Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Luo XiaoLou dreamt all night.
In his dream, a ferocious tabby cat was circling around his feet, making a fuss about eating fish. Luo XiaoLou squinted at it for a long time and then told it, next time, I’ll make two for you. The tabby squinted back angrily. Finally, he stopped, then leaped up to his chest. He curled his paws together and went to sleep.
Luo XiaoLou, who had been spared, sighed. The place next to the tabby was warm and he went to sleep.
The next morning, he woke up and everything was normal. Except that Luo XiaoLou found himself alone outside his sleeping bag.
Yuan Xi was not up yet. The sleeping bag was adjustable in size but Yuan Xi hadn’t adjusted it before he came in. So now he was holding Luo XiaoLou close to his body. Okay. It was warm, but… does he have to be this clingyheavy every day?
Luo XiaoLou pulled up his sleeping bag and was about to wake Yuan Xi, but he saw the condition of their bodies… his hands were shaking as he pulled up the sleeping bag. Yuan Xi didn’t have much clothes on, and Luo XiaoLou was now stiff and uncomfortable because he had been sleeping in one position all night.
Yuan Xi’s face was buried in his chest. Hot breath puffed out of him and Luo XiaoLou felt a sudden numbness and weakness.
Not far below Luo XiaoLou’s chest, 125 was glowing in a strangely bright green light, coloring his perky nipples. Luo XiaoLou’s face was flushed. He gently moved Yuan Xi’s head with his hand, hoping to get out of this embarrassing position.
Yuan Xi frowned impatiently. He showed signs of being woken up by the movement and rubbed his face back and forth against Luo XiaoLou’s chest.
Luo XiaoLou took a breath… Oh, God. This bastard!
Yuan Xi finally raised his head when Luo XiaoLou’s fingers trembled and grabbed Yuan Xi’s hair. He squinted at Luo XiaoLou for a moment in displeasure. Then, he sat up with his two strong arms wrapped around Luo XiaoLou’s waist, before finally noticing the present position of the two. He paused for two seconds.
Quickly, he said, “You were the one who insisted on hugging last night. We both know that you are afraid of the cold — in that case… I’ve decided. We’ll sleep like this from now on.” He said this with a look of ‘you should be grateful to me’.
Who’s afraid of the cold?
“But that’s not necessary. We’re in training and this won’t be good.” Luo XiaoLou didn’t give up trying.
Yuan Xi blinked. It dawned on him, “Necessary? You mean you want me to help satisfy you before we sleep together? But… even if you want to… it’s not very convenient. Of course, if you don’t scream so loud like every other time… I might consider trying —”
“No, no, no. I don’t mean anything. That’s it.” Luo XiaoLou took Yuan Xi’s words at face value. Reasoning with Yuan Xi was the worst thing in the world.
When they got up, most people were still not up since this was the first time they had traveled so hard. Even the mecha warriors were feeling tired.
Luo XiaoLou started to prepare breakfast and Yuan Xi wandered around the camp.
The familiar smell of fried eggs wafting up woke the other students up with a strong grudge. Since they were training outside, everything was kept simple. The water was left untouched, only to be used conscientiously. That was what Yuan Xi said yesterday, so they only wiped their hands and faces with liquid soap.
Yates was unable to resist so he took Luo XiaoLou’s share of omelette while Yuan Xi was away. He was jealous that they had soy milk. It was a training exercise. This was no picnic!
Although Luo XiaoLou couldn’t understand why the plants here didn’t flower and bear fruit, he tried his best to find something edible. After testing, he was surprised to find that most of the plants were inedible. Or poisonous. But more frighteningly, they all seemed to carry a tiny amount of radiation… Though not normally dangerous… But it was, in this case, definitely not edible.
The next day was spent marching forth again. It was just as tiring but they were beginning to settle in a little, while laughing and joking. The atmosphere was very harmonious.
On the third day… Without giving up, Luo XiaoLou finally found something edible. He found a mushroom and above the roots it was non-toxic, non-radioactive and after being tested by 125, he found it was edible.
During the testing, inevitably, some mushrooms went missing.
Luo XiaoLou started collecting them whenever he was free. In the evening, he cooked a pot of mushroom soup with water. The pot was made from a stone that Yuan Xi had hollowed out with a high-energy blade. It was filled with compressed vegetables and beef from the school. It was also very fragrant.
Since there was a lot of soup, Yuan Xi reluctantly served a portion of it to the two assistant team leaders and Yates.
The others gulped. This was all locally sourced so they could try it tomorrow.
The morning of the fourth day, they came out of the woods. The landscape opened up and there was less greenery in an instant. Astonishingly, there was a huge cliff in front of them. It was as if the ground had been split open. It was a clean break with hundreds of metres dropping down to the bottom… A few hundred metres down, there was yellow sand. In the intense light… the metallic glow of the sand was bright.
On the side of the cliff there was a huge, square mountain that went up at a ninety-degree angle.
Yuan Xi froze. There’s no way out?
“I’m going down to see,” said Yuan Xi as he brought out his white mecha. He carried Luo XiaoLou quickly into the cockpit.
Luo XiaoLou’s heart was thrilled that Yuan Xi was taking him along. He was still very excited for Yuan Xi to take him along because this was no training center. He had long wanted to try his hand at driving a mecha in the endless wilderness — even if he was not the one driving the mecha now.
The white mecha descended fast, then came to a silent stop at the bottom. Luo XiaoLou’s fiercely beating heart returned to its original position. Yuan Xi’s technique was terrifying.
Yuan Xi didn’t go out to check as Luo XiaoLou thought he would. He never even got off the mecha and on to the ground, then Yuan Xi pressed a few buttons. Close up shots of the sand were right in front of them.
Yuan Xi’s brow furrowed as he watched the layer of gold. With a flick of his dagger, he chipped away at a few rocks. The rocks disappeared without a sound as they fell into the sand.
Yuan Xi tried a few more places. Everything that fell was invariably submerged in the sand. He didn’t stop. The white mecha went up the cliff. He then helped Luo XiaoLou down from the mecha.
“You can’t cross from down there. It’s quicksand,” Yuan Xi says.
“So what do we do? Our target is across the cliff.” One of the assistant team leaders said worriedly.
“The distance is too great. We can’t even see the edge of the cliff, otherwise we could have flown there with a mecha.” Yates said.
“Better not spread out. What if we run into danger?”
“But… we have to find a way to get there.”
For a moment, everyone was talking about the edge of the cliff. Without a way to get there… Their mission would be a failure.
“Wait. There’s a way out.” The girl on Yates’ side suddenly said and then pointed towards a huge mountain.
Everyone turned to look. There was a path on the side of the mountain. It was like a man-made pathway over the cliff but it was too small. There was barely enough room for two people and it was not clear if the path continued on the other side of the cliff.
The two team leaders scouted ahead. There was no break in the trail and it was passable.
The team had a quick lunch at the edge of the cliff. Without a break, they then set off on their way. No one wanted to still be on the cliffs in the middle of the night, and there was no place to rest up there as well. So they had get to the other side of the cliff before nightfall.
After two whole hours of walking, they had not seen the other side. They grew anxious as the sky was getting dark.
At this moment, Luo XiaoLou suddenly heard someone shouting from behind him, “Something’s wrong, team leader. Something’s wrong.”
Yuan Xi waved his hand. They all stopped.
To be on the safe side, everyone moved close to the rocks one by one. The student who spoke passed everyone and he came from the outside. The cliff was a stone’s throw away and the man was walking on the ground with no fear at all.
When he approached, Luo XiaoLou realized that the speaker was a tall, thin student. His hair was a little long and his bangs covered his eyes. He was in the same class as Yuan Xi. His name was Mu Chen. Usually aloof, he didn’t talk much.
Mu Chen walked over. He looked at Yuan Xi and said, “Team leader, it’s not supposed to get dark this early. Besides, there’s something wrong with… I’ve got a problem with my detector. It means there’s a magnetic disturbance. And… I just tried to contact the school but there’s no way to contact them. Not even with the ship. Even the people on the planet… I’ve only been able to contact one group, probably because they’re closer to us.”
There was a pause. Mu Chen looked at the darkening sky as he sped up his speech, “If I’m right, the weather will soon change. A high radiation storm is coming. We must find shelter now.” Saying this, Mu Chen quietly raised his eyes to Yuan Xi.
Yuan Xi froze, then he looked at the detector in his hand. When he tapped it twice on his communicator, his face grew pale.
Mu Chen’s judgment was correct. Now they had to find a place to hide or else… Once the storm with the radioactive particles arrived… Even if they hid in their mecha, it would still be dangerous.
“Wang Jing, you guys move forward quickly. I’ll go ahead.” Yuan Xi said to one of the assistant team leaders.
“Okay.” Wang Jing had a hint of worry in his eyes but he answered quickly.
Yuan Xi got into the mecha and then disappeared from sight.
Hearing what Mu Chen said, the students began to panic and fear. If they didn’t have a place to hide from the radioactive particle storm… they were afraid none of them would survive.
Luo XiaoLou was in the passenger seat of Yuan Xi’s mecha, watching the cliff face flashing across the screen with a cold stare. In the first instance, Yuan Xi contacted the nearest available team leader and told them to find shelter, and try to contact the others as well.
Luo XiaoLou was completely unable to match Yuan Xi’s calm. His palms were sweating and he stared intently at the rock wall. Finally, he asked, “If there’s nowhere to hide… what do we do? What are we going to do?”
“…If we don’t have a place, we’ll have to make our own.” Yuan Xi looked at Luo XiaoLou.
Luo XiaoLou’s nervousness slowly subsided at the sound of Yuan Xi’s calming voice.
At that moment, Luo XiaoLou heard a faint, grainy voice, “There’s a small building five hundred meters back. The place you just passed. There’s quite a bit of space inside.”
“Wait!” Luo XiaoLou exclaimed. As Yuan Xi turned to look at him, Luo XiaoLou stammered, “I… I think I saw something back there. About 500 meters back. It might be a place to hide.”
Yuan Xi took one look at Luo XiaoLou. He didn’t hesitate to trust him and quickly turned around.
125’s probe proved to be correct.
On the rock face behind the path, there was an opening in the rock wall that only one man could bend down to enter at a time. Yuan Xi set Luo XiaoLou down. He checked around a little bit then said, “You wait here for me. If anything happens, open the shield. I’ll be right back.”
Within twenty minutes Yuan Xi arrived with everyone else and was the last to come in. The students were now in awe of the aloof, arrogant group leader. Perhaps they felt a sense of security or reliance.
Yuan Xi came in, looked for a rock to block the entrance and then sat down with his back against it. Yuan Xi beckoned Luo XiaoLou to come to his side. Then, he raised his eyes to the crowd, “Until the radioactive particle storm passes, let’s hide here.”
One student worriedly asked, “How long will that take? I dropped my bag when I was running over here. There’s hardly any food left.”
There was silence again. Apparently he wasn’t the only one who had lost his load.
Mu Chen whispered, “It could be hours… It could be days. Or even a month.”