Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 110: What You Want
Having made a decision in his heart, Tang Yibu took out today’s lunch from the insulation container—the beef rice mixed with milk sauce was cooked perfectly. As soon as the lid was opened, the soothing aroma of meat and butter permeated the room instantly. Tang Yibu solemnly placed the meal in front of him, poured himself a drink, and hung a light screen in the center of the room, ready to start checking Li Han’s medical records.
After a spoonful of rice went down, Tang Yibu’s throat rolled out a string of comfortable groans.
The quality of the staff meals in this place was good and all kinds of flavors of food could be accessed at will. Although he had just eaten two plates of delicious creamy risotto for breakfast, the meat-heavy meal was more palatable now.
…It tasted tens of thousands of times better than the food in The Underground City.
Tang Yibu licked the spoon intoxicatedly and chewed slowly for a while. When he swallowed another piece of soft and fresh meat, a thought flashed through his mind for no reason…
It was really delicious, and it would be nice if he shared some with Mr. Ruan.
In the next second, this flash of thought completely frightened Tang Yibu. After all, as far as the current situation was concerned, Mr. Ruan didn’t know anything about his lunch menu, and he had to eat his own meals prepared for the sick. He didn’t need to get any benefits from sharing food.
But he still had such a ridiculous thought, and it seemed that the impact of the other party was greater than he thought.
Tang Yibu became more irritable and restless.
He first bit the spoon deeply for a few seconds, then picked up his plate and quickly stuffed all the beef rice in front of him into his stomach. But it wasn’t enough. In order to prevent himself from having any more stupid ideas, Tang Yibu took out another beef rice that was unexpectedly packed in the insulation container and ate it abruptly.
The amount that he ate was large, which directly caused him to massage his stomach that was on the verge of exploding. He lay on his back as he played the information.
Li Han’s consultation image was very clear; he didn’t even let go of the micro-expressions on her face. The first few paragraphs were meaningless. Most of them were basic questions, but when they talked about the mechanical partner who “induced suicide”, things became interesting.
The young girl in the picture was pale and her eyes dimmed. She was wringing her hands tightly, her posture a little stiff.
[It’s not my companion.] She said in a hoarse voice. [It has been exerting mental abuse on me.]
[Unfortunately, Miss Li, that’s impossible. The advanced part of their personality is controlled by MUL-01. How could MUL-01 want to target you specifically?] Gong Siyi smiled very kindly.
[I don’t want to continue doing cleaning and management at the park. I want to sell my paintings. I like painting, and I also bought a lot of equipment… As a result, all I got was only negative feedback. ‘You don’t have talent in this area’, ‘This painting has no merit’, ‘From your personality and intelligence, cleaning management is the most appropriate’, ‘If you must continue, please keep it at a hobby level’…]
[Unfortunately, these claims are true.]
[But I’ve only recently began practicing. Why are you all so certain?] Li Han’s emotions suddenly flared up. [I brought my painting. You can take a look—I have shown it to my Pear Blossom compatriots. Some people didn’t like it, but some thought it looked good. My paintings can be sold!]
She took out a small package from her handbag. After the fabric was opened, a small oil painting appeared in the image.
In terms of technique, the painter’s approach was indeed raw, and the color of the entire painting was a bit beyond the norm, but Tang Yibu felt that it was quite thoughtful and unique. He could understand that some people didn’t like it, but it wasn’t surprising that some would call it “beautiful”.
This girl had talent, and if given time, she had the possibility of success. However…
[This confirms my statement, Miss Li. This painting is worthless—Whether it’s the color or painting style, it’s far from the standard aesthetic. Your partner robot just told the truth. How can the truth be considered mental abuse?]
Li Han held the little oil painting in her arms with flushed eyes.
[The standard aesthetic is a joke. Why are there even rules for aesthetics?] Her voice began to choke. [Is it meaningless if it doesn’t meet the requirements given by MUL-01? This painting…]
[This is a bit messy, Miss Li. Then I will express my personal opinion. I have no interest in your painting. A special art analyzer can give hundreds of pages of shortcomings in this painting. What you are doing is just a waste of social resources. Don’t be capricious. The Mainbrain has arranged the most suitable job for you—]
[You are exactly the same as it!] Li Han’s voice was on the verge of tears. [I don’t like cleaning management. Why do you think that ‘some people don’t like it’ is tantamount to ‘worthless’? ‘Being able to do it’ is equivalent to ‘having to do it’? Every time I do something I want to do, you have to tell me, ‘You can’t do it’, ‘You’re destined to fail’, ‘You have limited abilities’… I have to live according to the Mainbrain’s wishes, right?]
[Take it easy, Miss Li. Calm down… Can I call you Xiao Han? Xiao Han, the stage you’re going through now is very common. This is why the Mainbrain wants to help us block the harmful thoughts left over from the old times. People had no idea about their abilities and limitations less than a century ago, and they wasted their precious lives and careers taking detours, and many talented people were buried in the wrong line of work. It’s different now. Everyone has undergone enough ability and personality analysis. The life arranged by the Mainbrain for you must be the most beneficial path. There’s no doubt about it.]
[But I don’t want to.] She responded word by word.
[I have seen many people try to deny the Mainbrain’s life plan, but they all eventually return to their old ways.]
[Can we not equate them to me. Listening to you, it seems that if you choose another path, society will be able to accept it.]
[Don’t look at the problem too extreme. Didn’t the Mainbrain give you two alternate career recommendations? If you want to relax…]
[I just want to try to make a living by painting. I am not a child. I have a certain amount of savings, and I can bear the consequences of failure.] Li Han held the painting in her arms between her elbows as she pulled her hair with both hands. [I don’t understand. Why am I not allowed to do such a simple thing? Why?]
[Because you are doomed to failure.] Gong Siyi still had a smile on his face. [Then you will be more in pain and become a burden to society. It’s just a hobby. I still suggest you don’t change your occupation. Your work performance has always been good—]
[…But I don’t like it.] Li Han’s voice became sharp.
[The occupation selected by the Mainbrain allows you to accumulate resources as quickly as possible, which is why you can say such willful words. A few decades ago, most people didn’t use ‘like it or not’ to be picky about their job.]
[But they were free. If you don’t do your work well, you can change direction. Even if someone denies the things you created, you will always get support from people you like. If you’re really not suitable for doing something, you can find out for yourself and decide whether you want to give up, instead of someone muttering in your ears from the very start, ‘Your life limited to this’ and ‘These practices are meaningless!’]
[Haa, this is why I am supportive of the Mainbrain rectifying Pear Blossom. God knows how many patients with abnormal thoughts it has brought to the prevention shelter. Obviously, it’s the most efficient system, but it just comes up with so many bizarre fallacies.]
[I have the right to fail, the right to be stupid, the right to give up things I don’t like, and the right to strengthen my aesthetics. I just need only one answer, Dr. Gong—if you can still be called a doctor… Am I wrong?] Li Han embraced the painting with considerable force, causing it to slightly squeak.
[Wrong.] Gong Siyi’s tone became a bit more impatient. [Your waywardness will lead to unnecessary loss of social resources.]
[You can’t take the possible output of my continued work as an established resource…]
[The stability of society needs to be maintained by every citizen. Your sense of responsibility in this regard is not enough, Xiao Han. Now your state is very unstable. It’s more appropriate to stay here and continue treatment until you wake up.]
[…I’m not wrong.] The girl murmured, wiping tears from her face. [I’m not wrong.]
Tang Yibu paused the image, took a few sips of his drink, and squinted at the light screen.
“Pear Blossom” sounded like a very interesting organization.
At the same time, Ruan Xian was wandering around with his freshly baked little sidekick. As Tang Yibu said, Gong Siyi quickly arranged an assistant robot for him. At its own insistence, the little silver-white thing that was a little unstable remained by his side.
Right now, while memorizing the location of the surveillance and simulating an escape route, he walked to the botanical garden in the south building. Tang Yibu should have intentionally brought this up, so it was always good to investigate.
It was just that his new sidekick seemed a little too excited as the small silver-white machine looked drunk as it kept circling around him whether intentionally or not. Every time Ruan Xian raised his hand, it would swish up, trying to rub Ruan Xian’s palm with its head. Generally speaking, Ruan Xian had no special interest in this kind of thing, but it had indeed helped a little—with its lively atmosphere, the sense of depression brought by the shelter had eased a lot.
The botanical garden wasn’t close to his room, but not too far either. At this time, most of the patients were napping in their room, and there weren’t many patients in the corridor. Most of them stood quietly in the corner, silently in a daze. Compared to the space filled with manic patients, the atmosphere here could be considered peaceful.
All kinds of plants in the botanical garden were lush, and the huge space was divided into countless small pieces by green leaves and branches. Within the limited field of vision, there were even fewer patients. Ruan Xian walked slowly along the winding road, taking two deep breaths from time to time, full of moist soil and fresh leaves. The constant irritability in his heart finally showed signs of subsiding.
He looked up at the huge glass dome over the botanical garden from which he could see the blue sky outside. If he hadn’t been able to hear the buzzing of the monitor mounted in the corner, he would be in a better mood.
Ruan Xian fiddled with the green branches for a while then walked forward along the snow-white pear blossom petals on the ground. However, when he saw the decorative fish tank installed on the edge of the botanical garden, his good mood that had just begun to show signs came to an abrupt end.
His temples began to tingle again.
Some more fragments of memory floated up. The fish tank in front of him seemed to be twisting and shaking, and then stopped in the living room for a long time.
[Deputy Director of the National Research Institute of Shinan District, Meng Yunlai.] The elderly woman in front of him stretched out her hand to him with a serious expression. [From today onwards, I’ll be your guardian.]
Yes, his adoptive mother liked to raise fish, and there was a huge fish tank in the living room. He saw it at first sight when he was taken back to her residence for the first time.
Facing his adoptive mother’s first self-introduction, the self in his memory was silent and hardly gave any response. The elderly woman sighed and stroked her gray curled hair.
[I want to talk to you openly.] She said in a very sincere tone. [Don’t worry. You can show yourself in front of me… I have read your personality and IQ assessment reports. You know what I’m talking about.]
[…What do you want to talk about?] He was nine years old at that time? Maybe ten?
[I know you are very smart, much smarter than me. I don’t want to act badly in front of you or hide anything from you. One-on-one negotiations may be better. What do you think, Ruan Xian?]
[I’m sorry about your mother. According to the rules, if no one is willing to adopt you, you will spend the rest of your life in a prevention shelter.]
[But I want to make it clear in advance that I did not adopt you out of pity or kindness. And to be honest, I have seen your mother’s…case records, and I am also a little scared of you.] Meng Yunlai was very calm. [But I can give you the best education, the cost of treatment, and a decent job. If you want, I can also give you a family-like atmosphere.]
[In exchange, you need to assist me in my research. I don’t want to use you without your knowledge. Of course, according to your acumen, I don’t think I can do that either… That’s the way it is.]
[Nn.] Ruan Xian nodded. He didn’t think for long. To put it bluntly, he didn’t have much choice at that time.
[Okay.] Meng Yunlai solemnly stretched out a hand. [I am old, so you can call me grandma, Ruan Xian.]
[I really need a family-like atmosphere.] He said in a calm and cold voice. [We can act together, right?]
He didn’t know why he needed this, but if Meng Yunlai kept treating him like an adult, he would always feel uncomfortable.
[Okay, Xianxian.] Meng Yunlai laughed. Her tone changed naturally, and she became very gentle. [Starting today, I will be your grandmother. If you have anything you want now, just ask. This is grandma’s gift to you as you move into your new home.]
She hugged him; a very warm embrace. But Ruan Xian just kept staring at the fish in the aquarium.
[I want to live.] He said.
The author has something to say:
Ruan’s past gradually revealed√
Tang is really the only one who accepts him readily. Xiaoman and Lao Yu are still a little afraid of him.
After a billion years, Tang’s has been touched. It’s a pity that his coconut doesn’t even know what it means to be tempted…
Tang: (I started to want to share precious food spontaneously)
Tang: This isn’t going to work.
Tang: It’s too dangerous! That beef rice. (°ω° ; )