Tang Yibu looked a little heartbroken.
“Very good.” Ruan Xian took out a hard-boiled egg like magic from his pocket.
“I prefer the sweet potato.” Tang Yibu carefully peeled the eggshell.
“…Don’t be picky.”
Everything was ready.
On the pretext of getting the “Explorer Basic Regulation and Analysis of Typical Cases”, Ruan Xian rushed straight to Guan Haiming.
Unfortunately, he couldn’t find the opportunity to access the database.
There were guests in Guan Haiming’s room, and the hallway was too conspicuous.
He ran into Zhang Yazhe and Chi Lei head-on.
“Here to borrow a book?” Zhang Yazhe’s tone was still a bit stiff.
“Nn.” Ruan Xian nodded honestly.
“Well, when Xiao Ding finishes his auxiliary chip injection, Guan Haiming will be free.” Zhang Yazhe’s gaze had a few moments of relief.
“Don’t go in now.
Xiao Guan doesn’t like too many people in the room.”
Chi Lei snorted while holding a homemade cigarette in his mouth.
His cigarette wasn’t lit and it seemed like he didn’t have anything to say.
“Recently, there’s an extra position that opened up to be my assistant.” Guan Haiming’s voice came through the soundproof door, as clear as if it was right next to his ear.
“Xiao Ding, don’t be an explorer.
I’ll give you a higher pay.”
“Thanks, but I quite like being an explorer.” Ding Zepeng’s voice, as always, had a sunny intonation behind it.
“Since you’re not interested, why are you running to me every day?” Guan Haiming’s voice sounded a little unhappy.
“Because Haiming, you’re avoiding people, but I think you really want to talk to people… Ouch, be gentler.
Don’t strangle my arm—”
“Every time you come back from a mission, you’re injured but you want me to be gentler? You’re still too young to be a qualified explorer.” Guan Haiming’s voice was cold.
“That Ruan Lijie is in good health.
He’s eight years older than you, and he also wants to be an explorer.
With him on top, you can consider retreating back and prepare yourself for a few more years.”
“How can that be.
Ruan Ge is still a newcomer… Ouch, Haiming! It really hurts! Anyway, I just want to be an explorer.
What can you do with me?”
“What can I do? I can wash away your recent memories.
Besides, your auxiliary chip hasn’t been broken, and the black box has a backup of all your memroies.
You can start from scratch as an assistant for a few months, and when the time comes, I’ll restore your memories… Considering your age, I don’t think Zhang Yazhe will have a problem with it.”
“Guan Haiming, I’m going to get angry!” The smile in Xiao Ding’s voice disappeared.
“I’m not in it for the pay.
You obviously know that I’m suitable for this job.
The explorer can help everyone to the maximum extent possible.
And I bring back the most and best parts every time.
How can you—”
The chip is injected.
You can go now.”
“Hey, hey, I’m not really angry… Haiming, don’t look like that.”
“Just go,” Guan Haiming repeated coldly.
The door opened and Ding Zepeng exited a little aggrieved.
As soon as he went out, he saw Ruan Xian and smiled bitterly.
“Ruan Ge, you’re coming to see Haiming… Uh, it’s best to go in later.”
He was right.
Ruan Xian nodded quietly while listening to Guan Haiming kicking things indiscriminately in the room.
After briefly saying goodbye to Ruan Xian, Zhang Yazhe and the others disappeared at the end of the corridor.
Ruan Xian stopped at the door for a moment.
A suppressed roar of pain came from inside, like some kind of injured animal.
The people who passed by the soundproof door were talking eagerly, knowing nothing about it.
In the end, he decided not to go in to borrow the book.
“Can’t you break Haiming’s firewall?” Seeing Ruan Xian return to his room early, Tang Yibu was a little surprised.
“Of course, if you ask me for help—”
“I don’t need such deep data for the time being.” Ruan Xian sat back on the bed and call out the light screen.
Although the same firewall was set up, the shallow data of the refuge wasn’t difficult to obtain.
Ruan Xian spent no more than ten minutes or so to understand the firewall code, and then cracked it with ease.
“Ohhh.” Seeing a string of numbers jumping out, Tang Yibu got closer.
“At the beginning of last year, the total number of explorers was 96, with 8 new people and 14 deaths in one year.
The mortality rate is the highest among all occupations in the refuge.
Ruan Xian waved his hand, and the images of all the death reports flew off the light screen and spread out in the nearby air.
“…These deaths have two general characteristics.
First, the vast majority of the deaths of the dead have ‘witnesses’.
Second, the ability of the deceased is often not high.”
Ruan Xian bit his lip.
He seemed to touch the edge of the truth and it was cold and sharp that it pricked his fingers.
He waved his hand again, and more death reports flew out, densely packed in his small room.
“This is all the deaths recorded in the refuge, with a total of 127 people.
The dead are basically the most ordinary people.
There is only one death record for a person with outstanding abilities— He died of a heart attack during a meal in plain sight.”
No matter how dangerous their work was, those outstanding elites have gone through countless crises as if they have been deeply blessed by fate.
But was that really a blessing? This complete refuge had been operating silently for many years.
Was it true that Zhang Yazhe was the only one who has been manipulated by unknown forces, and he just happened to stumbled upon it by accident?
How many people have died silently and were replaced by “themselves” from nowhere?
Ruan Xian let those death cases hang in the air.
As if he insisted on tearing open a painful wound, he summoned a screen of data again.
“These deaths should have caused the labor force in the refuge to continue to decline.” His voice trembled slightly.
“But there will always be new survivors discovered or transferred from other shelters.
The population here has been maintained at a relatively stable value… Too stable.”
For some reason, he suddenly remembered the fish tank in his foster mother’s house.
The beautiful fish tank was full of all kinds of beautiful fish.
He once especially liked one of the little golden fish that would suck on the wall of the tank.
It was pleasing to look at and would also help clean up the moss and algae in the water.
One day it died.
“Just buy another one.” In his memory, a somewhat elderly foster mother patted his head.
“Grandma promised that the new one will be the same as the old one, okay?”
Ruan Xian stretched out a hand and stroked the rough wall of the shelter.
Then he slowly turned around and turned his back to the death report floating all over the space.
[You will leave with me.
Whether you want to save mankind or yourself.] That was what the android said last night.
Now he only lacked one piece of evidence.
“Tang Yibu… I need your cooperation,” Ruan Xian spoke again.
Although the sole of his feet were stepping on a solid floor, it felt like he was standing in a void.
“What is your plan?”
“I don’t think I can stop Zhang Yazhe and the others from saving Tian He.” It may be useful to say his own speculation, but how many people are willing to accept such an absurd and lack of evidence “truth”?
“…So I want to join their actions.”
“I know.” Ruan Xian clasped his arms tightly.
“Staying here won’t solve any problems, but at least before leaving, I…”
Tang Yibu took a few steps closer, opened his arms boldly and hugged him tightly.
He put his lips to his ears and whispered, “You found out faster than I thought.
Okay, like I said, I’ll give you my full support.”
“…Thank you.” Although it’s not a heart-to-heart hug, he did need a little warmth now.
“Then can you give me the sweet potatoes next time?”
The author has something to say:
Ha ha ha ha (?
Tang: I’ll play with you, and you’ll follow me anyways.
Tang Yibu is so cute.
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