Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
After traveling over two more ridges, several engineering tracked vehicles stopped in front of a mine.
“Pelican Lake mine is here, get off.” Whistle Officer Liu blew his whistle.
Lan Yu jumped out of the car and looked around, the place was still gray and black mines on all sides, not to mention a lake, there was not even a puddle of water.
Lu RanKong saw his confusion, explained, “There was a lake here, Pelican Lake, but it dried up slowly.”
“Pelican Lake, the pearl of the planet, was nearly a thousand square kilometers with a total storage capacity of a trillion cubic meters. Unfortunately, because of too many mining holes causing serious damage to the landscape, half a year ago the lake dried up and disappeared. The pearl just disappeared, leaving only a Pelican Lake place name.” Officer Liu turned the copper egg in his hand, shaking his head and sighing.
The mine was at the foot of the mine, a former mining company left behind, along with a complete set of mining equipment and machinery.
“All gathered, all gathered, ready to go down the mine.”
The other prisoners also jumped out of the car, and assembled in the small square in front of the mine.
“Cell 15 and 14 go to cave Bravo, cell 13 and 12 go to hole Charlie, and cell 11 goes to hole Alpha.” Officer Liu assigned.
It wasn’t the first day the inmates had dug, so they responded and headed for the mine.
“The green blood of the Lontan Planet person was found in cave Alpha.” Lu RanKong whispered as he walked, “Watch out for it later.”
“Mhm…” Lan Yu nodded his head.
As they entered the mine, the light suddenly darkened, the cave wall was lined with a stream of lamps for ten meters, glowing with a ghostly light.
“Don’t the guards go down too?” Lan Yu looked at the prisoners in the absence of prison guards in an orderly queue on the mine car, and couldn’t help but ask.
“They used to go down with them, but it’s the same whether they go down or not. Which prisoner wants to escape? After they run out, where can they go? Gradually, they didn’t follow, since the prison side wasn’t worried at all.” Liu Junjie explained.
When the prisoners from other caves left in batches, the people from cell 11 also got into the mine car. The car wasn’t big, it was just enough for them to sit down. Qiu Dao saw that everyone was ready and loosened the valve overhead. Bam, the mine car slid forward along the railroad tracks that extended downward.
The mine car was basically a tin bucket and four wheels, the front of a manual brake. With the increase in the gradient of the tracks, the speed was also increasing, and at some curves the whole car would drift, almost flying.
Lan Yu saw other people had calm looks, so he knew that the car looked thrilling but safe, but also to stabilize the heart, he began to pay attention to the surrounding environment. Along the way, he could see some forks in the road, there were railway tracks extending deep into the depths. When they encountered these places, Qiu Dao was familiar with wrenching the direction lever, so that the mine car slid to the correct track.
After about ten minutes of skidding, the tracks gradually smoothed out, and the mine car began to slow down, finally creaking to a halt.
Qiu Dao said, “Here we are…” Jumping off the train first, the others followed.
This was their destination, the Alpha cave.
The walls and roof of the cave were hung with vapor lamps, each with high wattage, illuminating the entire Alpha cave. The air was quite fresh, and there was no unpleasant smell, and he could feel the flow of the wind.
There were two mining machines parked directly in front of the cave, and Liu Junjie and Lin Lin got into one, while the others pushed the cart back and forth to deliver the ore to the mobile mining car on the railroad track and then transport it out.
Lan Yu pushed out a cart in the pile against the cave wall and followed the others to load the ore. The gray-black ore looked no different from the ordinary stone outside, but it was denser and heavier.
A cart with just a few pieces was very hard to push. In addition to the thin Qiao Fei each time they could only move one or two pieces, while the others loaded four or five pieces. They did it in silence, and after each full mobile minecart slid away, not long after, the loudspeaker in the hole would sound the voice of the prison guard outside, “Alpha hole, +1.”
“How many mobile carts do we have to fill to pass?” Lu RanKong asked the others after dumping a cart full of ore into the mobile ore cart.
“We need ten carts…” Qiao Fei pushed the cart forward.
“How long does it usually take you guys to fill ten carts?”
“About three hours or so.”
“Three hours, that’s until noon.” Lu RanKong patted his hand-pushed cart and said, “Let me give you a speed boost, so you can finish early and rest early.”
After that, he pulled another cart out, pushed one to the digger with one hand, and said to Liu Junjie, “Fill it up for me…”
Liu Junjie asked loudly while loading the cart, “Is it okay?
“No problem, you can fill it up.”
Large chunks of black ore were loaded into the cart, and each time a chunk fell, the cart sank a little lower with the load. When both carts were full, they were each filled with six or seven large pieces of ore.
The people around him stopped and looked at Lu RanKong, watching him lift one cart with one hand, his arms bulging with muscles, and the two fully loaded carts were pushed away.
Qiu Dao looked around Wang Jin, rubbed his hands, and also went to drag a cart out, putting two in front of the digging machine, saying boldly, “Fill me up…”
Wang Jin, not to be outdone, also pushed on two carts in silence.
Qiao Fei looked a little nervously at Lan Yu and Chen Zheng. If they both also pushed on two, then he was the only one left. Seeing that they were unmoved and still only pushing one, Qiao Fei relaxed, but also added another stone to his own.
In this way, the efficiency did improve a lot. Where it usually took three hours to complete the mining, they only took two hours to do all of it. The rest of the day was spent resting with Liu Junjie, Lin Lin and Qiao Fei sitting on the ground talking, and Chen Zheng sitting quietly.
Lan Yu also found a piece of ore to sit down on, and saw Qiu Dao go to pull Wang Jin’s hand, saying, “Let’s go over there to smoke.”
“No…” Wang Jin shook his hand away.
Qiu Dao didn’t make a sound, but wrapped his arm around his shoulder to bring him inside the mine, and Wang Jin didn’t make much effort to get away either, he was half pushed and half followed.
They all knew that smoking was fake, and they were finding a place to make out for real, so they didn’t care, and continued to talk about their own day.
Lu RanKong walked past Lan Yu and gave him a look. Lan Yu understood and stood up to follow him inside the mine.
“Brother Bao, Brother Qiao, where are you going?” Liu Junjie turned his head and spotted it, asking loudly, “If you need to go to the toilet, go ahead and turn left fifty meters. That waste hole can be used for urinating.”
“Ah, we’re just wandering around, getting familiar with the environment, and having a cigarette.” Lu RanKong replied.
The few people who were chatting stopped and turned their faces to look over, their eyes flicked back and forth between Lan Yu and Lu RanKong.
Lan Yu was shocked and said in a cold voice, “What are you smoking? I don’t smoke, I’m just strolling.”
Liu Junjie said, “Brother Bao, Brother Qiao, you guys go get familiar with the mine. Take a stroll or smoke anything you want, we’ll wait for you to come back and go up together.”
“Okay…” Lu RanKong took a step inside, and Lan Yu had to follow.
After walking a few dozen meters, when he could no longer hear the voice behind him, Lu RanKong looked at him sideways and asked, “What has offended you again? Your face is like an ion cannon.”
Lan Yu said irritably, “Didn’t you hear Qiu Dao and Wang Jin both say that smoking is hiding to make out? It’s clear that we both don’t smoke, and when you said it like that, those few people looked at us weird.”
“So what, did they still think we would hide and make out too?” Lu RanKong said in surprise.
Lan Yu only looked at him coldly.
Lu RanKong recalled the scene, seemed to find it interesting and laughed, “Maybe they really thought that. But it’s okay, it’s best if they think that way, so they won’t suspect us of doing anything else.”
Lan Yu felt as if it was quite reasonable, but his heart was still uncomfortable, and he had a sullen face.
This mine was very large, the mine tunnel was so long that there seemed to be no end, every few dozen meters there were forks leading to other caves, crisscrossing like a maze. There were abandoned mining machines and tools everywhere, which were left behind when the mining company withdrew.
Lu RanKong pulled out a flat instrument, looked at the screen and walked forward, and said, “This is the map surveyor I got from the warden this morning.”
Lan Yu saw that on it was an instant map showing the long and short switchbacks and the small mine cave where the switchbacks ended.
“Where did Qiu Dao go?” Lan Yu couldn’t help but ask.
All this way, they hadn’t seen the two of them, and they hadn’t heard any movement.
“Just ahead…” Lu RanKong pointed to two small red dots on the instant map.
“Do you think there’s anything wrong with them both?”
“They both used to be in the same interstellar bandit gang and were the bandit leader’s right hand men. The leader died in the capture, and they were both caught and sentenced to ten years. Originally, each was in a different prison, but both ended up offering to come and serve their sentences at QuYa Planet, as long as they were allowed to stay together.”
Lu RanKong turned his head to Lan Yu and said, “Two people who are so in love and familiar with each other, if one of them changes slightly, the other one will feel it.”
As soon as the words left his mouth, he heard the sound of fighting coming from a fork in the road to his left, accompanied by the low roar of Wang Jin and Qiu Dao.
“Look, two people who love each other and are familiar with each other.” Lan Yu said faintly.
When he passed by that fork in the road, he saw Wang Jin with his prison clothes wide open, and Qiu Dao, who was naked, holding his neck against the wall.
When they heard footsteps, they both looked up in unison.
Seeing that it was Lan Yu and Lu RanKong, Qiu Dao, despite the fact that he was still naked, went to gather Wang Jin’s lapels, and Wang Jin also hurriedly grabbed the clothes on the cart beside him and put them on Qiu Dao.
“We are just passing by, you guys continue.” Lu RanKong smiled and turned his head away.
Lan Yu quickly glanced at it and continued on without a glance.
“Hey, by the way…” Lu RanKong walked out a few steps and then suddenly turned back to the two men and asked, “The first few times you two came to smoke, did you meet anyone else?”
“No…” The two answered quickly, then shook their heads in unison.
Lu RanKong didn’t ask again, nodded and turned around, but he didn’t get far, when he heard the two behind them fighting again, the cart hitting the cave wall, rumbling.
After walking a little further, Lu RanKong suddenly stopped and said, “This is where the blood of the Lontan person was found. The warden said they had already taken care of it, but I think there should still be traces.”
The two men looked around, and sure enough, there was a cave wall that had been scraped down a layer, revealing a particularly clean-looking mountain rock. Lan Yu walked forward along that cave wall and found several clumps of marks as big as coins on the ground about ten meters away.
Lu RanKong walked forward and squatted down. When he remembered something, he stopped moving and quickly withdrew his hand.
“Is it the blood of the Lontan person?” Lan Yu came up behind him and asked softly.
Lu RanKong frowned and didn’t reply.
“How about you just scrape a little and smell it?” Lan Yu said.
“I’m not a dog’s nose.”
“You obviously want to smell.”
“I can tell without smelling it, it’s dried Lontan blood.”
This was a big hole, the railroad tracks that were laid here are gone, and ahead was a mountain wall, but no road. Lan Yu turned around and found nothing unusual.
“Then what did the Lontan person come here to do? There is nothing here. And what is he doing in this prison?” Lan Yu asked in disbelief as he pressed his hand against the mountain wall.
Lu RanKong looked at the timely detection mapper in his hand and frowned. He muttered under his breath, “No, the survey meter shows there is still a passage inside.”
Lan Yu moved over to look at the screen, and Lu RanKong pointed to a small area in the upper right corner and said, “Look here, there is a red line.”
Lan Yu followed his finger and looked closely, and there was indeed a line there, a dark red color, very inconspicuous.
Lu RanKong adjusted his orientation and walked to the left cave wall, “This should be it.” He stretched out his hand and touched on the smooth cave wall for a while and said, “The entrance is not here, it should be somewhere else. Let’s look around.”
The two men separated and began to look around the area.
The cave was half the size of a basketball court, and there were broken tools and rusty carts scattered all over the place, with words like ‘Sasu Planet West Mining Group’ printed on them.
Lan Yu walked around to some broken carts and suddenly felt a cool breeze on his calves. He stretched out his fingers to explore, and there was indeed a breeze. There were vents in front of him, but not here, so where did the wind come from?
His eyes fell on the cart beside him and reached down to move the overlapping metal buckets.
Lu RanKong heard the commotion on the other side, and also rushed over to move it together.
Soon, a pile of carts was emptied, and a dark hole appeared in the cave wall against the ground, from which the gust of wind blew out.
Lu RanKong squatted down, stretched his head to look for a while, and took out the map detector to check.
“That’s right, this is the entrance to the passage.” He said to Lan Yu.
Lan Yu asked, “So are we going in now?”
“It’s too late today, let’s come back tomorrow. I don’t know how far it will be ahead, staying long will cause others to suspect.”
“Okay…” Lan Yu said, “Then let’s go back now.”
Lu RanKong looked at him without moving, his expression was a bit strange.
“What’s wrong?” Lan Yu looked around warily.
Lu RanKong cleared his throat and said, “That… didn’t we come out to smoke? It’s not appropriate to finish smoking so soon and go back.”
Lan Yu pondered for a few seconds before reacting and said angrily, “Who is smoking with you? Just say we wandered around for a while.”
“The words have already been said, so how can you just change it? Besides, it’s too long for us to say that we wandered around, and too short for us to say that we smoked.” Lu RanKong looked down at his shoes.
Lan Yu sized him up from head to toe and laughed under his breath, “A little short? Then how long do you think it should take?”
Lu RanKong shoved his hands into his trouser pockets, tapped his toes, and said gently, “An hour, and only about half an hour has passed now.”
“An hour? I remember you were done in two minutes.” Lan Yu sneered and lowered his voice, “When you were taking a shower in the bathroom, I was pinpointing the stopwatch for you.”
Lu RanKong abruptly looked at Lan Yu, full of shock, “Fuck, you were eavesdropping on me?” Lunatic K, you are too lewd, aren’t you?”
“Who’s lewd? I was taking a good shower, you rushed in and started, shaking my walls to the point of collapse. How dare you say I was eavesdropping?” Lan Yu couldn’t help but sneer.
“You could’ve knocked on the wall to remind me, even a cough would do. You did it on purpose!”
“Then why didn’t you listen to the surroundings before you started? The sound of water in my shower was so loud that I should have suspected you were doing it on purpose.”
Lu RanKong opened his mouth, but finally raised his hand and said, “Okay, okay, it’s all my fault anyway.”
Lan Yu turned his face away with an angry expression and ignored him.
Lu RanKong was silent for a while and said, “You know, if you do it yourself, then definitely the faster the better—”
“Don’t give me that. I don’t really want to know how long you can really last.” Lan Yu viciously interrupted him, turned around and walked away, “I’m really fed up, why should I discuss such things with you here?”
“Hey, didn’t I say to wait a little longer?”
“Okay, just wait! Wait for two or three hours.” Lan Yu stopped and turned around, trailing off, “Anyway, my time for that… is quite long.” He gave Lu RanKong a meaningful smile, “You know, I have my Omega, Gu Gu.”
Lu RanKong looked struck by lightning and said incredulously, “You mean, the two of us, if me and you smoked, I’m the one getting smoked?”
“Can’t we? We are both Alphas,” Lan Yu flipped his hands, narrowed his eyes and looked him up and down, “Moreover, you don’t even seem to have an Omega, so it’s not appropriate to try to compete with me, right?”
Lu RanKong’s mouth opened and closed, lowered his head and ruffled the hair on his forehead, then raised his eyes with a face full of amusement, stretched out his fingers in the air and nodded at Lan Yu, “You’re trying to display your skills before an expert.” He shook his head and said, “Although I don’t have Omega, a bunch of flowers have touched my body. The flowers were beautiful, but they stayed in the garden for appreciation, so I didn’t have to pick them and take them home. In terms of experience, perhaps I still have dozens more than you.”
Lan Yu was shocked to hear this.
The smile on his face was deeper, the same kind of Alpha you-know-what smile.
“Li Baozi, how do you know that I only have Gu Gu as an Omega? After all, if an Alpha wants to do something behind his Omega’s back, he wouldn’t know about it, would he?”
Lu RanKong’s face froze as well as his smile, and that momentarily revealed expression was caught by Lan Yu. There was disappointment, disbelief, and vaguely mixed with anger. But he quickly smiled again, so fast that Lan Yu wondered if he had been mistaken.
“Let’s go, forget about this.” Lu RanKong finished and led the way out of the cave, with Lan Yu following behind him.
Both of them darkened their faces and inclined their heads to say soundlessly, “Scum…”