Chapter 2 Black Street
The so-called Black Street was only developing in science and technology. The buildings were getting higher and higher, the dense concentration of skyscrapers blocked out most of the sunlight. So much so, that in some narrow streets the buildings on the ground floor or the first floor remained dusky for the majority of the day time. Therefore, the people called it the“Black Street.”
The place where Fang Zhao was living in now had integrated construction buildings with more than a hundred floors. Between the buildings there would be some small narrow “slits,” but under these cracks, were the places which people actually called “Black Street.” Therefore, the people who lived in “Black Street” were called “Slit Dwellers,” another form of address for people on the lowest rung of the society.
The condition of Black Street was bad, and aside from seeing very little sunlight, the environment was chaotic.
The original owner after signing with a company had moved out from the school. He would have the convenience to create without being disturbed by other people. The secrecy of the location was another point in it’s favor. The only problem is that currently the amount of money at his disposal was limited, as such he could only afford this claustrophobic box-type room on Black Street. Initially, the body’s owner had thought that he would be able to trade the fruit of his labor for an equivalent salary, unfortunately since he was robbed by his “friend” it was impossible for him to give the company any merit-worthy work.
The original host had four childhood friends, Zeng Huang, Zeng Huang’s fiancee Wan Yue, Fang Sheng, and original host’s ex-girlfriend Xi Hong.
The five of them grew up together and had lived in the same building in their childhood. Unfortunately, during middle school, the building that their families lived in exploded because of an accident. Less than 1% of the people residing in the building had survived. The five of them only survived because they were at school at that time.
The compensation provided by the government for that accident was good, the welfare policy was also good. The compensation easily was enough to cover their food, clothing, and university expenses. The five of them had remained together from elementary school to middle school. Even in university, they had arrived together in Qi An City. Although they went to different schools, they still remained close, admittedly not as inseparable as they were in childhood.
After the apocalypse, a global alliance was established, creating a unified whole, which was not divided by nationality.
The alliance’s twelve continents were divided into eight continents and special four continents.
The place that Fang Zhao was at now was one of the eight continents- Yan Continent’s Political and Financial center, and also the Continental Government’s station — Qi An City.
The body’s original master had the best grades out of the five, and after passing the university exam, he was accepted into Yan Continent’s best Music Academy — Qi An Music Academy.
In this New Age, out of the list of 100 most influential composers of the continent, the Yan Continent’s Music Academy accounted for nearly half. Many even had an extremely strong influence globally. Thus it is considered the dream school for many people.
Of the students graduating from the composition department, many of them have contracts with entertainment companies even before graduation. The original host was only six months away from graduating himself, and was eyed by Yan Continent’s third biggest entertainment company “Silver Wing Media.” Furthermore, he was able to sign six months internship contract with it.
Out of these six months, for the first three months, the original host had studied at Silver Wings Media, assisting his seniors there in running errands on top of the company arranged training course. The next three months were given by Silver Wing Media to them for preparing for the Music Circle’s Rising Talent Competition. The performance during these three months would directly determine whether they would remain in the Silver Wing Media to become formal staff, and this would also affect their follow-up development. The Silver Wing Media would even allocate their resources according to the tournament’s “results”.
However, the original host’s results created from his painstaking hard work had been stolen from him by Fang Sheng.
Fang Sheng, had the same surname as the original host, and also was related to him as a somewhat distant relative. All along he had acted as a good brother to the original host, a good partner. But at the most critical time, he stabbed the original host in the back, bringing about the series of repeated blows sustained by the original host and leading him to eventually commit suicide.
After seeing that, Fang Zhao stopped searching through the memories, he noticed that the outside had gradually begun to get lively with the sounds of people moving about. The room was on the second floor and just below it on the first floor was a slightly large shop. The sound of door opening and things being moved around came from downstairs. There was also someone who had opened the window in the opposite building looking out from it.
Although the surroundings were still dim, Fang Zhao appreciated the streets the same way one would look at a rare piece of art.
It was too big of a change from the apocalypse to the present, giving Fang Zhao a strange and novel feeling.
This was a new world!
The end of the world which was now what people called the “Extinction Era”, heralded true prosperity!
Those old friends of yore, had they lived to the end, they would have been jubilant. In that last hundred years of war, billions of people’s lives had ultimately been exchanged for the hope of prosperity.
The noise, the dimness that normally would have irritated someone, had instead made Fang Zhao feel infinitely vigorous. The era that had once been incomparably longed for unexpectedly had arrived once again!
Closing his eyes to take a deep breath, Fang Zhao greedily sucked in the flavor of the New World after the Apocalypse.
His brain’s creative juices flowed freely as if wanting to gush out. His blood seemed to surge to a boiling temperature, and every hair on his body was trembling with excitement.
Still not enough…….
This bit of inspiration was still not enough to successfully create a master pirce.
The noise outside grew louder, and the window was also getting slightly brighter than before. Just like this, the changes were intensifying.
Stopping his recollection, Fang Zhao locked up the window. According to the memory left behind by the original host in his brain, Fang Zhao knew that the liveliest and also the most precious time of any day on black street was approaching.
His vision swept around the room and stopped for two seconds on a bracelet placed on the bedside table. Fang Zhao briskly walked over, and picked up the bracelet and fastened it on his left-hand wrist. This was something that 90% people of this new world possessed, classified as a personal terminal.
The currency was used in large-scale in virtual form. Thus, to buy things Fang Zhao had to take it, plus it had the added benefit of being used as a key to the room he was in.
After picking up the bracelet, Fang Zhao walked to the doorway and paused. He turned back, picked up the stray dog who was lying on its stomach while anxiously waiting for him, and together they walked out of the door.
After he went out, Fang Zhao found many people like him walking to the first floor. This building was like a honeycomb, which allowed it to house many residents. Most of them were just like Fang Zhao, living while hard pressed for money, and could only nest in such a narrow little place which didn’t even see sunshine for the most part of the day.
The area was congested with many tall building, most of the streets below remained dim for the majority of the day. A few people with money would move to higher places. People always yearn to live in bright places.
Therefore, the people who couldn’t afford to go to the the higher levels that hosted better conditions at and the people that didn’t want to travel far would begin to move out at noon , which, for a short period of time, just happened to be the only time of day that Black Street would receive sunshine.
The people were running down from upstairs hurriedly scanning over Fang Zhao with their vision, conveniently walking past the new inhabitant of the body. Since they weren’t familiar with him and had very little of an impression of him they were too lazy to greet him.
There were even some people who gave Fang Zhao strange looks for carrying a dog. Fang Zhao didn’t mind and smiled at them.
There was an expression of astonishment on the face of the other party, he was puzzled over the fact that this usually very gloomy young person unexpectedly had the ability to laugh!
At this time, the people who had come out to bask in the sun were mostly of an older age. The unsteadily walking old ladies with heads full white hair came out from the elevator comprised the majority of the group.
When he moved out from the passageway, Fang Zhao discovered that there were already a lot of people on the streets. There were more accommodating routes for large transports to use, so there were barely any vehicles seen coming and going on Black Street during the day which was very cold most of the time, except now.
The Sun hung high, throwing sunlight on inhabitants of the lower floors of the unified construction buildings. Some people who do not come to the streets would open their windows to enjoy the precious sunshine for the day.
Fang Zhao wasn’t in a hurry to occupy a place in the rush outside, rather, he walked into the shop housed on the first floor. He was famished and other things could wait until he had eaten to his full.
Due to the experience of the apocalypse, the newly formed Planet Government didn’t limit guns out of fear of another war of extinction. If they ever had the bad luck to be forced into that situation again then everyone would at least be ready to go to war at a moment’s notice with a familiar weapon. However, the situation gradually went out of control and it wasn’t long before the streets exploded with the presence of guns. There was frequent turmoil and several continents had their leaders changed. The planet government was almost overthrown. Only then did the restrictions on firearms start. The gun control was especially strict in the past hundred years, making it impossible for ordinary people to possess guns.
As for the boss of the shop downstairs he was a veteran named Yue Qing. He was also one of the few people who could legally possess a gun on black street. The thugs in the black street didn’t dare provoke those bearing guns. This was also the primary reason why this shop could operate on the black street.
When Fang Zhao walked into the shop, the yawning Yue Qing inquisitively looked at Fang Zhao. He remembered that this child’s ego broke yesterday, and no matter what he said, his words couldn’t get through to him. He had thought that there would be one more suicide on black street, but unexpectedly he appeared again today.
Yue Qing’s sight moved onto the dog held by Fang Zhao. That’s right, ah, just yesterday he had seen the boy pick up that stray dog and carry it back. Yesterday, some petty thugs that had come to his shop had also opened a betting office, betting what that kid would do with the dog he picked up. Whether he would have it die alongside him or kill the dog to eat it. Now it seems like they were all wrong.
Fang Zhao noticed Yue Qing’s gaze, but it was only curiosity, the other didn’t have any malicious intent. So, Fang Zhao also ignored it. According to his memories, he chose the most affordable thing– three thumb-long sealed up snacks. Although they didn’t look too big to the eye, but upon taking in the hand they felt as if they had the weight of iron. It was low-end compressed type of food.
Yue Qing retracted his gaze, and looking at the thing chosen by Fang Zhao, “Altogether nine kuai. Decompress?”
The so-called decompression, was the extraction of the compressed class of food, so that these compressed hard blocks could be directly converted into an edible form.
“Do it. Add another cup of tea.” Fang Zhao said.
“Decompression five mao, tea five mao, altogether ten kuai.” Yue Qing spoke while unpacking the three compressed food packages and put them into the decompressor. About ten seconds later, the tray came out from inside and there were three 20 cm long and 7-8 cm wide steamed-cake like thing, but it was still giving off steam. [TLNote: 1 Kuai = 10 Mao]
“Do you want it to go?” Yue Qing asked.
“No need, I’ll be eating here.” Fang Zhao took the dishes and asked Yue Qing, “Boss Yue, can I move the chairs a bit out.”
“Don’t move them too far.” Yue Qing also answered without lifting his head. He was not afraid of the boy stealing the chairs in his shop. Those who would dare to steal things in his shop were far and few between.
Fang Zhao put the dog down close to the doorway of the store, moved a chair out from the shop, and sat down.
Of the three compressed cakes Fang Zhao gave one to the dog by his feet and ate the other two himself. If it were the time of the apocalypse, he would not be so generous as to give food to a dog that he had just met. However, after being reborn in the new century Fang Zhao’s mood was good. He was willing to share and since the original host had picked it up and brought it back and it also didn’t die then he might as well keep it.
The taste of compressed cake was not good, the tea was also steeped in inferior man-made powder, otherwise it wouldn’t be sold so cheaply. However, for a man who had come over from the apocalypse, Fang Zhao felt that this was already quite delicious. In the initial stages of apocalypse, he had also experienced hunger, and in the later stage although he no longer worried about food, but he also wasn’t fussy about it.
Compared to the crude food and the pressing war atmosphere, the compressed cake was a delicacy. Now he was able to peacefully sit and enjoy a meal, Fang Zhao was already very satisfied having this much.