Bu Tian Gang Ch100

Author: 梦溪石 / Meng Xi Shi

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


Chapter 100: Master!

Cheng Yuan couldn’t help cowering when he heard these words. He had a kind of bone-deep awe for Long Shen, which came from his experience in the Special Administration Bureau. At first glance, when he saw Long Shen, he was greatly disoriented.

But he soon remembered that he was no longer the newcomer who needed to tremble before the Special Administration Bureau. Those high and mighty practitioners didn’t look up to him, but he was no longer what he used to be. He had the power now to make the people of the Special Administration Bureau prostrate themselves at his feet and tremble for mercy.

With judgement returned back to his head, he looked at Ming Xian and angrily said, “You brought them here!”

Ming Xian ignored him and said to Tang Jing and Long Shen, “Don’t you want to find the real culprit who manipulated the soul-eaters? He’s inside. Recent events are indeed not at my hands. If it were me, I would have done it without leaving any traces.”

Tang Jing asked rhetorically, “Do you feel guilty?”

Ming Xian smiled at his mockery. “Consider it as a reward for your dewy love and the end of the obsession in my heart.

Cheng Yuan snapped, “Shut up! Ming Xian, you dare disobey Mr. Otowa’s intentions?!”

Long Shen no longer wanted to listen to his nonsense, so he stretched out his hand and grabbed him. Who knew that Cheng Yuan reacted extremely quickly. His body shrank and moved back. He suddenly stood up and reached out with both hands, which had long and sharp nails. Long Shen dodged, grasped his wrist with a slight force, and the sound of broken bones clicking could be heard, but Cheng Yuan smiled strangely. His chest suddenly burst open, and two withered claws sprang out towards Long Shen’s chest as fast as lightning. It pierced through Long Shen’s windbreaker, looking as if it was about to puncture his chest and abdomen!

This forced Long Shen to let go, which Cheng Yuan took advantage of to twist and run away. He leapt forward, trying to escape through the window, but his back was violently pulled back. In the blink of an eye, Long Shen grabbed his long sword with his backhand and inserted it into Cheng Yuan’s heart. The entire process flowed smoothly and neatly. Suddenly, Cheng Yuan’s eyes were wide open, full of resentment.

The look became more intense, causing the green and black veins on his face to seemingly come alive as they began to slowly flow.

Long Shen noticed something was wrong. Cheng Yuan suddenly grabbed his sword with both hands as a cackle came out of his throat, as if the bones were being pinched off one by one.

The blood flowed out of his hands, but it wasn’t the normal human dark red, but a green-black color. However, within a few seconds, his body turned into black air and flew away, then condensed back into human form again behind Long Shen.

“The Special Administration Bureau is nothing more than that! Long Shen, why do you look down on me? Why didn’t you let me into the Special Administration Bureau? Today, I want you to have a taste of life that’s not as good as death!”

The black air suddenly turned into a gale and swept towards Long Shen.

Ming Xian was obviously in the same camp as Cheng Yuan, but he watched coldly, as if he had no interest in intervening. Tang Jing didn’t move in order to keep an eye on him.

Although the opponent didn’t make a move, Tang Jing intuitively felt that this person’s ability was very strong, even comparable to his own.

“I think the battlefield between us should be broader.”

Ming Xian suddenly smiled, turned around, and ran out. Tang Jing chased him without a second thought.

The two landed in the middle of the wilderness full of wild grass as they stared at each other.

It wasn’t the kind between two enemies that were about to fight to the death, but rather a pair of friends who hadn’t yet finished or a couple after breaking up.

Tang Jing laughed slightly in his heart because of his rich imagination.

They were never officially together, so what was he even thinking about?

Ming Xian’s eyes were soft and harmless, like the little writer who talked a lot but wasn’t annoying when he first met him on the plane.

But Tang Jing knew that it was just one side of Ming Xian, a mask that he used to hide the true Ming Xian.

He wasn’t a writer, and the author of those books wasn’t him at all. He just took advantage of the fact that the writer never showed his face and got close to him under false pretenses.

As if guessing what Tang Jing was thinking, Ming Xian suddenly said, “When I was on the plane, I didn’t know your identity yet.”

Tang Jing said lightly, “I have an innate sense of closeness to you, and you took advantage of this to let me lower my guard against you.”

Ming Xian shrugged and spread his hands. “But you didn’t. Didn’t you put a tracker on me and send someone to check on my background? Moreover, you should know why you feel so close to me.”

Tang Jing said, “Because you and I are the same.”

Min Xian smiled, magnanimously, without concealment. “My body is a zither.”

The night was late and moonless. The distant streetlamp shone on the side of Ming Xian’s face. There was a different kind of softness to it.

Even if the enemy was clear and irrevocable, Tang Jing still saw the rippling waves and the stars and moon in those eyes.

When he suspected that the other party was an artifact, Tang Jing also guessed his original shape. He thought that with Ming Xian looking so beautiful, his true form must be elegant and lovely.

It took at least thousands of years of elegance to give birth to such gracefulness.

Tang Jing said, “I am a mirror.”

Ming Xian quickly guessed his origin, “A mirror from the Tang Dynasty?”

Tang Jing nodded. “Thousand Autumn Coiled Dragon Mirror*.”

*Qianqiu Panlong Mirror (千秋蟠龙镜) I believe the author is referencing the Sunflower-shaped Thousand Autumn Dragon Mirror (葵形千秋龙纹镜) or something of that nature. It’s a bronze mirror with a dragon on it from the Tang Dynasty that has the inscription of “Thousand [Qian]” and “Autumn [Qiu]” on it, which should be related to the Qianqiu Festival celebrated during the Tang Dynasty. Also, as a reminder, the Tang in his name is the Tang in Tang Dynasty.

Going back thousands of years, he was once a Tibetan mirror in the Tang Palace, created by a famous craftsman and later given by Emperor Xuanzong* to his sister Princess Yuzhen. Under pure chance and coincidence, the princess never married and became a monk who loved to travel around the world, searching for immortals and visiting hermitages. By coincidence, Tang Jing also encountered mountains and rivers, the essence of the sun and moon, and finally cultivated into a human body after being refined by the wind and frost.

*Seventh emperor of the Tang Dynasty, he’s credited with bringing Tang China to a pinnacle of culture and power.

Ming Xian smiled and said, “No wonder I feel close to you when I see you. In terms of age, you and I are not far apart. It’s a pity that I don’t have as good of luck as you.”

Tang Jing: “Are you a Chinese artifact spirit?”

Ming Xian shook his head. “I don’t know if I was made by the Tang people or by Easterners early on. I have no roots, no name. I only know that when I was first formed, there were several inscriptions under the zither, and the sound of my strings can cleanse an evil heart. Although positive, the feeling is also deep. Elegant and solemn, yet no forbidden extravagance. Smooth and upright, joyful but not obscene.*”

*This is the actual inscription under the zither (虽有正性,其感亦深。存雅却郑,浮侈是禁。条畅和正,乐而不淫.) I tried my best with the translation, but I really can’t make it poetic.

Tang Jing was startled and blurted out, “The Gold and Silver Pingwen Zither*?!”

*Jinyin Pingwen Qin (金银平文琴) It’s an artifact collected to the treasure house of the Shōsō-in (an imperial treasure house belonging to Japan) around 814 AD to Emperor Saga.

The gold and silver pingwen zither was a national treasure of Japan and was now part of the collection of the Shōsō-in*.

*Treasure house of Tōdai-ji Temple in Nara, Japan that houses artifacts connected to Emperor Shomu and Empress Komoyo.

The reason why it was called the gold and silver pingwen zither was because it had gold and silver plain decoration on its body, so it was name after its characteristic, not after the timbre or the marker, as in the case with Chinese zithers.

The name Ming Xian* was also given to him after he first gained sentience.

*Translated means bright strings/chords.

“Then the one in Shōsō-in…?” Tang Jing couldn’t help but say.

Ming Xian gently spat out, “Imitation.”

Tang Jing understood.

The gold and silver pingwen zither was created in the Heian Period of Japan, which was the same period as Emperor Tang Xianzong* in China. It was no wonder Ming Xian would say those two were similar in age.

*14th Tang Emperor formerly known as Li Chun. He reigned from 805-820.

“Japan’s land is limited, so the spiritual energy is thin. Even with the power of the entire country, there are very few artifacts that could be spiritually refined. Originally, my spiritual wisdom was first developed, but it would take at least a few more decades to cultivate into human form. However, at that time, Otowa Hatsuhiko got a Chinese practitioner and injected his soul into my body, forcibly helping me take shape in advance.”

Ming Xian’s tone was leisurely, as if he was talking about other people’s affairs.

Tang Jing’s heart tightened as he had already developed a guess. He would rather have this guess be wrong.

However, the other party still slowly said the answer he didn’t want to hear the most, “That person, his name is Dong Jilan.”

Of course, Tang Jing knew who this was.

A few years ago, he was a carefree, rambunctious wanderer who didn’t care about the affairs of the world. At that time, he was still laughing at Long Shen, Zong Ling, and others who had bound themselves. They had an endless life span and the ability to ascend to heaven, but they would rather put themselves in a cage and obey human law and be governed by humans. How suffocating.

Later, he inadvertently encountered a big problem and ran into an extremely tricky enemy and almost lost his life. He didn’t even manage to protect his original form. Fortunately, a man named Dong Jilan passed by and helped him. Tang Jing was grateful and didn’t want to owe any favors, so he offered to repay him. Dong Jilan told him that he was about to leave the Special Administration Bureau to perform a secret mission. At that time, the Special Administration Bureau was short of manpower, so he wanted Tang Jing to help them instead of him. After five years, whether he returned or not, Tang Jing could leave on his own.

Five years passed, then another five, year after year, but Dong Jilan never came back. Tang Jing got used to life at the Special Administration Bureau and gradually became accustomed to living under their rules, but he had never heard about Dong Jilan again. Many people who knew of him felt that this brisk and spontaneous man was probably sacrificed in a foreign country. Even last time, Long Shen and Song Zhicun wanted to exchange Fujikawa Aoi for hostages with Japan, they failed to get him back.

But now, what Ming Xian said, there was a wisp of Dong Jilan’s soul in his body.

Tang Jing was silent for a long time, as if mourning a friend who could not return to his homeland.

“So, Dong Jilan is completely dead?”

“Yes. He is, after all, only human. I watched Otowa pour hot molten iron on him with my own eyes, torture him with all kinds of methods, just to stimulate his power to the extreme, then extract his soul. But he never begged for mercy from beginning to end.”

“In my spiritual wisdom, there are Japanese mountains and water, flowers and birds, and—”

He pointed to his heart, “The soul of a Chinese.”

Ming Xian smiled slightly, but there was a line of pain and helplessness at the corner of his mouth.

“I envy you very much, Tang Jing. You have the purity and freedom that I don’t have. If I could, I don’t want to be your enemy.”

Tang Jing couldn’t help but take a step forward.

Ming Xian took a step back.

“You can change all this.” Tang Jing looked at him.

“It can’t be changed,” Ming Xian said lightly. “From the moment I took shape, everything has been predetermined and irreversible.”

Tang Jing said, “I’ll help you. If I can’t, Long Shen can. If Long Shen can’t do it, there are many capable people in the Special Administration Bureau and even in China as a whole.”

“It’s too late.”

Ming Xian looked far away, with sorrow in his eyes.

“When I was about to take shape, in order to control me, Otowa Hatsuhiko incorporated his own blood into my body, refined me again, and took out a part that he kept with him. It’s impossible for me to break away from his control.”

That touch of sorrow passed extremely quickly, so quickly that Tang Jing thought it was just his own illusion.

“I approach you, but I remind you everywhere, providing you with clues. This is my gratitude to Dong Jilan. Without him, there would be no me today. I know that he never forgot his motherland and had a passion for the people here. I couldn’t save him back then, and now I can only help you here. Otowa has also manipulated Cheng Yuan, but I think Director Long should have a way to deal with him.”

Ming Xian finished speaking slowly, took off his suit jacket, rolled up his sleeves one by one, and exposed his slender, fair arms.

He stared at Tang Jing and said, softly yet cruelly, “Now, it’s time for us to fight to the death.”

Long Shen quickly discovered that there was something else wrong with Cheng Yuan.

It hadn’t even been two years since Cheng Yuan was rejected from the Special Administration Bureau. Even if he made rapid progress during this time, he wouldn’t be as strong to the point where he could match Long Shen—even if Long Shen hadn’t used his best effort.

His body had merged with demonic energy, and he could change his form as he pleased between fantasy and reality at will. Whenever Long Shen’s sword was about to cut him, he would turn into demonic energy and dissipate, then regroup behind Long Shen. Taking advantage of his unpreparedness, he would counter-attack.

With Cheng Yuan as the center of the circle, the surrounding air flow got bigger, surging like the gale before the tide. It was raging, wanting to completely destroy everything in the world. The debris in the house was swept up by the air flow and was swirling around him. From time to time, under Cheng Yuan’s command, it would smash into Long Shen.

Long Shen didn’t parry it back. Using his sword, he cut the old refrigerator that was flying towards him in half. The refrigerator suddenly broke in half and fell to the side with a loud crash. If it weren’t for the desolate surroundings, they would’ve been discovered by others from the sound.

“I can’t believe it. I’m not a newcomer who can be flattened and rolled around by you anymore!”

Cheng Yuan smiled grimly at Long Shen. His whole body was overflowing with black energy. The demonic energy suddenly soared several times, almost reaching the roof, then it surged towards Long Shen, trying to swallow him up.

As far as he could see, all the light bulbs shattered with a bang, and the whole room was instantly surrounded by black air, as if the sun was covered and no light could pierce through.

In the darkness, the wind howled as the black demonic energy swept towards Long Shen from all directions. Even the air couldn’t help but moan and wail, and the dead trembled beneath the ground, unable to resist the powerful and demonic invasion.

However, around Long Shen’s body, a faint white light formed a layer of astral energy that the demonic energy couldn’t penetrate. No matter what Cheng Yuan did, he couldn’t break through.

His bright red eyes narrowed. His five fingers, which were thin like withered claws, opened and closed as they released a few souls.

These were objects that he once took their life and used to refine his soul. There were handsome boys, young girls with sad expressions, ignorant children, middle-aged women with angry faces, and a weasel whose fur was faintly visible.

They were manipulated by Cheng Yuan and rushed towards Long Shen from all directions. They had already been refined and merged into part of the demonic energy. Now the remnant souls were just residues of demonic energy after being corrupted, but they still carry the grievances of their unjust death during their lifetime.

The fierce and vicious spirit of resentment surrounded Long Shen, gnawing away at his astral energy. These resentful souls and demonic energy rushed up without hesitation, trying to bite off his flesh and eat his body.

Long Shen stood still.

It wasn’t that he didn’t want to move, but that his whole body was so tightly pressed by the demonic energy that he couldn’t even take a step.

However, even under such an overwhelming attack, the demonic energy couldn’t advance. The two sides maintained a delicate and dangerous balance.

Long Shen’s gaze fell on the gray weasel.

“You were in Lucheng, colluding with Yamamoto Kiyoshi to kill people?”

Cheng Yuan: “I am one of Mr. Otowa’s men. How could I cooperate with him! That idiot boasts that he has the support of Mara, so he was unscrupulous, treating Lucheng as his own territory and even almost exposed me! As everyone knows, his master is nothing more than an unformed demonic energy until now. How can he be comparable to Mr. Otowa!”

Long Shen said, “Your qualifications are good. Even if you can’t pass the interview this year, you still have a chance next year. Even if you don’t enter the Special Administration Bureau, it doesn’t mean you have to cooperate with demons.”

Cheng Yuan said angrily, “You were born high and mighty, so of course you would say this kind of thing. Do you know how hard it is for me to live? I don’t have a sect with a strong background or a master with deep connections. Even if I join the Special Administration Bureau, how many years will it take to sit in your position? It’ll never be possible! But Li Ying, Liu Qingbo, and your apprentice—how long did it take them? I heard that Dong Zhi has already become the leader of the Lucheng office. It’s no wonder it’s easy to lean on the back of a big tree, while I, who’s obviously more capable than Dong Zhi, can’t even enter the entrance of the Special Administration Bureau just because I don’t have a good master!”

Long Shen’s expression was faint in the dense demonic aura.

“Your dismissal has nothing to do with whether you have a good master or not. It’s because you, as a psychic, walk between yin and yang, and those with uncertain minds are more likely to be affected and go astray. We originally planned not to let you pass the interview this time and observe you for a year. If you are good enough and willing to take the exam again, we would have admitted you next year and put you directly in charge of an office.”

But obviously, Cheng Yuan didn’t pass the test. Because he got rejected, he resented the Special Administration Bureau and turned to the demon camp.

Greed, anger, madness, ignorance, and doubt, the five poisons of Buddhism were inherent in human nature. They were buried deep in the bones and blood and were difficult to eradicate, but some people could restrain and resolve them, while others let them spread and eventually become like Cheng Yuan.

Cheng Yuan’s expression changed. The greenish-black demonic energy corrupted his entire face hideously, but when he heard Long Shen’s words, his complexion twitched slightly. The demonic energy subsided for a bit, and his normal complexion gradually surfaced. Regret and shock flashed across his face, but soon, the demonic energy that quickly extended from his neck to both cheeks occupied his face again, and the demonic energy became even denser than before.

“Why are you observing me! Why not observe the Dong Zhi and Li Ying?! Why do you have to treat me differently? Where can I not compare to them?! In the end, it’s because you guys are biased!”

Under his fury, the demonic energy rushed over, forming a high pressure on Long Shen, tightly oppressing his astral energy that covered his body. As long as his astral energy showed a little weakness, the demonic energy would immediately take advantage of the gap and enter, completely crushing his body!

Long Shen said nothing more.

In fact, he didn’t even want to say what he just said, but he always saw things through. Since he didn’t let Cheng Yuan pass the interview in the beginning, he should give the other party an answer today.

He had been in the world for thousands of years, and he had also seen human nature for these thousands of years.

Mortals rolled around the world and persisted for daily necessities, fame, and fortune all their lives. Human nature always showed a very different polarization in darkness and light.

Just as in times of crisis, there were heroes who stood up and sacrificed themselves for others. There were also villains who were greedy for life and feared death and stabbed others in the back. They were also humans, and after death, their bodies turned into dust, and only their souls remained in the world. The souls of some were like the brilliance of stars. Although sometimes hidden, they never go out, shining in the long night with their faint light.

Most of human nature in the mundane world was like time frozen at the moment before sunrise. The darkness was constant, and many people were like Cheng Yuan, thinking that the day was dark, so the world must be too. But there were also some people, even if the number was small, who were still willing to shine by themselves and become the enlightenment that led to the sunrise. They bravely step forward in order for others to see the magnificent mountains and rivers, dyeing the world with a touch of their warm light.

Long Shen had been disappointed by the thinness of human nature only because he had seen too many betrayals and killings.

But he had also seen those souls who weren’t afraid of danger and walked in the wind and snow. All things under the heavens and the earth were born to be human, not to experience misery and pain but to use human spiritual wisdom to listen to the wind and rain, sing and write poems, feel joy and wonder, the pleasure of the world, and feel the emotions that only humans would have and pursue for life.

And now, there was another person who called him Master; who was willing to work hard for him and be a better person. Even if Long Shen felt that he couldn’t give what the other wanted, the other would never give up on himself as a result.

The magic pressure increased a little, but the aura around Long Shen compressed a bit. Soon, there was only a thin layer left, which could be crushed at any time, making Long Shen not look as powerful and invincible as before.

Cheng Yuan’s fear of him gradually disappeared, replaced by contempt and ridicule.

“Now I don’t need you to look at me differently! As long as Mr. Otowa is around, I’ll have endless power to sway the rivers and seas around the world! Look at you, Long Shen. I can’t forget the way you looked at me at that time. It was like looking at an ant that could be crushed at any time. But what about now? You’re now at my mercy!”

With Cheng Yuan’s crazy words, the demon pressure on Long Shen’s body became heavier. Long Shen could almost hear the arrogant and crazy clamor of the demonic energy. If there was even a single break, the demonic energy would get in immediately…

A demon-surging shadow loomed behind Cheng Yuan. Through the heavy darkness and mist, Long Shen confronted those eyes.

He saw an old man sitting in a room surrounded by an endless void. After the void, after the galaxy, there was an endless sea of blood.

As far as he could see, the thick blood spread out, and the sickening smell of rust lingered. There was killing, hatred, and betrayal everywhere. Humans use the most cruel and vicious methods to kill each other. Heads and limbs were floating in the sea of blood as a demon hid at the edge of the darkness with a hideous smile.

A round red full moon slowly rose at the end of the darkness. The abyss was connected to the sea of blood. The demon opened its bloody mouth and devoured the limbs in the sea of blood one by one.

The wailing and crying were endless, and the voices were full of despair, sharp and tragic, piercing through the heavy void, through the chaotic time, straight into the heart.

Long Shen!

The old man opened his mouth slightly. His voice was like a mosquito, but it was like a heavy hammer, hitting Long Shen’s eardrum heavily.

Boss Long!

That may be from Song Zhicun, or perhaps from someone in the Special Administration Bureau. It overlapped heavily, making it sound familiar yet unfamiliar.

Boss!

That was He Yu’s voice, and also Kan Chaosheng’s and Zhong Yuyi’s.

Long Shen once led them through life and death countless times, turning danger into safety, but now they were also sinking into the sea of blood, unable to save themselves and could only look at him from afar, full of pain and despair.

Master!

There was another person whose face was blurred, and he couldn’t see clearly, but he would never forget that voice.

Only that voice passed through the layers of demonic barriers, mountains of corpses and the sea of blood, out from the red moon that covered the world, and from the wreckage everywhere, so that he would never mistake it. But it was like the top of Mount Tai was pressing directly on his heart and crushing it, along with his last layer of astral energy.

Long Shen shook slightly, and the corners of his mouth overflowed with bright red.


The author has something to say:

Dong Zhi said, “You’re the flower in my heart. You show me the wings of the sun and lead me to a magnificent world. You are the guide in the dark, and you’re the most respected Master and my favorite person.”

P.S. The word “Qianqiu” in the Qianqiu Panlong Mirror refers to the mirror given by the emperor. During the first year of Emperor Xuanzong’s reign, the Tang Dynasty ushered in the peak of prosperity in the world. The ministers proposed that Tang Xuanzong’s birthday be used as the Qianqiu festival. During the festival, the mirror will be given to Princess Yuzhen by Tang Xuanzong. I hereby explain it so that everyone won’t misunderstand that Qianqiu is the name of the mirror.


Kinky Thoughts:

To answers some questions since there hasn’t been a release in a while, I have not dropped Bu Tian Gang. I’ve been fixing my translations in previous chapters before I planned to release more, which took some time to do. Unfortunately, I recently contracted COVID, so I’ve been recovering from that. Thankfully I am on the mend, but releases will be slower until I fully recover.

Speaking of Thousand Autumns, congratulations to Meng Xi Shi. Her novel has been licensed by Seven Seas. I’ve heard good things about this novel so do support her and buy it when it’s released.


<<< || Table of Contents || Lore Glossary || >>>

Happy Doomsday Ch152

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

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


Chapter 152: Worry

They weren’t sure if it was because they hid well, but while the battle around the doll’s head gradually heated up, Ruan Xian and Tang Yibu didn’t encounter another enemy again. The flames in the distance baked the air, making it stuffy and hot, and the unique smell of wet trees burning scattered with the wind.

Considering that they had to pretend to have suitable physical strength, the two didn’t withdraw immediately. They hid in a corner of this twisted nightmare, quietly leaning against each other. As the newly “wounded man”, Tang Yibu curled up after eating, resting his head on Ruan Xian’s lap, breathing evenly and deeply.

Ruan Xian slowly petted the other party’s damp hair, covered in sweat, blood, and dirt. The part close to the hair roots was contaminated with Tang Yibu’s warm body heat, and it brought him a strange sense of comfort when his fingertips touched it.

Tang Yibu always liked to hug and smell him. As the object of being smelled, Ruan Xian was a little curious about the behavior of the android. He couldn’t help but lift up a strand of the other party’s hair, tentatively let go of his senses, and smelled it.

The smell of sweat and blood wasn’t very pleasant. After skimming these, he could still distinguish the smell that belonged to Tang Yibu—like a sun-dried cotton blanket and like a fresh plant that had just been roasted and warmed in the middle of summer. The simple smell brought comfort and peace of mind and made it easy to associate with hugs.

He suddenly understood a little about Tang Yibu’s hobby.

Another life was lying beside him, giving him a heavy feeling in his legs. The weight, temperature, and smell blended into a strange sense of satisfaction. Combined with the slowly writhing flesh under his feet and the inner wall of the doll’s head illuminated by the fire, everything was like an erratic long dream.

Maybe in the next second, he would wake up in the basement of the institute, with only the dark ceiling in front of him.

This thought was like a bubble in boiling water, and many thoughts quickly appeared on the surface and then popped. It was just that its rupture made him feel a little tingly.

Ruan Xian found that he didn’t like this idea very much.

He thought seriously for a few seconds, then stretched out his hand and pulled Tang Yibu’s earlobe. Tang Yibu murmured vaguely, with a faint tendency of falling asleep. Ruan Xian pinched Tang Yibu’s soft earlobes for a while, and then breathed into the other party’s ears mercilessly.

Tang Yibu jumped up almost immediately.

[Xiao Zhao. They’re here.] Ruan Xian smiled.

After his transmission just ended, the still somewhat confused look on Tang Yibu that was in front of him disappeared instantly—the android stood upright and began to make an effort to put on a serious sense of oppression around him.

Ruan Xian tried hard to hold back his laughter.

“Kang Ge has no opinion.” After the treatment of medical machinery, Xiao Zhao didn’t have many scars left on her body. She put her arms around Kang Ge’s waist with both hands, looking coquettish. “Xiao Tang, did you get something good?”

The couple looked like they were preparing for an outing, carrying bulging backpacks.

“I came back from outside, and I did get my hands on some nice stuff.” Tang Yibu shot down a few detection birds as he calmly told lies. “You should know very well that I won’t joke with my life.”

“Well, we’re idle after all.” Kang Ge had the same look as if he didn’t care about anything. “There’s still some time before the next attack, so it’s fun to take risks together. As seniors, we can come up with something, but Xiao Tang, you and your little lover have to go ahead.”

“No problem.”

“Having said that, what did you get?” Xiao Zhao looked at Tang Yibu expectantly, as if the android had become Santa Claus. She seemed to have completely forgotten who had dislocated her joints not long ago.

“…It’s not appropriate to say now.” Tang Yibu kicked the corpse of the detection bird at his feet.

“Don’t ask, Xiao Zhao. What if the administrator overhears? Such a rare opportunity for adventure.” Kang Ge was very serious. “If Xiao Tang wanted to cheat us, wouldn’t that be even more exciting? It’s nice to leave some surprises.”

After that, the two of them kissed loudly. Kang Ge hugged Xiao Zhao in his arms for a while, and then turned to Tang Yibu again. “Xiao Tang, if there’s no surprise, we’ll kill you properly—you were lucky that time when you escaped. We will not miss this time.”

Tang Yibu frowned.

Ruan Xian walked forward naturally, blocked Tang Yibu with his body, pointed his fingers to his mouth, and then spread out his palms.

“Food?” Kang Ge’s attention was immediately deflected.

Ruan Xian nodded.

Xiao Zhao snorted, then dawdled for a bit before untying her backpack and pressing two packs of hardtack into Ruan Xian’s hand. “Find water on your own. We’re not babysitters.”

Ruan Xian didn’t give a response. He turned around and strode towards the forest with Tang Yibu.

“Hey!” Xiao Zhao shouted discontentedly behind him. “Don’t you guys sleep? What a bummer. You’re leaving in the middle of the night?”

“According to your ability, it won’t be difficult to track us down,” Tang Yibu responded indifferently. “Don’t you two like hunting very much?”

“So this is the beginning of the game!” Xiao Zhao’s spirits were lifted. “Kang Ge, Kang Ge, let’s count to 30,000 and then go find them, okay?”

“As you wish.” Kang Ge patted Xiao Zhao’s head.

Ruan Xian and Tang Yibu glanced at each other and headed deeper into the dark forest in the night.

Things were going well so far. Although he knew that Ruan Xian owned the S-type Prototype, he didn’t know if it was for more cautious camouflage or some other reason, but Tang Yibu still held Ruan Xian’s hands tightly and clasped their fingers together.

Ruan Xian thought it was a bit childish but also quite cute. He let the other party lead him forward, quietly enjoying the darkness around him.

The island wasn’t small. If they suppressed their original strength and relied on just an average person’s movement, it was estimated it would take about 15 hours to walk from one end to the other. This didn’t include rest time and possible battles. It was roughly estimated that it would take them at least a day and night to reach their destination.

He didn’t know if the crazy couple would delay their time and would make their trip even longer. At this point, Ruan Xian wasn’t very optimistic.

When he first entered the woods, the remains of some corpses could still be seen in the bushes. He didn’t know whether they were real or fake. Fragments of flesh were scattered on the soil and branches. After walking for about three hours, there were fewer traces of humans, and more fragments of mechanical creatures in the grass. Several detection birds shook their heads on the branches; the camera on them showed a faint red light in the dark.

Tang Yibu didn’t take out his cellphone to detect, so he couldn’t determine whether the scene in front of him was real or not. Ruan Xian practiced his echolocation as he moved forward absent-mindedly and almost fell forward—Tang Yibu stopped at some point and was looking at the lush grass at his feet.

“It’s time for us to rest. It’s best to store more energy.” He pointed to the soft grass pile.

Ruan Xian knew very well that if the food supply was sufficient, it would be no problem for them to walk another 30 hours. However, considering Tang Yibu was still being watched by that unknown peeper, it was always good to keep a low profile.

He took out the two packages of hardtack in his pocket, threw one to Tang Yibu and tore open his own as he sat on the grass and nibbled on them.

Tang Yibu didn’t sit down immediately. He raised his head and looked at the dark treetop, not knowing what he was thinking. The android stood quietly like that for a long time, and after more than ten minutes, he seemed to have made up his mind and turned to Ruan Xian.

Ruan Xian happened to put the remaining hardtack in his waist bag and was arranging the mechanical life expeller that Ji Xiaoman forcibly shoved into everyone.

“Yibu?”

Tang Yibu walked up to him, touched Ruan Xian’s side face with one hand, slid his fingers down his cheeks, and then wandered behind Ruan Xian’s ears and ambiguously rubbed it.

Ruan Xian wasn’t bewitched by the warmth of the other party’s palm for too long. After a few seconds, he discovered the meaning of Tang Yibu’s actions—the other party was using his fingers to write behind his ear.

[I might be rougher in a while, okay?]

Ruan Xian raised his eyebrows.

[We were acting too intimate before. This impression needs to be reversed a bit. Remember, Mr. Ruan, you’re just an ordinary human whose mind has been confused by an AI and I’m just using you to disguise and relieve my bodily needs.]

[Why?] Ruan Xian replied through the earring.

[Just in case.] Tang Yibu’s other hand ripped open his buttons, revealing a firm chest. [Believe…]

However, he didn’t finish writing this sentence.

After all, there had never been real trust between them, Ruan Xian thought. This idea was taken for granted at first, but now it had become a bit uncomfortable; a bit like a ball of fiber grinding in a bed sheet—while it wasn’t harmful, it led to a significant decrease in comfort.

He wouldn’t change his approach because of this discomfort, but the increasingly obvious unhappiness in his heart was also true. Perhaps his “love” for Tang Yibu wasn’t all positive.

He seemed to be tied by an invisible chain, and the smile at the corner of Ruan Xian’s mouth became a bit stiff.

Tang Yibu was obviously also aware of the wrong wording, so he changed his expression.

[If necessary, it’s okay to leave me.] He wrote this sentence very slowly, and Ruan Xian could feel Tang Yibu’s hesitation and struggle from the trembling of his fingertips. [The information in our hands is incomplete, so I must consider all possible situations.]

[Can I escape at any time? This is not like what you said.]

Tang Yibu held Ruan Xian’s face in both hands and kissed roughly, his fingertips wandering on the skin without stopping.

[I have thought carefully. This is good for both of us. I want to count your love and make it one of my aces.]

The writing continued.

[I calculated that the success rate of the whole operation would be higher, assuming you were ignored. In case it doesn’t work, at least one of us still has a chance of getting out. You do the math, Mr. Ruan. I’m the main combat power, but your resilience is stronger than mine. I’m more suitable for eating chocolates and you’re more suitable for getting out in that situation.]

The skin under the fingertips gradually warmed up, and the writing exchange under the cover of shadows still didn’t stop.

[…] Ruan Xian’s chest fluctuated violently without response.

[Of course, it is only possible if necessary, but it is still not possible to escape casually.] Tang Yibu’s fingertips became a little stronger.

[Is that so?] The stiffness on Ruan Xian’s face disappeared, and his smile became a bit stronger. [I don’t know what a “necessary situation” is.]

[When you think we will be destroyed together.] When he wrote this sentence, Tang Yibu was kissing his chin, and Ruan Xian couldn’t see the android’s expression. [Worst case scenario.]

Ruan Xian covered his eyes with one hand and finally laughed. The other party’s actions were as fierce as they had agreed in advance, as if they had returned to the night they wanted to kill each other again. But he only felt the scorching heat that dried up his bones and the shivering sensation that made his hair stand on edge…

[No.] He hooked Tang Yibu’s neck and responded simply. [After escaping, I can’t see you chasing after me angrily. That’s boring. The actual fact that the opponent is also “me” makes you a little too pessimistic..]

Ruan Xian took a retaliatory bite on the android, tasting blood between his teeth.

[…Unlike that guy, I won’t abandon you.]


The author has something to say:

Ruan: If you tell me to run and I run, that’s boring. Even if you run, it’s also a good way to flirt. (???


Kinky Thoughts:

I recently contracted COVID and was recovering from it which is why there wasn’t any daily releases for a while. Thankfully I’m on the mend but releases will be sporadic until I fully recover.


<<< || Table of Contents || >>>

Happy Doomsday Ch151

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

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


Chapter 151: New Body

The iron bead π’s heart was extremely excited at this moment.

It could be said that it had suffered for nearly a day—tracking the car was fine at first, but then it started to twist and turn. In order to find the right way, once it started to reach fork points, it had to put its face in the grass and slowly distinguish the traces in the soil under the grass. This was a time-consuming and physical task, so it didn’t take long for the iron bead to get hungry again.

This time it learned to be shrewder. When it got hungry, it looked tired and yelled in place to attract predators. If the opponent was too scary, it would get out of dodge. If the visitor wasn’t too big, it would kill it and devour the predator in its stomach.

In this way, the iron bead hunted and followed the car for a whole afternoon. Since it started foraging, its drowsy state had improved a lot, but its mood had become more depressed.

Throughout the day, no one stroked its shell or let it nap on their lap. Although it had lived this kind of life for a long time, it wasn’t very used to it now.

How outrageous.

Just when iron bead’s resentment was about to reach its peak, the familiar sound of the engine came from the front. The armored off-roader’s window was closed tightly, but there was a figure on the roof of the car, exuding a familiar smell.

Tears also filled the iron bead’s eyes in that moment.

It jumped up and rushed towards the figure aggrieved, contentedly waiting for the soft embrace and delicious snacks.

In the next second, Ji Xiaoman, who was fighting on the roof of the car, only felt that she had been hit by a cannonball or was severely punched in the stomach.

She blacked out for a moment and instantly fell into the recess of the car roof, using the last of her strength to retain the weapon in her hand. However, the “cannonball” that hit her didn’t explode, but instead rubbed itself hard against her side.

Seeing that Ji Xiaoman didn’t respond, the thing even began to jump around her, making a rattling sound from its mouth.

Ji Xiaoman: “…” She recognized what this thing was, but she hadn’t regained the strength to speak.

Yu Le, who was driving, noticed the abnormality on the roof of the car almost immediately, and he roared anxiously in the car. Ji Xiaoman raised the corner of her mouth weakly, trying to respond, but unfortunately, she could only make a faint guh sound at this moment.

“Lao Yu, I’m fine, I just got hit by…” After a five-minute delay, Ji Xiaoman finally spoke again.

The enemy was still attacking, and several bullets hit the new shell of the iron bead. With no embrace and no snacks, the iron beads jumped for a while and began to rattle and scream in dissatisfaction.

“Good boy, don’t make trouble yet.” Ji Xiaoman propped up and began to aim at the enemy in front of the car while Yu Le increased the speed again. The fast pace of the battle was about to resume. “We have to take care of those people first.”

“Gwah—”

Ji Xiaoman swallowed her spit and plopped back down into the alcove again.

Their enemies obviously realized that, as opponents, their side had a clear mobility advantage—if they didn’t find a way to stop Lao Yu’s armored off-roader, they would only be beaten passively. In the blurred afterimage, Ji Xiaoman recognized the heavy rocket launcher and a figure of a muscular man carrying it. The muzzle was pointed at them.

“π, go and knock the muzzle askew, then jump back immediately.” Ji Xiaoman made a quick decision.

“…Gwah?”

“Half a pound of parts.”

“Gwah…”

“Add another 30 minutes of oil polishing.” Ji Xiaoman blasted her gun into the enemy’s team again. “Hurry up!”

“Gwah!” The iron bead jumped off the top of the car beaming and headed straight for the heavy rocket launcher. It didn’t knock the muzzle askew as Ji Xiaoman had instructed, but skillfully cracked its shell, opened its huge new mouth, and directly bit off a large part of the muzzle. After it was done, it took several bites along the barrel. The original smooth and strong metal parts were now covered in potholes with several pieces missing.

Ji Xiaoman: “……”

“What the hell is this!” The muscular man who was carrying the rocket launcher shouted in a horrified voice. In the next second, he was hit in the face by the bouncing iron bead and was knocked backwards.

After the destruction, the iron bead jumped back to the top of the car again. Ji Xiaoman always had a feeling that if this thing had a tail, it would wag it so fiercely at this moment that it would leave afterimages behind.

After that incomprehensible strange attack, they were completely unable to gain the upper hand. The attitude of the opposite side was very clear—they changed their formation, took the wounded, and withdrew directly into the bushes, where they soon disappeared. The mechanical pursuers that were chasing after them also withdrew at some point. The entire forest had returned to quietness to the point that they could hear the insects chirping in the grass.

“I—fuck.” Yu Le sighed loudly in the car, quickly opened the car window, and knocked on the roof with his fist. “Little profiteer, come in! Did you see that thing just now? I’m scared. If it comes back, we’ll be finished… Ow!”

The iron bead rushed into the car and angrily slammed into Yu Le’s head.

Ji Xiaoman immediately returned to the car. The iron bead immediately laid on her thighs when it saw this and stuck out its four legs so that Ji Xiaoman could clearly see the position of its belly. Seeing that the situation had stabilized, the two children hiding under the car seat slowly sat back up, ignorant of what was happening outside.

“But this is also quite strange.” Yu Le rubbed the part of his head that had been hit for a while. “There shouldn’t be anyone around here. Why did they bump into us?”

“And those things that were chasing us quietly withdrew.” Ji Xiaoman took out the parts box very honestly, wiped the shell on the abdomen of the iron bead, and fed it parts one by one. “…It’s like they drove us here specifically.”

“That’s right. And having said that, what the hell is going on with this thing?” Yu Le squinted at the iron bead that was paralyzed on Ji Xiaoman’s leg.

“It seems to have grown up. I haven’t studied their colony in depth, so I need to ask Tang Yibu about this. As far as I know, the Grove R-660 lifeforms shouldn’t have such strong combat ability.”

“It shouldn’t be able to eat that much.” Yu Le tutted. “With such a big thing, where did all the food go?”

“They vomit out impurities that their body can’t decompose and use, and only absorb… π!”

The iron bead demonstrated it to Yu Le physically—it opened its mouth and vomited on the side of Yu Le’s seat.

“Fuck!!!”

The front row was in a commotion while the two children in the back row watched silently while holding hands.

Management area.

“He can really act with humans, and his companions are of good quality.” The man moved his finger away from the light screen. “You have grown up, NUL-00.”

The catch was that, as the only AI that could match MUL-01 in strength, its body was still too fragile. Just against a human who was experienced in combat, it let its shell suffer so many injuries.

And the companion next to him was also very interesting. That face was outstanding, a bit inexplicably familiar, and he didn’t know for a while whether it was an artificial product or a human being who had corrected his appearance. The body language of the two was very intimate. Except for the occasional display of defensiveness, they were very much like a couple in love.

Was it exploitation? Or was it an act shown to the outside world?

He had carefully studied the basic code of NUL-00 and didn’t find such a strange setting in it. That powerful AI didn’t have a “heart” at the beginning of its birth, and the emotional module was so dangerously blank that it wasn’t much different from the usual lower animals.

He didn’t think it was “love”.

So what kind of relationship have these two people built? How did it escape the destruction process in the first place?

The countless answers he was pursuing were approaching on their own. The man picked up the cup and drank the bitter content in it, and his excitement finally calmed down a little.

Seeing his own plan unfold accurately and gradually with his own eyes, there was nothing more gratifying in the world than this.

“Come and see me.” The man sat back in his seat and extinguished the light screen. The curtains were closed tightly, and only the sticky darkness was left in the house. “After all these years of hard work, it’s time for you to settle down, NUL-00.”

Something gradually lit up in the darkness. First it was a circular light similar to a spider’s eyes, followed by a projection light for illumination. The man was leaning on top of an aisle that resembled a steel bridge, except there was no flowing water under it; only strange machinery that emitted red lights. The orange-red light illuminated a smoke-filled area, and at first glance, it looked as if it was the entrance to hell.

The mechanical shape was a bit close to the phage, with a diameter of more than five meters. The structure at the top of the mechanical column was similar to some kind of crystal, surrounded by countless lines and twisted mechanical structures. It was like a mixture of corpses from mechanical beings that were compressed and spliced together to finalize this hybrid column. It was just that the lights on it were flashing, and the delicate mechanical parts were still pulsating.

“…I will perfect your body.”

“Professor Ruan.” A humanoid machine came over and lowered its head slightly. “Today’s tests have all been completed.”

“Simulate the diffusion model again to make sure it is foolproof.”

“About those four special targets…”

“They performed well today. Let them rest for a while.”

Near the doll’s head.

“The chocolate bar is finished,” Tang Yibu said sadly.

“Like I said, you didn’t have to give me a share.” Ruan Xian shrugged and magically pulled out the remaining bit of chocolate. “I didn’t eat much of it earlier. Here.”

“Aren’t you hungry?” Tang Yibu seemed to be using a lot of self-control to hold himself back from snatching it away.

“You’re pretty sure that Xiao Zhao and Kang Ge will agree to cooperate. As people who have accumulated resources, they have to show a little sincerity in cooperation, such as food.” Ruan Xian stuffed the remaining chocolate bars between Tang Yibu’s lips. “As I said, you’re the main combat power.”

Tang Yibu’s eyes flickered. It took him some time before he took out the remaining chocolate bar and broke it in half.

“Half each,” he said reluctantly.

Ruan Xian was amused by the other party’s actions. The android always liked caring about such peculiarities. “I still have canned food, so you can eat it.”

There was still no news from Xiao Zhao and Kang Ge. People in the distance were still fighting. The burning fire had not been extinguished, and the air was full of blood and guts. The two of them hid in the darkness on the edge of the doll’s head, dividing the last bit of sweets with their blood-stained hands—how weird this scene looked.

But Tang Yibu’s appetite was obviously not affected by the bad environment. He ate the broken chocolate bar sweetly but stared at the last one for a long time and refused to put it in his mouth.

“You know, I’m not in bad condition to this point,” Tang Yibu whispered.

“I like the way you eat.” Ruan Xian admitted calmly. “How about this reason?”

“I still think you should eat something. Even if you can’t eat enough, it’s still… good for the spirit.”

“I’m used to it.” Ruan Xian pinched Tang Yibu’s soft earlobe. “Isn’t that good? Even if I want to escape from you, I don’t have the strength to escape too far.”

Tang Yibu was startled.

After a while, he finally stuffed the only chocolate left in his mouth, then grabbed Ruan Xian’s collar tightly and forcefully used his tongue to pass it over.

Ruan Xian was a little surprised. He didn’t resist and swallowed it obediently. Then he raised his brows at Tang Yibu, waiting for the android to give a serious explanation.

But Tang Yibu said nothing.


The author has something to say:

When you look for Professor Ruan, Professor Ruan also look at you (?

Ruan: I like to watch Tang eat (sincerely)

π finally successfully rolled out of its shell. Congratulations.


<<< || Table of Contents || >>>

Happy Doomsday Ch150

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

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


Chapter 150: Strange Noise

They were standing on the edge of the doll’s head, near the real stone platform. Xiao Zhao didn’t gather her companions who were fighting in the distance but was alone as she looked at Tang Yibu with interest.

“I seem to have heard it wrong just now.” The smile on Xiao Zhao’s face became sickeningly sweet. “Did you refuse, Xiao Tang?”

“No.” Tang Yibu didn’t speak nonsense. This time, he stated it more clearly and loudly. His hand movements became a bit heavier. Ruan Xian instantly understood and pretended that he was badly hurt from that previous fight. He leaned his feet towards Tang Yibu’s chest vainly.

Tang Yibu carefully guided Ruan Xian to the ground, and then took a few steps forward to block his body.

“Then there’s no way out.” Xiao Zhao sighed and rubbed the residual blood on her hands. “Let’s see… How many of your bones did I break before? But now it seems that I have to send your little lover away first. I should have guessed a long time ago that you would run into a guy that could fight. Haa, people’s hearts these days—”

As soon as Xiao Zhao was halfway through speaking, her figure flashed and appeared behind Tang Yibu. She clenched the knife in her hand and jabbed at Tang Yibu’s waist. Tang Yibu pretended to stagger and escaped the blow smoothly.

“Progress!” she exclaimed.

Ruan Xian narrowed his eyes.

Xiao Zhao’s path was completely different from that of the enemy just now. Tang Yibu’s movements were very smooth, and it could be seen that he had not been seriously disturbed. But every time the android moved, there would be a few weird redundancies in his steps.

It was a misdirection.

Compared with complete confusion of perception, Xiao Zhao apparently preferred to hide false details in their environment. Unless one could concentrate, it was difficult to tell what details were deliberate on the part of the opponent—at the moment, Tang Yibu was focusing on hiding his strength and couldn’t completely let go and fight. On the other hand, although Tang Yibu’s perception was somewhat strengthened to a certain extent, it was still very different from the S-type Prototype. Ruan Xian didn’t think Tang Yibu could accurately distinguish those traps.

False projections or depressions on the ground, the wrong edge of the terrain, the subtle deviations in the trajectory of the opponent’s blade and the misalignment of movements; these details were nothing if one just looked at them, but if you were caught in a real fight, they were enough to be a butterfly that could cause a hurricane.

Tang Yibu suppressed all his combat reaction speed and strength to that of an ordinary person that had extensive combat experience at most while looking fiercely. Unfortunately, his opponent was too crazy—Xiao Zhao’s fighting style was beyond what a normal person could do.

“This won’t do.” The tip of Xiao Zhao’s knife slashed across Tang Yibu’s shoulder, bringing up a splash of blood. She herself somersaulted and landed lightly like a feather. “In another five minutes, you’ll be consumed by me… I say Xiao Tang, you really disappointed me that I didn’t even use such a boring method like taking your lover hostage.”

Her movements were crisp and clean, without the slightest trace of sloppiness. It could be seen that she was obviously very good at killing. Relying on the weight and strength of a male physique, Tang Yibu barely kept the battle in a stalemate, but he was also faintly revealing defeat.

“You hurt my hand again.” She just muttered in a complaining tone.

Distracted by those false details, coupled with the opponent’s deadly offensive methods and abnormal movement speed, Tang Yibu could barely attack Xiao Zhao properly. He spent most of his time focusing on defense while Xiao Zhao was like a well-fed cat that was playing with its prey that was struggling in front of it.

Ruan Xian propped his body up off the ground, fixating his eyes on Tang Yibu. To be honest, he wasn’t worried about the android’s safety. As long as Tang Yibu was willing to show a little strength, he could easily crush Xiao Zhao’s skull with his bare hands, and his own preparation was completed. The healing blood gun under his white jacket was ready to go.

But these practices require them to expose a certain degree of strength. Now that someone of unknown origin was spying on them, they couldn’t predict what kind of chain-reaction effects would take place if they were exposed.

What are you going to do, Yibu?

He seemed to be aware of Ruan Xian’s sight. In the middle of the battle, Tang Yibu turned his head sideways, gave him a bright smile, and then shook his head gently.

“Now.”

In the gap between the fierce battle, the android mouthed.

“Not the right…”

The short knife slashed across Tang Yibu’s chest again, staining his clothes red with blood. Although it looked tragic, Ruan Xian was able to make a simple judgement based on the amount of bleeding. Tang Yibu successfully avoided all his vitals but purposefully created a particularly scary wound.

“…time yet.” Tang Yibu completed the information transmission.

At the same time, he was kicked in the chest by Xiao Zhao. He lost his balance and fell to the ground on his back. Xiao Zhao jumped onto his stomach and neatly raised the knife in her hand.

While Ruan Xian was still laying on the ground, Xiao Zhao had never dropped her guard against him. Ruan Xian was sure that the location in which he saw Xiao Zhao wasn’t true. Compared to attacking with his blood gun while his perception was in disarray, it was better to aim the healing blood gun at Tang Yibu.

The problem was Tang Yibu’s intention.

In a certain way, the two of them were very close to the same kind. It was impossible for them to completely pin their own safety on others; they would hold the initiative firmly in their hands. Ruan Xian knew this well, but his heart started to become uncontrollably irritable.

“Just a bunch of overcautious movements. I take back my words. You haven’t made any progress at all. You still look like you’re afraid of death.” Xiao Zhao shook her broken wrist. While Tang Yibu looked at it, her other hand quickly sent out a knife. “When fighting for your life like this, you better use everything you’ve got.”

With her knees pressed against his abdomen, Tang Yibu looked like he was bleeding out and dying.

The knife was raised in slow motion in Ruan Xian’s field of vision, and then fell at an even slower speed. Xiao Zhao didn’t seem to have any intention of killing Tang Yibu. The target of the tip of the knife was Tang Yibu’s right eye.

Ruan Xian hooked the trigger of the blood gun with his finger.

Tang Yibu suddenly smiled. He reached out a hand and let the sharp knife penetrate his palm, then he grabbed the knife together with Xiao Zhao’s hand.

“Got you.” He sounded calm, and his weak appearance disappeared without a trace.

Before Xiao Zhao had time to react, her arms rang out with a click. Removing the joints of the opponent’s arms, Tang Yibu slowly pulled the knife out of his palm, slowly got up, and pushed Xiao Zhao to the ground.

“Thank you for your experience summary.” Tang Yibu patted the soil on his body. His tone was polite. “I’ll also offer a little bit of advice—opponents are easiest to beat at the moment they think they are going to win.”

“Oh?” Xiao Zhao was mercilessly stepped on by Tang Yibu, but there was no panic in her voice. She slowly twisted the corners of her mouth. “This sentence also applies to… Ah!”

Now that Xiao Zhao’s position was successfully determined, Ruan Xian didn’t hesitate to shoot her dishonest left foot twice. Tang Yibu tore off her shoe when he saw this. A long sharp spike popped out from the tip of her shoe and was shining with an unpleasant luster.

“One more thing. I never said this was a one-on-one fight.” Tang Yibu threw the shoe away casually. For insurance, he pulled the other shoe off and tossed it away as well. “Thanks, Mr. Ruan.”

Ruan Xian lay on the ground and waved his hand, continuing to hide the fact that he had already recovered.

“What a lack of gentlemanly manners.”

Both her arms’ joints were dislocated, one leg was shot, but there was still no panic in Xiao Zhao’s voice. Ruan Xian could see that there was a subtle difference between her calmness at this moment and the one she just had—before, her calmness stemmed from self-confidence, but now it stemmed from numbness.

“Today is so unlucky. I lost. How are you going to kill me? Are you going to dramatize it?”

Tang Yibu didn’t immediately turn to Ruan Xian. He tore the hem of his black undershirt and simply bandaged the few large wounds to stem the blood loss. “I haven’t thought about it yet.”

“There’s no point—”

“It depends on whether you are willing to cooperate.” Tang Yibu ignored Xiao Zhao’s reaction.

“Cooperate with what? Anyway, it’s either robbing resources or occupying territory. Or do you want revenge? How boring as hell.”

“I want this island,” Tang Yibu said softly.

“What?”

“I’m going to kill the administrator and seize this island.” Tang Yibu continued to firmly step on Xiao Zhao. “It’s inconvenient to look for things if you’re constantly subject to the management system of this island.”

“What does your scavenger hunt have to do with us?” Xiao Zhao raised her brows.

“Staying in this show for so many years is quite boring, no?” Tang Yibu bent down slightly, giving a polite, but intimidating smile. “If the audience keeps wanting to see this, you’ll have to live here for the next ten, or even hundreds of years. Su Zhao, I guess you and Kang Ziyan have already tried every trick in the book, right?”

Xiao Zhao stopped talking and just rolled her eyes and looked at Tang Yibu.

“You put out sincerity to help other people and try to influence everyone, but at the end of the day, it’s still a show. Then… You probably thought, if you try to kill people, you’ll have a different experience, so you acted. In the end, all that’s left is self-destruction, right?” Tang Yibu said briskly. “You perform various acts to make the audience give up on you, but looking at your current situation, you should fully understand—”

Xiao Zhao smiled, but the smile was so distorted that even Ruan Xian who saw it was left speechless for a few seconds. Xiao Zhao’s facial features were so exquisite and cute that it was hard to imagine that her face could twist to create such an uncomfortable smile.

“No matter how you perform, the audience will want you to live, because your situation is very special in and of itself. If there is really a reasonable ending… You’re afraid that you will become stronger, lose all reason, and be arranged to die as ‘monsters’ on this island in a grand hunt.”

As long as they still had the ability to think, the Mainbrain wouldn’t give up observing. As people who knew the truth and had real personalities, this couple was destined to be squeezed into useless trash before they could meet the end of their lives.

Now, they were still half-crazy, and their strength was eye-catching, so they wouldn’t be easily given up.

“Look, the medical machinery is already on standby around the corner.” Tang Yibu snorted.

“Even if we give you information, what will we get?” Xiao Zhao cocked her head. A trace of clarity glinted in her eyes.

“Something not boring.” Tang Yibu moved his feet away. “With your ability, you should have never won over the administrator. A rare new toy in years, don’t you want to try it?”

“Mm-hmm, that sounds great. However, we won’t guarantee your safety and lives. After all, it’s also very interesting to take action against you.” Xiao Zhao licked the blood at the corner of her mouth. “That’s okay?”

“Deal.” Tang Yibu completely retracted his feet. He had no plan to treat Xiao Zhao, but just hid in the shadows and watched Xiao Zhao climb to the treatment machine by herself.

“You knew she would agree?” After a long kiss for treatment, Ruan Xian panted a little bit.

“At first they were a bit like you when we just met.” Tang Yibu pretended to put a bandage on himself. “But unlike your situation, they were probably sincere.”

Those two people once really wanted to change those androids who knew nothing about the android show, as well as the humans who were gradually added after the Great Rebellion.

However, even if protracted killing and chaos couldn’t change everyone, long despair would. Those two people hadn’t completely lost their minds. Tang Yibu didn’t expect them to have much of their former goodness left. He just needed to be clear that to this day, those two people would still remember their hatred for this show.

Hatred should be the most unforgettable emotion.

“I have witnessed the process of their collapse. If there’s anyone on this island who wants to deal with the administrator the most, their desire for his destruction may be stronger than ours.” Tang Yibu stretched out his bloodied hand to Ruan Xian. “Help me wrap it up, Mr. Ruan. I also want a bow.”

Ruan Xian shook his head amusedly and wrapped Tang Yibu’s quickly healing palm with a bandage. He pondered for a while and jerkily tied an ugly bow.

Tang Yibu stared at the bow for a while, was silent for a long time, and then exhaled. “Let’s go, Mr. Ruan.”

“No need to wait for them?”

“Those two guys are popular characters. Although I just killed a group of detection birds, many more will come soon.” Tang Yibu picked up Ruan Xian. “Let them handle it by themselves. If they can’t even find us, there is not much need for cooperation. And…”

“And?”

“Those two people may not really be ‘both’ crazy.”

On the other side, without Ji Xiaoman’s response, Yu Le quickly looked around and decided to find a place to park.

Just rushing into the other team blindly, the bullets would only get denser. In case Ji Xiaoman was injured, he would only be pushing her towards the underworld. Yu Le never considered himself a saint. Although the two children in the back row were also pitiful, if he really had to choose between his companions and women and children, he would choose the former.

“Ji Xiaoman! Little profiteer!” Yu Le slammed the roof of the car with his fist. “Damn, just squeal if you’re still alive!”

There was a heavy bang on the roof of the car, but it didn’t look like the movement that Ji Xiaoman could make—the sound was too dull, and the strength was terrifying.

Bang. Bang. Bang.

The sound was becoming more regular. Cold sweat began to emerge from Yu Le’s forehead. The experienced ruins pirate was unable to distinguish the cause of this sound. The life and death of his companion was uncertain, and an unnatural movement was close at hand…

“Gwah!!!” The sound of banging stopped, and a brand-new bark broke through the air.

“Lao Yu, I’m fine. I just got… Tsk… Bumped by this.” Ji Xiaoman’s feeble voice followed after the bark.

Yu Le: “……”

The pirate leader rolled his eyes and stepped on the gas.


The author has something to say:

Congratulations π on your return to the team!!!

As soon as it returned to the team, it took down one of its own (…)


<<< || Table of Contents || >>>

Happy Doomsday Ch149

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

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


Chapter 149: God’s Gift

The armored off-roader gradually marched towards the center of the forest. The trees changed from sparse to dense, and then sparse again. With fresh water and medicine, the two children sitting in the back of the car slowly rested. The sky completely darkened, but Su Zhao and Kang Ziyan were both awake.

“Turn left on that rock in front of you, then stick to the wall.” Su Zhao continued to show the way.

There were no lights on in the car; only a little moonlight came in through the window. Coupled with the cover of the woods, the scene in the forest began to become indistinguishable. Fortunately, they were close to their destination—the wall of the management area is solid white, emitting a faint warning-like luminescence in the darkness, like a wandering spirit hiding in the leaves.

“There’s a depression in the wall that is used to place the mechanical radiator. It’s about the size of a small room. There are places to hide inside, and no one from the outside will come after us.”

“You two are quite skilled.” Yu Le bypassed the rock and began to drive against the wall.

“…We hid a few times, but it was easy to get caught before. We discovered this place not long ago.” Kang Ziyan took over and spoke in a low tone. “If it weren’t for my injury this time, I wouldn’t have involved Zhaozhao…”

“What are you talking about? It’s okay now.” Su Zhao kissed Kang Ziyan on the forehead. “It will certainly go well. As long as we come here a few more times, they will find that we haven’t earned too much attention and won’t force us to go to the battlefield again.”

“Speaking of earning attention, don’t you find it strange? Being observed by others, and then being handed attention points or something.” Yu Le, who had been driving for a day, poured himself a sip of ice water. The memory of the previous day in his head still showed no signs of recovery.

“Isn’t everyone like this?” Su Zhao turned her head in confusion. “They say it’s like this all over the world.”

“…Have you ever thought about the question of ‘who is watching’?”

“Of course, it’s God. Those supplies are all given by God, and the administrator is the messenger of God.” Su Zhao replied quickly. “Uncle, why do you keep asking these strange questions? How much have you forgotten?”

This left Yu Le quite speechless for a while. The people here seemed to be completely wrong in their heads, but he couldn’t find a reason to refute her statement at this time. There were obviously phantoms of iconic buildings belonging to various countries in the distance, but the thoughts of people here were stuck several centuries ago.

“Then do you know where those buildings came from? Have they mentioned other countries or anything like that?” The former pirate leader continued to test the waters.

“Mentioned,” Kang Ziyan replied positively. After recovering from his injury, his temperament was much livelier than Su Zhao. “Everyone exchanges resources in their own ways, but most of them are very backward. Those people have different starting lines since birth. Even if some people are talented, they don’t have the opportunity to showcase themselves. I’ve heard that in some places, God is even stricter and even forbids some of them to even stand in front of the starting line.”

“It’s strange how they live,” the child said.

“They are used to it… We are also used to it,” Ji Xiaoman whispered as she shook her head. “I kind of understand them. When I grew up in the Underground City, I used to think that the world was like that.”

Yu Le didn’t say a word. He stepped on the brakes and stopped next to the radiator that Su Zhao mentioned. But before his car stopped steadily, a sharp siren came from inside the wall.

The faces of the two children turned pale in an instant.

“Impossible!” Su Zhao’s voice was shrill with the sharpness of a little girl. “We’ve hidden here twice!”

“Run!” Kang Ziyan was more straightforward. “Uncle, run! The mechanical troops are coming!”

“Fuck, if I find out that you two little brats are playing us…” Yu Le cursed, stepped on the gas, and quickly rushed to the outskirts of the forest.

In the next second, several circular machines rose from inside the wall. The red electronic eyes in the center of the circle locked on the armored off-roader speeding through the woods. Yu Le drove the car into a fighter jet as he swayed the car left and right to avoid the mechanical lock behind him, trying to get the mechanical tracking bombs to smash into the trees. The two children lay down under the seat of the car, covering their heads with their hands and firmly fixing their bodies in the car.

Ji Xiaoman rolled down the window and got out. The petite girl carried a small bazooka for emergencies. She maintained her balance on top of the rampaging car and began blasting those tracking bombs that Yu Le couldn’t easily shake off, as well as the mechanical pursuers that were biting behind their backs.

“Little profiteer, be careful!” Yu Le increased his driving speed. Seeing that there was a narrow ditch in front of the car, he yelled out the window and drove straight over.

The heavy armored off-roader lifted into the air under the action of inertia and barely crossed the ditch. Yu Le was about to breathe a sigh of relief when a tracking bomb exploded at the rear window of the car.

Their pursuers were behind them, while a group of figures also appeared in front of them. The formation wasn’t like an ambush. It should be a direct collision.

In that group of figures, several of them were posing with guns raised towards the car.

“…Ji Xiaoman!” Yu Le roared out, almost turning on the headlights to the brightest setting to interfere with the group of people blocking in front.

However, no answer came from the car roof.

“It’s dark,” Tang Yibu murmured in a low voice, with the sweetness of a chocolate bar in his breath.

[Shhh.]

Ruan Xian listened hard in the dark.

The sound had the element of being fake. While ordinary people should be okay, the perception of the S-type Prototype should be several levels sharper. There was no big flaw in the perceptual interference itself, but the fake sound matched the real sounds, creating a strong sense of indescribable incongruity, like putting two mismatched puzzles together. All kinds of noisy sounds were mixed together as Ruan Xian quickly sorted them out in his mind, trying to deduce the real situation outside.

This was similar to forcing his perception to its maximum. It didn’t take long for the feeling of being overdrawn to faintly appear.

[The doll head side is on the defensive. The battle is nearby.] He came to this conclusion. [If you want to run, we should take advantage now.]

“A metal cover was added to the top of the hole.” Tang Yi got up. “Wait a moment, Mr. Ruan… and lend me this thing.”

Ruan Xian listened carefully—Tang Yibu easily folded down the metal pin buckle on his holster, causing it to creak a little, then easily climbed to the entrance of the hole, causing the soil and rocks to fall with a faint sound.

For the first time, he witnessed how truly cautious Tang Yibu was—the android didn’t even want to expose his true strength by trying to open the lock by using the keyhole.

Soon after, there was a soft click above his head, followed by the clicking and scraping sound of the metal lid being lifted. Tang Yibu jumped back at him lightly. Then Ruan Xian found himself being picked up.

“Let’s go, Mr. Ruan.” The android bit his ear again.

[How is the situation outside?] The phone was in Tang Yibu’s hand, so all Ruan Xian could see was darkness.

Their movement distance shouldn’t have been completely messed up by the enemy’s fake perception. Tang Yibu clearly held him in his arms, and Ruan Xian still had the feeling of standing on the ground with both feet but compared to being at the bottom of the pit, the fake perception had weakened considerably.

Their perception should have been forged by someone, and the forger was most likely the guard here. When the camp was invaded, it was logical that most of the manpower would be transferred to the battlefield. Tang Yibu’s unlocking process was quite smooth, and the guards shouldn’t be keeping an eye on them all the time.

But now that they have reached the surface, it was difficult to say.

Ruan Xian’s perception began to become fragmented. All he could see was darkness, and his senses of touch and smell were in disarray. Without vision, other perceptions became more easily affected.

He couldn’t feel Tang Yibu’s warm arms holding him. His body felt like it was falling like he was being buried alive in heavy soil. The confusion of touch made him a little nauseous.

Tang Yibu seemed to have suddenly evaporated from his side.

Ruan Xian quickly concluded that most likely, they were discovered and attacked by the guards. Was he still being held by Tang Yibu? Or was he put down? The sense of touch switched as fast as a revolving lantern, and the sense of incongruity became much heavier, almost causing Ruan Xian to almost vomit.

Amidst the chaotic perception, he struggled to listen to the faint reflective sounds of his surroundings, barely finding an anchor point for his senses.

The attacker didn’t seem to mind that he found something wrong, nor did they care if the affect was natural or not and was pouring all his strength into disrupting his perception. Ruan Xian had learned about the effects of augmented reality in this era when he was in The Glass Conservatory and was able to figure out how it worked—such a violent attack theoretically required a high degree of mental concentration, and he was definitely the primary target of the attack.

Tang Yibu had the cellphone in his hand and could see the real situation. Unfortunately, they were being spied on, so it wasn’t easy for the android to show its true strength. They were still in a terrible situation at the moment. It could be seen that the situation couldn’t be easily solved.

The other party couldn’t be exposed, and neither could they.

[Yibu.] He called to the other party through his earring. The surrounding sounds were so noisy that Ruan Xian gave up the idea of expending energy to indiscriminately parse them and instead decided to save his strength first. [If you’re still holding me, leave me as I struggle for a while. If not, don’t do anything.]

Since the guards focused their attacks on him, most likely they figured out that Tang Yibu had the means to eliminate the influence of their perception. The two of them had always behaved very intimately. If they thought like ordinary people…

After another wave of tactile influence arrived, Ruan Xian flailed his limbs indiscriminately, making a frightened and struggling appearance. Then he ignored everything his body perceived and focused all his energy on his ears.

He had to abandon all perception except hearing. Ruan Xian took a deep breath, although he hadn’t tried this approach before, he had to do it now.

There were many trees here, and the faint sound reflections were constantly bouncing back from all directions. He incorporated them into his brain like a bat and began to estimate the real situation nearby through the reflection of the soundwaves.

Gradually, blurred images without color appeared in my mind.

He was being roughly restrained by someone, with a weapon held against his temple. There was another person standing behind him. Judging from his posture, that person should be pointing a gun at Tang Yibu.

The android stood a few steps away; his heartbeat was a little faster than usual.

From this perspective, Tang Yibu should be able to see his expression. Ruan Xian raised the corner of his mouth and smiled in his direction. His hand crept into his waist pocket and grabbed the knife that he had used to cut his abdomen.

Then, while judging the opponent’s subtle movements based on the sound, he turned around abruptly, and the blade slit across the throat of the person behind him.

The other party seemed shocked by his sudden outburst and didn’t react for a while; only covering his throat while backing away. Ruan Xian’s sense disorder became even heavier, as if he was bundled up on a roller coaster or riding a boat in a storm. Dizziness and weightlessness all hit at the same time, splitting his head.

But it didn’t matter. All he needed to do was just listen.

Just remember the way he exerted his strength and treated his body like a marionette. In this way, even if there was no sense of touch under his feet and his entire perception of the space around him was turned upside down, as long as his calculations were correct, he could run.

Ruan Xian grabbed another guard with his backhand, and the bloody blade followed without hesitation. He didn’t leave the opponent any time to breathe. The blow wasn’t successful in hitting their vitals. Ruan Xian drew out his blood gun and shot his opponent twice in the head.

The haptic disorder stopped instantly, and his vision returned to normal. Ruan Xian knelt on his knees and retched a few times. Tang Yibu rushed forward quickly, searched for a weapon on the body, and then stretched out his hand to Ruan Xian.

“Well done, Mr. Ruan.”

In the burning fire and moonlight, those golden eyes were full of smiles.

Ruan Xian couldn’t help but laugh, easily took the hand, and let the other party pull himself up. After confirming that Ruan Xian had stood firm, Tang Yibu picked up the gun he had obtained from the corpse and fired several shots into the surrounding darkness.

Ruan Xian raised his eyebrows until a small bird fell softly in front of him.

“Now you are very… good-looking.” Tang Yibu wiped the blood on Ruan Xian’s cheek with his palm, and then gently kissed the other’s lips that were covered in dirt. “I don’t want others to see too much.”

[Is the sense of peeping still there?] Their location was in the corner of the doll’s head, a bit far from the battlefield, and the light wasn’t strong. Seeing that there were no enemies around him for the time being, Ruan Xian simply took advantage of the situation to deepen the kiss.

“Yes, I’m sorry,” Tang Yibu muttered in a low voice. “Your handling method is very reasonable.”

[It seems that we have to catch your acquaintances quickly and stay away from here.] Ruan Xian looked into the distance.

The ceramic doll heads were still stubbornly glued to their retinas. Counting the flesh and blood that littered the area, the battlefield near the doll’s head was about the size of three to four soccer fields. However, the camp was doing a good job of guarding, as most of the fights were concentrated outside the doll’s head.

“Oh, you guys came out, Xiao Tang.”

Their target delivered themselves to their front door.

Xiao Zhao was stepping on the orchid on the edge of the fleshy and bloody square while holding two heads by their hair, all while still smiling brightly and sweetly.

“… I couldn’t see it. Xiao Ruan is quite capable of fighting.”

“Where’s Kang Ge?” Tang Yibu protected Ruan Xian with one hand and responded calmly.

“I deliberately asked him to kill more. The secret of harmony between husband and wife—it’s not a good thing to be too competitive. It’s good to lose once in a while.” Xiao Zhao’s voice became a little more neurotic and serious. “Well now, you were safe in the cell but decided to run out.”

She threw away the two heads she was holding. They rolled into the orchid bush and splattered blood on the leaves, dying them a dark red.

“I’ll take you back. Xiao Tang, you’ve always listened to us. I’m too lazy to do it so can you take Xiao Ruan back by yourself? …After all, I like your faces very much. It must be very disappointing when they rot.”

Tang Yibu put away the smirk on his face and gradually returned to his expressionless appearance.

“No,” he said.


The author has something to say:

The iron bead at this moment: crying and following the car, trying to think about where everyone has gone.


Kinky Thoughts:

Fun fact, what Ruan Xian is doing is basically echolocation.


<<< || Table of Contents || >>>

Happy Doomsday Ch148

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

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


Chapter 148: The Two Deceased

Tang Yibu completely calmed down.

The piece of rotting flesh was still emitting its heavy stench not far away. The memories associated with the past kept surfacing, but this time the situation was slightly different. There was another person in his arms, and he was no longer the ordinary android who had no resistance twelve years ago. In addition to his mind, he also had enough combat leverage.

But his mood at the moment was a bit strange.

Twelve years ago, he hadn’t gotten the A-type Prototype, and his body was extremely fragile. The body of a pure human was much weaker than that of a synthetic android. Even if he had the intelligence, Tang Yibu still chose the safest route…

Shoot the bird who took the lead*. No matter how advanced the cybernetic brain in the skull was, once the body died and lost its energy supply, all that awaited was the ending of being swallowed by the ground. There was more freedom to develop one’s power, but the possibility of being targeted by others would also skyrocketed.

*(枪打出头鸟) Metaphor referring to those who take the lead are vulnerable to blows. || Basically, he plans to not stand out, so he won’t likely be targeted.

He was constrained by his fragile body, which he couldn’t afford to lose at that time.

It was safest to pretend to be an average participant. In order to survive, as long as he was sure it wasn’t life-threatening and would not bring long-term hidden dangers, he would calmly do it—eating spoiled meat and enduring a certain number of beatings couldn’t be any easier.

Human personality data ran in those androids’ brains so he could perform an accurate analysis. He was very clear about which was occasional violent venting, and which could cause him to be targeted for a long time.

For example, there had been people who rushed to him for sex. Once the other party clearly revealed their intention in this regard, Tang Yibu was more inclined to kill them secretly, as to completely avoid possible follow-up problems.

Even so, the memories of this period were still accompanied by endless pain. It stood to reason that he should have gotten used to this a long time ago. Everything was just part of achieving the goal of “surviving”. Now, with a huge advantage, he should have felt relaxed and satisfied.

However, at this moment, smelling the stench of rotten flesh only made him feel bitter and aggrieved. He couldn’t help but hold the person in his arms tighter.

It wasn’t a weakness, but there was an inexplicable sadness in his heart.

…These were strange emotions with no efficiency, value, or clear purpose.

His Mr. Ruan stretched out his hand and patted him gently on the back. Mr. Ruan didn’t ask any questions, but Tang Yibu knew very well. Relying on the current information, the other party could speculate on what might have happened to him in the past.

Kang Ge and Xiao Zhao left more than ten minutes ago, leaving a lot of information worth discussing. Mr. Ruan didn’t immediately exchange ideas with him but let him hug him tightly. Tang Yibu put his nose on the side of the other party’s neck, sniffed lightly, and made sure that his emotions returned to normal. He finally slowly released his arms.

[I don’t mind if you act coquettishly for longer.] The party’s message finally came. Mr. Ruan ran his fingers through his hair, making him feel a bit itchy. [But now, it’s time to explain your original situation, Yibu. What is the attention focus? What happened to those two just now?]

It turned out that this kind of behavior was considered being coquettish. Tang Yibu looked back on this oddly fresh feeling for a few seconds before he began to answer Mr. Ruan’s question.

“I don’t know what the attention focus is. It may be a new rule added by the Mainbrain.” He licked the earlobe of the person in his arms and gave a contented sigh. It was amazing that the stench of rotting flesh seemed unable to affect his mood any longer. “Kang Ge and Xiao Zhao are my original… They can be regarded as partners with common interests.”

[Looking at the situation just now, is it their because abuse won’t kill you?] There was no positive emotion in Mr. Ruan’s message. Instead there was a chill reading between the lines.

“In the initial Struggler, their situation was also special. They are a bit close to the kind of situation I mentioned of replicating true personality,” Tang Yibu whispered. “But there’s a bit of a subtle difference. Their personalities weren’t put in for the purpose of seeking novelty.”

Ruan Xian didn’t feel very good. The soft piece of rotten flesh fell to the ground. His long-lost dark mood had suddenly risen. No matter what purpose Tang Yibu had that he snuck into the show at the beginning, he didn’t have the A-type Prototype back then. Ruan Xian could guess the strategy the other party adopted with his fragile human body in order to survive in this survival game.

He understood logically, but he couldn’t restrain the anger in his heart.

What an interesting experience.

Ruan Xian slowly stroked Tang Yibu’s muscular back with his fingers, as if comforting a large, injured beast. However, before anger affected reason, he needed to change the subject so that he could stay as calm as possible.

[…Subtle differences?]

The answer given by Tang Yibu didn’t surprise him too much. After all, the android chose them as partners for cooperation at the beginning, so it wasn’t so that he could die faster.

“For real personality investment for the purpose of novelty, the owner of those personalities basically chooses to watch the excitement from the outside, treating all this as a realistic game. These two people… Their personality provider is dead.”

Ruan Xian frowned. [Tell me more details.]

It was never bad to understand more of the enemy.

“Xiao Zhao’s name is Su Zhao. She was a well-known explorer during her lifetime and was born into a competitive martial arts family, so she’s very good at wilderness survival and hand-to-hand combat. She also possessed a wealth of knowledge. Kang Ziyan is her fiancé who has known her since childhood and was once a top executive of Plan Corp.” Tang Yibu stared at the artificial darkness in front of him. “Su Zhao died unexpectedly during an expedition before her marriage. For research and recording purposes, she made a comprehensive backup of her memory and personality.”

[Putting memories into the Android Show requires permission, right?]

According to the information obtained so far, there was still basic control over the security of human personalities before the doomsday. Not to mention how demanding Professor Ruan was for the “Farewell Project”, even Plan Corp wouldn’t involve such sensitive issues for money and ratings.

“On this issue, they have quarreled in front of me many times. Before the accident, Su Zhao had authorized all her electronic property to Kang Ziyan, and her personality data was included in it. After her unexpected death, Kang Ziyan wasn’t willing to accept reality.”

[The situation of the two people in the Underground City?] Ruan Xian suddenly thought of He An and Fu Yu.

“It’s different from those two. He An’s personality was imitated through Fu Yu’s memories, and it was essentially a brand-new synthetic personality. Those two people are full replicas, closer to the condition of the survivors in the Shade Refuge. Kang Ziyan abused his power—he injected Su Zhao’s and his own personality into the cybernetic brain as is and created identical shells that were put into the show as a ‘background character’. According to the law at the time, Kang Ziyan’s behavior was considered to be a malicious crime.”

When Plan Corp initially modified personality data and injected it into androids, it was already considered an act of marginalization. At that time, there was still lots of controversy about “personality transplantation” of terminally ill patients and brain-dead people, not to mention the matter of bringing back the dead.

Tang Yibu shook his head. His breathing slowed down a bit.

“So after doing all this, Kang Ziyan, who is a human, committed suicide.”

“For the newborn ‘Su Zhao’ and ‘Kang Ziyan’, they will instinctively think that they are human beings, while being very clear about the true situation of the android show. When Plan Corp found out, things had reached a point where it was hard to get off riding the tiger*—they could only offer up the appearance authorization left by Kang Ziyan, falsely claiming that it was some kind of memorial and that the personalities of the two had been adequately reprocessed. Otherwise, they would have to bear joint and several responsibilities… After discovering that they could avoid punishment, Plan Corp also hyped up the matter for a while, which is why I knew about the existence of these two people.”

*(骑虎难) Metaphor referring to the difficulty to carry on a task, but the situation doesn’t allow it to stop halfway, thus creating a dilemma.

[You said, they haven’t been so crazy before.]

“Nn. Perhaps it’s more appropriate to explain this way—the ‘civilization’ of those two people is far beyond the original Struggler’s design alignment. I have studied their profiles and they are much friendlier to individuals around them than other androids. Things had deteriorated quite a bit by the time I joined. They would quarrel with each other for days and occasionally hurt other androids to vent their anger. Their thinking was barely maintained at a normal human level.”

A lean camel is bigger than a horse*. The remnant humanity was better than the pre-set barbarism,’ Ruan Xian thought. Since he couldn’t escape the fate of being injured, it was reasonable for Tang Yibu to choose those two people as partners for cooperation.

*(瘦死的骆驼比马大) Proverb referring to people who have special expertise in one aspect, even if they suddenly reach the point of poverty in this aspect, are better than some people who have just been released in this aspect. || In this context, it means that Su Zhao’s and Kang Ziyan’s actual human personalities were better (for the show) than the preset personalities inputted into an android because at least they were originally humans, and their data is based off of their human characteristics.

However, looking at the current situation…

“I can understand the purpose of why the Mainbrain kept them specifically. They are indeed rare samples.” Tang Yibu sighed in a low voice. “Choosing them at that time was a mistake in my judgment. I originally thought their spirits wouldn’t collapse so quickly.”

[That is to say…] Ruan Xian had a guess. [Only Xiao Zhao and Kang Ge may be like us here; knowing that the ‘reality’ is artificially distorted and the theory behind it. Other people are likely to think that they have the ability to influence ‘reality’, but they don’t know that the world in front of them is an illusion?]

Compared with other characters who had been forcibly instilled with preset worldviews, the two undoubtedly had a considerable information advantage, and it wasn’t surprising that they had climbed to the top of the pyramid of strength.

So it was imperative that the two of them take away their cellphones, but they didn’t think much of the weapons.

“Yes.” Tang Yibu nodded. The tips of his slightly long hair swept across Ruan Xian’s neck. “I don’t know how much of their rationality is left. If they still have a little logic, they will definitely be wary of us.”

[It’s worth testing.]

Compared to “androids” who regarded this island as the whole world, those two people would have more information; about the sense of peeping of unknown origin, about the changes on the island… About Professor Ruan.

Professor Ruan used to be an outsider here. Ruan Xian once thought it was a coincidence that Xiao Zhao and Kang Ge found Tang Yibu, but what if it wasn’t?

Anyway, chaos was destined to break out tonight, as long as one of those two people was still rational.

“Well, not surprisingly, they will have a better understanding of the management of this island.”

Tang Yibu sniffed Ruan Xian’s neck again. “If Ruan… That person is really here, he’s probably hiding near the management area. Even if unsuspecting people have the courage to attack the management area, they often give up after being brutally suppressed—the management area of the Android Show is one of the most heavily guarded areas in the world. It’s difficult for even a fly to enter successfully.”

Besides that, Kang Ziyan used to be a senior executive of Plan Corp, so he wasn’t just an ordinary insider. It shouldn’t be difficult to carefully test and find out the boundary distance that was most beneficial for himself.

[I’m kind of looking forward to the sun setting.] Ruan Xian tugged the corners of his mouth.

They were different from that crazy couple—they didn’t have the reality augmentation devices and couldn’t turn their understanding of rules into deadly weapons. However, relying on their own abilities, it was still possible to ensure safety.

The most threatening thing was the peeping.

It had been sticking to them, but there were no follow-ups. If it was the prying eyes of the Mainbrain, according to its style of killing a thousand by mistake and not letting one go, they should have been caught and quarantined by the Order Supervisors long ago.

But the peeper just observed them in silence.

…If that was Professor Ruan, as a human, how was he doing this? What was the purpose?

They currently lack the necessary information, and it was useless to guess indiscriminately. Now they were very close to the mystery named Professor Ruan.

They just needed to be patient.

Ruan Xian stretched out his hand, pressed the back of Tang Yibu’s head, and gave the other party a soothing kiss in the dark.

Be patient and cautious. No matter what answer he got, he was bound to take away this android from Professor Ruan once and for all.

The sun was about to set. Ji Xiaoman held the cellphone in one hand while the other was facing a screen to repair the damage on her prosthetic limb. She would glance at the back of the car from time to time. The two children sitting in the back row had slightly dropped their guard. Although they didn’t dare to fall asleep together, their posture was no longer stiff.

“Turn right in front of that tree.”

Kang Ziyan, who was more seriously injured, sounded refreshed as he drank more of the canned peaches. The juice from the yellow peach left a dark wet stain on his collar. Su Zhao was sleeping soundly on his shoulder, leaving another wet stain with her saliva.

“Man Jie, why are you holding that thing in your hand?” After pointing the way, Kang Ziyan asked in a low voice.

“Repair equipment. Let me see more clearly.” Ji Xiaoman didn’t intend to tell the truth.

“Oh.” Children were easily dismissed as Kang Ziyan quickly lost interest. “Can you give me two more cans?”

Ji Xiaoman nodded and used the hand holding the cellphone to reach for the food box. In the screen that flashed by, she suddenly noticed something subtle—there seemed to be more cans on the screen than she could see with  naked eye.

Ji Xiaoman frowned, pointed her mobile phone at the food box, and took a closer look.

This time, the quantity was normal.

Was it her own eyes? She shook her head. While the two children in the back weren’t paying attention while handing out the canned food, Ji Xiaoman quietly glanced at the two children on the screen—whether they were shown on the phone or not, the two children’s appearance didn’t change.

Ji Xiaoman pursed her lips… Perhaps she was being too overly suspicious.

“Here,” she said. “It’s getting dark, and the lights won’t be on in the car for a while, so hurry up and eat now.”


The author has something to say:

It’s (part of) the past of Kang Ge and Xiao Zhao XD

Tang chose them for a reason XDDD

Ruan: I’m robbing from myself (×


Kinky Thoughts:

Though Su Zhao’s sex has now been established, depending on how the author narrates and the POV, “he” may still be used for the kid version (since Yu Le and Ji Xiaoman aren’t privy to this information yet, and they can’t tell the sex of Su Zhao). If it’s just a reference and not a POV, the correct pronoun will be used in that case.


<<< || Table of Contents || >>>

Happy Doomsday Ch147

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

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


Chapter 147: Concerns

After being a pirate for so long and as a marauder, Yu Le’s first reaction when he heard the imperative words “hand over” was to laugh.

“I haven’t heard of this kind of request in years.” He laughed for a while. “I say, how many of you are there? Isn’t it humiliating to have that much just to threaten?”

“Raw face.” The person next to the leader on the other side said.

“If they’re not one of us, then it’s fine,” The young man who was the leader said. “Forget it. Kill them—”

“Do it?” Ji Xiaoman moved her metal prosthesis and opened the window.

“Remember to keep them alive.” Yu Le didn’t talk nonsense and slammed on the gas.

The car crashed straight into the group in front of him. Yu Le adjusted all the window glass to one-way light transmission mode. Ji Xiaoman crawled out of the car window like a gecko, flipped to the roof of the car, and fired her machine gun in all directions.

In order to secure the luggage, the top of the armored off-roader had a small recess. The petite Ji Xiaoman was just small enough to lie down inside, and with the height of the roof of the car, the bullets on the opposite side couldn’t hit her. Occasionally, thrown weapons fell on the roof of the car, but Ji Xiaoman ignored them and focused all her attention on the subtle vibration of the roof.

No one knew better than her how metal reacted when it’s touched, and if that reaction was wrong, even if the “bombs exploded” under Ji Xiaoman’s nose, she had no intention of moving.

As a mechanical hunter who grew up in the Underground City, being suspicious of everything could be said to be an instinct engraved in her bones, and facing death was even more commonplace.

This was the first time they had fought against an opponent with reality-augmentation capabilities. Even if they weren’t affected by the unimaginable weirdness, the opponent’s positions and distance may be fake. At any rate, the two of them were struggling in a real fight, so they could never be too cautious.

Eyes, ears, and nose couldn’t be trusted. The phone could only help them determine three things: the surrounding environment, the number of people on the other side, and the degree of armament they had.

These three things were enough.

Yu Le kicked one of the military fireboxes installed near the seat, took out a few incendiary grenades, and weighed them in his hand.

“Little profiteer, it may be a bit hot outside. Remember to buckle the gas mask tightly.” After that, he waited for a few seconds, and then began to throw incendiary grenades around. The choking smoke was accompanied by large flames raging everywhere. Behind the gas mask, the corner of Ji Xiaoman’s mouth hooked as she began to shoot intensively at the few gaps left by Yu Le.

At the same time, Yu Le drove the bulky armored off-roader like it was a living thing. The attacker specially picked a densely wooded area to appear in but failed to successfully trap the behemoth with trees.

Everything was burning. When the incendiary bombs ignited, Yu Le almost turned around in place so that Ji Xiaoman could get a better shooting angle. The bullets fired from outside slammed against the car windows but failed to break them. The former pirate leader whistled triumphantly.

The shooting lasted for a few minutes before Ji Xiaoman formed a fist with her hand and knocked on the roof of the car. Yu Le went around the smoke and confirmed the enemy’s injuries one by one with the cellphone screen. After confirming that their opponents were all incapacitated, he put on a bulletproof vest and got out.

Ji Xiaoman lightly leapt off the roof of the car, took off her jacket, lifted her mask a bit, and wiped the soot and sweat off her face. “Done?”

“Done.” Yu Le dragged the injured together and kept watch of them on his cellphone at all times.

“Which side are you from?” Despite falling so far, the young leader didn’t seem to show even a slight bit of panic. His legs were hit by Ji Xiaoman and the wounds were bleeding, so most of his attention was now focused on trying to stop the bleeding.

“No comment.” Yu Le squatted down, with a rogue smile on his face. Unfortunately, the gas mask could only reveal his eyes. Ji Xiaoman threw the jacket into the car window. Her sharp blade was still popped out of her prosthetic leg, and her whole body was in a combat state.

“A group of you in your twenties chasing after two children; have you no shame? What? There’s an attack tonight and these two children are the only ones on the battlefield or something?” Yu Le deliberately lowered his voice to make himself sound more intimidating.

“Why ask if you already know?” The little leader’s voice became cold. “They are big attention getters on our side. Isn’t that what you guys are thinking?”

Attention getters?

However, Yu Le didn’t show any surprise on his face and continued, “But they’re not willing to get out of the car and hang out with you. Shouldn’t you respect the opinions of the other party? If I were you, I would worry about myself first.”

“Lao Yu.” Ji Xiaoman moved to Yu Le’s side; her voice was low. “There are detection birds nearby.”

The smoke was blown away by the wind, and several sparrow-sized detection birds stood in a row on a nearby branch, with the camera structure of their heads facing their way.

“It seems that we are going to become stars.” Yu Le sneered in a low voice. “Just let them shoot. Sooner or later, we’ll be filmed anyways. As long as we wear our masks—”

Before he could finish speaking, a person suddenly jumped from the pile of wounded. While the two of them were focusing attention on their conversation, Yu Le hugged Ji Xiaoman, who wasn’t very tall, and used his weight advantage to knock her to the ground. The knife in the assailant’s hand almost slashed the little girl’s throat.

Fortunately, before the knife fell, Yu Le jumped up and kicked the assailant in the head. The man didn’t even have time to scream. He just struggled a few times before going silent. Ji Xiaoman quickly grabbed the knife. She stretched out two sharp metal fingers and pierced the other party’s temples.

“You really thought I’m just a driver.” Yu Le pointed a gun at the rest of the group with one hand while stretching his other arm in the direction of Ji Xiaoman, allowing the girl to perch on it. “It stands to reason that I should kill you, but there are still children in the backseat watching and I don’t have any grudge with you. Just go back and tell your people not to come for a second time… That is if you still have your life to go back. Little profiteer, let’s go.”

The two stepped on the scorched grass, passed through the gray-black smoke, and returned to the car. The two children didn’t run away but hugged each other tightly, looking at them vigilantly.

“Continue to show the way.” Yu Le started the car. “What are you staring at? Just because we’re muddleheaded doesn’t mean we’ve become retards who can’t fight.”

“…Thank you,” Su Zhao said in a mosquito-like voice.

“If you’re really thankful, explain it to us. What’s with this attention getters? I don’t remember this.”

“Someone is watching,” Su Zhao said. “Someone is watching outside the island. If you’re good-looking and have a special situation or out-of-the-ordinary behavior, it will get you attention… If you get noticed enough, you get attention points. Everyone’s supplies and people are exchanged for these points.”

“I don’t see any attention points.”

“Clap your hands three times and it will be shown on the palm of your left hand,” Kang Ziyan interjected.

“Little profiteer, try it.” This mechanism sounds a bit silly, but it was more convincing to let someone in a marginal situation like Ji Xiaoman try it.

Ji Xiaoman stretched out two metal palms in silence, clapped them vigorously three times, and then looked down at the palm of her left hand. After seeing what was in the palm of her hand clearly, she was taken aback for a moment, then picked up the phone and shone it in the palm of her hand.

“450 points,” she said. “Since it can be photographed, this shouldn’t be reality augmented.”

This time, Yu Le didn’t habitually make a joke. Behind the gas mask, he frowned.

At any rate, he had been a leader in a certain sense and knew what this mechanism meant. People needed to get attention from the outside world through various behaviors and then exchange their attention points for supplies—it sounded like a simple rule, but no matter how bizarre the augmented reality of this island was, real reality wouldn’t change.

The Mainbrain didn’t know magic. The efficiency of material delivery was the highest, which would inevitably lead to the rapid formation of various forces. If you fight alone on this island, even if you could get enough points to maintain your life, after the materials were exchanged, there would be other forces waiting for you. It seemed that the combat power of the people here wasn’t much different from normal humans, and they had to rely on outside forces to survive.

Thinking about it this way, that weird “weekly battle” was also very reasonable.

The upper-class people in The Glass Conservatory sought out “stimulation due to the lack of excitement in their living environment”. With this as the premise, everyone who lived in peace would only lead to common poverty. In such a difficult environment, children were probably the scarcest, and good-looking children with certain abilities to protect themselves were even rarer. These two children had a natural advantage and were obviously more likely to attract attention.

The subsequent problems that followed, though, were even more terrifying.

Everyone here knows that they are being watched? How much do they know about their situation?

How did he and Ji Xiaoman get included in the system? If the administrator of this island discovered the four of them as outsiders, why wasn’t there any reaction, but instead they let them directly participate in this absurd show?

“Lao Yu.” Ji Xiaoman poked Yu Le’s thigh again, interrupting Yu Le’s thoughts. “…There are more humans here than just those two children.”

“What do you mean?”

“The man who wanted to kill me just now, I poked my finger into his brain.” Ji Xiaoman’s voice was so low that it was almost inaudible. “I confirmed that the human brain matter on my finger is not bionic tissue of a cybernetic brain. I’m afraid this is not an android show—”

“Well, I think so too.” Yu Le squinted. “It could be a petri dish.”

The two on the other side were in bad shape.

Ruan Xian took a nap for a while, regaining some energy. The cellphone was in the hands of Tang Yibu, who was better at fighting. In order to ensure his safety, he chose to sleep in Tang Yibu’s arms. In this way, if there was any movement on Tang Yibu’s side, he could wake up immediately.

The warm embrace of the other party also relaxed Ruan Xian a lot.

As he expected, there was indeed movement on Tang Yibu’s side now, and the movement wasn’t small, but it wasn’t anything he guessed—the android’s stomach was growling, which was pretty loud.

They hadn’t eaten since they had some grilled fish and coconuts in the morning. Each was equipped with a Prototype, which consumed a lot of energy, making them hungry very quickly. Now it seemed that Tang Yibu’s energy requirements were much higher than his own.

Although Kang Ge and the others said they would come to deliver food, Ruan Xian didn’t intend to trust two people with obvious mental abnormalities. He sighed and touched his waist bag. There were two chocolate bars, a pack of hardtack, and the canned smiley face he had been carrying with him in his waist bag.

This would be enough for them to last until the evening. Ruan Xian pulled the chocolate bar out in the dark, bit open the wrapping paper with his teeth, and put it towards Tang Yibu’s mouth.

[You eat. I still have some food here. Eat more.] He motioned through his earring and stuffed all the food except the canned smiley face into Tang Yibu’s arms. [You are the main combat power and are more susceptible to fatal injuries. It’s better to maintain your physical strength.]

Ruan Xian pinched the chocolate bar and could feel Tang Yibu nibbling on it. The android didn’t speak, and only concentrated on eating, but his gnawing became slower.

“I left a third. You can eat the rest.” Tang Yibu grabbed the chocolate bar and poked the corner of Ruan Xian’s mouth with it as he said in a muffled voice. “I prefer you assist me in battle. This is the most reasonable energy distribution.”

At that moment, Ruan Xian felt the feeling of being peeped at again, but like the previous few times, the feeling was fleeting. He was just about to tell Tang Yibu about his discovery when a dazzling light appeared in the darkness.

In the augmented reality cage, Xiao Zhao opened the outer door of the prison cell and was sitting at the door with her hands on her cheeks. A cloth bag was placed beside her that was oozing with a suspicious dark red color.

“So kind.” She sighed. “I didn’t expect that a character like our Xiao Tang, who only has a good face, could get such an object—who’s that over there? What are you doing?”

“Mr. Ruan suffered a throat injury and is unable to speak.” Tang Yibu hugged Ruan Xian tighter.

“Oh, it turns out to be Xiao Ruan.” Xiao Zhao smiled happily. “What route are you planning to take? To win sympathy? Demonstrating the survival of a good-for-nothing? Or doing it for others to see?”

A monitoring bird stopped on her wrist. Xiao Zhao smiled sweetly at the camera embedded in the bird’s head and even blew it a kiss.

“Today’s theme is feeding!” She stated happily, taking out a piece of half-rotted raw meat from the cloth bag and throwing it to Tang Yibu. “But they are not hungry yet, so we may have to wait a day or two to see the results. What a pity—”

Tang Yibu narrowed his golden eyes.

“Tell you what. I’ll shut you guys in for a month. I want to know which one of the two of you will eat the other.” Xiao Zhao suddenly let out a cheer. “Oh, I just thought of it now. I’m such a genius!”

Her tone of voice was extremely relaxed and sweet. If you ignored the contents of her speech, it wouldn’t be out of place even in a commercial for a dessert store.

“Xiao Zhao, didn’t I tell you to wait for me?” Kang Ge stopped behind Xiao Zhao, stretched out his arms and rubbed her face from behind. The latter let out a cute squeal. “Are you here to tease Xiao Tang again?”

“It’s all your fault for walking too slowly! And this is not teasing. I’m giving Xiao Tang the value of life. I just had a particularly good idea…”

“Let’s talk about it tomorrow.” Kang Ge dotingly pinched her face. “I heard a little. The idea is very good, but more details are needed. We still have a game tonight, didn’t we agree? I’ll go and grab more gifts for you.”

“Well, like usual—let’s see who gets more attention. If I’m still number one, you give me a kiss. If you overtake me this time, I’ll give you a kiss.”

“My Xiao Zhao will always be number one.”

“After all, those idiots don’t understand anything.” Xiao Zhao stood up with a smile and lifted the cloth bag that smelled of corpses.

“…They don’t even know that they are living in an android show.”


<<< || Table of Contents || >>>

Happy Doomsday Ch146

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

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


Chapter 146: The Two Children

“Are you new here?” The child bandaged his companion’s wound and skillfully wiped the blood from his hands.

“I’ve been hit, so my mind’s a little unclear. I can’t just drive around here,” Yu Le replied smoothly. “You just said that today’s the day of the attack. What’s that?”

“Once a week, everyone will come together and attack the doll’s head over there. My brother was injured this week. If we had followed the original plan, we would’ve died.” The child pointed to the creepy ceramic doll in the distance, with the expression of a real child. “If you can’t remember which side you are on, uncle, it’s best not to get involve.”

“Why attack there?” It was Ji Xiaoman who spoke this time.

“An attack is an attack. Everyone’s like this, so do you need a reason?” The child glanced at her strangely. “I haven’t heard of a reason.”

Ji Xiaoman and Yu Le looked at each other through gas masks.

“Having said that, is there a neutral zone or a convenient place to hide? You two are not in good condition, our memories are fuzzy, so it’s better to find a good hiding place.”

Yu Le started calculations in his heart. According to Tang Yibu’s and Ruan Lijie’s consistent styles, it was impossible for him and Ji Xiaoman to stay where they were and wait for them to come back. Those two guys would probably go directly to Professor Ruan.

Then it was better if he simply focused on finding Professor Ruan—the island didn’t look small, so it was easier to head towards the same goal than to rendezvous.

No matter where these two little guys came from, their forces and those from the doll’s head would have regular conflict, which meant this wasn’t a peaceful area. If Professor Ruan wanted to survive safely on this nightmare island, it made more sense for him to choose a relatively calm spot and reduce his exposure.

It might be a good idea to start from this angle.

The children in the backseat didn’t answer immediately. Yu Le glanced at them from the rearview mirror—both were young and were too good-looking. Even if he knew that the one who was sleeping was the “younger brother”, he didn’t know whether the one who was awake was a boy or a girl.

Can this type of android also be used as a supplement for the show?

This thought was enough to make him feel disgusted.

“I’ve said enough. If you still want to continue to inquire, we need to exchange things,” the child who was awake stated, after carefully examining the situation in the car. “Give us something to eat in exchange.”

“Why do I feel like I’m getting the short end here? The medicine and safety given to you aren’t worth it?”

“Then you can kick us out.” The kid didn’t sound panicked at all. “Anyway, we know where to hide. Now that everyone is preparing to attack the camp, there should be no one else nearby. I wish uncle and sister good luck.”

“What do you want to eat?” Before Yu Le had time to speak, Ji Xiaoman was one step ahead. “By the way, tell us your name, otherwise it’s not easy to address you—you can call me Man Jie. The one next to me is Lao Yu.”

“My name is Su Zhao, and his name is Kang Ziyan. I want sealed canned fruits and soda. Do you have any?”

“Is he really your brother?” Yu Le couldn’t help but interrupt. The surnames of the two children weren’t the same.

“Pretty much the same as a brother. He’s the only person I believe in here.” Su Zhao stubbornly raised his chin.

Ji Xiaoman picked out two canned yellow peaches, took two packs of milk, and nodded to Yu Le. Yu Le said nothing and lowered the glass partition a little between the front and rear seats. However, Su Zhao didn’t start eating immediately after receiving the items. He—or she—opened the canned food and milk, filled the lid with a little bit of it, and handed it back to Ji Xiaoman.

Ji Xiaoman’s reaction was also very smooth. She took the lid and drank it readily.

The child who claimed to be Su Zhao waited for ten minutes to make sure that there was no reaction from Ji Xiaoman. Only then did he feed the canned food to Kang Ziyan, who was still in a coma. He carefully ate a small piece of the peach and put the rest away.

“Show the way.” Yu Le waited for Su Zhao to finish chewing slowly before speaking again. He pretended not to see the kid hiding the scalpel he used to cut off the rotten flesh in his sleeve.

“Go forward like this first. I will tell you if you need to change direction.” Su Zhao was very cautious, holding Kang Ziyan tightly in his arms. It may be that the drugs and sugar played a role, as Kang Ziyan’s face looked a little better.

“At least tell us where we are going.” Yu Le closed the glass partition again. “You can’t take all the cheap shots, kid.”

“Outside the factory.” Su Zhao cleared his throat. “That’s a neutral area, where the administrator grandpa lives. If you fight nearby, you will definitely be punished by the administrator.”

“Factory?”

“Well, after all, everything you need has to be produced, and people also need a place to produce things locally.” Su Zhao lowered his head. “We have hidden there before. Just control the distance and don’t let the administrator grandpa find out.”

Hearing this, they seemed to be heading in the direction of the Mainbrain.

But as the saying goes, it’s dark under the lights*, so it’s not impossible that Professor Ruan was hiding nearby. As for the phrase “people also need a place to produce things locally”, Yu Le wasn’t very surprised—no matter how complete the drugs and equipment here were, at the rate of fighting once a week, if there was no fresh blood to replenish in time, the show would’ve been long empty. Timely addition of androids was a necessity.

*(灯下黑) Idiom has a few meanings, but in this context it refers to how people don’t see and notice things and events that are happening close to them, and also that the more dangerous an area is, the safer it is.

“You have seen the administrator,” he added, intentionally or unintentionally. Ji Xiaoman was busy messing with a strange device in her hand, as if she had lost interest in the children in the backseat.

“I saw him through the window a year ago before he had time to pull the curtains.” Su Zhao shivered. “Very old. A bit scary. I heard from the adults that he has been on this island for at least six or seven years and has never left, even for a single day.”

Indeed, this kind of messy and chaotic show must be controlled by an experienced Order Supervisor. This child was shrewd, but his experience was limited, and his means of disguising his emotions weren’t very good. Yu Le could see that their little guest was truly scared.

“That old man must have good means if he could manage such a big island alone.”

“There is a mechanical army near the factory. A few years ago, someone on the doll’s head wanted to grab some supplies and was beaten to death. The appearance of the corpse was projected in the sky for a week.” Su Zhao swallowed his spit.

“Speaking of that doll’s head.”

Yu Le naturally turned the topic around. He had already figured out how to get information from Su Zhao’s mouth.

“I remember that the upper limit of the consciousness influence is ten people, and we don’t look like we are being targeted. So how come we can see it everywhere we go?”

“What?” Su Zhao looked confused. “What consciousness influence? It has been there all this time?”

Ji Xiaoman raised her head when she heard the words, pulled Yu Le’s sleeve with her fingers, and shook her head gently.

Yu Le breathed out cooperatively. “Forget it. I’m still a bit muddleheaded.”

Su Zhao didn’t answer again. He slightly squinted his eyes as if he was sleepy but not daring to fall asleep. The lethargic Kang Ziyan finally woke up. He tried to stand up and hugged Su Zhao’s shoulder with difficulty.

“Sleep Zhaozhao,” he said. “I’m awake. I’ll keep watch.”

“……Nn. Remember to take them near the factory, don’t tell them the destination all at once…”

“I understand.”

Ji Xiaoman poked Yu Le’s thigh with her fingertips again. Yu Le looked down. Ji Xiaoman added a line of information to the light screen displaying her physiological indicators.

[Turn on the one-way sound insulation between the front and back seat.] She wrote.

Yu Le did as he was told, and the two stare ahead, trying not to show any signs of conversation.

“Those two children are humans,” Ji Xiaoman said.

“You really mixed things into their food… Your hands are pretty fast. Didn’t you give Luo Fei a little at the beginning? The android paralyzing agent isn’t all used up yet? Xiao Ruan only gave you a pill.” Yu Le vacated one hand and lifted the mask to pinch his brow.

This island was so abnormal that he no longer had the strength to be surprised.

“There was only half of it left, but the environment was worth confirming.” Ji Xiaoman’s voice was serious. “The situation here is more complicated than we thought. Lao Yu, I feel that something isn’t right.”

“Okay, what’s going on?” Yu Le turned the steering wheel and bypassed the trees in front of him. “You didn’t let me keep asking just now. Do you have a clue here?”

“I’m probably clear about what Tang Yibu said before,” Ji Xiaoman murmured. “First of all, not to mention that these two children are humans, I checked several times and didn’t detect any external devices on them… Simply put, the reality augmentation device was implanted in them, and it’s probably in their brain. This kind of surgery is quite sophisticated and should have been buried at the beginning of manufacturing.”

“Even if you grab the reality augmentation equipment, you have to find someone who knows how to open a brain for you. Is this what you’re getting at?” It’s no wonder why Tang Yibu said it was troublesome to get the device. Yu Le didn’t want to split open his head on this creepy island at all.

“……Yes.” Ji Xiaoman looked at the giant doll head outside the window. “As for the doll’s head, I can also explain that too.”

“Uh-huh, I’m listening.”

“Augmented reality affects up to ten people.”

Ji Xiaoman summoned a light screen above her thigh and pointed out a red dot.

“Suppose this is the person who first created the ‘doll head illusion’. His ability is very strong, strong enough to erode the cognition of the other ten people.”

The red dots on the light screen became eleven.

“Then all the people who ‘saw the doll’s head’ in cognition sum up to eleven, and these eleven people went to infect the cognition of others separately…”

The red dots were constantly connecting, increasing, and finally becoming densely packed.

“So we can always see those weird things—they are not attacks specifically aimed at us, but the collective cognition of the people on this island. Without augmentation equipment, we can only passively accept the influence. For those two kids who have been ‘born’ with reality-augmentation equipment, this is reality.”

“In other words, the more people believe in it, the more real those strange things are?” Yu Le glanced at the red dot on the screen.

“Nn. What we are seeing now is most likely the result of the stabilization of the ‘reality’ of the entire island.” Ji Xiaoman nodded.

“Oh…” Yu Le stretched out his tone. “Maybe this is a good thing.”

Ji Xiaoman couldn’t help turning her face and looking at Yu Le.

“Didn’t Xiao Tang say this before? If you’re affected by these messy things and think you’ll die, it’s really possible that you will really die.”

“Yes.”

“Cigar.”

“……What?”

“Suppose these people think that the word ‘cigar’ is a curse of death, and those who believe it from the bottom of their hearts will be killed by this curse. Do you think we look like the kind of people who’ll believe that? We knew from the beginning that all this here is fucking fake. As long as we have doubts, we’re invincible.”

Yu Le snorted.

“How funny. There’s not a kind and loving person among the four of us. There’s no need to worry about mental attacks. Just pay attention to attacks in reality. No wonder Xiao Tang emphasized the reality issue from the beginning.”

“Stop the car!” Kang Ziyan, in the back seat, suddenly shouted. “Turn left, turn left!”

“Why are you so excited, kid? Don’t break open your injur—”

Yu Le slammed on the brakes.

“Get out.”

Suddenly, about seven to eight young people blocked the only path for the car. Yu Le glanced at the cellphone screen. These people weren’t illusions.

“All get out.” A young man who seemed to be the leader repeated it again. He held a gun steadily in his hand. “Hand over the two people in the backseat.”


The author has something to say:

These two children are not twins XDDD


Kinky Thoughts:

For those confused so far, think of this island as a highly augmented reality. The people here are equipped with equipment that can enhance the “reality” of this island. Using Ji Xiaoman’s example, there’s one person who’s particularly mentally strong and augmented that there’s a giant doll on this island. Though the max range is 10 people, these 10 people that are under that augmented influence now believe that there’s a giant doll on the island and thus infect 10 other people (and so on and so on), eventually all inhabitants reality are now affected to believe that the giant doll exist thus changing their cognition.

Basically, the “realities” of the island is formed by the augmented thoughts of its inhabitants until it finally stabilizes into what everyone on the island now believes it to be. As people not equipped with these augmented enhancement equipment, Ruan Xian’s party can only be passively influenced by the augmented reality of the island inhabitants, but they can’t change it in any way (that is, unless they split open their heads and install the augmented enhancement equipment into their brains).

On another note, with children involve this is giving me some Lord of the Flies vibes.


<<< || Table of Contents || >>>

Happy Doomsday Ch145

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

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


Chapter 145: Mutation

The iron bead panicked like never before.

A few hours ago, since the strange pair appeared in front of them, its two big companions seemed to have forgotten it. Even if it rubbed their ankles in a different way, the two of them still looked unconcerned and indifferent.

Its coquettish strategy had no effect. The iron bead looked up at the two familiar figures eagerly, opened its mouth on the spot, and was about to bark angrily.

[Hide it by yourself, π.]

At that time, before it had time to make a sound, an instruction popped into its head. The iron bead swallowed back its “gwah” forcibly and turned to the direction to Tang Yibu suspiciously.

[Follow us from a distance. Don’t get too close. It’s dangerous.] The distance was a bit far, and the consciousness instructions coming from the voice were a bit vague, but it was simple enough to understand.

The iron bead was still a bit aggrieved. It was kicked and got its shell dented a few days ago, and there was now an ugly patch on its round metal shell that it was proud of. These soft creatures without shells would not understand its sadness—such a round shell!

But it still had to listen to Tang Yibu’s instructions. Since it was injured, its condition hadn’t been good, so it got very tired after a little activity. The smell of the man and woman wasn’t friendly, so the iron bead didn’t really want to get close to them.

It rolled twice in the sand, feeling a bit regretful. If it had stayed at Ji Xiaoman’s side at that time, it would not only get to eat, but it would also have had a car to ride in—unlike now, where it had to carry itself laboriously to make the journey.

It wasn’t happy.

The iron bead rattled its mouth as it jumped between fallen leaves and the roots of trees. It could barely keep up with the four figures that were walking ahead, and its stomach was getting hungrier and hungrier.

[Don’t go! Don’t go!] It tried to transmit its consciousness to Tang Yibu, then skillfully turned over its belly and kicked its four legs towards the sky. Even if Tang Yibu wasn’t moved, Mr. Ruan would always like this.

Unfortunately, what greeted it wasn’t a warm hand touching its shell or delicious metal parts, but a gunshot that sounded not far away. The iron bead stiffened its legs in fright and rolled into the bushes.

This time it was Tang Yibu who told it not to approach… The iron bead thought angrily that, unlike last time, it was clear that these two strangers weren’t a match for its companions.

What was more, it was still injured.

The iron bead makes a whirring sound in the bushes. It could wait in the distance for the commotion to end before continuing… before continuing…

The familiar sense of drowsiness hit it again, and it couldn’t resist. It fell asleep calmly. A few hours later, it opened its eyes again. The people it was following were long gone.

The iron bead rolled out of the bushes in a daze and looked around. It was almost noon, and it couldn’t smell the familiar smell nearby, nor could it find a ready-made road. As a Grove R-660 that lived on mechanical waste, it wasn’t good at moving and searching long distances.

It’s over.

It opened its mouth and started making rattling noises. Unfortunately, no one came to pick it up. The iron bead howled for almost ten minutes before finally a rustling came from the bushes. The iron bead quickly turned its belly up and retracted its legs into its shell, making what it thought was the most pitiful look. However, what came wasn’t even human—

A medium-sized mechanical creature resembling a sea spider poked its head out of the bushes. Its head was about a meter or so, and its electronic snail-like eyes stretched out, looking like it was about to pounce. The iron bead was so terrified that it bounced in place, then chose a random direction and began to run for its life.

After being fed safely for so long, it had almost forgotten that it was at the lower level of the food chain of the mechanical life food chain.

What to do? What to do?

The Grove R-660 lifeform wasn’t a highly intelligent species. It racked its brains but couldn’t figure out a way to successfully escape. Its race usually operated in areas like the Sea of Ruins or the wasteland, where they could easily move and hide. The forest vegetation was too dense. Wet and fallen leaves made it too easy to slip on using its shell, while branches and stems made it easy to stumble over with its short legs, not to mention that it was still injured.

In contrast, the predator with multiple long legs behind it was happily chasing it with ease.

Is it going to die?

The more the iron bead ran, the more aggrieved it became. Its stomach was already hungry, and now it was weak and feeble. It needed to eat, it needed a warm embrace and gentle petting, and preferably someone to wipe its shell with a soft cloth stained with oil. It shouldn’t be in this shitty place. When it saw those two guys again, it would definitely bite their heels extremely hard.

Grievances gradually turned into anger.

It would be too unfortunate if it were to die like this without getting to bite at those two guys’ heels. If it were those two guys, what would they do at a time like this…?

The iron bead slammed on the brakes, rolled a few times in the decaying fallen leaves, and stopped by a section of tree roots. The medium-sized mechanical life chasing behind easily stopped and began to poke the small object on the ground with its two sharp front feet.

The iron bead then bit into one of the incoming feet.

‘Delicious metal, it thought. Hunger, frustration, and anger completely overwhelmed its simple thinking that it only had two simple thoughts in mind: I’m so hungry and I must bite their heels.

The bitten predator was stunned in place for a moment, then shook its forelimbs vigorously, trying to throw the iron bead that bit its leg to the ground.

But it couldn’t get rid of it.

The iron bead only felt that the metal foot in its mouth was the most delicious thing it had ever eaten in its life. It wished it had sharper teeth and a bigger mouth as it wanted to eat more of this. The iron bead was gnawing so intently that it completely failed to notice the change in itself.

The metal patch of Ji Xiaoman’s welding was chipped off, and its proud shell was slowly cracking open with delicate split seams. The white flesh and blood hidden inside the shell quickly changed its shape and continued to expand from the top of the original base of its mouth into a complex structure resembling an insect’s mouth. This made its mouth more than five times larger.

The iron bead opened its strange new mouth, bit off the delicious metal leg in one bite, and quickly chewed it.

Still hungry. Hungry as hell.

The predator that was chasing it didn’t attack again, but instead showed some intention of retreating. Unfortunately, the hungry iron bead had completely forgotten about fleeing for its life. It jumped high directly onto the joints of the body that were connecting the predator’s metal limbs and opened its mouth and bit again.

The hunter had now become the prey. The medium-sized mechanical life tried to escape but was no match for the red-eyed little monster. Within ten seconds, its long metal legs were all bitten off, leaving only a body the size of a washbasin that was twisting on the grass with milky white liquid flowing out of its wound.

It had never seen anything like this, was the last thought in its mind before the medium-sized mechanical life struggled a few times and stopped moving.

The iron beads cackled and gnawed those delicious metal legs and swallowed the enemy’s already cold body with relish. The deformed and stretched part slowly retracted and it returned to its original round appearance.

After vomiting out unwanted impurities and burping a few times, the iron bead realized that something seemed to be wrong.

It tried to roll on the grass twice, and found that its proud round shell was back, and its body seemed to have become much heavier. The iron bead rattled twice in confusion. Its small eyes glanced at the remains of the other mechanical being on the ground, then it was stunned for a few seconds before a scream broke out.

After screaming for a long time, it recovered from a dizzy state.

The iron bead thought in shock that this was its own handiwork. It knew its position in the food chain well, and it was impossible for it to do this.

‘Forget it. Don’t think about it.’ As long as it could find its companion and finish biting their heels, Tang Yibu and the others should be able to figure out what happened to it. It was more reasonable to leave the troublesome questions to those with good minds.

It had eaten enough and slept enough, but it barked until it was tired out. The iron bead curled up and began to roll in the direction of more sparse trees. It turned out that good luck had not abandoned it—the grass in front of it was deformed, which made it very easy to identify.

It was the armored off-roader.

The iron beads spun around in place for a few times, cheered in a low voice, and then rolled firmly up to the vehicle.

The people inside the vehicle were in a delicate mood.

There were more than just two people in the armored off-roader at the moment. Two small children with swollen eyes were crying in the backseat, while Ji Xiaoman sat in the front, curled up, pretending as if she didn’t exist.

‘Bad luck,’ Yu Le thought. It would be fine if he ran into adults, but it was these two little ones who were breaking down and crying in the forest. For various reasons, he shouldn’t have stopped the car, but unfortunately, after he saw them, he didn’t have the heart to drive the car away.

The two children looked at most eleven or twelve. They had delicate and beautiful faces, like dolls, but they undoubtedly wore outfits that were suitable for fighting. One of them had an obvious gunshot wound on his right shoulder that was swollen and festering, giving off an unpleasant smell, and he didn’t seem to be very conscious. All he could do was cry. The other was in better condition, with only a sprained ankle, which didn’t seem fatal.

Yu Le stopped the car, carried the two shivering little guys to the backseat, threw them some medicine and medical equipment, and then dragged Ji Xiaoman to the front. Ji Xiaoman didn’t say a word throughout the whole process. She didn’t object or approve and only looked at Yu Le with strange eyes.

“You can’t abandon children here.” Yu Le bit the bullet and turned the steering wheel. “I know child soldiers are a thing, but the injuries of those two little guys aren’t fake. I can tell… I’m still weak and unable to leave small kids there just waiting to die.”

Ji Xiaoman still stared at him.

“The supplies they use are all mine, okay?” Yu Le waved his hand. “Little profiteer, even if you are one, at least be open-minded. We don’t have a guide or anything in this place, so it’s not like this won’t get us a return.”

Ji Xiaoman glanced at the backseat. One of them was using a scalpel to skillfully cut away the rotten flesh on the other’s wound. His hands and feet were quickly disinfected and sutured. Then she moved her gaze back to Yu Le’s face.

“Okay, alright. I know these two guys look like celebrities. They probably have a follow-up shot. I covered my face when I brought them in just now. How about we just all wear gas masks? You didn’t throw them away from the Underground City, right?”

“No.” Ji Xiaoman quickly put on a mask for herself. “You keep driving, I’ll put it on for you.”

“Alright.” Yu Le sighed and raised his voice. “You two back there. Us brother and sister aren’t doing charity. I can give you more medicine, so tell me what’s the situation?”

The severely injured child was already asleep. His head was resting on the other’s shoulder and his face was flushed. The other child bit his lip and hesitated for a while before speaking.

“…Thank you, uncle, sister.” The child’s voice wasn’t high.

Yu Le: “……”

From behind the mask, Ji Xiaoman made a sound similar to stifled laughter.

“I don’t know what situation you’re asking about.” The child ignored the reaction of the two of them, and his voice became alert. “At present, the most serious thing is… Tonight is the day of the attack.”


The author has something to say:

The iron bead’s battle effectiveness also got enhance!

Did everyone forget about it (?)


Kinky Thoughts:

I love π.


<<< || Table of Contents || >>>

Happy Doomsday Ch144

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

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


Chapter 144: Among the Head

Xiao Zhao was stunned by the shot. She slowly raised her hand to her face and blinked at Kang Ge through the bloody hole in her palm.

Then a rather harmless expression of grievance rose from her face. Xiao Zhao got up and shook the blood from her hand. “Kang Ge! Xiao Tang’s boyfriend shot me with a gun—”

Her tone wasn’t like she had just been shot but was more like Ruan Xian had accidentally stepped on her new shoes.

“It’s because you’re not careful. The boss hasn’t seen Xiao Tang yet! All you know how to do is wave that knife around all day long. It’ll be troublesome if Xiao Tang dies of a wound infection. You also know that now is the busiest time, so we have no one to take care of him.”

Xiao Zhao sniffled, then hastily bandaged her wound while pouting. Her face was a bit round, and her eyes were bright and big, making Ruan Xian unable to judge what her actual age was.

“Then can I kill him?” She pointed to Ruan Xian, her tone still fluttering.

“Speaking of which, I haven’t seen Xiao Tang fall in love before. I’m a little curious how he will react…”

“Right!”

“But thinking about it again, after these two busy days of work, there are many ways to try.” Kang Ge’s face was handsome. It had a bit of righteousness between his brows that didn’t match his words at all, which gave him a sense of incongruity that sent chills down one’s spine. “We only get one chance, so it’s a shame to use it so simply.”

“In that case, how will you react if I die? I’m starting to get curious.” Xiao Zhao wrapped her wound with a dirty cloth band and tied it into a bow. “I want to take a good look at Xiao Tang’s reaction and use it as a reference in the future! If you don’t properly behave by then, I… Huh? What should I do? I can’t punish you if I’m dead.”

Ruan Xian: “……”

It wasn’t easy to say directly, but he tried to signal to Tang Yibu with his eyes to convey his appreciation. After spending a few years with these things, Tang Yibu was quite harmless in comparison.

“…They weren’t like this before,” Tang Yibu whispered. “They used to be more sober.”

Xiao Zhao seemed to forget about Ruan Xian, who shot her. She bounced back to Kang Ge with fleeting steps as she hummed a tune while using her own blood to draw patterns on her clothes.

As they went deeper into the forest, the gross entrails that were sprawled on the ground grew denser and their squirming became faster. The dark red flesh was mixed with bruises and twitched like an animal before it was gagged. A hot, wet, fishy smell went straight into Ruan Xian’s nose and gave him bouts of nausea.

[Why don’t you do it?]

At the point where things were now, even a fool could see that the other party had no good intentions. Ruan Xian didn’t think Tang Yibu was the sentimental type. In fact, the other party might be the most distant creature on this planet from the word “sentimental”.

He had watched the android abduct the Mainbrain’s detection bird. Based on Tang Yibu’s abilities, it shouldn’t be difficult to disrupt the programs of a few cameras while they enter the forest. Even if he didn’t want to kill them, it wasn’t difficult to escape.

But he didn’t do that.

Tang Yibu turned his head sideways and answered Ruan Xian’s question by mouthing it.

“Someone is watching,” he said. “Since a while ago, someone has been watching me. The interference procedures may be discovered.”

[Mainbrain? Order Supervisors?] Ruan Xian didn’t feel any abnormality.

“I don’t know,” Tang Yibu replied silently, disguising this action as a reassuring kiss. “Be careful, Mr. Ruan.”

In the next instant, Ruan Xian experienced what Tang Yibu meant when he said, “Someone is watching”. When he first heard this statement, he thought the description was too broad. After experiencing it firsthand, Ruan Xian realized how apt this description really was.

Someone was indeed watching.

It wasn’t a mysterious intuition, nor was it the discomfort of being exposed to the camera. Ruan Xian didn’t care much about those things. He didn’t mind making out with Tang Yibu thoroughly in front of the camera for an entire night before.

This time it felt different.

When he fired his gun just now, he felt a similar discomfort, but he didn’t perceive any threats around him. The feeling was so fleeting that Ruan Xian didn’t immediately judge it as an anomaly and delved deeper into it. At the moment, he didn’t know if it was due to the credit of the S-type Prototype, but the discomfort of being peeped on made Ruan Xian’s stomach sour.

If it had to be given a description, it was like standing unconsciously next to the eyes of a sleeping behemoth, turning around, and seeing one’s own reflection in the other party’s eyes that suddenly snapped open…

It seemed like they were being gazed upon at very close range by an extremely huge eyeball.

Fortunately, the invisible eye only stared at him for a while, and the sense of oppression suddenly dissipated. Tang Yibu’s body tightened again, which meant the peeper’s attention should’ve returned to him once again.

[I see.] Ruan Xian replied cautiously. [I was also peeped at just now.]

Tang Yibu tugged at the corner of his mouth.

[This is a good thing.] Ruan Xian rubbed Tang Yibu’s hair. [This means there’s probably only one peeper.]

But there were also many questions. How did the other party bypass his perception to “see”? Why were they specifically peeping at them as soon as they entered? …Could it be Professor Ruan was hidden on the island? Or did the Mainbrain detect an anomaly?

The current situation was beyond their knowledge, so it wasn’t a good idea to expose themselves under completely uncontrollable circumstances—the opponent’s main goal seemed to be Tang Yibu, so they had to choose a more cautious and careful approach.

Ruan Xian didn’t want to let anyone take away the heat that he had finally obtained. Even if Tang Yibu was going to die, he would be the person who would kill him. Ruan Xian took a breath and held Tang Yibu’s hand firmly.

Tang Yibu grabbed his hand and firmly interlocked their fingers.

“We’ll find him,” Tang Yibu whispered, not knowing whether he meant Professor Ruan, the peeper, or both.

“From what I understand, that person wouldn’t choose my original hiding method.” The palm of the android was still warm. “I know how to find him.”

The road under their feet was getting more and more out of place. The writhing entrails almost covered the ground and piled on in tiny hills. Blood vessel-like things hung from the trees and kept bulging uncontrollably. Ruan Xian surveyed the surrounding environment. They seemed to be walking towards the broken ceramic doll head.

The sticky touch under his feet and the rising sensation were probably all illusions. The mentally abnormal pair were walking in front of them. Ruan Xian thought for a moment before he took out a knife from his pocket.

[Yibu, help me hold their attention. Seventeen seconds is enough.]

Tang Yibu gave him a deep look.

[Don’t worry. Our interests are the same.] Ruan Xian curved the corner of his mouth. [I won’t take the opportunity to run away.]

Tang Yibu then jogged a few steps and ran towards the young couple and said something with a smirk on his face. Ruan Xian wrapped his grime-stained white coat tightly around himself and took a few deep breaths.

This was still the coat they got from the prevention shelter. There weren’t many sets left, so it was best not to get them too dirty. He casually thought of this as he moved.

It was about noon when they finally reached the inside of the ceramic doll’s head. However, given that the thing was on the ground on its side, the side facing the sky was missing a small half of its head, and the interior wasn’t much different from the open air.

Inside the skull, the flesh and blood only gave off an eerier feeling. The huge skull had a honeycomb-like structure inside that was made into small compartments comprised of soil and stone mixed with various textures of flesh. However, it could be that, considering augmented reality wasn’t reality in the end, most of these small compartments were probably gathered at the bottom and there was no overhanging design. The part that lacked shade was left empty with only randomly planted dying orchids, which at first glance looked like a small half-built square.

They were standing on this simple, small square. Ruan Xian highly suspected that the part they were stepping on was simulating brain tissue. No matter who created this reality, that person was definitely abnormal to a rather serious extent.

“Boss, we are back!” Xiao Zhao waved towards the center of the square.

There was a gray armchair in the center of the square. Its size was like the style used by children to play house, so an adult was unable to sit in it. The bulging backrest was faded, and many of its openings had suspicious tan-colored material leaking out. A small ceramic doll without a head was placed in the center of the chair. Its yellow limbs were full of scratches and cracks, and they were twisted in a gesture that no human could do.

It remained motionless.

There were also many people gathered around the square, like clusters of worker bees—everyone was so busy with their own affairs that it was difficult to see what they were doing. On the edge of the crack in the huge skull, several detection birds flapped their wings with their camera heads pointed straight towards the square.

“Look who it is!” Xiao Zhao ran behind Tang Yibu and abruptly pushed Tang Yibu forward a few steps. “Everyone, everyone! Xiao Tang is back!”

The people around didn’t respond, but cheers rang out in the void. The sound was repeated stiffly, like an audio track recorded in advance of a show. Red confetti fell from the air in response. Ruan Xian stretched out his hand to catch a piece, which felt terrible to the touch as it didn’t feel even half as real.

Then he looked around carefully. There were no pairs of golden eyes similar to Tang Yibu’s.

“Originally, I wanted to keep the two of you for lunch, but it turns out the boss wants to lock you up.” Kang Ge grabbed the headless doll on the seat, raised one of its hands and waved it at them. “But I’ll remember to deliver food to you guys! Haa, the boss is quite temperamental, so I can’t help it. It’s an extraordinary time right now. Do understand.”

After speaking, he threw the doll’s body back into the chair without saying a word.

“But for the sake of, ah, right, security—Xiao Tang’s boyfriend. Hand over the observation machine in your hand. The one that looks like a cellphone. Xiao Tang too. This is the rule. Otherwise, it’ll be difficult for us.”

“Listen to Kang Ge. He’s so smart.” They didn’t know when, but Xiao Zhao had flashed behind them again. Ruan Xian could feel cold metal pressed against his back.

He waved his hand wordlessly, pointed to his mouth, and then to Tang Yibu’s pocket.

[We only have one observation machine in our hands. Let them search.] As he did this, he sent a simple message to Tang Yibu.

“My boyfriend can’t speak. Sorry.” Tang Yibu took the conversation very naturally. “We only brought one. Mr. Ruan just gave it to me… Well, this is it. If you are still worried, you can search us.”

“Ok! In addition, the weapons—”

“Nothing else.” Tang Yibu’s tone was firm.

“Huh? Why!” Xiao Zhao, who was behind them, sounded quite dissatisfied.

“That is our token of love.” Tang Yibu began to speak nonsense again. “We need it to leave a little reminder. You took away our observation tool, and there are many people around. A few knives and guns won’t affect anything.”

Ruan Xian: “…” This was the first time he had heard such a messy explanation from Tang Yibu’s mouth.

“Kang Ge, Kang Ge! Look, they’re not even married yet, but they have so many tokens of love.” As a result, Xiao Zhao instantly bought it. “Why didn’t you ever think about giving me a knife or a gun? How annoying!”

“I’ll give you a gun next time.” Kang Ge coaxed. “Isn’t the time just right? I’ll cut off two more tongues and send them to you, and we’ll win.”

Xiao Zhao retracted the knife that was against the back of Ruan Xian’s neck and clapped her hands vigorously. This time she didn’t relent to Tang Yibu’s anger. Then two tins with the same exquisite face came forward and dragged Ruan Xian and Tang Yibu into the nearest cubicle.

Unlike the young couple, the rest of the people showed no interest in them. As soon as the door of the compartment closed, the two were plunged into pure darkness.

But hell knows if this darkness was something “seeable”.

Ruan Xian decisively crouched on the ground. He was ready early on. Even if his weapons were really taken away, he still had a way to break these annoying perception interference.

But now that he still had his weapons, he would suffer less.

Ruan Xian didn’t remove the buckle pin on the holster under his armpit but used a small knife to cut open his abdomen and took out a bloody old-fashioned cellphone from his abdominal cavity. The moment the old-fashioned cellphone left his body, the wound in his abdomen quickly healed again.

Not long ago, when they were in the woods, he secretly hid it.

Then he rolled over, covered the bloody cellphone with his clothes, activated the camera, and glanced quickly around.

Sure enough.

They were at the bottom of a pit four or five meters deep, with the sun pouring down on top of their heads. There was a person sitting on the edge of the pit, looking bored.

Tang Yibu was sitting next to a dry white bone. His gaze was unfocused, indicating he was still trapped in the dark perception.

Everything became much easier now that the perspective had been clarified by the phone. Ruan Xian crawled to Tang Yibu’s side and secretly shoved the blood-stained cellphone into the other party’s hand. The false darkness came again.

Tang Yibu rustled around to hide it, then fumbled to caress Ruan Xian’s cheek.

[Still being watched?]

“Nn.”

[If I didn’t hide it, what would you do?]

“Wait,” Tang Yibu said softly. “Let’s wait for the evening before we act, Mr. Ruan. Recover some more strength while you can… They’ll come.”

[Who will come?]

“That couple and attackers from other areas.” Tang Yibu put his chin on Ruan Xian’s shoulder and sniffed lightly. “There will be a battle here. I understand why the Mainbrain copied some of the data from the participants of Struggler—this is a show—or at least a show for people in The Glass Conservatory to watch. There must be conflicts and contradictions. In my experience, at least two areas here are in a state of confrontation.”

“We’re on the ‘worst’ side right now.”


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