Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Yuan Xi shook Yates, telling him to go to sleep first. Yates looked around in a daze and then quickly dropped down. As for Luo XiaoLou, he shrank into his sleeping bag, never to come out again.
Perhaps tired from helping each other get comfortable, Luo XiaoLou had no more strange dreams. He slept until dawn. Surprisingly, Yates, who had gotten up early to go out for exercise, brought back a nest of bird eggs. The trio’s breakfast, thus, became boiled eggs.
Afterwards, Yuan Xi and Yates continued on to their mecha for a special training session. They went to the cave and cleaned the area. Luo XiaoLou, who was bored sitting on the ground counting bugs, found something to his own surprise. Thirty meters into the cave, Luo XiaoLou found a red stone on the rock wall.
He called out to 125, who flashed and said, “It’s Red Flame Ore. A Grade 3 material but it’s rare. It’s not cheap, and I only found some on the virtual web.”
Luo XiaoLou stopped complaining under his breath about Yuan Xi and Yates’s enthusiasm for training. He dragged his feet, unable to exert himself, and began to collect the Red Flame Ore.
In the process, Luo XiaoLou was reminded by 125 to exercise his Source of Consciousness. He explored bit by bit with his eyes closed. As more materials were collected, Luo XiaoLou’s Source of Consciousness, which had been sapped, slowly began to build up again. It grew, and whether it was an illusion or not, Luo XiaoLou felt that this time the Source of Consciousness had become even more refined.
He asked 125 but even it couldn’t figure out why. But… At least it was a blessing in disguise.
Now Luo XiaoLou was happy that he’d brought a lot of storage boxes with him. Luo XiaoLou even forgot to prepare lunch for Yuan Xi and Yates, as he was too busy chiseling away at a waist-high chunk of Red Flame Ore under 125’s directions.
“What’s he doing?” Yates watched Luo XiaoLou’s excitement and busyness as he asked Yuan Xi, who was next to him.
Yuan Xi looked at him twice, then went up to Luo XiaoLou and gently pushed him aside. He pulled the entire strip of red ore out of the rock wall, while holding Luo XiaoLou in his arms.
Seeing the storage boxes on the ground, Yuan Xi and Yates realized why there was no lunch for them.
Luo XiaoLou smiled at the returning mecha warriors and neatly heated up the lunch boxes. Each had a fried egg added and the three of them began to eat a light lunch.
Yuan Xi bowed his head and ate without saying anything… However, Yates couldn’t help but say, “Hey… You need to restrain yourself a little bit. You need to rest since your foot is still hurt.”
“You don’t understand, I’ve just discovered that this cave is full of treasure! Jesus. This is almost a mecha maker’s paradise. How can I rest at a time like this? I’ve finally discovered the reason for my stay! I’ve decided to take all the materials in this cave…” Luo XiaoLou spoke passionately. But when he saw Yuan Xi staring at him coldly, his voice immediately trailed off. “Erm… It’s okay to take some of it with you.”
125 couldn’t hold it any longer. It whispered under its breath. “Didn’t you swear at me…?”
After the departure of Yuan Xi and Yates, Luo XiaoLou reassured 125, “That was just a good-natured lie. It’s a growing experience..”
“If Yuan Xi finds out one day that you’ve kept so much from him, he’ll be furious…” sighed 125.
The thought of Yuan Xi violating Luo XiaoLou at home, 125 shuddered.
125 worried about Luo XiaoLou’s future while comforting him, “Actually, there are many times deception and concealment are for people’s own good. But they just don’t know it’s absolutely justifiable.”
“Even though I say lies in good faith and I mean what I said to you. There’s too much to take back anyway. I’m going to collect less.” Luo XiaoLou couldn’t help but interrupt 125.
125 stopped for a few seconds. Then screamed like a cat whose tail had been stepped on. “How could you do that? I’ve had enough of this treachery —”
“We’ll be back. We’ll take more material later, until your little private space can’t take any more.” Luo XiaoLou was now used to coaxing the bristly stone with great patience.
The last thing 125 probably wanted was for outsiders to know about its private storeroom. Its voice trailed off but it still muttered angrily.
For the next three days, Luo XiaoLou had a hard time controlling his urge to collect materials.
Every time Yuan Xi and Yates went in deeper, the more advanced the materials became. At first, it was just Grade 3 materials and there were the occasional Grade 4 ones. But now they were all Grade 4. If he was lucky, he’d find a yellow crystal, an expensive Grade 5 material. What was even more surprising was that it was also one of the ingredients needed for repairing 125.
Luo XiaoLou could only fill his pockets with these materials when Yuan Xi and Yates were not looking — his storage case was full. At the same time, Yuan Xi and Yates’s progress was remarkable. The deeper they went, not only did the space inside the cave not decrease, it grew bigger. But the level of the bugs had also changed. There were now Level 4 mutants waiting for them every two meters.
Every time they returned, their clothes would be soaked through. But their progress had been remarkable. Yuan Xi’s first encounter with a Level 4 mutant took him half an hour to kill it. After a few days of training, he could now finish it in twenty minutes and without using long-range weapons at all.
Whereas Yates, who had to borrow energy bolts to kill a Level 4 mutant in two hours, was now also able to solve the problem in an hour and a half with just the long-range weapon.
Luo XiaoLou occasionally sat by and watched the two fight at an increasing speed. Their skill behind the wheel was fascinating to watch. This was especially true of Yuan Xi. Luo XiaoLou was only able to slightly keep up with Yuan Xi’s speed by using his Source of Consciousness, as Yuan Xi’s huge white mecha moved at a breakneck speed in a tight space. He could change frequency and direction multiple times a second.
Luo XiaoLou particularly had a sense of pride while watching Knight. That was his work. And while it could never have been done without Shen Yuan’s help, Luo XiaoLou felt and thought of Knight as his own child.
Here, Luo XiaoLou’s eyes suddenly lit up. He already had more and more materials in his hands. In addition to the large quantity of materials he got from selling the plans for the Energy Box last time, Master Yan also gave him some advanced materials, and Luo XiaoLou hid everything he couldn’t use in his storage room on the third basement floor.
The trip to the cave would no doubt enrich the warehouse again. If… if he could… He’d like to build a mecha for Yuan Xi himself… maybe not as beautiful and perfect as Yuan Xi’s white mecha but… Even if it was only a backup mecha, it would be very satisfying to see a mecha that he built being used by Yuan Xi to fight with. It would be very rewarding to watch him use it.
Just thinking about it, Luo XiaoLou felt his blood boiling.
In the evening at dinner, Yates rubbed his sore arm, exclaiming, “Tomorrow we’ll probably be at the bottom of the cave. This training is unforgettable. I’m glad I’m with the team leader,” he said.
Yates thought, as he threw a a sour glance at Luo XiaoLou, who was massaging Yuan Xi. Hey, you… You’re such a lover. You’re not the only one training with Yuan Xi!
But Yates wouldn’t dare pull Luo XiaoLou, who was staring straight at Yuan Xi, over to him — given the team leader’s powerful presence.
That night, as Yates slept, Yuan Xi suddenly asked, “How’s your foot?”
Luo XiaoLou froze before he answered, “It’s not in the way.”
“If your foot isn’t healed by the time you get back, don’t expect me to help you bring the materials back.” Yuan Xi snorted. Although what he said was a bit harsh, Yuan Xi still reached out his hand, pulled Luo XiaoLou’s ankle over and rubbed it gently.
Luo XiaoLou’s heart felt warm inside. He was lucky to have met such an awkward and caring Yuan Xi. If only they weren’t sleeping naked right now, it would be even better…
On the fifth day, Luo XiaoLou woke up early in the morning to find Yates and Yuan Xi already warming up their own breakfast and going to train. Maybe they were both excited to go back.
Luo XiaoLou looked at the ten or so bags that he had packed and decided to take this last day to collect more. There would be no more chances after today and the most important thing was that all these high quality materials were available for free!
Luo XiaoLou set up the emergency lights, grabbed two bags and began to collect. While he was collecting the yellow crystals, a black stone appeared. He was surprised, “125. Check your database. I haven’t seen many such black stones here. Is it Black Chert? What a shame to miss it.”
“That’s impossible. You think there will be Black Chert just lying around? Let’s see… Hmm. The color’s okay. It’s not Black Chert though. It’s a rare Grade 5 material, Black Jade. Hard as a rock and good material for weapons.”
Luo XiaoLou was happy. He casually put the black stone into the bag and then found that the last two bags were already filled to the brim. Luo XiaoLou piled the materials together with a great sense of accomplishment. All that was left was for Yuan Xi and Yates to help carry them back.
At this point, Luo XiaoLou suddenly sensed something was wrong. He raised his wrist and looked at the communicator. It was 1:30 p.m. — usually at this time of day, Yuan Xi and Yates would have already had lunch and gone back to their training. But they weren’t back yet.
Luo XiaoLou immediately stood up. When he first started gathering materials this morning, he could still hear the thumping and banging sounds inside. But now the cave was strangely quiet. Luo XiaoLou took off his emergency lamp and ran inside the cave. His foot was no longer in serious condition.
The road was littered with thick mutant limbs, and Luo XiaoLou fought back nausea as he continued to walk inside. Every half of a day, Yuan Xi and Yates would go up to forty meters into the cave. But now, there was no sign of them within the range of the emergency lights.
Luo XiaoLou’s heart sunk at the sight of the bodies on the ground and the silence in the cave. Could they have been killed by the bugs… No! Absolutely not!
Luo XiaoLou’s footsteps quickened as he ran inside. There was nothing but disgusting bug carcasses on the ground. In the distance, it was pitch black. As he ran, Luo XiaoLou could only hear his heart beating faster and faster.
Something told him that he was not left alone in this cave full of beasts.
Turning a corner, Luo XiaoLou was blocked by something huge. With a familiar metallic touch, Luo XiaoLou immediately lifted the emergency lights.
In front of him was Knight, sprawled on the ground.
The author has something to say:
A little 125 and a little Luo…
Reader: Ask 125. How do you feel about XiaoLou’s description of having swallowed 125?
125 glances at the reader, prideful form: certainly a very complex — love me so much that you want to make me part of your body or something.
XiaoLou interrupts without hesitation: You think too much. It’s just the feeling of choking.