Chapter 35: Third World (7)
Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Maybe it was the thick accumulation of stress, or perhaps the changes in his environment that greatly stimulated Bai Duan’s potential. In short, the design bottleneck that had plagued Bai Duan for a long time had been overcome by him, and the next process was smooth.
Soon, Bai Duan made new instruments, which substantially reversed the decline of the insurgents on the battlefield. The so-called ‘science and technology is the first productive force’ and ‘technology saves the world’ was correct.
Crossbow carts, nail firing cart, armored chariots… Every instrument was a fearful beast on the battlefield, and there were countless lying dead under the iron wheels and spears, and it’s dark appearance was stained with numerous droplets of blood, sending out a frightening chill.
Not only did the Imperial Army see and even hear of them, but there were also many fears among the rebels led by Zhou Mo. Rumors spread in the camp at night, hidden cries were heard in the arsenal where these weapons are stored. Even those who were brave enough would not be able to get rid of the cold behind their backs or in their hearts when passing through the buildings.
Gradually, Bai Duan became more and more famous in the Zhou Army, and even had the title of ‘Old Demon with a smiling face.’ No one could imagine that the designer and manufacturer of these killing machines would look like such a literary scholar and be as good-looking as a woman. Bai Duan was mild, shy, honest, and sincere; he had not killed a single living animal by his own hand.
Sometimes, such a sharp contrast highlighted Bai Duan, making him more mysterious and elusive. Even if he was only a scum of war, if the generals worshiped God, he dare not desecrate this at all.
Whenever a new army entered the Zhou army, it would always be pointed out by the veterans who couldn’t be messed with in the barracks. And every time, Bai Duan ranked first and foremost on the list.
Even in the eyes of most sergeants, Zhou Mo, a commanding general who laughed freely, was slightly inferior to the mild and mysterious Bai Duan. Every time Bai Duan went to the arsenal to inspect, maintain and repair the weapons, he would be surrounded by many soldiers filled with curiosity, admiration or fear as they watched his every move, but who would dare not come forward to talk.
For his ‘prestige’ in the army, Bai Duan was helpless, but he was not a talkative person. He would not take the initiative to talk with the generals to explain or resolve their misunderstanding.
When Song Ying quietly asked him if he would feel sad when he saw how many people had been killed by what he had made, Bai Duan frowned, but unexpectedly found himself quite calm. Since his creations were of great use, and he could help Zhou Mo win and rejoice, he was proud of them.
Although this kind of performance was somewhat abnormal and cold-blooded, Bai Duan was never able to drill into the bull’s horns. He did not care whether he was good or evil, nor how people around him thought. His only worry was whether Zhou Mo would hate him and alienate him. After all, Zhou Mo was such a great hero who cherished the world. Wasn’t Bai Duan like an indifferent murderer then?
For this reason, Bai Duan worried for several days and then was called to the camp by Zhou Mo, who asked if he had any thoughts.
Bai Duan hesitated for a moment, but eventually put his worries on the table. Knowing his sweetheart’s troubles, Zhou Mo could not help laughing and crying. He pulled him into his arms and touched his head. “All Brother is doing is improving and designing these instruments day and night for my sake, right?”
Bai Duan nodded slightly — he didn’t have much compassion for the world, and even less ambition to make a name for himself. He was just an ordinary person and only wanted to live a stable life.
However, he violated his own nature, not only stepped into the battlefield full of blood and crisis, which he disliked, but also blocked his family life with a big pen. He became a nail in the eyes of the court and a thorn in the flesh. If he failed, he would be crushed to pieces.
Bai Duan chose this road of surprise step-by-step, just for his ‘confidant’ and ‘brother’ Zhou Mo. He hoped that Zhou Mo would not be injured any more, that he would fight in succession on the battlefield, and that no one could stop him from advancing and winning. For this reason, even with the lives of tens of millions of people, Bai Duan also spared no hesitation and no regret.
“The devotion of a wise brother is remembered by this foolish brother.” Zhou Mo leaned his lips against Bai Duan’s ear, forbearing and restrained, as if accidentally touching Bai Duan’s auricle. “I remember, when we were in the most difficult time, you could not sleep at night, almost boiled up, and even caught a serious illness after the design was completed. You barely recovered after more than a month…” Thinking of that time, Zhou Mo’s heart was a bit sour, “At that time, I was terrified, distressed, and self-reproached, and I wanted to take your place instead. If you pay so much for me, but I still feel contempt for you, then am I not as heartless as wolves, dogs and livestock?”
Listening to Zhou Mo’s mention of this affair again, Bai Duan licked his lips, feeling a slight sense of regret.
After witnessing the cruelty of the battlefield and being protected by Zhou Mo, Bai Duan plunged into the research of new ordnance. Since he spent too much energy because he hadn’t closed his eyes for several days and he was depressed and in pain, his unhealthy body collapsed suddenly after the study and his wish had been fulfilled.
No sooner had the forefoot witness the new weapon being manufactured and celebrated with the soldiers, did Bai Duan immediately became seriously ill. People thought that he did not show up at dinner because he was too tired, so they did not disturb his rest. That was until breakfast the next day when they did not see his face, and then went to camp to find him, but they unexpectedly found that Bai Duan was lying in bed, burning hot.
Zhou Mo seldom lost his image in public, but when he heard the news, he barely even wore his clothes. He ran barefoot with his shawl loose as he went to Bai Duan. The soldiers in the battalion were shocked by the significant change of looks. They had thought they were going to be exterminated by the court. Unfortunately, Bai Duan was burning up, going in and out of consciousness, and did not see it with his own eyes. The rare ‘unusual’ scenes were accounted for by Song Ying, who was both amazed and recollecting at the same time.
Zhou Mo had to take care of Bai Duan for a long time, he waited until Bai Duan’s situation stabilized before he left. After all, at that time, the war was pressing, and it was an excellent time to counter-attack. As the commander-in-chief of the army, Zhou Mo couldn’t let his temperament deter him and delude his fighters. Even if, at that moment, he didn’t want to do anything but keep his sweetheart in his sight.
Since then, Zhou Mo strictly controlled Bai Duan’s work, even in the middle of a meeting, he would pause for a moment, run to Bai Duan’s camp to urge him to eat and sleep. Also, if Zhou Mo did not have to stay up late to deal with military affairs, he would force Bai Duan to move into his camp and keep an eye on him.
Even under the general’s ‘example’, Song Ying and others took it as an essential mission to urge Bai Duan to take care of himself. They would spontaneously and automatically find Bai Duan instead of Zhou Mo when the streets were bustling. Bai Duan was both troubled and joyful, but could only let it go on like this after they failed to persuade him.
Thinking of Zhou Mo taking care of him, Bai Duan could not help but regret and hate himself a little. He slightly lowered his head, took Zhou Mo’s sleeve, and laughed with pleasure, “I am not good, I should not be so fantastic.”
“You understand.” Zhou Mo’s familiarly touched little Bai Duan’s eyebrows. “What’s more, although those creations were made by you, it was me who used them on the battlefield and directed them to fight and kill enemies. I never regretted that. Isn’t that why I am even more cold-blooded and cruel than you?”
Hearing Zhou Mo put them both on the same front, the last trace of hesitation in Bai Duan’s heart disappeared, and he could not help laughing happily.
Seeing this picture of him after the rain and sunshine, Zhou Mo also smiled. He embraced Bai Duan with his arms and snuggled him tightly, “In fact, this brother need not worry that I am tired of you. I just happened to be the one who cannot leave you.”
Bai Duan’s cheeks turned red, he tried to make himself as modest, but he was not too happy. In front of his ‘brother,’ he felt like he lost an inch, “Big Brother Zhou need not be so modest. I believe that even if I did not make these instruments, you would certainly achieve ultimate victory!”
Zhou Mu choked. Of course, he would win, there was no doubt about that, but the focus of his sentence was not on ‘instruments’, but on Bai Duan himself.
It was a pity that even though Zhou Mo talked all kinds of decent words on the surface, he was actually trying to please Bai Duan. But Bai Duan, who did not realise that a man was falling in love with him, still did not know how to start at this moment. He just took Zhou Mo’s love words as heartfelt words from his bosom friend and brother, without doubt, and joy.
With a sigh in his heart, Zhou Mo looked at his pure little lover sadly and felt a little helpless.
However, even if this dull fellow was not aware of his love, Zhou Mo could clearly feel that Bai Duan cared about him. He subconsciously regarded himself as the most critical person, instinctively chasing him, attaching to him, caring about his every move, and, with this kind of reaction, Zhou Mo wanted to protect him on the battlefield.
‘Heroes save the beauties’ which was indeed one of the most effective ways to promote his feelings, although it was old-fashioned, also could not stand up to good use ah!
Nowadays, the emotional foundation between the two people had been well established. Still, the continuous use of various hints to express their feelings could only rub their hearts and scratch their lungs. They dare not really break that layer of window paper. After all, it was not long since they had met, they still faced a lot of troubles. Whether he or Bai Duan, they should not be distracted in such a time to avoid confusion and loss. Only when the day was settled, and it was time they pour out their hearts, would they finally stay together without scruple.
Stuck in this damn ancient world, when Zhou Mo went back, he promised himself that he would beat up the white coat that chose this world!