IPC Chapter 22 Part 3: Was it you?

Interstellar Power Couple

Translator: Lala

Quality Check: Leslie

Editor: Chesh

First Published on Chaleuria

Chapter 22: Was it you? (Part 3)

“Why are you looking at me like that?” Lei Jue shifted Curly in his embrace. “Let’s go back, there’s nothing much to see here.”

“Says who? Let’s wait a bit more, then when Carrera arrives we’ll ride the aircraft up,” Xiao Lingyu said. 

“To see Amethyst Lake?”

“Amethyst Lake has already frozen over; if you want to see the lake, you’ll have to wait until next summer. I’ll take you to see a certain kind of bird, first.”

“A bird?” Lei Jue ran his fingers through Curly’s hair over and over again, licking the corner of his lips. “Is it big and thick enough?” [1]

“You…” Xiao Lingyu felt that even if he were only wearing a shirt in this snowy weather, he’d still be sweating. He shot a dark glare at Lei Jue. “If you want to see something that’s big and thick, you don’t need to go to the mountain peak—there’s one right on my body!” Xiao Lingyu slung an arm on Lei Jue’s shoulder, his eyes shamelessly roaming over Lei Jue’s crotch. “I’ll say, this bird is both thin and small, but it’s quite pretty,”

“Xiao Lingyu!” Lei Jue shook Xiao Lingyu’s arm off. “I haven’t tried my hand at treating a blind person yet, so how about I use you to gain some experience?” 

“No need!” Xiao Lingyu had only just spoken, when Carrera flew the aircraft and brought it before them. However, since the aircraft was too big and they were on a slope with dense vegetation, it could only hover in midair. 

Xiao Lingyu was a chicken, so managed to board with a single leap. As for Lei Jue? He felt as if he were on the receiving end of the hatred of the whole world. 

Xiao Lingyu looked up at the sky with an innocent expression. He couldn’t resist grinning as he hooked a finger towards Lei Jue, just like Lei Jue had done before when Xiao Lingyu had begged him for healing after he’d been stung by the scorpion. Then he said, “I’ll carry you up.”

“Carry me? Hah—” Lei Jue looked up at the sky while thinking inwardly, you think you’re the only one with an aircraft?! As soon as he heard the sound of another aircraft approaching, he shouted without a second thought, “Loquat, scratch him!”

“Meow!” Loquat shot up and delivered a furry paw, but Xiao Lingyu’s reflexes were too quick and he caught the cat. Since Loquat wasn’t able to scratch his face, he scratched Xiao Lingyu’s nearby hand, instead. 

“Lei Jue!” Xiao Lingyu hissed.

Lei Jue rubbed Loquat’s head. “Good child, you did really well.”

Xiao Lingyu shook his hand, fiddling nonstop with his communicator. “You sure that you’ll be able to get on your aircraft?”

Lei Jue automatically responded, “Why wouldn’t I be?”

He could definitely make his aircraft let down the ladder— 

“Xiao Lingyu, you bastard!”

He’d actually controlled the aircraft, preventing it from coming close!

Xiao Lingyu stuffed Loquat into Lei Jue’s arms. “Baby, c’mere, big brother wants a hug!”

With that, he scooped Lei Jue up in a princess carry and leapt onto his aircraft. The moment he landed, however, Lei Jue released Curly and Loquat at the same time and the two raced up and scratched his entire face.

Xiao Lingyu was just about to speak, but Lei Jue stopped him with his next four words. “Shut up! No healing!

“…”

When they reached the top of the mountain, Xiao Lingyu’s face looked as if a spider web had been spread across it. It gave Blackfur the urge to crawl on it, so he stared intently at Xiao Lingyu the whole time, which made him intensely uncomfortable. Later, it was only because Lei Jue remembered that Xiao Lingyu’s face might not return to how it originally looked once it was healed that he treated him. 

After the treatment, they caught sight of the bird that Xiao Lingyu had spoken of. 

Lei Jue had never seen this kind of bird before. A whole flock had assembled on a big tree and built their nests there. The nests were tightly packed together. Despite that, it seemed that each bird was still able to find its own nest. The birds were quite small and looked mostly the same as each other, with white heads, red beaks, and green bodies that were no longer than an adult’s thumb. Their calls were crisp and clear and they didn’t appear to fear humans, for despite seeing a person approach, they hadn’t flown away. Instead, when Lei Jue neared them, they flapped their wings and flew towards him. 

With such a big flock, they’d fill up an entire hemp sack, at the very least, if they were all stuffed in together. Lei Jue was so startled he stumbled back a step, but despite his efforts, the birds still descended and covered him. 

A few that couldn’t land on his body were circling around near him. 

Xiao Lingyu saw his sorry state and said, “Careful that they don’t poop on you.”

But as soon as his words fell, a pile of poop landed on his head. 

Xiao Lingyu was rendered speechless. 

Lei Jue gave a snort. “D-don’t look at me, I really c-can’t cure this one for you, hahahahaha…”

Xiao Lingyu shoved down the feeling of disgust. “You’re not allowed to laugh!”

Lei Jue was about to cry from laughing so hard, but he couldn’t stop. 

In his rage, Xiao Lingyu couldn’t find the heart to care that much anymore. He stuffed Lei Jue into the aircraft, and when they arrived home he ran straight for the bathroom. Lei Jue needed to send Curly back to the pet house, so he didn’t follow. 

Xiao Lingshu caught sight of Lei Jue bringing Curly back and asked with a smile, “Little Jue, did you go to the back mountains with Little Fifth?”

“Yep, we just got back.” Lei Jue loosened his grip on Curly and was about to somewhat hesitantly put the little bird he’d accidentally brought home down. 

“What’s wrong?”

“Second Brother, if I let this bird go will it be able to fly back to the mountain by itself?” Lei Jue showed him the little bird. 

“Hm? Isn’t that a Snow-capped Jadewing? You guys went to the top of the mountain?” Xiao Lingshu came over and took a look.

“Mm. There were a lot of these birds over there. So they’re called Snow-capped Jadewings. The name’s quite pretty,” Lei Jue replied.

“They have quite the meaning symbolically, as well.” Xiao Lingshu smiled. “The birds’ heads are as white as snow and they’re as green as jade everywhere else. When they’re young, however, the feathers on their heads are actually a soft yellow and will gradually whiten when they mature. They’ll only ever have a single mate in their entire lives, too, so they’re also called ‘Symsenesce’[2]. 

“That’s surprisingly logical.” Lei Jue subconsciously shot a gaze in the direction of the house and said, “I’ll send it back later.”

“Sounds good.”

Lei Jue lightly lifted his finger and the Snow-capped Jadewing flew onto his head. He was worried that he’d get pooped on too, so he raced back to where the aircraft was parked and headed straight for the top of the mountain. 

He originally planned on leaving once he’d put the little bird back, but when he opened the door, the little critter stubbornly refused to leave. Even when Lei Jue put it down outside, it would fly back immediately. 

Lei Jue felt a little helpless, but what made him feel even more helpless was the fact that not only had the bird he’d wanted to let go not gone away, even more Snow-capped Jadewings began flying in his direction, single-mindedly racing into his aircraft and instantly turning the grey interior of the aircraft green. 

“Did you go to the mountains at the back again?” Right when Lei Jue was considering whether or not to take these little guys home, Xiao Lingyu sent a message over. 

“Yeah, but I’ve encountered a bit of a problem,” Lei Jue replied. 

“What problem?”

“All the Snow-capped Jadewings have flown into my aircraft. If I bring them back, will they be okay without a nest?” It wasn’t like he could dig up the tree and bring it with him, right?

“Bring them back, first, and we’ll work it out later. If they don’t want to leave, they’ll most likely use your aircraft as a nest in the future.”

Lei Jue was speechless. 

Xiao Lingyu’s guess was right—these birds really were refusing to leave. When Lei Jue arrived home and got off the aircraft, they followed behind as well, but when Lei Jue quickly closed the doors after going inside, they returned and settled atop the aircraft. Lei Jue was helpless and was forced to open the doors to the aircraft, otherwise it would be too cold at night. Even if the Snow-capped Jadewings were quite resistant to the cold, they might still suffer from it. 

“How do you feel, baby, having your brand new aircraft become someone else’s new house despite not even having ridden it that much?” Xiao Lingyu asked. 

“It’s a good thing that birds usually know not to poop in their own nest.” Lei Jue comforted himself. 

“But it’s very likely that they’ll take over and never leave.”

“Then let them live there. Growing old together [3] inside would be pretty nice too, wouldn’t it?” Lei Jue opened the door to the aircraft about a third of the way, so the birds wouldn’t suffocate. When he turned his head back afterwards, however, he caught sight of the strange expression on Xiao Lingyu’s face. 

“What? Could it be that you’re embarrassed?” Lei Jue laughed, poking Xiao Lingyu’s hand. “All you did was take me to see birds symbolising growing old together… right?”

Lei Jue was just going to joke around a bit, but he hadn’t finished speaking before he stopped abruptly, because never in his dreams would he have imagined that he would’ve been able to peer into the depths of Xiao Lingyu’s heart just from the mere brushing of their limbs.

Before, when he’d gripped Xiao Lingyu’s wrist and was asking him questions, he’d peered into Xiao Lingyu’s emotions, too. When Xiao Lingyu had denied controlling Emily the night before the wedding, he’d felt torn, and what came after that was pain. That was why he was suspicious. What was in Xiao Lingyu’s heart right now, however, was overwhelming depression and despair. 

What was he depressed about? Appearance-wise, he was clearly a person who lived as he wanted to, without fear of rumours and gossip surrounding him. 

And what was he despairing about? Be it family background, wealth, looks, or power, he had everything that he could possibly want. 

Lei Jue was genuinely a bit confused. If Xiao Lingyu still couldn’t be happy, despite having such an amazing life and untameable personality, then… just what was it that was weighing him down?

Or was it that all the wildness and fearlessness that everyone saw was a facade?

***

The election hadn’t finished yet, so Xiao Zhicheng still needed to go to the Central District’s meeting room. Of course, Lei Jianying, who still had to vote for other people, needed to go as well. Oddly enough, Lei Jianying, who didn’t need to worry about jet lag, had a worse complexion than Xiao Zhicheng, who did experience it. 

Lei Jianying’s pallor was so bad that he looked like a ghost, especially when he saw the people opposite him staring, showing him smiles laden with veiled intentions. His stomach churned along with his frayed nerves. He clearly hadn’t eaten anything in the morning, but it felt like he’d gotten a case of indigestion and he was incredibly uncomfortable. He just couldn’t understand—’Plan A3’ definitely hadn’t been leaked to others, so how was Lei Jue able to react so fast? Logically speaking, the incident this time should look like nothing more than utterly unremarkable drama between the rich to netizens, right?

Could Lei Jue know something?

Xiao Zhicheng had also heard bits of news on the internet from Xiao Lingyu, but hadn’t paid much attention to it. Either way, he wasn’t the one fretting over it right now. 

Si Wannian wasn’t as nice as him, however. When he saw Lei Jianying pensively glance in their direction, he purposefully laughed and said, “Lingyu and Little Jue’s marriage was truly brilliantly done. No wonder our ancestors all said to pick a virtuous wife if you’re going to marry. In order for the home to be peaceful, only a gentle personality like Little Jue’s can cut it, really, one that’s too vicious won’t do.”

Xiao Zhicheng nodded. “You’re absolutely right.”

The veins on Lei Jianying’s forehead were about to pop out. What were these people trying to say, that his son was now synonymous with ‘vicious’?!

And Lei Jue? Gentle?

Gentle my a*s!

Lei Jianying looked at the new message on his communicator from Wei Li, turning his body to hide his hatred-soaked smile. 

[1] 鸟: Niao3: Formal meaning is bird, but can mean male genitals too. 

[2] 白头到老: Bai tou dao lao: literal meaning is ‘to grow heads of white together’, meaning ‘growing old together’. Symsenesce is a made up word meant to encapsulate that within one word, from ‘Sym-’ prefix meaning ‘together’, and senescere, meaning ‘growing old’.

[3] 白头到老: See above for meaning. Used here to refer both to the birds and also to them living within the aircraft for the rest of their lives.

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