Zhou Shun

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Zhou Shun is an NPC in Arknights. He is the antagonist of A Death in Chunfen.


Zhou Shun is both the elder of the Zhou clan and village chief of Moushan, a remote village in the northwestern desert of Yan. While appearing as a calm old man, Mr. Zhou has been plagued by the village's problem. For years, Moushan has been struck by a severe drought, resulting in harvest failure, and the villagers deem it a curse for Fang Xiaoshi's action of blowing up the Yishan Temple, the village's sacred site.[1] Nevertheless, Mr. Zhou had reported their dilemma to the local magistrates for financial subsidies in improving their farming equipment, but he did not receive any reply, believing his report has been neglected by the authorities.[2]

To arouse the authorities' attention for the village's survival, Mr. Zhou came out a rather wicked scheme: he used their crude explosives obtained from Mr. Fang, carried them to the local Chidao during a rainy night with the village's only mobility scooter, and then blow off the road together with his vehicle as a disguise of a mudslide. By doing so, the mandarins will then recompense them with a larger sum of money as subsidies along with new working opportunity in the Chidao's reconstruction. Unfortunately, the mudslide caused by the explosion accidentally killed an unnamed boy. Since the boy resembles Xiaoshi, he went on further by ordering Mr. Fang to forge his son's death in exchange of money and promised integration to the community.[3]

But as he conducts his scheme, he has huge regrets of his own wicked plot which humiliates Moushan's ancestors who turned this desert into farmland. So, he has been spending his time praying in the Yishan Temple to make amends to his ancestors.


A Death in Chunfen

After Xiaoshi's return to the village, Zhou meets Qiubai and thanks her for bring the boy back. He also explains to her the village's current dilemma of facing the ongoing drought, remarking that it would suffer a drought one minute and a violent rainstorm the next, resulting in a poor harvest. Qiubai then questions Zhou on the villagers' wariness over Xiaoshi, so he elaborates on Xiaoshi's attempt to blow up the the Yishan Temple, a sacred site for the Zhou clan, which desecrated their ancestors who had dug out the mountain into arable land with nothing but their hoes, and how their presumption on his dead after the explosion, only to find themselves stunned by his miraculous survival. In response, Qiubai, having brought Xiaoshi back, feels partially responsible for his safety, so she requests the village chief to not make things difficult for him. Zhou reassures her and admits his fault of being inconsiderate to the Fang in the past. He then escorts Qiu in leaving Moushan.[1]

Mr. Zhou then conducts an urgent meeting at the partially-rebuilt Yishan Temple. He formally proclaims to consider integrating the Fang into the Zhou clan along with promised protection and blessings, but he has one condition to them: Xiaoshi must forge his death this time. He needs his cooperation to gain governmental subsidy from the local mudslide, and after that, the family will be reborn as a Zhou. Mr. Zhou also expects Xiaoshi to be rebellious, so he ordered the villagers to detain him up until they receive the money.

That night, some kids takes the camcorder from the elder's house and turns it on, and at the elder's behest, they show the camcorder to him. He sees a familiar figure: a female Forte Messenger known as "Wind Chimes" who often comes to their village. This shocks him that not only was the mysterious dead boy was not alone, but also, the Messenger knew him as well.[2]

To his bewilderment, the mandarin suddenly dispatches an envoy to the village the next day, making him unprepared of his scheme. Mulberry, the official envoy, heads on to meet with Mr. Zhou for cooperation. To the elder's surprise, not only she is unaware of Mr. Zhou's request for subsidies, but also, she is here as an investigator for the mudslide. So, he strongly pushes back against Mulberry's request to check the fortifications across the mountain slopes, claiming there will be no one to escort her. And to bring him another surprise, Saga, who has been eavesdropping his repenting prayers in the temple. hopes out from the temple's ancestor statue and volunteers. The elder wishes to continue interfering them, but troubles occurred on Mr. Fang's side as he refuses to cooperates with the villagers. Most of all, Wind Chimes arrives at Moshan and hands in the financial subsidies to Mr. Zhou. Upon receiving the money, the elder immediately demanded Xiaoshi to be released. But he receives a gravely bad news: Xiaoshi has leapt off the cliff.[4]

Mr. Zhou sorrowfully kowtows and prays before his ancestors for repentance while admitting his wicked plot. He did not anticipate that his plot would result in the death of two innocent boys: one being killed by the mudslide and the other committing suicide. Saga then approaches the elder to comfort him. She has heard the elder's repentance day in and day out, and she does not rebuke him for his actions, saying that to think evil is natural and logical for a man, but the difference between an evil thought and an evil deed is very slim. She also admits that she is the one who turns on the camcorder for the children even though she unintentionally did so. The remorseful elder wishes he would have avoided the mistake long ago, so he decided to ignite the final pouch of explosives inside the temple to erase both himself, his wrongdoings, and other witnesses. Fortunately, Saga swings her naginata to slice the bomb and admonishes him for ending his wrongdoings without repentance. Finally, Mr. Zhou resolves to reveal the truth to the authorities, but he has fallen to a point that he could not even stand up and recover from the shock.[3]

Two months after the Moshan scandal, the village's condition has ben drastically improved thanks to the subsidies that upgraded the village's farming equipment. But Mr. Zhou has left somewhere according to the village kids' account, and it is likely that he has been incarcerated for his wrongdoings.[5]