Miss Dolai was stunned.
After a while, she slowly raised her arm and caught Duoduo’s big head.
The palm covered with wrinkles and age spots gently stroked Duoduo’s metal head. She touched it so carefully that even the slightest scratch could not escape the perception of her palm.
In this process, Mu Gen told them when they found White Cloud Duoduo一一he told all the things he knew to Miss Dolai.
About how much the lonely, scarred, and destined to be undiscovered White Cloud Duoduo wanted to go home.
After telling everything he had seen and known, Mu Gen cautiously looked at Miss Dolai’s reaction. He thought she would cry, but she didn’t. She just inspected Duoduo’s head very carefully and very seriously.
Mu Gen thought that with Miss Dolai’s attention all on Duoduo, she might not have noticed them. Unexpectedly, he was wrong.
“I can’t cry anymore.” Fully aware of what Mu Gen was thinking right now, Miss Dolai told him this.
“My eyes went blind three hundred years ago and I can’t see anything.”
“Now these eyes are mechanical. Although they can see things, they can no longer shed tears.”
Miss Dolai raised her head, pointed at her eyes, and even mischievously blinked her right eye.
Seeing her like this, Mu Gen felt a slight pain in his heart for no reason. The sensitive Miss Dolai immediately noticed his mood, and she shook her head.
“The human body is just like a machine. After a long time, it will cause problems sooner or later. I just replaced it with a new part.”
The earliest failure was the heart. After being declared dead by the doctor, she resolutely decided to replace it with a mechanical heart; The next thing was her aging blood vessels. After the thin, human blood vessels could no longer bear the excess stents, she replaced all her blood vessels with mechanical substitutes; Next is the stomach, and then the eyes…
The only thing she’s unwilling to change is her appearance and her brain.
Her face was the one Duoduo has seen since childhood, while her brain was full of precious memories.
In any case, she wanted to live and wait for the child to come back.
Even if he became a pirate ship, the nominal owner of that child is still her. As long as she didn’t die, he’s not an ownerless spacecraft. Even if discovered, he wouldn’t be treated as a spacecraft with no owner.
So she can’t die.
Even if living became a very painful thing for her, she must never die.
However, is it sad? She can’t cry, so many sad robot dolls are crying for her.
Looking straight at Miss Dolai, Mu Gen was in a daze and completely forgot to hide his sight.
Staring quietly at Mu Gen and Olivia who were thinking in a trance, Miss Dolai’s wrinkled face carried a kind of gratitude that belonged only to a mother as she smiled gently at Mu Gen and Olivia.
“You’re both good kids.”
“Thank you, both of you.”
“Thank you for bringing this child back——”
She gave Mu Gen and Olivia a soft hug. There was a slight smell of engine oil on her body and her touch was somewhat stiff like steel, but her palms were soft, and she still had the warmth that humans have.
After finding White Cloud Duoduo that she’d always been thinking of, Miss Dolai couldn’t wait to see him. But last night, there was too much snow so it piled up. Besides, Jimmy also suggested that Miss Dolai continue to apply a mask to remove her wrinkles before seeing Duoduo, so they waited patiently until dawn.
Not long after the sun came out, Mu Gen heard a rustling sound from outside, and opened the door curiously to take a look: The robot dolls are actually sweeping the snow!
“These robot dolls can also shovel snow? Amazing!” Mu Gen turned his head excitedly, holding his hands on both sides of the window. He hurriedly called Olivia to come over and see.
“Of course, they’re robots that I made! How could it only be looked at?” Facing her area of expertise, Miss Dolai is full of confidence.
Hearing her words, Olivia silently turned his gaze to the terrible faces of the robot dolls outside: He felt that with these robots having such faces, there’s nothing to see…
While talking, they had already walked outside the tavern. It’s even more spectacular when they went outside. These robots are sweeping the snow on every street. If you put aside their crooked facial features, the snow sweeping actions of these robots are really dexterous, looking like real people from a distance.
“These children are charged with light energy. Everyone has a charging port under their feet, and it’s connected to the light energy collector outside the building through a special pipe. The weather isn’t so good these days and there has been no light, hence, no energy. Otherwise, you should have seen these robots walking around.” Miss Dolai introduced as she walked and because she and Jimmy used crutches to walk, they didn’t walk very fast.
“The shop around the corner is old Kenny’s shop. The screws on Duoduo are all bought in his shop.” Having lived here for hundreds of years, no one knew this place better than her: “Now it’s old Kenny who sweeps the snow in front of his store.”
“Huh?” Mu Gen was stunned.
“I made a robot look like old Kenny and put it in his shop.” Miss Dolai immediately explained.
“It’s the bookstore owner Zhuang Se who’s sitting there watching other people sweep the snow. Although his shop is small, you can get any book you want.”
“The man with the hat is a patrolman in the Eastern District and a kind boy. I broke my leg while walking on the road and he carried me to the hospital. Later, I introduced my neighbor Fanny to him, and the two had three children, all sons.”
Miss Dolai’s voice never stopped. She introduced every robot she saw to Mu Gen and Olivia. From her mouth, these robots seemed to be living people with qualities and characteristics of a living person and each one has its own story.
“Old Kenny, where are they now?” When Olivia asked, only then did Miss Dolai’s introduction came to an abrupt end.
“…” There was a pause in her footsteps, and she soon spoke again: “They’re all dead.”
“I have lived too long and they’re all gone.”
“The older you get, the more nostalgic you are. One day, I suddenly missed them, so I started making these dolls.”
“But as expected, my memory is getting worse. When I started making these dolls, I realized that I couldn’t remember their looks anymore, so I could only do it like this.”
So it turns out that this is the secret of these robot dolls?
For a while, everyone didn’t say anything. Except for the sound of stepping on the snow, there were no other noises around.
After a long time, it was Jimmy who broke the sentimental atmosphere first:
“Wait until I die. Miss Dolai, will you make me a robot? It needs to wear a yellow tie.”
“You’re still young, don’t think about things after death.”
“It’s always better to tell you in advance.” Jimmy smiled: “Don’t put me next to Grandpa Kenny, I don’t want to inherit the family business so I broke up with this old man a long time ago.
“Just put me on the road leading to the tavern. Anyway, I’ll come to you from that road every month.”
And then the two elderly people had a very systematic discussion on the clothing of the robot dolls. Thinking about the Jimmy robot that might appear in the future, Olivia no longer felt scared this time.
I don’t want to hear them talk about this——he thought.
Mu Gen felt distressed all the way. He had become more and more aware of the importance of White Cloud Duoduo from Miss Dolai’s speech.
It’s because he’s clear about it that he’s uneasy.
The condition of the mechanical head that was handed over to Miss Dolai before was pretty good, but the condition of the White Cloud Duoduo’s hull was really bad. Tattered and covered with scars, it looked like an abandoned spacecraft that should have been discarded from every angle.
If such a White Cloud Duoduo was seen by Miss Dolai——
Mu Gen imagined several scenes when they met in his mind, but he guessed none of them correctly.
The tattered White Cloud Duoduo finally appeared in front of his maker.
Miss Dolai’s face was expressionless the moment she saw White Cloud Duoduo.
Then Miss Dolai skillfully found the hidden boarding gate with her cane. She then beckoned Mu Gen and Olivia. With their help, she crawled into the ship with difficulty.
Even after hundreds of years, she had always been familiar with the spacecraft she built by herself. In the main control room, she explained how to repair White Cloud Duoduo to the two teenagers. The issue that Mu Gen and Olivia could not fix before was easily overcome in her hands.
Miss Dolai repositioned Duoduo’s head where it should have been placed, and then pressed the activate button.
Duoduo’s screen finally lit up again.
This time, the first person he “saw” was the owner he’d been thinking of.
“Hello, I’m back.” He finally said.
Will be scolded——at this moment, Mu Gen and Olivia unanimously thought this way. Not only them but also Duoduo himself.
But they guessed wrong again.
“En, welcome back.” There were no tears, no scolding, Miss Dolai’s expression was very calm.
“Are there any gains from leaving home this time?” Without asking why he became like this, Miss Dolai asked a completely irrelevant question.
“…yes, many,” Duoduo answered honestly.
“Do you want to go out in the future?”
“…want,” Duoduo answered honestly.
So Miss Dolai asked again:
“Anything you want to do next?”
“…” Duoduo didn’t make a sound this time. Instead, he quietly typed a word on his screen.
“Ah? Is there a new dream? This is good, tell me, what’s your new dream?” Miss Dolai smiled. Realizing that her smile was genuine, Duoduo finally expressed his new goal:
“Join the army! Next time, I want to be a warship of the army and catch all the pirates who abandoned me back then!”
“Very good, then do it.”
And then, Miss Dolai gave him a long-lost smile.
The author has something to say:
Miss Dolai really treats the spacecraft like she would when teaching a child.