Chapter 1

Another Start

"So how's everything? Is the girl alright now?" Teacher Cherry anxiously asked the four of them the moment she stormed into the room where they usually gathered.

"Don't you worry, Teacher Cherry. The girl appears to be in perfect shape, not in the least hurt at all. Only being tied up to a cozy chair after someone caused her to be fainted at the classroom's doorway," reported 187.

"Then, can she recognise who's that someone who harmed her?" Teacher Cherry questioned in a more serious tone.

"187 will always be 187. Only matters related to girls live in your mind," 747 could not stand such a statement and then turned to Teacher Cherry. "Teacher, according to the information we got, the culprit was wearing a white mask and coverall suit....."

"And?" Teacher Cherry was again up to her trademark self of pursuing important clues from them.

Tian Mo Xing quickly jumped into their conversation, "So that's why there's no way that student could recognise the person who drugged her."

Teacher Cherry only looked despondently at Tian Mo Xing and sighed audibly.

"There's no need to get so disappointed. I believe we profited more than losing this time," 007 added.

Teacher Cherry's face instantly lit up this time, "A Game CD?!!" 007 was holding it in his hand and he explained that it was discovered taped underneath the table of the victim's seat.

"Oh, 007, no wonder you deserve so much of respect from Teacher always and always!" Teacher Cherry and Tian Mo Xing rushed forward to crowd around 007 while 187 and 747 offered each other hurting glances understood tacitly before joining them.

"Wow, it's still in one unblemished piece!!" squealed Tian Mo Xing joyfully as 007 took out the disc from the cover and placing it into the computer's CD drive.

"Thank you for your fervent interest..." 747 read aloud what was displayed on the computer screen.

"Why is that such a short simple message?" Tian Mo Xing added with dissatisfaction and creased eyebrows.

"Wait, the computer seems to be acting up again...the cursor is not responding..." 007 realised.

"Have we actually been tricked?" 747 suggested.

"It's hard to say...there could be something else being loaded which opened up some new connections of this computer with another one, slowing down its performance," 007 played around with some keys and checked the firewall's log entries.

"How is it?" Tian Mo Xing wanted to know eagerly.

"I'm convinced that I made the right guess but....." 007 became hesitant.

"It looks like everything's returning back to normal now..." 747 deciphered.

"Oh,..." Teacher Cherry bit her lip when something came to mind.

Everyone turned to her with questioning looks. "May I know what's the time now?" she pleaded sheepishly.

187 held up his shiny wrist watch and announced, "11 o'clock sharp..."

"I see," Teacher Cherry sounded apologetic. "Actually, due to some maintenance job to be done, all network connections for the whole school and dormitories will be down for the next 24 hours. I regret for not informing you guys earlier..."

Although they all were truly quite let down deep inside, no one preferred to hurt Teacher Cherry's feelings.

"Oh,..." Tian Mo Xing tried to divert everyone's attention. "Did you all smell something? Goodness, 747, I have told you many times to empty the trash when I just happened to forget." She nudged him from behind.

747 got the message and went over to the bin, "Ah right...how can we enjoy our Teacher Cherry's wonderfully delicious instant noodles when the disturbing smell is so strong. Sorry, sorry, everyone...I'll take over Tian Mo Xing's job..."

He took out the whole bag of rubbish and quickly tied it up.

"Hey 747," 187 called. "How can you be so careless? Check the bottom of your bag that there's a hole leaking out something."

747 did as was told and true enough, he spotted a piece of cover on the floor. "Hmmm...this looks familiar..." he mumbled.

"747, do you need any help?" Tian Mo Xing hurriedly went over to his side. Seeing what he was holding, she was curious, "Huh? 007, how come you're disposing of the CD cover so fast? Don't you think we should keep it for future use?"

"CD cover?" 007 repeated.

"Ha...Tian Mo Xing, I think you must have overimagined things," 187 smiled in defeat. "I was standing beside 007 for the past 10 minutes and haven't seen him leave his seat for even one-tenth of a second. Besides,..."

"The thing you mentioned about is right here with me," 007 showed Tian Mo Xing the cover.

"But, what we have looks almost exactly the same, except for some noticeable wear and tear," she stressed and rushed over with 747 to hand it to 007.

They all spent some time studying the two covers closely. Then, Teacher Cherry exclaimed, "I can remember where we got the one from the trash. It came with one of Lu Ke Ying's game cds!"

The students looked admirably at their teacher before 007 confirmed that she was right.

Following, 747 added, "But from the way I see, for an older cover like Lu Ke Ying's, it can be considered to have quite a huge number of scratches..."

"Eh,..." Tian Mo Xing took out her magnifying glass and pointed it over. "Everyone, this thing here is actually a white-out!"

They quickly removed away what Tian Mo Xing has discovered. With a bit of effort, 007 finally made out the tiny words that were being covered underneath, "Mastermind Computer Centre."