Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 48: Waltz of Destruction
“Step by Step” was six minutes long.
Ruan Xian had never danced before. At most he had seen a little bit of related scenes in film and television works. Tang Yibu didn’t seem to be the type that was good at it either. At most, they put on a waltz posture while trying to imitate the male steps.
Then he almost fell into a ball.
To be precise, Tang Yibu’s steps were much more stable than his. The second before the android completely lost his balance, he twisted his body and firmly caught Ruan Xian, who almost fell. Ruan Xian grabbed the other party’s front lapel, quickly stabilized his body, and turned this small accident into part of the dance steps.
There were no rules, no standards. They co-wrote the beat and took steps by instinct.
Finally, the role of the interferometer began to appear. A little blue light appeared in the center of the Annihilation Point, which opened like waves of water, and then slowly disappeared into the darkness. Its gravity hadn’t fluctuated too strongly, and the speed at which gravel and grass clippings were drawn hadn’t changed.
One step, two steps.
“It’s okay.” Ruan Xian cleared his throat. “I still have seeds of the flickering grass and the lab rats, so I can test it later.”
“Fan Baiyan, how are you going to meet?” Tang Yibu asked softly, without stopping. “There doesn’t seem to be anyone on your ship.”
“I want to keep a little surprise.” Ruan Xian backed away from Tang Yibu’s movements.
“Hm.” Tang Yibu didn’t ask. “…Did the Walking Stones notify you of the ‘disinfection’ time?”
Ruan Xian’s heel was close to the edge of the ruins, and as he moved, a few grains of gravel rolled into the cracks. Tang Yibu tightened his arm around the other party’s waist and took him away from the edge.
“The night after tomorrow,” Ruan Xian replied. “I also know about the vote. I think this is—”
“A very good opportunity for observation.” Tang Yibu took over the conversation. “So during the disinfection period, which side are you going to stay on?”
“Do I have a choice? Don’t lie to me, you won’t give up Elysium.” Ruan Xian hooked the corners of his mouth. “…You go back first, and I will follow.”
Tang Yibu’s arms around his waist tightened, causing Ruan Xian’s eyebrows to jump.
“Catch up early,” Tang Yibu muttered. “When you’re not there, the richness of the sample decreases a lot.”
Ruan Xian didn’t answer. The music reached its climax, and Carol Young, who was imprisoned on the record, sang a long high note. The clear female voice cut through the air and penetrated into the bright sunlight. The body temperature of the person opposite of him was nostalgic, and the damn sense of security returned to him uncontrollably.
“It may not be appropriate to say that.” Seeing that Ruan Xian didn’t answer, Tang Yibu continued on his own. “According to human speech… I hope you can come back to me soon.”
Like a heavy hammer.
Ruan Xian closed his eyes, and the sunlight passed through his eyelids, dyeing a dark red in his field of vision.
[Don’t come back!] Hysterical screams came from the depths of my mind.
[Don’t come back again, do you hear me!]
The mother in his memory was wrinkled and thin. Her beautiful eyes were deeply concave, and she looked like some kind of ghost. She waved her arms, and her hair was scattered. Finally, she retracted her hand and scratched deep blood marks on her face.
[Why can’t you die outside…?]
There were only two emotions on her face: half regret and half fear.
Ruan Xian laughed softly. He opened his eyes and looked at Tang Yibu.
“You can’t say this casually. Be careful, you may regret it.” Ruan Xian’s voice was very soft. “You are still within my range. I just haven’t decided when to leave you.”
“Thank you for your honesty, I understand.” Tang Yibu instead smiled, his teeth gleaming in the sunlight. “Don’t worry, this is not a test. How do you say it… I just miss you a little, Mr. Ruan.”
Ruan Xian paused.
He didn’t know how to express that feeling. Maybe there was no suitable word in the world to describe it. Whether it was color, taste, or emotion, it was a certain commonality established by the crowd, and he was the part that was removed from it, an uncoordinated lesion.
This moment of emotion had never happened before, and it may not appear again in the future. Now it had no name, just like himself.
It was a bit like a craving. Like a thirsty person seeing a mirage in an oasis, or a hungry person pressing his face against a butcher shop’s window. It was encapsulated and placed within his reach, but it could never be truly touched.
But it wasn’t like a negative emotion either. Although it was clearly out of control, impractical, inefficient, bitter and desperate, it was also extremely soft, mixed with a little urge to get close to each other and open up.
The hand that the other party took turned into a soldering iron in an instant.
Ruan Xian broke free of that arm, breathing a little faster. His heart seemed to be squeezed by a demon’s claws. The damn song finally came to an end. The words dissipated in the wind brought by the Annihilation Point, and only the music continued.
Ruan Xian quickly judged that this emotion wasn’t good for him.
Not to mention, whether Tang Yibu was his own kind, their relationship was definitely not between “friends”. If it was hard to define, Ruan Xian preferred the description of “both parties have motives and decide to use each other”. The word “companion” wasn’t appropriate.
In his memory, as a human, he would not open himself to other humans, let alone the one in front of him…
As if perceiving Ruan Xian’s gaze, Tang Yibu tilted his head innocently and made a polite expression of doubt. A few strands of soft black hair slid down his cheeks. Such a good complexion was very easy to deceive.
“No more dancing.” Ruan Xian tightened his throat, with a little anger in his tone.
The melody of “Step by Step” just stopped, and the prelude to the next song sounded.
Tang Yibu let go of his hand knowingly, still with a little smile on his face. “Then I’ll go first. You…”
“I will go back before the disinfection begins.” Ruan Xian subconsciously softened his tone, and after realizing this, he pinched his thigh abruptly.
The next part was much simpler. The corpses of the lab rats quickly piled up on the stalk of the grass, which bloomed and fruited close to the Annihilation Point. Tang Yibu ate more than a dozen fruits before he was completely sure of the success of the plan.
“There are almost no psychedelic ingredients.” The android spit out the fruit and stuck out his tongue. “And it has become a lot harder to eat.”
“Very good.” Ruan Xian raised his face and turned directly into the big ship. Half a minute later, he carried the sleeping iron bead in one hand and put it in front of Tang Yibu, with a blunt tone. “Wake it up, and then you can go.”
The reluctant iron bead almost tore off Tang Yibu’s sleeve.
“Come on.” After confirming that Tang Yibu’s big ship disappeared from view, Ruan Xian tapped lightly on the iron bead that continued to bark wildly at the annihilation point. “We all have to learn to adapt.”
The settlement of Elysium.
Fan Baiyan was in a good mood. He wandered back to his room after drinking tea after his meal. He wasn’t sure if it was an illusion, but the air in the room seemed to be lower than usual.
The old man frowned and confirmed the jade carving at the head of the bed and the location of the record. Everything was no different from when he left. Maybe he was just thinking too much. Fan Baiyan sat on the edge of the bed, thinking—Unless someone could remember all the details in the room, they couldn’t do something like this so seamlessly.
He yawned and glanced at the time. On the dial of the decorative wall clock, the electronic second hand slid silently, and his enemy was dying minute by minute. This kind of imagination made him feel comfortable, and his whole body felt a lot lighter.
His afternoon tea came with pudding and sugarcane milk. After watching two movies, the scenery outside the fake window became night. As long as he didn’t leave here, it was no different from his ideal retirement.
God was on his side in the end.
The flickering grass was such a blessing. Using it, Duan Lili became an easy-to-use, easy-to-control deputy captain, and it gave him an inexhaustible resource. It was true that there would always be a day when the materials of the Sea of Ruins would run out, but before then, he would’ve enjoyed quite a comfortable life in his old age. After he died, what would he care about the aftermath.
Now it was God who wanted to get rid of his most troublesome enemy. In the past few years, there had been many hostile captains towards Elysium, but most of them were reckless men who were ruthless and had no brains, but none of them gave him a headache like Yu Le.
Fortunately, his hard time had finally come to an end. When this week reached its end, Yu Le would disappear from the world.
“Go and watch Tang Yibu to see if he’s awake. Keep an eye on him in the next two days.” After arranging the order, Fan Baiyan took a comfortable puff of his cigarette, spewed out a mouthful of smoke, and turned on the light screen for selecting movies.
It turned out that God was on his side more than he thought.
Another piece of good news arrived after dinner the next day, less than twenty-four hours before disinfection…
“Fan Lao,” a patrol soldier respectfully said. “That Ruan Lijie is back, and now he has entered the communication range, saying he has brought Tu Rui.”
“Oh?” Fan Baiyan was shocked. “Help me connect.”
“Fan Lao.” The young man, surnamed Ruan, wasn’t far from them, and the video after the connection was clear. That beautiful young man seemed embarrassed, but his face was full of smiles. The mechanical life he raised was lying obediently in the corner of the video, and it seemed that he even had the strength to bring it back. “I got Tu Rui out, see?”
Tu Rui was firmly tied to a chair. His nose was blue, his face was swollen, and his body twitched slightly. His head was forcefully raised and his facial features were extremely clear, full of resentment.
“Traitor.” The deputy captain of the Walking Stones gritted his teeth and scolded. “You won’t fucking die a good death. Yu Le won’t let you go.”
“Fan Lao is watching. Shut up.” The young man responded coldly, picked up the knife casually, and slashed against Tu Rui’s neck. Red blood gushed from the wound in an instant.
Tu Rui gasped with difficulty.
“Very good, very good.” Fan Baiyan clapped his hands. “Xiao Ruan, send the coordinates, and I’ll send someone to pick you up.”
“Okay, Fan Lao.”
The light screen went out. Fan Baiyan stroked his beard. “Have you got the coordinates?”
“Report, I got it.”
“Not bad.” Fan Baiyan smiled kindly, “Sink them.”
The author has something to say:
Finally, someone is excited! How are the friends betting on Tang?……
And Carol Young and her songs are all made up by me (…) You can’t find it (*/ωω*)
Wish she would have mentioned that before I had to scour Google in search of Carol Young and these songs to no avail…