Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
The heat lasted six days, and Lu RanKong was busy on his feet. Whenever the heat wore off, he had to wash Lan Yu’s body, apply body lotion and cream skillfully, change the sheets neatly, and then go to cook dinner.
This whole procedure had to be done quickly, because the time between Lan Yu’s hot flushes was unpredictable; it could be a few hours, or it could be a whole afternoon without any movement, and twice it was only half an hour or so in between.
On one occasion, he was finely cutting meat three millimeters thick, when Lan Yu stood at the kitchen door, looking at him with a flushed face and panting a little sharply.
He threw the kitchen knife, kicked over the trash can, and said, “Coming…” while untying his apron.
As a result, they had to make do with nutritional supplements for that dinner.
On another occasion when the sun was shining, he took all the bedding out to the lawn to dry at Lan Yu’s behest, and had just hung it up when his terminal rang.
“How long will you be?” Lan Yu’s voice was dark and dull, with an unknown meaning of charm.
“I’m coming…” Lu RanKong ran and peeled off his shirt, and his bedding was torn and fell on the lawn.
The good thing was that although the bedding was too late to be spread, there was still a soft sofa to use.
Lu RanKong was able to manage his time well, first changing the sheets and throwing the dirty ones in the washing machine, then scraping into the kitchen like a whirlwind, making soup and cooking rice, then rushing back to the second floor bedroom to clean up for the groggy Lan Yu.
His cooking skills had improved by leaps and bounds, and he could sauté vegetables while cutting a heap of three millimeter shredded meat in between. And even without Lan Yu around to guide him, the resulting meal actually tasted pretty good.
Lu RanKong did his best to cook the food in different ways.
When the last wave of fever was over, Lan Yu himself stood in front of the mirror after showering and saw the person inside glowing, his eyebrows were full of emotion, and he had obviously had a very perfect heat.
Looking at the glands on the back of his neck that had already been marked, he hesitated for a moment and still put on the Omega and Alpha gland patches respectively.
After all, he wasn’t retired yet, so his identity couldn’t be exposed.
After re-dressing in a uniform that had been ironed straight, he walked out of the bathroom and saw Lu RanKong sitting on the couch, typing a message on his terminal.
“I’ve blocked Chief Wang for the past few days, so I guess he’s going crazy. Now I can tell him that the Lontan person has been taken care of, so he can rest assured.” Lu RanKong said.
Lan Yu didn’t reply and hesitantly stood still.
“What’s wrong?” Lu RanKong asked.
“I was in the spirit domain earlier and saw my grandfather giving the exorcism soup to me as a child, and the recipe he told me to memorize.” Lan Yu said hesitantly.
Lu RanKong stopped the movement of his hands and looked up at him.
“It’s just that I can’t remember the details, like the recipe. I should have memorized it well, but now I don’t remember anything.” Lan Yu said in frustration, “Otherwise it could be provided to the institute.”
Lu RanKong closed the terminal and went to him to hold his shoulders, “It’s okay, you’ve lost your memory for so long after all, some things can only be remembered slowly.”
Lu RanKong spoke again, “Come on, let’s go see my father and elder brother.”
The new sports car in the garage had been scratched beyond recognition, so Lu RanKong drove an SUV in the direction of the Omar Palace.
“I’m going to meet your father and elder brother for the first time, so should I bring any gifts?” Lan Yu thought it wasn’t a good idea to come to the door empty-handed, but thought his family was very distinguished and wouldn’t accept any ordinary gifts, so he asked Lu RanKong’s opinion.
Lu RanKong shook his head and said, “You don’t need to bring anything, they don’t need it.”
“It’s one thing to need it or not, but it’s a courtesy.” Lan Yu gave him a blank look.
Lu RanKong thought about it and said, “I’ll ask Uncle Chen what Father likes.”
After that, he held the steering wheel with one hand and dialed the terminal with the other.
“Uncle Chen, this is Xiao Fan… Yes, ready to go home to see Father… went to Goseti?”
Lu RanKong hung up the terminal and said to Lan Yu, “No need to buy him a present.”
“What happened?” Lan Yu asked.
“My father and elder brother have gone to Goseti to recuperate, they just left two days ago.”
Lan Yu asked curiously, “Both went to recuperate?”
Lu RanKong shook his head, “The Sasu Planet system will hold an interstellar meeting every three years. The ruling chief and senior commander of each planet will attend, and the place where they hold this meeting now is on Goseti Planet.”
After that, he slapped the steering wheel with chagrin, “I forgot that this is the day the interstellar meeting starts, and I said I would take you to meet them.”
Lan Yu said, “There’s no hurry, let’s wait until they come back.”
Lu RanKong sulked and pursed his lips, and after a moment of silence said, “It’s better if I don’t see him, I don’t want to take you to him yet. He hasn’t been there every time I needed him to be there, ever since I was a kid.”
Lan Yu looked at him sideways, knowing clearly that he wasn’t at all as unfeeling towards his father as he claimed. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have been so excited to take him to see him, and then be so lost when he heard that he wasn’t on Sasu Planet.
“You know he’s busy, don’t you? And even if you can’t meet him this time, we can still do it next time.”
Lu RanKong didn’t retort as he kept driving, “Then I’ll take you to meet Uncle Chen and see my childhood home.”
“Mn…” Lan Yu nodded, “Then we still have to buy some gifts for Uncle Chen.”
“Okay…” Lu RanKong readily agreed.
The two of them picked out items at the shopping mall for a while, seeing that winter was approaching, Lan Yu bought a scarf for Uncle Chen. The texture of the fabric was very good, and according to Uncle Chen’s decorating preferences, he chose a dark red one with gold patterns.
As the SUV moved forward, Lan Yu saw the green expanse again and thought that Lu RanKong’s home would soon be in sight.
Just now Lu RanKong said his father went to the meeting at Goseti planet and that the participants were the ruling chief and senior commander of each planet, so his father’s position wouldn’t be lower than that level. No wonder Luo Yang said K went into the military camp probably to approach Lu RanKong.
His mind speculated wildly until Lu RanKong’s terminal rang with a ticking beep.
Lu RanKong looked down and said, “I got someone to pull up K’s previous data, which was detailed information from the military’s special intelligence department, and he sent it to me.”
He pulled over to the side of the road, pressed the terminal button, and a virtual screen appeared in the air. This information came from the hand of a special intelligence officer and was quite detailed.
K, whose profile was missing until he was seven years old, had wandered around Sasu Planet when he was seven and had been sent to a welfare facility. After receiving a free basic education in the Empire, he entered the mecha department of the military academy and, because of his outstanding performance, was assigned as a sergeant in the fourth unit of Pulok Planet after graduation. However, he refused to comply with the arrangement and applied to go to Zata Planet, starting as a corporal…
The rest was his performance in the army, so Lu RanKong turned off the virtual screen and restarted the vehicle.
Lan Yu looked out of the vehicle and was silent without speaking until the off-road stopped in front of a heavily guarded gate. He looked out through the car window and saw that the gate didn’t even have a community name, but it was magnificent and looked very unusual.
The guards on duty weren’t security guards wearing security uniforms, but a row of soldiers with ion guns in their hands, well-equipped.
A soldier came over for a round of questioning and to check their bodies, until a person who looked like a captain looked inside the car, respectfully saluted, and without waiting for that guard to check the documents, he immediately opened the gate to let them through.
“This is the west side gate, so it’s not as big, but the passage is smoother.” Lu RanKong explained to Lan Yu.
Lan Yu was a bit surprised. This was only the side gate, not that big, so what must the main gate be like?
The off-road was driving on a spacious driveway, flanked by sycamore trees of uniform thickness and beauty. Now it was autumn, and the sycamore leaves fell, matting the entire driveway with a layer of golden yellow. Lan Yu rolled down the window and a leaf floated into the car with the wind. He picked up the leaf and looked at the veins in the sunlight.
Lu RanKong said, “In the past, the leaves here were cleaned and there wasn’t a single leaf left. Once my father passed by and said the leaves didn’t need to be cleaned, saying it was beautiful.”
Lan Yu smiled and said, “It’s beautiful…”
The straight sycamore driveway was very long, so Lan Yu looked through the trees in the distance. He could see a roof, at most one or two stories, unlike a neighborhood, they weren’t connected to form a district, and the distance between them was also very far apart.
He gradually became more and more puzzled, especially after seeing the roof of a stately and magnificent temple, and couldn’t help but ask Lu RanKong, “Look, what’s that?”
Lu RanKong looked in the direction he pointed and said gently, “Oh, that? That’s the Palace of Council, where the emperor usually works.”
“The em-emperor?” Lan Yu was a bit confused, “There is an emperor here?”
Lu RanKong gave him a look, “Of course the emperor lives in the palace.”
“The emperor, the Imperial Palace?” Lan Yu stammered.
“Yes…” Lu RanKong seemed to find his appearance amusing and laughed.
Lan Yu grew up in a place other than the Empire, where the emperor was only in books and the palace was once a tourist attraction, with people buying tickets and lining up to visit.
Although he had known for some time that the Sasu Planet system was imperial, he had never taken it to heart. Now after hearing about a living emperor, he was still a bit overwhelmed.
Lu RanKong reached out and rubbed the top of his hair and said, “Don’t be afraid, he’s gone to Goseti planet anyway and he’s not in the palace, so he can’t be seen now.”
Lan Yu nodded mechanically, sat up straight and looked ahead, and only after a few moments did he figure out the meaning behind this statement.
He said that his father had gone to a meeting at Goseti Planet, and that the emperor wasn’t in the palace, but had gone to Goseti Planet…
An incredible thought came to his mind, and Lan Yu was taken aback by it. He wanted to ask Lu RanKong, but he couldn’t open his mouth, so he kept looking at him sideways.
The off-road had turned onto a driveway on the right, with a lawn on one side and a huge man-made lake farther down, covered with turquoise lotus leaves that stretched to the sky.
“See that lake?” Lu RanKong gestured for Lan Yu to look.
“It’s beautiful…” Lan Yu didn’t really have the heart to appreciate the beauty, so he replied casually.
Lu RanKong smiled and said, “I once went down to the lake to touch the lotus roots and almost drowned in it.”
Lan Yu was pulled back by these words and asked, “Almost drowned in it?”
“Yes, my ankle got tangled in the water grass. Fortunately there were guards watching, and when they found that I didn’t rise for a long time, they jumped down and saved me.”
Lan Yu saw that the lake was bright green in color and the water was deep at first glance, and he was a little scared.
Lu RanKong reached out and took one of his hands in his and said comfortingly, “I’m fine, aren’t I? Nothing happened…”
A small artificial lake appeared in front of him, the size of a swimming pool. The water was light and it didn’t look deep, not any different from a big lake. Lan Yu saw that the lake had an ordinary shape, and there were no pavilions or other buildings around it, so it was very different from the elaborate garden style.
Lu RanKong pulled the corner of his mouth and said, “After my near-accident, my father grounded me for half a month. When I was finally able to go out, he brought me here and said there were lotus roots planted in the lake, so if you want to play in the water, you can play in here.”
“Did he have a small lake dug out for you here?” Lan Yu asked.
Lu RanKong didn’t answer, but after a moment of silence, he said, “Actually, I’m not interested in going down to the lake to get lotus roots or anything, it was just a whim. My father made this little lake and planted some lotus flowers, but I never went down there once.”
After driving around the palace for another ten minutes or so, the cross-country finally stopped in front of a magnificent house. A guard trotted over to open the door and respectfully said, “Your Highness, the Second Prince…”
Even though he had already prepared himself, Lan Yu was still surprised by the name of His Highness, the Second Prince, and was led by Lu RanKong into the small garden in front of the house.
A kind-faced old man heard the commotion and came out from inside the house, and after seeing Lu RanKong, he joyfully called out ‘Second Prince’.
“Uncle Chen!” Lu RanKong greeted him in a loud voice.
Uncle Chen responded, and only then saw Lan Yu on the side, his face showing a few doubts. When his eyes slid to the hands they were holding together, his eyes lit up.
“Come in, come in.” Uncle Chen urged.
Lan Yu was led by Lu RanKong to the house and took a few steps before he stood at attention and said, “Uncle Chen, hello…” Then he handed him the paper bag with the scarf in his hand, “This is my gift to you.”
“Ai, good, good.” Uncle Chen took the paper bag and looked at Lan Yu without turning his eyes, just like every ordinary old man who saw his child’s partner for the first time. He was happy and a bit overwhelmed.
Inside the house, Lan Yu found that this wasn’t like the imperial palace he imagined. It was like an ordinary villa, only more elaborate than those rich people’s homes, more low-key, with a hidden flamboyance.
The servant quickly served tea, and the two of them accompanied Uncle Chen to talk for a while. Lan Yu, after all, had just gone through an estrus, and was a little tired after sitting for a while, and Lu RanKong saw that he wasn’t in good spirits, so he pulled him upstairs and said, “Come on, go rest for a while.”
Lan Yu followed him up to the second floor and entered a room.
The room wasn’t as big as Lu RanKong’s villa bedroom in the Fay Rouge neighborhood, but it was very beautifully decorated with expensive furnishings, and even Lan Yu, who considered himself picky, had to sigh that it was different in the palace.
Lu RanKong led him to the bed and sat down, took off his jacket and hung it on the coat rack, then knelt down to start taking off his shoes.
Lan Yu looked down at the top of his hair and was in a bit of a trance.
——This person who was squatting in front of him to untie his shoes turned out to be a royal son?
“Okay, you can sleep now. I’ll stay here with you.” Lu RanKong naturally put his feet on the bed, lay down, and pulled the quilt to cover the person.
Lan Yu looked at him with his eyes open for a moment.
Lu RanKong was stunned and asked, “Why aren’t you sleeping? Weren’t you still sleepy just now?”
“It’s nothing…” Lan Yu shook his head, but his eyes were still open.
Lu RanKong looked at him for a while, then leaned down, propped both hands on the side of his head, and whispered, “If you keep looking at me like this, I won’t be able to help myself.”
“Huh?” Lan Yu took a couple of seconds to react and closed his eyes.
Then he heard Lu RanKong laugh twice, touched his lips again and said, “Go to sleep, I’ll stay in the room with you.”
Lan Yu made no further reply, only nodded, and heard Lu RanKong’s footsteps leave, following a soft thud from the opposite cabinet door.
Lu RanKong took out the crafting materials and tools from the cabinet, returned to the sofa, and just started to polish when he heard Lan Yu asking, “Are you really a royal son?”
Lu RanKong looked towards the bed and saw that Lan Yu was still awake and his eyes were wide open looking at him. He touched his chin and smiled, “Yes, I am the youngest son of Emperor ChengFa, the second prince Lu RanKong.”
Lan Yu carefully pressed the bed beneath him and asked, “How many generations of emperors have slept in this bed? How many generations of emperors have lived in this house?”
Lu RanKong laughed, “This bed has only had me, and this house has only had one generation of emperors.” He put down the materials and carving knife in his hand and explained, “This is the villa built by my father and mother when they got married. They didn’t live in the chambers of the emperors, but lived like ordinary people.”
“So will you be an emperor in the future?” Lan Yu asked in a small voice.
“Do you want me to be the emperor?” Lu RanKong’s voice was also very soft.
Lan Yu shook his head, “No…”
Lu RanKong smiled down and said, “Being an emperor requires a lot of responsibility, like my father had. He is a good emperor, but…”
He didn’t say the rest of the words, but Lan Yu understood what he meant.
“But don’t worry, I can’t be an emperor either. I have an elder brother.” Lu RanKong said.
Lan Yu’s eyes shone brightly as he nodded.
Lu RanKong looked at him, “Don’t you feel tired and want to sleep? Why do I think that you don’t feel sleepy at all? If you don’t want to sleep, we can do something else.”
“Like what?” Lan Yu just asked, when he felt that his gaze wasn’t quite right, his eyes were dark and bottomless like a deep pool.
“I’m sleeping, very sleepy, very tired and exhausted.” He hurriedly closed his eyes and retreated under the covers.
Lu RanKong smiled, “Then you can sleep, I won’t disturb you.”
Lan Yu didn’t dare to speak again this time, and closed his eyes and didn’t move. Lu RanKong also didn’t speak, and continued to work.
The rustling of the carving knife made Lan Yu feel safe, so he finally relaxed, yawned long and turned over and fell asleep.
The room was quiet as Lu RanKong carved the stone in his hand, glancing up at Lan Yu from time to time.
Suddenly his terminal sounded, so he quickly pressed the answer, saw the dozing person in the bed was still asleep. While walking out, he whispered, “Hello…”
Liu Deng’s voice came through, “RanKong ah, you’re with K now, right?”
“What happened?” Lu RanKong walked out of the room and closed the door.
“I know the matter of the institute has been settled, it was supposed to be a break for you two—”
“Just say it, what happened again?” Lu RanKong interrupted him.
Without further ado, Liu Deng asked, “You know the Interstellar Summit is being held at the Goseti Retreat Planet, right?”
Lu RanKong was walking downstairs, then suddenly stood on the stairs without moving.
“Goseti had a Lontan person invade, and there’s evidence that it’s directed at Emperor ChengFa and each planet’s ruling chief.” Liu Deng said.