The Quarry - The Loop
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- (Ransa helped Tuda to a corner and sat him down to rest, then looked after him by his side.)
- Nikki: Chenxi... I'm sorry. What you said was so shocking to Tuda and so beyond his comprehension that he...
- Chenxi: I understand what you mean. But what's wrong with him?
- Ace: I think Tuda might have been punished by the Blood Curse.
- Tall Explorer: The Blood Curse?! Isn't that just a continental legend?
- Ace: Wow. You're surprisingly similar to Tuda. Both of you regard things you don't know as fictitious!
- Tall Explorer: You!
- Chenxi: Go take a break first.
- Tall Explorer: Yes... Captain.
- Chenxi: The Blood Curse... The last time I heard of it, it was in class.
- Nikki: The textbooks on Ruin talk about the Blood Curse?
- Chenxi: Well. To the people of Ruin, the Blood Curse is something that purely exists in concept and no one has ever witnessed it.
- Nikki: How does Ruin explain it then?
- Chenxi: Berta explains it using concepts of psychology. She believes that it is a case of large-scale collective hypnosis.
- Nikki: But... Has no one in Ruin ever triggered the Blood Curse before?
- Chenxi: As far as I know, no one. In Ruin, violence is extremely inefficient behavior.
- Nikki: Folks of Ruin value efficiency, don't they?
- Chenxi: That's for sure. Under Berta's reign, we are more akin to pre-set programs versus human beings, prioritizing our actions based on efficiency.
- Nikki: You mean Berta controls everyone's actions?
- Chenxi: We are obligated to finish the missions Berta assigns. Everyone is given a title when they are born, which dictates their education and future work.
- Ace: I see... Violence is unnecessary in such an environment.
- Nikki: But if so, aren't you deprived of the right of choice?
- Chenxi: Berta is an AI after all and cannot be interpreted with anthropomorphic thoughts. For Berta, efficient development of Ruin comes first.
- (A hush fell over everyone. This was a matter of course to the folks of Ruin but for those outside, it was beyond their imagination.)
- Nikki: One more question - Do the people of Ruin know about the Enlightened?
- Chenxi: The Enlightened? I've never heard of it before. But you could ask Berta.
- Nikki: Berta? But isn't she in Ruin?
- Ace: You're going to bring us to Ruin?
- Chenxi: You may well say so. I've developed a set of virtual space. It can take you to the simulated Ruin Island based on data.
- Momo: Wow! This is incredible!
- Nikki: Simulated... So nothing in it is real?
- Chenxi: Everything you see is simulated by the system based on actual data, including buildings and people. But to improve operation speed, I'll enable the simulated data of Berta only. Moreover, you have to change into equipment appropriate for virtual space before entering.
There is no concluding dialogue.