Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
An Jin held his chin, and his eyes swept back and forth next to the small tree buds. After seeing it next to a different and obviously newer soil, he was finally sure that the small tree bud was planted by him. When the pond was built, he saw a seed, and later removed the impurities and planted it in the soil with water ability.
And it had already broken the soil and grown into a small tree bud!
An Jin witnessed the new life, and to his credit, his mood was suddenly happy. His blue tail swung lightly and splashed a fine splash, reflecting the bright light of the radiance. He looked at the sapling and pondered. His guess at the time might be right: as long as the seeds were free of impurities, the plants that grew out were also free of impurities.
His eyes lit up. In this case, if he could directly purify the seeds, fixing things at the literal root of the problem was much more efficient than purifying food.
But…he looked at the ground. The housekeeper would clean the garden every day, but there were always fruits and leaves falling to the ground. In his eyes, in the ground as well as the soil, there were impurities. He looked again at the little tree buds. In his vision, the little tree buds had no impurities at all, but, the roots?
He thought about it, braced his arm against the shore, and with a little force, quickly climbed the shore and to the sapling. He reached out and wanted to pull up the sapling to check the root system, but worried about hurting the sapling, the action was a beat.
He looked around, did not find a branch that could be used as a shovel, and finally, his eyes fell on his long, sharp fingernails. With his palm up, using the nail as a shovel, he carefully shoveled the soil near the buds and around the buds, drawing a circle. He was busy for a while, and finally would wrap the soil around the buds with the buds.
He used his fingers to pick the soil off from the edge a little bit and then used his water ability, simulating a spray nozzle’s misting, to remove the soil a little bit, and finally revealed the little tree bud’s complete root system.
An Jin’s gaze was slightly dull. There were black spots at the bottom of the root system of the small tree buds, the denser the lower down, and only a scattered bit above, as if spreading from below to above.
Seeing this, he guessed that the root system absorbed nutrients and at the same time adsorbed impurities in the soil. The impurities of the soil were most likely from the fallen leaves and fruits of plants, and etc.. He had only seen impurities in plants and animals. The probability was that impurities in this world would only exist in plants or animals, and would not appear in non-living organisms, such as water, air, and etc..
Thinking about it, if even the air and the water had impurities, the planet was like it was dead, and had no life. Of course, the current situation was not optimistic, after all, animals and plants were the source of human food.
So, if the soil was free of impurities, and with no impurities in the seeds, it would grow up to be pure?
An Jin thought about it, and used his water ability, purifying the soil near the sapling within a two-meter diameter, as well as all the flowers and trees. Then, he removed the impurities from the sapling’s root system and carefully planted it back.
Back at the pool, he cleaned himself with his water ability and jumped into the water.
With his tail swinging deftly and his blue scales cutting a beautiful glow in the glare of the light, he paddled away from the surface with both hands, dug into the water, and swam into the chamber through the passage. He picked up a piece of cantaloupe, ate it and left the melon, then returned to the garden and used his water ability to form a water arrow, which shot to the ground to dig a pit and planted all the melon seeds.
After thinking about it, he swam back indoors and opened all the fruits and vegetables, got a bunch of seeds and planted them all in the garden.
It was not strict enough to observe only one small tree bud. If he were to plant more seeds, in case the sapling died, there would still be the rest for observation objects.
An Jin gave himself a nod of approval for his caution and looked at the new crop of mud in the green grass with a little bit of weakness. But thinking about his purpose—and confident that Norman would not be angry!—he went back indoors and continued watching videos to learn how to recognize words until noon.
He finished his Chinese food, swam in the garden for a while to eliminate food, came back indoors, relaxed on his back and floated in the water, and put on the holographic helmet. He looked at the spacious room in front of him and froze, a little suspicious that the system was buggy and had transmitted his location wrong.
He was in Duran’s rented house when he went offline. That room was very ordinary, not large, and because it was so remote it was hard to rent out, and it looked old. The room he was in now, on the other hand, was new and spacious, and clearly not the same one as before. He was trying to check the location when he heard a movement and turned his head to look over.
Duran ran out of the next room and was in front of him in less than two seconds.
“You…” Duran looked torn. “The bug that the roast meat becomes delicious and also has the effect of restoring spiritual power was really discovered by you? You negotiated a deal with the holographic company to get him to hire us?”
An Jin was bewildered for a moment, but quickly figured it out and nodded. “Yes.”
Duran sighed, “I’m really lucky to have you as my partner.”
An Jin said seriously, “I appreciate the opportunity you gave me to work.”
Duran, a little embarrassed, came closer and asked in a whisper, “Is it true that the holographic company is not holding you accountable and is letting you continue to make money?”
Duran breathed a sigh of relief. “That’s good, but I heard that if someone finds a bug in the holographic world, they will get a big bonus. Did they give you a bonus?”
An Jin didn’t know there was such a thing, but the bug was supposed to be an excuse. Norman had explained to him that it was to protect him and that exposing his ability would cause others to covet him. He didn’t want Duran to think too much about it and nodded. “Yeah.”
“That’s more like it.” Duran patted his chest. “Don’t worry, I’ve signed the contract and will never reveal that the bug was discovered by you.”
An Jin smiled. “I trust you.”
Duran looked at him, hesitated, ran his fingers through his hair and said with fierce determination, “This store has a holographic company responsible for shipping. You alone can do it, I look like a mixed bag. I’m not going to stay since we need to get ready to set up a stall.”
Before, the hardware for the stall was paid for by him, and he didn’t grill the skewers, but he was the one who marinated, collected the money, and packed the subsequent finished product. Now, the holographic company was going to rebuild the house, the barbecue grill would be replaced with the latest models, and for the whole process, all he needed to do was marinate the meat.
He had less than half an hour to do so.
And the marinating method, could be casually found on Star Online: it was very common, nothing technical.
The difference between income and payment was too great for him to be paid with peace of mind. He thought about it and said, “If I can’t find anyone to help for a while, I can keep doing it for a few days.”
An Jin thought about it and said, “You wanted to open a barbecue stand. You’re not bad at it, right?”
“Not bad, but far worse than you.”
An Jin shook his head. “Not necessarily, as you know, my grilling is good, mainly because of the bugs.”
“Actually, I’ve been a little busy lately and I’d like you to grill,” An Jin said.
Norman bought him the terminal and the beast core. Although he didn’t know why the beast core arrived slower than the terminal, he estimated that it would arrive today at the latest. When he got the beast core, he immediately wanted to upgrade his ability, but the later he got it, the harder it was to upgrade, and he needed constant training to master the water ability.
Although his life was very peaceful now, having experienced the apocalypse, he always had a sense of crisis. He knew very well that no matter what time it was, his own strength was the most important. As long as he was strong enough, he could deal with any unexpected events.
After the apocalypse, of those who could survive, except for the lucky few, the vast majority were capable people.
Duran was surprised, sizing him up. “You didn’t say that on purpose for me, did you?”
An Jin smiled. “No,” he said, and added one of the reasons, “I want to learn how to read.”
Duran hastened to say, “Learning is the most important thing! Right, you got the prize money, you should go to school.” He looked at An Jin. “Tell me honestly, how old are you?”
“Cut the crap.” Duran looked unconvinced.
An Jin and Duran agreed that from now on, Duran would be in charge of the barbecue, and the raw materials would be provided by Hologram. He removed all the impurities from today’s skewers and condiments and told Duran to go to the barbecue room and grill the kebabs.
He went offline and contacted Norman. Norman was in the training ground and escorting the second team leader, Iroh, over.
The special beep sounded. Norman no longer taught how to move in mecha, ending the mock fight with a choke and letting go of Iroh to walk aside to answer his communications.
Iroh shook his arm to relax, looked at the team members around him, his eyes glowing. “His Majesty’s last stroke was so handsome, so fast I could not see!”
One person’s tone was full of surprise and whispered, “Look at His Majesty. Oh my God, such a gentle expression.”
Several people did not dare to discuss it, but their eyes expressed a message: His Majesty must be in love!
Norman looked at the little mermaid on the screen and looked slightly surprised. “An An, what’s wrong?”
An Jin said about the holographic world, “I want to only remove impurities from now on, not barbecue.”
Norman always felt that barbecuing would tire the little mermaid and agreed with this. “Good,” he said and added, “it’s okay if you don’t want to remove impurities. If you don’t like it, don’t do it.”
An Jin smiled. “I like it.”
Just removing impurities was fast and easy for him, and he could earn money, so it was a perfect job. He finished his business and looked at Norman with some curiosity. Norman was wearing a uniform shirt, his black hair was slightly wet and resting on his forehead, his wheat colored skin was stained with sweat, and his hormones were very strong.
“Am I disturbing you?” He bit his lower lip, a little chagrined.
“No,” said Norman.
An Jin breathed a sigh of relief. Then with a small face, he said seriously, “I’ll pay attention in the future,” he scraped the side of his face in embarrassment, “and I’ll send you a message when I can read.” Here, he slapped his forehead. “I’m so stupid, I can voice to text!”
A smile flashed in Norman’s eyes. “An An is very good,” his voice got a little more serious, “Don’t hit yourself, be careful of getting hurt.”
An Jin whispered, “I won’t.” He raised his hand and waved. “I’ll leave you alone, see you tonight.”
Norman’s heart twitched, for the first time in years, he looked forward to returning to the palace, and his tone was gentle. “See you tonight.”
An Jin hung up the communication, opened the terminal and tried the voice to text function; the conversion was very accurate. He was tempted to send a message to Norman, but was worried about disturbing Norman, so he dismissed the idea.
Norman returned to the palace at five-thirty p.m.. He changed out of his military uniform and into a set of casual clothes and walked to the mermaid room.
An Jin, who was watching an instructional video, felt Norman approaching the room and hurriedly swam to the edge of the pool and looked towards the door. Shortly after, the room door opened and Norman, holding a light blue metal box in his hand, walked up to him and set it down.
An Jin looked at the box curiously and Norman said, “Open it.”
An Jin opened it, and his eyes were suddenly reflecting colors. His eyes were shaken, slightly closed and opened again, and his eyes beamed brightly.
The box was full of beast cores. Split in two in the middle, the second and third grade beast cores were open. He took out a second grade beast core, especially wanting to absorb the energy now.
His water ability had reached the top of the first level and after absorbing the energy, he would be able to upgrade. He looked to Norman and resisted the urge to have to wait until Norman left.
Seeing that the little mermaid liked it, Norman picked up the colored thread sitting on the side, picked a blue one from it, and reached out. “An An, give it to me.”
An Jin blinked in confusion and handed over the beast core in his hand.
Norman took it and put the blue thread through the small hole at the top of the beast core. “The beast core is very hard, it took a long time to handle these thread holes, for general merchandise, the order can be delivered in a quarter of an hour.”
It dawned on An Jin that while the previous terminal was delivered quickly, the beast core took more than ten hours to arrive.
Just… Norman seemed to have misunderstood something; he did not buy the beast core because the beast core looked good ah!
Norman threaded the beast core, pinched the ends of the thread with each hand, and reached his hand towards the little mermaid. “An An, bow your head.”
An Jin immediately understood what Norman wanted to do.
He looked at the dark blue beast core hanging in the middle of the thread, the size of his hand, and immediately shook his head when he thought of how it would look hanging in front of his body.
It felt silly.
The appearance of the beast core was very much like a gemstone; although the color was more restrained, matte, but at a glance, it was still very conspicuous. Hanging like this, it was dull and odd.
Norman swept the beast’s core and looked at the little mermaid. “Don’t you like this?” He withdrew his hand and pointed to the box. “Pick the one you like and I’ll put it on for you,” he told the little mermaid seriously, “so it won’t fall off.”
“…” An Jin thought, He thought it through really well.
Yet these beast cores, which would surely disappear slowly, must fall off.
He refused more firmly, thought about it, took out a palm-sized red tertiary beast core, reached out to Norman, and put the beast core next to Norman’s chest, next to his second button.
“Bah!” An Jin almost reflexively, concisely and clearly expressed disgust. The next instant he reacted and added in interstellar, “Ugly.”
Norman looked at the little mermaid’s disgusted face to the point of frowning, and his eyes overflowed with laughter. He respected the little mermaid’s aesthetic and put the string back in the box. “Then don’t wear it and buy it again when it falls off.”
An Jin immediately smiled at him, thought for a moment, and took Norman’s left hand. Norman complied with his wishes, flipping his hand with his force, palm up.
An Jin put a blue beast nucleus into Norman’s hand, observed Norman’s reaction, plucked Norman’s fingers, and let him hold the nucleus.
Norman’s eyes grew softer as he held the nucleus tightly. “Is it for me?”
An Jin nodded. “Yes.”
He was a little disappointed, but also felt that it was expected. Norman seemed to not feel the energy of the beast core, and in this case, could not get energy from the beast core. Thinking about it, if he could, mermaids wouldn’t be so important.
Norman received the gift from the little mermaid and put it in his backpack with a cautious look.
An Jin looked at him like this, a little weak, and secretly decided to wait for Norman’s birthday. He must give Norman carefully prepared gifts. He looked at the box full of beast cores and was very happy and wanted to give back to Norman. He pulled Norman’s sleeve and shook it, pointing to the shore full of food, chin slightly raised, a little smug. “All became delicious, all for you to eat.”
Norman was slightly stunned and looked at the little mermaid. “Are you uncomfortable?”
An Jin shook his head, let go of his hand, swam around in the water, surfaced and looked up at him. “I’m fine.”
Norman rubbed the top of his head. “Thanks An An, you play for a while, I’ll take care of the food.”
An Jin nodded and saw the food disappear one by one as he approached and asked curiously, “Why are they gone?”
“The space pack,” Norman said, “you also have your terminal, I’ll show you how to use it later.”
Quietly, he wagged his tail happily. “Thank you.”
Norman thought to himself, His little mermaid was really too good and too understanding, too easy to satisfy.
He finished collecting the food and left the mermaid room to go to the kitchen, which was very empty, with only a nutrient machine. All the food, because there were no impurities, no losses, a total of six nutrients, all powerful soothing agents were more accurate.
These nutrients were used to provide spiritual energy, not to provide physical energy. Norman put the nutrients away, eyes flashing thought. Siao had a total of nine legions, and these six were not enough to share equally.
But the amount of food the little mermaid purified today had exceeded his expectations, save a few more days and then see how the situation was handled. His eyes turned and fell on the residue processed by the machine, seeing the melon seeds and fruit kernels among them, he looked slightly moved.
A short time later, the Siao Botanical Institute, was abuzz.
The director, as well as the five Professors with the most seniority in the institute, gathered around to examine the data, each with a shocked face.
“Oh my God, it’s really not contaminated!”
“It’s pure seeds.”
“Dean, where did this come from?” Someone asked excitedly.
Dean Colet was very secretive, remembering the Chief Protector’s warning, and said lightly, “I got it by accident.” He swept his eyes over the Professors. “Go to the conference room and discuss how to cultivate.”
When Norman returned to the mermaid room, the young mermaid was eating dinner.
An Jin saw him, picked up a bulbous fish, sliced it into pieces, arranged it neatly, squeezed some lemon juice on it, and pushed it to Norman. “It’s delicious, try it.”
Norman looked at the lemon, and his heart slightly moved. The little mermaid always remembered his preference. He met the little mermaid’s expectant gaze and ate the fish filet. His eyes lit up. “Thanks An An, it’s delicious.”
The fish was tender and juicy, and the slight acidity of the lemon suppressed the fishy taste, making it very tasty. It was the first time he knew that raw fish could be so delicious.
When An Jin saw that he liked it, his eyes curved and he was very happy.
Norman finished the sashimi and the terminal rang, he read the message and said to the little mermaid, “Someone will come later, I’ll take you upstairs first.”
An Jin cooperated and reached towards Norman, who leaned down and stopped the back of the little mermaid’s shoulders, and with a little force, picked up the little mermaid and caught the little mermaid by the tail.
An Jin was very familiar with this position and knew that his tail was slippery, so he rested his hand on his belly obediently and didn’t struggle at all.
Norman looked down at the little mermaid and felt that the little mermaid was too well behaved.
An Jin raised his eyes, his crystal blue eyes showed doubt and curiosity. “Can’t anyone see me?”
He had doubts before: every time there were outsiders in the mermaid room, Norman would always take him away.
Norman nodded. “Not yet,” he explained briefly as he walked, “I’m blacklisted and have more than three months before I can participate in the mermaid auction.”
No wonder Norman had to use a different face when he auctioned and took him out.
He was a little curious. “Why are you on the blacklist?”
Norman was afraid of scaring the little mermaid, so he hid the exact reason, but when he asked, he stopped hiding it. “Little Silver’s hand was broken because of me.”
After that, he gave Little Silver to Mu Chen, who passed the examination of the Research Council and successfully got Little Silver, while he was blacklisted by the Research Institute. Little Silver stared at his broken hand every day to hold a grudge, and forgot about it until the last time they met.
An Jin finally understood why Little Silver was so irritable with Norman when he first met him. He subconsciously clenched his wrist.
Norman’s eyes swept over his hand and explained, “He was playing nice and attacked me when I wasn’t looking, I was very conscious of fighting and fought back.”
An Jin huffed thinking about the scene and felt the pain, and felt Little Silver was a bit tragic. He looked at Norman’s sharp jawline and said thoughtfully, “Norman is also quite miserable, so he is blacklisted.”
Norman put him in the bathtub and rubbed the top of his hair. “Don’t be afraid of me, I won’t hurt you.”
An Jin looked at him and smiled. “I’m not afraid.”
Norman’s eyes were gentle. He got up and put the water in, waited for the water to submerge the little mermaid, and turned off the switch.
Ten minutes later, Norman came downstairs with the little mermaid in his arms.
As soon as he entered the room, An Jin saw a white closet next to the bathroom. It was about two meters long and stuck right between the room wall and the bathroom wall.
Norman carried him over, and the closet induction door slid open from the middle to the sides. The closet was full of tops of various styles and colors. An Jin froze, and as soon as he saw the clothes inside, he knew they were his size and had been specially prepared for him. He was touched in his heart and turned his head to look at Norman. “Thank you.”
Norman was too kind to him.
Norman dropped his fishtail. He was startled, and his hand subconsciously grabbed Norman’s lapel. Before his tail fell to the ground, his waist was tightened, the hand holding his shoulder back crossed his chest, and then his whole body was lifted upwards.
An Jin went almost instantly from being held horizontally to vertically, and the lower end of his tail dragged on the ground. An Jin looked down and saw that the tail was tilted back and folded twenty centimeters above the tail fin, with the fish scales touching the ground. He patted the back of Norman’s hand on his abdomen with his fingers. “Let go of me, I can stand.”
Norman was slightly stunned. He looked down at the little mermaid’s tail, then let go of his left hand, but his right hand remained across the little mermaid’s chest, his palm stuck under the main little mermaid’s left armpit to prevent the little mermaid from slipping.
An Jin’s body temperature was lower than the human body, and the temperature of Norman’s palm was too hot for him, the presence was too strong.
He inclined his head and raised it slightly again, looked at Norman and grabbed Norman’s hand. “You can take your right hand away, I’ll just hold your hand.”
Norman cautiously let go of his right hand and slowly moved it away so that he could shield it in time in case the little mermaid slipped. He handed his left hand to the little mermaid, and the little mermaid put his palm on his arm, not holding, just hitching, as if worried about the nails hurting him, fingers slightly raised.
The little mermaid’s palm was soft with a slight coolness, five fingers long and white.
An Jin propped up Norman’s arm, his back straight, leaving Norman, and standing straight alone.
He had practiced this posture many times in order to open the door, and as long as there was support, he could stand very stable. His tail strength was very strong, and his body did not feel tired. He turned his head to look at Norman, swept his arms, and asked, “Tired?”
“No,” Norman looked at his fishtail, “I can hold you all the time, are you tired of your tail?”
An Jin shook his head and his eyes curled. “I like to stand,” he said, frowning bitterly, “I just can’t move when I’m standing.”
Norman pondered for a moment, rubbed the top of his head and soothed, “I have a solution.”
He said this while opening the terminal to place his order.