Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Xi Ran was a little restless when he got home, thinking that the tie should be given out at the end of the meal, so he took the packed bag to the car first and put it in the front seat glove compartment, ready to take it out before dinner.
“I’m going out for the day tomorrow after breakfast with your male father, so I’ll pre-set the food for you. Do you want to come see if there’s anything you want to eat?” Xi Ran entered the house and went up to the second floor to find Xiao Ye who was reading a book.
“Okay,” Xiao Ye nodded his head and jumped down from the chair, with a proud expression of ‘I can take care of myself’.
Elsewhere, Huan Xiu was locked in a bitter battle.
The polished plain ring was already shining brightly, but a small mistake in the last step would be enough to ruin everything. He spent the morning practicing with the rest of the trimmings to get the feel before doing the ring, but then his hand shook during the actual pouring, and there was a slight stain on the outer layer where it didn’t spread evenly, Huan Xiu picked up the finished product after it cooled and looked at it. This small technical hiccup was difficult to remedy, but it could be made up for in the future. It was the one that was going to be presented tomorrow that mattered.
The shop assistant, who came to open the store as usual, was a bit anxious and asked if he wanted him to do the last step himself, and the shop wouldn’t charge for the extra processing fee.
Huan Xiu struggled for a while, but declined, as he believed it important to do the work himself from start to finish, since even if it was slightly flawed, it would be more meaningful.
So he went back to his morning routine, practicing with discarded materials. At three or four o’clock in the afternoon, when he was a little sleepy, he went out to get some fresh air and to move his body a little before returning to do the last step again. If he messed it up again, he would either have to work all night and start all over again, or give up on delivering the ring tomorrow.
Putting all these thoughts aside, Huan Xiu focused his attention on the small ring in front of him. The shop assistant on the other side was afraid that they would make him nervous, so they snuck out of the room long ago.
Huan Xiu took a deep breath, steadied his hand, bent down and started heating up the mecha metal. Xi Ran should be very happy with whatever he made. But that was why he wanted to do his best. Thinking about Xi Ran’s face, Huan Xiu felt relaxed
About half an hour later, the curious inferior female employee outside the door finally heard the sound of the faucet being turned on in the workshop, and stood up from the chair in the front desk with a whoosh. He cautiously pushed open the door and confirmed that Huan Xiu was already cleaning the ring before he walked in and said, “Is it… done?”
Huan Xiu turned off the water, shook it off, squeezed the ring and lifted it a little, spinning it around, “It doesn’t look like there was an issue.”
The ring was perfectly connected to the metal, and the dark metal had a subtle luster flowing through it as the ring was turned, like a slowly moving nebula.
“Looks like I’ll have to make mine later, I don’t really have the energy for it today.” Huan Xiu sighed.
“It’s already excellent! You can come and work for us straight away! Won’t you think about it? It’s okay to work part-time.” The inferior female exclaimed sincerely.
Huan Xiu laughed twice and told him that he was working in a research institute, and was considered a civil servant, so he couldn’t come to work here.
The inferior female smiled awkwardly and closed his mouth, not expecting Huan Xiu to be a real technician. But such an outstanding male Zerg’s career must be promising, how would he be pried into a corner by a small company?
“Won’t you wish me well in my proposal?” Huan Xiu joked to lighten the mood.
“How could it not go well? Is there any Zerg in the world who will not accept such a heartfelt ring?” The inferior female confessed, “I’m a little jealous.”
Generally speaking, it was fine if a male Zerg was willing to add a wedding ring option when filling out a wedding application, but it was rare to have a custom-made ring made in a shop and there were even fewer Zerg who made one themselves.
When Huan Xiu left the shop to return home, it was already dark. When he saw the warm light coming from the windows, he didn’t rush into the house, but put the ring in a small box he had prepared beforehand and opened the door of Xi Ran’s car with his family identification.
It was a surprise, so he decided to take it out last.
The first thing Huan Xiu saw when he got into the front seat and opened the glove compartment was a nice white paper bag with the top opening taped up, obviously a gift. He froze for a moment, then picked it up to examine it. He didn’t remember this when he was riding in Xi Ran’s car to work, and it didn’t look like something Xi Ran would buy himself.
He took a curious look inside and found a long, beautifully wrapped box with a card under the ribbon that read [To Huan Xiu].
It was a gift card written in Xi Ran’s own handwriting. He originally wanted to write [To: Master] on the blank card given to him by the store clerk, but Huan Xiu was always nagging that he liked to hear Xi Ran call him by his first name, not Master, so he called him by his first name in writing for the first time.
When he accidentally learned that Xi Ran had prepared a surprise for him, Huan Xiu was greatly amused, he even hid his gifts in the same place.
But Huan Xiu didn’t open the box, to at least leave himself a surprise. He took out the small box with the ring in it, deliberated for a minute, then dropped it through the gap of this present without removing the tape in the middle.
Thinking of tomorrow’s date, Huan Xiu couldn’t help but smile, so he nimbly returned the bag to its original place, pretending that nothing had happened and entered the house.
“Master, I didn’t know you were coming back for dinner today.” Xi Ran, having just had dinner with Huan Ye, was sitting on the sofa, resting, but immediately stood up when he saw Huan Xiu return.
“I’ll have some if there’s a bite left, but if not, I’ll just order something.”
“I can’t let you do that. I don’t have anything to do. It’s quick to make something,” Xi Ran said and went to the kitchen.
“You don’t have to…” Huan Xiu had no choice but to follow him, but he also knew he couldn’t change Xi Ran’s stubborn streak at this point.
Huan Ye glanced at the two of them, quietly turned off the TV and slipped upstairs.
“Xiao Ye is helping us to create a world for two.” Huan Xiu wrapped his arms around Xi Ran from behind, his voice full of laughter as he bit his ear.
The whispering air puffs on his ear made Xi Ran’s temperature rise as he was preparing his food. Huan Xiu purposely picked this topic and asked, “What did you do today?”
“No-nothing special. Read a book…” Xi Ran cleared his throat, but the potatoes in his hand made a circle on the cutting board. He hurriedly pressed it back as if it had slipped, not daring to look back at Huan Xiu’s face. Although it was for a gift, hiding something from Master made him feel uneasy inside.
“Alright.” Huan Xiu smiled and didn’t ask any more questions. Xi Ran’s heart was tense, so he spoke less, lest he said the wrong things. Huan Xiu knew he was nervous, but he couldn’t help teasing him, wanting to see his reaction again. As a result, it was only when he was about to go to sleep that Xi Ran calmed down.
Monday was a public holiday and it was a beautifully sunny day. The weather had been cloudy and rainy since the beginning of autumn, but it was unusually bright today, and the sun was shining on the bed even before the curtains were opened.
Surprisingly, Huan Xiu woke up earlier than Xi Ran. Xi Ran opened his eyes as soon as he pulled open the curtain, and the sunlight poured in.
“Am I up late?”
Seeing his tense expression, Huan Xiu hurriedly said, “No, no, I got up a little early today. The time is perfect.”
Xi Ran sat up sharply in bed and glanced at the time, which put his mind at ease.
After having a quick breakfast at home, Xi Ran left Xiao Ye’s share on the table, and they left the house. Xiao Ye knew that his male father and father had to leave early in the morning and he was the only one at home, so he slept in and didn’t get up at all.
“It’s such a nice day today,” Huan Xiu said. His tone revealed his satisfaction as he took a look out the car window.
“Let’s go to the aquarium first as planned.” Xi Ran explained the itinerary in a serious manner, to which Huan Xiu replied, “We’ll do as you say.”
Although he said he got the dating recommendations from the internet, Xi Ran had never been to these places before. In the beginning, he had the host spirit of taking Huan Xiu on a tour, but when he arrived at the place, his mood gradually surged up.
In the dimly lit aquarium tunnel, Huan Xiu took two steps and noticed that Xi Ran did not follow him. As he looked back, he saw Xi Ran with his hands on the glass and his face glued to it, looking mesmerized. Huan Xiu walked back to him without making a sound. He thought that Xi Ran had never had such experiences before, seeing the cubs who came with their parents and the young Zergs who came with their friends. He thought that Xi Ran had probably never had such experience since he was a child. Perhaps without knowing it, his poor childhood was now finally over.
“Ah, excuse me,” Xi Ran suddenly woke up with a start, taking a step back and withdrawing his hand with some embarrassment, “Were you waiting for me?”
“It’s all right, don’t worry about me.”
“That’s not okay. I wanted to show Master around, but it turns out I’m the only one looking around.” Xi Ran said with mild remorse.
Huan Xiu went to take Xi Ran’s hand and intertwined their fingers together. Xi Ran looked up at Huan Xiu’s face in surprise, as he had never been so ‘bold’ outdoors before.
“This is how a date should be.” Xi Ran opened his mouth, and just as he was about to say something, Huan Xiu followed up with, “At least this is what ours should be like.”
Xi Ran didn’t know what he wanted to say, but he just nodded his head and just went along with Huan Xiu. As they paced slowly, Xi Ran quietly asked, “Master, is there such a place in your original world?”
Huan Xiu honestly replied, “There’s something like this.”
“Have you ever been there?”
“Mn. But I’ve only been there once or twice when I was very young.”
The only person who has never been to such a place is me. Xi Ran sighed inwardly.
But when he saw Huan Xiu smiling happily, Xi Ran wasn’t too disappointed. But he was slightly worried. Huan Xiu told him that he just wanted to have a quiet, stable life and a family, and he was satisfied with that. But Xi Ran wanted to give him more, it was an almost instinctive urge, but he felt like Huan Xiu had everything, and he didn’t know what to do, so he always acted clumsily.
Huan Xiu and Xi Ran whispered fun stories about their childhood, occasionally stopping to stare at a tank for a while, then drifting back to everyday topics such as work or Xiao Ye, and although the atmosphere was not ambiguous, it had the warmth of an old married couple.
“Tell me about the old days in the army,” Huan Xiu suggested casually. Xi Ran didn’t like to talk about the past, so he didn’t ask too many questions.
“There doesn’t seem to be anything particularly interesting, everyone in the military department lives quite… similarly.” Xi Ran really thought that things in the military section should be boring and dull for Huan Xiu, living every day with set rules, following orders and accomplishing goals, basically that was most of his Zerg life.
“But the scenery in the universe is beautiful. Hasn’t Master seen that before?”
“Indeed, the original owner was also born and raised on this planet and has never left it. In my world, for the general public, it was impossible to go to space.”
“The next time we can travel to another planet, we will be able to see the universe,” Xi Ran hastened to suggest, as if he had finally found something he could do for Huan Xiu.
Honeymoon trip?… Huan Xiu made a mental note to do so.
“Speaking of which, it’s a bit like here. It’s also dark… but not as blue, it’s a deep color. The bright lights are from the planet, not as harsh as the lights here, but from a distance, like one sparkling piece at a time.” Xi Ran tried to remember, describing it to Huan Xiu. The memory of flying through the universe seemed to be a lifetime ago, his military career ended too suddenly and too early.
Xi Ran seemed to be talking a bit more about the universe. He also mentioned to Huan Xiu about his old favorite mecha, saying that he was sorry that it was scrapped, or he would have had the chance to show it to Huan Xiu.
“We didn’t have that in my old world.”
“Right,” Xi Ran sounded a bit sad.
“Do you like your mecha?”
“To say that I like it… of course I still quite like it, after all, it had been with me for a long time, from the first promotion to the last battle.” Xi Ran explained to Huan Xiu that although the military had updated their models, for some Zerg with a bit of rank, they were willing to directly modify and upgrade their original machines. Zerg still valued mecha-soldier compatibility more.
Huan Xiu knew a little bit about this, but he was in charge of the research and development of new models in the research institute, so he didn’t know much about what the technicians in the military did.
“It’s a pity that it’s scrapped.”
Xi Ran laughed bitterly, “I can’t help it, it was badly damaged. Other Zerg’s have their own accustomed mecha, so there was probably no need to spend time and energy to repair mine. After more than half a year, I don’t care anymore, that is… even if I can take you to see it, it’s probably disassembled by now.”
Huan Xiu, of course, didn’t mention that he had actually gone to see it and had taken some of it to make a ring. But he was glad that it seemed to be the right material to choose, and he was looking forward to Xi Ran’s expression when he told him about it later.