Chapter 14: An Uncovered City
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
In the bedroom, Chen Jin expertly turned the computer on, logged into his LOL account, and played a few rounds. Out of the five rounds he played, he won four and lost one. Having remembered that he was three episodes behind on the Japanese anime drama “Overlord”, he finished the games, turned on his 65-inch, 4K TV, turned to the right channel, and lay his back on the bed in great comfort as he watched three episodes in a row.
On his left hand side was snacks and chips. On the right was a fruit platter. Under his head was a Takanashi Rikka print throw pillow. The central air conditioning was running at 26 Celsius. The otaku life he was living was too good to be true.
Suddenly, a potato chip crumb fell out of the bag and landed on the floor next to his bed.
“Clang clang clang~” Having detected a sign of rubbish, Wawa rolled its continuous tracks rapidly from the corner near the door to Chen Jin’s bed to clean up the crumb. With a couple of quick sweeps, using the white cloth wrapped on its robot arm, Wawa brushed the crumb into its “tummy”. Only after it made sure the area was clear did it return to the door, where it would wait on standby.
Chen Jin nodded; he was very satisfied with Wawa’s performance. His robotic vacuum cleaner, Da Mi, which was said to have the ability to clean 98.5% of the trash, used to be in charge of his bedroom hygiene. At first, it was pretty great, just like how it was advertised.
But within a few months, the performance started to slip. Chen Jin had to wash the dust brush and dustpan fairly often; not only that, he also had to mop the place again after the robotic vacuum cleaner finished its job, as it usually missed some corners here and there.
In the end, Chen Jin realized that the areas that he mopped were apparently much cleaner. “I can do a much better job than this robotic vacuum cleaner that cost me more than $300. And they call it high technology? Seriously?” This imperfect cleaner had woken Chen Jin up from all the fantasies he had about high technology products – at least the ones for domestic cleaning. The so-called robotic vacuum cleaner still had a long way to go to replace humans.
Yet, Wawa was definitely the best of the best. It took care of the bedroom so well that the floor was sparkly clean and all the corners were spotless. Even someone with OCD in his bedroom would find no flaw, but excellent comfort. Not one germ could possibly survive in his room. Wawa was far more advanced than the robotic vacuum cleaner ever was.
All Chen Jin had to do was to rinse it and wash off the rust spots; the cleaner Wawa was, the more flawless his bedroom would be. In addition, Wawa also took out the trash and washed the rags. Chen Jin never had to worry a thing. He had a home where the floor would be forever clean.
With Wawa’s exceptional performance, Chen Jin came up with a bold idea. “What if we humans developed a vacuum cleaner just like Wawa on Earth…? This is a humongous market. The middle class families in the country, with just a bit of extra money, would consider getting one. People would be happy to spend their money if I could launch a robotic vacuum cleaner with features similar to Wawa’s, and save all the housewives from sweeping and mopping. Or I could sell it to the home service companies, and help them reduce the numbers of their employees and their personnel costs. Departments of Public Works in many cities might purchase in large quantities to keep their cities clean. Anyways, this would be an enormous market that’s worth thousands of billions of dollars. With a little bit of effort, I could easily make tens of billions per year.”
Chen Jin’s mind was racing with all kinds of ideas on how he would join the robotic vacuum cleaner industry. However, the idea was great, but he didn’t have the technology. The kind that he needed to produce a high intelligence robotic vacuum cleaner. His idea had to wait a while before it could become a reality. But Chen Jin believed that, on the other side of the portal in his bathroom, he would surely find the said technology on Haierfa. After all, to make a robot like Wawa, who was actually a “low-end” one, would only require low-end skills. As long as Chen Jin kept his research going, he would find the information he needed.
Just then, Chen Jin’s thoughts about the planet Haierfa began to emerge and push out the ones he was having. The fun, otaku lifestyle he had on Earth somehow didn’t seem that appealing anymore. There was a mysterious planet waiting for him to unfold all its secrets. Countless treasures were on that planet waiting to be discovered. Which was a lot more intriguing than sitting in his bedroom living the otaku life. And it’d be much more thrilling!
The more he thought about it, the more excited he got; he was on the edge of his seat. Nonetheless, he held back on his excitement, and decided to rest and stay on Earth for a few more days. Da Li the robot and its team could handle all the researching work. If he joined them, which would be fine for short distances, he’d delay their schedule if it was too far. He was, after all, a human, not a robot. He needed to eat, drink, excrete human waste, rest every now and then as he’d get tired, and stay on guard at all times so he wouldn’t put himself in danger. He wouldn’t be as effective as the robots; rather, he’d be a burden upon the team.
Moreover, his parents were here on Earth; the longer he stayed on Haierfa, the more likely they would notice something was not right. Therefore, he decided it was best to not spend more than 10 hours on Haierfa every time he visited. Maximum 20 hours. But even then, how far would he be able to travel for that amount of time? He might as well just stay in the room and give orders as he lie on the bed. Let the robots do their job.
Chen Jin had no choice but to wait patiently for Da Li and the team’s return.
Three days later, the Robot team had returned from their journey to the huge-crater camp with very exciting news. “Master, after walking 85 kilometers towards East, we found a North-to-South highway; we then discovered an abandoned city after walking North along the highway for 40 kilometers. Based on the road signs and billboards we saw, we learned that it was the City of Tereese; it was an agricultural city; our database indicated that it was a small-to-medium-sized inland city with a population of 100,000 before the war broke out.” Da Li presented the information they’d collected.
A population of 100,000?
The news surprised Chen Jin enormously. “That is a lot of people. Da Li, did you find anything that I was looking for in the City of Tereese? Like, did you open any safe in the local banks, or did you try and go in any of their jewelry stores?”
Da Li shook his head. “No, master. We did not search the city thoroughly – we only took a look from the outside…. Our batteries wouldn’t have lasted long enough to support us back here.”
“Oh. It was the batteries?” Chen Jin shook his head, seeming a bit upset. He had 126 high efficiency batteries, and 88 of them were fully charged. He would have let Da Li take 10 extra batteries with them had he known there would be such great discovery. The batteries would have provided them enough time to search and bring back some “valuables”.
On the other hand, having found a city meant that he had found a land of treasures. All that was left for him to do was to search the city and dig out more gems.