Chapter 80.2 – Stargazing
After another week, Professor Guan discussed with Shi Yuan and asked him to come to the research center only twice a week.
During the day, Lu Tinghan was always away from home, Shi Yuan was idle so he went to the work distribution center again. As a result, he started his old job again – working in the food distribution office.
He worked three days a week and distributed compressed food and vegetable soup to everyone.
During his lunch breaks, he’d find a corner, take out the communicator Lu Tinghan gave him, and send messages and calls to his human. If Lu Tinghan had time, he would always reply to him.
There was a hospital near the distribution office. There were often huge robots carrying equipment and medicines, slowly walking through the streets, casting shadows on the distribution office.
Shi Yuan looked up at them and greeted them with a soup ladle: “How are you?”
The robot was rude and never replied to him.
Shi Yuan deeply felt that he had encountered too many low-quality and rude people, so he named them Broken Copper and Rotten Iron 2.0.
Family members of patients would often come to the distribution office. According to them, there was a shortage of ingredients, and the hospital canteen was barely enough for patients to eat.
Family members were often tired, eating canned food with dark circles under their eyes, squinting in their seats for a while, and then hurriedly rushing back to the hospital.
There had also been accidents.
One day, two five-story machines were transporting equipment.
They walked slowly down the street with six metal feet, but suddenly stopped.—
The two legs did not fall in the air, and the joints and gears were already stuck. They stayed in place.
People looked up one after another.
“Ah,” said Guo Yao, Shi Yuan’s new friend in the distribution office, “I guess it’s mechanical aging again.”
Shi Yuan: “Mechanical aging?”
“Yeah.” Guo Yao gave the customer two bowls of rice. “These machines are very old. Think about it. It’s been more than 70 years since the end of the world, and the core of machine industry, Iron City, has also fallen for 17 years. This kind of high-end machine is difficult to produce, so we can only use the old ones. I would guess that these two machines have been used for at least 40 to 50 years, look at the scratches on them.”
Shi Yuan looked.
Sure enough, there were scratches on the mechanical legs, as well as traces of repair, and the color of that piece of metal was obviously different.
“This kind of robot can be repaired, but those aircraft, helicopters, missiles, anti-aircraft guns, etc. are not easy to deal with. There are war losses in war,” Guo Yao continued, “Besides, energy is very tight after Fengyang City fell. Now, except for the main roads, other streets don’t turn on the lights at night. Maybe one day, ‘snap!’ and we’ll lose power.”
It turned out that Guo Yao was a crow’s mouth.
That night, a small-scale battle broke out at the outpost of the main city. All resources were given priority to the army, in addition… it might be that something was wrong with the circuit or the voltage was unstable, only a “pop” was heard, and then the lights on the street went dark.
Shi Yuan hadn’t gotten off work yet, so he was cooking in the dark.
Guo Yao was stunned, and subconsciously turned his head: “Will the hospital…”
—The hospital building was almost completely black.
This was the worst-case scenario. Once the power was cut off, it would be fatal to patients who relied on medical equipment.
Fortunately, a minute later, the lights on the top floor of the hospital turned on again.
The backup power supply worked, although it could only take into account the floor of the critically ill patients, at least, they wouldn’t die just like that.
Guo Yao breathed a sigh of relief.
The light from the top floor could also shine downstairs, so they continued to feed customers with such a weak layer of light.
15 minutes later, a warning sounded in the city, and everyone dispersed, hid back in the indoor place, and closed the doors and windows.
Shi Yuan was not afraid of this.
He didn’t hide and walked home at night in the dark.
The lights were still on in the First Military Region, and the guards checked his ID card and let him in.
There was also electricity at home, and Shi Yuan only turned on the bedside lamp, listening to the explosion in the distance, and feeling the tremor of the earth. He played Sudoku for a while, filled in the last number, studied for a long time, checked repeatedly, and felt as if he had done it.
The sudoku book was highly difficult, this was the first time ever.
Shi Yuan thought he would definitely show it to Lu Tinghan to show off, and then he would boast and touch his head.
He sent a message to Lu Tinghan: [I solved Sudoku! When will you be back?]
Lu Tinghan was busy commanding.
He put down the sudoku book, stared off into space for a while, and turned off the bedside lamp.
Lying in the dark, the trembling of the earth became even more obvious. He looked at the string of colored lights on the bed, and every time there was an explosion, those small lights would swing gently – the more he looked at it, the more hypnotic it became.
Half a minute later, Shi Yuan tilted his head and fell asleep.
Lu Tinghan came back the night after the next day.
As soon as he got home, Shi Yuan flew over, and the sudoku book almost hit Lu Tinghan in the face.
“Lu Tinghan!” Shi Yuan’s tail wagged, “I solved your Sudoku!”
Lu Tinghan raised his eyebrows and sat down on the sofa to check it out, it was all correct.
He touched Shi Yuan’s head and said, “There must be a reward.”
Shi Yuan’s tail tip became more cheerful: “Can you give me a few batteries?”
Lu Tinghan recalled the bedtime time dominated by colorful lights and nursery rhymes. The third song was about a little pony trying to find its mother. He decisively refused: “This one is impossible.”
“Oh,” Shi Yuan was a little regretful, “Then I don’t know.”
Lu Tinghan thought for a while and said, “But I have a surprise for you.”
“What is it?”
Lu Tinghan: “I’ll keep it a secret first, and you will know the day after tomorrow.” He smiled, “Now, first tell me about your day at the distribution office and how you did Sudoku.”
Shi Yuan looked forward to the stars and the moon, loved the new and disliked the old, and completely left the colored lights behind.
During this period, Lu Tinghan commanded another small battle.
Shi Yuan went to the front line with him. When the battle came to an end, Shi Yuan asked, “Is there still time for that surprise?”
Lu Tinghan did not dare to guarantee.
Shi Yuan was a little wilted.
Fortunately, the battle ended quickly, and the Abyss No.2 infection swarm was defeated. They returned to the city on time, which made Shi Yuan very happy.
It was a peaceful night.
They took a car and went to the astronomy center in the Northern District.
The astronomy center had long since closed, Lu Tinghan came with permission, and they went all the way to the top floor.
There was a huge, extremely transparent glass on the top floor, with thin, ornate window frames of brownish gold. There were five openings under it and five astronomical telescopes, each of which was top-notch.
If Wu Zhengqing could see this scene, he would surely dance with his hands and feet.
Shi Yuan asked, “Why did you bring me here?”
Lu Tinghan just said, “Look to the west.”
They stood in front of the floor-to-ceiling windows, with a sweeping view of the night sky and the stars shining brightly.
The clock on the wall was still running, and it finally pointed to “23:19” without a sound.
—At this second, Shi Yuan’s eyes widened.
He saw a ball of light falling from the sky, dragging its long tail, and running towards the ground.
It was a meteor.
It began to burn as soon as it touched the atmosphere, but it was only a hundred kilometers above the ground by the time it could be seen. It descended at 35 kilometers per second, like a match, using ablation as a brush to briefly and faintly polish the curtain of the night sky.
Leaving a touch of bright color for the world to see.
Then it disappeared.
It disappeared completely.
The sky returned to calm, only the sky was full of stars.
Shi Yuan said, “… it’s so beautiful, it’s better than I thought. It’s a pity that I can only see a few seconds.”
Lu Tinghan said: “There is a small meteor shower tonight, we can still see a few.”
Generally speaking, meteor showers have about 10 to 15 meteors per hour.
They continued to wait, sitting on the bench leaning against each other, and saw a total of 8 meteors and 8 streams of light.
Shi Yuan said: “It turns out that the meteor shower is like this, I like it very much!”
Lu Tinghan laughed softly: “I know you’ve been thinking about it.”
In fact, Shi Yuan only mentioned this topic to him once or twice.
But Lu Tinghan always remembered everything Shi Yuan said, whether it was trivial matters or the childish questions and whimsical ideas of a little monster.
Shi Yuan asked expectantly: “When will the next meteor shower be? Will there be more meteors?”
Lu Tinghan: “Who knows, I hope there will be. I heard that there are also ‘meteor storms’, with more than 1,000 meteors per hour, it must be very spectacular.”
When the meteors were completely gone, Lu Tinghan took Shi Yuan to the other side of the stargazing platform again.
On the other side was an independent space with a peculiar structure, no windows, and a fully enclosed spherical dome that blocked all lights.
It was pitch black.
The floor had strange textures and beautiful dark gold curves winded around, enclosing the circular area in the center.
Lu Tinghan took Shi Yuan to the middle and said, “Stretch out your two hands, I have something for you.”
Shi Yuan: ?
He stretched out his hand forward. Lu Tinghan took a few steps back and pressed the switch on the wall.
The top of the dome slowly opened a circular area.
The area was very small, and it just happened to shine on Shi Yuan’s hand, so the starlight poured down and fell into his fingers.
Shi Yuan: “Wow!”
It was a wonderful and soft light.
Lu Tinghan came back to him, and whispered in his ear with a smile: “This used to be a holy place for dating, and everyone would come to take pictures. It’s really pretty, I know you’ll like it.”
The tip of Shi Yuan’s tail swayed happily, he turned his head sideways, and kissed Lu Tinghan: “I really like it so much!”
—Lu Tinghan never took the initiative to bring up the battle situation with Shi Yuan.
He didn’t talk about the hideous wars, nor about the shortage of food and energy. He didn’t mention that there were only a few shots of space-based weapons left, or how difficult it was for hospitals and welfare centers, nor did he tell Shi Yuan that the city was out of power this night, and everything returned to the most primitive darkness, like losing fire and stepping into the wild.
He also seemed to have forgotten those planets that were infected by the abyss, each of which represented hopelessness.
He just said that the city was so dark that the night sky would be particularly bright.
He said that today was a very lucky day, it was a good day for stargazing, and maybe they could see where Shi Yuan came from or see his hometown.
Shi Yuan was still surprised.
The stars from thousands of light-years away were held in his palm. In the 25th year of their acquaintance, he caught the starlight.
1 thought on “HFA Chapter 80.2”
i’m so afraid of the next 50 or so chapters, i’m afraid it’ll get worse before it gets better, i’m afraid of the emotions i’ll experience reading this, i’m afraid of this story ending and there being nothing left to read about shi yuan and lu tinghan. but more than that fear i’m so endlessly grateful to the translator for sharing updates and toiling away and producing such a heartfelt and quality translation. thank you!! thank you for letting me read this story and experiencing all this!