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Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations

Editor: KarateChopMonkey

 

He YunTing stood straight in place with a frighteningly cold expression and no intention to open his mouth. It was Lu AnHe who saw it, and he, who was usually easy-going and cheerful, couldn’t resist turning on the microphone and saying to Xu Zhiheng, “Professor Xu, what do you mean? What does the fact that he can speak prove?”

His tone was rare with anger, although He YunTing remained silent.

Instead, Xu Zhiheng gradually calmed down after the other’s questioning. He had been in a ridiculous kind of benevolence in the past few days, and now, after calming down, he finally regained his old image of a gentle scholar. He didn’t directly answer Lu AnHe’s question and continued to speak to He YunTing, “Since I dare to say so, I must have full assurance.”

He YunTing raised his eyebrows and didn’t interrupt him.

“I know you’re going to say something about A’Ze. But the reason for A’Ze’s slow recovery is because he also happens to be an Omega. The gene enters from the gland, and A’Ze’s high mental strength were the factors that caused him to be unable to get rid of the bug-like gene very easily.”

The teenager greeted He YunTing and retreated step by step to Xu Zhiheng’s side.

Xu Zhiheng looked at the teenager with a gentle look, and an overly benevolent tolerance.

“It’s different with Betas.” Xu Zhiheng said, “They don’t have glands and their mental power is extremely mediocre. So, so—” Xu Zhiheng’s voice rose here, “the problem becomes easy to solve. No need to repair the glands and rebuild the genes in the body like for A’Ze, we just need to turn the alien genes in their bodies into inert factors. No more deterioration, no more expression of Zerg habits, even if they can’t recover like they were before, at least they can slowly restore their human qualities.”

“But Professor Xu, even if you’re right, even if you save this child, it’s only one in a million.” Lu AnHe said, “You can’t save this planet that’s still in deep water.”

Who expected Xu Zhiheng to laugh a little?

“Not only this, but I have made another discovery during the day you weren’t here. Do you remember how V Proton Star was infected? First a person, then a school, when a student had returned home and then returned to school, but the family members had an onset of the disease much worse than their own children. Until this community they were in began to have similar cases, they followed the genetic infection.”

Xu Zhiheng spoke methodically, “What does this mean? It means that heterozygotes aren’t necessarily spread after close contact. Of course, there’s a large area of infection, so this symptom will appear in them, and naturally, it can’t be done one by one by ulterior motives injected into it.” This time he paused a little longer, “Perhaps you have heard that once on Earth, hundreds of years ago, there was an epidemic called ‘cholera’. Of course we have no way of proving where the source came from, but V Proton’s water supply is cyclical, brought in from underneath Chrisport and recycled through layers of treatment to other cities, with geographical highlands, and reusable water re-circulated until it is passed on to the next city… 

“But the central city is different from the outer ring cities, it has its own new, independent water circulation — that’s why the central city still functions, while all the cities flowing through the circulation system are infected. Therefore, it’s pointless to cut off communication and network.” Xu Zhiheng said, “The most important thing that should be cut off is precisely the supplies and water that they have failed to notice.”

“I’m done.” Xu Zhiheng opened his hands spontaneously, “I didn’t touch any of the water sources in Licorro City during this day, so by definition, I have the possibility of being infected. Of course, if I’m infected, I’m an Omega, so the effect must be faster than for anyone present. I know everyone thinks I’m crazy, and I accept all penalties for leaving the team without permission. But I will develop more antigens in large quantities as soon as possible,” Xu Zhiheng said frankly, “if you’re still willing to take me back.”

The city had been cleaned up by them, so this non-aggressive teenager in front of them was the last remaining life.

For a long time no one spoke, and it seemed that even the air had frozen.

After a long time, He YunTing’s cold voice came out, “No one present can prove the truth of your words.”

“I understand.”

“Get in my mecha,” He YunTing’s voice was still inaudible, “until things get better as you say, you are not to touch any of the pilots on the team.”

Lu AnHe said, “Boss…”

“If something happens, I’ll take the blame.” He YunTing said, lowering the elevator of the second cockpit down and stopping it in front of Xu Zhiheng.

The two cockpits of M2742 were interrelated and independent, He YunTing only opened the second cockpit with the lowest authority, and he didn’t come out to touch Xu Zhiheng.

Xu Zhiheng finally showed a relieved smile this time, “General…”

He grabbed the hand of a teenager beside him and tried to pull him away.

“Only you can come up.” He YunTing added.

Xu Zhiheng’s smile finally froze, “But he’s getting better! Why can’t you take him back?”

Seeing that He YunTing didn’t even have the will to explain, Lu AnHe said helpfully, “Since you’ve already found a solution, it’s fine to go back and do as you have done, there’s no need to bring such a dangerous factor with you.” 

Xu Zhiheng simply couldn’t understand, “He’s already fine! He won’t reveal those habits anymore and can even slowly return to talking, and he’s still a perfect sample!”

But He YunTing completely ignored Xu Zhiheng’s request, without any room for negotiation, “Then Professor Xu is planning to stay here with him.”

He just said this, with the roar of the engine, the next second he commanded the formation to leave, leaving this scientist with significant research and a teenager who didn’t know what happened in this empty city.

The calmness that Xu Zhiheng had managed to find was finally broken by He YunTing’s words, “What’s wrong with him? What’s wrong with a kid like that? I promise with my life, he really won’t have an accident…”

“No way.” He YunTing seemed to have finally run out of patience, he even felt that it was a waste to say one more word to Xu Zhiheng, and had no intention to argue with him about the topic of mercy, starting to call the elevator back that was originally let down for Xu Zhiheng, and left in the dust.

Xu Zhiheng’s eyes were flooded with blood from the night, but no matter how he struggled, the commander here was still He YunTing.

The speechless air was also questioning him, Do you want to save one person, or do you want to save most people?

“…I’ll go with you.” Xu Zhiheng didn’t even dare to look at the other’s face anymore, turned his head in the corner of the teenager’s blankly raised mouth, and finally let go of his hand, trembling.

The other didn’t understand the current situation, just repeated another “okay” and stood still, dumbfounded, watching everyone leave him.

In the end, he was the last abandoned survivor in the blood-washed city of Licorro.

He YunTing did what he said he would do. After picking up Xu Zhiheng and returning him to the other cockpit of his mecha, he didn’t hesitate for a moment and took all the pilots back with him to Central City.

— 

They arrived a day later without incident.

Xu Zhiheng’s conclusion was undoubtedly a new direction, as the formation didn’t need to step out of the mecha to fight, and no scientist from V Proton was able to survive contact with the infected city. So Xu Zhiheng was naturally placed in a long-prepared quarantine area before he even arrived at the capital.

If nothing suspicious happened to him during the whole monitoring period, then Xu Zhiheng’s suggestion will be considered at his discretion.

Some of the cities that hadn’t fallen completely were cut off from water circulation, and communications were restored. If Xu Zhiheng was right, after he lifted the restrictions, V Proton would take a new round of measures to respond. The scheduled cleanup was also temporarily canceled, and the formation had a rare three-day free period in V Proton.

Of course, the so-called free time was also relative, after all, they could only be in a specific area, not even going too far for training. There were people responsible for watching all the movements of Xu Zhiheng every day, to prevent any accidents.

He really didn’t have any abnormalities, even if the isolation area conditions were very limited, he never stopped his research, but was very much in line with his own obsessive academic persona. No one mentioned the three cities that had been cleared and the alien species whose bones had been attacked by highly sophisticated weapons. They probably didn’t deserve to die here, but there was no turning back, and before everything was clear, it had to be put aside.

No one dared to talk to He YunTing these days, except for his adjutant.

And a certain mecha designer in the core Research Institute.

Lin Han took the initiative to contact He YunTing on the second night. He opened a video message of his own accord, and the other was resting in the temporary war room, his expression unrecognizable.

Neither mentioned the video call that day, and the person who started it was sleeping, so no questions could be asked.

“I’ve visited Qi Jiamu’s brother with him.” Lin Han reported to him, “He’s much better than before, and his gland is recovering.”

“Mn.”

“I don’t know how long it will take to heal, but it seems to be in good condition.” Even though He YunTing didn’t look much different from usual now, Lin Han just felt something was wrong and called out his name.

“I’m here.” He YunTing answered quickly, except that usually he would only answer to the report, but today he paused and added, “It’s good that he’s recovering… It’s good.”

And after saying that, he fell back into silence, only looking at Lin Han, but not speaking. Because of the restoration of communication in various parts of V Proton Star, there was always some gossip flowing out. Those three cities were originally dead cities, and the other cities that were waiting for the trial with fear and trembling found that the troops sent by the Empire hadn’t taken the next step against them after so long, and couldn’t help but speculate whether things had really turned around.

So some of this news still flowed into the Empire.

The people of the Empire were unaware of the seriousness of V Proton, and just thinking that this was good news, some of the blindly confident people had already begun to praise the sending of the formation. Lin Han originally wanted to ask if it was really better, but looking at the face of the person on the screen, he didn’t ask in the end.

His intuition was telling him that something wasn’t quite right.

At the very least, it wasn’t good news right now.

He YunTing wasn’t a talker, Lin Han obediently reported to him again about his recent situation, and then picked a few interesting things to tell He YunTing.

“By the way, I just found out today that some people at the Institute are speculating whether I am in a relationship with someone.” Lin Han himself found it interesting, “Maybe they think that’s why Qi Jiamu comes to pick me up recently.” He saw He YunTing’s eyes flicker and continued, “But they certainly can’t guess who it is.”

Lin Han was actually not a talkative person, but at this moment he subconsciously wanted to make He YunTing happy, so he kept talking.

“Lin Han,” He YunTing finally interrupted him, “I’m fine.”

All of Lin Han’s words got stuck.

He felt that being in a different place was a real ordeal.

He YunTing had long been used to not saying anything, as if this way, he was the only one to swallow those hardships, keeping them in the bottom of his heart, so no one knew.

If Lin Han asked him, He YunTing would definitely tell the truth, but if that was something that made him struggle, saying it again was like plucking out a piece of flesh. How could he let him suffer again?

Both were being considerate about each other, so instead became silent.

“…Alright.” He nodded his head and looked at the other person again.

“Lin Han,” He YunTing actually didn’t understand himself what he was talking about now, he just couldn’t help but to call his name.

Lin Han, Lin Han.

You don’t have to deliberately comfort me, no matter what, you just have to be happy.

“I miss you too.” He YunTing said.

Lin Han was stunned for a long time, not expecting that such words could actually come out of the other man’s mouth.

He YunTing, however, seemed calm at this moment.

Except for the day of his confession, it was also the first time he had said his thoughts so bluntly.

There was no need for such a thing as mind reading, he could also tell the other man.

There had never been a sun that everyone aspired to be, he was just a vile killer, and a darkness keeper at this moment. He looked at the youth who was still frozen across the room, and suddenly he wanted to do and say something, to make him his own, to see him stained with his own scent, to hear him make a sound that was only about him. This moment had nothing to do with sex and physical instincts, even though he had 10,000 ways to hold the other man beside him, but still wanted him to take the initiative step by step towards him and be his person.

Even if Lin Han wasn’t his personal item, he wanted to seize the illusion of this moment.

Lin Han said “Wait a minute” and disappeared from the screen for half a minute.

Soon He YunTing heard a rustling sound, and a few moments later, the youth reappeared on the light screen.

“I was rummaging through your closet, sorry about that.” He apologized very sincerely, and after he finished, he smiled at He YunTing. He was draped with a pale green military jacket, which, due to its size, could almost cover his thighs.

The white material inside was simple and soft, so Lin Han climbed back on the bed and sat on it, then crossed his arms and pulled the collar of the uniform and wrapped it around himself, “There.” The uniform was wrapped around the youth, and he said to He YunTing with a smile, “So consider yourself hugging me now.”

“I don’t know how to make you less upset right now.” Even without facing each other, even through the virtual light screen, Lin Han seemed to be able to guess what was on He YunTing’s mind, “Then at least for now, you can stop being a hero to so many people for a while.”

“You’re my Prometheus alone.” 1

 

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Translator Notes:

  1. In Greek mythology, Prometheus (/prəˈmiːθiəs/; Ancient Greek: Προμηθεύς, [promɛːtʰéu̯s], possibly meaning “forethought”) is a Titan god of fire. Prometheus is credited with the creation of humanity from clay, and of defying the gods by stealing fire and giving it to humanity as civilization. Prometheus became a figure who represented human striving (particularly the quest for scientific knowledge) and the risk of overreaching or unintended consequences. In particular, he was regarded in the Romantic era as embodying the lone genius whose efforts to improve human existence could also result in tragedy. Therefore, Lin Han is telling He YunTing that he shouldn’t sacrifice himself for the entire world and only be Lin Han’s hero.
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WangXian31
May 29, 2022 11:44 am

I so feel for HYT. He doesn’t have a crystal ball & could only do what he felt best in the interest of thousands of other lives.
The ethical Scientist has room to take a moral highground; if HYT left the infected in the other cities, took Xu Zhiheng & the surviving Beta on board and back with them, then something went wrong and the virus spread even further… who would be blamed? Who would be accountable?
He will be wrong in someone’s eyes, whatever he does.
Thanks for the chapter.

Best novel on ExR (as voted by fans)

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