Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Lu RanKong put down the empty teapot and said, “It’s the first time I’ve seen you wearing this kind of clothes.”
Lan Yu looked down at himself and saw that he was wearing a gray sweatshirt, the most common kind, and asked, “A sweatshirt?”
“Yes, I haven’t seen you wear anything else except prison clothes.” Lu RanKong, sensing that something was wrong, added, “And of course the military uniform.” After some thought, he added, “And field uniforms, and—”
When ‘bathrobe’ almost came out, he shut his mouth.
Lan Yu’s damp hair was hanging on his forehead, a small cluster of which was still stained with water droplets. The sweatshirt was round-necked, showing his slender neck up to his chin, forming a perfect curve. The redness at the corners of the eyes was still a remnant, looking almost like he was smiling, and the heartbeat that he calmed down with a lot of effort accelerated again.
“Where is my tea?” Lan Yu continued to ask.
“I was too thirsty and drank it all.” Lu RanKong explained, a little embarrassed, “I’ll get you another pot.”
“No, I’ll just have plain water.” Lan Yu stopped him.
Lu RanKong took another cup and got a glass of plain water, not directly handing it to the person, but putting it on the coffee table in front of him without looking away. Then he picked up the remote control, turned on the floating screen and started watching the program on it.
Lan Yu sat down next to him and watched the projection together. There was an entertainment program playing, the host was explaining some rules, the celebrities were probably invited to play tricks on each other or something. Lan Yu wasn’t very interested in this kind of program, and felt that Lu RanKong beside him was a bit strange today, so while drinking water, he turned his head to look at him from time to time.
Lu RanKong was watching very seriously, but his expression was too serious, not like watching any entertainment program, but like watching a military lecture. Lan Yu noticed that his body posture was very stiff, and his ears gradually began to flush.
They were getting redder and redder.
“Are you very hot?” Lan Yu couldn’t help but ask.
Lu RanKong frowned at the screen and replied briefly, “No, I’m not hot…”
“Then why are your ears getting redder and redder?” Lan Yu asked curiously.
“How can I put it? It’s still a little hot, actually.”
“Hot, I guess, okay…” Seeing Lan Yu come up to his ear to look closely, Lu RanKong held his chin and turned his face away, “Don’t keep looking at me…”
“If you’re hot, go take a shower. You’re still wearing your prison clothes.” Lan Yu reminded him.
Lu RanKong stood up, “I’m going to wash now.”
After saying that, he fled with a big step towards the bathroom.
“Hey, there’s only one bathrobe in there and I just put it on.” Lan Yu remembered the single set of shirts and uniforms in the closet and added, “The closet also only has my clothes, not yours.”
“Only one set?” Lu RanKong asked.
Lan Yu thought for a moment and said hesitantly, “I don’t think we are in the same room. Look, there’s only a single set of everything.”
He and Lu RanKong had lived in the prison for a long time and took it for granted that they would live together on the warship. Only now did it occur to him that they were no longer prisoners and should each have their own rooms.
Lu RanKong said, “Do you think we are the only two people on the ship? Before they went to QuYa Planet, they also picked up a dozen researchers from other planets. There aren’t many senior suites, and they are all crammed together. Jiang Zhi, who is so sophisticated, has to be crammed, so how can we have one room per person?”
“So…” Lan Yu dawned on him.
Lu RanKong turned around and walked towards the door, saying, “I think the staff forgot to put my clothes here. It’s okay, I’ll get them myself.”
Lan Yu continued to look at the projection, where people were grabbing a colorful ball in the water, which looked very lively. Before he could see which team was winning, Lu RanKong pushed the door in, carrying clean sportswear in his hand.
“I’m going to take a shower and have lunch afterwards.” He said as he went into the bathroom. Lu RanKong pushed open the bathroom door and was greeted by a wave of hot air that hadn’t yet dissipated and a light scent that lingered in the air.
Although he knew it was the smell of shower gel, because he had smelled it on Lan Yu, he felt that something was different; it was the usual industrial fragrance, but there was a hidden sweetness. He slowly unbuttoned his prisoner’s jacket and turned his eyes to see a terminal sitting next to the sink, where K had forgotten it when he took a shower.
The first thing he thought when he saw this terminal was that K was talking to his Omega while taking a shower.
What was there to talk about even in the shower? Was he telling him about how everything was fine and he was on his way back? There was nothing really to report and it wasn’t possible for him to talk to him in prison, so maybe that Omega fell for someone else.
Lu RanKong picked up the terminal, wiped off the moisture on it, and found that it was turned off. He turned around and pushed open the bathroom door and whistled. When Lan Yu looked up, he threw it at him in the air. “Catch!”
Lan Yu caught the flying terminal and Lu RanKong asked, as if inadvertently, “Did you leave your phone on all this time?”
“I forgot…” Lan Yu said casually as he watched the program while wearing it.
Lu RanKong’s voice suddenly became clear, “But since you have your terminal, shouldn’t you have called your Omega?”
Lan Yu heard this and slowly turned his head to meet Lu RanKong’s searing gaze. He said calmly, “I forgot…”
“You said you guys are very close and that Omega of yours is waiting to hear from you from time to time.”
“Just forgot about it this time. What’s so strange about that?” Lan Yu said.
“Then it’s not a strong relationship.”
“Okay, okay, we have average feelings, it’s ordinary.”
“You have good feelings one moment, and the other it’s ordinary. So is it good or not?” Lu RanKong didn’t relax in the slightest as he pursued the question, his gaze was sharp as vulture’s.
Lan Yu couldn’t stand it, “What do you care if we’re good or not? Are you interrogating a prisoner?”
Lu RanKong said in a serious tone, “Brother Bao cares about you.”
“Ordinary good, are you satisfied?”
Lu RanKong sighed, but his eyes didn’t leave Lan Yu’s face, “With an ordinary good relationship, you should also say hello. Look at you, you’ve been in prison these days, and came out without saying a word to your Omega.”
Lan Yu’s brain was rapidly turning, but his face didn’t show a hint of anything and only turned back to continue to look at the screen, before saying indifferently, “We are not as good as you think.”
“Not as good as I thought? So it’s not good enough?” Lu RanKong showed his unprecedented sensitivity.
Lan Yu rubbed his forehead and simply said, “We’ve actually broken up.”
“When did you break up?” Lu RanKong followed up with a question.
Lan Yu asked back, “Why do you ask so much?”
“Brother Bao cares about you.” Lu RanKong repeated.
“We broke up the day we left for prison.”
“You two were talking on the phone before you left, and you were talking about breaking up then?” Lu RanKong seemed to be unable to read Lan Yu’s face and kept asking questions.
Lan Yu closed his mouth and stopped responding, which was equivalent to acquiescence.
Lu RanKong held the door frame with his hand, “What was he called again? Lu Lu? Goo-Goo?”
“What’s it to you?”
“Bao-ge cares about you.” Lu RanKong said once more with a hint of joy hidden on his face.
Lan Yu gave him a look, “Why are you so happy that we broke up? You can’t bear to see it?”
“Not at all, how could I not bear to see it. It’s just that, how could you split up just like that?” Lu RanKong collected the look on his face and sighed with regret.
Lan Yu didn’t know if it was his own illusion, but felt that with a little regret there was also surprise.
Under his scrutinizing gaze, Lu RanKong hurriedly said, “I’m going to take a shower…”
After saying that, he retreated to the bathroom and quickly took off his prison clothes. He stared blankly ahead for a moment before violently swinging the prison garment in his hands in the air, silently a dozen times, before throwing it into the dirty clothes basket nearby. 1
He walked naked under the hot water and let the water wash over his body. With a smile on his face, even when the water dripped into the corners of his mouth, he didn’t care. Every pore of his body was releasing a comforting energy.
After rinsing for a while, he suddenly realized something was wrong.
Hearing that K broke up, what the fuck am I so happy about? Is my heart really so dirty, that I’m happy that he’s not seeing others?
Lu RanKong hurriedly took his shower, washing and rinsing as fast as possible. The corners of his mouth couldn’t help but hook up. When he noticed it, he frowned immediately, repeating this over and over again.
The two of them were a little lazy after their showers and didn’t want to move, so the staff sent up lunch for them to eat. After eating lunch, Lu RanKong was called away by Jiang Zhi again, saying that there were some business matters to discuss.
Lan Yu continued to watch the program, and after a while began to get sleepy, so he lay down on the large sofa and fell asleep. When he woke up, he looked around blankly and didn’t know where he was for a while.
Until someone next to him whispered, “You’re awake?” Only then did he realize he was on the Star Warship.
“What time is it?” Lan Yu asked in a muffled voice.
The lights in the room were dimmed and it was dark outside the porthole, so Lan Yu didn’t know if it was day or night. Lu RanKong sat on the couch next to him, holding a small piece of white metal and tools in his hand, working on something under a lamp, and said, “It’s eight o’clock…”
“Eight o’clock in the morning or eight o’clock at night?” Lan Yu shook his still slightly unconscious head.
“Eight o’clock at night…” Lu RanKong replied.
Lan Yu rubbed his eyes and sat up, a blanket slipping off his body onto the floor. He reached out to pull the blanket and asked, “How long have you been sitting here? Why didn’t you wake me up?”
Lu RanKong said, “I didn’t wake you up because you were sleeping so soundly.”
Lan Yu yawned, leaned lazily on the back of the couch, pulled the blanket onto his lap and started folding it.
“Are you hungry? Do you want something to eat?” Lu RanKong asked.
Lan Yu thought back to the noon meal and thought it tasted really bad, so he shook his head and said, “I don’t want to eat now. The cook’s work is terrible, all the good ingredients are wasted.”
“It’s not bad, I can eat it.” Lu RanKong said.
Lan Yu snickered and said, “What can’t you eat? Even prison’s finger-thick slices of fatty meat are a delicacy for you.”
Lu RanKong said, “It doesn’t really taste good, it’s just a way to fill my stomach.”
“It doesn’t taste good? I gave all of mine to you too.” Lan Yu skimmed his mouth and held out two fingers in front of him, “See, it’s so wide and thick, you can eat it in three bites.”
He acted out opening his mouth to make movements, taking three bites into the air.
Lu RanKong slightly squinted at him, and didn’t say anything.
Lan Yu saw that he was making another gadget, so he curiously went over to see, “What’s this for?”
“What does this look like to you?” Lu RanKong turned back to cutting with the gadget. The piece of metal gradually took shape under his deft fingers and looked like a small airplane.
“An airplane?” Lan Yu asked.
Lu RanKong said, “A breaking-up gift for you.”
“Why do you keep bringing this up?”
“I won’t talk about it anymore.” Lu RanKong said happily.
Lan Yu saw him hunched over the lamp, his tall body leaning in an awkward position, and knowing that he had turned off the light so that he could sleep well, he slipped on his slippers and went to turn on all the lights.
The room lit up, and Lu RanKong sat up straight and continued to do what he was doing. Lan Yu watched for a while, but his eyes unconsciously swept to the kitchen, and with a thought, he got up and walked over. He opened the small refrigerator on one side and found all kinds of ingredients in it. After pondering for a few seconds, he asked aloud, “BaoZi, are you hungry?”
“Didn’t you not want to eat now? Let’s wait until you’re hungry.” Lu RanKong responded.
“I just don’t want to eat the food from there. It’s not that I’m not hungry.”
Lu RanKong said without looking up, “You’ve eaten all the bad food in prison and you’re still picky about the Star Warship’s food?”
“Prison is a condition, if I don’t eat, I have to starve, but here I can choose.” Lan Yu said.
“How do you choose? Drinking nutrients?”
“I’ll make my own…”
Lu RanKong asked casually, “Can you do that? Don’t blow up the warship.”
“I can do a little…” Lan Yu said modestly.
“Okay, since you want to make it, I’ll wait to have a taste.” Lu RanKong obviously didn’t take his words seriously and asked, “Do you need my help?”
“No, I’ll just make something simple.” Lan Yu said.
Half an hour later, Lu RanKong was polishing the small plane in his hand while listening uneasily to the kitchen. Although he knew the Star Warship had fully intelligent equipment, he was still worried that Lan Yu would blow himself up.
The kitchen door was tightly closed and the excellent soundproofing allowed him to hear only the slightest movement. He carefully identified what seemed to be chopping vegetables inside, and what seemed to be pots and spoons clashing.
Lu RanKong was really uneasy. He thought about getting two bowls of noodles, so he put down the small plane and went over to push open the kitchen door. Once the door was pushed open, he froze at the door.
He saw K wearing an apron around his waist, sleeves pulled up to the crook of his arm as he was holding a large bowl of salad mix. Next to the energy pot, something was cooking and a smell was emanating from the inside.
Lan Yu noticed the door being pushed open by Lu RanKong, put the tossed salad aside, uncovered the pot, lifted the white mist from it toward the door with his hand, and asked, “Smell it, does it smell good?”
Lu RanKong was so surprised that he forgot to answer and asked, “You actually know how to cook?”
“Nonsense, why else would I come in?” Lan Yu picked up the chopsticks and put a piece of meat in the pot, and with a spoon underneath, carefully passed it to his mouth, urging, “Try it…”
Lu RanKong leaned down, took the piece of meat into his mouth, chewed it for a few seconds and then lit up, “Beef brisket with tomatoes!” 2
“Is it good?” Lan Yu asked pleasantly.
“It’s very delicious!” Lu RanKong exclaimed heartily.
Lan Yu turned around and started to serve the food, saying, “Go see if the rice is ready, then we’ll eat.”
Lu RanKong quickly finished serving the rice, carried it to the dining room connected to the living room, put it on the dining table and came back to serve the food.
Lan Yu, in addition to the tomato brisket, also made a fish, but he couldn’t tell what species it was, only that it was a fish from another planet, so he didn’t bother to look deeper, and cooked it according to common practice. The meal was set on the table, both of them were seated, Lu RanKong carried chopsticks to the dish, and then looked up at Lan Yu across the table.
“What’s up?” Lan Yu asked.
Lu RanKong asked, “Did you really make these dishes?”
In the light, the red color of the beef brisket with tomatoes was crispy and soft, and the creamy fish soup was fragrant. Without waiting for Lan Yu’s answer, he said suspiciously, “You didn’t sneak the dishes from the Star Warship into the kitchen and say you made them, did you?”
Lan Yu grunted, ignored him, and took a piece of beef brisket and placed it in his mouth. After chewing a few times, he frowned and said, “It’s not good enough, mainly because the seasoning on this ship isn’t very complete.” Then he picked up a spoon and took a sip of soup, “This one is also average, but it tastes better than the one made by the ship’s cook.”
Lu RanKong also picked up the spoon in front of him and sent a mouthful of fish soup into his mouth. After tasting it, his eyes lit up and he took the empty bowl next to him and started to serve the soup.
“You know it’s delicious in your heart, look at you pretending.” Lu RanKong imitated Lan Yu’s tone and expression, “It’s not good enough, mainly because the seasoning isn’t complete, this is also average, just better than the taste on the ship.”
Lan Yu looked up at him and commented, “Too pompous, I wouldn’t have furrowed my eyebrows and eyes and you got several words wrong in both sentences.”
Lu RanKong placed the soup in front of him and picked up his own empty bowl to serve it, smiling as he asked, “Did you really make this?”
“Nonsense…” Lan Yu said.
“I can’t tell, it’s not like you at all.”
Lan Yu used to jump at his words, but now that he knew Lu RanKong didn’t suspect he was a different person, he replied indifferently, “There are many things you ‘can’t tell’.”
While Lan Yu ate a bowl of rice and a bowl of soup before setting aside his chopsticks, Lu RanKong ate two or three bowls in a row, consuming all the dishes. He put down the bowl, leaned back contentedly and asked Lan Yu, “Qiao’er, when did you learn to cook?”
“A long time ago, I don’t remember.” Lan Yu brought a glass of water as he casually replied while drinking.
Lu RanKong took a spoon and stirred it gently at the bottom of the bowl, asking seemingly without thinking, “So have you ever cooked for Lu Lu?”
“Gu Gu…” Lan Yu didn’t understand why he mispronounced Gu Gu’s name every time.
“Mn, then have you ever cooked for him?”
“No…” Gu Gu didn’t have a real mouth.
Lu RanKong’s spoon stopped stirring and after a few seconds of silence, he suddenly stood up and said, “I want another bowl.”
Lan Yu was surprised and put down his glass of water, “You can’t, there’s nothing else.”
Lu RanKong pointed to the juice of the beef brisket with tomatoes and said, “This can also be mixed with rice.”