Jing Jiu understood what she meant after the initial bafflement; and they didn't continue the topic. "How to write it?" asked Jing Jiu.
It of course had nothing to do with the skill of writing. "There are two common types of writing: One is to write with your awareness and the another is to directly collect the waves of your awareness and then describe it in words," explained Zong Lizi. "But the latter has a major problem, which is that many chaotic thoughts will come up since the minds are hard to control. The writers who are inclined to win prizes in literature prefer this type of writing; but it's seldom used in the business writing, and it's because modifying it is too cumbersome, while another reason is that the equipment used to collect the awareness is too expensive."
"Is there another type?" asked Jing Jiu.
Zong Lizi brought out a small item that looked like a finger wrapper from her room, saying, "Another type is to use the remote-control pen."
Having said that, she demonstrated how to use it. Zong Lizi put on the finger wrapper on the forefinger of her right hand before she vibrated her finger at a high speed; a line of words appeared on the computer screen without any mistakes.
"What's the difference between this method and writing with pen and paper?" asked Jing Jiu.
Zong Lizi replied earnestly after setting down the finger wrapper by the computer, "It's faster and cheaper than using pen and paper."
Jing Jiu thought that the things he didn't care about were not something the mortals didn't care about as well; he returned to his own room with the computer in his arms.
After pulling back her gaze from the tightly closed room, Zong Lizi went to the kitchen and started cooking supper.
The flavorless but healthy nutrient bars were hard to swallow and tasteless even thought they were washed down with the help of tea.
Usually she would have complained a little about the food, but she didn't today. She was somewhat at a loss, unable to notice how she had swallowed the nutrient bars.
In fact, every writer's first novel was about oneself. He was writing a story about himself in his room; the background must be the beautiful world above, and the story would be entanglements of love, hatred, hostility and revenge between the people in the upper class. Maybe, he would write about the secrets of the rich and famous families and even about a certain mistress in the priest clan…
The girl with silvery hair wondered if she could earn some royalties after the novel became popular online.
It was a wonderful thought.
And the better outcome would be that he brought her to the upper world because he didn't want to depart from her after he was brought up to the upper world by his family; and…well, I'm a naïve girl who craves wealth and nobility, and it's his fault for having such a handsome face!
Thinking of all this, she dusted off the crumbs of nutrient bar on her hand, took out a tea bag to make a cup of tea, then pushed open the door and walked in.
"It must be hard to write the novel in the beginning. I'll help you write it for the first few days, and you'll be able to do it more efficiently later on."
Zong Lizi put down the cup of tea on the windowsill before she turned to Jing Jiu, who was sitting on the floor. "You shouldn't be too concerned at first," she said with a worried expression on her face. "What…you've finished writing it!"
Her voice grew higher and higher until the tone of her voice lifted up in the end to express an inquiry.
"The end of the seventh book…He saw the battleships."
Jing Jiu turned off the computer after he wrote this line. "I haven't finished it yet; but this is a temporary ending," said Jing Jiu after he turned to face the girl with silvery hair.
Zong Lizi came back to her senses after feeling bewildered for a while. "You're a liar. You must have written it ahead of time and had the saved files," she exclaimed.
However, where were those saved files if he had written them beforehand? It was not on the network of the institute for sure. And he didn't wear any bracelet; and it seemed that he hadn't had the chips implanted…
Jing Jiu had no idea what "saved files" meant; so he didn't pay any attention to her accusation. "How to publish it?" he asked.
Zong Lizi hadn't recovered from her shock yet, as she answered, "There is a forum on the network of the institute; you can upload it everyday after you register with it."
Jing Jiu knew what "registration" meant, saying, "But I don't have any ID and can't register."
Zong Lizi offered while covering her face with her hands, "Or…use my ID."
Jing Jiu uttered "hmm" after some thought.
Zong Lizi typed something on the computer; soon after, twenty thousand words had been updated.
Seeing her pay close attention to the number of visitors and have no intention of uploading more files, Jing Jiu wondered, "Aren't you going to upload more?"
"It's enough to upload twenty thousand words a day," she replied in a casual manner. Zong Lizi stared at the computer screen and wished to find out who had posted the first comment.
Jing Jiu thought that it would take one hundred days to upload the novel this way. "Upload them all," said he.
Zong Lizi lifted up her head to glance at him as if she were staring at an idiot, but she found he, as an idiot, was truly handsome. "If we upload it all at once, it will be drowned at the bottom of the forum, and nobody will be able to find it," she said while lowering her head in embarrassment.
Jing Jiu wondered how it should be handled this way.
"Nobody will read it if the novel is finished," explained Zong Lizi patiently.
"It's not finished yet," said Jing Jiu. "It's just the beginning of the story."
"Let's compromise a little; upload…thirty thousand words a day?" she suggested after she found he was rather persistent.
"Five hundred thousand," said Jing Jiu.
Zong Lizi said, "Fifty thousand…one hundred thousand then. Deal?"
Seeing her hand stretched in front of him and the naïve expression like that of a small animal on her face that reminded Jing Jiu of the disciples on Shenmo Peak, he tapped her hand with his right hand.
Zong Lizi said while pointing to the computer, "I'll read it first tonight."
Thinking that he would spend time digesting his knowledge about the theorem that night, he nodded in agreement.
Zong Lizi picked up the computer in her arms and went back to her bedroom gleefully.
Overnight, the dim glow from the light screen had been streaming out from the crack on the door of the bedroom, and a sobbing could be heard once in a while.
Early next morning, she walked out from her bedroom while holding the computer in her arms, her silvery hair a bit messy, her eyes red, and her face a bit tired, indicating that she hadn't slept the whole night.
Lying on the couch, Jing Jiu was watching the morning news on TV. Seeing her in such a condition, he couldn't help but glance at her twice.
"The novel is not too bad," said Zong Lizi in a pretentiously casual manner, as she rubbed her slightly red nose with a paper tissue.
Jing Jiu uttered a "hmm" in a suspicious tone and pressed, "It's merely not too bad?"
Zong Lizi sat beside him and said, "The story is okay, but the emotions are not strong enough, and the conflicts are not vehement enough. The most pressing issue is the skill of writing. When Lian Sanyue died, I felt exceedingly sad but couldn't cry."
Jing Jiu wondered which plots she cried over the night before; was it the spring rain that Liu Ci turned into or the fight between him and Nan Qü?
"That young master Li was too pitiful…"
Zong Lizi felt increasingly more depressed when she recalled the lonely grave at the Three-Thousand Nunnery and the music of "Prelude to a Wonderful Night"; and furthermore, she hadn't slept the whole night before. As a result, she couldn't help but cry out loudly.
Jing Jiu didn't say anything, nor did he try to console her. All he did was look at her quietly.
It was boring to cry by herself, so Zong Lizi stopped crying gradually. She picked up the backpack and went to the institute after shooting an irritated glance at Jing Jiu.
Zong Lizi thought the novel "The Path toward Heaven" was a pretty good one; but she forgot the fact that she had read it from the beginning to the end nonstop, so she didn't have to bear the pain of waiting for updates.
It was quiet in the forum at the network of the New Era Institute; the first chapters didn't cause much reaction, except for a few comments. And the comments were not on the content of the novel but the rumors about the author.
Zong Lizi was not convinced, though. She touched on the topic in class and asked her friends to read and comment on it; it would be helpful for the novel if they could give some positive reviews.
A few days later, she heard what the classmates complained in the class, and she couldn't help but tell Jing Jiu about what they complained.
By the time the news was over on TV, Jing Jiu turned to Zong Lizi, "What did you say?"
"I offer you some suggestions on behalf of the readers. Your style of writing is pretty good; it's straightforward and distinct. However, the plots in the beginning and in the end are too disconnected, and it's written in a slow and careless manner. It's hard to remember what you have written earlier when a reader reaches the end of the novel." Zong Lizi continued after some thought, "There is one important issue: Jing Yang always pretended to be carefree and indifferent. He was too pretentious and therefore repulsive."
Jing Jiu thought to himself that he was a fairy man with a free spirit to begin with; there was no need for him to be pretentious.
Time passed like the flowing water as one lived a leisurely life.
The novel uploaded to the network of the New Era Institute didn't attract much attention like most of the novels.
Zong Lizi felt increasingly more dejected, but Jing Jiu didn't care so much about others' responses. He spent most of his time and effort on studying.
One day, he had finished studying all the materials in physics and mathematics on the network of the institute. He had basically learned them based on his own standard.
It was impossible to find more advanced knowledge of physics and mathematics on the network of the institute.
Most of the books on the three bookshelves in the study room contained specialized knowledge about economics, finance and accounting.
It was because Zong Lizi's father had been a professor in economics.
Jing Jiu couldn't help but shake his head when it occurred to him that a professor in economics opted to commit suicide due to a mutual fund scam. In his mind, the mortals were a bunch of pitiful as well as interesting people, be it in this universe or in Chaotian.
By dusk, Zong Lizi came back to the apartment under the intermittent twilight after she received the foods for the next week. Seeing Jing Jiu lie on the couch watching TV, she couldn't help but feel curious as she remarked, "I don't believe that you have actually rested."
Jing Jiu uttered "hmm". After some thought, he explained further, "I've studied all of them."
"All of them? Those are the courses for four years' study at the institute. How could you finish studying them a few weeks?"
Zong Lizi couldn't believe him. She turned on the computer on the coffee table and said, "You should write the graduation thesis and show me if you're really good."
Jing Jiu returned without drawing his gaze away from the TV screen, "No."
He actually meant it because he had no need to prove himself; on the other hand, it was mainly because he was lazy.
Zong Lizi asked after some thought, "Should you take a test? Otherwise, you don't even know if you have actually learned the knowledge."
Jing Jiu answered casually while staring at the TV screen, "I've done it already."
Zong Lizi was a bit startled to hear it. She logged in the network of the institute and the test database, and found that he had done seven tests, and that he earned full scores for all the tests.
The room was exceedingly quiet, except for the familiar voice of the news anchor.
"Have you…copied the answers?"
"Otherwise, how could you earn so many full scores?"
"I've never got any other score."
Squatting on the couch, Zong Lizi looked down at Jing Jiu's face, her eyes full of awe and respect.
In the next moment, the expression of awe turned to pity in her eyes.
It was said that the students above had the inputs of primary knowledge implanted directly into their brains; they had no need to learn from notes.
A genius like him had to study, meaning that he was neglected and even oppressed by his clan, which is why he fled to this place.
It seemed as if she had encountered an inspiring story.
In the story, the talented youth had finally won back what belonged to him in the first place.
And she was the bright light, company, and even partner of the talented youth when he was at the bottom of his life.
"Do you…want to attend the school?" offered Zong Lizi while staring into Jing Jiu's eyes. "You shouldn't waste your talent on primary school knowledge. What you should study are all in the library and database of the institute."
Jing Jiu was aware that she attended the school. The New Era Institute and other colleges were something similar to the One-Cottage House. "Okay," he replied.
Zong Lizi seemed to imagine that a legendary episode would come about; she was so excited that she couldn't help coughing nonstop.
Jing Jiu shot a glance her way.
She waved her hand to indicate that she was fine. She turned to walk back to her bedroom; \she didn't notice that Jing Jiu had followed her into her bedroom.
Jing Jiu had turned into a ghost like he had done a few days ago, standing in a corner of the bedroom while watching her on the bed quietly.
She wrapped her head in the quilt while facing the door with her back. She was coughing softly in an attempt to avoid disturbing Jing Jiu, who she believed was still in the living room.
Along with her coughing, the bed was quivering slightly; and the silvery hair outside the quilt was trembling as well. It was a pitiful scene.
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