Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 104: Probe
There was no punishment for Gong Siyi’s attack. It seemed that, at least in this building, aggressive thoughts were more worthy of “discipline” than bad behavior.
Ruan Xian felt a little dizzy. He didn’t wander outside for too long. After eating the bowl of pumpkin porridge, he returned to his ward early. The light screen at the head of the bed was still on, but this time he saw a small camera in the corner. They were fully capable of hiding these things completely, yet they intentionally exposed themselves, which meant the meaning was self-evident.
They didn’t say it, but it was clearly shouting, “Someone is watching you”. After all these years, this had always been the case here.
After all these years?
Perhaps his memory inhibitors were slowly declining, and context-related memories were slowly surfacing, making people unhappy like tea dregs. The restraint clothes on his body didn’t hurt him much, but he just hated the feeling of being strangled by an anaconda. While Ruan Xian sorted out the rotten tea residue that came out of his mind, he quietly played with the glass jug by his bedside table that was filled with ice.
The ice cube gently hit the wall of the pot, making a nice soft sound, but Ruan Xian’s emotions weren’t appeased by this beautiful voice.
It didn’t make sense to assume that he was crazy. Ruan Xian wasn’t anxious about this possibility. He just felt bored. To choose an interesting thought, he should assume that the end of the world exists.
Regardless of the purpose of his previous plan, Ruan Xian thought he wouldn’t jump into the fire pit. Since he was here, he was sure he would survive before taking the memory inhibitor. The point was whether he volunteered—his own body shape was standard, and his muscles could only be said to be strong and well-proportioned, which wasn’t as good as a common athlete. Ruan Xian didn’t think he was a combat genius.
He also didn’t feel like he was the type who was willing to sacrifice himself for others to the point where he induced this self-state of amnesia to rescue someone out of compassion.
This was very interesting.
Looking at all the absurd possibilities, he most likely came for intelligence. He had a relatively large knowledge reserve, but his companion still asked him to be a spy, so his companion was bound to be a scholar who was comparable to himself. Continuing to infer that the medical staff had greater authority and freedom, he instead chose an identity of a patient as the breakthrough point, which meant most likely the information source he needed was related to a patient.
To guess boldly, as a “lunatic” temporarily accommodated in a prevention shelter, his advantage was nothing less than “contempt for others”—he could do less conventional or say weird things. As long as the truths and lies were well mixed, there wouldn’t be too many doctors who would be interested in analyzing his crazy words.
To take advantage of this, either the source of information was in a place where people were “mentally abnormal”, or the source of information was a patient itself. His target was quite obvious, thinking about it this way.
Ruan Xian poured himself a glass of iced water and sipped it.
…After determining the possible purpose, he wouldn’t be stupid enough to wait for his memory to recover. That would be too inefficient. There must be corresponding clues in his only remaining common sense. For example, a wealth of knowledge, doomsday information, or his own name.
Prevention shelters wouldn’t simply store all data in the cloud. If he started from a simple aspect, he could go to the nearest place to the local file storage, take advantage of the distance, and quietly crack it. First look at everyone’s information here. From the perspective of intelligence collection, this was still necessary.
Ruan Xian rubbed his wristband and quickly determined his small activities after a nap. He could stroll around here first to thoroughly figure out the structure of the building…
A therapist in a medical uniform walked into the room, carrying a small bowl of chopped honey fruit. The man was tall and sturdy, and he belonged to the same category as Gong Siyi’s appearance; even better. He was almost illusory handsome—slightly long, soft black hair hung on the side of his face, and his eyes were a very beautiful champagne gold. His temperament was very soft, like clean cotton that absorbs sunlight or a soft handkerchief with the fragrance of soap.
“Mr. Ruan,” he greeted softly as he put the fruit bowl on the bedside table and looked at Ruan Xian up and down. “You forgot to take your after-meal fruit.”
Although it was very concealed, Ruan Xian still found some strange emotions in the other party’s eyes. Like Gong Siyi, this person was also observing him with a strong sense of alienation, but it was mixed with other emotions. A little eager, curious, and inexplicably pure.
If it was a newcomer who had just arrived, eagerness and curiosity would make sense, but that kind of inhumane purity wasn’t normal. Ruan Xian looked at the golden eyes with inexplicable familiarity for a few seconds, almost certain that he and the person in front of him should have some connection.
He didn’t know if it was an enemy or a friend. Ruan Xian thought about it and laughed after a few seconds. Whether it was a friend or foe, he couldn’t trust himself right now, so there was no difference in the results. Now that someone had arrived, if there was real hostility, there was a high probability that he wouldn’t be able to escape based on his physical condition.
It was better to let go and test it.
Ruan Xian stood up and gave the other party a big hug. He gently pressed the man’s head down and put his lips towards the other party’s ear.
“There are no blind spots in the surveillance here. Be careful.” He hardly moved his lips and blew out these words with an airy sound.
The next step was to observe.
Sure enough, the other party’s body stiffened slightly, but he didn’t show much disgust or surprise.
Without hostility, it was more likely to be a companion. The reactions of the person in front of him were also very interesting. The other party seemed not surprised by the fact that “he may retain his memory” and he didn’t instinctively reject this kind of overly intimate behavior.
No matter what kind of creature, it was difficult to fake the subtle reactions of the subconscious mind. They shouldn’t be just nodding acquaintances; at the very least, they should be companions who have experience in acting together. Ruan Xian breathed a sign of relief and let go of the hug.
“Do you want to go out for a walk around the building together?” The man’s smile became brighter, and his eyes lit up. “You see, you and I are both new here, and walking together is good for relieving tension.”
“No, I’m a little uncomfortable,” Ruan Xian said matter-of-factly. He glanced at the name tag on the other’s clothes, raised his voice, and smoothly picked up the subtext. “I’m not familiar with this place yet. It’s too early. When I’m ready, I’ll take a walk with you… Mr. Tang.”
“Let’s see.” The man directly covered Ruan Xian’s forehead with his hands without the help of medical machinery. “Well, you have a bit of a low-grade fever. It may be the side effects of the memory inhibitors… Eat some fruit and go to bed after that. I’m going to continue patrolling. Mr. Ruan, I hope you have a speedy recovery.”
Ruan Xian smiled briefly at him, picked up the bowl and spoon at the head of the bed, and ate obediently.
After making sure that the other party left the room, he didn’t take any risks and laid back on the soft bed. He could probably feel his condition—a low-grade fever that wasn’t even considered a disease; at most it made people a little sleepy. The headache may be a side effect of memory loss, or it may be due to purely mental reasons, such as…
He closed his eyes, and the tea dregs of those memories floated in his mind again.
[Doctor, do you have a kind of treatment here that, um, makes him a little less intelligent?]
[Ms. Ruan, I’m sorry, I don’t understand what you mean.]
[Are there any treatments that can make children more stupid? Ruan Xian’s situation is a bit special. He… He won’t be happy like this, and it’s also a kind of torture for me. I have heard that many therapeutic drugs can have such effects, so I came to ask. If you can, this can be regarded as killing two birds with one stone…]
[Ms. Ruan, although your child is not covered by the protection of social rights, he still has basic human rights. I’m afraid you have no right to make such a decision for him.]
[Is there any custodial treatment? Aren’t you a prevention shelter? There’s no social security for Ruan, but I remember that there’s a tax deduction. For this child’s medical expenses, I’ve been working around the clock. I can’t keep leaving him at home all the time because my relatives at home don’t want to take care of him…]
[At the beginning, you gave up a more humane way. Now that this child is over five years old, we can only treat him as a general containment object.]
[And I have seen the admission examination, Ms. Ruan. The child had a lot of bruises on his body, mainly on his head and neck. The injuries aren’t minor, and if he wasn’t on the high-risk watch list, I would be calling the police right now. As a doctor, I must remind you that even for people on the list, excessive abuse is a crime.]
[Those are all rustic prescriptions. I can’t help it! You haven’t lived with him before, and you don’t understand how terrifying it is to be unable to hide any of your thoughts. I just need to make him a little dumber. I don’t want to hurt him. I really… can’t help it…]
[Take it easy. Take it easy. Don’t cry Ms. Ruan. We can talk—]
[I love my son, but I’m just an ordinary person. For him, I have been eating bran and swallowing vegetables* for so long. All my money is being thrown into a bottomless pit. I… I occasionally think about it. If I didn’t want him in the first place, the money would be enough to buy a nice big house and live a fairly comfortable life. Is this wrong? But he can see it. He can see everything. If this continues, I don’t know what I will do…]
*(吃糠咽菜) Idiom referring to poverty and hardships of life.
[Well, Ms. Ruan, I’ll fight for you. After all, it’s more convenient for us to supervise and educate your child here, and it just so happened that we recently have related projects. If you’re willing to let your child join such experimental projects, maybe I can help you negotiate a part of the fee waiver.]
[Thank you, thank you! Wait, doctor, is the door here…not closed…?]
Ruan Xian covered his head with a blanket and sank himself completely into the darkness.
He couldn’t remember more, but the part he remembered was enough to make him uncomfortable. The remaining sweetness of the fruit in the mouth couldn’t dilute the faint irritability. ‘It was pretty good,’ he thought. At least from these memories, he didn’t look like an android, or his memory was manipulated—After all, no one would keep this kind of unsightly thing.
Ruan Xian closed his eyes and tried to get something warm from the remnants of his memory, but he failed miserably.
All the things related to “warmth” in his memories added up weren’t as impressive as that hug just now. He tossed around in bed for a while, but finally sat up and poured himself a glass of iced water.
‘Let’s go out and have a look first,’ he thought. The nominal companion was likely to have arrived. Whether the current temporary amnesia was his own scheme or a backup plan that the other party knew about, he needed to speed up and not reveal any flaws.
…Yes, it’s this familiar feeling.
Never trust anyone and never reveal flaws, especially in places like this. He was indeed such a person, once was and still is.
He must be.