Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Editor: Sulo is eyeing the chapter title with great interest („ಡωಡ„)
“Rotate, grind…” Luo XiaoLou counted the steps in his mind and his fingers moved quickly. As he became more proficient with that set of machining steps, after two days, he was already able to process three sets per day.
But then, Luo XiaoLou found that when he wanted to work faster, it was a bit too much for him. It seemed that once the steps were fully proficient, he could only increase his hand speed. And his hand speed couldn’t produce significant results in a day or two.
Luo XiaoLou was happy with his progress on the one hand, but on the other hand, he was worried that his speed had stopped improving. He knew that he was now more than twice as fast as everyone else, and Mr. Yang had specifically instructed him not to tell anyone about it.
More than four hundred federal coins a day was high enough for him, and at least he could buy a few potatoes every day — but it was still not enough for his tuition.
There must be another way, Luo XiaoLou quietly observed the parts in his hands.
Because of his work, when he was at home he made a point of going to online places where he could listen to classes about mecha. Of course, most of them were incomprehensible, but he could always learn something. Luo XiaoLou was satisfied with this small progress.
At the end of each class, Luo XiaoLou would shamelessly go to the lecturer and ask him questions.
This teacher taught the basics and the number of people who came to the class was far less than that of the senior teacher. Young people like Luo XiaoLou were even fewer because the basics could be understood even by reading books or fumbling with the mecha, and those who were passionate about mecha were mostly in the other teaching areas, such as tactical skills.
The forty-something Teacher Song couldn’t help it. His education was not low, but his research in mecha was in the basic field. It couldn’t be helped, there had to be someone researching in every field. And unlike in advanced fields, it was already very difficult to produce results in basic fields, where mecha had been optimized step-by-step for thousands of years and people’s fixed mindsets were hard to convince to innovate and make breakthroughs.
So, after discovering that he had an extra teenager in his class who listened attentively, Teacher Song was filled with relief. These days, there weren’t many children who were so well-behaved and sensible, and who didn’t think too highly of themselves.
So when Luo XiaoLou came to ask questions carefully, Teacher Song was actually very impressed. Every time he saw the senior teachers surrounded by a group of people asking respectful questions, he would feel envious when he saw the faces of the senior teachers and researchers but he was now in their position.
Then, Teacher Song found out that this good student was really poor, and the questions he asked could be called childish, almost like an elementary school student. But after the heartache, looking at Luo XiaoLou’s respectful and expectant eyes, Teacher Song vowed to do his best to nurture this student.
So Luo XiaoLou’s questions were answered in detail, and Luo XiaoLou knew that he was holding the part that was to be used on a mecha’s arm, and even knew what it was for.
Luo XiaoLou looked at the part and wondered if he couldn’t increase his hand speed, could he shorten the machining step or find an easier step without sacrificing the performance of the part?
The morning passed without Luo XiaoLou completing a single part.
In the afternoon, an hour had passed, and Luo XiaoLou was still assembling and then disassembling the same parts. Occasionally, he would draw the graphs of the parts on a piece of paper, struggling to work out the calculations using his previous knowledge of physics and mathematics, and the knowledge he had just learned in the past few days.
As the sky darkened, Luo XiaoLou finally had a smile on his face and modified the order of the original seven steps — shortening the middle rotation and decompression steps by two-thirds. And another surprise was that the flexibility and strength of the machined parts had increased rather than decreased.
Of course, Luo XiaoLou didn’t think this result was a big deal, as long as he didn’t lose performance, he wanted a shorter assembly time.
If Teacher Song were here, he would have scolded Luo XiaoLou for his poor judgment and looked on in amazement at the new parts that were even better.
But Teacher Song was not here, it was Mr. Yang who was outside the door. He knocked on the door, looked at Luo XiaoLou with a worried face, and asked, “XiaoLou, are you not feeling well today? I saw you didn’t come to deliver the work at noon.”
Here, only Luo XiaoLou could complete a set at noon, and Mr. Yang valued this young man. Besides, despite his age, Luo XiaoLou was diligent and pleasant, and was well-liked by the people in the factory.
But it was almost the end of the day, and Luo XiaoLou hadn’t left the room once, not even for lunch.
Luo XiaoLou rubbed his eyes tiredly, but said with a smile on his face, “It’s fine, I’ve made you worry. I’ll start processing now, and I may have to ask you to wait for me overtime for a while again today.”
Mr. Yang came over and patted Luo XiaoLou’s shoulder, looked at the only part on the table, and said gently, “XiaoLou, you can go home when the time comes today. Although I don’t know why you’re working so hard for a kid, your body is still important. In this way, no matter how much, I will still give you two hundred federal coins for today. No one is allowed to work overtime today.”
Luo XiaoLou thanked Mr. Yang. He rubbed his face as the door closed again, taking the parts from the side and starting to work on them.
At this time, it was still an hour and a half before the end of the shift. By the end of the shift, the workers would leave in about half an hour, except to deliver their work and then clean up.
After collecting all the parts, Mr. Yang frowned at the door of the second room on his right, and then gave a command to the manager that he would go to that room himself.
As soon as Mr. Yang’s hand reached out to knock on that door, it was opened from the inside, and Luo XiaoLou came out with a weary face. He was visibly surprised to see him, then said, “Mr. Yang, I want to deliver the work.”
Mr. Yang looked at the work truck Luo XiaoLou dropped onto the floor and froze, one set, twenty pieces! All done in less than two hours!
Even for Luo XiaoLou, it would take nearly four hours to complete each set. If he hadn’t just gone in, it would have been hard to believe.
His speed, it has picked up again! Mr. Yang was stunned to see the parts. He rushed over and began to check them one by one. There was no mistake, and each one was machined neatly and perfectly.
When Mr. Yang came to, he was ready to talk to Luo XiaoLou, but Luo XiaoLou had already left the factory. Mr. Yang looked at the parts with complicated eyes. Perhaps this young man is a genius.
Luo XiaoLou was exhausted, but more than a little excited! At this rate, he’d be able to complete at least three sets a day from now on — oh my, six hundred federal coins a day!
A smiling Luo XiaoLou, not at all ashamed of his motives, hummed all the way to the bus stop.
Then, this peaceful and beautiful evening was ruined.
Directly in front of him, two men were fighting, or rather, fighting to the death.
Neither of them were using guns, but both had cold weapons in their hands. Luo XiaoLou watched as one of the men kicked the giant metal vending machine, breaking it to pieces and sending half of it flying towards Luo XiaoLou’s side of the road. Then the sound of it shattering echoed in his ears.
If he was still in that position, the consequences would have been dire.
Luo XiaoLou only knew that the future society’s technological development had reached an unprecedented level, with countless high-tech weapons. But he didn’t know that humans themselves had also improved. As a result of the survival of the fittest and natural selection, the human genes that survived had evolved towards becoming stronger and stronger.
It wasn’t Luo XiaoLou’s fault that he didn’t know. The people he came into contact with around him weren’t actually that powerful. Moreover, there was now a hierarchical distinction of human genes, with the lowest being E rank, and above that were the D rank, C rank, B rank, A rank, and even the legendary S rank.
The higher the rankings went up, the smaller the number of people under those ranks.
Luo XiaoLou rolled his eyes, he couldn’t see the two people’s movements clearly at all. If it wasn’t for the surrounding forested buildings and the roar of the machines, he probably would have thought that he was actually reborn in the martial arts world!
Oh, what to do about this? Luo XiaoLou’s first reaction was that he couldn’t stay there. He was an innocent passerby and passersby were the easiest cannon fodder.
Well, he was reborn, but the fate that was supposed to be for the main character didn’t fall on him at all! Without a distinguished background — illegitimate children and whatnot were the worst, without the normal novel infinite space — he wouldn’t even have a place to hide if he was in danger! And no one was drunk on his beauty — did he really read too much?
All this was tolerated, but the worst part was, he had no money!
He’d been here for so many days, eating the worst food every day, and worrying about living expenses and that tuition!
And now, Luo XiaoLou believed he was about to become cannon fodder!
Trying to put his mind, which was running towards a twisted path, straight, Luo XiaoLou crept into the shadows. Luo XiaoLou also took a deep breath to avoid being spotted, covering his mouth and nose with his hand while praying that the fight would end soon and these two would hurry up and leave.
The next thing he knew, the tall man was in front of him, too fast for the man in black to react in any way.
Then the tall man knocked the man in black to the ground even harder.
Luo XiaoLou’s heart was tightened, but he still prayed silently, ‘That’s it, come on, come on, baby!’ — Then, Luo XiaoLou watched, stunned, as the tall man plunged his dagger into the other man’s body.
The most terrifying thing was that, as he killed the other person, the man was smiling at Luo XiaoLou’s direction…
Luo XiaoLou’s heart stopped for an instant. His hands didn’t give away, but his legs were already trembling uncontrollably. How could it be, how had he become cannon fodder?
Was he doomed to be cannon fodder today?
Luo XiaoLou stared desperately at the empty alley ahead of him… wait, empty? The man was gone, and there was no one in front of him, as if the fight and murder that had just been committed was a hallucination caused by his stress.
Perhaps, it was really like that.
Luo XiaoLou slowly lowered the hand covering his nose and mouth, and turned around stiffly — only to see the tall man looking down at him with a scowl on his face, holding the dagger dripping with blood in his hand.
Luo XiaoLou’s legs went weak and he dropped to his knees. No, no, he wasn’t showing weakness, he was just weak-legged. He definitely wasn’t showing weakness!
“I, I didn’t see anything! I won’t say anything really!” Luo XiaoLou shuddered and spoke out in one breath, then stared at the man in fear. Luo XiaoLou tried to dodge backward, but he couldn’t move a muscle under the cold murderous aura released by the man.
Luo XiaoLou closed his eyes in despair. He could feel the icy dagger at the side of his neck, moving back and forth — damn, this man wouldn’t even let him die a speedy death!
After a moment of blankness in his head, Luo XiaoLou realized that the man had only rubbed the dagger clean on his clothes.
Wasn’t he going to kill me?
Luo XiaoLou’s heart rekindled with hope. He pinched himself hard, staggered to his feet, and whispered, “I’ll definitely pretend I’ve never seen you before, in fact, I don’t know you either. I, I’m leaving first,” said Luo XiaoLou, turning around and walking away.
Oh God, let that man ignore him…
A hand was placed on Luo XiaoLou’s shoulder. The man behind him said slowly and deliberately, “Who said you could go?”
Luo XiaoLou burst into tears, determined not to turn around. The cells in his body were screaming at him to get away from this man. This man was too dangerous, but he didn’t dare. “Can’t I, can’t I leave —”
“I didn’t mean to leave any witnesses, so, um…” said the young man behind him, as if in a dilemma. As if he was hesitating on how to quietly finish Luo XiaoLou off.
Luo XiaoLou couldn’t stand it any longer, and with great courage, he turned around and said loudly, “Look, I’ve already said that I’m no danger to you! I’m just a passerby, I’m not going to piss you off by calling the police. I know I can’t afford to piss you off! So, you could just let me go — and you, you killed someone in front of me, are letting me live in shock and guilt, and ruined my shirt, which I just bought — ah, I don’t mean for you to pay for it…”
The tall man’s black eyes stared at Luo XiaoLou with amusement, feeling like Luo XiaoLou was an angry rabbit as he flushed red and shouted.
Luo XiaoLou’s courage was on the verge of failing, and he contemplated what he could do to get the outlaw to leave him alone.
That’s when Luo XiaoLou heard the words, “How do I know you won’t call the police?”
Luo XiaoLou blinked, dumbfounded, and explained, “Huh? Of course I’m not going to call the police. I’m going home. That’s the way I have to take to go home.”
Half an hour later, Luo XiaoLou deeply regretted his honesty; maybe he should have said he was going to the mall. To verify Luo XiaoLou’s words, the man actually came back with him.
So Luo XiaoLou was now standing next to his table, looking at the hot vinegar-sliced potatoes, the reserve he had been so reluctant to eat, that was currently in front of the man. The man was seated swaggeringly in his chair and, with a disgusted face, ate all of his fried potatoes without leaving him a single one.
“Okay, now, let’s discuss what to do about your problem.” The man — actually the man wasn’t much older than Luo XiaoLou’s current body, he was just taller. And, without looking closely just now, it now seemed that this tall teenager was his worst enemy.
“How to deal with it? Didn’t you already see that I wasn’t going to call the police?” Luo XiaoLou muttered quietly.
“How do I know what you’ll do after I leave? People are so dangerous now that you can betray me to my enemies without calling the police. I had a hard time extinguishing the last threat that was planning to assassinate me, and if the current situation leaks out, it will be very troublesome.” The young man knocked on the table and said, “Go get me a glass of water. Why are you so blind? Do I have to remind you of such things?”
A reminder? Who asked you to remind me that I’m not obligated to pour you water!
Luo XiaoLou gritted his teeth, turned to the kitchen and returned with a cup of hot water.
The man in front of him had already eaten and drunk enough, but he hadn’t eaten and was being ordered around his own apartment like a servant. Even so, Luo XiaoLou didn’t dare to get angry. This murderous demon might be worried about not having an excuse to kill him.
Luo XiaoLou swallowed his saliva and whispered, “Alright, what can you do to spare me?”
The teenager took the cup and turned around to make it to the couch. Two long legs rested on the coffee table, and beautiful sharp eyes looked Luo XiaoLou up and down twice. He felt the small animal-like frightened look of this man was pleasing to him, and finally said, “I’m in a good mood, so you have two choices. One, dead people will never reveal my secrets. Two, you sign a contract, a slave contract.” When it came to the last few words, the tall teenager’s wolf-like eyes stared at Luo XiaoLou with a bad, million dollar smile.
No matter how the person in front of him chose, it was going to be very interesting.
A slave contract?
Luo XiaoLou looked at the teenager in shock. He didn’t understand why there would still be slave contracts in a future society where technology had advanced to such an extent. Was this really okay?
The young man’s tongue licked his lips and gave a smile, “You don’t have anything to say? So it looks like you’re going to pick the first one? Alright —”
“No, no, I’ll take the second one!” Luo XiaoLou compromised, and while the name alone of the second option was evil, it was the only way the teenager would let him go.
Okay, he was afraid of death, but who wasn’t.
Luo XiaoLou stretched out his arm so that the teenager could take his blood. Then, the teenager cut his own finger and stretched it out in front of Luo XiaoLou, and said proudly, “Lick it, you should be glad to be my servant.”
Luo XiaoLou closed his eyes and kept trying to console himself in his heart, then took the slender finger in his mouth.
Binding the hearts of slaves.
Betrayal brings eternal demise.
Loyalty is the only way.”
The young man’s cold, sarcastic voice rang out, as he stirred his finger in Luo XiaoLou’s mouth before pulling it out.
“Okay, now that the contract is established, you’ll do whatever I say and never think of betraying me.” The young man looked condescendingly at Luo XiaoLou, who was kneeling on the ground, and then said, “Remember, I am your master, Yuan Xi.”
Luo XiaoLou was dumbfounded. Hadn’t he become a puppet then? Was it possible that this man could control his thoughts and actions through words?
The young man seemed to see what he was thinking of and laughed harshly, “Sure, maybe later I can control your body at will. Right now, all I can control is your death. You can die at any time if I want. And if I don’t want you to, you can’t die even if that’s what you want. Now, crawl over here.”
Luo XiaoLou was stunned, struggling and humbly crawling towards the demon as he realized he was beginning to lose his breath — no words could better describe him.
Yuan Xi waited for him to crawl closer and kicked him, saying dismissively, “But I’m really too lazy to put that kind of thought into you, you have to take the initiative to do what a slave is supposed to do, and if I’m not satisfied —” Yuan Xi’s graceful lips curved Get up, “Dear slave, you will suffer more than death.”
Luo XiaoLou sat dumbly on the couch. Yuan Xi had taken over the master bedroom to rest and had no intention of leaving at all. Luo XiaoLou gripped his hair. What had he done? He was afraid of death, but he handed over his right to die to the demon himself!
The author has something to say:
In order not to contradict the CP, I will state when the bad little gong just came out: Yuan Xi is the gong (seme, top), Luo XiaoLou is the shou (uke, bottom).