Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 251: Cold
Tang Yibu caught a cold.
The usually lively android wrapped himself up in a blanket, sniffled, and sneezed from time to time, making his soft black hair a mess. Ruan Xian stood by the big bed and held a cup of hot honey water, his eyes full of helplessness.
“You have a fever, it’s best to treat it as soon as possible.” He put honey water on the head of the bed and sat on the side of the bed.
A kiss or a drop of blood from him would cure Tang Yibu, but he insisted on not doing it! When he first discovered Tang Yibu’s condition was wrong, Ruan Xian’s first reaction was to kiss him, but the next second, his lips were covered by warm hands.
“I want to experience it.” Tang Yibu’s voice had a nasal sound. “It’s rare to catch a cold, and it can be cured at any time anyway.”
This was true.
In the era when MUL-01 was still in charge of the world, Tang Yibu was extremely careful. He didn’t go to places that could be pathogenic and didn’t touch things that could be poisonous. Once there was anything good or bad, it would be followed by half a mouthful of blood or a kiss, as he acted with extreme caution.
After the world recovered, Tang Yibu lived with him. His intake of the S-type Prototype didn’t stop. Ruan Xian showed no signs of aging, and Tang Yibu’s physical age remained at 25. This could be regarded as the peak period of a human’s physique. The android was extremely strong and basically never got sick.
However, after five years passing, Tang Yibu had become more open—not long after Christmas, the two of them went to Country R to destroy an evil cult that believed in the survivor theory, but they were composed of non-survivors. Tang Yibu insisted on playing in the snow in the forest of Country R, and Ruan Xian responded as always.
Just a few minutes before Ruan Xian was about to eat, Tang Yibu went to chase hares in the forest to play. He didn’t know if he was chasing too intently or if his feet slipped, but the android had plunged into the ice lake, making a loud crash.
A picnic in the forest was no longer possible. Ruan Xian took out almost all the clothes they had packed and pressed Tang Yibu to the fire. He was wrapped tightly like a Christmas tree and then dragged to the hotel to completely dry off. Just in case, Ruan Xian gave him a kiss on those slightly cool lips four or five times. Tang Yibu looked fine at the time and was in good spirits, but he caught a cold after they returned home.
Their house was on the edge of the forest. There was now thick snow outside. Though it was evening, Ruan Xian didn’t turn on the light and instead kept the fireplace lit, which made crackling noises throughout the house as the glass wall was stained with blue from the night.
“Experiencing it is fine, but when you get to the point where you have to go to the hospital, I’ll treat you no matter what you say.” Ruan Xian touched Tang Yibu’s cheek. The other party’s skin was abnormally hot, and his body temperature was estimated to be above 38℃. “It’s not a good thing. Isn’t one day of experience enough?”
Tang Yibu turned his head and let out a vague sigh.
Then he propped up his body, wrapped the blanket around his bare shoulders, and reached for the cup. Ruan Xian handed it over and inserted a straw. Tang Yibu obediently sucked on the honey water before he spoke. “It feels terrible to be sick. My whole body is sore.”
“That’s what being sick is like.” Ruan Xian put the empty cup back at the head of the bed. “It’s just five now. Since you refuse to take medicine, you have to eat something… Stewed pears or egg custard? Choose one. Or both? I asked Yu Le for the recipe.”
However, Tang Yibu didn’t answer and just looked at Ruan Xian.
“No.” Tang Yibu sniffled, and his voice was muffled. “I know it’s just a common cold, but it’s already making me uncomfortable and irritable. You have been sick for so many years, so your condition must be worse.”
Ruan Xian was stunned for a few seconds.
“I won’t get sick again,” he replied, with a subtle sourness in his chest.
“I know, but I just want to understand you better.” Tang Yibu continued with a hoarse voice. “I don’t want to eat, so give me a good night kiss before going to bed… Otherwise, I really have to go to the hospital to get some prescriptions tomorrow.”
Tang Yibu carefully opened the quilt and made an inviting gesture. The heat in the quilt instantly dissipated for a bit, causing the android to shake very uncomfortably. Ruan Xian kissed Tang Yibu on the cheek, then turned off the lights in the corridor. He got into the blankets and let the other party entangle him like an octopus.
On the other side of the glass wall, the sky was getting darker. Goose-feather-like snowflakes were flying again. The sound of the whirring wind mixed with the soft sound of firewood burning was very hypnotic.
The iron bead’s nest was next to the fireplace. Once one side was warm to satisfaction, it turned around lazily to bake the other side while giving out a low rattle. The room was warm, but in contrast, Tang Yibu’s body temperature was scorching.
“Good night,” Tang Yibu murmured vaguely, twisted his body, hugged Ruan Xian firmly, and fell asleep again, this time groggily.
Ruan Xian held the other’s head on his chest and stared at the falling snow outside. A rarely felt emotion enveloped him. Perhaps it was the satisfaction of “living in the world” itself, he thought.
He lowered his head and kissed the other’s warm lips. It was a deep kiss, and it would take away the abnormal body temperature of the person in his arms. When the sun rose again, the android would probably have to get up early and forage for food.
After a long kiss, Ruan Xian said, “Good night.”
However, a string of ringtones broke the quiet atmosphere in the room.
“Don’t blame me for using emergency communications. Why don’t you reply to my messages? It’s been almost a day. Are you two still coming tomorrow?” Tang Yibu was awakened by the ringtone and pressed the answer button in a daze. Yu Le’s loud voice came from the electronic wristband.
“We just came back from Country R today. The situation was more complicated than we thought.” Considering that Tang Yibu’s voice was still hoarse, Ruan Xian replied for him. “The cult leader had a lot of biochemical weapons in reserve. Considering that we can’t let innocent people be harmed, it delayed us for a while. Yibu, he…”
“What happened to Tang Yibu?” Lao Yu gasped as he interjected. “If you’re recovering from a serious injury, it’s okay if you don’t come.”
“Yibu has a cold.” Ruan Xian finished calmly.
“He wanted to experience the feeling of a cold, so he’s been in bed for most of the day and won’t let me treat him.” Ruan Xian still hugged Tang Yibu in his arms while he spoke. “He may have turned off the ordinary notification.”
“That’s how it is. We’ll come over tomorrow night. Anyway, tomorrow’s task is mainly investigation. You and Miss Ji can fully handle it.”
“You guys just get weirder and weirder when you’re in love.”
“…” Yu Le clicked his tongue loudly and hung up.
Unlike the two people who went to bed early, Yu Le was sitting at a table for two in a restaurant, waiting for someone while reading the menu.
Five years later, he was now a very successful entrepreneur. At the beginning, Tang Yibu gave him the false identity of a businessman and some production equipment in the Mainbrain’s city. Yu Le immediately moved into the “Walking Stones City” and later built a machine factory. He took in all the original Walking Stones pirates who came for help and ensured that his former crew members would have a meal to eat.
Ruan Xian and Tang Yibu didn’t work at all. They usually just made investments in the market to earn their living.
In the absence of other strong AIs, the market was basically equivalent to a playground for those two. Yu Le looked at them with envy and shouted for a piece of that pie. The price was that he had to go on “business trips” around the world from time to time to do investigations or use his social status to form connections as he continued to act as a member of the Red Ghost.
Considering the rewards were quite generous, Yu Le didn’t have much opinion. After the transaction was finalized, Tang Yibu would occasionally look at all kinds of data in the factory, while Ruan Xian would help review the mechanical design. There was no shortage of funds, and the machine factory was getting more and more prosperous. Even Tu Rui, with the help of his family’s resources, invested a good amount.
However, Tu Rui didn’t let go of his hatred for the off-roader—after the Walking Stones Resort was built, he took out the yellow magazines found on the ship and put it in a separate showcase. The top of one of the covers showed a beautiful woman being princess carried by a princess.
This left Yu Le with an extremely bitter taste.
The door of the restaurant opened, and in came a young woman in her twenties. She was wearing a gray coat, and half her face was hidden behind a scarf. Her hair was shoulder-length, and she had beautiful eyes.
“Little Captain, there you are,” Yu Le hurriedly greeted.
Ji Xiaoman’s limbs had already returned to normal. It was just that she was used to fighting with prosthetics, so without them, she had improved her combat equipment and stubbornly hid them on her body.
She looked a little nervous right now. Her eyes swept around in a circle before she sat down slowly.
“What’s wrong? You look nervous.”
“Someone was following me just now.”
Ji Xiaoman took off her scarf, revealing a sweater that exposed her clavicle, which had a delicate raspberry pattern tattoo.
“It’s a man. It started when I left the college dorm and went to the nearby industrial zone.”
Yu Le instinctively wanted to ask, “Are you okay?” But Ji Xiaoman didn’t even have messy hair, so he decided to swallow the question.
“Then what?” He pushed the menu toward her.
“Near the industrial zone, a few former people of the Underground City attacked me. I took care of them. As a result, the man yelled and rushed over, and I easily knocked him out.”
Ji Xiaoman took the menu and continued to speak in a low voice as she scanned it.
“I took a picture of his face and found that he was a third-year student at our school. I have bumped into him many times ‘accidentally’ at school. It seems he’s been making excuses to approach me. Maybe it was someone from some organization who found out I’m working for the Red Ghost…”
“…” Yu Le stopped talking.
‘This girl is really oblivious,’ he thought.
Forget it. No matter if that kid had good intentions or not, it wasn’t a good thing to follow a girl secretly, so he’ll just let her think so. For some reason, Yu Le had a strange sense of joy.
“In short, I suggest you check it out.” Ji Xiaoman was very serious. “When will Ruan Xian and Tang Yibu come tomorrow? It’s time for them to settle my last month’s salary.”
“It sounds like tomorrow night.”
“Wasn’t it supposed to be noon tomorrow?”
“They have a personal matter going on. If you need money urgently, I can lend you some.”
“It’s fine. My mom’s in good health. It’s just they basically ran out of my inventory last month, so I decided to ask for 30% more as overtime pay.”
“…Little Captain, your true nature as a little profiteer has not changed.”
“Don’t call me Little Captain.” Ji Xiaoman’s voice was too low to be heard. “I have a name.”
“Okay, Xiao Ji.”
Ji Xiaoman looked even more dissatisfied. She rolled her eyes and looked at Yu Le with a stifled face.
Ji Xiaoman snorted and retracted her gaze.
“Let’s investigate tomorrow together.” After reading the menu, she smiled at Yu Le. “That club doesn’t allow single people. If those two don’t come, it’s more low-key for the two of us to go.”
“Isn’t that a couple’s club?”
“What? You have a girlfriend? In that case, just ignore what I just said…”
“No, no, no. I’m forced to run around until my legs break off every day by those two bastards. Where do I have time to find a woman?”
“Then let’s go together.”
“No, you see, I’m 41 now and you’re only 25… My business is a bit famous, and you’re still in college. If I take you to that kind of place, it may leave you with a bad reputation.”
Ji Xiaoman began to roll her eyes and looked at Yu Le again.
“That’s it?” She carelessly pressed the items on the menu on the light screen. “I don’t care. If you take me out a few more times, there shouldn’t be that kind of rumors.”
“That’s true, but this…”
“Then it’s settled.”
‘This kid is really oblivious,’ she thought.
The author has something to say:
I also gave a brief introduction to Lao Yu and Xiaoman five years later XD
Lao Yu was 36 years old at the time of the text, so this year he’s wearing red*.
*Clarity: She’s making a joke regarding his underwear. Basically, this year would be his natal year (the year of his zodiac animal). According to Han customs, some people are often treated specially this year, such as being forced to “put on red underwear”.
Today’s Mr. Ruan and Mr. Tang are a pair stuck in bed√
Normally I would raise an eyebrow at that age gap, considering their age, but given the setting and all they’ve been through, it’s understandable.