Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 113: Preemptive Strike
The night before the meeting was destined to be unstable.
After returning to his ward, Ruan Xian took a shower and got himself a glass of warm water. He lay down on the soft bed on time. There were no problems with the steps he took, but drowsiness never came.
The little silver-white thing hiding his weapon was nestled in the corner, and a regular snoring that was so small that it was almost inaudible came from the thick shell. Ruan Xian looked at the dark ceiling for a while, then finally sat up and opened the curtains.
The silver-white moonlight poured over the ground in an instant. Although the lights weren’t on, the room was still bright enough. He opened the window slightly, and a few pear blossom petals fell on the windowsill, brushed up by the night wind.
Ruan Xian pulled the loose pajamas over his body, frowning subconsciously. Not only did he have to deal with the stress brought to him by this environment, but he also had to contend with the worries of his subconscious.
He sat down on the bed and called out the auxiliary light screen. The light screen emitted a soft light in the dim air, and the “No. 231” in the upper right corner of the screen was particularly conspicuous.
Ruan Xian looked at the familiar number for a while, and then operated the interface a few times. Everything in the room gradually disappeared. The floor turned into sand, the walls gradually turned into dark seawater, and the air was even a bit fishy. The smell of the ocean. Under the action of augmented reality, as long as he didn’t leave his bed, the realistic environment in front of him could be said to be flawless.
There was surveillance in the room, so it would look suspicious to be in a daze facing dry air. This seemed to be a more real reaction from normal people having bouts of insomnia.
Ruan Xian picked up his knees and looked at the fake tide washing along the beach in front of him and couldn’t help but smile.
…As his memory recovered, he began to subconsciously consider how to be a “normal person” again.
This was a chance to sort out the information properly.
The actual fact was that there was a little hardness in Tang Yibu’s attitude, like a grain of sand in a bowl of soft porridge. If Ruan Xian was more obtuse, he wouldn’t find the small violation mixed in with the warmth and softness, but now that he had noticed the abnormality, the preparation work was imminent.
First of all, he and Tang Yibu should have a cooperative relationship, and this cooperation was even mixed with some ambiguous flavor. Unfortunately, even if he was sure he was interested in Tang Yibu, Ruan Xian didn’t think there were any sparks between them—there was a lack of the most basic trust between them. Perhaps he was confused by the hormones his flesh produced.
In a relationship between enemies and friends, it seemed that there was no particularly obvious distinction between him and Tang Yibu.
So it must be that they were bound to have very close goals or enough interests to maintain this relationship. The currently known target was Luo Jian and the information he could give. Two key pieces of information were relatively valuable: “Pear Blossom” and “Ruan Xian’s diary.”
It was better to think about the goal from his own perspective first.
Ruan Xian stared at the white foam on the black sea water, and the sound of the waves washed over his ears. Instead of feeling sleepy, he became more awake…
With the information he got combined with small memory fragments, he could determine that there was “another Ruan Xian” in the world, and the status of the other party was quite high. He would not be the type of person who lived in a corner of the post-apocalyptic world, nor would he be the type to rush out and save the world. Most likely, he intended to “figure this out” as his goal… or one of his goals.
It could be due to simple curiosity, or it could be related to his current abnormally healthy and sensitive body.
Tang Yibu’s goal could also be related to Ruan Xian. If not, he was bound to be able to get a lot of benefits for himself or get something along the way, so he was willing to act with him under heavy surveillance.
However, Ruan Xian couldn’t think any more. The past seemed to be stuffed into a blender, and it was difficult for him to pick out everything he wanted from that pool of mud.
He was unable to determine Tang Yibu’s purpose.
But he knew at least one thing—Tang Yibu didn’t know about the amnesia caused by taking memory inhibitors. For some reason, the android firmly believed that he was also an android. Whether he had a cybernetic brain seemed to be strictly confidential to Tang Yibu.
Ruan Xian habitually tapped his thigh with his fingers, trying to analyze the familiar stranger.
If he was willing to choose the other party as a partner and also maintain a delicate relationship, then it shouldn’t be because he was simply attracted by Tang Yibu’s strength. The android very likely threatened him. From Tang Yibu’s current performance, it seemed that although he didn’t intend to assist the Mainbrain, he didn’t show the slightest willingness to help the humans here.
There was a high probability that he was neutral. In short, he didn’t have a good impression of humans.
He continued to deduce further…
Since the other party could successfully threaten him, he naturally had a way to control him. Then, once his human identity was exposed, whether he was a clone, or a real person, or something else, Tang Yibu may not be willing to continue to cooperate with him.
Although Ruan Xian couldn’t remember much, they should have been acting together for a while. If he had this level of concealment, according to their level of mutual wariness, he didn’t think Tang Yibu would simply pat him on the back and leave it be.
*(杀人灭口) Idiom referring to killing a witness to destroy the confession/evidence (AKA silencing them).
Ruan Xian clenched the soft sheets between his legs.
Until now, he shouldn’t have revealed any flaws in language or emotional expression. Even if he overdid it a little, he could cover it up with “The conversation is being monitored. I must pretend to be a human that has amnesia”. It stood to reason that even if Tang Yibu had doubts about him, he wouldn’t do it directly because of an illusory possibility, unless there were other reasons…
The inability to recall the other party’s purpose was really fatal.
Ruan Xian sighed fiercely and rubbed his forehead, which began to tingle. He couldn’t ignore this cold possibility. If he was Tang Yibu, this would undoubtedly be a good opportunity to do it.
No matter what their plan was, it was obvious that it had not been completed yet. With this environment full of surveillance and right under the nose of MUL-01, it wasn’t suitable for a temporary infighting. Moreover, if he had his memories, he wouldn’t have additional worries because of the “possible suspicion of being a human” issue, and he could relax his vigilance a bit.
If Tang Yibu had already become suspicious of him, then in the case that he was human and his memories were a mess and in fragments right now, the difference of how much information they have between the two and their resources at hand was extremely disparate. If it weren’t for the fact that he became suspicious and found something wrong, it would be easy for the android to act at this time.
Ruan Xian suddenly felt a little cold. He pulled up the blanket and covered himself.
If Tang Yibu really wanted to make his move on him tomorrow, the choices he had were really limited.
Assuming that he could escape in front of Tang Yibu, he would undoubtedly turn the “illusory possibility” into a “100% fact”. Even if Tang Yibu wasn’t murderous now, he would be murderous then. Not to mention that he still had no information to support his escape from here, and with Tang Yibu having the convenience of a staff role, it was a simple matter to catch him.
If he didn’t escape and in the event he was really attacked by Tang Yibu, Ruan Xian couldn’t think of any plan with a winning rate of more than 50%.
The black sea was still surging in front of him. Ruan Xian lowered his face gloomily and cracked his neck.
He accidentally raised his head and saw the vast starry sky above his head. Ruan Xian was taken aback for a while. Under the vast starry sky, not too long ago, there was a person sitting beside him.
He was smiling directly at the person, while the other party’s golden eyes flickered happily. His face was purely serious, and the corners of his mouth still had hardtack crumbs stuck to it.
[I want to pinch your face. Can I pinch it?]
‘How terrible,’ Ruan Xian thought. There was only one option he could choose right now, but for a moment, he was a little disgusted with the plan that could keep him alive.
‘It was simple,’ he thought. Since he had nowhere to escape and, once targeted, it would be a dead end, it was better to preemptively attack.
He could prepare and create opportunities. If something went wrong, he would kill Tang Yibu first.
Although the success rate wasn’t much higher, it could be regarded as the most feasible solution at present, but this solution brought him a familiar feeling of nausea.
Ruan Xian hated this kind of pain that felt like acid corrosion. A long time ago, he seemed to have faced such a choice—that choice allowed him to live, but he hated it.
The scene in front of him wasn’t just the ocean at night. A pair of rotting feet hung in front of him, shook for a few seconds, and gradually disappeared into the increasingly severe headache.
The scenario at that time, the choice at that time, he couldn’t remember them.
But Ruan Xian didn’t have much recollection of the past, and his meeting with Tang Yibu was less than 24 hours away. If he wants to act, he must prepare as soon as possible.
Ruan Xian grabbed the pillowcase, jumped out of bed, and let the vast night view of the seaside in front of him slowly dissipate. He walked lightly to the dormant assistant robot, and according to his memory during the day, he tapped his fingertips carefully on the panel to open its top cover.
Covering the surveillance in the corner with his back, Ruan Xian watched the thick top cover slide away silently. The spherical machine that was sleeping soundly inside smacked its mouth. Its four legs were loosely holding his weapons.
After hesitating for a few seconds, Ruan Xian stretched out his hand, carefully pulled the two guns out of the spherical mechanical legs and wrapped them in his pillowcase. Before closing the lid, he couldn’t help but stretch out his hand and touch the shell of the little thing that was sleeping and felt a little warmth.
“I’m sorry,” he said silently, not knowing why he was a little sad.
The next day was good weather.
Luo Jian sat with Li Han again. Ruan Xian didn’t go hard at lunch, not wanting to look obnoxious. He just watched Luo Jian quietly comfort the young girl softly, as if the task was still going on normally.
In the afternoon, he stayed in his room to read the information. The little thing hidden in the shell of the assistant robot was scared for a while after discovering that there was no guns. Ruan Xian just patted its shell.
“It’s here. It’s an emergency, so I have to borrow them to use,” he said softly.
“Gwah.” The little thing rubbed his palm with its head, then twisted its body and tried to get out.
“Wait.” Ruan Xian stopped it. “I’ll just explain to Yibu. Just stay by my side for now.”
The little thing turned around in place, seemingly understanding his words, and finally leaned on him obediently.
“…It’s okay.” Ruan Xian touched it again, feeling the cool metal in his palm. The two guns were hidden under his loose restraint clothes, which made his ribs hurt a little. “We’ll see him soon.”
“Soon,” he repeated softly.
The author has something to say:
Iron bead’s parents (×) are going to quarrel…
Ruan can’t be the type to meekly wait to be killed. After all, both of them are ruthless.