Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 41: The Second Resurrection
Xia Liang sneered in her heart.
She knew that Ai Xiaoxiao didn’t like her, and she didn’t have any good feelings towards Ai Xiaoxiao either—people say that businessmen should be friendly, but this woman was very stingy when it came to money, and her temper wasn’t very good either. Xia Liang was used to being domineering that even Zhu Yanchen couldn’t be bothered to argue with her, but Ai Xiaoxiao, her subordinate, always opposed her.
Not to mention, her mood was particularly bad today.
Since Zhu Yanchen’s fake death, she had to manage daily operations and also supervise the Fourth Squadron. After finishing her work on the surface, she had little private time left, and now she had even less.
She was exhausted from work, and her personal life was also not going well.
Her planned dates were all ruined, and just yesterday, her girlfriend, who couldn’t take it anymore, finally broke up with her. Ms. Xia was stubborn. Though she knew she was in the wrong, she wasn’t the type to make amends and try to win her love back. Thus, the relationship had come to a bitter end.
Just after being dumped, she didn’t even have time to recover. She came to work at the clinic in the middle of the night, only to be scolded by Ai Xiaoxiao.
Xia Liang was filled with anger. Since she had to do security checks, she took out all the testing equipment and decided to investigate thoroughly. After all, she had to regain some of her dignity.
But before she could dig too deep, she stumbled upon an abnormal signal.
This was great. Xia Liang grabbed her tools and was about to open the door on the spot to check it out. She didn’t expect the security measures at Ai’s Clinic to be comparable to a command center. After a heated argument, Ai Xiaoxiao reluctantly opened the door with gritted teeth, and Xia Liang finally felt relieved.
However, that sense of victory didn’t last for two seconds before the scene inside shattered it.
For a moment, Xia Liang thought she was looking at the storage room for synthetic humans in a stronghold.
The room behind the door was quite spacious, much larger than the area occupied by the ground floor of Ai’s Clinic. Unlike the strongholds that displayed hibernation pods in rows, the pods here were arranged in a circular shape, with a rough count of as many as one or two hundred. They were arranged around a central pod, with several IV bags hanging over each pod, and the medicine flowing quietly into them.
The ceiling of the room was covered with rough machinery. Countless wires were entangled like ropes, and together with the infusion tubes, they penetrated into the pods. Small indicator lights twinkled in the dim light like spider eyes.
Xia Liang took a few steps inside.
The room was full of outdated hibernation pods, with translucent lids that revealed the appearance of the contents inside. Xia Liang was naturally brave, but seeing this, even she couldn’t help but shudder.
What was inside could hardly be called “human” anymore.
The “contents” in the outer circle still vaguely resembled human forms, but the ones in the inner circle had become completely different things—the contents looked like a pile of mixed-up squid, with opaque grayish-white skin that shimmered with water. But there were no squid tentacles visible in this mass; only scattered organs and exposed viscera, as well as strands of hair poking out from between the seams of flesh.
Furthermore, within the mixed organs, there were obvious non-human scales and claw tips, with no discernible pattern in terms of species.
They only had one commonality—their exposed hearts beat slowly, with deformed eyeballs covered in thin membranes, sleeping soundly.
“Do you think they look good?” Ai Xiaoxiao sneered when she noticed that Xia Liang had remained silent for a long time.
Xia Liang ignored her and walked around the room until she stood in front of the central hibernation pod and performed a proper examination.
The signal source was indeed here, or more precisely, it was the rough mechanical cluster on the ceiling. The signal it emitted was very similar to a stronghold, and it could only be distinguished when it was closer.
Since there was a difference, it couldn’t be considered an abnormal signal. Xia Liang put away the detection machine and glanced at the hibernation pod in the center. The thing inside was more like a grayish liquid than a piece of meat.
“The signal is safe.” The unnamed anger was dispersed. Xia Liang squeezed out the old man’s voice from her throat and said, “As agreed before, I won’t ask any questions.”
Ai Xiaoxiao looked at her with some surprise, and her expression relaxed slightly. “Then get out quickly.”
As she spoke, she squeezed herself through the door, adjusted the air conditioning setting for a while, and then carefully locked the door. Xia Liang looked at the side of the person’s face—facing this room full of monsters, Ai Xiaoxiao’s expression was a bit complicated, but it was still gentle overall.
Forget it. For her to be able to carry out such a big operation in her own clinic, she must not be a normal person. Xia Liang was normal to the extreme and had to stay away from such weird people.
The night passed without incident. Xia Liang returned to the Xia mansion at dawn and started to put on makeup.
The Xia family was well aware of Xia Liang’s sexual orientation. To be honest, they didn’t care much—there weren’t many elements of love in the family’s arranged marriages, and many people had extramarital affairs after marriage. As long as Xia Liang picked a fiancé who was a good match for her, even if she went out to find a lover to spend the night with every day, they would turn a blind eye.
For example, now. Even though she returned home at five in the morning, the nanny didn’t show any surprised expressions.
Xia Liang had always disliked her family’s attitude, but she couldn’t change the ideas of the Xia’s elders. When she got older, she secretly started her second career, following Zhu Yanchen into the battlefield.
It wasn’t because she sympathized with the situation of the synths or had some soft and pitiful emotions. She simply felt miserable.
The Xia family had always been committed to being a fence-sitter between the Zhu and Tang families. They raised their sons to be followers of the other two families and married off their daughters. Over the years, as one of the well-behaved dogs raised by both families, she naturally got a share of the meat.
Xia Liang was one of their most successful “chips”. She looked very much like her grandmother, a national singer, and since she was young, they had been training her in the direction of her grandmother’s image—the public was quite nostalgic for the singer from decades ago, and that obsession had smoothly transferred to Xia Liang, and the Xia family made a lot of fame and fortune from it.
Xia Liang herself didn’t dislike a life of luxury and extravagance, but she found it distasteful that some people chewed their food slowly and delicately, giving off an air of being too petty-minded.
Additionally, she didn’t like singing at all.
She preferred to shoulder her responsibilities and speak up with her abilities rather than grovel to become someone else’s superior. However, if she were to reveal this desire, she would likely be regarded as a childish and immature little girl throwing a tantrum. The likely outcome would be that some family would reward her with a meaningless position, just to placate her.
So the “Dong Lao” from a humble background appeared.
During the negotiation process, Zhu Yanchen’s attitude was direct and cold. Regardless of whether she was being foolishly hopeful or not, he simply said, “Start from the bottom. Continue if you succeed. Leave if you fail.”
Several years passed, and she became Zhu Yanchen’s top advisor. Xia Liang swirled her lipstick and stared at the bright red color.
…It was incredibly satisfying to create one’s own path.
With a flip of her hand, she crushed the lipstick head on the table and swiped it fiercely. The low, piercing sound of friction rang out, gradually dissipating along with the grievances and anger of the night.
When she raised her head again, a carefree and sweet smile hung on her face.
“I heard Ms. Xia is coming to the command center today,” Luo Duan said.
When they arrived at Yi Ning’s office, he commanded a water column and immediately swept the access card under the desk. Yi Ning simply assumed that he had accidentally dropped it and didn’t suspect anything.
“Hmm? Oh, I know,” Yi Ning said, still showing signs of sleep deprivation. “The Xia family wants her to do some kind of morale-boosting performance.”
“The target is probably you,” Luo Duan said with a gentle smile. “It seems the Xia family has high hopes for you.”
“Forget it. I don’t have the time or energy for that. There are so many things I need to do now, and they’re still fooling around… If the economy continues to decline this year, the border settlement area will likely become unstable.” Yi Ning laughed dryly.
“You really care about the ‘people’.”
“After all, I’ve seen everything. The people in the border areas suffer greatly. Even worse…” Yi Ning originally wanted to say, “than synthetic humans”, but realizing the identity of the person he was talking to, he swallowed the second half of his sentence.
“Even worse…?” Luo Duan’s smile grew even warmer.
“Nevermind that. In any case, we need to find a way to quickly boost the economy.” Yi Ning immediately changed the subject.
“As for last night’s topic… How about we bring back the people from the border settlement areas as labor since there’s a shortage of labor?” Luo Duan played with a water droplet on his fingertip. “I know, education is a problem, and their age and health status may not be suitable. But they can still be considered part of the labor force, can’t they?”
That was indeed the case.
…But compared to the elderly, sick, and disabled, synthetic humans were more useful. It was all because Zhu Yanchen was too conservative. If Zhu Sheng’s “reform law” had been implemented earlier, they wouldn’t have had to spend so many years training synths and could have truly achieved mass production.
This was the first challenge that Yi Ning faced at the moment, but he couldn’t bring himself to tell Luo Duan about it.
“We’re… considering other options,” he answered vaguely. “Other measures to increase the labor force.”
Luo Duan looked at him fixedly for a moment. “I see. Actually, I’m curious about the details… In my opinion, it’s most reasonable to incorporate the people from the border settlements as soon as possible.”
Then, he turned his gaze outside the window, his tone becoming light and airy. “But it’s okay. We’re just chatting for fun anyway. This issue doesn’t matter. We can discuss something else.”
As the atmosphere became increasingly tense, Yi Ning decided to turn on the TV and switch to a message channel for gamers, hoping to lighten the mood.
But the first news story completely caught their attention—
“Breaking news, the Y-9091 base’s garrison discovered Marshal Zhu Yanchen’s whereabouts. Marshal Zhu survived a serious injury and was rescued after a night of emergency treatment. According to Marshal Zhu Yanchen himself, he encountered a mutant beast attack and was lucky to survive. He managed to escape and wandered near the erosion zone for many days…”
“What?” Yi Ning almost choked on his own saliva.
In the distant erosion zone, someone asked a similar question.
Shu Jun: “What?!”
Yu Jin choked on his breakfast. “What the hell, Brother Gray Claw, why are you making such a fuss about it? It’s just some game being played by those above. It has nothing to do with us.”
“…No, I just read his obituary before, so I was startled…” Shu Jun turned up the volume knob of the radio—they had been walking in the erosion zone for two days, and the signal was so weak that it was almost negligible, so the radio’s sound was intermittent.
Zhu Yanchen sat upright, as usual, pushing his mask up slightly, and ate his soft food package methodically, appearing completely emotionless.
Shu Jun felt a bit skeptical about life. It was said that when two flowers bloom on the same branch, they each represent a branch*. In Marshal Zhu’s case, he had faked his own death twice, leaving a “body” on each side. Even the gods weren’t that extraordinary.
*Idiom referring when the story becomes multi-facet, each “branch” will be told one by one, || In this context, it’s kind of like a sarcastic remark about how there’s now two Zhu Yanchen, both who seemed to have escaped death/was resurrected twice. Not even the gods could do such a feat.
“Zhu Sheng made his move.” After finishing breakfast in all seriousness, Zhu Yanchen glanced at Yu Jin, who was listening, and commented lightly. “That person very likely isn’t his son.”
Shu Jun took a gulp of liquid food. “That’s possible?”
“He probably didn’t want to leave a leadership vacuum for too long and let Yi Ning take advantage of the situation to gain the public’s favor. When Zhu Sheng’s term ends, he will have to step down completely. It won’t look good if he comes back again, so I’m not surprised by this development at all.”
Zhu Yanchen balled up the soft packaging and threw it into the garbage bag, revealing a small part of his face that showed no emotion.
“Compared to this, today we need to make our initial contact with the outer edge of the Erosion Swamp. This kind of thing isn’t worth being distracted by… Let’s go.”
The author has something to say:
Marshal Zhu: Resurrected from the dead (2/2)
Shu Ge: ……………
<<< || Table of Contents || >>>
One thought on “Access Denied Ch41”
Thank you for the update ❤️💯