Unknown whether he was being punished by the unfair heavens or what, it seemed this week he really wouldn't be getting enough of the sleep that he'd been badly yearning for.
Two and a half hours later, his phone rang. Of course, he was dead tired and very fast asleep to notice it. Hence, the one which took it as its mission to alert him about the notification was his system AI. For this reason, it had even gone as far as to play some heavy metal tunes inside his brain for ten minutes straight!
In its own words, it was merely trying to prove its awesomeness and usefulness to its own host. And that explained why its playing of the maddening music was so passionate, intense, and at its maximum volume.
How did Chris react to it? Of course, he badly wished to beat up and chase the damn AI out of his mind!
Unfortunately, the poor man didn't know if that was even achievable, so he could only curse out and get up from the mattress, furiously reaching out to the bedside table.
'Should I throw it away for once?'
With red eyes, he glared at his annoying phone, the source of evil this time. His demon-like gaze worsening when he saw who the damnable caller was.
'I want to kill. Badly.' he darkly thought to himself. Naturally, he didn't really have the intention nor the experience. It was just that people could easily say nasty or violent things whenever at the height of their anger.
'What does she want this time?' he asked himself. His finger felt so heavy when pressing on the answer icon.
"Hi, I hope I'm not being a bother," rang a familiar soothing voice from the receiver. It was soft and has a comforting quality perceptible for its listener, as expected from a voice that never stopped to hypnotize people for the past three years.
Chris bluntly replied, "You are."
If someone called someone at midnight, two hours after falling asleep, was it an exaggeration to want a brawl with that person?
To his answer though, the woman only coolly responded, "Oh. Fine. When did I become not one for you? By the way, good midnight."
"Likewise." He tiredly said. "It's past the office hours, so I don't have to be courteous to you, right? So why are you calling me at this ungodly hour? Care to explain, Miss Silver?"
A laugh gently echoed out from the other line, reminiscent of a wind chime on top of a door softly playing their music whenever the playful wind blew on it.
It didn't take long for an answer to come to his ears. The person who called, Sofony Silver, replied, "I'm just checking on you. But this is for business. Or at least, my business."
"I'm listening," After pressing the loudspeaker icon, he said, promptly crawling under the comforter, his eyes closing.
"You better be. It's my great consideration of your privacy that I phoned you instead of teleporting straight there."
The man felt pissed since he knew that what she said was true. If it weren't for the other person's observing of propriety for both of their reputation, then she would have done so. And he wouldn't certainly like that as it meant his home would be at the mercy of a higher-leveled host.
"...Go ahead." Chris could only say, without his eyes opening. Anyway, all she wanted was to ensure he was all ears to whatever she would tell him.
She replied, "Check your mailbox or email. If you want, have your system do it. Several of Starlight artists have messaged my assistants for the past hours about an email they received around 9 pm. I have to give you a phone call since I can't check yours by myself."
She was referring to how he had blocked everyone, host or not, from accessing anything he didn't want to be known by others about himself. Two years ago, he was rewarded with an item which upgraded his anonymity by two levels and Sofony was also subjected to it.
Before Chris could even ask why, his system had already gone ahead and checked what had been asked to be checked. After it reported to him what it found out, he dumbfoundedly asked, "Death threat? Everyone from the company?"
The woman laughed. "I see. So you received one too. Interesting. Yeah. Every artist received one. Some directors and producers affiliated with us too." The laughter couldn't stop. It was as if his confirmation of what she wanted to know was a joke of the century.
Actually, a death threat sounded serious enough, for others who were living an honest life and making a living through normal means. Those people, without having an understanding of why they were targeted, would be scared out of their wits, reaching out for anybody who would be able to offer them protection.
However, this was only for non-host without any means or guarantee to shield themselves.
It only made Chris disgruntled. He asked, "... Just for this, you have bothered my sleep?"
For him, more than the chain messages of death threats going on within Starlight, being awakened from his sleep was more than of a crime.
Sofony's voice leisurely resounded again, explaining, "I just thought I need to tell you since the intention behind this is obvious. You must know that everyone from the industry is receiving them. Oh. My mistake. Not everyone. Only us and Dazzle." The same soft laugh echoed out once more, irritating him.
It was because he perfectly knew that the other was not the least bit bothered by this incident. So to call him and inform him of this? He could only think of one reason.
'She was too bored. Damn.'
'And she must be aware of what's really going on.'
Chris got off the bed and approached the bedside table. While staring at the numbers flashing on the LCD, he tried to confirm, "Be honest with me, Miss Silver. Is this her attacks?"
Her equaled Amelia Morgan, a powerful non-host hostile to both Sofony and Alessa.
"I'm betting that you know. And you're not only intervening or doing anything because you're so bored so you want to see some 'real' entertainment."
This didn't only happen once before so he confidently made the remark. Lately, or perhaps, since two years ago when she became so much cold-hearted and more playful than when they were still at HCA, she became so interested in weird stuff, sometimes doing things unpredictable or without any reason behind it.
Last time, it was not a death threat, but hacker attacks. Just because she wanted to see how high the skills of her IT experts were, she didn't interfere even when several hackers and cybercriminals were trying to bankrupt Starlight.
Maybe her confidence stemmed from the fact that even if they became successful in their attempts, the stolen money and damaged assets could be easily recovered.
That time, she didn't seem very eager to protect Starlight since it was not really initially part of Ever Victorious, but something acquired from the Cruzes, family of the former host 98, Floyd Cruz.
If it was any of the subsidiaries of Ever Victorious Corp., she would have long reduced the malicious attackers into rat-like beggars.
The hackers, in the end, did not succeed due to his and Sofia's intervention.
That incident though caused Sofia not to be summoned by Sofony for a year. As a consequence, as the person who led the girl to help him out with the ordeal, he was blamed. Thus the hate. Well, even before that, their relationship was not very harmonious. It just worsened and he could bet it was to the point the unreasonable was wishing his death every day.
But that time, he had to intervene since it would mean projects and investors would be pulled out. And it was hampering his and Alessa's own plans and projects.
When he dragged that clone into the mess, he reasoned out to her that Starlight must be protected since inarguably, it was still owned by Sofony and that if it was to be gone, she would have to start from the bottom again to get close to her Original. The reason was actually stupid-sounding, but because that clone's IQ would dive down to zero with just a mention of Sofony's name, she agreed. And then ended up like that after.
When he apologized and said that he didn't know, which was the truth at that time, about Sofony reacting like that, he was met with deadly knife swings swung at full force. He became even more hated for trying to put the blame on her Original's head.
Chris could only shake his head as he reminisced this.
"Miss Silver. This time, it's different. These are death threats."
"I thought you're not interested. Aren't you blaming me for waking you up from your sleep?"
"...Maybe I was not very awake that time, thus not having a full grasp of the matter. Right now, I just remembered something and understood why you called me. Thanks. But why don't you move your people to prevent whatever your rival is planning?"
Only a burst of laughter came into his ears as a reply. This made him sigh. This time, his mind was already awake, his head even aching.
'Bearing a grudge?'
'Or feeling amused that Amelia is planning attempts to her sister's life?'
With a black face, he tasked the system to do some researches for him.
Meanwhile, before he ended the call, he told the woman about the real reason why he lacked so much sleep for this week.
"Hey, before I get to work, I just wanna tell you about the result of my search there."
"Hmm. Thanks in advance."
"...Sorry. I'm not sure if it's me who's incompetent or your source is just lying. But when I was at Country Y, filming, I didn't see even the shadow of that 'kid'. He didn't appear even when I checked the surveillance and spy satellites of their national government's intelligence unit."
A long time passed before a response came from the woman. When it did though, even Chris, who was slightly annoyed by the woman, felt some pity and compassion.
"Is that so..."
The voice was very gentle and weak, as though the person saying it was on the brink of crying. He knew she wouldn't really do so. He knew she was already stronger than before, just as he. But if he was not mistaken, Sofony was heartbroken that the link she managed to find after so much difficulty turned out to be just another dead end, again.
=>Link to the original site: https://www.webnovel.com/book/12734433505930905/The-Sinners'-Queen