Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 112: Some Kind of Farewell
“The way you catch people is swanky enough. Not afraid that people will turn around and report you?” Yu Le subconsciously moved two steps forward, blocking Ji Xiaoman behind him.
“You’re funny.” The man didn’t sound nervous at all. There was a slickness in his voice that Yu Le didn’t like very much. “This matter is about evidence. And if you really planned to report me, you wouldn’t stand here and continue talking to me.”
Seeing that Yu Le was silent, the man stretched out his front lapel and made an inviting gesture. “Come sir, we still have a lot of time to have a good chat before curfew. May I buy you two a drink?”
He seemed to have expected that they wouldn’t refuse.
Ji Xiaoman dutifully pretended to be a follower android as she tried hard to look innocent. Unfortunately, the effect wasn’t there. A scarred soul was always difficult to hide. Even if she wore cute and loose clothes, the predatory aura in her bones was still faintly revealed.
After a few curious glances from the strange man, Ji Xiaoman decided to follow Yu Le firmly, trying to let Yu Le’s figure block her as much as possible.
The destination for the three of them was a very elegantly decorated small bar. The air was light with intoxicating incense, and the reclining chairs were similar to the ones in the shop they had just been in. The man casually picked a table and motioned for them to sit down.
Yu Le looked around at random and saw a few people scattered in the store. They weren’t talking to each other. Making sure the environment wasn’t threatening, he left the outer seat to Ji Xiaoman and sat across from the man.
“This lady is…?”
“My android.” Yu Le grinned. “If it’s your treat, then just treat me to one. No need to break the bank.”
“Two glasses of ‘Red Willow Wood Fireplace on a Winter’s Night’, with soft-faced rocking chairs, served with hot fruit wine and ginger snacks. Duration… Let me see, six hours should be enough.” The man opened a single-light screen and operated it familiarly. “This is the basic combination I recommend. Do you have anything you like to eat?”
“Meat,” Yu Le said succinctly. “Beef preferably.”
“Then add some roasted beef jerky and an unctuous fruit platter.” The man nodded. “The basic package is set, and then… Hm, let’s enjoy the cheapest classical music for you two. The way is to mix it yourself.”
“I don’t like classical music, bud.” Yu Le was straightforward. For a few seconds, he missed those explicit songs that floated around in the armored off-roader.
The man didn’t seem to hear him, as he continued to place the order. Soon, a waitress with a face so beautiful that it seemed unreal served them two glasses that were attached to two small metal balls.
The cup was a transparent glass with some kind of viscous oily liquid inside. Irregular small clusters of electric light flickered in it, emitting a beautiful blue light. Two old-fashioned headphone-like devices were connected to the cup with a coin-sized metal patch at the end.
The person in the shop just stuck it to his forehead, while Yu Le picked up one casually and twisted it in his hand.
Ji Xiaoman on one side couldn’t sit still. The mechanic’s occupational disease urged her to lean over and take a closer look, but her fake identity as an android required her to sit still in place. She had to find a compromise and glued her gaze to the man diagonally opposite. Once she noticed that the other party’s attention was diverted, she quickly peeked at the novel cup container.
The man squeezed the two metal balls in his hand and pressed the edge of the table. A barrier flashed by near the table, causing Yu Le to subconsciously move the chair.
“It includes soundproofing service. Don’t be nervous.”
The man clenched the two shiny metal balls in his left hand like magic, then slowly released them, revealing his empty palm. He then conjured two gray metal balls from his right hand and threw one of them into the cup in front of Yu Le at lightning speed.
The metal ball entered the cup and automatically shook up and down. Those floating electric lights seemed to have found their target, and they gathered near the metal ball one after another, raising a beautiful arc in the cup.
“A friendly reminder, now you’re my accomplice.” The man smiled a little triumphantly. “Assuming you report me now, this thing is at most a marginal work, so there will be a not-so-beautiful mark on your record.”
“You’re thinking too much.” Yu Le shook the cup in front of him, watching the arc in the solution drift. “This thing is a memory cocktail? The basic environment plus a single point of event… Well, I guess those two clear balls have something to do with classical music appreciation. Since you switched it up, is it possible that by messing with this I’ll experience reading a book by that whatever fireplace?”
“That’s it.” The man looked a little relieved. “The person in the store just said that you haven’t consumed it before, but I didn’t expect you to understand it.”
“I just have one question. What is the book you put in it?”
“‘Ford’s Ordinary Life’. You’ll like it.” The man pretended to lower his voice mysteriously. “The protagonist is a murderer. Do you know what a murderer is?”
As a criminal who was almost executed for murder and a great ruins pirate who had been through a bloody storm in the Sea of Ruins, Yu Le suddenly felt that he had been subjected to some kind of insult concerning his intelligence.
“The protagonist is such a felon; thus, the entire book is extremely exciting. After all, not to mention murderers now, even a thief is difficult to find.”
“…No, is there really just one murder case?”
“I knew from first glance, sir, that you have the potential to resist the brainwashing propaganda.”
The man finally showed a little excitement.
“Their propaganda is decent—For example, many people can only operate remote-controlled humanoid devices to go out, while the real body would not leave home at all. For example, every citizen has an instant protection device to monitor their physical condition… All daily necessities and drugs that may be highly lethal are strictly controlled, and even if they do it with their bare hands, it will be detected by the protection device. Sounds wonderful, right?”
‘It’s not wonderful at all,’ Yu Le secretly groaned. Ji Xiaoman, who wasn’t considered an honest person, secretly took a deep breath.
“But wouldn’t that be strange? There will always be mistakes with so many people in this world. But in the past ten years, there has been no murder case. It’s like we’re living in a particularly ideal bubble.”
“Indeed, it’s so ideal it’s scary.” Yu Le shook the cup in front of him and casually agreed.
“So I tend to think that the Mainbrain is hiding the real situation, or that the sample data is particularly small. Something is happening out there, and we’re all being kept in the dark. But this is not the end of the story… Try this first.”
The man put two patches on his temples. “The types of different receptors are marked on it. Remember to choose. Don’t t choose the wrong one.”
Yu Le actually didn’t want to touch such a suspicious thing.
Following the man’s instructions, he twisted the knob from the default “humanoid remote-controlled device” to “human flesh”.
In that column, he hesitated for a few seconds before putting the patch on his temple.
Although he knew that the other party wouldn’t do anything to him and that this was probably an opportunity to get in touch with Pear Blossom, he still didn’t like this subtle way of memory input.
“Come on, cheers!” The man didn’t notice Yu Le’s entanglement at all. He raised his cup heartily, and then pressed the conspicuous switch on the handle of the cup.
As the electro-optical group turned quickly, the man slowly lay on the recliner, half-closing his eyes, with an extremely relaxed expression on his face. Yu Le took the opportunity to look at Ji Xiaoman. He breathed out helplessly and began to consider the possibility of bluffing.
However, after ten seconds, the man opened his eyes and sat upright again.
“It’s refreshing after one taste.” He smiled. “Still hesitating? It’s okay. If you experience it all at once, six hours of memory will only take twelve seconds to receive. Don’t worry.”
Yu Le shrugged at him and accepted his fate and activated the memory cocktail.
The experience of just twelve seconds was extremely wonderful.
He seemed to be transported out of time and had a short vacation by a comfortable fireplace. There was still the comfort of fullness in his stomach, and the sweetness of fruit wine was still rolling on his tongue. Yu Le had never read too many books that were sweet, but in his memory, he had read the book “Ford’s Ordinary Life” carefully.
In his opinion, this story could be considered warm. In general, the style of redemption was partial. Although the male protagonist was a murderer, he could be regarded as a good man if he was thrown into the Sea of Ruins. Yu Le didn’t think there was anything wrong with this book. The experience of the memory cocktail was indeed good, and he almost immediately understood why those customers were attracted.
“The book is good.” Yu Le took off the patch with emotion. “It’s just that I didn’t find it exciting. It’s a soft story.”
“Isn’t that enough?” The man opened his eyes wide. “The protagonist has killed people! But what do you think? Isn’t it completely different from the entertainment that you have come into contact with before? If you want to continue the experience…”
“Uh, forget it.” Yu Le wasn’t in high spirits. No wonder the Mainbrain let this group of people move under its nose. The spread of their “harmful thoughts” was similar to that of children’s. He must admit that he was a little disappointed.
He wanted to find out more about the so-called theory of the end of the world, but if he proposed it now, it would look unnatural. Yu Le reminisced about the smell of alcohol that still remained in his mouth for a while and began to think about how to naturally lead the topic.
On the other side, the man seemed to be shocked by Yu Le’s ordinary reaction. He looked at Yu Le up and down, as if he had made some decision.
“Well, sir, if you are free tomorrow, I will buy you another drink.” The man touched his chin, then stretched out his hand. “My name is Luo Fei. You are?”
“…Yu Le, the Yu from remaining, and the Le from joy*.” Yu Le stretched out his hand and raised his eyebrows curiously. “Which Luo is yours from?”
*[Yu Le] (余乐) The Yu (余) is from remainder/surplus [sheng yu] (剩余). The Le (乐) is from joy [le zi] (乐子).
“Luo from Luoyang, Fei from right and wrong*.”
*[Luo Fei] (洛非) The Luo (洛) is from Luoyang (洛阳). The Fei (非) is from right and wrong [shifei] (是非).
“Your surname is quite rare. It’s a good name.”
“It is a bit rare.” The young man smiled. “The name was given by my father.”
“What’s your dad’s name? I can’t say if I know him.” Yu Le casually pretended to get closer while still thinking about how to breach the doomsday topic. “I know a big brother name Luo.”
“…” Yu Le’s mind froze for an instant.
Under the same sky, night fell, and dinner was over. This time, Ruan Xian couldn’t get anything out of Luo Jian. The girl named Li Han appeared again during dinner, so Luo Jian had dinner with her. In order not to arouse the other party’s vigilance, Ruan Xian just listened from a distance away—Luo Jian comforted Li Han the whole time, as an elder.
The information contained in Ruan Xian’s wristband was ultimately limited. It couldn’t accommodate too much detailed information, and there was no way to obtain records of subsequent events. Without knowing the cause and effect, Ruan Xian didn’t know what they were talking about.
He only knew that Luo Jian didn’t seem to have a good impression of the Mainbrain, so he still had a chance.
Perhaps he needed to exchange information with Tang Yibu, use the role of the other party’s employee status to add a little pressure, and temporarily separate Luo Jian from the troublesome girl. Even if it was unsuccessful, he already had the information that “Pear Blossom has Ruan Xian’s diary” in his hand. If it didn’t work out again, it was good to get in touch with Tang Yibu’s evacuation plan.
Tang Yibu’s attitude towards this was very simple.
“Okay.” The android agreed. “See you in the botanical garden tomorrow night. The assistant robot will take you to the designated place.”
After a while, Tang Yibu lowered his eyes, as if struggling with something. “As of the two meetings so far, have you got something out of Luo Jian?”
“Nn.” Ruan Xian frowned slightly, a little alert in his heart.
The botanical garden was a bit far from his room. Although the monitoring was looser than the average corridor, it was suspicious enough for the two of them to go to that kind of place late at night, and they had to modify the monitoring data along the way. The risk wasn’t small.
He couldn’t think of a reason why Tang Yibu chose that place as the meeting place. If he had to evacuate urgently, the android would have let him know in advance.
Tang Yibu suddenly raised his hand and gently touched the studs in his left ear. Ruan Xian looked at the other suspiciously. He saw a vague shake in those golden eyes.
“…If you need more time to inquire about information, we can postpone the exchange of information.” Tang Yibu’s voice was particularly calm.
Ruan Xian was startled slightly.
To be honest, he didn’t plan to leave for the time being. It would take a few more days. It was necessary to stay here until his memory was completely restored. However, he seemed to want to verify something behind Tang Yibu’s back. If the results he got would bring danger, it was also necessary to obtain information from Tang Yibu in advance…
In case the result wasn’t ideal… When he fully recovered his memory but didn’t know anything on Tang Yibu’s side, it would be easy for him to fall into passivity for a short period of time.
After all, the dominant power of escape was temporarily in the hands of Tang Yibu.
“No, it should be enough at this stage.” After thinking for a moment, Ruan Xian shook his head.
Those golden eyes were blank for a moment.
“Good,” Tang Yibu said softly. “…I understand.”
He didn’t know why, but Ruan Xian thought this sentence that was said to him sounded as if it was some kind of farewell.
The author has something to say:
Tang is going to do it XDDD
I’m super happy (???
Don’t do it Tang Yibu!