Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
An Jin’s heart thumped and his cheeks burned at Norman’s deep look, and he whispered, “I know.”
Of course he knew that Norman was not being nice to him because of spiritual power.
Norman felt the little mermaid’s rapidly fluttering eyelashes, like a small brush, sweeping his heart. He restrained the urge to touch the little mermaid with a slight movement of his fingers, reminding himself that it was not yet time to do so. At that moment, his terminal rang softly. He looked at the message and said to the little mermaid, “I’m going out for a while.”
An Jin came out of the bathroom and went into the water, and when he saw Norman walking toward the door, he swam his tail to the shore nearest the door.
Not long after, Norman pushed a hanging clothes cart back. The hanging clothes cart was full of all kinds of underwear, long and short pants, and even men’s skirts, in blue, white, black, and gray. An Jin put his hands on the shore, his upper body slightly straight, and his eyes swept from front to back, very sure it was all his.
He immediately understood that these must be clothes that Norman bought and had sent him over for him.
Norman pushed the trolley in front of the little mermaid and stopped. He looked at the little mermaid, and said, “I don’t know what you like, and bought two of each kind. If you don’t like them, you can buy what you like.”
He said this, suddenly thinking that since An An had always been in the form of a mermaid, perhaps he did not know how to wear it. He pointed to the two legs of the front pants and explained, “Put your feet in each, then lift the waist of the pants up, pull the chain, and fasten the button.”
As he said this, he slid his fingers to the waistband and buttons in turn and demonstrated the use of zippers and buttons. An Jin looked at Norman’s long and strong fingers, and his heartbeat suddenly increased.
After Norman finished teaching, his eyebrows were slightly closed,and he felt that he had not considered enough. He walked to the side of the hanging cart, swept his eyes, and selected a pair of casual pants. “This kind of pull-on style is fine.”
An Jin listened to his serious explanation, and his heart was sweet and warm. He said seriously, “Thank you, I learned how to wear it. What you bought is all very suitable.” He paused and added, “I like it very much.”
The little mermaid’s blue eyes were clear and clean, and looked very sincere.
Norman thought to himself, The Starnet teen clothing sales list is pretty accurate. He decided to take a look at the rest of the list when he had time, so that he could replenish the necessities for the little mermaid in time.
The things that teenagers and mermaids needed were definitely different.
A smile flashed in his eyes. “As you like.”
He called the robot in and moved all the pants to the closet, hung them one by one, and finally, only a square black bag was left hanging on the clothes cart. An Jin felt very familiar with the bag, which looked very much like a modern jewelry bag, and it was very high-class.
When the robot picked up the bag and prepared to put it in the closet, An Jin said, “Wait.”
The robot’s intelligent system took Norman’s order as the highest command, so it did not stop, but carried the bag and continued to the closet.
An Jin looked at Norman, his delicate little face serious and earnest, and pointed at the bag. “I can’t accept a gift that is too expensive.”
Norman looked over at the little mermaid’s gesture, his expression stiffened slightly, and he was silent for a second before saying, “It’s not expensive.”
An Jin looked at his unnatural expression, and felt more that it was a very valuable item. Norman had always been frank, and this kind of expression was weak and too much like lying.
The first thing he needed to do was to ask him whether he liked it or not and put it directly into the closet. As if he was worried that he would refuse it, he gave it to him directly.
An Jin thought for a moment and looked at Norman expectantly. “I want to see it.”
He thought better of it, said he didn’t like it, and asked Norman to return it. He was not interested in jewelry, and although he did not want to refuse Norman’s kind offer, he did not want to waste his money.
Norman hesitated for a moment, thinking that the little mermaid had never seen it, and even if he did, he wouldn’t know how to use it, so he should teach him. He asked the robot to send the bag back, received it in his hand, and squatted down in front of the little mermaid.
He took out the box inside the bag, maintaining a serious expression as he unwrapped it, and said, “This is the innermost one, wear it first, then the rest of the pants.”
An Jin looked at the rolled up long fabric and instantly understood what it was, and inwardly he wailed, Why does underwear have to be packaged in such a high class way!
His face turned red, and his ears and neck turned red.
And Norman continued, “I’ll show you how to put them on.”
Seeing Norman’s fingers pinching the outermost edge of the fabric, wrist slightly raised, seeming to want to shake them open for detailed instruction, An Jin hurriedly reached out, and held Norman’s wrist with a face of embarrassment. “I, I know.”
Norman’s movement stopped, first because of the cool soft touch of the little mermaid’s hand, he was slightly distracted, and then, realizing the meaning of the little mermaid’s words, his eyes darkened. “How do you know?”
The young mermaid had not long been an adult, the time he’d been able to change the tail to legs was short. In order to conceal and not to reveal, he had always maintained the appearance of the tail, so from where would he learn to wear underwear, such a private thing?
An Jin, of course, could not say that he had been wearing them for more than ten years. After thinking about it, he found a very reasonable answer and whispered, “You wore them.”
Norman remembered a time when he had worn only his underwear in front of the little mermaid, and thought of how shy the little mermaid looked at that time. He looked down and saw that little mermaid’s cheeks, ears, and neck were flushed, and his fingers kept snapping at the pool bank, looking embarrassed.
The way the little mermaid looked now made him itchy and soft. His eyes deepened slightly, sweeping his eyes over the underwear that hadn’t been shaken open. The difference between rolling it into a long shape and wearing it on his body was very big.
How would the little mermaid know what this is?
The little mermaid was very smart, and he also said that it was worn inside the most, so the little mermaid could think of it as very normal. He said warmly, “I won’t teach you if you can. I’ll have the robot wash it and put it in the corner of the closet.”
An Jin nodded hastily and let go of Norman’s wrist, wanting nothing more than for the panties to disappear from their view. Norman organized the box, handed it to the robot, and instructed the robot to wash it and put it away again.
An Jin exhaled lightly, finally feeling less embarrassed.
Norman couldn’t resist and rubbed the little mermaid’s hair, his heart actually feeling a little reluctant. “An An, I have to go to the military. I’ll be back at noon to have lunch with you.”
An Jin hurriedly nodded his head. Because he was delayed, it was already past Norman’s usual working hours. He tilted his little head. “I’ll see you at noon.”
Norman’s mood, which was low because he was leaving, cleared up when he saw the little mermaid’s blue eyes. He left the mermaid’s room and headed for the military headquarters, only to leave and look forward to the return trip. He sat in the hover car, the scenery on either side of him flew back, he inadvertently saw the mirror image in the window, saw his relaxed and soft expression, and actually felt a trace of strangeness.
The next second, the look of little mermaid’s arched eyebrows came to his mind, and his brown eyes flashed brightly.
After Norman left, An Jin wagged his tail and swam through the colorful and dazzling passageway to the garden pool. The morning glare was not yet at its peak, so he found a shaded corner and lay on the shore, his upper body in the shade, his tail basking in the glare.
He looked closely at the seeds that had grown into melon seedlings and saplings, and they were all bright green, with no impurities, and very healthy.
An Jin thought to himself that it seemed that the seeds and soil were pure, and the probability was high that the plants that grew out were also pure. As to whether this probability could reach one hundred percent, he still had to continue to observe!
He propped up his chin and pondered if there was anything left to do. This morning Norman informed the owner of the holographic company that he could not sell kebabs today, so he did not need to go to the holographic world, and he didn’t need to go to the mermaid center. He made sure it was okay, his arms flattened on the shore edge, arms folded, side head resting on his arms, eyes closed.
Since he came to this world, all the exercise combined could not be compared to last night, and because of the constantly open perception, whether it was spiritual or physical, he felt tired.
In a short while, his tail stopped swinging leisurely and he soon fell asleep.
He was woken up by the heat of his tail, and before he was completely awake, his big tail swung dramatically first, and when the pool water flowed, his tail felt refreshed, so it swung again. An Jin woke up to the sound of whirring water. He looked at the time, he had slept for almost two hours, and the yawning light turned from a light warm yellow to golden.
He rolled over and his eyes fell to the water and was immediately shaken by the water’s heat.
No wonder his tail felt hot!
He swung his tail and crossed the passage back into the chamber, which was kept at a suitably constant temperature, and once inside, he exhaled comfortably, his tail flicking pleasantly. He swam next to the large crab, floated on his back against it, and was about to turn on the terminal to watch the instructional video when his eyes swept over the nutrient and metal box next to the shelf.
He ran the water power and purified a part of the nutrient until the remaining spiritual power was less than one-fifth before stopping.
Then he dropped his eyes to the metal box, which contained the beast core. His face was thoughtful, he had already told Norman that he had a water ability, so there was no need to hide his method of upgrading the ability.
He actually thought a long time ago that this world’s experts would, perhaps, find a way to return spiritual power from the beast core. Just… He frowned slightly, if they really found a way, humans would no longer need mermaids, so what could mermaids do?
When he first purified the seeds, he knew little about the mermaids and did not worry too much about it, and even thought it would be great if humans could solve the impurity problem.
But now, he had an understanding of mermaids, and the mode of dealing with mermaids and humans. Mermaids and people needed each other at this time: mermaids provided spiritual force, and humans provided shelter and food for the mermaids, etc…. If humans did not need mermaids, the mermaid’s situation would be very bumpy.
Because the mermaids were bred by humans, from birth they lived in a comfortable environment. From Rui Rui and Ling Ling’s experience in the sea it could be seen that they were not able to adapt to the sea.
Yesterday, he released his perception to lead the way ahead, he did not encounter a sea beast herd, only individuals, yet even the individuals made them wretched, and if there was no water ability, they would all be injured. His delicate little face got serious and he decided not to tell Norman he used the beast cores to upgrade for the time being. He could not yet afford the consequences in case the function of the beast core was developed.
At this moment, An Jin suddenly felt a pressure, a responsibility. He realized that his very small move could affect the fate of all mermaids. And now that he had made an impact, humans had a preliminary understanding of the intelligence of the mermaids.
An Jin breathed a sigh of relief. Fortunately, it was considered a good influence. Since he knew that the mermaids had intelligence and he was now a mermaid, he could not do nothing, after all, the mermaid’s social status was currently just that of a pet.
He pondered for a long time and decided to observe the mermaids first, to understand the mermaid’s thoughts, before making plans.
At noon, Norman did not come back alone. Mu Chen brought Little Silver along.
Before An Jin could see anyone, he heard Little Silver’s angry voice. “Stupid two-legged beast, An An jumped into the sea, why did you bring me here?!”
Shortly after, there was a knock on the door, and without waiting for Norman to ask, An Jin immediately said, “Please come in.”
Norman pushed the door into the mermaid room, Mu Chen pushed Little Silver into the room, and Little Silver, floating in the mermaid car, sounded excited and surprised. “An An!”
An Jin greeted him with a smile.
Without waiting for Little Silver’s urging, Mu Chen quickly opened the mermaid car and Little Silver was immediately swept into the pool.
Little Silver’s silver tail swung nimbly and he swam to An Jin’s side, circling around him. “When did you get caught, where are Rui Rui and Ling Ling? If I were there, I wouldn’t have been caught by the two-legged beast!” He got angry and said, “I tried to look for you in the water and the sea, but the two-legged beast got hold of me!”
An Jin hurriedly said, “Rui Rui and Ling Ling also came back. We all came back voluntarily, not captured.”
Mu Chen looked at An Jin and pressed the corner of his forehead; he had a headache. “An An, help me persuade Little Silver not to always think about jumping into the sea.”
An Jin nodded in response to a hmm, turned his head and looked at Little Silver seriously, and told him about his experience at sea, especially focusing on the fact that sea animals were very fierce.
Mu Chen was relieved to see Little Silver settle down. “There were too many mermaids at the mermaid center that day, and when they saw you jumping into the sea, they all wanted to follow.”
An Jin was surprised, then his face turned serious, realizing the gravity of the situation. He hurriedly looked at Norman. “I’m going to the mermaid center to tell the mermaids not to mess around.”
“I’ll drop you off after lunch.” After a pause, Norman added, “Don’t be nervous, they’re not in danger.”
The little mermaid had been hungry for a meal yesterday, and he didn’t want the little mermaid to go hungry again. An Jin was anxious, but he didn’t want Norman to worry, and he knew Norman was telling the truth.
With what happened with him, Rui Rui and Ling Ling, the mermaid center would definitely be more cautious.
Sure enough, when the two mermaids arrived at the mermaid center by hover car, An Jin immediately found that the platform at the entrance of the mermaid center had high walls on both sides; it was impossible to jump into the sea again.
When he arrived at the entertainment area, An Jin found that there were a lot of mermaids in the entertainment area, but the atmosphere was very different from usual. He could clearly feel the mood of the mermaids: some mermaids’ moods were very high and excited, like the next second they would find someone to fight, while some mermaids’ moods were depressed.
As soon as he entered the water, the eyes of the mermaids fell on him, full of anticipation.
An Jin tilted his head and looked at Norman. “I’ll go play with them, see you this afternoon.”
Norman’s eyes swept over the mermaids. He had long since discovered that the little mermaid was very popular among the mermaids, and he couldn’t help but feel a tinge of nervousness. The little mermaid came to the mermaid center every day and spent more time with the mermaids than with him.
He raised his hand and rubbed the little mermaid’s hair. “An An, who is Gu Gu?”
He remembered very clearly that the little mermaid’s friends, besides Little Silver, were mainly Rui Rui, Ling Ling, and Gu Gu. Rui Rui and Ling Ling were mates, and the way the little mermaid treated Little Silver, he was clearly a friend, leaving only Gu Gu, whom he did not know.
An Jin was a little surprised, and inclined his head to look at the water because he felt pointing fingers at others was impolite, so he just looked over and smiled at Gu Gu, while saying to Norman, “It’s that green mermaid with dark green hair.”
Norman looked over there, his eyes fell back on the little mermaid’s face, and was relieved to see that the little mermaid was only smiling politely and not looking at Gu Gu eagerly. But thinking that An An and that mermaid had spent so much time together, he was still a bit uneasy and pretended to ask casually, “Do you think Gu Gu looks good?”
An Jin was a little confused, but nodded honestly. “Yes.”
He had not seen an ugly mermaid. It was as if mermaids were very favored by God, and their appearances were very delicate.
Norman’s eyes moved slightly and asked in a deep voice, “Is he better looking than me?”
An Jin’s eyes were slightly open, and his eyes were unconsciously amazed. It seemed a bit wrong for a person to compare his appearance with that of a mermaid. Suddenly, a suppressed laughter came from the side, and An Jin and Norman turned their heads to look over at the same time.
Mu Chen rubbed his cheeks and tried to keep his face expressionless, but the corners of his mouth twitched and couldn’t stop rising. He couldn’t help himself and tilted his head, and with the back of his head facing Norman and An Jin, raised his lips in a big smile.
Little Silver was floating at the water’s edge, straight up, arms folded in front of his chest. When he saw Mu Chen’s appearance, his forehead almost wrinkled into a chuan (川) character. He grinned, showing his sharp canine teeth. “Idiot, with your flat teeth, you still want to scare me?”
Once An Jin heard Little Silver’s words, he could guess Mu Chen’s expression even if he couldn’t see it, and he said, “Admiral Mu Chen, if you open your mouth and show your teeth, Little Silver will think you are intimidating and provoking him.”
Mu Chen’s expression froze and immediately changed to a serious face as his eyes swept past Little Silver’s sharp teeth, and he hastily said, “Little Silver, you mustn’t misunderstand! I didn’t scare you!”
Norman’s eyes fell back on the little mermaid’s face, and An Jin’s heart thumped at the look in his deep eyes.
Mu Chen’s laughter cleared his mind and he had probably guessed the reason for Norman’s earlier question. An Jin gave Norman a quick glance, then lowered his eyes and whispered, “You look better,” he paused, “very handsome.”
Norman’s heart beat to a drum. Looking at the little mermaid’s slightly fluttering eyelashes, the knot in his throat rolled up and down, his fingers clenched, and it took him a moment to resist the urge to kiss the little mermaid’s eyes. He rubbed his thumb and index finger together heavily and said in a dark voice, “An An, I’ll see you this afternoon.”
Norman and Mu Chen left together. Glancing at Mu Chen, who looked like he couldn’t help but laugh, Norman asked lightly, “Is it that funny?”
Mu Chen hurriedly looked straight. “Not funny.”
An Jin did not look away until Norman’s back disappeared.
Little Silver swam over to him and looked at the door. “An An, are you going to wait for an opportunity to attack them?”
An Jin was about to answer when Ling Ling came up next to him and looked at the door. “An An, are you not going to do it because you are not sure? I can help you!”
Rui Rui, who was holding Ling Ling’s waist, said, “I’ll help too!”
“I’ll help too!”
An Jin turned his head and saw Gu Gu next to Little Silver, and the rest of the mermaids had swum behind him.
“…” An Jin cried and laughed, and hastily explained, “No, I don’t want to attack them, they are all my friends.”
“An An is actually friends with a two-legged beast!” Ling Ling was surprised.
An Jin explained, “I can communicate with you, and I can also communicate with humans, what you call two-legged beasts. As long as I can communicate, I can be friends.”
Gu Gu cocked his head and his green eyes were beautiful. “Then why do you keep staring at your friends?”
Rui Rui was also curious. “I will only keep staring at Ling Ling.”
An Jin backhanded his burning face, maintained a calm expression, and changed the subject. “Let’s go play in the middle of the water.”
When he got to the middle of the water, he asked, “What were you guys doing before I came?”
Immediately after he asked, he noticed that the mermaids’ emotions had become complicated again, in different ways.
Rui Rui said, “Ling Ling and I told them about our sea experience.”
“I must go to the sea! I am not afraid of the sea beasts, I will beat them!”
“I want to go too! I want to stay in a location where all I see is water, and I feel free just thinking about it!”
After that, there were a few more echoes.
An Jin noticed that these mermaids, all of them, were in high spirits and full of fighting spirit.
Gu Gu’s bright green eyes dimmed, and his voice trailed off. “If the two-legged beasts don’t pay me tribute, I won’t have nice hair ornaments, delicious food, or a peaceful house.”
“So the two-legged beast is so important to me that I won’t dare to really teach him a lesson in the future, what if I don’t have a two-legged beast.”
“I like the life I have now. I’m very happy.”
“Me too, the sea sounds so dangerous, tired and dirty, for now it is good.”
“But what if the two-legged beasts do not listen?”
“Is it hard for us to even live without the two-legged beasts?”
An Jin listened carefully to the words of the mermaids and suddenly realized that even for the mermaids, their thoughts were very different; some wanted to continue this life, while others yearned for the freedom of the sea.
He felt the concern of the mermaids and decided even more not to tell Norman about the beast core for the time being.
At least, he had to wait until the mermaids could live independently, even if they were still helping humans. Although not necessarily getting help from the beast cores, he needed to find a solution to return spiritual power, but he could not risk it.
He reassured the mermaids, “Don’t be anxious. The humans provide you with shelter and food, and are good to you because you sing to them, you sort of take what you need.”
“Ah! Then I’ll sing more later.”
“Hmph, I knew the two-legged beast was enchanted by my singing!”
“An An, can you ask the two-legged beast to send me to the sea?”
“Yes, An An, Rui Rui said you told his two-legged beast not to separate him and Ling Ling, and his two-legged beast did so.”
An Jin met several pairs of expectant eyes and thought about it. “Let’s watch the sea documentary together, and after that, you can decide.”
He opened the terminal, searched for the sea documentary, expanded the virtual screen, and adjusted the screen position so that the screen was at the forefront of the mermaids. So the glass house keepers found that the mermaids were actually watching a movie together!
Someone took a closer look at the screen. “It’s not a movie, it’s a documentary of the sea!”
A group of mermaids were floating in the water, looking up at the screen; this scene looked really amazing.
An owner stifled, “Unfortunately, no pictures! Otherwise, we would have filmed the scene and it would have been a big hit.”
An Jin floated in the middle of the mermaids and synchronized the translation of interstellar into mermaid language.
On the screen, the picture went from the calm sea to the bottom of the sea, reefs, whirlpools… In the sea, there were all kinds of hidden dangers, even if the size of the sea beast was comparable to half a building, unintentionally trapped.
The mermaids shouted in alarm. They grew up living in research institutes, and seeing the largest water was also the entertainment area, never thinking that the water outside would be so dangerous. In addition to the ever-present danger, there were also unpredictable sea storms, more than ten meters of waves rolling, and the recreation area was full of wave sounds.
An Jin synchronized the translation, explaining the changes in ocean climate, ocean currents, and finally talked about the migration of fish in the sea.
After two hours, An Jin pressed the pause button, his throat a little sore. “Sorry, I have to take a break.”
The mermaids came back from the shock and rushed to care for him. “An An, drink some water.”
“An An, you don’t have to continue!”
“An An, I have understood, you don’t want us to go to the sea, you are worried about us!”
An Jin took out pure water from the terminal space and drank two sips. His throat refreshed a bit, he looked at the mermaids. “Yes, I’m worried. You guys didn’t grow up in the sea, you don’t have parents to pass on the experience of surviving in the sea, you don’t know anything about the changes in the sea, and you don’t know anything about the various sea animals, so it’s too dangerous if you go to the sea. If one day, you have the ability to survive in the sea, and you want to go to the sea, I will support you.”
The mermaids were quiet for a moment.
“I’ll start learning about the sea today and learn the skills of hunting sea animals!”
“I want to learn too! I’ll make sure the sea beasts meet me!”
“I don’t want to go to the sea, my life is fine now.”
“The sea is so scary, I don’t want to go.”
An Jin didn’t feel surprised to hear the mermaid’s various reactions.
It was normal for mermaids, who originally came from the sea, to have a natural longing for the sea, but it was understandable that mermaids had intelligence and liked the conveniences of modern life. After all, mermaids grew up living a life of enjoyment, and the nature and habits of different individuals, the proportion was not the same. He touched his throat, thinking that he might not be able to stand such a translation every day.
Suddenly, his eyes lit up. He could make a translator! He could use interstellar language and mermaid language, and with the level of technology in this world, making a translator must be very simple.
And then he could give it to people and mermaids so they could communicate with each other. He immediately said his idea. “So, you can watch the documentary yourselves, not only this one, but other ones as well, and understand what the humans say.”
“I want it! Hum, my two-legged beast is too stupid to understand me every time.”
“I want it too!” the mermaids agreed in unison.