Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Xie Sen asked Tuan Tuan to help him find the flying eagle beast, then asked the flying eagle beast to guard the police station in case Maine had an accident. But even after he arranged everything, he was still distracted.
Two hours later, his communicator rang. He saw the caller alert. He was stunned, then picked up, “Maine. How are you?”
“I’m fine,” Maine’s voice was steady. “I’m in the interrogation room now, so my call time is limited. My application was approved, and Julos’ case will be heard in open court tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m. You can watch it on the official court channel.”
“What?” Xie Sen was surprised. “You mean the trial will be broadcast live?”
“Yes. Don’t worry, I’ll be fine,” Maine reassured him, then asked, “Have you eaten dinner yet?”
Xie Sen had completely forgotten about the meat in the kitchen. It was only when he heard Maine mention that he realized he was hungry. Maine was sensitive to his hesitation, and his voice trailed off, “I’m sorry for worrying you. You go eat, then get some rest. It’s time for my communication to end.”
Xie Sen immediately agreed, “Okay. You…No one is bullying you, right?”
Maine laughed lightly, “No. Who did you get to help?”
Xie Sen breathed a sigh of relief. “I looked for anyone who might be able to help. By the way, the flying eagle beast is near the police station. If anything happens, you give it a message!”
Maine’s voice was warm. “Mn, trust me, I’ll be fine. You go eat, and get some rest.”
The officers outside the interrogation room looked at him, at the gentle smile on his face, then looked at each other. He was too calm, not at all like a murderer who was about to be tried in public.
The next day, Xie Sen woke up, and asked Sun Mao for a leave of absence. The news about Maine’s public trial had long been spread on the Starnet, so Sun Mao readily granted him the leave, and comforted him a few times.
Xie Sen thanked him and made breakfast, as he tried his best to appear normal.
Before eight o’clock, he sat down on the sofa and switched to the court’s official live channel. It already had more than 50,000 people. He looked at the various analysis and discussion pop-ups, set the pop-ups to smart mode, then switched to the web interface to inquire about public court hearings. He quickly browsed through the information, and couldn’t help but worry about Maine.
Brandt Star’s public trials were truly public in the sense that the entire process of the trial would be completely live, and wouldn’t be allowed to have any interruptions. In the presence of the general public, the defendant had almost no possibility of hiding his reactions, so if he showed the slightest crack, it was possible for the audience to find out.
At the same time, the public trial also meant that if the defendant was truly a murderer, his evil deeds would be directly exposed to the public, and he would be subject to numerous accusations and spite. Generally speaking, a defendant would rarely apply for a public trial unless he was extremely confident that he could get away with it. This also showed that the defendant didn’t have guilt in his heart.
No one knew better than Xie Sen that Maine was the killer.
Xie Sen looked at Maine, who was standing in the defendant’s place, and sighed with relief as he checked his appearance and made sure he was in good spirits.
Maine, with a sweep of his eyes, looked precisely into the camera and gave an extremely faint smile. He had delicate features, and such a soft smile made him look instantly approachable.
Xie Sen subconsciously smiled back. Then he saw the comments that were posting flowery words, and his smile disappeared. Maine was smiling at him!
The interrogation session soon came to a critical point when the attorney representing the Cox family played the surveillance video from the Gold Medal parking lot. After he played it once, he stopped the video on the scene where Maine picked up the knife, circled the knife, then pulled up the photo of Julos at the time of his murder and circled the murder weapon.
“Your Honor, this knife is a special one. Brandt Star only has one. Before Julos was killed, this knife was in Maine’s hand, therefore Maine is the murderer!”
Long Yu hired a lawyer surnamed Yan. He wore gold glasses frames without lenses, which made him look very strict. He immediately retorted, “No, opposing counsel, your statement is too arbitrary. May I ask why this video footage is so unclear?”
The Cox family lawyer explained the process of the surveillance being destroyed and repaired, but skipped over Thor asking for Meyer’s help, and only said that it was evidence obtained when Meyer interrogated Thor. After he explained, he said confidently, “The defendant can apply for an authenticity test.”
Lawyer Yan said, “Since it is evidence obtained from an interrogation by Lieutenant General Cox himself, I don’t doubt its authenticity, but I do have a question. You just said the reason why the surveillance was destroyed is because Soria and Julos didn’t want the Cox family to know that Maine is a flying lion beast master, correct?”
“Correct.” It was impossible to hide. Anyone who saw the video would have no difficulty in deducing this result.
Lawyer Yan said, “Then may I ask, why didn’t he want the Cox family to know?”
The Cox family lawyer immediately understood his intention. He tried to divert away from the subject but Lawyer Yan spoke quickly, “It’s because for the Cox family, like all families, the status of an S class beast master is inherently unusual. Even more so for the Cox family. They were worried that Maine would be taken seriously if the Cox family knew,” he said with a smile. “Correct?”
The Cox family lawyer’s jaw tightened. “Maybe yes, maybe no. The two of them aren’t here. We can’t be sure what they thought. What we can be sure of is that Maine had the means to kill.”
Attorney Yan said, “No, he didn’t. He denied it to me, and I believe what he said. After all, he had no motive to kill. If he wanted the attention, he just needed to reveal his identity. Julos wasn’t a stumbling block for him. He had no motive to do that.”
Xie Sen looked in surprise at Maine. He was standing still with downcast eyes, like a fine statue. His expression was unchanging.
“He does have a motive! He and Julos had a deep grudge. He hated Julos, and it’s entirely possible that he killed Julos!” The Cox family lawyer said in an aggravated tone.
Attorney Yan, “The police provided the results of the investigation. He also didn’t have time to commit the crime.”
The Cox family lawyer now spoke confidently, obviously well-prepared in advance. “That he had no time to commit the crime is based on the premise that everything he said was true, with no prior preparation. If he prepared in advance, there was plenty of time.”
Lawyer Yan frowned. “That is just speculation. Can you provide proof to support the statement that he made preparations?”
“He was very cunning, and left no traces.”
Lawyer Yan snorted coldly. “This is an unjust conjecture. You are pushing him out as the murderer. There is no legal basis for it, and with all due respect, you are too unprofessional.”
“Even if the timing lacks sufficient evidence, the motive and the means of the crime are ironclad. Your Honor, this is evidence that Julos and Maine had multiple confrontations and the instrument of the crime.” The Cox family attorney passed the evidence to the judge.
While the judge reviewed the evidence, Xie Sen’s eyes swept over the pop-ups.
[I thought he was wrongly accused. Maine’s calm reaction doesn’t look like a killer’s at all!]
[Yeah, if he’s really the killer, then he’s too scary. He’s just come of age. Unless he was born cold-blooded, how could he be indifferent.]
Xie Sen frowned and looked at Maine, who was standing with his head down. A sentence from the book suddenly flashed in his mind, “He was born in darkness, grew up in a world without light, and he was destined to destroy the world.”
He cursed silently, trash author!
If he had just met Maine, and knew that Maine was the murderer, he would have felt that this man was too terrible after he saw his reaction in the courtroom. But now, he was only filled with heartache. He knew that Maine’s reaction was the result of his tragic experiences.
Maine was not at all a natural destroyer, much less a cold-blooded one. When they first met, Maine even took home an unacquainted alumnus like him! When Maine knew he was being monitored by Sotoko, even though he suspected Sotoko, he couldn’t help but believe that Maine was actually more forgiving than many people.
The judge finished reading the evidence, and looked at Maine. “Defendant. Do you have anything else to say?”
Maine looked up. His face was expressionless and his voice was even, “If I wasn’t welcome, why did they bring me back in the first place? Was it because they didn’t have a son to begin with?”
His eyes were unfocused and he didn’t look at anyone, but everyone knew who he was talking about. His blandness met his words with a strange sadness. He said this as if to himself, then turned his eyes to the judge. “I didn’t have his knife on me before he died,” he continued without waiting for the judge to ask. “Part of the surveillance is missing. I threw it away before I got in the shuttle. I didn’t like him, and I didn’t want his things. I only picked it up to avoid him attacking me with it.”
“Nonsense, this is the complete surveillance!” The Cox family lawyer said immediately.
Maine ignored him, and continued to look at the judge. “I request a comparison between the missing surveillance from Gold Medal, and the surveillance provided by the other side. I’m convinced that the surveillance provided by the other side is shorter, and has cut out the part where I threw the knife away.”
The comparison was completed quickly, and the judge said, “It is indeed shorter.”
Xie Sen looked at Maine’s calm expression, and wondered how he figured out the surveillance was shorter.
Someone said something to the Cox lawyer, and he exclaimed, “He’s lying. It’s only that some information was lost during the recovery process. That’s why the duration is shorter!”
Maine looked at him with a mocking smile on his lips. “I’m not connected to the Cox family anymore, so why won’t the Cox family leave me alone? I don’t want to overstep, but why does he want to push me harder and harder? Is he happy to see me sentenced?”
The Cox family lawyer’s expression turned ugly, Maine’s words clearly meant something, and he was completely leading the pace. He felt shocked. Was this really a person who just came of age? His lips twitched. He was about to say something when Maine suddenly raised his voice, and said, “Your Honor, I want to sue Meyer Cox!”
The people in the audience and the viewers who were watching the live broadcast were all stunned by this statement. The defendant was suing the plaintiff instead?
Maine continued, “It seems that he is not willing to leave me alone. Even if he purgers himself, he still wants to cause trouble for me. I–”
“Lieutenant General Cox is not a perjurer. He has no time to bother you,” The Cox family lawyer scolded.
Maine continued to ignore him, and looked at the judge. “Before Meyer Cox charged me, he was threatening me with the surveillance to get an advantage over me, which I did not agree to.”
The judge was embarrassed. After a few moments of discussion with the jury, he asked, “Where’s the evidence?”
Maine opened his bracelet and within moments, Meyer’s voice came out of it, “… But he’s lucky to have you as a boyfriend, I can let him go if you promise me what I want.”
Xie Sen’s voice, “What do you want?”
Meyer, “Let Cuomo bond with the giant lion beast, I know you can do it…”
The conversation stopped at the point where Meyer offered to force the bond with medicine and was rejected by Xie Sen.
Maine turned off the bracelet, and lowered his eyes to hide the mockery in his gaze. Then he thought of Xie Sen who was watching the live broadcast, and a deep uneasiness welled up in his eyes. Would Sen be afraid of him after he watched him lie, then discovered that he had placed a recorder in the room?
[Oh my God, that’s horrible! Even if he’s an illegitimate son, he’s still a biological son!]
[It’s so heartbreaking. I can’t believe I felt sympathy for Soria before because of what happened to him.]
[Maine is also too sorry. He didn’t look ready to take out the recording. This is being forced, right?]
[I’m curious, how did he get the recording?]
The court panel looked at each other. No one could have imagined that things would suddenly turn out this way, that the evidence produced by Lieutenant General Cox had actually been used in attempted blackmail to try to gain benefits.
Han Zheng slammed the table. “You really let me down! Look at the stupid thing you’ve done!”
Meyer stared at Maine. His eyes were red and he had an expression as if he would pounce on him. “Soria was right. He is evil. I should never have let him be born in the first place!”
Han Zheng scolded, “Waste! Regret is the act of a coward! Now the most important thing is how to solve this trouble,” he said, then rubbed the bridge of his nose heavily. “You actually even demanded a forced contract, and talked about the medicine. Forget about Maine. Mu Lin, that crazy person, will definitely not let you off. “
Meyer said, “What should I do?” His expression instantly became ugly. “No wonder Maine wanted to apply for an open court hearing. He had planned it long ago!”
Han Zheng’s eyes flashed a trace of severity. “Maine is so young, and has such a heart. If he was in the Cox family, with him, the Cox family would only become stronger and stronger. It’s all my fault for trusting Sotoko. Otherwise it wouldn’t have come to this,” he said. As he stared at the screen, he spoke in a hard voice. “Maine has evidence in his hands, and so many people have seen it. There is no way to wash your crime, trying to force a contract with the relevant drugs. Immediately notify people to deal with it, and find a scapegoat. You cannot let people know it was your idea, and that the Cox family is involved. Remember, you can only go to the black market to buy this stuff.”
Meyer opened his bracelet to send a message, and arranged matters.
In the courtroom, the atmosphere had become extraordinarily depressing. The judge and the jury discussed things for a long time, and finally decided that one court should try one case. Maine’s accusations against Meyer would become a separate case. Julos’ murder trial would continue.
The Cox family’s lawyer was sweating, and had weakened a lot. Attorney Yan was quick to speak. He re-analyzed the motive, timing and weapon of the crime.
There were countless people who had conflicts with Julos. Maine had left the Cox family, and rarely had contact with Julos. The motive wasn’t solid, the timing was more one that the possibility of guilt had launched as a possible approach. There was no evidence without strength. As for the evidence to prove the necessary measures for the crime, with the blackmail it was even more unconvincing.
“Your Honor, my client has been wrongly accused,” he exclaimed.
Xie Sen scanned the screen.
[Absolutely wrongly accused. I said at the beginning, if he’s really the murderer, how can he be so calm?]
[Yes, it’s too bad Maine is being blackmailed by his father.]
[The Cox family can be difficult, that’s for sure. They ignore the illegitimate son, then keep looking for trouble. If they weren’t important people, they would have been tossed to death!]
Some people questioned, [I feel that Maine’s reaction is too calm. Even if someone is wrongly accused, they will also be afraid. Think carefully.]
However, more people were inclined to believe that Maine wasn’t guilty, and there were even face-cons later on, [Such a handsome person. At first glance, he is a good person. How could he commit a crime? He is definitely wrongly accused.]
Xie Sen thought to himself, Good looks are an advantage.
At this point, the judge announced Maine’s acquittal, and released him from the court.
At that moment the judge’s voice announced Maine’s acquittal and release from the court, Tuan Tuan, who had been standing on his shoulder, was startled, “Chirp!” He flew to the side, and looked at Xie Sen.
Xie Sen said, “I’m sorry.” His eyes glowed. “Maine is fine. I’ll go to court to pick him up.”
He hadn’t even reached the door, when he got a message from Maine. [Wait for me.]
He stopped dead in his tracks, then resumed his seat on the couch. The case was finished, and the live courtroom feed was off. He turned off his bracelet and stared at the front door. It didn’t take long for movement to come from outside the front door. Xie Sen quickly got up, and ran towards the door. Maine pushed the door open, closed it with a backhanded motion, took a step forward and reached out to hold Xie Sen tightly in his arms.
“I’m sorry for making you worry.”
Xie Sen shook his head. He understood very well yesterday that while Meyer was there, Maine couldn’t explain to him clearly, but he still had many questions in his mind. He patted Maine’s arm. “You go take a shower first, and we’ll talk later.”
Maine looked down at him, and grabbed Xie Sen’s hand with a troubled look. “Don’t be mad at me. I didn’t put the recorder in the apartment to monitor you, I…”
Xie Sen led him inside. “Take a shower first and we’ll talk later. Have you had breakfast yet?”
Maine was relieved to hear his words of concern. It seemed he wasn’t angry. “Yes, I’ll be ready soon.”
Maine quickly showered and sat down next to Xie Sen, then held him in his arms. “I’ll tell you everything you want to know.”
“How do you know the surveillance was short by one section? How did that recording come about?”
Maine’s chin rubbed against the top of his head. “There are recorders that I used to place in the apartment… It’s like how I leave the lights on at night. It makes me feel safe, because I can tell if anyone has been in the apartment. After I was with you, I was ready to remove them, but that day, as I was listening to the recording, I heard your voice, so I hesitated and I didn’t end up removing it. When you’re home and I’m not, I like to hear you move.”
As he spoke about it, Maine subconsciously gathered him tighter to him. “Yesterday, I wasn’t gone long when I heard Cox’s voice, and immediately turned around. I heard your conversation. When he put on the surveillance, I could hear that there were spots where the sound was muffled and progressed faster than it actually should, so I guessed that some of the data was lost during the restoration. To make sure my guess was right, I went into the house and provoked Cox to play it again. After I looked at it carefully to make sure, I came up with this idea, and deliberately applied for an open court hearing.”
Xie Sen pursed his lips. He suddenly thought of a point, and looked up at Maine. “If you had played the recording for Lieutenant General Cox at that time, you could have reached an agreement to exchange evidence. He would’ve agreed for the sake of his reputation, and you wouldn’t have been taken away at all.”
Maine was silent, and Xie Sen gritted his teeth. “You thought of that too, didn’t you? But you realized that this was a good opportunity to deal with him, so you didn’t do it, right?”
Maine nodded. “Yes.” When he saw Xie Sen was getting angry, he said hastily, “I will make sure that I will be okay. If I can’t, I won’t risk it.”
Xie Sen glared at him. “How can you be really sure? How can you be confident that you won’t expose yourself in a public trial in front of so many people? How can you be sure that the Cox family, a powerful force in the military, won’t do anything if you were caught?” As he said that, he was even more angry and punched Maine’s shoulder. “Take revenge if you want, but how can you put yourself in danger? You want to kill me, don’t you? You obviously, Mm–!”
Before he could finish his sentence, he was kissed by Maine. Maine’s kiss was eager and deep. He frowned and pushed back, but Maine held him tightly and stirred his passions.
Half a second later, Maine let go of him and he gasped for air. He lifted his foot, and kicked Maine. He moved to the side. He saw Maine reach for him, so he summoned the watermelon vine directly to bind Maine.
“Are you listening to me? Don’t move your hands and feet!” Xie Sen said in an unpleasant voice as he sat down across from him.
Maine frowned at the vine around his hands, and knew Xie Sen was really angry. He didn’t dare struggle as his hot eyes fell on Xie Sen. “I’m sorry, but I can’t control myself.” His eyes darkened, and his voice lowered. “You are angry because you are worried about me. It let’s me feel deeply how much you care about me. Knowing this, I can’t control myself from trying to touch you and possess you!”
Xie Sen’s heart shuddered, and he moved his eyes slightly away from Maine’s. He calmed his breathing, then looked at Maine again with a serious expression. “Promise me that this is the last time. That you won’t put yourself in danger for the sake of revenge.”
Maine looked at him dotingly and helplessly. “I promise you. But I swear, this time I really had considered it seriously. With you around, I won’t endanger myself.”
Xie Sen grunted lightly. Influenced by modern film, many people simply couldn’t survive a trial after being caught, and he felt it quite dangerous no matter what Maine believed.
Maine hesitated for a moment, and then asked the question in the front of his thoughts. “You don’t blame me for installing the recorder in the living room?” He had thought that would make Xie Sen very angry.
Xie Sen really didn’t think much of it. “Didn’t you say it was your habit? It doesn’t matter. We live together in the apartment anyway, so it’s basically just the two of us. In case there’s a real burglar, it’s a bit useful. It was useful this time, wasn’t it?”
Maine looked at his little white face, and thought, How can he be so good? With a smile in his eyes, he raised his hands. “Let me go. I want to hug you.”
Xie Sen glanced at him. “What are you thinking about all day long? It’s still morning.” Although he said that, he still recalled the watermelon vine. He looked at the time. It was only ten o’clock. He got up and yawned. “I’m going to take a nap. I didn’t get any rest last night.”
Maine hugged him heartily. “I’ll sleep with you.” He laughed when Xie Sen glared at him. “I promise not to do anything.”
The two slept until noon, ate lunch together, and sat side-by-side as they watched the news.
Shortly after Maine’s public trial, a large number of posts condemning Meyer and posts about Mu Lin appeared on forum postings. Mu Lin was suing Meyer for harming contract beasts and obtaining prohibited drugs, while he also posted a public message that righteously denounced Meyer.
The post had comments from many of Mu Lin’s fans. [Too handsome!] [Just!] [President Mu is still President Mu!]
The latest hot news about Meyer was that Meyer was under investigation by the military court, and his duties had been transferred while he was suspended.
Xie Sen was surprised to see this result, while Maine hummed softly. “He revealed such a big fault. How can the rest of the powerful families let go of this good opportunity?”
Xie Sen’s mind suddenly came up with the phrase ‘to kill you while you’re sick,’ and he couldn’t help but laugh. Maine said, “This is what he asked for. The Cox family values power over family. This time he can have a good taste of falling.”
Xie Sen suddenly asked, “Why did he marry Soria in the first place?”
“Meyer wasn’t a lieutenant general yet, and Soria’s father was the most popular lieutenant general at the time. He was killed in combat two years after Soria’s marriage. The whole family has since fallen into ruin. Sotoko is still the most promising.”
Xie Sen’s thoughts drifted. He turned off the news, and asked, “I’m going to Gold Medal later. What about you?”
“I’m going to see Uncle Long to thank him personally, and continue to practice flying the ship.”
The Cox family kept silent as the Meyer Cox affair went viral, while Maine spent his days designing software and learning to fly the ship. Only once was he called to court to present evidence. Xie Sen kept his routine of going to work, taking vacations, and checking on the contracted animals every day at noon. The days went extraordinarily well.
Half a month later, the preparations for the trip to the small planet were all done and they were ready to go. This time, the destination was very far away, at least eight days for a round trip. What would be encountered after arrival was still uncertain, so they might be away from Brandt Star for a long time.
Xie Sen asked Sun Mao for a long leave in advance. Sun Mao had long been prepared for his departure, so when he heard that it was only a leave of absence, he readily granted it and offered to take good care of the contract beasts.
Xie Sen thanked him, and then went to Zone 4-5. He told the contract beasts that he would be away for a while, and they expressed their dismay.
The giant black leopard said, “Don’t worry, I will take care of the live room. You just need to come back before the new residence is built.”
Xie Sen estimated it in his head. Currently they were set for eight days. If the green planet wasn’t the destination, it would take more time. Once they arrived, they would have to find and retrieve the energy. It would also take time, so it seemed that it would be very unlikely they would return before the twentieth.
He explained this result, and the contract beasts reacted extraordinarily strongly. The giant tiger beast roared, “I want to go to the new residence quickly.”
The rest of the contract beasts echoed, “I want to go too!”
Xie Sen knew they had been looking forward to it for a long time, but he wasn’t really sure when the return trip would be, so it was a bit difficult.
The giant black leopard beast walked up to him. Its big black head looked down at him, and it raised its black paw. “You take me to the new residence. When the building is ready, I will take them there to live. Just make sure we have meals.”
The contract beasts immediately echoed, “Yes, let’s do that!”