Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
The oval-shaped stone was placed across the table, it was about forty centimeters in the long half-axis, with a dull white center and transparent edges. After An Jin’s question, all eyes in the room fell on the stone.
One expert replied, “It was salvaged and wrapped in the roots of a tree along with the black stone.”
At that moment, Choya came in from outside, dripping wet, holding in each hand an oval-shaped stone, both with a dull white center and a transparent color around it. He saluted An Jin and said, “This was found in the mud next to the roots of the tree, and there are several more.”
Soon, several soldiers came in one after another, all delivering stones. The last one, almost transparent, had cracks around the edges.
An Jin’s eyes were full of amazement, he was almost certain that these oval stones were beast cores. To be precise, it was the core of the beast that was running out of energy. Each time he absorbed the energy of the beast’s core, the core would gradually become dull, and after complete absorption, the core would become transparent.
The expert took the instrument to test it and was surprised. “There are energy fluctuations.”
An Jin went forward and raised his hand to touch the stone, but before he could touch it, Norman held his wrist.
Norman disapproved. “Unknown material, don’t touch it.”
Jorens also said, “Although no radiation was detected, there may be other dangers.”
The expert, with isolation gloves, took out the isolation box. “King, I will immediately take it back to the research lab for full testing to make sure there is no harm before sending it to you.”
The grand elder offered, “So you like transparent stones? I will immediately have a cart of natural crystals sent to the king’s palace.”
An Jin said, “…No, I probably know what it is and there is no danger.”
The experts looked at him in surprise. “You know?”
An Jin nodded his head, seeing that they looked surprised, instead of feeling strange. Norman had not seen Rabe’s beast nucleus normally, but the experts were local to Rabe. He asked, “Have you never seen one?”
Several people shook their heads in unison.
An Jin did not sell himself short, and took out a white beast core from space. The appearance of the beast core was a milky white sphere, at first glance a bit like a pearl, but much larger than a pearl. An Jin could barely hold it in his two hands.
He used his ability, absorbing the energy of the beast core, and the edge of the beast core’s white flesh became dull to the eye. His spiritual sea was very full, not too much was wasted, and the beast core appearance had changed and could no longer be absorbed.
“This is a beast core.” He looked at the beast core in his hand, and then to the oval stones on the table. “Those should also be the same, but with just a little energy left.”
The experts were amazed, and after carefully examining the changes in the beast’s core and then looking at the energy display on the instrument. “It does look like a beast’s core.”
“I’ve seen all the sea beast cores in Rabe, but I’ve never seen this kind of beast core!”
“Does it belong to an unknown creature?”
“The size of the beast’s core inferred that the size of the sea beast can’t be small, it can’t be undetected.”
Seeing the lively discussion among the experts, the grand elder thought about it and said, “Maybe it’s an extinct sea beast, they are buried deep underground, obviously many years ago.”
“That makes sense!”
An Jin turned his head and asked Norman, “Will the energy of the beast’s core in the wild gradually disappear?”
Norman replied, “No. Beast cores are one of Siao’s daily energy sources, a large part of which comes from the primeval forests in the Resource Planet. Search teams have found beast cores from a long time ago that are full of energy.”
An expert nodded approvingly. “Beast core energy does not deplete naturally.”
Choya pointed to the stones on the table. “Then what’s the deal with them?”
“Maybe they just look like beast cores?”
An Jin said, “I’ll know for sure if I touch them.”
Norman said seriously, “Wear gloves.”
An Jin knew he was worried and nodded obediently. “Okay.”
He put the beast core back into space, asked the expert to borrow a pair of gloves, put them on, touched the stone, he used his power, and immediately felt the familiar energy. He absorbed a little and saw that the white color was even duller, removed his hand and spoke with certainty, “It’s a beast core.”
The experts couldn’t help but discuss this. “Where did their energy go?”
“Could it be related to the black stone?”
“Do the experiment now!”
The experts were strong in action and quickly took an oval stone and put it next to the black stone, turning on the instrument to scan and observe the energy changes of the stone in real time. Everyone stared at the screen, and after ten minutes, there was no change.
“Maybe the time is too short.”
“We may have to observe for a long time to get results.”
An Jin’s eyes fell on the black stone, which was so dark that just looking at it made him feel uncomfortable. He used his ability, a beam of water flowing against the black stone, blinked and disappeared, the black stone did not change at all. He wrinkled his brow, the black stone itself was harder to remove than the impurities in the plant!
From the screen that the grand elder was looking at came a terminal vibration, he connected, and heard the words on the other side, directly after the video’s public release.
“Grand Elder, found another piece of black stone, thirty-two meters from the bottom of the water, entangled by roots, in addition to the black stone, also found in the roots of the sea beast’s beast nucleus. The beast nucleus has no energy.”
The Grand Elder smiled and said seriously, “Keep the black stone safe.”
An Jin looked at the core of the beast placed with the black stone, and then looked at the unchanged panel, and his heart moved. “Perhaps the energy of the core of the beast was absorbed by the sacred tree?”
The room was quiet for a moment, and then an expert agreed. “What the King said makes sense, near the beast core, besides the black stone, there are also the roots of the sacred tree!”
An Jin immediately said, “I will go into the water to verify!”
Jorens hurriedly said, “The king does not need to go personally, Choya will go, he will broadcast live.”
Choya immediately nodded his head and agreed.
An Jin shook his head. “I want to verify it myself.”
He was there to see the impurities, if through the video, he was now looking to see if the sacred tree was also green.
Seeing his insistence, Jorens did not persuade, but just followed the guard. An Jin jumped into the water, and the moment his feet touched the water, he turned his legs into a tail. He turned his head to Norman and smiled, swimming downstream.
The water was quite deep and An Jin swam for a while before he reached the bottom. The military mermaids fenced off the key area at the bottom of the pool and released him and Jorens as soon as he saw them. An Jin looked at the clear water and was a bit surprised that the water was not cloudy after digging such a big black stone.
Only after Jorens explained did he understand that the thing the soldier was holding was not a weapon, but a cleaning instrument.
The water was clear to make action much easier. He looked not far away from the large hole, and outside the hole was scattered with some broken roots, as well as some not broken, but the bottom was made of the water roots. He swam over to a middle-aged mermaid who saluted, and An Jin learned from his introduction that he was Rabe’s botanist.
“Please rest assured, King, the sacred tree has an extremely large root system, and when we took the stone, we used the least harmful solution, which had no effect on the sacred tree.”
An Jin nodded. “Thank you for your hard work.”
He took out the white beast core from before and put it at the healthy roots of the tree.
Three minutes later, in his eyes, the color in the black roots faded away, and the surface gradually took on a light yellow color. At the same time, the white beast core was slightly dull in color. An Jin put his hand on the beast’s nucleus and used his ability, feeling the energy of the nucleus. He clearly felt that the energy of the beast core was gradually decreasing.
Looking at the roots becoming less and less black, his eyes gradually brightened up. The beast core’s energy was really absorbed by the holy tree! And after the holy tree absorbed the energy, it cleared the impurities!
Since there was no black stone near the root system, the tree roots were not contaminated anymore.
An Jin was so happy that he swam out of the water and saw Norman waiting for him on the shore, reaching towards him. He put his hand on Norman’s hand and his tail became his legs, so he used Norman’s strength to get to shore and then removed the water from his body.
Norman untangled his messed up hair and patiently gathered it up and tied it back up.
Back in the temporary office, An Jin told them what he had found, and his blue eyes were very bright. “If we find all the black stones, and then place enough beast cores in the root system, the sacred tree should recover on its own.”
The grand elder and the experts’ eyes burst into a very bright light at once.
The grand elder said, “I will immediately contact the military department to increase the efforts to rank the black stones, and then have the logistics department purchase a batch of gauges and beast cores from Siao.”
Jorens volunteered, “I’ll take inventory of the warehouse beast core stock!”
Norman then said, “I’ll have the military department send the gauges and cores you need.”
Jorens said cautiously, “Thank you,” and added, “Rabe will pay the equivalent.”
Jorens said seriously, “We can’t take advantage of Siao, we’re not selling you the king.”
“…” Norman mused and then spoke. “I would like to be paid in a different way.”
Jorens was surprised. “What?”
Norman responded, “How to extract energy from the core of the beast that can remove impurities. Siao Institute has not progressed, and the sacred tree can do it. I think maybe we can find a breakthrough point from the sacred tree. I hope Rabe Star will agree to the Siao Institute sending a research team to study the sacred tree. Of course, we promise not to harm the sacred tree.”
Jorens discussed it with the Elders, and finally nodded. “Yes, the team must not exceed twenty members, but if there is any harm to the sacred tree, the agreement is null and void.”
Norman nodded solemnly. “Yes.”
Rabe Star soon got busy, busy searching and salvaging black stones and collecting beast cores.
An Jin followed the plan to take the mermaids to the sacred land in batches. The holy tree was so contaminated that he was not sure when it would recover, so priority was given to helping the mermaids who decided to leave Planet Rabe, to split their legs.
A week later, the military department salvaged all the black rocks they found, and the further back they went, the smaller they got; less than two fists big.
An Jin returned from the sanctuary, sat on the couch talking with Little Silver, and received a report from Jorens: [All the salvage channels are reserved for the beast cores, and it would be prudent to fully re-probe Rabe again in the next week. In case there are not enough beast nuclei, Rabe’s military department and Siao’s military department have negotiated a cooperation. We will send our troops to the Siao 6th defense zone today to assist in the guarding work, and the beast nuclei will go to Rabe for the star beasts killed.]
An Jin read the message and politely praised the efficiency of Rabe’s star handling and added “hard work”.
Jorens insisted on reporting important matters to him, and he didn’t know what to say back each time he read it, but it felt rude not to, so he would say hard work each time. The good thing was that Jorens seems to like this reply.
He leaned back on the sofa, resting his elbows on the arm of the sofa and resting his cheeks, and his eyes fell to the door. The butler was busy with the maids, receiving the dresses, jewelry and other things needed for the wedding from various places. Watching the maids bring the dresses to the fitting room made him feel tired just thinking about all the dresses he had to try on.
Norman came in through the door and touched his face. “Tired?”
An Jin shook his head, his eyes fell on his straight uniform and suddenly came to the spirituality, sat up straight and said, “For the wedding, you have to wear Rabe’s clothes too.”
“Mn, Jorens said hello to me when I was in Siao and asked the palace dresser for my body data.”
An Jin saw that he was prepared and said, “Let’s go try it on.”
Norman pressed his hands on his shoulders and leaned down to meet his eyes. “Want to see me in Rabe clothes?”
An Jin nodded, Norman touched his earlobe, his eyes darkened at the thought, and took his hand. “Let’s change together.”
When they arrived at the changing room, they saw several rows of tall hangers against the wall, full of gowns and dresses of various colors, each fabric slightly reflective, especially gorgeous. An Jin asked Norman which one he liked, and Norman chose two peacock blue gowns, took them in hand, and took the teenager into the cubicle.
This was not what An Jin had in mind. He stumbled and took the smaller one. “I-I’ll go next door to change.”
Norman grabbed him and didn’t let him go. “I don’t know how to wear Rabe’s clothes, you can teach me.”
An Jin looked up at him. “Liar.”
He often wore Rabe’s clothes, whether he undressed him at night or dressed him in the morning, Norman was very good at it.
Norman smiled low and kissed him on the lips. “I’ll go next door.”
An Jin looked at his back and pursed his lips.
The two of them had done the most intimate things, and the wedding would be held in half a month, and he seems too ungenerous. He thought for a moment, changed into his tuxedo, and looked down to survey it. It felt a bit like the ancient men’s clothes, but less complicated, single piece, but the fabric texture was great, and it looked gorgeous.
He stepped out of the cubicle and saw Norman standing outside, and his eyes flashed with amazement. Norman was tall and held the dress up completely, the peacock blue robe was a cross-collar style, and the lapels folded to form a v-neck, revealing his wheat colored collarbone and toned chest, a look that made people feel very powerful.
Norman looked at the teenager, and his wrinkled eyebrows slightly relaxed. Fortunately, the teenager’s style was similar to his but not the same; the collar folded to reveal only the collarbone. Soon, he frowned again, the belt pinched the teenager’s very thin waist, very provocatively.
An Jin reached out and nudged his brow. “Don’t you like it? It suits you, very handsome.”
Norman hugged him, his palm pressed against his waist. “You’re too eye-catching.”
An Jin was only wearing this one, and he immediately felt the heat of his hand on his waist, sensed his hand moving down, and grabbed it. “The butler and the others will come in.”
Norman whispered in his ear, “You’re wearing the wrong one.”
An Jin was stunned when he felt the waistband of his underwear being gently pulled by his hand and put back.
An Jin’s face flushed red, but there were no panties in Rabe’s costume. He put his hand against Norman’s chest and subconsciously looked under his abdomen. His tone surprised, he said, “You don’t have…”
Before the question was finished, he was picked up by Norman across the body, and he let out a soft cry. Norman carried him out the door and went to the bedroom. “You can find the answer yourself.”
After a long time, An Jin lay on top of Norman, panting softly, and poked his finger on Norman’s shoulder. “You used to be so serious and calm.”
Norman’s hand lingered on his smooth back. “Even now,” there was a pause, “I can’t help it because I like An An too much.”
An Jin was silent for a moment and whispered, “I like Norman a lot too.”
When his vision shifted, he had already changed his position, his back was against the bed, and he was staring at Norman above him, easily seeing the delight in Norman’s eyes. An Jin couldn’t help but think, Would he have disappointed Norman by dodging out of shyness earlier?
He held back his shyness, wrapped his arms around Norman’s neck, and said seriously, “I will try to learn to be like you and express my feelings openly.”
Norman kissed him on the cheek. “An An is fine now.”
The next day, An Jin returned to the palace from the holy land, and the housekeeper reported that Principal Xinbei was looking for him. Somewhat taken aback, he met the rector in the parlor.
The headmaster was a middle-aged Tek mermaid with a gentle temperament, who spoke in an unhurried tone and opened the door. “King, I would like to discuss the matchmaking session with you.”
An Jin froze, and Norman’s brow wrinkled slightly.
The principal smiled at Norman. “The king’s spouse misunderstood, I was talking about students attending a blind date.” He looked at An Jin. “Students come from all over the Star League, no one can manage them uniformly except you.” Ninety percent of the students were adults, but they were almost all single, which was incredible in Rabe. After all, if they were single, even if they succeeded in differentiating, they wouldn’t be able to change their forms freely, which would have a great impact on their future career choice.”
The principal said, “I also know that they used to have bad memories, and apart from love at first sight, mate’s feelings need to be accumulated by the memory of getting along. I can well understand that they have been single, but now that their memory is restored, they can find a mate.”
An Jin asked, “…You want me to persuade them to attend a blind dates?”
The principal nodded his head.
An Jin thought about it and said, “You explain the situation to them, and they can participate if they want, I don’t want to interfere.”
The principal said helplessly, “They are very wary and seem to be worried that we will force them to go on a blind date, so I would like to ask you to help explain.”
An Jin immediately understood that the mermaids should associate it with the black market. And for the mermaid to remember, it must have been written down in a memo. He asked the principal about the matchmaking session.
The principal said, “Every municipality on Rabe has such an event every month, where a venue or attraction is chosen and single mermaids are invited to it, giving single mermaids the opportunity to meet people their own age, completely freely.”
The principal also tweeted a few pairs of mate diaries, all mates made possible by previous matchmaking sessions, which were described in the diaries from the perspective of the participants. An Jin searched the Rabe Star website and found that there were quite a few mates who had bonded on blind dates.
The principal explained, “The matchmaking meetings were open to all single mermaids, so it was easy for mermaids to find mates. After the advancement of technology, the social circle of mermaids became narrower, and the matchmaking meetings were also meant to expand the social circle of mermaids.”
An Jin eventually helped the principal announce the news, detailing the matchmaking session and explaining the voluntary principle. The mermaid group suddenly became lively.
An Jin watched silently and found that many mermaids were looking forward to learning that there was no danger and that the free mode was available, and were enthusiastically discussing their dream love.
An Jin found that these were almost all mermaids who decided to stay on Rabe Star.
After that, An Jin didn’t need to care about the process, and the principal arranged for a teacher to handle it. To An Jin’s surprise, Little Silver was actually going to attend.
Three days later, An Jin received a communication from Bubbles. “An An, Little Silver got into a fight with the mermaid at the matchmaking party and was arrested at the police station.”
An Jin was speechless.