Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Lu AnHe seemed to be very nervous about the fact that he had said the wrong date, so he hastily repeated the previous date, his face full of embarrassment, and apologized, “Boss, I didn’t mean that.”
He YunTing didn’t care much, after all, Lu AnHe didn’t say the wrong date, he just didn’t say the specific date right away. Lu AnHe was indeed different from him, as a person who treated his mecha as his wife, even if he had been with him for too long to become a habit, but still retained his own way of life.
He never remembered the day of big events, only the annual review of Aegis in the memo, so it’s not surprising that he forgot he was talking to himself for a while and would blurt it out. So, at least one thing could be said, if Lu AnHe remembered that day, it must have happened.
Lu AnHe knew too well what He YunTing was thinking, and simply admitted it openly, “Boss, I was lost in thought just now, that’s why…”
“Is there something you can’t say?” He YunTing asked very calmly, he wasn’t a person who would interfere too much in the private life of his subordinates. If the other had something to hide, he wouldn’t ask the root of the problem.
Lu AnHe naturally understood his thoughts, gritting his teeth and giving He YunTing a look, he said with an apologetic straightforwardness, “Yes.”
Since he had already explicitly said so, He YunTing wasn’t in a position to ask any more questions, so he just nodded and said, “Understood.”
He YunTing rethought the date.
He never seemed to care about such things as birthdays, so Lu AnHe wouldn’t deliberately remind him of them in the past few years, and it was normal for him not to remember them after a long time. Lu AnHe had a clear sense of priorities, if what he really didn’t want to mention had an impact on V Proton Star at the moment, it was impossible to hide it from him.
So that may be really related to something else.
He YunTing didn’t say anything else, nor did he get angry, turning the topic back to before, “Then you said, that day Xi Yuan gave an academic presentation with Xu Zhiheng, what was the content?”
“The content was very ordinary, nothing special, it was Professor Xu’s routine lecture at the Imperial Military University.” Lu AnHe reported, “I repeatedly turned it over, no problem.”
During the conversation, the top ruler of V Proton Star also finally showed his face.
The original prime minister was called Chang Lin, who was named Earl after the change in the political structure, as the highest leader, dealing with the various political affairs of V Proton. He YunTing had met him once before, when Chang Lin had just taken office, and was a gentle and kind leader, with his own style in the way he moved his hands. But now his suit didn’t even look that flat anymore, and there was a clear circle of greenish gray under his eyes, so it was obvious that he hadn’t rested properly since the accident.
Chang Lin saluted them according to imperial etiquette, and his smile was a bit forced, “General, you’re finally here.”
Lu AnHe went up to shake his hand and explained, “I couldn’t find the person I contacted before after coming from the berth, so I rushed straight here, and came a little late.”
Thinking about the location where the mech initially landed, Chang Lin sighed very deeply, his eyes were bloodshot, and there was a hint of hope in his tone when he asked the question, “Then the berth mouth…”
“I’m sorry, because I couldn’t see any normal humans, a clearance was carried out.” Lu AnHe whispered.
“…I understand.” Chang Lin’s lips trembled, the answer was expected, but it was still hard to hide the despair after hearing it with his own mouth. He gathered his emotions before controlling his disorder, looked at the Imperial soldiers who came to support in front of him, and spoke, “Let me tell you in detail what… is really going on.”
Chang Lin didn’t speak fast, during which there were even several times when he couldn’t go on, and only after a long time did he present the matter to them from beginning to end.
After V Proton Star came under the jurisdiction of the Empire, social welfare was slightly improved, plus the population was all Betas, so basically there was no more sexism. Even though the degree of development wasn’t high, the atmosphere of the population was much better than in the Empire.
They had a specialized medical system, and the first person to come to the clinic was a somewhat frail-looking college student. The student, who had a regular routine, suddenly felt some discomfort in his neck one day, manifested by intermittent itching. He didn’t pay much attention to it, just thought it was stung by something unknown.
But gradually, it wasn’t only a neck problem, in a short time, he began to have systemic symptoms.
The student went to the university hospital for treatment. The doctor found it strange, but the test results weren’t abnormal and the student could only be treated with symptomatic support. But after a while, not only did he not get better, the student seemed to have emotional and psychological problems and was unwilling to cooperate with the follow-up treatment, becoming manic and irritable and full of destructive desire for anyone and everything.
His sense of pain seemed to disappear, he began to speak words that people couldn’t understand, and viciously began to attack everyone who tried to stop him.
At the same time, the vertical pupil appeared for the first time as a symbol among the population of V Proton. Then no one cared about the student — because unknowingly, others in the university developed similar symptoms, and presumably because of the different stages of onset, they were also extremely aggressive with each other at first, and the fighting would not stop even when their heads were bleeding.
It was only when they found the scent of their own kind on each other that they agreed on a certain frequency to stop fighting and switch to their targets — those they identified as ‘not of their kind,’ shaking off their arms or legs that might have been half bitten off.
The school began to fall, the ‘people’ classified as the same kind began to make common cause, they didn’t see all kinds of professions and classes, as long as that frequency was right, they were even more united than normal people.
General military police and weaponry were useless, they seemed to have no fear in their bones and would attack everything in the face. What was more, V Proton’s weapon defense wasn’t strong in the first place, and there were basically no tall mechas like in the Empire.
And even if the average isometric mecha had weapons, facing so many creatures that didn’t know pain and didn’t know tiredness, and had numerical advantage, a few rounds were no match. But it was strange that this pattern of change wasn’t like the usual infectious diseases, the students because of the disease, went back home, but the parents didn’t show symptoms of infection.
This gene spread in a piecemeal fashion, starting with the school, then the residents near the school, the surrounding area where the school was located, and finally this city.
It wasn’t that people from the government didn’t think of ways, but as soon as the supporters were sent from the central city, surprisingly none of them ended up returning safely.
So, since the city was located on the edge of V Proton, and with the status quo out of control, it was eventually abandoned by the central city, supplying normal living resources, but cutting off the network and communication, not providing more support. It wasn’t that simple, it wasn’t long before the same situation occurred in another city very close to that city. They tried to ask for help from the center, not only not getting support this time either, but were also cut off from communication.
The government finally panicked and began to call for help from the Empire.
Soon, a circle of surrounding cities fell one after another, and people’s range of motion became smaller and smaller, with only those around the central city still struggling to maintain their original state of not being infected.
“Without figuring out the source, we even suspected what that ‘frequency’ was.” Chang Lin said, “Things went so fast that after sending out the distress signal, we rejected all suspicious communications from outside, even if we shut down the central city, at least we have normal people here now. If they can heal themselves, or if there’s some kind of turnaround, there’s actually enough supplies in those cities, but until then, they’re all just dead cities with closed doors.”
“But…” Lu AnHe frowned, “Before we left, we contacted you once, and as long as we made a mark, the communication on this side will not be marked by you as a strange signal.”
Chang Lin himself was suspicious of the matter, “I thought you guys were trapped somewhere, and we tried to send communications, but we couldn’t get through on the original frequency.”
How else could they not have come out to greet them until He YunTing had driven the mechas to the central city?
Lu AnHe understood what He YunTing wanted to ask and immediately said, “We checked before coming, and our communication frequency was fine.”
If there were no problems on either side, then it was only possible that there was some kind of magnetic interference that caused the inability to communicate.
Chang Lin’s face was terribly white, and he couldn’t say anything for a long time.
But at least now the formation that came to support them came to the central area properly. Chang Lin steadied his mind and immediately arranged a place for everyone to land, V Proton’s armament was so poor that for safety’s sake, he could only vacate the entire tarmac of the government building for the mecha formation, next to him who was protected by the military police — this was considered the safest place in the whole V Proton Star, even though the native army was completely worthless after they came.
After continuing to follow up on the situation, on the map, the group finally got a complete view of the current state of the entire planet being surrounded.
The planet was already small, and the rainforest landscape made its cities not compactly next to each other. The existing situation was that the five areas surrounding it, with the central city as the center of the circle, were still safe, with no inhabitants showing the corresponding symptoms. The outer cities were all forcibly blocked, with no network or communication, and could almost be taken as a total loss.
“We’re really desperate, but we also really studied the situation and couldn’t find a solution… so we temporarily abandoned them.” Chang Lin said. Because the Empire directly sent troops after the Zerg for many years, such small planets were stuck in a relatively superficial stage on the Zerg understanding and research. The experts they sent hadn’t returned, and the experts inside the central city, due to the lack of samples, couldn’t make a correct judgment.
So the solution was critical.
If they really wanted to abandon those people, then the focus of the work was how to protect the remaining cities from infestation. The position of scientists in the Empire was no better than the military, and the first reaction after hearing the situation on V Proton Star was to find He YunTing to calm the chaos. If not for Xu Zhiheng’s insistence to come along, maybe there wouldn’t even be one scientist accompanying them on the trip.
But now the central city refused to help all the surrounding cities, like a prisoner in a painted prison, only passively doing all kinds of self-protection, praying that that terrible gene would not spread to their own body.
They couldn’t take care of themselves, so they had no time to worry about others.
If they wanted to know the condition of other cities, they could only travel in person, and there was no guarantee that they would survive.
“Our primary objective is…” Chang Lin said, “to protect the existing people and no longer have new people affected. As for the cities that have been closed…”
He YunTing coldly interjected, “Take the full range of force to suppress it.”
It wasn’t difficult.
In any case, those creatures still had the appearance of human beings, if they were treated as Zerg, then they only needed to attack the brain. For the mechas that symbolized the strongest force of the Empire, it was quite easy.
Xu Zhiheng finally soke after a long silence, “…You can’t.”
“Should we hastily give up on all of these people just because we can’t find the source or the infection?” He closed his eyes, the scene of He YunTing’s order was still there, and the humans in the empty and treacherous city were blasted with weapons that made it hard to see their faces, as if they were crossing his path one by one at this moment.
He YunTing was unmoved, “Then, what would be according to Professor Xu’s wishes?”
“As I said, I will try to be careful, give me a chance to touch them, maybe, maybe I can…” He paused, thought of something, and continued in a voice that only He YunTing and Lu AnHe could hear. “That Omega in my lab now is also quite stable.”
He was talking about Qi Jiaze.
It was true that after picking him up in the laboratory, Xu Zhiheng used his own way to make the other party no longer hostile to humans, although he wasn’t too conscious, he was at least a little better.
Qi Jiaze had vertical pupils, and so did these people.
Qi Jiaze was an Omega, but these people were Betas.
The former was the result of Xu Zhiheng’s accidental discovery, but the research had long been terminated due to humane ethical relations, only recently stolen; the latter was the idea of his student once, obviously not practiced, but in this way a few years later appeared on a small planet.
It was as if… someone was in a hurry, and had no concern for the Beta physique, and was just desperate to fuse this vision with the genes of the so-called Zerg race. So, the two studies that were side-by-side didn’t affect each other, but had a connection in such a strange way.
“Today, we’ll first draw up a rough implementation plan, operational deployment.” He YunTing didn’t draw any conclusions about this deduction, “Regarding Professor Xu’s proposal, it will also be considered at your discretion only after ensuring safety.”
“Take a good rest first.”
After saying that he no longer paid attention to Xu Zhiheng and went to the temporarily established combat command room with Lu AnHe without looking back.
When the formation arrived here, it was already late, plus the need to constantly understand the various current movements of V Proton Star and make more than one plan. By the time they had made plans one by one according to various possible situations, it was already late at night.
The war room was in the head building, so late at night, they temporarily didn’t need to participate when the war sergeant had gone back to the base to rest. Xu Zhiheng was after all an Omega, and his physical fitness wasn’t always good. After realizing that He Yunting wasn’t going to say anything to him, he also left temporarily.
Lu AnHe and He YunTing rechecked the various plans and confirmed that they were correct before standing up.
He YunTing looked at him, “You also go back to rest, wait for my assembly notice.”
After all, there was little time to rest as he ran all the way over, and now he stayed up late into the night with him.
“Alright.” Lu AnHe nodded, “Then Boss you also…”
“I’ll go soon too.” He YunTing said in a light voice.
Lu AnHe then stopped talking and turned around to leave after saluting.
In the war room, only He YunTing was left alone.
He looked at the dense variety of information in front of him, pinched his brow, relaxed a little, and leaned back in his chair. Tomorrow there was a more serious task, now a few short hours was the most rest time he could reserve for himself.
He YunTing looked down at the quiet communicator, lost in thought for a moment, but finally picked it up, selected the contact, and connected it. It should be afternoon in the Empire, so it shouldn’t be too loud for the other. As he thought this, the green light symbolizing a successful connection flashed for a moment, and a clear voice soon came, “Hello?”
He YunTing suddenly felt that the fatigue of the whole day had been lifted off him in a moment, and he began to respond in a gentle tone he hadn’t even realized, “Hmm.”
Lin Han seemed to be outside, maybe just getting off work, maybe shopping for something, the background sounded a little noisy, but his mood seemed good, “I’m heading over to the public flight, so I can go back a little earlier today.”
“Hmm.” Still a short response, he didn’t need to say more, that was enough.
“Today Qi Jiamu went to the base for training, I had nothing to do, so I didn’t contact him.” Lin Han reported obediently.
He originally just said it casually, but He YunTing suddenly jumped his eyebrows and thought of something.
“Lin Han.” He asked, “Are you free now?”
Lin Han didn’t know what He YunTing wanted to do, and even though the other couldn’t see it, he nodded, “What’s wrong?”
“Maybe you need to help me check something.” He YunTing said, “Do you know where I live?”
This was the first time Lin Han came to He YunTing’s manor.
He didn’t look like someone who would enjoy himself at all, and often stayed at the base, not spending more than half of the year at home. But after all, it was an estate that symbolized status, and even if he wasn’t there, it would be well taken care of, so Lin Han was still in awe when he knocked on the gate.
He entered through the other door, using the key He YunTing gave him, and arrived at his study without looking away under his instructions.
“I’m coming in.” He said, “Is there something you’re looking for?”
He YunTing leaned back in his chair, and the expression on his face wasn’t relaxed.
“For each year of my practical training, I made a record for myself to ensure authenticity and objectivity. What I did each day, when I went to the training ground, I would write it down.” He YunTing said, “It was the same three years ago.”
“It has nothing to do with V Proton this time, but if you…” He YunTing said a date, “help me find the record of the practical training on that day.”
Lin Han was naturally familiar with that date, and the other invited him to a dance on this date three years later, and he said happy birthday to He YunTing.
Although neither of them would just be strangers anymore.
Thinking of this he brought a little smile to his tone and followed He YunTing’s instructions, looking up each entry, “Wait a moment.”
“Hmm.” He YunTing answered in a deep voice.
It wasn’t that he didn’t trust Lu AnHe, not to mention that the other party had even admitted, in a big way, that there had indeed been something, but it was just inconvenient to tell him. There was an inexplicable weirdness hanging over his head, clearly in his memory it was no more than an ordinary day, but he was still uneasy.
He YunTing knew that now wasn’t the time to think about this, he knew his adjutant too well. They lived and died together and absolutely trusted each other, and were people who could always have their backs to each other on the battlefield.
Lu AnHe couldn’t have lied to him, if there was really something he didn’t want to say, either it really had nothing to do with him, or he didn’t tell him the reason was for his own good.
He just suddenly didn’t trust himself.
“Found it.” Lin Han suddenly voiced out.
“In the morning, the training ground punch card record.” Lin Han read to He YunTing as he did, saying one by one the time and serial number of the training back then, and He YunTing silently compared them in his heart and found that they were all correct with the ones in his memory.
After the morning, He YunTing didn’t reply, wanting to wait for Lin Han to continue, but the opposite side was slow to speak. He was puzzled for a moment and asked, “Why did you stop?”
According to the training pattern of these years, in order to get to know the actual training pilots in all aspects, the afternoon should be mech shooting training.
“Huh?” But Lin Han’s tone also carried confusion, saying, “I’ve finished reading.”
An odd feeling arose in He YunTing’s heart, “Where are the afternoon training records?”
“Not here.” Lin Han didn’t know why He YunTing asked that, and said truthfully. “It shows… the day three years ago, you weren’t present at the base for the whole afternoon.”