Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
He YunTing let him hold his hand, not telling him to stop. This fact didn’t surprise Lin Han for long, but when he finally let go of He YunTing’s hand, the smile on his face was a little forced.
He YunTing, who has always been emotionally slow, but always able to catch the different emotions at such times, hesitated for a moment and said, “I’ll be back soon.”
Lin Han raised his eyes to look at him, only to feel that his eyes were sore, not because he did not believe in He YunTing’s words, but because he understood the weight of He YunTing’s promise. He felt even more that his grief was vast and endless, and that he felt like completely worthless in this world.
But he was still willing to protect him, telling him, ‘Don’t worry,’ and ‘Trust me.’
He YunTing still felt the warmth of the other’s fingertips in his hand, and seeing him still frozen, He YunTing easily recalled the quiet hug from Lin Han when the accident occured with Ji Meng.
Perhaps the previous night’s stolen kiss wasn’t discovered so he was lucky, or perhaps Lin Han’s eyes made his heart soften and beat faster. He YunTing couldn’t tell which thought was at work, but still reached out a moment later and swept the person in front of him into his arms. He wondered if Mr. Lin would mind — if he did, he would push him away, however, he just couldn’t control himself from doing it.
Except for the time when he wasn’t really awake during his susceptibility period, and unlike the time when he was marked and thirsty, this time it was He YunTing who chose to embrace him of his own accord.
Unlike Lin Han’s hug, he coaxed He YunTing to lean down before pulling him into a hug. This time, He YunTing easily pressed Lin Han into his arms, but didn’t dare to force him, he only gently embraced him.
For the first time, he found that whether Lin Han was an ordinary Omega or the best mecha designer in the Empire, it didn’t seem to make any difference at this moment. The other man was so fragile, as if the slightest force could crush him.
He YunTing was actually not so concerned about his own second gender, pheromone and spiritual power were just to make them more dedicated to the Empire. As for Omegas, he had seen only a few of them, and barely had any concept of the gender.
He knew that people of this gender were delicate, unable to do many jobs, and even many years ago, when Omegas weren’t given equal rights yet, they were just a tool, their bodies and pheromones used to commit crimes, but they couldn’t control their own lives. They were glassware for the pleasure of others, canaries kept by the dignitaries, a gender that could barely survive on its own.
He YunTing had been in the military for so long that some of the things that were often on people’s minds became dispensable when placed on him, like an Omega. He had thought his entire life would be dedicated to the galaxy, and that loneliness was his destiny.
As for the Galactic Exhibition Hall, which Lu AnHe had mentioned once — He YunTing knew about the place, but had little concrete memory of it. And the thing that was so rare and precious to him that he needed to deposit it for a lifetime, he couldn’t think of one at all.
But he now had one hand on the back of Lin Han’s head, the other carefully embracing the other’s light, soft and lean body.
He was an Omega, but more than just an Omega.
From the first time they met, he was different from everyone else, even after the mark, the lust and the heartache he felt for him, perhaps wasn’t just a mere biological attraction. But this was a question He YunTing couldn’t figure out right now, and he didn’t have the time to continue to think about it in detail.
In one moment he wanted to hold the other like this, but in the next moment, he knew with a clear consciousness that he had things to do and they couldn’t meet their end here.
Lin Han’s eyes reflected anticipation, and He YunTing couldn’t help but respond to that look in them.
He tried to hold the person in his arms a little tighter.
He YunTing’s voice was still quiet, as if his heart wasn’t even beating wildly. The youth’s hair felt soft to the touch, and He YunTing didn’t resist holding it for a while before saying, “Wait for me.”
Lin Han looked at the man’s fading back.
The sky was dark and heavy, and he walked in the desolate and dilapidated yellow sand, as if he was one with the background. But He YunTing walked very steadily, at a firm pace, not even looking back, just going straight to where he was supposed to go.
Lin Han suddenly didn’t worry at all. Most of those pessimistic emotions were taken away by He YunTing, scattered into the boundless sky. He had always felt that promises were illusory things, and that words that couldn’t be fulfilled instantly were no different from empty checks. But now he only felt reassured, and realized that promises also varied from person to person.
And the words He YunTing spoke were different from others.
It was his unique comfort, and silent tenderness.
But with less of He YunTing’s invisible oppression in the air, some little creature finally started to become excited.
Without the ever-smiling, fierce human, Grr began to expand its range of activity from Lin Han to the entire first cockpit.
Some Oddbound creatures could sense human emotions even though they didn’t speak, such as Grr, who rolled wildly before jumping back onto Lin Han’s shoulder with pleasure. Lin Han leaned on the driver’s seat and casually touched its head, “Are you happy?”
Grr didn’t react, but obediently followed Lin Han’s movements, nuzzling its face against his palm, comfortably, and even making a very soft squeak.
Lin Han didn’t know that the biggest reason why Grr became happy wasn’t that He YunTing was gone, but because it noticed that his mood had become better. Although the little guy lived in such an environment all day long, he still loved cleanliness very much, and every time he was close to a human, he would make a special effort to tidy up before leaning over.
Lin Han felt that he should do something instead of sitting here waiting for He YunTing to return.
Does the mecha have enough energy? How can I replenish it? What’s the status of the battleship now? If we could go by leap point, then we would be back in the Empire by now.
Lin Han braced himself and finally chose to start the mecha with low power consumption — in case a lower power consumption method was successfully tested, then they would still be able to last a few more days.
Grr shuddered, probably not expecting this big iron box he had stayed on for the past two days could actually move.
Lin Han had told He YunTing that the communication could only be used once a day, and it looked like He YunTing had already done it today. In the moment of starting the mecha, all the switches flashed once, including the communicator.
Lin Han’s eyes flashed, and to his surprise, it lit up.
The blood in his body began to rush to his head, and Lin Han almost immediately answered it—
“Boss!” It seemed that the other side didn’t expect a response, Lu AnHe was surprised and happy, “How are you guys now?!”
“Lieutenant Colonel Lu, it’s me.” Lin Han said, “The General will be back soon. We’re okay. Did you guys go back?”
Lu AnHe seemed to be dealing with something, his voice was very anxious, and he didn’t have time to say much to Lin Han, “Yes. But the situation is not very optimistic. I can’t tell you too much, but I can only say that the two factions in the council have almost torn their faces apart. As long as the General returns safely, he will be able to shut some people’s mouths. But the point is…” Lu AnHe took a breath, “Some people don’t want him to come back.”
Lin Han’s heart sank, sure enough part of his previous uneasiness had come true.
“The warship is very depleted, and both my mecha and Old Ye’s are damaged, so we can’t carry enough energy to leap over smoothly, not to mention…” Lu AnHe didn’t finish the sentence, and Lin Han could roughly guess that they probably won’t be able to come in person.
“The reinforcements from the third base have already left, but I’m just not sure… if they will be cut off and prevented from coming over. All other news is ambiguous on my end, but… but don’t stay where you are! I can’t guarantee that Luo’s men will be slower than the reinforcements, and if they catch up before the reinforcements arrive… Anyway, don’t stay in one place! We’ll take care of things on our side as soon as possible, too!”
“Okay.” Lin Han calmed down in a brief moment of shock and replied.
“By the way, Mr. Lin.” Lu AnHe, however, suddenly out of character, stopped talking for a long time, “If…” He paused, seemingly very torn, but in the end didn’t say exactly what ‘if,’ only when before hanging up the communication did he change the subject, “Give my regards to the General. Let me take care of the chores here, you will be safe.”
Since Lu AnHe still didn’t want to talk, Lin Han didn’t want to ask more questions, said “thank you” and cut off the communication.
He didn’t know what kind of situation Lu AnHe’s side was in.
But for now, it wasn’t good.
Lin Han remembered the other party’s words “don’t stay where you are” and felt uneasy.
If the person who tried to intercept the rescue didn’t use the battleship to leap, but directly used the mecha energy storage leap, no matter what, it would take four or five days to reach here, while if it was a battleship, if it had already left, then it would only take a day to find them at the earliest.
But estimating the time, if it needs to move the mecha position, then after the energy depletion, maybe without the support of new energy, M2742 would not even last a day in the end, and finally become a tin empty shell.
This problem may not sound very scary, but if the even mecha’s the minimum energy consumption was gone, after the loss of the temperature control valve, even through a layer of iron, the fickle temperature of the side area would be unbearable for anyone.
Lin Han’s heart fell little by little.
Grr didn’t know why the human in front of him was just happy for a while and then his mood turned bad. It carefully rolled into his arms and then stretched out its little paws and gently scratched Lin Han’s front pocket, then took its tail and tentatively poked him.
The slightly tickling warm touch brought Lin Han back to his senses. He glanced at Grr who was trying to tease him and pursed his lips, “I’m fine.”
He didn’t know when He YunTing would be back, and whether he should wait for him where he was, or at least move the mecha to a safer position. If he changed his position, he didn’t keep his word, so what if He YunTing came back and couldn’t find him?
But if he didn’t, he wouldn’t be able to protect himself, and if the rebels did catch up with him, not only would he not be able to retreat, he might be used as bait, and neither of them would be able to get out.
Lin Han was caught in a dilemma, and even though he was still staying put, he couldn’t help but feel tormented. He was staring at the cabin clock, and every five minutes that passed, Lin Han looked out the porthole.
Grr, who sensed his mood, was confused for a moment and then tried harder to cheer him up, even sticking out its small, moist tongue and licking Lin Han’s hand. Lin Han was tortured by such a state of mind for a entire half day, but still couldn’t wait for He YunTing.
He reentered the cockpit.
He couldn’t wait any longer.
He didn’t want to sit around and wait for death, and he didn’t want to leave He YunTing behind.
Lin Han almost shuddered a little as he took the helmet aside and forced himself to calm down completely again. He wanted to leave the same place and also find He YunTing as well. He remembered the direction He YunTing left in, he was on foot, so he was bound to not be able to go too far, he should be able to find him by following this path himself.
But the mecha’s energy…
Lin Han closed his eyes, and finally chose to start. Lin Han entered his password, and the long-lost mechanical female voice resounded.
“M2742, the first cockpit is activated. The mental power hub is open. Please confirm the connection for the pilot.”
“Confirm connection.” He had never piloted a mecha alone before, but the situation didn’t allow him to think much about it now. He had to do it, he couldn’t fail.
As for the energy—
If the mecha’s energy consumption was to be minimized… The only way to do that was to use up a lot of the pilot’s mental energy.
Lin Han braced himself, stretching out his mecha arms in a simple gesture, and his left and right legs began to move, beginning to take one step forward at a time.
Each step rose dust into the sky.
Grr seemed to be frightened, and even somewhat dizzy in the mecha, its tongue was out as it was spinning around and grabbed onto its own tail, and finally because of the dizziness, it planted itself in Lin Han’s arms, quietening down.
Lin Han’s heart was about to beat out of his chest, but he still tried hard to drive the mecha forward with his spiritual power, and he didn’t dare to drive too fast, for fear that he would miss the other if he wasn’t careful.
Grr bit Lin Han’s cuff, and even after a while its dizziness hadn’t eased, so it just squeaked and leaned over again.
Lin Han now had no time to comfort it, he could only slow down a little. He exhaled hard to suppress the panic and wandering in his heart, and was about to move on—
But he suddenly saw the person he was looking for.
But the sight didn’t make Lin Han feel happy.
It was already dawning, but the light in the border area was still horribly bright. Opposite to He YunTing was a group of horribly hideous creatures.
Although they didn’t have the large size of the Zerg, nor did they have the agile leg limbs and the natural brutal and murderous instincts of the Zerg, Lin Han didn’t know what they were called — they should also be a type of Oddbound creature.
Grr saw the group of things through the display and screamed. The little creature shuddered and then quickly jumped to the back of Lin Han’s neck, forcefully burying into his collar.
He YunTing had resisted for a while, there was sweat seeping out through his clothing, the muzzle of the gun in his hand was still smoking, but because of the extreme tiredness, he slightly bent his knees, and propped himself up on the ground with the other hand, trying to calm his breathing.
And at this moment he looked up and saw his mecha, his eyes burned, as if he could see through this thick layer of metal to the equally weak Omega in the driver’s seat.
These things were full of traumatic surfaces flowing with pus, like craters of festering skin, so red that it was disgusting, they hissed, sticking out their long tongues, rushing towards He YunTing—
He YunTing retracted his sight, his body still agilely dodged, and his right hand fired two more shots while turning sideways, hitting one of them precisely in the eye!
Its companions began to fume, despite their clumsy physical appearance. He YunTing saw that he couldn’t dodge all the attacks at once, so he leapt over one of the odd creatures with a backflip and landed firmly on the ground.
Lin Han didn’t sit idly by, taking the time to open his ammunition magazine and load up the mecha’s YT-1 sniper rifle with tail-stabilized armor-piercing ammunition, his hands were shaking — it was the first time he had ever used a weapon in the cockpit.
He knew how to aim, but he couldn’t focus. He had He YunTing in his eyes, afraid that if he wasn’t careful, he would accidentally injure the other.
And it was at this moment that he saw He YunTing suddenly pause for a moment.
In the next second, his gaze lifted again. He seemed to know what Lin Han was going to do, his lips didn’t even move a bit, but the meaning in his eyes was self-evident.
Let’s give it a shot — trust yourself and trust me.
Lin Han saw the group of disgusting creatures with salivating mouths re-attacking He YunTing, and with a crossed heart, concentrated on what he was doing and pressed the electromagnetic gas pedal.
Boom! The first armor-piercing rounds rushed at them, wrapped in thick smoke, and two creatures that got too close were instantly pierced, their flesh and blood bursting out and spilling over their disgusting, smelly skin.
Lin Han didn’t have a chance to catch his breath, his eyes turned red, and continued to grit his teeth, sending out shots one by one, and the bullets really didn’t miss, even though one of them almost grazed He YunTing’s shoulder, but it ultimately didn’t hurt him.
After one loud bang after another, the creatures were shot through one by one, and the ground was filled with their blood and limbs, flowing towards He YunTing’s feet.
Clean up… Cleaned up.
Lin Han’s mouth became raw and painful. Looking at the scene in the display, he actually did it.
He YunTing’s body was stained with dust and became less handsome, but he still stood up with his back straight as before. For the first time, Lin Han felt the urge to call out to the other person even though they weren’t far apart. Even though he knew he was weak these days, he couldn’t help but open the hatch and stumble out, wanting to see him urgently.
“He YunTing,” for the first time Lin Han didn’t call him by his title, but called him by his name, and ran towards him, almost falling on his knees as soon as the elevator opened, “He YunTing…”
He YunTing, He YunTing. If I had chosen to wait for you in the end, if I had come a little later, would you have really been in an accident?
Lin Han ran forward with his teeth clenched in fear, a sweet taste welling up in his throat. He knew his current posture must be ugly, but he still couldn’t help but run towards He YunTing.
He YunTing saw Lin Han and looked at him from a distance of tens of meters. At this moment, Lin Han couldn’t see his expression, nor could he hear what he said, but just trembled and moved towards him regardless.
But eventually Lin Han’s knees went weak, the view in front of him quickly became blurred, his body trembled, and in the end he didn’t even have time to let out a whimper of pain, before he fell down and fainted straight in the yellow sand.
The author has something to say:
The confession will be soon! But I haven’t thought of a specific scenario yet, as I feel less than satisfied, so I’m still thinking about it.
OMG !!! It’s really a near miss, I also think it should be the time for them to reveal and explore each other feeling.
It’s constant struggles right now… one challenge after another.
Hope Lin Han, who is so much stronger than he gives himself credit for, regains consciousness soon, to warn He YunTing of Luo’s intentions.
I think, deep down, they are now both well aware of their own and the other’s, feelings.
Thanks for translating and editing.
Thanks for the chapter!
Really love this novel. Thank you for the translation.