Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 64: Falling
The iron bead was in a bad mood.
Its emotions weren’t complicated—hunger and thirst would cause depression and being hugged by a huge soft animal would make it feel at ease. In addition to possessing a certain IQ and being extremely sensitive to potential threats, these mechanical beings, which were called “Grove-style R-660 lifeforms” by humans, had nothing special about them.
At the moment, it was being wrapped by a nylon strap of a water battle and was hung on the buckle of the waist bag by Tang Yibu. It looked like an overly full round water bottle. Transferred from the soft and warm embrace to the rough nylon strap and having sand slapped on its shell by the wind, the iron bead began to make dissatisfied cooing sounds.
Tang Yibu casually inserted the sai into his waist and watched the armored car disappear into the night. He didn’t bother to hang rows of countless bullets around himself and looked more like an ordinary fugitive.
“Quiet.” He tapped the iron bead lightly with his fingertips. “They may have sonic detection devices.”
“I know you don’t want to leave there, and I don’t want to leave either,” Tang Yibu muttered in a low voice. He could see the outline of the bandit’s camp clearly. “But I have to bring a guarantee. Once humans give something a name, they will not be so easy to let go. Mr. Ruan still has a human mind, and I think this principle applies to him.”
“You’re luckier than me.” Tang Yibu patted the muttering iron bead again and walked closer in the direction of the base.
Then he suddenly changed his movements, like playing some kind of jumping game on the wasteland. He started to step on a fixed point. He avoided the buried mines and traps one by one until he successfully reached the vicinity of two boulders that were barely changed to look like a gate before he finally stopped.
“Don’t move, kid.” A gun was pressed to the back of Tang Yibu’s head, and another person flashed out in front of him, playing with a sharp knife in his hand. “Hand over your weapons before you speak.”
“Okay.” Tang Yibu moved steadily. He threw the sai to the ground, followed by his two guns. “Don’t be nervous. Don’t be nervous.”
“The iron bead has to be handed over too,” The person standing behind him demanded loudly. “Hey, Lao Sun, take away this iron bead. Who knows if he has hidden anything good in its shell. Didn’t someone hide medicine in them before?”
The iron bead struggled frantically between the nylon straps, and its four thin metal short legs protruded from its spherical body and kicked awkwardly.
“I didn’t expect anyone to deliver food at this time.” Seeing that Tang Yibu had tossed away his weapons, Lao Sun made a simple gesture to his accomplice, standing behind Tang Yibu. Tang Yibu felt the muzzle of the gun on the back of his head hit harder.
Lao Sun cut the nylon strap and took the iron bead that began to rattle and threw it to the ground, then stepped on it with the soles of feet.
The iron bead began to scream loudly.
“How do you open this thing again? I remember I just stomped on its seams with my feet—” Lao Sun grinned, showing his browned teeth.
“Wait.” Tang Yibu frowned slightly.
“What’s the matter? I was right? Boy, if you are here to join us, you’d better hand in everything you have. Don’t say it’s your pet. I’ve heard a lot of this kind of nonsense! Come on, or you can dismantle it yourself. What are you hiding? Fireflies? Psychedelics? Mushroom powder?”
“No.” Tang Yibu slowly put down his raised hand. “It’s my friend, and its name is π.”
There was a hint of tears rattling on the iron bead.
“Yo, this kid’s got a broken brain.” Lao Sun smiled a few times. “He looks pretty good, eye color… Are androids still running out the wall? Where’s your master? Forget it. Fuck it, I think there should be a few old people in the camp willing to cover for you, as long as you—”
He made a vulgar gesture and winked at the person behind Tang Yibu.
Tang Yibu paused then said, “Actually, I’m here to destroy you.”
“Yeah, like sending a stripper to destroy the Order Supervisors.” Lao Sun looked at him and said, “So reliable.”
“I’m sorry,” Tang Yibu said.
“If you had said that earlier—”
Lao Sun failed to finish his words. The robber in a tattered jacket felt his body fall back, but the distance from the young man didn’t change. Slender and beautiful fingers were placed on both sides of his cheeks, but Lao Sun didn’t have time to express any feelings. He only felt some kind of weird coldness was quickly blurring his consciousness. He tried to open his mouth, but he couldn’t make a sound.
Wait, this means he’s…
Tang Yibu swiftly dodged at the end of this attack, causing the bullet to graze his cheek. He didn’t even think about it and threw the head he had twisted off casually behind him. The severed head slammed onto the other person, making a creepy cracking sound.
The sound of a body hitting the ground sounded again. Tang Yibu glanced at the two crushed heads on the dirt and picked up the iron bead on the ground.
“It seems that only I can hold you,” he said blankly, pulling a few firebombs from the corpses and directly igniting the camp closest to him.
The wilderness was extremely dry. The flames quickly engulfed the dry wood, branches of shrubs, and fuel barrels that still had a little combustible material remaining. As the fire got bigger, Tang Yibu walked through the flames and saw the opportunity to create another firebomb, creating a new explosion. If you ignored the fire blazing around him and the distorted air due to the high temperature, it looked as if Tang Yibu was throwing bread to feed pigeons in an uninhibited park.
The people who rushed over were very skilled.
The flames reflected their every expression, down to every twitch of their muscles. The person in front pounced at his side while the one who held him at gunpoint would shoot him. Based on the movements of his opponent’s line of sight, Tang Yibu could even calculate what gun he preferred.
Going one step further, listening to their rants and combining them with their positions, he could speculate on their intelligence and personality, and concluded that what he simulated had no value for observation.
The future slowly unfolded in front of him, reassuring and boring.
Tang Yibu dodged one attack after another. He jumped onto a burning roof. Standing in the flames, he could clearly see bandits coming from all directions. The faster the fire burned, the bigger it got. He had run out of firebombs and could no longer make explosions, but the flames had already lit up the night sky.
The organization of the bandits was as loose as Yu Le said. These outlaws obviously didn’t have much military awareness. Once they realized that something was wrong, they instantly scattered. Some continued to attack him, while others began to attack their own companions who had accidentally injured them, while others attempted to loot the remaining supplies—whether from corpses or living people.
The thick smoke intensified the intensity of the battle, and the burning scene devolved into chaos. People completely forgot that there was only one intruder and began to instinctively attack all threats close to them.
And this chaos came to an abrupt end when heavy machinery arrived.
Someone howled. The fire scene just now had become a fishing pond that was completely empty in ten seconds, leaving only debris and many corpses on the ground. Tang Yibu saw several big men carrying light bombardments approaching—There was a leader there and a leader that obviously had the means to deter his subordinates.
He grabbed the iron bead tightly and looked at the muzzle of the light-blaster less than a hundred meters away from him. It was estimated that if he was hit by this thing, he would have several large holes the size of a bowling ball on his body.
At that moment, a more intense explosion sounded in the distance. The earth trembled a few times as roaring and screaming mixed together. Tang Yibu looked at the firelight far away from where he was and nodded slightly at the gun muzzles pointed at him.
“Goodbye,” he said.
What answered him were several dazzling beams of light. Tang Yibu staggered his feet, ready to dodge beautifully, but when he reached the last pillar of light, he hesitated for two-tenths of a second and deliberately slowed down.
The beam of light brushed his arm, burning off a piece of flesh the size of a palm. Blood immediately spurted out.
Tang Yibu gasped in pain. He immediately tore off his sleeves, made a simple bandage, and then let the iron bead squeeze over his shoulder. He jumped off the roof that was about to be burned down, and a few white rays of light flew over from where he was standing.
“I think I need treatment,” Tang Yibu said solemnly, poking the iron bead that was shaking with fright. “What do you think?”
“…Gwah gwah gwah.”
Ruan Xian’s mood wasn’t good either.
He sat with his head crouching down in the car. There was some distance between his head and the roof of the car, which right now was close to the ground. Unfortunately, even with an extremely sturdy seatbelt, it couldn’t eliminate the dizziness caused by the rolling of this behemoth. Ruan Xian wanted to throw up, but he was trying really hard to suppress it as he would be throwing up on the roof of the car, thus he struggled and held back the urge to vomit.
Yu Le’s method of manipulating machinery was indeed unparalleled, but there was a great gap between him and Tu Rui—At this moment, Ruan Xian and Yu Le were both trapped in the car as it turned perfectly while Yu Le turned on the song “Baby, I’m Head over Heels for You”.
The explosion triggered a warning as Ruan Xian could hear many objects approaching them. This armored off-road vehicle could very well become like a tortoise that had been maliciously turned over, with its feet up in the sky, completely helpless. The smoke and fire from the explosion were blocked at the other end of the dead wall, but the rubble and small clods of soil from the explosion were still falling on their side. Ruan Xian looked around for the first time—
They just moved from a wilderness that was basically uninhabited to a wilderness that was a little bit more high-tech. The empty space made it impossible to have anywhere to hide, not to mention that several teams of machinery were coming to their location at full speed.
“Are you going to choose such a new way to kill yourself?” Ruan Xian retracted his gaze and took in a hard breath. His ears were still buzzing as he was upside down.
“How can that be.” Yu Le groaned as the female voice from the soundtrack continued to sing. His face had turned purple from being upside down. “Isn’t your little lover waiting for you. When he sees this scene, he will no longer doubt my sincerity in wanting to complete the transaction.”
“So if we don’t turn this thing over, you’re going to do it yourself?” Ruan Xian began to listen intently to the movements on the other side of the wall, trying to hear Tang Yibu’s voice.
“Man, what are you talking about. Let’s call this improvising, like borrowing flowers to dedicate to Buddha*.”
*(借花献佛) Refers to borrowing other people’s items to entertain guests or give them away/offering favors at the expense of another.
“…That’s not how you use borrowing flowers to dedicate to Buddha.” Without hearing any effective information from the bandits, Ruan Xian began to untie his seatbelt. “We have to get out of the car. They’re almost here.”
“No, no, no.” Yu Le continued to listen to the song happily. “It’s a wilderness outside. We’ll just be a moving target for them if we go out.”
As if we’re not a target just by staying here. Ruan Xian took another few deep breaths.
“…What’s more, if you run away without a trace, your android boyfriend will hold me accountable when he comes. How will I explain things?”
Ruan Xian tried his best to keep his expression calm and didn’t waste half a second to refute. He frowned impatiently. “Tang Yibu is not an android. We…”
A thin metal foot tentatively knocked on the car window, interrupting their conversation. The round body of the iron bead moved over, and three small blue eyes lit up from the gap. “Gwah.”
Ruan Xian immediately pressed against the window of the car.
“What are you doing in there?” Then came Tang Yibu’s face—the android was lying on the ground with his cheeks against it in order to communicate with them. “Is it fun to be upside down like this?”
“We’re not playing,” Ruan Xian hissed between his teeth.
“I know, it’s just a joke.” Tang Yibu showed another smile dedicated to dealing with humans. “But it’ll be very uncomfortable if you stay in the posture for a while.”
Yu Le lowered the music and raised his eyebrows. “I like it like this. Can you see it? Good eyesight.”
“It looks clearer from the outside.”
“What are you talking about—” Ruan Xian interrupted.
He was too focused on listening to Tang Yibu and the enemy’s movements that he ignored the feet close at hand. A familiar, slight cracking noise sounded, causing the heavy car to shake and the ground to begin to collapse rapidly.
“I’m the best captain of the Sea of Ruins.” Yu Le grinned. “I know what I’m doing, kid. There’s a reason why this place is called the Underground United City.”
“Yes, if you prepared a rabbit hastily looking at its pocket watch*, this plan would be even more whimsical.” Ruan Xian gritted his teeth.
*Reference to the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland.
The weightlessness of free fall hit, and his vision instantly fell into darkness.
The author has something to say:
Entering the city!!!
The three Alices fell into the hole—
Perhaps the iron bead can be arranged to be the pocket watch (X