Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 71: Vortex
‘Can’t be bewitched,’ Ruan Xian thought.
However, everything around him was degenerating. Artificial sunlight poured in from the fake floor-to-ceiling windows, and the blue sky reflected in the windows was like a fine sapphire. The bed under him was soft and comfortable, and there was a terrible sweet fragrance floating in the hot air. Ruan Xian didn’t know whether the incense was taking effect on him or whether the gradual burning of his breathing was due to the drug or the fingertips passing through the skin.
Not long after taking a shower, his bathrobe was tied very loose, and now they were completely scattered under him, soaked in a dark red by the blood gushing from Tang Yibu’s knife.
‘This is the enemy’s territory,’ Ruan Xian kept reminding himself.
His nerves were stretched to the point where they may break at any moment, and his thinking began to become blurred. The blood mixed with the sweet fragrance impacted his sense of smell, and the other person’s body temperature and breathing began to make Ruan Xian’s brain blank. He could hear his thunderous heartbeat, a mixture of fear, excitement, and unfamiliar stimuli that kept rising, causing his to go numb and his hair to stand upright.
“Can you hear me as well?”
Even though the blade was deeply buried in the android’s chest, Tang Yibu tightened his arms and increased the intensity of the hug. The other party’s breathing still carried moisture from his shower. His voice had a bit of fragile expectation, like cicada wings, that made Ruan Xian feel that his heart was suddenly contracting.
“I don’t understand.” His voice was hoarse, unlike his own.
He wanted to pull out the knife and separate everything with violence, but it was a pity that the fruit knife was dull. It was deeply sucked into the wound, and there wasn’t much room for movement under his opponent’s body.
Blood still kept gushing out continuously from the wound.
“People always see things by their own standards, and the same is true of androids set up by humans. I have never seen an exception.” Tang Yibu supported his body with his left arm and elbow, gently stroking Ruan Xian’s wet hair. His eyes were weird and eager, like a scalpel which could peel away the soul layer by layer.
The premise being that there was such thing as a soul. Ruan Xian swallowed and couldn’t help but raise the corner of his mouth.
Tang Yibu’s way of communicating had always been self-centered, but he understood it this time. Perhaps it was because he understood the same kind of loneliness, like a deep scar—Tang Yibu was indeed a human zoologist as he claimed to be. However, zoologists always have a period of time where they stay with their own group and make their findings public.
But Tang Yibu had nowhere to go back to.
And neither did he.
Ruan Xian didn’t think that people had to be associated with someone. Except for simple creatures, “others” were a necessary reference for groups with complex emotions and thinking.
Whether it was through others or books, people had to have a channel to define whether their feelings were “normal”. He had read in books that the greatest joy in life was finding a loved one—whether it be a friend, lover, or relative, the moment that joy and pain were understood could be shared.
People created languages, stories, and carried emotions and cognitions that had been repeated countless times; then they try to communicate and express their own thoughts; everything built within that fixed boundary.
And side effects also followed.
Due to the inferiority of biology, people always subconsciously regarded themselves as the right side. Individuals who didn’t recognize them are deemed to be objectively inferior. Even if they misunderstood the meaning of others, they would certainly use self-awareness as a criterion for judgment. Although people were destined to not understand each other, they could respect and help each other to a certain extent. However, with the excessive development of social channels, respect had become a rarity, and arrogance and ego that were eager to be different had become more rampant.
While information got richer, the crowd was getting lazier to listen to and watch. This exacerbated the deterioration of the situation.
Even in normal people, people began to pick out some different voices as outliers. From aesthetic inclinations, facial characteristics, moral cognition, sexual orientation, and even innate imperfections, everything could be used as a heterogeneous standard.
Ruan Xian once looked at the quagmire. He could understand the actions of those people and analyze their motivations, but he had nowhere to record them. Unlike sociologists, as a person who was implicitly excluded from the “human circle”, the things he recorded weren’t destined to be politically correct and would only cause himself greater trouble.
Emotions were another aspect.
A true outlier had no scale of measurement. What they carried would all turn into a dark unknown. There was no comparison. They didn’t know how deep the dark river in front of them was, or how far the abyss was from them. No amount of power could make up for this emptiness. For ordinary people, true sense of security came from sufficient and transparent information. However, from his own point of view, the more he knew, the deeper the despair that followed.
But, for some reason, he insisted on living, blindly waiting for a turning point that might not exist; it was like shouting at an abandoned well that was doomed to not respond…
Disengaged from the position given by society and the population, away from self-righteousness and self-preservation instinct, could he hear him?
Ruan Xian raised his head again and looked into the golden eyes that he liked. This time, on the back that had a sense of detachment, he saw loneliness and confusion similar to his.
Funny enough, for the first time, he felt the ease of mind of being understood, and it was actually from a mechanical being that lacked human breath.
Tang Yibu’s hands were warm and powerful, his skin was smooth and taut, the muscles under him were full of vigorous vitality, but his head was wrapped in a cold human-made substance. The high temperature of the room was mixed with rich blood that made Ruan Xian pant even more severely. The blood in his body was burning under the effects of hormones, but he had never felt so alive.
He seemed to be standing on the edge of a vortex, dragged to the center by its deadly attraction, trying to escape in the opposite direction, and finally lingering.
Right now, he could feel the vague longing of the other party’s confusion. Maybe he could temporarily release the demon in his heart, completely abandon the morality disguise he used, and let go of everything in this alienated embrace for a few minutes.
Ruan Xian stretched out his hand and choked Tang Yibu’s throat fiercely. He forcibly pushed his opponent’s half an arm’s distance away, and then abruptly pulled out the blade stuck in the opponent’s chest; his movements were crisp and neat.
The hot blood splattered on his face as Tang Yibu’s cheek became a little pale. Ruan Xian didn’t hesitate. He pulled the warm body back and kissed him without even blinking.
Unlike the previous “treatments” that seemed like a task, this time he bit on the other’s lips like a beast and awkwardly kissed the person in front of him.
Tang Yibu’s breathing became slow, and his left hand slid from the wet black hair to the bridge of Ruan Xian’s nose and lips, as if he wanted to remember the outline and details of that face with his touch. Neither of them closed their eyes. Ruan Xian saw his own reflection in those golden eyes, and the other’s pupils contracted with his every movement, indicating he was extremely focused.
…Even now he didn’t forget to observe and record. Such a competent researcher. Ruan Xian’s smile grew even stronger.
After the long burning kiss, he was finally able to open his mouth and breathed with all his might, as if he had never breathed before. It may be that the effect of the treatment wasn’t ideal, as the next moment, Ruan Xian’s lower lip stung—Tang Yibu slowly bit his lip, his teeth pierced the soft skin, and he began to suck his blood like a vampire.
The initial organic components in the blood quickly took effect The red incision that was still hideous just now had quickly healed, together with the burns on the android’s arm.
As the last corner of the scar disappeared, Tang Yibu finally let go of Ruan Xian’s lips and licked the blood remaining on the side of the other party’s face. His eyes were full of an unquestionable predatory aura. Ruan Xian took a few deep breaths, quickly regained his breathing rhythm, and cruelly amplified his perception—The pain and unprecedented feelings caused by the wound almost boiled his brain.
He was undoubtedly alive and had never been so alive.
“Don’t overdo it. I need to preserve my strength…” He grabbed Tang Yibu’s hair tightly. The android was dripping in blood as he was carefully applying something to his forehead.
“I know. Also, your hormone level needs to be lowered.” Tang Yibu’s expression was innocent as he observed Ruan Xian’s reaction without blinking.
“Well, nasty zoologist… What are you recording?” Ruan Xian muttered intermittently, knowing very well that the complex feelings rising in his heart had been out of the scope of acting, but he truly didn’t care—he reached out his hand, touched Tang Yibu’s soft ear with his fingertips, and quietly felt the warmth of blood dripping down.
Since the bloodstains didn’t disappear, it meant that this blood didn’t belong to him.
“We have done this exercise.” Tang Yibu wiped the remaining blood around his lips.
“I know… You are writing your name… Why?” Ruan Xian panted a little bit.
“Self-satisfaction” had never existed in his life. The flower peacock was probably impatient as the temperature in the room was undoubtedly rising. The exquisite ceiling composed of illusions was swaying. The temperature of the air was about 34 degrees? 35 degrees? His eyes glazed over a bit.
“You are my most special collection.” Tang Yibu raised his head and bit the tip of his nose again. “Just like Yu Le said… I put my name on my things so no one else will take it away.”
“Listen.” Ruan Xian regained a little sanity from his dizziness. “I’m not your thing, I’m not anyone’s… Uh.”
“Then I hope you are mine,” Tang Yibu said in a low voice, increasing the strength of his strokes. ‘It’s definitely revenge,’ Ruan Xian thought. The magnified perception made him rolled his eyes. “Will you be mine?”
“No.” Ruan Xian gritted his teeth.
“Then don’t leave me.” A few seconds later, the android continued in a very bargaining tone.
“Why?” Ruan Xian almost laughed. The muscle trembling caused by the smile made him exhale a breath of cold air.
“I don’t know.” Tang Yibu looked more confused. “But if I were to throw away the things around me one by one… You’ll be the last one I’ll throw away.”
“This is really the worst sweet talk I’ve ever heard.” Ruan Xian held down the back of the other party’s head impatiently as he took a deep inhale—Tang Yibu’s warm and moist breath sprayed on the side of his face, and the palm of his hand was warm and rough.
“According to my observations, you haven’t heard much sweet—”
“Shut up.” Ruan Xian pulled on Tang Yibu’s hair in retaliation and bit into his throat. His emotions were instantly blank.
“Well, there’s enough now that it looks authentic.” Tang Yibu lazily propped up his body. He reached for the tissue next to the pillow and casually wiped his hands, which were wet with blood and other liquids. “Do you want to continue? The problem on my side hasn’t been solved, or do you plan to open the bottle of champagne now and bring them in…”
Ruan Xian covered his eyes with one hand and laughed in a low voice.
“I’m really crazy,” he declared a little happily.
“I have a similar appearance and structure to people, so it’s normal for you to react.” Tang Yibu started his own plan to write his name again. “In theory, eating and intimacy will bring pleasure. In practice, it feels good. There’s no risk of information leakage or uncontrollable physiological problems between you and me. Further attempts can be made—”
“No, you don’t understand.” Ruan Xian still had a smile on his face. “I thought it was abnormal that killing people would not produce guilt… Now it seems that making out with a different species won’t work either. I’m officially crazy and this deserves a drink.”
Ignoring the blood and sweat on his body, he lazily moved and reached for the bottle of champagne half buried in ice.
Tang Yibu was faster than him. With a grunt, he grabbed the bottle and swallowed two pieces of ice.
“Looks like I don’t have time to solve my problem.” The android crunched the ice. “I have to manually adjust the hormone and blood distribution…”
“How convenient.” Ruan Xian didn’t bother to pull on his bathrobe and poured two glasses. “Come one, try what’s in here first, baby.”
“Powerful sleeping pills, for both a human and an old-fashioned cybernetic brain.” Tang Yibu took a sip. The residual blood on his lips stained the glass. He leaned close to Ruan Xian’s ear and commented in an impartial tone. “They will come five minutes after we drink it, but it shouldn’t work on you and me.” After all, you can metabolize it quickly and I just ingested your blood.”
“Oh, I thought your cybernetic brain was different from ordinary cybernetic brains,” Ruan Xian whispered back, and touched Tang Yibu’s cheek with a cold hand. “Cheers?”
“…Cheers,” Tang Yibu paused before he responded with a smile.
Five minutes later, Ruan Xian obediently closed his eyes and took a long breath. Flower peacock was already wandering outside the door, but this time there were more footsteps, and he wasn’t the only one outside.
The door opening sounded, but Ruan Xian wasn’t worried about the other party’s suspicion—There was still the sound of water and the girl’s sobbing coming from the bathroom, and the air was full of an ambiguous smell mixed with heavy blood and slight musk.
And Tang Yibu, that bastard; in order to pursue the so-called sense of authenticity, had laid directly on his body and pretended to be blacked out. The blood-stained bathrobe hung loose, full of wrinkles, and looked almost black in the light.
This left him room to hide his two blood guns. The ordinary guns he brought had already been scattered on one side of the carpet, together with their clothes.
“Fuck, this is going to be fucking hard to clean up. Damn guy, I knew it would be bad if he drinks.” Flower peacock sighed as he spoke in a low voice. “Old rules. Box them up together and be careful not to wake them. Many people have injected themselves with drug-resistant stuff these days… Put away the weapons on the carpet and take them back for valuation.”
“What about that little girl?”
“A long night is fraught with dreams*. She’s locked in the room. We can deal with her after we’ve delivered the goods. She thinks we’re in a high rise, so she can’t run… Okay, hurry up. She’s just a fucking chick dressed like that, and she doesn’t have a gas mask. Wouldn’t it be worse if she runs out during curfew than staying here?”
*(夜长梦多) Idiom referring to undue delay may bring trouble.
Ruan Xian felt two robotic arms wrapped in rubber gently lift them up. What was waiting for them was a narrow space the size of four coffins stacked together, and the inner wall was slightly cool to the touch.
This was probably what that flower peacock called the “box”.
The box was sealed with a bang, followed by dull thumping sounds. After confirming it was sealed, Ruan Xian immediately separated from Tang Yibu and groped around. The touch was metal, and there were fine air holes left on the four walls. Based on the depth of the holes, the thickness of the metal plate was about five or six centimeters.
Ruan Xian smiled slightly and put the blood gun away in his bathrobe.
“Can you tear this thing apart?” he asked, sticking close to Tang Yibu.
“It seems that we can give Qian Yigeng a nice surprise.”
The author has something to say:
Tangtang probably has an inkling, but he doesn’t understand.jpg
Oh, I love this chapter. Nian Zhong writes beautifully when it comes to awakening her MC’s feelings. I still remember when Oliver first fell for Nemo. This chapter will also be very memorable to me.