Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Luo ZhouZhou had just put the candy in his pocket when he heard Chu Feng call out, “Zhou Zhou.”
He lifted his head and hmmed pleasantly.
Chu Feng’s face didn’t look too good, like he was agitated and a little angry. But after looking at Luo ZhouZhou for a few seconds, he finally said nothing but sighed and softened his face.
“What’s the matter? I… know I was wrong.” Luo ZhouZhou gently covered his pocket.
Chu Feng rubbed his head, and whispered, “You did a good job today, and you deserve a reward.”
“Yes?” Luo ZhouZhou pursed his lips.
“It’s already an improvement that you’re not rushing straight over, but you’re able to take stock of the situation,” Chu Feng said.
Luo ZhouZhou observed his face and suddenly said, “I’m not used to being afraid of people yet. I did feel scared when I was being chased. But don’t worry, I will gradually get used to being afraid of people.”
Chu Feng whispered, “Is it because you’re half vampire?”
Luo ZhouZhou pondered before replying, “Yes, but when I was being chased, I remembered that I am also an Omega.”
Chu Feng took his hand and walked up the stairs, saying in a warm voice, “When danger comes, you have to be both a vampire and a cautious Omega. Understand?”
After a few steps, Luo ZhouZhou suddenly remembered something, tilted his head up and said to Chu Feng, “I saw his face.”
“Can you draw it or describe it?”
Luo ZhouZhou recalled and said, “His whole face was covered up, so I couldn’t see clearly, but in the alley, his chin was exposed, and I saw a big mole at the corner of his mouth.”
“A black mole?” Chu Feng’s voice rose a little, and he stopped in his tracks.
“It’s a big one, growing right here, like a pea.” Luo ZhouZhou held a hand to the left corner of his mouth.
Chu Feng was startled for a few seconds, then asked a little too eagerly, “Do you remember how tall he was and what his body shape was like?”
“About the same height as you, no, a little shorter. How tall are you?”
“1.92 meters.” 1
“Then he’s about 1.88 meters.” 2
“He’s slimmer than you.”
“Did you see the back of his neck? Was there a scar there?”
Luo ZhouZhou, after trying to remember, apologetically answered, “I couldn’t see, his clothes were in the way.”
After hearing his description, Chu Feng was like a statue, looking straight ahead without moving, with a strange expression on his face.
It looked like excitement and sadness at the same time.
“Chu Feng, do you know him?” Luo ZhouZhou couldn’t help but ask the question.
Chu Feng turned to him and said, “I don’t know… Maybe… he’s the one I’ve been looking for.”
Luo ZhouZhou wanted to ask more, but when he saw that his face was not quite right, he stopped talking.
The two of them went back into Lin WenCai’s apartment. This time Chu Feng rapped on every floor tile, every wall with his knuckles, and removed the hollow iron rods from the iron-framed bed and looked inside one by one.
Still couldn’t find anything.
While he was looking around the room with a frown, Luo ZhouZhou was standing quietly in the corner, holding the shoebox.
The turtles in the shoebox had woken up and tried to crawl out of the box, but as soon as one stuck to the wall, it toppled over, making continuous poofing noises.
“Shh, shh, be quiet.” Luo ZhouZhou removed the lid of the box and whispered, “Hold on a little longer, I’ll make a new home for you when I get back.”
Chu Feng listened to Luo ZhouZhou’s muttering and turned his attention to the large glass fish tank on the table. The fish tank was still new, but it was empty, with no decorative plants or water, and the plugs and cords were piled up on top of each other.
He took a few steps forward, took a good look at it, and then reached for the oxygen pump dangling inside.
“This aquarium has never had any fish before, so it would be too big if it only had two turtles.” Seemingly aware of Luo ZhouZhou’s curiosity, Chu Feng explained as he forcefully removed the lid of the oxygen pump with his bare hands. “Sure enough, there is something.”
He carefully took out a thin piece of metal from inside and spread it on his palm.
“Wow! What is it?” Luo ZhouZhou exclaimed and leaned closer to see, “Was it hidden inside? Was the man who came back looking for this?”
The metal piece was rectangular, dark green, and had a line of characters on it.
“There are words.” Luo ZhouZhou pointed with his finger.
Chu Feng looked at his palm and narrowed his eyes. A long while later, he softly read, “Alliance Tri-Service Special Force First Class Cadet.”
“Alliance Tri-Service Special Force First Class Cadet?” Luo ZhouZhou looked at him curiously, “Do you know what this is?”
Chu Feng did not answer, but pulled out a dark brown, flat wallet from his chest pocket. He opened the wallet, pulled out a thin piece from one side, and spread it in his palm along with the metal piece. Luo ZhouZhou saw that these were two identical sized and shaped pieces of dark green metal, with the same words printed on them.
Alliance Tri-Service Special Forces First Class Cadet.
“Why do you have this too?”
“This is the badge of my unit back then.” Chu Feng only said this, and then slowly clenched his fist, clutching the two badges in his hand.
Back in the car, Luo ZhouZhou had a lot of questions, but when he saw Chu Feng’s solemn face, he pushed back his curiosity. Luo ZhouZhou only sat with his shoebox in his hands, glancing at him surreptitiously.
“If you want to ask something, just ask, and don’t let your eyes fall out.” Chu Feng looked straight ahead as he drove, and suddenly spoke softly.
Luo ZhouZhou, who was glancing over, was shocked, but then reacted and asked, “What are those two badges about?”
“Before entering the military, I was recruited into the Alliance Military Academy, and this badge was the identity marker for our group of cadets.” After a few seconds of silence, Chu Feng replied.
Luo ZhouZhou wondered, “Lin WenCai had this hidden at home, so was he also your fellow cadet?”
Chu Feng shook his head and said, “He was not.”
“Then, the person who came back for the badge…”
Luo ZhouZhou looked at his face and swallowed the rest of his words. But Chu Feng took the initiative to answer him, “He is not either.”
Luo ZhouZhou looked out of the window and whispered, “You didn’t see him either, so how do you know he’s not?”
Chu Feng drove the car without answering, replying only after a while, “Because all my fellow cadets are dead, only Chen SiHan and I remain.”
The sapphire blue sports car sped down the highway, but the interior was silent.
Luo ZhouZhou squeezed his fingers, remembering what Lin Fan had told him before, “…His troops were all martyred on a secret mission, and only he survived…”
“But what’s the point of him getting this badge?” Luo ZhouZhou asked.
Chu Feng did not reply. Luo ZhouZhou didn’t dare to make another sound, so he hugged the turtles without saying a word.
After driving for a while, Chu Feng suddenly said, “It’s not far from here, I want to go there.”
“Not far from where?” Luo ZhouZhou was stunned, not understanding what he was talking about.
Chu Feng looked straight ahead and spat out two words, “The cemetery.”
It took Luo ZhouZhou a few seconds to realize that he should be talking about the graves of the dead cadets. His heart tightened, and he responded in haste, “Okay, I’d like to go there, too.”
The car turned onto the nearest fork in the road and turned to the right. Gradually, small stores appeared by the side of the road, displaying pale bouquets of lilies and calla lilies. Looking at these simple flowers, Luo ZhouZhou knew that the cemetery would come up soon.
Chu Feng parked his car in front of a slightly larger flower store and bought up all the yellow roses there. The owner of the store was overjoyed, so he helped move all the flowers to the back of the car, filling it to the brim.
When the car restarted, Luo ZhouZhou’s heart grew heavy as he saw the mountain of yellow roses in the backseat. After a few minutes, the grand cemetery gates appeared in front of him.
This was the largest cemetery in Aleisha, and the elaborate flowering trees lining the driveway and the different styles of perching pavilions in the distance suggested that they arrived at a scenic spot. The car meandered up the driveway and came to a stop next to a gravesite.
It was a small, individual cemetery, beautifully built, with each tombstone made of fine Chinese white jade, polished to a smooth finish. At the entrance to the cemetery there was also a monument with the words: Twenty-eight stars, shining forever on the Alliance – Calgar.
Luo ZhouZhou was surprised to find that the words were written by President Calgar himself.
Chu Feng got out of the car, pulled open the back seat door, and began to carry the yellow roses from inside, placing them one by one in front of each tombstone. Luo ZhouZhou also silently picked up the flowers and placed them with him on the side of each tombstone.
After the twenty-eight bouquets were placed, Chu Feng paused in front of each tombstone to gaze at the smiling young men in the photographs.
Luo ZhouZhou remained silent, knowing that Chu Feng was greeting them in his heart. Chu Feng finally walked to the tombstone in the center, squatted down, reached out his hand, and gently patted the surface of the stone.
Luo ZhouZhou saw that the picture on the tombstone was of a young man with two rows of white teeth, and the name carved into the center of the tombstone showed that he was called Wang Jun.
He turned out to be Chu Feng’s best friend, Wang Su’s brother, Wang Jun.
Chu Feng stayed in front of Wang Jun’s grave for a long time before getting up. He slowly walked over to Luo ZhouZhou, leaned against a pine tree, and took out the silver lighter that never left his body. Then he put his other hand in his pocket.
As if suddenly remembering something, he sighed and took his hand out again.
Luo ZhouZhou remembered that he had told Uncle Liu that he quit smoking, but he probably wasn’t in a good mood and was unconsciously trying to take out his cigarette.
“That year, when I was still fighting in the underground boxing ring, Wang Jun came to me and asked me to accompany him to an interview, saying that the Alliance Military Academy was recruiting a group of Alpha cadets in Bayard to join the Special Forces after graduation. It turned out that during the interview, the examiner liked me too, so we both entered the military school and made a group of friends from the same school.”
Luo ZhouZhou didn’t know if he was talking to him or to himself, but Chu Feng suddenly spoke up, “At the military academy, there were a total of thirty of us, but we were divided into two incompatible groups. One group was the young men from Aleisha, led by Chen SiHan, and the other group was the Bayard wolf cubs, led by Wang Jun and me. We didn’t like each other and used to go outside the military school after dinner to have a big fight.”
“President Calgar was the honorary president of the military academy at the time, and would come to visit us from time to time, and even mediated for us personally. “
After saying this sentence, Chu Feng stopped. His gaze fell far away, as if caught up in some memory, and his face was soft with a faint smile.
“After graduation, we joined the same army again, and we were still beaten up and punished by our officers countless times. The good thing was that as long as we were on a mission, both sides had each other’s backs, and we lived and died together. But even though we just dodged a bullet by dragging each other along, when we got back to fighting, we didn’t hesitate to punch each other as hard as we could.”
Chu Feng couldn’t help but laugh. His expression was always faint, and even when he smiled, it was very shallow, as if a thin layer of ice had been wrapped around him. It was the first time Luo ZhouZhou had ever seen him smile so openly, like a summer mountain breeze that melted the ice in an instant.
He was so handsome and bright that one couldn’t take their eyes off of him.
Chu Feng gradually lifted his smile and returned to his normal appearance.
He looked down at the lighter in his palm, rubbed it with his thumb and said, “That mission was to get to the hideout of the first fugitive from the Olin Truth Church, and SiHan escaped because he was sick and didn’t go. And I…” After a moment’s silence, he continued, “I should have been the one to die, not him—”
Luo ZhouZhou was shocked when he heard this, and he burst out, interrupting the rest of Chu Feng’s words, “You’re talking nonsense.”
“Zhou Zhou you don’t understand, the one lying here should have been me—”
Luo ZhouZhou looked at the group of tombstones, covered his ears and said loudly, “I don’t want to hear it, I’m angry.”
Chu Feng looked up at him.
Luo ZhouZhou’s lips were pursed and slightly lowered, a look of obstinacy on his face.
“I’m angry.” He repeated seriously, “You made me upset.”
Chu Feng looked at him silently for a moment, pulled down his hands covering his ears, and mumbled, “Zhou Zhou, I’m sorry, I was indeed talking nonsense.”
Luo ZhouZhou’s heart suddenly went into a panic when he heard Chu Feng say that he should be lying in the tomb. Chu Feng was not a vampire, if he was lying there, it would mean that he was really dead. No longer alive, a cold skeleton that could neither speak nor walk.
“I’m just saying things. Don’t take it seriously, I was wrong,” Chu Feng repeated.
Luo ZhouZhou hesitated, “I can forgive you this time, but you must not do it again.”
“Okay, I will never do that again.” Chu Feng replied after a moment of silence. After saying that, he ruffled Luo ZhouZhou’s hair, turned around and walked out of the cemetery.
After taking two steps, he raised his right hand to the side of his head, beckoned him forward, and said in a loud voice, “Let’s go back home.”
Luo ZhouZhou looked at the upright back in astonishment, but only after a few seconds did he come back to his senses and hurried to catch up.
By the time they got back to Aleisha, it was almost dark. After having a quick bite to eat at a restaurant, Chu Feng dropped Luo ZhouZhou off at the General’s residence.
Standing beside the villa, Luo ZhouZhou tilted his head and asked him, “Will you still be able to pick me up tomorrow?”
Chu Feng said, “I’m not picking you up tomorrow.”
“Can I pick you up then?”
Luo ZhouZhou closed his mouth in frustration.
“I won’t pick you up tomorrow, and you don’t have to pick me up. If I’m not wrong, we’ll see each other tomorrow night.”
“When have I ever lied to you?” Chu Feng reached out and nudged his nose, “I’ll see you when I can.”
Luo ZhouZhou heard this and his good mood returned.
“Go back, I’ll watch you go in,” Chu Feng said.
“Okay, goodbye then.” Luo ZhouZhou hugged the turtles in the box tightly in his arms and slowly walked home.
After walking for some distance, he stopped again and turned back to Chu Feng. Chu Feng was leaning against the sports car, his shadow stretched long by the streetlight, looking lonely and depressed. His face was hidden in the shadows of the leaves, and his expression was hard to see, but Luo ZhouZhou knew he was looking at him.
Luo ZhouZhou’s heart suddenly felt a surge of sadness and reluctance, and his eyes were slightly warm. He turned around and ran back toward Chu Feng. His steps were urgent, his hair swinging in the night wind, and the two turtles of his shoebox were thumping loudly.
Chu Feng, who had been leaning motionless against the car, also stood up straight, opened his arms, and hugged Luo ZhouZhou, who had thrown himself headlong into his arms, tightly.
After a moment, Luo ZhouZhou broke free and took two steps back, “Wait a minute.”
He put the turtle box in his arms on the ground and said in a rare and coy whisper, “The box is pressing against my stomach.”
After saying that, he went forward and hugged Chu Feng’s waist again.
When Chu Feng didn’t move, he silently raised his hand and rested it on his back. Chu Feng tightened his arms and lowered his head to drop a soft kiss on top of his soft hair.
“I’m actually glad that it’s not you lying there,” Luo ZhouZhou softly said.