Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
“When do we leave?” Lin Han asked with a light smile. After hearing He YunTing’s words, he felt there was nothing to be afraid of again. He should’ve known, from the moment he decided to come along. No one on the battleship cared about themselves, and according to Lu AnHe, there were many people who couldn’t go back.
Even before he had a small amount of sadness, in the end, he couldn’t distrust He YunTing. If he had to choose again, he would still do so.
He YunTing didn’t answer directly, asking him, “Let’s wait for tomorrow morning and pick a time when the temperature isn’t so high. Would Mr. Lin like to rest a little longer?”
In fact, without nutrients, it didn’t make much difference how long he slept, but Lin Han still didn’t have much energy, and after forcing himself to eat something just now, he was extremely sleepy. But he didn’t refuse He YunTing’s offer, anyway, everything had been decided and he could accept any kind of decision, so he might as well have a good sleep at last.
“Okay.” Lin Han nodded.
He was just about to rest, and afraid that he would scare the little thing again, Lin Han gently lifted it off his shoulder and called its name, “Grr.”
Grr’s dark beady eyes immediately turned to him, and the tip of his moist nose pushed forward.
“I want to take a nap.” Lin Han, fearing that he might not understand, explained, “Closing your eyes is just resting, and you won’t be suddenly ignored like before.” He stroked its little tail, “Understand?”
It seemed to understand human words, but it was slow to understand Lin Han’s meaning after a short while, and it rolled around in Lin Han’s hand to show that it understood.
Lin Han thought of the day he picked it up, the ground was full of Zerg’s corpse and metal fragments, only a small hairy ball Grr rolled over, so he couldn’t help but ask, “Did you get lost before?”
Grr rolled from his left hand to his right, not knowing what he meant.
Lin Han continued, “We’ll probably take you home tomorrow. Not the random little dune you were perched on, but your planet. Of course, we could also end up not having enough energy,” Lin Han intoned but not heavily, “and we’d still be around here.”
Grr suddenly reacted and looked like it was excited because a part of its fur was shivering with joy. It looked like it wanted to go home too.
Lin Han, as if infected by its happiness, nudged the tip of its nose, “Then we’ll try our best to send you back. When you go home, you won’t have to roll around in the sand.”
As for him and He YunTing, it might take quite a while before they could return to the Empire. Maybe then it would be time to say goodbye. But he didn’t tell that to Grr. After all, even small animals hate parting.
He YunTing came over and handed him his jacket.
Some mecha would be equipped with a sleep compartment. M2742 had a second cockpit, and the pilot himself had stated that a sleep compartment wasn’t needed, so now the only thing Lin Han could cover himself with was the other man’s jacket. He YunTing closed his eyes for a while and slept very lightly, as if he was resting only to cope with his bodily functions.
“Go to sleep.” He YunTing’s eyebrows lowered, and his cold eyelashes became less distant while putting his jacket on Lin Han, “Good night.”
Lin Han grabbed He YunTing’s hand.
He couldn’t say what the motive for doing so was, but he still didn’t hold back. Lin Han was slightly disappointed when he couldn’t hear He YunTing’s heart in his ears, but still looked up at the other, “Good night.”
He saw He YunTing leave the cockpit as he finally drifted off to sleep. Grr was lying on his shoulder, as if it also intended to take a nap. Therefore Lin Han didn’t know that He YunTing left but came back again, nor did he know that the other held his hand again as before, fearing to be discovered, barely sneaking a kiss.
However, due to the loss of his mind-reading skills, he had a dreamless night this time.
When Lin Han woke up the next day, he was surprised to find that one person and one ball in front of him had a bit of a falling out. He YunTing saw that it was time to wake up Lin Han, but he just opened the hatch when Grr woke up first.
He YunTing didn’t want to pay attention to it and went straight past it to call Lin Han, but the neglected little thing finally broke out in discontent with him and blew its fur up all over, using its fastest speed to crash into He YunTing without thinking about it—
The next second it was easily picked up.
He YunTing also subconsciously used his hands to block his waist, so that the small thing didn’t hit his belt buckle and faint. But Grr obviously didn’t appreciate that, huffing and grimacing at He YunTing.
“I’m here to wake Mr. Lin up.” He YunTing stated indifferently, his tone cold and devoid of any emotion.
“Zee—” Grr angrily continued to wave his short paws in the air with his teeth and claws.
He YunTing looked colder, and showed an expression that would make all the sergeants turn cold.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t the base, and the thing he was playing with wasn’t even human. It didn’t understand the threat in He YunTing’s words, but instead, showed its two sharp teeth more ‘fiercely,’ “Zee!“
He YunTing didn’t bother to pay attention to him, and even raised his hand a little higher and stared at the little guy more and more coldly.
Grr’s paws waved even more fiercely.
Lin Han, who woke up to such a scene, “…What are you guys doing?”
Almost at the same instant, He YunTing immediately withdrew his raised hand and put it behind his back, and as soon as he let go of his hand, Grr rolled and crawled back to Lin Han, with the appearance of letting him be the master. Lin Han only found it amusing, first petting a handful of Grr’s fur, and then raising his head to greet He YunTing with a warm smile, “Good morning.”
The conflict between the two was resolved. He YunTing put away the unnatural little emotion on his face and said to Lin Han, “It’s time to go.”
Lin Han rubbed his eyes and nodded, “Okay.” The two of them didn’t have anything with them and could leave at any time.
He YunTing didn’t let Lin Han get into the cockpit, as the previous accident was still in his mind. “Mr. Lin, don’t activate the second cockpit,” He YunTing didn’t explain much, “I’m enough as one person.”
Lin Han knew that He YunTing’s physical and mental energy consumption in the past few days was too much compared to his own, but he finally listened to He YunTing’s words and sat in the pilot’s seat and put on the helmet, and then didn’t make any other movements.
The mecha began to rise, the mechanical female voice rang out, “M2742, full aircraft self-test complete. Energy response weak. Current mecha outer environment detection is level D. Please pay attention to protection and choose to open the mecha pod.”
“Open the first cockpit. Close all weapon banks.”
Despite having prepared enough, Lin Han was nervous. He heard the engines start, saw the desolation on the display gradually getting farther and farther away from him, and saw He YunTing’s ever-so-steady back in the first cockpit.
“Confirm, should the full arsenal of weapons, including defense shields, be closed?”
Grr began to show a little sign of being dizzy in the mecha again, but luckily this time Lin Han didn’t have to drive it, so he cupped the little guy in his hand and gently patted its somewhat trembling back. Lin Han heard He YunTing turn off all the arsenal as well as emergency defense programs in turn, leaving only the most basic functions.
“Turn on 300% forward rate.”
This was them fighting for their lives, and the set program would naturally remind them again and again, “The fuselage stored energy is insufficient. Forcibly speeding up may lead to various dangers including functional interruption of the entire machine paralysis. Do you confirm?”
Lin Han’s back was pressed against the driver’s seat, and the scene began to change rapidly until it became blurred because of the excessive speed. Lin Han couldn’t hear anything at this moment, and they were the only ones still trying to survive in this desolate area, in a high stake gamble…
The sound of the air currents were like a sharp knife cutting through, and Grr was already in his hands, but Lin Han was only looking at the person in front of him. And with the mecha going forward, they saved a little bit of time, but there was a rapid depletion of energy.
He YunTing had already pulled the speed to the fastest, and didn’t tell Lin Han which way to go, and Lin Han also didn’t ask, as if the two were born with absolute tacit understanding. Lin Han saw the lights that started flashing on the console, and the values that kept lighting up, and estimated in his mind the time remaining and the distance they could go.
Because of the speeding forward and the many functions turned off in the mecha, Lin Han still felt a lack of oxygen and vertigo. He struggled to settle down and reopen his eyes.
He couldn’t afford to faint again.
Even if he failed in the end, he had to at least see for himself exactly where he stopped. The estimated energy consumption was about three hours, during which the two barely communicated, with only He YunTing occasionally worrying about Lin Han’s condition and checking in through the communicator.
With only thirty minutes left in the journey, the windows around the ship suddenly went dark, as if they had entered a different area. However, He YunTing didn’t stop. “This is the fog swamp, after crossing it, we can reach our destination.”
Grr finally fell asleep under Lin Han’s reassurance, and Lin Han responded softly without asking more questions. But before M2742 left the area, the mecha suddenly began to shake violently, and the red light, which was about to run out of energy, kept flashing, announcing that their advance was about to reach the end.
He YunTing didn’t have the slightest intention to stop, and even used more mental energy than before, allowing the mecha to continue to move forward passively and rigidly with inertia…
Its legs were finally forced to stop, and as all the systems began to stop, even the red light was about to go out, Lin Han forced himself to endure the dizziness and slowly stood up from the driver’s seat.
“Mr. Lin.” He YunTing called him over the communicator.
Lin Han still didn’t know what had happened. Had they failed and didn’t make it after all?
“It’s okay,” he said, “General did his best.”
He YunTing, however, didn’t say anything more, but instead stepped out of the cockpit himself and opened the hatch on Lin Han’s side. He didn’t look wretched at all; the intense driving just now didn’t seem to have affected him in the slightest, “Come out and take a look.”
Lin Han obediently followed He YunTing, and as soon as he landed, he froze at the different environment he saw. It seemed they had arrived at the… border of the Oddbound Biological System. He tried to continue walking, but his feet got weak and he almost fell on He YunTing again.
The other walked in front of him and leaned down, speaking in a light tone, “Come on up.”
Lin Han didn’t hesitate much this time, took two steps towards He YunTing and obediently climbed onto his back. So He YunTing carried Lin Han on his back, Lin Han had a small doughnut on his shoulder, and the shadows of two people and a ball were stacked together.
Lin Han’s hand looped around He YunTing’s neck, and the other, afraid he would fall off, grabbed him with one hand again. He YunTing didn’t know that recently Lin Han frequently held his hand but lost his mind-reading skills, and Lin Han didn’t know that He YunTing also kissed his hand more than once while he slept peacefully.
All the secrets were hidden, and no one knew.
Grr was the only witness.