Chapter 49.2 – The Breadwinner Little Monster
The next morning, Lu Tinghan went out after kissing Shi Yuan on the forehead.
Shi Yuan was so happy all the way into the office.
Daisy said: “Every day you have the sour smell of love.”
Shi Yuan: “Really? I don’t think I stink.”
Daisy smiled and said, “Mr. Lin is not here this morning, so you don’t have to be afraid of his scolding.”
“Where did he go?”
“He went to the data processing center. He often goes there.” Daisy yawned lazily. “He was an employee of the processing center before he came to Tower 4. He seemed to be a small manager. After the fall of Iron City, he resigned and quit. When there is a shortage of manpower over there, he will be asked to go back.”
Shi Yuan asked, “What does the data processing center do?”
“I can’t tell, I don’t care much about this.” Daisy is still yawning. “He will be back in the afternoon, so you can ask him.”
Lin Yeran came back in the afternoon.
Taking advantage of the break, Shi Yuan went to his office.
Lin Yeran guarded the door: “Don’t come over, are you trying to lock me in again?”
“No,” Shi Yuan said, “I want to know what the processing center is.”
Lin Yeran relaxed a little bit: “Why did you suddenly ask this? Do you want to learn too?”
Shi Yuan: “I may not be able to learn, I’m just curious.”
Lin Yeran looked at him.
Shi Yuan thought he was going to be kicked out but Lin Yeran said, “Come with me.”
Shi Yuan followed Lin Yeran and went to the negative 5th floor.
He had never been to the underground of the high tower. Lin Yeran swiped his card and checked his fingerprints before entering the inner space. Shi Yuan saw black, tall machines standing in rows, they were running silently, emitting a lot of heat. Looking around, there were countless machines working at the same time.
“This is the server room of the data center,” Lin Yeran said, “It’s a small computer room. Someone maintains it regularly. I occasionally come here to take a look.”
Shi Yuan asked, “What do they do?”
“Computing and storing files and information, you can access the Internet thanks to them,” Lin Yeran said as he walked, “There are many computer rooms in the data center, and together with the supercomputers in the main city, they can support a lot of data processing – do you know what AI ‘Alice’ is?”
Shi Yuan shook his head.
He had heard of the name before, but he didn’t know what it was.
Lin Yeran explained: “AI means ‘artificial intelligence’, and Alice is the name we gave it. Unlike humans, AI never needs to rest and can perform high-intensity calculations 24 hours a day. It can use deep learning and artificial neural networks to summarize the results of tens of millions of calculations, keeps on trial and error, and makes continuous progress. Like the combat computer on our aircraft, it is controlled by it.”
Shi Yuan bent his tail in confusion: “Is it a person?”
“No, it is only programmed logically and algorithmically, it has no personality.”
They left the computer room and went along the white corridor to a small office.
Lin Yeran motioned for Shi Yuan to sit down. He took a glass of water from the water dispenser, and then said: “Alice is a very powerful and mature AI. The data center has used it to set up three projects, two of which are today’s key projects – their success or failure is related to the survival of mankind.”
Talking about this, his eyes were very bright.
Shi Yuan asked, “What projects are they?”
Lin Yeran put up a finger: “The first project is called ‘Echo’. Before the end of the world, there were two major forces, namely the Alliance and the Empire. We had a bad relationship with those imperial guys, there was friction all the time, and a war broke out for many years. Then the Abyss appeared, and the war could not be fought. The cities were wiped out one by one, the magnetic field was chaotic, the base stations were damaged, and we lost contact with the Empire completely.”
He took another sip of water and moistened his throat, “The purpose of ‘Echo’ is to find a special frequency that can be infinitely amplified, cross the magnetic field and all possible sources of shielding, and reach other survivors.”
“There may be other, unknown cities surviving in this land, waiting to be contacted. And across the oceans and half the planet, and the cities of the empire may still be there, too. If we can find that communication frequency, we can hear their response.”
Shi Yuan: “Wow! What is the city of the Empire like?”
“It’s actually similar to us. They are all human beings, there is not so much difference,” Lin Yeran said. “We used to be old enemies and had feuds, but now, they are the people we want to contact most. I have to admit that the Empire’s technology is far superior to ours. As long as we cooperate, there will definitely be new hope. Alice is calculating that frequency for 49 years now, and we will find the answer eventually.”
“Oh.” Shi Yuan thought for a while. “What is the other project?”
Lin Yeran put up his second finger: “It’s called ‘Overlook’. You know, we have rockets and space stations, right? There are also those explorer spacecraft.”
Shi Yuan nodded.
Wu Zhengqing told him.
Lin Yeran: “Although the Aerospace Center has been destroyed, we are still looking for other habitable planets all these years. As long as – as long as we find such a planet, as long as we can send a spacecraft into the air at all costs, we can bring seeds and fertilized eggs to another planet. In this way, mankind will never perish.”
Shi Yuan gave a soft “ah”: “Is there really such a planet?”
“Theoretically speaking, there definitely is. Alice is mapping the universe, and thousands of planets are added to the list every day. We currently have a planetary system locked in, it’s 10 light years away, we don’t have much advanced instrumentation and it will take time to determine if it’s habitable, but I guarantee you, I guarantee you that won’t be long.”
Lin Yeran showed a smile and continued, “The Alliance has been watching that galaxy since 100 years ago, and observations have been made since then. If our speculations are correct, there is more than one habitable planet in that galaxy.”
Shi Yuan’s eyes widened: “That means we can go to space after that?”
“It’s not possible for us.” Lin Yeran said, “But other humans can.”
“Oh…okay.” Shi Yuan bent his tail. “You said that there was a third project?”
“The third project is not important, no one is studying it anymore.” Lin Yeran shook the cup gently, and the water rippled in circles, “These two projects are the top priority and carry all the hope.”
“So they must succeed,” he said softly. “We are an isolated island, and we want to hear the echo of another isolated island, and then, together, we will see the sea of stars from afar.”
The time pointed to 3:30 in the afternoon, and Shi Yuan’s rest time was over early.
Lin Yeran stood up: “Okay, I’m done introducing you. Now you go back to work immediately, hurry up! Otherwise, I’m going to deduct your salary!”
Shi Yuan walked back with him and asked him again: “Mr. Lin, I think you like these very much, data, algorithms, and projects. Why did you resign from the data center?”
—Talking about “Echo” and “Overlook”, and talking about AI Alice, Lin Yeran was much more enthusiastic, he was obviously very interested.
Lin Yeran said impatiently: “Why do you have so many questions, my mouth is dry from talking. Can’t I change my job because I want to? If I want to resign, I will resign!”
“Oh,” Shi Yuan said.
Lin Yeran murmured, walking a few steps faster than him, and took the lead out of the computer room.
As soon as Shi Yuan was about to go out, he turned his head in a daze.
A little girl in a white dress hid behind a server, with black hair and green eyes, half of her face exposed, and she looked at him timidly.
“Shi Yuan! What are you doing?” Lin Yeran called him.
“There is someone here,” Shi Yuan turned to tell him, “A girl.”
“That’s not possible, are you hallucinating because you’re in love?” Lin Yeran scolded, but he still came back and looked around, “Where, tell me where the girl is?”
Shi Yuan turned his head, and sure enough, he didn’t see the girl. He took a few steps to see, but the entire computer room was empty.
“Keep up, keep up, don’t make excuses to delay the rest time…” Lin Yeran muttered and went out again.
Shi Yuan looked back again.
This time, the girl appeared again.
Her body seemed a little transparent, standing next to the running server, she smiled quickly and waved.
【Come and play with me next time】
She mouthed, and in her emerald green eyes, a sea of thousands of data was jumping.
Late that night, when Lu Tinghan came home, he found that the lights were brightly lit.
He said, “Shi Yuan, why haven’t you slept yet? Didn’t I say not to wait for me…”
Shi Yuan rushed into his arms like a cannonball, his tail knotted, and he hugged his waist tightly: “Lu Tinghan! I saw a ghost!”
Lu Tinghan: “…what?”
Shi Yuan: “A ghost in white! Lin Yeran can’t see it, only I can see it!”
Lu Tinghan raised his eyebrows and said, “Shi Yuan, there are no ghosts in this world. Where did you watch horror movies? Why do you still believe this?”
“I really saw it.” Shi Yuan raised his head to look at him, “Really, she even waved at me.”
“Don’t you just have a fear of people? Why are you afraid of ghosts?”
“That’s the ghost that people turn into.”
Lu Tinghan: “……”
It seemed that if Shi Yuan was not coaxed, Shi Yuan would not be able to sleep all night. Lu Tinghan picked up Shi Yuan, passed by the wretched-looking fish and the stinky white bird, and stuffed him on the bed.
“Sleep at ease,” Lu Tinghan said.
Shi Yuan looked at him: “What if there is a ghost, she will take me away.”
Lu Tinghan: “No, don’t worry.”
Shi Yuan looked expectantly: “Will you protect me?”
“That’s not it.” Lu Tinghan said, “The ghost will definitely catch me first. After all, I am quite valuable.”
Reasonable and convincing.
Shi Yuan fell asleep at ease.
When he woke up the next day, he sat up for a while in a daze, and said to Lu Tinghan beside his pillow, “You called me worthless!”
“How is that possible, there’s no such thing,” Lu Tinghan said.
He got up and kissed Shi Yuan’s side face with a smile.
By the way, here’s my other ongoing BL translation project – The Wrong Male Protagonist