Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 153: Good Mood
With two children of unknown origins in the car, Yu Le and Ji Xiaoman were more vigilant than before. Even after they managed to escape, they didn’t meet any new enemies—in an environment where everyone was anxious to expose themselves, trying to hide was easier than they thought. Ji Xiaoman, who suffered a heavy blow from the iron bead, was curled up in her seat and fell asleep. The iron bead that was full of food squeezed between Yu Le and Ji Xiaoman, snoring contentedly.
This thing would get warm after falling asleep. Yu Le, who was on night watch duty, petted its shell and let out a long sigh.
The two children had fallen asleep in the back. They tied a wire to the glass partition between the car door and the window, then wound it around their wrists to ensure that they would wake up as soon as the door or window was open, but the only thing that was open right now was Yu Le’s eyes. The pirate tapped on the steering wheel casually. After thinking for a few seconds, he pulled out a can of coffee for himself.
The car was parked in dense bushes. Half of its body was covered by branches and leaves of tall shrubs. The paint on the outside was matte and blended in with the dark. Although it wasn’t completely covered, the degree of concealment was quite high.
After suffering a wave of losses, Yu Le was almost certain Professor Ruan was hiding near the management area—either around or inside. For people who want to earn attention, it wouldn’t be good to wander around this sparsely populated area.
And it was hard to find.
The trees here were dense, so it wasn’t difficult for construction robots to carry. If Professor Ruan dug a bunker in any nooks or crannies, coupled with the high degree of camouflage, the difficulty of this operation was tantamount to finding a needle in a haystack.
In short, waiting for dawn and sending these two little ancestors in the back seat away would be the first thing to do. If Ruan Lijie and Tang Yibu were reliable, they might be able to bump into each other tomorrow. Those two guys couldn’t be worse at finding people than the iron bead—that was, if they didn’t stir up trouble.
Yu Le drank his coffee in one gulp, casually wiping his mouth. He looked at the top of the doll’s head in the distance. He thought seeing more of that creepy thing would help keep him awake.
Everyone in the car was sleeping, and everything in the car was closed tight. Yu Le couldn’t listen to music or smoke and getting out of the car in such a strange environment was tantamount to seeking death. He was so idle that it was making him drowsy. The former pirate captain was so bored that he even cleaned up π’s vomit to the point where no traces could be found. He cracked his neck for a bit, then looked to the back seat…
Coming head-on to a face.
He didn’t know when Kang Ziyan had woken up. He was pressing his hands and face against the glass partition that was separating the back from the front seat. The moment he first saw this, all of Yu Le’s hair almost stood up. He cursed secretly in his heart and turned off the sound insulation system in the back seat.
“What are you doing?” He asked in a low voice, angrily. “Do you know what time it is? Children should hurry up and go to bed.”
“I slept too much during the day and couldn’t sleep.” The little boy’s voice wasn’t very loud. “Uncle, you look sleepy. I just thought… We can talk for a while.”
“Oh.” Yu Le squinted at the child, not intending to let his guard down because of the other party’s age. “What do you want to talk about?”
“Anything.” The little boy responded shyly. “Anyway, uncle, you saved us. We don’t have anything we can trade here.”
“If you really want to be thankful, first call me ge.”
Kang Ziyan didn’t hide the surprise and embarrassment on his face.
“…Well, uncle’s a bit…” Yu Le touched his thriving stubble. “You really want to talk about anything, ah?”
“You two don’t look too old. Where are your parents?” Yu Le had no intention of being polite.
Kang Ziyan seemed to take a while to understand this question. “Xiao Zhao and I have no parents. Most people here are from the management area factory.”
“Most people.” Yu Le grasped the point.
“The doll’s head is more special.” Kang Ziyan pointed to the head of the ceramic doll in the distance. “Some people don’t remember how they appeared. Zhaozhao and I are… Um, from there.”
“Don’t remember how you showed up? You haven’t lost your memory, have you?”
“No. But most people will remember their appearance number in the management area factory. There are very few people that don’t. The factory rarely produces people of our model. It may be that there’s a malfunction.” Kang Ziyan picked up the canned food that hadn’t been eaten during the day and carefully sipped on the sugar water. “We only have the memory of living in the doll’s head, as if we just suddenly appeared there one day.”
“So you are on the side of the doll’s head?” With all the squid feet gone, Yu Le fumbled for a long time before only finding a bag of spicy fish chips. He tore open the bag and started to eat.
“The doll’s head is the target of joint attacks by other people and has the highest level of danger. Zhaozhao and I ran out on our own and submitted to the organization north of the island.”
Kang Ziyan shook his head, feeling depressed.
“I just want to grow up with Zhaozhao. I don’t want too much attention; just enough supplies to fill our stomachs, but those people in the north aren’t willing to really accept us. They just want to do their best and force us to earn attention.”
Yu Le wasn’t surprised. Bluntly put, he was able to get away with maintaining the habit of loving young children only because he had been able to live a good life so far. The struggle in many corners of the Sea of Ruins was very cruel. When it was a problem of survival, they usually didn’t care whether it was children, women, or the elderly—the relationship between people would be reduced to predator and prey, and nothing more.
The position of these two children was quite tricky. If the doll’s head was the target of the public, with their physical strength, it would have been difficult for them to protect themselves. However, if they joined other forces, they were doomed to be exploited. All they could do was flee when they were in a bad state, hoping to suffer less.
There was nothing wrong with their choices, but he couldn’t think of any enlightening words. The only lucky thing may be that these two children didn’t know what the world used to be like, nor did they know the reality of the world today.
In this case, ignorance was rather a good thing.
“In other words, you two are basically equivalent to popping out of some stone crack.” Yu Le diverted the topic.
“In my impression, only Zhaozhao has been with me. I think she’s very kind. If she hadn’t encouraged me, I might not have been able to hold on for this long.” His low mood was swept away as the boy gave a shy smile.
“It’s nice to have companions.” Yu Le chewed on the fish chips that were so spicy they made him huffed. “What are you two going to do next? I see that you’re getting better, so why don’t you go back before dawn. We have our own business here, so it’s not convenient to take you with us.”
“Nn.” The little boy nodded obediently.
This was good. Yu Le kept eating the spicy fish chips and licked his swollen lips. When these two little ones leave, he could hand over the baton to Ji Xiaoman and get some rest.
The movement of Yu Le ruffling in the chips bag awakened the iron bead. It arched up Yu Le’s leg, and then his hand, before giving a bite to the plastic packaging. Yu Le helplessly popped its shell, took out all the remaining fish chips, and then threw the packaging at the cheerful iron bead.
“I can’t eat anymore. Can you eat spicy food?” Seeing the iron bead chewing happily on the packaging, Yu le turned to Kang Ziyan in the back row. The kid looked pretty well behaved that he didn’t mind lowering the partition and giving him the remaining fish chips to eat.
“I… I don’t quite dare to eat things that taste too heavy. Thank you, uncle.” Kang Ziyan politely refused.
Yu Le, who was busy looking for a place to put the fish chips, didn’t notice that the iron bead, who was happily chewing the plastic packaging, stopped moving and looked around twice toward the back seat.
“Gwah?” It gave a low cry in confusion.
The quality of sleep of the other half of the team wasn’t very good.
War, pain, and bloody joy made Ruan Xian’s spirit very high. However, considering the detection birds circling nearby, he could only pretend to be asleep, before he was almost stabbed in the neck by Xiao Zhao, who had caught him.
If he didn’t react immediately, that knife would have been enough to kill him.
“You’ve grown up a bit, Xiao Tang.” After missing the blow, Xiao Zhao put away her knife with some regret. “Doing so well in such an environment? Before, you didn’t even dare collect firewood on your own.”
Kang Ge leaned against a nearby tree and looked them up and down; his eyes stayed on Tang Yibu’s backpack for a long time. “Maybe it’s because Xiao Ruan is strong enough.”
Tang Yibu was cutting the hardtack into square pieces. He also managed to find a few bird eggs and cooked them using the emergency heating device. It was obvious he didn’t have much interest in talking to the couple.
Ruan Xian buttoned his coat and stretched out his waist. Although their temporary companions weren’t quite right in the head and had destroyed the atmosphere a little, the woods in the early morning were always pleasant—the golden-red sunlight fell through the cracks of the leaves, the morning mist hadn’t yet dispersed, and the air was slightly cool and fresh. The pleasant birdsong made people refreshed, making the environment give off an illusion of calm and tranquility.
“Mr. Ruan, breakfast.” Tang Yibu put the boiled bird eggs and the divided hardtack on a wide leaf. He took out a coconut from the shrub and opened it with a knife in a disciplined manner.
“We can reach the wall today.” Kang Ge yawned. “If there’s anything that you need to kill, or can’t kill, say so before it’s too late.”
“No need to clean up the detection bird.” Tang Yibu raised his head and said in a low voice. “Ignore them in battle. Cleaning them up now will only arouse the vigilance of the management area.”
“Hm…” Xiao Zhao sounded reluctant.
“If we meet an armored off-roader, there is a high probability that our companions are in the car. Please don’t attack directly.”
“Did you hear that, honey! An armored off-roader!” This probably had the opposite effect, as Xiao Zhao’s eyes started gleaming. “I want an armored off-roader! We can transform it into our home—”
“That’s indeed nice.”
Tang Yibu didn’t say anything. He put a small piece of hardtack in his mouth, covering the corners of it with a little smile.
Ruan Xian could hear the ringing thoughts that were churning inside that android’s head—Xiao Zhao and Kang Ge had lived on the island for several years and were adept at searching and tracking. They would certainly not let go of such a fat piece of meat. They could use that couple to find Yu Le and the others without any need to expose their abilities.
However, at this moment, Ruan Xian once again felt the peeping of someone, but this time the sense of being watched was much weaker. He was able to distinguish its source—
Just as he turned his head, Kang Ge hadn’t had time to withdraw his gaze. The other person’s look was particularly meaningful.
Interesting. Ruan Xian pretended not to notice and naturally turned his head. He used a knife to peel off a piece of coconut meat and delivered it to Tang Yibu’s mouth.
[Open your mouth and step forward. According to the script, I’m the one who’s fascinated by your.] Ruan Xian’s good mood wasn’t affected by Kang Ge’s abnormality.
He would not deceive himself. Every time he looked at Tang Yibu recently, his heart always became lighter. That feeling wasn’t sweet or fascinating, but more like a natural attraction. Ruan Xian didn’t care if it was “love” in a broader sense, and neither did Tang Yibu.
As long as it brought more positive effects than negative ones, he at least thought it was.
It made him stop thinking about death-related issues so frequently.
Tang Yibu happily ate the coconut meat, the tip of the knife skimming over his soft lips. Ruan Xian took the knife back and smiled very brightly.
[Let’s go.] He used his earring to send the message silently. [Try to meet up with Yu Le and the others before sunset today.]
The author has something to say:
Tang: Just use Lao Yu’s car as bait.
Ruan: Just use Lao Yu’s car as bait.
Lao Yu: These motherfuckers.