Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Losing a child in front of your eyes… For a parent, it’s like a bolt from the blue. Jing Man was angry and annoyed after asking for details, and then he was also confused. It turned out that when he went to look for Brother Mu last night, after leaving, Brother Mu did not lock the room. ZhiZhi should have disappeared then … …
Brother Mu said he woke up and went to look for the child and realized that the snow had been falling the entire time, layers fell, covering all traces.
When he heard that he didn’t know how long ZhiZhi had been lost, he was even more panicked and exclaimed, “ZhiZhi is so small, it’s freezing cold! What do we do?! He went out without telling us…”
Mu CangZhou tiredly raised his eyes, picked out peach tree leaves from his pocket, and comforted, “Do not be afraid ManMan, ZhiZhi is a treant, their physique would not be afraid of the cold. And they should have gone out as their original form. I picked up these leaves on the ground.”
Jing Man touched those long, narrow, bright green leaves, and recognized this was ZhiZhi’s flower branch with a glance. In an instant, overflowing self-reproach once again pressed down on his head.
The two people looked at the blanket of snow, the novelty of coming to the north was missing. Looking at the white, only to feel depressed and unable to endure, breathing with a sense of stagnation. However, sitting down like this was absolutely impossible.
Jing Man frowned, gritted his teeth and opened the terminal. He began to contact the people who rented them a room, asking if there was any secret path in front of this, and then contacted the local police. Mu CangZhou contacted Tian Yuan again, urging him to find out if there were any cameras that could be called on the mountain as soon as possible.
Like this natural resource-rich mountain, a lot of hidden cameras would be hooked up to observe animals and plants. It was unlikely that one of them saw ZhiZhi’s figure, but they could only treat a dead horse as if it were still alive.1
When the two of them contacted all the human and material resources like crazy, it was already dawn and the other children woke up one after another.
Xiao Jin woke up to find only Xiao Shui sleeping beside him, while the temperature of the other in the bed was gone. He was the first to notice that something was wrong and rushed out to ask the two dads, who had somehow woken up long ago, “Where’s ZhiZhi?”
Jing Man froze for a moment and smiled stiffly, saying that ZhiZhi had been taken to the hospital last night because they were not feeling well. He and Mu CangZhou had just discussed the matter and decided not to spread the news of ZhiZhi’s loss to the other children for the time being, so as not to scare the younger ones as well.
Xiao Jin was convinced by Daddy’s words and he came over with a worried face, “Is it serious? Can we go see him?”
It was true that one lie required more lies to be told.
Jing Man smiled bitterly in his heart, he now wished ZhiZhi was really sick, lying quietly in the hospital, that was better than disappearing for nothing. After thinking about it, he replied patiently, “The doctor said that treants are prone to discomfort from the climate, and that they will be fine if they take care of themselves over there right away. It is the treant’s own hospital, and they do not allow visits.”
Seeing Xiao Jin was still a bit worried, Jing Man raised his hand and touched his head, his tone was very firm, as if saying so can even fool himself, “Do not worry, ZhiZhi will be back soon.”
Xiao Jin always felt that something was wrong, but his natural trust in Daddy made him swallow his doubts and go to call his other brothers to get up.
In no time, the police sent sixty small patrol AI spheres and a beast people-type nanny robot, but no live police. This was the police’s AI core Xinghai Jun’s intention.
The snowy forest area was freezing cold and not suitable for the police officers to go out. However, sending the small police patrol AI spheres did not have this trouble. They floated in the air, and were only the size of a ping-pong ball. They could be anywhere like a fish in water. Not only that, they consumed few resources, allowing him to start a carpet search as soon as possible.
On the other hand, he took into account that the two careless fathers might not have the spirit to take the other five children at this moment, and deliberately sent in the nanny robot.
Mu CangZhou went out with the AI sphere, and Jing Man wanted to follow in his head.
The result was that Brother Mu stopped him and said, “ManMan, I know you also want to find ZhiZhi as soon as possible, but we still haven’t figured out why they ran out. In case the other five children also want to go out, then it’s up to you.”
His heart couldn’t take the children disappearing again.
Hearing these words, Jing Man had to put his mind to rest and stay with the nanny robot to take care of the children.
Last night, ZhiZhi was half-asleep, and seemed to hear the voice of Father whispering with Daddy. They ignored them, turned over and went to sleep.
Unaware of how much time passed, a fresh and exotic fragrance reached their nose.
It was the same smell that attracted them in the forest, and smelled like it contained great energy. Smelling made them a little thirsty, as if the most sumptuous and tasty delicacies were waiting to be picked up. So, ZhiZhi could not sleep anymore and impatiently got up to drink some water.
It turned out drinking didn’t help. After drinking, the thirsty feeling intensified, and the mind cleared as well. They had a feeling that the place was not far away, so they decided to go and have a look. ZhiZhi looked back at their father and brothers, who were sleeping soundly, and tried to twist the door handle.
The door opened with a click.
ZhiZhi stood in the doorway for a long time thinking, and finally decided to take a gamble.
During the daytime, Brother Xiao Jin wouldn’t let them go there, so they were afraid that if they told Father and Daddy, they wouldn’t approve of the other going. Still, they definitely didn’t want to miss this delicious meal of energy! They even had a feeling that after they swallowed it, they would grow taller and taller! Taller than their older and younger brothers!
ZhiZhi tiptoed to change their clothes and go through their room, the door was fingerprinted and could not trap them. Out of the door, they realized that it was snowing. Cold snowflakes fell on the neck, feeling somewhat itchy and cold. So, they simply turned into their original form, the treant form really did not feel cold at all!
Once in the woods, ZhiZhi went straight to the source of the unique fragrance, and found that the distance was much farther than they thought, but the desire for power drove them. Stumbling and rushing, they did not feel tired at all.
ZhiZhi was so intent on going deeper into the forest that they accidentally lost track of time and forgot their original idea of going out to look and return. When they went deeper into the forest, they found that the fragrance was actually spread all over the place. To find the root cause, it would take time and effort. In the end, they changed direction multiple times and got lost.
AI ranger spheres that flew into the forest could not be sure of the direction, so they had to scatter in all directions, and were soon out of sight as well. Mu CangZhou followed behind, with two emotions of hope and despair intertwined in his heart.
Being left in the cabin, Xiao Jin and the other children always felt a strange atmosphere. After asking Jing Man several times, he said in a hoarse voice, “ZhiZhi is missing, and everyone is looking for them like a headless fly…”
Xiao Jin’s mind moved and he hurriedly told Daddy, “When I was collecting firewood the other day, ZhiZhi seemed to be very interested in the west!”
Jing Man then grabbed the straw and told Brother Mu the news, and the team’s search had a direction.
Unexpectedly, this search lasted a day and a night. By the next day at noon, Tian Yuan finally sent a message. He finally truly found a few abandoned cameras in the west that recorded the figure of ZhiZhi. Mu CangZhou received the video with a slight frown and could see that the cameras had not been maintained for a long time.
Some were trampled by birds too many times, screws were loose, and the direction pointed to the ground; some lenses were stained with dirt and looked like a blurred picture; there were broken lenses, and a broken overlapping image looked very uncomfortable to the heart.
Seeing ZhiZhi’s thin figure in the snow shuttle, with a peach branch dragging on the ground, plucking off a lot of petals and peach leaves, he had a little lump in his throat. However, he suppressed his emotions and hurried to inform Jing Man of the news to put the other’s mind at ease.
The AI sphere followed the path of these cameras, but even though they went through the mountain, they did not find ZhiZhi.
Mu CangZhou’s mood again sank, but he held the idea that maybe ZhiZhi was just staying in the AI sphere’s blind spot, so as not to be found step by step with long, frozen legs. The warm and bright wooden house had long lost yesterday’s cheerfulness. As expected, the children knew that ZhiZhi was missing, so the mood was low to the extreme. There were those who kept blaming themselves, and those who secretly dropped a few teardrops.
Jing Man was afraid that the children were not strong enough to withstand the tears and pain of their bodies, so he asked the nanny robot to tell them a story to distract them. His mind was now in such a mess that he couldn’t finish this task by himself.
Brother Mu and the others finally found ZhiZhi’s trail, and he immediately wanted to swoop down to the mountains to follow the search team. However, Brother Mu said that the road there was rugged, so he asked him again to wait a little longer until they really found ZhiZhi. So, he waited and waited … When the nanny robot told the children eight stories, and the children were put to sleep, Mu CangZhou came to tell the news that he had found ZhiZhi.
But… Why was Brother Mu’s expression even more grave than before?
Jing Man’s heart tightened at the sight of his appearance, and the taut string in his head snapped. Once he thought of the worst possible scenario, his eyes immediately came down with tears. Mu CangZhou was also amazed, and then realized that the fool may have guessed wrong. He hurriedly turned the terminal camera to the three-meter-tall peach tree in front of him. Although growing in the icy snow, the branches of the green leaves flourished, and the tree was decorated with double petal peach blossoms.
The picture flashed in front of him. Jing Man looked at the familiar, yet unfamiliar peach tree and hesitantly said, “What is this?”
Mu CangZhou’s tone was calm, “ZhiZhi is somehow completely a tree, and currently cannot be awakened. But he doesn’t have any health problems at all, don’t worry.”
Jing Man was skeptical and looked at him with wide eyes for half a day, but couldn’t help but ask, “How did they grow so big, are you sure it’s okay?”
Mu CangZhou adjusted the camera, and the upper part of the large, verdant tree also in frame. He said in a partially complicated mood, “They seem to have absorbed the energy of this tree and turned into a tree, I don’t know how.”
Jing Man couldn’t sit still any longer, he asked Mu CangZhou for the coordinates, woke up the children one by one, dressed up and got ready to meet up with them. The nanny robot sent by Xinghai Jun also followed behind. The group hurriedly set off and found that the road was really rough and it was already halfway in the afternoon when they arrived.
“ZhiZhi!” Xiao Jin recognized the unusual, peach blossom-adorned tree as ZhiZhi as soon as they arrived, and he ran over with his brothers to surround the tree. But after calling out for a long time, there was no response.
The children returned to Daddy disappointed and hurt, but because they finally saw ZhiZhi, their hearts were not afraid, and they were all much more lively.
“Brother Mu, can ZhiZhi not wake up?” Jing Man said as he walked over there.
Then, something unexpected happened. ZhiZhi was seemingly an ordinary, quiet, energy-absorbing tree, when they suddenly flew out many gnarled branches, wrapped up the whole group and pulled them underground…