would have collided into a crowded area!

    His phone screen illuminated again, indicating a video feed had connected.

    Fu Luoyin's gaze remained fixated on it.

    Outside, a torrential downpour raged, accompanied by howling winds that accentuated the desolate silence of the already uninhabited tech park.

    The screen started off pitch black, with the frame trembling for a moment before abruptly transitioning to a slightly dim area, where the lighting was poor.

    The instant Fu Luoyin recognized this place, his heart felt seized by an invisible hand, causing a heavy and suffocating pain – an uncontrollable panic enveloped him entirely.

    This was the old Seventh Bureau.

    In the video, He Muya was bound to a chair with her wrists cuffed behind her back. On the ground beside her were large patches of bloodstains and several lifeless bodies of security guards piled up together. The female general already had silver strands in her hair; at that moment, her eyes were tightly shut, and she appeared utterly exhausted, leaving it uncertain whether she was still conscious.

    There was no sound in the video; it only displayed this scene, creating an eerie and terrifying atmosphere filled with indescribable oppression.

    Five seconds later, the video ended.

    Fu Luoyin clenched his fists until his knuckles turned white and cracked audibly.

    The wind outside grew louder, and Fu Luoyin suddenly heard the sound of a ringing bell.

    He thought he must have misheard, but after taking a few steps in the direction of the noise, he realized it was real – the ringing came from the landline upstairs. It was part of their Fu family's internal encrypted communication system, which established signal stations.

    Fu Luoyin rushed upstairs and picked up the phone.

    On the other end of the line was Fu Kai's voice, his usually calm tone now laced with anxiety. "Luoyin, are you in Jiangnan? Has something happened there?"

    Fu Luoyin spoke quickly, "I've disabled our home security system, cutting off power to sector B4. I just received a video, General He... she—"

    "Old Sector 7 has been seized," Fu Kai's voice held a hint of weariness and despair. "There have been many traitors within our ranks, especially in the Aerospace Bureau and Old Sector 7. Almost no one has made it out. Sectors 7, 9, the Defense Bureau, Sector 2, and the Police Bureau – all key institutions – have simultaneously come under attack. With internal spies collaborating with the enemy, countless lives have been lost, including your Uncle Dong—"

    Fu Luoyin's heart sank. He asked in a hoarse voice, "What about Lin Shuicheng? Are you and Mom alright?"

    Fu Kai replied in a similarly strained voice, "Don't worry for now, both your mother and I are safe. Luoyin, Lin Shuicheng is a crucial figure to RANDOM, so his safety should be ensured. We're currently gathered near the Defense Bureau's shelter. All communication channels have been compromised, but strangely, our household line still works. That's why I'm trying to reach you."

    Fu Luoyin remained silent.

    Fu Kai didn't directly mention Lin Shuicheng's whereabouts. If he hadn't escaped, then he must have fallen into the hands of the RANDOM organization.

    —The prospects were grim.

    Being in Star City, Fu Kai had access to more information and data than Fu Luoyin. He shared the current situation with him — at 1:00 PM that afternoon, the quantum security wall had been breached on all fronts. Following that, the RANDOM members launched a frenzied counterattack. The Alliance's weapon systems were directly commandeered. Before the anomaly was detected and the system shut down, the organization took control of precision-guided weapons, launching indiscriminate strikes across the entire Alliance, causing incalculable casualties.

    Simultaneously, a large number of scientists and leaders, including Lin Shuicheng, Jin Li, Yang Zhiwei, Xu Kong, and others, were captured at the old Seventh Bureau's front lines. Even hospitals came under attack. Only Lin Deng, whose security system had been switched to the FUs, managed to escape unscathed.

    Other malicious incidents were fortunately few and far between. The only solace was that the Defense Bureau and the Ninth Division of State Security had managed to regain control, each taking down the main power source of the automated weapons within three minutes, preventing further catastrophic consequences.

    "RANDOM's numbers aren't as high as we imagined, but this sudden attack caught us off guard, leaving us with limited response capabilities. Now that our communication systems are down, any devices involving signal transmission are rendered useless, including electronic navigation and radar detection. This means our military strength has been significantly weakened. Our weapon reserves are inadequate, and we can only rely on volunteer forces and reinforcements from various regions." Fu Kai asked softly, "How much of our own resources can we still utilize?"

    "Our systems should still be operational, Father. Our security systems haven't been breached," Fu Luoyin assured him.

    Fu Kai seemed puzzled. "Why is that?"

    The Fu family's security system had always been their own. If the quantum security wall could be breached, then there was no reason their security system couldn't be cracked, it was just a matter of time.

    —Why?

    He had disconnected the core secrets of the Fu Military Industry from the power grid seconds before the blackout, preserving everything. But why hadn't RANDOM directly decrypted their security system?

    The rain continued to pour, splashing against the floor-to-ceiling windows, leaving water stains. The two cats, both a bit frightened, came to crouch at his feet.

    Once again, Fu Luoyin heard Chen Lang's last words echoing in his ear.

    "AT RANDOM."

    By chance or by design, all is random.

    When he wields the tools of creation, he can manipulate cause and effect at will. He can make one die only to be reborn, or send a planet off its orbit.

    For these are the powers of a creator, and whoever controls them becomes a deity.

    RANDOM holds sway over high-ranking individuals, sowing uncertainty – this pertains to the realm of "humans."

    But what about "things"?

    How many elements beyond humanity does RANDOM control?

    In that instant, Fu Luoyin's mind raced with countless thoughts, and he suddenly found himself calm.

    He recalled the multitude of tiny butterflies in Lin Shuicheng's model, and even more distant memories – his order to eliminate Bai Yiyi's family from social circles; RANDOM's illusion during the Star University presentation.

    He had never believed in divine entities; anything that seemed to defy logic must have an explanation – just like when he flattened the intersection near the harbor.

    Fu Luoyin fell silent for a long while before he spoke, "…I understand."

    Fu Kai inquired, "What? What do you know?"

    Fu Luoyin bent down to scoop up both cats, nestling them into a cat carrier at his side. As he swiftly packed his belongings, he replied simultaneously, "Dad, we haven't lost. It's not that we're losing, but they're the ones who are about to lose!"

    All of this was the final flicker of a spent arrow, the last revelry of RANDOM, for they had played their last card – the recent targeted and precise assaults, coupled with Lin Shuicheng's Butterfly Effect algorithm, had driven RANDOM into a frenzied state of desperation. One member after another fell into captivity, and all resistance proved futile. The once-shadowy vast organization was now gradually coming to light.

    "They have severed the government's channels of communication with the public, orchestrating a multitude of heinous incidents and instilling widespread terror through the dissemination of threatening videos. In the shadows, they have dismantled the transactional and communicative systems of all Alliance residents... All these actions serve to propel the present circumstances backward by several centuries, leaving the Alliance on the brink of an artificially contrived state of anarchy."

    "In precisely twenty-four hours, the current monetary savings system will collapse entirely. Within a week, civil order will disintegrate completely. Cities will grind to a halt, medical facilities will become unreliable, and acts of violence will skyrocket. When shortages of supplies hit, people will believe doomsday has arrived. Looting, arson, bartering – it'll be a return to the law of the jungle, with everyone going to any lengths for mere survival."

    "But all of this isn't real. RANDOM doesn't possess functional quantum computers because six months ago, I proposed a countermeasure to expand the global quantum interference strike. Even if they had quantum computers, they wouldn't have been able to surpass the Alliance and restore them in such a short time. Similarly, they don't have the capability to decrypt all codes. They merely destroyed all systems reliant on the quantum security wall."

    "Fo Luoyin spoke solemnly, "They employed misdirection. Do you remember the punishment I imposed on the Bai family? I could cut off their access to everything essential in their lives because I had stakes in so many companies across various industries.

    "They breached the quantum security wall because there was something inherently flawed with it! The Pareto Principle, where 20% of society holds 80% of the wealth. They manipulated a portion of that 20%, directly affecting all resources under their control, creating an illusion of massive societal upheaval – issues that can't be resolved overnight but are solvable. As long as our government rebuilds communication stations and restores connections, this can all come to an end."

    "If RANDOM brainwashed a top executive at a core corporation, regardless of whether their technology or systems were compromised, as a member of the organization, that executive would cooperate in creating panic and the illusion that the breach had already occurred.

    "Similarly, if RANDOM managed to brainwash one of the key personnel responsible for the quantum security wall, starting today, regardless of whether the wall was successfully constructed or not, whether it was cracked or not... they could still infiltrate all companies, organizations, and institutions relying on the quantum security wall and launch devastating information attacks, because the quantum security wall was essentially meaningless from the start!"

    Those three seconds of decryption were far too abnormal, and the immediate counterattack by RANDOM only showcased an indescribable madness.

    Telecom companies, banking systems, schools, hospitals... The RANDOM organization held sway over numerous elites in society. This time, they had shown all their cards!

    Fu Luoyin packed up two cats and grabbed several kilograms of cat food on the way. He said in a grave tone, "Dad, we need to keep investigating. There's an issue with the quantum security wall; check on Yang Zhiwei. If there's a problem with communication, then go straight to the CEO of the telecom operator! It's just a terrorist organization. Today's incident has purged our ranks, which is actually a good thing. Their panic indicates fear and urgency. Let's see how long they can keep up their act! I'm heading over with reinforcements and weapons. Take care, Dad. If there's anything, use the internal system to contact me."

    The rain poured relentlessly outside.

    Fu Luoyin started his car, a faint red hue appearing in his eyes as icy rage spread through his body.

    He drove through the streets and towards the highway, but the roads were jam-packed. The passenger seat was piled high with weapons, and a grim atmosphere filled the vehicle.

    People outside remained clueless, more and more of them taking to the streets, asking each other what was happening. They were unaware of the impending disaster—a butterfly effect that would bring sudden calamity, upending their lives in the blink of an eye. They didn't know how many families would be shattered or how many partings would occur.

    This was RANDOM, the true embodiment of randomness—disasters struck indiscriminately, and the false gods created misfortune to lure people into their trap, grooming devoted followers.

    After repeating this cycle, all misfortunes, all people, and all events would be under their control. They called it "fate."

    Fu Luoyin activated the public broadcast and spoke clearly, "Hello."

    The passersby were drawn to the sound, all turning their heads to look at him.

    "Fu Luoyin, chairman of Fu's Military Tech and deputy director of the Alliance Research Bureau Sector Seven," Fu Luoyin announced. "I speak on behalf of the Alliance government. Our security system has been deliberately sabotaged, and the terrorist organization RANDOM is currently conducting large-scale attacks. Communications are down, so please spread the word. A state of high alert will be in effect in the coming days; avoid unnecessary travel. In this exceptional situation, let us unite to overcome it. There will be a shortage of supplies for about two weeks. The artificial vegetable cultivation bases in the first, second, and third floors, as well as the basement levels one and two of Fu's Military Tech Park, will be open to the public. This can provide food for approximately one week to the Jiangnan branch city. There will be designated personnel for coordination, so please trust us."

    "Now, I need to transport supplies to Star City. Could everyone kindly clear the way for me?" Fu Luoyin asked politely.

    Under the rain, people watched him silently, their gazes filled with confusion, bewilderment, and apprehension. Nonetheless, they all made room for him. Fu Luoyin honked his horn, and the vehicles in front struggled to create a path.

    "Thank you," he said.

    Reaching instinctively for his chest, he felt the photo of Lin Shuicheng safely tucked away.

    He whispered softly, his voice low and almost like a prayer.

    "Please don't get into trouble, little kitten. Wait for me. Wait for your husband to come for you."

    When Lin Shuicheng woke up, his head throbbed with pain.

    His memories were hazy, stopping at the moment he followed the security guard to find Kim Li in the quantum laboratory. When Kim Li opened the door, a sharp pain struck the back of his head, and Kim Li's expression turned extremely panicked.

    Everything after that was a blank.

    The overhead light was white and blindingly bright.

    It took Lin Shuicheng a long time to make out his surroundings: an old, empty room. The bed, table, and chairs were all somewhat worn and ordinary. In one corner, there were exercise equipment and a desk with a computer.

    The only unusual feature was that the walls were covered in sponge, the purpose of which was unclear.

    Lin Shuicheng stretched his body, surveyed the area, then got out of bed to explore further.

    There was a water glass, slippers, and a pink crystal paperweight on the bedside table, beneath which lay a yellowed scroll of calligraphy.

    Seeing this, Lin Shuicheng realized that someone – a woman, judging by the details – had lived here.

    He examined the doors and windows – all locked from the outside, making it impossible to see outside or detect any signs of life within.

    Scanning his surroundings once more, he confirmed that there were no other exits before taking a seat in front of the desk.

    He attempted to press the power button on the computer, but it was switched off.

    At the desk, Lin Shuicheng noticed more details: several small medicine bottles were placed beside it, all empty but evidently used consistently in the past, as the scent of medication still lingered. The edges of the bottles bore signs of wear and tear from frequent handling.

    The labels on the bottles had been removed, yet Lin Shuicheng suddenly realized where he was.

    This was a detoxification room.

    The sponge on the wall is there to cushion against injuries during detox for those struggling with addiction; the bottles on the table contain medications for desensitization therapy.

    Woman, a recovering drug addict.

    After a moment of stunned stillness, Lin Shuicheng reached out and gently shifted aside the crystal paperweight, revealing the xuan paper beneath it as he flipped through the pages.

    Rice paper was thin and brittle, faintly desiccated, with a diary nestled within its folds. As Lin Shuicheng reached for it, the diary tumbled out with a soft clatter.

    A phrase was inscribed on the rice paper, and Lin Shuicheng glanced at it before opening his diary to examine its contents.

    The diary was filled with this same poem, repeated endlessly. Sometimes the handwriting was neat and vigorous, at other times it was scribbled in pain and distress, as if someone had relied on these words to endure the torment of addiction.

    "Miles of mountains, miles of waters, I journey towards the Yuguan pass. Thousand lamps illuminate the night."

    "Winds howl through the night, snow falls incessantly, disturbing my homesick heart and shattering my dreams. There is no such noise in my homeland."

    "Miles of mountains, miles of waters."

    ……

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