Happy Doomsday Ch68

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

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


Chapter 68: Preferential Requirements

The girl absolutely noticed everyone’s eyes staring at her. She had no special reaction. The two metal prosthetic limbs supported the counter as she repeated what she had just said.

“What do you want?” She raised her eyes. There was no enthusiasm in her voice.

“The thermal conductivity controller of my Gray Knight KN-09 is broken. Can it be repaired?” Yu Le glanced at the blade embedded in the girl’s prosthetic limb, and his voice turned serious. “If you can repair it, make an offer.”

“I know that model. The price depends on the degree of damage.” The girl’s voice was a little low, as if she was talking to herself. Her gaze quickly swept across the canned peaches in Tang Yibu’s hand, and she looked away without leaving a trace.

“The car is outside.” Yu Le poked his thumb behind him. “We’ll go with you.”

The young shopkeeper hummed in a low voice and looked at Ruan Xian and Tang Yibu, who were closer to her. She didn’t react to Tang Yibu’s golden eyes, but squatted down, hung the heavy tool bag around her waist, and walked out from behind the counter.

Only then did Ruan Xian discover that the girl’s right leg was also a prosthetic that was similar to her arms. Its shape was a bit rougher, with a dull gleam of metal attached at her knee.

“Mom, the buns are hot in the kitchen.” She nodded to the woman who was knitting a sweater. “I’ll come take this order for the store. You can go take a break.”

The woman who had just been unresponsive nodded, and the smile on her face widened a little. She carefully put down the fabric in her hand, stood up slowly, and walked to the back of the store.

Yu Le took a breath from between his teeth.

The girl obviously had no intention of explaining the situation. She neatly buttoned the half-face gas mask and put on goggles. She really wasn’t tall as the armored off-roader was too big. After Yu Le opened the hood of the car, the girl took a small step ladder from the store and stood on it, which barely allowed her to reach the deepest part.

“It’s so bad that it can’t be repaired.” Her metal fingers were slender and sharp, like a pair of tweezers. They held the fragments firmly between them. “I can make this alloy and get you a new one. By the way, there’s also a problem with the stabilizer shaft in your car… There are parts that were not originally added to it, and there’s a weak corrosive liquid in it. The stabilizer shaft has been worn out by this transformation, and a strong collision has caused it to crack a bit.”

The girl turned her head and looked at Yu Le as if she was looking at an enemy, “It has a lifespan of about half a year. Do you want to repair it?”

“Still need to ask?” Yu Le’s tone was a bit unpleasant when he saw how badly fallen the state of the car was. “Does this need to be repaired?”

“I don’t know if you have the confidence to live for more than half a year.” The girl’s voice was still hoarse, and it felt even more gloomy among the poisonous fog.

“……”

“It’s up to you if you want to repair it. I’ll open a bill for the materials list. No precious metals or vouchers are accepted here.” The girl jumped off the ladder, but her metal prosthetics didn’t make a sound.

It was Yu Le’s business to repair the car. Ruan Xian remained silent and took the opportunity to observe the surroundings.

The alley was full of scrapped machinery. There were exposed broken wires and internal parts, many of which had rusted. The Underground City was different during the day and night. The light should be brighter during the day, but on Summer Street, which was full of prostitution halls, people weren’t very particular about it—ambiguous screams and moans came from the fork of the alley a few steps away from them, mixed with unpleasant curses and coughs.

Tang Yibu plugged his ears blankly while Yu Le coughed dryly in embarrassment. The girl remained motionless, as if she hadn’t heard anything.

“…Are there any other requests?” Seeing that Yu Le didn’t say a word, she asked in a low voice. “It’s cheaper to do more. Weapon repair and modification, or…”

“Nothing else, I have to look at the supply list first. No need to worry about the weapons. Just check the whole car at most. What is your name, little miss?” Yu Le pressed his temples.

“Ji Xiaoman.” The girl put the step ladder under her arm. Even if she was able to land some business, she didn’t sound very enthusiastic.

“Miss Ji, how long will it take to fix it?” When everyone entered the store, Ruan Xian softened his voice.

Ji Xiaoman was standing on tiptoe and was stuffing the step ladder back onto the shelf.

“I still have a few orders in my hand, so about half a month.” She looked at Ruan Xian’s eyes as if she was looking at a pool of stagnant water. The girl was quite young, but even Yu Le seemed more energetic than she was. Ruan Xian saw a familiar emotion in her eyes that he didn’t like very much.

“Half a month?!” Yu Le shouted.

“Yup.” Ji Xiaoman returned to the counter and began to write up the order. “I’m the fastest mechanic here. If you’re not satisfied, you can ask other mechanics. Under normal circumstances, since there’s no high-precision machine tool in the factory, it would take at least one and a half months for manual parts to be replaced.”

“All right,” Yu Le muttered, and leaned over to Ruan Xian. “Xiao Ruan, the place I’m going to take you is quite far away. It’s really dangerous if we don’t have a car. Look at this half month…”

“We can both protect you,” Before Ruan Xian had time to speak, Tang Yibu responded positively.

Yu Le ignored him. “Xiao Ruan, look at our weapons and supplies. They are very heavy. It’s really hard to carry them without a car—”

“I can carry it on my back.” Tang Yibu raised a hand and almost jumped up.

“Can’t you understand human language? I just fucking want to fix this car and take you two there!” Yu Le gritted his teeth. “Fuck, what are you laughing at, surname Ruan. The environment in this shitty place is terrible and laozi has to take care of the both of you. This is an extra risk, you know. There are no other options.”

“I have no problem with reducing risks.” Ruan Xian straightened his face and retracted his gaze from Tang Yibu, who was a little lost. “But half a month is indeed a bit long. If there is another way…”

“Yes.” Ji Xiaoman stopped writing, and she raised her head. “Except for what is on this list. Add a cybernetic brain—anything related to it, I’ll take off five days. Do something for me and I’ll reduce it by another five days. I can give you the highest priority.”

“I haven’t seen an android since the end of the fucking world. Where would I get you something related to a cybernetic brain—” Yu Le wiped his face.

“I have.” Ruan Xian stated it straightforwardly. Tang Yibu and Yu Le both looked at him at the same time.

Ruan Xian reached into his clothes, took out a gray disc with a metallic luster from his close-fitting pocket, and put something labeled AD4 on the table. Ji Xiaoman frowned while Tang Yibu let out an “Ah”.

“You didn’t eat it at the time,” he said, in surprise.

“I won’t touch drugs if I don’t know the principle behind it.” Ruan Xian’s finger was still on the pill. “We came out of Petri Dish No. 1036, Miss Ji. The refuge over there can make medicine that destroys the cybernetic brains of robots. I don’t know if this meets your requirement.”

Ji Xiaoman lowered her eyes and stared at the pill for a while. “Principle?”

“I don’t know what it is as I didn’t take it.” Ruan Xian smiled. “But Yibu knows better. Come on, Yibu. Tell her.”

Tang Yibu glanced at Ruan Xian deeply. “The essence is a nanobot polymer which can quickly be absorbed by the human body and cut off the specific signal transmission of the cybernetic brain. Normal people will be fine after eating it, but if they were replaced by a bionic… The effect is equivalent to cutting off the autonomous thinking part and making them lose their advanced level thinking.”

He took two steps in Ruan Xian’s direction. “The existing S-type products basically do not exist, and the resilience of general bionic organisms isn’t very good. It’s more difficult to recover from the damage caused by the drug. In most cases, the effects are permanent.”

“In other words, it’s poison.” Ji Xiaoman summed it up simply.

“You can say that.”

“This is exchangeable,” she hesitated for a moment, “but I have to test the efficacy of the drug first.”

“The amount in the pill is quite strong. Scrapping off a little will not affect it as a whole.” Tang Yibu quickly added.

Ji Xiaoman nodded in silence and handed the written list to Yu Le. Ruan Xian took a little debris from the pill and left it on the counter, then put it back in his pocket and crossed his arms.

Tang Yibu leaned over to Ruan Xian’s side and stared deeply at Ruan Xian’s face.

“I thought you changed Chi Lei’s medicine or did something else with it.” After moving a few steps away from the counter, Ruan Xian lowered his voice extremely low. “I didn’t expect you to really plan to let me eat it.”

“It won’t work for you. I’m 100% sure.” Tang Yibu lowered his head. “Are you angry?”

Ruan Xian glanced at the aggrieved face of the other party, and suddenly felt a little relieved. “Give me the canned peaches, and this matter will be written off.”

Tang Yibu hurriedly stuffed the canned peaches into Ruan Xian’s hand. Ruan Xian sighed and poured a piece into his mouth casually. As a result, before he could swallow, Yu Le howled and almost caused Ruan Xian to choke to death.

“This is all retribution.” Yu Le’s hand trembled a little while holding the list. “Laozi has been robbing people for so many years and it finally caught up as I’m being robbed now. This is robbery, little miss. Just for the repair job will cost me more than half my family’s fortune.”

“You can get your hands dirty and do it yourself.” When speaking about her profession, Ji Xiaoman’s voice was cold and harsh. “The things I repair won’t go wrong for at least ten years, even if you drop it again. Guns and ammunition can be obtained from others, but sturdy cars are as valuable as a fortress. The price is fine.”

She put away the fragments on the table and glanced at Ruan Xian, who was silent again.

“If you run some errands for me, including the five days of expedited work, I’ll also add some more discounts.” She raised her voice a little bit. “Is that okay?”

“Then let’s discuss. Remember to check the whole car for me.” Yu Le waved his hand weakly. “Without my fortune, my life is as good as gone. Can laozi even survive like this?”

“If you want to off yourself, I’ll help.” Ji Xiaoman didn’t make eye contact with them. “The boss of the core gang in Summer Street is headed by Qian Yigeng. He has what I want. Whether you steal it or obtain it through other means, I must get it.”

“Listen up, miss, I have brothers from all over the country.” Yu Le snorted. “I have a pretty well-informed group in the Sea of Ruins, and I have never heard of Qian Yigeng. You’re leaving us in the dark without telling us what you want. Are you sure you’re not asking us to deliver food right to their front door?”

“It’s ‘me’, not ‘us’,” Tang Yibu corrected solemnly. “Mr. Ruan and I will not go.”

“You fucking…”

“I want the mind access needle for the old-fashioned cybernetic brain.” Ji Xiaoman raised her head and directly interrupted Yu Le. “Qian Yigeng hid it very well. I’ve wanted it for a long time.”

“You… Are you also in the business of old-fashioned cybernetic brains?” Yu Le looked at the dilapidated storefront without concealing the suspicion in his voice.

“I have my own use.” Ji Xiaoman shook her head. “You are right. I will tell you in advance, Qian Yigeng has found a lot of people to guard it, as if it’s his foundation of life. I don’t know the details. If I could figure it out, I wouldn’t ask people like you.”

She sighed softly and rubbed her mutilated arm.

“All I know is that it’s not something that can be copied casually. Like an intact old-fashioned cybernetic brain, no one in the entire Underground United City can make it. He often shows it off everywhere, saying that he personally snatched it from Ruan Xian.”

“Where is this Qian Yigeng?” Tang Yibu continued very naturally. “We need to formulate a plan of action.”

Yu Le: “……”

“The other side of Summer Street.” Ji Xiaoman finally showed a little joy. “Do you agree?”

“No.”

It was Ruan Xian who protested this time.

“Listening to the name, this thing seems very interesting.” He held the canned food in one hand and clenched his fists slightly in the other, still with a smile on his face. “Tell me its specific function and your purpose, and we will talk about the details.”

“This kind of thing was only available in a main bionic factory before, and its function is very simple.”

Ji Xiaoman lowered her head again and began to fiddle with the weird tools on the counter.

“It can access an old-fashioned cybernetic brain and thoroughly edit all memory and personality data. Even if it was snatched from Ruan Xian’s hands, no one thinks that Qian Yigeng is bragging… If it’s used well, it can be regarded as a strategic weapon. Ordinary arms and machinery are incomparable.”

“It can ‘make’ anyone.”


The author has something to say:

The medicine that has been hidden for 100 million years (…) is finally useful!


Kinky Thoughts:

I originally translated cybernetic brain as electronic brain but decided to change the translation as I think cybernetic sounds better and more concise. Basically, you just need to know that it’s the “brain” of a robot/android/whatever that is not originally human.


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