Access Denied Ch40

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

Translator: Kinky ||

Chapter 40: Nightmare

Zhu Yanchen couldn’t quite describe his mood.

Shu Jun had better control over his emotions than he had imagined. Facing his old teammate, he didn’t lose his cool too much. But as soon as the conversation began, Zhu Yanchen was momentarily stunned when Hu Yan mentioned “honeymoon”.

If Shu Jun had a lover, he certainly would have mentioned it to ‘Smoke’.

Countless feelings instantly converged, and for a moment, Zhu Yanchen couldn’t tell if it was bitter or salty. But thinking about it, he and Shu Jun were originally separated by a huge gap, and text communication was only the result of his reluctant effort—the virtual city was heavily protected, and he had to carefully avoid those technicians to quietly tear a gap.

There were two main purposes for their communication.

Publicly, Shu Jun liked to share tactics with other captains, and he was very open about it. Zhu Yanchen could quietly pass on safer strategies, allowing players to live longer.

Privately, it was bitter to go it alone, and people always needed support.

He had exhausted all his efforts, thoroughly understood all the issues related to the Erosion Swamp and left behind a spark that was enough to ignite a wildfire before he died. As for the original agreement, this could be considered an explanation. Both of them didn’t have much time left, and Zhu Yanchen hoped that he could go ahead of Shu Jun. When he reached the underworld, he would be able to welcome Shu Jun in an upright manner.

He knew that Shu Jun couldn’t remember the past, and he also knew that he couldn’t get rid of the shock in his brain and wouldn’t be able to save his former friend. At least in the last few years of his life, Zhu Yanchen just wanted to chat a few words with that person.

However, Shu Jun was more enthusiastic than he had imagined. At first, the two of them talked smoothly about tactics, and later, this man even wanted to share the interesting things that happened in his life. Infected by the other person’s warmth, Zhu Yanchen couldn’t help but open up a bit and speak up from time to time.

After all, this was the moment when he needed the least consideration. In the end, it could be considered comfort during his final pain.

Now that he had survived, Zhu Yanchen couldn’t help but hope that he could be more special—at least not an ordinary acquaintance who couldn’t even get close. It seemed that even Hu Yan knew that Shu Jun had a lover.

Before Zhu Yanchen could react, Hu Yan dropped another bombshell: “Sister-in-law’s game ID is ‘Smoke’.”

Zhu Yanchen: “…”

He reacted quickly and instantly guessed that this was the system’s handling the aftermath. Despite this, he still had a hint of inexplicable joy. Seeing Shu Jun outside the tent, embarrassed and scratching his head, Marshal Zhu took the initiative to defuse the situation, which was rare.

Who would have thought that after a conversation, Shu Jun’s mood would darken again? That night, Zhu Yanchen turned over and saw that there was no one beside him. The sleeping bag was icy cold, and the only sound in his ears was the sound of Yu Jin’s snoring.

Even Monday, who was lying next to him, was gone.

Zhu Yanchen immediately sat up, hastily put on his protective suit, and left the tent.

He was a little worried—Shu Jun exceeded his expectations. After knowing the truth, he didn’t recklessly save people at all costs, nor did he spread his hatred to humans like himself, Ai Xiaoxiao, or Yu Jin. Just recently, the two of them had been running around trying to solve the problem of synths, and surprisingly, they were getting along quite well.

But even if things were gradually being resolved, that hatred still existed.

Shu Jun hadn’t gone far. To avoid the wind, the Blackbirds set up camp by a low cliff. Shu Jun was sitting on the cliff at the moment by himself. He pushed his gas mask aside, and his gray-white eyes sparkled in the night.

Monday was the first to notice Zhu Yanchen. It exhaled vigorously. “Zhu! Zhu—”

“That’s enough.” Shu Jun pressed his hand on the hilt of his sword. He didn’t turn around and just shifted his body a little to give Zhu Yanchen a place to sit.

“Don’t worry. I won’t have an emotional breakdown and just run away with Hu Yan and the others.” After Zhu Yanchen sat down, Shu Jun turned his head with a somewhat complicated expression. “After all, you are such a reliable partner. If I lose you*, I won’t dare mess around.”

*After passing this village, there’s no other shop like this (过了这村就没这店了) Idiom used to describe missed opportunities or regretting not taking action when the chance was available. || In this context, he’s saying there’s no one who can replace Zhu Yanchen (as a partner).

“I’m not worried about that.”

“Really?” Shu Jun laughed and moved his position again. The two of them were close enough, and the night was cold, making the warmth from his body even more evident.

Zhu Yanchen was silent for a few seconds and found that he didn’t know how to respond, so he just made a hum in agreement.

“A’Yan, you said a few days ago that I could talk to you like we used to.” Shu Jun’s voice was clear and powerful. “So I’ll tell you. I had a dream just now—a really strange one.”

This was indeed a topic they used to chat about online.

“I dreamed of myself, but it was the normal me from before—it was oozing erosion substance all over, bones were exposed, and its face had been eroded away. It stood in front of me and kept nagging, telling me to kill you and then kill Yu Jin, directly take Blackbirds to capture several strongholds, and seek revenge against humanity.”

Zhu Yanchen: “…” He really didn’t know how to respond to all this.

“I found it quite interesting. I dreamt about it last night, and it came again tonight. I rarely dream, so it’s definitely not a coincidence.” Shu Jun yawned and stroked Monday. “As soon as I fall asleep, it starts mumbling, like clocking in for work.”

At this point, Zhu Yanchen could hear the hidden meaning behind Shu Jun’s words. He held his breath and looked at Shu Jun.

“I’ve told you before, I hate humans. Y City is really lively, with groups of people trampling on our corpses to live their lives. Ignorance is not an excuse, in my opinion. However, personally speaking, those who knowingly promote the player system despite knowing the truth are the ones I want to kill.”

Shu Jun raised his hand and casually pointed upward with his sharp claws.

“But before that, I will do everything possible to ensure that my compatriots survive. Regardless of how the situation changes, this is definitely the top priority… So I think that nagging thing in my dream shouldn’t be my subconscious.”

“When did this dream start?” Zhu Yanchen asked seriously.

“Just these two days. The biggest recent event was probably infiltrating the command center to steal information. Tell me, Grand Marshal—”

Shu Jun propped himself up with one hand, leaned in close to Zhu Yanchen’s face, and the heat radiating from him made Zhu Yanchen purse his lips.

“—Is your command center really secure?”

“It’s hard to say.” When he spoke again, Zhu Yanchen noticed that his voice was a little hoarse. “The purification defense of the command center is relatively sound, so the formed Erosion Swamp can’t get in. But in order to ensure the coming and going of synths, it won’t completely exclude erosion substance.”

“Hmm…” Shu Jun hummed, wrinkling his brow.

“There are also loopholes.” Zhu Yanchen continued, “They rely too much on the purification system and only check it regularly according to regulations. Even if they find something wrong, it will take some time to go through the application process.”

He subconsciously thought of something, but when he went to investigate it further, that sense of inspiration disappeared.

“Well, it seems like I need to have more dreams and see what the purpose of that thing is.” Shu Jun smiled again, reached out, and pulled Zhu Yanchen’s coat off his shoulders. “I dreamt of something uncomfortable, so I was just trying to clear my mind. Let’s go back. Your body is still human, so be careful not to catch a cold.”

There was no vegetation in the erosion zone. The erosion substance liked water, so the entire zone was like a desolated swamp. The sky was always dark, and even though Shu Jun stopped the wind around him, the air was still uncomfortably damp and cold, as if every step could pass through a ghost.

“If you can’t handle those negative emotions…” Zhu Yanchen stood up.

He wanted to say, “You can also talk to me about them”, but as a member of the human race, that sentence was a bit stinging. He threw out the first half of the sentence, but the second half died in his chest.

Shu Jun stopped laughing. He stared at Zhu Yanchen for a moment before blurting out, “You have an interesting perspective. I’m sure you’ve been through a lot and have rich experience.”

The sentence didn’t sound sarcastic but carried three parts anger and seven parts dissatisfaction. Before he finished speaking, Shu Jun reached out to button up Zhu Yanchen’s coat, exuding an air of wanting to strangle him.

“Let’s go back, quickly.” After buttoning up the coat, Shu Jun raised his claws threateningly. “If I can’t stand it, I won’t keep quiet, and I’ll howl in front of you for three days and nights. Not like someone who pretends to be an eighty-year-old man, planning to quietly disappear from the world.”


“Okay, don’t look like that. I understand your reasoning. Your choices were limited, but does that have anything to do with me not feeling good?”

This was the first time Zhu Yanchen had met such an unreasonable collaborator, leaving him speechless. Although there was nothing to refute, a sour feeling rose in his chest.

“We should go back. We have to get up early tomorrow.” After being scrutinized by Shu Jun’s gaze for a few minutes, Zhu Yanchen spoke in a dry voice. “Regarding the command center, I’ll contact Ai Xiaoxiao.”

“What else?”

“Afterwards, you… No, we can communicate about emotional issues, two-way.”

“That’s about right.”

In Y City, Ai Xiaoxiao wasn’t sleeping either.

Since obtaining that jar of brain matter, she had been studying it with fervor and enthusiasm. Unlike Zhu Yanchen, who was focused on studying the Erosion Swamps, she was more skilled in treating late-stage erosion with drugs. In terms of medication, she was confident.

She was waiting for the machine’s analysis results, crunching on her fifth coffee-flavored lollipop.

With no guests in the late night, time seemed to stand still, making it the perfect time for research. Unfortunately, her life had recently been disrupted by an unwelcome guest—Zhu Yanchen’s faked death had thrown off her original plans. In order to handle Zhu Yanchen’s orders, Dong Lao had begun coming over repeatedly, specifically choosing late night hours when there were few people around.

And today was no different.

If it weren’t for the fact that the old man liked to hide in corners where no one could find him and that he didn’t come here to mooch off food and drink, she would have kicked him out. Being called away to open or close the door when inspiration was surging was already at the limit of what she could bear.

Ai Xiaoxiao rolled her eyes, picked up the prepared solution from one side, and began carefully dripping the new drug into it. She had just dripped the third drop when the alarm on the workbench started blaring, and Ai Xiaoxiao’s hand shook, wasting the entire tube of solution.

“Fuck!” She squeezed out a curse through her teeth.

Today was her breaking point. She no longer planned to show any respect for the old man and was definitely going to beat him into a pulp. Ai Xiaoxiao grabbed her keychain from the hook, stormed down the corridor with an air of menace, and charged toward another underground passage.

When she reached her destination, Dong Lao’s expression was even uglier than hers.

“Explain.” His voice was hoarse.

“Excuse me? You’re messing around in my house, and you want me to explain?”

“The detector detected an abnormal signal, and I have to make sure that this place hasn’t been bugged or invaded.”

“So you fucking didn’t tell me beforehand and was just going to barged in yourself?!”

“How could I possibly dare? You said that if I disturbed you during the experiment, you’d pluck my bones out and use them as brooms to clean up the waste from the urology department.” Dong Lao was equally unceremonious. “Now, explain. This place has a very complex mixed lock, and no one should be able to get in except for you.”

Dong Lao stood in front of an old door. The door was made of metal, very thick, and covered with mottled rust. It was locked with various types of locks, from the oldest physical locks to the newest electronic ones.

Ai Xiaoxiao sneered. She saw a bulge under the sleeve of his shirt, which was probably a gun.

“If you weren’t one of Zhu Yanchen’s men, you would be dead by now.” Behind the large ring-shaped keychain, she was holding, a cold scalpel glinted. “It’s none of your business. Have you heard of Bluebeard’s room*?”

*Reference to Bluebeard. He has a room where he keeps all his murdered wives’ corpses. You can read the story in the Wikipedia.

“Have you heard of Bluebeard’s ending*?”

*Clarity:Bluebeard’s latest wife became curious and managed to open his locked door, finding all of his previous wives’ corpses. When Bluebeard was about to murder her, she asked for one last prayer, which he granted, allowing time for her family to show up and kill him. || In this context, Ai Xiaoxiao is saying “You don’t want to know what’s in that room” and Dong Lao is retorting “You know what happens to people who hide secrets, right?”. Think of it like that.

“If you don’t trust me, you can ask Zhu Yanchen.”

“But that will have to wait for a while, won’t it? I won’t give you time to prepare, and I’m not interested in your personal affairs. If our interests coincide, you can show me. Regardless of whether it’s a demon or something else inside, as long as there’s no abnormal signal, I won’t say a word.”

Ai Xiaoxiao stared at him for a moment.”Fine, for Zhu Yanchen’s sake,” she said. “As an exchange, if you say a single word, I will definitely skin you alive—literally. I mean what I say.”

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

Criminal Psychology Ch202

Author: 长洱 / Chang’er

Translator: Kinky ||

Chapter 202

When Xing Conglian talked about the matter of the deaths, there wasn’t a heavy expression on his face, indicating that it shouldn’t be a terrible thing like an infectious disease.

During the Gaomeng people’s escape, they were already heavily injured, so it wasn’t surprising that a few would suddenly pass away due to their injuries. Lin Chen frowned, suddenly realizing that the value of life had changed in his concept since he deviated from civilization, which wasn’t a good thing.

However, the cause of death for the two Gaomeng people slightly exceeded Lin Chen’s imagination.

They died in a fight.

At that time, dinner was being served on the ship, and one person suddenly had a dispute with his neighbor. He used a butter knife to stab the neighbor’s body directly, causing blood and flesh to splatter. The neighbor wasn’t easy to deal with and held the man’s neck tightly before hitting the iron table corner.

The two people fought too fiercely and too fast, and the other Gaomeng people didn’t even have time to stop them. They had already died together.

Lin Chen listened with horror and found it difficult to accept. According to the schedule, they would arrive at the port tomorrow morning, and all the Gaomeng people facing the threat of death would regain their freedom. And now, they were fighting to death, which wasn’t worth it… He thought for a moment and asked Xing Conglian, “What is the reason?”

“Duan Yang said it might be the sequelae of drugs.” Xing Conglian sighed for a moment and talked to him about the possibility that the entire Gaomeng tribe might have been taking illegal drugs or being used as test subjects for a new drug that had a subtle connection with schizophrenia.

Thinking of Zhourui Pharmaceutical and everything involved, Lin Chen looked at Xing Conglian. Before he could say anything, Xing Conglian seemed to see through his thoughts and directly said, “Don’t even think about it.”

Lin Chen raised his hand and pulled Xing Conglian, freeing up the position on the inside of the bed. “Then don’t go. Sleep with me.”

Xing Conglian widened his eyes and looked at him incredulously. “Are you pulling another trick?”

Lin Chen smiled. “I just don’t want you to leave.”

Xing Conglian suddenly sat down and stroked the side of Lin Chen’s face with one hand. His eyes darkened. “Consultant Lin…”

Xing Conglian’s tone sounded a bit wrong at this moment. Lin Chen felt the rough touch of his skin on his palm and shuddered slightly, then he said seriously, “Yes, Captain Xing?”

“Do you know that you are still not well?” Xing Conglian slightly leaned over to the corner of his mouth, but didn’t make any kissing movements.

“Not only am I not well, but my condition seems to be quite serious now.”

Before Lin Chen finished speaking, he heard Xing Conglian say word by word, “So, are you sure you can handle it?”

“Why are you like this?”

Xing Conglian gently bit his earlobe and said in a low and deep voice, “Because I miss you.”

Lin Chen felt that the difference between being a talker and a doer might lie here. The next moment, Xing Conglian had already put him down on the bed. Although there was no action, he had a creepy feeling.

The man narrowed his eyes slightly, threateningly saying, “You may really not be able to get out of bed for a few days, so…”

Lin Chen quickly hugged the other’s neck and said sincerely, “I was wrong.”

“What did you do wrong?”

“My body is not well yet.”


“When I’m feeling better, I need to find a vacation where I don’t have to work, and I can’t stay at home.”

“Why can’t you stay at home?” Xing Conglian asked, rubbing his stubble against his face in satisfaction.

“Wang Chao is too annoying.”

“Shall I kick him out of the house?”

Lin Chen thought for a moment, feeling a little hesitant. “Never mind, let’s just book a domestic five-day trip for two instead…” He trailed off, testing Xing Conglian. “Is five days enough?”

“Probably not.”

Lin Chen chuckled. “Well, we’ll talk about it next time.”

“But next time, we can’t just talk about it…” Xing Conglian said.

“I know,” Lin Chen replied.

In any case, these two never seemed to have enough time together. In the end, Xing Conglian chose to respect Lin Chen’s wishes and led him downstairs.

There weren’t many decent clothes on the boat, so Lin Chen draped a thin blanket over himself and followed Xing Conglian to the first floor cabin.

The sound of water was clearer here, and outside the porthole was a dark rainforest where water and sky merged seamlessly without boundaries.

After the chaos, most of the Gaomeng people were ordered to stay in the inner cabin.

Therefore, the so-called scene of the crime was only occupied by the elderly tribal leader, who was called a “great trickster” by Wang Chao, accompanied by two strong men.

It was said that the Gaomeng tribe leader had died in battle long ago, so in reality, there weren’t many people left in the tribe.

The cabin was empty and terrifying, with the river wind blowing through it. The ground was a mess, and the rainforest bananas were trampled into a pulp mixed with blood, giving off a putrid smell.

The only doctor on the boat was squatting beside the corpse, performing an autopsy. Duan Yang was now quite versatile. Lin Chen stood beside the young doctor, watching as he examined the wounds on the deceased’s face.

“Did you find anything?” Lin Chen asked.

Duan Yang suddenly looked up and frowned when he saw Lin Chen standing there. “Why are you here? Take care of yourself and be careful not to get too hot again.”

Lin Chen crouched down beside him and said, “I came to see if I could help.”

Duan Yang took off his plastic gloves and shook his head. “Actually, I don’t understand this either. It would be best to find a forensic doctor to perform a craniotomy and pathological examination, but…” He looked at Xing Conglian and asked, “Isn’t that difficult?”

“All of that can be solved. Tell me your thoughts,” Lin Chen said.

“Throughout the whole process, they had an argument that led to death too quickly. Suddenly, they became restless and violent, and then suddenly died. It seems like a sudden manic episode…”

“It’s not sudden,” Lin Chen interrupted, looking at Xing Conglian. He reached for a pair of plastic gloves and put them on, then gently touched the victim’s face. “He must have been angry for a while.”

Duan Yang looked at the victim’s forehead. “Are there any expression lines?”

“No,” Lin Chen pursed his lips. “Their skin is too rough. That can’t be used as evidence.”

“But when people are angry, they tend to curl their fingers and toes,” Lin Chen continued. “This brings up the scientific study of innate human emotions versus learned behaviors. Is it beyond race and rooted in human genes?” As he spoke, he reached for the victim’s right hand and examined the palm. There were very clear marks where the nails had pinched. He wanted to stand up and check the victim’s feet, but Xing Conglian beat him to it. He took off the victim’s grass shoes and lifted them up to show him.

Lin Chen nodded. “The condition of this African victim tells us that anger is an innate emotion that transcends race. A more scientific psychology experiment would be to take photos of various facial expressions of Caucasians and Asians and see if these rainforest people can identify different emotions…”

“Consultant Lin, I don’t quite understand. Is this research meaningful?” Duan Yang asked.

Lin Chen shrugged. “Actually, I don’t know. I’m just afraid of burning out, so I’m talking nonsense.” He stood up, looking down at the people who were tragically dead and still angry on the ground, and said lightly, “But with scientific research, how can we always predict how the seemingly inconspicuous results will affect the human process?”

Duan Yang solemnly said, “I understand.” He thought for a moment and added, “We really need to determine more carefully what type of medication Zhourui Pharmaceutical has given them. This is probably the reason why Teacher insisted on saving those patients. It may not seem worthwhile for him to sacrifice his life, but maybe it is.”

Lin Chen took off his gloves and rubbed the young man’s hair. “Don’t think too much about it. That was his decision, and we don’t have the right to say much, but these cases are really strange.”

“I think so too.” Duan Yang said, “Most drugs that can cause brain damage or mental problems require long-term use, which will accumulate in the human body. But most of the Gaomeng people here seem fine, and many of them suddenly get sick without any warning. For example, Mr. Xing’s subordinates had mental abnormalities after accidentally coming into contact with the drugs. But today’s case is different. Does it mean that the Gaomeng tribe had taken many different types of medication?” Duan Yang turned to look at the elder and his entourage, who were vigilantly watching them. “Are there still possible new cases among the Gaomeng people on the ship?”

Lin Chen kicked Duan Yang’s heel and calmly said, “Don’t be so obvious. Talking behind someone’s back while looking at them isn’t good.”

Duan Yang smiled bitterly. “Consultant Lin, now I can tell that you are really recovering.”

“It seems… that even healthy Gaomeng people can’t be allowed to work on the cruise ship?” Xing Conglian frowned and was quite annoyed. “Do I also need to encircle these people like Zaratul?”

“What do you think?” Lin Chen asked Duan Yang.

“This involves medical ethics.” Duan Yang’s brow furrowed deeper. “If we know that some of these people may harm others when they leave, should we temporarily detain the healthy people who can’t be judged like the sick…”

Looking at the young man whose temperament had changed significantly from their first meeting, Lin Chen said, “The sentence you just said is a bit scary.”


“First, I will point out that this incident may be solved in the rainforest, but what if it happened in a densely populated city?” Lin Chen looked at Xing Conglian and said to Duan Yang, “Second, after you raise this point of view, it will make it very difficult for him to act.”

Duan Yang immediately apologized. “I didn’t think about it. Sorry.”

Lin Chen sighed slightly, and Xing Conglian put his hand on his shoulder and said, “Let’s find a relatively isolated manor. We won’t restrict their personal freedom, but those who are already sick must receive treatment. Is that okay?”

“I have no objection.” Duan Yang said, “But the cause of the disease has not been completely identified yet. Whether it is medication or psychoactive drugs, we still need to find out the real reason that caused them to become like this.”

“What you mean is that you should preside over the entire project…” Xing Conglian said in the night.

Duan Yang suddenly looked up.

The crime scene may not be the appropriate time to discuss these matters, but Xing Conglian still said to Duan Yang, “The ship will arrive at the port tomorrow, and we will handle the Zhourui Pharmaceutical matter back in China. However, someone needs to take care of things here in the rainforest. Before his death, Duan Wanshan made many requests to me. Since he was someone I admired, I will give you money to fulfill his wishes. Whether you want to spend the money freely or complete your teacher’s unfinished business, such as trying to treat the Gaomeng people, it’s up to you.”

Lin Chen looked at Xing Conglian in surprise. Xing Conglian placed his hand on his shoulder, speaking as he led him towards the cabin, and whispered in his ear, “You have blown enough wind. Don’t think that I will let you stay outside for too long.”

“Mr. Xing!”

Duan Yang called out to Xing Conglian from behind.

The young man was completely stunned, with a mixture of panic, pain, confusion, and the restraint to try to manage these chaotic emotions.

Xing Conglian turned around and looked at the young doctor crouching on the ground, saying, “Don’t ask me why ten thousand times. I just saved some money by not giving it to you earlier.”

Many words were stuck in Duan Yang’s throat. He lowered his eyelashes, then raised his head with a clear expression, without any hesitation, as if he had already made up his mind. He said very solemnly, “Thank you.”

“You’ve already said that. No need to say it again.”

Xing Conglian waved his hand, and Lin Chen stood beside him, being pulled inside by him.

“Why did you only tell him these things now?” Lin Chen asked in a low voice.

“Two days ago, you still hadn’t gotten out of danger, so it wasn’t appropriate to give him the diagnosis fee so soon,” Xing Conglian said as a matter of fact.

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

Evil As Humans Ch133

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

Translator: Kinky ||

Chapter 133: Health

With a swoosh, Yin Ren spread his limbs and gathered all the diaries.

In the darkness, the translucent black wing clusters extended to every corner of the room. Yin Ren held those notebooks in his arms as if he were embracing a person.

Maintaining this posture, he felt the sensation of spreading his wings and felt the pages of writing.

The first diary of Zhong Chengshuo started on September 1st, more than 20 years ago. It was well-preserved, with the first page neatly written with “Grade 1, Class 1 – Zhong Chengshuo’s Diary” in neat and mature handwriting that didn’t look like that of a child.

Throughout the diary, he wrote about his height and weight and always included the phrase “I’m fine”. On some dates, the young Zhong Chengshuo would add additional notes, such as “Physical examination today” or “School sports day today,” mostly related to his physical health.

His middle and high school diaries were similar, without any teenage fantasies or plans related to exams. His diaries always contained the same phrase: “I’m fine.”

Except for three days.

The first detailed record appeared on a certain day during Zhong Chengshuo’s third year of middle school. During the summer vacation, Zhong Chengshuo went to another city to attend a training course because his parents were too busy. He didn’t know whether the food at the training course was good or bad, but the person who was in charge always preferred to serve fast food, like fried chicken and hamburgers, so the participating students’ weights all increased.

Except for Zhong Chengshuo.

Among a group of overweight boys and girls, he stood out. He lived, attended classes, rested with other children, and ate with a moderate appetite, but his weight didn’t change at all. The children were sensitive and couldn’t help but discuss this anomaly.

[I’m fine.]

[Also, this seems a bit unnatural. I need to eat a balanced diet.]

[A balanced diet is good for all living things.]

After briefly recounting the event, Zhong Chengshuo wrote this.


The second detailed record appeared on a certain day when Zhong Chengshuo was in his sophomore year in high school.

Based on the record on the cover, Zhong Chengshuo was admitted to the best high school in Haigu.

Yin Ren had heard of this key high school. In order to get into a good university, students in their sophomore year started to work hard. Excluding early morning exercises, the students studied from 7 in the morning to 10 in the evening every day, with most of them staying up late to study in their dormitories. Even after midnight, at least 80% of the dormitory windows still had lights on.

Despite their young age and resilience, this kind of high intensity studying still took a toll on their spirits. Among the students in the key class, having varying degrees of dark circles under their eyes was the norm.

Only Zhong Chengshuo, who ranked first in his grade, was an exception.

Like most top students, he got up at 5:30 a.m. to memorize vocabulary and went to bed at 12:30 a.m.. As a result, not only did he not have dark circles under his eyes, but his skin was also shockingly good.

With excellent academic performance and a remarkable physical state, his classmates would occasionally inquire about what health supplements or skincare products he used.

[I’m fine.]

[Also, this is a bit unnatural. I need to maintain a regular schedule.]

[A regular schedule is good for all living things.]

As he was about to enter his junior year, Zhong Chengshuo wrote this down.


The third detailed record appeared on a certain day when Zhong Chengshuo was in his freshman year.

He entered A University with nearly perfect grades and was about to become an adult.

At that time, he lived in a four-person dormitory on campus and would inevitably change clothes in front of his roommates. His three roommates included one who was skin and bones, one who weighed nearly 300 pounds, and only one who had a normal body type, which was still considered “average”—a well-proportioned figure but not exactly “fit”.

With his good looks and impressive physique, Zhong Chengshuo quickly caught the attention of others. Some people would intentionally or unintentionally inquire about whether he achieved his physique through sports.

One of his overweight roommates would frequently ask him for advice on “how to lose fat and gain muscle.”

[I’m fine.]

[Also, this is a bit unnatural. I need a pair of glasses and moderate exercise.]

[Moderate exercise is good for all living things.]


Yin Ren held those pages of paper, and for a moment, he wasn’t quite sure if he understood the hidden meaning behind the words.

Ordinary people could obtain a healthy and attractive body through healthy eating, regular rest, and moderate exercise. However, in the case of Zhong Chengshuo, this process was subtly reversed—

To explain that healthy and attractive physique, Zhong Chengshuo needed to rely on these measures to “provide a reason.”

If it were someone else doing these things, Yin Ren might consider the possibility of “trying to fit in”. But this was Zhong Chengshuo. Let alone pursuing conformity, whether he could even think of “using these methods to fit in” was a question in and of itself.

Moreover, he was very committed to maintaining his physical health.

What was even more frightening was that, except for a recent period of time, these diaries were recorded without fail, every day, spanning Zhong Chengshuo’s entire life since the first grade of primary school.

His cleanliness was formed from primary school’s “health and hygiene” to graduate school’s “animal pathology”.

Although Zhong Chengshuo didn’t record it in detail, he would write a few sentences summarizing the necessity of maintaining a hygienic state after every major flu or epidemic. As for bleeding and injury, if not for knowing Zhong Chengshuo, Yin Ren would have thought that the owner of the diary was the world’s most afraid-of-death person.

No illness, no accidents. Zhong Chengshuo grew up in a textbook-like, healthy human template.

His height and weight were increasing, and important health-related activities were recorded, complemented by the phrase “I’m fine” to the point of boredom.

As time drew closer to the present, Yin Ren’s presence became stronger.

[I’m fine.]

[When Yin Ren made a gun gesture towards me, my heartbeat inexplicably accelerated, and my body temperature rose.]

[I’m fine.]

[When in contact with Yin Ren, my heartbeat and body temperature still become irregular for no reason.]

[I’m fine.]

[I have an urge to get close to Yin Ren, but also a slight sense of rejection. But I think I really like him.]


Yin Ren couldn’t read on.

Zhong Chengshuo’s records were calm and straightforward. He didn’t hesitate to use the word “like,” which always accompanied “heart palpitations” or “unconsciously attracted”. But now, they all turned into sharp nails, hammering into Yin Ren’s heart.

In over 20 years and nearly 10,000 diary entries, there was only one sentence that didn’t relate to “health”.

[I hope we can walk to the end smoothly. It’s the first time I want to tell the truth to someone.]

Zhong Chengshuo wrote this on the day they confirmed their relationship.

A huge monster curled up its body in the underground space, and the rustling sound of flapping wings resonated as Yin Ren buried his face deeply into the pages.

The pain in his heart was unbearable.

A millennium ago, he could control countless evil creatures, but at this moment, he couldn’t even control his own sore eyes.

Ever since Zhong Chengshuo disappeared in front of him, Yin Ren almost immediately put on the mask of “Grand Master Zhong Yi”. In order to find ways to get Zhong Chengshuo back, he must show absolute power and a tough stance.

…Perhaps the only person who truly knew his true nature was the person who “wants to walk with him to the end”.

He wasn’t commanding at all, nor was he that tough.

“Zhong Chengshuo…”

Yin Ren gritted his teeth and forced himself to stop thinking about those neat and pure “likes”, and forced himself back to reality.

Zhong Chengshuo left records and hoped that he would get them. This was probably more than just “delivering relics”. These diaries couldn’t be directly handed over to Shian.

Compared to simply recording his life, it seemed that he was more like carefully “raising” and observing himself, like a diary of observing a rare animal.

Is Zhong Chengshuo really just an ordinary human?

Yin Ren held onto those papers tightly, and pain mixed with a faint hope squeezed his chest. This person was difficult to fathom when he was alive and even more mysterious after he died.

Will all these puzzles be solved when he finds Zhong Chengshuo?

In the dark space, a small screen lit up.

The background picture was still “Zhong Chengshuo wearing a nightcap and yawning”, which Yin Ren secretly took on a certain morning, and it hadn’t been changed yet. The Ghost King quietly held the notebooks left by that person in the world and typed quietly with both hands.

[Fruit Knife: I received your gift.]

[Fruit Knife: I have new clues and will find you soon.]

[Fruit Knife: I should say it a few more times. I really like you. I’ve never been so uncomfortable before growing up! 👊]

[Fruit Knife: Why don’t you believe this? If you do, you can definitely come back.]

[Fruit Knife: Say something to me.]

Yin Ren waited for half an hour, facing that bright screen.

After half an hour, he packed his things and left the darkness.


Haigu Municipal Hospital.

Huang Jin lit a cigarette and sat near the hospital flower bed.

He still couldn’t get used to smoking, so he could only hold it in his hand. The blue-gray smoke rose in spirals, and Huang Jin’s thoughts drifted around with it—

At this point, the situation of the members of Unit 9 had been determined.

Lu Xiaohe was already lame, and when she was attacked, she was closest to Fu Xingchuan and sustained the lightest injuries among all the science posts. Her internal organs and bones were intact, and she only suffered a slight concussion. After her skin wounds were sutured, Lu Xiaohe woke up quickly.

After waking up, she kept staring at the ceiling with a blank expression.

The personnel from the other branches fared worse and were still in a coma.

Ge Tingting was even more severely affected. When she joined Shian, she had already been undergoing psychological treatment for a long time. Now that she had seen Zhong Chengshuo being brutally shot in front of her, she was still trembling all over and couldn’t calm down.

With such a major security incident at Shian, Fu Xingchuan hit rock bottom. If he were to request a transfer from Unit Nine now, Shian would probably not refuse…

Huang Jin lowered his eyes. For some reason, this time he couldn’t feel any relief when he thought about this.

He took a deep breath and extinguished the cigarette after only a few puffs. Just as he was about to turn and head back to the hospital, he saw a huge mosaic carrying a suitcase rushing towards the hospital gate.

As it passed by Huang Jin, the mosaic named “Yin Ren” moved as if saluting.

“Starting today, I will be staying here.”

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

Evil As Humans Ch132

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

Translator: Kinky ||

Chapter 132: His Diary

Zhong Chengshuo lay in silence in the void.

His spirit was hazy and trance-like, approaching a state of seventy-two hours without sleep, and it seemed like his thoughts could stop at any moment. His surroundings were like an ice cave, making it difficult to breathe…

Wait, it seemed like he wasn’t breathing.

Zhong Chengshuo lay there motionless, with both his “heart” and “brain” destroyed, thinking he was as good as dead.

What is the situation now?

Were those previous memories just illusions or dreams?

Zhong Chengshuo struggled to move his arm and gradually touched his own body. His skin was cold and stiff, but fortunately, it had been cleaned, and there was no blood, brain matter, or shredded flesh. However, he was also subjected to the standard treatment of a corpse, with all of his clothing missing.

The scar on his chest and abdomen was still in its old position, with his chest blown apart by a bullet. His ribs were broken, and his heart had turned into a mass of rotten flesh. Zhong Chengshuo poked the wound with his fingers several times, but his fingertips didn’t touch the normal body temperature of a human being. His sense of touch was also numb, and he felt no pain.

The memory of his attack earlier wasn’t an illusion.

Could it be that his body was healing itself?

Zhong Chengshuo tried to bend his stiff joints and solemnly touched his neck.

Collarbone… sternocleidomastoid muscle, the Adam’s apple…up higher…

He felt around but found nothing.

The section of his neck was rough, with typical blast marks. Zhong Chengshuo felt the positions of his “chin” and “top of his head” with disbelief, as he only felt the cold air.

…His head was gone.

Realizing that his brain was absent, Zhong Chengshuo was stunned for a full two minutes.

He still had vivid memories and tactile processing abilities, but his thinking was slow. Among his countless speculations, there was no such wretched and bizarre “death.”

Zhong Chengshuo tried to tense his toes and spread his fingers, measuring the surroundings with his four limbs.

The space he was in was extremely small, resembling a rectangle, but the corners were made of convenient rounded structures. The material of the walls was some kind of metal, hard and smooth.

He was particularly careful when touching the door above his head… That door was tightly sealed, heavy to the touch, and not something he could open barehanded.

The sealed space was very cold, and considering his situation, he was probably in a specially made morgue.

Zhong Chengshuo struggled to turn his thoughts.

After his head was blown up, he completely lost consciousness. When he “woke up” again, he was already in this place… According to the regulations of Shian, his body would be placed in Haigu Municipal Hospital, waiting for his adoptive parents to dispose of it.

This was definitely not Haigu Municipal Hospital.

So his body was taken away by the enemy, from…in front of Yin Ren; taken away by the hostile forces.

Thinking of this possibility, Zhong Chengshuo’s already fleeting thoughts came to an abrupt halt.

If Yin Ren’s abilities couldn’t keep his body…

[What would Yin Ren do?]

This showed that the attacker’s strength was very…

[What would Yin Ren’s reaction be?]

His mind was almost torn in half, one half sitting fragmented and deducing, the other half thinking hard about Yin Ren’s possible reactions. Under normal circumstances, this level of mental intensity would have been a breeze for him. But without a brain, he was almost crushed by the pressure of dual thinking.

He couldn’t even choose between the two; he could only subconsciously consider the problem he cared about more—

Yin Ren…

Would Yin Ren be angry? He was angry enough when he acted without permission before. Now that he had “died” in front of him, would he be even angrier?

Would Yin Ren be sad? When he kissed him, his actions were so gentle.

He couldn’t respond properly, Zhong Chengshuo thought vaguely.

…Strange, he shouldn’t be thinking about this. Why couldn’t he stop?

In Zhong Chengshuo’s previous expectations, there was indeed a possibility of dying early. Therefore, Zhong Chengshuo made careful plans. If he didn’t update the schedule for 48 hours, a care plan would be automatically sent to his acquaintances’ emails.

His backup account, a library of voice materials, would also be open for this purpose. His adoptive parents were old and only needed a little bit of a good-natured “business trip” lie to spend their remaining years with hope and prosperity.

Other than that, there was almost nothing else to deal with. Whether he wanted to pass on the information he wanted to pass on or not was up to him. After death, everything was empty, and he wasn’t interested in the so-called “posthumous fame”.

As for death itself, he didn’t seek it, but he didn’t reject it either.

Dying early for him was just an ordinary ending… This was what Zhong Chengshuo used to think.

But now he was a little annoyed.

Zhong Chengshuo rubbed the metal surface with his fingertips, trying hard to maintain the continuity of his thoughts.

He didn’t know what Yin Ren would do.

This thought lingered in Zhong Chengshuo’s mind as soon as it appeared. This unknown made his chest particularly heavy. Zhong Chengshuo had never thought that “caring to the point of being unable to breathe” would physically manifest itself in his body.

Tap, tap, tap. His fingertips lightly tapped the cold metal.

This was an absolutely sealed, narrow space, and he was naked, mutilated, and had no knowledge of his surroundings. There was almost no chance of escape.

In the past, he would have quietly slept here. Whether he woke up decades later or was processed while in a coma, he didn’t particularly care, nor did he have any special thoughts.

But now, once he thought of “possibly being sealed here for decades, until true death, and he would never be able to confirm Yin Ren’s status”, Zhong Chengshuo produced a new feeling.

His chest was heavy, his limbs were numb, and his internal organs were twisted into a ball, as if being slowly crushed by a cold stone mill.

Compared to the “worry” he had tasted before; it was more depressing and sharper. There seemed to be the claws of a beast in Zhong Chengshuo’s chest cavity, scratching and tearing, making it unbearable.

He didn’t want to stay here.

He didn’t want it to end like this.

He wanted to see Yin Ren. He had to confirm Yin Ren’s status as soon as possible. He cared too much.

…He thought, ‘I’m probably “afraid”.’

Zhong Chengshuo’s fingertips tapping the metal wall trembled, and he didn’t know if it was his illusion, but his thoughts became clearer for a moment.

He had to escape…

Even if this were really a theoretical “hell”, he must figure out a way to escape.


Ping’an Manor, Room 601, Building 4, Zhong Chengshuo’s home.


Yin Ren pulled his luggage and pushed open the door to the living room.

Everything in the familiar living room with lush potted plants was just the way they left it.

There was still a small dish of apples on the table in the living room, with the apples looking a bit wrinkled. Near the table, Zhong Chengshuo’s apron with the words “Dangerous Person” hung on the hook, stained with the color of the sunset.

Yin Ren stood by the table for a long time. After a long silence, he released the handle of his luggage, opened the fridge, and took out some fresh apples.

The fridge was also the same as before, with Zhong Chengshuo carefully sticking dates on the egg carton, and his own and Zhong Chengshuo’s milk neatly placed on opposite sides. Yin Ren’s side was filled with some small snacks, while Zhong Chengshuo’s half of the space was reserved for larger vegetables, which made cooking more convenient.

Unfortunately, Yin Ren didn’t have time to learn any of that person’s recipes.

He picked out a bright red apple and replaced the withered one on the table. With this bit of red, the whole room seemed to have a little more vitality. But it was still too quiet, lacking the breath of another person.

Yin Ren didn’t go into Zhong Chengshuo’s bedroom.

After arranging the apple, he took out the tablet that Zhong Chengshuo gave him and randomly played a third-rate romantic drama. Amid the exaggerated music and dialogue, Yin Ren lay on the sofa with his face turned to the back of the sofa, trying to grasp the faint shadows of the past.

Just like in those previous days, every time he did this, there would be a person standing quietly at the table, reading a book.

The sofa was still the same, and the smell was also familiar. Yin Ren lay there until the glory of the sunset disappeared and the night gradually descended. He didn’t move and didn’t turn on the light. The whole room seemed to sink into a deep sea, gradually falling into darkness.

It was already past dinner time, and no one came to ask him what he wanted to eat.

He didn’t want to eat anything anyway.

He had lived too long, so Zhong Chengshuo’s “departure” didn’t crush him suddenly. But this fact was like a faint but never-ending tinnitus, making Yin Ren unable to be at peace.

Time gradually passed, and the tablet’s battery ran out. The laughter and joy in the living room disappeared in an instant, and the room became silent.

Yin Ren sat up with disheveled hair, casually threw the wrinkled apple into the trash can, and then opened WeChat, selecting the red apple avatar that was pinned at the top. Their last conversation was still stuck on the choice of seasonings when buying groceries, and the last sentence was Zhong Chengshuo’s “Okay.”

[Fruit Knife: Zhong Ge, I’m home.]

[Fruit Knife: Just letting you know.]

[Fruit Knife: Can I borrow your room and look for clues?]

[Fruit Knife: I’ll clean up.]

He clicked the lock button and pushed open the half-closed bedroom door.

Yin Ren’s gaze quickly swept over the two pillows on the double bed. If he looked for too long, his eyes would burn. He walked to the computer desk that Zhong Chengshuo had mentioned and took a deep breath before opening the locked drawer.

The fragile mechanical lock surrendered instantly to the Ghost King. The small drawer was almost empty, with only an envelope addressed to Yin Ren inside.

Did Zhong Chengshuo come back?

For a moment, Yin Ren’s hair almost stood on end. With unrealistic hope, he quickly opened the envelope.

Inside, there was only an old key and a small note. Yin Ren’s heart skipped a beat, as if he had just fallen into an abyss.

[To the person I currently trust the most:

If you are reading this, I am likely in serious trouble. Go back to the place where we had our first kiss and search carefully.

I hope you can find it.]

The place where they had their first kiss was Zhong Chengshuo’s secret base, as he had told Yin Ren before when they were renovating the hamster pendant. Wait, the hamster pendant?

“Emergency locator. We can check each other’s location at any time.”

His disappeared lover had once explained this. Shian had tried to locate Zhong Chengshuo’s phone, but it showed it was damaged. However, the enemy might only pay attention to Shian’s special phone and not notice the small hamster phone charm.

Why didn’t he think of this earlier?

Yin Ren quickly opened his phone and followed Zhong Chengshuo’s instructions step by step. He watched the loading animation on the map with hope, but after a few rounds, Zhong Chengshuo’s location didn’t appear.

The light in Yin Ren’s eyes gradually dimmed.

But he just stubbornly looked at the screen until—

“The signal is too weak. Temporarily unable to locate.”

The signal is too weak—not gone or damaged, just “temporarily” unable to locate.

He clutched the key tightly and flew out of the window instead of using the door. In less than ten minutes, he had returned to that dark underground warehouse. The design data for the hamster pendant was on Zhong Chengshuo’s computer, and he could hand it over to Fu Xingchuan. Yin Ren carefully wrapped up the notebook and then began searching for the keyhole.

For anyone else, it would take a long time to search here, and various detection devices would be necessary. However, with his scattered hair as a search aid, the Ghost King only needed a few heartbeats.

What would Zhong Chengshuo leave for him?

With the key inserted into the metal rack, Yin Ren forcefully pulled open the door to the hidden compartment. Immediately afterwards, he was overwhelmed by the books that came crashing down.

The compartment was filled with all sorts of books, with only a small portion of the pages yellowed with age, and the covers printed with cartoon rabbit patterns that only children would use. The vast majority were plain and simple in design.

The collision caused many of the books to flip open, and Yin Ren didn’t need to flip through them to see their contents.

Whether it was a cute children’s diary or a plain adult style, spanning more than 20 years, the font used to record was completely consistent, and the content was more or less the same.

[Year Month Day]

[Height: xxx.xx cm; Weight: xx.xx kg]

[I’m fine.]

The author has something to say:

This arc is over! (Probably)

I have thought about a lot of reactions from everyone, but I never thought that there would be a lot of dirty jokes (…)

Kinky Thoughts:

The arc is over. Summary below:

With Gengsheng Town mostly resolved, Fu Xingchuan deduced who Yin Ren really is. However, in order to confirm his suspicions and test Yin Ren’s motives, he decided to enter Shian’s Haigu branch in the most recent competition among the three largest branches of Shian.

The setting of the competition would be in his own family’s residence, where his ancient ancestor still lay. With the help of Fu Wuya, the ancient director of Huajisi from hundreds of years ago, they set up the setting for the competition.

Fu Xingchuan hoped to use this competition to test Yin Ren more and also use it as an excuse to promote Unit 9 to a B-level team without raising any suspicion.

Using a Corpse Cage, Fu Wuya shrank all participants down, and Shian inserted them into the body of a corpse.

While inside the corpse, Yin Ren encountered white filament monsters that had the “resonance” ability similar to Kong Wangqing. They managed to cover Yin Ren and amplify his emotions. Yin Ren’s fear of losing Zhong Chengshuo increased several folds, eventually making him unable to think clearly.

In the end, after a brief battle, Zhong Chengshuo was able to snap Yin Ren out of it, and Yin Ren was able to overcome the “attachment” feelings of those white monsters. He also managed to gain a new ability that allows him to “isolate” his senses, so he wouldn’t be affected by the “resonance” while inside the corpse cage.

Unfortunately, this backfired. Mr. Qin decided to make his move. Sensing abnormalities, the competition ended early, and everyone returned to normal. As they were leaving the underground area where the competition was held, sniper bullets, made from reality and not magic, assaulted them, killing two while severely injuring others.

Of the two that were killed, Zhong Chengshuo was one of the victims. Though Yin Ren tried, he was unable to save him and couldn’t even prevent his body from being stolen away. In order to not lose control, Yin Ren sealed his own memories and was only later able to piece together what had happened.

Meanwhile, to compensate Sunken Society regarding what happened in Gengsheng Town, the sniper gave Sunken Society Zhong Chengshuo’s body, which was now lying in a special morgue. Surprisingly, despite getting hit in the heart and having his head blown off, Zhong Chengshuo was still alive.

Yin Ren, on the other hand, gave up all pretenses regarding his identity and was determined to find the Sunken Society’s headquarters in Haigu. Using Zhong Chengshuo’s notebook and notes, he went back to Zhong Chengshuo’s secret base to find more clues.

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

Evil As Humans Ch131

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

Translator: Kinky ||

Chapter 131: Game Strategy

The mountains to the east of Haigu were majestic, with sharp and steep peaks resembling knives. Especially close to dawn, the morning glow could cast long shadows of the mountains on the clouds.

The darkness around the Fu residence was gradually dispelled by the morning light, and even the ancestral hall, which was shrouded in fog, was bathed in a little bit of it.

The personnel from Shian had taken full control of the area where the Fu residence was located. Although no one knew whether conventional defense measures were still effective after such an attack, the wounded needed help, and everything in the world continued to move forward.

Yin Ren was still sitting in his chair, motionless.

He was still wearing the sports jacket that Zhong Chengshuo lent him. The lightweight fabric was stained with blood and flesh, and everywhere carried the scent of Zhong Chengshuo. Yin Ren didn’t want to take it off. The sweet bird songs in the distance announced the arrival of a new day, but Yin Ren couldn’t muster any interest in them. His world seemed to have been sealed again; sealed in the previous dusk.

He thought he had already become accustomed to farewells.

The lonely Ghost King clenched his lover’s notebook. At this time, he was no longer surrounded by the cold and slippery slate of the ancestral hall but a clean wooden floor.

Not long ago, Shian came with a supervisory department that he had never heard of. One of the spirit smiths was well versed in folding techniques. What he brought was not the legendary “portable landscape” used for practice, but a “portable conference room” full of modern equipment.

Yin Ren was sitting in the seat with a “witness” name tag. Ge Tingting was stimulated, and Huang Jing was unable to appear as a regular witness due to his criminal record.

So he was there all alone.

This was the first time Yin Ren saw Fu Xingchuan after the incident.

It was the first time he saw such a weak Fu Xingchuan.

Fu Xingchuan’s left leg was seriously injured, wrapped in countless vines and spiritual tools to barely maintain its original shape. Fu Xingchuan stiffened his injured leg and sat alone in front of the arched single square table.

Like he was on trial.

Yin Ren didn’t pay much attention to what those humans were muttering about. The only familiar name that caught his attention was spoken.

“…There was a major safety accident in the competition. Tao Lan, the science post from the Yandu branch, and Zhong Chengshuo, the science post from the Haigu branch, were said to have died.”

“Besides Fu Xingchuan, participants Fu Tianyi, Lu Xiaohe, Luo Wanxiang, and Sang Jie were also injured. The injured are not in danger of their lives and have been sent to the Municipal Hospital in Haigu for treatment…”

A woman in her fifties on the stage read in a monotonous tone, adjusting her glasses from time to time.

There were murmurs in the audience.

“It’s basically targeted at science posts. It’s so vicious since they can’t be treated with magic…”

“It’s most likely targeted at the science posts. Fu Tianyi was just injured by splash damage, and Sang Jie supported Luo Wanxiang, who only got hit on the side. The rest of the science posts, two died and two were seriously injured… The cat was also targeted, but it survived.”

“What about those two auxiliary cultivators from Haigu, Xiao Ge and Xiao Huang? They walked away separately and weren’t even hit by the splash damage. That group leader, Yin Ren, was also leading by half a step and was completely unharmed…”

There was anger and indignation in the people’s voices.

Fu Xingchuan’s voice was steady. “I take full responsibility.”

The woman glanced at him but didn’t answer. “Based on the current inspection results, the attacker may possess unconventional spatial shuttle capabilities. The security facilities at the Fu residence cannot guarantee the safety of the contestants…”

“I have something to say!” Zhou Gong’s voice suddenly sounded.

Yin Ren raised his eyes and noticed Zhou Gong and Qiao Shang sitting further away from the arched table. Both of their faces were very bad, and a “relevant party” sign was placed in front of them.

The woman sitting in the center of the arched table stopped speaking and looked up at Zhou Gong.

Fu Xingchuan’s voice was steady. “I take full responsibility.”

“We were all at the scene, and it was impossible to defend against such a bizarre attack. I didn’t even notice any spatial fluctuations, and Qiao Shang didn’t sense any killing intent. The attacker was extremely abnormal, and this attack cannot be simply attributed to a security accident.”

Zhou Gong stood up, bent his chubby body, and bowed to the woman.

“Even if the attack occurred in the Shian office area, I can assure you that Shian couldn’t defend against it at all. Everyone, our top priority is to find out the identity of the attacker, not to deal with our own people.”

The people on the stage were silent, and more than a dozen pairs of eyes looked at Zhou Gong together. The members of the supervisory department didn’t have high metaphysical abilities, but their momentum was extremely strong, and even Zhou Gong, who was the “#1 Evil Smith”, couldn’t help but lower his head.

Qiao Shang sighed and stood up as well.

“If it weren’t for Fu Xingchuan, who rushed out first to protect those employees, he wouldn’t have been injured like this. The selection of the competition site and the content of the competition were unanimously approved by the three of us. No ordinary people were injured this time, so can’t we…”

“I take full responsibility.” Fu Xingchuan interrupted Qiao Shang. “The incident in Gengsheng Town also involved my responsibility. We’ll handle it according to regulations.”

Zhou Gong hated that iron couldn’t be made into steel. “Lao Fu, you—!”

Yin Ren looked at the dispute expressionlessly, and he could probably guess the twists and turns in Zhou Gong’s heart.

When such a thing happened, someone had to take responsibility.

However, the attack occurred after the end of the competition, which was very strange, and there was no “eavesdropping feeling” reminder. Even Yin Ren himself couldn’t guard against it. There was still room for maneuver if Shian wanted to show mercy.

The premise was that Fu Xingchuan himself cooperated and actively protected himself.

However, Fu Xingchuan just stood there, wearing a red robe covered in dust and emitting a strong smell of blood.

“I misjudged. I am fully responsible,” Minister Fu repeated for the third time.

He didn’t find any objective reasons for himself, nor did he look at anyone. Looking only at Fu Xingchuan’s expression, he could even be called calm—but if he looked down, his blood-stained hands were tightly clenched into fists, and his knuckles were white.

Yin Ren looked at it blankly, without any waves in his heart.

He didn’t care who was responsible. Even if the so-called responsibility was defined accurately, Zhong Chengshuo wouldn’t come back on his own. Yin Ren was still sitting there calmly only because Zhong Chengshuo designated “contact Shian” in his last will.

If they really wanted to talk about responsibility…

The former Great Celestial Master lowered his head and looked at his own hands.

Why did he maintain that unnecessary “isolation” state just half an hour ago?

It was just a new ability, and he could still practice it in the future. If he had been lazy and rested after the competition like before, would Zhong Chengshuo still be by his side now?

That person would definitely be very excited to discover such a bizarre way of attack…

Why couldn’t he turn back time?

Twenty-four hours ago, they were still lying on the same bed. Yin Ren’s hair was lazily stretched out, and that person’s gentle breath sprayed down continuously, swaying his strand of hair gently.

Did Zhong Chengshuo notice his small movements?

Yin Ren was somewhat surprised to find that he might never know the answer.


The result of handling this “major safety accident” came out very quickly.

There was a huge shakeup in the Haigu branch.

Fu Xingchuan was almost on the verge of being fired but was arranged by Shian as an action consultant, theoretically at the same level as Huang Jin. Upon Fu Xingchuan’s recommendation, Xiang Jiang temporarily took over some of Fu Xingchuan’s duties to provide combat support for Li Nian.

The injured participants in this competition would be treated as work-related injuries, and they would receive compensation and resettlement. As for the attack, Zhou Gong and Qiao Shang would lead their two branches to conduct a joint investigation.

It wasn’t until Fu Xingchuan struggled to get up that Yin Ren’s face showed some signs of life.

The two of them had a strange tacit understanding, and they unconsciously stayed until the end, before they withdrew from this “portable conference room”.

“You have something to say to me,” Fu Xingchuan said, “Unfortunately, I don’t know the specific location of Sunken Society’s headquarters. If you want to find it by destroying the city, I will still find ways to stop you.”

“I’m not in the mood right now.”

Yin Ren dropped his words and pressed down on the blood-stained notebook.

He was grateful for his ex-lover’s departure. This blood-stained record came in very handy. Since entering society, for the first time, Yin Ren hoped to keep himself busy, preferably without any idle thoughts.

“About Zhong Chengshuo… About his disappearance, I have something to say.”

Fu Xingchuan turned around with his crutch. The tassel earring on his ear was stained with blood, making it even darker.

“I think I know what you want to say,” Fu Xingchuan said, looking at Yin Ren with complicated eyes.

No matter how they thought about it, with the power handed down from generation to generation and as an evil, this person would not continue to stay in Shian honestly and play an ordinary C-level investigator.

Yin Ren confessed his identity to Fu Wuya, as well as the attack on the statue and murals… Compared to venting his emotions, those actions were more like displaying his power. The current “Ghost King” couldn’t organize an army of evil beings and could only look for powerful and controllable collaborators.

Like the Fu family.

The former Ghost King needed manpower, and he happened to have something he wanted to do.

“You need manpower, and now you have it.” Fu Xingchuan pointed to himself. “Now I can provide round-the-clock support for Unit Nine until you get the answers you want.”

“You’re not the kind of person who would do this for an apology. Fu Xingchuan, what’s your goal?”

Minister Fu reached out a hand and raked through his messy hair.

“My goal has always been the same, to ‘solve problems’.”

He let out a long sigh.

“The problem at hand is difficult to solve with just the surface level of Shian… Oh, well, I know you’re not interested.”

Yin Ren lightly glanced at Fu Xingchuan and nodded casually. “Indeed, you have your own ambitions, and I have my own people to find.”

He rubbed the bloodstains on his tough leather jacket.

“Fu Xingchuan, do you know about the ‘Other Side’?”

“I do.”

Fu Xingchuan’s answer was particularly concise.

“Phenomenon Type-A1, the Other Side. Usually, we’re more accustomed to calling it ‘That Side’…”


At the same time, deep underground.

There was no sound or smell; not even darkness existed anymore.

Everything had been reduced to nothingness.

Sense of touch… sense of touch… Oh, there’s still a little bit… It’s cold here, and the feeling is icy, like a metallic material.


Death should be the end of everything. After the cessation of vital functions, it was impossible to still have senses like touch.


So at this level, he couldn’t die?

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

Criminal Psychology Ch201

Author: 长洱 / Chang’er

Translator: Kinky ||

Chapter 201

That night, not much happened.

Of course, this was thanks to Xing Conglian’s restraint, but in the final analysis, the reason was that Lin Chen still had a fever and was still hung up on anti-inflammatory drugs all night. Although there was appropriate medical support, in such a harsh medical environment, it was almost impossible to recover in a short period of time.

The hull shook lightly. Lin Chen listened to the sound of water, half dreaming and half awake.

At some point in the night, Lin Chen felt Xing Conglian leaving the beach bed on the side of the room. In fact, he probably had a feeling in his heart that every time he fell asleep, Xing Conglian would always leave for a while.

After they escaped from the life-threatening danger, they didn’t encounter any further obvious pursuit by the rainforest armed groups. It wasn’t an exaggeration to describe the journey as a sightseeing trip for tourists. Whether it was due to Mr. Zaratul having a change of heart or some issues in his organization that rendered them unable to continue their military operations, regardless of the reason, it likely required some effort and arrangements.

He rolled over a little but couldn’t fall asleep.

After a while, the hatch opened again, and the smell of the person coming in was soft and sweet. Naturally, it could only be Wang Chao.

Seeing him open his eyes, Wang Chao seemed a little frightened and took a step back. “A’Chen Gege, why are you awake? The Boss said you were fast asleep!”

Lin Chen reached out to turn on the desk lamp, preparing to sit up. Wang Chao quickly grabbed a pillow from behind the bed and placed it behind his waist.

“So, were you sent to monitor me?” Lin Chen asked with a smile.

“Ah! I’m not the only one. There are still two generals standing at the door!” Wang Chao said and sat down by the head of the bed. Only then did he realize he had spilled too much. Seeing the teenager’s reaction, Lin Chen felt that this problem was probably different from the previous one.

“What happened?” he asked.

Wang Chao had a hard-to-tell expression on his face. Looking at his appearance, Lin Chen didn’t want to ask, but he also wanted to tease him.

“Do you want to play a guessing game with me?” He paused and stretched his tone. “If you do, I don’t need to test your physiological indicators. I can guess just by looking at your expression.”

Wang Chao let out an “Ah” and shouted, “A’Chen Gege, you can’t do this!”

“I’m going to ask, so you can turn your head away and don’t let me see it.”

“You have to take good care of your illness. What the hell are you worrying about? You can rest assured that nothing will go wrong when we’re here!” Wang Chao patted his chest and turned around.


The young man took two steps.

“Duan Yang, Duan Wanshan…”

The young man’s footsteps didn’t stop.

“Hongjing, Yongchuan…”

The boy’s hand was already on the doorknob.

“Something happened on the boat?”

Wang Chao looked back with a sad face. “A’Chen Gege, you can’t do this!”

“What happened aboard? The Gaomeng people…?” After he asked, Wang Chao’s reaction explained everything.

Lin Chen accepted it as soon as he saw it and said to Wang Chao, “Come back. I won’t ask.”

The teenager walked back depressingly. “It’s easy for me to lose to you like this!”

“Okay, be good and tell me. What brings you here specifically?” Lin Chen rubbed the boy’s head and spoke gently.

Wang Chao was the type that could be coaxed. He quickly pulled something out from behind him and handed it over.

Lin Chen was surprised because he had handed over a cellphone.

“You stole this kind of contraband and came in. Does your boss know?” Lin Chen asked.

“Ah!” Wang Chao’s little face was full of horror, and he couldn’t help but say, “A’Chen, there needs to be more trust between us. I just thought you were too bored resting, so I want to give you my phone for you to play with. You can’t blame me.”

Lin Chen looked at the phone, stretched out his pinky, and hooked it with the boy’s.

However, when he turned on the phone and was ready to surf the internet, he realized that he might have been tricked by the other party.

Most of the webpages on the phone were useless to open, leaving only strange communication software and Tetris which was the default game on the phone.

Lin Chen clicked on the messaging software, and there were only two people on the contact list: Xing Conglian and Wang Chao.

“Comrade Xiao Wang.” Lin Chen put down his phone and looked intently at the young man in front of him. “When did you become like this? I think we need to talk.”

Wang Chao snickered. “A’Chen, don’t be angry. I just thought you could use some entertainment and play with it. Once you return to China in a few days, you won’t need it anymore.”

Almost at the same time he opened the software and saw Xing Conglian’s avatar, Xing Conglian actually sent him a smirking emoji through the chat software.

Lin Chen didn’t know what kind of play this was. They were just a few steps away, yet they had to use their phones to chat and solve the problem.

Xing Conglian: [Did that brat wake you up?]

Lin Chen glanced at Wang Chao and asked in a low voice, “What kind of black technology is this? How did he know that I was awake?”

“Because the Boss’ requirements are quite perverted. When you open this software, the front camera will automatically turn on.”

The corners of Lin Chen’s mouth twitched as he replied back to Xing Conglian: [No, I didn’t fall asleep…]

Xing Conglian: [I’ll be back in a while.]

Lin Chen: [Don’t worry. Let Wang Chao talk to me for a while.]

Xing Conglian: [No, he talks too much, which will affect your rest.]

Lin Chen: [So… why did you ask him to give me his cellphone?]

Xing Conglian: [So you can put it on the bedside. I’ll watch you sleep.]

Lin Chen couldn’t help laughing.

Probably because he was smiling happily, Wang Chao had an expression of disdain for them.

Wang Chao also lowered his head and took out his phone. After a while, Lin Chen received a notification to join a group chat: [You are invited by the “#1 Thug Wang Chao” to join the “Exclude the Boss and Go for the Small Red Envelope Group”.]

Wang Chao put his index finger on his lips and made a silent gesture. Lin Chen looked away and clicked on the red envelope group.

Sure enough, the group had already started swiping red envelopes.

Zhang Long first sent a red envelope called [To Consultant Lin. Prepaid medical treatment fee.]

Lin Chen looked at Wang Chao and asked, “Why are you excluding the boss?”

Before he finished speaking, Wang Chao had already taken the lead in opening the red envelope. Lin Chen leaned over and took a look. Mr. Zhang Long made an extraordinary move. The entire red envelope was worth 1,000 yuan, and Wang Chao won 2.3 yuan.

“This is unscientific!” Wang Chao stared at his phone, dumbfounded, and shook it, thinking he was hallucinating.


“Ahhhh!” After a moment of confusion, Wang Chao answered his question just now. “Because we usually don’t bring the Boss when we snatch red envelopes. He has such good luck that he always manages to grab the biggest one, which makes others envious and resentful…”

Before Wang Chao’s voice fell, a record of “Xing Conglian has received a red envelope” appeared in the chat log. Lin Chen took the opportunity to open the thousand-yuan red envelope Zhang Long had just sent.

Looking at the numbers that appear on the screen, he also shook the phone, thinking he was seeing things.

In the chat group, Xing Conglian angrily said: [Wang Chao, did you fucking upgrade the system or something?]

Wang Chao stared at the red envelope collection details displayed on the screen and looked up at him again, then began to tap the phone frantically.

Wang Chao: [It’s completely randomly allocated. Boss, do you think I’m mentally retarded? If I were to change the system, why wouldn’t I just increase my own share? I only got 2.3 yuan from 1,000 yuan. 2.3 yuan! What a joke!]

Zhang Long: [Fuck me. Fuck me. It’s a miracle! Consultant Lin actually got 888* yuan! The Boss only got 0.01 yuan!]

*Clarity: The number 888 is considered lucky in Chinese culture because its pronunciation, “ba ba ba” (八八八), sounds similar to the phrase “发发发” (fa fa fa), which means “get rich, get rich, get rich.” It is often used in business and personal life to convey good luck and prosperity.

Zhao Hu: [Am I seeing things? The Boss only got a penny?]

Ye Zhu: [Hehe. Karma.]

Looking at the reaction of everyone in the Red Envelope Group, Lin Chen could probably guess how terrifying Xing Conglian’s dominance over red envelopes was. As if he didn’t believe in bad luck, Kang An immediately sent another red envelope. “I wish Consultant Lin a speedy recovery!”

Everyone quickly snatched it all within three seconds.

No one in the group spoke. Lin Chen frowned and clicked on the section to check the details of the red envelope collection. He was shocked again.

Kang An’s entire red envelope had a face value of 100 yuan, and he received 66.8* of it, while Xing Conglian once again finished at the bottom with 0.01 yuan.

*Clarity: In Chinese culture, the number 6 is associated with smoothness, and 8 is associated with prosperity and wealth. Therefore, the number combination 668 is often considered a lucky number that represents smooth and prosperous progress.

Seeing this detail, Lin Chen seemed to be able to feel the laughter outside the door and in all corners of the ship while sitting in the cabin.

Xing Conglian: [Wang Chao, come to the first floor. Your boss hasn’t had a heart-to-heart with you in a long time.]

Wang Chao: [Boss, I swear that the system hasn’t been touched. Trust me!!! Do I have to prove my innocence myself?!]

As he said it, he quickly sent out a red envelope that looked like a huge denomination.

“Should I still swipe it?” Lin Chen asked Wang Chao in a low voice.

He asked, forgetting that the front camera was still on.

Xing Conglian: [Take it! Take it! Good fortune shouldn’t flow to outsiders*.]

*Fertilizer should not flow into someone else’s field (肥水不流外人田) Idiom referring to the resources, benefits, or profits should be used by those who have contributed to them and should not be taken away by outsiders who have not participated in the work or investment.

Lin Chen nodded and opened the red envelope again.

The amount of the red envelope that popped up on the screen was 5.01 yuan, making Lin Chen breathe a sigh of relief.

However, before he could react, information prompts for the Red Envelope Group suddenly popped up on the phone screen one after another.

[“Xiao Wu” has withdrawn from the Exclude the Boss and Go For The Small Red Envelope Group, “Kang An” has withdrawn from the Exclude the Boss and Go For The Small Red Envelope Group, “Ye Zhu”…]

In an instant, everyone in the group left, leaving only him and Xing Conglian.

Lin Chen opened the red envelope inexplicably. What he never expected was that the total amount of Wang Chao’s red envelope turned out to be 8 yuan, and Xing Conglian once again was at the bottom with a penny.

“Why are you so stingy?” Even Lin Chen was speechless.

“A’Chen Gege, I mainly spend my money on new mobile games,” Wang Chao said as he quickly shut down and restarted his phone, as if this way could solve the universal problem of bad luck. But before his phone screen lit up again, there was a rapid sound of footsteps outside the cabin, and the frequency of these footsteps could only belong to Xing Conglian.

When Wang Chao heard the sound, he anxiously jumped up from the chair and began to look for places to hide in the room.

The hatch slammed open, and Xing Conglian’s angry face appeared at the door.

Wang Chao was caught as soon as he opened the medicine cabinet that he wanted to hide in. The young man had no other choice but to pounce on his boss’ legs. “Boss, believe me. I’m really innocent!”

Xing Conglian lifted his legs twice and found he couldn’t’ get away. “Laozi believes in your evil!”

Lin Chen picked up the phone and gently pressed it twice.

Xing Conglian’s phone message prompt sounded. “You sent it?” he asked as he opened it, then asked in surprise. “Why did you transfer all the money you grabbed to me?”

“Raise you… Keep you.”

Xing Conglian laughed, as if he had lost his anger in an instant. He kicked Wang Chao’s foot. “Disappear within a second.”

The teenager grimaced, once again showing a disgusted expression on his face, but he probably thought about it and decided that his life was important, so he quickly disappeared without a trace.

Xing Conglian locked the door and walked slowly to the bedside. He threw his phone on the bedside table and said seriously, “Consultant Lin, it’s easy to get into trouble like this…” As he spoke, he bent down and kissed him.

The kiss was just a brief one, and soon he withdrew and sat at the bedside. “If you ever transfer me a red envelope again, I’ll add a zero and return it to you,” he said.

“How can this be?” Lin Chen lowered his head, and Xing Conglian actually transferred the money to him.

“To be honest, I’m happy about it,” Xing Conglian said.


“When I used to grab red envelopes, they usually didn’t let me play because my luck was too good, and I always grabbed the one with the highest amount.”

“What’s going on today?” Lin Chen asked, “Did your good luck spread to me?”

“That’s why I’m happy,” Xing Conglian said, and then rubbed his face again, “If that’s the case, I can rest assured.”

Xing Conglian’s tone was very plain, and his words were concise. But Lin Chen remembered the topic they had discussed before about luck, and he felt that this was probably Xing Conglian’s most sincere wish from the bottom of his heart. He sighed, hooked Xing Conglian’s collar, pulled him in front of him, kissed his neck, and finally let him go.

Xing Conglian stood up, and somewhat reluctantly used his thumb to touch his lips. “You, open the camera and let me watch you rest. I still have to go out.”

After thinking for a moment, Lin Chen decided to break the mood at this moment. “What happened on the ship?”

Xing Conglian frowned, and he became serious. “What nonsense did Wang Chao say to you?”

“It doesn’t matter whether he said anything or not,” Lin Chen said softly. “There’s a smell of disinfectant on your body, and Duan Yang hasn’t come for two and a half hours. What happened to the Gaomeng people on the ship?”

Xing Conglian thought about it and finally decided not to hide it from him. “Two people died.”

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

Access Denied Ch39

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

Translator: Kinky ||

Chapter 39: Program Effect

The United Government was responsible for the transportation of materials. Yu Jin was quite pleased, as he didn’t have to worry about carrying large or small packages. He rented a trailer and leisurely made his way to Ai’s Clinic while humming a tune.

The world was still far from recovering. Except for those who had no worries about food and clothing, most people had no opinion on same-sex relationships. Bluntly put, it was good enough to be able to find pleasure in hardship. Since they neither stole nor robbed nor cheated, people didn’t care what other people’s fun was.

As someone who made a living in the border area, Yu Jin had a more open-minded view than most. Thinking that the two would be staying at the clinic and wouldn’t have time to go shopping, he brought some gifts.

“You’re taking that little?” Yu Jin was amazed at the two’s luggage. “The United Government will provide us with some basic supplies, but if you want to do this comfortably, you have to bring some of your own. Yours…”

The luggage of Gray Claw and Smoke wasn’t big; just two dusty handbags where the dust wasn’t even wiped clean. The zipper was broken at one corner, revealing a package of nutrients inside and a box of crumpled medicine.

It looked like these two were simply going on a spring outing.

Forget it. Although the people in the Old Fourth were shrewd, they still lacked experience. At critical moments, it was still necessary for their big brother to help out.

“Here, this is for you two.” Yu Jin generously threw a box over.

Shu Jun received it groggily and said, “Thanks.”

Half an hour ago, they had stolen a large brain sample and returned to Ai’s Clinic, but they couldn’t even get in the door. Ai Xiaoxiao had helped them pack their luggage and threw it out like garbage. Considering that one was immune to erosion substance and the other was an actual Erosion Swamp, Ai Xiaoxiao didn’t even bother to conceal how hastily she had packed their belongings—even if they were thrown directly into an erosion zone, they could still survive.

Monday was also thrown out with them. When it saw Shu Jun, it immediately let out a mournful cry like a dog being stepped on, struggling to climb onto Shu Jun’s back and refusing to let go.

At first, Shu Jun thought that if he wasn’t around, this thing might launch a surprise attack. Now, seeing its reaction, it was probably bullied badly.

Zhu Yanchen clearly knew the temper of his subordinate quite well. He took out the large brain sample and handed it to Ai Xiaoxiao with great seriousness. She nodded at him with an expression that had a hint of disdain. She thought for a moment, then threw a few pieces of candy on top of the luggage.

“Thanks for your hard work. I’ll study it as soon as possible.” Without the arrogance and sarcasm on her face, Ai Xiaoxiao leaned against the door, sounding a bit like a soldier.

As soon as she returned to her clinic, Yu Jin arrived.

From entering the city to leaving, the two of them had been working continuously for twelve hours. Shu Jun was a little sleepy, so he instinctively opened Yu Jin’s gift and was then blown wide awake.

Yu Jin had bought them a bottle of lubricant.

Seeing that Shu Jun was stiff on the spot, Yu Jin quickly explained, “After all, it’s for humans to use, and the anti-erosion effect is quite good. Doesn’t Brother Smoke use a gun? We all use this brand to maintain parts, so our weapons wear out slowly… And in the erosion zone, you have to wear old and heavy equipment, which can easily wear out your skin. Applying this solution is quite effective. It may be a bit expensive, but those who work in this field usually keep a bottle with them.”

He gave an ambiguous chuckle. “I guess you two probably brought some, but the brand may not be right. Just in case, brother will give you a bottle that’s more versatile.”

Shu Jun stuttered a few times and quickly stuffed the bottle into his bag. Zhu Yanchen didn’t look over here, as he was probably lost in thought.

Fortunately, Marshal Zhu was in a daze. Shu Jun let out a sigh of relief and then scolded himself for being so jumpy—he didn’t care about making racy jokes with friends before, even about sensitive topics. When he was with his Vice Captain Hu Yan, they could laugh wildly for thirty seconds and then use it as a joke to tease each other.

But now, with Zhu Yanchen still not saying anything, his own state of mind was driving him crazy, taking him back to his adolescence.

He hoped that this mission would be over soon and that the strange atmosphere between the two of them would improve.

And speaking of Hu Yan, the man himself had appeared…

As an “NPC” guide, the three of them spent half a day in Y City, which could be considered a benefit from their superiors. After signing a confidentiality agreement and completing all the formalities, they were taken to the core team of the Blackbirds at the city gate.

Hu Yan had been promoted from vice captain to captain, but he didn’t seem to be in a good mood, looking a little downcast.

Shu Jun thought he could control his emotions. However, when he saw those familiar numbers, he still clenched his fists, and his throat felt bitter. Zhu Yanchen reached out and gently patted the back of his hand.

The two of them didn’t move, so Yu Jin thought they were just inexperienced on their first mission. He cleared his throat and greeted Hu Yan with a steady voice, shaking hands with him.

Hu Yan’s gaze swept over the three of them and then returned.

Shu Jun could guess what Hu Yan was thinking. When he was still a player, he only cared about the mission. Even if an NPC was guiding him, NPCs were mostly silent and wouldn’t eat or live with them. They were more like tour guides for a day trip, where they would pay and receive goods. There was no need to build special relationships with them.

But this time, with Hu Yan present, he didn’t have a choice and had to interact with them.

Although they had lost their old captain, they had just won a major competition, so the Blackbirds were still in good spirits. Reconnaissance missions were never difficult, and there wasn’t much pressure within the team. On the first day, they didn’t leave the safety zone, and Shu Jun performed adequately. On the second night, when Yu Jin went out to command the team to set up camp, they finally had a chance to act.

Zhu Yanchen was more skilled in theoretical research on Erosion Swamps, but not as good as Ai Xiaoxiao in treatment, so he naturally acted with Shu Jun. However, since Ai Xiaoxiao just got the brain sample, the rejection drug hadn’t been developed yet, so the two of them had to rely on their mouths to deal with Hu Yan.

When they entered, Hu Yan had just turned on the indoor purifiers to the highest setting and was eating soup in his pajamas. Seeing two NPCs enter by themselves and lock the tent zipper, his suspicious eyes followed the two of them, and he almost got scalded by the hot soup.

“Lao Hu.” Shu Jun took off his mask directly, not intending to give his vice captain time to catch his breath.

Hu Yan had just scalded his tongue with a mouthful of hot soup, and now he had even knocked over the lid of his thermos cup, causing soup to splash on his socks. He let out a groan with his tongue out, and a little tear pooled at the corner of his eye. Shu Jun casually waved his hand, and a breeze spun around the wet socks twice. Finally, Hu Yan’s scream changed to panting instead.

It was just now the tent was filled with an indescribable smell of soup mixed with the scent of socks.

“Captain Shu?!” Hu Yan gasped for a while, finally coming around. “Aren’t you on your honeymoon with sister-in-law?”

Shu Jun had been brewing his emotions for a long time, but before he could speak, he was stunned by this bolt from the blue, and his speaking style began to resemble Monday’s. “Ah? What?”

“No, you just sent us a sweet group photo of you and sister-in-law a while ago, didn’t you? Like I guessed, sister-in-law is a true beauty. How can you enter the game when you have someone like sister-in-law?

Zhu Yanchen had to conceal his identity, so he didn’t take off his mask, but Shu Jun could feel the intense gaze of the other party.


“Ah, the bros were jealous of you for a while. And to let you have fun in peace, we haven’t bothered you for a while. Aren’t you supposed to be on vacation? How did you become an NPC?”

After being bombarded with three questions from Hu Yan, Shu Jun finally realized what was going on.

To tease him, Hu Yan always liked to call Smoke “sister-in-law”. Now the real Smoke was sitting behind him, so the one in the “real world” must be a fake. It wasn’t surprising to think about it. If Smoke’s identity didn’t match the Blackbirds’ expectations, then the AI pretending to be him would inevitably be contacted repeatedly and consoled.

Thus, it was better to make a pair of counterfeit immortal lovers to show players a beautiful future after retiring and kill two birds with one stone—it would reduce the contact between the team members and the fake Shu Jun, and also show off the beautiful future awaiting retired players.

“I had a little conflict with your sister-in-law, and the atmosphere was a bit tense.” Shu Jun decided to play along. “The <Erosion> official found me and talked about making this program. In any case, I am a part-time NPC, and according to the rules, I can only tell you that if everyone knows, the program’s effect will be ruined.”

Seeing the old captain return, Hu Yan suddenly felt much better. “Of course, that’s great.”

“This mission is actually quite difficult, so you need to be mentally prepared. Me and your sister-in-law… Ahem, me and my friend will help develop tactics for you. ‘One Eye’ is a real NPC, so don’t bother him.” Shu Jun almost slipped up.

“In the future, can you play like this too?” Hu Yan looked at Shu Jun eagerly. “To be honest, Captain Shu, I really can’t adapt to leading this team without you.”

This was exactly the effect they wanted.

“Of course. Originally <Erosion> asked me to come back as an NPC, probably for external guidance. Do you still have the contact information of those captains? Remember to pass on the message for me when the time comes.”

“Hey, a dog can’t stop eating shit*.” Hu Yan laughed while teasing him, gradually letting go of his emotions.

*(狗改不了吃屎) Idiom referring to it’s difficult for someone to change their innate or habitual behavior, even if they are aware that it’s wrong or undesirable (AKA a leopard can’t change its spots/old habits die hard). 

Even though they fought fiercely on the battlefield, Shu Jun wasn’t the type to actively suppress his opponents. In fact, it was quite the opposite—he was willing to maintain contact with all the captains and even give tactical advice. Since the game didn’t have a PvP setting, rather than secretly making enemies, Shu Jun hoped that his worthy opponents would retain their strength and become as strong as possible, so that winning would be even more enjoyable.

Everyone in Blackbirds knew about his habit. Although there were people who objected to it, they couldn’t argue with the comfortable environment in Blackbirds, and the matter eventually died down. Although Hu Yan wasn’t old, he would occasionally make fun of Shu Jun, but he never did anything underhanded behind his back and was quite forthright.

It was precisely because Shu Jun appreciated Hu Yan’s frankness and integrity that he promoted him to the position of vice captain.

Seeing Hu Yan regain his mood, Shu Jun couldn’t help but feel bitterness surge in his heart at having to lie to his comrade-in-arms, who had fought alongside him for years.

Until they got results from Ai Xiaoxiao, they couldn’t dispel the impact of the shock in their brains. Since they couldn’t convey the truth, they could only use this emergency measure to minimize the sacrifices of each team.

Seeing Hu Yan’s happy expression, Shu Jun suppressed his feelings of being pricked by a needle and couldn’t help but speak again. “Lao Hu, be serious and don’t take it lightly—”

“Speaking of which,” Hu Yan rudely interrupted, turning his gaze to the silent Zhu Yanchen. “This person’s nickname is also ‘Smoke’. How come? Did sister-in-law send him to supervise you?”

“Also?” Zhu Yanchen politely asked.

Shu Jun: “…” His emotions hadn’t even settled yet, and this beast Hu Yan had already trampled on them.

“Ah, you don’t know? My sister-in-law’s game ID is ‘Smoke’. Captain Shu is quite—”

“We suddenly got a notification. Gotta go.” Shu Jun tightened his jaw and rudely interrupted. “Remember what I said. Don’t take it lightly. I’ll keep an eye on you all. If the Blackbirds is short even a single person, I’ll twist your head off.”

Hu Yan hissed a few times. “I’ll handle it. Don’t worry.”

Shu Jun put on his mask and dragged Zhu Yanchen out of the tent, taking several deep breaths at the entrance of the tent.

Before the mission started, he had hoped that the atmosphere between the two of them would improve naturally. But now, that stiffness had not only not improved, but it seemed to be turning into amber, freezing him in place.

“I encrypted our conversation.” Zhu Yanchen considerately broke the silence. “The system can only see the altered content, and it’s not surprising that it classified ‘Smoke’ as an NPC. As for the NPC’s appearance…”

“I can guess. It’s just to silence the other Blackbirds.” Shu Jun didn’t dare to turn around and spoke to the empty space in front of him. “What did you make of our conversation?”

“To the system, the main content of our communication is about flower gardening techniques, and tactics are just an add-on.”

Shu Jun had nothing to say. He did indeed have two pots of bellflowers on his balcony, barely enough to make up the numbers.

After a moment of silence, he asked, “People in the ‘other side’ city can’t all be players. Did you prepare an NPC for our meeting as well?”

In the “real world” where the players resided, NPCs were real NPCs.

“Yes,” Zhu Yanchen answered honestly. “An elderly man in his eighties.”

…In a way, they had a strange understanding of each other in this regard. Shu Jun laughed dryly.

Zhu Yanchen’s intention was quite clear. If he hadn’t carried out that suicide operation himself, and they had really met in person, their relationship would only have been limited to text communication. He couldn’t possibly keep dragging an eighty-year-old man around to eat and drink with him.

Moreover, if he hadn’t intervened halfway, Zhu Yanchen had planned to conduct his own investigation into the erosion zone and wait for death.

Marshal Zhu had indeed played a good game—after he died silently, Shu Jun wouldn’t be too surprised by the death of an “elderly” friend in that fictional city.

Thinking of this, Shu Jun’s stomach suddenly twisted into a knot.

…After this mission was over, they would have a serious talk.

The author has something to say:

Poor Shu Ge, being executed publicly (?)

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

Access Denied Ch38

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

Translator: Kinky ||

Chapter 38: A Missed Encounter

Shu Jun had been to the command center before. The assistants would lead him there, but this was the first time he explored downward. Zhu Yanchen was walking in front. Obviously, the two were sneaking around like thieves, but that man didn’t look guilty at all. He simply strolled through the corridor as if he were taking a walk in his own backyard.

Zhu Yanchen remained silent the entire time. Feeling heavily pressed by the purifiers, Shu Jun got lost in his thoughts in order to divert his attention.

After hearing many things from Ai Xiaoxiao, Shu Jun didn’t know how to deal with Zhu Yanchen. He could understand why the other party didn’t explain things to him—Zhu Yanchen originally planned to try his best to help him, and he had succeeded. Bringing it up again later would reveal a hint of deliberation.

However, as a partner, bringing it up could still earn some goodwill, but Zhu Yanchen remained silent.

It seemed Marshal Zhu preferred to remain silent on many issues. Although they were old friends in name, Shu Jun always had an inexplicable sense of guilt—despite the favor of saving each other’s lives were fairly equal, Zhu Yanchen’s obvious and hidden care wasn’t lacking. Shu Jun considered himself quite thick-skinned, but it wasn’t to the point where he would brazenly think it was “reasonable” and take it for granted.

If Zhu Yanchen was an extrovert, Shu Jun would have confidence in getting along with him even if he didn’t recover his memories. Unfortunately, Marshal Zhu was like a steel walnut. He couldn’t even creak open that three-foot iron gate, making it difficult for him to get close.

“Is your heart okay?” The endless white corridor in front of them prompted Shu Jun to start a conversation. After his complete physical examination, Ai Xiaoxiao had called Zhu Yanchen back for a follow-up heart check, and he didn’t know what the result was.

“Very healthy.” Zhu Yanchen slowed down by half a beat.

“That’s good.”

After that, there was another long silence. Shu Jun had thought of several topics in his mind, but he found himself having some hesitation, unable to chat freely.

“…What about you?” After a long silence, Zhu Yanchen probably felt that the atmosphere had become a bit awkward, so he took the initiative to say something.

Shu Jun could tell that Marshal Zhu was struggling to find a topic. Ai Xiaoxiao had shown the examination report to Zhu Yanchen—if he really had a problem, Zhu Yanchen would know before even he did.

“I’m fine too.” Despite Shu Jun’s sincere tone, the conversation was still unproductive.

Zhu Yanchen seemed to have realized this, and his footsteps quickened. Shu Jun quickly changed the topic. “Speaking of medical treatment, Luo Duan seems to be recuperating here. If there is time, I want to go and see him. Even if I can’t remove the brain fragments immediately, I can suppress the erosion in his body.”

“…Mm.” For some reason, Zhu Yanchen’s tone was stiff, and he sounded a bit sullen.

“I understand your concerns.” Shu Jun quickly added, “Although I don’t have much private contact with Luo Duan, he is indeed reliable, and there’s no harm in communicating with him beforehand.”

After all, the current situation was really awkward.

Even if they succeeded in obtaining a sample of the brain fragment and Ai Xiaoxiao developed a drug to counteract rejection, it wouldn’t be wise to “awaken” too many players at once—there was still no solution to the problem of a player’s lifespan, and players who had been deceived might not be willing to believe in Zhu Yanchen. In the event of a large-scale conflict, it would only benefit the Erosion Swamp fisherman* in the end.

*Referring to the idiom (鹬蚌相争,渔翁得利) wherein two parties quarrel while a third party profits from it.

They had to be careful and take it one step at a time, because if they made a mistake, it could result in a complete wipeout.

In terms of tactics, Luo Duan wasn’t as good as Shu Jun, but when it came to scheming, Shu Jun knew he was far behind Luo Duan. Luo Duan wasn’t the impulsive type either. If he could win him over successfully, it would be advantageous for the plan no matter how he looked at it.

“I understand. There should be enough time.” Zhu Yanchen didn’t refuse, and the hint of stiffness in his tone disappeared.

It was understandable. After all, Luo Duan wasn’t under Zhu Yanchen’s command. At present, he only had one side of the story, so it was normal for Zhu Yanchen to be cautious. Shu Jun patted Zhu Yanchen’s shoulder understandingly, and the latter looked at him with a complicated expression.

Finally, the corridor came to an end, and they no longer had to struggle to find a topic.

There was a hall hidden in the deepest part of the command center.

Shu Jun had seen many monsters before and had prepared himself mentally. But when he saw what was in front of him, he almost retched—

In the center of the hall stood a cylindrical glass jar with a radius of about six meters from the floor to the ceiling, filled with something. Because its shape was too regular, Shu Jun had to approach it before he could discern what it was.

It was a jar full of brain tissue.

It even had several hoses, slowly floating in the liquid, occasionally emitting small bubbles. Shu Jun was a little dazed and didn’t react until Zhu Yanchen had finished the invasion.

“I have temporarily deactivated the alarm and purification systems. We only have five minutes.” Zhu Yanchen set the timer. “Be careful. If we exceed the time limit or if the concentration of the erosion substance fluctuates too much, they will find evidence.”

Shu Jun collected himself and put the cold jar in his palm. The erosion substance penetrated the almost non-existent seams, turning into flexible little hooks, manipulating the internal mechanical password lock little by little. Three minutes later, there was a crisp sound from the base of the jar, and the external interface slowly opened.

Then the erosion substance solidified into a sturdy spoon and Shu Jun carefully took out a small sample of tissue from inside. The black erosion substance hooked onto the pink-white brain, making Shu Jun’s stomach churn.

Unfortunately, this was necessary.

According to Zhu Yanchen, in order to break the control of the brain fragment, they must first obtain a healthy sample. Once this was made into an implantable fragment, the storage and logistics management were strict to the point of being outrageous. Zhu Yanchen had tried secretly but was unable to obtain the finished product.

As for those that had already been implanted, most of them dissipated together with the synths inside the Erosion Swamp or had been damaged by erosion. Zhu Yanchen couldn’t carry out craniotomy experiments with healthy synths before, but with Shu Jun’s help, they could start from the source without anyone noticing.

After Shu Jun removed the brain, Zhu Yanchen injected an equal amount of nutrient solution into the tank. As soon as they restored the mechanical lock, the countdown reached the last second.

Everything went smoothly without any surprises.

Zhu Yanchen carefully put the sample bottle into his pocket and nodded to Shu Jun. However, Shu Jun didn’t show a relieved expression. He frowned and looked around.

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” Shu Jun muttered. “It’s just… It seems like someone is watching me. Forget it. Let’s go see Luo Duan first.”

With information from Ai Xiaoxiao, Luo Duan’s room was easy to find. Shu Jun looked through the crack of the viewing window and saw that the room was dark, with a black figure leaning against the windowsill.

It seemed that Luo Duan hadn’t slept yet.

There was no other way. Shu Jun shook his head and gave the “Suppression” command through the door. He hoped that this old opponent could suffer less. Then, with a sigh, he left this floor with Zhu Yanchen.

As soon as the two of them left, the figure next to the bed collapsed slowly—if viewed from another angle, it looked more like a black paper-cut figure, with a thickness that was almost negligible.

The suppressed erosion substance remained motionless for a while and then slowly crawled and seeped back into the wall like liquid.

The real Luo Duan still remained in the deepest layer.

With two intruders present, he didn’t dare venture too deep. The two people were wearing very common masks, and Luo Duan couldn’t tell who they were. He also didn’t want to use Yi Ning’s access card—God knew what these two guys had done. If he left traces now, he might end up taking the blame for something he didn’t do.

It was better to stop here tonight. Yi Ning had no defense against him, and he could always try again another day.

He was farther away from the entrance to the main hall as he thought this and was about to turn around to go back. However, the strange voice behind him appeared again—it was like something was roaming on his spine, like a cold hand slowly rubbing his neck.

“To the right… To the right… the third door.” It whispered. “The answer… The answer…”

Luo Duan angrily pressed his temple, intending to ignore its existence as usual.

The thing was silent for a while, and when it spoke again, its voice changed, becoming sweet and familiar.

“The answer… you want… The answer.”

“Xiao Yuan?” Luo Duan stopped in horror.

It was the voice of his fiancée.

Pei Shuyuan was originally the deputy captain of Groundwater and a highly skilled warrior. A year ago, her character was swallowed by an Erosion Swamp. According to the rules of <Erosion>, she had to leave the team.

[I’m going on a trip,] she said at the time. [Anyway, you’re about to retire, so you might as well focus on leading the team. I’ll go around and find a suitable city for us to get married in.]

Afterwards, she would occasionally video call him, and their photo and text communication never stopped. It was just Luo Duan was busy and Pei Shuyuan was out traveling, so their communication times didn’t match, thus communication between the two became less frequent.

However, they had been together for almost ten years, and their relationship had long passed the stage of passionate romance, so Luo Duan didn’t have a hard time adapting.

Why did this thing know Pei Shuyuan’s voice?

“The answer…” the originally strange voice became intimate, like a whisper.

Luo Duan stood still for five minutes before finally taking a deep exhalation. He stood in front of the door indicated by that thing. The water mirror skill could project images showing there was no one in the room. He just wanted to take a look… Just a look…

If there was an answer, he would consider continuing. If there was no information, he would report to the NPC and deal with the strange thing behind him formally.

The door led to a warehouse with tightly arranged small jars full of meat chunks and a lot of dust. Luo Duan looked around but didn’t find any special clues. He breathed a sigh of relief and was about to leave when something fell to the ground with a clatter.

It was an electronic tablet with no dust on it. It must have been forgotten by someone.

Luo Duan hesitated for a few seconds before walking over. Many black threads were wrapped around the old tablet, and it started up on its own, illuminating the dim room.

He picked it up, and the screen was still on the “recent modifications” page. The first file name was quite eye-catching.

[List of Synthetic Human Tissue Retained Samples and Precautions for Preservation]

Luo Duan took a deep breath and carefully opened it.

The next morning, a staff member rushed into the basement room. The electronic tablet was lying quietly on a small table. He put it in his backpack and breathed a sigh of relief—personal items shouldn’t be left in the workplace, let alone the fact that he hadn’t set a password. If it were discovered, he might lose his job.

Luckily, it was just one night, and no one, not even the synths, usually came to this place. There shouldn’t be any leaks.

…Speaking of which, there was indeed a synth in the command center now.

He was in a hurry to get the tablet back, so he came to work early. According to regulations, they had to go to the higher floors to refresh his access card passwords before taking another elevator to go underground. It was a troublesome process—a synth saw him rushing towards the door and helped him keep the elevator door open.

The synth had a visitor name tag with the name “Bitter Rain” on his chest and had a pleasant and handsome appearance. So far, his impression of the person was quite good.

“Are you going to see Marshal Yi Ning?” Seeing that the other party pressed the high floor where Yi Ning was located, he couldn’t help interjecting.

“Yeah.” Bitter Rain smiled at him.

After that, he didn’t dare talk to the synth again—they weren’t humans but weapons, just like the propaganda said.

But he had never seen such a creepy smile.

Author’s Note:

Erosion Swamp: The air… smells of… vinegar*.


Kinky Thoughts:

Note: The title of the chapter is an idiom: To brush past someone’s shoulder and then go separate ways (擦肩而过). It describes a missed opportunity or a chance encounter that didn’t lead to anything significant.

Given the chapter’s content, it’s pretty obvious what the missed encounter was.

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

Access Denied Ch37

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

Translator: Kinky ||

Chapter 37: Midnight Visit

After the official announcement of Zhu Yanchen’s death, Yi Ning’s work increased several folds.

He simply set up a bunk bed in his office and lived there. Zhu Yanchen’s death completely disrupted his campaign rhythm—his supporters thought he was sure to win, so the momentum plummeted. However, Zhu Yanchen’s father, Zhu Sheng, had been making constant moves recently, which showed that the Zhu family clearly had no intention of giving up the leadership position.

The Tang family worked behind the scenes to manage their connections, while the Xia family watched from the sidelines. With all this going on, Marshal Yi Ning simply felt exhausted.

Initially, he just wanted everyone to have a better life, but now, having seen many dirty things, the only thing that could sustain him was this belief. Yi Ning made himself a cup of coffee and continued to work on the towering stacks of documents.

It had to be said that Dong Lao and Ai Xiaoxiao, who were arranged by Zhu Yanchen, were indeed useful and saved him a lot of trouble. However, those two people inherited Zhu Yanchen’s will and tended to keep the synths in a defensive position, unwilling to advance the purification process quickly. Even when he assigned a reconnaissance mission to the Blackbirds, Ai Xiaoxiao looked at him with raised eyebrows for a long time.

The daily maintenance cost of the synths remained unchanged, but since their focus right now was more defensive, the purification efficiency was much lower. However, compared to other urgent problems, Yi Ning could bear this loss.

The burden on the medical system was increasing, and the social security issue had yet to be resolved. In order to stimulate the economy and turn the tide, he had to launch the production plan for the synths as soon as possible.

Where was the research report from the research institute? Oh, right, to prevent players from seeing them, confidential documents were only sent through light screens…

Yi Ning was so tired that his limbs felt like lead. He struggled to go through the pile of documents, considering whether to go get a glass of iced water.

Suddenly, there was a knock on the door.

Yi Ning frowned. It was now after three in the morning, and he couldn’t think of anyone who would come to visit. However, since the bodyguards had let them in, there shouldn’t be any problems—he just hoped it wasn’t someone from the Tang family. He really didn’t want to talk about those messy issues.

However, once he saw who the unexpected guest was, Yi Ning suddenly became three times more alert.

Luo Duan was standing outside the door with several drink cans in his hand. Though he had wrapped many bandages around his body, he still had a gentle and polite demeanor.

“Bitter Rain?” Yi Ning asked uncertainly.

In principle, “players” and “NPCs” weren’t prohibited from engaging in private interactions in <Erosion>. After all, this was the real world, and a complete ban wasn’t realistic. They couldn’t keep it airtight, so they quietly separated the two groups and tried to ensure that players’ communication was only through people from the United Government.

Luo Duan smiled at him. “I have insomnia, so I’m just out for a stroll. Can I come in, sir? I brought some ice soda.”

“Sorry, I still have work to do.” Yi Ning took a deep breath and didn’t invite him in.

“Ah.” Luo Duan didn’t seem very surprised. “I just wanted to talk about the recent task arrangements for Groundwater. That’s a legitimate issue, right?”

Yi Ning pondered for a moment, then stepped aside, letting Luo Duan pass. Since it was related to work, he could change his mindset, and that could wake him up a bit.

However, as Luo Duan passed him, Yi Ning felt a certain coldness. It was a fleeting feeling. As Marshal Yi wiped his face, he thought it probably came from the drinks.

The drinks were refreshing, and Luo Duan did indeed just talk about work. It was clear that he had put a lot of thought into it and his ideas were quite reasonable. Yi Ning gradually lost his drowsiness, and the topic gradually shifted from Groundwater to all players’ views regarding the recent “plot”.

“Zhu Sheng would choose someone from the Xia family. With the death of Zhu Yanchen, the Xia family’s position is uncertain. Zhu Sheng isn’t someone who’s obsessed with bloodlines. Besides, there aren’t many outstanding people in the Zhu family currently. If he chooses a godson from the Xia family to support, he… Well, given Zhu Sheng’s personality, even if he does something more excessive, I wouldn’t be surprised.”

Unlike Shu Jun from the Blackbirds, Luo Duan was clearly interested in the “game plot”. It was obvious that he had done a lot of research. The two of them chatted smoothly, and when Yi Ning came back to his senses, it was nearly 5 in the morning.

“…Since you’ve been promoted to this position, you shouldn’t be easily abandoned. Zhu Sheng hasn’t decided on a new candidate yet, so this period of time is the most precious for you. But I think you also know that. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be awake at this hour.”

Luo Duan’s voice was very gentle and soothing to the ear. He walked to the pile of documents, bent over, and picked up a few that had fallen to the ground.

“Marshal Yi, as a subordinate, I still have to remind you…”

Luo Duan paused. There was a little more subtle emotion in his voice.

“…to take care of yourself.”

After speaking, his severely injured body wobbled, but Luo Duan reacted quickly and immediately reached out to the edge of the table for support—although this action caused the mountain of documents on the table to scatter all over the floor by the impact.

“Ah, I’m sorry.” Luo Duan smiled and began to bend over to pick them up again. “It seems that I’m also tired. Let’s stop here for today. The topic of medical care was quite interesting. I’ll come again tomorrow.”

A water column full of tranquilizer quietly rose up and entered Yi Ning’s drink can.

“You should go back first. When the sun rises, I’ll ask my assistant to help me tidy up.” Yi Ning looked at the bandages on Luo Duan’s body, drank the last bit of his drink, and helped him up.

Luo Duan hooked his lips. “Good night, Marshal Yi.”

Yi Ning thought he really should take a rest. Once he relaxed, drowsiness quickly hit him. He still had four hours of sleep before work officially started at 9.

The heavy door closed behind Luo Duan.

He reached out his hand, and another water column retracted into his palm. Its end hooked onto Yi Ning’s access card, then retracted. A matchbox-sized card lay quietly in his hand.

The hallway was filled with thick darkness, and something cold and eerie crept out of his pores and coiled around his neck, vibrating at an ominous frequency.

“Let me… help you…” The voice pressed against his neck. Its tone was strange, as if mixed with male and female, young and old voices, randomly spliced together.

“No.” Luo Duan didn’t turn back.

He still had four hours before Yi Ning woke up. He had acquired many keys, and if possible, he hoped he wouldn’t have to use the Marshal-level authority.

However, things didn’t go as smoothly as he had hoped.

Using his water skills to remain hidden, Luo Duan easily evaded the cameras and snuck into the lower levels of the command center. He had just planned to continue his infiltration when the cold sensation around his neck started again.

“Someone’s coming,” it emphasized in that strange voice. “Someone’s coming.”

Although he didn’t want to engage with this thing, Luo Duan quietly hid himself.

Two figures appeared at the end of the hallway, heading underground before he did. Luo Duan frowned—judging from their movements, those two were definitely not staff members here.


At this moment, Shu Jun was feeling uncomfortable all over.

In order to let his large Erosion Swamp enter the command center, Zhu Yanchen managed to turn off the purification defenses for a few seconds with the assistance of Dong Lao. However, military-grade purifiers had tremendous power, and even if the defenses were only set up on the outside of the building, Shu Jun still felt uncomfortable.

Fortunately, he didn’t bring Monday with him. Otherwise, he didn’t know what kind of miserable howl it would make. But now it was in the hands of Ai Xiaoxiao, so the situation was probably not much better.

Hundreds of military-grade purifiers were crazily running that it made Shu Jun want to vomit.

“Endure a little longer,” Zhu Yanchen said in a low voice as he placed a hand on his back.

With the alarm system’s access, their path was unimpeded. Their destination was clear—the bottom level of the command center was usually the synthetic human production workshop, while the very bottom controlled the system that managed “the truth”.

Given that Zhu Yanchen wasn’t a boss with any human touch, the atmosphere of the four-person meeting was as it was. The other two were obviously more interested in Shu Jun than Zhu Yanchen, making Shu Jun feel a little uneasy. However, the situation was made clear enough.

Originally, Zhu Yanchen’s plan was simple—Dong Lao and Ai Xiaoxiao would ask the synths to focus on defense, and at the same time, the Old Fourth would spread the news of Erosion Swamps with sentiency. When public opinion was riled up, records from the ruins of X City would be released. No matter what, ripples would certainly be created.

Even if people couldn’t immediately stop using the player system, synthetic human production would inevitably be affected. Zhu Yanchen had already foreseen his own death, and he had only wanted to be a fuse, blowing the problem to the surface.

But he didn’t die.

The situation was a bit awkward now—Marshal Zhu had planned every step, even calculated his death date. He never wanted to be the leader in the first place, so he never managed his image. His reputation among the people was terrible. Even if he stood on top of the command center and performed a public resurrection from the void, he probably wouldn’t win the election that followed.

Not to mention that Zhu Sheng was still in power. Even if Zhu Yanchen managed to win the position of leader by sheer luck, Zhu Sheng could still sideline him.

During the discussion, Dong Lao rolled his eyes, while Ai Xiaoxiao looked at Zhu Yanchen with a smile that could be interpreted as “he” on the left side of her face and “deserves it” on the right side.

“What if we give the evidence directly to Zhu Sheng?” Shu Jun didn’t know much about politics, so he could only ask questions based on intuition.

“It won’t work,” Dong Lao said in a hoarse voice. “X City’s intelligence only proves the existence of an ‘Erosion Swamp affected by synths’. This system has been running for two hundred years, and there’s only been one case discovered. Zhu Yanchen’s judgment is correct. At most, this evidence can only serve as a spark to ignite public opinion and make some people take notice of this matter.”

“If you were Zhu Sheng, and you had a plan that had a 95% chance of greatly advancing society and benefiting yourself, and a 5% chance of causing a major disaster, of which there’s only been one in two hundred years, what would you choose? This is why Zhu Yanchen initially focused on public opinion, which would force the United Government to investigate.”

“This old man is just being long-winded,” Ai Xiaoxiao said as she took a sip of tea. “In short, if you want to liberate synthetic humans and investigate the Erosion Swamp to your heart’s content, you must quickly control the United Government. And to obtain the United Government, both Yi Ning and Zhu Sheng are unavoidable enemies.”

Dong Lao gave Ai Xiaoxiao a sideways glance, who glanced back contemptuously, emitting a faint scent of gunpowder in the air.


Shu Jun didn’t want to recall any more. Thinking about all these political problems made his stomach twitch again. He didn’t know if it was the discomfort of his body, but he sensed a faint trace of the same kind—that breath was faintly discernible, far away, and disappeared like smoke as they went deeper.

How strange.

However, since they had all arrived here, it wouldn’t be appropriate to suddenly change their goal. Regardless, the focus was on preparing for the NPC mission that was about to come. Shu Jun withdrew his suspicious gaze and followed Zhu Yanchen deeper underground.

In a dark corner, a strand of erosion dripped slowly. It pulled itself thin and followed the two of them quietly.


It murmured to Shu Jun back.

“It’s almost… mature… How great.”

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

Access Denied Ch36

Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong

Translator: Kinky ||

Chapter 36: Hole in the Brain

Shu Jun looked at Monday and suddenly thought of a dog wailing at the entrance of the pet hospital.

With him watching, Monday didn’t dare attack Ai Xiaoxiao. It tried to move in the opposite direction, sucked up more water, and wriggled out of the cloth strip, coiling into a slippery lump on the ground and clinging to the floor.

Throughout the whole process, it kept screaming miserably, but Ai Xiaoxiao wasn’t scared by the noise. Instead, she hummed and took a shovel from the tool cabinet and skillfully shoveled up Monday.

“Your sword has quite the personality,” she commented nonchalantly while putting Monday into an isolation bucket.

Monday, seeing that throwing a tantrum was ineffective, trembled inside the bucket, causing it to rattle on the floor.

Shu Jun: “……” Why is there a shovel in the consultation room? But looking at how skillfully Ai Xiaoxiao handled it, he didn’t dare ask.

The underground space was much larger than the one above ground, but the lighting was bluish and a bit creepy. Ai Xiaoxiao filled three liquid tanks and turned to Shu Jun and Zhu Yanchen. “Take your clothes off.”

Shu Jun: “?!”

“You can leave your underwear on. The inside is an isolation fluid that won’t mix with the erosion substance allowing me to facilitate a full body scan.” Ai Xiaoxiao glanced at Shu Jun and lifted the isolation bucket, pouring Monday into one of the tanks. Monday tried to coil up into a ball, but the inside of the isolation bucket was extremely smooth, so it could only sulkily fall into the liquid.

As soon as Monday fell into the tank, several metal arms stretched out, forcibly twisting it back into the shape of a sword and wedging it at the bottom of the tank. Monday looked like it wanted to curse but only sprayed out a string of fine bubbles. Ai Xiaoxiao put the lid on the tank, letting Monday squirm around inside.

“Uh…” Shu Jun was a bit flustered. Whether in the so-called “real world” or on this side, they only had same-sex doctors.

Standing in front of him was a person of similar age who was of the opposite sex, so he couldn’t help but be a bit shy and somewhat embarrassed.

“Don’t mind me. After all, I am a doctor—I’ve seen everything from eight-year-olds to eighty-year-olds.” Ai Xiaoxiao seemed to sense his concerns and waved her hand casually, then looked at Zhu Yanchen. “And you, surnamed Zhu, what’s the matter? I’ve dissected your organs a hundred and eighty times. Hurry up and take your clothes off.”

Yes, there was an experienced person here too. Desperate times call for desperate measures*. Shu Jun quickly shifted his gaze and stayed still, pretending to be a serious student.

*While dead companions will not perish, it’s impossible to maintain poverty forever (死道友不死贫道,能拖一时是一时) Idiom referring to when one’s situation is difficult it’s still possible to survive and overcome challengers for a short time, but having trustworthy companions can be helpful in tough times. || In this context, he’s basically saying, the challenge is tough, but at least there’s an experienced person here with him (Zhu Yanchen) which could allow him to delay a bit more.

Zhu Yanchen glanced at Shu Jun, walked to the edge of the liquid tank, and began to take off his clothes one by one.

As expected of a marshal, even taking off his clothes had a sense of formality. Most of the time, this man kept himself tightly wrapped up, even buttoning up the top button of his pajamas. Shu Jun had only seen him naked once before, but at that time he had just rescued him and was in a daze, unable to even count how many heads this man had.

Without the dense scars covering him, his well-built physique was fully exposed. Zhu Yanchen had the advantage of size and a slightly more muscular waistline than Shu Jun. He was originally pale-skinned, with sharp eyebrows and eyes, and now looked like a warm marble statue.

Good physique. Shu Jun occupational disease came out—after all these matters were resolved, perhaps the two of them could spar in close combat.

His heartbeat seemed a little fast, probably due to the excitement brought on by said occupational disease. Shu Jun withdrew his gaze and looked at Ai Xiaoxiao again.

“Well, the recovery is very good. The blood indicators are also fine. I’ll take a look at the bones and internal organs later.” Ai Xiaoxiao’s response was calm, as if the person in front of her was just a bag of meat.

With someone taking the lead, Shu Jun relaxed a bit. He quickly stripped himself naked and plopped into the liquid tank, splashing a considerable amount of water.

The liquid in the tank was cold and sticky, like frozen oil, though his treatment was much better than Monday’s. He could at least expose half of his head so he could hear and speak. The two of them lay side by side, like two human specimens.

“It’s not just about immunity to erosion.” Ai Xiaoxiao looked at the real-time scan of Zhu Yanchen, speaking in a tone so low that it sounded like she was talking to herself. “Last month, I just cut out a lesion in your liver. You should have only a quarter of your liver left, but it’s all grown back now.”

She pondered for a moment, her eyes flashing.

“The internal organs and bones are normal, and there are no surgical scars. Good, remember to give me some tissue samples later… Wait, your heart rate is a bit fast. Are you nervous? It’s okay if Mr. Shu’s heart rate is fast, but it’s not your first time.”

Shu Jun unconsciously turned his head and glanced at his friend, surnamed Zhu, who was close at hand.

“Why is it even faster now? Alright then. Mr. Zhu, you can come out now. I’ll check your heart later when I’m done with Mr. Shu.”

“So fast?” Shu Jun asked hopefully, feeling cold all over from being soaked in the liquid.

“He’s a human, and you’re not. You’ll need at least two hours. Go and take a look at the other side first.” Ai Xiaoxiao threw a large towel to Zhu Yanchen. “Wipe yourself and go outside to wait. You’re just getting in the way here.”

After speaking, she glanced meaningfully at the old man beside her.

The old man coughed. Zhu Yanchen changed his clothes and walked to Shu Jun’s liquid tank, speaking very seriously, “I’ll wait for you outside. Don’t worry.”

“I’ll try my best.” Shu Jun responded dryly, while Ai Xiaoxiao was enthusiastically wiping a pair of large pliers, seemingly quite impatient.

“Dong Lao, let’s go.” As the conversation partner changed, Zhu Yanchen’s tone became noticeably more mechanical.

“Finally it’s quiet.” After the two left the room, Ai Xiaoxiao breathed a sigh of relief. “Next, I need to ask you some questions. You must answer me truthfully, understand?”

It seemed that this woman deliberately sent those two away. Indeed, one-on-one questioning was the least likely to be interfered with.

“Your physical condition is similar to what I expected—the situation with the Erosion Swamp is stable, the fusion degree is high, and there are no adverse reactions. You don’t need to worry about health problems. However, there is one thing that I am concerned about.”

She tapped the device next to her, and a screen showing Shu Jun’s face appeared. “This is your brain.”

Shu Jun looked at the scan image in confusion.

“Before introducing you to other Erosion Swamps, did Zhu Yanchen do anything to you?”

There were many things. Shu Jun reminisced about the oral examination, intimidation, and handcuffs when they first met. But since the doctor had displayed his brain scan, Shu Jun could guess what she wanted to hear. “Brain shock?”

“Tell me about it.”

“He told me the truth, and I forgot it all, like I was drunk or on sedatives. Then he gave me a few shots, we went to the body processing center, and then he did it again…”

“What else? Any details you remember.”

“It’s hard to describe. When I’m with him, I feel like a lot of things are familiar to me—I can’t help but trust him and want to protect him.” Since Zhu Yanchen wasn’t present, Shu Jun spoke freely, saying whatever came to mind. “I also remember some things from the ‘past’, but I didn’t have any impressions of those things before, and I’m not sure how I remember them now.”

Ai Xiaoxiao stood up and walked around the liquid tank, occasionally glancing at the scan results of Shu Jun’s brain.

“In your memory, what kind of relationship do you have with him?”

“…Friends?” It probably counted, as his memory in this regard had not yet been restored.

“It seems like you’re more than just friends.” Ai Xiaoxiao stopped walking and leaned her hands against the edge of the tank. “I’ve been wondering why he gave you two brain shocks before introducing you to the other Erosion Swamps, but now I understand.”

Shu Jun perked up. “What do you mean?”

Zhu Yanchen never explained these things to him. Later, when they were both in good health and their relationship had improved, he didn’t ask again.

“See, there’s a hole in your brain that’s slowly healing.” Ai Xiaoxiao pointed to the image on the screen.

“I’m trying to figure out how to explain this. When faced with unbearable pain, the brain will choose to close off certain memories. Do you know this?”


“In order to prevent you from realizing the truth, foreign brain fragments were implanted into your brain… Once these fragments recognize specific information, they immediately stimulate the defense mechanism and force you to forget. That’s the basic principle.”

“So?” Shu Jun was getting confused.

“If it were me, I would have taken you directly to the body processing center and not said a word about the truth of the world. If I did that, the Erosion Swamp inside you would treat that foreign brain fragment as part of ‘you’ and solidify and protect it.”

“It would exist forever, and you would never know the truth. For Zhu Yanchen, that would have been more efficient and convenient for controlling you. But he still induced a brain shock.”

Shu Jun looked at Ai Xiaoxiao blankly.

Ai Xiaoxiao narrowed her eyes. “In other words, he gave you a vaccine in advance—a brain shock that would cause you pain, and the Erosion Swamp would recognize that piece of brain tissue as ‘harmful’. They wouldn’t protect it anymore and would instead erode it. Doing it again during the fusion process would be even more effective… Your situation is special—just surviving is pretty good, yet he was quite thoughtful.”

Shu Jun’s emotions became complicated, and he didn’t know what to say for a moment.

“Anyway, without the influence of that foreign brain fragment, your brain will gradually return to its natural state. In this process, occasional headaches or remembering repressed memories are normal phenomena.”

Ai Xiaoxiao continued, in a good mood. “Interesting. He mentioned this before, and I was always considering surgical methods, but I never thought about it from the perspective of erosion. Hmm, it’s a brilliant approach.”

“Is there a way to remember faster?”


“A way to remember the past faster?” Shu Jun stared at the dim ceiling.

“I don’t know. In this regard, Zhu Yanchen is better than me. I’ll give him the test results later.” After getting the answer she wanted, Ai Xiaoxiao became nonchalant again. “Turn over first and let me check your spine.”

Outside the door.

“So, that’s Shu Jun?” Xia Liang’s clear voice emerged from the old man’s mouth, no longer disguising her voice, which made the scene quite weird.


Xia Liang let out a meaningful “Hmm” and changed the subject. “I have seen the chip you asked Ai Xiaoxiao to give me. The program inside has been installed in the command center. As long as I cooperate from the outside, you have the authority to control the alarm system for three hours.”


“However, during this operation, I discovered an interesting thing. Do you remember Luo Duan, the captain of Groundwater? He is now recovering in the command center. According to Ai Xiaoxiao’s report, he applied for the indoor training room that hasn’t been used for thousands of years and injured himself.”

Zhu Yanchen frowned but didn’t respond this time.

“No matter what you want to do by infiltrating the command center, be careful. You two aren’t the only ones who want to ‘do something’.”

The author has something to say:

The Marshal wanted to save Shu Ge from the beginning, no doubt about it √

Shu Ge, you will have the opportunity to engage in ♂ melee ♂ combat! Believe me!

Kinky Thoughts:

Trust and believe that we get ♂ x ♂ action.

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