“Why do I feel like it’s alive?”
Translated by: DMlations/Zryuu
Edited by: Amelea, FistFullOfDollars and Juurensha
“I meant what do you think this action implies?” Chen Yekai said.
Yu Hao said, “It’s a bit like putting a crown on someone during a coronation.”
Chen Yekai said, “But the height of the hand isn’t right, it’s not above the head but……here.” As he spoke, he pulled Zhou Sheng down slightly and placed Zhou Sheng’s hands on both sides of his temple, “This clearly isn’t the action of placing a crown.”
“It’s obvious that something is missing.” Zhou Sheng muttered.
Chen Yekai said, “The bronze people are all very small; they’re about the size of two fingers. Several bronze men appeared in a small altar in the deepest parts of the world at the same time. This altar is a very important altar; it’s situated at the core, and the deepest part of the entire 24-Bridge ruins. There’s also a mural behind the altar, but unfortunately, it’s no longer discernible. It’s been more than 3,600 years.”
Zhou Sheng watched Yu Hao, and Yu Hao instantly thought of something.
“That……the bronze man was holding the Golden Crow Wheel!” Yu Hao said, “He placed it on the other person’s head……”
“To be exact, he looped it outside the head, like a halo suspended in mid air.” Chen Yekai added.
Zhou Sheng said, “Which means they knew that the Golden Crow Wheel had something to do with people’s thoughts.”
Chen Yekai said, “Within the entire archaeological process of the 24-Bridge, this is the only riddle that remains unsolved. If the murals behind the three bronze men could be restored, then there might be more clues, but it seems unlikely at this point in time. Last but not least is the STA. The STA’s report is contained in the letter, you can take a look.”
“Material, alloy.” Zhou Sheng muttered, “Electronic image……”
Chen Yekai said, “The outcome of their examination was that inside it, there’s a ring-shaped device, a speck, as well as extremely complex nano-optical fiber connections in other places……”
“Fuck!” Zhou Sheng opened the letter and took out an image — it was a black and white picture, revealing a blurry ring image in the Golden Crow Wheel.
Chen Yekai said, “My junior was very excited and fervently requested to take a look at it, but of course, I rejected him.”
Yu Hao was instantly flabbergasted. Chen Yekai continued, “What do you think this is?”
“This is a computer?” Zhou Sheng looked at the intricate lines at the top of the Golden Crow Wheel and murmured, “Why do I feel like it’s alive?”
Yu Hao instantly felt that it seemed a bit horrifying. He stared apprehensively at the Golden Crow Wheel in the envelope that was the size of a dial —— everything was as per normal.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
“A computer?” Chen Yekai said, “They speculate that these, this drop of liquid, could be its energy source, like button batteries.”
Itbe Vtfcu ogbkcfv jcv gfwjlcfv rlifca. Jtfc Tfxjl rjlv, “Ktf lcobgwjalbc qgbmfrrbg lr atf mbcnfgufcmf bo atbrf cjcb-olyfg mbccfmalbcr. Zs peclbg vfragbsfv jii bo atf lcobgwjalbc jcv reuufrafv atja P ajxf la jygbjv bg ab atf Jtlcj Efrfjgmt Pcralaeaf bo Hejcaew Utsrlmr, yea P’nf vfmilcfv obg atf alwf yflcu.”
Itbe Vtfcu olcjiis abbx bea atf Xbivfc Jgbk Qtffi. Jtfc Tfxjl rjlv, “P mjc’a jmalnjaf la. Ca qgfrfca, la rffwr atja bcis sbe jcv Te Ljb……”
“It wasn’t switched out.” Zhou Sheng said, “It’s still the same Wheel, I can sense it.”
Zhou Sheng placed it in his palm and showed it to Yu Hao. Yu Hao touched it gently, and at that moment, he felt it, like an intuition — that was telling him, ‘this is the Golden Crow Wheel’.
Zhou Sheng tossed the Golden Crow Wheel up and down, “You didn’t need to return it to me.”
“No.” Chen Yekai said, “What prompted me to bring it back was something my junior said — he speculated that this is like a mini supercomputer……of course, he was very excited and suspected it was a device left behind on earth by some extraterrestrial civilization, and that if the research results were published, maybe the entire history of the human civilization would be rewritten……”
“……but, almost all computers will have a login password.”
“I see.” Zhou Sheng muttered.
Chen Yekai said, “The following is just my personal speculation. Don’t you think the principle is similar to mobile phones and laptops? Mobile phones can be unlocked through fingerprint or facial recognition, then if we change the method……”
“Unlocking it through brain waves!” Yu Hao said.
“Yes.” Chen Yekai said, “If this device can read brain waves, then it can naturally be unlocked by brain waves as well. I think, since only you can use it, that means that in a sense, it belongs to you. It’s your personal property. Only you can activate it, and any further research would require your cooperation. I think we must respect the intention of its owner no matter which standpoint we view this from.”
Yu Hao said, “This is really too miraculous! This……can we contact aliens through it?”
Zhou Sheng didn’t speak for a moment.
Chen Yekai smiled, “So what if we could? And you should have more caution, what if the aliens come to Earth and commit some sort of large-scale massacre……”
There was a knock on the door. Zhou Sheng immediately put away the Golden Crow Wheel. Liang Jinmin came in, holding several books and said, “I think I should put a few bottles of wine here. What are you guys talking about? Large-scale massacre?”
Yu Hao was a little nervous, but Liang Jinmin didn’t seem any different. Zhou Sheng just said, “We’re talking about what we should do if we manage to contact aliens someday.”
Liang Jinmin answered, “That’s not a good idea, I suggest you don’t do it.”
Chen Yekai laughed, “Let’s eat ba.”
“Why?” Yu Hao asked.
“Human beings look forward to meeting civilizations beyond Earth.” Liang Jinmin said, “If the progress of those civilizations don’t match up with ours, then it probably wouldn’t be possible for them to land on Earth in a spaceship from the steam age; as for those that can arrive on Earth……think about what the Europeans did to the Indians?”
Chen Yekai uttered an “un” as he opened his lunch box, and twisted his drink open. Liang Jinmin said, “Most people don’t fear inferior civilizations. In the Age of Sail, they plundered the Indians’ resources, killed them all, drove them out of their homes, then occupied their land.”
A drizzle started up again outside. Yu Hao was very fond of the scenery here when it rained; their college was located midway up the mountain, so when it rained in spring and autumn, fog would emerge. The two who walked hand in hand through a place enshrouded by fog felt that it was just like walking into a sea of clouds.
“When it was handed over,” Yu Hao said, “I had a hunch that it would come back eventually.”
Zhou Sheng was a little distracted. In the fog, the Golden Crow Wheel reflected the waning light from the sky.
Yu Hao said, “Let’s try asking it again?”
Zhou Sheng’s brows were deeply furrowed. Yu Hao continued, “When I was in Liang Laoshi’s subconscious the previous time, it was as if I had accidentally triggered one of its functions. This time, I want to ask questions in the surface consciousness.”
Zhou Sheng said, “What if there’s still no answer after you ask your questions?”
“What do you think?” Yu Hao said.
Zhou Sheng said, “When we go to Australia, we could find a place where no one’s around and throw it into the sea?”
Yu Hao laughed. He knows that the Golden Crow Wheel has always been an extremely important part of Zhou Sheng’s life — even half of his totem manifested as the Wheel. He always considered the Golden Crow Wheel as a mysterious force that he shouldn’t manipulate. He felt both apprehensive and fearful when he used it, and his anxiety had deepened considerably after listening to the information Chen Yekai had.
“Half of your totem looks like the Golden Crow Wheel.” Yu Hao said, “So it clearly plays a very important role in your mental world.”
Zhou Sheng responded with an “un,” his grip tightening around Yu Hao’s fingers slightly.
“I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing.”
Yu Hao said, “But the other half your totem is me.”
When they reached the bottom of their dormitory building, Zhou Sheng’s eyes were extremely bright as he looked at Yu Hao.
“So I think,” Yu Hao thought for a moment and answered, “that no matter what, even if the existence of the Golden Crow Wheel isn’t anything good, then I should roughly have the same strength as it?”
Zhou Sheng said, “You’re too smug.”
Yu Hao glanced at Zhou Sheng. Zhou Sheng said solemnly, “But I like it.”
Yu Hao said, “Don’t be afraid of it influencing you or anything, you still have me.”
“Okay.” Zhou Sheng buried his head in his phone as he texted Fu Liqun, telling him that they wanted to take an afternoon nap so he should keep quiet when returning and not wake them up. Zhou Sheng tied the rope buckle, adjusted it on its wrist, and wore the Golden Crow Wheel, then laid on the bed with Yu Hao. “See you in the dream, good night.”
Zhou Sheng pressed against Yu Hao’s forehead with one hand, and golden light burst out in all directions in the conscious world.
The Golden Crow Wheel still appeared on the platform in Zhou Sheng’s dream world while steadily emitting golden flares. Chen Yekai’s trip to Beijing with it seemed to have had no impact on the Wheel.
Yu Hao and Zhou Sheng walked towards the Golden Crow Wheel hand in hand.
“Let me recall it carefully.” Yu Hao said, “The previous time, the key word for retrieval was ‘subconscious’.”
“Think about it for awhile.” Zhou Sheng said, “For example, think ‘what exactly is the subconscious’.”
Immediately afterwards, a strange concept emerged in his mind, which even he couldn’t comprehend.
“Got it.” Yu Hao muttered, “But it’s not language, nor text, and neither was it an image.”
“A mathematical formula?” Zhou Sheng asked.
“It’s a kind of……a kind of impression.” Yu Hao said, “It’s a bit like synesthesia. No, I can’t express it properly.”
Zhou Sheng said, “Try something else. Just think about it, and think hard about what it is exactly.”
Yu Hao said, “I’ve thought about it many times, but I’m sure that the keyword in its system is definitely not the ‘Golden Crow Wheel’ name that we gave it.”
Yu Hao frowned and looked up at the Golden Crow Wheel. The light of the Golden Crow Wheel shot out in all directions. It looked just like a giant interstellar gate, yet also resembled a magnificent temple entrance.
He extended a hand towards the Golden Crow Wheel, and the flares immediately erupted right in front of him. Just like the last time they entered Chen Yekai’s dreamscape, a projection rippled within the gate. Strange scenes flickered within the projection.
Zhou Sheng forgot their purpose for a moment and stared, transfixed, at the Golden Crow Wheel.
The scene the Golden Crow Wheel showed seemed to be of a city during an apocalypse. Yu Hao felt that the scene was a bit familiar for a moment — it was Ying City?!
Yu Hao said, “This apocalypse……whose dream is it?
Juurensha: Kaikai is so vicious when he wants to be….
Zryuu: Kaikai has mastered the art of roasting