At the studio.
Everyone was in a state of shock.
On the computer was the draft that Zhang Ye had written over the past three days. Everyone was looking at one another, over and over again, with a sense of horror. Many of the staff were very surprised that Director Zhang could actually finish writing a novel with so many words in just three days. But even that would have been acceptable since Director Zhang had fallen into such a state before when he was writing other prose. In a way, everyone here was so used to seeing something like that that they could accept it even if Zhang Ye were to write out 1 million words in a day. The thing that horrified them was something different.
Ha Qiqi stared and said, "English?"
Zhang Zuo also thought that he had it wrong at first. "Is that really English?"
Little Wang couldn't believe her eyes. "Is this English?"
Tong Fu said in an unsure tone, "It looks like English."
Zhang Ye harrumphed, "Why? Haven't you all been to university? Don't you all know English? Let's not talk any further if you guys don't even have the ability to understand this English."
Little Wang was aghast!
Ha Qiqi was floored!
You're criticizing us now?
Of course they all went to university.
Of course they all could understand English.
But what they were stunned about was that Director Zhang could actually fucking write in English!
Who didn't know what Director Zhang's English was like!
Pick out any random middle school student from across the country, and they would be bound to find someone whose English was better than his!
Director Zhang had actually written an English novel?
Did the sun rise from the west today?
Ha Qiqi said in surprise, "Since when did you pick up English?"
"I've been locked away for close to four years." Zhang Ye found an excuse and said, "Surely I could have learned some foreign languages in that time."
Zhang Zuo pointed at the computer screen and said, "B-But this isn't an ordinary level of English. There are a lot of words in it that even I don't know existed. This level—it's probably what an American would know at most, isn't it?" With a pause, he said again, "And there's even the mention of the American Civil War? And talks about the lives of American people?"
Zhang Ye said confidently, "Yeah."
Ha Qiqi looked at him. "Have you ever been to America before?"
"No, I haven't," Zhang Ye answered.
Ha Qiqi, Zhang Zuo, Little Wang were speechless.
You haven't been to America.
Your English years ago was really bad as well.
So how did you even come up with wanting to write a novel with an American setting!
Aren't you being too ballsy with your subject matter!
As a member of Zhang Ye's Studio, as long-time staff of Zhang Ye's, they had followed Zhang Ye everywhere over the years. If there was one thing they had to say they were most convinced about Zhang Ye, then all of them would absolutely answer unanimously that it was: Zhang Ye's bravery! This was something that they all had to take their hats off to him for. The balls Director Zhang had would sometimes even frighten them to death. That "courage" he had would often shock them as well!
However, they still contacted the publishing houses.
In the end, they managed to find five publishing houses that were willing to publish the book for them.
Actually, this was quite good. Zhang Ye had never published a novel, poetry anthology, or anything of the like before. In international literature, it wouldn't be wrong to call him a newcomer. But because he was so well-known now, with the title of the number one celebrity in the Chinese entertainment circle, it gave him a greater advantage in doing things. Together with his status as a mathematician and the world's number one hacker, among many other titles, some overseas publishing houses were still willing to publish a novel for him. They probably thought that having just 20,000 copies of the initial print run and stamping them with the label of "by the world's number one hacker" on its cover, they wouldn't have a problem selling them. Even if the novel didn't do well, the publisher was unlikely to lose any money. In terms of cost-benefit analysis, the publishers were much better at it than them.
Ha Qiqi asked, "Will this work, Director Zhang?"
Zhang Ye said without a care, "Yeah."
Ha Qiqi said, "Then we'll go ahead and sign the contract with them?"
"Alright." Zhang Ye said, "Notify me if you need me to speak with them. If you can't get through to me on my cell phone, go look for me at my place."
Zhang Zuo was taken aback. "You won't be coming into the office the next few days?"
Zhang Ye said, "Yeah, I won't be coming in for the next few days. Since we're going for the Nobel Prize in Literature, how would a single language edition be enough? Although English is the world's lingua franca, it still isn't enough. I'll spend some time working on it and push out the Chinese and Russian translations no matter what."
When did you even fucking pick up Russian?
Why didn't we know about it?
Did you learn it in prison as well?
Wu Yi suddenly said, "Director Zhang, what kind of prison did you go to?"
Zhang Ye blinked. "Why are you asking that for?"
Wu Yi said, "My child's foreign language has always been bad. I'm thinking of sending him there to learn."
Zhang Ye had no reply.
In Zhang Ye's previous world, Gone with the Wind had been translated by many countries in the world, especially the major ones. The translated versions were all quite good, but Zhang Ye didn't get to read too many of them. He had only read the Chinese, English, and Russian editions of the novel. So he could at most translate it into those three languages here in this world. Even though he had eaten all those skill experience books that gave him the knowledge of many world languages, knowing a language and translating it are two entirely different matters. It required too much literary knowledge, so Zhang Ye's current skill of languages was still not enough for that. But as long as the English version existed, it was pretty much enough. As the world's lingua franca, it wouldn't be a problem getting published throughout the world. If the novel really ended up selling well, the other translated languages would naturally follow. Many of the world's leading translators would come looking for him instead of him looking for them.
The door was closed.
Zhang Ye buried his head in writing.
With hardly any rest, he continued working and working.
To win this Nobel Prize, he was willing to risk his life.
He wrote so much his brain nearly turned into paste.
The news leaked.
"Did you hear? Zhang Ye is going to publish a new novel."
"Ah? Are you sure?"
"It's already been published. It's a global release with the first version being an English edition!"
"Pfft, can you not joke!"
"It's true! A friend from a foreign publishing house told me about it!"
"Get lost, that's impossible!"
"Hahaha, I'm laughing like crazy!"
"Why don't you guys believe it! It's true!"
"I laughed so hard my sides hurt. This joke can keep me entertained for an entire year!"
"Zhang Ye has written an English novel? Are you making fun of me for not attending university?!"
"This fellow wouldn't even know how to write the English word for 'novel,' would he!"
"If this fellow can write an English novel, I'll fucking change my name! I'll start spelling it backwards! Stop joking. It's obviously fake news from the sound of it!"
"I'm not having any of it! Not even a three-year-old kid would believe it!"
"Zhang Ye's English is shit! Like he would know how to write a novel in that language!"
Zhang Ye's English was very well-known to the people!
In that grand battle between humans and machines, this guy had faced off against PeterGo. In a critical match, he could even fucking spell his name wrong and call himself "HEOR" instead of "HERO"! So how could anyone expect him to know English?
The whole nation's citizens wouldn't have any of it!