Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 164: Trap
Just like those too deliberate probes before, Tang Yibu also didn’t believe that the other party was willing to confess so simply.
Professor Ruan sat there; the image of his heart beating on one of the light screens, and countless data that showed the slightest chemical changes in his body was in front of Tang Yibu. From a data point of view, Professor Ruan didn’t lie, or at least he believed in what he was saying.
But things were never so simple.
If Professor Ruan was such a wanton person, MUL-01 would have been able to deal with him by now. Tang Yibu didn’t think that he had more resources than the Mainbrain. The vigilance in his heart made his emotions take root and plunge deep into the ground. Nothing could waver.
The other party, as if seeing his resistance and wariness, cut off those roots with a single sentence.
“The ‘Ruan Xian’ you know died on April 21, 2095,” Professor Ruan said calmly.
Even if he rationally calculated countless hidden strategies, for a moment, Tang Yibu felt that his entire being had become hollow. Like a peeled piece of sugar paper or an empty cake box lying in the corner of a table, the tiny expectations were transformed into huge nothingness.
Tang Yibu sat very straight, without any flaws on his face. “You said not long ago that you are Ruan Xian.”
“Biologically speaking, I am. Fan Linsong copied Ruan Xian’s body to the maximum extent permitted by science and technology and controlled the pathogenic genes during the reconstruction process. Although he couldn’t cure it, it couldn’t kill me immediately as before.”
Professor Ruan’s tone was very relaxed, as if he was talking about other people’s affairs.
Tang Yibu tried to suppress the urge to take a deep breath. He didn’t know the strange emotions pouring into his mind at this moment. He only knew that it made his limbs numb and his temples ache faintly.
“To the maximum… He scanned Ruan Xian’s brain?”
The level of science and technology at that time wasn’t enough. Even if you got a living person, you couldn’t do what Qian Yigeng did to Ji Xiaoman’s memory and still ensure that the body survived. The beginning of memory analysis technology was the devastating whole brain scan, which the Underground City now only used to process the heads of corpses—this technology still required the corpse to be on the verge of obsolescence, as it needed the corpse to be fresh.
Professor Ruan showed a somewhat complicated expression for an instant. “…No, he didn’t.”
The numbness and pain like needles in his limbs disappeared a little bit. Tang Yibu stared at the person in front of him. He didn’t even have much energy left to disguise the most basic friendliness.
“Just looking at the personality appraisal, his emotional disorder was relatively serious, but the degree of danger wasn’t high. It’s not an extreme type that can’t restrain murderous intent. There were two reasons for obtaining such a high-risk rating in the first place—first, no one had been exposed to that kind of brain disease before, and the reference cases were very limited. Second, his IQ was too high, and he was extremely lacking in guilt.”
Professor Ruan’s smile was a bit more self-deprecating.
“Ruan Xian’s danger came not only from brain lesions but also from memory. A normal child may not be able to maintain the soundness of his personality when encountering those things. His memory was like an untimely bomb next to a nuclear reactor. The bomb… I know what you want to ask. His file has long been sealed by the prevention agency. You have limited contact with the outside world, so it’s normal to not know this.”
“Now you can probably guess the theoretical basis of Fan Linsong’s ‘treatment’—he wanted to eliminate unstable factors on the basis of retaining intelligence. In other words, exclude those bad memories.” Professor Ruan pointed to his head. “When he happened to have a major disagreement with Ruan Xian at that time, and Ruan Xian’s body was getting worse by the day, it was the perfect chance to do it.”
Tang Yibu knew that without effective treatment, the Ruan Xian he knew could live another year or two at most. Perhaps for Fan Linsong, that was really some kind of treatment.
Copy the body of a dying person, suppress the disease in the process of remodeling, and fill the brain of the copied product with… not-so-bad memories.
As long as the content of the filler was controlled, they could get a “Ruan Xian” again. In this way, Professor Ruan claimed that his memory was chaotic after returning to the Institute, and it was excusable—those memories themselves were spliced, and the emotions in the memory could be recreated, but no one could fill in his thinking, so he could only rely on his intelligence to slowly “activate”.
As for the original person… With the optimized product, no one would leave behind “defective products” that had little life span and disagreed with them everywhere.
Fan Linsong only needed to kill the previous Ruan Xian to make a perfect end to this “treatment”.
“Is this why you and Fan Linsong had a falling out?” Tang Yibu asked with difficulty.
“Not really. I just needed to clash with him at that time, and this was the best reason.” Professor Ruan shook his head. “He thought I hadn’t discovered it before… After so many years, the Mainbrain wanted to use this matter to divide us, and I just suppressed it.””
“You always knew.”
“I found out not long after the Great Rebellion in the 22nd Century,” Professor Ruan said lightly. “The question is, if I am not Ruan Xian, who am I?””
“You are not good at acting,” Tang Yibu quickly pointed out.
This Ruan Xian wasn’t good at covering up his emotions, and it was impossible to disguise himself and live in peace with Fan Linsong for so long.
“It’s false to say that I’m not disappointed… Well, I don’t hate him for that. Unfortunately, even if ‘childhood happiness is complete’, congenital emotional disorders don’t seem to disappear so easily.”
Professor Ruan shrugged and pointed to his head.
“As for your affairs, I remember every detail, NUL-00. It was just seen through the camera data as Fan Linsong didn’t get them into my head. I’m sorry for pretending to be your father to spy on you before.”
The other party showed no signs of lying, but everything was happening too fast.
Although the logic wasn’t wrong, the pace of the other party’s actions was too strange. Tang Yibu always felt Professor Ruan had other purpose, but he couldn’t peel off what it was. Professor Ruan was indeed not good at acting, but he was very good at using the truth as a weapon to disturb his opponent’s mind.
Too much information had smashed into his limbs, rendering him almost unconscious. Tang Yibu turned his head and looked at Mr. Ruan on the screen.
Then, he finally exhaled the breath that he had been holding for a long time. “You didn’t just pull me over here to let me hear the truth.”
“You know my purpose very well. It’s to deal with the Mainbrain.” Professor Ruan did not withdraw his display of physiological indicators.
“Even if you know you are a clone?”
Professor Ruan smiled.
“It’s difficult for people to get rid of the influence of their own memories. If everyone could accept the negative facts instantly after realizing them, there would be 90% fewer scams in this world,” he said softly. “At that time, the technology was underdeveloped, and my memories were all reprocessed objects obtained from others. Although the product is processed, the foundation is still real.”
Tang Yibu knew what the other party wanted to say.
When the world was still safe, Professor Ruan mentioned his own past many times. In an ordinary but warm childhood that was like a miracle, everyone he met more or less carried the brilliance of humanity. Even now it seemed that those are just the result of Fan Linsong’s careful selection…
But that was probably the happiness that the real Ruan Xian would never be able to touch.
Even more than the active pursuit of temptation by dignitaries, the sweet poison entered Professor Ruan’s heart from the beginning, and he had no right to choose.
“To put it bluntly, I don’t want to see the ethnic group I recognize become a toy of MUL-01. It has basic cognitive errors in the treatment of humans.” Professor Ruan pointed his fingers. “Taking a step back, even if I have no intention of being an enemy of MUL-01, it will not let me go. Are these reasons enough?”
“Things are clear enough now. Neither Ruan Xian before nor I now have the ability to order your destruction. MUL-01 will also not allow you to exist. NUL-00, we have the same interests.”
Professor Ruan stretched out a hand. “Let’s cooperate.”
Tang Yibu slowly buried his face in his palms, his shoulders shaking slightly. Professor Ruan thought for a moment. Although he was a little confused about the emotional expression of the android in front of him, he still stretched out his hand to try to comfort him…
Then he heard laughter.
Tang Yibu put down his hands, and the usual soft and perfect smile on his face disappeared. At this moment, the smile on the android was jerky and distorted, with a creepy sense of inhumanity, like “something else” that had adapted to human skin and was trying to show their original smile.
“Very convincing,” Tang Yibu said, with that uncomfortable smile. “But I still have one more question.”
“Please.” Professor Ruan raised his eyebrows.
“Before cooperating, I want to hear about Mr. Ruan.”
Tang Yibu’s smile deepened a bit. “You specifically extracted your own memories to make him, let him assist me, and even specifically deepened his cherished feelings for NUL-00. Not to mention that you’re using him now to test me. There have been many times before that I seriously thought about killing him… Even if it’s such a valuable android, you still regard him as a pure tool. I have to say that I am still a little worried about our cooperation.”
“What’s more, as far as the current situation is concerned, compared with MUL-01, you have no advantage. On the contrary, you are the primary target of MUL-01. Now that I have Mr. Ruan, there is no need to cooperate with you. Since I am an insider with similar intelligence, I prefer to choose one who is desperate for me.”
Tang Yibu’s speed of speech was getting faster and faster.
“If you have other chips, it’s best to take them out now… You should have considered this possibility, Professor Ruan?”
“Naturally, there are chips, but I will only disclose them to collaborators.” Professor Ruan scanned Tang Yibu’s expression suspiciously. “If you want to hear his origin, it’s not that I can’t say it.”
“Hmm.” Tang Yibu tilted his head slightly. “But I suddenly don’t want to hear it.”
Professor Ruan frowned when he heard this.
“No matter what you think, it’s better for me to cooperate with Mr. Ruan, not to mention that you’re not my real maker.” Tang Yibu was about to get up from the chair.
In the next instant, countless steel confinement arms stretched out around the chair, locking Tang Yibu firmly in place. Professor Ruan stood up from his seat, sighed, and walked to Tang Yibu’s side. He took some of his blood with a syringe and then watched in silence as the hole healed instantly.
“Just in case, check for the composition of the S-type Prototype is inside.” He handed the blood sample to the mechanical assistant on one side. “Sorry, NUL-00, I can’t let you just leave.”
“I guessed it, anyway. I still remember your physiological indicators.” Tang Yibu didn’t show the slightest uneasiness because of his confinement. On the contrary, he was in an unusually good mood. “But you shouldn’t be kind enough to erase my memory and then politely send us out of the island.”
Professor Ruan nodded wordlessly.
“I’m not going to force you to do anything.” He sighed again after a while of silence. “I did think about this situation, so I can only ask you to wait a while.”
“The report on you has just come out, and your emotional development is similar to what I thought. The relationship is basically dominated by interests and hormones. Even if you know that your companions are in deep danger, the center of the conversation is all about your personal situation. At this point, the options left to me are quite limited—just give you the best survival plan, right?”
Professor Ruan stared at Tang Yibu’s expression tightly, without blinking.
“Continue to implement the plan,” he instructed the mechanical assistant on the other side. His white coat was dyed dull blue by the dim room. “Get rid of Ruan Lijie and keep Ji Xiaoman and Yu Le. Kang Ziyan and Su Zhao will depend on the situation. Remember to recover the body after it’s over.”
However, the weird smile on Tang Yibu’s face still didn’t disappear.
Not far away, the image of the android storage area gradually disappeared in front of Ruan Xian.
Since Tang Yibu acquired his body, everything that followed was dark and boring—the android would climb out every night, use the emergency medical cabin to open his skull, manipulate the medical pod to modify his cybernetic brain, and then crawl back to the android storage tank and wait for his body to recover… Then slip out again to clean up the blood all over the floor.
Day after day.
Ruan Xian understood the other party’s idea—in order to adapt to the human body structure and ensure his own safety, the heat dissipation and encryption of the cybernetic brain must be improved.
As Tang Yibu’s self-transformation became more complete, there were fewer and fewer memories that could be analyzed. Finally, Ruan Xian stood stiffly in the void, with darkness on all sides, leaving only a half-concealed door behind him.
“Xiao Ruan.” Ji Xiaoman was silent. Yu Le’s thick voice, which sounded like a ruffian, broke the silence. “I’m not asking anything, but isn’t this situation quite wrong?”
Ruan Xian nodded blankly. He walked slowly to Yu Le and patted Yu Le’s chest lightly.
Yu Le: “……”
Ji Xiaoman was still riding on Yu Le’s neck, so this scene looked quite funny. Yu Le didn’t know what the other party wanted to express. As soon as he wanted to ask, an afterglow of something swept at the same time.
While patting his chest, the other party stuck a small ball of paper into the gap in the calf of Ji Xiaoman’s prosthetic leg.
He quickly realized and stopped asking and immediately entered the atmosphere created by the other party. “Xiao Tang is also miserable. Anyway, let’s get out of here first and get him back. Xiao Ruan, listen to me. The past is over, don’t—”
Yu Le’s comforting words stuck in his throat.
Ruan Xian pushed them hard, causing Yu Le and Ji Xiaoman to stumble towards the direction of the door. At the moment they fell through the door, Yu Le heard an angry response.
“I will get him back.”
The mysterious Ruan Lijie smiled at him and disappeared into the darkness behind the door.
The next second, the door slammed shut.
The author has something to say:
None of these three are the types that are easy to handle (?
Ruan and Tang won’t collapse so easily. XD
Tang: Not only didn’t collapse, but was even happy.jpg
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One thought on “Happy Doomsday Ch164”
Tangtang: You’re not my real dad
Ruanruan, from afar: SOOOOOOON
Tangtang: HE IS my real daddy
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