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    The sound of the rainstorm didn't cease. After pushing open the window, the roar of wind and thunder intensified, sweeping away the stuffiness in the room.

    Standing by the window, Kim Li remained unusually quiet after his constant chatter. "Boss is truly committed to artistry. Is it because the predecessor leader of the B4, that Chu person, was the starting point? I bet Little Lin must be going crazy, right?"

    He had smoothly switched to addressing Yang Zhiwei as "Boss."

    The recorder next to him was a woman who spoke impatiently, "Don't interrupt. Aside from what you've already told us, is there anything else?"

    Kim Li's blue eyes glanced at her. "With so much data, I don't have a photographic memory. It's unrealistic to expect me to recall everything for you. You've kept me captive for so long, where's my chicken leg hamburger and Coke?"

    The woman grew even more impatient. "Reconstruct the data first. Record everything you can remember."

    Kim Li shrugged. "Then I'll need a computer. My memory might not be accurate, and I need modeling and databases to verify and restore the information."

    The woman said, "No internet connection allowed."

    Kim Li rolled his eyes unceremoniously. "How am I supposed to check anything without the internet? Are you going to read my fortune? Tell me the structure of the rising-state network and flow state machine? I'll research here while you watch, alright?"

    The woman shot him an unhappy glance but didn't say anything. After leaving for a moment, she returned with the equipment Jin Li had requested and stood by his side to supervise his recording.

    Chu Shihan was buried in the largest cemetery for war heroes in Star City. Surrounded by mountains, it was situated in a remote area with plenty of undeveloped land.

    RANDOM's last major base was hidden within, the isolation facilitating the establishment and concealment of quantum computers and large-scale experimental equipment. The place had always been clean and quiet, but the recent turmoil in Star City had added an air of desolation.

    The lush green hills and clear waters were now veiled in a grayish mist. The heavy rain dyed the sky and earth a deep shade of blue, while steam rose from the ground, carrying a stifling heat that made it almost impossible to breathe.

    Approaching from within Star City were over thirty remaining RANDOM members, escorting Yang Zhiwei. Behind them, Lin Shuicheng was dragged off the equipment truck.

    One man held his shoulder, while the other dragged him along the ground on his knees—both Lin Shuicheng's hands and knees were bound, restricting him in an uncomfortable position. For the past day and night, he had been confined in the truck's cargo compartment, only allowed to drink water.

    In the pouring rain, Lin Shuicheng's dark hair quickly became drenched, making his fair complexion appear even paler and more haggard. There was a captivating vulnerability about him.

    By now, he had regained consciousness. However, the sudden brightness outside the dim truck interior momentarily blinded him. He struggled, but was swiftly restrained.

    Yang Zhiwei approached with a black umbrella, while a RANDOM member held Lin Shuicheng's chin, forcing him to lift his head.

    "I know this is the place you wanted to come but couldn't," Yang Zhiwei said. "Shuicheng, you can see it now."

    Lin Shuicheng opened his eyes to find the heavy rain and mist dampening his eyelashes, hanging down in a delicate, melancholic manner.

    In the mist, a tombstone stood on a square piece of green stone. At its center was a black and white portrait of a young man, a face strikingly similar to Fu Luoyin's. However, his expression was gentle and compassionate, devoid of any hostility, as if he held pity for all things in this world.

    This was where his journey began, yet it seemed not entirely so. On that rainy day when he was barred from entering the cemetery, he finally mustered the determination to switch his major to Quantum Analysis - exerting every last bit of strength to break through the invisible wall. Unbeknownst to him, every step was leading him to the endpoint others desired.

    Yang Zhiwei gazed at him with a hint of amusement in his eyes - seemingly content with the look on Lin Shuicheng's face.

    He whispered softly, "Your beloved will soon arrive with the information I need to release you. In front of the grave of his identical twin brother, what do you think he'll be thinking? This is the romance of fate, Shuicheng. Everything started here, and everything will end here."

    "Every aspect of your life has been meticulously planned, every path paved by my own hands, even though you're no longer useful to me." Yang Zhiwei leaned slightly forward, locking eyes with Lin Shuicheng. "As a token of my teacher's affection, I'm granting you the freedom to return to fate's embrace. See that forest lookout tower on the other hill? That's where our sniper lies in wait."

    "Fu Luoyin can't bring any communication devices or weapons this time. The surrounding area is saturated with high-energy radiation fog, preventing him from contacting anyone outside. He'll come alone...and leave just as cleanly, under the rain of bullets. I'll make sure you witness that moment," Yang Zhiwei narrowed his eyes slightly. "Witness fate's mockery to the end, Shuicheng. Only then will you truly become strong."

    Lin Shuicheng shook his head, too weak to produce a clear sound.

    Yang Zhiwei leaned in to listen carefully, finally discerning his words: "He won't."

    "He's already agreed to come. Both Fu brothers are deeply attached to you, aren't they?" Yang Zhiwei told him gently, seemingly surprised by his naivety and aware that it was the most piercing dagger to his heart. "He chose to come here to meet his demise. What could I do about that?"

    Lin Shuicheng murmured again, "He won't."

    He seemed to be in a trance, and it took Yang Zhiwei a moment to notice that Lin Shuicheng was smiling – a soft smile, with the corners of his lips slightly curled up, making even the red mole at the corner of his eye appear exceptionally vivid. It wasn't a mad grin but a clear and detached one.

    Raising his eyes to meet Yang Zhiwei's gaze, Lin Shuicheng asked slowly, "Teacher, did you really predict everything in my life?"

    His demeanor was somewhat peculiar, causing Yang Zhiwei's expression to darken as he looked at him intently.

    With a burning sensation in his throat, the heavy rain blurred Lin Shuicheng's vision, while the heat haze exacerbated the pain in his joints and muscles. Taking a few deep breaths, he continued, "He won't because you don't understand him, and because just like me, Teacher, you've walked five years ahead. But what good does it do when I'm merely recreating an algorithm you discarded five years ago? The problem of chaos remains unsolvable, and you haven't even found a clue to it."

    Yang Zhiwei replied indifferently, "I've known that for a long time, and I've given up searching for its solution. Are you stalling for time on behalf of that boy named Fu?"

    "Teacher Yang, do you know what I was thinking about in the car?" Lin Shuicheng lifted his gaze, his eyes clear and bright, a look that reminded Yang Zhiwei of their initial encounter: Lin Shuicheng panting, clutching his report, bursting into the hall in disarray yet exuding an irresistible presence.

    That detestable, unbreakable, radiant aura.

    In a day and a night, butterflies no longer appeared in his dreams.

    In his dreams, he forced himself to think relentlessly, just like every weekend afternoon when he sat by Uncle, the dorm supervisor, staring at the timer, with the ticking countdown imminent, and his only thought being: faster, think more clearly. He possessed a brain that combined human and quantum capabilities, but he hadn't pierced through the fog; heaven hadn't granted him the talent to astound the world.

    He was simply himself, an averagely clever and exceptionally diligent student.

    He possessed all the ordinary emotions and loves of this world.

    Lin Shuicheng earnestly reviewed his life, traversing the courtyard of his childhood, the classrooms of his adolescence, and the laboratories of his youth, finally arriving in this rain-soaked, pale-blue day. He knew that unless there was an unexpected turn of events, this would be his last time unraveling puzzles, his final immersion in that state of emptiness. Just like that late night at home a few months ago, with the tabby cat pacing along the back of the sofa, and the man smoking menthols holding him close, leaning down to kiss his lips, cool and hinting at intimacy; he dreamed within a dream, envisioning himself hesitating in a room occupied by twin boys, witnessing a mage with blades for feet and curved roads as wings turning back to look at him, those elfin eyes gazing deeply.

    His mind raced, dispelling layer upon layer of mental blockage, until the only sound in the world was the beating of his own heart. The pain stimulated his consciousness, cheering on the blood flowing through his entire body. He had fifteen days during his collaboration with the pharmaceutical company, and seven days with the famous painting case at Star University.

    Now, all that remained for him was a fleeting spark.

    Yang Zhiwei's expression began to take on an odd quality. "What are you thinking?"

    "I'm thinking," Lin Shuicheng smiled again, "that the path my teacher set me on is identical to yours, and your path was wrong. How could I possibly come up with the right solution? Your algorithm... and the logic you guided me through, it's like a butterfly flapping its wings, eventually causing a storm. This approach to algorithms... it was flawed from the very beginning."

    Yang Zhiwei gazed at him, saying nothing, but his face clearly darkened.

    Lin Shuicheng spoke softly, "'A nail lost is a horseshoe lost; a horseshoe lost is a horse lost; a horse lost is a general lost; a general lost is a battle lost; a battle lost is a kingdom lost...' [Quotation]"

    "This is a classic example of the butterfly effect, but Teacher, does the fall of a kingdom truly hinge on a nail, and is a storm truly linked to that one butterfly?"

    A wave of dizziness swept over him, the aftereffects of low blood sugar and lack of medication seemed to be resurfacing. Lin Shuicheng struggled to lift his gaze, attempting to distinguish Yang Zhiwei's face amidst the illusions and reality. "You know as well, Teacher, that's not what the butterfly effect means. It merely signifies in weather systems how a butterfly's disturbance can significantly alter a chaotic system, demonstrating the impact of disturbances on such systems...not because of the butterfly itself."

    The hallucinations flickered before him, transporting him back to that afternoon under public scrutiny, with a man's deep voice echoing through the notebook's audio connection.

    —Do you see it? That's a false god.

    From that day on, he was aware of something stirring within him—something transformed and emerged. All because someone had forcefully entered his world, shaking the foundations of his understanding.

    Fu Luoyin was the sole unexpected variable in his life.

    Lowering his head, he saw Fu Luoyin's sharp, vigilant gaze staring at him from the ID badge on his chest. The office was filled with everlasting flowers; among countless delicate pink petals, a vibrant red rose hid. Throughout the day, the humid space would be infused with the scent of blossoms.

    Lin Shuicheng continued, "But why, Teacher, did both you and I choose the chain-based algorithm, tracing causality and correlation from the butterfly itself? You often said I liked finding solutions in errors, but aren't you doing the same?"

    Each word, clear and powerful, resonated in hearts.

    The rain intensified, almost obscuring Lin Shuicheng's voice, yet he persisted, speaking with unwavering determination. "You pushed me down this path, repeating the facts you desired. You took away my family and lover, hoping to make me completely subject to fate...I didn't understand then, Teacher, I didn't understand. I clung to the past, to myself, but that was wrong. This algorithmic logic shouldn't exist."

    —I know what you're thinking, little kitten.

    —I know you're afraid.

    —But let me tell you... none of these reasons led to what happened. If anything happens to me today, it won't be because of you; it's because I chose to meet you.

    Lin Shuicheng's vision had already blurred, overwhelmed by hallucinations. Drenched in rain, his bones trembled from the cold. "The consequences of a chain prediction can only result in infinite recursion or unremovable errors. The effect of time on fate... it shouldn't be calculated using such logic. Chaos is not randomness. Two identical random systems will yield vastly different results, whereas two identical chaotic systems will produce the same outcome. Fate exists, even observable. But it's not random, not RANDOM, and certainly not something created by you... pseudo-god."

    —Your family would have felt the same way. When you were born into this world, they would have been filled with joy, without considering the rest.

    —Don't be afraid.

    Lin Shuicheng continued, emphasizing each word, "This is the indicator I found, Teacher. Only the powerless get lost in unsolvable mysteries, while true explorers exhaust all means to seek that indicator. To learn the truth in the morning and die content in the evening... A predictable fate doesn't deserve the title of fate. Only human beings themselves are the indicators of a chaotic system. We've used the wrong approach, like in Gutenberg-Richter recurrence relations. Beno Gutenberg studied earthquake chaos systems using statistics instead of prediction. All past earthquake magnitudes, energy, intensities, and accelerations became the foundation of his research, and he discovered the pattern."

    "I never believed that human efforts to approach the limits of theory were meaningless. Your notion of romance still seems romantic to me. If this is the destiny of all life since ancient times—to be bound by the universe, destined to lack a higher perspective, destined to never approach the answers to all challenges—then the greatest struggle against such fate is what makes humans great," Lin Shuicheng said hoarsely. "You don't understand, because you don't love."

    Perhaps the predetermined paths were expected by others, but the experiences he once had—those were real. The flavors of life, the joys and sorrows, were things he had genuinely lived through and possessed.

    It was the night when Grandpa hunched over to cook soup for him, the sound of Lin Deng bursting into his classroom, flinging himself into his arms, saying "Brother, someone hit me" in a mix of grievance and mischief; it was walking home side by side with Lin Wang on a snowy night... it was the storm glass Chu Shihan made for him, and Fu Luoyin's kiss on his lips. Even Yang Zhiwei, whose constant encouragement and companionship were an integral part of his journey.

    Yang Zhiwei stood frozen, silent for a long moment, as mist enveloped them. Lost in illusions and dizziness, Lin Shuicheng struggled to discern his expression.

    After saying all that – taking a deep breath and gathering all his strength – he struggled to stand up and run away!

    The ropes still bound him tightly. His blood circulation had decreased from maintaining one position for so long, leaving his lower body numb. The sudden movement caused Lin Shuicheng to convulse violently, only to be pinned down by two RANDOM members beside him – "Stay still!"

    This struggle drained all of Lin Shuicheng's energy. He fell back to his knees, his knees throbbing with pain. He gasped for air, his vision blurring again from the pain and rain.

    "Impossible," Yang Zhiwei said in a grave tone. "There's no error in my algorithm! Your theory is nonsensical!"

    A slight tremor could be detected in his voice, indicating that Lin Shuicheng's words had shaken him. His subordinate called out to him twice, but he didn't respond until the third time, when he turned abruptly and asked, "What?"

    Startled by his bloodshot eyes, the subordinate repeated nervously, "…The Fu family has arrived…"

    The sound of car tires drew closer, and headlights illuminated the area.

    As agreed, Fu Luoyin came alone, the headlights blazing as he passed through the checkpoint's weapon scan.

    His voice echoed throughout the cemetery, reverberating with each bounce, "I'm here alone. The car is empty, no other weapons. You can send someone to check. No one else knows your coordinates."

    "Where is Lin Shuicheng?"

    Yang Zhiwei made a gesture, canceling the emission of high-energy radiation mist. The dense, white heat gradually dissipated, as if the winter frost on a window had been wiped away.

    The world around them became increasingly clear.

    In the drab gray rain, Fu Luoyin appeared in his Alliance military uniform, standing straight and solemn. He stepped out of the car, holding a black umbrella. His black gloves seemed to blend with the umbrella handle, like an ink splash that was about to dissolve into the blue-gray rain curtain.

    Spotting Yang Zhiwei at the end of the road, Fu Luoyin showed no surprise.

    Yang Zhiwei asked, "Where's B4?"

    With a detached tone, Fu Luoyin replied, "In the car. I need to pick up Lin Shuicheng first."

    "How do you prove the authenticity of your claim?" Yang Zhiwei stared intently at him.

    "Believe me or not, I'm here for Lin Shuicheng," Fu Luoyin said, maintaining a professional demeanor. "You're free to send someone to check the car right now."

    Unfazed, he continued walking straight toward them.

    The organization members beside Yang Zhiwei instinctively raised their guns, a sea of dark muzzles pointed at Fu Luoyin. The atmosphere was tense and fraught.

    Despite being alone, Fu Luoyin exuded an overwhelming aura that was palpable—such a person must have had some hidden trump cards!

    Kneeling on the ground, Lin Shuicheng's vision blurred, and his throat was so parched that he could hardly utter a single word.

    Yet, he heard the sound of footsteps approaching him through the rain, accompanied by the familiar scent of mint. The pair of military boots stopped right in front of him.

    He wanted to tell him to leave quickly—but his voice was completely gone, leaving him only able to mouth a simple gesture, hoping Fu Luoyin would understand.

    "I'm here to get you, Lin Shuicheng," Fu Luoyin bent down, reaching out to touch his cheek.

    Desperately shaking his head, Lin Shuicheng's eyes were bloodshot, and the hoarse voice that emerged didn't sound human. "Go, go quickly!"

    However, Fu Luoyin seemed not to hear him. He knelt in front of Lin Shuicheng, undoing the restraints and ropes binding him from behind. Gently stretching his joints and muscles, he watched as Lin Shuicheng broke into cold sweat from the pain. Without hesitation, he picked him up horizontally.

    Looking up at Yang Zhiwei, Fu Luoyin said, "I'll take him back to the car first. Will you come with me to retrieve the data? Lin Shuicheng is in the car; I wouldn't joke with his life."

    Just as Yang Zhiwei was about to turn and instruct someone nearby to check on the situation, Fu Luoyin interrupted him straightforwardly. "B4 is what you want. So, do you lack the courage to claim it now that I've dared to come for your man?"

    After a moment of hesitation, the intense desire to survive overpowered all cautious judgment. Yang Zhiwei gestured, glanced at the distant forest ranger lookout tower, and then followed Fu Luoyin.

    Lin Shuicheng had a vague understanding of what Fu Luoyin intended to do. He struggled relentlessly, but Fu Luoyin held him tightly in his embrace, not allowing any movement – as if he sought to blend him into his very bones and blood.

    He lowered his head to look at him, his gaze gentle as water.

    This was their first encounter since their farewell outside the elevator. Many words were left unsaid, and numerous kisses untouched.

    Fu Luoyin tenderly kissed his forehead. "Drive, you can, with the autonomous driving system. There won't be any more trucks crashing into us this time, little kitten."

    Lin Shuicheng shook his head desperately, using all his remaining strength to hit, scratch, and bite him, but to no avail. Fu Luoyin placed him inside the car, fastened his seatbelt, then retrieved a thick stack of documents from the front passenger seat before securing the vehicle.

    With his voice command, he said, "Start! Destination, headquarters of Star Defense Bureau."

    Lin Shuicheng fought desperately, trying to free himself from the seatbelt with all his might, but failed. The car gradually started moving, slipping away into the distance.

    In the distance, members of the RANDOM organization were also closing in, their dozen gun barrels still ominously aimed at Fu Luoyin.

    Fu Luoyin closed the car door and turned to extend his hand to Yang Zhiwei.

    Yang Zhiwei reached out to take it, but Fu Luoyin suddenly exerted force, preventing him from doing so. They remained suspended in mid-air, locked in a stalemate.

    "Professor Yang, I have a question for you." Fu Luoyin looked at him, then glanced at the watchtower on the opposite hill.

    That wolf-like intuition made even the sniper a hundred meters away feel a chill!

    —"You never intended for me to leave this place alive, did you?"

    Professor Yang's expression shifted. Fu Luoyin tossed the file bag behind his back, revealing a retractable device hidden under his glove – silver and shimmering like a small button. At the same moment, gunshots echoed!

    Blood splattered as the sniper's bullet hit Fu Luoyin's palm. Simultaneously, he was struck by an attack from up close. Fu Luoyin fell heavily to the ground!

    In the blink of an eye, the nanobombs forming the extendable glove dispersed and reassembled, spreading across the entire area in 0.01 seconds and creating a powerful blast that sent everyone flying!

    Explosive shockwaves and flames erupted simultaneously, silencing the gunfire in an instant.

    Yet, the subsequent silence was more unbearable than death itself.

    The Fu family's equipment vehicle had already accelerated. Lin Shuicheng fiercely kicked the control system, crazily yet calmly smashing the car window with his elbow—just as he had shattered the window and deactivated the autonomous driving system during that stormy night. But now, he was dealing with the most secure vehicle of the Fu Military Technology, its windows incredibly thick.

    —How could he abandon him and leave alone?

    Lin Shuicheng panted fiercely, his elbow numb from the impact, the bone almost shattered. Yet, he felt no pain, clenching his teeth as he turned back. With all his might, he pulled out the headrest from the driver's seat and relentlessly struck the window with the pointed end of the steel pipe until blood seeped into his fingernails. Only then did the car window finally show a crack.

    "Collision detected, autonomous driving system has been suspended."

    Lin Shuicheng, unfamiliar with driving, turned the wheel and immediately drove back into the thick smoke.

    A hush blankets the world under the intricate web of pouring rain.

    If there were indeed wandering spirits in this world, at this very moment, they would undoubtedly be sitting silently atop the gravestones, witnessing this earthly farce without uttering a single word.

    Only the tempest remained.

    Lin Shuicheng slammed on the brakes and leaped out of the car.

    Fu Luoyin lay on the ground, drenched in blood—there were countless bullet holes in his body, and his right hand had been shattered, with crimson blood seeping through and being diluted by the rainwater.

    "Fu Luoyin," Lin Shuicheng felt lucid, yet his tears flowed relentlessly, mingling with the raindrops. "Don't die, I'm here to take you home."

    Distant explosions began to boom, one after another, like muted firecrackers—this was the aftermath of RANDOM's remnants activating their self-destruct system, as well as the bombs buried around the cemetery.

    With their location concealed, how long would it take for external support to find them in this cemetery nestled within mountains?

    Fu Luoyin was still conscious. He opened his eyes, barely managing to make out the person before him.

    "Don't cry," Fu Luoyin coughed, feeling as if several of his ribs were broken. Blood filled his throat, and he struggled not to spit it out in front of Lin Shuicheng. He forced a smile, "There's... a bulletproof vest."

    Lin Shuicheng whispered, "Don't speak."

    "I'm afraid there might not be enough time," Fu Luoyin said softly. "Why did you run back? You're so foolish."

    In Lin Shuicheng's eyes, a crimson hue shimmered, his hoarse whisper carrying no intimidation, resembling a tiny, claw-wielding kitten: "Don't speak!"

    Fu Luoyin looked at him and smiled: "Thought I was going to say I like you? —Impossible."

    "Lin Shuicheng, you're the person I've encountered in this life... the one I most want to have your affection." Fu Luoyin paused in pain to catch his breath before continuing, "Perhaps it's wishful thinking, but I feel... it's not enough, the time I have with you is too little. The first time we met... no, that's not right..."

    He was such a proud individual, his sincerity never held dear by anyone since childhood, hence he would never utter the word "like" again in his lifetime.

    "Stay quiet," Lin Shuicheng undid his clothing to assess the broken ribs, simultaneously shedding his own coat to tear off fabric for bandaging the bleeding wounds, "If you survive, Fu Luoyin, this life and the next, you'll be mine."

    His voice quivered uncontrollably.

    If this was destiny—

    If this was another chance, the only opportunity he had to reclaim something from fate, he would pay any price.

    In the midst of the torrential rain, amidst the gray cemetery, under the black umbrella, in the dark vehicle, and accompanied by that deep, hypnotic voice that seemed capable of lulling the entire world.

    Now he knew that it was their first encounter.

    On that foggy day when he was stopped outside the cemetery, a military vehicle emerged with its windows sealed. Because he was in the way, he vaguely heard someone inside ask, "What's going on?"

    "I'm not sure, a student, acting crazy, insisting on getting in. This isn't allowed! We've made it clear that the cemetery is closed. This is causing trouble, he should be arrested."

    "Give him an umbrella and send him down the mountain."



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