Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
When Norman returned to the villa, he walked into the hall and smelled a faint aroma. When he reached the kitchen door, he saw the little mermaid standing on the scooter, watching intently as the chef made the food. There were already three plates of small animal treats on the counter, looking delicious and cute.
An Jin felt the stare, turned his head, and smiled when he saw Norman. “You’re off duty!”
His wrist lifted slightly, but when he thought of the fishtail that could hardly stand, he dropped it again and held the handle tightly. His chin lifted slightly and he gestured towards the fridge in the corner. “There’s strawberry milk pudding in the fridge, you’ll like it.”
With the recent high temperatures, he had been staying indoors. He was occasionally in the pool in the garden, but did not stay long enough to feel the heat. But Norman was different, and judging from that communication, Norman would normally be hot from training.
Norman’s eyes swept over the young mermaid’s hands clutching the handles. “Have you eaten?”
An Jin smiled. “I thought it would be fun to eat with Little Silver later and watched the chef make dessert.”
Norman walked over to the refrigerator and opened it. There were twelve glasses of pudding on the top shelf. The contrast between the creamy white milk and the bright red strawberries looked sweet and refreshing.
Norman took a glass and a silver spoon with delicate carving, closed the refrigerator, and walked to the little mermaid. He opened the lid, scooped a spoonful, took half of the strawberry with it, and put it to the little mermaid’s mouth.
An Jin looked up, his blue eyes slightly fluttering.
Seeing Norman’s serious face, he opened his mouth and ate it. The cool and sweet taste swept his mouth instantly, and at the same time, he felt a slight chill at the corner of his mouth and licked the corner of his mouth with some embarrassment.
The soft, pink tongue flashed, and Norman’s hand holding the spoon unconsciously tightened. He took his eyes off the small mermaid’s mouth and continued to dig into the dessert, his expression serious. He carefully controlled the force and direction of his hand to avoid bumping the strawberry.
An Jin looked at another spoonful of pudding that was passed to his mouth, ate it, and shook his head. “I’ve already tasted it, it tastes great! The chef made twelve cups, we each have three.”
Norman saw the little mermaid’s insistence, covered the little mermaid’s pudding, and under the little mermaid’s urging, took a cup, scooped a large spoonful at random, and put it into his mouth.
The sweet and sour, thick and refreshing sensation came instantly, and his brown eyes shone slightly. After swallowing it, he met the little mermaid’s expectant eyes and commented seriously, “It’s delicious.”
An Jin’s eyes curved. “There are several more, so wait and see which one you like best,” he said, then he winked and asked, “Are you busy at work?”
Siao was very safe, which was not the least reason why it had been named the most livable main star in the Star League for five years in a row.
Except during the spring beast wave, he wasn’t busy when he was on Siao Planet.
Of course, he did not spend much time on Siao Planet every year. He spent more time on interstellar patrols, which also made various star pirate groups not dare to come near Siao Planet at will.
An Jin was a little disappointed. He thought about it and simply asked, “So do you go to the holographic world at work?”
“Occasionally, depending on the schedule.”
He was not busy at work, but his schedule was quite full. He would often visit the bases just because of the convenient transportation. No matter where he went, it was very fast. He guessed the young mermaid’s intentions and said, after a moment’s silence, “I could accompany you to the holographic world every day at noon.”
“That’s okay,” An Jin asked tentatively, shaking his head, “so you’re most free at noon?”
“Mn, it’s a legal lunch break.”
An Jin silently remembered, thinking that if he went to the holographic world to exercise the water ability, he must avoid the lunch break. The water ability was his bottom card, and he didn’t want to expose it, even if the other party was Norman. He earned enough money to change his face and body type so that no one would recognize him.
However, Norman seemed to be bound to him, and as long as both were online, they could see each other’s location. In order to avoid the rest of the people, he would definitely find a more remote location to work out. Norman would probably find it strange and suspicious if he found out.
He asked Norman, “What time will Little Silver arrive? The food will be ready in three minutes.”
“They’ll be here soon, so go back to the sink.”
An Jin looked at the wings in the cook’s hand, fresh from the oven, rolled his throat up and down, then withdrew his eyes and ordered the mobility scooter, “Back to the mermaid room.”
The scooter started and drove slowly and smoothly to the mermaid room.
When they reached the pool, An Jin jumped nimbly into the water, then swam to the edge of the pool, put both hands on the bank, and looked towards the door.
Within moments, Norman appeared with two guests.
“Good evening An An.” Mu Chen greeted him with a smile.
An Jin’s eyes fell on his face. There was a finger-long scratch on the left side of his face, very thin, but still with blood, clearly a new injury.
An Jin greeted them politely. “Hello,” he said, and couldn’t resist adding, “Is it okay if you don’t treat your wound?”
He even felt an urge to run the water power and treat his wound.
He froze slightly, remembering the apocalypse base, there was a quite popular senior water ability person, his heart had a guess. During the apocalypse, the most popular abilities were water, wood, and light. These three abilities all had healing properties.
And people with these three abilities have characters that are more gentle, and when they would see the injured, would instinctively want to heal.
Of the three, water was more aggressive, and the water ability level he had at the time of his apocalypse was too low and did not have a healing effect. He thought of the impulse that had just risen and guessed that perhaps the ability reached level two before he could heal.
Mu Chen smiled unconcernedly. “It’s okay,” he looked at Little Silver who was staring at him with a wary gaze, “Little Silver won’t go away without this, so please help me persuade him.”
An Jin looked at Little Silver who had an angry face and called out softly, “Little Silver,” and when he saw Little Silver looking over, he asked, “Do you remember me?”
Little Silver’s eyelids drooped slightly and floated in the mermaid car looking down at him as if in contempt. “Of course I do, you’re An An. I told you, my memory is the best!”
Little Silver’s fishtail swung and his voice lightened up. “Sure enough, it’s mermaids who speak most endearingly.” He turned his head and slapped his palm against the wall of the tank and yelled at Mu Chen, “Stupid two-legged beast, put me down! Thief with no eyes!”
Mu Chen looked helpless. “Why are you suddenly angry?”
An Jin translated, “He wants to get into the pool.”
Mu Chen hurriedly put Little Silver into the pool and exclaimed to Norman, “It’s so easy with An An the translator,” his eyes suddenly lit up, “Let’s learn mermaid’s language through An An! Being able to communicate with each other, we’ll definitely get along better with mermaids.”
Norman pondered for a moment. “I’ll talk to An An about it.”
Little Silver swam over to An Jin and circled around him, gently touching his long hair tied in a bundle, and finally nodding at the unadorned ringlets. “Your two-legged beast is too petty!” He raised his hand and took off a hairpin with a large, round white pearl stuck to it, and handed it to An Jin. “Here you go.”
An Jin shook his head. “Thank you, it looks good on you, but I don’t like to wear hair accessories.” He opened the terminal and asked the chef to bring the food over, and said to Little Silver, “I asked the chef to make something delicious, you can try it later.” He paused and added, “The cook was bought by my…two-legged beast, and the food was bought with his money as a treat for you.”
He was really afraid Little Silver would suspect that he was begging for a mate again.
Little Silver looked at Norman and put the pearl hairpin on his head. “It’s not that petty.”
An Jin stifled a laugh, thinking Little Silver was cute.
Shortly after, the chef came in with the food cart, which was filled with all kinds of food.
Little Silver smelled the aroma and immediately swam to the shore, braced his hand on the shore edge, straightened his body and stretched his neck to look, and his upturned nose shrugged. “Smells good!”
The next moment, he wagged his tail and scurried to Mu Chen. “I want a cook too!”
An Jin explained Little Silver’s words to Mu Chen, then took Little Silver by the wrist, and led him to the food that was already on the shore. “Only the chef won’t do. The food is good because I made them good before.”
Little Silver’s attention immediately turned to the food, and after two seconds looked at An Jin. “You’re amazing! How can you make so much food taste so good!” He said, looking An Jin up and down, “You’re even stronger than the last time we met!”
An Jin was slightly stunned. “You can feel it?”
Little Silver lightly lifted his chin. “Of course, you make me feel more comfortable! Unlike two-legged beasts,” he wrinkled his nose, “the stronger they are, the more annoying.”
An Jin was a little surprised, and wondered if the mermaid was naturally closer to water because he had a water-ability.
Little Silver reached out, grabbed a cup of pudding, and threw it directly into his mouth without taking a bite.
An Jin hurriedly picked up the cup he had eaten before, took a spoon, and handed it to Little Silver. “Eat with me like this.”
Little Silver followed his example of holding the wall of the cup with one hand and squeezing the spoon with the other, digging in and eating. Taking the first bite, Little Silver’s eyes lit up. “Yummy!” he exclaimed, and quickly ate it up.
An Jin reminded, “Try the rest, try each one, or you won’t be able to eat if you’re full.”
Little Silver pondered for two seconds. “You’re so smart!” Then he took a piece of the cupcake and ate it.
Mu Chen, who was also eating his share, said, “An An is so nice to have prepared mine!” He looked at Norman enviously. “Have you eaten the chef’s pure food?”
Norman nodded. “I had it last night and this morning.” He paused, out of a subtle desire to show off his mermaid, and said exactly what he had eaten.
Mu Chen suddenly felt the pudding in his hand did not smell good anymore. “You’re so lucky,” Mu Chen exclaimed, “with An An, all the single people in Siao will want to marry you!”
Norman looked cold and told him to stop wasting his breath, saying he wouldn’t get married.
An Jin took a piece of spicy chicken wing and was about to eat it when he heard Mu Chen’s words; he turned his head and looked at Norman. Norman looked right at him and their eyes met, but An Jin averted his gaze first. An Jin looked away first. He was chewing on the chicken wings with a pensive face.
Life had been peaceful lately, Norman had been very nice to him and treated him not like a pet, but like a human being, so much so that he even has a peaceful feeling of happiness. Before the apocalypse, he lived a similar life at the villa as he did now, except that no one was as good to him as Norman.
At that time, he wanted to escape from the villa, and he didn’t want to go back even on vacation, feeling that the villa was like an exquisite cage that looked nice but had no freedom. After the apocalypse, he sat alone in the warehouse, looking at the dim sky and hearing the howling of zombies coming from afar, always thinking that it would be nice to return to the villa. He missed the blue sky over the villa, the white clouds, and even the cicadas that disturbed his siesta in summer.
Now he was in another world, living the life he wanted during the apocalypse. Only in the end it was still not the same. He was not human anymore. If Norman got married, would Norman’s mate be as nice to him as Norman was? Would they see him as a human being?
Or, would he feel terrible about it? After all, he and the mermaid have so many differences. And what would Norman do in that situation? He had heard and seen many cases of owners turning their pets over to others to keep or sell. Many of them were afraid because of their boyfriend or girlfriend, or prone to symptoms such as allergies.
Moreover, he was not really a mermaid, and with an adult mind, he did not want to live with a pair of mates. He didn’t want to be a mega-watt light bulb.
An Jin mused that he now had an income, and though he couldn’t read much, he had no problem listening and speaking, walked with a mobility scooter, and if he could buy a house, he could totally live alone!
Norman bought him for over twenty billion; he didn’t get the money from the auction, but Norman was good to him. If it wasn’t for Norman, his situation would be unknown. He was grateful to Norman and did not want Norman to spend the money for nothing, so he would continue to pass the spiritual power to Norman, after all, Norman bought him for the spiritual power.
In this way, Norman would get the desired results equivalent to the money spent, and he too could become independent.
He pondered, If he exchanged pure nutrients, Norman should be willing to give him the cook, right? The more he thought about it, the more feasible it seemed, and he thought he would check the price of a house tonight to see when he could afford it. It would be a house he would live in independently; he didn’t want to spend Norman’s money.
Norman didn’t know that the little mermaid was thinking about “independence”, and seeing that the little mermaid seemed to like Little Silver, he asked Mu Chen, “Can we take them to the Mermaid Center sometime?”
Mu Chen said, “Some time later. I have to take Little Silver to the medical center tomorrow, he is approaching estrus and needs more attention.”
An Jin took advantage of Little Silver’s happy eating to ask for Mu Chen, “The food you make has the same effect as your song, so Mu Chen, your two-legged beast, wants you to give him a little bit of tasty food every day, is that okay?”
“Cheeky two-legged beast!” Little Silver said angrily, “He can’t steal it, but he still wants me to give it to him?” After he finished, he suddenly realized something and looked at An Jin in surprise, “You can understand the words of the two-legged beast?”
An Jin nodded. “Mn,” he took the opportunity to explain, “they have no malice towards mermaids; want to use mermaid’s song to return to spiritual power. They always look at you because they like you, and do not want to attack you.”
Little Silver blinked and the tips of his ears suddenly reddened. “Sh, what like,” he said, his tone aggravated, “mermaid will not like the bare two-legged beast, ugly.”
“…is not that kind of like.”
He choked up, not knowing how to explain, and always feeling that Little Silver would storm out after saying something like humans treating mermaids as pets.
Little Silver’s eyes were puzzled. “Like is not like?”
An Jin patiently explained, “There are many kinds of likes, for example, you like good food, like hair barrettes, this kind of like. And you like other mermaids, but it is not the same.”
Little Silver realized. “You’re right, it’s different.”
An Jin thought to himself, The IQ of a mermaid is actually quite high.
Then he saw Little Silver staring at him and saying, “Damn that two-legged beast! He likes me, does he want to eat me? Or does he want to kill me and use my pretty hair and scales for decoration?”
“…is neither, like,” An Jin thought for a moment, “like I like you, like a friend, not trying to mate with you.”
Little Silver’s playful face is torn with an expression that looks like a violent struggle before he finally said, “Barely, then, give him a squishy fish, but,” his chin lifted, “I want the cook too.”
An Jin relayed his words, and Mu Chen hastily said, “I’ll buy it made to order!”
Little Silver got a message from An Jin and was satisfied with the two-legged beast’s attitude.
An Jin said, “If you have any ideas in the future, you can try to communicate with him. You don’t have to scare him, and he will meet your requests as long as you are willing to sing to him.” When An Jin saw Little Silver’s hesitation, he smiled and said, “Just try it, he won’t attack you even if your back is turned to him.”
Little Silver finally made a decision, “Okay, I’ll try it later.”
During this visit, Mu Chen and Little Silver were satisfied with their meal, and Mu Chen was especially happy with the promise of a fish from Little Silver, and thanked An An again and again. An Jin waved at them from the edge of the pool and watched them leave.
Norman returned to the mermaid room and asked the little mermaid if he would like to help the humans learn the mermaid language.
An Jin was a little uneasy. “Will people know that I can speak and be open to it?”
Norman pondered, thinking of some radicals in the research institute. “We’ll talk about this later; I’ll figure it out,” he reassured the little mermaid, “and we’ll make sure everyone will accept it.”
He also told the young mermaid about going live on the third. An Jin made a silent note not to go to the garden on the third.
On the morning of the third, An Jin woke up indoors, washed up, changed into a white bodysuit, and didn’t go to the garden thinking that Norman said there would be a live broadcast today. Norman joined him for breakfast in the morning before heading to the palace chambers.
An Jin thought about watching the live broadcast, went to the holographic world in advance to take care of the food, then timed the terminal and watched the literacy video while waiting for the broadcast to start.
At ten-fifty, he tuned to the live channel, but the official broadcast had not yet started. He glanced in the direction of the palace and thought about it, then turned on his full perception, so he might be able to feel the scene.
At this point, the deputy minister again confirmed the process to Norman, “At eleven-thirty, the live sphere will start on time, with you as the target, live in all directions, and at twelve-thirty, it will automatically close.”
Norman nodded his head. Once a year, he knew the live ball very well.
At that moment, the butler reported, “The Speaker of the House of Nogi has arrived.”
The Nogi hover car went through security and landed in front of the chambers. He stepped off the hover car and went to the meeting room, greeted Norman, and he smiled. “I was a little surprised when I got the invitation.”
Twelve years ago, the spring tide of beasts and the struggle for the throne resulted in the death and injury of the direct royal family, leaving him and Norman as the only two cousins. But the two had little personal contact, only maintaining the rituals of New Year’s Eve. Normally, except for the major meetings of the House of Lords, the two rarely meet.
Norman was silent for a second and said solemnly, “This is a suggestion from the Ministry of Information to show royal affection.”
Although he did not agree, he had other plans, so he agreed.
At eleven o’clock, the official broadcast began, and as usual, the palace was introduced first.
An Jin saw the full view of the palace for the first time. The palace covered a large area, with a large square in front and three flags flying in the middle of the square. In the middle of the square was the national flag of the Siao Empire, and on both sides were the military flag and the emblem flag of the Leysin family, the royal family.
The main body of the palace was a square beige building, faintly glowing under the glare of light. There were carvings on the walls and exquisite ornaments everywhere, all of which showed the most noble of the royal family. In the middle of the main hall, the golden family crest of the royal family hung, and in the video, a close-up was purposely given.
An Jin had seen this mark on Norman’s clothes before, but now he knew it was the emblem of the Siao royal family. The palace was in aerial mode, and the pattern was very clear, An Jin saw at a glance, and the palace was separated by a garden villa group.
However, more than one villa garden had a pool and he couldn’t identify where he was at all.
The overhead shot flashed by quickly, followed by a description of the palace’s gardens, galleries, the Star Colony, meeting rooms, and diplomatic reception spaces.
At almost eleven-thirty, the scene shifted to the chambers on the left, a four-story building that looked like a castle.
At eleven-thirty, Norman’s figure appeared in the live feed, dressed in a blue shirt and black pants, looking much more approachable than when he was in military uniform.
Next to him sat a man of similar age with a gentle face.
When the two appeared, An Jin was unable to see the screen, which was blocked by the pop-ups. He turned on the pop-up streamlining mode, eliminating the repetitive pop-ups, and suddenly the picture was clear.
Norman looked at the live ball and said, “Hello, I’m Norman Leysin.”
[His Majesty is so handsome!]
[Wow! It’s so rare to see His Majesty in his regular clothes.]
The gentle man smiled. “I’m Nogi Leysin.”
[The Speaker is also handsome and looks so gentle.]
After the greeting, Nogi followed the procedure and proposed, “We haven’t played chess for a long time, play two games?”
He looked natural, as if they had a close personal relationship. Norman nodded, and the maid brought a set of military chess, and they each played on their own side.
An Jin didn’t understand the game, but he learned by watching the pop-up that Siao’s military chess was an ancient chess game. It was a compulsory course for nobles, and both Norman and Nogi were very good at chess. The two did not play for a while, and an escort came up to Norman and reported something in a whisper.
At the same time, Nogi also received a report from his subordinates. “Prince Ian hid in the hover car to follow to the palace while the guards were not paying attention, wearing a flying wing to go to the villa.”
Nogi immediately understood Ian’s purpose: it must be to see the mecha model in Norman’s collection room! He regretted it very much; had he known that Ian was so bold, he should have brought Ian along. He couldn’t maintain his gentle expression and stood up with a fierce frown. “Ian the brat! How dare you use a flying wing. When will you break your leg and know how to be afraid?”
At the same time, An Jin felt someone approaching the villa, accompanied by a child’s panicked scream. Soon after, there was a poof—!, and something fell into the garden pool, followed by the child’s cry for help in the water.
An Jin was so startled that he didn’t bother to think about it. He swam to the passage and looked out to see a little boy in a small suit with wings on his back struggling in the water. He swept his eyes over the wings, froze, saw the child sinking, and quickly swam over with his tail swinging.
Worried that his nails might hurt the child, he held the boy in the crook of his arm and quickly swam out of the water.
“Cough cough cough…” the boy’s small white face coughed all over, with tears in his eyes, and held on hard without slipping off. He subconsciously grabbed An Jin’s sleeve, and when he looked up, his expression froze.
Also frozen were the guards who were chasing the child.
Although they knew His Majesty had a mermaid, they never thought it would look so good!
The guard of the Nogi family, on the other hand, was not expecting to see a mermaid at all. In the next second, his face went white and he realized that his prince was in big trouble.
Norman had not yet approached. He heard the sound of alarm from the villa, faintly heard the words “mermaid”, and his face slightly sunk. He looked at the live ball. The live ball all-round live and excellent radio function, was now close. It was too late.
He had an idea in his mind and quickly walked to the back garden. He and Nogi arrived to see the scene of the blue mermaid sending Ian to the shore.
Ian looked back and blinked, tears sliding down his cheeks.
An Jin gently wiped his tears with his fingertips. The child’s face was filled with baby fat, very soft, and his heart softened, thinking that the child was frightened, and smiled tenderly at the child. This scene was captured in full by the live ball that had been following Norman.
The pop-up screen suddenly boiled up.