IPC Chapter 20: Election (Part 1)

Interstellar Power Couple

Translator: Lala

Quality Check: Vemmy

Editor: Chesh

First Published on Chaleuria

Chapter 20: Election (Part 1)

News that Xiao Zhicheng had gone to the Military General Hospital for a physical checkup spread quickly. Actually, including all the people that were preparing to retire, all the officers on active duty had to undergo physical checkups—it was just that they’d already done theirs. Now, Xiao Zhicheng had basically caught the tail-end of the check-ups, so everyone couldn’t help but be curious about the results. 

Due to the skill that Lei Jue displayed at the wedding, the fact that the Xiao family had acquired a wood ability user was no longer a secret. It was just that opinions on it were varied—some said that although Lei Jue was a wood element ability user, his rank was very low so he definitely couldn’t heal Xiao Zhicheng. Others claimed that they were there at the wedding when it happened and witnessed it personally, and that when Xiao Zhicheng was treated by Lei Jue his face had regained its colour pretty damn well, so he must have been healed. 

For a time, news of the Xiao family flew all across the land, and even the other people in the family weren’t spared. It wasn’t just Xiao Lingyu’s loose ways that were talked about, there were also the Eldest’s research results in the world of science and the eldest sister Xiao Lingqin’s skills in psychological treatment, et cetera. In the end, even the mecha that Xiao Lingshu designed and the movies that Xiao Linghua had shot were dug out too. News about the Xiao family hung about on the headlines for many days, their popularity refusing to die down.

In the end, however, there were only two truly hot topics: one was whether or not Xiao Lingyu and Lei Jue would last, since Xiao Lingyu was so unrestrained, and the other one was whether or not Lei Jue was actually able to heal Xiao Zhicheng. 

The Xiao family’s contributions to Casweir were apparent to all, so most peoples’ attitude towards the matter was one of blessing. However, there was also a portion of people who secretly hoped to see Xiao Zhicheng retire. 

On the first morning of the election, Lei Jianying had just woken up when the communicator rang. The person calling was Feng Gu’s father, Feng Qingyuan. God knows where he’d heard the news from, but the first thing he said was, “I heard that Xiao Zhicheng has been cured, is that true?”

Lei Jianying’s right eyelid had been twitching for the better part of the night, so he hadn’t slept well. Now, suddenly hearing this, his expression darkened instantly. “Who’d you hear that from, Brother Feng?”

“There’ve been whispers from the Audit Panel. You haven’t heard?”

“There’ve been whispers every year, but has he ever been cured before? He’ll be better for a while each time after he gets treated by Elder Ming, but in the end, doesn’t his condition still deteriorate with each passing year?” Lei Jianying got out of bed. “Moreover, haven’t the people in the Special Healing Division already said? Unless there’s an S-rank wood element ability user, there’s no way to pull that poison of his up by the roots. So the way I see it, it’s most likely just someone spreading bullshit.” 

“It’d be best if it were so. But that nephew of yours…” Feng Qingyuan paused, “he doesn’t have that ability, right?”

“What do you mean by that, Brother Feng?” Hearing his words, Lei Jianying felt anger rushing into him, at more than just one thing. Ever since the day of the wedding, the Feng family had constantly been suspicious that they’d been deliberately keeping Lei Jue’s elemental abilities a secret, all for the sake of finding a spouse for their son that definitely had elemental abilities, but wasn’t too lascivious. Meanwhile, the nephew that wasn’t really related to them by blood, but was both beautiful and had healing powers, was sent to heal Xiao Zhicheng, and taking down the lecher Xiao Lingyu while he was at it. This way both sides were pleased, and the likelihood of being promoted was higher too. 

“I was just casually asking about it, why are you getting so worked up, Jianying?” Feng Qingyuan smiled. “Nevermind. Either way, things are what they are. We’ll just have to do our best, and the rest is up to fate.” 

Lei Jianying reined in his anger and hung up the communicator, unable to resist swearing at him, “That old fox!”

Yu Fenglai came over to smooth her hands down his back and soothe his rage. “And you were scolding Haige too. Haven’t you also lost your temper? You two have the same disposition.”

Lei Jianying gave her a glare. “It’s fine already, stop it. Aren’t you going to see Haige today? Remember to tell him to stop fighting with Feng Gu. Right now, the most important thing is still for him to hurry and give me a water ability user grandson! If he wants to stand his ground in the Feng family, this is very important!”

Yu Fenglai replied that she understood, though inwardly, she wasn’t as calm as she appeared to be. As of now, her son was throwing a tantrum and Feng Gu appeared as if he didn’t regret anything. Could the two even have a child together? Or in other words, would Feng Gu agree to have a kid at this time?

Lei Jianying wasn’t aware of his wife’s brooding at all. After changing clothes, he grew restless, so went into the study alone. He picked up a communicator that he didn’t normally use and called the only number that was in it.

“Did you need anything?” The other side picked it up not long after. He didn’t say his name or ask after his wellbeing, but it was obvious that he knew who was contacting him. 

“The people on the outside are all saying that Xiao Zhicheng has been cured. Is this true?” Lei Jianying asked. 

“No, but the results of the treatment this time are indeed quite good. That kid’s pretty amazing. The higher-ups have already sent an invite now, you should be able to see it today.”

“Got it.” Lei Jianying sat on the couch, kneading his temples and feeling little jumps of pain in his brain. 

The election was about to start. What did it mean then, if the Audit Panel and the Parliament were to send out invitations to Lei Jue at this time? It meant that they would reassess whether Xiao Zhicheng would retire or not, depending on how Lei Jue’s treatment of him was going!

Lei Jue hadn’t thought that he would receive an invitation from the Parliament, either. Although he’d displayed his powers in front of so many people, and was prepared to walk down an unusual route, he’d never thought that he would see results so fast. 

He was just preparing to treat Xiao Zhicheng a bit before they left, but this time Xiao Zhicheng stopped him. “When the time comes, they’ll definitely hope for you to perform the treatment on the spot, so let’s leave it for now. Your Uncle Xiao feels very relaxed right now, anyway. Also, Little Jue, remember, you mustn’t reveal all the cards in your hand today. Although Casweir respects all ability users—especially elemental ability users—if your power is too eye-catching, what you’ll have to face afterwards might not be as simple as the Parliament and the Audit Panel, understood? 

“Rest assured, Uncle Xiao, I know.” Lei Jue pinched a little box in his pocket, one that had holes in it, then got up and said, “I’m going to change, I’ll be down in a minute.”

The clothes were prepared according to Xiao Lingyu’s preferences before the wedding. They were formal wear, and Lei Jue hadn’t worn them before. They were quite similar to the suits he’d seen on earth, too, except the cuts were slightly different and the collar of the shirt was a bit more androgynous. There were ruffles on the edges of the collar; when worn, it didn’t feel masculine enough, though it did suit the character of his current body quite a bit. 

After Lei Jue got changed and came out, the collar didn’t feel too comfortable, so he tidied it up again. In the end, he just opened up two buttons. He felt better, but the moment he raised his head, he saw Xiao Lingyu using a kind of… indescribable gaze to stare at him.

“Say it. You want to call me ‘slutty’ again don’t you?” Lei Jue asked as he leaned against the doorframe, sticking both his hands into his pants pockets, an evil grin on his lips. 

“If I say it, will you use scorpions to sting me again?” Xiao Lingyu asked as he walked closer. 

“Not today. I still need to save your face for greeting people with me.”

“Then I’ll be honest.” Xiao Lingyu’s body leaned forward ever so slightly, lowly murmuring by Lei Jue’s ear, “Baby, today you truly look especially beautiful.”

Lei Jue had already prepared himself to listen to his bullshit and was instantly stunned. “Are you high?”

“Can’t I say the truth?” Xiao Lingyu laughed, one arm encircling Lei Jue’s shoulders as he once again returning to his lackadaisical self. “Let’s go. By your grace, I’ll probably become the national enemy today. Oh, wait—a more accurate title would be national love rival, right?”

“You?” Lei Jue looked Xiao Lingyu up and down. “Dream on. National pure little virgin is more like it.” 

“You!” Xiao Lingyu reeled, “Lei Jue, would it kill you to stop insulting me!”

***

Xiao Zhicheng had already finished changing as well. Although it was night here, it was already morning over at Lin City, so they should be just on time if they left now. 

Lei Jue and Xiao Lingyu followed Xiao Zhicheng onto the S-15 fighter jet, then flew towards the Central District. 

Most of the members of the Parliament and the people in the Audit Panel had arrived already. Very coincidentally, the moment Xiao Zhicheng got off the fighter jet he saw Feng Qingyuan, who’d also just gotten off his aircraft. 

Feng Qingyuan caught sight of Xiao Zhicheng, so naturally he had to come over to greet them. “Marshal Xiao, what a coincidence. Did you guys also just arrive?” As he spoke, he looked behind Xiao Zhicheng. “How come you brought the two kids too?”

Xiao Zhicheng replied refreshingly, “The Audit Panel and Parliament sent invitations over to confirm the extent to which Little Jue’s powers can heal me. These two love birds are practically glued at the hip right now and refuse to separate even for a moment, so Lingyu came too.”

Feng Qingyuan nodded. He glanced at the two, who were currently holding each others’ hands tightly, and felt a little upset inside, though his smile still looked very sincere. “Sounds about right. They’re young, after all, and newlyweds on top of that. Shall we go in together then?”

It was hard for Xiao Zhicheng to refuse, of course, so he took Lei Jue and Feng Qingyuan together with him. Due to his identity, Xiao Lingyu could only follow them up to the meeting room. There was a waiting room outside, and he settled himself in there to wait for Lei Jue. 

A few people who arrived later caught sight of him sitting in the see-through waiting room and wondered why he was there. Some even had a little disdain coloring their gaze. But it was only there for a moment, so not many noticed it. 

Roughly five minutes later, the doors to the meeting room closed and the election, held once every five years, was about to begin. 

Xiao Lingyu looked up at the tightly shut metal doors, then continued playing games on his communicator. 

Within the meeting hall, due to Lei Jue’s presence they hadn’t immediately started with the voting this time. Instead, they began by letting him display his elemental abilities first. There were many things that couldn’t be discussed with him there, so the higher-ups asked for him to showcase his power first, then leave. Only then would the voting begin.

Lei Jue didn’t really like these really super-formal occasions anyway, so he agreed quite happily. 

According to the agreement reached by the Parliament and the Audit Panel, in order to confirm Lei Jue’s healing abilities—and confirm that he could maintain Xiao Zhicheng’s state of health and that he wasn’t cheating—Xiao Zhicheng wasn’t the only one he had to heal. 

The Audit Panel had recruited four patients from the Military General Hospital. 

Lei Jue gave them a rough once-over, noticing that they’d been quite well-rounded in their recruitment. One had burn wounds, one had been stabbed, one was in a wheelchair due to a bone injury, and one had been poisoned. 

The purpose of recruiting these people was to find the limit to his abilities. 

Seeing that he was so young, everyone couldn’t help but feel a little doubtful. After all, during the span of the Casweir Empire’s history, all wood element ability users had been higher ranked the older they got. Those that were of similar age to Lei Jue were mostly D- or E-rank. Although they too had healing abilities, wounds that were as severe as these were impossible to completely heal. And even if they were healed, it was only just one person, at most. 

So the one that looked the oldest said, “Can you start with him first?” He pointed to the burn victim, who looked the youngest. 

When they had gone out on a mission, there’d been two team members that suffered varying degrees of burn wounds in order to rescue people. The worst two had already been treated by the Military General Hospital’s specially appointed personnel, but because of that, the healer was currently in their recovery period and wouldn’t be able to heal again within the next three to five days. However, this teammate of his had suffered severe wounds, and despite having used special medicine, the recovery period was just too painful—so, if possible, he hoped that he was cured first. 

Seeing that the speaker was very sincere, and the youngest one did indeed look the most wounded, Lei Jue nodded and reached out his hand. 

The young man closest to Lei Jue raised his head and looked into his almost unrealistically beautiful face, a confused expression on his own. 

Lei Jue smiled and said, “You just need to give your hand to me.”

The young man was a little embarrassed. Because his body was badly burnt, both of his hands had terrifying wounds on them too. But the person opposite him didn’t seem to mind at all. He’d seen that the B-rank wood ability user had placed his hands on unwounded areas when healing his comrades. 

He awkwardly reached his hand out. 

Lei Jue’s expression was utterly calm as he picked a more heavily wounded place and let the back of his hand gently rest on it. Then, everyone seated witnessed a fine green net spreading from the back of Lei Jue’s hand, speedily covering the patient’s burned areas. Immediately after, those horrifying wounds began visibly recovering. The skin that had been burned so badly that it was rough and bumpy began turning back to its original colour bit by bit. It became smooth and clean, without a single sign that it had once been damaged. 

But while everyone else was quietly surprised that his healing abilities really were that strong, both Lei Jianying and Feng QIngyuan were fuming, and Lei Jianying’s hand even tightly gripped the fabric of his pants in his anxiety. 

H-how the fuck was this a D-rank wood element ability?!        

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