Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 50: White Demon
This was supposed to be a peaceful night.
According to previous habits, the main ship of Elysium would start at noon tomorrow, and the pirates in the field had already returned to the settlement. Everything was ready. He just needed to drive the main ship out for a lap—he just needed to avoid the bombing and other pirate attacks. After several years of stable operation, Fan Baiyan was no longer worried about this matter.
He survived, and he became the most vicious shark in the Sea of Ruins.
The rich supplies were piled up in the warehouse, and in order to cope with the next voyage, he also took the risk of stockpiling fireflies for three days. On usual days, in order to avoid the risk of internal theft and the deterioration of medicines, he reserved up to at most a day’s amount.
He was the only one in the entire Elysium who knew the formula for this thing. Without fireflies, ordinary people can survive for a day. If after two days and he hasn’t had the opportunity to produce new ones, then most likely something unfortunate will happen to those people. Taking a step back, it was quite beautiful that he had a pull on this ship, as it would fall if he fell.
Fan Baiyan patted the safe hidden at the head of the bed contentedly and sat down in his chair. He threw in almost one-third of the animals raised in the settlement, and the hidden tin box was filled with medicine freshly baked last night. The pills produced tonight were also solidifying.
Everything was going well.
Duan Lili was nestled in the corner of the room, her eyes still faintly red. She changed into a moon-white cheongsam, hung her hands timidly, her body trembling slightly. He wasn’t sure if it was because of the lighting, but her face had hints of blue and white.
“Look, you just sent Feng Jiang to the Walking Stones. Now what? Yu Le is about to die, and I killed Tu Rui an hour ago. Without the captain and deputy captain, the Walking Stones will become a living hell—Tell me, your good intentions have led to this bad outcome.”
Duan Lili lowered her head, clenched her fists tightly, and a little sweat appeared on her forehead. “Tu Rui, isn’t he a rebel? It won’t be that easy…”
“Even Ruan Xian himself couldn’t move if he was tied up like that.” Fan Baiyan waved his hand. “Ruan Lijie also stabbed him in the neck. It wasn’t a fake. Once that bomb goes off, his bones will be blown to bits.”
“What about Tang Yibu? They are talented young people who tried their best to defect here. You killed his lover…”
“Is there movement on his side?”
“No, the patrolman reported that he was lying in bed yesterday and today recovering from his leg injury.”
“Then it’s all good. These days, what’s the point of having so much sincerity? It’s enough to settle this account with the leader of the Walking Stones and then find him another beautiful boy. Problem solved. Lili, this time you are in confinement, so I hope you’ll learn to grow up. Nowadays, it’s not better than before, and turning your elbows out* can kill you.”
*(胳膊肘朝外拐) Metaphor for favoring outsiders instead of someone on your own side.
Fan Baiyan looked at the fake window. The stars were flashing outside the window, and he could faintly hear some crickets. He didn’t know if it was the sound of the speakers or of real insects.
“Come on, massage my shoulders. You will be free tomorrow after this matter…”
Duan Lili didn’t respond.
Fan Baiyan turned his head in dissatisfaction. His deputy captain was lying softly in the corner, gasping in pain. Her well-maintained nails slid across the table, abruptly splitting it in two.
Duan Lili tore her hair. Her delicate makeup was smeared by tears, and she whimpered pitifully, like a fox caught by a beast. Her face was distorted, and she could no longer be called beautiful, but she didn’t have the energy to care about it right now. Duan Lili grabbed Fan Baiyan’s trousers, choked on her saliva and coughed. Her lips were no longer rosy.
“Firefly,” she murmured. “Give it to me.”
Typical symptoms of drug addiction. Fan Baiyan frowned.
“You have already eaten three today. Lili, it’s not good for your health to eat more.”
“No… I don’t know… It’s getting more and more uncomfortable today, I can’t stand it anymore, Fan Lao…”
“Lili, you know best. I don’t have—”
Seeing that Fan Baiyan was perfunctory and he didn’t have any intention on acting, Duan Lili rushed to the cabinet where Fan Baiyan put her belongings and rummaged through the flannel bag she had obtained from Jiang Lin. She pulled on it hard and directly tore the flannel bag in half. A firefly stuck in the crack rolled to the ground and was quickly swallowed by her.
After swallowing the firefly, Duan Lili let out a long sigh. Her face was still pale, but her expression wasn’t as hideous as before.
Fan Baiyan’s face gradually paled. He rushed to the door of the room. Just as he was about to give instructions, the answer he wanted had been revealed in advance—a few stern screams broke out, and then the gunfire. Unlike the usual warning marksmanship, the gunfire was chaotic.
The old man took a deep breath, put on a bulletproof jacket and helmet, and then rushed out of the room.
The hall was no longer orderly and quiet. People struggled on the ground, frantically beating and shredding everything that entered their field of vision or simply stabbing themselves—the smooth marble floor was covered with thick blood.
Fan Baiyan recognized these people from a glance—they were similar to Duan Lili, who were considered the “luxury class” and could take three fireflies a day. They were tumbling and howling on the floor, and one of them even tore open the stomach of the man next to him by abruptly cutting him with a knife. He then dug around with his bloody hands, trying to find any remaining pill residues.
While these people were better off, it was only a matter of time before an incident like this broke out. Judging from their current level of madness, this didn’t look like they were acting to try and cheat for more pills.
The ticket that could kill Yu Le was still in the hands of this group. Fan Baiyan gritted his teeth angrily. Unfortunately, these cancers must be abandoned now in order to maintain a stable situation.
It didn’t matter. There was still time to recover. God had always been on his side.
“Friends who feel unwell, please go to the lobby on the fifth floor. Yes, the patrolmen will also come up as well. A small number of fireflies have maliciously been poisoned. I’ll go and prepare medicine for everyone. All the remaining friends, please go back to the room and lock the door. Someone will also send preventive medicine as compensation later.”
Amidst the successive screams, Fan Baiyan still had a smile on his face.
However, this was a bit late.
After the first attack case, other people who bumped into each other like headless flies became inspired, and several more victims appeared in an instant. Prompted by Fan Baiyan, these people with internal organs on their hands began to squeeze desperately into the glass door of the elevator, causing the tempered glass on one side of the guardrail to shatter. One of them accidently fell to the ground and was trampled over by the latecomers. His chest cavity quickly collapsed and he stopped breathing.
“Don’t crowed. It’s okay. This is all a conspiracy, a conspiracy by the Walking Stones! If your beliefs are disturbed, we’ll lose!” Fan Baiyan turned on the PA system and spoke in a firm but soothing voice. “Everyone, close and lock your doors. We got the situation under control!”
Bloody handprints were stained on the elevator wall, and after a few trips, all the crazy people finally managed to crowd up. The first floor was then surrounded by people responsible for sanitation, and they began to clean up all the blood and guts that spilled all over the floor.
People eagerly rushed to the fifth floor, only to be met with bullets straight to their heads. The sound of the bullets firing by a machine was soft and wasn’t even as loud as the sound of bodies falling to the ground.
More than forty corpses were piled softly on the ground.
More than a dozen medical machines rushed over, lifted the corpses, and sent them one by one to the interior of the room.
“One-third for fertilizer, one-third for a bud bed used for cultivation, and the remaining one-third will be used to feed the new bud bed. Fan Baiyan raised his hand and whispered to the mechanics through the light screen. He clenched his teeth tightly as his heart was bleeding with pain. “Immediately dispose of the fruits obtained, send them to the production room for inspection, and bring the qualified fruits immediately—”
The more than 40 votes that could have been used to vote for Yu Le were gone in the blink of an eye.
Before he finished feeling distressed, there was another loud bang.
In less than half an hour, the brief calm was broken again, and people rushed out of their rooms, brandishing blunt instruments or similar hard objects in their hands. They attacked those who stayed behind closed doors, screaming muted words. These people were amazingly powerful, and soon the walls of the window showed cobweb-like cracks.
The second group of pirates began to go crazy. They seemed to believe that their normal companions had quietly stashed the fireflies, and they needed to do their best to take away the non-existent pills.
People who remained sober used all means to protect themselves. They spontaneously gathered in the corner of the hall, trying to use the partition wall of the hall to control the people who were attacking them. Unfortunately, this trick hadn’t had time to show its effectiveness before several people in the crowd screamed wildly.
Fan Baiyan couldn’t sit still anymore. He personally went down from the fifth floor, to the fourth, and then the third.
Several tear gas cannisters were thrown into the crowd, forcibly separating the group of people that were about to collide.
“I’m here with you. Wake up!” He fired two shots into the sky and raised his voice. “Someone has already gone to get the medicine. They will soon…”
“Fan Lao.” One of the bodyguards in a suit came over with red eyes, and his hands shook a little. “Something is wrong.”
“Fucking spit it out!” Fan Baiyan lowered his voice. His heart was beating frantically, and his eyes were fluttering in all directions. He couldn’t tell if this was reality or a dream. Everything was business as usual just a few hours ago…
“There’s a problem with the fruit of the flickering grass. Whether it’s the previous batch or the newly cultivated one, the active ingredient is less than one percent. Fireflies can’t be produced normally. Fan Lao, what should we do?”
“The reason? Did someone add something, or did someone maliciously cause trouble?”
“We checked. Can’t find out… Everything else is normal, and the shuttle agent can be extracted normally, but the fireflies…”
“Impossible!” Fan Baiyan bit his tongue and forced himself to calm down. “It’s been here all these years. How could things change? This must be something man-made! Where is that kid named Tang? Bring him here! Isn’t he a biologist?”
“Our people also tried to find him just now. He… He’s not in his room.”
Fan Baiyan took a deep breath and looked numbly at the fighting crowd in the hall. “Use the stun medication, the one with the greatest strength. All the backup machines are being used, so be sure to keep people under control. Get out the molecular printer and add 90% of the electricity to it. Burn the power directly so it can replicate as much of the psychedelics as it can. Don’t tell me you can’t even get the molecular structure. Go!”
“But in this way, the defense of Elysium…”
“We’ll sail after this is done and won’t leave traces for the hyenas to know where we’ve gone. In any case, we have more living people here than the Walking Stones.”
Fan Baiyan held the railing with both hands, and dozens of medical machines passed by him and flew into the crowd. He still had the emptiness as if he was a human in a dream, but at this point, nothing worse was going to happen. Besides, the Walking Stones’ side no longer had a deputy captain, so they won’t be able to take care of themselves… Wait.
The old man clenched the railing tightly, causing his knuckles to turn white.
That Tang Yibu seems to be gone? Where did he get the news from?
Such a weird situation that occurred with the flickering grass… Is Tu Rui really dead?
Fan Baiyan was sweating bullets. He opened his mouth, wanting to withdraw the order. Unfortunately, at that moment, most of the indoor lights had been extinguished and the molecular printer went online. Furthermore, the chaos had drastically reduced their defenses, thus…
The vibration of the explosion came from the ground, like an earthquake. A bright light of flame dispelled the darkness outside the giant glass, and thick smoke continued to seep in. Fan Baiyan stood frozen in place, completely stunned, as if a piece of hardened ice had slipped into his stomach. His legs softened and he almost sat on the ground.
However, as an experienced pirate captain, the adrenaline allowed him to retain enough sanity to support the operation of his mind.
“Sail. Set sail immediately.” Fan Baiyan activated the light screen, and a set of virtual driving platforms constructed by light appeared in front of him. “We are exposed. Run away first!”
The enemy came too fast, and now he couldn’t muster the manpower to fight back.
The ruins of the entire commercial building shook even more violently.
Tang Yibu sat on the decorative bulge outside the railing on the top floor, happily dangling a leg in the blind spot of Fan Baiyan’s vision. He hugged the iron bed that was rubbing around in his arms, and the light of the explosion reflected in his golden eyes.
The beehive was burning down, like an ant nest that was soaked in rain. The orderly organization was torn apart in an instant as the pirates began to eat one another when they were smiling and talking just yesterday to each other, wailing like wild beasts. A complex compound that acts on the brain for short-lived pleasure. Interestingly, this may not be instinctive—people don’t normally choose to fight for survival, but rather move towards destruction more comfortably.
Ruan Xian didn’t sit in such a dangerous place of death. He stood firmly on the sixth floor, with his hands on the railing, expressionless.
“You…you…” Duan Lili stood up weakly against the wall. Her beautiful eyes were full of tears. “It’s you…”
“You think of us too highly.” Ruan Xian turned his head and looked straight at Duan Lili with a complicated face. “We don’t have the ability to stab at such a big basket. We’re just taking advantage of the revolution driven by God.”
“You—at least you could… tell me…” She gasped with difficulty. “A lot of people have died. It’s unnecessary. Everyone just… want to live well…”
“Each room has a large enough bathroom and cubicle. Lock yourself in, flush away the key, and endure a few hours of withdrawal.” Ruan Xian turned around. “It’s not like they don’t have a choice.”
“You can’t expect… everyone… You’re incredibly talented. You could’ve come up with a more precise plan…”
“You voluntarily choose this way of life, and in the end, you still hope that strangers passing by will give you a two-way solution?”
“But you can’t do this either!” Duan Lili choked even louder. “You brought people from outside, didn’t you? You’re forcing us into a dead end!”
Another explosion came from the ground, and the wind blew the corners of Ruan Xian’s thin coat. Duan Lili tried to find guilt or remorse on that handsome face, but she only saw a smile.
In the giant ruins illuminated outside the window, the young man laughed seamlessly.
“They haven’t bombed you yet. You can surrender, can’t you? Ah, I forgot. Fireflies aren’t allowed in the Walking Stones.”
“Come on, choose for yourself,” he said.
I’m really liking Ruan Xian’s character. From the summary, I thought he would be like categorically good and a bit naïve (similar to Nemo and Oliver from Stray) but he’s fucking ruthless. I love it.