All of a sudden, the robot said, “Dad, Mom and Nathan are home.”
Michael instructed, “Turn off the news.”
The channel switched back to the cartoons from before.
When Sophia came back with different bags of things, she saw Michael and the robot sitting together on the sofa watching cartoons. She put down what she was carrying and called, “Nicholas!”
Michael watched the robot rush off happily and even gladly helped Sophia bring the things inside. That is one clever robot. Michael had goosebumps all over.
He remembered the time when Xyla placed a toy to spy on them in their house. The robot in front of him now was way more intelligent than that toy back then. If Linus implanted something inside this robot… But, this robot is very intelligent. It knows how to cheer Sophia up everyday. I can’t bear to throw it away. How frustrating!
Every time Sophia came back from Linus’ place, she would come home with all those bags as though she had inappropriately acquired them. For example, the window panes of the French windows she cherished so dearly. She finally got them from Linus’ place today. Not to mention, he also sent someone over to install it for her.
After the new windows were put in place and they went to look out of it, it was a completely different view. One moment it was the deep underwater world, then in the next moment, it was a windy desert. Next, it was a tropical rainforest. Those were not simply still shots but actual scenes. It was a high definition transmission of the scenery being captured in real-time. It was real and spectacular, making them feel as though they were physically there.
Moreover, she also took the 3D projector in his bedroom and installed it in her own room. She lay down on the bed excitedly as she could not wait to try it out. When it turned on, it started projecting various sights. The ceiling was not just a ceiling anymore; it was a starry night sky. There was also a moon. She could even hear the sound of crickets right by her ear. Warm air brushed across her face and brought with it the scent of fresh grass. The sound, temperature, and visuals were all unbelievably convincing.
If she reached out, it was as if she could actually feel the fireflies dancing around her fingertips.
Apart from the stars, there were grasslands, beaches, and many other simulations. It felt like she was actually out camping. This is so surreal.
“I want to see fireworks! Fireworks!”
As soon as she said that, the projector started to display fireworks. The splendid fireworks made her so happy that she started rolling around on the bed.
Very quickly, shooting stars also started to appear. It felt so real as though it was truly right before her eyes.
Michael was also on the bed, looking at the lifelike aurora. He was in awe. Linus is living the life! But something still did not feel right. He reminded, “These are all advanced technologies. I’m guessing it isn’t cheap. You shouldn’t ask Linus for so many things in the future. The cost is too high.”
Sophia changed the scene from the aurora to a desert night scene. She could even hear the sound of camels walking from her bedside. She retorted, “This is what I won from playing mahjong with Linus. It’s mine!”
She wanted to, but she did not think it was too courteous to tell Michael that Linus could not beat her in their game of mahjong, and these were all the things that they had bet on. He had lost many things over the past two days.
Michael was baffled. “Your bets are so high.”
“Linus upgraded all the robots in his house yesterday. They know how to play mahjong now!”
“I’ll take Nicholas with me tomorrow to get upgraded. Linus wants to teach him how to play mahjong.”
Michael was speechless now.
“Stop talking. There’s a shooting star. I’m going to make a wish.” Then, she closed her eyes and made a wish upon the shooting star.
Her thoughts were simple: to be happy every day and have Michael by her side.
The next day, Sophia went out early in the morning and took the robot with her. When she came home, Nicholas had already turned into a gambling expert—mahjong, poker, and blackjack—he was proficient in all of them.
When Harry and Daniel heard that the robot at Michael’s house knew how to play mahjong, they came without delay to test the robot out. The three of them played against Nicholas all night and lost miserably. They had probably lost as much as a three-bedroom house located around the central business district in Bayside City.
Since then, Nicholas beat everyone in the small neighborhood and had no opponents. Everyone in the small neighborhood, from proprietors to security guards to housekeepers, was defeated. Nicholas even knew how to be smart about it. He chose whether to win or lose depending on the person’s looks.
Michael was starting to regret letting Linus move into the neighborhood. It was bad enough that it was interfering with his routine. He planned to wait until Sophia was done with her exams before finding an auspicious day to take the three of them and their dog out on holiday.
During this time, it seemed like Sophia had gone to Linus’ place almost every day. She had disregarded her studies, but she was still self-studying. Linus had actually created Nicholas to keep Nathan company. Not only did Nicholas know how to play mahjong, he even knew how to give advice. If there was anything that Sophia did not know, he could give her an answer for it.
After that incident, Sophia had not gone to school once and spent her time at home self-studying.
Nonetheless, final exams crept up on her.
If she returned to school to take the exam, she figured she would have to face all the students at school. Even though two weeks had passed since it happened and the photos on the internet had almost completely been erased, everyone still remembered the incident.
With her grades, however, she did not have to take the exam. She could request to be exempted from the exam, but she still decided to go to school to complete her exams.
The morning that she was about to leave for school, Michael walked her to the car and asked, “Do you want me to take you to school?”
Sitting inside the car, she shook her head and said, “This is my problem. I should face it on my own.”
She always wanted to be strong.
She had to sit for two examinations. After taking the exam for her major, she had to take another one for a course at the School of Computer Science. The exams would stretch over four days. Fortunately, her exam times for both schools were staggered.
When Nathan and Nicholas got in the car, Nicholas reassured, “Don’t worry, Dad. Nate and I will protect Mom!”
Indeed, Nicholas had a way with words.
Michael bent down to pat his head as a reward. At the same time, he glanced over at Nathan with a stern expression.
Look at him and look at yourself!
On the way to school, Sophia had a conversation with the robot.
The robot was like a chatterbox. He could come up with various amusing topics to discuss with Sophia. He was able to empathize as well as a person did. After putting on those kid’s clothes and the tiger hat that Nathan used to wear as a child, the robot looked just like a child—healthy and strong.
Talking to him made Sophia feel a lot better.
At Michel Group’s building, the person-in-charge of the branch in Cethos, Linus, was in his office. He was watching a video that was being recorded from Nicholas’ point of view. It showed Sophia smiling brightly.
Seeing that gentle and beautiful smiling face, he could not help but smile too.
Linus had designed Nicholas, so he made a concealed back-door that was not apparent to anyone. He could send everything that Nicholas saw to himself whenever he wanted to and even monitor Sophia’s emotional activity. The server automatically analyzed her mood whenever and wherever.
While he was working, he listened to the conversation Sophia had with Nicholas. Just then, the system automatically analyzed her emotional activity.
“Linus, Miss Edwards is feeling very nervous. Her pressure index is at 65. Depression level has gone down from average to low.”