Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Once the news from the official media came out, Lin Han felt the change in the atmosphere of his colleagues around him even before he left work. After all, those headlines before, no matter how scary, weren’t shown in the media with little evidence, believers had skepticism and more people waited and saw.
The authoritative news directly posted a picture that they had never seen. Although in addition to the base sergeant and Xu Zhiheng, no one knew the teenager, let alone knew what the situation was, but soon along with the video images published in the report, everyone had an idea more or less.
The teenager’s face was ashen, his lips mumbling and wriggling, and an inaudible voice came from his throat. His demeanor was no longer human, whether it was his lifeless eyes, murderous aura or habits similar to a Zerg’s, all of which tell the people who saw the video that he wasn’t normal.
The psychological quality of the people in the Institute was quite good, at least not too alarmed, and Lin Han also just heard about this at the end of the day. But after he returned home he found that not only the core area, but the news had spread to the entire Empire, so in this time almost all people began to pay attention to this unexpected event.
Some people were still worried about the situation on V Proton, whether it was a rare occurrence or whether most people had already started to die; the media contacts that had been maintained on V Proton were abruptly interrupted, and many organizations that were still official could no longer contact the central city, so no one could get accurate and real-time information from it except the official media of the core of the Empire, which was originally stationed on V Proton.
Under such circumstances, the explosion of public opinion was a matter of moments—
Both online and offline, Lin Han kept listening to people talk about the incident on his way home, and when he got home, the Internet was full of comments like snowflakes. Some people reassured themselves that it must be a false alarm, that it might be just a single individual who didn’t receive the antigen, and that he would be able to recover after the same systematic treatment as the others.
Some were pessimistic, wondering if the V Proton Star wouldn’t escape its fate and if its inhabitants would eventually mutate and die, including the central city, where there wasn’t a single case of genetic infection. Others were alarmed, even starting to worry that the formations returning from V Proton would also be infected with this genetic virus and turn the Empire into such a hell on earth. He casually read the various remarks on the forum, Grr couldn’t read, but still felt a strange uneasy premonition after today’s news broadcast, which was different from all other days.
Lin Han was wearing thin and loose pajamas, Grr thought the texture of this icy silk was strange, worried that humans wrapped in this icy cold thing must be cold, it struggled twice to jump on the table, with soft and fluffy little body cushioned on Lin Han’s small arms, so that Lin Han could draw warmth, and it was relied on.
Lin Han understood its meaning, and silently rubbed the little ball’s head.
The various messages on the forum were still being refreshed at a very fast pace.
[Don’t, I just got into the core this year, the management and technology here should be able to stop that kind of scary gene!!!]
[…Don’t deliberately bring the rhythm, ah! The army has beens back for how long? Did an accident happen then? Don’t pull that into the core area!]
[If you become infected, what can be done? V Proton Star is also quite far away from us, why should we care?]
[This is how you treat your compatriots, who are still under the jurisdiction of the Empire?]
[What compatriots? What about when you Core Zone people look at us with superiority and colored glasses? If you say so, it’s better to genetically invade the core area and forget about equality in name only.]
[Did we in the core say that the civilian areas are bad? Who first said that we wear colored glasses? You can’t squeeze yourself in, so you curse. I’m sure some of the maggots in the civilian areas are of this quality.]
[But someone said that some people in the core area are just born a little higher than others. Maybe they’re not even as good as some of the kids in the civilian areas.]
[Weren’t we talking about V Proton Star? How did we get to this topic again?]
[Anyway, the question now is whether V Proton Star can be restored.]
[I thought that Professor Xu’s serum was working too fast, and I was worried that there might be something hidden that hadn’t been resolved.]
[You can’t say that. Who would have thought that something would happen? If Professor Xu hadn’t come forward, maybe now V Proton Star would have…]
[But it’s a fact that it’s not solved even now, and you have to be able to face the consequences of any decision you make, right?]
[According to you, do you have to bear the consequences of cleaning up those people before?]
Lin Han frowned and didn’t continue reading. He got off work early today, and although he originally wanted to contact He YunTing, he was afraid that this would affect him, so he finally decided to wait until later.
And after the most authoritative official media in the core area released that news in the late afternoon, shortly afterwards, like a supplementary report, a new news came again. This time there was more than one video, and the main character wasn’t just the teenager from before.
Some of the aliens began to awaken and began to attack indiscriminately. At first, some people were still lucky and tried to talk to their loved ones who were normal the day before, but ended up with their arms or throats bitten off alive, with their eyes open in fear and their lives abruptly ended.
More and more evidence began to prove that this wasn’t a coincidence, and the official media in the core area even filmed that outside the central city, a small group of aliens had begun to assemble. Although it appeared that there was no intention to attack for the time being, there was no one who wouldn’t be creeped out by such a group of aliens staring at them.
After a few short hours, everyone knew that V Proton, originally saved by the antigen, was about to get out of control.
Some people began to question whether the antigen development was a front, some criticized Xu Zhiheng’s academic attitude, while only a few people were still defending Xu Zhiheng, saying that he certainly didn’t want to see such a situation and others shouldn’t be too harsh.
The direction of things was unexpected, but there was a subtle sense of overlap with the time when he returned from V Proton. The difference was that the target of the crowd last time was He YunTing, but this time it was replaced by Xu Zhiheng.
These things always easily stirred up the emotions of the people, successes and failures were about a planet that wasn’t too close to them, so that the people can comment on it with an eye that was just right, and then worry about themselves, just as if by design.
Everyone wanted to see Xu Zhiheng for an explanation, and his lab and apartment were surrounded by layer after layer of angry people, but Xu Zhiheng happened to be away.
This had touched the hearts of the people who were more and more anxious.
It seemed that this proved that Xu Zhiheng was afraid, running away, acquiescing to the fact that he caused the incident.
On the contrary, there were fewer people criticizing He YunTing, except for criticizing him for stopping the plans for the remaining cities because he believed in Xu Zhiheng, most people didn’t point their fingers at him, after all, in every sense, He YunTing was acted strictly without mistakes. In any case, what he put first was always the safety of more people.
The faster the incident fermented, the more angry people who couldn’t find an outlet for their emotions became, some began to pray, hoping that it was all a false alarm, and some were already worried about themselves and needed an explanation more and more.
But Xu Zhiheng just didn’t show up at the lab or the apartment.
Lin Han mulled it over a bit and remembered another secret lab of Xu Zhiheng that only a few people knew about.
Lin Han prepared Grr’s dinner and waited for the little one to finish it slowly before cleaning it up and pulling the nutrients out of the cabinet. He pursed his lips, remembering someone who used the nutrient as a cover for a kiss a few days ago, his wrinkled eyebrows finally eased a bit, and only then did he reluctantly drink it.
The darkness was over, not far from the Imperial Military University students came to the sound of dynamism. Today seems to be a bit more lively, he didn’t know if it was because they were discussing the sudden events of V Proton Star.
Lin Han leaned back on the couch, Grr insatiably climbed up and buried himself in his shoulder. He had just immersed himself in such a leisurely evening when the TV, which was still broadcasting other news, flickered and cut back to the studio interface.
The anchor on top had a stony expression, but there was a bit of surprise in his voice that even he didn’t expect, and he said, “Regarding the failure of Professor Xu’s serum, we have contacted the base management and learned about the situation.” He paused for a moment, “So we’re now surprised to be contacted by General He YunTing who is willing to give us some response to this matter.”
The news feed was live and soon the scene cuts to the lobby used for receptions at the base, where He YunTing sat on the center couch with a cool brow. He was dressed in a new version of formal wear, his coat draped over his shoulders, his fringed epaulets dazzling, the ribbon on his chest dangling from a medallion handcrafted from precious metals and stones. The shield and sword symbol representing the Imperial base buckled in the center of his expensive belt. His lips were also cold, hard and straight, and his military cap was held in his hand, revealing a head of silver hair that people couldn’t take their eyes off.
Lin Han watched the TV, and the discussion interface on it exploded after hearing the words and seeing the image.
[Did I see it wrong? Did I hear wrong?! General actually on the live news?]
[Crap crap crap! I thought he never likes to talk to the media, and he would rely on his adjutant or assistant to convey.]
[This is the first time I’ve seen a live General on live TV!]
[So he would actually be willing to come out in person to help Professor Xu speak? That’s too good of a relationship, or maybe it’s true trust to accept this invitation to explain for him in the first place.]
[Although I know it’s wrong to say this in this situation, I still think that the General is really too handsome!!! Young and handsome, I can’t see anything else now, my eyes can’t move at all ah.]
[I just want him to look at me! I want to be in heat!!!!]
[He looks so fierce, no one dares to approach him. Just look at him.]
Grr obviously also saw the man in the TV, it couldn’t tell the difference between live and pictures, and thought it was still as usual randomly posted, looked at the silent and cold He YunTing, and then looked at Lin Han who was wearing the same expression, and retracted back to his shoulders.
Lin Han rubbed the soft fur on top of its head and said, “Don’t be afraid.”
It was clear that even the official media, the people responsible for covering the live broadcast were a bit agitated, and their initial aim was just to contact Lu AnHe without hope to see if the base might have other insights on this. After all, after such a big incident, everyone wanted to be left alone, this was something that the base couldn’t possibly not understand.
But not only did Lu AnHe agree to their invitation, he even let He YunTing himself, who never faced the media cameras, come out to respond. This was simply something that no one would have thought of before. The official media people gave a procedural introduction about the current status of V Proton Star and the questioning of Xu Zhiheng’s antigen.
He YunTing’s expression didn’t look impatient, but it was still cold enough to reject people.
When the other finally finished the previous introduction and apprehensively left time for He YunTing, Lin Han even felt that the rowdy students outside the window had quieted down a bit.
“There’s no denying that this possibility of genetic recoil does exist on V Proton.” His voice was light, as if the current situation wasn’t that unpromising.
If someone else had opened his mouth, the reporters from the official media might have had many more questions they wanted to ask, such as the next plan, or if there were any other countermeasures. But for some reason, facing He YunTing, no one interrupted and wanted to wait for him to finish everything.
“But it was Professor Xu’s brave attempt that led to the creation of the antigen and the possibility of making V Proton Star better at that time. If I were to dismiss his credit outright, then I can hardly be blamed for the ones I did before.”
He reached out and unconsciously touched the cold metal pattern on his cap and said, “No one could have predicted the final course of this planet, but we all worked for it.”
“There’s no success or failure in life, only desperation and recklessness.”
[Why is every word the General says so charming? I feel like I’ll believe it as long as he says it.]
[Also eh, Professor Xu did save those people, let’s not be so harsh on him now.]
[But now who knows what exactly is the situation of V Proton Star? If it’s finished, is it not a waste of effort?]
[But the development of the antigen has really delayed V Proton for such a long time.]
[Last time when the General was misunderstood by those people, it was also Professor Xu who bravely stood up for him, so when I thought about it, I could taste a sense of camaraderie between them.]
He YunTing didn’t seem to answer any other questions, and didn’t even let Lu AnHe answer instead of him, and left without staying much longer. But a few short words were enough.
In Xu Zhiheng’s private lab, Qi JiaMu heard a noise inside the house and hesitated for a moment before pushing the door, “Professor, are you okay?”
He YunTing simply asked Qi JiaMu to ensure Xu Zhiheng’s safety because he was worried that someone would find the place and Qi JiaZe was also still in the lab.
The image Qi JiaMu saw was a bit messy.
Xu Zhiheng’s face wasn’t good, as he powerlessly crouched on the laboratory table, with several reagent bottles broken around him, shards of shattered smoking hot glass also littered the ground, and the center of the light screen had just finished the live news.
Qi JiaMu looked at Xu Zhiheng worriedly, of course he also knew the seriousness of the matter, afraid that Xu Zhiheng wouldn’t be able to stand such pressure, “Professor Xu? Professor Xu?”
Xu Zhiheng tried to exhale a breath and pinched his brow, “…I’m fine. I just didn’t expect things to turn out like this.”
Qi JiaMu wanted to comfort him somehow, but he was also a man of few words, so he really didn’t know what to say.
Xu Zhiheng was a bit anxious, he went up and grabbed Qi JiaMu’s hand, and he was so upset that his whole body was shaking, “JiaMu, can you contact the General, I-I want to find him…”
After all, after He YunTing said those words in the first place, the malicious public opinion about Xu Zhiheng would plummet, Qi JiaMu tried to comfort him, “Professor Xu don’t worry too much, the General he—”
Before Qi JiaMu could finish his sentence, he heard the sound of identification coming through the lab door.
Qi JiaMu obviously felt Xu Zhiheng’s hand holding his arm stiffen for a moment, although he himself didn’t know who was coming, he still hurriedly said, “No one will be able to find this place, don’t worry, it’s safe.”
It turned out to be someone they knew.
The man who had been speaking to the camera at the base half an hour ago now appeared at the entrance to the lab, the brim of his hat hiding the expression on his face, standing straight with a compelling majesty.
Qi JiaMu breathed a sigh of relief, but He YunTing dressed so formally was rarely seen, and immediately respectfully gave him a military salute, “General.”
He YunTing nodded slightly in response.
“General…” Xu Zhiheng also didn’t expect him to appear here now.
“Professor Xu.” He YunTing answered and said, “I believe you have seen the news.”
“I have, I have,” Xu Zhiheng said hurriedly, “Thank you…”
“No need.” Probably because He YunTing looked extraordinarily cold today, Xu Zhiheng didn’t say more after hearing his words. “But the matter of V Proton Star, keep working on a solution.” He YunTing’s voice was faint, “I’m here to pick you up.”
This time even Qi JiaMu froze for a moment. Now Xu Zhiheng’s residence and regular laboratory were surrounded by people, and he didn’t have the condition to enter the base, where could he be brought to?
“His Majesty invites you for a meeting, I will bring you along.”