Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 76: New Transaction
“Ah.” Tang Yibu arched his chin on Ruan Xian’s shoulders. There was a hint of enlightenment in his tone. “No wonder.”
“What do you mean?” Ruan Xian felt the hot temperature behind him and pretended not to hear Yu Le’s gradually louder huffing.
“I understand why Miss Ji wants to get the mind access needle.”
Tang Yibu targeted it at Ji Xiaoman, his tone determined.
“As long as it’s an old-fashioned cybernetic brain, regardless of whether it’s good or bad, she can use the mind access needle for nerve stimulation to determine whether the memory module is functioning normally—just like a dangerous liquid delivery pipeline. Before formal use, a harmless mixture will be used to simulate the delivery to see if there is any abnormal pressure or leakage.”
“And Qian Yigeng won’t have the sophisticated technical means to make the newly added device seamless,” Ruan Xian continued smoothly. “In other words, as long as you get the mind access needle, there is a way to find the abnormal interference of the memory module in the old-fashioned cybernetic brain.”
He touched Tang Yibu’s head on his shoulder and continued, “I think as long as the abnormal location is determined, our Miss Mechanic can dismantle the threat by herself. When Qian Yigeng has no leverage, she will have a chance to be free.”
“Yes.” Ji Xiaoman nodded bluntly and admitted in a low voice. “I can’t cut and dissect my mother’s brain as a whole for examination. There are many fine parts, and it’s difficult to determine by scanning. This is the safest way.”
“What foreign language are you speaking?” Yu Le came to a sincere summary.
Tang Yibu slowly turned his head and released the arm around Ruan Xian’s neck. “Get the needle and check the cybernetic brain circuit. Remove the foreign device and get rid of Qian Yigeng.”
He spoke slowly with lively gestures and looked as if he was explaining something to a child in kindergarten. Yu Le took in a deep breath. It seemed that it took him a lot of effort to hold back the urge to shoot Tang Yibu.
“Fuck you, Tang Yibu—”
“Stop it.” Ruan Xian raised a hand and motioned for the two to be quiet. He could see that Ji Xiaoman wasn’t lying about her motives. “Where’s He An? You seem to be in touch with him too.”
“I only recently came into contact with him. He An is my work monitor.” Ji Xiaoman moved her metal fingers silently. “He’s an android equipped with an old-fashioned cybernetic brain, a rare intact model. He An has been working for Qian Yigeng for a long time, collecting debts, supervising and so on. I think he is probably the same as me, using his work to pay the ransom for his memory… Maybe there are other factors.”
“More than that.” Yu Le finally got the opportunity to speak. “Didn’t he give you something to fix?”
Ji Xiaoman raised his head and glanced at Yu Le. Her slightly gray eyes flashed. “The customer’s entrustment is private.”
“It’s private when it comes to me. Fine.” Lao Yu gathered the back of his pants and leaned against the wall. “What are we going to do now? Just leave her here? Don’t tell me you two have no plans.”
“According to the floor plan, there is no other exit from the research office,” Tang Yibu added thoughtfully. “There’s only one way in and out.”
“This is a good thing if people are blocked—”
“This means they won’t rummage through here the first time around.” Ruan Xian turned on the electronic wristband and began to operate quickly. His gaze swept across the fast-forward images. “Tang Yibu, open the door lock.”
Yu Le touched the handle of the gun with his right hand, while Ji Xiaoman picked up her heavy backpack. The two of them were like enemies. Tang Yibu moved over leisurely and opened the lock neatly.
“Let’s hide here for a while.” After some operations, Ruan Xian turned off the light screen in front of him. “The camera outside is temporarily controlled by me, and I will take you to the storage room. Except for Ji Xiaoman, we need to change clothes as quickly as possible, especially you, Yu Le.”
“…No need to emphasize.” Yu Le grimaced.
The special structure of the research office, coupled with the eagerness to find invading thieves, made the defenses weaker in other places. Ruan Xian changed into a familiar white coat and led the other three of them forward, and soon discovered another reason for the weak defense…
This place was more like a combination of a workshop and a chemical laboratory. There were no valuable things stored here, though there was a lot of rare equipment, but unfortunately, unless you drive a truck and crash it underground, the size of this equipment wasn’t suitable to be even taken out of the room.
The product was also easy to guess. The smell of cheap drugs wafted in the air, and the barely clean shelves were filled with various parts.
Ruan Xian picked the room with the most complete equipment. There were many people in dirty aprons and white coats carefully operating the seemingly expensive large-scale machinery. Seeing strangers coming to the door, people stopped their work and looked at them curiously. Many people seemed to have a little impression of Ji Xiaoman and cast eager eyes on the backpack behind her.
“Qian Yigeng should have introduced me to you all. I am the new ‘scientist’ who came here today.” Ruan Xian’s impatient expression was especially real. “You can call me Professor Tang. The two behind me are my assistants. I have already received Ji Xiaoman and my team will be solely responsible for the next step.”
Tang Yibu, who had been robbed of his surname, moved forward, squinting with his eyes in an effort to narrow them as he glared at Ruan Xian beside him.
At the moment, Ruan Xian was deliberately restraining his aura. He put on a disguise like when he first entered the shelter. Unfortunately, the impatience in his tone neutralized the gentleness of the scholar in him, which made his entire person a bit off-putting but was very much in line with his current disguise. After speaking, his Mr. Ruan didn’t show the slightest expression of lying, and his gestures were extremely natural.
An extremely good liar.
“But…” A somewhat bald man pushed the glasses up on the bridge of his nose.
“No, buts,” Ruan Xian interrupted him indifferently. “Our information has been logged into the system. If you have any doubts, check it yourself. A waste of time is just watching people enter information. Qian Yigeng spent money on me to come and inspect your work efficiency. Leave now.”
There were more than a dozen people in this laboratory, and most went out when they heard his words. There were still a few who stubbornly remained. “Our work isn’t over yet. You have no right—”
“You are synthesizing quick release methylphenidate*.” Ruan Xian glanced at the tool in front of the balding man’s hand and sniffed the smell in the air. “I can help you complete the rest of the process. Terminating the purification early will only ruin the finished product. Now I need quiet. I repeat, leave now.”
*Central nervous system stimulant medication that is used to treat ADHD and, to a lesser extent, narcolepsy.
Yu Le forcibly turned his laughter into a cough. The pants covered by his large white coat ripped a bit more.
The bald man glanced at Ruan Xian’s face, curled his mouth unconvincingly, scooted his butt and walked out, not having time to focus on the sound of clothes ripping. Soon, the small laboratory was completely empty. Tang Yibu turned around, humming a minor tune, and immediately locked the door.
“Amazing Xiao Ruan.” Yu Le grinned. “Those who work in tech are truly different.”
“You didn’t change your pants just now?” Ruan Xian’s focus was more realistic.
“Everyone here seems like they don’t have a fucking ass and no muscles at all. You two can still make do with your large size, but where can I find an extra-large size? Don’t you think I would fix it if I could?” Yu Le rolled his eyes. “There’s a camera in the corner…”
“We got together just now,” Ruan Xian said, directly kicking the rumbling purification machine and destroying all the addictive drugs in it. “They gave Ji Xiaoman a day. I guess that they’ll reduce the search after a day, so we’ll stay here until then.”
“I won’t fix it,” Ji Xiaoman whispered. She lowered her head deeply, causing the tips of her neatly trimmed black hair to slide across her pale face.
“What?” Yu Le adjusted the back of his white coat.
“I won’t fix it!” Ji Xiaoman raised her voice.
“Seriously, little girl, what kind of emotion simulation circuit did you deliberately break? I saw you insert pins into those cybernetic brains.”
Ji Xiaoman clenched her lips and stared viciously at Yu Le. Tang Yibu’s movements paused, and he turned to look at Ji Xiaoman with a little more interest in his eyes.
“Yes.” After a while, she said hoarsely, “Am I supposed to watch them get activated and suffer until they die?”
“This little girl is being pretentious. It’s just a simulated emotional reaction. If you were to change me, make it an eight or ten—”
Ji Xiaoman moved.
She had always spoken in a low voice, and her demeanor in front of people was a bit dull that Yu Le almost forgot the fighting skills she showed in the junkyard. Now those skills were used on him—Ji Xiaoman took off her backpack, jumped flexibly, squatted on the man’s shoulders like she was a ghost, and two long blades from her arms stretched out from behind Yu Le’s head while a gold cross flashed in front of his throat.
The little girl’s eyes widened slightly. She ambushed Yu Le’s shoulder like a poisonous spider, exuding an unquestionable killing intent. At the moment when the killing intent gushed out, Tang Yibu and Ruan Xian moved almost simultaneously, aiming their guns at Ji Xiaoman’s head.
“Enough brothers.” Yu Le swallowed.
That skinny little girl carried a desperate ruthlessness. He felt this kind of aura in Ruan Lijie and had experienced it himself. If the desperation of that kid surnamed Ruan was an unfathomable well, he and the girl were more like a stagnant ditch without a source or place to go, rotting visibly to the naked eye.
Yu Le didn’t let the stalemate last too long.
He grinned, grabbed one of the blades, and took advantage of Ji Xiaoman’s stunned moment to fall on his back, throwing the thin girl on his shoulders to the ground. Yu Le’s palm was cut deeply by the blade, and blood gushed out instantly.
“You haven’t seen it.” Ji Xiaoman didn’t seem to feel any pain. She got up quickly from the ground and wiped the blood from the corner of her mouth, as if she couldn’t see the muzzle of their guns. “You haven’t seen them.”
Yu Le casually tore a corner of his clothes to bandage the wound, making a slightly ugly face.
“If you just want to do it, there’s no need to find Qian Yigeng.”
She hissed, spitting out vulgar words without hesitation.
“Anyone who hangs out after curfew knows what the deal is. The rules here are clear—if you want to hurt and kill people, you have to put your own life on the line, but some don’t want to take the risk. Qian Yigeng’s customers don’t want sex at all. The pleasure that comes from complete domination sells the best.”
Ji Xiaoman seemed to be panting. This was the first time that she had spoken so much. Sharp metal fingertips scratched across the floor, making a harsh noise. “I’m not a good person and I don’t know much about it, but I think the emotional simulation circuit doesn’t just simulate feelings. It creates feelings, especially fear. In order to show the ideal effect, Qian Yigeng showed me the scene. They…”
Her face began to turn livid.
“They just want to hear those commodities scream for mercy or watch them slowly collapse. If the physical body is broken, change it. If there’s emotional overload in the cybernetic brain, reset it or destroy it depending on the situation.”
Ji Xiaoman stammered for half a day without divulging many details, but rather just a rough summary.
“Mom was eliminated by Qing Yigeng. Although her cybernetic brain is old-fashioned, it was completely broken and too docile. Do you get it? They don’t want goods that are too obedient—Qing Yigeng sold her to ignorant guests and soon she was abandoned.”
Yu Le was silent. He seemed to have thought of something, and his face became uglier.
“According to you, it’s not easier to put a real person.” He laughed dryly.
“Qian Yigeng’s only rule is that goods can be slaughtered, but the head and shell cannot be broken.” Ji Xiaoman looked at him blankly. “Do you think there are no real people here?”
“The human body is disposable, and the mind is more likely to collapse under excessive injury,” Tang Yibu added very quietly. Ji Xiaoman twitched the corners of her mouth.
“…So real people are more expensive, just like ‘games’ in the past. Even if the City Defenders come and check, Qian Yigeng would just say it’s the most well-made android,” she continued in a low voice. Every word was soaked in disgust. “He also told me that if I could make their emotional response the same as a real person, he would pay double—”
“Okay, stop talking.” Yu Le waved his hand. His facial muscles trembled a bit. “I’m getting a little sick.”
Ruan Xian looked at Yu Le quietly. He knew what the other party might be thinking. He stumbled upon the Sea of Ruins as a result of what happened to his sister, which was why Yu Le was extremely disgusted with forced behavior.
It was just that a few minutes ago, the former captain of the Walking Stones didn’t put on much empathy for androids, and now Qian Yigeng had completely offended one of them.
“So I won’t activate the emotional simulation. I’ll only give them something that kills the program.” Ji Xiaoman tied the mouth of her backpack tighter while remaining expressionless.
“Do you want to make a deal?” Ruan Xian suddenly asked.
Ji Xiaoman turned her head for a long time before she was sure that the other party was talking to her.
“We’ll help you erase Qian Yigeng in the Underground City.” Ruan Xian made a neat gesture. “You agree to all our repair requirements and tell us all the information you know. Well?”
“Do you know how many shops he has?” Ji Xiaoman didn’t show the slightest excitement but frowned. “Keep dreaming.”
“Oh, I support it.” Yu Le’s reaction was equally calm, but the direction of calm was different from Ji Xiaoman’s.
“If Mr. Ruan wants to do this, I have no opinion.” Tang Yibu sounded neutral at first glance, but his expression was a bit eager to try.
“…You guys are crazy.” Ji Xiaoman took a step back.
“You found out a little late.” Ruan Xian buttoned his white coat and smiled slightly.
“Change of plans, friends. We need to get out of here immediately.”
The author has something to say:
Ruan: I just want to buy and sell.jpg
Tang: Doing things will make it wonderful to observe clearly √
Lao Yu is the most honest one (.
Iron bead π offline: Lonely _(;з”π)_