Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 120: Two Parallel Channels
“Nomination? Although there are a lot of things in our heads that are not quite right, where are you going to get equipment and materials?” Seeing Ji Xiaoman fiddling with the parts on the ground, Yu Le thought that the young mechanic also wanted to make a memory cocktail, or something similar.
However, they couldn’t speak loudly in the apartment. This place wasn’t like the Underground City. The parts and machines were all firmly monitored by the Mainbrain. All memory operations had to be carried out by designated hospitals, and commercialized memory fragments were strictly controlled by regular manufacturers.
Not to mention the memory interference device, they had to risk breaking through the strict monitoring system when they got some memory inhibitors. Even a clever woman couldn’t cook a meal without rice*. No matter how high her intelligence or technique was, she couldn’t conjure such complex machinery and chemicals out of thin air.
*(巧妇难为无米之炊) Proverb referring to lacking the necessary conditions, it would be difficult even for capable people to accomplish things.
“Text,” Ji Xiaoman said seriously.
Yu Le understood, but he couldn’t react for a while. Since the rapid popularity and rise of the audio-visual industry, the text-related industry had declined rapidly due to the low rate of return. As a pastime, it naturally didn’t fade from people’s minds, but instead grew in a short, flat, and fast direction.
“All images, audio, video, and text coming into the system will be monitored and screened by MUL-01. I think this is why they chose the memory cocktail. In a sense, it has the characteristics of being ‘offline’ and will not be detected by the Mainbrain… The problem is that the capacity is small. It’s no wonder that under this level of surveillance, they can’t get too much good manufacturing machinery.”
Ji Xiaoman picked up a small bottle of oil and carefully lubricated her metal knee. She didn’t look at Yu Le, as if she was having a cordial conversation with her knee.
“In this case, text with a physical carrier is the most informative way to convey information.”
“The question is where to get the carrier? We can’t just run up to people and give them two paragraphs of a quick story.” Yu Le stuffed the last egg tart in his mouth and almost choked on it, coughing a few times. “I can still get a few books over there. Even paper packaging is rare in this hellhole. Even the toilet fucking spray water and is mechanically cleaned. Seriously, where are we going to get paper?”
Ji Xiaoman silently poked at the ice cream box that was neatly folded by her and raised her eyes. “Here.”
It was the ice cream Yu Le bought for her before they went out, and the paper box was printed with exquisite and cute patterns. Ji Xiaoman took it apart and kept it privately, intending to make a small collection. Now it seemed that it had to be used elsewhere.
Yu Le was taken aback.
“I can use the materials on my body to make ink. With the modification of the garbage shredder, we can also get pulp. The bleaching process can be omitted, and the sun-drying device and dryer don’t even need to be modified.” Ji Xiaoman’s expression was very serious. “I calculated that if you thin the paper and mix it with other materials, a box can make five sheets of paper. We can get a booklet with about 30,000 words.”
Ji Xiaoman poked the delicate raspberry pattern on the box with a metal finger.
“One page can hold 600 words… We still need four more boxes. For insurance, buy one more, so five boxes of ice cream. Hong, do you still have ample savings?”
“I have enough money. Anyway, this will be settled on Luo Fei’s account.” Yu Le snorted. “What do you mean Hong? No matter how big or small, call me Yu Ge.”
“…Lao Yu is fine.” Yu Le opened the order interface rather tiredly. “My god, 30,000 words. Where are we going to find the content? I can’t make up stories. Um, what flavor do you want this time?”
“Same as last time.” Ji Xiaoman rubbed the raspberry pattern with her metal fingertips. “Don’t worry about the content. I have read a lot of messed up books in the Underground City, and I still remember them.”
“I won’t ask why.” Yu Le skillfully placed the order.
“But I can’t write,” Ji Xiaoman added in a low voice.
She had never received a formal education since she was sensible. Recognizing words was already her limit. Even if it was written in memory, let alone how effective it would be, first of all, she would write ridiculously slowly, and they had limited time.
“You speak, I’ll write.” Yu Le shrugged readily. “This is the generation gap, little miss. When I was a kid, this craft was still necessary.”
“Got it, old man.”
“Who are you calling old man?! Forget it. Hurry up and make your ink while you can. Speaking of which, what are you going to show them?”
Ji Xiaoman recalled the electronic materials that Qian Yigeng used for entertainment, scratched her hair, and decided to find the most impactful—Qian Yigeng was her first target for gaining knowledge when she was young and had limited access to resources. For better or worse, she knew by heart every word Qian Yigeng had hidden in his wristband.
“<The Forbidden Wife of the King of Killers>” Ji Xiaoman decided to pick the worst plot.
“…………” Yu Le’s expression froze.
The two of them stayed up all night in the room. When the sun rose the next day, Ji Xiaoman was fine, but the expression of the famous pirate Mr. Yu was, in a rare moment, extremely dull.
“What the fuck is this?” He rubbed his wrists irritably. “It’s the first time I’ve seen such a garbage yellow book. Fuck. That fucker Qian Yigeng had this kind of taste?”
No matter how strange her personality was, Ji Xiaoman could be regarded as a young and beautiful woman. At first, Yu Le would feel a little awkward, but over time, the degree of how bad the plot was made the ambiguous atmosphere disappear.
Though quite experienced, he still wrote with great disgust.
“No.” After memorizing the book all night, Ji Xiaoman, who was dry mouthed, poured another cup of tea with a very calm expression. “What Qian Yigeng did was much more ruthless than the plot in this book.”
“Why didn’t I give him more kicks in the first place.” Yu Le broke the pen weakly.
“Your writing is beautiful.” Ji Xiaoman put the paper together and carefully cut it with the sharp blade of her prosthetic limb. The booklet faintly took on the appearance of a book. “When the glue is dried, we can pack up and set off.”
“…Are you not sleepy?”
“It’s nice to be young.” Yu Le yawned, his words blurred. “I can’t. I have to sleep for a while… You go ahead and get it. Remember to wake me up after you’re done.”
Yu Le didn’t even bother to move to the sofa. He yanked a cushion out and fell asleep on the floor. Ji Xiaoman stared at Yu Le carefully for a while and made sure that the other party was asleep. She stood up lightly, walked to the small jar where the half-finished glue was placed, and took out a small piece of cardboard.
She secretly cut off the raspberry pattern on the box, which was bright in a color she had never seen in the poisonous and foggy Underground City. It was so clear that it seemed to be glowing.
Ji Xiaoman gestured for a while, dipped it into the glue in the jar, and stuck it firmly to the forearm of her metal prosthetic.
The beautiful color was lined with a scratched metal surface, which unexpectedly looked appropriate. Ji Xiaoman admired for a few seconds, then carefully rolled down her sleeves.
A very interesting night. She hoped the progress of the other two would go equally as smoothly.
This morning, Ruan Xian was awakened by the iron bead.
It was obvious that the iron bead was unskilled using the assistant machine. After it successfully placed the breakfast on the bed side table, it slapped Ruan Xian on the chest with a mechanical arm. Ruan Xian almost thought he had been attacked.
It had been a long time since he slept so heavily. After Tang Yibu left, he went straight to sleep. According to habit, Ruan Xian thought he would wake up ten minutes later, but he didn’t expect to sleep for more than an hour.
The iron bead wandered by the bed, a bit like a puppy that found its master getting up, and it almost barked twice. It could be seen that it tried its best to suppress its excitement, so Ruan Xian decided not to pursue the slap that almost broke his bones.
“Okay, okay. Be careful of the surveillance.” He patted the inverted teardrop shell of the fake assistant.
After getting up, he deliberately made his actions more languid, washed quickly, and then sipped porridge while in bed. Although compared with yesterday, the situation he faced wasn’t really any better, Ruan Xian still felt inexplicably in a good mood, which was refreshing in his mind.
It was like walking alone on a tightrope at high altitude for a long time and suddenly finding a safety net under his feet. He didn’t know if this net was reliable, but there was still a little psychological comfort.
His own physique was good, and he avoided any possible follow-up problems. Although he had no comparison, Tang Yibu’s skill wasn’t bad. If the android didn’t mind, they might have been able to come a few more times.
Ruan Xian scraped the porridge at the bottom of the bowl with a spoon and glanced at the wristband.
Since Gong Siyi talked to Tang Yibu, it was only a matter of time before he went to see him. He originally had a consultation scheduled for today, and after this incident, most likely it would be pushed in advance.
Despite being a patient, at least in name, he “made out” with Tang Yibu for two hours under Gong Siyi’s eyes. The other party most likely wouldn’t give him time for breakfast and rest.
If he managed his time well, perhaps he could catch Luo Jian at lunch and entangle with him again to slowly grind away the other party’s psychological defenses.
Ruan Xian stretched out his waist and petted π, who was hiding his two blood guns. “Follow me closely for a while.”
Unsurprisingly, as soon as he put the empty porridge bowl back on the head of the bed, his wristband rang anxiously. Gong Siyi’s name kept flashing on the screen. Ruan Xian shook his head and moved out of bed “laboriously”.
“Did you notice anything wrong last night?”
After more than ten minutes, Ruan Xian sat down in the familiar room. This time Gong Siyi didn’t prepare drinking water for him, nor did he get straight to the point. “There was a fire in the botanical garden last night. I checked the information corresponding to the time and you were awake at that time.”
“No.” Ruan Xian showed a polite smile, as if he didn’t know how much the other party had seen. “The fire outside the window could be seen quite clearly, but I didn’t find any other abnormalities, Mr. Gong. Was it arson, or…?”
“This is just a routine inquiry. After all, there were not many people who were awake in the early hours of the morning.” Gong Siyi smiled with the same gentle smile, as if completely forgetting the conflict that occurred during the last counseling session. “The current investigation result is the natural aging of the thermoregulation circuit, coupled with some messy coincidences. Don’t be nervous.”
He stared at Ruan Xian’s reaction without blinking. Ruan Xian relaxed and let the other party gawk at him.
“Then can we start the counseling?” Ruan Xian put on a look that showed he had no interest in the fire and sat honestly in the chair. “I remember the fire situation, but my window wasn’t particularly well positioned—”
“There is indeed one more thing before the consultation.” Gong Siyi retracted his sharp gaze.
“Why did you seduce Tang Yibu?”
Ruan Xian raised his eyebrows.
“I believe you have been told that if there is a physical need, we can arrange the most advanced companion machinery. Instead, you chose to lure our on-the-job staff. Considering the possible problems in your personality…”
“We’re both adults and it’s a matter of mutual consent.” Ruan Xian blinked. “My memory hasn’t recovered yet, and I’m not officially a patient here. This shouldn’t be illegal, right?”
Gong Siyi didn’t answer.
“Although I can’t remember too much about myself, I also vaguely remember the rules. Tang Yibu only used a remote-controlled humanoid, and we will not have an issue with children. In my impression, the Mainbrain didn’t forbid us from having fun.”
Gong Siyi remained silent as he concentrated on observing the micro-expressions of the other party’s face, plus all his body language. The remote-controlled humanoid he was using was currently a top model that wouldn’t miss a single detail.
This person’s statement was consistent with Tang Yibu’s, and there seemed to be no signs of lying, but he had been practicing for several years and instinctively detected a slight sense of inconsistency.
Compared with the first counseling session, the aura of the young man in front of him had changed a bit.
If it was said that the last time was like facing a viper hidden in the grass that gave people chills behind their backs, this time the person in front of him was like an extremely poisonous python. Even though he was wrapped in a tight restraint suit, there was an invisible pressure slowly spreading out.
In the android show, there was no shortage of fragrant and flamboyant images, for a fee. Counting those, the scene he witnessed last night was unquestionably spectacular. However, Gong Siyi didn’t have the slightest ambiguous thoughts.
Fortunately, his real body wasn’t here. Gong Siyi slowly drank his tea. He had never seen a case where the risk of the Mainbrain’s calculation could be circumvented, but he hoped that the other party’s attack from last time was just an accident.
[I like his face and voice.] Not long ago, Tang Yibu gave such an answer. [And he has a strange temperament. I think you have also discovered it, Doctor Gong. This is also one of the reasons why I approached him—sorry to say, we got a little carried away last night. He scratched my shoulder, but the system showed no warning signs.]
[Quite an observation, isn’t it? I… I think this matter could be killing two birds with one stone. I think we can specifically create a little conflict. For example, put him with a patient who he has a bad relationship with and see what happens. If this person can really be immune to the mood fluctuations monitoring of the Mainbrain, perhaps it’s worth a dissertation—]
The young man looked a little embarrassed. Unlike the lingering appearance in the video, at this moment, his speech was unexpectedly cold.
[Hmm? A patient who he has a bad relationship with? Let me think about it. It might be Luo Jian.]
The author has something to say:
On the same night, some people were engaged in yellow (physical), and some were engaged in yellow (copying books).
Lao Yu is really miserable√
I’m starting to doubt Tang Yibu is an android. He only lasted for 2 hours? First time I read about a gong that wanted to stop and the shou wanted to keep going.
See quote: If the android didn’t mind, they might have been able to come a few more times.