Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 152: Worry
They weren’t sure if it was because they hid well, but while the battle around the doll’s head gradually heated up, Ruan Xian and Tang Yibu didn’t encounter another enemy again. The flames in the distance baked the air, making it stuffy and hot, and the unique smell of wet trees burning scattered with the wind.
Considering that they had to pretend to have suitable physical strength, the two didn’t withdraw immediately. They hid in a corner of this twisted nightmare, quietly leaning against each other. As the newly “wounded man”, Tang Yibu curled up after eating, resting his head on Ruan Xian’s lap, breathing evenly and deeply.
Ruan Xian slowly petted the other party’s damp hair, covered in sweat, blood, and dirt. The part close to the hair roots was contaminated with Tang Yibu’s warm body heat, and it brought him a strange sense of comfort when his fingertips touched it.
Tang Yibu always liked to hug and smell him. As the object of being smelled, Ruan Xian was a little curious about the behavior of the android. He couldn’t help but lift up a strand of the other party’s hair, tentatively let go of his senses, and smelled it.
The smell of sweat and blood wasn’t very pleasant. After skimming these, he could still distinguish the smell that belonged to Tang Yibu—like a sun-dried cotton blanket and like a fresh plant that had just been roasted and warmed in the middle of summer. The simple smell brought comfort and peace of mind and made it easy to associate with hugs.
He suddenly understood a little about Tang Yibu’s hobby.
Another life was lying beside him, giving him a heavy feeling in his legs. The weight, temperature, and smell blended into a strange sense of satisfaction. Combined with the slowly writhing flesh under his feet and the inner wall of the doll’s head illuminated by the fire, everything was like an erratic long dream.
Maybe in the next second, he would wake up in the basement of the institute, with only the dark ceiling in front of him.
This thought was like a bubble in boiling water, and many thoughts quickly appeared on the surface and then popped. It was just that its rupture made him feel a little tingly.
Ruan Xian found that he didn’t like this idea very much.
He thought seriously for a few seconds, then stretched out his hand and pulled Tang Yibu’s earlobe. Tang Yibu murmured vaguely, with a faint tendency of falling asleep. Ruan Xian pinched Tang Yibu’s soft earlobes for a while, and then breathed into the other party’s ears mercilessly.
Tang Yibu jumped up almost immediately.
[Xiao Zhao. They’re here.] Ruan Xian smiled.
After his transmission just ended, the still somewhat confused look on Tang Yibu that was in front of him disappeared instantly—the android stood upright and began to make an effort to put on a serious sense of oppression around him.
Ruan Xian tried hard to hold back his laughter.
“Kang Ge has no opinion.” After the treatment of medical machinery, Xiao Zhao didn’t have many scars left on her body. She put her arms around Kang Ge’s waist with both hands, looking coquettish. “Xiao Tang, did you get something good?”
The couple looked like they were preparing for an outing, carrying bulging backpacks.
“I came back from outside, and I did get my hands on some nice stuff.” Tang Yibu shot down a few detection birds as he calmly told lies. “You should know very well that I won’t joke with my life.”
“Well, we’re idle after all.” Kang Ge had the same look as if he didn’t care about anything. “There’s still some time before the next attack, so it’s fun to take risks together. As seniors, we can come up with something, but Xiao Tang, you and your little lover have to go ahead.”
“Having said that, what did you get?” Xiao Zhao looked at Tang Yibu expectantly, as if the android had become Santa Claus. She seemed to have completely forgotten who had dislocated her joints not long ago.
“…It’s not appropriate to say now.” Tang Yibu kicked the corpse of the detection bird at his feet.
“Don’t ask, Xiao Zhao. What if the administrator overhears? Such a rare opportunity for adventure.” Kang Ge was very serious. “If Xiao Tang wanted to cheat us, wouldn’t that be even more exciting? It’s nice to leave some surprises.”
After that, the two of them kissed loudly. Kang Ge hugged Xiao Zhao in his arms for a while, and then turned to Tang Yibu again. “Xiao Tang, if there’s no surprise, we’ll kill you properly—you were lucky that time when you escaped. We will not miss this time.”
Tang Yibu frowned.
Ruan Xian walked forward naturally, blocked Tang Yibu with his body, pointed his fingers to his mouth, and then spread out his palms.
“Food?” Kang Ge’s attention was immediately deflected.
Ruan Xian nodded.
Xiao Zhao snorted, then dawdled for a bit before untying her backpack and pressing two packs of hardtack into Ruan Xian’s hand. “Find water on your own. We’re not babysitters.”
Ruan Xian didn’t give a response. He turned around and strode towards the forest with Tang Yibu.
“Hey!” Xiao Zhao shouted discontentedly behind him. “Don’t you guys sleep? What a bummer. You’re leaving in the middle of the night?”
“According to your ability, it won’t be difficult to track us down,” Tang Yibu responded indifferently. “Don’t you two like hunting very much?”
“So this is the beginning of the game!” Xiao Zhao’s spirits were lifted. “Kang Ge, Kang Ge, let’s count to 30,000 and then go find them, okay?”
“As you wish.” Kang Ge patted Xiao Zhao’s head.
Ruan Xian and Tang Yibu glanced at each other and headed deeper into the dark forest in the night.
Things were going well so far. Although he knew that Ruan Xian owned the S-type Prototype, he didn’t know if it was for more cautious camouflage or some other reason, but Tang Yibu still held Ruan Xian’s hands tightly and clasped their fingers together.
Ruan Xian thought it was a bit childish but also quite cute. He let the other party lead him forward, quietly enjoying the darkness around him.
The island wasn’t small. If they suppressed their original strength and relied on just an average person’s movement, it was estimated it would take about 15 hours to walk from one end to the other. This didn’t include rest time and possible battles. It was roughly estimated that it would take them at least a day and night to reach their destination.
He didn’t know if the crazy couple would delay their time and would make their trip even longer. At this point, Ruan Xian wasn’t very optimistic.
When he first entered the woods, the remains of some corpses could still be seen in the bushes. He didn’t know whether they were real or fake. Fragments of flesh were scattered on the soil and branches. After walking for about three hours, there were fewer traces of humans, and more fragments of mechanical creatures in the grass. Several detection birds shook their heads on the branches; the camera on them showed a faint red light in the dark.
Tang Yibu didn’t take out his cellphone to detect, so he couldn’t determine whether the scene in front of him was real or not. Ruan Xian practiced his echolocation as he moved forward absent-mindedly and almost fell forward—Tang Yibu stopped at some point and was looking at the lush grass at his feet.
“It’s time for us to rest. It’s best to store more energy.” He pointed to the soft grass pile.
Ruan Xian knew very well that if the food supply was sufficient, it would be no problem for them to walk another 30 hours. However, considering Tang Yibu was still being watched by that unknown peeper, it was always good to keep a low profile.
He took out the two packages of hardtack in his pocket, threw one to Tang Yibu and tore open his own as he sat on the grass and nibbled on them.
Tang Yibu didn’t sit down immediately. He raised his head and looked at the dark treetop, not knowing what he was thinking. The android stood quietly like that for a long time, and after more than ten minutes, he seemed to have made up his mind and turned to Ruan Xian.
Ruan Xian happened to put the remaining hardtack in his waist bag and was arranging the mechanical life expeller that Ji Xiaoman forcibly shoved into everyone.
Tang Yibu walked up to him, touched Ruan Xian’s side face with one hand, slid his fingers down his cheeks, and then wandered behind Ruan Xian’s ears and ambiguously rubbed it.
Ruan Xian wasn’t bewitched by the warmth of the other party’s palm for too long. After a few seconds, he discovered the meaning of Tang Yibu’s actions—the other party was using his fingers to write behind his ear.
[I might be rougher in a while, okay?]
Ruan Xian raised his eyebrows.
[We were acting too intimate before. This impression needs to be reversed a bit. Remember, Mr. Ruan, you’re just an ordinary human whose mind has been confused by an AI and I’m just using you to disguise and relieve my bodily needs.]
[Why?] Ruan Xian replied through the earring.
[Just in case.] Tang Yibu’s other hand ripped open his buttons, revealing a firm chest. [Believe…]
However, he didn’t finish writing this sentence.
After all, there had never been real trust between them, Ruan Xian thought. This idea was taken for granted at first, but now it had become a bit uncomfortable; a bit like a ball of fiber grinding in a bed sheet—while it wasn’t harmful, it led to a significant decrease in comfort.
He wouldn’t change his approach because of this discomfort, but the increasingly obvious unhappiness in his heart was also true. Perhaps his “love” for Tang Yibu wasn’t all positive.
He seemed to be tied by an invisible chain, and the smile at the corner of Ruan Xian’s mouth became a bit stiff.
Tang Yibu was obviously also aware of the wrong wording, so he changed his expression.
[If necessary, it’s okay to leave me.] He wrote this sentence very slowly, and Ruan Xian could feel Tang Yibu’s hesitation and struggle from the trembling of his fingertips. [The information in our hands is incomplete, so I must consider all possible situations.]
[Can I escape at any time? This is not like what you said.]
Tang Yibu held Ruan Xian’s face in both hands and kissed roughly, his fingertips wandering on the skin without stopping.
[I have thought carefully. This is good for both of us. I want to count your love and make it one of my aces.]
The writing continued.
[I calculated that the success rate of the whole operation would be higher, assuming you were ignored. In case it doesn’t work, at least one of us still has a chance of getting out. You do the math, Mr. Ruan. I’m the main combat power, but your resilience is stronger than mine. I’m more suitable for eating chocolates and you’re more suitable for getting out in that situation.]
The skin under the fingertips gradually warmed up, and the writing exchange under the cover of shadows still didn’t stop.
[…] Ruan Xian’s chest fluctuated violently without response.
[Of course, it is only possible if necessary, but it is still not possible to escape casually.] Tang Yibu’s fingertips became a little stronger.
[Is that so?] The stiffness on Ruan Xian’s face disappeared, and his smile became a bit stronger. [I don’t know what a “necessary situation” is.]
[When you think we will be destroyed together.] When he wrote this sentence, Tang Yibu was kissing his chin, and Ruan Xian couldn’t see the android’s expression. [Worst case scenario.]
Ruan Xian covered his eyes with one hand and finally laughed. The other party’s actions were as fierce as they had agreed in advance, as if they had returned to the night they wanted to kill each other again. But he only felt the scorching heat that dried up his bones and the shivering sensation that made his hair stand on edge…
[No.] He hooked Tang Yibu’s neck and responded simply. [After escaping, I can’t see you chasing after me angrily. That’s boring. The actual fact that the opponent is also “me” makes you a little too pessimistic..]
Ruan Xian took a retaliatory bite on the android, tasting blood between his teeth.
[…Unlike that guy, I won’t abandon you.]
The author has something to say:
Ruan: If you tell me to run and I run, that’s boring. Even if you run, it’s also a good way to flirt. (???
I recently contracted COVID and was recovering from it which is why there wasn’t any daily releases for a while. Thankfully I’m on the mend but releases will be sporadic until I fully recover.