Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 36: Hole in the Brain
Shu Jun looked at Monday and suddenly thought of a dog wailing at the entrance of the pet hospital.
With him watching, Monday didn’t dare attack Ai Xiaoxiao. It tried to move in the opposite direction, sucked up more water, and wriggled out of the cloth strip, coiling into a slippery lump on the ground and clinging to the floor.
Throughout the whole process, it kept screaming miserably, but Ai Xiaoxiao wasn’t scared by the noise. Instead, she hummed and took a shovel from the tool cabinet and skillfully shoveled up Monday.
“Your sword has quite the personality,” she commented nonchalantly while putting Monday into an isolation bucket.
Monday, seeing that throwing a tantrum was ineffective, trembled inside the bucket, causing it to rattle on the floor.
Shu Jun: “……” Why is there a shovel in the consultation room? But looking at how skillfully Ai Xiaoxiao handled it, he didn’t dare ask.
The underground space was much larger than the one above ground, but the lighting was bluish and a bit creepy. Ai Xiaoxiao filled three liquid tanks and turned to Shu Jun and Zhu Yanchen. “Take your clothes off.”
Shu Jun: “?!”
“You can leave your underwear on. The inside is an isolation fluid that won’t mix with the erosion substance allowing me to facilitate a full body scan.” Ai Xiaoxiao glanced at Shu Jun and lifted the isolation bucket, pouring Monday into one of the tanks. Monday tried to coil up into a ball, but the inside of the isolation bucket was extremely smooth, so it could only sulkily fall into the liquid.
As soon as Monday fell into the tank, several metal arms stretched out, forcibly twisting it back into the shape of a sword and wedging it at the bottom of the tank. Monday looked like it wanted to curse but only sprayed out a string of fine bubbles. Ai Xiaoxiao put the lid on the tank, letting Monday squirm around inside.
“Uh…” Shu Jun was a bit flustered. Whether in the so-called “real world” or on this side, they only had same-sex doctors.
Standing in front of him was a person of similar age who was of the opposite sex, so he couldn’t help but be a bit shy and somewhat embarrassed.
“Don’t mind me. After all, I am a doctor—I’ve seen everything from eight-year-olds to eighty-year-olds.” Ai Xiaoxiao seemed to sense his concerns and waved her hand casually, then looked at Zhu Yanchen. “And you, surnamed Zhu, what’s the matter? I’ve dissected your organs a hundred and eighty times. Hurry up and take your clothes off.”
Yes, there was an experienced person here too. Desperate times call for desperate measures*. Shu Jun quickly shifted his gaze and stayed still, pretending to be a serious student.
*While dead companions will not perish, it’s impossible to maintain poverty forever (死道友不死贫道，能拖一时是一时) Idiom referring to when one’s situation is difficult it’s still possible to survive and overcome challengers for a short time, but having trustworthy companions can be helpful in tough times. || In this context, he’s basically saying, the challenge is tough, but at least there’s an experienced person here with him (Zhu Yanchen) which could allow him to delay a bit more.
Zhu Yanchen glanced at Shu Jun, walked to the edge of the liquid tank, and began to take off his clothes one by one.
As expected of a marshal, even taking off his clothes had a sense of formality. Most of the time, this man kept himself tightly wrapped up, even buttoning up the top button of his pajamas. Shu Jun had only seen him naked once before, but at that time he had just rescued him and was in a daze, unable to even count how many heads this man had.
Without the dense scars covering him, his well-built physique was fully exposed. Zhu Yanchen had the advantage of size and a slightly more muscular waistline than Shu Jun. He was originally pale-skinned, with sharp eyebrows and eyes, and now looked like a warm marble statue.
Good physique. Shu Jun occupational disease came out—after all these matters were resolved, perhaps the two of them could spar in close combat.
His heartbeat seemed a little fast, probably due to the excitement brought on by said occupational disease. Shu Jun withdrew his gaze and looked at Ai Xiaoxiao again.
“Well, the recovery is very good. The blood indicators are also fine. I’ll take a look at the bones and internal organs later.” Ai Xiaoxiao’s response was calm, as if the person in front of her was just a bag of meat.
With someone taking the lead, Shu Jun relaxed a bit. He quickly stripped himself naked and plopped into the liquid tank, splashing a considerable amount of water.
The liquid in the tank was cold and sticky, like frozen oil, though his treatment was much better than Monday’s. He could at least expose half of his head so he could hear and speak. The two of them lay side by side, like two human specimens.
“It’s not just about immunity to erosion.” Ai Xiaoxiao looked at the real-time scan of Zhu Yanchen, speaking in a tone so low that it sounded like she was talking to herself. “Last month, I just cut out a lesion in your liver. You should have only a quarter of your liver left, but it’s all grown back now.”
She pondered for a moment, her eyes flashing.
“The internal organs and bones are normal, and there are no surgical scars. Good, remember to give me some tissue samples later… Wait, your heart rate is a bit fast. Are you nervous? It’s okay if Mr. Shu’s heart rate is fast, but it’s not your first time.”
Shu Jun unconsciously turned his head and glanced at his friend, surnamed Zhu, who was close at hand.
“Why is it even faster now? Alright then. Mr. Zhu, you can come out now. I’ll check your heart later when I’m done with Mr. Shu.”
“So fast?” Shu Jun asked hopefully, feeling cold all over from being soaked in the liquid.
“He’s a human, and you’re not. You’ll need at least two hours. Go and take a look at the other side first.” Ai Xiaoxiao threw a large towel to Zhu Yanchen. “Wipe yourself and go outside to wait. You’re just getting in the way here.”
After speaking, she glanced meaningfully at the old man beside her.
The old man coughed. Zhu Yanchen changed his clothes and walked to Shu Jun’s liquid tank, speaking very seriously, “I’ll wait for you outside. Don’t worry.”
“I’ll try my best.” Shu Jun responded dryly, while Ai Xiaoxiao was enthusiastically wiping a pair of large pliers, seemingly quite impatient.
“Dong Lao, let’s go.” As the conversation partner changed, Zhu Yanchen’s tone became noticeably more mechanical.
“Finally it’s quiet.” After the two left the room, Ai Xiaoxiao breathed a sigh of relief. “Next, I need to ask you some questions. You must answer me truthfully, understand?”
It seemed that this woman deliberately sent those two away. Indeed, one-on-one questioning was the least likely to be interfered with.
“Your physical condition is similar to what I expected—the situation with the Erosion Swamp is stable, the fusion degree is high, and there are no adverse reactions. You don’t need to worry about health problems. However, there is one thing that I am concerned about.”
She tapped the device next to her, and a screen showing Shu Jun’s face appeared. “This is your brain.”
Shu Jun looked at the scan image in confusion.
“Before introducing you to other Erosion Swamps, did Zhu Yanchen do anything to you?”
There were many things. Shu Jun reminisced about the oral examination, intimidation, and handcuffs when they first met. But since the doctor had displayed his brain scan, Shu Jun could guess what she wanted to hear. “Brain shock?”
“Tell me about it.”
“He told me the truth, and I forgot it all, like I was drunk or on sedatives. Then he gave me a few shots, we went to the body processing center, and then he did it again…”
“What else? Any details you remember.”
“It’s hard to describe. When I’m with him, I feel like a lot of things are familiar to me—I can’t help but trust him and want to protect him.” Since Zhu Yanchen wasn’t present, Shu Jun spoke freely, saying whatever came to mind. “I also remember some things from the ‘past’, but I didn’t have any impressions of those things before, and I’m not sure how I remember them now.”
Ai Xiaoxiao stood up and walked around the liquid tank, occasionally glancing at the scan results of Shu Jun’s brain.
“In your memory, what kind of relationship do you have with him?”
“…Friends?” It probably counted, as his memory in this regard had not yet been restored.
“It seems like you’re more than just friends.” Ai Xiaoxiao stopped walking and leaned her hands against the edge of the tank. “I’ve been wondering why he gave you two brain shocks before introducing you to the other Erosion Swamps, but now I understand.”
Shu Jun perked up. “What do you mean?”
Zhu Yanchen never explained these things to him. Later, when they were both in good health and their relationship had improved, he didn’t ask again.
“See, there’s a hole in your brain that’s slowly healing.” Ai Xiaoxiao pointed to the image on the screen.
“I’m trying to figure out how to explain this. When faced with unbearable pain, the brain will choose to close off certain memories. Do you know this?”
“In order to prevent you from realizing the truth, foreign brain fragments were implanted into your brain… Once these fragments recognize specific information, they immediately stimulate the defense mechanism and force you to forget. That’s the basic principle.”
“So?” Shu Jun was getting confused.
“If it were me, I would have taken you directly to the body processing center and not said a word about the truth of the world. If I did that, the Erosion Swamp inside you would treat that foreign brain fragment as part of ‘you’ and solidify and protect it.”
“It would exist forever, and you would never know the truth. For Zhu Yanchen, that would have been more efficient and convenient for controlling you. But he still induced a brain shock.”
Shu Jun looked at Ai Xiaoxiao blankly.
Ai Xiaoxiao narrowed her eyes. “In other words, he gave you a vaccine in advance—a brain shock that would cause you pain, and the Erosion Swamp would recognize that piece of brain tissue as ‘harmful’. They wouldn’t protect it anymore and would instead erode it. Doing it again during the fusion process would be even more effective… Your situation is special—just surviving is pretty good, yet he was quite thoughtful.”
Shu Jun’s emotions became complicated, and he didn’t know what to say for a moment.
“Anyway, without the influence of that foreign brain fragment, your brain will gradually return to its natural state. In this process, occasional headaches or remembering repressed memories are normal phenomena.”
Ai Xiaoxiao continued, in a good mood. “Interesting. He mentioned this before, and I was always considering surgical methods, but I never thought about it from the perspective of erosion. Hmm, it’s a brilliant approach.”
“Is there a way to remember faster?”
“A way to remember the past faster?” Shu Jun stared at the dim ceiling.
“I don’t know. In this regard, Zhu Yanchen is better than me. I’ll give him the test results later.” After getting the answer she wanted, Ai Xiaoxiao became nonchalant again. “Turn over first and let me check your spine.”
Outside the door.
“So, that’s Shu Jun?” Xia Liang’s clear voice emerged from the old man’s mouth, no longer disguising her voice, which made the scene quite weird.
Xia Liang let out a meaningful “Hmm” and changed the subject. “I have seen the chip you asked Ai Xiaoxiao to give me. The program inside has been installed in the command center. As long as I cooperate from the outside, you have the authority to control the alarm system for three hours.”
“However, during this operation, I discovered an interesting thing. Do you remember Luo Duan, the captain of Groundwater? He is now recovering in the command center. According to Ai Xiaoxiao’s report, he applied for the indoor training room that hasn’t been used for thousands of years and injured himself.”
Zhu Yanchen frowned but didn’t respond this time.
“No matter what you want to do by infiltrating the command center, be careful. You two aren’t the only ones who want to ‘do something’.”
The author has something to say:
The Marshal wanted to save Shu Ge from the beginning, no doubt about it √
Shu Ge, you will have the opportunity to engage in ♂ melee ♂ combat! Believe me!
Trust and believe that we get ♂ x ♂ action.
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