2 The Peculiar USB Drive

Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation

As Chen Chen had no other classes in the afternoon, he turned down the dorm leader's invitation to basketball after the first class had ended and headed to his dorm alone.

As he walked, Professor Wang Xi's words kept ringing in his ear.

'Oh immortality, what a beautiful dream. Still, since the beginning of time, was there anyone who was truly immortal?'

Chen Chen lamented silently.

Professor Wang Xi, being a senior academic in the Chinese Academy of Sciences, was excellent in both knowledge and pedagogy. 

Not only did he spark everyone's enthusiasm toward biology, but he even showed them a clear path.

Perhaps some of them would be inspired to delve into the field of life sciences and make noble contributions to the Earth Federation.

Upon returning to Dorm 404, Chen Chen instinctively reached out to turn on his computer. However, before his right hand could do so, his left hand promptly held himself back. 

With a sigh, Chen Chen flipped open Modern Molecular Biology and compared it with his notes to consolidate his understanding of the class' material.

In university, most of one's learning was not obtained from lecturers. Self-study and practice was the only way forward.

Many students started slacking off after entering university. They would pay no mind to their course credits. To them, skipping optional courses was compulsory and attending compulsory courses was optional. They thoroughly enjoyed their freedom from high school's repression.

Nonetheless, upon graduation, they learned what it meant to be beaten down by society…

This was why Chen Chen was troubled. He had no choice but to practice some self-control for the sake of his own future.

After all, what was it that people always said – the hardships of youthful days are nothing compared to the hardships of later life!

Just then, his phone's screen flashed, indicating that there were more than 99 unread messages in the QQ group.

Chen Chen reached out by instinct but froze in mid-air.

'Stop right there! This phone is a demon from hell. Don't be tempted by it. They just talk sh*t in the group anyway, don't…"

404 Dorm Leader Wang Wei: [Lil Bo, Nostril, what are you guys doing? Why did you disappear after class? Come for basketball]

404 Dorm Leader Wang Wei: [what is this moron trying to say.jpg]

When Chen Chen opened up the group chat, he was greeted with this meaningless meme battle.

404 Brainiac Chen Chen: [a group of guys with 99+ messages, yet there's zero porn, f*ck y'all.jpg]

After carelessly sending out an image to indicate what would interest him, Chen Chen put his phone away and propped his chin in his hand, deep in thought.

He could forget about the previous owner of this USB drive. After all, that room was a multi-function classroom that hosted at least four or five classes each day.

This USB drive might have even been left behind by students who had graduated years ago.

The hiding place of the USB drive was well concealed too. If Chen Chen had not happened to turn at such an angle while picking up his pen, he would not have noticed it.

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This meant that the heavens knew how long this USB drive had been hidden. 

'The question is, who hid the USB drive there and why would they go to such lengths just to hide a USB drive?

'Maybe the USB drive contains some mysterious top-secret code?'

These thoughts suddenly occurred to Chen Chen and he did not hesitate anymore. He lifted the lid of his laptop and plugged in the USB drive while the laptop was starting up.

The SSD1 was fast booting up. In less than ten seconds, the sleek interface of Windows 10 displayed before Chen Chen.

After a moment's pause, Chen Chen pulled up [My Computer]. However, other than his own drive, there was no sign of any portable storage devices.

The drive letter which should have automatically recognized the USB drive had vanished.

Was the USB drive corrupted?

Chen Chen did not believe this and plugged in it once more. Still, there was no response.

'Humph, I don't buy this.'

Chen Chen's lips curled up in a smirk as he smoothly restarted the laptop. While it rebooted, he deftly and confidently pressed down on [F2], entering the BIOS Setup interface. 

Next, in a well-practiced manner, Chen Chen pressed [F9] to select Default Settings/Configuration, and within the same instant, clicked on [Yes]!

Finally, he pressed [F10] firmly to save his data for the last time, then rebooted the laptop!

All these happened in the blink of an eye. A non-veteran could not have done it.

After the laptop had restarted, the icon for the portable storage device did pop up at the lower right corner.

Even so, Chen Chen did not access it from there. Instead, he clicked into [My Computer], moved his cursor to the USB drive's icon, and right clicked to select its Properties.

'Hmm?'

In its Properties, the storage space of the USB drive was listed as 0.

'Is it corrupted after all?'

Chen Chen lost all hope at once. He had wasted so much effort.

He shook his head and absent-mindedly double-clicked. However, the USB drive's file opened up unexpectedly.

What he saw was a few files in the AVI format.

[Ju-on.avi], [Final Destination.avi.], [One Missed Call.avi], [Ring.avi.].

"Gasp…"

When Chen Chen saw what these files were, he drew in a sharp breath. He did not expect the previous owner of the USB drive to be a horror movie buff.

He did not know whether to feel disappointed or surprised. He was expecting something along the lines of a Mystery Code.avi.

Nonetheless, this proved that there was nothing wrong with the USB drive.

There was nothing much of interest to Chen Chen in the USB drive. These movies were nearly as old as Chen Chen and were very well known. Those which he wanted to watch, he had watched long ago. Those which he did not wish to watch, he would not watch even if they were played right before him.

Therefore, he immediately selected all the files and pressed [ctrl+d].

"Ding!"

However, these six movies were not deleted. Conversely, a "Program Error" window popped out.

Stubbornly Chen Chen tried a few times, even resorting to file shredding. Nevertheless, no matter what he did, he could not delete those movies.

"That's peculiar…"

Chen Chen was gloomy. Perhaps the USB drive was corrupted after all?

He hopelessly hovered his cursor over one of the video files, thinking that he should try playing it.

However, for some reason, just as he was about to double-click on [Ju-on.avi], he felt a sudden, indescribable throbbing in his heart.

He could not say what feeling it was. It was as if a pair of eyes were peering at him from some corner that light could not reach…

These eyes were filled with a sense of death, like the icy kiss of a corpse…

This flutter in his heart caused him to stop in his tracks.

"Cough! Since when did I become such a coward?"

Chen Chen shook his head. Following his gut, he moved the cursor away, pulled up Local Disk D, and located a video file –

[Detective Pikachu.mp4].

Chen Chen selected this file and pressed [ctrl+c], then clicked on the USB drive and pressed [ctrl+v].

A green progress bar flashed instantly. In less than two seconds, [Detective Pikachu.mp4] was copied into the USB drive.

Everything seemed normal.

Chen Chen contemplated silently before opening the [Detective Pikachu.mp4] file in the USB drive.

The default video software started up automatically, beginning to screen this movie adaptation which was released in 2019.

Chen Chen had already watched this movie when it came out, but because he loved the way Pikachu looked, he underwent the trouble of downloading this movie.

As he watched the bright yellow rodent bouncing around on the screen, Chen Chen felt a faint pang of sorrow as this figure rather resembled Jerry from his home.

Jerry was the name of Chen Chen's pet dog at home.

Chen Chen's childhood was spent in the company of Jerry. The boy and the dog had grown up together and were inseparable.

Unfortunately, a dog's lifespan was far too brief. Just last year, Jerry passed away due to old age.

As he pictured that lovable figure, Chen Chen drifted in his thoughts.

However, there was a sudden movement that he noticed from the corner of his eyes.

Chen Chen reflexively turned to look and saw that a cap had appeared beside his laptop at an unknown time.

"Ding!"

At the same time, the screen displayed the "Program Error" notice once again. The video that was playing shut down by itself… 

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