Happy Doomsday Ch183

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/


Chapter 183: Remnant

Even if the teenager was thin, it was still a bit inappropriate to squeeze him into the same position as Ji Xiaoman. Not to mention the differences between men and women, Ji Xiaoman wasn’t the type who liked skin-on-skin contact with others—she loosened her hand holding the boy’s back and pressed the car door tightly, as if she wanted to stick herself into the car window like a sticker.

“If it was two days earlier, this might’ve scared me.” Lao Yu glared at the teenager before starting the car again. “I don’t care if you live or die. Get in the back and don’t stick to the little girl.”

“My name is Zhong Qing. It’s very easy to remember.” The young man who claimed to be Zhong Qing tried to turn over the back of the chair, but unfortunately, his movements weren’t generally slow. Compared with long-term illness and weakness, it was more like he wasn’t adapted to moving much.

He couldn’t turn over the back of the chair for quite some time. He used his feet to kick anxiously and stepped on Ji Xiaoman several times and almost kicked Yu Le in the head. Tang Yibu grabbed his shirt reluctantly and dragged him back, like a chicken, and squeezed him between himself and the car.

The android grumpily occupied the middle seat of the car and put one arm around Ruan Xian’s shoulder naturally.

Zhong Qing wasn’t very interested in everyone’s attitude. He was preoccupied with looking around excitedly. Ruan Xian could hear the violent and powerful beating of his heart. The teenager’s body temperature was normal, and his body didn’t emit the unique smell of the sick. Except for those abnormal artificial eyes, no matter how one looked at it, Zhong Qing was a healthy, ordinary child.

“Wow.” Zhong Qing touched the dust on the window glass with his fingers. He flipped his head left and right before finding the small refrigerator by the door. He stretched out his hand unceremoniously and took out a can of cherry soda and opened it with a puff. He took a sip and then made a gagging expression.

At the age of about fifteen, although it wasn’t unreasonable, with a little bit of self-righteousness and pretentiousness, they could still be considered in the same category as dogs.

Seeing that his precious food was being spoiled, Tang Yibu tightened his body unhappily. This unhappiness reached its peak when the boy put back the opened drink…

“You said you are dead.” Tang Yibu spoke in a less natural “gentle” tone. “However, your vital signs are quite stable now, so it’s not quite right. Do you need me to help you adjust it?”

“I’m the boss now, so be obedient if you don’t want to be exposed!” Zhong Qing yelled. “Anyway, you can’t kill me, knock me out, or make me unhappy. What’s with your tone? I may be dead, but that’s for the Mainbrain…”

“Sure enough,” Professor Ruan, who had been quiet all this time, interjected.

“This kid lied, didn’t he?” Ruan Xian picked it up without any surprise.

After all, he was still a child and hadn’t experienced many tense situations. Ruan Xian could see that Zhong Qing was smart and perhaps really possessed outstanding talents. However, when he was bragging about how he could handle the Mainbrain, there was a rise in his body temperature, and his eyes were darting uncontrollably. It was obvious he was making up a bunch of excuses based on the situation.

Facing Tang Yibu’s intimidation, Zhong Qing was speaking loudly, but his eyes kept looking at the muscles on Tang Yibu’s arm—the android had just put on his jacket, and his chest and cuffs were open, not tied up with straps.

Zhong Qing wasn’t as calm as he looked.

However, Professor Ruan didn’t immediately point out too many loopholes. It could be seen this kid could come up with a decent excuse, so he must know a lot about the relevant theories.

In fact, of all the things Zhong Qing was spouting, only two things seemed to be truthful.

He had a way of getting the attention of the Mainbrain, and… that he was “dead”.

Although he knew it in his heart, in the past, Ruan Xian would be happy to hand over the conversation to Professor Ruan and Tang Yibu and just observe quietly. Given the current momentum, it was simply a matter of time before Zhong Qing provoked Tang Yibu—they were already on the same page, and the android’s mood wasn’t visibly very good.

“This is the latest type of auxiliary machinery.” Ruan Xian patted Professor Ruan’s glass cover and glanced at the black cube tumbling inside. “Look, it can tell if you’re lying and quietly pass the news to us. It’s useless to lie. We can take you out, but you know the situation in this city.”

Professor Ruan remained silent cooperatively as a string of bubbles gurgled out of the water tank, acting like a brainless auxiliary machine.

“This car isn’t very advanced. It’s dirty and run down, as you can see. Our advanced equipment is limited, and if we’re not careful, we’ll be caught by the Mainbrain… Think about it. Only if we leave here safely can you leave smoothly with us. For the sake of everyone, I hope you will tell us the real situation”

Ruan Xian took a bottle of water from the shelf beside him and handed it to Zhong Qing across from Tang Yibu. The latter flattened his mouth, unscrewed the lid and drank most of the water, then wiped his mouth.

“…I don’t trust you guys,” Zhong Qing muttered as he held the water bottle tightly.

“Let me guess. Knocking you out will be useful.” Ruan Xian stared at the nervous young man carefully. “…Sure enough, you’re afraid that we will deprive you of your ability to act. It’s a pity that it’s too late. I put something in that water bottle—”

Zhong Qing’s face turned green all of a sudden. He retched a few times, trying to vomit out the water. Seeing the boy aim his mouth at the carpet of the car, Lao Yu’s face also turned green.

“—I’m lying.” Ruan Xian smiled slightly. “Mr. Zhong, if we want you to lose your ability to act, there are many ways. Now we want to cooperate with you more. You are from this city and should know a lot of information that only local people know. Although we have our plans, you’re also welcome to be a temporary guide to help us eliminate possible dangers.”

Zhong Qing opened his mouth. Seeing that he was shaken, all the initiative was seized in Ruan Xian’s hands.

“So you don’t have to worry about losing your value after telling us the information. We can also tie ourselves to you for peace of mind, and it’ll be relatively safer. Are you willing, Mr. Zhong?”

Being called “Mr. Zhong” apparently made Zhong Qing quite smug. He pretended to think for a few seconds. “Okay, although it’s a shame that I can’t command you, it’s even more ugly to fight and both die*… Haa, it’s not easy to live, and even harder to die.”

*(鱼死网破) Idiom referring to fighting until both you and your foe perish.

Zhong Qing pretended to be serious, though fine beads of sweat had already started appearing on his forehead. He breathed a sigh of relief and finished drinking the remaining water. After he finished, he added, with lingering fear, “There’s really nothing in this water, right?”

“No,” Tang Yibu said with regret. He adjusted his emotions for a while and returned to the Tang Yibu that Ruan Xian was familiar with.

The atmosphere in the car had eased a little while Carol Young’s “Tears Don’t Stop” was still playing on a loop.

“Answer a few questions first.” Ruan Xian struck while the iron was hot. “You said you’re dead. What does this mean? Why are you outside the monitoring range of the Mainbrain? …How exactly did you find this car? Someone in your situation—”

“Stop, stop, stop,” Zhong Qing yelled. “Only one question is allowed! Go slow!”

“It’s recommended that you ask the first question.” Professor Ruan spoke before Ruan Xian could answer, which made him take a deep look at the small three-legged machine.

“I’m not lying either.”

Without waiting for Ruan Xian to repeat the question, Zhong Qing replied quite consciously. “According to the law here, I’m considered dead. However, something happened to the nearby petri dish not long ago that the Mainbrain decided to migrate the less crowded public facilities to optimize and upgrade. There was a short power outage during the process, and that’s when I escape.”

This time, Zhong Qing wasn’t lying as Ruan Xian listened carefully.

“Like I said, my cybernetic brain is special. This is true… After all, the Mainbrain can’t carefully control a corpse like a normal citizen. Anyway, I don’t know why. Most likely I did something I shouldn’t have when the power was off… Well, according to the Mainbrain’s records, I’m still lying in my coffin. Unless I deliberately stimulate the cybernetic brain again, it will not actively check my status.”

Ji Xiaoman grabbed the back of the chair with both hands and silently observed the conversation between the four people in the back with a serious expression. As a result, Zhong Qing was really a corpse in a coffin, which made the little girl hitch her breath in silence and slowly lower her body so that the back of the chair covered her entirely, only exposing her eyes and the part above it.

Lao Yu sneered a few times as he turned down the volume of the music in the car.

“Actually, you’re right. I’m good at procedure knowledge, but it’s just half-assed*. At that time, I found that there was a power failure, so I operated it indiscriminately. Who knew that it would turn out like this? Don’t ask me what I did. I can’t even remember it myself.”

*Half a bucket of water (半桶水) Phrase referring to someone who is stupid/not good at learning. You know a bit about something, but you’re not proficient in it and can’t master it

Zhong Qing’s black eyes that didn’t have pupils were still creepy. However, when he was flustered just now, that sense of horror had faded a lot.

“It’s a bug,” Professor Ruan said succinctly. “It’s very likely that he messed up the position program, causing a double positioning and detection… Forget it. In short, it’s a bug. According to him, we have no risk of exposure for the time being.”

“Why do you keep calling yourself a ‘corpse’?” Determining that the situation was completely under control, Ruan Xian breathed a sigh of relief.

“Because I’m dead?” Zhong Qing answered strangely. “Oh, you’re referring to my vitals… If that’s the case, then I’m fine. Oh, how can I put it? I heard my mother say that death isn’t defined like this before.”

He flattened his mouth again. “Can you give me something to eat? It’s very troublesome to talk so much.”

“I’ll give it after you finish.” Tang Yibu vigilantly clutched the unfinished preserved fruit by the seat in his hand. Zhong Qing glared at him and grimaced—with those eyes, the effect was surprisingly good.

Ji Xiaoman’s head dropped by another half centimeter.

“Is there a problem with my eyes? This doesn’t need to be explained separately, right?” Zhong Qing said angrily as his eyes tilted towards Tang Yibu’s preserved fruit from time to time.

“After the Mainbrain’s city was built, comprehensive medical care was opened up, but my problem is very rare. It can’t cure me, so I was given this… Hey, it’s said that I can see quite a bit more colors than normal people. Speaking of which, I don’t know what the world you see looks like.”

“Originally, everyone thought it was okay, but when I grew to this age, my body was still too weak. Although the disease doesn’t affect my normal life, I won’t grow strong, I can’t jump high, I’ll always look like a ghost, and I can’t communicate normally like other people. And what’s more… Oh, it causes a subtle imbalance in the hormones of my body, resulting in a warped personality. Warped my ass.”

“And then what?” Ji Xiaoman asked in an airy voice.

“Then my parents decided to treat me with the most advanced methods.” Zhong Qing rolled his eyes. “Didn’t that technology exist long ago? It wasn’t popular back then—that immortality program from Plan Corp. Well, that’s it. They applied to the Mainbrain for ‘full body intervention’ and brought home a completely healthy ‘me’.”

Ruan Xian’s chest suddenly became a little stuffy.

“…Full body intervention?”

“You don’t know?! It’s over. It’s over. I’m working with a group of cannon fodder.” Zhong Qing pulled on his hair. “After the Great Reform of the 22nd Century, the full somatic data of official citizens was fully recorded. Memory, personality, emotions, health data… All accurate to the state of the molecules in the human body at a certain point in time.”

“Anyway, after that, everyone lives with an auxiliary cybernetic brain, and all data changes will be uploaded. Well, I lived for twelve years in this ghostly appearance. The reference data provided was enough. They just need to apply to the Mainbrain for a separate correction to the physical health data, combined with other information accumulated over the years…”

“They will have a perfectly healthy son,” Professor Ruan said without emotion.

“Yes, that’s it!” Zhong Qing grinned. “Me? Well, I’m just a corpse, a remnant… The reason why I haven’t been terminated is so I can continue to provide precious data on this disease and to prevent the healthy ‘Zhong Qing’ from going wrong again. Full body intervention is very expensive.”

Zhong Qing sat in the seat of the car, casually swinging his feet; his tone sounded cheerful in a contrived way.

“So I’m already dead,” Zhong Qing announced.

“…” Ruan Xian didn’t know what to say for a moment.

“Do you know what those are?” As if discovering Ruan Xian’s complicated emotions, Tang Yibu stretched out his hand and pointed to the blurred dead wall on the horizon.

“I said only one question! I’m exhausted!”

“Preserved fruit is very precious,” Tang Yibu said solemnly. “And you’re already dead.”

“…Alright.” Zhong Qing rolled his eyes.

“Just one more. Isn’t that the polluted area over there? The Mainbrain has been collecting data there. The radiation there is very severe, so there are not many living people. Why are you asking?”


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