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    Translated by boilpoil
    Edited by boilpoil


     

    If Wu Jian were here – especially the Wu Jian who has read ‘Madness: A Record of the Last 200 Days,’ then he would probably be able to pinpoint an exact page in the book to explain it to her.

    Because, after madness has spread throughout humanity, humans have decided to abandon their desire and pursuit of the universe.

    It is beyond their power to explore outside when simply maintaining current societal order has drained all their capacity.

    That is why, for humanity, any institutions, agencies and departments related to aerospace have been either restructured or disbanded outright. Many of them who remained sane have been put into the Department of Traffic, for example.

    And therefore, the only ones who remain who are still interested in the universe, are the amateur astronomers.

    Of course, they are not the top professionals themselves. In fact, a great majority of them are armchair astronomers at best. Not even amateur astronomers, but simply astronomy enthusiasts, perhaps.

    They’re the ones that would be interested in the stars, looking up the dates when comets would make a passing and checking the best spots for viewing. They are a far cry from actual aerospace engineering work.

    Though they did promise and ensure that any already existing achievements wouldn’t end up in the hands of lunatics, or worse, destroyed. They are also going to learn and study hard by themselves.

    Of course, there is an argument to be had, that these people, who were not part of the profession in the first place, being suddenly so obsessed with it, would be a form of madness in itself.

    But then, when everything has gone absurdly bananas, what they’re doing is already benign enough, no?

    And here, the group assembled outside of the abandoned Space Agency, are part of those astronomy enthusiasts.

    Meanwhile…

    When Fei approached them and heard what they were arguing about, her expression turns somewhat strange.

    Huh. These people actually produced some result?

    Wait, no. More accurately, they’ve managed to observe something?

    Most of the people here are interested in stargazing. When madness took over their brain, they’d almost tirelessly calculate, study, and conduct astronomical observations as often as they could afford to.

    They’re now infatuated with those stars, with those celestial bodies that quietly dot the night sky.

    However, during a probe a few days ago, they’ve discovered something unusual.

    “I’m telling you, it must be a dwarf planet! Falling right towards us! It can’t be anything else, because I saw that there were the usual valleys and geological features on that thing!”
    “Bullshit! You saw? Who saw? No one saw clearly! They must be aliens! Those ‘Impurities’ cultists might go on about how madness is a punishment for humanity’s disrespect to God, but there’s obviously no God in this bedamned world, so they must be aliens! They made humans go mad and are now here for more! Here for more crazy thing!”
    “You’re the one bullshiting! Aliens? My goodness, are you on crazy pills? If there really were such a hostile and also omnipotent existence, we’d all be dead already!
    Not to mention all these years of probing and looking into space without seeing a single shred of evidence for aliens existing, and you were saying?”
    “You must be mad to be so confident in human technology! What we cannot observe cannot possibly exist? What if these aliens exist in some higher dimensional form?”
    “You were just saying what we observed were aliens, now you say we can’t observe them. Must be pretty nice to enjoy slapping your own face, huh?”
    “Don’t try to redirect the argument, oi!”
    “Ok, fine, then I’ll ask, what if the aliens actually exist in some lower dimensional form and they’re easily subjugated?”
    “Are you kidding me? If we haven’t been able to observe any of them all these years, they must be much more advanced than us!”
    “Hah, you…”

    Fei listened in for a while and largely understands what’s going on.

    These enthusiasts were routinely observing the skies using the large telescope in the distance when they saw an unidentified object flying towards them.

    And apparently, reports have come in from all over the world regarding the observation of this same object.

    So now they’re deeply divided on what this object could be.

    One side insists it is a dwarf planet or an asteroid. The other side insists they must be aliens.

    Though both sides are largely in agreement that the thing would be planet-ending.

    The grim reaper.

    While both sides continue to incessantly argue, one voice yells out, “enough! Stop it, y’all!”

    Everyone looks over.

    The person yelling was a woman, wearing a dress with imagery of the Big Bang printed on. She looks utterly exhausted, probably having worried herself sick over the things they observed recently.

    Her voice is also pretty hoarse. Right after stopping her companions from arguing, her volume immediately goes back down.

    She asks, “the bigger question, is whether we should tell normal people about this.”

    Everyone falls silent.

    Someone then mentions, “didn’t you already…”

    Then someone else tugs on that persons’ sleeve, stopping him from asking.

    Fei quickly glances around.

    There are around thirty-odd people here, so Fei and the two other Missiontakers don’t stand out too much.

    All of them now look deeply worried, quite different from how excited they were arguing earlier.

    The sense of worry and anxiety that was not as evident before is now in full view.

    One of them murmurs, “regardless of whatever the thing is… We’ll be dead in a while anyway. Xie Ji, why even bother?”

    The woman named Xie Ji turns pale at the comment.

    Fei, hearing that, can’t help but quietly mutter, “in a while?”

    Someone probably heard Fei, and goes bawling all of a sudden, “I don’t… I don’t wanna die!”

    Everyone else erupts into discussion.

    Now Fei finally understands fully, that whatever the thing was, it was on a direct collision course to this planet!

    Fei’s face goes pale.

    Though unfortunately, the viewers of the stream haven’t noticed what’s going on here at all.

    Because, while Fei was listening in on the enthusiasts, the stream’s camera was instead pointed at He Shujün and Ding Yi in the museum.

    The two Missiontakers have found the staff in charge of transferring the relics.

    Just as the doctor said, they do look quite unhappy to be here.

    They’re actually working near the side door of the first floor of the museum, off the east side of the back of the museum, accessible when going through the entrance hall directly, and then turning to exit the building.

    The searing summer sun has drenched the staff in sweat.

    There seems to be both the museum’s staff cataloguing what was being relocated, and people from insurance companies ascertaining the relics’ value——Although, really, when the world is like this, does insurance even have any meaning?

    He Shujün is doubtful——And also, there are people from the moving company carefully storing the relics for transportation.

    He Shujün and Ding Yi are hiding nearby to observe them.

    Suddenly, Ding Yi points to one of them, and says, “look at that museum staff… that one, the one who looks like he would throw a tantrum at any time.”

    He Shujün looks over, and easily identifies the person among the group of people.

    He really is too noticeable.

    Even though summer is hot and irritating, but it’s probably a bit much to have a reaction like that guy, who looks like he might go on a murder spree soon enough.

    With locked brows and a grim expression, he stands there with his arms crossed, not speaking nor moving, merely glaring at the rest of the people present with eyes that are as chilly as the sun is searing.

    And it isn’t exactly accurate to say he is focused on his work, either. He is merely standing there, possibly even daydreaming about something else and not caring at all for his drenched coworkers.

    When observing him, He Shujün realises that he would rub his left hand’s ring finger with his left hand every so often.

    The others also seem to fear him somewhat, possibly owing to either his being someone they cannot complain about or simply being wary of his temperament. Everyone would avoid him implicitly and not arouse his attention.

    He Shujün can’t help but comment, “well, that guy sure looks like a walking powder keg.”

    “He’s distracted thinking something,” Ding Yi says firmly, “and so he is not joining in the work.”

    “Makes sense. We can try asking,” then He Shujün points to the door they exited through, “and this entrance is also a lucky discovery too. The next run, if we still need to go into the museum, we can take this shortcut.”

    Ding Yi nods.


    Read only at Travis Translations


     


    boilpoil's notes:

    In this part of the chapter, it is revealed that, the world is ending, apparently. But in the meantime, we're going to look at Ding Yi and He Shujün's investigations some more first.

    boilpoil

    This should go without saying, but considering the nature of this novel, please think twice before posting a comment on any chapter in order to avoid spoiling any possible future plot points or twists from later chapters.

    Travis Translation

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