Chapter 54: Changing Arms
This… was that really Truth Eye’s ability?
Xing Ye used his black little bean eyes to look at the copper mirror man, unconvinced. The big mirror sounded confident, with even his chest raised proudly.
He definitely suspected Cao Qian’s sister was a following fate player, but he was nowhere near as sure as the mirror, who made his judgement after just one meeting.
Xing Ye asked, “I’ve always forgotten to ask this, but how did you find other players in your games before?”
“I can see through them with just a glance.” The big mirror pointed at his big, crystal eyes. “It’s probably because I’ve always been following my dad to meet people, so I can see through all their fake smiles. Oh yeah, you’re also always fake smiling.”
Xing Ye: “... Let’s go visit Cao Qian in the repair shop.”
There was no point waiting outside the engine oil shop while Cao Qian’s sister was getting her engine oil purified. It was better to meet up with Cao Qian to swap information, and they had an excuse to go there anyways.
The commercial area wasn’t very big. They walked for ten minutes before arriving at the repair shop, where an old puppet with a beard was helping Cao Qian change her arm.
“Sigh, matchstick puppets are just too fragile. You could get some iron sheets and solder them onto your body to make it stronger, but your mother doesn’t want to pay the 30 primary ores for it.” The old puppet told Cao Qian.
He should be Old Nect.
Xing Ye carried his sack and knocked on the door like a beggar. Old Nect raised his head, his hands not pausing as he spoke, “I’ve already accumulated a lot of scraps here. Just give me a moment, I’ll get it once I’m done.”
“Thank you.” Xing Ye said politely.
Old Nect noticed Xing Ye’s arm had fallen off and shook his head. “How did your arm fall off? I told you to just go out and mine primary ore outside the city to change your engine oil, but you just won’t. You’ve already wasted two years trying to change your body, refusing to work properly… sigh!
“My son’s been studying puppet repair. He’s still training, so his technique isn’t great. He can use scrap parts from other guests to fix your arm. I won’t make you pay, but I can’t guarantee that it’ll be good either. What do you think?”
Xing Ye naturally wouldn’t refuse. He’s had enough of being disabled.
Cao Qian glanced at Xing Ye, happy for him.
Under Old Nect’s instructions, Xing Ye left his scrap collecting sack by the back door and sat in the chair next to Cao Qian, waiting for Little Nect to replace his arm. The mirror stood near Xing Ye, leaning snugly against the wall. He was completely flat and the winder on the back of his head was very small, so it didn’t hinder him at all.
“Damn brat, there’s a customer here!” Old Nect’s repair shop had two floors. He shouted upstairs and a few minutes later, an iron puppet slowly came down.
“Help him install an arm. There’s materials in the chest in the corner, just choose whichever one you like.” Old Nect said.
Little Nect was 1.8 meters tall, with long legs and a slender waist. His pecs… there were two strong iron lumps on his chest. According to puppet aesthetics, he should be a very handsome man.
“My technique’s not good enough.” Little Nect resisted.
“You need to keep practicing. Sooner or later, this family shop will be passed down to you.” Old Nect said like an ordinary old man.
Puppets shouldn’t be able to die, right? Xing Ye wondered as he supported his chin.
Little Nect looked at Xing Ye’s arm unwillingly and took out an old iron arm from the chest. He looked at the joints on Xing Ye’s elbow to find the right place before installing the arm.
This arm was much better than Xing Ye’s previous one. However, when he tried moving it, he found out he couldn’t control the new arm.
Old Nect had already finished helping Cao Qian replace her arm. He looked at his son’s half-hearted attempt and kicked him angrily, “How could you repair puppets like you’re repairing common tools? When you’re replacing body parts, you have to connect the new part to the nucleus. If you don’t connect it to the nucleus, it won’t be able to move! Do it again, I’ll watch here.”
Little Nect immediately took his tools and continued to fiddle with Xing Ye, hitting random places here or there. His strength was too big and Xing Ye’s wooden body was already starting to rot in some places, so when Little Nect pulled his other arm in his haste, Xing Ye’s entire left arm got ripped out.
Xing Ye: “...”
“Why did Master Benedict make me such a disappointing puppet for a son!” Old Nect was infuriated.
Cao Qian stood by the side silently as she looked at Xing Ye’s other broken arm with sympathy.
Xing Ye was still very calm as he looked at Old Nect, hoping he would step in to compensate for his left arm.
Puppets didn’t feel pain. Even if their hand was crushed, although it’d make things inconvenient, it wouldn’t hurt them.
But Old Nect didn’t say “Let me do it,” and instead continued to guide Little Nect. “Take three wrenches and a nucleus thread. Without a nucleus thread, you won’t be able to attach the arm!”
Little Nect found the tools under his father’s instructions and directly wrenched the rest of Xing Ye’s arms off, leaving his two shoulders empty.
“Look at the place joining the shoulder and arm- there’s a small hole there. That’s where the nucleus threads are. You need to weld the two pieces of nucleus threads together.” Old Nect said as he turned on the steam soldering machine. He directed little Nect to pull out Xing Ye’s nucleus thread with a pair of pliers before using the soldering machine to connect them.
The moment the pliers touched his nucleus thread, Xing Ye felt his chest tighten, as if his soul was being pulled out.
Old Nect swatted his son’s head again, “Stop it, be more careful! The nucleus thread is connected to a puppet’s nucleus, so it’s very sensitive. Just the slightest touch will feel like… sigh, I don’t know how to describe it in human feelings, but it’s very uncomfortable.”
It was indeed very painful. It felt like somebody was clutching your heart and with just a little pressure, your heart would explode.
Especially when he was welding the nucleus threads. The sharp pain almost made him feel like he would go crazy.
However, puppets didn’t have tear glands and he couldn’t shout after his nucleus threads were touched. He could only endure silently.
Little Nect’s technique was very rough as he put the nucleus threads into the soldering machine and turned on the steam switch, forcefully soldering them together. It was like melting a string of wax to glue them together, only it was Xing Ye’s arteries that were being melted together.
No wonder Old Nect didn’t ask for primary ore. With this kind of treatment, not suing for money would already be good!
After roughly joining his two nucleus threads together, Xing Ye felt like half his soul had been burned to crisps. Old Nect inspected the nucleus threads, ascertaining they were good before letting Little Nect attach the arms.
Attaching the arms was very easy. The nucleus threads were inserted back into the little hold inside the arm and his joints were reconnected before a wrench was used to tighten his arm to his shoulder. Then, he could finally move.
Once Little Nect was done, Xing Ye tried moving his arms and found it was very agile. It looked like he could even move his fingers.
“Thank you, Uncle Nect!” He said politely, not mentioning how much it hurt earlier.
Having his arms was a huge step from being disabled. Now, he could use his starting abilities!
Furthermore, because the arms were so strong, he could now go outside the city to mine primary ore.
Cao Qian said in envy, “Can you change my body for me? I’m also willing to let Little Nect repair me.”
Old Nect shook his head, “Not possible. Changing parts are easy, but changing bodies require you to move the whole nucleus. Master Benedict only taught me how to fix nucleus wires and never mentioned anything about transporting the nucleus.”
Cao Qian lowered her head disappointedly. She also wanted to have arms like iron.