IPC Chapter 23 Part 1: Cold

Interstellar Power Couple

Translator: Lala

Quality Check: Vemmy

Editor: Chesh

First Published on Chaleuria

Chapter 23 Part 1: Cold 

When Wei Li arrived at Bulacca city, the first thing he did was to book a room in a hotel not far from the Xiao Residence. The identity that he’d used did exist, but it wasn’t his personal identity. Rather, it was the identity of the person he’d taken the appearance of. 

He’d wanted to stay a bit closer, but it couldn’t be helped that the area around the Xiao Residence was for military use, so there were no hotels there at all. 

When he’d put ‘Plan A3’ into Lei Jue, he’d used the Dual Stimulus Model, a model that required two different types of stimuli to activate. Although doing it this way would make it a bit tedious to control, it would be harder to discover than if he’d used the Single Stimulus Model. 

The biggest problem now was how he would be able to carry out the plan without alerting anybody. 

While it was true that Lei Jue wouldn’t lock himself up at home all day, it gave Wei Li a headache that, whenever he came out, Xiao Lingyu would be right by his side. Moreover, the only place they ever went to was Amethyst Cloud Mountain—just what was going on inside their heads?

Lei Jue’s thoughts went along the lines of, one, he could climb the mountain as a workout, and two, it was such a vast area, and there weren’t any surveillance cameras either—with such an obvious target, it’d be easy to strike, right?

However, even though he’d had already gone as far as to present himself as a target, the person he was waiting for still hadn’t arrived!

What Lei Jue didn’t know was that the place he’d picked was actually the most difficult to access. With regards to the ‘Plan A3’ in his brain, at least, Amethyst Cloud Mountain was definitely not a good place to carry it out. The result was that Wei Li’s balls ached in frustration, and Lei Jue wasn’t happy either. 

“F*ck, I’ve already revealed myself as a target outside for so many days in a row, surely Lei Jianying couldn’t have chickened out, right?” Lei Jue said. “How about you stop following me starting tomorrow. I suspect this ‘Plan A3’ might need there to be only two people present when it’s activated.”

“Impossible. Wasn’t your first time feeling dizzy in a place with lots of people?” Xiao Lingyu insisted that there had to be another reason for it. 

“Tch, nevermind then. We’ll do whatever we please from tomorrow onward, and it can come whenever it wants to come.” Lei Jue spat out the piece of dried grass in his mouth, whistling through his fingers to summon Curly back into his arms. 

“Is it time to go back?”

“Mhm. Mhm?” Lei Jue suddenly stopped, because Blackfur, who had originally been peacefully lying on him, suddenly and rapidly crawled down from his body. 

“There’s a Spectral spider over there—” Xiao Lingyu pointed to a tree branch not too far away, “It looks like it’s even bigger than Blackfur. Is Blackfur going to find it?”

“Probably, since that’s his mate.” Lei Jue looked in the direction Xiao Lingyu’s finger pointed in, and saw a lighter colored Spectral spider that was bigger than Blackfur. It was obviously a female. 

“Are you going to catch it and bring it back home?” Xiao Lingyu asked. 

“No, it’s too warm at home. If they mate and get little spiders everywhere in the house, you’d go insane too, wouldn’t you, Mr. Deathly-Afraid-of-Spiders-Xiao?” Laughter twinkled in Lei Jue’s eyes. “Moreover, if we don’t watch them, Blackfur might be eaten when the time comes. Most female spiders will devour the male after getting pregnant. I don’t want to see the little guy I’ve raised for so long get eaten.” 

“Little Jue—” Xiao Lingyu watched as Lei Jue gazed at the pair of spiders, a warm smile beneath his eyes, and asked somewhat hesitantly, “Do you really want to find a partner too?”

“Mhm?” Lei Jue turned around. “You can tell? I’m a bit lonely with a guy whose roasting rates a hundred but whose skills in bed require further evaluation. How about this—tell me who the guy that controlled Emily on the night before the wedding was. If the circumstances allow it, I’d like to see if we have a chance. I might not have told you before, but I’ve always quite admired people who’re skilled with tech.” 

“It’s a friend of mine. They’ve married already.” Xiao Lingyu said without much conviction. 

“They’re married? Then I’ll ask to be their student. What do you think?”

“I’m afraid ‘they’ mightn’t dare to take a student as pretty as you,” Xiao Lingyu paused, “how about I teach you?”

“Nah.” Lei Jue paused too. Although he was smiling, his gaze toward Xiao Lingyu grew a little colder. “I wouldn’t dare take a guy as handsome as you to be my teacher either.” He began walking down the mountain, his pace a little faster. 

Xiao Lingyu’s steps, however, had become as heavy as lead. 

Despite it being the same path they took when they went up, for some reason it felt especially long, as if they’d never reach their destination. 

Lei Jue didn’t say anything else for the rest of the journey. Actually, he knew that he was being unreasonable. Maybe he was still too young—his thoughts would never go very far when the blood rushes to his head. Xiao Lingyu had clearly told him before that the one who took control of Emily the night before the wedding had been someone else, but even then, Lei Jue just knew it wasn’t so. It was a very strange intuition and he couldn’t explain it, but he believed that, on that night, Xiao Lingyu had definitely been nearby. 

He just didn’t dare—or want—to admit it. 

In-f*cking-deed, he was being a bit of a bitch by pressing again and again for confirmation, even though Xiao Lingyu had already given his answer. 

Lei Jue wondered whether he’d imprinted on Xiao Lingyu like a chick, because Xiao Lingyu was the first person who’d helped him so much and was also so close to him in age. Their personalities were similar, too, so he might have been subconsciously attracted to him. 

In the beginning, his only impression was that this guy was a debauched and arrogant motherf*cker, but after many days of interacting with him, his feelings toward him had grown complex, unexplainable. 

When Xiao Lingyu acted up, he could spew lewd and obscene language nonstop, but aside from talking, he’d never truly done anything perverted in front of him. Not even once. He looked as if he didn’t have a single care in the world, but in truth he was more meticulous than anyone. 

Lei Jue didn’t know when it had begun, but all the clothes he wore were ones that Xiao Lingyu had helped him pick. His shoes and skincare products were all recommended by Xiao Lingyu, as well. Xiao Lingyu had gone with him when he’d bought a communicator, an aircraft…

Because his surroundings had changed, there were too many things that he needed to become accustomed to, so Xiao Lingyu, who’d interacted with him the most, had unwittingly become his biggest influence. 

It turned out that his perversity wasn’t the most dangerous thing about him, but instead were those accidental moments of gentleness. 

When Xiao Lingshu got home from work, he saw Lei Jue squatting in the pet house, staring into space. He went over and gave him a light pat. “Little Jue, what are you squatting here thinking about?”

Lei Jue randomly pointed a finger forward and was going to reply that he was here to see Curly before he realized that Curly wasn’t even there. 

Xiao Lingshu caught the oddness in his response and worriedly asked, “What’s wrong? Didn’t you go out to play with your Big Brother Lingyu today?”

Lei Jue got up, massaging his numb legs. He smiled and said, “Yeah, we just got back not too long ago. Did you pick up another dog, Second Brother?” Lei Jue reached out a hand. “Does it need treatment?”

Xiao Lingshu nodded. “Thank you for your trouble.”

Lei Jue waved his hand, healing the wound on the dog’s back in a second. “All done. I’ll go inside first. Are you giving it a bath, Second Brother?”

“Mhm. His hair’s tangling already, so I might need to brush it down too.” Done speaking, Xiao Lingshu saw Lei Jue nod and walk out. He pondered for a moment, then contacted Xiao Lingyu. Xiao Lingyu, however, didn’t reply. 

Through the family location-sharing function, Xiao Lingshu could see that his younger brother was in his father’s study. Thinking that the two probably had something to talk about, he ceased further attempts at contacting him. 

Xiao Lingyu was indeed talking to Xiao Zhicheng, and he’d taken the initiative to go to him at that. Xiao Zhicheng surveyed his son, who hadn’t said a word since entering the study. “Is it very hard to decide?”

Xiao Lingyu sighed, and after a moment, said with some difficulty, “Dad, I want to return to the unit early.”

Xiao Zhicheng’s grip on the teacup he was holding tightened minutely. “Not going to protect Little Jue anymore?”

“I will, but I want to use another identity to do so.” Xiao Lingyu dragged a hand down his face, hard. “If this goes on, it’ll be hard for me to promise that I wouldn’t… you know. Lei Jue is too spirited, too smart, and too striking. Most importantly, it feels like he can always see through me. It’s very hard for me to resist him as he is now.” If Lei Jue had merely been as he’d thought he would be right at the start, Xiao Lingyu could be sure that he wouldn’t fall for him. But as it stood now, Lei Jue was incessantly drawing him in.

“But Little Fifth, Lei Jue’s shrewd wits aren’t any less than yours. You’ve interacted with him for such a long time, aren’t you worried that he’ll notice something suspicious if you change your identity?”

“That… actually, he noticed that something was off a long time ago. You might not believe it, but he’s already guessed that I was on Second Brother’s aircraft on the day before the wedding, and that I’d also helped him.”

“How could that be? That night, didn’t we already…” Xiao Zhicheng was astonished. 

“Yes. I thought that he probably wouldn’t think in that direction when Lei Haige showed him the video, too, but he did.” Xiao Lingyu speechlessly thought back to how he was placed under suspicion from the mere act of helping his eldest brother fix a communicator. Really, Lei Jue didn’t let go of even the slightest detail sometimes. 

“Then when do you plan on going back?”

“In another two days. I’ll introduce him to some friends, first. At first, I thought that he liked solitude, but down inside he probably likes bustling environments. So I want to introduce him to Si Qing, Qi Yu, and the rest, first, otherwise he won’t know many people here.” 

“Very well, we’ll do as you say.” Xiao Zhicheng heaved a long sigh, and suddenly gave a somewhat helpless smile. 

“What’s wrong, dad?”

“Nothing. I just suddenly thought back to when you were younger. Your Second Brother was the only one who liked quiet and solitude in this family, so he didn’t go out too much when he was a kid. The rest, including your Eldest Sister and Eldest Brother, were like wild animals. If we took our eyes off of them for a single moment, who knew where they would sneak off to go play. Not to mention each of them had super strength—we’d need over ten guards to keep an eye on them. Back then, your mother and I wondered when you guys would ever grow up. And now, when you’ve all finally grown up, yet another little fox has entered our home.” 

“Hah, I think he’s more like a little white rabbit, one with teeth made of steel,” Xiao Lingyu laughed. “Then I’m going out first. I’ll leave you to your work, Dad.”

Xiao Zhicheng nodded. Hearing the sound of the door close, traces of stress began appearing in his expression. 

Not long after, Luo Yuling came in to massage his shoulders. “Did you talk about Little Jue? What did Little Fifth say?”

“What else could he say?” Xiao Zhicheng patted his wife’s hands, leaning against the chai backing. “A healthy young man who’s been starved for twenty years suddenly meets a delicious food that really suits his taste. He wants to control himself and not react, but it’s easier said than done.” Xiao Zhicheng pointed at his own head. “My dear wife, it’d be better if you massage my head rather than my shoulders. I get a headache whenever I think about how our baby boy will forever be single.”

Luo Yuling felt like crying and laughing all at once. In the end, however, all she could do was sigh along with him. When it came to her youngest son’s special situation, she didn’t know what to say either.

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