TL’s note: The AI (Little Four) finally gets to make their first big appearance!
Chapter 4: The Child in the Mind!
This time during her cultivation, Ling Lan gave it her hall. Her entire body felt extremely comfortable – like bathing in hot springs. She really didn't want to stop; however, an unknown creature wouldn't leave her in peace. It buzzed around her ear, talking nonstop. At that moment, she finally understood the depth of Su Wukong's words from Journey to the West: It's as if the entire sky has a fly, weng1…Sorry, not just one, it's a bunch of flies around you, weng…I really want to call for help!2
She, too, wanted to be like Wukong and seize this fly, squeeze open its belly, pull out all of its intestines, and then tie it around its neck and pull. He3, out comes the whole tongue! And then it collapses and falls apart. Now the whole world is silent.
Of course, Ling Lan could only vainly think, because this fly lived in her mind. There was no way to actually size and punish it.
Finally, Ling Lan could no longer endure the continual harassment. Awakened forcefully, she roared angrily in her heart: "Ya de4, who are you really?!"
The childish voice, frightened by her great roar, took a while to respond. It spoke carefully: "Meng Dola Galaxy machine kingdom's no. 444444444 mecha learning machine! I am also your contracted growth companion."
This answer surprised Ling Lan. Could it be that the world she reincarnated into equipped each baby with this learning machine? The technology here seemed to be very powerful. She didn't know how big the difference between this and her original world was.
As if sensing Ling Lan's question, the voice spoke again. From its speech, it seemed as if to look down on this world: "How could this world have a learning system as advanced as me? Also, did you forget? The last time you died, I was the one who managed to gather your dispersing spiritual body back together."
Suddenly, Ling Lan remember the voice that she had heard after death. Her expression changed. "What's going on?"
The childish voice replied: "Your previous body had no way to support your strong spiritual power, so it completely collapsed. At the last moment, I was able to collect your dispersing consciousness. You were really lucky, a once in a blue moon time and space warp appeared. I took the opportunity to absorb some of the energy from your past world and successfully transferred you into this world countless years into the future."
"What do you mean?" Ling Lan was curious. Why would it say she had good luck?
The child's voice was contemptuous: "With your original planet, even if I took your spiritual body and reincarnated again, it would be impossible to escape death. The delicate body of a fetus in that world can't support your gigantic spiritual body."
As if it felt that its meaning wasn't clear, the child added: "Even adult bodies won't work. It would just reproduce the same result as last time."
Ling Lan shuddered. The constant pain of her whole body cycling between rupturing and healing…she never wanted to experience it again.
Remembering this, Ling Lan was concerned: "Then there's no problem now?"
The child voice was smug: "Yup! After countless years, the concept of spiritual power was successfully developed. Now from birth, infants have extremely powerful bodies, some even capable of withstanding up to level 3 or 4. So as long as you're careful, you can't die."
Upon hearing this, Ling Lan relaxed. Being able to live was a good thing, her demands weren't high.
However, the childish voice's next words caused Ling Lan's heart to tighten: "Although I still had to suppress your spirit power. In accordance with your current body, you still can't bear it."
"Then will there be or not be danger?" This learning machine's voice sounded really young, could it even be reliable? Ling Lan worried.
"I can only suppress it for two years without a problem. If you can't work hard and improve the strength of your cells…you'll die just like before!" The child seemed to take great pleasure in her misery. Ling Lan, even during a great crisis, found herself grinding her teeth in anger. If they could pass through time and space, couldn't this guy have chosen a better world and put an end to this trouble?
The child, feeling wrong, spoke up: "I can't control what's at the other side of the time and space warp. Where it leads, I don't know. That's why I said you're very lucky. If you were sent to a place even more primitive than your old world, then you'd already be dead."
Hearing this, Ling Lan felt embarrassed. After all, the fact she could survive was all because of this guy. How could she return his kindness with suspicion?
Wait. Something wasn't right. Ling Lan remembered that when she was little, although her body was very weak and she was often sick and bedridden, it wasn't to the point of collapse. Her body's health took a sudden downward turn after the age of 3. Could it be…Ling Lan's face turned cold: "Is there something you haven't told me?"
The child realized that the truth it was trying to hide was discovered by the host. Helpless, it could only answer honestly: "Even I don't know. Just, when I woke up, I had already made a contract with you. I tested your spiritual power. In your world your spiritual power was much higher than average compared to the people around you, reaching level 2. That might have been the reason I could bind with you…Of course, my awakening caused your spiritual power to increase by a level. Unfortunately, the bodies from your world cannot withstand a level 3 spirit body."
And there it was, her cause of death. Ling Lan's heart held mixed feelings that she didn't know how to confront.
The voice panicked. It sounded brokenhearted: "It wasn't intentional! How I met you, I'm not really sure. I should only be able to exist in Meng Dola galaxy." That primitive planet – how it got there, it was unclear.
Ling Lan couldn't bear watching people cry, be it her own or others. This was due to her illness; her parents had, almost every day, secretly cried. Although they attempted to hide it from her, she could see it easily, and she could do nothing to ease their pain. This made Ling Lan hate her inability. Thus crying became a forbidden act within Ling Lan's life creed that she had brought with her into this world.
"Alright, I don't blame you. I can only say that's just how life goes." Ling Lan surrendered, coming to a revelation. This self proclaimed mecha learning system kid did indeed harm her life, but it also returned it. It did not owe her anything.
Thinking about it, Ling Lan's previous family still had her younger brother. Now without her cumbersome existence, their life should be much more easier and carefree. This realization relieved Ling Lan.
Perhaps the pain and torment of her body allowed Ling Lan's heart to become very strong. Soon, she was able to release herself from the fetters of her past life, her heart relaxing.
Now with a tranquil heart and mind, she finally remembered that she was rudely awakened by this mecha learning system. Now what was the reason? The two of them had been chattering this whole time yet neither thought to mention this matter. Ling Lan started to sweat…could it be, she didn't just physically turn into a baby, but her thinking ability had also deteriorated to the same level?
"Anyway, why'd you wake me up?" Ling Lan asked.
Translated by somnious, unedited
1 wēng is an onomatopoeia for a fly buzz in Chinese
2The original is: "好象整天有一只蒼蠅，嗡……對不起，不是一只，是一堆蒼蠅圍著你，嗡……好想叫救命！"
3hè is also an onomatopoeia, it’s like a gagging noise
4丫的 : an exclamation of exasperation