Chapter 174: Incomplete Memory
“This dream is so vivid,” Yu Le exclaimed in a low voice.
“Just now I saw Xiao Ruan calling that gadget ‘Professor Ruan’, and that thing called Xiao Ruan ‘Ruan Xian’.
Is this a greeting method that I don’t know of”
After speaking, he laughed dryly and subconsciously stood between Ji Xiaoman and Tang Yibu, separating her from him.
Tang Yibu glanced at Yu Le meaningfully and then fixed his gaze back on Ruan Xian.
“Anyway, if this is a joke, it’s not very funny.”
At first, Yu Le himself had no idea about Ruan Xian.
The most willing to join the rebel army were soldiers and public servants.
The second were ordinary people who had a good life before the Great Rebellion.
As a criminal where when one person was full, the whole family wouldn’t be hungry, Yu Le had never had such high-level awareness.
His days in the Sea of Ruins were satisfying enough for him.
He only came here due to a temporary rise in passion and there was nothing better to do.
*(全家不餓) Idiom describing a single-person family.
In order to ensure a stable life, Yu Le had been paying attention to the news outside the Sea of Ruins while he was still there.
To him, “Ruan Xian” wasn’t much different from other little leaders in history textbooks—he had heard of the name and knew that he wielded great power, but there was no concrete concept.
The impression came to life thanks to Tu Rui.
As a member of the rebel army, Tu Rui had only admiration for Ruan Xian, so he would talk about him constantly.
After all, in this era where human life was like weeds, “the human who could give the Mainbrain the most headache” wasn’t a title that could be obtained casually.
He had also seen Ruan Xian’s appearance in video recordings.
He was on a wheelchair and looked weird and quite menacing.
However, there was only a beautiful young man in front of him, as well as a strange, small machine.
Yu Le couldn’t react for a while.
His spirit had been shaken by Tang Yibu, a relative of MUL-01, and he couldn’t bear a second blow.
Unfortunately, “Ruan Lijie” didn’t look as if he was joking at all.
Yu Le could feel Ji Xiaoman pinching his wrist.
The little girl was trembling but remained silent.
This was supposed to be a desperate and crazy trip, but now it had gone completely off course—unknowingly, they seemed to be mixed into something incredible.
Yu Le frantically recalled the behavior of the young couple along the way, and then barely grasped some sense of reality.
He originally just wanted to talk to Tang Yibu about terms, but now he couldn’t find his voice.
Yu Le thought blankly, ‘We know a bit too much,’
“Are you really Ruan Xian” He turned to the young man who called himself Ruan Lijie.
“…Sort of.” Ruan Xian’s mood wasn’t very good.
He knew this wasn’t over.
Although he had taken precautions, Ruan Xian didn’t expect Professor Ruan to do this.
It seemed that the same kind of madness was still buried in their bones.
That person must have made countless records—if NUL-00 was alive or dead, whether it had companions, and whether he would agree to cooperate.
In the end, they still failed to escape the net that the other party had carefully woven for several years.
Ruan Xian was able to calculate what would happen next.
Even if they succeed in obtaining the car, they may not be able to leave low-key.
Assuming that he was in Professor Ruan’s position, he would definitely take the opportunity to force out more of Tang Yibu’s aces and, in the process, get more information.
Not only that, the Mainbrain would focus on Tang Yibu for the time being, which meant he could take the opportunity to implement his plan.
Even if he killed him, he didn’t believe that Professor Ruan’s base camp was really here.
Even if the degree of madness was about the same, Ruan Xian himself wouldn’t take risks with such an important thing, and Professor Ruan, who was obsessed with victory, wouldn’t do so either.
However, the thing underground didn’t look like a product of perceptual interference, so it probably had some use.
It was just that his mechanical knowledge was behind the times, and it was difficult to judge in such a short period of time.
Things were getting worse, time was tight, and they didn’t have much time to collect more information.
To protect themselves, they had to follow the path predicted by Professor Ruan.
Ruan Xian looked at Tang Yibu beside him.
The android had always looked like he was in a good mood this whole time, as if he wasn’t the one being pushed to the cusp.
The android was now looking at Yu Le and Ji Xiaoman beside him, as if he was a chef looking at fresh ingredients.
The two of them had been on the battlefield for a long time, and they wouldn’t miss Tang Yibu’s ambiguous examination.
Yu Le stared back vigilantly.
His arm muscles taunted visibly to the naked eye.
Ji Xiaoman, who was still in shock, tremblingly held the gun.
Her metal fingertips knocked against the handle of the gun, causing clattering sounds.
He didn’t owe Yu Le and Ji Xiaoman much.
If he had just woken up, he wouldn’t have stopped Tang Yibu from silencing them—in theory, the disappearance of the two would only make their escape more troublesome.
The sword had gone in the opposite direction, down a more dangerous path; a decision he never made.
However, Ruan Xian’s mentality had changed a bit.
On one hand, he seemed to have become cowardly—he began to be unwilling to let Tang Yibu take too many risks, even if he knew the other party could handle it.
On the other hand, he also had a little bit… A little bit of fear and began to worry about possible failure.
In addition, Yu Le and Ji Xiaoman, no matter how he looked at it, weren’t good people, yet out of some vague emotion, Ruan Xian still didn’t want to see these two die for this reason.
All choices at the moment were accompanied by risks, and he was more willing to face the possible identity leakage than the risk of increasing the difficulty of escape.
Anyway, Tang Yibu had already been exposed.
Whether he was Ruan Xian or not, he would inevitably be targeted by the Mainbrain.
Before taking out the Mainbrain, he just needed to keep these two people within his sights.
“Yibu, about Mr.
Yu and Miss Ji—”
“I won’t kill them, father,” Tang Yibu replied magnanimously, bending his eyes with a smile.
“Father…!” Yu Le’s expression seemed like he had choked on a hard-boiled egg.
Little profiteer, although I shouldn’t say this—there’s something wrong with the Mainbrain, while these people on our side seemed to have a lot of issues.
This is the end for humanity.”
The iron bead bit Yu Le’s toe with a rattle, causing him to groan.
“Now that the two of you have dealt with the problem of your companions, it’s best to start acting quickly.” Professor Ruan urged in an electronic voice.
“This is not a suitable place to chat.”
“Don’t think about just muddling through.
I’m not going to buy it so simply.” Determining that he wouldn’t die for the time being, Yu Le shrugged off the iron bead at his feet and his ruffian aura came back.
“Later, you must be honest.
Don’t bother mentioning the little profiteer.
I have no requests for you.”
“Then escape first.” Ruan Xian grabbed Tang Yibu’s wrist and rushed to the Institute full of perception interference.
The Tang Yibu, who appeared in the memories, was lying prone on the steps and was crawling towards the burning Institute.
The gunshot wound on his body was still bleeding, leaving a very conspicuous blood trail on the ground.
“NUL-00, why did you go to the research Institute at that time” Professor Ruan manipulated the three-legged machinery to keep up.
“During the time of the Android Show, you shouldn’t be able to get information from the outside world.”
“It’s still possible to collect a little bit of information up close, and it gives me a very safe feeling there.” Tang Yibu continued to let Ruan Xian pull him along, and even deliberately slowed down as he spoke, with a little pride in his tone.
“It’s also convenient to determine the degree of technological development.
There is also an abundance of supplies.”
“Most importantly, I wanted to see my father.” Now the tone was rather smooth.
“…Though in the end, I didn’t get to see him.”
“Speaking of this, I happened to be out on the day of the rebellion.” Professor Ruan’s three-legged machinery jumped over stones dexterously.
“MUL-01 is very good at picking time.”
“What if the Great Rebellion never came” Ruan Xian, who was running in front, was focused on other aspects.
“Were you going to be abused to death by Su Zhao and Kang Ziyan”
There was a bitterness in his heart, and he didn’t hold back the grit in his teeth.
“I have worked very hard to save my life.” Tang Yibu’s voice instantly became unusually aggrieved.
Ruan Xian was instantly deflated and could only silently glare at the air.
“And the Great Rebellion was bound to come.” After admiring Ruan Xian’s reaction for a while, Tang Yibu continued with a smile.
The soft grievances in his voice had disappeared.
“I just wasn’t sure how many years it would take.”
“…Did you know in advance that there would be a big rebellion” Professor Ruan’s voice became serious.
“Being close to the institute, I can also get a little bit of unencrypted news.
Without drawing on my program architecture, even father himself wouldn’t be able to create a new strong AI so quickly,” Tang Yibu replied lightly.
“And when I got this news, MUL-01 was already activated.
I don’t have any channels to notify you, and even if I did, I have no obligation to risk my life to do so.”
He lowered his head and stared at the three-legged machine with a cold gaze from an angle that Ruan Xian couldn’t see.
“Going a step back, even if I could successfully pass this ‘conjecture’ to the outside world, only crazed lunatics would be willing to buy it, and you yourself can’t do anything—You should know, Professor Ruan, the game of chess changes all the time.
From the moment MUL-01 officially took control of the network, everything was destined to happen.
Don’t you have negative predictions yourself Most people need to suffer by themselves first before they realize the seriousness of the problem.”
“That’s true,” Yu Le interjected, unable to control the irony in his voice.
Ji Xiaoman lowered her head, staring only at the ground.
The three-legged machine sighed quite humanely.
“I understand.” Professor Ruan’s voice was a little low.
“I just want to ask the reason you know in advance.”
“I also understand.
It’s just that these words have been held back for many years, so it’s quite refreshing to say them.” Tang Yibu put a finger on his lips.
“As for the reason… Let’s talk about it when we escape smoothly.
At any rate, it’s a family secret.”
Ruan Xian didn’t plan to join this somewhat shocking dialogue.
His attention was all on the research institute—the interior wasn’t as dark as what Yu Le said.
Professor Ruan’s plan was obviously successful.
Tang Yibu’s memories had been successfully intercepted and the gaps were automatically filled in.
The hall of the burning research institute was billowing with smoke and completely empty.
The smell of burning metal was particularly pungent.
In the image, Tang Yibu crawled among the wreckage of armed machines firmly towards the equipment room on the first floor.
It was just that things didn’t go well.
Before he could climb down a few steps, he fell into a huge crack on the ground.
Maybe he was wrong in his judgment.
Maybe the android deliberately fell in—when Ruan Xian saw the underground of the hall being transformed, such thoughts floated through his mind.
That wasn’t the underground of the Institute he was familiar with.
Compared to the quiet and cruel hall, the people here were still fighting fiercely with armed machines.
The mechanical ants rushed towards the center of the hall like a steady stream and were instantly blown up by the flashing protective net.
At the center of the struggle was a huge columnar sink.
The glass of the columnar sink was covered with blood and bullet marks, and the surrounding human and mechanical debris piled up like mountains.
A white object with no fixed appearance was rotating leisurely in the soaking liquid, like a large jellyfish, seemingly unaffected by the fierce battle around it.
Tang Yibu observed the environment for a long time and then stared at the weird milky white object.
He maintained a prone posture and stretched out a hand towards it with difficulty, with a dim blue light emitting from the edge of his palm, as if reading something.
Then, a smile slowly appeared on the face full of blood stains and dust.
A laser was cauterizing a silver-gray metal wall, followed by an explosion.
Armed machines from both sides were tearing each other apart as the screaming sirens pierced everyone’s eardrums.
In the chaotic smoke, the Tang Yibu of the past stood up staggeringly.
He seemingly wanted to command his hand, as if he was conducting an invisible orchestra, but he couldn’t lift his arms, so he had to weakly support his forearms and twitch his fingers.
Ruan Xian recognized that action—Tang Yibu was trying to hack into the defense system there.
Bullets and beams of light passed by the android’s temples.
His shoes had long been lost and sharp mechanical fragments stabbed his feet.
The blood from the gunshot wound was mixed with the blood of newly formed injuries at the soles of his feet, causing him to leave blurry crimson footprints on the blackened ground.
He stepped on the charred limbs of humans and smoking fragments of machines without discrimination.
The defense net that could only resist machines turned red for two seconds.
After all, it didn’t react to true flesh and blood.
Tang Yibu stretched out his hand towards the half-broken glass trough, as if to give it a hug.
The two sides were fighting fiercely and discovered him almost at the same time.
Tang Yibu turned his face.
His golden eyes were bloodshot.
The invading machines seemed to have received a self-destruct command.
They trembled in place, their limbs twisted, and then attacked their own kind as if they had gone crazy.
There weren’t many humans left.
Just as someone wanted to command the offline machines under his control to approach, a notification sound rang out from their bodies, one after another.
Ruan Xian could hear the contents.
[A-type Prototype has been destroyed.
Please do not interfere.
A-type Prototype has been destroyed.
Please do not interfere.]
Tang Yibu used his last strength to tear the half-broken glass apart, ignoring the new wound that formed on his hand.
The mass of white stuff flowed out of the soaking liquid and flowed into his calf.
Then, like a vine that had found a trunk of a tree, it quickly became entangled and disappeared.
Afterwards, Tang Yibu stepped down and crawled into the towering pile of corpses with difficulty, looking extremely weak.
People were still yelling at their communicators, but they no longer got any responses.
The invading machines continued to rush into the room continuously—the memory stopped at this image, but the fate of those people wasn’t difficult to guess.
The A-type Prototype, despite being able to enhance Tang Yibu’s body, didn’t have perfect recovery like the S-type Prototype.
The memory was suspended at this point as Tang Yibu, the owner, must have fainted and was in a quasi-death state.
The memory didn’t stand still for long.
The broken glass cylinder gradually disappeared, and the outline of the armored off-roader slowly became clearer.
As the corpse mountain and thick smoke passed away, the surrounding environment became more normal…
“Oh my.” Kang Ziyan and Xiao Zhao were present not far from the car.
Xiao Zhao was choking the “young Su Zhao” with one hand while her other hand was greeting them.
“That was really exciting just now, right Kang Ge”
Kang Ge didn’t react as crazily as before.
He stared at Tang Yibu.
His face was pale and blue, and his lips trembled badly.
“Take us away,” he said in the direction of Tang Yibu.
“Take us out of here, please.”