Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 241: Embrace
When M-β was attacked, R-β was sitting on its back. She was almost blown to smithereens by the explosion, but her pieces of flesh squirmed and gathered together again, regaining her human shape.
There were only two opponents left.
Tang Yibu turned his gaze to the woman’s head and began to think about how to smash her brain just right. However, Zhuo Muran’s reaction was faster as she seemed to have received some instructions. R-β immediately left the battlefield and rushed towards the core of the Mainbrain.
Her shoulders and arms were crushed by the cubes gathered on the surface, but she immediately recovered. She endured the high temperature and rushed towards the metal cage in the center. When she was about five meters away, Tang Yibu could no longer control the cubes in that area, which made R-β advance faster.
Her goal was Ruan Xian.
At the same time, following Zhuo Muran’s gesture, armed machines lined up in a half-arc in the sky, and defense ammunition was poured towards Tang Yibu. More D-type products flew by, trying to isolate him.
After losing M-β, there was nothing else the Mainbrain had that could keep up with Tang Yibu’s speed. Zhuo Muran saw the situation wasn’t good and had turned his offense into defense. Despite the black cube rotating at high speed, it couldn’t penetrate the enemy’s body as easily as before—most likely because it was made of the same material as Zhuo Muran’s exoskeleton, which was made from the D-type Prototype.
The black cube rotated around Tang Yibu and finally arranged a circle of cubic layers that was very similar to the Mainbrain. They turned faster, squeezed together, and finally, the metal cube that was wrapped in the middle turned from black to red and began to melt.
Tang Yibu resisted the pouring bullets and gestured directing the peripheral cube to move. After a while, the metal in the center gradually melted into a grid, changing its shape into a knife.
“Not going after it?” After several hours of fighting, Zhuo Muran finally spoke to Tang Yibu for the first time. He didn’t sound at all surprised.
“We have an appointment.” Tang Yibu responded simply.
He ignored the heat, grabbed the hilt of the knife, and stabbed it straight into his abdomen without hesitation. The still scorching metal encountered warm blood and made a loud sizzling sound.
The material from the D-type Prototype was quenched by the flesh and blood of the A-type Prototype. It had lost its computing function and turned into a dead thing. Now, without fire support, it could play a greater role.
Tang Yibu pulled out the black knife; his eyes were a little red. He didn’t give Zhuo Muran time to react. He stepped on the metal cube floating in the air and accelerated, as fast as a meteor, towards Zhuo Muran.
The knife wasn’t long, but it was able to cut through Zhuo Muran’s sturdy exoskeleton, lopping off a piece of the armor. Zhuo Muran’s skin was scratched, and a stream of blood gushed out.
Now that R-β wasn’t by Zhuo Muran’s side, the armed machines that were bombarding him weren’t enough. There was nothing for Tang Yibu to be afraid of. He was like a sharp arrow, sprinting around Zhuo Muran at a speed invisible to the human eye while he chopped off large pieces of Zhuo Muran’s armor.
He was gradually stripping him.
Zhuo Muran didn’t seem to care. He shrank his body and protected his key points. At the same time, more light screens flashed around him, sending out instructions. More advanced armed machines continued to come from afar, forcing Tang Yibu to speed up.
Looking at this situation, what they were doing was no longer a farce. It had been upgraded to an assassination. Troops arranged nearby were rushing here. Heavy fort-like floating islands had appeared on the horizon.
Time was almost up.
“In a bad mood?”
Ruan Xian in the system was lying on the ground and took the initiative to speak first. “Tang Yibu” was expressionless. The flow of information from Zhuo Muran was surging around him. Ruan Xian could make out some of the floating codes.
Tang Yibu had successfully controlled the situation.
Which meant he needed to work harder on his side. Ruan Xian looked at his fingers—his body was severely damaged, but his brain had temporarily isolated the external pain. However, abnormal projections were still gradually appearing. The image of his hands kept shaking as sand-like particles fell upward, gradually disappearing.
“M-β has been destroyed, but R-β and Zhuo Muran are still in good condition. Heavy weapon support is already on the way, and you…”
“Tang Yibu” brought his face closer and grabbed Ruan Xian’s head with one hand.
Ruan Xian was suddenly overwhelmed by agonizing pain. He knew the Mainbrain had removed the shielding system, and now his long-neglected external pain swarmed up. It seemed as if red-hot molten iron had covered his entire body, while his lungs seemed to be stuffed into a spinning blender. Ruan Xian almost fainted.
“If you are destroyed, your brain must be specially treated, and the S-type Prototype will be completely scrapped.” The Mainbrain spoke in a quite familiar voice. “…What a pity, but I have to live.”
Ruan Xian looked at the face that was exactly like Tang Yibu and laughed bitterly. The Mainbrain was truly the Mainbrain. Even if it didn’t know what they wanted to do, even if a more precise threat wasn’t determined, it was willing to sacrifice its curiosity in exchange for the most stable security.
Regarding this point, his Tang Yibu was much, much cuter.
…And they bought enough time.
Ruan Xian no longer had the strength to resist the attack of the Mainbrain. Even if he withdrew from the system, the scene implanted by the other party was still flashing in his mind and would mix with the reality in front of him. The picture he was seeing was cut between the white room and the Mainbrain’s body. For a while, he would see “Tang Yibu”, then it would cut to R-β who was rapidly approaching.
The poisonous gas and his wound were about to overwhelm his body. His flesh was completely eroded that Ruan Xian couldn’t even lift his arms.
But he was still holding the metal box, and it was still possible for him to click a button.
A flare passed through the gap in the array of cubes, and a small red smiley face exploded in the night sky. The sky was now crowded with armed machines, with explosions constantly happening. While not too conspicuous, the symbol was clear enough.
Tang Yibu pulled out his knife from Zhuo Muran’s arm. The latter had swallowed a tablet that quickly healed his wound. Zhuo Muran didn’t seem to understand what fatigue or limits were. He kept calling for support and kept constant vigilance. After several stabbings, except for the irreversible damage to the exoskeleton, there was actually no other loss.
“This is your attack?”
The D-type machines had almost completely surrounded the space. Tang Yibu’s movable range was getting smaller.
“Of course not.” Looking at the smiley face in the sky, Tang Yibu smiled equally as bright.
In the next second, a sharp alarm exploded, but the alarm didn’t come from inside the Mainbrain. Countless red light screens emerged from Zhuo Muran’s side as warning sounds blared off one after another.
“The Mainbrain has lost control of its surrounding system?” Zhuo Muran replied in a unified voice, as he had no time to type it out. “Impossible. Ruan Xian, no, Professor Ruan’s attack system hasn’t been completed yet. Don’t mess up. Confirm each other…”
“We never said, ‘our target is the Mainbrain’.”
Tang Yibu clenched his newly forged knife. His beautiful face was covered with blood. His clothes had already been damaged, and his waist bag and backpack were nowhere to be seen. There was only his undergarment lining that was covered with burn marks and blood.
“Surprise?” he said expressionlessly.
Zhuo Muran’s face turned ugly. The commander was a smart man. At this point, he should have seen through it…
“…You’re using yourself as bait.” In the flickering field of vision, the white room where the Mainbrain was located was filled with warning signs.
“Having Ruan Xian himself invade at close range was nothing more than a bluff.” Ruan Xian didn’t need to speak. The connection device was still in his head, and the pins were still attached to his brain. “You were indeed fooled.”
The program they created was spreading outside the Mainbrain.
After all, what this mechanical box was connected to was the best communication device in the world. Professor Ruan originally planned to collect tens of millions of points and gather them in one place, but they reversed it.
It was just that they had to prevent the Mainbrain from noticing it when the program started until they were ready to attack. In order to restrain the Mainbrain’s attention to the greatest extent, there was no more appropriate approach than placing two “key objects of focus” on the field.
The Mainbrain, which had lost control of its surroundings, didn’t panic.
“Even if you started learning again from the first day you appeared, you couldn’t have made a program strong enough to destroy me.” The Mainbrain looked at the data returned from various places and began to crack the program that was spreading frantically, intending to analyze its characteristics.
Compared to the calm Mainbrain, Zhuo Muran’s foreboding was getting stronger. He subconsciously wanted to prevent the Mainbrain from analyzing it, but he couldn’t give a reason. The other party’s meaningless practices were gradually beginning to become clear, and he had a bad feeling of being slowly bound by cobwebs.
He took a breath, turned on the contact device, and directed the machines around him to pile in front of him to resist possible attacks.
However, his opponent had disappeared.
Zhuo Muran, who had never let his targets escape his sight on the battlefield, was, in a rare moment, stunned for a few seconds.
Tang Yibu was rushing to the inside of the Mainbrain as quickly as possible. Zhuo Muran thought for a moment and ordered, “Do a good job with the screening. Except for samples analyzed by the Mainbrain, don’t give other programs the possibility of getting in. Focus on the areas and Petri Dishes that Professor Ruan has greater influence on. Once there’s an abnormality, report it to me immediately… Others will deal with the rebel forces that are bound to appear.”
Seeing Tang Yibu rush in, Zhuo Muran added another sentence.
“Now activate the ‘last line of defense’.”
A dead wall dozens of meters thick quickly rose around the cube array, quickly wrapping the huge body of the Mainbrain. The two people who came to disrupt the situation were locked in. There was a resounding silence from the outside, and the rough male voice was no longer heard on the broadcast system.
The last line of defense was originally prepared for Professor Ruan. It only allowed the Mainbrain’s instructions to spread out and reduce all incoming information as that information had to be screened layer by layer. The current situation was too weird. Regardless of whether the other party had a program that could destroy the Mainbrain or not, MUL-01’s safety must not be compromised.
Even if the probability was 0%.
Keeping the system of the Mainbrain was key. Now, even if the two people inside turned into nuclear weapons and exploded, the Mainbrain wouldn’t be destroyed. The cube array that was flashing blue light had turned into a huge, lifeless cube. The place where it resided seemed to have been cut off from the world, leaving only a void.
This situation must be stabilized first.
“After things are delivered, immediately connect to the interface corresponding to the dead wall.” Zhuo Muran gave the last command before flying to a command ship not far away.
NUL-00’s equipment was completely destroyed by him. Whether it was water or energy, they had no supplies. R-β was toxic enough. Even if they want to use her as food, the damage would be far greater than the supplementation, so the gain wouldn’t be worth the loss.
It was only a matter of time before the two failed.
The area was tightly sealed, with only a burning blue light left inside the Mainbrain. R-β crawled toward Ruan Xian persistently, but when she was about an arm’s length away from her target, something grabbed the back of her neck and slammed her to the ground. The iron bead rattled weakly, removing its tangled metal limbs, revealing Ruan Xian, who couldn’t move.
“Shh.” Tang Yibu stretched out and took Ruan Xian’s mutilated body into his arms.
“Mr. Ruan, I’m here to pick you up.”
He kissed the other party’s lips earnestly, without any intention to get blood.
“…We are about to win.”