Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 106: Pear Blossom
Tang Yibu tactfully bypassed the nearest guide robots, pretending to be confused and heading in a certain direction.
The system self-inspection frequency of the entire prevention shelter was once every ten minutes. He had already circled the scene while his partner quietly parked in the corridor. His Mr. Ruan had at least eight minutes to find the loophole and steal the information.
In fact, he could get the information himself, but if two people were in the same place, it would be more difficult to do the loop scene.
Of course, this was just a superficial excuse.
If he really encountered difficulties, he could find no less than ten ways to transfer the information to the other party, but he always felt that this matter was a bit fishy—his Mr. Ruan had never liked to suffer losses, but he was a little too proactive in sneaking into the prevention shelter.
Yu Le’s appearance was still in MUL-01’s database, so it wasn’t convenient to live under intensive surveillance every day. Ji Xiaoman had a serious disability, which wasn’t suitable for the utopian atmosphere here at all, and it was extremely easy to arouse suspicion. In order to come into contact with Luo Jian, he and “Ruan Lijie” were the most suitable people to sneak in as patients.
However, Tang Yibu didn’t want the role of a patient. Biological samples must be retained for admission to the hospital. Unlike the S-type Prototype, the phenotype of an A-type Prototype was very unique, so it was impossible to use the excuse of “modified nanobots injected before the end of the world”. Even if the biological sample was disposed of, the lab was likely to report the abnormality to MUL-01 during the test.
To be discovered on a site of MUL-01 as an A-type Prototype, he would definitely face a hoard of Order Supervisors. Even if he could break free, his appearance and other data would be sent to every corner of the world by MUL-01, and a blood-red spotlight would be on him forever.
As NUL-00, Tang Yibu didn’t want to let his hard-earned Prototype become a trigger for trouble. The question was how to cleverly deflect this accusation, subtly and naturally persuade Mr. Ruan to play the role of a patient.
Unexpectedly, the other party took the initiative to take on this dangerous job.
Considering that the man was a master of deception with superb acting skills, Tang Yibu wasn’t very worried about the safety of the other party. His focus is elsewhere…
He always felt that “Ruan Lijie” had other purposes.
Everything went well. His Mr. Ruan took the drugs that would only have an effect on humans, fooled Ji Xiaoman and Yu Le, and also fooled the doctors in the prevention shelter. It was determined that the memory inhibitors were in effect, and the shelter would not extract the memory of “Ruan Lijie”. At most, it would only judge his personality based on his limited brain information.
The “Ruan Lijie” who retained his memory would take advantage of the so-called waiting for the effect of the medicine to subside for a few days to investigate this place, get Luo Jian’s information, and find a way to connect with the other party. Then, as long as he showed up, he could take them away according to the situation. If a problem did arise, it was just a matter of taking a few people away.
But he couldn’t bear it, so he snuck in early, and when he saw those familiar black eyes from a distance, Tang Yibu suddenly regained his hunger.
After eating two plates of creamy risotto in the staff room, Tang Yibu finally realized that he might have done something unwise—he planned to take the opportunity to remind the other party of the information he had discovered. This behavior had actually increased the risk of exposing himself.
But he still went to see Mr. Ruan, with honey fruit and a smile of inexplicable anticipation.
Perhaps it was Ruan Xian’s design problem at the beginning, or perhaps it was the instinct set by the laws of nature for all life, curiosity almost surpassed reason. He couldn’t refuse a puzzle that was difficult to solve and was constantly changing. This expectation and fascination was deeper than Tang Yibu had originally imagined.
The subsequent conversation seemed quite normal at first glance. After all, surveillance was everywhere. They could only pretend that they didn’t know each other and mix intelligence into irrelevant exchanges.
But he always felt that something was wrong.
His Mr. Ruan was a bit colder than before. That coldness was not like acting, but more like some kind of chill coming out of his bones. Even when they first met, the other party wasn’t so cold.
This weird feeling reached its peak in their final conversation.
In the scope of surveillance, what Mr. Ruan said was probably just a lie about dealing with the shelter, but the trace of emotion revealed by the other party didn’t seem to be hypocritical, and Tang Yibu couldn’t tell whether it was acting or from his own heart.
But it was just a feeling he had. From the subtle expressions and body language, if he had to make a judgment, Tang Yibu leaned towards believing that what that person was saying was the truth.
After all, he could touch the darkness hidden deep in the other person. Even if he was injected with personality data, personality wasn’t something created out of thin air. Whether it was fabricated or not, it was necessary to have memories to support it.
Assuming that the other party didn’t lie but simply embellished the facts, this state of affairs was no longer logical. A simple android emotional experiment and nothing more than that. Nowadays, S-type Prototypes could be regarded as a kind of weapon. No one was stupid enough to give a weapon to such an elusive character and too many negative emotions.
Whenever he thought that the value that the other party could give was about to reach its peak, his Mr. Ruan could always give him more surprises.
But he had kissed the other person countless times and knew the composition of that person’s body well. “Ruan Lijie” did merge and destroyed the S-type Prototype. If he thought about it from that angle…
Not to mention that it was impossible for humans to have the abnormal state that “Ruan Lijie” had at that time, Ruan Xian wouldn’t use real humans to destroy the S-type Prototype, even if it was a clone. Fan Linsong didn’t mind this but judging from the information he obtained from looking for the S-type Prototype, Fan Linsong didn’t know where Ruan Xian had hid it. Although the two were nominally similar, Fan Linsong ultimately wasn’t as good in his leadership skills as Ruan Xian.
And if it was a human, “Ruan Lijie” was a bit too smart. Tang Yibu had never heard of such a person around Ruan Xian. Even if Ruan Xian planned to break his bottom line and use humans to destroy the Prototype, he would definitely not enable such a dangerous stranger with bad memories in his head.
All of his deductions were leading nowhere.
Tang Yibu stopped, tucked his black hair that fell on his forehead behind his ears, and tutted a few times in the air. He only felt that there was a feather in his heart that was frantically scratching it. If it weren’t for the special current circumstance, he would want to slightly break open the other party’s skull and see for himself what was going on.
Since deciding to perfect the subject left by Ruan Xian, everyone was an equation in his eyes. They were long and short, complicated and simple, and given the same variable, they would give a variety of results. As the observations continued, they would gradually become clearer and eventually they would be completely unraveled by him.
The more mysteries he solved, the more confusing this one became. Thinking of his own plan to erase the other party’s thinking, Tang Yibu shook again very unpleasantly.
Wait a minute. He took a breath and puffed up his face.
Let’s not talk about whether it was reasonable or not. If “Ruan Lijie’s” shell didn’t have a cybernetic brain, his own earring may not be able to destroy the other party’s brain in one fell swoop.
Realizing this, Tang Yibu instantly wanted to turn around and walk back, adding a new earring stud to the right ear of his Mr. Ruan. However, considering the other party was most likely stealing information, Tang Yibu held back his impulse and walked to the target machine.
The inverted teardrop-shaped machine floated in the air a little unsteadily. Seeing Tang Yibu approaching, a small and cheerful “Gwah” came out of the heavy shell.
“It would be great if all creatures were equally detachable.” Tang Yibu stroked the inverted teardrop-shaped machinery, and the iron bead inside was suddenly frightened and no longer made a sound.
“But it must be dismantled. I have to make sure,” Tang Yibu continued softly, while the iron bead began to tremble. “I…”
“Xiao Tang, what are you doing here?”
The remote-controlled humanoid manipulated by Gong Siyi approached from behind. Tang Yibu, who was frantically distracted, almost slashed it with a hand knife.
“I was just leading Ruan Lijie around and getting acquainted with this place, but I got lost.” Tang Yibu suppressed his emotions well.
“Just let the guide machine do this kind of thing.”
“Ruan Lijie’s situation is a bit special. I always think he will do something.” Tang Yibu’s tone was serious. He had never told such a sincere lie. “It’s just an opportunity to hammer away at him to make it clear how tightly we’re protected.”
“It would be great if you had this carefulness when handling samples.” Gong Siyi sighed with his handsome shell, “But I have an uncomfortable feeling about that Ruan Lijie. In my experience, even if he regains his memory, he will probably live here until he dies. Typical personality abnormality. He tried to attack me during the consultation—an attack without killing intent, can you imagine? Even the system couldn’t react immediately. If I was actually there myself… Anyway, be careful. Remote control devices are not cheap these days.”
“Thank you for your reminder.” Tang Yibu grabbed π that was inside the guide machine shell and stood stiffly in the air. “I’ll go back to him right now. It’s best not to leave that dangerous person alone for too long.”
“Wait Xiao Tang.” Gong Siyi held him tightly. “Just let the guide robot go by itself. There is surveillance everywhere, so he can’t get into any trouble. You, help me run to Area F and bring Li Han to my office. The little girl was too sensitive to accept mechanical transportation.”
“But Mr. Ruan and I agreed…”
“He’s just a patient.” Gong Siyi looked at Tang Yibu in surprise. “Xiao Tang, listen to my advice. Don’t invest any feelings in these people. They’re all useless scum and potential cancers of this society—Either they can’t do anything well and will only waste valuable resources here, or they will talk and laugh with you on the surface while calculating how to cut you into several pieces underneath. That Ruan Lijie is very similar to the latter. Don’t be fooled by that beautiful face.”
Tang Yibu was thinking about how to get rid of Gong Siyi’s remote-controlled machine that was in his way when his smile froze for half a second when he heard his words.
“I see, but things have to be seen through to the end once you start it.” Tang Yibu put on his gentlest smile. “I hate breaking appointments, Mr. Gong. Give me three minutes and I can handle Ruan Lijie’s affairs.”
“…Okay, remember, this is not a school or playground. Work tasks must be completed meticulously, and there will be no next time.”
A few kilometers away.
Yu Le wilted in the apartment, sat on the floor with his legs crossed, and let out a long burp. Ji Xiaoman glared at him unbearably.
“Little miss, don’t stare. Your eyes are going to fall out.” Yu Le gestured to the beer in his hand. This was the fourth one he had taken from the fridge. “I must say, this place, the environment is good, but it’s too fake… There are just a few types of things that you can watch or listen to and they’re all bland. I can’t even listen to yellow music. Life is so boring, ah.”
“Have you seen the Underground City,” Ji Xiaoman muttered in a low voice.
“Dude, I don’t like smog, nor the redlight district,” Yu Le replied solemnly. “I especially don’t like smog in the red-light district.”
“Oh.” Ji Xiaoman shrank in the corner of the soft sofa, her big eyes fixed on the information flashing on the light screen. “It seems that the Sea of Ruins is the only paradise left on earth.”
“Well, at least I really think so. Believe it or not, if I sing a yellow song loudly now, a surveillance robot will fly in the next second—”
“Don’t worry, I’ll beat you first before that happens,” Ji Xiaoman interrupted calmly.
Yu Le clicked his tongue and changed the topic. “What do you think those two boys are doing? I’m still counting on them to get me out. What kind of good life before the end of the world? What a fucking lie.”
“They’re much stronger than me.” Ji Xiaoman frowned. “I can’t invade the deep level system from outside, but I found something very interesting in some marginal sections.”
“A very niche book club, ‘Pear Blossom*’. Their views are very interesting.”
*(一株雪) This is a literary allusion to the poem “Pear Blossoms in the East Lane” by Su Shi where (雪) is a metaphor for pear blossoms, thus it’s translated as Pear Blossom (pear blossom is (梨花) in Chinese). || Note: This is purposeful. The author is linking the organization name to a literary work, which in this Petri Dish, many works of literature are banned, which is most likely why the organization that is going against this chose this name.
Ji Xiaoman threw the light screen at Yu Le.
“…They think the world has been destroyed.”