Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 46: Voting List
Tang Yibu rolled out of bed and held the ice cream bowl firmly. He didn’t make any pretense and went out honestly and began to wander around.
Except for the slight difference in the number of people working, it was difficult to see the difference between day and night in the settlement of Elysium. People were nailed to their posts, covered by invisible hoods, and occasionally a few smiles that had no semblance of joy floated across their stiff faces. Like the organ birds on an antique clock, they were firmly glued to the corners of this huge machine, and their wings were just some kind of decoration.
Among this group of people, Tang Yibu, who was walking around with a bowl of ice cream, was undoubtedly an outlier.
Tang Yibu smacked on the cold dessert in his mouth and quickly lost interest in continuing to observe.
These people didn’t have much observation value. Long hours of high-intensity labor made them unresponsive and simple-minded. The endless work was only mixed with time for short-term sleep, eating, and excretion. The only moment they were liberated may have been an hour or two when the firefly had taken effect…
Another spoonful of yellowish dessert was delivered to his mouth, and Tang Yibu looked at the two people who were slumped in chairs not far away. Their faces were eerily happy and relaxed, their limbs twitched, and their lips were bloodless. The thin face was a little green, showing an obvious sign that they had been eating fireflies for a long time.
One person fell from his chair to the ground, unsure of whether he was suffering from illness or was just too weak. He pulled the hard table with one hand; his chest made a bellows-like murmur, and his face turned purple from coughing.
However, the people around weren’t interested in what was happening to these two sitting people and just kept working hard. The man gasped for a while, sat back in his position, and waited for the final effect to pass, then continued welding the electric component.
Tang Yibu suddenly began to wonder, if this false comfort completely collapsed, how would these people, who were no different from carbon-based machines, react. People who had completely lost their value for extraction were sleeping on the fifth floor. Perhaps these people weren’t ignorant of what was waiting for their own ending.
Tang Yibu put away the empty ice cream bowl, patted cold water on his hand, and decided to go downstairs for a walk.
Even if the main ship of Elysium was hidden, the settlement wouldn’t have a ship that could be easily borrowed. Tang Yibu skillfully sneaked into the surveillance blind spot, slipped underground, and successfully found several ships.
He remembered the way. As long as he activated the shuttle function, he could take the jammer and leave at any time. Tang Yibu simulated more than a dozen scenarios in his mind, and even the explosion scenes in them were passionately done, but he still couldn’t escape the boredom.
His partner was much more complicated than these topics.
Small ships were moored in the underground parking lot of the commercial building, cameras were rotating in all corners; and the guns in the hands of the patrol occasionally hit other small objects, making clattering sounds. Tang Yibu spread out his limbs on the deck of one of the ships, staring at the spider webs on the ceiling, and the patrol’s lighting beams swept around in the dark space.
He had expected to be separated for thirty-six hours, and now he still had thirty-four hours to determine if his partner would take the opportunity to escape. Tang Yibu rolled over melancholically and decided to change to a different subject.
…For example, getting the best ship.
The thought crossed his mind, and Tang Yibu jumped up. Calculating the surveillance blind spot with the beat of the music in his head, he happily left the underground floor.
Duan Lili’s eyes were red and swollen. She had stopped crying, but the dryness and pain in her eyes didn’t dissipate for a long time.
Seeing that it was already late at night, the bodyguards left by Fan Baiyan had no intention of talking to her. The two of them were asleep on the folding bed, and the remaining two were walking around the room to force themselves to stay awake.
After naming the materials that had just been sorted out by number, Duan Lili moved her stiff shoulders. The part that was kicked by Fan Baiyan seemed to wake up suddenly, and it started to hurt fiercely again. Her internal organs seemed to be twitching, and her stomach was nauseous. She pinched her throat for a while before suppressing the bloody nausea.
A dull crash suddenly sounded in the quiet room.
The two people who were patrolling fell straight to the ground, unaware of what was going on. Duan Lili stood up suddenly from the stool, stumbling and taking two steps back, gasping for air because of the pain, while looking around vigilantly.
There was a rattling sound from the vent, and a smiling head poked out. That face was plastered on with a lot of dust from the pipes and looked dirty, but it was still very handsome.
“It’s just an anesthetic needle. Let them sleep.” Tang Yibu maintained his upside-down posture as his leg hooked around a pipe. “If I’m not mistaken, your injury is real… Don’t move, behave naturally. The camera can’t capture this angle.”
Duan Lili opened her mouth, as if she had suddenly lost her language skills. She obediently pulled the chair that was almost kicked over and sat back slowly.
“Mr. Ruan and I are loyal to the Walking Stones,” Tang Yibu said happily. “I have considered the possibility of you and Fan Baiyan acting together, but judging from the extent of your injury, this possibility doesn’t exist.”
“Then—then why doesn’t Mr. Ruan cooperate with me…”
“We have to keep the initiative.” Tang Yibu hung like a bat. “Since you and Fan Baiyan are not really in a cooperative relationship, I think I need to tell you—Feng Jiang is fine. Mr. Ruan has already taken him back to the Walking Stones.”
Duan Lili showed a real relaxed expression. “That’s good. Thank you… Thank you for telling me this specifically.”
“This is the price tag.” Tang Yibu stretched his face. “I also need your help.”
“But I—I can’t go anywhere now… After these people wake up in a while, I have to make up a reasonable explanation—”
“Fan Baiyan should have a private ship,” Tang Yibu interrupted Duan Lili indifferently. “Judging from his personality and behavioral characteristics, he is very likely to have prepared the best ship for himself.”
“Yes.” Duan Lili was a little disoriented by the sudden jumps in topics.
“Where is it?”
“Why do you want to ask this?” Duan Lili put her hands on her chest and subconsciously made a posture to guard herself. “Even if you plan to steal it, in case he finds out…”
“According to my observation, Fan Baiyan is used to walking around in the morning and uses the tearoom for two hours after lunch. Don’t be nervous, I’m not going to steal the ship and run away. It’s just to do a little favor, and then I’ll drive it back as usual. I promise he won’t notice it.”
“There are many ships on the ground floor.”
“Those are too shabby.”
Duan Lili rubbed her temples fiercely. “Mr. Tang, I don’t think this is the time to be picky about aesthetics.”
“Fan Baiyan probably left the fastest and best ship to himself.” Tang Yibu pointed this out very strictly. “The faster the speed, the safer the plan.”
Extremely crazy plans sometimes work better. There were countless ships waiting underground, and the usual thieves would not take Fan Baiyan’s secret boat as the first target, so the surveillance wouldn’t be too strict.
Duan Lili wiped her red and swollen eyes, looking as if she was hesitating. “But this is too…”
“If you want to leave, I can also send you to the Walking Stones.” Tang Yibu suggested slowly, staring closely at Duan Lili’s expression.
“No, I’m not leaving.” Duan Lili’s expression stiffened for half a second. “I really can’t leave. I…I’m not that brave.”
“That’s a pity. People like you are very welcome at the Walking Stones.” Tang Yibu showed just the right expression of regret.
The two looked at each other in silence for a moment.
Trembling and sighing, Duan Lili tugged at the end of her hair with her hand. “Can you tell me your plans?”
“If you are worried about this, we will not completely destroy Elysium. I think you know that Yu Le doesn’t have that strength yet.” Tang Yibu’s gaze was still fixed on her. “The time for the disinfection order is approaching. Mr. Ruan and I are just here to explore the situation and add obstacles to Fan Baiyan.”
Duan Lili’s face paled and she didn’t say a word. In fact, she didn’t have to make a sound. “I don’t believe you” was already written all over her face.
“If we plan to stir up trouble and leave, Mr. Ruan doesn’t need to leave me here,” Tang Yibu continued to throw out half-truths and half-lies. “I’ll be back, as I still have my own tasks to complete. Think about it. If I just go away like this forever, it will definitely arouse Fan Baiyan’s vigilance. Although it’s dangerous to drive away using Fan Baiyan’s ship, it can also be used as a guarantee in itself.”
“Sixth floor.” Duan Lili moved her lips. “His boat is his room. If you have the ability to get there, you will definitely be able to recognize it.”
“Thank you, Miss Duan.”
“Promise me.” Duan Lili’s tone became cold and vicious. “Promise me that you will hurt him severely.”
There was no adulteration in this malice, and Tang Yibu narrowed his eyes.
“I promise,” he said.
At the gathering, Ruan Xian didn’t focus on Yu Le. He kept looking at Tu Rui, who was standing next to him. In order to prevent being caught by surveillance measures, Ruan Xian specially set the “appointment” at noon the day after the big gathering.
Facts have proven that this wasn’t unfounded.
After he brought Feng Jiang back, he was questioned by Tu Rui’s people for four hours. The ruins pirates asked them to tell the story straightforwardly and then have them repeat it countless times before they were willing to officially accept them back into the Walking Stones settlement.
They even made careful observations to make sure that they showed no signs of drug addiction.
However, Yu Le did what he said. The people from the Walking Stones only took away the medicine and herbs, and the valuable ship was judged to be Ruan Xian’s private property.
“You still have to earn the shuttle agent and fuel yourself.” Gang Zi said without concealing the interest in his eyes. “Just hand it in and redeem it all into contribution points. It’s enough for at least three trips.”
“I will consider it.” Ruan Xian put on the smile that he was good at performing. “Except for this ship, everything else can be exchanged for contribution points. I want to use the contribution points to buy something… No, it’s not a random spending. I remember your suggestion.”
“What do you want to buy?”
“This iron bead.” Ruan Xian held the iron bead that was about to break free from his arms. It was wilting and refused to even eat the soft plastic pieces that had been cut up for it.
‘Maybe it’s not just its problem,’ he thought. Without Tang Yibu by his side, he himself always felt a little uneasy. It was like a swordsman who suddenly lost his sword, or a gunman who suddenly lost his gun. Even if he knew that he wouldn’t die easily, the cold vigilance still jumped on his back.
Especially in this crowded gathering place.
The meeting place was set on the edge of the Sea of Ruins in the early morning sun.
Gang Zi was sitting to his right. Feng Jiang, who was a pure newcomer, didn’t appear. The foul-smelling Lei Ge staggered over and specially picked his left side to sit down. This time, Lei Ge’s hands weren’t unruly, but his body was tilted intentionally or unintentionally in the direction of Ruan Xian.
There were only two people on stage.
Yu Le looked as if he hadn’t woken up. “I’m in a bad mood” was written from head to toe, and he was still holding a bottle of wine that looked pretty valuable from a glance. Tu Rui stood beside him. His sharp eyes swept across the crowd through his lenses.
“Actually, there’s not much to say,” Yu Le said lazily, scratching his messy hair a few times. “It’s still the same. The grandchildren of the Mainbrain are coming to celebrate again. Let me give everyone their greetings.”
He paused and grinned. Ruan Xian couldn’t tell the true emotion in that smile.
“They call it disinfection, which can also be understood as catching fish by using dynamite. We can penetrate solids, and so can those things. Once it identifies a person and explodes, the probability that person is dead is 99%—Have you ever seen someone who’s on shuttle agent? They just die like that, and half their bodies sink and melt into the wall.”
Yu Le gestured carelessly. “Me, I can drive the ship and take everyone to hide. Newcomers can come free of charge. Those who have done work must contribute. In short, the number of contribution points that will be deducted is reasonable if you ask me.”
Ruan Xian used a blood gun to resist Lei Ge, who was leaning towards him while his attention was still on the two people on the stage.
“Then there is one more thing,” Yu Le said lightly. “I have received notice, and this time I’m on the voting list.”
It was as if cold water rolled into boiling oil, and the ruin pirates of the Walking Stones exploded all at once.
“Voting list?” Holding down the iron bead that was almost scared like a fly with one hand, Ruan Xian finally turned his gaze to Gang Zi beside him. Gang Zi’s face was livid. His teeth chattered, and he didn’t pay the slightest attention to Ruan Xian’s meaning.
“Thank you all for looking up to me. In just over a year, I was able to get great treatment like that old bastard, Fan Baiyan, but I know in my heart. You don’t need to have any psychological burden on who you should vote for.” Yu Le exhaled calmly. “If I’m alive, I’ll drag things on for another year and a half. If I’m voted to die, I’ve saved many lives through my tenure, so I have no regrets.”
“In case I’m hanged, I’ll leave this ship to Lao Tu. Sorry, Lao Tu. You have to pick up this hot potato.”
“…The Mainbrain will not let the Sea of Ruins develop freely.” Gang Zi finally calmed down. His voice trembled a little. “It will be disinfected every six months. As the captain said, they will use bombs that could penetrate solids specifically targeting people.”
“I see,” Ruan Xian responded cooperatively.
“There is only one way to stop them. Vote for the captains on the voting list and execute the one with the highest number of votes.” Gang Zi slapped his thigh. “Fan Baiyan controls Elysium and basically can force them to vote for whoever he wants. Originally, I thought that the Walking Stones had developed fast enough and this matter could be slowed down for a while… Damn, why is he recorded on the list so early!”
“When will the disinfection start?” Ruan Xian frowned. Even Lei Ge forgot to take advantage, and sat upright.
“Generally, they will send their greetings three days in advance, leaving time for people to make their contribution points. Since the captain has said it now, it will be the night after tomorrow,” Gang Zi said through gritted teeth.
Ruan Xian turned his attention back to the stage again.
Yu Le was probably the most relaxed person in the entire gathering. The pirates in the audience had expressions of joy and worry, while Tu Rui’s face was as black as the bottom of a pot.
Amazingly, Ruan Xian didn’t feel troubled, worried, or any other negative emotions. He just continued to observe Tu Rui with interest.
It seemed that his “date” with Tang Yibu would be livelier than he originally thought.
The author has something to say:
Trivia knowledge (?): It’s difficult to tell fabricated facts upside down. XD