The fluorescent lights in the small office flickered and buzzed as Xiang Feng nervously awaited his bosss decision. He sat perched on the edge of the hard chair, his hands clasped in his lap and the sweat beading on his forehead. His boss, Director Jiao, leaned back in his chair and regarded him with a stern expression.

”Im sorry, Xiang Feng, but Im afraid I have to let you go, ” Director Jiao said, his voice gruff yet tinged with sympathy. The words felt like a punch to Xiang Fengs stomach. He had been expecting this, yet still it was a shock to hear it. His throat felt dry as he tried to process what he was hearing. ”Its been a pleasure having you here, ” Director Jiao continued, ”but unfortunately, due to recent budget cuts, I have to let you go. Im sorry, Xiang Feng, but theres nothing I can do. ”

Xiang Feng swallowed hard and nodded. He had worked hard for this company for the past five years, and now, in the span of a few moments, it was all over. He tried to keep his composure, but he could feel himself on the verge of tears. ”I understand, ” he mumbled, his voice trembling slightly. He paused for a moment, uncertain of what else to say.

”If there is anything I can do to help you, ” Director Jiao offered, ”please let me know. ” Xiang Feng thanked him and rose to his feet. He could feel the heavy weight of the situation bearing down on him, and he wanted nothing more than to get out of the office and be alone. He shook Director Jiaos hand and made his way to the door, a lump in his throat and a heavy feeling in his heart.

Xiang Feng had just left his office building, a glass monolith that towered above the city. His heart was heavy and his fists clenched in frustration. He could not help but feel a wave of helplessness wash over him. The company had employed him for four years and had just been told that he had been laid off. His mind raced as he tried to make sense of the decision, and he was left with a sense of anger and betrayal. He had given his all to the company, working long hours and taking on extra tasks to ensure the success of the business. Despite all his efforts, it seemed they had discarded him like a piece of trash.

The emotion was too much to bear and so, in a moment of rage, he punched the office building with all his might. A trickle of blood emanating from the impact point was the only sign of his anguish. Someone from security had seen him and had approached him with a warning.

”Xiang Feng, I understand this is a difficult time for you, ” the guard said, ”but if you do it again, Ill have to arrest you. ”

At those words, Xiang Feng stared back at the building, his fist still clenched, feeling a strange mixture of regret, sadness, and helplessness. He knew that no matter how hard he had worked for the company; he had been powerless to prevent his own fate. As he walked away, he could not help but feel that the building had been a silent witness to his despair.

Xiang Feng arrived home to his old, decrepit apartment, located in Beijing, with a heavy heart. He had been living in the same dismal place for years, and the sight of it had grown even more depressing with each passing day.

The walls cracked and peeling; the floorboards creaking under his feet, and the air filled with dust and a musty smell. He opened his door to the same stale sight: a barren room with the same tattered furniture and few belongings that had been with him since he moved in. It felt like he had been living in a time warp, one that he could never escape.

Xiang Feng slumped onto the couch and tried to push away the deep sadness that had been slowly consuming him. He remembered the days, a few years ago, when he had first moved to Beijing. He had been full of hope and optimism, believing that the city would bring new opportunities and help him escape the hardships of his past. But now, here he was, in the same place, surrounded by the same loneliness and despair. He sighed, trying to shake away the negative emotions.

He closed his eyes to clear his mind, but all he could see was the darkness of his future. All he wanted was to break free from the prison of his own making. But at that moment, he did not know how to move forward.

Xiang Feng lay in bed, filled with a deep sense of nostalgia as he thought of his parents and sister, whom he had left behind when he moved to Beijing. He had been away for a while now, but he still felt the same longing for his home and family that had been a part of him since the day he left. He wished he had never left, and thought of all the time he had missed out on with his family. He knew he couldn turn back the clock, and that he had to make the best of the situation he was in, but still he couldn help but regret his decision to move to Beijing. The memories of his family were still fresh in his mind when he rolled over.

Xiang Feng still lay in bed, idly scrolling through his phone. It surprised him when his phone ringed. He quickly answered, ”Hello? ”

”Xiang Feng, its Uncle Zhao, ” a voice said on the other end. Xiang Feng felt a wave of dread wash over him. His uncle never called, and only if there was a special reason to it. He knew what his uncle was about to say, and he wanted to be anywhere but here.

”Xiang Feng, ” Uncle Zhao said, his voice heavy with sorrow. ”Im so sorry. Your parents they—they didn make it. There was a fire at their house. ”

Xiang Fengs breath hitched as the words sunk in. His parents were gone. He shook, his mind racing as he tried to process the news.

”And your sister, ” Uncle Zhao continued. ”She tried to save them. Im so sorry, Xiang Feng. She didn make it either. ” Xiang Feng felt the tears fall as the reality of the situation crashed down on him. His sister was gone, too. He had lost his entire family in one night. Xiang Feng took a deep breath, trying to steady himself. He could hear Uncle Zhaos voice on the other end of the line, speaking words of comfort, but they sounded distant and muffled. All Xiang Feng could focus on was the pain of the loss he was feeling. He had lost everything he loved in one night.

Xiang Feng sat motionless in bed, staring blankly at the floor. His hands trembled as he tried to process the news he had just received. It was a blow he hadn expected, yet one he had dreaded for some time. He felt a wave of despair wash over him as he realized that his life was now irreversibly changed. As he sat there, Xiang Fengs mind wandered. He thought about all the ways his life could be ended.

After a few moments, he got up from his chair and walked over to his computer. He was determined to find out just how easy it would be to end his life. Xiang Feng nervously typed in keywords into the search bar. His hands shook as he read through the results. The number of websites offering detailed instructions on how to commit suicide shocked him. He read through each article carefully, searching for the perfect method. Xiang Feng felt a strange sense of excitement as he read through the information. He felt calm at the thought of putting an end to his pain and suffering forever. He scanned through the various methods, carefully weighing each one against the other. After what felt like hours, Xiang Feng had his answer. He had found the perfect way for him to end his life. He sighed heavily as he realized this was the only way out of his misery. With a sense of both trepidation and resolve, he shut off the computer.

Xiang Feng was perplexed as he stared at his computer screen. Instead of the usual shutdown procedure, a pop-up appeared with the message, ”Are you tired of your current life? ” He was taken aback. Was this a scam? He became increasingly frustrated that this interruption was preventing him from completing his tasks. Despite his attempts to close the computer, it refused to obey his commands. With a sigh, he finally gave in after five minutes and clicked the ”Yes ” button, hoping it would bring some sort of resolution.

He stood motionless, awaiting an expected nothing to occur, but before he had a chance to take a single step away, his legs suddenly gave out from underneath him and he tumbled to the ground. His vision grew dark, a suffocating blanket of blackness enveloping him as he lay there, unable to move or see.

The impact of his body on the floor sending shock-waves of pain through his entire being. His eyes were closed, a dull ache forming in the back of his head as he drifted in and out of consciousness.

The surrounding room appeared hazy, as if it were made of a transparent fog. The walls were blurred, the furniture indistinguishable. He could see the faint outlines of a few items, but nothing specific. His breathing was shallow, his thoughts scattered and confused. Xiang Feng felt a sense of weightlessness, as if he were floating in a vacuum of nothingness. Every movement was sluggish and labored, his limbs like lead. His mind was reeling, a million questions running through his mind. He could feel his pulse, a faint thudding in his ears that seemed to grow louder by the second. He wanted to move, to get up and find out what had happened, but his body was too weak. He felt himself slipping further and further away; the darkness threatening to swallow him whole.

Xiang Feng awoke with a jolt, bleary-eyed and disoriented. He did not know how he had arrived in the strange, pristine room. The walls were an unblemished white, the air thick with an ethereal stillness. In the corner, a wooden table stood, and upon it, a sleek laptop.

His mind racing with questions. Where was he? How did he get here? What did this place mean? Xiang Feng continued to explore, taking in the clean lines and antiseptic atmosphere of the room. He felt a strange sense of comfort, as if he was being watched over and protected. He began to relax and take in the atmosphere, as if he was in some sort of divine sanctuary.

Xiang Feng shook off the dizzying haze as stepped forward, drawn to the laptop and seated himself at the table.

He ran his fingertips over the keys and stared at the screen, mesmerized by the glowing cursor, which seemed to blink in anticipation of his next move. He felt a sudden surge of curiosity, as if he had stumbled upon a secret portal that could offer him some insight into the mystery of his whereabouts.

The bright glow of the monitor illuminated the dark room, revealing the words ”Character Creation Screen ” emblazoned across the screen.

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