Happy Doomsday Ch45

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/


Chapter 45: Black Sunshine

“Sure enough.” Ruan Xian looked at the readings on the handheld radiometer and thoroughly confirmed his judgment.

More than a dozen bright-green grasses that were quickly cultivated flickered one by one on the table, like some kind of weird neon light. Tang Yibu was next to the one with the best growth, playing the reaction speed game of “can you withdraw your fingers fast enough”. Hearing Ruan Xian’s words, he finally stopped torturing the flickering grass and focused his attention back on Ruan Xian.

“Distance.” Ruan Xian pulled the two rows of fresh rat corpses arranged in a cross with his hand. “If it’s factors such as soil, temperature, and humidity, with the resources of Elysium, it will not be impossible to simulate. The difference in concentration lies in the ‘distance from the annihilation point’.”

“Radiation.” Tang Yibu’s gaze slipped from Ruan Xian’s face.

His partner’s mood swings were greater than he expected.

Over time, instead of diminishing, that human trait had become more prominent. After peeling off the cold shell, Mr. Ruan was easily angered but also easily pleased, just like now—the other party was rubbing the corpse of a lab rat that was injected with the grass as if it was the most cherished thing in the world.

“That’s right, radiation.” Ruan Xian was in a good mood, so good that he didn’t notice Tang Yibu’s little movements. “I found organelles similar to chloroplast variants in its leaves. They absorb certain bands of radiation just like ordinary plants absorb light. Even in this room, the distance from the annihilation point will cause differences in the concentration of specific components.”

It was like a voice or another person’s body temperature. After crossing countless obstacles, they all fade into the distance. These weird plants had a black sun that devoured everything, and it was waiting in front of them.

Elysium was too far from the Annihilation Point. The grass growing here was like fruit trees that didn’t have enough sunlight, which were destined to bear unhealthy fruits.

Most of the deadly space between Elysium and the Annihilation Point belonged to the Walking Stones.

Fan Baiyan was undoubtedly a person who cherished his life. Perhaps in order to prevent being caught between Yu Le and the Annihilation Point, he insisted on choosing the west side farther from it, but because of this, he lost the only chance to stabilize the cultivation of the flickering grass. Looking at the attitude of the Walking Stones, Yu Le didn’t plan to breed this thing at all. He let them grow, and at most, would send people to harvest the waves of grass stems.

The rat corpses under his hands withered quickly, and the flickering grass bore fluorescent green fruits. Ruan Xian moved his hand away and turned his body to face Tang Yibu.

It was like cutting a corner of the world with a scalpel. Surrounded by various instruments and answers, the feeling of firmly controlling life in his hands came back, and he was finally able to breathe smoothly again.

“Fan Baiyan sent Jiang Lin and the others to the ruins of the hospital. This was most likely to add some fertilizers to the high-quality grass fields. If it wasn’t for us, I think the people of Elysium would’ve arrived later and taken the ship along with the fruit.”

“I want to talk more about this date.” Tang Yibu’s tone was far less ambiguous than the contents of his words. “The date to the Annihilation Point.”

“Science is not magic, and Annihilation Points don’t appear out of thin air.”

Ruan Xian raised the corner of his mouth, and his gloves were still stained with the blood of the lab rats. This was the side he was extremely reluctant to show in front of others, but the android just looked at him with no fear or vigilance in his eyes, only curiosity.

It felt so good that he didn’t bother to put on a boring mask.

“Cutting off the source of the fireflies is enough to create chaos. I got two days before going back to the Walking Stones. Before that, we can make an interferometer* that only aims at the Annihilation Point—as long as the radiation band it emits is slightly changed, the psychedelic components synthesized by the flickering grass can be drastically reduced.”

*A device that measures microscopic displacements, refractive index changes, and surface irregularities. As for the science behind this, I have no idea. Someone who’s knowledgeable about this stuff can chime in, or you can try reading the Wikipedia.

“After adjustment, the shuttle agent can still be produced normally, but fireflies can’t.” Tang Yibu raised his brows. “Such an interferometer is not small… and it must be close enough to the Annihilation Point to perform normal interferometric rewriting. Ignoring the complexity of the operation, how do you even plan to get it over?”

“You start from here, and I start from the Walking Stones. We will meet at noon three days later at the Annihilation Point.” Ruan Xian took off his contaminated gloves. “With your ability, you can get away from here—don’t look at me like that. There’s no other way. The situation doesn’t allow it. I can’t drag such a behemoth and move around freely.”

However, Tang Yibu didn’t respond.

The moment the words came out, Ruan Xian realized the problem. In his plan, after creating the interferometer, they need to be separated for more than a day.

Ruan Xian raised his hand and touched the earring on his earlobe. This half-day of research was too enjoyable, and Tang Yibu seemed too gentle and harmless. For a few seconds, he forgot Tang Yibu’s identity as his jailer.

Tang Yibu was still standing motionless next to the flickering grass that kept flickering. Ruan Xian suddenly hoped that the other party had a tail or something—at least then he could figure out signs of the other party’s emotions.

But Tang Yibu just stared at him. Just by his expression, he couldn’t read what the other party was thinking.

“…Freedom.” Tang Yibu chewed the ends of his words.

“Yes.” Ruan Xian held his breath.

Tang Yibu suddenly turned around and pulled out two rats from the cage. One of them struggled hard, screaming in horror. The other had been attacked. It dragged bloody hind legs and front paws.

He skillfully injected firefly extract into them, and then forcefully stuffed them with the flickering grass fruit.

Ruan Xian frowned. He didn’t think Tang Yibu planned to warn him in such a roundabout way, so he kept quiet and watched the android put the two rats into the glass jar.

The reddish tip of the healthy rat’s nose gradually turned green, and the black and bright pea-eyes turned into a creepy gleaming green. It first slammed around the jar violently, then passed straight through the glass and rushed into the rat cage for another bloody slaughter.

The injured rat just lay quietly, twitching on all four feet, and finally stopped breathing. Green grass buds started to emerge from its mouth and nose.

“Another problem has also been solved,” Tang Yibu said, turning the glass cylinder back. “It’s simpler than I originally thought. This thing has the characteristics of a virus—before killing the host, it will try to use them for its own benefit.”

“If the host is healthy, it will induce them to rush back to the settlement to hunt the same kind. If the host’s body is disabled and inconvenient to move, it will suck the host dry as soon as possible, preventing other creatures from coming over to take a piece of the action.” Ruan Xian was stunned for two seconds before turning his mind to the topic that Tang Yibu was speaking of.

“Yes. If you know what’s going on, you can decipher their attacks.” Tang Yibu picked up the knife casually and threw it. The knife pierced through the plastic rat cage, and the green rat that was biting other rats was nailed to the spot, then quickly grew grass buds. “The moment they attack their companions, they should be touchable.”

Taking the sprouting mouse out of the rat cage, Tang Yibu grabbed the knife in his hand and looked at Ruan Xian again.

“You’re a real scientist. I originally thought you were similar to the AI from Plan Corp, a single personality combined with countless knowledge, but your way of thinking can’t be faked—The personality data you are injected with should genuinely belong to a scholar.”

Having said that, Tang Yibu gestured Ruan Xian’s facial contours through the air with the knife that was still stained with blood.

“But I don’t know your face. It seems to be a separate thought process. Who are you in your memory?”

Ruan Xian looked at the tip of the knife that was gesticulating at him and lowered his gaze.

“You have your secrets, I have mine.” He tried to keep his voice steady. “It’s okay to tell you, but you have to take off this earring. This is a matter of trust, please understand.”

After all, the name is the first step to everything, not to mention, there was the Mainbrain looming over them.

Tang Yibu’s Adam’s apple bobbed, and he frowned slightly, as if thinking.

There was a silent gap of about half a minute between them. The flickering grass didn’t flicker far, and the injured rats were still squealing in low voices. The air was filled with the faint smell of blood.

“I understand.” The android finally put down the knife. “When we separate, will you take care of the iron bead or should I?”

“…I’ll take care of it,” Ruan Xian replied dryly.

‘A compromise, or a test, or both,’ he thought. On the positive side, at any rate, the collar on his neck had been loosened again.

“Actually, I don’t like promises very much.” Tang Yibu wiped the blood from his hands. “…At noon in three days, Annihilation Point. You will show up on time, right?”

“I will,” Ruan Xian replied seriously.

Ruan Xian really had no other ideas. For the time being, it was better to say that he had no other ideas. As Tang Yibu said, they are very “useful” to each other, but they also understood very well that trust didn’t operate through “possibility”.

Right now, he didn’t want to lose him.

Two days later at night.

Leaving Tang Yibu, the iron bead was a little sluggish. It nestled quietly under one of the ship’s seats, pretending to be a soulless bowling ball. Ruan Xian drove the ship carefully in the direction of the ruins of the hospital under the starry sky.

Feng Jiang was still in a coma in the back seat. Several days of imprisonment made him lose weight, and his clothes exuded a damp and sour smell. After a violent bump, the young man finally woke up. He shook his head, trying to regain a little sanity from the effect of the soothing agent.

“You—”

“I didn’t betray the Walking Stones.” Ruan Xian immediately spat out his remarks. “Lie back. You’re too weak now.”

“Lili and I didn’t see you two last time.” Feng Jiang was very vigilant and didn’t mean to buy it at all.

“My lover ate the fireflies. I had no choice but to pretend to obey Fan Baiyan.” In terms of emotions, Ruan Xian prided himself on not losing to anyone. “Otherwise, why would I make an excuse to bring you on as a burden? Do you think it’s easy to get you out?”

Feng Jiang groaned for a long time, but he didn’t hold back his retort.

“Not long after you were locked up, Miss Duan was also locked up by Fan Baiyan.” Ruan Xian turned his back to the steering wheel, recalling Tang Yibu’s sailing action. “She didn’t go to see you once, but I don’t think that was her intention.”

Feng Jiang showed an instant expression of relaxation, but his body language still clearly showed rejection.

“…Tang Yibu and I are both young, and we can easily get into a good position at the Walking Stones. If it hadn’t been that Yibu was deceived by that old bastard, I wouldn’t be so tied up.”

“Then you should’ve taken him away.” Feng Jiang frowned and hugged his knees tightly. “He will only sink deeper there.”

“If I didn’t deceive Fan Baiyan, how do you think we could leave, huh?” Ruan Xian sneered. “Everyone has some baggage about how they were thrown into Elysium, right?”

“What did you say to Fan Baiyan?” Feng Jiang finally asked in a hoarse voice.

“I gave him a proposal.” Ruan Xian twisted a few knobs to speed up the ship. “I told him that I would take care of Tu Rui and deliver him to his door—If you don’t believe me, you can just tell Tu Rui, so he’ll be on guard.”

Elysium.

Tang Yibu rolled from one end of the soft bed to the other by himself, and then rolled back with a sullen face. The iron bead was taken away by Ruan Xian, and the entire big room was empty.

Whether the decision to let go of his partner was correct, Tang Yibu couldn’t give himself an accurate answer. There was no absolutely perfect strategy in this world. He knew this and was deeply unhappy about it.

The interferometer they spent two full days assembling was being placed in the room. In order to emphasize the rationality of this behavior, he even added the function of making soymilk ice cream to it.

It was very simple to make Fan Baiyan happy. They just needed to submit a theoretical explanation of “how to increase firefly production”. Fan Baiyan claimed to have eight professional engineers, and they should be able to judge the authenticity of that report. It was just that when the engineers had finished their research and were ready to put it into practice, the raw materials for fireflies couldn’t provide many psychedelic ingredients.

Tang Yibu picked up the glass bowl, filled himself with a bowl of ice cream, and leaned on the edge of the bed as he ate it by the spoonful.

This was his previous life, and he should be very accustomed to this behavior pattern. However, Tang Yibu walked around the room a few times, picked up the ice cream bowl, and a strong sense of idleness mixed into the sweetness of the ice cream.

He thought to himself, “There’s still a day and a half left.’

Perhaps he could wreak some havoc ahead of time and find a ship good for dates with high practicality.


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