Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 53: Captain’s End
At the beginning of the Great Rebellion in the 22nd century, first-tier cities* were taken as the primary targets by MUL-01, and various research institutions and elite gathering places bore the brunt. Despite the fact that many people escaped, the survivors were mostly middle- and lower-class people. It wasn’t that there weren’t people with top-notch knowledge, but the number was pitifully small.
*Hierarchical classification of Chinese cities. It depends on multiple factors on what determines their rank, though it usually reflects consumer behavior, income level, population size, consumer sophistication, infrastructure, talent pool, and business opportunity.
Ships and weapons were not made of children’s building blocks, so it was impossible for inexperienced people to put them together casually.
No one thought Fan Baiyan would let go and give up such a big cake like Elysium. The Sea of Ruins was rich in materials, but it was necessary to use the limited talents to build a main ship into Elysium, which wasn’t possible in just a few years.
Under the threat of that behemoth, most of the captains chose to keep a low profile. There was already a giant tree in this forest, so they had to stretch their branches horizontally to steal a little leaked sunlight. If someone dared to go up, even if they didn’t die before disinfection, they would sooner or later become Fan Baiyan’s sacrifice to the Order Supervisors.
But there were always lunatics who wanted to try. In recent years, the craziest and most successful ship was now bombarding the giant ship trying to escape.
Tu Rui commanded the movement of the fleet and used an infrared scanner to infer the condition of the main ship of Elysium. He and Yu Le were located directly behind the attacking fleet, outside the maximum attack range of Elysium, guaranteeing some safety. Nevertheless, he was unwilling to bring Yu Le…
“What the hell are you doing here?” Tu Rui gritted his teeth.
Yu Le slumped on the chair in the command cabin, still looking through a cheap pornographic magazine. He shook the thin pages of paper loudly and, from time to time, would let out a whistle.
“Coming to accompany you? If I die in two days, no one will play background music for you.”
“Fuck off,” Tu Rui responded weakly as he adjusted his glasses. “Be serious.”
“Lao Tu, you said that we have known each other for almost two years.” In the tremor caused by the artillery fire, Yu Le stretched out his long legs and kicked over the empty cup on one side of the iron cabinet. The tinplate cup jingled and fell to the ground, but Yu Le didn’t even bother to look at it.
“Less than 20 months.” Tu Rui stared at the display screen in front of him and quickly deployed his manpower. “Team A and Team E go to the left wing. That Old Scoundrel Fan has to turn left and retreat 500 meters to the right. Be careful on the stern and watch for stray bullets.”
“Back then, I saw a little four-eyed buried in the mud, and I grabbed it so easily ending up with a deputy captain. Do you think this is luck?” Yu Le opened a can of beer, poured it into his throat, and let out a sigh of relief. “Time flies by so quickly.”
“Yes, yes. Thank you for saving your life.” Tu Rui used his fingers to draw an offensive road map on the display screen. “Do you have anything else to do? Huh, we finally got a chance to turn around. Listening to this tone, the Mainbrain will not kill you, so are you going to find a place to hang yourself? If you want to, go quickly. Don’t waste the feelings of this big guy here.”
“Fuck your mother.” Yu Le crushed the beer can, paused a few seconds, and cursed with a smile as usual.
“…I’m here just in case. Lao Tu, when I hang myself, remember to go under my bed and feel around. The yellow books* that laozi has saved for all these years are all there! I’m quite dignified and upright. It’s okay if people are gone, but spiritual inheritance can’t be lost. When the time comes, you must remember to find them and provide for them well. If you do borrow them, make sure to register and disinfect them—”
*Slang for dirty/vulgar materials like porn mags.
“I never want to touch your pile of books with my hands in my life.” Tu Rui didn’t hide the disgust in his tone.
“That won’t do. I also mixed in the ship operation tips I wrote.”
Tu Rui’s movements suddenly stopped. “Yu Le, what do you mean?”
“It doesn’t mean anything. It’s just in case.” Yu Le stood up from the chair and patted his ass. “Don’t you understand, Mr. Tu? Captain Tu? It’s getting bright outside. We have to wait for the bombs from the Order Supervisors at night. Your job is to clean up Elysium, while I have to drive the ship away. Do you hear me?”
“I’ll be done before three in the afternoon.” Tu Rui stared at Yu Le’s movements and agreed. “Disinfection always starts around six. It’s always been like this.”
“Okay, let’s talk about it then.” Yu Le skillfully untied the steel cable and squatted into a spherical single boat. “I’ll go back to the main ship and collect a wave of boarding fees. Let’s meet here at three in the afternoon.”
“Get out of here.”
“By the way, help me thank those two boys.”
“Thank them yourself.”
Yu Le waved his hand and didn’t respond.
At the same time, the fleet pressed forward.
“Are you sure you won’t go to Tu Rui?” Tang Yibu was squatting on a collapsed square column as an artillery shell flew over half a meter above their heads. The blast caused the android to sway. “Or we can just kill Fan Baiyan.”
“No.” Ruan Xian, who was held in his arms, didn’t move. He grabbed the front lapel of Tang Yibu’s clothes with one hand and clenched the blood gun tightly with the other. “There are more than two ships in this Sea of Ruins, and Yu Le’s behavior isn’t flattering. If Fan Baiyan is killed, the remaining votes may concentrate on him.”
One mountain couldn’t hold two tigers*. When two tigers are killed and injured, wolves and hyenas wouldn’t mind letting them both disappear at the same time.
*(一山不容二虎) Metaphor referring to two strong people in the same place aren’t compatible.
“I don’t want to protect Fan Baiyan,” Tang Yibu said discontentedly. “What you are talking about is just a possibility. Looking at this offensive, the Walking Stones don’t seem to have any scruples about Fan Baiyan’s life. They definitely have a backup plan.”
“That’s right, so I just suggest waiting and see. As long as Tu Rui can’t pick out any mistakes on our part, everything else will go smoothly.” Ruan Xian looked at the outside of the commercial building that was blowing thick smoke. He always felt that something was wrong. Reality shouldn’t be this calm.
“Duan Lili died too quietly.” After a long time, he decided to speak out about his concerns.
As an Order Supervisor, the position of the deputy captain could at least ensure that she won’t die so casually. Even if Elysium wasn’t a safe place to live, if she had the same physical body as Major Ding, she may also die due to other types of accidents. As a canary in a birdcage, the possibility of this death being widely witnessed by others was quite high, and she couldn’t let a clone come back from the outside world like the petri dishes.
In such a haphazard and weird environment, it was highly unlikely that Duan Lili hadn’t considered the possibility of “death”. She had always been committed to making herself look extremely miserable. Death was the easiest thing to write off, yet she simply let it go.
It was too unnatural.
However, after Duan Lili died, there were no strange changes to Elysium. The fleet of the Walking Stones was desperately attacking, and more than a dozen sentinel submarines of the other pirate ships were watching from a distance. The battle was right in front of them, and even if the situation was quite lively, no other forces were willing to join at this moment.
The safest route was to go back to the Walking Stones first and directly to Tu Rui, but…
Another wave of explosions exploded around him, causing Ruan Xian’s ears to buzz. His blood mixed with molten iron burned all the way along his blood vessels. He licked the blood stains at the corners of his mouth and glanced back and forth at the fast-moving battleships.
For the first time, the feeling of being “alive” had never felt so real.
“Let’s dance to another song,” he said in a little hoarse voice. “Help them end things early.”
Tang Yibu lowered his head with a little surprise in his eyes. “From my understanding, I thought you would want to evacuate quickly and take shelter at the Walking Stones.”
“I don’t know why, but I don’t seem to be destined to die simply.” Ruan Xian twitched the corners of his mouth, broke away from Tang Yibu’s embrace, and stepped on the square pillar with both feet. “Now I want to verify it.”
Obviously, his body was extremely fragile, but he was able to escape death time and time again, and as a result, he obtained better material conditions. He was shot in the head by Fan Linsong as an adult. Not only did he not die, but he was also transformed into something that won’t easily die now.
It was like a lame joke.
Or maybe his mother’s judgement wasn’t all that off.
[You are a demon. A demon… You’re not my child. I can’t give birth to such a child…]
She was probably right.
“Come on.” Ruan Xian opened his arms and made a gesture similar to a hug. “I don’t think this fall will make it to the point where I can’t fight.”
“Okay.” Tang Yibu thought for a few seconds and then walked forward. “You’re right. I also suspect that Duan Lili has left something behind. Well, if her plans aren’t revealed before the disinfection, we’ll go back to the Walking Stones.”
Ruan Xian hugged the other person’s warm arms and made a dance posture. “It’s a pity that there’s no music this time.”
“The sound of the cannon is too loud, otherwise I can hum it to you.” Tang Yibu smiled. “Are you ready?”
In the next moment, the two let go of each other.
Ruan Xian fell from the square pillar and onto a small battleship that rushed over. Ignoring the pain of the fall, he rolled directly onto the deck and jumped above the weapon that was firing. Blood bullets poured towards the shaft of the weapon, forcibly adjusting its angle.
The barrel of the Elysium’s ship that was just about to fire was hit upright and the artillery shell exploded directly inside. The big ship let out a long creak and tilted to the other side under the effect of the explosion. Dozens of shells were fired out of the small barrel and rushed towards the battleship of the Walking Stones.
Ruan Xian turned around and stared at the fragile interface on the artillery shell. The S-type Prototype provided him with all the information he wanted or didn’t want, and he absorbed it all and turned it into his own weapon.
The blood bullets rushed towards several of the shells, successfully penetrated into the burning seams, and detonated them in advance. A small battleship of the Walking Stones rushed out of the thick smoke and its attack was uninterrupted.
Tang Yibu jumped onto another battleship, and his approach was even more crude—the android tore open the ammunition box, directly grabbed the slender metal ammunition, and threw it in the direction of Elysium’s main ship.
The main battery was blown to pieces, and the big ship tilted even more severely. Finally, when the next artillery shell was dropped, it went straight through Elysium’s main ship.
Seeing that the situation wasn’t good, Fan Baiyan started to burn the shuttle agent, causing Ruan Xian to let out a sigh.
The Walking Stones naturally had a way to deal with this kind of situation. Another fluorescent artillery shell ripped through the thick smoke in the air and hit Elysium’s main ship again. Ruan Xian’s battleship was probably not equipped with such weapons, and it was about to turn back.
Ruan Xian lowered his gaze, looked at the dark abyss under his feet, and took a step forward without hesitation.
In the next second, Ruan Xian hit the familiar solid chest.
A strong wind passed by his ears, and his feet stepped on the sand-covered ground again. Tang Yibu let go of the hands around his waist, retracted the hook rope that served as a support point, and looked for a battleship with anti-shuttle weapons on the high platform. “Mr. Ruan, you just stepped on my foot.”
“It’s the first time I’ve danced to this kind of tune, so I’m not used to it.” Amidst the continuous explosions, Ruan Xian casually pointed to the artillery fire in the distance with a smile in his voice. “The ship you want is over there.”
“I see. I guessed it right.” Tang Yibu turned his head and smiled slightly.
Ruan Xian frowned—that smile wasn’t Tang Yibu’s usual smirk. It was a bit jerky, but it was indeed a smile-like expression.
“Next time you jump, it’s best to find a more conspicuous place.” The android straightened his messy black hair. “I have to see you clearly before I can catch you.”
“You did a great job just now.” Ruan Xian spun the gun in his hand twice. “See you later.”
They each stretched out an arm, took each other’s hands, and danced in a circle ritually.
Another round of destruction began.
Things shouldn’t have developed like this.
Fine sweat began to appear on Fan Baiyan’s forehead. While systematically allocating extremely limited power and controlling the navigation of the entire ship, his brain exploded with pain. The molecular printer had produced a lot of fireflies that could be used normally. However, the energy consumption for it was huge. If he continued, he would lose the electrical power that he needed to keep this behemoth called Elysium flickering.
The group of people who were restored by the fireflies didn’t come to much use either. Before the main ship of the Walking Stones appeared, the two main battery forts were already blown away. The battle lasted for nearly three hours, and in the end, they didn’t even shoot down a single enemy ship.
Even Fan Baiyan, who was experienced, was becoming more suffocated at this moment. Panic gradually infected his heart. His hands and feet were cold as bursts of fireworks appeared in front of him.
He had been operating Elysium for so long. This huge system shouldn’t be destroyed so easily. However, since Yu Le appeared, his good luck seemed to have been sucked dry. Almost every time he recruited a group of people, he would always manage to get a few usable people or get some interesting inspiration.
Just like meeting Duan Lili for the first time. That stupid girl ate indiscriminately, letting herself discover the beauty of the flickering grass fruit. Since then, his luck had been going uphill, and he had never encountered such a ridiculous situation.
The addicts in the hall were drowsy, and the gunfire outside the window was approaching. Fan Baiyan cursed a few expletives, kicked away a bodyguard and rushed back to the sixth floor. “Duan Lili, didn’t you hear me? Ah?”
But there was only a corpse waiting there.
A big hole was implanted in the young girl’s heart and blood dyed her moon-white cheongsam black and red. She lay helplessly among the patches of potholes made by ammunition and mechanical debris. Her eyes were wide open and was filled with terror.
Fan Baiyan immediately took a few steps back. His heart ran cold.
It was over. This was a bad sign. His lips trembled, and he rushed back to his room and began to do what he wanted to arrange for Duan Lili to do—check the amount of spare energy.
Outside the fake window, the sun was shining, birds and flowers were fragrant, and the blue lake was shimmering with sparkling light. Fan Baiyan’s heart was as gray as death. He took two steps back and turned off the backup energy meter.
Duan Lili didn’t come to his support in time and his estimation was wrong. Caught between internal and external troubles, even if he did survive this wave of offensiveness, he didn’t have the energy to move to Elysium and escape the oncoming disinfection.
It’s all over. Everything is over. Outside and inside too.
God forbade him to live.
Fan Baiyan racked his brains and couldn’t find any way to solve the current situation. If only the abnormality of flickering grass was discovered one day earlier, even if the attack of the Walking Stones arrived later…
Unfortunately, there were no ifs in this situation. The old man swallowed his spit and let out a few groans.
He couldn’t figure out what went wrong, but he still had an out. No matter how bad it was, Yu Le couldn’t catch him. With his heart beating like a drum, Fan Baiyan connected all the spare energy into his room—his own private ship, and then pressed start.
He had to escape.
After several hours of bombing, Elysium finally stopped slowly. At the top of the building, a luxury yacht rushed through the air into thicker darkness. After half an hour, he had left the cannon fodder and explosions behind, and everything became quiet. Fan Baiyan finally regained his calm, rhythmic breathing and took in a deep breath.
Without the cover of the sound of artillery fire, a weird sizzling sound coming from behind became louder.
Something rushed from outside the door, bending it distortedly, and a slightly yellowish milky white liquid squeezed through the crack of the door. A faint sweet scent penetrated into his nostrils, causing Fan Baiyan to turn around cautiously, but he failed to recognize his enemies.
At almost the same second, a sharp alarm sounded in a certain corner of the operation panel, and the lights with insufficient energy kept flashing.
“Impossible!” Fan Baiyan roared. The energy he connected was enough for the ship to run a hundred times around the entire Sea of Ruins. The old man beat down on the operation panel irritably to check the distribution of energy consumption—
Under the display of the scanner, a small machine was hidden in his storage room, and the system recognized it as a molecular printer, but unlike other molecular printers, it didn’t have its own serial number and its shape was rough and rudimentary. The moment the ship was activated, it also began to turn on and work synchronously, as it was pre-set to work.
“Avoid the main energy source and use the spare energy external to the ship to produce… soymilk ice cream?”
Fan Baiyan was stunned for a few seconds.
He should have used these few seconds to close it, or simply jumped out of the window, but the order on the machine was so astonishing that he was frozen in place until the cold dessert rushed open from the hatch and instantly flooded the entire cabin.
‘All this may be just a funny nightmare,’ this was the last thought in the mind of the captain of Elysium.
Once again, he took Ruan Xian, who was falling, into his arms and held him up high. Tang Yibu wiped a few handfuls of dirt from his face and made an embarrassed look. He was planning to give Mr. Ruan a disheartened look so that he could meet with Tu Rui, but before he could do so, his actions froze.
“Ah,” he yelled softly after realizing it, “Can Fan Baiyan really not be killed?”
“Why do you ask this?” Ruan Xian was busy making a gap in Tang Yibu’s collar. He didn’t stop moving his hands and just raised his head. “You’re really intent on killing him.”
“He made everyone look the same, so I don’t like it.” Tang Yibu wiped Ruan Xian’s cheeks with two dirty hands and rubbed his ears again. “Of course, it’s mainly because he hurt them and tried to hurt me and you.”
“…Those pirates may not think it’s harmful to them.” Ruan Xian patted away the hands that were kneading his ears.
“But he gave them drugs that were addictive and hurtful and let them work intensively, overdrawing they health…”
“We can talk about this topic later.” Ruan Xian wasn’t led astray by Tang Yibu. “You answer me first. Why do you keep asking about Fan Baiyan?”
“Oh.” Tang Yibu put down his hands with a serious expression. “I set up a small little trick on his ship, so he might be dead.”
The author has something to say:
Tang chic method of killing (×
Tang who finished dancing at Annihilation Point:
→It’s boring to go back alone.
→I don’t even have the iron bead.
→It’s better to set up a death trap for Fan Baiyan.
→You can even eat ice cream.
LMAO. God, I love Tang Yibu.
As they say, a captain must always go down with his ship!