Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
The only sound on the quiet road in the evening breeze was Chu Feng’s footsteps, a sound that made Luo ZhouZhou feel extraordinarily safe. He leaned his head on Chu Feng’s shoulder, his face outward, and bobbed his head slightly as Chu Feng walked.
“Are you asleep?” After not hearing him speak for a long time, Chu Feng asked.
“I’m not asleep,” Luo ZhouZhou responded.
Chu Feng said, “Then turn your head to the other side. You keep brushing my neck with your hair.”
Luo ZhouZhou responded lazily, turning his head to face inward, toward Chu Feng’s neck. His neck was a healthy light brown color, with smooth skin and faintly visible veins on the side. Luo ZhouZhou stared at that spot, feeling a little despondent.
If he was still a full vampire, he could bite open that spot right now, feel the scalding heat, and take him as his mate. Make him completely his own.
Imagining that scene, Luo ZhouZhou became a little excited again, and his breath quickened.
After walking for a while, Chu Feng suddenly stopped, his body shuddering slightly.
Luo ZhouZhou sensed something strange in him and asked, “What’s wrong?”
Chu Feng said, “Your breath is blowing onto my neck.”
“But if I face out, you say my hair is touching you.”
After a few seconds of silence, Chu Feng said, “Then lift your head up.”
“But I don’t want to move,” Luo ZhouZhou said lazily. He felt comfortable resting his head on Chu Feng’s body like this.
Chu Feng calmly explained, “If you don’t lift your head, I won’t be able to walk.”
“You’re not losing anything this way, anyway.”
“I am,” Chu Feng said.
Luo ZhouZhou felt that he was being unreasonable, but he held his head up anyway.
Chu Feng propped him up and continued to walk forward.
After a few moments of silence, Luo ZhouZhou’s gaze fell back to the side of Chu Feng’s face. In the shadows cast by the military cap, the side of his face was clearly defined, with sharp lines. His gaze slid down his chin, neck, and all the way to the back of his neck, and was drawn to a strange spot.
The middle of Chu Feng’s neck seemed to be covered with a thin layer of something.
It was a small, transparent square that clung to the skin, and if it weren’t for the fact that it was different from the surrounding skin and slightly reflective under the streetlight, it would not have been noticed at all. Luo ZhouZhou looked at it curiously for a while, and then reached out his hand to touch it.
As soon as his fingers touched it, a hand instantly grabbed him.
Chu Feng held him with his hand, stopped and very softly said, “Zhou Zhou, if you still want to eat tomato noodles, don’t move.”
“What’s that sticker on your neck?” Luo ZhouZhou asked.
Chu Feng looked sideways, “I thought every Omega would know what that is.”
Luo ZhouZhou replied, “But I’m only half an Omega.”
Chu Feng laughed, walked on, and spoke under his breath, “It’s an Alpha gland patch that keeps my pheromones from leaking out.”
Luo ZhouZhou listened to the words, let out an oh, and put his nose on it again, sniffing it.
Chu Feng’s body stiffened, and he helplessly said, “If you move around again, I’ll put you down and you’ll have to walk by yourself.”
Luo ZhouZhou stopped moving and obediently lay down on his back, having no more problems all the way.
Soon, Chu Feng stopped, put him down and said, “Here we are.”
Luo ZhouZhou raised his eyes and found himself in a neighborhood, with buildings that looked like ordinary residential buildings, and no stores. He asked curiously, “Is there a noodle shop here?”
Chu Feng did not answer directly, but replied, “At least there’s something good to eat here.”
The neighborhood looked a bit old and unmanaged. The bare flower beds were missing half of their sides, and the fountain in the center of the neighborhood had no water, only a layer of green moss inside. The surrounding buildings were not tall, only ten stories or so, and their gray exterior looked ordinary.
Chu Feng took him to the building in front of him and pressed the elevator door button.
Amidst a slight shaking, the elevator went up and stopped at the twelfth floor. When he stepped out of the elevator, there was an iron-gray door in front of him, made of the same special metal material, as the doors in the military building.
Chu Feng used the infrared recognition machine on the door and it opened. He walked in, then turned to Luo ZhouZhou, “Zhou Zhou, come in.”
Luo ZhouZhou followed him in, and when the lights came on, he was surprised to find himself standing in an entranceway with a spacious room in front of him.
Chu Feng took off his military boots, took out a pair of slippers from the closet and threw them in front of him, saying, “Put them on, they are more comfortable.” He stepped on the wooden floor barefoot and entered the side room.
Luo ZhouZhou knew clearly that this should be Chu Feng’s home, so he put on his slippers and stood there, surveying the apartment. The living room was large and simply decorated, with no ornate chandeliers and few ornaments. A simple floor lamp in the corner of the wall glowed with a bright orange light.
In the center of the room there was only a long couch and a wooden coffee table with a long, white wool rug underneath. Luo ZhouZhou swiveled his gaze and finally settled on a crane machine in the corner.
Yes, it was a light yellow crane machine with many dolls, including rabbits, puppies, pink, yellow and light blue, which was out of place in the room. There was a dart board hanging on the wall next to the crane machine, and a few darts were stuck diagonally into it.
The door on the side of the room rattled and Chu Feng came out. He had changed out of his military uniform and was wearing only a black short-sleeved T-shirt and sweatpants, his muscles tight and smooth, bulging slightly from underneath the sleeves.
“What are you doing floundering there? Sit down.” Chu Feng raked his fingers through his hair, pointed at the sofa for Luo ZhouZhou.
“Is this your home?” Luo ZhouZhou asked.
Chu Feng took away a jacket from the couch and replied, “What do you think?”
“I think it probably is,” But because of the crane machine, Luo ZhouZhou was slightly unsure.
Chu Feng smiled and didn’t answer.
“Didn’t you say you wouldn’t bring me to your house?” Luo ZhouZhou remembered that Chu Feng had said this twice.
Chu Feng shook his jacket and said, “You’re quite a grudge-holder.”
That said, Luo ZhouZhou was quite happy. He went to the couch, sat down, put his backpack aside, and looked around.
“Why is your home here?” Luo ZhouZhou asked.
Chu Feng was hanging his coat on the coat rack when he turned around and answered with a question, “Why can’t it be here?”
Luo ZhouZhou said, “Because it seems like everyone I know has a home in Aleisha.”
Chu Feng was silent for a moment and said, “I was born in this house, grew up in it until I was seven or eight years old, and then sold it when my parents got sick. About a few years ago, I bought this whole floor.”
Luo ZhouZhou listened to him talk about his parents’ illness and didn’t say anything else.
Chu Feng walked toward the open kitchen that connected to the living room and asked, “What would you like to drink?”
“Anything is fine, thank you,” Luo ZhouZhou replied. He heard the sound of the refrigerator door opening, and then the muffled puff of a pull-top lid.
“Drink up.” The still bubbling pull-top was handed to Luo ZhouZhou.
He reached out to pick it up, but came back empty.
Chu Feng retrieved the can and asked, “It’s beer, do you know how to drink?”
Luo ZhouZhou licked his lower lip, which was a little dry, and stated, “Yes, I do.”
Chu Feng then handed him the beer. Luo ZhouZhou held the cold beer in his hand, put the can against his face, and then carefully tasted it. He took a sip and began to gulp it down.
Chu Feng clicked on the wall projection, and a seated anchorwoman was reading a press release.
“President Calgar has returned to Aleisha today after completing his visit to the border region…”
On the screen, Calgar was walking down the plane ramp, smiling and waving, receiving flowers from a small child, and then leaning down to be close to his face, very friendly and easy-going.
Luo ZhouZhou saw that in the entourage behind him, Chu Feng, a cool-looking man in military uniform, stood out.
“Look, that’s you.” He shouted excitedly, pointing to the screen.
Chu Feng laughed and said, “Then you keep watching, I’ll go make tomato noodles.”
Luo ZhouZhou stared at the projection without turning his eyes away, and did not respond. Only when the news finished playing, did he remember what Chu Feng had just said. It turned out that the delicious tomato noodles he was talking about were made by him.
Bustling could already be heard from the kitchen, Chu Feng was peeling tomatoes and boiling water in a pot at the kitchen table. Luo ZhouZhou put the remaining half can of beer on the coffee table and prepared to go to the kitchen. As soon as he put the beer down, his eyes were drawn to a book next to him.
The book was thick and heavy, only two hands could hold that weight. It had a purple hard cover with three words printed on it – The Flame Sutra.
Luo ZhouZhou remembered, wasn’t this the same book that the dead Omega, Lin WenCai, was holding when he watched the video replay at the checkpoint last time? But that one was yellowing around the edges, and this one was still relatively new, so it was obviously not the same one.
Luo ZhouZhou curiously picked up the book and opened a page at random.
“…The god of creation, Helas, buried five boiled seeds in different places, facing in the direction of Amuel’s imprisonment. Seven days later, at eight o’clock in the evening, the first seed buried at the foot of Mount Bino broke the ground and became the first guardian of Helas – the god Bino…”
“Zhou Zhou.” Luo ZhouZhou had just finished reading this paragraph when he heard Chu Feng calling him from the kitchen. He answered, put the Sutra back in its original place, got up, and walked over.
Chu Feng was busy, and his back made Luo ZhouZhou drift off for a moment. He was always dressed in a straight military uniform, like a taut string. Chu Feng, dressed in a T-shirt and sweatpants and cooking dinner at the kitchen table, was a bit out of place.
Without turning around, Chu Feng said, “It’ll be finished in just a minute. You can go catch a doll if you’re bored.”
Luo ZhouZhou asked curiously, “Why do you have a crane machine at home?”
He couldn’t imagine Chu Feng standing in front of a crane machine catching dolls.
Chu Feng quietly said, “The area where I lived as a child was very poor, where children had never seen anything. In my eyes, the most expensive thing was probably the crane machine on the street. I thought that when I had money, I would buy one and put it in my home.”
“So you’ve been practicing a lot since you bought it?” Luo ZhouZhou asked.
Chu Feng’s chopping motion didn’t stop, the muscles on his shoulders and back pulling out perfect lines. He suddenly laughed and said, “I played with it once when I bought it, but I didn’t catch anything for a long time, so I never wanted to touch it again, but it always stayed there. Go play if you want to.”
Luo ZhouZhou responded and turned to the crane machine. The crane machine’s switch was on the machine body, so he didn’t turn it on, but leaned in close to check the dolls inside. After a while, he went back to the couch, opened his backpack, and pulled out the remaining two stickers.
After comparing them, he selected one of them and carefully placed it on the top right side of the crane machine.
The sticker was the same round-eyed vampire, but he had changed out of his spacesuit and was wearing a soccer uniform with a number on it, standing on the lawn holding a soccer ball. After he finished placing the sticker, Luo ZhouZhou took a step back to look at it, and then remembered that he hadn’t asked the owner yet.
As soon as he turned around, he saw Chu Feng facing his way, leaning back against the kitchen table and looking at him with interest.
“I… I put one on the crane machine, is that okay?” Luo ZhouZhou was a little embarrassed to ask.
Chu Feng said with a soft voice, “Yes.” Then he turned around and continued cooking.
Luo ZhouZhou returned to the couch, picked up the remaining half can of beer and continued to drink. The news was over on the projection, and a woman in a long, sparkly, lake-blue dress was singing with a microphone. She sang beautifully, and Luo ZhouZhou listened intently to all three songs until Chu Feng called out to him from the kitchen to eat noodles.
Two bowls of noodles were set out on the modest dining table, steaming with heat. Under the light of the overhead lamp, the green leafy greens and red tomatoes, along with the fluffy white noodles, looked appetizing.
Luo ZhouZhou sat down quickly, waited until Chu Feng was seated and said, “Let’s eat,” and eagerly picked up a chopstick, sending a bite to his mouth.
“Is it good?” Chu Feng asked.
Luo ZhouZhou nodded desperately and said with slurred speech, “Yes, it’s good.”
Chu Feng didn’t lie to him, the taste of this noodle was no worse than that of Uncle Liu’s. He took a big bite, feeling his hunger warmly ironed out of his stomach.
“Slowly, don’t burn yourself.” Chu Feng said, looking at him. Then he popped open another can of beer and put it in front of him.
“By the way, did you find the person who killed Lin WenCai and the others?” Luo ZhouZhou swallowed a bite of noodle and asked.
Chu Feng picked up a piece of fresh shrimp, “Why do you want to ask about this?”
“I saw the Flame Sutra on your desk, just like Lin WenCai’s.” Luo ZhouZhou asked, “Are you studying this book?”
Chu Feng nodded, put down his chopsticks and explained, “I went to the border this week, and SiHan and the others were investigating the murder. The only thing they found out was that Lin WenCai has been a bit abnormal lately, and he had probably joined the Olin Truth Church. As for other clues, there are none yet.”
“Then when you return, will you personally investigate this matter?” Luo ZhouZhou asked.
Chu Feng stirred the noodles in front of him with his chopsticks and replied, “Yes.”
After they were done with the beer and noodles, Chu Feng told Luo ZhouZhou to go back to listening to the music and cleaned up the dishes himself before he came out. He saw Luo ZhouZhou leaning back on the sofa, not moving, watching the projection, very much engrossed.
Chu Feng looked over, and a documentary about a mine was playing on the projection.
“Still like watching this?” He asked.
Luo ZhouZhou didn’t answer.
Chu Feng looked at the terminal, which showed that it was already late, and said, “Zhou Zhou, it’s past nine o’clock, I will send you back first.”
Luo ZhouZhou still didn’t answer, nor did he move.
“What? Don’t you want to leave?” Chu Feng reached out his hand and rubbed his head. When he rubbed it, his palm grazed Luo ZhouZhou’s forehead, and his hand was hot to the touch. Chu Feng called out again, “Zhou Zhou?”
Luo ZhouZhou remained in the same position and focused on the front.
Chu Feng stepped forward, leaned down to look at his face, and reached out to wave his hand in front of his eyes. After a moment, he suddenly laughed out loud, “Didn’t you say you could drink?”
Luo ZhouZhou’s face was flushed and his eyes were misty and unfocused, so he was already drunk.
Chu Feng didn’t know how he managed to remain motionless when he was so drunk. It was exactly the same as the last time he went into heat at the police station and wasn’t discovered. Chu Feng leaned down, put one arm through the crook of Luo ZhouZhou’s leg, and picked him up horizontally to move him across the room.
Then he went to the bedroom, gently put him on the bed, held him halfway up, took off his jacket, and then lay him down, covering him with the blanket.
Luo ZhouZhou was still trying to keep his eyes open, blinking slowly, and his dark eyes were covered with a layer of mist.
Chu Feng sat on the edge of the bed, watching him for a long while, then put his hand over his eyes and whispered, “Go to sleep.”
A moment later he removed his hand, and Luo ZhouZhou had already closed his eyes and fell asleep.
It was late at night, and Chu Feng was lying on the sofa in the living room, thinking about things in the darkness, when suddenly he heard an unusual noise coming from the bedroom. He stood up, barefoot, like a panther walking in the dark, and quietly pushed open the bedroom door.
In the light from the window, he saw that Luo ZhouZhou had gotten out of bed at some point and was holding the blanket, then stuffing it under the bed. After he shoved it in, he himself followed behind it.
Chu Feng went over without a word, crouched down, took him out with the blanket, and put him back on the bed.
Luo ZhouZhou rolled over, mumbled a few words, and fell asleep again.
Chu Feng went back to the living room, and his last bit of sleepiness disappeared. He turned on the light, opened a can of beer, and went to the window. As he pushed open the window, the cool night air poured in. He took a deep breath, and his eyes skimmed over the crane machine next to it.
In the upper right corner of the machine, the sticker of the little man holding the soccer grinned at him.
Chu Feng held up his beer can to the sticker and thought for a moment, then withdrew his hand, “You can’t drink anymore. Just watch me drink from now on.”
When he finished his beer, he sat back down on the couch and looked up the Flame Sutra on the coffee table.
Luo ZhouZhou hadn’t put the book away properly and one of the pages was pressed into the corner. Chu Feng flipped it over, smoothed out the pressed corner, and looked at the page.
“…On the night of the seventh day, the first seed buried at the foot of Mount Bino broke the ground and was transformed into the god Bino, the First Guardian General of Helas. His birth gave birth to several other seeds. Three days later, in the early morning hours, the second seed broke ground in the Pesta Valley, transforming into the Second Guardian General – the god Pesta…”
Chu Feng collapsed on his back on the couch, the Sutra resting on his chest.
He mumbled, “Seven days from now at 8 p.m… at the foot of Mount Bino… three days later in the early morning hours… the god Pesta…”
“8 o’clock in the evening in seven days, and early morning in three days.”
He seemed to suddenly think of something and sat up on the couch. He turned on the lights, brought up the terminal screen, and started looking up information.