Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Xie Sen looked at the large row of trees in the distance, and was very distressed. In order to block the giant lynx beast, he had exchanged twenty trees at once, and spent twenty energy. He looked at Maine. “Can you get someone to transplant them into the courtyard?”
“Yes, I’ll call someone later.” Maine nodded, and took him outside.
Xie Sen grabbed his hand. “Have you not gotten your diploma yet?” Going by the order the teacher handed out the Plant diplomas, Maine’s grades were probably last.
Maine said, “I’ll get it after we go to the hospital.”
“I’m fine. I’ll go with you to get your diploma, and we’ll leave together later,” Xie Sen said.
Maine hesitated, but Xie Sen pulled him towards the Information Department. “It’s decided.” The crowd of onlookers dispersed, and gave way to them.
The people who had followed Maine over continued to trail after them. Someone said, “Xie Sen, can I have a potato?”
“I want a chili!”
Maine said in a cold voice, “Don’t even think about it.”
Xie Sen accompanied Maine to get his diploma, waited for him to finish taking the group photo, and then suggested, “Can we take a picture in front of your classroom?”
The classrooms in college often weren’t fixed, but the one classroom was still the place where all the students spent the most of their time. Xie Sen thought of that, and wanted to take a picture in front of that classroom.
Maine had been in that classroom for a long time.
Naturally, Maine had no problem with it, so the two of them took a photo in front of the Information Class. They declined the invitation of the rest of the students to take a group photo, and left the classroom. Someone started walking towards them.
Maine’s body instantly went into combat readiness, and he stared coldly at the person who approached.
The male stopped two meters away, and looked at Xie Sen with glowing eyes. “Xie Sen, I want to challenge you!”
After that, one after another, people came running over and challenged Xie Sen.
Xie Sen was baffled. He didn’t understand why so many people suddenly wanted to fight with him. When he thought about the earlier fight with the male, although he won in the end, he still felt very much at a disadvantage. He wasted too much energy, and didn’t have enough attack power.
Also, he hadn’t developed attack methods for many of his later activated plants. With the earliest activated plants, although he had thought of attack methods, his practical combat was very unskilled.
It was nice to have someone come to him for a fight when he didn’t have to conceal the plants anymore.
Maine snorted. “Looking for a challenge from a pregnant female? If you want to challenge him to a fight, win against me first.” He swept his eyes over them. “I’ll be waiting for your challenge.”
As he sat on the shuttle, Xie Sen opened the academic forum and felt depressed. “I actually want to fight. I’m too unskilled in real combat. I have so many plants and energy now, I should’ve finished off that person in seconds by today, but instead I almost let him escape.”
Maine said, “You are already very good, besides it isn’t suitable for you to do any strenuous exercise right now.”
Xie Sen patted his stomach. “It’s okay. You saw that I fought today, and I didn’t feel anything at all. I fight mainly with plants, so it’s not too much of a test of my own physical strength.”
After the shuttle stopped, Maine put down the seat and leapt to the back. One hand reached out to lift the hem of Xie Sen’s shirt, and Xie Sen flinched back. “What? I’m going! What’s so scary?”
His ribs and shoulders each had two long, thin, bruised stripes from where the vines had tied him. His fingers touched one, and there was a little pain. “Hey, the vines are good, but when they are fast, they can be too tight.”
“Fighting is hard on your body,” Maine said. He lowered his head and kissed him on the lips. “If you want to fight, at least wait until after the baby is born.”
Xie Sen, “Mn. But I’ll practice more so I can at least react faster when I’m in a real fight.” He glanced out. “This is the hospital?”
“Mn. Let’s go see Dr. Bai.”
When Dr. Bai examined Xie Sen, he was very surprised, and a little scared. “How did you get hurt? Luckily, you avoided your abdomen otherwise it would be very dangerous.”
After the examination, Dr. Bai breathed a sigh of relief. “It’s okay. You and the baby are fine. You must pay more attention in the future.” He wrote down the name of an ointment. “This ointment is suitable for pregnant females. There are no side effects when you apply it. Just go to the counter and buy it.”
They thanked him, bought the ointment and went back home.
Not long afterwards, the doorbell rang. Xie Sen opened his bracelet to see two tall males were standing at the door. Behind them was a trailer with trees piled on it.
Xie Sen’s eyes brightened, and he immediately got up. Maine said, “I’ll go over there. Where do we plant these trees?”
Xie Sen took his arm. “Let’s go together. We’ve already planted seeds for the trees by the wall, so there’s no need to plant them again. We’ll plant these trees in front of the home.”
In the end, twenty trees were planted in a circle in front of, and to the left of the house, which left an open space in the center where Xie Sen intended to put a set of tables and stools for tea and relaxation.
After the trees were planted, Maine went to make lunch while Xie Sen took a shower. Then he sat on the couch to catch up on the news. The news about his attack had already spread on the Starnet, with comments that basically expressed anger and demanded severe punishment for the attacker, as well as many concerned about his health.
He looked around then cut to the anchor control panel. His private messages were 999+ again. He opened the first few. They were all asking about his health, while praising him for being great.
He didn’t continue to read, just wrote an announcement, [Thank you for your concern, my body is fine. Ready for lunch right now! [smiley face]]
He had just sent it, when there was a reply. [Just fine! Want to have lunch with the anchor!]
[I’m begging for a live lunch. I’m happy to see it!]
[Same request. I’ve seen a lot of contract beasts and food I’ve never heard of in this room.]
Xie Sen wasn’t going to reply, and certainly wasn’t going live.
Before, in the concert hall, he had started to get uncomfortable eating in front of 20,000 people, but the stage was large. He just looked at the food, and hadn’t felt the presence of the audience. The most important thing was that the people around him were eating very fragrant food, and it really had the atmosphere of a gathering. He got into it and forgot about the rest.
If it was a live stream at lunch where only he and Maine were eating together in front of tens of millions of viewers, his attention would be on the audience, and he would definitely not be able to eat.
When he thought about the private message that praised him for being so capable, he cut back to the news page and clicked on the video included with the news of his attack.
The video was not long, and the picture quality wasn’t too clear. It started when the giant lynx beast ran away with its beast master on its back and ended with the crowd dispersing. Many of the comments under the video were discussing how the trees had suddenly appeared.
[It’s too handsome, right? So many trees suddenly appeared!]
[I watched it several times in slow motion. The people fighting behind Xie Sen, were they grabbing potatoes?]
[Yes, that yellow thing being kicked around is a potato!]
[I remembered Xie Sen’s previous cutscene video. He definitely fought with a plant.]
[So, the potato and trees were both left behind after the battle?]
[Hahahaha! I have a great idea! I’m going to ask God Xie for a sparring session!]
[Wake up. Xie Sen is now a pregnant husband. Looking for a pregnant husband to spar with? Shame on you. And Maine has said that if you want to spar with Xie Sen, you have to pass him first.]
Xie Sen looked at the comments, and once again sighed at the wit of the netizens. That they weren’t detectives was simply burying talent. However he finally understood why those people wanted to spar with him.
It was all about the plants!
The video, apparently taken by onlookers, was shaky and unclear, so it seemed that the school was quite reliable and didn’t let the real video get out.
After lunch, Maine made a strawberry milkshake for Xie Sen. Xie Sen sat on the couch, leaned against Maine, and sipped it slowly while they chatted. “Do you have any career plans?”
Maine’s fingers were stroking his black hair, while he rubbed it in his hand. “I’m going to continue working on various software programs. What about you? Is there anything you want to do?”
Xie Sen thought about it. “Nothing in particular. I like to cook, but you have too little food here. I have to remember a lot of foods and I don’t know how to cook everything. I still have to figure it out.” He laughed. “It’s fun to think about.”
From the ingredients to the finished product, it gave him a special sense of accomplishment. He was particularly happy when he successfully made bean sprouts and tofu from his recollections. He knew that he had made bean sprouts in elementary school nature class, but he felt particularly accomplished when he saw them grow.
On Brandt Star, and even the other planets, many cuisines had disappeared because of the scarcity of plants. Some recipes had been passed down, but some hadn’t. There was still a long way to go before a true food revival.
Xie Sen thought about that, and became excited. “If I only rely on System energy, it won’t work. I need more land, need to plant more, and then we’ll have all kinds of food. In the future, we can open a restaurant, then the materials and finished products will all be sold together.”
Maine, “As long as you enjoy it, but a restaurant will be very tiring.”
Xie Sen didn’t care. “It’s okay. It’s not to make money. It’s just a hobby. I will develop dishes, but not be the chef.”
Maine laughed, “Okay, I’ll be the first to try every dish you make.”
As they were talking, Xie Sen’s communicator rang. When he saw the contact, he sat upright, put his juice on the coffee table, and turned on the speaker. “Qi Shao, what did you find out?”
Qi Shao said, “Well, it’s someone from Booth Star, a professional spy trained from childhood. He chose the Plant Department just because there were fewer people to deal with. Both for covering up his identity, and so he’d have a lot of time to do other things. You were a surprise to him.”
Xie Sen rolled his eyes. “I wonder if he still likes it?”
Qi Shao laughed out loud. “The military is dealing with Booth Star, but I don’t think there will be any results. Since he was captured, he is destined to be abandoned.” He sounded serious. “In addition to Booth, the rest of the planets will definitely be interested in you. You have plants, and for any planet, that is a huge appeal.”
Xie Sen said, “I will keep my distance from any strangers, and I won’t easily trust people I don’t know well.”
Qi Shao, “Okay. It seems you still don’t want to let anyone close to protect you, and the military leader has ordered that everything is based on your opinion. If there’s any danger, contact me.”
“Good.” Xie Sen asked before he ended the call, “What about the giant lynx beast?”
“The Contract Beast Institute took it over, you can ask President Mu.”
Xie Sen ended the communication and took a sip of his juice. “Your military here is quite nice to talk to.”
After the attack, he thought the military would get tough, and insist on sending someone to protect him. So when he received Qi Shao’s communication, he was wondering how to refuse.
Maine wasn’t surprised. “It’s not that they’re nice, it’s just that you’re special and they’re worried that if you’re not happy with Brandt Star, you’ll go to another planet. If you were a native of Brandt Star it would be fine, but you are an adopted son. If you recognize people from other planets as your parents and follow them away, there is nothing the military can do but use coercion which will start a war. What’s more,” Maine laughed. “They’re also afraid that you’ll get angry, and not provide plants.”
Xie Sen thought about it for a moment, and smiled. “Whatever you think. It turns out to be what I want, since I won’t have people following me around at all times anyway.” He opened his address book, and found Mu Lin. “I’ll ask President Mu for information.”
Mu Lin quickly answered, and Xie Sen asked, “How is the giant lynx?”
“It’s awake, but because it was separated from its master and is injured, it’s cranky.” Mu Lin tsked. “Do you know the identity of its beast master?”
Xie Sen, “Yes. If its beast master is imprisoned, what will happen to it?”
Mu Lin said in a low voice, “Separate imprisonment.” He didn’t hold back a curse, then sighed. “Contract beasts will follow the instructions of their beast master. If they aren’t imprisoned, they will definitely fight. A long time ago, there were been contract beasts that helped their beast masters escape from prison.”
Xie Sen thought of the research he had discussed with Bai Jiao. “What if the bond is lifted?”
Mu Lin sounded surprised. “What do you know?”
Xie Sen said, “I don’t know much. Has the uncoupling drug been successfully researched yet?”
Mu Lin said, “We obtained research data from Meyer’s bracelet. There are a lot of records about contract beasts after various stimulations of their mental reaction. The uncoupling medicine research teams, after looking at the research, made some uncoupling medicine but we’re not sure of its effect.”
Xie Sen didn’t expect Mu Lin to explain to him so carefully, and was a bit surprised.
Mu Lin added, “We had a few meetings, and decided to try the drug. Whether the drug is successful or not, the contract beasts may go into a frenzy. Especially those that have established a close partnership with their beast master. We wanted to ask you to help. During the contract beasts’ surgeries, you proved that you can be very good at calming a contract beast.”
No wonder Mu Lin had told him everything. If he had agreed to help, he would have found out anyway. He said, “Okay, when will you try it?”
Mu Lin laughed. “That’s good enough for today. I’ll be in touch. It will be as soon as possible, since the sooner we test it, the better. If it doesn’t work, the research team will continue to work on it.” He sighed. “There are quite a lot of contract beasts who have been imprisoned at the same time as their beast masters.”
Xie Sen, “Just contact me when the time is right. I have nothing to do right now.”
In the evening, Xie Sen came out of the bathroom with his hair scrubbed. When he walked out of the door, Maine stepped in front of him and went down on one knee. Xie Sen froze in the middle of raising his hand to grab the towel.
Xie Sen’s heart jumped wildly. Maine moved very quickly, without any preliminaries, and took out a black, faintly glowing box and held it up as he looked at him intently. “A’Sen, will you be my partner?”
Xie Sen came back to his senses. He grabbed the towel and threw it behind him, then nodded and reached out. “Yes!” When he thought about his current big pants and tank top outfit, he couldn’t help but sigh, “Can’t you propose when I’m handsome?”
A smile flashed in Maine’s eyes. “You’re handsome right now.”
The corners of Xie Sen’s mouth curled up, and he hummed softly. “Now it’s not a tenth of what I am when I’m at my most handsome.” A drop of water dripped from the hair at the back of his head, but he focused on watching Maine open the box, and resisted the urge to look back at his messy hair.
You can pretend to be handsome if you can’t see it.
The box was opened to reveal two plain silver rings that shone beautifully in the light. Maine gently pinched his finger, and put the ring on him.
Xie Sen picked up the other one. He looked at it carefully, and saw his initials on the inside of the ring. He turned the ring on his finger, and knew without looking that his ring must have Maine’s name on it.
He put the ring on Maine’s hand carefully then crossed their hands, so their fingers rested on the back of each other’s hands. Xie Sen smiled. “Nice, your aesthetics are in proportion to your looks.” He lifted his hand upward. “Get up. Why are you still kneeling?”
Maine pulled his fingers away, kissed him on the back of his hand, then lowered his head to his waist and pressed his head against his belly. As he leaned his head against his abdomen, his voice was tinged with joy, “Baby, your dad said yes to my proposal!”
Xie Sen rubbed his hair, a little embarrassed. If it was before and he were given ten heads, he still wouldn’t have thought that one day there would be such a scene. But besides his embarrassment, he was even more happy. He and Maine had no family. Now, the two of them had formed a family together, and would have their baby.
At this moment, he felt that it was a great thing for him to have a baby.
After a while, Xie Sen tugged Maine’s hair. “Get up. He’s probably not as big as my fist right now, and he doesn’t understand what you’re saying. I need to blow-dry my hair.”
Maine got up, carried him to the stool, bent down and kissed him on the cheek with a happy look. “I’ll dry it for you.”
Xie Sen inclined his head to look at Maine. Maine’s usual expression was no expression. When he was with him, his expression was still very mild. He could smile, but he was never this happy. It was as if the strands of his hair were happy.
He couldn’t help but smile too. “So happy?”
Maine pinched his earlobe. “Mn. I’ve been waiting for this day to get my diploma.”
Maine’s movements were gentle. His fingers wove in and out of Xie Sen’s hair, while the hair dryer in the room was quiet.
Xie Sen rubbed his stomach. “So when are we going to get our certificate? When is the wedding?”
“Tomorrow morning.” Maine had obviously thought it through long ago, and had an answer ready. “I haven’t designed the wedding yet, and you can’t get too tired when you’re pregnant, so let’s do it after the baby is born, okay?”
Xie Sen has never raised a child, but he had seen other people raise their children. After the baby was born there were a bunch of things that were particularly taxing.
“No, this month or next month for the wedding. My belly isn’t obvious yet, and after the birth of the baby we don’t know how busy we’ll be. Don’t do something too big. Let’s just invite good friends and eat a meal on the live stream.”
Maine rubbed his hair which was already dry, put the hair dryer back, and leaned over to hug him. “I want everyone to know that you are my partner.”
Xie Sen gave him a kiss. “Who do you think doesn’t know already? I don’t want to think about the wedding later and only have memories of chaos, tiredness and exhaustion.”
When Maine heard him say that, he immediately agreed, “Okay, let’s do it your way. Not too big. I’ll make the arrangements. You don’t have to worry about it. You just have to decide who to invite.”
Xie Sen nodded, “Okay.”
The next morning, Xie Sen had just finished his breakfast and was drinking orange juice when he received a communication from Mu Lin informing him that the drug trial was scheduled for ten o’clock at the Institute.
He and Maine went to get their marriage license first. The license officer looked extraordinarily excited when he took their picture.
When Xie Sen and Maine got the license, they were thrilled to see each other’s names written in the partner identity section, and they ended up making out on the shuttle for a while.
The two arrived at the Institute at 9:50. Gu Luo was waiting for them in the parking lot, and took them to a building in the back, where Gu Luo had to scan his face to get all the way to an oversized room.
There were six other people in the room. Mu Lin, Father Bai, Bai Jiao, a doctor they had seen during the contract beast surgeries, and the other two were unknown to them.
The room was divided in two by a transparent wall, then halved again by a concrete wall. On the left was an oversized unconscious kangaroo, and on the right lay an unconscious male.
Xie Sen immediately recognized them. “Is that the contract beast dealer?”
Mu Lin nodded. “It’s him.”
Father Bai, who was standing next to a huge apparatus on the right, said, “Everyone is here, so let’s start.”
“Okay.” The tall, middle-aged doctor beside Father Bai nodded and tapped on the device. The ceiling behind the transparent wall opened to reveal the various instruments above. Two bundles of thin tubes dropped down, each with the same pale blue liquid inside them, though the kangaroo’s side was three times the size of its beast master.
The thin tips stabbed into the unconscious man and beast, and the light blue liquid gradually disappeared.
Except for Xie Sen and Maine, everyone gathered around the instrument and watched the changes in the values.
Xie Sen kept looking at the kangaroo. Before long, he noticed the kangaroo was stirring its legs, and he immediately said, “The kangaroo seems to be waking up.” He took a step forward, and put his hand on the transparent wall.
Mu Lin said, “The effect has almost worn off.”
Soon the kangaroo came to full consciousness, jumped up with a yelp, then froze. It turned its head in confusion, and stopped when it saw Xie Sen. It jumped to the transparent wall, put its head against Xie Sen’s palm, and opened its mouth to bark.
Tuan Tuan was there to translate. “It said it was sorry. It didn’t want to hurt you.”
Xie Sen looked at the kangaroo in surprise. It blinked its big eyes, and its super-long eyelashes brushed against the wall, almost like two brushes. Its voice purred weakly again.
Tuan Tuan continued to translate, “Is my beast master dead? I can’t feel him anymore. It’s so good, I hate him so much. I don’t want to be bonded with him at all. But if the beast master is dead, I’m going to die too. I deserve to die, I’ve done so many bad things, and hurt many beasts.”
The kangaroo’s big tears fell on the wall. Xie Sen was heartbroken and angry. The kangaroo had obviously been forced to bond. He reassured it, “You’ll be fine. Don’t be sad. You were just following your beast master’s orders. You’re not bad.”
“This is?” A doctor asked in surprise.
Xie Sen touched the kangaroo through the wall, and turned his head to look at the doctors. “It worked. It can’t feel the beast master’s presence anymore.”
The tall, middle-aged doctor operating the instruments nodded, his voice filled with suppressed excitement, “Yes, the data shows that it is now in an uncoupled state. It’s just physically and mentally weak.” He looked at Xie Sen. “You’re really amazing. You can talk to it?”
Xie Sen pointed to Tuan Tuan. “It translated.”
This result made all the doctors even more excited, and Bai Jiao’s eyes were especially bright. “That’s wonderful.”
The contract beast dealer was taken into exile, while the kangaroo was sent to the Institute’s care area to recuperate. After he consulted with the doctors, Mu Lin decided to proceed with the others.
After all, there was enough time, and Xie Sen was here. To uncouple a few more groups of contracted pairs would help determine if the uncoupling drug was stable.
The first few groups of people to be uncoupled were all contract beast dealers. The process went very smoothly. Since the contract beasts were all forced to bond, after unbonding they were particularly happy but weak, and were sent to the recovery area.
The situation changed suddenly when the giant lynx and its beast master came to their senses. It roared loudly and attacked the walls, with huge blood-red eyes, as it stared at the doctors. It wanted to come out immediately, and swallow them alive.
Tuan Tuan said, “It’s cursing and saying that it wants you to return it to its master, and eat you all!” Tuan Tuan waved his wings, and flew to the same height as the eyes of the giant lynx beast, then chirped and chirped. “Humph. You can’t see what you look like now, but you are still yelling harsh words, and telling jokes? That beast master of yours attacked A’Sen. He isn’t a good person, and you’re not a good person like him!”
The giant lynx beast, who had to look cross-eyed in order to see Tuan Tuan clearly, snarled at Tuan Tuan.
Tuan Tuan, “You shout. Well, shout through your throat, no one will help you. You think you can scare me with your loud voice? What a big joke, I have more guts than you do!”
The entire outside room was filled with the roar of the giant lynx beast and Tuan Tuan’s incessant chirping. The giant lynx beast shouted, got tired and stopped for a while. However, Tuan Tuan’s incessant chirping was especially energetic.
“It…What is it saying?” The tall, middle-aged doctor asked, as he pointed at Tuan Tuan.
What else can be said? Cursing the fight!