IPC Chapter 18: Suspicion

Interstellar Power Couple

Translator: Vemmy

Quality Check: Lala

Editor: Chesh

First Published on Chaleuria

Chapter 18: Suspicion

Because everyone had been exhausted by the previous night, they all got up later that morning and breakfast was delayed. It was rare for the entire family to gather together, and because Xiao Zhicheng’s complexion wasn’t too bad after he was treated by Lei Jue, the atmosphere around the dining table was great. Lei Jue had already eaten earlier in the morning, but couldn’t resist eating a bit more with everyone else. He’d lost count of how many times Luo Yuling had put more food in his bowl, both out of the fondness of an elder and out of gratitude. 

Grandmother Xiao continuously praised him, too, as she smiled nonstop. She looked as if she wished that it could be like this at the breakfast table every day.

Even Kong Xiaoxiao acted like a miniature adult as she said, “With Uncle Little Jue here at Grandpa’s, it feels like every day is a holiday!” 

Xiao Lingqin asked, “Does Xiaoxiao really, really like Uncle Little Jue?”

Kong Xiaoxiao nodded seriously, straining herself to spoon a bit of her favourite dish for Lei Jue, then draped herself over the table and asked, “Uncle Little Jue, do you like us?”

“I do,” Lei Jue answered.

He had been mostly alone ever since he left the army, so he was actually a bit unaccustomed to the atmosphere when he had first arrived at the Xiao family. But now, he seemed to be gradually adapting to it. Just by sitting here watching everyone eat together as a family, he could feel the warmth.

Kong Xiaoxiao beamed. “I also like Uncle Little Jue.” After speaking, she suddenly pouted and spoke solemnly to Xiao Lingyu, “Little Uncle, you hafta be good to Uncle Little Jue. Otherwise, if you make him angry, I’ll also be angry with you.” 

Xiao Lingyu had been happily eating when his name was suddenly singled out, and he paused for a moment before asking with a smile, “Xiaoxiao, do you think I’m not good to your Uncle Little Jue?”

Kong Xiaoxiao lowered her head, sulkily toying with the pompoms on her clothes.

Everyone at the table was bewildered by her. Luo Yuling asked, “Xiaoxiao, what’s wrong? Wasn’t everything fine just now?”

Kong Xiaoxiao cautiously took a peek at Lei Jue, then said something that made Xiao Lingyu feel extremely awkward, “Someone told me that, sooner or later, Uncle Little Jue will leave and won’t be my uncle anymore, because Little Uncle is a big skirt chaser and has lots and lots of wives outside.”

If it wasn’t for seeing the Xiao family members go silent, Lei Jue was almost going to spray out the food in his mouth. He hurriedly swallowed and wiped his mouth, then heard Xiao Lingqin ask, “Xiaoxiao, who said this to you?”

“A child in my Star class said it. She said that she wanted to have Uncle Little Jue catch butterflies for her. I said no, so she said it.” Kong Xiaoxiao appeared very gloomy. “Uncle Little Jue, is what she said true?”

“Not true, Uncle Little Jue still has to detoxify your grandpa, how could I leave?” Lei Jue quickly changed the topic before the little girl could say anything. “Xiao… ahem, Dad, I’ll help treat you once a day. Although my ability can’t cure the poison yet, treating it every day should improve the condition of your body somewhat.”

The Xiao family members who heard this all stared at Lei Jue speechlessly; even Kong Xiaoxiao looked blank.

At this time, Xiao Lingshu suddenly stood up. “Xiaoxiao, Second Uncle will take you to go see the squirrels, okay?”

Kong Xiaoxiao’s attention was immediately redirected to the squirrels. “Okay, okay!”

Without delay, Xiao Lingshu picked up his niece and left to go to the animals’ hutch.

Lei Jue finally reacted; not every element ability user could be like him.

He was focused on not using ‘Uncle Xiao’ and actually forgot that his element ability needed to be a bit hidden.

Because he had checked the data before, he knew that every type of natural power, including the five elemental abilities of Earth, Fire, Metal, Water, and Wood, had limits; they could not be used endlessly. Every attack or heal, whether they are used on a sole target or multiple, would consume different amounts of power. How much of this type of power someone had depended on their level.

The ability he showed during the wedding was D-rank. With this rank, every time he healed a relatively severely injured individual, he would need to rest for at least ten days to recover, while multiple healings of minor injuries could be carried out within a short period of time. However, for situations like Xiao Zhicheng’s, it would be very difficult to carry out a second healing without resting for ten days or so.

And this was also one of the reasons why the Xiao family, despite having both power and influence, didn’t invite a lower-ranked wood ability user specifically for treating Xiao Zhicheng. Even if they did, he would still only get treated once every few days, and the duration of the effects of the treatment was very short. As for A-ranks, although they could provide treatment daily, and the treatment effect lasted a bit longer, there was only one A-rank wood ability user in all of Casweir. Moreover, not only was the other party quite elderly, it was hard to say whether they could be invited or not. More importantly, even if they came, it would ultimately be impossible to completely detoxify the poison, so what point would there be in inviting them? Furthermore, Xiao Zhicheng wasn’t the only person on the planet that required treatment, so it would be impossible for them to revolve around one person.

Of course, it was a different case for people like Lei Jue, who had deliberately concealed his strength and lived in the Xiao residence.

Until now, he had never actually felt any sort of fatigue after healing. Before, at the state banquet hall, the reason he didn’t help Lei Haige was purely that he didn’t want to. 

The Xiao family members weren’t stupid. Lei Jue said to treat Xiao Zhicheng once every day, so they naturally came to a realization. Furthermore, it’s not like it was this kid’s first time hiding his strength.

“Little Jue, you mean, your elemental ability isn’t D-rank?” Xiao Lingyu asked.

“Mhm.” Lei Jue hummed in affirmation, then asked Xiao Zhicheng, “Uncle Xiao, forgive me for being blunt, but if you can continue to maintain your current state, would the election results for your position as marshall change?”

“Yes.” Xiao Zhicheng nodded. “Although it’s difficult to predict what the result will be, it will definitely be affected. Why do you ask?”

Lei Jue directly got up and stood beside Xiao Zhicheng. He reached out, his intention clear.

Xiao Zhicheng set his hand onto Lei Jue’s, and his entire body relaxed. Not long after, a closely knit web of green light covered him again! The color of the web was even more brilliant than the one on Suspension Mountain this time. It was even more dense, as if it had endless energy, stunning everyone in the room!

Lei Jue lowered his hand and returned to his seat. “When we were on Suspension mountain, I didn’t use my full strength because I wasn’t familiar enough with this skill, as it was the first time I’ve treated a human. Furthermore, there were too many people in the surroundings, so completely focusing on something was difficult. Of course, I also wanted to defend against Lei Jianying and Yu Fenglai to an extent, otherwise, it’s hard to say what kind of things they might do, with their personalities.”

With ‘Plan A3’ present, he had no choice but to think more.

The Xiao family members already didn’t know what to say anymore. In the end, Luo Yuling woodenly said, “If your Aunt and Uncle knew about your ability, I’m guessing they would cough blood in anger.” 

Lei Jue chuckled. “No, please, if it was just coughing up blood in anger, I would be very disappointed.” He flexed his wrist. “I’ve decided. In the future, I will do my best to heal Uncle Xiao. That way, Uncle Xao won’t have to worry about the problem of retirement, everyone can relax a bit, and I’ll have a protective umbrella.”

Xiao Zhicheng looked at Lei Jue for a while. “Little Jue, Uncle Xiao understands your meaning, but if we actually do as you say, although we would benefit, your strong ability will still cause you unnecessary trouble.”

Of course Lei Jue knew this; since the citizens of Casweir revered element abilities and respected element ability users, and the law stipulated that it was prohibited to force element ability users to act against their will, there would always be greedy and selfish people who wanted to forcefully monopolize this kind of power. And his ability right now could only be considered support. He was lacking in attack power, so he was still unable to completely ensure his own safety. Without looking too far ahead, even just the Lei family, now having learned about this ability of his, would definitely try to get him back. Lei Jue would write his name backwards if they didn’t have such plans.

So he needed the Xiao family’s help right now, and also needed to take the initiative to express his thoughts to them.

“I’m not that worried about trouble. In comparison, I think it’s more important for the Xiao family to not fall,” Lei Jue said. “In the future, I’ll treat you whenever you return home, okay?”

“Okay.” Xiao Zhicheng nodded.

“In that case, can we go to my lab now?” Xiao Lingqi asked.

The Xiao family members were all well aware of the existence of ‘Plan A3’. Xiao Lingqi had briefly mentioned that Lei Jue was going to go get examined this morning, too, so everyone knew that Lei Jue was going with Xiao Lingqi for an examination and no one stopped them.

Xiao Lingyu still needed to act like a loving couple with Lei Jue, so he naturally needed to go as well. The breakfast group dispersed not long after, leaving just Xiao Zhicheng and Luo Yuling.

Xiao Zhicheng saw Luo Yuling staring out the window with her brows wrinkled and a worried expression. 

“You’re worried about Little Jue’s health, aren’t you?”

Luo Yuling sighed. “Any other problem might be okay, but you know, when something is implanted into someone, there are usually only two possibilities: good and bad. From the Lei family’s current style of conduct, the latter option is obviously more probable. This family is really evil.”

Xiao Zhicheng had known Lei Jianying for some time already and naturally knew what his family was like. It’s just that, since the problem already existed, they could only face it.

“In the future, Little Jue needs to have a few more bodyguards by his side.” Xia Zhicheng wrinkled his brow. “I’ll need to trouble you to take care of this. If it really doesn’t work, we’ll have Little Five stay together with Little Jue as much as possible. With him there, at least Little Jue won’t have any problems with safety. It just so happens that I’ve been considering whether or not we should take this opportunity to have Little Five change his position and alter his image to the outside. Having him continue like this isn’t a good solution.”

“This is also an opportunity. But have you considered what we would do if Little Five really fell for Little Jue, or if Little Jue fell for Little Five—what would we do then?!”

Xiao Zhicheng went silent, then firmly pinched his brows and got up to go to the military headquarters.

The sky over Bulacca City was still bright, but it had already darkened in Lin City. The atmosphere in the Lei family was similarly dreary.

Since her son and nephew’s wedding had ended, Yu Fenglai’s expression hadn’t changed and was quite gloomy; Lei Jianying wasn’t much better. His son and nephew had both been taken away, but while his nephew was treated as a treasure by the other party, his son had been full of unwillingness as he went. The two gave off vastly different feelings, and it really made him feel thoroughly unhappy.

The most infuriating point was that Lei Jue was actually a wood element ability user!

Originally, they could have been sure that Xiao Zhicheng wouldn’t be able to stir up anything too big after retiring, but now they had delivered a wood element ability user right to him with their own two hands! Because of this, Xiao Zhicheng, who was going to retire for sure before, might not leave smoothly anymore.

“It’s not like the higher ups can have him continue to take up the position of the Northern Ling Military District’s commander, right?” Having sent the relatives away with difficulty, Yu Fenglai spoke as she sat down, “Even if Lei Jue is a wood element ability user, isn’t he just D-rank? Even our planet’s one and only A-rank wood ability user would need to take a day or two to recover after treating Xiao Zhicheng once, so what about him? How much of an effect could he have? Even if he died trying, the most he could do is make Xiao Zhicheng look a bit better.”

“Hopefully. Otherwise, if the Xiao family doesn’t fall this time it will cause many complications in the future.” Lei Jianying wrinkled his brow. “What we should be worried about now is if that brat Lei Jue interferes and uses his element ability to make Xiao Zhicheng oppose my promotion.”

“What do we do then?”

“What else can we do? We can only hope that Lei Jue’s element ability isn’t strong enough.”

It would have been better if Lei Jianying hadn’t said this, just a mention of it made Yu Fenglai’s chest feel heavy. “That little bastard, how in the world did Lei Jue manage to hide it until now? During the premarital checkup, he was undoubtedly just a plant ability user, how did it suddenly turn into a wood element ability? And look at his behavior during the wedding—he obviously knew he had an element ability! But he actually hid it from us until now, or else how could we possibly give him away?”

“Enough! What’s the point of saying it now?” Lei Jianying said irritably. “Anyway, we still have ‘Plan A3’. Just wait until the time is right, it’s not impossible to retrieve him. For now, Haige’s situation is more important; you must have a proper talk with him, we can’t let him have his way with his temper. Especially at times like this, when it’s even more important to maintain a good relationship with the Feng family.

Yu Fenglai unhappily accede

On Lei Jue’s end, he’d had just finished his checkup and Xiao Lingqi was giving him an explanation.

The examination showed that the condition of Lei Jue’s body was very good. With the exception of a little weakness, there were no problems. But looking at the nerves in his brain, there were indeed traces of the injection of some sort of information by someone. Doing so was usually to achieve one of two results: one was to use this method to implant some sort of hypnotic suggestion in order to treat psychological illnesses, and another was to use some sort of medium to control the implantee. This medium might be a certain image, a specific voice clip, or even a particular scent.

In other words, it was very possible that someone might control Lei Jue while the rest of them were unaware.

Despite having mentally prepared himself, being given this kind of result, Lei Jue was still filled with fury.

Xiao Lingqi poured a glass of water for Lei Jue. “My personal advice is to try not to go out alone, for now, Little Jue, and it would be for the best if… you limit your contact with the Lei family members.”

Lei Jue nodded. “I know. Eldest brother, I’ve troubled you today, thank you.”

At this time, Xiao Lingyu asked, “It’s almost noon, how about we go out and eat?”

Xiao Lingqi answered, “Of course. This is your first time bringing Little Jue to my place here, and as the eldest brother, I still need to perform my duties as the host. However, I still have a few things to deal with, and it’ll take about five minutes. Could I trouble you guys to wait for me?”

“No problem.” Xiao Lingyu and Lei Jue nodded in unison.

Xiao Lingqi smiled. He walked over to stand in front of a cell petri dish, studied it for a moment, then recorded some data. Afterwards, he thought of something and suddenly took off his communicator. “Oh right, Little Five, could you take this time to have a look at my communicator? I don’t know where the problem occurred, but the program keeps indicating there’s an error. For the past few days, I haven’t been able to properly save stuff, either.”

Xiao Lingyu didn’t ask anything else. He took the communicator and only had to fiddle with it for a moment to fix it, then he returned it to his eldest brother. When he turned, however, he found Lei Jue staring at him with a thoughtful look, so he smiled and asked, “Babe, what’s wrong?”

“Oh nothing much, I just suddenly thought of something.” Lei Jue chuckled as he spoke pointedly. “I wonder, for a master programmer like you to control a robot like Emily… how long would it take?” 

“Hm?” Xiao Lingyu’s smile wavered slightly. “Why do you ask?”

“Because I suddenly wondered, could it be that, back then, you controlled Emily to steal your cigarette first, then falsely accused the victim?” Lei Jue tsked, lowering his voice to continue, “But speaking of that, I feel like I still owe you a favor from a certain windy, moonless night.”

“Is that so?” Xiao Lingyu’s smile was quite despicable. “Then you’re really unfortunate. For a beauty like you, favors need to be paid in the flesh.”

“Paid in the flesh? Okay.” Lei Jue dug through a pocket and grabbed something, then set it in Xiao Lingyu’s hand. “Here, meat.”

“What?” Xiao Lingyu lowered his head and took a glance: a little ladybug, with six flailing legs, lay struggling in his palm.

The little ladybug expended a lot of effort to flip over, then continued crawling around Xiao Lingyu’s palm. A bout of itchiness came from Xiao Lingyu’s palm, but this kind of ticklish feeling didn’t make him feel a tiny bit relaxed. Especially, when his eyes met with Lei Jue’s seemingly all-knowing gaze, he actually miraculously discovered that when he was faced with a particular someone he would also feel a bit… flustered.”

Perhaps, this “wife” of his, who he sees so often, really was somewhat different from those “lovers” that he had only ever seen in pictures.