Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 77: Blood Red Smiley Faces
Ji Xiaoman didn’t have the slightest expression similar to fear. She just looked a little troubled. Ruan Xian didn’t persuade her anymore. She wouldn’t have a bad mind if she was a famous mechanic who was targeted by the local snake.
Now that she was half buried in this mess that she couldn’t get rid of, the choices she could make were truly limited.
Like other warriors who killed their enemies simply and decisively, Ji Xiaoman didn’t hesitate for long. She carried the large backpack on her back, fixed it firmly behind her back with a nylon strap, and nodded to Ruan Xian.
“I remember someone saying that there is only one way out of here.” Yu Le poked the safety of his gun, took off his white coat, and tied it around his waist. “Just kill or what?”
“This is a laboratory, and everything we need is here.” Ruan Xian had already walked to the shelf full of chemicals and clicked on the label familiarly. “Wear your gas mask, friends.”
Ruan Xian quickly selected the materials without even taking a closer look at the label on them, as if he had eyes that were invisible to others. Tang Yibu’s gaze swept over the yellowed labels on the bottles and cans. He walked to the other end of the shelf and began to select matching materials and parts. Ruan Xian caught a glimpse of the other party’s movements, and the smile at the corner of his mouth became a little stronger.
They cooperated tacitly, without the slightest verbal communication. Ruan Xian just stirred the mixture from the beaker, and Tang Yibu on the other side had already handed over a plastic container.
They turned gracefully to the space in front of the table. Tang Yibu began to heat the mixture, carefully poured it into a container to cool, and quietly waited for it to solidify to just the right extent. Ruan Xian then took a few bottles of reagents from the table and began a brand-new manufacturing process.
Yu Le didn’t see smoke, but there was a lot of salty smell unique to chemicals in the air, which smelled a bit like the sea in summer.
Five minutes later, Tang Yibu completed the first batch of manufactured products, as Ruan Xian began to shake the light blue liquid in the test tube. Ji Xiaoman glanced at the square plastic bags and took a few steps forward—she ran to the display of mechanical parts, grabbed a handful of the plastic packets and stuffed them into her coat pockets like those precision parts were some kind of cheap condiment.
The young girl found herself a clean spot and sat down on the tiles and started working.
There were a lot of structures similar to screwdrivers embedded in her metal fingertips, so Ji Xiaoman didn’t need to search for too many tools. Yu Le stuck a finger into his ear and dug in it, beginning to wonder if he had intermittent deafness that he just so happened to miss the tactical meeting between the three of them.
However, as soon as Ji Xiaoman’s first work took shape, he quickly deduced their plans.
What Ji Xiaoman made was a typical explosive control device, which Yu Le was extremely familiar with. He then realized what those palm-sized cubic plastic boxes that Tang Yibu was making were.
“You’re going to blow up this place.” Yu Le was better at maneuvering with giant machinery. At that moment, while the other three were busy with their embroidery, he was happy to be lazy.
“Blow up an exit. There’s only one road here, and the other side shouldn’t be specially reinforced.” Ruan Xian didn’t stop his hand movements.
“What about mind access needle? Just leave it here? What if Qian Yigeng hides it somewhere else. All our work will be in vain.” Lao Yu wiped the stains on his gun with the sleeve of his white coat.
Ruan Xian finally stopped the work in his hands. This time he twisted the things he made into a small package the size of an egg with a plastic sheet and threw it to Tang Yibu, who caught it firmly.
“A great pirate shouldn’t be asking this. If you steal something, you need to determine the target location…” Ruan Xian moved his wrist. “No need to steal it yet.”
Less than ten minutes later, the research office shook.
The flame spread from the laboratory. The expensive large-scale machines were emitting thick smoke into the fire, and the mess of reagents dyed the neighboring flames other colors. After all, the researchers Qian Yigeng raised weren’t regular scholars. No one thought about putting out the fire, and instead people quickly ran out the door screaming. Qian Yigeng’s thugs rushed in from the opposite direction—They carried freezers on their backs and rushed into the fire one after another. The flames quickly retreated under the invasion of the low temperature.
“Find Ji Xiaoman!” The leader roared behind the gas mask. The smoke and dust from the flames were quickly dispersed by the air filter and it became clearer to the naked eye. “Boss Qian said he wants to see her if she’s alive and her corpse if she’s dead! Fuck, that’s—”
A huge hole was blown in the deepest part of the corridor of the research office.
The saboteurs calculated the amount of explosion very well, as there weren’t many traces of sputtering damage. The poisonous fog from the junkyard was pouring into the corridor from the hole, looking like a waterfall composed of fog from a distance.
The high temperature destroyed most of the cameras near the ignition point, but a few by the door survived. At the moment when the poisonous fog came, they were activated at the same time, casting countless blood-red smiley faces into the turbid air.
[Ji Xiaoman belongs to us.]
The domineering scarlet manifesto floated among smiley faces. Many cameras that were still on captured the dazzling scene, projecting it one after another, creating a scene comparable to a nightmare.
The leading thug slammed the gun against the wall and cursed loudly.
A mile away.
Yu Le stepped forward onto the garbage dump, one foot deep and one foot shallow. Tang Yibu simply carried Ruan Xian on his back, walking like a fly, while Ji Xiaoman, who was carrying a heavy backpack, was equally as light-footed. Within half a minute, the three of them had almost completely lost sight of Captain Yu.
The gas mask wasn’t comfortable and became hot and stuffy after a while. It could block most of the harmful substances in the poisonous mist, but it couldn’t stop the smell of the rottenness in the garbage dump. Yu Le secretly cursed and took a few deep breaths after he was sure the soles of his feet had run over some sticky insects.
From this angle, the mountains of garbage piled up in the poisonous fog looked like some kind of monster lurking in the dark. Not far away, lights of various colors penetrated the fog, which didn’t give people the beautiful imagination of stars, but more like the reflection of eyes from a monster.
Yu Le actually knew the reason why the other two people were reluctant to go to midtown. It was impossible for such a huge settlement to have only one Order Supervisor. Everything in midtown and upper town was heavily surveilled, and none of them were ordinary people who could be content with living under surveillance. Lower town was their battlefield.
A chaotic city-state that was buried by a sea of smog, full of the stench of blood. This was indeed the best place for him, but…
Yu Le rubbed his soles of his shoes on the rags beside his feet in disgust and began to sincerely miss the time he spent in the Sea of Ruins. Fortunately, this damn city junkyard wasn’t too big. Just when he was about to run a short distance to protest the speed of the vanguard, the four finally reached the edge of the junkyard.
“I have to take my mother away first. Qian Yigeng’s people will definitely go to the store as soon as possible.”
Ji Xiaoman skillfully pried open the floating three-wheeled hoverbike closest to her. Even if the owner of the hoverbike had put four locks on it, she easily broke them off, then anxiously started it and patted the hoverbike’s body, “Come one!”
“Are you old enough to drive?” Tang Yibu and Ruan Xian squatted into the body of the car without hesitation, while Yu Le seemed to be quite worried.
“Then you stay here.” Ji Xiaoman lowered her head. “Three, two—”
Yu Le clicked his tongue loudly and squeezed into the narrow body of the car.
Facts proved that the former captain, Yu Le’s concern was still necessary. Ji Xiaoman drove the motorcycle that was incredibly dilapidated, as if she was steering a glider as she passed through the cobweb-like shabby alleys. Ruan Xian firmly grabbed Tang Yibu’s shoulder to avoid the fate of being thrown out by the sharp turns. Her driving speed was so crazy that he couldn’t even spit.
In what seemed like a few centuries, Ji Xiaoman finally stopped the car on Summer Street.
Yu Le jumped out of the car first, took a few steps forward like a drunk, and fell to the ground with a bang.
“Fantastic. I got motion sickness for the first time in my life.” He maintained a lying posture and patted the ground weakly. “Little girl, did you belong to the circus before?”
Seeing Yu Le’s tragic situation, Ruan Xian decided to stay in the body of the car with Tang Yibu and suppress his churning stomach. Ji Xiaoman didn’t care about the life and death of the three of them. She jumped out of the car anxiously and rushed straight into the store with a gun. “Mom, mom—!”
It turned out her crazy driving was extremely effective. It seemed that Qian Yigeng’s men hadn’t arrived yet. Ji Xiaoman rushed out again not long after, dragging Ruan Xian and Tang Yibu into the store and ignoring Yu Le who was still lying on the ground.
“Pack up, hurry up,” she muttered. “This, this, and that shelf, take as much as you can.”
“If you want to escape as soon as possible, it’s not a good idea to bring too many things.” Ruan Xian patiently reminded him as he suppressed the urge to retch. “Our car can hold some of it, but you also know the problem with it…”
Ji Xiaoman glanced at Ruan Xian, grabbed his front lapel with her hands, and pulled him in the direction of the back door. The strength was so terrifying that Ruan Xian staggered twice before he could stand still. Tang Yibu poured the parts into the box he was carrying and quickly followed.
The next second he opened the back door, Ruan Xian immediately figured out Ji Xiaoman’s plan.
The back door wasn’t connected to a room, but to a freight container of a medium-sized truck. The container was simply transformed into a living space, with a welded double bed close to the corner and a small table full of daily necessities next to it. An induction stove was isolated on the other side of the bed by a thin iron sheet, and there was a sour smell of yeast in the steamer.
In addition, the walls of the compartment were densely covered with maintenance tools, and the rest of the space was also filled with workstations and small lathes filled with various parts.
A female android with a beautiful face was sitting on the lower bunk of the bed, patiently knitting the things in her hands.
“Xiaoman.” She smiled at them. “Xiaoman, Ji Xiaoman.”
Ji Xiaoman came in response. She carried two boxes full of parts into the car while panting, wiping the sweat from her forehead, and staining her delicate face with putty. “Mom, sit down. We’re leaving here.”
“Leave.” The woman smiled softly and spoke with a kind tone, but the sentences she uttered were just simple repetitions.
“Drive your car over. We have to stay away from Qian Yigeng’s core area of influence. ” Ji Xiaoman crawled out of the processing door of the freight container and got into the cab*. She reluctantly drove the car into the alley after the loud engine sounded. “Quick!”
*Clarity: Cab/Cabin refers to the driver’s compartment of a truck or tractor.
Before she finished speaking, Yu Le had driven the armored off-roader to them. “This movement is absolutely amazing. Little miss, if you plan to drive your car like how you did just now, my car can—Wait, what are you doing?!”
Two robotic arms stretched out from above the truck and grabbed tightly onto the back of the armored off-roader. A flash of optical camouflage flashed, and the appearance of the majestic off-roader became distorted. It looked like a second carriage to the truck, with a faded rubber duck painted on it.
“Come up!” Ji Xiaoman stuck her head out of the car window and shouted.
Yu Le rolled his eyes. He put his arm around the iron bead that was still dancing, grabbed a handful of food with his other hand, and climbed down the car door and got into the carriage of the truck.
“Why did you bring food?” Tang Yibu sat on a wooden box full of parts, took a piece of jerky from Yu Le’s arms, and happily stuffed a piece into his mouth. After hesitating for a few seconds, he stuffed a piece into Ruan Xian’s mouth.
“Your little pet has eaten all the packaging, and they can’t be put it away,” Yu Le said quietly. “If it weren’t for us coming back early, I wouldn’t be able to keep the car mats in the back seat. You have to take care of this thing—ah, hey—”
When the iron bead saw Tang Yibu, it rapidly barked, stretched out its short thin legs, climbed up along Tang Yibu’s trousers, and plunged into the arms of the android. Ruan Xian, who was sitting next to Tang Yibu, patted its shell. He was about to ask Yu Le to get something to eat when Ji Xiaoman slammed on the brakes.
Yu Le, who hadn’t found a place to sit, almost plunged his head into a pot.
“If you can’t drive, don’t! Let laozi do it!” This time there was more anger in his roar.
“What did you bring into my car?!” Ji Xiaoman roared back. “A Grove-Style R-660! To it, this truck is like a buffet—!”
She jumped out of the car, desperate to get back into the freight container, looking like a cat that was hissing with all its fur standing up.
“Hong Se can drive, right? You drive then.” Ji Xiaoman stared vigilantly at the iron bead that was spread out in Tang Yibu’s arms. “I have marked the destination. The faster you go, the better. I have to keep watch here.”
Yu Le felt like this was a great pardon. He grabbed a handful of food, patted the iron bead with relief, and didn’t even have time to correct Ji Xiaoman’s misnomer*. “Well done.”
*Clarity: In the previous paragraph, Ji Xiaoman calls Yu Le (余乐), Hong Se (红色).
Ji Xiaoman gave him a blank look and continued to stare at the iron bead. The latter finally had enough fun in Tang Yibu’s arms and was attracted by the sound of Yu Le getting off the car and beginning to look at the environment around it.
Its three small eyes scanned the metal parts all over the wall, and then it made a few meaningful rattles.
“Wait.” Yu Le sat down in the cab beaming, and before a few seconds had passed, he threw back a question. “This destination…”
“Li Ji Noodle House, that’s right.” Ji Xiaoman began to grab the gun. “Just go to it.”
“Wha—What kind of secret base is it?” It was obvious there were communication modifications between the cab and container, as Yu Le’s voice came in particularly clear.
“That place is nothing special, completely irrelevant.” Ji Xiaoman’s gaze moved with the iron bead that was sniffing everywhere. “…And the noodles are delicious.”
“A wise choice.” Tang Yibu affirmed solemnly.
Ji Xiaoman finally moved her gaze away from the iron bead and looked at Tang Yibu and Ruan Xian. “The noodles are on me, so please make your plans clear when the time comes.”
She pursed her lips and frowned slightly.
“After all, now that I’ve escaped, I still haven’t said whether I will accept your deal or not.”
The author has something to say:
Starting to leave a mark XD
…Although it’s Tangtang’s signature mark√ Previously used in the refuge~
Tang: There are noodles.
Iron bead harvested a buffet (……