Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
In the morning, Norman pushed the food cart into the mermaid room, walked to the sink, and looked at the little mermaid.
Little Mermaid was watching a cartoon, his aquamarine tail swaying lazily from side to side, his eyes glued to the screen, fascinated. Previously, when he delivered food, the little mermaid always immediately swam to the pool, tilted his little head, eyes shining to watch him put down food, but today did not even head back.
Norman was rarely curious; was the cartoon that good? He looked at the screen. The three-headed Joey came into the classroom with an innocent and enthusiastic smile on his face, and kept saying hello to the same three-headed students.
Norman didn’t see the point of the episode and couldn’t help but speculate, could it be that the little mermaid was curious or bothered by the three-headed body? After all, the people that little mermaid had met were completely different from the people in the cartoon.
Norman looked serious and decided to explain to the little mermaid the difference between reality and the second dimension. He was about to call out to the little mermaid, when the little mermaid turned his head to look at him, his delicate little face had a smile. Then his mouth moved, and his soft and nice voice came into his ears. “Good morning.”
The voice was slightly different from a human’s, with an indescribable airy feeling: very pleasant, like a clear spring, sounding very comfortable. Norman’s hand unconsciously gripped the handle of the stroller hard, and his eyes were fixed on the little mermaid.
When the little mermaid finished, his head tilted sideways toward the screen.
On the screen, Joey sat down in his seat, took out a creamy nutritional supplement, and turned his head to ask if his table mate had taken it.
Two seconds later, the little mermaid spoke again, looking at him with very bright eyes. “Have you eaten?”
A few words were said in a very rudimentary way, with subtle errors in speech and a childish innocence in his tone.
Two big words “so cute” came to Norman’s mind.
He immediately realized that the little mermaid was imitating Joey’s speech.
The little mermaid in reality, in mermaid form, could also speak interstellar language!
He calmed his surprise, saw the little mermaid still looking at him and replied, “I ate.” Then he beckoned, saying, “An An, come here.”
An Jin swam over and put both hands on the bank of the pool, tilting his head to look at Norman, his tail wagging happily in the pool.
Norman thought about the little mermaid’s imitation and reminded him, “An An doesn’t need to learn from the cartoon, think about how you talk in the holographic world.”
An Jin’s eyes curled up and he was thinking about how to speak naturally and quickly in reality when Norman gave him a good reason. His head tilted as if he was thinking, and after a moment he pointed at himself and said in a slightly raised tone, “Talking.”
Norman dropped his palm to the top of his head and rubbed it gently. “An An is amazing; you can speak interstellar now.”
An Jin nodded. “Amazing!”
Norman’s eyes flashed with laughter as he pointed to the little mermaid. “An An.”
“An An,” repeated An Jin.
Norman introduced himself, “I’m your master Norman.”
“I’m your master Norman,” repeated An Jin.
Norman was slightly stunned, looked at the little mermaid’s clear blue eyes, and the corners of his mouth lifted slightly. He pointed to himself. “Norman.”
An Jin’s eyes curled up and he shouted briskly, “Norman.”
Norman’s eyes moved slightly. The teenager’s voice was ethereal and soft, pronouncing his name beautifully. Norman complimented, “An An is so smart.”
An Jin blinked shyly and didn’t learn.
Norman then knew he understood and thought to himself, What a cute little mermaid. He pondered for a moment and asked, “Why couldn’t An An speak before?”
An Jin touched his throat and shook his head. “I couldn’t say it right.”
“Can you say it accurately today?”
An Jin nodded and pointed to the screen. “I couldn’t learn before.”
Norman pondered, Is the little mermaid not fully developed yet? But the mermaids being auctioned off were all adult mermaids. Perhaps the growth cycle of a solid-colored mermaid is different from that of a regular mermaid? Is the little mermaid not an adult at all, or is it just a baby mermaid?
Norman’s eyes were firm; whether it was an adult or not, there was no way he would send the little mermaid back to the research institute—the little mermaid was his! He raised his hand and reached for the little mermaid’s white chin, trying to check the little mermaid’s throat.
When he was about to touch it, he suddenly remembered how shy the little mermaid looked last time and withdrew his hand. “An An, open your mouth, let me see.”
An Jin swept his hand, remembering what happened last time, and the tips of his ears reddened. He knew Norman wanted to compare his throat now and whether it had changed from last time, so he raised his chin and opened his mouth obediently.
Norman inspected it carefully and didn’t see any difference from last time, and could only guess that perhaps it was a difference on the inside. He withdrew his eyes and quickly looked away when he saw the pink tongue of the little mermaid. “There you go.”
An Jin closed his mouth and surveyed Norman’s expression.
Norman met his gaze and said in a serious manner. “An An’s throat is healthy and can talk because you have grown up.”
“…” An Jin would have believed it if he hadn’t known the truth. He was a little weak, probably because he was a mermaid, and Norman didn’t even think that he couldn’t talk before and was faking it. He was also helpless: he used to think he was a normal pet and didn’t dare to act differently from other mermaids.
Now he dared to show it because he knew from Duran the importance of mermaids and concluded that Norman would not hurt him.
Norman rubbed the top of the little mermaid’s head and got up to set the food from the food cart one by one on the shore.
An Jin’s attention was drawn to it, and his eyes were full of anticipation. Norman used to deliver food on a tray, but this time it was a food cart! Norman must have listened to his words in the holographic world and prepared a lot more food.
Norman saw the eyes of the little mermaid, and a smile flashed in his eyes.
An Jin wagged his tail and followed Norman. Norman put the food down where he swam to: all kinds of chicken, duck, fish, shrimp, meat, vegetables and fruits. His eyes were getting brighter and brighter.
The meal cart of food filled one length of the pool. This was too much happiness!
An Jin was so happy that he sank into the water and spat a series of bubbles, surfaced, and smiled at Norman. “Thank you.”
When Norman saw how happy he was, he instantly felt that he had done a terrible job before.
He reminded himself that the little mermaid was different from him, and his habits did not suit the little mermaid. He usually drank only nutritional supplements for three meals a day, and he hadn’t changed his tastes for a year. The only time he changed his tastes was when he had the seafood-flavored nutritional supplements made from the leftover food that the little mermaid picked.
He saw that the little mermaid liked shrimp and crab, so he followed his habit and booked it on Starnet so that the merchant would deliver fresh shrimp and crab to the palace on time.
He didn’t realize that the little mermaid didn’t like to eat the same food all the time.
Norman said to the little mermaid, “Remember to tell me what you like in the future.”
An Jin thought for a moment, raised his hand, and pointed to his terminal. Norman understood. “You want a terminal?”
An Jin immediately nodded his head.
An Jin shook his head; with the terminal, he could buy his own things. He thought about it and added, “Cheap ones.”
The price of barbecue became one hundred a skewer, and after he and Duran split it, he would have sixty thousand a day—enough to buy a terminal.
Just thinking about Norman spending more than twenty billion on him and hundreds of thousands on mermaid toys, he felt that if he didn’t say anything, Norman might buy an overpriced terminal.
Norman looked at the little mermaid with a serious look, opened the terminal, operated it twice and then shared the screen. “An An, this is my liquid asset.” Seeing the little mermaid’s eyes fall on the screen, he continued, “Besides that, I have two tourist planets, three mining planets, holographic companies also have royal shares, and…”
An Jin was dazzled by the countless zeros on the screen. Norman said a long list that he couldn’t remember, but the central idea he understood: Norman was very rich.
Norman finished his main properties and said seriously, “An An, you may have misunderstood something, I’m not short of money.”
No, he never misunderstood! He got the point from the beginning that Norman was very trenchant. He understood Norman’s point and explained, “I know you’re rich, I just hope the terminal, I can afford it.”
Norman frowned. “You mean, I’ll help you buy the terminal, and you’ll give me the money for the terminal?”
An Jin nodded. “I can make money.”
Norman shook his head in disapproval, and said with a serious face, “I should be responsible for everything you want, and it would be a dereliction of my duty to use your money.”
“But you agreed for me to continue working part-time,” An Jin said. He thought that Norman had agreed to him making his own money and spending it himself
“Making money gives you satisfaction, you like it, of course I will support it,” Norman rubbed the top of his head, “it’s not in conflict with spending my money.”
“…” So Norman thought he was making money for the satisfaction?
Norman said warmly, “An An, as I said, it’s right to spend money for you. Like Mu Chen said, many people are willing to spend money for you, and I’m happy to spend money for you.” He looked serious. “I’m glad I didn’t miss your auction.”
An Jin’s heart beat faster as he met his deep eyes, embarrassed to look down, and rubbed his ears. Such a low magnetic voice saying such words was really too foul. He seriously thought, If he had a pet and still needed the pet to make money, it did seem too bad. And if the existence of this pet could prolong his life… With such a premise, and needing a pet to make money… An Jin felt so excessive just assuming so!
He understood Norman’s thoughts somewhat. He thought of the importance of his ability to Norman and inwardly opened up. His eyes curled. “I’ll leave it to you to buy the terminal.”
He quickly thought of saving the money he earned so that he could buy some gifts as a surprise for the holidays or Norman’s birthday.
Norman didn’t know that the little mermaid had such a cute idea, so he went into the Starnet Mall, bought a terminal bracelet in a flash, and then asked, “Is there anything else you want?”
An Jin said honestly, “Level two and three beast cores.”
Norman gave himself another note of carelessness. “I was negligent.” The little mermaid was so happy when he got the beast core, and he obviously liked it. It suddenly occurred to him that these days, he didn’t seem to see the little mermaid playing with the beast core, and he casually asked, “Where is the previous one?”
An Jin blinked and pointed in the direction of the bathroom. “Flushed away.”
“That’s okay, I’ll buy more for you.”
An Jin politely thanked him, “Thank you.”
“No need to be polite, I need to thank you more.” Norman looked at him deeply, pointing to the food on the shore. “You pick what you like to eat, and when your spiritual power is sufficient, pass spiritual power to them.” He said seriously, “Make sure you don’t push yourself; do what you can.”
Although the robot would monitor the state of the little mermaid, he still did not feel comfortable and reminded him.
After An Jin’s powers were revealed, he had expected this scene to occur. It was very easy for him, especially after he accepted that Norman would pay for everything he spent, and he was happy to be able to help Norman. He nodded, “Okay.”
A quarter of an hour later, the robot delivered the terminal bracelet to the mermaid room. Norman took the little mermaid’s wrist, removed his communicator, and put the terminal bracelet on.
An Jin’s wrist twitched with pleasure.
Norman helped him set up the fingerprint and pupil lock, taught him the simple use, asked him what he wanted the terminal to do, and then downloaded the most popular literacy course on Starnet.
An Jin put his right hand on the shore and leaned sideways next to Norman, listening carefully to Norman’s explanation. The atmosphere was very harmonious.
At Mu Chen’s house, the atmosphere was completely different.
Mu Chen brought breakfast to Little Silver, which was based on Little Silver’s favorite food, flattened fish. As soon as he entered the mermaid room, Little Silver, who was floating leisurely on the surface of the water, became alert and floated vertically in the water, keeping his eyes on him.
Mu Chen put down his food. “Silver, remember me! I am your most handsome master Mu Chen.”
Little Silver bared his teeth, showing his canine teeth, scampered to the edge of the pool and picked up the tray, moving the food to the shore furthest from the door.
Mu Chen took it for granted and opened the terminal, turning on the projection equipment he had installed last night. The screen on the wall lit up and showed Joey in class.
Mu Chen watched Little Silver’s reaction, his eyes tinged with anticipation.
If only Little Silver could understand him, at least there would be less fighting. Little Silver heard the sound and twisted his head to look, then turned his head to continue to look at breakfast. His heart sneered, Want to use the pups to win his sympathy?
Heh, cunning two-legged beast. He did not pay attention to Mu Chen. His eyes blazed at the flat flat fish and he opened his mouth to sing.
Mu Chen froze. Little Silver actually sang again!
Yesterday morning, when he delivered the breakfast, Little Silver also sang a song. Yesterday his spiritual power rose less than before, but he didn’t care: the spiritual power delivered by the mermaid was not the same every time.
He only thought that Little Silver was in too good a mood to resist singing, but the spiritual power had not fully recovered, so the healing effect had become worse. Now it seemed that it was definitely not because he was in a good mood.
Little Silver had never sung for three days in a row!
He recalled the events of the past two days, and his complexion changed slightly. The night before last, he took Little Silver to see An An. His heart beat faster and a suspicion came to his mind. He stood still, gazing at the change in his spiritual force.
At the end of the song, his spiritual power rose a little, but less than before, about the same as yesterday.
After singing, Little Silver picked up the flat fish with glowing eyes, opened his mouth and bit down. The delicious taste exploded in his mouth, and his eyes narrowed in enjoyment, his tail wagging happily from side to side.
Mu Chen saw this and became more and more sure of his suspicions. In the past, Little Silver ate breakfast, but it did not seem so enjoyable. It looked as if the food had become delicious. His heart moved, he called out, “Little Silver, come here.”
Little Silver ignored him.
Mu Chen went around to the bank of the pool over there, and Little Silver immediately looked at him warily, and a low growl came out of his throat.
Mu Chen quickly approached and suddenly grabbed one of the fish on the tray.
“Ah!” Little Silver got surprisingly angry and slapped a paw at his arm.
Mu Chen hurriedly backed up while strengthening his arm, coaxing, “I’ll just have a taste.”
Not caring that the fish was raw, he took a quick bite and tossed it back onto the tray before Little Silver climbed ashore. He felt the fishy taste in his mouth, a fine distinction, but the little bitter odor was not there. There were no impurities.
He looked at the fish he’d thrown back with a little regret. He should have taken a bigger bite. He had too little, and his spiritual force returning was not obvious. His mood’s ups and downs were too much, and he worried about feeling wrong.
Little Silver shielded his food in the crook of his arm and growled at him fiercely, “Damn two-legged beast, stay away from my food!”
He wanted to give the two-legged beast in front of him a good beating, but remembered that two-legged beasts were cunning and feared that they would take advantage of the opportunity to steal his food and did not want to leave it.
Mu Chen could not understand what Little Silver said, but after raising him for so long, could understand his tone, which was really angry. He then dismissed the idea of grabbing it again and taking a big bite, turned around and went out of the mermaid room, told the house help to take good care of Little Silver and got into the hover car.
The intelligent system automatically determined the route to the military headquarters, and Mu Chen said, “Modify the route, go to the palace.”
Norman was about to leave the house when he received a communication from Mu Chen, who sat in the living room and waited.
Five minutes later, the butler robot reported, “Mu Chen is coming.”
Shortly after, Mu Chen walked into the living room in a blaze of glory, greeted Norman first, and then said, “I want to see An An.”
Norman asked, “What do you want to see him about?”
Mu Chen looked excited. “Little Silver also knows that singing can make food delicious. I suspect that An An told Little Silver, mermaid to mermaid; it is likely they can communicate with each other! I’ve already confirmed that after Little Silver sang, his food also became delicious, but I’m not sure if it has the effect of restoring spiritual power. I want to ask An An.”
Norman eyes also surfaced amazement, then brown eyes slightly brightened, and there rose a strong hope.
If all mermaids could transmit spiritual power to food, and were willing to do so, even if the ordinary mermaid spiritual power recovery speed wasn’t as fast as An An, they could provide more spiritual power than now and occasionally sing more.
Just count if the spiritual force provided, equivalent to the number of mermaids, doubled or even more. Norman’s brain quickly analyzed, then he looked at Mu Chen, and in a deep voice reminded, “Wait, no matter what you see, hear, do not be surprised. Remember to keep it a secret.”
Mu Chen’s eyes widened abruptly. “What happened to An An?” He breathed a sigh of relief. “Wouldn’t it be possible to become human, the same as the holographic world?”
Norman gave him a look and led him towards the mermaid room. “You’re so capable of thinking, it seems like it would be very calming.”
He pushed the door open and the little mermaid was lying on the bank. An An cocked his head and, his tone tinged with doubt, asked, “Why did you come back? Forgot something?”
He had just been picking out his breakfast. Before he could choose, he felt Norman coming back and waited by the pool.
Norman walked in with no movement behind him, he turned around and Mu Chen stood frozen in place.
Mu Chen came back to his senses and rubbed his ears. “Am I getting tinnitus?”
A mermaid was speaking interstellar!
Norman walked towards the pool. “You dare to think about a mermaid becoming human, and you’re stunned at that level?”
“I’m just talking out of my ass.” Mu Chen finally took a step and entered the mermaid room, and once inside, his eyes fell straight on An Jin.
He looked carefully. An An was not much different from Little Silver, except for being a solid blue mermaid! The same fishtail, the same long nails, so how come he could talk?
An Jin was not used to being looked at so directly. He silently sank into the water, revealing only a pair of beautiful eyes. He looked at Norman and asked in a small voice, “Am I weird? Talking scares people, doesn’t it?”
He knew that he was important to Norman, that Norman would not hurt him, and that he would tolerate his differences. But he wasn’t sure about other people’s attitudes, and didn’t know the world’s attitude towards “abnormality”. He asked this to make sure that he could speak interstellar at will.
The little mermaid’s eyes were slightly drooping, his fan-like lashes reflected shadows under his eyes, and his voice was soft and brittle, pitiful.
Norman squatted down and said in a warm voice, “An An is great, not surprising, remember? I told you that you are the most special. You just have to let nature take its course and grow up. Here, you can talk as much as you want.”
Mu Chen was struck by the little mermaid’s voice and regretted not being calm enough. He quickly said, “An An don’t get me wrong, I’m surprised because you’re so good!”
An Jin looked at him and he quickly smiled. “I’m Mu Chen, Little Silver’s master, do you remember?”
An Jin nodded seriously. “I remember,” he said, adding, “I also remember you from the holographic world.”
Mu Chen looked at his good behavior, listened to his ethereal and soft voice, and covered his heart. “An An is really great!”
An Jin was embarrassed by his look and looked at Norman. “Aren’t you going to work?”
Mu Chen was amused by the description of “going to work”, but on second thought, it was right to say that he was going to work.
Norman said, “Mu Chen needs to see you.”
Mu Chen looked serious. “Can Little Silver also transmit spiritual power to food through singing?”
An Jin suddenly understood what Mu Chen was trying to do.
“Yes,” he nodded, praising, “Little Silver is great!”
His obsession with food was not as deep as Little Silver’s, and his singing to remove impurities was not as effective as Little Silver’s, it’s all about water ability.
“Does his food, too, have the effect of restoring spiritual power?”
An Jin nodded his head.
Mu Chen subconsciously took a step forward, and worried about scaring An An, stopped in time. “You and Little Silver can communicate?”
An Jin nodded again.
Mu Chen got a positive answer and was full of joy. An An understood interstellar language and mermaid language, and could transmit the ideas of both sides. It was too important for humans to understand mermaids.
Moreover, An An could be asked to help teach the rest of the mermaids to transmit spiritual force to food.
Speaking of communication, An Jin was also curious. “Do you not understand us?”
“No.” Mu Chen stalled, the research institute has also tried to study this, but mermaids seemed to be very sensitive to monitoring and listening, always quickly destroying the equipment. The research institute itself would not work: the mermaid would attack them.
Norman looked at the time. “Go to the military headquarters first.”
Mu Chen nodded and said goodbye to An Jin.
An Jin raised his hand and waved at them.
Norman and Mu Chen left the mermaid room, Mu Chen looked back at An An who waved and looked at the door, and lamented, “An An is too well behaved!”
After they left, An Jin looked at the breakfast candidates. He swam from one side of the pool to the other, having trouble choosing, and went back and forth twice before choosing his breakfast.
Two twenty-centimeter shrimp, two bulging fish, a cantaloupe, and a bunch of large purple grapes. He took the selected food to the small base where he hoarded it, moodily removed the impurities, and then went and washed his hands, incidentally washing the grapes.
However, he found that his fingernails were too long for washing grapes, and he ended up using the water ability to clean a plate of grapes.
Back at the sink, he used his fingernails to divide the cantaloupe into four, leaving a quarter for later and saving the rest for snacks.
Satisfied with his breakfast, he looked at the remaining food, used his ability to purify, and when his spiritual sea had a remaining one-fifth of the spiritual power, he stopped. After that, he floated on his back in the water, opened the terminal, and learned to recognize words.
Norman downloaded a special word recognition course for him. It explained from shallow to deep, and he learned words much faster than watching cartoons.
After all, the subtitles always flashed by quickly, and it was hard to see them clearly.
After two hours of learning, he ate a quarter of cantaloupe and went to the garden to rest his eyes. He lay on his back on the shore, above his shoulders in the shade under the trees, and below his shoulders basking in the sun. His tail sank in the water, swinging lazily from side to side, swirling with a slight watery sound.
An Jin admired the green foliage and flowers, paying particular attention to species he hadn’t seen before. He secretly regretted that all the plants had black spots formed by impurities. He propped up his chin, a little envious of the non-water ability people who could not see the black spots and must have had a beautiful view in their eyes.
After resting for about a quarter of an hour, he felt his back burning, so he prepared to go back inside. As his eyes retracted from the garden, he moved to look between two clusters of flowers where there was a small finger-length bud.
He carefully surveyed it and determined that the bud, which was tender green all over, had no black spots. Which meant, no impurities!