Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 226: The Meeting Continues
The night was getting darker. From a glance, the two running figures in the background looked like they were refugees fleeing from war.
The previous battle had consumed almost all the supplies Tang Yibu had brought. Their food was finished, and their more offensive weapons and medicine basically bottomed out. Tang Yibu hung the languidly deflated backpack in front of him that only had the outline of the iron bead that was inside. Except for the rattling of the iron bead, the bag only had small gadgets like hooks, knives, and rope.
With only his portable compressed clothing left, Tang Yibu took off his tattered blood-stained battle suit that was full of holes and covered in rotten flesh, keeping only his inner lining, and changed into the same white robe as Ruan Xian. He was running wildly in the dark with Ruan Xian on his back. The two white figures looked like ghosts.
Not long ago, Tang Yibu had grilled ten fish, but Ruan Xian only ate one, and then closed his mouth tightly.
“I can still use the blood gun, but my attack power is limited. You’re our greatest guarantee now, Yibu. The next step is for you to carry me as we move forward. That’ll consume a lot of energy,” Ruan Xian said calmly, but in a tone that meant it wasn’t up for discussion. “I just need to stay alive. You can eat the rest.”
But hunger was a very uncomfortable feeling, and Tang Yibu knew this well.
Unlike the advanced soldiers of the Mainbrain, they didn’t have a convenient exoskeleton to help save them energy, and they didn’t have meat to ensure steady energy replenishment. While the ability of the Prototype is strong, the energy it needed to consume wouldn’t appear out of thin air. With insufficient energy, the Prototypes in their bodies would start consuming their own flesh to resupply—Tang Yibu was afraid of death, so he chose to seize every opportunity to eat.
Ruan Xian’s prototype wouldn’t consume him to death, but once he reached a certain extent of hunger, in order to protect the body, the S-type Prototype activity would become weaker while Ruan Xian would be driven crazy by hunger and being urged to replenish his energy.
Considering the current situation, Ruan Xian’s judgement was as rational and accurate as ever, but Tang Yibu couldn’t let go of his unhappiness.
As he thought about it, he ran faster.
Counting the time, they still had about 45 hours left. There were still a few hours left before dawn, and given the speed, he should be able to reach the Glass Conservatory by then—the Mainbrain didn’t know about Luo Fei, but because Ruan Xian had asked to see Fan Linsong’s information, it was possible the security had increased where he was held captive.
According to general logic, their reserves were exhausted, and seeing that they were cornered, the last place they would go would be the Glass Conservatory, which had tight security. The closer areas, like the Sea of Ruins, the Underground City, or even the forest petri dish, should be more suitable.
Yet, they were moving towards the Glass Conservatory.
The Glass Conservatory…
Tang Yibu jumped high, leaping over the two-meter rock formation and continued to advance. Not knowing if he was too tired or because of his hungry body, Ruan Xian had fallen asleep on his back.
When he thought about it, since he had met Mr. Ruan again, the other party didn’t seem to have done many illogical actions, but he often got hurt. At first, Tang Yibu had no special feelings about it. Everything was logical, so the result was as it should be. The first time he minded this was in the Glass Conservatory.
Seeing Ruan Xian injured at that time, Tang Yibu felt a trace of indescribable unhappiness, just like seeing flies stop on an exquisite cake or cockroaches crawling over a well laid out dinner. In the battle just now, this inexplicable unhappiness rose to its peak and turned into an unbearable pain in his chest.
Tang Yibu changed his breathing and accelerated again, hoping to stop his racing thoughts. However, as time passed minute by minute, and the destination was getting closer and closer, those strange thoughts still didn’t disappear.
It was almost dawn. A blood-red glow started to appear in the east. Tang Yibu was panting, and his brain was swollen. He wiped off the sweat on his forehead and stared at the red horizon…
He began to desperately replay the battle not long ago again.
In fact, when Ruan Xian gave him a look, Tang Yibu guessed what the other party wanted to do, and he thought he could accept it happily like before.
But when he saw Ruan Xian’s figure disappear into M-α’s mouth, he felt a prickly feeling all over his skin. Ruan Xian’s bones and still-twitching internal organs were exposed from between M-α’s teeth, and blood dripped from the corners of the monster’s mouth. He still remembered the numbing chewing sound.
For a moment, Tang Yibu felt severe pain.
He couldn’t accept it, and as time passed, he became more unable to accept the sight. If this was “love”, then it was difficult. Tang Yibu clicked his tongue, bypassed the graveled ground and continued east. When he decided to save Mr. Ruan, he would have to do the same thing…
Suddenly, Tang Yibu realized something, and he slammed on the brakes in horror. He was running too fast that he almost threw off Ruan Xian. Fortunately, Tang Yibu reacted quickly and grabbed his Mr. Ruan.
Ruan Xian was still asleep, and his breathing had become regular, showing signs of stability. Tang Yibu hugged the other person in his arms, hesitated for a moment, and tentatively kissed him on the lips.
…He seemed to be wrong again.
[At that time, you jumped out foolishly, and eventually we’re at this point. I think this may be—well, how to put it—the most interesting part of being alive?] A few hours ago, this was what Ruan Xian had said.
Assuming that he could really fix the other party into a piece of data at a point in time, perhaps before these tiny miracles were born, he would be impatient and reset everything because of a momentary negative feeling.
This idea made Tang Yibu break out in a cold sweat. He held down the iron bead that was twisting restlessly, with inexplicable determination, and kissed Ruan Xian’s lips again while letting out a low sigh.
What should he do?
His last resort didn’t seem to work anymore.
Originally, the world in his eyes was like a delicate leaf vein, with countless branches scattered at each inflection point, but it had always been strong and certain. Now, that leaf was on fire, burning with endless question marks—he had completely lost control of the future. He was no longer grounded, and this change frightened him.
He seemed to be unable to determine anything anymore. Facing the world in front of him, he was only cautious, suspicious, and… a little awe?
Tang Yibu thought solemnly for a moment. He stretched out a finger and tested Ruan Xian’s breath for a while.
Perhaps Mr. Ruan had suddenly died while he was lost in thought. All probabilities were no longer just probabilities. They had become huge monsters and were about to crush him.
…Love. Humans never hesitated to use all kinds of words of praise in the world. Now Tang Yibu only felt that humans were extremely untrustworthy. This feeling was extremely dangerous. It twisted his mind and constantly made him torture himself with questions about all his decisions tremblingly. If this was the price of his heart being moved…
It didn’t seem to be impossible.
Tang Yibu stared at the other person’s face and suddenly felt that it wasn’t so uncomfortable living with question marks all over the place. He didn’t sacrifice anything. Since he approached this person, he seemed to have become more in touch with the world.
He moved his fingers to Ruan Xian’s neck and felt his pulse.
The killing intent hadn’t completely disappeared, but it no longer condensed. It was ridiculous to say that he only wanted this person’s blood at first, but now he didn’t want to see his blood anymore.
Unfortunately, Tang Yibu was so lost in his thoughts and didn’t control his strength that he hurt Ruan Xian when he felt his pulse. Ruan Xian was stirred awake. He frowned and looked at the fingers of the android standing in front of him for a while, and then slowly pushed it away.
“What’s the matter?” He glanced at the red sky and spoke weakly.
“We’re almost at our destination.” Tang Yibu turned, darting his gaze.
“I’m not asking you about that. What were you doing to me just now?” Ruan Xian stared at the finger suspiciously.
“No, nothing,” Tang Yibu replied seriously, as he touched the inner pocket of his robe. “You… Would you like something to eat?”
He opened his palm, and a familiar can was exposed. The side engraved on it had a smiley face that was facing right at Ruan Xian.
It was the canned food he left for Tang Yibu. Ruan Xian thought the android had eaten it a long time ago. Depending on the current situation, it was probably regarded by the other party as bottom of the barrel reserves.
“There are still insects and grass here, and we’ll get supplies soon, so no need.” Ruan Xian shook his head. “Keep it. It has a long shelf life, and it’s best to hang on to it until we encounter worse.”
Tang Yibu hesitated for a moment, then tucked the canned food back into his pockets. He looked like he wanted to say something, but in the end he didn’t find the right word and simply kept silent.
“Let’s go. It’s time to visit Fan Linsong.” Ruan Xian was so hungry that he started seeing black. He didn’t seem to notice the other party’s internal struggle. “I’ll sleep for a little longer. Wake me when we get there.”
At the same time, on the border of the Mainbrain’s city.
“…NUL-00 still hasn’t contacted me.” Professor Ruan had disguised his body with a projection. “The good news is that the core components of the spare assassination machine have been recovered, and the construction of a signal expansion device has begun in a specific petri dish.”
Dozens of people behind the light screen started chattering for a while. This time, there was more than one person behind each light screen, and everyone had solemn expressions. The atmosphere of the entire temporary command center was particularly heavy.
“NUL-00 has its own ideas, but it also knows the importance. As long as it wants to survive normally, it will not betray us. Please don’t worry—pushing it too tightly may have the opposite effect.” Professor Ruan’s project made a silence gesture.
“I think through our previous meeting, you probably understand how I’ve been preparing for the past few years and the awkward situation we’re currently facing.”
Professor Ruan coughed and pulled the topic back. “It’s imperative to quickly complete the backup device. Regarding the improvement of attack procedures, I also need suggestions from specific people. At the current rate, we’re expected to launch our attack in four weeks. This is our greatest opportunity and I hope you will focus on this matter.”
“What’s the situation with Ruan Lijie?” A question came from behind one of the light screens. “I have been in contact with the plants on the Order Supervisors. Recently, the Mainbrain has been very interested in this person. It’s said that he and NUL-00 are lovers, and they are acting together. Is this true, Professor Ruan?”
“Ruan Lijie is one of my partners. The situation between him and NUL-00… is more complicated.” Professor Ruan glossed over this topic lightly while speaking in a calm voice that had a sense of credibility. “Don’t worry. You’ve seen the plan. He’s not key to our plan. Even if the Mainbrain is watching him, NUL-00 can take care of it.”
After a pause, Professor Ruan added, “At present, their actions are at my behest. Except for the contact aspect, NUL-00 hasn’t done anything to endanger anyone. This topic is over. Next, about the assembly of the spare assignation machine…”
Professor Ruan lied skillfully.
Before MUL-01 destroyed everything, there wasn’t much need to lie in his life, yet seven years later, he learned to lie without even blinking…
It will be fine. It will pass. I know in my heart that humans will prevail.
We will win.
As of now, he had no idea what the hell NUL-00 was up to—the android should have quietly contacted Ruan Xian and brought back the other party’s plans, and they would make careful calculation and discussion. He didn’t think NUL-00 would never come back. Listening to the implication of the person just now, he probably abducted Ruan Xian from the Mainbrain and had attracted its attention.
But that was unnecessary and too rough and wasn’t in line with NUL-00’s style.
But he had no choice but to put this on him. Professor Ruan sighed—there wasn’t much he could do except tell everyone that this was part of his own arrangement. The people in front of him were considered credible, but as soon as the information came out, he was mentally prepared to be intercepted by the Mainbrain.
As the plan approached completion, there would only be more people involved. It was much better to let the Mainbrain decide that “this is part of Ruan Xian’s plan” and continue to focus on his own side, than to say “Ruan Xian doesn’t even know what they want to do, and those two people are a top risk factor”.
After all, no matter what NUL-00 and Ruan Xian wanted to do, considering the importance of improving their win rate, they wouldn’t encounter trouble yet.
…Could this be an unexpected development between those two?
A question suddenly crossed Professor Ruan’s mind. He was stunned for half a second and then wanted to smile a bit. If he hadn’t lost his head, he might’ve laughed out loud.
The wind and water had turned. In just a few days, he became the one who was used as the smokescreen.
“…The basic principle of the assassination machine is as above. For security reasons, I will not give anyone a complete attack program. The next few people will receive program fragments separately. Guan Haiming, the part you’re responsible for is especially important—”
Professor Ruan’s projection was still standing upright, with a polite smile on his face.
The meeting would continue.
The author has something to say:
Tang at the beginning: extremely self-confident, in control of everything, only look at logic and results, did not hesitate to use beauty (?), play the emotional card, and control people who are easy to use.
Tang now: dazed airplane ears*, full of question marks, not weak but pitiful and helpless (?), but objectively, judgment has become stronger.
*Referring to when the cat’s ears are parallel, indicating it’s stressed.
Tang: …It’s so hard to fall in love. It’s like playing strip poker.
Ruan: I’m already naked.
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4 thoughts on “Happy Doomsday Ch226”
Tang yibu with cat ears— 😌
How is that can not eaten yet?!
Thank you for the chapter!
author’s notes continuously giving me life
That food can is slowly becoming a relic :))) It survived many tragic events but still remained intact.