Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
A cognitive dummy not unlike Shen Si.
Whether in the material or in their actual experience, cognitive dummies were based on their own birth of alternative life, in fact, it was inaccurate to say life, because they were made up of glass. Although they had a mind and didn’t have anything to maintain the body function, they could only exist in the playfield.
They were just a glass dummy.
However, Shen Si’s cognitive dummy had a different appearance, they had no contact in the playfield, but the dummy had followed the subject into reality, right?
“You, are you really Shen Si?” Jian Nian looked at him.
“Why would you think otherwise? If I wasn’t him, he wouldn’t have seen me, would he?” The pale red eyes gazed at Jian Nian. Shen Si smiled very lightly, but everyone present could feel his light smile, as well as the strange feeling that appeared.
Is this really Shen Si? Everyone’s heart had such a question.
“You guys are thinking about the wrong thing.” Shen Si sat directly on the stairs, his voice calm, but this Shen Si’s unique cold accent wasn’t so cold, “Within the playfield, each perceived dummy is shaped by his own self’s mind, in other words, not the ‘he’ in your mind, but the self. Can’t smile, ignore the world, don’t seem to want anything? Don’t apply your perceived image to me.”
Jian Nian was startled by the words. He and Bai JunYi looked at each other, at this moment, they peculiarly figured out Shen Si‘s meaning.
This person was indeed not the Shen Si they knew, but was Shen Si’s perception of himself, but… Whatever Shen Si’s perceived self was, why would he follow Shen Si out of the playfield and take control of Shen Si at this time, showing a different personality from the original?
“But why did you…”
“Of course it’s because I’m Shen Si,” Shen Si smiled and raised his hand, then looked at his palm with a little dark light in his light red eyes, “It’s because I’m him, that’s why I’m doing this, you can guess what kind of person I really am. “
After saying that, Shen Si then stood up. He ignored the people behind him and continued to walk up the stairs. On the stairs, glass fragments fell down the staircase, Shen Si pulled open the rooftop door, and the moment the door was pulled open, the wind blew in, the corners of Shen Si‘s hospital gown was blown up, and his half-white hair was blown in a mess.
“Wait!” Jian Nian went after him.
He Xin squatted down and picked up a fragment. After a moment he tested the fragment, and didn’t detect anything on it, but that was correct, since the cognitive dummy in the playfield themselves didn’t have many abilities, and it could even be said that they were quite fragile.
“Although there is no special case of cognitive dummies being brought out from this playfield, there are indeed examples of specials following Survivors out of playfields.” Bai JunYi looked to He Xin, “Team Leader He, let’s go find that part of the information.”
“Good idea.” He Xin nodded, “These fragments can also be retested, maybe we can detect something.”
It was good to have Jian Nian following Shen Si, although Jian Nian had always been a nightmare among Survivors, Shen Si was different, since he was the only one he wouldn’t want to hurt.
“That said, I’ve always thought Shen Si was an amazing person, and not just in terms of his abilities.” He Xin picked up the pieces on the floor, “It’s hard to imagine that his relationships are so lacking, yet he still has a special relationship like the one with Jian Nian, where he’s entangled to the end.”
“Is it hard to imagine?” Bai JunYi smiled a little, his smile carried the usual mildness, making people comfortable like a spring breeze, “I do think that Xiao Si is a very good person, although he is a little short of words, he never refuses people’s requests for help. When you think about it like that, he’s already friendlier than most people.” Bai JunYi lowered his eyes and face, his eyes full of warm light, “I’ve always felt that way.”
On the other side, Jian Nian followed him up to the rooftop. Shen Si stood on the edge of the rooftop, his eyes kept looking into the distance, the cold kept blowing over. It was cold. Jian Nian could see Shen Si‘s hands were rapidly freezing red from exposure to the cold.
“Hey.” Jian Nian ran over, took Shen Si‘s wrist and tried to drag him back, “You’ll get sick from the cold if you come up here dressed like this.”
“It’s more likely that you’ll get sick than I will.” Shen Si broke his wrist out of Jian Nian’s grasp, “Let go.”
Jian Nian’s health has always been bad, before entering the world of unlimited flow, he was almost always sick. He couldn’t see the wind nor the cold, walking for a while he would be out of breath, then, in the world of unlimited flow, although it would not be so easy to get sick, his physical quality hadn’t been good, and now he was only barely to the lowest level of an ordinary person.
His fingers were already cold to the point of numbness, but Jian Nian wasn’t ready to give up just like that, and he grabbed Shen Si‘s wrist again.
“I don’t care what your relationship with Shen Si is, or whether you are the person he perceives himself to be or not, but your continued presence here will cause Shen Si’s body to hurt.”
“Because you understand what it’s like to be sick, you don’t want him to suffer like that too?” Shen Si laughed a little, “You are as incomprehensible as ever, Jian Nian.”
“Aren’t you the one who harbors hurtful thoughts towards me? Worrying about my health while carrying an unspeakable desire to hurt me, fearing that I might get sick if I continue to stay here.” Shen Si swept away Jian Nian’s hand, and in that moment, Jian Nian could feel the coldness of Shen Si‘s fingertips, “Leave me alone.”
Jian Nian looked at him, and after a moment he narrowed his eyes slightly, “Is this something hard to understand?”
Was it hard to understand to like someone so much that you wanted to be with them to an almost paranoid extent, and that you didn’t want them to get hurt?
But there was no time to ask this question, Jian Nian forcefully pulled Shen Si. He pulled the person from the rooftop into the hallway, and then forcefully closed the door of the rooftop. The wind stopped, the warmth of the hallway gradually came up, Jian Nian took off his own jacket to cover Shen Si’s shoulders.
Just like Shen Si who used his jacket to protect him from the rain in the playfield.
“Are you really Shen Si’s perceived dummy?” Jian Nian forced the person under control with a complex look in his eyes, “Obviously even Shen Si himself thinks that you are too unlike him to be seen as a person at all.”
“I don’t know.” Shen Si didn’t continue to struggle, just sat on the steps, his voice calm, “I was born as Shen Si’s self, and Shen Si’s self in the most real side of the appearance, the fact that he can see me shows that he knows this side of himself, and that he also accepted it long ago.”
“So why on earth did you follow Shen Si out?”
“I also said a long time ago that it is because I am Shen Si that I am doing this.” Shen Si looked into Jian Nian’s eyes, and as he looked into them, Jian Nian was able to see the fragments in those pale red eyes as they swirled around like a beautiful fairy tale world.
It was still Shen Si, and indeed it was Shen Si.
The logic, the focus, even the way he looked at people, this man was undoubtedly Shen Si, except for the fact that he was more straightforward in his presentation, he was undoubtedly Shen Si.
Shen Si’s perception of himself… So this is how it was?
A little surprised, a little strange, but thinking about it, there was actually nothing wrong, after all, nobody’s heart was easy to touch.
“Precisely because it’s Shen Si, that’s why it’s like this.” Jian Nian repeated Shen Si’s words on one side, “This is why you are here, right? It was a certain characteristic of Shen Si that led you to make this decision, or even to possess Shen Si’s body to leave the playfield.” Jian Nian turned his head to look at Shen Si, “Freedom?”
Slightly narrowing his eyes, Shen Si turned his head and met Jian Nian’s eyes, “You know?”
“After all, Shen Si and I grew up together, although there was a gap of three years, Shen Si should be a person who hates the sense of bondage very much, although he won’t make any decisions on his own.” Jian Nian laughed a little, “His freedom to go with the flow is actually the freedom to choose with self-awareness. Being able to choose the work he likes, to study what he likes, to raise lots of flowers on his balcony, his life is the freedom he chooses with his own consciousness that best suits him. Shen Si has very little desires and wants very little, he is sensible, but it doesn’t mean he is a robot.” Jian Nian put it this way.
The scene fell into a silence, Shen Si was draped in Jian Nian’s clothes sitting on the steps. He didn’t say a word, and there was no extra expression on his face.
In this moment, except for those eyes, Shen Si seemed completely indistinguishable, he was still him. After sitting like that for three seconds, Shen Si stood up from the stairs, got up and walked down, seemingly not wanting to say another word to Jian Nian.
“Is that why you followed Shen Si?”
“Of course not.” Shen Si stopped walking, he looked at Jian Nian, those light red eyes with a little smile, “Not because of freedom, but because of disgust.”
Jian Nian stood up and looked at him, “Disgust? Disgusted with what?”
“Fate. I am a cognitive dummy, something born of the playfield’s self-perception as a Survivor, but Shen Si’s perception has no obsessions, no desires, all he has is aversion. He hates fate, he hates everything that says it is predetermined, so that’s why I did it. As strange as it sounds, this is the truth. The fate of the cognitive dummy is to be seen by the master and then be broken and left in the playfield forever. I certainly don’t want that, after all, I am a man who hates fate.”
Shen Si smiled and stepped back, “I’m going to leave from the playfield, and as long as I leave from there, I’ll win. Definitely will not lose to the so-called fate.”
Jian Nian was slightly stunned, he looked at Shen Si almost unbelievably, opened his mouth to say something but could not say anything.
Disgusted with fate… and he accepted this kind of self?
Yes, Shen Si’s entire life seemed to be predestined, completely guided forward. Both his parents died in childhood, the only friends he had were the type of people who were difficult to accept, the people around him disappeared one by one, and he was called a heaven-sent lone star, even now he still entered playfields for unknown reasons, and had the strongest ability.
This was simply the treatment of a protagonist of a novel. 1
And it turned out that Shen Si hated it all.