Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Chapter 1 : The Disappearance of the Sun

Chapter 1 : The Disappearance of the Sun
Translated by Ben Chan
Proofread by Kuronyan
Verified by: Zetoshi
Edited by Cyriiil and motae-sri


Date: December 22nd, 2012

“Hello and welcome to CCTV! You are now watching Breaking News!”

“I’m reporting to you live from Queens, New York City, where riots have been taking place for the past few hours. In order to get the current situation under control, the New York Police Department has deployed all available personnel. Minutes ago we received word that one person was confirmed dead and over thirty others were injured. The situation is continuing to escalate…”

 "At the moment, we are monitoring the situation. Joining us now, live from Europe, is our correspondent Ms. Sun Fei. Hello, Ms. Sun Fei."
“Hello!”

“Thank you for joining us, Ms. Sun Fei. Can you give us an update on the situation in Paris?”

"Yes, thank you. Since this afternoon, a large number of people have been gathering at the Élysée Palace. They are holding signs and banners demanding the government to disclose the truth. As we can see, a large police force has surrounded the Presidential Palace in an attempt to control the crowd. President Nicolas Sarkozy has cancelled his plans to visit the Middle East and through the national news channels, has asked the general public to remain calm…”

“Ah! Thank you, Ms. Sun Fei. Now, we switch to our correspondent in Tokyo, Japan. Hello, Mr. Su Ren? Hello? Hello…? Well, it seems like we’re facing some technical difficulties as we’re temporarily unable to reach Mr. Su Ren. While we are waiting to re-connect, let's take a small break. Later on, we’ll be joined by two special guests who will be giving us their professional opinion about this mysterious phenomenon.”

– – – – – Commercial Break– – – – –

“Welcome back and this is CCTV News - Special Watch Program! Please welcome our special guests for today. Professor Huo Si Nian, an astronomer from Tsinghua University and Professor Zhang Tingen, an astrophysicist from the University of Science and Technology of China!”

“Thank you.”

“Thank you for joining us today, professors. Everyone knows that today, on December 22nd, at 7:15 in the morning, the Sun suddenly disappeared from the sky. It didn’t return until 10 minutes later. The whole world observed this special astronomical phenomenon and this has led to a lot of speculation because there were no announcements about a solar eclipse on the 22nd.”

“Currently, the most discussed theory is about the predictions made by the Mayan civilization. According to the Mayans, they believed that today, on December 22nd, the Sun would vanish and the Earth would be plunged into darkness. We know that there are many people that are really concerned about the accuracy of this prediction.”

“Unlike a solar eclipse, sunlight didn't gradually fade out. Instead, the Sun itself vanished instantaneously. While the entire world was wrapped in darkness, many countries reportedly lost communication with their satellites. This chaotic situation lasted for about 10 minutes, and returned to normal immediately after the event.”

“Due to the similarities between recent events and the Mayan prophecy, many people have come to believe that the prophecy may come true. Of course, we know that this could also be a rare astronomical phenomenon. However, this is still an unprecedented event. So, please professors, give us an explanation from a scientific perspective and help us understand this. Thank you!”

……*&m;……&m;……((¥¥&m;……]
*Gibberish*

“After the professors' explanation, we can rest assured that this is indeed a special astronomical event, a phenomenon that we have never encountered before. This would also mean that the rumours about the Mayan prophecy might just be baseless horror stories. This event shows us that we should look at such things from a scientific point of view. Do not blindly trust rumours as they will only cause unnecessary panic…”

Chu Yunsheng turned off the TV. He felt that there was no need to continue watching the news anymore. People have been condemning these so-called experts online and spreading rumors stating that these experts were just trying to deceive the public. That’s why, ever since 2008, only a few people still believed in these so-called experts as they specialize in talking only nonsense. That’s why Chu Yunsheng also didn’t want to listen to their gibberish.

Although the government tried to censor all negative opinions on the Internet, their efforts were for nothing. While some people were watching and ridiculing the government’s futile actions while taking the situation lightly, most people were in a state of panic. Just a glimpse at the local supermarket this afternoon revealed a huge crowd that had rushed in to purchase long-term supplies of food and other necessities. If the public didn’t receive a real answer, this situation would soon turn into a disaster.

Chu Yunsheng strongly believed in his own judgement. Something was troubling him for the longest time. It all began with a book he inherited from his parents. An heirloom that had been in their family for generations. Although the book was completely incomprehensible, worse than the cryptic words of an oracle, he had always felt that there was something peculiar about it. He believed that the reason for the recent events can be found within this book. That this book is capable of solving many of the questions that were troubling people.


-----

Even though the book was said to be a family heirloom, for many years it was only being used to stabilize his wobbly bed. The book was so old and worn out that it has no value to him other than its thickness. Chu Yunsheng's father often said that regardless of how he used it, he should hold onto it until he dies. This book was inherited from one generation to the next generation after all.

However, back when Chu Yunsheng was admitted to a University, his father struggled in supporting him. He secretly took their family’s old book to several pawn shops and antique fairs to appraise it, hoping to sell it to help pay for his expenses. The appraisal showed that the book didn't have any real value. They said that it wasn't old enough to be an antique and that it was, at most, only around 3 to 5 years old at the time.

Chu Yunsheng’s father passed it down to Yunsheng later on, and he only ever used the book to prop up his bed. It wasn’t until Chu Yunsheng had decided to buy a house that he tried to sell the book again at the antique fairs, but nobody was interested in buying it. Frustrated, Chu Yunsheng gave up on the idea of selling the book.

For years the book was kept under the corner of his bed. He nearly forgot about its existence. But on this night, everything changed.

Earlier that night, he had just broken up with his long-term girlfriend. He tried to drink away his sorrows. It was then that the book, which he nearly forgot he even had, begun to emit a bright light. The light lingered for around 20 seconds, long enough for Yusheng to take notice. Even though he was drunk at the time, he still firmly believed that what he saw wasn’t an illusion. He reached out to his friends and told them what he saw but all they did was mock him.


In order to prove to himself that what he saw wasn’t just a figment of his imagination, alongside his drive to earn money, he took the book to other pawn shops. The result was still disappointing. Nobody believed it to be precious. He even subjected it to a radiocarbon dating test. The test result showed that the book was no more than ten years old. That’s why they said it couldn’t possibly be an antique book, but rather just a replica.

Chu Yunsheng was upset by the test results. But he soon realized that this didn't make sense. He knew about this book back when he was still a child. While he didn’t know how long his father had this book, the book should have been at least 20 years old. He had seen the book back then with his own eyes. If the test results showed that this book was no more than ten years old, then it indicated that the book wasn’t as simple as it looked.

Chu Yunsheng spent a period of time studying the material of the book trying to discover the real age of the book, but nothing came of it. That’s when he took another approach; trying to understand the contents of the book. He went through all the books that he could find on the traditional Chinese language, oracle bone scripts, ancient texts, and any literature that might have the slimmest connection to the contents of his book. Eventually, after a long period of research, he was able to understand about 300 relatively simple symbols. By then it was the year 2010.

Understanding a mere 300 symbols couldn’t help Chu Yunsheng in reading the entire book. Even with them, he wasn’t able to understand anything beyond the first ten pages of the book. But with just these measly ten pages that he roughly translated, Chu Yunsheng discovered that the author of this book repeatedly said that “Tian Gui [TL: Sky Track] will return.”, “All the laws will become one.” and “The universe will reveal its true face and the world will be doomed.”

Chu Yunsheng was depressed after his break up that night. At the time, a new American blockbuster movie with an apocalyptic setting had been released. He felt that he had nothing but time to kill. And because of boredom and his curiosity about the Mayan prophecy, he used the laws and algorithms he had learned from his book to calculate a series of dates based on the modern calendar. Chu Yunsheng was shocked after coming to the same results repeatedly. The calculation showed that the date when “All the laws will become one” is December 28th, 2012. This meant that if the contents of the book were true, then on December 28th, 2012, the world will meet disaster.

Chu Yunsheng had forgotten the number of times he calculated this. He didn’t trust the results at first. It was because he simply wasn’t sure if he really understood the symbols he had translated from the book. But after deciphering more symbols, his calculations still pointed at the 28th. Chu Yunsheng started to feel anxious. He couldn’t understand why but he felt that the book was affecting his mind. A strange force that compelled him to believe that the events written in the book would come true.

Chu Yunsheng struggled for some time but he finally decided to believe the results. He tried to convince the people online about the information he had discovered, but of course, no one believed him. The internet was already known for its wild theories. On top of that, the government often censored wild rumors that were posted online, his theories included. As a result, his posts were soon removed.

----

It was not until three months earlier that the antique book began to emit colorful lights again, just when he was about to go to sleep. Chu Yunsheng was drunk back then; but this time, he was sober. After that rousing experience, he no longer had any doubt about what he had seen. He had started preparing for this day. His behavior in the previous three months caused his friends to think he had gone insane and almost landed him in the hospital.

He unhesitatingly sold his house, which he had bought with a mortgage, in exchange for the cash to buy everything he needed. He sold everything which was valuable and did not have a use in the future. He used those funds to rent two adjacent apartments on the same floor of a building in the interior of Shen Cheng City. The rooms that he chose weren’t on the ground floor of the building since those would be vulnerable to forced entry. The rooms weren’t on the highest floor either because his book warned him that the return of Tian Gui will cause the Earth to collide with other dimensions and will cast down vicious beasts so powerful that no one on earth would be able to kill them.

Chu Yunsheng used the strongest steel he could find to seal the doors and windows. He also stored large quantities of food, clean water, and other supplies such as salt, sugar, paper, batteries along with toothpaste, detergent and lighters. He bought everything he could think of; he calculated that if he ate 2 pounds of rice a day, the rice he had stored up could help him survive for several decades.

He even bought a pistol and 100 rounds of ammunition on the black market. He spent all that he could to buy what he might need. His savings went down from a few hundred thousand yuan to just under 2000. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to spend it all, it’s just that there was no space for him to store anything more. Even the empty cabinets in the toilet were now stuffed with things.

Chu Yunsheng’s landlords lived outside the city. They hardly ever come back to Shen Cheng City. On December 21st, Chu Yunsheng knocked down the wall between the two rooms he rented. After that, he blocked the front door of one of the rooms and blocked off all the windows in both. After preparing everything, he quietly began to wait for the apocalypse.

It wasn’t that Chu Yunsheng didn’t want to help his friends, it’s just that almost all of them thought that he was crazy, including his relatives, and no one was willing to believe him.

Since this morning, however, he started receiving a large number of phone calls. The disappearance of the Sun caused way more panic than he thought it would. Although a lot of people still thought that it was ridiculous to believe in the end of the world, the panic just kept spreading. That’s why the people who knew that Chu Yunsheng was preparing for this, all called to ask for his advice. Chu Yunsheng did not really know a lot of details. He barely understood the first few pages of the book. All he could do right now was to tell people to store more food along with anything they might need during the approaching disaster.

The evening news was repeatedly trying to persuade the people that there was a scientific explanation for this phenomenon and that this wasn’t the end of the world. But who would believe them right now? Rumors spread much faster than news and the riots were getting worse. Almost all news websites had an apocalypse section on their front page.

The Sun disappeared. Will the Mayan prophecy really come true?

It’s the end of the world. Are you ready?

2012 is here. Have you bought your tickets?

Translated by Ben Chan
Proofreader: Kuronyan
Verified by: Zetoshi
Edited by Cyriiil and motae-sri


Translator’s Notes -

Regarding internet censorship in China -
The chinese government does not actually censor the content themselves. Most of the websites and internet service providers come to an agreement with the government before the website goes public. One of the agreements, known to every Chinese citizen, is that anything which might lead to social unrest will be removed from the internet automatically by a specially designed program. So in this novel’s context, the government did not actually censor Chu Yunsheng’s opinions.

Black Markets in China -
Black markets do exist in China, and they are very hard to find. Buying a pistol is not impossible in China. Because most of the police and military equipment will eventually need replacement, some of the retired gear might flow into the black market.

MC’s financial problem -
MC’s parents were already suffering from financial difficulty. Because they already found it hard to support their son in going to college.
The original author did not mention why the MC did not sell his parents house. There are many possible scenarios. The most convincing one of them is that he had already sold his parent’s house to cover the first instalment of the mortgage payment. (upcoming chapters will reveal more about where his parents are.)

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10 comments:

  1. Poor English

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    Replies
    1. HAHA i know, any suggestions? i really need to improve my English, if you could point out where i need to change that would be great. THX

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    2. I'd suggest finding a proof reader. But if that isn't an option I'd suggest doing it the lazy way of just laying in Microsoft word and using the autocorrect function.

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    3. Ms autocorrect doesn't check grammar mistakes. I've tried before. It doesn't seems to work very well. I also tried to ask someone on reddit to proof read my work. But they seemed to be more interested if i will pay them. So......

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    4. Keep it up with the good work😁
      There is space for improvememt but I would still like to read more from this.

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    5. For me I put the words that would be better in the context.

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  2. increase the font size or keep a font size option on the site..its really easy to make one.

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    Replies
    1. most browsers have zone in and out or change font size function, so it is not necessary to add that option on the site. but thanks for the advise.

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