Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Early in the morning, Luo ZhouZhou was awakened from his slumber by a gentle knock on the door. The moment he opened his eyes, it was as if he were still in his small attic, sleeping in a coffin with its peeling and mottled paint, but polished and shiny exterior.
There would be a woman’s loud voice downstairs, and the sound of the landlord’s two young daughters, running up the wooden stairs. They would always spy on others unnoticed, avoiding eye contact when caught. When they met them on the stairs, they would run away again without saying a word.
Maybe all humans were a bit strange.
Like Luo Pei, who doesn’t listen to any explanation, and Linda, who always looked at him and weeped sadly. And Chu Feng, who liked to eat candy.
“Young Master, Master and Madam are downstairs waiting for you to have breakfast with them.” Butler Li’s flat, unruffled voice pulled Luo ZhouZhou out of his reverie.
“Got it.” He poked his head out from under the bed and replied loudly.
He remembered that Luo Pei had said last night that he would take him to the military headquarters today, and after washing up, he stood barefoot in front of the closet to pick out the right clothes.
Of course, the words ‘check his brain’ were selectively ignored.
There were plenty of suits and clothing of superior fabric and workmanship in this closet, better than what he had seen on display in the windows of clothing stores. Many of them had not been worn once, and the tags were still there, hanging in sealed dust bags.
Luo ZhouZhou took out a white shirt and dark blue slacks, put them on, waxed his hair, and brushed back all his soft black hair, exposing his full forehead. He looked around in the mirror, satisfied.
It occurred to him that he might meet Chen SiHan at the military headquarters, and that the image must be perfect. After a moment’s thought, he opened a drawer in his closet, put on two cufflinks with dark blue stones, and pinned a brooch from the same collection on the collar of his shirt.
He changed into brown leather shoes and took a last look at his clothes.
The only thing he regretted was the lack of a bowler hat, which would have made it more perfect.
“Good morning, General. Good morning, ma’am.” Luo ZhouZhou walked briskly down the stairs to the first floor and greeted Luo Pei and Linda, who were having breakfast.
They both looked up at the sound of his voice, stopped chewing and blankly stared at him.
Luo ZhouZhou dragged out a chair and sat down, looking at the plate in front of him, “Madam, could you pass me the salt in front of you? Thank you.”
Luo Pei slowly swallowed the food in his mouth, closed his eyes and said, “We’re going to the military headquarters and you’re dressed like this? You think you’re going to a dinner party?”
Luo ZhouZhou looked at the military uniform Luo Pei was wearing and said, “But I don’t have a uniform.”
“I’m referring to those accessories, take them off. You have ten minutes to wash all the wax out of your hair. We’re going to the military! Why are you dressed like that? All the soldiers and officers will stare and point fingers at you.”
Luo Pei tended to get angry and his voice became louder and louder, and Linda tugged on his sleeve, her eyes watering again. Luo ZhouZhou stopped talking, ate all the eggs on his plate in a couple of bites, then pushed away the chair behind him and walked upstairs with a stern face.
It had been two months and four days, he thought. I’ve had to endure two months and four days already. I need to find Chen SiHan and take him as far away from here as possible.
Of course, if he didn’t want to, then closer was fine, as long as he didn’t have to see General Luo Pei. Quickly washing the hair wax off his head and removing his brooch and cufflinks, Luo ZhouZhou went downstairs where Luo Pei was waiting in the limousine outside the villa.
He looked at the empty space in the back seat, but pulled open the front passenger door and got in.
The car started up, drove out of the upscale villa area, and turned onto a wide avenue.
Luo ZhouZhou hadn’t had much of a chance to leave the house in the last two months since he came into the world and was caught twice running away, so he had been looking outside the window throughout the ride.
Aleisha was very different from Bayard in that there were not as many pedestrians on either side of the street, and the stores did not play loud pop music. The difference between the modern and the backward, the laid-back and the frenetic, became more pronounced as the cars entered the high-rise buildings of the downtown area.
There were no children playing around in pants and slippers, no young women kissing at cars. Everyone’s clothes were tailored to fit, or they were having coffee on the street, or browsing the clothing stores. Luo ZhouZhou watched them for a while, but he soon became bored of it, so he sat upright and leaned back in his seat.
“Luo ZhouZhou,” Luo Pei blurted out.
Luo ZhouZhou looked back from his seat.
Luo Pei closed his eyes slightly and said, “In the past, I asked you to work at the Military Research Institute, but you always refused to do so. Now it’s no longer up to you. From now on, you’ll start working there.”
Seeing that Luo ZhouZhou didn’t reply, thinking he was being silently confrontational, Luo Pei sighed and softened his tone a bit, “Your old man can’t shield you from the wind and rain for the rest of your life, you also have to learn to survive, understand?”
“But didn’t you say last night that you were going to take me to get my brain checked?” Luo ZhouZhou reminded him.
Luo Pei was a little embarrassed, “The body check was just said in passing.”
“But what you said last night was to check the brain.” Luo ZhouZhou’s tone was serious.
The veins on Luo Pei’s forehead jumped, “Yes, yes, yes, it was just to check your brain and work on the way.”
Only then did Luo ZhouZhou turn around in satisfaction.
Assistant Qin, who was driving, couldn’t help but give him a sidelong glance.
After driving for another ten minutes or so, and passing through the layers of automatic detection at the military gate, Luo ZhouZhou entered the political-military center of the Tylen Alliance.
He followed Luo Pei as he walked through the heavily guarded building, where oncoming soldiers and captains would stand at attention and salute, looking at Luo ZhouZhou over their shoulders as they passed by. After all, such a beautiful Omega, not to mention in a military department full of Alphas and Betas, was not often seen even in the entirety of Aleisha.
The special elevator rushed up, and only Luo Pei and Luo ZhouZhou were inside.
After a moment of silence, Luo Pei said, “I have a meeting to attend first, so you can wait in my office.”
Luo ZhouZhou nodded behind him.
“Did you hear me?” Luo Pei didn’t wait for a response.
“I heard you,” Luo ZhouZhou responded.
The elevator reached the thirty-eighth floor, and they walked out one after another. When they reached the last door of the corridor, the soldier who had followed them reached out and opened it.
“Thank you.” Luo ZhouZhou followed behind Luo Pei and thanked the soldier as he stepped through the door.
The soldier’s face reddened instantly, and after a quick glance at him, he looked away.
Luo Pei’s office was luxurious and spacious. He raised his hand to his watch and said to Luo ZhouZhou, “I’ll be back in a moment, so don’t worry.” When he walked out of the door, he turned back and said uneasily, “Save your energy, this building is full of guards, you can’t leave.”
“I won’t run,” Luo ZhouZhou said.
Luo Pei stretched out his finger and pointed at him. The soldier looked at him again and only then did he close the door.
The surroundings became quiet, and all that could be heard was the breeze from the central air conditioning vents. Luo ZhouZhou sat on the large couch, staring at the ashtray on the coffee table, staring blankly. If only Luo Pei would have let him have his brain checked before going to work at the institute, he would have been half free.
The institute wouldn’t keep people locked up every day, so he could use his free time to look for Chen SiHan.
Luo ZhouZhou was so engrossed in his own thoughts that he didn’t notice the door being pushed open and someone walking in.
Chu Feng’s boots stepped on the brown plush carpet without making a sound.
It wasn’t until he sat down on the couch across from Luo ZhouZhou, and the soft leather made a slight noise, that Luo ZhouZhou became aware that there was someone else in the room.
“Luo. Zhou. Zhou.” Chu Feng slowly pronounced Luo ZhouZhou’s name.
While others pronounced it softly, he pronounced it in the same tone, the last ZhouZhou, as if wrapped around the tip of his tongue, low and languid. He raised one long leg, the tips of his black boots swaying slightly in the air. Leaning back against the back of the chair, he rested his hands on the arm of the sofa and squinted, watching Luo ZhouZhou from under the lowered brim of his hat.
Luo ZhouZhou’s heart clenched at the sudden sight of Chu Feng here, and he sat up straight in panic.
How can he be here?
“General Luo Pei brought me here, I didn’t come in by myself,” Luo ZhouZhou explained.
“Hmn, did you?” Chu Feng declined to comment.
“Yes, he’s in a meeting right now and asked me to wait for him.”
“Then what are you doing here?” Chu Feng’s tone of voice was unhurried, but it put a great deal of pressure on Luo ZhouZhou. He had a pair of handcuffs on his left hand for some reason, and was shaking them gently in his hand, reflecting the cold, snowy reflection on the wall.
“To check my brain.” Luo ZhouZhou eyed the handcuffs as he answered.
“That’s right.” Chu Feng lowered his head slightly. The brim of his hat blocked his eyes and brows, but the corners of his lips curved beneath the high bridge of his nose.
Luo ZhouZhou caught the smile with his sharp eyes and instantly realized that he had been teased, that this man was not here to get him at all.
This person is really too mean. He thought indignantly, while looking angrily at his face.
“What’s wrong with your brain?” Chu Feng raised his eyes, as if he did not see Luo ZhouZhou’s annoyance, and asked him casually. He put the handcuffs back behind his waist, straightened his shirt, and leaned back against the back of the sofa.
Luo ZhouZhou was tempted to say something back to him, but when he thought that this man had a grip on him, he kept his mouth shut and didn’t say anything, just turned his head to the side.
He made up his mind not to say another word to this nasty person.
“Where’s your beard?” Chu Feng asked him. He didn’t get a reply from Luo ZhouZhou for a while, but he didn’t seem to mind and continued, “Actually, you look pretty good with that beard.”
Luo ZhouZhou simply turned around and looked out of the window, turning his back to Chu Feng.
“By the way, what did you say the other day about your secondary gender? Masaraka or Saraenlaka? If I recall, I think it was Kalasahar. Yes, that’s it, Kalasahar.”
Ignoring Luo ZhouZhou’s silent resistance, Chu Feng kept talking to himself.
Luo ZhouZhou was angry, and the more he listened, the angrier he became.
You know my biggest secret, but you can’t even remember it! He finally turned his head and blurted out, “Methuselah! It’s not Masalaika or Kalasahar, it’s Methuselah!”