Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
“Still… I still need to study?” An Jin was shocked. Why did he still need to study? This was not what he had in mind! He wanted to become an intelligent being, get an ID card, buy a house and live alone, go out occasionally in human form, and as his spiritual power became stronger, he could go further away. He just wanted to have the right to be independent, to control his own destiny, to live a comfortable life.
And he did not want to learn! If he didn’t have the ability to earn money, he would seriously learn a skill in order to work and earn money.
The truth was that he was able to make Agent A and had a strong earning power. After a hard apocalypse, he did not have great dreams and did not want to learn interstellar technology and knowledge, he wanted very simply to enjoy life.
Since he had the ability to make money, why should he study?
He had only one basic requirement for himself—to get rid of his illiteracy.
Norman nodded seriously. “Of course you have to learn; learning will let you understand the world better, how to exercise your thinking ability, grow your insight, and you will really grow up.”
He originally wanted to let the little mermaid understand feelings and know the meaning of mate before letting the little mermaid know his heart. But after seeing the pop-ups, he realized that he was definitely not the only one who liked the little mermaid so well.
He told the little mermaid about his feelings because he had a selfish heart and wanted to let the little mermaid know about his feelings.
Even if he didn’t understand, it didn’t matter; when he did, the first person that the little mermaid would think of would be him. In his opinion, the most important thing at the moment was to let the little mermaid grow up well, so education should never be neglected.
An Jin couldn’t help but say, “I’m an adult now!” He paused and added, “And I don’t need a guardian.”
Weren’t guardians only for minors?
Norman saw the little mermaid’s serious face and rubbed the top of the little mermaid’s hair. “You are only physically an adult, not really grown up. Intelligent adult creatures, including the mind of an adult, have to have the appropriate behavior and thinking ability. You have an independent identity and have an ID card, but can not live alone. You need a guardian, but also need to learn.”
He sensed the little mermaid’s rejection and was not surprised; what child likes to go to school?
He encouraged, “An An, don’t worry. You’re smart, it’s not hard for you to study.”
An Jin suddenly thought of Norman’s previous confession, and the actions that he was usually familiar with made him uncomfortable. He slightly tilted his head, Norman’s hand fell short, and he couldn’t help but look at the little mermaid.
An Jin and his deep brown eyes met, his heartbeat suddenly accelerated, and his fingers clenched fist. With a serious face, he exclaimed, “I also matured!”
Norman thought the little mermaid looked like a child trying to act like a grown-up, which was very cute, and a smile flashed in his eyes.
An Jin noticed his smile and his cheeks puffed up. He was usually acting quite smart after he knew how important he was to Norman! He was proficient in interstellar language, both listening and speaking, and he could also order food and drive a mobility scooter…
“Don’t you think I’m mentally mature? Then…” his eyes widened slightly, “then how come you like me?”
Norman’s expression was slightly stiff. He was silent for a moment and had a serious look as he said, “An An, although you are simple, your IQ is not low. You can understand what I say, will express your own ideas, and your character is very cute.” He paused, and added, “I think whoever touches you like I do will like you.”
An Jin’s heart thumped and his eyelashes fluttered. “What, what’s cute! I’m a boy.”
Norman’s smile deepened and he laughed softly, thinking that the little mermaid was so cute, actually identifying himself by human gender. His voice was low, and his laugh was magnetic and very nice.
An Jin tilted his head, his ears reddened. Before Norman confessed, hearing Norman’s laughter, he would at most feel good, appreciate it, and maybe feel a little embarrassed. Now he was inexplicably flustered and his heart was beating too fast.
The skin of the little mermaid’s ears was very white, with a cold white texture. The outermost layer of transparent ear fins, which were now dyed red, were especially beautiful. Norman couldn’t help but feel the urge to rub them, but was worried about scaring the little mermaid and restrained himself. He said seriously, “Cuteness has nothing to do with gender, An An is very cute.”
An Jin’s heart fluttered and he looked back at Norman.
Norman’s eyes were sincere and soft. He never thought Norman would like him before, and he liked him as a lover. Now that he knew Norman’s heart, he immediately realized that Norman was looking at him in an unusual way!
Norman really liked him.
He suddenly remembered the film he watched a few days ago. He originally thought Norman was a romantic at heart and loved romantic movies, but now it seemed that Norman had an agenda.
He was a little chagrined; he was so stupid!
Looking into Norman’s deep eyes, An Jin suddenly thought of his concealment and deception of Norman. His heart suddenly got hard, his fingers clenched into fists, and he whispered, “I’m not cute at all, I’m bad.”
“Nonsense,” Norman corrected, wrinkling his eyebrows, “An An is good.”
An Jin took a deeper breath. “I’m not nice at all. I lied to you. I could speak and understand you early on, but I was afraid that you would treat me as an alien and have the research institute study me, so I didn’t dare tell you, and only after testing your reaction in the holographic world did I dare to really expose it. I wasn’t very well behaved either. I knew I was being auctioned off by you, so I was very well behaved, pleasing you, afraid you would discard me.”
He finished quickly and lowered his head, the fingers rested on the shore unconsciously hard, and long nails clicked out. He said in a low tone, “I’m sorry.”
Norman was not angry; his brown eyes shone slightly. Sure enough, his previous guess was right: the little mermaid was much smarter than he thought! More mature in mind than he thought. Not entirely naive, with his own intentions, very cautious.
The little mermaid, however, seemed to be too hard on himself.
In his opinion, the little mermaid’s behavior could not be more normal: before being sure of safety, it was best to be cautious. He thought about it and said warmly, “An An, if you really feel sorry, then from today, be your real self. Don’t deliberately try to please me; do whatever you want.”
An Jin quietly glanced at him. “You’re not angry with me?”
Norman’s eyes flashed with a smile. “Why should I be angry? An An is smart and did the right thing.”
An Jin’s eyes were slightly open. “But you like me because I’m good and obedient and you like me, don’t you? Those are all false; because of my deception, you like a person who does not exist!”
He said this, inexplicably a little angry and alarmed. Inevitably, he thought of his parents.
His parents were married but with little affection and not much affection for him, yet when he was a child he longed to be loved by his parents and was always well behaved, and they were just fine with him. However, when he was not so well behaved, his parents’ affection for him was gone.
He still remembered how his parents fought when he refused to apply for finance and management in college. He also remembered all the hard things his parents yelled when they found out he liked boys.
These were the only two times he had “misbehaved”, and each time, his parents treated him worse, and the affection he had gained from being a good boy vanished without a trace in an instant.
An Jin’s fingers curled up unconsciously and his grip grew tighter and tighter.
Will Norman hate him when he knows his true side?
Norman did not resist rubbing the little mermaid’s hair. “I know who I like. An An is not frightened by my confession? Don’t be afraid, don’t think about it anymore; you just need to know my heart, you don’t need to respond to me now.”
An Jin felt the warm touch on the top of his head and his heart sank a little. Norman was too good, too good to be true. It was obvious that his parents’ attitude had changed so much after they found out that he had “misbehaved”. He even suspected that Norman hadn’t heard what he said clearly, so he looked at Norman and emphasized, “Didn’t you hear? You were lied to by me! And there’s something else I’m hiding from you.”
A smile flashed in Norman’s eyes; the little mermaid, though intelligent, was completely unaware of feelings. He could see very clearly how the little mermaid behaved on a daily basis, and many of his cute reactions and actions were not pretend.
He said in a warm voice, “Silly An An, start studying well from tomorrow. When you grow up, you will understand. You don’t have to tell me everything.”
An Jin wrinkled his eyebrows. “I’m already grown up.”
“Yes, An An is grown up.” Norman saw that the little mermaid sounded anxious and went along with his words. He was about to reassure the little mermaid when the terminal rang, it was Mu Chen’s communication.
He picked up, and Mu Chen’s voice was very loud and full of shock. “Norman, what you said in the live broadcast, is it a joke?”
“No.” Norman’s tone was serious.
Mu Chen was silent for a moment and his voice rose. “You didn’t listen to my advice and decided to take the initiative and pursue him in a high profile way, did you?”
“Not really. I think you’re right; he should be shown that there is a possibility of us becoming mates in his heart.”
“I suddenly regret it so much.” Mu Chen sighed. “If I had known that you liked An An, I definitely would not have encouraged you to chase him!”
Norman’s eyebrows knitted up and he said in a deep voice, “An An is very nice.”
“I know he’s good, but he’s a pet after all. The live audience is in awe of your beautiful love, but more people are against the ‘pet queen’.”
Now, on the Star network, the approval side and the opposition side were in an uproar, and there were already people about to go to the holographic world to fight.
“An An is an intelligent being!”
Mu Chen paused and suddenly understood. “No wonder you confessed in public, so you planned it!”
Norman didn’t deny it. “Mn.”
“I’m not worried anymore.” Mu Chen sighed with relief and wondered, “What’s An An’s reaction?”
Norman was actually surprised by the little mermaid’s reaction. The little mermaid seemed to blame himself, thinking that he liked him because he had been cheated.
Norman lowered his eyes and met the eyes of the little mermaid, who was looking at him with her head tilted up, but the little mermaid noticed him looking over and averted his eyes the next second. He didn’t answer, but simply asked, “Anything else?”
Norman hung up the communication and looked at the little mermaid.
An Jin looked down at his fingers. He heard everything Norman said and was even more sure that Norman really liked him. He couldn’t help but ask himself, what about his feelings for Norman?
Norman was the person he cared most about in this world, but affected by the pet status, he never considered that there would be a spark between him and Norman. Knowing that, he was a little surprised and a little flustered. Perhaps he also felt a little unnerved, however, this did not mean that he liked Norman. After all, Norman was so good to him that he could not be indifferent. He also did not know what his feelings for Norman were now. He decided to not respond to Norman’s, and not to think much.
Feelings were not thought out: at a certain point, he would certainly know. He just couldn’t understand why Norman, knowing that he had lied, was still adamant that he liked him. He pursed his lips. Perhaps Norman took what he said as a joke and didn’t believe it at all.
When Norman found out that he was different from before, maybe he didn’t like him anymore.
Just like his parents.
He decided to just do what Norman said and act his original self, since Norman had recognized him as an intelligent being and approved of his independence. If Norman was just fooled by him and saw the real him, he would come to his senses, right?
An Jin thought of this and was a little flustered inside. He looked at Norman and reiterated his thoughts, “I don’t want to learn. I can learn to read, but I don’t want to learn other lessons on purpose.” He pursed his lips gently. “Look, I’m not cute at all, this is the real me: not well behaved at all. I won’t obey you in everything!”
Norman’s eyes flashed with laughter, thinking that little mermaid was very, very cute like this. He was silent for a moment, but eventually, because he wanted the little mermaid to be happy, he said, “Then we won’t learn.”
“…” He agreed so easily?
An Jin couldn’t resist and asked, “Don’t you think I’m unmotivated?”
“Of course not. It’s great that An An can speak his mind and stick to his ideas.”
An Jin said seriously, “Don’t you treat me like a kid, I’m really mature! I live, and my ultimate intention is to apply for intelligent creature determination.”
“I’m not treating An An like a child,” Norman explained and added, “An An’s plan is great, when do you want to apply for intelligent creature determination?”
He originally wanted to help the little mermaid, but the little mermaid said he was mature, and he decided to let the little mermaid decide for himself without interfering.
An Jin thought about it. “Follow the original plan, but…because you will help, the speed can be accelerated a little. A week at the latest, and I will show the ability to speak.” After a pause he asked, “Would it be too surprising?”
Norman said, “It is what it is, and they will accept it.”
An Jin then decided that with the personal judgment of intelligent beings needing at least one hundred million votes, a week should be about right.
Norman saw that it was getting late, said good night to the little mermaid, and left the mermaid room.
An Jin lay on his back on the crab, and the words of Norman’s confession kept coming to his mind. He rolled over and sank into the water, seeing again the clamshell bed flooded with white light. He swam to the bed and lay on his back, half of his body sinking into it, his blue tail bobbing up and down, and then stopped after a while. He buried his face in the water bed and decided not to think about anything but sleep!
Norman finished his bath and sat on the sofa with a serious look on his face as he searched for questions about education.
If the little mermaid didn’t want to study, he didn’t want to force it, but he wanted the little mermaid to grow up healthy. He looked for a long time, and his mind firmly remembered the words “teach to play”, and his eyebrows slightly frowned when his eyes swept over a paragraph.
“Pay attention to the mental health of teenagers; they are prone to rebellion. Pay attention to communicate with them more, encourage them to make friends more. Now that the internet is developed, more and more teenagers are addicted to the internet and prone to noncommunicating.”
Norman looked chagrined. After he knew that the little mermaid was smart, he actually did not think about how boring it would be for the little mermaid to stay at home every day.
The little mermaid was not like him, he was already in his thirties, but the little mermaid was at his most vivid, so how could he stay at home every day?!
In the morning, An Jin and Norman had breakfast together and he heard Norman ask, “An An, do you want to go out?”
An Jin shook his head. “I want to learn how to read.”
“Does An An get bored staying at home every day?”
An Jin hesitated for a moment and shook his head.
Norman looked at little mermaid An An’s quiet appearance and worried that the little mermaid would not be bored at home and would become noncommunicating! He said seriously, “You can’t stay at home all the time. From now on, you can read in the morning, and I will come back at noon and take you to the mermaid center to play and then pick you up at night.”
An Jin subconsciously shook his head, so his time to train his ability was reduced.
Norman felt more and more that his little mermaid was withdrawn, and he felt that this would not work, so his tone gentled down. “An An go play for an afternoon first; if you don’t like it, you won’t go later, okay?”
An Jin thought for a moment. “Okay.”
He hadn’t spent time with any other mermaid yet, and wondered if the rest of the mermaids were the same as Little Silver. He thought about it, raised his head, and suggested with a smile, “Then you can have lunch with me later at noon.”
Norman felt sweet in his heart, thought of Little Mermaid’s words yesterday and asked with a smile, “An An invited me to lunch, are you trying to impress me?”
An Jin froze and tilted his head. “Just, just asking.”
Norman’s eyes flashed with laughter, thinking that even if the little mermaid was squirming, he was still extraordinarily cute.
After Norman left, An Jin went to the holographic world to clear the impurities, then went offline to watch the word recognition course, and then trained his ability.
At eleven-thirty, he ordered his meal and saw that Norman hadn’t ordered yet, so he subconsciously sent a message to Norman to remind him. Norman replied to the little mermaid, then ordered his meal, closed the terminal, and looked at the man sitting across from him.
The man, middle-aged and elegant-looking, said with some surprise, “I have rarely seen such a soft expression from Your Majesty.”
“Prime Minister, I don’t think you want to talk about my expression.”
The prime minister of Siao spread his hands. “Your Majesty, if you could tell me who the message just came from, I might not have anything to talk about.”
“As you wish.” Norman said.
The prime minister laughed. “Your Majesty is still acting with discretion, not really looking for a ‘pet’ queen.”
Norman’s eyebrows knitted up. “I don’t care what the status of the mate is, as long as it’s one I’ve decided on.”
The prime minister said, “The ministers and the people will care about the identity of the queen.” Seeing Norman’s face go slightly cold, the prime minister wisely changed the topic and asked, “When is Your Majesty going to apply for intelligent creature determination for him?”
“When the time is right.”
The Prime Minister got up. “I’m sorry to bother Your Majesty.”
At noon, as soon as it was time for his lunch break, Norman left his office and took a hover car back to the palace. The military personnel who saw this scene sighed. It seemed His Majesty was really in love; just a morning without seeing him, and he actually could not resist going home to see him. They never thought that His Majesty would be so clingy when he was in love!
An Jin watched the video while waiting for Norman. When he heard Norman approaching, he closed the terminal. Norman knocked on the door, got permission from the little mermaid, pushed the door of the mermaid room, and met with the little mermaid’s bright eyes; he couldn’t help but feel extra good.
An Jin said, “I want to eat in the dining room today!”
“Shall I carry you?”
An Jin shook his head, climbed up the bank, and got into the mobility scooter. “Let’s go.”
The two of them arrived at the dining room. An Jin looked at Norman, and Norman reached out, gently carried the little mermaid to the seat, and waited for the little mermaid to sit firmly with both hands gripping the edge of the table before he sat down in the seat next to him.
An Jin said seriously, “Look, with the mobility scooter and the cook, I can totally eat by myself if I don’t come to the dining room.”
Norman laughed. “An An is great.”
An Jin asked, “In that case, can I pass the independent ability test?”
Norman’s eyes twitched. “You want to have adult status?”
An Jin immediately nodded. “Yes.”
Norman said, “You are the only pure-color mermaid; there is no adult standard, only the general standard. To be able to live independently, the income from your labor will be your source of money for living expenses. You have accepted my employment, so no problem.”
An Jin’s eyes curled, “Then I don’t need a guardian, right?”
“Don’t you want me to be your guardian?”
“A guardian is the equivalent of an elder.” An Jin blinked, asking, “Do you want to be my elder?”
“…” Norman said in a hushed voice, “Just determine adult status.”
After the two finished their Chinese food, Norman asked the robot to push the mermaid cart over. An Jin thought about it and didn’t offer to use the substitute car. He decided to reveal that he would use a mobility scooter at night during the live broadcast, as a way to prepare a small segment for the live broadcast.
When he got into the hover car, An Jin floated in the glass tank of the mermaid car, with his palms pressed against the wall of the tank and his eyes looking out the window.
Norman, seeing the curious look on the little mermaid’s face, ordered the hover car to travel at the slowest speed. An Jin looked in awe at the receding cityscape and the hover car driving track overhead. The overhead track was distributed as if a spider web, and the vehicles that were moving, often blinked and disappeared into thin air.
Below, countless tall buildings of different shapes stood. He saw the shape of a tall giant mecha building, the mecha’s silver eyes reflecting the dazzling light, very bright. The mecha’s left hand held a shield and the right hand held a laser sword; the color of the laser sword kept changing.
Norman saw the little mermaid interested and explained, “This is the mecha association building: the middle floor has the auction house, there is also an experience area below. Later, I hope to have the opportunity to show you.”
An Jin nodded his little head, he was looking forward to it.
When they arrived at the mermaid center, Norman took the little mermaid directly to the entertainment area. The entertainment area was a huge indoor water area with many water programs built on top of the water.
An Jin put his palms on the glass wall, and looking towards the middle area, his attention was first attracted by the shape of the huge slide. The highest point of the slide was about fifteen meters, and there were many sub-ladders. Some went straight down, some curved, some went around; each slide color was different, and at a glance was very gorgeous.
In addition to slides, there was a water tree house, a super large inflatable ball, and a variety of inflatable rides and water toys.
Norman rubbed the top of the little mermaid’s head. “Have fun, I’ll pick you up tonight.”
He said this looking ahead to the left, where there was a long glass house. Sitting there were three people in civilian clothes: the mermaid’s owners. Theor eyes, he noticed, fell on him and the little mermaid.
Norman reminded, “Don’t pay attention to strangers, okay? If someone bullies you, hit him with your tail.”
He knew the power of the little mermaid’s tail very well, and the security measures here were very complete. He was very comfortable with leaving the little mermaid here.
An Jin nodded, eyed Norman, and then looked around.
Every other distance on the waterfront, there was a working robot wearing a white work uniform.
In the water activity area, a long strip of trees similar to coconut trees were planted on the right, but with thicker trunks and larger leaves, casting a large shadow in the water. When he looked over, the mermaid who stayed there to rest also looked towards him.
It was a very beautiful golden mermaid with golden hair and tail, white gold eyes, and an overall shine. An Jin’s eyes were shaken and he didn’t even see the golden mermaid’s face clearly.
The next second, he noticed that the golden mermaid was approaching him.
At the same time, the rest of the mermaids also swam towards him.