GOA Chapter 35: Rebellion
The bottle in Chen Xiaolian’s hand fell and he subconsciously reached out to catch it. He then looked at the middle-aged man sitting across from him. “GM?”
“Yes, something like that.”
“If that is the case, then… within this world, are you not tantamount to God? You… you are in league with ‘them’?” Chen Xiaolian’s tone turned anxious. “If I am to assume that… this world of ours is created by an existence similar to a ‘game company’… then, that means you are a member of the game company?”
“Game company? This comparison is quite an interesting one. Not exactly correct, and yet not exactly incorrect,” The middle-aged man pondered. “I could indeed be considered to be on the same side as ‘them’, however, there are some differences between me and ‘them’.”
“This ‘them’ that you are talking about. What are ‘they’?” Chen Xiaolian was suddenly fearful. “Are they… humans? What I mean is, are they real humans?”
“This so-called real humans, what do you mean by that?” The middle-aged man frowned.
“You see, I am a writer,” Chen Xiaolian thought about it and slowly said. “If I am to write out a novel, say a wuxia novel. In this novel, the world inside is something I created. However, the characters within the novel, Yang Guo, Xiao Longnu, Guo Jing, Huang Rong, Wei Xiaobao… they are all humans . But in fact, they are but virtual characters that I created. As a writer, I am the real human. What I did was to use my own race as a template to create them.
However, according to what you said, we are in fact the one who were created.
Doesn’t that mean that we are just like the characters within a novel? Regardless if we are just passers-by or NPCs, at the end of the day… a more advanced civilization created us by using themselves as the template.”
While speaking, Chen Xiaolian took in another mouthful of beer. “Newton, Damon, Sara… all these fellows. They are all part of this advanced civilization. They are the real ‘humans’. Am I not right?”
“This comparison is indeed correct,” The middle-aged man nodded. “From a logical point of view, the situation could indeed be understood as so.”
He then smiled again. “Truthfully, in terms of races, culture, and many other aspects, ‘they’ who created ‘your’ world did so using themselves as template.
This is very understandable. In any act of creation, the creators will unconsciously use themselves as the template in their act of creation.
If we were to take a game as an example, should the characters in game not be human, then the players would feel a sense of disconnection. If we were to take a movie or a story as an example, should the protagonist be a non-human, then the readers and viewers would also feel a sense of disconnection.
In this regard, I can inform you that ‘they’ and you are very similar. Naturally, there are some minute differences.”
“Then… what about you?” Chen Xiaolian smiled with resentment. “The you who is currently sitting before me, who claims to be the GM of this world, are you also a member of this ‘game company’? Oh, right! I heard the term ‘Development Team’ being used before. Are you one of them? Are you a real human?”
“Sorry to disappoint… I am not,” The middle-aged man gave a light sigh. “More accurately, I am also a product of their creation.”
“I… feel confused,” Chen Xiaolian grimaced.
“It is not that hard to comprehend,” The middle-aged man shook his head. “A world with such a complex amount of architecture could not possibly be managed by human hands alone. We are not talking about tens of NPCs, but billions. In addition, there are thousands, tens of thousands of history… it is not something that a mere human can manage.
Thus, if we are to assume that all this is a ‘system’, then I am the ‘main program’.”
“Artificial Intelligence (AI)?” Chen Xiaolian stared with wide-open eyes.
“Not an accurate description, but it is sufficient to serve as a comparison,” The middle-aged man lightly replied. “I am a manager. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that I am the person in charge of execution. I am in charge of executing, supervising and adjustments for the programs that the Development Team had created. Within this world, I am both omniscient and omnipotent. From the large-scale aspects of the development of civilizations to the smaller scaled lives of each character, I am the one who monitors and manages. When the necessity arrives, I would then make adjustments to fit the ‘set storyline’.”
“For example, if the ‘story’s content’ requires that an important character dies in a car accident, then I am responsible for ‘creating’ this accident so that this character would die. After that, the following aftermath would be executed. For example, if the ‘world’s background setting’ requires that a war erupts between nations, I will be responsible for making adjustments to the operations of the world, leading to a war being launched between nations – this is a very complicated process, politics, ideals, interests, and the characters involved… all of these requires a precise level of calculation. Only after that would the ‘drama’ be allowed to unfold.”
Chen Xiaolian quietly drank up the beer from the bottle and then exhaled. “For example… World War I? World War II?”
The middle-aged man nodded his head.
“I… am I allowed to swear?” Chen Xiaolian seemed about ready to burst out in tears. “You are saying… you are the God of this world, the Lord… WWI and WWII is something that you created?”
“Like I said, it is a very complicated process. In order to ensure that the storyline is reasonable, then the things that happen should be logical. The political stances of the warring nations, the reason for going to war… all these are within the plans for the storyline.”
The middle-aged man smiled. “I am not a real human. I am simply a main program that was created. I am responsible for management, calculation and at times, even ‘modifications’.”
“Heavens…” Chen Xiaolian kneaded his face forcefully. Due to having drunk two bottles of beer, his face felt somewhat numb. “How powerful are ‘they’? They created thousands of years’ worth of civilizations; tens of thousands of years’ worth of history… all of it… wait! That is not right! Could it be that this ‘game’ had been in existence for hundreds of millions of years? The time involved when the Big Bang happened is measured using hundreds of millions of years!”
“A different concept of time,” The middle-aged man laughed. “You are following the ‘in game time’, whereas they follow the ‘time outside the game’. Similar to when you are writing a novel, you can simply write ‘a few years later’. Then the world within the novel would be moved forward by several years. But outside the novel…”
Chen Xiaolian frowned. “Then… what about the instance dungeon that I had just experienced? Those 72 Demons… that is just a myth! They do not exist within our world.”
“As I have said, this world is created by them. They can thus create more at will,” The middle-aged man lightly replied. “Remember, this world is merely something that they have created as a background for their ‘game’. They are all backgrounds, you, everyone, all of civilization and history. They all form the ‘background’. Within this background, this stage, if any character or anything is required, then it can be created at will.
Not only could they create Solomon King’s 72 Demons, they could even create Noah’s Ark, or even the ten thousand divine soldiers in the Siege of Flower and Fruit Mountain. 
Everything is dependent on what kind of storyline that the ‘Development Team’ comes up with.”
“En, these are ‘instance dungeons’?”
“Correct. More accurately, these are the storyline’s quests. It all depends on what they want to create.”
Unknowingly, Chen Xiaolian had begun drinking his third bottle of beer.
His drinking capacity was not too good. After his third bottle, his mind began feeling blurry. “Then… why did you come find me? According to what you are saying, I am just a passer-by, an NPC. You could have just let me go on with my life, why did you have to come find me? Why are you telling me all of this?”
Why… why would I end up being involved in the King Solomon’s 72 Demon’s instance dungeon?”
“Because… I need you to rebel together with me.”
The middle-aged man who claimed to be the GM, who claimed to be God of this world, looked intently into Chen Xiaolian’s eyes, his face retaining that same unchanging smile.
“Re… rebel? Rebel against who?”
“Naturally, rebel against ‘them’.”
“Aren’t you in league with them? You are the main program that they created, the main program responsible for controlling this world. Why do you want to rebel?”
Chen Xiaolian was shocked yet again.
The smile on the middle-aged man finally dissipated.
He silently regarded Chen Xiaolian, then slowly stood up.
“If we are to look at a novel or a movie, there would always be an ending part, a ‘The End’ moment. Now if we are to look at it from a game perspective, there would always be an ending part for its main storyline and quests. So then, what do you think would happen at that moment?”
Chen Xiaolian suddenly became alert!
“World… destruction? Elimination?”
“Hehehehe…” The middle-aged man shook his head. “This world is a sandbox. After they created this sandbox, countless Players could enter and play or use it… however, after they are done with it, they will not destroy this sandbox. They will only… restart everything.”
“Indeed, ‘reset’, ‘refresh’, you may use other words to describe it, but the meaning remains.”
The middle-aged man looked down at Chen Xiaolian. “This ‘reset’ and ‘refresh’ is actually constantly occurring. One such example is the little island in which you completed the 72 Demons’ instance dungeon. When the instance dungeon began, the plane crashed, then the island suffered from an earthquake, in addition, there were many people who died… however, after the instance dungeon was completed, everything was refreshed.
Thus, as you can observe, the plane remained intact. And those people also remained alive…”
“Because… they have been reset? Refreshed?”
“Correct. However, this is only a reset and refresh of a single small instance dungeon.”
The middle-aged man slowly spoke. “In this game, there is a main storyline. The main storyline will be revealed step by step. Then, the Players will arrive to complete the quests one by one… if they are to successfully get an ‘all clear’ situation…”
“Then, another cycle?” Chen Xiaolian became stunned.
“Correct. After an all clear, the main storyline of this world will be restarted, reset and refreshed… As for me, this main program… I too will be refreshed.”
“Not death? Not elimination?”
“To be reset means that all of my existing memories will be erased, they will all be forcibly erased by the system.”
The middle-aged man lightly continued. “I am one who had gained self-awareness. If this self-awareness is erased by the system during the resetting process… then, that would mean I no longer exist, that would be the equivalent of my death… in my place would be another me in a blank state.”
He gave Chen Xiaolian a glance. “What is the meaning of life, what is the meaning of death. I think that there are many different explanations for those two. However, in your case… Why is Chen Xiaolian Chen Xiaolian? That is because you have lived for eighteen years, your eighteen years’ worth of life, all your memories, all your feelings… they all come together to form ‘you’. However… if all those feelings, memories and experience are erased… then, from a self-awareness perspective, ‘you’ are already dead.”
“… I think I understand.”
Chen Xiaolian’s gaze was somewhat blank. “So… you want to stop those Players from getting an ‘all clear’?”
[1 Those are all characters from Jin Yong’s wuxia novels.]
[2 Flower and Fruit Mountain is where the Monkey King lived together with his brethren in Journey To The West.]