Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Xie Sen tried desperately to control his own movements, but his body seemed to have a mind of its own, completely out of his control. He stared at Maine. “You’re so good. Why don’t you dodge?”
Maine didn’t understand what he meant, and stayed in place without moving. He was letting him get closer and closer, and eventually their lips met.
The first thought in Xie Sen’s mind was, his expression was so cold, but his lips were so soft, and the next thought was, it’s over! He didn’t know if the word ‘over’ was because of his first thought, or because he had taken advantage of Maine as he lost consciousness and fell on top of Maine.
The moment Xie Sen fell over, Maine quickly moved to retrieve his dagger. Only then did he realize that he had been subconsciously moving it backwards as Xie Sen had approached.
He stared at the unconscious Xie Sen. His eyes changed and cooled, and finally his eyes fell on Xie Sen’s neck. He reached out, rubbed his fingers along the wound Xie Sen had made against the dagger, and wiped the blood that had flowed onto his fingers. He held up his finger for a moment, then slowly put it in his mouth. The taste of blood stimulated his taste buds. He frowned slightly, and his eyes cleared up a little. They were no longer full of darkness.
“Wake up!” He wrapped his arms around Xie Sen, and patted his face, as he tried to wake him up. His jaw tightened up as he thought about the various toxic moving plants in the forest. He put Xie Sen flat on the ground, and checked the exposed parts of Xie Sen’s limbs and neck to make sure there were no bites or cuts from the plants. There was nothing except for scrapes on his palms, so his face eased up.
He grabbed Xie Sen’s scraped left hand. When he thought of the scene where he pushed Xie Sen away, his eyes were cold. He picked Xie Sen up horizontally, and walked towards the forest outside.
“Chirp” A crisp bird call came. The next moment, a small black bird the size of a hand flew to Xie Sen’s chest, and tilted its head to look at him.
The feathers on the bird’s head were fluffy white, but it was injured. It’s left side was stained with blood. The feathers were tangled into a ball and drooped down, while the right half of the fluffy feathers formed a sharp contrast. It was wretched and comical.
Maine frowned. He remembered that when he fought the beast, it had pecked after the beast. He gently barked, “Go away!”
The bird cocked its head, “chirp,” and rolled on Xie Sen’s chest. Its round black eyes gazed at Maine again.
Maine looked at Xie Sen, who was sleeping with his eyes closed. He didn’t want to waste time, and couldn’t spare his hands anyway, so he simply ignored it.
Xie Sen was jostled awake. He opened his eyes, and saw Maine was holding him half in his arms. He was wrinkling his eyebrows, as he grabbed his arm with one hand, and pulled on his left sleeve with the other as he undressed him.
However, Maine was really unskilled. His hand was swung around by Maine, but he couldn’t successfully remove his clothes.
Xie Sen hurriedly said, “I’ll do it myself.”
Maine moved a little, looked down at him and then slowly let go of him.
Xie Sen’s eyes scanned the room which was his. He pulled off the loose suit jacket, and looked at Maine’s left shoulder.
Maine had already taken off his dark blue blazer and was wearing only a thin white shirt which, at this point, was mostly stained with blood. It looked extraordinarily gruesome.
Xie Sen stood up, and said with a serious face, “Go to the hospital first.”
Maine didn’t respond, just looked at him. “What just happened to you?” He frowned. “It’s not the first time.”
He remembered the first time he and Xie Sen met, when Xie Sen also suddenly…approached him, and then passed out.
Xie Sen’s eyes involuntarily fell on Maine’s lips. He blushed slightly, and gave him an embarrassed look. “I…I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to.”
“Why did you pass out?” Maine asked.
Xie Sen blinked, relieved that he wasn’t asked about taking advantage of him! He rubbed his neck, and thought to himself that he had saved his little life. It couldn’t be that Maine thought he was unconscious, and accidentally touched him, could it?
Although that seemed to have little credibility, Maine looked so calm that he couldn’t think of a second reason.
Xie Sen laughed. He’d only asked about him passing out. He couldn’t talk about the System, so he couldn’t explain it. He just gave a close answer. “I’m not very well. I have to sleep for an hour every eight hours, otherwise my arms and legs get out of control, and I fall into a coma.”
“Uncontrollable?” Maine looked at him.
Xie Sen coughed lightly in embarrassment. “Yes.”
Maine touched his own lips. “How many people have you done this to?”
“How could I be that unlucky?” Xie Sen said. “Just this once.”
“Unlucky?” Maine frowned.
“No, no, no. You’re unlucky,” Xie Sen corrected, helplessly. “Dude, it was an accident. Forget about it. Why don’t you go to the hospital first to take care of your wound?”
Maine stared at him. “I’m not unlucky. I’m fine.”
Xie Sen froze. Before his mind could process that, Maine said, “Come on. You should go for a full body check too. Your condition is too dangerous, and it’s easy to get into trouble.”
“No need to check,” Xie Sen followed him out of the bedroom. “It can’t be cured for a while. We need to find something first.”
“What kind of thing?”
“Don’t know for now.” Xie Sen shrugged his shoulders.
Maine looked at him, and Xie Sen said, “I don’t want to lie to you, it’s hard to explain. I won’t know, until after a while, where I can find something to cure me.”
Maine looked at him for a moment without saying another word, then the two went to the hospital to treat the wound.
On the other hand, at the Cox’s house.
Maine and Julos had suddenly taken the guests by surprise. Since music was playing in the room, no one knew what had gone on except for Maine’s question, “You made him do it, didn’t you?”
Many people secretly guessed what this meant. Some perceptive people associated it with Maine’s identity, and soon thought of Maine’s dad. When Meyer got the news, Maine had already left. Julos wasn’t seriously hurt except for the shock, and the lurid marks left on his neck.
Meyer calmly apologized to the guests, and left Julos to sort things out. The party continued, the atmosphere resumed, but it was different from the beginning.
At the end of the party, the Cox family, plus Sotoko, gathered in the study. Han Zheng’s face was sullen, and his eagle eyes were fixed on Julos. He was very pale, and his body trembled slightly. Han Zheng ignored that, and questioned Julos, “What did you say?”
“No-nothing.” Julos’ lips trembled.
“Want me to transfer the surveillance?” Han Zheng’s tone was cold.
Julos didn’t dare hide, but subconsciously excused himself first. “I didn’t mean to do it. I didn’t know he was behind me.”
“What did you say?”
Julos, “I said he was stupid since he thought his dad died in a car accident, but actually killed himself for him.”
Han Zheng’s face was ugly to the core. Meyer looked shocked, and turned his head to Soria. “You did that?”
Soria’s eyes were panicked. His face twitched a little, and he spoke loudly, as if that made sense, “It’s none of my business! He killed himself! You only blame me, but have you ever thought of how embarrassing my situation would be if he showed up! I would be the laughing stock of everyone in Star City. It’s you.” He pointed at Meyer. “It’s all your fault. It’s all because of what you did!”
“That’s enough!” Han Zheng slapped the table. He had lost his patience to talk with them, and announced his decision directly. “Julos will be ruined by you if he continues like this. I have arranged for someone to take him away later. He’ll come back when he is in shape.”
“Where are you going to send him?” Soria asked nervously.
“Junior training camp.” Han Zheng had little expression.
“No!” Soria shook his head frantically, and grabbed Julos’ arm. “I won’t let anyone take him!”
It was a place famous for its harshness. Everyone went in using aliases, and they were all treated equally. The daily training was very harsh, and the most terrible thing was that they also had death quotas. How could his son, who had been spoiled since he was a child, go to a place like that hell?
Han Zheng ignored him, and looked at Sotoko. “Your transfer order will be communicated to you in the morning. Go back and prepare!”
“Admiral.” Sotoko gave him an uneasy look. “Where will I go?”
“You will find out in the morning. Go back first.”
When he saw that he wasn’t going to answer, Sotoko gritted his teeth, gave a military salute, excused himself and left. Not long after, four military men in fierce black uniforms forcibly took Julos away. Soria cried and yelled, and Han Zheng directly had him knocked out.
Finally, only Han Zheng and his son were left in the study. Meyer said, “I’m sorry, Father.”
Han Zheng rubbed his brow. “In the beginning, I should have ruined your marriage contract. After all these years, because the Cox family was ashamed of him, we retreated again and again, so as a result, he harmed Julos,” he said in a deep voice. “Julos is still young, and could still be corrected. If there are young people with good qualifications in the side line, you should pay more attention to promoting them. Tomorrow, send a statement that breaks off relations with him.”
“He is not yet eighteen years old.” Meyer reminded him.
“When’s his birthday?” Han Zheng asked. “The day after his birthday, then issue the statement.”
“It’s this month,” Meyer said. “I’ll arrange it.” He hesitated. “Father, are you sure you want to transfer Sotoko to Planet A?” That was the worst resource planet in the system.
“Do you think he wasn’t involved in any of these things? Keep an eye on him. He’s not a good guy.”
Maine and Xie Sen were totally unaware of the Cox family. The two went to the hospital to treat their wounds, then went straight back to their apartment.
Xie Sen saw Maine’s lips were dry, and thought he was dehydrated from the blood loss, so he said, “Sit down. I’ll get you a glass of water.”
Before Maine could stop him, Xie Sen was already heading to the water fountain. Xie Sen finished getting the water, and was about to walk back when he suddenly heard a bird call coming from the kitchen. For a moment he thought he heard wrong, but then another one came.
He handed the water to Maine, and went into the kitchen to check.
Once inside, he saw a small, palm-sized bird on the cooking counter, happily pecking at the meat on the cutting board. He had taken too much out for dinner, and forgotten to put it back in the fridge.
Xie Sen looked at this scene with surprise. He approached and waved his hand. As he tried to drive the bird away, the bird chirped, flapped its black wings and flew to his arm. He was startled, and subconsciously shook his arm hard, but the bird grabbed his clothes tightly and hung on his hand as it chirped. It seemed very excited.
Maine leaned against the door and said, “It followed us all the way back from the forest.”
Xie Sen turned his head to look at him, stopped shaking his hand and raised his arm. The bird stood on his arm with its crooked feathers and the half-drooping half-fluffy head. Its black eyes looked at him. Its whole body was chubby and cute. Xie Sen looked at the meat on the cutting board. At least half a pound less. Was it all eaten by this little thing?
“Can you recognize what species it is? It’s a meat eater, will it be dangerous?”
“There is a sympathetic response, so it’s a contract bird beast and no danger. What the breed is, I can’t tell.” Maine said.
Xie Sen suddenly understood. “No wonder it’s so smart.”
The little bird chirped, and rolled steadily on his arm.
Xie Sen gave it an odd look. Had it understood his compliment? It was a little too smart for its own good!
Maine said, “If you like it, keep it. If you don’t like it, throw it out.”
Xie Sen thought about it. “Let it be. It has a high IQ. It can stay if it wants to. Otherwise, if it causes trouble, then it can go.”
“As you wish.” Maine didn’t care much.
Xie Sen pointed to the remaining meat, and asked the bird, “Are you full?”
With a flap of its wings, the bird flew to the cutting board and continued to eat. Xie Sen immediately understood that it was not full. He didn’t know if the bird could understand, but he still warned, “It’s rest time at night. No chirping.”
The bird lifted its round head from the meat, and stretched out its right wing to the left. They covered most of its fat body and beak solidly, and only revealed a pair of round eyes.
Xie Sen looked at it in awe for a moment, then left it alone and turned to walk out of the kitchen. He exclaimed to Maine as he went, “It seems to have a higher IQ than Gold Yao.”
Maine glanced at the bird, and followed Xie Sen back to the living room. “The higher the rank of the contract beast, the higher the IQ.”
“But,” Xie Sen thought of the bird’s chubby appearance. “It’s so small. How powerful can it be?”
“It’s a young bird,” Maine said. “Don’t think about it. Go rest first. I’ll check it out tomorrow.”
Xie Sen reminded him, “The doctor said you need to rest for a few days, and not to exert yourself.”
“I won’t go out tomorrow.”
Xie Sen smiled with satisfaction, and the two of them went to their respective rooms to rest.
After Xie Sen returned to his room, he thought about Maine’s reaction and was a bit uneasy. In the forest, Maine’s condition obviously wasn’t right. Then he was unconscious for less than an hour and Maine recovered, which didn’t seem normal. He thought about it, and opened the door to his room before he went to bed to make sure he could hear if there was movement outside the door.
He didn’t sleep well. His dreams were full of Maine’s wounded and frantic appearance. He went after him but couldn’t find him, when he suddenly disappeared from Star City.
The scene suddenly shifted. His ears were filled with wailing and crying. There was devastation in front of him, as all kinds of beasts tore through the crowd, blood splashed everywhere, and a large amount of blood sprayed his face.
Xie Sen woke up with a start. He opened his eyes with a gasp, and raised his hand to wipe the sweat from his forehead. His eyes swept unintentionally across the doorway, only to find that a man had come to stand there at some point.
His room light was turned off, while the living room lights were on, and the man was standing backlit, like a black silhouette, and it was extraordinarily frightening to see.
The sweat on Xie Sen’s whole body instantly stood up, and he suddenly shouted, “Ah!!!”
“It’s me,” Maine spoke up, and walked into the bedroom. “Did you have a bad dream?”
Xie Sen’s heart was beating wildly. He thought that the worst nightmare was not as scary as suddenly finding that a person was standing in the doorway. He reached over, and turned on the light. The bedside lamp showed it was 2:08 a.m. He got up, and sat back as he rubbed the corner of his forehead. “What are you doing standing in my doorway?”
He actually wanted to curse, but Maine’s face was pale, and half of his shoulder was bandaged. He looked really pathetic, so he couldn’t say anything serious.
Maine sat on the edge of his bed, and pursed his lips. “Wanted to make sure you were here. You didn’t close the door.”
Xie Sen froze, and his heart ached slightly. Was he worried that he was gone? He reached out, and flicked Maine in the middle of his forehead. “Where can I go if I’m not in my room at night? Do you know that you are a patient now and need to rest more? Your face is almost the same color as the hospital walls.”
Maine’s eyes were intense. “You’ll leave during the day?”
Xie Sen realized something was wrong with him. He was afraid he would leave! He hurriedly said, “I’ll go to work during the day, and come back at night. Every day.”
Maine said, “You said, ‘every day.’”
Xie Sen was busy nodding. “I said so.”
Maine looked at him, raised his hand, and rubbed the top of his hair. “Are you having nightmares, and are afraid to sleep alone? Do you want me to stay with you?”
Xie Sen laughed. He remembered the scene in his dream and wondered, What if Maine can’t think straight, and runs away again?
He rolled over to the other side of the bed, giving up a large part, then patted the empty space and smiled. “That would be great. Let’s sleep together!”
The corners of Maine’s mouth curved as he lay down next to Xie Sen, and looked at him from the side.
Xie Sen yawned and closed his eyes. “Sleep quickly. You need more rest.”
Maine asked, “Will you be able to sleep with the light on?”
Xie Sen said in confusion, “Yes. I can always sleep when I’m sleepy.” His eyelids twitched, and he asked in a whisper, “Why do you sleep with the lights on?”
Maine was silent for a while before he spoke, his voice dry, “When I was very young, I was alone in the house without a light. I couldn’t see anything.”
Xie Sen cursed himself for asking such a garbage question. He reached out and grabbed Maine’s hand. “It’s okay. You’re not alone now, and you have a light too. Go to sleep.”
“Yeah.” Maine looked at him, felt the warmth in his hand, then grabbed Xie Sen’s hand with his opposite hand, and closed his eyes.
The next morning, when Xie Sen woke up, Maine was already awake and was turning his head to look at him.
Xie Sen was slightly uncomfortable. He felt that something was wrong with the atmosphere. He got up, looked at the 3 energy prompt in front of him and glanced at Maine in surprise.
Maine also sat up. “What’s wrong?”
Xie Sen smiled and shook his head, but his heart was sour and moved. Maine gave him back energy because he was grateful for his company. He realized at this moment that Maine was too lacking in love, and too lonely. He thought, I would never be like Sotoko, that slag, and would never let Maine down!
He spent a lot of energy chasing Maine last night, then he went to sleep late and woke up in the early morning. He wasn’t in good spirits, and only after he’d washed up did he feel more awake.
He ate breakfast with Maine. Before he left for work, he reminded Maine again. “Don’t go out, and don’t do strenuous exercise! Order take-out for lunch.”
Maine nodded, and stood at the door to watch him leave.
Xie Sen swiped his work card. When Sun Mao saw that he wasn’t in good spirits, he reached out, patted him on the shoulder and advised him bitterly, “Young man, you have to know moderation!”
Xie Sen stared at him helplessly. “Don’t talk nonsense. Didn’t you read the report about Julos’ birthday party?” It was such a big deal, there must have been a report, right?
Sun Mao knew that he had gone to the party last night, so he hastily asked, “No. What happened?”
Xie Sen shrugged helplessly. “Something unpleasant.”
Sun Mao opened his bracelet to look at the news, and shook his head. “There’s no news.”
Xie Sen guessed that the news had been suppressed by the Cox family. It really didn’t sound good to have a fight within that family.
When he remembered the fat bird at home, Xie Sen stopped Sun Mao who was walking in the office. “Manager Sun, do you know if there is a contract bird beast, very smart, with white feathers on its head and a black body?”
Sun Mao pondered for a moment. “There are many bird contract beasts with white heads and black bodies. As for being smart, what level is it?”
“Above an A class contract beast.”
“Then it’s an S class?” Sun Mao pondered for a moment, and suddenly his eyes lit up. “If it’s an S class, I can think of one. The white-headed eagle beast.”
The brightness of his eyes quickly dissipated, and he shrugged. “There are no known white-headed eagle beast masters. Birds, by nature, aspire for freedom. It’s the most difficult to contract beast species, not to mention that the white-headed eagle is the dominant aerial master. There are historical records of bonded white-headed eagle beast masters from hundreds of years ago,” he concluded. “So it’s useless for you to find the white-headed eagle beast in the wild.”
Xie Sen smiled and thanked him. He didn’t care if it was useful, he just wanted to know.
At the end of the shift, Xie Sen opened his System to check his remaining energy level. It was 151.
At this rate, he would be able to activate the third plant in three days at the latest! Xie Sen was so excited that he opened his calendar. He saw that tomorrow was Friday, and he would have a double day off from work.
He immediately made a decision to go to the orphanage on Saturday, so that he could activate the third plant on Saturday.
When he returned to the apartment, he saw Maine was sitting on the sofa with his head down as he assembled something. The coffee table in front of him was full of various parts and circuit boards.
When he heard movement, Maine looked towards the door. Xie Sen smiled at him, and approached curiously. “What’s this?”
“The controller.” Maine explained. Xie Sen was about to ask what the controller was, when there was a knock on the door.
Xie Sen opened the door, and there was Xu Da standing at the door with a wrinkled brow.
“Grandfather, what’s wrong?”
Xu Da opened the door. “We have used many methods, but we can’t get the potatoes and peppers to sprout. They don’t seem to be able to grow.”
Xie Sen took Xu Da to the living room. Maine looked at them, and continued with the work at hand.
When Xu Da saw him, he froze and asked, “What happened? Why are you hurt?”
Xie Sen shook his head at Xu Da, and changed the subject. “Can’t either plant germinate?”
“Yes,” Xu Da nodded. He didn’t continue to ask, just followed Xie Sen’s lead. “The plants that were cultivated at the same time were able to sprout a few days ago, but the potatoes and peppers you gave me didn’t sprout.”
Xu Da asked, “Is there any special cultivation method?”
Xie Sen shook his head. He didn’t know anything about growing vegetables at first, he just threw potatoes and peppers into the ground and they grew on their own. In his perception, the System redeemed plants had an extremely strong survival rate. He thought the Institute would grow it successfully. He was ready to sit and wait for the Institute to send him food!
Xu Da sighed, and couldn’t help but wonder, “Is it possible that the fruits or vegetables grown by the plant contract beast can’t be grown at all?”
Maine snapped a look at him. Xu Da froze, and looked at Xie Sen, “He doesn’t know?”
Xie Sen looked at Maine with embarrassment and concern. He didn’t think he was cheating him or something, did he?
Maine said lightly, “I know.”