Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 91: Killing Intent
The group of androids in the room seemed to have been dealt with by Qian Yigeng. Ji Xiaoman could see scattered blood stains on the ground, but there was no sign of the mind access needle.
“Yo, you want to engage in your identity at this time.” Qian Yigeng glanced at Ji Xiaoman’s sharp metal fingertips and shrank his neck.
Ji Xiaoman pursed her lips. Just a few steps away, her “mother” returned to the dull appearance she was familiar with. The female android’s fingers twitched slightly, as if she was knitting something with invisible needles and threads.
Qian Yigeng absolutely knew something, and Ji Xiaoman was sure of this. It was better to say that a possible guess was screaming against the back of her neck, and she was trying to ignore it.
“What can you do if you know? Alright, stop it. He An, take her to the isolation room and wait for me to deal with this wave—”
“Tell me.” Ji Xiaoman didn’t move. “I… We still have to cooperate. Just like you said, I can’t do anything even if I know.”
Qian Yigeng narrowed his eyes and didn’t bother to hide his impatience. “You’re an expert. You should know better than me about your mother’s cybernetic brain. If you give her some time, she will call all the little girls ‘Xiaoman’. You personally recognized the name Ji Xiaoman, which is definitely not you.”
Having said that, he squeezed into the piles of men again so that more flesh could block him. “Commodities are even more unlikely. It’s not that I deliberately provoked it. I don’t make goods that are born with physical defects, and there are very few people who are good at this. Stop thinking about it. He An, go, lock her up first.”
Ji Xiaoman’s eyes were slightly sour.
Even if she knew Qian Yigeng was an asshole, the other party’s apparent attitude of not taking her seriously was extremely infuriating. Besides, it’s not like she didn’t think about what he said.
As a born handicapped, the possibility of her being Qian Yigeng’s “commodity” was very low. Although she came here with the tide of androids, Ji Xiaoman didn’t feel the existence of “Return South Wild Geese” so she was likely human.
But too many things couldn’t be explained.
For example, the first reaction of her “mother”, who didn’t have much sense of autonomy, was to raise her in the ruins instead of bringing her back to her residence. For example, why did her mother only rely on a small amount of stolen drugs to suppress her extremely serious injuries… For example, why was Qian Yigeng unaware of her mother’s periodic outings with supplies.
These questions once crossed her mind, but Ji Xiaoman never wanted to think about them. She was fine now, and so was her mother, who was living by her side. She would rather the other party be an android who retained a little emotional logic and chalk it up to being a small miracle.
“I met Bai Tian, which is your Tiantian-Q2 series.”
Now, she cruelly woke herself up.
Ji Xiaoman hit the mechanism on her prosthetic leg. A sharp blade instantly popped out, and with its support, her entire body looked almost a head taller for a moment. She was originally slender, so at a glance, she looked like a tall cheetah.
The mechanical hunter who fought for precious parts finally bare her fangs at this moment.
“It’s just the same name. Don’t be too sensitive.”
Qian Yigeng let out a chuckle, and the men around him raised their guns one after another. Even He An raised his gun and pointed it straight at Ji Xiaoman’s chest. The female android a few steps away didn’t run. She raised her eyes and looked at the black hole in the muzzle of the gun and continued to weave her air fabric.
Ji Xiaoman smiled. Her facial features were exquisite and beautiful, but now they were squeezed into a slightly ugly smile.
“I never told you my real name,” she said slowly. “How do you know that my name is also Bai Tian?”
“Okay, I took your memory. How many years ago was that? You were dying at the time—hey, you, be careful. Don’t aim at my precious merchandise.” Qian Yigeng waved away the nearest barrel of guns closest to him so that the female android could continue to stay out of the attack range. “…At the time, I happened to lack a memory sample of a normal little girl, so don’t blame me. Besides, I wasn’t familiar with the business, so I could only take the memories of living people. You still have to thank me…”
“Thank you for copying my memory, humiliating my life, and using my memories on a group of girls as sex toys for others?” Ji Xiaoman didn’t withdraw the blade from her legs. Her voice was icy cold. “…I don’t think my mother just took a random walk before she stumbled upon me.”
“Hey, hey, hey. No need to put it like that. I didn’t specifically target you.” Qian Yigeng glanced at the android that was woodenly knitting in the air. “She calls every little girl Xiaoman, and she takes them and leads them here. I was simply just making the best use of it.”
Those vague fragments buried by hyperthermia began to emerge from her mind. She had thought those fragments were simply nightmares. The memory of it all was a blur and her head hurt so much like it was about to explode.
What followed was the smell of garbage and the endless stench of decay.
“But I was the first one you lost, because you can’t use my shell, can you?” Ji Xiaoman trembled a little. The chains hanging on her body rattled softly. At that time, she couldn’t piece them together, but now she knew enough about Qian Yigeng. “After you copied my memories, you threw me to the junkyard. When mother saw that the residence wouldn’t take me, she took me to another place… And after that, after that…”
She was shaking more severely.
After that, her mother took care of her awkwardly, and Qian Yigeng was probably aware of it. She didn’t quite believe that the other party suddenly discovered his conscience and was likely waiting for the so-called “making the best use of everything” and relied on this nurturing feeling to concoct another plan.
It was really beating the bones and sucking out their marrow*. He got all the slightest places that could be sucked.
*(敲骨吸髓) Metaphor referring to extreme exploitation.
However, the sad thing was, as Qian Yigeng said, even if she knew the truth, nothing could be changed. Even if her mother was just Qian Yigeng’s puppet in a sense, she had been unable to break free from the warmth and smile of the past few years. Ji Xiaoman clenched her fists and got chills all over.
No, maybe there would be a change. Then she could give that bastard a few more cuts.
Thinking of this, she slowly took a deep breath.
“Okay, okay, I’ve wasted a lot of time wrangling with you.” Qian Yigeng waved his hand like he was swatting away a fly. “What, do you want me to pay the copyright fee? Don’t be pretentious. It’s just a few machines have stored your memories. You have nothing to lose. I have things to do. He An, He An! Are you happy watching the show? I told you several times to take her away first—”
“To be honest, it was quite enjoyable…” He An tugged at the chain in his hand. “Let’s go, Miss Ji, or do you prefer the name Miss Bai?”
He used his spare hand to drag the female android, who was still engrossed with knitting in the air and motioned for the other party to go out first. Ji Xiaoman’s face grew long as she followed him. However, just as Ji Xiaoman’s “mother” stepped out the door, the moment Qian Yigeng’s men lowered their guns, He An slammed the door and temporarily isolated the female android on the other side of the room.
Then he smashed a soundproofing device to the ground, completely isolating all the sound in the room. At almost the same second, Ji Xiaoman threw off the loose chains on her body.
She first fired a few shots with He An and repelled the first few subordinates. Unlike He An, who continued to shoot and move like a ghost, she kicked her feet and jumped directly onto the wall. The barbs on her prosthetic limbs allowed her to move forward like a gecko.
Like a legendary maiden possessed by a demon, she crawled fast and creepy, straight towards the heavily armed Qian Yigeng. The bullets fired by He An’s gun weren’t ordinary bullets. The warheads exploded on the bulletproof jackets of his subordinates, and each shot took away a large piece of flesh, as if an invisible fire-breathing monster was eating them.
It wasn’t until the fourth person fell that Qian Yigeng reacted. He gritted his teeth, took out his gun, and fired a few shots at Ji Xiaoman. The first two bullets bounced off the metal prosthetics, while one drilled into her shoulder. Ji Xiaoman suppressed a miserable scream without staggering her crawling movements—Qian Yigeng’s subordinates hurriedly tried to knock her down while dealing with He An. If she slowed down her movements by a step, she would become a sieve on the spot.
The room wasn’t small, but it couldn’t be said to be large either. It was completely different from the junkyard, with a vast space and complex terrain. The options for escape were really limited. The young mechanical hunter ate a few more bullets, one after another, dyeing the ceiling with blood.
“See? That’s why I want the memory of the little girl.” Qian Yigeng screamed at the top of his lungs. There wasn’t much fear in his voice, but rather anger. “Stupid and short-sighted, disregarding everything for a momentary grievance. That’s what the customers like. Do you know how well the Tiantian-Q2 series sells? The Red Ghost is your doing, right?”
“Shut up! “Ji Xiaoman roared.
He An, on the other hand, was very quiet; the bulletproof equipment of the City Defenders was several grades higher than Qian Yigeng’s men’s equipment. The bullets fired at him were frequently blocked by a transparent cover, leaving only small ripples like a wave in water. It was just as the number of bullets that hit increased, the ripples became unstable, visibly to the naked eye.
He An lowered his gaze and sighed quietly.
Five. Six. Seven. Eight.
The number of corpses in the room was increasing. Although Qian Yigeng was vigilant enough, the raid could be considered going smoothly—but Ji Xiaoman didn’t have the slightest emotion of joy. Her stomach felt like lead.
Qian Yigeng looked very anxious but still didn’t show much fear.
…Something was wrong.
At the same time, less than five hundred meters away.
Tang Yibu was looking at Ruan Xian with interest. The other party was using a blood gun to pierce the heads of Qian Yigeng’s men at close range, and a little blood splashed on his fair skin, which was quite thrilling in comparison. At first glance, his partner was completely different from when he was in the refuge, but that strange aura still lingered.
“They exchanged fire. Qian Yigeng’s side is fine for the time being.” His partner pretended to check his wristband and turned his dark eyes. “But we need to hurry.”
“Nn,” Tang Yibu responded, casually breaking the neck of the person in his arms. Two light thuds sounded as a blade hit the ground along with a corpse flopping softly.
Yu Le no longer supported Tiantian-Q2, he protected the girl behind him, and almost every shot could take a life. The captain of a pirate ship obviously had eyes comparable to machines—his bullets seemed to have eyes, as they specifically hit the weakly protected areas of the enemy.
As they moved forward, there were more than a dozen corpses lying on the ground. Tiantian-Q2 stepped on the bloodstain but didn’t show more fear. She was still pinching her pocket tightly, not knowing if she was groping for the boozy heart chocolate or the gun.
Tang Yibu retracted his gaze and touched the blood-stained shell of the iron bead. The blood-stained metal felt a bit slippery, and the iron beads tried to rub itself clean on Yu Le’s pant leg, narrowly avoiding being kicked away.
After the environmental observation was completed, regardless of their mental state, his companions were almost uninjured. After reaching this conclusion, he glued his gaze back to his partner’s head again.
It was a wonderful feeling.
Tang Yibu knew very well that his maker, Ruan Xian, who had always abhorred memory manipulation and androids, would not put his own memories into a cybernetic brain. Even if he was forced to do so, the memories he put in would definitely have to go through countless processes and become shriveled information without emotions. However, Tang Yibu didn’t think that anyone other than Ruan Xian had the ability to make such perfect work.
Unless the android was strictly induced, he rarely changed his entered personality, but the other party was constantly metamorphosing before his eyes, and he couldn’t estimate the direction of this metamorphosis.
It was like watching a never-before-seen bird break its shell.
Uncontrolled, dangerous, and elusive. The danger of this so-called “partner” was increasing day by day. He should find an opportunity to destroy or replace the other party’s cybernetic brain and turn him into an obedient living machine—this was the logically safest solution.
However, he wanted to watch.
The uncontrollable urge to observe was gradually dominating him, and Tang Yibu liked the inexplicable shudder. He couldn’t parse his complex emotions, but the more he couldn’t parse them, the more he wanted to continue.
Tang Yibu moved his fingers, leaving a smiley face stroke trajectory in the air with his fingertips.
This person was completely different from Ruan Xian in his memory, but he was extremely similar from a certain angle. In the distant past, when he and his maker were still able to meet, Tang Yibu didn’t miss a single opportunity to record.
At that time, in addition to his terrifying appearance due to illness, Ruan Xian was more like the perfect friend people expected—funny, gentle, and optimistic, and even a little too considerate for the sake of others. Although he occasionally discussed some strange and dangerous topics with him, the biggest expression Tang Yibu recorded on the other party’s face was “blank.”
It was the feeling of not knowing how to express true emotion that there was only desolation after completely removing the mask. That was the most impersonal side of Ruan Xian.
If Ruan Xian at that time was a round pearl, the android partner in front of him was more like a cursed blood diamond. His smile was morbid and dangerous, and his personality soundness was obviously not in the normal range—that was, he had not indiscriminately attacked humans—but if such a day ever occurred, Tang Yibu wouldn’t be too surprised.
But they were very similar.
Under the positive mask, Ruan Xian and “Ruan Lijie” had a weird sense of humor about death, and they didn’t seem to take it very seriously. And on a few occasions, for a very brief moment, they had the exact same look on their faces.
Ruan Xian, who used to lean on his warm external chassis, chewed homemade candy, and look at the falling snow outside through the small window of the computer room, and when he kissed “Ruan Lijie”, the other party also showed the same emotions.
Loneliness was mixed with a certain kind of despair of isolation, and there were some distorted desires in it—like wanting to reach out and hold time firmly in the palm of your hand so that it no longer flowed.
The differences were far apart, yet highly consistent.
…Could it be that someone else took Ruan Xian’s memory fragments and added them after the android was created?
Tang Yibu looked at the back of the other party’s neck, and his fingers moved slightly again.
When they take care of Qian Yigeng and figure out where that wheelchair and the mind access needle came from, things might be clearer by then. And if the other party’s odd gravitational pull on himself continued to get stronger like this, things would probably get out of control.
Tang Yibu picked up the iron bead running laboriously at his feet and moved his gaze from the back of Ruan Xian’s neck to the earrings in his left ear. The line between studying precious samples and maintaining self-preservation was extremely ambiguous, but he had to draw it.
When he figured out Ruan Xian’s whereabouts and got the needle, depending on how fast this odd attraction grew, maybe he could back up all the information of “Ruan Lijie’s” cybernetic brain…
Then he would personally stop the other party’s thinking and turn him into the most precious data specimen in the world.
The author has something to say:
Tang, your thoughts are super dangerous (……