Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Lan Yu took the VIP card, and slowly walked out of the bathroom. After thinking about it, he went back to the bedroom, opened the closet and started searching. K’s closet was very small, and since he transmigrated, he only found a few sets of military uniforms and a few black shirts inside. He wore a military T-shirt and shorts to bed, and his pajamas were purchased by himself later.
The only clothes in the closet were the seasonal ones because it was a hot day when they arrived, so Lan Yu thought of this and opened the top of the closet and took out the other seasonal clothes that were folded inside.
K’s other seasonal clothes were also less, and Lan Yu just threw the pile of clothes on the bed, found a beige item in one of them, and when he lifted it up to see, he saw it was a trench coat.
‘It was a tall, thin man wearing a beige trench coat with perfect proportions. He was looking in when he passed by the Black Crow bar…’ Liu Zhao’s words came to Lan Yu’s mind.
Through this VIP card, he knew that K had been to the Black Crow Bar, and the person Liu Zhao had met that night might be him. The Black Crow Bar was far away from Sasu Planet, and K was stationed on Zata Planet, the two planets were too far apart, but by Star Warship, it took seven to eight hours to travel.
With such an exquisitely crafted customer card, he wouldn’t be a person who goes there once or twice. K was definitely not a person who liked to have fun and enjoy, and could be said to live like an ascetic, Lan Yu knew this very well.
So, he went all the way there, what did he go to do?
He took the card, looked at the trench coat, and fell into thought.
K was hiding a lot of secrets. I have to find a chance to go to Sasu Planet, and then go to the Black Crow bar to check it out.
He was baffled for a while, then he put all the clothes back into the closet, put the card away, and continued cleaning. He slowly cleaned up to the balcony, and during his absence, several pots of succulent were growing quite well. There had to have been sunshine and rain, they were thriving quite well, growing wildly.
A sea breeze blew, there was a swish of cloth, looking up, it was the curtain he made at the beginning to hang between his and Lu RanKong’s balcony.
Lan Yu looked at the curtain and thought about the scene of throwing stones at his balcony, and couldn’t help but laugh. He simply got up and took it down, ready to wash it and put it away. Once he removed the curtain, he saw the opposite balcony scene and frowned again.
The ground has been covered with a thick layer of ash, and he couldn’t see the original tile color. The two brown long-haired slippers didn’t fall down, but were hanging strongly on the clothes hangers. The black iron railings were dotted with white and gray bird droppings.
Lan Yu was eager to put the curtain back up. He took the room card given to him by Lu RanKong and went out the door, entering the next room. It was his first time in Lu RanKong’s place, but he wasn’t curious at all and didn’t want to look around.
The pile of broken copper and iron on the balcony, ‘precious materials’ according to Lu RanKong, was packed up in a large pocket and placed in the middle of the living room. The two small sofas were also filled with tossed clothes, not even knowing whether they were dirty or clean.
Half of the bedroom sheets were on the floor, the pillows were askew, and the quilt was bunched up like a twisted pile. The bedside table and the small square table in the center of the room were filled with various spare parts and production tools.
Lan Yu took a deep breath, thought of something and hurriedly held his breath. Without looking at the other rooms, he quickly returned to his own place, found disposable protective clothing from the kitchen, put it on, and then went back to the next room.
The Star Warship slowly landed on the docking bay of Sasu Main Planet, and when it was completely stopped, the hatch opened and Lu RanKong and Jiang Zhi stepped down from the gangway. A nondescript black sedan was parked in front of the spiral staircase, and two tall Alpha men in suits stood by the car respectfully.
Two military vehicles followed behind, keeping a certain distance from the sedan. After Lu RanKong and Jiang Zhi got into the sedan, the three vehicles started and left the docking ramp.
Sasu Planet was the main planet of the Sasu Planet system and the political, military and cultural center of the Omar Empire. There was no special scenery on this planet, but it attracted the hearts and minds of all Omar Empire people. This was because the Omar Palace was built on the main planet of Sasu.
The Omar Empire was a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary chamber, and every time a new decision was made, it was first discussed and modified by the parliament. Although after a long period of change, the royal family no longer had absolute power, and members of the royal family had no special privileges, the emperor was still the supreme leader of the Empire.
Emperor Cheng Fa was in his early 50s this year, the age of wealth and strength. It was said that he stayed in the Omar Palace, sleeping only two or three hours a day and spending the rest of the time dealing with state affairs.
“Gu Jun, the matter that was reported to you by Shadow Royal Planet a few days ago was given to you to handle, how did it go?” In the luxurious study, a middle-aged man in a nightgown held coffee and leaned on the wide sofa, asking the youth opposite him with downcast eyes.
Gu Jun also sat, hands on his knees and waist straight, respectfully replied, “Father, I have taken care of it.”
“Tell me…” The middle-aged man’s tone was gentle, but the invisible aura exuded pressure.
Gu Jun looked straight ahead and replied methodically, “Several groups of interstellar bandits of the Shadow Planet have been eliminated, and the local residents who were robbed have been properly arranged and given the appropriate money and goods, and the local magistrate who was involved with the planet bandits has also been investigated and punished.”
The middle-aged man frowned slightly and was about to say something when there were two light knocks on the door. He said, holding his coffee, “Come in…”
A servant-like person pushed open the door cautiously but couldn’t hide his face full of joy, “Your Majesty, the second prince has returned.”
The middle-aged man didn’t make a sound when he heard this, but Gu Jun turned his head in surprise, “Uncle Chen, Little Fan is back?”
“Yes, your cousin brought him back. He just arrived.”
Gu Jun turned his head to look at Gu ChengFa and called out, “Father…”
He was still sitting in the same standard posture, the same as Emperor ChengFa, but his upper body was slightly tilted forward, revealing a bit of eagerness at the bottom of his heart.
“First go after you finish what you have to do today.” Gu ChengFa said.
“Yes…” Gu Jun replied.
After Gu Jun left, Gu ChengFa was still holding the cup of coffee, staring blankly at the carpet in front of him, motionless.
Uncle Chen slowly walked forward and said carefully, “Your Majesty—”
“Uncle Chen, haven’t I told you many times that you just call me ChengFa?”
Uncle Chen changed his tone and said, “Your Excellency, do you want to go see the Second Prince?”
After a moment of silence, Gu ChengFa said, “How can a son not come to see his father first, and then his father has to rush to see him? Besides, he has been gone for a few years, but he doesn’t even give any news, and he doesn’t even call my terminal. I have to rely on Jiang Zhi and Gu Jun to find out what’s going on with him. Does he still have me as his father in his eyes?”
“It’s not that. He can’t leave the army.” Uncle Chen persuaded carefully.
“The royal sons all have to go to the army to polish their skills, so that they can learn some real skills, this is both tradition and training, my brothers and I did the same at first. But who would go away for so long without a word?”
“But…” Uncle Chen sighed, not daring to go on.
ChengFa coldly snorted, put the coffee cup on the table, picked up a book and began to read.
Uncle Chen retreated with the cold cup of coffee.
Lu RanKong sat in his own room, looking at the familiar furniture and furnishings, his heart rose in a trance.
On the bookcase were the trophies he had won as a teenager, including the skiing championship, the first place in the junior mecha competition, the outstanding student of the year at the military academy, and the fencing amateur championship.
The desk also had a variety of small handmade items that he made, although some of them were young and old, but there wasn’t a trace of dust, and they were polished like they were new. He noticed that some of the axle parts were just recently oiled.
He turned his head to look out the window at the garden, where the familiar swing was still hanging under the tall quarterstaff tree, swaying slightly in the wind. He seemed to see his mother on every sunny afternoon with a cup of coffee, sitting on the swing and looking at the picture book, from time to time pursing her lips and smiling with a glint in her eyes.
His mother was gentle and quiet, like an impeccable portrait of perfection, and only at such times did she reveal the romance and innocence she once had as a girl.
Lu RanKong watched quietly, with a touch of sadness under his eyes that no one had ever seen before.
It took Lan Yu an afternoon to clean out Lu RanKong’s house. He took two large storage boxes from his house and put all the materials and tools in different categories. The clothes on the couch, whether dirty or clean, were washed. The bed sheets were also removed and replaced with clean ones, which were neatly laid. The two slippers on the balcony were thrown into the garbage can, the bird droppings on the carved iron fence were wiped clean, and two pots of his succulents were moved over and set down.
Looking at the brand new house, he clapped his hands and felt relieved at last.
He returned to his room and took a shower, then went to the dining room to eat. Sitting by the window, looking at the empty seats across the room, he suddenly felt that the food in his mouth was tasteless and hard to swallow.
During this time in prison, he’d gotten used to having a person next to him every time he ate, chatting while eating. In the past, when he was alone, he only felt quiet and enjoyable, but now he just felt empty, like something was missing.
Lan Yu forked up a piece of meat on his plate, biting off the skinny half, and then lifted up the remaining half of the fatty piece but stalled in the air and put it back on the plate in silence.
In the prison, he always ate the skinny pieces and left the fat ones on the plate. After Lu RanKong found out, he ate all the meat that he had left.
“Don’t you feel disgusted?” Lan Yu asked, shocked at the time.
Lu RanKong took a big mouthful of rice, “I don’t mind if it’s you…”
Lan Yu bit the spoon and looked at him for a long time, then came closer and asked, “Have you ever eaten like this with other people when you were on a mission before?”
Lu RanKong asked, “What kind of situation do you mean?”
“The kind of situation where the conditions aren’t very good. Do you eat the fatty meat left in the bowl of others?”
Lu RanKong asked curiously in return, “Who do you think would be willing to give half of the meat to someone else when the conditions aren’t very good?”
After that meal, Lan Yu only ate the thin ones and put the fat ones on Lu RanKong’s plate.
After Lan Yu finished his meal, he returned to his room and sat there for a long time, feeling that the surroundings were too quiet, so quiet that only the sea breeze and the sound of sea birds were heard.
He picked up Gu Gu, the brown bear, and said quietly, “Gu Gu, I don’t seem to be used to it anymore, what should I do?”
The brown bear didn’t reply, but there was a knock on the door.
“K? K, are you there?” It was the voice of the baby-faced Lin Zhu from across the hall.
“What is it?” Lan Yu asked.
“Actually, Colonel Lu just called me several times, said you turned off the terminal and he can’t contact you, so he asked me to pass on a message to you.” Lin Zhu coughed, his eyes looked elsewhere, and his mouth was hard to relay Lu RanKong’s words, “I was wrong, K, turn the terminal on, I want to talk to you.”
Lan Yu answered after a few seconds of silence, “I know, thanks.”
“You’re welcome…” Lin Zhu’s footsteps flew away and went back to his room.
Lan Yu then remembered that he had turned off the terminal on the way back to the barracks after disembarking in the morning and had forgotten to turn it on. He put down Gu Gu, turned on the terminal switch, and just after he turned it on, he saw countless unanswered communications.
Then, the terminal vibrated and buzzed, and another communication came in.
Lan Yu hurriedly clicked on it, and a three-dimensional floating screen popped up, and Lu RanKong’s projection appeared in front of him. He looked like he had just come out of the shower, wearing a bathrobe, his hair dripping wet, and his chest was exposed, revealing his strong muscles.
As soon as he saw Lan Yu, he let out a long breath and said, “I was wrong…”
“Wrong?” As soon as Lan Yu saw him, the despondency in his heart was swept away, his whole heart was puffed up, and the corners of his mouth couldn’t help but turn up.
When Lu RanKong saw his look, he felt relieved and said, “I’m wrong about everything…”
Lan Yu said without smiling, “It seems you don’t know what you did wrong.”
Lu RanKong said, “No matter what it was, point it out and I will change it.”
His expression was serious now, and his eyes were shining. His wet hair was hanging down a few on his forehead, and his usual harshness was gone, like a big, gentle dog.
Lan Yu looked at him like this and said softly, “From now on, you can call me Xiao Yu.”
Lan Yu stretched out his finger and traced it in the air, “This Xiao Yu…”
“Xiao Yu, Xiao Yu.” Lu RanKong followed his tracing finger and read softly.
Lan Yu used to let people around him call him Xiao Yu, this was the most common name, but at this time, with Lu RanKong reading it, for no reason, a few lingering feelings enveloped him. He suddenly felt that this ‘Xiao Yu’ was extraordinarily beautiful.
“Xiao Yu, I only know you as K. Is this your original name?” Lu RanKong asked as he walked to the sofa and sat down.
Lan Yu hesitated before replying, “My name is Lan Yu…”
“Lan Yu…” Lu RanKong smiled and said, “That’s nice…”
“Lan Yu, Xiao Yu.” He repeated it several times in his mouth and called out tenderly, “Baby…”
Here it comes, that familiar tingling sensation.
“Are you angry because of this today?” Lu RanKong asked.
Lan Yu didn’t make a sound.
“You don’t think I really mean it, do you?”
Lan Yu hmmed.
“No matter what the nickname is, I am sincere.” Lu RanKong’s eyes were gentle and shining like a sprinkling of broken gold.
“Whether it’s Xiao Yu, Lan Yu, or baby, or dar… dar… darling.” 1 He began to stammer again.
Lan Yu sank down again.
Lu RanKong wiped his face and said dejectedly, “I’m really sincere, I’m just not used to it.”
“Who told you to get used to it? You just do what you’re used to, right?” Lan Yu couldn’t take it anymore.
“Relationships are not always—”
“Are you in a relationship with someone else or with me?”
“Of course it’s with you, how could I possibly go into a relationship with someone else?” Lu RanKong was so shocked that he almost bounced up from the sofa.
“That’s not it, you can call me Xiao Yu. I like Xiao Yu.” Lan Yu said.
Lu RanKong said, “It depends…” Then he stammered, “Then you, then you can call me these, dar… dar… or whatever, I’m used to it.”
Lan Yu gave a cold laugh.
They talked for a while before Lan Yu noticed the environment behind him and asked, “Are you at home now?”
“Mn, in the room I lived in when I was a kid.” Lu RanKong said.
Lan Yu, a man of the world, could see right away that the furniture and furnishings behind him were worth a lot of money, and the sofa under him alone was very luxurious and extravagant. Lu RanKong was certainly not from an ordinary family, but he himself didn’t mention it, so Lan Yu didn’t ask either.
“What’s that beside you?” Lu RanKong suddenly asked.
Lan Yu turned his head to look and said, “It’s – my plush doll.”
He almost didn’t pay attention and let the words Gu Gu slip.
Lu RanKong only saw a large brown mass and asked, “Is it an interstellar beast of prey? I used to have one, but it could also load bullets and shoot really far. After my family said this kind of doll is too dangerous, it was confiscated. I can’t believe you still have one.”
When Lan Yu didn’t reply, he sighed again, “That doll can be really fun, the bullets sent out can shoot down the birds in the trees, but it got discontinued. Now the dolls are all bears and rabbits, the shape is nothing unique, and they can’t be loaded. They’re flimsy, too boring…”
His voice was getting smaller and smaller, finally fading away.
Lan Yu had the plush doll in his arms, facing the camera sitting on his knee. It wasn’t an interstellar storm beast, but a soft and fluffy brown bear with dark eyes and nose, lips slightly open, having a very stupid look. Lan Yu smiled at him and held up one of the brown bear’s paws and waved it.
Lu RanKong waved back and said dryly, “That’s a funny bear, it’s pretty big.”
Lan Yu said, “It’s not particularly interesting, it doesn’t hold bullets.”
“No, the kind that can be loaded is too dangerous, this one is still good.” Lu RanKong said.
Seeing Lan Yu looking at him with a smile, he said after a few seconds of silence, “Let me make something for your bear.”
“I’ll make a suit of armor for it, made of Relative Plus metal.”
Lan Yu looked down at Gu Gu before rejecting, “No need…”