Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
An Jin was very happy to see that Norman liked the food. He turned back to the grill and asked, “Admiral Mu Chen, do you like spicy food?”
Mu Chen withdrew his envious eyes from Norman’s body and said, “I like spicy and sweet. Just call me Mu Chen.”
An Jin nodded and handed him a plate of extra-spicy roast pork and a sweet potato with red bean paste. Then he put the other roast on a large plate on the table and turned around, ready to continue grilling.
Norman held his wrist. “Eat it while it’s hot.”
An Jin thought for a moment, nodded his head, and moved his wrist, and Norman let him go. An Jin went to turn off the grill, and instead of going back to the table, he took the strawberries, washed them, and put them on a plate. He had planned to make strawberry juice using his water ability before inviting Norman, but he didn’t expect to meet Norman and couldn’t make the juice, so he had to eat the strawberries whole.
This was not bad; the taste of barbecue was heavy, and eating fresh fruit was refreshing.
An Jin sat down and tasted a strawberry. The sweet and sour aroma filled his mouth. His eyes were slightly narrowed because of the acid, and after eating it, he said to Norman, “The seller didn’t lie to me, it’s really a bit sour. Do you like it?”
Norman looked at his expectant eyes and then looked at the red strawberries. He took one and put it in his mouth, and his deep eyes brightened up. He nodded his head after eating. “It’s delicious.”
He was amazed by the sweet and sour taste! He had eaten it before, but the fragrance was mixed with the bitter smell of impurities: not good.
Mu Chen also took one and tasted it. He couldn’t quite eat the sour ones, so he hissed and swallowed it quickly. “It smells good.” He looked at An Jin and asked, “How do you transmit the spiritual force to the food?”
“Singing.” An Jin said what he had already thought of saying.
Mu Chen looked at the barbecue on the table and wondered, “I didn’t hear you sing just now.”
“I sang in my heart.” An Jin pursed his lips and whispered, “I don’t sing like you guys. I’m afraid to sing out for fear of being found out that I’m not human.”
When he sang with his emotions, the song had no specific language, and the sporadic language was mermaid; when he sang consciously, he sang in Mandarin, none of which was interstellar.
This reason was appropriate.
When he finished, his fingers on the edge of the table were pressing so hard that his fingertips were slightly white. He looked up at Norman and then quickly lowered his eyes, his cheeks puffed out, and he said with chagrin, “But they’re so hard to eat without singing.”
Norman’s eyes flashed with amusement. “You’re transmitting spiritual power to food for the sake of tasting it?”
An Jin nodded and looked at him with bright eyes. “Do you also think they taste a lot better?”
Norman nodded. “Yes, An An is great.”
An Jin met his serious expression and blushed slightly.
Mu Chen ate a mouthful of sweet potato, his eyes full of expectation. “Can you also transfer spiritual power to food in the real world?”
“Yes.” An Jin looked at Norman and explained, “I didn’t mean to deny you good food, it’s just that…I only just discovered it.”
He was able to remove impurities with his water ability a long time ago, but he really did find out that a mermaid’s song could remove food impurities just a while ago. It was for this reason that he felt that it was okay to expose the ability to remove impurities because it would not expose the water ability.
Norman did not care. Even if the mermaid hid it intentionally, it was okay. Mermaid’s being protective of their food was natural. He reassured the little mermaid, “It’s okay.”
The more forgiving he was, the more An Jin felt that he couldn’t eat alone. “I’ll give you good food every day from now on,” he said, and added, “You have to prepare more food for me, preferably with a different variety.” His eyes were expectant. “And some fruits and vegetables too?”
“Yes.” Norman’s brow quirked slightly. “Why didn’t you tell me if you wanted to eat something else?”
An Jin blinked and whispered, “You’ve been very nice to me, I don’t want to cause you any trouble.”
Norman’s heart softened and his tone was gentle. “Tell me anything you want from now on, you’re a good boy, no trouble.”
“Yeah.” Mu Chen turned his jealousy into appetite and kept eating, then he answered, “You are good and understanding. You don’t have anything to do with trouble.”
Norman glanced at him and Mu Chen said, “I’m just kidding, I have Little Silver and that’s enough!”
An Jin blushed at the two of them. Norman handed him a sweet potato. He smiled at Norman and took it.
Mu Chen got down to business and asked, “Do you use much spiritual power to transmit spiritual power to food in reality?”
An Jin thought about it and came up with a suitable and accurate description. “Enough to make five breakfasts delicious!”
Mu Chen asked Norman what his breakfast was and asked, “How many breakfasts can you make with the amount of spiritual energy you consume by singing a song?”
“Four!” An Jin estimated.
Norman wrinkled his eyebrows and asked, “Did you send spiritual power to the food after you sang to me this morning?”
An Jin nodded.
“Nonsense!” Norman said in a deep voice, “You can’t do that anymore. Your remaining spiritual power is too low and dangerous.”
If spiritual power was too low, in case of unexpected events when there was no spiritual power to use, it would be overdrafted and would cause powerful trauma to the spiritual sea. He looked at the teenager seriously. “Remember?”
Although his holographic world face was ordinary, his body was very tall, and it was easy to give people a sense of oppression. At this moment, with his serious look, he was especially intimidating.
An Jin was not frightened. He was sensitive to good and evil, and knew that Norman was doing him a favor. He inclined his head to look at Norman and gave a smile. “Don’t worry, I had fun singing to you, my spiritual power recovered quickly, and my spiritual power will be restored after eating food.” He finished his explanation and then assured, “I will be careful not to put the spiritual power at risk.”
Norman was slightly surprised. Mu Chen was also surprised and asked excitedly, “How long does it take for your spiritual power to return to full after you sing a song?”
An Jin recalled, “Not necessarily long. If I am in a good mood, about an hour; normal mood, about three hours; if I am unhappy, it may take seven or eight hours; if sad…maybe a day.”
Mu Chen’s eyes bristled and he looked at Norman. He squeezed the hand holding the barbecue stick with a hard grip. His knuckles were white from trying to control the urge to speak.
A day was twenty-four hours, and with eight hours of sleep that was sixteen hours. If An An’s spiritual power could be planned out to use, and his spiritual power was full, then the spiritual power could be passed to food, as long as they did not make An An sad, at least four times.
If Norman could make An An happy, the total amount of spiritual power would be more.
The spiritual power provided was equivalent to several more solid color mermaids!
And food was different from song in that food didn’t have to specify an object and was not affected by mermaid’s liking or familiarity. It was the equivalent of a soothing agent, but with better healing effects than a soothing agent!
Mu Chen’s thoughts flew around, but not a word was said.
An An was His Majesty’s mermaid and was His Majesty’s private property. He couldn’t make a decision even if his heart was moved.
Norman and Mu Chen looked at each other. He naturally knew what Mu Chen meant and said after a moment of silence, “I will observe first.”
The damage caused by improper use of spiritual power was very serious, and he inwardly hoped that the little mermaid could provide more spiritual power, but only if the little mermaid would not be injured.
An Jin’s eyes swept between the two, and his heart had a guess at what they were thinking, but thought about it and did not speak. He was already made conspicuous by his performance and should not even pry into the thoughts of humans.
After all, he was just a little mermaid.
He ate a skewer and potatoes, saw that the grilled ones were almost finished, and got up to continue grilling.
Mu Chen looked at An Jin’s back as he grilled and sighed. “Is he really An An, the blue mermaid?” He wondered if they were mistaken.
“Can a person’s song transmit spiritual power?” Norman asked.
“That’s right,” Mu Chen said, “but he’s really so not mermaid-like that he can even speak interstellar.”
“He’s very smart,” Norman said, not mincing words while taking a strawberry and eating it, “and his speech is improving fast.”
Mu Chen swept the strawberry out of his hand and laughed. “If I didn’t know he was a mermaid, I would have thought he was your wife. He knows exactly what you like. That’s so sweet.” He lamented, “If Little Silver was like this, I could wake up laughing in my dreams.”
Norman looked at An Jin, a young man standing by the window, surrounded by a halo of light. Although his features were very ordinary, it made him feel comfortable and calm when he looked at him.
An Jin grilled while occasionally glancing back. Seeing the two eat contentedly, he felt very happy. He felt very happy to see the two of them eating satisfactorily. His skills were recognized!
When he turned around again, he met Norman’s eyes and thought Norman was too embarrassed to say what he wanted to eat, so he asked, “Do you want to eat something?”
Norman shook his head. “I’m watching and learning how to cook.”
An Jin laughed. “If you want to learn, I will teach you next time. Today’s will be finished soon.”
He had developed a speedy hand at the stall, and the grill was filled to the brim, with a portion of each food less spicy and some with the right amount of sourness for Norman’s taste.
As time went by, the aroma became more intense, and because of the variety of food, all kinds of aromas were present. Mixed together, they were especially seductive.
Suddenly, a man emerged in the window, peeked in with his left hand propped up, and quickly took away the roasted corn in the very middle of the grill.
An Jin spilled condiments when he was startled. His hands shaking, he spoiled more seasoning and took a step backward. He raised his eyes and was first flashed by the bald man, then with a wary look asked, “What are you doing?”
The bald man took a bite of corn. His eyes moved from the food on the grill to An Jin’s face and he coldly snorted, “Little guy, be smart and hand over your spices, or I’ll make you unable to set up your stall in the future!”
He took another bite of corn, which was sweet and fragrant, and ate with a satisfied face. It’s a shame he waited so long next door!
Duran, the poor guy, rented the house so far away. He waited for a long time next door, trying to wait for no one to be there to steal the seasonings, but he didn’t expect there to be people next door all the time. He smelled the smell of barbecue and couldn’t stand it, so he simply came out.
Eating the corn, he felt that this trip was worth it.
When he returned, he and his buddy were upset. They remembered that the first time they used An Jin’s chili powder, the grilled meat was really delicious, and suspected that the grilling and misfire was an unintentional mistake. So they tried grilling it again and the results were fantastic. The skewers were very tasty, just not as good as An Jin’s grilling.
He and his buddy guessed that the reason why it wasn’t as good as An Jin’s had something to do with the other spices! The bald man looked at An Jin’s slim figure and didn’t give him a second thought. He ate the corn and thought it would be nice to show up and threaten him a little, after all, stealing only one serving and scaring people into asking for one serving a day.
Duran was a poor man, so his partner was probably not much better. Soft spoken and not sharp, he was probably a child of a poor family, underage in reality and unable to find a job, so he just ran to the holographic world to work.
“As long as you give uncle a copy of the spices you make every day, not only will uncle not bother you, but he will also protect you and count the protection money you pay.”
An Jin blinked and raised his finger to point behind him.
“Less tricks,” the bald man grunted lightly, turned back, and everything turned black in front of him, as if a mountain moved behind him. He was so scared that he took a step backward, his back hit the window can, and his face wrinkled painfully, but he did not dare to move. “Tang, Team Leader Tang.”
Team Leader Tang was very famous in the town, at first because of his body that all men envied, and later because of his physical skills. Any bounty in the city that the hunting squad couldn’t complete, as long as Team Leader Tang was asked to help, it would definitely work.
Such a powerful role, bald head always remembered in his heart to detour around him and never provoke.
Norman took the bald head by the back of the neck and dragged him backwards to make way for the window. His tone dark, he said, “Protection money?”
When he heard this tone, he understood that Team Leader Tang was standing up for the little guy at the barbecue stall, and said he was finished.
The little guy had a common face with ten stars, he couldn’t even speak well, he looked like a poor kid, but he didn’t expect to have such a strong background as Team Leader Tang!
The bald head stumbled and laughed, “Misunderstanding, it’s all a misunderstanding.”
Norman glanced at the barbecue in his hand, and his voice becoming deeper, said, “Misunderstanding?”
The bald head held up the half-chewed corn awkwardly, torn and apprehensive, feeling that it was not corn, but a fraudulent bomb, and it seemed inappropriate to return it or continue to hold it.
“I was wrong,” the bald man apologized directly to An Jin with a twist of the head, “I’m sorry, I was blind, I won’t dare to do it again, let me go!”
An Jin turned off the grill and accused, “You even changed my chili powder this afternoon.”
The bald man was stunned. “How did you know?” He drifted off, “Did you purposely start the fire?”
An Jin blinked, with an innocent face. “It’s because you don’t know how to use it.”
Norman’s hand was hard. “You had trouble with him before?”
The bald man’s neck stuck tight. He hastily pulled the collar with his hand and apologized. “I will return the chili powder to him immediately,” he did not forget to compliment, “because the little brother’s skill is too good, I was moved to do so. I will never dare to do it again.”
Norman looked at the teenager. “What do you want to do with him?”
An Jin pondered, and thinking of Norman’s identity, he said, “He is very skilled in threatening people. This is not the first time to do this kind of thing, in reality, he may also have bullied others. Hand over to the police to deal with, and investigate all the things he has done, according to the law.” He paused. “It’s best to let him pay some compensation to the people he bullied.” He asked Norman, “Do you think that’s okay?”
“No!” The bald man panicked and didn’t care what Team Leader Tang would do to him later. He pulled out of the panel and went offline, slipping away.
When An Jin saw him disappearing, he got a little angry and asked Norman, “Won’t they be punished for doing bad things in the holographic world? Just run away and you will be fine?”
“Can’t run away, it will be handled the way you said.”
The bald man returned to reality, smugly sneering, yet within five minutes, the police from his street knocked on his door.
Norman came back inside and washed his hands. He saw An Jin loading the plates and went over to help, holding the big plate with one hand and taking the skewers and putting them on with the other. He looked at the young man arranging the skewers. “How did you think of doing that?”
An Jin’s heart beat fast for a moment, but soon calmed down, and he looked up at him with bright eyes. “Joey’s teacher said in class that bad guys should be handed over to the police.”
Norman understood. He knew Joey: when he was delivering food to the little mermaid, the little mermaid was always watching a cartoon. The main character of the cartoon was named Joey. He complimented, “An An is so smart.”
He suddenly understood why the little mermaid always watched it with great interest, because the little mermaid could understand it. He thought that the fact that the little mermaid learned to speak so quickly should also be related to watching cartoons regularly.
An Jin pursed his lips in embarrassment as he noticed that Norman complimented him and became more and more skilled. At first, he could feel Norman complimenting him very stiffly, what he always did, Norman after a few seconds before praising.
It was as if it suddenly occurred to him that he should be complimented. Now the compliment was very natural, not going through the process. Norman did not notice his transformation, thought the little mermaid was very smart, and subconsciously praised him.
The two of them put all the food on the table. The table was full, and with all kinds of aromas mixed, it was very seductive.
Mu Chen, although he had been eating, was also paying attention to the movement just now, and asked Norman, somewhat curiously, “Who is Joey?”
“The main character of the cartoon.”
“An An watches cartoons?” asked Mu Chen.
“All the time.”
An Jin nodded. Taking the opportunity to make it seem reasonable for him to learn to speak quickly, he said, “I learned a lot of words from the cartoons.”
Mu Chen took a bite of his chicken wing and thought to himself, If Little Silver watches cartoons, will he be able to learn the interstellar language too? Even if he couldn’t speak it, it would be nice to understand him.
A mouthful of spicy wings in his mouth, his eyes narrowed into a face of enjoyment.
The three of them had a good meal.
When it was almost six o’clock, Norman asked An Jin to go offline for dinner, and then he and Mu Chen went offline as well.
Mu Chen returned to the conference room and was met with a dozen pairs of expectant eyes.
Mu Chen sighed slightly in his heart and shook his head, “It’s not a human ability, it’s a… bug. The holographic company checked too quickly before and didn’t find it. It should issue an announcement soon.”
At once, a sigh of disappointment rang out in the conference room.
Mu Chen’s good mood from eating barbecue immediately dissipated. His eyes swept across the conference room; he was the oldest present, and less than forty-five years old.
People in the military have a large spiritual force consumption; if you can not continue to replenish the spiritual force, the spiritual sea is bound to collapse before the age of fifty, and you’ll be greeted only by death. The current market’s soothing agent, used for a long time, will have resistance. The worse the effect of using it was, for the upper echelon of military officers, about the same as it being ineffective.
Recruitment had been increasingly difficult for the Ministry of the Military, because a decade ago His Majesty resisted the pressure to fight for the benefit of the military, but in recent years the participation rate had rebounded.
The only requirement was to have the ability to raise a mermaid. Officers who had accumulated enough military merit may not be able to auction off their assets for a mermaid, but they have absolutely no problem raising a mermaid. This benefit was a great incentive for military personnel and led to an increase in the number of enlistments.
But mermaids were scarce, and the number of soldiers was completely unequal; there were too many soldiers to bear the risk of spiritual riots.
Mu Chen sighed lightly and got up to leave the office.
He hoped what An An said was true. In that case, An An could make some food that could replenish spiritual power.
Even if the quantity was not much, it was better than nothing. If there was an emergency, it may be able to save lives. Thinking of this, Mu Chen went back to his office and then turned around to Norman’s office. He had to be sure in reality, the barbecue stall partner, was it really An An?!
At this time, Norman was in contact with the head of the holographic company, Arlo.
Arlo listened to Norman say to announce the bug, and backpedaled. “Your Majesty, he can really make food with the effect of restoring spiritual power?”
He supervised the whole process of bug-checking and knew very well that there was no bug at all.
“Mn,” Norman didn’t deny it, reminding, “first class confidential.”
Arlo sounded vaguely excited. “Why not spread the word? The news is too exciting, and after the summer military recruiting, it will certainly be very lively!” Calming down a little, he said, “Can’t it be used in reality?”
Norman said, “It can’t be promoted. Te publicity is not conducive to protecting him.”
Arlo was disappointed and quickly regained his mood, it was always better to have a little hope. “I’ll hang up the announcement right away.”
Norman asked again, “What is the price of the most expensive barbecue in the holographic world?”
“Inkhorn howler meat, a string of eighty.”
Norman said, “His skewers, from now on, will be one hundred per skewer. Ten percent to the holographic company. The rest go on my tab.”
Arlo thought to himself, His Majesty has really taken a liking to this capable man, and he said, “Good.”
Meanwhile, on the Internet, the news that the holographic world’s roast meat had the effect of boosting spiritual power had become a big hit, causing intense discussions among netizens.
The news had been a hot topic of discussion, with users questioning the authenticity of the roast’s effect, and speculating whether it is a holographic company bug, or someone with this ability.
The discussion intensified, and many netizens left messages on the official website of the holographic company, asking for the truth, and the official website almost went down.
Soon the holographic company hung an announcement explaining that the grilling effect did exist and that it was an unintentional system bug that had formed.
After the announcement explaining the situation was sent, a compensation announcement was sent immediately afterwards.
“In order to compensate users, our company will keep the bug as a benefit and sell one thousand five hundred bunches of delicious, restorative spiritual force grilled meat every day, at a price of one hundred per string, limited to ten per person, first paid, first served.”
The netizens boiled over, and the holographic company customer service was suddenly busy and dizzy.
“Where to sell? Do you accept reservations?”
“Is it still available today? What time does it start every day?”
All kinds of questions kept appearing in the customer service chat box until the company came out with a complete and specific announcement.
An Jin was floating in the water with his hands on the bank of the pool, and Norman looked down and asked him, “Will you be too tired for the sale at four pm?”
An Jin tilted his chin, a little smug, and shook his head.
He’s a fast griller!
He was glancing at Norman’s virtual screen, and a trace of embarrassment appeared on his face. He couldn’t read it! He had improved his speaking quickly, but his writing was not so good, and he only half recognized many of the words.
His heart moved; he already knew that he was very important to Norman, and the relationship was solid, so it shouldn’t matter if he exposed his speaking ability. He looked over to Norman’s terminal bracelet, and he wanted one too.
He was learning to recognize words by watching cartoons, which was too slow, and there should be suitable teaching materials on Starnet. He pondered how he should speak up so that it didn’t seem abrupt and so that Norman wouldn’t think he had deliberately kept quiet before?
Norman stood up and said to the young mermaid, “I’m going to the awards ceremony, you get some rest.”
An Jin pursed his lips, and not wanting to delay Norman’s business, nodded and waved at him.