Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 58: Departure
The night temperature in the wasteland wasn’t high.
The hull, half-buried in the sand, barely blocked the wind. Tang Yibu dragged the cushions buried in the pit into the ship, piled up the wreckage of the furniture lying to the side of the ship, and made a simple bed that looked a bit like a bird’s nest.
He lay in first and rolled over in the middle of the cushion to make sure it was secure. Then the android placed the bulging bag full of food on the side away from Yu Le and stretched out his slender arms.
“Sleep for a bit, Mr. Ruan.” He patted his side skillfully. “It’s important to accumulate physical strength.”
“I also want to sleep for a while.” Yu Le’s tone was firm.
“Someone has to keep night watch, Captain Yu.” Tang Yibu patted the bed again. “And I think your adrenaline… No, after almost dying, you have a very high probability of insomnia.”
“Some people sleep with their sweethearts, and some people keep a corpse under their ass as they keep night watch. That’s fair.” Yu Le tore open the bag of dried fish and put some in his mouth. “Guess what? I’m starting to miss Tu Rui.”
Ruan Xian didn’t participate in this conversation. The sense of relaxation from achieving his goal swept through his spirit. He climbed onto the cushion, but instead of lying down beside Tang Yibu, he turned his back and curled up on the edge of the cushion, supporting himself.
He didn’t like his hazy thoughts.
Once he knew the principle of things, those romantic imaginations would no longer have room to survive. Ruan Xian knew the source of his vague affection. Tang Yibu was strong enough, and his gestures were filled with subtle inhumanity. Right now, though he had dropped his disguise in front of Yu Le, Ruan Xian could still see the familiar indifference in those golden eyes.
It wasn’t the suspension bridge effect. It wasn’t the attraction to appearance. He just gradually cleared the fog and saw the sense of security that he longed for for years and the possibility that his life hadn’t existed from the beginning.
Something brilliant and free.
Just like a beast in a cage that had been kept for many years, seeing its wild kind, longing, envy, and craving were mixed with some emotions that he didn’t understand, which made his throat bitter, and he instinctively wanted to get closer.
Beautiful things are often toxic, and he must not let himself indulge in them. Tang Yibu was still the unknown and dangerous Tang Yibu, and this had never changed.
The night wind was whizzing in from the crack half a meter away. Ruan Xian tightened his body, trying to reduce heat loss. The cold iron bead was leaning against his ankles, snoring comfortably. The cool touch of metal made him shiver.
This time, two arms attacked from behind him. Considering that Yu Le might be watching, Ruan Xian forcibly suppressed his aggressive act of resistance. Tang Yibu effortlessly pulled the other party into his arms, holding him in a possessive posture and making a satisfied grunt from his throat.
If he were to replace himself with a large can of sugar water, most likely Tang Yibu’s behavior wouldn’t change much, Ruan Xian thought. This idea so successfully entertained him that it made him laugh softly.
He could feel Tang Yibu pressing the tip of his nose against the top of his hair, sniffing lightly and then sneezing a little. He listened to the other party’s breathing. It was steady and strong, but those long legs moved restlessly under the thin cloth trying to keep out the cold. Tang Yibu was pretending to be asleep, probably so he could better test Yu Le.
Come to think of it, he should probably do it too.
Ruan Xian rolled over and laid down face-to-face with the android. Even at this distance, he still couldn’t pick out anything wrong with Tang Yibu’s face. It could be seen that when the android perfected his body as an “energy supply device” for himself, he carefully considered the aesthetics of humans.
Those bright golden eyes were tightly closed, their eyelashes were long, and they trembled slightly. Ruan Xian couldn’t help but quietly stretch out his hand and approach Tang Yibu’s face, feeling the warm breath full of vitality.
Seeing Ruan Xian being dragged away, the iron bead stretched out its four thin legs from the holes in its shell, then squeezed into the gap between the two entangled legs and began to snore again.
A mechanical life, a strange species that had flourished in the past ten years.
The desire to find the other “Ruan Xian” as soon as possible was becoming stronger, but Ruan Xian didn’t know what kind of result he wanted. If he wanted to choose one among things like “ontology”, “clones”, and “android” belonging to mechanical life…
Yu Le was really not an honest man. Seeing that the two people on the cushion didn’t move much, the captain of the Walking Stones stood up quietly, walked around Tang Yibu lightly, and stretched out his hands to the backpack full of food.
Tang Yibu turned over and grabbed it, and instantly pinned Yu Le, who was much taller than him, to the ground. The latter was still holding a half-piece of Snickers in his hand as he kept swearing.
“I’m fucking starving to death! That dried fish is not enough to feed a cat.” Yu Le, whose face was slapped into the mud, tilted his head and spat out a few mouthfuls of dirt. “Damn, when Tu Rui comes tomorrow, this will be settled!”
Ruan Xian turned over again, turning his back to the two of them, and smoothed the smile at the corner of his mouth with his hand.
The next day, Yu Le’s complaint didn’t go well. When he first saw Tu Rui wearing bandages, it was like he was coming to greet the pirates’ ancestors of Elysium for eighteen generations.
“Two riots. One happened when you left yesterday and another one when we were doing a ship burial for you. Dozens of laborers with a low degree of addiction were persuaded by us to go to the Walking Stones, while the rest were still unwilling to submit. That kid named Feng Jiang took advantage of us when we went to the Annihilation Point to hold your ship’s burial and detached the main ship of Elysium from our main ship.”
Tu Rui shook his bandaged arm, indicating that he was fine. In order not to attract the attention of the Mainbrain, he picked a late night, disguised himself, and came here alone. To avoid the scans, he put a lot of meat from the meat incubator on his body and dressed himself up as a fat man who smelled extremely fishy.
“It’s my fault. We moved most of the supplies, and I thought no one would do anything with a broken ship that needs urgent maintenance…”
“You’re just not greedy enough.” Yu Le beat his chest and paused. “What happened to the broken ship? It’s very big. Did you move supplies? Didn’t you cleanly take all the daily necessities? My captain Tu, if I had really died yesterday, what would happen to the Walking Stones…”
“There were preventive measures, but they also had experts on their side. Still…” Tu Rui smiling face twitched. “Oh, don’t you know that you can’t easily die?”
“Didn’t I have an awesome death? You found two fucking little monsters that threw laozi into the mud like a fish. Laozi’s back is still hurting right now.”
“Do you still have the face to complain?” Tu Rui looked like he wanted to take out a knife.
“…Forget it, forget it. Don’t mention it. Can you handle the deserters from Elysium?” Yu Le snickered and changed the subject.
“I can handle it.” Tu Rui sighed fiercely, glancing at Ruan Xian and Tang Yibu not far away. He poked at the raw meat stuck to his body in disgust. “This outfit can avoid the primary scan at most. I have to go back as soon as possible. To make a long story short, Lao Yu, these two boys want to find the headquarters of the rebel army and add a blockage to the Mainbrain. I made a little deal with them…”
“Let them save me, and then I will take them to the ruins of the previous rebel headquarters?” Yu Le curled his lips. “I don’t know about you… Come on, isn’t it in the Underground United City?”
Tu Rui finally showed a relaxed expression. “Yeah, your mind is not so annoying.”
“I understand. After all, these two little monsters are likely to abandon me halfway. They don’t even feed me.” Yu Le finally remembered what he was going to complain about, “You have to give me some weapons and food. Just for me, with my name written on them—”
“Fuck off.” Tu Rui refused coldly. “Weapons are indispensable, and you can’t even protect your own food. Don’t bother going to the Underground United City. It’s faster if you just commit suicide directly.”
After speaking, he shook his head and snapped his fingers.
Another modified off-road vehicle drilled out of the optical camouflage cloth and drove automatically in front of the four people. The dark gray door slowly opened and Yu Le took a deep breath.
Ruan Xian knew a little about the vehicle and could see that the prototype of the vehicle in front of him was an armored off-road vehicle. Tu Rui removed all enjoyment arrangements, including wine cabinets and soft blankets, and only kept the freezer that could keep medicines and necessities, and added a simple water maker, a generator, and special weapons cabinets. Including the driver and co-pilot, there were three rows of seats in the car, which could seat at least six people.
“There are other arrangements in it. You can take a look.” Tu Rui shrugged. “Lao Yu, I know that your car is very important to you, but to be honest, your remodeling skills aren’t very good. Take a look at this—This is the result of all the top mechanics I found in the Walking Stones when I asked them to modify my car. All my savings over the years have been fucking drained! Listen, if you mess up this car, even if you come back, I’ll kill you myself.”
Yu Le just slapped the sturdy metal outer wall of the vehicle with his palm as he whistled.
“Oh my god.” It took a long time before he spat out trembling words. “How the hell did you save this much in the past few years… I’m sorry, I’m sorry, it’s awesome!” Seeing Tu Rui started cracking his fingers, Yu Le immediately changed his tone.
“I have prepared all the basic supplies that can be used, but I haven’t been in contact with Underground City for a few years, so I don’t know what it’s like there now. When you get to the city, you have to adapt and mix in on your own.” Tu Rui kicked Yu Le’s ass and rolled his eyes.
Tang Yibu was the first to get into the car and touched it happily. He pounded the console for a while and stretched out his head suspiciously. “The power supply system of the console is locked.”
“Only Yu Le’s and my palmprint can unlock it.” Tu Rui smiled. “This car can only be driven by Yu Le.”
Are you serious? Ruan Xian wiped his face. As soon as he said this, even if Tang Yibu had the ability to crack the system firewall of this car, in order to retain his strength, this car had to be driven by Yu Le or this old man himself.
It seemed that Tu Rui’s approach of “delivering the remaining information” was very wise. Tang Yibu secretly glanced at Yu Le, with “abandon his ass” written on his left cheek and “steal it” written on his right.
“Thank you.” Ruan Xian shook hands with Tu Rui casually. Tang Yibu reluctantly touched the console twice and jumped out of the car.
Yu Le looked like he had won a jackpot. He happily sat in the driver’s seat, touched a gun from the glove compartment, and saw a pile of food on the co-pilot’s seat. Then he raised the bulletproof glass wall between the driver’s seat and the back seat.
“Thanks, brother.” He opened the car window and leaned against the window with one arm. “Then I’ll go to the Underground United City for two laps and come back in half a year?”
“It’s only been more than a year and you’re already on the list. I’m not so unlucky as you. Be safe and take at least a year.” Tu Rui gestured. “Be careful on the road and take good care of my car.”
“I remember the signal from the driver’s seat! Maybe there is something new in the Underground United City. Wait for me to contact you…”
Tu Rui nodded in relief.
“…I will send you the photo of the girl I know.” Yu Le paused, and finally finished the second half of the sentence.
The deputy captain of the Walking Stones—or rather the new captain—began to exude a murderous aura again.
“Let’s go.” Seeing that the dialogue between the two sides had come to an end, Ruan Xian patted Tang Yibu, who was standing beside him. “Before it’s dawn, we should leave the area around the Sea of Ruins.”
“Nn.” Tu Rui simply agreed.
There was no reluctant farewell. Tu Rui put away the optical camouflage cloth, started the small hoverbike covered under it, and the disguised bloated body gradually disappeared into the night.
Yu Le leaned against the window, took an unlit cigarette, and watched his friend leave. After Tu Rui’s figure disappeared, he looked in that direction for a while.
“Wait.” As soon as Ruan Xian was about to get into the car, Tang Yibu grabbed his coat.
Tang Yibu chose an angle that Yu Le couldn’t see and put the iron bead in his arms down on the ground. Just like the first time they met, Tang Yibu put his hand on the round shell of the iron bead, and the outline of his palm lit up with a circle of blue light.
[What are you doing?] After glancing at Yu Le, who was still in the driver’s seat in a daze, Ruan Xian asked directly using the earring.
“Changing its program.” Tang Yibu mouthed his words without making a sound. “Do you remember? I tricked it and made it think that I’m its kind. Now I’m doing again.”
“I told it that we are leaving here soon. Now it can choose by itself, return to its own kind, or…”
The iron bead lay dumbfounded on the ground. It turned to Tang Yibu for a while, then to Ruan Xian, with a puzzled rattling in its mouth. Ten seconds later, it catapulted and returned firmly to Tang Yibu’s head.
“It seems that it wants to go together with us.” This time, Ruan Xian spoke out without hesitation.
“I don’t understand.” Tang Yibu held the iron bead in both hands and removed it from his head. “It was originally caught in the Sea of Ruins, and there must be many of its kind in the wasteland.”
“…Living with the same kind may not necessarily be a good thing.”
Ruan Xian turned his back and got into the car to make sure Tang Yibu couldn’t see his expression.
“It just wants to go with you. Sometimes this kind of thing doesn’t need a reason.”
The author has something to say:
Set off to a new area—!
Yu Le: Hehe, I don’t believe laozi can’t cure these two young people.
Yu Le: ……
Yu Le: They can’t be cured. _(:з”∠)_