Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 35: Destination Change
The life in Ruan Xian’s memory was composed of countless rooms.
It started with the snow-white intensive care unit at an early age, and then there were airtight carriages and narrow and dirty cheap apartments. His mother spent most of her time running around trying to make money, and the windows were always locked. At first, she was able to ask relatives to help take care of him, but later he was the only one left in the increasingly dirty apartment.
After his mother died, his adoptive mother, Meng Yunlai, adopted him. His room was bigger, but it was still surrounded by four walls. Even after he grew up, he mostly looked at the sky in the courtyard. Not to mention that his body was too fragile for the outside world, for the end of research confidentiality, Ruan Xian couldn’t leave too far.
Powerful virtual reality technology once allowed him to experience the vast nature composed of numbers, but no matter how realistic it was, in the end, it was still fake.
Now, his blood seemed to be burning slowly now, looking at the ruins of civilization passing by from outside the window.
“Float up on the shallow layer,” Ruan Xian continued speaking to Tang Yibu. “The dial marked with the shuttle agent is almost bottoming out, so you have to save a little.”
His tone was no longer gentle, and there wasn’t any room for questions.
Whenever they passed through the thicker solid-state layer, the value of one of the dials would always drop significantly. The degree that symbolized energy was dropping rapidly, and that little drop wasn’t noticeable among all the weird readings on the wall, but Ruan Xian didn’t let this anomaly go.
Shuttle agent, the name marked on the dial was quite simple and easy to understand.
“Shallow layer?” Jiang Lin immediately opened her mouth. “If you don’t use the shuttle agent, the shallow layer will be full of obstacles!””
Ruan Xian glanced at her briefly and continued to study the complex dial in front of him.
“Listen to you, Captain Ruan.” Tang Yibu curved his eyes. He didn’t slow down at all and rushed directly to the top of the slope. The iron bead rolled upside down in the bumpy cabin like a bowling ball.
The small boat instantly sank into the sun. The strong afternoon light suddenly filled the operation room, and the broken walls and ruins in front of them all became deadly obstacles.
Tang Yibu dexterously manipulated the boat, passing through the tangled steel bars, iron frames, and skewed building spires like fallen leaves. They were like standing reefs sailing against the Sea of Ruins while being chased by two things…
“It seems that more friends have joined.” Ruan Xian breathed out.
The two ghostly men were still chasing after them. They kept biting at them like a shark that smelled blood. Their skin glowed an ominously dark green under the sunlight. The capillaries close to the epidermis became dark, and they looked like tiny cracks from a distance.
And behind the two human figures, more than a dozen ventral cockroaches whizzed after them. Their speed wasn’t fast, but they were more familiar with the terrain, and much more flexible than the boat that needed to be carefully steered lest it faced destruction.
“Who—who turned off the buzzer!” Jiang Lin crawled to the behemoth at the rear of the cabin, trying to find the switch.
Unfortunately, the small ship that almost turned into a fighter jet in Tang Yibu’s hands almost rolled a full 360° in the air. Jiang Lin’s face turned blue, and she staggered on the floor of the cabin with some scattered parts.
“Me.” Tang Yibu stretched out his long legs and stuck himself firmly in the driver’s seat. He steered around a half-collapsed tower, and his tone was full of pride. “It costs too much power.”
The Annihilation Point was right in front of them. At this distance, there was only bottomless darkness left in their field of vision. The sense of distance and realism were all lost. Even if there was a comparison of the ruins on the bottom of the ship, it was difficult to judge the true distance between them and the ship, but once their advancing speed slowed down, the army of monsters behind them could overwhelm them in an instant.
“How long will it take?” Thanks to the training in the refuge, Ruan Xian barely maintained his balance. He felt around the top of the boat, ignoring Jiang Lin, who was hugging the buzzer and sobbing loudly.
“There are still ten minutes and forty seconds before the collision.” After a violent jolt, Tang Yibu raised his voice among the screech of the iron bead’s warning.
“Good.” Ruan Xian snapped the button on the side of the top of the boat.
After a beep sounded that was almost covered up by the turbulence, the entire roof of the ship slowly slid away. Ruan Xian took out his blood gun, leaned his upper body out of the roof, and turned his back to the direction of the ship. “…Let me reduce the difficulty of judgement for you.”
The sun was shining brightly, and the sky was a clear blue. The wind whistled past his ears and everything in his field of vision was rapidly moving away. Only the ill-intentioned predators tried to approach, making unpleasant growls.
The blood burned more severely. There were no barriers in the vast world, and Ruan Xian only felt that he was breathing for the first time since he was born. He seemed to have ended an overly long hibernation, and every part of his body was slowly returning to life.
Since he popped out, Tang Yibu seemed to have consciously avoided passing through too many cave-like structures to ensure that he wouldn’t get hit by obstacles coming from behind his head. Ruan Xian bent the corner of his mouth and raised his blood gun.
In order to ensure the shooting speed, Ruan Xian didn’t plan to rely on stimulating the blood in his magazine this time. He ejected a blood-drawing mechanism to the bottom of the gun so that those blood-drawing tubes didn’t reach his wrist, and he drew as much blood as he could.
Even if he couldn’t take out the two green ghosts that were chasing them, it wasn’t a problem for these bullets to kill a ventral cockroach.
[Decelerate by 12%!] He conveyed simple commands through his earrings.
The ventral cockroaches got closer. Ruan Xian pulled the trigger, and the red bullets poured through the ugly creature who was waving its teeth and claws.
[Decelerate by 8%, turn left by 17° in a forward direction.]
Before the ventral cockroaches that were injured by Ruan Xian had time to stop the ship, it was smacked by a piece of protruding steel bar. The bloated abdomen ruptured instantly, and its internal organs exploded and wetted everywhere in the large area of the ruins. The other had its leg broken and was trapped in a tangle of barbed wire, unable to move.
[Decelerate by 5% and increase the speed by 20% after 10 seconds.]
The two green ghosts almost touched the barrel of his gun. Ruan Xian relied on the brutal suppression of firepower to repel the three ventral cockroaches again and escaped. The deceleration caused all the remaining cockroaches to rush out. Ruan Xian responded by leaning back, and the iron sheet on the collapsed billboard quickly passed by in front of him, directly cutting the three cockroaches that rushed towards him in half. Internal organs and mucus stained the tail of the ship.
‘It’s almost time,’ Ruan Xian thought. He maintained a posture of leaning back and looked steadily at the boundless sky.
[I’ll follow you, Tang Yibu.]
The ship was about to hit the Annihilation Point, and Jiang Lin’s screams of horror were mixed into the vague sound of the wind. He didn’t have time to give Tang Yibu any instructions, but the android most likely had his own plans.
For a few seconds, Ruan Xian even deliberately stopped himself from thinking.
Unlike when he was in the refuge, the sky was too expansive at the moment. Ruan Xian just stared quietly at it and emptied his emotions in an instant.
In the roar of the overwhelmed engine, Ruan Xian floated for a moment.
The gravitational force of the Annihilation Point on the ship was getting stronger. Tang Yibu was driving it at maximum speed. The crazy android rushed towards the sky against the Annihilation Point and then made a beautiful aerial flip. The ship drove up close to the dark Annihilation Point, drawing a smooth arc with its trajectory. It was now swinging in the air at this moment, and the bottom of the ship was facing the sky while the top was plunging into the Sea of Ruins.
After an instant of weightlessness, the unsuspecting Ruan Xian began to fall into the Sea of Ruins.
He only had time to put the scorching barrel of the gun to his lips, and his heart was calm.
The next moment, he hit something warm.
“Hi, Mr. Ruan.” Tang Yibu grabbed the steering wheel with one hand and pushed the jet speed lever tightly with the other. After the flip, the ship swayed neatly under Ruan Xian, and the open roof had caught him, who was falling from the sky. He slammed straight into the arms of the android.
“I caught you.” Tang Yibu showed a relaxed smile.
Followed by a huge collision.
The ship that fell to the ground got stuck between two huge ruins. Thanks to this, it wasn’t sucked in by the Annihilation Point. Ruan Xian was half sitting and half lying in Tang Yibu’s arms, unable to say how he was feeling at the moment.
The two green ghosts didn’t have the same quick reaction as Tang Yibu. They didn’t have time to slow down and were pulled by inertia and got sucked into the Annihilation Point. One of them had its entire upper body sucked in while the other had its head and right arm. As they touched the point, it made a sizzling sound like raw meat hitting a hot pan.
When the ghosts adjusted their direction again and tried to escape, the parts that had been sucked weren’t recovered.
Two mutilated people swayed towards the ship. The missing sections that should be spurting blood didn’t spill a single drop. Similar to the situation in the ruins of the hospital, countless green grass buds appeared on the cross-section and the movements of the two “people” became more sluggish.
They seemed to have lost the desire to attack. One lonely lower body snuck into the ruins, followed by another mutilated body. They didn’t know where those two ghosts had disappeared to. Ruan Xian could hear them moving away from the Annihilation Point and further away from the ship.
“There’s still 45% energy left!” Tang Yibu poked the dial with satisfaction. His warm breath brushed against Ruan Xian’s collarbone. “Mr. Ruan, now we…”
Ruan Xian moved his body uncomfortably and tried to stand up. As a result, he was hit by the iron bead that had jumped from some heavenly cover and caused a burst of dizziness and ringing in his ears.
He waited a long time this time before resisting the urge to pulverize the thing.
“Gwah!” The iron bread screamed anxiously as it trembled uncontrollably. It bit Tang Yibu’s hair with its big mouth and dragged him forcefully back to the cabin.
“…Let’s get out of here.” Tang Yibu petted the anxious iron bead with one hand and glanced at Ruan Xian, whose face was still green.
“The remaining energy is enough to drive back to the hospital.” Ruan Xian rubbed his battered head gloomily and stood up from Tang Yibu. “With this ship, we can load more—”
“No, no!” Jiang Lin, who was so scared that she couldn’t say a word, finally found her tongue. “I want to go back to the Elysium. I must return to Elysium.”
“That’s your business. We have already saved your life, but this doesn’t include delivering it to the front door.” Ruan Xian leaned his upper body out of the top of the boat again and looked at the dark Annihilation Point with fascination.
The ruins under their feet were slowly pouring into the void, and then disappearing cleanly. The whole process revealed a certain weird and desolate beauty.
“This—this ship belongs to us,” Jiang Lin stammered.
“That bone saw is also ours,” Tang Yibu responded very impartially.
“I didn’t do it on purpose. It just happened. I gave you a map, didn’t I?” Jiang Lin even sounded a bit aggrieved. “Besides, you didn’t save my companions. Those are my teammates! I’m still grieving right now.”
“Okay.” Ruan Xian didn’t bother to answer again. He could probably figure out the logic of this woman. Jiang Lin didn’t feel that she had done anything wrong. Before this, he was afraid that he would have to painstakingly try to persuade her.
Now, he didn’t want to say anything.
Surprisingly, Jiang Lin didn’t yell anymore. The neatly dressed woman slowly bent over, as if someone had punched her in the stomach. Her eyes were red with blood, her fundus was blue, tears, snot, and saliva flowed down together, and her mouth made an unpleasant sound.
“Withdrawal symptoms from a certain drug.” Tang Yibu calmly turned the bow.
“I… I can say good things for… for you in front of the captain. If you’re willing to come, I… but I did it for you…” Jiang Lin whimpered on the floor, shrinking tightly.
“Yes, we owe you such a great favor.” Seeing Tang Yibu preparing to leave, Ruan Xian got back from the top of the ship and straightened his white coat. He didn’t waver at all and didn’t even bother to hide the sarcasm in his tone.
“You can’t do this… You can’t do this. I’m going back…”
“Yu Le took that woman from the west and won’t have a hard time with this one. Take her back to the settlement at that time, and when she wakes up, let her find a way to go back herself.” Ruan Xian ignored the woman on the ground.
“But it depends on her status. There’s something to be said if she’s an important person in Elysium.” Tang Yibu patted the iron bead and drove the steering wheel leisurely. His golden eyes shone brightly in the sun.
“This ship belongs to us. Yu Le won’t let me go. He’s a shameless murderer…” Jiang Lin was still convulsing on the ground. She scratched the floor of the cabin in despair, leaving streaks of blood on the ground and almost tearing off a fingernail. “You… don’t know good people… Ah!”
Ruan Xian took out a needle tube that was retrieved from the hospital from her bag and quickly filled up a few tubes with blood from her neck, then put it in a storage box. “I saw a nice centrifugal machine in the hospital. If I bring this back, I might be able to find a chance to use the laboratory there. The effect of the fruit of the flickering grass is quite special.”
“I’m also very interested.” Tang Yibu was enthusiastic. “I have never seen this kind of thing in other petri dishes, and there’s no record of this kind of plant before the Great Rebellion of the 22nd century.”
Finding that the two young men didn’t plan to buy into her words at all, Jiang Lin’s whimper became more desperate.
“Chengcheng, Chengcheng.” She stopped trying to scream and began to mutter. “Mom can’t go back, Chengcheng…”
Ruan Xian stopped sorting out the medical kit, and his dark pupils, which were almost the same as the Annihilation Point, turned around. “Do you have children?”
But Jiang Lin seemed to have lost most of her consciousness. She just mechanically hit the cabin floor with her head and caused her forehead to bruise. “Chengcheng, Chengcheng.”
Ruan Xian fell silent.
“Changed your mind?” Tang Yibu slowed down curiously. “This is probably just nonsense. You don’t seem like the type who would be soft for this kind of thing.”
‘He really wasn’t,’ Ruan Xian thought, but this scene made his chest feel tight.
“We still have three and a half days, so it’s not bad to explore Elysium.” Ruan Xian took out a water bottle, took a slow sip, and looked at the green ivy outside the ship’s window. “Of course, this is just my personal opinion.”
“I want to go to more human places than dig around ruins for three days.” Tang Yibu tilted his head. “But Mr. Ruan, your reaction is a bit strange. You look a little sad—Is there a tragedy about someone in your family in your memories?”
“It’s strange. I can’t understand Ruan Xian’s purpose for making you like this.” Tang Yibu turned his head and glanced at him. “After all, everyone knows that Ruan Xian’s childhood was impeccable and extremely ‘happy’.”
The author has something to say:
Going to another camp (*/ω＼*)