Happy Doomsday Ch205

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

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


Chapter 205: Valuable Information

The fields on the outskirts of the city were extremely vast. They were adjacent to a large area of well-maintained forest, which turned golden red in the deep autumn, making a particularly beautiful scene. Unlike the woods in the forest refuge, there would be no sudden emergence of ventral cockroaches here. The ecological condition inside was very well maintained. Whether it was ordinary life or mechanical life, it was rare to see predators that were powerful enough to disrupt the balance.

The woods were taken care of by mechanical rangers. While they were called rangers, their image wasn’t close to human. They were sprayed with camouflage and looked like deer, but they had two more freely retractable forelimbs, and their movements were dexterous and agile.

There were houses belonging to people scattered on the edge of the woods; most of which were surrounded by fruit trees and flower fields. Sunflowers looked dazzling under the golden sun, and ripe fruit that had fallen to the ground became a feast for ants. No matter how one looked at it, this wasn’t a suitable place to start a resistance plan—assuming that they really had one.

In order to ensure more secure calls, Professor Ruan carefully instructed Ji Xiaoman to manufacture a communication encryptor. Yu Le was maintaining his car while also beginning to plan a cellar for a long-term stay. Tang Yibu abducted a few forest protection ranger robots who were able to build it extremely fast.

Before the sun set, the Order Supervisors had swept the neighborhood four times. However, it was much easier to camouflage a stationary target than conceal one that was moving, so their searches were all muddled by Professor Ruan’s perceptual camouflage.

The three-legged machine remained quiet until night fell and the communication encryptor was finally set up before he spoke again.

With the help of the forest ranger robots, they managed to build a decent cellar where they hid the car. The underground vents were normal, and after covering the entrance, Yu Le skillfully turned on a lantern.

Tang Yibu and Zhong Qing were holding bags of dried fruits while smacking their mouths. Ji Xiaoman, who was tired from working all day, was sitting in a corner. She put on her hood and nodded off in a sleepy manner.

“Today was tough.” Yu Le poked the soup in the pot with his chopsticks and lowered his voice. “How many days are we going to stay here?”

“A long time.” In the transparent liquid tank, the black box containing Professor Ruan’s brain slowly floated. They couldn’t see any pink-white organs inside, and the sealed black box gave the three-legged machine a cold feeling unique to machines.

Yu Le raised his eyebrows. “The Mainbrain will search for that long? I have no problem. There’s a lot of food here, but there’s no meat.”

“You agreed to take me out of the city!” Zhong Qing whined.

“It will take about five days to fix up this place. We will need to separate temporarily during this period. Mr. Yu, I need you to go to the vicinity of the forest refuge and help me get something. You can take Miss Ji and Zhong Qing—on the way, you can drop him off in the Underground City.”

Zhong Qing took a sip of the soup in satisfaction.

“You and Xiao Tang are staying here? To be honest, I promise to help you, but I’m not going to die foolishly. Let me take Xiao Tang. I don’t know if we can still find news about Xiao Ruan.” Lao Yu handed the prepared soup to Ji Xiaoman. Under the yellow emergency light, they could see the little girl was drowsy as her hand almost stretched out in the wrong direction.

Yu Le was afraid she would burn herself, so he sighed, put the soup on the small table she was leaning on and put a glass of cold water next to it as well.

“Your perceptual camouflage, it will be too far to use, right? We’re on our own when we leave the city. In case we’re caught, Xiao Tang can be of some use.” Yu Le patted the dirt off his pants and left the half-asleep Ji Xiaoman. “And without Zhong Qing, we have no ‘telescope’. If the Mainbrain comes for us next time, we won’t have that long to prepare.”

Zhong Qing gave Yu Le a blank look.

“There has never been such a… talent like Zhong Qing in the Rebel Army, and we have been able to persist for a long time.” Professor Ruan turned on the completed communication jammer. Then he plunged his three mechanical feet into the mud, and the three-legged machine began to change shape. The open parts made him look a bit like a bird with multiple pairs of wings.

The style of the cellar suddenly changed.

It was made from raw materials from the earth; stone, wood, vines, and hay. The light of the three-legged machine swept through the entire space, then, like a mask, the entire space became a fully furnished command center.

Metal baseboards were tightly welded together, and thick steel nails were embedded in the wall. One of the earthen walls turned into a huge liquid tank with several creatures of unknown races floating inside. Lao Yu sighed and poked his hand at the wall closest to him—his fingers still felt compact soil and not cold metal.

Professor Ruan was disguising the true condition of the place. Yu Le gathered his expression and rubbed the mud with his fingertips.

Then this meant Professor Ruan was disguising himself.

A figure appeared in the location of the three-legged small machine; it was thinner than the Ruan Xian they knew. The “Professor Ruan” they were familiar with sat quietly in a non-existent wheelchair. For some reason, Yu Le always felt he looked lonelier than that little machine.

Tang Yibu took a few steps back politely and stood in the shadows.

At the end of this camouflage, several light screens were projected in the air. This time it wasn’t only Guan Haiming who appeared, but also more than a dozen other people they were not familiar with.

This was probably the top leaders of the rebel army. Yu Le wanted to wake up Ji Xiaoman but found that she wasn’t in her original place. He tentatively stretched out his hand and his fingers touched soft skin, which was followed by a sharp pain from his fingertips.

Only then did Yu Le realize that, unknowingly, he had become a transparent person under the camouflage technique. He probably had poked Ji Xiaoman’s face just now, which got him bitten in response.

Thinking about it, since Professor Ruan intended to fake his physical condition and environment, naturally they wouldn’t appear.

“Teacher.” Seeing the familiar decoration, Guan Haiming didn’t speak vaguely anymore and greeted directly.

“Where have you been these past two years?” A male voice came from another light screen. “Lao Ruan, it’s no time to joke by doing a disappearing act. They all said that Lao Fan had been captured. Do you know how worried everyone is about you?”

“In the last 20 months, we’ve all been holding out on our own. 337. You know how bad the petri dish is—”

“Where’s Lao Fan? Did you find him or not?”

“……”

With shock and joy, people’s questions rolled in. The familiar yet unfamiliar “Ruan Xian” raised a hand to signal everyone to be silent. There was no need for Professor Ruan to hide. Tang Yibu stood in a blind corner by himself. He held his arms and looked at everything in front of him with interest.

“Let’s start with a peace offering,” he stated calmly. “As some of you have heard, I have contacted NUL-00. Yes, it still exists and has fused with the A-type Prototype that we all agreed was destroyed.”

There was another round of heated discussion on the other side of the light screens.

“That’s why I disappeared for so long. Before confirming NUL-00’s position, I will not allow any news to leak out. Now that the Mainbrain has gotten partial information, you don’t have to be too nervous about this news,” Professor Ruan’s projection said.

“In the next five days, we’ll analyze and discuss the current situation and adjust our countermeasures against the Mainbrain. MUL-01 is only getting stronger with every second that passes. If we don’t make a move soon, our chances of winning will only get smaller and smaller.”

Tang Yibu had the iron bead between his feet to make sure it didn’t run into the camera range of the light screens. As Professor Ruan continued, his voice was filled with a sense of determination and just the right amount of reassurance that anyone who was listening would think that victory was within grasp.

But as Professor Ruan said, he really only gave a return speech. Apart from revealing a few pieces of information that the Mainbrain already knew, he didn’t give anything additional. The participants were in a good mood, and they seemed more or less relieved.

After half an hour of communication, Professor Ruan turned off the light screens one by one, leaving only Guan Haiming’s.

The three-legged machine was restored to its original state, and the figures of Yu Le and Ji Xiaoman were revealed—Ji Xiaoman was squeezing her bowl of soup tightly and had fallen asleep. Yu Le stood by her side so that she wouldn’t fall down and spill it all over her clothes.

“Communication debugging?” Guan Haiming looked refreshed.

“Observe the situation. The commanders of three petri dishes, 2207, 7123, and 5044, have defected.” Professor Ruan’s tone was solemn. “Voluntary or controlled, in any case, they could no longer be used. Haiming, activate the backup contact for those three petri dishes.”

Guan Haiming looked surprised. “Teacher, there has been martial law here recently, so all activities will be restricted. When the preparation is completed on our side, we can notify them…”

“No. We need the thinking power from Petri Dish 2207, the flying aircrafts from 7123, and the high compression energy from 5044.” Professor Ruan sounded extremely firm. “This is just the essential stuff. The list of spare items is long.”

“……” Guan Haiming digested these words for a while, and then glanced at Yu Le and Ji Xiaoman standing not far away. “If possible, I would like to contact you directly. You can use this communication robot normally, and the environment should be safe…”

“I’m right here,” Professor Ruan said.

“What?”

“I’m right here, Haiming. What you see here is ‘me’… Of course, only my brain. I remember that you developed this technology for yourself. I just improved it.” Professor Ruan’s tone was brisk. “I have to tell you sooner or later. This body allows me to go to places that humans can’t, and it’s extremely difficult to be detected by the Mainbrain. When arranging the follow-up plan, we need to take this into account—if necessary, I can infiltrate the front line.”

Guan Haiming sat stunned; his eyes flushed.

Someone hurriedly handed a towel, which Tang Yibu recognized as Ding Zepeng’s figure. Guan Haiming seemed to be temporarily unable to bear what he saw. He left the range of the light screen for a moment, and only the table full of materials and an empty chair were left in front of them.

There was also a suppressed choking sound outside the screen.

“He needs some time to accept this.” Professor Ruan looked at the empty light screen. “According to the definition of the rebel army, I’m no longer a human.”

“Can you just clone another shell and stuff your brain back?” Yu Le rubbed the stubble on his chin and spoke to break the awkward atmosphere.

“No. In order to adapt to this machine, my brain has undergone irreversible transformation.” Professor Ruan chuckled. “To fully restore my body, my only choice is to smash my brain, extract all my memories and thoughts… and then entering it into a new body. Since I have contaminated my DNA, I can only clone the cells from Ruan Xian to form another ‘person’. Does this approach sound familiar?”

Lao Yu said nothing.

Memories, emotions, flesh on the body, machines. Arranging them together like some kind of puzzle was exactly what MUL-01 had been doing. Along the way, Professor Ruan had always given the impression of being so relaxed that even Tang Yibu had thought he had a backup.

But reality was that he had already sentenced himself to death.

Machines will age, and organs that have been isolated for too long will fail. Even if the most advanced technology was used to preserve them, the three-legged machine in front of him could only be active for up to ten years at most.

“You doing such a screwed up thing…” Yu Le’s expression became tangled.

“I don’t need sympathy.” Professor Ruan still had a smile in his voice. “Mankind must win, and I will sacrifice everything for this. It would be humiliating if I didn’t include myself in this ‘everything’.”

“I’m not sympathizing with you. I’m panicking.” Yu Le patted his chest. “I have to change my opinion. You’re scarier than Xiao Ruan.”

“Even if you say that, when it’s to push you out, I’ll still push you out as a pawn. Mr. Yu, if you want to quit, it’s still not too late.”

“…You’re not even giving me any face from what you just said.”

“I don’t remember you wanting it,” Tang Yibu added mercilessly. “Before Guan Haiming recovers, I want to determine my problem first. Professor Ruan, you don’t plan to ask me to escort Yu le and the others but want me to find Mr. Ruan by myself, right?”

He rubbed his hands together, which were still carrying the sweet and sour smell of dried fruit.

“You and I are the only ones who are capable of sneaking into the Mainbrain’s city, but you can’t protect yourself. It’s not a good thing to reveal yourself too early. On the other hand, no matter how rich your experience is, you can’t blindly guess what Mr. Ruan is planning. If I’m not mistaken—in the next five days, you plan to make preliminary preparations here. While Yu Le and the others will pick up the supplies, I’ll go find Mr. Ruan and exchange information with him… or determine his mutiny.”

“Correct.” Professor Ruan’s response was concise and strong.

Tang Yibu’s entire body was like a balloon that was about to float into the air. “I have no problem with that.”

“But before you leave, I must understand Ruan Xian’s plan as much as possible.” Professor Ruan ignored Tang Yibu, who was floating. “As far as you know, if he didn’t rebel, he—”

“I don’t know,” Tang Yibu said happily. “Mr. Ruan has always been like that. He knows the starting point, the purpose, and the means but is short of the process in stringing them together. Unlike you, he doesn’t necessarily always do the ‘most logical’ thing. I have never been able to guess what he’s thinking… I don’t know more about his plans than you, maybe even less.”

“But I will find him. He can’t run away. After all, I have only scratched the surface of the subject he gave me.”

Tang Yibu collected a bag of dried fruit and tied a pretty bow on it. His excitement was extraordinarily high.

“And I have a great new discovery—quite a long time ago, I fell in love. I have to ask him to help me determine the timing. This is quite valuable information.”


The author has something to say:

Lie flat and hit casually (?

——

Tang: I’m really in love!

Tang: Amazing

Tang: I’ll find the one I like and ask when I fell in love.

Ruan: ……………………………………


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