The First Order – Chapter 319


Chapter 319 The only thing that can destroy humanity is humanity itself

If it weren’t for An Yuqian’s loud voice attracting him, Ren Xiaosu would definitely not have found his way over.

“Was I that loud?” An Yuqian was a little taken aback. Then he looked at the sky. “Are you going home now?”

“Mhm.” Ren Xiaosu looked into the yard and saw the old man and old ladies looking quite happy. He asked An Yuqian curiously, “So they were the ones who won your money?”

“Yeah,” An Yuqian said with a smile.

“Did you know that they secretly switched their tiles?” Ren Xiaosu asked.

An Yuqian fell silent and quickly dragged Ren Xiaosu out of the alley. Ren Xiaosu suddenly understood and said, “Then you deliberately lost your money to them?”

“Yes,” An Yuqian said with a sigh.

Ren Xiaosu realized the reason behind this might also be related to why An Yuqian was living such a dejected life. After all, Ren Xiaosu had asked the palace about An Yuqian’s proficiency in mathematics and physics. The palace told him he was at the master level. Ren Xiaosu initially thought An Yuqian’s proficiency would be at the perfect level, but the palace said there was no perfect rating for science subjects. Therefore, everyone could at most be at the master level.

Ren Xiaosu understood what the palace was trying to say. After all, humans were still exploring the realm of science, so of course they couldn’t reach perfection.

But for a person with mastery in math and physics, he ended up becoming a librarian? If there wasn’t some sort of a story behind this, Ren Xiaosu would definitely not be convinced.

Ren Xiaosu asked, “What’s their relationship with you?”

“They’re the family members of two former good friends of mine who were also my students.” An Yuqian said, “During an experiment, an explosion happened in our laboratory due to my negligence. As a result, both my assistants perished.”

“What type of experiment?” Ren Xiaosu guessed, “Was it a nuclear experiment?”

“If it was, you wouldn’t be seeing Stronghold 88,” An Yuqian snapped.

“Oh.” Ren Xiaosu had thought An Yuqian worked in nuclear physics. “Then what happened after that?”

“Afterwards, I got sacked and lost my job. Even my girlfriend broke up with me. Before she left, she also took away the pet tortoise we had at home.” An Yuqian sighed.

“So was that why you got depressed?” Ren Xiaosu did not quite understand.

“What do you think? What would you have done if it were you?” An Yuqian asked.

Ren Xiaosu thought for a moment. “At least halve the tortoise so you can put it in your own separate wines[1].”

An Yuqian was confused. Weren’t they just talking about his sorrowful past? Why the sudden mention of halving the tortoise then?

He did not know that for refugees like Ren Xiaosu, even if their loved ones had died, they would still have to live on as usual. Who had the time to be sentimental?

Ren Xiaosu had come across so many townspeople whose family members had passed away the day before and would still show up at work the very next day.

As the two of them walked down the street, An Yuqian cut a bleak figure under the dim yellow streetlights.

Ren Xiaosu said, “Then you deliberately lost money to them so that they can have a better life?”

“Yes.” An Yuqian nodded. “I’m fine with it since I can survive no matter what. But they’re different. Without their children, nobody will support them.”

“Alright,” Ren Xiaosu sighed and said, “You’re quite the loyal person.”

“They died because of me, after all,” An Yuqian said.

“Well, I’ll see you tomorrow morning!” Ren Xiaosu waved and parted ways with An Yuqian. Although he could not sympathize with An Yuqian, he still respected him.

An Yuqian suddenly called out to Ren Xiaosu, asking, “Why do you seek knowledge?”

Ren Xiaosu turned around and said on the long street in the dark, “I’ve answered this question before.”

“But do you know where the end of the road lies for science?” An Yuqian asked.

“No.” Ren Xiaosu shook his head.

“There’s no end!” An Yuqian said, “That’s what makes people despair!”

“What’s there to despair about?” Ren Xiaosu could not understand.

An Yuqian no longer seemed to be talking to Ren Xiaosu. He was saying to himself, “There were creatures that lived on these lands for a 165 million years, but the Homo genus has only been in existence for about 3 million years. We don’t have to consider whatever natural disasters or mutations that might occur, nor will we even get to witness an apocalypse brought on by a natural disaster within our lifetimes…. The only thing that can destroy humanity is humanity itself!”

Ren Xiaosu suddenly felt a little lost. He did not know why An Yuqian would say this to him and wondered what had gotten into him. He asked An Yuqian, “Then how do you think humanity will destroy itself?”

“Science.”

This word crashed through the backdrop of the night. It was like a fate that awaited humans at the end of a long road.

“You’re crazy.” Ren Xiaosu waved it off and headed home.

When Ren Xiaosu returned home, he found everyone waiting for him out in the yard. He looked at everyone’s expression. “Why do I have a bad feeling about this?”

Yan Liuyuan walked over and handed him an invitation that came with gold embossed letters and decorative patterns at the corners. There was also an ornamental tassel extending down the middle of the invitation.

The invitation was sealed with wax that had an exquisite design of a bronze ram on it. This was the Yang Consortium’s symbol.

Yan Liuyuan said, “Someone delivered it here this evening. They told us that the Yang Consortium has invited the two of us to their manor and even reminded us to wear something formal since a lot of distinguished guests will be present that night.”

Ren Xiaosu opened the invitation. Although it was written very politely, everyone knew the reason an organization like the Yang Consortium would suddenly invite two refugee kids was definitely not as simple as wanting to get to know them.

“Should we go or not?” Yan Liuyuan asked in a whisper, “I feel that the Yang Consortium has a more sinister motive.”

“A Feast at Hongmen?”[2] Ren Xiaosu chuckled and said, “Surely there won’t be 300 assassins rushing out of the shadows when a cup gets smashed, right?”

“I don’t think that will happen.” When Yan Liuyuan saw Ren Xiaosu taking it easy, he also started laughing. “But this matter is definitely not so simple.”

“Alright, let’s not think too much about it.” Ren Xiaosu patted Yan Liuyuan’s head. “I’ll bring you out to shop for some clothes tomorrow morning. We should also go and have a look for ourselves at what the feast held by the organization is all about.”

“OK,” Yan Liuyuan replied obediently.

Ren Xiaosu suddenly asked, “Did you face any problems at school?”

“No, it’s been pretty good,” Yan Liuyuan said with a smile.

“When you tell a lie, you always smile like this.” Ren Xiaosu said, “Are you and Dalong getting ostracized by your classmates?”

“No, no, you should quickly go and get some rest. You still haven’t fully recovered from your injuries,” Yan Liuyuan said as he pushed Ren Xiaosu into the house.

Wang Fugui came up and said, “I went out to trade some of the gold for money today. I didn’t trade too much to avoid attracting attention….”

“Why are you talking about money at this time of night? Xiaosu is tired, so let him get some rest first.” Xiaoyu rattled off at the back, “Xiaosu, have you eaten yet? I’ll heat up some dishes and make some scrambled eggs with stir-fried tomatoes for you. There’s chicken soup in the pot as well…”

Ren Xiaosu smiled. This was what home felt like.

 

 

 



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