Chapter 78: Covenantor (I)
【Congratulation to Host for completing Additional Mission 2—Prevent Dipson from spreading the mutated genes.】
【Three missions were completed satisfactorily, Host obtains three times the reward. Constitution +10 (+3+5), Memory +15 (+4+5), Spiritual Power +15 (+5+5), Beauty +15 (+3+4), Life Span +5 (+1+2). The numbers in parentheses are rewards from the additional missions.】
【You can learn two additional skills from what is available.】
Shang Ke laid there unmoving as his mind replayed the scene of Qin Yuan holding his corpse and crying bitterly, and a sour feeling crushed his chest. For Shang Ke, it wasn’t goodbye forever. He knew that they would meet again in other worlds. But for ‘him’, it was one loss after another, and that couldn’t be undone.
“System, I remember you telling me that as long as I complete all the missions, I can return to the real world, or I can choose to return to past worlds and change our endings.”
【Not only must Host complete all missions, but the overall mission perfection rate must reach 50% or higher.】
“What is my current perfection rate?”
【40%—Completing the main mission, 20%; completing two missions, 50%; completing three missions then dying, 70%; perfect survival, 100%】
40%, it was better than he had thought. He must complete at least two missions in his next world. If he managed to survive and live there, it would be even better.
Shang Ke made up his mind and once again raised his spirits, preparing to start learning skills.
He thought a bit, and finally chose【Car Racing】 and 【Mechanics】In addition, he chose to advance his martial and medical arts.
After he left the Hundred Training Space, Shang Ke officially entered the next world.
Slowly opening his eyes, he found himself sitting in a fast-moving small car. Besides the driver, he sat alone in the backseat. The scenery outside the window quickly sped by; numerous tall buildings standing proud on either side of him. He could see that this was a very technologically advanced world.
Shang Ke heaved a sigh of relief, the System finally found a conscience. Finally, he would not have to confront danger the moment he opened his eyes.
Following that, the information of this world was quickly sent to him.
Shang Ke’s identity this time was as a member of one of the Union Empire’s great families, Yue. He was the family’s eldest son Yue Ze. He had just turned nineteen this year and was a bright and cheerful person with outstanding talent, surpassing his peers in all ways. He was loved by his father, Yue Cheng, and was the future heir to the Yue Family.
The Mental Virus had appeared three hundred years ago, and so far humanity has not found the source of the virus, nor the perfect cure. They only know that this virus hides in the minds of humans, and once it erupts, the infected would go crazy and die within three days. Presently, the only solution was to strip away or otherwise cripple the amygdala, which clears away the root of the mental virus.
However, although this treatment would allow a person to return to their right mind, they would lose all the emotions that a normal person would have. Their family, friends and even enemies would all be treated as data without any feelings of love or hate. More importantly, the people who accepted this treatment would have their lifespan significantly shortened, not living past 35 years.
The Empire started calling these people ‘Covenantors’. There are around 4000 of these covenantors created every year, but the number of people who have died from the mental virus due to not receiving treatment dwarfs that at over 7000. Generally speaking, the mental virus runs mainly in common folk living hard lives alongside those whose mental capacities were already at a disadvantage (meaning, the handicapped). So for someone like Yue Ze, who was beloved by the gods, the chance of him having it was very tiny. However, bad luck still descended upon him.
Yue Cheng made the hard decision in the end as he looked at his crazed son, Yue Ze. He had him undergo the treatment, even if this treatment would shorten his barely-begun life to only thirty-five years.
But he did not know that Yue Ze’s craziness was not because of the mental virus, but because his younger brother, Yue Xuan, had injected him with an unusual psychotropic drug. The craziness induced by this drug only needed one to two days’ wait for the person to return to normal. If he was given the correct counter medicine, he would be cured in a few hours.
This kind of psychotropic drug was very hard to detect and the doctor in charge of Yue Ze’s treatment was someone Yue Xuan’s mother, Yue Ze’s stepmother and Madam Chang, had assigned to him. After a series of precise arrangements, the healthy Yue Ze was treated as a mentally ill patient and pushed into the cold treatment room. He was stripped of emotions and made unable to live past 35. At the same time, he lost his qualifications to become heir to the Yue family.
Although without emotions, covenantors did not lose their skills in any other fields. In some cases, they would show even more potential than before. Yue Ze was that type. His ability to focus was exceptional so he could learn three times faster than most people, so his ability to work with technology and his stamina improved by leaps and bounds.
When Yue Xuan realized this, the jealousy in him was lit once again, and after consulting with his mother, he secretly arranged a fake identity for Yue Ze. After that, he sent his information and medical treatment certificate to the Covenantor Distribution Center. This was the employment organization specially made for covenantors. Although covenantors had shorter lifespans, they were a community that held the principle of knowing right and wrong. Once they signed a contract, they would strictly follow the agreement written within the clauses and neither use violence nor betray their employer for personal benefit or through coercion. Even if their families were threatened, they would not be swayed.
This was the origin of their name.
Covenantor: A person who enters a formal agreement, contract, or promise in writing.
They were unfeeling and steady-fast in their execution of the wills of their employers, as well as being a group of pitiful existences without ambition or dreams.
Covenantors with different skills sets were assigned different star ratings at the distribution center. Yue Ze, whose name was now ‘Shang Ze’, after passing an examination, was evaluated as three and a half stars by the supervisor of the distribution center. His comprehensive ability was high, his physical ability excellent and his capacity for dealing with internal affairs was exceptional. He was classified as relatively omnipotent and bound for easy employment.
Convenantors with three-star ratings or higher were often personally recommended to bigwigs by the distribution center. Yue Ze was outstanding on all sides, so in less than two days, he was employed by a noble.
The territory of this noble was near Fort Ya County, three hundred kilometers away from the capital. He was this world’s main character, Lu Xiufan. Yue Ze was employed by him, and after working by his side for three years, found himself holding an important position. Shortly after that, Yue Xuan would fall in love with Lu Xiufan at first sight, but then find out that Yue Ze had become his personal assistant. In his jealousy, acting almost mad, he once again conspired against Yue Ze.
Yue Ze remained indifferent to this. He did not hate him, nor was he sad. He only knew that it was caused by Lu Xiufan. In the end, he was caught off-guard and murdered by Yue Xuan. Lu Xiufan did not know Yue Ze was the young master of the Yue Family. Only after his violent death did he investigate and find out the truth. Lu Xiufan revealed the results of his investigation to Yue Cheng, thinking he would deal with it. Who would have known that Yue Cheng would only punish Yue Xuan a tad then pass the event over.
For Yue Ze’s Family to ignore an incident like that, how could Lu Xiufan, an outsider say anything? But as one of his former subordinates, there was no way he would let his death be ignored, even if he was a covenantor without any emotions.
In the following years, the Yue Family repeatedly suffered from Lu Xiufan’s oppression in secret, everything going terribly for them. Yue Xuan, not knowing that all of his family’s problems were caused by Lu Xiufan, had thought to exploit the chance of marrying into the Lu Family to give his family power. After he was rejected he tried to seduce him, finally attracting Lu Xiufan’s disgust and resulting in his end.
The events following that all did not have any relation to Yue Ze. Because even after his death, no one knew that he was originally healthy, nor did anyone sincerely feel any sadness for his death. And so he silently left this cruel world with an icy heart.
When Shang Ke transmigrated to this world, Yue Ze has already become a covenantor, and with the identity ‘Shang Ze’, was employed by Lu Xiufan. He was currently on the way to Fort Ya County.
【Main Mission: Become the Yue Family’s heir again.】
Shang Ke turned his head to look out the window as he spoke in his mind; Yue Ze, don’t worry, I will obtain justice for you. I will not allow the truth and you to be buried together in the dark.
“Mr. Shang, we have arrived.” The driver stopped the car and spoke to Shang Ke in the back.
Shang Ke got off the car and the first thing he saw was a garden-courtyard. Spacious, bright and beautiful, it was a delight to gaze upon. Ahead of the garden was a grand mansion, and from the looks of it, it was rather old.
An old man in the attire of a butler came over to welcome him, saying with a smile, “Mr. Shang, welcome to Lu Family’s mansion. Please come in.”
While Shang Ke followed the butler into the mansion, he listened carefully to his introduction, “I am Lu Family’s butler, Fei Lin. If you have any questions about your work or living, you can come to me.”
Shang Ke nodded, he did not answer aloud.
Fei Lin did not care. He was clear on the nature of covenantors, they were always people of few words. They did their work without involving their personal life or interest, and they did not have any emotions.
Fei Lin led Shang Ke to a room and once again spoke, “This is your room. Master’s room is the one at the end of this corridor. He is currently away from the mansion, and it will take him approximately three days to return. You may familiarize yourself with the mansion until then.”
Fei Lin did not feel the need to remind him to carefully look over the workflow and assignment arrangements, because the biggest merit of convenantors was their high levels of efficiency. He believed, that before he even arrived at the mansion, he had already perfectly memorized all the contents and worked the details.
After Fei Lin imparted a few more warnings, he left the room.
Only then did Shang Ke relax his stiff facial muscles and nerves. Acting as an honest-to-goodness, facially paralyzed person was really not easy.
He took out the contract book and work schedule from his suitcase and casually skimmed it, remembering the details easily.
Fei Lin was old, so employing someone now was to split his workload and steadily have him take over. His work not only consisted of helping Lu Xiufan handle official matters and protecting him, but also everyday life and catering.
Shang Ke put away the documents and tidied his luggage. After that, he left his room to familiarise himself with his environment.
Regarding Shang Ke the covenantor, Fei Lin was rather assured. Before he entered the mansion, Fei Lin had someone else examine his body to confirm his identity as a covenantor. As long as that was assured, then no other background checks were needed. Because covenantors would not betray their employer, nor sign a contract with someone else before their current employment was over, his trustworthiness was guaranteed.
This was the most precious characteristic left in covenantors after they have lost all feelings. It was also an incredibly cruel stigma.
There were very few servants in this mansion. Besides the butler Fei Lin, there was only a cook, a gardener, two bodyguards and two maids. Shang Ke guessed that this mansion did not contain any particularly important information, more likely being just a place for Lu Xiufan to rest and relax.
He really wanted to meet the man immediately, and he wondered if he was the man he was looking for. However, even if he was his man, he did not plan to further develop their relationship. Because no matter the mission this time, regardless of whether could live until the end of the missions, his lifespan was still only 35 years. There was no hope from the beginning, so it was better they both never start in the first place.
His identity as a covenantor would become his screen. After all, how could someone without emotions, feel anything toward someone else?
A note from the Editor: If anyone is interested, the Amygdala is an almond-ish shaped bit around the frontal lobe of the brain, and a part of the Limbic System. Humans can and have survived its removal, and oftentimes it is removed during treatment for epilepsy and such—it’s fairly common. However, it is more likely to lead to risk-taking, recklessness and a lack of fear (as evidenced by Shang Ke in later chapters), than it is to result in a complete loss of emotions. So if anyone out there suffers from epilepsy, and may undergo surgery as a part of treatment, don’t worry. You won’t become a Covenantor. A person’s personality isn’t generated by the amygdala, it only processes emotion. If we were being scientifically correct about this, you would have to remove the entirety of the frontal lobe, limbic system and all, to completely erase a personality. But it also wouldn’t work, because reasons. Ignore me, I’m not a doctor, so I wouldn’t know. Amygdala just looks pretty on paper.