Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
The place Chu Feng meant was his house. A few moments later, they pulled up to the supermarket outside his neighborhood.
“You sit here, I’ll do some shopping, I’ll be right out.” Chu Feng told Luo ZhouZhou, then unbuckled his seatbelt and jumped out of the car, walking to the supermarket.
Luo ZhouZhou watched through the driver’s side window as Chu Feng entered the supermarket and selected fruits in the fruit and vegetable section. After choosing the fruit, he took a few beers from the shelf and piled them up on the checkout counter. The shop assistant was enthusiastically trying to sell him something, and after listening to a few sentences, he seemed to be convinced and followed the shop assistant inside.
Knock, knock, knock.
Luo ZhouZhou was watching Chu Feng’s back, when he heard someone knocking on the window on his side of the car. He turned around and saw a man standing outside the car door. He was too close so his face couldn’t be seen, but he noticed that he was wearing a military uniform.
As Luo ZhouZhou rolled the window down, the man leaned down with his hand on the car frame, smiled at him, and said, “Hello, handsome boy.”
Seeing those long, narrow eyes, Luo ZhouZhou immediately recognized him as the officer who had been standing with Chu Feng both at the institute and at the ball.
“Hello,” He politely greeted in return.
“What’s your name?” The officer asked again.
Luo ZhouZhou looked into his eyes and suddenly became uncomfortable, so he averted his gaze and hung his head. He was sensitive to people’s emotions, and saw that although the officer had a smile on his face, it didn’t reach the bottom of his eyes.
There was only an icy coldness in those long, narrow eyes.
The officer waited a few seconds, and when Luo ZhouZhou didn’t answer, he continued without hesitation, “You don’t want to tell me? It’s okay if you don’t tell me, because I know your name.”
Luo ZhouZhou couldn’t help but ask, “Is that so?”
The officer slowly said, “Your name is Luo ZhouZhou, you work at the research institute, you are the son of General Luo Pei, am I right?” He looked up again in the direction of the supermarket and continued, “I also know that you are waiting here for General Chu, and when he comes out of the supermarket, he will take you to your date.”
When he finished, without waiting for Luo ZhouZhou’s reply, he touched the brim of his hat in salute, smiled, and said, “Willson wishes you a good time, Luo ZhouZhou.”
Luo ZhouZhou watched him turn and walk to the back of the car, then whistle away.
Not long after, Chu Feng walked out of the supermarket with a large paper bag in his left hand and a newly purchased juicer in his right. After putting the stuff in the trunk, he opened the driver’s door and got in, asking, “Waiting impatiently?”
“It’s been a bit of a long wait, but there’s no rush.” Luo ZhouZhou replied. Then added, “Just now your colleague named Willson knocked on the car window, and I thought he was looking for you, but he left after saying a few words.”
Chu Feng’s motion to start the car stopped and his face sank.
“What’s the matter? Is there something wrong with that?” Luo ZhouZhou asked apprehensively.
Chu Feng glanced at him and said, “It’s nothing.”
After saying those two short words, he pursed his lips and continued to start the car.
Luo ZhouZhou looked at his expression and suddenly said, “I told you, I don’t like to be kept in the dark about anything.”
Chu Feng seemed startled, and said after a moment, “I’m sorry, I’ll pay attention to that.”
Luo ZhouZhou looked at him without speaking.
Chu Feng sighed, drove the car through the neighborhood gate, and said, “Willson and I have always been at odds, so I don’t want him to know about your relationship with me and worry about what he might do to you.”
“So did he follow us all the way from the military department?” Luo ZhouZhou asked.
After a moment, Chu Feng mumbled, “Who knows?”
“But is that what you’re worried about?” Luo ZhouZhou asked with some suspicion. He felt that according to Chu Feng’s level of concern, this couldn’t have been the only reason.
“I don’t want to hide anything from you, but what I can say to you, I will definitely tell you. For what I can’t tell you, I naturally have my reasons,” Chu Feng replied.
“Alright.” Luo ZhouZhou also stopped asking questions.
“But don’t worry too much, you’re General Luo’s son, who would dare to do anything to you, right? General Luo will trample down his house with a gun.” Chu Feng rubbed his head and laughed.
Luo ZhouZhou gripped the top of his head and laughed along.
“Do I have to keep my distance from you in the future?” Luo ZhouZhou asked.
“Yes.” Chu Feng laughed and said, “Or General Luo will trample down my house first.”
A few moments later, Luo ZhouZhou was sitting on Chu Feng’s couch, watching the projection. Chu Feng had taken off his military uniform, put on his black T-shirt and sweatpants, and was making juice in the kitchen.
When Luo ZhouZhou heard the juicer running, he walked over curiously and asked, “Did you buy the juicer just for today?”
“I rarely drink juice, so I put away the juicer because it was in the way, and after a while I forgot where I threw it, so I just bought a new one.” The muscles on Chu Feng’s back were visible through his T-shirt, undulating slightly with his movements.
Luo ZhouZhou asked a little happily, “Did you buy it especially for me to make juice with?”
“Yeah, lest you get drunk again.” Chu Feng’s voice had a faint smile in it.
After handing him the juice, Chu Feng opened the refrigerator and took out two cans of beer. Although Luo ZhouZhou was holding the juice, he looked at the beer enviously, his eyes following his hand. Chu Feng closed the refrigerator door then paused, opened a can of beer, took the juice cup from Luo ZhouZhou’s hand, and poured some into it.
After shaking it well, he handed it to Luo ZhouZhou, stating, “Beer juice.”
Luo ZhouZhou took it carefully, took a sip, smacked his lips, and said in surprise, “It’s delicious.”
Chu Feng took his beer juice, along with the two cans of beer, and walked to the entrance.
Luo ZhouZhou followed him in confusion and watched as he pressed a switch on a small raised part on the wall. Then, the ceiling above his head slowly moved, revealing the sky, and a long wooden ladder descended.
Chu Feng stepped on the ladder and said to Luo ZhouZhou, “Come on, let’s go to the roof.”
Luo ZhouZhou followed him up the wooden ladder, and as soon as he emerged, he looked around and gasped in surprise.
The rooftop was huge, with not only all kinds of fitness equipment, but also a rectangular swimming pool. One corner of the rooftop was half-covered by an arched glass roof, with a white plush carpet underneath and a few cushions and books tossed randomly on it.
Chu Feng walked up to the glass room, put the juice and beer on the low table, and turned back to welcome Luo ZhouZhou, “Come here.”
“You have a beautiful place here.” Luo ZhouZhou said with genuine praise.
Chu Feng smiled, and without saying anything, he lay down on the carpet. Luo ZhouZhou also lay down beside him, pulling a cushion to use as a pillow.
The sun had already set, the sky was a deep shade of red, and there were countless stars overhead. Luo ZhouZhou looked at the sky, listened to Chu Feng’s breathing beside him, and felt a great sense of peace in his heart. It reminded him of those evenings when he was still with his clan, when he would find a big rock to lie on in the forest outside his village and watch the sunset and birds in the sky.
“After we graduated from the military academy, we joined the army and were collectively assigned to the Alliance’s Tri-Service Special Forces.” Chu Feng looked at the sky and spoke in a calm voice, suddenly breaking the silence around him.
Although the words were out of the blue, Luo ZhouZhou instantly realized that he was telling the whole story of the incident, so he quickly retrieved his scattered thoughts and looked at him sideways.
“It seemed that we were no different from other soldiers, going out on missions, completing them, and waiting for good performance awards to advance. But in reality we also signed a non-disclosure agreement with the military.”
Luo ZhouZhou gulped a little nervously when he heard this.
“Zhou Zhou, you’ve been working at the institute for some time, and I’m sure you know, what the institute is researching now, right?” Chu Feng suddenly asked.
Luo ZhouZhou said, “I know, it’s the Sunset Face virus.”
Chu Feng laughed lightly and said, “Wrong, what you are working on is not the Sunset Face virus.”
“Then what is it?” Luo ZhouZhou asked in surprise.
“But Benzedrine is used to cure Sunset Face, what is the difference between researching Benzedrine and researching Sunset Face?” Luo ZhouZhou asked.
Chu Feng moved his fingers behind his head, and when Luo ZhouZhou saw this, he sat up and took a cushion from beside him and put it under Chu Feng’s head.
“Benzedrine was developed for the purpose of curing Sunset Face, however, it wasn’t used only on Sunset Face patients, but also on our group of trainees.” Chu Feng said bluntly.
Luo ZhouZhou turned to look at him, surprised, “Also on you guys?”
Chu Feng nodded slightly and said, “Benzedrine has been developed to the third generation, and although the current generation is more effective than the previous ones, it is still some distance away from truly curing Sunset Face. Although it’s not successful yet, the military has discovered another use for it, which is when it’s applied to ordinary people, they would explode with amazing potential.”
“Amazing potential?” Luo ZhouZhou asked.
Chu Feng put his hands behind his head and calmly continued, “After injecting a certain dose of Benzedrine dilution into the body, both physical strength and explosive power will increase to several times the normal level. Just like what you see in the movies, we could easily climb along the outside walls of buildings without any tools, and we could nimbly dodge oncoming bullets or leap up to seven or eight meters 1 with ease.”
Luo ZhouZhou listened dumbly, thinking to himself, I used to be like this when I was not a half-Omega, but a full vampire, and I was even more powerful than that, not needing any Benzedrine at all.
Chu Feng stared overhead, his eyes far away, and said, “Because of these effects of Benzedrine, the military wanted to use it in the army. Imagine an army where everyone has such an ability, what kind of fighting power would it have?”
Luo ZhouZhou carefully recalled how the chief used to caution the dozens of vampires in the clan. He always looked at everyone imposingly and told them, ‘Although you have the power to turn this world upside down and control everything, as long as any one of you does anything that goes beyond the vampire rules, I will make him suffer the harshest punishment.’
“If you had such an army, you would be able to turn the world upside down and take control of everything,” Luo ZhouZhou replied.
“Turn the world upside down…” Chu Feng mumbled as he repeated, “Yes, it would take control of everything and turn the world upside down.”
“And then what happened?” Luo ZhouZhou rolled over and asked, propping his head up on his elbow.
Chu Feng continued, “Later, because of what you said, the injection of Benzedrine into the army was rejected after a vote, and the research on Benzedrine could only be applied to Sunset Face. However, although the experiment was suspended on the surface, it was still going on secretly. Our group of trainees, who signed a secret non-disclosure agreement with the military, would participate in human experiments by injecting Benzedrine.
“Because of Benzedrine, we, the Special Forces, accomplished many impossible missions, and during that time, both the military and ourselves were full of confidence in Benzedrine.” At this point, Chu Feng reached into his pants pocket to touch something. When he found his pockets empty, he took his hand out again and placed it on his chest.
Luo ZhouZhou saw it in his eyes and knew that he was subconsciously looking for his cigarette again, which is what he did every time he was feeling unsettled.
Luo ZhouZhou sat up, took out a saved candy from his pocket, peeled it off and passed it to his mouth, “Here.”
Chu Feng glanced down and took the candy into his mouth.
He spun the candy ball in his mouth and continued, “But on one of the missions, there was an accident – one of our team members fell unconscious after injecting Benzedrine. Within a short period of time, his blood pressure plummeted, and his breathing and heartbeat stopped. We called Qi Fen so he could figure out what to do while we were trying to resuscitate him, and fortunately we were able to save his life.”
“We realized that there is a limit to the amount of Benzedrine the human body can receive, and that the total amount cannot exceed that degree, otherwise the person can’t bear it. But the amount of Benzedrine we had accumulated in our bodies was almost up to the limit. The military later decided to retire us from the front line and replace us with other special forces soldiers who have never injected Benzedrine.”
“That’s good,” Luo ZhouZhou said, “Then you guys didn’t have to bear that burden.”
He regretted his words as soon as they came out of his mouth, for it suddenly occurred to him that all of them except Chu Feng and Chen SiHan had been killed.
Chu Feng, however, didn’t pay any attention to his words, still staring at the sky, his eyes empty as he spoke, “Just before we were about to be discharged, an emergency mission came out of nowhere. There was a tip-off that a large number of fugitive followers of the Olin Truth Church were gathering in a certain church, and that they were going to carry out a terrorist act in a crowded area. There was also evidence that several high ranking members of the Truth Church would also appear, and if they were captured, a lot of information could be gathered, including the whereabouts of the Holy Son of Truth Church who had been on the run.”
“The Holy Son of the Truth Church?” Luo ZhouZhou wondered, “What is that?”
“Every archbishop chooses a future successor to the episcopate in advance, and that person is called the Holy Son. The Holy Son will not reveal his whereabouts and identity until he ascends to the throne of Archbishop. After the fall of the Olin Truth Church, their Holy Son escaped and his whereabouts are unknown.”
Luo ZhouZhou nodded his head in a puzzled manner.
“In any case we were obligated to participate in that mission. And the medical exam showed that we could all still take one dose of Benzedrine. All of us just wanted to complete one more mission beautifully before retiring from the military, to make our special forces career complete.”
Chu Feng suddenly stopped talking up to here and raised his hand to shield his eyes.
Luo ZhouZhou lay down again and looked at him quietly from the side.
After a while, he grabbed the hand on his side, put it on top of his head, and rubbed it against him.
“What’s wrong?” Chu Feng asked in a soft voice.
Luo ZhouZhou whispered, “Every time you rub my head, you smile. So you can rub it now.”
Chu Feng still shielded his eyes with his hand, but his lips slowly curled upward to reveal a smile. He rubbed Luo ZhouZhou’s head with gentle movements.
The last rays of sunlight disappeared, and the lights of the city lit up one after the other, connecting with the stars in the sky. It was now late autumn, and a night breeze was blowing, so Luo ZhouZhou felt a slight chill and shivered.
Chu Feng took his hand off that was shielding his eyes to look at him, asking, “Are you cold? We’ll go down if it’s cold.”
“It’s a little cold, but I don’t want to go down, I want to be up here,” Luo ZhouZhou said. He looked at Chu Feng’s short sleeve and wondered, “Aren’t you cold?”
Chu Feng laughed and said, “I’m not cold, wait here, I’ll get you a jacket.”
When Chu Feng went back to his room from the rooftop, Luo ZhouZhou drank his beer juice slowly and casually picked up a book on the carpet. As the pages of the book flipped, a photo fell down from between them. He put the book and his juice down and picked up the photo to look at it.
It was a picture of a group of people, with a field in the background. All were young men in their early twenties in crisp camouflage uniforms, huddled together, smiling brightly and unrestrained. They had obviously just finished training or a mission, their faces and bodies were dirty, and they were holding guns in their hands.
Luo ZhouZhou quickly scanned the faces of the men and quickly found Chu Feng among them.
He was not wearing a helmet, his face was painted with two stripes of camouflage, with a cigarette in his mouth, and his eyes were squinting at the camera, his handsome face looking all impatient. But Luo ZhouZhou could see that he was actually in a good mood, and his eyes were shining with pleasure.
After looking at the photo for a while, he prepared to slip it back into the book. As he was putting it back in, he noticed a line written on the back of the photo.
The handwriting was written with a black pen, and the cursive was really hard to read. He struggled to make sense of it and mouthed, “You… you…”
“You are the stars, shining forever on the Alliance.” Chu Feng arrived behind him at some point and draped a large coat over him.
You are the stars, shining forever on the Alliance. Luo ZhouZhou felt that he had heard this phrase somewhere before, and tightened the jacket around himself, trying to remember with his head cocked.
“Yes, you’ve seen this phrase before, at the entrance to their cemetery,” Chu Feng said.
Luo ZhouZhou suddenly remembered that this phrase was indeed at the entrance of the cemetery, inscribed by President Calgar himself. But the words “you are the” had been replaced by “twenty-eight”.
“The words on the back of this picture were also written by President Calgar. When he came to visit us one day, he happened to meet us after a mission, so he had us photographed and wrote that on each photo.” Chu Feng said, staring at the picture.
Luo ZhouZhou looked at the group of smiling people in the photo, touched them with his finger, and asked in a low voice, “So what did they encounter back there?”
Chu Feng walked over to the low table, picked up a can of beer, opened it, and walked to the edge of the rooftop to prop his elbows on the glass fence, gazing into the distance. Luo ZhouZhou carefully put the photo back between the pages, picked up his own beer juice, and followed him, lying down next to him.
Chu Feng clinked his glass with his beer can without turning his head, tilted his head up and took a sip, then said, “The mission was urgent and the situation was unclear. When we arrived at the ambush site, we found that there were more people than we thought, and we had to inject Benzedrine if we were to win the fight. The ambush was in an abandoned house across the street from the church, and the captain briefed the command center about the situation, who then immediately sent someone to bring us Benzedrine.”
Chu Feng tilted his head back again to take another big sip, exhaled, and continued, “Soon, someone brought the cipher box with the Benzedrine in it.”
“I had never seen that man in the military, but I still remember what he looked like. He was slightly shorter than me, about 1.8 meters 2 tall, with a bald head and a very noticeable mole on the left corner of his mouth.” Chu Feng narrowed his eyes, “When he turned around after handing me the cipher case, I saw a depression on the back of his neck, a scar left by the surgical removal of a gland.”
Luo ZhouZhou listened quietly, not even daring to breathe too loud.
“It was obvious that there was something wrong with that man, but I wasn’t alert enough and sent that cipher box in. After that, everyone started injecting Benzedrine.”
Chu Feng was silent for a moment, then said, “I should have injected it, but it was Wang Jun who handed me a cigarette, saying that we would take action soon, so hurry up and smoke one. I was afraid that the light from the cigarette would attract attention from the enemy, so I hid outside the back door. While I was slowly finishing my cigarette before going in, they were already in trouble…”
Chu Feng’s voice was so soft that it took a great deal of effort to hear him clearly. He said, “The amount of Benzedrine they injected that time was twice the usual dose, and it was far beyond what their bodies could handle.”
Chu Feng poured the last of the beer into his mouth and looked over his shoulder at Luo ZhouZhou. The red tint under his eyes and the complexity of his gaze made Luo ZhouZhou wince, and he had a bad feeling about what he was about to say next.
“Zhou Zhou, the commander who was in charge of the setup and deployment of the entire mission, as well as arranging the manpower to deliver the medicine, was your father, General Luo Pei.”